. It is most important to me at this time to thank Mrs. Nettie C. Breakey for the first volume of Thomas C. Breakey's Memoirs. Following Dr. Breakey's' death, Mrs. Breakey very graciously saw to it that I received a copy of the first volume knowing of my extensive Breakey research and hoping the volume would be of use to me in my investigation. It was upon reading the first book that I became aware of 'the second.
Book II was sent to me by Mr. B.I.F. Breakey of Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. I had previously made Mr. Breakey’s acquaintance on a correspondence basis during a time of intensive research. I wish to thank him also for his assistance and interest.
It has been most helpful having these two volumes available to me. throughout my investigation and it has indeed been a pleasure to combine the efforts of many into a single, complete unit. I truly believe Thomas C. Breakey's purpose has been fully realized in this project.. He wrote of Ireland, her people and their customs, and most importantly, of her past. As may be seen from the introduction, Mr. Breakey penned his memoirs with the thought in mind to share them.
Unlike the first, volume, Book II has not been edited. I have chosen to leave the writings of the author as they were transcribed from the original for s purpose. I feel it lends a certain insight into the man who. undertook this devoted task. Perhaps at times it makes for an occasional awkwardness in reading but one adapts to the author's style as they read further. Mr. Breakey himself was most aware of his literary shortcomings for after the books had been seen by "a lady of good rank and family" he asked of her, "What did you think of my bad spelling?" The originality of the spelling only gives expression to the antiquity of the stories narrated in the books," was the reply. My feelings were very much the same.
Marilyn J. Breakey Vinette
Harrington House Baldwinsville,
New York January 10, 1981
The very. first page of Thomas C: Breakey's second book is most appropriately incorporated here as the introduction to Book II of the Memoirs.
"This is my second record book commenced in January 1901.
Written by Thos: Breakey of
Seeing my first book is. so Much admired; by those who have sees it and having plenty more to record of things of the past I am tempted to begin this my second book. Hoping my remark will be blessed to by my children and any young person who may look over these pages.
My first and this book have been got up for the special benefit of my. children and thoughtless young people who may have neglected their duty..”
A lot of my storys wind up with a good moral that is likely to be of use. 'I have said a lot on doing our duty in my first book and the good consequences comes from it.
Now I will tell some storys of the benefit lower animals have received from doing their duty. One time I was on a visit with my sister Mrs. Ferguson at Killucan in Co. West Meath.. Mrs. Captain Vandileur lived in a grand house on the march with my sister. This lady had 5 old horses in front of the house called by people the pensioners. I went over one lovely day in August to see them. Mrs. Van as she was called come out I said I had come to see her pensioners. What do you think of them said she, seeing baskets of quids of grass thrown out by the horses I said I think you will be more in your duty if you would get your huntsman to shoot these horses seeing they are dieing of hunger in the midst of plenty for the want of teeth. Did you ever hear of a passage in the Bible where it says ingratitude is worse than the sin of witchcraft, Yes Mam, Well now said she here is Susy coming up she carried me for years & you can see by her shins she never got a fall nor did she give me one. When she was no longer able to run with me my husband put her to rear foals and to the credit of our Irish horses two of Susys foals were the reliable ones in the Royal carriage Queen Victoria uses to go to open Parliment and if you have been in the Royal stables the past 5 years you must have seen-two of Susys horses. I saw six for that business. What do you mean said I by reliable horses in a carriage. The answer was horses next the wheel in any carriage have the responsibility of turning the carriage where required, stopping and starting it as well. Now said she my husband got £1000 for those two young horses & the Lord Mayor of London gave £500 for the next two. Now seeing all the good deeds Susy has done for this family I think I would have the unpardonable sin of ingratitude on me if I would be the means of murdering poor Susy, by this time the old mare was up to us. I never saw so wretched looking an animal in my life, she had been 17 hands high, when she lifted her lofty head I could see she was the remains of old grandeur & fine hunting blood. A Page come out with scrap bread in a basket, when the mare buried her head to eat the bread Mrs. Vandileur put her arm round her neck like a lover and said Susy darling if I die before you I have provided for you and your companions & as you are treated so will those in charge of you be paid. By this time I felt regularly out at elbows. Next come out an old butler leaning on two
sticks, scrupulously clear_ & dressed to represent the older time, no vest & big frills up the front of his shirt Mrs. Vandileur put her hand "on his head & said to me her is another of my' pensioners. I take it for granted madam said I this old man is reaping the advantage of doing his duty by you, yes said she his just reward comfort & ease in his days of infirmity. It is 90 years said she since he come to live with my people & he has earned for himself the reputation of being a dutiful servant. By this time the rest of the old horses were up. Amongst them I saw a big old cart horse. I asked the lady what had he done. She said her. husband gave £I00 for him in Flanders & that he had worked for a long term of years on the farm. After her husband retired from the army he would rear & buy flash coloured young horses this old horse would teach them to plough & harrow & run in a sceleten coach & when taught to run in it well he would advertise them in English papers & get fabulous sums for them. He tought Susys four foals & lots c_" others so he is getting his reward for doing his duty.
I saw a monument to the memory of a cat in a gentlemans lawn near to St. Hollins. On the plynth of said monument I saw in letters of led an epitaph that I thought was good
Here lies poor Tabby Beneath this stone
the guardian of cur stores at home
She was a mouser of great merits
& far beyond the choicest ferrits
She died respected, was a beauty
& the best of all she done her duty.
Said monument cost over £100 The cat on top of the plynth in white Parean marble cost over £50 That was a cat rewarded for doing her duty.
I heard a story one time of a poor feller who lost his life by doing his duty to save the lives of others Lake Eri in Canada is so large Ireland could sit in it as an island. Large ships for pleasure trips can go for days round it. One of these ships had £1700 pleasure seeking people on board of a lovely day in August The Captain discovered the ship was on fire in the cockpit. Now children this is the part of a man of war called the magazine where powder & all things of the sort are kept. Men are taught from boys to go into the magazine of a war ship & bring forward anything in proufound darkness
Now to return to the subject of the pleasure ship. When the Captain saw the ship would be lost he shouted to the helmsman beech her which means run her a shore. The moment the poor helmsman turned her to the land he was in the middle of a flame. A sharp wind was blowing & in a very short tide the keel of the vessel struck the sand & she lurched over on one side & threw all on
dock into the water. A wave came & wept them on land. Those who were amusing themselves in the saloons after the shock rushed on deck some to cut boats down & others leaped into the water who were in the way of the fire. Last of all the Captain leaped into the water & swam ashore. To his no small astonishment when on shore looking at the vessel he saw the poor helmsman like a big sinder clinging by the helm & the weight of his body ran the ship ashore. Now this is the point I wish to turn up, had that man not done his duty 1700 young & old would have been lost. His wife & 7 children among them. By doing his duty 1650 were saved. Another pleasure ship was out & the people on her left themselves near naked to cover the poor people on the beach. Several of them they took on board & farmers convenient protected the rest. The Captain got up £32.000 for the helmsman's family & friends of those who were lost
I saw a pig that was very much respected for doing its duty. When I was a boy about 16 years of age John Wright & me were sent to Shercock to buy a cow Mother put the money in my pocket & secured it with a pin & started us out at 5oc. in the morning to walk 9 miles & back 18 in all. Me thinks I see people walk so far now. When we got a cow Wright said we would take dinner so we went into what is usua1ly called an eating house. We were going to the lower kitchen The mistress of the house shouted go no farther I have a pet pig in charge of my children & she would leave you ready for the hospital. I was far enough to see a big pig stretched cut on some sacks. One child was sound asleep against the belly of the pig. One astride on it & twin boys putting a muzzle on the pig with a rush. When we got up to the shop the woman locked the passage doer & said to us she had a big respect for that pig she helped her to rear the children. That women was not like Dr. Cooke of Belfast he would say a pig was like no other animal you could never strike in the wrong for if the way was clear a pig would be either going to mischief or coming from it. In speaking of the Peacock in a lecture I heard Dr. Cooke say the peacock had the plumage of an angel, the voice of the Devil & the guts of a thief. When my brother Wm. went to Belfast to college Dr. Cooke took him by the hand & went to hear his first lecture, when it was over he said to Wm. man you destroyed your lecture by reading it. I give you an advice get every thing off like a rime & then you can give expression to your subject & give jestures. If you live to old age in the church & that your sight gets dim see the advantage it will be to you not to use notes. He went on to say
your looking on off the manuscript puts me in mind of a crow tossing horse manure on the road taking a pick & looking around & again a jackdaw was eating crumbs of bread on my bedroom window stone it would take a bight & look around & it put me asleep. Now Wm. said he commit what you mean to say & then you can give expression to what you say. Wm. took the hint & never used notes.
To return to the subject of cats I heard a quear story of a cat that was taken from Southhamton to Calcutta in a troop ship, two years after the ship returning for the second time from Calcutta to England. The cat got on ship & returned & to the no small astonishment of those who reared her in Southhamton she turned into her old home again in estacys of delight. I heard a story lately of a family who left Dawly to live in Notingham. With their furniture & other goods they took their cat which had been in the family for many years & was a great pet. When but a very short time in Notingham the cat disappeared. In some time after a friend writing from Dawley said the cat had returned to the old home. She had therefore travelled the long distance of 70 miles & was able to find her way across the country, through which she had only passed once & that not on foot.
The cat is a strange instance of an animal that has been domesticated for thousands of years & yet retains the habits of the wild beast of its own kind. It is quite as much at home in the woods as on the rug in front of the fire. In one night it will shake off the trammels of civilized life & take to the bush, become as savage as any of its kind. Even when it remains an inmate of our house we see it engaged in all sorts of night wanderings. It retains the cunning, the sharpness of eye & the quickness of movement, so marked in wild animals. It never loses its fondness for flesh. A cat never can be cured of stealing. When in London I took a run through part of the General Post Office, I was surprised to see amongst His Majesty's servants are quite a number of cats. Their business is to protect the mails from rats & mice, particularly parcels. Cats are therefore necessary to keep the post office clear of such pests and a sum of money is paid out of the public purse every year to provide them with a supply of cats meat.
In France cats are used for in the Government service. To train them for service among the military stores they are first sent on one or more voyages on a man-of-war. If they prove equal to killing the rats which are always to be found in the holds of large ships, they are then promoted to a place on shore.
I hear over 300 cats are kept in America to protect the mail bags.& parcels in particular from rats and mice. I once got a gift of a cat the evening of a mans auction. Said cat was death on rats. I was tormented with rats in my milkroom. The first night the cat had 11 rats dead in the morning & in some weeks she had not only rid the houses of these pests but the farm as well. When I was a very wee boy mother had a black beaver bonnet, to her horror one day she found a cat had her kittens in her bonnet. Said bonnet cost over £2.10.0 & how to get rid of the smell of the cat on it was a question to be solved. In those days mother dried all sorts of wool materials on a stick over a barrel in which a pan of coals was set with pounded brimstone on them, a cover was then put over all on the mouth of the barrel & in a short time the material was dry, soft, all smells removed. Mother thought of this & left her bonnet as good as ever.
Miss Arnold would tell a quear story of a cat of Mr. John Goudy's. This very big cat took killing hens. She had been overlooked for a time when one morning it was found she had killed a lovely white cock. Mr. Goudy said she must be shot. Miss Goudy said she & Miss Arnold were going to Armagh & she would put the cat in the well of the car & hand her out to some person far away. At a cross road where quite a number of cotchers lived & a lot of thorns festooned with ivy were all about. The coach man who was tired of the nonsense of how to get of the cat said to his mistress I think the cat is being smothered, Miss Goudy said look at her. The fellow bungled lifting the lid & out leaped the cat... He was sent to catch her but it was to throw all sorts of things at behind the bushes. Miss Goudy did not like to leave without telling some women who were about the failure of the cat had. As quick as thought one shouted to another how many hens are killed already. Two of them seaset a good rug off the car & before Miss Goudy could get rid of them she had to hand out 10/ to get rid of them. The next morning but one strange to say the cat was home not less than 9 miles off & when some of the servants got up this terrible cat was back & had killed a gander. He had then to go to the pikes parlour as my children call it. That cat evidently went back to the tastes of her savage friends the tiger panther & others.. A cat come to us years ago. The servant girl said she was her mothers & on Sunday morning she took the cat in a thin bag home to her people who lived two miles away. At two oclock the cat was back here for dinner & lived here for her day.
A setting dog come to Mr. John Lister Dundrumon in rather a misterious way, for some days he would appear at the house for a short time, at length he was treated kindly by Mr. Lister. No person ever turned up for the dog & he become
very much attached to Mr. Lister, & kept by him day & night for several years when Mr. Lister took a serious and tedious illness. During that time for weeks the dog looked gloomy & in the end died whether from want of exercise or grief is a question to be solved.
To return to the subject of doing our duty I think I will enter a story of a man of high rank who was travling under the Alps in the lowlands. He had his wife and footman with him. He come to a country hotel in the late evening. The manager said to him stop here all night the wolves are in the lowlands & you all are likely to be destroyed. The travler said he must go, well then said the hotel keeper take 5 horses in your carriage for speed is everything. When out a while they heard the wolves coming in all directions. The gentleman & his footman went out on the back of the coach & shot the dogs as they came up. If a wolf was shot or even wounded all the rest eat him up & then resumed the chase. The coach man thought the best thing to do was to cut out the leading horse & let the wolves eat him & by that time he would likely reach the hotel. By this time the wolves were in a regular pack During the time the horse was being eaten the coach had got a long distance ahead. In some time a second horse had to be cout out & after that a third leaving but two in the carriage & fresh packs off the mountains coming on them. The hotel was in view but how was it to be reached even that near. The people at the hotel knew by the noise of the wolves £ shots what was coming & was ringing the bell to incourage the travler to make way. Now said the footman if you swear to me you will do your duty by adopting my children & doing for them I will drop myself to the wolves cut them with the sword as long as I can & by that means you will reach the hotel
The gentleman said I will do so myself as I have brought all this on us. That would do nothing for my big family said the poor fellow as you are our means of support. The wolves were near at hand. The Gentleman took his oath as required & the footman droped himself down to the wolves, put his back to a tree cut & carved in all directions but in the end perished. The coachman reached the yard when a horse fell dead Quite a number of wolves rushed into the yard before the doors could be shut, They sculked into a corner & were shot. Now the end of the story how did the gentleman do his duty, he adopted the butlers family 11 children. He got 30,000 pounds of a fortune left to him in one month after he adopted the children. He gave every pound of equally among those children. Lived with them & as he had no family he left all he possessed to them at his death.
A very melancholy story is atached to the last wolf in Ireland. It was found to be in a sort of cavern in the glens of Antrim & had puppys. George the third had offered a round sum to any person who could produce the head of said wolf or solves. A boy saw the wolf pass out of the cavern & go over some hills. Instead of telling people at home & to have her shot on the return he foolishly went into the cavern in search of the puppys. The-wolf returned sooner than he expected & simply destroyed the boy backing out of her den. A man with a gun & bayonet who saw the wolf pass out of the glen & was in the wake of her return heard the shouts of the boy & ran to him. The wolf rushed at him when he shot her dead. If I remember the boy died. I remember seeing a wee book called the last wolves in Scotland. Very sad & tragic storys were related in it.
I Know none of the lower animals so frequently" rewarded for doing their duty as dogs. I have seen them blind & feeble & no earthly use still they were treated like babys because they done their duty. When I was a wee boy I was sent to Davey Ropers of Shantna to see if meal was ready. The old housekeeper asked me to take what she called a colation that was oatbread with plenty of butter spread with her thumb & a good shake of salt on it. I did not mind the thumb business as mother reared 12 of us her children (to her credit be it told) without a whim humour or fancy. I am a lover of salt & could use it on a salt herring. To return to the subject of the colation, during the time I was eating it a very big dog all over curls stretched himself at the fire, a singed cat & four winter chickens got upon him & were as happy as possible among the curls.
The old woman said to me she had a very big respect for Drake he was the boy done his duty & helped her to rear the chickens, The June after father was over at Ropers on business. The dog was asleep on the yard'& one of the winter chickens that was then a hen sitting on the dog. The old woman who was full of wit & humour said to father do not waken Drake for Susy was laying on him. When father came back the old women raised the hen & sure enough he saw an egg under the hen in the curls. The old woman said would you advise me to set the hen as you see her Father answering a fool according to her folly said by all means but be sure & insure the eggs against breakage.
Father was telling this bit of fun to Grandfather Tom M'Cullagh (as he was called) who was a neighbour of Roper & for years when he would hear Ropers hens cackle he would shout Davy Roper run Susy is after laying on Drake, be smart or you will have a smash. Ropers displeasure on hearing the shouts had
had no bounds & in the end it wound up with a blackthorn exercise. Roper being a small man had to sucumb to his inability & permit M'Cullagh to plump his nose in John Corries trough of water in the foargo & to the no small amusement of those looking on Roper's big beard was well festooned with wet foarg dust,
As this the 12th of July I will try & answer a question I can find no orangeman can do. When did orangemen begin.
The term began to be used as early as 1689, and was applied to the upholders of Revolution principles. On September 21, 1796 the first. orange lodge was instituted by the Feep O'Day Boys, after the celebrated battle of Diamond. The lodges soon multiplied, their chief object at that time being to discard the Catholics who were thought. to have no right to keep arms. By 1797 they could muster 200,000 men many noblemen & gentlemen joined them, and it was their influence counteracted that of the United Irishmen in the North. In 1798 the rebels were more afraid of them than the regular troops, but Lord Camden refused to employ them & thereby give a sectarian character to the rebellion. In 1825 they were disolved by the Association Bill. In 1836 they, however, again numbered 145,000 members in England and 125,000 in Ireland. The Duke of Cumberland was Grand Master & the Orangemen were suspected of a wish to change the succession in his favour by force of arms. Consequently after a Parliamentary inquiry, their lodges were broken up. In 1845 they were again revived. In 1869 was created by the arrest of their Grand Master for violating
the Part Procession Act.
I find very few can tell the meaning of a word used in respect of those who live by the Needle & work for women Mantymaker, it is the contraction of Mantlemaker. In the old time every woman was expected to have a mantle. Some were of silk but the run of them were of good cloth & would cost a round sum. Mothers silk one was the cause of her death. She stood upon the foot-board of a car to put on her mantle, the wind got into it & in consequence it gave a clap, -a blood mare gave a leap forward in the car & mother fell over the back of the car on her head on the country road. She had bad health for 15 years & in the end died from the efects. The long cloth mantle is out of fashion about 30 years
When I say fathers coat of arms was he would keep up his stall should he sell but one pigs foot in the day, meaning he would keep up his heart & spirits were he making but little of it. When I was a wee boy I have often seen stalls with well boiled pigs feet & oat bread for sale. Father & others would buy a
foot Is use a strong knife to pick it. Ir. fact I got them handed to me in the fair & I thought it was a grand thing. Me thinks I see people pick a pigs foot in our market now.
Mothers coat of arms was humour neither man or beast. I fancy one would say I have a rusty horse she would say part him he is unreliable & simply no use. Friends come here to see us from Monaghan & went to leave in the evening so a dinner had to be got ready in a hurry. The girl rusted. When the friends left mother said to the girl do you go too I would rather want you. Sister Mary said try her for a while longer Mother What was the fact she never rusted after & was years here after
Mother ignored the idea of ghosts. She would go out the darkest night, like insane & half witted people nothing would frighten her. Mr. John Mills of Boilk could tell a good story he got from Mr. Wm. Jackson. Jackson was at a small entertainment in Revd. John Morell's Mr. James Tardy came on business & Mr. Morell kept him for the evening. When at supper Tardy said he left his boat across the. wee river at Peter Smyths garden & he would go home the near way John Jackson said for fun if you go that way you are bound to see a ghost among the shrubs. Tardy said he would like to see one nothing could frighten him. You are like brother Edward said Mr. Morel, Tardy in answer said he could represent a ghost was sure to put Ned in a corner, Mr. Moral said he would bet a pound to one penny he could not even surprise him. Tardy went & put on a big night shirt, oiled his feet, faces neck & hands & rists, put on a long night cap & then got one of the company to puff all the oiled parts with puffpowder. When his eyes were opened the eyelashes & brows being festooned with powder giving the face a very strange appearance. He then took a rush for a candle In his hand & went up to Neds room. The moment he saw him he got up on his elbow in bed & said do you hear me boy who are you speaking in a sepulchral tone of voice said I am the late Andy Ruttledge sexton of the church coming from Heaven Yes Mr. Edward, that is not the place our John thinks at all. You are like a man was tied at meal time. Mr. Edward we neither eat, drink, marry or are given in marriage in Heaven. Ned said you are like that sure enough. Sit man & I will ring-the bell & get John up to I show him a living proof of the folly & nonsence he is at every Sunday about Heaven being such a grand place. By this time Mr. Tardy had backed near the door seeing he was regularly out at the elbow. Mr. Ned asked him what brought you to me & not to John or some else in the neighbourhood. Well you know Mr. Ned I believe you tell nothing but the truth.
I give everything as I get it I neither put to or take from. Knowing this I want you to tell me how is Molly & the children doing. I can say but little about it I went a message to your house lately for John. Your wife had the black tin on as usual about the manner of eleven oclock as usual and I believe your eldest son Andy is as big a liar as ever he was. By this time Ned had got the length of calling him Andy & vas very insisting on him to stop and have a crack about his country. When Ned saw he was not likely to stop & having a taste for astronomy, as his last question he said do you hear anything about this thing called the eclipse on the moon in your country. By this time Mr. Jackson & others rushed into Neds room to have a good laugh at Mr. Tardy. Ned seeing this covered himself head & horns & nothing more was seen of Ned. Mr J Tardy had to spend half an hour to get rid of the oil & puffpowder & feeling regularly cut at the elbows at having all his bother for nothing
Now I think I will enter another story in this book will be a further proof that fools & simple people could not be scared. When I was a wee boy at the Saintfield Model Farm School a poor fool woman who was going from house to house for the bit she would eat & a bed would frequently stop with my brother who lived at & had his church in Carryduff. One evening, at dusk brother said to the fool woman go up to the mealroom for some meal. She had to go through a passage room. In this room a student Ewert would have the sceletons of a man & woman so called composition things standing at times & again taken down & put in a box. This evening the two were standing. The fool was long in coming with the meal, my brother said to his servant man go up & see what is keeping Sasy. When the man went up, he found the fool sitting beside the sceletons quite content. When she come down brother asked her what kept you. The fool said you red a story cut of the Bible on Sunday about God raising dry hones flesh come on them, next skin & then He breathed the breath of life in them & all was a very big army standing up. I heard you say one time your parents were as straight as a rush to the hour of death. Seeing them dry bones standing up I thought you had prayed to God to send your old people back on earth to you would have a crack with them. I thought I would sit a while & see the flesh come on & all the rest of it and man said she when they would get the length of shaking hands I am the girl would make speedy heels to tell you.
Dr Beety was 45 years resident Dr. in the Richmond lunatic Asylum & he was telling me he saw fools well ghosted inside the grounds & as a rule it only would make them curious to see what it really was. He was telling me father a
good thing of a young inspector who was looking over the Asylum. Dr. Beaty said you had better come back it the evening our fools who are harmless are to get a large party & plenty of dancing as the officials & outsiders will be admitted to help these poor people through dances you will pass for one of our friends. You were telling me you were particularly good at detecting the weak points in lunatics. Now we have taken in a young lady yesterday do you look her up through the night & see wherein she is astray. The Inspector did not know that any one but lunatics were present so he got a young lass for partner in cadrills that he imagined was the insane one so lately taken in. When it would come his turn to stand he said to his partner I am so sorry to hear you are the young lady the Prince of Wails gilted. You make a sad mistake I never saw the man. I beg your pardon you are the lady lost your fortune in the silver mires in Perue. She said she had no fortune to lose. Then said he it is Queen Victoria I have the pleasure of dancing with. I am the daughter of an artisan it the city, The Inspector went over a lot of things but was still out at the elbows. When the dance was over the girl went over to one of the keepers & said have you seen our new lunatic he is the most astray of any one in the house In fact said she, he is astray on every point. When the Dr. heard-this from the keeper & knowing the girl to be one of the servants in the female wards he left the Inspector to feel very small beer. I make a mistake Dr. Beaty did not tell the Inspector no one but fools would be in the dances. Did you see our new lunatic was rather good.
I think I make a mistake in saying the sceletons so called in my brother James's house was belonging to Ewert. First they belonged to the gentleman who sold the house & farm to James. At the auction of that mans efects the boans were brought by a young man in brothers congregation who was to be a Dr. He asked my brother to let them be in his house & so it was to Nancy Moore got a very bad fright by the boans when in a box. That story is mentioned in my first book Nancy Moore was housekeeper for my brother & after she got the fright the boans had to be removed & I believe were sold for a large sum. I think the boans so called were got in France & were a sort of Alibaster.
I find no one of the present day known the origin of y'r'late like Paddy Black & the ghost. Paddy was a fool who never got the length of wearing shoes, Trowsers or of cap Like fool Johnston at Cormeam cross only had a big overall of rough linen. Paddy was the son of a cotcher of an old respectable family called Macknally who lived near Edergul. One day the father of the late Earl of Dartry
when a boy was out with a friend who steed 6ft 3in. Seeing the fool was coming up to the giants grave, the Dartry boys thought they would frighten Paddy. The long fellow turned his coat & buttoned it behind, put a handkerchief over his face, got Mr. Dawson on his back with a foot in each hand raising him up as high as possible, then put his back to a tree near the Giants grave. When the fool come up the pretended ghost gave a sad groan. Paddy looked at it said who are you boy. The young fellow said he was the ghost of M’Cool the giant. Then said the fool you are but a trollop of a fellow. I was towl you threw the big stone on a hill near Rock from this to kill the windmill. Now I see it was a humbug you could not threw a goose egg to Rock . By this time the fool saw a bag of birds on the road side which he lifted & ran off. Stop said the ghost that is mine. y’r late Mr ghost said Paddy Black & so it become a byword. One of old fairs was coming round in Rockcorry when it got wing how the fool tree treated the gentlemen & was much laughed at. People are not aware that we had a fair in Rockcorry long prior to any in the three parishes, Ematras, Aughnamullen, Tullycorbet. In my grandfathers day but two houses of any note were in said village. A man called Brabsty Brunkerd lived in one of them that stood in the garden of the late Grayham. The Revd. Dr. Moore preached in the second big house to the present presbyterian house was built by him & at his charge a thing very few knew. The people of Rockcorry have two very great acts of kindness to thank the Moores for. First building them a presbyterian church & next a beautiful arrangement over a will of good water two things that will be a standing monument in memory of that old praiseworthy respectable family.
Brabsty Brunker was a man who had a good standing in this county. He was over the Yeomen & took a responsible position in Ballybay the day of Jack Lawlesses walk Father was speaking to him going that day. He was in military costume & mounted on a Government horse from the Garison at Charleymount. In my fathers early day the fair in Rockcorry was on a rocks near to the present mill. In my early day it was on a green part of which was taken into the Church graveyard. A pump stood in the cowgreen which has long since been filled up.
The meaning of the Sogers well as it was called in Ballybay, it stood near the present Station house, was a very big wide well of grand water. All round it was the cow market reaching to our present fowl market. Young people would go in numberless crowds to get water in the late evenings dance & sing songs. The Railway company brought the water of this well to the county read at the
Constabularly Baricks & strange to say the water is no use. Tradition says Cromwell had an engagement with the natives in the late evening when they ran round the well. Several of Cromwells men tumbled into it & were tramped to death & so it took the name of the Sogers well. Mr. Leslie destroyed a grand well on Pat Bannon's hill by bringing it to the last of Mr. Gilberts row of houses. The Bannons were joiners of a superior class & one of the very old stock of people in Ballybay. Had all the hill from M'Maurices the blacksmith to the bridge at a mear trifle. The last work done by a Bannon is a door on Mr. Franc Boyls front house. Joinery was a fine business when the plank had to be put on a sawpit & cut into all shapes required, now that is all done by steam power. A joiner has only to put work together.
When the Bishops fine residence was being built at Cavan over 30 joiners were employed for a long time. Every bit of wood was out & cleaned by hand.
As I am speaking of old times I will take note of Sam Grays swinging board. People of the present day imagine the idea of heisting Wm the III originated with S. Gray, not so at all. Sam Gray was the great patron of minister Moses Bradford who had plenty of money to lend & kept a loans fund in Grays & had him for clark Sam said to Bradford you should advertise your fund Well said Bradford you love the lily put up a swinging board with Wm. the III to represent yourself on one side and my business on the other & I will pay all costs. The artist who executed the work was a full cousin of my father, John Breakey who was born & reared in the house now inherited by Thos. Henry beside Aughnamullan Church. Breakey got £5 from Bradford for doing his part. When minister Moses Bradford died in 1840 Gray put up a second horse to match the one already up & in consequence obliterated the name of Bradford. S. Gray made himself possessor of all Mr. Bradfords wealth & with it fought the battle with Bradford Stuart the nephew of Bradford. Minister Moses Bradfords chattels come to a round sum by auction.
I find people as a rule are quite mistaken about St. Patrick & the snakes. It is related in the earliest Irish annals (says a writer in Lippincots Magazine) that when the Milesians first landed in Ireland about 1000 B.C. the standard which they bore was a serpent on a crossed staff. This was plased over the entrance of their dwellings, like the later White Horse of the Saxons and the Green Dragon of Wales.
When St. Patrick come to convert Pagan Ireland all other religions of the country had in a great measure yielded to or become merged in Druidism. The
Serpent worshipers were at that time a disadent sect. The good Saint did his mission boldly. He traversed the island preaching the gospel and destroying the pagan idols. He overturned the Druid altars & converted the sacred oaks into fuel. He extinguished the perpetual fires, & used the water of the holy wells for ablution. He overthrew the great idol, Crom, & with his staff he smote & broke to pieces the serpent images before which the people had bowed, forcing them to take refuge in remote & uninhabited places, where they might practise their sacred rites undisturbed. Many who were thus driven out resorted to the desert islands off the western coast. Here we discern the true signifcance of that marvellous story of St. Patrick & the snakes. It was not serpents but serpent worshipers whom St. Patrick drove out of Ireland. The people who live out of West port on the islands are some of the representatives of the snake worshipers refered to. To this day those people can only speak Irish & believe in, misterious things. Strange to say in the 15 centurys which have lapsed since then & in the various disputes & controversies upon the subject, this simple explanation has never presented itself that it was snake worshipers he drove out of Ireland & not the reptile snake at all.
A Bishop called Patricious who come to Ireland some centuries after St. Patrick devoted himself to eradicating the last traces of pagan worship, & blotting out its very memory by burning every bock & manuscript relating thereto, and even forbidding mention of the subject — a deplorable thing by which so much of historic value & interest has been lost to the world. To this is probably owing our ignorance not only of Serpent-worship in Ireland, but of the round towers & those underground cells or cripts which despite the researches of the antiquary, remain still an impenetrable mystery - their origin, their builders, and their very uses unknown.
If ever any of you my children be in London & would wish to know the like of these old things go to the British Museum & look up the old manuscripts. Sister Letiticia & I spent a day in it & as she was a shorthand writer she could take notes from the men in charge who only required a trifle for reading. One of the men gave me the history of the Union Jack.
It is composed of the three national flags of England Scotland & Ireland. The English flag is the banner of St. George — a red cross on a white ground. The Scottish flag is the banner of St. Andrew - a white diagonal cross on a blue ground. The Irish flag is the banner of St. Patrick — a red diagonal cross on a white ground.
After the accession of James VI of Scotland to the English throne in 1603
the English & Scotch flags were blended. This remained the flag of the United Kingdom until the legislation union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801, when the four narrow diagonal lies in red were inserted on the white cross of St. Andrew to represent Ireland in the Union Jack
One of the men directed my attention to the life, wit & humour of Dean Swift which pleased me to a turn. I saw where he had been at Willibly on the London road about 5 miles from Rugby where stood the four cross Inn. The name is not much but its history is curious. Originally it was, Three Cross Inn Dean Swift once called at the house & misliking his reception by the hostess he scratched this couplet on the windowpane You have three crosses at your door, Hang up your wife, & you'll have four. That pun is preserved in the British Museum.
Three young men were walking out of Leeds one day, when Dean Swift was seen in the distance. The boys said to each other we will take a hand at Swift when he comes up. One said good morning father Abraham. The second good morning father Isaac. The third good morning father Jacob. No said Dean Swift I am neither Abraham, Isaac nor Jacob, but I an Saul the son of Kish who went out to seek his father's asses and lo I have found them. Dean Swift died the 19th of October 1784.
I find very few know the origin of the phrase nine tailors make a man. "Nine tailors make a man" grew out of the old [custom] of bell ringing. The ringing of bells was formerly practised from a belief in their efficacy to drive away all evil spirits. The tailors in the above phraise is a corruption of the word “tellers”, or strokes tolled at the end of a knell. In the old times when no newspapers were in existence, the death of an adult of distinction in large towns was announced by nine strokes in succession; six were rung for a woman, three for a child. Hence it came to be said by those listening to the announcement, "nine tellers make a man." As this custom become less general, and the allusion less generally understood, there was an easy transition from the word "tellers" to the more familiar one "tailors" When people over a city would hear the dead knell it caused them to inquire who is dead.
I think I am correct in saying St. Paul's bell in London only gives one knell each day while any of our Royal family are unburied That is taken from the old time referred to. Said bell weighs 8400 lbs. Bells were not used for ecclesiastical purposes till after the sixth century but were not brought to any perfection to the time of Charlymang. Dinner bells was not used to the time of George the III,
In speaking of London in the old time it reminds me of an excuse a young boy would make for smoking. He would say it was a sure preventative against diseases & for proof could give a thing in history. During the great plague in London in 1666, Eton boys were 'regularly compelled to smoke, under penalty of a birching. This was for prophylactic purposes, as a sure preventative & protection against infection That was the year the London monk brought the plague on his clothes to the Monastry in Aughnamullan that killed 11 in one night. Tradition says he did not take it. That about boys smoking can be seen in an old record in the British Museum. One of the men in charge said to me put side by side every book here & it will reach several miles.
I saw a very learned paragraph written. by a botanist proving how we all lived on grass like the cow. Little as you may think it, said he grasses bear fruit, & to grasses we are indebted for the most valuable part of our food. To grass you owe your bread & milk every morning. First, the green covering of our fields, ordinary grass feeds the cow, which gives you her milk; secondly, the corn which makes the bread is another grass, the most valuable of all to us) and the sugar which sweetens all you eat is a gigantic grass, sugar-cane though it be called. rice & maize (corn flour) are both grasses also. Now for grasses generally. Grasses bear fruit, & on their fruit live all the inhabitants of the earth - men & animals as well. It sounds strange to speak of fruit from grasses but what we call seed because it is hard & small, is just as much a fruit as an apple is. Grains of wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice or maize are all fruits inclosing their seed, only so closely & tightly hat the botanist alone can find it out. There are a great many surprises for us in botany, some things to unlearn as well as learn. Every one knows strawberries, & all talk of the delicious fruit!! Well, that sweet, red, juicy mouthful is not the fruit at all! but the yellow dots that cover it which we call seed are really &,truly the fruit enclosing the seed in themselves. Let us go back to the grasses. God who has made mans life to depend so much on grasses, has caused them to grow in all climates; where it is too cold for one He seeds another so that no country is without them in one form or another. Wheat is our staff of life; & wheat is the fruit-bearing grass of the temperate zone.
I heard a story lately of a usurer who on the turn of life imagined his money would be lost to him & that hunger would be the end of him. He took a notion if he could only learn to eat grass it would be a protection against hunger. He had a patch of rank grass in his garden that he thought well to
learn on. This man had long teeth in the front with some clean out leaving a space between which in Irish is called a faunis on a large plan. When he went to eat the grass he found it was a failure as it striped through the spaces. By that means he was cured of being a hyphocondriac.
Speaking of eating grass reminds me of a man who said to me it was the fear of eating grass put me from drinking whiskey. My clergy said to me if you do not swear against drinking whiskey I will have you eating grass like the proud King of Bablin. Did you take the oath said I, on the spot said he, do you think I was going to have it upcast to my breed of people in time to come one of your ancestors eat grass like a cow.
Now I think I will take note of what a grass mouse can do (as the saying is) when properly cooked. The grass mouse differs from ell others, its being much smaller-harmless & having a very long nose of an elastic nature that can be moved in all directions. If an old pan or shovel is put on a clear fire & a grass mouse when dead left on it to singe & dry till it can be ground into a brown powder & given to anyone who wets the bed it is a sure preventative, provided it is given unaware to those who have that horrible weakness. That looks to be cram, no such thing at all I heard of it from a wee boy & I have tried it on. two myself. In the dark one evening I mixed the above powder in sturabout & gave it to a hired boy about 12 years of age. What was the fact I never saw a wet bed under him again. - Since that I gave it to a big soft young servant girl & it cured her to a turn. One night I was sleeping in a gentle-mans house in Dundalk, an acquaintance who was on the turn of life called & was kept for the night & put to sleep with me. On the moment of turning into bed he removed all but the sheet & put on a very fine oiled silk sheet, what is that for said I. I have a sad weakness said he of wetting the bed & I never go out without having this in my pocket, leave it to me said I you will wet no bed with me. For fear said he you will do me a particular favour by letting it stand, I agreed, 'During the night I started him three times & he wet no bed with me. He would often spend an evening here I had a-powdered mouse kept perfectly dry in the wake of him still I never could give it unaware. He was afterwards here & how he cut the cards is a question to be solved. He & his bride emigrated.
Now speaking of strange things Colonel Ker of Mountain Lodge had a very out of the way funeral as ever was heard of in this county over fifty years ago. My uncle Lacky was Crown Solicitor in Monaghan. Knowing an order was taken out for Mr. Kers body & would be in the hands of bailiffs to execute it in less than
three days, wrote to Colonel Ker to that efect & to get out of the way Mr Ker had heart disease & died rather suddenly. Mrs. Ker sent for the Yeomen to bury him as Mr. Ker was over them. It was a Cootehill horse was ordered, strange to say when the coffin was put in the herse with Colonel Kers remains the horses refused to draw a thing they had never done before. Mrs. Ker seeing this called the Yeomen together, gave them a big drink & said to take the coffin & carry it as quickly as you can to Aughnamullan Vault I expect the bailiffs every moment for the Colonels body. In those days your body could be taken dead or alive for debt provided you were not under the sod. Revd Wm. Roper was resident Rector in the parish at the time Mr. Roper ordered out two of his mashines for the funeral. The present sexton of Aughnamullen church was a boy of Mr. Ropers at the time & drove the small mashine & revd. Roper used his coach. When Mr. Roper's machines got the length of Veldons cross they met the funeral about 20 yeomen not pretending to walk but running with the coffin. The illjudgment of Colonel Ker was the death of the soldiers in Crieve doing as he was bid by the leader of the rebels in compelling the soldiers to stack their arms when the rebels rushed in & murdered them. Ever after Colonel Ker stank in the eyes of all people. He & his wife were, death on presbyterians and not one or a roman catholic was at his funeral, nor did Mrs. Ker wish them to be. When the funeral was over Jonny Downy who was a labourer & lived convenient to the Rectory said to Revd. Roper you said this our brother is gone to Heaven & Mrs. Ker tout us to go quick she expected the bailiffs to make him pay his debt. Now who am I to believe if he has not paid people is that the way to go to Heaven. Now Downy when you are so particular (said the Rector Roper) there is no use in telling you anything, you know as well as I do if I do not read the funeral service as it is in the book I will loose the stripes. Now Mr. Roper said Downy I was not near content with you the other day when you said Peggy Scofel was gone to Heaven & you knowing God Kilt her in a bad action by a palatic stroke as he called it. The Rector thought of a much better answer. You know Downy we are not to judge lest we be judged ourselves. By this time the bailiffs had reached Mountain Lodge. They asked Mrs. Ker was the Colonel in the house, no said she be is at the church, When they got to the church one of them asked James M'’Mahon did he see Colonel Ker about lately, no said he, he was in a suit of deal & I am after helping to put him under the sod. You may kiss the hares foot for you are like Paddy Black & the ghost your late.
Any person who questions the truth of this strange funeral has only to ask
Alick Webster who is the sexton of Aughnamullan church at this present time & was a boy driving one of Revd. Ropers mashines at the funeral of Colonel Ker. Very few know my early Huguenot ansestor was the second protestant buried in Aughnamullan. His grave is one of ten or it may be nine. His grave is next the wall and has never been moved, and in consequence is become flat & not so high as the rest.
It was in my early day the law of keeping people in jail to they would pay their debts was done away with. It was a very heavy tax on the county supporting debtors.
I see the last of the old stage-coach drivers with the mail from Kent to London has died at Dover 89 years of age, Mr. Stephen Philpot. His last rout was from London to Hern Bay where ha had five horses to drive at times. It was this man drove the carriage that conveyed the Prince Consort, who had landed at Dover and was proceeding to London for his marriage with Queen Victoria. Mr. Philpot also drove the first carriage in the Duke of Wellington’s funeral procession from Walmer Castle. I remember Dr. Breakey giving his wife and me a "drive from the Garison in Deal to Dover about 4 miles. As well as I remember no fence was in either side of the county road. Some wire fences ran from the road into the fields to define property. My attention was directed to a big dog who was herding sheep off the county road. The dog had a wee house at the end of each wire fence to go into in wet weather & which defined his boundary. What was very strange people on foot often thought to take the dog away with choice bits of meat or cakes. At the end of the boundary you found you were out at the elbows, your-meat & cakes lost for the dog went no farther. I was surprised to see the dog was exactly like a very big staghound, nothing of the sheep dog about him at all.
When coming back I saw a man on a hunting horse feed the dog, which led me to think it was a good distance to where the owner lived. When on the chalk cliffs of Dover I could see France. I went out in a boat to see the Cliffs from the sea. I saw what I believed to be a flat rock as some birds were standing on it short whiles. I bid the sea men to keep clear of the rock. One of them said it was herring spawn had become detached from the bottom of the sea & was afloat, I lifted a handful of it & sure enough I cook see they were fish in hundreds only formin. Some sand & shingle was sticking to the underside of this spawn.
To return to the coach driving, it was reckoned no mean situation driving a stage coach, from four to five horses in hand. It was usually gentlemen who
were the whirs. Those who were brought to that by fast living. Revd. John Loren could tell rather a good story of one time he was going to Dublin on the coach. When the length of Drogheda cool horses were on the street when the warm ones come in to the hotel. A good breakfast was on the table but so warm no one could take it in a hurry. The horn was sounded on the street for all hands to turn out. Some lifted a fowl, others a lump of bread &. beef and taking no notice of the intreaties of butlers to drop the grog rushed out to the coach. Mr. Morell at & took no notice of the fuss to he got the room red, he then gathered all the spoons & put them into a jug of warm water that had a lid on & was seated again when a butler rushed in & said sir the coach is starting. Mr. Morell said you see I am a Clerical man & last in the room, before I leave you had better look after your spoons, not one-single spoon could the feller see on the table but one Mr. Morell had. He rushed out to search the people on ' the coach & caused a regular row. When that was over coachman &-butlers come in to search the dining room. By this time Mr. Morell had taken a good breakfast & said to the men you did not look in the jug. Now said he you have your spoons & I have hid a good breakfast. Let this learn you a lesson to do what is honest & fare & tender or hungry dog a hot pan to lick in a moment of time.
It was an understanding between the coachman & hotel keeper to not give people time to eat all on the table. On Mr. Morell's coming back fool Ned Corry who used to run with the hounds in Crieve turned up in Drogheda to run with the coach to Dundalk & encourage the front wheels by shouting sweet wee wheels never let the big ones overtake you & without shoes or cap could keep up with the coach. It was a very arduous situation to drive a four horse coach prior to the Railways when so many cars & mashines were on the roads to pass & let pass.
I saw a mare in Banana ran in coach a stage 12 miles every day for 15 years on a hard road in Sligo.
I have been hearing some remarkable experiments on insect vitality with the object of ascertaining to what extent motions are made by a body after the head has been separated from it. A scientist has been experimenting with various kinds of insects. Collecting a number of insects, he cut off their heads & then carefully noted what took place.
The following-table shows how long the various insects decapitated by him will move. The cricket is very tenacious of life. After it is decapitated the head will live nine days & the body 78 days. Butterflies movements of the body 18 days, head several hours. Movements of the body of ants 38 hours movements of heads 30 hours.' Wasps 5 days of. the body & 24 hours of the head. Bees of the
body 40 days, heads several hours. Flies 36 hours of the body, heads 6 hours. If left in a dry position will not live long particularly in the strong sun. I believe when a pickle of Indian-corn is opened & examined by a powerful glass it is found to contain several apartments full of dry starch.
I saw a paragraph in a paper on what it costs" for Trade Marks, a thing was quite new to me.. The business of registering trade-marks is bigger & more important than I could imagine-& many members of the legal profession make a good living out of it. The tariff fixed in Zululand, Peru, Hong Kong and Granada for each trade-mark is £39 in gold. Great Britain & France 115. United States least of all countrys ₤11. Canada £12.
As I am turning up things not known to many I take a note of the beer of Burton. The waters-on-Trent posesses certain properties eminent for the process of brewing may be gathered from the fact that four of the greatest breweries in England are situated there. The peculiar value of this situation has not neen a matter of modern discovery, for as early as the 16th century the Monks of the Abbey of' Burton enjoyed a widespread reputation for the excellence of their beer. When Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned at Fatherington Castle she begged the governor that she might be allowed some better ale than that already provided. He acceded to her request, and desiring that the unfortunate lady should have the best procurable at once, sent the order to the Abbot of Burton. How many people are ignorant of the fact that malt liquors in general use prior to the year 1730 were known as ale, "beer and "twopenny"; even porter was not-introduced until about the year mentioned.
I find no one knows how Britain came by the expression He's a brick. It was taken from the Spartans. A very clever story is told of the diplomatic mission from the Court of Epirus. The Ambassador being shown over the city by the King, expressed surprise that no walls were built around Sparta for its defence. Walls cried the King. Thou canst not have looked carefully! Tomorrow we will go together & I will. show you the walls of Sparta. On the following day the King led his guest to where his entire army was drawn up. Pointing with great pride to the magnificent body of men, he exclaimed: There thou beholdest the walls of Sparta & every man a brick. The Spartans were people of few words, and fewer laws', and embodied in short phrases their admiration, dislike, appreciation. He’s a brick was about the highest compliment you could be paid with them and it is that still in Briton among the higher class.
Now I will change the subject to the death of King of the Fiji Islands Thakombau; the late cannibal King of the Fiji. This canibal began his blood-
thirsty career at the tender age of six years, & inaugurated his reign by strangling his mother with his own hands. The influence of heredity was manifest in him, for his father, King Tanau was even a greater fiend than his son, which is saying a great deal. It was formerly the custom in Fiji to kill the victims destined for the ovens with clubs, but king Tanau conceived the pleasant little scheme of making the human joints arrange themselves all ready for cocking, and then roast them alive. If a bit behind his much to be feared father in inquity Thakombau far surpassed him in numbers of people he killed & ate. One of the minor chiefs whose opportunities for murder & cannibalism were presumably more limited than those of his sovereign used to keep count of his victims by means of a pile of stones. These reached a grand total of 872, and King Thakombau is known to have been considerably greater than this. All things considered it is well for the beautiful land of Fiji that King Thakombau is dead. When a wee boy I heard a traveler who had been out in those islands, deliver a lecture in Belfast. He and his party come on a pack of natives who were cooking a girl with a stick ran through her body kept up at either end by stones once in a while turned over a fire. He had no bother in hunting them away & put the body under ground. Returning that way at the end of some days he found it had been raised & likely eaten up. Now my dear children we should thank God we have no wild animals, cannibals or even mad dogs to fear in our country.
Now I think I will vairy the subject & it will make this book more entertaining to my children & youthful people who may look over these lines. It has at all times been my taste to please wee people & never to overlook them in company in particular. When I was at Mr. Ritchies School nothing could give me more pleasure than to represent a hare with a mob after me thinking they were hounds. I was called light foot. When the master would come the length of the school he would say to John Corry did you see light-foot I hear the imaginary hounds out. Now I think I will tell you about as strange a story as ever you heard of a woman who is dead lately & who was born on the battlefield of Waterloo. At Kirkalby Abbey Margaret Tolby was burried at the age of 86, had the unique distinction of being born on the battle field of Waterloo the day after the great battle. Margarets mother was the daughter of a corporal in the Scots Greys & her father was a trooper in the same regiment. On the day after the battle, the corporals daughter &,other daughters of the regiment went out from Brussels to seek for the living amongst the dead. The wounded had already been removed & there only remained only what was considered heaps of slain. After long search she came on the body of her husband, identifying him by the
initials on his clothing which she had worked in worsted with her own hands. She discovered that he still lived, and with the aid of two women she carried him to a place of succour. Overcome by the excitement & anguish of the day, & while still on the field of battle she gave birth to the infant, whose death is now recorded as an octogenarian.
I saw in a paper the death of an old man an elder in Scarva congregation Co. Down who had passed away lately at the age of 103. The paper mentioned the particular things had taken place during his day. Like my father he had all his faquiltys to the moment of death. Was an antiquarian too. Father was born in 1782 and lived to be 98 and 4 months old. Father was loquacious & had wonderful powers of speech, explanation & illustration, like Dr. R. Moore of Rockcorry he was born with the gift of leaving an indellible impression on the memory of the listener never to be forgotten. Hearing Father so often over what he had seen I think I will mention some of the particulars on this sheet.
The war in America brought to a close in 1781. The independence of the 13 States was acknowledged by Great Britain, France & Spain and America become a Republic George Washington being elected President for four years.
Colonel Wellesley afterward Duke of Wellington won his first victory at Assays in 1783. A Society was formed called the United Irishmen in 1791 Rebellion of 1798. The leader Robert Emmett was taken & 7 of his accomplices was tried & condemned to death. The union of Great Britain & Ireland 1801. Napoleon Bonaparte made Emperor of the French 1804. Death of Lord Nelson. Sir John Moore dead at the battle of Corunna. Had a soldiers funeral 1809. Waterloo battle of 1815. Death of George III, 1819. George IV ascended the throne 1820. Cato Street conspiracy. In those days desenters and Roman catholics were not permitted to enter Parliament & were practically excluded from juries & public appointments. The rise of the great champion Daniel O'Connell an Irish barrister of extraordinary eloquence & abilitys. The catholics society come with him which was supported by a weekly tax on the Irish pesentry. O’Connell returned as member for Clare. Being a Roman catholic he was not permitted to take his seat, 1828. The Catholic Relief Bill was passed in 1829. Dan O'Connell was re–elected & took his seat in Parliament under the new law. Death of George IV1830 at Windsor at the age of 68. During his reign many valuable alterations were made in the laws of the country, one of the most important being the abolition of death for the crime of forgery & theft which with a few exceptions
made punishable by transportation. Inaguration of the Police force by Mr. Peel. That is how the police got the name of peelers. Introduction of the Reform Bill 1831 by Lord John Russell. Said bill was passed 1832, and those for Scotland & Ireland on the 17th of July & the 7th of August. This bill was in reference to the franchise. Slavery abolished in British possessions 1833. Building of Workhouses 1834. Question of education brought into Parliament in 1834. Wm. IV died on the 20th of June 1837, at the age of 72. In the-first year of reign of Wm. the IV the first Railway train carrying passengers & drawn by a locomotive steam-engine was completed by George Stevenson. The invention of Safety lamps by George Sephinson & Sir Humphray Davy in 1814. The first steam boat in 1812 plied on the Clyde between Glasgow & Greenock. Queen Victoria daughter of the Duke of Kent who was brother of Wm..IV was suddenly called to the throne by the death of her uncle. Her Majesty was only 18 years of age when crowned in 1837. Queen Victoria was married in 1840, to her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxacoburg & Gotha. The first particular event in her reign was the repeal of the corn law in 1846. The Great Exhibition of 1851 was got up by Prince Albert in Hyde Park. The building was 1,851 feet long 450 ft. wide & covered over 8 acres oft ground. On the llth of October 1851, 110,000 people were admitted. The Great Exhibition building was taken down & erected on a large scale at Sydenham where it is still called the Crystal Palace. I was in it of a very big day. Crimean war 1854. Indian muting 1857. Reform Bill 1869. Education Act 1870. Zulu war & Afgan war 1878-9. Wet Summer of 1800, oats green in stook & meal €2.0.0 per cwt, Flour £3.10.0.' Powdered hair out of fashion in consequence. Puritan shapes of costume out of fashion about 1815. Jack Lawless frustrated in burning Ballybay. Shilling, eightpenny and penny post Emancipation. Grant to Manouth. Telegraph introduced 1836. Spinning Factorys. Power Looms. Gass. Parafin. Disuse of tallow,' resin and rush lights. Sale of green linen webs on benches in Ballybay done away with. Blue linen on benches in the market for sale done away with. Much used by country women for dresses & aprons. Bleachgreens in Crieve & Aughnamullan. Change of the currency. Set tails on horses. Logwheeled & Slide cars in use. Corrabrennon bridge built. Balladian bridge twice built. Oat mills without any mashinery exept the stones to grind the oats. All the houses in Ballybay slated but two. Saw the parish of Aughnamullan with only three slated houses. Saw two men hung on the Gallows Hill at Monaghan, one hung on the hangmans tree in Monaghan. Mrs. M'Conky hung in front of the Gaol in Monaghan in presence of
a large number of people. Saw the old Castle when a very wee boy on the island in the Convent lake Monaghan. Every house built in Crieve but two. Rockcorry all thatched. Dartry Castle built. Glenburn House too. High turf banks at Quinns corner Ballybay College for educating young ministers in the presbyterian church Caghans, Revd. Rogers teacher. No Bank in this county but one kept by Norman Steel of Carickacross. Had a Government protection at his house & an escort once a week to & from the Bank of Ireland Dublin. Steel discounted all the bills for linen merechants and others. Saw Aughnamullan Church built & secondly renovated by Revd, Elias Tardy. Rockcorry Presbyterian Church built by the Revd. Dr. Moore at his on charge. Yeomen disbodied. Several free Mason walks. Quarterly Petty Sessions established. National Schools too. Saw a big cow fair in Newbliss, Rockcorrie &rd Ballytrayn. A horse fair in Monaghan & Cootehill. None in Ballybay or Clones. Saw this county without one pielle of white oats. County Monaghan without one single mowing, threshing, churning or sawing mashine. The last sitting of the Irish Parliament in Dublin 1800. Origin of Home Rule movement in Ireland 1870. Disestablishment of the Church 1869. Birth of Chs. Stewart Parnell 1846, Co. Wicklow man, the great philanthropist of the tenant farmer in Ireland. Mr. Robert Ker of Newbliss had the last funeral in this county where every tenant present got a hat, & shoulder scarf of white linen. All clerical men too. Potato blight, famine in consequence 1846–7. Dry summer of 1860. Famine at the crib & stake in consequence. This parish in 1847 with only one pig alive. Hay in 1851, 15/-. per cwt. Pack of hounds shot by Mr. Hugh Jackson & in one pile for being mad. The last pack shot for eating the huntsman. Windy night of 1839. Soldiers killed in Crieve 1798. Rinderpest in Britan. Beef 2/– per lb. in London in consequence. Introduction of American fresh beef too. Habeas Corpus Act. Last funeral cry in this parish in 1808. A band of women in front of the funeral with some professional paid cryers among them & at times chanting over all the good acts of deseased. At the lifting of the coffin crossing the townmarch & entering the graveyard come the strange plaintive never to be forgotten cry. This cry reminds me of a very popular wee book when I was a small boy. Blair on the grave in blank verse poems. It runs in this way.
But see! the well plum' d hearse comes nodding on
Stately & slow; and properly attended.
By the whole sable tribe, that painful watch
The sick man's door, and live upon the dead
By letting out their persons by the hour to cry,
To mimic sorrow, when the heart's not sad.
An old custom quite done away with from Father was a wee boy till renewed by Captain Wells and Mr White John Jackson uncovering their heads in respect of Gods will when meeting mothers remains in the hearse . When at the funeral of my brother Robert in Mayo Ballana, in passing through the streets to Ardnaru Church graveyard, children took off their caps & even old woman cap with borders. A country man at West Port that Robert had been the means of protecting him from being auctioned out of a very fine property asked me as a special favour if I would permit him to pay a band of professional cryers at my brothers funeral to chant over his good deeds & cry as his remains passed though the streets of Ballana. I said no. Well said he I will uncover my head from he gets the first lift to the last and say at the grave God save him cindly & give him a happy resurrection." It is simply wonderful the changes father saw in his day. The past 30 years since he died father saw in his day a lot of changes & inventions. Telephone, Fonograph, Electric cars. Land Act. Boer war. Death of Queen Victoria. Hand peat all over Ireland. Penny post to all our British possessions. Prince of Wales King Edward VII of Great Briton and Ireland.
I often think of the quiet life Grandfather Breakey lived, no secret societys except Free masons & they lived for love & friendship with all men. Father come in the days of agitation. United Irishmen. White Boys. Break of day boys Orangemen. Ribbon men. Fenians. Molly M'Guires. Murderers of Landlords.
Two grand old customs he quite outlived elderly men in Caghans in the time of Revd, Rogers Derryvalley in the days of Revd., Arnold, James Morell and in Creivagh up to the death of Revd. Thomas Cathcart. Those elderly men would often gather a ring of young people round, explain Bible questions, the Catechism, Commandments & such. I have been in the ring in Crievagh before divine service & again at intermission & I heard things explained in powerful language I never could forget. Such questions as what is the meaning of Mountain men as Covenanters were called. What was & protestant wherein do we differ from Roman catholics in our religion. Who was the Puritans. What is willworship. One thinks of a Schripture character, others ask questions to find out who it was. What was the meaning of protestant. The second old custom done away with. Elderly men in a congregation visiting the sick. Father had a cotcher woman who had a very long & bad disease joint evil in her back. She would frequently reflect on God for tormenting her so much. Father was remonstrating with her about that sort of talk. She got very displeased & ordered a son present to raise her up till she would curse God & die. Sad to say she did. die in a
moment of time, Father was very much shocked.
My children tell me a good thing that brings me back to early boyhood such a person was out of another. Lately the two Miss Thompsons of Shantna were passing the school, the little girls gathered round them to have a bit of fun. One of the sisters said to the other who is this noisy gisha, the answer come she is out of white Tam Breakey. That reminds me of a story I heard of Revd. R. Ross of Drumkeen who was noted for a pleasing & rather exentric way he had of expressing himself. One time he pas preaching in 1st. Ballybay church, the chapter he gave out to read had a good deal of the genealogys in it. Now good people said Mr. Ross you see these names ere hard to pronounce, suffice to say they are out of other to such a verse. Then let us start at that point & reed on.
Though Mr. Ross was one of the old school still he very much disliked a presenter to chant a psalm line by line & then singing it. One time he was in Newbliss preaching, he gave out the 23rd psalm. The clerk chanted the first two lines. Mr. Ross tapped the presenter on the head & said leave your book aside & quit y'r chanting, I take it for granted every one in the house could repeat that psalm. Begin again & I will help you. When the psalm was sung Mr. Ross said to the congregation is that not lovely & sung to a turn. Revd. Richard Ross was brother to Colonel Ross of Liscarney. Men of rank & distinction in this county from a very early date.
That of people expressing themselves in an agreeable pleasing and rather exentric manner, When I was a wee boy is now I regret to say become a thing of the past. I remember when I could thatch houses with men & women who cultivated that style of expression to the very highest degree Mrs. M'Lean of Cooryhagan was about the last of them. One day the late Earl of Dartry, Lord Lieutenant, Revd. Elias Tardy come in off the lake to have a bit of fun with her. The Earl asked her how it was she got married out from such a set of old bachelor brothers. She answered him in rime.
I often heard of married life for pleasure had no equal
so I resolved to take a man & try & rear some people.
Like the people of old she would master or mam no person, but by way of paying the Earl of Dartry a particular compliment to the no shall amusement of the gentelmen she would call him Mr. Cremorne. When the Revd. Tardy would say a thing up to date in her estimation, she would say Tardy y’r the boy. The Lord Lietenant had a sup of whiskey diluted with lake water to it was no use. He asked her to take a drop of it on leaving. No person in those days had a notion
(not even a beggar at y'r door) of taking a drink without drinking a health so she come out in this way “her's big man that you may always look well like a white cow in a hog and that you may live to I go to kill you & I am, sure when I do that you will be as grey as Mathusalh's cat" When she took a taste of what was in the flask Mr. Tardy said that will not make you drunk. Now said she if I would take the full of that measure of whiskey & throw it in the Majors lough at Ballybay I would expect to be able to lift as good a glass of grog out in the lake here after my whiskey had traveled two miles with the stream.
When the Loud Lieutenant was leaving, she said to hire I wonder y'r not married, you that has such a fine run for a woman. If you be in this neighbourhood at any time please call & make your Kaly. It may be I will hear of some brave girl would answer your complent & sure I could run her out before you. When he got out he asked Mr. Tardy what she ment by the word Kaly an uninvited visit country people pay each other was the very expressive answer.
Wm. Todd our neighbour had an abrupt, kant, amusing way of expressing himself. One time he went to see a neighbour woman who was thought to be on her deathbed When leaving she said Wm. dear I will be in Heaven before night, come Betty, said Wm. quit your bouncing to you, get out of purgatory first
Father got Wm. to be a Covenanter & to come to Society in this house; when it came Wm's turn to reed sing & pray Wm. was like a lot of men in his day did not go to church & was as ignorant of prayer as preaching, when he was asked to pray he thought when he was in Rome he would do as Rome did. It was a very wet late harvest & people felt vary sad at heart over the prospect of bad meal, Wm. thought he would remind the Powers above of his premise and said you have promised us seed time & harvest & why do you not do it before all is lost. A jury was called over Wm's prayer & the verdict was like that writing on the wall. Thou art weighed in the balance & found wanting. The next time be stood up in the Society he was met with a rebuke somewhat similar to that an old lady met with in the Quaker meeting house in Lisburn. When the Spirit moved her to speak she made the grave mistake of saying shun the good & do the evil. An old rabbi across the house said by way of rebuke sit thee down sister Abigale thou hast said quite enough. Father took in hand to learn Todd to pray & in a short time he regained the stripes & was reckoned to be rather handy at prayer among them.
Father was talking to Wm. after the murder of Owen Murphy, Father said
the Devil met with Gray that evening, no such thing said Wm. I was at a preaching in Rock that evening & the Devil was surely there for he made the preacher tell a lie and a hundred times worse than that he impeached God with telling a lie, for he said he had lived 20 years without sin. God says in the Bible no man liveth & sinneth not, and again he who saith he hath no sin calleth God a liar & the truth is not in him & in another place we are born in sin & shapers in iniquity Now said Wm. to father you are not giving the Devil common fare play, you know the Devil is not omnipresent he could not be in Rock & Ballybay at the one & the same time, you are floared I think I have put the box on the hackles said Wm.
Wm. was death on drinking whiskey, one time he said to an habitual drunk and I wonder at you destroying your means, health, happiness and family drinking whiskey, well said the man I am allays cowl & I take whiskey to make me warm, a woman told me lately she took whiskey to keep her cool now said Wm. which of you am I to believe. One thing I know said Wm. it makes some people do mean things, tell lies, laugh, sing, curse, steal, murder, commit suicide, delirium, adultery, cry, insane, tremulous, blind and what I detest religious, piety on a foundation of whiskey is unpardonable. Father heard a drunk man striving to sing The Lord is my Shepherd. It is the Devil you mean said Father he has charge of the goats. Father said you remind me of the Devil clipping pigs you have more noise than wool.
A gentleman was giving a lecture in our school house lately on the evil consequences of drinking whiskey One thing turned up during the evening that every thing done on a foundation of whiskey was badly done & must come to grief. That reminds me of a story I heard once of a temperance bachelor who went to see a girl who had him specially invited, After had had asked her in marriage he thought well. to taste her head why Betty said he you are full of whiskey you have a sad stove of it off you. She felt very small beer but on the spur of the moment she thought of herself & said I have a bad stomach & whiskey is my cure well said he you have two bad complaints. I fear you are no fit for me so I think I will put my foot on what we were talking about & he was like a her on a hot griddle to he got in the sunny side of the latch. A neighbour woman who heard of the fellows business called & asked the girl would the match go on, I think not, how is that Betty, you know my face is yellow & to make myself purty & rid luckin & be good crack for the bachelor I tuck a brave drop of whiskey. After he axed me in marriage he went to give
me a kiss, indeed he went modestly & nately about it but luck that he found the smell of the whiskey off me & to excuse myself I said I had a bad stomach & had to take whiskey to cure me. He toul me I had two bad faults & that I was no fit for him. After that he was like a stray cat in a house till he got away. Now Betty said the woman you should have known that any thing done under the influence of whiskey is like the house we reed of in the Bible that was built on the sand when it was put to the test it went to the bad.
I had a neighbour boy who went to see a widdow with the intention of marrying the sitting down & as it is called & asking her to the wedding. He was under the influence of whiskey, he was talking over a lot of things but neglected the one thing needful she thought she would put him to the scratch by saying Jos. if you love me & cannot express it press my hand he did not feel inclined to grip her fist which left her to rest on the horns of a dilemma feeling very small beer, however he & she met in a whiskey house in Ballybay where the match was nettled & the wedding day appointed. He was a useless, laisy, sycophant, who had nothing to recommend him to any woman but a good presence. He and she pulled through for a number of years like two goats on a string to the family got up when she & they deserted him & left for America. His landlord died & the next one knew not Joseph & evicted him out of the farm for nonpayment of rent,
He got dirty in the strict of the term, after he would sit here a while & leave my old housekeeper would put his seat on the yard to the hens would pick (in compliment to them I will call them parasites), for fear the hens had not done the work properly she would use a hot water application which was bound to annihilate Josuah's old & troublesome friends. The end was he died in the Workhouse, like the little song none to love me none to regret. That was a marriage got up on a foundation of whiskey, that had a sad and tragic end. I asked a neighbour of Josua one time who was not a predestinarian if marriages were made in Heaven about as much as your fireirons were made in it was the answer, do you think was Josua's wedding made that way, no such thing it was made-in a whiskey house in Ballybay where the Devil & his emissary's reigned high sheriff.
My brother Robert was in office life in Dublin for over 60 years, a failure in Derry caused his employer to send Robert & one of the counter men to take stock & look after the debt. Robert sent me a telegram to say he would like me to go in to the Station to see me. It was a time of deep snow & frost, my old housekeeper was a fast friend of Robert, she said she would go in too & bring a good quart of soop to my brother which she had warmed up in the Station
house. He was very much pleased to get it took breakfast in Enniskillen on reaching it & got into Derry in good spirits. The man who was along took warm brandy in Drogheda, Dundalk, Clones & Enniskillen and what was the end of it he was not able to reach Derry to he was in the hands of a Dr. & very ill for days. He was laughing at Robert & the soop in Ballybay, Robert anticipated what would be the end & said to him you will be crying I fear before we reach Derry, so it was true.
Mr. Brennan, P.P. of Aughnamullan was a man like his relations people of the old school who were the esteem of their protestant neighbours by truthfulness, liberality of mind and disgust of pretence. The priest was going into Ballybay in the evening of Patricks day the 17th of March, when in shout of Ballybay he saw a drunk man sitting on the road side & shouting St. Patrick dear I am suffering sore for you, when the drunk man come to find the priest was at hand he got on his knees to pray & was about as ignorant of prayer as preaching, all he could think of on the spur of the moment was
St. Patrick was a gentleman & come of dasent people,
he built a church in Dublin & then raised the steeple
then would finish up with Saint Patrick I am suffering soar for you poor dear. Mr. Brennan got off his mashine & rebuked the fellow for mock of prayer our good patron Saint Patrick who brought Ireland out of Druidism & Snakeworship. The fellow got it stammered out of him you know your Reverence it is not the words of the like of me uses in prayer has the weight with it, it is the intention. Revd. Father Brennan treated his remarks with silent contempt raised him by the ear & put him back to the town where he was cleaned & well treated at the priests expense.
Not knowing how to pray reminds me of a story I heard of Frith Thompson & two other young men who were out in a small boat on Lough Erin a dash of wind wet come off the high hills about Purtora school that nearly swamped the boat. Seeing nothing for it but a watery grave, Pray for us Frith was the shout, I do not know how was the answer, no excuse would do so Thompson put himself into position & then come, how doth the little busy bee, the boys called out that is no prayer. Frith Thompson answered them exactly as the drum man answered his priest. It is not the words we use in prayer it is the intention does the work. By this time they all saw a pleasure steam boat called the Devenish that run from Enniskillen to Beleek, Frith Thompson put up a red hankerchief. The captain saw it at once & put on full steam & was in time to save all. When all were safe on the steam boat, now said Frith you see what my prayer & the
red hancherchief done. One of the boys said I will keep to my amusement the horses back where I will require no prayer. Strange to say that very fellow was killed off a horses back in a moment of time.
Before I go into ether things I think I will mention a story in full very much admired in my first book for its Morals. It teaches a lesson to us all never to be forgotten. An artizan in Southhamton killed himself with whiskey when his family were very small. The eldest boy took a temperance ticket when very young & never violated it. When a strong boy he said to his mother I would like to be a Soldier, well my boy please yourself you will have luck go at what you will. After that he was ordered out to the Crimean war, when he was on the big troopship at Southamton with 1700 on board his mother saw him look very so.so. on the ship before leaving. In presence of all hands his mother clapped him on the back & said do not be afraid Billy you were a dutiful good boy to me & helped me to rear the family. God says in the 5th command—went that you are to live long. Now boy you have Gods word for it not mine I defy the Russian to make the shot that will kill you. If I heard you were put in a gun & fired five miles off you would drop on your feet like the cats & not be one bit the worse. The boy was at the deadly engagement of Balaclava where he got a rifle shot & was brought into the Dr's. tent Miss Nightingale was under the sheets she being a Southhamton lady recognised the young soldier, she got off his uniform at once, seeing a bullet had entered in at the front of his chest & passed out at his back she said my dear boy you have got a deadly shot & will be alive no time, no such thing said he I am to live long. In the face of common sense said she what makes you say that. Mother said to me leaving her I had Gods word for it to live long. The Dr. who was dressing a mans rist who had got the hand shot off hearing the answer of the young soldier turned round & looked at the boys wound. No fear of this shot killing you said the Dr. the ball has passed in between the rib & skin & ran round to your back & then out you will have a black mark half round you shortly but in the end it will do you no harm. What was the fact he come home & lived to see his grand children & to be a farther blessing to his mother. Were it not that he got no education he would have been promoted, as it was he got a grand easy situation at Aldershot. He was 6ft. 4in. & 16 st. weight when 30 years of age. When Miss Nightingale come home at the order of Queen Victoria she was brought into her presence. When speaking of what she had come through she mentioned the young soldier Billy. The Queen said she must see that soldier. When he was leaving her Royal presence she paid him the very high compliment of saying
she wished her ranks were made up of such men who were ballproof - - - Now I think that story is a gem of the first waters never to be forgotten that by doing our duty we are bound to do well. Now my youthful reeders I wish you all to learn a lesson from this story & others in my books that by doing parental duties in particular you will inherit two of the greatest blessings on earth long life & good health.
I am frequently asked who was Miss Nightingale. She was a Southamton young lady who volunteered to go out to the Russian was to help Dr's. to dress the wounds of soldiers. She was the great philanthropist of woman who gave so many respectable girls of slender means the idea of being independent & to go cut as hospital nurses & various situations too numerous to mention in the civil service.
Queen Victoria presented a beautiful jewel to Miss Florence Nightingale as a token. of Her Majesty's gratitude to this excellent lady for her patriotic exertions in alleviating the sufferings of our brave soldiers during the Crimean war. The jewel mentioned bears the beautiful & appropriate inscription "Blessed are the merciful."
Now my youthful friends. I think I will tell you about two famous diamonds. The Pigot diamond was value for £40,000 & was disposed of by lottery very many years ago. A young man won it & the Pasha of Egipt bought it at ₤30,000: & it afterwards ornamented the sword of State of Bonaparte.
Now I will tell you of the famous Sancy diamond. Charles the Bold Duke of Burgundy was the first owner; it was captured from him by the Swiss at the battle of Granson in the year 1476. This diamond afterwards belonged to a gentleman called Sancy who called it after his own name Henry III of France enjoined it on him to send the diamond to pledge it, but the servant entrusted with it, being attacked by robbers, swallowed it & was murdered. It was recovered again by Sancy ordering the corpse to be opened, & it was found in his stomach. James the II possessed this diamond when he fled to France & Louis XV wore it at his coronation.
New as I am refering a little to history, I will say something about the oak will be new to some person. No tree is so woven into our island history as the oak tree or I should say Island storys. The Druids deemed it holy & held their religious ceremonies under its branches their priest: wore chaplets of its leaves & their sacrificial victims were bound under it & to it. The ships that made England mistress of the seas were built of its wood. Tyrel's oak in the new forest marked the spot where according to tradition where Wm.
Rufus was killed by Tyrell's unlucky arrow. Robin Hood's trysting place for his merry men was an oak in Welbeck Park. It was an oak in which Charles II hid from his pursuers at the battle of Worchester an event which is still commemorated in some country places by the wearing of oak leaves on May 29. Then there is Horn's oak in Windsor Forest which was supposed to be haunted by the ghost of Horne the hunter & which Shakespeare has immortalized in the Merry Wives of Windsor.
About 40 years ago I saw a procession of dray horses in Liverpool on the 29 of May. The horses were decorated with oak leaves. Horses went two together with nothing but very elaborate harness on them. A merchant told me his set of dray harness for four big black Flemish horses cost £100 & was only used the one day in each year. If you would not produce your dray horse or swear him sick on that day for him to go in the procession starting at the Exchange, by order of the Mayor of the City you would be fined in £2.0,0.
My young friends you will be surprised to hear how many oak trees it takes to make a 74 gun ship. A printed report made to the House of Commons states two thousand trees of 75 years growth. It requires 50 acres of ground to produce them, & they yield 3000 loads of timber. It is by the number of her guns a man-of-war is estimated. They reckon she costs 1000 a gun without her rigging but the iron clad vessel now used costs very much more. When the Spanish Armada was sent out against England, the invaders were ordered to destroy the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire where the best oak is grown. Now I will tell you of an oak was felled in 1810. It was called the large Golinos Oak. It grew near Newport in Monmouthshire & was 28 ½ feet in circumference. Its rings amounted to 400 a proof that this tree had not ceased to live or grow for 400 years. The value of it when felled, the bark brought 200 pounds & its timber £670. The oldest oak in England is called the Parliament Oak from Edward I holding a parliament under its branches, The tree is supposed to be 15 hundred years old.
This tree stands in Clifton Park, belonging to the Duke of Portland, it is the most ancient park in all England having existence before the Conquest. The tallest oak in England is at Walbeek Abbey in Nottinghamshire the property of the same nobleman, it is called the Dukes walking stick & is 120 feet high. This Abbey is noted for its extraordinary oaks. The Greendale Oak is the largest its branches cover a space of 700 square yards. A coach road is cut through this aged tree. The two porters 100 feet high stand near
to one of the entrances to the park. Another called the Seven Sisters from which seven stems spring 90 feet in height. The largest oak in England is called the Calthrop in Yorkshire, it is 78 feet round. When the Saxons ruled over England acorns were the riches of the land: a dearth of acorns was regarded then as a calamity equal to a dearth of corn now, no corn was grown in England in those days. Large herds of swine were fed on acorns in every forest under the conduct of a swineherd who tended them during the day, and summoned them by a blast of his horn at nightfall. The largest oak ever I saw was in a forest near to Nottingham. The tree that Robin Hood stood behind when he killed the two men with his arrows who were about to murder the King, as a reward the Sheriff of Nottingham had a counter order from the King not to injure Robin Hood. I red a 5/— book last year of the beautiful & romantic story of Robin Hood.
Some people tell me-there was no such man, any person who has been in Nottinghamshire would be cured of that delusion. I treat such remarks with silent contempt on the ground where ignorance is bliss it is folly to be wise. Robin Hoods father was Richard II. His mother was a woman of high rank but not of noble birth. Robin Hood was the illegitimate son of Richard II.
His mother seeing he was going to be a wild reckless man asked him to make a vow to the effect he would never see a woman ill used or led astray, he did so & kept his vow faithfully, but to the disgrace of women it was an old lover was the means of his death, Robin had courted her for a number of years when she asked him one day did he mean to marry her at all, he said seeing the wild life he had led without house or home & that the King had an offer out of 100 pounds for any one who would produce his head he thought he would not marry any one. She was so riled & vexed she went into a nunnery beside Nottingham, very many years after Robin become ill. In those days it was the monks & nuns were the doctors, Robin's men brought him to the very nunnery where his old sweetheart was. She at once recognised him but Robin had quite forgotten her, behind backs she bid the monk to overbleed him, finding he was sinking he pulled his arm from the monk, took his horn from under his cloak and blew it, his men who were outside rushed in, he had strength to tell them what was done & to prop him up to he would shoot an arrow out of the house & wherever it would light that was the spot to make his grave. Little John his leading man asked him would they burn the nunnery & all the women in it. No said he my vow will not permit one of them to be injured.
That was about the first nunnery Henry VIII destroyed. I stood on the top of the old ivy clad walls. The old woman in charge had a big room to entertain tourists & after I got a bit to eat the old woman took me up winding steps to I would see her feathered cats as she called them, owls in other words. She took four wee ones only unshelled & put them over on a shelf. Then she said to the old one leave your brats back. The mother flew over& took one at a time in her claw & left them in the nest. Then she took the old mother & put her on the shelf, she said to the cock bird go you & bring Susy to her nest, The cock hovered over her to he got his claws fixed in her wings & then passed across quite silently. The wee ones were lovely things like wee balls of white wool showing no claws & eyes like two black beads. The woman had me warned to not put my hand on them as they would turn on the back & sink claws in my hand.
I saw a very big oak tree at Hampton Court Windsor the old residence of Cardinal Wolsey in his palmy days in the reign of Henry VIII. It was a tree of very. great antiquity, a man beside it told me he would gather sacks of acorns off it and get them dried & ground & his poultry would thrive on the meal. Four of the largest beech trees in Ireland are to be seen near to the village of Lucan seven miles from Dublin. Those trees grow in a common or glebe & are 100 feet high without a branch to near the top. The first time Queen Victoria visited Dublin she went to see those trees & other strawberry beds on an outside car. That was the time the song was got up Do you want a car your honour.
As I have been writing a little on my pet subject English history I think I will turn up a subject new to a lot of people. Some time ago I saw an officer at one of our Stations. He had two small blue pigeons in a cage, I saw a wee fable hanging to the neck of one of them, I asked the gentleman was the birds carrier pigeons he said yes & that hen bird was the first to bring the tidings that Ladysmith was besieged to our garden in Capetown. You can see on the card what was the news. Ladysmith besieged relieve us if you can. The cock bird brought the news of Queen Victoria's death in the Isle of Wight to London & travelled at a rate of near 100 miles an hour. Young people ask, me how these birds go where. required. They must be brought by hand prior to a message being sent. Then fed well & let off, strange to say the first thing it will do is rise out of sight & then take home. A set of sharpshooters are in the wake of those birds all round a besieged city during the day & in the old time a man who could take one on to the ground with a message was sure of promotion.
That breed of pigeon is much used in England by artizan people to fly on bets. I saw two pigeons come into Sheffield flying against each other. The pigeons are sent by hand sometimes across England fed & then 1et off & the first home lifts the money for that side. When the telegrams pigeons off comes men on oath are set to watch the moment a pigeon is home. Those birds have been known to drop dead of exaustion the moment they arrive at home. A Rector in Sheffield in speaking of those pigeons told me a story of a poor goodnatured artizan who had a heart love for flying pigeons on bets. This man was a dry grinder which is a very trying business on the health. The wages is very big which enables them to only work about half time. Those men wore goggles on their eyes & respirators on the mouth to protect them from taking in the steady flash from the steel when it touches the dry stone. After all that precaution the dry grinder as a rule die of Hemerage of the lungs. It is Dr's. instruments & the better class of things are ground in that way. One of these poor grinders come to be ill, the Rector above mentioned saw him every day & had him partly enlightened in the way of salvation. One night. the poor man said to the Rector did you say in your prayer last night that I would be an Angel, likely I did was the answer. Will those angels have wings on them, it is said so. Do you think will you have wings on you & be an Angel too & see me in Heaven. I flatter myself with the idea all you say will come true, well bare in mind when you & me meet in Heaven I will fly with you for £50 aside. The poor fellow died in 5 hours after, still the ruling passion was strong even in the face of death. The time I refer to is about 30 years ago when the artizans of England were very ignorant of letters & religion. That was why compulsory education was foursed on them
A minister in Leeds was telling me one Sunday he was in the pulpit, his text went so (as I - I forget it all), this part of it Jesus I know, Paul I know but who are you. He repeated the text frequently & using hand eloquence pointed to the door where a young girl & her 5 wee brothers had taken a seat. Not one of them had ever been in a church but passing & hearing fine music were tempted to go in. When the minister had repeated the words of his text four times & ended up with who are you pointing in her direction. The lass got to her feet & said I beg to be excused merry genteels I am one Nel Jackson & these are my five brothers Barney, Hair, Dan, Timothy & Joe & we are going to see a married sister out of the city. She again escused herself & left to the no small amusement of the people & minister too. A minister who saw an artizan on a seat looking to be in very ill health in Birmingham asked him about his
health, the men said he had heart disease expected to drop dead any moment. The minister found he was very ignorant on the subject of a hereafter & asked him did he ever hear of Jesus Christ's death, nay was the answer. Do he be a gentleman living in the Westend. Queen Victoria could be dead for me. I did not get an Almanac or paper this three long days.
To return to the subject of the messenger pigeon, when letters cost 2/‑ by hand post to Dublin my ancestors used pigeons at times to bring messages from the Linen Hall Dublin & long after that Joseph Nelson in Crieve used them with his bleaching friends in Lisburn & Belfast. The Puritans used thee very much when in England & took some out to America. The wild pigeons in America are descended from the Puritan messenger & are so numerous they are looked on as a pest. One time my sister Mary was at breakfast in a friend’s house in a Northern St. About 4st. of wheat was uncovered when the men came in to breakfast, news come in that the pigeons were on the uncovered wheat. One of the men said those pigeons have no fear of man or guns & will not leave to all is gathered up, they come from the unknown woods in clouds as it were, no bird in creation has such quick powers of digestion as a pigeon & that is how a naturalist proves how far a messenger pigeon can fly in an hour. Carolina rice has been found in the crop of a messenger pigeon's in the state of New York not in the least digested.
I think I am the best man on pigeons of my day in this county, when a boy I had several good breeds time after time & had all the qualifications & colours like a song, I never kept the breed we see every day called Runts. The White Fantail was my pet bird the cock would strut about exactly like a turkey cock in spring. The Carrier is a name given to three breeds I never had & so long noted for their powers of flight & their attachment to the home in which they were reared & first flown, Horseman, Dragoon & Skinum. Dragoon is by far the best on the wing. The Pouter did not do with me. It is a very curious bird can inflate its crop with wind to, it is like a big ball. The Tumbler has a very strange way of taking a summersault in the air when flying. Jacobine is a grand bird I had often. It has a clean white head enveloped in a frill or hood of dark feathers. The Trumpeter has a lovely tuft of feathers on the front of the head like no other pigeon & it has feet & legs heavily feathered. I never had the Turbit. It has an open frill up its breast. The Nun is a lovely variety of pigeons. As a rule it is white with the head cowered with a black veil a tuft of feathers rising from the back of the head
& bending forward like a hood or veil thrown a little back. When I was at the Model School Saintfield & living with my brother James who backed me up in the rearing of pigeons I was able to sell £2 worth of Nuns alone in six months, I never had the Archangle or Barb it is distinguished from all other varietys by having a broad red ring round the eye which gets larger every year to the bird is four years of age. The Friezeland & Frillback are the most strange pigeons of all quite as rough as a ruck hen, I would give my pigeons lots of coarse granulated salt, I kept bags near them, so as they are powerful pigeons are not particular as to the quality. Lavender & assafortida being equally appreciated,. If you have Lavender in the garden pigeons will break off sprigs & garnish their nests with it pigeons have such a love for scents I have had them to sit on me when I would put scent on my handkerchief or hands. Now I think I have turned up a point on pigeons new to a lot of boys of the present day.
The pigeon house at the top of the mound behind Aughnamullan Rectory is of very great antiquity. Tradition says it was built by the monks when in possession prior to Oliver Cromwell's day & the ground floor was used to confine obstreperous monks who were not doing their duty.
I saw a paragraph in a Childs paper some time ago was new to me. Birds considering their size eat a great deal more food than we do. Fancy what mother would say if baby wanted his own weight of mutton chops every day. She likes her boy to have a good appetite for his bread & mil1k; but if he needed a joint of mutton or meat of any kind as big as himself the butcher's bill would be rather heavy. The birds butcher's bill is very heavy, only they pay it in hard work instead of silver. A young robin eats just at the rate of a baby who waited his weight in mutton chops. Madam Robin has not just one baby to feed, but four or five & she must furnish their dinner: which last all day, from the first streak of dawn till sunset & find grubs worms & insects to pop into the gaping yellow bills. It is wonderful how all the young & old birds find the weight of themselves of such food every day, still it is done. It is our friends the birds prevent insects & such pests increasing into destructive swarms, to eat up every green thing in the garden. It is said that one pair of jays will eat five hundred thousand caterpillars in a season, so no wonder they are so busy looking for food & yet the birds have time to sing. The bird who live on fruit & berries have bigger appetites still, & will eat three times their own weight every day; though the thrushes & blackbirds live mostly on meat,
snails being a very favourite article of food.. Why do the birds want so much to eat. For several reasons, we must remember if the bird has a large butcher's bill to pay fruieurs too he has no drapers or milners bill; & yet he wears the best of clothes. Perhaps we should want the bigger dinners if we had to grow all the coats & dresses & shoes & stockings & hats we wear. We want food to make our bodies grow & to repair the waste always going on, & also to keep us warm; but while the bird has all this to do , he has also to grow his clothing & feathers require deal of food for their manufacture. Then the bird's blood is warmer than ours & if greater heat is kept up, more fuel of course must be burned up & this means more heat producing food consumed. Now I think that about birds is new to a lot of us & well worth our observation. I have heard people from America say if poultry would get soft food it would freese in the crop. the bird drop dead. The food being outside the body the capillary fires were not fit to warm it. Speaking of inward fires it reminds me of a Dr. who ordered a woman in a very weak state a big bottle of porter every day. She managed to take one & then thought she found it like a lump of snow in her body for days. Her husband went to the Dr. to tell him how his wife felt & answering a fool according to his folly the Dr. said this is a very frosty time, when the thaw comes your wife will be well enough & get rid of the lump.
This story reminds me of another, a man who was rather hypochondriac. One time he imagined he was ill & a Dr. ordered him to take a big bottle of porter or mere if he liked. It was a frosty time & like the woman he felt as if the drink was a lump of snow in his body. He sent the wife to the Dr. to say how he felt, tell him said the Dr. his temperature is too high & that frosty lump will keep his temperature in moderation to the thaw comes when it is bound to melt & come away & then he will feel so lovely & cool. You fool said the man to his wife you should have said to him my temperature was below Zero & that I would be in a plank of ice before morning, get two potlids & warm them, & I will sit on one & put the other before me & then the lump is bound to melt. The woman put one warm lid in a big easy chair, he was in such a fuss to melt the imaginary lump he did not give the wife time to put a cloth on the lid but sat on it as it was. He leaped off as quick as he got on it & jumped about the room like a lunatic shouting the cure is worse than the disease. His wife was matter afact & like the Dr. answering a fool according to his folly said leap your best & get warm & then the lump is bound to go. What am I to do for
my backside this is in a big cinder. You stand so much in office life said the wife you can do without one, why said he you are a regular fool all through & your remarks are simply absurd. That woman pleased me to a turn in the story for I would clean the like of that fellow's backside with a whin-bush.
Now I think I will vairy the subject & turn up things not known to young people as a rule. The Chinese do every thing backward. They exactly reverse the usual order of civilization. The Chinese compass points to the South instead of North. The men wear skirts & women trousers. The men were long hair & the women short. The men carry on dressmaking & the women carry burdens. The spoken language of China is not written, & the written language is not spoken. Books are read backward, & what are called foot notes are inserted at the top of the page. The Chinese surname comes first instead of last. The Chinese shake their own hands instead of the hand of those they greet. The Chinese dress in white at funeral & in mourning at weddings, while old women always serve at weddings as bridesmaids. The Chinese launch their vessels sideways & mount their horses from the off side. The Chinese begin their dinner with dessert & end with soap & fish.
I am such an age is a thing you never hear in Greenland Suppose you had no calendar or worse still, could not count & mother or father could not help you, or at most could not count beyond 10 or 12. Young people in Greenland are in that fix & yet they like to know how old they are as much as we do & are so proud of each year added. This is the way they manage Mother has a wee bag made of skin for each of her boys & girls & into each bag she puts a fish-bone at every sunrise. That is the way of counting the years in Greenland. A sunrise so far north is quite an event Is like our Christmas comes only once a year to herald the day. So the number of bones in the bags will rightly count the age of the children, & for each child a different rind of bone is used. There are very few Greenlanders possessing “sunrise bags" very ful of bones for unhappily they arc so unkind to their sick people & take so little trouble to nurse & keep them warm, that very few natives live beyond forty or fifty years of age.
Now I think I will take a note of the Isle of Man_ where a law has been passed to prevent cigarette being smoaked by boys, is one of the quaintest countries in the world. Measuring only 33 miles by 12. It is a remarkable survival of the feudal days. Situated in the middle of the Irish Channel nearly. equal distance from England Ireland & Scotland. The Isle of Man has a
separate existence, and is itself a little Kingdom, but with King Edward VII as a Sovereign. The isle in the first period of history was the stronghold of Druids, and when the British were driven into the west of England it formed part of the Welsh Kingdom. Early in the tenth century it was seased by the Vikings. In 1266 it was sold by the Normans to Scotland for the sum of 5,000 marks. In 1333 it was seased by the English & Earl Salsbury was granted all & complete Royal rights over this tiny domain. Soon after it was to Sir Wm. Le Scrope whose deed of purchase states he bought it off Wm. Montrose, Earl of Salsbury the Isle of Man with the title of King & the right of being crowned with a crown of gold. This owner like many nobles of his time soon after come to the-scaffold & then the island passed successively to the Earl of Northumberland and Sir John de Stanley the latter of whom passed it down to a long line of descendants. For exactly 300 years the history of the Stanleys was bound on with. the Isle of Man, to it passed to the Duke of Athol. In 1765 the British Parliament obtained a liberty to buy it & in 1825 obtained complete possession for the sum of ₤417,144.
I saw a paragraph in a paper some time ago on gloves, I thought it very poor what he had-to say. In speaking of it to people I find no one up on the subject. As I am fond of history I think I can say a little on the subject. There is an old saying for a glove to be well made three nations must have a hand in. it. Spain must dress & colour the leather France cut the shape & England sew the seams. In ancient times gloves were held to. be symbolic. Zenophen called the Persians effeminate because they cloathed their feet head & hands against the cold. Homer speaks of Laertes in his garden with gardner's gloves to protect his hands. The Jews wore hand coverings.. That expression in the Psalms, Over Edom will I cast out my shoe, should reid according to our best scholars, I will cast out my glove. I will take possession, throwing the glove being an Eastern manner of taking possession. Also in Ruth where a man is said to pluck off his shoe & give it to his neighbour, as he sits at gate, the proper rendering is glove. In Queen Elizabeths time, gloves were perfumed & "called Frangipanni gloves from the Italian Marquis of that name who invented that art as well as the special perfume employed. Those sweet gloves were dangerous sometimes, for poison was conveyed in them; & gifts of gloves were common among friends & enemies. To take up the glove was to. accept a challenge so late as George III. in speaking of George III it reminds me of an old custom started in London n his day & one I find no one can tell thing about. Hot cross buns on
good Friday to be bought on the streets of London 1d. each, every person is expected to buy one. The head baker of Spires & Pond, whose name is Dodds, has been with the firm all his day. His father & grandfather were bakers before him, his grandfather was famous for his hot cross buns in the early days of the past century. In the time of the coronation of George IV, the house of Dodds was represented in the bakery business. Buns by the thousand were made, and each bun was stamped with the Royal crown. The same custom was followed by the Dodds who baked buns for the coronation of Wm. IV, & again at the coronation of Queen Victoria. The tradition of the custom has been handed down from generation to generation of the Dodds family. The largest number of hot cross buns sold by Spires & Pond was ore good Friday 1902, 300,000. In speaking of George the III it reminds me of London in his day, a story is told of a man who had a whiskey house & for an advertisement over his door instead of his name he had drunk for one Id. dead drunk for 2d. The first whiskey house in Ballybay belonged to a man called Jack Whip who was a soldier of Oliver Cromwells said house was on the stand of the Bank of Ireland & was bought from Whip by my early ancestor. It was a mud cabbin & on the door was hand printed in Irish, drunk for 2d. dead drunk for 4d. No duty was on drink in those days. The house where whiskey was made in Ballybay is still unroofed & stands at the meadow outside Thomas McMurrays garden wall.
The time the late Alick Murphy had a whiskey house in Ballybay long prior to his living in Balladian, he done a big business in poteen on the sly, one day a man called with Murphy who ran all risks of selling that drink in a large way, Murphy & he could not agree about the price for several barrels he had in his cart of turf. Murphy said to the man go you up street to a man who lived there at the old market house & whisper to him what you have to sell & you will see the lump of money you will get. The man did so & this was the gager, the excise officer said to the simple man go you back to Murphy & tell him I am not in the house & that you will-take his bid. The gager went up to his window to see if the man was likely to deliver the drink to Murphy who lived in the stand or house of the late Miss Irwin next door to the Hotel. When the gager saw the cart go in & that he thought the contents was settled up he want &.seased all. The fine was so big it put Murphy out of the business. Now said the Officer to the man you were so badly treated I will give you £5.0.0. & thank you for doing your duty. I think this story should be a lesson to all practicle jokers & informers. All through life I have dispised practicle jokes. You can
never make a friend by hurting the feeling of any one, people may worship a practicle joke but it is the way the man worshiped the Devil, more through fear as love. We have two morrals in the above story, first how an informer can bring bad luck on himself & practicle jokers too.
Nor I think I will take up another subject, I was on the platform of the Monaghan Station when two men I did not know come, one said to the other this man can tell you who Claverhouse was, Yes said I he was Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, he was one of the upholders of James. In this side of hell he was matchless in his persicution of the Covenanters of Scotland. It was during his day those poor people having to seek refuge in the mountains got the name of mountain men. In my early day those who went to Crevagh meetinghouse were called mountain men. That is a subject I find some, of our present day Covenanters ignorant of. I will tell one of the many dark deeds of Claverhouse written by Mr. Bruce Low in series of Heros of God in respect of the Covenanters. Claverhouse rode into Eskdale. Here he found that one of the hunted Covenanters, overcome by sickness, had taken refuge in the house of a respectable widdow, & died there. Harbouring a dying Covenanter was indeed a crime: In punishment & as a warning to others the poor womans cottage was pulled down, her furniture destroyed & herself left to wander about with her family of young children in the wild mooreland. Her son Andrew was seased for carrying a Bible, and brought before Claverhouse. It is said that the monster-still under the spell of Brown's murder - hesitated to kill the child, but touched like Pilate, by some remark of loyalty to his King he ordered the youth to cover his eyes & prepare to die. No said the boy I can look you in the face, I have dons nothing to be ashamed of. But how will you look in the day when you will be judged by what is written in this Bible. The muskets were leaded and in a moment the brave lad fell dead & was buried among the heath on the mountain moor. A philanthrophist erected a monument in memory of the said boy & represented him as holding an open-Bible in one hand with his thumb on the words, Be sure your sin will find you out. Shortly after Claverhouse who witnessed the murder of this boy, he himself was killed at the battle of Killiecrankie Pass.
As I am in touch with history, I think I will mention some things will be new as I find people ignorant on the subject. The crown of England has been in-pawn at least four times, Henry III,, Henry V., Edward III., and Richard II., all resorted to this means of raising money. The merchants of Flanders once had possession of the crown. The city of London held it as security
for £2,000, and it was pledged at another time for £20,000. Edward III. disposed of it to the Bishop of Winchester for ₤13,000. and Charles II. would have used the crown as a personal asset if he had been able to dispose of it or turn it into money.
Not one of the Edwards was crowned with his Queen in Westminster Abbey exept the first King of that name, and it is further more remarkable that the coronation of Edward I., and Queen Elenor was the first took place in the present Abbey of Westminster. King Edward II., was crowned alone for he was not married at the time of his succession. The third Edward was a boy of 14 when he was crowned. Edward IV. was unmarried at the time of his coronation. Edward V., though he was born in the abbots house at Westminster where his mother had fled for security still he was never actually crowned. Edward VII, was a boy of 10 when the ceremony was performed. Hence from the day Queen Elnor was crowned in Westminster Abbey with her husband until the present day no Edward has been crowned with his wife. I flatter myself with the idea King Edward VII., with his wife will soon be crowned in said Abbey. I am happy to say he is well again & crowned with his wife in said abby. People call him Edward VII but in reality he is Edward X. as ten kings of that name have reigned over England. The first three being Anglo–Saxons, the name is said to be derived from two Anglo–Saxon words which signify worthy of happiness. Edward the Elder ascended the throne at the beginning of the tenth century. Edward the VII at. the beginning of the twentieth. The coronation it is estimated will cost £125,000. When Queen Victoria was crowned the cost has £69,401. At the coronation of William IV. £43,159.. At the coronation of George the IV. £243,388. Englands state carriage was built in 1761 at a cost of £22,500.
Now I think I will turn on quite another subject & answer a question put to me lately & one I find no one of the present day can say any thing on. What gave rise to the old saying old cadaverous animals had a tanyard look off them. In the old time & well up in my day before American leather had been used in this country we had a tanyard in every town. It took a very large capital to start such a business as it took eight months to make thick leather. I remember father got £2.10.0 for a bulls hide how it could be bought for 10/-. In my young day when an animal become useless it was not given to a nicker as it is done now but was driven into a tanyard for the value of the hide so when an animal got so.so. looking people would say it had gotten a tanyard look off it. That is what gave rise to the old saying. I remember quite well when all saddlers
used thongs of horse hides to stitch work, no hemp at all, a horsehide was worth 18/- in a green state. Before the Americans cut us out of the market dogs hides was very much used for the vamps of shoes & a real good material it was. When father to the late Sandy Boyd was extensive in the tanning of leather in Ballybay. Hearing the pack of hounds were to be shot in Crieve for eating the keeper one night when drunk, Boyd gave Mr. Hugh Jackson 4/- for each dogs hide of over 50. Father went up to see the dogs shot & it was one of the ugly sights of his life the skinned dogs carted off to the pit dug for them. To protect the hides from being injured from shot marks Boyd put up a thing like a pillory, the dogs head was put up through it then the table was planked to the ground then the gentlemen stood at a distance & shot at the head of the dogs. That was the last pack in Crieve.
I saw an account of Ballybay & neighbourhood 80 years ago in a Cavan paper called the Celt of the 6th of September 1902. The anual value of the linen sold in Ballybay was £65,000. The principal inhabitants ware presbyterians, distinguished for their inteligence, energy & successful aplication to business The linen manufactured about the neighbourhood was 44 ins. wide & 25 yds. long, the average sales in each market was one thousand & the computed anual value is £65,000.
In the vicinity were some extensive bleach greens, Mr. Cuningham & Mr. Jackson were bleaching between 80 & one hundred thousand pieces of linen anualy. In the centre of the town stood the markethouse over which was held a free school & a Sunday school for children of all denominations. Ballybay had a subscription library, population 500. The Drs. were Surgeon W. M'Lean, M.D., Joseph M’Murray, Dr. Elias Rutherford, Dr. David Williamson of the dispensary. Apothecary Hugh Gault, Solicitor Hebert Wilson. I can go a little farther & say Ballybay was built on the profits of linen, all the slated houses in Creeve too. This house, the houses of the Breakeys of Balladian, Wm Wielly's of said townland, Mrs. Millses of Boilk, Widdow Wiellys of Balladian, Wm. Breakeys of Ballantray, John Speers of Corduffless, John Kilpatricks said townland, Thos. Henrys, Kellemore, John M'Creery of Derry, Greenvale Mills. The above 12 houses were built by the Breakeys. 1st. Ballybay presbyterian church was built on the profits of linen. The house of John Carlisle, John Mullins Conery ?, Mr.. James Bradshaw Annaniece.
Were it not for my Hugenot ancester who brought the knowledge of making & bleaching linen to this country it is very likely Crieve would be in a wild state still, Ballybay in the mudwall houses too. That is a fact none can deny
that my ansester in 1691 produced the first web of bleached linen in this County. John Scott who lived between Monaghan & Ballybay was the last linen merchant to sit at a bench & buy webs of green linen in Ballybay & Cootehill. James Bradshaw was the last man to employ a weaver in the neighbourhood of Ballybay. My brother–in–law the last in County Cavan, John Berry. Belfast and Lisburn may thank the Huguenots for introducing the knowledge of making & bleaching linen. In the old Church graveyard Lisburn were to be seen the headstones of several of those poor people, when I was a wee boy. Now that St. Patrick's day is at hand, I find but few know he died the 17th. of March 463 & was burried at Downpatrick. He come first as a slave to Ireland, for six years he herded swine on Mount Blemish Ballymena. Then he made his escape & returned to Scotland, but come back in answer to a vision in which he believed he was called by the men of Ireland to teach them the way of Salvation.
Since the late beloved Queen Victoria showed her sympathy towards the Irish soldiers who fell in the South African war & gave instructions for the wearing of the shamrock it has increased very much in respect. St. Patrick taught the three persons in the Godhead by the three leaves in the shamrock being one & again the burning candle producing life, light and heat still only one candle. Patrick’s day reminds me of a story I heard lately of a man who imagined he had an orangeman in one side of him & a Molly M'Guire on the other, to keep the two partizans from contending with each other in his inside was his daily thought. Being always in favour of the rationalist he was ever ready topunish the orargeman who was on his right side by chewing his food in the left side of his mouth for days together till he would bring the orangeman into subjection. On set days such as the 17th. of March & the 12th. of July & the 5th of November rows would get up in his inside as he would imagine & by way of killing the Orangeman he would dash his side against the call & all would wind up with a steel jacket going on. One day he took a very bad colick & he said to-his keeper these two party men have "got into my belly & raised a horible row & it is likely to be the death of me for I have a horible feeling in my belly. Now said the keeper you have got them into your belly, take a big drink I will give you & dround them, this was brandy & water. After the drink the lunatic fell fast asleep & in some hours wakened up to say I had a bit of good-luck to put an end to those tyrants.
Now I think I will change the subject & take note of a wonderful dog Tim the philanthropic dog which devoted the last 14 years of his life to collecting for the widows & orphans Fund of the Great Western Railway employes, will be
missed by all those who frequently use Padingtom Station. Tim was credited with more than ordinary sagacity, he knew quite well when a Royal train was to arrive at the Great Western terminus. It is said whether or not Tim recognised Royalty, Royalty seldom failed to recognise Tim. Queen Victoria on several occasions requested that the dear old dog should be brought to her & placed a golden contribution in the wee bag hung to his neck. King Edward too often patronised the dog. In the course of his charitable career Tim collected a sum which was only a little short of ₤1,000. Inspector Bush, his owner, kept a special account book in which his daily takings was recorded. This book shows that he never had a black day & that his takings averaged about 4/6 a day. He is being. stuffed & is likely to appear on Paddington Station carrying out the charitable mission which made his life valuable & his fame almost world wide. He died in the early part of 1903.
I remember a very big dog here called Neptune a Newfoundland he had a particular dislike to mean looking people & was sure to take no notice of their `friendship. He would make up to a respectable person & if any thing in hand he would be pleased to carry it safely alongside or go to the well with us wee ones & bring a small can of water having the handle in his mouth. If he was pleased with his company & that he saw they meant to turn up here he could reach up to the latch of the gate at road & open it for them with his big paw, when he would get a person at the door he would look at the latch or nocker & then scrap the person with his paw. If any person was wanted to rise out of bed we had nothing to do but tell him to go & start them you may look out for a big paw on your face
Now I think I will turn up a subject very few know anything about. The origin of the hand–shake. To shake hands with a person is rightly regarded as a token of amity, but very few know how the custom arose. When two men met in former times they were accustomed .to hold up their right hands in front of them as a mark or sign that they. had no intention of attacking each other. This mark of confidence however did not prove sufficient in all cases, for a man may hold up his right hand & yet, if he keeps it closed may have a weapon concealed in it, therefore it became the custom for the two right hands to grasp each other, as only thus could full assurance be given that no weapon was concealed in them. Formerl therefore this gesture, now the token of loyalty & friendship was one of reciprocal distrust.
I. was asked lately by way of cornering me who
introduced football into Briton. Football was known in England prior to 1175,
but it never was regarded
with favour by the law & in the reign of Edward II.(1365) are Act was passed forbidding it. During the reign of Richard II.(1388) a similar law was enacted; and again under Scottish Kings James I.(1424) and James II.(1457), it was ordained that football & golfe be utterly cried down & not to be used. James III & James IV. passed similar statutes. James I. of England also opposed it. He writes from this Court I debarre all rough & violent exercises as football more calculated to lame than make strong men. In the reign of Queen Elisabeth a true bill was found against 16 men for playing the unlawful game of football Chs. I. Oliver Cromwell & Chs. II., denounced it, James II, Wm. III. Anne too. The four Georges were not friendly to it. Wm. IV. overlooked boys at school playing it & in the reign of queen Victoria, our law took no notice of it. It was taught at all good schools even military schools. Any person looking over these lines can see I was by no means cornered in answering the question.
I was asked some time ago a question I could not answer or even make an offer at. Was Adam a presbyterian. I was directed to look at a paragraph in the Irish Presbyterian for the answer, It was no Adam was a Methodist in the garden. He was trying to save himself by works, believing in sinless perfection, and didn't believe in the perseverance of the saints & overlooked the words not of works least any man should boast, so he fell from grace, "when he learned that in him dwelt no good thing." He become a Pauline Presbyterian, saved through faith & not of works.
I saw the history of New York some time ago.. I will enter what was said of it here. Manhattan was the original Indian name of New York & its commercial history commenced with Indian trading about 300 years ago. The first record sale of property was of 3,500 feet in Bridge Street for about £1.10.0. The first pavement laid in the city was in Broadway and 22E years ago the real estate of the city was worth only £120,000. A hundred years ago the present city Hall building was begun to be built. The first American Congress under the constitution met at Broad & Weestreet in 1789 & for a year thereafter New York was the capital of the Republic. The first flat boat ferry to Brooklin ran in the earliest days of the Colony.
I am frequently asked what gave rise to the Roman catholics of Ulster being called back of the hill men. One day I was talking to Dr. R. Moore junr. when Priest M'Geough come up Dr. Moore asked him the above question. He said Saint Colomkil wrote a prophesy. In it a lot of things come true, one mistake he made was that the Protestants of Ulster would rise & murder the roman catholics A lot of uninlited catholics left & took shelter in the wilds of Conomara &
over Mayo. The naives did not receive them well but permited them to live in the back of the mountains & when the natives would speak of the north men they would say the back of the hill boys, some of them lived to return home & brought the nickname with them. Priest M'Gough was honest enough to say his early ansestor was one of those who returned to Tamlet & he had got the family name from him Anthony.
Now I think I-will vary the subject & turn up a point I find but few are upon; in reference to our Kings visit to Ireland. It may be interesting to recall that his Majesty has paid in all seven visits to Ireland. In 1848 when he was made Earl of Dublin & again in 1853 he accompanied the late Queen & Prince Consort. In 1858 he was attached to the Grenadiers Guards at the Curragh Camp, while he visited this island again in 1864, 1868, 1871, & 1885. His Majesty made his first speech in Ireland 1853, on the presentation of new colours to the Royal Hibernian School when he was hardly 12 years of age & now his visit Ireland as King_ in 1903.
Very few know that Alexander Selkirk who was rendered famous by De Foe under the name of Robinson Cruses was born in Largo in 1676. He went to sea in his youth & in the year 1703 Captain Straglin put him on shore on the island of Juan Fernandez as a punishment for mutiny; I think that solitude he remained four years & four months. His gun is now to be seen in the British Museum.
Now my youthful readers I will turn up a subject will be new to a lot of people, Painting big Ships. So great is the size of a Transatlantic liner that the total area to be covered every time it is painted runs up into acres, thus to paint the entire top side of a big steamship from water line to rail calls for enough of paint to cover an acre of surface. About as-much more is required to paint the upper works, while the big smoak stacks call for over half an acre of paint.: Since the great ships of the first-class company are painted every voyage, the calculation shows that to keep the 100 or so vessels in first class shape requires the painting of about 2,250 acres each year at a cost-of between £50,000 and £100,000. Now imagine what paint it would take to do a big troop ship that leaves Southhamton with not less than 1700 men & the food & coal she would require for a voyage to South Africa during the Boer war. Let us look at the Great stern, Royal George or the ship built at Belfast & launched last year, the largest ship ever built to the credit of Ireland.
Now I think I will try anther subject new to very many young people. The use of holly,. Professor Halim gives very interesting about things for dochorations Holly, now so much associated with church dechorations, was even before
the day of christianity found adorning the pagan homes, since the great feast in honour of Saturn fell in the winter season, neighbours were wont to exchange great bunches of holly & mistletoe. The druids adorned their secret places of worship with mistletoe, haunts in the deep forests of England, the mistletoe is all the plant in existence; will not strike root in the earth. In Claremont Park Surrey the largest holly tree in England grows & in the Near Forest several holly trees are to be seen with a girth of 12 ft. In the early days of the Saxons the mistletoe was hung up & lovers would test the object of their affections by seeing who the fare one would permit to kiss her. That old custom still causes a lot of fun in many of the homes in England. I saw a very pleasing picture in Eamton Court, the old palace of Cardinal Woolsy in the days of Henry VIII, a child holding a bunch of mistletoe over father's head when in his arms & trying to kiss him. The missle thrush propagates the mistletoe by cleaning her bill on the bark of trees after she has been eating the berry's a starchy substance is round the seeds inside the berry & that sticks the seed to the tree. I tried the seeds of mistletoe to grow here on trees. It struck & grew well but died in winter. It will grow in Co. Cork. The mistlltoe is quite a pest in Surrey & in large orchards & gardens it costs a round sum to clean trees of said parasite. Now I think I will turn up another subject very few can answer. When did the first shoeblack on the streets of large towns in England begin. The red coated boys on the streets of London, from the Shoeblack Society, all this can be seen in a book called the Homes of Working boys in London. In March 31, the day of the opening of the great Exhibition in Hyde Park 5 boys in redcoats went out & took up positions in Lecester Square & near the National Gallery. The Shoeblacks obtained a footing in London that day. The first shoe blackened was on the foot of a man who had a wooden leg & would only pay a halfpenny.
Young people should see a book written by a lady Mrs. Tooley, Royal Palaces & their Memoirs. This lady tells a lot of interesting storys, among some of them is Windsor Castle & Buckingham Palace. The former was a favourite residence of King John. The reign of John forms the blackest history of the Castle. Of the many foul deeds which he committed therein, the diabolical murder of Maud de Brause & her son stands out in lurid light. This lady was the wife of Wm. Dr Brause, a powerful baron who had incured the Kings displeasure. John sent his emisarys to her demanding that she should yield her son as hostage for her husband; but the replied with more spirit than discretion that she would intrust her child to the
person. who would slay his nephew. The unfortunate mother afterwards tried to propitiate. the King by sending to Windsor as a present to the Queen a herd of 600 cows all as white as milk exept the ears which was red, 400 was a big present. The herd lowed in the Royal pasture, but the donor was brought a prisoner to the castle & with her young son was cast into a vault of the Normon Keep, bricked up &left to starve. Like all the Plantagents John had a fearful temper. In fits of ill humour he would throw himself on the ground & eat the dust. Henry VIII was an emisary of the Devil too. Some Earl in England has the breed of DeBrause's cattle still in a wild state & very dangerous to come in contact with.
I find very few know any thing about when steel pens were invented. A man called Gillott going from Birmingham to Sheffield in 1822 obtained employment as a buckle maker, & saving a little money he commenced operations on his own account in a small garret in Bread St. The story goes that he finished & sold for ₤7.4.0. a gross of pens on the morning of his marriage. He died worth a million sterling, his collection alone of paintings realized £170,000. I am led to believe the Bank of England was the last to give up the quil pen. The London Times began in I would say 1785, when the quil pen was in use & a mashine was invented to make them years after so many was required.
I have been asked of late what was the origin of a lot of things some of. which I will enter in this book. What was the origin of foolscap paper. Every one who has to do with paper recognises foolscap as a sheet 13 in. by 16in. This is used as a standard size all the world over, officially and commercially. After the execution of Charles I. Cromwell & his staff, in organizing the Commonwealth, made all possible efforts to remove everything which had any thing to do with the old monarchy. The paper in official use to that time had as a watermark, the King's crown, and when Cromwell was asked what he should put in the place of this crown, to show his overwhelming dislike for every thing conserning Royalty, he directed a fool's cap to be put in place of the crown. This was done & when Charles II. ascended the throne of England, it was at first forgotten to replace the cap by putting something else, and then too late, the King was afraid to do anything to recall things dangerous to touch, & so it was neglected, and the fool's cap may be seen as a watermark on nearly all official papers.
Who was Cromwell, was put to me lately, he was the Lord Protector of the Commonwelth. The .property of Hinchingbrook Castle and the Priory of Ramsey
come to the Cromwells through Sir Richard Cromwell who was one of the chevaliers of Henry VIII's Court. Sir Henry Cropwell died in 1603. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Oliver, uncle & godfather to the Protector. Oliver Cromwell destroyed both natives and Anglo-Irish, who favoured the Royalist cause, from their homes into Connaught and the dividing of their lands among Cromwell's soldiers. The 1st May 1654 was the date of their leaving Meath, Kildare-and Tipperary. What was the origin of Londonderry or Derry. The maiden city as it was called in 1689. When the Williamites held it against James II., had its origin in an oak-tree wood or forest called in the Gaelic doire or Derry. In the beginning of the seventeenth century a body of London colonists were sent to settle in the district, and in consideration of the Corporation of London expending £20,000 in the establishment of the new Plantation in -Ulster, they received from the Crown a very liberal charter of rights. It was -then we first find the place-called London-derry.
Origin of throwing a shoe at weddings, I find very few know shoe making was a distinct trade as far back as 1600_B.C., and reference is made in Scripture to different symbolical usages in connection with sandals or shoes. The delivery of a shoe was used as a testimony in transferring a possession. A man plucked off his shoe & gave it to his neighbours and this was a testimony in Egypt or Isriel " The throwing of a shoe on property was a symbol of new ownership, as over Edin will I cast cut my shoe. From those ancient practises come the old custom in England and Scotland of throwing an old shoe after a bride on her departure to her new home, to signify that the parents gave up all control over their daughter.
A tourist in Italy was telling me a thing looked new to me. Letter writing in Naples. He said in common with all Roman Catholic countries, Italy does not enjoy universal education, the older generation of its inhabitants are ignorant of reeding & writing. This has given rise to a curious customer institution never seen in Protestant cities. Professional scribes sit at tables in the streets, and for a few pence write the greetings of an old man to his son who is absent, or the greeting of a maiden to her lever, or whatever is dictated
Very few know it was it the manor house near Totting Junctions it was here Defo wrote his famous Robinson Crusoe the window on the left indicates the room occupied by Defo. He was a Norman & come to live in England for a time.
No one can tell me when the punishment of sitting in the stocks was
introduced into England. All about it can be seen in an old manuscript in the British Museum. It was the Anglo Saxons. In the pretty little village Newsam in Yorkshire the stocks are near the ancient cross a significant relic of the past. Those stocks are made of iron irstead of planks of oak. The cross mentioned here in Newsham was erected in the days of James the I. when he gave a grant of land for a church & graveyard the first thing done was to erect a stone cross on the ground which often stood for years before a church was built. In an old church in England the finger stocks are in preservation.. In the days of the Saxons those who would be guilty of levity or misconduct of any kind their fingers were put in the church stocks for a time in presence of the congregation.
Now I think I will vary the subject, some people are ignorant enough to insist on me that the parish of Ballybay, was at all times in existence. The parish of Ballybay was constituted in 1796 and the townland on which the church stands Cornamuckaglass. The Leslies bought the estate in 1750. Sam Gray of Ballybay died in 1847 at the age of 67. Grandfather Revd. James Morell died in 1831. Revd, Thomas Clarke of Cahans the great patron of the unionists Presbyterians prior to the uniting emigrated with 400 followers to America in 1764 when it was made a matter of high treason.
Mrs. Murray Kerr was descended through a family of Scotch extraction from Mr .John Kerr who came from Scotland after the revolution of (1688). The earliest residence of the Kerrs' in Ireland was in Aughnamullan Parish and townland of Corryhagan quite near to the lake. In my day the house was inhabited by David Gillis and rebuilt by him the time this railway was being built from B.Bay to Cootehill. A considerable estate known as the "eight tates" or townlands passed by the marriage of Annie Kerr to David Vernor of County Armagh early in the last century and still remains in the possession of the Vernors of. Vernors Bridge afamily which was long connected with the representation of the County Armagh in Parliament, In 1730 Newbliss or Mullagnesummar in the Parish of Killevan was purchased by Andrew Kerr, the representatives of Gilbert Nicholson to whom it had been granted by Chas. 2nd in (1666). Robert Kerr son of Andrew removed to Newbliss and built the old family mansion in 1740, part of which is still standing. Alexander Kerr grandson of Robert was Barrister at law and. Chairman of the County :Monaghan and it was he who erected the present.mansion house at Newbliss he died unmarried in 1814. He was succeeded by his brother Andrew Kerr M. D. who built the Church of Newbliss in 1848.
He left his estate to his sisters & afterwards to niece niece Marina Foster Kerr.
I think I will record some old sones? & old agreements & settlements about passes and meadows about this farm. When Wm. Kerr came to live in the Island farm (as it is called), he had no pass but through this yard, and as he stubbed & cleared about 18 acres every tree drawn through this yard, the pass got very bad. Wm. Kerr said to my father give me a pass round your meadown and I will give you £40 and you shall have the rite of pass to your meadows on it when required. Father said he would but like some of old did not ask, the money to the pass was finished. By that time Wm. Kerr had built a house and as he kept a loansfund & a lot of shareholders in it he began to plan how to robb all men. He gathered up all the money he could, took a moonlight flit cheated the shareholders over £2,000, Father out of £40. Went to America and never returned. His brother Richard Kerr of Newbliss took possession of the Farm, and set it to Tom Martin who lived where James Daly now lives. Tom Martin gave the farm to his adopted son in law Tom Woods.
I was asked lately was Sir Walter Raly ever in Ireland. He was Lord Maor of Youghal an old fortified city in the South of Ireland a city that stood many Seiges in the old time. The old castle is still in good preservation. It has a quear projection at the roof where boiling liquids were thrown from on those who would attempt to foarse the door. It was Sir Walter Raly introduced potatoes, kale, small fruits, apples & such into Ireland. I saw a paragraph some time ago in a London paper on the subject of the Silk hat being quietly but most assuredly going out of fashion in London after being the popular head dress for over one hundred years. I was sorry to see last year at morning service in the old Abby London so many men with fancy felt hats & straw too. Short coats as well.
The modern custom of wearing trousers was taken from the dress introduced for the army by the Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular war. In early days those were known as Wellington trousers after the Duke. The Methodist preachers were the last used the trousers. It displeased many of the Methodist body of christians to see the Revd. John Wesley wear the breeches & silk stockings with shoe buckles to the end of his day.
About the time trousers come into fashion ministers left off wearing the big wigs to the great comfort in each case Bishop Blenfield was about the first to give up the clerical wig or episcopal wig. Early in the reign of George IV, but as late as 1858 Bishop Summer appeared at the wedding of the Princess Royal
of England in a wig.
Gentlemen early in the nineteenth century were not permitted to wear trowsers at balls or dances. On one occasion the Duke of Wellington the hero of Waterloo presented himself at a ball room with trowsers on but a young officer intimated to him that he should not enter so attired. The Duke went away he who had defeated the great emperor Napolian was not equal to fight against fashion,.
I see in Mr. James Carsons book when speaking of Sam Grey he omited two prominent failures in his character. By practical joaks he lost the situation of Tythe Proctor and with it £200 a year and secondly that he would plagarise and say he mounted Wm. III at his own charge. No such thing. Sam Grey was agent for a loans fund for minister Moses Bradford. The officer was in the present big drinking room of Tom Cummons and the wooden bridge across the entry was put up by Bradford. Grey said to Mr. Bradford this is going to be a grand. success you had better get up a swinging signboard on the corner of my house looking two ways, Very well said Bradford you put my business on one side in-print and whatever you like on the other side and I will pay for all. It was a cousin of my father John Breakey a limner born & reared in Mealmore House that painted it and. Bradford in presence of my father gave John Breakey £5 for painting it. The day Bradford died Grey obliterated the sign and got the second horse on. Breakey done another sign board for the Grandfather of Misses FitsPatrick going to a wedding in a Sedan chair carried by two horses with set tails and led by men dressed in fantastic costumes, that was in the palmy days of the McMahons being the owners of the Monaghan and Castleblaney estate. Breakey got the painting of Fair Well to whiskey over the first coffee house was ever in Ballybay. He also painted the monkey shaving the goat over Andy Ruttages door when a whiskey house at Aughnamullan church. Old Lord Belamount gave him £80 for renovating the picture of Queen Dido still to be seen in Belamount Castle Cootehill. That brought him notoriety. He was introduced by Squire Carrie to the Earl of Essex to renew pictures in his Palace. Then to Hamton Court & the old castle of Haddon Court near St. Ellms Liverpool. He died in England. I was asked lately how the Breakeys lost Greenvale bleach greens and all. Colonel Kerr when a minor was reared in my fathers uncles house Isaiah Breakey called in Captain Johnstones time Mealmore House and built by my Grandfather Billy Ban Breakey, ban is the contraction of bonny and nick names was the order of the day in those days. When Colonel Kerr of the Yeomen
come of age he so disliked the Breakeys who reared him he turned the water off the Greenvale bleach mills and Isaiah Breakey had to take all his webs to Killishandra & get Thomas Berry to finish them. Isaiah Breakey entered an action against Kerr who was afterwards Colonel & lived in Mountain Lodge. The action went against Kerr and he had £300 to pay & all costs for diverting the water prior to possession. This is the point to be at.. Some time after the law about the water, the lease fell with the option of Ker and Isaiah renewing it & paying the fines jointly. Before Kerr would renew the lease of Greenvale and a portion of Mealmore with Isaiah Breakey he forfeited all to the loss of Isaiah Breakey & himself for ever and you will see in this book he died in poverty & had a very strange funeral as ever come to Aughnamullan. He was the cause of the murder of the so called soldiers murdered in Creeva by the United Irishmen. Only still hunters murdered in mistake, United Irishmen thinking they were looking them up for high treason to have them hanged. Inspector General John Breakey, I.G.H., M.D.,R.N. died on the 20th October 1911. He had a very prosperous career. First he was assistant surgeon in Lisburn Infirmary some time after he was appointed head surgeon in the General Hospital Belfast. He then become a surgeon in the Navy in 1854, staff surgeon in 1876 and Inspr. General of Hospitals in 1886, retired in 1889. He served during the Russian War in the Baltic in 1854 and was present at the bombardment of Bomarsuna. He also served in the China War 1857 & 1858. He had boath the Baltic & China Medals. With the consent of the Admiralty lent himself to go with the lines men to the Crimea and then had boath red & blue uniform and from that his promotion in the navy had no bounds. I am frequently asked who were the Rechobites. The independent order of Rechobites which numbers nearly half a million members, and which is the healthiest and safest Temperance Benefit Society in the world, traces its name and its total abstinence principles in the high life of the individual and the family & the brotherhood at large to the example of Jonabad the son of Rechab. Let us remember distillation was not known till after the 11 century after Christ when the distilled spirit was called the devil.
The defeat of Counselor Daniel O'Connel the greatest lawyer of his day in Ireland by John Breakey of Drumskelt. In the old time-Ireland had no monthly or quarter sessions, all was done in Monaghan twice a year. The city assises would last two weeks people of slender means would be permitted sometimes to employ a friend to plead for them. My father witnessed a will and the widdow
asked him to speak for her. The judges asked the widdow was she agreeable to that. She said she had impliset belief in John Breakey telling the truth. 'Then Daniel O'Connel got up & said this man had but a slender education & he wondered he had the odasity to stand before him Counselor O'Connel said he, had a note now at the 11 hour from his cleant to say John Breskey's early ansestor was a Huguenot & his female ancestor a Puritan and between those two they produced a set of wariors only to be equaled in blood to the blue hen that sought nine rounds without the bill.. My father then got up a man of good presence & over six feet high. The crowded house cheared the blue hen. My father said your worships I think Counselor Daniel O'Connel has made a mistake in saying I am an unlettered man. Then he said I can prove a sum by four rules, Algebra, Uclid, Mensuration, and triginomatary. Can you do that said.he to O'Connel, no it was the law I learned & not figures father said am I to draw the inference from that you cannot count 5d. of hapens. Then father said he could translate Greek & Latin"& reed Homer as quick as many a school-boy could reed his lesson. Can you do that Counselor O'Connel, no was the answer. Then my father asked.. liberty to say a few words more & that was granted at once. Then he said he had often paid out in his Bathers office ₤700 a week for green & bleached linen & when he would go to make sales in the linen market in Dublin he would have £1000 home. Where were you educated said one of the judges. I lived with my uncle Crown Solicitor here present: and went to the garison school in Monaghan after that General Hornton took me to the garison-school Charlemount Co. Armagh where my education was completed: The trial went off in favour of the widow and the case dismissed on the merits The judges said to father turn your attention to the law & we will help in every way, you have a good presence & a fine use of eloquent language. One of the judges asked father what incouragement did General Hornton give you leaving Charlemount garison at Benburb Co. Armagh, he offered to bestow me a Lieutenant's comission &_to give me a living off his estate till I would be self supporting. The red coat & & the law was two things I never liked said father.
Very few know that I got a similar offer Sir Vesey Dauson brother of the late Earl of Dartry was contending a seat in Parliment with a man called Grey. The two met at the road Grey was in posession of the pass. Dauson galloped his up the green & caught a bush between the horse & shaft. Father shouted take your time I am for you anyway. I will make that the best word ever you said in your day. Brother John was near finished as a Dr.. In three days Mr. Dauson got him as assistant in he Lisburn Infirmary under Dr. Thompson, then next in
the General Hospital Belfast, & third to a man of war ship. In a short time after he saw me here & asked me if I would like to be a soldier. I said very much. Then said he I will bestow you the position of a Lieutenent & I will support you till you are able to live. Dr. Breakey was so pleased he gave me an order to Poag the outfitter for my officers uniform. My brother was here at the time a man of thirty. He saw my leaving would corner him. He made his box & left inside. three days for Australia. Mother & Father were very much troubled at the idea of rearing 8 boys & four girls & not one to bury them. So I had to yeald to their intreatys & sacrifice self for them & give a pound to get the uniform coat returned.
Now I think I will relate some particulars about my family. My first child Mary took bronchitis when a baby & died at 2,years old, my son Robert served his time in Mr. David Pattons Monaghan, after that he went; to Melbourne under the guidance of my brothers widdow, he left 5 years ago last September & it is now 1913. My son John served his time in Belfast to the making of motors & then drove the Bishop, of Clougher for two years & earned the reputation of not drinking whiskie, smoking or telling lies. He then went to California with Bishop Days reference where he got employed to drive Bishop Johnston at wonderful pay. My Mary was married to a young man Martin who lives with his old people in the townland of Mulnagore married in February 1913. Next on the 6th of March come the much to be lamented the rather sudden death of my darling son of 19 years of age. He ment to live here at least-to after the death of his mother & me. He was as strait as a rush took his complection from my mother auburn hair & pink complection. His death is a sad trial like me he ignored keeping company with low people. Me thinks I see how a fellow would be treated that would say to him, come old boy to we sow some wild oats to night.
A lady of good rank & family said to me I saw your record books. Well madam what did you think of them said I. I would put them next to the Bible said she for good morals. What did you think of my bad spelling. The originality of the spelling only gives expression to the antiquity of the stories narated in the books was the reply.