An Educational Charity | Charity Reg. No. NIC100280
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Charitable Objectives


Athy was incorporated by a 1614 charter, 11 James I. The corporation comprised a sovereign, 12 burgesses, a recorder, three serjeants-at-mace, a town clerk and billet master, a treasurer, a bellman, a weighmaster and an inspector of coals and culm. Athy appears to have been politically more lively in the early eighteenth century than it became later. In 1727 there was a disputed election after which Marcus Anthony Morgan (1487) successfully challenged Warner Westenra (2220). At the 1741 by-election following the death of Sir Walter Dixon Borrowes (0188) on 12 June 1741, Lord Ophaly (later 1st Duke of Leinster) (0734) was returned. In the course of the election there was a duel between William Paul Warren and Jack Hardy, which led to Hardy's right hand and arm being shattered and it was thought that it would have to be amputated. Marcus Anthony Morgan died on 3 October 1752 and Robert Sandford (1871) was returned and sworn on 24 October 1753, in time for the division on the Money Bill on 17 December, when every vote counted. It was a delicate moment, and the Primate subsequently declared that there had been a misunderstanding between him and Lord Kildare over the vacancy.198

In 1783 Athy was a town of about 900 inhabitants, and in 1790 it was said that 'The voters for this borough, who consist only of twelve Burgesses are from ancient and personal regard devoted to the interests of his Grace the Duke of Leinster whose recommendation indeed, both constitutes the members of the Corporation and determines the fate of its representatives', one of whom, at this time, was Lord Edward FitzGerald (0730). On 15 March 1799 John Beresford (0115) wrote to William Eden, Lord Auckland (0681),199 saying that the Duke of Leinster would not refuse compensation for his two remaining boroughs (Athy and Kildare) and, indeed, he could not afford to refuse it. Apart from his inherently weak financial position, Co. Kildare, where most of his estates lay, had been devastated by the 1798 Rebellion. The sum of £15,000 minus £1,200 that was paid to Lord Ennismore, who had purchased both seats, was paid to the trusts of his marriage settlement.200

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Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC100280