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NAMES: George LEDLIE; James TWIGG; Lord BLAYNEY; Dr. David LESLIE; John LESLIE; Mr. CASSENT; Mr RENNICK jr of Carrickmacross; Mr. KEEGA; Dr. COLLINS; Mr. JOY; Mr. O`HAGAN; Mr. CASSIDY. PLACES: Laragh; Blayney Arms.
NOTE: This article sheds light on the social life of family members involved in the court cases surrounding the OLIVERs and the mills at Laragh.

Sharon Oddie Brown. November 3, 2008

The Belfast News-Letter (Belfast, Ireland), Tuesday, March 4, 1845; Issue 11129. (6342 words) 

A lengthy case concerning slander of the proprietress of the Blayney Arms.

“Mr. Ledlie[1] is the conducting clerk to a Mr. Twigg[2], who is the proprietor of certain spinning mills at Laragh… Upon the day in question, Mr. Ledlie and his wife, with a party of ladies and gentlemen were amusing themselves at a pic nic, or country party in Lord Blayney’s[3] demesne. There were at this party, the wives and daughters and friends of the gentlemen whose names will be mentioned in the details of the case. There were present Mr. Ledlie, Dr. Leslie[4] and his son[5], Mr. Cassent[6], Mr. Rennick jr.[7] of Carrick[8]; Mr. Keegan[9], and Doctor Collins[10].” Then there is mention of the arrangement of rooms and “ it appears that Dr. Leslie, who is an amateur performer, had brought his violin with him, and when they got into this room he pulled out his fiddle, and the whole party began to dance.  Dancing, to be sure, gentleman is an innocent amusement, when carried on in proper places, and proper times, but gentlemen, Mrs. Rule’s is a family hotel in which travelers wish to enjoy quiet and repose after the [Batista] journey, and very naturally she did not wish to have her guests disturbed by the racket of a ball.  She therefore sent a message by her waiter, to the party that they should discontinue dancing, and that she had every right to do, because no party had a right unless they engaged rooms for the express purpose, to produce a fiddle, and turn a family hotel into a ballroom.  Some of the guests, more discreet than the rest, promised the dancing should conclude immediately; but Mr. Leslie did not take my view of the question.  He did not think Mrs. Rule had a right to interfere in his amusements, and after the wager had returned he pulled the bell and demanded whether the room was a commercial or private one.  The servant brought this message to Mrs. Rule, and returned with his mistresses answer, that she had rooms for ladies and gentlemen to stop in, but not for fiddling and dancing.  Mr. Ledlie then threatended to injure the business of the hotel, and said that no commercial men should stop there whom he could prevent.  Mrs. Rule was naturally annoyed at this.  She did not think, she said, that you deserve such an observation, and she thought that she had a right to protect her house from being turned into a dance house.  She came to the door and told him she did not fear his power of injuring her, and they expressed their disapproval in ironical cheers, and clapping of hands, in a matter of the most unlike a party of gentlemen and ladies.  Mrs. Rule then went into the hall, Mr. Leslie followed her, and their use the expressions quoted by Mr. Joy[11], in opening the pleadings. [More description of the events]

“… when Mrs. Rule came in she said she kept the house for ladies and gentlemen, but not for fiddlers and dancers; she said she would write to James Twigg to have Mr. Ledlie dismissed; Mr. Twigg is a mill owner at Laragh; Mr. Ledlie is in his employment; I heard Mrs. Rule say she knew who Mr. Leslie was, and he replied he knew the Rules of Doagh, in County Antrim or Armagh; I was standing in the hall at the time; I was the first to leave the parlor; John Leslie, Dr. Leslie son, was the first after me that I observed; at the time Mr. Leslie came out of the parlor, I was standing in the hall with Mrs. Rule; she was complimenting me at the time; she told me I was the only gentlemen in the company.”

“Dr. David Leslie, examined by Mr. O’Hagan[12] – I recall the day in question; I was a violinist; the waiter brought a message discontinue dancing, and I replied instantly; the waiter then left the room;”

“Mrs. Rule flung open the door and said, you are perfectly welcome; I know you, George Ledlie, who you are, and what you are, and I’ll inform Mr. Twigg of your conduct; Ledlie said you are very nice, pious old lady; there was then laughing, and rather mild approbation; Mr. Cassidy[13] and my son John Leslie, then left the room; I left the room immediately after Mr. Ledlie; we left almost together;”

 Mr. John Leslie cross-examined “I am 15 years of age; Ledlie’s language was amusing to me; I heard all that pass; I heard no abusive words from Mr. Ledlie.”

Case dismissed.


[1] George LEDLIE, an agent to Mr. TWIGG.

[2]  James TWIGG. A mill owner in Laragh.

[3] Lord BLAYNEY NOTE: Thanks to Peter McWilliam, 2009 Jan 15: The Lord Blayney mentioned would be Cadwallader (1802-1874), son of Andrew. OTHER SOURC: E www.thepeerage.com Lt.-Gen. Andrew Thomas Blayney, 11th Lord Blayney, Baron of Monaghan was born on 30 November 1770 at Castle Blayney, Co. Monaghan. He was the son of Cadwallader BLAYNEY and Elizabeth TIPPING. He married Mabella ALEXANDER, daughter of James ALEXANDER and Anne CRAWFORD. He died on 8 April 1834 at age 63 at Biltons Hotel.

[4] Dr. LESLIE is David LESLIE  (b. aft. 1803) of Leslie Hill (in the Derrynoose area of Armagh), the son of Nathaniel LESLIE & Martha OLIVER (married 1803)). His mother Martha was a sister of the recently deceased William OLIVER. He was often referred to as "Dr. LESLIE".

[5] John LESLIE b. Abt 1831, son of David LESLIE (mother not known to me)..


[7] Mr. RENNICK jr. of Carrickmacross

[8] Carrick was short for Carrickmacross

[9] Mr. KEEGAN

[10] Dr. COLLINS

[11] Mr. JOY

[12] Mr. O’HAGAN

[13] Mr. CASSIDY



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