Lynastown Burial Ground

Vol. 6 No. 3 - 1993


a seventeenth century Quaker Burial Ground

by Philip B Wilson

Over the past year a number of groups have co-operated in an extensive renovation programme at the old Quaker Burial Ground known as Lynastown. This cemetery, which is one of the oldest, if not the oldest Quaker graveyard in Ireland, lies some 75 metres to the north of the Bluestone Road on the edge of the Brownlow sector of Craigavon.

The Quaker movement was initiated in Ireland by William Edmondson. He was convinced of its validity while on a stock purchasing visit to England. On his return to Ireland he opened a shop in Lurgan and in 1654 commenced a Quaker Meeting for worship, probably the first in Ireland, in his own house. This house was located in what is now Church Place in Lurgan, approximately where the premises of T G Menary & Co., solicitors, are at present.

The origins of the Lynastown burial ground

Among the first worshippers in William Edmondson's house was old William Lynas and, when he died on 20 June 1658, Quaker principles precluded his burial by a priest in the parish graveyard. He was therefore buried in a small plot belonging to his son Thomas in the townland of Moyraverty and it was this small plot which developed into Lynastown burial ground. Thirteen other members of the Society of Friends were interred before an Indenture was signed on 15 December 1673 and the sum of ten shillings paid to Thomas Lynas for the transfer of this ground to Francis Robson of Tamnificarbet and William Porter of Lurgan. Both these men were weavers and prominent local Quakers and this indenture, which was for a period of seven years, was the first step in bringing the burial ground under more formal Quaker control.

The Indenture details the dimensions of the burial ground which are identical with those of today: "Part of the townland of Moyraverty ... which doth contain by estimation (on the side towards the King's High Street) twenty-five yards and a half or thereabouts and on that side adjoining Westwards on a piece of ground now in the tennure and possession of Richard Mathson containing thirty-five yards or thereabouts also butting and bounding Eastwards on a piece of ground in the tennure and possession of Leonard Calvert together with a highway leading from the King's High Street (into the aforementioned sould piece of ground) along by Leonard Calvert's groundside through the end of a little plot of ground called Whitehead's Garden containing seven yards broad or thereabouts be it more or less as it is now ditched and fenced out..."

The Indenture was witnessed by ten men, seven of whom were sufficiently literate to sign their names and very sensibly included the adjoining landowners Richard Measson and Leonard Calvert.

Almost six years later, on 2 August 1679, a Deed of Conveyance was signed transferring the ground at Lynastown to twelve other Quakers. This Conveyance stated quite specifically that "the onely intent use and purpose that the aforesaid piece of parcell shall and may bee continue and remain a burying place wherein for the bury their dead and not only theirs but such others as they the aforesaid people shall suffer there to be buried".

High level of literacy

Again, each of these twelve men were able to sign their names, as were eight of the nine witnesses. This indicates a remarkable level of literacy among Lurgan's Quaker community in the seventeenth century. Eleven of the signatories were tradesmen and the trades represented were linen draper, cooper, turner, tanner, shopkeeper, weaver (2), tailor (2), and smith (2). One of the signatories, Vallentine Hollingsworth, was listed as a freeholder.

Entrance Gate, Lynastown Burial Ground
Entrance Gate, Lynastown Burial Ground

The burying place at Lynastown was originally surrounded by a hawthorn hedge, and possibly a ditch, although there was constant complaint about the wetness of the ground. Access was by means of a gate and by 1679 there was a demand for a lock for this gate - possibly to prevent entry by straying animals. William Williams was asked by Lurgan Men's Meeting on 29 November 1862 to "provide and make ye graves at ye burying place when there is occasion" and on 17 of twelfth month 1685 they decided to approach him to negotiate for a drier piece of ground to act as a new burying place.

These negotiations, however, proved unsuccessful. Thirty-five shillings were paid in 1686 for ditching and fencing and the Quaker desire for proper order was manifest when in the same year it was agreed that "all graves be hereafter made in a row, and at one side of ye burying place". Recurring problems over securing the entrance were resolved on 23 December 1687 when "Thomas Wainwright having gotten a new gate made for the burying place gives account to this meeting that ye new gate, and gate posts, and a lock and hinges for ye sd. gate with new style and getting and finishing ye same cost twenty shillings".

The same meeting decided that John Hutchesson should be asked to maintain the graveyard on a regular basis. He later agreed to do this but appears not to have continued these duties for long as on 4 November 1690 Mark Wright and Thomas Wainwright were "desired to take care the graveyard fences and stile be well made and kept in repair".

Careful record keeping

Lurgan meeting was not only conscious of the need for fencing, draining and orderly arrangement of the graveyard. There was also concern that proper records should be kept. John Dobb was entrusted with this task on 9 of twelfth month 1687. By October 1691 he had left the country, possibly a consequence of the Williamite Wars and the record book, was "committed to ye custody of William Porter that it may be more duly kept in order as formerly".

Records of the date of construction of the stone wall encompassing the burial ground have not yet come to light but its appearance suggests that it was built in stages, possibly beginning as a famine relief measure in the 1840's. This supposition is borne out by the Ordnance Survey maps which show no wall in 1835, the north and west walls complete by 1860 and the east wall complete by 1908. The south wall, which contains the archway and gate and faces towards the Bluestone Road, must have been completed during the early part of the present century. The caretaker's house, regrettably demolished as part of Craigavon's early development, appears on the 1860 O.S. map but not on the 1835 edition.

Initial Quaker meetings for worship and for the purpose of marriage were held in the homes of members. Early meetings were held in William Edmonson's and when he left for Cavan other frequently used homes were those of Roger Webb and Mark Wright. After Roger Wright's death and burial at Lynastown in 1684 meeting were often held at the house of John Robson in Tamnificarbet, almost half-way between Lurgan and Portadown, and some Quaker marriage records to the "publick meeting house of John Robson's".

William Edmondson in his Journal refers to a visit to John Robson's house in 1695 "and from thence to a meeting at Lurgan". The minute of this meeting on 30 April 1695 records that "Our antient friend William Edmondson be present at this meeting proposes ye great need there is of a better Meeting-house to be built that which is being in a Decaying Condition and not suitable for ye Meeting. So it being approved by ye meeting that there is a necessity for a better house have consented that preparation be made for ye Building of a better as Conveniently can be had". Just two years later the new Meeting House and its associated new burying ground were in use and the first burial there was that of Thomas Turner of Lurgan who died 29 December 1697. From this date onwards interments at Lynastown declined.

Prior to the opening of the Lurgan Meeting House and burying ground the Christy, Morton and Mulligan families of Moyallon had used Lynastown for interments. They not only continued this practice for a time after 1697, but even after the new Moyallon Meeting House and Graveyard had opened in 1736 the Christy family continued to use Lynastown. There were 39 burials between 1717 and 1788 and only five of these were definitely of friends who were not from Moyallon and its adjacent townlands. Fifteen members of the Christy family were interred in Lynastown during this period.

After the funeral of George Ballintine of Moyraverty in 1788 there were no further burials at Lynastown for over fifty years. During this period a number of Friends joined the emerging Methodist Church and among these were several of the Webb family.

The big wind

On the night of 6/7 January 1839 one of the worst storms in Irish recorded history devastated much of the country. Factories and churches were severely damaged, hundreds of thousands of trees uprooted and thatched cottages stripped of their roofs. The spire of Shankill Parish Church in Lurgan was blown down and the new Methodist Chapel at Bluestone, which was almost ready for consecration, was levelled to the ground.

In Moyallon 73 year old Margaret Webb did not survive the storm. Her funeral, on 8 January 1839, was to Lynastown and on its way it passed the rubble of the devastated church. Over the next twelve months there were four more interments at Lynastown and all of these were of people who lived locally. In the space of the next one hundred and fifty years there were only 26 further burials, almost exclusively of people who had not been members of the Society of Friends. Their average age was 73, contrasting sharply with the great number of child burials (40%) which had been the case in the first fifty years.

Lynastown - List of Interments

NOTE: Original spellings have been used throughout.

Date of death
Surname First Name Relationship Townland
1 1658/04/20 Lynas William The Older Legacorry
2 1658/08/00 Sawyer Mark
3 1664/10/00 Wright James Son of Mark Legacorry
4 1668/07/00 Bell Archibald Son of Archibald Tannaghmore
5 1670/02/11 Hoope Abraham Son of Robert Lurgan
6 1670/07/20 Bass Peter Husband of Jane ? Bucconnell
7 1670/10/00 Bradshaw John Son of James Dromnikelly
8 1670/10/00 Pierson Christopher
9 1671/02/01 Hollingsworth Ann Wife of Valentine Ballymacarmell
10 1671/05/24 Robson Joseph Son of Francis Tanificorbet
11 1671/09/11 Robson Isabel Wife of Francis Tanificorbet
12 1672/10/11 Hoope Sarah Daughter of Robert Lurgan
13 1673/03/12 Hoope Tabitha Daughter of Robert Lurgan
14 1673/05/20 Turner Nathaniel Son of Thomas Lurgan
15 1674/05/23 Kirk John
16 1674/07/08 Kirk Dynah Daughter of Roger Tullygally
17 1674/09/09 Scaife Thomas Son of Michael Ballyhanaghan
18 1674/12/23 Stamper Sarah Daughter of Hugh Lurgan
19 1674/13/01 Rey Ellinor Wife of John Lissacurran
20 1675/02/18 Harding Mary Daughter of John Magheralin
21 1675/08/28 Wright Mark Son of Mark Lyggacorry
22 1675/09/20 Peirson William
23 1676/04/14 Thwayte Thomas
24 1676/04/27 Matthews Abner Son of William Lurgan
25 1676/05/13 Matthews Elizabeth Wife of Alexander Lurgan
26 1676/07/09 Stamper Hugh
27 1677/10/16 Kirke Margrit Widow of John Ballyhanaghan
28 1677/12/18 Scaife Rebecca Daughter of Michael Ballyhanaghan
29 1677/12/28 Lea Abner Son of William Waringstown
30 1678/03/03 Wickliffe John
31 1678/07/15 Logan Hanna Daughter of Patrick Lurgan
32 1678/10/11 Hart Esther Widow Toberhenry
33 1678/11/25 Bullough James
34 1679/12/03 Wright Ann Daughter of Mark Lygacorry
35 1680/09/05 Bass Jane Widow (of Peter ?) Boconnell ?
36 1681/01/12 Stamper Bridget Widow of Hugh Lurgan
37 1681/03/00 Harland James Son of Thomas Tannaghmore ?
38 1681/05/07 Watherill Thomas
39 1682/06/24 Lea William Son of William Waringstown
40 1682/09/20 Webb John 2nd Son of James & Sarah Aghacommon
41 1682/11/07 Christy Thomas Son of Alexander Moyallon
42 1682/12/16 Hoope Moses Son of Robert Lurgan
43 1682/12/27 Walker Deborah Daughter of Thomas Lurgan
44 1682/12/27 Walker Joseph Son of Thomas Lurgan
45 1683/11/30 Robson Ffrancis
46 1684/05/25 Hillery Tobias Son of Christopher Tullygally
47 1684/09/05 Webb Roger 4th Son of James & Sarah Aghacommon
48 1684/11/09 Webb Roger
49 1685/04/09 Kirk Elizabeth Daughter of Roger Tullygally
50 1685/04/10 Walker Benjamin Son of Thomas Lurgan
51 1685/08/14 Robson Hanna Daughter of John Tanificorbet
52 1685/09/06 Gilpin John
53 1685/10/24 Dunbar David
54 1685/11/22 Atkinson Edward
55 1684/11/24 Stamper Daniell Son of Hugh (Aged 28) Lurgan
56 1685/11/25 Gollphin Hugh
57 1686/05/07 Kirk Roger 2nd Son of Roger Tollygally
58 1686/09/28 Bradshaw James
59 1686/11/27 Wright Ann Wife of Mark Legacory
60 1686/12/12 Walker Joseph Son of Thomas & Mary Lurgan
61 1687/01/07 Williams Dorothy Daughter of William
62 1687/01/07 Williams Daniell Son of William
63 1687/11/29 Webb Roger Son of John Aghacommon
64 1688/04/21 Williams William

65 1688/06/22 Webb James 5th Son of James Accammon
66 1688/06/25 Hodgson George
67 1689/03/08 Harland Katherwn Wife of Thomas
68 1689/04/02 White William
69 1689/04/14 Brown William
70 1689/06/05 White John Son of William Killmoore
71 1689/06/09 Bradshaw Mary Daughter of James Drummonycally
72 1689/06/18 Waddy William Son of William Drummonycally
73 1689/06/20 Hodgson Elizabeth Widow Drummonycally
74 1689/07/19 Waddy Mary Wife of William Drummonycally
75 1689/09/00 Christy Margaret Daughter of Alexander Monnallen
76 1689/09/20 Porter Rachel Daughter of William Lurgan
77 1689/09/21 Porter Mary Wife of William Lurgan
78 1689/09/23 Mathes William
79 1689/11/13 Walker Mary Daughter of Thomas Lurgan
80 1689/12/00 Robson Francis Son of John Tannefecarbit
81 1689/12/00 Robson John Son of John Tannefecarbit
82 1690/03/20 Bradshaw Ruth Daughter of James Drumanecally
83 169005/16 Brown Elizabeth Daughter of William Monreaverty
84 1690/06/20 Webb Jonnathon Son of John Arracamon
85 1690/09/13 Webb Sarah 3rd Daughter of James Accammon
86 1690/10/28 Lea John Son of William Warrinstown
87 1691/11/30 Harland Peter
88 1692/03/16 Bullock Benjamin Son of Ezeakiell Lurgan
89 1692/09/08 Maison Elizabeth Wife of Richard Termyrey
90 1693/02/20 Harding Mary Wife of Thomas Lissacurran
91 1693/05/16 Christy Mary Daughter of Alexander Monnallon
92 1693/06/11 Brown Robert Son of William Monreaverty
93 1693/12/22 Hillary Mary Daughter of Ffrancis Tollygally
94 1694/03/02 Christy Isabell Wife of John Knocknanor
95 1694/03/02 Mullygin Margaret Daughter of James Monallon
96 1694/03/14 Porter Mary Wife of John Lurgan
97 1694/04/16 Porter Hannah Daughter of William Lurgan
98 1694/05/17 Fox Ann 1st Daughter of George Fox Lurgan
99 1694/07/05 Bullock Abraham Son of Ezekiel Lurgan
100 1694/09/23 Mullykin James Son of James Monallon
101 1694/10/11 Noble Alexander
102 1695/02/20 Gibson Mary Wife of William Drumgor
103 1695/08/01 Hoope Elisha Son of Robert Lurgan
104 1696/03/15 Hoope Elisha 2dn Son of John Lurgan
105 1696/04/28 Kirk Deborah Daughter of Timothy Tullygally
106 1696/11/11 Morton Abagail 4th Daughter of John Monallen
107 1696/11/13 Halliday Rachel Wife of John
108 1697/08/23 Turner Jonathan 2dn Son of John & Deborah Taberbeney
109 1700/04/23 Harland Mary Widow of Peter Tanaghmore
110 1700/05/25 Robson Stephen 7th Son of John & Sarah Tamneficarbet
111 1701/02/13 Webb Ann 3rd Daughter of John Aghacommon
112 1701 ? Hillery Dorothy Eldest Daughter of Francis Tullygally
113 1702/03/02 Hillery Marmeduke
Tullygally ?
114 1703/01/10 Bullough Sarah Daughter of Thomas Lurgan ?
115 1703/01/16 Bullough Thomas
Lurgan ?
116 1703/02/04 Webb Ann 1st Daughter of Roger & Mary Annaloist ?
117 1703/09/07 Webb James 2nd Son of Roger & Ann Aghacommon
118 1703/11/13 Bullough Mary Daughter of Thomas & Catherine Lurgan ?
119 1703/11/14 Bullock George Aged 81 Lurgan ?
120 1704/03/16 Lynas Kateran Wife of Richard Lissacorran ?
121 1704 ? Bullough Joanna Relict of ? Lurgan ?
122 1705/02/20 Robson Sarah Daughter of John & Sarah Tamnificarbet
123 1795/05/20 Webb Jonathan 2nd Son of Roger & Mary Annaloist ?
124 1705/12/09 Wright Mark
Legacorry ?
125 1709/12/08 Sanders Robert

126 1709/12/11 Webb Ann Mother of Roger (c 80 Years) Aghacommon ?
127 1709/12/14 Webb Judith Wife of John Aghacommon
128 1709/12/16 Webb Rebecca Daughter of John Aghacommon
129 1713/01/08 Gibson Deborah Daughter of William Lurgan
130 1714/09/17 Robson John Son of John (aged 23) Tamnificarbet
131 1717/06/30 Christy Margaret Wife of Alexander (aged 72) Knockanor ?
132 1718/11/15 Millikin James
133 1719/03/20 Millikin Martha Widow Moyallen ?
134 1720/03/24 Morton Margaret Wife of John Moyallen ?
135 1722/02/29 Christy Alexander Aged c 80 Knockanor ?
136 1723/02/16 Lynas William Husband of Elizabeth Monraverty
137 1723/03/26 Ranton Margaret
Moyallen ?
138 1729/02/26 Morton John
Moyallen ?
139 1734/06/15 Morton Samuel 5th Son of John (aged 32) Moyallen
140 1737/00/00 Lynas Sarah Daughter of Wm & Elizabeth Monraverty
141 1737/12/16 Ranton William
142 1741/08/00 Nicholson Mary Wife of John Knockagor
143 1744/10/08 McDonnell Edward Husband os Sarah (Hobson) Mullahead
144 1746 ? Christy Sarah Daughter of Thomas & Mary Moyallon
145 1746 ? Christy Elizabeth Daughter of Thomas & Mary Moyallon
146 1748/05/24 Christy Mary Wife of John Moyallen
147 1750/09/11 Christy Mary Wife of Thomas Moyallen
148 1753/01/10 Hobson William
149 1761/12/02 Sinton James Son of Thomas & Margaret (2)
150 1763/00/00 Christy John Son of Alexander & Margaret Moyallen
151 1764/00/00 Christy John Son of John & Deborah Stramore ?
152 1764/05/10 Chambers James Son of Thomas & Catherine
153 1764/09/17 Neill Sarah Wife of John Moyallen
154 1764/12/02 Christy John 3rd Son of John & Deborah Stramore ?
155 1764 ? Chambers Abagail Daughter of Thomas & Catherine ?
156 1765/00/00 Christy Margaret Wife of James Stramore ?
157 1765/05/15 Chambers Mary Daughter of Thomas & Catherine ?
158 1766/01/12 Sinton James Son of Thomas & Margaret (3)
159 1767/04/20 Chambers Sarah Daughter of Thomas & Catherine ?
160 1771/08/13 Christy John Son of James & Margaret Stramore
161 1778/11/01 Christy Hannah Daughter of John & Deborah 12 Stramore
162 1779/00/00 Wakefield Hannah Wife of Joseph Knocknagaor
163 1779/07/15 Christy John Son of John & Deborah 11 Stramore
164 1779 ? Wakefield Susannah Daughter of Joseph & Hannah Knockagor
165 1780/00/00 Dawson Thomas Son of Thomas & Mary Lurgan ?
166 1780/04/23 Christy Thomas Son of John & Mary Moyallon
167 1782/00/00 Neill John Son of James & Jane Lurgan ?
168 1784/10/27 Christy Joseph Son of John & Deborah 24 Stramore ?
169 1788/03/30 Ballantine George
170 1839/01/07 Webb Margaret Aged 73 Moyallen
171 1839/02/05 Marshall James Aged 13 Clonrole
172 1839/03/18 Webb John Aged 36 Clonrole
173 1839/11/11 Allen James Aged 60 Tamnoflaghlassan
174 1840/01/17 Black Mary Aged 36 Clonrole
175 1857/11/08 Webb Henry Aged 80 Seagoe
176 1858/02/23 Marshall James Aged 60 Clanrolle
177 1858/12/19 Waite Isabella Aged 70 Drumgor
178 1859/01/04 Black Elizabeth Aged 58 Ballyhannon
179 1859/01/12 Webb John Aged 55 Clanroll
180 1868/08/31 Gibson Elizabeth Aged 58 Drumgor
181 1870/04/04 Black Elizabeth Aged 52 Moyraverty
182 1879/05/06 Green Sarah Wife if James 81 Ballynaghy
183 1880/01/25 Meghey Richard Aged 64 Lurgan
184 1880/10/19 Webb Ellen Wife of James 68 Clanrole
185 1887/01/26 Webb Thomas Aged 75 Clonrole
186 1887/02/23 Abraham Mary Aged 84 Drumnagoon
187 1888/12/14 Uprichard Rebecca Aged 87 Lurgan
188 1889/02/15 Webb John Aged 70 Lurgan
189 1890/12/05 Black Thomas Aged 88 Moyraverty
190 1895/04/26 Webb Ann Aged 72 Lurgan
191 1899/03/13 Williamson John Aged 85 Drumnagoon
192 1899/05/01 Green James Aged 86 (A Minister) Lurgan
193 1908/02/11 Webb Ann Daughter of John & Ann 63 Belfast
194 1910/06/10 Green Frances Widow of James 77 Lurgan
195 1916/03/15 Webb James Son of John & Ann 77 Belfast
196 1918/00/0 Webb Ruth Daughter if John & Ann 59 Belfast
197 1928/11/07 Williamson Mary Daughter of John & Ester Tamnafiglasson
198 1939/10/15 Williamson William Husband of Elizabeth 85 Drumnagoon
199 1959/03/30 Williamson Elizabeth Widow of William 99 Drumnagoon
200 1967/03/24 Williamson Wm. John Son of Wm. & Elizabeth 69 Drumnagoon

The final burial ay Lynastown was that of William John Williamson who died on 24 March 1967. New road and house building subsequently left the site exposed and open to vandals, and the growth of briars and bushes made it almost inaccessible. Work over recent months involving a number of community groups has concentrated on rebuilding the wall, providing a new archway and gate to the same designs as had previously existed and, hopefully, returning the burying ground to a place of rest and remembrance.

Restoration work at Lynastown

Restoration work at Lynastown has been carried out by a number of local, national and international groups and individuals. Sincere thanks are due to all these people and also to Mr S J W Cooper who illustrated the front cover of this booklet and to Mr P B Wilson who wrote the text. Both illustration and text originally appeared in the Craigavon Historical Society's "Review 1992-1993" and permission to reproduce these is gratefully acknowledged.

Craigavon Borough Council and the Home Mission Committee of the Religious Society of Friends have co-operated in the publication of this booklet.

Philip Wilson
6 June 1993


  • Minute Book of Lurgan Men's Meeting, 1675-1710.
  • Lurgan Monthly Meeting, Record Book "No 1", 1674 - mid 18c.
  • Lurgan Monthly Meeting, Record Book "No 2", mid 18c. - early 19c.
  • Lurgan Monthly Meeting Burial Register commencing 8th Day if 1st Month 1812.
  • Craigavon Historical Society "Review", Vol. 1, No. 1 "Lynastown Burial Ground" by S J W Cooper.
  • Craigavon Historical Society "Review", Vol. 2, No. 1 "Quaker Meeting
  • Places in the Lurgan Area in the 17th Century" by George R Chapman.
  • "Guide to Irish Quaker Records 1654-1860" by Olive C Goodbody and B G Hutton.
  • "Settlement and Survival on an Ulster Estate - The Brownlow Leasebook 1667-1711" by R G Gillespie.
  • "Bluestone - Gem of Irish Methodism 1789-1989" by Caroline M Jones.