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Limerick City Petitions


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Petitions Relating to the Local Taxation of the City of Limerick page 1
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Limerick City Petitions
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Limerick City Petitions

Date of Article: 31/07/1822
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PETITIONS RELATING TO LIMERICK TAXATION. 7//'^ y the chamberlain signed a receipt for these five corporation books. When the production of these records was subsequently required, the very cham- berlain who had himself signed a receipt for these books, denied on oath any knowledge of what had become of them, and stated in his affidavit, 44 that he could not recollect whether such books ever came into his posses- " sion since the time of signing the receipt." One of the five books, being the most modern, was, however, given in evidence by the corporate officer, but the four others, necessarily the most important, with reference to the usages of the corporation, have never since been produced. Upon this entire transaction it is unnecessary to comment, any farther than to state, that had all the five books disappeared, such an event might have been accounted for by accidental causes, which cannot possibly be applicable to a case where the more ancient and valuable books are stated to have been lost, and where only the more modern, and consequently the least import- ant, are produced. Accident or misfortune might have occasioned the loss of the whole number, whilst the production of one, and the suppression H. D. Grady, of four, can only be accounted for by another, and a less favourable, ^ PP' ( A-) Min » Ev* hypothesis. In the absence of these books, for which Your Committee cannot but consider the corporation highly responsible, it is impossible to furnish such clear and satisfactory evidence, with regard to the ancient usages of the city, as might, under other circumstanccs, be required; and this absence is the more to be regretted, because Limerick, being a corporation by pre- scription as well as by charter, the ancient usages become doubly im- portant. The charters of Limerick bear date in the reigns of King John, Hen. 5, Hen. 6, Hen. 7, Ed. 6, Elizabeth and James 1. Various estates and rights to toll and custom are vested in the whole corporate body, and the uses for which they were intended are clearly stated in a document very fortunately preserved among the public records of Ireland. This document is the more important because it supplies that evidence which would otherwise be vainly sought for, in consequence of the suppression of the corporate books. It appears, that on the 26th October 1672, the Earl of Essex, lord lieutenant of Ireland, issued proclamation, requiring the App' ^ corporation of Limerick to furnish an account of their customs, tolls and duties, and the authority under which the same were demanded and paid. In obedience to this order, the corporation returned a schedule of their tolls, to which they subjoined the following statement ] 44 These are the 44 customes and dutvs receaved by the said corporaceon, as well by grauntes 44 made unto them as by prescription and usage; whereout we are to " maintain the walls of both divisions of the citty, ffour draw bridges, two 44 great stone bridges, one with ffive and the other with ffourteen arches, 44 twelve gates or posterns in the Citty walls, above ten bridges in the 44 liberties and in the severall wayes leading to and from the citty, at 44 least twelve miles of paved causeway : and since their wear and mills 44 were given away to Sir George Preston, we have not above 100/. 44 annual income, by houses or lands, more than the casual revenue arising 44 by the above schedule: All which we humbly certify : dated at Limerick, 44 under the common seale, 4 Dec. 1672. George Ingolessby, mayor." It ^ id. also appears, that in 1676, fines to the amount of 174/. were imposed on the citizens, and estreated into the Exchequer, for not repairing the high- ways and the bridges; but that, upon the execution of the repairs, an application was made by the corporation for a remittal of such fines. It also appears, that in the year 1761, a committee of the late Irish House of Commons, after having inspected the accounts of the corporation of Limerick, after having called for the ancient books, now suppressed, after having examined witnesses on oath, reported 44 that the estate and revenues 44 of
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