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James Stuart, A.B. Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh for a period of 1373 years (1819)

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First published in Newry and printed by Alexander Wilson in 1819 and republished here in fully-searchable format is James Stuart's Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh. Containing some 669 printed pages, the full title of Stuart's work provides a clear insight into the scope and aims of Stuart's work: Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh for a Period of 1,373 Years Comprising a Considerable Portion of the General History of Ireland; A Refutation of the Opinions of Dr. Ledwich, Respecting the Non-Existence of St. Patrick; And an Appendix, on the Learning, Antiquities and Religion of the Irish Nation. Born in Armagh in 1764, James Stuart was educated at the Royal School, Armagh, before attending Trinity College, Dublin, where he qualified B.A., and was called to the Irish Bar, but never practised. Stuart is best-remembered as a journalist and an historian and antiquary of the Newry-Armagh area, although he was also a published poet. As a journalist Stuart contributed to the Hibernian Magazine, was first editor of the Newry Telegraph (1812), editor of the Newry Magazine from 1815 to 1819 and after moving to Belfast after writing his Historical Memoirs of Armagh he became editor of the Belfast News Letter as well as founding and editing the Guardian and Constitutional Advocate (1827). Despite all of these achievements Stuart is still-remembered for his monumental Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh, which in many people's opinions remains unsurpassed The first eighty pages of the Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh are given over to Stuart's skilful refutation of Dr. Ledwich's claims that St. Patrick never existed as an historical figure and in large part the Historical Memoirs put to rest once and for all Ledwich's claims. The remainder of the Historical Memoirs consist, in Stuart's words, of the following subjects and themes interwoven throughout the publication as a whole: the first, an historical account of Armagh, complete with statistical survey of the City; biographical sketches of various prelates of the See of Armagh from 445 to the Reformation; biographical accounts of Protestant Archbishops of Armagh and all of Ireland from the Reformation to 1818 with similar sketches of the Roman Catholic Archbishops for the same periods; a narrative of the history of Ireland where the Archbishops of Ireland were either directly or indirectly involved; an account of the foundation of the Presbyterian Congregations and other religious establishments together with biographical sketches of the Presbyterian Ministers of Armagh. This monumental publication is concluded with more than twenty appendices contained in almost one-hundred pages and the original work is fully-indexed. Despite being almost two centuries old, James Stuart's Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh remains one of the most authoritative texts published for the City's history down to the date of its publication in 1819.

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