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One of the 77 "bog letters". NEWS: Tea & a letter from David JACKSON; James McCULLAGH's sufferings; Andrew at Lionsden (after the family lost Cavananore); Sam BRADFORD & Cavananore ghost; ingratitude of BROWNS (most likely children of Daniel Gunn BROWNE); support to TJ for his decision to stay in Hong Kong; still problems with William OLIVER's estate.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 4, 2006
Footnotes updated: September 24, 2014

Urker Novr 2nd 1880


My dear Tom, I have yours of the 24th Sept before me; also one from dear Minnie [1] ; I cannot tell you how I appreciate her kindness in writing so often. I must write a line to her today also. I also had a letter from David [2] lately; and a present of Tea. He seems to be well; at least makes no complaints; but he often keeps me anxious for want of writing a few lines. However it was very kind of him to send the Tea. He sent tea twice before, & so much that I was able to divide with the whole family & no one was more thankful than poor Aunt James McCullagh [3] . She shed tears when she got it; any kindness from this quarter was both unexpected and ill deserved; & it happened to be the first gift I sent her. I have given her others, more substantial since then; & will not forget her, nor anyone in distress so long as God enables me.


            James [4] continues just as he was. As far as human eyes can see; it would be a mercy if he was at rest; for he is in a state of hopeless suffering; but God’s time is the best time. I wrote that probably the next letter would contain intelligence of the death of Uncle Barkley [5] . He is still living on at least, was yesterday but very near his end; not able to rise or to see any one. Mary [6] has been there for several weeks.; & probably will remain till all is over.


            Father & I both visited Andy [7] this year; he is doing well. I have given every one all that you sent them. Lionsden [8] is a lovely place; but still it is not the old ground [9] , & still I am not without hope to see that back in the family before I die. Sam Bradford [10] is losing by it; & if you were back, I would not be surprised if he would offer it to you. The loss in death of cattle that he has sustained in it is something awful, a thing that never happened before; & I must tell you a good joke that amused me no little; Sam fell out with his mother; so he put a bed & bedding into a [float?]; & set out for Cavananore accompanied by a confidential man of his. They arrived at 10 o’clock at night; & left it at 4 next morning! I would like to know their experience of the sight but they told no one; & kept the whole matter as quiet as possible. The place is said to be haunted; but I know what the ghost is; just the roaring of the chimneys in the empty house. Everyone who had a hand in that villainous transaction about Cavananore now sees their error & is sorry for it; Johnny McCullagh [11] among the rest. He knows his well wishers a little better now than he did then. Many a head have I heaped coals of fire [12] on this last year; thanks be to God who gave me the grace & to you who gave me the means to do so. As for the Browns [13] I would never have put a penny of the interest in my pocket if I had got it. I never asked for it since, not will not; since such is your wish; but it proves them to be both dishonest & ungrateful that they were not willing to pay it. They have shown themselves so; to more than me; & it is well that there is not more lost with them; though there is plenty. Many a thing I gave them; & some even since the dispute. Lizzie [14] is here still & is very useful to me in managing the children since Mary went to [Carnmoney?].


            Sally’s [15] children are here still & little Mary [16] & I was a bad hand among them; for want of hearing; Uncle Brown [17] has got an addition to his income last month by the death of Mr Cochrane [18] of Newry. He was one to whom Uncle B. had to pay an annuity; but it ceases with his death.


            I think you are quite right to remain where you are till Providence points your way elsewhere. You have been most useful to those who appointed you, & to many besides; & it seems to be the will of God that you should continue to be so; when He sends you health & prosperity. Follow his guidance & “in all thy ways acknowledge Him, & He shall direct thy paths”. If you were in London; you would be almost at home but any advice to you is to guided by the will of the Directors. If they wish to send you elsewhere; go; if they best to keep you where you are; stay; as long as God sends you health and success. There is such a thing as “the right man in the right place”; & you appear to be that in Hong Kong.


            As you may remember, I told you never to seek that place; but if it was ever offered to you; to take it. All mortals are such short sighted creatures, that they never can tell what is really best for them; and it is their wisdom to be guided by the leadings of Providence. All the connexion [19] are well; with the exceptions I have mentioned. I have paid all my annual visits; except to Johnny [20] & I intend get to him before this month is out. Last year was very unfavourable to him & many others; but this harvest promises better. What you sent, was a comfort to him.


            Uncle William’s [21] estate is not yet wound up; there is a dispute at law with the tenant Mrs. Knipe [22] , & until that is decided, the assets cannot be divided. Much luck could not come of that property; the owners neither feared God, nor pitied the poor; but I hope and pray that there may be a blessing in what remains of it. My poor Father [23] did the whole mischief by not making a new will; when the increase of his family required it. I need not tell you to avoid that error; for I believe you have avoided it. As I will probably be writing to you again before long, I will add no more, but that praying for every blessing to you & yours, remain your ever affectionate Mother

                        Eliza Jackson


[1] “Minnie” Amelia Lydia DARE – wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

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

[3] The more I look at this name “Aunt James McCULLAGH” the more confused I get. I suspect Eliza is referring to a wife of a James McCULLAGH. One likelihood is Eliza WALLACE, wife of James McCULLAGH of Drummuck.

[4] Probably James McCULLAGH of Corfad who died December 7, 1880 at age 84. His wife had predeceased him (if my records are correct – I don’t recall the source).

[5] Rev. Joseph Barkley (1811- November 17, 1880) husband of Sarah JACKSON (aunt of Sir Thomas JACKSON)

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

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

[8] Lionsden is a farm near Trim, Co. Meath that Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON either leased or bought.

[9] This would be Cavananore, the farm that the JACKSONs lost to Samuel BRADFORD but which Sir Thomas later bought back and was able to keep in the family.

[10] Samuel BRADFORD -  I am still guessing here – but I think he is the one who was the son of Samuel BRADFORD & Margaret HENRY and who married Sarah WILSON.

[11] Which John McCULLAGH this might be, I don’t know.

[12] 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."

[13] This likely refers to the family of Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON – likely some of their children.

[14] Going from the context , I suspect this is 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.

[15] Sarah (JACKSON) GILMORE, wife of Eliezer GILMORE & sister to Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[16] Probably Mary MENARY 1872-1946), daughter of Mary (JACKSON) MENARY – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[17]   This is likely Rev. Daniel Gunn BROWNE(1808-1892)  husband of  Margaret JACKSON.

[18] Mr. COCHRANE?

[19] The word “connexion” is used often and seems to include both friends and family.

[20] John JACKSON (1839-1886) older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[21] William OLIVER d. Oct 15, 1873.

[22] Mrs. KNIPE? It is perhaps relevant that a Dr. KNIPE currently owns the townland to the east of Killynure.

[23] Benjamin OLIVER (1765-1831)



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