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This is one of the 77 letters and documents found in an Irish bog. NEWS: both David JACKSON and brother TJ expected home from Far East at same time; TJ's nephew John GILMORE ill; Jane DICKIE (nee WALLACE) died; Margaret BRADFORD (nee WALLACE) not well; Samuel BRADFORD (cousin) financially strapped; family visits; news of Mary MENARY (nee JACKSON) & Fred GRIFFIN; Creggan church news; theology of Eliza JACKSON & Rev BOSTON; news of TJ's brother John JACKSON.
Sharon Oddie Brown October 6, 2006
Updated March 21, 2010
Updated September 26, 2014 footnotes added to.


Urker June 4th 1884


My dear Tom, This is the 4th of June your birthday; many and happy returns of the anniversary, may you see & enjoy God’s blessing strong through  them all; and through the endless ages of eternity! I can never be grateful enough to God for giving you to me. I can truly say of you, what Lameck said of his son Noah “This same shall comfort us, answering our work and toil of our hands, because of  the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” [1] You have been Noah & Joseph all in one to us; and the most fervent blessings of your Parents, rest upon your head.


I had a letter from David [2] lately saying that he hoped to be home at the same time with you. What a joyful meeting that will be! May God bring you all  home in peace and safety! Bessy [3] and four of her children have been here for the last week. She was calculating that you had twenty nephews & nieces you had never seen. There is not one of them who is not well worth looking at; & they are all well, except little John Gilmore [4] . He had been dangerously ill lately. Yesterday I thought he would not recover. Today he is much better and we all hope he will come through. Though they are all fine children, he is the flower of Sally’s [5] flock. We cannot tell what his complaint is; even the Doctor does not put a name on it; but whatever it is, it has brought him nigh death. All the rest of the family are well except that my stomach is still ailing, but not very bad; and Aunt McCullagh [6] has been dangerously ill, but is getting better. She often prays that she may live to see you. James [7] & Margaret [8] are just in the same way that they were; no changes apparent.. Mrs. John Dickie [9] was buried on Monday week. She had gone in her usual health on a visit to her son Tom [10] in Omagh a fortnight before and died there. We have not yet heard any particulars of her death. Her remains were brought to Kane [11] , & there was a very great funeral. Her death was a great shock to her sister McCullagh [12] who was ill at the time. I hear also that Mrs. Bradford [13] is not well. Cousin Sam [14] [?] I hear has plenty to do between rent & interest of borrowed money, he has ₤2000 a year to make up. I would not be surprised if he would come to easy enough terms with you; if once you were here; but the proposals must come from him, any thing else would spoil [?]. Margaret Reed [15] & Eva [16] were here last Saturday & are here still. Margaret [17] has been of the greatest us in helping Sally to nurse Jack [18] . She & her family are well & doing wonderfully well. Mary Menary [19] has been in Co. Monaghan since April 7th part of the time in Slieveroe [20] & part in Derryvalley [21] . Sarah McCullagh [22] has not been well. I never wrote to Mary [23]   nor she to me since she left home & I do not know when she will return. Peggy [24] told her the day she arrived at Slieveroe, that she was welcome there, & to stay as long as she liked but that the gentleman [25] must not come there; so he never attempted to return; but they correspond regularly & he is as full of folly as ever. He has grass taken in this neighbourhood & is dealing in cattle; on her money of course for he has not had a shilling of his own. Still I hope that something may turn up to open her eyes, & save her from deceiving herself.


Dr. Mills [26] is abroad for a change of air. He is better than he was. The Revd Thomas Corr [27] is Curate here now, but he is not stout either. Mr Johnston [28] of Woodvale is  now Agent to the Ball [29] estate. I hope we will soon get our affairs settled; & we can settle any [day?]. He dined with us, one day lately; & advise very favourably dispensed. All the books & accounts of the Estate are to be given up to him on the 10th inst. Mr Brooke [30] has made a total mess of his employers business in more cases besides ours.


I have two letters from Minnie [31] , one of the 7th & one of the 15th April; like all her letters, they are cheerful and comforting. She also sent me a production of the Bishop [32] [?] “The four last things” I fear that the Bishop is only a blessed leader of the blessed; but anyone who had access to the word of God, need not fall. The passage which he imputes to Boston [33] . I have not met with in Boston’s works, though I have read these carefully. I would not impute falsehood or misrepresentation to this Bishop; but I fear he has taken his information at second hand. I had a mind to have sent “Boston’s fourfold states [34] ” to Minnie; & will do so if she engages to read it. It is one of the best books ever I read. Would to God that every minister of the Gospel  was such a  [?] or such a theologian as was Thos Boston. But many of the clergy of the Episcopal Church, I thoroughly believe in; for instance Dr Ryles [35] , the present Bishop of Liverpool would not say a word that I could object to; old John Newton [36] of the last century is one of my prophets; and there are many others that I could name. You see that “old Mause" is not dead yet; but Father [37] is just as like “Cruddie Headrigg [38] ?” as ever he was. But he is a dear, loving, goodnatured man & after all that is come and gone.. Minnie asks me for my opinion of this Bishop’s book & I am conveying it to her, through you but I must write to herself next; if I am spared. We had a visit from Johnny [39] lately. I never saw him look better; & I have heard no complaints about him of late. His eldest daughter Jane Ledlie [40] is still in Liscalgot. She is a very fine child. All his children are fine. Andy [41] & family are well & doing well. Nothing more to say except love & blessing to Minnie, Kathleen [42] , Amy [43] , Thomas [44] , Beatrice [45] and Julius [46] ; and a double portion to yourself,

I remain

                                    Your ever affectionate Mother

                                                Eliza Jackson

PS Love from all the others.


[1] Genesis 5:29

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

[3] “Bessy” Elizabeth (JACKSON) BROWN wife of Thompson BROWN & sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[4] John GILMORE (1880-June 7, 1884) son of Eliezer GILMORE & Sarah JACKSON of Liscalgot. – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[5] Sarah JACKSON of Liscalgot, wife of Eliezer GILMORE & sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[6] Probably Eliza McCULLAGH nee WALLACE. (1808-1895)

[7] James “Jemmie” JACKSON brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[8] Margaret (JACKSON) REED widow of Robert Hamilton REED & sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[9] Jane WALLACE (1806-1884) wife of John Thomas DICKIE (1787-1876)

[10] Thomas Coulter DICKIE (1837-1908), a solicitor in Omagh, Co. Tyrone; husband of Maud McNIECE.

[11] Kane Cemetery, Co. Louth.

[12] Eliza WALLACE (d.1895) who married James McCULLAGH and had as many as 13 children (some not verified)

[13] Given the context, this is likely Margaret WALLACE who married Thomas BRADFORD. She died July 4, 1885 (a year after this letter) at age 74.

[14] Samuel BRADFORD of Cavananore.

[15] Margaret Hamilton REED (1880-1892) daughter of Robert Hamilton REED & sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[16] Eva Oliver REED (1876-1968) daughter of Robert Hamilton REED & sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[17] Possibly Margaret (JACKSON) REED widow of Robert Hamilton REED & sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[18] “Jack” John GILMORE the child who would die three days later.

[19] Mary MENARY the daughter of William MENARY & Mary JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[20] Slieveroe, CO. Monaghan, home of the REED family.

[21] Derryvalley, Co. Monagh home of the McCULLAGH family.

[22] Sarah McCULLAGH (1852-1939) daughter of  Thomas McCULLAGH & Sarah McCULLAGH of Derryvalley.

[23] Mary JACKSON) MENARY widow of William MENARY & sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[24] Margaret (JACKSON) REED widow of Robert Hamilton REED & sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[25] Frederick Richard GRIFFIN suitor of Mary (JACKSON) MENARY.

[26] Dr. Lewis George MILLS (1823-May 28, 1885) Rector of Creggan Church.

[27] Rev. Thomas CORR (1849-1885) Creggan Graveyard: In loving memory, of the Rev. Thomas John Corr MA ex sch T.C.D. who departed this life Dec IV MDCCCLXXXV aged 36 years

[28] Mr. JOHNSTON? I suspect this is John JOHNSTON (1830-1897) of Woodvale, Ballsmills, Co. Louth. SEE: Woodvale & JOHNSTONs I believe this line of JOHNSTONs were related to the BALL family.

[29] BALL estate

[30] BROOKE estate agent.

[31] Amelia Lydia DARE wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[32] Would this be a bishop in Hong Kong? For more on the four last things: The devout Christian's remembrancer. Being practical discourses upon the four last things: viz. death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Collected from the works of Bishop Taylor, Bp. Beveridge, Dr. Sherlock, Mr. Kettlewell, &c. The second edition. By the author of The devout Christian's companion. NOTE: Sir Thomas More had challenged his brilliant seventeen year old daughter Margaret, when she was pregnant with her first child, a challenge to write about the four last things: death, judgement, heaven and hell.

[33] Thomas BOSTON, a Scots Presbyterian preacher & theologian (1676-1732) SEE:  http://www.ccel.org/a/anonymous/bostonlife/boston-life.html 

[34] Boston, Thomas, Human Nature In Its Fourfold State, Lon., Rd. Tract Soc., 1720. These four states of man explained by Boston, which are derived from Scripture, correspond to the four states of man in relation to sin first enumerated by Augustine of Hippo: (a) able to sin, able not to sin (posse peccare, posse non peccare); (b) not able not to sin (non posse non peccare); (c) able not to sin (posse non peccare); and (d) unable to sin (non posse peccare). The first state corresponds to the state of man in innocency, before the Fall; the second the state of the natural man after the Fall; the third the state of the regenerate man; and the fourth the glorified man. SOURCE: http://www.monergismbooks.com/humannature5592.html

[35] Rev. John Charles RYLES author of many works; evangelical bishop of Liverpool.

[36] John NEWTON http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/bnewton2.html John Newton (1725-1807), divine and friend of the poet Cowper, born in London, [England] 24 July 1725 (Old Style),

[37] David JACKSON father of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[38] "Cuddie Headrigg" was a character in a novel Old Mortality by Sir Walter Scott. He was a ploughman. His mother was "old Mause". This is a very telling comment and I will write more about it in the future. SEE: Old Mortality

[39] John JACKSON older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[40] Jane Ledlie JACKSON (1878-1961) daughter of John JACKSON & Kate Maria Jane WHITING. She married John Corry COSGROVE.

[41] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[42] Kathleen McCullagh JACKSON daughter of Amelia Lydia DARE & Sir Thomas JACKSON

[43] Amy Oliver JACKSON daughter of Amelia Lydia DARE & Sir Thomas JACKSON

[44] Thomas Dare JACKSON son of Amelia Lydia DARE & Sir Thomas JACKSON

[45] Beatrice Minnie Shrieve JACKSON daughter of Amelia Lydia DARE & Sir Thomas JACKSON

[46] George Julius JACKSON son of Amelia Lydia DARE & Sir Thomas JACKSON



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