Here we are in Ballynure, once again the site of an ancient Irish Catholic community and once again all evidence of such has been obliterated, it is known however that the ruins of an old Protestant church in the cemetery was the original site of the Catholic Church which was desecrated and obliterated in the 1600's, and its parishioners scattered or massacred by invading foreign armies.
A plaque has been placed on the old ruins of the Protestant church recalling that Jonathon Swift preached there... no reference is made to the Irish Catholic link or the persecution of the local people in those dark far off days. History has been air brushed as effectively and as thoroughly as any trace of the ethnic cleansing there in the 1600's era.
All over the countryside around Ballynure there is much evidence of an early strong Irish Catholic presence, there are raths, cairns and there was even a Holy Well at Toberdowny, where in living memory rags could be seen hanging from a Fairy Thorn (just as at Cranfield), these rags were hung as 'prayers' by people hoping for devine intercession to remove an illness from themselves or a loved one. Ancient standing stones are plentiful throughout the area. Very often relics such as ancient spears, coins and bugles were uncovered throughout the area.
The area was 'planted', mostly with Presbyterians from Scotland, people who themselves, like the Irish Catholic, who were being persecuted for their religious beliefs and rose in 1798 as Irish Republicans to remove the yoke of oppression, England, from their backs, the English Army burned the village to the ground. In the Ballynure Presbyterian Church above the Irish Republican William Orr's body on its way for burial at Templepatrick was waked, he had been hanged at Carrickfergus a year earlier, 1797, accused of administrating the oath of the United Irishmen to others. Brave William Orr's story can be read elsewhere on this site.
My grandson Sean pointing at the slots for muskets at the old Ballynure Cemetery Watch House, this would harken back to the days of the Body Snatchers or Ressurrectionists as they were sometimes called . Family friends and relatives would take turns to stay in the watch house armed with muskets to guard the corpse of their loved one for some days and when the body was decomposed enough to render it useless to the body snatchers they would then bury in in the already prepared grave.
Surnames in Churchyard
The following are amongst the surnames of families who bury and have vaults, tombs and head stones in Ballynure churchyard; Anderson, Boyd, Beatty, Barkley, Barklie, Bell, Barklimore, Beggs, Birnie, Creary, Curdy, McCurdy, Clements, Crom, McCrom. Campbell, Conaghy. McConaghy, Conky, McConky, Dobbs, Dorman. Forsyth, Fulton, Fullerton, Gorman, Gordon. Hill. Hetherington. Hay. Huston, Houston. Hunter, Hagan, Ilwaine, Mcllwaine. Junkin, Kirk, Lennon, Lorirner. Love. Macomb, Millen, McMillen, Misskimin, Morrow, Macky. Murdock, Mayne.Park, Porteis, Robinson. Rogers, Stewart. Shan non, Shannor, McShannor, Sparrowhawk. Stephenson, Stevenson, Wiley. Wylie, Whiteford, Woodside, Watson. Wilson, Weir.
The oldest legible stone in the graveyard is 1717. and the greatest age of persons on any of them 92 years. Tombs and headstones are numerous and many of them tastefully cut. Letters and head stones of the whin kind are more numerous here than in many other graveyards. There are 3 vaults in the place. one of which belongs to the Dobbs family, one to the Ellis family and the third erected by the parish for a safe depository for bodies lying there a number of days previous to interment, a plan lately adopted against resurrections taking up or carrying off the bodies in a fresh state. These vaults are of stone and lime work. The graveyard is tolerably large, enclosed by a quickset fence and sheltered by forest trees and an iron gate to the entrance. It is situationed on an elevated ground adjoining a mill-dam and river.
Ballynure 1838... Cotton Mill
The cotton spinning mill is the property of Mr Thomas Howe. It is situated adjacent to the west ern side of the village of Ballynure, in the townland of Toherdowney. and on a small stream tributary to the Six Mile Water. The building consists of 5 floors and is substantially constructed of stone, and is in excellent repair. It measures externally 82 by 30 feet. The machinery. consisting of 9.600 mule spindles, is propelled by a breast water wheel of metal 28 feet in diameter and 4 feet 6 inches broad, having a fall of water of 30 feet.
The supply of water is derived partly from the stream on which the mill is situated and partly from the united contribution of numerous rivulets which are collected in a large dam containing [ [ yards south east of the factory. From this the water is conveyed, occasionally by the channel of the stream and sometimes by cuts leading it into dams, for the supply of trifling mills along its banks. By these means it is rendered abundant in all seasons. The water wheel is of 24 horsepower.
119 hands, of whom 42 are males and 77 are females, are at present employed in this factory. In 1837 the number employed v 124.
Ballynure Bleach Mills
The muslin bleaching and beetling mills, the property of Mrs Bell, are situated in the townland of Ballyclare, at the north west corner of the parish and on a trifling stream known as the Bruslee water. The establishment consists of 5 houses. That containing the beetling engines measures 95 by 25 feet and consists of 3 floors. The wash house is 1-storey high and measures 90 by 24 feet. The upper boil house consists of 1- storey and measures 60 by 36 feet. The storehouse consists of 2-storeys and measures 120 by 27 feet.
Upper wash house consists of 2 floors and measures 99 by 30 feet. The beetling engines are propelled by a breast water wheel 20 feet in diameter by 4 feet 6 inches broad. It is of 10 horsepower. The fall of water is
17 feet. The upper wash mill is driven by a breast sater wheel 8 and a half feet in diameter and 2 feet 6 inches broad. The lower wash mill is propelled by a breast water wheel 28 feet in diameter and 5
feet broad, having a fall of water of 28 feet.
The supply of water. which is abundant at all seasons, is derived from the Bruslee water and from several minor streams running into it immediately above the mills. The water is collected in dams and reservoirs, and is managed with much ingenuity and economy.
This concern is in excellent repair and is in full work. It affords employment to 46 hands, of whom 3 only are males. It was established in 1824, previously tc which period a cotton mill, and still further back a flax scutching mill, had occupied its site.
Ballynure Paper Mill
The paper manufactor, the property of Mr Robert Greenfield, is situated in the townland of Ballyclare, at the northeast corner of the parish and on the Six Mile Water. The manufactory is of irregular form. It measures in the extreme [ feet and consists of 2 houses, one of which is 2 and the other 3-storeys high. They are in but indifferent repair. The machinery u as removed in 1838, when the mill ceased to work.
it had been propelled by 3 water wheels; 2 of these worked in reverse. One of them measured 28 feet in diameter and 4 feet 10 inches broad; the other is 18 feet in diameter and 2 feet broad. The third is a breast water wheel 18 feet in diameter and 5 feet broad the fall of water is [ feet. The supply is abundant in all seasons. Part of it is derived from the Six Mile Water by a race [ yards long, and part of it from a small stream flowing from the south west. Up to the year 1837 this manufactory afforded employment to 20 males and 50 females
THE EXECUTION OF WILLIAM ORR
Though Orr’s death occurred in the year 1797, that event was connected with the movement which culminated in 1798. William Orr, of Farranshane, near Antrim, was convicted of the administration of illegal oaths on what was afterwards shown to be perjured evidence, and for which he was condemned to death. The execution was postponed from time to time, and when it drew near, according to the testimony of James Kirk, of Whinpark, who received his information from his father, Samuel Kirk, a warm loyalist friend of the condemned man, Orr, was buoyed up by the jail officials with the belief that he would not really be put to death at the time appointed for his execution, but only partially so. And by some means or other this belief was shared by Orr’s relatives. Accordingly, the friends - James Kirk’s father being one of them- received the body, immediately after the execution at the jail at Carrickfergus, for the ostensible purpose of burial, and then set out for Orr’s late home at Farranshane. When they had proceeded a short distance only, a halt was made, and the body was taken into a house, or other convenient place, and bled, which operation was expected to indicate the presence of life and restore circulation. Samuel Kirk not only witnessed the bleeding but examined Orr’s neck, and found it broken, and then resuscitation was therefore impossible, he then stated, as gently and sympathetically as he could, this conviction to the brother of the deceased, who was fondly clung to the hope of restoration, saying, “ No Jamie, he can’t be revived; his neck is broken; he is dead”, when the poor fellow sank to the ground as though he had been struck with a weapon. The party then made its way to Farranshane, and the body was subsequently buried in the old burial ground at Templepatrick.
OLD BALLYNURE NAMES
Samuel Kennedy born in 1801 in Ballynure
Samuel Kennedy born 1801 in Ballynure ... married Deborah Picken in 1826 of Ballynure
Samuel Kennedy born About 02 JUN 1830 Old Castle, Ballyeaston, Antrim, ... father was John Kennedy
Samuel Kennedy married Elizabeth Kennedy 11 Jan 1839 Ballynure
Samuel Kennedy son of James. Born 1845 in Ballynure. married to Jenny Wilson 30 NOV 1869 Ballynure, Antrim, Ireland
19 Aug 1871 Ballynure, the above Samuel and Jenny had a son Samuel jr
Samuel Aiston Kennedy married Margaret Stevenson 24 July 1846 Donegore Parish
Samuel Kennedy born 1849 in Glenwhirry
married Margaret Lowery in 1874 in Glenwhirry and their son Samuel was born 5th June 1880
Samuel Kennedy born 28 July 1880 in Ballynure .... born to Malcolm Kennedy and Mary Weatherup.
Samuel Kennedy born in 1852 in Connor married Mary Anderson in 1877 in Connor
Anne Weatherup born about 1807 Ballynure to John Weatherup and Sally ?
Thomas Weatherup married Mary Hunter 10 April 1828 Ballynure
Anne Weatherup married Alexander Crow 21 June 1828 Ballynure
John Weatherup married Mary Forsythe 01 April 1836 Ballynure
Margaret Weatherup married Thomas Boyd 16 Sept 1845 Ballynure
Mary Weatherup (Mentioned earlier) born 1856 in Ballynure .... married Malcolm Kennedy 1877 Ballynure
Thomas Weatherup born 24 Nov 1879 Ballynure to William John Weatherup and Mary Hall
Margaret Jane Weatherup born 11 Feb 1866 Ballynure to William John Weatherup and Mary Eliza Hall
Thomas Weatherup born 30 Oct 1819 Straid, to John Weatherup and Sarah Watson. Married Eliza Whiteford 6 March 1848
Thomas Weatherup born about 1803 Ballynure to Thomas Weatherup and Janet
Elizabeth Steele born 1805 Ballynure
William Steele 06 Jan 1841 Donegore to Robert Steele and Nancy Stewart James Steele born 23 Jan 1843 Donegore to Robert Steele and Nancy Stewart
James Steele born 30 Oct 1860 Holestone, to William Steele and Mary Wilson
Janet Steele born 30 March 1839 Donegore to Robert Steele and Sarah Jane Barr Eliza Ann Jane Steele born 06 June 1842 Donegore to Robert Steele and Sarah Jane Barr John Steele born 03 April 1845 Donegore to Robert Steele and Sarah Jane Barr