This little girl is the only one of my ancestors, back to 1800, not born in south Ulster.

It brings to mind another little girl, her great-grandmother, who was born in India about 1794 and married 11 years later.

Picture of Elsie Henry
Family Genealogy By Peter Morell McWilliam


The following are not intended as crafted narratives. They are closer to a collection of sources and notes.

Mc William of Monaghan

McWilliam of Monaghan / McWilliam of Creggan / McWilliams of Carnteel / Wallace / Russell / Rogers / Murrell / Morell / McCulla / Lucas / Lowry / Blayney / Charles / Eccles / Dickson / Clugston / Conolly / Dickie / Donaldson / Henry / Harris / Kennedy / Sacheverell

Herbert McWilliam (15/06/1882-30/09/1936)

Born in North Road, Monaghan to William McWilliam & Hessie Morell, he was the 4th of their six children - Russell, Anna, William, Herbert, John (Jack) & Nina. Hessie died of TB, aged 32 in December 1887.

Educated Model School, Monaghan, Dungannon Royal & Campbell College, Belfast.

The first record I have of him is a letter he sent to his younger brother, Jack.

Royal School,
My dear Jack
I got your letter this morning.
I am sorry Hezekiah is lost.
You may keep the box of geometrical instruments. I will not want them again.
It is very lonely here since Willy left, but I will soon get used to it.
Thanks for keeping the vinegar for me, I did not think either of you would have thought of it.
I never knew till I got your letter, that Aunt Anna was at home, I suppose she is well.
We have two matches before the holidays, one against Inst. and the other against Methodist College, we go to Belfast for it, we play Inst. here.
I got Chums yesterday.
We got a half holiday on Thursday, but I suppose Willie told you about it.
I hope your cold will be better soon.
I remain
your fond brother

Willie and Herbert

Herbert's dog licences







All were active in traditional country pursuits of shooting & fishing though why Herbert required 13 dogs in 1914 is not immediately obvious.




Irish Times report on All Ireland shooting championships, 1909<


It would appear that he was an excellent shot winning an All Ireland team championship while representing Leitrim in 1909.

Russell McWilliam played hockey for Ireland 12 times, 1901, 4, 5, 6, 8. He captained Ireland 1908.
William McWilliam played hockey for Ireland 4 times, 1903, 5, 8.
Herbert McWilliam played hockey for Ireland 3 times, in 1906.

Herbert sirns the Ulster Covenant

He qualified as a solicitor but I haven't located any details yet. However by the time of the 1911 census he was working as a solicitor in Ballybay and living with his sister, Nina at Bowelk.


However political events were soon to intrude in the form of agitation for Home Rule. Like virtually all his family he was one of the signatories of the 1912 Ulster Covenant.

My grandfather, Russell & grandmother, Elsie signed in Monaghan. Herbert and his elder brother, William signed in Ballybay. Elsie's uncle, Dr William Henry of Clones signed.

I noted however, that William McWilliam, sen, the father of Russell, William & Herbert does not appear amongst the signatories. It is possible that as a Crown official, his sense of the proprietaries precluded him from signing what was in fact an act of civil disobedience.


UVF county officers in Co Monaghan


Herbert became a county officer in the UVF representing Ballybay. My understanding is that his elder brother, Russell, was the officer commanding the UVF in Monaghan town.

I have no record of whether the Monaghan UVF were active in anything other than a defensive role and when the first World War started in encouraging enlistment

The only context in which Herbert's name appears is during the Arms Raid organised by Eoin O'Duffy at the end of August, 1920.

Statements of volunteers who took part in the raid were collected by Father Marron in the 1960s and are available in the Monaghan Co Museum.

Arms Raid, end August, 1920

General raid for arms (Marron papers, Monaghan Co Museum)
Rockcorry co. (to be recorded by Johnnie McGahey)
Tullycorbett co. (Paddy Treanor's account) Jim Sullivan & Frank Coyle from Latton were with us.
Only opposition was at Lister's, Killanacran. When admittance was demanded reply was a shot through the door
Joe Duffy was wounded in the neck. Duffy was carried away and a doctor sent for. The rest continued the attack at the house. It lasted for a long time.
The Lister family defended stubornly. Finally we set fire to the thatch roof.
The family then surrendered, came out and gave up their arms. We then put out the fire by pulling the thatch away.
The members of the family were Lister, his wife, son, daughter and aged father.
During the attack we could hear the old man encouraging his son. There and in other houses we collected 2 revolvers and several shotguns.
Doohamlet Co.: got 6 shotguns and much ammunition.
Castleblayney co.: McKenna was shot dead at Flemings. Some time later both Flemings were shot.
Ballybay co.: At McWilliam' (Bowelk) we got rifles, revolvers and shotguns. No resistence.

Since it is clear that he was a very good shot, prudence clearly trumped valour. The subsequent fate of the Flemings, above, who did resist suggests that he made the correct decision. In addition subsequent events made clear that he had every intention of remaining in the area so killing ones neighbours would not have been a good start.

The aftermath

I once asked Herbert's daughter Peg whether her parents had commented to her about the troubles. In reply she rubbed her thumb over her forefinger in a universal sign for money.
"My father wasn't prepared to appear in courts that hadn't been legally constituted," she replied.
Of course she was referring to a period when the Crown Courts had largely collapsed and been superceded by the Dail Courts.
It was probably relevant that Herbert's father, William, was the officer in charge of the administration of the Crown Courts.
Many other solicitors had no problems appearing before the Dail Courts.

Establishment of District Courts

In October 1922 Mr O'Higgins, Minister of Justice in the Dail announced that Stipendiary Magistrates were to be appointed. The county courts were to be continued. There should be an end of prejudice re former 'British Courts'. These courts are now Irish.
This signalled an end to the District and Parish Courts (ie. the Dail or Republican Courts which had been established on 29 June 1920 by Dail Eireann).
In November 1922 27 District Justices sent out

Northern Standard; Nov 10th 1922
Special and first sitting of new Court of Petty Sessions (sic) in Ballybay before Mr MJ Hannon BL
There was a preliminary discussion to get in order Special court
Ballybay child Murder charge - Mary Anne Tate & her mother Eliza were charged with the murder of a child.
Herbert McWilliam appeared for the defendants

He may have been the first solicitor in the county or indeed the state to appear before the newly constituted District Courts and there is something of an irony in Herbert appearing before these Courts defending two women who presumably had been arrested by Police Officers commanded by Owen O'Duffy who had authorised the Arms Raid a couple of years previously.

Herbert continued working as a solicitor in Ballybay until his premature death in 1936.

The same paper carried an announcement of the new courts and the issue of 5th Dec contained 5 notices by William McWilliam, Clerk of the Crown & Peace.
At one stage of the Irish troubles William McWilliam was turned out of his office by the revolutionaries and threatened with death. He came to Scotland and lived with his son, Jack, in Scotland for some time, as Jack put it "in the not very unfortunate position of drawing an income of £1,800 a year while forcibly prevented from doing any work for it".
The establishment of the new District Courts meant that the old Clerk of the Crown & Peace slotted in as Clerk of the Peace in effect retaining his old function.

In 1919 or 1920 William was corresponding with Dublin Castle regarding his pension rights should he retire. At the time it appeared that Henry Murphy, a Clones solicitor, had been lined up as his replacement. William remained on as Clerk of the Peace until 1926. A reorganisation followed and Henry Murphy became the new County Registrar.


William McWilliam, junior

McWilliam sn and jnr

At last by good luck
The ball is sent out to teetotaller Puck
This artist is one can score goals without number
And often retires before dinner to slumber
But now he is off like a ship down the wind
While the half who should mark him comes panting behind

I don't have too many family stories about my grandfather's brother Willie. Perhaps the most revealing is that when his only daughter became engaged to or married to a Roman Catholic he cut her off; she subsequently emigrated to Australia.
"The damn man never even attends church," was my grandfather's reported comment.
He qualified as a barrister and by all accounts was socially active in pre-war Dublin, counting Gogarty, Count Markiovitz and the painter Wiliam Orpen as his friends. The family would have regarded him as having expensive habits; this is reflected in his father's will. The latter left £500 directly to three of his sons; Willie was left £100 and the balance of £400 was left in trust to provide for the education of his two children.

His brother Jack states that he served in the trenches in the first war and I remember a bayonet lying round the house when I was growing up which I presume came from him. I also have a picture of him taken in uniform with his father. His actual service record in the Public Records Office in Kew reveals a much more complicated and interesting story.
He joined the 4th Connaught Rangers in July 1915; Lord Rossmore provided a certificate of good moral character. He was posted to France in September 1916. By January 1917 he was home in Monaghan. On the 14th January he was examined at home by the local doctor, Dr Hall and the Medical o/c, Armagh. They certified that he was unfit to be moved to hospital and unfit to return to duty. He was reported to be suffering neuritis of both legs giving agonising pain, with a high temperature and sleepness nights rendering him unfit to travel for some time. There followed a series of medical boards.
By the end of 1918 he was employed as a Courts Martial officer in the Dublin District. This would seem a logical progression given his legal background.
In spite of the requirement that the officers trying capital offences should include one with legal experience, this was not followed in the cases of many of the leaders of the 1916 rising. Jack comments that he was in fact head of the Court Martial Service at this time. I have not established whether this was true but I have tended to find Jack a reliable source; Willie himself may well be another matter.
He was demobbed from Portobello Military Depo on 1st August, 1919, relinquished his commission on 1st April, 1920 and granted the rank of Captain on 28 April, 1921. As a footnote, when he made a speech a couple of years later at a function marking the retirement (as secretary of the Monaghan County Council) of the local solicitor and historian, Dennis Carolan Rushe, he was introduced as Col. McWilliam.
Subsequently he went to Northern Ireland.
After all the publicity surrounding the state funeral and reburial of ten heros of the War of Independence it was with some relief that I noted that the dates didn't match up. Willie was demobbed in August, 1919. Kevin Barry - the earliest of the ten - wasn't executed until late 1920. It looks like Willie, whatever his political leanings, had the sense to get out early, which seems reasonable since he presumably joined up to fight the Germans and not his Roman Catholic neighbours.

William McWilliam, son of William McWilliam by Rev JM McWilliam

My brother Willie was the most interesting and accomplished of our family. He was educated after a fashion at the Collegiate School, Monaghan, the Royal School, Dungannon, and Trinity College, Dublin. He detested book-work and examinations. He was called to the Dublin bar, and knew Dublin life at every grade. He had countless friends. He was a fine athlete, played hockey for Trinity and Three Rock Rovers and Ireland, was wicket-keeper for Trinity, and with James McCausland won the doubles championship of Trinity at lawn tennis. He was careless in most matters. Amongst his friends were many men like William Orpen and Oliver Gogarty. Orpen wanted to paint him and asked for a fee of £50. Willie said that he hadn't got the fifty. A few years later he told Orpen that he had the fifty, but Orpen held out for a higher fee. You see, said Orpen, there is a lot more of you to paint than there used to be. Willie saw Oliver Gogarty driving a large car through Dublin and was given a lift and asked Gogarty how he got the money for it. Gogarty replied, You know as well as I do McWilliam, when we were in Trinity with a hundred a year we lived as if we had a thousand, and now that we have a thousand we live as if we had ten. Willie served in the trenches in France with the Connaught Rangers in the first world war. He was invalided home and appointed head of the court martial service in Dublin. He told me later that French when he was viceroy twice urged him to become his aide-de-camp. He had much legal work to do of the highest importance. When he had to retire from this he got letters of thanks from the Lord Chancellor and the General Officer Commanding in Ireland. He was offered a seat in the English parliament but could not afford to take it. He toured England at one general election speaking against Home Rule, sometimes, if I remember rightly, with FE Smith. He was an intensely fair-minded man, and could see as far round a corner as most people. Many of our relations had sat in the Irish Parliament, in both houses, often taking different sides. Also, in Trinity, many of our friends were Catholics. When Willie was going into the Connaught Rangers a priest told him that he would say mass for him in Monaghan Cathedral. Later he was a Resident Magistrate in Belfast, Crown Prosecutor for the County and City of Derry, and Chairman of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal for Northern Ireland. During the first world war he married Amy Purdon.
The last time I saw him he said to me in a thoughtful voice that he and I had wasted our gifts. He said to me once that he was very unwilling to send people to jail. Also that there was no use in fining them as it just fell on the family. I asked him what he did, and he answered, You know that I am a goodnatured sort of man. Whenever it is possible I scold them and send them out of court.

Northern Standard, Monday, June 12th, 1915 gives a report of him speaking at a recruiting meeting in the Diamond, Monaghan with Tom Kettle MP.

Recruiting meeting in Monaghan.

The Northern Standard from 12th June 1915 carried reports on a series of recruiting meetings in Monaghan and the surrounding areas. While a regular officer was in charge the Northern Standard concentrated on the remarks of Tom Kettle MP and William McWilliam.

Brass band of 2nd Royal Irish Fusileers.
Captain Cheevers, Connaught Rangers.
Lieutenant TM Kettle MP Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

Lt. Tom Kettle MP standing on a car in front of the Northern Standard office in the Diamond spoke on the duty of Irishman and the defence of Belgium.
Kettle said that he was there as a Catholic Nationalist happy to co-operate with Protestant Unionists.
Redmond and Carson had agreed a truce for the duration of the war.

There was a meeting on the Sunday at 4 and then a Monday meeting. It was a fair day and the streets were thronged.

Inevitably Dr James Campbell Hall contributed and in effect said that "if I were younger I'd go too".

William McWilliam BL said that he wouldn't ask anyone to do what he wouldn't do himself. He was going; who would follow? Were their women and land not worth fighting for? Nothing would have induced him to share a platform with Kettle but the need to fight a common enemy. It had been suggested that Monaghan men have not the courage to go. I don't believe that. {In this time was to prove him wrong.}
No matter what religion, Presbyterian, RC or C of I had a right to their own churches and clergy. He knew that the massacre in Belgium had been of RCs.
Personally he was giving up professional practice and his future and after going to France none might see him again. He was going because he would have no man's churches or women interfered with.
I don't want it said of my county that we waited to be forced. To wait for conscription would reflect no credit on us.
I know my county and no man living knows it better. It holds the honour of 5 VCs - can any better that.
I could not preach from a better text than that from which I speak now. My text is "Follow me".

On July 17th the Standard reported that William McWilliam, BL, had received a commission in the 4th Connaught Rangers stationed in Bere Island, Co. Cork.

At a meeting in Castleblayney the speakers included Judge Johnston; at Cootehill they included Dr. EW McQuaid JP; {Dr Eugene McQuaid JP of Cootehill was the father of John Charles - Archbishop of Dublin}; at Rosslea they included Henry Murphy, Crown Solicitor, WA Parke, solr., Marshall McC. Wright and ME Knight.

There were no reports of parades on the 12th July. However the sermons at all the Protestant churches were extensively reported.
At 1st Monaghan the special preacher was Rev. Robert Corkey MA Ph.D.
A recruiting rally was held in the Diamond in Monaghan on Sunday June 15th, 1915. A photograph of the event shows the nationalist MP Tom Kettle addressing the crowd from the top of a car with the offices of the Northern Standard in the background.

William McWilliam and the Court Martial Service

Jack, in his memoir, states that Willie was head of the Court Martial Service engaged in work of the highest importance. A series of reports in the Irish Times from the 2nd half of 1918 and the 1st half of 1919 suggest that one of them was prone to overstatement.
The newspaper reports on a series of court martial trials at Ship Street barracks under the Defence of the Realm Act in which the role of the prosecutor is taken by Captain McWilliam.

The trial charges included carrying a revolver and 30 rounds of ammunition (Oct 5th 1918) where Gavan Duffy defended, discharge of shots at a policeman (Dec 11th 1918), illegal drilling (Dec 23rd 1918), and an artist charged possession of secret orders (Jan 29th 1919) - John Morrow refused to plead.
On Feb 14th the case involved the possession of handbills showing a representation the martyrs of 1916 over the statement:
"Are you going to send an Irishman to the English Parliament to swear an oath in your name to the Sovereign who did this?"

A case reported over several days from Feb 20th 1919 arose from an incident in which two RIC officers came upon a large body of men drilling on Barnaculla mountain near Stepaside. The officers were assaulted and left handcuffed. They identified 4 men, who were defended by Gavan Duffy. The men produced alibis

from David Foxton - Sinn Fein and Crown Courts
Sean O'hUadhaigh also recalled a case in which he had appeared as a witness for three defendants charged with assaulting and tying up two RIC constables who encountered them drilling illegally at Three Rock Mountain. An Irish barrister (sic), JD Atkinson, was acting as judge advocate and the prosecutor was a serving officer qualified as an English solicitor (sic). He thought the court-martial 'very fair' and that the prosecutor had conducted himself properly.
O'Malley Notebooks, UCD P17B100.

On Mar 20th 1919 the charge was possession of a paper entitled "Ruthless Warfare" {anti-conscription plans} where Henry Lemass defended.

On March 29th the Sinn Fein MP for Cork, who refused to recognise the court, was charged with respect to a seditious speech in Edenderry.

On May 15th a Tipperary man was charged with stating that if Tom Fleming comes out of jail a wreck like Etchingham we will have reprisals against Lord French and Frank Brook.

Thurs, June 12th, 1919 John Mooney was charged with possession os rifle and ammunition

In the last case reported the caretaker in Avondale was charged in respect of arms and gelignite found on the premises. This case was reported on July 5th 1919; Willie was demobbed from Portobello Military Depot on 1st August, 1919, relinquished his commission on 1st April, 1920 and granted the rank of Captain on 28 April, 1921. Jack states that the authorities wanted him to stay on - probably they did - but I suspect that Willie saw the writing on the wall for the union and his well developed instinct for self-preservation dictated a more sensible course. With his legal qualifications he would have become involved in capital cases which by then were inevitable as the troubles escalated.

William as Resident Magistrate in Northern Ireland

Mr McWilliam RM - gave decree in 'rent strike' - Belfast - Feb 6th, 1937

McW RM at Fintona - Aug 11th, 1937 & Aug 17, 1937

9th Sept - seasonal offence of orchard raiding - McW RM - fined parents 5s

Belfast shooting - 2 sent for trial - McW RM - 28th Sept 1937

Fri Oct 8th 1937
Illegal papers in Tyrone, Omagh - Old IRA man charged - Major Dickie RM & Mr W McW RM

Dangerous souvenir - 1916 Proclamation in Belfast - W McW one of 3 RMs - acquitted

1938 8th Apr Government of NI appointed W McW, barrister as temp RM valid until 31st Mar, 1940

NI Att Gen appoints him as Senior Crown Prosecutor for Co & City of L'derry
Tuesday, Feb 6th, 1940
Mr McW prev was Junior Crown Prosec for Tyrone

NI Att Gen - Mr McW to act as Crown Prosec at Winter Assizes
Opened at Armagh Nov 19, 1940

July 22 1944
Wm McW appointed to be ref for the purpose of the Purchase Tax to decide disputes as to wholesale value of any goods

Aug 8th
Wm McW of Woodland Hse, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim app by Home Sec to be Chairman of Pensions Appeal Tribunal in NI. He is Senior Crown Prosec for L'derry and temp RM in NI


McWilliam of Monaghan / McWilliam of Creggan / McWilliams of Carnteel / Wallace / Russell / Rogers / Murrell / Morell / McCulla / Lucas / Lowry / Blayney / Charles / Eccles / Dickson / Clugston / Conolly / Dickie / Donaldson / Henry / Harris / Kennedy / Sacheverell / Back to TOP

(see Murrell of Balteagh)

Rev Samuel Morell (1744-1772)

It's not every family that can claim to have had a poem no matter how banal written about a member. Rev. Samuel Morell was the uncle of my great (x3) grandfather, Rev James Morell of Ballybay. He was born about 1744 in Co. Derry; he studied for the ministry at the University of Glasgow. At that time the Presbyterian Church demanded that all its ministers have a degree and was licenced by his home presbytery of Route in 1868. He was ordained in Tullylish Presbyterian Church, half way between Banbridge and the village of Gilford on the sixth of March, 1770. In the 'History of the Congregations of the Presbyterian Church', it states that he "did his utmost to eradicate superstitious ideas from the community, such as beliefs in fairies and ill-luck brought about by cutting the hawthorn" but his death appears to have had little to do with this.


"A gentleman by the name of Morrell was shot by the Oakmen at the castle of Sir Richard Johnston, Gilford in the year 1772. From the legendry tales of the peasantry, it would appear that this gentleman had often expressed himself a disbeliever in the existence of fairies, and on several occasions had trespassed on the place chosen for their moonlight revellings. It is further stated that the morning before his death stains of blood were discovered on his shirt, and that the 'guid wife' of the mansion warned him by no means to go to the castle that day as the stains denoted some calamity."

1. The moon shone down with a gleaming beam
On valley and wood by Banna's stream
Whilst the Fairy Queen with her Elfie train
Made the wild woods ring with unhallow'd strain
"Woe to him who with snearing word
The wrath of the Elfin race hath stirred
Who hath dared to mock the mystic power
They long have swayed o'er rath and bower
For an early tomb
And an evil doom
Shall wait in his path in his hour of bloom
And none at his beir shall weap for him

2. The old and the wise have warned in vain
For his shirt is red with the bloody stain
And to-morrows sun ere it leave the sky
Shall see his corse on the cold earth lie
For his hand hath torn
The fairy thorn
And flung on the earth its fragrant bloom
And the Fairy Queen for his deeds of scorn
Hath damned his life with a fatal doom

3. And when by the stream the children play
They shall hush their glee as they pass this way
And none shall pluck from the fairy ring
The flowers that forth from the green leaves spring
For the old shall tell
The fate of Morrell
And the woeful fate of the hawthorn spray
And warn the child of its mystic spell
And the Queen of the Fairies potent spell.

4. The sun shone down with a joyous beam
On valley and wood by Banna's stream
And their depths re-echoed the sounding horn
As its notes were borne on the breeze of the morn
Whilst the sentinel cried at Johnston's home
Tis the "Hearts of Oak" they come - they come.

5. The proud Sir Richard had mocked their power
And dared their might in an evil hour
But turret and tower were armed in vain
For the Oakmen came like the foaming main
When its breast is torn by the howling blast
And its angry waves roll fierce and fast.

6. But a form was seen on the castle wall
And a prayer for mercy was heard by all
But alas! no prayer could then assuage
The savage flame of the rebel rage
For ah! from the castle the young Morrell
Who had sued for mercy; lifeless fell.

7. The fairies laughed with unearthly glee
As they danced that night round the fatal tree
And they twined in its shade a wreath of flowers
To deck the Queen of their Elfin bowers.

Gilford July 5, 1853. Mirza

Rev Samuel Morell (1744-1772)

Samuel Morell, 2nd son of James Morell, farmer; entered Glasgow 1762, and was licensed by the Presbytery of Route in 1768.

Synod of Ulster; Dromore Pres. ordained Mr. Saml. Morriel, 6th June 1770.

Photograph of Tullylish Presbyterian Church


Tullylish Presbyterian church is described in the Ordinance Survey Memoirs of Ireland - 1833-1838.
“It is situated in the townland of Drumnascamp 100 yards north of the main road between Banbridge and Gilford, two and a half miles from the latter. It is a stone building, roughcast and whitewashed. The inside is plain. The aisles are not boarded or flagged. About one half of the pews are painted. There are 3 galleries, the ascent to which are on the outside of the building. The accommodation is for 1,000 persons and the average attendance 800. The house was built in the year 1737 and cost 1,200 pounds. It was repaired in 1824. The cost was 400 pounds. Both were paid for by subscriptions.”



Photograph of Meorial Plaque to Rev Samuel Morell


In the meeting house of Tullylish there is a marble monument. It is a white slab bordered with black. The following is a copy of an inscription:

"Near this place lies the remains of the Reverend Samuel Morelle, Dissenting clergyman of the parish, who was interred on the 6th March 1772 in the 28th year of his age, bravely defending the house of Sir Richard Johnston of Gilford, Baronet, when attacked by those lawless insurgents called Hearts of Oak and Hearts of Steel who, under pretence of redressing grievances which never existed, disturbed the public peace in that year. The threat to the welfare of his country and to the honour of his prince, to the glory of his God, he died fuller of faith than of fear, fuller of resolution than of pain, fuller of honour than of days. One particular friend, Sir Richard Johnston Bart, who loved him living and regrets him dead, hath caused this monument to be erected to his memory. Manit post funera virtus."



The Session Minute Books of the Seceder Congregation of Cahan's near Ballybay record a list of the questions to be put by elders when visiting families. The list appears to date to the middle of the eighteenth century. A number of the questions relate to routine matters of religious devotion such as family prayers, keeping the Sabbath and Catechising the family. A number, unsurprisingly, relate to matters of morals with questions about dancing and dicing, which was apparently common in Ballybay at least up to the time of the Ordnance Survey Memoirs in the mid 1830s. Cock-fighting and horse-racing were also matters of concern to the Session.
There are in addition a number which indicate that belief in an alternative supernatural was, if not common, at least not unknown even amongst Presbyterians.
"Do they use any Charms on certain days as November 1st or encourage spae-men or the like by consulting or giving heed to them?"

Letter to Mr Barclay, Strabane, County Tyrone, from a nephew in Armagh, 8 March 1772, narrating events in the troubles in County Armagh

The Hearts of Steel and Hearts of Oak are giving us abundance of news in this place.
For five years and a half, one barony in which Lurgan is situated has paid no county cess, no constable daring to collect it. At our last assize the Grand jury came to a resolution to have it collected by military aid, in case the civil power should meet with resistance; this was made known to the land holders of the barony, upon which they assembled in a body, and went to several gentlemen's houses, denouncing threats of burning their houses in case there should be an attempt made to levy the cess.
As they met with no resistance they became much elated with their success, and the price of land became also a grievance; they also complained of the price of provisions, and for about these three weeks past have been proceeding in a regulation of these matters.
Any people who had land to let, they pulled down or burned their houses, if they refused to grant leases at twelve shillings an acre for the best and any who held land above that rate have been obliged to surrender their leases and come under an oath to pay no more.
Where any farmer had any potatoes or meal to sell, they have come in a body and carried it away, allowing for potatoes 11d. a bushel which before their regulations were sold at 1s. 3d. These regulations however were not entirely confined to this barony; the contagion spread rapidly over two or three adjoining parishes of the county of Down.

Mr Johnston of Gilford in order to show a proper discouragement to their proceedings assembled the most decent of his neighbours and had them disciplined for several days, and held them and his domestics as a guard to his house. From the hopes of striking terror by making some of them prisoners, on Monday or Tuesday night last, he went into the neighbourhood where the ring-leader of this banditti lived, and by the sounding of horns (their martial music) assembled a number of them, had them surrounded by his party, and sent four of them prisoners to Downpatrick.
Next day they sent him a message that if he did not deliver up their men that they would burn his house and kill himself, and to prepare for the undertaking they went into Lurgan and obliged the people there to supply them with all the guns in the town, and ammunition, and on Thursday they went to attack Mr Johnston. On his declaring his resolutions of defence, they began to fire at the windows and to set the offices on fire. The fire was returned from the house, and three as they say of their men killed, upon which Mr Morell a dissenting minister, neighbour to Mr Johnston, desirous to prevent further bloodshed, drew up a window in order to speak out to them, but was saluted by four musket balls to his head and breast. He fell dead out of the window, and his body, it is said, was treated by these inhuman people to many pelts with stones etc.
Mr Johnston hung out a flag of truce on losing his chaplain who was a man of excellent character, and during the attempt to settle preliminaries of peace Mr. Johnston escaped out of a back window and fled on foot but was so closely pursued that he was obliged to swim the Bann and had several shots fired at him in the water.
It pleased God to preserve his life and yesterday he went from Newry with two companies of men to meet them, but being informed at Loughbrickland that their numbers were about four thousand well armed, he waited for reinforcements, and this day he is at the head of one hundred and fifty men.
I suppose those mad men will not venture to face the regulars; we are impatient to hear the event. When anything more happens you shall hear from me.

Additional comments/notes
The army arrived soon afterwards for this had been only one episode in a series of disturbances causing the Irish Parliament to rush through
'An Act for the more effectual punishment of wicked and disorderly persons in Antrim, Down, Armagh, the city and county of Londonderry, and county Tyrone'.
As soldiers spread through the province they crushed the uncoordinated uprisings, men were tried and hanged, and it was reported that many insurgents were drowned while attempting to escape to Scotland in open boats.

In Latimer's History it is sourly pointed out that while Richard Johnston got a title and a pension for his reward, the relatives of Mr Morell received not compensation.
"Some Episcopal clergymen were afterwards killed by Roman Catholic rioters called Defenders, and pensions were immediately bestowed by the Government on their friends; but the murder of a Presbyterian minister was a matter too trivial to be noticed".

There is no justice in this world. It might have been expected that the electors of Newry would reward Sir Richard for his efforts during these disturbances but in a by-election to replace Robert Scott on 3 Jan 1774 he was defeated by Edward Corry, appealed to Parliament and lost subsequent election again. Perhaps he over spent during the rising and had insufficient left to purchase floating voters.
There is a further family connection in this election as Edward Corry, father of Isaac Corry, who was Chancellor in the lead up to the Act of Union, was the son of one Caeserea Smith by her second marriage. I am descended from her by her first marriage - her great (x6) grandson.

Further information from Gravestones of Co Down w.r.t. Tullylish.
NB - The episode of agrarian conflict in which he met his death is difficult to understand.
On the 5th Mar 1772 he informed Sir Richard Johnston that the Hearts of Oak were meeting in the house of a Mr Tedderton of Clane. RJ, SM and others went there armed and took 4 prisoners back to J's farm. One Mr Finlay, escaped and brought help to attack with the consequences already described.
Wm Redmond, accused of being the ringleader was acquitted in 2 trials only to be finally killed in his house by a party of RJ's men.

The Ulster Land War: FJ Bigger; Chapter XII
The Battle of Gilford - The "Honour" of Johnston.
The county of Down furnished an episode quite as exciting and disasterous as the Templepatrick one. Richard Johnston, of Gilford, whose fortunes were somewhat shattered, desired to stand well with the government. By a subterfuge he arrested, on the 6th March, 1772, three of the Hearts of Oak and carried them into his house. Their comrades at once surrounded the house, demanding the release of the prisoners. Johnston replied with a shot from his window, which only exasperated the Hearts of Oak when they saw one of their number killed and two mortally wounded. They attacked the house with fury, forcing Johnston to an ignominious flight and killing Samuel Morell, a dissenting minister, of Tullylish, near Gilford, who was foolishly and unfortunately assisting Johnston, as a contemporary account puts it, "however unbecoming it was in him to fight with the arm of flesh, especially against his own flock." Morell was clearly engaged in a most unworthy and unclerical calling. Johnston posted at once to Dublin and obtained a strong military force from the viceroy to enable him to quell the disturbance which he had largely created. John Byrne, William Redmond, Philip MacCossir, Moses Evans, John Hil, Michael Carr, George Foster, Joseph Davison, and James Fryer were arrested and sent to Dublin to be tried. They were received there by a troop of lord Drogheda's light horse and a company of the 5th regiment of foot, with trumpets and drums, as if they were prisoners of war, and not, even so far as "the law" was concerned, innocent men going to their trial. A benefit was given by the Dublin people at Ranelagh in aid of the prisoners with considerable popularity and ardour. The court sat for several days. The crown stated that Johnston had received many threatening letters, and that he had banded about fifty persons, his friends, tenants and servants, and had them trained by an ex-sergeant, Alexander Adamson, to military duty, and that Samuel Morell was amongst them. This, of course, was grossly illegal, but nothing was said of that. On the 5th March Morell informed Johnston that the Hearts of Oak had a meeting of delegates at the house of one, Tedderton, in the townland of Clare. Johnston, Morell, one Logan, and ex-sergeant Adamson armed themselves and rushed Clare, capturing four of the delegates. Johnston and Logan returned in triumph with two, Morell and the ex-sergeant with the other two, one of whom, Finlay, escaped, and roused the whole band to come to the rescue. About two thousand people assembled at once and surrounded Johnston's house. This proves conclusively how popular the movement was. Johnston's trained force had deserted or was absent, as he could only muster twenty-three, including the ill-fated Samuel Morell, all fully armed however with ten rounds of powder and ball. They were placed at the different windows. Johnston fired and ordered his guard of twenty-three to fire, which they freely did until their ammunition was done. The engagement lasted half an hour, when the battle of Gilford was ended by Johnston offering to surrender, sending out his stewart with a white flag. Morell was shot in the arm and breast when he ran upstairs and jumped out "of a two pair of stairs window," receiving other shots till he died. Johnston escaped over a wall, waded through a mil race, then cut across a field, swimming the river Bann with the bullets flying around. He was then so exhausted that it took the help of a girl called Davison to assist him out of the river and into a cabin near at hand. After recovering his breath he mounted a horse without a saddle and never paused till he found shelter in Newry, about 15 miles distant.
William Redmond was accused of being the leader of the people. Philip MacCossir was charged with blowing the horn that called on the forces, and also with carrying fire in a pitcher to burn out Johnston. James Fryer was also charged with blowing a horn and of having slept over Morell's dead body. John Hill was charged with having said he would quarter Johnston and place a quarter on each corner of his house. The others were charged with being armed at the attack. It was proved by the crown that Morell had repeatedly charged his gun and fired on the people and "that he crept on his hands and knees still holding his gun into the hall." After the flight of Johnston the people entered his house and pillaged the whole place, but did not kill or injure any of his people but let them go free. Johnston admitted, on examination, that the men he arrested were "very honest, peaceable men," that he did not arrest them on sworn informations, and that upon trial they were discharged. John Stewart sworre that he was ordered to go and surrender his leas to his landlord, when he met the insurgents. Willy Redmond commanded the Portadown party - he gave orders to put out the fire of Johnston's house. All the crown witnesses distinctly shied at giving any definite proof of guilt of any of the prisoners - they were unwilling or unable to bring home any real charge. The prisoners' witnesses were "not kept sumptuously as the crown witnesses were, but strolled about and sat on the steps of the Dublin Four Courts." The Dublin protestant jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
Subsequently Jeremiah Reilly and James Murphy were tried for treason and murder at Gilford. Judith Crozier was the principle witness against them. She saw Johnston's furniture and goods destroyed. Johnston imagined he saw Reilly in the attack, for which statement he was checked by the judge. He admitted that Morell had sworn informations before him against MacByrn, and swore that Reilly was impertinent to him on one occasion, but that he never heard anything against the character of Reilly. Ann Crosby swore she knew Murphy because she met him at a cock-fight a year before in Gilford.
The jury brought in Reilly not guilty, and Murphy guilty of destroying Johnston's furniture, for which he was transported.
This was satisfactory for Willy Redmond, the daring Portadown leader, so far, but fresh trouble awaited him.
The News Letter of 15th September, 1772, reports :

"Dublin, 12th September, 1772. Last Saturday William Redmond set out from Kilmainham goal escorted by a detachment of dragoons, for Armagh, to take his trial at the ensuing assizes for that county on a fresh indictment."

And in a subsequent issue (29th September), the N.L. publishes a letter from Armagh, dated 16th September, which says:

"Yesterday came on the trial of William Redmond (who was transmitted from Dublin to take his trial here). It lasted upwards of five hours, when the verdict was brought in - not guilty. The county thought to have transported him, but the judges would not admit of it, and had him entirely cleared."

Willie Redmond had now been twice tried and twice acquitted. He had been sent away from his own county to be tried by a packed Dublin jury, and had been set free, he had been returned to Armagh, and again tried and set free. What the law failed to do Johnston carried out himself regardless of "law and order." It appears to us that he murdered Willy Redmond in cold blood; he forced his way into his house, when Redmond defended himself, as he had a perfect right to do, from such night marauders (Johnston himself had been attacked in open day), when he was shot dead. This "fatiguing expedition" did not prevent Johnston at once riding to Dublin to see the authorities. The following account details the murder of Redmond:
"We hear that Richard Johnston of Gilford, having received information that William Redmond, charged with being a leader of the hearts of oak, was lurking at a remote place called Monterreven in the county of Tyrone. He, with a party of light horse, set out from Gilford one evening the latter end of last week to apprehend him, and arriving about midnight at the house where he lodged (30 miles from Gilford) and being refused entrance, the door was instantly forced open and Johnston entered with the party at his back, and coming into the apartment where Redmond lay, he started up, and having a charged pistol by his bedside, snapped it at Johnston's breast, which burnt priming, whereupon one of the military party discharged his pistol and wounded Redmond in the side, of which he is since dead; that Johnston returned to Gilford next morning, and notwithstanding this fatiguing expedition, performed mostly in the course of one night, set out the same day for Dublin."

Willie Redmond, like his namesake Redmond O'Hanlon, was only taken in his sleep and done to death by treacherous murder.
After the attack on Johnston's house and before the trial of the hearts of oak, Johnston was presented with a service of plate value for three hundred guineas by the high sheriff, grand jury and that ilk for his behaviour "as a faithful, active and spirited magistrate," etc. He also received a baronetcy. When he escaped over the garden wall and across the mill race and through the river Bann, with the assistance of the wench Davidson, he was plain Richard Johnston. After he made that midnight ride into Tyrone, with his troop of light horse, and murdered poor Willy Redmond sleeping in his cabin at midnight he was Sir Richard Johnston, baronet, with "family" plate, crested with the flying spur, on his sideboard, value for three hundred guineas. How appropriate.
Gilford has now no knowledge of the Johnstons nor is their name extant.

Synod of Ulster
During the "protestant" agrarian disturbances in the early 1770s associated with the Oakboys and Steelboys the Synod of Ulster adopted its standard position; calls for amelioration of the underlying grievances were coupled with condemnation of the more violent manifestations. How this could operate in practice was illustrated by the events in Tullylish parish in 1772.

20 years later the position of the Synod of Ulster was the same. In the aftermath of 1798 the Synod (whose meeting was deferred from June to August) was falling over itself in protestations of loyalty to the Crown and issuing directives to the local presbyteries to investigate the extent of the involvement of individual ministers and congregations.

Young was responsible for making the most celebrated denunciation of Irish landlords:
A landlord in Ireland can scarcely invent an order which a servant, labourer or cottar dares to refuse to execute. Nothing satisfies him but an unlimited submission. Disrespect or anything tending towards sauciness he may punish with his cane or his horsewhip with the most perfect security, a poor man would have his bones broke if he offered to lift his hand in his own defence. Knocking down is spoken of in the country in a manner that makes an Englishman stare. Landlords of consequence have assured me that many of their cottars would think themselves honoured by having their wives and daughters sent for to the bed of their masters.

The Oakboys and Steelboys were agrarian agitators with a number of grievances depending on the locality – imposition of renewal taxes on expired leases, county cess, tithes exacerbated by a downturn in the linen industry and poor harvest in the early 1770s. There was considerable disturbance in the Tullylish area and the inhabitants of nearby Newry were threatened.
Morell has been criticized by the Nationalist Presbyterian historian Francis Bigger for siding with a landlord against his own congregation. However at no stage did the Synod of Ulster express any support for the agitation. I’m reasonably certain that the Clugstons and Kennedys were in the area at this time and would have been members of Mr Morell’s congregation. Could they have been involved in his killing?
It was during this period (1770-75) that emigration from Ulster to America was at its height and to follow the fate of some of the agitators we have to move south to Newry which at the time was a significant sea-port.

Contemporary letters suggest that the revolt in south Down was widespread. A resident of Newry wrote in March, 1772:
'Intelligence has just now been sent to the good people of Newry that they may expect a visit from the Hearts of Steel, Oakboys etc. They say that they do not mean us any harm provided we surrender all the arms of this place to them, and that the arms shall be returned as soon as they shall have effected their purpose of obtaining perpetual lease of land at their valuation.
R. Scott is to be applied to by this post to lay this matter before government and to procure some troops, which if not immediately sent, I think they will affect their purpose, their numbers are formidable, and should they be opposed in their demand for arms, it is most probable they would burn this town, so that the lesser evil is to be preferred.
If the government hesitate an hour in mobilising soldiers to us the inhabitants will look upon themselves as sacrificed, and the 'Banditti' as countenanced - ...... for it is beyond doubt that were these people reinforced with that supply of arms which this place affords they could ravage the county without opposition as far as the gates of Drogheda. In short things in Ulster (lately esteemed the free and happy part of Ireland) wears a dismal aspect.

In their Proclamation in March 1772 the Hearts of Steel blamed the 'heavy rents which are become so great a burden to us that we are not scarcely able to bear', and continued:
'Betwixt landlord and rectors, the very marrow is screwed out of our bones ... they have reduced us to such a deplorable state by such grievous oppressions that the poor is turned black in the face, and the skin parched on their back, that they are rendered incapable to support their starving families, that nature is but scarcely supported, that they have not even food, nor yet raiment to secure them from the extremities of the weather wither by day or night'.

D207/1/12; February 1773

Copy of Case for the Crown relating to certain indictments at Downpatrick Assizes, April, 1772, which concerned the murder of Rev. Samuel Murrell, the destruction of Richard Johnston's house at Gilford, and the tendering of 'oaths and solemn engagements and other felonys against the late Acts'.

107684 13 Nov. 1772 1 Dublin-Castle Lord Lieutenant General =Ireland,Gov/of. Proclamation =TownshendJuly 1770 insurgents illegal assembled arms Co. +Antrim +Down +Armagh city+Londonderry +Tyrone committed offences indicted murder =Murrell,Samuel/Rev.deceased apprehended armed guns firearms treason inhabitants manufacturersseduced practices artifices offenders incurred law abscond families supportlinen manufacture. suppressed pardon deluded restore punish disturb PrivyCouncil charged offences =Murphy,James. guilty commission Oyer Terminer+Dublin 26 Oct. indictment +Downpatrick 24 Apr. =Capper,James. +Waringstown+Down carpenter =Forster,William. +Ballyduggan yeoman =Calvert,David. +Bleery=Henderson,George. =Toulerton,Alexander. +Lylo +Armagh =Gibson,John. son=Gibson,William. =Calvert,Robert. =Crozier,George. +Annaghanson shoemake=Sheerin,William. +Clare =Thompson,James. =McCoskeren,John. =Harrison,John.+Monraverty =Spittle,John. =Savage,Richard. +Lurgan hatter =McMullen,James.+Magheralin =Guy =Watson,Gawen. =Porter,William. =Hughes,William.=McConnell,Moses. =Macrory,James. +Corncreany =McDowell,Richard.=McConnell,John. =McConell,Bishop. +Holding''s!Valley =Kilpatrick,William.=Kennedy,John. blacksmith =Kennedy,James. =McGuffock,John. +Shaneshill=Nicholson,James. weaver =Hamilton,James. =McLyndon,Dominick. +Drumnacanwey=McKew,Arthur. =Mulholm,James. +Cornikinigar =Tipping,Henry. =Hinds,Alexander.+Tullydegown =Rop,Thomas. +Clare =Shaw,Andrew. =McKew,John. =Taggart,Charles.=McAlernon,Robert. =McCleary,Warren. =Kelly,John. +Kellycomaine=Finley,Willaim. =McConnell,John. +Knocknamuckley =Pickle,James. +Magharana=Hoole,William. =Lunn,Thomas. =Grimes,Benjamin. =Hamilton,James. +Oglesfort=Hughes,Richard. +Ballynagarrick =Ross,Thomas. =Crothers,John. +Loughans=Mills,Samuel. =McCracken,James. guilty treason arson houses pardonedindictmnt sureties. charge command Justices Peace magistrates cities townscorporate petty constables civil officers disturb detain molest abetting+Dublin 5 Nov. =Waite,Thomas.

Month of July, 1770
Many wicked & dangerous insurgeons in Antrim, Down, Armagh, city & county of L'derry
+ murder of Murrell, several not yet apprehended

The names above are John & James Kennedy, Waringstown, Blacksmiths


McWilliam of Monaghan / McWilliam of Creggan / McWilliams of Carnteel / Wallace / Russell / Rogers / Murrell / Morell / McCulla / Lucas / Lowry / Blayney / Charles / Eccles / Dickson / Clugston / Conolly / Dickie / Donaldson / Henry / Harris / Kennedy / Sacheverell / Back to TOP

Owen O'Connally

Extracted from A History of Monaghan for Two Hundred Years by Denis Carolan Rushe

A great catastrophe befell Castleshane in 1920 by the accidental burning of the family mansion, whereby all the family documents were destroyed, including valuable portraits, autograph letters, the King Charles's Prayer Book.
The greatest loss to modern history was the correspondence between Peel when Chief Secretary of Ireland and Edward Lucas his Under Secretary.

Edward Lucas on Owen O'Connolly
When the Rt Hon Edward Lucas was Under Secretary he discovered in Dublin Castle evidence sshowing one of his ancestors had married a daughter or grand-daughter of Owen O'Connolly, who betrayed the Irish Chiefs in 1641. It is possible to infer that Lucas, because he thought to look, was checking out a family story.

Pension to Arthur & Martha

The King to Ormond
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 14 April 1663
Shelfmark: MS. Carte 43, fol(s). 150
Document type: Original
Recites a grant of certain forfeited lands in the Baronies of Balanddery and Coolock, in the county of Dublin, to the value of £200 a year, to be set out to the use of Arthur O'Connolly & Martha O'Connolly, orphans of Owen O'Connolly, deceased.
Directs a Grant of so much of the lands aforesaid as shall be found to exceed the value of £200 a year, alone intended to be granted as aforesaid, to pass to Sir Nicholas Armourer, together with the house & lands of Tartane, or Artane, in the said Barony of Coolock & county of Dublin; formerly belonging to Nicholas Hollywood.

The above document indicates that there may have been others in Dublin Castle in the 1840s which might have linked them to the Lucas family.

These children are mentioned in Patrick Adair, Irish Presbyterian Church, 1623-1670, a contemporaneous account:

His wife died shortly after (his death in 1649), and left a son and daughter - his son a very idiot unto the greatest height, and the daughter, though thereafter married to a worthy gentleman (Mr Hugh Rowley), yet but more than half a fool, and a burden to her husband for many years, and without posterity.

Since his daughter was 'without posterity' it can be inferred that it was a daughter of Authur who married into the Lucas family. There is a space in the Lucas genealogy where 'Mary' marries a Fraancis Lucas around 1667. Her will was proved in 1747.

All conjecture, of course, but not unreasonable.

I first came across Owen O'Connally in my Intermediate Certificate History course:

The plans of the Irish leaders at home and abroad for a general insurrection were completed in the autumn of 1641. It was arranged that the insurrection should begin with the seizure of Dublin Castle on the night of October 23rd. This day was selected because it was market day, and the presence of strangers in the streets would not be noticed. The attempt on the Castle failed through the carelessness of Hugh MacMahon, one of the insurgent leaders. MacMahon, while drinking in a city tavern, told a man called Owen Connolly what was to be done. "Our design," he said, is to take the Castle, which we can easily do, they being off their guard. The castle, once taken, the kingdom is ours, for there is artillery, powder and ammunition there for 30,000 men." Connolly, on hearing this, hurried to the Lords Justices and betrayed the plan. The Castle was immediately put in a state of defence, and the gates of Dublin closely guarded. MacMahon and Lord Maguire of Fermanagh, the heads of two great Ulster families, were captured, and both of them were afterwards hanged.

A contemporaneous account is extracted from the Journal of Friar O'Meallan in Tyrone, History & Society:

On the eve of the feast of Saint John Capistranus the lords of Ulster planned to seize in one night, unknown to the English and Scots, all their walled towns, castles and bawns. The date chosen was 22nd October, Friday to be precise, and the last day of the moon. First, to attack Dublin there went there from Ulster the lord of Enniskillen, Conor Maguire, son of Brian, son of Conor,, Hugh Óg MacMahon, son of Brian, son of Hugh Óg, son of Hugh, son of Sean Buí, and Rory O'More of Upper Orior; also a party from Meath, from other parts of Leinster and from Munster, etc. Eoghan Connolly, however, made known their plan. The gates of Dublin were closed, the bells of the city were rung, houses were ransacked, and the lord of Enniskillen and young MacMahon were captured. The others made good their escape.

Patrick Adair, Irish Presbyterian Church, 1623-1670:

Adair (page 83) gives the standard account of the betrayal of M'Mahon and the Dublin rising by Owen O'Connolly but also fills out some of O'Connolly's background from a Presbyterian background and perspective.

It is worthy of observation that this Owen O'Connolly was at first a poor Irish boy admitted into the family of Sir Hugh Clotworthy, at Antrim - a religious and worthy family; and there was educated and taught not only the principles of the Protestant religion, but, through the blessing of God upon that education, and the power of the Gospel in that parish of Antrim, he became truly religious, in heart and conscience bound to the truth, and to those who were truly godly. He was not only a Protestant, but a Puritan [as was the style in these times] - which the Irish did not know, having now left that family of Antrim. And thus God, in his merciful Providence, not only to the city, but to all Ireland, did make use of the sincerity that was in him for preventing the surprisal and massacre intended against Protestants in Dublin, and in some degree to be an instrument for the safety of the remainder of the Protestants in Ireland, and preserving a seed in it. This may encourage such families to endeavour to precure reigious servants, or to make them religious, so far as they can, by example and instruction. The honesty of this one man, though a mere Irishman [being well educated], proved a great and singular mercy to the whole Protestant Church.

Mr M'Bride, Mr Patrick Adair's immediate successor in the ministry in Belfast, states that O'Connolly was an elder in the Irish Presbyterian Church, and that, as minutes still extant in his time testified, he often sat as such in meetings of Presbytery.
When he saved the Castle of Dublin in 1641, he obtained a reward of £500 in hand, and a pension of £200 per annum "until provision would be made for an inheritance of greater value" - A Sample of Jet Black Prelatic Calumny, p 174

Adair - Abt. 1649:

Possibly about 1649

There was also an observable passage concerning a person mentioned before as a great instrument for good to the city of Dublin, and to all Ireland - viz, Major O'Connolly. He had fallen in with the sectarian party, got the command of the regiment in Antrim, which formerly belonged to his old master, Sir John Clotworthy (now a sufferer and prisoner under the sectaries, for declining their courses and adhering to the King's just right and interest.) This O'Connolly and some few English met accidently with a party under the command of - as well as the company - of Colonel John Hamilton (who at that time was subject to Colonel George Monroe, then in the country) at Dunadry, near Antrim, where there was a sharp debate. O'Connolly was mortally wounded, and carried with no more respect than a dead ox behind a man to Connor, where he immediately died. This man, from what could be observed, was of an ingenious nature, and truly sincere, yet he was then deceived by the pretences of that party, and seemed violent that way. Therefore, though God had brought him to great respect and a considerable estate upon his former faithfulness at the breakout of the rebellion; yet falling from his first principles, and going along with the declining party, the Lord would punish him with this temporal stroke of being thus cut off for a warning to others to beware of such courses. His wife died shortly after, and left a son and daughter - his son a very idiot unto the greatest height, and the daughter, though thereafter married to a worthy gentleman (Mr Hugh Rowley), yet but more than half a fool, and a burden to her husband for many years, and without posterity.

O'Conally, 1641 depositions:

fol. 1cr <Owen O’Connally’s &c.>
No. 1
A trew Relation of the treacherous designe of the Irish in Ireland on the Castle of Dublin at the beginninge of the Rebellion there And of the particular passages in the Discouerie of that plott and of what I heard of theire Intention there went halfe a yeere before, from the said Captain Hugh oge mcMaughon that did discouer the plott to mee
<1.> Beinge in Company with the said Hugh oge in Dublin, he being my neer kinsman and Intimate friend, he tould mee that he was mightely troubled with the proud and Haughty Carriage, of one Mr Aldriche that was his neighboure in the County of Monnoughan, which was a Justice of the peace, and but a vintner or Tapster few yeers before that he gaue him not the right hand of fellowship neither at the As{sizes} nor Sessions, he being also in Comission with him,
I wished him that he would not thinke of that and that he wo{uld} Consider, that the Irish weer subordinate vnto the English in regard they were Conquered by them, he tould mee that he heard it shou{ld} not be so longe, and that he hoped
fol. 1cv
that wee should soone be deliuered from bondage and slauerie vnder which wee groaned, I demanded of him which way, and tould him that I thought it was an Impossible thinge, he replied that there was an a nationall oath to be taken by all the Irish in the kingdom, against English gouerment vpon which I desired him as he tendred his owne good, the preseruance of his and Estate, that he would in no sort intermeddle with it or Assent therunto. And that he would doe very well to acquaint the Lo: Justices therwith, which would redound to his great honnour And that for my part the very mention of such a businesse was very unsauorie to mee, espectially to heare it out of his mouth, vrginge him further, either to reueale it him selfe, or to binde him selfe by promise, never to haue any hande in it by b e ing aiding or Assenting therunto * <but for my { } I could not {be}lieve that any thinge would { } be { }>he parte he perceuinge how distastfule the report of this Horrid intended treacherie was unto mee, made large promises, with protestation vtterly to desert the businesse
fol. 2r
so I tooke my leaue of him, and retorned into the North whear my habitation was, Acquaintinge seuerall Magistr{ates} there, with this accidentall discoarse which they conceiued to be a matter of no moment not ther by And not conceaue any ground from for the Apprehension of a gennerale insurrection of the Irish so I heard nothing more of him vntill the 18th of 8ber 1641 which was about half a ye{re} after, when hauing occasion to trauaile againe to dublin, and being 20 miles onward on my Journey, at Drapers towne in the County of London Derrie, I received a letter from him, the Conten{t } whereof as followeth
<the date of the letter the 18th of 8ber> Cousen Owen, as you tender your owne good, and my lou{} fail not to be with mee, at my howse in the County of Monnoghan; on the 20th, or th{e} 21th of this Instant,
My Answer was, that I could no{t} possibly come to his howse, but wou{ld} meet him in dublin, if his occas{ion} Called him thither or else when I ha{d} dispacht my businesse, o n my returne
fol. 2v
would visite him, at his owne hous{e } this Answer retourned him I went onwoard to Dublin towards Dublin, at and Lodginge at dongannon that night, I could not rest sattisfied, until my former resolution was Altered in goinge first to Dublin, before I saw him was changed, and I aneu Resolued to see him at his howse first as he writt desired, the next day being the 21th I rode came to his howse in the County of Monnohan, and found him not there, he being gonne the same morninge towardes Dublin, as his people towld me, and also that he left word, in case I came, I should eithter stay there for his retourne or of Imediatly followe him to Dublin he hauing not receiued my lettres before his departure
the 22th being the next day I Rode to Dublin, a Journey of being 60 Irish miles it being about 7 of the Clocke at night, eere I could reach thither, And alighting at the howse where be vsually lodged, he mett mee at the dore, and towlde me, I was a wellcome guest vnto him
fol. 3r
And so for that I had seen him, I desired respite, whilst the next morninge to wa{yt} vpon him, and for that I had some busnesse that required present dispatch which he altogether refused tellinge me that I must goe with him to the Lord Mcguires lodginge into the Citty, vpon businesse of great Consequence which there should be Comunicated vnto mee, And accordingly wee goinge togither thither, found not my lo mcguire: but Resolued to stay his Cominge in, And so sittinge doune Called for some beare, and shewing him his letter wherein he writte so earnestly for my Cominge to his howse, desired to know what that businesse was, whervpon he desired aboute 8 more which besides myselfe weer present, to leaue the Roome And then towld me as followeth This is the businesse,
The lord of Mcguire my self and a hundred more, are Come to the towne this night, a party being out of euery province in the kingd{ome} And our designe is to take the
fol. 3v
the Castle of Dublin, which wee can easely doe, they being [ ], and destroy the warders they beinge ould silly men, and [ ] and that this night betwixt 8 and 9 of the Clocke all the English townes in the whole kingdome will be surprised by oure party, who wee haue desyred in each County to they theire seuerall places and so ale the English on a suddaine shale be cut off, which donne, and wee are possessed of the Castle of Dublin, the kingdom is then oure owne, he tould mee further what strength of that there was besides great Artillery powder and Ammunition was then in the Castle to furnish out Compleatly 30000 men which my lo: of Straffor had brought ouer the year before from holland and that the greatest party in the towns being Irish papists would Joyne with them, so they conceiued the opposision that would arise their would very smale, and that that vpon the monday following they would Call out of the seuerall provinces, so many person to receive Armes
fol. 4r
As should make a Considerable strength to fall vpon such places in the seuerall provinces of the english a s they had [ ] in th e are a in the premmis es the surprisall of such vpon the first attemp t <of the English in> the seuerall provinces, of the English in case they should mise the surprisall of any vpon the first Attempt This being donne, will free vs from that Tirany and bondage wee ly{ue } vnder, and setles the kingdome in {oure} owne quiett possession./
And wher as you haue of longe tym{e} binne a slaue to that puritan Sir John Clotworthy, I hope yow shall haue as good a Man, to wayt vpon you he hauinge thus finished his present discourse, that I might haue the better pretence to gett from him desired him to lett on of his men ryde presently downe with mee to the Country for the preseruation of my wife, and I would rewarde him well for his paynes, vpon which he replied, that y{our}wife must no more trouble youre thoughts for all the posts in Christendom can ot would come to late for safety, so [ ] by this tyme it beinge tenne of the Clocke at night and, the lo: Mcguire not co{me} to his lodginge, wee weere Rose vp, and went to a Tauerne, in Wine Tauerne Street wh{ }
fol. 4v
whear he had appointed meetinge with some other of his Comrades but they beinge not there, and so wee two with 8 more before formerly in his Company at my lo. macGuires lodginge sate downe to de and Called for one quart of sack, being the more willing to drinke with them, if so any occasion might be offred for my Escape from them, but after wee hadd druncke that quart of sacke vpon my mo ti on wee went for t I tould desir ed him it weer better he [ ] to that wee might goe to oure rest in regarde I had Rode a great Journey that daye, and that wee might be the better fitted to goe about oure occasions the next morninge, which motion he very well liked off, and forth wee went to goe vnto his lodginges at St Ma{ } Abby, and In oure waye, pretendinge to make watter t h e p. the Lord McMoughan and the rest passed by mee and leauing me behinde them gaue opportunity for my Escape from them the night being very darke with all so I presently repaired to Sir Will. Parsons one of the Lo: Justices who then lived on the Marchants Kea where he and Many And diuers gentlemen beinge in company with him [ ] it was very la te, I desire to haue some priuate spech with him vpon which he withdrew himselfe
<from the Company, and receiued my Information of all the proceeding passages vnto which he would hardly giue Creditt vntill, I replyinge tould him that I had discharged my duty, and and that as he tendred the preseruation of him self, the Citty, and the liues of the brittish protestants there and in other { } vpon some speedy Course to prevent the suprisall


McWilliam of Monaghan / McWilliam of Creggan / McWilliams of Carnteel / Wallace / Russell / Rogers / Murrell / Morell / McCulla / Lucas / Lowry / Blayney / Charles / Eccles / Dickson / Clugston / Conolly / Dickie / Donaldson / Henry / Harris / Kennedy / Sacheverell / Back to TOP

Daniel Eccles (1746-July 31, 1808)

He inherited the Ecclesville Estate in 1763 when his father died.

Married Anna Dickson (his 1st cousin) February 28, 1773

316;392;213477 3rd Feb 1773
Marriage Settlement of Daniel Eccles and Anna Dickson
Daniel Eccles, Ecclesville, 1st part
John Dickson, Ballyshannon & Anna Dickson, dau 2nd part
Armar Lowry Corry, Aghenis & Thomas Dickson, Ballyshannon 3rd part
Charles Stewart, Bailieboro Castle & William Tighe, Ballyshannon 4th Part
£4,000 to Daniel Eccles who gives to AL Corry & Th Dickson Fintonagh, Rakerran & Castleleigh except ------ {Long deed} to provide Anna with £500 p.a. jointure in lieu of dower & £5,000 for the portions of younger sons and daughters decided by deed or will by Daniel

1809 Vicars Prerog Wills Daniel Eccles Fintona

Rev Philip Skelton who came to Fintona in 1766 once remarked that Mr Eccles had 'too much religion for a gentleman'
Burdy 'The life of Philip Skelton' contains some references to Daniel Eccles. He describes how Eccles lived with him for a period in his lodgings in Fintona so that they could continue their theological discussions and how they personally administered food aid to the poor of Fintona during a period of hardship out through the window of Skelton's lodgings.

303;560;202283 1774
Daniel Eccles
Daniel for £100 to Rev Philip Skelton & 2 Donacavey churchwardens
£100 to give £6.6.0 p.a. for the poor
This sum secured by a rent charge of the lands of Aghafad and regularly disbursed

Dictionary of Ulster Biography
Philip Skelton (1707 - 1787): Born: February 1707 : Died: 4 May 1787
Cleric, Church of Ireland Philip Skelton was born in Derriaghy, near Lisburn, County Antrim, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was curate at Drummully, near Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, to Dr Samuel Madden and was tutor to his children. *[He was also curate in Monaghan to Rev Francis Hamilton. In Monaghan he lodged with Francis Battersby and then with George Johnston. He had parishes in Templecarn (Pettigo), Devenish, Enniskillen, and Fintona, County Tyrone, and his advice to his congregation was: 'If you have not food, beg it; if you can't get for begging, steal; if you can't get for stealing, rob and don't starve'. It is said that on two occasions he sold his library to feed his parishioners. He sometimes locked the doors so that they could not escape his hell-fire sermons, and he frequently called upon them to witness his death. He was a man of 'gigantic size', a keen boxer and brandisher of the cudgel, a 'bullet'- thrower in his youth, and he loved flowers. He published a Description of Lough Derg; Deism Revealed and Proposals for the Revival of Christianity. He died of pneumonia in Dublin, leaving instructions that his throat should be cut before he was placed in his coffin. [Life by Samuel Burdy, 1792]

Daniel's brother, Rev Charles Stuart Eccles d.1777 appears to have shared his religious sentiments

He was associated with the connection of Selina, countess of Huntington. She was a serious mover in Evangelical circles in the 2nd half of the 18th century. Worked in Georgia for a time. Rector of Birts Morton, Worcestershire. Drowned in an attempt to rescue a youth near Bath.
Before being allowed to preach in the Fintona church he had to convince Rev Philip Skelton that he was not tinctured with Methodism. He also preached in Plunket street Dublin, 1773

Public Record Office for Northern Ireland

PRONI Reference : MIC60/3
Dates : 2 July 1776-22 February 1780
Description : Issues of the Londonderry Journal
17th June, 1777

"There will be a linen cloth market held at Fintona on Friday the twentieth of June next to be continued every fortnight. For the encouragement thereof, the following premiums will be paid by Daniel Eccles, Esq.

Hundred Greatest Quantity

10 2s. 8 1/2d. 1st. 16s. 3d.

9 2s. 8 1/2d. 2nd 10s. 10d.

8 2s. 8/1/2d. 3rd 8s. 1 1/2d

4th 5s. 5d.

N.B. The premiums are to be given only for cloth manufactured by the vendor or persons employed to weave for him ...."

"We the cloth merchants who attended the markets of Londonderry Strabane Newtownstewart and Omagh, being sensible of the injury done the linen trade by unlawful jobbing, in order the more effectually to put a stop to the same, we the undernamed persons have agreed to hire a proper person to inspect the said markets for one year, and to put a mark on such webs as may be bought be jobbers, so as to be able to convict them when offered for sale, which we hope will have the desired effect. And in order to raise a sufficient sum to pay said inspector we will pay the sums annexed to each persons name and that the said inspector shall seize every web on which the seller's name and place of abode is not written according to law. Strabane 10th June, 1777 ......"

D3167/A/10 9 January 1776
D. Eccles, Eccles Hill (sic), post-marked Omagh, to Stewart, near Dungannon: '... I think you a very proper person to be one of the representatives of our county, and if serving you is not opposing the interests of my cousin, Corry (which I cannot do), you may be certain of every assistance in the power of ...'.
On the last election, I was well inclined to serve you or any of your family, but since the honour of your acquaintance and friendship, particularly in regard to the removal of my brother (though it did not succeed), and that without scarcely a solicitation, will never be forgot by me.

D623/A/44/221 26 January 1783 James Hamilton, Strabane, to Earl of Abercorn
I hear that Mr Knox of Dungannon has declared himself a candidate for Tyrone, and it is reported that Mr Eccles who is a first cousin to Lord Belmore is to be another; if so I suppose it is Lord Belmore who has prevailed on him, in order to keep up his interest for a hereafter election, when his son will be of age.

D623/A/47/10 17 June 1786
James Hamilton, Strabane, to [Earl of Abercorn].
He acknowledges his Lordship's letter of 26th May and has informed William Park that his Lordship has accepted him as tenant in place of James Scott of Drumnahoe.
'Mr Taylor, has, I suppose, given up hopes of his son's succeeding as surgeon in Omagh; he was here the 22nd of June, and got three persons to subscribe to entitle them to votes, that they might serve his son; he went next day with that, and some more money he had got from friends, but found that Mr Eccles, and another gentleman, were then in Omagh and had subscribed to serve a Mr Lucas, and a Mr Maxwell, for either, far above what Mr Taylor could make up, so he did not subscribe, and returned to his friends here, the money he had got from them; Mr Lucas is nearly related to Lord Belmore, and Mr Eccles; Mr Eccles wrote me who am also related to him, that Lucas was a surgeon aboard a man of war, and that he was sure he would produce very good certificates of his being qualified; I wrote Mr Eccles that I would mention Mr Lucas to your Lordship as I did the other candidates; Maxwell served his time to his father, who was an apothecary in Omagh, and his brother, to the late, and to the former surgeon.

[Mr Lucas may be the son of Isabella Eccles/Lucas and so a 1st cousin of Daniel]

They have fixed the 9th of September which is the last day of Omagh assize for electing a surgeon; there are 21 subscribers that they call constant voters, 55 that are made on this occasion avowedely to vote for Lucas and Maxwell of which they say 28 will vote for Lucas, as Mr Eccles his relation paid for them; I suppose these two will be the only candidates, for no subscription less than 20 guineas will entitle one to vote on this occasion.

D623/A/90/14 Dates : 8 April 1798
Description : James Hamilton Jnr, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, to Marquess of Abercorn, Grosvenor Square, London.
'I came home last night from Omagh assizes, and was sworn this morning on the Donegal Grand Jury. Stewart of Killymoon was foreman of the former and Lord Clemments of the latter; very little Crown business in either county, but several records; no public question was agitated in Tyrone; it was proposed to return the thanks of the Grand Jury to the Lord Blaney for his exertions while quartered at Fintona and Mr Eccles wanted that the Grand Jury should resolve that Tyrone was in a perfect state of tranquillity. The friends of each question found its party too weak to press the business, so that they ended in smoke.

Additional material can be found in the Clogher Record.

Repository : Public Record Office for Northern Ireland
PRONI Reference : D623/A/141/11 13 February [1802]
Description : [John] Stewart to [Marquess of] Abercorn, London.
Discussing the election.
'I have your letter written last Sunday, but though Monday and Tuesday's mails are come, there is no mention of the writ in the debates or orders of the House of Commons those days. I wrote to George Knox not to delay an hour, for Lord Belmore went off to Bath, and I wish to allow them not a day to reflect, for decidedly they will make some effort to give trouble. I find his Lordship's friends, Eccles, Lowry, Moutray, Perry, Sir William Richardson [Al.? Kennedy], and many others, all keep free from any new engagements, and Lords Powerscourt and Charlemont will join them, if a candidate offers. They still keep up the advertisement cautioning the electors not to engage, as a candidate will offer.
Sir Andrew Ferguson, Mr Lendrum and Mr Scott have declared for me lately. The two last, worth 100 votes, were promised to Lord Belmore, and now come to me by Col Archdall's connections. ...
I fear Lord B. getting about Mountjoy in England.'

Repository : Public Record Office for Northern Ireland
PRONI Reference : D623/A/141/12 [15 February 1802]
Description : [John] Stewart, to [Marquess of] Abercorn, London.
Commenting on his canvass.
'The writ goes this night to Omagh.
All will be quiet. I have had most friendly letters from Eccles and Bob Lowry. I enclose you [not found] Eccle's. The other contains different matters.
Tom Knox has written that he drops all idea of opposing me.
I go off tomorrow, and intend visiting the principal towns, beginning at Aughnacloy. I will go to Strabane after the election. Our assizes will be in less than a month after the election. Of course it will [be] impossible for me to go to London and return in time, and I feel it absolutely necessary to be at the assizes.'

Repository : Public Record Office for Northern Ireland
PRONI Reference : D623/A/141/20 19 March [1802]
Description : [John] Stewart, Dublin, to [Marquess of] Abercorn, London.
Enclosing and commenting upon D623/A/141/19 and urging the coalition with Lord Belmore. [In reply to D623/A/81/36].
'Your letter is received. The same post brought me the enclosed production, which I shall not answer. I did suspect him. I acted by him in a different way. I think he has shut the door in our face. What does your Lordship think? You will send me back the letter. It will have its effect with Lord Castlestewart, Lindsay, Bailie, Verner and some more, if perchance, as I sincerely hope, your interest and Lord Belmore's may return both members in conjunction.
I am ready to go at a moment to you, but you see how necessary my negotiation with Lord Belmore was. His eyes are opened also as to James Stewart. But had I not been here, he might and probably would have been intrigued into an engagement. He listens politely to our observations, and personally to your Lordship his language is the reverse of his father's. His complaints seem more against the government. I wish we could gratify him. I must wait for your letter in answer to the first I wrote respecting the peerage. I am sure a polite attention to the object will have its weight. ...
On second thoughts, I enclose a copy. The original letter may be wanting here.
As to the junction, if Lord Belmore accedes to it, they cannot be opposed; for I know Lord Charlemont is pledged to it. Lord Powerscourt's estate, I find, is twice greater than Lord Northland's. The Aughnacloy estate and Staples and Caulfield must also go with that junction, and the case appearing so, Lord Caledon would be induced, in order to keep the county quiet, to flow in to them. Though I should have not got many votes by Lord Belmore's declining, yet it was evident that a junction of Lord Corry and me would probably have defeated Stewart, or Stewart and I would have defeated him in short, a junction of two, any two, would have defeated the third.
Stewart, I expected, would have kept Lord Powerscourt from giving Corry a second vote. Stewart's own estate would now go to Mr Wingfield. I count them thus: Lord Powerscourt 700, Lord Charlemont 130, Staples and Caulfield 300, Stewart 400, ... Aughnacloy 300, 1,800 in all. Then 1,800, with all Lord Belmore's immediate friends - Eccles, Lowry, Moutray, Sir William Richardson would be too powerful for us.'

Repository : Public Record Office for Northern Ireland
PRONI Reference : D623/A/141/31 21 June 1802
Description : [John] Stewart, to [Marquess of] Abercorn, London.
Reporting that the new alliance with Lord Belmore and Lord Belmore's friends, such as Eccles and Babington, is going well, and suggesting one or two civilities to Belmore's friends.

Repository : Public Record Office for Northern Ireland
PRONI Reference : D623/A/141/34 Dates : 17 August [1802]
Description : [John] Stewart, Strabane, to [Marquess of] Abercorn, London.
Reporting that all at the assizes is going well, and that Eccles and Babington are gratified by the favours and civilities shown them

Repository : Public Record Office for Northern Ireland
PRONI Reference : D623/A/141/36 13 September [1802]
Description : [John] Stewart, Athenree, to [Marquess of Abercorn].
Discussing a job in the Navy for Eccles's son, Stewart's friendly relations with Lord Belmore and Belmore's friends, and suggesting a baronetcy for Mr Conyngham and a place in the Common Pleas for Babington.

Thomas Dickson to Thomas Conolly from Woodville, Dec 31, 1796
I have a nephew, Gilbert William Eccles, son to my brother-in-law, Eccles. He intends him for the sea and wishes extremely to have your introduction and recommend him to Captain Packenham who married Miss Staples. He is a fine smart boy and I think will make a choice seaman. I will thank you very much to enclose me a line to Captain Packenham on the subject.
I am dear Sir your very faithful and obedient hum: servant
Thos Dickson

PRONI Reference : D623/A/83/29 13 June 1807
Description : Marquess of Abercorn, to Sir Arthur Wellesley [the Chief Secretary].
Setting forth his request for patronage.
'... My adherence to our political friends, and my former delicacy in forbearing to press upon them for objects of county patronage, cost me, as you I believe know, two counties at these two last general elections.
I shall probably regain them, but in order so to do, it is necessary for me to show that I am both willing and able to assist those who stand by me. Lord Castlereagh tells me he has already explained this to you.
My first object of request is a living as quick as possible of not less that £300 a year for a brother of Mr Knox of Prehen, who is literally starving, with a wife and large family, and has been waiting in most impatient expectation of success from an application of mine to the Bishop of Derry four years ago, having waited more than as long for the Bishop's appointment to the see.
Then, a living of about £200 for a Tyrone parson of the name of Lowry, for which (and I think a gaugership for a Mr Eccles) I will direct Sir John Stewart more specifically to apply to you.

Repository : Public Record Office for Northern Ireland
PRONI Reference : D623/A/143/41 29 December [1807]
Description : [John] Stewart, Omagh, to [Marquess of Abercorn].
Referring to the Lord Lieutenant's visit to Rash, the death of Major Eccles, Lord Mountjoy's registry and the potato crop.
'... Lord Mountjoy had registered most of his estate in and about Newtownstewart. It is far short of what one expected not much above 300 but he says there will be some more shortly ...'.

Daniel Eccles member of Tyrone Grand Jury 1792

Lecky iv 34 & 96-97.

[Fintona - 1797, 9th & 14th May;

This material is expanded in an article in the Clogher Record

Two letters from a Fintona clergyman (probably Rev James Johnston) to the bishop of Clogher.
"The Revd Lowrie, Jnr, who resides about 4 miles from me has expended 1,800 wt. of iron in grating his windows".
"The more well-to-do inhabitants were defending their houses with gratings and bars of iron; but what, wrote the informant, must be the situation of those who inhabit thatched cabins, which a single spark can fire?"
[Rev James Lowry was rector of Clogherny, Co Tyrone from 1794. His father was Rev John Lowry the late rector. He was a 2nd cousin of Daniel Eccles.]

The whole country about Fintona near Omagh, writes a clergyman in the town, is in the hands of the disaffected. The insurgents now go about in numerous gangs, swearing, plundering, burning, maiming. No tithes, half rent and a French constitution is the favourite toast.
Last week about one hundred men, well officered and armed, paraded the streets of Dromore. Yesternight the hills between this and Clogher exhibited a striking scene - the summits topped with bonfires - bugle horns sounding and guns occasionally firing, no doubt as signals to the marauding parties who were employed seeking for weapons in the neighbourhood - - - - etc.
The populace are now so powerful and desperate, that for any individual to attempt to attempt resistance would be both imprudent and romantic.

In the neighbourhood of Dungannon the animosities between Protestants and Catholics appear to have run especially high, and there is reason to think that the magistrates there, were far from approving of the proceedings of the military. A letter from one of them gives a terrible glimpse of the abuses that occurred.
Robert Lowry (Dungannon/Pomeroy) - June 29th 1797. [He was a 1st cousin once removed of Daniel Eccles.]
'I will grant you the excursions of the yeomanry at the beginning, when headed by their officers, had a happy effect in forcing in the arms and, to appearance at least, turning the country to its duty and allegiance. But for a set of armed men, without any gentleman at their head, to be permitted at their pleasure day after day, and what is worse, night after night, to scour whole tracts of country, destroy houses, furniture etc., and stab and cut in a most cruel manner numbers that, from either private resentment or any other cause, they may take a dislike to, if permitted to go on, depopulate and destroy the trade of this country. We are beginning anew the county Armagh business, papering and noticing the Romans to fly on or before such a day or night, or if found afterwards in their houses, certain death.

Mr Eccles of Ecclesville June 30 1797 - probably Daniel Eccles, rather than his son, Charles.
From Omagh in Tyrone another magistrate wrote that the country around him, and also as he hears the country around Dungannon was perfectly quiet. More than three weeks had passed without a single attack by United Irishmen on houses. 1,514 persons had come before him to take the oath of allegiance, and to qualify under the proclamation; yet still he had received trustworthy intelligence of the burning of houses. Such unneccessary severity at a time when the country was quiet, he said, could not fail to alienate the King's subjects, and 'if persisted in will, in all probability, insure a rebellion'.

McWilliam of Monaghan / McWilliam of Creggan / McWilliams of Carnteel / Wallace / Russell / Rogers / Murrell / Morell / McCulla / Lucas / Lowry / Blayney / Charles / Eccles / Dickson / Clugston / Conolly / Dickie / Donaldson / Henry / Harris / Kennedy / Sacheverell / Back to TOP

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