History and Genealogy


County Down

Banbridge District



More photographs of Banbridge can be viewed from "Photos" on the main website index page nav bar

(Landowners in 1876 can be got from the index on the main page of the website under Land Deeds)

The Hawthorne's, History and Photographs
Griffiths Valuations of Ireland, 1847/1864,  http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml

1901 and 1911 Census Link,  http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/
Appendix II Parliamentary Returns re Religion in Record Office, Dublin 1740, Names of Protestant housekeepers
A List of the several Families in the parish of Seapatrick in the diocese of Dromore,
Distinguishing, which are Protestants, and which are Papists

Banbridge Town
Banbridge Town in the County down
Banbridge Union £10 County Electors
Banbridge & District, Photographs of men killed in action, 1914-1917.   
anbridge & District Historical Society Journal
Banbridge Workhouse 1841-1851,Also a link to photographs & history of Banbridge Workhouse, Hospital
Banbridge, WW1 Volunteers

Banbridge Municipal Voters Roll, 1891, 1892,  1896
Banbridge 1841,(Taken from a "Hand Book to Carlingford Bay")
Bassetts Directory 1886 for Loughbrickland and farmers, and landowners
Belfast and Ulster Towns Directory for 1910 Banbridge
Births Civil & Quaker for Banbridge,
Brookfield Weaving Factory
Captain Francis Crozier
Church Records, Source and information, Banbridge & Area, Seapatrick,Magherally,Drumgooland.Updated
Directory of Banbridge 1819
Estate of Solomon Whyte, Ballyvally Townland 1771 and 1728
Flax Growers in Seapatrick Parish, 1796
Flax & Making Linen

Hawthorne Births & Marriages, Banbridge District, (New
History of Edenderry Works
History of Scarva St. Presbyterian Church
History of Banbridge
Joseph Scriven ,(What a Friend we have in Jesus)
Linen, History of.
Linen Trade,
List of Residents in Banbridge and neighbourhood who signed a petition to Parliament (1828) in favour of Catholic Emancipation
List of Residents in houses in Banbridge, and surrounding district 1935

List of Subscriptions 1874, Catholics from Banbridge Parish who gave donation for new cemetery,
Local Dialect
Lt. Colonel Gerald Brice Ferguson Smyth
Marriage Register of Banbridge Co. Down 1756-1794
Men from County Down and WW1
Memoir of William David Stuart
Mills on the Bann, 1837

Old News and Court Cases, Banbridge And Seapatrick from 1796
Old Banbridge Town
Parish of Seapatrick & Townlands

People Researching Ancestors from Banbridge & surrounding areas
Pigott Directory for 1824
Residents in Banbridge, according to Pigots Directory, 1824
Recollection of Fryars Place Schoo
Return of Infants born in the Workhouse during the years 1872, 1873 and 1874 (Infants names) 
Return of Towns in Ireland which Act for Lighting, watching and cleansing
Seapatrick Parish
The working conditions of adults and children in the Banbridge bleaching mills 1854
They Came From Banbridge, Including Ned Kelly, Bushranger
The Uprichard Family and the linen trade
The Father of Modern Banbridge
The Banbridge Aeroplane Factory
The Welcome
The Belfast Newsletter index 1737 - 1800
The Year of Grace
The Parish of Seapatrick
Thread making at Seapatrick
The Downshire Bridge Saga
The Covenanters of Drummiller
The Banbridge War Memorial, Names of the Fallen 1914 to 1918
The Lads Who Marched Away. Seapatrick Parish Church during Two World Wars. Names , photographs and information of some of the men killed in action who were members of the church

Tithe Applotment Index For Seapatrick Parish,1828 Including Banbridge Rural
Toll or Duties payable in Banbridge on Fair days (1823)
1841/42 Directory    (Merchants, Manufacturers & Traders)
Valuation of Tenements 1863 - Banbridge <---NEW
VE / VJ Day 50th Anniversary
War Memorial , Unveiling & Dedication


If anyone that has information concerning the Banbridge District and would like it put on this website please email me.

the _researcher@raymondscountydownwebsite.com



The advent of Banbridge itself belongs to the early eighteenth century. According to James A. Pilson, in his Notices of the most important events connected with the County Down, a bridge was erected over the River Bann in 1712, "on the formation of a new line of road from Dublin to Belfast". This bridge and its surroundings changed the name of the locality to 'Banbridge' in popular usage and away from `Ballyvally', the name of the townland in which Banbridge was originally situated.

The River Bann allowed for the development of the linen industry along its banks and by the middle of the eighteenth century we have evidence of many bleach yards along the river for the purposes of linen manufacture. The Earl of Hillsborough, in turn, granted sections of land at nominal rent to encourage building in the vicinity of the Bann bridge and was responsible for the laying out of the original town. According to records of the Hillsborough Estate Office, Letters Patent for the holding of a weekly market and four fairs annually were granted in 1727. By the mid 1700s, Banbridge had a thriving Church of Ireland community and, also, an expanding Presbyterian Church. According to the parliamentary return of Rev. James Dickson, Church of Ireland Rector of Seapatrick Parish, writing on 24th. April 1766: "There is neither Popish Priest nor Friar in this parish, but the papists here go to Mass in a neighbouring parish." As mentioned above, a Catholic parish of Seapatrick was not to be re-established until almost a century later.


An Extract taken from the History of Banbridge.



The Linen Trade:

BANBRIDGE is justly famed for its manufacture of Linen. For nearly 200 years the textile trade has flourished here, Lewis in his Topographical Dictionary, published in 1837, says "Even when almost every port was closed against the introduction of Irish linens, and the trade was nearly lost to the country, those of Banbridge found a ready market  and when the energies of the linen merchants on the old system were nearly paralysed by foreign competition, the merchants of the place created a new trade, by commencing as manufacturers on an extensive scale, and opening an intercourse with America and other ports. The numerous falls on the river, and the uniform supply of water, appear to have attracted the attention of manufacturers; and soon after bleaching became a separate branch of trade; and shortly after the application of machinery to this department, several mills were erected on its banks." In 1816 in the open linen markets held here, the average sales per weekly market were £120. 0s 0d. The following extract from the returns of the Sealsmasters exhibits the value of linens sold in the Banbridge market in four successive years :

1821 1822 1823 1824
£63,173. 0s 0d £58,917. 8s 0d £57,281. 5s 0d £77,50. 0s 0d

The Banbridge linen houses had about the year 1835 manufactured for them 66,000 webs annually. In 1834, the several bleaching concerns here turned out 185,710 webs, being nearly equal to the whole quantity bleached in all Ireland at the end of the eighteenth century. Of late years the introduction of power looms in the manufacture of linen, has wrought almost an entire change in the manner of conducting this important business. So early as 1834, the late Frederick Hayes had an extensive establishment for weaving union cloths by machinery at  Seapatrick village, at which time he employed 100 looms, impelled by a water wheel, 15 feet in diameter and 22 feet broad. At present we have within the municipal boundary three large power-loom factories which employ some 600 looms. Wills, Earl of Hillsborough, used the influence of his high official position to advance the linen trade of Ulster, and especially of Banbridge, His lordship's efforts in this direction are well known.

Note :- Atkinson in his " Ireland Exhibited to England " writing in 1823 says referring to Banbridge" One of the best markets in this province, for the sale of fine lawns and linens, is held here," and further says :" This town is provided with an excellent hotel, a dispensary, a reading room and other useful public accommodation and on many accounts has a claim to eminent distinction in the history of Downshire.

By the Editor.

The growth of Banbridge is due to the growth of the linen trade in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the former century weaving was carried on by hand-looms throughout the thickly populated country districts, Bleaching flourished along the banks of the Bann on various farms. Some larger bleaching firms were at work towards the end of this century. The Belfast News-Letter of 11th April, 1783, contained an account of Assizes for Co. Down when Patrick Gordon, alias McGurnaghan was sentenced to be executed at Drumbridge, and Steven Gordon to be executed at Castlewellan, for stealing linen out of the bleach-green of Walter Crawford of Ballievy. John Wright was sentenced to be executed at Banbridge for stealing linen out of the bleach-green of James Clibborn (1) of Banbridge and John Holmes to be executed at Downpatrick for receiving said linen knowing it was stolen. Several others were also sentenced to death. The NewsLetter commented" It may be hoped that the example of these unhappy wretches will prevent the practice of robbing greens, so injurious to a manufacture on which the poorest as well as the highest classes of the inhabitants of this country so much depend." The credit for abolishing such savage penalties is largely due to Mr. John Handcock of Lisburn.

(l) This firm afterwards became Clibborn & Co., and by taking a nephew into partnership, Clibborn, Hill & Co. It had property at Daisy Hill and Solitude.)

Friends, the owner of the works now in the possession of Messrs. Richardson, Sons, and Owden. A meeting of bleachers was held in Belfast John McCance in the chair in December, 1810, when resolutions were passed praying for the " doing away with such death sentences." Next year the old law was repealed, Machinery driven by water for beetling linen was introduced to Ulster in 1725. Henceforth the Bann was utilised to great advantage. McCall tells that the process of whitening was slow even in the largest concerns. Towards the close of the XVIII century "considerable advance was thought to have been made in the course of finish when brown webs sent to the field in May were ready for the white warehouse at the end of the following August." In the development of the linen trade of the Bann towards the end of the eighteenth century the families of Mulligan, Crawford, Lindsay, Hayes were pre-eminent. The Mulligans were long established up the river in the Corbet district. George Crawford, son of Gilbert Crawford of Gilford, married Elizabeth Bradshaw in 1769 and settled at  Ballievy, One of his daughters Margaret married William Hayes of Millmount in 1796. Another daughter Catherine married John Lindsay of Bally down. His son George married Olivia daughter of Dr, Henry of Dublin in 1837. William Hayes (1770-1827) came as a young man to Banbridge and took over Millmount and its lands in Edenderry from W. E. Reilly on a lease of 900 years. The McClellands were his predecessors in Millmount. A corn mill stood there with special manorial rights on the Reilly estate. He turned it into a bleach-green and acquired glebe land at Seapatrick and on the opposite side of the river. There he established his third son Frederick W. who built Seapatrick House. Wm. Hayes had ten children.

(1) Paternal grandfather of Walter Lindsay of Ballydown. The Lindsay family was founded in Tullyhenan about 1680 by David Lindsay. He came from Scotland with General Monro's Army. His son interviewed King William in 1690 and is recorded to have sold him £300 worth of cattle. A grandson, David, of the original David Lindsay took up residence in Hilltown. The family is connected with the Crawfords, Simms, Mulligans and many other well known families throughout the North of Ireland. The once famous firm of Crawford and Lindsay took over Hudson's Ballydown Bleaching Works in 1822 when they also carried on linen manufacturing.

His eldest son Richard who succeeded him in Millmount, died in 1864 when the place was let to the Malcolmson firm. His second son, George Crawford Hayes, was a partner of the Lindsays of Ballydown, His eldest daughter Jane married Samuel Law, a cousin of Rt. Hon. Hugh Law, Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Another daughter Margaretta married Rev. Daniel Dickinson. Another daughter Isabella married Rev. Theophilus Campbell, Rector of Lurgan and Dean of Dromore. Emily married Dr, Duncan of Dublin, Richard, the eldest son, married Henrietta Grace Greene, daughter of Major Greene of the 61st Foot, and had three children. Elizabeth who married Robert Joy, J.P son of Robert Joy, Q.C., Dublin ; William Arthur who married a daughter of James Moore of Dublin. He was for several years Rector of Dromore and Chancellor of the Cathedral. Richard's third son was Richard, afterwards Dean of Derry and Canon of St. Patrick's Cathedral. He was a scholar of T.C.D., The Millmount Bleach Works are now carried on by Messrs. Anthony Cowdy & Sons, Proprietors. Frederick W. Hayes at first carried on weaving at Seapatrick but in a short time turned the works into a yarn spinning and linen thread mill. He married a daughter of Mr. Boyd of the old Belfast Foundry (Boyd, Rider & Co Donegall St.). At his death in 1853 his son William succeeded and extended the firm until it gained an almost world-wide reputation. He married Miss M.M. Law of Hazelbank, his cousin. After his death in 1876 the firm became a private company under the managership of C. H. McCall (son of the linen historian, Hugh Mc Call, Lisburn. The firm of F. W. Hayes & Co. was merged in the Linen Thread Co. in 1899.

Banbridge figures in the famous controversy about the appointment of Sealmasters in 1762 when riots took place in Lisburn, Lambeg, Hillsborough and other towns. The weavers soon realised that the change was really for their benefit, A meeting of the weavers of Newry, Loughbrickland  and Banbridge districts was held in Banbridge that year when a resolution was passed as follows:- ''' We confess there was some hot-headed persons among us who did not at first see the good your honourable Board designed in this just law; but a short experience has convinced us of its benefits, for we have been greatly imposed on by many of the drapers when they had the measuring of the cloth in their own power. .... But now, thank God and your honourable Board, we are released from these unjust and heavy burdens. The Board referred to was the Board of Linen Trustees which regulated linen affairs from 1711 to 1828, Wakefield, in his account of Ireland, 1808, writes of Banbridge that the twenty bleach-greens on the Bann bleach on an average 8,000 pieces each. The ground cost is 50s. The bleaching of all yard-wide linens cost 8s,, that of cambrics 7s.; profit 8 per cent. Goods arc brought hither from Tyrone and Antrim. The 8,000 pieces multiplied by twenty gives 160,000 as the total number of pieces which at 58s. each amounts to £464,000 ; 8 per cent. profit makes the total value of the linens annually finished on the Bann to be £502,666. In the Linen Board Report for 1817, giving the tour of their Secretary, James Corry, through Ulster in 1816, he tells that Banbridge was the largest linen market in Co, Down, the average price of webs was Coarse linen, £1 ; fine linen, £2 Is. ; lawns and cambrics, £1 13s. 4d. All webs came to the market in a brown state, but the yarn before weaving was boiled with potash and spread on the grass for a few days by the manufacturers. The coarse linens sold in this market were mostly half-bleached in the neighbourhood and exported to the North of England as shirting linen for mechanics and labourers. The fine linens were generally bleached in Down and Antrim, the finer fabrics went to the Dublin market and to the West Indies and America, the stronger kinds to London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The price of flax yarn in the market, from two-and-a-half to five hanks to the pound, sold from 5d. to 7d. per hank. Tow yarn from 16 to 20 cuts. to the pound from 4d. to 6d. and 7d. a hank. Corry was in Banbridge on Monday, 21st October. The annual value of linens sold at the markets there was £53,976. The corresponding amounts for Armagh were £197,600; Lurgan, £96,200; Dungannon, £208,000;  Lisburn, £260,000; Tanderagee, £2,000; Newry, £47,944.

Among those who received bounties for the manufacture of sail cloth, canvas, and duck from mill spun yarn was Wm. Hudson, Ballydown, 1809, for 1,047 yards. The principal buyers at Banbridge were Thos. C. Wakefield, Moyallon ; James and T.. Uprichard, Moyallon ; George Darley, Mount Pleasant; Christy & Dawson, Lowertown, Gilford ; Joseph Law, Corries (? Coose), Banbridge; James Foot, Banford; Thomas Crawford, Milltown; William Hayes, Millmount ; Edw. Clibborn, Banbridge; Wat. Crawford, Ballievy; Phil, Mulligan, Ballievy; Hugh Burns, Banbridge; Coslet Waddle, New Forge, Moira.

The principal buyers at Armagh, Lurgan, &c., markets included Wm. Hayes, Gilbert Mulligan, John Mulligan, J, C. Mulligan. The same names are found buying at other centres through Ulster, Messrs. Crawford being mentioned as buying as far away as Castleblayney. A memorial on behalf of a linen inspector is signed by John Mulligan, registered bleacher, and George Mulligan. In the Linen Board Report for 1820 the description of linen sold at Banbridge markets is 12oo to 18oo, 6oo to 8oo coarse. There were 31,350 pieces sealed in 1820. The estimated value was 1s. 7d. per yard and the total value, £62,660. The returns show a marked increase of weekly sales from 500 in 1794 to 1,205 in 1820. Names of Banbridge linen men often figure in memorials to the Linen Board for the appointments of Seal masters, in the year 1820 we have from Banbridge George Nicholson, Wm. Hayes Jun., Walter Crawford, R.B. (Registered Bleacher); Thomas Crawford, Andrew Crawford, R.B., James Foot, R.B, Ed.C. Clibborn, R.B. Richard Hayes, Samuel Law, Hazelbank; Charles Magee.

In the same year the application of Hugh McClelland for Banbridge market was supported by many signatures, including several Mulligans, Weir, and. McClelland, H. McMordie, R,B ; Conway Blizzard, Moses Bodell, R.B. Mr. John Hudson of Banbridge applied in 1805 to be appointed a linen factor. He presented a testimonial- "We know the memorialist and believe him fully qualified for the situation of a linen factor. W. and Robert Hayes," In 1802 there was an investigation into supposed injurious methods of bleaching, Mr. William Hayes gave evidence on oath" Says he lives in Millmount. Co. Down. and it strikes him it would be a material injury to prohibit the use of murietic acid and the detergent salt," In the account of unmerchantable linens settled by reference or otherwise compromised in the years 1800 and 1801 this entry occurs" Complainant, Shaw ; sealed by John Birch : Residence, Banbridge: Alleged tender; Compromised." In 1819 Samuel Greer, Banbridge, made application for five sets of interior works of scutch mills. Grants were made in 1824 for flax mills; additional scutches David Stewart, Rosehall, Banbridge, post town; Michael Barry, Lisnaliggan, Banbridge, post town.

When the dissolution of the Linen Board was being considered certain leading linen merchants from each county were consulted, Those selected to represent County Down were William Hayes, Banbridge ; Brice Smyth & Sons, Banbridge ; Richard Coulter, Newry; William Murland, Castlewellan; James Murland, Castlewellan ; John Andrews, Comber. Professor Conrad Gill in his " Rise of the Irish Linen Industry " states that the five great fairs for linen yearly in Banbridge were constantly attended by factors from England. He writes: "Nearly all the farmers were bleachers." This point may be illustrated from the census returns of 1821 for " the parish of Seapatrick which includes most (sic) of the town of Banbridge and a stretch of five miles of the River Bann bordered with a succession of bleach greens. "The following list gives the chief farmers in this parish with the area of their land and the description of their work given in the returns :

Francis Mulligan 22 acres Farmer, Linen Merchant, Bleacher
John Mulligan 28 acres Farmer and cloth merchant, bleach mills
Abraham Russell 17 acres Farmer, linen merchant, corn scutch mills
James Charles Mulligan 19 acres Farmer, linen merchant, bleacher
Hans M'Murdy 39 acres Farmer, bleach mills
Walter Crawford 112 acres Farmer, bleacher
George Crawford 68 acres Farmer and linen draper
Thomas Crawford N/A Linen buyer
Wm. Hudson 61 acres Linen merchant, bleach mills
Gilbert Mulligan 67 acres Linen merchant, farmer, bleach mills
Henry Sterling 14 acres Farmer, cloth merchant, bleacher
Samuel Law 22 acres Farmer, bleach mills
William Hayes 93 acres Linen merchant, farmer, bleach and corn mills
Edward Clibborn 21 acres Farmer, flour and bleach mills

In 1842 the Proceedings of the Society for the Promotion and Improvement of the Growth of Flax in Ireland show that Banbridge members were John Finlay, Frederick Hayes, Samuel Law, John Smyth & Co. The Annual Report of this Society for 1845 records a prize of £4 awarded in Class D for best bushel of flaxseed to Thomas Weir, Banbridge. Atkinson in his "Ireland exhibited to England (1823) waxes enthusiastic about the Bann valley and Banbridge. He writes :"Between this town and the village of Gilford, a distance of only four miles, there are no less than six extensive bleach greens on the river where goods arc finished in the first style of bleaching, a process for which the Bann water is eminent," "This little tract of four miles may be considered as one continued theatre of beauty, genius and commerce", R. Mc Bride was then the resident in Bannview, Newry Road.



Although much has been written about the linen industry in Northern Ireland and the workers in the mills, not much seems to have been written about the families behind the industry.  A wealthy industrial elite, many of these families were involved not only in running their factories, but also in the politics of Northern Ireland and particularly Unionism. To coin a phrase, these people have been described as the ‘linenocracy’ and one family, which typifies this almost neglected history of the industry, were the Uprichards of the “Springvale Bleachworks”.

 Originally of Welsh extraction, the Uprichard family – James, Thomas and Henry arrived in Ireland in the 19th Century to the Silverwood area of Lurgan.  Described as linen drapers, the three brothers bought the old ‘Millpark Bleachworks’ from a long established linen family in the Tullylish area, the Christys.  It was here that they built their “Springvale Bleachworks”.

 Of the three brothers, James married and had four children, one of whom, William, married twice, firstly to Sarah Jackson and secondly to Maria Malone.  It was with their eldest son, Henry Albert that the Uprichard family came into their own. 

 At this point in time their main home was Bannvale House in the village of Gilford, though there was a fine house at Millpark, still standing and still owned by the last of the Uprichard line – Henry Albert III, now in his 82nd year. However, this changed in 1884 when Henry Albert married Emily Green, daughter of Forster Green, a prominent and wealthy Belfast businessman and like the Uprichard family, a Quaker.  It just so happened in that year, the nearby Elmfield (often referred to today as Elmfield Castle though as Albert and one of his cousins, Mrs Rosemary Bryson nee Sinton, say – “It was always simply Elmfield; none of this castle business”) came on the market. 

 It was one of three sister houses in the Banbridge/Gilford area all built for members of the same family, the Dicksons who were partners in the giant “Dunbar McMaster” linen mill in the village itself situated on land that was once owned by the Uprichards.  Only recently the present Albert discovered that he still owns the tailrace that runs from the old mill and back into the River Bann at Bannvale.

James Dickson, who had made a fortune in the linen trade thanks to the boom caused by the American civil war, had the Glaswegian architect, Thomas Spence, design Elmfield.  Unfortunately the Dicksons wealth was not to last, one factor being the legal wrangle over the firm when the senior partner, Hugh Dunbar, died with no male heir to take over.  In its day, this court case was quite famous, only being resolved by the House of Lords, the Dicksons losing.

 Forster Green decided to buy Elmfield as a wedding present for his daughter Emily and it was from then on that Elmfield became the Uprichard family’s main seat.  Here they lived in great style, their leisure time being centred mainly on horses.  Together Emily and Henry Albert had five children before Emily’s untimely death from TB, probably one of the reasons behind her father’s decision to found the Forster Green Hospital at Newtownbreda.  Emily was laid to rest in the little Friends’ Meeting House at Moyallan.  Henry Albert was to marry again, to an English lady, Beatrice Taylor with whom he had one daughter, Beatrice Eileen.  His sister Hannah Maria married F W Woods of Dublin, members of which family include the gentleman credited with the invention of the pneumatic valve, the famous motorcyclist Manliff Barrington who died a couple of years ago and Lt/Col A D Woods, now in his 84th year, the youngest officer in his day to be awarded the Military Cross, as well as being ADC to Field Marshal Montgomery.  Lt/Col Woods’ two aunts Edith and Hannah Maria, both married into the Sinton linen family of Banford House, Tullylish; both married Frederick Buckby Sinton who was the father of the previously mentioned Rosemary Bryson.  Edith and Hannah Maria are buried on either side of their husband in the Friends’ graveyard at Moyallan, a charming little building dating from the late 1700s.  The headstones in the graveyard here read like a “Who’s Who” of the linen industry, with names like Turtle, Sinton, Bell and Richardson all featuring.  One interesting aspect to this graveyard is that, although all Quakers are considered equal in the eyes of God, the Richardsons have their own private burial plot, hedged off from the main burial ground, prompting the saying that although all Quakers are equal, some are more equal than others!  The Richardsons were one of if not the wealthiest of the linen families in Northern Ireland and owned a large mill at Bessbrook, now an army base.

The children from Henry Albert’s first marriage were – William Forster Uprichard, Henry Albert Uprichard, Forster Green Uprichard, Emile Llewllyn Uprichard and Mary Green Uprichard.  In Willie Uprichard’s time at Elmfield there was a polo field, he and his brothers forming their own polo team, two tennis courts (cork for all weather and grass for the summer), a badminton hall, which doubled as a roller skating rink and perhaps most extravagant of all, a replica of the Punchestown Racecourse laid out in the grounds.  Willie, who was educated at Shrewsbury public school and Cambridge, was an expert horseman, training horses for other people as well as his own.  In 1921 he won the Punchestown Gold Cup with a horse called “The Monk”.  At the minute, Punchestown are hoping to get the cup on loan from Willie’s grandson, David Hill, who still has it in his possession.

 Of course, one thing the linen barons around the Banbridge area were well known for was hunting and the Uprichards were no exception.  Brian Faulkner, the last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and good friend of the present Albert Uprichard, acknowledges the fact in his biography.  It was Albert who taught him how to hunt, Faulkner mentioning how the Uprichard’s had hunted for generations.  Willie was Master of the Iveagh Harriers, as was his son, the previously mentioned Henry Albert who was Master of the Iveaghs for twenty-five years.

 Of the four Uprichard brothers, Willie married Nancy Kane, daughter of the Rev R R Kane, Church of Ireland Rector at Tullylish, fervent Orangeman and Irish speaker.  One of his sons, Paddy Kane, was Governor of Fiji, quelling a rebellion there by sitting in his deck chair and reading “The Times”! The marriage of Willie and Nancy connected the Uprichard family with two other prominent linen families – the Browns of Edenderry in Belfast (“John Shaw Brown & Sons”) and the Rogers family, two of Nancy’s sisters marrying George Brown and Sidney Rogers.  Willie’s sister, Mary (May), married Mickie Bland and were the grandparents of Sir Christopher Bland, one time Chairman of the BBC and the recently appointed Chairman of BT.  Willie’s sister from his father’s second marriage, Beatrice Eileen, married Lieutenant-Commander Kenneth Kirkpatrick whose family owned one of the oldest and largest bleachworks in Ireland – “Kirkpatrick Brothers” of Ballyclare.  The Commander attended Dartmouth Naval College along with the Queen’s father, with whom he was friendly.  The Commander and his family lived at Church Hill, Maghera, Newcastle, in the study of which there is a picture of a young King George VI in naval uniform and a small picture of his father, King George V’s charger. Diana Kirkpatrick, his daughter, studied ballet in Paris, her tutor having been the mistress of the last Tsar of Russia.  Diana left when the Second World War broke out, returning home where she ended up working for the American Navy as a driver.  The Kirkpatricks moved in the highest social circles, the Commander having been Master of the East Down Foxhounds and the County Down Staghounds. 

 Looking through Miss Kirkpatrick’s photograph albums you’ll come across pictures of Princess Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Abercorn (great-grandparents of Diana, Princess of Wales), the Marquess and Marchioness of Londonderry and their daughter, Lady Mairi Bury, the Earl and Countess of Clanwilliam, the Earl and Countess of Roden (Lady Clodagh Roden being one of the Kennedy girls of Bishopscourt, Co Kildare, whose father bred the famous racehorse Tetrarch.  Lady Roden was also a renowned beauty), ‘Ginger’ Wellesley, kinsman of the Duke of Wellington, Lord Glentoran, Lady Brookeborough, the Closes of the now demolished Drumbanagher House, considered the Scottish architect William Playfair of Edinburgh’s finest country house, the Viscount Bury otherwise known as Derek Keppel, heir to the Earldom of Albemarle who died before he inherited the title. Interestingly, it was his niece, Judith Keppel, who was the first person to win the £1 000 000 on the ITV show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”.  Lord Bury married Lady Mairi Vane-Tempest-Stewart, youngest daughter of Lord and Lady Londonderry who still resides at their Irish seat, Mountstewart.  Lady Mairi Bury is the great-aunt of Jemima Khan née Goldsmith.  However, perhaps the most interesting two photographs in these albums are of Errol Flynn at a meet of the East Down Hunt, Dromara, Miss Kirkpatrick relating that the horse he was riding was the horse that pulled O’Reilly’s hearse, the local publican and undertaker. 

 One of the people who enjoyed following the hunt was ‘The Yellow Devil” - Harry Ferguson, who wasn’t spared the Commander’s riding crop across the roof of his yellow car (hence the nickname) if he got in the way of the field.  However, one of the benefits of having Harry Ferguson around according to Mrs Vera Stephenson, a member of another well known linen dynasty, was that if you got separated from the field you only had to look out for “The Yellow Devil” to see whereabouts they were.

 Willie Uprichard’s two sons, Rutledge Kane Uprichard and Henry Albert, kept up the tradition of horsemanship in the family.  Rutledge was considered the best amateur jockey in Ireland, even being picked to ride in the Grand National, though a kick from a horse the day before prevented him entering. The horse he was meant to ride came in at 44-1.  Albert described his elder brother as a modern day Regency buck and any ladies that remember Rutledge describe him as being “very handsome” and much sought after.  The two brothers often raced against one another in point-to-points, Rutledge usually winning, though Albert had his moments as newspaper reports at the time testify, winning one race when he was only fourteen.  Albert was a superb huntsman whose name still carries a lot of weight in such circles today, whilst his cousin Diana still carries on the Kirkpatrick connection with the East Down Foxhounds. 

 It was through hunting that Albert became friendly with the last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Brian Faulkner.  Every Saturday Albert would go to the Faulkners’ house for dinner and a discussion of the week’s hunting.  He relates that there wasn’t really much love lost between Brian Faulkner and Captain Terence O’Neill, recalling a story of how, one day whilst out hunting in the Armagh area he and Faulkner accidentally crossed the border ending up in a farmyard.  A gentleman with a Southern brogue approached them, pointing at Faulkner saying, “I know you; I know you I do – you’re that Terence O’Neill!”  Faulkner just agreed and he and Albert left pretty quickly!  Albert also considered Terence O’Neill to be not just as liberal as the history books portray him. 

 According to Albert, Faulkner would judge the members of his cabinet by how he thought they would ride to hounds.  An interesting letter in Albert’s possession from Brian Faulkner throws some light on his character as it says he considered it a greater honour to be asked to become Joint Master of the Iveagh Harriers than when the Prime Minister asked him to join the Cabinet.

 Albert’s hunting stories could fill a book in their own right, many sounding as if they came straight from the pages of Somerville and Ross.  There was ‘Crash and Bang’ a husband and wife so called because he would crash through hedges calling to his wife, “Come on darling, have a bang at that!” Crash wearing a monocle.  There was the story of Howard Ferguson of the Ferguson linen family; he and Albert came into a farmyard to be greeted by a proud mother and her many children lined up according to age and height.  Howard Ferguson asked the lady, “Madam, are all these children yours?” the proud mother replying, “Yes sir, they are indeed sir” to which Howard retorted, “Bloody ridiculous!” and rode off.

 Another favourite sport of Albert’s was and is boxing.  He still runs the Halls Mill Boxing Club to which Wayne McCullough paid a visit and fitted in some sparring a couple of weeks ago.  It was at school (Mourne Grange Preparatory and Sedbergh Public School) he gained his love for this sport, though as he says today, if the politicians have their way, they’ll end up banning his two passions – hunting and boxing.

 During the Second World War, unlike most people of his class, Albert joined up in the ranks.  As you would expect from someone whose life revolved around horses, he joined the North Irish Horse, eventually ending up training for the Paras.  This consisted of going up in a balloon, sometimes at night, which had a hole in the middle of the basket and seats for the soldiers round the outside.  The soldiers then jumped through the hole, a frightening experience in the dark, says Albert, as you were jumping into nothingness.  Once, they were doing a jump near Coalisland and though this was meant to be secret, Albert managed to get word to his mother who came to watch.  That evening he invited a few of his comrades over to Elmfield for dinner; except one.  This was a Welshman who had grown up in a mining village and was very socialist.  Although he and Albert were great friends, Albert thought that if he invited him to dinner at Elmfield and the Welshman saw how he lived, then he would lose the friendship.  Much to Albert’s regret, his Welsh friend found out that everyone else had been invited except him, took offence and they fell out anyhow.

 Rutledge was with the British Expeditionary Force and was one of the few officers who managed to get back to England with their guns.  He was also awarded the MBE, his medals having been given to the “R R Kane Memorial Orange Hall”, Tullylish, the corner stone of which was laid by a very young Rut.

 Another Uprichard who hasn’t been mentioned yet is Rut and Albert’s sister, Maureen, described by Colonel Woods, MC, as “the Grace Kelly of her day.”  An early boyfriend of Maureen’s was Sir George (Tony) Clark whose family were partners in the “Workman and Clark” shipping company, second only to “Harland and Wolff.”  He and his father before him were heavily involved in Unionist politics and the Orange Order, Maureen recalling that the Clarks “threw the most wonderful parties.” Maureen ended up marrying Captain Duncan Hill, DSO, Naval attaché to Moscow after the war.  Maureen’s son David was born there.  When they returned to England, Maureen and her family went to live at Stoneleigh Abbey, home of Robin, Lord Leigh and one of England’s finest stately homes.  Indeed, Maureen remembers the night of the fire at Stoneleigh and the servants having to be rescued from the roof.

 Unlike his contemporaries, Albert’s politics would tend more to the nationalist view, perhaps something to do with the life he has led - from mixing in the upper echelons of society and Unionist politics through his family and hunting to, through his love of boxing, the “common man”, so to speak.  One person Albert did come into contact with was Prince Nicolai Chebotarev, a White Russian émigré who was staying at the nearby Moyallan House (home of the Richardsons) and who would come to Elmfield to go riding.  A recently published book has claimed that Prince Nikolai was none other than the Tsarevitch who had somehow escaped being murdered along with the rest of the Russian Royal Family.  Albert has his doubts!

 After his brother’s death, Albert sold the Elmfield estate of some 250 acres, the contents of the house being auctioned off (the portrait of his great-grandfather, Forster Green, which once hung in the dining room, is now in the Forster Green Hospital).  He also inherited Lawrencetown House, home of his Uncle Forster, which he also sold. He himself lived, along with his mother and butler, Dawson, at Millpark, though he often says his heart is still at Elmfield.

 Other contemporaries of Albert’s and other linen families who led just as interesting lives include the previously mentioned Rosemary Buckby Bryson, now in her nineties and a daughter of Frederick Sinton who left some £200 000 when he died in 1944 (his elder brother Maynard leaving a fortune of £96 000 when he died the year before).

 Rosemary went to school in Dublin, before being sent to school in Switzerland recalling how on a school trip to Italy she and her fellow pupils got to meet the Pope.  Her two elder sisters Dorothy and Maud married into the Ferguson linen family, Dorothy marrying Thomas Dickson Ferguson whilst her sister Maud married Stanley Carr Ferguson.  Rosemary herself married George Herbert Bryson of the famous linen firm “Spence Bryson”. Rosemary’s brother Frederick Maynard married Janet Simpson whose family were the owners of the shop named after them in Piccadilly, London. Another member of a London shop owning family to have married into a linen family from Banbridge and who lived in the town was Susan Stewart-Liberty of the famous “Liberty” store in London.  She married John B Cowdy whose family owned the “Millmount Bleachworks” where Albert served his time. One of the Sintons ‘cousins’ was Professor Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton who jointly won the Nobel Prize for Physics in the 1920s for his pioneering work in atomic physics.  His daughter Marion taught at Methodist College and lives on the Malone Road.

 Rosemary Bryson’s younger brother from her father’s second marriage, Arthur Buckby Sinton, married Vera Smyth.  Vera was a member of the Smyth linen family, one of the oldest in Banbridge.  They owned the “Brookfield” linen factory.  Her father was David Wilson Smyth, whose sister Eva married Thomas Spencer Ferguson, cousin of Thomas Dickson Ferguson and Stanley Ferguson.  D W Smyth married Vera Gordon, a member of the famous Barbour linen dynasty.  Vera Gordon was a cousin of Nellie Andrews who had married Thomas Andrews of “Titanic” fame.  The family still has a book, a small biography of Thomas Andrews, signed “To Vera, lots of love, Nellie”. The present Vera also has a photograph of her father with the Duke of Windsor on the steps of Royal County Down, he having been picked to play with the Duke on a visit to Ireland.  Vera also remembers going to visit Sir Milne Barbour at his house, Conway, though she said her father didn’t have much time for the Barbour connection.  Her cousin Elise Coburn (née Barbour), however, remembers Sir Milne and Conway very well as she spent a lot of her youth there.  Vera’s first cousin, Jean Gordon, married Colonel James Dickson Ferguson, brother of Thomas Dickson Ferguson who had married Dorothy Sinton.  The Ferguson family would take another couple of pages in their own right and include amongst their members the composer Howard Ferguson who helped organise the wartime concerts in the National Gallery with Dame Myra Hess during WWII and who died last year aged ninety.  Howardy’s (as he was known in the family) sister Daisy was a renowned lady golfer.  Another of his sisters married one of the Sinclair family, Professor of Greek at QUB and brother or cousin of Maynard Sinclair, the politician.  A first cousin was the artist Tom Carr.  Through the Carr connection the Fergusons were linked to the previously mentioned Workman family.  They also boasted a connection, through the marriage of a Ferguson daughter, to the Murland linen family of Castlewellan.

 The above is just the tip of the iceberg when you consider we have only mentioned half a dozen or so linen families, the majority from the Banbridge area alone.  As can be seen, it is a subject that has been very little investigated.  Perhaps some day these families will be recognised for the contribution they have made to Northern Irish history, but it will have to be done soon as the majority of the people who remember it how it was are in their late 70s, early 80s and some in their 90s; once they go, that will be it.

Pigott & Co/s Directory for 1824
(Gives the following as Linen Merchants and Bleachers in Banbridge)


Ed.C. Clibborn, George Crawford, Ballydown.
Thos. Crawford, Ballievy.
Walter Crawford, Ballievy House.
Crawfords & Lindsay, Ballydown.
James Foot, Banville.
Wm. Hayes & Son, Millmount.
John Kelly, Eliza Hill, Joseph Law, Coose.
Samuel Law, Hazel Bank, John Lockhart and Hugh, Clare.
Thos. Lockhart, Larchfield.
Hans M'Murdy, Ballievy.
Francis Mulligan, Tullyconnaught.
Gilbert Mulligan, Ballydown.
J.C. Mulligan, Charleville.
John Mulligan, Tullyconnaught.
John Mulligan, Parkmount.
David Murphy, Linenhill.
Samuel Russell, Balluely.

Brice Smyth (i) Edenderry : (i) Greatgrandfather of D. Wilson Smyth, D.L., Brookfield Banbridge, and Malone Park, Belfast.

John Waugh, Whitehill.
Wm. Weir, Lenaderg.
James Woods, Ballyvarley.
Moses Woods, Ballyvarley House.
Hugh Dunbar is recorded as a thread manufacturer.
Andrew Mc Clelland as a linen and cotton manufacturer.
David Stewart, Rosehall, as a flax merchant.

The Belfast Post Office Directory of 1843-4 includes the new names of James Carson, thread manufacturer; the address of Brice Smyth & Sons is now given as Brookfield ; George Chapman, linen manufacturer; Hugh Dunbar, linen manufacturer, has the address Huntley Glen; Frederick Hayes, linen manufacturer, Seapatrick; Charles Lockhart, thread manufacturer, Rosehall; David Lockhart, thread manufacturer, Halls Mill; Jonathan Matchett, thread manufacturer, Leeburn ; John Mc Clelland, linen manufacturer, Banview; Wm. Robinson, linen manufacturer, Rockview (1) ; John Smyth & Co., linen manufacturers, Milltown ; Wm. Waugh, linen manufacturer, Seapatrick.
In Slater's 1846 Directory additional information is to be found, Francis B. Mc William, flax merchant; Edw. C. Clibborn as a flour miller, linen merchant and bleacher; James Carson's address is Church Street and Scarva Street; Joshua B. Finnett & Co., Banford ; John Finlay, Bridge Street ; Samuel and Thomas Haughton, Banford ; Fred. Wm. Hayes is a flax spinner ; McClelland & Sons, Bellemount; M'Clelland, Ferguson & Co., Seapatrick ; James McClelland & Co., Banville; John and George Mulligan, Ballydown. The thread merchants are Stewart Craig, Church Street, and Robert McClelland & Co Bellemount. At the Great Exhibition held in London, 1852, the first prize for diapers went to Clibborn & Co. of Banbridge. In Dublin Exhibition, 1853, we find (McCall's " Ireland and her Staple Manufactures") Mr. Lindsay (2) of Ashfield, and Messrs. Harrison of Dromore, showing pleated linen for shirt fronts that aroused much admiration. Their fabrics were looked on as remarkable evidence of the improvement in handloom manufactures. Other exhibitors are mentioned from Banbridge whose names Mr. McCall does not give. At the Great Fair held in London, 1862, M'Call  enumerates among the exhibitors of linens Fenton, Son & Co; Dunbar, Dickson & Co.

(1) Now known as The Rock, Dromore Road.
(2) Cousin of the Lindsays of Tullyhenan and Moorlands.

Dickson & Co., Brown & Liddell, H, Matier & Co., Clibborn, Hill & Co. Among the spinners he mentions the (I highly attractive show of yarns and a still more diversified display of threads " by Dunbar, Mc Master & Co, McCall gives high praise to Hugh Dunbar, a Banbridge man, the founder of this firm -- "Fifty years ago (ie., about 1805) that now famous seat of industry (Gilford) was a mere village surrounded by a wide range of bleach-fields, manufacturers' residences and weavers dwellings . . . Sometime about that period Mr. Dunbar, founder of the famous firm of Dunbar, Mc Master & Co, commenced the manufacture of thread in the town of Gilford. Like the elder Mr. Barbour, this gentleman was of the old school. Steady and persevering in his business habits, he looked on success as the goal of his ambitions and permitted no doubt or difficulty to stand in the way. But while he pushed onwards and exercised judgment as well as enterprise in the details of his affairs, he never forgot that the workpeople in his employment had positive claims on his liberality."

Mr. Dunbar was baptised in the old Presbyterian Church, January 23rd, 1789, the son of Robert Dunbar and Mary McWilliam. He died at Huntley, 17th June, 1847. His obituary notice in the Irish Unitarian Magazine states "few men in the middle rank of life have left more decisive or creditable memorials than he, of superior talents, judicious enterprise, unbending integrity of principle, enlarged philanthropy and general usefulness". He was extraordinarily generous. He is described as giving princely subscriptions to public relief funds at a time of distress. "He had a list of fully four hundred paupers whom he weekly served at his own house with pecuniary aid". (Perhaps we may find here the origin of the phrase "Banbridge Beggars.") And it was " while in the act of dispensing his alms " that he died. The piece of money he was about to give was found still in his hand after death. In 1844 he laid the foundation stone of the present Unitarian Church. He was unmarried. It is claimed that the first person to make weaving by steampower a success in Belfast was Mr. Abraham Walker Craig. He was born in Tandragee in 1813 and served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Brice Smyth & Sons, Brookfield. Going to Belfast he owned " Craig's Mill " which with his Falls Factory was merged in the Northern Spinning & Weaving Co. now represented by the New Northern. Other distinguished apprentices of Brookfield were Sir John Preston and Henry Matier (H, Matier & Co.) In writing of the linen trade of Banbridge homage must always be paid to the River Bann that made it possible. The natural supply of water in this river has been preserved and regulated by engineering skill. A paper read in 1874 before the British Association by John Smyth, jr., C.E., F.C.S., of Milltown, gives a lucid account of the work of the Bann Reservoir Company.

He quotes Sir Robert Kane that " the Upper Bann is the most fully economised river in Ireland "from its source in the Deer's Meadow to Moyallon flour mill is 31 miles long. There is no record of when first mills were erected on it ; some of the weir dams found in old maps seem very ancient. From the junctions of the Muddock River to the outlet from Corbet Lough the fall is 441 feet and from the latter point to the level of the tail water at Moyallon mill the fall is 168 feet. In 1772 he estimates there were 26 bleach mills on the river. The undershot wheels, however, only utilised about 25%, of the theoretical useful effect of the falls. About 1833 Mr. Law of Hazelbank applied to Sir William Fairbairn, F.R.S,, the celebrated hydraulic engineer, He erected an iron breast wheel which was then a great improvement. It was used for driving linen beetling machines. Afterwards Sir W. Fairbairn erected a similar one at Seapatrick (Mr. Hayes) for driving beetling engines and power looms. In 1835 the principal mill-owners took steps to procure a more regular supply of water. The Committee appointed was Thos. Crawford, Geo. Mulligan, Edw. Clibborn, Rich. Hayes, Hugh Dunbar, Fred. Hayes, John Smyth Sen.., Samuel Law, Benj. Haughton, Isaac Stoney, John Christie, Thos.Wakefield  Jun.. They consulted Sir W. Fairbairn and J. F. Bateman, F.R.S., who in their report advised the construction of two impounding reservoirs, Lough Island Reavy and Deer's Meadow, with an auxiliary one at the Corbet Lough. The Bann Reservoir Co. was then. formed and the Lough Island Reavy reservoir constructed in 1839.

The Company was involved in ruinous lawsuits by farmers whose lands were flooded. The appeals went to the House of Lords and were regarded as legal precedents. The Corbet Reservoir proved a difficult undertaking and was not finished until 1847. " The Deer's Meadow Reservoir was abandoned as the works were of a heavy character and the gathering ground being small it was feared there would not be sufficient water to fill it." Lough Island Reavy cost for engineering works £15,000 and for land £6,000. Mr. Smyth gives the following list of weirs occupied in 1874 Ballyroney :

Mrs. Murphy, corn and scutch ; Linen Hill.
Alex. Porter, corn and scutch; Ardbrin.
Wm. Kirk, scutch; Corbet.
John Simms, corn and beetling; Ballievy.
George Crawford, beetling ; Lisnaree.
Thomas E. Henry, scutch ; Ballydown.
G. & J. Lindsay, bleaching and beetling ; Tullyear (Roselawn, now the property of T. N. Andersen)
James Mc William, yarn bleach ; Banbridge.
James Mc William, bleaching, beetling and corn; Millmount.
James Mc Millam, bleaching; Seapatrick.
William Hayes, flax spinning ; Milltown.
W. Smyth and John Smyth, jr., bleaching ; Lenaderg.
W. Smyth and John Smyth, jr., beetling ; Banville.
W. Smyth and John Smyth, jr., beetling ; Hazelbank.
Mrs.McTier and Miss Law, flax spinning; Knocknagor.
W. Uprichard, scutch and corn ; Springvale.
W. and H. Uprichard, bleaching ; Millpark.
W & H. Uprichard, bleaching ; Banford (now owned by Thos. Sinton & Co.)
T Haughton and J. Jaffe, bleaching ; Mountpleasant.
George Mullin, beetling ; Glen Mills.
George Mullin, flour; Thornhill.
H. D. & J, G, McMaster, beetling ; Gilford.
H. D, & J, G. M' Master, corn and spinning ; Moyallen.
David Mercier, flour.

The tendency of later years is for the manufacture, spinning and bleaching to be concentrated in fewer and larger firms. The old firms of Smyth of Brookfield and Smyth of Milltown still continue. In McCall's " Ireland and her Staple Manufactures " (1855) there is an interesting incident recorded of Brice Smyth who had died previously. He "was another instance of the acuteness which want of sight imparts to those who labour under that privation. This gentleman had been brought up in the midst of manufacturing enterprise, and so admirably schooled was his sense of touch that he could have told the 'set' of a linen web by running his hand over it. He was also able to examine the brown webs as they were brought into his warehouse by the weavers, and in doing so he could have formed an accurate judgment as to whether or not the cloth had been correctly woven. On one occasion, and when busy attending to the department of the business, a weaver who was in the brown warehouse stole some hanks of weft, which had been lying on the counter beside him. Mr. Smyth immediately went to another part of the concern and called on an assistant to seize the delinquent, stating that he suspected some article had been stolen. The man was charged with having taken part of the yarn from off the counter, and when searched a parcel of weft was found concealed under his coat. Some time afterwards Mr. Smyth was asked how he became aware of what was going on, and he replied that he knew by the man holding in his breath for a few moments that all was not right." John Smyth, brother of Brice Smyth of Brookfield, founded the Milltown bleaching works not later than 1824. He was born in 1798.
People named Crawford were his predecessors and had a corn mill. John married Anna McClelland and had a family of twelve children. He lived to the age of ninety-two years. He built Milltown House, and also Bellfield for his cousins, the Weirs of Lenaderg Cottage. His son, William, started linen manufacturing and with his brother, John founded the present firm of Wm. Smyth & Co. He married Anna, daughter of Andrew Dickson, sister of Mrs. Thomas Ferguson of Edenderry. John was an able engineer whose paper read at the British Association has already been referred to. This John Smyth married Florence, daughter of William Haughton of Roebuck, Co. Dublin. Another son, George, graduated in Trinity College, Dublin, entered the Indian Civil Service in which he finally held the high position of Commissioner in the Punjab. He married Helen, daughter of Thomas Ferguson of Edenderry. For an account of his brilliant son, Gerald, another son, Brice, after graduating in T.C.D., became a well known physician in. Belfast. His son is Malcolm Brice Smyth, M.B., of University Square, Belfast. James, the third son of John Smyth, Sen., was the father of the present owner of Milltown, J. Douglas Smyth. The Brewery was originally built in 1840 by the Johnstons of Lurgan. It has passed through several hands and is now   unoccupied, In the year 1853 the Malcolmsons of Waterford took it over for cloth bleaching and finishing. They had then a warehouse in Belfast; a Mr. Fennell was their manager. James McWilliam seems to have been associated with them. In any case he became their successor in the ownership of these bleaching works. Mr McWilliam lived in the house on the Newry Road now occupied by Mr. W.A. McCaldin, It used to be known as the Ball Alley, and there he manufactured thread. At one time he owned or carried on several places in Banbridge, including the Clibborn's linen works, Millmount bleaching works, and the Ballydown bleaching works. James Anderson & Co. are now the proprietors of the last firm.

William Waugh started his factory in 1830. William Walker who was his partner built in 1865 the power-loom factory. It occupies partly the site of the old Clibborn factory, Prospect Terrace having been erected where the Clibborn warehouse stood. After Walker's death Hamilton and Robinson bought the business out of Chancery. It was afterwards taken over by Messrs. Robinson and Cleaver, the well-known Belfast firm, whose linens are famous through the world. The Bann Weaving Co. was built at Belmont by Robert McClelland & Sons in 1865. It is now disused.

The Edenderry factory of Messrs. Thomas Ferguson & Co, has contributed greatly to the modern prosperity of Banbridge. It employs large numbers of the residents in the town and district. Thomas Ferguson, the founder, was born in 1820 and served his apprenticeship with Brice Smyth of Brookfield, like so many other leaders of the Ulster linen industry. About the year 1846 he began business in the hand-loom manufacturing. (This was before the power-loom era set in). Some ten years later he secured the first portion of the property on which the present works stand. In 1866 he built his powerloom works and made extensions to them on two subsequent occasions. In 1883 the firm was merged into a limited liability company and has so continued. In conjunction with Samuel Lament & Son, Ltd., of Belfast and Ballymena, this firm has lately become possessed of the Ballievy bleaching works and are carrying on bleaching there in spacious new buildings with modern machinery. Several smaller firms in previous times were engaged in Banbridge in the making of linen, among them, Robinson's of the Rock. The house that is prominently seen as one approaches Banbridge from Belfast was formerly part of their drying lofts. It now belongs to Mrs. Walsh, widow of the late John Walsh.

Residents in Banbridge according to Pigot's Directory 1824
(Many in this Directory are mentioned in the Chapter on Linen.)


Post Master :
Mr. William Merrin.

Gentry and Clergy:
Atkinson, A.
Beattie, the Rev. Thos., Tullylish.
Byrne, P. C., Ardbrin.
Burrowes, Rev. Francis., rector.
Crawford, Mrs., Milltown.
Crawford, Lieutenant John, Rosetta Cottage.
Davis, Rev. James
Johnston, Rev. John, Tullylish.
M'Gennis, Rev. Edmund, P.P.
M'Cance, Mrs., May E., Lenaderg.
Montgomery, Hugh Lyons, Esq., Lawrencetown.
Rutherford, Rev. John, Eliza-ville.
Sampson, Rev. Wm., Magherally.
Sampson, Lieutenant Wm., Magherally Glebe.
Scriven, Captain John, Ballymoney Lodge.

Crozier, George and Son
Frazer, Hugh
Law, George Wilm.
Little,George Washington

Surgeons & Apothecaries:
Chain, Robert
Saunderson, George
Malcomson, James
Tyrrell, George


Atkinson, Miss (ladies boarding and day)
Davis, Rev.James (gents classical and commercial, boarding and day)

Inn and Hotels:

Downshire Arms (posting)-Margaret Boyle
Shopkeeper, Traders ,&c.
Ball, Prudence, baker
Blizard, John, Linen draper
Chambers, Alexander, grocer
Finlay, John, grocer
Gardiner, Thomas, linen draper.
Henry, Euphemia, Mary and Margaret, linen drapers.
Herron, David, woollen draper.
Hutchinson, Thomas, dyer and cotton printer.
Kelly, James, shuttle maker.
Kinear, John, grocer and leather seller.
Love, John, grocer.
M'Carrison, John, wheelright.
M'Clelland, Andrew, woollen draper and linen & cotton manufacturer.
M'Clelland, John, hosier.
M'Clelland, Robert, baker.
M'Clelland, Thomas, hardware man.
M'Clelland, Wm., linen draper and haberdasher.
M'c William, Wm., woollen draper.
Main, John, woollen draper.
Martin, Andrew, grocer.
Meek, Thomas, baker
Nelson, Joseph, watch and clock maker.
Porter, John, butter merchant, Kates-bridge.
Quin, Daniel, tailor, chandler and soap boiler, grocer and tanner.
Ross, Richard, watch and clock maker.
Scott, John, woollen draper.
Scott, Robert, grocer and ironmonger.
Sloan, James, leather seller.
Smith, Wm., boot and shoe maker.
Sprott, Henry, tailor, chandler, soap boiler and grocer.
Stewart, David, flax merchant, Rose-hall.
Weir, Henry, grocer.
Woods, John, grocer.

Other Traders :
Anderson, Samuel
Anderson, Thomas
Ardery, Robert
Ardery, James
Bell, James
Blain, John
Burn, Daniel
Campbell, John
Downs, Robert
Moore, Gilmer, John
Glass, Samuel
Hamilton, Maxwell
Joyce, Esther
M'Alenan, Hugh
M'Clelland, Samuel
M'Conville, Charles
M'Dowell, James
M` Gill, John
M'Grath, James
M'Ilvain, George
M` Williams, James
Mercer, Robert
Moore, John
Morton, Joseph
Scott, James
Reid, John
Smyth, Jane
Stokes, Thomas
Weir, James
Worrall, James

( Addendum)

In the Belfast Directory of 1843 many new residents in Banbridge occur of whom the following may be mentioned:-John and James Bodel, merchants; Nat. Brownlow, surgeon; Titus Burgess, Downshire Arms ; Robert Cathcart, James Cherry, watchmaker; Alex. Crothers, draper; John Davison, proprietor of the Belfast and Banbridge coach; James Edgar, auctioneer; Thomas Erwin, draper; S. Frackelton, merchant; Wm. Freeman, coach agent; Wm. Fryar, merchant; S. Glass, baker; Joseph Halliday, merchant; Robert Hamilton, do.; Isaac Harvey, do.; Wm. Hawthorn, surgeon; Hugh Herron, draper; Samuel Hill, merchant; Robert Kelso, surgeon; Rev. Edw. Leslie, Edenderry House; John Lindsay, J.P. Tullyhinna (sic), George Linn, merchant; S. Malcomson, surgeon; Rev. Wm. Metge, curate; John Mitchell, solicitor; Margaret Mitchell, postmistress; George Morton, merchant; John M'Cormick, Clerk of Petty Sessions; Fr. O'Flagherty, merchant ; Robert Shaw, watchmaker; Thomas Sheridan, Workhouse Master; John Welsh, J.P., Chinawley. - Editor.

John Mitchel

The celebrated young  Irelander, John Mitchel, author of the Jail journal lived for some years in Banbridge. His family were Covenanters, who left Scotland and took refuge in Tory Island, Co. Donegal. A John Mitchell became Presbyterian Minister 1810, and after ministries elsewhere came to Newry. He joined the Remonstrant (Unitarian) party and died in 1840. He bore a high character. His son, John, born 1815, obtained a T.C.D. degree, 1834. He was examined by the Armagh Presbytery as a candidate for Holy Orders and proceeded satisfactorily until set to write a sermon. He wrote no sermon and abandoned his clerical aspirations. Then he tried banking but gave that up too. In 1836 he entered Mr. Quin's office, a Solicitor, at Newry. He was arrested for eloping with a school girl of 15 years. The pair rowed out from Warrenpoint and caught the Liverpool ship. She was sent away, but he found her out and was married in Drumcree Parish Church. Becoming a partner with Mr. Fraser, a Newry Solicitor, he took charge of the Banbridge branch of the firm. He lived here from 1840 to 1845. He took an active part in the social and political life of the town, adopting the Repeal policy of Daniel O'Connell. He wrote (1844) to his friend, John Martin of Kilbroney, a glowing account of a meeting of Repealers he took part in at Tullylish, " of the people of the three parishes (sic) of Tullylish, Seapatrick and Clare." The chair was taken by James Fivey of Woodbank, near Gilford. Fivey, like Martin, was a graduate of T.C.D. " The Protestant public hereabouts, I assure you, look on with alarm at these doings. The police of Banbridge and Gilford were concentrated upon us at the meeting." Next year we have him voicing the old vain hope of his party. " Indeed I agree with you that Orangedom will come  round; that is the' lower orders ' of it. After which the better classes may go to blazes unless they repent and do penance." In the same year (1845) he was offered by Charles Gavan Duffy a post on the editorial staff of the Nation. He removed to Dublin, a stage on his public and unhappy career. He quarrelled violently in turn with Duffy, O'Connell and Wm. Smith O'Brien. He was sentenced to fourteen years' transportation in 1848. The Banbridge Post-mistress, Miss Margaret Mitchell was his sister. - Editor

Church Records

Banbridge & Area

Seapatrick Roman Catholic Records



Location Reference Nature
National Library of Ireland Pos. 5500 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
Jan. 1st. 1833 to April 14th. 1844
May 7th. 1844 to Aug.13th. 1844
April 26th. 1846 to Feb.5th. 1856
(Clare and Gilford)
Jan. 21st.1843 to Dec. 31st. 1880
Jan. 10th.1833 to April 8th. 1844
Feb. 4th. 1845 to Dec.31st. 1880
April 26th. 1846 to Nov. 25th. 1853
(Clare and Guilford)
Jan. 18th. 1833 to April 17th. 1844
May 1st. 1844 to Dec. 30th. 1880
April 26th. 1846 to Nov. 25th. 1853
(Clare and Gilford


Location Reference Nature
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1D/25 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1833 - 1881 1833 - 1881 1833 - 1881


Location Reference Nature
LDS Family history library British Film Area 0926090 item 1-3 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
Jan 1 1833 - Apr 14 1844
May 7 1844 - Aug 13 1844
Apr 26 1846 - Feb 5 1856

Apr 26 1846 - Feb 5 1856 (Clare and Gilford)
Jan 21 1843 - Dec 31 1880

Jan 10 1833 - Apr 8 1844
Feb 4 1845 - Dec 31 1880
Apr 26 1846 - Nov 25 1853

Feb 4 1845 - Dec 31 1880
Apr 26 1846 - Nov 25 1853 (Clare and Gilford)

Jan. 18, 1833 - Apr. 17, 1844;
May 1, 1844 - Dec. 30,

May 1, 1844 - Dec. 30, 1880;


Location Reference Nature
Ulster Historical Foundation   Database
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1853 - 1900 1853 - 1900 1853 - 1900

Roman Catholic

Location Reference Nature
National Library of Ireland  Pos. 5501 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
Jan 24 1843 - Dec 14 1880 July 10 1850 - Oct 4 1880 July 31, 1850 - Dec. 16, 1880


Location Reference Nature
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland  MIC.1D/26 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
 1843 - 1881 1850 - 1882  1833 - 1880


Location Reference Nature
LDS Family history library British Film Area 0926076 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
Jan 24 1843 - Dec 14 1880 July 10 1850 - Oct 4 1880 July 31, 1850 - Dec. 16, 1880


Location Reference Nature
Ulster Historical Foundation   Database
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1843 - 1900 1850 - 1900 1850 - 1900

Seapatrick Church of Ireland Records

Location Reference Nature
Local Custody   PRO listing
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1802-1876 1802-1845 1835-1876


Location Reference Other Records, vestry minutes 1802-1846, 1880-88, 1901-34
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1/83; D.2573 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1802-1882` 1802-1845 1802-1876


Location Reference Other Records, registers of vestrymen 1870 - ; preachers' books1871 -
Local custody    

Presbyterian Church Records


Location Reference Other Records, Communicants 1867, 1869-70, 1873. 1876-1901; session minutes 1872, 1876, 1899
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1P/170 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1866-1929 1867-1935 1909-1941 (deaths)


Location Reference Nature
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1P/169 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1875-1985 1845-1911  

Banbridge, Bannside

Location Reference Other Records, Communicants' roll 187501918; stipend list 1891-1910; committee minutes 1871-1903; session minutes 1869-1973
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1P/386; C.R.3/47 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1867-1915 1867-1909  

Banbridge, Scarva Street

Location Reference Other Records, Communicants' roll 1875-1918; stipend list 1891-1910
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1P/386  
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1872-1946 1867-1909  

Banbridge (1st) N. S. P.

Location Reference Other Records, Session and committee minutes 1848-1933
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland T.2995/1-4; C.R.4/6; C.R.3/53 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials


Location Reference Nature
LDS Family history library British Film Area 0897412 item 6 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials

Banbridge Methodist Church Records

Location Reference Comment. Earlier baptisms kept at Tandragee
Local custody   Original
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1863 -    

Banbridge Baptist Church Records

Location Reference Other Records, Minute book 1887 -
Local Custody   Original
Baptisms Marriages Burials
  1864 -  

Church of Ireland

Location Reference Nature, Other Records, National Archives original listing. Burnt in 1922
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1817-1879 1827-1845 1834-1838;


Location Reference Nature, Other Records, preachers' books 1899-1954; Sunday school attendance book 1845-1865
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland D.2949/1; DIO.1/14/7 Original
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1784-1791 (extracts)
1828-1856 (extracts)
1784-1791 (extracts)
1828-1856 (extracts)
1784-1791 (extracts);
1828-1856 (extracts)


Location Reference Nature, Other Records, registers of vestrymen 1885 - ; preachers' books1883 -
Local custody   Original
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1880 1845 - 1880 -


Location Reference Nature, Other Records,Account books (stipends, collections, expenses) 1788-1859; session minutes 1825-35;;; lists of committed members 1818, 1833, 1839; stipend payers 1820-22
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1P/211; T.2551/10-11 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials

Drumgooland Lower
Roman Catholic

Location Reference Nature
National Library of Ireland Pos. 5497 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
Mar 24 1832 - Dec 3 1880 Apr 27 1832 - Nov 18 1880 Mar. 11, 1832 - Nov. 14, 1880


Location Reference Nature
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1D/22 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1832 - 1881 1832 - 1881 1832 - 1881


Location Reference Nature
LDS Family history library British Film Area 0926083 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
Mar 24 1832 - Dec 3 1880 Apr 27 1832 - Nov 18 1880 Mar. 11, 1832 - Nov. 14, 1880


Location Reference Nature,
Ulster Historical Foundation   Database
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1832 - 1900 1886 - 1900  

.Drumgooland Upper
Roman Catholic

Location Reference Nature,
National Library of Ireland Pos. 5497 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
May 26 1827 - Dec 28 1880 Aug 9 1827 - Dec 28 1880 May 6, 1828 - Nov. 2, 1880


Location Reference Nature,
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1D/22 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
  1827 - 1880 1828 - 1881


Location Reference Nature,
LDS Family history library British Film Area 0990108 item 4; 0994208 item1 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1817-1946 1827 -  


Location Reference Nature
Ulster Historical Foundation   Database
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1827 - 1900 1827 - 1900  

Church of Ireland

Location Reference Nature
None   PRO listing
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1779 - 1870 1779 - 1845 1779 - 1791;
1839 - 1841;
1860 - 1873


Location Reference Nature
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1/40 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials


Location Reference Nature, Other Records, accounts 1872-1925; Sustention Fund book, 1880-81; registers of vestrymen 1870 -
Local custody   Original
Baptisms Marriages Burials


Location Reference Nature, Other Records, Communion roll 1867-90
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1P/304 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1836-1912 1836-1844


Location Reference Nature, Other Records, Session minutes 1826-54
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1P/133 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1826-1980 1845-1920  


Location Reference Nature, Other Records, Communicants roll 1837-1936; session minutes 1838-64
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland MIC.1P/264 Microfilm
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1839-1901 1836-1936 1837-1843;
1888-1892 (deaths)


Location Reference Nature
Local custody   Original
Baptisms Marriages Burials

Banbridge Town in the County Down

"The Star of The County Down is an old Irish Ballad set near Banbridge County Down, Ireland. The words are by Cathal McGarvey, 1866-1927, from Donegal, the tune of the song is similar to that of other works. The song is sung from the point of view of a young man who chances to meet a charming lady by the name of Rose (or Rosie) McCann, referred to as the "star of the "County Down". From a brief encounter the writer's infatuation grows until, by the end of the ballad, he imagines wedding the girl.


Near Banbridge town, in the County Down
One morning last July
Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen
And she smiled as she passed me by.
She looked so sweet from her two bare feet
To the sheen of her nut brown hair
Such a coaxing elf, sure I shook myself
To make sure I was standing there.

From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
And from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I've seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the County Down.

As she onward sped I shook my head
And I gazed with a feeling rare
And I said, says I, to a passerby
"Who's the maid with the nut-brown hair?"
He smiled at me, and with pride says he,
"That's the gem of Ireland's crown.
She's young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann
She's the star of the County Down."


I've travelled a bit, but never was hit
Since my roving career began
But fair and square I surrendered there
To the charms of young Rose McCann.
I'd a heart to let and no tenant yet
Did I meet with in shawl or gown
But in she went and I asked no rent
From the star of the County Down.


At the crossroads fair I'll be surely there
And I'll dress in my Sunday clothes
And I'll try sheep's eyes, and deludhering lies
On the heart of the nut-brown rose.
No pipe I'll smoke, no horse I'll yoke
Though with rust my plow turns brown
Till a smiling bride by my own fireside
Sits the star of the County Down