Clachan Publishing

To preserve and promote publications dedicated to Irish family and local history

Hardiman's History of Galway:
The History of  the Town and County of the Town of Galway

Paperback, 444 Pages, B&W text



Bicentennial Edition ~ 1820 - 2020 

This edition of James Hardiman’s (1782–1855) 'History of the Town and County of Galway' commemorates the bicentenary of its original publication in 1820. 

Hardiman's formative years were spent in Galway. He developed his interest in the history of the town through his work in the Public Records Office in Dublin . In his preface he states that his work enabled him “to investigate with greater accuracy the history and antiquities of this ancient and respectable town”. The book lists civic office holders and gives accounts of the county’s ecclesiastical foundations, charities and schools. His description of early nineteenth century Galway has proved to be of invaluable significance to later historians. 

His reports for the Commissioners have acquired a particular significance as many of the original documents were destroyed in the destruction of the Public Record Office in 1922 during the Irish Civil War.

This quality edition has retained and enhanced the original illustrations and plates. To ensure the modern reader has a comfortable experience the text has been reformatted to the highest modern standards, and footnotes and appendices have been retained.



Some of the interior plates


New paperback edition now available due to popular demand.


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Chevalier Tomas O’Gorman was one of the foremost genealogist of his day and a collector of Irish manuscripts. He was responsible for the acquisition of the Book of Lecan by the Royal Irish Academy and he also donated the Book of Ballymote to the RIA. Thus he was in a position to draw upon a considerable range of sources

The genealogy covers almost 1,000 years of the House of O’Reilly, the ruling family of Bréifne. The territory they occupied was known as Bréifne now anglicised as ‘Breffny’ and ‘Brefnie’, incorporating County Leitrim and Cavan and beyond and where the name is still widely found.

His account is much more than a record of births, deaths and marriages. It is very much a document of its place and time, and goes beyond enumerating military exploits and political alliances. It describes how the family acquired a reputation as astute financiers, coining their own money, which was suppressed by the English Crown.

It gives valuable insights into the the political expectations and attitudes of the exiled Irish nobility whose  experience and loyalties are evidenced in comments on military and political leadership, particularly as it applied to Ireland and its fraught relationship with is colonising neighbour. The result is more much more than a table of generations and events and should prove of considerable interest to Irish genealogists and historians alike.


All images of original manuscript courtesy of Frank Boyd.
126 pages. Hardback, black and white with colour plates.
Modern format.
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