Draperstown, Tobermore, and Maghera Farming Society annual ploughing match

Banner of Ulster – Friday, 10 March, 1843
DRAPERSTOWN, TOBERMORE, AND MAGHERA FARMING SOCIETY. — The annual ploughing match of this Society took place at Macknagh, near Maghera, on Monday, 27th February. The day being favourable for ploughing, great numbers were assembled to witness the proceedings, amongst whom were the Rev. William Spencer Knox, the Rev. James S. Knox, James J. Clark, Esq., R. L. Malverer, Esq., and many other gentlemen who have long very zealously and efficiently exerted themselves in supporting and promoting the interests of the Society. Thirteen well-appointed ploughs started, and finished their respectable lots in due time. The judges — Messrs. David M’Kane, John Brooks, and James Duff — after a most careful and attentive inspection, awarded the Society’s premiums in the following order: — 1st premium and the Silver cup to Mr. Massey M’Elree, plough held by himself; 2d, to Mr. David Kenning, plough held by his son; 3d, to Mr. Samuel M’Gown, plough held by his servant; 4th, Mr. Robert Wallace, plough held by his son; 5th, Mr. Samuel M’Elree, plough held by his servant; 6th, Mr. James Paul, plough held by his servant; 7th, Mr. P. Duffy, plough held by his son; 8th, Mr. T. A. Dickson, plough held by his servant; 9th, Mr. Abraham Kennedy, plough held by his servant; 10th, Mr. W. Young, plough held by his servant. In the evening, the Society met in the Maghera Hotel, and sat down to an excellent dinner, prepared by Mr. Mulholland, in his best style. James J. Clarke, Esq., presided, and in the course of the evening made many useful and highly interesting observations relating to the Society, and the means of extending this usefulness. The cloth being removed, and the health of the Queen and many other loyal toasts being given and duly honoured, the health of the “Judges of the day” was proposed and drank with great enthusiasm, all present vieing with each other in testifying the high opinion entertained of the superior kill skill and integrity of the judges. The health of the several friends and supporters of the Society, some of whom were unavoidably absent, was given and responded to in the most cordial manner. “The successful candidates,” “The unsuccessful candidates,” and many other toasts, were given and replied to in the most friendly spirit imaginable,. Several challenges for stock and crops were given and accepted. The meeting then separated, the greatest harmony and good feeling having prevailed throughout the entire proceedings.

1835 Free Letter to Captain Tennyson d’ Eyncourt of 46th Regiment of Foot

Before Stamps had been invented in 1840, this is how a letter would have looked. This one is a ‘free’ meaning that the person sending it had some kind of priveledge not to have to pay for his or her mail. This letter was posted in 1835 and was addressed to an officer in the 46th Regiment of Foot, who were obviously stationed at Maghera during that year.  This letter was addressed to Eustace Tennyson d’ Eyncourt, who was the youngest and favourite son of Charles Tennyson d’Eyncourt, a Member of Parliament, and it was he who posted the letter to his son. Does that name sound familiar? Eustace Tennyson d’Eyncourt, was the cousin of Alfred Tennyson, later Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson.. he of ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ fame. Unfortunately, this young army Captain died in Barbados in 1842.