Tag Archives: Pomeroy

United Irishmen, Co. Tyrone, 1797

An extract – Chapter V : 1797 : January to April

Andrew Newton on the 1st of February 1797 informed a correspondent (1)

I know there was an ambassador from the Provincial Committee in Belfast last week to this place and that at this instant there is one from this (place) now in Belfast.

The information above concerning the United Irish society in Aughyarn, gives us some interesting information about the composition of a society; we may summarise a few conclusions that can be drawn from it.

A. An analysis of the names and the surnames (not, we know, an infallible guide) together with the fact that some of those mentioned were Defenders and others Yeomen indicates that the Corps was composed of both Protestants and Catholics. The analysis of the names would indicate that a majority were Protestant, and the number of Scottish names would lead one to surmise that at least quite a few of them were Dissenters.
B. Of the 42 men listed, 7 are definitely listed as being or having been members of the Yeomanry: one of them even was a sergeant of the Yeomen. This surely indicates intensive activity, for to convert the Yeomen must have been no easy task.
C. At least 2 of the Corps were former Defenders; they are listed as such.
D. The Corps met in various places. It met in the Catholic Chapel of Aughyarn at night; the main business at that meeting seems to have been the administration of oaths. There seem to have been several Protestants in the Chapel at that time. The Corps met also in an office-house of lame Andrew Sproull in Altamullin, in an office-house of Robert Neelan of Mornabeg, somewhere in Lisleen, and on Mullinabreen Hill.
E. The Corps was well organised and must have had a full complement, for there is mention of Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants. There seems also to have been a certain amount of competition for Commissions, for there is specific mention of polling on two men for a Lieutenancy.
F. Members of the Corps were active in more positive acts of treason than taking oaths: two of them are specified as being concerned in raiding for arms .

Joseph Castles or Cassels of Aughnacloy

We maybe pardoned for giving some special mention to one United Irishman, namely Joseph Castles of Aughnacloy. We have already met his name. In the examination of John G- (Sergeant in the Manx Fencibles) taken before J. Hill, on 28th December 1796 the deponent outlined a meeting which he had with Castles in Aughnacloy.(2) On the strength of this information Magistrate-Parson John Hill made out a warrant for the arrest of Castles: writing to Beresford in February he mentioned, inter alia (3):-

“Cassells a watchmaker of Aughnacloy is now at Omagh Jail; it was at his house they generally met. It was upon a warrant of mine he was taken. He is a very leading man.”

The meetings in Cassells’ house seem to have been meetings of the County committee. The arrest of Cassells was not so easily effected, if we may believe Edward Moore, the rabidly loyalist Post-master of Aughhnacloy who wrote to John Lees of the General Post Office, Dublin on February 1st, 1797(4):-

“I found of late that it is almost impossible to rely on the Constables that are in this place, particularly where the Law is to be executed against United Irishmen. I had myself sworn a Constable for the County of Tyrone for 6 months.”

Thus fortified with the majesty of the law, and with the assistance of nine Dragoons, he arrested Cassells. On 5th February he laid some information, which is in the State Paper Office. It included the following (5) :

“I have taken one of the ringleaders of the United Irishmen in Aughnacloy, one Joseph Castles, a watchmaker, charged with having sworn a number of persons to unlawful oaths and other treasonable practises. Hope in a short time to bring more of them to Justice.”

Thomas Knox was gladdened by the arrest of Cassells. On February 4th he wrote from Dungannon to Sir George Hill (6):_ “Cassells is safe at Omagh. The people of Aughnacloy (a vile lot) were intended to rescue him.”

Movement takes the initiative
The failure of the French Expedition, and the arrest of their leaders were indeed checks to the United Irishmen; yet these checks together with the proclamation of many districts did not destroy the United Irish movement, in fact, it soon recovered from these blows, and was causing the Government authorities no little concern as the following letter from Lake to Pelham on 13th March 1797 will show (7) :-

“I think it necessary to say that from every information we receive that matters are drawing to a crisis and that there is a determination to rise very shortly .

Every town brings some fresh accounts of these scoundrels’ success in swearing in the men of the Militia; whether every report is true I cannot say, but I believe there is foundation for them and as I am so urged by General Knox and Lord Cavan to get them out of the district, I have to request you will if possible send Fencibles in their room. General Knox has received intelligence that the artillery and Militia men attached to the guns in Charlemont had determined to give up the fort whenever a Rising should take place General Knox has sent a strong detachment of the Northampton Fencibles into the Fort of Charlemont and sent the artillery men into the town keeping a sufficient for the guns.”

The Government already had felt it necessary to adopt new measures.

The latest measure really was to hand over the coercive powers already in operation in the proclaimed areas to the military to be ruthlessly enforced by them. The main purpose of the measure was to disarm the inhabitants; the authority was trammelled by no limitations whatever, as was expressly stated to General Lake, the Commander-in-Chief of the North. To this man there went forth from Dublin Castle on March 3rd, 1797 two letters, part of which I will quote;-

(A.) An explanatory covering letter from Secretary Pelham to General Lake regarding the instructions from the Lord Lieutenant to disarm the inhabitants of the Northern Districts. (8)

Dear Sir,
You will receive by the same messenger who will deliver this letter to you an official authority from the Lord Lieutenant to disarm the inhabitants of the North of Ireland suspected of disaffection. The authority is full without limitation excepting what your discretion may suggest You are aware that the great part of the counties, Down, Armagh, Antrim, Tyrone and Derry, are already proclaimed and consequently that the magistrates have authority this moment to carry this measure into effect, and it is much to be lamented that those gentlemen who urged the measure of the proclaiming were not prepared to carry the most efficient part of the Bill in to effect.”

The letter then goes on to re-enumerate the powers in less official language. I give a summary of them :-

1. Power to order registration of arms.
2. Power of search in houses and grounds of persons who have not registered arms or are suspected of giving a false account.
3. Power of arresting strangers.
4. Power of imposing curfew, and arresting ‘in fields, street, or road,’ anyone breaking it.
5. Power to enter houses in curfew, (absentees to incur the penalties of idle and disorderly persons).
6. Power to impound their arms from even qualified and registered owners.

(B). Instructions from the Lord Lieutenant to Lieut-General Lake with respect to disarming the inhabitants of the Northern District. (9)

Sir,
I am commanded by the Lord Lieutenant to acquaint you that from information received by His Excellency with respect to various parts of the North of Ireland, additional measures to those hitherto employed for preserving the public peace are become necessary. It appears that in the Counties of Down, Antrim, Tyrone, Derry and Donegal, secret and treasonable Associations still continue to an alarming degree, and that the persons concerned in these associations are attempting to defeat all the exertions of the loyal and well-disposed by the means of terror, that they threaten the lives of all those who shall venture from respect to their duty and oath of Allegiance to discover their treasons, that they assemble in great numbers by night, and by threats and force disarm the peaceable inhabitants; that they have fired on His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace when endeavouring to apprehend them in their nocturnal robberies; that they threaten by papers, letters, notices the persons of those who shall in any manner resist or oppose them; that in their nightly excursions for the purpose of disarming His Majesty’s loyal subjects they disguise their persons and countenances; that they endeavour to to collect great quantities of arms in concealed hiding places; that they cut down great numbers of trees on the estates of the gentry for the purpose of making pikes; that they have stolen great quantities of lead for the casting of bullets; that they privately by night exercise themselves in the practice of arms; that they endeavour to intimidate persons from joining the Yeomanry Corps established by law in order to resist a foreign enemy; that they refuse to employ in manufactures those who enlist in the said Corps; that they not only threaten but illtreat the persons of the Yeomen and even attack their houses by night and proceed to the barbarous extremity of deliberate and shocking murder … and that they profess a resolution to assist the enemies of His Majesty, if they should be enabled to land in this Kingdom. It further appears that the disturbances and outrages exist and even increase as well in the districts which have been proclaimed .

T. Pelham.

This certainly gives a startling view of the activities of the United Irishmen. The gentleman who now took over the control of the loyalist forces in the Eastern half of Tyrone was Brigadier-General John Knox, who made his Headquarters in Dungannon, and in West Tyrone it was Lord Cavan, in whose area of operations the Baronies of Omagh and Strabane lay.

It is remarkable that the course of action which was now adopted seems to have had no sanction of law; it was as illegal as the operations of the United men themselves. But that deterred nobody. Lake in Belfast informed the Government on March 13th that all the information he received tended to convince him that a speedy rising when the French arrived was determined upon, and urged that every precaution be taken; for his part he will impose “coercive measures in the strongest degree.” General Knox at Dungannon seems to have adopted the policy which had been .adopted already by his brother, magistrate Thomas Knox, namely of setting the Orangemen and the United men at loggerheads.

In the same month of March he wrote (10):-

But in the …. part of Tyrone, through which my brigade is at present quartered, a proportion of the people are hostile to the United Irishmen – particularly those calling themselves Orangemen …. I have arranged a plan to scour a district full of registered arms or said to be so …. and this I do not so much with a hope to succeed to any extent as to increase the animosity between ‘the Orangemen and the United Irishmen or Liberty men as they call themselves. Upon that animosity depends the safety of the Central Counties of the North.

Knox saw the incongruity of the Government measures which tried to impose Martial Law and to keep up still the facade at least of sustaining the Civil Code. He expressed this in a long letter to Pelham(11), on April 19th, 1797, in which he urged in the strongest terms the imposition of full Martial Law and the reduction of the whole North to utter subjection as if it were a foreign country at war with Britain. Having reduced it, he urged that the Government then offer the people Catholic Emancipation, Parliamentary Reform, and some Agrarian Reform in return for a Union with England. This he saw as the solution of the troubles that beset Ireland. He was particularly hostile to the Landlords in whom he seems to have seen no good. Knox went so far as to resign (or send in his resignation) on May 11th, 1797, nominally over a disagreement with other officers, but really, it would appear, over policy. When complete Martial Law was mooted, Knox quickly withdrew his resignation (Letter of May 12th) (12) :

“Since my letter of yesterday (his letter of resignation) I have learnt that the Report of the Secret Committee may induce Government to adopt decisive measures and proclaim Martial Law. I, therefore, request you will delay my resignation for a few days -as if Martial Law is proclaimed I wish above all things to assist in crushing the Jacobins of the North. “

Under the direction of Knox the Loyalists got more active. Here is an extract from a letter of the Reverend Armstrong to Mr. Knox dated 9th March 1797 (13) :

“I have got possession of 6 muskets in good order all charged, the locks off, found in the house of Catherwoods father beyond Stewartstown (Catherwood a watchmaker of Stewartstown now confined in Charlemont) against whom I received information for having a quantity of arms concealed; the old gentleman said they were registered. We have got two notorious Liberty men here from Munterevlyn, wealthy farmers. There was a third Liberated on bail in consequence of his having some days ago lodged a strong information against that unfortunate man, Mr. Russell.”

The name” Catherwood” is surely a mistake for Calderwood. Regular guards and patrols were established and the registration of arms was carried on. J. Knox writing to Lenox-Conyingham from Dungannon, on March 21st, 1797 said: “The United are taking up arms about Carranteel, I think that as soon as the registry business is settled, we shall recover most of the arms in the Barony(14).”

Another example of activity is afforded by the letter of Robert Lowry of Pomeroy to Pelham, dated 23rd March 1797 (15):

“Sir, ….
I waited on General Knox and by his direction have established a guard of 10 men to be stationed night about in the Church School-houses which are about 3 miles distant …. I had the Company out searching for arms. (The company consists of only 63) and neither met nor heard any person on our patrol. But what I dislike most in the appearance of the country, is the few arms I got the day I was out, I found safely built up in turf-stacks, well-charged with locks and screws off. On the guns being found, some gave me up the locks etc. Others I had information against refusing to give up any-swearing in the most solemn manner that they knew nothing of either guns or locks, I took the law into my own hands, made prisoners of them and sent them to the guardroom, promising to send them to jail the next morn, which had the desired effect for every gun, lock etc. was sent for and delivered up, perfectly clean and better appointed with flints than those I got from Government; We are at present tolerably quiet, but still dreadfully disaffected and I am sure the United business is coalescing more now than it was two months ago – for I thought it had at that time got a check, which I am sorry to say is not the case at present.”

With the warning of Lowry to Pelham that the United Irishmen are again advancing we take up the story of the proceedings of the Liberty men. The arrest of Joseph Castles did not apparently cow the rebels of Aughnacloy. Edward Moore, who arrested Castles, informed John Lees on the 30th of March(16) that the people of the town were every day becoming more and more disloyal and in their disloyalty more and more daring. They were disarming everyone who would not join the movement; they had damaged the house of Mr. Moore, the landlord and magistrate of the area; they had smashed his own windows; and they were threatening his life. “They don’t hesitate to say I will be sent after Hamilton (meaning the late Dr. Hamilton).”

The Report of the Committee of Secrecy of the Commons in Ireland (August 21st, 1798) included some information of the Provincial meetings of Ulster (17)• At the Provincial meeting on 14th April 1797 a census of the men and equipment in the different Counties was taken. The census for County Tyrone was :-

United Irishmen …………………14,000
Guns …………………………….     950
Bayonets ………………………     2,000
Pikes ……………………………    2,000
Lbs. of Powder …………………        90
Ball cartridges…………………    .2,263
Balls……………………………         427
Yeomen ……………………….        423

This list of men and arms is indeed formidable, especially when we remember the amount of arms confiscated by the magistrates, Yeomen, and Military. It would appear as if at least 2,000 men were prepared to take the field. Incidentally the number of United men had increased enormously since the Provincial meeting of the 24th of January of the same year when it was given for Tyrone as 7,500. This surely points to great activity in the month of March 1797, when we remember the check they had received in the beginning of the year.

(1) id., 620/28/206.
(2) id., 620/26/174.
(3) id., 620/28/285.
(4)td., 620/28/216.
(5) id., 620/28/260.
(6) id., 620/28/231.
(7) Pelham transcripts. T.755, Vol. IV, p. 165.
(8)McCance Collection, P.R.O. Belfast.
(9) ibid.
(10) LECKY ; History of Ireland in 18th century.
(11) Pelham transcripts, Vol. IV, p. 287.
(12) Pelham transcripts, Vol. IV, p. 28.
(13) Rebellion papers, 620/29/51.
(14) LENOX-CONYNGHAM, An old Ulster house, p. 139.
(15) Rebellion papers, 620/29/195.
(16) id., 620/29/142.
(17) Report of committee of secrecy of the House of Commons of Ireland.

Taken from “The United Irishmen in Co. Tyrone”. Published in Seanchas Ardmhaca, 1960/61.
Author: Brendan McEvoy Vol 4, No. 1, pp 1-32.

Baptism Records, Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone, 1869-72

Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone. Roman Catholic parish record extracts

Some comments on the film with these parish records and extracts from this film.

Baptisms: Feb 26th, 1837 – Nov 24th, 1840
Dec 5th, 1841 – May 2nd, 1852
April 21st, 1857 – Aug 3rd, 1865
Feb 1st, 1869 – Dec 9th, 1880
Marriages: March 5th, 1837 – Dec 11th 1840
Dec 5th, 1841 – June 10th, 1865
July 11th, 1869 – Dec 25th, 1880
Burials: March 7th, 1837 – Dec 5th, 1840
April 20th, 1857 – April 12th, 1861
July 27th, 1871 – Dec 30th, 1880
NLI Pos. 5585
PRONI MIC.1D/36

Notes: Baptisms:
February 1869
Bapts.
John of Patrick & Ellen Duffy.
Sp. James & Mary Quin Pomeroy
Bridget of Bernard & Ellen Hagan
Arthur & Bridget Hagan J. Baston

March.1869 Patrick of Patrick & Alice Heenan
Arthur & Mary O’Neil
Kavanagh. ?Keelan Upper

Patrick of Matthew & Cathn Kelly
Patk M’Cann & Ellen Raferty Pomeroy

Mary of Thomas & Rose Cullern
David & Ellen Cullen
G. Ga?ron Upper

Isabella/illig of Miles Loughnan & Ann Donnelly
Hanah Cavanagh
Largalea?

Joseph of John & Mary Anderson
James & Mary Quin Pomeroy

April 1869
Patrick of John & Sarah Ann Quin
James & Ann Mitchel Pomeroy

Henry of John & Bridget M’Gatlancy?
John M’Vey & Cathn. M’Gartlancy
Largalea

Alice of James & Mary Fenous or Ferons
Patk & Ann Rafferty
Altmore

Sarah Anne of Arthur & Bridget Muldoon
John & Cath M’Cart

May 1869
Catherine of Mark & Ellen Carberry
Pat & Mary M’Menamen
Shanmaghery

Henry Joseph of Daniel & Mary Conway
Rev. H. MCooey or M’Covey & Sarah Cavanagh
Pomeroy

Charles of Bernard M’Aleer & Cathe Loughran
Francis & Mary M’Aleer
Pomeroy

John of John & Mary Daly
Peter M’Shane & Cathe S?lam or Sean
Pomeroy

Anne of Patk & Bella M’Vey
Paul Criggan & Ms Monaghan
Pomeroy

June 1869
Michael of Bernard & Rose Magan
John M’Vey & Biddy Hervy
Cornamaddy

Michael of Michael & Sarah Daly
Rev. H. M’Covey & Ellen Branagan, Pomeroy

Anne of Michael & Mary M’Kernan
Bernard M’Kernan & Alice M’Guirk
Pomeroy

Catherine of James & Mary Quin
Michael & Sarah Quin
Shanmahery
Anne of Michael Hervy & Mary Carey
John & Sarah Carey
No location mentioned

Mary of John & Jane Mooney
John & Rose M’Clean?
Corrycoran

July 1869
4th John of Toal & Cath M’Cullagh
John Fox & Bridget Grimes
Pomeroy

11th Patk of Joseph Hart & Sarah Shane
Patk Grogan & Mary Hart

Two pages of records.
7 more pages clear writing.
Becomes spidery and written in Latin

48 pages of baptisms in Latin

Marriages 1869 – few townlands

July 11th, James Branagan & Catherine Art
William Foy & Margaret Foy

Aug 26th
James Goodwin & Anne Donnelly
James Donnelly & Alice M’Kenna

October 5th
John Corr & Mary Kelly
John & Bella Moore

November
11th Patrick Clarke & Bridget Quin
Patrick Quin & Thomas Glacken

1870
January
9th Patk Maguigan & Bridget Groogan
Peter & Sarah Groogan
23rd Peter Gillespy & Margt Foy or Low
John Fox & Rose Quin
27th Bernard Cor & Mary McVey
Michael Donnelly & Margt M’Vey

February
John Duggan & Rose Donahy
Charles & Mary Donaghy

20th James M’Glinchy & Elizabeth Hueson?
Peter Boyle & Margt. M’Vey

Next page
Marriages 1871
January
31st Arthur ?Quin & Margt M’Vey
Patrick Gilen & Margt Quin

Feb 8th
Robert Stewart & Mary M’Vey
John & Margt. Stewart

19th John M’Gorry & Ellen Monaghan
Andrew M’Gorry & Isabella M’Vey

21st. Bernard M’Gerrity & Bridget Harvey
John Coyle & Margt Coyle
21st Archibold Morrison & Elizabeth Kelly
Patk M’Slu?? or Slee and Susan Kely

May
4th James M’Elroy & Jane Gillespie
Daniel Gillespie & Hanna Hughes

June 15th
Michael Hoynes & Margaret Quin
Owen & James Quinn

Septembris
Changes to Latin!
14th
Michaelem M’Gurk (de Desertreight) & Margaretam Cunningham
Petro Coram & Joanne Donnelly

1872
January
2nd: Joannem M;Kernan & Elleanoram M’Veigh
Joanne Gillespie & Joanne Quinn
Dispense in Ban & Tempore.

About two pages of registers above

10 more pages in Latin

Burials 1871
In Latin

July 27th Alicia Kelly
Pomeroy
31st Susanne Tracecy
Pomeroy

August
1st Terrentius Murphy
Mondredowe

24th John Shane
Gortnagaran

September
4th Joannes Mooney
Coracroar

Nigellus Gillespie
Carnaghey

Novembris
15th
Michael Loughran
Largalea

Decembris
23rd Joannes McDonald
Corrycroar

25th
Joannes Hays Pomeroy
27th Hugo Kelly Pomeroy

1872
Januarii
11th Petrus Cassidy
Corracroar
13th Daniel O’Connor
Cornamaddy
16th Allicia Loughran Cornamaddy
23rd Patrituis Hagan Turnacarson?

Februarii
11th Petrius Donoghy Cornamaddy
12th Maria Corr Turnacarson
17th Joannes Casey Cavana Kieran
20th Margarita Donnelly Kilea
28th Hugo Devlin Pomeroy

Marta
5th Alicia Heagney Altmore

April
10th Joannes Corr Gortnagarn
21st Peter Donnelly Pomeroy

Page 1 of burials
8 more pages