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|Roger Magenis Will
Uncle of Jane Magenis Marmion
|Stories of Mourne Marmions|
|Tom Cunningham Research|
Certainly the family were very heavily into Flax growing right up to the second WW. -- one benefit of flax was that it was harvested relatively early, bound into bundles and put into a water filled ditch, known locally as a 'shuck' which was usually close to a stream or river,.This process went under the term retting. You knew where and when by the intensity of the smell ! When the outer layer had rotted off the inner fibres were then sent to the mill - Christopher Marmion- and bleached. Milling determined the quality of the cloth and bleaching was used to improve the saleable attraction. As mentioned previously the Marmions had financial interests in a mill or mills near Newry. Probably in excess of 90% of all linen from Ireland came from the North and that principally County Down. The Mourne soil was probably the best.The advantage of the early cropping of Flax lay with the undersowing with grass so there was good feeding for the cattle from July on. From a very early time rotation of crops was practiced. -Dr. V Marmion
|Ballymagart Mill, and Millhouse (below)once owned by James and Christopher Marmion then Alexander and
Mary (Marmion) Macdonell. Ballymagart Mills are situated in a valley to the west of Ballyardel Road; near the White Water River (Grid Reference J 277143). They are reached by a lane which in earlier days resounded to the rattle of horses and carts bringing flax to be scutched, and grain to be ground. D. Nicholson
|"Bellhill" aka "Belmont" at Ballyardel
This beautiful house was demolished about 25 years ago. James and Jane went to live here in 1825/6. We cannot be sure that this was the original house but we do know that this was the house from which their grandsons - Patrick and Thomas Dowdall lived in 1889. The brothers' mother Bessy who was a daughter of James and Jane married a John Walter Dowdall. Bessy and John came into possession of this house about 1850. This photo was taken about 1950. T. Cunningham
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| "Janebrook" above
Marmion home at Lurganconary.
This is the site James and Jane lived on
before moving to Bellhill in 1825/6.
|Wolfe Tone famously said, "From my earliest youth I have regarded the connection between Ireland and Great Britain as the curse of the Irish nation, and felt convinced, that while it lasted, this country would never be free or happy. In consequence, I determined to apply all the powers which my individual efforts could move, in order to separate the two countries."|
|"We know of only one definition of freedom; it is Tone's definition, it is Mitchel's definition, it is Rossa's definition. Let no man blaspheme the cause that the dead generations of Ireland served, by giving it any other name and definition other than their name and their definition." -- Padraig Pearse|
|In honor of our ancestor's struggle to be free, two favorite quotes:|
|Thank You to Dr Vincent Marmion for use of the pictures.|
|The family lived at Ballyardel (Ballyardle)2km W of Kilkeel; 348 acres; means ' Ardal's townland
';part of the Bagenal Estate in 1540; in 1659 there were 6 Irish people living here & it was owned by Richard Houston Esq.
Thanks to Ros Davies
|Massforth Church, burial grounds
for the Marmion Family in Kilkeel
|photos Tom Cunningham|
|photo Myles Shortall|
|click any of the photos to enlarge|
|James Marmion's son in law Alexander Macdonnell inherited the Ballymagart, shortly after in 1835 there was a fire in the mill.|
|photo Fiona Jones|
|Lady of Lourdes Church photo Fiona Jones|
|James Marmion married Jane Magenis, from Ballella, further north in the Co. Down about 30k from Kilkeel. She came from what had been quite a wealthy family. The name "Ballella" was applied to a district which contained a number of townlands, it had no definable boundary.
This family was a junior branch of the "Magenis family of Iveagh". Involvement in wars and rebellions had cost them dearly, most of their lands having been confiscated. Janeís brother John succeeded in being elected as one of the Co. Down representatives to the Catholic Convention or the "Back Lane Parliament", as it was known, which met in Dublin in 1792. The elections for this body were conducted after Sunday Mass. At this time in most Co. Down parishes Mass was celebrated out of doors or in private houses, only a small number had churches.
The Catholic Convention sought the removal of various penal laws which operated against the Catholic interest. A petition was drawn up for submission to the King and John Magenis was one of the signatories. He was later suspected of being one of the principal leaders of the "Defender" movement. This body together with the United Irishmen were involved in the 1798 rebellion.
James Marmion took his new bride home to Mourne to reside at Lurganconary and called his house Janebrook in honour of her. Her uncle Roger, Janeís father having died, arranged a marriage dowry of £400 and the usual marriage settlement was entered into and witnessed among others by her two brothers John and Roger Magenis.
1890s Leases in "1813 Kilmorey Rental."
Lease dated - 1 November 1792. Term - 41 years.
Lives; Richard, William and James Marmion.
Rent - £11.12.10. Would set at (in 1813) £38.00.00
Lease dated 1 Oct 1793. Term - 41 years.
Lives; Thompson, Moore and Stevenson.
Rent - £14.16.08. Would set at £55.00.00
This was the farm Richard passed on to his nephew Christopher in 1803, yet Richardís name still on the rental.
In a later land transaction (1825) we find a Patrick and James Marmion taking a lease, in October 1793, on a Lurganconnery farm of 30a.1r.4p, for 41 years and for the lives of Charles Lewis and Peter Doran. The third life which had passed away was not named.
The James mentioned in the above lease we know to be James of "Janebrook" since he later disposed of his half share. The Patrick may have been a brother. When James sold his share (1825), Patrick was deceased as was a William who succeeded him. The farm most probably lay adjacent to the house.
The Marmion Family pages are located further down on the left. If you are intrested in your own family page, contact us.
I would like to thank Tom Cunningham for his significant contribution in uncovering our family history, without him, the above info and this page would not exist.
April 18th 1850 in his 85th year, Christopher Marmion at his residence Dunnavan, Mourne, County Down. By his death
the strongest link is broken that bound his parish the respect and reverence of the present generation to the disinterested patriotism
of those who periled their all for country in "98" it was well known and well remembered that he was "out" the memorable year
and when it's storm had passed away he was loved by his friends for his truth and respected by hus enemies for his humanity on that occasion.
8 May 1850 Freemans Journal
|Click: So what was Linen used for?|
|left: Bell Hill, home of James and Jane (nee Magenis) Marmion
consisted of house and farm plus 73 acres,in the Kingdom of Mourne,
the townland of Ballyardel which consisted of 348 acres, in the Civil Parish of Kilkeel.
see map of the area