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The linen and hempen manufactures in Claremorris, 1817

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Spreading hemp, one of the several processes involved in the linen and hemp manufacture such as was practised in Claremorris.
Spreading flax in the north of Ireland, 1859. Image credit.

The following is an extract from Minutes of the Trustees of the Linen and Hempen Manufactures of Ireland, pertaining to the town of Claremorris and district: 1

To the County Inspectors of the Provinces of Leinster, Munster and Connaught, in regard to each of the Linen Markets in their respective Districts. […]


1. How often, and on what day, is this Market held?—This is a Weekly Market. It is held every Wednesday.

2. At what hour of the day does it commence and conclude, and should the hours vary in the summer or winter season, say so?—The Market commences at two o’Clock in summer and winter, and ends about four.

3. Does the Market take place in the open street, or is there any enclosed place for the purpose, and if so, where, when, and by whom was it made?—The Market is held in the Market-house, which was built by the Right Hon. Denis Browne.

4. Describe the name, length, breadth, and quality, of each description of Web brought to this Market.—The Linen sold in this Market is of one kind.

5. What are the average prices of each description of Web?—The price of Linen in this Market, above 8d. per yard.

6. Are they all brought to Market in the brown state, or is the Yarn of any of them first bleached, or do any of them come in a state of half-bleach?—The Linen sold in this Market comes in a brown state.

7. Do you know what becomes of the Webs of each kind, that is to say, are they bleached at home or exported in the state they come to Market, and can you tell the uses for which each kind of Web is fit, and to which they are applied, and whether they are consumed at home, or exported to any other, and what other County?—The Goods sold in this Market are sent to Dublin in a brown state, and some to the Northern Bleach-Greens.

8. Are the different description of Goods sold here exposed to sale at the same hour of the Market, or if not, at what other hour of the Market?—The Linens sold in this Market are exposed for sale at the same hour.

9. How many Webs of each kind do you think, on an average, are sold on each Market-day, and what, taking one Market with another, would you call the average Value of the sales of each Market?—About 30 Webs are sold in this Market weekly, value £30.

10. Do the Weavers who manufacture the Webs sold in this Market live in your County, or if not, from what other County do they come?—The Weavers that attend this Market all live in the County.

11. How many Weavers, upon an average, attend each Market?—About 20 Weavers attend this Market weekly.

12. How many Buyers, on an average, attend each Market?—About 5 Buyers attend this Market weekly.

13. Of the number of Buyers who attend, how many of them, generally speaking, are Principals, and how many of them are Agents or Commissioners who buy for others?—About 5 of the Buyers are Principals and 5 Commissioners.

14. State the Names of the Principal Buyers of your County, who attend this Market themselves, or send their Agents or Commissioners there to buy for them; naming, as far as you can, the residence of each, but don’t put down the Name of any Commissioner.—The following are the Names of the Buyers that attend this Market: Cornelius Fallon, Castlebar. William Ivers, Minala. Michael Hynes, Clare-Morris.

15. State the names of the Principal Buyers who attend this Market from other Counties, or send their Agents or Commissioners to buy for them; naming, as far as you can, the Counties they come or send from, but don’t put down the Name of any Commissioner.—[not answered]. (pp. 5–6, 46)

There are five Linen Markets in this County, Castlebar, Newport, Westport, Clare-Morris, and Ballina, all of them conducted in the most regular manner. (pg. 56)

The Market of Clare-Morris is but of a few months standing, and has been established by the Right Honorable Denis Browne, to whose exertions this District is much indebted. Mr. Browne has erected, at a very considerable expense, a most complete Scutch Mill, which I inspected in March last, and I have no doubt but it will prove of the greatest benefit to the Country. This Gentleman, last season, purchased eight hogsheads of Flaxseed, which he distributed at first cost among the poor, giving them time for the payment; and, by this act of kindness, rendered them an incalculable benefit. (pg. 58)

General Observations.
County Mayo. […]
   Value of Sales at each Market, £50 0s 0d
   Value of Annual Sales, £2,600 0s 0d (pg. 72)

Source citation for this page: — Kilpatrick, Alison. “The linen and hempen manufactures in Claremorris, 1817.” Online at Arborealis,, accessed [insert date of access].

Image credit: — “Spreading flax in the north of Ireland.” In, The Illustrated London News, 24th September 1859. Edited by Alison Kilpatrick (2021).


  1. Linen Board. Minutes of the Trustees of the Linen and Hempen Manufactures of Ireland, containing the Report of a Tour of Inspection through the provinces of Leinster, Munster & Connaught by Mr Peter Besnard, Inspector General of those provinces. Dublin: W. Folds and Sons, 1817. Extracts re: Claremorris, county Mayo transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick.