Hardiman's History of Galway

Chapter 6: From 1660 to the surrender of Galway to King William's forces, 1691

The corporation land, with the charter and market duties, granted to Mrs Elizabeth Hamilton

Chapter 6

From 1660 to the surrender of Galway to King William's forces, 1691

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Old map of Galway

The reader will not be surprised that the same king, who had so ungratefully permitted the injustice that had taken place against the former inhabitants of Galway, and that, after spilling their blood and wasting their treasures in his cause, would equally disregard the interests of their successors in the corporation, who, he was well aware, became his friends merely from necessity, and would remain so only so long as it was consistent with their interest. Of this he now gave a striking instance. During the civil war, the town's-people mortgaged, at different times and to several persons, almost all the entire of the corporation property, consisting of their lands, and the charter and market duties,e for several sums of money, which they handed over to the duke of Ormond and marquis of Clanricarde for the king's service. After the restoration the mortgages were found to be forfeiting persons; and the premises having been vested in the king under, the acts of settlement and explanation, he accordingly, by letters patent, dated 5th December, 1673,f granted the entire to Elizabeth Hamilton, widow of James Hamilton, esq., one of the grooms of his majesty's bed-chamber, and to her heirs. This unexpected exercise of a dormant right, which it was supposed was obsolete, and such as would never have been thought of, or at revived, against the present corporation, created considerable alarm. Mrs. Hamilton's agent, Mathew Quin, for daring to assert her rights, though under pretence of having offered insult to the mayor, was thrown into prison, and every resistance was made against her in the town. She accordingly had recourse to chancery for redress, and, after some proceedings, which were defended by the mayor,g she succeeded in establishing her claim, and thus laid the groundwork of the future decay and monopoly of the corporation.

Next: King grants new charter, 1676

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