The Flaxgrowers’ List, 1796

...free spinning wheels or looms were granted to farmers who planted a certain acreage of their holdings with flax.

In 1796 as part of a government initiative to encourage the linen industry in Ireland, free spinning wheels or looms were granted to farmers who planted a certain acreage of their holdings with flax.

The names of over 56,000 recipients of these awards have survived in printed form arranged by county and parish. More than half the names relate to Ulster.

The only copy of the book listing the names of these recipients known to exist until recently was held in the Linen Hall Library, Belfast. Another copy has now been acquired by the Irish Linen Centre in Lisburn Museum.

A typescript copy is available on the shelves of the Public Search Room at PRONI (reference T/3419), and a microfiche index is available (reference MF/7/1).