Kilbeggan in 1839
Kilbeggan is in the barony of Moycashel, 56 miles from Dublin, on the road to Athlone.
It was the scene of a conflict in the rebellion of 1798 between a party of insurgents and the regiment of Northumberland militia.
The town contains 350 houses; the whole parish 732: half of those in the town are well built, and have slate roofs.
The church was originally part of an ancient monastic institution, dissolved at the Reformation. There are a handsome Catholic chapel and a Methodist meeting-house.
The market-house is a neat building.
The population in 1831 was 1,985 for the town, or 4,039 for the whole parish.
The trade of the town is considerable: distilling, brewing, milling, and snuff-making are carried on; much butter is sold at the market, which is held on Saturday, and there are four yearly fairs.
A branch from the Grand Canal recently made bids fair to increase the prosperity of the town. Kilbeggan was incorporated by James I; the corporation consists of a portreeve, twelve burgesses, and an unlimited number of freemen. The portreeve has jurisdiction in the borough conjointly with the county magistrates.
There is a borough court for the recovery of debts; petty sessions for the district are held here.
The town formerly sent two members to the Irish parliament, but was disfranchised at the Union.
The living is a perpetual curacy; the parish is, in the Catholic arrangements, united with an adjoining one.