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The Religious Society of Friends
The History of

The History of Ballyhagan and Richhill Meetings has been out of print for some years and as part of the Commemoration of the 350th Anniversary of the establishment of the Society of Friends in Ireland it was decided to produce a second edition. Allen Pearson, a member of the committee who supervised the arrangements to print the original version, contributed to the added chapter which covers the years 1980 to 2004. The Meeting is especially grateful to Robert F. Sinton who scanned the original and prepared it for publication. The cost of publication was largely met by a substantial order for copies from the Blackburn Association whose members are descendants of Ballyhagan Members. There has been much confusion with the map produced for the visitation in 1779. It was produced as a guide and like many maps of that date is not as accurate as the Ordnance Survey maps the first of which appeared in 1835.

Thomas Stothers, Editor, September 2005

On learning that George R. Chapman had suggested that a History of Richhill Meeting should be published, a Committee was appointed to make suitable arrangements and to liase with George Chapman, who agreed to compile the data. The Committee wish to record their gratitude to him for all the hours he has spent researching the subject. A profile of our Friend appears on an adjacent page.

As part of our celebrations there is to be the first performance of a play specially written for the occasion by Beatrice Saxon Snell, the English Quaker dramatist and historian, entitled "Soldier of Christ". The enthusiasm, love and time given by Beatrice can never be acknowledged by mere words. She accepted the "commission" eagerly and in one of her newsy letters writes - "Thank you for introducing me to William Edmondson". Thanks are also due to William H. and E. Joan Sinton of Tamnaghmore who agreed to produce the play.

As the script of the History has gradually unfolded the committee has grown more aware of our great heritage, and the faithfulness of our forefathers to the challenges made to them, as they suffered deprivation and humiliation in establishing our Religious Society. History in itself is only someone's impressions of what has happened in the past, in the way they saw it. Whilst it is good to remember, we must nevertheless, realise our own responsibilities for the future. When the individual fails to obey and act on the inner message, our Society will fail. We need to be reminded of the clarion call made by Elfrida Vipont Foulds at London Yearly Meeting, held at Lancaster in 1978 - "Remember Friends, what made us to be a people".

In giving thanks to God for faithful Friends we pray for His continued guidance and blessing for the future of our Meeting and the Society at large

Allen H. Pearson

9th month, 1979
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