Hardiman's History of Galway

Chapter 5: From 1641 to the restoration of Charles II in 1660

Decay of town

Chapter 5

From 1641 to the restoration of Charles II in 1660

Return to table of contents
Old map of Galway

Lands and houses valued and sold

A survey of the forfeited lands was accordingly made,[ii] of which Dr. Clarges was put into possession. The several forfeited houses in the town were also surveyed and valued by captain William Webb and James Hinds; [kk] and although they were, on the 17th of February, 1657, declared to be in the real and actual possession of Anthony Edwards and Thomas Whitcome, in trust for the purposes contained in the Gloucester act, yet no immediate exertions were made to promote the plantation. But Cromwell having, just about that time, ordered that another sum of 10,000. which had been formerly allowed the town of Liverpool for its losses in the parliamentary interest, should be satisfied out of the remainder of the houses in Galway, the lord deputy again pressed the subject of the colonization and improvement of the town, as well on the inhabitants of Liverpool as those of Gloucester. He represented to them, that for building, situation and strength, the town was of very great importance to the security of the nation; and was most advantageously situated for trade, having the sea open, and free for Spain, the Straits, the Indies and other places; and that, before the rebellion, it was inhabited by many wealthy and flourishing inhabitants; and that it would concern them to use their utmost diligence for speedily planting the place with English Protestants, by whom the houses, then ruinous, might be repaired, and commerce, which was then utterly decayed, might be revived. The reader may anticipate that all these designs proved abortive; the wished-for plantation never took place, having been perhaps only prevented by the unexpected and happy revolution which immediately afterwards followed.

Total decay of the town at the time of the Restoration.

The appalling scene of atrocities, hitherto opened to the view of the reader, is now drawing to a close. On the 15th of September, 1658, Richard Cromwell was proclaimed lord protector in Galway, with great rejoicings. The contemptible corporation of the day, having no more victims to persecute, began to quarrel amongst themselves; and their disputes became so violent that the government was obliged to interfere, and threatened to annul the charter, and abolish their privileges. On the 7th of August, 1659, an order issued to apprehend lord Clanricarde, Sir Richard Blake, and the other principal gentlemen of the county; and on the 22d, colonel Thomas Sadlier, the governor, was ordered to remove "all the Irish Papists" out of the town and liberties, and not permit them to return without licence from the commander of the forces. Other instances of persecution afterwards occurred, but they gradually decreased, both in number and severity; and some appearance of moderation and justice was finally introduced, and for a while established, by the restoration.

Online edition of Hardiman's History of Galway, © 1995-2001 World Wide Web Marketing Ltd. This is still a work in progress.