Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Object of the Week - Down Survey Map of County Waterford 1685

The museum was delighted to receive a donation of this Down Survey Map for County Waterford from historian Julian Walton.  It will be on show soon in our newly arranged displays.

In August 1649 Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army travelled to Ireland to reoccupy the country following the Irish Rebellion of 1641.  This army was raised and supported by money advanced by private individuals, subscribed on the security of 2,500,000 acres of Irish land to be confiscated at the close of the rebellion.  The 1642 Adventurer’s Act stated that the Parliament's creditors could reclaim their debts by receiving confiscated land in Ireland.

The Act for the Settlement of Ireland provided for the confiscation and redistribution of the lands of the defeated Irish, mostly Confederate Catholics, who had opposed Cromwell and supported the Royalists.  Parliamentarian soldiers who served in Ireland were entitled to confiscated land in lieu of their wages, which the Parliament was unable to pay in full.  Lands were also to be provided to settlers from England and America.  The dispossessed landholders were to be transported to Connacht and to other countries.

William Petty, then physician general to the Irish armies, offered to undertake a new survey which would be completed within thirteen months.  The Government signed a contract with Petty on the 24th of December 1654.  The maps are known as the ‘Down Survey’ because the information was mapped down.

Trinity College Dublin has digitised the maps and they can be viewed at http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/index.html

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