Lurganteneil Townland, Ballinderry

Freehold Registrations, 1831

The following is an extract from The Belfast Newsletter dated 30th September 1831 and is used with permission of The Belfast Newsletter.

The following names are taken from a list of persons applying to register their Freeholds at a General Quarter Sessions of the Peace to be held in Belfast on the 24th October, 1831.

No. 130

Name and Residence of Applicant: John Wright, Lurgantineel
Description of Freehold, with the names of Barony and Townland in which situated: House and land, Upper Massereene, town land of Lurgantineel
Yearly Value to be registered: £10

James Horner Apologises

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard – Saturday, July 26th 1890

From James Horner to Henry Bell, Jnr.

Sir – I apologise to you in the most ample manner for the language made use of by me towards you on the 8th inst. in Bow Street, Lisburn, and for the annoyance caused you on the occasion. There was no foundation for my statements, and I m very sorry for what has happened. You are at liberty to make whatever use of this you like.

Dated this 24th July 1890.
Witness present, having been first truly read – H. Mulholland, Solicitor, Lisburn.
James (X – his mark) Horner, Lurgantaneil.

A charming way to deal with your ailments

PREVIOUS generations were regular users of charms and cures which they believed would rid them of various ailments. A charm normally consisted of some form of ritual and words and was administered by an individual who had been the recipient of a "gift" passed down to them. Some charms had to be passed on from a male to a female within the family in order to preserve the "gift".

Margaret Armstrong who possessed a charm for the whooping cough

Margaret Armstrong who possessed a charm for the whooping cough

There are still individuals in the community today to whom ‘believers’ turn. Some of these charms and cures are also administered to animals.

Charms and cures were used to treat a variety of ailments including: Erysipelas ("the rose"), ring-worm, sprains, rheumatism, whooping cough, shingles, headache, sore throat, boils, colds, toothaches, stye, thrush, measles, burns, bleeding and warts.

The method and administration of the cure or charm varied from individual to individual, but one of the common traits was that the recipient had to believe.

An example of the diverse methods can be seen in the treatment of warts. Some of the cures included: Rubbing the warts with a coin and throwing it away, dipping the affected hand in bullock’s blood, rubbing the warts with a snail and hanging the snail on a thorn bush and using water trapped in a hollow stone. The stonework normally had a religious connection – perhaps the grave of a minister.

Other cures involved a visit to a holy well, dipping the affected part in the forge water at a blacksmiths, placing a number of pebbles equalling the number of warts at a crossroads, the ashes of the dung of a cow mixed with vinegar, rubbing the wart with stolen beef and burying it, tying a thread or hair tightly around the base of the wart and giving the warts to a deceased person when a funeral passed.

There was a common belief that the charm wouldn’t work if there was any form of compromise in the instructions given by the charmer. The application of castor oil, lemon oil, celadine or the milky sap from a dandelion were also well known remedies.

The Belfast News Letter dated Tuesday 28th July 1829 carried the following advice:

“To destroy and warts – Take one part of fine resin, four of linseed oil, and add a little litharge, which are well boiled together. The preparation, when wanted for use, must be heated with the hand and spread upon the gold-beater’s skin, or a sticking plaister, and applied to the corn, so that its surface may be completely covered. At the end of five or six days, the plaister is to be taken off, and the corn cut with a pen knife as deeply as possible without touching the flesh, and in a few days the operation is to be repeated. The corn must be again well covered with the plaister; and at the end of one or two months it will disappear entirely.”

It would be impossible now to find out how many people in the community claimed to possess such powers in the past. The older generations had a belief that should two persons with the same surname marry, one of them would acquire the gift of a charm. Extensive family history research into two local families revealed some astonishing facts.

Margaret Armstrong was born in 1869 in the townland of Aughnahough, outside Lisburn. In 1886 she married Hans Armstrong (born 1867) and they had six children. They originally lived at Whitemountain, outside Lisburn.

In later life they lived on a farm in the townland of Luganteneil situated between Lisburn and Glenavv. Margaret possessed a charm for the whooping cough. I was informed that she did not advertise the fact that she possessed the charm. Her services were passed amongst the community by word of mouth due to her success in curing the whooping cough.

The charm involved the use of potato bread.

Margaret’s cousin Thomas John Armstrong (born about 1876) resided in a cottage located at Crew Park, Glenavy.

He was known locally as "Bunty".

I am told he had a cure for ringworm that was used on both people and animals. He was careful to apply the paste to the affected area only. One of the ingredients of this potion was believed to he lard.

Bunty was careful to guard the secret of the remedy that he applied. He went into his pantry and closed the door during the mixing process. The paste was put into a small box.

It was well known that the recipient never thanked him or paid for his services. To do so could result in the charm failing to work or the loss of the charmer’s "gift".

Bunty would have passed the comment "I’ll see you again." It is believed that he passed the charm onto someone prior to his death but I have been unable to obtain any further details. He was married but he did not have any children.

Another branch of the family were the Higginsons. This family can be traced back to the 15th century. They emanated from the Berkswell area in Lancashire.

The Higginson name is synonymous with the Lisburn area.

Ellen Sarah Higginson (born 1835 died 1927) appears in the 12th generation of this family of the Berkswell Higginson lineage. She was one of eight children horn at Dundrod.

In 1869 she married a Robert Higginson and they had five children. They lived at the Crew, a townland within the Glenavy area and are buried in St Aidan’s Parish Church.

Ellen possessed the charm for whooping cough which I am informed consisted of a constituency of soda bread, butter and sugar.

Incidentally, Margaret’s great great grandfather was called Thomas Higginson who married an Elizabeth Higginson.

There have been many attempts to explain this curious phenomena by critics and sceptics alike. I myself have availed of the services of a charmer which cured a bout of warts. I, like others, tend not to question the power of the unknown.

I am always interested to hear the experiences of those who have availed of cures and charms and of course the names of those who are and still do administer them in the Lisburn district.

Ulster Star, 15/09/2006

Cattle Disease

The following extracts cover an unfortunate series of events in the Ballypitmave and Lurganteneil town lands. The owner of the cattle is James Ballance. I believe he is possibly James Ballance born October 1847, died November 1927, a brother of John, the New Zealand Premier.

The following is an extract from Lisburn Standard Saturday May 28th 1892

Cattle disease near Glenavy

The telegram received by the Chairman at the meeting of the board of Guardians on Tuesday was sent to Mr Crighton V.S., and he at once went out to the farms of Mr Jas. Ballance. He carefully inspected the stock both at Ballypitmave and Lurganteneil, and gave it as his decided opinion that a number of them were suffering from pleuro-pnemonia. In order that the matter might be placed outside the domain of conjecture, Mr Ballance slaughtered one animal and a post mortem examination showed that it was far gone in the disease. Another was evidently about to die. It too was knocked on the head and Mr Crighton found that the lungs were in a bad state from pleuro pnemonia. The inspector at once telegraphed to the Vetinary Department, Dublin Castle and was informed in reply that the inspector would be down the next day. Mr Prentice arrived according to promise on Wednesday and Mr Crighton drove him out to see the cattle. One animal was then slaughtered and it was too found to be diseased. On Thursday another visit was paid to both Lurganteneil and Ballypitmave, and today (Friday) Mr Prentice accompanied by Sergeant Murray of Belfast, went out again. It is believed that about 50 head will be slaughtered on the two farms, and some cows on the neighbouring grazing fields may also suffer the same fate. How many altogether may be knocked on the head it is impossible to even guess. It seems Mr Ballance was of the opinion that his cattle suffered from blackleg and it was only on Monday night that he became convinced that the disease was pleuro pnemonia. He immediately reported the fact to Sergeant McCourt of the Crumlin constabulary and the result was as we have briefly stated.

The following extract is from the Lisburn Standard Saturday June 4th 1892

The serious outbreak of Pleuro pnemonia

The Chairman read the following report:- Vetinary Institute 43 Bachelor’s Walk, Lisburn May 31st 1892.

Dear sirs I have to report that last week I was informed as a suspected outbreak of pleuro pnemonia on the farm of Mr James Ballance, Ballypitmave. I visited the place on Tuesday evening 24th inst and found several animals affected with pleuro pnemonia. I also at once sent a wire to the Vet Department, Privy Council Office, Dublin Castle and on Thursday 26th inst, Mr D S Prentice, Government Inspector arrived and he and I visited Ballance’s farm again, and were satisfied that pleuro pnemonia did exist on the premises and farm and as a consequence there are at present 92 cattle of all sorts marked to be slaughtered on Ballance’s farm and adjoining farms and it is very probable that a greater number will be marked for slaughter in a few days. I again visited the place on the 30th inst. Up to the above date there were 60 animals slaughtered on the different premises. On Ballance’s farm near Glenavy one animal was found to be affected with pleuro pnemonia. I shall be able to give you further particulars in due course.

The Chairman said he thought it a serious matter that so many healthy cattle were being slaughtered and if common report was correct, that such a high price was being paid to the owners of the animals knocked on the head

Mr Gilliand – Where does the money come from?

The Assistant clerk – from the Government

Mr Todd – for the present; but if the slaughtering goes on at the same rate as at present, the money set apart for the purpose will become exhausted and then the ratepayers of Ireland will have to pay a levy for the purpose of supplying the needed funds.

Mr Gilliand – How much had this union to pay for the former outbreak of this disease?

The assistant Clerk – about £180

Mr Todd said that owing to the high figure paid to the owners of the slaughtered cattle some people he was informed were anxious to get clear of their stock in the same way.

Mr Bell – Have we anything to do with this matter?

The Chairman – nothing. but we might pass a resolution, deprecating the slaughtering of sound animals, that would call the attention of the local government board to the matter. Mr Todd said it appeared that if a number of cows drank from a large stream of water, all the cattle that used the river were being followed by the Inspector.

The Chairman remarked that he would not let Mr Crighton V S, if he had been visiting a place where there were infected cattle, come near his cows, as his clothing might carry infection. If necessary he (the chairman) would use force to prevent the inspector coming near his stock.

Mr Henry – It is well know that nothing carried infection so effectually as woollen garments.

Mr W J Wilson thought they should adopt a resolution of the kind referred to by the Chairman.

Mr Samuel Wilson thought it might be taken for granted that the Vet Department had employed a competent man as inspector, and to pass a resolution of the kind might be looked upon insulting to the official concerned. He (Mr Wilson) would be in favour of allowing the matter to remain for future consideration. The discussion then terminated. The Assistant Clerk read the following telegram ; Chief Secretary’s Office, Dublin Castle, Clerk of Lisburn Union, Sir with reference to the reported outbreak of pleuro pnemonia at Lurganteneil which has been confirmed on Post mortem examination of the lungs of the affected cattle, the Local Authority should declare the premises an infected place on which the cattle belonging to James Ballance are, in accordance with sec 16 subsection 6 of the Act of 1878 Clerk of Council Vet Department Dublin Castle.

It was then decided to carry out the directions.

Two years later the following appeared in The Lisburn Standard dated Saturday, September 29th 1894

Alleged case of Pleuro -Pneumonia

The Assistant Clerk (Board of Guardians – Lisburn) read a letter from Sgt. Smith, of the Crumlin Constabulary, reporting that the police there were notified on the 23rd inst. that pleuro – pneumonia, or disease believed to be pleuro – pneumonia, had appeared on the lands of Mr. James Ballance, Ballypitmave. On the lands there were twenty-three head of cattle, but only one was reported to be affected. The sergeant added that he had communicated with the Veterinary Inspector.

Gun Fatality

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard, Saturday July 6th 1901.

Gun Fatality near Stoneyford.

On Friday afternoon last a farmer named John Cushenan, of Lurganteneil, Stoneyford, received such injuries through the bursting of his gun that he succumbed. The deceased, who is 52 years of age, went out with the gun to scare crows. About 4 hours afterwards he was found by his sister lying in a ditch unconscious and badly injured. It was evident that the gun had burst, striking Cushenan in the breast. Dr. Arthur Mussen, J.P., Glenavy was at once sent for, but medical skill was unavailing, and death took place on Saturday afternoon. It is supposed that the deceased loaded the gun, which is an old one, with blasting powder in mistake for shot. When fired this blew the gun to pieces, and, the deceased having a weak heart, the shock and subsequent exposure proved fatal.

Sheep Killed by Dog

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard Friday January 22, 1932

Sheep killed by dog

John Ballance, Ballypitmave, Glenavy, processed Mrs. Catherine Horner, Lurganteniel, for £5, the amount of damage sustained by the plaintiff by reason of the defendant’s god by worrying sheep, the property of the plaintiff.

Dr. B. Maginess, B.L. (instructed by Messrs. W.G. Maginess and Son, Lisburn) appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Austin D. Campbell appeared for the defendant.

Ballance said that he was a farmer near Glenavy. On September 19 he bought fifty sheep for which he paid £41 9s. The defendant, Mrs. Horner, lived about a quarter of a mile from witness, and she had a dog with which witness was familiar. On October 9 his sheep were worried by a dog, and although he could not swear it, he was of opinion that it was the defendant’s dog. On Monday, October 12, he was on the county road and he saw a sheep jump. He went over and found two dogs on top of the sheep, one of the dogs being the defendant’s. He tried to catch the dog but was unsuccessful. he followed it, keeping it in sight, and got to Mrs. Horner’s place first. He asked her where her dog was and she said it was in the box. Witness knew that it was not there. Witness then saw the dog coming about one hundred yards off and asked her was that her dog and she replied in the negative. When it came up she recognised it and witness showed her the wool in its mouth.

Mr. Green, Lisburn, said he bought eight sheep off the plaintiff after the incident he had described. Witness gave him 24s a piece for them, but they should have been worth 30s each.

Mrs. Horner said that she let her dog out for a run about ten o’clock in the morning, after the children had gone to school. The plaintiff came to her on October 12 and asked her where her dog was. He alleged that it was loose all night and that it had worried his sheep. He then made to strike witness. When the dog came witness asked plaintiff to show her the blood on the dog’s mouth and he said blood or not he would make her pay for the sheep.

Cross-examined, witness said that she did not see the wool in the dog’s mouth, and Mr. Ballance did not show it to her.

His Honour said that with regard to damage to the flock the evidence was hardly clear enough. He would give damages in respect of the sheep killed, and made a decree for 32 10s.

Death Notice – Thomas James Evans

The following extract is from The Lisburn Herald, Saturday March 30th 1946.

In Memoriam

Evans – In loving memory of my dear husband and our dear father – Thomas J. Evans, who departed this life 1st April 1941 and was interred in Glenavy Churchyard.

"Severed only till He comes."

Sadly missed and always remembered by his loving wife and family. Lurganteniel.

Evans – In loving remembrance of my dear father Thomas James Evans, who entered into rest 1st April 1941 and was interred in Glenavy Churchyard.

Five lonely years have passed away
Since i stood beside your bed
My heart was crushed with sorrow
When I saw that you were dead.
At night when all is silent
And sleep forsakes my eyes
My thoughts they wander to the grave
Where my dear father lies.

Still sadly missed and always remembered by his loving daughter and son-in-law, Ruth and Lewis Williamson, Ballynadolly.

A spruce up for the Wishing Chair of Glenavy

F you had been driving along the Crew Road, outside Glenavy, during the latter stage of last summer then you may just have seen something reminiscent of a bygone era.

At that time the roadmen, who worked for the urban councils, armed themselves with scythes, billhooks, forked stick and honing stone to clean the verges and hedges along the roadsides. The man working at the side of the road, in the townland of Lurganteneil, on this occasion, attracting curious looks from passers-by, was my old friend Billy Abbot from Ballymacash.

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