The inhabitants were incorporated in 1628 by charter of Chas. I., by which it was ordained that certain lands, altogether comprising 200 acres of arable and pasture land, and 70 acres of wood and moor, should be a free borough; 1-13th of these lands was granted to Sir Arthur Blundell and his heirs, 1-13th to Sir Matthew Derenzie and his heirs, and 1-13th to each of the other burgesses named in the charter, to be held in free burgage at a rent of 3s. 1d. respectively. It further granted to the corporation 222 acres of arable and pasture land, and 1 acres of wood and moor, for the support of a resident preaching minister, whom they were to appoint; and 200 acres of arable and pasture, and 85 acres of wood and moor, for the maintenance of a schoolmaster in the town, to be appointed by the viceroy, or, in default, by a majority of the burgesses. It also contained a grant of a court with jurisdiction to the amount of £20; and constituted the sovereign, or his deputy, a justice of the peace within the borough, and coroner and clerk of the market, and empowered the corporation at large to send two members to the Irish parliament. The corporation was styled "The Sovereign, Burgesses, and Free Commons of the Borough and Town of Bannacher alias Bannagher;" and consisted of a sovereign and twelve burgesses, with power to admit freemen and appoint a recorder and other officers; but the corporate offices have not been filled up since the year 1800, when the borough was deprived of its right of parliamentary representation, and the £15,000 awarded as compensation was paid to the Rt. Hon. Wm. Brabazon Ponsonby. The sovereign formerly held, under the charter, a court for the recovery of debts to the amount of £20 late currency, which was discontinued about forty years since: the only court now held is a court of petty sessions every alternate Monday. The lands granted by the charter for a preaching minister are said to have been formerly held by a clergyman appointed by the corporation, who officiated in a church now fallen into decay in the town; but they have for many years become united to the rectory, and are now held by the incumbent of the parish. At the entrance to the town is the parish church, a handsome edifice in the ancient English style of architecture, with a tower and spire, built in 1829 at an expense of £2286, of which £2030 was granted on loan by the late Board of First Fruits. There is also a R. C. chapel, a large plain building in good repair. A school was established by the corporation pursuant to the charter granting lands for its endowment: by an act of the 53rd of Geo. III., cap. 101, these lands, which according to a survey made in 1811 comprised about 370 acres, of which about 233 acres are arable and pasture, were vested in the Commissioners of Education, and the schools placed under their control. The lands were formerly let at a rent of £300, but are now held by the master at a rent of £148. 17. 10. per annum, and the Board has recently proposed to allow him a salary of £200 on the condition of his surrendering all interest in them, with a view to their being placed under the superintendence of a local qualified agent. The school is held very near the town, and was suspended from 1798 to 1807: there are no free scholars on the establishment, which in no respect differs from an ordinary classical school, except that it is under the control of the Board. The parochial school in the town is aided by an annual donation from the incumbent; and there is a national school for boys and girls, aided by voluntary contributions, also a dispensary, In the vicinity is Cloghan Castle, the seat of Garrett O'Moore, Esq., and one of the oldest inhabited castles in Ireland; and a short distance to the south of the town, near the banks of the Little Brosna river, are the ruins of Garry castle, which gave name to the barony. - See RYNAGH.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1840 by Samuel Lewis