Notes on the Sheriffs of County Clare, 1570-1700
Clare County Library
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By Thomas Johnson Westropp, M.A., Member

Introduction

It is only natural that the subject I now treat of is little studied and less written about; it is devoid of mystery—the salt of antiquarian research. To most it seems a matter of little more interest than the crudest genealogy or taxation; yet, when we consider how largely the high sheriffs of a county acted in its history, not as now by deputy, but in their own persons, also that those of Celtic origin were the most energetic of their tribe, and those of Saxon race during the period of my paper were either the actual founders or first influential members in Ireland of those English settlers who for weal or woe changed the face of society in the west, a brief account of some of these in the stirring times of Elizabeth and the Stuarts ought to be not merely of local interest, but also some value to students of the evolution of the old petty kingdoms into the later counties.

The sheriff lists are generally extremely deficient, and though I have added many names to the Castle “Sheriffs’ Entries,” much remains to be filled in by our members, and, perhaps, by some of those records waiting the tardy consideration of and publication by the Government.

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