Originally published by William Bassett in Limerick in 1881 is the Limerick City and County Directory, which is republished here in fully-searchable electronic format. Containing more than four-hundred printed pages, Bassett's Directory has the complete title of Limerick City and County, and the Principal Towns in the Counties Clare, Tipperary, and Kerry, Directory, 1880-1. Apart from the Dublin City and County Directories published by Alexander Thom & Co., and with the exception of the occasional county directories published by the likes of Pigott and Slater, Irish county directories, even trades directories such as that under review, are not commonplace in the nineteenth century. First published in 1875, Bassett's Limerick Directory for 1880-1 was the second and improved edition of the publication, containing as it does guides to the principal towns in Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and Kerry, which Bassett hoped would result in the publication of complete guide to the province of Munster. The Limerick City and County Directory begins with a digest of the public bodies and institutions railways, religious, benevolent, literary and mercantile in the Borough of the City of Limerick. This includes list of all public officials such as magistrates, members of the corporation of the City and all other public officials who recorded ward-by-ward, which constitutes the first forty pages of the Directory. This is immediately followed by an alphabetical list of the principal merchants, traders and gentlemen in the City of Limerick and its surrounding areas and this together with the classified trades and professions directory, alphabetically arranged makes up just over a third of the Directory as a whole. The County Section of the Directory for Limerick records the principal gentlemen, clergy and traders for thirteen of Limerick's principal towns, namely Abbeyfeale, Adare, Askeaton, Bruff, Castleconnell, Croom, Elton/Hospital, Foynes, Glinn, Kilfinane, Kilmallock, Newcastle & Neighbourhood, Rathkeale and Neighbourhood and Patrick's Well & Neighbourhood. The portion of the Directory treating on Clare, Tipperary and Kerry are in no way as complete as that for Limerick. The Clare portion of the Directory treats on the principal residents and traders of only five of the county's major towns, Tipperary faring a little better with eight and County Kerry also with eight. In the main, each town included in the directory records the the gentry and clergy in the immediate vicinity of the town as well as the principal traders in the town and its surrounds. In the case of the larger towns notices in the Directory, for example Tralee and Clonmel, borough officials such as magistrates, corporation members, councillors and union officials are also included. The Limerick City and County Directory is concluded with more than ninety pages of advertisements taken from all over Ireland, which present a fascinating account of some of the leading producers and suppliers in the country as a whole in 1880. As one of the few trades directories for Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and Kerry published prior to the twentieth-century, Bassett's Limerick City and County Directory for 1880-1, republished here in fully-searchable electronic format, is not to be missed.
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