Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Romance of the Red Triangle - the YMCA at the Front

Some years ago while I was working on extracts for my website from the Magazine of the Central Presbyterian Association - particularly on members of the Association who where serving during the Great War - many times I came across references to ministers and men on YMCA service in France.
"Over 2,000 people were present on 18th ult. when the Moderator of the General Assembly presided, and Rev. J. G. Paton, B.D., of Coleraine, who has just returned from the front, gave a graphic account of work in the Y.M.C.A. Huts in France, in which he was engaged for three months." CPA Magazine, November 1915.
"One of our popular young associates -- Mr. Arthur Asboe -- who has for some time past been pursuing his studies in England, with the view of entering the Moravian mission-field, has been accepted for army Y.M.C.A. work in Egypt." CPA Magazine, April 1916.
"Rev. Professor Paul, M.A., B.D., of M'Crea Magee College, Londonderry, son of Mr. R. L. Paul, one of our prominent members, is taking up work in France among the troops in connection with the Y.M.C.A." CPA Magazine, May 1917.

I wondered what on earth could they be doing when the world was entrenched in those muddy wartorn fields of France and elsewhere.

Enlightenment came in the form of a small book I found called The Romance of the Red Triangle by Sir Arthur K. Yapp, KBE, who was National Secretary of the YMCA at the time.

The book was subtitled "The story of the coming of the Red Triangle and the service rendered by the Y.M.C.A. to the sailors and soldiers of the British Empire" and, although it took pains to mention no names it nevertheless gave a detailed overview of the work undertaken during those years - a lot of the time at front itself.

A copy of the book can be found on and I would commend it to anyone with an interest in the Great War or the work of the YMCA.

A YMCA "hut" at Messines

Over time I have come across many other letters and stories in newspapers like this from the Lisburn Standard:
"Rev. J. H. Orr, Hillsborough, occupied the pulpit in Whitehead Presbyterian Church on Sunday, where, during the course of an eloquent address, he related his experiences as a Y.M.C.A. worker amongst the troops in France." Lisburn Standard, Friday, 27 October, 1916.

And in recent years, the increased interest in the Great War and those who served has led to a plethora of websites many of which contain information and photos on the work of the YMCA at the front and beyond and are just a google away.

The extracts quoted above, along with many others, can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.

Friday, 28 December 2012

The Making of the Ulsterman (pt2)


-- -- -- --
 Edited by JAMES CARSON. 
-- -- -- --


-- -- -- --


By Rev. Dr. J. S. MacIntosh.

From "The Scotch-Irish in America." 1892.


Common is the saying, and not more common than true, blood will tell, blood of the Scot begins to tell. Rover and viking and pushing pioneer of the earlier days reappear, and wherever there is fighting and honour, and gain and open pathways to leadership and glory, the adventurous Scot is found. Europe begins to know the old raiders' grandsons as the "Scotch Guardsmen and Scotch Archers" of France, such as was Crawford and Leslie and Quentin Durward; as the "Scotch Brigade" of Holland; as the "Pikemen" of great Gustavus, and as the vanguard in many a European host. The schools and colleges and seminaries of France, Germany, and Italy find not a few of their keenest intellects from the old Borders. In the Hanse towns, and from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, every busy centre and trading town knows the canny Scot.

But he has before him the newer, and finer, and more world-marking career as colonizer; and the hour of his transplantation has come.

Stand upon the cliffs of Donegal; look sharply and knowingly at the rocks beneath your feet! Do you not recognise them? Have you never seen them before? Dive down deep beneath those rolling surges that thunder against the grim buttresses of the coast. Search with the geologist eye the seabed. You will find that another solid roadway runs from shore to shore, as from Staffa to the Causeway. That solid roadbed is the very rock of the old Grampians. And as the firm stone of the two lands are one, beneath the sea, so across the sea the same hard, the same hard, strong reliable race is to stretch - the

Lowlander Becomes the Ulsterman.

In that seed bed of the Strathclyde were to be found the sires and grandsires of the world's mightiest colonisers -- the true twin brothers of the Puritan. It is very worthy of notice that the Englishman was transplanted to America ere he grew to be the unchangeable "John Bull," and the Lowlanders out of whom were to come our Scotch-Irish, were moved across to Ulster ere they became fixed for ever as the Sawneys of to-day. Some folks migrate too soon; and some move too late; the vanguard from the Lowlands started just at the true moment for the doing of their own plainly marked divine work.

It has been well said by a writer in the Quarterly Review: "For two generations." -- before James the First -- "increasing intercourse with Calvinistic churches on the continent, the discipline of adversity applied by high commission courts and bishops, and above all by the growth of education and the spread of Bible reading had favoured the growth of that serious and high-minded enthusiasm which makes the Puritan epoch. It is difficult to understand how a single habit of reading the Bible should have transformed the life of a nation. We must compare with it the still more sudden and complete changes produced by like causes in Scotland, where the English speaking population were converted in a few years from a lukewarm conformity to Roman Catholicism to a fervent attachment to Calvinism. There, as in England, the growth of education favoured the growth of new opinions. Protestantism and the popular forms of government were understood to be kindled forces; there, as in England the movement was felt most strongly among the lower and middle classes. The more logical and compromising character of the Scottish national character agreed with the stricter forms of Swiss Calvinism; and the same phenomena which produced the Puritan party in England made the Lowland Scotch a Puritan Nation."

Just at the critical moment, when the finality of the Scotch was threatened. just at the moment when he could become another and yet remain essentially the uprooting of the promising sapling comes, and God oversees the transplanting.

The Plantation of the Scotch into Ulster

Kept for the world the essential and the best features of the Lowlander. But the vast change gave birth to and trained a somewhat new and distinct man, soon to be needed for a great task which only this Ulsterman could do; and that work -- which none save God, the guide, foresaw -- was with Puritan to work the revolution that gave humanity the American Republic.

Now into the right or wrong of England's way of settling war-wasted Ulster by planting groups of colonists, we will not enter; here we take simple historic fact -- thus 't was done. And well was it for the world, and first for Ireland, that 't was done.

One of the greatest facts in history is the plantation of Ulster; the sixteenth of April, 1605, should be for us all memorable, by all historic, ancestral and constitutional rights, for that sixteenth day of April was all the state papers show, "The Day of the Great Charter."

On that day was given forth by the English court that charter under which the "Undertakers" were authorised to start a movement, the end of which the world sees not yet.

But it is a bright and sunny day of middle May which is in many respects the still greater day, for that May day was the landing of the Lowlanders to restore Ulster and largely remake history. We journey to Plymouth Rock and tell of the landing of the Puritans; and none too often nor too fondly. But let us not forget that the Ulsterman has his day, and that America has a right to know and keep the day, the May day of the Ulster landing, for that too lives in the very heart of this land.

By that landing, the seat of a new empire has been found. New empire? Yes, empire; for imperial by all proofs and tokens was that race that came to Ulster to change it from savage wilds to smiling fields and busy towns.

As is broadly believed, and as Buckle has proved, province and people are ever closely linked.

What, then, the environment for this great evolution in history? The dominating life at the centre is a man; every inch of him the off-spring of the northern sea rover and of the Strathclyde home maker -- the child of waves, and hills, and rocks. And he stands now in a land singularly suited to him -- a province of strangely varied scenery, a coast almost unrivalled, in the Norway and Iceland of his Norse sires; a province of rolling hills and deep glens, of wide-spread moors and far-stretch loughs, of sunny lakes dotted with fairy islets, of silvery streams where the salmon leap and the trout frisk; a province which bars out the northern seas by the bold strengths of the Causeway and shuts off the southern Celt by the ramparts of Mourne Hills; a province dented deeply to the north with Carrick Lough and Swilly Bay, and to the south by the sea arms pf Carlingford and Sligo; a province strikingly resembling the old home in the Strathclyde, but gifted with softer and balmier breezes, and warmer seas that shall tend to soften, and mellow, and sweeten the overhardness of the Lowlander.

In Ulster now stands

The Transplanted Scot,

The man of opportunity, of utility and order, the man of law and self-respect and self-reliance; with a king's charter in his hand, with a king's smile upon him, with the cheers of England's hopeful civilization encouraging him, and before him a war-wasted country to reclaim and to hold. War-wasted country! Yes; savage feuds and forays had left it a dismal desert! Quaintly the old Montgomery Manuscripts tell the tale -- they found the lands "more wasted than America when the Spaniards landed there" -- between Donaghadee and Newtownards -- "thirty cabins could not be found, nor any stone walls, but ruined, roofless churches, and a few vaults at Grey Abbey, and a stump of an old castle as Newton." From the Calendar of State Papers for Ireland during the years 1608 to 1610, we learn the Ulster was then the most savage part of Ireland!

But there stands the soldier of the world's vanguard of civilization, the reorganising son of sires always leaving their marks in a finer life and larger prosperity, the daring son of daring invaders, who were always victors; and the brave pioneer faces the desert and its dangers with hardiness, with fertility of resource, with industry and thrift.

And now the forces changing the Lowlander into the Ulsterman begin to work. What are these forces? Whence came they. And what changes did they work. Why is the transplanted Scot not just like the old Scot? What are the discriminating marke of the Ulsterman, and how did he gain them? These are questions that must be answered.

Our American term -- the Scotch-Irish -- is not known even in Ulster, save among the very few who have learned the ways of our common speech. The term known in Britain is the Ulsterman; and in Ireland it is the "sturdy Northern," or at times the "black Northern."

The transplanted Scot begins as a chartered and favoured colonist. He had expectations, large expectations of special favour; and he had a right from given pledges to entertain these expectations. This point has been but seldom stated; and never been marked and emphasised, as the facts of the case and the needs of the after-tale call for. You can not measure aright his burning sense of wrong at a later day; you can not understand his methodized madness till he shows his broken treaties and dishonoured compacts. He had the right to expect the backing of England, the fullest enjoyment of his hard-won home, the co-equal privilege of citizenship, the largest possession of freedom in both church and state. This statement can be easily verified to the fullest from the family history of many old Ulster family histories, from the Montgomery and Hamilton MSS., from state papers, and from a proclamation inviting settlers for Ulster and dated at Edinburgh, 28th of March, 1609.

This chartered and favoured colonist, the destined maker of a new state and the father of a fresh manhood for the struggling world, faces bravely the many hazards he had already measured and braced himself to meet. A man of destiny, he was a true pioneer like our own Scotch-Irish in this land. There is wide difference  between the mere pioneer and the pioneer-colonist; we know that there are men who can be only scouts and advance-frontiersmen and men, again, who can be both scouts and settlers. The Ulsterman was the latter. He joins dash and daring to self-poise and self-dependence. The two cities of Ulster, Belfast and Derry, are the evidences of the transplanted Scot; Belfast is self-made and Derry is self-kept. Picked men they were, these favoured colonists. Doubt has been expressed on this very point. But the doubt has sprung either from ignorance or sectarian bigotry or race hatreds. In the calendar of state papers for Ireland -- 1615-1625 -- we have among many other clear statements the official report of Capt. Pynnar, who, sent by the government to inspect the Ulster settlers, tells in plain, honest words exactly what he then found. We have further the accounts in the register of the Privy Council of Scotland of the great care taken in the selection of the "undertakers." We know that King James gave his own personal oversight to the plantation. We know that the Duke of Lennox, under the royal eyes, drew from Dumbartonshire, that the Earl of Abercorn from Ayrshire, and that from Gallowayshire and Dumfriesshire, Crawford, Cunningham, Ochiltree, and MacLellan carefully selected colonists for the new venture. In one of the letters of Sir Arthur Chichester, Deputy of Ireland, we rend as follows: "The lord Ucheltrie arrived in Ireland at the time of our being in Armagh, accompanied with thirty-three followers, gentlemen of sort, a minister, some tenants, free-holders, and artificers." In another communications to government the keen-eyed deputy says: "The Scottishmen come with better port (i.e. manifest character), they are better accompanied and attended" -- (than even the English settlers). Just as to these western shores came the stronger souls, the more daring, and select, so to Ulster from the best parts of lower Scotland came the picked men to be Britain's favoured colonists.

(To be continued.)

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 27 December 1918 as part of a series which ran in that paper each week for several years. The text along with other extracts can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.)

Friday, 21 December 2012

The Making of the Ulsterman


-- -- -- --
 Edited by JAMES CARSON. 
-- -- -- --


-- -- -- --


By Rev. Dr. J. S. MacIntosh.

From "the Scotch-Irish in America." 1892.

No excuse need be tendered for giving extracts from Dr. MacIntosh's article here. Although it does not deal directly with the history of Lisburn or the Manor of Killultagh, it gives such a vivid and moving picture of the people, elements, and conditions, that went to build a complex character known as an "Ulsterman," but it should be of absorbing interest to all those who bear that proud title.

Dr. MacIntosh was born in Philadelphia educated in Europe, and pastor of the historic Tennant church, Philadelphia.

The article was first delivered as an address before the Scotch-Irish Society of America in 1890.

Possibly, if the Doctor was writing today he would dwell less on the bitterness and hatred towards England engendered in the hearts of the Ulstermen, who were driven from their homes in Ulster by intolerable injustice, and of the same sentiments living in the hearts of their descendants. The Ulsterman is not given to brood over the past and foster in his heart bitterness for ancient wrongs. He is eminently practical. He is also long-suffering but brooks injustice reluctantly. He entertains no delusions about national aspirations and sentimental grievances. The world is his home. He is not an islander, but an Imperialist, not Irish, but British.

The concluding words of the address are prophetic -- "and as he was found at Derry, so to-day and forever, when his country, wherever that may be shall call, he will be found, the first to start and the last to quit."

As it was then, so it is today.

At the first trumpet blast of war in 1914, the Ulsterman forgot past wrongs and present injustice and at the call of Empire sprang instantly to arms, fit representatives of the grand old stock. The blood-stained fields of France and Belgium know the heroic Ulster division. The Ulstermen -- "first to start and the last to quit."

-- -- -- -- -- -- --

The Ulsterman is Scot, and yet by no means just the Scot of the Lowlands: the Ulsterman is Irish, and yet wholly other than the Celt of Connaught.

The Ulsterman has had surprisingly little place in literature. it has been truly said by an English traveller, "With one or two exceptions, we can not recall any books in which the Ulster character is described." Yet the bold, bluff folk that lie between the Giant's Causeway and the Mourne Mountains have a history, a character, a humour, a folk-lore, and a future strangely interesting and largely unique. This hardy race, who are the people of liberty and law, of utility and order, will certainly carry you back to your forefathers, because of their Norse daring, their Pictish hardiness, their Saxons sagacity, their tough British endurance, and the Lowlander's painful thrift, deft management, clear-grained reality, outspoken truth, stubborn self-will, defiant straight-forwardness, unyielding patience, and far-sighted common sense; but they also make you see that they have somehow grown away and distant from their nearer and farther "forbears," and now stand out the clean-cut and truly "kenspeckle" Ulstermen.

The question comes was force to us. What made the man of Ulster different thus remarkedly from the man of the Lowlands, to whom he is most closely joined by all those bands that seem to insure unchanging likeness? No one, it would appear, has ever tried seriously to answer this singularly interesting racial question. We shall, however, here try to trace the steps from Lowlander to Ulsterman, and from Ulsterman to Scotch-Irishman. This pathway of history may show us what made them to differ. Our study is, then,

The Marks and Making of the Ulsterman.

In skilfully managed nurseries and gardens, trees and flowers of value are made pass through three stages of special care. First there is the Seed-bed, then there is the Plantation in the "hardening-off" ground, and then there is the final Transplantation to the chosen spots where they grow and fruit and flower. This real "plant of renown" has been just thus treated by the divine Husbandman of humanity. The Lowlands of Scotland where the seed-bed; the rocky hills and not over-rich valleys of Ulster were the veritable "hardening-off" ground, where the plant grew "strong and stocky;" and this broad land of America has been the resting place," where the God-sown, God-grown plant has matured and fruited and filled the land.

Look for a few moments on the seed-bed of our race. That seed-bed is the Lowlands of Scotland.

What an all-wondrous work-field of the God of history it is! What ages of divine toil unfold as we gaze; what upheavals of old landmarks, and what strange resettlements of invaders and invaded; what curious blendings and re-blendings of both allied and antagonistic races; what steady play of peace and war; what free blood-sheddings and marvellous weddings; what strange speech and diverse tongues -- Norse, Saxon, Frisian, British, Erse, and Norman -- till at last sounds the fresh, strong, early English!

This seed-bed lies water girt; the fact is significant. For those waters at once open gates and barriers of defence -- give us the history, the education, and prophecy of the mingling folks that last made their home in the south of Scotland and in the north of England. Let us set the district and its boundaries clearly before our eyes. If you look on the map of Scotland you will mark how two great sea-arms cut the country into a northern and southern part. These two great water-ways are the Firths of Forth and Clyde. If you look on the map of England you will mark two other sea-arms that sever the upper part of England from the midland and the south; these two water ways are the Humber and the Solway. Between Forth and the Clyde and the Humber and the Solway lie the old Strathclyde and Northumbria. To the right and left of the Strathclyde and Northumbria are the Irish and the German seas. Across these seas and up those channels came the freshest, boldest, richest, and most varied blood of Europe's kings and vikings, heroes and saints, scholars and singers, rovers, traders, and hunters -- the very pick of pioneers. They were the first Scots from Dalriada in the north of Ireland; they were the Norsemen and the Dane, the Saxon and the Frisian, the Belgian, and later the Norman-French. They found within that water-girt, Strathclyde and Northumbria, the remnant of that splendid older race, whence was Arthur, of the Round Table (and ancient Briton of the Strathclyde -- man of faith and fancy, of unyielding toughness and ever-starting life, and the woman of home grace and poetic power, of song and self-sacrifice. It has, until later years and more thorough search, been told that the old Briton died out or fled into the hidings of the Welsh hills. But the facts are other; and as Freeman and Skene, with now a band of young race-students have made clear, the old race was not blotted out; many were forced from the sea borders to the inland parts, but many men and more women stayed, or were held by the invaders to serve as the serfs or become the mothers of a new folk. To this  [--?--] in the Strathclyde, and on both sides of the Borders, by none of the invasions of these parts, not even the Danish and the Norman, were the old Britons of the Arthur myths and sagas either destroyed or driven out. That rich and worthy old race formed the stock; into it were grafted the young, fresh, and in many respects, nobler branches, and the new shoots and the later fruits are the Lowlanders of Scotland. Here is where the Celtic blood comes into our veins, and not from a later hour and from Ireland. For the large enrichment ever brought by the Celt we must thank the Britain of Arthur, and not the clansman of the O'Neil.

This Lowland Race.

Briton and Norman, and Saxon and Dane, gave the world a new man, the Border soldier, the pioneer, the sea-rover, the inventor, the statesman, the revolutionary the singer in Robert Burns, and the romancer in Walter Scott. And nothing in the witching tale of folk-building and folk-breeding is more wonderful than the long toil in making that Lowland people. As Skene shows at the time of Alexander III, the population of Scotland was composed of six chief races, Picts, Britons, Scots, Angles, Norsemen (including Danes and Norwegians), and Frank0-Normans, "forming a people of very mixed descent, in which the Teutonic element was more and more predominating." In the Lowlands "the native base of this Brito-Scoto-Anglo-Norman people was the Romano Britain." Freeman, in his history of the Norman Conquest, and in his story of "The English People and Their Three Homes," shows us "that we adopted, assimilated, absorbed alike the conquerors and the conquered into the very essence of and national being."

But through and through the old Briton survived till the final fusion, so all-important to us, in the one rich-blooded Lowland folk. To that rare blood the scholarly Scot from Dalriada, the pliant, large-limbed Pict, the poetic Celt, the shrewd, acquisitive Anglo-Saxon, the patient Frisian, the daring Dane, the breezy Jute, the organising, systematic feudal Norman, but each his contribution. Who the Dalrind Scot and the large-framed, ruddy-faced Pict of Galloway were originally we cannot yet tell, but what they were in soul features has been made clear as daylight -- they were Christianized people, loving books, using schools, marked by free speech, by arts and song. They show many points of close affinity with the original Briton; fused with the Briton they were so open to the influences of Teuton and Norseman the Anglo-Saxon speech and society, thrift and industry firm rule and personal independence, soon became their common property and features. The old British speech begins to fade out; the folk-speech from Northumberland to the Clyde and the Forth is northern English or "Lowland Scotch;" and the future man of Bannockburn and Derry Walls and Kings Mountain is beginning to appear. He is the man with the blood of the borderer and soldier, mixed with that of the scholar and thinker, with the blood of the trader and farmer, mixed with that of the statesman and the lawyer. These combining and contrasting features soon began to show themselves. From that 25th day of April, 1057, when Malcolm Canmore was crowned at Scone near Perth, till the death of David, the first feudal king of Scotland, the combined contrasted features are slowly getting into harmony and order, and about the opening of the thirteenth century the Lowlander more and more shows himself. For about two centuries he settles, strengthens, solidifies.

During This "Fixing" Period

The Lowlander is tested and hardened and purged by battles with soil and weather, battles with southern English and northern Gael, battles with poets and princes. During that fixing period he wrestles with poverty and politics, and confessions and theology, and at last, under the sealing and finishing hand of Knox, who stands forth the man fitted to look every rival in the face, and hold his own in war and peace, mid-arctic snows or torrid heat. Behold him the Scot of to-day -- shrewd and thrifty, free and fearless, resolute and revolutionary, clear-thoughted and defined in conscience.

He multiplies and he fills the little Strathclyde from end to end. The place grows too straight for him. There is no field for his energies. As in the days of hardy Caleb, the cry is for room.

(To be continued.)

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 20 December 1918 as part of a series which ran in that paper each week for several years. The text along with other extracts can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Dublin Road School, Lisburn


-- -- -- --
 Edited by JAMES CARSON. 
-- -- -- --


-- -- -- --


By Joseph Allen.

Towards the close of the 18th and early in the 19th century a wave of philanthropy spread over England, and we find Robert Raikes in 1781 founding the first Sunday School, where the children of the poor were instructed in religious and secular subjects. In 1802 a great step forward was made by Joseph Lancaster, a Quaker, and Dr. Andrew Bell, a member of the Church of England, who were really the pioneers of the schools for the proper instruction of the children of the poor. We owe to them a debt which should never be forgotten, and their names will always be enshrined as the real founders of the schools for the poor. It is impossible or us at present time to imagine even faintly the state and and condition of the then poor in matters of education, and it is pleasant to think that we had in our midst in the early part of the nineteenth century a young man in the person of Mr. John Crossley, jun., of Lisburn, who determined to give the benefits of a sound religious and secular education to the poor children in our midst. He it was who in the year 1805 (his epitaph states 1810) commenced the first school in Lisburn under the system of Bell and Lancaster, doubtless on the site of the present Dublin Road School or near thereto. John Crossley passed to his rest at the early age of 31 years, but his good work cannot be measured by his length of years. His remains were buried in the Cathedral Churchyard beside those of his father, John Crossley, sen. A pilgrimage to the south-east corner will find the gravestone, whereon is inscribed the following:
To the memory of John Crossley, jun., of Lisburn, who, in the year 1810, established the first free school on the system of Bell and Lancaster in this province, and although struggling with a feeble constitution continued until his last illness to exhert himself with great zeal and judgment in communicating the blessings of religious and moral knowledge to many poor children.
A pious and practical Christian, humble in himself, charitable to others, affectionate to his friends and devout towards his God.
He did much good with limited means, and was called to his everlasting reward on the 10th March, 1816, aged 31 years.
Here also are interred the remains of his excellent father, John Crossley, sen., who departed this life on the 11th March, 1830, aged 84 years.

Lisburn people were and ever are mindful of generous hearts and loving dispositions, and as a memorial to his memory they erected the present building in the year 1821, and a tablet placed above the entrance door reads thus:--
This Free School commenced A.D. MDCCCV. under the direction of the late Mr. John Crossley, junior. The inhabitants of Lisburn to perpetuate its benefits have erected this Schoolhouse A.D. MDCCCXXI. on a site allowed for it by the Most Honourable the Marquis of Hertford.

Since the erection of the school till the present year, 1918, the principles of his teaching have been faithfully carried out, and doubtless hundreds of children enjoyed the blessings of a generous education, which fitted them for the duties of citizenship and for the work of active life. It is evident that a committee was appointed to carry on the roll was 190 and the entire expenditure was a sum of only £55 16s 11d.

In a poem of six cantos on Lisburn written by Mr. Henry Bayly (the historian of Lisburn), published in the year 1834 and printed by Mr. Thomas Mairs, of Joy's Entry, Belfast, the following verses written on this School and its founder, Mr. John Crossley, junior, appear:--
Lisburn's Free School! thy seeds of virtuous love,
Have shed their influence on a foreign shore;
As long as virtue is on earth endeared,
Thy founder's memory shall be revered.
Their patriotic acts shall win renown,
Long as philanthropy shall rule the town.
Crossley, thy worth is yet remembered well.
And coming ages more thy praise shall tell;
In many a heart thy memory is enshrined.
Few like thyself on earth thou'st left behind.
When here below 'twas thine to wipe the tear
Of sorrow's cheek -- the poor man's home to cheer --
Where lank-fac'd poverty took her abode
To raise despair and point to Zion's God
Peace to thy shade -- the children then hast nurst
In Learning's lap, ere thy bright spirit burst
Its bonds of clay. bless'd Crossley's honor'd name,
And live the trophies of thy glorious fame!

In Mr. Bayly's history of Lisburn it is stated that the Schoolhouse yard front gates of wrought-iron and other appendages cost the sum of £387 7s 7d. and that the Master's house adjoining cost the sum of £95.

The name of Rowly F. Hall must be associated with the founder of this school. He was an attorney by profession, and was the legal agent of the Marquis of Hertford. Like Crossley he was much esteemed by the people of Lisburn. Mr. Hall presented in 1822 a bell for cupola of the school which weighed 43 pounds. Alas, the bell and its cupola are no longer existent.

A fine monument to the memory of Rowly F. Hall adorns the north side of the gallery of the Cathedral. It represents at top the Good Samaritan, and the wording thereunder is as follows:-- "Go Thou and Do Likewise."

Erected to the memory of Rowley F. Hall, Esquire, Attorney-at-Law, by personal friends in Lisburn, in testimony of their affection and of his worth in the discharge of the laborious duties of his profession. He was more studious to prevent litigation than to desire emolument.

He exemplified the conduct of the Good Samaritan in visiting and relieving the sick and afflicted in seasons of epidemic and infectious diseases. He was indefatigable in promoting the education of the poor and the charitable institutions of this parish.

Of the practice of religion and virtue the uniform tenor of his life afforded a bright example.

Died September 22nd, 1826, in the 39th year of his age.

According to the printed report of 1866, the then committee consisted of the following:--

The Dean of Ross, Rev. Robert Lindsay, Mr. Redmond Jefferson, Dr. Campbell, Rev. W. D. Pounden, treasurer; David Beatty, secretary.

It will thus be seen two members were of the Cathedral Parish and four of Christ Church. Moreover, the School Building since the year 1863, is in Christ Church Parish, and it is said (but it is difficult after such a lapse of time to confirm it) that prior to the building of the church the members of the congregation were wont to worship there. Some Lisburn gentlemen, namely, Mr. Hall, Mr. J. Coulson, and Mr. G. Whitla, mindful either of the founder or of the good work done, bequeathed certain moneys towards the School, the interest of which has been regularly paid.

The first schoolmaster was Mr. Wm. M'Cann -- well known to the older inhabitants as an excellent teacher. He held the position for the long space of 57 years. The school was familiarly known as "M'Cann's School. He retired in 1873. His successor was Mr. G. Ruddock. Other teachers were Mr. Dalton and Mr. M'Donagh, the latter holding the position for a number of years. The present teachers are Mr. Mulligan and Miss Gowan.

By deed, dated 16th February, 1901, Sir John Murray Scott vested the School Building in the Diocesan Board of Education in fee-simple, and the teachers' residence is held by trustees in fee-simple.

Sir John Murray Scott also transferred to the Diocesan Board a sum of £117 6s towards the endowment of this School.

Canon Pounden during his incumbency of Christ Church (1863-1884), and subsequently as Rector of Lisburn, until his death, superintended the School and carried on faithfully the work there, and it was felt that Christ Church should continue same; and the Diocesan Board of Education, at their meeting held on the 5th day of June, 1918, passed the following resolution:--
That the Dublin Road School, Lisburn, be affiliated with Christ Church, Lisburn, and so much of the endowments as are appropriated to the Dublin Road School, Lisburn, by the grant of the 16th February, 1901, from Sir John Murray Scott and others to the Down and Connor and Dromore Diocesan Board of Education, be paid to the Rector of Christ Church, Lisburn, for the benefit of the said School.
That this meeting desires to place on record their thanks to the Rector and Select Vestry of Christ Church, Lisburn for taking over this School, which they have so kindly volunteered to do, and to continue the good work so long carried on by the late Canon Pounden.

At a recent meeting of the Select Vestry that body accepted the terms of the resolution, and appointed a small committee consisting of Rev. R. H. S. Cooper, M.A., Miss Pounden, Mr. G. H. Clarke, Mr. F. W. Ewart, and Mr. Joseph Allen to take charge of the School.


(from the "Northern Whig.")

There seldom happens a more curious juxtaposition of names than occurs on one of the pages of a book just published by Mr. John Murray. "Guildhall Memories," by Mr. A. E. Temple. Mr. Temple for many years has been director of the London Guildhall Art Gallery, and the organiser of the annual exhibitions. At the exhibition of the work of French artists one of the pictures on loan was Meissonier's "Friedland." "The late Sir John Murray Scott," writes Mr. Temple, "to whom the British nation owes the possession of the Wallace collection at Hertford House, and who came frequently to the exhibition, was a great lover of French art in any form and when standing before this picture with me one day he told me that Meissonier once asked Sir Richard Wallace to commission him to paint a large picture in oil, as he wanted to provide a dowry for his daughter. The commission was at once given. The subject was to be '1807, Napoleon at Friedland,' and the price &8,000. Of this sum £4,000 was at once paid on account by Sir Richard.

Meissonier's progress with the work (which was 52 by 95 inches) was so slow that at last, after many letters of a docile character irate ones began to pass from one to the other, and eventually it came about that Meissonier returned the £4,000 to Sir Richard, and placed himself in the position to finish the painting how and when he liked. He finished it in 1875, and disposed of it to Mr. A. T. Stewart, of New York, for £16,000. This same Mr. Stewart early in life was a journeyman dealer in Ireland at wages of 16s a week, but rose by industry and good fortune to the possession of great wealth. At his death in 1887 the picture was sold by auction in New York, with his other possessions, and purchased by Judge Henry Hilton for £13,200, and presented by him to the American nation. It is now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York."

All three men -- Sir John Murray Scott, Sir Richard Wallace, and Mr. A .T. Stewart -- as everybody locally knows -- were intimately associated with Lisburn, and it would be difficult to imagine two more romantic, yet utterly dissimilar, careers than those of Wallace and Stewart. The mystery of Sir Richard's birth began the generation before. According to some authorities he was the natural son of Maria Fagniani, the wife of the third Marquis of Hertford (Thackeray's Lord Steyne of "Vanity Fair"), and she again was the daughter of either George Selwyn, the famous eighteenth century dilettante and wit, or of the Marquis of Queensbury -- the "Old Q." who as the Earl of March enters into "The Virginians." Both claimed to be her father, both adored her, and both at their death left her an enormous amount of money. It is also said that Wallace was a son of the Fourth Marquis of Hertford, and therefore a grandson of Maria Fagniana. MOst of his life Wallace spent in Paris, and in 1870 the fourth Marquis died, leaving to him all his property, including Hertford House and his estate around Lisburn. The Seymour family contested the will, but one of them, it is said, meeting the judge, asked him what were his prospects, and got for answer, and got for answer, "Agree with thine adversary quickly whiles thou art in the way with him," etc., and abandoned the case.

From 1873 till 1885 Wallace sat in Parliament as member for Lisburn, but lived mostly in Paris, where his bounty during the siege had made him a much-loved personality. He died in Paris in 1890, his widow in 1897, and most of his art treasures in Hertford House are now the property of the nation.

To-day, curiously enough, is the anniversary of the birth in Lisburn of Alexander Turney Stewart in 1803. He cannot have been so poor as Temple makes out, for he spent a couple of years at Trinity. About 1823 he emigrated to the States, and two years later, opened a small dry goods store, whose business grew to mammoth proportions with branches in Belfast, Manchester, Glasgow, Paris, and Lyons. During the famine of 1856 he sent a shipload of provisions to Ireland, a similar gift to the French sufferers in the Franco-Prussian war, and 50,000 dollars to the victims of the great fire of Chicago. During the American Civil War he set an example both to his own generation and the modern profiteers, for he manufactured and sold to the Government at less than cost price great quantities of cotton cloth, for the use of the army. He also bought some 7,000 acres in Long Island and established a garden city for working men, and his widow here erected the Cathedral of the Incarnation in his memory. Like Wallace he was much beloved, and yet this did not prevent a band of infernal ghouls from stealing his body and holding it to ransom.

-- -- -- -- -- -- --

Sir John Murray Scott was secretary to Sir Richard Wallace, and inherited his wealth and estate on the decease of Lady Wallace.

It was largely due to his influence that Lady Wallace bequeathed the Hertford collection to the nation.

Sir Richard Wallace, according to the best authority, was the natural son of Richard, fourth Marquis of Hertford. The Seymour-Wallace will case after three trials was finally appealed to the House of Lords. An arrangement, however, was arrived at between the parties whereby Sir Richard Wallace paid the Seymour's £400,000, and entered into possession of the Irish Hertford Estate.

A. T. Stewart was born at Lissue, near Lisburn, and originally intended for the church. He came of a good old farming stock, and was possessed of some small means when he went to America.

Next week -- "The making of the Ulsterman."

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 13 December 1918 as part of a series which ran in that paper each week for several years. The text along with other extracts can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Maps of Lisburn and the Hertford Estate


-- -- -- --
 Edited by JAMES CARSON. 
-- -- -- --


-- -- -- --


In the custody of the Technical School, Lisburn, are the following maps, books and documents.

Two large maps of the Hertford Estate, bearing dates, 1726 and 1729. On the maps are laid down the townlands and holdings with names of occupying tenants. The maps are in a good state of preservation.

Maps of Town Parks, 1835-1863, bound is one volume. On the maps are laid out the holdings and occupiers' names.

Survey of the Hertford Estate -- 1865 -- maps bound in four volumes.

Survey of the Hertford Estate by Thos Pattison -- 1833 -- bound in eleven volumes.

Proceedings at the Court Leet, 1854-1883 two volumes.

House of Lords, Session 1884, Belfast Water -- Stoneyford -- Bill, Minutes of evidence, one volume.

Sundry documents relating to Sale of Water and Markets, by Lady Wallace, 1896.

Rent Roll of the Hertford Estate, 1728, 1729, 1730. Complete and is good state of preservation.

Bundle of Sundry unbound maps.

Particulars and valuation of the Town Parks in the Lisburn District, 1829.

About the year 1901 when the Hertford office was closed, and the building occupied as the Town Hall and Urban Council Offices, the accumulation of maps, books, documents, etc., belonging to the Estate were disposed of. Some were sent to Mr. Capron, the agent in London, a portion went to the Estate solicitors -- Longfield, Kelly and Armstrong, Dublin and Dungannon. Mr. George Sands, C.E., retained a portion, and the residue was handed over for safe keeping to the Urban Council. The consignment given to the Urban Council was stored temporarily in the Castle House, Castle Street. In 1914, on the building being taken possession of by the Technical School, the books and documents were removed to the Dispensary Yard, next door, and there, through carelessness, indifference, or lack pf knowledge of their value, this invaluable collection of books and papers containing the ancient history of the town and district was wantonly destroyed -- burnt.

On Mr. Sands' decease towards the end of 1917, his representatives presented the Technical School with the two large maps, the bundle of sundry unbound maps, sixteen volumes of maps, Proceedings of the Court Leet, House of Lords proceedings re Water Bill, and bundle of documents re sale of market and water rights.

The residue of Estate maps and documents left by Mr. Sands were transferred to the office of the Wallace Estate solicitors, Dungannon. Amongst them were valuable maps and records relating to the Manor of Killultagh. To the future historian of Lisburn one work would be of particular value, and there were several copies of it amongst the consignment sent to Dungannon, a detailed account and valuation of the whole Hertford Estate, made about the year 1870, giving particulars of all public buildings, churches, schools, bridges, etc., etc., extent of holdings on the Estate, rents and names of tenants, etc.

The 1726 map shows that the old bridge over the Lagan was situate some thirty yards or so nearer the Island Mill than the present structure at the end of Bridge Street. One of the old roads from Belfast passed through Hillhall, and continued down what is now known as Gregg Street the old bridge being at the end of Gregg Street. The 1835 map shows the bridge is at the end of Bridge Street. This bridge was afterwards replaced by the Union Bridge, exactly on the same side.

The Causeway End road is of considerable antiquity. It must originally have been made through a moss, or bog, and during the course of time the moss was cut away on both sides, leaving the roadway standing up high above the neighbouring country. On the 1726 map the district between the road and the railway was even then marked as "cut out moss."

In 1835 the main roads about Lisburn were all in existence, as the Dublin, Antrim, Moira, Ballinderry, Belfast, and Belsize Roads are all shown on the 1835 map. A road also appears nearly, but not quite, on the line of the present North Circular Road. Its course would appear to have been from the Intermediate School on the Antrim Road straight to the end of Railway Street, near the and station, and thence up past Prospect Hill School. The Railway Company afterwards defeated the [--?--] of this road and constructed the North Circular Road.

Railway Street first appears under this name on a map date 1844.

Up till 1850 Antrim Street was known as Antrim Lane.

The "Deans Walk" Wallace Parks, makes its first appearance on a map dated 1846.

The maps of 1726 and 1833 show a fort as situate a short distance beyond Pipers Hill, slightly in the direction of the river. There is also the well-known fort, Fort Hill, behind the Friends' School.

On the 1833 map the "Long Stone," which gives its name to Longstone Street, is marked as at the corner of Longstone Lane. On this map appears "Polite Barracks" quite close to the Chapel, on the same side of the street, in the direction of the Dublin Road. The "Rookery" was the name of a street or lane that must have passed from Smithfield out on to the Hillsborough Road, on the line of the wall that divides the markets from Christ Church grounds. Market Street was known as the "Old Shambles." The "Black Hole" of Lisburn was in Smithfield, situate at the back of Hugh Kirkwood's premises.

The Market House, Market Square, The Hertford Arms at the corner of Jackson's Lane or Railway Street. The King's Arms Hotel on the left hand side of Market Square going towards Bow Street, the Linen Hall at the corner of Linen Hall Street, the New Market on the site of the present grain market, the Methodist Chapel in the "Old Shambles," Market Sq. Church, surrounded by buildings then as it is now, all appear on this old map of 1833.

Advancing up Castle Street with the same old map open, on the left-hand side Johnston's Entry is reached, and close to it on the main street stands the Post Office. A short distance further, on the right is the Rectory, and opposite stands the Court House, one time the "French Huguenot Church; now the Urban Council Offices.

Where the Technical School now stands stood the "Marquis' House," and next door the Estate Offices. Opposite was the Castle Gardens.

Seymour Street must have been a later creation, as from Market Square to the Low Road, the whole street is called Castle Street

Just before coming to the Infirmary, Beggars' Lane is met with, and it appears to run right through to within a short distance of the Basin in the Wallace Park.

At the junction of the street and the Belfast Road stood the two old schools which was dismantled and taken down this year, 1918.

In front of the Infirmary, on the opposite side of the street, stood a fountain, probably, a pump.

The vitriol works appear on Vitriol Island, now occupied by the Island Spinning Company.

The Cathedral of course occupies its ancient and prominent position in the centre of the town.

The maps of 1726 and 1833, and a still more ancient one, all tend to show that the town as laid out by Sir Foulke Conway, almost three hundred years ago, conforms in general detail to the Lisburn of to-day. Castle Street was constructed much as it is now, only that it encroached on, and practically included, the modern Seymour Street, and was named after the Castle in the Castle Grounds. The Cathedral stood then where it stands now, and Market Square, with its Market House, in the centre was there, and Bridge Street leading down to the bridge over the Lagan.

Of later date, but still hoary with the passing of the years, are Haslam's Lane, Piper Hill, and Bow Lane or Bow Street, then Jackson's Lane or Railway Street, the "Old Shambles" now Market Street, Chapel Hill, Longstone, Linen Hall Street, Antrim Lane now Antrim Street, Wardsboro opening out of Jackson's Lane, and Tanyard Lane opening into Bow Street. There were also innumerable lanes, alleys and courts, pestilential cul-de-sacs most of them opening, out of the principal streets, and inhabited by human beings, but dens not fit for the habitation of animals. Fortunately, with the march of time, many of these, and the worst of them, have bean condemned and removed, and it is to be hoped that those that remain may soon share the same fate.

Bachelors Walk is quite modern. Prior to 1870 it was only a narrow path bordered on both sides by trees, and connecting Railway Street with Antrim Street. As its name denotes, it was a favourite promenade with young men and maidens amorously inclined.

Such are a few of the outstanding features of our town that catch the eye in looking over these old maps of a bygone day and generation.

Next Week -- Dublin Road School.

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 6 December 1918 as part of a series which ran in that paper each week for several years. The text along with other extracts can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.)

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Black Ribbon and A Famous Lisburn Murder


-- -- -- --
 Edited by JAMES CARSON. 
-- -- -- --


-- -- -- --


From "Pearson's Magazine," May, 1907.

Of the strange old legends told of the early days of many of our historic houses, most have come down to us with such obvious additions and exaggerations as to make them, though always interesting, quite incredible. But of the Beresford ghost short, hereafter narrated, this is not so. Alter a lapse of over two centuries, it remains one of the few true ghost stories incapable of any material explanation; special value attaches to the present version of the story, as it has been compiled from the family records, and authenticated by the present representative of the family, the Marquis of Waterford.

The Irish Beresfords are a family of great antiquity. Among their family portraits is one of a certain Lady Beresford, clad in the picturesque dress of the latter part of the seventeenth century, and wearing round her right wrist a broad band of black ribbon.

Thereby hangs the following story:--

In the month of October, 1693, Sir Tristram and Lady Beresford, of Curraghmore, were the guests of Lady Macgill, at

Gill Hall, Dromore, County Down,

the present seat of Lord Clanwilliam.

One morning Sir Tristram awoke early and went out for a long walk before breakfast, leaving Lady Beresford still asleep in bed.

On his return the family sat down to breakfast. Lady Beresford was still absent, and as the meal progressed Sir Tristram became anxious, and a servant was sent in search of her. Presently she entered the dining-room, showing plainly by her looks and manner that something serious had happened.

Sir Tristram inquired the cause of her agitation, and then, noticing that she was broad piece of ribbon bound tightly round her right wrist, he asked anxiously whether she had met with an accident.

Lady Beresford begged him in an undertone not to make any remarks about the ribbon, adding in a vehement whisper, "You will never see me without it again."

"Very well," said Sir Tristram, "since it is a secret then I will make no more inquiries about it."

Lady Beresford then asked whether any letters had arrived for her, and Sir Tristram asked her if she had any particular reason for so doing.

"Yes," she replied, "it is because I am expecting to hear of the death of Lord Tyrone, which took place on Tuesday last."

As Lord Tyrone, who was a family friend, was then supposed to be in his usual health, Sir Tristram at once concluded that his lady had had a bad dream, which had evidently preyed upon her mind. At that moment, however, a letter with a black seal was handed to Sir Tristram, and the moment Lady Beresford saw it she exclaimed, "it is to say he is dead!"

The letter, which was from Lord Tyrone's steward, was indeed found to contain the sad news of his lordship's death. Lady Beresford, although greatly grieved, declared she felt almost relieved for now she knew the worst. She then informed her husband that the child that was soon to be born to her would be a boy, a fact of which she said she felt quite as certain as she had done respecting the news about Lord Tyrone.

In the following July a son was born, and about six years afterwards Sir Tristram Beresford died. Lady Beresford then withdrew herself from society, and taking her two children with her, retired to one of the family seats in County Derry, where she proceeded to lead a simple country life of secluded calm.

Among her neighbours were some connections of the family, a Mr and Mrs. Jackson, who had a house at Coleraine. Mrs. Jackson had been formerly a Miss Gorges, daughter of Dr. Robert Gorges, and her brother, Richard Gorges, often stayed with her. While on one of these visits to her sister he promptly fell in love with the still young and comely Lady Beresford, and in 1704 they were married.

The marriage turned out an exceedingly unhappy one. Two sons and a daughter were born to the ill-assorted couple, but soon after the birth of the second son they parted. Through all these years Lady still wore the band of black ribbon round her wrist, and no eye ever beheld her without it.

When Sir Marcus Beresford, her eldest son, was a lad of about twenty, his mother invited him, and also her daughter, Lady Riverstone, to be present at some celebration in honour of her birthday. Dr. King, the Archbishop of Dublin, and an old clergyman who had christened Lady Beresford, were also present. The latter was specially honoured by his hostess, and in the course of conversation she said to him: "You know I am forty-eight today."

"Nay," he replied, "I can assure your ladyship that you are only forty-seven."

"Then," said Lady Beresford, "you have signed my death-warrant. Send my son and daughter to me immediately, for I have much to do before I prepare for death."

When alone with her two children, Lady Beresford told them that she had something of great importance to communicate to them, and forthwith proceeded to disclose the mystery of the black ribbon by relating the following weird story.

She and Lord Tyrone, she said, had been educated together as children, and the greatest sympathy and love ever existed between them. They were both brought up as Deists, but had strong leanings towards Christianity, and being greatly doubtful and perplexed, they made a solemn promise that whichever died first should, if permitted, appear to the other to declare which religion was more acceptable to God.

One night, she went on, as she was sleeping in her bed at Gill Hall, near Dromore, County Down, she suddenly awoke and saw Lord Tyrone standing by her bedside. Terribly frightened, she was about to scream and awaken her husband, but at last she found courage to address him.

"Tell me why are you here at this hour of the night?"

"Have you forgotten our compact, pledged to one another years ago?" he replied "I am allowed thus to appear to tell you that the Christian religion is the one by which you will be saved."

The ghost then informed her that she would be blessed with a long-wished-for son, that she would survive her husband and marry a second time, and that she would die at the age of forty-seven. "I myself," he added, "died on Tuesday at four o'clock."

Lady Beresford then begged the apparition to give her some sign so that in the morning she might know the whole episode had not been a dream.

"Reach out your hand," said the spirit.

Lady Beresford did so, whereupon he laid his hand, which was cold, like marble, heavily upon her wrist. Immediately the nerves withered and the sinews shrank, leaving a broad red scar.

Next morning Lady Beresford bound her wrist with black ribbon, and as time went on all the prophecies were fulfilled in a most remarkable manner, except, apparently, that of her death, for she was congratulating herself that she had passed her fatal forty-seventh birthday, when the old clergyman disillusioned her by informing her that she was really only forty-seven at present.

Lady Beresford added that she wished her son and daughter to untie the piece of black ribbon after she was dead. They left her quite calm and about to sleep, but an hour later her bell rang hastily, and all was over.

Before she was put in her coffin, however, Sir Marcus Beresford and Lady Riverstone knelt solemnly by her bedside and removed the black ribbon as they had promised. They found the wrist marked and scarred exactly as their mother had described.

-- -- -- -- -- -- --

The Rev. Classon Porter, in his article "Witches, Warlocks, and Ghosts," reprinted from the "Northern Whig," 1885, gives a lengthy and detailed account of the Lord Tyrone ghost story. He states that when Lady Beresford asked the spirit to prove to her by some physical act that the vision apparently before her was real and not a phantom of her brain, the figure drew aside the curtains of the bed, and also wrote a few words in her pocketbook, which was lying on the table. Even this did not satisfy Lady Beresford, when the spirit asked her to hold out her arm, with the result as detailed above.

The article also contained an account of the Islandmagee Witches; Dr. Colville, Galgorm, Ballymena, and the Evil One; and the Haddock Ghost Story, investigated and certified by Bishop Jeremy Taylor.

The Rev. Classon Porter was minister of the Unitarian Church at Larne. Born 1814, died 1885. He wrote at considerable length on Presbyterian Church history and biography. His articles, "Jeremy Taylor at Portmore, before he became Bishop," and "Bishop Taylor at Portmore and the Neighbourhood" are interesting and valuable.

-- -- -- -- -- -- --


(From the "Northern Whig.")

In Lisburn in 1813 there lived a baker named Adam Sloan, and among his employees was one Barney M'Cann (paid, it may be remarked incidentally, 6s 6d a week), a slight slip of an active lad, who had previously worked in Dromore and who was a native of Newtownhamilton. He was, as they, say, a bit of a playboy -- we do not get much money but we do see life -- and the Maze Races coming on, he duly went to the Maze.

But not alone.

He had found a fellow-townsman, Owen M'Adam, a cattle and horse dealer, who had got a sheaf of notes, a pony that would carry him from Belfast to Dundalk in less than a day, a very peculiar watch, and a great deal more drink than was good for him.

They had no doubt a pleasant day and a pleasant return to Lisburn, and M'Adam then thought that he would go about his business.

In the evening he mounted his famous pony, and, accompanied by M'Cann, passed on towards Hillsborough. They were seen together in many public-houses. In one M'Adam pulled out his sheaf of notes, in another his watch, whose dial was extraordinary in that it had the figures of four soldiers on it. At the Warren gate, Blaris, they stopped at yet another spirit shop to get half a pint of whisky, and when the proprietor objected that M'Adam had had enough, M'Cann replied that it would only sober him. The last that was seen of them was that instead of taking the coach road to Hillsborough they went up the banks of the Lagan.

Nothing more was heard of the traveller for a day or two, when some lightermen found a body near the edge of the water. It seemed at first the victim of an accident, but when the medical evidence showed that the man had been strangled or choked before the boy was thrown into the water; when there was no watch, no money, and no pony; it was seen to be the victim not of accident but of murder, and people began to ask where was M'Cann.

Where was M'Cann? He had come quietly back to Lisburn, and, telling his master that he had got a better job in Dromore, took his clothing and all he owned and as quietly moved on.

Meanwhile the inquest was held, a verdict of wilful murder returned against M'Cann, a warrant issued for his arrest, and the police -- such police as they had in those days -- put in pursuit. For a time they could find his traces. Here a man sold a watch whose dial had four soldiers on it. There a man left a pony to be called for later. M'Cann was known to have a hairy cap -- a leather cap half-covered with rabbit skin -- and they arrested every man with such a cap, but none of them covered the head of M'Cann. So the days passed, the weeks and months, and M'Can had utterly disappeared.

It is an object lesson on the difference that modern means of communication have made. Dr. Crippen might well have envied his predecessor.

Ten years afterwards he was discovered. Not near Lisburn but in Galway, not a baker but a butcher, not a stripling youth but a man of seventeen stone, no longer with 6s 6d a week but with 28 acres of land and £1,500 in the bank, with a wife and five children, and, it appears, the respect and even affection of the people of Galway.

Who discovered him does not appear in the evidence.

The story runs that it was a tinker or pedlar, one of those peripatetics who scour the country and know everybody and everybody's business better than they do themselves. As he was passing down William Street, Galway, the butcher began to chaff him about the purchase of a joint, one word leading on to another till "How do you come to be trading in twigs?" said the butcher; "it's in hemp you ought to be dealing." Then something jogged the pedlar's memory. "If every man got his due," said he, "more nor me would be dealing in hemp, Mr. M'Cann." There is a very suspicious ring about that story. It is rather too neat.

Anyhow, James Hughes was denounced as Barney M'Cann, and Mr. James Burke, the Mayor of Galway, arrested him.

The story goes that he asked M'Cann into his parlour, where he had a file of soldiers, but that is nonsense. He in reality went to the meat market, told M'Cann that he had a very nasty charge against him, and invited him to explain it.

Then Mr. John Reilly, J.P., brother of Mr. William E. Reilly, agent for the Marquis of Downshire, also came into the hearing. Hughes insisted that he was Hughes, and denied that he was M'Cann. He consequently denied that he was a native of Newtownhamilton. He came from Dungannon, he said; but he did not know the name of Northland or Knox, of any magistrate, the parish priest or clergyman, or even of the innkeeper; and he further remarked that even if he had been drinking with M'Adam nobody could prove that he murdered him.

Tried at Downpatrick, the evidence against him was overwhelming.

Unlike the Tichborne claimant, M'Cann could not find anyone who knew him as Hughes before 1813, and even those he produced as witnesses could only swear he was M'Cann.

The verdict was never in doubt, and the judge speedily pronounced the savage verdict of those days:-- "You shall be removed from where you stand to the place from whence you came, the common gaol, there heavily ironed and placed in solitary confinement until the day of your execution. You shall then have your irons struck off and be taken to the place where criminals are usually executed, and there be hanged by the neck until you are dead, and may the Eternal and Omnipotent God have mercy on your soul. And after you are dead your body to he taken to the County Infirmary, there to be dissected and anatomised. The sentence to be carried into execution on Thursday."

This, be it noted, was Wednesday. Prisoner called for a "long day" -- a term forgotten now, a longer respite between sentence and execution -- but it was refused.

The next day dawned, and at twenty minutes to two in the afternoon M'Cann appeared on the scaffold in front of the gaol before a multitude of people. He acknowledged his guilt, he prayed for ten minutes, pulled the cap over his face, and stood calmly to he pinioned. Suddenly the trap was shot, and M'Cann fell; not to his instant death. Under his great weight the rope snapped and he fell twenty feet to the ground. He lit on his feet, but pinioned as he was, collapsed on his back and the soldiers, we read, "with rapid humanity" carried him within the gaol gates. In a few minutes he sat upright upon his own coffin and asked for a drink of water.

There are two stories of what happened then, the penny plain and the twopence coloured. According to the first he cried "My life's my own," for there was a common and rooted idea that such an accident was equivalent to an execution. In the second version, "I have been sentenced to be hanged," he said, "and I have been hanged. We hare satisfied the law's requirements and I suppose I may go."

"Oh, no," replied the sheriff. "It is true that you have been hanged, but it is also true that my orders are to hang you by the neck till you are dead."

Real or apocryphal as that may be, it is a fact that M'Cann remained sitting on his own coffin for an hour and a half. Then he walked steadily again to the scaffold, appearing more afraid of another fall than of his death. This time there was no accident, and soon, with an escort of the 77th Dragoons, his corpse was on its way to be dissected and anatomised.

He was executed at Downpatrick on July 29th, 1823.

(Next week: Some Old Maps.)

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 29 November 1918 as part of a series which ran in that paper each week for several years. The text along with other extracts can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.)

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Christ Church and the UVF in Lisburn


-- -- -- --
 Edited by JAMES CARSON. 
-- -- -- --


-- -- -- --


The Parish of Lisburn, alias Blaris, covers a wide area, and contains a large Church of Ireland population, and prior to the year 1843 the Cathedral was the only place of worship for those of that persuasion.

In the year 1843 it was felt that an additional church was required to provide for the spiritual wants of the people, and accordingly a site was obtained on the Dublin Road and a church was erected as a parochial chapel of ease or district church to the Cathedral, and designated by the name of "Christ's Church, Lisburn."

The first incumbent of Christ Church was the Rev. John Nash Griffin, who was appointed in the year 1842, and continued in the position about three years, when he was succeeded by the Rev. J. Hudson in 1845, but that clergyman remained only a very short time, as the Rev. Hartley Hodson (a former curate of the neighbouring parish of Derriaghy) became incumbent in the year 1846, and continued in charge of the parish for seventeen years -- 1846-1863 -- when the Rev. W. D. Pounden was appointed, and ministered for the long period of twenty-one years -- 1863-1884.

During the incumbency of the Rev. Hartley Hudson a wave of religious fervour spread over the country, especially in Ulster, known as the Revival of 1859, and as an outcome the congregation determined to enlarge the church so as to accommodate the growing number of parishioners, with the result that the two transepts and gallery were erected.

In 1874 the Nicholson aisle was added. A brass tablet commemorating the building was placed in the south side of the aisle, and reads as follows:-- "October31st, 1874. For the glory of God and remembrance of Mrs. Clare Nicholson, long a constant worshipper in this church, and a munificent supporter of its charities this memorial aisle is raised by friends who knew and felt her work. She fell asleep February 17th, 1874. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord."

Mrs. Nicholson was the mother of Brigadier-General John Nicholson, the victor of Delhi.

The Rev. Geo. Chamberlain was appointed incumbent in 1884, Rev. A. J. Moore 1886, Rev. J. J. Peacock 19896, Rev. R. Ussher Greer, 1902, Rev. R. H. S. Cooper 1912.

Memorial Tablets in the Church.

In memory of James Bolton, Commander R.N., "one of the earliest and most energetic promoters of the interests of this church." Died 1867, aged 72 years.

In memory of Eliza Matilda, wife of James B. Whitla, of Lisburn, Captain 88th Regiment Connaught Rangers, who died in Manitoba, 1899.

Robert Crawford, J.P., Lissue, Captain 86th Regiment of Foot, died 1848.

St. Clair Kelburne Mulholland, Eglantine, died 1872.

Memorial Windows.

Major T. R. Johnson Smyth, 1st Durham L.I. Killed in action at Vaal Krantz, Natal, 1900.

Ensign Robert Smith, 38th Regiment, accidentally drowned in the Punjaub, India, 1868, aged 20 years.

Brevet-Major Stuart Smith, R.A., killed in battle, Isandhula, Zululand, 1879, aged 34 years.

Erected by their mother, Henrietta, wife of Rev. Stuart Smith, Co. Cavan, and daughter of William Graham, Lisburn.

The Nicholson Memorial School, adjoining Christ Church, was built in 1864 by Mrs. Nicholson in memory of her children. Her illustrious son, Brigadier-General John Nicholson, of Indian fame, who fell at Delhi, September 23rd, 1857, aged 34 years, and three of his brothers, all died in India.

On the front of the building is a memorial tablet bearing date 1864:-- "Erected for a Sunday School by Mrs. Nicholson, in memory of her children, James, Alexander, William, John, Lily, Charles."

Inside the school is a tablet:-- "The Nicholson Memorial School House, erected by Mrs. Nicholson in memory of her six children."

-- -- -- -- -- -- --


or, as it was more generally known, the U.V.F., was actively engaged during 1913 and 1914 in drilling and preparing to resist, if necessary by force, the imposition of Home rule on the Imperial Province. The Lisburn contingent -- 1st Battalion South Antrim Regiment -- was commanded by Adam P. Jenkins -- later Major Jenkins, wounded at Thiepval, and for several months a prisoner in Germany -- and numbered about 800 men. Their drill hall was a large shed in Graham Gardens, now occupied by Messrs. Donaghy as a boot and shoe factory, and afterwards in Sprucefield Mill.

On the night of Friday, April 24, 1914, the "Mountjoy" made Larne harbour and discharged her cargo of rifles and ammunition. Hundreds of motor cars and motor lorries were in readiness, and these distributed the munitions all over Ulster before breakfast-time the next morning.

On Friday evening about 7-30 the mill horns in Lisburn hooted their loudest; at the signal the Volunteers hastily donned their equipment and made for the rendezvous on the Belfast Road, closely followed by the constabulary. E. A. Sinton took command, Major Jenkins having gone earlier in the evening to Larne. The force formed up on the Belfast Road [--?--] "Woodlands," and detachments sent out to Derriaghy, Lambeg, Hilden, and other places in the vicinity, where the men were occupied practically the whole night, with the exception of the officers knowing nothing whatever of the important work in progress on the other side of the town.

About 11 o'clock James Carson, in charge of a small body of specially-picked men, proceeded quietly in the direction of Pond Park, on the Stoneyford Road, having previously despatched men to arranged positions on the Moira Road, at Troopersfield, and at Stoneyford, to await the arrival of the cars from Larne and assist in disposing of the munitions.

The long, anxious night wore through. About five o'clock -- even then there was little sign of the dawn -- far up at a break in the Stoneyford hills the weary watchers at Pond Park saw the reflection of light in the sky, a few moments after the headlights of motor cars came into view, and soon some half-dozen cars, heavily laden, drew alongside. With a sigh of relief the waiting men cried, "Thank God all has gone well," and from the cars, through the crisp morning air, came the cheery reply: "Yes, all has gone well; look out for the Lisburn motors, they are close behind," and away into the ghostly morning light sped the cars on their way to their destination at Dunmurry. Soon afterwards, through the stillness and quiet of the morning, far up the mountain side was heard the thunder of the first heavy Lisburn motor approaching, laden with equipment for almost half a battalion. For a moment only it delayed, while Major Jenkins, who was in charge, delivered a despatch which was at once forwarded by motor cycle to Mr. Sinton on the Belfast Road, instructing him to call in all his outposts and dismiss the battalion. It was only on Saturday evening, when the papers appeared, that the men understood what their night's vigil meant, and that they had been used as a decoy on the Belfast Road.

It was almost an hour after Major Jenkins passed when the second motor arrived in charge of J. C. Gowan.

George Duncan was in charge of a motor conveying munitions to Ballinderry. His experience was rather interesting. They lost their way, and on a lonely byroad reached a hill that the motor, with its heavy load, could not climb. Mr. Duncan and the driver unloaded in the dark at the foot of the hill half the rifles, ran the remainder of the load up to the top, unloaded it there, returned to the foot of the hill for the half they had jettisoned, and after loading up again proceeded cheerfully on their journey.

Mr. C. C. Craig, M.P., afterwards Captain Craig, wounded at Thiepval and for almost two years a prisoner in Germany, tells how when waiting at Ballinderry Corner for the arrival of Mr. Duncan and others he grew anxious as the night wore on. Then just as the first grey of dawn was tinging the sky he saw, far away on the long, straight stretch of road down which the "gun-runners" must come, the headlights of a car, then another, and another, and another, then scores and scores of them, till the long road was covered with moving lights and the air filled with the singing and cheering of men as the cars sped on with their freights for Monaghan, Armagh, Tyrone, and Fermanagh.

The Lisburn rifles were received and hidden away towards the end of April, 1918/ [--?--] June they were taken out of their hiding-places and stored publicly in an armoury, fitted up in a disused church in Antrim Street. This church was situate on the left-hand side of the street, advancing from the railway bridge, a short distance from the end of Bachelors' Walk in the Bow Street direction, with its rere abutting on M'Keown Street. An armed guard was always maintained on the premises. From this time forward the battalion when out marching or drilling drew the guns from the armoury, returning them again at the close of operations. As the days passed matters political became more acute and threatening, and it was believed a final crisis had arrived, when out of the blue, early in August, the thunderclouds of war broke over Europe. The call of Empire did not sound in vain in the ears of the men of Ulster. They were prepared to fight for their homes and rights at home. When the call came they were also prepared to forget past slights, past wrongs, past injustice, and to remember only that the Empire was in danger, and that the flag they loved called to them to come. Within three months after the opening of hostilities the Ulster Volunteer Force had practically ceased to exist. The vast majority of the young and fit had answered the call to arms. Many U.V.F. officers over military age joined up in order to set an example to the men. Only the old and unfit and a small residue of others were left.

The armoury was dismantled and the arms again secreted. In 1918 they were -- well, it is rather soon after the event to say where they are now; that may be left to some future historian to disclose.

(Next week: The Black Ribbon.)

(This article was originally published in the Lisburn Standard on 22 November 1918 as part of a series which ran in that paper each week for several years. The text along with other extracts can be found on my website Eddies Extracts.)