Mudcat Café message #429847 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32544   Message #429847
Posted By: Big Tim
31-Mar-01 - 03:15 AM
Thread Name: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
Thanks friends for you most helpful ideas. I am a member of the United Irishmen website referred to and have copies of all the books, Zimmerman, O'Lochlainn, etc. Jimmy C; re Roddy's religion: there is a tradition that after Roddy's father disappeared (hung or transported) that his mother retreated to Bellaghy across the Bann (her native area, and home of Seaumus Heaney) but later returned to Milltown (Duneane) and remarried, to a man called Orr, thought to be a Presby but definitely not William Orr, executed in 1797, also a native of Milltown. Orr was almost certainly a Presby so maybe this is where the religious difficilty originated. Roddy may have been a Defender (exclusively Catholic) and it is established that Defenders participated in the Battle of Antrim, the rest were almost exclusively Presby plus some Episcopalians, for example Henry Monro. Roddy's mother's maiden name was McErlean so possibly it was a relative who finally turned him in. It is also a "Catholic" name. The McCracken name is of Scottish origin and usually regarded as Prot, I know many folk of that name here in Glasgow and they all support Rangers!!!! Here is the text of the Belfast Newletter report of Roddy's execution, which I got from Queen's Uni in Belfast: "Extract of a letter from Ballymena, Sunday, 2nd March. [1800] Upon Friday last, a most awful procession took place here, namely the execution of Roger[sic]McCorley who was lately convicted at a court-martial, to the place of execution, Toome Bridge, the unfortunate man having been born in that neighbourhood. As a warning to others, it is proper to observe that the whole of his life was devoted to disorderly proceedings of every kind, for many years past, scarcely a Quarter-sessions occurred but what the name of ROGER McCORLEY [sic} appeared in a variety of criminal cases. His body was given up to dissection and afterwards buried under the gallows...thus of late we have got rid of six of those nefarious wretches who have kept this neighbourhood in the greatest misery for some time past, namely, Stewart, Dunn, Ryan,McCorley, Caskey and the notorious Dr. Linn..the noted ARCHER[sic[ will soon be in our Guard-room". {The gang murdered an innocent farmer while robbing his home].There is also a contemporary ballad about Archer, a Ballymena shoemaker who deserted from the Gov Militia and joined the United men and fought bravely at the Battle of Antrim after which he "went to the bad". "Archer the bold mileshyman[militia], turned out in'98, not a sodger o' the king, but his yeo's to bate[beat], Hunted by the bloody Fencibles in places remote, Betrayed was he to die a slave on Ballymena's Moat [Harryville motte in Ballymena, where Ethna C was born]. I have a bit more on Roddy but can't post it all just now. My main source for much of this is a little booklet by a local history teacher[in nearby Portglenone] pubd about 20 years ago called "Roddy McCorley: A Study of Evidence", it is no longer available but I have photocoped much of it, wish now that I had copied the lot. It can though be borrowed thru Northern Ireland public libraries. I have the McCorley family gravestone inscriptions from Duneane Parish Church which disappeared (to vandals?) in 1907, not particularly helpful but very interesting and atmospheric. I have no particular theory to expound or agenda to advance, I am only interested in the historical realty as far as it can be traced. All the best guys.