Armagh Plantations, Ballevoran Manor, 1622

(3) The Manor of Ballevoran (2,000 acres).


This property was granted to William Powell of Tutbery in Staffordshire.

Like his brothers he had a situation in the King’s service. It seems probable that he had no intention of crossing to Ireland. Carew in 1611 reported that Powell had turned over the lands to Mr. Roulston and that no freeholders or artificers were settled upon them nor any work done saving the building of two bays of a house. Pynnar in 1619 shows considerable progress and states that “Mr. Obbyns” the then owner had built a bawn within which there was a good fair house of brick and lime, himself dwelling thereon.” Twenty tenants had procured land, who with their undertenants were able to make, 46 men with arms.(1)

Pynnar, through some carelessness in obtaining particulars relating to Obins, neglects to state that the Rev. Richard Rolleston the grantee of the Manor of Teemore in the same barony, owing to financial difficulties, had been unable to retain his purchase from Powell and, as a consequence, was compelled to resell to Richard Cope of Loughgall who had passed half to Michael Obins, retaining the other 1,000 acres for his sons Walter and Anthony Cope. Obins died September 26, 1629, leaving a widow, Prudence Obins, and a son John. Mrs. Obins died April 5, 1635, and John died May 14 of same year leaving by his wife, Eliza Waldron, an only son Hamlet then aged 6 months – see Inquisitions of Ulster (22) and (35) Car. I.

Michael Obins above seems either to have been improvident or financially insecure. At any rate proceedings were taken against him in 1626 which resulted in some 380 acres having to be sold- the remaining 620 acres were, however, granted to his widow and son. The Survey of 1622 confirms that he was then in prison in England but that his wife was resident. Michael Obins’ descendants in the Manor of Ballyoran (better known perhaps as Portadown) took a keen interest in the property. With Richard Cope he was responsible for the first bridge there. Anthony Obins of a later generation was concerned in the development of the canal from Newry to Portadown, a service that by the end of the 18th century resulted in the latter town becoming a useful inland port.

The last of the name to hold the property was Archibald Eyre Obins. Born 1776 and educated at the Armagh Royal School he subsequently entered T.C.D. in 1793, later taking Holy Orders and settling in England where he died at Bath in 1868.

His mother was the Honble. Nicola Acheson, daughter of Sir Archibald Acheson, Bart. and sister of Arthur Acheson, 1st Viscount Gosford. Her niece, the Lady Olivia Acheson, married Brigadier-General R.B. Sparrow of Tanderagee, a family relationship that brought about the purchase of the Obins estate by the Sparrows in 1820, for whom see (15) Manor of Ballemore.

(1) HILL, p. 559, gives “40 men” but in Hibernica and Carew the number is shown as “46” so we may assume the latter figure to be correct. ‘

from from “County Armagh In 1622 A Plantation Survey”
Edited byT. G. F. PATERSON, M.A., M.R.I.A. published in Seanchás Ardmhaca