County Down

poem written in the 1920's relates to the work of weavers at Holm Factory

"The man with the wee eye"
(Contributed by John McGrehan)

The following poem written in the 1920's relates to the work of weavers at Holm Factory. Murphy and Stevenson were in business as damask weavers there at that time. The writers name is not known, although this latter-day 'Rhyming Weaver' was probably a worker in the factory. Other names mentioned in the poem are certainly locally familiar.
It would appear that 'The man with the Wee Eye' was a cloth passer -- a kind of quality controller who was responsible for checking the finished work of the weavers. Not unnaturally he had the reputation with the other workers of being extremely strict in the discharge of his responsibilities.

Now I have worked in many lands
And many sights I've seen
I've used a pick and shovel
In the little Isle of Green
But at present I am weaving
It's enough to make you cry
For the dread of all, both great and small,
Is the man with the wee eye.

He stands behind the counter
Just like an old bull pup
He sends the young lad Ireland
To bring Jack McDonald up
He looks at Jack so serious
And then to him he says,
"I'll have to fine you in a bob
Unless you mend you ways".

The next to go is McIlwrath
He says to him "My lad
You let the yarn stops out too long
It makes the cut look bad
You will have to be more careful
And keep to the straight path"
"It's a bad hook in the twilling bar"
Says Bobbie McIlwrath.

There is a weaver in the shop
His name is Sammy Mann
He weaves bad hooks right through the cut
And doesn't care a damn
Now just take me I darn't do this
It's enough to make you sigh
He has got a lot of favourites
Has the man with the wee eye.

There's Robbie and McGrehan
There's Turner and there's Burns
The cloth they take up week by week
Would give a man weak turns
But they've got the wind up
And I will tell you why
The man they fear from day to day
Is Mister McAvoy.

He sent for Willie John one day
And says to him "Look sharp
Get out your shears and pick
Out all the dropped warp"
Now Willie John got angry
His teeth with rage he ground
But he either had to pick the cut
or loose a half a crown.

There's McCracken and McCandless
There is Bingham and there's Mann
There's Martin and McQuillan
They do the best they can.
Sometimes their best's not good enough
And then you will hear the cry
"You will have to make it perfect"
Says Mister McAvoy.

There's Acheson and Hamilton
They dread to hear the call
For when young Ireland comes for them
They very nearly fall.
"There's bad cards in this cut" he says
Then he looks at them so sly
He leads them both a terrible life
Does Mister McAvoy.

Now there's John Cardwell the oiler
He has got a rotten job
For when he puts on too much oil
it comes down with a blob.
And when Law Day comes around again
Poor John will give a sigh
"I've got to loop the loop again
With Mister McAvoy."

If I'm going to keep to weaving
I'll have to get a plate
And put it up my sleeve when I
Go up to meet my fate
But perhaps he will mend his manners
If not. look out my boy
There's murder on the skyline
For the man with the wee eye.

Established church, land owners and tenants, Dromore,1868

Her Majesty's Commissioner
on the
Revenues & Conditions
Of the Established Church (Ireland)
Presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty


More information on these names is given on the full records below


Matilda Dickson George Brush James Weir Edward, R. Meade
William Henry Martin Rev.W.B.Minnis Thomas Waring Henry Francis Moore
James Corry Lowry Bryan Kerrigan William Waugh Alex Main
John Ward James McCammon Henry, L.Prentice Robert McComb
James Scott George Brush John Mills Hugh Jordan
Robert Douloughan Robert McCandless Edward McCartney Henry McDade
Michael Bodel David McKee John Sinclair James Smith
Hugh Downey John Downey, James Downey, Jun. B. Downey's widow
Arthur Fegan Robert Bawn Arthur Haughran William Thompson
James Quin Richard Megarry Michael Haughran Richard Little
Thomas Elder Henry James O'Brien Margaret Watson Anne Gibson
William McCracken Widow Nelson John Nelson Samuel Gourley
John Chambers William Bell Samuel Scott John Hamilton
Thomas Morrow William Cobbett James Carroll Joseph Chambers
Roger Maginnis Thomas Maguire James Wilson Elizabeth Kerr
Alex.McWhinney Henry Moreland James Gamble Thomas McRoberts
Samuel Dunbar Daniel Byrne John Waugh Pat Byrne
John Murphy Margaret McFadden Catherine Campbell Michael McIlroy
John Magraddy J. Brown James campbell Michael Fitzpatrick
Thomas McMurray George Patterson James Fitzpatrick Hugh Maginnis
Rose, A. Dickson Joseph Scott Michael Maginnis Hugh McClory
John Scott Michael Mills Patrick McClory Owen McIlroy
David Gibson John Kerr Patrick McNeill Margaret McAleenan
James McCandless William Chambers Alexander McNeill Widow Byrne
William Cardwell Patrick Campbell Garrett Byrne Valentine Byrne
Michael Campbell Elizabeth Murphy Roger Byrne James Doyle
Bernard Hillen Andrew McGrath Michael Collins Widow James Hillen
Edward Murphy Patrick McClory Margaret Fitzptrick Patrick Clarke
Felix McLoughlin Mary O'Hanlon William McMullen Charles Graham
Bridget McClory Ann Shaw, widow James Magonne Arthur McAvoy
Felix O'Hagan Widow Cull Anthony Magrath Thomas McNeill
Michael Shaw Edward McClory Andrew McAnanery Peter Magrath
James Caughey Charles Macken Theps Byrne Arthur McAvoy
Robert Irvine Arthur Strain P. Cull Dinah Byrne
Hugh McBrath Roger Fitzpatrick Margaret Doyle Thomas Collins
John Hare Patrick O'Hagan Michael Hillen James Doran
Lydia Ratcliff J. McAvoy Bernard Macken Edward McDonald
Daniel McCann Peter McNeill John McArdle Hugh, P.McNarny
Roger McShane Andrew Russell William Mulligan Widow Hugh McShane
T. O'Hagan Catherine Byrne Patrick O'Hanlon James O'Hagan
Edward Shaw Edward Ogle Byrne John Shaw John Roberts
Terence Campbell James Collins Patrick Cull John Burns
Margaret Flanagan John Hillen Bernard McQuade Daniel  Mc Mahon
Widow McClory Ellen McDonald Bryan McGee Michael McCourt
Mary Morgan Phillomena Byrne Arthur McDonnell John Morgan
Samuel Ratcliff