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NAMES: Richard JACKSON of Forkhill; Nichola Ann Cecil HAMILTON - probably of Castle Hamilton and Forkhill; Susannah BARTON née JACKSON; Julia Eliza OGLE née BARTON; Rev. Thomas WOOLSEY; Rev. Francis HAMILTON; Jackson WRAY jun; Thomas REED of Dundalk; Daniel M'DOUGALL; Richard GRACEY; Thomas GRACEY; Ana BOYD of Wexford. OTHER PLACES: Holdings in Cavan & Monaghan.
Sharon Oddie Brown. December 18, 2009
Update: March 22, 2021. Some footnotes updated.


1776 Will of Richard JACKSON[1]


NOTE: There is a lot that I do not know here - and I suspect others will help me fill in the gaps. I will add the missing notes as I learn more. Footnotes in red indicate utter ignorance on my part.



 In the name of God, amen. I Richard Jackson, of Fork-hill Lodge, in the county of Armagh Esq. being of sound and disposing mind, memory, and understanding, do make and publish this, my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former and other wills by me heretofore made. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved wife[2], to be by her will disposed of as she shall think proper, all my estate in the county of Cavan[3], subject to the sum of 20,000£. sterling, out of which sum of 20,000£. sterling, good and lawful money of Great Britain, I order my debts and legacies to be paid, and the remainder, if any, of the said, sum of 20,000£. I leave to my executors upon trust.


I give and devise to my sister, Susannah Barton[4], widow, and her daughter[5] after her decease, all that remains my property in the city of Dublin[6], not subject to any debt at the time of my decease, and to their heirs for ever.


I give and devise to the Most Rev. the Lord Primate  of all Ireland[7], the Right Rev. the Lords Bishops of  Down, Connor, and Dromore[8], the rectors of the parishes  of Fork-hill[9], Killevy[10], Loughguilly[11], Creggan[12], and Dundalk[13]  and their successors, all my estate of Fork-hill upon trust  and as trustees, for the uses herein after named, viz. : 1st.  that, upon my decease, the interest of the 20,000£ charged  upon my Cavan estates shall be regularly paid out of my  Armagh estate, during the life of my ever dear wife;  the remainder to be divided, after my wife has taken as  much as she thinks proper for her ample accommodation,  both of houses, demesnes, and rent, into two equal parts;  I mean the rents to be equally divided, one half to be  enjoyed by my sister and her daughter, and after their  decease to the propagating the gospel; the other half to be  expended in clothing and educating as many, as the fund will allow children of the church of Ireland, and in giving, at  the age of twenty-five years, to each five pounds and a loom,  and a small holding in preference to other tenants who may  offer. I would wish that such tenants should not get leases for lives, that they may not be debauched by the thirst or  power of gold.  


I appoint my wife, sister, niece, the Rev.  Thomas Woolsey[14], Jackson Wray[15], jun. Esq. Thomas Reed[16], of Dundalk Esq. and Daniel M'Dougall[17], executors of this my last will and testament; my will is, that after my wife's sister's and her daughter's decease, that half of Forkhill estate shall be employed in propagating the religion of our blessed Saviour, particularly In the east by adding to the number of Danish and other protestant missionaries, as my said trustees, or any three of them, a bishop being one, shall think proper.  


I give to the infirmary of Dundalk 100£ and I give to the rector of Fork-hill, for the time being, three guineas yearly, to be by him, or my executors, in his name, paid to said infirmary annually; the like sum of three guineas annually, to Armagh infirmary, I leave to him or my executors, to be paid in his name, or in the name of the curate, if the rector should reside elsewhere, as my intention is, that the resident clergyman should be a governor of each hospital, for the good of my poor fellow creatures, who are destroyed by the advice of quack doctors.


I leave to Jackson Wray, jun. Esq, 100£.; the like to Daniel M'Dougall, my faithful steward; a year's wages to each of my servants; ten pounds yearly to Richard Gracey[18], and ten pounds more to Thomas[19], his father, for his maintenance.


I give to Mrs. Ana Boyd[20], of Wexford, 200£. and after her decease to her nephew[21], my godson. I desire my executors may, with the advice of my trustees, apply the remainder of the 20,000£. towards the defraying the expense of any suits at law, that may be commenced on account of this will, without sale of my manor of Fork-hill, and in making a decent provision for honest old decayed tradesmen or farmers, I leave 100£ to buy looms to be given to the poorest of my tenants in my two manors, whose sons have served an apprenticeship of three years; and I leave 100 great coats to 100 of the oldest of them at the time of my decease. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this 20th day of July, 1776.




Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the testator, as, and for and testament, in the presence of us, who in his presence, and the presence of each other, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses hereto*,





[1] Richard JACKSON. He was born abt. 1722 and died 11 June 1787. He married Nichola Ann Cecil Hamilton. He had a manor in Forkhill as well as the manor of Castle Hamilton in Co. Cavan. I have done a family tree including his lineage back to Yorkshire in the mid-1600s. SEE: JACKSONs of Coleraine Many of the names mentioned in the will are related to him.

·        Richard Jackson was a Freemason and a fervent Protestant who bequeathed a generous legacy to further Protestant missionary work in India. He served as high Sheriff for County of Armagh in 1760 and was appointed deputy master of the Masonic Lodge in Ulster in 1768. Jackson died in 1787 at age 65 (papers relating to Jackson and his Forkhill estate, T. 1722, PRONI; Freeman's Journal, 11 June 1768.) SOURCE: Forkhill Protestants - Forkhill Catholics, 1787-1858.

·        Richard Jackson of Forkill House, the Founder of the Forkill Charities which bear his name, erected the church in 1767 (site granted by deed Aug.3)  on the estate purchased by him in 1742. It was consecrated by the Bishop  of Dromore for the Primate Sep. 7, 1785. By Act of the Lord Lieutenant  in Council on 20 Dec, 1771 12 townlands were severed from Loughgilly  and formed into the Parish of Forkill, with the permission and at the request  of the Rector of Loughgilly. On May 7, 1773, 11 townlands of Killeavy  were annexed to Forkill, and these 23 T.L., about 20 square miles in extent,  together with the T.L. of Dungooly added since Disestablishment constitute the present parish.

The glebe house was built in 1776 at a cost of £242 196. lO d. The church was altered and improved in 1859.  

The silver chalice and paten (recently repaired) were presented to this  church by Richard Jackson 140 years ago, and have been in use ever since.  The chalice is inscribed : " The gift of Richard Jackson, Esq., to the Church  of Forkhill ; " the paten : " Richard Jackson, Esq." This Mr. Jackson  was the founder of "the Forkill Charities," the Trustees of which have  dispensed among other benefactions £1,000 per annum since 1836 to S.P.G.  His tomb in the churchyard here is thus inscribed : — " Underneath this  monument are interred the remains of Richard Jackson, Esq., late of Forkill  Lodge in the County of Armagh m. 10 d. Jun. a.d 1787 ann. et. 65. A  firm friend to the Religious and Civil Constitution of his country, he exerted his most strenuous endeavours for its improvement by an almost  constant residence on his estate, where, by the steady practice of all the  virtues that adorn the retired paths of private life, by piety and rectitude in  his own conduct, by humanity and benevolence towards all, by a lenient  indulgence to his poorer tenants, and by the example of extensive agriculture,  he used his utmost efforts to promote the temporal and eternal welfare of all who lived within the reach of his influence. Nor did he confine his  pious and charitable intentions to the short period of his own life, but, by  his extensive bequests he perpetuated and rendered permanent, schemes  well calculated to promote the furtherance of piety and morality, and to  diffuse the light of the Gospel by the extension of pure Christianity." SOURCE: Armagh Parishes and Clergy James B Leslie

·        The resentment of Protestants was greatly inflamed in parts of South Armagh, especially in the parish of Forkhill, where sectarian and agrarian clashes were most bitter. A local landlord, Richard Jackson, left a will which stated that “whenever a Papist’s lease was expired, they should be banished to their rocky habitations, and Protestants reinstated into the lands of their fathers.” The unrest continued up to the 1798 Rebellion, whose suppression ushered in another century of conflict. NOTE: This allegation is not supported by the text of this will – but perhaps it refers to another will that I have not seen. SOURCE: http://www.newrymemoirs.com/stories_pages/cregganoneillclans_2.html

[2] Nichola Ann Cecil HAMILTON. NOTE: Daughter of Arthur Cecil HAMILTON of Castlehamilton and Anne CONNOR. NOTE: Her near relation Nichola Sophia HAMILTON (b.23 Feb 1666-Castle Hamilton,Cavan,Ireland;d.23 Feb 1713-Dublin) married SirTristram BERESFORD (1669-1701) & Richard GORGES (1662-1728). Both men were connected though marriage to the JACKSONs of Coleraine. Given the JACKSON connection to lands at Errigal Trough, it may be significant that a Rev. Gustavus HAMILTON was rector at Errigal Trough in the 1720s  SOURCE: HAMILTON MEMOIRS: Historical and genealogical notices of that family which settled in Ireland in the reign of King James I. Compiled by: Everard Hamilton BA.

SEE: Hamilton Memoirs

[3] Richard JACKSONs holdings in Cavan. NOTE: I don’t yet know what these holdings were. Interestingly, Samuel JACKSON (?-1706) also had holdings in Cavan. SEE: Samuel JACKSON will Also, Castle Hamilton was owned by HAMILTONS with whom there may have been a family connection.

[4] Susannah BARTON née JACKSON (d. 8 Feb 1805), daughter of Richard JACKSON (1673-1730) and Elizabeth BOYD who would have been married before 1722. She is the sister of the Richard JACKSON who wrote this will.

[5] Julia Eliza BARTON (1751-1830) , niece of Richard JACKSON. She married John OGLE (1758-1830), described as a ruthless magistrate, and a target of the United Irishmen. SOURCE: Forkhill Protestants - Forkhill Catholics, 1787-1858.

[6] Dublin properties – yet to be researched.

[7] Most Rev. the Lord Primate  of all Ireland

[8] Right Rev. the Lords Bishops of  Down, Connor, and Dromore

[9] The Rector of Forkhill at this time would have been Rev. Thomas WOOLSEY (d. 1779)

[10] Rector of Killevy

[11] Rector of Loughguilly

[12] I believe the rector at this time would have been Rev. Francis HAMILTON (b. 1710). SEE: Armagh Clergy and Parishes: He was son of James H., and was born at Lisburn, and ent. T.C.D. as a Pensioner April 27, 1726, aged 16 ; B.A. 1730 ; M.A. 1733 ; B.D. and D.D. 1751 {Reg. T.C.D.). He was C. Donaghenry, 1736 ; C. Ballyclog, 1744 ; C. Youghal, 1746-'53 ; R. Dundalk, Dunbin, Drumglass, and Tnllaniskin from 1754. He resigned Drumglass and Tullaniskin on being appointed Treas., but continued to hold Dundalk and Dunbin. He resided in Dundalk. He died in 1783, and his P. Will, dated 7 Aug., 1780, was proved 29 Nov., 1783. Directs Edenderry, Lavaghary and Ballymagown in the Manor of Carbrackbeg and Co. Armagh, held on lease of 28 June, 1737, for 959 years and " left to me by my stepmother, Jane Hamilton, of Downpatrick, deceased," to be sold ; £500 to eldest dau. of Sir Edw. Loftus, Bt., by his wife Lady Anne ; plate to " my niece Lady Loftus"; coffee pot to wife of Rev. Dean Dobbp ; £500 to Rev. Robert Berkeley, D.D., R. Midleton, Co. Cork, and his youngest son Rev. Wm. B. ; portrait of Sir Kenelm Digby to Lord Clanbrassil ; £200 to Cath. Braddell, maid to my late wife ; servant, Thomas Merrin ; books to Rev. Thomas Caulfield, R. Kiilyman ; residue to Sarah Howard, dau. of Robert H., of Dominick Street, Dublin, by his wife Sarah. Executor said Robert Howard, who got probate. Witnesses : — Jn. Richard- son, Jn. Harlow.

[13] Rector of Dundalk

[14] Thomas WOOLSEY Rector of Forkhill in 1775 — Thomas Woolsey, inst. July 13 (D.R.), son of Rev. Wm. Woolsey,  R. of Dundalk, b. at Dundalk, ent. T.C.D. in 1735, aged 18, ed. by Rev.  J. Skelton ; B.A. 1739 ; C Ballymascanlan and Faughart 1748-54 ; R.  Ballymascanlan 1754-9 ; R. Faughart 1754-75 ; m. (1) 1747 Anna Stannus ;  (2) 1777, Jane, dau. of Isaac Read, of Dundalk ; d. in 1779. See History  of Kilsaran, p. 339, for extracts from his Will. He was R. when Richard  Jackson established his Charity, and is mentioned in his Will. SOURCE: Armagh clergy and parishes : being an account of the clergy of the Church of Ireland in the Diocese of Armagh, from the earliest period, with historical notices of the several parishes, churches, &c James B Leslie.

[15] Jackson WRAY jun.. I believe that he was the son of Jackson WRAY (d. 1793) & Leonora BOYD and was also a first cousin of Richard JACKSON. A Jane WRAY of Co. Donegal (presumably his sister) was the wife of Rev. Charles ATKINSON who was the rector of Creggan.

·        SOURCE: FINN'S LEINSTER JOURNAL 1767 Births, Marriages and Deaths By H. F. Morris.  No. 43. Wed. 17 - Sat. 20 June  Mr Jackson Wray, * merchant in Jervais-street, to Miss [Jane] M'Daniel of Bellisle, co. Antrim. FOOTNOTE: 3rd s. of Jackson W. (4th s. of Henry W. of Castle Wray) and Leonora, dau. of Hugh Boyd; b. 19 July 1747; Charlotte Trench, The Wrays of Donegal, Londonderry and Antrim, 1945

·        SOURCE: www.thepeerage.com

[16] Thomas REED of Dundalk. I suspect he is connected to Isaac REED of Dundalk. In a T.G.F. Patterson notebook, he is described as “late of Dundalk, but now of Bath”.

[17] Daniel M'DOUGALL

[18] Richard GRACEY

[19] Thomas GRACEY

[20] Ana BOYD, of Wexford. I don’t know the exact family connection, but the Richard JACKSON’s mother was a BOYD.

[21] Nephew of Ana BOYD?

[22] Samuel BUTLER

[23] Thomas BUNBURY. NOTE: I have nothing definite, but a tantalizing possibility. There was an earlier Thomas Bunbury I (1673 - 1743) of Cloghna. Thomas Bunbury of Cloghna and Cranovonane was born in 1673. It is not known when he acquired Cranovonane. In 1697, the year in which the first Lisnavagh House was built, he married Rose Jackson. The Bunburys were already well established in County Carlow - Thomas's father had been High Sheriff of the county in 1695. At some point, Thomas also acquired a property south of Carlow town at Cloghna, just off the N9 somewhere close to Tinryland. Rose Bunbury died at Cranavonane in February 1738 and Thomas followed in 1743. They left two surviving sons - Thomas and Benjamin. http://www.turtlebunbury.com/family/bunburyfamily_bunburys/bunbury_family_bunburys_cranovonane.html

[24] John MCMULLEN



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