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(By Declan Quaile)

(First published in our Review 2008 journal)


Rectors and Vicars:1


Nathaniel Drayton (c.1615 - 1619)

Ordained deacon by the Bishop of Peterborough in 1615, Rev. Drayton held the rectory of Heynestown and the vicarage of Termonfeckin from c.1615 to 1619. He also held the prebendary of Ballymore (Co. Armagh) from 1618. A Nathaniel Drayton is noted in the Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery in Ireland of the Reign of Charles the First (publ. 1863, p323) as being, in 1628, rector or vicar of Tamnatelee (?).


Luke Ussher (1620 - 1632)

The second son of Archbishop Henry Ussher, he was rector of Heynestown from 1619 to 1620 before he was appointed rector of Termonfeckin in 1620. Also rector of Kentstown, Co. Meath in 1604 and 1622 and Clonmore, Togher from 1602.

He married Mary O’Donnell and they had two daughters, Susan and Christian (sic).

He died at Termonfeckin on 6th November 1632.


William Fullerton (1632 - 1633)

Ordained in 1628, he is noted as being Rector of the parish briefly between 1632 and 1633. His wife Jeane was daughter of Richard Echlin, bishop of Down and Connor. They had at least nine children. William died sometime after 1664.


Thomas Hartford (1633 - 1647?)

Ordained a deacon by the Bishop of Lincoln in September 1605 he was licensed to preach in Armagh Diocese from 1616. He became vicar of Termonfeckin on 21st November 1633. 


William Barry (1647 - 1695)

Born c.1613 William Barry was first noted Vicar of Termonfeckin in 1647 although he resided in Dublin. He purchased the tithes of the parish, which had been impropriated before 1640, for £300 in the 1650s, thus giving him the title of rector of the parish. Rev. Barry is noted as leasing 150 acres at Newtown, Termonfeckin in c.1661.2

He was married twice, firstly to Margaret Ussher, daughter of Luke Ussher (see above) and secondly to Elizabeth Kelly by whom he had several children. He was noted as incumbent of the parish in the 1692 Visitation Book.

He died three years later, in 1695, aged 82.


Rowland Singleton (1696 - 1741)

Son of Edward and Catherine Singleton, he was born in Drogheda in 1672 and educated locally before entering Trinity College in 1688. His father’s will left him the tithes of Termonfeckin which had been purchased from a Captain Charles Barry. He held the vicarages of Ardbraccan, Martry and the rectory of Liscartan in Co. Meath simultaneously with Termonfeckin. Rev. Singleton was the first clergyman noted in the Vestry Book (V.B.) of St. Fechin’s church, Termonfeckin, at a meeting held on 23rd October 1724. His last attendance was on 23rd October 1741.

He married Elizabeth Graham, daughter of John Graham of Platten Hall, Donore, Co. Meath in November 1704 and had eight children, four of whom, all daughters, reached maturity.

He died sometime after 1741, while his wife died in 1744.


Benjamin Barrington (1742 - 1747)

Born in Dublin c.1710 he attended Trinity College and was made rector of Termonfeckin in January 1742. In 1747 he was appointed to the prebendary of Tynan and was later rector of Armagh. He is first mentioned in the V.B. on 19th April 1742 and was last noted therein in April 1747.

He married his cousin Anna Maria Pocklington of Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin in April 1768 and assumed the name of Domville in pursuance of the will of his uncle William Domville, whose estates he inherited through her.

He died at Loughlinstown on 19th October 1774, aged 64, and was buried three days later in St. Bride’s church, Dublin.


William Henderson (1748 - 1767)

Entered T.C.D. in 1729. Presented to the parish in January 1748, Rev. Henderson is noted in the V.B. from April 1748 to May 1766. He died in 1767 and left all his estate to his adopted son, William Cochran, a jeweller in Fownes St., in Dublin.


Robert Gorges (1768 - 1802)

Born in Kilbrew, Co. Meath and third son of Richard Gorge, M.P. for Augher and Enniskillen in 1739 and 1761 respectively, Robert attended Trinity College and gained his B.A. in 1765. He was initially vicar of Dunboyne and Kilbrew in Co. Meath but he resigned them in 1768 for the appointment as rector of Termonfeckin3 and Dean of Kilmacduagh in 1771, holding both posts simultaneously until his death.

He married Rachel, only daughter of James Tisdall of Co. Louth, and had eight daughters. He is first mentioned in the V.B. in December 1767 and last noted therein in April 1795.


George Lambert (1802 - 1805)

Born at Beauparc, Co. Meath in 1754, his father was Gustavus Lambert, M.P. for Kilbeggan from 1741 to 1776. George entered Trinity College in 1771, achieving his B.A. four years later. He became vicar of St. Peter’s, Drogheda in 1782 and held that position until 1804. He was also rector of Rower (in the diocese of Ossory) and was vicar of Termonfeckin from 1802 to 1805 before resigning the position and transferring to Ardee in January 1806, where he ministered until his death.

Married with at least three children (two boys, Sackville and Gustavus and a girl, Florinda) he died in Dublin in May 1820, aged 66. He was buried in Painstown, Co. Meath. 


William J. Armstrong (1805 - 1827)         

William Jones Armstrong, of Killylea, Co. Armagh was born in 1764, the eldest son of Edward Armstrong and Grace Jones. He entered Trinity College in 1781 and graduated with a B.A. in 1786 and an M.A. in 1812. He was subsequently appointed as curate to Drumglass in Co. Tyrone in 1793. His obituary states that he was resident in Tyrone for nearly twenty years and was also a magistrate there.4  He became rector of Termonfeckin in 1805 and held the position until 1827. His name also appears in the Dunany vestry book from 1812. In 1820 he submitted brief parish details to William Shaw Mason’s early census work. In a report from 1807 he is noted as being absent having only lately being promoted to the benefice, while in 18245 he is noted as being ‘absent on account of pecuniary difficulties… and that duties are discharged by a curate’ (Thomas F. Martin). Rev. Armstrong was instrumental in building the rectory house in Termonfeckin, which was completed in 1814.

In 1784 he married Margaret Tew, whose father John had been Lord Mayor of Dublin. They had six children, three sons and three daughters. His youngest son, Thomas Knox, married Catherine Frances, the second daughter of Wallop Brabazon of Rath House, while his eldest daughter, Helen, married John Kerr, her father’s successor.6

William Armstrong died on 4th September 1835 at Little Chelsea, London, aged 70. His wife died in Belfast in 1860, aged 101 years.


John Kerr (1827 - 1844)

Born in Co. Tyrone in c.1790, John Kerr was educated at the Royal School, Dungannon and entered Trinity College in November 1807. He was made deacon in 1824, a priest in 1825 and was appointed curate of Termonfeckin in February of that year. His salary as curate in 1826 was £75 per annum. By April 1827 he was rector of the parish. In May 1836 the Rev. Kerr wrote a letter containing a character reference for his former Catholic opposite number in Termonfeckin, Fr. Eugene Mulholland, whilst the latter was embroiled in a legal dispute with another Catholic priest. The Rev. Kerr is listed as a subscriber to Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary in 1837. In 1844 he was transferred to Kilkerrin parish in Tuam, Co. Galway, exchanging parishes with the Rev. Joseph F. Leathley.

He married Helen Armstrong, daughter of his predecessor and had nine children by her; three sons and six daughters, one of whom, John Henry, a Major General who served in India, is buried in Termonfeckin graveyard. One of his daughters, Helen, married a John Anderson from Belfast on 15th January 1835 in Termonfeckin church.7 His second eldest daughter, Frances Margaret married Rev. Simon Foot of Portadown on 17th March 1840.8  Rev. Kerr was a college friend of Rev. Henry F. Lyte, composer of the famous hymn ‘Abide with me’.

Rev Kerr died at Kilkerrin, Co. Galway in October 1862 and was buried in that parish. His son Thomas erected a monument to his memory in Kilkerrin cemetery.   


Joseph F. Leathley (1844 - 1869)                 

Joseph Forde Leathley was born in Dublin in 1802 and entered Trinity College at seventeen. He obtained a B.A. in 1823 and an M.A. in 1832. At a vestry meeting held at Street parish in Ardagh diocese in 1827 he is listed as minister9 while in 1829 he is noted as a vicar at Russah in Co. Westmeath. His first appointment as rector was to Kilkerrin, Co. Galway, in 1837. Seven years later he became rector of Termonfeckin and remained so until his death.

He married Frances Osborne in February 1829 and they had one child, a daughter, Frances Mary. His wife Frances died at Torquay in January 1840. In March 1855 his daughter married Arthur MacMorrough Kavanagh (a cousin on her mother’s side) from Borris, Co. Carlow.10 

Rev. Leathley had a licence to become non-resident in the parish in January 1863 and probably moved to Carlow where he died six years later, on 31st December 1869. He was buried in the vault of St. Mullin’s church, Leighlin, Co. Carlow. 


Richard H. Long (1870 - 1880)                      

Born in Co. Cork in 1807 Richard Henry Long entered Trinity College in July 1825 and gained his B.A. in 1830. He was curate in the Cork parishes of Ardfield and Fanlobbus before being appointed rector of Carrickbaggot (incorporating Rathdrummin) in January 1844. Rev. Long was presented to Termonfeckin parish as curate in 1860 and a decade later was made incumbent in 1870, though remaining at Rathdrummin rectory until November 1871. During his tenure in Termonfeckin he became embroiled in an interminable and intractable dispute with the Church Representative Body (and indirectly with Rev. William Brabazon) over the reduction in size of the glebe immediately behind the rectory house. In defence of his position Rev. Long wrote and published a twenty-six page pamphlet entitled ‘The Glebe of Termonfeckin and what the Representative Body have done with it.’ 11

He had married Catherine Haynes in Cork in 1832 and had six children, one of whom, John Henry, worked for the Bank of Ireland in Dundalk while another son, Horatio Grey, lived at Queensboro. A third son, Richard J. married Margaret Ada, only daughter of Surgeon Major Edward Young Kellett at Booterstown, Dublin on 15th November 1877.12  Revd. Long retired in 1880, died on Christmas Day 1882 and was buried in Rathdrummin graveyard. His wife predeceased him in 1868 and was buried in Youghal, Co. Cork.


Arthur G. H. Long (1880 - 1927)            

Born in Belfast in May 1854, the second son of William Long, Arthur George Hetherington Long was educated at T.C.D, gaining his B.A. in 1877 and Masters in 1892. He became a deacon in 1877 and was curate in Holy Trinity, Belfast from 1877 to 1879 before spending one year as incumbent at Killoe, Longford. He was then appointed incumbent to Termonfeckin in 1880 and went on to spend forty-seven years in the parish, the longest of any of the recorded clergy there.

He married Frances Annie Darley from Montpelier House, Monkstown, Co. Dublin in April 1879 and they had five children, including Arthur, who died in March 1927, Frances, his wife, who died of pneumonia on 11th February 1912 and their youngest son, Percy Darley, who died in August 1915 aged 27. All three are buried in Termonfeckin graveyard alongside Rev. Long, who died on 9th March 1927.


Albert E. Malone (1927 - 1931)         

Son of Isaac Malone, a tea and wine merchant of Rathmines in Dublin, Albert Edward Malone was born in 1862 and after his education in Dublin he went to the University of Durham where he achieved a B.A. in 1892. He was appointed curate in Killyman, Co. Tyrone in 1892, then two years later was made the incumbent of Eglish. He held this position until 1927 when he became the incumbent of Termonfeckin.

He married Arabella Evans of Rathmines in October 1886 and they had six children. Two of his sons served in the Royal Navy while the third became a second Lieutenant in the British Army during the First World War.

Rev. Malone died from pneumonia in November 1931 and was buried in Termonfeckin graveyard. His youngest daughter Eileen was a librarian in the Royal Irish Academy and after her death in 1935 she was buried alongside her father.      


Thomas Carey (1932 - 1941)

Born at Warren Place, Cork in 1874 he studied at Trinity College where he got his B.A. in 1897. He was appointed curate of Delvin from 1898 to 1900, was private chaplain to the Archbishop of Armagh from 1900 to 1905 and incumbent of Caledon from 1905 until 1932. From 1932 until he retired on pension in 1941 he was curate-in-charge of Termonfeckin parish. He is remembered as a generous dispenser of lozenges to local children and who wore a clerical hat which moved according to his facial expressions!13

He married Helen Mary Ogle of Gaulstown, Co. Meath in August 1899 and they had one son. Thomas Carey died in September 1942.


John F.G. Magill (1941 - 1947)

Born in Dromara, Co. Down in Dec. 1875 John Fulton Gilliland Magill entered Trinity College and received his B.A. there in 1920. Initially he was curate in Monaghan and Hillsborough and was curate-in-charge of Sallaghy (Clogher diocese) and Portadown. In 1931 he was made rector of Milltown and ten years later he was appointed curate-in-charge of Termonfeckin. Serving for six years he resigned the parish in 1947 for the incumbency of Heynestown and retired there four years later, in 1951.

He married Hannah Mary Connor of Stonyford, Co. Antrim in April 1919 and had two children, the first dying young. Their second child, Elinor Mary Kathleen, obtained a B.A. honours degree at Trinity College in 1946 and was married twice.

Rev. Magill died in April 1953 and his wife in March 1980.


James F. Anderson (1947 - 1951)

Born in Belfast in March 1874, he was educated at the Royal University of Ireland and at T.C.D. where he gained his Divinity Test in 1901. His first curacy was at Marmullane, Passage West, Co. Cork from 1901 to 1904, he then served St. Andrews church in Dublin 1904 until 1908 prior to becoming diocesan curate of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh from 1908 to 1910. He was incumbent of St. Peters’s, Athlone from 1913 to 1925 before spending more than twenty years as a chaplain in Alexandria in Egypt. He returned to Ireland in 1947 and was made curate-in-charge of Termonfeckin and Beaulieu.

He married Frances Swayne of Clones, Co. Monaghan in May 1910 and had three children, Muriel, Henry and Dorothy.

He died at the rectory in Termonfeckin in May 1951 and was buried at Dean’s Grange cemetery, Dublin.  


George P. Young (1952 - 1961)

George Young was born in Shearness, Kent in January 1886 and attended college in London before becoming a deacon in 1914. He was made curate in Waterford from 1914 to 1917, then returned to England as curate at Lambeth in London from 1917 to 1919. Afterwards he was made assistant chaplain at the Savoy Chapel as well as Chaplain at Charing Cross hospital. In 1936 he became curate-in-charge of St. Barth’s in Islington while in 1939 he was made curate-in-charge in Northholt. In 1940 he was curate-in-charge in Chelmsford. He was finally made rector in 1945 at Wood Walton in Huntingdon and seven years later he was transferred to Termonfeckin as curate-in-charge there.

He married Anne Irwin from Caledon, Co. Tyrone in September 1918 and they had two children, George Peter (1919) and Patricia (1925). His wife died in Cambridge in 1951. Following nine years ministry in the parish and with his eyesight failing he retired in 1961. He died at Termonfeckin on 1st November 1964 and was buried with his wife at Caledon.       

His son Peter was an electrician and also collected and repaired vintage cars and was very much involved in Termonfeckin life until his death in 1978. He too was buried in Caledon.






Alexander Sherrald

Noted as curate in Termonfeckin c.1690. Leslie notes “…has title to another curacy in Diocese of Meath; of bad repute for his life and conversation.”


Thomas Leigh

Curate of Termonfeckin and Clonmore in 1695 and 1696. Rector of Haynestown in 1709. He died c. 1727.


Phil Donagh

First mentioned in Termonfeckin Vestry Book (V. B.) at a meeting on September 1735 and noted therein until September 1740.


William Newton

Received license to the parish on 21st May 1742. Noted as curate in the V.B. from June 1742 to June 1745.


David Smyth

Received license to the parish on 12th August 1747. Noted in the V.B. as curate from May 1748 to March 1751.


Stearne Ball

Noted in the V.B. minutes from October 1762 to April 1767. Later became curate of St. Peter’s in Drogheda.


Thomas Hurly

Noted as curate minister in the V.B. in October 1767.

A book was published in Dublin in 1766 entitled ‘A brief account of the motives and reasons of the conversion of the Reverend Mr. Thomas Hurly, A.M. late a priest of the Church of Rome; who publicly renounced the errors of Popery in the parish church of St Peter, Dublin, on Sunday the 8th day of September, 1765.’  This may be the same Thomas Hurly who officiated at Termonfeckin.


John Marshall

Noted as curate from April 1773 to April 1787 in the V.B.


Robert Barker

Noted as curate in the V.B. from March 1788 to April 1789.


Bigoe Henzell

Born c.1769 he appears briefly in the Termonfeckin V.B. of March 1794. In 1796 he was curate in St. Peter’s, Drogheda while in 1819 Rev. Henzell was ministering at St. Mary’s church in Youghal, Co. Cork and in 1823 he is noted as being resident in Cheltenham, England.14

He married Sophia Hamilton from Red Wood, Co. Offaly and they had at least one son (also Bigoe) and two daughters.15

He died at Kilmahon rectory, Cloyne, Co. Cork on 10th January 1847.16 His wife died at Mountjoy Sq., Dublin on 15th August 1849.17 


Arthur Ellis

Born in Donegal in 1770,18 his father was Hercules Ellis of Cloonhill in that county; his mother was Frances Coddington of Oldbridge, Co. Meath. He entered T.C.D. in January 1789, obtained his B.A. in 1793 and was ordained in the same year. Noted as curate in Termonfeckin in the V.B. from March 1796 to 1799 and held the position until 1808. He was the perpetual curate of Ballymakenny from 1809 to 1826 and also resident there.19  Susan Burney, the sister of Frances Burney, the eighteenth century socialite and novelist, lived in Termonfeckin from 1796 to 1799 (See article in T.H.S. ‘Review 2005’) and described him while attending one of his services, “…he is a well looking man but a wretched preacher, with a vile pronunciation tho’ no considerable brogue.” 

He married Jane Brabazon, daughter of Philip Brabazon of Carstown in c.1799 and they had fifteen children. He was appointed rector of Ardee in 1826.

He died, aged 90, at the rectory in Ardee on 26th January 1861 and was buried in Old St. Mary’s cemetery in the town. His wife died in August 1864, aged 86. 


Thomas F. Martin

Born in England c.1797, Thomas Fielding Martin entered Trinity College in 1813 and gained his B.A. there five years later. He was curate of Termonfeckin from 1821 to 1824.


John Kerr

Curate in Termonfeckin from 28th February 1825 to 1827, when he was appointed rector. See biography above.


William R. St. George

Born in Co. Monaghan in 1813 he was made curate in Termonfeckin in 1857 before being appointed to Seagoe, Portadown in 1859.


Richard H. Long

Curate in Termonfeckin from 1860 to 1870 when he was appointed rector. See biography above.


1.      An incumbent of the parish in full possession of the parish tithe was a rector, while a vicar only held a portion of the tithe, the remainder belonging to another individual. (See - Byrne’s Dictionary of Irish Local History (Cork, 2004), p319)

2.      McNeill & Otway-Ruthven, Dowdall Deeds (Dublin, 1960), p344.

3.      Arthur Collins, Peerage of England (London, 1812), p87.

4.      The Gentleman’s Magazine 1835, p441.

5.      See 1824 Report on List of Parishes in Ireland with names of Incumbents at www.eppi.ac.uk.  

6.      Burke’s Irish Family Records (London, 1976), p35.

7.      Drogheda Journal, 17th January 1835.

8.      Drogheda Conservative Journal, 21st March 1840.

9.      Account of Sums applotted by Vestries in Ireland under Parochial Rates, 1827, p70. www.eppi.ac.uk

10.  Born in 1831 with only stumps of arms and legs, Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh mastered his severe physical defects and learned to do almost all that a normal person could do. Though generally carried on the back of a servant, he also had a mechanical chair constructed that gave him great freedom of movement. By means of steel hooks protruding from his sleeve he could fish, hunt, sail and shoot. As well as managing his estate in Borris, he was M.P. for Carlow from 1866 until 1880. There were seven children from his marriage to Frances Leathley, four boys and three girls. Arthur died at Chelsea in London on Christmas day 1889. He was buried in the ruined church on Ballycopigan, a wooded hill in his demesne at Borris. Frances died in June 1908.

11.  The pamphlet was published in 1878 by MacDougal Printers of Peter St., Drogheda. An original copy exists in  Armagh library.

12.  Drogheda Argus, 17th November 1877.

13.  1988 Credit Union book - Down All Those Years and More, p71.

14.  Connaught Journal, 3rd July 1823.

15.  Details from the Hamilton genealogy.

16.  Drogheda Conservative Journal, 23rd January 1847.

17.  Conservative and Drogheda… Advertiser, 18th August 1849.

18.  Drogheda Conservative Journal, 2nd February 1861.

19.  The Drogheda Newsletter of 15th Sept 1810 records both the birth of a daughter and the death of his mother at Ballymakenny in the same week. 





The parishes of Mayne and Clogher were united to Termonfeckin in 1660.

Beaulieu became part of Termonfeckin Union of Parishes in 1877 following the death of Rev. Edward Groome of Beaulieu in 1872. 

After the retirement of Rev. George Young in 1961 the parish of Termonfeckin was amalgamated into the Drogheda Union of Parishes.



Rev. James B. Leslie Armagh Clergy and Parishes (Dundalk, 1911)

Rev. James B. Leslie Supplement to “Armagh Clergy & parishes” (Dundalk, 1948)

Rev. W.E.C. Fleming Armagh Clergy 1800 - 2000 (Dundalk, 2001)

Termonfeckin Vestry Book (1724-1804) (Courtesy of Noel Ross)

Fr. Gogarty notes (courtesy of Noel Ross).



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