TIGHE, William. Statistical Observations relative to the County of Kilkenny, made in the years 1800 & 1801. With folding maps.
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Dublin: Printed by Graisberry and Campbell, 1802. pp. xvi, 644, 119, [12 (leaves of plates, illustrations, maps)], [2 (leaves of tables inserted)]. Blue cloth, title in gilt. Loosely inserted is the Bernard Quaritch invoice, dated July, 1972 (cost £20!). A very good copy. Very scarce.
Not in Gilbert Bradshaw 2173.
William Tighe’s (1766-1816) survey is the oldest book devoted entirely to the county. Tighe, who was the owner of the
beautiful Woodstock estate at Inistioge, took his task of writing this book very seriously. His hard work resulted in a
substantial volume of almost 650 pages packed with information on many subjects, following rigorously the brief laid
down by the Royal Dublin Society. It is the largest and arguably the best of all these county statistical surveys. Its
greatest value lies in the information it contains on County Kilkenny in Tighe’s own time. So writes Conleth Manning
in his preface to the 1998 reprint..
Edward Wakefield’s An Account of Ireland Statistical and Political (1812) declared that he had found Mr Tighe’s
remarks on any subject touching Kilkenny ‘to be very accurate.’ He particularly declared that ‘The chapter upon
tenures, in Mr Tighe’s Survey, ought to be carefully perused by every Irish landlord, [as] the author points out, in a
striking manner, the injury which arises from a lease granted on lives for electioneering purposes, and laments that the
entails of estates hold forth encouragement to this mode of tenure.’
The Royal Dublin Society was founded in 1731 for “improving Husbandry, Manufactures, and other useful Arts and
Sciences”. One of its greatest achievements was the publication of the statistical surveys for each of the counties of
Ireland. The work thoroughly surveys the topography of the county, its geology, mines, quarries; its rivers, navigations,
fish and fisheries; bogs and their reclamation; its agriculture ... markets, farming methods ... tenure and rents,
population, towns and their developments ... use of spirits; the schools, manufacturing industry, roads and bridges, etc.
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