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Timeline for the parishes of Kilrea & Tamlaght O'Crilly, 1650–1699.

Please refer to Notes and References at bottom of page.
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All the British were cleared out of county Derry. There were no British inhabitants upon the land, all the buildings were demolished and, thus, there were no rents.
Kernohan (1912), pg. 16.
  Sometime after the rebellion, the Presbyterians of Kilrea and Tamlaght removed to Boveedy, in the parish of Tamlaght O'Crilly. The first minister at Boveedy was the Rev. William Gilchrist.
  The following explanation was offered by Miss Jane Clark (1897) for the selection of Boveedy for the Presbyterians' next meeting-house:
"It has also been suggested that as Presbyterianism was frowned on by the state in the latter 1600's the Mercers' Co. was not willing to grant sites for building churches. This was why, perhaps, Boveedy was chosen as the site of the next meeting house after the one in Moynock had been destroyed. Boveedy was, apparently, one of six freeholds on the Mercers' estate and the ground was donated by the owner, Mr. Carey." (pg. 69)
Kernohan (1912), pg. 53.
The Story of the Presbyterian Church at Kilrea, by Miss Jane Clark (Londonderry: W. Gailey, 1897); cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 66.
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 69.

See also the entry under 1650, "It is traditionally reported..."
"It is traditionally reported that [the Presbyterian meeting-house] was removed from Moyknock about 1650 through the influence of the Cannings of Garvagh."
Kernohan (1912), pg. 57.
The church buildings of the parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O'Crilly were again in ruin. "This was the time when the Rev. Lawrence Clutterbuck was rector [1], which would account for the preposterous condition of the Church." [1] Church of Ireland.
Kernohan (1912), p. 34.
(1) The Irish Society was re-established by Cromwell by letters patent of the 24th March 1656, and the Mercers' Company again assumed their estate, which was re-conveyed to them by the Irish Society.
(2) Cromwell regranted the Londonderry lands to the London Companies. Movanagher Castle having been abandoned as an inferior site for defence, the high ground of Kilrea was chosen for the new settlement. The Scotch were returning to their farms, though Cromwell expressly stipulated in his new charter to the London Companies that Scotch settlers were to be discouraged on their Irish estates.
(3) Citing the year 1658, Kernohan (1907) wrote:
"Cromwell, who was largely indebted to the Londoners for money advanced to meet the expenses of his campaigns, granted a patent for the same lands, the twelve Companies received again conveyances of their proportions in Londonderry. … [T]he charter under which [the Mercers] have held [the Kilrea estate] till now is dated 1662, the conveyance being executed in 1663."
(1) City of London Livery Companies' Commission (1884), pg. 11.
(2) Kernohan (1912), pp. 16-17, 54.
(3) Kernohan (1907).

See also entry under 1625-05-27, ""On 27th May, 1625, a number of Articles…;" and under 1662-04-10, "Charles II. shortly after his restoration..."
The 1659 Census of Ireland, conducted by Seamus Pender, tallied up 121 people in the parish of Kilrea, and 199 in the parish of Tamlaght O'Crilly. Listlee townland contained 17 people, of whom eleven were English or Scots, and 6 were Irish.
The Fairy Thorn Revisited (1996), pg. 104.
Restoration of the Monarchy under Charles II.

There were 334 people, "over 15 years of age, resident in the parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O'Crilly. Of these 105 were English and Scotch and the remainder native Irish." Robert Bennet was the new agent for the Mercers' Company.
Poll Tax Returns; cited by Kernohan (1912), pg. 19.
1660ff   "Passing on to the peace that followed the Restoration, we find Thomas Church [i] living in Kilrea townland, as owner probably. George [Church] was in the Moyletra freehold, which had been purchased from the original freeholder, Charles Williams. Charles Church was then living in Movanagher. ... The Thomas, junior, mentioned in the muster-roll is probably the same one who died at Kilrea in 1703, possessed of a lease in the townland of Gortmacrane and of the mill and tanyard in Kilrea. His daughter was wife of the rector, the Rev. Lawrence Clutterbuck, who possessed much land about Kilrea and in Tipperary, being descended from one of Cromwell's adventurers. The family burying-ground of the Church family up till the nineteenth century was in Kilrea, but there is no headstone nor inscriptions within the iron railing. A half-covered stone with the solitary name, 'Thomas Church,' lies near at hand. The present representative of the main line, Mark B. Church, of Myroe, is grandson of John Church, who was Deputy-Governor of the county during the Rebellion period. There are also several junior branches of the family in County Derry."
Note [i]: Thomas Church's name was recorded in a muster roll of c.1630, "with the style of 'Knight,' has 87 men, including Valentine Hartop, armed with 'sword and pike,' like his leader; his son, George Church, was 'ensigne,' while another son, Thomas, carried 'sword and caliver.'"
Kernohan (1907).
(1) "Henry Crilly was pastor of Tamlaght O'Crilly, Kilrea, and Desertoghill (1662-1712). He was ordained in 1662, at Ferbane, County Meath, by Anthony Geoghegan, Bishop of Meath. His securities were Thomas O'Mullan, of the parish of Faughanvale, in the County Londonderry, gentleman, and Archibald Boyle, of the parish of Banager, in com. predict., gentleman. He was seventy years old in 1704, and resided at Tamlaght. Tamlaght, I may observe, is the name of a small village between Greenlough's Catholic church and Kilrea. The adjoining district is more than usually fertile, for it was formerly church-lands. Three houses for religious worship are almost in close proximity to each other. No Catholics now [1879] reside in the district, though it appears to have been the place of residence of a priest in the penal days. The property formerly belonged to Mr. Dolling, D.L., but some time ago passed into the hands of an eminent and successful physician of Derry."
(2) After his ordination at Ferbane, county Offaly, Father Henry O'Crilly was appointed the pastor of Tamlaght O'Crilly. When, in 1704, the government registered priests, Father O'Crilly was recorded as seventy years old, and the pastor of Tamlaght O'Crilly, Kilrea, and Desertoghill.
(3) Father O'Crilly lived in the townland of Drumlane.
(1) M'Laughlin (1879), pp. 98-99.
(2) The Fairy Thorn (1984), pp. 80-81.
(3) Tamlaght O'Crilly: Greenlough. www.greenlough.com
"Charles II. shortly after his restoration by letters patent, dated the 10th April, 14, 1662, re-incorporated the Irish Society and re-granted them their [Londonderry] estates. A further deed of conveyance was obtained by the [Mercers'] Company of their estate, which since that time [i.e., to 1884] they have enjoyed without further interruption, holding it for themselves and for the three above-named associated companies [the Cooks', the Broderers', and the Masons' Companies], in the proportions in which each contributed to the purchase."
City of London Livery Companies' Commission (1884), pg. 11.
"[W]e may conclude that there was no Presbyterian minister at Boveedy or Kilrea as yet. … At what time the Presbyterians of Kilrea and Tamlaght or Boveedy erected a new meeting-house, or when Mr. William Gilchrist became their minister, we have no evidence to show [though he may have settled at Kilrea soon after 1663]."
Kernohan (1912), pg. 54.
The Mercers' Company leased the estate from one of the Jackson family of Coleraine for fifty-one years at a rent of 300l., and a fine of 500l.
Kernohan (1912), pg. 19.
City of London Livery Companies' Commission (1884), pg. 11.
  Mr. Clutterbuck presented a bell to the parish of Kilrea. The bell was inscribed: "The gift of Richard Clutterbuck of London, Merchant to 'ye Parrish of Kilrea in Ireland. 1664. … The Subsidy Roll of 1662 mentions 'Richard Clotterbook of London' as a landowner in Kilrea parish. ... Prednergast's 'Cromwellian Settlement' ... shows that he was a 'mercer' of London seeking an investment for his surplus capital in Irish land."
   The OSM cite the Rev. Mr. Clutterbuck as the Protestant of Kilrea in the year, 1666.
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 59.
"The Clutterbuck Chalice," by J.W. Kernohan.
Ordnance Survey Memoirs [OSM].
The Church of Kilrea [i] was "in a good state."
Note [i]: Church of Ireland.
Kernohan (1912), pg. 61.
An inundation of rain near Londonderry.
Walford (1879).
early 1680s?
During the period leading up to the Siege of Derry, when the country "was in a disturbed state," the parish church bell, of Kilrea [i], was hidden in a bog in Tamlaght O'Crilly. Note [i]: Church of Ireland.
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 61.

See also the entry under 1693, "The bell, ..."
John Wright was schoolmaster of the parish school in Kilrea.
The Bishop's Visitation Book, and the Kilrea Vestry Book, 1733-1876, cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 46.
(1) The Siege of Derry: The people who did not flee to England or to Scotland either fled to the confines of Derry or perished on the land. "Several regiments were disposed at points along the [river] Bann, … Sir John Magill's [regiment] was sent to Kilrea, and that part of the Bann. ... The Presbyterian minister of Kilrea, the Rev. William Gilchrist, accompanied his people, and perished in the besieged city."
(2) Also present at Derry was Lieutenant Matthew Clerk, who received a bullet-wound during the Siege, and wore a black patch afterwards.
(1) Kernohan (1912), pp. 20-21.
(2) "The Story of the Presbyterian Church at Kilrea," by Miss Jane Clark (Londonderry: W. Gailey, 1897); cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 66.
"From a previous list of priests made about 1695 and copied years ago in the Public Record Office, Dublin by the late Joseph McKeefry, P.P. a former curate in Kilrea, we learn that Father Henry O'Crilly had 'been very forward for the burning of Kilreagh in the late troubles."
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 81.
Nicholas O'Crilly, of Eden, was the last herenagh of Tamlaght O'Crilly. The townland was forfeit by his refusal to take the oath of allegiance to William III, after which he went to Europe and entered the French army. Nicholas returned to live "in a cabin in Eden as a poor cottier."
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 61.
Ordnance Survey Memoirs.
Attracted by cheap land and opportunities for trade, 50,000 people came to Ulster from Scotland.
Kernohan (1912), pg. 22.
John Cann was schoolmaster of the parish school in Kilrea.
The Bishop's Visitation Book, and the Kilrea Vestry Book, 1733-1876, cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 46.
The bell of the Protestant parish church of Kilrea, which had been taken by the Catholics and hidden in a bog during the Williamite war, was restored.
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 81.

See also the entry under early 1680s?, "During the period..."
Philip Johnston, B.A., was schoolmaster of the parish school in Kilrea.
The Bishop's Visitation Book, and the Kilrea Vestry Book, 1733-1876, cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 46.
Ordination of Father Henry O'Crilly, jun., a nephew of the elder Rev. Henry O'Crilly, P.P.; the younger lived in Tamlaght O'Crilly.
Research by Mrs. Kathleen Gillen; cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 83.
Tamlaght O'Crilly: Greenlough, www.greenlough.com
(1) On the return of peace [after the Siege of Derry], Matthew Clerk "studied for the ministry of the Presbyterian Church. Licensed by the Presbytery of Route, Mr. Clerk, then 36 years of age, was ordained minister of Kilrea and Boveedy in 1697. The charges had been vacant for some time."
(2) The inhabitants of Boveedy were in a position to secure a minister--Mr. Matthew Clark, whose charge included the parishes of Kilrea, Tamlaght O'Crilly, Desertoghill, and probably Errigal. Congregants convened in a thatched meeting-house at Boveedy.
(1) "The Story of the Presbyterian Church at Kilrea," by Miss Jane Clark (Londonderry: W. Gailey, 1897); cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 66.
(2) Kernohan (1912), pp. 55-6.

Note: A biographical sketch of the Rev. Matthew Clerk, minister at Kilrea and Boveedy, was written by Thomas Witherow, in Historical and Literary Memorials of Presbyterianism in Ireland, 1623- 1731 (London: William Mullan and Son, 1879), pp. 241-9.


In The Famines of the World (Walford, 1879) and A History of Epidemics in Britain (Creighton, 1891), are mentioned the following episodes of scarcity and plague in Ireland, which may, or may not, have occurred in the territories comprising the modern territorial divisions of the parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O'Crilly:
1650-1651: A famine throughout Ireland.
1687: Excessive rains.
1690: Famine and disease in Ireland.

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  • Creighton, Charles. A History of Epidemics in Britain, Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press, 1891.
  • Day, Angélique, and Patrick McWilliams, eds. Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland, Vol. XXVII. Parishes of County Londonderry VIII, 1830, 1833-7, 1839. East Londonderry. Belfast: The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast, in association with The Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 1994.
  • Great Britain, House of Lords and House of Commons. City of London Livery Companies' Commission, Report and Appendix, Vol. II. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1884.
  • Kilrea Local History Group. The Fairy Thorn: Gleanings and Glimpses of Old Kilrea; published by The Kilrea Local History Group. Coleraine: Impact Printing, 1984.
  • Kilrea Local History Group. The Fairy Thorn Revisited: More Gleanings and Glimpses of Old Kilrea, published by The Kilrea Local History Group. Coleraine, and Ballycastle, 1996.
  • Kernohan, J.W. "Notes on the Manor of Mercers, County Derry (1609-1660)." Ulster Journal of Archaeology, Vol. XXIII (1907), pp. 13-21.
  • Kernohan, J.W. "The Clutterbuck Chalice," by J.W. Kernohan, in Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland, Vol. VI (FHL film no. 0258795); transcribed by C. Hunt and M. Taylor; posted to www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/ire/derry (accessed 2014-12-29). Note:  This article provides a good biographical sketch of Richard Clutterbuck. www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/ire/derry/cemeteries/desertoghill-kilrea.txt
  • Kernohan, J.W. The Parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O'Crilly: A Sketch of Their History, With an Account of Boveedy Congregation. Coleraine: Chronicle Office, 1912. Transcribed by Barbara Braswell and Richard Torrens; posted to Richard Torrens' Bann Valley Genealogy web site, www.torrens.org.uk/Genealogy/Bann Valley/
  • M'Laughlin, Rev. James, P.P. Brief Memoirs of the Bishops of Derry. Dublin: Joseph Dollard, 1879.
  • Tamlaght O'Crilly: Greenlough. "Our Parish History." http://www.greenlough.com/our-parish/our-parish-history/ (accessed 2015-01-25ff)
  • Walford, Cornelius. The Famines of the World: Past and Present. London: Edward Stanford, 1879.
This page was edited on the 26th March, 2015.
© Alison Kilpatrick 2015