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The History of Ballyhagan and Richhill Meetings 1654 - 1793 - 2004
Chapter 11
The Last 25 Years

As times have changed the meeting has become unable to maintain the premises through the work of members and like many of the English meetings projects have been undertaken every one or two years. Since 1992 the following works have been undertaken.

Year Ending £  
June 1992
Hall formerly old coach house which included caretaker's house and stables
June 1993
Hall Extension
June 1994
Hall Extension
June 1996
Repairs to Meeting House
June 1999
New chairs for Meeting House & Hall
June 2000
Loop Microphone System for Meeting House
June 2002
Central heating, new floor, painting & repairs to Meeting House & new carpet for Hall
June 2004
Cost of tarmacing drive, paths & car park

"The Sword of Christ" by Beatrice Saxon-Snell a play depicting the life of William Edmundson modified and shortened by Colin Flanaghan was produced by Jennifer Hobson (Grange Meeting) and performed on 1 and 2 October in Richhill Meeting House. The proceeds were given to the Mission Christian Radio. Beatrice who was a member of Henley-on-Thames Meeting wrote the play for the 1979 325th Anniversary. Johan Maurer spoke at Lurgan Meeting House on Sunday 2nd May.


The Blackburn Family Association arranged to make a visit to Northern Ireland at the end of July 2004 and see a number of sites of Quaker interest including Ballyhagan and Monie Burial Ground. The Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to researching Blackburn and allied lines genealogy based on the line of John Blackburn Sr. b. abt. 1675 Ireland & Mary Courtney b. abt. 1680 Ireland (1st wife) & Rachel Morton b. 1694 Ireland (2nd wife) and their 75,000 descendants.


Ross Chapman (formerly a member of Richhill Meeting now of Bessbrook) arranged Quaker trail days with maps by Christine Loney, the first held on Saturday 1 May to coincide with Johan Maurer speaking and the second on the afternoon of Sunday 25th July when the Blackburn Association visited Richhill.

The potter Nicholas Mosse (Waterford Meeting) produced a limited edition of a commemorative plant pot which quickly sold out.

With the help of Terry McDonagh an oak tree was purchased and planted in Richhill Friends burial ground to commemorate the 350 anniversary.


During her appointment as librarian in Richhill Preparative meeting, the late Lily J. Loney discovered amongst the books an old account / library record dating back to 1714. The section dealing with library records commences in 1822, shortly after the meeting was removed from Ballyhagan in 1793.

To remove any chance of misunderstanding, this addition to the History of Ballyhagan and Richhill is not written by George R Chapman but is the work of Allen Pearson and Fay Stothers. I don't think it takes one to be aware that in those early days, many books were written by Quakers and about Quakerism as there was also a deep thirst by people for knowledge of all descriptions. I perused this record book in 1979 during the period the History of Ballyhagan and Richhill was being prepared so once again I have borrowed it from the Q.M. Strong Room in Lisburn. Due to the fact that not many have had this privilege I am arrogant enough to believe that few of our members are aware that there were two separate libraries in Richhill Meeting.

There was the Richhill Lending Library which dealt with 242 books purely of an educative nature whilst the second was the Library of Richhill Monthly Meeting totalling 169 books. I do not know how they were kept separate but we have separate records of books and borrowers in this book. There is also a set of rules for lending in the latter case. The records date from 1822-1834. The library still continues today but as Richhill Preparative Meeting.

The so-called Richhill Lending Library dates from 1829 -1834 but what happened to it? Where are all the recorded names of 242 books. I hope to have a copy of the complete list and lodge it in the present bookcase for those interested. Perhaps a study of the old minute books would reveal what happened to them. To give a flavour of what was available :- Views on Creation; Natural History of Animals; Natural History of Trees; Natural History of Birds; Captain Bligh; Aesop's Fables; History of Tithes; Destruction of Jerusalem; Mungo Park etc, etc. Even more interesting, are the names of borrowers and how many each borrowed in a sample year. A total of 31 did so. One wonders what present day members read, as no such numbers are available from the library today. Does TV. or do newspapers etc now provide them with all the desired information?

James Mackie and Francis Nicholson headed the list with 8 books each, next with 7 each, were William Haddock and Mordecai Johnson. Third came William Mackie and Jacob Hewit, each with 6. Then follow the 25 others with various numbers. The following were the totals loaned to several different readers.

1830-56 1833-72
1831-73 1834-46
1832-73 to 6th month

Now follows a final analysis of books dealing with Quaker records in the Monthly Meeting section" can only list at random some of the 169 books available -: Account of Robert Barclay's: Life; Memoirs of Benjamin Banks; Examples of Early Piety; The Great Case of Tithes; Penn's Advice to his Children; A Reflection by Joseph Gurney Sevan; Barclay's Apology; The Life of John Gough; Sarah Grubb; George Fox's Journal; Thomas Storey; Mary Alexander; and Usher's Letters. In some instances, there was more than one copy.

Year Numbers Borrowed
1826/27 152
1828 80
1829 63
1830 70
1831 58
1832 56
1833 90
1834 74

Finally, I have taken the year 1827 as to whom the readers were. Out of 35 names (23 men and 12 women), there are still only 3 of these families still in membership.

Benjamin Hobson
Ephraim Allen
James Mackie
Mordecai Johnson
Jacob Hewit
William Haddock
James Swan
William Mackie

Between the two libraries, Benjamin Hobson read 19 books in one year. Did he do it with a flickering candle? Certainly nothing better than an oil lamp. One can only commend him for his diligence and hope that his eyesight did not suffer.


The list of legible entries contains names of attenders' children which are not available elsewhere.

Alexander Allen Wm. Haydock Wm. Johnston Joseph Pearson
Benjamin Allen Amelia Hewit Mordecai Johnston Jr Jacob Pierson
David Allen Anthony Hewit James King Mary Pierson
Ephraim Allen Eliza Hewit Jane King Ruth Pierson
Hannah Allen Hanna Hewit Ann Long Susan Pierson
Jacob Allen Jacob Hewit James Long Susan Pierson
James Allen Jacob Hewit James Long Susan Pierson
Jane Allen James Hewit Benj. Mackie Isaac Regan
John Allen John Hewit Elizabeth Mackie Anna Scot
Matilda Allen Jonathon Hewit Isabella Mackie Wm. Sinton
Priscilla Allen Mary Hewit James Mackie John Steel
Elizabeth Bell Rebecca Hewit Jane Mackie Ann Stevenson
John Bell Robert Hewit John Mackie Elizabeth Stothers
John Berry Ruth Hewit Mary Mackie George Stothers
Alex Brownlow Sarah Hewit William Mackie John Stothers
Ann Chapman Wm. Hewit Wm. Mackie Joseph Stothers
Isaac Chapman Anne Hobson John Magines Mary Stothers
Mary Chapman Benjamin Hobson Thos. McWhinning Moses Stothers
John Cherry Geoge Hobson Thomas McWhinny Jacob Swan
Wm. Clindin George Hobson Thomas Moffat James Swan
John Faren Isabella Hobson Edward Morison Elizabeth Watson
John Farm Jacob Hobson Anne Morion John Watson
William Glendining Joshua Hobson Elizabeth Motion Mary Watson
Wm. Glendining Mary Hobson Mary Morion Rachell Wattson
George Good Phen Hobson Susan Morion Eliza Webb
Wm. Good Gervais Johnson Susan Morion Richard Webb
Ann Haddock Francis Johnston Francis Nicholson Richard Webb
Suma Haddock Mordecai Johnston John Nicholson Elizabeth Wetherel
Wm. Haddock Robert Johnston Wm. Nicholson George Wetherill
Jacob Haydock Robert Johnston Wm. Nicholson Mary Winter

This site focuses on the descendants of John and Elizabeth Blackburn, early Quakers found in County Armagh as early as the mid-1660s. In addition, the descendants of another Quaker family found during that period, descendants of James Morion, are also housed on the site. The site holds over 75,000 descendants of John and Elizabeth Blackburn and more than 220,000 names. Many other related Quaker lines of the Unites States are followed as well. The 2005 mailing address is: Blackburn Family Association, 608 S. 16th St., Philadelphia, PA 19146. The most recent address (snail and e-mail) can always be found on the website. E-communication to

This is a site of professional quality containing both Sinton family genealogy and Quaker birth, deaths and memorial inscriptions.

Index for Townlands - which takes you directly to an appropriate map
The History of Ballyhagan and Richhill Meetings 1654-1979 (Transcript of the book)
History of The Religious Society of Friends in Lurgan (Transcript of the book)
Quaker Birth Records - Lurgan - 1809 to 1864
Quaker Burial Records - Lurgan - 1812 to 1864
Lynastown - A Seventeenth Century Quaker Burial Ground
Headstones - Friends Burial Ground, Richhill, Co. Armagh
Headstones - Mullavilly Parish Church, Co. Armagh

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