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From: "Cliff. Johnston" <>
Subject: Re: FER-GOLD Protestant reaction to 1829 Emanicpation
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 18:29:17 -0500
References: <245ad2a0907011325l7ecf3366jf3b7158b3aecbdcc@mail.gmail.com>


Ruth,

Many thanks for posting this as it explains exactly why my ancestors left
Ireland for Upper Canada. Everything fits in rather nicely - the year, oral
family history regarding religious unrest, etc.. I had been having some
difficulty prior to your post determining just why my gggrandfather and his
family left Ireland. Oral family history was sketchy, referring to
religious differences and unrest. Another source indicated that he was a
peace-loving man who got fed-up with the political-religious climate in
Ireland. I could find no evidence of religious prejudice on my family's
part as there was considerable intermarriage with R.C.'s, and the entire
family was bilingual, speaking English and French. It was to my dismay when
I found out that my father and I were the first to not speak French
fluently. The things that one learns... :-)

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ruth McLaughlin" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 3:25 PM
Subject: FER-GOLD Protestant reaction to 1829 Emanicpation


The Irish Protestant reaction to the 1829 Catholic Relief Act is of
particular interest to me since this Catholic emancipation seems to
have led to Protestant emigration from some parts of Ireland to
America and Australia in the years immediately surrounding it. I
wonder about Fermanagh. I'd appreciate hearing about good online (and
otherwise) sources on this topic of emancipation causing emigration.
Barry Bradfield referred to it in a post a few months ago about why so
many Protestants left Leitrim in 1832 when he said:
"The migration of 1832...was as a result of Catholic Emancipation in
1829. In 1831/1832 there were riots etc in Leitrim due to certain
murders of Catholics of which many swore that they had seen Militia
rifles used and that the projectile was of a calibre only used by the
Militia [militia members being largely Protestant]...."

In this context and trying to google creativeIy(!), I came upon the
fascinating Fermanagh story of the "Macken Fight," written Michael
McManus, Project Coordinator of the McManus YDNA Project, DNA
Heritage. Perhaps you all know this story, but in case some of you do
not, I'll condense some intro here and and the rest of it can be read
at: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/axhsk5/macken.htm

"After Catholic emancipation had been granted in 1829 a well known
'party fight' took place that year at Macken, Fermanagh. The Catholic
Emancipation Act became law in 1829 and allowed Roman Catholics to sit
in Parliament and to hold all offices under the Crown [with some
exceptions]...

'The New Reformation' of 1827 was a Protestant movement against
Catholic emancipation in Ireland and it had sprung up at the end of
1826 in County Cavan. Apart from denying them emancipation, many
Protestants wanted to convert Catholics and...450 Catholics were
converted in Cavan and they publicly renounced their faith in various
Protestant churches. The movement obviously caused much friction in
the communities and one side acted as badly as the other — Protestants
tried to force Catholics to conform, and Catholics tried to persuade
ex-Catholics to return to Catholicism.

The New Reformation movement spread to Fermanagh and Lord Enniskillen
was one of its great supporters. According to one account, he ordered
his Catholic tenants to attend Protestant church services or be
evicted from their land. Three families, the Duffys, the Maguires and
the MacManus's, must have refused because they were evicted.... So, at
the time of the Macken Riot there was a polarisation of the usual
religious and political conflict which had been going on in Ireland
for many centuries.

There are several accounts of the Macken engagement...One of the most
balanced accounts appears to be Livingstone from which a few facts
seem clear. In the evening of July 13th, 1829 there was a battle
between Catholics and Protestants at Macken in which four Protestants
were murdered. Nineteen Catholics were later charged for their part
in the affair. One of them, Ignatius McManus [of Corcnacrea], was
hanged and most of the remainder, including Patrick McManus, were
transported to Botany Bay, Australia.

For the details of the event itself, the different versions of the
goings-on, and its results, go to:
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/axhsk5/macken.htm

Ruth (Ottawa)

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