A brief history of the orange Lodges in the area can be found in the book "The Faithful and the True ( A history of Orangeism in County Antrim)" by John McGregor.
Orange lodges in the area are to be found under Magheragall District L.O.L. no 9.
The Orange Order has been in existence in the area from 1796. The District Lodge was formed in 1854.
Before 1854 Lodge numbers 146, 159, 187 and 206 were connected to the Lisburn area.
LOL 146 sat in the Whitemountain area and later moved to Derriaghy District. It is no longer in existence.
The original lodges forming Magheragall District were 121 (original warrant – castle Dawson), 159 (originally in Kilrea), 187, 206, 361 (all originally in Ballinderry), 716, 770 and 779 ( all originally in Lower Dunluce), 1080 (new warrant) joined the district in the 1870’s and 1253 ( a new warrant in 1897).
The Magheragall District originally numbered ten lodges. After a reallocation in the 1860’s it received the number it has presently. Broomhedge 121, Knocknadona Temperance 159, Lower Quarter Volunteers 187, Leslie Memorial 206, Magheragall 361, Brookhill 770, Upper Broomhedge 799 and Stoneyford Temperance 1253.
Poem / Ballad
I received a copy of the following poem/ballad from a friend. It may date to the beginning of the early 20th century. There were many local ballads written about local orange lodges and districts. Due to the political sensitivities in Northern Ireland please note that some of the terminology used in these ballads may be considered offensive to some. The publication of the ballad on this site is not meant to cause offence, but purely to record a document containing information relating to our past and local family history.
A sweet little place I am going to tell,
It’s a neat little spot that you all know so well,
It’s not very much as time won’t afford,
It’s that lively wee place that they call Stoneyford.
When I look on your hills and your valleys so green,
I think in old Ireland more lovely’s not seen,
Your waters so pure they are never ignored,
That flows through the valleys round sweet Stoneyford.
At Young Hulls of the Smidy we often do meet,
It stands by itself at the head of the street,
Where nay a joke it goes merrily round,
In that lively wee place they call Stoneyford town.
The new Orange Hall in the centre doth stand,
It’s one of the many we’ve got in the land,
It’s Orange throughout as you very well see,
As the number that sits there is twelve fifty three.
The Master of it William Fleeton his name,
The rights of King William he still will maintain,
He’s both loyal and true to the old core,
As his forefathers were in the good days of yore.
The papists they think they’ll own this hall some day,
But not while the blood in our veins it does play,
For we’ll stand close together, we’ll conquer or die,
And the old Union Jack on its pole still will fly.
And now that they’re passing this cursed Home Rule Bill,
These rebels of fighting will soon get their fill,
For the Rushyhill Heroes will soon draw their sword,
And thick in their midst will be brave Stoneyford.
Young Tinsley the Master at the Rushyhill,
He means for to keep them invincible still,
The colours they’re wearing how bravely they fought,
And the number they march by is nineteen four nought.
The Stoneyford True Blues although they are free,
They’ll stand to their guns when there’s duty to do,
Young Leckey the Master whom you have all seen,
He leads on that number of seven sixteen.
On the 12th of July when they’re marching to go,
They go with a heart that says we fear no foe,
For our great God our King shall be our defender,
Our watch word it shall be No Surrender.
And now that I’ve finished it’s near time I think,
Just take up your glass when they pass round the drink,
And toast to the memory of William so true,
Who fought and who died for the Orange and Blue.