Home Biographies History Places Documents Letters Family Tree Misc. Contact NEW Blog


This in one of the 77 letters found in an Irish bog - some time before 1960. News contains: TJ in Dublin (after death of Emily); a legal tangle with Andrew Bradford OLIVER over his brother William OLIVER's estate and involving his son Benjamin gaining Killynure; the health of Aunt Bess (likely Elizabeth Johanna DONALDSON nee JACKSON) and preparations for construction at Kilteban; George JACKSON's gift to Drogheda to display the JACKSON coats of arms.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 4, 2006
Update: November 5, 2007 - Jackson coat of arms
Thanks to Brendan Matthews from the Millmount Archival Library, Drogheda Co. Louth Ireland who undertook extensive search for the Jackson Coat of Arms (in response to my question) but could not find mention of any such incident or emblem being erected on any building within the town of Drogheda. 
Drogheda was founded in the year 1186 AD and, from that period onwards, there is a good record of all the Civic and Municipal buildings that were erected and particularly the buildings, emblems, etc, that were erected and bestowed on the town from the mid 17th century. There was a town hall in Drogheda that was subsequently demolished (at 3:00 AM when under a preservation order!). The current building known as Whitworth Hall was constructed in 1865 for the purposes of being a town hall. SEE: Whitworth Hall Regrettably, there isn’t any documentation or otherwise regarding any Jackson crest or indeed any emblem recorded for this hall.


Urker October 15, 1874


My dear Tom – I was glad to see a scrape of your pen this morning, and also glad to learn that you had enjoyed your Dublin visit, which was more than I expected owing to the unfavourable weather [1] . I would have written to you ere this; (for great news have come to town, since you left) only that I did not know your address. Your Uncle Andrew [2] has made a formal declaration of war, or rather law. He has noticed Mr McCombe [3] not to proceed with selling or dividing Uncle William’s [4] property, till the case is tried. He has been going about ever since he came home trying to get some lawyer to take up the case on spec, but did not find anyone willing to do so; but now he has prevailed on Ben [5] to produce the needful, promising to give him Killynure, as soon as it is won. Ben came up to consult Aunt Mary [6] , but returned without doing so. He promised to write to her; but no letter had arrived last Sabbath. She and Andy dined in Liscalgot [7] that day. She intends to be quite [neuter?] in the matter. I think she is right. If they win any part of the property, they will have it. If they do not win, they will have the satisfaction of having done the best; so let them see it out. It will all be as God pleases, and even if it goes against my brother’s will; what my children never had, they never lost. Just this day twelve months, dear William departed this life. If he could have foreseen the work that is going on, he would have been an angry man. I feel very thankful that he got leave to die in peace; which would not have been the case, had his [?lty] brother [8] arrived a few days sooner.


            I am relieved by your account of Aunt Bess’ [9] health for like you, I felt very uneasy about her. The arrangement about the rent is also very satisfactory. We are still at a stand, for want of slates; they could be got in Newry (perhaps) but the carriage would be awful and ready money would be required to pay for them. If we once had the slates, there would be no difficulty in having the house ready. The [Jeffers?] have been in Killynure since Monday, roofing a cow house for Thompson Brown, but that is no loss of time for they have all done for Kiltebane [10] that can be done, till the house is slated. The foundation of John McCabe’s [11] house is cut out, and a great part of the stones drawn & some mortar made, so that there will be no delay in beginning that if once the masons were done in Kiltebane; and they would have finished ere this, but for the rain. John [12] continues better; he dined here last Sabbath, and was not the worse. Jemmy [13] went for him and left him home with the donkey cart. You may depend that you are not forgotten in his prayers.


            I shall be watching for your promised letter. Give me a full account of your peregrination but above all things, beware of boating on the lakes; the weather is too rough and uncertain.


            I have been told that the Corporation of Drogheda placed the Jackson coat of arms over the town hall, in gratitude for the munificent gift old George [14] gave them (I wish he had been sleeping when he did it) but I never had time when passing through, to see if it was the one.


            As it is near past hour, I will add no more, but that with love to Minnie [15] & Peggy [16] ; I remain


            Your affectionate Mother

                        Eliza Jackson

P.S. A letter inviting Aunt Bess [17] had been dispatched before you arrived. It is too soon to send Johnny [18] yet.


[1] To my ears, this is an odd comment “glad to learn that you had enjoyed your visit”  – given that one of Sir Thomas’s infant daughters had died a mere 38 days before this letter. On the other hand, since Eliza would presume the child to be in heaven, perhaps it is “all of a piece”.

[2] Andrew Bradford OLIVER

[3] Mr. McCOMBE? Likely Alexander McCOMBE a lawyer acting on behalf of OLIVERs in earlier documents.

[4] William OLIVER (1815-1873)

[5] Benjamin OLIVER, son of Andrew Bradford OLIVER.

[6] Mary Jane OLIVER (1821-1875) of Cavananore – sister of Eliza (OLIVER) JACKSON

[7] Liscalgot, home of Eliezer GILMORE (1845-1919) & Sarah JACKSON  (1848-1942), younger sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[8] Andrew Bradford OLIVER?

[9] Probably Elizabeth Johanna (JACKSON) DONALDSON. It is most likely that she is being set up at Kiltebane with John McCABE being the farm manager. http://www.user.dccnet.com/s.brown/documents/1871BROWNThompson.htm shows documents transferring a farm to Mrs. Elizabeth DONALDSON on March 14, 1857 and it would seem a year later February 5, 1858 that Margaret BRADFORD (her great aunt) assumed the lease..

[10] Kiltebane, Co. Armagh. I need to explore this further. PRONI Freeholder records show this to be held by Samuel BROWN in 1824. Since the father of Thompson BROWN is also a Samuel, this hooks my interest.

[11] John McCABE? In Jeannie MOORHEAD’s birthday book, there is mention of a James McCabe REAY of son of Henry REAY of Ardee, Co. Louth. Griffiths evaluations mention a John McCABE at Tullydonnell O'Callaghan . The name is also common in Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim. In 1850, during the inquest after the murder of Mauleverer, John McCABE was mentioned as one of the men who illegally repossessed the JACKSON livestock that had been seized for failure to pay rent. There was also a John McCABE mentioned in the BORRIS baptismal records (Co. Carlow) – where the JACKSONs came from before they settled at Liscalgot. There was also a John McCABE of Rathkeelan who in the 1901 census was a Gaelic speaker, and a farmer aged 62.

[12] Probably John JACKSON (1839-1886), older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[13] “Jemmie” Jame JACKSON (b. 1850) younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON – he would be 14 years old at this time.

[14] George JACKSON could be either the great grandfather (1718-1782) of Eliza JACKSON’s husband or else his great-great uncle.

[15] Amelia Lydia DARE wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[16] “Peggy” probably Margaret JACKSON (1853-1944) – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[17] Possibly but not certainly Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON wife (or widow) of John DONALDSON.

[18] John JACKSON brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON



Site Map | Legal Disclaimer | Copyright

© 2006-2023 Sharon Oddie Brown