Anxious to record the names of those individuals who have distinguished themselves by their philanthropy, we take this opportunity of noticing their worthy characters, and meritorious works.
I.-John Hancock, a native of the town, who long distinguished himself as one of its active and useful citizens, and who some years since addressed himself to the Irish public in a course of essays explanatory of his views o£ religious and moral truth. The Hancock family always have distinguished themselves as the friends and supporters of every useful and charitable institution in Lisburn.
2.-The late Dr. Whiteford, whose boundless benevolence the inhabitants of
Lisburn and its vicinity cannot easily forget. It may be truly said of him,
This worthy gentleman fell a victim to his philanthropic labors in the cause of mercy and charity. He died from the contagious effects of a most violent and dangerous fever, while in attendance on a poor female patient. Doctor Whiteford afforded one of the noblest and the best examples of that devotion, heroism, and disinterestedness so characteristic of, and so extremely honorable to, the medical profession. Whatever were his religious opinions, he exemplified in his life that
A humane man is the noblest work of God.
Through life he united the strictest integrity of principle with the kindliest feelings towards his fellow-creatures, while his heart and hand were ever open to alleviate human suffering. Give us such a man as this, and we care not whether he be an Episcopalian, a Presbyterian, a Lutheran, a Quaker, or a Papist.
Of all the virtues which enamor'd fame
Though a tribute to the memory of departed worth is foreign to the objects of a topographical sketch, and so far distant from the cold calculations of a work of profit, yet we yield to obey the feelings of our heart, although it may be at the expence of our reputation; and while performing our pilgrimage through the wilderness of this world, we trust it shall always afford us a more dear and interesting delight, to lean on our pilgrim's staff over the tomb of virtue, (that our heart may feel, and our eye drop the tear of sympathy upon it) than to cull the fairest flower, or the greenest laurel that ever decked the Muse's brow on the flowery summit of Parnassus.
3.-The late Mr. John Crossley, Jun., who was the first in the north of Ireland who established a School for instructing the children of the poor according to the Lancasterian system, and which he carried into effect by means of the book published on the subject by Joseph Lancaster. He continued his praiseworthy exertions to the day of his death, devoting almost his whole time to this important object.* But he did not confine himself to teaching only; from the subscriptions set on foot by him, he was enabled, in numerous cases, to clothe the children, and distribute the most useful, religious, and moral tracts among the families of the poor, without excepting any religious persuasion, though he was himself a zealous member of the Established Church. His benevolence was unconfined; in short, he rendered himself to the poor a judicious teacher, an affectionate father and friend.
4.-The late Mr. John Rogers, grocer, one of the most useful, philanthropic, and efficient citizens that Lisburn could ever boast of. He was thirty-three years in business, and during all that time he persevered in the same path of moral rectitude; and though he was in some respects of an eccentric disposition, yet charity and good feeling toward all who had poverty for their passport, were his prevailing characteristics.
` His faults and his follies,
He was nobly distinguished by a taste for the beauties of literature, and most liberal (perhaps too much so) in lending his books, of which he had a most splendid collection.?
• Mr. Crossley fell a victim to close confinement, and to an intense application of his faculties to the improvement of the Lisburn free school,
? Mr. R. was one of the favored few, in
his line of life, whose ample means enabled him to satisfy that mental
appetite and thirst for knowledge, without encroaching (like other poor
literary devils) on the pecu. niary and indispensable fund for the
necessaries of physical existence.
*The manner of his death call to our mind the expression of colonel
Davenport at the time of the awful darkness in Connecticut, on the memorable
19th May, 1780. On that day candles were lighted in many houses-the people
were impressed by the idea that the day of judgment was at hand This opinion
was entertained by the Legislature at that time sitting at Hartford. The
house of representatives adjourned; the council proposed to follow the
example Colonel Davenport objected. "The day of judgment," said he, , is
either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for
adjourning ; if it is, I choose to he found doing my DUTY I wish, therefore,
that candles may be brought ",
I.-AMONG the eminent men of which this section of the county Antrim makes its boast, the first is Doctor Jeremy Taylor, who, by his religious writings and attachment to the cause of royalty, has transmitted to posterity a name of high eminence on the page of history. He was chaplain to Charles I.; and in 1690, in recompence of his attachment to the house of Stuart, or to the cause of monarchy, we know not which, he was promoted to the Sees of Down and Connor, to which was annexed, the administration of the bishoprick of Dromore. Previous to this he had been honored with a seat in the privy council of Ireland, and the University of Dublin conferred on him the office of their vice-chancellor. This good bishop did not long enjoy his elevation : he died in August, 1667, at Lisnegarvy (now Lisburn.)
This prelate is said to have written some of his deepest works in a sort of summer-house, in a small island in Loughbeg (the property, we presume, of Lord Conway). A situation like this, in the centre of a fine land and water scene, secured almost from the possibility of interruption., and where Nature herself was pregnant with tranquility, was very much in unison with the meditations of this worthy man, when composing those spiritual works, which have given celebrity to his name on the page of history.
In the parish of Ballinderry, where this island is situate, it is said that his name is held in veneration to this day.
The principal work, which he finished at Portmore, was ' the Ductor Dubitantium, or Rule of Conscience,' as it is dated from thence.
His ' Holy Living and Dying' was written during his retirement in Caermarthenshire, in the time of the Protectorate. He left that situation, where he had experienced great domestic misfortunes, (a circumstance well calculated to improve his own character, and to give his virtuous mind a deeper relish for the spiritual subjects on which he wrote,) and went to reside in London, where he officiated to a congregation of Loyalists. At this time he formed an acquaintance with Edward, Lord Conway, (Lord Hertford's ancestor) who appeal's to have been so much pleased with his manners and conversation, that he solicited him to accompany him to his seat at Portmore, in the county of Antrim, where he continued until the Restoration.
2.-Miss Owenson (now Lady Morgan). Perhaps it is not generally known that
Lisburn is distinguished as having been for some time the THEATRE of a
genius that has since raised its beam in all the refulgence of wild Irish
talent upon the Republic of Letters. Many of the old inhabitants yet
recollect Miss Owenson (now Lady Morgan) living in that house in Bow-street,
at present occupied by the Misses Hume. Certainly it adds not a little to
the celebrity of the good town of Lisburn, to have been the scene in which
the talented authoress of ` the Novice of St. Dominick' spent part of her
early years. This lady must ever be considered as a writer who has given to
the world a series of real characters, pourtrayed with an acuteness of
discernment, and a readiness of wit, that proves her to have had almost as
intimate knowledge of human nature as Shakspeare himself. From her first
attempt, published in 1805, called " St. Clair," till her latest work,
published last year, there will be found more shrewd observations, genuine
Irish sarcasm on prevailing evils, and tact in showing up the ridiculous,
than any other of our national authors (excepting Miss Edgeworth) have yet
displayed. Conformable to the usual intelligence of country towns, and that
sickening PRIDE by which their paltry distinctions are maintained, this star
of the Emerald Isle is said to have been unnoticed and unknown at Lisburn.*
To use the expression of a facetious inhabitant (who spoke without a
figure, concerning the visit of this fair genius to Ulster, and her
opinion of its people)-"She came a stranger amongst us," said the wit, and
we thought to have parted with her as such ; but she would not let us." It
seems not, since she uses the privilege of an old acquaintance, to tell you
he her opinion of our character. " The people of the North," said this
talented lady, " by the country of their residence are Irish ; by their
religion and the country of their forefathers, they are Scotch; but by their
character and actions, they are neither one nor the other. They are
destitute of the generous HOSPITALITY of the native
Irish, and appear to be wholly swallowed up in the vortex of their trade.
They are destitute of the literary taste and acquirements of
the Scotch nation, having that kind of information only which can be
rendered useful in the pursuit of gain." Such, we have heard, was the.
opinion of this lady, whose tour in the north of Ireland was not attended
with all that éclat with
which fortune, in a fit of justice, has since
thought proper to crown her talents-talents that are now acknowledged to
confer a distinguished honor upon the country which
* Although the worthy Lisburn ites called down the censure of this lady by their inattention and neglect, yet it must be confessed, that writings are of such an infidel stamp) as might justly have many merited of a her far more graceless reception, and a worse valuation of her character, by a people much less Christianized than those of Lisburn.
LISBURN' owes much of its present improved state to the want of political agitation and consequent animosity. The effects, in appearance and society, of the contested elections which took place towards the close of the last century, have not, even yet, been totally eradicated, notwithstanding the rapid march of improvement so conspicuous under the agency of Dean Stannus. Though numerous hovels, alike revolting to the eye of the patriot and the philanthropist, have been removed, yet some that remain in the obscure parts of the town display miserable and disgusting specimens of the fruits of contested elections. The Rookery, some hovels on the low road, and some at the Longstone, are but the scattered remnants of that spurious swarm, erected to thwart the wishes of an indulgent landlord.
' The grandfather of the present Marquis of Hertford happened to come over from England in 1771, and being pleased with the buildings and improvements of the town, exclaimed, " BY George they shall have leases." He accordingly ordered them to be filled for three lives renewable for ever. The late Marquis was equal, if not superior to his noble father in every respect ; and as a proof, we find that his Lordship granted leases of all the lands at will in his estate, (excepting town parks ;) and but for the disgraceful party oppositions, and contested elections before alluded to, he would have given leases for building in the town also. The present Marquis of Hertford has no power to grant leases within the borough, and therefore the buildings, and other local improvements, are but slowly progressive ; however, it is owing to truth to say, that every advantage and indulgence within the power of Lord Hertford has always been liberally given, as well here as throughout the estate.
We could never learn that Lord Hertford, when renewing a lease, had in any instance taxed his tenant's farm with the value which it derived from his own industry, or that of his progenitor. Several thousand pounds have been expended by various of the gentry and manufacturers on short, but by no means uncertain, tenures, since the confidence reposed by Lord Hertford's tenantry, in the justice and honor of his family, has always been fully justified by his Lordship's Conduct. The aspect of his rural territories entirely precludes the suspicion of oppression-there contentment appears to reign, and there both the plough and the loom flourish. Whenever agriculture and manufactures have languished, reductions of rent to those who are exclusively dependent on the soil and on the loom, are made in a manner quadrating with the circumstances of the times, on a property governed by those just and equitable principles, which appear to form not the accidental and occasional accompaniments, but the essential principle and basis of the Hertford social code.
Much as we may wish Lord Hertford's presence here, we are but a few of his tenants on a small portion of his estates, and we cannot complain that his Lordship should indulge his wishes. We have abundant proof of his attention, both in the choice of his Agent, and in his liberality to our Institutions and Charities.
The truth of history shows that there is no Irish estate less affected in prosperity by the absence of its proprietor, than in the present case,-his character as a Landlord stands unimpeached ; and, although we know his Lordship only by report, and have seen no other portrait of his character, than that which sparkles in the living features of his estate; yet, in this we have seen sufficient to command our unpurchased admiration, and, in the same disinterested spirit, in which we do it justice, we recommend it to the notice and imitation of those absentees (or presentees, no matter which) that have the honor to govern an ignorant and starving population.
There is an Academy (which has been established many years in Lisburn) for the education of young ladies and gentlemen. It is kept by Mr. Benjamin Neely. Mr. Spence, the celebrated penman, was educated at this Seminary.
There is also a Seminary for young ladies, which has been recently opened by the Misses Montgomery. There are other Schools in the town, the principal of which are kept by Mr. Sheils and Mr. Thompson.
Respecting the general appearance of Lisburn, it is cheerful; the streets mostly spacious, carefully paved, and always clean. The side-paths are not flagged, but we believe it is in contemplation to do so. Another great desideratum is the lighting of the town by night. Lamps were erected in 1825, and a Mr. Whowell employed to light the streets with gas; but owing to Whowell's failure, the work has been neglected and abandoned. As a greater inconvenience to any town of public thoroughfare during the dark winter nights cannot exist than the want of lamps, we most ardently hope, for the honor and respectability of Lisburn, that this evil will be remedied as soon as possible.
Since the Legislative Union, Lisburn returns but one member to Parliament-the present member is Captain Henry Meynell, R. N., Nephew of the Dowager Marchioness of Hertford-he has been elected several times, and is a staunch Protestant. The population of Lisburn is 6202 souls.
PROVINCIAL ECCENTRICITIES IN PHRASEOLOGY.
Narrow lanes are called lonin ends by the common people. '
Pray, my good friend, am I on the straight road to Lurgan ?' Ans. (with
great stiffness and independence) --' yes, as straight as an arrow; but when
you come to the next three roads, turn down at the lonin
end.' Married to, is termed, very emphatically, married upon. '
Jack, did you hear who was married the day?' 'No, faith Jacob, who wuz it?'
' Moses O'Dogherty, upon my sowl.' ' Who wuz he married upon?'
' He was married upon Polly O'Gormon of the Moy.' In wet weather-, Well Tim,
that's a soft day.' 'It's ALL that' [as if the first remarked
it was a wet, windy, cold, biting day.] ' Maisthur wou'd yer honur's worship
be afthur tilling huz whin the Tarm comincis in Double-Inn ?'
The mono. syllable `till' is invariably substituted for 'to,' and vice
versa. 'Where are you going till?' 'I'm going TILL Belfast.' '
*A Squire's footman having been, for some misconduct, discharged and kicked out, his friend Tim asked him was he turned off. 'No, damn it, I RESIGNED,' was the reply.
ANTIQUITIES IN THE VICINITY OF LISBURN.
ROUND TOWERS.-Of these buildings, the original use of which, has given rise to such innumerable conjectures, there are four at present in the county, in different degrees of preservation; one at Antrim, one in Ram's island in Lough Neagh one near the old church at Trummery, between Lisburn and Moira, and the remains of one in the parish of Armoy. Whatever might have been the purpose for which they have been erected, " they all 'seem as if they had been built by the same hand;" they are always round; their diameter, at bottom, is generally about 15 feet, or from 42 to 48 feet in circumference; within, the diameter is seldom more than 8 feet; they are from 70 to above 100 feet in height; they have nearly the same thickness of wall; the door of each, also, is found at a distance from the ground, except where the earth has been raised; and there has never been found any means of ascending to the top, but by a ladder from floor to floor. In some instances there are abutments of stone in the walls all round, to rest timbers on for floors or stages ; and every story has a little narrow loop-hole for light, or else a window. Four windows are also always found in the upper story, facing the cardinal points, and seldom any elsewhere. In their external form they are nearly alike, gradually diminishing from the bottom to the top, and in most cases, covered with a stone conical roof. Had these been erected for watch towers, as some have supposed, they would not have stood, as they usually do, on plains or vallies, and in the neighbourhood of elevations much better calculated for such a purpose. Whether, therefore, if erected prior to the introduction of Christianity, they were intended as temples of the sun, where that luminary should be worshipped by perpetual offerings of fire ; or whether, if a production of the Christian age, they were intended to be the residence of penitents or hermits ; or whether for bell-towers, to call the people to public worship, is a matter of mere conjecture; nor can we learn that any ancient document, of unquestionable authority, has descended to posterity to remove the cloud that rests upon their origin.
Churches of wicker-work are said to have stood near those towers in the early ages of the Christian Church; and they are farther said to have been called bell-towers by the Irish Christians. A modern writer, however, thinks that this was a monkish trick played off upon posterity, for the purpose of giving an appearance of greater antiquity to the Christian religion than it had a just claim to, as he could not suppose that the founders of those lofty stone towers which, according to the Christian hypothesis, were built as an appendage to the church, would make those towers of such permanent materials, and the church itself of slight wicker-work, which he asserts to have been the description of edifice in which the first Irish Christians worshipped. Whether, therefore, Christianity is coeval with these towers, or whether it is not, it is admitted that these towers and our churches have been very old neighbours, and that the stone churches which succeeded to the first wicker edifices have kept up this intimacy to the last. Could the ruins of those churches, therefore, which now communicate to us their venerable and instructive lesson, (on the same spot where many of those towers stand,) tell us how and by what means themselves and their wicker predecessors were brought into such a close acquaintance with their loftier neighbors, or how their loftier neighbors were brought into such a close acquaintance with them, (for which of them is the older is still a question,) they would, no doubt, shed a clearer light upon the history of those latter objects than has yet beamed upon it by all the writings of our modern antiquarians. That they were, however, well calculated for bell-towers when the vallies of this country were covered with wood, and when the inhabitants (from that circumstance) may be supposed to have chiefly resided on the elevated lands around them, is self-evident; but whether built for that purpose, or whether for those of Pagan worship in a prior age, it is impossible to determine. Did those towers possess the faculty of speed., and were they disposed to communicate to us their knowledge of antiquity, we are sure that their history would be found deeply interesting ; and we are equally certain that without this faculty, they point out to us, in very impressive language., the poor short-lived character of man, with the vanity of pride and ambition, whose castle in the air so long survives him ! That their existence on the surface of this country for so many ages, is an interesting monument of the progress of civilization, is obvious ; while, to any landscape with which they are connected, they impart an influence which no. other object now existing on the surface of this country could possibly supply. But the best lesson of all which they have left behind them, is that which they convey to legislators,-" build, and leave behind you apolitical edifice that shall stand firm on its base when other edifices have fallen,-that shall prove a perpetual monument of your wisdom, and compel future ages to bless your memory, when in solemn silence they shall stand to contemplate its majesty and beauty."
CASTLES, &c.--Sir Robert Norton who, in Queen Elizabeth's time, built
Castle Upton, was also the founder of Castle Robin, (so called after him;)
it stands near the summit of the White mountain, two miles north of Lisburn.
The walls of this ruin are eighty-four feet long, thirty-six wide, and forty
CAIRNS.-The antiquities of the east coast of Ireland, from the county of Meath to the north sea, have so great a similitude, that to describe. those of one district, (unless the minutiae of each object be entered into) is to give an account of the whole. Cairns, cromleches, pillar-stones, raths or forts, and mounts of different magnitudes and forms, abound along the whole coast, and extend inland. The monastic and military remains are also similar, as well as the detached pieces; such as arms, urns, and ornaments, which are occasionally met with. Of these monuments, the cairns have least the appearance of art or of contrivance, and are evidently the work of men in a very rude state of society. The most remarkable of those, as well as the most conspicuous in the county of Antrim, is that on Collin mountain, about three miles to the north of Lisburn: it seems like a point when viewed from a distance, but is of considerable extent. It is formed of a number of small stones piled up in a conical shape, and now nearly covered with a green sod, seeming to have its origin in the growth and decay of the grasses, which have taken root in the soil, caused by the decomposition of the stones, by the moisture of the climate in which they are situated. We have not heard of any attempt to open it, consequently nothing of its contents is known.
LISBURN is situate in a section of the country emphatically distinguished
for its pre-eminence of beauty, improvement, and prosperity.-In a district
whose wealth, commerce, geographical extent, and magnificent scenery,
elevate it to a pitch of splendor in the history of Ulster, with which no
other district of that province can enter into competition. It is the second
town in a county highly distinguished by art and nature, eminently raised
above a rude and savage state, and justly honored in the page of history,
for its enjoyment of all that intelligence and social comfort, to which a
prosperous industry, in the hand of Christian benevolence, never fails to
introduce mankind. When we look for beauties in the Wicklow scenery, or the
grandeur of the Highlands of Scotland, we feel that there is something
wanted to complete the picture. There is no life-- there is no relieve. They
are, as it were, beautiful or grand, but lone and deserted; and although the
gusto of some people may delight in the romance of their solitude and
stilliness, and look back to the achievements of their ancestors in the days
of chivalry; though some, as the pale moon throws a melancholy glimmer over
the wild desert, may love to dwell on and talk of the tales of other years,
when' chief mixed his strokes with chief, and man with man-steel clanging
sounded on steel'-when helmets were cleft on high, and 'blood smoked
around!'-though some may love to' sit by the burning oak, and spend the
night in songs of old'-of those who had been mighty in battle, ' whose fame
shall never fade;' yet the generality of people would justly prefer the
enlivening scenery which this part of the country presents. The various
beauties of plantation and bleach-green, of lake and waterfall, of plain and
mountain, of grove and woodland; -where sloping bills, magnificent vistas,
verdant vales, fertile fields, high cultured grounds, and inviting villas
shine, indicate to the traveller that he is in the Eden of Erin! It is
almost impossible to bring any country to a state of higher perfection, or
find a happier display of scenery than that surrounding Lisburn. A minute
description of all the works of art and nature, which combine to produce
this perfection, would be incompatible with the limits of this sketch ; but
when the reader presents to his imagination a magnificent landscape, bounded
in front by the Belfast mountains, watered by the river Lagan, besprinkled
with beautiful villas; bleachgreens upon the mountain side, glistening in
the dancing rays of Phœbus; cottages,
white as snow, with cropped hedges inclosing gardens and orchards that bend
under the weight o_their productions ; vallies teeming with the gifts of
Ceres ; those venerable monuments of antiquity, the ' round tower,' with
numerous spires and steeples here and there suddenly starting up-and all in
full view of the traveller, over charming roads, which pass through demesnes
and villas of incomparable beauty, and over rivers, whose banks are studded
with plantations-he will have some idea of the country surrounding that
interesting Town, in whose service we have embarked our humble talents, and
in whose welfare and prosperity we shall always take the most lively
The moving incident is not my trade-
AND thou, sweet Poetry! loveliest maid !