Thursday 10 March 2011

Bayly's History of Lisburn 1834. (part 3)



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This is a suitable and commodious building, standing in a central part of the town (opposite the market-house). Every accommodation desirable to the traveller is afforded by this establishment, which is on an extensive scale. The public-spirited proprietor is Mr. John Crossley, who has recently made many excellent improvements about the concern, and been at considerable expense in the posting establishment. Since Mr. Crossley's entrance into business, he has always evinced the liveliest desire and attention towards the accommodation of the public, and has spared no expense to make this concern worthy that respectable patronage which it has so long obtained. The Killulta Hunt dine together here three times during the season. A four-horse coach leaves this Inn for Belfast every morning at ten o'clock a.m. and returns at six same evening. On Sundays, a coach starts at eight o'clock a.m., returns at eleven a.m., starts again at five p.m., and comes home at eight p.m. The fare from Lisburn to Belfast by these, and all other conveyances in town, is only sixpence, which for the distance (nearly seven miles) is certainly not immoderate.


This concern has been established nearly a century, and is the oldest in Lisburn. It is on an extensive scale, and always remarkable for affording the best of fare to the traveller. That respectable character, for accommodation and utility, which so long secured this establishment public patronage, has been still maintained by its present public-spirited proprietor, Mr. George Moore, for nearly thirty years, whose courtesy and attention has uniformly acquired him the esteem of all those with whom he has had any dealings. Mr. Moore has recently made considerable additions and improvements about the concern.

Two four-horse coaches leave this Inn for Belfast, one at nine and the other at ten o'clock every morning of week days, returning at five and six p.m., and on Sundays a coach starts at eight, and returns at eleven a.m., starts again at five, and returns at eight p.m.

There are several minor Inns in Lisburn which afford as good accommodation as any of the kind in Ireland. The proprietors are always obliging, and, generally speaking, quite inn-dependent men. Jaunting cars, and other conveyances, start every morning from Lisburn to Belfast, from Mr. Lawson's, Mr. Boomer's, Mr. Mooney's, and Mr. Savage's, so that one can seldom be at a loss for a conveyance, and at a most trifling expense. Much of this accommodation is owing to the enterprising spirit of the late Mr. John M'Coy, who first tried the experiment (some twenty years ago) whether any public carriage could exist without the advantage of conveying the mail, and in opposition to it; he plainly proved it could be done; but being killed by a fall from his own coach, he left others to reap the advantage of his attempt; and no man in his station was ever more and deservedly lamented.


The late Mr. James Williamson was the benevolent founder of those beautiful little dwelling-houses, a short distance from town, on the new Belfast road. They were erected in 1826, by a legacy of £100 bequeathed by that individual. The ground was given by Lord Hertford, with a donation of £40.


Hilden is very pleasantly situated in the vicinity of Lisburn, and is the seat of a Thread Manufactory, the property of Mr. William Barbour. It was established by his father, the late Mr. John Barbour, a native of Scotland, who had the merit of founding this branch of trade on the Hertford estate. Hitherto, to the great discredit of our country, Ireland has been a depot for Scotch thread; but in consequence of the spirited example set by Mr. Barbour, we are no longer dependent on a foreign market for a supply of this useful article. Here upwards of two hundred thousand hanks of native yarn are spun annually into threads of all classes. Upwards of three hundred persons are employed at this concern in preparing, coloring, dying, bleaching, and making threads. There is also a manufactory of reticules. Whether, therefore, we regard this factory in its relation to the trade of Ireland, or as an establishment conducing to the improvement and prosperity of the Hertford estate, in either of these relations it has a just claim to public notice.

The dwelling-house here is a very fine structure, and which, with the bleach-green, form a very picturesque feature in the surrounding beautiful landscape. Mr. Barbour has recently built several houses in this neighbourhood for the use of his workers.


This is a very extensive concern, the property of Mr. Samuel Kennedy of Lisburn, and remarkable for the excellent quality of the flour which it produces. Mr. K. has expended many hundred pounds on this property in various repairs and improvements, although he has no lease; but the characteristic conduct of Lord Hertford in all such cases, fully justifies the confidence reposed in the honour and justice of his family.


A Public Bakery was established in 1832, by the gentry of the town, for the purpose or preventing monopoly, and supplying the inhabitants with bread, superior in quality and quantity than was hitherto supplied. This establishment bakes, on an average, twenty bags of flour in a week. The fitting up of this concern cost upwards of £180.


On an island formed by the canal and river Lagan, in the immediate vicinity of the town, there is an extensive Vitriol Manufactory, the property of Messrs. Boyd. A lofty brick chimney overtops the works, carrying off any noxious gases. The dwelling-house is a neat structure. It is surrounded by a wall in the castellated style; and from the County Antrim side of the river, has somewhat the appearance of a fortress.


This handsome seat is situate to the eastward of Lisburn, immediately adjoining the town; in its neighbourhood is the ancient burying-ground of Kilrush, on the banks of the Lagan. It is the residence of Mrs. Casement, to whom it belongs. The dwelling-house is large and commodious, and all around it characteristic of taste and neatness. The grounds are well laid out, and are kept in good order. Within the last few years considerable improvements have been made. The flower garden has very justly gained universal admiration, and reflects credit on the refined taste of the owner. A picturesque view of the town and river in the distance, is obtained from the road leading to this villa. Although the bounds are very circumscribed, it is said to be the largest holding in perpetuity on Lord Hertford's estate.


This Hunt, which is at present in a very prosperous state, was established in 1832, the Marquis of Hertford having, in the kindest manner, given to the members the privilege of hunting over some of the best ground in the north of Ireland, on his Lordship's estates in Antrim and Down. At a meeting held at the Hertford Arms, Lisburn, on the 28th February, 1832, the following gentlemen being present:-- Mr. Gregg, Mr. Whitla, Mr. Birney, Mr. Murray. Mr. C. Boyd, Mr. J. Boyd, it was unanimously resolved -- That a Hunt be established at Lisburn, denominated, "The Killulta," to be maintained by an annual subscription of the members. The members meet on the first Tuesday in each month, at one o'clock, at the Hertford Arms Hotel, Lisburn, to appoint the places of meeting for the hounds during the month, and to transact the general business of the Hunt. The places of meeting of the hounds are named by each hunting member in succession.

The hounds hunt two days in the week, vis. Wednesday and Saturday.

On the north side of the town, an excellent kennel has been erected, having a stream of water running through the yards. The huntsman, besides a liberal salary, is also accommodated with a comfortable dwelling-house, garden, and stable connected with the kennel. We believe the erection of these premises cost £250.


Anxious to record the names of those individuals who have distinguished themselves by their philanthropy, we take this opportunity of noticing their worthy characters, and meritorious works.

1. -- John Hancock, a native of the town, who long distinguished himself as one of its active and useful citizens, and who some years since addressed himself to the Irish public in a course of essays explanatory of his views of religious and moral truth. The Hancock family always have distinguished themselves as the friends and supporters of every useful and charitable institution in Lisburn.

2. -- The late Dr. Whiteford, whoso benevolence the inhabitants of Lisburn and its vicinity cannot easily forget. It may be truly said of him, "He came unbidden to the poor man's bed."

This worthy gentleman fell a victim to his philanthropic labors in the cause of mercy and charity. He died from the contagious effects of a most violent and dangerous fever, while in attendance on a poor female patient. Doctor Whiteford afforded one of the noblest and the best examples of that devotion, heroism, and disinterestedness so characteristic of, and so extremely honorable to, the medical profession. Whatever were his religious opinions, he exemplified in his life that A humane man is the noblest work of God.

3. -- The late Mr, John Crossley, Jun., who was the first in the north of Ireland who established a School for instructing the children of the poor according to the Lancasterian system, and which he carried into effect by means of the book published on the subject by Joseph Lancaster. He continued his praiseworthy exertions to the day of his death, devoting almost his whole time to this important object. But he did not confine himself to teaching only; from the subscriptions set on foot by him. he was enabled, in numerous cases, to clothe the children, and distribute the most useful, religious, and moral tracts among the families of the poor, without excepting any religious persuasion, though he was himself a zealous member of the Established Church. His benevolence was unconfined; in short, he rendered himself to the poor a judicious teacher, an affectionate father and friend.

4. -- The late Mr. John Rogers, grocer, one of the most useful, philanthropic, and efficient citizens that Lisburn could ever boast of. He was thirty-three years in business, and during all that time he persevered in the same path of moral rectitude; and though he was in some respects of an eccentric disposition, yet charity and good feeling toward all who had poverty for their passport, were his prevailing characteristics.

"His faults and his follies,
Whatever they were,
Be their memory dispersed
As the winds of the air.
No reproaches from us
On his corse shall be thrown;
Let the man who is sinless
Uplift the first stone."

He was nobly distinguished by a taste for the beauties of literature, and most liberal (perhaps too much so) in lending his books, of which he had a most splendid collection. For the last ten years he was Treasurer to the Lisburn Society for the relief of the poor, a situation requiring the most zealous attention -- the duties of which he fulfilled with unwearied activity.

To all the charitable institutions of his native town he was a liberal contributor. His was not the passive, smooth-tongued philanthropy so often met with in the world; but active, open-handed, and straight-forward benevolence. Death found him doing his duty. He had gone in his usual health (on the morning of New-Year's day, 1834). to the Committee-room of the Philanthropic Society, to transact business relative to the Institution, of which he was Treasurer; and in the act of settling some affairs with two of the Collectors for that Society, he expired.

There is an Academy (which has been established many years in Lisburn) for the education of young ladies and gentlemen. It is kept by Mr. Benjamin Neely. Mr. Spence, the celebrated, penman, was educated at this Seminary.

There is also a Seminary for young ladies, which has been recently opened by the Misses Montgomery. There are other Schools in the town, the principal of which are kept by Mr. Sheils and Mr. Thompson.

Respecting the general appearance of Lisburn, it is cheerful; the streets mostly spacious, carefully paved, and always clean. Its side-paths are not flagged, but we believe it is in contemplation to do so. Another great desideratum is the lighting of the town by night. Lamps were erected in 1825, and a Mr. Whowell employed to light the streets with gas; but owing to Whowell's failure, the work has been neglected and abandoned. As a greater inconvenience to any town or public thoroughfare during the dark winter nights cannot exist than the want of lamps, we most ardently hope, for the honor and respectability of Lisburn, that this evil will be remedied as soon as possible.

Since the Legislative Union, Lisburn returns but one member to Parliament -- the present member is Captain Henry Meynell, R.N., nephew of the Dowager Marchioness of Hertford -- he has been elected several times, and is a staunch Protestant. The population of Lisburn is 6202 souls.


While natal tongues seem dull and dumb to praise
Thy beauties, Lisburn! List the stranger's lays.
If pitiless deem'd his verse, thou'lt not refuse
The good intent that fain would fire the Muse.
Were native breasts inspired with equal flame,
Thy town, a nobler niche, in northern fame
Would grace; nor should I venture to proclaim
The greenest, sweetest spot of Erin's name.

Lo! now I view fair Lisburn's tow'ring spire --
Once more for her I'll string my trembling lyre.
Hail lovely spot! In Erin's diadem,
Where beauty, virtue shines -- the brightest gem;
On sweeter spot can Sol or Luna beam.
Than Hertford's town on Lagan's limpid stream.


'Tis said of Echo, that in days passed by,
O'er Lisburn's streets she flung, with laughing joy,
Back to himself the speaker's lusty call,
In thrice-told merriment and mimic bawl;
Such tones as never had been heard before!
'Twas wondrous strange, but now her reign is o'er.
Improvement came, and from her ancient throne
Hurl'd down old Echo -- bade her to begone!


Let connoisseurs in art and science come,
Those goodly amateurs who often roam
To foreign climes, most curious things to see,
And feast their eyes at Coulson's factory.
There native manufactures to behold,
Far, far exceeding all that has been told,
Or said, or sung, about its well-won fame --
The brightest dreams that, fancy's self could frame.
In proud reality their forms expand,
Like tiny fabrics of enchanted land.
Genius and art their splendid stores unroll,
And Lisburn's Damask's fam'd from pole to pole.

Echoes from the Elections of 1832-1863 Next Week.

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 9 March 1917 as part of a series which ran in that paper each week through 1917. The text along with other extracts can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.)

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