Welcome to Broughshane Co. Antrim.
Looking around Broughshane today one would find it hard to believe that this once was a hot bed of Irish Republicanism in 1798, that men were publicly flogged on the street to the extent that one was heard to scream 'kill me' , so severe was the torture. Men were taken by British Redcoats to the Moat at Ballymena and hanged for their love of Irleand. Who could believe that this red, white and blue bedecked village was the home of the famous Jack White who trained the Irish Citizen Army that took part in the 1916 Rebellion in 1916.
"I remember Friday, the 8th June, 1798; all was bustle and confusion in Broughshane. On a report having been spread that the military were approaching the town, the women and children fled towards Coreen Hill ; the report, however, was not true. I remember Saturday, the 9th June. I heard Capt. Duffin* order some of the rebels on the street of Broughshane to wear green cockades, and I saw my schoolmaster commanding a company of the rebels, and marching at their head. He afterwards went to the United States of America, where he died. The children belonging to Broughshane carried green branches in their hands ; such is the infatuating power of example. I remember Sunday, the loth June. The insurgents * " William Duffin, Ballygarvey, brought before a court-martial in Belfast, Oct. 17, 1798, for being a rebel leader in Ballymena on the 8th and Qth June. In consequence of the prevarication of the principal evidence against him, he was acquitted. This evidence was put upon his trial for prevaricating, and being found guilty, received 200 lashes on that day gave up their arms on the street of Broughshane the guns, pikes, and swords were packed on cars. My father gave up my grandfather's sword.* I was exceedingly grieved to see it removed from the house. The next event that bears powerfully on my memory was the approach of the army to their intended encampment on Tullymore Hill. I, with hundreds of the townspeople, stood on the elevated ground at the foot of the town in expectation of seeing the military advance. In a few minutes it was announced that they were approaching, and I distinctly recollect seeing their shining arms brilliantly beaming in the sun as they proceeded along by Newgrove to Broughshane. A goat of an uncommon size marched in front of the cannons. The 22nd Dragoons, the 64th Regiment, the Monaghan, Kerry, and Tipperary Militia composed part of the division. They marched through the town without halting, and immediately encamped on Tullymore hill. Shortly afterwards a number of the military were billeted through the town ; eight or ten were ordered, by billet, to my father's. In consequence of a dispute between my father and : a dragoon my father was taken prisoner, and confined in the Court-house. He was, however, set at liberty next day. The next event that impressed my memory was the execution of the two Montgomerys. They were condemned by a court-martial held in the Court-house of Broughshane, and ordered to be hanged on the Moat at Ballymena. On the morning of the execution the troops, in military order, lined the streets. I recollect the cavalry had their swords drawn. I saw the two men taken out of the Court-house and pinioned on a car. The military procession then moved off with their prisoners to the place of execution. I followed at a considerable distance, and when I * He had worn this sword at the Battle of the Boyne. It is now in the editor's possession. reached the houses at Dunfane, about one mile from Ballymena, the troops had passed through Ballymena to the Moat, and the gallows was visible. In a few minutes the men were executed. About this period one of the artillerymen billeted in my father's invited me up to the camp in order to hear the evening cannon fired. I went ; I approached the cannon at the signal hour. I stood at the distance of several yards when the match was laid, and most tremendous to my ear was the cannon's roar ; my ears were pained with the sound ; all was smoke about me, and the suffocating smell of gunpowder; the report of the cannon rolled and re-echoed along the hills in a peal like thunder. As the country was under martial law, many individuals were tried by martial law in Broughshane Courthouse, and sentenced to be flogged. This took place in a field at the foot of my father's garden called the fir park. I saw Samuel Bones, of Lower Broughshane, receive 500 lashes 250 on the back, and 250 on the buttocks. I saw Samuel Crawford, of Ballymena, receive 500 lashes. The only words he spoke during the time were "Gentlemen, be pleased to shoot me." I heard him utter them. I saw Hood Haslet, of Ballymena, receive 500 lashes. I believe he was only then about 19 years of age. Before he had received 100 lashes I heard him exclaiming "I'm a-cutting through". There was a very heavy shower at the time. All I recollect of the year 1799 is unimportant. One event, however, I particularly remember. It was the' awful spectacle of human heads fastened on spikes and placed on the Market-house of Ballymena. When I looked up and saw the hair of the heads waving to and fro in the wind, I felt sensations indescribable. "
The former home of Jack White