LISBURN is situate in the barony of Massereen,* on the river Lagan, in
the county of Antrim, and is seventy-three miles north of Dublin, and
something more than six south of Belfast. It is acknowledged to be the
handsomest inland town in Ireland. It is the second town in the county
Antrim, not only for size, trade, and population, but also as regards
political and religious supremacy, moral influence, wealth and enterprize.
In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Lisburn was only a small village, and at
that period called Lisnegarvy. The town having been fired by the rebels in
1641, was the origin of the name being changed. The original proprietor of
the territory of Killultagh, in which it stands, was an O'Neill of the
Tyrone family. In the reign of James I. Sir Fulk Conway obtained a grant of
it. He induced a number of English and Welsh families to settle here. From a
plan of the town taken, it is thought, sometime in that reign, and preserved
in the Marquis of Hertford's office, it appears that there were then
fifty-three tenements in the place besides the Castle. From this plan it is
evident that the centre of the town (all that was then in existence) has
undergone but little alteration in shape, the streets still remaining in the
same form as when laid out in the reign of James I. except what has been
occasioned by the buildings near the market-house ; nor for many years after
does it seem to have made any great progress ; for in 1635, it is thus
described by an English traveller :" Linsley Garvin, about seven miles from
Belfast, is well seated; but neither the town, nor country thereabouts, were
planted, (inhabited) being almost all woods and moorish, until you come to
Dromore. The town belongs to Lord Conway, who hath a good handsome house
* Massereen is said to signify a beautiful portion - a name truly
descriptive of the Barony.
Lisburn is remarkable for a victory gained over the Irish rebels,
commanded by Sir Phelim O'Neil, Sir Con Magenis, and General Plunket, on the
28th of November, 1641, a little more than a month after the breaking out of
the Rebellion; Sir George Rawdon, who commanded the King's forces, having
arrived at Lisburn on the evening before the battle.
The following detailed account of this engagement remains on record in
the vestry-book of the cathedral:
" LISNEGARVY, the 28th of Nov. 1641.
" A brief relation of the miraculous victory gained there that day
over, the first formed army of the Irish, soon after their rebellion, which
broke out the 23d of October, 1641.
"Sir Phelemy O'Neil, Sir Connor Maginnis, their general then in Ulster,
and Major-General Plunkett, (who had been a soldier in foreign kingdoms)
having enlisted and drawn together out of the counties of Armagh, Tyrone,
Antrim, and Down, and other counties in Ulster, eight or nine thousand men,
which were formed into eight regiments, and a troop of horse, with two
field-pieces; they did rendezvous on the 27th of November, at and about a
house belonging to Sir John Rawdon, at Brookhill, three miles distant from
Lisnegarvy, in which they knew there was garrison of five companies, newly
raised, and the Lord Conway's troop of horse. And their principal design
being to march into and besiege Carrickfergus, they judged it unsafe to pass
by Lisnegarvy, and therefore resolved to attack it next morning, making
little account of the opposition that could be given them by so small a
number, not half armed, and so slenderly provided of ammunition, (which they
had perfect intelligence of by several Irish that left our party and stole
away to them) for that they were so numerous and well provided of ammunition
by the fifty barrels of powder
they found in his Majesty's store, in the castle of Newry, which they
surprised the very first night of the Rebellion; also they had got into
their bands the arms of all the soldiers they had murderered in Ulster, and
such other arms as they found in the castles and houses which they had
plundered and burnt in the whole province. Yet it so pleased God to
disappoint their confidence; and the small garrison they so much slighted,
was much encouraged by the seasonable arrival of Sir George Rawdon, who
being in London on the 23d of October, hastened over by the way of Scotland;
and being landed at Bangor, got to Lisnegarvy, tho' late, on the 27th Nov.
where those new-raised men, and the Lord Conway's troop, were drawn up in
the market-place, expecting hourly to be assaulted by the rebels; and they
stood in that posture all the night, and before sunrise, sent out some horse
to discover their numerous enemy, who were at mass; (it being Sunday) but
immediately upon sight of our scouts, they quitted their devotion, and beat
drums, and marched directly to Lisnegarvy ; and before ten of the clock,
appeared drawn up in, battalia, in the warren, not above a musket-shot from
the town, and sent out two divisions, of about six or seven hundred apiece,
to compass the town, and plant their field-pieces on the high way to it,
before their body, and with them and their long fowling-pieces killed and
wounded some of our men, as they stood in their ranks in the market-place ;
and some of our musketeers were placed in endeavouring to make the like
returns of shot to the enemy.
And Sir Arthur Yerringham (governor of Newry) who commanded the garrison,
and Sir George Rawdon, and the officers foreseeing if, their two divisions
on both sides of the town should fall in together, that they would overpower
our small number. For prevention thereof, a squadron of horse, with some
musketeers, was commanded to face one of them that was marching on the north
side, and to keep them at a distance as long as they could; which was so
well performed, that the other division which marched by the river on the
south side, came in before the other, time enough to be well beaten back by
the horse, and more than two hundred slain of them in Bridge-street, and in
their retreat as they fled back to the main body.
"After which expedition, the horse returning to the marketplace, found
the enemy had forced in our small party on the north side, and had entered
the town, and was marching down Castle-Street, which our horse so charged
there, that at least 300 were slain of the rebels in the street, and in the
meadows behind the houses, through which they did run away to their main
body; whereby they were so much discouraged, that almost in two hours after,
their officers could not get any more parties to adventure upon us ; but in
the main space, they entertained us with continued shot from their main
body, and their field pieces, till about one of the clock, that. fresh
parties were issued out and beaten back as before, with the loss of many of
their men, which they supplied with others till night; and in the dark they
fired all the town, which was in a few hours turned into ashes ; -and in
that confusion and heat of the fire, the enemy made a fierce assault. But it
so pleased God, that we were better provided for them than they expected, by
a relief that came to us at night-fall from Belfast, of the Earl of
Donegall's troop, and a company of foot, commanded by Captain Boyd, who was
unhappily slain presently after his first entrance into the town. And after
the houses were on fire, about six of the clock, till about ten or eleven,
it is not easy to give any certain account or relation of the several
encounters in divers places in the town, between small parties of our horse,
and those of the enemy, whom they charged as they advanced, and hewed them
down, so that every corner was filled with carcases, and the slain were
found to be more than thrice the number of those that fought against them,
as appeared next day, when the constables and inhabitants, employed to bury
them, gave up their accounts. About ten or eleven o'clock, their two
generals quitted their stations, and marched away in the dark, and had not
above 200 of their men with them, as we were informed next morning, by
several English prisoners that escaped from them, who told us that the rest
of their men bad either run away before them, or were slain ; and that their
field-pieces were thrown into the river, or into some moss-pit, which we
never could find after; and in this their retreat, they fired Brookhill
house, and the Lord Conway's library in it, and other goods, to the value of
five or six thousand pounds, their fear and haste not at all allowing them
to carry any thing away, except some plate and some linen; and this they did
in revenge to the owner, whom they heard was landed the day before, and bad
been active in the service against them, and was shot that day, and also had
his horse shot under him, but mounted presently upon another; and Captain
St. John and Captain Burley were also wounded, and about thirty men more of
our party, most of whom recovered, and not above twenty-five or twenty-six
were slain. And if it be well considered, how meanly our men were armed, and
all our ammunition spent before night, and that if we had not been supplied
with men, by the timely care and providence of the Earl of Donegall, and
other commanders from his Majesty's store at Carrickfergus, (who sent us
powder, post, in mails, on horseback, one after another) and that most of
our new-raised companies, were of poor stript men, that had made their
escape from the rebels, of whom they had such a dread, that they thought
them not easily to be beaten, and that all our horse (that did the most
execution) were not above 120, viz., the Lord Conway's troop, and a squadron
of the Lord Grandison's troop, (the rest of them having been murdered in
their - quarters in Tanragee) and about 40 of a country troop, and a company
from Belfast that came to us at night. It must be confessed that the Lord of
Hosts did signally appear for us, who can save with or without any means,
and did by very small means give us the victory over his and our enemies,
and enough of their arms to supply the defects of our new companies, and
about 50 of their colours and drums. But it is to be remembered with regret,
that this loss and overthrow did so enrage the rebels, that for several days
and weeks after, they murdered many hundreds of the Protestants, whom they
had kept prisoners in the counties of Armagh and Tyrone, and other parts of
Ulster, and tormented them by several manners of death. And it is a
circumstance very observable, that much snow had fallen in the week before
this action, and on the day before it was a little thaw, and a frost
thereupon it in the night, so that the streets were covered with ice, which
proved greatly to our advantage; for that all the smiths had been employed
that whole night to frost our horses, so that they stood firm, while the
brogues slipt and fell down to our feet. For which, and our miraculous
deliverance from a cruel and bloody army, how great cause have we to
rejoice, and praise the name of our God, and say with that kingly prophet-
"If it had not been the Lord himself who was on our side, when men rose up
against us, they had swallowed us up quick, when they were so wrathfully
displeased at us. Yea the waters of the deep had drowned us, and the stream
bad gone over our soul; but praised be the Lord who has not given us over a
prey unto their teeth : our soul is escaped even as a bird out of the snare
of the fowler: the snare is broken and we are safe. Our hope standeth in the
name of the Lord, who made Heaven and Earth."-Amen.
In 1662, the inhabitants of the town of Lisburn, on account of their
loyalty to Charles the 1st and 2d, were (by the same patent which erected
the church of Lisburn into a Cathedral for the united diocese of Down and
Connor) empowered to return two Burgesses to Parliament forever, the Sheriff
of the county of Antrim, upon all summonses to elect a Parliament, being
obliged to send his precept to the Seneschal of the Manor of Killultagh,
(done at this day) who was made the returning officer, notwithstanding the
inhabitants were not a corporate body.*
* Harris's Manuscripts, Dublin Society.
The following is a true translation (from the Latin) of the LISBURN
CHARTER,* dated 27th October-14 Charles II.
* The original lies in an iron box in Lord Hertford's office, Lisburn.
" Charles II. by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and
Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all to whom these our present
Letters shall come Greeting.
WHEREAS we understand that the cathedral church of Down and Connor, in
our province of Ulster, within our kingdom of Ireland, being at present not
only ruinous and laid waste, but also were founded in inconvenient places
and extreme parts of the several dioceses of Down and Connor, by means
whereof, not only the service of God was much neglected, but the necessary
meetings and assembly of the bishops and clergy .
in those places obstructed and impeded. AND WHEREAS the Church of Lisburne,
alias Lisnagarvie, in our county of Antrim, and diocese of Down, being
situate near the middle of the dioceses aforesaid, and now united, can more
conveniently serve for a Cathedral church for the bishopricks aforesaid.
Know YE, therefore, that WE being mindful of nothing more than that true
religion and the true worship of God should flourish of our royal authority
and by our authority, of Supreme Head of the Church of England and Ireland,
which we enjoy of our special grace likewise with the assent and consent of
our Right Trustie and Right Well-beloved Cousin and Counsellor, .James, Duke
of Ormond, our Lieutenant-General of our said kingdom of Ireland, and also
according to the tenor and effect of our certain letters under our privy
signet and sign, Manl. dated at our court at Whitehall, the 10th day of Sep,
in the 14th year of our reign, and now inrolled in the rolls of our chancery
of our said kingdom, have erected, created, founded, ordained, made,
constituted, and established the said Church of Lisburne, alias Lisnagarvie,
and the place of the same church to be for ever hereafter the Cathedral
church and episcopal seat of the aforesaid several bishopricks of Down and
Connor, and to continue for ever in all future times. And so to be
established, and for ever to be inviolably observed, WE will and command by
these Presents. And that the said church of Lisburne, alias Lisnagarvie,
shall for ever hereafter be named and called by the name of the Cathedral
Church of Christ Church of Lisburne, alias Lisnagarvie, and shall use and
enjoy all jurisdictions, rights, privileges, advantages, and immunities to a
cathedral church belonging, or ill any manner appertaining; and that the
same church, with all and singular its rights and members, shall be the
episcopal seat of the Bishop of Down and Connor, and his successors for
ever. AND FURTHER, of our more ample special grace, and also with the advice
and consent aforesaid, HAVE given and granted, and by these presents, for
us, our heirs and successors, WE do give and grant that the Dean and Chapter
of Down, and their successors, and also the Dean and Chapter of Connor and
their successors, from time to time, and as often as occasion shall require,
can and may assemble and congregate themselves at the Cathedral Church of
Christ Church aforesaid of Lisburn, alias Lisnegarvie, and there to make and
constitute, from time to time, such and the like ordinances, confirmations,
acts, and statutes, as in the several ancient churches of assemblies of the
said Bishopricks might and ought to appertain. And that all and singular
confirmations, ordinances, statutes, and other acts, to be made by the
several and respective Deans and Chapters aforesaid, and their successors in
the said Cathedral Church of Christ Church of Lisburne, alias Lisnagarvie,
shall be as good and valid in Law to all intents and purposes, as if the
same was made in the several assemblies or churches of Down and Connor. And
further of our more ample, special grace, and also with the advice and
consent aforesaid for us, our heirs and successors, WE do will and grant,
that the choyr and other officers and ministers serving in the cathedral
church aforesaid, may have and receive out of the several impropriations
appointed and granted by us for the augmentation of the revenues of the
church, such allowances, pensions, stipends, and salaries for divine service
to be performed in the cathedral church aforesaid, as the Lord Primate of
all Ireland for the time being, and the Bishop of the Diocese for the time
being, with the consent and approbation of the Lieutenant-General, or
General Governor of our said kingdom of Ireland for the time being, shall
see competent and convenient for celebrating devine service there, and their
AND WHEREAS WE retain a sense of the many Losses which the Inhabitants of
the said Town of Lisburne, alias Lisnegarvie, have sustained for their
allegiance towards us and our Royal Father of Glorious Memory. KNOW YE
THEREFORE that WE of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion,
for us our heirs and successors, Do Give and Grant to the dwellers and
inhabitants of the said Town of Lisburne, alias Lisnegarvie, That they and
their successors for ever hereafter, can, and may, from time to time, elect
and choose two fit and proper persons to be Burgesses to attend and sit in
every parliament hereafter to be summoned, appointed, and held within our
said kingdom of Ireland. And that such persons so hereafter to be appointed
to sit and attend in Parliament, as Burgesses for the said Town, can, and
may freely, lawfully, and without fear, treat and consult of such matters
and things which to them there shall be set forth and declared, and
thereupon to render their votes and suffrages as any other burgesses, of any
other ancient Borough within our said kingdom of Ireland, might, or could
do, or heretofore was accustomed to do. AND FURTHER WE will, and by these
Presents for us, our heirs and successors, with the advice and consent
aforesaid, and according to the tenor of our aforesaid Letters, Do strictly
enjoin and command, that whenever a Parliament hereafter to be summoned in
our said kingdom of Ireland, the Sheriff of us, our heirs and successors of
our county of Antrim aforesaid for the time being, by virtue of a writ
directed to him for the electing of knights, citizens, and burgesses for
such Parliament, shall make and send his precept to the Seneschal of the
Manor of Killultagh for the time being, (within which Manor the said Town is
situate) for the making such election in and for the aforesaid town of
Lisburn, alias Lisnegarvie, in the same form as such precept to any ancient
Borough, in such case, was accustomed to be sent; which Seneschal, also, we
strictly enjoin and command that such precept to him to be directed, in all
things to execute, and to cause such election to be made, and to return in
such manner and form as in any other Borough of our said kingdom of Ireland,
usually, or anciently was made, or now ought to be done, notwithstanding
that the Inhabitants of the said Town are not Incorporated, and any law,
statute act, ordinance, or any thing whatsoever made to the contrary
thereof, in any wise notwithstanding. Willing, moreover, and granting that
these our letters Patent, or the Involvement thereof, shall be in and by all
things firm, good, valid, sufficient, and effectual in the law against us,
our heirs and successors, as well in all the courts of us as elsewhere, -wheresoever
within our said kingdom of Ireland, without any other confirmation, license,
or tolleration from us, our heirs or successors, hereafter to be procured or
obtained. Notwithstanding the ill naming, or ill reciting, or not reciting
the said cathedral church, and notwithstanding any defect in the certainty
of the premises, and any other thing, cause, custom, or statute, in any
manner to the contrary notwithstanding. Altho' express mention of the
true yearly value or certainty of the premises, or either of them, or of any
other gifts or grants, by us or by any our progenitors, heretofore being
made in these presents, any statute, act, ordinance, or provision; or any
other thing, cause, or matter whatsoever, to the contrary of the premises in
any wise notwithstanding. In witness whereof, we have caused these our
letters to be made patent, witness our aforesaid Lieutenant. General of our
said kingdom of Ireland, at Dublin, the 27th day of October, in the 14th
year of our reign."
In 1707, this town was burned to the ground by an accidental fire. The
Castle, a noble edifice, built by the Earl of Conway, (who died in 1690)
shared the same fate as the other houses, and was never rebuilt. The ruins,
and the place immediately surrounding, have an antique appearance, viewed
from Bridge-street. Mr. Ward's house (next the market-house) was the first
built after the fire. It has the following inscription.
"The year above this house was erected,
The town was burnt the year before;
People therein may be directed,
God bath judgments still in store
And that they do not him provoke;
To give to them a second stroke.
"The stone which the Builders rejected, the same is become the head of the
About 50 years ago, and recently, many new houses have been built in
Lisburn, three and four stories high, and well slated. The majority of the
houses in Castle-street are, in appearance, equal to some of the best in
Dublin. Lord Hertford's mansion, opposite the castle gardens, is a noble
one, the rere of which is a most delightful view. Of late years, some
public-spirited shopkeepers have made such improvements, as to give their
shops an appearance almost equal to some of the principal in Belfast. Among
those who have thus shown a taste for improvement, may be mentioned, Mr.
Crossley, proprietor of the Hertford Arms Hotel, Mr. Greeves, Mr. John
Moore, Mr. Chapman, &c.
In the buildings recently erected, a taste for their better laying out
and execution is very perceptible. Vast improvements have been conferred
upon the town, since the accession of Lord Hertford's present highly
esteemed land-agent, Dean Stannus, whose evident wishes and zealous
exertions for its welfare and prosperity, are so conspicuous and apparent,
as to be universally felt and acknowledged. Recently many old houses and
cabins have been pulled down, and replaced by neat comfortable brick and
slated houses ; and various fountains have been erected for the greater
convenience of the poorer classes ; these, with many other improvements,
both useful and ornamental, call forth every honest heart's gratitude and
admiration. Indeed the greater portion of the improvements that are now
perceptible, are the growth of the last few years : nor are they confined to
Lisburn in particular, but the most splendid tokens of taste, utility, and
perseverance in improvements pervade the whole estate.
THE LISBURN ECHO.
The following account of an Echo which it appears existed in Lisburn in the
year 1778, is a translation from the Appendix to Hale's Work on "Sounds."
The equable motion of reflected sounds seems to be rendered doubtful by
an unusual and wonderful kind of Echo, of which I have received an account
from my friend, the Rev. Philip Skelton, a person in the highest degree
worthy of credit. These are his words:---
' The town of Lisburn, in the county of Antrim, is built upon a hill of
no great elevation, and has two rows of brick houses, extending from east to
west. Between these, at about the middle of the entire extent, there stands
a row of buildings, which is much shorter than the others ; right
over-against this hill, towards the north, there stretches another parallel
to the former, and somewhat higher. There is a spot in the south quarter of
the latter declivity, from whence one may see, at right angles, the nearest
row of the before-mentioned houses, which, however, bides from the view the
second and third that are placed behind it. If, from this place, with the
face turned towards the town, you shall pronounce, with a loud and distinct
voice, a verse of ten, or even a greater number of syllables, provided the
air be still, and you listen in silence, all those syllables will, in a time
proportioned to the distance, in distinct order, and as is usual in your
very tone of voice, be returned to your car. A little after, the repeated
sounds will begin from the second range of houses, and they will all with
distinctness be reverberated secondarily, but in more than double the
interval of time from the first syllable to the last, and as it were
delayed. After these two reverberations, Echo, as if more loquacious here
than elsewhere, in a much more lengthened and, as I might say, affected
tone, will answer you a third time, in the same syllables, from the third
range of houses.'
N. B.-The person who has extracted the above, has made ineffectual
inquiry in Lisburn, respecting this extraordinary Echo. It is supposed by
the various alterations which have lately been made in the town, the Echo is
PLACES OF PUBLIC WORSHIP.
THE places of worship are-1. The Cathedral. 2. Presbyterian
Meeting-house. 3. The Society of Friends' Meeting house. 4. Chapel of the
Wesleyan Methodists. 5. Methodist Refuge Chapel. 6. Roman Catholic Chapel.
This venerable edifice is large and commodious. It was originally built (we
believe) early in the reign of James I and was then called the Church of St.
Thomas. It was destroyed by the great fire of 1707, but rebuilt immediately
after. In the reign of Charles II. it was by patent ' hereinbefore stated,'
bearing date the 27th October, 1662, erected into a Cathedral for the united
diocese of Down and Connor. The architecture is on the plain model and well
proportioned. The interior is lighted by six spacious windows, and one great
window on the east, of Saxon construction. The entrance is by two fine
wrought-iron gates, one on the west, and the other on the north. The
beautiful lofty spire of cut stone is admired by all travellers, and
accounted the best in Ireland. It forms the principal ornament of the town,
being recognized at a great distance on all sides. There is a handsome clock
and chimes; likewise, a valuable bell, of very superior tone, the gift of
the late Marquis of Hertford. The hour is proclaimed very loquaciously with
eight tongues. A very splendid organ has been recently erected, by Small,
Bruce, and Co. ,of Edinburgh, at the expense of Lord Hertford; the cost was
upwards of �300 ; two excellent stoves have been also fitted up. A
magnificent chandelier lights the Cathedral by night.
About ten years since, two spacious galleries were erected, and the
cathedral is now capable of accommodating a thousand persons. We suppose the
cost of erecting this fine building (including the late improvements) must
have exceeded �2000. The congregation is very numerous and respectable; the
majority of the population in and about Lisburn, are members of the
Established Church. The living of Lisburn, alias Blaris, is a rectory in the
gift of the Marquis of Hertford. The parish contains twenty-six townlands.
The present rector is the Rev. Snowden Cupples, D. D. Curates, Rev. T.
Thompson and Rev. R. Bridge.
Of the monuments erected within the walls of the Cathedral, the following
are the most remarkable :
|1. A very elegant marble slab, erected to the memory of the
celebrated Bishop Jeremy Taylor, who died at Lisburn.
|2. A monument to the memory of the Rev. Saumerez Dubourdieu, who was
the minister of the French Hugonots that settled in Lisburn.
|3. A neat monument, erected to the memory of the gallant Lieutenant
William Dobbs, who was killed in an engagement with the famous Paul
Jones, in the year 1778. He was of his Majesty's ship ' Drake.'
|4, A fine monument to the memory of the late Rowley Hall, Esq. who
was Law Agent to the Marquis of Hertford, and who was a man universally
esteemed for his worth, integrity, and philanthropy.
This edifice, to which you enter from Market-square by a good
wrought-iron gate, was built in the year 1768. It is a large building, well
lighted with twenty-three windows, and has three fine galleries. The expense
of building was between �800 and �900. Within the last ten years the
galleries have been enlarged, and the house is now capable of accommodating
upwards of a thousand persons. The cost of this, with other improvements,
exceeded �250. The Presbyterian congregation of Lisburn consists of more
than five hundred families.
The house opens for divine service on Sundays at twelve o'clock; and for
the last eight or nine years, there has been also preaching at six o'clock
in the evening of the same day. There is also a religious lecture given
every Wednesday evening, and a prayer-meeting held every Thursday, at seven
o'clock, p. m. It is the particular practice of the Presbyterian pastors, to
visit their hearers through the week, at their houses. They also preach in
schools, and other places in the country districts, during the week. The
average amount of stipends received by the minister of the Lisburn
congregation, is about �150 per annum; which, with the Royal Bounty of �100,
makes �250, as the annual income-a sum moderate enough for the duties and
services performed, and the outlay necessary.
In the succession of ministers belonging to this congregation, we find
some who have eminently distinguished themselves for their labors, learning,
and talents. Doctor William Bruce has been remarkable, as belonging to a
family that has produced seven ministers in regular succession, from the
Reformation to the present day. Doctor Bruce is now the minister of the
first Presbyterian congregation of Belfast, and principal of the Academy,
and has acquired considerable reputation as an author. The Rev. James Morgan
possesses talents of a very superior order, and is one of our ablest
champions of Christianity ; he has published several excellent sermons, upon
The late Rev. Andrew Craig was minister of this congregation for the long
period of fifty-five years. In 1824, after forty-two years active service,
the Rev. Mr. Morgan was appointed as an assistant to Mr. Craig. Upon this
occasion a deputation from the congregation, consisting of Alexander
Williamson, George Whitla, Esqrs. and Surgeon Musgrave, presented to the
Rev. A. Craig a very handsome piece of plate, value thirty guineas, bearing
the following inscription, and accompanied with a suitable address :
Presented to the Rev. ANDREW CRAIG,
by the Presbyterian Congregation of Lisburn,
in testimony of their affectionate esteem for him, as their minister,
and sincere gratitude
for his attention to their Christian edification,
for the space of 42 Years.
The Rev. gentleman returned a very suitable answer.
In the spring of 1829, the Rev. Alex. Henderson succeeded Mr. Morgan,
that gentleman having been called to Belfast. He is an exemplary clergyman,
an excellent preacher, and a man of sterling Christian worth.
SOCIETY OF FRIENDS' MEETING-HOUSE.
This is a plain, neat, commodious edifice, the entrance to which is by a
long confined passage, from the main street of the town. Had this building,
as well with the Presbyterian Meeting-House, been placed in a parallel line
with the front street, and not built so far in the rere, they would add much
to the beauty and symmetry of the town. The lower part of this building
escaped the fire of 1707, and is still remaining. Wherever the Quakers have
formed settlements, their persevering industry and undeviating integrity
have been highly advantageous to the commerce, the manufactures, and the
agriculture of the surrounding country. The people are so much benefitted by
their labor, and improved by their example, that a debt of gratitude is due
by society at large to this invaluable community.
William Edmunson was the first zealous Quaker preacher who settled in
Ulster. About the year 1651, he married, left Cromwell's army, passed over
from England to Dublin, and from thence to Antrim, where he took a house, in
which his wife and his brother resided with him. Shortly after this period
he revisited his native country, where, having heard the celebrated George
Fox expounding, with his usual eloquence, the principles of the Quaker
religion, he was convinced by the cogency of his arguments, and adopted his
opinions, as perfectly consonant to the spirit of Christianity. On his
return to Antrim, in the year 1653, be astonished the officers at the
custom-house, in Carrickfergus, by refusing to take the oaths required by
law, on the entry of his goods, " because," said he, " Christ hath forbidden
men to swear,"
A. D. 1634, William Edmunson removed from Antrim to Lurgan, (ten miles
from Lisburn.) He was scarcely settled in his new habitation, when he found
himself enabled to form a regular periodical meeting of ` the Friends' under
his own hospitable roof. This was the first religious assemblage or
congregation established in Ireland by the Quakers.
It will reflect eternal credit on the Quakers of Ireland, that from them
issued the first censure, passed by any public body, on that abominable
traffic, the SLAVE TRADE. This took place at the National Meeting, held in
Dublin in 1727, thirty-one years before a similar resolution was passed by
the yearly meeting of Friends in London.
CHAPEL OF THE WESLEYAN METHODISTS.
THE ground on which this place of worship is erected, was granted for
ever by Edward Gayer, Esq. of Derriaghy, vested in seven trustees It was
built in the year 1772, and cost about �500. The exterior is plain, though
not inelegant. The interior is lightsome, well ventilated, and handsomely
fitted up. About the year 1780, the Rev. John Johnson, the then resident
preacher, gave �150 (upon certain conditions) towards enlarging the house
thirty-six feet longer, so that it is now sixty-six feet in length, and
thirty-six in breadth. Under the tasteful superintendence of Mr.
Bolton, it has recently undergone many improvements. A neat house has been
attached for the convenience of the classes and leaders meeting. A handsome
wrought-iron gate has been also added, which much improves the general
appearance of the place. These improvements cost about �60.
A Sunday-school has been lately established, and is attended by about
fifty children; the members of the congregation acting occasionally as
teachers. Public worship is held in this house at eleven o'clock, a. m.
every Sunday; also at seven in the evening. A sermon was preached formerly
every Thursday evening, but it has been recently changed to Monday. We think
the old-appointed time suited the purposes of piety better. The eucharist is
administered once a quarter, on the second Sunday in the month. A
prayer-meeting is held here every evening in the week, (except on Saturdays
;) and occasionally the members have meetings at one another's houses, for
the purposes of prayer, exhortation, and Christian communion.
The present preachers are, the Rev. Michael Burrows and the Rev. Edward
Methodism was introduced into Lisburn by the Rev. John r Wesley, in about
the year 1760, when he preached in a small house in Bow-street, since which
period it has made a very g rapid proress. The average number of members in
attendance at this house is 300.
THE METHODIST REFUGE CHAPEL.
This place of worship is erected on a site opposite the chapel just
noticed. It is a neat building, and is occupied by a dissenting branch of
the Wesleyan Methodists.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL.
This is a neat handsome building, in a retired part of the town, and was
erected about the year 1794, by subscription from all denominations. Since
its erection, owing to the increase of its members, there has been an aisle
and two galleries added. T he Roman Catholics have recently built a good
dwelling-house for their clergyman, (in the vicinity of the chapel,) aided
by general subscription. The Marquis of Hertford granted the ground, with a
donation of �20. It is owing to justice to state, that the Rev. Mr. Smyth,
the R. C. clergyman, has uniformly distinguished himself, by his
philanthropy, in attending and giving advice to the sick poor of all
denominations, his vast medical knowledge enabling him to be a physician of
bodies as well as souls.
Whatever be the cause, this sect of Christians residing here, (and indeed
in the surrounding districts,) have always been remarkable for their
peaceable conduct and moral behaviour, being greatly divested of that
antipathy to Protestants, and that bigotry and intolerance which distinguish
those of Dublin, Cork, and other large cities.
From the great scene exhibited in the variety of religious opinions,
practice, ceremonies, forms, discipline, doctrine, differences, schisms, &c.
characterizing the believers in Christ, and the witnesses of the faith among
all churches, assemblies, sects, and denominations of Christians, we would
fain turn our eyes, and wrap our souls in the contemplation of that glorious
privilege and inheritance which. all value and enjoy equally,-even our
common Christianity-the blessed Gospel -the light of life, through our Lord
and Saviour, the Sun of Righteousness ! Standing on the pillar of faith and
the rock of salvation, with the Bible in one hand, and Magna Charta in the
other, we would contemplate the great gulph betwixt the nations that know
GOD, and the nations that know him not; we would contrast the civil and
religious position and state of the Christian in our own country, with the
civil and religious position and state of the Infidel in his country; and,
with the soul of a Christian, the heart of a freeman, and the uplifted hand
of a Briton, we would bless THE LAND WE LIVE IN! We would hail the day-star
of regeneration, and the broad sun of philanthropy flinging its floods of
glory over our political and religious atmosphere, and no longer mourn with
" Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness-----
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumor of oppression and deceit
Of unsuccessful or successful war
Alight never reach me more ! My ear is pain'd-----
My soul is sick with ev'ry day's report
Of wrong and outrage, with which Earth is fill'd.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart.
It does not feel for man."
We would hail the dawn of that morn when Christians would practise the
principles they profess; we would pray Christ to quicken his kingdom-to
hasten the time when the wolf shall lie down with the lamb, and the earth be
filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea!
MALE FREE SCHOOL.
THE Lisburn Male Free School is built on the south side Of the town,
contiguous to the Dublin road. It is, upon the whole, a very handsome
structure, with a neat cupola. It is forty and one-half feet, by
twenty-four, well lighted with four arched windows in front, each ten feet
high, also an arched window over the front door, and two windows in the rere,
each eight feet high. The site and grounds of the school-house, and master's
House, was the gift of the Marquis of Hertford, who liberally contributed to
both. The bell for the cupola, which weighs forty-three pounds, was
presented by the late Rowly Hall, Esq., of Lisburn, in 1822.
The school-house, yard, front gates of wrought-iron, and other
appendages, cost �387 7s. 7d. A few yards from the School stands a neat
house for the master, the erection of which exceeded �95. Mr. William M'Cann
is the present master, and has filled this situation for the long space of
fourteen years, with every credit to himself, and advantage to his pupils.
This excellent institution was opened on the 29th of May, 1810, by Mr.
John Crossley Jun., and the Rev. Thomas Cupples, who for some time labored
under many difficulties, the principal of which was the want of a suitable
place to educate the objects of their care, the children. of the poor.
Another was the want of means to defray the expenses incurred by the
institution. They, nevertheless, did not permit these barriers to deter them
in the prosecution of their laudable and praiseworthy undertaking-they not
only devoted their time and attention to the instruction of the children of
the poor, but purchased the requisites indispensable for the institution,
and defrayed all expenses attending it for better than a year, after which
they presented their benevolent townsmen with a report of the Free School,
soliciting their aid for its support and establishment ; and it is
gratifying and creditable to find, that after the second report was
submitted to the inhabitants, a subscription of �74 14s. was made in favor
of the institution, which enabled the conductors to go on, under the Divine
blessing, to impart to the children a religious and useful education, which
has been the means, in a great degree, of abolishing those pernicious
amusements formerly practised on the Lord's day. The Sabbath is now no
longer esteemed by them as a day for sport or diversions; nor is the name of
the Supreme any longer profaned by their vain oaths or wicked exclamations.
The conductors applied for, and obtained, the use of the court-house; this
privilege enabled them to impart to a greater number of children the
blessings of education. When considering the noble work which is going on in
so many schools of this kind in England and elsewhere, our souls glow with
the delightful hope, that so many refreshing fountains are opened through
our own land, from which the streams of knowledge are spreading holy
desires, good counsels, just works, correcting the manners, reforming the
habits, purifying the hearts of the rising generation ; and if we for a
moment consider the tendency of these to promote the happiness of the lower
classes, what lover of Ireland would not exult in the progress of this
glorious cause, the education of the poor?
We rejoice to give publicity to the liberal legacy of �100 to the Lisburn
Free School, and also �100 to the Female School, by the late George Whitla,
Esq. The interest of this sum is appropriated to the purchase of clothing
for the most needy of the children in attendance. From the report of this
School for the past year, (1833) it appears that the funds are rather low,
from many of its most zealous supporters having been called off the stage of
time. The number of children on the roll has increased, within the last ten
years, from 170 to 230. The yearly subscriptions average from 40 to �50
THE FEVER HOSPITAL.
This is a fine brick building, on an elevated site contiguous to the
Dublin road, and forms a pleasing ornament at the entrance of the town. When
the contemplated avenue is laid off, and the local appendages completed, the
appearance of this edifice, in point of scenographic beauty, will be quite
unique. This charitable Institution, for the reception of fever patients,
was built by subscription in 1832-3. The cost was �600. The grounds were the
gift of the Marquis of Hertford, who also, with his usual liberality, gave
�250 towards its erection.
To a reflecting and compassionate mind, no kind of charity can appear so
urgent, so important, or so vitally requisite as the two institutions which
we have just noticed. It would appear a very singular thing, (if one did not
see it often,) that any kind of public edifice, whether for religious
worship, for education, for the common poor, or for the purposes of
commerce, should have ever been established, either by individuals or
states, until hospitals for the sick poor were first erected. In behalf of
those two excellent institutions we would raise our humble voice, and
cheerfully devote our pages (worthless as they are) to their service. In the
spirit of genuine philanthropy and Christianity-by the love of Him who ' had
not where to lay his head,' we would appeal to all those who possess (as
stewards of a merciful providence) " this world's wealth," in behalf of the
afflicted objects of those most interesting charities. Could we express as
strongly as we feel- could we imprint on other hearts the deep concern and
conviction of our own, -then would our language not be feeble, nor our
readers unmoved; nor would we be without the satisfaction of being
instrumental in helping to kindle up a regenerated ardor for the continuance
of that support which the inhabitants of Lisburn have always liberally given
in the best of causes-the cause of HUMANITY.
THE CHOLERA HOSPITAL.
This building stands in an airy place, on the N. W. side of the town, and
was erected at the cost of Lord Hertford, in the year 1832, when the cholera
(that army of disease) was committing such dreadful ravages over the
country. On the occasion of this awful visitation, the usual kindness and
paternal watchfulness of the Marquis of Hertford, were particularly evinced.
His Lordship, without any application on the subject, gave directions that
no expence should be spared in adopting every precautionary measure against
its attacks-that preventive medicines, blankets, warm clothing, and other
necessary articles should be distributed throughout the whole estate, and
hospitals built wherever needed, entirely at his sole cost. These directions
agreeing so minutely with the philanthropic feelings of Dean Stannus, were
largely and extensively acted upon ; and never did his Lordship's bounty
arrive so opportunely, or produce happier effects.
THIS handsome edifice is situated on Prospect-hill, a short distance from
the town. It has an elegant avenue, and neat porter's lodge. This
institution was established in consequence of a bequest from John Hancock,
father of the late John Hancock, of Lisburn; the sum being increased by
subscriptions from the society, enabled them to erect the present building,
on a piece of ground granted them by the liberality of the present Marquis
of Hertford's grandfather. John Gough, the great arithmetician, was head
master of this school many years. There are at present forty-three children,
who are clothed, boarded, and educated.
THIS most excellent and commodious concern, the New Corn-Market, is
conveniently situated on the S. W. side of the town, by the Dublin road. It
was laid out and built in the year 1826. The Marquis of Hertford very
liberally gave �600, the remainder was subscribed by the Manor. In the
centre is a large weigh-house, and a spacious area for corn on market days,
besides a number of sheds on either side for the sale of potatoes.
THE Shambles were erected in the year 1796, on a rivulet in Smithfield,
by the late Marquis of Hertford, but have recently been considerably
improved, by the front row of shops being taken down, and a neat palisading
fitted up in their stead at his Lordship's expense. This alteration adds
materially to their respectable appearance, and was planned by Dean Stannus.
The Meat Market usually gives a very excellent supply on Tuesdays and
THE DIAPER AND DAMASK MANUFACTORY.
THAT the Diaper and Damask Manufactory of Lisburn, the property of the
Messrs. Coulson, is the most eminent in the world, is universally
acknowledged; and now that arts and manufactures have arisen to such a
height of excellence, Irishmen in general, and the inhabitants of Lisburn in
particular, should be proud to contemplate and exult in the assertion.
The introduction of the Damask manufacture on an extensive scale in this
country, was first accomplished by the late W. Coulson, Esq. father of the
present highly-respected proprietors, who established it here in 1776. The
astonishing beauty of this table-linen, whether we look at the splendor of
the designs, elegance of execution, or durability of texture, has spread its
fame over the entire of the civilized globe. Never in any country was this
elegant branch of the linen business carried on with such spirit, or brought
to the same unrivalled perfection. There is one loom in this establishment
which has thirty-thousand pullies attached to it. Besides the distinguished
honor of having supplied with its produce their late Majesties, His Royal
Highness the Duke of York, and most of the crowned heads of Europe,-goods
have been finished expressly for the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, his Grace
the Duke of Wellington, the Duke of Norfolk, the Marquises of Hertford,
Donegall, and Downshire, and all the principal nobility and gentry of the
empire. The armorial and other devices of each, whether emblematic of rank
or achievements, are, when required, tastefully and minutely drawn in the
pattern of the work, so that family traditions can thus be handed down to
posterity in a style hitherto unknown and unattempted. Indeed, as founders
of a new type for the celebration of particular events in damask
folio, the Messrs. Coulson rank among the first artists ; and their being
the printers as well as publishers of these individual histories, which
their customers have had such handsome editions of, gives increased
celebrity to their name. Among the many distinguished foreign personages who
have visited this famed establishment, and honored it with their especial
approbation, the following may be enumerated :-The Persian Ambassdor, His
Imperial Highness the Archduke Michael of Russia, the Crown Prince of
Sweden, Duke Montebello, Peer of France, &c.
Many of the nobility of England and Ireland have also paid special
visits. Lord John Russel, Lord Ebrington, &c. &c. have been among the recent
The damask is forwarded to various foreign parts, including France,
Russia, America, East and West Indies, &c. as well as to the British
Of the incalculable advantages derived by Lisburn, from the number of
individuals which this establishment keeps in constant employment, we cannot
speak too highly. It holds out that best stimulus to industry-the certainty
of reward ; thus fostering and strengthening the spirit of independence.
Many grown-up boys who, perhaps, would otherwise be in idleness, are
received as apprentices, and paid for their work ; the weekly sum they thus
earn is a considerable relief to their parents.
Upwards of five hundred workmen, residing in and contiguous to Lisburn,
are daily employed, in addition to many persons who reside at Newtownards,
and the districts immediately adjoining Lisburn, viz. Drumbo, Trooperfield,
Blaris, and Sprucefield ; at the latter place the Messrs. Coulson have a
bleach-green, for finishing their own manufactures.
The kindness and solicitude evinced by the Messrs. Coulson, for the
welfare and happiness of those in their imploy, are well known. Those
gentlemen are the friends of their workmen, not an individual of whom, with
whose character and general conduct they are not acquainted ; and such as
behave with sobriety, industry, and morality, are suitably rewarded. To
those who have grown old in their service, a free house is granted, and a
small weekly pension allowed. It may be remarked, how very different, and
how much improved would be the condition of the laboring classes, were this
course universally adopted. That proprietors of large establishments, where
a great many individuals are employed, have it within their power to make
their workmen a happy, prosperous, and contented people, or a wretched,
distressed, and turbulent one, is a fact beyond disputation. If due regard
was paid by employers to the moral state and physical comforts of the
employed, much of the penury, ignorance, and disaffection which exists (we.
are grieved to say) so especially among the lower classes of our countrymen,
would be almost totally done away with. One. word more in reference to the
above. It has been so often asserted, tbatit is now proverbial. 'The Irish
are naturally a most idle and lazy
people.' This we deny, broadly and positively. Those who say Irishmen are
idle, never consider that circumstances prohibit their industry, and that
work is not to be had ; but only give them the prospect of even inadequate
remuneration, and they will be found as honest, industrious, and
persevering, as any inhabitants of the globe.
THE LINEN HALL,
WHERE the weekly sales are made, is a large square court, surrounded by a
piazza of brick, and most conveniently situated, and continues to be well
attended by merchants. It was erected many years ago at the expense of the
late Marquis of Hertford. That which particularly contributed to the rise of
the town of Lisburn, was the settlement of many French Protestant refugees
here, (after the repeal of the edict of Nantz) who had been bred to the
Linen Manufacture.* Mr, Lewis Crommelin obtained a patent in 1690, which was
afterwards renewed in the reign of Queen Anne, for establishing a
manufacture of Linen; and also many other grants, one for �60 per annum for
a French minister. In consequence of this he settled in Lisburn, and many of
his countrymen also. The virtuous conduct and civilized manners of these
good people were of great advantage to the place; and their skill and
industry set an example to those who were concerned in the same business,
which soon had the effect of raising the quality of their manufacture to a
degree, of excellence unknown till then; and the linen and tambrics made in
this neighbourhood, and sold in Lisburn market, have, until this day, kept
up their superior character. The most eminent Linen Merchants of the County
Antrim are established in this town. The Messrs. James Nicholson Richardson
and Co. are well known to the commercial world. They have a very extensive
concern here, which employs a number of hands. Also Messrs. Jonathan and
James Greer Richardson, who carry on the Linen business very extensively; we
believe their numerous sales are chiefly confined to the English market,
where the character of their cloth, in particular, is much appreciated.
AT the junction of the three main streets stands the market-house, a fine
well-proportioned building. This useful edifice, with its handsome cupola
and clock, was erected, and is kept in repair, by the Marquis of Hertford,
for the accomodation of the inhabitants. It has of late undergone many
improvements : a wrought-metal railing and entrance gate now surrounds it,
which adds much to its appearance. A gymnasium has recently been fitted up
in the lower part of the house, and a lending library (under the care of
Miss Magdeline Stewart) has the convenience of one of the apartments.
Over the market-house is a spacious, and elegant assembly-room where a
ball was formerly held very fortnight. As the Lisburn ladies have been long
proverbial for beauty, what a splendid and fashionable display must have
then adorned the room ! Will the days ever come, when the sound of the song
and the dance shall make these walls to ring again ! Will the bewitching
forms-the soul of symmetry-and the neat foot and ancle, ever again appear in
the mazy dance, when the daughters of Lisburn resembled so many sylvan
goddesses, ' tripping it along on light fantastic toe!' Oh ! will the
heaven's blush at close of day be ever again eclipsed by the virgin blushes,
'mid beauty's brilliant throng ! will the minstrel's magic ever again break
forth in floods of glory, and will the soul of music ever again fling its
enchantments over the lovely and the loved! Is the day far distant, when the
poet and the child of song shall string the lyre with a heart of joy, and
ravish the listening ear with the numbers of an Amphion, or the strains of
an Orpheus ! W ill the day soon come, when the bards of Erin shall no longer
hang their harps on the willow by the banks of the limpid Lagan, or string
them in silence, sorrow, and solitude, for crushed genius and neglected
* It is curious that the names of only three of these refugees are now in
existence, viz., De Lacherois, Crommelin, and Goyer. Some of the descendants
of the latter person are residing in Lisburn at the present day.
THIS is a suitable building, situate in Castle-street, and is venerable
for being erected on the identical site of that place of worship formerly
occupied by the French Hugonot Refugees, after the repeal of the edict of
Nantz, their minister being the Rev. Saumerez Dubourdieu (Mr. Peter Goyer
acting as clerk.) Is has only recently been rebuilt, at the sole cost of
the Marquis of Hertford, and is now an excellent court-house. A bench of
magistrates, usually consisting of Robert Williamson, James Watson, John
M'Cance, Henderson Black, and Edward Johnson, Esqrs. hold a court of petit
sessions here every Tuesday, when all actions for wages, &c. cases of
assault, trespass, felonies, and other misdemeanors, are heard and decided.
Defendants have the privilege of appeal, in some cases, from this court to
the general quarter sessions of the county ; in other cases there is no
appeal, as appeals front convictions of justice only he when expressly given
by the statute. Mr. Francis Hale O'Flaherty acts as register to the
The manor court is also held here every third Wednesday, by the
seneschal, William Gregg, Esq. when all actions under the sum of �20 are
heard and determined. Appeals from decrees pronounced here, lie to the
judges of assize. The cases of attachments are tried as records, in the same
manner as at the assizes. The following are practitioners in this court :
Messrs. Pennington, O'Flaherty, and Magee, Mr. Wm. Dillon, Jr. Regr. The
appointment of seneschal is vested in the Marquis of Hertford. On the
resignation (from ill health) of our late respected Seneschal, the Rev.
Snowden Cupples, D. D., the Manor presented him with an elegant piece of
plate, value 50 guineas, as a small testimony of their esteem and gratitude
for his uniform attention to his arduous duties, during a period of
The consistorial court of Down and Connor is held here every second
Monday. It takes cognizance of all actions for slander, legacies, divorces,
accounts of executors and administrators, tithes, &c. The judges are, the
Worshipful Snowden Cupples, D, D. the Vicar-General, the Worshipful Edward
Cupples, L. L. B. Surrogate. Henry J. Higginson, Esq. A. M. is D. Register.
The proctors practicing in this court are, Messrs. Dillon, Stephenson,
Pennington, and Magee. The grand jury for the manor of Killultagh assemble
here twice a year, being summoned by the seneschal, and hold a court leet.
They present sums for repairs of bye-roads, hedges, &c., make regulations
for the town, and order nuisances to be abated and removed. Their money
presentments, when confirmed by the Seneschal, are levied off the manor,
with the county cess. Their Secretary is Mr. Francis H. O'Flaherty.
Treasurer, William Whitla, Esq.
This house also accommodates a dissenting branch of the Wesleyan
Methodists, as a place for worship on Sundays; the voices of praise and
thanksgiving on these occasions forming a curious contrast to the boisterous
pleading of the proctors on the Wednesday following.
And here also the Lisburn Debating Society (which, by the bye, has died a
natural death) formerly held their literary loquacious meetings, when the
eloquence of a Cicero or a Demosthenes echoed within its walls. Truly,
Monsieur Courthouse, you are accommodating to a French degree. You have
religion for your sister, and law for your brother! Farewell to the
sanctified spot where both the law and the gospel are administered!!!
THE Post-Office is kept by Mr. Samuel Gamble, at his residence (an
excellent house) in Castle-street, the most convenient part of the town for
a public office ; and it is no more than justice to say, that the most
admirable regularity, care, and attention have always characterized the
proceedings and management of this department, during the long period the
present postmaster has held the situation.
As a productive system of finance, and a public convenience of the
highest utility, the Post-Office, in its present improved state, must be
considered as one of the most interesting establishments in any country. In
civilized nations, even amongst the ancients, it appears that the interests
and feelings of mankind very early pointed out the necessity of some regular
mode of communication between distant places. After the fall of the Roman
Empire, however, no posts seem to have existed in Europe until about 1475,
when Louis XI. established them for the conveyance of state information
throughout France. In England, letters were conveyed by special messengers,
until a system of postage was established in the reign of Elizabeth, which
was conducted by individuals for their own profit. Things continued in this
state until 1643, when Charles I. ordered his postmaster for foreign parts
to run a post between London and Edinburgh; and similar regulations were
soon after made for Ireland, by Chester and Holyhead. The system was much
improved during the protectorate of Cromwell, when regular packet-boats were
established between Chester and Dublin, and Milford and Waterford. The rates
of postage at that time were, for every single letter within eighty miles of
London, two-pence; beyond that distance, to any part of England,
three-pence; to Scotland, four-pence ; and to Ireland, six-pence.* In 1711,
a postmaster-general was appointed for all the British dominions; but in
1782, when the independence of Ireland was acknowledged, its post-office
became a separate establishment, and continues to be so, notwithstanding the
Union. The introduction of mailcoaches has not only greatly improved the
system of the postoffice, but has been attended with the greatest advantage
to the general interests of Ireland. Previous to their introduction, the
state of the roads was such, that it commonly took five or six days to
perform a journey from Dublin to Lisburn; and it is said that persons in
those days deemed it a matter of more serious importance to undertake a long
journey through Ireland, than many do at present to undertake a voyage to
America. The first mail-coaches commenced running from Dublin to Belfast and
Cork, on the 5th of July, 1790. A regular improvement in the state of the
roads has continued from that to the present, and they are now allowed to be
among the best in Europe.
*In about 1796, the postage from Dublin to Belfast or Lisburn was
five-pence ; if the present high rate of nine-pence was reduced to that
standard, the revenue would not lose a farthing, because a much more
numerous correspondence would take place among all classes.
THE CASTLE GARDEN.
THE favourite place of recreation for the inhabitants (especially the
ladies) is the castle garden. It is a large pleasure ground on the one side
of Castle-street, and formerly belonged to Earl Conway's noble castle, which
was burned in 1707.
There is an excellent terrace, affording a most agreeable promenade, and
commanding a very beautiful landscape view. These grounds have been
elegantly laid off, with walks, shrubberies, &c. and are always kept in the
best order.. The fine lofty plantations (beautifully foliaged in almost all
seasons) along the sides of the centre grand walk, give a majesty and
sweetness to the whole. We may call this delightful spot the Mountjoy-square
of Lisburn Dean Stannus has here made many excellent as well as tasteful
improvements. Formerly a blank ugly wall inclosed it from Castle-street,
over which some huge trees projected, and darkened the street so much at
noon-day, that one was reminded of "the valley of the
shadow of death!" The trees have been recently cut down, and the walls now
superseded by an elegant line of wrought-iron railing, with three fine
entrance gates, while the side-path of the street in parallel has been
considerably widened. All the improvements have been made at the expense of
Lord Hertford, who keeps up those pleasure-grounds for the use and
recreation of the inhabitants. A man is appointed at a yearly salary, for
the sole purpose of caretaker. Among the many specimens of that so much
admired and valuable tree, the elm, those two which grow in the castle
garden are very conspicuous, being seen towering above the town from every
approach. They stand on a terrace, where the soil has been embanked and
supported by a high wall. Those trees (called 'the sisters') are in
circumference nearly equal, being about eleven feet six inches, and carry
their thickness to near twenty feet. Here was once the bower of love and
courtship for the lads and lovely lasses of Lisburn. Beneath the
outstretched branches of those trees, in the solemn silence of evening,
often have the vows of lovers been offered up on the
altar of affection. Often has the queen of night witnessed the delights of
those joyous moments, when love was all in all! Were we in the humor, we
could tell many a tale, and many a scene of meetings and partings, and of
broken hearts ! We remember one calm night (when astronomizirg the heavens)
hearing from the loquacious tongue of echo, (which we think has found a
residence in this place) in a most pathetic tone of voice, some such strain
as the following, as we best remember.
'Days of my youth ! when every thing was innocence and peace-when my
sorrows were light, and my joys unsophisticated-when I saw a glory in the
sky, and a power on the earth, which I shall never see again,-how
delightful, yet how sad is your recollection ! Here's then to the days gone
-to the memory of my first love! Some young heart is now going the same
round as I was then-revelling in delights I which he fondly fancies are to
last for ever-anticipating joys which never are destined to exist-light be
his heart, buoyant his spirits-I shall not break in on his dreams by the
croaking of experience. I was born to be unhappy, but I shall not intrude my
sorrows on a cold thoughtless world!'
THE County of Antrim Infirmary is a fine spacious brick edifice, having
twenty-four windows in front, and is situated in an airy part of the town.
This institution was established at Lisburn in the year 1767, pursuant to
act of Parliament. Its object is to provide medicines, or medical or
surgical aid, for the poor of the county, both male and female. This is
effected in two ways, either by dispensing medicine or advice, or both, to
extern patients ; or by receiving them into the house, when the case
requires the immediate care and superintendence of the surgeon. The number
of extern patients annually relieved, amounts, on an average, to 850 with
medicine, and 400 with advice; and the interns to 290. The house
contains 42 beds. Tuesdays and Saturdays are appropriated by the surgeon to
giving advice and medicine to the extern patients. Persons paying twenty
guineas become governors for life ; such as pay three guineas annually, are
governors for the year. Each governor is entitled to recommend ten extern
patients in the quarter, for advice and medicine, and to recommend for
interns whenever there is a vacancy, on certifying that the patient is a
real object of charity. Recommendations of paupers for advice only, are
unrestricted. A Board of governors meet quarterly, to regulate the general
concerns of the Institution ; and the internal management and economy of the
house are placed by them under the superintendance of a weekly Committee,
who make a report to the succeeding Board. Reports of the state of the
Infirmary, including income and expenditure, are made annually to the
Commissioners of Public Accounts, and at each Assizes to the Grand Jury of
the county. The governors are declared capable, by the Act, of taking and
receiving any lands, not exceeding the annual value of �200, and
benefactions to any amount in personal property.
The sum expended for this Institution in the year 1833 exceeded �500-that
received toward its support, including the Marquis of Hertford's annual
subscription of �46 3s. 1d. and Mrs. Whitla's subscription of �21, as
governess for life, amounted to �180 19s. 9d.
The duties of the surgeon are skilfully and attentively discharged by
William Stewart, Esq. M. D. aided by William Thompson, Jun. Esq. M. D. whose
professional abilities and humanity eminently distinguished them.
On the N. E. side of the town stands the Female School, a very handsome,
commodious edifice, with four arched windows in front. The avenue (to which
you enter by a neat metal gate) is tastefully laid off in a garden-like
manner. Attached to the School is a dwelling-house for the use and
occupation of the mistress. This excellent institution, for the education of
poor female children, was established by Miss Hawkshaw, who is patroness, in
the year 1821; the Marquis of Hertford having granted the ground, and paid
the cost of building, &c., estimated at �400. The number of children in
attendance exceeds two hundred. We must not forget mentioning the benevolent
legacy of �100 for the use of this school, bequeathed by the late George
Whitla, Esq., of Lisburn. This sum is placed out at interest, which goes to
clothe some of the most needy of the children.
THE INFANT SCHOOL.
THIS is a neat building, standing a few paces from the one just noticed.
It was built by subscription in 1833, aided by a donation of �50 from Lord
Hertford. The Rev. Thomas Thompson was one of its most active founders ; and
in the welfare of this, as well as the Boys' School, uniformly takes the
most lively interest. This Institution is for the education of poor
children, whose age does not exceed seven years, and is supported by the
ladies of Lisburn.
FREE HOUSES FOR DESTITUTE WIDOWS.
THESE handsome houses opposite the school just noticed, were built, at
the expense of the Marquis of Hertford, in 1832; the cost exceeded �120.
CHARITABLE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING INDUSTRY.
THIS excellent institution was formed about fifteen years since, by the
late Rev. Thomas Higginson, the then Curate of Lisburn, under the
denomination of the Lisburn Philanthropic Society-subsequent to that period,
its benevolent labors have been crowned with the most important effects.
About twelve months since, a change took place in the course previously
pursued by the Society, and it was deemed advisable, that the system of
giving aid by money should be abandoned, and a new plan adopted, viz., the
distribution of the funds in rations of meal, coals, &c., and the employment
of the funds, as far as practicable, for the promotion of industry. The plan
has been acted upon with success. The subscriptions for this Society,
including Lord Hertford's very munificent annual donation of �92 0s. 2d.,
with the interest of Rev. John Carleton's,* and Messrs. Herron and Shanks's
legacies, also �20 yearly from William Whitla, Esq., amount to nearly �500
HERTFORD ARMS HOTEL AND POSTING ESTABLISHMENT.
THIS is a suitable and commodious building, standing in a central part of
the town, (opposite the market-house.) Every accommodation desirable to the
traveller is afforded by this establishment, which is on an extensive scale.
The public spirited proprietor is Mr. John Crossley, who has recently made
many excellent improvements about the concern, and been at considerable
expense in the posting department.
*In 1818, the late Rev. John Carleton bequeathed a sum of �2000 in trust,
to distribute the interest thereof annually among the poor householders in
the parish of Lisburn, who were not considered as common beggars.
Since Mr. Crossley's entrance into business, he has always evinced the
liveliest desire and attention towards the accommodation of the public, and
has spared no expence to make this concern worthy that respectable patronage
which it has so long obtained. The Killulta Hunt dine together here three
times during the season. A four-horse coach leaves this Inn for Belfast
every morning at ten o'clock, a. m. and returns at six same evening.
On Sundays, a coach starts at eight o'clock, a. m. returns at eleven, a.
m. starts again at five, p. m. and comes home at eight, p. m. The fare from
Lisburn to Belfast by these, and all other conveyances in town, is only
sixpence, which for the distance (nearly seven miles) is certainly not
KING'S ARMS HOTEL AND POSTING ESTABLISHMENT.
THIS concern has been established nearly a century, and is the oldest in
Lisburn. It is on an extensive scale, and always remarkable for affording
the best of fare to the traveller. That respectable character, for
accommodation and utility, which so long secured this establishment public
patronage, has been still maintained by its present public-spirited
proprietor, Mr. George Moore, for nearly thirty years, whose courtesy and
attention has uniformly acquired him the esteem of all those with whom he
has had any dealings. Mr. Moore has recently made considerable additions and
improvements about the concern.
Two four-horse coaches leave this Inn for Belfast, one at nine and the
other at ten o'clock every morning of week days, returning at five and six,
p. m. and on Sundays a coach starts at eight, and returns at eleven, a. m.
starts again at five, and returns at eight, p. m.
There are several minor Inns in Lisburn which afford as good
accommodation as any of the kind in Ireland. The proprietors are always
obliging, and, generally speaking, quite INN-dependent men.
Jaunting-cars, and other conveyances, start every morning from Lisburn to
Belfast, from Mr. Lawson's, Mr. Boomer's, Mr. Mooney's, and Mr. Savage's, so
that one can seldom be at a loss for a conveyance, and at a most trifling
expence. Much of this accommodation is owing to the enterprising spirit of
the late Mr. John M'Coy, who first tried the experiment (some twenty years
ago) whether any public carriage could exist without the advantage of
conveying the mail, and in opposition to it; he plainly proved it could be
done; but being killed by a fall from his own coach, be left others to reap
the advantage of his attempt; and no man in his station was ever more and
POOR WIDOWS' FREE HOUSES.
THE late Mr. James Williamson was the benevolent founder of those
beautiful little dwelling-houses, a short distance from town, on the new
Belfast road. They were erected in 1820, by a legacy of �100 bequeathed by
that individual. The ground was given by Lord Hertford, with a donation of
HILLDEN is very pleasantly situated in the vicinity of Lisburn, and is
the seat of a Thread Manufactory, the property of Mr. William Barbour. It
was established by his father, the late Mr. J-- Barbour, a native of
Scotland, who had the merit of founding this branch of trade on the Hertford
estate. Hitherto, to the great discredit of our country, Ireland has been a
depot for Scotch thread; but in consequence of the spirited example set by
Mr. Barbour, we are no longer dependent on a foreign market for a supply of
this useful article. Here upwards of two hundred thousand hanks of native
yarn are spun annually into threads of all classes. Upwards of three hundred
persons are employed at this concern in preparing, coloring, dying,
bleaching, and making threads. There is also a manufactory of reticules.
Whether, therefore, we regard this factory in its relation to the trade of
Ireland, or as an establishment conducing to the improvement and prosperity
of the Hertford estate, in either of these relations it has a just claim to
The dwelling-house here is a very fine structure, and which, with the
bleach-green, form a very picturesque feature in the surrounding beautiful
landscape. Mr. Barbour has recently built several houses in this
neighbourhood for the use of his workers.
LISBURN FLOUR MILLS.
THIS is a very extensive concern, the property of Mr. Samuel Kennedy of
Lisburn, and remarkable for the excellent quality of the flour which it
produces. Mr. K. has expended many hundred pounds on this property in
various repairs and improvements, although he has no lease; but the
characteristic conduct of Lord Hertford in all such cases, fully justifies
the confidence reposed in the honor and justice of his family.
PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION BAKERY.
A PUBLIC BAKERY was established in 1832, by the gentry of the town, for
the purpose of preventing monopoly, and supplying the inhabitants with
bread, superior in quality and quantity than was hitherto supplied. This
establishment bakes, on an average, twenty bags of flour in 'a week. The
fitting up of this concern cost upwards of �180.
ON an island formed by the canal and river Lagan, in the immediate
vicinity of the town, there is an extensive Vitriol Manufactory, the
property of the Messrs. Boyd. A lofty brick chimney overtops the works,
carrying off any noxious gases. The dwelling house is a neat structure. It
is surrounded by wall in the castellated style; and from the county Antrim
side of the river, has somewhat the appearance of a fortress.
THIS handsome seat is situate to the eastward of Lisburn, immediately
adjoining the town ; in its neighbourhood is the ancient burying-ground of
Kilrush, on the banks of the Lagan. It is the residence of Mrs. Casement, to
whom it belongs. The dwelling-house is large and commodious, and all around
it characteristic of taste and neatness. The grounds are well laid out, and
are kept in good order. Within the last few years, considerable improvements
have been made. The flower-garden has very justly gained universal
admiration, and reflects credit on the refined taste of the owner. A
picturesque view of the town and river in the distance, is obtained from the
road leading to this villa. Although the bounds are very circumscribed, it
is said to be the largest holding in perpetuity on Lord Hertford's estate.
THE KILLULTA HARRIERS.
THIS Hunt, which is at present in a very prosperous state, was
established in 1832, the Marquis of Hertford having, in the kindest manner,
given to the members the privilege of hunting over some of the best ground
in the north of Ireland, on his Lordship's estates in Antrim and Down. At a
meeting held at the Hertford Arms, Lisburn, on the 28th February, 1832, the
following gentlemen being present :-Mr. Gregg, Mr. Whitla, Mr. Birney, Mr.
Murray, Mr. C. Boyd, Mr. J. Boyd, it was unanimously resolved, That a Hunt
be established at Lisburn, denominated, ' The Killulta Hunt,' to be
maintained by an annual subscription of the members.
The members meet on the first Tuesday in each month, at one o'clock, at
the Hertford Arms Hotel, Lisburn, to appoint the places of meeting for the
hounds during the month, and to transact the general business of the Hunt.
The places of meeting of the hounds are named by each hunting member in
The hounds hunt two days in the week, viz. Wednesday and Saturday.
On the north side of the town, an excellent kennel has been erected,
having a stream of water running through the yards. The huntsman, besides a
liberal salary, is also accommodated with a comfortable dwelling-house,
garden, and stable connected with the kennel. We believe the erection of
these premises cost �250.