A Historical Handbook

by Rev. Canon C.R.J. Rudd
Rector of Moira








The purpose of this book is to introduce the public to the town of Moira and to relate something of it's historic origins. The history of the Parish Church and the town has been traced over the past four hundred years. Not only is it intended to be a short history of the town and Parish but a handbook giving significant information.
It is hoped that these chapters will give some indication of the progress of Moira and it's development through the years.
The event of the Flower Festival seemed to be the most appropriate time for such a handbook to be introduced. As you will see from the early chapters the gardens of Moira were the foremost centre in Europe for the propogating of tropical plants from the other side of the world.
Throughout this short historical outline we are reminded of the Christian witness of the Church. The spire of the Church, which can be seen for miles is a well known landmark. It points heavenward and is a constant reminder of those who have worshipped and witnessed in times past. Let us pray that this witness will continue both now and in the furture.

"One is nearer God's heart in a Garden, than anywhere else on earth".

I am indebted to Mr. William Best for his excellent photographs and to Mrs. Janice Lightowler for designing the front cover. To Mr. Trevor Neill and Mr. Holt McCullough I extend my grateful thanks for relevant information, and to Plantation Press for printing this handbook. Finally to my wife Rosemary for typing the manuscript and preparing it for publication.

Robert Rudd (Rector)

Chapter 1

Early History

The Rough Fort  In all probability the origin of the name Moira (the Plain of the Ring Forts) has been anglicised from the original Irish Magh Rath. From which of the many raths or forts in the district it derives it's title is a manner of uncertainty. Perhaps the best preserved example to be seen is the "Rough Fort" on the Old Kilmore Road in the townland of Risk. Near where Waringfield House once stood is "Pretty Mary's Fort".

The Green in front of the houses at Claremont is all that is left of another of these ring forts.

The earliest known record is of a battle that was fought at Moira in 637 A.D. between Domhnall (pronounced Donall), High King of Ireland and Congal, King of Ulster. This conflict is described as one of the most sanguinary in early Irish History.

Congal had previously killed Domhnall's predecessor and had fled to Britain and returned after nine years with an army of Britons, Scots and Saxons, including a Scottish King and a number of Princes. Domhnall advanced from Tara, with an army of Irish chieftains and princes. The two armies came together at Moira and Congal's army was annihilated. Congal himself was slain as also were a number of the Scottish Princes.

This battle is the subject of an epic poem written by Sir Samuel Ferguson in 1872. It is also recorded in the writings of the famous historian Adaman - an eighth century historian who wrote about the life of St.Columba. Records show that the routed armies fled over the Ford Ath-ornagh (Thornford or Thornbrook), up the ascent of Trummery, and in the direction of the Killultagh Woods, near Ballinderry.

When excavations took place in the construction of the line of the Ulster Railway (which passes close below the Old Church of Trummery) great quantities of bones were discovered believed to have been those of men and horses killed in the battle.

Some of the names of the townlands in the area originate from the Battle - particularly Aughnafosker, which means the 'field of slaughter' and Carnalbanagh - the' Scotsman's grave'. In this townland, according to tradition there used to be a pillar stone with a crude cross and some circles on it signifying the graves of the Scottish Princes. Accompanying Domhall's army was a Bishop called Saint Ronan Finn, who is reputed to have established a monastery and/or a nunnery in the area. His memory is still preserved in the townland of Kilminiogue - the 'Church of my dear young Finn'. There are still the remains of an ancient graveyard in the townland and it has been said that the outline of the church can be seen from the air. Some of the local people claim that Kilminiogue means 'the Church of the young Maidens'. This seems possible - as the Irish translation (Cill na mna og) would support the theory that the monastic establishment may have been included a nunnery. When the present Church of Moira was built in 1723, it was originally to have been called St.Inn's (an aspirated form of Finn) though when it was consecrated it was anglicised to St john's.

Ronan Finn was also associated with Magheralin where there was a seventh century monastery or a nunnery. There is still a lane known as the 'Nun's Walk'. The name Magheralin is derived from Maghera Clon - which means the 'Plain of the Church'. It's ancient name was Lann Ronan Finn, the Church of Ronan Finn. Bishop Reeves, a nineteenth century historian identified Magheralin with an ancient monastery called Linduachail founded in the seventh century. The historian Rev. J.B. Leslie, however, disputes this fact and locates Linduachail in the Parish of Kilsaran, Co. Louth, in the region around Dundalk.

Chapter 2

The Castle and The Rawdon Family

For the next thousand years after the Battle of Moira, little or nothing is to be found in the records. In medieval times theGeorge Rawdon  district belonged to the O'Lavery Clan, a derivation of this name is still very prominent in the area. When the Rebellion of 1641 took place, the lands belonging to many of the insurging families were confiscated, because of their involvement in the uprising. Among these families were the O'Laverys, who inhabited the South West region of Co. Antrim. After the Rebellion, Ulster was planted with families from many parts of England and thus began the Plantation of Ulster.

In 1631 Major George Rawdon, whose family owned Rawdon Hall near Leeds in West Yorkshire, came to live in the area. He was appointed to manage the Estate of Viscount Conway, Lord Lieutenant of Co. Antrim, at Killultagh near Ballinderry.

His ancestors had fought at the Battle of Hastings. His first wife was Ursula Hill, widow of Francis Hill of Hillhall. She died in 1641. It was George Rawdon who built the Garrison at Aghalee, commonly known as Soldierstown. In the Rebellion the armies of Sir Phelim O'Neill had massacred 40,000 Protestants. George Rawdon, with an army of 200 Englishmen completely repulsed O'Neill's army at the Battle of Lisburn.

In 1651, ten years after the Rebellion, Major de Burgh, who was quartered at Charlmont Fort, near Moy in Co. Tyrone, built a brick house at Moira in Co. Down. Major Rawdon, who had been a military commander in the defence of Lisnagarvey- (the old name for Lisburn) replaced de Burgh as owner of the mansion and estate at Moira. Previously he had lived at Brook Hill near Ballinderry. Shortly after acquiring Moira Castle he married the daughter of the second ViscountConway. He was to give fifty years of faithful service to the Conway family, serving successively three Viscounts. The third Viscount was created Earl of Conway and died in 1683.

When George Rawdon acquired Moira and other estates in Ireland he established a dynasty similar to that of the Hill family of Hillsborough who became the Marquises of Downshire. Later his own descendants were to marry into the Hill family who were among the richest landowners in the country, and were reputed to own land in almost every county in Ireland. He was created a Baronet in 1665. He had done much to foster the early growth and development of Lisburn after the Rebellion. It was his family who were largely responsible for the Moira we know today. He was known as the "Great Highwayman", as he was responsible for constructing many of the highways in the country. He was a very close friend of the famous Bishop Jeremy Taylor who was Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore who for a short time lived in Magheralin, a few miles from Moira. Sir George Rawdon's wife Dorothy died in 1665 and was buried in the chancel of Lisburn Cathedral. Sir George Rawdon himself died in the year 1683 and was also buried in Lisburn Cathedral. He was succeeded by Sir Arthur Rawdon, who like his father, was a member of Parliament, and was one of the Generals in King William of Orange's Armies. When King William landed in Ireland Rawdon raised troops and rallied to his side. Before Moira Castle   long he was besieged in Derry, where he became ill, but, encouraged by his friends, he managed to escape, and so ended his part in military affairs. When Sir Arthur inherited the lands at Moira he rebuilt the Mansion which became one of the most magnificent Castles in the country. Records describe this mansion as a "commodious habitation, surrounded by a wood, which affords beautiful walks, a large lawn extends in front, where sheep feed, and is terminated by trees, and a small Lough eastwards, the rear of the castle grounds contains a wood, with large opening fronting the castle, which forms a fine perspective"

In Ireland, at the end of the seventeenth century, there was no money to be got for 'anything in the world'. Tenants were too poor to pay their rents, and tradesmen were on the verge of ruin, yet it was just at this time that a young Irish landlord, called Sir Arthur Rawdon, began to garden on a scale hitherto unknown. Sir Arthur Rawdon was called the 'Father of Irish Gardening' and was also known as 'The Cock of the North'. He was a contemporary of Sir Hans Sloane, (who also came from Co. Down) and was a great botanist. Sloane had a great influence on Sir Arthur's horticultural tastes. In 1687 Sloane went to the West Indies and kept up a correspondence with Sir Arthur keeping him informed of the various seeds and plant life there. He studied the natural history of the islands and later brought home to England at least 800 different species and plants. In 1690, Rawdon went to England and, after seeing Sloane's plants, he wrote asking him for seeds. A month later he received 400 different species with instructions on how to grow them. At this time Rawdon engaged James Harlow to go to Jamaica to bring back plants for Moira.

In his estate at Moira, Sir Arthur built the first hot-house in Europe. According to Bassett's History of Co. Down, frogs were first discovered in Ireland at Moira, probably in the magnificent botanical gardens. These gardens were adorned with a pretty Labrynth, ponds, canals and woods. The trees included the Locust of Virginia, a tree 30ft high, and of a trunk at least a foot and a half in diameter, bearing a pod longer than any pea, and full of honey, supposed to be the food that Saint John the Baptist lived on in the wilderness. The Ucca or Adam's needle, which has a leaf like a flag, and a point as sharp as a needle. Another was the Indian Honeysuckle, spired like a rocket, with a crimson coloured flower. In Lisburn Lord Hertford had beautiful hanging gardens which were the inspiration of Sir Arthur Rawdon, and they cascaded from the present Castle Gardens to the large basin. All that remains today are the terraces, which are kept by the Borough Council. Just over twenty years ago they were a wilderness and some shrubs remained, which may have been part of the original planting. Sadly enough Sir Arthur lived only a short time to enjoy that garden he created and loved, for he died in 1695 at the early age of thirty-four. It is worth noting that for two generations Rawdon's descendants maintained the garden though the' stove' (hot-house) was pulled down, but when in 1788, Moira passed into other hands, the garden was neglected and subsequently vandalised. By the middle of the next century there were scarcely any trees of note. Now nothing remains of either house or garden, save for a few banks.

Arthur Rawdon     Sir Arthur's successor, Sir John, the Third Baronet, was born in 1690 and died in 1723. Throughout his short life he had much ill health, owing to tuberculosis. At the time of his death St. John's Church in Moira had just been consecrated. He was buried in the family vault underneath the Church. Sir Hans Sloane encouraged Sir John to correspond and in 1711, in response to a letter from Sloane enquiring about the plants at Moira, John Rawdon replied that owing to the 'carelessness of servants and the death of Mr. Harlow most of the plants were withered to nothing'. Outside, however, the trees and shrubs fared better. His son, also Sir John, inherited the estates and the Baronetcy at the age of three.

This second Sir John, was later elevated to the peerage as Baron Rawdon and became Earl of Moira in 1762. This first Earl was a well known figure in Irish Government circles. Politically he is said to have been for the uniting of Ireland under it's own rule. When he died in 1793 his funeral was said to have been the largest ever seen in Ireland. Over four hundred horse-drawn carriages were in the procession from all parts of the country. He too was buried in the family vault in St. John's, Moira.

This first Earl was married three times. His first wife, a daughter of the Earl of Egmont, died five years after their marriage - they had two daughters. She is believed to have been buried in Scotland. In 1746 he married Anne Hill, sister of the Marquis of Downshire. She died in 1751 without having a family, and was buried in the family vault. She is said to be the Lady Moira who was reputed to haunt Moira Demesne.

The third Lady Moira, was Lady Elizabeth Hastings, daughter of the ninth Earl of Huntingdon. Her mother was a famous disciple of John Wesley, and was the foundress of the Methodist sect known as the Countess of Huntingdon's Connection, as will be seen in a later chapter. There were eleven children of this marriage, five of whom died very young. Lady Elizabeth's family owned extensive estates throughout England which she now inherited, including the well known Castle Donnington in Leicestershire. During the Industrial Revolution a small village was built in Leicestershire, called Moira, near Ashby de La Zouch, which is today a busy industrial village in the East Midlands. This Lady Moira died in 1808 and was buried at Newtownforbes in County Longford where one of her daughters was married to the Earl of Granard whose seat was at Newtownforbes. There is a house in County Longford near Newtownforbes, marked in the Ordinance Survey maps as Carrickmoyra House, and there was also a parish of Moira, in the Diocese of Ardagh.

2nd Earl  The second Earl, Francis Rawdon Hastings, who took on his mother's maiden name, inherited his mother's titles as well as his father's, and al so much of the estates belonging to the Huntingdon dynasty. He was educated at Harrow and in 1774 went to America and fought in the American War of Independance, and was present at the battle of Bunker's Hill. He later became Adjutant General of the British Armed Forces in America and during the illness of Lord Cornwallis commanded the armies that brought victory to the colonists. He is said to have been one of the most courageous Generals in the whole war. It was some of his soldiers who founded towns called Moira, in memory of his exploits. One can be found in New York State, and another in Canada where there is also a river of the same name.

One of the bravest corporals was Dennis O'Lavery, who was also a native of Moira. He is said to have saved Lord Moira from being killed by cannon fire, and in the annals of the War is regarded as one of it's greatest heroes. Incidentally, and ironically, it was the Rawdon family who had confiscated his family's lands after the Rebellion of 1641. Lord Moira is said to have built a memorial to O'Lavery in recognition of the fact that he saved his life, but it's exact location is uncertain.

On his return home, the Earl became a member of Parliament and was advocate of the Act of Union. He later became the first Governor General of India and was largely responsible for the establishing of India as part of the British Empire.

He became Marquis of Hastings in 1817 and was also a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was later appointed the first Commander-in-Chief of Malta where he died in 1826 and was buried in Valetta. The last direct descendant, Henry Rawdon, a great nephew, fourth Marquis of Hastings died without issue, and thus the Marquisate became extinct.

By 1805 the Rawdon family had moved to their other Irish estates in Ireland, including Montalto at Ballynahinch. The new tenant of Moira Castle was William Sharman, a member of Grattan's Parliament, who was very prominent in the history of the area. He commanded the Moira Volunteers which were a contingent of the Irish Volunteers. This seems to have been a protection force in the late eighteenth century. His son, another William Sharman married a daughter of the Craford family of Crawfordsburn, and changed his name by deed poll to Sharman-Crawford. This family owned Moira Castle only for a relatively short period.

At this stage the Castle and Demesne was purchased by the family of Sir Robert Bateson. He also owned Belvoir Park in Belfast. The Bateson family did not live for any permanent period in Moira but used the Castle as a second residence. His son, Thomas, became the first Baron of Deramore. There is a plaque in Moira Parish Church to Sir Robert Bateson and also a family vault is under the obelisk in the Churchyard. Incidentally there is also a plaque to the first Lady Deramore in Moira Parish Church, and an identical plaque is also found in Knockbreda Parish Church in Belfast with which the family were also connected. The Castle was demolished early in the nineteenth century but there are still a few remains of walls in the Demesne - probably of the walled garden. In the past twenty years the Demesne has been developed by the Lisburn Borough Council as a public park and once again it is a great array of beautiful flowers.

 Chapter 3

The Building of St. John's Church

The Parish of Moira was founded in 1721, having been carved out of the parish of Magheralin. Up to thSt. John'sis period services of worship were held in a "Charity School" - probably on the same site as the present "Old School". A portion of ground opposite Moira Castle was given by the Hill family - later the Marquises of Downshire for the building of the Church. The entry into the Church grounds and the Castle drive were in a straight line. The Parish Church was consecrated in 1723. As has been stated earlier, it was originally to have been dedicated as St. Inn's, referring to the Saint who had founded monasteries in the area in the seventh century. The Rawdon Family contributed much of the expense in the building of the Church, although Sir John Rawdon himself died the same year the Church was consecrated. The first Curate in-Charge was the Rev. Hugh Hill, who seems to have been a distant relation of the Hill Family.

When the Church was built it had a slate steeple which was blown down in a freak storm in 1884 and was replaced by the present copper spire. The interior contained a three-decker pulpit, consisting of a pulpit, with a Prayer Desk under neath and a Clerk's desk on the lower level. This was replaced at a later date. The ReredosReredos containing the Ten Commandments, Apostle's Creed and the Lord's Prayer was written on Irish Linen, said to have been weaved in the area, and is flanked by Corinthian pillars. This Reredos is reputed to have been a replica of one in the Rutland Chapel in Battersea, London. The Dukes of Rutland were related to the Marquises of Downshire. The two boxes at either side of the West Door were the family pews of the two principal families - the Rawdon family on the left hand side and the Waring family on the right. The lower seating in each of these twoboxes were for the respective family servants. All the pews on each side of the nave were fitted with a door for the purpose of keeping out draughts.

Originally the old font was in the middle of the Church and was moved to the Waring pew in the 1940's.East Window The Communion Rails were the banister rails of Moira Castle and the West door came from the ballroom of Moira Castle. There was a stove in the middle of the Church with pipes underneath the floor and gratings in the nave - this was the heating system of the Church. There are parts remaining of candle holders which can be seen on the walls of the Church. The Communion silver is extremely valuable and some of these pieces together with a brass Baptismal Ewer were presented to the Church by the Rev. George Howse, who was first Rector. In many of the Churches of this period there was no chancel. This is characteristic of the eighteenth century. In architectural terms the church is described as barn shaped with a slate steeple.

There is reputed to have been a tunnel from Moira Castle leading to the Church which was used by the Rawdon family and their servants as their means of entry to the Church. When sewers and electric cables were laid the tunnel fell into disuse and ceased to exist. The gallery was not built until the year 1871.

There is an unconfirmed report that the first Harvest Thanksgiving services in Ireland were held in Moira Church in 1726 shortly after it was consecrated. It will be noted that the first harvest service in England was held in Morwenstow Church in Devon about one hundred and twenty years later. As early as 1742 repairs were carried out to the Church which included repairing the windows and making the Church watertight.

Rectory after Painting According to Lewis' Topographical History the Rectory was built in 1799 for the sum of �710. There is a record however of a glebe house from the time the Church was built. The present rectory does seem to have been built in various stages. Above the ceiling of the present kitchen there is a stone dated 1811 with the name James Hagan (probably the builder or rebuilder of the wall). There are cellars divided into nine rooms, including a large kitchen and adjoining rooms for servants. In the late 1930"s the kitchen was resited from the basement to the ground floor. There is a moat round the basement, spanned at the back by a ramp to the yard and steps to the basement and back door.

The graveyard like the Church is in the townland of Clare at the east side of the town. The old registers are lost but the surviving baptismal and burial registers date from 1825. many of the headstones, especially at the back of the graveyard are difficult to decipher, the inscriptions obliterated by weathering. The area around the church is more ancient than that of the front. Beside the church is a large obelisk and vault in memory of Sir Robert Bateson and his wife. They were the parents of the first Lord Deramore who became the owners of Moira Castle and Estate. There is also a vault belonging to the Rawdon family underneath the Church. There are visible signs on the East wall of the church of what must have been the entrance to the vault.

There are a number of graves where former Rectors and their families are buried:- Rev. John Gifford (1728-33); Rev. Thomas Waring (1743-77); Rev. Andrew Greenfield (1783-88); Rev. John Ffolliott (1883-84); Rev. Canon William Henry Wynne (1836-73); Rev. Canon William E. Hurst (1907-39); and Very Rev. Henry Hughes (1939-71). There is also a grave to a former Presbyterian Minister - Rev. William Moffett and also one to the Rev. Canon Thomas B. Harpur, father of a former Rector who lived in retirement in Moira. This grave also contains the remains of Dr. Frank Harpur, a missionary doctor of the Church Missionary Society who served in the Middle East, and was buried in 1947. He founded the Harpur Memorial Hospital in Menouf, Egypt. Hearsay has it that there is a grave where an infant child of the Rev. W.B. Yeats was buried - Rev. Yeats, a former curate, was grandfather of the renowned Irish poet of the same name. To the front of the church is a Celtic Cross in memory of Rev. John Douie, son of the land steward of the Deramore Estate, Mr. J.L. Douie. he was ordained in 1907 in England and died eleven days later.

Chapter 4

The Visit of John Wesley

There are two records of visits of John Wesley to Moira. The first is found in the book written by Anne Lutton entitled "A Consecrated Life". Miss Lutton is regarded as the founder of Methodism in Moira. The book gives a most interesting description of the town of Moira. It was written shortly before her death in 1881. The following extract is of particular interest:

"A hundred years ago the little town of Moira presented to the eye of a stranger something extraordinarily interesting. It consisted of one long street, each side of which was ornamented by a regular row of lime trees. Just where the houses terminated, at the lower end of town, were two gates exactly opposite. Each gate opened into a long avenue of tall trees; each avenue led to a noble edifice. One was the Parish Church, the other the Castle of the Earl of Moira; so that from one majestic pile to the other seemed but one continued avenue, with a lovely lawn of green at either end of it.

One day in the year 1756, the Earl of Moira sent a servant to the clergyman to request the key of the Church, that the Rev. John Wesley might preach to the people. The clergyman declined in giving the key, and was accustomed during the course of a long life, to boast in company that, even to oblige a nobleman, he would not tolerate Methodists. The Earl was greatly annoyed at the Rectors refusal, but determined that nothing should prevent Mr. Wesley from preaching; so he sent the bellman through the town, to summon all the people to the lawn before the Castle, and Mr. Wesley stood on the top of a long flight of steps before the grand entrance hall and preached to the people".

The second record is found in Archdeacon Edward Atkinson s book - "A History of Dromore Diocese". The date given is 1760.

"In 1760 Moira was visited by Rev. John Wesley in the course of one of his preaching tours in Ireland. He was apparently a guest of the family at Moira House, where eleven years later he'spent two hours very agreeably'. Lady Huntingdon's daughter (the Earl of Moira's third wife) being then residing there. He presents us with a vivid little picture of the place and the occasion in his journal: "I rode to Moira. Soon after twelve, standing on a tombstone near the Church, I called a considerable number of people to 'know God and Jesus Christ whom He had sent'. We were just opposite to the Earl of Moira's house, thebest furnished of any I have seen in Ireland. It stands on a hill with a large avenue in front, bounded by the Church on the opposite hill. The other three sides are covered with orchards, gardens and woods, in which are walks of various kinds". The Editor of Crookshank's Methodism in Ireland adds the following note:-'The Rector had refused the Church, but the Earl of Moira, who had asked him to allow Mr. Wesley to preach in the Church sent the bellman round to summon the people to the service"'.

According to the dates, the Rector who refused to allow Mr. Wesley to preach in the Church was the Rev. Thomas Waring who was Rector of Moira for thirty-three years. There is a lime stone pillar at the front of the Church which is said to be near the spot where John Wesley preached.

It was the family of Miss Lutton who introduced Methodism to Moira and founded the first Methodist Church in the town around the year 1820. The first church was in the vicinity of what is now Moira Mews. The present church is just over one hundred years old. According to Miss Lutton's book Ralph Lutton entertained a Methodist preacher when he arrived in Moira as he could not obtain a meal at the local inn. This is a description from Anne Lutton's autobiography relating what happened the day Methodism began in Moira.

"It was Sunday; the people were just returned from the morning service in church, and whilst careful mistresses were looking after due preliminaries of the approaching dinner-hour, and younger members of the household were lolling over books, or idly gazing on the occasional figures which flitted past the windows, a stranger rode up to the principal inn, dis-mounted, gave his horse in charge to the usual attendant, unstrapped a huge pair of saddle-bags, and flinging them over his arm, walked into the house. He was not like any one they ever saw before; plain, but not in Quaker costume. They ran off and reported the matter to their father. He immediately observed it was most probably a Methodist preacher, and as he believed those men were generally very poor, and the stranger might not order a dinner at the inn, he should wish to ask him to come in and share theirs. Half an hour later the master and mistress of the mansion, two grown-up daughters, a son, and some five or six junior members of the family, sat round the dinner table, with Mr. John Grace, the Methodist preacher, occupying the most honourable place beside the lady"'.

"That memorable Sabbath, she writes 'when my father invited the Methodist preacher to come in and eat bread with him, was the beginning of days to a household which hitherto 'sat in darkness'. They were all charmed with the winning manners and sweet conversation of their guest. He attracted and held them fast bound by some secret spell they never felt before. He seemed to awaken new powers of mind, and give new subjects for thought and converse. The little circle sat wondering, and delighted to find that religion was not clad in sable, repulsive and exacting. From that day the Methodist preachers were regularly entertained at my father's house; and as no chapel was then, nor for many years afterwards, built in that little town, his parlour and hall were the places where sat the congregation, whilst the laborious and pious men of God sought to save the souls of them that heard them".


Miss Lutton s father Ralph was the son of a former Churchwarden of St. John's Church, who married a cousin, AnneAnne Lutton's Birthplace  Lutton and had a large family. At the time of marriage they were both eighteen years of age and there was much opposition in the family to the marriage. The family were owners of several estated and private houses with by purchase or by inheritance in or around Moira. Ralph Lutton lived in the Main Street, near the present Four Trees Public House and later on moved to Donaghcloney. He returned to Moira to another house on the Main Street, opposite the previous one - (for many years the home of the Uprichard family). He was a classical scholar and a distinguished linguist, and had tutored some Curates of Moira Church. He had also a good voice, fine musical taste, and played well on the violin, but he was partially blind from cataract. Incidentally his daughter Anne was also a distinguished linguist being conversant in over 50 languages. His wife was a fine, handsome woman, of gracious presence, and very popular amongst her neighbours and friends. She too possessed strong literary tastes, but her large family and partially blind husband left little leisure for their development. Mrs. Lutton is reputed to have had a cure for whooping cough due to her close relationship (i.e. cousin) to her husband. Their daughter Anne was also said to possess these powers.

Anne was the youngest surviving child of a family of thirteen. She was baptised in 1791 and also confirmed in St. John's. According to her book the ministry of the clergyman was limited to Sabbath morning prayers and sermon, and the services were attended by all the family. The children were equally well familiarised with the Wesleyan preaching on Sunday evenings. She claims that by the combination of the two systems she was preserved from extremes - the arrogant exclusiveness of High Church prejudices and the contracted bigotry of hostile sectarianism.

Both her parents were steady adherents of the established Church of England, but had also joined the Methodist Society. It will be noted that the Methodist Church originally began as a society within the Church of England and that both John and Charles Wesley were originally ordained Church of England clergymen, and remained as such, and never intended that the Methodists should become a separate Church. It was after their deaths because of persecution that the Society became a separate Church. At an early age Anne Lutton was preaching in Methodist meetings and on one occasion was denounced by one of the Moira Curates. She was once asked if she loved the Church - she said, "I even love the walls and whenever I see a spire, my heart warms to it." She was very friendly with the Langtry family who first lived at Kilmore House and later at Fortwilliam. (This family were related to the husband of the actress Lily Langtry who became mistress of King Edward VII). It was on the advice of Miss Langtry she offered herself for confirmation by the bishop of Dromore, Dr. Saurin. She exhorted peaceful measures when the Rector in 1821-Rev. Lewis Saurin, a brother of the Bishop, divided the Irish Methodists from receiving the Sacrament from Methodist preachers .... she would have preferred that the custom which prevailed in Mr. Wesley's day of receiving it at a church only. In 1882 she penned a tract containing reasons for preferring the established church to all others.
One of the curates of Moira, Rev. John Oldfield regularly instructed Anne Lutton in Hebrew and Greek. Mr. Oldfield later married a Miss Greer of Oakleigh, Lurgan, a good friend of Miss Lutton. He became Archdeacon of Elphin. Her book for a large part consists of letters to Miss Langtry and to Miss Greer.

Her family burial ground was at Old Aghalee. Not long before her death she revisited the family grave where the sexton showed her the little chapel attached to the burial ground "which a man called Oliver Cromwell had blown up with a cannon about six hundred years ago". (The Cromwellian rebellion had only been about a hundred and fifty years earlier). When they visited Magheralin, "an old crone gave us weird stories of apparitions of the Countess of Moira". Many more towns and villages were visited including Lurgan, Banbridge, Scarva and Lord Roden's park at Tollymore, Bryansford. All these were places where she had conducted meetings fifty-four years earlier.