Lurgan Coat of Arms The Armagh Guardian

15 September, 1869  


On Friday evening much commiseration, mingled, it must be confessed, with some amusement, was excited among a number of people whose attention was attracted by the spectacle of an elderly countryman who paced the foot-way along the river Bann, wailing loudly, wringing his hands, and with every other demonstration of deep grief. Upon interrogatory the poor fellow told a melancholy narrative, from which it appeared that he was a small farmer living in the region of the Ballygargan in this county, and that on Sunday last, while himself and other members of his family were at Mass his daughter eloped with the servant man, taking with her 45, the produce of a colt sold by her father at Portadown fair. The poor father's consternation at this unfilial leave-taking was only excelled by the indignation of his eldest son, and instant measures were taken if not to rescue the young lady, at least to recover the money. The fugitives were traced to Belfast, whither they were followed by the girl's brother, who on Wednesday last succeeded in hunting up the couple in a lodging-house. A stormy scene very probably ensued, for the result was that the irate brother extorted from his frightened relative and her Lothario, not only the balance of the sum with which they had absconded, but also two passage tickets to America which they had purchased. But to all inducements, whether by threat or entreaty to return home, the young woman turned a deaf ear, although forsaken by her false lover, who seems to have been frightened clean out of sight, and had gone, like Buckingham, 'no one knew whither.'

The girl's brother, finding his efforts ineffectual, wrote to the old man who hastened at the summons, and arrived on Friday night, to find the state of things reversed, and that it was his son, not his daughter, who was the fugitive for in the interim between writing the letter and his father's coming, the faithless young fellow had surveyed the situation, and finding himself master of a sum of money and a passage to the Americas, had yielded to the temptation, and sailed that morning, leaving the second passage ticket in the envelope addressed to his father. The grief of the disconsolate parent at this discovery may only be imagined; nor was it lessened by the conduct of his daughter, who stubbornly refused to return home with him, continued obstinate throughout the afternoon, and capped the climax by making off in the evening with the other passage-ticket and her father's overcoat.


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