Down Recorder articles
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Articles from The Down(patrick) Recorder newspaper

arranged in date order
Click on a date to find the article or scroll down

Aug 1816 18 Mar 1818 . . . Nov 1838 Jan 1839   Dec 1839
July 1841 Sep 1842 . . .Feb 1846 .Oct 1846 Mar 1847 Mar 1849
Dec 1852 . . June 1853 . Oct 1853 . . Dec 1853
May 1855 . Dec 1856 . . . Jul 1866 . June 1872
Aug 1874 Sep 1874 . . Jan 1876 . . . .
. . . . May 1880 . Feb 1885 Nov 1885 .
Jan 1900 Oct 1915 . . . 9 Oct 1970
. 6 Oct 2000


Co. Down Assizes- 23rd August 1816; reprinted at a later date

The prisoners found guilty during the assizes were then ordered to be brought forward, when the following sentences were pronounced:-

- Alexander Miller, found guilty of stealing in the dwelling- house of Peter Maguire, at Mourne, to be hanged.
- Charles Hayes, for stealing a cotton gown near Rathfriland, to be burned in the hand.
- Samuel Hawthorn, for stealing, to be burned in the hand.
- Ann Tomilty, for picking a pocket at Portaferry, to be transported seven years.
- Lynchey, Straney & Mechan, for stealing timber the property of David Ker, Esq. of Montalto, to be burned in the hand.
- Walter & William MacFarlan, for an assault, one month's imprisonment and to find security.
- Kyle, Wallace, Allen & Douglas, for assaulting a dwelling- house, to be imprisoned a fortnight.
- Thomas Connolly, for a riot and assault, to be imprisoned 18 months and find security.


Last Speech of William Gaddis of Rathfriland in Drumballyroney parish before being hanged on Saturday, 28 March 1818 after his trial on Thursday 26th March 1818. Reprinted 9th January 2002

William Gaddis was part of a gang of robbers who murdered Adam Heslip of Portaferry in Ballyphilip parish.
During the robbery the two struggled and Heslip died after being repeatedly stabbed with a bayonet while strapped to his bed. Afterwards Gaddis and the gang ransacked the house, taking anything which was of value. Gaddis left the house wearing some of his victim's clothes. Thousands turned up for the hanging outside Downpatrick goal on Gallows Hill.

"His trial took place before the Honorable Justice Fletcher and a most respectable Jury, on Thursday 26th March 1818, when after a most patient and impartial investigation, a verdict was returned on the clearest evidence, of willful murder. "

"The crime for which I am about to suffer, was agitated by Laughlin my prosecutor and communicated to me, of which McVeigh and Flannagan were to be participators - on the night of the melancholy tragedy, we met at the
Quoile Bridge within one mile of Downpatrick for the purpose of proceeding to Portaferry to rob two ladies there- but Laughlin proposed to lead us to the house of the unfortunate victim; and should we fail there, to proceed to a certain high Constables' in the neighborhood, who he asserted had not yet paid his money to the Treasurer, and to take it, as he knew there could be very little defence made- we were prevailed upon by him to proceed to the house of Adam Heslip, where we arrived at 11 o'clock at night, we held a consultation how we should obtain admittance and it was proposed by Laughlin to remove some slates and get in by the roof; we did so and Laughlin was the first who entered. Heslip was a stout man, as I made a very determined resistance, struggling with the party for a long time, till quite exhausted by fatigue and loss of blood he was overcome. Flanigan (sic) took the gun and bayonet out of my hand and stabbed him in the side- we then tied our victim in his bed and inflicted many more wounds on his body, of which he expired in great agony- we then proceeded to search the house and collect what was valuable and made a division of them. I took to myself, besides other effects and money, a snit of the deceased Heslip's clothes , which I put on, throwing away my own, in which I had made my escape from Downpatrick jail, through the necessary and sewer a short time previously . Our party soon after that separated and I proceeded to my place of residence near Rathfriland. I was made prisoner some time after and brought to Downpatrick when I was identified, as also the clothes which was found in the ditch where I had thrown them - committed to jail and convicted on Thursday last. I have been connected with many notorious gangs of robbers in this country for many years and especially with a family, some of whom have suffered lately- had our schemes not been frustrated by my speedy arrest, many robberies, many probably murders would have been purpetrated, which were previously planned and formed ready for execution. Had Laughlin stood firm to his trust, I might not have been brought to this shameful termination; but his time is not far removed, for though he turned approver, he will shortly meet the same fate. I die an unworthy member of the Church of Rome- God have mercy upon me. "

He was launched into eternity at three o'clock, amongst a crowd of many thousand spectators; a number of deceased Heslip's friends and neighbours were present on this awful occasion, who testified their sympathy by tears for the fate of the unfortunate culprit. "


30th November 1838 page 3 Petty Sessions

John McCORMICK, smuggling tobacco at Greyabbey given six months imprisonment.


12th January 1839 page 2; Effects of The Big Storm

At Kirkcubbin: The brig " Henry Hastings' laden with potatoes is shore with considerable damage; the tide ebbing and flowing in her.

At Killough: The storm, on Sunday night, visited Killough with peculiar severity,as it must have done all places of exposed situation. In the expressive language of some of the weather-beaten veterans of that ancient harbour, the land breeze, that as it were filled the streets with an irresistible flood of wind, was not a storm as such as is usually experienced in the severest weather, but a species of hurricane, sweeping across the face of heaven, searching every corner and alley and scattering abroad everything that was found weak in itself and without firm support. No life has been lost here, but several houses have been unroofed, hovels blown to atoms and the streets, in the morning, presented a confused mass of intermingled slated and thatch, on which were seen creeping a few isolated beings, driven out of their shelter at this inclement season. I am sorry to have to add, that the pretty spire of the church, whose regular slating attracted the notice and praise of every observer, yielded to the fury of the elements and in its fall bent down the roof of the church, leaving its vertix (sic)in the very reading-desk. I trust that something may be done by Government to alleviate the sufferings of the wretches who are left destitute of shelter at this season. (written by A Correspondent)

At Kilmore: Kilmore and its vicinity have suffered severely from the storm of Sunday night last, houses unroofed, some totally and others partially; several families had to leave their houses and expose themselves almost naked to the "pelting of the pitiless storm." One family especially, with a child unwell and the wife a short time confined had to leave their house and remain exposed to the inclemency of the weather. Rademon Wood has suffered much; one would think that the woodman had set his mark on every large fir and laid it prostrate on the ground; trees that have stood the blast for ages are laid low. One of the pinnacles lately erected on the church tower was blown down and carried through the roof of the Church. A person of the name Carvill, who lives convenient to the church, had his stable blown down and a fine mare much injured with its fall. Scarcely a stack-yard in the neighbourhood but had its contents laid prostrate or scattered to the winds. Lissara flax mill is totally unroofed.

At Florida; An eyewitness has described the scene of devastation at Florida, the seat of Robert Gordon Esq., as having been of a most appalling character. One plantation, of great beauty, for the most part composed of splendid and ancient fir trees, appears to have been swept, as it were, from the earth; its grounds in every direction, being strewed with the effects of the whirlwind. But what is the subject of deep regret through the neighbourhood, the Parish Church has lost a portion of its roof........


7th December 1839 page 2

Inquest into the death of Surgeon McAULEY. He was found at Lisdoonan, Saintfield drowned when drunk.

Robert McCOUBREY's public house at Drumaness- dinner held for Matthew FORDE and W.B. FORDE.


24 July 1841: A Female Preacher at Saintfield

On Sunday, the 18th instant, it having been announced in Saintfield and the neighbourhood, that Miss Anderson, of Killyleagh, intended to preach at Mr. Skelly's, of Tonnaghmore, at 6 o'clock p.m., long before the hour specified, the roads leading to the place were literally crowded with people from all parts of the country, anxious to avail themselves of an opportunity of hearing "a female preacher".

Much was said about the indelicacy and the impropriety of such a person holding forth and we heard many a loud and even angry discussion that evening about the matter. But when this interesting female arose, and from "Solomon's Song" read her text, "Yea he is altogether lovely," not a whisper might be heard from that vast multitude and it was evident, ere she had proceeded far in her discourse, from the sobs that were heard and the tears that trembled in many an eye, that a deep impression was being made and that all resentment at the supposed boldness of the preacher had vanished in admiration.


24th September 1842- Death by Lightning, Saintfield, Thursday

On the night of Monday last, this town and neighbourhood were visited by a terrific thunder storm. The lightning struck the house of a poor woman named Mary McWilliam, in the townland of Ballyknockan, killing herself and so much injuring her sister and daughter, who occupied the same bed with her, that they are not expected to live.
The electric fluid appears to have entered the house at the top of the gable, down which it passed to the bed occupied by the females, the head of which stood against the gable, and escaped at several points in the foundation of the house, rending the rock on which the house stood for several yards in different places. The sash of the window in the sleeping apartment was forced out and some of the glass, which was slivered into the most minute fragments, carried to a distance of thirty or forty yards.
What appears extraordinary is, that although fire was communicated to some of the furniture about the bed, at the time when it was struck with the lightning at about a quarter past twelve o'clock, it continued to smoulder till between five and six in the morning, before it burst out in flame. The fire commencing to burn about the bed, would seem to have recalled the daughter to a state of temporary consciousness, for, by an extraordinary effort, she succeeded in getting out of the house and by her cries drew attention of the neighbours, who rescued the living and the dead from the fire before it got difficult to extinguish. The lightning has much blackened and disfigured their faces and other parts of their bodies in its passage. A spot on the head of the young woman is almost burnt into a hole.
A Coroner's inquest has been held today. on the body of Mary McWilliam and a verdict found in accordance with the foregoing.


21st February 1846- Ribbonism
On Saturday night last, about the hour of eight o'clock. A large body of men, amounting to about two hundred, some of them armed, marched in military array, with fife and drum, from next Loughinisland chapel, down to the cross-roads above Annacloy, between Tullynacree and Rosconnor, where laving cheered and fired several shots, they retired by the road they came, playing party tunes, to the great terror of the peaceable Protestant inhabitants of these parts, and the great annoyance of the travellers on their return from Downpatrick market. This has been the second or third procession of the kind which has taken place within a short time on the same road, and they have been invariably held on a Saturday night. It might be well if the police would patrol on the above roads on Saturday nights, for some time to come. I am informed that a number of men assembled in Annacloy on Sabbath night and fired shots below Burn's public house. These things should be looked into immediately and steps should be taken to restrain these lawless meetings. On Sunday night also, some miscreants came to the boiling house of Mr William Perry of the Rann and forced off the lead from the roof and carried it away, it is thought, for the purpose of making bullets. I should have stated, that opposite a Protestant's house named Cochrane, the Ribbonmen fired several shots which were accompanied by the usual yells of ""To h--- with King William and the Protestants etc- Correspondent

Hospitality of the Acting Trustee of the Right Hon. Earl of Annesley at Castlewellan;

On Wednesday, the 18th inst., the labourers, including men and women, to the number of about 180 at present employed on thorough draining the extensive demesne of Castlewellan, were substantially entertained in the spacious coach-house at the Grange, which was tastefully decorated with evergreens by desire of the Rev. John R. Moore, who was most assiduous in his attention and spared no exertions to render the whole most comfortable and agreeable to all. Dinner was served at half-past two o'clock, consisting of sirloins, spiced rounds of beef and ham, with a variety of pudding, all washed down with plenty of good strong ale. At the conclusion of dinner, the health of the young Earl and his truly amiable mother, the Countess Annesley, with that of the Rev. Mr. Moore , were proposed by William Hunter Esq., the respected agent of the property. In an appropriate address which was most enthusiastically responded to by all present and loud cheers, with one cheer more resounded through the lofty apartment. A vast number of the respectable inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood were in attendance to witness the pleasing scene, who also partook of refreshment, specially provided for them. The day was most propitious which added not a little to the gaiety of the proceedings. At five o'clock the happy party retired wishing long life and prosperity to their noble benefactors and hoping they would often witness such generous and kind hospitality.


17 Oct 1846- Relief Meeting at Castlewellan re Famine

On Wednesday last, a meeting of the landowners, gentry, clergy etc., of the parishes of Kilmegan, Drumgooland and Drumballyroney, was held in the Court-house of Castlewellan, to take into consideration what measures were best to be adopted to relieve the present and anticipated distress among the labouring classes. We observed present the Rev. J. R. Moore (of Castlewellan) , Francis Charles Beers Esq. J.P. ( of Ballyward Lodge, Drumgooland), William Sharman Crawford Esq. M.P. Rev. G.H. McDowell Johnston (of Ballywillwill House), Marcus Annesley Esq. , Counsellor Barron (of Kinghill, Clonduff) , Alexander McMullan Esq. JP (of Cabra House, Clonduff), Captain Tighe, Henry Murland Esq. (of Wood Lodge, Castlewellan) , William Stevenson Esq., Rev. Mr. (Edward P.) Brook (Church of Ireland minister, Ballyward) , Rev. Samuel Smith ( Presbyterian minister in Newcastle) , Rev. Mr. (James) McAle(e)non P.P. (Castlewellan ) , Rev. Mr. Donaldson, Rev. Mr. (James) Porter (Presbyterian minister Drumlee), Rev. Mr. Garston, Rev. Mr. (Patrick) Morgan P.P. (Gargary & Deehommed, Drumgooland) , Rev Mr. (John) Kelly (Catholic .Curate Gargary & Deehommed, Drumgooland), Rev Mr. (John) Mooney (Catholic curate in Leitrim, Drumgooland) etc. etc.

On the motion of Mr.Beers, seconded by the Rev. Mr.Brook, the Rev. J.R. Moore was called to the chair.

As the house was crowded to excess, and hundreds could not gain admittance, it was agreed that the meeting adjourn to the open air. The gentry and clergy then proceeded to the Square, and took up their position on an eminence at the Market-house, which served as a sort of platform- Around them assembled a multitude of small farmers and labourers, to the number of one thousand, at the lowest computation.

The Rev. Mr.Moore, as chairman, said that if any gentleman wished to address the meeting, he should lose no time in doing so. He, himself, intended to speak at the close of proceedings. He read the advertisement convening the meeting. They were met for a charitable purpose , and he hoped that unanimity and love would prevail, and that they would separate in friendship and peace.

Mr. A. McMullen said that he knew there was much poverty in the country, but he did not know what was the best way to relieve it.

The Rev. Mr.Garston preferred parochial meetings. There was no doubt that there was much distress in the country, and it would increase every week.

The Chairman said that if any gentleman had any remedial measure to propose, it would be desirable that he should do so. It was difficult to have unanimity on this subject. For his part, if he was in error, it was an error of the head, not of the heart. He differed with others only as to the means of relief to be adopted. He now waited to hear what others ,might have to propose.

Mr.Beers said that the subject of the meeting had been stated in the advertisement which had been read. It had been their intentions to have a meeting of landowners to consider the state of the poor on their different estates, and what could be done to relieve them. The meeting was a preliminary one- to consider the state of the poor and the duty of the landowners to support, each the p... on his own estate. He had not much property, but he was willing to come forward and give employment to all who wanted it on that property. (Cheers). That was all he had to say.

The Rev. Mr.McAlenon P.P. said he had a few words to say. From what he heard, he understood that the gentlemen intended to give employment to the labouring classes and maintain the people who were in distress at this crisis. He had expected further that a proposition would have been made to apply to the government for a portion of the money at their disposal for the purpose of affording more extensive employment. He was convinced that private employment would not meet the distress- would not come within miles of it, he might say. He , therefore, proposed that an application such as he mentioned be made. He Had a right to know the distress of the people; it had not left a single house in his parish unvisited. He was of the opinion that they should avail themselves of the money which government had to grant.

Some gentlemen having explained to the last speaker that there was no such fund as that alluded to- that, therefore, the resolution was a nonentity- that if public works were introduced, it was be either under the drainage act or labour rate act. Mr.McAlenon altered his proposition to this- that application be made to the Lord Lieutenant, praying his Excellency would be pleased to order extraordinary presentment sessions to be held in the barony.

The Chairman said that he stood there as the representative, however inefficient and unworthy he might be, of a large extent of property, and some might imagine that he had been dragged forward on this occasion. Before Mr.Beers had applied to him, he, (Mr.Moore) had applied to a nobleman in the neighbourhood- he would not mention names- who was opposed to baronial assessments under the labour rate act. At the same time that nobleman was for the good of the people, and at extraordinary presentment sessions held in a distant part of his property, had subscribed a large sum, in order that a presentment for some useful public work be passed. On the same day, he (Mr.Moore) wrote to another landed proprietor- would that he saw more at the meeting- this gentleman wrote him a polite answer, but said not a word on the subject of the appeal which he (Mr.Moore) had made to him. (Oh!Oh!) After that Mr.Beers and Mr.Brook waited on him (Mr. M.) and seemed to be of the same mind as himself, namely, that there was no distress at present, except in a certain class, but that general distress might be anticipated. These gentlemen applied to the same landed proprietor as he had done, and with no better success. He (Mr.M.) said he would accompany them to wait on that gentleman, and did so, but an interview was refused them. (Oh! Oh!) Mr.Beers and Mr.Brooks called on him (Mr. M.) again, and he said that they should do their duty at this crisis with fidelity and Christian love. He suggested the propriety of calling on several gentlemen who could give information as to the distress in their respective districts. He had called on Rev. Mr.McAlenon, of Castlewellan , because he was well acquainted with the state of the parish as to distress; he had a long interview with him, the result of which they agreed to have this meeting. All b publicity was given to it; it was advertised in the public papers; circulars had been sent to all the gentry in the district; he (Mr. M..) had written, among others, to Mr.Ker and to the Marquis of Downshire, who was in England. (Here the chairman read the circular which he had sent. It contained the following query - can the small farmers and labourers maintain themselves this season by their own resources?) To this circular he had received several replies. The Rev. Mr (John) .Henry, of Benraw (Presbyterian, Drumgooland) stated in his letter, that the condition of the poor in his parish was most deplorable- that they were deprived of their usual sustenance- that the oat crop was below average, and that, if no means were devised for their relief, small farmers and cottiers would starve. The Rev. Mr.McGrath, of Kilmegan, expressed the opinion that the small farmers and cottiers could not support themselves by their own resources. The Rev. Mr.Porter, Drumlee, stated that, in his opinion, neither small farmers nor labourers could exist without aid, which, he conceived, would be best afforded by employment. The Rev. Mr.Brook expressed his fears that the small farmers would be most distressed and that their distress would commence after their oats were all consumed. The unanimous feeling, then, proceeded the chairman, seemed to be that small farmers required something extra to be done for them at this season of suffering and privation. It had been said that the people of Castlewellan were in a state of fear and trembling- it had been said that the gentlemen who called the meeting had some private object in view, but they had no object in view but the good of the people . (Cheers) Distress was now all over the land, although it was not so bad in that neighbourhood as in other places, and they should take measures to relieve it. He had condemned the labour-rate act at the Downpatrick meeting, yet, at the same time, he accepted it as a boon from Lord John Russell. (Cheers) That act would compel the non-resident landlords to spend some of their money at home.. (Cheers) He hailed that measure, because it would stimulate the nonresident and inactive landlords.

A voice- The landlords and no act of parliament.
The Chairman- The labour rate act, if judiciously carried into operation, would be of great benefit. He, however, did not want it, unless the people wished for it. The taxation under it would fall heavy on the landlords; and one portion of God's people should not suffer alone; all should bear a proportionate part; though the landlords, and clergy, and gentry, should be at the head of the relief movement. The farmers would be repaid for any taxation to which they might be subjected. /He wanted no new roads, yet he thought that some proposition should be made on that subject. He had a heart to spend all the money he could get in giving employment to the people. (Cheers) He could supply the work all in his own district. They required, however, something to grasp at when the difficulty became most pressing. The cutting down of the hill between Castlewellan and Burren would be useful work. He had several times tried to get a presentment passed for it, but failed. If they could not raise private subscriptions sufficient to accomplish such a work as this, they must have recourse to baronial assessments under the labour rate act. The shopkeepers of the town had, as well as others, a duty to perform at such a time as this, and they should subscribe. He would give £200 to cut down the hill in question, if the people of Castlewellan would subscribe £300- £500 being the estimated sum necessary for the purpose. If no effort of this kind were made, they should have recourse to baronial assessments. He besought the people not to lose heart- not to despair, to work their farms with all the zeal they could, to sow rye and peas and beans, and plant cabbages and other vegetables, and do all they could to save themselves from distress. Above all, they should attend to draining. He intended to allow more for draining than formerly. He again exhorted them not to lie down under their difficulties, and said that assistance must be given to those who were able to work. Turbulence prevailed in other places, but here all was peaceful. He was glad to see such a peaceful spirit prevail. If judged of them aright from their demeanour, they were prepared to do their best to meet their hardships. Their good conduct was an ornament to themselves, and an example to other parts of Ireland.

A voice- Lower the land.
The Chairman was glad that no instances of pillage had occurred. As a further means of relief he expected £300 from Government to repair the pier at Newcastle.

The Rev. Mr. Morgan P.P. Drumgooland stood forward to second Mr. McAlenon's resolution, that an application be made to the Lord Lieutenant for extraordinary presentment sessions. He purposed assigning reasons for supporting the resolution. With respect to the existence of distress, there was no doubt upon the subject- it was too evident. They were only in the commencement of it. He did not wish to excite alarm, but he feared that the distress would not end with one year. He could state cases of extraordinary distress. He knew several small farmers in his parish who had no provisions. There were three modes of providing a remedy for the distress- by voluntary contributions, by the exertions of landlords, or by the labour rate act. The first plan was altogether out of the question, it was downright inadequate. The second plan, by the exertions of the landlords, was a good method, if practicable, but it was not so. To be effective, it was necessary that all the landlords should co-operate. Now, how many of the landlords of the three parishes were at the meeting. Mr. Moore was there, and expressed sympathy for the people, Mr Crawford was at his post, as he always was, but where were others whom he could mention? He was sure that the people felt grateful to the landlords who did attend. They should not think that the gentlemen who called the meeting had any private aim. Still the landlords were not present in sufficient numbers. There were eight or nine landlords in the parish of Drumgooland, some of the proprietors of three townlands , yet they were not at the meeting. What, then, was to become of the poor on the estates where the landlords would not give employment? he would not mention names, for fear of marking any, but the conduct of such landlords as would not cooperate, was deserving of reprobation. If it could be ordered that those landlords who do their duty would be exempted from assessment, if the labour rate act were introduced, it would be well, but unfortunately the law did not sanction such as equitable procedure. The second mode, was, therefore, not suitab;e to meet the distress. The third plan was comprehended in Mr. McAlenon's proposition to take steps for introducing the labour rate act. He (Mr. M.) was not favourable to a large assessment, because it would weigh heavily hereafter. The ttenants should not think of laying on heavy assessments. At another meeting he would be prepared to report on the actual distress in his own parish and what was anticipated; and others might do the same. They should not relieve any but those who really required relief. The Lord Lieutenant had now given permission that money advanced under the labour rate act be expended in the improvement of land; this was a great advantage to both landlords and people. He begged leave to second the proposition of his reverend friend . (Loud cheers).

Mr. Wm. Sharman Crawford was anxious to address a few words to the meeting before the resolution was put-. He had come from a distant part of the country to be present at the meeting, because he was connected with one of the three parishes, viz. Drumballyroney, He wished to show that he was not indifferent to the wants of the people. (Cheers) He had expected to see more landlords present. He had hoped that the landlords or their agents would have come forward to undertake, in conjunction with the tenantry, to afford employment for the people. (Cheers) He was opposed to cimpulsory taxation, but if erelief were not afforded otherwise, they would be obliged to have recourse to it. If landlords would arrange with their tenants as to what could be done to give employment, ten years of oppressive taxation would be avoided . He wished to save the samll holder from an accumulation of cess. The cess was too weighty as it was, and he wished to avoid making it heavier. He had come to the meeting to say that he was prepared to undertake, in conjunction with his tenantry. to give employment to all who wanted it on his own property. (Chyeers) 'He must own, however, that the small appearance of landlords present afforded little prospect that that could be affected. The poor-law, which did not deserve the name, was not applicable to extraordinary cases. The guardians were not empowered to admit to the workhouse any members of a family, unless the father and all went in. He had always, in and out of parliament, contended for out-door relief, but he had not been supported. Since there was no out-door relief allowed, the poor-law was inefficient. Another law had been passed- the labour rate act, which adopted the principle that the land should support the people. This was a noble principle, though the land should be taxed by it. He was delighted that the principle was established that the land must either employ or fee the people. (Cheers) He was also anxious to promote another measure which would have effected much good among the people, namely a measure providing compensation to the tenants for the improvements they had made on their farms. (A voice- I wish every member of parliament was like you.) That measure, if passed, would greatly relieve farmers from their embarrassments. He was ready, as he had said, to undertake to give employment on his own property, but if other landlords did not do the same, he could not be expected to pay for them. He would, however, do all in his power to relieve the industrious classes under the calamity which had come upon them, and was still more fearfully impending over them. He was sorry that there was any necessity for the proposition which had been made by Rev. Mr. McAlenon, but now it was necessary, when all the landlords would not undertake to give employment to those on their own estates. (Cheers) He would not trespass further on the attention of the meeting.

The Chairman explained why they only took three parishes into consideration. They would have included other parishes, but the landlords there objected to baronial assessments under the labour rate act. When some landlords did all they could, it was hardship to be taxed again for other people. That was the reason why they only took in three parishes. He had expected the general co-operation of the landlords. He did not wish any amendment to be proposed. In the oarish of Dromara, he saw that country gentlemen were raising subscription to give employment; all money raised in that way would not do long, still, if all would unite, a good deal might be done. In like manner, he wished that a subscription would be entered into at Castlewellan for the local public works he had alluded to, for baronial assessments were slow, and hunger would not wait. Then, baronial assessments could be afterwards made available. Work was wanted immediately and it could only be afforded by subscription. He wished that Lord John Russell would impose a tax on non-resident landlords. He now put the resolution.

A voice- 8 pence a day won't do. Another voice- No rent and clear receipts.
The Rev. Mr. McAlenon re-stated his resolution. Voices- We'll never pay the tax- There is too much cess now. No rent till the times mend. - Lower the land for a time.

The Chairman again put the resolution. There was no little confusion at this stage of the proceedings. The people seemed much divided in opinion; still there appeared to be more to support the resolution.

The Rev. Mr. Mooney explained the resolutions t the people, and supported it. He said that many persons in Upper Drumgooland were starving , and, therefore, they should look to the distress that existed at present, and do something to alleviate it. He was, therefore, favourable to the introduction of the labour rate act, but, at the same time, was of opinion that they should not lay on heavy assessments. (Cheers). The resolution was again put and carried.


20 Mar 1847- Killinchy Electorial Division

A relief committee was appointed in this division, in January last by the rate payers, convened for that purpose. Since that time they have afforded relief, in provisions, at reduced prices, and, in many cases, gratis, to 150 families, requiring aid. In this way they distributed 24 tons of meal, and thereby greatly alleviated the distress, to which, in the recent trying season, the labouring population would have been otherwise subjected. The funds were raised by voluntary subscriptions, to which all the rate payers in the division, both proprietors and tenants with very few exceptions, cheerfully contributed. The sum thus raised amounted to £242 and included the following contributions, viz: Lord Dufferin £50; John Cleland Esq., Stormont, £50; Robert Gordon, Esq., Florida Manor £ 10; James Bailie Esq., Ringdufferin £ 10; John Clarke Esq., £5; H.T. Johnston Esq., £5; Hon. and Rev. H. Ward £5; Incorporated Society, per Wm. Pigeon Esq., £5; John Hart Esq., £4; Mat. William Lowry Esq., £3.3s.6d; Captain Frew £3; Rev. S. Watson £3; Rev. D. Anderson £3; Robert L. Hayes Esq., M.D. £2. 10s; W. Keown Esq., £2; Robert Harper Esq., £2; Mrs. McConnel £2; Mr. J. McKeown £1.14s; J. Gracey Esq., £1; J. Heron Esq., £1; Mr. John Stewart £ 1.10s; Mr. J. Minnis £1.10s; Messrs. Mat. Orr & D. Lowry £2.4s; Messrs. T. Osborne, R. Clark, John Lowry, James Anderson, William Hewitt, John Coulter, John Morrow, John Stewart, jun. and James McCann and Mrs. Lowry £1 each. For more than eight months this benevolent system of relief has been carried on by the committee gratuitously, without any expense whatever having been incurred for its management, and without government aid or any grants from the national funds; while assistance of the most satisfactory and substantial kind was afforded to the destitute in their time of need. The committee at their final meeting on the 20th Sept., resolved unanimously to tender their best thanks to those benevolent landlords, who so readily responded to their call, and so generously aided with their contributions in the late trying emergency ; to Robert Potter Esq., Ardview, who placed at their disposal free of cost, a store, sale room and committee room, and supplied everything necessary for their accommodation and comfort; to the Hon. and Rev. H. Ward, their Treasurer, for his unremitting attention and zealous aid in carrying forward this charitable undertaking; and to the Rev. David Anderson, for the valuable services rendered by him as Secretary of Committee, whereby their labours were greatly facilitated and relief was punctually and satisfactorily administered.

Case of Great Destitution- Killinichy-in the- Woods area - page 2
From some information we have heard this week, there is reason to fear that in some parts of the country there is not that activity going on which ought to exist in a civilized country, to meet the wants of the destitute cottier and his little family. Will it be believed that in this country, within six miles of where we write, Killinchy-in-the -Woods, a cart could not be got to convey to the Infirmary or Fever Hospital, a poor destitute person, who, though only sixteen years of age, was helpless from disease, produced, in all likelihood, from want? The mother of the girl carried the sufferer on her back, and after a three days' journey of six miles, mowing to her own weakness, she reached this hospital, and laid the patient down, who gave two faint sighs and immediately expired. Mow, may we ask, is there a relief committee in or convenient to Killinchy-in-the-Woods? Who are the landed proprietors of the place? What magistrate resides convenient to it? What clergymen officiate in it? We should add that this place is in the unfortunate division of Crossgar.

We understand that the Board of Guardians of this Union meet in the grand jury room tomorrow, and will continue to meet there until the fever patients be removed from the porter's lodge at the Workhouse, which is expected to be very soon, as the temporary erection for the reception of fever patients is nearly completed.


17 March 1849- Battle of Crossgar ( by Tom Hewitt 12 Mar 2003)

The rise of the Orange Order from 1795 brought about the rise of the Defenders to oppose them. Following on from skirmishes in other areas, The Defenders or Ribbonmen (Catholics) decided on a show of strength on St Patrick's Day; to march up Killyleagh Street, regarded in Crossgar as a Protestant enclave. The Potato Famine of 1845/46 and the lack of help from the British to alleviate the problem also added to the discontent. Since the 1830s, Crossgar had been plagued by faction fights, usually at Easter and Christmas. The population of the town was evenly divided between Protestants and Catholics both trying to establish 'no-go' areas.

The word Ribbonmen came from an attempted coup d'etat at Garvagh at Lammas Fair in July 1813.To identify themselves they wore large white handkerchiefs or ribbons around their waists.

On St.Patrick's Day in 1849, Ribbonmen from Lecale, Saul, Strangford, Ardglass, Annacloy and Teconnaught, with drums and banners, marched to a prearranged meeting in Crossgar. At 11am, companies of Threshers or Ribbonmen, passed through Downpatrick,where some slight rioting took place and some locals threw stones.In retribution for this,they targeted the Skillen home, 4km out of Downpatrick where the road to Crossgar turns to the right. Damage was done to the windows and doors, furniture and crockery broken and the front door was riddled with shot, which lends support to the police claim that some of the Threshers were armed.

The procession then proceeded via Annacloy and Kilmore where an attack was made on the premises of the Seay brothers, spirit grocers and general merchants in the village. Shot was fired at the door and the bread delivery van was demolished by large stones. Police had been strengthened to a force of 60 by sub-inspector Despard from Navan. Behind the police line in Killyleagh Street,crows of Orange and Protestant supporters chanted,"up this street they must not walk." Anticipating trouble, three magistrates were in attendance. They were Messrs. James Sharman Crawford, William R. Anketell and J.L. McCance. Thirty Police were sent to Rea's corner in attempt to block access to Killyleagh Street via William Street. This weakening of police strength may have contributed to the events which followed.

As the parade was turning the corner of Widow Boyd's public house much pushing and shoving occurred; but it was not until a sixteen year old lad called Cleland, left the Killyleagh Street party, ran across the street and attempted to drag a collarette off a young man n the procession, that events deteriorated. As Cleland and the drummer tussled over possession of the sash, Constable Bradley of the Crossgar Barracks and two other officers, ran over to separate them.Each opposing side saw this as an attack upon their own party so stone throwing increased and shots were heard. Each side was armed and the gunfire increased. Police were ordered to load their guns to protect themselves.

Full scale rioting now appeared to escalate beyond control and at this point Mr. Anketell read the Riot Act. The tragedy of this melee was the death of a police constable called Bourke from Newtownbreda, who was shot through the neck and killed instantly and a young lady called Ann Woods who was assisting her father at his ginger bread stall. Another innocent bystander called Smyth was also shot and died later in Down Infirmary. Under attack from both sides, the police were ordered to open fire with about thirty rounds fired.

At the inquest in the Market House into the deaths two days later, evidence was given that both sides were armed and bullets were flying in all directions. The coroner counselled the jury to bring down an open verdict on the deaths but added that the procession was unlawful. He blamed the government for not passing legislation suppressing these types of processions which are the " bane and curse of this country".

On 14th April 1849 at Killyleagh Petty Sessions, 23 persons were summoned for being engaged in an illegal and riotous assembly in Crossgar and Kilmore on 17th March 1849. Constable Bradley identified for of the prisoners: John McGuire,Hugh McClurg, John Burns and John McCauley as being armed with guns and stated that the number assembled was between two to three thousand. John Bell identified John, Daniel and Peter Rogan, proved that they were armed and alleged that he saw two of them fire in the direction of the police.

On 4th April 1849,some sixty defendants appeared and were examined at a special court at Killyleagh, as a result of which 27 were sent for trial at the Quarter Sessions at Newtownards.Of a further 25 persons who appeared at Killyleagh on 28th April 1849, 8 were "held to bail" to stand trial at Newtownards,making a total of 35 persons tried for taking part in a riot.


4th December 1852 - More Incendiarism

It is with much pain we have to state that on the night of Friday last, a dwelling house in Tullynacree, about five miles from this town, was fired and burned to the ground. The house has been unoccupied for a considerable time; the tenant lately in occupation, Widow Megraw, owed between five and six years rent, and gave up peaceable possessions, acknowledging with gratitude the kindness of her landlord, the Rev W.B. Forde. There are about fourteen acres attached to the house; and no sooner had a new tenant, named Robinson , been declared, than the house was set fire to. There can be no doubt that Ribbonism is at the bottom of this outrageous act. Mr Forde has issued notices offering a reward for the apprehension of the perpetrators.

Waylaying in Downpatrick area

We exceedlinglky regret to understand that of late there have been several very bad cases of waylaying on different roads leading from Downpatrick. In the course of the proceedings at the Petty Sessions held here on Thursday, informations were taken against parties for two offences of this character, on of the road leading to Ballynagross and the other on the Killyleagh road. We have also heard of a third case when a person on his way homeward to Ballybranagh was attacked at the new embankment on the Ardglass road and precipitated over the fence whereby he sustained much injury. If there should be any repetitions of these atrocities, we cannot see a better mode of preventing them than by an apl;ication to the Lord Lieutenant for an augnetation to the police force and have the various outlets from the town patrolled for a distance of three miles at least. This, we are aware, would incur an additional expense to the county, or rather to the district, but anything and everything that can, ought to be done, in order to squelch thsi diabolical system, which, if allowed to uprear its head, will be a mark of indelible disgrace upon our locality. We are glad, however, to be enabled to state that, so far as the perpetrrators of these outrages are concerned - at least in the cases brought before the magistrate on Thursday- none of the inhabitants of this town were participators. The offenders seem to be confined to the class of farmer's servant boys, some of whose gymnastic and athletic exercises were so wonderully potent on the nomination day of the late county election and who seem ever since to have 'kept moving'. We would recommend these young men to take a gentle hint, for if the proceedings so well commenced by Head Constable Wright be persevered in, and fully carried out, they may be tripped in the course they are now pursuing.


25 June 1853 - Petty Sessions

Tuesday 21st June 1853; The court sat at half-past nine o'clock, when the following petty jury was sworn:-
Messrs. Hugh Turnley, Hugh Lightbody, Samuel Donnan, Samuel Weaver, Charles Hastings, Thomas Caldwell, William Ardiss, Francis Donnan, Henry Coates, Edward McGrath, Alex Little and John Kelly.

James Boyd was given in charge for attempting to steal from the person of Thomas Lewers, at the fair of Ballynahinch, on the 16th inst. The persecutor not appearing when called, his Worship ordered the prisoner to be discharged.

James McAuley was indicted for a burglary, in the house of Jane Warwick , at Newtownards, on the night of 27th May and stealing a cost and other articles at the same time and place. Not guilty.

Robert Gibson, for assaulting Thomas Gillespie, at Ballynahinch on the 16th inst. This was a rescue from arrest under a Quarter Sessions decree. The prosecutor said the parties were anxious to compromise the affair if his Worship would allow it; there was not much harm done. The Court observed that if the prisoner would withdraw his pleas of 'not guilty' and substitute a pleas of 'guilty', there would probably be no punishment inflicted; but the prisoner would be required to give security, himself in 10 shillings and two sureties in 5 shillings each, to keep the peace for twelve months.

Edward Connor, for stealing a pen knife, the property of John Hynds, at Downpatrick, on the 7th of May, last. Not guilty.

Assault and Riot at Magheralone on 25th June 1853 page 1

Hugh Beatty, Francis Dorian, Thomas Mariner and Daniel Davey
, who have been out on bail, were taken into custody, charged with being engaged in a riot at Magheralone, near Ballynahinch on the 17th of March; also with an assault on Patrick Green, with intent to do grievous bodily harm, at same time and place.

Mr Ruthven prosecuted on the part of the Crown and Mr Murland and Mr Murphy defended the prisoners.

Daniel Casement, examined by Mr Ruthven- Witness lives in the townland of Raleagh; recollects the evening of the 17th March last, which was a fair-day in Ballynahinch; was returning home from the fair when he was overtaken by Patrick Green, witness and Green might have gone forty perches in company with each other, when they parted; witness saw no more of Green that night; to the best of his opinion Green was sober; witness got home before it was dark.

Cross examined by Mr Murphy- It being the 17th of March, witness was indulging himself as well as others; knows all the prisoners; they are of the same religious persuasion as witness and Green; the 17th March is a holiday; witness knows nothing about persons of his persuasion being prevented by law from marching or walking in procession on that day; will swear that when they don’t walk in procession, witness thinks it is a customary thing for them to drink a little; will not say that Pat Green would drown his shamrock; did not ask Green what he drank or where he was going; the parties concerned in this trial are neighbours; witness might have taken half-a-glass or so on St Patrick’s day; disremembers what time in the morning he drowned his shamrock.

Patrick Green examined by Mr Ruthven- Lives at Drumnaconagher; recollects the 17th of March last; was at Ballynahinch fair on that day; left the fair in the dusk of the evening; on his way home overtook the last witness, Casement; they walked part of the way together; after parting with Casement, witness met with a man named John O’Prey; O’Prey invited witness to Hugh Maguire’s which is a shebean house; it was between seven and eight o’clock at that time; witness was about ten minutes in the shebean; had to pass the turn leading to his own house to go to the shebean; John O’Prey came out as far as the end of the house with witness; after leaving the shebean witness proceeded on the main road, straight for home; on his way had to pass the prisoner Dorian’s house, which is a few perches from the highway, on the right hand side; had also to pass the house of a person called Cleland; which is on the opposite side, nearer Ballynahinch; Cleland’s house was not occupied at the time; witness was not ten yards past Cleland’s house when Hugh Beatty attracted his attention; witness said to him "Come on Hughy, you will be company a bit of the road with me"; Beatty made no reply but stooped down with his hands on the road; witness spoke to him again and said that he need not pretend to being the drink for he had seen him that day before; witness then proceeded homewards leaving Beatty behind between him and the shebean; Beatty then followed witness until he came within a ‘bit’ of him; witness then observed another person, who he took at the time, for the prisoner Daniel Davey; Beatty then came in on the witness and gave him a drive; before witness knew what he was about he was pushed with his face against the hedge, and his hat was knocked off; before he had time to speak a word to them they were all laying on with their fists on his head as hard as they were able; witness shouted out " O, Hughy what’s this?" and wrought a little along the hedge to get rid of them; was in the way of getting rid of them when Thomas Mariner, one of the prisoner came up and struck witness with a stone on the head; Mariner repeated the blow holding the stone in his hand; witness struggled to get rid of them and in the struggle Dorian came in and struck him; witness then saw that he could do nothing and all the prisoners continued to beat him; after a little time they ceased and went away; Davey and Dorian ran off through the fields towards Magheralone but could not tell where or what road the others went; when the prisoners left the witness he was lying all blooding across the ditch about three fields from his own land; witness got home and was for a fortnight after confined to his bed in consequence of this beating; Mr McCullough visited next day and attended him till he recovered; the first of the prisoners that witness saw afterwards was Beatty who was brought a prisoner to where he was lying; that was on Saturday, and the affair took place on the Thursday previous; the next he saw was Mariner , who was also brought a prisoner to where he was for the purpose of identifying him, that was on the Monday following, but he did not see either of the others till some time in April; witness swore his information on the Saturday evening after he was beaten.

Cross examined by Mr Murland- This is witness’ first appearance on the Crown side of the court; has a better acquaintance with the civil side; witness and all his family took the benefit of the Insolvent Act and got full clearance at the same commission, some time ago; cannot say what the money reputation of Mariner’s father is: witness went to the fair to look for corn seed; it was not to see Mr McComiskey; it was seed barley witness got from him; did not buy any seed corn; merely went to see how it was rating; witness had not been drowning his shamrock; took half-a-glass of whiskey, if that may be called drowning his shamrock; it was dark when witness reached home; did not dine in the fair but was treated by some friends; did not drink beer or porter or anything else of the kind and was study and sober as at the moment, he was speaking; when witness went to the shebean house, O’Prey called for a naggin, but did not get any; it was all gone; after leaving the shebean he saw Beatty standing behind him and the moment witness spoke, Beatty went down on ‘all fours’, witness observed another man, who he took for Dorian, but could not be sure of him, although many a time his friends served witness; the first thing that happened was his being pushed with his breast against the hedge; witness did not turn around.

And Davey running towards Magheralone; did not see where the others went; when the constable came to witness he only told on Beatty and Dorian; the reason why he did not mention the others was that he would not trust the police, for they would tell and give them (Mariner and Davey) an opportunity to leave the country.

Doctor McCullough examined by Mr Ruthven- recollects the 12th March the day after last Patrick’s day; was called to visit Patrick Green; when witness first saw Green he was disfigured from the blood not having been clean washed off; he had seven cuts on the right side of the head, one on the temple and one near his mouth; witness visited Green four times; never apprehended any danger, excepting that fever might ensue; and could not be certain as to that for weight or ten days; Green is completely recovered now.

Cross examined by Mr Murphy- During the time witness was attending Green heard him accused two person and two only, and that was in the presence of Mr Stafford, S.I; the two that he names were Beatty and Dorian; he said Beatty came up first and gave him a push and that Dorian struck him with a stone.

Mr Ruthven said he closed the case on the part of the Crown.

Defence: Mr Murland said he would trouble the jury with a few observations. He and Mr Murphy were concerned for the four traversers, and he thought he would be able to show that there were not four quieter nor better conducted young men in the country. The jury could not help observing the weakness of the case on the part of the Crown and the ingenuity which Mr Ruthven displayed in propping up his principal witness even before that witness came on the table to be examined, by getting that most respectable gentleman, Mr Dandy Casement, to swear that the prosecutor was sober going to a shebean house. But, he would ask, why did not Mr Ruthven produce O’Prey, who accompanied Mr Green to the shebean and let the Court and the jury know what state he was in at the time? There was no doubt in the world but that this man (Green) was beaten, but that the parties charges were those who committed the assault was a very different question. Mr Ruthven conducted his case, as indeed he always does, very ingeniously, and he thought it well, and very convenient to gloss over the circumstance of the prosecutor at first only accusing two individuals. But it was necessary- it was convenient- it suited Mr Green’s views, for some purpose best know to himself, to connect the son of his former friend and benefactor- his neighbour Mariner with participating in this assault. He (Mr Murland) would ask the jury how could they reply upon such evidence? How could they rely upon the evidence of a man who tells the doctor and sub-inspector that it was Davey who struck him with a stone, whilst here upon this table, he swears it was Mariner, who struck him with the stone. Then again, let the jury consider the circumstances of Green’s mentioning to the constable of the names of only two prisoners as having beaten him; and of the two who he swears as being the worst he did not then say one word.

Mr Ruthven would require the information to be read, if Mr Murland was going to comment upon them. Mr Murland was about to proceed with his observations, when he was again interrupted by Mr Ruthven, requiring the information to be read. The Court did not see that it was necessary. Mr Murland said after what had taken place, although he had a number of witnesses summoned and in attendance, he would not produce one of them. The jury saw the prisoners in the dock; their appearance attested as to their respectability; the parties were all of the same religious persuasion (Roman Catholic); they would bear in mind the particular evening on which the assault was committed- the evening of the 17th of March- and above all they would bear in mind Mr Ruthven’s attempt to prop up his principal witness even before the witness was examined. There was another circumstance to which he would call attention of the jury, namely, the fact of the prosecutor only mentioning the names of two individuals to the constable at first, and to his subsequently charging, and now swearing against four. With these observations he would leave the case in the hands of the jury.

His Worship briefly charged the jury, who having consulted for a short time returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

{This trial seems to have acquired some interest and when the traversers were discharged from the dock, a good example of excitement prevailed throughout the court. There appeared to be a general murmur of approbation on the announcement of the verdict, soon after which the galleries were considerably reduced in number.


22nd October 1853- Churchyard of Magheradroll

( Murdered innocents & untimely dead buried secretly)
At the request of a highly respectable correspondent, we insert the following statement-" In consequence of the unrestrained manner certain disorderly persons were permitted to reign in the parish churchyard of Magheradroll, for nearly the last two years- iron gates, locks and fences were of no avail in the way protecting that place sacred to the dead the most daring possession was maintained, neither magistrate nor police making them afraid, many attempts were made to restore order and respect for the place of the dead, but in vain, for those who moved in that direction found no favour. The churchyard , thus contaminated, became a hiding place ( a very aceldama) for murdered innocents and others supposed to have come to an untimely end. Inquests were made recourse to without effect, a late instance was tried that was a few days ago, where an infant was found under the most suspicious circumstances and proved by witnesses, chosen by many, that it must have been deprived of life, and concealed in a hole, scraped in the side of a grave by some unnatural person, or person unknown."- Communicated.

{Since the foregoing reached us we received the verdict in the above case which is as follows:- "We find that the body of the said male child was found buried in the graveyard of Magheradroll, in said county, on the 1st of October last, but there is not sufficient evidence before us to show by what means the said male child came by its death and we must protest in the strongest manner, against the practice of exhuming bodies, which, if followed up, would be the means of entailing useless and unnecessary expense and trouble on the public at large."}

29th October 1853 : County of Down
To be sold by Auction at Mr Hyndman's Mart, Castle Place, Belfast, on Friday the 25th day of November next at Two o'clock, pm:-

The Towns and Lands of KILMORE, otherwise Kilmoremorran and CARNACULLY, in the Barony of Castlereagh and County of Down, with the rent-charge in lieu of the rectorial tithes of the Parish of Kilmore. The townland of KILMORE on which stands the Post town of that name) contains by the Ordnance Survey, 149a 2r 26p, Statute Measure from which the glebe lands, containing 16a Or 31p are expected; and by the same survey, the adjoining Townland of Carnacully, consists of 427a 1r 36p like measure, both being situate in a populous and high- cultivated portion of the County of Down within one mile of Crossgar, four miles of Ballynahinch, five miles of Saintfield, five miles of Downpatrick and thirteen miles of Belfast. The two proposed lines of Railway between Downpatrick and Belfast are both projected to pass by Crossgar and one of them by the Town of Kilmore, through this property.

These lands are now, by virtue of the recent Act , the 14 and 15 Vic., c74 held by Lease under the Vicar of Kilmore for 21 years from 21st October 1852, subject to the yearly rent of £21.11.9 which term is renewable annually on payment of a fine of £92.6.2 and which can be converted into Fee under the Church Temporalities Act.

The property is entirely let to solvent tenants, principally in large lots, at small rents, producing after payment of Head-rent, renewal fine and receiver's fees, a clear an well- secured profit rent of £209.5.7.

Geo. C. Hyndman, Auctioneer
For Rentals and further particulars apply Geo. K & F Smith, Solicitors, at their offices 35 North Cumberland Street, Dublin; or the Castle, Belfast.


24th December 1853- Mysterious Affair at Saintfield

We notices last week the mysterious circumstances of the skeleton of a man buried in his clothes, being found within a few inches of the surface of the ground, in Saintfield Churchyard. Since then an inquiry into the affair was held before John A. Ward Esq., Coroner, and the local Magistrates. At this inquisition it was deposed by a man named Conolly, that he recollected the circumstances of a person, though not a native of Saintfield, being suddenly missed from that town, some twelve years ago.

Conolly stated that he recollected on the 27th of May 1841, receiving a message from a girl, the daughter of a man named Cosby, who then kept a public house in Saintfield, stating that a man in her father's house wanted to see him. On going to Cosby's, he there found a stranger apparently the worse for drink but who said he had not sent for him; however, he complained that he had been robbed of some money, at the same time pulling out a chequered purse, which was quite empty. On hearing the man say that he had been robbed, Cosby, who was in another part of the house, exclaimed that he would not allow him (the stranger) on any account, to remain any longer.

The witness further stated that the stranger appeared to be forty years of age and about five feet nine inches in height; he also wanted one of his front teeth. It is very remarkable that all these circumstances of age, height and want of the tooth exactly agree with the evidence presented by the remains. Dr. Gordon, of Saintfield, examined the skeleton and found the skull much injured as if from blows inflicted by some blunt instrument. One of the jaw-bones was also broken.

From all the facts stated at the inquiry, there remains little doubt but that the skeleton found is that of the stranger and there is as little doubt that he was murdered. In the pockets of the clothes which enshrouded the skeleton were found a razor, a penknife and a horn spoon.

Conolly states that he was a total stranger; his name, and everything else likely to lead to any knowledge of him , being altogether unknown; he surmises that he might have been a labouring man who had returned from England or Scotland, possessed of the amount of some hard-earned savings. At least such was his impression at the time he saw the man. Verdict: willful murder against some person or persons unknown.


26th May 1855 page 2 - Vessels Stranding at Tyrella

The frequency of vessels stranding at Tyrella, even after a lighthouse has been erected at St. John's Point, is regarded by many as an suspicious circumstance. It is believed, in fact, and the idea, whether well or ill founded, has taken firm hold of the minds of some, that vessels are driven on shore, after a deliberate plan to wreck them, and make money more easily by defrauding the underwriters than by risking the perils of long voyages. Seamen are practical meteorologists and can predict a storm, suitable to their purpose, a sufficient time before it comes on, to allow them to leave Liverpool and be ready for the favourable gale. If there be any foundation for the suspicions in question, they exhibit not only enormous cupidity, but an outrageous disregard of human life. In passenger vessels, while the captain and crew, with their marine experience, may be able to save themselves, the passengers may have a narrow escape. There have been suspicious cases on the shore in question. Vessels have been seen beating about the channel as if to kill time It is stated that money has ere now been distributed among the people resident in the neighbourhood, to prevent their making public any ugly facts of which they may have become cognizant.

With respect to the late stranding of the Fortune , all is apparently correct, so far as the absence of evil intention is concerned. We give elsewhere a full report of the evidence taken at the inquest, on the body of the only individual who lost his life. The coroner, John A. Ward Esq., as well as the neighbouring magistrates, A. H. Montgomery Esq., and Rev. W. Annesley, took every pains to elicit the truth, and the evidence produced such an effect on the jury that they acquitted the captain of all blame, and brought in a verdict of accidental death. It is well that a coroner has considerable power in such cases. It is not many days ago since a coroner's jury found a verdict of manslaughter against the captain of the John, who ran his vessel on the Mannacles, and while he and his drunken crew took care of themselves, left the unfortunate passengers to their fate. In the case of the Fortune, the evidence of the captain and others is, on the whole, satisfactory. He accounts for the time consumed between Wednesday, the time the vessel left Liverpool, and the time she stranded. His evidence, too, is corroborated by others witnesses, some of them passengers, while other passengers were present, and could have contradicted any part of it that was incorrect. All parties were sober at the time of the occurance.Testimoney was borne to the captain's humanity and attention. But while there appears to have been no plan to wreck the vessel; while there appears to be no motive for such an act, it is quite evident,upon the captain's own showing, that he was unacquainted with the channel. He was entirely ignorant of his whereabouts. He thought that the Kish light was St.John's Point light, and he mistook St.John's Point light,for the Copeland lights. Nor does he seem to have had any idea of the length of the channel. The dangers of the channel navigation are well known, and require to be met by all the nautical skill and knowledge, local, as well as general, which can be procured.If the owners of passenger vessels wish to disabase the public mind of the suspicion that there is no foul play in these cases- if they wish to do justice to the passengers who place their lives in their hands, they will have their vessels piloted out of the channel. This would prevent all false tacks and mistaking of lighthouses. For our part, we are satisfied that there was no intentional error in the recent stranding, though some hold a different opinion. There is an utter absence of motive for any intentional wrong. Neither the vessel nor the cargo was insured. The owners will lose, instead of gain by the occurrence. The passengers will be sent on to their destination in Australia.A steamer was dispatched from Liverpool, to take off the passengers, as soon as the matter was known; and the Messrs. Murland, kindly placed their screw steamer, the Annabro at their service. It is gratifying that the vessel has not been much injured, and that only one life has been lost, and that owing to the impatience of the deceased himself. We hope that the occurrences will not be without its uses. If, as is suspected, on former occasions avarice has gambled with human life, it can be done no longer with impunity, for public attention is so wide awake, that all future cases of stranding, whether accidental or not, will be narrowly scrutinized. And we would again impress upon shipowners the necessity of having their vessels, bound for America or Australia, piloted out of the channel, so that neither drunkenness nor local ignorance could imperil the valuable lives which have committed their all to the mercy of the deep.

Page 4; The Stranded Vessel in Dundrum Bay- Coroner's Inquest

On Monday last an inquest was held in the hotel, Dundrum, before John A. Ward Esq., coroner; A..H. Montgomery Esq., and Rev. William Annesley J.P.; touching the death of Edward Rees, late a passenger on board the Fortune,now stranded in the Bay of Dundrum. The jury, thirteen in number, were sworn at Tyrella Police-barrack, whither the deceased had been conveyed, and having examined the body, proceeded to Mr.Young's hotel in Dundrum, where Sub-Inspector Janns and the constabulary of the district had the witnesses assembled. The first witness examined was

David Davis- Is a native of Monmouth; was a passenger on board the Fortune; the vessel sailed from Liverpool at 2 o'clock on Wednesday; was bound for Australia; got into Dundrum Bay at 12 o'clock on Friday night; the weather wasmoderate when leaving Liverpool, but it was blowing a fresh breeze when the vessel struck;knew the deceased Edward Rees ; he was a passenger on board the Fortune; he lost his life attempting to leap from the vessel into the smallboat and was frowned; the weather on Friday was rough; could not tell the point from which the wind was blowing.

Llewellyn Williams- Is a native of Swansea; the first thing he saw was the boat; it was full of passengers; there were twenty-three persons in it; saw a man, whom he believes to be the deceased,jumping from the stern of the vessel towards the small boat; he missed his leap and fellinto the water; the night was dark and there was no chance of saving him; the weather was fine when they set sail on Wednesday; thinks it was fine alsoon Thursday; it became stormy on Friday.

Joseph McCarthy; Is a native of Liverpool; is captain of the Fortune; left Liverpool on Wednesday at 2 o'clock; was bound for Hobart Town; the reegister of the vessel is 571 tons; had on board 233 souls, exclusive of the crew; the crew numbered 26; had a general cargo,consisting of coal, salt, soap, hams, bacon, &c; the vessel was towed by a steamer to within tenmiles westward of Holyhead; the wind was then N.N.W.; about an hour after the steamer left the weather became calm; the wind changed to the South- West, and continued to increase until twelve o'clock next day (Thursday) ; he was then 53"55' off the Arklow Light ship; kept tacking from that until twelve o'clock on Friday; finding he had gained only nine miles, and the wind continuing pretty strong from the South-West, he made for the North Channel; saw both the Welsh and Irish coasts; steered for the Mull of Galloway;at four o'clock on Friday evening saw the Kish light off Dublin; thought there wa an "1st-draught," and hawled off towards the North-East; on Friday night at eleven o'clock, saw what he took to be the Mull of Galloway Light; the weather became thick, and the light disappeared; being confident of his position he shaped his course for the Copeland Light; to his astonishment, at 10 minutes bfore twelve, te ship struck, where it now remains stranded; the vessel was not insured; kept the reckoning himself; the wind was S.SW. when he left the Kish Light; supposes it might be 50-60 miles from the Kish to the Mull of Galloway; was only once before through the North Channel; has been 16 years at sea; this is his fourth trip to Australia; sailed the same vessel once to Australia; thinks the vessel is not much injured; expects to get it off by next Spring-tide; the passengers are being all sent to Liverpool at the expense of the owners of the Fortune and will be forwarded by the first ship for Hobart Town.

Thomas Dunn Lawless- Lives in Manchester; was steward on board the Fortune; knew deceased ; he was a married man; has left a wife and two children ; the deceased was a stonemason; he was a delicate man and he believes was placed on the doctor's list only the evening before the accident; heard the captain giving his evidence; believes that evidence to be strictly in accordance with the facts; as far as he (witness) saw in the management of the vessel' has been sixteen years at sea;this is his first trip with the captain; never saw a more humane pr a more attentive man to the passengers and crew from the day they sailed; there was no misunderstanding between the captain, and anyone on board; all on board were perfectly sober.

David Griffith- one of the passengers, identified the body of the deceased as that of Edward Rees, and corroborated the evidence of the steward as to the propriety of conduct on the part of the captain.

George Jacob Wood- is the doctor on board; was on deck the greater part of the time since the vesselleft Liverpool; doesnot think any captain could be more attentive; heard ofnomisunderstanding between him and any of the passengers or crew; everything seemed togo smoothly; anticipated a pleasant and confortable voyage; the deceased was under his treatment; he had an affection of the chest.

Dr. Clarke of Newcastle examined the body of deceased; there wereno externalmarks of violence; the stomach was filled with sea-water; does not tink he struck the boat; has no doubt the man died from suffocation in the water.

This concluded the evidence, and the jury returned the following verdict:- "That the deceased, Edward Rees, was accidentally drowned in dundrum Bay, on thenight of Friday, the 18th inst. , whilst attempting to getinto a boat out of the ship Fortune; and that the jury do not attach any blame to Captain McCarthy,master of said vessel." The jury accompanied their verdict by expressing a hope that the owners of the Fortune would, under the circumstances , make some pecuniary allowance to the widow and children of the deceased.


13 Dec 1856- Reminiscences of Last Century in Killyleagh

Killyleagh is a post, Market and sea-port town and formerly a parliamentary borough in the parish of Killyleagh and barony of Dufferin. It stands on the west shore of Lough Strangford and on the road from Downpatrick to Newtownards, 4 1/2 miles south-southeast of Killinchy, 5 north of Downpatrick, 16 south-east of Belfast and 78 north by east of Dublin.A remote nucleus of the present town is believed to have been formed by the Irish sept of MacArtan, who possessed the territory, now constituting the baronies of Dufferin and Kinelarty and the southern part of Castlereagh. On the conquest of the maritime parts of Ulster, Sir John de Courcy appears to have found Killyleagh a place of some importance and to have adopted it as the site of one of his castles and principal settlements.

An English family of the name of Mandeville were constituted its lords, but seem to have been soon succeeded by another English family of the name of White The castle built by de Courcy came now to be designated White's Castle and was known for ages by this name. In 1567, the Whites were besieged in it by Shane O'Neil, but made so vigorous a resistance that Shane was eventually compelled to retire.In 1590, the Whites had become so reduced that they were able to raise only 120 footman and 20 horsemen, a force altogether incompetent to defend their territory; and about 1598 , they were able to raise only 20 footmen and had sunk to a mean as well as powerless condition, while remaining families of the old sept of MacArtan joined Tyrone in rebellion and suffered the attainder of their remaining possessions

In 1648, the castle was demolished by General Monk; and in 1666, a new Castellated pile was erected on its site, by the Hamiltons, Earls of Claneboy and Clanbrassil, whose title was created by Charles 1, and became extinct in 1675. The structure, after being the seat of Earls, descended, along with a portion of its domain, to the late Gawn Hamilton Esq., and is now the properly of his great-grandson.

From the middle to the latter end of the preceding century,Killyleagh was the chief place of residence of the Hamilton and Blackwood families, who were severally proprietors of the town and surrounding estates; the former occupying the fine old castle and the latter a large mansion house which stood in advance of the castle.The Hamilton family exercise the lordship of the manor, and the Blackwood family were vested with the patronage of the borough up to the period of the Legislative Union. Sir John Blackwood, the great ancestor of the present Lord Dufferin and Clandeboy, resided in Dublin during the winter seasons for the purpose of attending his duties in Parliament; and Mr. Gawn Hamilton,his contemporary,uniformly resided in Killyleagh. In politics they were both Whigs. Sir John as a member of the Irish Parliament, was strongly opposed to the Legislative Union, but did not survive the enactment of that important measure, but his son James, the first Lord Dufferin, voted in its behalf. In the latter part of the century, a Whig Club was formed in the county of Down, which comprised many of the leading gentlemen of the county. Some of its most distinguished members were- Robert, Lord Londonderry; Robert, Lord Viscount Castlereagh; Edward, Lord Baron de Clifford; Sir John Blackwood, Bart; Hon. Edward Ward; Hon.Robert Ward; Gawn Hamilton Esq.; Francis Needham Esq.; Matthew Forde sen. Esq.;Matthew Forde jun. Esq.; William Sharman Esq.; Arthur Johnston Esq.; John Crawford Esq.; Nicholas Price Esq.; Simeon Isaac Esq.;Edward Pottinger Esq. &c.

This club, which signalised itself in 1790, by an active and energetic support in favour of the Hon. Edward Ward and the Hon. Robert Stewart, in the great contest for the representation of the county, against Arthur, Earl of Hillsborough; which contest began on the 1st of May, 1790, and was maintained for three months. Mr. Stewart being under age at the commencement of the poll, but he gained his majority before its termination. Mr. Ward retired before its conclusion, soon after which Lord Hillsborough and the Hon. Mr.Stewart were declared duly elected by Colonel McLeroth, the then high-sheriff and returning officer. Ribbons, flags and other insignia of patrty were profusely displayed. The colours of Ward and Stewart were buff and blue and the party called the "Junction". The colour assumed by Lord Hillsborough was orange. Ribbons worn on the breast and the mmotto "Ward and Stewart" impressed in silver foil, and the like by the party of Lord Hillsborough inscribed in the same manner with "Hillsborough", together with cuckades of their respective colours were generally displayed. The Whig Club held its meetings, from time to time, and having assumed a politicalcharacter, some of the principles of which were reform in the parliamentary representation, the exclusion of place-men and pensioners from the House of Commons, and the non-interference of Peers in parliamentary elections. These, with some other points,formed the elementary principles of the club. Mr.Gawn Hamilton, took a prominent part in the deliberations, and occasionally presided at the meetings. Mr. Hamilton's refined manners and courteous disposition, together with his advanced years, claimed for him that deference which was so justly accorded to him. He was vchiefly attached to field sports- kept a fine stud, amusements. He was greatly beloved by his tenantry and neighbours; and many sons of the yeomanry were called after his name.

A considerable business was done in Killyleagh from the middle of the century. Towards the end thereof, a weekly market was maintained on Fridays; and the respectable firm of Wiley & Sons carried on an extensive trade; importing foreign wines from the Continent and the Island of Madeira; also, French brandies and West Indian produce. Broadcloths of the finest quality were to be had in their establishment. With all those goods they supplied the neighbouring districts for many miles. Extensive flour mills were worked where Mr. Martin's large spinning factory is now in successful operation. The Barony of Differin was then, as it now is, peopled by a class id industrious, intelligent, and successful farmers, improving their intellects and minds, as well as the soil which they occupy; maintaining a proper independence of thought and corresponding firmness of action. Neither was this district without a respectable gentry, who maintained a good neighbourhood and interchange of social and hospitable kindness. Amongst those were the names of Hamilton, Blackwood, Trail, Johnston, Bailie, Moore, Heron, Potter, Reid, Stewart, Gordon, Delahayes, &c. Mr. Gawn Hamilton lived to a good old age, and died in London on 23 (?) April, 1805. He survived 85 years, and was great grandfather of Capt. Hamilton, the present proprietor.

In the history of the Irish Volunteers, Killyleagh was peculiarly remarkable for the soldier-like appearance of its tall, athletic men, who composed the volunteer companies of the district, that attended the Belfast and Downpatrick reviews of that patriotic army. The name Girvan, among others of Killyleagh, has long been associated with military pride; and the spirit of the men who fought on the battlements of its caste is not yet evaporated.

The hose in which the celebrated physician and naturalist, Sir Hans Sloane was born in 1660, still subsists with the figures "1606" inscribed on the doorcase, which is of Scrabo freestone, with the initials "G.S.".

We cannot avoid referring to a name which has been intimately associated with the local history of Killyleagh- namely, that of Dr.Little. The gentleman, in his day, was the sole minister of a large Presbyterian congregation; and combined with his clerical duties the science of medicine, for which he studied in Scotland. There are many amusing anecdotes of this singular personage, which would excite pleasurable emotions without detracting in the slighest degree from the respectability of his character- the prominent features of which were, great moral courage, an impatient temper, an unswerving resolve that would not be baffled by hesitation or trifling excuse, earnestness, sincerity and absence of guile, ensured for him a confidence and respect which more than atoned for trifling peculiarities. Many anecdotes incident to his life might be hereafter be given to the world.

Returning to the period of the Northern Whig Club, another club of contemporaneous character and existence was instituted here, styled the Downpatrick Whig Club, and got up early in 1790. its character and objects were those of the former, namely, the purification of the Irish House of Commons, and the curtailment of undue ministerial power. The uniform of this Club was, blue coat, with breast, collar and cuffs edged with buff; buff cashmere waistcoat and small clothes furnished with richly gilt buttons, manufactured in London and impressed in the centre with the Irish harp, circumscribed with the words "Downpatrick Whig Club". The following names were enrolled as members;- Lord de Clifford, Clotworthy Rawley, Steele Hawthorn, C.S. Hawthorn, William Hawthorn, William Trotter senior, William Trotter junior, James Crawford, William Waring, E.S.Trotter, J.B.Trotter, W.R. Trotter, John Potter, Conway Pilson, Aynsworth Pilson, Thomas Nevin, Joseph Haughton, Henry Reid, Samuel Hunter and Thomas Dowling. The author of this memoir has yet the buttons which he wore on the uniform in 1790; and also the gold band, tassels, and epaulettes which he wore as a young volunteer, in the uniform of the Downpatrick Corps, in 1782. P.


7th July 1866- various articles

On Thursday a labouring man, Edward Herbert, engaged in driving cattle from Warrenpoint to Newry, was assaulted by three men near Greenisland, pushed into the mud on the road side and kept there for upwards of a quarter of an hour until as , they expressed themselves, they had given him a proper cooling, when they walked off in the direction of Warrenpoint. The cattle he was driving were not recovered until a late hour the following evening.

Tuesday evening last , a grand vocal and instrumental entertainment was given in the Market House, Crossgar, by Mr. George Washington of Belfast. The concert was the result of the praiseworthy exertions of James S. Crawford J.P. and James Cleland J.P. And under their immediate patronage it passed off most satisfactorily. Both as regards the musical treat afforded upon the occasion and the number of persons who attended, it fulfilled the most sanguine expectations of those chiefly concerned for its success. Among the occupants of the 'reserved seats' we observed Rev. Henry Stewart, Rector of Kilmore; John Cleland of Downpatrick; John Cleland of Crossgar; Mrs. Martin of Killyleagh; Mr. And Mrs. Samuel Martin and Miss Liddard; Mr. John Warnock of Downpatrick, Miss Warnock and Miss Wallace; Mr. And Mrs. Davidson, the Misses Johnston and company.
A large body of Orangemen of Lecale District attended divine service in Loughinisland Parish Church on Sunday morning. Proceeding to the church in orderly array, they were met and conducted to their seats. When the pews had been filled to overflowing forms were placed in all the aisles. Even the chancel and vestry were crowded and hundreds were unable to obtain admission. The service was admirably and effectively read by the Rev. S.S. Frackleton, incumbent of Magherahamlet, after which the Rev. Dr. Drew, Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland preached a most powerful and earnest sermon. It was a the desire of those who heard it that it should be published as soon as possible. We believe their wish will be complied with.
At a recent meeting of Downpatrick Horticultural Society's committee, the following were appointed as collectors in the different districts for the present year: Messrs. James Reid, Edward Gardner junior, Robert Martin and Thomas Skillen for Downpatrick; Henry Montgomery, Robert Whiteside and Gray Quail for Belfast; John Chambers and William Martin for Dunsford; A.H.R. Carr and F. O'Halloran for Killyleagh; James Downie for Ringdufferin; W. McGhie for Ballyalton; Andrew McCammon and John Perry for Seaforde;John Patterson and M. Bridger for Killough and Ardglass; P. Stewart for Castlewellan; Hugh Hughes and M. Clifford for Ballyculter and Strangford; James Copper for Portaferry; James Taylor for Tullymurry; W. Fitzpatrick for Seahornan; S. Seay and John Cleland for Crossgar and Alexander Nesbitt for Woodgrange.
We understand that William Johnston Esq. has given an invitation to the Orangemen of this and the surrounding districts to meet in his demesne at Ballykilbeg on July 12. There is to be a grand demonstration on the occasion. Among those who are likely to address the meeting, we have heard the name of Mr. Whalley M.P. mentioned.
The almost daily fall of rain which has taken place this week is valuable for turnip and grass lands, but by no means favorable to the wheat crop and retards hay-making very much. With a rising barometer , a change for the better may be looked for.


29 Jun 1872 page 3:
Samuel CLELLAND, son of Robert Clelland , charged with firing into the house of Arthur WATSON at Ballmacarn with intent to murder Ellen HILL.

DEATHS: James F. LINDSAY on 20th June at the residence of his father, Greenfield, Newry. Second son of Rev. R. Lindsay- aged 17.
MARRIAGES: on 26th June at the 2nd Presbyterian Church Saintfield- John BONNER of Newcastle-on-Tyne to Maria, youngest daughter of the late Mr. Bernard McCAULEY of Dromara.
On 29th June at Brookvale, Mr. Hugh KENNEDY STEWART, late of Canada to Miss Jane EAGAR of Annahilt.


15 Aug 1874 page 2- Babies' Death

Mary McKEOWN, daughter of a farmer, was delivered of an illegitimate child in the house of John BLACK of Glasdrummond. She was attended by Dr. FOREMAN who pronounced the child healthy.
Samuel BLACK, his son, stated that the child would not feed. The autopsy showed no violence. The verdict- natural causes.

Infanticide in Ballynahinch
Lizzie BURNS of Ballynahinch arrived with her mother, Margaret, at the house of John McCULLION at Glasdrummond and asked for Lizzie to stay for her confinement. She was delivered of a female child. She had not clothed or fed the child. Mrs. Margaret BURNS senior came to see Margaret and Lizzie. Lizzie lay on top of the child and smothered it, saying "plenty of others go the same way". The jury found Lizzie guilty of willful murder; convicted of manslaughter (neglect of her child) 24 Jul 1875 and sentenced to 5 years jail.
Petty Sessions
Mary REILLY, sister of John REILLY, accused Thomas MARSHALL, a Scotsman and herring curer, of stealing £1.1.6 from her at Ardglass.


12th September 1874 page 2 Inquest

The inquest was held at Ballymiscaw, Dundonald, on the body of William McKEE, a young man from Bryce and McKee, seedsman. He'd had scarlatina twelve months previous but was possibly poisoned. The inquest was adjourned for the autopsy of the stomach contents.

Dr. WHITE of Downpatrick was declared bankrupt.
Adam McCULLOUGH, brother of Robert McCULLOUGH, at Carnbane, Comber- a young lad aged 7 years, killed. He was the son of shoemaker. The horse shied and threw a farm labourer, JAMESON and both lads into the water. Jameson saved Robert but Adam was under the cart.
On Thursday last, a fire broke out on the premises of Mr. Samuel MONTGOMERY of Drumnatticonnor burning to the ground the bleach mill, now used as office-houses, the upper floor of which was filled with a large amount of unscutched flax, grass seed , flaxseed etc.


22 January 1876; Saintfield Tenant Farmers' Association meeting

On Thursday evening, the third annual meeting of the Saintfield branch of the County Down Farmers' Association was held in the Hotel- William Gordon Esq. M.D. J.P., presiding.

The Secretary, Mr Edwin Wilson, read the annual report and also the reports from the eight sub-districts, handed in by the assistant- secretaries which were passed.

After a few remarks from the chairman, the following resolutions were moved, seconded and passed:_

1st: That we hereby pledge ourselves at the next general Parliamentary election to use very endeavour to procure the re-election of James Sharman Crawford Esq., our present respected representative and also the election of W.D. Andrews Esq., Q.C., as a suitable and trusted colleague to assist him in turning the tide of destruction that is still fast consuming the Ulster Custom.

2nd; That the best thanks of this meeting are due to Messrs. Crawford, Smyth, Dickson and Macartney and also to those members of the House of Commons who supported the bill to amend the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act 1870.

3rd: That, as we consider Tenant- right entirely a social question, which equally affects the interest of tenant- farmers, of all religious persuasions, this question shall, therefore, be altogether beyond the domain of politics , and that, warned by antecedent facts,w e mistrust the recent promised recognition by the Constitutional party of Tenant-right after a lease.

4th; That we altogether repudiate statements recently put forth, that the Tenant-right Custom originated from the gracious condescension of a certain class of Ulster landowners. On the contrary, it is an absolute historical fact that the rights granted to the people by the Crown were gladly encouraged by the Plantation landowners, who knew the value of the land lay in the tenant's labour and tenants' capital- without which the bare soil would afford no subsistence; and it was only after the industry and the capital of generations had accumulated that the restrictions on the Ulster Custom began, with the view to its final abolition.


1st May 1880 page 2- Infanticide at Drumnaconnor (Kilmore parish)

Samuel McVeigh found the body in the bog of a child aged 6 weeks. It is estimated that the body had been in the water 8-10 months.


7th February 1885 page 2; Land Sales

Sale of Land at Ballyhossett, Ballee parish, held by Mr. Hugh NAPIER, 70 acres held by lease from Lord Bangor- private offers.
Sale of Land at Ballystrew, Down parish held by George RUSSELL Esq. J.P, 29 acres held by lease from Count Russell.
Sale of farm in Ballyclander, property of Henry McDOWELL for lease.

Breach of Licensing Law by Sarah and Maria JERVIS at Ballydugan- Patrick DOWNEY drunk outside hours on the premises.


14th November 1885 page 3

John McDOWELL, father of William McDOWELL, at Lisleen, accidentally shot dead by William LAMONT of Granshaw near Comber.

Annie FITZPATRICK hanged herself in the Lunatic Asylum on a ventilator with a bed sheet. Margaret KILLIPS, assistant nurse, was examined and said Annie was bad with neuralgia. Jane KELLY, another nurse, confirmed this. Annie, daughter of Daniel DORAN of Kilkeel was aged 26 and admitted because she threatened to drown herself. It was her second time in the asylum and her mother was there too.
"Last evening , at seven o'clock, a large and enthusiastic meeting of the supporters of Captain Ker M.P., was held in Castle Place, Ardglass;- Among those present were Major Gracey, J.P.; Messrs. Simon Martin, Dr. Parkinson, Captain Nelson, Joseph Carson, Alexander Napier, Newell Munce, Hugh Finlay, John Patterson, J. Thompson, James Martin junior, A.W. Guiney, William Casement, Thomas Cotter, James Norris, B.C. Wrattam, William Moore, William Conn, Alexander Napier senior, James Graham, William Bannerman, Michael Hayes, Samuel Price, John Greene, Thomas Lascelles, John Stewart, Dougall Moloy, William Creagh, Richard Stitt, Alexander Neill senior, Joseph Brown, William Cavan, James Martin, Thomas Scott, Bernard Hughes, Alexander Neill junior, James Craig, Silas Huddleston, William Neill etc. etc- Captain Ker was also present and met with an enthusiastic reception.
The meeting at once proceeded to make electoral arrangements after which Mr. Joseph Carson senior proposed that they adopt Captain Ker as a fit and proper person to represent them in Parliament. He (Mr. Carson) had voted for his grandfather and for his father in the borough and county and he would vote for a Ker as long as there was one. (Cheers)
Mr. Simon Martin seconded the motion and said he endorse everything that Mr. Carson had stated.
Mr. Newel Munce supported the motion.
Mr. James Norris said he knew Captain Ker's father and he remembered a little of his grandfathers and he (Norris) could say that they were a very popular family in Ardglass when they lived there. (Hear, hear) They lived there several years and they were highly thought of by every person in the neighbourhood. He (Mr. Norris) hoped that Captain Ker would be the successful man at the coming election. He had never voted at a county election that he was not on the winning side and he hoped to be so again. (Cheers).
Captain Ker then addresses the meeting and said that , in the first place, he had to express his pleasure at meeting so many of his friends there that night. In the second place, he had to return his thanks to the many friends who had worked for him in that neighbourhood last year when he was , unfortunately, laid on his back through an accident they would all remember........."


13th January 1900- Letter from Downpatrick man Corporal R.J. Love of the 1st Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders to his parents.

"Since I wrote on 30th November we have not moved beyond three miles. On Sunday last, the Highland Brigade moved towards the Boer's position and halted about a mile off. Our artillery opened fire and kept at it until dark. After twelve o'clock we advanced across the veldt in mass of battalions and nobody except the Generals knew the idea. We marched up in the blackness to within fifty yards of the enemy's trenches, without knowing it. Then all at once from the outer trenches and from the hill entrenchments and sides there came a storm of shot and shell through our ranks. It was terrible in the darkness.

The Brigade was disorganised , the regiments being driven back on the top of one another. We reformed and advanced again only to be repulsed. The Boers, who were in great strength, had their naturally strong position honeycombed with trenches. In front of these was barbed wire. It was cruel, for as we rushed up we could not get away. The Boers know the exact distance of it and mowed us down. It was awful.

The Brigade lost its commander, General Wauchope, once colonel of the Black Watch and about 600 killed, wounded or missing. Our colonel, a major and a lieutenant were killed with 24 rank and file and over 100 seriously wounded. On Tuesday there were something like 70 buried in two hours. It was madness to march in mass as we did and everybody out here says so. We hope to avenge our dead comrades. "
Reprinted 5th Jan 2000


16th October 1915- A Castlewellan Fatality

Juror and Defective Harness; Dr. Wallace, coroner, held an inquest on Monday afternoon in the county infirmary, Downpatrick, on the body of Walsh Brown of Mill-hill, Castlewellan. Vanman for Mr. R. Halll, J.P., of the South Down boot and clog factory, Brown died in the institution the previous day from the effects of injuries received in a vehicular mishap on the 7th inst. on the Corrie Wood road leading to the railway station. Sergeants Gillick and James J. Stokes represented the R.I.C. and Mr. C.G. Jefferson appeared on behalf of the employer.

The following were sworn on the jury: Messrs. C.A. Rourke, foreman, Ottavia Borza, T. Bradley,P. Clarke, P. Dorrian, J. Hughes, W. Keeler, P.J. Kelly, A. Leathem, M. McGrady, E. McGrady, L. McMullan, James Mullan, D. Murphy, and J. Stewart.

William Brown, also employed by Mr. Hall, identified the body the jury had viewed as that of his father, a widower, aged 83. The deceased had not been subject to any illness, except cramp in the legs.

Joseph Burns, car driver and labourer, deposed that about 3:45 p.m. on the 7th inst. he saw Walsh Brown driving a van down the hill towards Castlewellan railway station. There were two large skips, or hampers, on the van and Brown was seated on one of these. The skips could not be said to form a weighty load. Suddenly opposite Corrie Wood gate-lodge, the shafts of the van dropped, presumably due to the snapping of the back- band, and the horse dashed off. Brown being pitched against the kerb and the near wheel caught his heel and turned him over on the path. Some men ran to his assistance and a witness caught the horse.

The Coroner: If the back- Band had not snapped the shafts would not have dropped.
Dr. T.M. Tate deposed that at 6:30 p.m. on the 7th inst. Brown was admitted to the infirmary. (Incomplete)


The Last of the Smugglers
Smuggling was carried on along the coast of Lecale well into the 19th century. Contraband, chiefly tobacco, rum and brandy, came largely from the Island of Man.

Ardglass was then the principal port with this island. As time went on the illicit trade traffic increased. So the revenue authorities became more vigilant.

The conspirators then charges their venue to the little harbours about Gun's Island and Killard. Hither at night came small boats from the large yawls lying off to land their cargo and conceal it in the adjacent caves, from which it was transferred by road later to merchants in distant towns.

Some people in the neighbourhood were tempted to join the conspiracy. For them it was a tragedy. They made nothing and in many cases lost everything. Strong drink was their ruin, while the merchants accumulated large fortunes. Some joined for the joy of adventure and the sport of outwitting the armed coastguards and excisemen. Such a one was Tom McCullaghan, with his black mare.

Many stories are told of his daring, his name is now a legend in the countryside. For nights before these secret plans were to be carried out, men draped in white sheets, lurked about the roads. So ghosts were said to be walking abroad. Many told of hairbreadth escapes. The people were frightened and dreaded going out when dankness set in.

It was to be the lot of Jackie Mullan to end this reign of terror. He was spoken of as a quiet, fearless man. These traits, like threads, were woven into the fabric of a decent, honest labouring man who worked in the grain store at Ballyhornan and fishes in his spare time. He was appointed as an extra coast watcher.

One dark night when on his round he was warned that if he went on to Killard warren he would be shot. He went, and sitting down on the bank he struck his flint to light his pipe, when an answering flash came from the little harbour below.

He rushed down towards the light and challenged. A voice replied," You're not the right man", and before him standing in a boat was one of the smugglers with a pistol in his hand. Jackie felled him with a single blow. The boat drew off to sea. Jackie signalled to the Coastguards at Portaferry, who launched their boat and picking him up, went in pursuit. Fortunately they sighted a revenue cutter in the Channel on her way to Bangor and persuaded the captain to change his course and give chase.

Next morning the smuggler's yawl was caught among the fishing fleet in Port Erin. They were tried in Dublin and heavily sentenced.Jackie was the principal witness. The reign of terror was over. He returned home and quietly went on with his job. The Government afterwards awarded him with a small pension.

There is an excellent fishing mark between Gun's Island and the mainland. Here of a summer evening long ago a very old man might be seen fishing alone until the fading twilight yielded to the shadows of night. The mark is still known as 'Jackie's Pladdy".


The Story of Magheratimpany ; its old chapel and landlords

The place name Magheratimpany in the Gaelic, Mach-aire-ratha-tiomanach, signifies the plain of the fort of the hillocks. The map of 1720 shows five hill forts in the townland, while the first edition of the Ordnance Survey , surveyed in 1834, shows two and a portion of another. Today only one of these remains and it is to be hoped that it will not suffer the fate of the others. The townland was called in the ancient times Ballintanpany, Baile- tiompanach, the town of the hillocks.

This district lies within the axis of mid-Down, halfway as the crows flied between Ballynahinch and Seaforde, in a somewhat sequestered valley, where its many hillocks raise their lush grass-brown heads, vying with its each in altitude. From these vantage points one’s eye can compass the undulating landscape of Co. Down, from the graceful and lion couchant-like Slieve Croob and the monarch of the Ulster peaks, Slieve Donard, to the blue Cave Hill shimmering through the haze; towering Scrabo the silvery waters of Strangford Lough to the cloud-like hills of the Isle of Man on the skyline of the mystic east.

Here animated nature is seen and heard at its best. The wood pigeon in his leafy bower, where the alder and the ivy strive for existence and superiority respectively, coos his welcome to the rising sun. The blackbirds and the thrushes, who struck the poetic chord in the mind of John McMullan, the Magheratimpany muse, when he composed his overture to their rousing whistle and gay songs, haunt the hedgerows and the laurels and command the toped of the lofty trees, filling the very air with their melodies accompanied by the different other songsters of the feathered world. The crow circles lazily around as she alights on the old pasture or root crops cawing incessantly, while in the thickening light, the repeated drumming of the snipe, the shrill cry of the plover, the lone call of the moss cheeper, the harsh screech of the owl and the measured crake-crake of the landrail fills the very soul of a lover of nature with the joy of spring and the perpetual companionship of the fowls of the night.

The name Ballintimpany, appears first in a document dated 10th April 1301, when it formed part of the endowment of the Commandery of the Knights Templar, a military religious order who held Dundrum Castle. When the Knights were dissolved by Pope Clement 5th by a Bull, dated 22 March 1312 their lands were granted to the Priory of Down. King Henry 8th granted Magheratimpany among other lands to Gerald, Earl of Kildare and King James granted the Crown title to Phelimy in September 1665. ……. Phelimy McCartan granted to Lord Cromwell a third part of Kinelarty, including the lands of Magheratimpany, in consideration of a sum of money and that Lord Cromwell would give his son Patrick McCartan a good English education. The boy was then 14 years of age, Cromwell was a grandson of the well known historical character. Thomas Cromwell, who had risen from very humble origins to be the principal minister of King Henry 8th. He was appointed Governor of Lecale and McCartan county (Kinelarty) and the borders thereof " being empowered to prosecute with fire and the sword all traitors and rebellious persons therein". Phelimy McCartan had with other issue two sons, Patrick above mentioned and Owen, who were alleged on the evidence of prejudiced witnesses, whose depositions may be seen in trinity College Library, to have taken part in the rising of 1641 but there is no trustworthy evidence to support this allegation. Cromwell was succeeded by his son Thomas, the fourth Baron, who sold Magheratimpany with other lands to Matthew Forde of Dublin and Coolgraney in Co. Wexford. Clerk of the Crown and Peace Clerk of the Peace and Assizes and Clerk of Nisi Prius. These lands were ….. into the lands of Teaghconnatt, ( Teconnaught townland) the same being confirmed by paten dated 26th July 1637. Matthew Forde, who purchased the former estate of McCartan , married his daughter Eleanor, and had by her two sons and two daughters.

The old chapel of Ballintimpnay, or Magheratimpany stood in a field on the south side of the late Miss Annabella Smyth’s house. It appears in the Taxation of 1306 and in 1578 Sir Nicholas Malby speaks of a Holy Well beside the chapel of Ballintampanie venerated as ‘of the Virgin’. The site that was dedicated to the Virgin has long since been forgotten. By charter of 1609 King James 1st created the chapter of the Protestant Cathedral of Down, the precentorship being endowed by the rectories of Loughinisland and Drumcaw, the former including the chapelry of Ballintimpany. The first precentor of Down was John Marshall M. A. 1609-1614. From the Royal Visitations or the Visitations of the clergy made by the Crown in 1622, formerly preserved in the Public Records Office, Dublin, we learn that the chapel and townland of Magheratimpany were still in the parish of Loughinisland.

During the Bishopric of the neglectful Thomas Hacket, who ruthlessly disposed of his preferments, the chapelry of Ballintimpany was in 1681 transferred to the diocese of Dromore, being included in the parish of Magheradroll. The learned Monsignor O’Laverty tells us that in this valuable Diocesan History that he was informed (about the year 1874) by an old man called Burns, of Drumsnade, that according to a story handed down by his father the townland had been transferred by the priest of Loughinisland to the priest of Magheradroll. The exact year of this change in the diocesan boundaries in the Catholic Church does not appear to be on record.

On an estate map of 1720 in the possession of the Kenny family, the graveyard, in a circular enclosure as well as the ruins of the old chapel, which was duly Oriented is depicted. This graveyard was used as a burial place as late as 1825. I heard an old man called John Davey, who was born in 1815, state that he remembered a funeral procession to the old burial ground when he was a lad and that keeners formed part of the cortege. Every vestige of the graveyard was swept away over a century ago so that one can only discern the burial ring in the field when it is under crop. In the centuries now passed into the shade of oblivion the district was well populated. It was indeed a centre of importance when the towns of Ballynahinch and Castlewellan were unheard of.

The McCartens had a stone built castle there which stood in a field next to Timpany House which no doubt gave rise to the local tradition repeated by the old people that the that the King of Ulster had once resided there, which is of course not the case. The land, goods and chattels of Patrick McCartan, gentleman of Ballymaghrytimpaney, were administered in 1564 to John Russell of Killough. The castle was later occupied by the Russell family, one of whom, James Russell of Magheytimpany, gentleman, attended a meeting of the Co. Down Grand Jury on the 17th February 1613. According to the Subsidy Rolls of 1653, Hugh Magriny, of Maghera-Timpeny paid £3 14s of subsidy tax. He also appears to have lived at McCartan’s Castle.

During the 18th century my family resided there for a time prior to building on a new site occupied by Timpany House. Its ruins were incorporated in a modest long cottage building and were demolished in the last century. A pile of stones until recently marked the site. In a lease dated 29th November 1694, Matthew Forde, of the city of Dublin, granted to Adam Maitland, of Hillsborough, the townland of Magheratimpany. He by a lease dated 10th August 1703 leased his interest in the property of James Robb, of Balleselogh (Ballysallagh), near Newtownards, my first ancestor to have an interest in these lands. Robb by his will proved in 1708 bequeathed the residue of his lease to his son James, of Drumna Hall, Ballynahinch, who was agent to Sir John Rawdon. He later took up residence at the old home of the McCartans. Drumna Hall later became the Rectory and so remained until 1817. His son, John Robb, who was born there on the 6th January 1746, was one of the foundation members of the United Irish Society and a Colonel of the Insurgents. His mortal remains rest in an exile grave in St. Mary’s Church, Bergen, Norway.

In the original lease, Adam Maitland was succeeded by James Haw of Moira, a son of Nicholas Haw. It was dated 20th May 1730. Peter Mason of Moira acquired Maitland’s interest and on the 4th October 1748, renewed the lease to Robb. Stanhope Mason, of Moira, and Liverpool, had four daughters, namely Brittannia, who married Morgan Jellett whose aunt was the first wife of James Robb; Ruth, who married Graham of Dublin; Mary, who married William Speers of Dublin; and Susannah, who married Courtney Kenny of Ballinrobe, County Mayo. Courtney Kenny still held a freehold there in 1804, which was registered at Newry on the 15th April in that year. In a letter to James Robb, my great-great-grandfather, headed Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, Thursday 27th, year not given, Kenny writes;" Sir- I gratefully thank you for your letter of the 6th inst. and I am very sorry that I could not find time to answer it sooner. I am sure it is possible that your interest in the loans is bringing forth a good return, but surely the offer we made you of you landed estate, in Magheradroll parish in Down is an opportunity you should receive and take if possible. It is my intention to journey North and I hope to be at Moira on the 10th July, when I shall write you to advise you what date I could receive you there in company with you dear cousin Jellett, to complete the bargain, Very truly yours, Courtney Kenny. "

The Forde family of Seaforde always remained the head landlords from 1637 down to the buying out of their estates under the Irish Land Acts. In 1780 James Robb commenced building operations. On a heart-shaped stone still to be seen in the wall of Timpany House the following is inscribed:- "This house was built by James Robb, 1780".

The district always remained predominantly Irish, upwards of seventy-five per cent of the population have always been members of the Catholic Church. In the rental of 1720 Matthew Waring, whose will was proved in 1723 was the principal holding the lease of James Robb of Drumna Hall dated 10th May 1712; a holding of sixty five acres. The other names were Hector McDonald, Patrick O’Gilmour, Patrick McMullan, Terence Smyth, Bernard Mooney, Bryan Rourke, Patrick McLeagh, John Ripert, Neil McCann. Patrick Lynch of Loughinisland, the noted Irish scholar, writing to Bunting in 1801 says; " The best spoken and written Irish you will find is in Magheratimpany, where most of the elder generation do not speak English. Hume makes reference to Irish speakers in the district in 1830.

In the days of the volunteers who paved the way to the great measures of reform, the above James Robb raised a corps in October 1779 and had as his first lieutenant, Patrick Davey, one of the first Catholic officers to be admitted to the armed volunteers in Ulster. The second lieutenant or ensign was John Hanna. From the Muster Roll dated 28th March 1780, the other ranks mustered 22 principal names being Smyth, Davey, McDonnell, Mooney, Snowden, Kennedy, Hill. Twelve of the ranks belonged to the Catholic faith. The uniform of the corps was dark blue faced with scarlet button holes edged with yellow, silver buttons, blue trimmed cocked hats in scarlet and silver lace. One a silver medal still preserved, bearing the date of 1780, is inscribed:" A reward for merit to William Snoddon for skill with broad sword." Patrick Davey served in the American War in the 5th Regiment of Foot. "The Fighting Fifth" now the Northumberland Fusiliers and was under the command of Lord Moira at Bunker’s Hill. According to the Monthly Returns War Office Papers, Davey was specially commended on the field after that engagement for gallantry. The Davey family originally came from Douglan , some miles to the west. In a lease dated 20th March 1781, in the Public Records Office, Belfast, Cornet James Robb leased to Hugh Davey fifty acres of land for a term of twenty-one years. There were many families of the name in the district, all being of the same ilk. There was Hugh Davey, whose will was proved in 1795; John, whose will was proved in 1827 and Patrick’s will in 1818.

During the 1798 Rebellion many of the inhabitants joined the insurgent ranks. The hill forts of the district at that time played their part, for it was from these that the United Irish inhabitants kept watch over the valley for the approach of the red coat. An officer of the 22nd Dragoons writing on Friday, 15th June 1798 tells us that his troop passed through the district and laid waste many homesteads in the adjoining townland. I also heard different people who remembered the Insurrection state that two men were ruthlessly slain and buried on a hill facing south in the lands of Richard McCaugherty and that their remains were later removed to the old burial place. This story, handed down by one who talked to those who were there, is no doubt supported by the officer’s record of the presence of the Dragoons.

The hills and dales of Timpany have witnessed many pageants of history from the days of the military knights of old, through the times of the sad vicissitudes of the princely McCartans to the days of the Volunteers who unlocked the door of penal oppression and have also witnessed the relentless pursuit of the bloodhounds of Col. Nugent in one of the most eventful periods of history in the North.

Here too the Celt clung to the faith of his forebears, sticking to his native sod and speaking his native tongue a little over a century ago and endearing himself to his fellow countrymen by lending the helping hand to him whose ox had fallen in the pit, speaking a kindly word to the sorely bereaved and many other good neighbourly acts too numerous to mention, displaying in every turn of daily life those perfect sentiments of the true Gael.

by Colin Johnston Robb published in 'The Down Recorder' on 9th October 1970


by Ros Davies
Last updated July 2008