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Rev. James Dowd, Limerick and its Sieges, 1890 2nd Edition

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This second edition of Limerick and its Sieges was published by the Limerick printers and publishers, McKern and Sons in 1890 and is republished here in fully-searchable electronic format. Containing just under 200 printed pages, including a number of illustrations and photographs, Limerick and its Sieges was written by Rev. James Dowd, a Limerick local historian, Secretary for the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland for County Limerick and author Round and About Limerick. Beginning with the arrival of the Danes and the earliest recorded instances of Luimneach, Dowd, in the following six chapters Dowd records some of the more notable sieges of the city before digressing into descriptions of the Old City, the growth of the modern city of Limerick to 1890 before digressing even further into descriptions of some of the neighbourhoods situated in the immediate vicinity of the city. Chapter 1, details the arrival of the Danes and their establishment of Limerick in about 795 through to their final defeat and subjugation after the Battles of Singland and Solohed. This is followed by the rise in Limerick of the native Irish such as Murtagh and Donald before arrival of the Normans, the visit of King John and the fateful expedition of Edward Bruce. Little of the history of the city is explored by Dowd between the seizure of Limerick Castle by the Earl of Desmond and the Rebellion of 1641, which ends ten years later during the Commonwealth and the arrival of Cromwell's Army at the city gates under the command of Ireton. An entire chapter is given over to the siege and blockade of the city, the excesses of the Cromwellian Army end with executions and trial of O'Neill. The penultimate siege described by Dowd is that of William III, which is told from the arrival of William's Army, the capture of Limerick City and the departure of William in 1690, followed by the siege of the City under the command of Grinkle ending with the Treaty of Limerick. Apart from the sieges of Limerick, Dowd also describes in some little detail some of the exceptional remains of the Old City as they stood in 1890. These included King John's Castle, the Cathedral, Irish Town, English Town, the City Walls, the Citadel and more. These descriptions are important as the penultimate chapter 'The Growth of Modern Limerick' revealed. The period between 1850 and 1890 was one of growth of the City, which involved the dismantling of large portions of the city's wall, the construction of new streets and the building of public edifices such as Barrington's Hospital, the docks, the introduction of gas to the city and the remarkable 'Hanging Gardens'. Limerick and its Sieges is concluded by a chapter describing some of the more notable buildings and events in the immediate neighbourhood of the city, such as the church of Donaghmore, Castle Troy and Thomond Castle. The Sieges of Limerick also contains a number of valuable sketches such as the map of the city from a 1623 engraving and a pen-and-ink sketch of the entrance to Roche's Hanging Gardens, demolished at the turn of the 19th century. This is a valuable little publication on Limerick City and its neighbourhood written by one of the best known local historians of Limerick in the 19th century and its contents are sure to appeal to anyone interested in the history of Limerick City and its immediate environs.

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