of this combination of agricultural occupations with domestic manufactures that the farmers are more than competent to supply the resident population of the county with vegetable, though not with animal food; and some of the less crowded and less productive parts of Ulster receive from Armagh a considerable supply of oats, barley and flour. Apples are grown in such quantities as to entitle the county to the title applied to it, the orchard of Ireland.
Communications are monopolized by the Great Northern railway company, whose main line from Belfast divides at Portadown, sending off lines to Omagh, to Clones and to Dublin. A branch from Omagh joins the Dublin line to Goraghwood, and from this line there is a branch to Newry in Co. Down. An electric tram-way connects Bessbrook, a town with important linen manufactures and granite quarries, with Newry.
Population and Administration.—The population (72,286 in 1891; 65,619 in 1901) shows a heavy decrease, though emigration affects it less seriously than the majority of Irish counties. Of the total about 45% are Roman Catholics, 32% Protestant Episcopalians, and 16% Presbyterians, the Roman Catholic faith prevailing in the mountainous districts and the Protestant in the towns and lowlands. About 74% of the whole constitutes the rural population. The chief towns are Armagh (a city and the county town, pop. 7588), Lurgan (11,782), Portadown (10,092), Tanderagee (1427), Bessbrook (2977) and Keady (1466). Armagh is divided into eight baronies, and contains twenty-five parishes and parts of parishes, the greater number of which are in the Protestant and Roman Catholic dioceses of Armagh, and a few in the Roman Catholic diocese of Dromore. The constabulary has its headquarters at Armagh, the county being divided into five districts. Assizes are held at Armagh, and quarter sessions at Armagh, Ballybot, Lurgan, Markethill and Newtown-Hamilton. The parliamentary divisions are three: mid, north and south, each returning one member.
History and Antiquities.—Armagh, together with Louth, Monaghan and some smaller districts, formed part of a territory called Orgial or Urial, which was long subject to the occasional incursions of the Danes. The county was made shire ground in 1586, and called Armagh after the city by Sir John Perrott. When James I. proceeded to plant with English and Scottish colonists the vast tracts escheated to the crown in Ulster, the whole of the arable and pasture land in Armagh, estimated at 77,800 acres, was to have been allotted in sixty-one portions. Nineteen of these, comprising 22,180 acres, were to have been allotted to the church, and forty-two, amounting to 55,620 acres, to English and Scottish colonists, servitors, native Irish and four corporate towns—the swordsmen to be dispersed throughout Connaught and Munster. This project was not strictly adhered to in Co. Armagh, nor were the Irish swordsmen or soldiers transplanted into Connaught and Munster from this and some other counties. The antiquities consist of cairns and tumuli; the remains of the fortress of Emain near the city of Armagh (q.v.), once the residence of the kings of Ulster; and Danes Cast, an extensive fortification in the south-east of the county, near Poyntzpass, extending into Co. Down. Spears, battle-axes, collars, rings, amulets, medals of gold, ornaments of silver, jet and amber, &c., have also been found in various places. The religious houses were at Armagh, Killevy, Kilmore, Stradhailloyse and Tahenny. Of military antiquities the most remarkable are Tyrone’s ditches, near Poyntzpass; and the pass of Moyry, the entry into the county from the south, which was fiercely contested by the Irish in 1595 and 1600, is defended by a castle. The summit of Slieve Gullion is crowned by a large cairn, which forms the roof of a singular cavern of artificial construction, probably an early burial-place.
ARMAGH, a city and market town, and the county town of Co. Armagh, Ireland, in the mid parliamentary division, 89½ m. N.N.W. of Dublin by the Great Northern railway, at the junction of the Belfast-Clones line. Pop. (1901) 7588. It is said to derive its name of Ard-macha, the Hill of Macha, from Queen Macha of the Golden Hair, who flourished in the middle of the 4th century B.C. but earlier it was named from its situation on the sides of a steep hill called Drumsailech, or the Hill of Sallows, which rises in the midst of a fertile plain near the Callan stream. Of high antiquity, and, like many other Irish towns, claiming (with considerable probability) to have been founded by St Patrick in the 5th century, it long possessed the more important distinction of being the metropolis of Ireland; and, as the seat of a flourishing college, was greatly frequented by students from other lands, among whom the English and Scots were said to have been so numerous as to give the name of Trian-Sassanagh, or Saxon Street, to one of the quarters of the city. St Patrick’s bell, long preserved at Armagh, the oldest Irish relic of its kind, is now, with its shrine of the year 1091, preserved in the museum of the Royal Irish Academy at Dublin. Of a synod that was held at Armagh as early as 448, there is an interesting memorial in the Book of Armagh, an Irish MS. dating about A.D. 800. Exposed to the successive calamities of the Danish incursions, the English conquest and the English wars, and at last deserted by its bishops, who retired to Drogheda, the venerable city sank into an insignificant collection of cabins, with a dilapidated cathedral. From this state of decay, however, it was raised, in the second half of the 18th century, by the unwearied exertions of Archbishop Richard Robinson, 1st Lord Rokeby (1709–1794), which, seconded by similar devotion on the part of succeeding archbishops of the Beresford family, notably Archbishop Lord John George Beresford (1773–1862), made of Armagh one of the best built and most respectable towns in the country. As the ecclesiastical metropolis and seat of an archbishop (Primate of all Ireland) in both the Protestant and Roman organizations, it possesses two cathedrals and two archiepiscopal palaces. As the county town Armagh has a court-house, a prison, a lunatic asylum and a county infirmary. Besides these there is a fever hospital, erected by Lord John George Beresford; a college, which Primate Robinson was anxious to raise to the rank of a university; a public library founded by him, an observatory, which has become famous from the efficiency of its astronomers; a number of churches and schools, and barracks. Almost all the buildings are built of the limestone of the district, but the Anglican cathedral is of red sandstone. It stands boldly on the top of the hill, a cruciform structure dating from the 13th, but practically rebuilt in the 18th century, in accordance with its original plan. The Roman Catholic cathedral is in the Decorated style, and was consecrated in 1873. Armagh was a parliamentary borough until 1885; and, having been incorporated in 1613, so remained until 1835. The administration is in the hands of an urban district council. Two miles W. of Armagh is Emain, Emania, or Navan Fort, with large entrenchments and mounds, the site of a royal palace of Ulster, founded by that Queen Macha who gave her name to the city. In A.D. 335 it was destroyed during the inroad on the defeat of the king of Ulster by the three brothers Colla, cousins of Muredach, king of Ireland. Armagh itself fell before the king Brian Boroime, who was buried here; and before Edward Bruce in 1315, while previous to the English war after the Reformation, it had witnessed the struggles of Shane O’Neill (1564).
ARMAGNAC, formerly a province of France and the most important fief of Gascony, now wholly comprised in the department of Gers (q.v.). In the 15th century, when it attained its greatest extent, it included, besides Armagnac, the neighbouring territories of Fezensac, Fezensaguet, Pardiac, Pays de Gaure, Rivière Basse, Eauzan and Lomagne, and stretched from the Garonne to the Adour. Armagnac is a region of hills ranging to a height of 1000 ft., watered by the river Gers and other rivers which descend fanwise from the plateau of Lannemezan. On the slope of its hills grow the grapes from which the famous Armagnac brandy is made. In Roman Gaul this territory formed part of the diocese of Auch (civitas Ausciorum), which corresponded roughly with the later duchy of Gascony (q.v.). About the end of the 9th century Fezensac (comitatus Fedentiacus), in circumstances of which no trustworthy record remains, was erected into an hereditary countship. This latter was in its turn divided, the south-western portion becoming, about 960, the countship of Armagnac (pagus Armaniacus). The domain of