Lurgan Coat of Arms The Lurgan Times

  Newspaper Articles for the year 1890

10 January 1890

The business of the Quarter Sessions for this division of the county was resumed at the Courthouse, William Street, at half past twelve o'clock today, before Mr. H. Kisbey, QC, county court judge for Louth and Armagh. Mr. H. Porter, assistant registrar, was in attendance.
Among the civil business that came on for hearing during the day was the following:


This was an ejectment to recover possession of lands situated in the townland of Annaloist, on account of the non-payment of rent. Mr. Brownlow was adjoined as a defendant merely because he was the receiver over the estate. Mr. J.B. Atkinson, who appeared for he plaintiff said, the facts were of an unusual character in this case. About the year 1856 the lands became the subject of a Chancery suit by 'cause petition', and the order then made appointed the late Mr. John Hancock as receiver over the property. On the death of Mr. Hancock, Mr. Brownlow was appointed as receiver, on the application of Mr. Ruddell, the present defendant. Both orders would now be handed In. The original cause was in the matter of David Ruddell, petitioner, and a man called Toft, respondent. The lands consisted of about 22 acres, held under lease dated 20th April, 1748 and there a second farm of 48 acres in Annaloist, held by lease made between Colonel Burges and James Toft, D. Ruddell, and others. The Court in Dublin had made an order enabling the plaintiff to take proceedings to evict the lease as was leaved to be the father of the present defendant of same name. A deed executed in 1841, of which an attested copy of the memorial was produced, constituted David Ruddell the mortgagee of the lands.
His Honour: In order to obtain a decree you must give some proof of tenancy.
Mr. J. B. Atkinson: Certainly.
Mr. Robert Sands, Lurgan, agent of the property, deposed that Mr. Brownlow, as the receiver of the property, paid the rent to him for some years. In his books witness had names Ruddell and Toft as the tenants.
His Honour: But Toft has not been served.
Mr. J. B. Atkinson: There is no such person as Toft in existence. The witness went on to state that the lands were used for grazing purposes, and that the proceeds were received by the receiver, who accounted to the Court. The rent under the lease of 1748 was £11, and the rent under the other lease was £20. 6s. 2d. Two years rent are now due, and the total sum now due was about £91. 1s. 7d.
Mr. Brownlow, J. P., the receiver, deposed that he never paid any interest to Mr. David Ruddell, and never had any communication with him beyond meeting him in the street. Witness had nothing to pay interest. His Honour would not make him responsible unless he had a surplus in his hands. All the parties could apply to the Lord Chancellor. The Court shortly afterwards adjourned.


1 February 1890

On Thursday evening a public meeting in favour of the complete suppression of the liquor traffic on Sunday in Ireland, and in support of temperance reform generally, was held in the Town Hall, Lurgan. Mr. George Greer, J.P., B.L., high sheriff of Armagh, presided. The meeting was held under the auspices of Lurgan United Temperance Association, and among those present were Revs. T. M. Hamill, M.A. (First Lurgan Presbyterian Church); H. G. P. Austin, BA. (parish of Shankill) Thomas Pearson (High Street Methodist Church), F. J. Ryan (Baptist), J. Cregan (Belfast), and also Messers. G. R. Garrick, J.P.; J. G. Adamson, M.D, J.P.; John M'Caughey, T. C.; and Anthony Bunting.

In the coarse of a brief Introductory speech, the Chairman remarked that the great strength of the movement in favour of Sunday closing and the early closing of public-houses on Saturday night lay the fact that legislation in this direction was demanded by the great majority of the Irish people of all religions, sects and political parties Rev. T. M. Hamill, in an eloquent and exhaustive address, moved the first resolution, which was as follows: That this meeting hereby expresses its deep regret that the hopes raised by the promises of the Government to aid the passing of the Intoxicating Liquor Law (Ireland) Bill during last Session were disappointed; begs to thank all those members of Parliament who so assiduously laboured for the passing of the Bill; rejoices that Mr. Lea, M.P. for South Derry has given notice that it will be reintroduced at the earliest possible moment after the reassembling of Parliament, and reiterates the determination of the temperance reformers of Ireland to continue the contest with unabated energy until all drink shops shall be closed early on Saturday night and until the following Monday morning. The Rev gentleman, in the course of his speech, completely exonerated Mr. W. H. Smith and Mr. Balfour from all responsibility for the failure of the Government to redeem its promise that the Bill would be passed during the last Session. The motion was seconded by Mr. M'Caughey T.C, supported by Rev J. Cregan and passed. Rev. J. Pearson proposed a motion in favour of passing a uniform law to regulate all applications for spirit licensees. Rev. W. Austin seconded the motion. On the motion of Rev. Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mr. Wilkinson (Irish Temperance League) it was agreed to send copies of the resolutions to the Prime Minister, Mr. Smith, Mr. Balfour, and Colonel Saunderson. The Chairman deprecated any reflections on the conduct of the police, as the Sunday Closing Act was a very difficult one to carry out, and, believed it was less violated In Lurgan than in most other places.


29 May 1890

Yesterday morning Mr. W. H. Kisbey QC, County Court Judge for Armagh and Louth took his seat in the Courthouse, Lurgan, and commenced the business of the quarter sessions for the Lurgan division of County Armagh. The following magistrates occupied seats on the bench:- Messrs. George Greer, J.P; S. A. Bell. J.P.; Averell Shillington. J.P.: Robert Mathers, J.P.; W. Adams. J.P.; John Collen. JP.; W. J. Locke, J.P.; B. M'Glynn. JP, J. C. Fulton, J.P.; J. McNally. J.P.. and E. Magennis, M.D.. J.P. Mr. George G. Tyrrell, Clerk of the Crown and Peace. Mr. A. Moffett. registrar; and Mr. H. Porter. assistant registrar, were in attendance.


Patrick Blaney applied for a transfer of the license formerly held by his late brother, James Blaney. in respect of the house, No. 49, Church Place, Lurgan. Mr. T. G. Menary. Lurgan, and Mr. H. J. Harris. Portadown, appeared for the applicant: and Mr. Hugh Hayes opposed the transfer on behalf of the Lurgan United Temperance Association.
His Honour: On what grounds do you oppose?
Mr. HAYES: On the usual statutable grounds - unfitness of the applicant and unsuitability of the premise.
Mr. Menary said the house in question was one of the oldest licensed houses in Lurgan, and, as such, had been in the hands of four brothers, successively during the past seventy or eighty years. The last owner of the licensed premises, James Blaney, had devised them to his brother, the present applicant. There had never been a conviction against the owner of these premises, the only entrance to which was through the front door and through a side door in an entry between the licensed premises and the premises of Mr. Andrew Donnelly. The whole of this entry was accessible to the police, and there was no back door to the premises. The present application was merely for a transfer of the license in respect of the front house,. facing to Church Place, and did not embrace the out-houses and he (Mr. Menary) submitted as a matter of law, it was not essential that the back premises be I licensed. His Honour: Do the police oppose?
District-Inspector BIGLEY said he had served notice of opposition: but since a door opening into a common yard had been built up he had withdrawn his opposition.
Mr. Patrick Blaney the applicant, was examined, and his evidence substantially bore out the opening statement of Mr. Menary.
In cross-examination by Mr. HAYES, applicant admitted that he was sixty-five years of age, and that he resided in the townland of Ballinamoney. about a mile and a half from Lurgan. Applicant's son, who managed the premises in deceased's time, would manage same in future.
His Honour: If we grant a transfer, it will only be in respect of the front of the house. Mr. Menary: We can have the map of the premises properly marked. Mr. Green. J.P.: I think the age of the applicant is an objection.
Mr. Hayes objected to the transfer as there was no proper accommodation for travelers. Besides, the application was only to license the front house, though the usual plan was to license the house and the back premises, and, in addition. the applicant did not propose to exercise personal supervision over the premises.
His Honour: The objection raised by Mr. Bigley. District-Inspector. would, in my opinion, have been fatal if it had not been that the back door has been built up, The second objection, raised by Mr. Hayes - that there is not sufficient accommodation - would have been very strong, but it can be easily remedied, as the applicant has plenty of room to provide accommodation.

Mr. Hayes: You cannot annex a condition to the grant of the transfer. His Honour: We can, by retaining the license.
Mr. Greer: The fact that the applicant lives off the premises is, in my mind an objection.
His Honour: The magistrates can act as they like, That. however, is not an objection. Mr. Greer, as the son of the applicant, who was manager for the former owner, will act as manager in future.
Mr. Greer: We should insist on the owner of the licensed premises living on the premises.
His Honour pointed out that the Recorder of Dublin. who was as strongly in favour of what might be called the temperance side of the question as anyone could be, had held that the fact of the owner of licensed premises not being able to reside on same was not in itself a fatal objection.
On a vote being taken five of the magistrates voted for and six against the application. It was, therefore. refused.

Patrick J. M'Givern applied for a transfer of the license of the houses Nos. 28 and 29. Woodhouse Street. Portadown, recently held by a Mrs. O'Donnell. Mr. A. Farrell appeared for the applicant, and Messrs. W. H. Atkinson and Mr. Mahaffy opposed. The applicant had purchased the premises by a private contract from Mrs. O'Donnell, from whom he obtained an assignment. It appeared that, in order to comply with the police requirements the applicant had built a wall which cut off certain tenants from access to the yard of the licensed premises. After long discussion. Mr. FARRELL said his client held a magisterial protection until the annual licensing sessions, and, therefore, he would withdraw the present application.

Mr. J. SHEILL. Applicant applied for a transfer of the license of the premises, No. 109. West Street, Portadown. Mr. J. B. Atkinson was for the applicant, and Messrs. Mahaffy and Wright opposed on behalf of the Irish Temperance League. The principal ground of opposition was that the applicant in another part of Portadown had two bars in premises in which he carried on the grocery business, and that he proposed to have a grocery business on premises now proposed to be licensed.
Mr. ATKINSON said the applicant would undertake not to carry on the grocery business on the premises, 109 West Street. That would meet the objection. The application was refused, four magistrates voting for and seven against it.


15 August 1890

An unfortunate dispute which threatens to eventuate in a strike has arisen between the Journeyman Bakers of Lurgan and their employers. The men contend in the first place that their wages are not sufficient. Journeymen on an average receive 15 shillings per week and foremen £1. 5s. The men ask that their pay should be raised to the Belfast standard, or rather slightly less than that, in other words that the Journeymen should get £1. 4s per week and the foremen £1.10s per week. The local branch of the Irish Federal Union of Bakers sent out circulars to all the employers asking them to meet Mr. Murray Davis, secretary of the Belfast Branch, at a conference at 9 am this morning in order, if possible, to devise the terms of an amicable arrangement. Only one employer, Mr. Samuel Taylor of Edward Street attended and he expressed himself willing to meet the views of the employees. As the employers had ignored the invitation of the union, it was decided that the Journeymen should strike on next Saturday, if an amicable settlement is not come to in the meantime.

The men complain of other grievances beside that relating to the question of wages. They desire to have Sunday work abolished and the hours of labour on week days reduced. Men going in to work in Lurgan at eight o'clock on Sunday evening, continue it is said, until eight o'clock on Monday night, and return to business again at eight o'clock on Tuesday evening.


18 August 1890

The foremen and journey-men bakers in accordance with the terms of the notice recently forwarded to the employers, went on strike to-day. As a general rule, the position taken up by the employers in the present dispute is that they could not grant the concessions asked for by the men without either increasing the price or reducing the weight of the loaf. At least one of he the employers says he is at present paying 30s per week (the union rate of wages) to his foreman; and other employers, it is stated, pay 25s a week to their foremen. At six o'clock this evening an open-air public meeting was held in Market Street to consider the conduct of some employer bakers in Lurgan, in refusing to consider the just demands of their employees. The posters convening the meeting stated that in the past the bakers of Lurgan had been kept in abject slavery, and it respectfully requested all respectable citizens to come forward and denounce this system of slavery. The attendance embraced some 700 or 800 persons and the meeting evinced strong evidence of sympathy with the cause of the employees. Deputations of workmen bakers were present from Belfast, Portadown, and Newry. The speakers addressed the assemblage from a large brake drawn up in the centre of the street. A policeman, in uniform, with a pencil and notebook in his hand stood on the outskirts of the crowd engage evidently in taking notes of the speeches. On the motion of Mr. Murray Davis. general secretary of the National Federal Bakers' Union seconded by Mr. William Graham, Portadown, the chair as taken by Mr. S. Taylor. employer baker, Edward Street, Lurgan. Mr. W. Dowey. secretary of the Lurgan branch of the union, read the poster convening the meeting.

The chairman said he was only too glad to come forward and assist the journeymen and foremen bakers of the town in trying to get something, like fair play in their relations with their employers, for he believed that, as matters stood at present such a thing as fair play was not enjoyed by the working bakers of a Lurgan. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Murray Davis proposed the first resolution, which was as follows:- " That this meeting of the people of Lurgan condemns the action of some employer bakers in refusing to concede to the reasonable demands made by their employees" He remarked that for a century or more, the journeymen bakers of Lurgan had been working for something like 13s per week and the bakers' working week averaged in this town from 80 to 100 hours. The union had asked the employers to meet the men and try to come to an amicable arrangement, but they refused to do anything of the kind. It was too bad that in the last decade of the nineteenth century the journeymen bakers should be required, as was the case in Lurgan, to work from sixteen to seventeen hours per day.

On the question of Sunday labour, the workers had a crying grievance, for they had to go in to work at six, seven, or eight o'clock on Sunday evening, when other people were going to a their places of worship and they had to stick to their work from that until seven or eight o'clock on the following Monday evening. He trusted that in this struggle the people of Lurgan would support the workers not alone with moral sympathy, but also with practical aid by putting their hands in their pockets and, doing their best to sustain these persecuted men in their efforts to secure justice and fair play. Mr. William Orr (Portadown) seconded the resolution, which, was passed by acclamation. Mr. William Hayes (treasurer of the Federal Union) moved the second resolution which was as follows:- That we, the inhabitant's of Lurgan, pledge ourselves to support the bakers in their efforts to obtain a fair day's wage for a fair day's work, and we will heartily support such employers as grant the reasonable request of their employees." Mr. William Bailie (Newry) seconded the motion; and Mr. W. Moorhead (Belfast) spoke in support of the resolution, which was enthusiastically adopted. On the motion of Mr. Davis, a vote of thanks was passed to the chairman. Mr. Davis then read out a list of those employers who had refused to accede to e the men's terms. The proceedings then terminated, and the gentleman who presided was cheered by the crowd.


9 October 1890

The annual soiree and reunion in connection with the Lurgan branch of the Church of Ireland Temperance Society was held last evening in the John Street Hall in this town, and, in several features, was by far the most successful of the various annual reunions yet held under the auspices of this branch. From every point of view the proceedings indicated the flourishing position which the branch now occupies and the clergy of the town and other workers in the good cause are certainly to bc congratulated on the marked success of their efforts. Since taking up his residence in Lurgan the Rev. J. J. Jones, one of the curates of the parish. has been indefatigable in his exertions to advance the valuable work carried on in the John Street hall and the venerated rector of the parish, the Dean of Dromore. D. D., who has always evinced the deepest, interest in the promotion of the temperance cause as of every other project tending to the spiritual and moral well-being of the people, is, it is understood much pleased with the results that have been attained. The only matter for regret in connection with the interesting proceedings of last evening, which Rev. Mr. Jones and others had laboured so energetically to render successful, was the Dean of Dromore, who, it was hoped would preside was not able to be present due to a slight indisposition. In his regretted absence, the chair was occupied hr Mr. Watson of Birkenhead, an earnest worker in the temperance cause on the other side of the channel who is at present on a visit to Lurgan, and who has previously addressed temperance meetings in Lurgan.

At seven o'clock p.m. a company consisting of about 500 persons of both sexes sat down to an excellent tea, the following acting as the tea-makers: -Mrs. Johnston, Mrs. Cordner, Mrs Headley. Miss Harrison, Miss Liness. Miss Culbert, Mrs. Jones, Miss Robinson, Mrs. Holland. Miss Anderson, Miss Julia Greer, Miss Quinn, Miss M'Coy, Miss Ross, Mrs. Mathers, Miss Jordan, Miss Cousins, Miss Clendinning, Miss Wilson, Mrs. Clendinning, Miss Wetherall, Mrs. Wetherall, Mrs. D. Campbell, Miiss Campbell, Miss Halliday, Miss Greer, Miss Boyde, Miss M'Cleary, Miss Follis. Miss Stevenson, Miss Boland, Miss Fleming, Mrs. Livingston, Miss Megarry, Mrs. Livingston, Miss Barr, Miss Georgina Waters and Miss Bunting. After tea, a very agreeable musical entertainment with instructive addresses by able and eloquent speakers followed. The chairmaran's address, though brief, was thoroughly practical. The Rev. Chancellor Hayes (Dromore) delivered a speech full of instructive facts and eloquent arguments and the Rev. F. W. Austin, rector of Drumcree and Rev. Mr. North also spoke with eloquence and effect. The items of the musical program were as follow:-A Song by Mrs. Greer with Mr. Greer and Miss Greer and a song by Mr. Joseph Lunn (this proved one of the more popular features of the evening and an enthusiastic recall was the result, and it was only in this single instance that an encore was permitted); a duet by Messrs. Cousins and Moffett, a duet by, Miss Greer and Mr. Greer. It should be stated that Miss L. Ross played the pianoforte accompaniments with taste and proficiency.


30 October 1890

A largely-attended thoroughly-representative meeting of the inhabitants of Lurgan and the vicinity was held in the Town Clerk's office at eight o'clock this evening for the purpose of presenting District-Inspector Bigley with a complimentary address and valuable presentation, the latter taking the form of a splendid gold watch, with suitable inscription, and massive gold chain, on the occasion of his removal on promotion to Millstreet, County Cork. The moment it became known that Mr. Bigley's withdrawal from the town was inevitable, notwithstanding the efforts made by the municipal authorities to retain him, it was decided that an adequate and tangible expression of popular regard and esteem should be conferred on him:, as some slight acknowledgement of the debt the community were under to him, for his valuable and entirely successful efforts in rooting out party bitterness, and thus materially conducing to the peace and good order of the town. Fortunately the influential committee entrusted with the work of getting up a suitable testimonial, of which Mr. Courtney Johnston, solicitor, was the efficient secretary, experienced slight difficulty in bringing the matter to a gratifying conclusion, all sections of the inhabitants evincing prompt readiness to co-operate in the scheme. No better criterion of the estimation in which Mr. Bigley was held could be wished for than was furnished by the character of the attendance at the meeting this evening, every shade and section of local life being well represented. Among those present were:- Messrs. James Malcolm, D. L., J.P. - chairman Town Commissioners; G. R. Carrick, J.P. James Johnston, J.P.; George Given, J.P.; Henry Megarry, Northern Bank; Courtney Johnston, Thomas Reborn, James Jonston, Dr. Agnew, W H Crawford, and A. Hewitt. Mr. James Malcolm, J.P, was called on to preside, and, in opening the proceedings, said he desired to thank them most sincerely for the high honour they had conferred on him in asking him to take the chair on that occasion - an occasion both pleasant and regrettable - pleasant in that it afforded them an opportunity of doing honour to one whom, they all valued and esteemed, and regrettable because they were now obliged to bid him "good- bye." They all recognised how difficult it must have been for a man in Mr. Bigley's position to cope successfully with the many obstacles that beset his path in a town like Lurgan, when he first came to it. However, by his strict integrity, impartiality, and firmness as an officer, and his unvarying straightforward and honourable conduct as a gentleman, he had happily overcome every difficulty, and he now proceeded to his new sphere of duties accompanied by the good-will and respect of all sections of the inhabitants.

They knew that when Mr. Bigley's removal was first made known the Town Commissioners applied to the Inspector-General requesting him to reconsider his decision in the matter, and, though that application had unfortunately been unsuccessful, the fact was none the less highly complimentary to Mr. Bigley. The local Bench of magistrates had also given expression to the keen sense of the value of Mr. Bigley's services and now the inhabitants of Lurgan generally had come forward and done credit, not only to him. but to themselves, in affording this spontaneous and united tribute of their appreciation of the manly and consistent course of conduct he had ever pursued whilst resident among them. He should not further trespass on their time, but asked Mr. Courtney Johnston to read the address. Mr. Johnston then read the address, after which the chairman presented Mr. Bigley with a handsome and massive gold watch and chain, observing that he hoped the pendant compass attached to the latter, whose needle always pointed to the North, would serve to remind him of the many attached friends and sincere well-wishers he left behind him in Lurgan. (Applause.) Mr. Johnston, in an eloquent speech, fully endorsed everything contained in the address and the chairman's appropriate and true observations. Mr. Greer said it savoured somewhat of supererogation, were he to attempt to say much, after what had been already so well expressed relative to Mr. Bigley's merits. They all recognised that he had performed the onerous and difficult duties of his position in Lurgan with signal ability, and though they now had to bid him "good-bye," they were not without hope he may yet return in a higher office, when he could depend on receiving a warm welcome among his old friends. (Applause.) Mr. James Johnston said he desired to bear testimony to the admirable manner in which Mr. Bigley had performed his heavy and frequently far from pleasant duties, and he was glad to know that the opinion he had forged as to the value of Mr. Bigley's services had now been fully and practically endorsed by all sections of the people among whom he had lived for the past six years. He had known Mr. Bigley intimately during the period of his sojourn in Lurgan, and he could bear Witness to the fairness, yet strict impartiality with which he had ever performed the duties of his position. (Hear,. hear.) They had all seen and recognised the marked improvement affected in the peace and orderliness of the town since Mr. Bigley's advent among them, everyone could now pursue their business without let or hindrance; Party disturbance had practically ceased and he (Mr. Johnston) contended that this was a condition of things for which, they should be sincerely grateful, and that they were indebted to Mr. Bigley for it in a large measure he believed nobody would deny (Applause.) He was sure wherever his duties might call him that Mr Bigley would always look back with kindly feelings to the people and town of Lurgan. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Thomas Reborn and several other gentlemen having spoken in a highly complimentary strain of Mr. Bigley's services, the proceedings concluded with a cordial vote of thanks to the chairman.


15 December 1890

For a considerable time it has been a subject of complaint among the friends of the temperance cause, and indeed among the respectable towns people generally, that shebeening was carried on extensively in various districts of the town, and that no effective steps were taken by the authorities to arrest this evil. The inquiries made by the constabulary tended, we learn, to confirm the information received from other sources as to the existence of shebeens on a rather extensive scale, both in the town of Lurgan and its immediate neighbourbood, and after due consultation it was decided to endeavour by a sudden and simultaneous movement to make a clean sweep of the entire lot of them. In order to carry out this object Sergeant Thomas Fairley, Union Street Barracks, swore six informations before a magistrate on Saturday morning, on the basis of which six search warrants were granted to enable the police to make a sudden descent upon the occupants of the suspected houses and it was arranged that this movement should take place last night.

The first step was taken about 9-30 p.m., when Head-Constable Michael Green and Sergeant John Mooney entered the house of Robert Hopps, in the townland of Drumgor, about a mile from Lurgan. and, after intimating that they had reason to suspect that liquor was sold on the premises without a license, and that a search warrant has been obtained, they proceeded to make a minute search through the premises. It is stated that no liquor was actually found in the house, but that, as a result of matters which came under the observation of the police, a prosecution will be instituted. The head-constable and sergeant then returned to Lurgan, when preparations were completed for a simultaneous entry in the houses mentioned in the warrants, and all the available police were divided into detachments for the purpose of the duty in hands. About 11-15 p.m. Sergeants Fairley and Dempsey, with several constables, entered the house of Mrs. Elizabeth Menaul, widow. North Street, and after stating their business, searched the house, in which, we understand, they discovered a considerable quantity of whisky in a bottles, and about a dozen bottles of porter. It is further alleged that immediately after the entry of the police they observed Mrs. Menaul emptying the contents of a tin case into a sink-tub, which the police at once examined, and they assert that it was porter which was thrown out, as mentioned, by Mrs. Menaul. While these proceedings were taking place, Head-Constable Greer and a number of his men were engaged upon a similar duty in another part of the same (North) street, where they entered and searched the houses of John Hart. James Maguire, and a man named Creaney. It is said no drink was found in these houses. In another part of the Street Sergeant Dempsey and several constables of Edward Street Barrack made a raid on the house of Robert Smith and, as the practical issue of the entire proceedings, it is understood that at least four prosecutions under the Licensing Act will be instituted. The police were not long at work until the nature of their movements became known and considerable crowds gathered and observed with eager interest the operations of the constabulary.


20 December 1890

A special meeting of the Lurgan Dispensary Committee was held yesterday in the Dispensary Buildings, Union Street. Mr. George Greer, J.P., presided. The Hon. Secretary (Mr. W. T. K. Ruddell) read a letter from the Clerk of the Union requesting him bring under the notice of the Committee the question to the proper steps to be taken in regard to defaulters under the vaccination laws. The letter stated that from the quarterly returns of the dispensary medical officers it appeared that a considerable number of children whose births had been duly registered had not been vaccinated by the dispensary doctors; and owing to the neglect of parents, or carelessness of the vaccinator in not transmitting the proper certificate to the medical officer of the district, it is impossible to ascertain to what extent the law had been evaded without instituting legal proceedings. The Board of Guardians invited suggestions, with a view to having the law more effectually carried out. Dr. Rowlett, medical officer of No. 2 District (Montiaghs) reported that most of the defaulters under the Vaccination Law had lately complied with the statute. For a considerable time past there had been a remarkable outbreak of Scarlatina, especially among young people, in the district. Hardly a child in the neighbourhood had escaped the disease, and to assist in stamping it out suggested that an order be made to close all the schools for four weeks from the beginning of the Christmas holidays. It was agreed that this suggestion be carried out.


16 January 1890

All the machinists employed in the extensive concern of the Lurgan Hemming and Veining Company struck work this morning, and about 300 female operatives have been thrown idle in consequence. Some days ago a number of veiners objected to a slight reduction in the wages to be paid for the sewing of a special class of handkerchiefs, and instantly ceased work on another description of goods about the wages for which there was contention.

A deputation of the strikers waited upon the manager of the firm - Mr R H Livingston yesterday, who assured them that the price he proposed to pay were not under the wages paid for similar work in other factories, and offered to pay the veiners the sums they had earned on their completing work they had taken out of the office. This they refused do, and this morning all the machinists turned out. Mr Livingston states that in the proposed reduction the wages of the company would not have been below the prices current in the trade, and the class of goods was only a very limited portion of the industrial supply of the works.


31 January 1890

A specially convened meeting of the Lurgan Board of Guardians was held yesterday. Mr. J. Johnston, J.P. (chairman), presided. and the other Guardians present were:-Messrs. G. R. Carrick. J.P.; A. Shillington. J.P.; John M'Nally, J.P.; J. Macouln, V.C.; W. Hall. DVC, Nelson Buddell. James Johnston. W. H. Bingham, W. J. Allen, R. A. Waddell, Thomas Carroll, John Sinnamon, W Orr, R. Ruddock.

The master reported that on last Monday evening seven patients from Armagh District Asylum, belonging to Lurgan Union, arrived at the workhouse, having travelled from Armagh to Lurgan on outside cars, in charge of three keepers. One of the patients, Robert Tate, of Derrymacash, became dangerously ill shortly after admission. and was attended by Dr. Adamson, J.P., medical officer of the infirmary. However, Tate died about six o'clock on the following (last, Tuesday) morning, and, an inquest having been held, the jury found that death was caused by exposure while driving from Armagh to Lurgan, but that Dr. Graham, resident medical superintendent of the asylum, had taken all necessary precautions about the removal and was not to blame. Mr. Ruddel, addressing the Board, said the sudden death of this unfortunate man had caused a, very great sensation through the country, and there were strong complaints of the conduct of the asylum authorities in sending Tate on a journey of sixteen miles from Armagh to Lurgan such an exceedingly inclement day as last Monday. Several Guardians spoke in strong disapproval of the conduct of those who were responsible for sending Tate to Lurgan on an outside car.

Dr. Adamson, J. P., medical officer of the union infirmary was called before the Board, and said that on examining the body of deceased after death he found no marks of violence, but merely some old scratches on the front of both knees.

Mr. Ruddell: Was Tate in a fit state to undertake the journey to Lurgan? Dr. Adamson: That question was put to me at the inquest. but you must see how impossible it is for me to give my opinion as to what state the deceased was in when he left Armagh. When he came here he was put into a warm bed, from which another patient had been removed for the purpose: and yet, when I saw him, his legs, up as far as the knees, were as cold as ice, and that was an hour or two after he had been put in the warm bed. I can only form an opinion from the state the deceased was in when be came in here, and most certainly he did come in here in a lamentable condition.

The Board eventually adopted the following resolution, and directed copies to be sent to the Local Government Board and to Armagh Asylum:- "That this Board indignantly protests against the practice of sending pauper lunatics from Armagh Asylum to Lurgan on outside cars; and, seeing that on the last occasion when patients were so sent. one of them, Robert Tate, died soon after removal, we consider that the patients should be sent in covered vehicles; and. as in the present case, death was the result of exposure, we are of the opinion that the asylum authorities are greatly to blame in not acting more humanely".


8 April 1890

At the monthly meeting of the Portadown Town Commissioners today, Mr. Wm. Hall chairman of the Board, Presiding - Mr. Locke pursuant to a notice given at the last monthly meeting, proposed that a committee, consisting of Dr. Dougan, Mr. Malcomson, Mr. Grew. Mr. Hall. Mr. Richardson, and Mr. Acheson, be appointed for the purpose of considering the desirability of erecting a courthouse for the town suitable for quarter sessions. In moving the fore-going resolution,

Mr. Locke said it required no words of his to commend this matter to the Commissioners present. He pointed out the great hardship it was to people living in the districts surrounding Portadown to be compelled to go to Lurgan, the extreme end of the county, to attend the quarter sessions. The Lord Lieutenant had power to grant them a certain sum to build a courthouse, and a memorial should be drawn up and presented to his Excellency, drawing to his attention to the great inconvenience the people residing in the Portadown district were put to in having to attend the quarter sessions at Lurgan. If that were done, he thought there would be no difficulty at all in obtaining, a grant for the erection of a county courthouse, and in having the quarter sessions held here alternately with Lurgan.

The Chairman: I would have them held here permanently. Mr. Orr seconded Mr. Locke's motion. He said he was one of the deputation that waited on the Grand Jury on a former occasion to request them to build a county courthouse in Portadown. At that time there was a number of magistrates made in the neighbourhood of Newry, and a number of the local magistrates were not able to attend, and, if in consequently, they were outvoted but none of them could say that Portadown was not the proper place to erect the courthouse.
Mr. Livingston in supporting the Motion, said it was a matter that had engaged the attention of the people for years, and he hoped it would not be allowed to drop now. He referred to the great inconvenience it was for jurymen and clients having to attend the Lurgan quarter sessions, and he hoped that the committee would give the matter their serious consideration.

Mr. Grew also supported the motion. He said he was afraid there was no use in going before the Grand Jury again. Mr. Orr: Not a particle.
The motion was passed.


9 June 1890

Information was received at Union Street Police Station this evening to the effect that about four o'clock p.m. a child named Francis Gorman, aged five years, son of Samuel Gorman, a small farmer residing in the townland of Derryadd, had been killed by being run over accidentally, it is believed - by a cart which was then in the charge of Thomas Humphreys, jun, of the same Townland. It appears Humphreys was driving his horse and cart, on which was load of fir, up a narrow lane which leads from a bog to the public high road. He did not observe the child in the lane, and the cart passed over its body and necessarily caused most serious injuries. The child was once taken to its father's home and attended by Dr. Rowlett, but the poor little fellow died in the course of about an hour. Sergeant Walsh and Constable Gannon, of Ballynarry, subsequently arrested Thomas Humphreys, who was then conveyed to Lurgan, and brought before Dr. Magennis, J.P., who, after taking evidence, remanded the accused. Humphreys was admitted to bail.


9 June 1890

Last evening an adjourned meeting, of the Lurgan Town Commissioners was held in the Municipal Offices, Union Street. Mr. Thomas Reburn (chairman) presided, and the other Commissioners in attendance were - Messrs. John Gilchrist, Jas. Campbell. W. R. Crawford. A. W. Stevenson, J. P. Mathers. and W. Livingston. A deputation, consisting of Messrs. John Sibbit, grocer James M'Niece, handloom weaver and W. M'Gowan. Grocer, all of whom reside in Hill Street, appeared before the Board and requested permission to address the Commissioners on the proposal recently formulated for providing Lurgan with a water supply to be procured from Castor's Bay, Lough Neagh. which is about four miles distant from the town. The chairman having intimated that the Board would be very glad to hear the views of the deputation.

Mr. Sibbit said that the point he wished to press on the notice of the Commissioners was that there was no necessity whatever to go outside the town for the purpose of obtaining a proper supply of water. Within the town boundary enough water could be procured to meet the requirements of Lurgan and of another town besides. It would he necessary, however, that the Commissioners should take steps to sink new wells in several districts of the town which, it was admitted. were not at present properly supplied with water. There was not a single public pump from one end of Union Street to the other, and Edward Street was in a similarly unsatisfactory condition. Mr. M'Niece also spoke. He said that the deputation appeared before the Commissioners as representing the working classes of the thickly populated district in which Hill Street and the adjoining streets were situated, and the feeling of the working classes on this question was that, unless the Commissioners could step in and protect them against the action of landlords, who would try to raise the rents in order to meet the taxation which would result from Mr. Glover's scheme being adopted, they would never give their support to the proposal to bring water from Lough Neagh.

The chairman said that in trying to provide the town with a water supply the real object of the Commissioners was to benefit the working classes of the town. As regards the question of the raising of rents of house's in Lurgan. the Commissioners could not be blamed for that, particularly as they had lately succeeded in materially reducing taxation in Lurgan. Some time ago the town rate was 5s. but now it was only 3s 2d in the £. After some conversation, the deputation thanked the Commissioners for giving them such an attentive hearing, and then withdrew. The plans of a large number of intended new buildings having been approved of, the Board adjourned.


12 July 1890

The Board of Guardians at their meeting to be held at eleven o'clock on Thursday the 24th July,1890, will proceed to appoint a duly qualified Medical Practitioner to discharge the duties of Medical Officer of the Workhouse at a Salary of £100 a year and £10 additional, as Consulting Sanitary Officer.

Applications addressed to the Presiding Chairman, will be received up to the hour of ELEVEN o'clock on the 24th Inst., when' the personal attendance of Candidates will be necessary.

By order, JAMES DONALDSON, Clerk of Union. Board-room, Workhouse, 3rd July, 1890.


12 July 1890

The anniversary of the Revolution of 1688 and of the triumph of the principles of civil and religious liberty in these lands, was commemorated in Lurgan on Sunday by a special service, held in Christ Church, at which a congregation numbering close to 2,000 persons and embracing a very large attendance of the loyal Orangemen of the district, was present. The action of the venerated rector of the parish—the Very Rev. Theophilus Campbell. D. D., Dean of Dromore - in arranging to hold this anniversary service, and in consenting to preach a sermon on the occasion on behalf the Protestant Orphan Society of County Armagh, in aid of which the offertory was appropriated, afforded great satisfaction to the entire Protestant population of the district. It had been arranged that Orangemen should march to Divine service in processional order, wearing the insignia the Institution; and, as the weather happened to be exceptionally favourable, the procession, as it moved towards the parish church, presented a very attractive aspect, and was observed with much interest and admiration by the large concourse of people who thronged the footpaths of the streets along which it passed.

Service was held at 11-30 am, and the brethren having first assembled at the Orange Hall, and having there adjusted their sashes and scarfs were marshalled into order of procession in Castle Lane, from whence, at eleven o'clock am., they proceeded to the church. At the head of the procession were Br. B. W. M'Bride, J.P . D.M.; and Br. Dr. J. M. Moore. DDM: and the following were among the lodges represented:- Nos. 16. Joseph Harrison, W.M.: 24. W. Briggs. W.M; 43, John Gracey W.M: 44. R. Elliott, W.M; 46. Thomas Rea. W M.; 48, J. Mahaffv, WM; 63. M Waite. W.M.; 82 John Lunn, W M; 103. Robert Dowey. WM; 123. Dr. Moore. W.M.; 204, J. P. Mathers, W.M.: 252, Charles Woods W.M.; 308, A. Halliday. W.M.; 553. James Scott. W.M.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Dromore. D.D., assisted by Rev. G. A. Stephenson. B.A., and Rev. H. G. Austin. B.A. As already mentioned, a sermon peculiarly appropriate to the occasion was preached by The Very Rev. the Dean of Dromore. who selected as his text the 15th verse of the 5th chapter the Second Epistle to the Corinthians: “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again' from which the Very Rev. Dean delivered an appropriate sermon.


30 August 1890

THE BOARD OF GUARDIANS are desirous of receiving Tenders for the usual supply of MEDICINES, MEDICAL and SURGICAL APPLIANCES of the best quality to the Workhouse, and the Seven Dispensaries of the Union, at such times and in such quantities as may be ordered for a period of one year from the 29th September, 1890. TENDERS - proper forms will be furnished on application to me—will be received up to the hour of Eleven o'clock on the 4th September. No charge will be allowed for hampers, jars, bottles, &c, which the Contractor must remove at his own risk and expense. The Guardians do not bind themselves to accept the lowest or any Tender. Security required.

(By order) JAMES DONALDSON, Clerk of Union Boardroom, Workhouse, 21st August, 1890.


10 September 1890

An encounter of a very fierce nature took place in this town last night between two boys, each of whom is aged only fifteen years and in the course of the contest one of the boys named William John M 'Kinley is alleged to have inflicted such serious injuries on his opponent, named Patrick Brankin. that it became necessary to remove the latter to the infirmary, and his life has been endangered. It seems that M'Kinley, with other boys. was amusing himself in Church Place, and another batch of youths, including the injured lad Brankin, were engaged in a similar manner in another part of the thorough-fare. These separate groups of boys were in some way brought into contact, and bad feeling and quarrelling soon sprang up between them, and M'Kinley challenged Brankin to fight him. For a moment these two boys were "in holds," and an angry scuffle took place between them, resulting in M'Kinley knocking down his opponent to the ground. It is alleged that M'Kinley struck Brankin repeated blows on the head with a stone. Sergeant L. Dempsey and Constable Livingston, Edward Street station, had by this time arrived on the scene, and found Brankin in an utterly helpless state, moaning piteously from the pain of a large and horrible wound on the right side of the head. A policeman states that from the appearance of the wound it looked as if the flesh and some of the bone of the skull had been actually "scooped away" with some pointed but rough implement. Dr. Agnew dressed the boy's injuries, and by his advice he; was subsequently conveyed to the infirmary, where he now remains in a precarious condition. There is considerable danger of erysipelas setting in, and Brankin's life is stated to be at present in danger. M'Kinley having been arrested by Sergeant Dempsey and Constable Livingston. Mr. G. R. Carrick, J.P.. with Mr. F. W. Magahan, clerk of petty sessions, attended today at the infirmary for the purpose of taking the injured boy's depositions. The prisoner, who was present, was identified by Brankin, and was remanded in custody for eight days.


23 September 1890

In anticipation of the early enactment of the M'Kinley Tariff Bill in America and the consequent transfer to the United States of a large proportion of the work of "finishing" linen goods, which has heretofore given so much employment to male and female operatives in various towns in the North of Ireland, an unwonted and even extraordinary impetus has, within the last few weeks, been given to this branch of the trade in Lurgan and many other towns. The object, of course, of this sudden, temporary, and vast augmentation of the business is to get the goods into the market before the hostile protective duties provided for by the M'Kinley Bill come into operation, and, as far as Lurgan is concerned, it is stated that the various "finishing" establishments, though working late hours every night for some time past, have yet found it almost impossible to execute the orders entrusted to them. To convey some idea of the enormous increase of finishing work in Lurgan recently, it is stated that, on a single day last week, no less than about sixty cases of finished goods were despatched from Lurgan alone. Each one of these cases represented something like 500 dozens of handkerchiefs. It follows that the consignments for this one day consisted of about 30,000 handkerchiefs, certainly a huge total for a town like Lurgan to send forth. It is stated that, as the result of the enlarged production. the carrying capacity of the American steamers for the next ten days or a fortnight is fully exhausted, and that many cargoes have been rejected, owing to the sheer inability to carry out the proffered orders.

There is reason to believe that the prospect of the proposed hostile protective tariff about to be imposed by the Russian Government - this tariff amounting to 40 per cent., and to come into operation on the 1st October next - has had its effect, as well as the M'Kinley legislation, in stimulating this phenomenal activity in the finishing trade, on which the working classes of Lurgan and other towns somewhat similarly circumstanced have for so long and to such an undue extent depended for advantageous employment. The future in store for this section of our industrial population it is not easy at present to predicate.


25 October 1890

The usual weekly meeting of the above board was held on Thursday - Mr John Macoun (vice-chairman) presiding. The other guardians in attendance were Messrs John Macoun, JP; J L Douie, JP; J M'Nally, JP; W Hall, DVC; W Orr, F Langtry, W H Bingham, and W H Crawford.

A letter was read from Rev A Dawson, rector of Seagoe, recommending the guardians to grant out-door relief to a man named James Robinson, of Knockmena. Mr. Dawson stated in his letter that Robinson, who has been confined to bed for several weeks, has a wife and one child. They are miserably poor and at present without food or fuel. The board instructed the relieving officer to visit the man, and give him provisional relief.

The Clerk said during the week he had received a report from Dr Dougan, of Portadown, with regard to the carcasses of dead horses lying on John Quinn's farm in the townland of Drumena, and he immediately issued the ordinary notice and forwarded it to Mr. Anderson, relieving officer. Mr. Anderson reported that he served the notice, but the order had not been complied with. The relieving officer was instructed to institute proceedings against Quinn.

Relieving Officer Andersen reported that Mrs M'Crory, of Tarson, had cleaned out her piggery, and had promised to keep no pig in future.

The clerk said he had received a copy of an Act of Parliament passed recently called the Public Health Amendment Act. One of the provisions of this Act was that rooms over privies must be declared uninhabitable.

The board then proceeded to consider what allowance should be given to the clerk of the Union, and the rate collectors for their services under the Parliamentary Voters Act. The Clerk said that this Local Government Board had not yet prepared their scale of remuneration and whatever the amount now voted by the guardians was short, could be made up afterwards. Mr. Hall moved that the guardians grant the same amount to the clerk and rate collectors as last year, viz:—£80 to the clerk, £20 to rate collector Taylor and £15 each to the other two collectors. Mr. M'Nally seconded the motion which was unanimously passed.

The number of inmates in the house on Saturday night was 300; sick, 132; fever, 8.

Mr Orr said that he read in a newspaper that the Ballymena board of guardians were corresponding with several other boards with a view to reducing the number of Tramps. He wished to know had any communication of that kind been received by the board. The Clerk said not. The guardians had adopted several resolutions respecting the tramp nuisance, but were unable to put the law in motion. The magistrates were too sympathetic with these characters. Mr M'Nally said some of the tramps admitted might be imposters, but he thought the great majority of them were deserving cases. The board then rose.


28 October 1890

At half past twelve o'clock to-day Mr. W. H. Atkinson, coroner for the North Division of Armagh, attended Tannaghmore, within a few miles of Lurgan, to hold inquest touching the circumstances under which a child named Sarah Anne M'Cann, daughter of a weaver called Richard M'Cann, had come by her death on the previous Saturday evening. The inquiry was held in the house of the deceased's parents, and Sergeant Mooney, Edward Street Barracks, Lurgan, conducted the proceedings on behalf the police. A respectable jury of fifteen having been sworn, the first witness examined was the child's father, Richard McCann, who deposed that at about quarter past six o'clock on Friday evening he and his wife went down to the river for water, leaving his little daughter Sarah Anne, aged two years and seven months, in the kitchen, rocking the cradle of a younger child. There were also two other children in the house, the eldest a boy of six. After they had been gone some few minutes the latter ran up to them shouting that his sister Sarah was on fire. He and his wife hastened back as quickly as possible, and on entering the kitchen found deceased lying on the floor severely burned, her clothes having been previously removed by a boy named William M'Cann, who worked in the house as a weaver. They at once procured some lamp oil from the railway, and dressed the burns with it, despatching a messenger to Mr. Houston in Lurgan for proper remedies. No doctor was called in, as they did not consider the case a serious one, but the child gradually got worse, and died the following Saturday evening. William McCann testified to finding the child in flames in the kitchen, her dress apparently having become ignited by the fire, and to removing the burning clothes from her. He threw a basin of water over her, but was not able to extinguish the fire till she had been severely burned. Dr. Agnew said he had made an external examination of the deceased, whom he found extensively burned over the back, stomach, and thighs, and slightly on the back of the neck and on the left hand. The appearance of the injuries was such as would be caused by the child's clothes having caught fire. From the nature and extent of the bums he believed death resulted from the facts proved. In his opinion a doctor should have been called in, as, though he might not have been able to avert fatal consequences, he could have alleviated the pain. This concluded the evidence, and the jury, after a few minutes deliberation, returned a verdict of accidental death.


29 November 1890

Pursuant to an order of the lnspector-General, a constabulary court of inquiry was opened in Union Street Barracks, Lurgan yesterday morning, in reation to charges brought against Constables John Murray. W. T. Hazlett, and W. Tonson, and against Sergeant David Walsh, all of whom have been for some time past stationed at Ballynarrry near Lurgan, and of which station Sergeant Walsh has been in charge for a considerable period. District inspectors W. M. Davies (Newry) and J. Barnville (Belfast) were the officers deputed to conduct the inquiry, the former acting as the president of the Court.

Mr. T. G. Menary solicitor appeared for the three constables, and applied that all the witnesses should remain out of court until required to give evidence. District-Inspector Reeves (Lurgan), in whose name the charges were brought against the constables, said he had no objection to this course being adopted. The witnesses then left the room, and the Court decided to proceed first with the taking of evidence in support of the accusations against Constable Murray There were three charges against this constable namely (1), Disobedience to the orders of Sergeant Walsh in refusing to answer his name at roll call at Ballynarry barracks on the night of the 3rd inst. and in refusing at same time, to close to the left when ordered to do so, and in refusing to allow Sergeant Walsh to leave the barrack by locking the door of the barrack on said date; (2) behaving with contempt towards Sergeant Walsh on the 3rd inst. by saying in his presence, Is he (Sergeant Walsh) all right? 'Is he all there?' and (3) using disrespectful language regarding Head-Constable Michael Green (Lurgan) in the hearing of Sergeant Walsh by sayineg: What a notion I have to make a complaint aginst you to an old ignorant head-constable." Evidence in support of the third charge against Constable Murray and also evidence for the de- fence of accused in reference to that charge having been taken.

The Court, with the assent of District Inspector Reeves and Mr. Menary, decided that charges 1 and 2 against Constable Murray and also the charges against the two other constables should be heard together. Constables Hazlett and Tronson were each charged with disobedience to the orders of Sergeant Walsh in refusing to answer their names at roll call on 3rd inst. and there was a further accusation against Tronson of refusing to move as directed, on parade, by Sergeant Walsh, and of refusing to go on patrol with the sergeant. The evidence had not concluded when the Court adjourned at five o'clock p.m. It may be stated that the charges against Sergeant Walsh are preferred by Constable Murray. The sergeant is accused of drunkenness on 3rd inst. and absence from barrack without due reason.


16 December 1890

One of the saddest burning accidents that has ever taken place in this, or, indeed, in any other town, occurred here last evening, the melancholy result being that an industrious woman named Jane M'Murray was almost burned to death in the presence of her husband, who. for reasons which will be stated, was absolutely unable to render his poor wife the slightest assistance.

Henry M'Murray and his wife resided in Hill Street, the husband being a labourer, and no one else living in the house with them. About six weeks ago Henry M'Murray sustained a stroke of paralysis which affected his entire body. He was rendered absolutely and entirely powerless, and, since the accident. has been confined to his bed night and day, the wife meantime supporting herself and her husband by her own industry. The bed in which the husband lay was in the kitchen, and a distance only about two and half feet from the fire. It has been ascertained that for some years past Mrs. M'Murray was subject to fits, believed to be of an epileptic character. Last evening she and her husband were in the house - no one else being present and from what has since transpired it seems that the poor woman must have experienced one of the accustomed attacks of fits. with the lamentable result that she fell down suddenly in such a manner that her face and breast lay right across the kitchen fire. The unfortunate husband lying paralysed in the bed only two and a half feet away saw what had happened and had to remain in the bed passively observing his poor wife being slowly burned to death, and yet absolutely unable to render any assistance. He endeavoured to raise cries of murder, but, consequent on the paralysis, his voice was so feeble that it could not be heard at any distance off. Fortunately there happened to be a dog in the house, which set up a loud and piteous cry which attracted the attention of a neighbour, a Mrs. Bell, who at once rushed into M'Murray's house and there beheld a terrible spectacle. The poor woman was still lying with her face and breast on the fire and apparently unconscious. Mrs. Bell quickly rendered all the aid in her power, but it was found that Mrs. M'Murray's face was so burned as to be almost past recognition. The upper part of her left breast was literally roasted away, most of her fingers are burned off. and she has incurred other terrible injuries. Dr. J. S. Darling was promptly summoned and, after prescribing some remedies had the woman removed to the infirmary. Her condition is regarded as quite hopeless. To-day the husband also was taken to the infirmary. But for the cries of the dog it may be taken as certain that the unfortunate woman would have been slowly roasted to death in the view of her helpless husband. The sad affair did not become generally known until to-day. when the painful facts created a profound sensation.


18 January 1890

Today intense excitement was occasioned by an explosion of gas which occurred in Victoria Street, and as a result of which a shop and dwelling house were suddenly wrecked, several adjoining or contiguous houses sustained minor injuries, and a number of persons incurred personal wounds of a more or less serious nature. In view of the circumstances under which disastrous occurrence took place it seemed almost a miracle that lives were not sacrificed. The house is a detached one. Mrs. Henderson, the tenant, recently applied to the Lurgan Gaslight and Chemical Company to have the house lighted with gas, and this morning two employees of the company proceeded to the premises in order to put in the service pipe, and make the usual arrangements. Before closing up the break in the footpath, the workmen lighted a match to see that there was no escape anywhere. When the match was struck the two workers were looking down into the cavity in which the service pipe lay, and the very moment the light was applied a frightful explosion occurred; the floor of the shop was suddenly dashed upwards with extraordinary violence, and practically the entire building and its contents wrecked, while at the same time, the two workman were burned severely about the face and parts of the body. Beside this the only occupant of the house, Mrs. Henderson, who happened at the time to be in the scullery at the rear of the house, was also burned about the face, and sustained such a shook that the poor woman - who is of feeble health and somewhat advanced years, was reduced to a very distressing condition.

Not a single pane of glass was left intact in the house, while the side walls were cracked and broken. The sound of the explosion was heard at a great distance. In the immediate vicinity where Mrs. Henderson resided nearly every house had soma windows broken and articles of furniture dashed about. In one case a large paraffin lamp, which was on the drawing room table in house situate about sixty yards distant, was dashed against the wall of the room, and, of course, smashed to pieces. Many of the neighbours hastened to render assistance to the workmen and Mrs. Henderson, and prompt arrival on the scene of Mr. Tullentire, the manager of the gas works, helped to allay the panic which had been created. The two workman, with their faces covered with linen wrappings, were placed on a car and were driven to their homes, where they were attended by Dr. E. Magennis, J.P., who also visited Mrs. Henderson, and used all possible measures allay her suffering. During the evening Mr. John Macoun, one of the directors of gas company, visited the premises in the company with Mr. F.W. Magahan, the everetary. Mr. Magahan, on behalf of the directors. afterwards called on Dr. Magannis, J.P., and informed that gentleman that the directors desired him pay every possible attention to the medical needs and personal comforts of any persons injured the unlooked for occurrence. Mr. Magahan states that the workers engaged ion the occasion have been long time in the service of the company, and are considered careful workmen.

In the the absence of district inspector, who is on leave, Head-Constable Green and Sergeant Ballagh visited the promisee this evening, and made minute inquiries. In addition to the two workmen and Mrs. Henderson, it may stated that the following persons were injured: James Wright, aged 7, who got a severe cut on the right eye, probably from a piece broken glass; W. M'Neilly, who was struck the back with a piece of metal like large nail. John Thompson, George's Street, one of the workmen, has, in addition to the burning on his face, received severe cuts on one of his arms, and one of his bands is burned in very serious manner. All the injured persons are progressing favourably. The house was not insured.


1 March 1890

The usual weekly meeting of the Lurgan Board of Guardians were held on Thursday last in the Boardroom of the Workhouse. Mr John Johnston, J P, (Chairman of the Board presiding. The Clerk read a letter from a man named Alexander Smith of Union Street, Portadown, stating that his daughter Ellen had been in the Workhouse infirmary for over five weeks and that during that time the 'medical officer never looked at her.' The letter further stated that the girl when entering the infirmary was complaining of pains in the knees. She was then able to walk, but was unable to do so when leaving the infirmary and the writer feared that she would be a cripple all her life. The concluding portion of the epistle stated that it was not poverty that brought the girl to the infirmary and threatened to take legal proceedings against the Board 'no matter what it cost.'

Dr Adamson (medical officer) was brought before the Board and denied all the charges contained in the letter. Mr Douie moved that the Board having heard the medical officer's explanation considered it satisfactory. Mr Allen seconded the motion, which was unanimously passed The Clerk was directed to reply to Smith's letter, enclosing a bill for the amount of the girl's maintenance in the Infirmary.


23 April 1890

Today Mr. Justice Gibson sat for the hearing of jury trials, and had before him the case of Healy v Lord Lurgan and another. The action was brought by the plaintiff to recover damages for alleged trespass upon lands which are situate near Lurgan, in the County Armagh, of which Lord Lurgan is landlord. The other defendant, Mr. Brown, is Lord Lurgan's agent. When the case was called it was agreed on both sides that his Lordship should try the case without a jury, and report to the Court above, so as to enable to draw inferences and facts, and that the parties should be in the same position as If the case was tried by a jury.

It appeared from the evidence and admissions on both sides that the plaintiff was tenant to Lord Lurgan of the farm in question, which plaintiff held as a judicial tenancy at a yearly rent of £21. In the month of January, 1883, a decree against the plaintiff had been obtained from the County Court Judge for possession of the land for non payment of rent. Upon this decree a stay had been placed if the instalments were paid in accordance with the provisions of the Land Act of 1887. From this decree the tenant appealed, and on the hearing of the appeal before the late Mr. Baron Dowse, at the Spring Assizes, at Armagh, in 1888, the amount of the rent was reduced and the decree affirmed, but no mention was made of any payment by instalments or of any stay having been placed on the decree. Subsequently, in January, 1889, the decree was executed, and the plaintiff was put out of possession the farm by the sheriff, no notice having been served under the Act of 1883. The contention for the plaintiff was that the affirmance by the Judge of the Assize put an end to the decree of the County Court Judge, and that therefore the only legal mode of obtaining possession of the land by the landlord was by serving the notice prescribed by the Act of 1887, and, as this was not done, the plaintiff was entitled remain in possession and treat the defendant a trespasser.

His Lordship, having heard the evidence, came to the conclusion, without expressing his views, that he would enter a verdict for the defendants, as they were now in possession, but would leave the plaintiff to move to have it changed into a finding for him, and his Lordship assessed the damages, in the event of the plaintiff becoming entitled to a verdict, at £25. Counsel for the plaintiff. Messrs. O'Shaughnessy, Q C., and John Gordon (instructed by Mr. Menary). Counsel for defendants - The MacDermot, QC; Messrs: Shaw, Q.C., and Campbell (instructed by Messrs. Usher & Watson).


5 July 1890

Mr Greer said there was a matter which he considered it his duty to bring before the Board. At the petty sessions on Tuesday last Rate-collector John Taylor was fined £1 for being drunk and the policeman who preferred the charge described him as an habitual drunkard. Taylor bad previously been fined for drunkenness, and be thought it was a public scandal to have in their employment an official who conducted himself in such a way. He moved that the matter be brought before the Local Government Board, and that they be asked to dismiss him. Mr Allen thought they should allow the matter to stand over until this day fortnight. Taylor had been a long time in the service of the Board, and he thought they should have a little time to consider the matter. Mr Bleakley said it would be well to ask him to close his account before that. Mr Douie said his account was very far back. Mr Bleakley said there was nothing to prevent him collecting the money if he did not neglect his business. Mr Carroll said most of the Guardians present knew that he was not a great friend of Mr. Taylor's. He bad requested him not to prees the people for eight or ten days, and he thought if Mr Greer allowed the matter to stand over for a fortnight that he would have his collections closed by that time. Mr Greer said that Taylor had been conducting himself in this way for some time past and he did not think that they should mix this matter up with the collection of the rates.

Mr Allen: If I told you what Taylor told me in reference to collecting the rates it would shook you. Mr Macoun, V C, seconded Mr Greer's motion. Mr Sinnamon did not think that a drunkard was incurable. He did not believe that there was a person in the Union more opposed to drunkenness or the use of intoxicating liquor than he was, but he thought that the Board should not be too harsh on a man that was so foolish. He had known many people who were worse than Taylor who had been cured of drunkenness, and he believed that if the Guardians gave him a chance it would be a caution to him in the future, and might be the means of making him a perfectly sober man. He thought the Board should not be so harsh as to ask the Local Government Board to dismiss him. Mr Greer said that Taylor had been conducting himself in this way for years to the knowledge of the Guardians. He would not withdraw his motion. Mr Joseph Macoun moved as an amendment that Taylor be allowed another chance and brought before the Board and severely reprimanded for hie conduct. Mr Gorman seconded the amendment. Mr Bleakley said they should not allow a drunken man to handle public money.

Mr Sinnamon: l think we would be acting much too harshly if we did not give him another chance. Mr Bingham agreed with Mr Macoun's amendment. The amendment on being put was carried by a majority of 20 to 7. The Clerk was instructed to write to Taylor requesting him to appear before the Board on this day week. The Board then rose.


4 August 1890

The Church of the First Presbyterian Congregation, Lurgan, was reopened for the purpose of Divine service yesterday morning after having been closed for a period of several months while the sacred edifice was undergoing an extensive process of repairs, alterations, end improvements. The reopening service were conducted by the Rev. W. M'Caw, D.D., St. Hellier, Jersey, and took piece in the presence of one of the largest and most representative congregations that had assembled in any place of worship in Lurgan for a considerable time past.

The necessity of an extensive rearrangement and renovation of the internal equipments of the church building had been apparent to the respected pastor, Rev. Thomas M. Hamill, M.A., and the office bearers and congregation for some time past, and the decision to undertake the work and prosecute it with all possible despatch was formally adopted in the month October last, since which date the congregation, in consequence of the church being closed, have attended Divine service in the adjoining lecture hall. The contract for the carrying out of the practical details was placed in the hands of Mr. Samuel Finney, builder and contractor, Banbrldge and the cost of the renovations is thought to be around £1,600.


16 August 1890

The usual weekly meeting of the Lurgan Board of Guardians was held in the Boardroom of the Workhouse, on Thursday morning. Mr John Johnston JP in the chair. There was a small attendance of the Guardians. The clothing was to be advertised by the master. The blankets and cloth selected for suits was not good, the material selected in former years being much better. Dr Magennis said the Board expressed an opinion some time ago that they should purchase from Irish manufacturers. Mr Orr add they should send a sample of the old material to an expert in Belfast, and see if it could be got. It was decided that the master should go to Belfast and purchase samples of the articles, and that the matter should be left to the Board this day week for decision. There was £1,155 6s 5d in the bank to the credit of the Board. The clerk said there were 197 in the house. There were 101 sick at present, and 178 on out-door relief. This was the lowest number we have bad in the house for the last ten or twelve years. Mr Allen said it reflected great credit on Dr. Moore that there were so few sick in the house.


16 August 1890

Last night a singular stabbing case occurred in this town. A man named Patrick M'Mahon, a farmer, residing in the townland of Derrytrasna, was in the shop of Mr. S. Taylor, Edward Street, making some purchases, and his horse and cart were outside. While there a man named Thomas Black entered the shop, and, stating that he was a policeman, reprimanded M'Mahon for leaving his horse and cart on the street. M'Mahon then struck Black, and a struggle occurred, in the coarse of which Black, it is alleged stabbed M'Mahon on the neck with a penknife, which passed through the collars of the injured man's overcoat and undercoat. Black then ran away, but was subsequently taken into custody by Sergeant Thomas Mooney and Constable M'Clintock, of Edward Street barracks.

The injured man's wound was dressed by Dr, Agnew. The prisoner, on whom a large penknife was found, was brought before Dr. Magennis, J.P, who, after taking evidence, ordered him to remanded in custody for seven days. Last evening the prisoner was lodged in the county jail in Armagh. But for M'Mahon's coats intercepting the knife the wound would have been much more serious. M'Mahon remains in a critical condition.


6 September 1890

The weekly meeting of the above Board was held in the Boardroom of the Workhouse at eleven o'clock today. Mr. John Johnston, (chairman) presiding. Other Guardians present were Messrs George Greer J.P., E Magennis, M.D. J.P., James Johnston J.P., J. M'Nally J.P., J Macoun, J.P., R Carrick, J.P., J Macoun, V.C., W Hall, D.V.O, J Sinnamon, T Bleakley, W H Crawford, W.H. Bingham, Joseph Macoun, R. Ruddock, R.A. Eaddell and W. Taylor.

Relieving Officer Calvert reported that a woman named Eliza M'Cluskey, who resides in Fleming's Court, Lurgan, made an application to him during the week for out-door relief. The doctor said the woman would be better in the (Work)House, as she could not be treated outside. He requested her to come into the House but she refused, as she was in a starving condition he was obliged to give her relief. She had a little girl thirteen years of age in consumption. Relieving-Officer Calvert refused to give her out-door relief as long as he could, but the doctor told him that if the woman died and an inquest was held, he would swear that her death was hastened by starvation. Mr Hall said the relieving officer could ask the woman again, and try and get her to come into the House. Dr Magennis said He can try her, but he is bound to see to her. The Board granted the woman relief to the amount of 5s per week.

Mr. Sinnamon said that it was understood on last Board day that 40ozs of tobacco would do the paupers for a week, and he noticed that during the past week an order bad been given for 80ozs.
Master: The order is correct.
Mr Sinnamon: You stated this day week that 40ozs, would do for a week.
Master: l did not state so. I said that 3½lbs was about the amount consumed every week.
Dr. Magennis: I distinctly remember you state that.
Clerk: You order oatmeal by the ton although you use it in ounces.
Mr Carrick: lf the doctor thinks that it is necessary he is the best judge.
Clerk: Would it make any difference if the Master ordered it in rolls or in ounces? You have got the quantity there which is used every week.
Mr Bleakley: We must see who gets it.

Dr. Darling, medical officer, reported that he had experienced great difficulty in the treatment of patients in the Infirmary, owing to the Guardians having ceased to allow them the supply of tobacco formerly granted them, and asked that a small committee be appointed to confer with him on the subject. Chairman: Now, Mr. Bleakley there is something for you.
Mr. Bleakley: lt is only the whims of the people. They want into the Infirmary to get tobacco and you can't get them out of it.

Messrs Bleakley, Carrick, Greer, Crawford, and Macoun (Kilmore) were appointed as a committee to confer with the medical officer on the matter.
Mr. Bingham: Do any of these gentlemen smoke?
Dr. Magennis: Oh, you have a very good advocate in Mr Carrick. (Laughter).

The Master reported that complaints were being made about the coffins, and he recommended that timber be purchased and that the coffins in future be made by the carpenter in the House. He believed the coffins could be made cheaper in the House.
Chairman: That's all very well. Of course
Master: The coffins made both in Lurgan and Portadown are most unsatisfactory. It is shameless.
Dr Magennis: This is a very important matter, and one which we should look after.
Master: There was a person came here and complained that the bottom dropped out of the coffin.
Chairman: The coffins should be made properly, and should not be taken here unless they are.
Master: When a coffin comes here it appears to be all right, but when it remains in the House for a while the wood dries in.
Chairman: lnsist on the contractor performing his contract properly.
Mr Johnston: l would return them if they are not properly made.
Mr Carrick:They are human beings that have to go into them, and I think we should look after them.
Mr M'Nally moved, and Mr. Hall seconded, that the contractor be requested to make the coffins properly, and if not satisfactory that they be not taken.
Mr Carrick moved as an amendment that the timber be purchased and the coffins be made in the house. Mr. Waddell seconded the amendment, which was carried by a majority of 11 to 5.

The Clerk read the following letter from Father Pichey St. Vincent's, Lurgan, To the Poor-law Guardians of the Lurgan Union Workhouse. Gentlemen, Now that a new era of economy and reform is beginning to shine within the walls of the Lurgan Workhouse, I beg leave to call your attention to the following points. I sincerely hope that the salary of all the officials will be redused; but at the same time that the money thus saved will be used to improve the condition of the sick paupers and the old people. At your last meeting you have made an appeal to the Christian charity of the chaplains. Allow me, therefore, to make a similar charitable appeal to the Christian Guardians of Lurgan. Many times in the days of the lamented Dr Adamson, the necessity of having paid helpers to the nurses was brought forward. It is my belief that the nurses, who, however, are all devotedness, cannot alone properly attend to the wants of so many patients, because, though the number of paupers may diminish, the number of sick is generally the same every winter. Neither can weak paupers - unpaid, untrained, poorly fed - give either to the nurses or their suffering companions the necessary assistance. I think, also, it was a cruel act to take away the tobacco allowance from the old people and if the chaplains' salaries are to be reduced, let the reduction be used to cheer up a little the lonely life of these poor people, who, after all, are not in jail. Otherwise, the childish boast of having reduced the poor-rates a penny in the pound would be a very poor consolation from the promoters of the Reform Scheme.

I was pleased to see the case of the Christian burial of the paupers mentioned at last by one of the Guardians. Perhaps l am the only one in this place who knows anything about the Dead-house. I have strong reasons to believe that the Visiting Committee never pass its threshold; otherwise the state of things there would be inexcusable. The Lurgan Union Dead-house is a disgrace to civilization. The Master does his best, I know, to have things in proper order ; but the room is so disposed that even with the best of good will it cannot be kept clean.

Imagine a lumber room where chips, empty coffins and straw are scattered about the ground; picture to yourselves coffins with dead bodies, one coffin piled on the top of another. See the unfortunate chaplain looking for a dead pauper somewhere in that horrible confusion and sometimes reading the Catholic prayers over the body of a dead Protestant, because the name of the dead paupers are not always written on the coffin. To remedy this sad state of things, I would suggest that the empty coffins, the straw and useless timber be removed from the Dead House, that two clean tables be placed upon it in which the bodies of Protestant and Catholic paupers could be separately laid, giving both the dignity they deserve.

Perhaps I should have written before this on such matter, but my letters to the Board have always been of little use, even one of the Guardians called my last communication 'the letter of a crazy man', so I thought it better to leave these matters to the extraordinary wisdom of the Board. However, as I see now a sincere move to improve things, I send you this other crazy letter of mine.

Mr. Greer said that although the Board may not like the tone of Mr. Pichey's letter, there were some points in it that called for their attention, and he considered that they should be obliged to him for bringing them forward. If the Dead House was in such a state as that represented, it was an oversight on the part of the Board, which he was sure they would remedy at once.
Mr. M'Nally: I never have been in the Dead House in my life.
Mr. Bingham: Well I have been in it and saw nothing wrong with it.
Dr. Magennis: I think it would be a mistake to ask the committee to visit the Dead House and I say it would be improper to do it and to bring contagion into their own homes.
Chairman: I think the matter is deserving of the attention of the Board and I think a small committee should be appointed to look into it. The motion was passed and carried and a committee was sworn.


14 November 1890

At the weekly meeting of the Lurgan Board of Guardians yesterday - Mr. John Johnston. J.P. Presiding - the clerk read a document which he had received from the town clerk of Lurgan and which was in the following terms:-

To the Chairman of the Lurgan Board of Guardians. Sir, I hereby demand from you, on behalf of the Lurgan Town Commissioners, being the urban sanitary authority of the district, payment of the sum of £289 17s 1d, being their proportion of the expense incurred in the completion of portion of John Street, as is stated in the notice served on you on 15th June 1890, to be paid within twenty-one days from this demand, or else legal proceedings will be taken for the recovery of said amount. Your obedient servant, Ross Campbell, town clerk."

It may be stated that the work referred to in the above notice was the completion of the footpath which lies opposite the long boundary wall of the workhouse, and the question as to whether the Guardians or the Town Commissioners should bear the expense has been a subject of lengthened controversy. The Commissioners, by formal notice about a year ago, called upon the Guardians to do the work; but the members of the Poor-law Board being divided in opinion on the question as to their liability, took no action. The Commissioners then took the matter into their own hands and got the work executed, and then called upon the Commissioners to recoup the amount of the outlay. The Guardians did not pay and hence the present notice.
Mr. Gorman: Is that notice a threat?
Clerk: I can hardly say. It speaks for itself.
Mr. Bingham: I think we took counsel's opinion, who advised that we were not liable to pay.
Chairman: We've referred the matter to the law committee, who took counsel's opinion, but they did not report as to what it was.

Mr. Sinnamon said he would very strongly object to the ratepayers of his division (Drumcree) having to pay one penny to provide footpaths for the people of Lurgan. Mr. Blakeley was of the Opinion that the Guardians were not responsible for anything outside their own boundary wall.
Mr. James Johnston. J.P.: Leave the matter to the law committee and I am sure it will be easily settled.
Chairman: A committee was appointed to confer with the Commissioners with a view to an amicable arrangement but they never did formally confer with them, though individuals were spoken to.
Mr. Blakeley: We have no power to compromise. By the casting vote of the chairman it was decided to empower the committee to confer with the Commissioners, in order to see whether an amicable arrangement could be arrived at.


4 December 1890

The weekly meeting of the Lurgan Board of Guardians was held in the board room of the Workhouse at eleven o'clock on Thursday. Mr John Macoun, VC, presiding.

The other guardians present were Messrs J L Douie, JP; G Greer, JP; James Johnston, J P; W Hall, DVC ; J Sinnamon, W. Orr, R A Waddell, W. Bateman, Joseph Macoun, T Bleakley, W H Bingham and W J Allen.

Relieving Officer Calvert reported that a man named Adam McMullan, who was chargeable to Mr. Joseph Macoun's division and who has been in receipt of Outdoor Relief since 1886, wanted another shilling a week added to the three shillings that he is now in receipt of. The man is 79 years of age, almost blind and is at present confined to bed. His wife is 81 years of age and the couple lived in Banbridge Union for some time.

Mr. Macoun said that this was a very deserving case. The old woman came to him and told him that when she paid one shilling for rent and another for coal, that only left one shilling to support both of them for the week. They didn't want to break up their little home and go to the Workhouse and she thought that if she had another shilling a week they could spend the remainder of their days comfortably together. He proposed that the Board grant the request and Mr. Waddell seconded the proposition.

Mr. Bleakley did not see why the Guardians should grant money for rent. The house was there for such people as the applicant and the rent of it had to be paid.
Mr. Macoun repeated that he thought this a deserving case.
Mr. Bleakley said: I believe that if the Local Government Board were consulted, they would not sanction any payments for rent.
Mr. Calvert: If they did not pay their rent, they would be put out.
Mr. Bleakley: Well the Workhouse is here for them.
Mr. Macoun: You could not keep both of them in Workhouse for four shillings per week.
Mr. Sinnamon: I Think it would be right to give them the extra shilling.
Mr. Macoun's motion was carried.


19 December 1890

A meeting of the Lurgan Board of Guardians, convened by special requisition, was held at eleven o'clock a.m. yesterday, for the purpose of considering what action the Board should take in regard to the demand made upon them by the Lurgan Town Commissioners for repayment of the expense incurred by the latter Board in making a proper footpath in John Street, apposite the extensive front boundary wall of the Workhouse, the Commissioners having undertaken the execution of the said work after the Guardians, who were considered primarily liable, had neglected or refused to comply with the formal notice requiring them to have the foot-way constructed.

Mr. John Johnston, J.P. (chairman of the Board), presided, and the other Guardians in attendance were Messrs. Geo. Greer, J.P.; James Johnston, J.P.; John Collen, J.P.; W. J. Locke, J.P.; John M'Nally, J.P.; John Macoun, J.P.; and John Macoun, V.C. (Moyraverty); W. Hall, D.V.C.; Stafford Gorman, J. Sinnamon, W. H. Bingham, W. Orr, J. M’Clolland, R. A. Waddell. N. Ruddell, Thomas Blakeley, R. Ruddock, J. Magennis, Joseph Macoun, W. H. Crawford, and W. J. Allen.

The Clerk (Mr. J. Donaldson) having read the circular convening the meeting, Mr. Allen said this controversy had been going on for a considerable period, and some months ago a committee was appointed to confer with their solicitor, Mr. Hugh Hayes, and if deemed wise take counsel's opinion.

Mr. Greer moved that a small committee be appointed to meet the Town Commissioners, or any deputation from that body to discuss the matter with them, and with full powers to make settlement of the case. The Local Government Board were the superiors of both the Guardians and the Commissioners; so that if they approved of the settlement arrived at there would be no danger a surcharge in respect any payment made.
Mr. Allen seconded the motion.

Mr. Waddell moved an amendment that it be left to the Commissioners to take whatever course they liked, and that the Guardians defend any action instituted against them.

After further discussion, a vote was taken, when Messrs. Greer, James Johnston, Bingham, M'Nally, Crawford, Allen, and J. Macoun, J.P. (seven), supported Mr. Greer's motion, and thirteen Guardians voted against it and it was declared lost.

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