Shankill Churchwardens
1653 - 1800

Page One

The following extract was taken from the Church of Ireland Vestry records. The vestry was an assembly of parishioners which met to discuss parochial business and took its name from its meeting place - the vestry or room in the church in which the priest's vestments were kept. The vestry could raise funds for local services such as poor relief, parish constables and road repair. The select vestry was a small committee which could levy taxes for religious purposes - the maintenance of the church and the payment of parish officers such as the sexton and the parish clerk.

The money which the churchwardens spent on behalf of the parish was raised largely from the parish cess, a local tax on householders, and from a lesser extent from the sale of seats in the parish church. The applotment, or assessment, of the parish cess, which appears periodically in the churchwardens' account books or the vestry minute books, is a valuable record of the local community. Following the abolition of the penal laws, membership of the general vestry was open to all householders in the parish irrespective of their religion although its proceedings were effectively controlled by the Protestant minority since all officers had to be members of the Church of Ireland.

JOSHUA CROWLEY - Installed as Prebendary of Dromara in the diocese of Down in 1662 and as such he was also rector of Shankill parish in Lurgan. Purchased Brownlow land in 1676.

PHILEMON CHAMBERLAINE - Brother of Arthur Brownlow. Supervisor of highways 1676-80. Buried Shankill 5th July 1681.

WILLIAM PARRY - Referred to as 'serjeant' in 1667 rental.

WILLIAM COPELAND - Overseer of public highway 1687-89.

WILLIAM JANES - On the poor of Shankill parish 1693-96.

DAVID BLACKBURN - Vicar's churchwarden in Shankill parish 1682.

CHARLES WALLACE - Referred to a 'corporall' in 1667 rental.

JOHN HOILE - People's churchwarden Shankill parish 1672.

BERNARD BULLOCK - a wheelwright and Quaker who married Jane Porter in 1695.

WILLIAM SMART - People's churchwarden in Shankill parish 1680.

WILLIAM SPENCE - Vicar's churchwarden Shankill parish 1675.

WILLIAM MARSHALL - People's churchwarden Shankill parish 1679.

JAMES SHALCROSS - 'Ensign' according to 1667 rental.

WILLIAM GIBSON - referred to as 'Serjeant' in 1667 rental.

HUGH STAMPER - a Quaker converted in England. Appointed 'overseer of the highway' by Shankill parish iin 1674 and 1675.

ANDREW CROMUY - On the 'poor of the parish' Shankill 1673 until his death in 1681.

WILLIAM BLACKALL - 'Curate of Shankill' in 1673

CAPTAIN ROBERT HAWKESWORTH - 'the farmer of the tithes in the parish' of Shankill in 1675.

PATRICK WILSON - Vicar's churchwarden in Shankill parish in 1678.

WILLIAM McMURRAY - 'a maltster' according to his lease in 1703.

GEORGE STRAITON - A Presbyterian in 1692.

GEORGE STOELL - People's churchwarden in Shankill in 1696.

RICHARD FAYLE - One of the earliest members of the Quaker community who left Lurgan with WILLIAM EDMUNSON and other Quakers in 1656 to live in Cavan.

RICHARD CLOSE - of Waringstown who was married to WILLIAM WARING'S daughter, Mary. He also owned land near Rathfriland. When several Friends (Quakers) were committed to Down prison in 1703 for refusing to pay tithes, the Lurgan Meeting (of Quakers) decided to seek the assistance of RICHARD CLOSE in moderating the prosecutor, McMULLAN.

RICHARD BROWNLOW - Arthur Brownlow's grand uncle, brother to Sir William.

COLONEL WILLIAM STEWART - Expelled WILLIAM EDMUNSON, the Quaker evangalist from Shankill parish church, when he interrupted the service there in 1653.

CAPTAIN WILLIAM JONES - Married to Arthur Brownlow's elder sister, Elinor. Buried Shankill on 1st April 1681.

ROBERT CHAMBERS - Born in 1646 in Moorsom, Gilborugh in Yorkshire, and came to Ireland in 1661. Was a Quaker in 1676. Appointed overseer of thhe highways in Shankill parish in 1694, 1696 and 1697.

JO(HN) RAY - Eleanor Ray, co-heiress of JOHN RAY, in 1678 married JAMES GREER, a Quaker from Redford, near the Grange, County Tyrone, who had been born in Northumberland in 1653. The GREERS settled on the RAY lands and their four sons all became linen drapers - Henry, John, Thomas and James.

ELINOR JONES - was Arthur Brownlow's sister. WILLIAM JONES was her husband and BROWNLOW JONES her son.

GARRETT O'KERRIN - Went on the parish in 1685 and died in 1693.

JOHN McCULLAGH - Chosen as Vicar's churchwarden in Shankill parish in 1672, but did not serve. Appointed overseer of the highways in Shankill parish in 1677 and 1678.

JO(HN) HOOP - Appointed overseer of the highways 'for Kilmore side' in Shankill parish in 1674.

WILLIAM WHITESIDES - a William Whitesides was appointed overseer of the highways in 1688 but JOHN HOOP was in possession of this land by 1667.

CAPTAIN WILLIAM DRAPER - Married to Arthur Brownlow's aunt, Rose.

SERJEANT WILLIAM PARRIE - Went on 'the poor of the parish' in 1685 and died in 1688.


VAL BROWN - of Monbriefe wa chosen Vicar's churchwarden of Shankill parish in 1680.

PATRICK CARROLL - Appointed overseer of highways in Shankill parish in 1680.

JOHN WETHERBY - Vicar of the parish of Shankill, 1675-1682. Rector of the parish 1693-1697.

THOMAS TURNER - Born in 1618 in Tunerstowne, Northumberland; a cousin of the GREER family, he came to Ireland in 1658 and became a Quaker.

WILLIAM TUGH - Vicar's churchwarden of Shankill in 1677.

MARK WRIGHT - Born in 1619 at Sheep Pastor, near Gisborough, in Yorkshire. Came to Ireland in 1654 with wife and two children. He was converted to Quakerism in the same year, after witnessing the behaviour of WILLIAM EDMUNDSON when he was forcibly ejected from the parish church for interrupting the service.

GEORGE DAVIDSON - People's churchwarden of Shankill in 1676.

JAMES JAMESON - Parish clerk 1675-1686.

WILLIAM MATHEWS - A tailor, born in Dunmurray iin 1645, came to Lurgan and became a Quaker before 1673.


JO(HN) FISHER - People's churchwarden of Shankill in 1688.

ELLEANOR JONES - Arthur Brownlow's sister, married to CAPTAIN WILLIAM JONES.

ROTH JONES - Nephew of Arthur Brownlow, son of ELLEANOR JONES. A lawyer in Dublin who aided WILLIAM WARING inn 1689. High Sherriff of County Armagh in 1712. Died in 1725.

CHRISTOPHER WILSON - In 1704 gave surety of fifty pounds for REVEREND JOHN BYRNE, the Roman Catholic parish priest of Seagoe; described as a yeoman.

JO(HN) NEWS - People's churchwarden of Shankill in 1682.

HENRY CORNER - Overseer of highways 1687-1689, 1693-1694, 1696-1697.

THOMAS CHAPMAN - A Quaker, son in law of JOHN HOOPE. Quakers warned him about his trading habits in 1685 and then helped him to settle them in 1686. In 1697 he wanted to remove to Cork, but the Cork Friends (Quakers) were unwilling.

GEORGE WESTRY - of Toberhueny was chosen as people's churchwarden of Shankill in 1678. In 1676 his name GEORGE WESTRACE, appeared in the records of Lurgan Quaker Meetings.

JO(HN) DEERY - A Roman Catholic; 'Deery' or 'Derry'; In 1704 JOHN DERRY gave a surety of fifty pounds for REVEREND BRYAN KIERNAN of Tullymore. Ancestor of BISHOP EDMUND DERRY of Dromore, born in Ballynamoney and appointed bishop in 1801.


WILLIAM LEISTER - Vicar's churchwarden off Shankill parish in 1673. In the Lurgan Quaker records (1695), it was recorded that 'WILLIAM LESTER who died in Pensilvania left money to MARY HUNT.'

ELIZABETH COPELAND als BROWNLOW - and her sister Mary; daughters of Sir William's brother, Richard.

JAMES BRADSHAW - Born in Lancashire in 1619 and came to Ireland as a soldier in 1649. A Quaker, in 1667, he 'lost yarn worth seven and eightpence' and in 1675 twelve shillings, the latter for refusing to swear when summoned to appear on a jury. His descendant, JAMES BRADSHAW of Annsborogh, Lurgan, was well known as a linen expert employed the the Linen Board, and was broght by ROBERT COLVILLE to Milecross, near Newtonards in 1726 to establish the weaving of linen damasks and diaper.

WILLIAM SPENCE - Vicar's churchwarden of Shankill in 1677.

WILLIAM PORTER - Born in 1641 in Topcliffe, Yorkshire, he came to Ireland in 1659 and there he learned to weave. He became a Quaker. Appointed overseer of the highways of Shankill in 1684.

ALEXANDER SPENCE -Appointed overseer of the highways for Shankill in 1693.

WILLIAM PIERSON - People's churchwarden of Shankill in 1673.

JOHN TOLRINGTON - Alias TITTERINGTON. JOHN TOWLERTON (sic) was a Quaker in 1679. In 1679 JOHN TITTERINGTON of Lurgan paid thirty shillings and was excused form being churchwarden in Shankill. The Easter vestry of 1683 had decided 'that if any parishioners chosen to be churchwarden will desire to be excused from serving and pay down the sum of thirty shillings ster. to the use of the poor of this parish, he shall be excused, a new vestry called and another person chosen.'

THOMAS BROOME - An overseer of the highways in Shankill in 1679.

GEORGE STOWELL - People's churchwarden in Shankill in 1696.

PATRICK LOGAN - The Quaker schoolmaster - in Ireland in 1678 - father of JAMES LOGAN who became secretary to WILLIAM PENN and later secretary to the Council of Pennsylvania. This family fled to Scotland in 1688 and Patrick did not return until 1695 when he renewed his lease.

JOHN PORTER - A blacksmith according to the original 1679 lease; sexton an bell-ringer to Shankill parish 1677-1684; parishioners churchwarden in 1686.

HENRY DUGLASS - A Presbyterian who in 1692 with GEORGE STRAITON requested the General Synod of Ulster to write to Mr HUGH KILPATRICK, their minister in the days befor 1689, to return to his charge in Lurgan.

CHARLES WALLACE - Churchwarden of Shankill in 1690.

ALEXANDER MATHEWS - A blacksmith born in Dunmurry, County Antrim in 1648, who came to Lurgan in 1668. He was a Quaker by 1676. Appointed overseer of highways in Shankill in 1683.

WILLIAM BELL - A cooper. Rector's churchwarden of Shankill in 1694.

GEORGE HODGSON - A Quaker convinced in England. In Ireland in 1675, died 1688.

SAUNDERS FIELD - A glazier, according to a reference in a 1732 lease.

JOHN BUTCHER - People's churchwarden in Shankill in 1693. Described in a 1712 lease in Tanaghmore North as a yeoman.

CHARLES CAIN - A currier according to original lease of 1694. Rector's churchwarden in Shankill parish in 1693.


THOMAS WALKER - May be the same Thomas or son of THOMAS WALKER who 'did not serve' as minister's churchwarden in Shankill parish in 1676. He was a weaver from Blindeth Rassset in Cumberland, born in 1643, who came to Ireland in 1667 and was an active Quaker in 1676. Overseer of highways in 1677 and 1678 in Shankill.

GEORGE FOX - A Quaker, born in Lamplan, Cumberland in 1664, who came to Ireland in 1691 and married there. He was a merchant and died in 1735.

ROBERT HODGSON - A Quaker born in Lamplan, Cumberland in 1669, who came to Ireland in about 1701. A merchant.

JOHN McCALL - JOHN McCAUL of Lurgan, genteleman, an apothecary, was prescribed by King James II's parliament of 1689 for absenting himself from the kingdom. Witnessed a deed as Surgeon in 1716.

LETTICE BEVERSHAM - Arthur Brownlow's mother. She left property to his half brother CHRISTOPHER CLINTON.

WILLIAM CROOKS - Overseer of highways in Shankill in 1682.

JOSEPH ROBINSON - A Quaker. A tanner, according to the original lease.

WILLIAM STOWELL - Witnessed a deed in 1724 as a tailor.

JOHN DONALDSON - descibed as a butcher in a 1718 lease.

ROBERT ENGLISH - According to an original lease, ROBERT ENGLISH was a cutler, while MARGERY WILSON was the daughter of JOSEPH WILSON a tinman of Whitesmith, and ROBERT LYNNS (or LYNES) wa the son of JOSHUA LYNESS, a clothier.

HENRY SPENCE - Witnessed a deed in 1714; described as a Lurgan linen draper.

Our thanks to Mary Doland for her work in transcribing this information.

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