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 … “
Hegarty’s Horse Belfast Newsletter 22nd June 1804
ON Wednesday night the 13th instant, a BAY GELDING, about 14 hands high, eight years old, black mane, and tail set, both hind feet white, hoofs striped, with a small white star on forehead.- Two Guineas Reward will be given to any person who shall deliver said horse to the owner William Hegarty, Knockaneal, Parish of Maghera, or who will give Eight Guineas for Horse and Thief, on prosecuting the Thief to conviction. June 21.