Hardiman's History of Galway

Chapter 4: From 1484 to the commencement of the Irish Rebellion in 1641

Prisage of wines in the town established by the earl of Ormond

Chapter 4

From 1484 to the commencement of the Irish Rebellion in 1641

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Old map of Galway

Notwithstanding the turbulence of the times, trade, buildings and improvements were carried out in the town with persevering vigilance and industry. Wine, the principal article of traffic, was imported in vast quarltities, on an average, as the annals testify, of from a thousand to fourteen hundred tuns annually. Exemption from prisage contributed not a little to the encouragement of this branch of commerce; but the Ormond family, although worsted in their former endeavours to establish this claim, determined once more to revive it. Accordingly the earl of Ormond, in 1584, instituted proceedings in the chancery of Ireland against the corporation, which they, relying on the decree of the star chamber of England pronounced in their favor, in 1526, and on the exemption from prisage contained in the charter of Henry VIII. most strenuously defended. They were, however, ultimately defeated; and the earl's right to this valuable impost was established. As this is a subject somewhat curious and interesting, an abstract of the proceedings is subjoined.pp It was a question of considerable moment at the time, being, perhaps, the most important until then decided in the kingdom, and one in which there appears to have been displayed a considerable portion of legal knowledge and historical learning.

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