Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Copy of Charter Establishing Lisburn Markets.


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Letters Patent, 3rd Charles 1st, 1628.

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(From Mr. JOSEPH ALLEN'S Collection)

"AND FURTHER of our special grace and of our certain knowledge and mere motion for us, our heirs and successors, WE do grant that the aforesaid Edward Viscount Conway and Killultagh, his heirs and assigns, have hold and keep and may and shall be able to have, hold and keep one market on every Tuesday in each week in and at the aforesaid town of Lisnegarvey, in the aforesaid County of Antrim, for ever, AND also two fairs or marts in and at the said town of Lisnegarvey to be holden yearly and every year for ever: that is to say, one of the same fairs or marts of the said two fairs or marts yearly to commence on the 10th day of July, and to be kept, continue and last all that day and for two days next following. And the other fair of the said two fairs or marts to commence on the 24th day of September (and) yearly, to continue, be kept and last all that day and for two days then next following. Moreover, we will and our intention is, and by these presents for us, our heirs and successors We do ordain and grant that as often as either of the aforesaid days for keeping the aforesaid two fairs or marts or either of them shall fall on a Sunday, that then and so often the aforesaid Edward Viscount Conway and Killultagh, his heirs and assigns in the place of the aforesaid day which shall so fall on a Sunday have, hold and keep and may and shall be able to have, hold and keep the said fairs or marts for the space of one other day after the end of the aforesaid three days next following, Together with Courts of Pie Powdre to be holden there in the time of the said Market and Fairs respectively: And that the said Edward Viscount Conway and Killultagh, his heirs and assigns for ever have, hold and enjoy all and singular tolls, perquisites, profits, commodities, emoluments, liberties, franchises, customs and jurisdictions whatsoever to the aforesaid market, fairs or marts and Courts or either of them appertaining or in anywise belonging: And that this present grant of market and fairs and other the premises be in all things and by all things good and effectual in law against us, our heirs and successors, notwithstanding that our Writ of ad quod dampnum hath not issued before the making of these presents to enquire what damage and what prejudice the said market and fairs or either of them would be to other markets or fairs near adjoining there."

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With a
Directory and History of Lisburn.

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1 Corn Market, Belfast.

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Mr. Bradshaw published 1819 a Directory of Belfast and Lisburn, and embraced within the volume an Historical Account of both towns. The book runs to 270 pages, and contains valuable information regarding old Belfast, as, in addition to the Historical Account and the Directory, it deals with such matters as Population, Trade, Customs, Shipping, Banks, Linen Industry, Lagan Navigation, Markets, Post Office, Churches, Inns, News Rooms, Newspapers, etc., etc.

The book was issued at the price of 5s to subscribers, 6s 8d to non-subscribers. In giving extracts from the work the account of the Battle of Lisburn, 1641, which is narrated in full in the volume, is omitted, as it has already been published in these Notes. A Directory of the Trades and Professions in Lisburn, given in the volume, is also omitted, as the names are included in the Directory of the Inhabitants, which will be quoted.

It may be pointed out that in giving the "Extracts" from the various sources there must, unavoidably, be a considerable amount of repetition, as so many of the authorities deal with the same matters and refer to the same facts.

The Historical Accounts of the Town of Lisburn, the Directory of the Inhabitants, and a Sketch of the Lagan Navigation will be given. Also a number of local names, extracted from a List of Gentlemen, Manufacturers, Bleachers, etc., residing in the neighbourhood of Belfast and Lisburn, not in the Directory of the Inhabitants.


Lisburn, in the barony of Masserene, is for size and population the second town in the county; and was, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, only a small village, at that time called Lisnegarvey. It lies about seven miles south of Belfast, on the river Lagan, which separates it from the County of Down. The original proprietor of the territory of Kilultagh, in which it stands, was an O'Neil of the Tyrone family. In the reign of James I. Sir Fulk Conway obtained a grant of it. He induced a number of English and Welsh families to settle there. From a plan of the town taken, it is thought some time in that reign, and preserved in the Marquis of Hertford's office, it appears that there were then 53 tenements in the place, besides the castle. From this plan it is evident, that the centre of the town (all that was then in existence) has undergone but little alteration in shape, except what has been occasioned by the buildings near the market-house; nor for many years after does it seem to have made any great progress: for in 1635, it is thus described by an English traveller: "Linsley Garvin, about seven miles from Belfast, is well seated, but neither the town, nor country thereabouts, well planted [inhabited], being almost all woods and moorish, until you come to Dromore. The town belongs to Lord Conway, who hath a good house there."

Lisburn is remarkable for gained over the rebels, on the 28th of November, 1641, commanded by Sir Phelim O'Neil, Sir Con Magenis, and General Plunket, little more than a month after the breaking out of the rebellion; Sir George Rawdon, who commanded the king's forces, having arrived at Lisburn on the evening before the battle.

In 1662, the inhabitants of the town of Lisburn, on account of their loyalty to Charles I. and II., were, by the same patent which erected the church of Lisburn into a cathedral for the united diocese of Down and Connor, dated October 27th of that year, empowered, they and their successors, to return two burgesses to Parliament for ever; the sheriff of the County of Antrim, upon all summonses to elect a Parliament, was obliged to send his precept to the seneschal of the manor of Kilultagh, who was made the returning officer, notwithstanding the inhabitants were not a corporate body.

In 1707, this town was burned to the ground. The castle, a fine building, shared the same fate as the other houses, and was never rebuilt. Part of the garden walls are still remaining, and the great terrace affords a most agreeable promenade, being well sheltered from the north by young plantations, and kept in the best order.

French Refugees.

But that which more particularly contributed to the rise of the town of Lisburn, was the settlement of many French refugees there (after the repeal of the edict of Nantz) who had been bred to the linen manufacture. Mr. Lewis Cromelin obtained a patent in 1699, which was afterwards renewed in the reign of Queen Anne, for establishing a manufacture of linen, and also, among other grants, one for £60 per annum for a French minister. In consequence of this, he settled in Lisburn, and many of his countrymen also; the virtuous conduct and civilized manner of these good people, were of great advantage to this place; and their skill and industry set an example to those who were concerned in the same business as they were, which soon had the effect of raising the quality of their manufacture to a degree of excellence unknown till then; and the linens and cambrics made in the neighbourhood,, and sold in Lisburn market, have until this day kept up their superior character.

Between 30 and 40 years ago, many new houses were built in Lisburn, and some have been built since; but at present it seems stationary in that particular; and, though its vicinity to Belfast prevents it from being a place of much trade, there is a great deal of business done in it in various ways. But, from the present imperfect state of the land, it does not derive so much advantage as might have been expected. On market days, it is much frequented, from the quantity of linen and other things brought to it; and it is well known as the first place to meet with oats of the bast quality for seed, There is also a cattle market every Tuesday, besides its two fairs, A few years ago, a fine spire of cut stone was built to the church; and lately a steeple and cupola on the market-house, the rooms of which the Marquis of Hertford has fitted up anew, with some additions, as the place of assembly for the town.

The houses of worship are, a spacious church, a Presbyterian meeting-house, a Quaker meeting-house, a handsome Catholic chapel, and a Methodist chapel.

In the town, is a classical school, kept by Mr. Hudson; and, to the north of the town, is a school for Quakers, built by a legacy from Mr. John Hancock.

Another very laudable institution is, the Humane Society for the restoration of suspended animation in persons who have been either immersed in water (as frequent accidents in this way occur from the nearness of the river and canal) or from any other cause.

The county infirmary at present contains 32 beds, and will soon contain 60, and gives relief to 1,200 externs. It is situated in an airy part of the town, where the duties of the surgeon are skilfully and conscientiously discharged by Dr. Stewart. Each governor can recommend 40 externs per year, and as many for advice as they think fit. They also recommend for interns, whenever there is a vacancy.

Lisburn, in 1780, by a clause introduced into a bill, by the Bishop (Trail) of Down and Connor, was entitled to the same powers granted a few years before to towns corporate, for taking care of the poor, and preventing vagrants from introducing themselves into the town. By the act, a corporation was directed to be formed, consisting of the Rector and others for the time being, and all subscribers of three guineas a year for the purposes of the institution. If the corporation were formed at the time, it soon fell into disuse; but it might readily be revived, in the persons of the subscribers to the Philanthropic Institution, and the powers granted by the act for preventing strolling beggars, if found necessary, brought into activity.

The Philanthropic Society was established in 1810. The design of this institution is, as far as their funds will admit, to prevent mendicity, and to relieve beggars, and especially other necessitous poor by weekly donations, which vary, according to the exigency of the cases, and the strength of the funds, from 5d to 2s 0d a week. Great benefits have been derived from this institution; and at the commencement of this year (1819) exertions were used to procure additional subscriptions, so as to enable the committee to prevent the practice of begging in the streets. The committee meet once a week, to regulate the distribution, which then, take place at the vestry room. The committee have been able to put a stop to the practice of mendicity, with very few exceptions.

To promote an attention to industry, and to inculcate the maxim, that a penny gained by industry is better than double the sum obtained by begging, the committee occasionally give a premium of a penny a hank for good yarn, spun at the institution mentioned in the next paragraph.

Flax Spinning.

In 1817, a Spinning Institution was established, with the design of assisting industry. Flax is purchased, and given out to females, who receive wages for spinning; and the yarn is sold by the superintending committee. A loss has been sustained, a little more than the amount of the salary paid to the manager; and the fund which arose out of a loan for assisting the poor, in the scarcity of the spring and summer of 1817, and afterwards appropriated, by consent of the subscribers to this purpose, is gradually lessening: yet the benefits accomplished by this institution are considerable. The poor, on procuring security for a pound of flax, have employment at all times, without depending on purchasing flax from huxters at the highest retail rate, and selling their yarn to them again, when the pressure of their difficulties prevent them from waiting for the regular market. The freedom from these, and similar impositions, confers advantages; but great care is necessary to guard against the fraudulent practices of some of the spinners, who return bad counted and ill spun yarn, and their securities, in many instances, have had to pay for their deficiencies, in not honestly accounting for the flax. But, with all these drawbacks, the balance of advantages decidedly preponderate!

Ingrafted on this establishment, is a spinning school for teaching to spin with the two hands. This plan, when prejudices shall have been overcome, and the practice become general, promises to be of important advantage in the production of the coarser yarns, at and under 6 hanks in the pound, and perhaps also for the finer kinds, as the mistress of the school has spun very good yarn so fine as 12 hanks in the pound on the double wheel. By using the two hands at once in spinning, the quality is found fully equal to other yarn, and the quantity at least is increased one-half. The practice is general in Scotland, where it has been found to answer; and the new wheel, introduced by William Marshall, of Derry, is a considerable improvement, as well in its superior adaptation to the plan of spinning with the two hands, as also in its comparative less cost. With the double hacks in common with other wheels of this kind, it is moved by a cast-iron rim working under the seat, and is worked with greater ease, while the expense of the wooden rim, made from costly Swedish oak, is saved.

The Marquis of Hertford has directed that part of the sheds in the Linen-hall should be fitted up at his cost, for a school for this purpose; and the Earl of Yarmouth has given £50 to enable the committee to supply the girls on leaving school, with wheels on the new construction. These wheels are granted to them, on their producing security for the repayment of the amount, in small sums, as may suit their convenience. As they pay for them, although in a manner easy to themselves, it is expected they will prize them more, than if they had obtained them more lightly.

Care for Sick and Poor.

During the epidemic fever of 1817, 1818 and part of 1819, a Fever Hospital, adjoining the town, was opened. By cutting of communication between the sick and the well, in ill ventilated and dirty cabins, it aided considerably in diminishing the effects of contagion. Besides, medicine was administered at the houses, when there was not room for admission into the hospital; and allowances were made for the support of the families, in cases when the persons on whom the labour principally rested, were incapacitated by the disease.

An institution has existed for some years, chiefly supported by females, for lending linen to the sick poor. Considerable relief has been communicated by this plan. In some cases of extreme distress, part of the linen has been left with the patients, and soap is always granted for washing the articles before they are returned.

By the several public institutions of this town, a considerable portion of relief is extended to the poor; and with the exception of the money given to the beggars, who by this degrading occupation, soon in general become the most worthless members of the community, the relief is mostly granted on principles of sound political economy. The sums given to beggars may rather be considered, for the most part, as a tax given to get rid of importunity, than as the well applied offerings of benevolence. Most of the funds of the Philanthropic Society are applied to assist the old, helpless, and infirm, rather in aid of industry, than to induce persons capable of working to become idle. Employment in spinning is afforded on most advantageous terms, to those inclined to work, and the spinning school is especially directed to give a stimulus to industry in the young, by instructing them in a new and more productive plan, and affording to them, on easy terms, a well constructed wheel, which, with the instruction communicated, may be a valuable portion in future life.

Care also is taken of the sick, to assist them in seasons of distress, against which the most prudent foresight cannot always enable them to guard. To relieve unavoidable distress, especially in sickness and old age; to promote industry, by affording liberal aid; and to assist in instructing the youthful mind in useful learning -- are among the duties which the richer classes of society owe to their poorer brethren. But care ought to be taken, lest, in attempting to do good, mischievous effects may follow, if industry be relaxed, or an honourable spirit of independence be lost among the poorer classes. In such circumstances, the money of the donors may he wasted, and little real good effected among the intended objects of relief. Dr. Frankland has judiciously remarked, that "the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it: the more public provisions are made for the poor, the less they provide for themselves, and of course become poorer. More will be done for their happiness, by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them."


A school for boys, partly on the Lancasterian, and partly on the Bellian plan, has long been established in this town; although as yet no school-house has been built, but some funds are in bank for this purpose.

Two schools for girls exist in the town, and a Sunday school is held at the Presbyterian meeting-house. One of these schools is supported by the private subscriptions of a few individuals; and, to preserve its independence, public aid has been refused. A school-room, and a house for the teacher has been fitted up, and given for public accommodation. No catechism is taught in this school, nor any attempt made to introduce the subject of religious instruction. While so great diversity prevails on this subject, it appears best to separate religion from the instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, and sewing. Let morality, in which all agree, be inculcated, comprehending its higher duties, as well as the many decencies of life, especially cleanliness, regularity, industry, and the due employment of time; but as to religious distinctions, let the parents, with the assistance of their respective teachers, use their own discretion in judging for their children, till they become capable of judging for themselves; and in this, the important business of life, a good, careful, moral education, will naturally assist.

In 1811 Lisburn contained about 800 houses, which, at six persons to a house, would make the population 4,800; since which time, it has perhaps increased a little.

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The work for making the River Lagan navigable, and opening a passage by water between Lough Neagh and the Town of Belfast, was commenced in the year 1754, and completed in the manner first intended, under the management of the Corporation, for promoting and carrying on an Inland Navigation in Ireland, and local Commissioners, as far as Blaris, about a mile S.W. of Lisburn, including the locks erected in the year 1768, called the Union Locks. Expense, about £60,000 -- £16,000 being granted directly by the Irish Parliament, £10,000 lent by the Marquis of Donegall and others, and the remainder produced by local duties of one penny per gallon on beer, and fourpence per gallon on Irish spirits brewed and distilled within certain parts of the excise district of Lisburn, or brought thereinto; which duties were granted by an act of the 27th Geo. II., chap. 3, and continued since by several successive acts. In the year 1779, it appearing that the produce of the local duties would be insufficient to complete the Navigation from Belfast to Lough Neagh, an act was passed in the session of 1779 and 1780 to incorporate such persons as had advanced money on any former acts, or should advance money under that act, for carrying on the Navigation, under the name of "The Company of Undertakers of the Lagan Navigation." Under this act, the late Marquis of Donegal, who had, under the former acts, advanced £7,815 of the £10,000 formerly subscribed, advanced sixty-two thousand pounds, for which sum the Canal, commencing at the Union Locks, and ending at Ellis's gut, a bay of Lough Neagh, was completed, under the direction of Richard Owen, Esq., engineer. The work was begun in the year 1781, and opened 1st January, 1794. This part of the Navigation is still water, fourteen English miles in length, crossing the River Lagan by a handsome aquaduct of four arches, having 10 descending locks, each of 7 feet fall, 66 feet long, and 15½ feet wide; and 13 public road-bridges. The summit level, which commences at the Union Locks, and extends nearly to the village of Aghalee, is 11 English miles in length; 28 feet wide at bottom, and 52 to 60 feet at top, and 7 feet deep; expanding at Friar's Glen, near Soldierstown, into a beautiful lake, in surface upwards of 46 acres.

In consequence of the injudicious plan originally adopted (contrary to repeated remonstrances at the time, from the merchants of Belfast) of adhering closely to the bed of the river, and the works being thereby much more exposed to injury, than if the Navigation had been carried on out of the bed of the river, and proper care not having been taken to keep them in any kind of repair, this part of the Navigation got into an extremely ruinous state. Besides, Mr. Owens being, from want of funds, prevented from completing works commenced by him, for supplying the summit level with water, this level was always, during summer reduced so low as to render it unnavigable for three months in the year. So that, from the floods in winter, the bad repair of the old works, and the want of adequate supply of water for the new Canal, the passage of boats was so tedious and uncertain as to render the Navigation of little public utility. An anecdote has been told -- of the truth of which there is to but too little reason to doubt -- that when the original Canal was first opened a vessel made a voyage out and home, from the West Indies, during the time that a lighter passed from Belfast to and from Lough Neagh.

Such was the early state of the Navigation, when, with a view to render it useful to the public, a number of persons (principally merchants of Belfast) purchased, in the year 1800, a considerable portion of the interest of the Marquis of Donegal therein, and also subscribed a large sum of money, as a fund for repairs and improvements, which were immediately commenced; and since that period upwards of £20,000 have been expended on the Navigation. In consequence of this, although a full supply of water has not been obtained for the summit level, nor a track way for horses completed throughout, yet, with the exception of a few weeks in the depth of winter, the passage is so regular that this Navigation now enjoys public confidence, and the trade is rapidly increasing.

During the year ending 5th January last, 190 boats, of from 40 to 50 ton's burthen, passed laden from Belfast to Lough Neagh; 63, principally laden with coals and lime, passed from Belfast to the summit level; 202 from Belfast to Lisburn; and 18 from Belfast short of Lisburn. And 63 lighters arrived, laden principally with grain, from the Lake to Belfast; 28 from summit level to Belfast.

The time usually occupied in passing a loaded lighter from Belfast to Lisburn is 14 hours. Do. to summit level, 16 to 24 hours, according to distance. Do. to Lake, 28 to 30 hours. And this season, the average time occupied by a voyage from Belfast out and home, to Moy, Blackwater Town, or Coal Island, is 7 days, including the time, of loading and discharging. One lighter made three voyages this season, with coals, from Belfast to Moy, in three successive weeks. In consequence of the improvement of the Lagan Navigation, lighters are now enabled to pass, drawing six to nine inches more water than formerly, which, together with other facilities, has reduced the rate of freights some 25 per cent.

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 1 December 1916 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.)

Friday, 26 November 2010

Lisnabreeny - A Cemetery Remembered

The field as it is today
In the Castlereagh hills above Belfast, there is a field. It’s not a very remarkable field with only its red brick gateway marking it in anyway different from the myriad of other fields. Look into it and it appears no different to the field next door but for the small wooden bench over to one side by a prone granite slab.

This field is passed unnoticed by numerous people every day on their way to and from work and by parents leaving their children to the school only a few hundred yards away.

But if you passed this field on Remembrance Sunday however, you might be surprised to see a small gathering there. For this field is an almost forgotten piece of Ulsters war time past. This field was the site of a cemetery for American servicemen who died during World War II.

The field as it was in the 1940s
The cemetery became the resting place of 148 US servicemen before it was decommissioned in 1948. All their remains were either relocated to American War Cemetery in Madingley, Cambridge or repatriated to the United States.        

In 2005 Castlereagh Borough Council placed a memorial at the site to commemorate the former American Military Cemetery where each year, on Remembrance Sunday, members of the Cregagh/Wandsworth Branch of the Royal British Legion lay wreaths before taking part in the local parade and Service of Remembrance.

The inscription on the memorial tells all:

On 26 January 1942 the first American troops arrived at the Dufferin Dock in Belfast as the first phase of Operation MAGNET, the defence of Northern Ireland, As agreed between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during a meeting in Washington DC on December 1941. Over the next three years there were seldom less than 120,000 US servicemen in the Province at any one time.

A US Special Army Observer Group had been acting as an American Military mission in London since 1941. This group approached the war office in London on 9 December 1941 to obtain burial grounds for American forces in the United Kingdom. Two plots were initially set aside for emergency burials in Northern Ireland, one in Londonderry and the other in Belfast. The Belfast plot, located within the City Cemetery, and extending to one sixth of an acre was chosen.

The first American servicemen to die in Northern Ireland were 3 members of the US Navy who lost their lives in an accident at the American Naval Base in Londonderry. The first burial in the City Cemetery plot took place on 12 March 1942. From 12 March 1942 until October 1942 a total of 41 American servicemen were interred in the City Cemetery plot. At that stage the plot had reached its capacity and it was decided to ship deceased personnel across to England for interment until an alternative could  be found.

On 2 December 1943 a ten and a half acre plot of land at Rocky Road was officially opened as the Lisnabreeny American Military Cemetery.

It was decided to re-locate all deceased personnel to this new site, and between 23 May 1944 and 1 June 1944 all of the 41 bodies previously interred in the City Cemetery were exhumed and re-interred at Lisnabreeny. By the end of the war a total of 148 American servicemen were buried in Lisnabreeny Military Cemetery, the majority of that number being Army Air Force but including US Army and US Navy personnel too.

The Cemetery was accessed via a red brick entrance with iron gates on the Rocky Road. A white gravel driveway, lined with cherry trees, led to a flagstaff where the Stars and Stripes was hoisted daily. The graves were laid out in rows with 25 to each row, and each grave had a simple white marker, either a Cross or a Star of David, depending on religious denomination, bearing name, rank, unit and date of death. The Cemetery was looked after by 5 US Army personnel with a minimum of 2 on duty at any one time. A Nissan type hut was located on site and provided storage and office space for maintenance equipment and Cemetery records. The Cemetery was maintained to a very high standard with grass regularly mown, trees and shrubs clipped and pruned, and the stone paths borders whitewashed weekly.

Following the end of the war the Cemetery continued to be maintained right up to 1948 when all deceased were exhumed, and either transferred to the permanent American War Cemetery in Cambridge, or repatriated to the United States, at the request of their families. At that point the cemetery was deactivated and all that now remains to indicate that it was once there is the red brick gateway on the Rocky Road.

On 8 May 2005, Castlereagh Borough Council formally recognised the site when the Mayor of Castlereagh, Councillor Joanne Bunting, presided over a Service of Dedication which was attended by US Consul General, Members of Castlereagh Borough Council and invited dignitaries.

So if you happen to be passing the Rocky Road one day, why not take a moment to stop and sit on that bench and recall a time that was.

History is all around us... some good some not... all you have to do is look.  

(You can see photos of the Memorial stone etc on my Facebook site www.facebook.com/EddiesExtracts)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Rev. John Wesley's Journal. 1769-1778.


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The Rev. John Wesley's Journal.
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John Wesley, M.A., Oxford, was born at Epworth, Lincolnshire, 17th June, 1703, and died in London 2nd March, 1791. He was founder of the religious body known as Wesleyan Methodists. Lisburn appears to have been visited by him five times between 1769 and 1778. That is, in 1769, 1771, 1773, 1775, and 1778. He would also appear to have visited Lisburn both before and after those dates. George Whitfield visited the town in 1751. John Wesley in 1756 preached in a small house in Bow Street. About 1774 the old Methodist Chapel was erected in a space leading into Smithfield, now known as Market Street. The old chapel stood where the Picture House now stands. Bayly in his history of Lisburn states that the ground on which the old chapel was built was granted for ever by Edward Gayer, Esq., of Derriaghy. Opposite the Wesleyan chapel, at the corner of Linenhall Street, was the Methodist Refuge Chapel. Bayly refers to it in 1834, a dissenting branch of the parent church. The present church, at the junction of Seymour Street and the Belfast Road, was erected in 1875. There is a tradition that on one of Wesley's visits to Lisburn he slept a night at Chrome Hill, Lambeg. The tradition runs that in the morning, after his night's rest, meditating in the garden, he idly entwined and interlaced the pliant and tender branches of a young tree. Be this as it may, in the garden at Chrome Hill, close to the entrance to the grounds, is an ancient tree with the huge branches interwoven and interlaced in a fantastic and grotesque manner.

Mr. Wesley visited Derriaghy several times, and evidently enjoyed his visits to the house of Mr. Gayer. He mentions preaching there under the shade of a venerable old yew tree. The Rev. C. E. Quin, Rector of Derriaghy, states that the site of Mr. Gayer's house is now occupied by the residence of Mr. John Hutcheson. It is situated on the side of a hill, a short distance below the church, and on the opposite side of the road from the church. The ancient yew tree is still strong and flourishing, and was visited by large numbers of Methodists in 1903. The Gayers appear to have been resident in Derriaghy for a long time. Former rectors of the parish bore the name. The Gayer of Wesley's time is believed to have been Secretary to the Irish House of Commons.

John Wesley was a man of extraordinary energy, vitality and enthusiasm. The story of his wanderings through the length and breadth of the land is considered at the present time as an invaluable record of the rural England of his day. His restless spirit and burning religious zeal found expression and outlet in travel and preaching. His Journals, published and unpublished, contain a minute record of his feelings, doings, experiences and impressions from day to day over a long period of years.

The Journal under review runs to some 420 pages, and was published in London in 1780. It was lent to the Editor by Mrs. George Wilson, Castle Street:


Monday, April 3, 1769. -- I took horse at four; and notwithstanding the North-east wind, came to Newry before five in the evening. It was so extremely cold, that the congregation in the Market-house was but small. The next evening it was considerably increased.

Wednesday 5. -- I rode to Terryhugan, where the poor people had raised a tent (so called) to screen me from the North wind. I urged them with much enlargement of heart, Not to receive the grace of God in vain. Thence we rode to Lisburn. The wind was still piercing cold: yet it did not hinder a multitude of people from attending at the Linen-hall, an open square so termed, as are all the Linen-halls in Ireland.

Thursday 6. -- I designed to preach at noon in the Market-place at Belfast. But it was pre-engaged by a Dancing master: so I stood in the street, which doubled the congregation, to whom I strongly declared, All have sinned, and are come short of the glory of God.

Coming to Carrickfergus, I found it was the time of the Quarter Sessions. This greatly increased the congregation. And most of them seemed to be deeply affected, rich as well as poor.

Friday 7. -- I preached at eleven, and I believe, all the gentlemen in the town were present. So were all at Newtown in the evening, while I inforced those solemn words, God now commandeth all men, every where, to repent.

Saturday 8. -- I returned to Lisburn, where I was agreeably surprised by a visit from Mr. Higginson, Rector of Ballenderry. He said, "I was prejudiced in favour of the Moravians, settled in my parish, till the late affair. One of my parishioners, Mr. Campbel, died, leaving by Will his fortune to his two daughters, and in case of their death, a thousand pounds to the poor of the parish. His widow was extremely ill; notwithstanding which, some of the Brethren, to whom she was quite devoted; came in the depth of winter, and carried her by night, several miles, to their house. She died in a few days, after she had made her Will, wherein she made two of them executors, a third guardian to the children; and in case of their death, left the whole estate to the Brethren. They concealed her death six days. Mean time two of them went to Dublin and procured letters of administration, and of guardianship. Soon after I was pressed, to undertake the cause of the orphans. I went to Dublin and laid the affair before the Lord Chancellor, who after a full hearing, cancelled the second Will, and ordered the first to stand."

At my leisure minutes yesterday and to day, I read Mr. Glanvil's Sadducisms triumphatus. But some of his relations I cannot receive; and much less his way of accounting for them. All his talk of Aereal and Astral Spirits, I take to be stark nonsense. Indeed, supposing the fact true, I wonder a man of sense should attempt to account for them at all. For who can explain the things of the invisible world, but the inhabitants of it?

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This day (24th June, 1771) I entered the sixty-ninth year of my age. I am still a wonder to myself. My voice and strength are the same, as at nine and twenty. This also hath God wrought.

Saturday 29. -- I preached at the end of the market-house in Tondragee.

Sunday 30. -- At Nine, the people flocked from all parts; but much more at Six in the Evening, when we had a London congregation, both for number and seriousness.

Monday, July 1. -- I preached at Killwarlin, where a few weeks ago Thomas Mott died in peace. In the Evening I preached in the Linen-hall at Lisburn, to a numerous congregation.

Tuesday 2 -- I preached on the green at New-town. But the people had not the spirit of those at Lisburn.

Wednesday 3. -- At Ten, I preached to a small congregation, a mile from Belfast, and in the market-place there at Twelve. I never saw so large a congregation there before, nor one so remarkably stupid and ill-mannered. Yet a few should be excepted, even gentlemen, who seemed to know sense from nonsense. I have found as sensible men at Dublin as at Belfast: but men so self-sufficient I have not found.

Thursday 4. -- I preached near the market-house, Glenarm, about Noon, to a large number of decent hearers; but to a much larger, in the market-house at Ballimena, in the Evening.

Friday 5. - I rode, to Ballinderry, and found an earnest, simple-hearted people. A great multitude here received the word, with all readiness of mind. A specimen of the society consisting of about fifty members I had in the house where I dined; wherein a father and mother, with a son and five daughters, were all walking in the light of God's countenance. Afterwards I prayed with an ancient woman, while a little girl, her grandchild, kneeling behind me, was all in tears, and said, "O grand-mama, have you no sins to cry for, as well as me."

Monday, June 14, 1773. -- After preaching at Lurgan, I enquired of Mr. Miller, whether he had any thoughts of perfecting his speaking statue, which had so long lain by? He said, "He had altered his design: that he intended, if he had life and health, to make two which would, not only speak, but sing hymns alternately with an articulate voice: that he had made a trial, and it answered well. But he could not tell when he should finish it, as he had much business of other kinds, and could only give his leisure hours to this." How amazing is it that no man of fortune enables him to give all his time to the work!

I preached in the Evening at Lisburn. All the time I could spare here, was taken up by poor patients. I generally asked, "What remedies have you used?" And was not a little surprized. What has fashion to do with physic? Why, (in Ireland at least) almost as much as with head-dress. Blisters, for any thing or nothing, were all the fashion, when I was in Ireland last. Now the grand fashionable medicine for twenty diseases, (who would imagine it?) is mercury sublimate! Why is it not an halter or a pistol? They would cure a little more speedily.

Saturday 19. -- I declared to a loving people at Ballinderry, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many of them experienced this; and many felt their wants; several children in particular. In the Evening I preached at Lisburn, and on the two following days.

Monday 21. -- I met a gentleman, who looked hard, and asked me, "If I did not know him?" Indeed I did not tho' I had been at his house some years ago in Londonderry. Mr. Sampson was then one of the ministers there, a lively, sensible, man; very fat, and of a fresh, ruddy complexion. But he was now, after a long and severe melancholy, so thin, pale and wan, that I did not recollect one feature of his face. I spent an hour with him very agreeably. He did not shew the least touch of wildness, but calm, rational seriousness: so that I could not but believe, it is good for him, that he has seen affliction.

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Friday, June 16, 1775. -- In going to Lurgan, I was again surprised, that I could not fix my attention on what I read: yet while I was preaching in the evening on the Parade, I found my mind perfectly composed; although it rained a great part of the time, which did not well agree with my head.

17. -- I was persuaded to send for Dr. Laws, a sensible and skilful physician. He told me, "I was in a high fever, and advised me to lay by." But I told him, "That could had a not be done! as I had appointed to preach at several places, and much preach as long as I could speak." He then prescribed a cooling draught, with a grain or two of Camphor, as my nerves universally agitated. This I took with me to Tandragee: but when I came there, I was not able to preach: my understanding being quite confused, and my strength intirely gone. Yet I breathed freely, and had not the least thirst, nor any pain from head to foot.

I was now at a full stand, whether to aim at Lisburn, or to push forward for Dublin? But my friends doubting whether I could bear so long a journey, I went strait to Derry-Aghy, a gentleman's seat on the side of a hill, three miles beyond Lisburn. Here nature sunk and I took my bed; but I could no more turn myself therein, than a new-born child. My memory failed as well as my strength, and well nigh my understanding. Only those words ran in my mind, when I saw Miss Gayer on one side of the bed, looking at her mother on the other,

"She sat, like patience on a monument:

"Smiling at grief."

But still I had no thirst, no difficulty of breathing, no pain from head to foot.

I can give no account of what followed for two or three days, being more dead than alive. Only I remember it was difficult for me to speak, my throat being exceeding dry. But Joseph Bradford tells me, I said on Wednesday, "It will be determined before this time to-morrow;" That my tongue was much swoln, and as black as a coal; that I was convulsed all over, and that for some time my heart did not beat perceptibly, neither was any pulse discernable.

In the night of Thursday, the 22, Joseph Bradford came to me with a cup, and said, "Sir, you must take this." I thought, "I will, if I can swallow, to please him: for it will do me neither harm nor good." Immediately it set me a vomiting: my heart began to beat, and my pulse to play again. And from that hour, the extremity of the symptoms abated. The next day I sat up several hours, and walked four or five times across the room. On Saturday I sat up all day, and walked across the room many times, without any weariness. On Sunday I came down stairs, and sat several hours in the parlour. On Monday I walked out before the house: on Tuesday I took an airing in the chaise: and on Wednesday, trusting in God, to the astonishment of my friends, I set out for Dublin. I did not determine how far to go that day, not knowing how my strength would hold. But finding myself no worse at Banbridge, I ventured to Newry. And after traveling thirty (English) miles, I was stronger than in the morning.

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Monday, June 15, 1778. -- I left Downpatrick with much satisfaction, and in the evening preached in the Linen-hall at Lisburn, to near as large a congregation as that in the Grove, but not near so much affected. Afterwards I went to my old lodging at Derry Aghy, one of the pleasantest spots in the kingdom: and I could relish it now! How does God bring us down to the gates of death, and bring us up again!

Tuesday 16. -- T preached at eight to a lively congregation, under the venerable old Yew, supposed to have flourished in the reign or King James I. if not of Queen Elisabeth.

Wednesday 17. -- At eleven, our brethren flocked to Lisburn from all parts, whom I strongly exhorted, in the Apostle's words, "To walk worthy of the Lord." At the Love-feast which followed, we were greatly comforted; many of the country people declaring with all simplicity, and yet with great propriety both of sentiment and expression, what God had done for their souls.

Thursday 18. -- I preached at Ballinderry, (in my way to Lurgan) where many flocked together though at a very short warning. We had four or five times as many in the evening at Lurgan: but some of them wild as colts untamed. However they all listened to that great truth, "Narrow is the way that leadeth to life."

Sunday 28. -- I am this day seventy-five years old, and I do not find myself, blessed be God, any weaker than I was at five-and-twenty: this also hath God wrought!

All this week I visited as many as I could, and endeavoured to confirm their love to each other; and I have not known the Society for many years so united as it is now.

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(To the Editor of The "Lisburn Standard.")

Dear Sir, -- Those interested in the local history of our town and neighbourhood are under a great debt of gratitude to Mr. James Carson for republishing in your columns the extracts from the book written by Sir. John Moore Johnston in 1839, and known as "Heterogenea," and also for his own editorial notes on the book itself. It is right and proper that as much of the local history as can be authentically proved should be narrated in your columns, until some day the history of the town will be published in a more permanent form. The local facts dealing with the town are set forth in many books, journals, and pamphlets, and it would be a pity not to connote these carefully; and I have no doubt that under the skilful editorship of Mr. Carson these data will be vividly chronicled. The late Bishop Reeves in his "Ecclesiastical Antiquities" tells us that the Marquis of Hertford was the owner of 60,000 acres comprised in the two Manors of Killultagh and Derryvolgie. In the Church inquisitions or enquiries Killultagh was called "Sylva Ultonienais" -- the Wood of Ulster -- and that in the 17th century this territory of Killultagh formed part of the County of Down and was a territory per se. It contained the parishes of Ballinderry, Aghalee, Aghagallon, Magheramesk, Magheragall, and portion of Blaris north of the Lagan. Of course since the 18th century it forms part of the County Antrim.

Knox in his History of Down says that in the reign of James I. Lisburn was an inconsiderable village, and that it was entirely owing to Edward, Viscount Conway, to whom King Charles I. granted the remainder of the Manor of Killultagh, a portion having been previously granted to his ancestor, Sir Fulke Conway, by the same monarch. The grant of Edward, Viscount Conway, conferred certain rights and privileges of holding courts-leet and courts-baron, and other courts for the recovery of small debts up to £2 and a court of record for sums not exceeding £20. These courts-leet were held regularly by the Seneschal appointed by the Lord of the Manor, the last one being appointed by the late Sir Richard Wallace, who was the sub-agent and genial gentleman, Mr. Claude L. Capron. His predecessor was, I believe, Mr. Gregg, who resided at Derryvolgie, Lisburn. Under the Hertford leases, the lessees covenanted to attend these courts and pay the leet, which amounted to 8d for every head tenant and 4d for every under-tenant. Some attempts were made some time ago to trace the records of these ancient courts, but they were unsuccessful. A court was also held at Lambeg for the Manor of Derryvolgie, but its records seem to be non-existent. These courts are how no longer held, but they still exist in some English towns. Some of the charges borne by the courts-leet were the upkeep of the bye-roads on the estate and the cost of the ringing of the curfew bell, now kindly defrayed by the Cathedral Parish.

The Battle of Lisburn, 1641, is very interesting reading, and a literal copy of the minutes from the old vestry book of the then Parish Church (now and since 1662 the Cathedral), in the language of the day, is given in Volume I. of the Archaeological Journal (old series). It may he mentioned that Sir George Rawdon, one of the heroes of that battle, resided at Brookhill House, subsequently the residence of that gallant old Irish gentleman, the brave Commodore Watson, who is buried in Magheragall Parish Church, and until recent years also the residence of Mr. W. J. B. Lyons, J.P., D.L. In a footnote appearing in the Journal it states that one of the insurgents, Ever Magennis, son of Rory Oge Magennis, was killed in this battle.

Lisburn Tokens.

I have often considered whether any of the inhabitants of the town are possessed of the old tokens used as mediums of exchange or money in the 17th century. Lisburn had several traders then using these tokens -- at least, according to authorities, eight distinct tokens were known to be in existence. In Volume 3 of the Arch├Žological Journal (old series) a drawing is given of one issued for 1d by Mr. Oliver Taylor in Lisnegarvie, dated 1658. Could any reader furnish any information on the matter either to Mr. Carson or myself?

I thought this letter might prove interesting as an addenda to the excellent and copious notes of Mr. Carson. -- Yours faithfully,


(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 24 November 1916 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.)

Monday, 22 November 2010

Memories of First Ballymacarrett

First Ballymacarrett Presbyterian Church by David Long
When First Ballymacarrett Presbyterian Church held its final service recently it brought to an end 173 years of work and witness in East Belfast.

Those who have memories of the Church or a family connection may be interested to learn that David Long, President of the Ulster Watercolour Society, completed a beautiful watercolour painting depicting a time when the church was full to capacity in the 1940s.

Mounted prints of the painting (Image size 26x22cm - 40x36cm overall) are now available priced at £20 (plus £4 p&p UK and £6 Eire) and can be purchased through David  Tel: (028) 9127 0101 Email: davidlongni@talktalk.net. 


Saturday, 20 November 2010

A Little Bit of History - The First Umbrella in Driffield



The first umbrella seen in Driffield was introduced about fifty years ago, by the late Mr. John Horsley, who, being at Hull, and seeing some of these new-fangled and then much-ridiculed articles, purchased one for his daughters. As may be expected, the curious machine was quite a nine days' wonder in Driffield, and numbers of people went to view the contrivance with as much astonishment as, in these go a-head days of improvement and invention, we look upon the flying machine. -- Hull Advertiser.

(This article was originally published in the Banner of Ulster on 27 June 1843. The text along with other with many other extracts can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.)

Some Links: A History of the Umbrella, Who Invented the Umbrella, The History of the Umbrella

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Battle of Lisburn, 1641.


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-- -- -- --

the 28th day of Nov., 1641.

"A brief relation of the miraculous victory gained there that day over the first formed army of the Irish, soon after their rebellion, which broke out the 23d of October, 1641.

(From the Cathedral Records.)

"Sir Phelemy O'Neil, Sir Connor Maginnis, their general then in Ulster Major-General Plunkett, (who had been a soldier in foreign kingdoms) having enlisted and drawn together out of the counties of Armagh, Tyrone, Antrim, and Down, and other counties in Ulster, eight or nine thousand men, which were formed into eight regiments, and a troop of horse, with two field-pieces; they did rendezvous on the 27th of November, at and about a house belonging to Sir John Rawdon, at Brookhill, three miles distant from Lisnegarvy, in which they knew there was garrison of five companies, newly raised, and the Lord Conway's troop of horse. And their principal design being to march into and besiege Carrickfergus, they judged it unsafe to pass by Lisnegarvy, and therefore resolved to attack it next morning, making little account of the opposition that could be given them by so small a number, not half armed, and so slenderly provided of ammunition, (which they had perfect intelligence of by several Irish that left our party and stole away to them) for that they were so numerous and well provided of ammunition by the fifty barrels of powder they found in his Majesty's store, in the castle of Newry, which they surprised the very first night of the Rebellion; also they had got into their hands the arms of all the soldiers they had murdered in Ulster, and such other arms as they found in the castles and houses which they had plundered and burnt in the whole province. Yet it so pleased God to disappoint their confidence, and the small garrison they so much slighted, was much encouraged by the seasonable arrival of Sir George Rawdon, who being in London on the 23d of October, hastened over by the way of Scotland; and being landed at Bangor, got to Lisnegarvy, tho' late, on the 27th Nov. where those new-raised men, and the Lord Conway's troop, were drawn up in the market-place, expecting hourly to be assaulted by the rebels; and they stood in that posture all the night, and before sunrise, sent out some horse to discover their numerous enemy, who were at mass; )it being Sunday) but immediately upon sight of our scouts, they quitted their devotion, and beat drums, and marched directly to Lisnegarvy; and drawn up in battalia, in the warren, not above a musket-shot from the town, and sent out two divisions, of about six or seven hundred apiece, to compass the town and plant their field-pieces on the highway to it, before their body, and with them and their long fowling-pieces killed and wounded some of our men, as they stood in their ranks in the market-place; and some of our musketeers were placed in endeavouring to make the like returns of shot to he enemy. -- And Sir Arthur Yerringham (governor of Newry) who commanded the garrison, and Sir George Rawdon, and the officers foreseeing if their two divisions on both sides of the town should fall in together, that they would overpower our small number. For prevention thereof, a squadron of horse, with some musketeers, was commanded to face one of them that was marching on the north side, and to keep them at a distance as long as they could; which was so well performed, that the other division which marched by the river on the south side, came in before the other, time enough to be well beaten back by the horse, and more than two hundred slain of them in Bridge street, and in their retreat as they fled back to the main body.

"After which expedition, the horse returning to the market-place, found the enemy had forced in our small party on. the north side, and had entered the town, and was marching down Castle-street, which our horse so charged there, that at least 300 were slain of the rebels in the street, and in the meadows behind the houses, through which they did run away to their main body; whereby they were so much discouraged, that almost in two hours after, their officers could not got any more parties to adventure upon us; but in the main space, they entertained us with continued shot from their main body, and their field pieces, till about one of the clock, that fresh parties were issued out and beaten back as before, with the loss of many of their men, which, they supplied with others till night; and in the dark they fired all the town, which was in a few hours turned into ashes; and in that confusion and heat of the fire, the enemy made a fierce assault. But it so pleased God, that we were better provided for them than they expected, by a relief that came to us at night-fall from Belfast, of the Earl of Donegall's troop, and a company of foot, commanded by Captain Boyd, who was unhappily slain presently after his first entrance into the town. And after the houses were on fire, about six of the clock, till about ten or eleven, it is not easy to give any certain account or relation of the several encounters in divers places in the town, between small parties of our horse, and those of the enemy, whom they charged as they advanced, and hewed them down, so that every corner was filled with carcases, and the slain were found to be more than thrice the number of those that fought against them, as appeared next day, when the constables and inhabitants, employed to bury them, gave up their accounts. About ten or eleven o'clock, their two generals quitted their stations, and marched away in the dark, and had not above 200 of their men with them, as we were informed next morning, by several English prisoners that escaped from them, who told us that the rest of their men had either run away before them, or were slain; and that their field-pieces were thrown into the river, or into some moss-pit, which we never could find after; and in this their retreat, they fired Brookhill house, and the Lord Conway's library in it, and other goods, to the value of five or six thousand pounds, their fear and haste not at all allowing them to carry any thing away, except some plate and some linen; and this they did in revenge to the owner, whom they heard was landed the day before, and had been active in the service against them, and was shot that day, and also had his horse shot under him, but mounted presently upon another: and Captain St. John and Captain Furley were also wounded, and about thirty men more of our party, most of whom recovered, and not above twenty-five or twenty-six were slain. And if it be well considered, how meanly our men were armed, and all our ammunition spent be fore night, and that if we had not been supplied with men, by the timely care and providence of the Earl of Donegall, and other commanders from his Majesty's store at Carrickfergus, (who sent us powder, post, in mails, on horseback, one after another) and that most of our new-raised companies, were of poor stript men that had made their escape from the rebels, of whom they had such a dread, that they thought them not easily to be beaten, and that all our horse (that did the most execution) were not above 120. vis., the Lord Conway's troop, and a squadron of the Lord Grandison's troop, (the rest of them having been murdered in their quarters in Tanragee) and about 40 of a country troop, and a company from Belfast that came to us at night. It must be confessed that the Lord of Hosts did signally appear for us, who can save with or without any means, and did by very small means give us the victory over his and our enemies, and enough of their arms to supply the defects of our new companies, and about 50 of their colours and drums. But it is to be remembered with regret, that this loss and overthrow did so enrage the rebels, that for several days and weeks after, they murdered many hundreds of the Protestants, whom they had kept prisoners in the counties of Armagh and Tyrone, and other parts of Ulster, and tormented them by several manners of death. And it is a circumstance very observable, that much snow had fallen in the week before this action, and on the day before it was a little thaw, and a frost thereupon it in the night, so that the streets were covered with ice, which proved greatly to our advantage; for that all the smiths had been employed that whole night to frost our horses, so that they stood firm, while the brogues slipt and fell down to our feet. For which, and our miraculous deliverance from a cruel and bloody army, how great cause have we to rejoice, and praise the name of our God, and say with that kingly prophet -- 'If it had not been the Lord himself who was on our side, when men rose up against us, they had swallowed us up quick, when they were so wrathfully displeased at us. Yea the waters of the deep had drowned us, and the stream had gone over our soul; but praised be the Lord who has not given us over a prey unto their teeth: our soul is escaped even as a bird out of the snare of fowler: the snare is broken and we are safe. Our hope standeth in the name of the Lord, who made Heaven and Earth." -- Amen.

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Copy of patent which erected the Church of Lisburn into a Cathedral for the United Diocese of Down and Connor, and empowered the Town of Lisburn to return two Burgesses to the Irish Parliament. The original of this document, in Latin, was in 1834 in the Hertford Estate Office.

"Charles II. by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all to whom these our present Letters shall come Greeting. WHEREAS we understand that the cathedral church of Down and Connor, in our province of Ulster, within our kingdom of Ireland, being at present not only ruinous and laid waste, but also were founded in inconvenient places and extreme parts of the several dioceses of Down and Connor, by means whereof, not only the service of God was much neglected, but the necessary meetings and assembly of the bishops and clergy in those places obstructed and impeded. AND WHEREAS the Church of Lisburne, alias Lisnagarvie, in our county of Antrim, and diocese of Down, being situate near, the middle of the dioceses aforesaid, and now united, can more conveniently serve for a Cathedral church for the bishopricks aforesaid. KNOW YE, therefore, that WE being mindful of nothing more than that true religion and the true worship of God should flourish of our royal authority and by our authority, of Supreme Head of the Church of England and Ireland, which we enjoy of our special grace likewise with the assent and consent of our Right Trustie and Right Well-beloved Cousin and Counsellor, James, Duke of Ormond, our Lieutenant-General of our said kingdom of Ireland, and also according to the tenor and effect of our certain letters under our privy signet and sign, Manl. dated at our court at Whitehall, the 10th day of Sep. in the 14th year of our reign, and now inrolled in the rolls of our chancery of our said kingdom, have erected, created, founded, ordained, made, constituted, and established the said Church of Lisburne, alias Lisnagarvie, and the place of the same church to be for over hereafter the Cathedral church and episcopal seat of the aforesaid several bishopricks of Down and Connor, and to continue for ever in all future times. And so to bo established, and for ever to be inviolably observed, WE will and command by those Presents. And that the said church of Lisburne, alias Lisnagarvie, shall for ever hereafter be named and called by the name of the Cathedral Church of Christ Church of Lisburne, alias Lisnagarvie, all shall use and enjoy  all jurisdictions, rights, privileges, advantages, and immunities to a cathedral church belonging, or in any manner appertaining; and that the same church, with all and singular its rights and members, shall be the episcopal seat of the Bishop of Down and Connor, and his successors for ever. AND FURTHER, of our more ample special grace, and also with the advice and consent aforesaid, HAVE given and granted, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors WE do give and grant that the Dean and Chapter of Down, and their successors, and also the Dean and Chapter of Connor and their successors, from time to time, and as often as occasion shall require, can and may assemble and congregate themselves at the Cathedral Church of Christ Church aforesaid of Lisburne, alias Lisnegarvie, and there to make and constitute from time to time, such and the like ordinances, confirmations, acts, and statutes, as in the several ancient churches of assemblies of the said Bishopricks might and ought to appertain. And that all and singular confirmations, ordinances, statutes, and other acts, to be made by the several and respective Deans and Chapters aforesaid, and their successors in the said Cathedral Church of Christ Church of Lisburne, alias Lisnagarvie, shall be as good and valid in Law to all intents and purposes, as if the same was made in the several assemblies or churches of Down and Connor. And further of our more ample, special grace, and also with the advice and consent aforesaid for us, our heirs and successors, WE do will and grant, that the choyr and other officers and ministers serving in the cathedral church aforesaid, may have and receive out of the several impropriations appointed and granted by us for the augmentation of the revenues of the church, such allowances, pensions, stipends, and salaries for divine service to be performed in the cathedral church aforesaid, as the Lord Primate of all Ireland for the time being, and the Bishop of the Diocese for the time being, with the consent and approbation of the Lieutenant-General, or General Governor of our said kingdom of Ireland for the time being, shall see competent and convenient for celebrating devine service there, and their proper maintenance.

"AND WHEREAS we retain a sense of the many Losses which the Inhabitants of the said Town of Lisburne. alias Lisnegarvie, have sustained for their allegiance towards us and our Royal Father of Glorious Memory. KNOW YE THEREFORE that WE of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, for us our heirs and successors, Do Give and Grant to the dwellers and inhabitants of the said Town of Lisburne, alias Lisnegarvie, That they and their successors for ever hereafter, can, and may, from time to time, elect and choose two fit and proper persons to be Burgesses to attend, and sit in every parliament hereafter to be summoned, appointed, and held within our said kingdom of Ireland, And that, such persons so hereafter to be appointed to sit and attend in Parliament, as Burgesses for the said Town, can, and may freely, lawfully, and without fear, treat and consult of such maytters and things which to them there shall be set forth and declared, and thereupon to render their votes and suffrages as any other burgesses, of any other ancient Borough within our said kingdom of Ireland, might, or could do, or heretofore was accustomed to do. AND FURTHER WE will, and by these Presents for us, our heirs and successors, with the advice end consent aforesaid, and according to the tenor of our aforesaid Letters, Do strictly enjoin and command, that whenever a Parliament hereafter to be summoned in our said kingdom of Ireland, the Sheriff of us, our heirs and successors of our county of Antrim aforesaid for the time being, by virtue of a writ directed to him for the electing of knights, citizens, and burgesses for such Parliament, shall make and send his precept to the Seneschal of the Manor of Killultagh for the time being, (within which Manor the said Town is situate) for the making such election in and for the aforesaid town of Lisburne, alias Lisnegarvie, in the same form as such precept to any ancient Borough, in such case, was accustomed to be sent; which Seneschal, also, we strictly enjoin and command that such precept to him to be directed, in all things to execute, and to cause such election to be made, and to return in such manner and form as in any other Borough of our said kingdom of Ireland, usually, or anciently was made, or now ought to be done, notwithstanding that the Inhabitants of the said Town are not Incorporated, and any law, statute act, ordinance, or any thing whatsoever made to the contrary thereof, in any wise notwithstanding. Willing, moreover, and granting that these our letters Patent, or the Involvement thereof, shall be in and by all things firm, good, valid, sufficient, and effectual in the law against us, our heirs and successors, as well in all the courts of us as elsewhere, -- wheresoever within our said kingdom of Ireland, without any other confirmation, license, or tolleration from us, our heirs or successors, hereafter to be procured or obtained. Notwithstanding the ill naming, or ill reciting, or not reciting the said cathedral church, and notwithstanding any defect in the certainty of the premises, and any other thing, cause, custom, or statute, in any manner to the contrary notwithstanding. Altho' express mention of the true yearly value or certainty of the premises, or either of them, or of any other gifts or grants, by us or by any our progenitors, heretofore being made in these presents, any statute, act, ordinance, or provision; or any other thing, cause, or matter whatsoever, to the contrary of the promises in any wise notwithstanding. In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patent, witness our aforesaid Lieutenant-General of our said kingdom of Ireland, at Dublin, the 27th day of October, in the 14th year of our reign."

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 17 November 1916 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.)


Saturday, 13 November 2010

In Remembrance - The Rhetoric of Duty and Honour

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row...


Wishes and Some Hard Truths.

Major-General O. S. W. Nugent, D.S.O. (A.D.C. to his Majesty the King), the General Officer Commanding the Ulster Division, sent the following Xmas message to the people of Ulster through the medium of the "Belfast News-Letter":--

You have done me the honour of asking me to contribute a message as representing the Ulster Division.

A message to the people of Ulster from Ulster's Division must contain, besides greetings and good wishes, some hard truths.

For this is the position as it stands to-day between the Ulster Division and those of its own kin at home.

When the people of Ulster in 1914 promised a Division to the service of King and country, no finer body of men than those who redeemed the promise were raised in any portion of the King's dominions.

Cheerful under all circumstances, self-respecting, steadfast in their bearing, most gallant in attack, Ulstermen in France and Belgium have earned a high reputation, even amongst the magnificent soldiers of the Empire, of which Ulster may legitimately be proud.

The morning of the 1st July will be one of the glories of the Province as long as men love to think of gallant deeds.

Will there be an element of shame in the memory amongst the thousands of lusty young Ulstermen at home?

They have no part as yet in the honour of the real manhood of Ulster. They will have no part in the future when the Ulster Division comes home to enjoy the respect and esteem earned by those who have seen the path of duty and have followed it even to the end.

But if they have no part now, they need not be without it. Every man can still redeem his birthright and take a man's share in the work of the deliverance of mankind from Prussian barbarism.

He need not fear being asked why he had tarried so long upon the road. He will be welcomed as an Ulsterman, and he will find himself a better and a happier man from the knowledge that he has done his duty.

Christmas is a time of memories, when families are reunited and friends meet again. Years hence Ulster will still be keeping green the memory of those whose work out here is not nearly finished yet.

Young men at home still have their chance. Do they not want to be able to look their countrymen in the face, here and at home?

Do they not realise that there will be tens of thousands of men throughout the Empire who have answered the call of duty, and that the terms on which all able-bodied young men will associate together after the war will largely turn on the answer which can be given to the question: "What did you do in the war?"

For Ireland's sake, all who love her must hope that the community at large will insist that the stain upon her national pride and self-respect shall he removed, and that the contempt which Ireland is heaping up for herself shall give place to the mutual esteem which is creating a daily stronger bond of fellowship between the soldiers of the Empire in France and Belgium. There is only one way to gain membership, and that is not by the road upon which Ireland is drifting leaderless to-day.

The Ulster Division is growing stronger day by day, but its ranks are being filled by Englishmen and Scotchmen -- men who have not shirked duty, and who have done for Ulster what she has, as yet, failed to do for herself.

The young men of Ulster are capable of great achievements. The whole of the history of the province is one of achievements. It is in the earnest hope that its young men will make yet another advance on the road of honour and duty that this message is written.

(Lisburn Standard, 29 December 1916)


     "Your King and country need you" to aid the cause of Right;
     does loyal impulse lead you to arm yourself and fight?
     Are you ignobly skulking, your motto, "Safety First,"
     when woe is largely hulking, and foemen's bombshells burst?
     The country's stress produces men great of soul, I wist,
     while you invent excuses for failing to enlist.
     You have an aching finger, you have a spavined toe,
     and that is why you linger and see your neighbours go.
     When weapons cease to rattle, aud peace has come to men;
     when from the fields of battle the boys come home again;
     when heroes tell their stories of struggles past and done,
     of sufferings and glories, and triumphs hardly won,
     how shall the shirker harken to that, and save his face?
     He'll feel the shadows darken, the shadows of disgrace.
     Who'll heed his explanation, when, sore, he reels it off:
     "I wished to help the nation, but had the whooping cough!
     My martial spirit tingles, and I to war would jump,
     but I was down with shingles, a measle and a mump!"
     Your King and country need, you, their banner to protect;
     go, let a German bleed you, and gain some self-respect.

(Lisburn Standard, 3 November 1916)

Images: Poppy Garden by Jan Blencowe; The Attack of the Ulster Division by J.P. Beadle in Belfast City Hall.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Extracts from the Records of Old Lisburn - Heterogenea, 1803 (part 4)


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(For the benefit of the Poor.)
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Printed at Downpatrick in 1803 by James Parks.
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Editorial Notes on the Heterogenea.

The name Killultagh is used in several senses. As Killultagh and Derrykillultagh it is the name of a townland in Ballinderry containing some 700 acres. The territory of Killultagh was an old term in use long before the division of the country into Baronies and Counties, and roughly comprised the district lying between the River Lagan and Lough Neagh. The Manor of Killultagh, known as the Hertford Estate, embraced the old territory, and in addition the lands Of Derrievolgie and numerous adjoining townlands. Sir Foulke Conway received a grant of the territory about 1608, the other lands were afterwards added to the Conway property. Killultagh in Irish is Coill Ultagh, the forest or wood of Ulster. Lis-na-garvach, the fort of the gamester. Killultagh belonged to the O'Neills, the descendants of Hugh Boye O'Neill. There were three forts in the territory -- Inisloughlin, near Trummery House, Moira; Portmore, beside Lough Neagh; and one on a mound above the Lagan, close to Lisnagarvey.


died in 1624. The Church of St. Thomas, now the Cathedral, was opened for divine service in 1623. Sir Foulke was succeeded by his brother, Sir Edward, Baron Conway, who got the title of Viscount of Killultagh in 1627, and built the Castle of which the remains still exist in the Castle Gardens. His son, also named Edward, the second Viscount, succeeded in 1630, and died in 1655; and his son, also named Edward, who built the Castle at Portmore, died in 1683. The property then passed by will to his cousin, Popham Seymour, who took the name of Conway. Popham fell in a duel with Colonel Kirk in 1699, and died unmarried. The estate then passed to his brother, Francis Seymour, first Lord Conway, created Baron Conway of Killultagh in 1712. He died at Lisburn 1731, and was succeeded by his son Francis, first Marquess, created Viscount Beauchamp and Earl of Hertford 1750, and Earl of Yarmouth and


He died 1794, his honours and estate going to his son Francis, second Marquess, K.G., who assumed the additional surname and arms of Ingram; and died in 1822. To him succeeded his son, Francis Charles, third Marquess, K.G., who died in 1842. He is best remembered as the original of the Marquis of Steyne in Thackeray's "Vanity Fair" and Lord Monmouth in Disraeli's "Coningsby." Richard, the forth Marquess, K.G., son of Francis Charles, died, unmarried, in 1870. He was known from 1822 till the death of his father as Earl of Yarmouth. The title then passed to Francis George Hugh, fifth Marquees, cousin of Richard, and the Irish Estate, after a lawsuit with Sir Hamilton Seymour, passed, in 1872, into the possession of


From the Dictionary of National Biography we gather that Sir Richard, connoisseur and collector of works of art, born 1818, died 1890, was at one time reputed to be the natural son of the fourth Marquis of Hertford, his senior by only 18 years. But the truth in all probability is that he was the fourth Marquis' half brother and the natural son of that nobleman's mother, the great heiress, Maria Fagniani, Marchioness of Hertford, who had married in 1798 Francis Charles, the third Marquis. Maria Fagniani was the daughter of the Marchesa Fagniani, and was adopted by George Augustus Selwyn, wit and politician, 1719-1791. A dispute between the Duke of Queensberry and Selwyn regarding her paternity was never settled. In early youth Sir Richard was known as Richard Jackson. On Lord Hertford's death in 1870, he found himself heir to such of his property as the deceased Marquis could devise by will, including a house in Paris, Hertford House in London, the Irish Estates about Lisburn, which then brought in some £50,000 a year, and the finest collection of pictures and objects of art in private hands in the world. He represented Lisburn in the Imperial Parliament from 1873 to 1885. A large portion of his life was spent in Paris, where he died 20th July 1890, leaving no surviving children. He married in 1871 the daughter of a French officer -- Bernard Castelnau -- who had already borne him a son. Lady Wallace died in 1897. She left by will to the English nation the Hertford-Wallace Collection. Hertford House, London, was acquired by the Government and adapted to the purposes of a public museum, and it is there that the collection is now domiciled. Sir Richard Wallace was a noble and philanthropic gentleman. He spent vast sums of money in assisting the suffering citizens of Paris in 1870. His generosity to Lisburn is well known. His liberal treatment of the tenantry on the Hertford Estate, after he came into possession, was worthy of all praise, reversing in a moment the harsh and oppressive methods of his predecessors.


was possibly the most influential man in Killultagh in the 17th century. He was born at Rawdon Hall, near Leeds. He appears to have been M.P. for Belfast in 1639, and later for Carrickfergus. In 1640 he got a lease from Viscount Conway of certain lands which included Brookhill, and the lease would appear to have been renewed in 16419. In 1654 he was building a house in Lisburn, having married in that year, as his second wife, Dorothy Conway, sister of the second Viscount Conway. Rawdon assisted in the defence of Lisburn against the Irish rebels, November 28th, 1641. For his various services to the State he secured a grant of several thousand acres of land in the territory of Moyra, which had belonged to the O'Laverys, and became Sir George Rawdon, Bart., of Moyra House. He died in 1684, and was buried in Lisburn. He was the ancestor of the Earls of Moira. The first Earl was created in 1761; the second Earl added to his honours the title of Marquess of Hastings in 1816; the third and fourth Earls followed; the fifth died in 1868, and the title became extinct.

A valuable article by the Rev. W. H. Dundas, B.D.. has been largely drawn upon in compiling the foregoing notes on Killultagh -- the Early History of the Conway Family and Sir George Rawdon.

The Dioceses of


were united in 1442. Dromore was united with Down and Connor in 1842. The Bishops of the United Diocese were -- Richard Mant, 1842; Robert Knox, 1849; William Reeves, 1886; Thomas J. Welland, 1892; John B. Crosier, 1907; Charles F. D'Arcy, 1911. In 1699 Bishop Smith, a native of Lisburn, was Bishop of Down and Connor. He was appointed at 34 years of age. The United Diocese includes the whole of the Counties of Antrim and Down and portions of Londonderry and Armagh.


was originally built in 1623, and known as the Church of St. Thomas. It was twice burnt -- by the Irish rebels in 1641 and accidentally in 1707. When rebuilt after 1707 it was minus the spire, and remained so for almost 100 years. The spire was added by the second Marquis of Hertford in 1807. Since then, from its lofty height, the Curfew Bell has sounded forth nightly at 9 o'clock 100 strokes of the bell, marking the ancient custom and the hour. The Church was constituted in 1662 the Cathedral of the Diocese of Down and Connor by charter of Charles II. It is remarkable as being the church of which Bishop Jeremy Taylor was lecturer, and in later times the chief church of the Huguenot settlement. Incumbents -- Rev. James Mace, 1661; Rev. Joseph Wilkins, 1672; Rev. George Wilkins, 1716: Rev. Anthony Rogers, 1727; Rev. Richard Dobbs, 1749; Rev. Thomas Higginson, 1777; Rev. Wm. Traill, Archdeacon, 1781; Rev. Snowden Cupples, D.D., 1796; Rev. James Stannus, Dean of Ross, 1835; Rev. Hartley Hodson, D.D., 1876; Rev. William D. Pounden, A.B., Canon, 1884.

The information regarding the United Diocese and incumbents of the Cathedral is taken from the Handbook of the United Diocese of Down and Connor and Dromore, compiled by L. M. Ewart in 1886.

On the Cathedral organ are two plates recording that it was

"Presented by the Marquis of Hertford through the very Rev. Dean Stannus."

     "Snowden Cupples, D.D., Rector.
      Thos. Thompson, Curate.
      Surgeon Thomas Wethered,
      George Emerson, C. Wardens.

There are twenty-eight tablets or monuments in the building; including those to Bishop Jeremy Taylor, who died in Lisburn 1667; buried at Dromore; the Rev. Saumerez Dubourdieu, 1812; Brigadier-General John Nicholson, 1857; his brother, Major Charles J. Nicholson, 1862; Lieutenant William Dobbs, R.N., 1778; Lieutenant Thomas Johnson-Smyth, R.N., 1846; Major T. R. Johnson-Smyth, 1900; Colonel James Graham, 1905; Major R. B. Fulton, 1836; and to Lakes, Mercers, Rogers, Hawkshaws, Grahams, Whitlas, Atkinsons, Higginsons, etc., etc. The following is a short extract from a very long inscription on a tablet on the wall in the hall approaching the gallery --

     "S.M. John Mercer, Esq., from Scotland, died about A.D. 1636.

     "Captain John, son of the above, died A.D. 1650.

     "John of Castle Robin, Derryaghey, son of the above, died A.D. 1726.

     "John Mercer, Esq., of Hill Hall Court, son of the above, died A.D. 1731."

There is also a memorial erected in 1915 to commemorate the 60 years' faithful ministry in the Diocese of the Rev. William Dawson Pounden, B.A., Canon.


the first head-master of the Ulster Provincial School, Lisburn, was a man of ability and learning. He published a "History of the People called Quakers," in four volumes, in 1789, and was also author of a book on Arithmetic which for many years held the position of a Standard text-book in Irish schools. He died in 1791. In the Friends' Burying-ground, Railway Street, is a stone to his memory bearing the simple record--

      "John Gough.
         Born 1721.
    25th 10th Mo., 1791."

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The Vitriol Works referred to as carried on by Dr. Crawford were on the Island formed by the Canal and River Lagan, now occupied by the Island Spinning Co., Ltd.

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The old Market-house was situated in Market Square, and occupied the lower portion of what is now known in 1916 as the Assembly Rooms.

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The Linen Hall was located at the junction of Linenhall Street and Smithfield, opposite the lower end of Market Street, and now converted into a Butter and Egg Market.

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The old Castle was built between 1624 and 1630 in what is known as the Castle Gardens, and of which some of the walls and foundations still exist; it was destroyed by fire in 1707.

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Prior to the Union Lisburn returned two burgesses to the Irish Parliament.

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Mr. George Sands, C.E., has in his possession two large maps engrossed on sheep skin, bearing dates 1726 and 1729. The town lands and names of then occupying tenants on the Hertford Estate are shown thereon. He has also a book, 1705-1709, containing a large number of short agreements in relation to the taking of land signed by the tenants. It is believed there are several more of these books in existence.

Mr. Joseph Allen, who has accumulated a valuable collection of books, pamphlets, and relics of old Lisburn, has in his possession a copy of an


which shows that the general configuration remains practically unchanged for almost three hundred years. Castle Street (described in the map as the High Street), Bridge Street, Market Square, and the Cathedral occupy the same ground and positions to-day as they did when James the First was King. Only the people and buildings have changed. On the margin of the map are the names of 52 residents. They agree fairly closely with those given in Heterogenea, save that in several instances the spelling of the names differ. In the Market Square was a School-house, to be succeeded by a Market-house, and later by the Assembly Rooms. The 52 houses are numbered, and the name of The occupier of each house is given. The High Street or Castle Street would appear to extend not quite to the Infirmary, Bridge Street ran down to the Lagan, and Market Square ended about Tanyard Lane. The whole town was comprised within these limits. With the copy of the Map is an undated note by Edward Cupples, possibly a relative of Dr. Cupples, incumbent of Lisburn Parish 1796, 1835, which reads: "This ground plot of the town of Lisnagarvey, or Lisburn, is copied from the original in the possession of William Smith, Esq., Agent to the Marquis of Hertford, who obtained it from the Agent of Lord Moira, being found among his Lordship's papers. It has no date, but it is supposed to have been drawn between the years 1622 and 1678, the former being the date on a stone placed over an entrance door in the ruins of the chief dwelling-house contained within, and the latter the date of a ground plot of the stables at Portmore, which seems to have been drawn by the same hand."

William Smith was Agent to Lord Hertford in 1803. "The chief dwelling-house contained within" is marked on the Map as situated in the Castle Gardens, and provided with extensive stables, outbuildings, gardens, etc. It is also described on the Map as the Manor House. The house, court yards, garden, brewhouse, oat-house, powder-house, and office were all surrounded by a wall. The stables, stable yard, slaughter-house, kitchen garden, orchard, fish pond, etc., etc., were all outside the wall. The stables bordered on the High Street. The date 1622 mentioned as being over a door in the ruins raises a doubt as to the identity of the building, but it is possible that on the site of the Castle built by Sir Fulk Conway's brother there was a previous building, and it or the portion of it bearing the date 1622 was incorporated in the Castle built by Baron Conway, between 1624 and 1630. As, however, there is at the present time, a stone in an old arch over a large gateway or entrance in the Castle Gardens bearing the date 1677, it is not improbable, that Mr. Cupples has confused the dates -- 1622 and 1677.

Sir Foulk Conway received a grant of the territory of Killultagh about 1608. He died in 1624, and it was by him, and in his time, that the town was laid out in the form represented on the Map. Long prior to 1608, even before the reign of Queen Elizabeth, there was a small village here, even then known as Lisnegarvey.

Mrs. George Wilson, Castle Street, owns a signed copy of the Heterogenea, which she kindly placed at the Editor's disposal.

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Ulster Journal of Archaeology,

Mr. Thomas Sinclair, J.P., Chairman Lisburn Urban District Council, who has been interesting himself for some time past in the question of procuring for Lisburn a coat of arms, has in his possession a series of articles on Armorial Bearings by John Vinycomb, M.R.I.A., which have appeared from time to time in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology.

There is no law, it appears, against a Corporation simply assuming Armorial Bearings, without going through the formality and incurring the cost of getting a grant. A body may assume a coat of arms, acquire a right in it, by the lapse of time, and in due course get a confirmation.

These articles have been placed at the disposal of the Editor.


No authentic record appears to exist for the arms borne by very many of the towns in the United Kingdom, and many ancient boroughs are unable to justify their use of arms upon any other ground than long use. This may be explained by the fact that the earliest coats of arms and corporate seals were not the result of a grant from any herald or monarch, but were simply devised and used at the will of their bearers. The Heralds' College in England was not incorporated until 1484, and in Ireland somewhat later.

It appears from a statute of Richard III., ch. 8, that at that time every city or borough possessed its own distinctive seal or coat of arms. It is thereby enacted that the leaden seals, affixed to pieces of cloth to certify that the piece was of the size prescribed by law, should be stamped on one side with the royal arms, and on the other with the arms of the city or borough where the cloth was manufactured; so that the arms of the different cities and boroughs must have been distinctive and well-known devices giving warranty for the measure and place of manufacture. An analogous custom formerly prevailed in Ireland in the linen manufacture.

In the case of some towns, the seal of the Corporation differs entirely from the arms in use; while in a number of instances the non-heraldic devices on early corporate seals have, in later times, been adopted into armorial form and used as town arms.

At the present (1894) only some six or seven towns in Ireland bear authorised arms; the rest of the so-called corporate arms consist of a jumble of armory -- some heraldic, some semi-heraldic, but most of them absolute heraldic nonsense. It is a pity, therefore, that those members of our corporations who are interested in having the arms of their corporate towns correct, should not apply to the proper quarter for a confirmation or grant of arms, as the case may be.

With regard to the legal right to use Armorial Bearings, a coat of arms, either for a person or a corporation, can be obtained on payment of certain fees and stamps. The grantee has the exclusive and preferential right to these arms, which right is vested in his descendants, or in those whom the patent may recite. No person can give or sell or bequeath his coat of arms to another person; and in the case of corporations, it should be understood that a properly accredited coat may only be used by and with authority, in the words of an old grant, "to be borne and used for ever hereafter by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the said town of ----------- and their successors in office in their corporate capacity, on shields, banners, seals, or otherwise according to the laws of arms, without let or interruption by any person or persons whatsoever."

Ulster King of Arms is empowered to grant arms, or make a confirmation or re-adjustment of an existing coat. Arms are admitted when the proof of their having existed and been authoritatively borne for a lengthened period can be brought in evidence. It is a prevalent idea that such an application means outlay and great expense; but such is not the fact; The total fees, for a "Confirmation" only, amount to some £16. If "user" of a certain coat for 100 years can be shown, the authorities are empowered to issue a "Confirmation." The fees on a "Grant," including patent stamp and all other expenses, amount to £44. The fees in Ulster's office -- which all go into Her Majesty's Treasury -- are not nearly so high as in England; nor are there any taxes in Ireland on the use of armorial bearings, as in the sister kingdom.


LISBURN is situated on both sides of the River Lagan, in the Counties of Antrim and Down, seven miles south of Belfast. The population in 1841 was only 6,284; it is now about 14,000. The improvements which have taken place since the late lamented Sir Richard Wallace came into possession of the Hertford estates have been almost unprecedented in the history of any other town in Ireland.

The original name of the town was LISNAGARVEN, meaning "the fort of the Carogh," or "Gamester."

After the great fire during the wars of 1641, its name was changed to Lisburn. In 1707 the town and castle were burned to the ground; the later has never been rebuilt, but the tower soon arose and greatly increased in extent. Sixty families of French Huguenot refugees settled here after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, introducing and carrying on the manufacture of linen. The descendants of many of these settlers still remain.

The Cathedral of Christ Church contains many interesting monuments -- the celebrated Jeremy Taylor, who died here in 1667; Brigadier-General Nicholson, the hero of the Punjaub; Lieut. Dobbs, R.N., killed in a sea fight off Carrickfergus in 1778 by Paul Jones, the American privateer; and several others. This venerable building was dignified as the Cathedral of the Diocese of Down and Connor by Charles II. to reward the fidelity of the inhabitants to his father and himself, and he granted the townsmen the privilege of sending two members to the Irish House of Commons.

The present seal of the Town Commissioners is circular, 1¼ in. in diameter, and bears in the centre a Royal crown, with the legend on the margin, "LISBURN TOWN COMMISSIONERS' SEAL."

A curious heraldic anachronism exists on the great pediment of the new Courthouse, Railway Street -- the obsolete arms of the United Kingdom of the reign of George III. being used instead of those of the present reign.

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 10 November 1916 as part of a series which ran in that paper each week through 1917. The text along with other with some other extracts can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.)