Extracts from diaries kept by William Loftie, Esq. of Tandragee, who was born in the year 1700 and died in 1775. These diaries were continued by his daughter, Mrs. Grace Brown, Tandragee. Many of the early entries are so faded that they are indecipherable, but those which are legible are not without interest to local social historians. These include the following
1747 - In that year when the harvest in Ireland was almost all destroyed by continuous rain.
1762 - Insurrection of Hearts of Oak.
1772 - Insurrection of Hearts of Steel and the attack on Gilford House.
8 January, 1783 - Leslie Creery born.
10 January, 1783 - Much thunder and lightning at night.
16 January, 1783 - Miss Campbell eloped with Mr. Kerr and married.
22 January, 1783 - Grand Peace established.
31 January, 1783 - Mr. Andrew Crozier of the Parke, Gilford, died.
5 February, 1783 - Mr. Bole's auction.
11 February, 1783 -Mr. Creery shot off the end of his finger firing at rats.
3 July, 1783 - 29 cart loads of oatmeal from Government arrived in Tandragee, guarded by the Clare Volunteers, to be distributed to the poor.
10 September, 1784 - Edward Johnston, Esq., left Tandragee accompanied by several of the principal tenants.
20 October, 1784 - Auction at the Castle (Tandragee) of Mr. N. Johnston's effects.
2 November, 1784 - Mr. Goodley came to the Castle as Agent.
1 May, 1786 - I went to school at Newry to Mr. Corbett and lodged with the Misses Parker. (Details relating to this school then follow.)
Corbett's Mercantile Academy : youth are boarded and carefully instructed in spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, book-keeping, mensuration, guaging, surveying, navigation, dialling, the use of the globes, Euclid's Elements and Algebra, at 16 guineas per annum and one guinea entrance. Also Latin and Greek, fencing, drawing, French and music at the small additional charge of a guinea per quarter each and half a guinea entrance.
13 June, 1787 - Mr. Wesley preached at Tandragee.
1 July, 1790 - Centenary Commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne.
17 September, 1790 - Mr. Arthur Loftie and his daughter Mary - now Mrs. Law - came home.
23 December, 1790 - Dr. Patton married Miss Martin.
11 May, 1791 - John Loftie appointed to Mr. McCreight, Attorney.
16 August, 1793 - G. W. Patton born.
10 March, 1793 -My grandmother, Mrs. Brown, died aged 79.
21 September, 1793 - Col Sparrow arrived in Tandragee first time.
12 July, 1788 - The first parade of Orangemen ... town illuminated. A Volunteer Review at Armagh by Lord Charlemont.
1 August, 1789 - A Volunteer Review at Dawson's Grove.
29 August, 1789 - A Dejeuner and Dance given by Mr. Godby.
4 September, 1783 - I was confirmed by the Archbishop of Dromore, Dr. Perey.
9 February, 1788 - A company of the B. Foot quartered in Tandragee.
13 July, 1788 - The Battle of Limajadee between the Orangemen and Defenders, put an end to by a party of the 69th Regiment under Lieutenant Robertson.
1798 - The Rebellion in Ireland.
1 January, 1812 - Mr. Ferguson of White Park, Co. Antrim married Miss Sally Crozier, daughter of George Crozier, Esq., Attorney-at-Law, Banbridge.
16 January, 1812 - Mrs. Reilly of Scarva House had a son and heir.
26 January, 1812 - Rev. Dr. Leslie consecrated Bishop of Dromore at Armagh. Robert Charles Loftie went to Armagh School.
28 January, 1812 - Lyons Montgomery of Laurencetown, Esq., was married to Miss Bess Blacker.
3 February, 1812 - Began to pull down the old church at Tandragee in order to build a new one. First stone laid 2nd March.
10 March, 1812 - The Fly Newry Packet lost near Liverpool with nearly 90 passengers.
19 March, 1812 - Wellesly Pole married Miss Tilney Long with a fortune of £80,000. Quarrel between the Rev. Mr. Adams and the Presbyterian congregation of Clare began.
4 April, 1812 - Newry Fly Coach robbed by Collyers Gang.
11 May, 1812 - The Hon. Spencer Percival assassinated in the House of Commons by John Bellingham who was married to the daughter of Mr. John Neville, late of Newry, Broker.
13 July, 1812 - Newry Coach again robbed near Drogheda by Collyer. Oatmeal sold at 10/- a score, and potatoes at 4/4 per bushel.
27 August, 1812 - Mrs. Hardy of the Dog and Duck died.
28 September, 1912 - Derry Mail Coach robbed near Drogheda by Collyer.
1 October, 1812 - Mr. Saddler ascended in a balloon from Drumcondra.
17 November, 1812 - Heard of death of Mr. Billington Loftie in the Island of Java.
24 January, 1813 - Mrs. Hamilton, wife of the Rev. Denis Hamilton, died.
23 February, 1813 - Rev. Dr. Lodge, Rector of Kilmore, died.
19 March, 1813 - Johnston, a beggarman, died aged 104.
2 May, 1813 -Mr. Thomas Dickson of Portadown died.
20 July, 1813 - Jane Purdy of Tandragee died, aged 87.
19 October, 1813 - Decisive Battle of Leepsic and Bonaparte driven across the Rhine.
10 January, 1814 - Thermometer at 8 [degrees Fahrenheit] or 24 below freezing point.
16 January, 1814 - Jaspar Waring, Esq., died.
3 February, 1814 - Frost ended, having lasted 38 days-deep snow, roads impassable, great mortality in Dublin.
April, 1814 - Bonaparte abdicated the throne of France and a General Paine in Europe took place.
18 May, 1814 - Jack Drew dropped dead in potato field.
19 May, 1814 - Captain W. H. Loftie landed in India.
17 June, 1814 - Mrs. Ferguson, White Park, Co. Antrim, nee Miss Sally Crozier, Ban-bridge, had a daughter, Anne.
18 July, 1814 - Countess of Gosford had a daughter, Annabella.
12 August, 1814 - Grand Fire works in Dublin.
24 August, 1814 - Tandragee Cavalry and Sharpshooters disbanded.
14 December, 1814 - A great storm. Lord Ffrench shot himself.
18 December, 1814 - Joanna Southcoat, the sham prophetess, died.
5 February, 1815 - Matthias Creery died.
20 March, 1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte again entered Paris and resumed the throne.
28 May, 1815 - Mrs. Hardy of Drumart had a daughter, Rachel.
18 June, 1815 - Battle of Waterloo followed by flight of Bonaparte.
9 October, 1815 - Pat Hanlon, servant to Rev. Mr. Creery, was killed by falling into the water-wheel of the flax mill.
30 January, 1816 - Lady Olivia Sparrow and Miss Sparrow spent a few days with us.
22 March, 1816 - Captain William Henry Loftie of the East India Company service, died in Canterbury, aged 34. Newry Bank stopped payment.
22 June, 1816 - Seaforde House in Co. Down burnt.
19 November, 1816 - Mrs. Truman of Moy-allan died, aged 82.
3 December, 1816 - Mr. Thomas Haughton, Lurgan, died aged 79.
17 December, 1816 - William Marks of Clare died aged 90.
19 December, 1816 - Rev. Henry Maxwell, Lurgan, died aged 84. This year has been the mildest and coldest ever remembered. Most corn remained in the fields at Christmas. Almost all the turf lost in the bogs.
19 June, 1817 - Rev. Denis Brown died of Typhus fever at Kilmore.
15 August, 1817 - Mr. Henry Quin of Newry died of Typhus fever.
10 September, 1817 - Rev. Samuel Clone died of Typhus. Mrs. McClure of Armagh died of Typhus.
15 September, 1817 - Mr. Samuel Maxwell died of Typhus.
2 October, 1817 - Mr. Richard Lindsay of Armagh died of Typhus.
3 October, 1817 - Captain Richardson, late of Tyrone Militia, died of Typhus.
22 October, 1817 - Simon Langley of Armagh died of Typhus.
28 October, 1817 - Rev. Thomas Carpendale of Armagh School died of Typhus.
29 October, 1817 - Major General Burnett - Typhus.
30 October, 1817 - Mr. Edward Hudson, Loughbrickland - Typhus. Mr. James McWilliam, Armagh-Typhus. William Heathwood -Typhus.
12 November 1817 - Mrs. Johnston, Armagh -Typhus. Surgeon Turner - Typhus.
18 November, 1817 - Miss Deborah Dawson, Moyallan - Typhus.
20 November, 1817 - Mr. George Joyce - Typhus.
Mr. McGuckan, Attorney, Belfast - Typhus.
26 December, 1817 - Dr. Gillichian, Dundalk, died of Typhus.
This year (1817) has been marked by the two scourges of Famine and Pestilence. In the town, scarcity prevailed to a degree. Oatmeal sold at 10/- a score, and potatoes 16d a stone. No employment for the poor, and consequently the greatest distress. Many thousands kept from perishing by Public Soup Kitchen and other charitable schemes. A remarkable drought after May, which in clay lands prevented the grain from coming up, and made the harvest very late, though tolerably abundant.
A destructive Typhus fever made its appearance all over Ireland in the latter end of the summer, which was prevailed through the remainder of the year, and swept away many people. The higher ranks suffered much more than the poor, who, however, were dreadfully afflicted by it. Armagh, Dundalk, Cork, Belfast, Derry, and some of the other large towns lost many of their best citizens. Fever hospitals everywhere established which seem to check its malignity very much, as very few patients die in them. The disorder seems as yet to prevail everywhere.