Limerick Corporation (Pre-Reform), 1719-1917

  • Reference code: IE LA L/OC 
  • Extent: 15.00 Items

Scope & Content

Freemen of Limerick (1719-1890), Applicants for Freemen Status under the Court of Claims (1823-1905), Corporation Administration: Oath Book, Minute Book and Financial Matters (1769-1890) Tholsel Court (1773-1795) which record details of Tholsel Court business, including details of plaintiffs and defendants. Court of Conscience (1895-1917)


Court of Conscience, Freemen of Limerick, Limerick Borough, Limerick City Council,Limerick Corporation, Local Government, Municipal Authority, Privileges, Rutland Street, Limerick City Council, Tholsel Court, Tolls, Town Hall


Limerick Corporation

Biographical / Historical Note

Limerick Corporation was constituted under royal charter in 1197 and under subsequent charters and statues throughout the medieval and early modern period, it gained increasing autonomy and privileges, including the right to collect revenue, to elect a mayor and city council, administer local justice and the local economy, maintain roads, bridges, city walls, streets and public buildings.

Limerick Corporation was reformed in 1841 under the Municipal Reform Act of that year. Very few records survive prior to this period. The surviving material relates to the Freemen of Limerick, the administration of local justice through the Tholsel Court and the Court of Conscience and the general administration of the Corporation.


Administrative Information

  • Access Restrictions: N.A. 
  • Use Restrictions: N.A. 
  • Related Materials: Limerick City Council Collections. Municipal Corporations of Ireland: Report on the County of the City of Limerick made by the Irish Corporation Commissioners following an Inquiry held in limerick from 26th September to 11 October 1833. Reprinted November 1969, Corporation of Limerick, Town Hall, Limerick. Potter Matthew Dr. The Government and the people of Limerick, A History of Limerick City Council 1197-2006.

Collection Content

1. Freemen of Limerick, 1719-1817

  • Alphabetical index by surname of Freemen of Limerick. Listing trade or occupation and date of admission as Freemen. Includes loose sheet detailing names, dates and amounts of payments
  • Extent: 96pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 

2. Applicants for Freemen Status under the Court of Claims, 1823-1905

PDF File: L/OC/2/1. Register listing details of applicants for Freeman status, 16 October 1823 - 11 October 1841

  •     L/OC/2/1. Register listing details of applicants for Freeman status, 16 October 1823 - 11 October 1841, under the following headings: Call of appearance, Proof of Claimant Bonafides, and Decisions Made. Criteria for eligibility for election to Freeman status. Includes an index by surname and seven loose sheets also listing claimants for Freemen status.
  • Extent: 297pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 

  • L/OC/2/2. Register of applicants for freeman status, 29 August 1823 - 12 October 1841. Listing under the following headings, Name, Profession/Occupation, Residence, Date of Admission, Reason of Election, When Sworn', By Whom and Signature of Freeman and witness. 
  • Extent: 8pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 
  • L/OC/2/3. Register of applicants for freemen, 5 October 1847 - 6 May 1905. Including an index by surname. Some entries also include notes on the criteria for eligibility for election.
  • Extent: 63pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 

3. Corporation Administration: Oath Book, Minute Books and Financial Matters, 1769-1890

  • L/OC/3/1. Oath Book containing the oaths of office for city officials, 1797 - 1890. Including the mayor, sheriffs, recorders, town clerks, justices, alderman's, burgess, receivers, freeman, petty constables, high constable, market juror, weigh master of hydes and skins, and inspector of hydes and skins. Includes the oaths of allegiance to the established church and monarch to be taken by mayor, sheriff, recorder, town clerk including an "Oath for the Swearing of Allegiance to the Crown of those who have been misled and taken the Oath of the United [Free?] Men". Includes details of Thosel Court of Limerick business-"At the Adjournment of the Great Quarter Session of Peace held at the Thosel of the City of Limerick in and for the County of said City, Oaths taken". Includes signatures of mayor, sheriffs, recorders, town clerk, justices and high constables. 
  • Extent: 75pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 
  • L/OC/3/2. Contains signature of alderman, town councillors, borough auditors, and assessors, and ward assessors who took an oath of allegiance to the crown, 1 December 1870-30 December 1874 .Also recorded is the date which oath was taken, the ward the individual comes from, description of their title such as 'town councillor' and 'grocer, alderman'. Opposite the signature of the oath taker, is the signature of magistrates whom witnessed the taking of the oath. The rear of the volume consists of material relating to the presentation of the Freedom of the City to President Eamonn De Valera and Alderman Mrs. Thomas Clarke, 5 December 1921. Includes programme of events, copy of city council minutes, and transcript of certificate presented to Eamonn De Valera.
  • Extent: 10pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 
  • L/OC/4/1. Transcript minute book of the Common Council of the Corporation of Limerick. Copy., 3 June 1769 - 10 February 1796. An inscription on the inside cover states; 'I certify that the following transcript is a full and true copy of the original Council Book deposited amongst the records of the Corporation of Limerick in the present state and condition, and the said original Book is much mutilated by neglect and decay, and was so mutilated when it first came into my procession as Town Clark of the Borough of Limerick'. Dated this tenth day of March 1846. Signed J. F. Raleigh, Town Clark. Limerick. Some entries therefore incomplete. Includes accounts from 13 April 1763 to 29 September 1776 and an incomplete index by surname at the back of the volume. 
  • Extent: 117pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 
  • L/OC/4/2. Minutes of the Common Council of the Corporation of Limerick, 12 October 1807-13 February 1809 Unbound loose pages of a number of meetings dated 12 October 1807, 10 October 1808, 27 June 1808, 25 June 1808, and 13 February 1809. Minutes are signed by all those attending. Includes a resolution that the Freedom of the City should be presented to Captain Michael Seymour 'in a heart of oak box, accentuated with gold'.
  • Extent: 12pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 
  • L/OC/4/3. Rough minutes of meetings of the Common Council of Limerick Corporation, 4 January 1841-12 October 1841 Meetings are dated 4 January 1841, 28 February 1841, 12 October 1841. 
  • Extent: 11pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 
  • L/OC/5. Paying Orders of Council of Limerick Corporation, 1 October 1777 - 1 July 1801, listing amounts paid for annuities, salaries and expenses.
  • Extent: 101pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 

4. Tholsel Court, 1773-1795

Volumes recording details of Tholsel Court business, including details of plaintiffs and defendants. 
Extent: 3 Volumes

  • L/OC/6/1. Volume recording details of Tholsel Court business Includes an alphabetical index and a file of loose material, relating to Tholsel business. , 22 July 1773 - 7 January 1786 
  • Extent: 39 items
  • Access Rules: N.A. 
  • L/OC/6/2. Volume recording details of Tholsel Court business 25 January 1786 - 29 June 1795 
  • Extent: 205 items
  • Access Rules: N.A. 
  • Details recorded include names of plaintiffs and defendants, names of their attorney, dates of appearances at court, name of judge attending, judgement or outcome of appearance. Includes entries such as '1811 October 3, plantiff declared by Jackson. October 4 a day is given. October 18 defendant appeared by Fitzgerald...1812 January 31 by consent of attorneys for plaintiff and defendant this cause is left to the arbitration pf John Norris Russell and Richard Thomas Murray, Esquires, with liberty to call un an umpire, said award to be made on or before 14 February...' (Daniel Jones, assignee of Daniel Geary, bankrupt, plantiff -v- Martin Moloney, defendant; page two). Includes also index to names and reference to cases in previous Tholsel court volumes. Includes also list of certificates of attorneys, passed by the Tholsel Court of Limerick.
  • Extent: 594pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 

5. Court of Conscience, 1895-1917

Court of Conscience Decree Book. Details are entered under the following headings; Date of Decree, Plaintiff, Defendant, Amount of Decree in Full, Mode of Payment, Date Decree Issued and to Whom, Paid on Foot of Decree and Date of payment, Received by and Signature of Plaintiff or his Representative.

  • Court of Conscience Decree Book
  • Extent: 240pp
  • Access Rules: N.A. 
  • Court of Conscience Decree Book.
  • Extent: 265pp
  • Access Rules: N.A.