KILKENNY (County of), an inland county, in the western part of the province of Leinster, bounded on the east by the counties of Carlow and Wexford, on the north by the Queen's county, on the west by the county of Tipperary, and on the south by the county of Waterford. It extends from 52° 14' to 52° 51' (N. Lat.), and from 6° 56' to 7° 38' (W. Lon.); and comprises an area, according to the Ordnance survey, of 536,686 statute acres, of which 417,117 are cultivated land, and 96,569 bog and mountain. The population, in 1821, was 158,716; and in 1831, 169,945.

According to Ptolemy, this county was originally inhabited by the Brigantes and the Caucoi, and it afterwards formed part of the kingdom of Ossory. The name of Uisraigagh, modernized into Ossory, is supposed to be expressive of its local situation, being compounded of the Gaelic words uisge, "water," and rioghachd, "kingdom," as lying between the rivers. The portion between the Nore and Barrow is sometimes excluded from the kingdom of Ossory, and was anciently styled Hy Creoghain Gabhran; the southern part of the county was sometimes called Comor na tri uisge, "the high district of the three waters." The countries of Ely O'Carrol and Hy Carthin comprised some of the north-western portion of this county.

This kingdom was sometimes tributary to Leinster, and sometimes to Munster. After the arrival of the English, it formed one of the counties into which King John divided the portion of the island that acknowledged his sovereignty. At the commencement of the reign of James I., it was chiefly occupied by the Graces, the O'Brenans, the Wandesfords, the Butlers, the O'Sheas, the Rooths, the Harpurs, the Walshes of the mountains, and the Shortals.

Kilkenny, County of | Kilkenny Baronies | Kilkenny Soil | Kilkenny Topography | Kilkenny Agriculture | Kilkenny Geology | Kilkenny Colleries | Kilkenny Manufactures | Kilkenny Rivers | Kilkenny Antiquities | Kilkenny Castles | Kilkenny Social History | Kilkenny Springs | Kilkenny, City of

Search Topographical Dictionary of Ireland »