(Extracts from assorted newspapers, compiled, with accompanying notes, by Eileen Black)
AN EARLY LISBURN CHARITABLE SOCIETY, 1817.
Lisburn Fever-Linen Society. Amongst the various plans that have been adopted for ameliorating the condition of the poor, and contributing to their comfort and relief, few perhaps are more deserving of public consideration that that which has been for the last three years established in Lisburn, under the appellation of the Fever-Linen Society. Their object is to furnish the poor with bed and other linen, not only in cases of fever, but when the patients are confined by other complaints of a lingering nature. Every subscriber recommending a patient is answerable for the safe return of whatever linen may be lent upon such recommendation, after the person is sufficiently recovered to do away with the necessity of longer requiring it for the purpose intended. The poorer classes, and those who may not have had any of their own, or whose linen may have been quite worn out during their confinement, are allowed to retain such articles as the managers may judge proper. The subscription is half-a-guinea in the first instance, and 2s 6d yearly afterwards. The following are the number of families that have been relieved each year:-In the latter end of 1813, being the commencement, 5-in 1814, 22-1815, 23- 1816, 44. Total 94.
Belfast News Letter, 25 February 1817.
SUNDAY SCHOOL EXAMINATIONS IN LISBURN, 1858
Scriptural Education. On Sabbath the 4th inst., the annual examination of the children of the Sabbath school in connexion (sic) with the Lisburn Presbyterian congregation, was held in the Presbyterian church in that town. As the Rev. Mr. Breakey, the pastor of the congregation, was to preach to the children after the examination, the usual morning service was not held. The children, of whom there could not have been fewer than six hundred (including some not connected with the school who had been invited to be present), completely filled the lower part of the large and spacious church, the ordinary congregation occupying the gallery, aisles and porch. The answering of all the children, by divisions and classes, was all that could be desired, and elicited the admiration of the spectators present (many of who were members of other churches), calling forth the warmest expressions of satisfaction and delight. After the examination and delivery of the sermon by Mr. Breakey, a statement was read showing the state of the school, by which it appeared that there were on the books 186 male and 323 female scholars; total 509. Average attendance, 140 males and 282 females; with 17 male and 27 female teachers, and two superintendents. Seldom has there been seen a more interesting sight than that witnessed in the Lisburn Presbyterian Church on Sabbath last, of so many young people assembled together, all apparently eager to learn of the things which belong to their eternal salavation, and all evidently greatly benefitted by the instruction afforded them, and which reflects great credit on the Rev. Breakey, and those who labour under him.
Belfast News Letter, 6 July 1858.
[Rev. William Breakey was minister of Lisburn Presbyterian Church, Market Square. Note the use of word `scholar' and consider how it has altered in meaning in the present century. Nowadays, `scholar' is not used as the equivalent of `pupil' but has assumed connotations of high academic achievement.
BULLET-THROWING AT LISBURN, 1872.
Bullet-throwing at Lisburn. To the Editor of the Northern Whig. Sir, Allow me space in your valuable paper to call attention to the prevalence in the district of this obnoxious practice. The roads leading to Ballynahinch and Saintfield are particularly infested with these "bullet-throwing maniacs", to no small annoyance of pedestrians and others. The question now naturally arises - Where are the Royal Irish when such illegal practices are going on? They are quitely patrolling the town not a quarter of a mile away, but alas! in another county; and, of course, powerless. The nearest station is Hillsborough, four miles distant; and four miles are rather long for a policeman's beat. The public have no other remedy but to endure. Yours etc. AD CAPTANDUM VULGUS, Lisburn, May 23, 1872.
Northern Whig, 25 May 1872.
[Road bowls, or `bullets' is a game played with a 28oz iron
bowl over a distance of approximately three miles of country road, the winner
being the bowler who covers the distance with the least number of throws. Up to
four players can compete. For many years, it was played mainly in Down, Cork and
Armagh, and at Ligoniel, Co. Antrim, but is now largely confined to Armagh and
Cork. See Dermot Hicks, Road Bowls in Armagh, 1973 and John O'Connor,
Come Day, Go Day, 1948].
BALL AT LISBURN, 1814.
Mrs. Maywood has the honour to inform the Inhabitants of Lisburn, and its Vicinity, that her Ball will take place in the Market House, on Tuesday Evening, the 1st of March, 1814-Children's Dancing to commence at Seven, and to finish by Ten o'clock. Muscians will be provided for those Ladies and Gentlemen who may wish to Dance after that hour
Gentlemen's Tickets6s 0d
Ladies' Tickets 5s 5d
To be had of Mr. Moore, King's Arms, Lisburn.
Belfast News Letter, 22 February 1814.
[Mrs. Maywood, a dancing teacher, opened up a School of Dancing at 8, Arthur Street, Belfast, on 3 March 1814. She also organised a series of Balls in the Exchange Rooms, Belfast].
LLUMINATIONS IN LISBURN AFTER THE DEFEAT OF NAPOLEON, 1814.
Illuminations. Extract of a Letter from Lisburn, dated on Monday last [25 April]. On Thursday night [21 April] this town was very brilliantly illuminated, with the exception of the Market-house, which frowned darkly amidst the lively blaze of light which encompassed it. Several windows displayed handsome and appropriate transparencies; among which, Captain Coulson's and Mr. Walter McCord's were the most conspicuous. Bonfires blazed in the market-place, on the surrounding hills, and even on the water - a fine one of tar-barrels having been kindled on the Canal by Mr. Hugh Mulholland, which burned to a late hour, and had a novel and very pleasing appearance. Immediately after the commencement of the illuminations, the Yeoman Infantry marched from their parade-ground, where they had been previously assembled, to the Corn-market, and fired a feu-de-joie, their band afterwards paraded through the streets, adding much to the excitement of the numerous promenaders. Nothing could exceed the harmony and good temper which prevailed among all classes: there was no quarrelling, no party bickering, no disturbances of any kind - Even our numerous row-raising spirited countryman, Captain WHISKEY, seemed to have been stripped a-la-Bonaparte, of all his discordant capabilities for the evening, or, like a true Hibernian, he politely grounded his arms to the olive sceptre of this strange Visitor of the Land-benignant PEACE.
Belfast News Letter, 29 April 1814.
[These illuminations were part of the celebrations held throughout Europe, in the wake of Napoleon's abdication in April 1814. Many other towns and villages throughout the North were also illuminated viz., Carrickfergus, Lurgan, Armagh, Dromore, Larne, Donaghadee, Garvagh, Ballyclare, Coleraine, Castlereagh and Carnmoney. Belfast held its illuminations on 23 April].
THE LISBURN TYPHUS EPIDEMIC OF 1818
Typhus fever. Some observations on that subject by the Surgeon who has had sole charge of the extern patients of the western district, as it is attached to the Lisburn Fever Institution, since the 7th of June 1817.
It would seem as if Lisburn and vicinity were now completely saddled with typhus. As far as this district extends, the writer feels authorized in stating, that very few indeed who were subjected to this scourge of Ireland in 1817, have escaped this year, with this aggravation, that the heads of families, in common with their children, have suffered more generally than in the last year.
For several months back the Hospital was unable to entertain the whole of the applicants for admission, of course the externs became a heavy charge; in fact, the hospital became so over-charged with sick, that many were turned out as incurable, and still a greater number, only to relapse; this, as might be expected, saved but to augment the evil.
Relapses in succession have, therefore, latterly been very common, even in the Hospital; so that the entire extermination of this disease is scarcely in perspective.
It is true that the deaths have been in less proportion than in the last year, there being, out of 152 extern patients in this district during the last six months, all of whom underwent the usual course of typhus, one death only; this, no doubt, is a proof of the comparative mildness of the type; but still, the danger is at our doors.
There now appears pretty clear evidence that the cabins of the poor, and the close dirty quarters where itinerant lodgers and others nestle, and where contagion became highly concentrated last year, still retain a firm hold of that poison, not to be dislodged, unless some more effective measures are adopted than hitherto.
It is well known that the typhus had prevailed for many years in Chester, in England, chiefly in the houses of the poor, prior to 1783, when it broke out and carried off a great number of the higher ranks; the consequence was that the measures, which have since been published and circulated everywhere, were adopted then so effectually, that it has scarcely made its appearance these thirty-five years.
The Board of Health of Manchester in 1796, under similar circumstances, exterminated typhus in like manner.
Belfast News Letter, 29 December 1818.
[The location of the 1818 Lisburn Fever Institution is unknown. Fred Kee's Lisburn Miscellany, 1976 records that the Manor Fever Hospital was in operation, 1832-47, and that this was followed by the Fever and Cholera Hospital, built in 1848 and demolished in 1934].
INAUGURAL SHOW OF LISBURN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY, 1870.
The establishment of a Horticultural Society seems now-a-days to be an almost indispensable adjunct to the acquisitions of every prosperous town. It is gratifying to observe by reference to our advertising columns from day to day, that Lisburn -so pre-eminent in facilities for horticulture and floriculture - has not been behind her sister towns in this respect, but has formed an association bearing the above title under the most promising auspices, and her inhabitants are looking forward with most enjoyable anxiety to their inaugural flower show on Wednesday next. By the kind permission of Walter T. Stannus, Esq., J.P., D. L., who is one of the presidents of the society, the picturesque and historic little spot called the Castle Gardens, situated in Castle Street, has been granted to the committee for their exhibition. The Most Noble the Marquis of Downshire -the only living patron of the society - has signified to the committee the pleasure it will afford him and his lady to visit the flower show on their way to Hillsborough Castle on that day. Through the kindness of the colonel and officers, the splendid band of the 80th Regiment will perform during the day. The entries for competition are numerous, and are not confined to the town or neighborhood, but in some cases are sent in from a distance. The executive committee has been most unremitting in its exertions to provide everything requisite for a successful show and for the comfort and pleasure of visitors ...
Northern Whig, 10 September 1870.
[The Lisburn Horticultural Society is no longer in existence].