Terence O'Rorke.

History, antiquities, and present state of the parishes of Ballysadare and Kilvarnet, in the county of Sligo; with notices of the O'Haras, the Coopers, the Percivals, and other local families online

. (page 11 of 46)
Online LibraryTerence O'RorkeHistory, antiquities, and present state of the parishes of Ballysadare and Kilvarnet, in the county of Sligo; with notices of the O'Haras, the Coopers, the Percivals, and other local families → online text (page 11 of 46)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

t Cotton, p. 111. The record in the Fasti of these two vicars is:
" 1820. Thomas Kingsbury, M.A., archdeacon of Killala, collated
February 21st [D. Reg.] He resigned in 1821."

[" 1821. William Handcock, B.A., collated June 15th. He resigned
in 1829."]


the parson's turf, the parish priest's horse leading the way,
and drawing the first crib. After this exhibition the feel-
ings of Mr. Handcock's enemies became daily more estranged,
as was natural enough, so that he determined to leave the
place, and soon effected with another clergyman an ex-
change of benefices. The exchange was probably all the
better for him, and at all events did not shorten his days,
for he was alive last year, and, for aught the writer knows
to the contrary, may be living still.

Rev. Charles Mulloy, B.A.,* succeeded Mr. Handcock
on the 21st of December, 1829, and died in 1832, the
parish priest, Very Rev. James Henry, dying in the same
year. Mr. Mulloy is buried in the graveyard attached
to his church, under a tombstone, on which we read this
inscription: "Mrs. Susanna Mulloy depd. 21 of April,
aged 80. Revd. Charles Mulloy, A.M., Vicar of this Parish,
depd. llth of May, 1832, aged 46."

The Rev. George Truelock, M.A. and curate-assistant
of Killoran was collated, on the 27th October, 1827, to the
prebend of Lackan, in the diocese of Killala ; passed to the
vicarage of Ballysadare in 1832 ; became subsequently
vicar-general and archdeacon of Killala ; and died on the
22rd of September, 1847. f

On Mr. Truelock's resignation in 1834, Rev. Lewis
Potter, M.A., was collated to the vacant prebend and
vicarage on the 5th of June that year. He, in turn, re-
signed in 1838, and passed to the rectory and vicarage of
Dromard, in the diocese of Killala, and died in 18504

* Cotton's entry is " 1829. Charles Molloy, M.A., collated December
21st. ; installed December 26th [D. Reg.] He died ia 1832." Fasti, etc.,
vol. iv, p. 111.

t We read in Cotton " 1832. George Truelock, 11. A., prebendary of
Lackan, in Killala; collated May 28th. In 1833 he was appointed
vicar-general of the united dioceses. In 1834 he resigned, and became
archdeacon of Killala." Fasti Ecclesice HiberniceE, vol. iv, p. 111.

J Cotton's record" 1834. Lewis Potter, M.A., collated June 6th.
He resigned in 1838."


Since Mr. Potter's time there have been three preben-
daries and vicars of Ballysadare ; all happily still living :
Eev. William Newton Guinness,* M.A., collated the 28th
of February, 1838, who resigned in 1858, and lives now
in Australia ; Eev. W. C. Townsend, who succeeded Mr.
Guinness in 1858, and resigned in 1872 with the view of
accepting the living of Castlebar, which he now enjoys ;
and the Eev. Joseph Barker, B.A., the present respected
incumbent, who was collated in 1872, being the first pre-
bendary and vicar of Ballysadare appointed since the
disestablishment of the Irish Protestant Church.

It has not been so easy as one might expect to obtain
information regarding the erection of the present Protes-
tant church of Collooney, though a comparatively recent
structure. After inquiring in vain with the oldest inhabi-
tants of Collooney for some tradition about it, and searching
as ineffectually in the neighbourhood for documents to throw
light on it, the writer had the good fortune of finding, among
the Council Orders in the Public Eecord Office, Dublin, a
packet of six papers on the subject. The first of these is
" The humble petition of the minister, churchwardens, and
the major part of the parishioners of the parish of Ballysa-
dara, in the diocese of Achonry, County of Sligo, to their
Excellencies the Lords Justices and Councill of Ireland ; "
the second the petition to the same parties of Earl Bel-
lamont, proprietor of the town and land, signifying consent ;
the third the order of Privy Council of Ireland referring
those documents to the committee of the Board fo'r carrying
out the Act for Union and Division of parishes ; the fourth
the letter of Edward, Archbishop of Tuam, giving his
advice, approbation, and consent ; the fifth the letter of
Henry, Bishop of Killala and Achonry, giving advice,

* Cotton writes" 1838. William Newton Guinness, M.A. ; collated
February 28th. He is the present prebendary." Mr. Guinness is the
last incumbent of Ballysadare mentioned in the Fasti Ecelesice Ribernicce.


approbation, and consent ; and the sixth the petition of
proprietors of the land of said parish, which is signed by
C. Burton, Joshua Cooper, and John White.*

Of these documents the five last are merely of a formal
character, and can be sufficiently understood from the
summary just given of their contents ; but as the first is
sure to be interesting to the readers of those pages for its
topographical information, and under other aspects, it is
given here at full length. This petition then " Humbly
sheweth that in pursuance of an act for the reall union and
division of parishes, wee the said minister, churchwardens,
and parishioners of the said parish bf Ballysadara or the
major part of them, after being assembled in vestry do
hereby declare that the old church or the walls of the old
church of Ballysadara in the diocese of Achonry and county
of Sligoe aforesaid is in a ruinous condition and remote
from much the major part of the Protestant inhabitants f
of the said parish, and inconvenient for the public service
of Almighty God, and that the market town $ of Collooney
in the said parish is the most convenient place for erecting
a church in the said parish for the publick service of God,
as by the advice and approbation of the Most Rev. Father
in God, his Grace Edward, Lord Archbishop of Tuam, Pri-
mate of Ireland, and of the Right Rev. Henry, Lord Bishop
of the dioceses of Killala and Achonry, by a certificate under
their hands and seals hereunto annexed may appear.

"Wee the said minister, churchwardens, and parishioners
assembled in vestry, do hereby signify our earnest desire
and consent to remove the place of publick divine worship

* John White lived in Spotfield, and was a near relative of the Fer-
ralls that owned Carrickbanaghan in his time.

t The " Protestant inhabitants " of the parish of Ballysadare resided,
nearly all, in the neighbourhood of Collooney at the time the petition
was drawn, where they were introduced and favoured by the Cootes.

t Unfortunately Collooney has ceased to be a " market town," to the
great regret of the inhabitants, who are very anxious to see a market re-
established in it.



from the old ruinous church or walls of Ballysadara to a
more convenient place in the market town of Collooney
upon the plott of ground in the quarter land of Cashell
commonly called Sweeny's park, on the North adjoyning
Thomas Hue's his garden and on the West adjoyning the
great road leading from Collooney to Toberscannovan,* by
the consent of the Right Hono'ble Richd. Earle of Bella-
mont, Proprietor of the said place; and wee, Toby Caulfield,
the present minister and incumbent, and the churchwar-
dens for the time being, and major part of the parishioners
of the said parish of Ballysadara hereby certifie that the
said parish is collative f and therefore no consent of any
Patron besides the bishop be required, and wee do most
humbly beg your Excellencies and Lordships by vertue of
the said act of Parliament to order the removal of the said
place of publick divine worship from the old church or
walls of Ballysadara aforesaid to a convenient place for
the Protestant inhabitants of the said parish of Ballysadara,
upon the said plott of ground in the quarter of Cashell in
the said town of Collooney, and that the church, or place
of publick divine worship to be erected there be to all in-
tents and purposes in construction of law for ever hereafter
deemed the parish church of the said parish of Ballysadara,
and that the said old church and walls of Ballysadara, or

* The " great road leading from Collooney to Toberscannovan " is now
the little lane that passes by the church door, and stretches between these
two places. The "new road" from Collooney to Tubberscanavon was
made in the first years of this century. " Ten miles of a mail-coach
road," says Dr. M'Parlan, in the Statistical Survey of the County of Sliyo,
printed in 1802, " very broad and level, and directed towards Boyle (from
Sligo), so as to avoid hills, are already made. The remainder of the line
to Boyle is presented and paid for. The mail-coach undertakers, after it
is finished, will no doubt vie in contracting for keeping horses and every
accommodation for running a mail coach from Dublin to Sligo.' '

f Under the late Established Church all the benefices in the diocese of
Achonry were collative, the bishop being patron, except the perpetual
curacy of Ballysadare, of which Mr. Cooper first, and the Misses Cooper
next, were patron.


any other place heretofore made use of for publick divine
worship in the said parish be never hereafter esteemed or
reputed the parish church of the said parish. Witness our
hands and seals this 8th day of April, 1720. And your
petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

Tobias Caulfield,
Js. Bronton,
Thomas Rutledge.
Joshua Cooper,
Thomas Jenkins,
Ino. Palmer,
H. Loriman,
Edwd. Braxton,
John Audley,
Matt Phibbs,
Lau. Bettridge,
Thos. Sweeney,
Thomas Maxfield,
Alexander Morrison,
Edward Fletcher,
John Chapman,
Philip Vint,
Mauris Freeman,
George Thompson,
John Leacock,
"William Ginks,
James Wither,
Archibald Hamilton,
James Lindsay,
John King,
John Adcox,
Thos. Hinds,
James Ewing,
Pat Gilmor,
John Maxfield,

> Churchwardens.


Bryan McGowan,
John Jinks,


Owen + Maglone,


Thomas Hall,
George Dorran,
Ino. Thomb,
James Hamilton,


George + Harrison,


Charles Jackson,
Thomas Millington,
John Hamilton,
James Armstrong,
John White,
John White, junr.,
John Knott."

From this petition, which is dated 8th April, 1720, as
well as from the other documents, which are dated the
same month or the May next following, we may infer that
the church was built soon after 1720 ; probably in 1721 or
1722, as it is certain that an application signed and sup-
ported by so many Protestants, including two or three
of commanding influence, would not lie long without

Though the petitioners claim the old church of Ballysa-
dare as their parish church, there is no reason to think that
Protestant worship ever took place habitually in that
building, considering its ruinous condition even in the time
of Elizabeth ; f and the very words of the petition, " the

* It is strange that the date of the erection, opening, or dedication of
this church should not be recorded, but still this seems to be the case, for
there is no such account in the documents belonging to the church, or in
the Record Office, Dublin.

f Supra, p. 16.



old church or the walls of the old church of Ballysadara,"
would seem to prove this, as showing that no part of the
house existed except "the old walls," in which it is
unlikely a minister would have officiated. It is not, how-
ever, impossible, or even improbable, that the functions of
the Protestant service were celebrated, even amid the old
walls, on one or, perhaps, on a few occasions, as- a form of
taking possession. Though there is no express mention in
the petition of the building at Mr. Sim's as a place of
Protestant worship, it is pretty certain that the phrase, "or
any other place heretofore made use of for publick divine
worship " is intended for that structure, for the tradition
of the parish is quite clear and conclusive on the fact,
that it was in this house * the Protestants of the neigh-
bourhood had divine service before the erection of their
present church, which, by the way, is sometimes called
the church of St. Paul, or St. Paul's church, from,
no doubt, its having been dedicated in honour of that

St. Paul's was at first, a plain, oblong, low roofed
house, eighty feet long and thirty broad, including walls,
with the square tower we still see at its western end.
In the year 1817 this tower was surmounted with a timber
spire, made of the best red pine, and covered all over with
lead, which was fastened on with large headed copper nails,
driven so as to form diamond patterns, that had a pleasing
effect as they glistened in the sun. It was three years
after the putting up of the spire when a copper ball or
globe of fourteen inches in diameter, was set on its apex,
the delay, it is said, having arisen from the difficulty of

* There is also some tradition that a proselytizing school of one kind or
another existed near the church. The pupils attending the school are
said to have worn a uniform, in which a black cap was a conspicuous
item ; and, so late as forty or fifty years ago, a woman named May lived
in Collooney who was often called "Dolly Black-cap," because it was
believed that an ancestor of hers frequented that school.


finding any one adventurous enough to fix the ball in its
place. Local gossips tell that advantageous offers were
made in vain to several sailors to tempt them to undertake
the perilous job. But the grand feat was at last accom-
plished by a cool-headed millwright and carpenter of
Collooney, named John O'Reilly, who had himself and the
copper ball raised by pulleys to the top of the spire in a
wicker crib or basket, resembling the nacelle of a balloon,
and thus deftly set and secured the globe in position, to the
great admiration of " the size of a fair of people " to use
the words of a spectator who had assembled from far and
near to witness the exciting spectacle.* Thirty-two years
after its erection the spire was thrown down by a storm, in
the year 1849 ; and as some Protestant banterers of the
parish, on hearing that the Pope had fled that year to
Gaeta, gave out that the Roman Church was without a
head, the Catholic humourist took occasion from the fall of
the spire to retaliate on Protestant wits, that their church
had now lost Us head, and would hardly ever recover it.
This church was improved and enlarged in 1837 by the late
lamented Sir John Benson, who repaired and raised the
old walls, inserting new window opes and windows, re-roofed
the building, added transepts, put up a handsome groined

* John O'Reilly was regarded by all the neighbours as a man of very
rare talent. He was particularly clever in adjusting mill machinery, BO
that, though he had very little acquaintance with the improved machinery
of modern times, the English and Scotch millwrights that came across
the water to work at the new mills of Camphill and Collooney were often
glad, with all their experience and opportunities, to learn a lesson from

It would seem that his children inherited his talent. One of the sons,
James, who died on the 6th of December, 1877^ at North Ipswich,
Queensland, erected extensive saw mills there, and had realized at his
death a fortune of 12,000. This James, before emigrating, had one son,
John, who remained in Ireland ; and, as his father died intestate, if John
should fall in with these lines, he may find in them, as the advertisements
say, " something to his advantage." The writer has further important
information on this subject, and shall be happy to communicate it to
any member of the O'Reilly family that shall apply to him.


ceiling," and thus imparted to the structure such architec-
tural merits as it possesses.*

The east gable contains a fine stained glass window,
erected by the filial piety of the Misses Cooper, in honour
and memory of their worthy father.

* The following remarks on Sir John Benson, which appeared in the
Sligo Champion of November the 7th, 1874, on the occasion of his death
and burial in London, may be given here, as they were sent to the news-
paper by the present writer :

' ' COLLOONEY Sir John Benson was buried in Brompton, London, on
Friday, the 23rd inst., to the great disappointment of the people of this
neighbourhood. From the time the news of his decease arrived it was
believed that the remains would be conveyed to the family vault here ;
and the inhabitants of Collooney were resolved to honour, in every way
they could, the memory of their distinguished and gifted townsman.
Though it is now nearly thirty years since Sir John removed from Col-
looney as a place of residence, old neighbours never ceased to take the
liveliest interest in their absent friend, and to feel the warmest affection
for him up to the day of his death. They were proud of his genius, and
when they heard of his successes in Cork, Dublin, or London, they felt
that a portion of the honours acquired came home to themselves ; and his
genial nature endeared him as much as his talent. Wherever or when-
ever Sir John could oblige he invariably did so ; and it is touching in the
extreme, now that the good man is gone, to hear old labourers and
tradesmen recount, sometimes with tears in their eyes, numerous in-
stances in which this employer's benevolence came to the relief of them-
selves and their little ones.

" Nor is this attachment to Sir John Benson confined to one creed or
class. His own thoughts were too elevated and his feelings too generous
to make any difference in social relations on the score of religion or party ;
and in employing hands to carry out his undertakings he gave no thought
to the faith or politics of the applicants, but considered solely their fitness
for the employment sought. Leaving narrow-minded bigots to limit even
their alms to those of their own way of thinking on these subjects, Sir
John found place enough in his own big heart for all neighbours, to
whatever religious or political denomination they belonged. And as he
made no distinction in regard to Catholics, Catholics never made any
distinction in regard to him ; nor was their admiration the less intense, or
their love the less cordial because of their knowing him to be a sound
Protestant, and, if he had any politics, to be a politician of different
principles from their own.

" Sir John's principal works were executed in and around Cork, where


The cemetery of this church has been, for seventy or
eighty years the chief burying-place in the parish for the
Protestant parishioners. The following inscriptions are
copied from the stones :

Here Lyeth ye. Body of
Frances Stringer wife
to Adron Stringer who
Departd. ys. life April ye.
20 1738 Aged 30 years

he was constantly engaged for more than twenty years as an architect,
and engineer. His mind was of large grasp and versatile, so that roads,
railways, waterworks, and architecture in all its branches domestic,
civil and ecclesiastical, fell equally within its range. The taste of the
deceased was perfect, and seemed an instinct; and considering that his
early education was defective, owing to a delicacy of constitution that
showed itself all through boyhood, it is surprising what a mastery he
acquired in the sciences appertaining to the profession of the architect,
such as pure mathematics, mechanics, and hydraulics.

" Every building worth looking at in Collooney and the vicinity comes
from him. The fine pile of Markrea Castle is indebted to him for much
of its present proportions and beauties. It was he that erected Mr. Sim's
magnificent mills, that gave the market-house its handsome portico, that
added transepts to the Protestant church, and, above all, that designed
the beautiful Church of the Assumption, with its inimitable interior.
And, in and near Sligo, memorials of Sir John's abilities are not wanting.
He was the architect of the new bridge, of the Dominican convent, of
the pretty Protestant church of Coolerra, and of Colonel Barrett's pic-
turesque cottage. There are several other structures of our townsman's
through the country, all remarkable for grace of form as well as fitness
and elegance of design. It is easy to see his mark on everything he had
done. In truth it may be said of this talented man, as Johnson wrote of
Goldsmith, that whatever he touched he adorned, and as one can know
Hercules from the foot, so a competent critic can trace Sir John's genius
in the smallest as in the largest works ; in the Camphill linen office, or
Mr. George Allen's tasteful little cottage, as well as in the Great Exhibi-
tion building of Dublin, or the Benson bridge and Catholic cathedral of
Cork. Such a man was a credit to the whole country, though it is
natural that his fellow-townsmen of Collooney should take to themselves
the chief honour of his career, and have his name as a household word for
themselves and their children."


Here lieth the Body of William Martin
of Ardcotton who departed this life
February 10th 1769 aged 35 years Also his
Mother Alice Martin alias Bennett (da
lighter of George Bennett Esq Provost
of Sligo) who departed this life August
14th 1786 aged 89 yrs
Erected by her son James Martin of
Coloony in memory of them and of
his daughter Elizabeth Martin who
departed this life April 25th 1815 aged
18 years. And of his wife Elizabeth
Martin alias Brown who departed
this life Augt. 16 1816 aged 55 years

Samuel Patterson
died January 18th 1869

aged 69 years

Here Lieth the
Body of Letty
Flanagan alias
Tunichft Who dep
This Life 28th June
1777 Aged 30 years

In affectionate remembrance

of the family of

William and Susan Shaw of Cloonen
Called away in the bloom of life

James Aged 19 years

Elizabeth 13

John 28

Maryanne 18

William 25

Samuel 30


Here is deposited the remains
of Margret Martin who Exc
hanged a Transitory life for an
Eternal happiness Sept 1
1786 aged 45 years
Erected by her Inamoured
husband Stephen Martin

Here lieth the Body of
John Newton who departed
this life March ye. 21st 1795
in the 35th year of his age

Richard Craig of Collooney

died 9th of June 1841 aged 64 years

Here lyeth the body

of John Stokes
who departed this
life Feby. 25 1774

Aged 14 years

Also his Brother George Stoks
who departed this life Sept
12 1775 Aged 12 years
Also their father george
Stokes of Arcree who
departed this life december
the 2 1777 Aged 60 years

Erected by

Ion. Armstrong Barber
in Collooney in memory of his
son William Armstrong who Dpd.
this life Jany. 1st 1771 Aged 2 years


This monument was Erected by Bryan
Corristine in memory of Margaret
Corristine alias Carter who exchanged
a transitory life for Eternal happiness
August 16th 1776 aged 56 years
Also Peter Corristine who departed
this life Jany 4th 1783 aged 81 years
Also Anne Corristine alias Jackson
who departed this life March 6th 1795
aged 36 years

Here Lieth the body of John
Lowe who departed this life
December the 26th 1807
Aged 80 years Erected by
his son Ralph Lowe

Beneath this tombe lieth the remains
of Stephen Burk who exchanged a
transitory life for an Eternal happiness
On March 1st 1806 aged 48 years
Erected by his Son Thos Burk

This stone has been placed
Over the Grave of Mr. Mungo
Ewan by Edward Synge
Cooper Esq of Markrea
to testify the respect of this
Family for the memory of a faith
ful steward

He departed this life at Mark
rea Castle the llth of Jan 1815


In memory of

Alexander Meredith
who died on the 1st of June 1839

aged 28 years

Also his -wife Mary Meredith
who died on the 13 Dec 1869

aged 80 years
Erected by their sons Thomas

and William Meredith

Here lyeth the body of
Jane Phetypace alias
Shaw who departed this
life 7th of June 1795 aged 37

Sacred to the memory
of John Petepies died Jany
9th 1837 aged 37 yrs Erected
by his wife Sarah Petepies

Robert Barber died
April 27th 1828 Aged 74 years
This stone was erected to his
memory by his son James Barber


this stone lieth the body of
Abm Lawson of Knockbeg

who departed this life Feby 5th 1837 aged 70 years
Also his daughter Cathne Lawson who depd
this life August 19th 1837 Aged 19 years
And also his son John Lawson who departed
this life October 15th 1857
Aged 27 years


Underneath are deposited the
Remains of Mr. Charles Benson
who exchanged this life for a
better the 4th of August 1819

To pity the distress'd inclin'd

As well as just to all mankind

To some he gave to others lent

Online LibraryTerence O'RorkeHistory, antiquities, and present state of the parishes of Ballysadare and Kilvarnet, in the county of Sligo; with notices of the O'Haras, the Coopers, the Percivals, and other local families → online text (page 11 of 46)