We’d like to share with you an extract from the first entry of the Minute Book of the Corporation of Clonmel from 1687. The entry covers some interesting areas – the first paragraph details that the constables of the town submit a list of the inhabitants of the town, their trades and details of their families for tax purposes.
The second paragraph is interesting in the context of issues being discussed in Ireland today. It discusses the circumstance of an unmarried woman being suspected of being with child. She is to be brought before the Mayor to give an account of the father of the child and she is to be ‘committed’ until she discovers him. Once she has done this ‘the woman shall immediately leave the towne’.
We will share further transcripts from the book with you over the next few months and hope to have a full book transcript for you by the end of the year.
That the Constables do bring in a List of all the Inmates in towne of their trades callings or vocations, and how long they have lived in towne and in whose house or dwelling with an exact account of each mans family, as such persons as shall be judged by the Councell to be inmates either therefor their landlords to give goods securities to [save the parish harmless], and to pay Tax and Contributions for the [care] of the Towne and Corporation, and each person shall be deemed to be layable according to theire dealing of advantage in town
It is ordered that no woman (being unmarried) that is suspected to be with child either in the town or Liberties be brought before the Mayor to give an account of the father of her child, and if she refuses to discover the father, that then she be committed – until she does discover him, whom then discovered, the person to be committed until he gives good securities to [gave] the town and parish harmless, and the woman shall immediately leave the towne.