British Townland, Killead

Marriage – Henry/Moore

The following extract is from The Belfast Newsletter dated Tuesday February 6th 1810. It is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Married. On 29th ult Mr. Wm Henry of this town to Miss Moore of British Killead.

Ordnance Survey Memoirs

The following are extracts from “Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland – Parishes of County Antrim XIII 1833, 1835,1838”. Thanks to The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast for permission to use this extract.


John Molyneaux of British is in his 98th year.

Standing Stone.

In the townland of British, and in a gap in the side of the highway, is a standing stone commonly called the Tooting Stone. It is 4 feet high and 1 by 3 feet in thickness; a hole 1 inch in diameter runs through it near the top. This stone is nothing more than a pillar from which a gate has been hung, and the hole alluded to through which the hook for the hinge had been driven. It obtained its name from the loud sound produced by blowing through the hole, and which is audible at a considerable distance. The name applied at a considerable distance. The name applied to it is nothing more than that locally applied to the blowing of a horn or wind instrument.
No notice would have been taken of this stone but for an absurd idea among a few in the neighbourhood, who ought to know better, namely that the stone and its name are of pagan origin.

"Natts" the bull-terrier

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated Tuesday 28th May 1861 and is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Remarkable Sagacity – A fine specimen of the bull-terrier species may be seen stuffed, as like life as possible, in a glass-case in Shiel’s, Corporation Street, to which is attached a card on which is printed the following interesting account of the deceased animal by way of an epitaph, we presume: – This dog was the property of G.A. Stephenson, Esq., British, Killead. He was a faithful and most sagacious animal. His name was "Natts." He died of old age in January 1861, being in the possession of Mr. S. for the last ten or twelve years. He was extremely attached to his master, whose orders he most implicitly obeyed at all times. In addition to his general watchfulness about the house and yard, he was a terror to rats and other vermin, which he almost completely kept off the premises. His sagacity was very much in advance of the canine race. He became so familiar with his master, that it might, with some propriety, be said, he almost anticipated his wishes. For a long series of years he regularly brought the letters and newspapers to his master’s room in the morning; proceeded to the kitchen, and on ascertaining that breakfast was ready, he visited the dressing-room up stairs, and announced the circumstance in his own way, which was well understood. He then came down to the breakfast parlour, where he literally was so much honoured as to be permitted, if not invited, to breakfast with his attached master. He would then survey the grounds, the house, and his farm-yard, until lunch was ready which he watched for in the kitchen until he saw it on the tray, when the fact was duly communicated to his master. In like manner the dinner was seen on the table, of which Mr. S. was duly apprised by Natts, without the said of a dinner bell. To this repast, Master Natts paid more than ordinary attention, being invariably his master’s most welcome guest. After dinner he would bark for permission to go out about the grounds, in order to see that all was right; returning at a seasonable hour for bed, barking for admission, and politely knocking at the door with his feet, until attended to by some of the inmates. A regular round of duties was observed every day without fail. In the event of Mr. S. being from home, nothing occurred which was not duly noted in a page of Master Natts’ sagacious memorandum book, so to speak, inasmuch as all was faithfully and minutely revealed on his return – such as the slaughter of a sheep, pig, or other domestic animal, for the larder; the killing of foul, &c. He was put in immediate possession of all such occurrences, by being conducted by Natts to view the dead bodies, and hold an "inquest" if necessary. Should any of the cattle in the farm-yard be ailing from any cause, such was Natts’ capacity as a nurse-tender, that he would scarcely leave the animal night or day, barely taking time to eat his dinner, or bring the letters and newspapers as usual. In 1856 he took charge of two chickens and one duck the second day after they came out of the shells, acting the part of a "foster-mother" so admirably, that he would lie down and allow them to creep in about his legs and under his neck, thus protecting and keeping them warm until they reached maturity. It was somewhat interesting to see his feathered charge running after him through the yard, as if he had been the parent – bird. Natts had a most significant manner of directing his master’s attention to anything. He would bark and run before, looking back occasionally to see if he were followed. He would strike a door with his feet which he wished opened. In the year 1857, Mr. S. refused £200 for him.

The Area in 1888

The following is an extract from the 1888 publication titled "The book of Antrim" by George Henry Bassett.

It gives a brief description British, at Crumlin and some of the inhabitants. As in most directories some of the details can be somewhat dubious in relation to spelling and accuracy.

British is a rural post office, 3 miles from the Crumlin station of the Great Northern railway. The land of the district is good. Crops: oats, potatoes, and some flax.

Church of Ireland: Rev. J. Clarke
Grocer & Spirit: Mrs. A. Brankin

Post master: Hugh Black
Presbyterian Church: Rev. H.R. Mecreedy
R.C.: Rev. F. Brady

Farmers & residents

Bell, Alex., Seacash

Black, Ptk. (J.P.), Crookedstone
Davidson, A., Dungonnell
Dick, Jno., Seacash
Erskine, Fredk., Tully
Erskine, T., Seacash House
Fagan, Jas., Beechfield
Fegan, Mrs. E., British
Harkness, Wm., Corbally
Harper, Rt., Dungonnell

Harper, Rt., Jun., Elm Grove
Killen, Rt., Tully
McAreavy, Natl., Ballyginniff
McCaffrey, F., Seacash
McConnell, Alex., Dungonnell
McConnell, Thos., Dungonnell
McFarland, Jas., Tully
McGivern, Wm., Corbally
Magee, C., Crookedstone

Magiveran, Alex., Dundonnell
Magiveran, Thos., Dungonnell
Molyneaux, Jno., Balluginniff
Montgomery, A., Ballyginniff
Moore, T.K., Crookedstone
Morrison, Wm., (J.P.), Crookedstone
Murphy, Sl., Tully
Nixon., Sl., Ballyginniff
Palmer., Jno., Mount

Rankin, Jno., British farm
Smith, Dd., Dungonnell
Thompson, A., British
Wilson, Mrs. E., The Mount
Wilson, W.G., Seacash
White, Jas., Tully
Whiteside, Rt., Ballyginniff

Killed in Action — George Adair, R.I.R.

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard dated 31st August 1917.

Rifleman George Adair, R.I.R., killed in action on 16th inst., a son of Mr. Geo. Adair, Seacash, British, Crumlin. He was a member of the U.V.F. and of Ballynadrentagh L.O.L. 1059, Glenavy district. His company commander writes that his loss is very deeply felt throughout the battalion, and that he was greatly loved and respected, both by the officers and men.

Christie fined for no light on cart

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Standard dated Friday 4th April 1930.

Crumlin Petty Sessions.
No Light

For having no light on a cart on February 26, John Christie, British was fined 1s. The candle it appeared, burnt out when the horse was on a hill, on which defendant did not wish to stop the animal. A fresh candle was put in the lamp when the horse reached ground level.

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