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Sharon Oddie Brown. September 17, 2008


NOTE: In order to understand the Tenant Right League meeting that is the focus of the following article, it is helpful to have at least a little historical context. For the briefest of thumbnail introductions, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenant_Right_League Also, an Article entitled Land and Loss  at http://www.cregganhistory.co.uk/landandloss.htm has a more local perspective.


The estimates of the numbers of people attending the Tenant Right meetings may seem to be a gross exaggeration, but perhaps not. For example, at Ballybay, Co. Monaghan a similar gathering saw 30,000 gathered on October 1, 1850[1]. Just as at Co. Louth, there were significant numbers of Presbyterian and Roman Catholic clergy present. At the time, Catholic and Presbyterian farmers were known to make common cause against the landlords (there is nothing so unifying as a common enemy).


My footnotes are a bit of a grab bag as I try to sort people out. Help is always welcome. Also, I have created a table showing the frequency of the family names in Griffiths and sorted it by townland to give a bit of a feel for at least one level of interaction amongst the people named in this news report. Thanks to Wendy JACK who did the initial transcription.


1850 July 5 Anglo Celt


The meeting to-day was a great triumph for the cause of tenant-right, and has done honour to the men of Louth as champions to the noble cause. A platform was erected in the open space before the new Catholic Church, and it was crowded by Catholic and Presbyterian clergymen, and a vast number of the tenant farmers. The meeting at one period numbered from 12 to 15 thousand persons, who cheered the different speakers in the most enthusiastic manner.

At two o'clock, on the motion of Mr. M'ALESTER[2], seconded by the Rev. Mr. KENDELAN[3], P.P., Thomas BRADFORD[4], Esq., of Cairnbeg, was called to the chair amid loud cheers.

The Chairman read the requisition calling the meeting, and said he was ready to hear any one who had a resolution to propose.

The Rev. Mr. BANNON[5], P.P., proposed the first resolution. He said he felt great pleasure in proposing it. It was most pleasing to him to see Catholics and Presbyterians joining together to do justice to the country, and obtain the people's rights.....Mr. BANNON concluded by calling on the people to nail their colours to the mast, and never take them down till they won the victory (great cheering.)

Mr. S. DICKIE[6] seconded the motion...The resolution was unanimously adopted.

Mr. J. M. M'ALISTER[7] moved the second resolution. He congratulated the meeting on the unanimity which existed amongst them. They had Protestants, Presbyterians, and Catholics on the platform, and when such was the case, he trusted that victory would crown their labours.


The Rev. Mr. DOBBIN[8] came forward admidst loud cheers to second the resolution ...... [Resolutions were moved and seconded by Mr. Nicholas MARKEY[9], seconded by Mr. William M'CULLOCH[10], of Dundalk; Mr. Owen MARKEY[11], seconded by the Rev. M. RUTHERFORD[12], Presbyterian Minister; Mr. John COLLIER[13] seconded by the Rev. Mr. KENDELAN[14], P.P. Inniskeen; The Rev. Mr. BEATTY[15], Presbyterian Minister, of Dundalk, seconded by Mr. James O'HANLON[16]; Mr. J. P. NEARY[17]]

Mr. J. O'HAGAN came forward, amid loud cheers, and said he had great pleasure in moving the resolution for forming Tenant Protection Society. Mr. John FARLEY[18] seconded the resolution, which was adopted.

The meeting at five o'clock separated, cheering for tenant right. Dundalk Democrat.


[1] A History of Ulster Jonathon Bardon. Blackstaff Press. 1992. p.315

[2] Mr. M'ALESTER He may be the J. M. M'ALISTER mentioned beneath.

[3] Rev. Mr. KENDELAN P.P.. This is a surname that appears on the Dundalk Hearth Money Rolls of 1665 and the King James Irish Army list of 1689. It does not show up in the Griffiths valuations for Louth.

[4] Thomas BRADFORD This is probably the Thomas BRADFORD (1797-1872) of Carnbeg who married Margaret WALLACE. They had twelve known living children. He is also probably the same Thomas BRADFORD who was assaulted at a political rally in 1865 and later had his lambs maliciously slaughtered. Tempers were running high at the time. SOURCE: Belfast Newsletter July 20, 1865 & September 12, 1865. In January and February of 1851 and in March 1852, Thomas BRADFORD received threatening notices. SOURCE: A RETURN of the number of Murders, Waylayings, Assaults, Threatening Notices, Incendiary Fires, or other Crimes of an Agrarian Character, reported by the Constabulary within the Counties of Louth, Armagh, and Monaghan, since the 1st day of January 1849; distinguishing by Name the Persons Murdered and Waylaid; also stating the Numbers Arrested for each Offense; whether Informations have been Sworn in the Case, and the Result of any Trial of the same” He would have been a 1st cousin twice removed of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[5] Rev. Mr. BANNON There were several BANNONs at Cornamucklagh, Carlingford, Co. Louth at the time of Griffiths Valuation.

[6] S. DICKIE. This is possibly the Samuel DICKIE (1819-1877) of Carrickastuck, although he may have emigrated to Canada. A Samuel DICKIE chairs another meeting on November 7th, 1850.

[7] J. M. M'ALISTER He was possibly the James M’ALISTER Esq. of Cambrickville who was in attendance at a meeting November 1, 1837 to encourage people to register their Freeholds. SOURCE: http://www.mc-research.com/Home/Records/Electors/19-century.htm

[8] Rev. Mr. DOBBIN He is possibly Rev. Henry Jackson DOBBIN son of the Rev. H. Dobbin of Lurgan who was the first minister of  Drumbo Presbyterian Church and a grandson of Rev. Henry JACKSON (who was said to be a relative of General Jackson, President of the United States). Rev. Henry JACKSON was ordained at Ballymena on 8 Nov. 1743 by the Presbytery of Armagh. After a very long ministry he retired on 6 Jan. 1790 and died on 26 Feb. 1795. Rev. Henry Jackson DOBBIN was ordained at Drumbo on 18th September 1833.  On the 30th January 1837 he resigned this charge and removed to 1st Ballymena. SOURCE: http://lisburn.com/churches/Lisburn-churches/presbyterian-churches2.htm  Another possibility is Reverend Hamilton Dobbin, Presbyterian minister of Lurgan.

[9] Nicholas MARKEY This is possibly the same person: Nicholas Markey m. Mary Brabazon c. 1793 and had Jenny 1794, Mary 1796, James 1798, Anne 1800,John 1802, Patrick 1803, Bridget 1805, Nicholas 1808, Margaret 1811. SOURCE: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/IRL-LOUTH/2002-12/1040346806 It is possible that he was the same one who was a subscriber to St. Christian's New Church, Tullyallen, near Mellifont, County Louth. SOURCE: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fianna/county/louth/loutchu.html  Another convergence of name & place is that Walshestown House was built for Nicholas Markey, a good friend and election agent of Daniel O'Connell.  http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=LH&regno=13901916 Also of interest, “In 1842 New Year's-day was celebrated by a crowded  Repeal meeting at Dundalk. It was supposed not less than  from sixty to seventy thousand persons attended. The  crowds flocked in from the neighbouring Counties of Armagh,  Down, and Meath. O'Connell, at this time Lord Mayor of  Dublin, was accompanied to the meeting by Messrs. Boylan,  Markey, Caraher, and other Repealers, and the chair was  taken by Berkely B. Stafford, Esq. O'Connell made a most  powerful speech, and, at the banquet which followed, nearly  600 persons sat down. To the toast of " The People — the  True Source of Legitimate Power, " the Rev. Mr. Marmion  ably responded.” SOURCE: http://www.marmionfamilytree.com/CountyLouthIreland.html Also, Nicholas MARKEY, Esq. of Walshestown was in attendance at a meeting October 25th & November 1, 1837 to encourage people to register their Freeholds. SOURCE: http://www.mc-research.com/Home/Records/Electors/19-century.htm

[10] William M'CULLOCH. This is quite possibly the William McCullagh who was born about 1805 in Dundalk and who married Rose Anne Bradford (b: Abt. 1806  d: 10 Sep 1853) on November 6th, 1832 in Co. Louth. He died September 22nd, 1864. NOTE: This is a line of BRADFORDs that I have yet to connect to Thomas BRADFORD.

[11] Owen MARKEY Esq. of Reynoldstown was in attendance at a meeting  October 25th & November 1, 1837 to encourage people to register their Freeholds. SOURCE: http://www.mc-research.com/Home/Records/Electors/19-century.htm

[12] Rev. M. RUTHERFORD Presbyterian Minister

[13] Mr. John COLLIER

[14] Rev. Mr. KENDELAN P.P.

[15] Rev. Mr. BEATTY. Rev James BEATTY. M.A. He was a subscriber to the Topographical Dictionary of Ireland  by Samuel Lewis. He was the Presbyterian Chaplain at the Dundalk County Goal in 1830. He was the executor of a will for Samuel BRADFORD of Cavananore  in 1839. Since the father of this Samuel BRADFORD was from Ravensdale, Ballymascanlon, , it is perhaps relevant that a will dated 1834 for Elizabeth Mary BEATTY mentions her pew at Ballymascanlon Church– and also has references to McCULLAGH witnesses (Anne & Margaret). Other sightings: The Armagh Guardian January 28, 1845 The death of his son: Of inflammation of the lungs, at the age of three years and five months, Albert, son of the Rev. James Beatty, Dundalk

[16] James O'HANLON

[17] J. P. NEARY

[18] John FARLEY



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