The Church of the Dwarf
1868 - 1968

Rev. Patrick J. McKavanagh





The Church of the Dwarf
1868 - 1968

Rev. Patrick J. McKavanagh

Printed by IRISH NEWS LTD.,
113-117 Donegall Street, Belfast, 1


His Lordship, Dr. William Philbin. Bishop of Down and Connor.

His Lordship, Dr. William Philbin. Bishop of Down and Connor.

THE PARISH 1819-1848 44


The collating of the history of my native parish over the past few years has been, for me, a labour of love. Canon McEvoy was the acknowledged expert in this field but the notes which he left were rather terse. His extensive library was donated to St. Mac Nissi's College and was a most generous bequest. The contents of the following pages come chiefly from this library and from the late Canon's notes. It would. of course, be impossible to name all those who aided me in this task, but I would like to pay particular tribute to the following; The Public Record Office of N.I., the National Library, Deirdre Flanagan of the Celtic Dept., Q.U.B., David Kennedy, Jean Totten, Francis Rogers and the pupils of St. Aidan's, the Misses Heaney, Fathers Leo McKeown and Patrick White, and Doctor Rogers. Finally I want to thank the Parish Priest and the curates for their kindness and help.


Garron Tower,
Co. Antrim.



The church on Chapel Hill, like every Catholic church, is the meeting-place for God and man. Through its broad doors countless new-born children have been carried to that first meeting in the waters of Baptism. Before its altar those children have met their bishop. successor of the apostles, and have received through him the gift of the Holy Spirit. At those rails they have had the most intimate relationship possible between man and God in the Eucharist, and in God's goad time they have plighted their marriage vows here too and gone out through those doors again to live their allotted span until the great bell here tolled for their last visit. And we who were left have carried them out again through the broad doors and buried them in the shadow of the church on Chapel Hill.

This has been going on for a hundred years now and that in itself would be ample reason to pause and thank God. But there is a great deal more to it than that. There are many remains of holy places in this parish of Glenavy and Killead, and any one of them would have been a fitting site for a church when Father Pye and his parishioners decided to build. They might have gone to Templecormac in Ballinderry or to Lettir Phadraic in Glenavy for reasons which we shall see later, but choice was a luxury they could not afford, and they raised this house of God on a hill where our forefathers had gathered in the Penal Days for the same purpose.

This church was dedicated under the invocation of St. Joseph and consecrated by the bishop of the diocese, Dr. Dorrian, on September 13, 1868. The sermon on this occasion was preached by Dr. McCabe, Bishop of Ardagh. The building had been supervised by Mr. John O'Neill, architect of the firm of O'Neill and Byrne, and the stone had been quarried locally in Ballymacrickett and worked by men from nearby, Hugh Cushnahan and his son Patrick. These men, along with Wm. John Hamill also helped to build the present parochial house.

Let us imagine for a moment that the first little baby girl baptised in St. Joseph's were still alive. She would now be a centenarian. Let us imagine again that at the time she was baptised there was another old lady who had just reached her century. This would bring us back two hundred years. If we were to go back in this way until we saw, in our imagination, fifteen such old ladies, we might say that here we would have the Christian history of our parish. It is approximately 1500 years since the seeds of Christianity were planted in our area. Over the past few years I have tried to follow the growth of that spring sowing, its flowering and pruning, its propagation and seeming death, and then once again the faint green shoots and a new blooming. These thoughts I now bring together and pass on to the reader.


The first authentic date in Irish history is the year A.D. 431 when the Annals of Ulster record the mission of Palladius to Ireland. At school we all learned that Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, was sent here by Pope Celestine in A.D. 432. His mission, we learned, was a spectacular success and when he died the whole country was Christian. Professor O'Rahilly shocked the scholars more than twenty years ago when he published his theory that Palladius did not leave the Irish scene as historians had previously held. He held that Palladius, who had a second name, Patricius, had a successful mission, and that Patrick the Briton, "our Patrick," succeeded him at a much later date in the fifth century. There is no doubt that there were Christians in Ireland, even before Palladius, and perhaps we might leave this vexed question to the experts after reminding ourselves that by the year A.D. 500, though paganism was not dead, Ireland was substantially a Christian land.

Rev. St. J. Clarke in his "Thirty Centuries in S.E. Antrim" makes the statement, "Glenavy has been identified with some certainty as the site of an early Church founded by St. Ninian of North Britain about the year 410, and Palladius . . . . is thought by Professor Bury and others to have died among the Picts of Dalaradia." I am unable to find any confirmation of his statement on St. Ninian and it must be rejected. Who were the Picts? About the time of St. Patrick, Ireland was divided into five provinces which we may call Ulster, Tara, Leinster, Munster and Connaught. Ulaidh, or Ulster as the name became later, was the strongest of these kingdoms but had been reduced to the area of Antrim and Down. This new and smaller Ulaidh was divided into three kingdoms, Dal Fiatach (the Lecale district of Down) the country of the Ulidians proper to whose king all Ulaidh owed allegiance normally; Dal Araidhe, the land of the Picts or Cruithne (present diocese of Dromore and all Antrim south of the River Ravel), and Dal Riada (N. Antrim and coast to Glenarm).

The Tripartite Life of St. Patrick is the acknowledged source for the origin of Glenavy Church. "He (St. Patrick) proposed moreover to take the place in which Lathrach Patraic (Patrick's site or foundation) is (now). Therein is Daniel (who is called from his purity) "the angel," and (from his small size) "Patrick's dwarf." By him is Patrick's well. Sian ('healthful') is its name. There Patrick's nua echuir was found. Now Saran son of Coelbad expelled him thence, and Patrick deprived him of heaven and earth." The material used by the compiler was older than the ninth century but its compilation was probably in the eleventh century. A Latin translation was published by the learned Franciscan friar, John Colgan in 1647 and it enlarges on the statement above. From Colgan we learn that Lathrach Patraic was later called Lettir Phadraic (Patrick's slope), and that because the Irish word for a dwarf is abhac, Daniel's church was called Lann Abhaich, "the church of the dwarf." The nua echuir referred to is literally `new key' and may refer to some relic of St. Patrick later found there. The well named Sian had been forgotten even in Colgan's day. He says that "numerous cures were received by those who drank of its waters."

Another source we must mention is the Martyrology of Donegal, compiled by the Four Masters in the early seventeenth century. Among the Irish saints commemorated is "Aedhan, son of Colga, of Lann Abhaich in Ulaidh�November 6." The same source commemorates under January 22, "Colma, Bogha, Laisre, three sisters and three virgins of the sept of Comhgall, son of Fianghalach, etc., and they were disciples of Comhgall of Beannchair (Bangor); and they are at Leitir of Dal Araidhe, and according to the poem beginning, `The Hagiology of the saints of Inis Fail,' they are of the Dal mBuain, of the race of Eochaidh, son of Muireadh." The modern Church of Ireland in Glenavy village is dedicated to St. Aidan (Aedhan). Dr. Reeves identified Leitir as Glenavy for several reasons. Glenavy was certainly Lettir or Leitir Phadraic; it was in Dal Araidhe and in the district known as Dalmunia (Dal mBuain). The use of Lann in Ireland as applied to a church is certainly pre-Norman. There are four "Lann" churches in this area, Laloo (Lann Lua). Lambeg (Lann Beag). Lann Ronan Finn (Maralin) and Lann Abhaic(h) (Glenavy). The usage may go back to the second wave of missionary activity in Ireland and may stem from the influence of such monasteries as St. David's in Wales where so many of the sixth century clerics served their apprenticeship, so to speak, before coming to Ireland.

Where was this ancient church of Lann Abhaich situated? There is good reason for the view that it was somewhere near where the present Pigeontown road meets the road leaving Glenavy village. Leitir is a place name meaning "a sloping field or hillside, commonly wet and trickling" (Joyce). This would certainly fit the case here. St. Aidan's occupies a site which was certainly used in Catholic times, though on the opposite bank of the river. An ancient holy-water stoup. a basin hollowed out of black stone, is still preserved in the graveyard. This was, without doubt, the church of the Pope Nicholas Taxation which we shall meet later. In 1644 a Protestant church was built there. In 1812 it was found too small and a new building was erected and extensively repaired and improved in subsequent years. A disastrous fire on Christmas Eve, 1938, did much damage but with a new electric organ and memorial east window it was consecrated on 28th October. 1939.

But we are going too far ahead. Let us go back to our little kingdom of Ulidia. We have seen that it approximated to modern Down and Antrim and that it included three sub-kingdoms, Dal Riada in the north, Dal Araidhe in the centre and Dal Fiatach in the south. We must not imagine fixed territorial boundaries between these as we have in modern states. In fact the boundaries fluctuated with the fortunes of war which were unfortunately all too frequent. Our parish of Glenavy lay in Dal Araidhe at one time. This was the country of the Picts or the Cruithne, as a colony of these from North Britain hod settled there about a century before the Christian era and had become mixed by intermarriage with the old Irish of the Irian race. After the assumption of surnames the lordship of the region was enjoyed principally by chiefs named Lethlobhar (Lawlor) and Ua Loingseach (O'Linchey). The Dal Fiatach overlords later expanded in S. Antrim and indeed in later days their territory was coterminous with the present Diocese of Down. or more accurately the 1306 diocesan extent. They must have been fairly well entrenched here as they had their inaugural seat at Craobh Tulcha (Crewe). Another indication of this is the term, an Choill Ultach (Killultagh)�a very late name�which may point to this inaugural site. Finally is the evidence that the deanery name of Clondermot comes from Clann Diarmata, a branch of the Dal Fiatach dynasty which emerged as a unit in the 9th century.


With this background we can see how the Crew fits into our annals. The great store on which the inauguration of the Ulidian kings was performed still remains, though a little removed from its original position. About 1880 it had sunk so much that little of it was visible. A number of youths, both Catholic and Protestant, raised it and placed supporting stones underneath. Later on some youths from Stoneyford visited the spot and when they had gone it was found the supporting stones had been removed. This anecdote was told to Canon McEvoy by Mr. Francis McCorry in 1935. At the moment the stone, though clearly visible, lies very low.

The old name for this site was Craebh Tulcha which Dr. O'Donovan translated as The Spreading Tree of the Hill. There was probably some sacred tree nearby which figured in the ceremony. It is not true to say that the kings were "crowned" here, as crowning is a Germanic concept. The new chieftain probably placed his foot on the stone and took his oath while his followers gave the three traditional cheers. A few stone-lined graves belonging to the pagan period have been discovered on the summit of this hill, and not far away is a large rath which could have been the site of the royal residence.

The hostility of the enemies of the Ulidians was specially directed against this spot, hallowed by a thousand traditions. In 1003 the Kinel Owen who were now the dominant force in the North defeated the Ulidians and butchered their leaders. Their own king was slain and Brian Boru, who had already been accepted as sovereign of Ireland by most of the septs, came north to secure total submission. Though he did not manage this, the Ulidians acknowledged his sovereignty and he encamped on Crew Hill where he was in friendly territory. The strongest bond of union between Brian and them was their mutual hatred of the Kinel Owen and Kinel Connell, the Northern Hy Niall, the descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages, a Heremonian. The event was not forgotten. After Brian's death the Ulidians backed the claim of Murtough O'Brien, his great grandson, to the throne of Ireland in opposition to Donnell McLoughlin, king of the Kinel Owen. Donnell led his men across Tuaim (Toome) into Ulidia in 1099, routed the Ulidians at Crew Hill and burned their camp, cutting down the sacred tree. Ua hAmhrain (O'Hafferin) of the Ulidian cavalry was slain in this encounter. His family's name is found in the townland Straidhavern.

Twelve years after this, the insult was repaid with a vengenance when the Ulidians marched to Tealach Og (Tullahoge) where the Kinel Owen were inaugurated and cut down its trees. The struggle went on, weakening both sides but two new events were under way which would change the face of Irish history. One was the Norse Invasion or the "Coming of the Danes," and the other was the Norman Conquest. A land which had been ravaged by strife was a sitting target for an invader. Before we deal with the Norse Invasion let us now take a trip to Ram's Island.


This is the largest island in Lough Neagh. There are on it the remains of a round tower; the portion still standing measures 42 feet in height, the interior diameter is 8 ft. 3 ins., and the thickness of the walls in 2 ft. 6 ins. so that the circumference is nearly 40 feet. The doorway which faced S.S.W. was 8 feet above the offset which indicated the level of the floor. This is closed, and an entrance was broken through the western side. It has since been closed. There were two windows; one, which was pointed, was over the old doorway and the other on the E.S.E. side.

There is no doubt that this was the seat of a church establishment. It must have been there prior to the Norse invasion as the round towers were built as safeguards during this terror. Burial remains have been frequently found around the tower and also small metal clasps which probably were cloak fasteners. A few years ago I was resident on Tory Island, Co. Donegal, where another tower still stands. The people there told me of similar finds. The last reference we have to this establishment is in the famous Pope Nicholas Taxation of 1306 where there is mention of "Ecclesia de Lennewy cum capella" (The church of Glenavy with its chapel). Dr. Reeves identified this chapel as the present Ram's Island so that it seems that the Norsemen did not fully quench the religious life there.

In early modern maps the name of the island is given as Enis Garden which is almost certainly a corruption of the older name Inis Daircairgren. The Annals of Ulster record that in 1056, "Gormgal, prime soul friend (confessor) of Inis Daircairgren, full of days died in penance." Again in 1121 it records, "Cumaighe, son of Deoraidh Ua Floinn (O'Flynn), Lord of Durlas (near Toome) was drowned in Loch Eathach (Lough Neagh), after Inis Draicrenn had been taken upon him by the people of Iveagh, where forty four persons were slain."

Monsignor O'Laverty in his History of Down and Connor goes to great lengths to explain how the name Inis Draicrenn came to be known as Ram's Island. He maintains that the Irish word reithe (pronounced `rehey') which means a ram induced someone to hazard this translation. I find it impossible to accept his reasoning and am more inclined to think of a less sophisticated explanation. Perhaps someone in the eighteenth century kept animals there. After all Duck Island, Sheep Island, etc., are common everywhere. One fact which seems to have escaped the learned historian is that the hill opposite Ram's Island on the shore is still known as Darachrean, the local pronunciation of which would approximate very closely to Draicrenn.

With the ensuing strife which spread over Ireland following the English invasion the church buildings on Ram's Island faded into oblivion so that only the tower remains surrounded by tall trees. About the end of the eighteenth century an old fisherman, David McAreavey, had acquired a prescriptive right to its ownership. He sold this to Mr. Conway McNiece for a hundred guineas and McNiece later exchanged it with Mr. Whittle for a small farm adjoining his own. Mr. Whittle, formerly of Glenavy and later a Liverpool merchant, greatly beautified the island by planting trees and shrubs. There was a small orchard, garden and garden house on it, in which a caretaker and family resided. Earl O'Neill of Shane's Castle bought it around 1816. Many people in Glenavy parish still remember the beautiful little cottage which was so admired by visitors who used to go there on a Sunday evening before the motor-car put an end to all that. The cottage is now in ruins and nature has begun to take over again. Some years ago a man set up house there for a time but this did not last either, and herons glide untroubled above the great beeches at the southern end.

On the raised ridge which runs like a backbone down the island grow the largest primroses you have ever seen. On May 19, 1900, Robert Patterson found 22 swallow nests under the keeper's house. Now there are close on 40 pairs. Enough said


The four centuries following St. Patrick's mission had been times of comparative peace and prosperity. About 800 this golden age came to an end when first Norwegian and then Danish raiders appeared off the Irish coasts. They came, eel-like, up the rivers and their attack was directed chiefly against the monasteries where they were attracted by the treasures and sacred vessels. The king of Dal Araidhe defeated them in 827 but they kept on coming. The monasteries of Muckamore and Antrim were destroyed and Turgesius, their sovereign, maintained a fleet on Lough Neagh.

Their power was finally broken by the great king Brian Boru whom we have already met and who became high-king of Ireland early in the eleventh century. His great victory, at Clontarf ended the raids and devastation while the cities of Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, etc., survived as their constructive work in what had been a pastoral and agricultural island. A period of reconstruction followed but two centuries of rapine and disorder had a lasting effect on the people and the golden age became a memory.


The townland of Templecormac is not far from Upper Ballinderry corners. Coming from Glenavy if you turn left at Green Hall and keep left you will find a neat cemetery on your right, adjoining the narrow road. There is no doubt that this was the site of a very ancient church. There is some evidence that "Temple" in place-names may suggest Patrician origin, but this is not certain. At the end of the last century a small part of a wall belonging to a church remained in the ancient graveyard and it is still possible to discern the vague outlines under the raised earth.

In 1622 Templecormac was called Temple Tearmacan and the Calendar of State Papers for 1647-1660 has the spelling Temple Icurmuckan, and it is highly probable that this name is derived from the family of O'Cormacan or Cormican who are still very numerous in Glenavy. They may have been the erenachs or hereditary custodians of the church. It is also possible that the name derives from Cormac which Colmog or Mocolmog, the Irish form of Colman, assumes in modern place-names. Monsignor O'Laverty quotes Quarter-Cormac. in the parish of Down, which was often written as Carrow Coolmuck-=Quarter Coolmuck, or the Quarter-land of St. Colman.

In notes compiled by the of cers` of the Ordnance Survey in 1838 we read: "The burial ground of Templecormac is enclosed by a quick-set fence; the graves are numerous but there are few headstones; it is used by persons of every religious denomination, but principally by Catholics. The Irish cry (the caoin or "keen") accompanied funerals of Catholics until about the year 1800. The graveyard was formerly much more extensive than at present. Only the foundations of the old church now remain, and they are covered over with earth and grass. The church stood nearly east and west, 44 by 20 feet in the inside; the walls, of rough stones firmly grouted, were 2 feet 10 inches thick. A large portion of the walls remained until about 1790. At the same time were removed the remains of the dwelling house of the clergy, the site of which is at present occupied by Robert McAleave's dwelling house. Two ancient wells, one of which is at present closed, used to be visited for the cure of sundry diseases. It is said that there was formerly a great educational establishment here, presided over by three friars. For the use of this establishment there was a tract of land, which is now called the Church Fields, and is occupied by Robert McAleavey and James Gibson. A friar had Divine Service at the ruin of the church about 60 years ago (1778). Templecormac is said to have been founded by Cormac A'Killy�Informants, James Dunnigan, William Brannagh and others."

The present farm is owned by Mr. Samuel Smith and the land is still known as the Church fields. Families of Catholics and Protestants still use the cemetery.


In ancient times five great roads ran from Tara. One of these was the Slighe Mhidhluachra which led north. Colm O'Lochlainn, an authority on this subject, tells us that it ran through Dundalk, Newry, Banbridge, Moira. Crumlin and Antrim and on up to Dunseverick. It would seem that the road over Chapel Hill which was the main highway between Moira and Crumlin down to the last century was part of this Slighe. If this is so it would have been traversed by St. Patrick, and while Templecormac is a little bit away from the main track, the Church of the Dwarf was certainly on it, as is the old church of Camlin which we shall be visiting later.


Around the year 1110 a national Synod was held at Rathbreasaill. and the old monastic form of church government gave way to the Roman system, putting Ireland in the mainstream of European Catholicism. Malachy, Abbot of Bangor, and an ardent reformer, later became bishop of the newly planned diocese of Connor.

Connor had been founded by MacNissi, a disciple of St. Patrick. It now became the centre of a diocese which included the present counties of Antrim and Down and part of Co. Derry. Malachy's task was not an easy one as his diocese combined the Dalaradians of Connor and the Ulidians of Down. Indeed Down was made a separate diocese in 1137 and was not re-united to Connor until 1451. The old boundary, while of little significance nowadays. still separates Down from Connor in the now united diocese of Down and Connor. It follows the line of the river Glas na Braddon from Whitehouse, then follows the Ballymartin river to Craigarogan where it turns south west to the Boghil and the River Clady. From there to Lough Neagh the northern boundary of the parish of Glenavy is the northern boundary of Down. It is hardly necessary to add that the modern County boundaries are much later than this.

The Normans landed in Wexford in 1167 and by 1171 Dublin had fallen. King Henry arrived and received the submission of as many Irish chiefs as could be induced to appear before him. Conspicuous by his absence was O'Neill of Ulster. About six years later John de Courcy invaded the north and his superior weapons and skills of war entrenched him in Downpatrick from which he gradually took a firm hold on the dioceses of Down and Connor. Some places they occupied themselves while others were left in occupation by the Irish save for small rents and a vague overlordship. This was the position in the southern part of Glenavy parish which was very densely wooded and largely impassible.


In 1807 a document was discovered in an office in Westminster which was to shed much light on the history of Down and Connor. The document referred to the tax which was levied by the Pope for the expedition or Crusade to the Holy Land. King Edward I by promising to help with this undertaking was able to obtain the tenths of the benefices of England, Ireland. Scotland and Wales. The document represents the names and fiscal condition of the churches of the diocese in 1306. Dr. Reeves identified most of the churches mentioned.

The diocese of Down was divided into five deaneries, Clondermot, Newtownards, Ards. Lecale and Dalboyn. Our present parish was partly in Clondermot and partly in Dalboyn and before getting down to details let us see the facts.

Ecclesia de Miloc 40/- 4/-
Ecclesia de Balayncan cum capella de Talnosk 4 marks 5/4
Vicaria eiusdem 2 marks 2/8
Ecclesia de Dalnach cum capella Villae Roberti 40/- 4/-
Ecclesia de Camelyn  2 marks 2/8
Ecclesia de Deseerto 1 1/4
Ecclesia de Kenles (?) 4� marks 6/-


Ecclesia de Lennewy cum capella 10/- 1/-

Let us examine these in order. 


Monsignor O'Laverty writing towards the end of the last century, mentions a small tract of land lying along the Crumlin river and called Meleeg-land. In it there was a well called Meleeg Well, reputedly endowed with curative properties, and the people tied pieces of cloth on the bushes nearby. Mulleague House and Mulleague Well are on the right hand side of the road running from Crumlin to Cidercourt through the townland of Ballygortgarve. This was surely the site of "the church of Miloc." Engus Mac Mailraba gave the bishop of his day "Mileac, with one carucate (ploughland)." The grant was confirmed by De Courcy and others. In 1180 Malachy, the Bishop of Down, granted canonical possession of this church to Muckamore, the monastery founded by St. Colman Ela which later embraced the monastic rule of the Regular Canons of St. Augustine. Over the years it acquired many donations of land and buildings made to it by the Anglo-Norman knights of County Antrim.

After the Elizabethan conquest Sir Fulke Conway is mentioned as holding "a plough-land in Mullicke." In 1622 the sad reference is, "Capella de Meleeke a ruin. The tithes possessed by Sir Hercules Langford." O'Laverty says that the site was occupied in his day by Mr. George Duncan and that part of a wall which showed religious carvings was taken down about 1850.


In his Statistical Survey of Co. Antrim, 1812. Rev. John Dubourdieu, the Rector of Annahilt, has the following passage. "In the townlands of Ballykennedy and Caronavy (Carmavy) are the ruins of two other churches also. There is a tradition respecting the destruction of the churches in this barony of Masserene; that, in the rebellion of 1641, the rebels having got possession in one night of many of them, and having fortified themselves, it was necessary for the army to burn these edifices before they could be driven out." The site of the Ballykennedy church was near Dundrod Meeting House. The Carmavy church was in Carmavy graveyard but no traces remain of it nor of Ballykennedy. O'Laverty follows Reeves in identifying Ballykennedy as Balayncan and Carmavy as Talnosk. Canon McEvoy, who was certainly versed in the traditions of the area, was of the opinion that "Thompson's Mass House" which was used as a church in Ballymacilhoyle during Penal Times. was the site of Balayncan. He pointed out that Ballyclan, a townland only a few yards from this penal site, may have been a corrupted form of Balayncan. I cannot agree with this. In 1348 Edward III gave Robert Savage the lands of Balencan. This may have given the name "Tullach mac Itawissagh" or "Savage's Hill" to a hill which is named in the inquisitions as part of the boundary between the estates of Killelagh and Killmackevet. Dundrod is not in the parish of Glenavy now but Carmavy is. Dr. Reeves identified Talnosk which is coupled with Balayncan, with Carmavy. Three hundred years after the Pope Nicholas Taxation we have a reference to "Ecclesia de Carmeavie, a union in Clandermot with Rulahach." The church of Carmavy also belonged at one time to the abbey at Muckamore as did Miloc. In 1622 "Ecclesia de Carnmeves" was a ruin and the tithes were owned by the aforementioned Hercules Langford.


This church stood in the townland of Killealy but not a trace of it remains. The field in which it stood was called Kirkfield but about 1795 it was ploughed up. This was the ancient church of Killead or Killelagh as the northern part of the parish was known. We shall say more about it later when dealing with the O'Neills who moved into this area after the Norman's grip began to wane. The capella Villae Roberti or chapel of Ballyrobin was in the next townland of Ballyrobin at a place known as Rock-hill near to where there was a funereal mound. This church at Killelagh also belonged to Muckamore and likewise was a ruin in 1622 when Hercules Langford "possessed the great tithes." There are a couple of references which suggest that the church of Carmavy was united to Killelagh prior to this time. A registry of Muckamore gives a grant of "one carucate" in Dalnach, which was called Carnrey (Carmavy?) by Galfridus de Croft. Again the transcriber of the Terrier document has an entry for the church at Ballyrobin from which it seems Carmavy was united to it. Reeves wrongly translated Villa Roberti as Ballyrobert, which is in Connor, not in Glenavy parish.


The old church of Camlin. the ruins of which are still clearly visible, is near Cross-hill above Crumlin in the townland of Ballydonaghy. The remains suggest that this was a building with a much more ornamental style of architecture than the neighbouring ones. Indeed the Ordnance Survey noted in 1838 that "the walls had been much injured by the removal of every well-dressed stone."

This same Survey gives some details which we may include here. "It measures 72 by 21 feet 10 inches on the inside, and is of extraordinary strength and thickness of wall, varying from 5 to 6� feet in thickness. The eastern and western gables are up to the square. Large parts of the west end of both the north and south sidewalls are altogether destroyed. In the east gable are the remains of a Gothic window. 5� feet high, 3 feet wide in the inside, but only 2 feet wide on the outside. In the south corner of the gable are the ruins of a safe (piscina) 2� feet broad, 2 feet 3 inches deep and 4 feet high, but, as the walls are dilapidated. its original height cannot be ascertained. In the south sidewall, 2� feet from the east gable, are the remains of an arched window, 3 feet 10 inches wide by 3 feet 8 inches high in the inside. In both sidewalls, and nearly opposite to each other, are four arches. These arches are partly dilapidated. They seem to have been 7� feet wide at the base, 2 feet 10 inches deep, and from 5 to 6 feet high. The columns between the arches are of masonry, and 2� feet broad. In the north sidewall, within 15 feet from the west gable, are the remains of a door, a portion of a side of it still remains, showing, on the east side of it, the bolt-hole, 7 inches wide, 8 inches high and 5 feet in length."

There is an ancient document which states that Engus Mac Mailraba, who gave Miloc to the see, also gave "the townland of Camlin, with one carucate." The Terrier document of 1615 mentions Camlin as the bishop's mensal�"a little parish within the bishop's two townlands, and is sparpallit by evil neighbours and in the bishop's decay." Sir Fulke Conway was the tenant at this time. In 1622 it was a ruin and once again "possessed by Hercules Langford" and returned as "a parcell of Muckamore."

There was a small townland called Ballycamlin but it is now incorporated in Ballydonaghy. There was probabaly a small hamlet near the church of Camlin. The present village of Crumlin is a comparative newcomer and seems to have grown out of the village called "Ballygartgarrock Towne" in the Hearth Money Rolls of 1667. The present village of Crumlin is in Ballytromery but Ballygortgarve is the next townland. Crumlin is given as Cromlinn in the modern Placenames Commission booklet (1962) and was probably Croim-ghleann (the crooked glen) originally. There would not seem to be any connection between the names Camlin and Crumlin. Camlin church ruins are at present on Mr. McCartney's farm.


Our Christian ancestors were well aware of Our Lord's advice to his followers to retreat occasionally from the cares of life, to "go into a desert place and rest a little." The Latin word desertum became disert in Irish and where it is found in placenames, it denotes a hermitage or secluded spot where people adjourned to commune more closely with God. It was often applied afterwards to churches erected in those places.

Such was Dundesert (the fort of the hermitage). Dr. Reeves visited the place in May, 1845. and has given the following interesting description: "In a field called the Church-field, which is now as even as if it never had been disturbed by any other instrument than the plough, there was, until about 60 years ago, a space of nearly 4 Irish acres enclosed by a large and nearly circular fosse. This trench was about the breadth of a moderate read, and the earth which had been cleared out of it was banked up inside as a ditch. carrying up the slope to about the height of 16 or 20 feet from the bottom. The whole face of the slope was covered with large stones, embedded in the earth. Concentric with this enclosure, and at about the interval of 7 yards, was another fosse, having the rampart on the inner side, similarly constructed; and on the area enclosed by this stood the church, east and west, 90 feet long and 30 wide. The ruined walls were about 6 feet high and 5 feet thick. The burial ground was principally at the east end of the building, and the whole space outside the walls was covered with loose stones. The two entrances, as described above, were about the same breadth as the fosse, and were paved with large flat stones; but they had no remains of a gateway. Pieces of stained glass, coins of the Edwards, oak boards, large iron handles, stone hatchets, a small bell, and 3 stone basins, one of them perforated, were found within this space. With considerable difficulty all the stones were cleared away, and with them the mill and houses of Dundesert were built, while the trenches were filled up, and every trace of the cashel and church as completely obliterated as the most fastidious ploughman could desire."

Enclosures such as this were termed cashels and were obviously in imitation of the fortresses in use among the pagan Irish. Dundesert may indeed have been a pagan site taken over by the clergy. The Litany of Aengus. the Culdee, written in the year 799 prays to "the seven holy Egyptian monks, who lie in Desert Ulaidh." When Sir Fulke Conway came to power in this area he held, "in Downdesart, one towne, spirituals and
temporals." In the Protestant bishop's report of 1622 it is stated: "Downedesert. �8 rent. Item, the landes of Downedesert, late recovered by the now bishop, and let to Hugh Oge O'Mallehallen (Mulholland) for the yearly rent of �8 sterling. Here the bishop claimeth a towneland according to his old records, and possesseth only halfe a towne." Need we add the rest? "Sir Hercules Langford possesseth the great tithes." We might
add however that he did in fact possess almost all that land north of the Crumlin river. In the Ecclesiastical Commissioners' report of 1833 the half town of Dundesert was held under the see by James Moore at the rent of �14-10-9 and an annual renewal fine of �74-12-7�. Dubourdieu mentioned that many uncoffined skeletons were found within the buildings and a cannon ball was found there. He suggests it was destroyed in 1641 when the Irish rose in revolt against those who had occupied their lands.


We have already dealt with this when discussing the church at Glenavy.THE CLANDEBOYE O'NEILLS

About 70 years after the period of the Pope Nicholas Taxation the period of Norman Ulster came to an end with the defeat of William de Burgh, the brown Earl, at Skegoniel and of Sir James Talbot at Downpatrick. Into the vacuum thus caused came a branch of the famous O'Neill family of Tyrone. These were the followers of Aodh Bu� or Hugh the Yellow-haired and hence the name Clann Aodha Bu� or Clandeboye. Soon they were entrenched at Castlereagh and their territory extended from the Antrim glens to Strangford Lough.

The great wooded area of Killultagh was strictly speaking not in Clandeboye but its fastnesses were often used as a refuge by the Irish. "Brian Mac Art was within the fastnage of Killultagh where he kept himself so that Chichester could not harm him as he deserved," say the State Papers. In the Hearth Money Rolls of the 1660's we have a list of the inhabitants of this region and I have included this later on. We have, however, a list from a 1640 document which is even more interesting as it gives, as far as I know, the earliest record of the Irish families in Killultagh prior to the upheaval which followed the '41 rising.

"The Irish in Killultagh . . the following except that they paid a token of rent had the freedom of Killultagh.

The Magillmuryes Mac Rories, Hamels, McTrealawnies. Heaghians, Greemes, Hillins, Mag Veaghs, Macavagans.

A list follows of those who were true inhabitants and under-tenants in the county aforesaid.

Magillreavies, McShanes, Lawries, O'Mulhalon, McQuaids, McRobins and others.

A note of those that are but strangers of other countries dwelling in this country of Irish.

McCaines, Magrues, Magourans, McStranogs, Makeaghrakes, O'Doones, Makeaghulias, O'Deeams, O'Quins, McGeeans, O'Mildownes, O'Kanes, Tallons, Gribins, O'Mullcrewy with their strange followers, the O'Closes, O'Lorkans, O'Forfyes, O'Connorys, O'Conweeles, O'Prontys, Marlies, McVoloonyes. McDonnells, Henneries, McQuovicks, Flannegans, Maghagans. O'Monans, Magheralls, McRories, O'Mulveanies." (ex State Papers, 1629-1635).

Mac Ilmurray: This beautiful old name literally means "the son of the servant (gilly) of Mary (Our Lady)." In modern Irish it is written Mac Giolla Mhuire. It has been Anglicised as Gilmore, and indeed they had not a very good name in the state records. Sir Samuel Ferguson spins a tale about them in his Hibernian Nights' Entertainment when Corby Mac Gillmore, "the destroyer of forty churches," caused much havoc in the area. These stories, compiled by the least sympathetic sources. could well be taken with a large grain of salt.

Mac Rory: In modern spelling Mac Ruair�, this name has often been Anglicised as Rogers, Rogerson, Rodger, Rodgers.

Hamill: modern � hmaill. Both Hamills and Rodgers are mentioned by O'Laverty in the tradition he gives about the geneaology of Felix O'Neill, the last Earl of Killultagh.

Armstrong: These were a branch of the O'Laverys who, when they became numerous. were subdivided into various branches, Lavery, Tren-Lavery, Ban-Lavery, etc. Tren Lavery was the Irish � Labhra� Tr�an (the strong Laverys) and was Anglicised, incorrectly, as Armstrong. The Irish word for an arm or hand is L�mh, but this has no connection with this name. Nicholas Trenlavy was P.P. of Aghagallon in 1704 and incidentally Patrick Mcllmurry was his curate. Fr. Bernard Armstrong, P.P., Ballygalget, is a native of Glenavy parish.

Haughian: Nowadays we have Haughan. Haughian and O'Haughian, modern Irish � hEacha�n. These were the ancient � hEochaidh, one of the most ancient names in Ulster as they were of the Dal Fiatach. "Irial O'Hughian" was P.P. of Glenavy in 1704, His family were famous poets in the Clandeboye regime. Irial is a name thousands of years old.

McKavanagh: There was a Derby (Jeremiah) even in 1667 in the Deerpark. Perhaps this is the name here.

McAreavey: This old name was Mac Giolla Riabhaigh, which we might translate `Son of the servant of Reavey' (Riabhach=brindled, swarthy, etc.). Spelled as McGrovy in some documents.

McShane: Literally meaning John's son we have McShan, McShane. while the name was sometimes Anglicised as Johnston or Johnston(e).

Lavery: Originally a Leinster tribe, the Moncha (many of whom later became the O'Mooneys) were located around Moira, where they had a chief called Labhraidh, hence the Lawries or Laverys. They formerly had in their possession the Clog Rua, or bell of St. Ronan Finn of Magheralin but this has been lost. Modern spelling is � Labhra� which also can mean Lowry.

Mulholland: This well known family were the keepers of St. Patrick's Bell. About the time of the Clandeboye movement into Co. Antrim they occupied lands in Killead and they are found all over the district in ensuing rolls. The modern spelling is � Maolchalann.

Mulcreevy: This is a very old family name, prior to the Clandeboye. They were located west of the Upper Bann and moved between Castlereagh and the Logan. Their name has many forms Gillecrewe. Mulcrew, Mulgrew, Grew, Magrue, and has even been Anglicised as Rice.

In the Hearth Money Rolls for the Parish of Aghagallon we find many of the names which abound in Glenavy to-day. The refugees from the planted lands of Killultagh sought the shelter of the region now known as the Montiaghs (na m�inte or the marshes). This area was isolated by vast bogs and the various Islands, e.g. George's Island, Courtney's Island, etc., were merely islands in the surrounding marshland. There we find Magee, McCorry, Mcllcreany or Creany, McStrannock or McStravick, O'Cormican, O'Lockan. Courtney, McCroosey (Crossey?) along with most of the names already mentioned.


We have made reference already to this document with the unusual name. A terrier is a list or collection of lands, tenancies, etc. Such a list was drawn up about 1615 usingolder documents which have since perished, giving the names of each church in the diocese in Catholic times. Coming about 300 years after the Pope Nicholas Taxation list it will be found helpful in an understanding of our parish.

At this time Down was divided into 6 deaneries, Lecale. Mourne, Dal mBuine, Clondermot, Newtownards (Ballavico) and Ards. There is first of all given a list of the land which belonged to the Bishop. Included in this is Meelicke (Miloc), Temple-Tearmacan (Templecormac, a "towne"), Kemline (Crumlin. 2 "townes"). Downdesert (a "town"). At this time all these possessions had been transferred to one of the new officers of the Queen, Sir Fulke Conway whom we shall be meeting later on.

The parish of Glenavy was in the deanery of Clondermot at this time, not in Dalboyn. Four churches are mentioned in it; Ecclesia de Carmeavie, a union with Rulahach; Camlin, a mensal of the bishop, "and it is sparpallit by evil neighbours and in the bishop's decay"; Lenavy or Glenavy where "Bangor is parson" and "Capella de Kilmakavett" where again "Bangor is parson." In the latter cases the churches had come under the control of the Bangor monastery. The Protestant church of Gartree occupies the site of the ancient church of Kilmackevet, alias Tremfade. In May, 1933, Mr. John Manderson presented the font that is now in Aldergrove Church grounds. On that occasion he said he had thought "the font was a horse trough but if it was a holy water font, the P.P. of Glenavy had the best right to it." It had lain for years in the yard of the houses occupied by John and William McGarry of Waterfoot. It is said the stones used in the building of these houses came from the old church at Gartreehence the font. This old church was known as Kilmackevett. "Rulahach" is probably a misnomer for Killelagh in the present townland of Killealy, the Dalnach of the Pope Nicholas Taxation.

O'Laverty mentions two other churches in the parish. The "Capella de Elder" was returned by the Protestant bishop as a ruin in 1622 and the tithes possessed by Sir Hercules Langford. This was probably in Ballymacilhoyle where an ancient cemetery was discovered not far from Aldergrove church. The townland of Ballymacilhoyle is named from its ancient owners the family of McGilcowell or Mac Giolla Comhgaill (son of the servant of Comgall). This was St. Comgall of Bangor under whom the family were hereditary church farmers. Like Kilmackevet, Elder belonged to Bangor. The family of McGilcowell now names itself McConnell.

A church called Kilmaneeve stood in a corner of the townland of Ballyginniff, but the cemetery was on the other side of the stream in the townland of Ballynageeragh. Mrs. McSorley of Belfast, who was from a well-known family called McAreavey, told me that her mother pointed out this site to Monsignor O'Laverty when he was collecting information for his monumental work. The site of the church is a few yards up the first road on the left going from Aldergrove corners towards Ballyginniff.


Only in modern times has the G been prefixed to this name. In 1605 an inquisition refers to "Clenough, otherwise Linawney." My own explanation of this is that the new settlers, many of whom came from Gloucester and S. Wales, would have been very familiar with the prefix Lana (compare Llandudno, Llannelly, etc.) and since these are pronounced with a "Chian" sound, it is easy to understand how the name became Chian, Chlen, and lastly Glenavy. In a map dated 1710 it is denominated 'alias Clonaghy.' In 1685 we find 'Cloonavie,' even though the Hearth Money Rolls had previously written 'Glenavey.'


Sir Fulke Conway was an active officer in the army of Elizabeth. The Conways were a family of no great note until this time when the Queen selected Sir Fulke of the County of Flint as one of the three officers to carry on the war against the native Irish. The other officers who with Conway served under the Earl of Essex were Colonel Arthur Chichester and Lieutenant Colonel Hill.
Conway had been governor of the Fort of Inisloughin where he often lived. This was near the present Spencer's Bridge, perhaps where Trummery House now stands. By 1609 he was in his second year as Mayor of Carrickfergus, the most important fortress in the north. With the flight of the Earls in the autumn of 1607, the main cause of unrest passed away and the time was ripe for Elizabeth's henchmen to come into possession of the fruit of their labour.

Con O'Neill of Castlereagh had earlier been forced to convey his lands to Sir James Hamilton, and Sir James finding too much on his plate�a rare happening in those days�had these lands passed by letters patent to Sir Fulke.

The southern part of the parish of Glenavy formed part of this vast estate which extended from Lambeg, near Drumbo, to Lough Neagh and occupied nearly the whole of the barony of Upper Massareene. The settlers who came to live here were from the apple districts of England, on the banks of the Severn and Avon, and indeed the line of the English settlers is the line of orchards even to this day. It may be of interest to give the names of some of these people as many of their descendants are still found in the area:

Gresham, Audis, Thurkilld, Antwhistle, Higginson, Hastings, Waring, Close, Wolfenden, Mussen, Bullmer, Bunting, Blizard, Charleton, Aprichard, Gwilliams, Haddock, Peers, Wheeler, Breathwait, Barnsley, Carleton, Conway, Garrett, Bennett, Gregory, Waters, White, Pearce, Grainger, Willis, Shillington, Hammond, Moore, Smyth, Richardson, Clark, Hopes, Peel, Bicket, Lamb, Hodgkinson, Carter, Courtney, Weatherhead. Morgan. Palmer, Walker, Calvert, Taylor, Mace, etc.

An English Catholic with the unusual name Throgmorton Totesbury farmed six townlands in the Glenavy area at this time. In 1641 he had four large barns, office houses, a kiln and malthouse which could accommodate 100 men. His religion however did not save him when the Irish rose in revolt and though he appealed for help to Chichester, it did not come, and he had to leave, letting his land to an old neighbour, Mr. Doyne.

Sir Fulke died without issue in 1624 and was succeeded by his brother Edward. Early in the reign of Charles I he was granted the lands of Derryvolgie as well, and soon was raised to the peerage, becoming the first Viscount Conway of Aberconway and Killultagh. The second Viscount was removed from the command of his regiment for refusing to sign the Covenant, and he ended his days in ailing health at Paris, aged 63.

The 3rd Viscount is of more interest to our story, as he left his mark on the district. At the age of 23 he ended his military career, just managing to escape with his life from the bloody battlefield of Benburb. This ended his interest in the Irish campaign. During the Commonwealth period he kept quietly in the background, but when Charles II came to the throne he used his store of wealth to become a courtier and friend of the King. Now was the time for spending.

He had a fine castle at Lisburn. but decided to build another at Portmore around the year 1664. Nearby he enclosed 2,000 acres or so including within it several farms for which he had to find other land for the occupiers. He built a shooting lodge, and a decoy for wild ducks in imitation of the one the King had in St. James's Park.

Sir George Rawdon, his brother-in-law, thought it wise to warn him about expenses, but it doesn't seem to have made much difference. Writing to Rawdon from Ragley in Warwickshire. he says, "I have advised with Garrett about the hemp-seed, and he thinks, considering he cannot go into Flanders because of the sickness, it may be provided in England, if you desire it; and that for the future two of the acres of that land in the Tunny Park, which is lately stubbed up. would furnish you plentifully. If the cranes you mention do live and will thrive, I intend. God willing, to have them brought over, (-ho' it be by an express messenger; and in the meantime it would be convenient to employ some such person about them as would be fit to bring them over. I pray acquaint John Totnal that I desire him to get some bee-hives at the Tunny Park, for if I live to come into that country, I believe I shall use a great deal of honey"�Obviously the 3rd Viscount had "a sweet tooth." In another letter to Rawdon he says, "I have got two couple of right decoy ducks and a drake, such as will fly abroad every night and return in the morning; these I will send over within a fortnight, and I will send to all the decoys in England, till I have brought mine into such a condition as it ought to be."

In Cupples' Survey of the area he tells the following anecdote. "Edward the last Earl Conway died without issue and he bequeathed them (the lands of Killultagh) after the decease of his Countess Ursula to Francis Seymour, son of Sir Edward Seymour, speaker of the Long Parliament . . . . Francis was to have married Earl Conway's only daughter but though all the marriage settlements were made, she died on the day fixed for her nuptials. The Earl sent for Seymour to his bedchamber and told him that though this was God's will to prevent an alliance, he must still consider himself his son-in-law and heir to his estates and fortune."

It is a pleasant story, but quite untrue. The facts are that the last Conway died on 13th August, 1683, and by his will bequeathed his English and Irish estates, after the death of his wife, to a young man called Popham Seymour, third son of Sir Edward Seymour, but the eldest son of his second wife, Letitia Popham, the sister or niece of Conway's mother. The nearest relative was Arthur Rawdon, his sister's son. It is said that Conway's will was made some four days before his death under "most suspicious circumstances."

Popham was a rake with the most dissolute habits. On a summer evening in 1699 he fought a duel with an officer of the Blues, called Kirk. Both were drunk at the time and "Beau" Seymour, as he was known, was wounded in the neck and later died.

In this way the estates which Sir Fulke had gained as a result of the Elizabethan wars, passed to Francis Seymour, Popham's brother, the ancestor of the Earls and Marquises of Hertford. Francis was made Baron Conway of Ragley in 1703 and of Killultagh in 1712. His son was created Earl of Hertford in 1750 and Marquis in 1793.

The property descended in regular succession, the heirs receiving the title of Marquis of Hertford until the death of the 4th Marquis in 1870. Hugh McCall of Lisburn in his "Recollections" mentions that up to 1845 the Marquis who was drawing an annual income of over �50,000 from his estate had never set foot in it. In October of that year he paid his only visit, promising to redress the wrongs of the tenantry, but promptly forgot all about this. During his life his agent was allowed to act as he liked, raising rents as the tenants' toil improved the lard. During the famine years of '47 and '48 he alone, amongst the Ulster landlords, showed no sympathy with the starving tenantry, but by aid of charity and assisted emigration many escaped death. The Marquis of Down-shire spent about �15,000 on relief. Hertford gave about �700.

The elder son of the 3rd Marquis inherited the family character and resided most of his life in Paris. At his death the estate passed to his natural son Sir Richard Wallace in 1872 after a long and costly court case with Sir Hamilton Seymour. Wallace lived chiefly in Paris and made a name for philanthropy during the siege there when it is said he spent �80.000 for the relief of the suffering English. In 1890 he died and his widow, a French lady, succeeded. The famous Wallace collection of paintings at Hertford House. Manchester Square. London, is the bequest of Sir Richard's widow. The Conservative Party, in power from 1895 to 1905, adopting the policy of "killing Home Rule by kindness," passed acts to enable the tenant-farmer to purchase his holding from the landlords. Under Wyndham's Land Purchase Act of 1903, �112,000,000 was advanced by the government to farmers who were given 68 years to repay the loans. The land purchase annuities are now collected by the N.I. Ministry of Finance. "The Landowners of Ireland" published in 1878 lists Wallace's holdings thus: Antrim 58,365 acres, Down 2,693 acres. Total 61,058 acres.


When Chichester was governor of Carrickfergus three of his officers were Hugh Clotworthy, Henry Upton and Roger Langford. These men were rewarded for their services by receiving Crown grants of choice lands once belonging to the O'Neills. Clotworthy got Massareene, Upton got Templepatrick and Langford sited his residence on a slight peninsula projecting into Lough Neagh which is still known as Langford Lodge.

Later on the Langford and Longford (Pakenham) families were united and the large house built which later served as N.I. Base Command for U.S. troops in the second world war. The present Gartree church which was once the private chapel of the Pakenhams was built in the 1830's by Lieut. Gen. Sir Hercules Pakenham. His elder brother General Edward Pakenham was commander of the defeated British Army at New Orleans. The last of his family to die in war was Major Hercules Dermot Pakenham who died from wounds received at Dunkirk.
The Pakenhams sold the estate to the Air Ministry in 1940 when the airfield was opened. In 1959 the estate was bought by the Martin Baker Aircraft Co. and T.A. Sappers demolished the huge rambling mansion.


We have traced the fortunes of the Conways and Hertfords not through any desire to perpetuate their memory but solely to aid us in understanding the history of our parish since the Plantation. It is a rhetorical exaggeration to say that all the native Irish were driven to the hills and bogs at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Indeed many native freeholders got grants. But we must distinguish between those Irish gentry who had grants from the Crown, those who were tenants and leaseholders under the Irish or planted landlords, and the mere tenants-at-will or labourers which the mass of the population became. It is no rhetoric to say that the latter were reduced to the lowest serfdom and ignored callously.

The northern part of the parish of Glenavy contains the lands which were retained by one branch of the Clandeboy O'Neills. Neal O'Neill was slain fighting on the side of the English but left two sons, Neal Og and Hugh Mergach. On May 26. 1607, a grant of the tuogh or district of Killelagh was made to Neal Og and that of Kilmackevet to Hugh. Chichester had cast very envious eyes on these districts but because of Neal Og's friendship with Sir Randal McDonnell, afterwards Earl of Antrim, and a favourite with the King, he demurred. Neal later married Sir Randal's daughter. The districts of Killelagh and Kilmackevet roughly correspond to that portion of Glenavy parish which lies north of the Crumlin river. The boundary between them at one end was the "small river of Shroghanlereske," now known as the Black Burn stream which enters Lough Neagh near Ballyginniff Milltown. Neal Og's district of Killelagh corresponded roughly with the modern townlands of Corbally, Dungonnell, Crookedstone, Killealy, Ballyrobin, British. Ballysculty, Grange of Carmavy, Kilcross, Lisnataylor, Boltnaconnell, Straidhavern, Tully and Seacash. Kilmackevet which belonged to Hugh corresponded roughly with Ballyginniff, Ballyquillin. Ballynageeragh. Ardmore, Ballymacilhoyle, Ballynadrentagh, Ballyclan, Gortnagallon, Ballyhill, Crosshill, Randox and Ballymacmary.

Neal Og married Lady Sarah McDonnell and when he died in 1628, King Charles I directed that his young son Henry should be looked after "by a fit person or persons, provided that he or they be good Protestants." His ward was Sir Henry O'Neill of Edenduffcarrick (Shane's Castle) who was a Protestant. During the trouble of 1641 his estate was forfeited, but was restored in 1665 and in the next year he was made a baronet.

Sir Neal O'Neill, Henry's eldest son, was a colonel of dragoons in the service of James II and was present at the eventful siege of Derry. His castle was on the shore of Lough Neagh near the mouth of the present Black Burn stream. In April, 1690, he was one of the assessors for Co. Antrim for the levying of tax for James. At the river-ford of Rossnaree near Slane, he and his men made their last stand for the House of Stuart. For a whole hour they gallantly resisted the Williamites, though exposed to superior numbers. O'Neill himself was shot in the thigh but still managed to conduct an orderly retreat. He died a week later in Waterford where he is buried in the old Franciscan friary. His tombstone reads:

Here lyes the Body of S. Neale O'Neille Barronet of Killilag(h) in the County of Antrim who dyed ye 8 of July in the year 1690 at the age of 32 years and 6 months. He married the second Daughter of the Lord Viscount Molyneux of Sefto(n) in Lancashire in England. Requiescant in Pace.

His wife and four daughters were unprovided for and his brother Sir Daniel became the last baronet. The estate was confiscated but Sir Neal's widow appealed and though the lands were granted to her and her daughters for 41 years they were sold, under these conditions in 1701. There is a portrait of Sir Neal O'Neill and also one of his wife in Lord Talbot de Malahide's collection in Malahide Castle. Sir Neal's daughter Rose married Nicholas Wogan, younger brother of Charles Wogan, the Jacobite adventurer. Their daughter was grandmother of 2nd and 3rd Barons Talbot.

Almost as soon as Hugh Mergach had come into possession of Kilmackevet he began to dispose of it in the most thoughtless manner, most of it going to Sir Hercules Lang-ford.


We have mentioned the native Irish, and the settlers from England and Wales who came to Conway's estate. The Scottish came under less distinguished leaders and more as independent units of population. True there were Hamiltons in Down and MacDonnells in Antrim already. But Ireland was to Scotland at this time what the U.S.A., Canada and Australia became at a later date. It was remote, but it was the land of hope, the field of the adventurer, the home of the emigrant where land could be had at a nominal cost. Into Antrim they poured by Islandmagee to Ballyclare, Antrim and Ballymena. In 1633 and 1634 the emigrants from Scotland by way of Ayrshire walked in companies of 100 or more from Aberdeen and Inverness, and were about 5,000 per annum. So numerous were they that they came in turn to occupy much of the intermediate and waste land lying between themselves and the other sets of population. F. J. Bigger, M.R.I.A., noted that the names on the tombstones in Nithsdale, north of Dumfries, correspond closely with those found in the churchyards of Carnmoney, Templepatrick and Killead. Some fled persecution from the Established Church at home and brought Presbyterianism into the area, but many too were devoid of any interest in religion. Andrew Stuart, Presbyterian minister of Donaghadee, came to Carnmoney in 1696 and declared: "From Scotland came many and from England not a few, yet all of them generally the scum of both nations, who from debt or breaking and fleeing from justice or seeking shelter, came hither hoping to be without fear of man's justice in a land where there was nothing, or but little as yet of the fear of God."


Between 1662 and 1689 a form of taxation was levied called Hearth-Money. Like all taxes it was unpopular, the more so as it entailed inspection of houses. The rate was 2/- per hearth which would be equivalent to almost �5 to-day. The records of this tax (known as the Hearth-Money Rolls) perished along with other valuable material in late June, 1922, with the burning of the Four Courts in Dublin. Fortunately transcripts of these had been made for three Ulster counties. Antrim, Derry and Tyrone, and these are kept in the Library of the Presbyterian Historical Society in Belfast, also in the Record Office and in the Linenhall Library in the same city. The Rolls consist of lists of householders liable to pay tax, arranged according to civil parishes and townlands.

HEARTH MONEY ROLL FOR 1669. Mazareene Barony.

PITMEANE (Ballypitmave): Roger McCann, John Cosnahan.

BALLYMOATE (Ballymote): James McNeese, Richard Butcher, Tho Raly, Adam McNeely.

BALLYNECRECKET (Ballymacricket): Patrick O'Sharkey, Patrick McElkenan, Thomas Butcher, Wm Fflanikin, John Welsh 4, John Waltone. Rowland McCranel, Wm Steensonn, James Ffostard, Thos Hunter, John Jebs, John Kelley. Barthol Read.

AUGHADALGIN (Aghadolgan): Mr. Ffooke Guilliams, Daniel O'Neale, John Taylor.

AUCHANES (Oglis?): John Ffalkner, Geo Rely, Nicho Burns, Derby Burns, Arch Allett, Wm Younge. Ffrancis Cardwell, Richard Henderson. Phelomy Donohey, Henry Ffarr. James Marshall, Kio McShane, Theo Burnes.

THE TUNY PARKE (Deerpark): Robert Stringer, Thomas (no surname), Coyner Stringer (no hearths given).

THE TUNEY (Feumore): Patrick O'Brankin, James Wilsone, Wm Ffinn, Nicho McKenenton.

MONEY CROMOCKE (Moneycrumog): Thomas Peele, Collo Trelany, Patrick McKahalshey, James Coleman, Henry O'Naile, Hugh Fforfee, Josias Booth, John McAgoe, John Quale, John Nelson. John Sheppard, Patrick McFfeagh, John Bowles, John Pipin, Cormuck O'Brean, Neale O'Creely, Philomy O'Creely.

THE NEW PARK (Portmore Park): John Tomsone, John Davis, Chr Booth, Roger Quine, Robt Anderson, Wid Ffisher, Daniel Alline, John Alline, Richard McGlogan. Wm McSrayne, Teige McSrayne, John Hadock (Senior), John Hadock (Junior), Charles Howard, John Cormichell, Samuel Dawson. Wm Morrow, John Blend, Humphrey Clearke 2, Thomas Morrow, Thomas Bland, Wm Kitwalder. Geo Wilsone, Ffrancis Best, Donnohy O'Cormuckan, Derby McKev�na, Wm Hopes, Wid Pattersone, Wid Mase. John Burnett, John Allen 2, Andrew Steele, Law Wilson, Wm Just. Lord Conway for Port moore house 18, John Waters, John Fferguson, Owin Richards 2, Alex Ray, John Hall, Wm Hoole, John Newtowne 2, Roger McNight, Edward Roberts, Andr Agnew, John Hunter, James Martin, Charles Hutton, Geo Hunter. Geo Cobreth. James McKnight, Geo Elyett, Tho Mare, Roger Gorden, John Ranton, Thomas Palmer, John Rea, John Betty, James Little, Owin McTrelany, Shane Boy McCabe. Richard Ashcroft, Wm Erwine, James Carlile, James Voash, Wm Dunwidy, Henry Hall (Sen.), Henry Hall (Jun.), Wm Hall, John Bradshaw, Edward Higison. Tho Gaskell, Henry Smith, Richard Thomsonn, Ptk McConnell, John Bankes, Thos Davis, Wid Ffean, Henry Marser, Bryan Williams, Richard Scofield, Robt Hughes. Wm Henderson. Donaway Hanna. Donohey McCalpin, Ptk Read, Widd Arnell, Henry Bingam, Duncan Sloane, John Orr, Geo Sloane, Gillaspy McConnell, Edmond Magee, James Ward, Robert Saunders. Henry Punsebee, John Punsebee, Robert (no surname). Richard Henderon.

BALLYNEKEY (Ballynacoy): Thos O'Harey. John Quine, Barth Garland, Ringan Watsonne, Robert Thomsone, Charles Bickertone, Robert Parke.

BALLYMONEYMORE: Wm Johnstone 2, Wid Little, John McClelland, Elias Beebee 2. George Roberts 2, John Hurdman. John Kilpatrick, Widd Oakeman, Thos Hurdman.

GLENAVEY TOWNE (Present village): Wm Templeton, John Dougherty Esq 2, Widd Yeats, Widd Bell, Adam Metland, Thos Leathes 2, Wm Goare, Widd Strockan. Patrick McCaffree, Wm Laurenson 3, Adam Leathes 2, Wid Ackison 3, Mr Richard Davis 2, Humphrey Beebey, Wid Cowden, Wm Wilkinson 2, James Beane, Henry Dobson, John Roberts, Wm Simpsone, Edward Butcher, Elias Beebee, Wid Arey. Wid Young, George Whiteside, George Allin, Hugh Macrannel, Edward Christian. Wm Walker, Edward Murchy, Samuel Houke, Thomas Bowles 2, Wm. Edward 2.

BALLYGORTGARROCK TOWNE (Ballygortgarve): James Reede, Ffrancis Rodger, Wm Whiteside, John Nesbitt 2. John Nichol!, Wm Rodger, Robert Hentwhistle. John Williamson, Roger Hentwhistle, James Rodger, John Moland, Duncan McCurrell, James Creane, John McClery, Wm Gamble. John Sloan, John Adison.

BALLYSHANNOGHEY (Ballyshanaghill): Roger McCann, Andrew McElwery. Murt McShane, James McMolane. Henry Prisley, Toole Magee, Donnogh O'Hagan, Shane Magee Junior, Haga Roe Magee. Bryan O'Boyell, Patrick Aconey, Call a Sones, Ptk McShane. Owin Boy O'Dewinin.

BALLYVIAMRY (Ballytrumery): Shane O'Finton, Edmund O'Grochan, Edmund O'Carr, Daniel O'Murrigan, James Magowan. Patrick Rice, Patrick O'Toughan, Robert Atteny Senior. Neale Atteny. Robt. Atteny Junior, Shane Bane Magee, Wm Loughan.

BALLYVOLANE (Ballyvollen): Gilder Agnew, Randle McBryn, Roger McPicke, Teri O'Kane, Edmund Mcllwiney, John McNeese. Tho McNeese. Christ McNeese, Shane Magee, Owin McCardill, Conn O'Neale, Donnell McKee, Thomas McKee, Richard McQuillin, Patrick Gorden, Owin O'Golfin, Wm Money, Geo Neesbet. Tho Holmes, Daniel McGowan, Andrew Thomson, Wm Johnston, Bryan Bryan 2. Edward Ingram, Richard Whiteside, Thomas Ramsey, Daniel McKery. Maraduke Ffisher 2, Geo Tomson, John Wilson. Turl Magee 3, Edmund McCann 2. Allexander Younge 2. Wm Clay, Wm Rowland. Thos Kilchreest, Henry Dobson, Humphrey Wailes, Robt Lenox, Thos Strong, Thos Edwards, James Creighton, Richard McKneese. Owin O'Ffery. Walter Wilkins, James Russell. Geo Linsey, Henry Thomson, Wm Erwin. John Johnstone, John Rea, Adam Armstrong, James Linsey, Wm Greame, John McCoa. John Wright, John McKansh, Wm Browne, James Corry, James Breake, John Ffrancis, Geo Erwin Sen., Thomas Erwin, Wm Erwin Junior, John McCormucke, Jas Scott, David McKee, John Tagart, Hugh Ffleming, Robert White. David Lawsone, George Erwin Junior. John Clemons, Thos Palmer, Thos Sanders, Patrick Magee, Andrew Stewarte, Thos Coales. Hugh O'Hamell. Wm Clay, Robert McGarey, Robt Johnstone.

CORBELLY (Corbaliy): Andrew Necanson, James Mulholland, Thomas Curtness, Edward Harkness, Robt Hunter, John Swann, Wm Swann. Wm Wallace. Thos Wallace, John Kenly, Wm Kenly, James Campton Senior, James Campton Junior. John Rea, Wid Bell, Henry Gibsone, John Campstone.

GARTAREE (Gartree): Knogher O'Lenan, Hugh Mulholland, Owen Mulholland, Shane McKeane, Pat Mulholland, Conor O'Neale. Henry Magee.

DUNGANNELL (Dungonnell): John Joy, Wm Mullinex, Robt Reney, Donne! Meare, Wid Hunter, Andrew Hunter, Ringbam Hambleton, Robert Moore, John English, Wm Lettymore, John Strogan, Edward Ffreeman, Patrick Grasev, Peter Whiteside, Shane O'Neale, George O'Cann.

BALLYGINNIS (Ballyginniff): Sir Henry O'Neale 5, Wm Dealan. Charles McGiban.

BALLYNEGEROCK (Ballynageeragh): Wm. O'Teere, Owin McLaverty, Pot McGradey, Hugh Sttanna (Hanna?), Owin Mulholland, Mr Humphrey, Sexton, Patrick Aduellin 2.

ARDMORE: Shane Mulholland, Hugh Shane Duff Mulholland, Collo Morgan, Donnell O'Morgan. Nicholas McTeere.

BALLYMCETHANY (Ballymacilhoyle): Abram Lowe, Daniel O'Griffin, Hugh O'Canan, John Mecam, Wm Metland, John Mullikin, John Osburne, Walter Bell.

BALLYQUELLON (Ballyquillin): Henry Whittles, Thomas Hunter, John English, James McKnight, Wm Bouan, Walter Windrene, Allex Linton, Thomas Miller, James Miller, Widd McRobert, Thos Wilson. James Thomson, James Moore. John Todd, Hugh Walker, John McBoyle.

SEACASH: Ogin O'Beestin, John Henine, Wm Weinsley, Robert Hunter, Wid McClune. James McKnight, Ninion Jordan, Wm Mawhar. John Harris, John Orr, Mathew Gilmore, Thomas Fisher, John Elshnor, Wid McCormuck, Wid Blacke, John Walker Senior, Wm Kinegan, John Walker, John McCadam, James White. Allex Carruth, John Gray, James Bell, Robert Speare, David Ffoales, Wm Tomson.

BRYTRES (British): John Clearke, Wm Greere, Alexander Kinkade, Wm. Morrison, John Hunter, Tho McClure, Wm Robinson. Wm Windrome, James McBryde, Widd Hooper, Widd Pollart 2, James Barberr, Alexander Garden, Wid Black, Thos Black 2, John Linsey, Robert Harris, Thomas Potter, Edmond Joy 2.

CROOKEDSTONE: John Mawhood 2, Pat Kinegan, Adam Kinegan, Walter Curry, George McKnight, James McConchy. Hugh Skeake, Patrick Akin, James Lourymore.

KILLALEY (Killealy): Alexander McCullough, Hugh Kiningham, Moses Thomson, John Akin, Wm English, John Ireland, John Tate, Thos Cunningham. Thos Hanna, John Scott, Hugh Camble, Thos McAdow, James Neale. Hugh Wilsonne, James Swann, Gilbert McKibbin, Gil McCawnley.

BALLYGROBAN (Ballyrobin): Samuel English, James Reede, James Dunlop, Wm Estome. Ffergus McDowell, Thomas Younge, David Dickie, Thomas Robinson, Wm Eston Senior, John Key, George Simson, Robert Colwell. Robert Henry. Robert Henry Senior, Wid English. James Estome, Tho Camel, Allex Robinson, Geo Estome, Walter Bell, Andrew Harper, John Dunn, James Gracy. John Robinson, John McCleland. John Bleare, James Browne, Thomas Betty, Widow Gibson, Gowen Coulter, Michael McKee, John Eshelly. John Aston, Robert Cowen.

BALLYSCULLY (Ballysculty): Daniel McCawnley. Richard Linsey, Gilbert Crooke, James Miller, Andrew Lenix, Alex Lachlan, James White, Thomas Browne, John Peerson, Ffinly McKeran.

BALLYTWEEDY: John Ligett, John Gray, Alexander Gray. John Philelson, John Horma, John Lenix, Quinton Crawford, John Jenison, John Bannetty.

CARMEAVY (Grange of Carmavy): Hugh Gilpatricke, John Gelstone Sen., John Gelstone Jun., Andrew Gelstone, Tho Nicksone, Wm George, John Browne, Wm Andrew, Tho Kilpatricke, Walter Bell. And Younge, John McCeanen, Alex Berryhill, Alexander McMury, John Kirke, James McCadam, James Earane, John Ffledger.

BALLYMADER (Ballymather): Tho Lowden, Hugh Parke, John Allin, Wm Browne. James Ekin, Munga Lowdane. David Gillimore, John Gilmoore, Michael McDowell, James Darleth, John Wilson.

KILCROSSE (Kilcross): John Kinegan, Wid Lyne. John Henry, Allex Dumbar, Hugh Hill, Thos Jemison.

CARNACLASSE (Carnaghliss): John Coman, John Wilsone, Wm Derumple, Wid. Coubosone, And Linsey, David Walker, John Browne, James Gibson, James McBretney, John McKowon, Mr. Kilpatricke, Michael McGarrocke, John Bell, Thomas Potts, Alexander Walker, James Kirkow, Michael Horner, Brice Blair, John Moffett, Andrew John-stone. Thomas Miller, John Gillyland, Thomas Gillyland, Alexander Greane.

BELTINACONNELL (Boltnaconnell): John Young, Pill McElreany, Teage McElreaney, Donnell McElreaney, Teige Oge McElreaney, Brian O'Davey, Knogher O'Collin, Patrick Mulholland, Brian Oge O'Davey.

DUNDESARD (Dundesert): Wm Nelson, Wm Eccles, John McMaster Senior, Thomas McCreaven, John McMaster, Mr Roger Langsford.

THE RANDOCKE (Randox): Wid Lettymore, Wm Davison.

THE CROSSHILL (Crosshill): Wid Dickson, Quinton Magill, George Greage.

ACHNEDRENAN (See note later): Mr Wm Oglethropp, Alexander Bredner, Wid Rowan.

BALLYDRENTOCK (Ballynadrentagh): James Manderson. John Strong, John Mitch, Hugh Skillin, John Tomson, Wm Ffinley, David Gorden, David Brown, Patrick Agnew, George Agnew, Adam McByrd, James Kennegan, Andrew Morrison, John Smith, Thos Wilson, John Ffisher, Wm Davison, Allister McMillian, Thos Deniss, Robert Wilson, Wm Rankin, Thomas Crachton. Allex Major, Ringan McGurr, John Bell, James Armour, Tho Grean, John Armour, John Molland, John Mecke, Wm McCoale. Ogins Tolan, John McCordey, John Johnstopp.

UPPER BALLYCLAN: John McGurr. Wm Foster, Robt Porter, James O'Henera, Math McCroden, Hugh McCroden, Hugh Mulholland, James Delap, Patrick Adeare, And McCoale. Cormuck O'Doran, James Metland.

LOWER BALLYCLAN: Geo Couplestone Junior. Samuell Crawford, Art O' Quine, Art Mulholland, Neese O'Cleary, Edmund Mulholland.

THE LARGIE (Largy): Geo Johnstone, Chris Quigly 2, John Maguire Sen., John Maguire Junior, Wid Richard, Murt Mulholland. Shane Mcllcree, Henry Boyland, Hugh Mulholland, Shane Oge McElreaney, Manus O'Donnegan.

GORTNAGALLAND (Gortnagallon): Henry O'Hamell, Donnell O'Hamel, Daniel O'Clery, Henry Nettletin, Thos Hunter. Dermot O'Kergin, Archey Hamilton, Wm Mulholland.

LISNE TAYLOR (Lisnataylor): Shane O'Mulholland, Teige O'Dowdey, Rowland McConnell, Patrick Magee. John McCombe, John McKee, Alex McChesney, James Coulreath, Andrew Ffeming, John Ffalkner, John Lewass, Cha McCracken, James McJuin, John Makee. John McClure, John McKnight.

STRATHAVEN (Straidhavern): John McConnell, Robert McConnell, John White, George McMaster, Allex Hanna, Andr McMaster, Wm Delapp, John Cuhtersone.

THE TULLY: John Mitchell, James Douglass, Wm Cune, Robert Walker. Patrick McGumry, Alex Montgomery. Thos Steuart, Wm Shawe, James McClure, Robt Crafford, James Gillylan, John Harris. Mr Robt Hambleton 2, Patk McCullagh, James Benocke, Hugh Gillilan, Tho Byrson, Blysse Patricke, James Byrson, Gawin Brysson, John Stewart, John McCullack, John McCreach, Widd Hanna.

The very unusual and often inconsistent spelling here is easily understood when we consider the difficulties under which the "Smoke Man", as the Irish called him, laboured.

Apart from being a most unwelcome visitor in these pre-constabulary days he had to jot down as best he could Elizabethan English, Lowland Scottish and Irish. Considering this, perhaps he didn't do too badly.

The number given after a name tells us that the householder had the comparative opulence of more than one hearth. Thus John Welsh of "Ballynecrecket" had 4, and a gentleman with the wonderful name Elias Beebee had 2 in Ballymoneymore and one in "Glenavey Towne"�surely there couldn't have been two Elias Beebees! "Wid." or "Widd." of course means Widow.

In 1625 Sir Fulke Conway presented the Rectory of Glenavey (including Ballinderry and Magheragall) to Rev. Meredith Gwyllim�a brother Welshman. The Mr. Ffooke Guilliams mentioned in "Aughadalgin" may be a son and possibly a clergyman and successor as Rector. He was "present att ye relation of Mrs. Adkison of Glenavey of what shee knows of ye pasag att Burning of Lurgan ye 1st Nov., 1641." according to the Parish history of Donaghcloney.


Canon McEvoy has noted thus. "Aghanliss is the name of the only townland at present bearing any resemblance. It is in the present civil parish of Ballinderry, bordering on the civil parish of Glenavy. It may have been transferred to Glenavy during the Commonwealth. It was intended to add a portion of Ballinderry to Glenavy and this arrangement may have materialised for a time. There is a farm known as Oglis in the townland of Lurgill, close to Lough Beg and near Feymore in the civil parish of Ballinderry. Oglis may have covered a wider territory. Cardwells had a farm in the vicinity of present Oglis; Farrs and Marshalls have farms in its vicinity at present. The position of Auchanes on the Roll corresponds with location of Oglis between Aghadolgan and Tunney Park."


"This no longer exists as a separate townland, probably absorbed by Ballynadrentagh (helped perhaps by confusion of sound in last two syllables) or by Crosshill�or by both. It was probably on the north side of Crumlin river and in the neighbourhood of Crumlin village. There is "Glendarragh" in this locality�applied to a residence. There is also a "Glenoak" (residence). Both these were so known at the end of the eighteenth century. Glenoak is English of Glendarragh or very like it. There is a townland in Camlin parish called Aghnadarragh."�Late Canon McEvoy's notes.


"This may have been the hamlet from which Crumlin rose. Ballygortgarve may have included the townland of Ballytromery in which Crumlin lies. The parish and the parish church were known as Camlin, and so the hamlet surrendered its name and accepted the better known and legally recognised name of Crumlin. There was a village known as Camlin in the fifteenth century, perhaps near the old church of Camlin�named Camlin �as distinct from the modern village of Crumlin. There was a small townland called Ballycamlin but it is now incorporated with Ballydonaghy. In 1639 James I granted Sir Hercules Langford permission to hold a market and 2 fairs yearly for ever in Ballyaortoarrock."�Late Canon McEvoy's notes.


"There are several families of this name in the parish, many living near Lough Neagh. There is a tradition among them that the first of the Glenavy Brankins came from Spain. In a publication�I think "The Conway Letters"�it is said a man called Vranken was brought from Holland to cultivate trees, shrubs and flowers in the great park established on the Conway estate. There is a "Brankin's Island" in the Park�an island was a portion cleared of trees and made for cultivation and for residence. The Patrick O'Brankin of the Hearth Roll could have been this Hollander. His Christian name certainly shows he was a Catholic."�Late Canon McEvoy's notes.

A study of the townlands and householders in the Hearth Rolls shows to what extent the lands of this area had been acquired by the settlers in 1669. It is clear that the majority of the Catholics inhabited the areas on the north and south banks of the river which runs from the present village of Crumlin to Lough Neagh.


From 1650 until 1671 Down and Connor had no bishop, and was ruled by Vicars-General. These men had to go about in disguise, suffering every kind of poverty and hardship and ministering to their people by secret or by night. In 1670 Dr. Plunkett, the new Primate to the See of Armagh made a visitation of Down and Connor. It was the year after the Hearth Money Roll we have given, so our friend Elias Beebee may have seen the the man we know as "Blessed Oliver"!

He wrote that, "great peace is enjoyed therein. There are about 2.500 Catholic families. The Marquis of Antrim, a good Catholic. is very powerful and very zealous. There is no other Catholic that has property there. Thanks to God, the Catholics enjoy great toleration." Among the names of priests serving here at the time he gives the name "Euralius Junior O'Haghby." Euralius is an attempt to Latinise the old Irish name Irial, which was used thousands of years before Christianity as a name among the Irian race to which the O'Haghby or O'Hughian family belonged. Euralius Junior was registered as "Popish Priest of Glenavy" in 1704. Blessed Oliver's report comments on the tremendous poverty under which the clergy had to work. "The parish priests are supported by a stipend which the Catholics give them�namely, every family, in addition to uncertain sums, contributes four Julii (2/-) every year. At Baptism, two Julii (1/-) are given; at marriage, four; and at Extreme Unction, two; and also at every burial, each family according to its own pleasure, gives some alms." This was the origin of the "offerings" at funerals which aroused some controversy in later days.

Sir Neal O'Neill whom we have already mentioned got his commission as a captain in the army of James in 1687 and during the eventful siege of Derry in 1689 he played a gallant part. In August of that year Schomberg. William's commander. landed with an army of 20,000 men and stationed himself at Lisburn. A detachment of his army was quartered at Glenavy, and Cupples writes that they were "well treated by the inhabit-ants." A chalice was given in acknowledgment of this treatment. It is of silver and bears the inscription, "This plate was given to the church of Glenavy by the officers of the Queen's regiment of horse, commanded by the Hon. Major-General Sir John Lanier. in the year 1690. in honorem Ecclesiae Anglicanae (in honour of the Anglican Church).

The tragedy of the end of the century for all our people was that the defence of Derry and Limerick, the battles of Aughrim and Boyne and all their sequels were the result, as Charles Dickson in his "Revolt in the North" says, of "a quarrel as to whether a Stuart or a Dutchman�neither of whom had any regard for Ireland�should occupy the throne of England." Dr. Gorges. Schomberg's secretary, bears out the misconduct which that old warrior had to put up with at the hands of the rustics who had rallied to the Orange standard. Disregarding proclamations and indiscriminate plundering of the country. they seemed to claim as a reward for their adherence to the new King. The presence of the strangers from Europe may be commemorated by a dance said to have been taught to the locals by some of Schomberg's soldiery�"The German Beau."

We have seen that the diocese had been ruled by Vicars General from 1650 until 1671. In May 1671, Dr. Mackey, a secular priest, was appointed bishop by the Holy See. By Christmas 1673 he was dead, but in the short years between, this wonderful man had ordained so many priests that 31 years after his death there were of them living, 6 in Co. Down, 1 in Co. Antrim and 10 in other parts of Ireland. When Dr. Mackey died the Vicars General again ruled until 1717. After the victory of the Protestants at the Boyne the now infamous Penal enactments followed. They were not concerned so much with converting the Irish Catholics to the new religion as with ensuring their humiliation and degradation so that power and property should stay in the hands of the Anglican community. It should however be noted that though the Penal Laws were primarily against Catholics. they also placed serious disabilities on the Dissenters also.

"All Popish Archbishops, Bishops, Vicars-General, etc., exercising any Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction" were ordered to leave the country by 1st May. 1698. The church now began to go underground. In 1704 came the Act "to prevent the further growth of Popery." All "Popish priests" had to register in their own county, and among the 18 who signed for Co. Antrim in Carrickfergus was "Irial O'Hughian" whom Blessed Oliver had mentioned in his report. Fr. O'Hughian is given as living in Glenavy, aged 65, "pretending to be Popish Priest of Glenavy. Killede, Camlin and Tullyrusk." He had been ordained in 1667 in Brussels by Edmund Reilly. Titular Primate of Meath, and his bails-men, who had to give �50 each as surety, were Richard Horsman, Belvidere, and J. O'Drani, Ralow.

Only those who registered and took an oath of allegiance could say Mass and then only in their own parishes. Education laws were designed in such a way that when the existing generation of clergy had gone, there would not be one to succeed them. Rewards and bribes went out for information leading to the conviction of any cleric in authority. Twenty years after the Boyne the only bishop in Ulster was in gaol. In 1709 the screw turned further when registered priests were asked to take an Oath of Abjuration which was condemned by the Pope. From now on all priests were "on the run," and the Penal Days were begun in deadly earnest.

O'Laverty states that Mass in the parish during the Penal Times was celebrated at two places, Chapel Hill, Ballymacrickett, where the present parish church still stands. and also at a high bank in "the townland of Ardmore," near Lough Neagh. According to the late Canon McEvoy this high bank or "Mass Rock" is in the townland of Largy on the northern bank of the Crumlin river. The bank is about 60 ft. high and 1� miles from the river's mouth. The bank is composed of stone and rock and from it there is a good view in all directions. This would have been a very central position for the Catholic community of the area at this time which, as we have seen, lay on both sides of the Crumlin river. The other place where Mass was said at Ballymacrickett also commanded a good view on all sides and served the more scattered groups of Catholics in this southern end of the parish.

What was it like to be a Catholic in Glenavy in those days? When was Mass said? How did word get out about the time of Mass? There is an account of the diocese of Clogher in 1714 and the conditions described there by Dr. Hugh McMahon are typical of Ulster as a whole. He says. "During these years a person was afraid to trust his neighbour lest, being compelled to swear, he might divulge the names of those present at Mass. Moreover, spies were continually moving around posing as Catholics . . . . Greater danger, of course, threatened the priests as the government persecuted them unceasingly and bitterly, with the result that priests have celebrated Mass with their faces veiled lest they should be recognised by those present. At other times Mass was celebrated in a closed room with only a servant present, the window being left open so that those outside might hear the voice of the priest without knowing who it was, or at least with-out seeing him . . . . All over the countryside, people might be seen, on meeting, signalling to each other with their fingers, the hour Mass was due to begin, in order that people might be able to kneel down and follow mentally the Mass which was being celebrated at a distance. I myself, have often celebrated Mass at night with only the man of the house and his wife present. They were afraid to admit even their children�so fearful were they." (Journal of the Clogher Diocesan Historical Society).

We have not much information about the priests of the parish during these troubled years. O'Laverty records that there was a Fr. White P.P. in 1750 and that he was succeeded by Fr. O'Neill. By 1760 priests began to hear Confessions openly again and Catholics plucked up enough courage to meet openly too. Permanent roofs were erected over field altars and later these became thatched "Mass-houses," often open at one end. One of these was in Aldergrove, not at the "Mass Rock" in the Largy, but almost at the end of the Diamond Road where it joins the road that lies along the shore, on the northern side going towards the lough.

"Mr. Charles Thompson's house was the site of a 'Mass-House.' It is said that part of the old walls was retained. In some of the old deeds connected with this property there is mention of 'Thompson's Mass House.' A tombstone with an inscription on it was found in the east gable of this house when the occupants were putting in a range. It is said that there was formerly a graveyard adjoining the house. In the orchard on the opposite side of the road human bones have been found." (Canon McEvoy's notes).

It is quite likely that Fathers White and O'Neill were natives of the parish, as this was the general usage of the Penal times, to appoint priests to work in their own native areas. In 1766 a religious census was ordered for the House of Lords and returns made by the Protestant ministers, "also a list of the several reputed Popish Priests and Friars residing in their parishes." The entry for Glenavy, Camlin and Tullyrusk gives "John McGlogan is Popish Priest." Fr. McLogan was a native of Ballinderry, and was educated in Flanders. He died in 1783 and was buried in the ancient cemetery of Ballinderry known as Laloo. The figures given in the 1766 census are "145 Papists in Glenavy; Camlin 43 Papists." These figures clearly show how the Catholic population over the previous century since the Hearth Roll of 1669 had moved away from the northern side of the parish and was now in more or less the position it was up until about the beginning of this century.

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