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Co. Londonderry Farming Societies

Binevenagh Cliffs: View of the North Coast
Photograph & Comments courtesy of Martin McAlinden
Surveying the vista of the north coast and Benone Strand from the basalt cliffs of Binevenagh Mountain, Co. Derry. The finger of land on the left is the north east coast of Inishowen in Co. Donegal. I’ve already said it but this relatively low hill has some of the most stunning views I’ve seen.

The North-West of Ireland Society which, notwithstanding its dissolution, is still represented in several surviving branches was established on the 17th March 1821 and extended its operations in the promotion of its various objects, through the counties of Londonderry, Tyrone and Donegal. It originated at a meeting of gentlemen residing in Derry, whose views were warmly seconded, by a number of the nobility and gentry of the above counties. The prime object of the Society was to investigate the condition of the district, with a view to the development of its various resources, and their attention was specially directed to the state of the fisheries, manufactures, agriculture and cattle breeding. A school, also for the instruction of boys of the middle classes in the agricultural knowledge necessary to fit them for land stewards, as well as in various branches of an English and mathematical education was, about 10 years ago, established by the Society at Templemoyle about 8 miles from Derry.

The business, as well of the parent society as of its various branches, was conducted by a committee, who met quarterly in Derry and whose proceedings were reported to general meetings convened in April and September. At these general meetings shows of cattle were held, specimens of agricultural produce and rural manufactures exhibited, challenges issued for future competition, and premiums awarded for past success. These last consisted, in the Parent Society, of silver medals and challengeable silver cups – in the Branch Societies, of money and a volume of the Society’s Magazine. Among the minor articles exhibited on such occasions, were butter, cheese, flax, woollen cloth, and imitations of Leghorn hats. No member of the Parent Society was admissible to pecuniary competition in any of the branches. Premiums were likewise offered for the best statistical reports on any parishes within the 3 counties.

In the first year, the number of the subscribers was 220, among these were the Irish Society, who granted a donation of 20 guineas in the outset and an annual subscription of 10 guineas during the pleasure of the Society. In the 2nd year, when the Society proceeded to offer premiums, they found that their funds amounted to 959£ 1s 11½ d., of which the sum of 609£ was allocated for premiums. During the first 4 or 5 years the Society continued to increase in prosperity, it then became stationary for 2 or 3, after which it began to decline. Its dissolution was occasioned by various causes. Some of the members died, others neglected to pay in their subscriptions, and others again, withdrew in disgust at not having been awarded premiums. A few, however, kept together until they felt the inefficiency of strenuous efforts unsupported by numerical strength or pecuniary aid.

The Branch Societies existing in the county of Londonderry are the Londonderry, Tirkeeran, Keenaght and Coleraine. In 1823 the North West Society established a monthly publication in Derry called the North-West Society’s Magazine, which was discontinued in 1825. A newspaper was substituted called the North-West Farmer, which was likewise discontinued on the 1st of July 1826. A 2nd series of the North-West Society’s Magazine was then undertaken, but on the 1st of July 1829 the publication ceased altogether.

14 Nov. 1833 The North-West Farming Society
The annual exhibition of this Society took place at Londonderry, on Wednesday week. It was attended by gentlemen almost exclusively from the County of Derry. The show of cattle was not very imposing, though some fine and valuable animals were exhibited. Among the horses, one of Mr. SWANN’S of Bannbrook, attracted attention, not that it was the largest or best, but on account of its figure and the graceful agility of its action. Of pigs, there were scarcely any. In the evening a number of gentlemen sat down to an excellent dinner in Corporation Hall and passed the evening with that conviviality and interchange of useful information which have always characterised similar meetings.

Adjudication of the premiums;

Horses – To the owner of the best stallion, which shall stand exclusively in the North West district and let to mares from the 1st April 1833, not being a racing horse, a silver medal 5 claimants – awarded to Mr. John M’ILWAIN Jr.

Mares – To the owner of the best brood mare, with her foal at her foot, in the North-West district, not being a racing mare, which shall have been in his or her possession on the let of 1st Apr. 1833, a silver medal – 4 claimants – awarded to Mr. Robert M’CREA

Colts – To the owner of the best colt,or filly bred within the North-West district and which shall have been foaled in his or her possession, not being a racing colt or filly, but one calculated for carriage and saddle purposes, silver medal. 6 claimants – awarded to James WATT Esq.

To the owner of the best two years old colt, or filly, calculated for draft and farming purposes, a silver medal. Only one competitor – awarded to Mr. William BUCHANAN

Bulls – To the owner of the best bull in the North-West district, which shall have been in his or her possession on the 1st Aug. 1833 and shall have served at least 20 farmers cows silver medal – 7 claimants – awarded to Thomas SCOTT Esq.

Cows – To the owner of the best cow in the North-West district, fit for breeding and the dairy, that shall have had a calf within the year, and which shall have been in his, or her possession on the 1st Aug.1833 – 3 claimants a silver medal – awarded to Mr. John LITHGOW

Heifers – To the owner the best heifer, under 3 years old in the North West district, fit for breeding and the dairy, which shall have been in his, or her possession on the 1st Aug. 1833 silver medal – 4 claimants – awarded Mr. John LITHGOW

Rams – To the owner of the best ram in the North-West district, which shall have been in his, or her possession the 1st Sept. 1833, and remain in said district until the 1st Jan. 1834 silver medal  2 claimants – awarded to – W. HAMILTON

Ewes – To the owner of the best pen. (not less than 3) in the North-West district, with reference to fleece and carcase, which have reared their lambs and which shall have been in his, or her possession the 1st Sept. 1833 and remain in the district to the 1st Apr. 1833 following, silver medal 2 claimants – awarded to Mr. William HAMILTON

Boars – To the owner of the best boar in the North-West district, which shall have been in his, or her, possession on the 1st Aug.1833, a silver medal – 2 claimants – awarded to C. GAGE Esq.

Sows – to the owner of the best sow in the North-West district, which shall have been in his, or her, possession the 1st Aug. 1833, a silver medal – 2 claimants – awarded to C. GAGE

Sweepstakes of 10 shillings, for the best two year old bull, awarded to Thomas SCOTT.

Ditto of ten shillings for the best year old bull, James SINCLAIR.

The judges of horses were – M. M’CAUSLAND Esq., Conolly GAGE Esq., and W. MOORE Esq.

Of cattle – James SINCLAIR Esq., Mr. Robert M’CREA and Mr. PATCHEL

Of sheep and swine – Mr. J. LITHGOW, Mr. C. TATE and Mr. Wm. GALLAUGHER (Northern Whig)

The Templemoyle Agricultural School and The North-West Farming Society

This was established at Templemoyle near the village of Muff, on the London Grocers estate, in this county, in the year 1826, by certain noblemen and gentlemen of the north-west district, whose names may be seen in a printed list in the reports of this school published in a number of the Magazine of the North west Farming Society, a work that we would strongly recommend to the notice and attention of the landed interest of Ireland. It was commenced by the purchase of shares of £25 each in the nature of a joint stock company, each subscriber having purchased the number of shares attached to his name in the printed list, making a total with those that have been since added of 110 shares procured and paid for. In addition to this, the Grocers Company paid one half of the building expenses amounting to £1,200; the Irish Peasantry Society of London gave £200; the Irish Society of London £100; and the Fishmongers Company have since contributed another towards the building expenses of this most useful establishment. Thus was commenced, that Irish agricultural school, which now forms a precedent for the whole kingdom, and of which it is said there are but 2 more in Europe; one in Switzerland and the other, we believe, in Prussia.

For this institution the Society rent 120 Conyngham acres of a very indifferent soil, from the Grocers Company and for this farm they pay £121 per annum. The original plan was intended to embrace 2 schools; one classical and agricultural for the higher classes of society, the other on a low scale of expense say £10 per annum for board, washing, lodging, books, and instruction, for the sons of practical farmers on a useful system of practical agriculture and to this, in all probability, will be added, as undoubtedly it ought, when the funds can afford it, the theory and practice of agricultural chemistry, and botany (but particularly the former). The first of these schools has not succeeded, nor is that material, for there is no want of such schools in Ireland, but the latter is doing well, and will prove eminently useful to the most enlightened province of that country. (source – Ireland in the Nineteenth Century 1833)

Tirkeeran is a townland in Desertoghill Civil Parish, and it is also a Barony, connecting to the coastline of North County Londonderry. It is bordered by the 4 other baronies of, Keenaught on the east; on the west, the barony of North West Liberties of Londonderry; and in County Tyrone, to the south-east Strabane Lower and, to the south, Strabane Upper. Villages in the Barony include; Claudy, Drumahoe, Eglinton, Feeny, Greysteel, Lettershendony and Newbuildings.

A Song For the Tirkeeran Farming Society –

Air- The Glorious First of August

Come, let us with the opening year,
Like brothers, one another cheer
To onward speed the plough’s career.
The earth in cultivating.
Tirkeeran foremost in the field,
Maintains its place and scorns to yield,
Each ploughman here, with courage steel’d,
Seems eager for competing.

The gentry brave, our pride and boast,
Are ever with us at their post –
The leaders of a peaceful host,
All for the prize contending.
From Fountain-hill to Faughan banks,
Stout hearted farmers swell our ranks,
Whose skill in culture merits thanks,
With labour science blending.

Oh ’tis a cheering sight to see,
Some twenty ploughmen full of glee,
With ploughs well mounted on the lea,
The signal sound awaiting.
The trying contest to begin,
And view them midst the rural din,
Contend the silver cup to win,
Bright hope each breast elating.

Bright hope each breast elating,
Glendermott blithe and Faughanvale,
Where Spring’s first flow’rets scent the gale,
With any district hill and dale,
Can vie for cultivation.
Then let us fill to Speed the plough,
Care here to night shall cloud no brow,
And may the land we live in now,
Still claim our veneration.

19 June 1834 Tirkeeran Farming Society

Annual Slow of Clover and Perrenial Ryegrass.

The introduction of artificial grasses, says TENNANT, produced something like a revolution in Scottish husbandry. The same observation may, with equal justice, be applied to our own Green Isle; and to no portion of the North-West of Ireland can it be applied with greater propriety, than to the half-barony of Tirkeeran. A very few years previous to the formation of this Society, clover and rye-grass, to any considerable extent, were seldom to be seen, except occasionally within the walled demesne of the wealthy proprietor, while the humble occupant, for the most part, saw them only in a distance and, no doubt, admired them for their unfading verdure, and their early bloom, but they had not yet begun to operate economical examples to the actual cultivator. A complete revolution, however, in this respect, has indeed taken place and this unusually abundant supply for the summer months has been conducive to various other improvements, such as the cultivation of turnips and all the variety of winter feeding, equally valuable and perhaps even more important in the general system.

The practical farmers of Tirkeeran are now fully aware of the impropriety of waiting till an exhausted soil can furnish a new supply of its natural herbage, always miserably deficient in weight and not infrequently, in wholesome nutrition. Sixty of the members of this Society, at least, are this moment, reaping the advantages of artificial grasses, to a greater or less extent, on their respective farms. A few of the most luxuriant fields were shown for the Society’s premiums, on Monday last, when after a tedious and careful examination, the first premium was adjudged by Messrs. HAY, PATTON, and WILLS, to Mr. Samuel CLARK, Waterside.

This Society, no longer a branch of the parent institution, but drawing at present solely from its own resources, has never from its earliest commencement, retrograded a single step, nor has the patriot fire that first kindled it into existance, ever, for one moment, been damped.

The farmers of Tirkeeran although collectively as an independent body of farmers as any in Ulster, are far from being ungrateful for the powerful co-operation which they have hitherto received, in their exertions to forward the cause of improvement. (Derry Sentinel)

Fincairn Road
Looking north-west
Photograph Courtesy Kenneth Allen

2 March 1835 Tirkeeran Farming Society

On Monday last, the 16th ult., the annual ploughing match of the Tirkeeran Farming Society, was held on Fincairn Holm, the property of the Rev. Henry CARSON. The day was mild and favourable. Twenty-two ploughs, all busily engaged in this interesting competition, had attraction sufficient to assemble almost all the gentry and respectable farmers for many miles round, to whom the Rev. proprietor of the grounds gave ample lunch at his seat.

The judges. Messrs. MACKY, CLARK, and GILLILAND returned the following decision, after a patient examination;

1st Mr. Jas. CRAIG
2nd J. A. SMYTH Esq.
3rd Thomas SCOTT Esq.
4th John WILLIS
5th Robert HAY
6th Samuel M‘CLINTOCK Esq.
7th John LITHGOW
8th Thomas BAIRD
9th S. PAINE
10th Henry THOMPSON
11th Edward LITHGOW
12th Ez. HATRICK
13th Alexander NOBLE
14th William BROWN
15th William CRAWFORD

About 50 gentlemen and farmers sat down at 6 o’clock, at CLARK’S Hotel, to an excellent dinner, Thomas SCOTT Esq., in the Chair, Messrs. STEVENSON, SEMPLE and HENDERSON acting as stewards. (Northern Whig)

25 July 1835 – Tirkeeran Farming Society

The annual show of Vetches, the advantages of which are now fully appreciated in this neighbourhood, took place on Monday last. The claimants were numerous and the average weight on the fields exhibited, taken in dry sunshine at noon, was, per Cunningham acre, twelve tons.

The Judges, Messrs. M’CUTCHEON, NOBLE and BROWN, awarded the first premium to Mr. John LITHGOW, Lisnagalvin. It extremely gratifying to know that, in the march of agricultural improvement, our farmers, even in their comparatively limited scale, are following closely in the well directed footsteps of their more extensive neighbours of the sister island.(Londonderry Sentinel)

24 Oct. 1837 Tirkeeran Farming Society

At the late annual exhibition in this Society, the following members were successful among many candidates, viz;

Iron field gates
1st John LITHGOW Lisnagalvin
2nd David M’CUTCHEON

Reclaiming waste land
1st Thomas BAIRD
2nd Alexander BUCHANAN
3rd William CRAWFORD
5th Alexander COWAN

1st David M’CUTCHEON
2nd William CANNING
3rd John TEDLIE
4th John CRAIG
5th John LINDSAY
6th James CRAIG

A challenge between Thomas SCOTT and Henry WIGGANS Esqrs., for the best crop of Aberdeen turnips, not less than 2 acres, was decided in favour of the former. The members, to whom the society are indebted for their valuable time and attention spent in the foregoing adjudication, are Messrs. CRAIG, BAIRD, PAINE, PATTON, ROSS and M’CUTCHEON. (Derry Journal)

10th Mar. 1838 – Tirkeeran Farming Society (Londonderry Sentinel)

The annual ploughing match of this valuable, and we are happy to say, flourishing society took place on Monday last, on Mr. LITHGOW’S farm, Lisnagalvin. It was a fine clear bracing day, a circumstance that attracted a large number of spectators, male and female, to the ground and the land was admirably adapted for the purpose, both from its “lie” and the nature of the soil. At 12 o’clock 27 well-appointed ploughs started and at half past two, the work completed in so masterly a manner as to reflect much credit on the competitors and the society which had called forth their honorable rivalry. The assembled crowd viewed the performances with great interest, and a loud and hearty cheer burst forth as the last furrow was turned. In justice to the hospitality and kindness of Mr. LITHGOW and his family, we should mention that a comfortable lunch was provided at his house and there was no lack of visiters, all of whom were received with the utmost cordiality.

About 50 gentlemen and farmers sat down to substantial and well prepared dinner in the evening, at Mrs. CLARKE’s Hotel. It was old English fare, roast beef and plum pudding, to which the exercise of the day gave a relish which the gourmand may envy, but cannot enjoy.

Among the gentlemen present;

George HILL Chairman
Sir Robert BATESON Bart. Mayor of Derry
Thomas KNOX Esq. High Sheriff
Wm. H. ASH Esq.
John SMYTH Esq.
Ross B. SMYTH Esq.
Archibald M’CORKELL Esq
John WHITE Esq.
Samuel SMYTH, Esq.
Edward COCHRAN Esq
John SEMPLE Esq.

Sir Robert BATESON M.P. President of the Society
Mr. PATCHELL Secretary

The Judges Messrs, CATHER, CAMPBELL and ALLEN read the Judges decision.
The names marked (in brackets) are those of the challengers of the Alexander Cup
1st J. A. SMYTH Esq., holder of the cup the second year in succession
2nd Mr. E. HATRICK
3rd (Leslie ALEXANDER)
4th (Mr. Samuel CRAIG)
5th (Thomas WHITE Esq.)
6th (Thomas SCOTT Esq.)
7th (William EAKIN)
9th Mr. J. HYNDMAN
10th Mr. John LITHGOW
11th Mr. John CRAIG
12th Mr. Samuel PAINE
13th Mr. Edward LITHGOW
14th Mr. Thomas BAIRD
16th (S. M’CLINTOCK)
17th (G. HILL Esq.)
18th Mr. S. FERGUSON
19th Mr. Robert HENRY
20th Mr. James ROSS

The servants who obtained premiums were those of;
Leslie Alexander
Thomas WHITE
Thomas SCOTT

“Photograph courtesy of Allen Reavie”

6 Nov. 1838 – Tirkeeran farming Society

On Monday se’nnight the annual show of turnips took place in Tirkeeran. This crop is much below average. Among 13 candidates, about one-half the usual number, the following were successful;
1st Mr. Christy TATE
2nd John LINDSAY
3rd John LITHGOW
4th Robert FAIRLY
5th James CLARKE
6th Thomas BAIRD
7th Mr. William SEMPLE
8th Mr. James HENDERSON

Much praise is due to each of the claimants for clear and careful tillage and to Mr. TATE, in particular, for half an acre of Aberdeens, yielding the enormous weight of 42 tons. A challenge between Thomas SCOTT and Lesley ALEXANDER, Esqrs., for 5 acres of Swedes, was decided in favour of the former; a challenge between T. SCOTT and John SMYTH, Ardmore, Esqrs. for half an acre of carrots, was also decided in favour of Major SCOTT and a challenge between Lesley ALEXANDER and George HIL, Esqrs., for 2 acres of Hybrids, was decided in favour of Mr. HILL. In the course of their rounds, the Secretary felt it his duty to direct the attention of the Judges, Messrs. John WILLS and James CRAIG, to a 4 acre field of turnips on the lands of Brookhill, the property of J. H. BROOKE, Esq., unmatched in luxuriance, perhaps, in any part of the district. A general meeting of this Society will be held at Mrs. CLARK’S, Waterside, tomorrow. The annual show of flax will take place at 10 o’clock in the morning. Marcus M’CAUSLAND Esq., of Fruithill, having his splendid mansion nearly completed, entertained on Thursday, for the 3rd time, the several workmen employed in its erection. (Derry Journal)

Wed. 13 Nov. 1839 – Tirkeeran Farming Society

Show of Turnips

In order to show the height to which cultivation is carried in a district so famous for the cultivation of turnips, we, on this occasion, give the entire list of competitors, so far as, in culture and produce, they appeared to have merit. Premiums were awarded to those marked in “Brackets”, in the order in which they are named.

The figures show the weight of bulbs, in tons, per Cunningham acre, taken on an average part of each field, the variety, red or yellow-topped Aberdeen.

1st (TATE), Kilfennan (50)
2nd (LITHGOW) Lisnagalvin (17)
3rd (FAIRLY) Muff (46)
4th (LYNDSEY) Ardnabrocky (44)
5th (BAIRD) Kilfennan (40)
6th (FERGUSON) Mantua (39)
7th (COWAN) Greenan (38)
8th (STEPHENSON) Tullyally (36)
9th SEMPLE Gortree
10th ROSS Lisneal
11th PATCHELL Ardlough
12th M’CUTCHEON Lisneal
13th HENDERSON Lisdillo
14th HATRICK Glebe
15th CANNING Ervy
16th COWAN, Clommacane
Judges Messrs.- John MILLS and James CRAIG

Unclaimed Waste Land
1st Mr. Thomas BAIRD
2nd Mr. David M’CUTCHEON
3rd Mr. John LITHGOW
4th Mr. James CANNING
5th Mr. William CANNING
Judges Messrs. F. A. ROSS and Samuel PAINE

Fences built within the last 2 years
1st Mr. Jas. CANNING
2nd Mr. David M’CUTCHEON
3rd Mr. Richard CRAIG
4th Mr. William SEMPLE
5th Mr. James CRAIG
6th Mr. John CRAIG
Judges – Messrs. John TEDLIE and Thomas BAIRD

Field Gates
1st Mr. James Canning

We understand that the General Meeting of the Society will be held at Clarke’s Hotel, on the first Wednesday of December. The annual show of flax will take place 10 o’clock on the same day. (Londonderry Standard)

Londonderry District farming Society

The Londonderry District Farming Society, which confines its operations to the west side of the Foyle, was founded on the 5th of December 1821. The times of meeting are in December and January, but on no fixed days. Ploughing matches take place in February or March and cattleshows on the 1st of October. Crops are also viewed, but at no specified time, in 1835, the inspection took place on the 5th of November. The present number of members is 85 and the funds amount to 43£.

Magilligan and Lough Foyle
Photograph & comments courtesy Carroll Pierce
Taken from the viewpoint at Gortmore, Co Derry, I am looking west across the Magilligan coastal plain to Lough Foyle and the Inishowen Peninsula, Co Donegal, beyond. The A2 seacoast road makes a distinctive cut across the plain connecting Limavady with Benone, Downhill and Castlerock.

24 Sept. 1831

The cattle show of the Londonderry Branch of the North West Farming Society was held on Monday last, in the cow Market, when the following premiums were adjudged, viz;

Ayrshire cows
1st D. BROWN
2nd M. LLOYD

Ayrshire Heifers, 2 years old
1st David BROWN
2nd James BROWN
3rd Joseph DYSART

Ayrshire heifers, 1 year old
1st Mr. M’ILWAIN
2nd David BROWN
3rd James BROWN
4th M. LLOYD

Irish cows
1st Joseph THOMPSON
3rd M. LLOYD

Irish heifers, 2 years old
1st Mr. M. LLOYD

Irish heifers, one year old
1st M. LLOYD
3rd Mr. Joseph DYSART

Bulls, one year old
 2nd M. LLOYD

Breeding sows
1st M. LLOYD
2nd  Joseph THOMPSON

A great improvement was visible in the appearance of the cattle shown this year as compared with those shown on former occasions. The Judges were – Mr. William MOORE, Mr. M’CLEERY and Mr. WALLACE (Londonderry Sentinel)

Sat. 25 July 1835 Londonderry District Farming Society
The inspeclion of vetches of the above Society took place on Saturday last, when the following gentlemen, Messrs. James M’lLWAINE, William M’CORKELL and Alexander BROWN, appointed by the competitors to act as judges, awarded the premiums as follows;

First Class
1st premium of £1 to Mr. James BROWN of Ballyarnett
2nd 15s. to Mr. William MACKY Gallagh

Second Class
1st premium, 15s, to Mr. John ALLEN of Whitehouse
2nd 10s., Mr. Richard WILEY Callagh

10th Mar. 1838 Londonderry District Farming Society

The Ploughing Match of this society came off yesterday, at Killea Glebe, where 14 ploughs started for the premiums.-The work was executed in the first style and the judges awarded the prizes as follows;

1st Mr. Alexander CROCKET
2nd Wm. SMYTH Esq.
3rd A. BABINGTON esq.
4th Richard HARVEY Esq.
5th Mr. Wm. OSBORNE
6th Andrew BOND Esq
7th Mr. John M’CORKELL
9th Mr. James MOTHERWELL
10th Robert M’CLINTOCK. Esq
11th Mr. Walter M’LUCAS
12th Mr. John M’lLWAIN

In the evening several members of the society sat down to a sumptuous dinner at FLOYD’S Hotel, Sir Robert BATESON in the chair, Andrew Bond, croupier and the evening was spent in the most convivial and agreeable manner. A number of toasts were proposed, and a few challenges given and accepted. The judges of the match were Messrs. FYFFE, CAMPBELL and CRAIG. (Londonderry Sentinel)

10 Oct. 1837 Londonderry District Farming Society

The following is the list of Prizes adjudged at the late Cattle show:

Milch Cows
1st David BROWN
2nd Anthony BABINGTON
3rd William MACKEY

1st William D. SMITH
3rd James WILSON

2 year Old Long-horned Heifers
1st John M‘lLWAIN
2nd David BROWN

1 Year Old Long-Horned Heifers
1st George BABINGTON
2nd David M’CLEARN

Short-Horned 2 Year Old
1st William D. SMITH
2nd Anthony BABINGTON

Short-Horned 1 Year OLD
1st Anthony BABINGTON
2nd James M‘lLWAIN

1st Caldwell MOTHERWELL
2nd William MACKEY

1st Caldwell MOTHERWELL

2nd John M’lLWAINE

1st Caldwell MOTHERWELL

Mares and Foals
2nd George BABINGTON (disqualified for having obtained 1st premium last year)
3rd John M’lLWAINE
4th David M’CLEARN
5th Walter M’LUCAS

2 Year Old Colts and Fillies
1st Andrew BOND
2nd John ALLEN
3rd Walter M’LUCAS

1 Year Old Colts
1st George BABINGTON
2nd William D. SMYTH
3rd Walter M’LUCAS

1st John M’lLWAINE (disqualified in consequence of an informality in the printed regulations.)

D. M’CURDY, Thomas WHITE, and John LITHGOW Esqrs.

Several members of the Society dined together in the evening at Floyd’s Hotel, where they were provided with an excellent repast. Sir R. A. FERGUSON Bart. M. P. presided.

The following challenges were given:

Mr. William D. SMYTH purposes to show at the next ploughing match of this society, a year-old colt, for one sovereign. Accepted by Mr. George BABINGTON

Mr. Anthony BABINGTON purposes to show at the next general cattle show, a year-old colt, for half a sovereign. Accepted Mr. Joseph DYSART and Mr. John M’lLWAINE.

Mr. A. BABINGTON bets one sovereign that he will obtain more of the society’s premiums next year than Mr. Wm. D. SMYTH. Accepted by Mr. W. D. SMYTH (Derry Journal)

Kenaught (Keenaught, Keenaght) Farming Society

Keenaght is a townland in the civil parish of Kilcronaghan, and a barony in the mid-northerly third of County Londonderry,and connects to the north coastline. The barony of Coleraine lies to the east; to the West, Tirkeeran; Loughinsholin to the south-east and to the south-west, in Strabane Upper in County Tyrone. it contains the village of Ballykelly, and the towns of Dungiven and Limavady.

Song for the Keenaught Farming Society

Air- Garryowen

The swift wheels of time, in their silent career,
Have brought round the day that assembles us here,
The laurel to place, on the proud Victor’s brow
And drink, in full bumpers, Success to the Plough
Each ploughman undaunted, who enters the field;
Contends for the victory, scorning to yield;
But when the sharp contest is finally o’er,
Like brothers in friendship, they meet as before.
Then let us together in harmony now
Fill up for the toast of “Success to the Plough”
In hope till the land, and in hope the seed sow,
And may no good farmer despondency know.

The vallies of Kennaught so fertile and fair,
When well cultivated with skill and with care.
Of wheat, oats, and barley, a yield will bring forth,
Unequalled by any rich vale in the North.
The swift river Roe may for beauty contend,
With Bann, Boyne, or Shannon and for a true friend
Brave men, and chaste damsels, blithe, handsome, and free,
Surpassed Aughanloo, and Myroe cannot be.
Then let us together

The railway with Derry, connecting Coleraine
Some thousands of acres for tillage will gain,
Of slobland, reclaimed from the flow of the tide,
And make Limavady of Erin the pride.
Here money and food shall in plenty abound,
And work at good wages, for all will be found
Prosperity, pleasure, and happiness bring,
And farmers contented and joyously sing.
Then let us together

The Most Noble Marquis, the lord of the soil
From lofty Benbradagh to shore of Lough Foyle
Has ‘Live and let live’ proved his motto to be,
With landlord and tenant each in his degree,
His health we will drink and the landlords around,
Who have to their tenantry cheapened the ground,
That still in their places, our farmers may stand,
And thrive, in despite of free trade, in the land.
Then let us together

Magilligan rocks, and the fam’d Tamlaghtard,
Where long lived bold Graham, of Derry the bard,
For picturesque beauties, delighting the eye
With landscapes much noted, may fearlessly vie.
Finlagan, Bovevagh, and rich Drumachose,
With hilly Balteagh, united to those,
Could furnish some thousands of yeomanry true,
As ever the sword of the patriot drew.
Then let us together, in harmony now,
Fill up for the toast of ‘Success to the Plough’,
In hope till the land, and in hope the seed sow,
And may no good farmer despondency know.

Tue. 10 Mar. 1829 Kenaught Farming Society

The 8th annual Ploughing Match of the Kenaught Branch of the North-West Society was held in a field belonging to A. SAMPSON Esq. of Drummond near Newtownlimavady on the 12th ult. The day proved remarkably fine, which induced a large assemblage to witness this interesting and instructive competition.

Mr. H. IRWIN who held his own plough won the silver cup for the 2nd time

The 1st premium, an implement, value £2, was awarded to Mr. John MARTIN, ploughman, James SPALLON

The 2nd ditto, £1 10s. to Mr. John Kerr, ploughman, James M’LAUGHLIN
The 3rd £1 5s. to Mr. James CAMPBELL ploughman, Robert SIMPSON
The 4th £1, to Mr. Wm. PATTON, ploughman, John HILLAST
The 5th 15s. to Mr. Samuel LIMRICK, ploughman, James KITSON
The 6th 10s. to Mr., Wm. PATTON, ploughman David M’KEE
The 7th a volume of the N. W. Magazine, to Mr. Wm. WILSON, ploughman, James DEERING

The successful ploughmen are entitled to receive £3 amongst them.
A handsome collation was prepared in Mr. SAMPSON’S new house, to which the gentlemen and respectable farmers who were hospitably invited, did ample justice. At 6 o’clock, a numerous party of gentlemen and farmers, amounting to upwards of 50, dined together, at the King’s Arms, Newtownlimavady. (Belfast Newsletter)

Londonderry chimney stack at Roe Valley
Photograph courtesy of by Allen Reavie

Page compiled, transcribed & extracted by Teena from those noted sources noted and –

Poetical Remembrancer: Consisting of Poems, Historical and Miscellaneous, Including Agricultural and Other Songs by Robert YOUNG 1854

Ordnance Survey of the County of Londonderry 1837