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This is one of the 77 letters & documents found in a bog in Ireland. NEWS: Thompson BROWN, Gordon STITT and an unnamed TURNER passed exams and got positions with HSBC; Joseph MORRIS did not succeed in getting a position; Cavananore changes & Sam BRADFORD; suggest that Sir George BOWEN recommend the Lord Lieutenant appoint TJ magistrate for Armagh & Louth; Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON's wife is ill; John JACKSON not doing well; Rev. Thomas CORR dying; David JACKSON about to leave Hong Kong; reference to disagreement to how Rev. AUSTIN was appointed and involvement of TJ's father and Rev TURNER; local elections news; request to hire son of Parker SYNNOT.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 6, 2006
Updated March 21, 2010

Urker Decr 2nd 1885


My dear Tom – The greatest news we have at present, you probably knew before I tell you, namely the success of Thompson Brown [1] , Gordon Stitt [2] and young Mr. Turner [3] in passing their examinations and securing appointments in the Bank. All three got a sudden call; Thompson & Stitt joined it in a week’s time; but Turner had to give a month’s notice before leaving the Bank he was in; otherwise he would have been kept in London at once. I pray to God that they may all do well. I have never seen Turner but the other two are fine looking young men. I fear there is no space for poor Morris [4] . I did not hear of him being called on at all. I intend to advise him to write to the Manager and enquire if there is any prospect of him being employed there, if not, he may turn his mind to something else. It is a pity if the poor fellow being kept in suspense. Another piece of news is that Mr. McCracken [5] has sold his interest in Carrickastuck [6] to Mr Foy [7] , who bought Henry Coulter’s [8] place and built a fine house on it; and Dr. Wilson [9] is going to live in Carrickastuck; so leaving empty walls in Cavananore to Cousin Sam [10] This is a step in the right direction, it will leave Cousin Sam more willing to part with the place; for ₤40 a year will be missed out of the profits; and he is said to be tired enough of his bargain already. I fully expect that he will offer it to you when you come home, with a great flourish of trumpets & profession of friendship. Alexander Dickie [11] has been making some overtures already; through Eliezer [12] and Peggy [13] ; I do not speak to him; so he does not come here. I have dreaded that Sam himself would write to you; and make an offer of selling it. It is not worth a shilling beyond the rent; and he did not give a shilling for it; except what he gave as bribes to the Trustees. But if he would sell his own parts of the land; that might be worth buying; there are 90 acres in which at ₤20 an acre and he could not get more; would come to ₤1800.It is said that Sam is coming down in the world; no doubt he feels the hardness of the times as well as all other agriculturists.  Another thing your father has at heart; he would wish you when you are coming home to get Sir George Bowen [14] to write to the Lord Lieutenant to appoint you as Magistrate for the Counties of Louth and Armagh. You can judge of this for yourself. Perhaps if you did so it might seem to cut off all hopes of your going back to Hong Kong; and no doubt some people there would not wish that.  My advice, to keep the situation of Manager still open for yourself; in case you should think of going back. If you decide to stay at home, it will be easy to resign the situation by letter. But I have been trembling lest Sam [15] should tempt you to give him money to get possession of C.nore [16] .


Andy [17] was to have spent a good while with us when he got all affairs settled in Co. Meath; but I got a letter from him yesterday saying that Emily [18] was far from well; and was gone to Dublin to consult a Doctor about her health. so he could not come. He did not say what was the matter with her. He has settled with Mr. Swift [19] and has been forgiven half-a-years rent for his improvements. I have not heard  very lately from Johnny [20] but the last news was not very good. Kate [21] had been ill and Johnny was going on just as usual. May God have mercy upon him. The Revd Thos Corr [22] is dying. He is in Urker in his brother William’s [23] house. I sent to inquire for him today; the answer was that he was still breathing but unconscious.


All your relatives and acquaintances are much as usual; no change in James Donaldson [24] or James McCullagh [25] . Your father and I are as well as any people of our age can expect to be.


I got letters from Minnie [26] & David [27] yesterday. David mentions that he is about to be removed from Hong Kong. I hope it is a good sign in his case, as it was in yours. I should write to him today but as I do not know exactly where to direct to him; I would be glad if either you or Minnie would write to him and tell him that I examined his letters of Oct 21st and that we are all well. Also tell him about poor Thos Corr. Poor Thomas spoke about him very lately; William Corr is well & doing well. When I write to either you or Minnie; I consider that the one letter should do both.


Our new rector Mr Austin [28] is very much liked. There is no fault in him; but grant fault to the way he was brought in. Both your Father and Mr Turner [29] were very badly treated in that affair. I hope it will be no injury to Mr. Turner; he will just be as comfortable in Baronstown [30] as he would have been in Creggan [31] ; but he was wronged at this time; and your Father regrets him.


The elections for this division of Co. Armagh is even without a contest. We are represented by a Mr Blain [32] , a tailor in Armagh !!!  What will the world turn to? The election for South Louth is going on today. Your Father did not go out though he has a vote in Louth; but the candidates were two Nationalists [33] , and not a pin to choose between them; and let them fight dog, fight bear [34] .


With love and blessings to Minnie, Kathleen [35] , Amy [36] , Tommie [37] , Beatrice [38] and Julius [39] and not the smallest share of the same to yourself, I remain

Your ever affectionate Mother

                        Eliza Jackson


PS No word now of Mary’s [40] business. I hope it is at an end; if he [41] does not get [around?] her again.

Mr Parker Synnot [42]   applied to your Father for a letter of introduction to you for a sailor son [43] of his. He did not like to refuse; but you may just take the young man as you find him. His family would pay very little attention to yours in this country. I do know whether he is in the Navy or the merchant service.


[1] Thompson BROWN son of Thompson BROWN & Elizabeth JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[2] Gordon Holmes STITT (1866-1943) son of William STITT & Margaret of Crossmaglen SOURCE PRONI MIC 1- 11. From a letter in the HSBC archives dated 28 December 1943, we know he was still alive in 1942  but ailing enough at age 76 (therefore born 1866) to not be able to write. He died in 1949 (KING source). His wife was Isabel and his sister who was still living was: Anna G. STITT. He first went East in 1889 and likely started in Hong Kong. He was a junior there a year later when he signed a thank you letter to Sir Thomas Jackson (along with other appreciative juniors) . He was in Hong Kong for three years and then assigned to Hiogo but from 1898 to 1908 he served at Penang and Singapore. SEE: http://www.user.dccnet.com/s.brown/biographies/Stitt_GordonH.html

[3] TURNER – The only mention of a TURNER in the staff lists is an Irwin TURNER in New York in 1886. There was a TURNER mentioned as an overseer in Peking about 1902. (KING vol. II p317). NOTE: The rev. TURNER was a minster that David JACKSON sr. backed in a local church dispute.

[4] MORRIS? An earlier letter refers to Joseph MORRIS, but there is no record of his employment with HSBC.

[5] McCRACKEN of Carrickastuck?

[6] Carrickastuck, Co. Louth in the parish of Philipstown.

[7] FOY

[8] Henry COULTER This is likely the Henry COULTER who was a son of Ralph COULTER (bef 1772-1850) and Anne (maiden name unknown)

[9] Dr. WILSON – had been resident at Cavananore, now at Carrickastuck? Dr. WILSON was a general medical practitioner in Castleblaney and according to Dr. Thomas McNeil, he probably took over Samuel Gilmore's practice. He married Jane (Jeannie) BARTLEY, an older sister of Tom McNeil’s grandfather Tom BARTLEY. He died November 15, 1921 aged 70.

[10] Samuel BRADFORD (1846-1915) son of Thomas COLTER and Margaret WALLACE.

[11] Alexander DICKIE (1831-1887) – one of the trustees relating to the Cavananore business. Husband of Anna Maria McCULLAGH.

[12] Eliezer GILMORE (1845-1919) husband of Sarah JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[13] “Peggy” Margaret (JACKSON) REED – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[14] Sir George F. Bowen – Governor of Hong Kong. ALSO see: http://www.teara.govt.nz/1966/B/BowenSirGeorgeFergusonGcmg/BowenSirGeorgeFergusonGcmg/en  Governor of New Zealand, Bowen was born in Ireland on 2 November 1821, the eldest son of the Rev. Edward Bowen. ….was appointed in turn Governor of Mauritius (1879–82) and of Hong Kong (1882–85). He retired in 1887 but late in the same year was appointed chief of a Royal Commission to determine the electorates under the new Malta constitution. He died at Brighton on 21 February 1899.

[15] Samuel BRADFORD (1846-1915) son of Thomas COLTER and Margaret WALLACE.

[16] Cavananore, Co. Louth – the home of  Eliza JACKSON’s late sister, Mary Jane OLIVER

[17] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON, brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[18] Emily [Gilmore] JACKSON

[19] SWIFT? Seemingly a landlord in Co. Meath or perhaps related to the bank.

[20] John JACKSON, older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[21] Kathleen Maria JACKSON daughter of Kate Maria Jane WHITING & John JACKSON – older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[22] Rev. Thomas John CORR. http://www.cregganhistory.co.uk/CregGui1a.htm   “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.”

[23] William Richard CORR was the solicitor for the JACKSON family. I believe he was with Corr & O'Connor of Crossmaglen.

[24] James DONALDSON lost his reason and had been in an asylum. Son of John DONALDSON & Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON.

[25] James McCULLAGH – I think the son of James McCULLAGH & Eliza WALLACE.

[26] Amelia Lydia DARE, wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[27] David JACKSON younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[28] Rev. Frederick William AUSTIN appointed to Creggan parish in 1885.

[29] Rev John TURNER – is he related to the TURNER who was supposedly hired by HSBC? It seems he was a potential Rector who was not hired by the Creggan congregation - a dispute that probably triggered David JACKSON's leaving Creggan congregation (see earlier letter) . Rev. John Turner, Rector of Barronstown, and formerly Headmaster of the Dundalk Educational Institution, was a learned and successful educationalist, and raised the Institute to a very high level in the educational world. On his retirement he officiated at Killencoole, and also was Acting Military Chaplain at Dundalk Barracks, prior to his appointment to Barronstown. His eldest son, Mr. John Wm. Turner, M.A., is the efficient Agent here to Lord Roden; whilst his second son, Mr. Henry Turner, has been Resident Magistrate in the South for many years- Rev. John Turner died 1897. SOURCE: Tempests Jubilee 1909 p 106

[30] Baronstown, possibly Co. Meath.

[31] Creggan Parish, Co. Armagh.

[32] BLAINE?

[33] The Nationalist policies sought a united Ireland independent of Great Britain. The JACKSONs at this time and from this part of the family were Unionists – meaning that they threw in their lot with those who wanted a continuation of the Act of Union in 1800 which saw Ireland to continue to be part of Great Britain.

[34] If this is an older expression, I do not know what it is.

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

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

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

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

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

[40] Mary (JACKSON) MENARY widow of William MENARY & sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON – her family opposed her love for GRIFFIN.

[41] Frederick Richard GRIFFIN, current wooer & future husband of Mary JACKSON (sister of Sir Thomas)

[42] Parker George SYNNOTT was the Grandmaster of the Grand Orange Lodge of Armagh in 1893 SEE: http://www.armaghorange.org.uk/part1.htm He was from Lurgana, Whitecross and died in 1900. Whitecross is just a few km east of Ballymoyer. An email says that he lived at Ballymoyer and was a Justice of the Peace and owned a corn mill. SEE: http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/NIR-ARMAGH/2003-11/1069526290

[43] There is no record that he worked at HSBC. There is a son, Captain Arthur Hart Synnot –“ scion of a protestant Anglo-Irish family from Ballymoyer in Armagh” and veteran of the Boer War who fell in love with Maza Suzuki when on a posting to Tokyo early in the 20th Century. A new book based on recently discovered letters chronicles their story. SEE: http://www.asianreviewofbooks.com/arb/article.php?ref=pdy&article=670  Falling Blossom, Pagnamenta, Peter and Williams, Momoko. 318pp, Century.  2006. It is soon to be published in the USA by Penguin under the title “Sword and Blossom”.



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