Forkhill Protestants and Forkhill Catholics, 1787-1858

Forkhill Protestants and Forkhill Catholics, 1787-1858

Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    Forkhill Protestants and Forkhill Catholics, 1787-1858
    Book Description:

    Forkhill Protestants and Forkhill Catholics explores the social history of the parish between 1787 and 1858. In a wide-ranging analysis, Kyla Madden demonstrates that there was a greater degree of cooperation and exchange between Catholics and Protestants than the historical record has acknowledged. Madden contends that since some of our widely held assumptions about the patterns of Irish history dissolve under scrutiny at the local level, they should be more cautiously applied on a larger scale.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7261-4
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Illustrations, Figures, and Maps
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. [Maps]
    (pp. XV-2)
  6. 1 The Sectarian Disaese
    (pp. 3-9)

    The author of the foregoing lines was the Reverend Edward Hudson, rector of the parish of Forkhill and a friend of the victim, Alexander Berkley.¹ The original letter is part of the bound manuscripts of the correspondence of the Earl of Charlemont, now preserved in the library of the Royal Irish Academy. Between 1787 and 1795, Hudson wrote regularly to Charlemont in long letters describing his struggle to maintain order in an increasingly disaffected part of the country. The rector was a resolute authority figure and the architect of much change in the parish in the 17908. These features of...

  7. 2 Settlement and Resistance, 1787—1792
    (pp. 10-27)

    The parish of Forkhill lies in the southern bounds of County Armagh, in the ancient barony of Upper Orior. In 1571 Elizabeth I awarded the lands within the barony of Orior to Captain Thomas Chatterton, but when he failed to fulfill the first condition of ownership, that he establish an English settlement, his grant was revoked. In 1612 James II awarded the same lands to Lord Audley under the title of the “manor of Stonebridge,” but Audley also failed to settle the property with English or Scottish tenants. Even then the region had a reputation for lawlessness and disorder, and...

  8. 3 Rebellion, 1795—1798
    (pp. 28-44)

    Ireland in the 1790s was a laboratory of tension, with disruptive elements at work at every level. As individual events, the rise of the Volunteers, the foundation of the Society of United Irishmen, the ripple effects of the French Revolution, and the outbreak of disturbances in Armagh might not have disrupted the social order. But as coincidental events, the result was cataclysmic. The Rebellion of 1798, which lasted from May until September, claimed at least thirty thousand lives, a death toll exceeding that of France’s three-year Reign of Terror.¹ For the United Irishmen, the tragic and ironic consequence was Ireland’s...

  9. 4 Land and People, 1821
    (pp. 45-63)

    Historical sources are often generated by an event, such as the 1791 attack in Forkhill, which elicited widespread alarm, or the 1798 rebellion, which generated extensive correspondence between Dublin Castle and local authorities. But sometimes sources capture a historian’s attention because of what they are and because they are worthy of examination as artifacts themselves. Several years ago I had the extraordinary luck to find a manuscript-bound copy of the 1821 census for Forkhill – extraordinary because most copies of the census for every parish in Ireland were destroyed in the fires that swept through Dublin’s Four Courts in 1922. Scraps...

  10. 5 Education, 1790—1861
    (pp. 64-81)

    In 1834 Father Daniel O’Rafferty, the parish priest of Forkhill, completed an application for a grant-in-aid from the national board of education. The board had been created in 1831 and had only lately begun processing applications, but O’Rafferty wasted no time. He objected vigorously to the existing network of schools in the parish, which were endowed by Richard Jackson’s charity and had provided the Catholic children of Forkhill with a Protestant education for almost fifty years. According to O’Rafferty, the “seduction” of Catholic pupils by the trustees of the charity and the sly proselytism of the curriculum in their schools...

  11. 6 Outrage, 1832—1852
    (pp. 82-120)

    In early 1807 it was reported that “disaffection [was] very apparent amongst the lower ranks in the neighbourhood of Forkhill.” In August a Killeavy landlord, Jonathan Seaver, confided his fears of a resurgent conspiracy among a band of men calling themselves Regenerated Defenders.² These men had recently held a meeting at Derrynoose, and similar incidents were reported from Newtownhamilton and Balleek. These meetings were held under the cover of supper parties at private homes, “a custom entirely novel and totally beyond the limits of the incomes of such individuals.”³ The magistrates suspected that a very strong and busy system of...

  12. 7 Famine, 1845—1850
    (pp. 121-141)

    The series of potato crop failures in Ireland between 1845 and 1849 reduced the population to a wretched state of existence. Although it is difficult to determine the number of casualties of starvation and disease caused by the collapse of the country’s principal food source, it is believed that more than one million people did not survive the five seasons of want, and it is estimated that more than a million others had emigrated from Ireland by 1851.² The famine, they say, “cleaned the country.”

    The population decline varied considerably in the different counties, parishes, and townlands of Ulster.³ Between...

  13. 8 Religion, 1846—1858
    (pp. 142-155)

    In the 1850s the religious tensions that had formed such a volatile backdrop to the famine relief effort were brought firmly into the foreground. The man responsible was the Reverend Henry Wray Young, a newly ordained Church of Ireland curate who arrived in Forkhill in 1846. Young is remembered in local folklore as a cunning agent of the evangelicals who encouraged Catholics to renounce their faith by offering them gifts of food, money, and clothing. His labours in Forkhill followed a half-century of missionary work in Ireland by British-based evangelical groups such as the London Missionary Society (LMS), the Church...

  14. 9 An Astronomy Lesson
    (pp. 156-162)

    During his work for the Irish folklore commission in the 1940s and 1950s, Michael J. Murphy recorded a local version of the story of Alexander Berkley, the Forkhill schoolmaster and linen weaver who was attacked and mutilated by a gang of Defenders in 1791. In this twentieth-century version, entitled “Bartley and the Boys of Mullaghbawn,” the schoolmaster was tied to a tree in the Protestant churchyard, and his tongue and fingers were cut off. He later attempted to write down the names of his attackers “with a pencil between his toes.”¹

    The story had been retold more violently in a...

  15. APPENDIX: A Ribbon Oath
    (pp. 163-164)
  16. Notes
    (pp. 165-218)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 219-234)
  18. Index
    (pp. 235-240)