The Manor of Ballyoran in the parish of Drumcree

by Rosalind Hadden

This is a transcript of a transcript of a transcript, but in the absence of the original documents it may be worth presenting here for historical interest. I found amongthe papers of my late father Dr Robert Hadden (1902-78) his typed copy, dated 14.8.1929, headed “From the manuscript of Mr James B Atkinson which he copied from documents in the Four Courts Dublin, prior to its being burnt in 1922”. I think that Mr Atkinson was probably a solicitor in Portadown; I don’t know the whereabouts of his manuscript now. I have transcribed my father’s version as accurately as I can, putting … wherever he had left gaps.

Mr Atkinson’s manuscript copy of the Four Courts documents made before 1922

By letters patent dated 13 July 1632 King Charles 1st. granted to Prudence Obyns widow for her life and to her son John Obins and his heirs

The lands of Garvaghy, Ballyoran, Soilson, Corcullentraugh beg, Corcullentraugh more, Mullentine, Kilmacmorierty, Corchrane, Clownagh, Tavenagh, Drumnasough and Annagh.

To be held as of the Castle of Dublin subject to the yearly rent of £6-13-4 of the then Irish Currency …The lands to be deemed an entire manor to be called The Manor of Ballyoran, with License to Prudence and after her death for her son John his heirs and assigns to hold 300 acres in demesne … License to alien lands to any person not mere Irish to be held by the Manor, non obstante “Quia Emptores” … With power to hold courts lect (sic: leet ?) and courts baron and to enclose 180 acres and make a park … and there to keep horses mares deer stags rabbits and other animals for hunting … License to hold a market in the towne of Portendowne on Saturday and two fairs in the year viz- One on 1st Nov. and one day then next following, and the other on the Monday after Whitsuntide and the day next following; and (? if) the 1st Nov. was Saturday or Sunday the Nov. fair to be on the next Monday and Tuesday …With power to hold a … and to collect tolls and customs.

The lands with the exception of Soilson, Corcullentragh beg, one fourth of Corcullentragh more and one fourth of Kilmacmorierty, not to be granted or demised to any persons being mere Irish and not of English or British Stock and Surname … The grantees within three years to establish a British tenant of 50 acres in fee simple or fee farm and a tenant of a smaller area for at least 21 years; and to cause the British tenants to build their houses in “town reeds” for mutual protection.

The grantees to have in readiness in the chief house of the Manor three Calivers or Musquets and arms for three pikemen.

License to demise Soilson, Corcullentre more (sic: not as above) and one fourth of Kilmacmorierty to mere Irish – the Irish tenants to build their houses in town reeds and conform to English custom in dress and all other matters. Leases to them to be for not more than 42 years or three lives.

Mr Atkinson’s notes and comments (date not known)

The writer does not know who were the immediate successors of Prudence Obins and her son John, but from old leases and renewals the following appear to have been in possession at the dates mentioned

1691 Hamlet Obins

1719 Anthony Obins

1739, 1742, 1747 Hamlet Obins

The property eventually came to Michael Obins who in the year 1763 married Nichola daughter of Sir Archibald Acheson, afterwards Viscount Gosford, by whom he had three children, a son Archibald Eyre, and two daughters, Mary Anne who married Richard Buckby, and Nichola who married Richard Dobbs.

Michael Obins died in the year 1798 and his son, the Rev. Archibald Eyre Obins, in 1820 sold the Portadown Estate for £ 35,782 to General Robert Sparrow who died in 1822 having by a codicil to his will left the property to his grand daughter Millicent Sparrow who in the same year married George Viscount Mandeville afterwards 6th Duke of Manchester – the great grandfather of the present Duke.