Wednesday 11 May 2011

Ireland Exhibited to England, 1823 - Lisburn and Hillsborough. (part 2)



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Exhibited to England in a Political and Moral Survey of her Population.




This villa, the residence of Mr. Robert Garratt, is another of those valuable improvements, which give to the Hertford estate so distinguished and respectable a position on the map of Antrim. It comprises a neat dwelling-house, and about 60 acres of an improved farm, commanding a pleasing prospect to the towns of Hillsborough, Lisburn, and Moira, to Eglantine, the seat of Hugh Moore, Esq., and to the lofty mountains of Sleibgh-crube and Sleibgh-donard, in the county of Down, which bound the landscape in front of this concern. In this capacious landscape, the neat cottage and plantations of Mrs. Young (in the plain beneath Redhill) present themselves to the eye of the benevolent stranger, as no mean specimen of the system of improvement which pervades this estate, in common with the surrounding country; and by which the province of Ulster is raised high in the scale of civilized and social life, above the general level of the other provinces.

Redhill stands on the road last noticed, 72 miles north of Dublin, and two from Lisburn, which is the post-town to it.

Carleton House.

This seat of Mr. Cornelius Carlton is also a feature of improvement on the Hertford estate. It comprehends a good new built house, and 140 acres of a light sandy soil, of which 30 acres are very profitably occupied under a warren or rabbit-borough.

The soil, though light and sandy, as we have noticed, in wet seasons will produce tolerably good crops of potatoes, oats and rye.

This farm stands on a road which opens a communication with the road from Lisburn to the Maze (a celebrated race-course) 73 miles north of Dublin, and three miles from Lisburn, which is the post-town to it.


This also stands on Lord Hertford's estate. It comprises a neat mansion house in the villa style, and 173 English acres of demesne, enriched with eleven acres of wood, and some young plantations of an ornamental character. The upper soil, which stands on a substratum of limestone gravel, though light,  produces wheat of good quality, and tolerable crops of every other species of grain. In point of prospect, Moira wood and the parish church of Aghalee, are the best objects in its view. This seat stands on a county road, which opens a communication between Lurgan and the county of Armagh, and Lisburn in that of Antrim, 70 miles north of Dublin, 14 south of Belfast, and two miles from Moira, which is the post-town to it. Whether the Hertford estate is indebted for this improvement to the present resident, Mr. Gorman, or to his predecessors our information does not enable us to decide; but, as improvement is a gradual work, each party has, in all probability, contributed his quota of assistance to its present aspect.


Lambeg is the name of a small, but interesting village on the Hertford estate, situated, between Lisburn and Belfast, on the great northern road. It has been distinguished by a woollen manufactory, whose history we have given in a subsequent part of this work (under the head, "Trade of the county") and a handsome seat and bleach-yard in its immediate vicinity, founded, we believe, by a branch of the Hancock family. This village is also the seat of a cotton factory, the property of Mr. Robert Gemmill, a native of Scotland, in which the raw cotton is spun and manufactured into muslin and calico, and afterwards bleached and finished for the public market; so that the whole process of the cotton trade is carried on here in high perfection. Several thousand pounds have been expended by Mr. Gemmill, on this property, on a very short, but we shall not say uncertain, tenure, since the confidence reposed by Lord Hertford's tenantry, in the justice and honour of his family, has so far been fully justified by his lordship's conduct. Lambeg cotton factory and farm is situated on the banks of the river Lagan, in a section of the country emphatically distinguished for its pre-eminence of beauty and improvement. Five hundred of the labouring population are said to derive employment and support from this establishment, the products of which, composed of brown and white muslins and calicoes, are chiefly disposed of in the home market. Water twist (the strongest class of spun cotton) the produce of this house, has also been disposed of by one of its agents in Glasgow for the Russian market, where, we learn, that large quantities of English spun cotton are regularly consumed.

Lambeg is situated two miles north of Lisburn, which is the post-town to it, five south of Belfast, 75 north of Dublin.


This is the seat of a thread manufactory, established by Mr. Barbour, a native of Scotland, who has the merit of founding this branch of trade, on the Hertford estate, where he continues to conduct it with success. Hitherto, to the great discredit of our country, Ireland has been a depot for Scotch thread; but, if Mr. Barbour's example shall be followed up with spirit, in the north of Ireland, we shall not be long dependant on a foreign market for a supply of this useful article. Here, about 200,000 hanks of native yarn are spun annually, into threads of all classes; in the manufacturing and bleaching of which, 122 of the population of this neighbourhood find daily employment.

Whether, therefore, we regard this factory, in its relation to the trade of Ireland, or as an establishment conducing to the improvement and prosperity of the Hertford property (through which we are now passing) in either of these relations it has a just claim to public notice; and should our brief exhibition of its history remind other great landed proprietors, of the interest which they have in encouraging useful manufactures on their estates, and diminishing the dependence of their country on foreign markets, we shall not lament the insignificance of the auxiliary instrument, by which so useful an object is kept afloat in the public mind.

The demesne of Plantation, including the bleach yard, which is its most useful and picturesque feature, comprehends 78 English acres of a light gravel soil, situated on a country road, which communicates between the villages of Ballynahinch and Saintfield, at the distance of one mile from Lisburn, which is its post-town, and 74 miles north of Dublin.

Having now given our readers some valuable specimens of improvement on the Hertford property, we shall conclude our visit to this rural kingdom, with the following brief review.

The Hertford Estate.

This property (which includes the town of Lisburn in its dominion) is bounded on the west and south by the river Lagan, and by lands of the Belfast estate, in the opposite direction. It is said to contain 75,000 English acres, and to be let for the short tenure of one life or 21 years. In this estimate are probably included 8 or 900 acres of bog, which the proprietor has reclaimed, at an expense of £2,546, producing, in the first letting, an annual increase to the value of this property of between 3 and 400 pounds sterling, (upwards of 12 per cent, for the money expended) and was expected to advance considerably in value, 10 or 12 years since, when this improvement was completed. What a valuable work was this, taking it in every point of view. A large sum expended in the employment of the poor. A large tract of land reclaimed from a barren waste for their accommodation. The face of the country beautified; and the proprietor amply repaid for his improvement by the gratitude of his people, the increased value of his estate, and a liberal addition to his present, income.

The Hertford estate with the exception of gentlemen's seats, is let in farms of various extents, say from 5 to 60 English acres, at an acreable rent of from 20 shillings to two guineas. The first of these prices (considering the highly improved district in which this property is situated, and its proximity to the best markets in Ulster) is low. The last, as produce now sells, would be considered a very high rent by the mere farmer; but, as our information was collected several year's since, when land and its produce rated high in this country, two guineas for an English acre of land in such a district, and with such a market as Belfast for the sale of its produce, was then in a ratio, with the value of its productions, and with the comfort and convenience of the occupier. At the prices which farming produce brought at that period, we are certain, not only that the farmer could pay his rent with ease, but, that on a well managed farm of 50 or 60 acres, he could lay something handsome by, as a provision for future contingencies. The scene, however, has since taken an awful shift, and the farmer's interest is labouring under the pressure of a national calamity, we do not think that Lord Hertford's tenantry will be the worst off. This conclusion we think ourselves justified in drawing, from the premises with which the Hertford estate furnished us. There, Lord Hertford's name was mentioned with universal respect as that of a good landlord:-- there, the aspect of his lordship's rural territory precluded the suspicion of oppression -- there, contentment appeared to reign, and there both the plough and the loom flourished. We could not hear that Lord Hertford, when renewing a lease, had in any instance, taxed his tenant's farm, with the value which it derived from his own industry, or that of his progenitor. If, therefore, our information of two guineas for an English acre of land has been correct, we may safely presume, that the native soil of that acre, abstracted from all the artificial improvements of the tenant, was, during the recent prices of produce, a good bargain at that rent; and, we conclude without information, that, in such a time of depression as the present, when agriculture and manufactures deeply languish , that reductions to those who are exclusively dependent on the soil and on the loom, will be made, in a manner quadrating with the circumstances of the times, on a property governed by those just and equitable principles, which appear to us to form, not the accidental and occasional accompaniments, but the essential principle and basis of the Hertford social code.

It is possible that some may object to this eulogy, on the principle, that a tenant presuming to assert his political independence, by an opposition to his landlord's parliamentary interest, would be made to feel the rectitude of that policy by which the Hertford property is governed, when he came to renew his lease. That Lord Hertford would not be likely to renew for such a tenant, we have no doubt, and, we have as little, that very few will try his lordship's temper in that way, (for we only heard of one solitary example) but as this objection is equally applicable to almost every landlord the dependence which it censures, is inseparable from the the present order of things, we do not feel that social policy of the Hertford estate, which we have noticed with approbation, in the least affected by this objection. Against that absentee system, however, which the Marquis of Hertford sanctions by his example, we do protest, as being of material injury to  Ireland; although the truth of history obliges us to confess, that, we have not seen the prosperity of any Irish estate, less affected by the absence of its proprietor, than in this instance. To Lord Hertford's official situation in the King;s household, his perpetual absence from Ireland, may be attributed; but whatever may have been the cause, his character, as a landlord, stands unimpeached; and although we know his lordship only by report,and have seen no other portrait of his character, than that which sparkles in the living features of his estate, yet in this we have seen enough to command our unpurchased admiration, and, in the same disinterested spirit in which we do it justice, we recommend it to the notice and imitation of those absentees, (or presentees, no matter which) that have the honour to govern an ignorant and starving population.

From Hertford property we proceeded to Belfast, through that beautiful section of the Belfast estate, which is situated between Lisburn and this rising sea-port.

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"Ireland Exhibited to England " -- 1823 Counties of Antrim and Down. Those Supplies a fairly comprehensive list of Country Seats and Residences in the falling within the postal districts of Lisburn and Hillsborough are "extracted" and given here. Some 20 pages of this book are devoted to Hillsborough.


Ashmount -- Mr. John Hall.
Brook-hill -- James Watson, Esq.
Broom-mount -- Stafford Gorman, Esq.
Ballydrain -- J. Younghusband, Esq.
Ballylesson -- Rev. Marcus Faloon.
Belvedere -- Andrew Durham, Esq.
Broom-hedge -- Mr. John Bennett.
Colon -- Mr S. Waring.
Carleton-house -- C. Carleton, Esq.
Demi-villa -- William Shaw, Esq.
Deneight -- John Hall, Esq.
Dame-ville -- Mr. William Shaw.
English-town -- Mr. M'Clune.
Edenderry -- Alex Wilson, Esq.
Grier's-town -- Mr. Arthur Grier.
Hilden -- Rev James Norwood.
Hall's-town -- Mr. Joseph Hall.
Hamoro -- Major Gayer.
Harmony-hill -- R. and J. Wolfenden.
Hill-hall -- Mr. John Turner.
Kilrush -- Dr. Crawford
Knockmore -- Mrs. Patten.
Larch-field -- D. Mussenden, Esq.
Lakefield -- Mrs. Stewart.
Moss-vale -- ------ Agnew, Esq.
Mullagh-carton -- Rev. William Whitlaw.
Murusk -- Mr. James Wright.
Myrtlefield -- Thomas Carlton, Esq.
Pear-tree-hill -- Thomas Lamb, Esq.
Plantation -- John Barbour, Esq.
Pine-hill -- C. Casement, Esq.
Red-hill -- Robert Garrett, Esq.
Rose-vale -- Lieutenant Patten.
Seymour-hill -- Robert Johnston, Esq.
Shamrock-vale -- Lieutenant Clarke.
Springfield -- Major Haughton.
Stoney-ford -- James Boyes, Esq.
Stream-ville -- Rev. C. Patten.
Trummery -- Mr. J. S. Condron.
Trench -- William Malcolm, Esq.
Trooper-field -- Mr. Robert Oliver.
Will-mount -- John Stewart, Esq.
White-hall -- Mr. John Boomer.


Agnes-ville -- Mr. John Anderson.
Blaris-lodge -- Sir George Atkinson.
Ballylintagh -- Samuel Cowan, Esq.
Ballyknock -- Mr. George Stannus.
Ballyworfy -- Mr. William May.
Blundel-hill -- Mr. Thomas Leathern.
Carnbane-house -- Joseph Pollock, Esq.
Clintagh -- Rev. Thompson
Culcavey -- Nathaniel Monk, Esq.
Carnbane -- R. J. Fowler.
Corcreeny -- Mr. John M'Elevey.
Cuppage-hall -- Mr. John Green.
Eden-vale -- Rev. T. M'Clure.
Eglantine -- Hugh Moore, Esq.
Flat-field -- Mr. James Megarry.
Growell -- Andrew Cowan, Esq.
Homra-house -- Marcus Corry, Esq.
Holiday's-bridge -- Mr. James Woods.
Loughaghry -- Mr. William Magill.
Maze -- Captain Craig.
Maze-course -- Mr. Samuel Bradberry.
Mill-vale -- Mr. Arch. Henderson.
New-port -- Mr. J. Harvey.
Orr-field -- W. and J. Orr.
Oglesgrove -- Mr. George Davis.
Rocks-hill -- Mr. William Archer.
Rose-hill -- George Crickhard, Esq.
Spire-hill -- Lieutenant William Cowan.

(The 1859 "Revival" next week)

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 11 May 1917 as part of a series which ran in that paper each week through 1917. The text along with other extracts can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.)

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