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The Quarterclift;  or  The Life and Adventures of Hudy McGuigan,  by Hugh Harkin

published in booklet form 1841; published in facsimile 1993 by Ballinascreen Historical Society
(144pp, + brief introduction and notes)
available from Ballinascreen Historical Society, Draperstown, Co Derry

an edited transcript, with notes and a glossary

characters may replace dashes in the original publication,
 eg "Lord Caledon" replaces "Lord C──n"


Many of the notes in the 1841 printed booklet are included in this transcription of "The Quarterclift", enclosed by square-brackets [].

The notes on this page have been prepared by the transcriber in the course of transcription,
as much for his own benefit as for that of any other reader.

Curing the abrupt end to the 1841 booklet

For 25 years, readers of Chapter XIX "The Horse-Jockey" have had to put up with an ending in the middle of a sentence!  Graham Mawhinney of Ballinascreen Historical Society had doggedly researched for several years, but in 1993 had to be content with publishing a facsimile ending at that point.  Recent research has found in the British Library a copy of the original 1840 newspaper publication of "The Horse-Jockey"; the newspaper version has been used (with some additions and alterations) to complete "The Horse-Jockey".

The newspapers in the British Library contain further Hudy stories by Harkin, which have been added to this transcription as if they were later Chapters in the booklet.


Du Pré Alexander (1777-1839), Lord Caledon
courtesy titles Baron Caledon 1797, Viscount Caledon 1800; became 2nd Earl of Caledon 1802.


Election in County Antrim, 1783
As reported in Saunders's News-Letter, 22 August 1783:

A letter from Belfast, dated August 19, says,──
"Rowley and O'Neill were elected unanimously this day, at Carrickfergus.  Mr. O'Neill was proposed by Conway Dobbs, Esq.──and Mr. Rowley by Roger Moor, Esq.  Their nomination was received by the people with the loudest and most general bursts of applause: they were afterwards put into chairs most elegantly decorated with ribands, leaves of laurel, flowers, &c. and carried on the shoulders of the officers of their different regiments, with their respective bands of music playing before them through all the streets of the town, while the surrounding multitude rent the skies with their acclamations.  After which a most elegant entertainment was provided in the Session-house, at the expence of the Candidates, where near 200 of the most respectable gentlemen of the county dined."

Possibly they were chaired in Belfast at a later date.


John Banim (1798-1842)
Irish novelist, dramatist, poet and essayist; author of The Boyne Water (1826).


Batrachomyomachia, Battle of Frogs and Mice
A comic parody of Homer's Iliad.  At one time the parody was also attributed to Homer, but on linguistic and stylistic grounds it is now attributed to a later period.


Jim Belcher (1781-1811) and Tom Belcher (1783-1854)
Brothers, both English bare-knuckle fighters.


Jeremy Bentham (1747-1832)
English philosopher and social reformer.


Berwick Jockey
A traditional Irish slip jig (known also as Go to Berwick Johnny or The Roving Blade).


The Blaris Moor Tragedy
A popular song about an event in County Antrim during the 1798 rebellion.

  While cavalry were prancing,
  And infantry advancing,
  In glittering armour glancing,
    All in the pomp of war.

      lines 13-16


Joseph Bologne, "Chevalier de Saint-Georges" (1745-99)
champion fencer; musician and composer; son of a Guadeloupe planter and his African slave.
  (hence) throw a Saint-Georges adopt a fencing pose


The Bravo of Venice by Matthew Lewis, London 1804
An adaptation of Abællino, by Heinrich Zschokke, Frankfurt 1794.  It is a rip-roaring tale: Abellino rather reluctantly joins a gang of criminals (bravos) in Venice.  Flodorado tracks down Abellino's gang, and then Abellino himself, only to reveal that Flodorado actually is Abellino.  And finally Abellino reveals himself to be Rosalvo (or Obizzo in the German), who has perpetrated all these deceptions for the highest of motives.  And of course he gets the girl.


The horse of Alexander the Great; the name means "bull-head", but Harkin's use of the name does not seem intentionally ironic.


Edmund Burke (1729-97)
Dublin-born statesman, philosopher and author

quotations from Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790):

It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles, and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in—glittering like the morning star, full of life and splendor and joy.
    from paragraph 126, Harkin's quoted words in bold above

But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever. Never, never more shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex...
    from paragraph 126, Harkin's quoted words in bold above


Robert Burns (1759-96)
Scottish poet.

quotation from Burns's There's naught but care (c1784):

  May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!
    stanza III, line 4; chorus (and tune): Green Grow the Rashes O!

quotations from Burns's Tam O'Shanter (1791):

Whiles glowring round wi’ prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares:
  lines 85-86

But Tam kend what was what fu' brawlie,
  line 167

quotation from Burns's Scotch Drink (c1784):

Thae curst horse-leeches o' th' Excise,
Wha mak the Whisky stills their prize!
Haud up thy han' Deil! ance, twice, thrice!
    There, seize the blinkers!
An' bake them up in brunstane pies
    For poor damn'd Drinkers.
  stanza 20 (penultimate stanza)

quotation from Burns's The De'il's awa wi' th' Exciseman (1792):

The deil cam fiddlin thro' the town,
And danc'd awa wi' th' Exciseman;
  stanza 1, lines 1-2


Isaac Butt (1813-79)
Irish barrister and politician; born in County Donegal, settled in Dublin.


Oscar Byrne (c1795-1867)
actor, dancer and ballet-master in London; worked for a while with Michael Balfe.


George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron (1788-1824)
traveller, poet and politician.

quotation from Byron's Mazeppa (1819):

  Away, away, my steed and I,
    Upon the pinions of the wind,
    All human dwellings left behind;
  We sped, like meteors through the sky,
    stanza xi, lines 1-4 (Harkin changes the order of the lines, and adds two of his own!)

quotation from Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-18):

  And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell:
    Canto III (1816), stanza xxiii, line 8


Careless Billy a folksong, composer anonymous
Harkin seems to have known a version of the chorus of this song.

first verse and chorus from Careless Billy:

  Ye frolicsome sparks of game,
    Ye being both wretched and old,
  Come listen to Billy by name,
    Who once had his hat full of gold,
  And seven score acres of land,
    And corn in plenty full store -
  But now he has none at command,
    He is as good as before.

  So why should I covet for riches,
    Or any such glittering toys;
A light heart and a thin pair of breeches
    Goes through the world
merrely my boys.

  Harkin's approximate quoted words in bold above
Careless Billy above from Broadside Ballads Online, Bodleian Library


Henry Carey (1687-1743)
English poet and dramatist, best known for God Save The King.

quotation from Carey's Ode to Eloquence:

  Who shall calm the angry storm?
  Who the mighty task perform,
  And bid the raging tumult cease?

    stanza ii, lines 1-3


William Carleton (1794-1869)
Writer born in Co Tyrone, settled in Dublin; noted for using phonetic representations of words and phrases from Irish and from local dialect.

quotation from Carleton's story "Neal Malone", included in Carleton's Tales of Ireland (1834),
and in later editions of Carleton's Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry (eg 1843, 1867, 1896):

blue-mowlded for want of a batin'
    an expression regulary used by the eponymous hero of the story

Hugh Harkin refers to Neal Malone as "the Munster tailor": Neal's home-turf is specified in Carleton's story "The Battle of the Factions".


Carntogher mountain
A mountain lying east of Glenshane Pass (A6 Dungiven to Maghera).  The mountain (including Shane Crossagh's Leaps) is accessible by roads and tracks on its eastern side.


Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (1769-1822)
Irish-born British statesman, generally known as Lord Castlereagh from his courtesy title Viscount Castlereagh (1816-21).  He was less courteously nicknamed Derry Down Triangle, from his family's marquessate (Londonderry), his family's estate (Castle Stewart, County Down), and the triangular framework into which people were strapped for whipping, his punishment of preference during the 1798 insurrection.

quotation from The Political House that Jack Built, the first item in William Hone's Pamphlets and Parodies on Political Subjects (1821):

  And that's DERRY DOWN TRIANGLE by name,
  From the Land of mis-rule, and half-hanging, and flame:
    an extract from text accompanying Cruikshank's caricature
      of a group of three parodied politicians,
      including Castlereagh holding a cat-o'-nine-tails
    Harkin typically misquotes, his quoted words in bold above


James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)
American author. Hawkeye (Nathaniel "Natty" Bumppo) is the protagonist in Cooper's novel The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757 (1826)


Craig na Shoke,  carraig na seabhaic,  Eagle's Rock
A basalt cliff along part of the southern flank of Mullaghmore, in the townland of Moydamlaght.
The story goes that Hudy McGuigan equipped himself with goose-feather wings, and leapt off the cliff to demonstrate that humans could fly. His flight was swift and direct - downwards. One version of the story has him saying as he lies injured at the bottom: "Boys dear, I forgot the tail!"


James Crichton (1560-82)
A Scottish polymath, murdered in Mantua at a very young age.  His nickname, but not his character, was used for the title of JM Barrie's play The Admirable Crichton (1902, filmed most famously in 1957).


The Cross of Ballinascreen
One of the names applied to the settlement which in 1818 was formally named Draperstown by its post-plantation owners, the Worshipful Company of Drapers.


Dan Donnelly (1788-1820)
Irish boxer.  His "knighthood" is generally considered to be a myth.


The Dusty Miller
A traditional Irish tune, usually a slip jig (9/8 time); sometimes a hornpipe (3/2 time), especially when sung to the words of Robert Burns.


Eglinton Castle
A castellated mansion at Kilwinning, Ayrshire, seat of the Earls of Eglinton; built (1797-1802) to replace a 16th-century castle.  In 1839 the 13th Earl of Eglinton organised a medieval-style Tournament at the castle.


Estates of the Realm
The three estates: the Church, the Nobility, the Commons.
The fourth estate: the Press.


Fasten e'en
The day before Lent, fasting-eve; Shrove Tuesday.


Feeny mountain
A rather indefinite term, applied to the high ground on both sides of the road from Feeny to Moneyneany.  The road was maybe not built in 1798 when Hudy met General Lake in the mountains.  "A very useful new road has been opened from Feeny to Ballinascreen;" John McCloskey, "Statistical Account of the Parishes of Banagher, Dungiven and Boveva", 1821, f 12.  Or "from Moneyneena over the Banagher mountains to Feeny." John McCloskey, "Statistical Account of the Parishes of Desertmartin, Kilcronaghan and Ballinascreen", 1821, f 14.


Andrew Fletcher (1653-1716)
Scottish writer and politician; he opposed the 1707 Act of Union (Scotland and England); he wrote: if a man were permitted to make all the ballads he need not care who should make the laws of a nation.


Friar Tuck
A possibly anachronistic addition to the stories of Robin Hood, as there were no friars in England during the reign of King Richard I, the period with which Robin Hood is usually (but not always) associated.  Friar Tuck is in some versions a curtal friar; and in some versions he is a friar from Fountains Abbey.  In Sir Walter Scott's version he "is known as the Curtal Friar of Fountain Abbey, and dwelleth in Fountain Dale" - Scott takes care to clarify that Fountain Abbey, "a simple little cell", is not Fountains Abbey, the "rich and proud place".  Scott's Friar Tuck controls "four great shaggy hounds".


Billy Fribble
Chapter V of Vice in its Proper Shape (1789, Worcester, Massachusetts) is entitled "The comical and mortifying Transmigration of little Monsieur Fribble into the Body of a Monkey".
Hudy's natural propriety and grace is to be contrasted with the following description of Fribble: "His highest ambition was, in the first place, to furnish himself with a large collection of complimentary phrases, which he had seldom discretion enough to apply with any tolerable propriety; and, in the next, to complete himself in the polite art of dancing, in which he so far succeeded as to be able to skip about with the most regular agility, though he never had a sufficient share of good sense to be able to dance with gracefulness."


Timothy Geary, pen-name Thomas Augustine Geary (c1775-1801)
Irish composer of popular songs and arranger of folktunes.

quotation from The Glasses Sparkle on the Board (1802), words by W D Diggs:

  The glasses sparkle on the board,
  The wine is ruby bright,
  The reign of pleasure is restored,
  Of ease and gay delight.
  The day is gone, the night's our own,
  Then let us feast the soul;
  If any pain or care remain,
  Why - drown it in the bowl!
    first verse, Harkin's quoted words in bold above


Glenadry (Glenedra)
Glenedra is a large townland (over 2000 acres) in the Sperrins. Possibly it means "middle glen" (PW Joyce Irish Names of Places vol III p 366), referring to the fact that it lies between the larger glens of Finglen and Altnaheglish, all in Banagher parish.
Harkin's story refers to a 'Grassy Hollow', where tents are pitched for the convenience of the huntsmen. Glenedra Lodge was later built in the hollow, and used for the same purpose; the Lodge was later used as a shepherd's house, but no trace of it remains now.
Glenedra Water, or the Crooked Burn, provides some of Co Derry's water supply; a small intake in Glenedra adds to the much larger supply from Banagher Dam in Altnaheglish.


'Glendaragh Lodge' appears to be an error in Harkin's story.  Langford Rowley Heyland (c1771-1829), Hudy's Colonel, lived at Glendaragh (no 'Lodge'); he may well have been connected with Langford Lodge.  Both houses were near Crumlin, Co Antrim.


Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774)

quotations from Goldsmith's The Deserted Village (1770):

  When toil remitting lent its turn to play,
  And all the village train, from labour free,
  Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree
    lines 16-18

  And even his failings leaned to Virtue's side
    line 164, referring to the village preacher

quotation from Goldsmith's The Vicar of Wakefield (1766)

Mr Burchell ... sate with his face turned to the fire, and at the conclusion of every sentence would cry out FUDGE! an expression which displeased us all, and in some measure damped the rising spirit of the conversation.
    chapter 11, Harkin's quoted word in bold above

quotations from Goldsmith's Retaliation (1774):

  Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind,
  And to party gave up what was meant for mankind:
    lines 31-32, referring to Edmund Burke

  He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack,
  For he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back.
    lines 107-108, referring to David Garrick

quotation from Goldsmith's Letters from a Citizen of the World to his Friends in the East (1762):

a cobbler sat in his stall by the way-side, and continued to work while the crowd passed by, without testifying the smallest share of curiosity.  I own his want of attention excited mine; and as I stood in need of his assistance, I thought it best to employ a philosophic cobbler
  letter XLV [from Lien Chi Altangi to Fum Hoam]


Granuaile, Gráinne Ni Mháille, Grace O'Malley (c1530-c1603)
chief of the O'Malley lands and people in Murrisk, Co Mayo.


Thomas Gray (1716-71)
English poet and scholar.

quotation from Gray's Hymn to Adversity (1742):

  Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
  Not circled with the vengeful band
    lines 37-38


Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (1773-1843)
Sixth son of King George III. Supporter of Catholic emancipation.


Langford Rowley Heyland (c1771-1829)
Hudy's Colonel Heyland.  Colonel may have been a courtesy title (eg after service in the local militia), no gazetted army rank has been found.  Heyland and his noble companions in Chapters IX to XIII are recorded in the Morning Post, 22 October 1802:

"Saturday se'nnight landed at Donaghadee, from a sporting party through the Highlands of Scotland, Earl O'Neill, Earl Caledon, Lord Blayney, and Langford Heyland, Esq."

Langford Heyland was married to Charlotte Alexander, a first cousin of Du Pre Alexander, 2nd Earl of Caledon.  Andrew Thomas Blayney, 11th Baron Blayney, was married to Mabella Alexander, sister of the 2nd Earl.


George Fitzgerald Hill (1763-1839)
became 2nd Baronet, of Brook Hall, 1795.


Lady Hill, born Jane Beresford (1769-1836)
married George Fitzgerald Hill 1788; daughter of John de la Poer Beresford (1737/38-1805).  Contrary to what the Counsellor is made to say in Chapter XVII of the 1841 publication, she had several sisters and half-sisters.


The Holy Bible

quotation from the christian Holy Bible (King James version):

  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out:
  It is better for thee to enter the into the kingdon of God with one eye,
  than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire:
  where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
    St Mark, chapter 9, verses 47-48


John Howie (1735-93)
Scottish biographer.  His book Scots Worthies (revised & enlarged 1781) contains biographies of 73 Scotsmen.


David Hume (1711-76)
Scottish philosopher, historian & economist; he advocated that the "moral value of an act" should not be measured by its results: the character and motivation of the actor is what should be examined:

some internal sense or feeling, which nature has made universal in the whole species.
An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1777), Section I


Sir James the Rose
A popular Scottish ballad, written by Michael Bruce (1746-67).  The ballad "narrates the rivalry of two young chieftains to obtain the hand of Lord Buchan's daughter, which was attended with fatal consequences to all the parties."  This description, and the lines quoted below, are taken from Ballads: Scottish and English, William P Nimmo (publisher), Edinburgh 1878, which prints 53 verses of the ballad; other collections have different versions.

quotation from Sir James the Rose:

  "You word it well," the chief replied;
    "But deeds approve the man:
  Set by your band, and, hand to hand,
    We'll try what valour can."
      verse 42, Harkin's quoted words in bold above


Jenny Banged the Weaver
A traditional Scottish reel (known also as Jenny Dang the Weaver).


James Sheridan Knowles (1784-1862)
Irish-born playwright.


Gerard Lake (1744-1808)
English soldier; reached Major General by 1796, when he was made commander in Ulster; Lieutenant General 1797.  Fought throughout Ireland in 1798.  A command in India followed.  He was made 1st Baron Lake in 1804 (so he could not have been referred to as Lord Lake before the ball, which seems to be set before 1800), then 1st Viscount Lake in 1807.


Jack Langan (1798-1846)
Irish boxer.  Langan lost twice to the English boxer Tom Spring in 1824, both fights lasting for over 75 rounds  Both retired from boxing after these two gruelling fights; and both became publicans: Langan in Liverpool, Spring in Holborn, London.


Nathaniel Lee (c1653-92)
English dramatist, "the Mad Poet".

quotation from Lee's The Rival Queens, or the Death of Alexander the Great (1677):

  When Greeks joyn'd Greeks, then was the tug of War,
  The labour'd Battle sweat, and Conquest bled.
    act iv, scene i, lines 240-1, Clytus speaking
  Harkin quotes the accepted proverb, derived from the words in bold above.


Edward Lysaght (1763-1810)
Irish barrister and song-writer.

quotation from Lysaght's Sprig of Shillelah:

  Who has e'er had the luck to see Donnybrook fair,
  An Irishman all in his glory is there,
      With his sprig of shillelah and shamrock so green!
    stanza ii, lines 1-3


Maggie Pickens A traditional hornpipe or schottische or barndance; versions (such as Hudy's) of "Whistle o'er the lave o't" can be made to fit the tune.


Henry MacManus (c1810-78)
Monaghan-born artist and illustrator.  He illustrated a number of William Carleton's stories, the earliest in 1840, about the time that Harkin was preparing the Hudy stories for book-form publication.


William Hamilton Maxwell (1792-1850)
Curate (1813-19) of Clonallon (Diocese of Dromore), County Down, then Prebendary (1819-44) of Balla (Diocese of Tuam), County Mayo; author of the novel Wild Sports of the West (1832).  While in Mayo, Maxwell made many acquaintances amongst army officers of the regiments based there, and was made an honorary member of the officers' mess in Castlebar.  Maxwell compiled their stories into a popular novel Stories of Waterloo (1833); the first-person narrative beguiled readers and commentators (including the Dictionary of National Biography) into believing that Maxwell himself had been in the army.  In following years Maxwell published a biography of Wellington, and many more novels and stories.

Maxwell's own story was hardly less exciting than his fictions: he spent very little time in his parish, and was eventually obliged to leave the church; he fell into debt more than once, in 1832 absconded from bail, and in 1836 was threatened with outlawry.  The authorities must have had a hard time trying to pin him down: The London Gazette, 8 June 1847, contains a rather bemused description:

William Hamilton Maxwell, formerly of Waltham Cross, Essex, then of Glengair, then of Penton-house, both in Argyleshire, Scotland, then travelling on the borders of Scotland and England, then residing at the Hotel d'Angleterre, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, then at Saint Hellier, Jersey, then of No. 21, Craven-street, Strand, Middlesex, then of Brand-street, Greenwich, known as Captain Richardson, then of No. 25, Pitt-street, Greenwich, both in Kent, Clerk, Prebend of Balla, in the county of Mayo, Ireland, Author and Literary Contributor to various Periodicals, then travelling on the borders of Scotland and England aforesaid, then of North-cottage, Hampstead, Middlesex, part of the time residing at Lower Mitcham, Surrey, and late of North-cottage, Hampstead aforesaid, Clerk, Author, and Literary Contributor to various Periodicals.

Maxwell died in poverty in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh.


Rowley Miller (1781-1866)
Although Harkin seems to have been thinking of Rowley Miller, Rowley would have been too young to be a magistrate at the time at which Harkin has placed this story.  For some semblance of historical accuracy it would be better to think of Rowley's father, John Miller, who died in 1820 after being agent first for the Rowley estates, then for the Drapers Company, for over 40 years.  John Miller was indeed a magistrate of County Derry in the 1790s.


John Milton (1608-74)
English poet.

quotation from Milton's Paradise Lost (1667):

  Silence was pleased
    book 1, line 604
not entirely apposite to the expectant hush of a ballroom, since Milton was writing of the silence of nature resting at night.

quotation from Milton's Paradise Lost (1667):

        th' Eternal mould,
  Incapable of stain, would soon expel
  Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire
    book 2, lines 139-142
  Harkin's (mis)quoted words in bold above.
Milton was writing of heaven's resistance to even the fiercest attacks from hell.


mimosa pudica touch-me-not
A sub-tropical plant (a hothouse plant in temperate climates), which folds up its leaves when touched.


Moll in the Wad
A traditional Irish jig (known also as Moll in the Wood).


Moneymore Fair
"At a fair held in Moneymore on 21 July 1836, for instance, 343 horses were sold at prices varying from three to forty pounds, also 675 cows, 283 sheep, and 117 pigs. Other animals included 17 goats and 47 litters of sucking pigs, none of which cost more than ten shillings. Thirteen asses changed hands at from fifteen to thirty shillings. At the same time, the market was well supplied with linen, linen yarn, flannel, stockings, shoes, gates, crocks, rakes, noggins [wooden container used for storing buttermilk], churns and a hundred and one other things probably sold in both places by the same people travelling from fair to fair. Bedsteads sold at six shillings and sixpence, gates at half-a-crown, wooden pig troughs at eightpence. Itinerants played their part by trying to persuade people that they needed clothes pegs, handmade tin-ware, wire toasting forks and even paper flowers."
  from Hiring Fairs and Market Places, May Blair, Appletree Press 2007.

The Fair Hill is an open green-space to this day; a recent medical-centre encroaches on it, with its associated and expanding carpark - so the fair-hill may not remain green for long.


Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
Irish poet, singer and songwriter; added lyrics to some old Irish airs.


Money in Both Pockets
A traditional Irish reel (known also as Money in Every Pocket).


Henry Munro (1758-98)
leader of a rebel army ("Croppies") defeated at Ednavady Hill, Ballynahinch, in 1798; he went into hiding, but was betrayed, taken to Lisburn, and hanged.


Patrick Murphy (floruit 1800)
Teacher of a classical school in the townland of Moyheelan(d), which includes the eastern part of Draperstown.


Nikolay Pavlovich, Nicholas I of Russia (1796-1855)
suppressed the November Uprising in Poland (1830-31), thus ending Poland's independence.


Off She Goes
A traditional Irish jig (known also by several other titles).


Jack Archy O'Hagan
In Chapter II O'Hagan is introduced as a scholar who found documentary evidence that "Godwino" is an equivalent of the name McGuigan.  In Chapter XVII Hudy describes this claim as "only a gag of Jack Archy's", so perhaps Hudy (or Hugh Harkin) feels that the claim is not to be taken too seriously.  Edward MacLysaght, in The Surnames of Ireland, states that both "Godwin" and "Goodfellow" are sometimes used as anglicised forms of McGuigan.


Aodh dubh Uí Néill, Black Hugh O'Neill (c1611-c1660)
Irish soldier, famous for defending Clonmel in 1650.
A rather remote cousin of Charles Henry St John O'Neill (1779-1841), Hudy's Lord O'Neill.


Charles Henry St John O'Neill (1779-1841), Lord O'Neill
became 2nd Viscount O'Neill 1798, 1st Earl O'Neill 1800.


John O'Neill (1740-98)
elected MP for Co Antrim 1783, with Hercules Rowley;
became 1st Baron O'Neill 1793, 1st Viscount O'Neill 1795.
Father of Charles Henry St John O'Neill, 1st Earl O'Neill, Hudy's Lord O'Neill.


Edward O'Reilly (1765-1830)
Irish scholar, famous for his Irish-English Dictionary (1817)


Paddy Carey
A nonsense song by an anonymous author; 'Magherafelt' is in the chorus simply for its rhyme with 'melt':

  All the sweet faces at Limerick races,
  From Mullinavat to Magherafelt,
  At Paddy's beautiful name would melt,
  The sowls would cry and look so shy,
  Och! cushla machree, did you never see:
  The jolly boy, the daring joy, the darling toy,
  Nimble-footed, black-eyed, rosy-cheeked, curly-headed Paddy Carey.


Thomas Patterson, Thomas Paterson (1770-1838)
Thomas Patterson raised a yeomanry corps in the Salters' proportion (Magherafelt and surrounding country) during the 1798 rebellion. Perhaps this is not the Major P─── intended by Harkin; but he is at least suited to the role!


Paul Pry a farce (1825) by English playwright John Poole (1786-1872)
The eponymous hero is a mischievous meddlesome character, who unwittingly becomes a hero thanks to actions motivated by his ceaseless curiosity.


Jacob Perkins (1766-1849)
American inventor. His inventions included a fully-automatic machine-gun powered by steam (1824), firing up to 1,000 musket-balls per minute.


Petasus, πετασoς Greek
ancient Greek sun-hat, worn (with wings on it) by Mercury, the messenger of the gods.


Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
English poet.

quotation from Pope's Essay on Man, epistle i (1733):

  And, spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
  One truth is plain, 'Whatever IS, is RIGHT'.
    lines 293-294

quotation from Pope's Essay on Man, epistle ii (1733):

  Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
  The proper study of mankind is man.
    lines 1-2

quotations from Pope's Essay on Man, epistle iv (1734):

  O Happiness! our being's end and aim!
  Good, pleasure, ease, content! whate'er thy name:
  That something still which prompts th'eternal sigh,
  For which we bear to live, or dare to die.
    lines 1-4, Harkin's quoted words in bold above

  Honour and shame from no condition rise;
  Act well your part, there all the honour lies.
    lines 193-194

  An honest man's the noblest work of God
    line 248
    quoted by Robert Burns, in stanza xix of The Cotter's Saturday Night (1785)

quotation from Pope's Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady (1717):

  Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
Dull sullen prisoners in the body's cage:
    lines 17-18


William Grattan Tyrone Power (1797-1841)
Irish-born actor, stage name Tyrone Power.


Sir Boyle Roche, 1st Baronet (1736-1807)
He famously excused an absence from Parliament: Mr Speaker, it is impossible I could have been in two places at once, unless I were a bird.
This was possibly not balderdash from Sir Boyle, but a reference to lines in the play The Devil of a Wife (1686) by Thomas Jevon (1652-1688).


The horse ridden (and spoken to) by the eponymous hero of Don Quixote, by Miguel Cervantes.


Hercules Rowley (1737-1796)
elected MP for Co Antrim 1783, with John O'Neill;
became 2nd Viscount Langford 1791.


Duchess of Rutland, born Mary Isabella Somerset (1756-1831)
married Charles Manners (later 4th Duke of Rutland) 1775; daughter of Charles Noel Somerset, 4th Duke of Beaufort.  Rutland was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in February 1784; "her first ball at Dublin Castle" would have followed soon after.


Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (1771-1832)
Scottish poet, novelist and historian; nicknamed "The Wizard of the North".

The Alpine, Roderick Dhu contestant to win the love of Ellen Douglas
quotations from Scott's The Lady of the Lake (1810):

  Speed, Malise, speed! the dun deer's hide
  On fleeter foot was never tied.
    Canto III, stanza xiii, lines 1-2

  By Alpine's soul, high tidings those!
  I love to hear of worthy foes.
    Canto IV, stanza xviii, lines 5-6

  That whistle garrisoned the glen
  At once with full five hundred men,
    Canto V, stanza ix, lines 15-16

  Each looked to sun and stream and plain
  As what they ne'er might see again;
    Canto V, stanza xiv, lines 29-30

  Then foot and point and eye opposed,
  In dubious strife they darkly closed.
    Canto V, stanza xiv, lines 31-32

  And shower'd his blows like wintry rain;
  And, as firm rock, or castle-roof,
  Against the winter shower is proof,
  The foe, invulnerable still,
  Foil'd his wild rage by steady skill;
    Canto V, stanza xv, lines 16-20

James Douglas, "Lord James of Douglas" father of Ellen Douglas.
In Scott's mythologised history, James Douglas is uncle to Archibald Douglas (c1489-1557), 6th Earl of Angus, who was stepfather of and regent for the young King James V of Scotland.

quotation from Scott's The Lady of the Lake (1810):

  When each his utmost strength had shown,
  The Douglas rent an earth-fast stone
  From its deep bed, then heaved it high,
  And sent the fragment through the sky
  A rood beyond the farthest mark;
    Canto V, stanza xxiii, lines 18-22

Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field
quotation from Scott's Marmion (1808):

  A horseman, darting from the crowd,
  Like lightning from a summer cloud,
  Spurs on his mettled courser proud,
      Before the
dark array.
    Canto I, stanza iii, lines 5-8, the arrival of Lord Marmion

The Douglas, Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus (c1449-1513)
quotations from Scott's Marmion (1808):

        and dar'st thou then
  To beard the lion in his den,
  The Douglas in his hall?
    Canto VI, stanza xiv, lines 23-25

  Thanks to Saint Bothan, son of mine,
  Save Gawain, ne'er could pen a line:
  So swore I, and I swear it still,
  Let my boy-bishop fret his fill.
    Canto VI, stanza xv, lines 17-20

quotation from Scott's Rob Roy (1818):

  We downa bide the coercion of gude braid-claith about our hinderlans
    volume 2, chapter 6, Harkin's quoted words in bold above


seven counties
Hugh Harkin's stories do not clarify what is meant by this phrase.  One possible interpretation is based on "The Description of Ireland", from Fynes Moryson's Itinerary (1617), Part III, book 3, chapter V:

Ulster, the fifth part of Ireland, is a large province, woody, fenny, in some parts fertile, in other parts barren, but in all parts green and pleasant to behold, and exceedingly stored with cattle.  The nearest part to the Pale and to England is divided into three counties - Louth, Down, and Antrim; the rest contains seven counties - Monaghan, Tyrone, Armagh, Coleraine, Donegal, Fermanagh, and Cavan.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

quotation from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing:

[Dogberry, a constable, requires the sexton to write down his (rather nonsensical) evidence]
  God's my life, where's the sexton? ...
  O that he were here to write me down as an ass!
    Act IV, scene ii; Harkin's reference in bold above

quotation from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:

  Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war;
    Act III, scene i, line 273 (Mark Antony speaking)

quotations from Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1:

  I am not in the roll of common men.
    Act III, scene i (Glendower speaking)

  The better part of valour is discretion;
    Act V, scene iv (Falstaff speaking)

quotation from Shakespeare's Richard II:

  As in a theatre the eyes of men,
  After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage,
  Are idly bent on him that enters next,
  Thinking his prattle to be tedious;
  Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
  Did scowl on gentle Richard;
    Act V, scene ii, lines 23-28 (York speaking)

quotations from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream:

The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
  Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
  And as imagination bodies forth
  The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
  Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
    Act V, scene i, lines 12-17 (Theseus speaking), Harkin's quoted words in bold above

quotation from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night:

  She sat like Patience on a monument,
  Smiling at grief.
    Act II, scene iv, lines 113-114 (Viola speaking, as Cesario)


Shane Crossagh Ó Maoláin, John Mullan (c1700-c1725)
Outlaw of north County Derry.


Jack Sheppard (1702-24)
A notorious English thief and jail-breaker, popular amongst the downtrodden - and amongst authors and playwrights: the character of Macheath in The Beggar's Opera (1728) is said to have been based on him; and William Harrison Ainsworth's novel Jack Sheppard was serialised in 1839.


Skewball folk ballad, probably from the late 1700s
there are many versions of this song, which seems to be based on an actual race in Ireland between Skewball or Stewball owned by "Squire Mervin", and Miss Portly or Miss Sportly owned by Ralph Gore.


Jan Sobieski, John III of Poland (1629-1696)
famous for his skill in combating the invasions of the Ottoman empire.


source unknown

quoted in various works from 1808 onwards:

  Cut off from Nature's, and from Glory's course,
  Which never mortal was so fond to run.


Laurence Sterne (1713-68)
Irish-born clergyman and novelist.

quotations from Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (9 vols, 1759-67)

  [Corporal Trim, servant of Tristram's Uncle Toby, is forever bowing]
  The corporal made his old bow, which generally spoke as plain as a bow could speak it.
    volume 3, chapter L

  [Corporal Trim, servant of Tristram's Uncle Toby, falls short of his master's expectations]
  Your honour knows, said the corporal, I had no orders;-- True, quoth my uncle Toby,-- thou didst very right, Trim, as a soldier,-- but certainly very wrong as a man.
    volume 3, chapter LI


John Stevenson (c1728-99)
By a fortunate marriage in 1757 to Barbara Jackson of Fortwilliam, Tobermore, he came to possess the Six Towns of Ballinascreen, which he held from the church.  John's eldest son William died in 1786; so it was probably John's second son James who attended the ball, and who had encouraged Hudy's chase across the mountain as described in Chapter XVII.  James is recorded as Captain of the Kilcronaghan militia in 1804, and of the Tobermore militia in 1825 and 1834.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
Irish writer, satirist and cleric; Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

Swift's The Battle of the Books (1704) is a satire on the intellectual battle between Moderns, who held that modern thinking had surpassed the best of classical teaching, and Ancients, who maintained the superiority of the classics.


Talaria Latin
winged sandals worn by Mercury, the messenger of the gods.


The Spectator (first published 6 July 1828, still publishing)
London weekly newspaper on politics, culture, and current affairs.

quotation from The Spectator, issue 7, 16 August 1828:

WE hope the public feel the better for the fine lessons which its best possible instructors the Newspapers have extracted...
  page 6 (page 102 of the year 1828), Harkin's quoted words in bold above


James Thomson (1700-48)
Scottish-born poet; wrote the words of Rule Britannia.

quotation from Thomson's The Seasons (1730):

  Or sigh'd and look'd unutterable things.
    "Summer", line 1188, the love of Celadon and Amelia!


Henry Torrens (1779-1828), Captain Torrens
promoted Captain 1797, Major 1800; eventually rose to Major General 1814.


John Torrens (c1768-1851)
Curate of Ballinascreen (1791) [his guardian and 'uncle' Thomas 'Tom Pipes' Torrens (c1740-97) was Rector of Ballinascreen (1785-97)],
Rector of Badoney Lower, Co Tyrone (1806-13),
Rector of Heynestown, Co Louth (1812-18),
Archdeacon of Dublin (1818-51).


Robert Torrens (1776-1856), the Counsellor
barrister 1798, King's Counsel 1817, judge 1823.
In 1806 he bought land in Ballinascreen, at Derrynoid, near Draperstown; there he built Derrynoid Cottage (later Derrynoid Lodge) in 1809, the year he married a cousin Anne Torrens.
The Counsellor appears to have hosted the ball described in Chapter XVII; but as the ball seems to be set before 1800 (John Stevenson died 30 Nov 1799, and Captain Torrens was promoted Major on 1 Jan 1800), the ball must have been held in some other house in the neighbourhood - perhaps even in the suitably large glebe house (roughly halfway between Draperstown and Tobermore): Robert's father had been Rector of Ballinascreen (1772-85), Robert's guardian and 'uncle' Thomas 'Tom Pipes' Torrens (c1740-97) was Rector of Ballinascreen (1785-97), and Robert's brother John Torrens was appointed Curate of Ballinascreen (1791).


Thomas 'Tom Pipes' Torrens (c1740-97)
Rector of Kilmacrenan, Co Donegal (1777-85); Rector of Ballinascreen (1785-97); Vicar of Magherafelt (1792-97).  He was first-cousin and brother-in-law to John Torrens (c1708-1787), Rector of Ballinascreen (1772-1785); when John Torrens and his wife died, 'Tom Pipes' became guardian to John's younger children, and continued their upbringing in Ballinascreen Rectory.


Isaac A Van Amburgh (1808-1865)
American animal-trainer.


The Wind that Shakes the Barley
A traditional Irish reel (known also by many other names).


This page was last updated 15 Feb 2024