Drogheda, a town and port of Ireland, in the province of Leinster, and counties Meath and Louth, on the river Boyne, 4 m. from its mouth, and 26 m. N. of Dublin, with which it is connected by rail; pop. in 1871, 16,135. It was for a long time strongly fortified, and from an early period till about the close of the 17th century was regarded by the English as a post of great importance. It was for three centuries the principal rendezvous of the numerous troops marched against the refractory and rebellious chieftains of Ulster and Leinster. It was gallantly defended in the civil war against a large force under Sir Phelim O'Neill (1641-'2). It 1649 it was stormed by Cromwell, and on account of the carnage then inflicted the name of the protector is still abhorred by the inhabitants. In 1690 the town held out against the troops of William III. until after the battle of the Boyne, fought two miles from its walls, which is commemorated by an obelisk 150 feet high raised upon the spot where Schomberg fell. Few of the ancient fortifications remain. The only perfect specimen is the St. Lawrence gate, consisting of two lofty round towers with the low gateway between.
The Magdalen's steeple, a square structure of elegant proportions, is all that remains of a Dominician convent founded in 1224. Among many other ruins are those of a Carmelite convent, and of a hospital of the knights of St. John of Jerusalem. The town is now the seat of extensive cotton and linen manufactories, tanneries, and breweries, and has some ship building and considerable trade in corn and cattle. Its harbor has been much improved within a few years, and vessels of 250 tons can discharge at the quay. Steamers ply constant--ly between Drogheda and Liverpool.
Gate of St. Lawrence.