Rev. Thomas Ledlie Birch (1754–1828), United Irishman

 son of John Birch (1711–1773) of Birchgrove, county Down, and Jane Ledlie (c.1717–1791) of Carnan, county Tyrone ...

Notes:

  • Much has been written about this renowned United Irishman. This timeline includes a brief outline or sketch of Rev. Mr. Birch’s life.
  • For a complete biography of the renowned Rev. Thomas Ledlie Birch, please refer to Aiken McClelland’s tract, “Thomas Ledlie Birch: United Irishman. Reprinted from: Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society. 141st–143rd Sessions (1961/62-1963/64). Second Series. Vol. VII.
  • Please note that text written [within square brackets] contains editorial or explanatory remarks by the compiler/transcriber.

Timeline:

  • Thomas Ledlie Birch was born c.1754 at Birchgrove, county Down, the son of John Birch (1711–1773) and Jane Ledlie (c.1717–1791). [1] [2]
  • m.1782 his second cousin, Isabella Ledlie (1760–1836), [1] [5] daughter of John Ledlie (d.1792) of Curglassan, parish of Ballyclog, co. Tyrone, and Elizabeth Hamilton, daughter of Robert and Margaret Hamilton of Monclone, co. Armagh.
  • Minister of the Presbyterian congregation of Saintfield, county Down. [4] [6]
  • purchased a farm of 42 acres freehold in Ballycloughan, near Saintfield, in 1784, calling the farm “Liberty Hill," and residing there until 1798; purchased 128-1/2 acres leasehold in Cultra, Holywood in 1784; sold his Ballycloghan farm to his brother, the Rev. James Birch, for £500 in 1798. [3]
  • Extract from the Fasti of the Irish Presbyterian Church[4]

    405. Birch, Thomas Ledlie; 6th s. of John Birch, Birch Grove, Gilford; b.1754; educ. Glas.; M.A., 1772; lic. Dromore Pres., 1775; ord. Saintfield, 21 May, 1776; mar., Dec. 1783, Isabella Ledlie, Carnan, Co. Tyrone; founded the first Society of United Irishmen of Saintfield, 16 Jan., 1792; charged with rebellion & treason in being present & encouraging the rebels at Creevy Rocks, Saintfield, Price’s Castle, & Ballynahinch, on 1—12 June, 1798; tried at Court Martial at Lisburn on 18–20 June, 1798, and convicted, but through the influence of his brother, who was a medical doctor in Newtownards, and a loyalist, he was permitted to migrate to Pennsylvania.
      In Washington, Pa., 1799; d. 12 Apl., 1828.
      Pubd. “Physicians Languishing Under Disease,” an attack on the Seceders, 1796; and a Synodical sermon in 1791. 
    [4]

  • After the Uprising of 1798:
    • “Birch was released [from a prison-tender in Belfast Lough] on the 16th August, 1798, to sail from Belfast to New York on board the Harmony of New Bedford, and reached the New World in September;”
    • moved to Philadelphia in 1799; officiated for several months at Third Presbyterian Church;
    • later in 1799, “acted as supply to the congregation in East-Nottingham;”
    • in 1800, he was “invited by some former members of the Saintfield congregation to found a congregation at Washington, Pennsylvania.”
    • after a series of delays in finding another post and related legal difficulties, became a member of the Presbytery of Baltimore;
    • purchased a “274-acre farm, Point Pleasant, situated about five miles west of Washington, Pa.,” 24 February 1804. [1]
  • The Rev. Thomas Ledlie Birch died 12th April 1818, near Freeport in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. [1] [6]

Links:

Sources and notes:

1.

McClelland, Aiken. Thomas Ledlie Birch: United Irishman. Reprinted from: Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society. 141st–143rd Sessions (1961/62-1963/64). Second Series. Vol. VII. Citing “A Short History of First Dromara,” by Aiken McClelland (1963).

2.

Jack, Wendy. The Birch Family. A family tree outlining the descendants of James Birch and Mary Jackson through five generations, from 1725–1944. Copy hosted by Sharon Oddie-Brown on her website, The Silver Bowl, www.thesilverbowl.com/familytree/birch_family.htm (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2018-02-13).

3.

McClelland, Aiken. Thomas Ledlie Birch: United Irishman. Reprinted from: Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society. 141st–143rd Sessions (1961/62-1963/64). Second Series. Vol. VII. Citing “A Short History of First Dromara,” by Aiken McClelland (1963). ☛ Citing Memorials of Irish Deeds, nos. 383-123-253184, 515-521-335828, and 521-533-343508. The Rev. James Birch sold Ballycloghan farm to James McRoberts of Listooder, for £1,111, 15th March 1799.

4.

McConnell, James, and S.G. McConnell. Fasti of the Irish Presbyterian Church. Part X arranged and edited by David Stewart: Sixth Period, 1778–1820 (continued). Belfast: Presbyterian Historical Society, [1951].

5.

Walker’s Hibernian Magazine. The Irish Genealogical Research Society. “IGRS Marriages Database,” compiled by Roz McCutcheon, and hosted online by The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS), irishancestors.ie (accessed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2016-07-20). Also the Birch folder held by the IGRS.

6.

Belfast News-Letter, 2 December 1828 (pg 2). Death notice: “On the 12th April last, at his residence, near Washington, Pennsylvania, United States of America, aged 74 years, the Rev. Thomas Ledlie Birch; formerly a zealous Minister of the Presbyterian Congregation of Saintfield.” Digital image online at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk (accessed by subscription, and transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick, 2019-01-02).

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