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Kilrea Church Memorials

Kilrea Church Memorials (St. Patricks Church of Ireland), County Londonderry

St Patrick’s Church, Kilrea.
Photograph Courtesy John Campbell

Transcribed by Teena from the Association For the Preservation of Memorials of the Dead in Ireland Vol. VII being for the years 1907-09. Published 1910.

Kilrea is the chief town on what was the “proportion of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, one of the London Guilds among which the County of Londonderry was divided at the Plantation.

Sir Toby CAULFIELD, a “servitor,” had some years earlier received a grant of lands, which included Kilrea, but made way for the Companies.

The following passages from a 1609 Inquisition indicate the nature of the Kilrea lands and their connexion with an Armagh Abbey;

“Two acres of glebe land and also the parish of Kilreagh, containing ten balliboes, wherein are both a parson and a vicar presentative; and the presentation of the said parson and vicar, for the space of 170 years past, have appertained to the abbott of SS. Peter and Paul of Armagh’ and likewise the tithes were paid unto the said abbot and his predecessors; and that the said presentation and right of patronage, together with the said tithes of Kilreagh, lately came to the Crown by the said Act of Dissolution of Monasteries.”

“At the Dissolution it was found the said abbot was “seised in his demesne as of fee in right of his house, of and in the four townlands called Kilreagh, in possession of the herenagh O’Demon (hence the name of the church, Kilrea O’Diamond), and two parts of the tithes thereof, and of and in the tithes for the fishing of eels near adjoining to the same and also of and in the two townlands called Monaghgrane, with the tithes thereof in the parish of Kilreagh aforesaid.”

“The church is mentioned in the 1306 Taxation List.”

In 1622, according to ‘The Ulster Visitation Book’, its condition is noted as “repayred by ye Company of Mercers, London;” and the Visitation of 1679 reports it as “in a good state.”

Though the plantation of the district was begun by the Londoners, Scotch colonists formed the main part of the Protestant settlement, with the result that, in the older portion of the graveyard, the monumental inscriptions are nearly all of Presbyterian and Roman Catholic families. Strangely enough, several well-known families in the county buried in Kilrea, but did not erect tombstones.

A family named ADAMS, one of whom was Mayor of Coleraine in 1714, had a seat in the church, and the Mayor was interred in the churchyard.

The family of CHURCH, descendants of the first agent of the Mercers’ Company, had a long connexion with Kilrea and interred there till early in the past century. But no tombstone was ever erected.

An entry in the old vestry book indicates that the Episcopalian families attending the church in 1800 numbered about a score.

‘For farther particulars, see notes by the writer in the “Ulster Journal of Archaeology,” N.S., vol. xii, p. 179; and on the old chalice and bell in this Journal, vol. vi, pp. 389-91’.

A stone inside the old ruin has;

Elizabeth MAGILL Aged 78 years; for 62 years the
faithful nurse & friend of R. H. DOLLING and his family.
This stone was erected at the wish of his youngest child
Ulrica. The Lord is my Shepherd.

R. H. DOLLING Esq., of Huguenot descent, was father of the “Father” DOLLING and was agent of the Mercers’ Company, whose manor house was at Kilrea.

Here lieth, &c;

William SCOTT May 8th, 1807, aged 60.

Mary REA, January 17th, 1802, aged 63.

Edmund McCOSKAR, February 5th, 1763.

Dinis O’KANE, April 28, 1763, aged 57.

Paul DAWSON, infant son of Charles Paul DAWSON Esq., April 9, 1836, aged 2 years.

James PICKENS, August 27th, 1771, aged 32.

John STINSON, December 25, 1837, aged 66.

Henry WALLACE, February 22, 1772, aged 63.

Samuel GRAHAM, May 9, 1817, aged 38.

James GRAHAM, Jan. 20, 1799.

James LENNOX, Sep. 30, 1817, aged 28.

Samuel GREY, Nov. 12, 1779, aged 63.

John GRAY, Feb. 17, 1817.

William GRAY, Dullaghy, July 8, 1851, aged 65.

John HENDERSON, Kilrea, Mar. 19, 1811, aged 75. Also
grandson William HENDERSON, Aug. 22, 1850, aged 16.
Also son John, Oct. 29, 1882, aged 80.

Richard HENDERSON, died 1893.

John HENDERSON, died 1891. (One of this family was seneschal of the manor of Mercers about 1800.)

Thomas HUTCHINSON, Jan. 20, 1823, aged 72, and his wife Mary.

John HUTCHINSON, 1822, aged 42.

Creighton HUTCHINSON, of Monegran, July 2, 1874.

Alexander ADAMS, of Drumagarner, Sept. 26, 1837, aged 56.

William CAR, Feb. 17, 1710.
(This inscription has been re-cut from an almost obliterated one on the other side of the stone which seems to have been 172- instead of 1710. Cf. Robert Ker, of Monegraves (Monegran), in the Subsidy Roll of 1662)

William HUNTER, Jan. 20, 1787, aged 2. (This family of HUNTER’S conducted “The Inn” for a long period.)

Elizabeth GILMORE, July 16, 1791, aged 37.

Robeart McCALLA, May 1, 1777, aged 63.

James McKOY, Mar. 2, 1792, aged 42.

Margret MAYBERRY, Aug. 5, 1783, aged 49, and three children.

John MAYBERRY, Aug. 18, 1824, aged 90.

William McKAY, of Kilrea, Sep. 16, 1826, aged 52.

William SMIRL, of Finvoy, Nov. 1831.

David McCONCHY, Aug. 23, 1807, aged 45.

Thomas CHURCH, Mar. 1800, aged 71.

Bridget CHURCH, July 9, 1839, aged 59.

Sacred to the memory of Bettina, wife of Revd.  W. H.
DICKSON, Prebendary of Rasharkin, & of their beloved
and only son Gilbert William, who died at Haslebrook
on the 13th day of February, 1834 & on the 5th day of
January, 1837.

Erected by their children to the memory of their father
Abraham McNEILL who died 12 November, 1817. &C.

Erected to the memory of Revd. John SMYTH who
departed this life October 178(8). Also his son Robert
SMYTH who departed this life January 1819 aged 72
Also his grandson John SMYTH who departed this life 13
July 1860 aged 72 years.
(The above John SMYTH was Presbyterian minister of Kilrea.)

Sacred to the memory of Rev. Oliver M’CAUSLAND,
formerly rector of this parish who departed this life
1st September A.D. 1846 in the 89th year of his age.

Redmond Conyngham M’CAUSLAND born 17th May 1844
and died 1855. Also the Rev. Redmond Conyngham
McCAUSLAND, M.A. late rector of Desertoghill, born May
9th 1776 and died January 26, 1856.

Jane RICHMOND of Boveedy, died July 1, 1826, aged 18.

Elizabeth WALIS, Feb. 7, 1810, aged 36.

John ATKINSON, July 16. 1803, aged 300.

Erected by John FERRIER of Kilrea, surgeon, to memory
of Margaret, his wife, who died Oct. 30, 1833. Also
the above named John FERRIER who departed this life
May 16th 1841 aged 58 years.
(Their daughter was school-mistress in the village for a long period.)

Alexander CORKER and his father Hugh CORKER.

Erected by Charles M’KAY, M.D, surgeon, to the
memory of his beloved brother William McKAY of Kilrea
who departed 6th December 1860 aged 57. Also of his
brother Alexander who departed 28th April 1883.

Kilrea Church of Ireland, St. Patrick’s gravestones at One Irish Rover