Category Archives: Armagh

Plantation Survey, 1622, Co. Armagh

Edited by T. G. F. PATERSON, M.A., M.R.I.A. published in Seanchás Ardmhaca/


In the reign of Elizabeth the First there were three vain attempts at the colonization of Ulster, the earliest of which had its location in County Armagh. There Captain Thomas Chatterton had a grant(1) bestowed upon him on October 5, 1572, of Orior, the Fews and Gallowglass Country, on condition that he should plant and possess it before March 25, 1579. He was, however, slain by the O Hanlons of Orior shortly after the date of his patent, and as a consequence his heirs refused to risk their lives in perfecting a settlement in those areas. Two later experiments, one in County Down, the other in County Antrim, were equally unsuccessful, but in the early years of her successor a much more ambitious project came into being.

The Plantation of James the First was chiefly the work of three several commissions in 1608, 1609 and 1610, of which there is an excellent digest in the preface to the Calendar of State Papers of Ireland for the years 1608-1610, and a mass of additional matter in the recapitulations themselves. With the Patent Rolls and Inquisitions they form a useful and conveniently accessible index to the social, military and economic history of the period under consideration. Data in the same sources appertaining to the earlier years of Charles I will also be found extremely informative.

The Survey of 1608 was taken at the Moyry Castle July 2, 1608,(2) before a jury consisting of Sir Marmaduke Whitechurch(3) and seventeen natives of the county, viz:

Brian McDonnell
Xfor Fleming
Hugh McGilleduff
Patric Mri
Hugh O Lappan
Neece O Quin
Carbery McCann
Cormick McTirlagh
Owen Hughes
Patrick Oge O Cor
Donnell Neale
Calleigh McDonnell
Donaldus Caseus
Donagh McMurehy
Neal O Callaghan
Rory McPatrick
Turlagh McTeyre

Plantation Commissioners present comprised Sir Thomas Ridgeway, Vice-Treasurer and Treasurer of War in Ireland,(4) Sir Oliver St. John, Master of Ordnance in Ireland, Sir John Davies, His Majesty’s Attorney-General,(5) Sir Tobias Caulfeild, Sir Edward Blany,(6) and William Parsons Esquire, Surveyor General of: all His Majesty’s Possessions in Ireland.(7). From the document in question we learn that the barony of Orior had already been dealt with at Mountnorris. This examination of the lands of the county formed the basis for the more general scheme authorized in July, 1609. The Commission of the latter year was by far the most important of the three. It left Dublin July 31, 1609, and returned thence September 30. It reached Armagh city on Monday, August 7, and immediately began an investigation of the escheated lands. For that purpose the county was divided into five baronial, divisions each of which contained various precincts. Toughrany was not available for planting being held in part by the archbishop and the remainder by Sir Henry Oge O’Neill. The barony of Armagh was largely in the hands, of the Church and Trinity College, whilst the barony of Fews was mostly the property of the Church and of Sir Tirlagh MacHenry O’Neill. There were, however 15,500,acres disposable in Orior, 16,500 in O’Neilland, 6,000 in Fews and in Armagh 4,500 – the, quantities of these: proportions ,were greatly in excess of the acreages shown above.

The most momentous meeting of the week took place on Friday August, 12, when 22 jurors, (all with one exception from the leading septs or families) assisted the Commissioners in a fairly exhaustive.enquiry regarding the Temporal and Ecclesiastical lands of the county (8)

Under that particular Commission maps were prepared showing the forfeited lands and by the spring of 1610 the successful applicants had been chosen and their proportions assigned, though actual possession did not take place until the summer and autumn. Almost a year after Sir George Carew (9) with a new set of Commissioners made a visitation of the undertakers who had received permission to go ahead. It was found that a few settlers had made earnest endeavours to fulfil their obligations but that many such had not troubled to set to work either personally or by agents. Those complying with the Articles of Plantation were encouraged but the indolent and the absentees were bluntly threatened with confiscation. This resulted in many grantees selling their proportions and returning to their native soils, a state of affairs prevalent not alone in Armagh but in other countries as well. Carew’s Report is the first account implying progress. The Plantation remained somewhat static in 1612 and 1613 so in 1615(10) King James Ordered Sir Josias Bodley (11) to examine whether undertakers were neglecting their plantation duties. It thus came to pass that Captain Nicholsa Pynnar was commissioned to make a more comprehensive survey (12) in 1618-1619. From his findings we learn that by then a number of the original proprietors had sold out and departed but that their successors were busily employed in completing castle or bawns or erecting new dwellings – tenants by then had increased considerably. There were however exceptions: undertakers whose intentions were possibly good but failed to materialize.

Pynnar’s Survey though better known than Carew’s Report is less informative. For instance, it takes no notice of fortifications at Mount Norris (erected 1602), the Moyry,(1601) or Charlemont (erected 1602).To procure a really comprehensive view of the county as it was then it becomes necessary to study the Patent Rolls and Inquisitions of James I and Charles I and other allied material.

In the class of undertakers termed “Servitors” a lengthy list of Irish names is recorded but practically no reference is made to such grantees. in the above surveys or indeed in that of 1622. Other missing items consist of monastic and conventual lands, the great acreage bestowed upon Trinity College, Dublin, the much less substantial endowment for the Royal School of Armagh, and the smaller portions allotted to the Boroughs of Armagh and Charlemont.

The portion relating to .County Armagh was surveyed by the same three Commissioners as Tyrone, hence the linked heading (see Plate I), the inspectors being Lord Caulfeild,(14) Sir Dudley Digges,(15) and Sir Nathaniel Riche(16) Its title “Divers Reports concerning ye state of the Kingdom of Ireland upon the View of certain Commissioners sent by King James in 1622” suggests perhaps a larger area than is actually covered. It shows, however, a steady increase in the number of settlers on Plantation “proportions” in the County, a fact substantiated by a Muster Roll of circa 1630 from which we can arrive at a reasonably accurate estimate of the Plantation population at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1641.

The Survey is preserved in the British Museum amongst the “Additional Manuscripts” and is numbered “4756.” The text is here reproduced without any alterations in spelling or punctuation. Capitals have been adhered to also, but contractions have been extended for the sake of easy perusal-examples of those occurring in the Armagh section are illustrated below.

addicon = addition.
comer = conunissioner.
condicon = condition.
direccons = directions.
leaseholdes =leaseholders.
LP = Lordship.
plantacons = plantations.
pporcon = proportion.
proporcons = proportions.
revercon = reversion.
Sd = said.
undertents = undertenants.
Michas = Michaelmas.
undrtents = undertenants.
occupacons = occupations.
weh = which.
pcells = parcels.
wth = with.
pforme = perform.
ye = the.
(Final-con(s) etc. has a wavy accent not reproduced here.

The actual investigation was undertaken at the instigation of the King who, besides desiring fresh news as to progress, wished to show his displeasure towards certain people who had chanced to offend him. This he achieved by banishing them to Ireland!

A warrant was issued March 16, 1622, authorizing the payment of commissioners assigned for the carrying out of the Survey. It gives the names and remuneration of the individuals engaged, all men of some eminence, but of the nine noted below we shall only take notice of a few. They were as under-

Sir William Jones (14)
Sir James Perro (15)
Sir Thomas Penruddocke
Thomas Crew (16)
Sir Dudley Digges
Sir Henry Bouchier
Sir Nathaniel Riche
Richard Hadsor and Theodore Price (17)

Each member received an advance fee of £100 and an allowance of £1 10s. Od. per diem dating from February 20 of that year, and for the transportation of “all the said Commissioners” Sir Dudley Digges received an additional £100.

On March 20 we find the Commission augmented by (18)
Sir Adam Loftus Lord Chancellor (19)
Christopher Archbishop of Armagh(20)

Viscount Grandison of Limerick (21)
Charles Viscount ; Wilmot
Toby Lord Caulfeild (22)
Sir Dudley Norton
Sir Francis Blundell
Bart. Sir William Parsons, Bart.
Sir John Jephson
of whom no .less than four had links with Armagh.

The actual inspection of the county was, however, the work of, the three Commissioners mentioned earlier, ‘Lord Caulfeild, Sir;Dudley Digges and Sir Nathaniel Riche, and to them we are indebted for this account of. the Plantation ;in .1622.


My thanks are due to Mr. B. Schofield, M.A., Ph. D., Keeper of the Manuscript Collections, British Museum, for permission· to publish this practically. unknown survey; to Viscount Charlemont for leave to use a print of the portrait in his possession of Sir Toby Caulfeild, 1st Lord Charlemont; and to my colleagues Miss Elizabeth Frazer and Mr. D.R.M Weatherup, A.M.A. for valuable and much appreciated assistance in reading proofs.


(1) From the Queen by indentures under the Great Seal of England dated October 5 and afterwards by Letters Patent. The grant having been enrolled in England there was no office found of the breach of contract until 1610. C.S.P.I. (1608-1610), pp. 552-9 “Sir John Davys on King’s title to lands in County Armagh.”

(2) Vol. 3, E. 3. 13 and No. 582 Trinity College Library. All the jurors signed by “mark” excepting Whitechurch, Caseus, McTeyre, Fleming: McMurchy and l\-lri. What is almost a counterpart of the above most interesting and detailed survey has been edited and published in Analeeta Hiberniea, No.3, 1931, from a Rawlinson MS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The Trinity version is, however. the more profitable in that it gives townlands of Precincts individually instead of acreages or balliboes within such divisions.

(3) Came to Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth. Present at the battle of the Yellow Ford in 1598. Died January 31, 1634. Buried Loughbrickland, Co. Down, in which county he acquired a considerable estate by purchase from the Magennis family. He also secured lands in Louth. Monaghan and Armagh in which county he received a grant of 6 balliboes of the lands of the Nunnery of Killevy.

(4) Born 1565. Served in Ire land and was knighted 1600. Vice-Tteasurer 1603-1606.
Treasurer. 1606-1616. Created a baronet l616. Advanced to the peerage as Lord Ridgeway of Gallen Ridgeway, Queens County 1616, and in 1622 to the Earldom of Londonderry. Assisted in the preliminary work of the survey of the escheated counties and with his brother George acquired lands in Tyrone. Died January 1631-32 . Complete Peerage.and. D.N.B.

(5) 1569-1626. Appointed Attorney.-General for Ireland, Received a grant of 2,000 acres in Tyrone, 1,500 acres in Fermanagh and 500 acres in Armagh. Died 1631-32. Complete Peerage D.N.B.

(6) Accompanied the’ Earl of Essex’ to Ireland in 1598. Governor of’ Mountnorris Fort 1601. Present at siege of Kinsale. Knighted 1603. Seneschal of Monaghan 1604. Lord Lieutenant of Monaghan 1613-1615. Created Lord Blayney of Monaghan 1621, in which county, he received grants in 1607 and 1611. . Died February; 11, 1629-30. Complete Peerage.

(7) 1570-1650. Ancestor of the extinct Earls of Rosse .. Settled ,in; Ireland about 1590 with his brother Laurence, ancestor of Earls of Rosse of the second creation. As. a Commissioner of Plantation obtained considerable grants from .the Crown. Became Surveyor-General 1602.Cpntinued in Government posts until.l643in which year he. was charged with. treason and. committed to prison with Sir Adam Loftus and others. Died. February;.l649-50. Complete. Peerage, and D.N.B.
(8) Patent Rolls, 17 ‘James I, and GLANCY, Seanchas Ardmhacha. ,Vol. I. No. I,
pp.:76·93,’for,.an’exhaustive ·examination of-the Inquisition in ,question.

(9)Came to Ireland with, his brother’ Peter and entered Irish service ‘under” his cousin Sir Peter Carew. Born 1555. Died, 1629. Very active in Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth I and James I. and friend of Lord Mountjoy. The celebrated Carew Manuscripts contain much material of Ulster interest. Creatod Baron. Carew of Clopton (May 1605) and Earl of Totnes (February 1625-26). See D;N.B. and complete Peerage. For his Survey of County Armagh see Calendar Carew Manuscripts 1603-1624.pp:·78. 225-226, and 229 .

(10) GSP.I. 1615′-1625″ p.’ 25, King’s letter to Chichester.

(11) A celebrated cartographer of those days. He served as Governor of Newry in 1601 land was present at the raid on Loughrorkan, County Armagh on Apri16 of that year.

(12) Printed in Harris’s Hibernica (1747), pp. 112-1l7; Carew Manuscripts (1603-1624) pp. 415-418; but perhaps more easily consultable in, Hill’s Plantations pp.; 555-572. Pynnar came to Ireland in 1600 as a Captain in the army. In.1610 he offered as a “Servitor” to take part in the’ Plantation and in 1611 was ,assigned 1,000 acres in Cavan Appointed November 28, 1618, to survey the escheated counties. The importance of his celebrated work has perhaps been over estimated as fresh inspection was necessary three. years after. He does not seem to have ever taken up his, Cavan proportion and his report of l619 gives no particulars as to his reasons for withdrawal.

(13) The very large but scattered granges of the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul of Armagh had already been acquired by Sir Toby Caulfeild. About the same time Francis Annesley acquired the sites, ambits and precincts of the late Nunneries of Templefartagh and Templebreed in Armagh city.

(14) Born 1565. Seneschal or Governor of County Armagh. Had a distinguished army career. Served Queen Elizabeth gallantly in Spain and the Low Countries before coming to Ireland where he eventually secured lands in the Counties Armagh, Tyrone, Monaghan, Derry, Louth, Cavan, Fermanagh, and Donegal. His estates contained every variety of landed property among which were the very extensive grange lands of the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul of Armagh and the Fort and town of Charlemont with 300 acres attached in 1607. These he acquired before the Plantation of Ulster was actually decided upon, afterwards receiving a further grant of 1,000 acres in South Armagh where the remains of a bawn raised by him may still be seen. M.P. for County Armagh 1613-1615. Commissioner for Escheated Estates in 1616. Created Baron Charlemont 1620 with special remainder to his nephew Sir William Caulfeild, 2nd Baron Charlemont, ancestor of the present Viscount Charlemont. Died 1627. D.N.B. and Complete Peerage.

(15) 1583-1639. Diplomat and judge. Came to Ireland to act as Commissioner in 1622. See D.N.B. and C.S.P.I. 1615-1625.

(16) Born circa 1585. Had a legal training. Admitted Gray’s Inn 1609·10. Devoted at first to politics but later engaged in mercantile pursuits. Carne to Ireland with Digges in 1622 as a Commissioner. Died 1636. D.N.B.

(17) 1566·1640. Knighted 1617 and in same year appointed Chief Justice of King’s Bench in Ireland. In 1620 resigned and returned to the English Bar. In 1621 became a judge of the Common Pleas and in 1622 selected a member of the above Commission with which he remained until 1623. Again in Ireland on a like Commission in 1624. Transferred from Common Pleas to King’s Bench and proceeded to England where he died December 9, 1640. D.N.B.

(18) 1571.1637. Politician. “Subjected to an honourable banishment to Ireland” as a member of the Commission. His opinions were by then an embarassment to the
Crown. Died February 4, 1636-7. D.N.B. -.

(19) 1565-1634. Politician. Incurred the King’s displeasure because of opinions expressed in Parliament, and as a consequence sent to Ireland as Commissioner. Returned to England and was chosen Speaker of the English House of Commons in 1623. Knighted 1624. Again selected as Speaker at first Parliament of Charles I (1625). Died February 1633-4. D.N.B.

(20) 1570·1631. .Prebendary of Westminister and holder of various benefices. As a member of the Commission he earned the praise of the King and with it a promise of advancement, but when the Archbishopric of Armagh became vacant in 1624 through the ueath of Archbishop Hampton he failed to secure the appointment despite the undoubted influence of his friends. Died December 15, 1631. D.N.B.

(21) C.S.P.I. 1615·1625, p. 345.

(22)C.S.P.I. 1615·1625, p. 346.

(23) Circa 1588·1643. Lord Chancellor of Ireland and as such included in the Commmissioners who inquired into the state of the church and completed the Ulster Plantation. Created Viscount 1622. Nephew of Most Rev. Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Armagh 1562-1567. Died 1643. D.N.B. and Peerages.

(24)Christopher Hampton, D.D., Archbishop of Armagh, 1613·1625.

Will Abstracts, Co. Armagh

These are some examples of abstracts of wills and deeds. The pre 1800 are taken from the abstracts made by P.Beryl Eustace from wills and deeds held in the Registry Office in Dublin. Each abstract contains the names of people and places that are mentioned. Those with post 1858 dates are from the abstract books held in the National Archives in Dublin. The wills for which the post 1858 abstracts were created were amongst those that were destroyed in the fire in the Four Courts in 1922.

Pre 1858 abstracts can be helpful even for those whose ancestors did not make wills – here we have domestic servants mentioned, there are placenames which may or may not be phonetic variations on those we find in the 1851 Townland Directory. Connections can be seen from one county to another – here, William Clinch was from Dublin, but Simon Clinch from Co. Antrim is mentioned and Christian a widow in Newcastle.

ROBERT WILSON,Bukcomera, parish of Sego [Seagoe), Co. Armagh.
14 Dec. 1714. Précis, ¾ p., 16 Nov. 1715.
Wife Elizabeth Wilson: Son Robert Wilson. Sons Thomas and Ralph. Daughter Judith. 5/ – each to sons William and Francis, daughters Margaret, Ann and Elizabeth. 6/2 each to son John’s three children. Brother-in-law Wm. Mathers.
Bukcomra [Bocombra], Parish Sego (Seagoe), and An(n)agh, parish Dromnee [?Drumcree], Co. Armagh.
Witnesses : Thos. Mashers, Lylow, Francis Mathers, Edenderry, deceased Miles Reilly, Lurgan, and John David, Bukcomra, all in Co. Armagh.
Memorial witnessed by : John David, Richard Robinson.
16, 58 6894
Robert Wilson (seal)

JOHN McCARTNEY Dromsavage, parish of Mullaghbrack, Co. Armagh. 21 May 1716. Précis, ½ p., 18 Nov. 1718.
Wife Marrion. Sons James and Hugh McCartney. Lands of Dromsavage, Co. Armagh.
Witnesses: Thomas Johnston, Armagh town, Daniel Madowell, Derrynaught, parish of Mullabrack, and Arthur Graham, Ballyherriland, Co. Armagh.
Memorial witnessed by: Arthur Graham, Jn. Brennand.
21, 483, 12207
James McCartney (seal)

CHARLES ROE, Ballantaget, parish of Kilmore, Co. Armagh. 23 Feb. 1716. Narrate, ½ p., 17 Feb. 1718.
His wife. His two sons William and Thomas Roe. Daughter Anne, widow, late wife of Wm. Marcer, deceased. Daughter Mary, wife of John Workman.
ClonMcKate [Clonmakate), Canonease, Tinilkiney, Aghanelan and Richmond [? Co. Armagh), Carvily and Rossnaglogh, B. Dartroo, Co. Monaghan. Faultagh, Aughillagh and Ballantaget [Co. Armagh].
Witnesses: Thomas Lawson, Killmarearty, Co. Meath, gent., Thos. Cusins, Clare, gent., Chas. Atkison, Bellanagown, Thomas Dobson, Mannor of Richmond, weaver and Edwd. Ceany, Ballantagert, farmer, all in Co. Armagh.
Memorial witnessed by: John Atkinson, Drumeree, Co. Armagh, gent., Bruen Worthington.
22, 524, 12734 Thos. Roe (seal)

Anthony COPE, Dean of Armagh. (copies to Dublin and Armagh files)
7 June 1760. Codicil 26 March 1764. Full 8 pp. 5 May 1764.
My wife Sarah. My brother Arthur Cope exor. My brother Barclay Cope. My brother John Cope. My brother Robert Cope; Wm. Viscount Grimston, Harbottle Luckyn, Esq., brother to said Lord Grimston and Samuel Wegg, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Middlesex, Esq.
My estates in Co. Armagh, in city of Dublin and elsewhere in Ireland. My manor of Mount Norris, Co. Armagh being the town and lands of Killcarraneightra, Killcarranoughtra, Macknavarry, Moytoone Cornure, Cullentra, Drmner, Dromero, Kiddebegg, Tullallin, Tullyharrin, Kiddimore, Ballygorman, Derryclincan, Derrychucan,
and mill, Mount Norris, Two Shesraghs, the moiety of Kiercon. Kinkon, Dunclaire and Drumclarre; 4,300 acres. Also the town and lands of Granges of O’Neillan [? Grange Lower and Grange Upper, Barony Oneilland West] otherwise the Grange of O’Neiland otherwise the Grange of Oneland, Barony O’Neland, Co. Armagh, 586 acres. My douse at Hoghill in Dublin in which I now live(mentioned in codicil).
Witnesses: Frances Austen, Thomas Gregory, John Mockcallah, London, gents.
Codicil witnessed by : Rev. William Tisdall, Rev. Henry Blacker, clerks, Denis Doran, gent., all of Dublin,
Memorial witnessed by: David Buttle, Dublin, gent., Talbot Forde, Dublin, gent.
223, 610, 150365
Artr. Cope (seal)

Wills and Administrations, Newry, Co. Armagh

This is not a complete listing for any surname and only those names with Newry as an address have been used. Newry may refer to the town or somewhere else in the administrative area for this Church of Ireland diocese. The entries on this page are simply an example of the information to be found in the various indices to wills, deeds and administrations for Newry & Mourne, few of the original manuscripts remain.

Ulster for Your Holiday, 1939

Charles D. Trimble

Published in ‘Ulster’ the official publication of the Ulster Development Association Ltd., 1939.

When first the mists of time parted, and the story of Ireland began to take shape in the tales of the tribal seanacaides, it was of the deeds of the heroes in and around Armagh they told.

Ireland’s history was largely writ in Armagh, and the destiny of many nations was altered by the men who through the ages left the varied hills and plains of the County and City to carry their messages abroad.

To-day, there is not a parish, scarce a townland, in the county which does not bear some sign of days gone by. Flint man, bronze man, iron man, and steel man, each has left his trade mark, and those who would peer into the history of Ulster or of Ireland must come to Armagh.

The City to-day has an atmosphere all its own. Fine modern shops line the main streets, which bear names dating back fifteen hundred years, while side streets twist and curve up the steep hill to where the Cathedral of St. Patrick has stood since the day when the Saint made the City the Capital of his Church. For untold centuries before that, the ground was revered as holy by the pagan Irish. Armagh is the most beautiful inland town in Ireland; there is history in its every stone, but those who would go there should have some kindred spirit to accompany them, with whom to share the charm of the Ancient Citie.

“I found in Armagh the splendid
Meekness, wisdom and prudence blended
Fasting as Christ hath recommended
And noble councillors untranscended.”

(Prince Aldfrid’s Itinerary through Ireland, written circa 684. He was afterwards King of the Northumbrian Saxons and one of the many Englishmen who studied at the ancient School of Armagh).


The City of Armagh

Just how old is the City of Armagh even archaeologists do not know. It is named after Queen Maha, but there were three Mahas, and whether Ard Maha – the Hill of Maha – is called for that famous Maha who built the great Navan Fort outside the present city, or whether her earlier namesake named the hill itself 3,000 years B.C., legend does not say with certainty. One thing is certain, there was bound to be a city on Armagh’s hills, for it is situate where the two great roads into the Ulster Basin meet. One, the famous Moyry Pass, is probably the route by which the men of the Iron Age entered to drive the earlier settlers of the Bronze Age into Counties Down and Antrim, as later it was the way by which the great road from Tara passed through the Southern Ulster Mountains from the central plain of Ireland. The other road is the Monaghan corridor between the Armagh mountains and the water-logged country about Lough Oughter and Lough Erne. One of the most beautiful of Irish cities, Armagh was about 300 B.C. the seat of the Warrior Queen Maha, who compelled her captives taken in battle to build the great palace at Emhain Maha, of which the mounds and deep ditches can still be seen to-day, girdling the high hill which became for hundreds of years the centre of government for Ulster, and gave the city that importance which probably influenced St. Patrick later to make it the ecclesiastical centre of Ireland, which it has remained ever since.

Old as Armagh is, its history is packed with legend and story, from the time when Maha first traced Emhain Maha with her brooch, until in later times the O’Neills and O’Donnells under the Red Hand Banner drove English troops in route from the Blackwater, slaying their General, Marshall Bagenal, or later still Primates expended their fortunes on the wonderful library or the Observatory or on restoring the Cathedral.

Emhain Maha became the home of the Red Branch Knights, who for hundreds of years were to Ireland what Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table were to England. Under Conor, King of Ulster, there arose heroes whose deeds vie with those of the Odyssey and whose fights were sung by the harpists.

Probably the oldest church in Ulster still in use, the old Episcopal Cathedral of Armagh stands on the site where in 445 St. Patrick built his first cathedral. Part of the present building is said by some to date from the eighth century, and the present building was commenced in the thirteenth, being restored in the eighteenth century. In the grounds beside it are buried many celebrated clerics, warriors and kings, including Benen (successor to St. Patrick) and King Brian Boru and his son Morrough O’Brian, who in 1014 were killed after defeating, at Clontarf in County Dublin, the Danes and Northmen who had ruled Armagh, sacked and burned the Cathedral, and maintained a fleet on Lough Neagh. Not half a mile from the city, on the banks of the Callan River, lies the cenotaph of King Niall Caille, drowned there in 846 when warring with those same invaders.

Grouped round the old Cathedral are many noble buildings, including the Library which Primate Robinson endowed in 1781, and which ranks amongst the first three in Ireland. Over its porch an inscription in Greek characters is typical of the spirit of the place – “Pseuches Iatreion,” the “Medicine Shop of the Soul.” From the tower of the Old Cathedral the city may be seen at its best. Close by is The Primate Alexander Memorial Hall, erected in the present century in honour of the Poet-Primate. His wife, too, is well-known as the author of the hymns, “There is a Green Hill,” and “Once in Royal David’s City.”

In the old Cathedral are monuments by famous sculptors, such as Rysbraeck, Nollekens, Chantry, Roubiliac, etc., and many old Regimental and Volunteer colours, including a French colour, the only enemy colour ever captured with-in the British Islands, and the only colour ever taken in battle by a British Regiment of Militia. It was taken from the French at Ballinamuck in 1798 by the Armagh Light Infantry, when General Humbert invaded Ireland.

Across the valley on the opposite hill are lifted high to heaven the twin spires of the National Cathedral of St. Patrick, erected by the Roman Catholic Church by National subscription “cum Gloire De agus Onorana h’Eireann” (“To the Glory of God and the Honour of Ireland”) , and as a memorial to the National Apostle.

The Observatory was founded in the year 1790 by Primate Robinson, Baron Rokeby, on Knockamel (The Hill of Honey) , from which was issued in 1859 “The Armagh Star Catalogue” still a standard reference amongst astronomers. Here is to be seen the largest telescope in Ireland, with some unique clocks and instruments. The Director welcomes visitors if he receives notice of their coming. The building itself is a remarkably fine specimen of a small Georgian house.

The Primate’s Palace, a fine old Georgian Mansion, was built by Primate Robinson. It stands in the Palace Demesne and contains many fine paintings, including portraits of all the Primates since Adam Loftus, who came to the Archiepiscopal Chair in 1562, besides a number of royal portraits.

St. Malachi was born in Armagh, and a tablet on a house in Ogle Street records that this is the traditional site of his birthplace.

On the Benburb Road, some two miles from the city, and a half mile across country from the Navan Ring, is a circle of large stones known locally as “The Druid’s Ring.” It is actually the remains of an old burial cairn, and legend has it that close by in Terreskane, Conor MacNessa, a famous king under whom the Red Branch Knights reached their greatest fame, was buried.

Beside the city at Deans Hill is a square Georgian house built in 1765. Once the residence of the Deans of Armagh, it is now occupied by Senator The Rt. Hon. H. B. Armstrong, H.M.L., whose record of public service, extending over sixty years, is equalled by few in the country.

The “Book of Armagh,” now in Trinity College Library in Dublin, is one of the few books which have come down from the early days of history. It contains a life of St. Patrick, one of the chief relics of the See of Armagh, and a copy of the New Testament; written in 807, it is a copy of a much older manuscript. The “Bell of St. Patrick” is now in the National Museum, Dublin, and was used at the recent Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. It is probably a bell of St. Patrick’s time. Its Shrine is the most interesting specimen of the kind now existing, and is of a much later date, being executed between the years 1091 and 1105.

St. Patrick founded at Armagh a School which became famous throughout Europe. To-day the Royal School, founded in 1608, carries on the work begun many years before. The great Lord Castlereagh and the historian Lecky were amongst famous pupils of the past. The first Marquis of Wellesley, Governor General of India, who triumphed over Tippoo Sahib and destroyed the Empire of Mysore, was an old boy of the School, as was Leonard Gillespie, Surgeon of the Fleet to Admiral Lord Nelson, who has left the only known account of life on Nelso’ns Flagship ‘Victory’ Of later fame is C. S. Marriott, the English cricketer, and Admiral Sir Frederick Dreyer, who is not only one of the greatest living experts on gunnery, but is also, possibly, the tallest man in the British Navy.

Beside St. Patrick’s (Roman Catholic) Cathedral is the Diocesan CoIlege, carried on by the Vincentian Fathers.

In Armagh the Golf Club welcomes visitors, and there is good trout fishing in the CaIlan and Blackwater Rivers.

Holiday makers who seek a quiet inland resort, students of history, lovers of nature and the touring motorist will be delighted with a stay at this old city. The Great Northern Railway connects the city with Belfast and Dublin via Portadown, and there are good bus services, by which it is possible to reach all parts of Ulster. Two Swimming Pools, one large and one small, have been provided by the Local Authority, and add to the holiday amenities.

On The Mall, a pretty park which contains the playing fields of the cricket and rugby football clubs, is the County Museum, in which are housed many articles illustrating various phases of the past history of the County and City, as well as articles of more general interest. Attached to it is the Regimental Museum of the Royal Ulster Rifles, in which are many and varied exhibits dealing with the Regiment and its Special Reserve Battalions, which in former days were Militia Regiments, and included the South Down Militia, heroes of the famous ballad. Armagh County Council is the first in Ireland to have a Museum of its own.

Midway between Armagh and the Navan Fort, on the old coach road, will be found St. Patrick’s Well, which is said to overflow once a year. On the eve of the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, when this miraculous event takes place, there is an immense pilgrimage to the hill side where the little pool lies at the roots of a fairy thorn, always hung with many wisps of cloth tied there by worshippers. After the pilgrimage these are more numerous than ever.

In the Palace Demesne there are the ruins of an old Franciscan Friary, founded in 1266 by Primate O’Scanlan, of which now only the western archway and some fragments of high walls remain. The Friary was amongst those suppressed by Henry VIII. in 1542, and in 1561 it was burned by Shane O’NeiIl, who at the same time destroyed the Cathedral and the houses of the City, his excuse being – he would not have the English therein. In 1596 the ground Was the scene of a struggle between the troops of Hugh O’Neill and General Norris. The interior was used as a burying ground until about 1740; Gormlaith, wife of Domhnall O’Neill, King of Ulster, Was buried in the Friary precincts on the 14th April, 1353. Tickets for admission to the Friary can be had at the County Museum.

From the Friary, a pleasant woodland path leads towards St. Brigid’s Well; it is known as Lady Anne’s Walk (Lady Anne being the sister of Primate J. G. Beresford) and gives its name to the book written by the gifted daughter of the late Primate Alexander. Past Lady Anne’s garden, now a tennis court, the path comes to a little stream and turns right to the Palace, but to reach the well the path has to be abandoned, and the route strikes out across the meadow to the clump of trees where is the well, once a place which drew considerable pilgrimages; the waters were generally used for eye troubles, though they Were considered good for all ills. The Well was formerly overhung by “gentry” bushes on which rags of all colours could be seen fluttering in the breeze. It is said that Lady Anne brought some of the waters of the well to Queen Victoria when her brother, the Primate, went to pay his respects to the Queen on her accession.

Amongst the men who left County Armagh and made their mark on history was the Rev. Wm. Tennant, founder of the Log College, one of the first Colleges in the United States; it afterwards became the College of New Jersey, and is to-day known as Princetown University. Alexander J. Porter, the American Patriot; Sir Frank Smith, the Canadian statesman; William C. Wentworth, the greatest of Australian statesmen; Martha Maria Magee, who founded Magee College in Londonderry, all came from Armagh County, whilst among famous writers there were Rev. James Seaton Reid, Colonel Valentine Blacker, the military writer, and Stuart, historian of Armagh and a son of the Primatial City. Medicine received Dr. Henry MacCormac, father of Sir William MacCormac, Bart., James Macartney, the great anatomist, while Professor Francis Hutcheson, Glasgow University, well known for his writings and teachings on moral philosophy, Joseph B. Pentland, traveller and explorer, and James Bell, F.R.S., were others who left the Orchard County to win renown, and many more are recorded in the following pages, under the places which gave them birth.


Half a dozen miles north of Armagh, close to the Portadown Road, is Kilmore – The Great Church. Kilmore Parish Church in antiquity yields only to the Cathedrals of Armagh and Derry, and possibly is older than either, as it is reputed to date from 422 A.D. The Square Tower has walls of immense thickness, and these are the more extraordinary in that they enclose the almost perfect round tower of the Monastery of Cill Mho’r. Little is known of the Monastery, but it is reported to have been founded by St. Mochto in the fifth century.


A dozen miles north on the shores of Lough Neagh is Maghery, a hamlet which lies close to the fruit district. The hotel here has become in recent years the headquarters of a popular tour. Nearby is Coney Island, and old Ordnance Survey maps show “St. Patrick’s road said to run through the Lake” to the island. It was from Coney Island that Coney Island in New York Harbour gained its name, Maghery emigrants being responsible for the designation. In the graveyard attached to Maghery Chapel there are the remains of one of the old granges of the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul at Armagh.

At the Birches, in this vicinity, Thomas Jackson, father of the famous American General Stonewall Jackson, was born and lived until he emigrated to the United States.


Once Port-ne-dun, the Port of the Fort, situated some 10 miles north-east of Armagh, on the main road to Belfast, is one of the most thriving industrial and market towns in Ulster, although in the heart of the fruit-growing country which has earned for County Armagh the title of “The garden of Ulster.” It is a great linen centre, and, by reason of its bridge over the River Bann, is the gateway through which traffic for western and south-western Ireland must pass. It is the railway junction for the main railway lines
from Belfast, Dublin, Derry, Armagh, and the Midlands. Industrially, Portadown has many linen weaving and handkerchief factories, foundries, flour mills, and a cider factory, while its roses have a world-wide reputation.

The Bann Basin with its bogs offers the sportsman fishing and shooting, while the 30 acre public park, with its pleasant river, is yearly growing in beauty as the gardener’s work develops the shrubberies and coppices through which its pleasant walks meander. A new bowling green and a pleasure garden have recently been laid out beside the centre of the town on the banks of the Bann while other amusements include football, fishing, golf and tennis, with numerous reading and recreation rooms.

Close by was born “AE” – G. W. Russell – poet, painter, economist and a remarkable journalist.

Another distinguished Portadown man was Sir Robert Hart, first Inspector General of the Imperial Customs in China, who has been described as “The most influential and most upright European the East has ever known.” By his straightforwardness he made British integrity respected in the Far East. A tablet has been erected by the Ulster Tourist Development Association, Ltd. , in Woodhouse Street to commemorate this famous Ulsterman’s birthplace. Portadown is also the native place of Sir Robert Bredon, who succeeded his fellow-townsman and is almost equally famous. A fine new school erected by the Armagh Education Authority in Portadown is named the Sir Robert Hart Memorial P .E. School.

From Portadown to Richhill, Kilmore, and Loughgall a network of roads runs through a district covered with fruit trees and bushes. You may drive through this garden by narrow lanes and broad roads, coloured and scented by the pink and white bloom of fruit trees, by schools and villages which are gardens in themselves. The centre of the district is Loughgall, a quaint old place more English than Irish in atmosphere. Its one long street runs into, a little valley and rises again, and, unlike the customary white of Ireland, most of its thatched cottages are coloured the pink of apple blossom.

At Loughgall there are two planters’ bawns, and in the very pretty lake in the manor grounds is a crannoge, or island refuge. Permission can be obtained to go through the grounds.

Between Portadown and Loughgall was fought the Battle of the Diamond, which resulted in the formation of the Orange Institution. The first meeting was held in Jackson’s house in Loughgall and the table at which the Constitution was drawn up can still be seen there.


Five miles from Portadown on the Belfast Road is Lurgan – The Long Ridge – one of the chief centres of the linen industry, and the home of handkerchief making and embroidery.

Once in O’Neill’s land, Lurgan, or the parish of Shankill, was forfeited to the Crown after the flight of the Earls, and in 1609 Sir William Brownlow was given 2,500 acres which included the parish to “plant” With English families he founded the town, but in the Rebellion of 1641 Sir Phelim O’Neill destroyed it, and until the reign of King Charles II. no real effort was made to rebuild. Then the War of the Revolution broke out, Mr. Brownlow opposed James II., the town being again destroyed.

After the Battle of the Boyne, King William III. granted a patent for fairs and markets, and the industry of the people in the land made these valuable. When Queen Anne was on the throne William Waring, M.P., introduced diaper manufacture, and from that time Lurgan has never looked back.

Lurgan is not a mile from Lough Neagh, so that there is good shooting and fishing, and other sports include tennis, golf, cricket, football-both Association and Rugby and hockey, and there are good bowling greens. Visitors are welcomed.

There is a splendid public park beside the town, in what was the demesne of Lord Lurgan, descendant of William Brownlow, who founded the town. The park contains a beautiful lake of 53 acres.

In Lurgan was born on 20th October, 1674, James Logan, statesman and scientist, secretary to William Penn. He afterwards became Chief Secretary of the State, Provincial Secretary and President of the Council.


Five miles south-east of Portadown, and ten miles east of Armagh, is of considerable antiquity. It was founded by the O’Hanlons who helped to drive the Iberian princes from the Navan Fort and from County Armagh in 332; by building their castle at Tandragee, the O’Hanlons became guards whose duty was to keep the dispossessed Iberians in Counties Down and Antrim.

The O’Hanlons lost their heritage When O’Neill and O’Donnell had to fly in the first years of the 17th century and Tandragee was given to Sir Oliver St. John, who rebuilt the town. In the Rebellion of 1641 the O’Hanlons recaptured and destroyed the castle, about which time Capt. Henry St. John was shot through the head and killed by followers of Redmond O’Hanlon, the highway-man. The present castle, now the property of the Duke of Manchester, was built a century ago to replace the old mansion of the St. John’s and their successors.

When the Parish Church, also built by Sir Oliver, was being restored in 1812, the skull of Captain St. John was found. In 1849 transepts were added to the church, and on that occasion the skull was again exposed to view, and it was stolen, but four days later was found in the church-yard wrapped in brown paper.

There is excellent fishing near the town in the Cusher River. The industries are agriculture and linen weaving.

Tandragee was the birth place of George Benn, the historian, of Belfast.

At Relicarn, an ancient graveyard on the road from Tandragee to Scarva, may be seen the burial place of O’Hanlon, one of the most romantic of the 17th century highwaymen. This burial ground is notable also because of an ecclesiastical bell found here, the earliest datable example of its kind yet discovered in Ireland.


A beautifully situated village on the Cusher, a fine trout river, and not far from Tandragee, is chiefly notable for being the site of the Earl of Bath’s mill, which in 1641 was used as a prison by Sir Phelim O’Neill, the rebel leader. The glen here is one of the prettiest in the county.

Blackwatertown and Charlemont

To the west of Armagh lie the little villages of Blackwatertown and Charlemont, now of small importance, but in the time when The Earls of Tyrone disputed ownership of Armagh with the English, very important places indeed.

At Blackwatertown there are still to be seen the ramparts of the fort built in the sixteenth century to keep Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, in his own county, on the west bank of the Blackwater River. In 1602 this fort was replaced by one at Charlemont, from whose first commander, Capt. Toby Caulfield, the Viscounts of Charlemont of to-day are descended. Some years ago this fort was destroyed by fire, but the fine entrance gate, the old clock tower, and the outer walls still remain.

At Dartrey Lodge, not far from Charlemont, was born General Sir William Olpherts, V.C., whose fiery courage during the Indian Mutiny, where he won his Cross, earned him the soubriquet of “Hellfire Jack.”


In Plantation days Richhill district. midway between Armagh and Portadown, was granted to the Sacheverell family, who built a castle in Mulladry, destroyed in 1641 , and of which nothing now remains except an armorial stone brought to Richhill and placed in a house in the town.

The present mansion in Richhill demesne was built following the Restoration by Major Edward Richardson, who married the Sacheverell heiress. Here the Richardson family resided for many generations. The house was for a time the residence of the famous Dolly Munro, wife of William Richardson, M.P. for Armagh, whose coach, drawn by six grey horses, with outriders, was often to be seen in the City of Armagh in the latter days of the eighteenth century. The fine old gates, beautiful examples of mid-eighteenth century ironwork were taken in 1936 to the Governor’s residence at Hillsborough.

From Ahorey, close to Richhill, there went forth in 1807 Alexander Campbell and his father, Thomas Campbell, a former minister of Ahorey, to be the founders of the Baptist Church of America.


A thriving little town, some seven miles from Armagh, has a fine linen weaving factory and a good weekly market. Here is Gosford Demesne, where there is the castle which is said to be the largest house in Ireland; built in the nineteenth century, it cost some £250,000.

Previous to that the Acheson family (now Earls of Gosford) owners of the estate, had another residence, the remains of which can still be seen. Here Dean Swift was the guest of Sir Arthur and Lady Acheson in 1728-29.

Near by is Mullabrack Church, where some fine old monuments can be seen, including one to George Lambert, V.C., of the 84th Regiment, Adjutant to his Regiment.

This officer was born in the village of Hamiltonsbawn, a mile away, and won the Cross in the Indian Mutiny. At Mullabrack, too, Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, V.C., spent many of his boyhood days, his father being Rector.


Gets its name from the bawn or castle of John Hamilton, who was granted lands here in Plantation days and who died in 1633; he was buried in Mullabrack Church where his monument can still be seen, partly destroyed by ill treatment during the rebellion of 1641 .Lord Holmpatrick is the present representative of this old family.


Eight miles from Armagh, is a village in the heart of a delightful countryside. There is a fine Celtic Cross in the village and a very fine treble ringed fort at Lislooney.


Between Aughnagurgall and Armagh, is a little hamlet in a very beautiful valley, and is called after St. Tassach. Here there is an ancient Culdee burial ground and a unique group of three double ringed forts.


Is a thriving market town which was once a linen centre, but now the linen business is concentrated in the village of Darkley, a couple of miles away. It is about eight miles south of Armagh, and at Listrakelt, not far away, there is the ruined church of Derrynoose, an ancient foundation mentioned in the taxation lists of 1302 and 1306. In this district there are souterrains and earthen ringed forts, whileon the Mullyard hill are the remains of a megalithic monument.


A village to the north of Newry, in one of the three ancient passes into the county, was given its name in recognition of the feat of arms of Lieutenant Charles Poyntz of the English Army, who at the head of a comparatively small force, defeated a large body of O’Neill’s men in a hand-to-hand struggle. Formerly this ancient pass, like its neighbours at Scarva and Jerretzpass, was defended by a castle, the three being built by The Duke of Albemarle.

Sir Charles’ son, Sir Toby Poyntz, in 1684 built a Church at Acton nearby, and was buried in the chancel. This church is now in ruins. In this district are Tyrone’s Ditches, the remains of an earthwork thrown up by Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, in his wars with Queen Elizabeth between 1594 and 1603.

At Poyntzpass, too, there are the remains of the Black Pig’s Dyke, a great travelling earthwork, linking up the portions in Scarva and Goraghwood, with the sections in Seafin and Aghayollogue. This was built after the defeat of the Ultonians by the Three Collas in 332 A.D. as a boundary to divide the conquerors from the vanquished. It was a great trench averaging about thirty feet wide and is still some fifteen feet deep in places. The most perfect section now remaining is in Scarva Demesne close by.

Admiral David Lucas, V.C., the first Ulsterman to win the Cross, was born at Drominargle, near this village.


Is one of the prettiest villages in the county and takes its name from the fort erected here by John Norris in early Plantation times to link up the Moyry Castle with Blackwatertown and Charlemont Forts.


An isolated village in the Fews, takes its name from the Hamilton family, who founded it in 1770, but so long as the story of Lir is remembered, Newtownhamilton will not be forgotten, as it was at Shee Fina, outside the village, that King Lir had his palace. The old coach road from Dublin came down that way and it was a great haunt of Tories in the old days. The Fews and the Black Bank Barracks were built early in the eighteenth century, one on each side of the village, to protect travellers, and from that time the trade of highwayman became too dangerous. At Harrymount in Tullyvallen and at Dorsey there are burial mounds from which bronze age burial urns have been obtained. Here is the Dorsey, an earthwork enclosing 2,678 acres, the largest entrenched enclosure of its kind in Ireland. It was probably built to guard the approaches of Emhain Maha.

At Aughnagurgan, some miles to the. west, there is a dolmen and a passage grave-and a lake full of little fighting trout; in fact this is a miniature .’lake district.”

At Ballymoyre, which is not far from Newtownhamilton, there will be found the ruins of an old church; there are two beautiful glens, the Upper and Lower, in one of which lived Florence MacMoyre, the last Keeper of the Book of Armagh. It was through this office that the family obtained the surname of MacMoyre, “Sons of the Keeper,” and they held eight townlands by virtue of this trust. These townlands comprise the parish of that name.

And now for South Armagh, where the traveller finds the character of the country completely changed. Instead of the rather flat land of the north of the county, or the rolling hills surrounding Armagh City, the slopes become steeper and steeper, until they culminate in the massive peaks of Slieve Gullion and his lesser brethren, which for thousands of years have guarded the borders of the men of Ulster.

The scenery is magnificent. From Newry a road can be taken which climbs steadily until it hangs on the steep hillside a thousand feet over the silvery waters of Carlingford Lough, with beyond it the blue slopes of the Kingdom of Mourne. At the Flagstaff, even higher up, there can be obtained one of the finest views in Ulster. On a clear day county after county is spread out like a coloured map, until the eye catches far away the hills beyond Belfast, the gleam of Lough Neagh, and the blue of the hills of Tyrone.


A prosperous village, near Newry, set amid enchanting scenery, is an ideal centre from which to explore the South Armagh mountains. Bessbrook itself has earned the distinction of being looked upon as a model village. Close by is Deramore House, a picturesque thatched residence, where the Act of Union was drawn up in 1800. It was built by Isaac Corry, last Lord Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, and it was here that he and Lord Castlereagh held the famous consultation. Close to Bessbrook, in Ballybot (now Queen Street, Newry ) , was born Lord Russell of Killowen, a famous Lord Chief Justice of England.

A short distance away, nestling in the mountains, is Camlough Lake, providing Newry town with its water supply. The surroundings are almost alpine in their picturesqueness, and a scheme of re-afforestation when completed will add still further to the beauty of this district.

In the vicinity of Camlough is Slieve Gullion, dominating the scenery for miles round, and one of the most interesting and most romantic mountains in the whole of Ireland. It is for ever linked up with Cuchullain, one of the greatest of the heroes of the Red Branch Knights.


On the south-eastern slopes of the mountain is the ancient church of Killevy, founded by St. Moninna, who was born in the year 409. In 450 she erected a wooden church here, which is said to have been replaced in 518 by a stone building, here are the ruins of a thirteenth century building and of another many centuries earlier, with a magnificent square-headed doorway. Like Armagh, it suffered from the raids of the Norsemen who pillaged it from Carlingford Lough. There was a round tower here and there is a holy well to which there are still very large pilgrimages.

Nearby in Clonlum townland there are two important cairns, both under the protection of the Armagh County Council, and on Ballymacdermott mountain not far away there is a very perfect three chambered horned cairn.

Annaghcloughmullen, near by, is the site of the first recorded cairn of this type in Ireland.


Moyry Castle was built in 1601 by Lord Mountjoy to secure the pass to the English, who had always great difficulty in forcing it. The place was a danger spot, as the surrounding hills were thickly wooded and were easily defended by a small body of men against even a very large force. It was here that in 1600 Lord Mountjoy defeated O’Neill in two battles. Immediately afterwards he cleared away some of the timber and set about building a fort and castle, and thereby made possible the Plantation of Ulster. The keep or tower remains and is a very picturesque feature in the scenery.

In the adjoining townland of Edenknappa is one of the earliest datable Christian monuments in Ireland, erected before the year 716. Locally, it is, known as Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone (The Church of the Priest) .

Towards Forkhill, the scene is ever changing. At one time the road runs, as it were, along the top of a vast basin, the bottom of which is a chess board, with vari-coloured fields, green and brown and yellow, for squares, and cattle and cottages and perhaps a little grey church for pieces. Round the board stand sentinel the mountains, with Slieve Gullion looming dark in the background. And everywhere there are the stones, the burial cairns, cashels and raths of prehistoric man. This was the country where the men of Ulster stood on guard. It was here that they turned and fought back at the later invaders from Southern seas, who had gradually driven them northward ; it was here that those same invaders, in their turn, coming north, turned and fought with the English who sought to extend their pale to St. Patrick’s City and the bushes of Tyrone. Here they made their stand, and from here right to Armagh, the country is dotted with relics of their occupation, set amidst a wild beauty of scenery.


The best way to reach Fathom is to turn in at Cloghoge Chapel, and continue up past the Flagstaff, taking great care not to cross the Border, but turn right to the Dublin-Dundalk road. There is much to interest the antiquarian here. At Clontygora is a magnificent horned cairn and there are cashels at Lisdhu and Lisbanmore,


Is a beautifully situated village, with a good trout stream running through it. The village is in the midst of delightful mountain scenery, and near by is Glendhu, one of the prettiest views in the North, with Slieve Gullion in the foreground, flanked by Carrickasticken Mountain and cairn crowned Carrickbroad.


Is another delightfully situated place in the valley of that name. It contains many places of interest, one being an old burial ground connected with St. Patrick. There are burial cairns at Lathbirget and Ballykeel.


Is a market town with a square, which is locally believed to be the largest in Europe. This is a most interesting district, and contains the parish Church of Creggan, a very ancient foundation, beautifully situated. There is good fishing in the Fane River, which here forms the Border between Northern and Southern Ireland, and near by is the ruined Glassdrurn.mond Castle, the home of the O’Neills of the Fews. It is a splendid country for earthen forts, the treble ringed example at Lisleitrim being one of the finest in the county. There are the remains of a burial cairn at Corran and a horned cairn at Annamar. On the crannoge in Lough Ross the plot for the Rebellion of 1641 was decided upon.

Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Armagh

Armagh an inland county in the province of Ulster,it is bounded in the north by Lough Neagh and Co. Tyrone; on the east by county Down; on the south by county Louth; and on the west by counties Monaghan and Tyrone. The length of county Armagh from north to south 33 miles; and it’s breadth from east to west is 21 miles.



The name of the county is derived from the City of Armagh, and belongs to pagan times. The oldest form is Ard Mhaca, or Macha’s height – Macha being a semi mythical heroine, the foundress of the palace of Emania, 300 years B.C.
The county formed part of the ancient kingdom of Oriel. The eastern part of this kingdom called Oirthera (meaning “eastern people”) was the territory of the O’Hanlons, and the name is preserved in that of the Baronies of Orior. The old territory of Hy Niallain, is now represented in name and position by the Baronies of O’Neilland. On the shore of Lough Neagh, round the mouth of the Bann was situated the ancient district of Hy Brassil or Clanbrassil.


The northern part of the county is flat, with a good deal of bog. The greater part of the rest consists of gentle hills with fertile valleys between. Towards the south it becomes more hilly culminating in Slieve Gullion. Limestone was quarried plentifully round Armagh city, the finer part was good marble.

The chief mountains with their heights in feet are the following: Slieve Gullion (1,893). The highest points of the Newry mountains, 2 miles west of Newry are Camlough (1,385) separated from Slieve Gullion by a deep valley and Ballymacdermott (1,019). The Fews mountains form a long low range of which Deadman’s Hill (1,178), Carrigatuke or Armaghbreague (1,200) Darigry (1,093), Tullyneill (1,014) and Mullyash (in Co. Monaghan) (1,034) all lie near Newtown Hamilton. Vicar’s Carn (819) is 3 miles west of Markethill. Three miles south of Newry is Fathom Mountain (820); and at the extreme south east belonging partly to Co. Louth is Anglesey (1,349). The highest of the low hills on the south round Forkhill is Slievebrack (890).
The principle rivers are the Upper Bann, which flows for 12 miles through the county, from Carrick Blacker to where it enters Lough Neagh. The Blackwater, flowing into Lough Neagh, forms, for nearly all of its course, the boundary between counties Armagh and Tyrone. The Callan flowing by Armagh city and the Tall river join and enter the Blackwater below Charlemont. The Cusher formed by the junction of the Creggan and Blackwater, joins the Bann above Portadown. The White River flows through Newtown Hamilton, and in its course takes the names of Cullyhanna, Creggan and the Castletown (in Louth) , entering the sea at Dundalk.

North and west of Crossmaglen are the following lakes: Ross & St. Peter’s (both partly belonging to Monaghan); Lough Patrick, Kiltyban, Lisleitrim and Cullyhanna. Camlough lies between Camlough Mountain and Slieve Gullion. Clay Lake is near Keady; bordering on Lough Neagh are Lough Gullion, Derrylileagh, Derryadd and Annagriff.
The Newry canal skirts the county on the east.


There were 25,363, families in the county according to the 1911 Census for Ireland, the average number in each family being 4.23. The number of ‘inhabited houses’ was 25,532, with an average of 4.26 persons to each house. The Special Inmates of Public institutions are omitted from these figures.

There were in the county 17,955 ‘Occupiers’ or ‘Heads of Families’ who were in occupation of less than five rooms, this was 70.8% of the total for the whole county. Of these 281, or 1.1% occupied one room; 4,293 or 16.9% occupied two rooms; 6,061 or 23.9%, occupied three rooms; and 7,320 or 28.9%% were in occupation of four rooms.

There were 157 tenements in the county, in which the room had only one occupant at that time; 103 cases where the room had two, three or four occupants; 21 cases in which there were five, six or seven occupants and four cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 in number, including one case where nine persons occupied the same room.


Year Males Females Total
1821 96,075 101,352 197,427
1831 107,521 112,613 220,134
1841 113,892 118,501 232,383
1851 95,717 100,367 196,084
1861 91,558 98,528 190,086
1871 86,117 93,143 179,250
1881 77,683 85,494 163,177
1891 68,370 74,919 143,289
1901 59,773 65,619 125,392
1911 58,578 61,713 120,291
1926 52,609 56,461 110,070


1911, there were in the county 98,742 people aged 9 years
and upwards; of these 81,654 or 82.7% could read and write;
5,810 or 5.9% could read only; and 11,278 or 11.4% were illiterate.
As that census was the first for which the age for consideration
had been raised from 5 years to 9 years, no comparison can
be made with figures from earlier censuses. But – the percentage
of those of five years and upwards who were unable to read
and write in 1891 was 18.6%. By 1901 this figure was listed
as 16.0% and in 1911 had fallen to 14%.

SPEAKING (1861-1911)

of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
2 2 0 36 21 249
& English
3,484 4,485 2,792 6,851 3,903 8,716
3,486 4,487 2,792 6,887 3,924 8,965
of population
2.3 3.6 2.4 4.2 2.2 4.7

1871-1926(% of population)

Religion 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926
Presbyterian 15.8 16.00 16.00 16.02 15.77 15.4
of Ireland
32.50 32.70 32.20 32.64 32.45 32.1
47.50 46.40 46.10 45.18 45.33 45.4
Methodist 2.60 3.00 3.70 4.07 4.20 4.40
Others 1.6 1.9 2.0 2.09 2.25 2.7


1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
29,496 17,674 19,603 20,577 7,208 8,408

Presbyterian (Seceders) Synod, 1833: Congregation Index

Roman Catholic Parishes, 1836: Parish Index

This page features a list of over 1,300 record parishes from the Roman Catholic Parishes index of 1836.

Official Authorities, 1834, Co. Armagh

1821 : 197,427
1831 : 220,651

Constituency : 3,342

Honorable Archibald (Acheson) Lord Acheson, son of Earl Gosford. 1 Connaught place, London (England) ; & Gosford Castle, Market Hill

Colonel William Verner, 37 St. James’s place, London (England) ; & Church hill, County Fermanagh.

Right Honorable Earl of Gosford. Godford Castle, Market hill & Jermyn street, London (England)

HIGH SHERIFF : James Eastwood, Esq. CAstletown

CUSTOS ROTULORUM : The Right Honorable Earl of Gosford


Assistant Barrister : Edward Tickell, Esq., K.C., and Counsel to Post Office. 10 Clare street


Militia Staff stationed at Markethill:
Colonel : Earl of Gosford
Adjutant : Captain J. P. Barker
Agents : Armit & Co.

Clerk of the Crown : Leonard Dobbin, Esq., Armagh & 23 Gardiner’s place
Clerk of the Peace : Rpbert McKinstry, Esq.
Deputy Clerk of the Peace : John McKinstry, Esq.
Treasurer : William Irwin, Esq., Violet Hill, Castleblayney (Co. Monaghan)
Secretary to the Grand Jury : Thomas Kelly Evans, Esq., Armagh
Sub-Sheriff : Henry Rowan Barker, Esq., of Harrymount, Newtown Hamilton
Returning Officer: William Barker, Esq., 18 George’s place
Coroners : Michael Magee, Esq., Armagh ; Thomas Mathers, Esq., Lurgan

County Gaol Armagh
Inspector : William L. Kidd., M.D.
Chaplain : Rev. Cosby Stopford Mangan
Roman Catholic Chaplain : Rev. James Byrne
Presbyterian Chaplain : Rev. Pooley Shuldham Henry
Surgeon : Alexander Robinson, M.D.
Apothecary : Mr. Andrew Maziere
Governor : Mr. John Turner

Distributor of Stamps : N. W. Upton, Armagh

County Infirmary :
Surgeon : Alexander Robinson, M.B

District Lunatic Asylum at Armagh, for the Counties of Armagh, Monaghan, cavan and Fermanagh
Manager: Mr. Thomas Jackson
Physician : W. L. Kid, M.D.

John Allen, K.C., and Special Bail K., Armagh
W. Atkinson, E., Portadown
Thomas Hall, N.P. Ch. K.C., Lurgan
R. Livingston, Ch., C.E., Armagh
Michael Magee, Ch., K.C.E., and Special Bail K.C.E., Armagh
Patrick M’Connell, K.E., Tanderagee
J. Mathers, K.E., Lurgan
John Nevil, Ch., C.E.
J. Prentice, Ch., K.C.E., Tanderagee
Richard Trotter, Ch., K., Tanderagee
John Wiles, K.E., Newtownhamilton
John Obins Woodhouse, K., Portadown

Estate Records, Co. Armagh

The following are lists of estate records that exist for Co. Armagh. There are a few ‘categories’ of records, rent rolls or leases are probably the most useful for any family history researcher or maps that include tenants names. These are the type of estate records for which references are usually found. There are however, other types of esate records which may prove of use such as account books, petitions and proposals from tenants, lists of landlords families and also vouchers or receipts. These can be overlooked when creating any list of estate records.

For the most part, estate records remain in their original manuscript form. These have not to the best of my knowledge been filmed by any organisation outside Ireland or England. Copies of some of these records are held in repositories in Dublin, but the majority are held by PRONI. The Latter Day Saints Library may hold some estate records on film or copies of books written about landlords.

This page lists the the names of the landlords, (bold) and some records existing for their estates – the manuscript or film numbers all refer to material held in Ireland. Where there is only one reference for any Landlord, then the years covered are beside the Landlords name. Where there is more than one reference then the Landlords name is at the top of any grouping and the years listed with each manuscript reference under that name.

The estates that your ancestors lived on (if they did) may at times be found by checking through the Tithes Applotment/Griffiths Valuation lists for the parish or county.

An explanation of estate records with index for other counties

The Following abbreviations are used:

PRONI : Public Records Office of Northern Ireland
NAI : National Archives, Ireland (Dublin)
NLI: National Library Ireland (Dublin)


Alexander, Blacker 19C
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D959/2

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D294/93
Rentals,Maps, Leases.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D294/137-40

Rentals – civil parish of Newry.
Journal of the County Louth Archaeological & Historical Society, 1950. Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 151-3

Rentals,Estate accounts, Landlords or relations.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D3727

ASHMUR 1849-6
Rentals, Estate accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D847/16/1

Rentals, Maps, Estate accounts, Deeds, Wills, Miscellaneous.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland Dl253/2
Rentals,Estate accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2204/l2

BAFOUR 1811-82
Maps with tenants names.
National Library. 15B.4 :6-9

CALEDON 1805-51
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2433/B/4/1-8
Estate accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2433/ A/6/81-8
Estate accounts. Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2433/A/11/2-7
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2433/B/11-13
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2433A/6/22-37

CAREEY, DOBBIN 1839-1866
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/332

Estate accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/320

Rentals – major tenants – civil parishes Eglish, Forkhill, Grange, Keady, Kilclooney, Killevy, Lisnadil, Loughgall, Loughgilly, Mullaghbrack, Tartaraghan.
National Library of Ireland. Ms. 2702
Freeholder’s List.
National Library of Ireland. Ms. 3784.
Rentals Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/322-3
Rentals Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/327
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D291/15-23
Agents, Landlords or relations.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/367

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/362

Estate accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/368

17TH-19TH Century
Deeds, Wills, Leases.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1345
Valuations, Maps, Wills.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland TI395/37-8
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2415
Public Records Office Northern Ireland T1512
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D999
Landlords or relations.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1345/13
Estate Accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1345/17
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1345/38
Public Records Office Northern Ireland T1395

COREY 17th-20th Century
Rentals,Maps, Deeds.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D959

CRAIG 1836-69
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/346

Maps with tenants names.
National Library 15A19
Rentals, Information on mode of tenancy.
National Library. Ms. 1648
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/343
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/287
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/335
National Library. Ms.5674

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1670/3/2

National Library of Ireland, Ms. 3183 & 3283
National Library of Ireland, Ms.3185
National Library of Ireland, Ms.3188
National Library of Ireland, Ms.3189
National Library of Ireland, Ms.1648
National Library of Ireland, Ms.5674
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D3053/10

DOBBIN, IRWIN 1838-1912
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/356

DONNELLY 1847-50
Estate information.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland T682

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1954/1/24-40
Public Records Office Northern Ireland DI954/3/15-16
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D778/1106-79

EVANS 1819-94
Rentals,Landlords or relations.
National Library Ms.8536

FORKHILL 1849 & 1854
Tenancy Returns.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland T529/12;18

FOX 1833-67
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/325;334

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D727
Public Records Office Northern Ireland T1233/1

GREER 1845
National Library. 15B.3:8

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2090
Estate & household accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1540/1/38

HARDEN 1678-1897
Maps, Deeds, Leases, Wills.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1007

HARDY 1852
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1253/4/7

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D712/1-77

IRWIN 19th Century
Tenants: mode of tenancy and observations on
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D268/122
Estate Accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2523/2/6
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2523/1/8-12
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D268/124
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D268/126

JOHNSTON 1791-1802 & 1853.
Rentals – Eglish parish.
National Archives of Ireland, M. 3508

Public Records Office Northern Ireland T1513
Leases, Wills.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2638/3-4
Rentals Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2638/16-17

17th -19th Century
Rentals, Lists of evicted tenants, notices to quit; Surveys & reports, Valuations, Maps.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1928
17th -19th Century
Wage accounts, Leases, Wills, Landlords or relations.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1928
Public Records Office Northern Ireland T2485

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1616

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D568

Public Records Office Northern Ireland T514/22

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D288/C/2
Deeds, Leases.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2881 A/11-20
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D288/F/21
Wage accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D288/169

Leases, Miscellaneous.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D313
Rentals, Leases.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/344
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/224-50
Estate accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/320

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/357
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D727
Deeds, Wills, Miscellaneous.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D2404
Stewards, financial advisors, and others.
National Library Ms.13292

Rentals – Seagoe
National Archives of Ireland, M. 2977
Rentals,Estate accounts.
National Archives. M2977

1753 & 1770
Rentals – Drumcree
National Library of Ireland, Ms.4736

OGLE 1840
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D924/123-32

POOLER 1848-53
Public Records Office Northern Ireland f)266/352

PRENTICE 1836-71
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/340

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/329-31

QUIN 1841-42
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/348

SIMPSON 1848-53
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/350

SYNNOTT 1840-41
Rentals Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/351

Trinity, Mun V81/5
Trinity, Mun V80/2-4
Trinity College, Dublin, Mun V78/6-7

Public Records Office Northern Ireland D236/533-5
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D236/450-65
Estate, wage accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D236/486

Rentals, Estate accounts.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1252/7/9

Tenants list – civil parishes of Armagh, Clonfeacle, Derrynoose, Drumcree, Killyman, Kilmore & Tynan.
National Library of Ireland, Ms. 3922
17th -20th Centuries
Deeds, Wills, Leases, Miscellaneous.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D662
Deeds, Leases, Wills.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D889/1-2
18th -20th C
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266
Leases, Wills.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D476;T877
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D462;T858
17th -19thC
Surveys & reports, Deeds, Leases, Wills, Miscellaneous.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D556
Deeds, Leases, Wills.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland T810
Deeds, Leases, Wills.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland T1009
Deeds, Wills.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D1253/10-11
Maps with tenants names.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland D266/378
Deeds, Wills.
Public Records Office Northern Ireland T618/152-90