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Another of the 77 letters from the bog in Ireland. NEWS: Death of Rev. Joseph BARKLEY (uncle to TJ); Prof. Matthew LEITCH; charity report on where TJ's help has gone; Thompson BROWN jr. at HSBC; Thompson BROWN sr. in some sort of "scrape"; James McCULLAGH of Corfad doing well as agent on LESLIE estate; Andy STITT & boils; politics of Land League.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 4, 2006

Urker Decr 1st 1880

My dear Tom – I received yours of Oct 12th some days since. I think letters come more speedily than they did formerly; & the postage is one half less. Ere this reaches you, you will have the envelope which contains the article on Uncle Barkley’s [1] death. Mary [2] promised to send it to you; & I sent similar ones to Johnny [3] Andy [4] & David [5] . No man could be more highly honoured, or more deeply respected than Uncle Barkley was. There was an immense funeral. I do not yet know what Aunt [6] will do. For the present she is going on a visit to Professor Leitch [7] (he is married to a niece of her late husband) as soon as her auction is over; and all things arranged. She is left very well off; Her husband bequeathed his every thing during her life; she will also have the widow’s funds. Mary is not home yet; but probably soon will be. Lizzie Brown [8] is here still; & is very useful to me in helping to manage the children. I have not heard from the McCullaghs [9] for the last fortnight, but when I last heard there was no improvement. I have done a good deal for them, & will do more (D&) as it is required. They were very thankful. Only that it would make my letter too bulky, I would enclose one from poor Aunt James [10] ; acknowledging my kindness. I am truly glad that you have got Thos Brown [11] into your Bank. He was to be in London today. They were in some awful scrape last week; I did not hear what; Uncle Brown [12] wrote to me for ₤35 promising to pay at May next. I sent him ₤40. I have heaped coals of fire [13] on many a head this year; Thanks be to God that gave me the grace and the means; but whether the coals will [?] remains to be seen, I care not. If once I do a good turn, I leave it with God; and never look for reward or gratitude from mortals; as I cannot be disappointed. I sent the part of your letter that related to Watson [14] to him. Poor fellow, he has been badly treated by the company has served. They moved him from Crossmaglen [15] to Ballyshannon [16] without giving him any promotion, or increase of salary, after all his long & faithful service. He wrote to me that he had asked Mr Donaldson [17] to release him from his engagement; & offered her ₤140 all he had in the world to do so. I did not hear whether she accepted it or not. He would be willing & anxious to join your Bank now as a single man; if you would encourage to get him in. He is totally disgusted with the Company he serves; & is too old for the Civil service, or anything else that he could do. I pity him very much.


            We are all in our usual health, & all getting on well. As you say “Old Urker that once was looked down on, is now the best off of them all”. So it is. There is not one of our relatives better off than we are ourselves, except young James McCullagh [18] of Corfadd. He is agent to Sir John Leslie [19] , at a salary of ₤2,000 a year; and has a handsome private property besides. We are watching every day to hear of the death of old James [20] , of Corfadd. The lease of Derryvalley [21] dies with him. I am glad to learn that you have an excursion in prospect; & also Minnie [22] . It should do good both to you & little Tom [23] . Minnie wrote me that he had suffered from boils; tell her not to be uneasy about that. It is an effort of nature to relive itself; and though they are painful, & annoying, they are a wholesome sign. No constitution is much amiss, that has strength to relieve itself in that way. You remember old Andy Stitt [24] ? He took a turn of boils every spring; he lived to over 90 years of age; & never lost a tooth. You must make my excuse to Minnie for not writing today. I have had two letters from her since I wrote; but then it makes no great difference which of you I write to. Writing has become very toilsome to me; but I will keep it up (D&) as long as I am able.


            May God keep you both; by land and by sea. I dread the typhoons, but “the sea is His and He made it”. He is everywhere present; & “man is immortal till his work is done”. Cousin Sam [25] still continues to pay the rent punctually; pride will make him do that; but he is tired enough of his bargain by all accounts. There is not one, who had a hand in wronging and grieving us, that does not repent it today. More of that to them, the treacherous ungrateful creatures. That wound is not yet healed, though I am getting plenty of scourges.


            And some consolation too; for Andy [26] is doing remarkably well. Probably he would not have done so well in C’nore [27] . Liscalgot [28] house is nearly finished; you would be surprised at it. It is a better house far, than Cavananore [29] .


            There is terrible agitation going on in Ireland now, Land League meetings, refusals to pay rent, Boycotting*, &c &c. But it does us no harm. All I fear is that they will provoke the Lord to lay his hands on them; as they did before the famine of 47 & 48. They were just getting on the same way before that, only it was about Repeal, instead of rent. Mr Gladstone [30] is about to bring in another land bill; & if it does not pass, I verily think there will be bad work “Tread on a worm, & it will turn”. Too long have the tenant farmers been trampled on; but their present demands are unreasonable.


            With love & blessing to Minnie & the children; ever dearest love

                        your affectionate Mother.

* The term "boycotting" came from this time and the politics and social unrest surrounding the land situation. The use of the term first appeared in the autumn of 1880 by the Irish Land League and was used towards those who incurred its hostility. The word quickly spread into common use in newspapers and vernacular English. By 1886, the word was no longer capitalized. The following sotry add family interest to the term (many of the names are familiar):

Captain Boycott & the Monaghan involvement (1881)
On 17th February 1881 Colonel Jesse Lloyd organised a "support group" of Tenant Farmers from Monaghan to travel to Claremorris, scene of the Boycott incident.  They travelled by rail to the Estate of Lord Erne, managed by the tyrannical Captain Boycott.  Their objective was to relieve Captain Boycott whose tenants had refused to save his crops as a reaction to his eviction of tenants. 
Those who travelled were R.J. Stewart, Thomas Kerr, William Wade, Joseph Parker, William Wilson, Samuel Gordon, William Smith, Thomas Moorehead, Samuel Adams, Robert C. Hanna, Samuel Bateson, Richard Tweedie, Robert McBride, David Boyd, John Thompson, Joseph McCormick, Thomas McBirnie, William Gillanders, Thomas Graham, Joseph Millar, & Joseph Wilson. SOURCE: James Storey email

[1] Rev. Joseph BARKLEY (1811- November 17, 1880), husband of Sarah JACKSON (1811-1892) – sister-in-law of Eliza.WILL PROBATE: The Will of the Reverend Joseph Barkley late of Carnmoney County Antrim Presbyterian Minister deceased who died 17 November 1880 at same place was proved at Belfast by the oath of Matthew Leitch of Belfast Professor in Assembly's College one of the Executors Effects under £1,500. Belfast

[2] Mary (JACKSON) MENARY – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[3] John JACKSON – older brother of Sir Thomas Jackson

[4] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON – younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[5] David JACKSON, youngest surviving brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[6] Sarah JACKSON (1811-1892)

[7] Rev. Matthew LEITCH (1841-1922) of Belfast.MA., DD, LLD. He served at Maghera (1866-1879) and became Prinsipal of Assembly's College, Belfast (1841-1922). He was known as a conservative scholar. His wife was Mary BARKLEY, daughter of James BARKLEY of Maghera, Co. Derry - a brother of Joseph.

[8] At first I thought Elizabeth BROWN (1870-1942), daughter of Thompson BROWN & Elizabeth JACKSON. Going from context in the November 2 letter, it is more likely that this was Elizabeth BROWN (1847-1911), daughter of Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON, and wife of James JACKSON, Eliza's son.. This Elizabeth and Eliza attended Freeduff church together on a regular basis.

[9] McCULLAGHs I would guess this would be the McCULLAGHs of Derryvalley since the father (Thomas McCULLAGH) died in 1877 and the mother (Sarah McCULLAGH) had already been dead by 1857 and there were still unmarried children.

[10] Aunt James McCULLAGH? The more I look at this name, the more I suspect she is Eliza WALLACE, wife of James MCCULLAGH of Drummuck..

[11] Thompson BROWN (1868-1942) eldest child of Thompson BROWN & Elizabeth JACKSON, sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[12] At first I thought this was Thompson BROWN (1837-1915) of Killynure, husband of Elizabeth JACKSON, sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON, but he was not "Uncle". That would be Daniel Gunn BROWN (1808-1892) husband of Margaret JACKSON.

[13] Romans 12:20. "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

[14] WATSON? I did not see his name in the ranks of HSBC, so I assume he had no luck.

[15] Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh

[16] Ballyshannon, Co. Kildare?

[17] Mr. DONALDSON – I don’t know which daughter WATSON  might have been engaged to, but the financial transaction is interesting.

[18] James McCULLAGH (1834-1910) married an unnamed BOND.

[19] Sir John LESLIE (1822-1916) 1st Baronet of Glaslough. was a fine painter of the Pre Raphelite school and it was he who had Castle Leslie built.

[20] James McCULLAGH (1796 – December 7, 1880) – obviously he was near death at the time of this letter.

[21] Derryvalley, Co. Monaghan

[22] “Minnie” Amelia Lydia DARE, wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[23] Thomas Dare JACKSON (1876-1954)  first born son of Sir Thomas JACKSON & Amelia Lydia DARE.

[24] Andrew STITT – I imagine he is one of the STITTS of Freeduff.

[25] Samuel BRADFORD son of Samuel BRADFORD & Margaret HENRY.

[26] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON – a younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON who was settled on a farm just outside Trim, Co. Meath.

[27] Cavananore, Co. Louth.

[28] Liscalgot, Co. Armagh – a townland adjacent to Urker and where Eleizer GILMORE & Sarah JACKSON (sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON) lived.

[29] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON had managed Cavananore before the death of Mary Jane OLIVER and it had been assumed that he would continue to do so.

[30] Prime Minister of England



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