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  • 16 Dec. 1843 News of the Day

16 Dec. 1843 News of the Day

(Some News of the Day) Transcribed by Jane from The Belfast Commercial Chronicle Saturday, December 16, 1843.

Destruction of a Flax Mill by Fire –

On Tuesday night last the Courtrai flax mill, the property of Mr. John
M’KEE, Tassagh, near Keady, Co. Armagh, was, we regret to say, entirely destroyed by fire. The conflagration was observed about ten o’clock at night, when the mill was at work, and was we learn altogether accidental. The gudgeon of a fly shaft became so much heated as to ignite some “flowings”, and in a few minutes the whole premises were enveloped in flames, and, as might naturally be expected, every exertion to stop the progress of the destructive element proved useless. There was at the time, a
considerable quantity of scutched* and unscutched flax in the mill, which was all consumed, but we are happy to be able to say, that the stack yard in which there was flax, amounting to several thousand pounds in value, was saved, owing to the praiseworthy exertions of the workmen and others who came to their assistance, as the flax had caught fire there several times, but the fire was each time got under, and the whole of the flax in the yard eventually saved.

This is, we understand, only the second season for Mr. M’KEE to be engaged in dressing flax, and his mill had obtained a high character, as he had, on more than one occasion been a successful competitor for the Flax Improvement Society’s premium for best handled flax, and also obtained a premium at the last meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society in this town. This makes the loss which he has sustained the more to be regretted. We have not heard whether the mill was insured or not.

*[Scutching is one step in the processing of flax in preparation for spinning. It separates the impurities from the raw material. Information from Wikipedia.]

On Monday, the 11th inst, the Congregation of the United Secession Church of Scotland, College- square, North, Belfast, gave a unanimous call to the Rev. Thos. M. LAURIE, Minister of the Secession Church, Partick, Glasgow.

Fever Hospital –

We understand that, on Sabbath last, a collection was made in the Presbyterian Church, Townsend-street, in behalf of the funds of the Fever Hospital, when the sum of £19 was raised in behalf of the most important and useful institution.

Merchant Seamen’s Fund –

We beg to direct the attention of the public to an advertisement in our
columns of an inteneded meeting of the Ship Owners and Masters of this Port, to elect trustees for the management of the fund for the ensuing year.

The present trustees are; Esquires.





George M’TEAR



Robert BOYD



Charles PEYTON




The contributions to this fund have been received and applied by the Collector of the Customs for the time being, under the immediate direction of the trustees, to the relief of sick, hurt and worn out mariners, and the widows and children of masters and mariners killed, &c. in the merchant service. The amount expended for those purposes since the commencement
of the fund to the 31st Dec. 1842, is upwards of £3,500, and between the latter date and the 12th inst. the payments have exceeded £900. The number of persons now on the pension list is 288, consisting of widows and children, and worn-out and disabled seamen; and notwithstanding the large sums which have been expended for their relief, the trustees, who perform their duty gratuitously, have been enabled to accumulate £2000, which has been placed at interest in the Government Funds and Ballast Corporation Bonds, for the benefit of the institution.

Flax Improvement Society –

At a Committee meeting of this Society, on Wednesday last, it was resolved
that an inquiry should take place on next Wednesday into the claims set up by Mr. WALSH, of Mountnorris, and Mr. HENRY, of Glenburn, Keady, to the merit of inventing the flax-breaking machine for which a prize of £25 was awarded to the latter, by the Society, at the last annual meeting.

Three Lives Saved by Coast Guards –

We are informed that in a heavy squall on the 6th inst. a pilot boat
containing three men was upset off Cranfield Point, near Kilkeel. Three of the coast guard, having observed the accident, at the imminent risk of their own lives, put off in their boat, and, to the admiration and astonishment of all on shore, succeeded in saving the lives of those who were in such deadly peril. Too much praise cannot be given to the gallant fellows for their humane and courageous conduct. Their names are David LOGAN, Samuel ADAMS, and Daniel SULLIVAN. [from the Newry Telegraph]

Mr. SPROUL, author of a treatise on Agriculture and editor of the Farmer’s Journal, has been awarded the Royal Dublin Society’s gold medal for the prize essay on flax cultivation. This young gentleman was also successful some months past in his essay on manures. We feel proud of Mr. SPROUL, as of the north of Ireland, and from his connection with Enniskillen. [from the Fermanagh Reporter]

The Land Commission –

We understand the office of secretary to this commission has been given to
Captain James Pitt KENNEDY, brother to the President of the late Dublin Law Institute. We understand that this appointment, which was made so far back as last week, was entirely unsolicited upon the part of Capt. KENNEDY, and must, of course, be the more flattering to that gentleman for that reason. [from D. E. FREEMAN]

Miss GORE, Daughter of the well-known authoress, is shortly to be untied to Harvey FARQUAR, Esq.


On 11th inst. at Edenmore, county of Down, the lady of the Rev. Thomas H. MONTGOMERY, of a son.

On the 13th inst. in Fitzwilliam square, the lady of Sir Beresford B. M’MAHON, Bart. of a daughter.


On the 14th inst. at St. Ann’s Church, Belfast, by the Rev. Thomas Walker, Vicar, Henri BUSHRA (BUSBRA?), Esq., LL.D. to Miss WARD, daughter of the late John Ward, Esq., Belfast.

On the 13th inst. by the Rev. Professor Wilson, Mr. R. MILLIKEN, to Miss Isabella JOHNSTON, both of Belfast.

On the 1st inst. by the Rev. Josiah Wilson, Mr. James HAMILTON, Verner-street, to Miss Mary Ann ORR, Linfield-road.

On the 11th inst. by the Rev. Thomas Toye, Mr, John BROWN, Sandy-row, to Miss Ann SPENCE, fourth daughter of Mr. John Spence.

On the 8th inst. in Aughnacloy Church, by the Rev. Mr. Brabazon, John BELL, Esq., of Leggarow, to Elizabeth, only daughter of the late William WATSON, Esq., of Tullyvarr, co. Tyrone

On the 24th inst., at Loughgiel Church, by the Rev. Stephenson Hunter, Mr. Francis O’CAIN to Margaret, eldest daughter of Mr. Daniel THOMSON, Culbane Mills.

Dec. 12, by special licence, at Castlepark, by the Rev. Robert King, Rector of Kilmore, Robert King PIERS, Esq. only son of Edward Piers, of Gloster-street, in the city of Dublin, Esq. and nephew of the late Sir Robert King, of Charlestown, in the county of Roscommon, Bart. to Henrietta Caroline, youngest daughter of the Right Hon. Baron RICHARDS.


Dec. 7, in Cheltenham, after a few days’ illness, Mrs. SEMPLE, relict of A. Semple, Esq. Malahide, and sister to the late Wm. LEGGE, Esq. Malone house, Belfast.