Marriage — Bryans / Cormican
The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 28th December 1810 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.
The 22d last month, John Bryans, of Feemore, parish of Glenavy, to Jane Cormican of same place, aged 11 years and 8 months – She was born the 19th March, after the affray at Antrim.
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.
Name and Residence of Applicant: William Johnson, Belfast
Description of Freehold, with the names of Barony and Townland in which situated: House and land, Upper Massereene, town land of Feumore
Yearly Value to be registered: £10
Death Notice — Thomas McGarrell
The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 30th March 1910 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.
McGarrell – March 28th at Feemore, Glenavy. Thomas McGarrell. Funeral to Glenavy Churchyard this (Wednesday) afternoon at one o’clock.
Hibernians Visit Glenavy
The Lisburn Herald, Saturday, August 31st, 1912 reports the following incident in Glenavy.
A Lively Sunday in Glenavy
Rumoured Visit of Hibernians
Protestants Muster to Defend Village against Sabbath Desecration.
For several weeks past the inhabitants of Glenavy have suffered from much annoyance and provocation from Nationalist excursionists, who while passing through the village, conducted themselves in such a reprehensible manner, utterly regardless of the sanctity of the Sabbath Day, as to rightly excite the indignation of the loyal and peace-loving populace of that district. Not only did the visitors, during church hours, sing Fenian songs, but taunted and used the most provocative language towards individuals whom they passed on the road. Similar, if not worse behaviour, had recently been experienced in Crumlin. The climax was reached when a rumour was circulated early last week that the Hibernians were going to hold a demonstration on Sunday in the vicinity of Glenavy, through which they would march in procession with bands and flags. This was too much for the Protestant boys, who quickly made up their minds that under no circumstances would they permit a visitation of the kind, and from some source, unauthorised, we were assured, by the Orange Society or Unionist Club, instructions were given for the publication of a small poster, which read as follows:
"Protestants of Glenavy and Crumlin districts, assemble in your thousands at Glenavy on Sunday, August 25th, at nine o’clock a.m. to protest against the invasion of the village and district by Hibernians from Belfast or elsewhere on that date, and to protest against their Sabbath desecration. God save the King!"
Parcels of the posters were forwarded to the outlying districts, but, through the intervention of Dr. Mussen, J.P., the respected District Master of the Orangemen, the exhibition of the bills was promptly countermanded. It was only at the last moment that the Doctor became aware of the existence of the bill, and, realising the gravity of what might follow, he caused messengers to be sent to stop the posting, and recall all available bills. To a great extent his efforts succeeded, but in some places we observed copies posted high up on the trees. The Doctor’s anxiety did not end here, for at much personal inconvenience he used his powerful influence to the utmost to prevent a counter demonstration. However, the "Boys" had their back up, and no amount of persuasion could turn them aside from what they believed was their bounden duty to stand firm and resist the invaders, whose insults they were not going to tolerate any longer. They had no desire to quarrel with their Roman Catholic fellow-residents, with whom they had been living peaceably: but they opposed in the strongest manner the desecration of the Sabbath. They freely admitted that they did not mind the holding of sports or demonstrations on week days, but they certainly would not allow them to take place there on Sundays.
It subsequently transpired that it was a party of gaels, and not the Hibernians, who were coming to a feis, or sports meeting at Feumore, which is situate about 4 miles from Glenavy, and not far from the shore of Lough Neagh. However, the determined attitude adopted by the people of Glenavy made it patent to the authorities that the situation was very serious. Representations to this effect were accordingly made by the police to those responsible for the arrangements in connection with the demonstration at Feumore, and at the request and on the advice of the constabulary it was decided early on Sunday morning that the Belfast contingent, travelling by the 9.5 a.m. train from the Great Northern Railway terminus, should alight at Ballinderry, and proceed thence to Feumore, which is almost equi-distant from either station, there to join the other contingents. At the same time the members of the Neill O’Neill Pipers’ Band at Cockhill, whose intention it was to await the arrival of the Belfastmen at Glenavy station at 9.18 a.m., were acquainted by the police of the altered arrangements, but, evidently mistrusting their informants, they decided to adhere to their original intention, and march to Glenavy Station, on the outskirts of the village. On the arrival of the train at Ballinderry at 9.11 a.m. the Belfast Pipers’ Band detrained, and accompanied by several men of the Royal Irish Constabulary, they formed up and marched off quietly. At Glenavy, however, at least two hundred Protestant men and youths, ignorant of the changed plans, had assembled at the approach to the station to watch the arrival of the train, and to await developments. When the Cockhill contingent came in sight there was considerable hooting and some shouting, and when the train steamed in the Cockhill men marched up to the other corner of the approach to the station. The police had to exercise considerable tact to ensure that order was kept. As soon as the Neill O’Neill Band and their followers numbering some fifty in all, perceived that they had made a fruitless journey they turned about and marched down the road on the way to Feumore to the accompaniment of a chorus of hooting from the crowd which had assembled. Had it not been for the presence of Dr. Mussen, who stepped between the two parties, and the cordon of police, under District – Inspector Heatley of Antrim and Sergeant Barrett, the opposition to the presence of the demonstrators might have taken a more serious form. However, the Protestant crowd made no attempt to harass the Cockhill party, but simply saw to it that they made no effort to enter the village. On the departure of the band the defenders proceeded in an orderly and becoming manner to the Belfast road, a little beyond and to the right of the parish church, where they halted to await the approach of brake-loads of Hibernians who were expected to come in that way from the city. Fortunately the visitors did not put in an appearance, for their reception would have been of the warmest character, and the small force of police at the command of the District-Inspector could not have averted the collision. There were no incidents worthy of recording. From eleven o’clock until the afternoon in fact the place was so calm and peaceful that the reporters adjourned to the church and attended Divine service, the preacher on the occasion being the Rev. Mr. Clarendon, curate, who preached a sermon particularly appropriate to the times.
As the day advanced the crowd, which had stubbornly remained on the watch, was largely augmented, amongst the new arrivals being many cyclista from the outlying hamlets. The police having circulated that the Belfast Gaels were most likely to entrain at Ballinderry on the return journey, the crowd became more scattered in the early part of the afternoon, though never out of touch with the main body, who could not be induced to move from the village. They were leaving nothing to chance, and were not disposed to place any reliance on rumours. We made a journey to Ballinderry during the day, and had as opportunity of noting the remarkable system of cyclist patrols, with evidently, pickets stationed at every road leading towards the Lough. The plans were so perfect that the "invaders" could not have crossed the border line unobserved. The whole country was watched, and all strangers were closely scruntized. Even the Belfast reporters, notwithstanding that they were in good company, were at times eyed with suspicion. Especially was this case at Ballinderry, when they made their first appearance there. They were promptly challenged, and with equal promptness responded, the result being satisfactory to both sides. Towards evening the crowds concentrated in the vicinity of both Glenavy and Ballinderry stations to await the coming of the Gaels. The return train to Belfast was timed to leave Glenavy at 7.50 p.m. and Ballinderry seven minutes later. At six o’clock in consequence of a message received from Ballinderry, the police were strengthened at Glenavy, and District-Inspector Heatley, who all day had discharged his duty with great discretion and ability, proceeded hurriedly to Ringsend, where he met the Belfast pipers’ Band attended by a crowd some 250 strong. Mr Heatley warned them of the danger they would incur if they approached Glenavy in such a manner, and strongly advised the followers to return to their homes, he undertaking that if they did so he would see the Belfast party safely into the train. Luckily his advice was accepted. The contingent from Belfast was then escorted by the police towards the station. The crowd, which had assembled in the main road at the steep approach to the station, greeted them with booing as they turned the corner and came in sight, and as they reached the station stones were thrown. The party sprinted over the last hundred yards or so to the accompaniment of a shower of stones, and as they dashed into the waiting room where the other passengers were assembled, the police turned, and leaping over a fence, ran down the embankment to the main road again, where by dint of pushing and persuasion they managed to get the crowd up the road towards the village. They were greatly assisted by Dr. Mussen, who again did all he could to quell the excited crowd. There yet remained about ten minutes before the train was timed to depart, and during this period , with the gathering gloom, members of the crowd made many attempts to clamber over the station fences and gain the platform. The attitude of the crowd became so menacing that, on the advice of Mr. Sherlow, the intelligent stationmaster, the passengers vacated the waiting room in favour of a smaller room, in which they extinguished the lamps. Here they spent a few anxious minutes while the police, whose numbers were extraordinarily small, were busily engaged keeping the station approaches clear. At length the train arrived, and the passengers dashed across the platform into the nearest compartments. Two of the pipers were struck with stones – one on the chin and another on the side and arm. It was with a sigh of relief that the police and the passengers saw the train move out of the station.
Meanwhile at Ballinderry, an equally determined crowd had gathered, and had occupied the roads from Feumore, but no one was molested. The arrival from Feumore of four members of the Royal Irish Constabulary was greeted with party cries, with booing, and with shouts of "Where are the pipers?" When the train arrived from Glenavy stones were thrown, and six panes of glass were smashed, and one of the missiles striking a passenger on the knee. At the first sign of stone throwing the constabulary advised the passengers to stand, with the result that no one was injured either by falling glass or by stones, and on the train proceeding on its journey matters assumed a normal aspect.
A humorous incident occurred at Glenavy in the morning. A few of the villagers were watching the departure of the Belfast contingent, and noting that they were few in number, speculated as to how the remainder of the anticipated crowd would perform the journey. One of the men noted that at the rear of the train a red flag was flying, denoting that a special train was following. The crowd awaited the arrival of the special, and as it approached one of their number exclaimed, "They are bringing the Hibernians in closed vans!" But the train did not draw up – it was composed of horse boxes, and was proceeding to Antrim to collect horses in connection with the Dublin Show.
Sunday Excursions and Skirmishes
The Lisburn Herald, on 7th September, 1912 reported the following:
Sunday Excursions at Glenavy.
Local Orangemen’s protest.
The members of L.O.L. No. 227 Glenavy at their monthly meeting held in the Protestant Hall on the evening of the 31st ult., passed the following resolution:
"That we desire the most emphatic manner to enter our solemn protest against the unseemly and irrelevant manner in which the Lord’s day has been for some time past desecrated by the conduct of gangs of outsiders, who, under the guise of excursionists behave in the most disorderly manner, towards the loyal Protestant inhabitants. We resent this behaviour more especially as the village is well known for the spread of goodwill and friendly toleration which pervades the different sections of the community. We would deplore anything that would tend to disturb this friendly feeling and as we believe such reprehensible conduct would do so, we call on the authorities to suppress these invasions otherwise we believe they may lead to breaches of the peace, probably violence."
Signed by Dr. Mussen.
The Lisburn Herald makes the following observations:
Under the caption "Skirmish between Hibernians and Ulstermen," the "London Daily Chronicle" (Radical) has an amusing paragraph, referring to a Gaelic festival at "Glenary" (meaning Glenavy), "County Down." It tells its readers that the Hibernians were to hold a "Gaelic" meeting, and goes on to say that at Ballinderry shots were "fired in the air and several persons received injuries!" Just imagine that. We must have missed the aerial fusilade, but then we never thought of looking for the merry Hibernians in aeroplanes. Any Gaels we saw were on "Shank’s Mare," and right well did they gallop. We were not aware that Glenavy had crossed the Lagan into the County Down. After all, we don’t expect accuracy in the English Radical Press regarding Irish happenings.
The following extract is from The Irish News and Belfast Morning News dated Monday 26th August 1912. This extract is reproduced by kind permission of The Irish News. This paper gives a slightly different account of the day’s events.
Wild Sunday Scenes.
Attack upon Excursionists at Glenavy
Unionist Mob Assails Non-Political Travellers.
Passengers’ Experience Returning from Aeridheacht.
(from our Reporter)
The spirit generated by recent Unionist oratory is finding expression in more ways than one in rural Ulster. Its latest phase developed yesterday in an attack made upon a body of excursionists engaged on an outing neither political nor religious in character – an aeridheacht and sports held at Feymore, Co. Antrim, on the shores of Lough Neagh and within view of Ram’s island. Everything possible was done in advance to organise local feeling in the district against what was wilfully misconstrued into a "Hibernian Invasion," although it was perfectly clear and obvious that the function, which was promoted locally, was not identified with any religious or political body or organisation, and neither in its character nor in any detail of the arrangements gave the slightest excuse for feeling, not to say the violence and turmoil actually evoked on this occasion. The nominal excuse manufactured in advance to be argued on behalf of the mob is a misdirected zeal against what they are supposed to consider "desecration of the Sabbath". It is thus left open to inference that the population of the district consider the attacking of visitors and the creation of riot, a better way of spending the Sunday than participating in a peaceful and pleasant Irish gathering such as held on the Lough shore yesterday afternoon.
A Preliminary Poster
The fact of such a function taking place on a Sunday was quickly seized upon by the extremist Orange and Unionist section; and, under the old pretence of religious qualms of conscience, they made their hostile intentions known in the earlier part of last week by the following "proclamation," which appeared on posters throughout the neighbourhood:
"Protestants of Glenavy and Crumlin districts! Assemble in your thousands at Glenavy on Sunday, 25th August, at 9 o’clock a.m., to protest against the invasion of the village and district by Hibernians from Belfast or elsewhere on that date and to protest against the desecration. God save the King!"
Yesterday the police force in Glenavy and Ballinderry was strengthened by bodies of constabulary from Lurgan, Toomebridge, and other outlying districts, and prior to the arrival of the Belfast train the unusually pastoral environment of both villages was quite transformed in appearance by the number of police on duty. The place looked as it preparing for fierce encounters between opposing parties.
Acting on the advice of the police, the Pipers’ Band from Belfast and other visitors to the aeridheacht from the city did not proceed to Glenavy, but broke the journey at Ballinderry. On arrival, the platform was practically deserted except for a few loungers. The threats of what would happen on their return journey from Feymore were, however, already being whispered abroad, and these threats afterwards proved no idle words. The counter move of the band to avoid coming in contact with a mob at Glenavy proved successful, but it rather incensed the rowdies, who were assembled in hundreds at the last mentioned station. However, they were not left altogether without what they would probably term “fun”.
The local pipers’ band were also unaware of their Belfast visitors’ sudden intention to get out at Ballinderry, and, as had been previously arranged, they marched from their rooms to Glenavy Railway station with the object of accompanying the Belfast contingent to the field. As the time approached for the arrival of the train the waiting crowd had assumed considerable proportions, and a cordon of police, under the charge of District-Inspector Heatley, was drawn across the road, dividing the station from the mob.
The whistle of the train was the signal for a rush towards the railway premises. This was quickly checked by the police, who drove the yelling crowd back about two hundred yards from the station. When it became known that the Belfast contingent had avoided the rowdies by curtailing their rail journey, the mob became unmanageable. They made every effort to get at the local band, which had meanwhile started to march towards the field. The scene at this period was wild, stones and other missiles being thrown at the heads of the unfortunate musicians who retreated under cover of the police. Dr. Mussen, J.P., coroner for the district, in the face of some danger from the missiles, used his efforts to check the disorder, but without much avail, until at last the band got clear on the way to the field.
The mob then attempted to march towards the catholic Church, but were stopped by the police, who forced them back.
They then came along the Belfast Road using vile and violent language, and calling upon all whom they met to declare their religion. A rumour was current amongst them that several contingents en route for the aeridheacht would travel by brakes in Glenavy, and it was under this impression that the crowd occupied the road. During the day the mob, flanked by cyclist "scouts," patrolled the district in the hope of meeting any belated travellers by road from Belfast suspected of being bound for Feymore.
In The Evening
Excursionists Attacked at Glenavy and Ballinderry.
In the evening – after the aeridheacht and sports, which were of a most successful and enjoyable nature – things began to look serious again, both in Glenavy and Ballinderry, when crowds assembled around the railway station. Taking it for granted that the Belfast contingent would walk back to Ballinderry, a crowd of several hundreds waited expectantly for them, relieving the "vigil" by using blasphemous language regarding the Pope and Catholics in general. But they were again outwitted, as the band decided to return to Glenavy. After leaving the field the crowd accompanying the two pipers’ bands grew to considerable proportions. They were met by District-Inspector Heatley, who advised the local men to return home, and not give any excuse for a riot. This advice was immediately acted upon, and the Belfast contingent continued their journey.
The arrival of the little band at 8.20 p.m. at glenavy was the signal for an outburst of yelling by a crowd of several hundreds stationed at a cross-roads near the railway station.
Stones, Bricks, and all kinds of missiles were flung at the oncoming band; while revolver shots could be hear repeatedly. The scene became very wild, and, amidst the excitement, the district-inspector rushed forward and shouted "Run for it boys." The little band did run, under a fusillade of stones.
Railway Station Siege.
The station premises were at last reached by the Belfast people, but not before several had received nasty wounds. Amongst those injured are James Taylor and James Clements, who received cuts to the head and body. Refuge was taken in the waiting- rooms, but the mob outside made several attempts to get in through the windows. The lights in the rooms were extinguished, but the police by this time had, by a flank movement, cut off the main body of hooligans from the premises and chased them up the road. This state of siege was, however, maintained until the arrival of the train.
Immediately the train left the platform, showers of missiles crashed against the carriages, and the passengers – amongst whom were a number of women and children – were forced to shelter from the risk of stones or broken glass. Revolver shots were also to be heard, adding to the confusion and terror of the ladies and young people huddled in some of the carriages.
An Adventurous Journey.
A renewal of the attack occurred when the train reached Ballinderry, As the train steamed into this station the passengers were forced to find safe, if sometimes undignified position, sheltered from the flying missiles which came from one side. The roughs here appeared to be ensconced behind every hedge and railing, for stones and bricks came in volleys against the carriages, smashing the glass of the windows. The whistle of the guard was a welcome sound, and at last the train steamed out of "firing distance."
Considerable excitement was evident amongst waiting passengers at stations between Ballinderry and Belfast on witnessing the condition of the carriage. On arrival in Belfast a large crowd had gathered in Great Victoria Street. Up to the present no arrests were reported in connection with the affair either in Glenavy or Ballinderry.
A report of the Aeridheacht and sports appears in our sporting page.
Gaels at Feumore
Enjoyable programme of Sports and Irish Music and Dancing
An enjoyable aeridheacht mor was held yesterday at Feumore, Co. Antrim, when a splendid Gaelic programme of sports and amusements was submitted. The weather, though threatening in the morning, turned out beautifully fine when the proceedings commenced. There was a large attendance from the various districts, and the field presented a very animated appearance, with the coloured costumes of the pipers and the holiday dresses of the ladies. No better spot could have been selected for such a meeting than the broad field which overlooks Lough Neagh and the picturesque island below. A procession, headed by the Belfast Pipers, marched to the field, when the proceedings were opened by Mr. F.J. Bigger, M.R.I.A., who, in an eloquent speech, referred to the necessity of teaching Irish in the schools and also of having a thorough knowledge of the history of the country inculcated into the minds of the young. An excellent sports programme was gone through, the following being the events and winners:-
100 yards open handicap – J. O’Hara,1, P.Lavery, 2. Wm. Lavery, 3.
Long Jump – J. O’Hara 1., J. Hannon, 2., Wm. Lavery, 3.
One mile open handicap – J. Hannon,1, J. Brannon, 2. J. Barnes, 3.
Putting 16lb shot – J. Magee, 1. J. Filbin, 2. W.H. Hickland, 3.
At the conclusion of the sports an enjoyable programme of dancing and singing was submitted, after which the prizes were presented by Father McBride.
The following is an account as appeared in The Lisburn Standard, Saturday, August 31st 1912.
Party Feeling At Glenavy
Protestants Resent Sunday Desecration
Will Stand it no Longer.
The village of Glenavy and the surrounding district was the scene on Sunday of a remarkable state of affairs, which was the outcome of a rumoured invasion of the place by a band of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, whose intention it was said was to hold a demonstration and a sports meeting.
Naturally the prospect of such a gathering on the Sabbath was the source of much indignation among the loyal inhabitants, and seeing that on a number of occasions recently Nationalists had driven through the village during church hours singing and shouting Fenian songs, the inhabitants made up their mind to put a stop to this Sabbath desecration, in their district at any rate.
Accordingly on Sunday morning a number of Protestants assembled at Glenavy Railway Station shortly after nine o’clock to await the arrival of the train from Belfast. Meanwhile the authorities were alive to the possibility of unpleasantness, and, getting into communication with the intending visitors – Gaelic Leaguers and not Hibernians as was at first thought – prevailed upon them to agree to detrain at Ballinderry station and walk to Feumore – the distance being much the same as from Glenavy. The party which was a small one included a number of pipers in Gaelic costume, was accompanied by a few policemen, and met with no interference at Ballinderry, the station and its approaches being deserted.
When a few minutes later, the train stopped at Glenavy it seemed at first as if similar conditions were to be in evidence there. Only a few people got out of the train, and passed down the avenue leading to the main road, which is thirty five feet below the railway level and out of view of the station. At the gate leading from the station there was gathered a crowd of Gaels with pipers waiting for their friends, while facing them, and separated only by a few yards was an assemblage of about 200 of the villagers. In the space between, District Inspector Heatley, Antrim, had a cordon of his men drawn across the road, while Dr. Mussen and he did the utmost in a tactful and friendly way to prevent anything in the nature of disturbance. On being informed that their friends were already on the way to Feumore, the Gaels, who represented the Cockhill fraternity marched speedily away in the direction of Ballymacricket Chapel, to attend the eleven o’clock mass prior to engaging in their sports. The village party returned to the village.
On the return journey the Gaels reached Glenavy station at 7.30 and there was some stone throwing, and the arrival of the train came as a welcome relief. At Ballinderry a large crowd congregated near the station in anticipation of the return of the Gaels. Some shots were fired in the air, and as the train came in there was loud groaning when the uniformed Leaguers were seen in one of the carriages. As the train moved out, the stones were thrown through one or two of the windows, but happily no person sustained any serious injury.
Local Protestants complain of singing and brawling parties of Hibernians and Gaelic Leagurers from Belfast principally, who drive through the village on Sundays and make the air bedious with their curses and party cries.
They say they have stood enough of this vulgarity and will stand it no longer.
Illegal Net Fishing
The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard dated Friday 4th April 1930.
Crumlin Petty Sessions.
Hubert Nelson and John Nelson, Feumore, were summoned by Andrew King, Fishery Inspector, for (1) using in Portmore Lake a net the meshes of which were not of the prescribed size, and (2) for not being in possession of licenses, on March 16.
The father was fined 5s and 20s on the first charge, and 1s on the second charge. The son was fined 5s and the costs of the summons, the second charge being dismissed.
Dr. H.A. Maginess conducted the case on behalf of the prosecution.
Sergeant Roulston said that at about 8 o’clock on March 11 he got a boat and went on the lake. He saw both defendants in a boat, to which was fixed one end of a net, the other end being attached to a stake. The boat was being rowed in a circle. He asked the men for their authority, and they said they were trying to make a living. Defendants were Lough Neagh fishermen, and were in very poor circumstances.
Defendants undertook not to use a net other than that prescribed by Act of Parliament.
Mr Addis said the defendants always paid their license fee.
Glenavy Cardwell and 40 Shades of Green
Almost two hundred years ago James Green from the parish of Ballinderry, County Antrim married Nancy Cardwell in her native parish of Glenavy. That was in September 1817 in the new parish church building in Glenavy village which had been the resting place to many of the Cardwell ancestors, from at least the early 18 th century.
A lack of records and scant details of those that survive from this period inhibit the researcher when attempting to establish the exact origin of the bride and groom on this occasion.
An American biographer, R.H.W. Peterson, compiled a sketch of James Green and his family and he informs the reader that James was the son of a Methodist minister called John and his wife Lizzie, born on 8th January, 1791. At the age of 19 he had lost both parents and in 1822 he and his wife left these shores for America, arriving in New York after 86 days at sea.