county enniskillen erne miles acres belleek population irish called
FERMANAGH, an inland county in the province of Ulster, Ireland, extending from 54° 7' to 54° 40' N. let., and from 7° 1' to 8° 5' W. long., is bounded on the N.W. by Donegal, on the N.E. by Tyrone, on the E. by Monaghan, and on the S.W. by Cavan and Leitrim. Its greatest length N.W. and S.E. is 45 miles ; its greatest breadth N.E. and S.W. is 29 miles. The area extends to 457,369 statute acres, or 7141- square miles, of which 106,530 acres are under tillage, 213,251 in pasture, 5909 in plantations, 55,248 in waste, bog, mountain, &c., and 46,431 under water. The county is divided into eight baronies : viz., Clanawley, Clankelly, Coole, Knockninny, Lurg, Magheraboy, Magherastephana, and Tirkennedy; and these are subdivided into 23 parishes, and 2183 townlands.
The chief town in Fermanagh is Enniskillen, population (1871) 5836. The only other towns of any importance are - Lisnaskea (857), Irvinestown, formerly Lowtherstown (787), Maguire's Bridge (685), Tempo (460), Newtown-butler (418), Brookborough (390), Rosslea (371), Ederney (332), Belleek (327), Derrygonnelly (302), Kesh (296), in all of which fairs are held and post-offices established. The Irish North-Western division of the Great Northern Railway passes through the most populous portion of the county, one branch connecting Enniskillen with Clones, another connecting Enniskillen with Londonderry, via Omagh, and a third connecting Enniskillen with Bundoran.
Physical Features. - Fermanagh is situated mostly in the basin of the Erne, which divides the county into two nearly equal sections. It presents a hilly, and in many parts a somewhat sterile appearance, though in the main, and especially in the neighbourhood of Lough Erne, it is picturesque and attractive. The climate though moist is healthy, and the people generally are tall and robust. The chief mountains are Cuilcagh (partly in Leitrim and Cavan) 2188 feet high, Belmore 1312 feet, Glenkeel 1223, North Sheen 1135, Tappahan 1110, Carnmore 1034. Tossett or Toppid and Turaw mountains command extensive prospects, and form striking features in the scenery of the county. But the most distinguishing feature of Fermanagh consists in the great extent of its surface being occupied by the Upper and Lower Loughs Erne, which stretch for 45 miles from S.E. to N.W. These lakes are formed by the expansion of the river Erne, which enters the county from Cavan at 'Wattle Bridge, and spreads out its waters in the Upper Lough, broken by innumerable islets. Contracting itself again, the river flows in a meandering course to the town of Enniskillen, where it expands itself once more in the Lower Lough, which extends in a N.W. direction for about 20 miles, till the river again issues from it a mile above Belleek. Of the two loughs the lower and larger one is most famed for its picturesque scenery. Both are dotted with many islands, the number of which .has been stated as high as 199. The largest islands are Boa (or " Cow"), Eunismaesaint, Devenish, Eagle, Innisnakill Gully, Cor, Ferney, Herring, Innismore, and Bellisle. It is navigable throughout, during the winter season, a small steamer plying between Enniskillen and Belleek. The other lakes next in size are Loughs Melvin and Macnean on the border of Leitrim, and draining into the Droves river. The chief river is the Erne, which, rising in Cavan, passes through Belturbet, Lough Erne, and Belleek on its way to the Atlantic, into which it descends at Ballyshannon. At I3elleek it forms a considerable waterfall, well known to sportsmen for its good salmon-fishing. There are several mineral springs in the county, some of them chalybeate, others sulphureous. At Belcoo, near Enniskillen, there is a famous well called Daragh Phadric, held in repute by the peasantry for its cure of paralytic and other diseases ; and four miles N.W. of the same town, at a place called " the Daughton," are natural caves of con siderable size. The geological formation of the county may be described as consisting mainly of secondary limestone and yellow sandstone. In the former organic remains are plentiful, some fine specimens of encrinites being easily obtainable. A brown marble excavated at Florence Court is beautifully veined, and susceptible of a splendid polish. Grey marble has been found in the parish of Killasher. Iron and coal have also been traced in various places, but only in small quantities. The best iron ore mine is at Belleek.
Industries - Agriculture, cfic.--With the exception of the pottery works at Belleek, Fermanagh cannot boast of any distinguishing manufactures. It is chiefly an agricultural county. Of the arable land about the one-half is devoted to pasturage. Oats and potatoes are the crops most extensively cultivated. The next in order are flax, turnips, wheat, barley, rye, beans, and pease. The following table shows the number of acres under the different crops during the years 1874 and 1877: - The live stock (horses, cows, sheep, ∎7,c.) in the county was valued in the census of 1871 at £839,899, but this estimate was on the basis of the values fixed by the census commissioners of 1841, and is therefore much below the actual present worth, which is probably £1,500,000. From statistics prepared specially for Thom's Almanac for 1877, it is estimated at £1,354,379. The number of live stock in Fermanagh given in the registrar-general's annual returns during the years 1874 and 1877 is as follows: - The county in 1873 was divided among 707 proprietors, of whom 130 owned less than one acre each, or 19 pet eent., - the proportion for all Ulster being 48 per cent. The average extent of each holding was 586 acres, that of Ulster being 239 acres. The total annual rental of the land amounted to £234,634, or lls. 5)2d. per acre - that of Ulster 15s. -81d. More than half the whole county was in possession of ten proprietors, namely, - Marquis of Ely, Ely Lodge, 34,879 acres ; Earl of Erne, Crom Castle, 31,389 Earl of Enniskillen, Florence Court, 29,635; Sir V. II. Brooke, Bart., Colebrook Park, 27,994; Mervyn Archdall, Castle Archdall, 27,410; John Madden, Roselea Manor, 14,074 ; J. G. Irvine, Killadeas, 11,388 ; J. G. Porter's representatives, 11,015; Church Temporalities Commissioners, 10,357; and Hugh de Fellenberg Montgomery, 7996.
Education, tf7c. - According to the census of 1871, the number of persons in the county over five years of age who could read and write was 41,226 ; 18,349 could read but could not write, and 22,758 could neither read nor write. There were 10 persons who spoke Irish only, and 349 who spoke both Irish and English. There were two superior schools, having a total of 94 pupils in attendance, all Protestants. On the 31st December 1876 there were on the rolls of the national schools 16,640 pupils, of whom 9720 were Roman Catholics, 6321 Protestant Episcopalians, 278 Presbyterians, and 321 of other persuasions. At the same date at the Enniskillen model school there were 339 pupils on the rolls, of whom. 229 were Protestant Episcopalians, 33 Presbyterians, 18 Roman Catholics, and 59 of other persuasions. In Fermanagh there are neither reformatory nor industrial schools.
Administration, (C.c. - Fermanagh returns three members to parliament - two for the county, and one for the borough of Enniskillen. The assizes are held at Enniskillen, quarter sessions at Enniskillen and Newtownbutler, and petty sessions at eleven places throughout the county. Fermanagh is within the Belfast military district. The barrack stations are at Enniskillen and Belleek. Ecclesiastically it belongs for the most part to the diocese of Clogher. The county jail and the county infirmary are at Enniskillen ; but the district lunatic asylum is at Omagh (in Tyrone), serving for the two counties, Fermanagh and Tyrone. The poor law union workhouses for the county are at Enniskillen, Irvinestown, and Lisnaskea.
Population. - The population of Fermanagh steadily increased up till the year 1841. The famine and subsequent emigration intervening between that year and the next parliamentary census (1851), the population showed a decrease at the latter date of about 25 per cent., and sine() 1851 the decrease has continued. The exact decrease during the 30 years 1841 to 1871 is 40'69 per cent. In 1841 the population was 156,481 ; in 1851,-, 116,017 ; in 1861, 105,768 ; in 1871, 92,791 ; and on the 31st December 1876 it was estimated. at 91,188. From the 1st May 1851 to 31st December 1876, the total number of emigrants from Fermanagh was 34,776, or an average of 1337 per annum. In 1871 55 per cent. of the population were returned as Catholics.
History and Antiquities. - According to Ptolemy, the aborigenes of this county were the Erdini. By the ancient Irish it was called Feor-nutyh-Eanagh, or the "country of the lakes" (lit. "the mountain-valley marsh district "); and also ..ifaylt-uire, or " the country of the waters." It was divided into two large portions - the one called Targoll, the other Rosgoll. The latter was occupied by the Gua•ii, the ancestors of the MacGuires or Maguires, a name still very common in the district. This tribe or family was so influential that for centuries the county was called after them Maguire's Country, and one of the towns still existing bears their name, Maguire's Bridge. Fermanagh was one of the six counties which reverted to the crown at the time of the flight of the earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, and which were included in the well known scheme of colonization of James I., the Plantation of Ulster. Among the principal Scotch and English settlers at the period of the Plantation were Sir Stephen Butler, Sir Win. Cole, John Archdall, and Sir Gerard Lowther, from whom some of the towns and villages in the county derived their names, and whose descendants form the leading gentry to the present day. During the revolution of 1688 Fermanagh rendered signal service to the cause of William III. by the gallant stand which its yeomen made against the Irish army, and their descendants possess so much of the military spirit of their forefathers as to make the title "Fermanagh men" still synonymous with bravery and loyalty to the constitution. In the year 1689 battles were fought between William III.'s army and the Irish under Macarthy (for James II.) at Lisnaskea (26th July) and Newtownbutler (30th July). The chief place of interest to the antiquary Devenish Isle in Lough Erne, about 2i miles N.W. from Enniskillen. It contains about 80 acres of very fertile pas. ture land, and has long been celebrated for its romantic situation and ecclesiastical ruins. Near the remains of the abbey of St Mary, founded in the 6th century by St Laserian (called also Molaisse or Molush), is one of the best specimens of Ireland's round towers. It is 82 feet high and