Duleek was another ancient borough with a charter of Edward IV. It followed the usual pattern of a portreeve, 12 burgesses and freemen, who, in 1783: 'between them do not number 13, none of which reside in either the town or county'. The owner of the land that the borough stood on was Mr Trotter, but the corporation belonged to the absentee Rams. In 1790 it was said that it 'is and always has been a most insignificant Corporation. The family of Jones first governed it and afterwards, by many revolutions, it fell into the power of the Ram family (1760), who lately (1789) sold their interest in it to Colonel Bruen (0268) for ten thousand pounds.'306Col. Bruen died in 1795, leaving a young family, and the £15,000 compensation for Duleek's disfranchisement was paid to the trustees of his will.
Kells was another presciption borough. Its earliest charter was granted by Walter de Lacy in the reign of Richard I. The corporation comprised the sovereign, two provosts, 24 burgesses, one recorder, one prothonotary and town clerk, two serjeants at mace, three clerks of the market and the commonalty of Kells, and it had a select body called a common council. Kells sent two members to parliament in 1561.
In 1790 its history was reported as follows:
This Borough, from the time of the Lord Chief Baron Cusack, to the Revolution, was chiefly under the direction of the Cusack family. At that period, the Taylour family (now Earls of Bective) first appeared to interfere in the Corporation - and by the slow, but sure acquisition of immense wealth and by continual residence in its vicinity, obtained the whole and uncontrolled domination of Kells which nothing now, in the verge of probability, seems capable of overturning.307
From 1692 until 1800, except for the first parliament of Queen Anne and the early parliaments of George III, it was represented by at least one and sometimes two members of the Taylour family. In 1783 the town had about 2,000 inhabitants.308 At the Union the £15,000 compensation was paid to the trustees of the marriage settlement of Thomas, Earl of Bective.