There is a belief that we should learn from history and not live in it.
Perhaps then there is a lesson for modern New Ross regarding cooperation and community enterprise in the events of 754 years ago.


They commenced, accordingly, on the feast of Purification (February 2, A.D. 1265), and marked out the fosse, or line of circumvallation. Workmen were speedily hired, and above 100 each day came to labour, under the direction of the Burgesses. When this step was taken they again assembled, and determined to establish a byelaw, such as was never heard of in England or France, which was publicly proclaimed the next day to the people, and received with applause.
This law was as follows:
“That on the ensuing Monday, the Vintners, the Mercers, the Merchants, and the Drapers, should go and work at the fosse, from the hour of prime till noon.”
This was readily complied with, and above 1,000 men went out to work every Monday with brave banners and great pomp, attended by flutes and tabors. So soon as the hour of noon had sounded, these fine fellows returned home with their banners borne before them, and the young men singing loudly and caroling through the town. The Priests, also, who accompanied, fell to work at the Fosse, and laboured right well, more so than the others, being young and skilful, of tall stature, strong and well housed. The Mariners, likewise, proceeded in good array to the fosse, to the number of 600, with a banner proceeding them, on which was depicted a Vessel; and if all the people in the ships and barges had been hired, they would have amounted to 1,100 men. A convincing proof of the importance of the town, at the time, as a mercantile port.

SOURCE: Hore’s History of the town & county of Wexford.

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