Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Oul Irish Fire Brigade

'Twas a stormy winter evenin' at the back en' o' the year.
We were sittin' at the station, smokin pipes and dhrinkin' beer.
When a telephone message came along the private wire.
That the Fire Brigade was wanted for the village was on fire.

So we begged a box o' matches, an the engine fires we lit,
An' we had a glass o' whisky when the wather boiled a bit.
We borrowed Mickey's oul blind horse that didn't shy at light.
An' well within three hours we'd set out, the flames to fight.

Now, Mickey's was an oul'ish horse, and sure he's quite forgot.
The way a horse should gallop, an' he'd never learned to trot;
He had a funny gait with him, an action all his own.
'Twas somethin' between walkin' slow, an' leavin' it alone.

That's how he went on level groun', but when he had to clim',
Av coorse we all got out to help the craythur ivery time;
We used to tie him on behin' when goin' down a hill,
For fear we overtook him. He was best at standin' still.

That's why at fires we always sent a lad in front to say
They might expect us any time, for we were on our way,
We hadn't got far on our way when we shouted out "Bedad.
It's Mrs Dooley's shanty, an' the chimney's smokin' bad."

An' Mrs Dooley, decent sowl, was stannin' at the door;
We swore we'd save the woman's life, if we could do no more.
We didn't go inside for fear the smoke would make us cough,
But we showered on Mrs Dooley till we pumped the water off.

Then Mrs Dooley disappeared she hasn't since been found.
An' some there are who'll tell ye they believe that she was dhrowned.
But we played upon her shanty till we'd washed it clean away.
An' where the pigsty used to be there is a lake this day.

We called on Pat O'Rafferty, an' foun' the boy in bed.
So we woke him up and toul' him he was just as good as dead.
An' he clim'd out o' the windae though he hadnt much to wear.
An' then shinned down the wather spout, while we came down the stair.

By this the population was awake, and cryin' out like mad,
An' throwin' out the windaes ivery blissed thing they had;
'Twas risky work for us below, but with undaunted heart
We picked them up an' hid them safe inside the salvage cart.

There were people sittin' on the roofs o' ivery house in town.
An' so we threw up ropes to them, an' then we pulled them down.
We dived into the cellars: we were boys that knew no fear,
An' we saved ten jars o' whisky an' a cask o' bitter beer.

Then when we reached the lawyer's house he asked us for a match.
Because he was insured an' feared it mightn't catch;
But he wouldn't stan' us anything, and so we hung about
Till he got the fire well alight, an' then we washed it out.

An' then we tried the public house, though it hadn't got alight,
But we went inside the tap-room tae be there in case it might.
They said there was no danger, but we thought at any rate
As precautionary measure that we'd play upon the slate.

So when we'd washed the slate quite clean, an' wiped off all the score,
We spent the night in dhrinkin' there an' runnin up some more:
An' when the score we're running' now has got a little higher,
Well bring the engine roun' again an' have another fire.

While the origin of this rhyme is uncertain it relates to a time when the town commissioners of any sizeable place in Ireland had their own part-time brigade. The horse-drawn vehicles would have had hand pumps. And their crews would often have been the butt of ridicule.

Image: Ballymena steam fire engine and horse drawn manual engine with fire crews. 1908. Any similarity is not intended.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Newry Church Lads' Brigade 1900

Five Years' Service in the Church Lads' Brigade.

By J. H. R.

THE Church Lads' Brigade is an Incorporated Society numbering about 50,000 members, in all parts of the world, and having for its object "the Advancement of Christ's Kingdom among Lads of all classes."

By means of a military discipline and drill, extending if possible over five or six years (or from thirteen to nineteen years of age), it teaches lads to be obedient, punctual, cleanly, and smart. By encouraging healthy and manly exercise it improves their physical condition, and by enforcing attendance at Sunday School and through the teaching of its chaplains, it aspires to lead them to be true Christians. Ends such as these, it is evident, cannot be attained suddenly -- quite the reverse -- the lessons which the Brigade teaches are learnt almost insensibly, and it must be so, if they are to form a part of what is known as one's character; indeed, in the fact that the Brigade is an environment which enters into the daily life of its members, lies its great strength.

During a year about a hundred ordinary parades are held, besides numerous football matches, social club meetings, and drill competitions, with perhaps a week's camp, so that a considerable amount of a member's time is spent in the Brigade, its influence being steadily brought to bear on him till in time its principles become his principles, and its ideals his ideals.

What, then, are the potent influences of the Church Lads' Brigade System? Briefly, Example, Esprit de Corps, and Emulation. Since there is no means of punishment, there are practically no commands; therefore obedience is voluntary; but it would be a mistake to suppose that everything a member is asked to do is pleasant. Frequently he has to undertake duties which are most distasteful. Why, then, does he perform them? If he be a private, probably from force of an example set or from force of habit. If a corporal, sergeant or lieutenant, because it is his privilege to set that example. In the same way habits of cleanliness, punctuality, and smartness are acquired. Much care is taken to cultivate an esprit de corps such as exists among the regiments of the army. Each lad is taught to remember that he is a member first of the great society called the Church Lads' Brigade, and must endeavour to be a credit to it and its uniform, and next by individual good conduct, smart appearance, obedience, and proficiency in drill, he must help to make his company the best in his district.

As all promotion is for good conduct, good drill, good attendance, good character, a healthy spirit of rivalry exists -- each private aspires to be a sergeant, and knows that his promotion depends upon himself; and drill and gymnastic competitions are also frequent, and prizes given, and in these classes there is always keen competition.

It is just five years since the local company of the Church Lads' Brigade was enrolled. During that time many changes have occurred, both in the number and ranks of its members. It is very gratifying, however, to note that of the first six privates enrolled, three now hold the rank of lieutenant, and one of sergeant. The predictions of the then officers with regard to one of those privates were not destined to be fulfilled. "He'll not stay long," said one. " If he does, we'll have nothing but trouble," said another. And at first the lad was troublesome. Slowly, however, he became interested, attended regularly, became steadier, and was made corporal. Since then, by steady stages, he has risen to his present rank -- a good example of the result of five years' service; and only by such lengthened service can lasting and real effect be produced. It is folly to suppose that if a lad is cleaned up and supplied with a cap, belt, and haversack, he is reformed; such a result can only be attained after some years of continuous and careful training.

Such, then, are the benefits a lad may derive from five years' service in the Church Lads' Brigade.

This article was originally published in "The Open Window Illustrated - Literary Annual and Year Book of Local Annals" in 1900 which was centred on the Newry area. 

Newry Catholic Boys' Brigade (1900)


SINCE The Open Window was last published many changes and innovations have occurred, and in this "changing of the old order to give place to new," none is more striking than that presented by the Catholic Boys' Brigade. The brigade was started only six months ago, and what are the results? To-day we find 600 Newry boys banded together in a voluntary association for their moral and physical improvement, amenable to discipline, subject to the orders of their superior officers, and in possession of all the advantages, educational as well as recreative, that could be conferred by a great public school. The Brigade has fife, drum and bugle bands, and an orchestra consisting of three first and two second violins, cello, cornet, piccolo, and concert-flute. Vocal and instrumental contests are held, and every Wednesday night is devoted to amusement, while to vary the programme a Christy Minstrel troupe has been organised, and will give performances throughout the winter.

"Church-parade" of the C. B. B. is already a recognised local function, and is apparently as keen a delight to our townspeople as the old-established Military Service of Sunday. Dressed in their smart uniform (sashes of St. Patrick's blue, and forage-caps banded with the same shade), headed by their bands, they march to the Pro-Cathedral, Hill street, where a special service is held for them. Here it may be mentioned that total abstinence and a monthly approach to the Sacraments are the most stringent rules of the Brigade.

The steps that have been taken to secure for Newry the benefits accruing under the Technical Instruction Act render it reasonably hopeful that the rising generation, through the influences of the Brigade, will be found equipped for the introduction of new industries and all the higher grade systems of trade.

Signal success has marked the efforts in connection with fife, drum and bugle bands, and while every praise is due to the training and tuitional expertness of the conductors (Mr. T. Ruddy and Mr. M. McGuill), no small share must fall to the individual musical aptitude of the boys. Mr. Ennis, too, who is the physical drill instructor, is to be congratulated both on the efficiency of his methods and on the ability of his numerous pupils.

Altogether the C. B. B. presents an object lesson well worthy of imitation, and all the success of the undertaking, its initiation, its working and influences for good are to be ascribed to the unwearying efforts of the president, the Rev. Father E. M'Givern.

This article was originally published in "The Open Window Illustrated - Literary Annual and Year Book of Local Annals" in 1900 which was centred on the Newry area. 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Empress of Ireland: Survivors Experiences




Desperate Fights for Life

Glasgow, Tuesday. -- The Allan liner Corsican berthed in the Princes Dock, Glasgow, at four o'clock this morning, bringing the surviving members of the crew of the ill-fated Empress of Ireland, and also a number of her passengers. Arrangements had been made for boarding the ship off Greenock at eleven o'clock last night, but an official intimation that she was likely to appear off the Tail of the Bank at least two hours earlier caused many persons, including a strong force of newspaper representatives, to hasten down to Greenock. They were grievously disappointed, as it was half an hour after midnight before the Corsican hove in sight, and there was a scramble to board her from a tug. Her captain feared to lose the tide, and so the steamer merely slowed down for an instant, and then passed on to her destination.

The passengers most sought after were in bed, and the sailors who had been saved from the Empress of Ireland were not to be approached until after berthing, but between midnight and 4 a.m. the representatives of the Board of Trade had appealed, and after the Corsican had cast off her tugs inquisitive persons were informed that an official inquiry was proceeding. A rumour had spread at Greenock that the survivors amongst the seamen were to be represented by one of their number, who would make a statement for publication, but it transpired on the authority of an official that no such arrangement had been contemplated. A pledge was also exacted that no attempt should be made to approach the passengers until a certain time had elapsed.


One pathetic incident marked the arrival of the Corsican. A Mr. Newton, of Southport, travelled to Greenock with a sister-in-law, who had a brother, Mr. J. W. Furness, first violinist on the wrecked vessel. This lady, Miss Furness, went alongside on the tug, but was not permitted to board the Corsican. In the list of saved there had appeared the name of Furness, but with different initials from those of her brother, and the relatives had journeyed down from Lancashire in the hope that the initials had been wrongly printed, and that the musician was aboard the Allan liner now nearing port. Miss Furness remained on the deck of the tug until it had piloted the Corsican into dock, and Mr. Newton signalled from the steamer that their hopes WW* but ill-founded. Miss Furness, realising the worst had happened, became prostrate with grief, and received many expressions of sympathy.

Mr. Furness was formerly a ship's bandmaster, but coming home from a trip and finding his aged mother at the point of death he elected not to sail on the outward voyage. His ship left the United Kingdom without him, and his agents then offered him the position of first violinist on the Empress of Ireland. This he accepted. His father, now old and infirm, was in an agony of suspense awaiting the news which his daughter and son-in-law had to take him from Glasgow as to the result of their quest.

There was a scene of greet activity on board the Corsican after she had docked, and much of this was due to the distribution by Allan line officials of a complete kit to the rescued seamen and passengers, the latter of whom were all third-class.


Mr. A. Heller, a passenger of Austrian Extraction, but a naturalised American citizen, recently living in Toronto, in the course of a conversation aboard the Corsican, stated that he was in the habit of making monthly journeys to this country. "I was," he said, "in the steerage of the Empress of Ireland, and there were three others occupying the same cabin. I was sleeping at the moment of the collision with the Storstad, and was awaked by one of my three companions. We all immediately left the cabin to get up the companion-way to the deck, but so great was the list in the ship at that time, and so unsteady was her movement, that I slipped back three times. I was wearing a shirt and pants only. Eventually, and with some difficulty, I managed to get to the deck when the ship was heeling over, and it was next to impossible for me to keep my feet. I went towards the lifeboats, but there was scarcely time to swing them free of the davits owing to the rapidity with which the ship was settling down. The man who awoke me was, I regret to say, among the drowned. There were a good many people out of their berths, including women and children.

"I slid down pretty nearly to the water's edge and then dived. I am a good swimmer, and I was anxious to get away from the ship, as one of her funnels was apparently hanging over. At the instant of my throwing myself into the water women were screaming and clinging to all sorts of floating gear. Some passengers were rolling into the sea, as the decks were getting well-nigh perpendicular. I had just got clear when the Empress of Ireland disappeared. Everything then became quiet. It was after I had been keeping afloat for twenty-five minutes that I was picked up by a boat. There were twenty-six members of the crew in that boat, and there was room for eight or ten more occupants."


The British survivors are --

Mr. S. C. Furness and Mr. G. Dransfield (Liverpool).
Mr. W. G. Bevan (Swansea).
Mr. C. Bristow and Mr. C. H. Bristow (Leeds).
Mr. Martin Gill (Belfast).
Mr. G. C. Kirtley (West Hartlepool).

With the exception of Mrs. Kirkley, all the Britishers declined to make statements. Mrs. Kirkley told a short but graphic story of how she escaped. The lady was in charge of a nurse on the Corsican, but she had sufficiently recovered from her terrible shock to be able to relate her thrilling experience. Mrs. Kirkley is a good swimmer, and to that she owes the fact of the almost miraculous circumstance of being alive to-day.


She stated -- "As soon as I realised the danger I ran from my cabin to the deck. It was a matter of no little difficulty, too, as the ship almost immediately lurching upon its side, I could not get at a boat, and saw the only chance was to dive and trust to my swimming capacity and luck. When the rail of the ship was near the water's edge I dived, and went no considerable distance under. Striking upwards I got to the surface, when I saw several people around me floundering about and moaning and shrieking. Then a man who was in almost a state of collapse caught hold of me when I was approaching a boat. I was by this time fast becoming exhausted, especially as the man clung to me like grim death, and try as I would I could not get him to release his grip.

"With a supreme effort I managed to clutch the boat after having been in the water a few minutes; then I threw one of my legs over the side of the boat rail, but the man still clung to me. To save myself, for it was my only possible chance, I shook the man off. With a cry he sank, and that was the last I saw of him. I could do no other. My strength was fast going, and had I not acted as I did I should have dropped back into the sea and been lost." Mrs. Kirtley is a lady of about thirty-five and of fairly robust build.

The arrival of the Corsican was expected, and even at that early hour many people assembled outside the shed of the dock where she was berthed in the hope of getting a glimpse of the survivors. The sailors on the river cheered.

The stewardess of the Empress told how, when she heard the crash, she made for the upturned side of the ship, slipped down the deck, and dived just as the vessel was about to sink. "I can only remember," she added, "someone catching hold of me, and I woke up safe on board the Storstad.

Soon after reaching Glasgow the Continental survivors entrained for Grimsby en route to Hamburg, the Empress passengers for their respective destinations, and the majority of the crew for Liverpool.

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



The Allan liner Alsatian arrived at Liverpool yesterday with a large number of survivors from the Empress of Ireland. Among them were six first-class passengers, six second-class, and thirty-five steerage, the latter nearly all foreigners. There were also on board 106 stewards, fifteen deck hands, and five members of the engine-room staff of the ill-fated liner.

The Alsatian also brought home nine bodies of victims -- namely, Chief Officer Steede, Storekeeper Wildman, Miss Biddlel, stewardess, and six foreigners.

A large number of relatives and friends of the members of the crew proceeded down the Mersey on a tender to meet the liner. There were loud cheers as the survivors were recognised, and when they landed there were many affecting scenes.


The survivors aboard the Alsatian presented a curious spectacle, and some of their relatives experienced difficulty in recognising them. They were attired in all kinds of suits, and many of then seemed to have had complete new rig-outs. When the survivors met their relatives in the waiting-room at the landing stage the joy of reunion in many cases was almost hysterical. The woman flung themselves sobbing into their husband's arms, and the children cried with delight as they held their fathers by the hand.

One pale-faced woman was almost smothered with kisses by her husband. She had given birth to a baby boy fourteen days before the disaster. At first her husband was reported drowned, and the woman had almost given up life and hope when she received a cablegram announcing that he was saved.


Tipperary Man's Narrative

Mr J. D. Langley, of Tipperary, a second class passenger aboard the Empress of Ireland, told a graphic story on landing. He said that on reaching the doors to that deck he found they were closed. Some people who were trying to get out declared they were jammed. He volunteered to try and clamber through a port hole to open the door, but stuck when half-way through. He, however, managed to wriggle through, and tried to open the door. It would not budge, and he told the people inside he must leave them. He scrambled on the railings where there was a member of the crew with a life belt on.

When the ship sank they went down with her, but came up to the surface within a few feet of each other. They kept afloat about ten minutes witnessing embarrassing scenes, but eventually came alongside an upturned lifeboat. They were pulled on that by some of those already aboard, and sat shivering there for two hours before rescued by a pilot boat.

Between them they pulled fifteen or twenty people out of the water, and watched two men with lifebelts on drown, being unable to reach them. It was hideous hearing people who were drowning call for help. He saw no women in the water, and concluded that they had been unable to leave the ship.


Mr. J. J. Lennon, of Winnipeg, said he saw a little girl in night attire lying unconscious in the water. He managed to pull her into a collapsible boat. She soon came to her senses, and asked "Where's Muvver." He told the child her mother would be all right to comfort her, and they took bar to Rimouski.


Percy Gee, a steward, said he just managed to scramble out of the boat which had rescued him when one of the lifeboats fell on it, killing and injuring several people, and smashing the boat to pieces. He was picked up by a collapsible boat after being in the water about half an hour.

Robert Crellin, of Cleator, who rescued Florrie Barber, a little girl, whose mother and sister were lost, said he fetched her from the cabin, and when the ship was sinking plunged into the water with her. He swam toward a lifeboat through bitterly cold water, which was crowded with dead and dying people. They were taken into a boat which contained over sixty people. The most terrible part of the disaster was the sight of hundreds of people struggling in the water while the boats near them were too full to take any more aboard. The water was black with heads bobbing up and down, and the cries were pitiful. He had left the child at Quebec, where there were several wealthy people desirous of adopting children who lost their parents in the disaster.

Mrs. Fanny Evinson, of Leeds, who lost her husband and baby, said in the companion way the people were fighting for their lives; bit the foreigners were the worst, as they tried to force their way on deck carrying luggage. They were all blown into the water by the explosion or rush of air, and on coming to the surface she could see nothing but the heads of people crying for mercy. She managed to keep herself afloat, although unable to swim, until she clutched the sides of the boat. Next day she learned that her husband and baby were drowned.

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



Mr. Martin Gill, a Belfast man, who is one of the survivors of the Empress of Ireland disaster, has arrived in Ireland from Glasgow, to where he travelled from Canada by the Allan liner Corsican. In the course of an interview he said that as the ill-fated liner dropped down the river he retired to his cabin, and in a short time was asleep. The next moment of consciousness came to him as the collision took place. "I awoke," he said, "at the sound of a mighty crash which was followed immediately by an indescribable sound of grinding and smashing. For m moment I was half-stunned with the noise and the concussion, but soon realised that some catastrophe had befallen the ship. I suppose the memory of the Titanic's fate suggested a collision with an iceberg, but that was the first thought that sprang to his mind. Two minutes later I was in the midst of some people scrambling for the deck. I didn't dress; in fact all the passengers I saw were in their night-clothes. The awful sound of water rushing into the ship was enough to upset the coolest of us, and I, for one, did not take time to lift anything. I had 1,500 dollars, and all my worldly possessions in the cabin, but when life depends on moving quickly, one does not think of such things. On deck I saw that another steamer had collided with the Empress. The bows of the Storstad had bitten 8ft. into the side of ship.

"I didn't wait much longer. Torrents of human beings were streaming out to the decks, and darkness added to the confusion. From the top deck of the ship I dived into the icy water, and, after what seemed an interminable period, I came again to the surface and struck out. I never considered myself a good swimmer, but I found I could swim well when I had to save my life. I swam directly away from the Empress towards the Storstad. There was a fog on the water at the time of the collision, but it suddenly lifted like a veil and I could see both vessels. I had got a hundred yards from the Empress when she foundered. I will never forget the sight as long as I live, and the moans, shrieks, and shouts are still ringing in my ears.

"I was in the water about half an hour, and had almost reached the Storstad," continued Mr. Gill, "when I was picked up by one of her lifeboats. I didn't know a single person on board, although most of the survivors have lost relatives who were traveling with them." Mr. Gill, who was supplied with clothes and passage money by the C.P.R., was asked if he were going back to Canada. "I had intended to go back," he said, "but I have not yet got over the shock of that awful night, and I may decide to remain in Ireland for the future."

This article originally appeared in The Witness 12 June 1914.

image top: Emigrants on the Empress of Ireland

The Anglo-Norman Families of Lecale in the County of Down (pt2)


Of the families whose descendants still remain, or who held property up to the middle of the seventeenth century, such as the Savages, Russells, Jordans, Audleys, Fitzsimons, with some others also of British descent, we purpose now entering into a brief memoir; for, though the subject could be greatly enlarged on, we prefer treating it with conciseness, but at the same time with the strictest accuracy.

And first of the SAVAGES; their possessions were principally in the Ardes, where they resided in their Castles of Portaferry, Ardkeen, and Ballygalgot; yet they were occasionally designated 'Lords of Leathcathail,' [Lecale,] but this was only at short intervals, when with the strong-hand they over-ran the territory, until driven back to their peninsular highlands by the yet stronger forces of the O'Neills, and finally by the Fitzgeralds. It does not, indeed, appear, that they were ever able to attain a permanent footing in Lecale, though often making claims to portions, which, even so recently as the time of Mary, the deputy St. Leger, by an order in Council dated 11 Feb. 1553, denounced, in consequence of their attempts to usurp the castle of Kilclief from the Bishop of Down and Connor. This family was the only one of British origin in the County known to have assumed an Irish name, as the great families of De Burgh, Birmingham, de Angulo, and Dexecester did in other parts of Ireland. The name adopted was "Mac Seneschall," from their so often filling the office of Seneschal of Ulster; and Harris says, they had so far degenerated as to fall into rebellion against the Crown. And here we may observe as a singular fact that, except in a very few instances, (some seven or eight,) the British settlers did not Anglicize the local denominations as they did in Louth; – the exceptions being Ballystokes before mentioned, three townlands from the Russels, two from the Jordans, two from the Audleys, and one from the Crollys; while it is still more singular that up till some forty years since, the familiar language of the "lower side of Lecale" was genuine Irish. – The family of Savage has given many distinguished officers to the service of their country, in the army as well as navy, particularly the latter. The Portaferry branch some time since changed its name to Nugent, and is now represented by Patrick John Nugent, Esq. The Ardkeen branch is represented by Clayton Bayly Savage, Esq., D.L., of Norelands, County Kilkenny, who is the present proprietor of the Hollymount Estate, in this Barony, comprising seven townlands. The name is still pretty numerous through the Barony, in families who claim to be of the same stock.

The family of RUSSELL, (indifferently spelled, in the Chancery Rolls, Rosel, Rossel, Russel, and Russell,) we find very early seated in Down, enjoying high offices as Sheriffs, Chancellors, and Barons of the Exchequer of Ulster. In the reign of Charles I., by reference to the Ulster Inquisitions we discover that they had then branched into five or six families, namely, those of Bright, Killough, Rathmullan, Quoniamstown, Ballyvaston, and Ballygallaghan, possessing large conterminous properties along the eastern sea-board of Lecale; one branch of which, (that of Killough,) held the estate of Sheephouse in Meath, and another, that of Seatown, County Dublin. The greater part of these estates was, however, swept away in the time of Cromwell, the only branch that retained its possessions being the family of Quoniamstown; which townland, with the adjoining one of Ballystrew, near Downpatrick, they still enjoy; the present proprietor being Thomas John Russell, Esq., of Dalkey, County Dublin, in whose family this property has, therefore, remained for upwards of six centuries. There are still extant in Lecale, several other families of the name, descendants of junior branches, and enjoying considerable affluence; of one of which, (that of Killough,) the Rev. Doctor Russell – Professor of Ecclesiastical History in Maynooth, and a distinguished writer and Archaeologist, – is a member.

The family of CROLLY, alias SWORDES, originally seated at Ballydonnell, and subsequently at Ballykilbeg, held eight townlands, forming the southern portion of the parish of Down, of which they lost all but Ballykilbeg, during the time of the Commonwealth; the latter being sold about the commencement of the present century. Two families of them still remain in that townland, of whom the late venerated Primate Crolly of Armagh was a younger branch; – the eloquent divine poet and essayist, the Rev. Doctor Croly of St. Greorge's, London, being also a collateral descendant. This family is not to be confounded with that of Croly, or O'Croly, alias O'Crowley, – the former proprietors of Kilshallow, in the Barony of Carbery, County Cork, – which is purely Celtic; though it is not a little strange that the English family at Stourbridge, in Worcestershire, of whom Sir Ambrose Crowley was the head, in the first half of the 18th century wrote their name in the same manner as the Irish one appears in the Munster Inquisitions.

The DOWDALLS, long subsequent to the reign of Elizabeth, held property in Ardglass and Ballydergan, which they sold early in the reign of Charles I, retiring to their estate of Desert, County Louth; after which they totally disappear from Lecale.

The AUDLEYS, of Audleystown, sold part of their property, in 1643, to the Ward family, to whom, also, they sold the remainder about the beginning of the last century; the latest mention we can find of the name in this locality being a Thomas Audley, residing in Ballynagalliagh in 1732.

The JORDANS, of Dunsford and Ardglass, (the head of which, in Elizabeth's reign, was Simon Jordan, so well known for the noble defence of his castle in Ardglass against the O'Neills,) had large possessions in Dunsford, Lismore, Jordan's Crew, Jordan's Acre, &c., which Simon, his son, sold, in 1656, to Nicholas Fitzsiraons of Kilclief. It does not appear by the Inquisitions that he had any children; but a few families of the name are still to be found in the barony, who claim, and doubtless are of, the same lineage.

The family of FITZSIMONS, in addition to the property acquired by purchase from Jordan, had a large patrimonial estate of their own in Kilclief, Ballynarry, Granagh, &c., which they parted with, in piecemeal, to the Smiths, Wards, Brices, &c. The name, however, we should say, is at present, by far the most prevalent in the barony, particularly the northern part, where there are entire townlands bearing that cognomen, upwards of forty being on the registry of voters, in 1852; nearly double that of any other.

But independent of the British families, before mentioned, whose names appear in Harris and the Inquisitions as early settled in Lecale, there are, at the present time, several others whose ancient standing cannot be disputed – such as the Denvirs, Starkeys, Clintons, Blaneys, and Marmions;c the latter, however, whose name was originally Merriman, only dating from the reign of Elizabeth, at the same time as the Wards and Wests.

The family of DENVIR is unquestionably Anglo-Norman, (said to have come here from Essex;) or, rather it is originally French, being the same name as De Anverso, D'Anvers, Danvers, derived from the town of Anvers, now Antwerp, in Brabant. In the Post Mortem Inquisitions of Edward III., the name is spelled Danvere, and in the same form it is found, in numerous instances, in an old Tithe Book of the Deanery of Down, of the date of 1732:– afterwards it was spelled Denver, and it is only lately the spelling Denvir was adopted. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Denvir, of Belfast, is of this family; and on the list of registered voters, 1852, we find 23 of this name. As a proof of the French origin of this family we may state, that the name Denvers, (pronounced Denver,) is very numerous in Paris; one of them being a member of the Court of Cassation.

The family of STARKEY, of whom there are considerable numbers in Lecale, (there being eight on the registry of voters,) is, also, purely English; many highly respectable houses of the name are to be found in England, particularly in Lancashire and Cheshire, from the latter of which it is probable they came to Ireland with De Courcy. We find a James Starkey of Ardglass, in 1586, joint trustee with Audley, of Audleystown, of the estates of Robert Swordes, alias Croly; but there is little or no mention of them at a subsequent date in the Ulster Inquisitions.

We also find on the registry of voters, of the other English families incidentally mentioned, eleven BLANEYS and two CLINTONS, though their are a great many more of the name in the barony: and here we may observe, once for all, that the same fact holds as to all the other families whose numbers have been given on the authority of these lists – lists which we have no doubt will render invaluable assistance to such persons as are desirous of studying this subject as regards the rest of Ireland.

If space had permitted, we purposed entering on the subject of the later English and Scotch colonists, inhabitants of this district, as well as of the Irish families, descendants of its lords previous to the advent of De Courcy; but the subject is too extensive for the limits of this paper, and, for the present, we must rest content with a few hurried observations. It is highly probable that little or no change occurred in the population of Lecale until after 1641, when the new proprietors introduced a number of Scotch settlers, and a portion of the army of Munroe made it their home. There is no means of ascertaining the names of these new colonists in full; but from the list of Presbyterian landholders of Ulster proposed to be transplanted into Leinster and Munster, in 1653, on account of their attachment to monarchical and Presbyterian principles, – for which list we are indebted to the research of the late Doctor Reid, the historian of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, – we obtain the names of those who were to be removed from Lecale Quarters:– they were Lieutenants Hugh Montgomery, Launcelot GreecĂ©, (Gracey,) Thomas Lindsay, ------ Woodney, John Reynolds, Capt. John Wooll, James Stewart, John Dunbarr, John Tenant, James Porter, Stephen Masor, (Mercer?) and John McDowell. Of these there still exist in the barony the families of Gracey, Stewart, and Lindsay; and, up to very lately, that of Mercer and McDowell: the Mercers and McDowells being highly respectable citizens of Downpatrick. However, the Scottish populuation does not seem to have been at that time very numerous, if we may judge from the fact, that in the list of Ministers receiving stipends from the Civil Establishment in 1655,d there is only one, the Rev. Robert Echlin of Strangford, returned for Lecale. This paucity of numbers may have arisen from the circumstance that during the Cromwellian wars several regiments had been raised in Lecale, one of which was stationed in Dundalk in 1647; which regiments, we may fairly presume, were raised exclusively out of the Scottish population, and which, no doubt, largely contributed to drain the strength of those colonists in the barony. At the period of the Revolution, in 1688, after the "Break of Dromore," Lecale was overrun by the regiment of Magenis, Lord Iveagh, who had his head-quarters at Downpatrick; when many of the adherents of King William, previous to the blockade of the ports, were taken prisoners, and others fled to England and the Isle of Man. Several petty skirmishes ensued; the Iveagh troops were defeated, and Iveagh's prisoners liberated by Captain Hunter, who, in turn, was overthrown by Major General Buchan. In August 1689, Schomberg landed in Groomsport when many of the inhabitants of the barony, who had been supporters of King James, abandoned the country for Connaught. Amid such scenes it is only natural to expect that the country would become desolate and greatly depopulated; and though, when peace was restored, many families returned to their former homes, yet numbers deserted it altogether. To remedy this, several Eiiglisli and Scots, and some farmers from the Ards, were invited here, and had large tracts of land allotted to them. Of the English fimilies the principal were Moore, Hunter, Swail, Porter, Jennings, Hunter, Neill, Nesbitt and Cochran; to which we may add the families of Seeds, Polly, Elsinor, (now changed to Nelson,) Coates, and Quaile, who were brought over from England, early in the 18th century, by the Hon. Justice Ward, and several of whose descendants are still very numerous in the parish of Ballyculter. The second colony of the Scots were chiefly Martins, Henrys, Lowres, (now Lewis,) Hoggs, Carsons, and Newwlls, whose descendants are also numerous in difierent parts of Lecale; and it is remarkable that, although the Scottish idiom never prevailed here, owing, no doubt, to the English and Scots "mixing, intermarrying, and communicating with each other, in so many different ways" so as to become one people, – yet they preserved intact some of their native customs, habits, modes of life and agriculture, up to a recent period, to such an extent, that by looking at the face of the country and observing its plantations, it could be told whether the proprietor was of Scotch or English descent, the Scotch principally planting ash trees, the English oak, elm, birch and beech. From 1725 to 1758, Primate Boulter states, in his letters, there was a continuous series of bad harvests all over Ireland, but principally in Ulster; where provisions, particularly oatmeal, (which he mentions as the staple subsistence of the inhabitants,) rose to a high price; which, conjoined to uneasiness about the exactions of the tithe farmers, induced great numbers of the northern farmers to emigrate to America and the West Indies. The emigrants, it appears, were chiefly Presbyterians, and, it may be assumed, of Scottish origin; which circumstance contributed largely to the reduction of that class of colonists, and the increase of the old English and native population in Lecale.

Of the old native Irish tribes, branches of the Dal Fiatach, mentioned by Dudley M. Firbis as residing at Dun-da-leathglas, (Downpatrick,) it would be folly to attempt tracing any direct descendants at the present time; particularly as surnames were not adopted by the Irish until the tenth century, and from there being so many migrations of the Ulidian tribes to Leinster and other parts of Ireland: for even in 1666, when Mr. Firbis wrote, he states that they had become "extinct ultimately, except a few of them who are a long time in insignificance." The principal tribes of the Dal Fiatach were the Cinel Aengus, the Clan Fiachaidh, the O'Cairill, and the O'Connmaigh; but, unless they adopted other tlian the tribe-names, there are none of them now in Lecale. From the Clanna Rudhraidhe, of which Magenis and Macartan are branches, was descended Cathal, living in the 8th century, from whom Leath Cathail (Lecale) derives its name, and whose descendants long held its lordship; and from the same Cathal was descended the family of O'Morna, otherwise MacGiolla Muire, who frequently appear as lords of the territory, even subsequent to the English invasion. The name, in the Irish Annals, is sometimes written MacGillmurray, MacGilmorie, or Gilmor, (Dr. Reeves in his researcbes, stating Gilmor as the present equivalent;) but, though some of the descendants of these "lords" may have so Anglicized the name, the original one of MacGiolla Muire, written M'llmurray, is still common in the barony, and was pretty numerous, in that part of Rathmullan called Scollogstown, up to a recent date. A family called MacMilmorie was resident in Kilwater, County Westmeath, in the reign of James I., whether an offshot of the Lecale family is uncertain; but it has been suggested, and is very probable, that the various families of Murrays in Carrickmannon in Castlereagh, and Slieveaniskey in Iveagh, are so. We have before observed, that the King of Ulidia, in de Courcy's time, was Duinnshleibhe O'h-Eochadha, also of the Dal Fiatach race; and whose descendants, according to the topographical poem of O'Dagan, afterwards branched into the two families of O'Dunlevie and O'Heochy, which last very singularly Anglicized their name, not to Hoey, but Hawkins. The name Dunlevy is now unknown in Lecale; but up to a late period there were several families named O'Heoghy. The only proprietor of Irish lineage we find in Lecale, in the reign of Elizabeth, is Donat Magrory or MacRory, (as the chief of the Kilwarlin branch of Magenis was called,) who died in 1599 seized of the lands of Clogher, near Downpatrick, and of the Odd Hall and several messuages in that town, and which lands Owen his son, and Donnell his grandson, successively held up to 1662. It is probable it was sold shortly afterwards; as, in the Letters Patent creating the manor of Killough, granted to Sir Robert Ward, Knt., dated 29th May, 1671, we find the lands of "Clougher" included in the grant. But, although there were no native proprietors for the last two centuries, the rural population was extensively Irish, continuing so to the present day; thus proving the correctness of the theory, that, in the country districts, the population is, or rather was, averse to migration, while, in towns, it was ever changing. A very slight examination of the Tithe Book previously referred to, in conjunction with the Rental of the Cromwell estate in 1708, (then comprising the town of Downpatrick and aabout 70 different denominations,) shews at once that, whilst not more than seven or eight of the families resident in Downpatrick now remain, the same names and families which resided throughout the Barony are still to be found in the same identical localities. The principal Irish families now inhabiting the territory, which we wish to state as nearly as possible according to their relative numbers, are the McKeatins, Hynds, Maglenons, (in other parts of Ireland this family have dropped the Mac, and are simply Glennon,) Hannets, (who have Scotticized their name to Hanna,) Connors, Magreevys, Taggarte, McConveys, Crangles, McKeameys, (who latterly have dropped the Mac,) Killens, McIlmeals, and McCumuskeys, (Mac Cumuseagh), a name which we have found in no other part of Ireland with the Mac prefixed, excepting Dublin, and there they are natives of Downpatrick. This name, Cumuscagh, was frequent amongst the Picts, or Cruithnians, who, at an early period, made Lecale one of their habitats; the townland, Ballytrostem, being derived from Trostem the Druid who accompanied the first of the Cruithenians who settled in Ireland. Another name, Curoe, common in Lecale, is also we believe peculiar to it, as we have not found it elsewhere, but whether of Pictish or Milesian origin is uncertain.

J. W. H.

[c] The Down Survey returns William Merryman as having been possessed of seven townlands in the Parish of Kilclief, principally episcopal lands. The Merrymans and Wards frequently appear as trustees of the Russells, and other Lecale families, and several intermarriages between the Russells and Wards are recorded. – See Lodge, vol. vi. p. 68, and Ulst. Mg.

[d] Reid. vol. IT., p. 498.

[e] Journal of the House of Commons, March 1647.

The above article is reproduced from the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 1, 1853.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Empress of Ireland - Official Inquiry and Storstad's Defence





It is expected that the Court of Inquiry appointed by the Canadian Government to investigate the loss of the Empress of Ireland will be composed of Sir Adolph Routhier, the Hon. Ezekiel M'Leod, and Lord Mersey, the latter being the nominee of the British Board of Trade. The third class survivors have been transferred to the Allan liner Corsican, which is due in Glasgow on Tuesday of next week.

Quebec, Wednesday. -- The Canadian Pacific Railway yesterday evening issued official figures raising the number of fatalities in the Empress of Ireland disaster to 1,024, or fifty-five over the previous figures. The vessel carried 1,476 persons, of whom 452 were saved -- namely, thirty-six first cabin, forty-seven second cabin, and 136 steerage passengers, and 233 officers and crew. Only a few more than 200 bodies have been recovered, of whom 103 have been identified.


The European manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway in London has received an official cable to the effect that the entire Delamont family of five, belonging to Toronto, who were third class passengers, were saved. The only further identification of the bodies advised has been that of May M. White. In order to assist in the proper identification by relatives at a future period precaution is being taken to have the bodies photographed, each with an indication number, which will also be used for the grave.


Amazing Statements.

Montreal, Monday. -- The following statement is made by Mr. J. W. Griffin, of New York, representing the owners of the Storstad --

Conversations with several officers and members of the crew of the Storstad all bear out the story that the Storstad was going full speed astern when the collision occurred. One of the most important statements made was by the third engineer of the Storstad, who refused to give his name. He said that he was on duty in the engine-room when the collision took place. He was asked, "How long before you struck was the signal given to go astern?" He replied, "It is impossible to say definitely, but it was something like a minute; I should say a little longer than a minute."

"There is no doubt about your having got the signal to go full speed astern?" "I am certain the engines were going full speed astern when the collision took place."

The third engineer's statement was borne out by the second engineer, who was not on duty at the time of the accident. He asserted that at no time for several hours before the collision had the Storstad gone at greater speed than ten miles an hour. Thick fog was encountered at intervals. The shock of the impact was not very noticeable. I did notice, however," he said, "that the engines had been reversed. We were going full speed astern about one minute before the shock."

When asked regarding the evidence given at the inquest that had the Storstad not backed away the Empress of Ireland might have been kept afloat long enough to allow most of the lifeboats to be lowered, the second engineer stated that he did not think that would have been the case. The blow struck was a glancing one, and even had the Storstad gone ahead instead of astern she would have glanced off, and both steamers would have been separated just as quickly as they were in fact.


Captain Holtung, of the Norwegian collier Alden, has told a highly-responsible official what his second officer and pilot saw when they passed the Empress of Ireland some thirty sea miles from where the collision occurred only a short time before the disaster. According to what the official told the "Montreal Star" this is what took place --

The Alden, chartered by the Dominion Coal Company, was on her way up the St. Lawrence, only thirty miles from Father Point, when the Empress of Ireland was sighted steaming towards them. Both the pilot and second officer were on duty on the bridge of the Alden, and are said to be willing to swear to the following --

The Empress of Ireland was steaming down the St. Lawrence when they met her. She was approaching the collier in such an erratic manner that both pilot and second officer became greatly concerned. So erratic, they are said to have declared, was the course that at times her green light could be seen, at other times her red lantern would show. The course of the Empress of Ireland is described as zig-zag.

Another officer of the Storstad said he was awakened in his bunk by the clanging of the bells in the engine-room. Hastily going on deck, he noticed the ship going astern. Almost immediately came the collision. Quickly he helped to lower a boat and started to pick up passengers. There was no trouble in getting a load full. Altogether sixty were saved in the first trip, So heavily was the boat loaded that she all but sank on her return to the Storstad. As far as this officer could tell, four other lifeboats were lowered from the Storstad. Most of those saved in the first trips belonged to the crew of the Empress of Ireland. He could not account for this beyond supposing that they were better able to endure the shock and exposure. Asked if he noticed the siren of the Empress of Ireland sounding, he replied that he heard nothing, but would not say that the Empress of Ireland did not sound her horn. -- "Times" Telegram.


Mrs. Andersen, wife of the captain of the Storstad, told her story on Monday, says Reuter's Montreal correspondent. She apologised for receiving the newspaper representative in a blue cotton dress, explaining that she had, given all her other clothes to survivors. She said the captain was called from his bed on Friday morning by the mate because it was foggy. Her husband asked her to follow him on deck. While she was dressing the collision took place. She ran to the bridge, where Captain Andersen was. Everything was dark and quiet, and there was no excitement among the crew. She kept cool, and stayed on the bridge. She asked Captain Anderson whether the Storstadt was going to sink. "I think do," he replied. She could not cry, although she felt like it.

Captain Andersen told her he was trying to keep the Storstadt in the hole she had made, and if the liner had not been speeding they would have stopped altogether, for a time at least. In a few minutes she asked again whether the Storstadt was sinking. "I can't tell yet," the Captain replied.


"I think it was five minutes later," continued Mrs. Andersen. "that I heard screams and cries. I shouted to my husband, 'Oh! They are calling.' At first it seemed as if the cries ware coming from the shore. The captain gave orders to go in that direction, and proceeded, very slowly. Everywhere around I could hear screams. My husband gave orders to send out all the lifeboats. That could not have been ten minutes after the collision. The first woman to come aboard was a Salvation Army lass, clad only in her nightdress. When she was brought to the cabin she ran to me, putting her arms round my neck, and said, 'God bless you, my angel. If you had not been here, we should have gone to the bottom.'"

After the rescued had been taken on board Mrs. Anderson went among them with stimulants. All the cabins were packed with shivering survivors scantily clad. Many sought the engine-room for heat, and were so number by the icy water that they leaned against the cylinders of the engine till the flesh blistered.


The Canadian Pacific Railway Company's London office is informed by cablegram from Montreal that sixty-one rescued third class passengers were transferred to the steamship Corsican, which sailed on Monday for Glasgow together with seventy-four members of the crew of the Empress of Ireland. An official of the company will meet the survivors on their arrival in Glasgow, and provide them with necessary clothing and sufficient funds to carry them to their destinations.

Among the sixty-one rescued passengers referred to are Mrs. E. Kirtley, of West Hartlepool; S. C. Furness, W. G. Bevan, and George Dransfield, of Liverpool; Martin Gill, of Belfast; and C. Bristow and C. H. Bristow, of Leeds. The names of the crew coming by the Corsican have not yet been received.


Mr. Murtagh, teacher, Trim School, received the following telegram on Monday -- "Matthew Murtagh, steward, saved. Deeply regret no report W. Murtagh, bellboy. -- Canadian Pacific." William Murtagh was a lad aged 17, who was with the company about two years. His uncle, Matthew, a saloon steward, took him with him a few years ago, with the view of giving him an opening in life, the lad's father, who was teacher in Meath, having died.


One od the most pathetic stories arising out of the Empress of Ireland disaster is that associated with the loss of the four young girls names Farr -- Kathleen, aged eight; Nancy, six; Dorothy, five; and Bessie, three. They belonged to a family of eight -- all girls. Their father was a farmer in the neighbourhood of Bostin, Lincolnshire, and he went out to Canada, where he was joined by his wife and children two years ago. He died soon after, and the mother succumbed to typhoid fever last November. The four girs were being brought to England by their uncle, Mr. Harold Farr, at Henley-on-Thames.


It has been decided, says a Central News message, that the bodies of the unidentified victims will be embalmed and placed in vaults at the Quebec cemeteries, with a view to possible future identification and removal for burial elsewhere. The funerals, of nine members of the crew, whose bodies have been identified, will take place to-day.

Acting on instructions from a relative in England, says Reuter, the C.P.R. Company will bury tho body of Sir Henry Seton-Karr in Quebec.


The passengers and crew of the White Star liner Megantic, which arrived at Montreal yesterday morning, joined on Sunday evening in an impressive service held on the spot where Empress of Ireland sank. Captain David stopped his ship near the buoy which marks the site of the wreck, and mustered the crew and the passengers on the deck, where with bared heads they sang this hymn, "Abide with me," the ship's orchestra accompanying the singing. Many of those who took part in the touching tribute to the dead were visibly affected.



The Lord Mayor of London has received the following Royal messages:--

Privy Purse Office,
Buckingham Palace, June 1st, 1914.
My Lord, -- I have it in command from the King to inform your lordship that his Majesty subscribes the sum of £500 to the fund your lordship is raising for the help of those stricken by the loss of the Empress of Ireland. For them in their overwhelming sorrow the King feels most deeply. -- I remain, &c.,

Buckingham Palace, June 1st, 1914.
My Lord Mayor, -- I have received the Queen's commands to transmit to your lordship a cheque for £250 as a contribution from her Majesty to the Mansion House Fund which is being raised for the widows, orphans, and dependent relatives of the crew and passengers who lost their lives in the recent appalling disaster to the Empress of Ireland. The Queen deeply sympathises with the poor bereaved relates in their overwhelming sorrow.

Marlborough House, June 1st, 1914.
Dear Lord Mayor, -- I am desired by Queen Alexandra to send you a cheque for £200 as a donation towards the fund which her Majesty is glad to see you have opened at the Mansion House for the relief of the poor sufferers from the most appalling disaster to the Empiress of Ireland. -- I remain, &c.,

The Prince of Wales has sent a donation of £250.

The Canadian Pacific Railway Company have subscribed £5,000 to the Mansion House Empress of Ireland Fund, and Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, president of the company, £500. The company and Sir Thomas have sent similar sums to the Lord Mayor of Liverpool's Fund.


At Tuesday's meeting of the Belfast Corporation, the Lord Mayor (Councillor Crawford M'Cullagh, J.P.) said that before commencing the regular business of the Council he thought it right that the Corporation should pass a resolution of sympathy with all those who had been so tragically bereft of friends and loved ones by the loss of the Canadian Pacific Company's steamship Empress of Ireland, in the estuary of the St. Lawrence, on Friday, 29th May. They were not in a position to know the exact details, all of which would, no doubt, be forthcoming at the investigation which must be held, and if they were it was not for them as a Corporation to criticise. They only knew that, unfortunately, many valuable lives had been lost, and no matter what rank, those people belonged to, high or low, their friends and relatives had been suddenly and unexpectedly bereaved, and they deeply and sincerely sympathised with them one and all. That the tragic circumstances called forth many examples of all that was best in human nature was only what they expected when a catastrophe occurred to a British ship with British crew and passengers; nevertheless, it made them glow with pride to hear again hear how Britons die. He begged to move -- "That the deep and heartfelt sympathy of the Council be and is hereby tendered to all who have lost their loved ones by the disaster that befell the Empress of Ireland on the 29th May, 1914."

The resolution was passed in silence.


Mr. G. M'L. Brown, European manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway, states that the company has completed arrangements by which the Allan Line triple-screw turbine steamer Virginian will take the sailings which had been arranged for the Empress of Ireland during the summer season. The Virginian will make her first sailing from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal on Friday, June 12, and regularly thereafter.

This article originally appeared in The Witness 5 June 1914.

image: The Empress of Ireland

Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Anglo-Norman Families of Lecale in the County of Down

In the month of February, 1177, Sir John de Courcy accompanied by his brother-in-law Sir Armoric St Lawrence, Sir Roger le Poer, twenty-two knights and 300 foot soldiers, and many of the Irish, according to Lord Lyttleton, marched from Dublin to Ulster, reaching the city of Down on the fifth day, which he surprised, and, without resistance, captured and rifled. The Annals of the Four Masters, of Ulster, of Innisfallen, &c., record many battles as being fought between De Courcy and the Ulster Irish, principally with the chieftains of Ulidia, at that period held by the family of Mac Donslevy, originally called O'h-Eochadha. (O'Haughey.) Victory sometimes leaned to the native forces, but ultimately to the English, owing, in some degree, to their superior description of arms, and the almost impenetrable armour with which they were clad, (as stated by Hanmer,) as well as to De Courcy's own gigantic strength and indomitable courage, and the support which he received from the clergy, who were constrained by the Bulls of Popes Adrian and Alexander, and by the influence of the Cardinal Legate Vivian, then in Down. There can be little question but the number of De Courcy's troops has been vastly underrated; and that the success which he achieved attracted still greater numbers, who flocked to his standard, hoping to share in the spoils, "the cloathing, gold, silver, plate, and rich booties," which, Hanmer writes, the English obtained, "without checke or controulment of any," on their first victory in Down. Eventually, such was the progress of his arms, that he subjugated to the English crown the greater part of the maritime coasts of Ulster, from the Boyne to the Bann, with considerable portions of the interior, having his chief castle at Downpatrick in the territory of Lecale. But the Irish, though defeated, were not subdued; and to protect his conquest of Lecale, De Courcy found it necessary to erect a chain of upwards of 18 castles, (including the seven in Ardglass,) girdling the entire sea-coast and river of Lough Coyne from Dundrum to Ath-na-cleidhe (now Annacloy) on the Marches; with another at Clough to guard the mountain passes from Iveagh, and which stood in view of the greater fortress of Dundrum. This remarkable feature in the topography of this and the adjoining districts, could not fail to strike such a keen observer as Mrs. Hall, and we accordingly find her writing that "along the whole of its borders -- north, south, east, and west -- are the ruins of numerous castles. The character of the scenery, indeed, strongly reminded us of the 'Barony of Forth' in the county of Wexford; for everywhere we noted indications that a comparatively small number of strangers had been living in the midst of enemies, whom they had 'come to spoil,' and who were, consequently, compelled to keep 'watch and ward' at all seasons, in or about their 'strong houses of stone.'"

With portions of the lands thus conquered, De Courcy richly endowed many of the monastic houses; also amply rewarding such of his fellow-soldiers, as determined on abiding his fortune, with similar grants. Sir John Davies, in his "Discoverie of the True Causes why Ireland was never subdued, &c.," mentions the Audeleyes, Gernons, Clintons, and Russells, as among such "voluntaries;" -- whilst Harris, in his History of the County of Down, gives, in addition, the families of Savage, White, Riddel, Sandal, Poer, Chamberlane, Stokes, Mandeville, Jordan, Stanton, Passelew, Copland, and Martell; and adds, "perhaps the Fitz-simons, Crowleys, and Bensons." The "perhaps," of Harris is, however, perfectly gratuitous, as it is highly probable he extracted his list from the Act for the attainder of Shane O'Neill, passed in the 11th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth; which, after enumerating the Queen's numerous historical titles to the realm of Ireland, mentions the conquest of Ulster, by John de Corsie, who "brought the people of the same in due subjection to the crown of England; and for his painefull service and worthy deedes, did hold and possesse the sayd countrey of Ulster quietly of the king of England's gift: of whose companions in armes there remaineth at this day in Ulster, as a testimonial of that conquest, certain stirpes of English bloud; as the Savages, Yordans, (Jordans), Fitz Simons, Chamberlins, Bensons, Russels, Audeleyes, Whites, and many others, as proprietors of large portions of land, hardly and valiantly hitherto kept by them, although with great peril and povertie." In a M.S. written about 1598, and printed in Dubourdieu's Antrim, it is also stated that De Courcy planted in Le Cahill sundry English gentlemen, "where some of their posterity yet remain. Their names are, Savages, Russels, Fitz-simmons, Audlies, Jordans, Bensons." In the list, subsequently given by Harris, of the principal gentlemen resident in Down in the time of Queen Elizabeth, (query, end of her reign?) of those decidedly of British origin he mentions only the families of Savage, Fitz-simmons, Dowdal, White, Benson, Russel, Jordan, Audley and Mandevill; omitting those who have been stated as followers of De Courcy, the Riddels, Sandals, Poers, Chamberlanes, Stokes, Stantons, Logans, Passelews, Coplands, Martins, and Crollys; though some of these, for instance the latter, were then possessed of ample possessions in Down, as also the Chamberlanes; for we find, by an Inquisition held at Downpatrick, 14th September, 1634, that so late as 1615, Roger Chamberline, of Mozellrath, in Louth, then granted to Francis Annesley, Baron of Mountnorris the estate of Cloghmaghercatt, (now the town of Clough,) in whose family it remained until 1783, when it was sold to the grandfather of the present proprietor, David S. Kerr, Esq.

Some of the above names, under their Norman forms, are to be found in the attestations to the monastic grants from De Courcy, to Down, Neddrum, &c., and in the grants from his followers, to Neddrum. Thus Adam Camerario we may presume to be the founder of the Chamberlanes, Roger de Dunseforth of the Jordans, Willielmo de Coupland of the Coplands, Radulfo Martel of the Martels, Simone Passelew of the family of that name, Walter de Loga of the Logans,a Will de Stokys of the Stokes; and we may fairly presume that Osberto T. Tussel, an attesting witness to the grant of Ballykinlar from De Courcy to Christ Church is a copyist's mistake for Russel.b It is very probable however, that the Riddels, Poers, Stantons, Passelews, and Martels, never resided in Down, though the map accompanying Connellan's translation of the Four Masters, places the Martels in Upper Castlereagh, and the Stantons and Le Poers in Lower Castlereagh; but nothing can be more incorrect than this map in the placing of most of the English and Irish families in Down, as we find the Russels placed in the south of Dufferin. which belonged to the Whites, instead of in Lecale; and the Fitz-simons in the Ardes, which belonged to the Savages; the Audleys in Lower Castlereagh, and the Jordans in Upper Castlereagh; though it will appear that all these families were located in Lecale. Harris, it will have been perceived, has the Mandevilles so late here as Elizabeth's reign: we have for this, however, no other evidence, and we think it highly probable that that family, as well as the Logans, and Stokes, had left Ulster shortly after the death of the "Red Earl."

Up to the time of Cromwell a continued intercourse and intermarriage of the old British families were kept up between the inhabitants of Lecale and of the County Louth; the communication between the districts being maintained, at an early period, according to Harris, by sea, "while the Irish possessed all the passes in the mountains between the two counties." This intercourse arose not alone from the sympathy of common origin and motives of mutual defence, but also from the fact, that many of those families held property in both places; such as the Dowdalls, Clintons, Whites, Chamberlines and Stokes, whom we find constantly appearing in the 'Inquisitions' as trustees for the Lecale families; and that, in the confusion consequent on the death of the "Red Earl," and the fierce wars of the O'Neills, many of these families parted with their lands in Lecale, and removed to Louth, Meath, and Dublin; thus accounting in some degree for their decay and disappearance out of Down. But many of them clung with desperate fidelity to the ancestral homes and fertile fields which their forefathers had won with their good broad-swords; and we believe we do not exaggerate when we state, that one half of the present population of Lecale is their direct posterity, the remaining moiety being of modern English, Scotch, and Irish descent. At first it seems difficult to account for so many of the descendants of the old Anglo-Norman settlers being located here, while they have disappeared from the rest of the County; but this apparent difficulty will vanish, when we recollect that a great portion, more than one half of this Barony, belonged to the Church, and that, prior to the suppression of the religious houses, from the reign of Henry the seventh the Fitzgeralds held, (with a short period of intermission,) the large estates of Ardglass and Strangford; -- that no forfeiture, of any importance, took place until the time of Cromwell; -- and that consequently, there being no sudden change of proprietors, there was no new plantation and expulsion of the old stock.

To be continued...

[a] There are many families of the name of Logan in Lecale as well as the rest of Down, but they are of Scotch origin. Walter Logan of Provestown, in the Ards, a Scotchman, 18 May. 11, James I, received a grant of denization to be free of the yoke of Scotland. The Wardlaws, also, who are supposed to be of English descent, are Scotch. William Wardlow, of Lismullen, now Bishops Court, received alike grant in 1614.

[b] Lodge vol. vi. p. 140, under Lord Kingsale, writes that, in 1196, De Courcy took a garrison-castle at Killsandall, where he placed one Russel, who, making an incursion into Tyrconnel, was killed in his return with a great booty, with many of his men, by Flachertach O'Molldory, king of Tyrconnel, -- The Four Masters, under the date 1197 call this castle "Kill Sanetan," and state it as being built by De Courcy and the English of Ulidia, on which they left Roitsel or Rotsel Pitun in command, and, though they mention his defeat, say nothing of his being killed. It is very possible the mames were identical, the affix Pitun being subsequently abandoned. The castle of Killsandall was on the east side of the river Bann, near Coleraine: its foundations are still visible. -- See O'Donovan, Four Masters; -- Reeves, Eccl. Antiquities. p.p. 74-324, -- and Primate Colton's Visitation, pp. 29-31.

The above article is reproduced from the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 1, 1853.