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NAMES: Francis FORDE of Carnally; Hugh O'CALLAGHAN of Cullaville; Robert DICKIE of Roachdale; Andrew Coulter BRADFORD and John BRADFORD of Cavananore; John Thomas DICKIE of Clonaleenan; Thomas CALLAGHAN of Ivy Lodge; John KELLY of Rassan; James STITT of Freeduff; Dr. McPHARLAND; Richard L. SHEIL; William Sherman CRAWFORD. An account of Protestants & Catholics protesting unjust tithes.
Sharon Oddie Brown. February 10, 2013

1836 June 18

NE - Thanks to Kieran McConville's collection of clippings.


AT a very numerous and respectable MEETING of the parishioners of CREGGAN in the County of ARMAGH, of every religious denomination, convened by public requisition and held at Crossmaglen, on Tuesday the 14th day of June, instant,

FRANCIS FORDE[1] of CARNALLY, Esq. in the chair,

The following Resolutions and Petition were proposed and unanimously adopted: --

Moved by HUGH O’CALLAGHAN[2] of Cullaville, Esq., seconded by ROBERT DICKIE[3], of Roachdale, Esq.

Resolved -- that the existing state of the Law, respecting Tithes, which enforces payment of a tax for the support of a clergy from whose doctrines the great majority of the people conscientiously dissent, and from whom they cannot derive any spiritual benefit, is totally at variance with all received notions of commutative justice, inconsistent with liberty of conscience, injurious to  industry, and altogether incompatible with the peace of the Empire.

Moved by ANDREW BRADFORD[4], of Cavananore, Esq., seconded by JOHN T. DICKEY[5], of Clonaleenan, Esq.,

Resolved -- that the injustice and impolicy, of such taxation are highly aggravated, by being extorted from a reluctant people, under the guise of religion.

Moved by SAMUEL BRADFORD, of Cavananore, Esq., seconded by THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN[6], of Ivy Lodge, Esq.,

Resolved -- that the late vexatious and oppressive proceedings, in the Court of Exchequer, have increased if possible our hatred to this odious impost, and our determination by all lawful means, to oppose its continuance.

Moved by JOHN KELLY[7] of Rassan, Esq., seconded by JAMES STITT[8], of Freeduff, Esq.,

Resolved -- That Petitions, founded upon the foregoing resolutions, be presented to both Houses of Parliament, praying for the total abolition of tithes.

Moved by JOHN BRADFORD, Esq., seconded by Doctor McPHARLAND[9],

Resolved -- that the petition now read, be adopted by this meeting, and that it be entrusted for presentation in the House of Commons, to our Country Representative, Viscount Acheson; that Richard L. Scheil[10] and William Sharman Crawford[11], Esqrs, be requested to support its prayer; and that it be entrusted for presentation in the House of Lords, to the Marquis of Clanricarde.


Resolved -- that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the D.E. Post and Newry Examiner, papers

FRANCIS FORDE, chairman.


FRANCIS FORDE, Esq., being moved out of the chair, and HUGH O'CALLAGHAN, Esq., D. L., being called thereto, the thanks of the meeting were voted to MR. FORDE for his very proper conduct in the Chair, and zeal in promoting the object of the meeting.




To the Right Hon, and Hon.,, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled.

The petition of the undersigned parishioners of Creggan in the County of Armagh, of all religious denominations,


That the existing state of the law, respecting tithes, is manifestly unjust in principle, inasmuch as the vast majority of people are taxed for the maintenance of a Clergy from whom they conscientiously dissent and from whom they cannot, therefore, derive any spiritual benefit; and from whom, on the contrary, they have in many instances, experienced misrepresentations and culumny: -- That the system in its operation has been, and continues, highly injurious to the interests of agriculture, and subversive of the general welfare and peace of the country: that its enforcement has been marked, throughout, by scenes of discord, strife, and bloodshed, from which humanity recoils; and that peace and prosperity, with their concomitant blessings, can never be enjoyed in this distracted country, until Tithes shall be utterly abolished, in name and substance -- which happy consummation your Petitioners earnestly request your Honourable House will speedily affect.

And your Petitioners will pray.



1836 June 18


We refer our readers, with pride and pleasure, to the resolutions and petition, against “the blood-stained impost”, agreed to by the inhabitants of the Parish of Creggan, County of Armagh, which will be found in our advertising columns. They breathe a spirit of good sense and patriotism quite refreshing. The second resolution very properly represents Tithes as contrary to justice, opposed to religious liberty, prejudicial to industry, and subversive of the peace and happiness of the realm. The people of Creggan are right, the proceedings of the sapient Barons of the Exchequer have, if possible, increased the national hatred against “the price of blood”. And if the Parsons did not labour under the infatuation, which is said to be the harbinger of destruction, they must have foreseen this issue. But they “have eyes and see not; ears and hear not”; they have set themselves in hostile array against THE PEOPLE, and verily they shall have their reward. The petition is short; but it is pithy -- it compresses the whole matter in a nutshell. The meeting was numerous and most respectable, as the names of the movers and seconders of the resolutions amply testify. An intelligent correspondent of ours, says: --

It will be gratifying to you, and the majority of your readers, to know that the meeting was not of a sectarian or party description. It was attended by the most respectable and influential, of every religious denomination, in our parish. I may add, that the meeting was so unanimous, that admidst the congregated multitudes, a single dissenting vote could not be heard; and throughout the entire proceedings of the day, the utmost peace and good order prevailed.

We have examined the names attached to the requisition; and we find that the majority of them are the names of persons who belong to some denomination of Protestantism. What say the Tories to this fact? And we know that the Protestant portion of the meeting were, if possible, more loud and strong in the expression of their importance for the bloody tithes, then the R. Catholics were. Well! If this be not “the patient age of new inventions” as Byron has it, it is, at least the age of growing common sense. And the day seems not far distant, when the wish of the illustrious Dr. Doyle will be as efficacious in regard to the Protestants, as to the R. Catholics -- that their hatred of Tithes may be as lasting as their love of justice.

We are informed, by good authority, that the police tore down some of the requisitions, calling this meeting in Crossmaglen. May we ask for what purpose or by what authority, these fellows dare to take down notice, whose object is to assemble peaceable subjects, for perfectly legal purpose? We say, that such conduct is a flagrant violation of the rights of the people; and must be either satisfactorily explained, were somewhat summer summarily punished. We hope that the people of Creggan will not lose sight of this business.

[1] Francis FORDE of Carnally.

[2] Hugh O’CALLAGHAN of Cullaville

[3] Robert DICKIE (1782-1840) of Roachdale. He married Mary Anne WALLACE, and they had 10 children. I believe he was an attorney.

[4] Andrew BRADFORD of Cavananore. Aka Andrew Coulter BRADFORD (1788-1847), a bachelor farmer. See his will.

[5] John Thomas DICKIE (1787-1876) of Clonaleenan. He was the husband of Elizabeth McCULLAGH (1794-1819). He subsequently married Jane WALLACE, and they had 12 children. He was a brother of Robert DICKIE above.

[6] Thomas O’CALLAGHAN of Ivy Lodge

[7] John KELLY of Rassan

[8] James STITT of Freeduff. I suspect he was a brother of John STITT, the grandfather of Dr. William Scott McBRIDE (1862-1839) of Crossmaglen.


[10] Richard L. SCHEIL

[11] William Sherman CRAWFORD

[12] John BRADFORD. This is probably John BRADFORD of Cavananore (died after 1837), son of Samuel BRADFORD & Margaret HENRY.



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