Adam Clarke’s visit to the Maghera Area

Adam Clarke, the celebrated Methodist preacher, who was born at Moybeg just outside Tobermore in 1760/62, and who lived for a few years just outside Maghera wrote (upon a return visit to the area in circa 1807) “From Castle-Dawson I proceeded toward Maghera, and stopped to view the place where I had spent the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth years of my checkered life. Half the house in which we lived, one of the best in that country, is pulled down I walked through the grounds where I had laughed and cried, sought birds’ nests, looked for fairies’ haunts, made good resolutions, and spent the most happy (and, perhaps, the most innocent) period of my life. Though I had left that place when about eight years of age, yet I remembered every hill and every hedge where my brother and I used to see the fairies’ nocturnal fires. The orchard, from which I had eaten often of the choicest fruit, no longer exists. Zion is ploughed like a field. The emotions to which these scenes now gave birth cannot be described They connect the long interval between four years of age and fifty … To the poor woman I gave three tenpenny pieces, who received them as from heaven, and, addressing the child, said, ‘See, my dear, God has sent you a new coat by this gentleman; and may the blessing of God rest upon him and his family forever! ‘ … We soon got to Maghera, — looking over which before dinner, went to the quondam [former] dwelling of Dr. Bernard, the bishop of Limerick, celebrated in Boswell. This is also in a state of ruin; nothing like its former self, except the great beach-tree. Left the place with reflections not the most pleasant … “

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