Thomas Fitzanthony’s Borough: Medieval Thomastown in Irish History, 1171-1555

Norman Invasion of IrelandThomas Fitzanthony’s Borough: Medieval Thomastown in Irish History, 1171-1555

Marilyn Silverman

In the Shadow of the Steeple VI, Duchas-Tullaherin Parish Heritage Society (1998)


In the year 1295, King Edward I “ordered that all goods belonging to subjects of the King of France should be seized and sold”. A man named Richard Ie Marshall then “sold 30 dickers of hides, the property of…[al…merchant of Flanders, which he had in his cellar at Thomastown for £10”.’ As far as we know, this is the earliest commercial transaction which is recorded for Thomastown, County Kilkenny.. The existence of such commerce, however, is not surprising. The town of Thomastown had been founded after .the Norman conquest as both a military stronghold and a trading depot in a far-flung mercantile network. Having received its foundation charter in around the’ year 1200, the town has persisted until the present day. Whatfacts,though,canbegleanedaboutitsearliestyears and how do these fit into the course of Irish history?

Conquest, Landscape and Trade: The Place of Thomastown, 1200-1307

The majority of urban foundations [in Irelandl took place within the first century after the initial invasion of the island, as the Normans advanced rapidly from their initial strong points of Dublin, Wexford and Waterford. Settlement proper began after the treaty of Windsor, signed in 1175 … Under the terms of the treaty, Dublin, Meath, Leinster and Waterford, as far west as Dungarvan, were reserved to the Normans. These were the first areas to be colonised.


Click here to read this article from In the Shadow of the Steeple VI


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