DROGHEDA, a seaport, borough, and market-town, and a county of itself, locally in the county of LOUTH, and province of LEINSTER, 57 miles (S by W.) from Belfast, and 23 (N.) from Dublin; containing 17,365 inhabitants, of which number, 15,138 are in the town. This place is said to have derived its name Droig had Atha, in the Irish language signifying "a bridge," from the erection of a bridge over the river Boyne, at a period prior to the English irnvasion ; but no notice of any town of importance occurs till after that event. At a very early period, a monastery was founded here for canons of the order of St. Augustine. It was included in the original grant of Meath to Hugh de Lacy ; but in 1220, when a new grant of that lordship was made to his son Walter, by Hen. III., the town and castle of Drogheda had become of so much importance, that the king retained them in his own possession, allowing to De Lacy £20 per ann. from the Exchequer, and the talliage of the town, as a compensation. At that time the Boyne, which now intersects the town, formed the boundary between the counties of Meath and Louth, and the two portions of the town on its opposite banks constituted separate boroughs. In 1229, Hen. III., by charter, gave to the town on the Louth side of the Boyne certain privileges and free customs similar to those of Dublin ; and in 1247, the same monarch invested the burgesses of the town on the Meath side with similar privileges and inmunities, and granted them a weekly market and an annual fair for six days. A new charter was granted in 1253 to the burgesses of Drogheda in Louth, empowering them to elect a mayor, to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, and to hold an annual fair for 15 days: but the increase of the town was soon checked by the continued aggressions of the native inhabitants of the surrounding districts, In the 7th and 24th of Edw. I., the town received grants of toll for murage ; and in 1316, the king granted 300 marks for the repair of the walls and turrets. In 1317, the burgesses of Drogheda in Meath obtained a new charter for a weekly market, with the grant of a piece of ground on which to hold the same, and the decision of all pleas except those of the crown. Mandates were issued, in 1319 and 1320, by the king to his justiciary in Ireland, to protect the mayor and burgesses of the town in Louth in the enjoyment of their liberties, and to grant remission of their fee farm rent of 60 marks per ann., to enable them to extend their fortifications. In 1375, a mayor of the staple was appointed for both towns ; but the calamity of pestilence, added to that of almost incessant warfare with tire Scots and native septs, had so reduced the burgesses that, in 1380, Rich. II., granted to them certain customs' duties for the repair of the fortifications and the general improvement of the town.
This place, from an early period was, in municipal privileges and political consequence, always considered as on an equality with the four royal cities of Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, and Cork ; and of the numerous parliaments assembled by the lords-deputies, some of the most remarkable were held here. Rich. II., on the 16th of March, 1394, in the hall of the Dominican priory received the submission of O'Nial, O'Hanlon, O'Donel, Mac Mahon, and other native chieftains of Ulster. In 1407, the inhabitants united with those of Dublin in a predatory warfare against their commom enemies, which they extended even to the coast of Scotland. Hen. IV., towards the close of his reign, united the two boroughs into one body politic. In 1437, part of the fee-farm rent was remitted by Hen. VI., on account of the devastation of the town and the injury of its trade by the king's enemies. The Earl of Ormonde, on being removed from the office of chief governor, in 1444, assembled the nobility and gentry of the English pale at this place ; and so strong were the testimonies in his favour, that he was reinstated in his office. A parliament was soon afterwards held here ; another was also held in the 31st of Hen. VI., and, in 1467, a parliament assembled at Dublin was adjourned to this town, by which the Geraldines were attainted, and the Earl of Desmond appearing to justify himself, was instantly brought to the scaffold. In 1474, when the fraternity of arms was established, the goods of the men of Drogheda and Dublin were exempted from the tax for its support ; and by the statute passed in Lord Grey's parliament, concerning the election of temporary chief governors, the mayors of Drogheda and Dublin were to have a voice in the council. In an engagement which took place at Malpas Bridge, during this reign, the mayor of Drogheda, at the head of 500 archers and 200 men armed with pole-axes, assisted in the defeat of O'Reilly and his confederates, who had committed great ravages in the county of Louth ; in reward of which valiant conduct, the mayors are allowed to have a sword of state borne before them. In 1493, Lord Gormanston held a parliament here, but the validity of its proceedings was disputed ; and in the 10th of Hen. VII., Sir Edward Poynings assembled another in this town, of which the acts relating to the adoption of the English statutes and other important matters have been more celebrated than those of any other parliament prior to the last century. In the succeeding reign, the importance of this place appears from the duties paid at the custom-house, which, in 1632, amounted to £1428. 15.
In 1641, it was attacked by the northern Irish in great numbers under Sir Phelim O'Nial, when a body of 600 foot and 50 horse, sent from Dublinfor the relief of the garrison, was defeated at Julianstown bridge, about three miles from the town. Though Sir Henry Tichbourne, the governor, had an incompetent force, and the besieging army consisted of 20,000, yet from want of military skill, artillery, and ammunition, the latter were unable to form a regular encampment ; and the siege was little more than a blockade. The town, however, was reduced to great distress from want of supplies, but the numerous assaults of the enemy were vigorously repulsed, and great numbers of their men, and several of their bravest officers were killed in the sallies of the garrison ; and on intelligence of the approach of the Earl of Ormonde with a considerable force, the commander of the insurgent army raised the siege and retired towards the north. When Ormonde advanced towards Dublin against the parliamentarian governors, Col. Jones sent most of his cavalry to Drogheda, with a view to cut off Ormonde's supplies ; but Lord Inchiquin coming immediately in pursuit of them, with a strong body of royalist cavalry, surprised and routed the party and laid siege to the town, which he soon obliged to surrender. After the battle of Rathmines, Col. Jones besieged the garrison placed here by the royalists, but suddenly retired on the approach of the Marquess of Ormonde with 300 men. The Marquess inspected and repaired the fortifications ; and foreseeing the danger to which it would be exposed, committed the government of the town to Sir Arthur Aston, a gallant R. C. officer, with a garrison of 2000 foot and 300 horse, all chosen men and well supplied 'with ammunition and provisions. Cromwell, on landing at Dublin in 1649, marched with 10,000 men against Drogheda, as the most important town for opening a passage into the northern provinces ; and after a siege of two days, his artillery having made a sufficient breach in the walls, the assault was commenced by his troops, who were twice repulsed ; but in the third attack, headed by himself, he gained possession of the town, and in order to impress upon the Irish such a dread of his name as might prevent all opposition, gave orders to put the 'whole garrison to the sword: this barbarous execution was continued for five successive days, the governor and all his officers being included in the proscription, and even some ecelesiastics who were found within the town were butchered: a few of the garrison contrived to escape in disguise, and besides these only thirty were spared from the general massacre, who were instantly transported as slaves to Barbadoes.
In the war of the Revolution, this place was garrisoned by the forces of Jas. II., who had a magazine of military stores and ammunition here ; and in the immediate vicinity was fought the celebrated battle of the Boyne. On the 30th of June, 1690, King William's army came within sight of the town and advanced in three columns towards the river. King James's camp extended westward from the town in two lines along its south bank. As his army was marching into camp, William advanced within cannon range of the ford at Oldbridge, to reconnoitre, and dismounted ; while Berwick, Tyrconnel, Sarsfield, and some other of James's generals rode slowly along the opposite bank. On remounting, a ball from a field-piece concealed by a hedge grazed the bank of the river and taking a slanting direction struck his right shoulder, tearing his coat and slightly lacerating the flesh ; but though a report of his death was quickly spread, William sustained no other injury than a difficulty in using his sword arm. A brisk cannonade was maintained from the opposite bank of the river till the approach of night ; and on the following morning, William's right wing crossed the river at some fords below Slane, overpowering a regiment which had been stationed there to defend the passage, and made their way over a very unfavourable country to a morass through which the infantry passed with great difficulty, while the cavalry found a firmer passage on the right. The part of James's army stationed near the morass, astonished at their intrepidity, fled towards Duleek, suffering great loss in their flight. The central column of William's army now attempted to cross the river ; the Dutch guards, followed by tIre Huguenots, Enniskilleners, Brandenburghers, and English, plunged into the stream near Oldbridge, in front of the enemy's lines and breastworks, checking the current by their numbers, and causing the water to rise so high that the infantry were obliged to carry their muskets above their heads. One squadron of the Brandenburghers was repulsed by General Hamilton's horse, and driven back through the river, and in their retreat threw the Huguenots into disorder ; but the general's cavalry wheeling through Oldbridge were cut down by the Dutch and Enniskilleners, with the exception of a small party which encountered the Duke of Schomberg while rallying the Huguenots, wounded and made him prisoner, on which the French Protestants fired into the midst of the party and unhappily killed the Duke. The Rev. George Walker, who had so gallantly defended London derry, was also killed about the same time. After the conflict had continued about an hour, the Irish army retreated to Donore, where James had remained surrounded by his guards ; and William, who had crossed the river, about a mile above Drogheda, with his left wing, placed himself at the head of his army ; and when the enemy had advanced from Donore, almost within musket shot of his infantry, he was seen sword in hand animating his squadrons and preparing to fall on their flank. James's troops, however, halted and again retreated to Donore, but there charged with such success that the English cavalry, nlthouglr commanded by William, were repulsed. The enemy was, however, bravely attacked by the Enniskilleners, supported by the Dutch, and ultimately by all the English army, and the battle was for some time maintained with equal bravery by both parties. But the Irish infantry being at last defeated, and the cavalry, after making a furious charge, routed, James and his troops retreated through the pass of Duleek, In this important battle James lost 1500 men, and William's army about one-third of that number. On the following day, King William sent Brigadier La Melloniere, with 1000 horse, a party of foot, and eight pieces of artillery, to summon Drogheda, which was defended by a garrison of 1300 men under Lord Iveagh, who, after a parley, accepted terms of capitulation, and marched out with their baggage, leaving behind them their arms, stores, and ammunition ; and Col. Cutts' regiment immediately took possession of the place and preserved it from violence.
The town is advantageously situated on the great north road from Dublin to Belfast, and on the river Boyne, which discharges itself into the Irish sea about three miles below, and by which it is divided into two unequal portions, of which the larger, on the north side, is connected with the smaller by a bridge of three arches, erected in 1722. The streets are tolerably regular, and many of the houses are well built, especially those in the principal street, and on the quay, which extends along the north side of the river. The total number of houses is 2860, of which 1300 only are assessed to the rates for lighting and watching the town ; for the former, which is done by a gas company established a few years since, the whole assessment amounts to £316, and for the latter to £239, per annum. The inhabitants are principally supplied with water from a well at the linen-hall ; and the streets are paved and kept in repair, under the management of a committee, at the expense of the corporation, for which purpose about £230 is annually appropriated from the corporation funds. Of the ancient walls, beyond which the present town extends, the most curious and perfect portion is the gate of St. Lawrence, forming a handsome approach. A public reading and news-room has been fitted up in the Mayoralty-house, and a newspaper, called the Drogheda Journal, has been published since 1774. In Fair-street are infantry barracks, with an hospital for 20 patients ; and there are similar barracks at Milmount. Adjoining the latter is Richmond Fort, erected about the year 1808, in which are two nine-pounders on a moveable platform, a guardhouse, forming the entrance to the barracks, was built in 1831, and the mount on which the fort stands was at the same time further strengthened with palisades. The manufacture of coarse linen, calico, and stockings, formerly carried on to a very great extent, has, together with hand-loom weaving, very much declined. A very extensive mill for spinning flax has recently been erected by a company of proprietors, and is principally wrought by steam power. The tanning of leather was formerly carried on very extensively, and is still considerable ; and the manufacture of soap and candles is also on a tolerably large scale. There are two iron foundries, several salt works, an extensive distillery, and three large breweries of ale and table beer, one of which, in James-street, belonging to Mr. Cairnes, produces ale which is in great repute, and is exported to England and the West Indies ; attached to it is a very extensive malting establishment. There are several large flour and corn-mills, of which that belonging to Messrs. Smith and Smythe, with the adjoining stores, was erected at an expense of £20,000 ; the machinery is impelled by a steam-engine of 50-horse power, and is capable of grinding 40,000 barrels of wheat, and 60,000 barrels of oats annually.
The port carries on a very extensive trade chiefly with Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and also a very considerable cross-channel trade ; the principal exports are corn, flour, oatmeal, cattle, butter,and linen cloth ; and the chief imports are timber, slates, coal, rock-salt, iron, bark, herrings, and dried fish, with manufactured goods of all kinds. According to the returns for the year ending Jan. 5th, 1835, there were shipped from this port, 126,380 loads of meal, 42,500 bushels of wheat, 3000 barrels of peas, 37,000 sacks of flour, 2500 barrels of barley, 22,000 barrels of oats, 13,000 crates of eggs, 600 firkins of butter, 4100 cows, 12,000 sheep, 39,000 pigs, and 500 barrels of ale. The number of vessels in the foreign trade that entered inwards, during that year, was 14 British and 3 foreign, and two British vessels cleared outwards. - In the trade with Great Britain and across the channel, 494 ships, including steam-vessels, entered inwards, and 462 cleared outwards ; and in the trade with various ports in Ireland, 42 vessels entered inwards and 23 cleared outwards. The gross amount of the customs' duties, during the year 1835, was £9476. 19. 3., and for 1836, £13,382. 13. 2. ; that of the excise duties collected in the district, in 1835, was £75,007. 19. 3-. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port is 40, of an aggregate burden of 3763 tons. A considerable trade is carried on with Liverpool, between which place, Glasgow, and this port, five steam-packets, of about 350 tons each, are constantly plying. The harbour, for the improvement of which the Commissioners of Public Works have granted £10,000, has been rendered much more commodious, and is in a state of progressive improvement ; a breakwater is about to be formed and a lighthouse erected. The river has been deepened four feet by a steam dredging vessel, calculated to raise 1000 tons hourly ; it is navigable to the bridge for vessels of 200 tons', and above it for lighters of 70 tons', burden. A patent slip is also in progress of construction, and a large iron-foundry for steam machinery has been erected. The value of these improvements may be correctly estimated from- the fact that, within the last severn years, the trade of the port has been more than doubled. The inland trade is also greatly facilitated by the Boyne navigation to Navan, which it is intended to extend to Lough Erne. The Grand Northern Trunk railway from Dublin, for which an act of parliament has been obtained, will enter the town at Pitcher Hill, in the parish of St. Mary. The markets are on Thursday and Saturday ; and fairs for cattle of every kind, and especially for horses of superior breed, are held annually on May 12th, June 22nd, Aug. 26th, and Oct. 29th, by ancient charter ; and by a recent patent also on March 10th, April 11th, Nov. 21st, and Dec. 19th, when large quantities of wool and various other articles of merchandise are exposed for sale. The corn market is a very neat and commodious building, erected after a design by the late Mr. F. Johnston. There are convenient shambles for butchers' meat, and adjacent is a fish market. The linen-hall is a spacious building of brick, containing five halls. Besides the charters already noticed, many others were granted by different sovereigns. The two boroughs continued till the reign of Hen. IV. to be separately governed by their respective charters, and each had its separate corporate officers, from which circumstance the merchants frequenting the town were burdened with the payment of tolls and customs to both corporations, dissensions and debates were daily springing up between the two bodies, and in their contests blood was often shed and many lives were lost. To put an end to these evils, Hen. IV., by charter dated Nov. 1st, 1412, with the consent of the burgesses and commonalties, united both boroughs under one corporation, and erected the town, 'with the suburbs on both sides of the river, into a county of itself. Under this, which is the governing charter, the style of the corporation is the "Mayor, Sheriffs, Burgesses, and Commons of the County of the Town of Drogheda," and the government is vested in a mayor, two sheriffs, twenty-four aldermen (including the mayor), an indefinite number of common councilmen, a mayor of the staple, two coroners, recorder, town-clerk, sword-bearer, mace-bearer, water-bailiff, harbour-master, and subordinate officers. The freedom of the town is acquired by birth, or servitude of seven years' apprenticeship to a freeman of one of the seven trading guilds, and by especial grace, or gift of the corporation. The trading guilds are each under the government of a master and two wardens annually elected, and have each a common hall. The town sent members to the first Irish parliament ever held, and continued to return two members till the Union, since which time it has returned one member to the Imperial parliament. The right of election was vested in the freemen and freeholders, of whom there were about 936 previously to the passing of the act of the 2nd of Win. IV., cap. 88, which disqualified the non-resident freemen except within seven miles, and extended the elective franchise to the £10 householders, and to £20 and £10 leaseholders, for the respective terms of 14 and 20 years. The borough is co-extensive with the county of the town, comprising an area of 5803 statute acres, of which, 844 are in a rural district in the parish of Ballymakenny, and the remainder in the parishes of St. Peter and St. Mary: the sheriffs are the returning officers. The mayor, recorder, and two senior aldermen who have served the office of mayor, are justices of the peace under the charter, and there are five additional justices appointed under the act of the 7th Geo. IV. The assizes for the county of the town are held twice in the year before the mayor and judges on the north-eastern circuit ; and quarter sessions are held in Jan., April, June, and Oct., before the mayor and recorder. Petty sessions are held in the Tholsel court every alternate week ; a court of record for pleas to any amount is held before the mayor and sheriffs ; and a court of conscience, for the recovery of debts not exceeding £1. 3., is held every Tuesday and Friday before the mayor or his deputy. A mayoralty-house is provided in the town, as a residence for the mayor during his year of office, but it is seldom occupied. The Tholsel is a spacious and handsome building of hewn stone, well adapted to the holding of the assizes, quarter sessions, and other courts. The gaol on the north side of the town was erected in 1818; it is a neat and well-arranged building adapted to the classification of prisoners, and contains 6 'wards, with day-rooms and airing-yards, apartments for debtors, and a chapel: the total expenditure, for 1835, was £379. 11. 11. The amount of Grand Jury presentments for 1835 was £1988. 4.5-., of which £171. 17.11-. was for the repair of roads, bridges, &c. ; £1390. 1. 1-. for public buildings, charities, officers' salaries, and miscellaneous expenses ; £8. 18. 6. for the police, and £417. 6. 10. for repayment of advances made by Government.
The town comprises the parishes of St. Peter, on the north side of the river, in the diocese of Armagh, comprising 3523 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act ; and St. Mary, on the south side, and in the diocese of Meath, containing 1435 acres, as applotted ; with part of the parish of Ballymakenny. The living of each is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Marquess of Drogheda, in whom the rectories are im propriate, The tithes of St. Peter's amount to £300, payable to the impropriator: the annual income of the incumbent is £512. 2. 6., arising from certain lay tithes purchased by the late Board of First Fruits, minister's money, payment by the corporation, and rent of houses. the tithes of St. Mary's are £105, of 'which £31. 3. 1. is payable to the impropriator, and £73. 16. 11. to the vicar, who also receives a stipend of £30 from Evans's fund. St. Peter's church, which was rebuilt in 1753, is a handsome and substantial structure, in the Roman Doric style, with a tower surmounted by a spire, which wants a proportionate degree of elevation ; it is the burial-place of the family of Moore, Marquesses of Drogheda, and contains also several handsome monuments to Lord Chief Justice Singleton, who resided in the town, John Ball, Esq., one of the king's serjeants, the Leigh and Ogle families, and others ; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £463. 2. 3. towards its repair. The glebe-house adjoins the churchyard ; there is a glebe of four acres in Drogheda, and one of 24 acres in Carlingford. St. Mary's church, a modern edifice, was erected in 1810, by a gift of £600 and a loan of £500 from the late Board of First Fruits, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £175. 5. 7. towards its repair. The glebehouse, situated in the town, was purchased for the parish by the late Board in 1809, under the new acts, at a cost of £600, of which £461. 10. 9-. was a gift, and £138. 9. 2-. a loan: the glebe comprises five acres, valued at £20 per annum. The chapel of St. Mark, a handsome edifice, was erected as a chapel of ease to St. Peter's church ; the corporation contributed £300 towards the expense, £900 was given in 1829 by the late Board of First Fruits, and the remainder was raised by local subscription: it is endowed with the rectorial tithes of Innismot, in the county of Meath, amounting to £65, by the corporation, who have transferred the patronage to the Lord-Primate, who adds £50 per annum. The R. C. parish of St. Peter is co-extensive with that of the Established Church, and is the benefice of the Archbishop ; the chapel is a handsome and spa cious structure, erected at an expense of more than £12,000, raised by subscription. St. Mary's is the head of a R. C. union, comprising also the parishes of Colpe and Kilsharvan, and containing two chapels, one at Drogheda, a large and handsome building, towards which Michael Duff, Esq., contributed between £4000 and £5000, and the other at Mornington, in the parish of Colpe. There are places of worship for-Presbyterians and Wesleyan Methodists, the former in connection with the Seceding Synod, and of the second class: the building was erected in 1827, at an expense of £2000, towards 'which the corporation contributed £300. Here are three friaries, dedicated respectively to St. Francis, St. Augustine, and St. Dominick ; also two convents of nuns, one dedicated to St. Dominick, and the other to the Blessed Virgin and of the order of the Presentation, both devoted to religious instruction. The Dominican or Sienna convent, beautifully situated in the environs, has a department for the instruction of young ladies, and a very elegant chapel. St. Peter's parochial school is supported by contributions, including an annual donation of £10. 10. from the corporation, and £10 from the vicar, In this parish are also one of the four classical schools under the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity, who grant to it #280 per ann. ; five other schools, one of which is in connection with the Presentation convent, a private school, and three Sunday schools ; in the day schools together are about 1000 children. In the parish of St. Mary arc a public school, in which are about 250, and a pay school of 70, children. An institution for the widows of Protestant clergymen was founded and endowed by Primate Boulter ; and an almshouse, called the poor house of St. John, was founded by a grant from the corporation ; it is a neat brick building, containing 12 apartments. An infirmary, with a dispensary, is supported by Grand Jury presentments and by corporation and parliamentary grants, at an annual cost of about #400 ; and a mendicity institution for which the corporation finds a house, is supported by voluntary contributions and the produce of the labour of its inmates. There is also a savings' bank. The amount of Grand Jury cess levied on the rural district of the county of the town is about #1080 per annum. The religious foundations of this place were anciently very numerous, and of several there are still some remains. On the north side of the river are those of the Augustinian priory, of which the steeple is standing ; it is more generally called the old abbey, from its remote antiquity, having, it is supposed, been founded by St. Patrick, who it is said baptized his converts at a well within its precincts, which, previously to its late enclosure, bore his name ; the old abbey experienced many injuries from its Irish and Danish assailants, but was rebuilt and endowed by the English in 1226. On the road leading to Collon, near the town, is a stone called Clough Patrick, or St. Patrick's stone, on which he prayed ; in commemoration of which, the marks of his knees and staff were chiselled in the stone, and are yet to be traced. The hospital of St. Mary was founded early in the 13th century, for sick and infirm persons, by Ursus de Swemele, and was afterwards occupied by Crouched friars of the order of St. Augustine, The priory of St. Lawrence, near the gate of that name, is said to have been founded by the mayor and burgesses. The Dominican abbey, founded in 1224, by Lucas de Netterville, Archbishop of Armagh, afterwards became a house of great celebrity ; it was proposed as the seat of an intended university, and after the dissolution was granted to Walter Dowdall and Edw. Becke. The Grey friary was founded in the 13th century, either by the family of D'Arcy or that of Plunket, and was, in 1518, reformed by the tion granted to was founded in Brandon family tions, known as On the opposite pital of St. John, of Kilmainham, Walter de Lacy, was, after the Observantine friars, and on its dissoluGerald Aylmer. The Augustine friary the reign of Edw. I., probably by the ; and there were two smaller foundathe houses of St. James and St. Bennet. side of the river was the priory or hos for Crouched friars, a cell to the priory supposed to have been founded by a great part of the revenue of which dissolution, granted by Edw. VI. To James Sedgrave ; and also the Carmelite friary, founded by the inhabitants, and which, with the houses of St. Mary, St. Lawrence, and the Augustinian friary, 'were, at the dissolution, given to the corporation. There was also a Franciscan monastery, of which the founder and history are not known. There are at present some remains of the old church of St. Mary, and of the Dominican abbey, in which was interred Patrick O'Scanlain, Archbishop of Armagh, in 1270. The abbey was dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, and its majestic remains consist of a square tower, in the battlement of which is a breach, said to have been made by Cromwell's cannon. It was enacted by the Irish parliament, in 1465, that a university, enjoying the same privileges and immunities as that of Oxford, should be established at this place, but the design was not carried into execution. The Archbishops of Armagh formerly had a palace in the town for their accomnmodation while attending their parliamentary duties. Divers remains of earthworks, and traces of military operations, are still to be seen at several of the stations which were occupied by Cromwell during the parliamentary war. William of Drogheda, a writer on civil law in the 14th century, and James Miles, author of two works on religion and one on music, and who died a member of the Franciscan monastery at Naples, in 1639, were natives of this place. Drogheda gives the titles of Marquess, Earl, and Viscount, in the peerage of Ireland, to the family of Moore.