2 m. from Ennistimon on Liscannor Bay, and near the interesting cliffs of Moher, has a magnificent beach. Kilkee is the most fashionable watering-place on the western coast of Ireland; and Kilrush on the Shannon estuary is also favoured.
Industries.—The soil and surface of the county are in general better adapted for grazing than for tillage, and the acreage devoted to the former consequently exceeds three times that of the latter. Agriculture is in a backward state, and not a fifth of the total area is under cultivation, while the acreage shows a decrease even in the principal crops of oats and potatoes. Cattle, sheep, poultry and pigs, however, all receive considerable attention. Owing to the mountainous nature of the county nearly one-seventh of the total area is quite barren.
There are no extensive manufactures, although flannels and friezes are made for home use, and hosiery of various kinds, chiefly coarse and strong, is made around Ennistimon and other places. There are several fishing stations on the coast, and cod, haddock, ling, sole, turbot, ray, mackerel and other fish abound, but the rugged nature of the coast and the tempestuous sea greatly hinder the operations of the fishermen. Near Pooldoody is the great Burren oyster bed called the Red Bank, where a large establishment is maintained, from which a constant supply of the excellent Red Bank oysters is furnished to the Dublin and other large markets. Crabs and lobsters are caught on the shores of the Bay of Galway in every creek from Black Head to Ardfry. In addition to the Shannon salmon fishery mentioned above, eels abound in every rivulet, and form an important article of consumption.
The Great Southern & Western railway line from Limerick to Sligo intersects the centre of the county from north to south. From Ennis on this line the West Clare railway runs to Ennistimon on the coast, where it turns south and follows the coast by Milltown Malbay to Kilkee and Kilrush. Killaloe in the east of the county is the terminus of a branch of the Great Southern & Western railway.
Population and Administration.—The population (126,244 in 1891; 112,334 in 1901; almost wholly Roman Catholic and rural) shows a decrease among the most serious of the Irish counties, and the emigration returns are proportionately heavy. The principal towns, all of insignificant size, are Ennis (pop. 5093, the county town), Kilrush (4179), Kilkee (1661) and Killaloe (885); but several of the smaller settlements, as resorts, are of more than local importance. The county, which is divided into 11 baronies, contains 79 parishes, and includes the Protestant diocese of Kilfenora, the greater part of Killaloe, and a very small portion of the diocese of Limerick. It is within the Roman Catholic dioceses of Killaloe and Limerick. The assizes are held at Ennis, and quarter sessions here and at Ennistimon, Killaloe, Kilrush and Tulla. The county is divided into the East and West parliamentary divisions, each returning one member.
History.—This county, together with part of the neighbouring district, was anciently called Thomond, that is, North Munster, and formed part of the monarchy of the celebrated Brian Boroihme, who held his court at Kincora near Killaloe, where his palace was situated on the banks of the Shannon. The site is still distinguished by extensive earthen ramparts. Settlements were effected by the Danes, and in the 13th century by the Anglo-Normans, but without permanently affecting the possession of the district by its native proprietors. In 1543 Murrogh O’Brien, after dispossessing his nephew and vainly attempting a rebellion against the English rule, proceeded to England and submitted to Henry VIII., resigning his name and possessions. He soon received them back by an English tenure, together with the title of earl of Thomond, on condition of adopting the English dress, manners and customs. In 1565 this part of Thomond (sometimes called O’Brien’s country) was added to Connaught, and made one of the six new counties into which that province was divided by Sir Henry Sidney. It was named Clare, the name being traceable either to Richard de Clare (Strongbow), earl of Pembroke, or to his younger brother, Thomas de Clare, who obtained a grant of Thomond from Edward I. in 1276, and whose family for some time maintained a precarious position in the district. Towards the close of the reign of Elizabeth, Clare was detached from the government of Connaught and given a separate administration; but at the Restoration it was reunited to Munster.
Antiquities.—The county abounds with remains of antiquities, both military and ecclesiastical, especially in the north-western part. There still exist above a hundred fortified castles, several of which are inhabited. They are mostly of small extent, a large portion being fortified dwellings. The chief of them is Bunratty Castle, built in 1277, once inhabited by the earls of Thomond, 10 m. W. of Limerick, on the Shannon. Those of Ballykinvarga, Ballynalackan and Lemaneagh, all in the north-west, should also be mentioned. Raths or encampments are to be found in every part. They are generally circular, composed either of large stones without mortar or of earth thrown up and surrounded by one or more ditches. The list of abbeys and other religious houses formerly flourishing here (some now only known by name, but many of them surviving in ruins) comprehends upwards of twenty. The most remarkable are—Quin, considered one of the finest and most perfect specimens of ancient monastic architecture in Ireland; Corcomroe; Ennis, in which is a very fine window of uncommonly elegant workmanship; and those on Inniscattery or Scattery Island, in the Shannon, said to have been founded by St Senan (see Kilrush). Kilfenora, 5 m. N.E. of Ennistimon, was until 1752 a separate diocese, and its small cathedral is of interest, with several neighbouring crosses and a holy well. The ruined churches of Kilnaboy, Nouhaval and Teampul Cronan are the most noteworthy of many in the north-west. Five round towers are to be found in various stages of preservation—at Scattery Island, Drumcliffe, Dysert O’Dea, Kilnaboy and Inniscaltra (Lough Derg). The cathedral of the diocese of Killaloe is at the town of that name. Cromlechs are found, chiefly in the rocky limestone district of Burren in the N.W., though there are some in other baronies. That at Ballygannor is formed of a stone 40 ft. long and 10 broad.
See papers by T. J. Westropp in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy—“Distribution of Cromlechs in County Clare” (1897); and “Churches of County Clare, and Origin of Ecclesiastical Divisions” (1900).
CLAREMONT, a city of Sullivan county, New Hampshire, U.S.A., situated in the W. part of the state, bordering on the Connecticut river. Pop. (1890) 5565; (1900) 6498 (1442 foreign-born); (1910) 7529. Area, 6 sq. m. It is served by two branches of the Boston & Maine railway. In Claremont is the Fiske free library (1873), housed in a Carnegie building (1904). The Stevens high school is richly endowed by the gift of Paran Stevens, a native of Claremont. The city contains several villages, the principal being Claremont, Claremont Junction and West Claremont. Sugar river, flowing through the city into the Connecticut and falling 223 ft. within the city limits, furnishes good water-power. Among the manufactures are woollen and cotton goods, paper, mining and quarrying machinery, rubber goods, linens, shoes, wood trim and pearl buttons. The first settlement here was made in 1762, and a township was organized in 1764; in 1908 Claremont was chartered as a city. It was named from Claremont, Lord Clive’s country place.
CLARENCE, DUKES OF. The early history of this English title is identical with that of the family of Clare (q.v.), earls of Gloucester, who are sometimes called earls of Clare, of which word Clarence is a later form. The first duke of Clarence was Lionel of Antwerp (see below), third son of Edward III., who was created duke in 1362, and whose wife Elizabeth was a direct descendant of the Clares, the “Honour of Clare” being among the lands which she brought to her husband. When Lionel died without sons in 1368 the title became extinct; but in 1412 it was revived in favour of Thomas (see below), the second son of Henry IV. The third creation of a duke of Clarence took place in 1461, and was in favour of George (see below), brother of the King Edward IV. When this duke, accused by