The following are extracts from Heterogenea or Medley by John Moore Johnston written in 1803. The spelling has been left uncorrected as appears in the original publication:
FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE POOR.
——————– BY JOHN MOORE JOHNSTON, ESQR. ——————–
He that hath pity upon the Poor,
lendeth unto the Lord; and what
he layeth out, it shall be paid him
The humane and generous approve the plan,
pleasing to God, and good for needy man.
PRINTED, BY JAMES PARKS.
I intended to have left in my last will ten Pounds to the poor, for each of the Parishes of Lisburn, Ballenderry and Magharadroll; but on second thought judged it more judicious, to apply that sum to their benefit in my life time; and by publishing a Book by subscription in order to raise a larger sum, to purchase houses or lands for ever, would be more eligible and beneficial; the profits to be paid annually to them: the Minister, Church-wardens, &c. Trustees or a Committee to conduct the business. Every one I have spoken to on the subject approves of the plan. It will in some measure preclude the necessity of calling upon the opulent, charitable and well disposed, in future, should
there happen in the course of providence times of scarcity as in 1801; by this mode there will be a permanent fund for their support. One should think few arguments need to be used to persuade the great and wealthy, to adopt this generous and humane plan, in every Parish in the Kingdom; and the great men of landed property to promote it – they experience little of hard fortune, less of hard labour and nothing at all of the distresses of poverty, hunger, cold and nakedness, to call forth the virtues of patience, resignation and an humble reliance on providence. All generous minds look with abhorrence upon a man who is ever amassing riches and yet relentless to the cries of those who have nothing in this world, but extreme misery and want. God sends the poor to the rich, to make the one helpful to the other. The rich who are benevolent and charitable, supply the place of an extraordinary providence. God has ordained different ranks or degrees, among mankind and every thinking man must see ’tis right it should be so
“What future bliss he gives us not to know,
But gives that hope to be our blessing now,
In faith and hope the world will disagree,
But all mankind’s concern is charity;
All must be false that thwart this one great end,
And all of God that bless mankind or mend.
But as he fram’d a whole, the whole to bless,
On mutual wants built mutual hapiness,
Know where faith, hope, law, morals, all began,
All end in love of God, and love of man.”
Innocent joys, where charity bears away,
The soul adopts and tenderness display.
“Honor and shame from no condition rise,
Act well your part, there all the honor lies.
A wit’s a feather, and a chief a rod,
An honest man’s, the noblest work of God.”
All the opulent inhabitants of the different Parishes, are as impulsively called upon as I am, to assist and complete this charitable undertaking. Arise then ye great ones of the Country, and help forward the designs of divine providence: tru charity ever dwells with an elevated souls, which takes in all mankind, sincerely wishing that all who are in error may be reformed; in short true charity detests nothing but sin and vice, and despises nothing but contracted illiberal notions – Charity
Disposes us to love the poor man, in such a manner that if he be virtuous it will make us esteem him, if he be honest, but weak in judgement it will make us pity him, if he be wicked it will incline us to pious admonitions to reclaim him, If we are careful to propose and establish the rules of piety in our own families and relations, when the comfort and relief we give to the poor, tend to make the design of God’s providence towards them, effectual for their amendment if they be dad; then shall we be sure we are acting right. Willingness to do good is always rewarded in general, with the esteem of all mankind. A man of a forgiving and benevolent disposition has always true peace of mind; but selfishness of temper is the object of every one’s aversion. The world may judge whether a person of property, be possessed of true religion and charity or not; pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, says St. James “is to visit the fatherless and widows, in affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Piety in the heart will appear
in the life. True religion has its fruits, no fruit in the life is a proof that there is no religion in the heart, for as the cause produces the effects, so the effects argues and prove the existence of the cause. Most of the articles in the following pages are original, what are borrowed are taken from the best moral writers, Drs. Johnson, Goldsmith, &c. some of them have appeared in the Hibernian Magazine, Dublin Evening Post and Belfast Newsletter. It is observed by Mr. Pope, that ten censure wrong, for one writes amiss. Miss Hannah Moore also says, it should seem that the reason why so many more judge wrong than write ill, is because the number of readers is beyond all proportion greater than the number of writers. Every man who reads is in some measure a critic, and may point out faults and errors in every well written book; but it by no means follows, that he is able to write any thing comparable to the work, which he is capable of censuring. There are faults and errors, even in some of the writings of that great critic, and scholar, Dr. Johnson.
“Curst be the verse, how smooth soe’er it flow,
Which tends to make one worthy man, my foe.”
The praise or censure of the bad disdain,
Tho’ thousands join the censure, with Tom Pain,
From the upright only, I’d wish for praise,
That obtain’d my warm heart, to God will raise.
How often do we all in moments, when out natural beneficence predominates, feel a fervent desire to contribute to the comfort of the miserable, and philanthropic ardour, to promote the universal happiness of mankind? How naturally do we participate the joys and sorrows, of those around us? From that exquisite sympathy implanted in man, by the divine being? Let us cherish those generous propensities, by the alleviation of human misery, and the steady practice of that justice and charity, which will end exalt our “self-love, to social, to divine.” It is the duty of an author to emeliorate the morals of society, but errors disseminated by his seductive eloquence, may deprave thousands of intelligent beings, under this impression a good man will consecrate the energies of his mind to virtue, convinced that it is always a
writer’s duty to make the world better, if he possibly can. Honest writers and preachers may exert themselves in vain, to reform the manners and morals of the people, unless the higher ranks cordially unite with them, by their good example and influence, and make religion and virtue become fashionable. Then we might soon hope to see a great change for the better, in the manners of the people at large. But where are those of high rank and fortune, (a few excepted) who will with a noble fortitude, begin the work of public reformation, by their example; where is that brave mind rising superior to the derision of fashionable and childish vanity, wisely prefers the approbation of the deity and the sunshine of the breast, to the fantastic joys of effeminacy and profligacy! such truly great minds would shine like light rising out of darkness, and by their brightness expose the deformity of vice, and the misery of dissipation. Such benign beings would cherish the good propensities of the human heart, and convince the rest of our nobility and gentry, nay the whole community, that decency of dress
and manners, purity of heart, charity to man in want and piety to God, only can conduct mortals to the blissful regions of eternal felicity. I am sorry that I was not capable of presenting my subscribers with a work more deserving their attention, than the following articles; but notwithstanding my attempt may have failed to excite admiration, or give superior entertainment, yet I have the pleasure to reflect, that none of them contains anything injurious to virtue, morality, or loyalty, should they occasionally attract an idle hour, from any pursuit less worthy than their perusal, I shall conclude that I have not written altogether in vain; and that none but the uncharitable, would dissolutely condemn an attempt so blameless – My chief motive was to raise money for the poor.
From the good only the poor’s book demands,
Many have paid with open hearts and hands.
I beg leave to present the following hints to the reader’s consideration; should they contribute to convince those who have it in their powers to
bring about an improvement of society, I shall think that I have not lived in vain; as a useless speck in the creation.
Suppose a meeting of the principal inhabitants of every parish in this Kingdom be convened, and resolutions entered into, that for the advancement of virtue, religion and honest industry, they will endeavour by their voice, their purse, their influence and example to promote good morals, loyalty, &c. &c. That this association will employ such tradesmen, labourers or servants, only, as shall produce a certificate of their honesty, sobriety, &c. signed by one or more members. Suppose a fund should be raised by subscription, a treasurer appointed, to lend out small sums of money, to industrious good men of all denominations. I think it may be presumed, that such or similar institutions, would in a few years contribute more to reform the manners of this licentious and dissipated age, than all our charity-balls, card assemblies, houses of correction, jails &c.
(page 12 & 13 missing)
Or a reduction in our way of living is disgraceful, has ruined many.
Retrenching our expences, when we have lived too fast, is a proof of religion and good sense, declares an abhorrence of our follies, and resolution to be in future free. It is very mean and degrading, to make a figure at the expence of others. Villians of every denomination have done it, an honest man would despise the thought, if he finds himself involved, will pursue the earliest and readiest, means to discharge his debts, and set himself at liberty. “He who has fewest wants, and is most able to live within himself, is not only the happiest but the richest man, “tho’ he may not be a Peer, he is a Lord of the creation, and may look down with contempt and pity, on the tinselled sycophant parting with a ducal coronet.”
“Not one looks backward, onward still he goes,
Yet ne’er looks forward farther than his nose,
No less, alike the Politic, and wise,
All fly slow things, with circumspective eyes;
But grant that these can conquer, those can cheat,
‘Tis praise absurd to call a villain great.
Oh blind to truth and God’s whole scheme below,
Who fancy bless to vice, to virtue woe!
Count all the advantage prosperous vice attains,
‘Tis but what virtue flies from and disdains:
Reason: whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Lie in three words, health, peace and competence,
But health consists with temperance alone,
And peace oh virtue! Peace is all thy own
But all the ills, the greatest here below,
To see the villian, in the cassock’d beau,
To see Preachers, who should good examples give,
Worse than infidels, do they deserve to live!
When perjury, that heav’n defying vice,
Sells oaths by tale, and at the lowest price,
When profanation of the sacred cause,
In all its parts times, ministry and laws,
Bespeaks a land once christian fall’n and lost,
In all that wars against that title most;
What follows next, let critics of great name,
And regions long since, desolate proclaim,
Nineveh, Babylon, and ancient Rome,
Speak to the present times, and times to come;
They cry aloud in ev’ry careless ear,
Stop while you may, suspend your mad career;
O learn from our example, and our fare,
Learn wisdom and repentance; ere too late.&q
Should any of the Clergy or others, think these lines, or any in the following pages too keen or severe, I beg leave to inform such, that the ideas
and some of the words are from the late Revd. Philip Skelton, Revd. Charles Churchill, Revd. John Fletcher and Mr. Pope, and should the cap not fit, they are not obliged to put it on.
I know there are many Clergymen and Teachers of all denominations, who are exemplary in their lives, conduct and doctrine, but fear the majority, as Biam says are wicked, however my disposition would tend rather to give praise was it consistent with truth, than censure half mankind, but every man who speaks or writes, should adhere strictly and literally to truth alone.
Rockvale, May 1803.
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Mr. Robert Porter, Dunmore,
Mr. James Parks, Printer &c., Down, 50 copies
Mr. Thomas Pickering, Montalto
Mr. John Philips, Ballymacarn
Mr. William Porter, Bookseller, 69 Grafton Street, Dublin 10 copies
Mr. Edward Quigly, Glenavy
William Rogers, Esq. Lisburn 11 s 4 ½ d
James Ravenscroft, Esq. Ballinderry
John Ravenscroft, Esq. Ballinderry
Mr. Edward Russell, do.
Mrs. Rutherford, Ballynahinch
Mr. Alexander Rutherford, do.
Mr. George Read, do.
John Read, Esq. Portaferry
Mr. Townly Ravenhill, Newry
Mr. Mathew Russell do.
Mr. Andrew Robinson, Ballykeel
Mr. Walter Roberts, Woodburn
Mrs. Redman, Brook-hill
Revd. Wm. Ravenscroft, Rasharkin
Mr. Thomas Robinson, Montalto
Mr. Townly Ravenhill, Newry 10 copies
Mr. Hugh Rea, Glasssdrumond
Mr. John Rea, Ballykine
Mr. John Roxborough, Lisburn
The Hon. Chichr. Skeffington, Belfast
The Hon. John Staples
Wm. Sinclaire, Esq. Belfast
Henry Savage, Esq, Prospect, 11s 4 ½ d
Roger Johnson-Smyth, Esq. Lisburn 1 l 2s 9d
John Sheperd, Esq. Do. 7s 7d
Wm. Stewart, Esq. Do.
Pointz Stewart, Esq,. Do.
George Stevenson, Esq. Hillsborough
James Savage, Esq. Ballyleedy
Revd. Mr. Shaw, Banbridge
Mrs. James Singer, Down
Mr. Lambert Singer, Edondarve
Mrs. Jane Smyth, Ballynahinch
Mr. Sam Smyth, do.
Mr. James Scott, do.
Mr. James Simpson, Merchant, do.
Mr. Js. Simpson Slater, do.
Mr. Hugh Tomilty, do.
Mr. Robert Sturgeon, do.
Mr. David Stewart, do.
Mr. Joseph Scott, do.
Mr. Alexander Scott, do.
Mr Hugh Strain, Down
Mr. Thomas Scott, Dromore
Mr. John Shannon, Edontralie
Mr. Thomas Shillington, Aghagallon
Mrs. Ann Semple, Donaghadee
Mr. Adam Steel, Derriaghy
Wm. Sharman, Esq. Moira 8s 8d
Mrs. Skelly, Crevytenant
Mr. P. Sweney, Maradroll
Mr. William Stewart, Ballymacarn
Mr. John Spence, Spawell
Mr. Robert Smyth, Glasdrumond
Mr. John Sloane, Glenavy
Mr. Sloane. Kern
Mr. – Swinerton, Lurgan
Mr. Thomas Smiley, Glasdrumond
The Revd. Thomas Tighe, Parsonhill, 11s 4 ½ d
Quinton Thompson, Esq. Newry
Mr. Wm. Thompson, Surgeon, Lisburn
Mr. Francis Thompson, do.
Mr. Rt. Belfair , Writingmaster, Belfast Academy
Mr. Hoseph Thurkilld, Aghagallon
Mr. William Thompson, Lurgan
Mr. William Tanihill, Spawell
Mr. Robert Tanihill, do.
Mr. James Thompson, do.
Mr. John Thompson, do.
Mr. Samuel Thompson, Ballymacarn
Mr. James Thompson, Ballymacarn
Mr. William Thompson, Ballynahinch
Mr. Robert Thompson, Ballykine
Mr. Robert Townly, Lisburn
The Revd. Thomas Tighe, Drumgoland, 10 copies
Mr. John Thompson, Ballanderry
Mr. John Todd, Toddstown
Miss. Tighe, Dawson Street, Dublin
The Revd. Thomas Tigh, 10 copies
Mr. James Uppritchard, Seago
Mr. John Veith, Gracehill
Revd. Holt Waring, Waringstown
Thomas Waring Esq., Newry
Matthew Wyatt, Esq, Hillsborough
Edward Wakefield, Esq. 11s 4 ½ d
James Watson, Esq. Brookhill 11s 4 ½ d
Mr. Richard Wolfendon, Lambeg
Mr. James Wrightman, Lisburn 7s 7d
Mr. Wm. Williams, do.
Mr. Robert Wolfendon, do.
Mr. James Ward do.
Capt. John Williams, do.
Revd. Richard Watson, Donaghadee
Mrs. West do.
Mr. Alexander Watson, Spawell
Mr. William Warnock, Portaferry
James Watts, Esq., Springvale
Mr. Edward Walkington, Ballanderry
Mr. Robert Weatherhead, do.
Mr. John Walker, Drumlough
Mr. Thomas Weatherhead, Moira,
Mr. Thomas Wilson, Belfast
Mr. Sam. Waring, Collin
Mr. William Waring, Liverpool
Mr. Richard Waring, Castlerobin
Mr. Wm. Woods, Crumlin
James Wallace, Esq. Down
Mrs. Wilson, Lisburn
Mr. John Welsh do.
Mr. Hugh Wilson, Ballynahinch
Mr. John Waters, Aghalee
Mr. James Ward, Lisburn, 10 copies
Mr. James Young, Newtownards.
A few persons of rank and fortune declined to subscribe. I shall leave them to their own serious contemplation, when they have time to reflect. I fear too many live in dissipation, vicious pleasure, and make a God of this World. ‘Tis hoped that the charitable and well disposed, who have not Subscribed, will now purchase.
Te humane and generous approve the plan,
Pleasing to God, and good for needy man,
Their goodness will be proved by their works,
And not be sham’d by Infidels or Turks.
Upright minds, where true charity bears sway,
The Soul adopts, and tenderness display;
But the dissipated, vain, greedy, proud,
The Poor calls on in vain, however loud;
O stop! your mad career, and not advance,
To ruing your country, like guilty France,
Repent, Reform, pursue a better plan,
Pleasing to God, and good for guilty Man.
|Ode To Spring||1|
|To a Robin Red-breast||3|
|Description of Magheradroll Parish||7|
|Verses on Lisburn Volunteers 1780||26|
|On the Mutability of option||27|
|Letter on Tithes, and alteration, &c.||33|
|A picture of the Sun’s rising||38|
|Memoirs of the late Earl of Moira||40|
|On improper Swearing||84|
|Letter to the Farming society County of Down||87|
|Description of Lisburn, and ten other Parishes County Antrim||92|
|Letter from Bishop Burnet to King Charles 11||133|
|Remarks Moral, Political and Religious||140|
|On the Profanation of Sunday, or the Sabbath||150|
|Verses on the Right Honourable William Brownlow 1784||163|
|Verses on neglected Merit||168|
|On the vanity of human Life or Wishes||172|
|The Medley and Lord Chesterfield & c.||177|
|Essay on Young Men of Fortune||184|
|Verses in contrast to Dr. Goldsmith||192|
|A remarkable Advertisement of a Colonel C——||202|
|On the Constituents of a Gentleman||204|
|Memoirs of Myself||211|
|Memoirs of Dr. Samuel Johnson||238|
|Ministerial account of the great day||246|
|The Hermit, by Dr. Goldsmith||249|
|Thoughts on Prejudice and Infidelity||255|
|A Solemn Calculation||271|
|On Relative Duties||275|
|Invitation to the Fields and Groves||278|
|Resolutions of the Parish of Magheradroll||280|
A Description of the upper half Barony of Masseerene, &c. in the County of Antrim, comprising the Territories or Manor’s of Kilultagh and Derryvolga.
The Territories of Kilultagh and Derryvolga, are bounded on the North by lower Masserene and upper Belfast, in the County of Antrim, on the East and South, by Castlereagh and lower Iveagh, in the County of Down, and on the West by Lough Neagh. These Manors contain about eighty thousand acres English, divided into eleven parishes, viz. Lisburn, Lambeg, Derriaghy, Magharagall, Magharamesk, Aghalee, Aghagallon, Ballanderry, Glenavy, Camlin and Tullyrusk, the whole being the estate of the Marquis of Hertfort, who has the presentation to all the parishes except, Lambeg, Derryaghy and Magharagall, which are the Bishop’s. The Revd. Dr. Snowdon Cupples, is the present rector of Lisburn,
The Revd. Phillip Fletcher, Vicar of Magharamesk, Aghalee and Aghagallon; Revd. John Connor, Vicar of Ballanderry; (who resides in England) Revd. Thomas Edward Higginson Curate; (who is a most exemplary and primitive Clergyman) Revd. Saumerez Dubourdieu, Vicar of Glenavy, Camlin and Tullyrusk; the Revd. Philip Johnston, Vicar of Derriaghy; the Revd. Francis Patten, Vicar of Magharagall and Revd. Mr. Wolsely of Lambeg. It is but justice to say, that Lord Hertford and the several incumbents, are very moderate in the article of tithe, which is settled for their lives on an average not more than 7d an Acre. Lisburn is the chief town in these districts, and by many esteemed the handsomest inland town in Ireland; is situated seven miles south of Belfast and seventy three north of Dublin, on the river Lagan which divides the counties of Antrim and Down. Before the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Lisburn (then called Lisnegarvey) was a small village, the proprietor of the territory of Killultagh, in which this town stands, was
one of the O’Neils, a branch of the then Earl of Tyrone’s family. In the reign of King James the first the town was much improved, the streets laid out in their present form, and the houses covered with shingles or thatch, Sir Fluk Conway, who obtained a patent of Killultagh, &c. from King James gave great encouragement to English and Welsh tenants to come over and settle here, which a great number did. (The town of Conway in Wales, was the property of said Sir Fulk Conway.) The following are the names of tenants who built the town, (the number of houses then were exactly fifty-two,) viz. Henry Clughanson, John Norris, John O’Murrey, Thomas Date, Simon Batterfield, John Slye, John Golly, Hugh Montgomrie, Marmaduke Dobbs, Richard Dobbs, Thomas Paston, John Tippen, Steven Richardson, Christ. Calvert, Ann Morgan, George Rose, Edward Steward, Henric Wilson, Robert Browne, William Averne, John Dilworth, Kath. Bland, Geo. Davies, John Savage, Jerome Cartwright, Robert Taylor, Symon Richardson
Hump. Dash, William Smith, John McNilly, Askulfe Stanton, Henric Hollcote, Francis Bucke, Thomas Symonson, Richard Howle, John Housiman, Patt. Palmer, Robert Warton, William Cubbage, John Ap Richard, Owen Ap Hugh, Antonie Stotthard, John Mace, Humfry Leech, Richard Walker, Henric Freebourne, Edward Gouldsmith, John O’Murrey, Robert Bones, William Edwards, and Peter O’Mullred. The river Lagan is now navigable from Belfast to Lough Neagh, by a new canal lately finished, (by Mr. Richard Owens,) from Lisburn to the Lough, at the expence of the late Marquis of Donegall, which opens communication to the Counties of Armagh, Tyrone, Derry, &c.
The following brief relation of the miraculous victory, over the first formed army of the Irish, on the 28th of Nov. 1641 at Lisnegarvey, soon after their rebellion, which broke out the 23rd of October 1641, is taken from the Church registry of Lisburn: “Sir Phelim O’Neill and Sir Con. Magenis, their Generals then in Ulster,
and Major General Plunket, having enlisted and drawn together our of the Counties of Armagh, Tyrone, Antrim and Down, eight or ten thousand men, which were formed into eight regiments, and a troop of horse, and two field-pieces, did rendezvous, on the 27th Nov. 1641, at a house of Sir George Rawdon, at Brookhill, three miles from Lisburn, in which town they knew there was a garrison of five Companies, and Lord Conway’s troop of horse. They made their attack in tree divisions, at the end of Castle-street, Bow-street and Bridge-street, more than two hundred of the rebels were slain in Bridge-street, and three hundred in Castle-street, and in the meadows behind the houses, whereby they were so much discouraged, that for almost two hours, their Officers could not get any more parties to adventure a second assault upon us; but in the main space they entertained us with continued fire from their body, and their field-pieces, till abut one o’clock, that fresh parties were issued out, and beaten back as before, which
they supplied with others till dark; when they fired the town, which was in a few hours turned into ashes. The slain of the enemy were found to be more than thrice the number of those who fought against them. Their two generals quit their station; their two field pieces were thrown into the rive, or in some moss pit which could never be found; and in their retreat, or rather flight, they fired Brookhill house, and the Lord Conway’s library in it, and other goods to the value of five thousand pounds. All our horse, which did most execution, were not above 120, viz – Lord Conway’s troop, and a squadron of Lord Grandison’s troop. We got about fifty of their colours and drums. They were so enraged at this defeat that they murdered many hundreds of protestants, whom they had kept prisoners in the counties of Armagh, Tyrone, &c.
In March 1707, this town was entirely consumed by an accidental fire, whence it has taken the name of Lisburn, its ancient name being Lisnagarvey. At present it contains about
eight hundred Houses, mostly built of brick, in an handsome manner forming three good streets, at the junction of which stands a good Market-house, with a ballroom over it, where an assembly is held every fortnight. The Church is large, with a good Spire, a Clock and a set of Bells, (the gift of the present Marquis of Hertford) but no otherwise remarkable, except for having a large and very genteel congregation; the principal inhabitants being of the established religion – there are likewise a reputable body of Quakers in this town and parish, who have an elegant Meeting-house, and a short distance from it (on Bason-hill) a great boarding school for the education of children of all denominations, established by a large legacy left by the late John Handcock Esq. Of Lisburn, a member of that community. The late Mr. John Gough was head master many years, who was also a preacher amongst the Quakers. The present Mr. John Handcock son to the above named Gentleman, has lately withdrawn himself from the society of
Quakers which has made a division among them – he was also a preacher. There are also a large body of Presbyterians and Methodists, who have each an elegant Meeting-house, and some Roman catholics, who have also a good Chapel. The houses are now in general three stories high – Mr. James Ward, had a good Bookseller and Stationers shop the only one in the town – Mr. Culson carries on the manufacturing of Linen and Cotton, as also in the Shop-keeping line – fairs are held on the 21st of July, and 5th October – the late Mr. Hunters, William Rogers, Delacherois Crommelin, Roger Johnston Smyths, Samuel Delacherois’s Jacob handcocks, William Darbys and John Sheperds Esprs. Have elegant houses – Samuel Heron Esq. Has a good villa in the Castle garden, from which there is a fine view of the river, and part of the County of Down. The Linen-hall erected at the expence of the late Marquis of Hertfort, is a
large square court, surrounded by a piazza of brick. There is a very great market for Linen-cloth, &c. held here weekly on Tuesday. The present Marquis of Hertford in 1796, built a very good Shambles, on a small rivulet at Smith-field, where a great number of black-Cattle are exposed to sale every Tuesday. The principal inns are kept by Mr. Samuel Waring and Mr. Shaw. There was a noble Castle here formerly built by the Earl of Conway (who died in 1690) which was burned down in 1707, but never rebuilt. Vitriol is made here at present by Doctor Alexander Crawford, a Physician of eminence and respectability; the works were first erected about thirty years ago, by Messrs. Thomas Greg and Waaddell Cunningham of Belfast. The town is supplied with water by pipes from the bason above it, where it is conveyed from the fountains in Castle-robin, and the other Mountains about three miles from the town. The Streets are wide and well paved, and lighted with globe lamps at proper distances. Lisburn now returns one member to
the imperial Parliament, since the union. I must remark here that I look upon the late union to be one of the most important, and salutary measures for the peace and permanent happiness of this Kingdom at large, that ever was accomplished. It has struck off all small or rotten Boroughs as they were called, which is a complete Parliamentary reform, what we have all being crying, barking, yelping or squalling for these many years past. It has in a great measure put down party also, as a proof of this, witness the late general Election, how few contests there were, a circumstance at which all good men should rejoice; for how was this and other towns formerly torn and distracted by contested Elections, what drunkenness, perjury, idleness, and deaths did they not cause!
Of all the crimes, with which our Country’s curst,
Perjury’s the blackest, consequently worst.
“The venal Hero trucks his fame for gold.
The Patriot’s virtue for a place is sold;
Guest Speakers bargain for their Countrys shame,
And for preferment, Priests their God disclaim.
Time was the wicked had some touch of grace,
And trembled to meet virtue face to face,
Ere banish’d industry had left our shores,
And labour was by pride kick’d out of doors,
Ere rugged honesty, was out of vogue,
Ere fashion stamp’d her sanction on the rogue.
Pastors, with passions under no command,
Who fill the world with doctrines contraband;
Discov’rers of they know not what, confin’d,
Within no bounds – the blind that lead the blind.
Recall past times, bring back the days of old;
When th’ good patriot bore his honours bold;
Honest to all, and lov’d by all he knew,
True to his King, and to his Country true;
Ever awake at Pitys tender call,
A Father of the Poor, a friend to all.”
The following are the names of the Rectors of this parish since the reign of King Charles the first, the Revd. James Mace, Silvanus Haslam, Dean John Wilkins, Anthony Rogers, Richard Dobbs, Thomas Higginson, William Trail, and Doctor Snowdon Cupples, the present Rector. There are few houses of note in this parish; the late Mr. Closes of Plantation, a short mile from the town, occupied by Mr. John Barbour, who carries on the Cotton manufactory, &c. near this is
a Seceding Meeting-house Messrs. Thomas Mussons and William Frazers of Largymore, Mr. Edward and Thomas Carletons of Blairis, Hugh Moors Esq. Of Eglentine, Counsellor Pollocks and Mr. Kinkeads Carnbane, Captain William Pattens Rosevale, Mr. Thomas Garretts, late Dr. Tates, now Mr. Richardsons, where is a Bleach-green, late David Wilsons Esq. near the mill, a rural seat behind which are large fir groves, &c.
Blairis camp ground is situated in this parish, I suppose there is not a more eligible place for a camp in this Kingdom, bounded on one side by the river Lagan, (which divides the Counties of Antrim and Down,) and on the other by the new canal. ‘Tis a fine level of about three hundred acres, and composed of a body of red sand for many feet deep, which absorbs the most heavy rain in a short time. The prospect from Ballynullen-hill in this parish is most delightful, having a full view of Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castle-Dobbs, the Sea, Mr. Stewarts, Willmount, Windsor, Mr. Johnstons Seymourhill, Mr.
Durhams Belvidere, Lambeg-house, Mr. Bells, Mr. Henry Waring’s Collin, William McCance’s Esq. Moiracastle, Hillsborough, Revd. Mr. Johnston’s Ballymacash, &c. The valley from Moira to Belfast and Carrickfergus, is about twenty miles in length, and from four to six in breadth, and for the same extent, there is not perhaps so beautiful a spot both from nature and art, in the three Kingdoms. From Lisburn to Belfast and along the shore from thence to Carrickfergus, is nearly a like a town, the houses are so elegant and numerous, and the smallest cottage white. I have travelled from Dublin to Cellbrige, which has been reckoned the handsomest part of Ireland. There are many elegant Mansions- Lord Carhampton’s, (now Luke White’s Esq,) Mr. Vesey’s, Duke of Leinster’s, Mr. Connolly’s, &c. but upon the whole part of the Country is not equal to this. From this hill o Ballymullan, (my own estate) one can see the spires of eleven parish Churches, viz Warringstown, Maralin, Moira, Hillsborough, Magharagall, Lisburn, Derriaghy, Lambeg, Drumbeg
Drumbo, Newtonbreda, and Belfast. Here is also a full view of the beautiful range of Mountains, called Devish, Collin, the white Mountains Castle-robin, Plover-plain, &c. which are in general a body of white limestone, the surface smooth and always green. The whole is do beautifully sublime, that I may say, a flood of Glory bursts upon our view, and intoxicates the soul with rapture. But soon will these transitory scenes, the baseless fabrick of a vision or cloud pass away, if we do not honor God, and his righteous laws obey: if we do, shall enjoy more sublime raptures for ever.
“While rosie youth its perfect Bloom maintains,
Thoughtless of Age, and ignorant of pains;
While from the heart, rich streams with vigor spring,
Bound thro’ their roads, and dance their vital ring,
And spirits, swift as sun-beams thro’ the skies,
Dart thro’ thy Nerves, and sparkle in thy eyes;
While nature with full strenght thy sinews arms,
Glow in thy cheeks, and triumphs in her charms,
Indulge they instincts, and intent on ease,
With ravishing delight thy senses please.
Since no black clouds dishonor now the sky,
(Page 106 – 107)
No winds, but balmy genial zephyrs fly,
Eager embark, and to th’ inviting gale,
Thy pendants loose, and spread thy silken sail;
Sportive advance on pleasures wanton tide,
Thro’ flowry scenes, diffused on either side.
See how the hours their painted wings display,
And draw like harness’d Doves, the smiling day;
Shall this glad spring, when active ferments climb,
These months, the fairest progeny of time,
The brightest parts in all durations train,
Ash thee to seize thy bless, and ask in vain,
To their prevailing smiles thy heart resign,
And wisely make the proffer’d blessings thine,
Near some fair River, on reclining land,
Midst groves and fountains let thy castle stand,
Let marble walls unrivalled pomp display,
And gilded tow’rs reflect augmented day:
Let porphyry pillars in high rows uphold,
The azure roof enrich’d with veins of gold:
And the fair creatures of the sculptors art,
Part grace thy Palace, and thy Gardens part.
Here let the scentful spoils of opening flow’rs,
Breathe from thy citron walks, and jes’mine bow’rs,
Hesperian blossoms in thy bosom smell;
Let all Arabia in thy garments dwell.
That costly banquets and delicious feasts,
May crown thy Table to regale thy guests,
Ransack the hills, and ev’ry park and wood.
The lake unpeople, and despoil the flood.
Procure each feather’d luxury that beats,
Its native air, or from its clime retreats,
And by alternate transmigration flies,
O’er interposing seas and changing skies:
Let artful Cook’s to raise their relish strive,
With all the spicy tastes the Indies give.
While wreaths of roses round thy temples twine,
Enjoy the sparkling blessings of the vine;
Let the warm Nectar, all thy veins inspire,
Solace thy heart, and raise the vital fire,
Next let the charms of heavenly music cheer,
Thy soul with rapture listening in thy ear.
While wanton ferments swell the glowing veins,
To the warm passion give the slacken’d reins;
Thy gazing eyes with blooming beauty feast,
Receive its dart, and hug it in thy breast,
From fair to fair with gay inconstance rove,
Taste ev’ry sweet, and cloy thy soul with love.
But midst thy boundless joy, unbridled youth,
Remember still this sad, but certain truth,
That thou at last severely must account;
To what will thy increased guilt amount!
Allow a God, he must our deed regard;
A righteous Judge must punish and reward.”
I shall mention an instance here of the honor and goodness and generosity of the late Lord Hertford. Prior to the year 1771, several tenants had built houses in different parts of the town of Lisburn, without having any
promise from his Lordship to grant them leases’ but his Lordship happened to come over from England in 1771, took a walk through the town, was pleased with the buildings and improvements, and said “by George, they should all have leases,” and ordered them to be filled for three lives renewable for ever, at 6d per foot. His Lordship granted me a lease also for the term of a thatched cabin, which I had purchased the tenant right of, on my promising to build a good house and slate it, which I did two years after, three stories high. From what I can learn I am induced to believe, that the present Marquis is equal, if not superior to his noble father in every respect. As a proof I find that his Lordship has lately granted leases of all the lands at will in his estate (excepting town parks,) and but for the party opposition, and contested Elections that took place, he would grant leases for building in the town also, no doubt. When the late William Higginson, Esq. Was agent, I was in that office under him, from 1764 to 1780, the late Lord Hertford,
was reckoned one of the best Landlords in this Kingdom, and had Mr. Higginson’s judicious, liberal and disinterested conduct been afterwards followed, by his successor, there would not have been any contested elections, which distracted and so much confused the town, as the whole tenantry looked upon him as a father, and all adored him.
A man he was, to all the Country dear,
And only had, three hundred pounds a year;
Hid like again I ne’er perhaps shall see,
His greatest fault was much generosity.
I am of the opinion all men will agree with me, that all great Landlords should allow their agents, the full fees of office, if they have large families, in order to enable them to support them without running in debt. I do not by any means allude to myself, having the fees annexed to my office as agent, and Seneschal to David Ker and Matthew Forde Esqrs. And must say, that I am as independent as any agent whatever.
In the parish of Magharamisk is Trumry-house, which had been one
of the Country seats of the Spencer family, since the reign of Queen Elizabeth until their lease expired a few years since; it is at present the seat of Phillip Stewart, Esq.
The first Lord Conway granted a lease of ten Townlands about 2500 acres, to Captain Henry Spencer, for 95 years from 1623, at the yearly rent pf 40l which was afterwards renewed for three lives. Captain Spencer had been a contemporary Officer with Sir Fulk Conway, in the Queen’s army, and Governor of the fort of Inchloughlin, near Spencer’s Bridge; his son Brent Spencer. Esq. Was member for parliament for Lisburn. Broomount the seat of Stafford Gorman, Esq. This was built by Dr. Edward Walkington, Bishop of Down and Connor about 1695, afterwards much improved by Dean Welsh and Mr. Gorman. There are many other good houses in the parish. In a great part the parish there is a body of white limestone under the surface, Mr. James Hunter, Miss Usher, Mr. Moore, Mr. Richardson, Mr. Hastings Manson, John
Waters, Mr. Frier, Mr. Wm. Fairis, Mr. Hall, &c. have good houses. In the parish of Aghagallon, elegant houses are too numerous to particularize. Messrs. Joseph Thurkilds, John Ushers and Thomas Skillingtons, are the best. There is a large tract of turf bog in this parish, which supplys the country around with fuel. In the parish of Ballanderry, is Laurel-lodge, the country seat of William Smith, Esq., who is agent to the Marquis of Hertford; also the houses of Dr. John Ravenscroft, James Campbell Lieutenant of Ballanderry Yeomen, Messrs. Thomas and William Blizard, Roger Haddock, Henry and Vernon Hopes, James Neilson, Thomas Johnston, Samuel Hall, John Moore Esq., Mr. Edward Byrne, Robert Thompson, Isaac Wright, Edward Bunting, Edward Weatherhead, Edward Connor, John Cinnamond &c. There s an elegant Moravian Chapel adjoining the village of lower Ballanderry, neat gardens, &c. Portmore castle stables &c. formerly so celebrated stood near this on the verge of Loughbeg adjoining Portmore deer-park and
Loughneagh; Loughbeg is a beautiful lake of an oval form, containing about one thousand acres, stored with Pike, Bream, trout, Perch, Roach, Eels, &c. also a variety of wild fowl, on a narrow neck of land which separates Loughbeg from Loughneagh, the late Arthur Dobs, Esq. who was agent to the Lord Hertford, prior to 1740 erected a windmill in order to drain Loughbeg, but did not succeed. The following lines were written at that time.
“Squire Dobbs’ was ingenious,
He framed a windmill.
To drain the christal fountain,
Where water runs still.”
Mr. Dobbs was uncle to Counsellor Dobbs, member of Parliament for Carrickfergus, and afterwards governor of North-Carolina in America, where he died. I may as well say something here upon the present state of Loughneagh, as any where else.
The Lough itself being cast by nature into a very low ground, all the chief rivers of the five counties Armagh, Derry, Down, Antrim and Tyrone:
that is of almost all Ulster, have descending courses from the opposite seas and mountains, till they all meet in this low center, from which they have no way out, but only by one long straight and obstructed passage of the lower Bann, which besides all the increasing obstructions of its own sand and mud, hath two high rocks across its way, one at Portna, the other near Colerain; and a third raised by art for the sake of the Eel-wears, and ought to be removed into s deeper place in the water. I shall mention the names of rivers that flow into it, from the mountains and morasses. The upper Bann, it arises near the Sea out of the mountains of Mourne, and opposite to this not far from the northern Sea, the main water comes out of the large marsh between Loughgeel and Killaggan, and runs through Rasharkin parish, thence to Gilgoram and into the lake below Randlestown near Shanes- Castle. The river Blackwater and a lesser opposite to it, which enter the Lough at Antrim; the Blackwater comes from the Mountains of the Fews in the county of Armagh;
from thence to Charlamont and from thence to the Blackwater foot, where it emptys itself into the great lake; the six-mile water comes down by the mountain Slemish, then to Templepatrick and enters into the Lough at Antrim: the opposite rivers enters the lake near Crumlin-bridge, second rises out of the Black-mountain near Belfast, passes through Glenavy and runs into the Lough near Rams-island. The next rivers are three that come southerly, the Coagh, Artree, near Moneymore, and the Moyola that comes by Dawsons-bridge: and opposite to them are three or four that come from behind Castle-Robin near Lisburn, and enter the lake near Portmore and Lurgan. There are other smaller rivers also, about twenty large and small which run into the lake, and but one river to vent or convey all the waters of these rivers to the Sea, which is impossible in its present state; unless the rocks at Portna, &c. and the Eelwares and walls built on the top of them, &c. were removed and the river widened from the Lough to the Sea at Colerain. I am surprised that the noblemen
and gentlemen of the five counties mentioned, whose estates are adjoining to the Lough, do not take this great case into their most serious consideration, and prevent the loss of more good land, and hopes of gaining perhaps many thousand Acres of much better land than they have any where else round about it. Supposing the rocks in the river were blown up, I cannot imagine it would injure the fisheries, were they sunk three or four feet, wears and other apparatus might then be built and carry on the fisheries as before, but if not the Imperial Parliament could grant money, or even the proprietors of estates round the lake, could purchase the leases from the proprietors of estates round the lake, could purchase the leases from the proprietors of the fisheries, and then sink and widen the river, so as to vent the superfluous water and keep the Lough always down to a proper level. I suppose the Marquis of Hertford for one, would gain one thousand acres, as his Lordship’s fine estate is bounded by the lake for many miles on one side. About thirty years ago Ladybay in Portmore Deerpark was a fine level,
in extent about half a mile every way, in Summer (one of the most delightful and beautiful places to bathe at I ever saw, the bottom a fine white sand and smooth as possible,) but by the overflowing of the Lough, the Surge and westerly winds in Winter; it had gained on the land since that time about a quarter of a mile, and thrown up large sand banks as fine and white as meal. I must observe that I am concerned myself in this matter, as also my brothers James and Bunting Johnston, who have farms which run along Loughbeg shore about half a mile, where Portmore Castle and Stables stood; when Loughneagh rises it overflows Loughbeg and all the low lands adjacent, by which all suffer near the lake. From the heavy rains this Summer (1802) part of my meadows and grazing land were covered with water. Now in order to have this grievance redressed and removed (if the noblemen and gentlemen, of landed property round the lake, and the members of Parliament of the five counties, do not exert themselves in this business, I would recommend it to
all the tenantry who suffer by the inundations, to petition the Imperial Parliament for redress, and have no doubt of success, as I place greater confidence in that Parliament acting uprightly, than ever I did in our own Irish one; which will be one instance (if successful) of the benefit that will result to this Kingdom from the union.
Ancient historians imagine that there was a great continent between Ireland, Scotland and America; called Atalantis, it is handed down to us with all the solemnity that Solon and Plato could give it, and which the learned Lord Bacon, ventures to call true history in his new Atalantis, and which others speak of as the probable way, whereby America was first stockt with man and Beast. Varenices says that “he guessed it to be likely, that the northern port of America in old times, had joined or come near to Ireland.”
But leaving these conjectures to the learned, &c. I shall suppose Loughneagh to be the naval of Ireland and all the rivers that flow into it, sink down into the bowels of the earth,
through this navel which is reasonable to suppose (the lake contains about one hundred thousand Acres) as there is no visible appearance that this great body of water is, or can be conveyed to the Sea. Now shouls the bowels of the earth beneath at any time be filled too full, it must gush up and deluge all the low hands in the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Tyrone, Derry, &c. should this happen suddenly the inhabitants would be all swallowed up; should it flow gradually they might get up to the tops of the hills and mountains and save themselves. But where get food, they must live on air like the Camelion; the expected Millenium would then have certainly taken place as to them. This idea I think should alarm the noblemen and gentlemen concerned, &c. Portmore stables were 140 feet in length, 35 in breadth and 40 feet high; had accommodation for two troops of horse, with rooms for the men, marble cisterns, pumps, &c. The stables, castles, towers, &c. The stables, castles, towers, &c. were built by the Earl of Conway about 1664; Dr. Jeremy Taylor afterwards Bishop of Down
and Dromore, resided here many years during the reign of Cromwell; there had been an odd castle here before. The whole buildings were taken down in 1761, excepting the walls which surround the bowling green, gardens, towers,&c. Portmore deer park a little distance from this, contained about two thousand Acres; about thirty years ago this was one of the most romantic and delightful places perhaps in Ireland, it was stocked with Deer, Pheasants, jays, Turkeys, Hares, Rabbits and a variety of other kinds of game; many large oak and other timber trees. Earl Conway made canals here, duck-coys quays for pleasure boats, &c.
Rams-Island situated in Loughneagh, about two miles from the shore, contains six acres, on which is a round tower fifty feet high.
The village of Ballanderry (alias Largyvore) where fairs are held quartery, for sale of Horses, Black cattle, &c. partly the property of Mr. William Johnston, Lieutenant of the Ballanderry Yeomanry corps, of which the Marquis of Hertford is Captain. Near this are the houses of the Revd.
Mr. Thomas Edward Higginson, Messrs. Edward Walkington, Edward Higginson, William Davis, Edward Seafton, Thomas Hunter, Robert Cinnamond, Thomas Higginson late Hugh Casmont, Mr. Patterson, Edward Higginson Murray Linendraper, Jacob Harrison, Mr Hasty, &c. From the Crewhill in this parish, the prospect is very extensive, Loughneagh in full view, which is thirty miles long and fifteen broad, Loughbeg, Portmore, Rams-island pillar, Shanes-castle, the elegant seat of Earl O’Neal, on the verge of the Lake; Langford Lodge, Lord Langford’s, part of the Counties of Derry, Tyrone, Armagh, Monaghan, Louth, Antrim, and Down; also towns of Moira, Dungannon, Charlemont, Stewartstown, Lurgan and Hillsborough, &c.
This parish in general is good land as any in the province of Ulster.
In the parish of Glenavy, is the village of that name, which contains about fifty houses, late Dogherty Gorman’s Esq. Mr. Murray’s, Mr. Strane’s and the inn, Mr. Quigly’s are the best. In this parish, Camlin and Tullyrusk,
are the houses, of the late Messrs Francis and Valentine White, Conway McNiece’s Esq. Cherry-valley, late Fortescue Gorman’s Esq. Land for Heylands Esqrs. at Crumlin, where is a large Flour Mill, Mr. William Oakman’s, Messrs. John and William Gregg’s, James Whittle’s, Hans Campbell’s, William Clements, Henry Hull’s, David McClure’s, John Murray’s Linendraper, &c. In Glenavy river, between the Town and Loughneagh, there is a water fall called The Leap about thirty feet perpendicular, and twenty feet of gradual slope, and thirty feet broad, which is beautiful sublime and awfull. Mr. McNiece has a good Bleach-green, and some plantations along the river here. In the parish of Magheragall, in Brook-hill house, the seat of James Watson Esq. This place took its name from Sir Francis Brook, who was a Colonel in Queen Elizabeth’s Army. Springfield Captain Edward Weakfield’s; Christian – hall Lieutenant James Higginson’s, Redhill Mr Robert Garrett’s, Mrs. Younghusband’s, Mr. Henry Garrett’s, Mr. Thomas hall’s, Mr. Robert Hall’s Mr.
Alexander Renfrew’s. Mr. John Johnston’s, Mr. George Higginson’s, Mr. Carnahan’s, Mr. Greer’s, Mr. John Gill’s, Mr. James Brown’s, Revd. Francis Patten’s, &co. In the parish of Derraghy, are the houses of the Revd. Phillip Johnston, Edward Gayer and Poyntz Stewart, Esqrs. Messrs. William Duncan’s Magharaleave, Matthew Rossbotham’s, Richard Mussin’s, Roger Hamill’s, Robert Duncan’s, Robert Johnston’s Seymourhill, John Corkins’. Mr. Henry Waring’s Collin, Linendraper, Mr. James Steel’s, Mr. Waring’s, Castle-robin, Mrs. Hidson’s, Belsize, Lieutenant Hum Clark’s, Mr. Timothy Rusk, Mrs. Chapman’s, Mr. Water’s, &c. The old walls of Castle-Robin, on the side of the Mountain built by one Robert Norton, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth was a strong Castle,eighty four feet long, thirth six wide, and forty feet high; the walls are nearly all standing. Mr. Waring has converted it to office houses. The village of Stoneyford, is on the verge of the parish, where Mr. James Boys has a Bleach-green. In the parish of Lambeg, is the village of
that name, and the houses of Sam. Delacherois, Messrs. Richard, Thomas and Abram Wolfenden’s who carry on the manufacturing of Cotton, Paper and Blankets; Lambeg house now Mr. Henry Bell’s Linendraper, Mrs. Barclay’s, Mr. Williamson’s, Mrs. Agnew’s, Mr. Connor’s, Mr. Richard Brison’s, &c. The first Lord Conway grandfather to the present Marquis of Hertford, made a race-course near the village of Lambeg about 70 years ago. In the 12th century O’Donnell built a monastry here; part of the walls of Aghalee, Aghagallon and Ballanderry old Churches are still standing; they were each seventy feet by twenty four, but no inscription. Sir Fulk Conway and afterwards his successor, the Earl of Conway and his brother-in-law Sir George Rawdon, brought over many natives of England and Wales here to tenant the estate, and their descendants still occupy the lands; some of their names were Gresham, Audis, Thurkilld, Antwhistle, Higginson, Hastings, Waring, Close, Wolfenden, Mussen, Bullmer, Bunting, Blizard, Charleton, Aprichard, Gwilliams, Haddock,
Peers, Wheeler, Breathwait, Barnsley, Carleton, Conway, Garrett, Bennett, Gregory, Waters, White, Pearce, Grainger, Willis, Shillington, Hammond, Moore, Smyth, Richardson, Clark, Hopes, Peel, Bicket, Lamb, Hodkinson, Carter, Courtney, Westherhead, &c. &c. This estate is as compact as any possible can, being of an oval form about sixteen miles in length, from Clogher and Ballymullanhills in the County of Down to Hogpark point, or Shanport in the County of Antrim, which run into Loughneagh; and about ten miles in breadth from near Moira to Crumlin. It is one of the most populous, best improved, and occupied by the most wealthy Yeomanty of any perhaps in Ireland. The farms in general are about twenty, to one and two hundred acres or upwards each; the houses are neat and in general white, surrounded with fields, well cultivated and well planted, much after the English fashion; the tenantry being descended from Englishmen in general, and follow the customs, manners, industry and religion of their ancestors; they
are a loyal and spirited people, much attached to their excellent religious and good King, and inimitable constitution. The different Yeomanry corps in this estate or territory, amount to about one thousand men; two troops of Cavalry and nine companies of Infantry.
Names of Officers, number of Men, &c.
Lisburn Cavalry – Marquis of Hertford, William Smyth, S. Delacherois, James Fulton, 64 men.
Maharagall Cavalry – Edward Wakefield, Robert Garrett, Henry Higginson, 60 men.
Ballenderry Infantry – Marquis of Hertford, William Stewart, James Campbell, William Johnston, 150 men
Ballymena’s – P. Johnson, Francis Smyth, Richard Barnsley, 150 men.
Brookhill – James Watson, James Patten, 150 men.
Broom hedge – Philip Stewart, Nat. Smyth, 150 men.
Derryaghy – Poyntz Stewart, Wm. Curtis, Richard Wolfendon, 150 men.
Lisburn – N. Delacherois, William Coulsin, N. Delacherois, 150 men.
Pollyglass – Robt. Duncan, John McClure, John Tucker, 150 men
Soldiers town – Stafford Gorman, Mr. Smyth, Mr. Fulton, 100 men
Glenavy – Conway mcNeice, John Ridgway, Dan. Allen, 150 men.
Leases of this whole estate for three lives or forty years, were granted from 1740, by the late Marquis of Hertford, from two to five or six shillings and Acre, but his Lordship got fines. Some of the lives are still in being, but they are dropping off every year; when the whole expire the estate will be between fifty and sixty thousand a year. This estate is improving in building, planting Orchards,liming, &c. and will become a terrestrial paradise, or may be called the Garden of Eden in Ireland.
“The hollow vales their smiling pride unfold,
What rich abundance do their bosoms hold;
Regard their lovely verdure, ravish’d view,
The springing flow’rs of various scent and hue,
See how the rip’ning fruit’s the Garden’s crown,
Imbibe the sun, and make his light their own,
See the sweet brooks in silver mixes creep,
Enrich the meadows, and supply the deep
Admire the narrow stream, and spreading lake,
The proud aspiring grove, and humble brake;
How do the Orchards and the Woods delight,
How the sweet glades, and openings charm the sight,
Observe the pleasant lawn, and airy plain.
The spacious fields rich with various grain;
Nor Eden’s fertile fields since time began,
More noble crops produc’d, for thankless man.
What are distinction, Honor, Wealth and State,
The pomp of courts, the Triumphs of the great;
What are the foods of all delicious kinds,
Which now the Huntsman, now the Fowler finds;
Nature deprav’d, abundance does pursue,
Her first and pure demands are cheap and few.
What health promotes, and gives unenvied peace
Is all expenceless, and procured with ease.
The farmer’s drink, pure water and escape,
Th’ inflaming juices of the purple Grape;
How man, and yet how tasteful is their fare,
How sweet their sleep, their souls, how free from care,
Yet thoughts of death their homely cots molest,
Affright the clown, and break the peasant’s rest,
Since these reflections on approaching fate,
Distrust, and ill-presaging care create;
‘Tis clear we strive for happiness in vain,
While fears of death within insulting reign.
Thy force alone, Religion, death disarms,
Breaks all his darts, and every Viper charms
Soften’d by thee the grisly form appears,
No more the horrid object of our fears
We undismayed this awful power obey
That guides us thro’ the safe, tho’ gloomy way,
With leads to life, and to the blest abode,
Where ravish’d minds, enjoy their smiling God.”
If wisdom or rank can derive any advantage from wealth, it is only by procuring the sublime satisfaction of communicating happiness; riches are the instrument of good or evil, according to the disposition of the possessor. Riches expose men to pride and luxury, and have certainly ruined and destroyed more states, kingdoms and families, than perhaps any other cause. France has lately furnished a lamentable proof of the bad effects of riches misapplied, and that superior polish and refinement, may also consist with a very large measure of depravity; manners corrupted, morals depraved, dissipation predominant, above all religion discredited, infidelity grown into repute and fashion, and liberty but a name.
The tendency of religion in general to promote the temporal well being of political communities, is a fact which depends on such obvious and undeniable
Principles, and which is so forcibly inculcated by the history of all ages and nations, that there can be no necessity for further proof of its truth. Let all who wish well to their King and Country, no hesitate what course of conduct to pursue; circumstanced as we now are it is more than ever obvious, that the most religious and best man is always the truest patriot. We’re all actuated by honest principles, the whole machine of civil life would then work without obstruction or disorder, and the course of its movement would be like harmony of the spheres, all would promote and advance the summum bonum or chief good.
Mr. Robert Addus of Ballanderry, died in 1803, aged 93 years, Mr. James Smyth of Glenavy, died December 1803, aged 96, Mr. William Johnston of Aghagallon, died in 1802 aged 102, Mr. James Neilson of Ballanderry, died in April 1803 aged 92 years.
Memoirs of Myself
I was born at Portmore Park in the County of Antrim, on the 14th December 1747, eldest son of Thomas Johnston Park-keeper to the late Marquis of Hertford; descended from the Hon. And Revd. Thomas Johnston, third son of the Earl of Annandale in Scotland, Rector of Ballyroony, Dromgooland and Ballynahinch, or Magharadroll in the County of Down; in the reigns of King James and King Charles the first. His eldest son James was great-grand-father of my father, his second son the Revd. John Johnston, succeeded him in the living of Ballynahinch, his son John was rector of Clondavock, in the County of Donegall and Diocese of Ralphoe. My great-grand-father John Johnston, married a niece of the Revd. James Mace Rector of Lisburn; he purchased a large farm at Ballanderry near Portmore, from a (Mr. Addy who
went to America), settled there about 1670, he had five sons and three daughters. Thomas a Lieutenant in the army and died in America, his descendants have large tracts of land in Virginia and Kentucy. One daughter married Laird Catherwood of Ballyvester near Donaghadee; the second to George Watson of Brookhill near Liaburn, and the third to John Kelly, of Ballanderry. The said John Johnston died in 1740, aged 101 years; my father was a tall handsome man, (he resembled General Nugent who commanded in this Country at the time of the Rebellion, but stronger made, he died at Portmore on the 30th of July 1800, in the 90th year of his age. My mother Elizabeth Moore was born at Swords in the County of Dublin, was descended from the family of Mr. Morough Moran O’More, or Moore of the Queen’s County, all of which names branches of the family go by. I was early sent to school to Mr. John Stevenson of Ballenderry Landsurveyor, who taught reading, writing, accounts, latin, &c. In 1763 the late William Higginson, Esqr.
agent to Lord Hertford, requested my father to let him have me, which he consented to: Mr. Higginson took me into Lord Hertford’s Office as Clerk, I acted also as Steward and Butler occasionally. Soon after I came to Mr. Higginson, I found a Guinea one day on the Office table which I gave him, he said he was now convinced of my honesty, as he had left it intentionally to try me; had I kept the Guinea he must ever after have entertained a bad opinion of me. This is one instance that honesty is always the best policy. Mr. Higginson afterwards had such confidence in me, that he trusted me to carry large sums of money to linen drapers, from whom he got bills to remit the rents to Lord Hertford at London. I thank God I never deceived him, but always acted uprightly, and providence has prospered me in this world to the utmost of my wishes. The great Sir John Whittington, when he began the world had but a homely tabby cat, she by her teeth and reputation promoted her master to the chief post in the chief City. I had about twenty
pounds in money and cattle; my father as Park-keeper had free grazing for a certain number of cattle, and was so honest to Lord Hertford, that he would not suffer me to graze on Heifer free, when he had his whole number; but Mr. Higginson did which he said he had aright to do, from the trouble he had in going to Portmore Park in Summer, to receive the money for Timber sold, which for twenty years on an average produced 500l, yearly. Mr. Higginson was a gouty man, and the exercise about ten mile on horse-back, and some times in a Chaise, was of great benefit to him. Every year about Christmas, he had Mr. William Johnston and my Father a week at Lisburn, to settle their account for Timber, &c. sold at Portmore park, when he entertained them in the most hospitable and friendly manner, he was as generous and disinterested a man as ever lived. In 1780, when he lost the agency, the Revd. James Forde and Robert Redman, Esq. Called on me and said that Lord Moira wanted a person in my line of
business, to receive his rents, keep accounts, &c. I mentioned it to Mr. Higginson he approved of it, and write the following letter.
Lisburn 7th September, 1780.
The bearer John M. Johnston, acquaints me that you have been speaking to him, respecting his being employed in my Lord Moira’s office; if his Lordship and he agree, I am almost confident he will have pleasure in him. He is well disposed, diligent, sober and strictly honest, he has lived with me since his Childhood, and I never had reason to find fault, or be seriously angry with him. And to his knowledge of accounts, I believe, he will not be found defective. I beg my best wishes and compliments to cousin Ford, and the rest of your family.
I am Dr. Sir,
Your very humble servant,
Revd James Ford,
Lord Moira and I agreed, and I Have received the rents of Ballynahinch estate ever since. I was always of a studious turn of mind, from my youth; and that which is generally esteemed a drudgery, by most young men, was to me a pleasure. I had the use of the late Earl of Moira’s library, containing thirty thousand volumes – Books in all languages, history, antiquities, arts, and sciences, for sixteen years, which equaled College education; as when I had leisure I employed myself in reading all kinds of books. I have been an observer of men, manners and politics, an occasional writer in Magazines and Newspapers for many years; but have never written any thing that could injure the morals or loyalty of the people; he who does so intentionally must be an enemy to God, to man and to his country, consequently a pest to society. I received the following letter from Mr. Higginson, dated Dublinm 26th December, 1780.
I was duly favour’d with yours of 11th instant, and am very much obliged
To you for your kind enquiries about me. I thank God I enjoy perfect health, and have strong confidence in him, that I shall yet have more satisfaction and comfort, than I have experienced for many years past. I am happy to hear you are settled so much to your liking, and have no doubt, your own good behaviour will merit a continuance of his Lordships favours. As I am going out to dine, I have only time to add that I sincerely wish you all happiness, and that I am, Dr. Jack,
Your very obedient and faithful humble servant,
I have a claim to the titles of Lord Johnston, and Earl of Annandale in Scotland; but the Earl of Hopeton, nephew to the late Marquis of Annandale enjoys the estate, about twenty thousand pounds a year, and the titles would be of small importance without the estate.
In 1783, I married Miss Charlotte Close, youngest sister of the late Mr. Close of Plantation near Lisburn, by whom I got upwards of one hundred
pounds a year of freehold estate. Which with my own, have now upwards of three hundred pounds a year of fee simple, and Freehold estate.
In 1771, the late Marquis of Hertford, gave me the receivership of his Moss rents, by Mr. H-, which was by the fees about fifty pounds a year. Mr. Thomas Seed, who formerly received them, took too much to drink, and rather incapable of the business.
I also received the rents of the town land of Ballymacward, for the Revd. Edward Higginson, eldest son of William Higginson, Esq. When the late Mr.
Hunter, was appointed agent in 1780 he insinuated that I had too high fees, but I had no more than my predecessors in office, for upwards of one hundred years, 6d. per ticket. Roger Hodgkinson and William Higginson, Esqrs. When receivers, before they were agents, had the same fees.
In 1791, I was appointed a commissioner for taking affidavits, in the Court of common pleas, for the County of Down. I had seven Brothers, William, Edward and Arthur are dead, Richard, Thomas of Lurgan, James and Vuntin of Portmore are living, and one Sister Elizabeth, married to Mr. Samuel Johnston, a Quaker near Lurgan.
Some people have observed to me, that they wondered how I could transact so much business without an assistant, as agent, receiver, and Seneschal for David Ker and Matthew Forde, Esqrs. I answer that I generally sup about eight o’clock, take a draught of porter, beer, or a glass or two of wine, but never exceed, unless I have company; my head is clear, and have good health, ( I never had
Any sickness but the small-pox thank God.) I generally rise about four o’clock in the morning, when I have Letters or other writing to perform, and write until breakfast, when much can be done in that space of time, I go to bed about ten, and have got a good night sleep before others perhaps have thoughts of going to bed, by this conduct I am enabled to transact much business, with ease, pleasure, and a tranquil mind.
I have travelled upwards of two thousand miles, through the Counties of Antrim, Armagh and Down, collecting money for the Poor; and every person I conversed with, expressed the most loyal sentiments and determined resolution, of opposing the French, should they be so foolish as to attempt invasion; this enlivened my spirits, and reminded me of the noble resolution of our old Volunteers in 1778; I hope we shall all act with the same unanimity at the present momentous crisis.
Something should be done (by those who have it in their power,) for the Poor of this country. It must be
shocking to the feelings of all persons of reflection to observe the great number of idle ragged creatures, in every town through which one passes, and no prospect of bettering their condition, unless the wealthy of all denominations, would support their needy poor as the Quakers. I cannot conceive a more eligible plan (excepting workhouses were erected;) and surely there must be much more sublime satisfaction in communicating happiness, than can be enjoyed by sensual gratification.
May all ranks and degrees, in these licentious times encourage by their good examples pure religion, morality, loyalty, &c. which will tend to the peace, happiness and prosperity of their country, that the most equal the most just, and perfect form of government that now subsists upon the Globe, and our glorious and inimitable constitution, may be transmitted down to latest posterity.
August 30th 1803.