Sharing the Past
(A look at life in Termonfeckin in October 1846)
by Declan Quaile
This article is a conjectural piece concerning the inhabitants of the Termonfeckin area and their possible actions during one day in October 1846. The names of those mentioned are historically accurate as are the place-names and broader events which were occurring. However their actions and motives are entirely fictional.
1846 was the second year of the ‘Great Hunger’ and it is intrigung to surmise how the inhabitants of a relatively prosperous part of the country would have dealt with the gradual deterioration of their way of life.
There had been a hint of frost that October morning but now the sky was leaden with approaching rain.1 The mail-coach, carrying the day’s post, made its way towards the village of Termonfeckin for the eight o’clock morning delivery. The four horses harnessed to the carriage had been coaxed on by their driver on the straight road from Drogheda to Termonfeckin. Though gravelled and with a ditch mearing on each side the spring rains and hot summer had turned it into a rutted thoroughfare. Coming round the corner at Belaveathy the driver could see the spire of St Feckin’s Protestant church amid the planted trees on the hill; otherwise there were only some low hedges, contrasting with the general bareness of the countryside.
The coach entered the village, slowed down as it crossed the bridge over the Ballywater River, and came to a halt at the post office where the postmaster Anthony Brodigan spied its arrival from his window.2 The coachman jumped off his seat at the back carrying a leather bag, had the postmaster sign for it then remounted the coach as the driver turned the horses for the return journey. Brodigan wentto the post-room, where he began to sort the correspondence for the post-boy to deliver on his rounds that morning.
On the north side of the village Revd Joseph Leathley3 had entered the dining room of the Rectory, where he was joined by his twelve year old daughter Frances as they sat down to eat a breakfast of eggs, bread, butter and tea. The two ate alone as Joseph had been a widower for nearly seven years now; his wife Frances had died in Torquay in 1840. One of the housemaids was cleaning in the kitchen while he could hear the other maid raking the ash from the sitting room fire and preparing to light the kindling. Two years as rector in Termonfeckin had passed quickly since his translation from Kilkerrin in Co. Galway, where his predecessor in Termonfeckin, Revd John Kerr, and he had switched parishes. Joseph and Frances finished their meal in comfortable silence and afterwards he glanced through the local paper, the Drogheda Conservative Journal, while his daughter retired to her room for morning ablutions and preparations for school.
It was Petty Sessions day in the courthouse situated at the Big Tree Crossroads in Termonfeckin.4 George Edbrooke, the court clerk, had just opened the doors and was gathering coals to light a fire in the stove. The courthouse was in session every second Wednesday and the interior was very cold from the lack of use in the intervening time. He had pulled back the window shutters and had swept the floors. Two Justices of the Peace would attend the courthouse within the next hour – Henry Chester of Carstown and Francis Donagh of Newtown - so Edbrooke’s preparations gathered pace as the morning drew on.
At his residence in The Triple House, diagonally opposite the court at the Big Tree crossroads, Fr Bernard McKeon5 had also risen early and following private prayers walked the short distance to the chapel at Thunderhill where he said morning mass. He was six months in the parish, having been transferred from Dundalk in March to be Administrator of Termonfeckin. With the help of his curate Fr Richard Flanagan from Tobertoby, who had ministered in Termonfeckin for three years, he had spent some time during the summer months visiting his new parishioners. In the afternoons he would ride out on his horse, calling to his flock in the outlying parish areas such as Baltray, Mullagh na Greine, Cartown,6 Beaulieu and Priorstown.
Having spent over 15 years as a curate in the big town of Dundalk, Fr McKeon’s arrival in Termonfeckin had sprung some surprises on him. He had found that the rosary and other public prayers like the Stations of the Cross were still being recited in Irish. He had insisted that English be the language of public prayer, but also decided that native speakers have their own prayers for the time being and that translators also help them.7
However the major issue occupying his mind this last while was the failure of the potato crop for the second year in a row. He had heard worrying accounts of mounting poverty elsewhere in Louth due to the crop failure.8 In the last month or so some of the parishioners in Termonfeckin had told him that even their small garden drills of potatoes had failed and they had little or no reserves for replanting or for stock in the coming winter.
Just before nine o’clock young Frances Leathley left The Rectory for school, and walked the short journey to the Protestant school-house on the Blackhall Road junction. As she entered through the side door she was met by the teacher and several other students including nine year old Lydia and seven year old Wallop Brabazon from Rath and a young McClintock from Newtown. Coming up the stairs behind her were more pupils, their satchels and coats damp from the rain, which had just started.
At the Catholic boys’ school on the Strand Road the teacher John Reilly had a couple of the older boys enter the school early to clean the ashes and light the fire in the classroom. As the last pupils arrived for nine o’clock he opened the attendance ledger and began to call the roll, with his assistant in the other room doing the same for the junior classes. A full attendance would have 142 boys in the two rooms but the numbers were usually only half that, as many boys were kept home to help their parents.9
In the Catholic girls’ school on the other side of the road from Anthony Brodigan’s post office, teacher Mary Levins was taking kindling from some of the girls who had brought it for the fire which was lit at the front of the room. She then called the roll as the girls took their benches, counting 48 in attendance. Miss Levins’ school-day commenced at nine o’clock, finished at four o’clock and they had an hour’s break at noon for lunch. The first hour of schooling was usually religious instruction with the rest of the day made up of teaching reading, writing, arithmetic and some needlework.10
A few miles north-west of Termonfeckin, at Cartown school, the new teacher Pat McKernan, having taken the roll, also noted that barely half of the full complement of 80 boys and 60 girls were present that day, and a lot of those attending were hungry and bedraggled from the morning rain. Almost all the pupils were children of Catholic tenant farmers and labourers from the surrounding townlands of Carstown, Tullyard, Milltown and Newhouse, and it would appear most had gone to school with little or no breakfast.
(Children bringing fuel for the school fire.)
Back at the rectory, Revd Leathley was brought the morning post by his maid and he retired to the drawing-room to light his clay pipe and read his correspondence. The first letter he opened was from Revd Alexander Montgomery of Beaulieu to thank Leathley for his attendance at his daughter’s wedding to George H. Pentland of Blackhall the previous week.11 The Revd Anthony Adams, rector of Collon parish, had officiated at the ceremony in the church at Beaulieu and a lavish wedding reception was held afterwards at Beaulieu House, with guests from far and wide in attendance, including Montgomerys from Monaghan and Pentlands from Kells. Revd Leathley enjoyed the day very much; meeting his ecclesiastical peers such as Revd Edward Groome, who lived close by at Beaulieu Lodge; the aforesaid Revd Adams and Revd Arthur Wynne from St. Peter’s, Drogheda. He vowed to return a letter of thanks back to Montgomery by the next post.
As Fr McKeon walked back through the rain to The Triple House following mass the post boy was leaving a letter in the porch for him. When he saw the priest he handed it to him personally, tipped his hat respectfully, then departed. Fr McKeon entered the house, had a small breakfast, then sat down at his desk and opened the letter, addressed to him from Henry Chester of Carstown House. In the missive, Henry noted recent correspondence received from Fr McKeon about the poor condition many of his tenants were in due to the potato crop failure and in the circumstances he was prepared to reduce the rents on his estates in Carstown. As most of these tenants were Fr McKeon’s parishioners he expressed satisfaction with the rent reduction and prepared to write an immediate response.12
The two Justices of the Peace, Henry Chester of Carstown and Francis Donagh of Newtown, arrived at Termonfeckin courthouse in their carriages at the same time. Mr Edbrooke had the front doors open and as they filed into the courtroom the small waiting crowd gathered in behind them; some to have their cases heard, others to listen in on their neighbours woes. As it was a busy listing both Justices sat down behind a wooden table and intimated to Edbrooke to begin proceedings without delay. The usual suspects were then presented before the justices. Cases of drunkenness, neighbours falling out, poaching on the Boyne, children not attending school, trespass, common assault; all followed each other, with varying levels of interest given by both the JPs and indeed the hangers-on. Some cases brought forward witnesses in their defence, while others were cross-examined by the court’s counsel. All the while, in the background, George Edbrooke busily recorded it all in the court minute book. The hearings were eventually adjourned for lunch with Mr Donagh advising they would reconvene at two o’clock to hear the final batch of cases.
(A 19th century Irish Petty Sessions Court)
Doctor John Drew was a neighbour of Fr McKeon’s at The Triple House and was the Medical Officer at the Dispensary in the village. Many of those calling to see him were mothers with children for vaccination but recently he was beginning to see children and older inhabitants presenting with worrying signs of malnourishment. Those with large families were particularly vulnerable and several mothers brought in young children, for whom they had little or no food for. Some of the children’s symptoms included scurvy, measles and diarrhoea. Despite their protestations for help there was little Dr Drew could do for them. He was a doctor and not a provider of sustenance. He could only recommend that they go to feeding stations, which were currently being set up in Drogheda, Collon and Ardee.
Fisherman Patrick Owens stepped out of his cabin in Baltray, looked up at the rain-sodden October sky, then went to his small outhouse and took out an essential part of his livelihood; a tightly bound seine fishing net.13 He spent the next hour puffing on his clay pipe while making running repairs to some of the frayed edges. He returned the netting to the shed, extracted a long-handled rake and walked the short distance to Braghan Bridge where several boats were pulled up onto the shore, including his own. As he walked he spied work being carried out on the river wall, where just two years ago the waters of the Boyne had come over and flooded many of the cabins in the village.14 Some of the other fishermen were already at the boats and two were already rowing away from the bridge and heading into the estuary. The tide had turned earlier that morning and he and the others were heading for the mouth of the river to rake out mussels. In his 15 years fishing for salmon and trout, the harvesting of mussels was by far the most strenuous of his seasonal work, as they had to use long wooden poles with a rake and a netted back to gather mussels from the river. The spaces between the rake teeth were wide enough to allow the smaller shellfish to slip through and grow larger for future harvesting. The fishermen's wives sold mussels at the market in Drogheda, but they would keep some for family use and also barter with locals for bread and maybe some tea. However, with the spread of the potato rot for the second year, people from Termonfeckin village had little to barter and hunger and want pervaded those who weren’t fishermen. Mussels weren’t that popular with the fishermen or their families but, along with the fish, they could make their living from them locally or sell them to the likes of Barnes Byrne, a fish dealer in Dyer Street, Drogheda.
In the afternoon, with the rain easing off slightly, Fr McKeon left The Triple House, mounted his horse and set off to gather the 'Oats' collection, this time heading towards Mullagh na Greine at the northern end of the parish.15 Before he departed he had met his curate Fr Flanagan and asked him to call to the site of the new church being constructed in Sandpit, to give the foreman some written instructions. Fr McKeon passed the tree-lined Rectory just as the Revd Leathley was leaving by carriage and they both briefly acknowledged each other as they passed. He continued by Byrne’s the blacksmiths, then turned left at the school-house junction, passed the old windmill on the right and continued on towards the road junction below ‘The Mountains’.16 He called to the two Dolan houses, Rose on the left and Philip on the right before the crossroads and both gave him small amounts of oats. He stopped at James Devin’s at the cross itself and spent some time with him discussing the misery and hardship of the people. Devin pleaded he had not enough oats to give to Fr McKeon.
The priest coaxed his horse slowly up Mullagh na Greine hill where the potato murrain's smell continued to leave its malodorous presence. He called firstly on James Conlon who, earlier in the week, for want of sustenance, had walked to the village of Collon (nearly 25 miles there and back) to collect a ration of Indian corn, which was being given out as part of the relief effort.17 On top of the hill the Murphy, Moore, Fanning and Lawless families were visited, then on to Curstown Lane where the Martin and Leonard families lived. Many he met expressed concern and anguish at the failure of the potato crop for a second year in a row, wondering why God had brought this pestilence upon them. And even though they all had small supplies of meat and grain, much of this was not regarded as staple food but sold to pay rent to the landlords, George Pentland at Blackhall or Wallop Brabazon at Rath House.
Many impoverished people from Drogheda were leaving the town to travel the countryside searching for food. Some walked out and turned left at Newtown Cross and made their way into Termonfeckin parish at Blackstaff Bridge and on towards Sandpit; others made their way out of Drogheda on the road along the river Boyne towards Baltray, while more came out the new road through Canonstown and Belaveathy towards Terfeckin.18 They knocked on doors along the way and then called to cabins when they reached the village. As the people had little or no food reserves, these destitute people only received small amounts of meal, vegetables or pieces of bread on their rounds – if they were lucky. The first of the beggars arrived in the afternoon; a dishevelled woman and her young daughter, both weary from their five mile trek from Drogheda and without anything to show for their travails. They called to the first residence as they entered Terfeckin at Bearna Bui. However no one answered at Patrick Verdon’s farmhouse,19 so they walked on and entered a narrow street with a row of small lime-washed cottages on the left.20 A few had dunghills outside the front door. At the first house she rounded the pile and rapped at the door. There was no answer, so she made her way to the next house and then the next. No one answered her appeals for food. No one had anything to give her.
Fr Flanagan met the beggar woman and her daughter shuffling towards the bridge as he left the village. He turned onto the Sheetland road then journeyed on, passing Maguire’s Mill at Garveystown, and on reaching Cartown Cross, he turned to the right and proceeded towards Sandpit. He reached the site where the construction of the new church had just commenced and walked by some workmen as they dug out foundation trenches.21 He stood for a moment and watched with some excitement as a stonemason chissled away at a large foundation block. How fortuitous that they had Fr McKeon in the parish with his enthusiasm and commitment for implementing this new building project. He asked the mason the whereabouts of the foreman and then met him at the site entrance. He handed him Fr McKeon’s correspondence. The curate left the site, passing some locals who had stopped and were gazing at the workers, and walked the short distance down the road to the old thatched chapel beside Joseph Connor’s farmhouse. There he retrieved vestments for his next mass in Termonfeckin before retracing the route back to the Sheetland Road and on to Termonfeckin.
Christopher Boylan had sailed beyond the North Crook22 and into the mouth of the Boyne with his crew of four including his two eldest sons on his pilot boat, the Gazelle. They skirted the Baltray fishermen raking mussels and moved out beyond the bar towards the brig that had been spotted earlier as it waited at the river mouth. Its two square-rigged masts had been visible from Cape Spy, the height in Beaulieu Woods just north of Queensborough where Boylan had a man on lookout duty for ships waiting for guidance up river to Drogheda port. Boylan was one of several pilots who, as a young man, was taught the route and who boarded incoming ships to help pilot them through the channel. His father Nicholas, also a pilot, had died suddenly four years ago, so now it was he who kept the tradition going in the family.23 Despite the westerly wind and choppy waters the brig had held its position beyond the bar for nearly an hour, waiting to receive a pilot. The Gazelle sailed against the incoming tide and out beyond the bar, then pulled up alongside the waiting brig. Christopher’s two sons helped him onto the boat then turned the Gazelle back into the estuary. Boylan reported to the brig’s captain then assisted in the navigation inland; passing the Maiden Tower at Mornington and the lines of direction posts on either side of the river channel on the four mile journey to Drogheda port.
The Petty Sessions court reconvened at two o’clock with Constable Francis Phelps24 and a sub-constable escorting a young man into the court room. The youth was being charged with stealing property and injuring two labourers working for Samuel McClintock of Newtown House. He stood quietly between the policemen with his head lowered; only looking up to answer his name. He had been detained overnight in the cell in the constabulary barracks, across from the entrance to St Feckin’s church. The charges of theft and assault were read out and details of his capture in the townland of Ballydonnell were noted by the JPs. Due to the severity of the assault on the labourers, Henry Chester decreed the case be brought to the next Quarter Sessions in the county. Following a brief discussion between Chester and Phelps the policeman removed the young man for further detention in the barracks until his transfer to gaol. Following two more cases of small significance, the court was then adjourned until the next sitting.
As the brig sailed upstream, with Boylan piloting, it was met by the coastguard at Queensborough, where Mr Morgan, Chief Boatman, boarded with a party of water-guard officers, and commenced a rummage of the cargo.25 A short time later they were given the all clear and they made their way towards the port. Boylan had heard of the influx of people from the midlands heading for ports on the east coast, but he was still struck by the crowds milling around the quays, as they had been for the last month or two. Some were waiting to board ships tied along the quayside, others were begging for food or searching for work, any work. Having received his payment from the captain Boylan disembarked on the quays and made his way through the ragged masses to get back to the Gazelle, which was anchored further down the coal-stained wharf. He passed drays loaded with corn, lined up and waiting for their contents to be transferred onto ships bound for England. The accents of the multitude he passed were a wretched cacophony of voices from Meath, Roscommon, Longford, and Cavan. The scene of grimy quays, smoke-filled skies from the factory chimneys and despairing cries, encouraged Christopher Boylan to proceed quickly to his pilot boat and back out to the calm of the river.
(19th century Drogheda Port)
At Cartown Cross tenant farmer Francis Flynn acknowledged Fr Flanagan by gently doffing his hat. The knot of hunger was strong in his stomach as he walked home from Terfeckin to his three acre holding at the end of Crockadoctor Lane. He saw some children up ahead on the Cartown Road; they were pupils who were walking home from school. He spied one of them as his own daughter and caught up with her just as she turned down the lane. She was sneezing and shivering with cold and for a ten year old girl she was slight and waifish. He walked with her down the wet lane, past his fields where the smell of the blight still wafted through the hedge, then entered their cabin as the rain came down again. His wife had a small fire lit under the pot but the smoke was back-drafting down through the hole in the thatch and she was using sack-cloth to try and clear it.
Francis had been in Brodigan’s post office in Terfeckin to establish where he could purchase tickets for a boat to Liverpool and hopefully onwards to America where some of his family were. Neighbours on the lane had recently purchased tickets and he had heard of other families in Sandpit contemplating the same escape. As he sat down to a meal of buttermilk and some oatbread he knew there was little future on the three acres of land, and even though Chester the landlord was reducing his rents, Francis Flynn had a simple choice of using his meagre savings to pay his rent or to emigrate with his family.
To the north of Termonfeckin village Wallop Brabazon looked out the drawing-room window of Rath House and saw his son Wallop and daughter Lydia return from the village school on a sidecar guided by one of his servants. He had been searching for some sheets of paper for his new project - a book on Irish coastal and deep sea fishing - and was returning to his writing desk when he saw the children returning home. The sea and its resources were in his blood, as it had been in his father’s,26 and how an improved fishing industry could help feed and improve the livelihoods of the people were deep in his thoughts. Wallop had recently returned from two years in Newport in Co. Mayo, where he had studied the methods of the local fishermen and had decided to write a book on the subject.
After the post was collected at five o’clock and sent by coach to Drogheda, Anthony Brodigan completed his book-keeping for the evening then proceeded into his grocery and spirit store, where two women were buying some items. In the back a few labouring men huddled together over some glasses of whiskey. He nodded to them then went into the storeroom and rolled out a barrel, before busying himself, unplugging it and setting it up for pouring.
Dr Drew returned to the Dispensary that evening to lodge papers in the cabinet in his room, including a copy of the accounts to April 1846. He glanced quickly through the figures, noting his £40 annual Dispensary salary and also over £14 in payments for medicines, includinga batch of leeches for medical blood-letting.27 He checked again the list of patients to the dispensary that day and was concerned by the number of those calling with hunger-related illnesses as compared to ordinary sickness. He decided to contact some of his peers in Drogheda to determine if the numbers visiting his dispensary were out of the ordinary in the district.
Revd Leathley’s coach swept down the village hill then slowed up as it crossed the bridge, passing several villagers walking across it. Some women, heads and shoulders covered in shawls, bustled home along the street towards the Yellow Gap as he passed on his way to Drogheda. Close to an hour later, Leathley’s coachman left him at the entrance of The Imperial Hotel, a popular hostelry in West Street, owned by Thomas Simcocks. A meeting had been arranged by some of his peers to establish a relief fund for the hungry masses entering the town. About 20 gentlemen, including some clergymen, met in one of the ante-rooms in the hotel. Leathley knew some of them to see; Mr Algar and Captain Ball from Laurence Street, Thomas Gill and the Revd Gesson from Fair Street and Mr Shepherd and Captain Ash from Bettystown. Following the introductions and an informal discussion a committee was set up, with a chairman, secretary and treasurer appointed. As the evening was drawing in it was decided to adjourn proceedings for the day with details of the next meeting to be arranged by the secretary. Leathley spent some time afterwards in discussion with those who had attended the meeting; the main talking point being the proposals for a new rail bridge across the river Boyne at Drogheda.28 Departing with the main group, Revd Leathley returned to his carriage and instructed the driver to begin the journey back to Termonfeckin.
It was nearing darkness with more rain on the wind when Fr Flanagan walked out Chapel Lane towards his family home in Tobertoby. He entered the house and made himself comfortable before the kitchen fire where the adults were discussing the hunger developing throughout the county and across the country. They talked about the people, with nothing left, trying to leave from Drogheda port.29 Fr Flanagan told them of the story he had heard of a priest outside Drogheda who had decided to sell his horse and use the funds to help alleviate the hunger in his parish. The Flanagans talked into the evening about how they should try and help some of the poorer local people by setting up a Subscription Poor Fund. Fr Flanagan promised that he would inform Fr McKeon, who he felt would be anxious to contribute to the undertaking.
As the October darkness drew in and awet night followed, the last of the labourers made their way back to their lodgings. Those that had livestock or fowl shut them in for the night. The few men in Brodigan’s public house left and made their way home.
The candles lit at The Triple House remained bright for a while longer; both Fr McKeon and Dr Drew preparing for the day ahead and the onerous tasks they knew awaited them.
In the rectory, Revd Leathley wished his daughter goodnight before retiring to his drawing-room with a small sherry and a bible.
Over at Baltray the low silhouette of the cabins stood out against imminent nightfall. Only the sound of the wind and the river Boyne filling with the next tide breaking the stillness. The fishermen’s boats were pulled up high on the bank. The nets were secure in sheds and the occasional flicker of oil lamps in a few of the houses was barely perceptible through the small square windows.
In Francis Flynn’s cabin on Crockadoctor Lane, some of his neighbours had called round, and sitting by the fire and shrouded in pipe smoke they traded stories and gossip they had recently heard; stories of another winter with no potatoes; of those considering the path of emigration, and of those who had already departed. They talked of old times, of the men of ’98 and of Ireland’s heroes and heroines.
Later, after his neighbours had reluctantly withdrawn into the wintery night, Francis hunkered down and banked the fire with some furze and ash. He stared into the embers for some minutes, contemplating his future, then he rose and retired to the sleeping corner of the cabin. There he lay down on the straw beside his wife and child, seeking out the meagre warmth that was there.
The weather in the summer of 1846 was described in a letter written at Clogherhead and sent to America in August of that year: ‘…We have also have great rains & severe gales of wind which has injured the corn crops so that you see there is a poor look-out for the ensuing spring & summer should the potato crop fail…’ (http://www.dippam.ac.uk/ied/records/27486)
Anthony Brodigan (1804-1869) is recorded as postmaster in Termonfeckin in Slater’s Directory of Ireland (1846).
Joseph Forde Leathley (1802-1869) was rector in Termonfeckin until his death in 1869.
The Petty Sessions handled the bulk of lesser legal cases, both criminal and civil. They were presided over by Justices of the Peace, who were unpaid and often without any formal legal training. The position was usually held by members of the local landed class. (Extract from www.findmypast.ie)
Bernard McKeon (c1804-1879) was Administrator and Parish Priest in Termonfeckin from 1846 until his death at Termonfeckin in 1879.
The townland of Carstown lay to the west of the Termonfeckin. Officially it was spelled with an ‘s’ but pronounced by parishioners without the ‘s’.
Diarmuid MacIomhair, ‘Folklore of Termonfeckin Parish’, JCLAH, (1965), pp 28-31.
‘We regret to have to state that authentic accounts have reached us, which lead us to believe that the potato crop in various places along the eastern coast from Balbriggan to Newry have been attacked by the murrain, which has been so destructive in England and on the continent… In Louth the destruction of the crop is almost general.’ (Drogheda Conservative Journal, 13/9/1845)
The attendance details in 1835 were 166 boys and 59 girls in attendance.
Details from an 1844 note by Fr Callan seeking financial assistance for a new girls’ school. (Microfilm, Dundalk Reference Library)
The Pentland Montgomery wedding had taken place at Beaulieu on 6th October 1846. (Drogheda Argus, 10th Oct 1846)
A letter in the Drogheda Argus dated 28th October 1846 noted Henry Chester had reduced the rents on his estates in Carstown and Drumshallon in consequence of the recurring failure of the potato crop.
Patrick Owens from Baltray and fisherman on the Boyne for 15 years, was interviewed by the Commissioners of Public Works, Fourth Annual Report on Fisheries of Ireland (1846, Vol 22, page 139).
Drogheda Argus, 12th October 1844.
Mullagh na Greine was the old Irish name for the Sunhill area, north of Termonfeckin. The ‘Oats’ collection was originally for provisions for the priest’s horse, but subsequently became a financial donation.
The inhabitants of Mullagh na Greine also called it Sunhill.
(i) The walk to Collon story was told by Jane Johnson (nee Moore), (1895 – 1987). She heard the story from her father Micky Moore, who was born in 1855 at Sunhill, beside Conlon’s. (ii) The English government engaged a Mr Erichsen to arrange importation of Indian corn to Ireland, and between the 26th of August 1846 and the 15th of January 1847, he made 72 separate purchases of food, mostly Indian corn. (www.irishhistorian.com)
Villagers - and those living in the immediate vicinity - always called the village by the shortened name - Terfeckin. It is also seen in its shortened form in some older publications.
Verdon’s house and land was located where Kirwan’s farm shop is today.
The Yellow Gap cottages.
Following the donation by Henry Chester of an acre of ground and £200 in December 1845 Fr McKeon lodged tender notices for the construction of a new church in May 1846. The successful applicant, probably John Murray who built Walshestown Church, would have commenced the building project in the latter half of 1846.
The spit of land south-east of Baltray which formed the northern part of the Boyne estuary as the river approached the sea.
From www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca: ‘Captain P. Boylan, of Cleveland, Ohio, was born in Baltray, County Louth, Ireland, about the year 1833. His father and grandfather, Christopher and Nicholas Boylan, respectively, were first branch pilots of the port and harbour of Drogheda, on the river Boyne. They owned a pilot boat called the Gazelle of sixty-five tons, the only pilot boat of that port.’
Phelps was the village constable in Termonfeckin, per Slater’s Directory of Ireland (1846).
Mr Morgan was a customs officer at Queensborough in December 1843 when smuggled tobacco was discovered on the brig Stamper. (Drogheda Conservative Journal, 10th December 1843)
Wallop's father, also Wallop Brabazon, had helped improve the pier at Clogherhead and had invented a rowlock for attaching rowing oars to the boat.
Termonfeckin Dispensary Accounts dated 1st April 1846. (Louth Co Council archives)
The first tenders were received for the construction of a viaduct across the Boyne at Drogheda in 1846. Construction began in 1851.
‘8th Feby 1847. Paid in the Termonfeckin Subscription Poor Fund - £2. Paid a Sandpit man to assist him to go to America. Paid M. Comisky to bury his daughter - 6d.’ (Donald Murphy, The Flanagans of Tobertoby, undated)
Slater’s Directory 1846 (www.failteromhat.com)
Drogheda Argus and Drogheda Conservative Journal newspapers.
Griffith’s Valuations (www.askaboutireland.ie)
National Library school records.