Corbally Townland, Killead

John Cunningham forced to sell, 1799

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 13th August, 1799. It is reproduced with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

County of Antrim

William Darragh, John Montgomery, Robert Hyndman, and David and Thomas Wilson, Plaintiffs.

John Cunningham, defendant.

To be sold by Auction at the Defendant’s House in Killead, by the Sheriff of said County, on Monday the 19th day of August, inst. At ten o’clock in the forenoon, the Defendant’ Crop; consisting of Wheat, Oats, potatoes and barley – and also, the Defendant’s Chattle Interest in part of the lands of Corbelly, by Virtue of five Writs of Fieri Facias, marked in the whole 358l 12s 4d besides Fees. Dated the 9th Day of August, 1799.

James Leslie, Sheriff.

Antrim Assizes – Murder of James Russell

The following is an extract from the Northern Whig dated 17th August 1829.

Antrim Assizes. Carrickfergus, Thursday, August 13th

John Thomson was indicted for the murder of James Russell, of Corbally, on the 27th April, 1827.

Henry Ramsay – Was in deceased’s house in April 1827, in company with John Reid, Jas. Clare, John Lee, John Thomson, and Robert Sloan, besides several women – there was some quarrelling among them about a bad shilling – they all went out after the dispute, and Lee returned and threatened to beat Nancy Russell, the wife of the deceased, if she ever said he gave her a bad shilling – he then went out and came back immediately, and did strike her – the candle went out in the confusion – the whole party then came into the house, and rushed down to the bed-room, where the deceased was lying – witness was struck by one of the party, but could not see by whom – did not see anything done to deceased.

Nancy Russell, widow of deceased, described the dispute respecting the bad shilling, which she said she had received from Lee – Lee asked her was she sure witness had got the shilling from him, and said she had got it from no other man – Lee then knocked her down with his fist – her daughter came to help her, and Lee knocked her down also – her husband then came up, and told Lee to go out, and that he was a bad man – Lee then struck her husband, and the candle was blown out – as soon as one could be lighted, she saw four of the party on her husband in the bed, among them was prisoner – they were all beating him – her daughter said her father was a murdering, and struck Lee with a smoothing iron on the head – Lee said, "Mary Russell, you have broken my skull, and I will have your life" – her daughter then ran away out of the house, in company with Ramsay – they all pursued them – her husband followed them in tow or three minutes, to see about his daughter – she (witness) went after them in about 20 minutes, and heard her husband’s cries – her husband was in a car-house – when she went to the door two people knocked her repeatedly down – her husband was brought home very much bruised, and he died on Tuesday morning – when deceased came home, he said he would never work another day’s work, as he was a murdered man – he did not accuse any one in particular, but said that John Lee, John Thomson, Jas. Clare and Hugh Mulholland had been the cause of his death, as they had jumped on his belly in his own garden – they all left the country immediately – she did not see the prisoner till this day, and cannot tell when he came back.

Mary Russell, daughter of the deceased corroborated the evidence of her mother.

Mary Creighton, of Hamilton, mother-in-law of deceased, also corroborated the evidence of preceding witnesses.

Robert Sloan – Was in the deceased’s house when the dispute began – Here witness related the circumstances of the dispute as told by the other witnesses. When deceased ran out after his daughter, witness followed shortly after, and saw him lying in the ditch of his own garden, and John Lee was kicking him. Deceased was brought into Bankhead’s house. John Thomson was there – witness heard him say he would kill Mary Russell if he could find her – he got a light and searched the house for her – deceased was sitting in Bankhead’s kitchen at this time – his head was tied up.

Joseph Bankhead – Remembers night deceased got the abuse – was in bed about 12 o’clock was awakened by a noise, and got up and ran out – knows the car-house and the high way – did not see prisoner there at that time, but afterwards seen him in witness’s own house – heard some moans proceeding from the car-house, as if some person was beaten in it – witness went back to Rossborough’s for assistance, and went to carhouse again – when he got there, he saw deceased standing beside a car, on the causeway, and he appeared as if he was much beaten – Russell then proceeded to Rossborough’s door and wrapped him up, and asked if he had a bit of candle in the house to get a light to enable them to get something to tie round his head, as it was sore – Rossborough said he had no light – witness’s wife said if he would go home with her she would tie up his head – when deceased got to witness’s house he examined his head and dressed it – while he was there, Sloan, Thomson, Clare, John Mulholland and others came in – deceased said he hoped they were not going to beat him any more – Mulholland said, he would not see any one touch deceased more, as he had enough before, and he had saved him – deceased said he had – John Mulholland then asked if Mary Russell was in the house, and witness said she was not – prisoner then said, search the parlour for her, which they did, and did not find her – deceased’s wife then came in, and witness and Rossborough conveyed deceased home, and put him to bed in his own house – when witness returned home, he found deceased’s wife lying at the fire-side as if she was the worse of drink. Cross-examined – When witness went towards the car-house, he saw Lee run up towards it – prisoner was not there.

James Rossborough gave similar testimony.

Surgeon Campbell – Was called to examine deceased – he was in bed, and complained of his belly and head – he had two cuts on his head – witness was one of three medical men that examined the body of the deceased after death – he was blackened on the lower part of the belly – the head appeared to be a little inflamed – thinks that the abuse he got was the cause of his death.

Surgeon Gordon – Examined the body of the deceased on the day he died, and inspected the head – found two wounds on the head, one like a bruise or fall – and on the lower part of the abdomen a great many bruises, which were the cause of his death – there was inflammation on the brain.

The Jury, after retiring for about half an hour, returned a verdict of Guilty of manslaughter; to be transported for life.

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. 162

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

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.


Isabella Lorimer of Corbally is in her 95th year.

Death Notice – William Harkness

The following is an extract from the Belfast Newsletter dated 19th March 1892. It appears here with the permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Death – Harkness – March 18 at his residence, Corbally, Killead, William Harkness, aged 75 years. His remains will be removed for interment in the Old Presbyterian Meeting-house, Green, Antrim, tomorrow (Sunday), afternoon, at half past three o’clock. Friends will please accept this (the only) intimation.

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