— See a sample source citation for citing an article from this collection of news transcripts for the town and parish of Kilrea, county Londonderry & environs, 1790–1799, and also the “Notice” at the bottom of the page.
Belfast News-Letter, 29 Jan. – 2 Feb. 1990:
We hear from Coleraine, that Mr. O’Flaherty, Revenue Officer of Kilrea, having information that a number of persons in the neighbourhood of Rasharkin, county Antrim, were clandestinely manufacturing tobacco, went on the 14th ult. assisted by Mr. Fitzgerald of Maghera, and a party of the 39th regiment of foot, at four o’clock in the morning for that place, and found in the first house he attacked a quantity of roll, leaf, and stalk tobacco, with the manufacturing apparatus—and at the second place, about a mile distant, a tobacco press, containing 35 rolls—and at the third and last place, about two miles distant, another press; but as day light appeared before he arrived there, the rolls belonging to the last mentioned press were carried off.—Altho’ there was the greatest appearance of a rescue from the multitudes of people that surrounded him and his party, yet the whole was lodged safe in the Custom-house of Coleraine, without any mischief being done to either parties.
Belfast News-Letter, 16–19 March 1790:
WE, the Manufacturers of Tobacco, in the Town of Coleraine, in justice to the merit and activity of so vigilant an Excise Officer as Mr. Thomas O’Flagherty of Kilrea, take this public opportunity of presenting him our best acknowledgments for his singular care and attention in suppressing private manufactories of tobacco throughout his walk, and particularly in a late instance in the county of Antrim, near Rasharkin, where he, unassisted by any other Revenue Officer, seized two tobacco presses, a quantity of roll, leaf, and stalk tobacco; the latter he lodged safe in the Custom-house of Coleraine, and finding it impracticable to carry off the presses, burned the same and destroyed the utensils.
Such unremitting attention to the interest of the Revenue, may serve as a laudable example to other Officers, who, by similar exertions, might effectually suppress this clandestine traffic, and merit, as Mr. O’Flagherty supereminently does, the public thanks of every fair trader in the kingdom.
Copy: William King, Thomas Henry, John Reynolds.
Belfast News-Letter, 15–18 June 1790:
Robbery and Reward.
WHEREAS early on the morning of Sunday last, the 13th instant, David Gordon, Hostler to David Bell, Innkeeper, Belfast, feloniously entered the apartment of Samuel Harris in said Bell’s house, and took 182 Guineas and a half, and a Silver Watch, Maker’s name Edmond, Dublin, No. 8444, out of his breeches pockets. A reward of 20 Guineas will be given to the person or persons who shall apprehend, or cause to be apprehended the said David Gordon, and lodge him in any of his Majesty’s gaols, by applying to said David Bell.
Said David Gordon was born near Kilrea, in the county Derry, is about 5 feet 9 inches high, black complexion, wore his own hair, high shouldered, and has a bile on his chin;—had on when he went away an old white slip coat, a blue waistcoat, and ragged fustian breeches. He is about forty years of age, and is supposed to be lurking in the county Derry.
Belfast, 17th June, 1790.
Belfast News-Letter, 10–14 September 1790:
TO THE EDITOR OF THE BELFAST NEWS-LETTER. SIR,
LEST the observations on the effects of the Extract of Saturn, exemplified in the case of a young man, who having taken a large quantity of that drug, without producing any bad consequence, (inserted in your Tuesday’s Paper) might have a tendency to lead some medical practitioners astray, the following observations may probably appear not unnecessary.
ALL the preparations of lead, taken into the stomach, prove either noxious or innocent; and that more or less so in proportion to the quantity of acid they are combined with, either immediately at the time they are exhibited, or what they have retained from their original preparation. [Transcriber’s note:—The original text includes a description of an experiment.]
From this we can readily account for the uncertain operation of this drug when taken into the human stomach. Let it be given to a person whose bowels or stomach no acid exists, and no bad consequence will ensue; give but a small quantity to a person troubled with acid eructions, and the deleterious effects of the lead will be immediately discovered.—Why lead operates thus, (according to the circumstances mentioned) it is not my business in this place to explain; that what has been stated are facts, is sufficient: It may however be necessary to observe, that in the process of making Extract of Saturn with vinegar and litharge, the vinegar becomes perfectly sweet, not only with respect to its taste; but when presented to an alkaline salt, no effervescence arises.
Kilrea, 30th August, 1790.
Belfast News-Letter, 3–7 December 1790:
Navigation from Lough Neagh towards Colerain—
NOTICE is hereby given, that a Subscription is opened to raise the Sum of Four Thousand Pounds by shares of One Hundred, or Fifty Pounds each, to make a navigable Canal from Lough Neagh to Lough Beg, avoiding the bar and other shoals of the River Bann at Toome.
The Line of Navigation has been already accurately examined, surveyed and eliminated by Mr. Richard Owen; and the work is of such a nature as may be effected in the course of one year.—Should the Subscription fill, a Petition, with the Plan and Estimates, will be laid before Parliament on the first day of next Session, in order to entitle the Subscribers to a re-payment of one third of the original Subscription when the Work shall be finished, and to form the Subscribers into a Corporation, and enable them to take a Toll.
It is presumed that this Navigation will produce good interest for the funds subscribed, as it will command the Navigation of the River Bann down to Portna:—And it cannot be doubted that on the opening of the Belfast Navigation in November next, in addition to the Newry Navigation, the trade on Lough Neagh, and its vicinities, must increase exceedingly.
Books for Subscriptions are opened at this Office, Mr. Gordon’s, Printer, Newry, and at Shane’s-Castle Office.
December 1st, 1790.
Belfast News-Letter, 28 Jan. – 1 Feb. 1791:
WE the Tobacco Manufacturers of Colerain, return our sincere thanks to Mr. Alex. Huey, Excise Officer of Kilrea, for his exertions in having detected three Screw Presses, containing 37 rolls of Tobacco, in and about Rasharkin, in the county of Antrim, (where this illicit practice is so daringly carried on to the great injury of the fair trader) with a party of the 64th regiment, and which he has since lodged in his Majesty’s Stores.
25th Jan. 1791.
Belfast News-Letter, 20 September 1791:
DIED.—On Monday last, in his 78th year, HENRY ELLIS, of Innisrush, Esq.—An intimate knowledge of his worth authorizes us to add our suffrage to the general voice of the country where he resided.—His life was eminently marked throughout with every thing honourable in the character of a Gentleman, or justly esteemed among men. As a husband, relative, and friend; as a magistrate actively employed in promoting concord and preventing suits at law; as a charitable and humane member of society, his decease is, and should long remain a subject of general and sincere regret.
Belfast News-Letter, 25 November 1791:
Auction of the entire Household Furniture, Stock and Crop, &c. of the late Henry Ellis, Esq; Innishrush, near Portglenone, on Monday the 12th December, 1791,
BY JOHN BAILIE, Auctioneer and sworn Appraiser from Ann-street, Belfast:–Consisting of Mahogany four-post, Field, and other Bedsteads, with Hangings compleat, Feather Beds, Blankets, &c. Mahogany Dining, Card, Sideboard and other Tables, Mahogany and other Chairs, Pier and other Looking-glasses, Carpets, an 8-Day Clock, a quantity of China and Glass, a large Brewing-pan, and a number of do. Vessels, a Cyder Press, a large pacel [sic] of Timber of different kinds, a large quantity Hay, do. Oats, do. Potatoes, do. Turf, Horses, Cows, and farming Utensils, with a great variety of Kitchen and other Furniture too numerous to insert.
The Auction to begin each pay [sic] at 11 o’clock, and continue until all are sold.
Innishrush, Nov. 29th, 1791.
N.B. Conditions of Sale: The money to be paid for each as soon as sold, or the last bidder before to have the lot. No exception of persons, and the Goods to be taken away each day at the buyer’s expence.
Belfast News-Letter, 31 Jan. – 3 Feb. 1792:
Several fines, on information for infringement of the game laws, in the neighbourhood of Kilrea, in the county of Londonderry, amounting in the [illegible] to the sum of 5l. 8s. have been levied, and one [illegible] thereof paid by the Magistrate to the informer[?] one moiety to the Treasurer of the County L[ondonder]ry.
Also, two several fines, of 5l. sterl. on inform–for selling spirituous liquors, without licence, in the town of Kilrea; and the sum total transmitted to the Treasurer of the County, to be applied towards purposes for which presentments shall be made [illegible] Barony wherein the offence hath been committed.
Also, two several fines, of ten shillings, [illegible] drawing on the high-way cars with boards laid [cross-]ways thereon, have been levied off two palp[–] linquents; one moiety thereof transmitted to the Treasurer of the County Infirmary, and one [illegible] (there being no informer) applied to the use of the poor of the parish of Kilrea.
— Transcriber’s note: This article appeared in the right-hand column, with several of the words disappearing into the margin, which were thus illegible on the microfilm copy.
Belfast News-Letter, 27 April – 1 May 1792:
BY an extract of a letter from Coleraine, dated 26th April, we are informed, that Mr. Samuel Sheil, Guager, of Kilrea, seized fourteen hundred weight of Leaf Tobacco, at Boyd’s-mountain, which he lodged safe in his Majesty’s Stores in Coleraine, on the 25th of April.
WE, the public Manufacturers of Tobacco in the District of Coleraine, think it a duty incumbent on us to assure Mr. Samuel Sheil, Guager, of Kilrea, of our most grateful sentiments for his very great exertions in suppressing the clandestine manufacturing of Tobacco, and particularly, for his spirit and activity in making good his seizure of a press and thirty-two rolls of Tobacco in the county of Antrim, on the 12th inst. tho’ opposed by some hundreds, who exerted themselves to rescue said seizure, until Mr. Sheil’s party was under the disagreeable necessity of firing at the mob, by which two of them are wounded.
Coleraine, April 16, 1792.
Belfast News-Letter, 17 August 1792:
IN Consequence of a Requisition directed to me, and signed by a number of respectable Gentlemen and Landholders of the Barony of Loughinshillin, I request a Meeting of the Freeholders and Landholders of said Barony, to be held at the House of John O’Neill of Maghera, in the county of L. Derry, on Monday the first day of October next, at noon, for the purpose of taking into consideration the state of the roads of said Barony, and what sums of money may be necessary for making and repairing the same.
JOHN JOHNSTON, High Constable.
Tamlaught, August 14, 1792.
Belfast News-Letter, 8 February 1793:
BARONY DELEGATES TO DUNGANNON.
For the Meeting of the Province of Ulster, which is to be held on Friday next, 15th Feb. appointed at the late Meeting at Derry.
CITY AND COUNTY OF LONDON-DERRY.*
Barony of Loughinsholen–Rev. J. Glendy, Rev. J. Smith, Dr. Caldwell, [—] Pollock.
— * Transcriber’s note: Only those names for the barony of Loughinsholin have been included here.
Belfast News-Letter, 12–15 March 1793:
From Captain Hay’s recruiting Party at Loughbrickland, ALEX. QUINN, Tobacco Spinner, born near Kilrea, in the county of Derry, about twenty-seven years of age, five feet nine inches high, dark complexion, large hooked nose, dark brown hair, and hazle eyes; had for some time prior to his enlisting resided at Dromarah, in the county of Down; and had on a light coloured coat when he deserted.–[several other men were listed, the advert concluding with:] Any person bringing any of the above Deserters to Captain Hay’s Party, at Loughbrickland or Enniskillen, shall receive one Guinea above the usual Bounty.
Loughbrickland, March 6, 1793.
Belfast News-Letter, 7–10 May 1793:
A SPANIEL UNTAUGHT,
SUPPOSED to have been stolen, may be heard of at Daniel Levisan’s, junr. at Kilrea, and will be restored to the Owner, on paying the expence of this advertisement.
May 9th, 1793.
Belfast News-Letter, 4 February 1794:
ALL FLAX CLAIMANTS, in the County of Londonderry, are hereby informed, that the Inspector will pay the remaining Premiums for the Barony of Loughinsholin at Maghera, on the 11th inst.—for Tyrkeenan, at Derry, on the 14th; and for Kenaught, at Dungiven, on the 15th—after which days no person need apply for Premiums. Magistrates will attend the respective places to receive affidavits.
Belfast News-Letter, 25–29 April 1794:
COAL.—JOHN FRENCH begs leave to inform the Public, that he is now supplied with COAL at his Pits in Killymurris, of such a Quality as will answer every purpose (except malting)—In a few months he hopes to be ready to ship at Portna, of which due notice will be given.
Randalstown, April 28th, 1794.
Good Colliers will meet with Encouragement by applying at the Pits.
Belfast News-Letter, 12 May 1794:
TO BE SOLD,
SOME Oak Trees growing on the Lands of Innishrush, in the County of Derry. Proposals will be received by Henry Ellis, Esq. Innisrush.
May 14th, 1794.
Belfast News-Letter, 30 Jan. – 2 Feb. 1795:
A POST CHAISE,
TO BE SOLD,
IN good order, of a plain, yet fashionable make, with plated Mounting, diamond-cut plate Glasses, silk Spring-Blinds, and pair of Harness, (Harness quite new, a little more than a year and half ago,) and, in order to dispatch the Sale, and give but little trouble, the whole will be Sold for Fifteen Guineas. To be seen at Kilrea. Apply to the Rev. Mr. Sandy’s [sic], there, Rector of the Parish.
Belfast News-Letter, 6 March 1795:
Died.—On Tuesday the 24th ult. at Tamlaght, Mr. Jas. Mc.Cartney. His long approved worth, demands an honest statement of facts from a disinterested surviving friend. He maintained exemplary composure of spirit and calm resignation to the will of heaven. He possessed that dignity of mind which taught him to scorn an ungenerous deed; he was intelligent, yet not assuming, devout, yet not austere, a safe companion, and a faithful friend. The children of distress can witness, that the dear charities of heart and hand were found with him.
Belfast News-Letter, 29 June 1795:
WANTED. A MAN of light weight, who can take care of a pair of Horses and attend Table occasionally.
Enquire at Innisrush near Portlenone [sic].
1st July, 1795.
Belfast News-Letter, 20 June 1796:
THE annual Meeting of the BANN FISHING CLUB, will be held at PARKINSON’S, PORTNAW, on Monday, July 4th, to transact the Business of the Club, and to dine. JOHN ASH FOX, President.
N.B. Dinner on the Table at Four o’Clock.
Belfast News-Letter, 1 August 1796:
DIED.—On Tuesday morning last, at her House in Portnaw, Mrs. Nancy Elder.—She was an affectionate wife, a tender parent, and a steady friend.
Belfast News-Letter, 28–31 October 1796:
On Wednesday Night the 26th inst. out of the Stable of John Sloan of Tamlacreely, County Londonderry.
A JET BLACK MARE, with foal, and heavy made, rising nine years old, a ratch down her face, her far eye whiter than the other, her near fore and far hind foot white from the pastern down, marked with the girth on both sides, short set tail.
Whoever returns said Mare to John Sloan, of Tamlacreely, will receive Two Guineas Reward; and five for the Mare, and prosecuting the Thief to Conviction.
Tamlacreely, 31st Oct. 1796.
Belfast News-Letter, 11–14 November 1796:
STOLEN OR STRAYED,
ON Friday Night last, from the Townland of LISSLAY, Parish of Kilrea and County of Derry,
A SMALL BLACK HORSE,
with a star in his face, the far hind foot white, and the hoof of the same foot white, with a split down the middle of it—he is five years old, and worth seven Guineas, his back has a few spots of white hair on it, on the near side. Five Guineas Reward for Horse and Thief, or one Guinea for the Horse and no questions asked.–Apply to William Gordon, in the Townland as above.
November 14th, 1796.
Belfast News-Letter, 16–19 December 1796:
WHEREAS Examinations are lodged against the following persons for breaking into and robbing the house of Skeffington Gore Bristow, Esq. of Desertderrin, in the county of Antrim, on the night of the 16th of November last, viz.
NEIL M’IRLANE, lived near Castle-Dawson, in the county of Londonderry, about 30 years of age, 5 feet 7 inches high, stout made, black hair, dark eyes, sharp nose with a rise in the middle of it, by trade a weaver.
HUGH M’ILMEEN, of Portglenone, county of Antrim, 30 years of age, 5 feet 7 inches high, light brown hair, red whiskers.
DENIS M’GONNIGAL, lived in the house with the said Hugh M Ilmeen, about 25 years of age, sandy hair, gray eyes, fair complexion, lived formerly in Colerain, in the county of Londonderry.
WILLIAM GILMORE, 29 years of age, 5 feet 7 inches high, stout made, light brown hair, fair complexion, blue eyes, fat faced, lisps, wears a suspender bandage, by trade a butcher; lived at Moneyblaughan, county of Londonderry.
DANIEL M’LEES, of Moneygran, county of Londonderry, 30 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches high, square made, black hair and eyes, has a large cut across his forehead, formerly in the sea service, and supposed to have returned from transportation.
WM. M CARROLL, of Moneygran, county of Londonderry, 30 years of age, 5 feet 5 [?] inches high, square made, short black hair, a little pock-marked.
HAMILTON M’ATIER, of Portglenone, county Antrim, 30 years of age, 5 feet 10 inches high, gray eyes, fair hair and complexion–and
WM. M’KAY, of Ennisrush, county of Londonderry, 26 years of age, blue eyes, fair hair and complexion, wants two of his fore teeth,–who have all fled for the same.
A Reward of FIFTY POUNDS will be paid on conviction of each of the above persons, to whoever shall, within five months from the date hereof, apprehend and lodge in any of his Majesty’s Gaols in this kingdom, any of the above persons, and give notice thereof to Skeffington Gore Bristow, Esq. Desertderrin, Colerain.
December 17, 1796.
Belfast News-Letter, 2 January 1797:
The Lord Chancellor has been pleased to appoint Henry Ellis, of Innishrush, Esq. a Magistrate for the County of Londonderry.
Belfast News-Letter, 23–27 January 1797:
AT a MEETING of the principal Inhabitants of the Parish of Tamlaught O’Crilly, in the County of Londonderry, regularly convened, held at Church-Town, the 21st Day of January, 1797,
ROBERT GALT, Esq. in the Chair.
1st. THAT we are apprehensive our political principles have been unrepresented to Government; and therefore, we voluntarily declare our unshaken attachment to our present and gracious Sovereign, King GEORGE the THIRD, and his illustrious House; in evidence of which we have unanimously taken the Oath of Allegiance.
2d. THAT convinced of the loyalty of the inhabitants of this parish, and of their firm attachment to the Constitution; WE, the principal Residents, subscribing, become responsible for the good behaviour of the whole; but if, contrary to our expectations, any disturbances should arise, we will to the utmost of our powers, exert ourselves in co-operating with the Magistracy in securing and bringing the promoters thereof to justice.
(Signed) ROBERT GALT.
Mr. Galt having left the Chair, and HENRY ELLIS, Esq. being called to it:
THAT the thanks of this Meeting be given to ROBERT GALT, Esq. for his proper conduct in the Chair, and particularly for his exertions in preserving the tranquillity of this neighbourhood by the MILDEST, and yet MOST EFFECTUAL measures.
(Signed) HENRY ELLIS.
Signed by the principal Inhabitants of TWENTY- FOUR Townlands.
Belfast News-Letter, 15 September 1797:
On Thursday last came on before Mr. Justice Downes and Mr. Baron George, the trial of William M’Keever, otherwise Campbell, on an Indictment for High Treason. A very large panel of Jurors was returned by the Sheriffs, of whom sixty-seven appeared; and the Crown having set aside fifteen and the prisoner having challenged sixteen peremptorily, and one for a cause which was tried and disallowed, and twenty-one having been objected to on both sides, for want of legal qualification, the following Jury was sworn:
James Wilson, John Cochran, Robert Smith, George Thrap, James Lynch, William Smith, Hugh Henderson, Warren Mountgarret, Robert Thompson, John Osborne, Henry Thompson, Henry Haslett.
The Indictment consisted of two counts, charging the prisoner with compassing and imagining the King’s death, and with adhering to the enemies of the King; in support of which the following were laid as overt acts—That the prisoner did unite and associate with divers other false traitors unknown, and enter into a society formed for the purpose of aiding the enemies of the King, in case they should invade Ireland—That he met and consulted with such his associates for such purposes—That he entered into an association formed for the purpose of overthrowing the Government as by law established, and did consult and confer with his associates for such purposes—And that he did endeavour to persuade one John M’Allister to assist and unite with him and his associates in the attainment of such purposes.
Mr. Jameson having stated the case for the Crown,
James Gray was called as a witness.—He said he lived in Tamlaght, in this county, and was a grocer and leather-cutter; he had left this country in May 1796, but was before that time a member of a society of United Irishmen which met at Tamlaght. On being asked the object of that association, he said they met together for the purpose of drawing country people into the combination, the design of which was to overturn the Constitution, and to set up a Republic like France. He knew the prisoner at the bar: he was employed at such meetings, and was the most active man in the country in the business: he first became acquainted with the prisoner in March 1796, and the first meeting he had with him was at Tamlaght, in the house of John Gamble, where about twenty of the society were assembled. Their meetings, he said, were held monthly, and when the society in any district grew large, it was to split; there were also baronial meetings, composed of delegates from the district meetings, and county meetings, to which the baronial sent delegates; and provincial meetings, formed of delegates from the county meetings. The meeting when he met M’Keever he said was an extra meeting, the object of which was to swear in some men that had been made before. The first oath taken in the association, was the oath of secrecy, which every member could administer: but the United Irishman’s oath could be given only by the secretary of a meeting, in this manner; he held in his hand the book of the constitution and catechism of the United Irishmen, and called five or seven members together, before whom the man was completed, by swearing to observe the articles.—At the meeting in question, two men were sworn in by the Secretary, one Hugh Workman, and the prisoner was present, and took part in the business that was going on. He came forward, said the witness, and took the book of the catechism in his hand, and began with his usual skill to shew the great force and bindingness of the obligation, and how necessary it was for us to be bound together, as by that means we must attain our object—to unite and be free.—He told us he was delegated to a County Meeting at Ballyclare in the county of Antrim; and desired us not to be afraid, for that there were arms ready to be put into our hands; that there had been Powder-mills for three years past in the county of Antrim, and also cannon, bombs, and all sorts of warlike instruments ready for us. He said further (explaining the business to the two men who had been made) that as soon as they had ascertained the number and extent of the association, and had gained the minds of the people, each county was to rise and take its own capital town; and that they were to destroy the present rulers and overturn the Constitution.
The witness being asked whether they expected any aid in effecting this, said, that they did expect the aid of the French; and the prisoner told them at that meeting, that there was a principal agent at Belfast, who communicated with the French, and that they were to send them men and arms; and the witness said he was sure the greater part of the people expected them to come. Witness said the system was, when a member of a different society came, that he was to take the oaths, to satisfy the President that he was a United Irishman; and that prisoner did so. He said he had never been at any other meeting with the prisoner, and had seen constitutions with him, which he carried for the purpose of dipsersing. He remembered the witness also to have said at that meeting, that our Representatives were tyrants, those belonging to the Church, robbers, and that in short we were completely enslaved.
The witness was cross-examined by Mr. Plunket:
He said he was an United Irishman himself, but could not say how long before that meeting; he had taken two oaths only; the first, the oath of secrecy, and the second, to form a brotherhood of affection and to procure a Reform in Parliament; being asked at what period he had left off that trade and commenced informer, he said, when he saw his country in danger, he did not hesitate to come forward like a Man. He gave his information some time in April, and the meeting was in March, and he had several conversations with the prisoner in the interval. He gave his information, he said, as soon as he could get an opportunity to go to the seat of Government: he did not go sooner for fear of his life, and because he waited to collect his property before he should leave the country: he did not get it all collected, for they destroyed his house after he went away. He had since earned his bread as a common labourer in the Ordnance stores—A book of the constitution being produced, witness said, the book they had at the meeting was like that, but larger; it had more leaves, and there were more inflammatory things in it than in this.—The object of the Society, under a guise, was Reform and Catholic Emancipation; there might be a great many honest men that entered into it from good motives, but as soon as they went in, the wicked principles were instilled into them, let their former principles have been ever so good. Witness was himself enthusiastic enough, but when he heard the French named, he saw the thing was not right; if he had remained among them, he must have joined in all their designs.
He had never got any thing for his evidence: he had received 11s. a week, wages, and his travelling charges only—he never proposed to Hugh Workman to join him in giving information.
Examined by Mr. Justice Downes.
Witness first gave information to Mr. Secretary Cook, and afterwards lodged examinations before Mr. Soden of Maghera. He had taken both the oaths before the meeting, and the prisoner must have known it, as otherwise he could not have been admitted to it. He had no conversation with the prisoner respecting his taking the oaths, nor could he remember that the prisoner had ever applied to him to take them. Nobody, to his recollection, made any objection to the oaths, at that meeting: he does not believe that he himself made any objection to being sworn, (the examinations were then shewn him by Mr. Baron George); was not certain whether the name subscribed was of his handwriting: on further examination he admitted it was like it. Having read the paper by direction of the Court, he said —I suppose this is the circumstance that I told the Magistrate; one day, I met the prisoner, and he laid down to me the whole order and tenor of the oath, and shewed it to me in all its beauty and energy. Q. Did he desire you to swear again? I don’t remember that he did; this, said he, is the proper method of taking the oath, and your Secretary does not know how to administer it; and I remember I said there was no occasion for me to take another oath: this was after the meeting. Q. Did the prisoner use any stratagem to make you take the obligation?—A. I do not remember. Q. did [sic] you refuse?—A. I do not remember, the words have been wrong put down there. (After some pause, the witness said) My Lords I do now recollect, I remember I met the prisoner at Workman’s house and he offered to swear me, and I gave him the signs, and shewed him that I was made already; this was about a quarter of an hour before we went to the meeting. Q. Then it was not till afterwards that the prisoner harangued the people?—A. No. Q.did you swear these words before Mr. Soden, “This Deponent saw M’Keever take the oaths of an United Irishman, and harangue the people; and he used every stratagem to make Deponent take the oaths, but in vain?”—A. Yes, and it is true. Q. Was it in Gamble’s house that this stratagem was used?—A. Yes. Q. Was it in the room where the meeting was?—A. No, it was contiguous to it; there was a door between—there is a little Cow-house adjoining Gamble’s, and I am not sure whether it was there or not.
The next witness called on the part of the prosecution—was
John M’Allister—He said he had seen the prisoner at the house of one O’Kane, at Garvagh. They had taken a quart or two of beer together, when the prisoner desired to speak to him up stairs in a garret.—Witness went up with the prisoner, and he, prisoner, asked him whether he had conferred with any body on the subject of United Irishmen; witness said he had not, and that he thought, for reasons of his own, that the prisoner ought not neither: he said the prisoner rather advised him to join them; and told him, that when a certain man, whom he expected, came into town, he would shew him (the witness) the rules of the society—that it would be as good for him to take the oath at once, as be compelled some night to do it, for that it would shortly become universal.—Q. Did he say any thing about the French? Yes, indeed, we had got a little cut; and he told me, if it went on, that I would have no rent or tythe to pay, or not so much; and that if the French were to come to invade Ireland, I was to back them; he said he had 7000 men in the county of Derry that had taken the same oath; and witness said, that the oath was about rent and tythes, and if the French came in, to back them—but that he said he never would take any oath against Government. The prisoner had a gun in his hand, and told witness that he had been out shooting, but did not use a threat of any kind.
On his cross-examination (by Mr. Stokes) he said, he had seen some of the advertisements of the United Irishmen, and that they appeared to be in favour of a Parliamentary Reform. He never had heard when the Society was first formed, nor that it was formed four years ago in Dublin; that Archibald M’Caw was present part of the time that he was in company with the prisoner, but that he was with the prisoner in two different rooms.
Examined by Mr. Baron George.
Witness did not recollect that the prisoner asked him to take any oath but one, viz. that if the French should invade Ireland, he should back them; and he only advised him to take that oathhe did not compel him.
Examined by Mr. Justice Downes.
Q. Did he tell you to keep secret what he advised you to swear—or that, if you could keep a secret, he would tell you something?—A. I don’t doubt but there was such a talk about keeping a secret, though I did not recollect it before.—Q. Did you express any surprise when he asked you to take the oath? A. Yes, I said I never would; he said, perhaps I might be compelled; I said, that any man that compelled me deserved to be shot, and that I was surprised he should be concerned in such a matter.
Here the Counsel for the Crown rested their case, and Mr. Plunket stated the case of the prisoner.
Archibald M’Caw was called.—He said he knew the last witness, and had been in company with him at O’Kane’s house. Witness and the prisoner were together, and had some conversations about masonry, when M’Allister came in and said, “Gentlemen, are you talking about the United business?” Witness told him he was not, for that he knew nothing of it; and then the prisoner went away, and M’Allister and the witness staid together while they drank a gallon of beer.
On his cross-examination, he said, that he could not take upon him to say that M’Allister might not have been in company with the prisoner after witness parted from him. The company that the prisoner went to was in the same house.
The evidence now closed; and Mr. Stokes, for the prisoner, spoke to evidence—and Mr. Stewart, for the Crown, replied.
Mr. Justice Downes then proceeded to charge the Jury; he said he was of opinion that the first overt act laid in the indictment, would, if proved to the satisfaction of the Jury, support both the counts in the indictment; and then proceed to recapitulate the evidence, as before stated.
At seven o’clock (after a trial of nine hours), the Jury retired, and, after a short deliberation, returned with a verdict of—Not Guilty.
On Saturday the 9th inst. the last day of the Assizes, the prisoner being brought up, Mr. Justice Downes informed him that, previous to his being discharged, he must find good security for his further good behaviour, and also take the Oath of Allegiance to his Majesty, in open court, which the prisoner did in a very solemn manner.—He was then enlarged, on giving ample security.
Belfast News-Letter, 5–9 February 1790:
The Manufacturers of Tobacco in the Town of Belfast, beg leave to return their sincere thanks to Messrs. Fitzgerald and O’Flaugherty, Excise Officers of Kilrea and Maghera, for their late spirited exertion in endeavouring to suppress the private manufacturing of Tobacco in their neighbourhood so injurious to every fair trader.
Belfast, 4th February, 1790.
Wm. Henderson, James Suffern, Hn. Hyndman, Wm. Emerson, Wm. Oakman, Sam. Eaddy, Conway Carleto.
Belfast News-Letter, 2–5 March 1790:
For Charlestown, South Carolina,
THE Ship CADIZ PACKET, 300 tons burthen, Wm. Mc. Kinsen[?], Master, a remarkably fast sailing Vessel, having been purposely built for a Packet between London and Cadiz, high and roomy between decks, with every accommodation for passengers, will be clear to sail for the above port the 10th April next.—For passage or freight apply to Mr Alexander Mitchell, Ballymena; Mr. Thomas Davison, Broughshane; Mr. John Dickson, Cullybackey; Mr. Robert Elder, Portna; Mr. Andrew Mc. [–]ord [partially illegible], Stewartstown; Mr. John Coulter, Killinchy; or the owners, Jones, Tomb, Joy & Co.—who engage to have plenty of the best provisions and water put on board.
Belfast, 2d March, 1790.
— Transcriber’s note: Similar adverts, citing Robert Elder of Portna as one of the agents, were published in the 30 April–4 May 1790, 2–6 September 1791, 7–10 February 1792, 10–13 July 1792 editions.
Belfast News-Letter, 9–13 April 1790:
Kilrea Linen Market,
A Number of the principal Gentlemen in the Linen Trade, have agreed to attend Kilrea Market the first Wednesday in every Month, for the purchasing brown Linens, and that the first Market for that purpose will commence the first Wednesday in May.
Kilrea, 10th May, 1790.
Belfast News-Letter, 9–13 April 1790:
We are informed, that the Rev. Mr. O’Bryan is promoted to the parish of Killcronaghan in the room of the Rev. Mr. Jones, who has got the parish of Tamlaght; and the Rev. Mr. Cochran is promoted to the parish of Tallagh (near Dublin) in the room of Mr. O’Bryan, whose other living is given to the Rev. Mr. Saurin.
Belfast News-Letter, 20–24 August 1790:
The Right Hon. the Lord Chancellor has been pleased to appoint Robert Graham, Clerk, Rector of Kilrea, one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace of the County of Londonderry.
Belfast News-Letter, 27–31 August 1790:
HENRY HENRY, my indented Servant, a Boy about 14 years old, remarkably well made, but diminutive, of a sallow complexion, and with short black hair.—He is supposed to have been seduced from his service by Mary O’Neil an abandoned woman, and a native of Belfast, and that he is now there under her tuition.
I think this publick intimation necessary to prevent imposition, and lest any person should, ingorantly, hire or conceal him.
Kilrea, Aug. 18th, 1790.
Belfast News-Letter, 5–8 October 1790:
If to be equally attentive and successful in preserving, and when interrupted, in restoring the peace of society, be the acknowledged characteristic of a noble and exalted mind, how justly hath the truly respectable proprietor of the Mercers’ Proportion, in the diocese of Derry, merited this enviable distinction, by his laudable exertions for the purposes of adjusting the differences on the subject of tythes, and conciliating the minds of a distracted multitude in one of the most extensive parishes in the kingdom.
This gentleman’s services on a similar occasion in the parish of Kilrea, are too recent and effectual to be readily forgotten; and in the present instance of Maghera (where every virtue that can adorn and dignify humanity centers in the breast of the rector and obviates the possibility of oppression) they are highly honourable and meritorious.
Peculiarly zealous as a landlord in redressing the grievances of his tenantry, and indefatigable in a minute investigation of them, he becomes superior to the prejudices of popular clamour, and, therefore, qualified to decide upon the merits of their complaints (particularly in such instances as the present) with that candor and precision which have so super-eminently distinguished him.
Should a similar mode of conduct be adopted, by the gentlemen of landed property throughout this kingdom those differences that have been so loudly complained of, would be finally adjusted, and peace and harmony restored to the community.
Belfast News-Letter, 10–14 December 1790:
THE drugs and fixtures (compleat) of an Apothecary’s Shop in Kilrea, in the County of Derry, to be sold—Apply to Archibald Bankhead, who empowers Mr. Wm. Beaford to receive all the debts due Mr. Alexander Douglass, late of that place.
Belfast, Dec. 13th, 1790.
Belfast News-Letter, 4–7 January 1791:
Lately were seized near Rasharkin, twenty-one rolls of Tobacco, by the Guager of Kilrea, assisted by that of Maghera. They were lodged in the Custom-house of Coleraine.
Belfast News-Letter, 7–11 January 1791:
THE Revd. ARTHUR Mc. MECHAN, A.M. near Kilrea, on Monday the 31st instant, will open an Academy, in which young Gentlemen may be boarded and instructed in every branch of Education necessary to qualify for the College or Counting-house. Having enjoyed advantages which he flatters himself qualify him for the undertaking; and being determined to spare neither cost or pains to procure proper assistants, and in every particular to give satisfaction, he presumes to hope for the public favour. The situation is healthy and retired.
Terms: Boarding and Tuition, 20l. per Ann. Day Scholars, 4 Guineas do.
Any Masters required, and not included in the above Plan, may be had at a moderate expense.
Lisnagrot, Kilrea, near Coleraine,
Jan. 4th, 1791.
Belfast News-Letter, 18–22 February 1791:
An Assistant wanted.
A Young Man of abilities and character, who writes a fine hand, can teach Arithmetic, Mathematics, and Book-keeping. Such a person may apply personally, or by letter, post-paid, to the Revd. Arthur Mc. Mechan, Lisnagrot, Kilrea, near Colerain. February 10th, 1791.
Belfast News-Letter, 6–10 May 1791:
City and County of LONDON-DERRY.
LENT ASSIZES 1791.
HIGH CONSTABLES appointed at said Assizes:
City & Liberties of L:Derry, Alex. Love of Derry.
Town & Liberties of Colerain, Jn. Johnston of Colerain.
Half Barony of Colerain, Rich. Milliken of Bovagh.
Half Barony of Tirkeeran, Rob. Caldwell of Culkeeragh.
Barony of Kinnaught, Tho. King of Keheery [or Koheery].
Barony of Loughinsholen, John Johnston of Tamlaghtocrilly.
City & Libertie of L:Derry, Thos. Waugh and Robert M’Intire.
Town & Liberties of Colerain, Dan. Moore, John M’Keeman, Wm. Johnston, Jn. Rosborough, Ed. Thorp.
Half Barony of Tirkeeran, Jas. Kane, Alex. Stevenson, Al. Gibson, T. Madden.
Barony of Kinnaght, Samuel M’Kissock, Robert Nelson, William Pattison, John Blair, Rob. Martin, John Lenox.
Barony of Loughinsholen, Wm. Caldwell, R. Simpson, Geo. Williams, D. Tomb, H. Mullan, Rob. Hughes, Wm. Mc. Culloch, Abm. Dougal, G. Neely, Chas. M’Cormick, Wm. M’Alister, M. Hagan.
Treasurer’s Office, London-Derry,
4th April, 1791. ARCH. BOYD.
N.B. At a Sessions held on Wednesday the 4th of May, Joseph Clark of Shanreagh was appointed High Constable for the barony of Kinnaught, in the room of John King, resigned.
Belfast News-Letter, 2–6 December 1791:
A Correspondent at Killrea requests our inserting the following extract from an act of Parliament, for the information of the public.
November 28, 1791.
Whereas certain penalties are imposed by the 13th and 14th G. III, upon “all persons who shall keep any cur dog, mastiff, or bull-dog, at any house within 50 yards of any road, without having a block of wood of five pounds weight fastened to the necks of such dogs; or who shall build any house within 25 feet; or any lime-kiln within 50 feet; or dig any pit within 15 feet of any road; or shall lay any rubbish, turf, dung, dirt, straw, stones, timber, or scourings of ditches, or shall winnow any corn, or lead or drive any cart or car with timber, boards, or iron, laid cross-ways, on any road; or shall steep or dry any flax, or burn any weeds or bricks within 100 yards of any road; or shall scrape the gravel off any road; or shall cut any turf, or make any turf or turf-stack within 21 feet of any road; or shall leave the carcass of any dead horse, or other beast, or shall skin any beast within 100 yards of any road; or shall pull down, or injure, any part of any bridge: And by the 7th W. III. upon any carrier, drover, or butcher who shall travel, or come into his or their inn or lodging upon the Lord’s Day:”
And whereas various accidents and inconveniences arise from the daily infringement of those salutary laws:
All persons concerned, within the neighbourhood of Kilrea, in the county of L:Derry, are hereby apprized, that henceforth the aforesaid statutes will be inforced vigorously throughout the country, in every instance of transgression, and without distinction of persons.
Belfast News-Letter, 22 May 1792:
TO BE LET,
From the first of May instant, for such Term as shall be agreed upon,
THE MILL of INNISHRUSH, in the proportion of Vintners and County of Londonderry, with six Acres of Land, Plantation Measure, thereunto adjoining, to which there is a considerable Suckonj[?] hound. For further particulars, application to be made to John Spotswood of Bellaghy in said County, Esq; who will receive Proposals for the same.
Bellaghy, 12th May, 1792.
Belfast News-Letter, 10–13 July 1792:
For Charlestown, in South-Carolina,
(With a Mediterranean Pass)
THE Ship IRISH VOLUNTEER, (now in Port) burthen 350 tons, ARCHIBALD ANDERSON, Master, will be clear to sail the 15th August next.
For freight or passage apply to Mr. William Burgess, Belfast; Mr. Aaron Cleeland, near Downpatrick; Mr. Andrew Newton, Coagh; Mr. John Ledlie, Cookstown; Mr. James Rodgers, New-Bliss; Mr. Samuel Sproul, Clare-Bridge; Mr. Samuel Gibson, Ballymacaraty; Mr. Robert Elder, Portna; Mr. Thomas Mc. Kay, Kilrea; Mr. James Barber, Ballymena; Mr. John Martin at the Black-a-Moor’s Head, North-street, Belfast, on Fridays; Mr. Davis Boyd, Ballycastle, or George Casement and Malcolm Mc. Neill, in Larne.
Larne, 10th July, 1792.
Belfast News-Letter, 8–11 January 1793:
AT a Meeting of Lodge No. 634, held at the House of John Hunter in Kilrea, on Thursday the 27th December 1792—
The following Resolutions were unanimously adopted:
— Resolved, That in the present state of publick affairs, we deem it incumbent upon us as a body of men ever loyal to our King, and attached to our Country, to declare our unalterable determination to stand forth in support of the laws, and in defence of our right and lawful Sovereign Lord George the IIId. against all his enemies foreign and domestick.
— Resolved, That the spirit of tumult and disorder hath already affected, and if not aptly resisted, must ultimately tend to the utter subversion of the rising Manufactures, Commerce, and Prosperity of this Kingdom.
— Resolved, That we will therefore at all times, collectively and individually, resist this spirit of tumult and disorder, and the instigators and abettors thereof; and that we will to the extent of our power, support the civil Magistrate in the due execution of the laws of the land, and be ready to unite for the safety, peace, and subordination of society.
— Resolved, That at the same time we will also be ready to co-operate with our Fellow Citizens in every legal and constitutional means for the purpose of obtaining a more equal Representation of the People in Parliament.
— Resolved, That the above Resolutions be signed by our Secretary, and published thrice in the Belfast News-Letter.
JOHN HUNTER, Secretary.
Belfast News-Letter, 9–13 August 1793:
TO BE LET,
Together or separately, from the first Day of November next, for 21 Years,
THE two large Houses in the Diamond of Kilrea, with Offices and Garden adjoining, and from 15 to 30 acres of excellent Land. The central situation of Kilrea, and its vicinity to Portnaw, (at the distance of one English mile only) from which there is an open communication to Belfast and Newry by water, renders it an eligible place of settlement for either a wholesale or retail Merchant; it would also be particularly well calculated as a residence for an Innkeeper, as it lies on the great road from Coleraine to Dublin. Application to be made to James or Henry Paterson, Esq. Magherafelt, or at the Houses in Kilrea, where a person attends to shew the premises. Kilrea, August 12th, 1793.
N.B. That the Mills of Killrea and Lisnagrot are also to be set from the first of November next, with sixteen acres of Land.
Belfast News-Letter, 1–4 April 1794:
BOYD and PATTERSON,
HAVE for sale at Coleraine and here, a large quantity of SCOTCH HERRINGS—on Trial, they will sufficiently recommend themselves.
They have landed some new FLAXSEED from Boston, and daily expect the arrival of their Dutch SEED and other Goods from Rotterdam—and a parcel of DANTZIC ASHES now on the Navigation from Newry to Portna.
These Goods, together with a large assortment of TEA and GROCERIES—also, WHITE SOAP for Bleachers and Retailers, will be sold on very moderate Terms, for Cash or the usual Credits.
Cash, however a contemptible a thing in its self, it may be, usurps the ascendancy over the shortest Credit; this, perhaps, proceeds from want of punctuality on the one hand, and of a large capital on the other.
Ballymoney, 1st April, 1794.
Belfast News-Letter, 21 July 1794:
Death.—On Thursday 10th inst. at Portglenone, Mrs. Ellis, relict of the late Henry Ellis, of Innisrush, Esq.
Belfast News-Letter, 31 Oct. – 3 Nov. 1794:
TO BE SOLD.
THE Farm of LISNAGROT, near Kilrea in the Co. of Derry, containing about 56 Acres of good Land, held by Lease under Alexander Stewart, Esq. six years of which are unexpired, and subject only to 30l. Rent. On this place is a Good Dwelling House fit for the reception of a large Family, with suitable Offices, a Flax Mill, and other conveniences which render it an object worthy of attention.—Application to be made to the Rev. Arthur M’Meekan the Proprietor, who will shew the Premises and treat for the same.
Kilrea, November 3, 1794.
Belfast News-Letter, 22 June 1795:
STOLEN, ON Saturday night, or early on Sunday morning last, out of the Stable of Wm. Hamilton of Killymuck, parish of Tamlaght, in the County of Londonderry. A JET BLACK MARE, four years old, about 14-1/2 hands high, two hind heels white, near forehoof white, and a few white hairs on it, a bright star and snip; value about 13 Guineas. Whoever returns said Mare to Mr. John Speer, Portglenone; John Rainey, Belfast; or the Owner, Mr. Hamilton, shall receive a reward of two Guineas, or ten Guineas for Mare and Thief, upon prosecuting the Thief to Conviction.
Dated 25th June, 1795.
Belfast News-Letter, 4 December 1795:
Mr. Telfair’s Silver Medals for last month were obtained by Master Thomas Welsh, Donegall-street, Belfast, and Master Hercules Ellis, Innisrush, county Derry, for exemplary conduct and writing.
Belfast News-Letter, 4 July 1796:
WE, whose Names are hereunto annexed, Magistrates, and Gentlemen of the barony of LOUGHINSHOLLIN, County of LONDONDERRY, assembled at MAGHERA the 27th June, 1796:
CLOTWORTHY SODEN, Clerk, in the Chair.
SEEING with the deepest concern that many of our deluded countrymen, affirming the name of United Irishmen, having in open violation and defiance of the laws, treacherously and seditiously assembling in noctural rendezvouses, where oaths have been illegally administered for the avowed purpose of new modelling our most excellent constitution; and finding already the fatal effects likely to accrue from such wicked conspiracies and combinations; nothing short of the distraction of the peace of every honest individual, and the downfal [sic] of the flourishing trade and manufactures of our prosperous country, do enter into the following Resolutions:
Imprimus:—We pledge ourselves to each other by the most solemn obligations that we will, at the shortest notice, co-operate with heart and hand by every effort in our power to enforce the most strict obedience to the law, and that we will go out with all the military force in our several districts to suppress such reptiles, and to break up all such midnight assemblies.
Secondly, Being sensible of the happiness we enjoy under the best of Kings, and the mildest government, that we shall use every means in our power to prevent the dissemination of French principles among us.
Thirdly, That we will punish with the utmost rigour of the law, all retailers of beer or spirits, who may entertain any disorderly persons at improper hours, and we will make application to have licenses withdrawn from such; and as many as are convicted before us of private retailing, we will fine as far as the law directs.
Fourthly, We advise all publicans within our barony, under pain of penalty, to shut up their houses on Sunday nights at nine o’clock.
And whereas by an Act of last Sessions, Section the 5th, It is enacted, “That every offender who has not been brought to trial for his offences, and who has not before the 10th of this inst June, disclosed to some Magistrate of the County, by informations upon oath, the whole of what he or she may know touching the administering such oaths or engagements;” we do pledge ourselves at this late day, that we will use our utmost power with Government to extend mercy and clemency to every deluded person, who being contrite for his past conduct, and well convinced that he is neither bound by laws divine or human to keep faith such Oath or Engagement as he may in his infatuation have entered into, will boldly come forward, acknowledge his trangression, and take the Oaths of Allegiance.
Resolved unanimously, That we will liberally reward any person or persons who has given, or will give such information as will convict any of those who have already attempted to disturb the public peace, or who may hereafter do so, and that the strictest secrecy will be observed.
(Signed) CLOTWORTHY SODEN, Chairman.
The Revd. Mr. SODEN having quit the chair, GEO. LENOX CONYNGHAM, Esq. was called thereto.
Resolved unanimously, That the Thanks of this Meeting be returned to our Chairman for his steady and proper Conduct.
MAGISTRATES: Rev. Mr. Jones, Langford Heyland,
Robert Galt, Rev. Dr. Torrans, John Miller, Rev. Mr. Bryans, John Spotswood, Dawson Downing, G.L. Conyngham, James Patterson.
Rev. John Torrans, sen., Andrew Torrans, Henry Patterson, Kennedy Henderson, Rev. Mr. Magee, Rev. Mr. Spotswood, Rev. Mr. Fanning, Rev. John Torrans, jun., Rev. Mr. Babington, Mich. Johnston, H.Con., John Stevenson, James Stevenson, Wm. Henderson, And. Henderson, Arth. Tracy, John Shail, Sam. Crawford, And. Crawford, Henry Ellis, James Ellis, Ant. Forrister, Rich. Dawson, James Shail, John Henderson, John Hunter, Daniel M’Coy, Henry O’Nail, James Welsh, John Smyth, Wm. Marshall, Robt. Patterson, Wm. Creighton, Wm. Rice, Fran. Lowden, Sam. M’Dowd, John Downing, Wm. Graves, Samuel Graves, James Wall, Wm. White, Charles Hill, James Patterson, Elwood Stuart, John O’Neil, Alex. Falls, Isaac Williams, Paul Church, Nath. Houstan, Richard Oulton.
This to be inserted three times in the Belfast News-Letter and the Northern Star.
Hampshire Chronicle, 7 January 1797:
A Belfast newspaper of the 23d ult. contains the following paragraph:—”On Thursday last, the Rev. John Torrens, a magistrate of the county of Derry, accompanied by a detachment of the Kerry militia, from Colraine [sic], went to Kilrea to apprehend four men, against whom examinations had been lodged. On finding the men had fled, orders were given by the magistrates to burn two of their houses which stood apart from the town: this was executed, and the houses and their furniture were in a short time consumed by the flames; the houses of the other two men were connected with other buildings, which prevented them from being set on fire; but their furniture was taken out and committed to the flames.”—Is this Irish law?
Saunders’s News-Letter, 25 January 1797:
The Lord Lieutenant and Council have proclaimed the whole barony of Loughenshollen, in the district of Coleraine; that part of the parish of Tamlaghtocrilly, and that part of the parish of Kilrea, in the half barony of Coleraine and district of Coleraine; the parish of Errigle, and the parish of Desertoghill, in the said half barony of Coleraine; the parish of Tamlaghtfinlagan; the parish of Drumachose, and that of Aughanlooe, in the barony of Kenaught and district of Londonderry; and the parishes of Upper and Lower Cumber, in the half barony of Tirkeerin and district of Londonderry—to be in a state of disturbance, or in immediate danger of becoming so.
Belfast News-Letter, 5 June 1797:
TO BE SOLD,
A Quantity of OAK, ASH, and BIRCH TREES, growing on the Lands of Innishrush—Proposals will be received by Henry Ellis, Esq. Innishrush, near Portglenone.
Innishrush, 29th May, 1797.
Belfast News-Letter, 31 July 1797:
An inhuman murder was committed on Monday the 10th July inst. on the body of John Elder of Portna, in the parish of Rasharkin and county of Antrim, by George Miller of Gate, Shoemaker, and Neal Murphy of Milltown, also Shoemaker. A reward of fifty-two pounds is offered for their apprehension.—(See Advertisement.)
Belfast News-Letter, 31 July 1797:
WHEREAS a cruel, wanton, and inhuman Murder, was committed on the body of John Elder, of Portna, in the parish of Rasharkin and county of Antrim, at Milltown, near the village of Ballymoney, in the evening of Monday the 10th day of July instant.
AND whereas George Millar, of Gate, and near said village, Shoemaker, and Neal Murphy, of Milltown aforesaid, Shoemaker, are charged with being the persons who committed said murder, the said Millar having given said Elder a blow on the head with a stone of a large Axe [or sixe?], which fractured his skull, and said Murphy having beat said Elder on his head and other parts of his body with a large stick; and notwithstanding such Murder by said Millar and Murphy as aforesaid, they were sinsered [censured?] by their neighbours and person who saw the same, to make their escape, in order to evade justice.
NOW we the undersigned, promise to pay the sum annexed to our names, to any person or persons who shall within the space of six months, apprehend and deliver up to any of his Majesty’s justices of the Peace, or lodge in any gaol in this kingdom, the said George Millar and Neal Murphy, or either of them: And we promise to pay a sum of Five Guineas to any person or persons who will give information so as that the said Millar and Murphy, or either of them, may be apprehended.—Millar is about 5 feet 8 inches high, fair complexion, dark hair, cut short, brown eyes, rather full faced, plausible manners, and speaks with a lisp.—Murphy is about 5 feet 9 inches, brown complexioned, a little marked by the small-pox, dark hair, cut short, brown eyes, reel or club-footed, and of simple manners.
Dated this 24th day of July, 1797.
The original Advertisement, with Subscriptions thereto, amounting to a sum of Fifty-two Pounds, is in the hands of George Hutchinson, Esq. of Ballymoney.
Belfast News-Letter, 4 September 1798:
The Rev. Mr. Sandys has been lately promoted to the Archdeaconry of the Diocese of Derry, in the room of the late Mr. Archdeacon Burroughs.—And the Rev. Oliver M’Causland has been collated to the Parish of Kilrea, vacant by the promotion of Mr. Sandys.
Caledonian Mercury, 20 December 1798:
On Saturday se’nnight, as a small detachment of the Tay Fencibles, quartered in Ireland, were marching from Carrickfergus on their route to Kilrea, a serjeant and three privates, who were at some distance behind the main body, were attacked near Ballymena by a number of armed men, and after long resistance were disarmed, after which the plunderers made off.—Several suspected persons have since been apprehended, and lodged in jail.
Belfast News-Letter, 17 May 1799:
Sketch of the Proceedings of the General Court Martial, now sitting at the Donegal Arms, from the 4th to the 15th instant. (Transcriber’s note: This extract includes only that portion of the news report that pertained to Kilrea.)
May 14.—The Court proceeded to the trial of George Dixon, of Crumlin, in this county, charged with treason and rebellion, robbing his Majesty’s soldiers of their arms when on duty, aiding and assisting in administering unlawful oaths, flogging, and threatening to destroy the property of his Majesty’s loyal subjects, and plundering them of their arms—to which the prisoner pled not Guilty.
Edward Cook, of the Loyal Tay Fencibles, being duly sworn, saith, He knows the prisoner, who called himself General Holt; that some time in December last, he, with two others of the said regiment, were left behind a party who were going to Derry; on their march to join said party they were met near Kilrea by the prisoner and several others, smostly [smartly? mostly?] armed, who demanded his arms; the prisoner particularly addressed himself to witness, saying he must give up his arms, and told him he was General Holt; a scuffle then ensued between the parties, which ended in the arms being forcibly taken from the three soldiers by the prisoner and his party. Witness is positively certain that the prisoner Dickson is the person who acted in the manner already described.
George Fordyes, of the Loyal Tay Fencibles, being duly sworn, saith, he knows the prisoner; that he was going to Kilrea on the 8th of December; being left behind the party, the prisoner came up to him with a firelock in his hand, which he had taken from one of the soldiers, and ordered him to give up his arms, which he refused to do; a person then came up and clapped a pistol to witness’s breast; the prisoner said he was General Holt, and that he must give up his arms; witness then struck the prisoner on the head with his firelock, and went off after his party, who were dispersed; after he had walked about a quarter of a mile, the prisoner came up to witness, saying he was his prisoner, and laid hold of him; two soldiers coming up, witness called for assistance to seize the prisoner, who ran away, and made his escape.
James Marks being duly sworn, saith, he knows the prisoner; that on the night of the last full moon a party of armed men came to the house of Andrew M’Dowal, of Grange, where evidence was that night; three of the party came into the house, one of whom he knows was the prisoner, who was armed with a brace of pistols: That prisoner took hold of a person, and asked the other two if that was M’Dowal the taylor; they replied he was not. They then searched the house, and found Andrew M’Dowal the taylor, concealing himself in bed; they dragged him out of the same into the kitchen, and ordered him to strip; prisoner then tied M’Dowal by the hands, asking him if he could dance; M’Dowal replied he was not very good at it; the prisoner said he must try, for he was a dancing-master from France to teach a loyalist to dance. That the prisoner then called to the party, what was the accusation against M’Dowal; they said burning of houses; prisoner then flogged M’Dowal with a pair of tawse till he fainted, when he took him down and gave him some water, and spoke lightly of his fainting. At the time the prisoner was flogging M’Dowal, the party outside were knocking at the windows, saying they would break them, and prisoner said he would punish any one who destroyed any thing about the house, and told M’Dowal he would pay him a guinea for every pane of glass they should break. The prisoner then enquired of witness who he was, and why he left his own house that night? Witness answered, that he was advised not to be at home for two or three nights until the country would be more settled; the prisoner then demanded who advised him to this? Witness being averse to declare the person’s name, prisoner took a new testament that was lying on the dresser, and compelled him to take an oath that he would name the person who advised him to leave his house, which he accordingly discovered to the prisoner. Witness did not hear any of the party name the prisoner that night, nor did he say who he was. When the party were leaving the house, the prisoner told the people of the house that if any of their party were taken up, and if any of them should give evidence against them, they would return and burn the house.
Andrew M’Dowall being duly sworn, corroborated the testimony of the former witness, but could not identify the prisoner.
The next evidences examined were Thomas Palmer and Henry Peacock, whose testimony merely related to some abusive language the prisoner had made use of to them on a Sunday evening some time ago.
Roger Glover being duly sworn, saith, That he knows the prisoner whom he saw at Randalstown among the Rebels on the 7th of June last, at the corner of a house firing on the yeomanry; he again saw him on horseback, armed with a sword, and having a helmet on his head.
Question from the prisoner. Where did you see me mounted; was it before or after the action?
Ans. I saw you on foot during the action, and mounted afterwards.
Quest. Where were you when you saw me firing?
Ans. I was in the street firing at the Rebels, being a yeoman.
The prosecution closed, and the prisoner put on his defence, he denied being one of the party concerned in flogging Andrew M’Dowall, the taylor; and called on
[—] Neison, who being sworn, said he was yeoman, and taken prisoner by the Rebels in Randalstown, and was in the Linen-hall there when set on fire; he came out and was surrounded by a party of Rebels, and said he would have been murdered but for the interference of the prisoner who rescued him.
The prisoner having been found guilty by the Court, and the sentence approved of, he was this day brought from the prison to the Market-house, and after spending some time in devotion, was launched into eternity a little after one o’clock.—The rope by which he was at first suspended giving way, he in the act of falling caught hold of the ladder, and there remained till it was again adjusted.—Like some similar culprits who have lately suffered, he would not allow his face to be covered.
This unfortunate man, it is said, was the intimate companion of Dickie, the leader of the Antrim Rebels, and it would appear had succeeded him in heading the few desperate wretches whom neither example nor mercy could reclaim, and whose depredations in this county of late gave great uneasiness to the well-affected inhabitants. He was a strong well made man, apparently about thirty years of age.
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Source citation for this page: — News transcripts for Kilrea, county Londonderry & environs, 1790–1799. “[Insert title of article.]” Transcript by Alison Kilpatrick. Online at Arborealis, arborealis.ca/records/newspapers/irish/kilrea-news/1790–1799/, accessed [insert date of access].
Sources: Transcripts by Alison Kilpatrick from historical newspapers, viewed from The Belfast News-Letter digital archive, held by Ancestry™ (accessible by subscription); and other newspapers cited, were viewed in The British Newspaper Archive (accessible by subscription).