Fourth generation of McCullochs born in Ireland
1. James McCulloch (c1719-1774)
This was the eldest son of William McCulloch of Piedmont, who I wrote about in my last post. It was James who in 1767 wrote out the genealogy of his grandfather that was copied and preserved by James Iredell. (See my post on the Lairds of Myrton.)
He was known as James of Piedmont when in 1745, shortly after his father’s death, he was named as an executor of his uncle James’ will.
In the previous year, James had to start to sort out the financial mess left behind by his father. The trustees were supposed to have held the lands in the marriage contract and an additional sum of £1600 to ensure that if William died first, Dorothy would receive an income of £70pa and there would be money to support the younger children. But William had had other ideas. He used the money to speculate further and borrowed heavily. In deed 117-90-79755 it states that James needed to raise £4000 to pay the debts and another £1000 to honour the bequests to his younger siblings. His mother had to agree to forgo her claim to her annuity.
Now that the lands were freed of his mother’s claim, James was able to borrow £2000 against them from James Ross, a merchant of Belfast. Within a year Ross had won a judgment against James, who had to borrow another £2000 off Rev Hugh Hill against his lands in Armagh. (To do that he had to get Ross to agree that the land in Antrim was sufficient surety for his £2000.) (RoD 116-341-80724) Things were going very badly. In 1748 Ross sold the debt onto Henry Mitchell of Dublin, with James agreeing to pay 5.5% pa on the £2000. (RoD 132-240-89123)
James relocated to Camoley in Armagh and the family lands in Antrim are not mentioned again. I think James probably defaulted on the loan and Mitchell claimed them as his right.
A couple of times, in 1752 and 1770, James tried to lease out over 700 acres of land he had inherited on the north Antrim coast east of Ballycastle using his brother-in-law Dr John McCulloch as an agent. It was described as the townland of Ballyicon. There is no such townland now, but it comprised Drumnakeel and other lands.
Further evidence of land speculation by William of Piedmont comes in a 1763 deed (RoD 224-600-148698) in which James and his brother, as executors of their father’s will, sell the remaining terms of leases in a dozen townlands around and including Templepatrick to Nehemiah Donnellan, the Governor of Carrickfergus. Templepatrick was the location of Castle Upton, the birthplace of William’s mother-in-law Margaret Upton, and the sale was made ‘with the consent and approbation of’ Hercules Langford Rowley and Arthur Upton, her nephews. Nehemiah’s wife and Arthur were both children of Margaret’s twin brother Lt Col John Upton who had inherited the castle.
The surprising thing about this deed is that these exact townlands appeared in a famous advert only five years later. Arthur Upton died in 1768 and was succeeded at Castle Upton by his brother Clotworthy Upton. Within months, Clotworthy, who lived in England, decided he could squeeze more money out of the tenant farmers and advertised all the farms on these townlands for competitive auction, thus dispossessing many families who had been there for generations. This rent-racking by the absentee landlord prompted the start of the Hearts of Steel movement across Ulster. (At least this is the way history tells us it happened. In actual fact, Arthur Upton had issued an identical advert shortly before his death.) But why were the Uptons advertising the leases if the townlands were owned by Nehemiah Donnellan? Had he sold the land back to the them or were they still in control of the tenancies anyway? Is that why the sale had to be made with their ‘consent and approbation’?
(The agent Edward Southwell had married Clotworthy’s niece, Sophia Campbell. He later inherited an ancient title from a great-aunt and became the 20th Baron de Clifford. Clotworthy was created 1st Baron Templetown and his son was further ennobled as a Viscount. As the fortunes of the McCullochs faded, the descendants of their grandmother’s twin were becoming aristocrats. Hercules’ wife was another niece of Margaret Upton and she was made Viscountess Langford. Their granddaughter’s husband became the Duke of Wellington.)
Although the lands in Antrim were gone for good, James still had over 1000 acres in the Barony of Fews, Co Armagh. In 1754 he started a market at Cullaville, which is almost at the southernmost point of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
He died unmarried in 1774. He had still not paid the younger children what they were left in their father’s will.
2. William McCulloch (1721-1799)
As William of Duneane he witnessed the deed in which his mother renounced her claim on the lands in her marriage contract in 1744.
In the same year he inherited the business of his uncle James McCulloh and thereafter lived in Kilmore near Dublin. On 29 March 1748 he married Alice Coleman, a niece of Charles Macartney and Eleanor Macartney Iredell (who was a witness). The other witnesses were his brother James and his cousin Margaret who was to marry Eleanor’s son a couple of years later (RoD 133-80-89317).
In 1755, William took over a mortgage from Hans Fairlie of Edenterrory, Co Down and his (half-)sister Elinor, the wife of Ezekiel Bullock, paying them the £300 plus interest they were owed by Samuel Campbell of Lurgan. (RoD 172-421-117183). I believe that Elinor was the granddaughter mentioned in the will of William’s great-uncle Henry McCulloch of Feehogue. (See part 1)
William’s brother-in-law, my 6xgreat grandfather Dr John McCulloch, tried for nearly 50 years to claim the £350 that should have been inherited (at first by his wife, and then after her death, by his children) from the will of William of Piedmont, as well as £100 meant for the doctor himself.
In 1754 William the younger agreed with his tenant Josias Erwin that the rent of £2 19s pa that was payable on a tenement on Antrim High Street and a field nearby called Cotter’s Field belonged to the doctor (RoD 167-114-111534). It would have taken over a century for that to pay off what was owed.
My ancestor W.D.Barbour (1832-1903) appears to have seen a letter from William to his brother-in-law Dr John McCulloch. He wrote in his Ancestral Tables:
“Wm McCulloch (Dates from Dublin in 1781). Calls himself old in 1781. Speaks of his son & daughters (seemingly resident with him) in 1781. He writes as a Landowner but speaks of himself as in ‘difficulties’. Said to have been addicted to drink.”
Barbour writes of James McCulloch:
“Referred to as a good while dead in 1781. His brothers Jno & Wm seem to have had the arrangement of his affairs.”
(Understandably he had mistaken the brother-in-law Dr John McCulloch for a brother.)
This correspondence must have related to a deed drawn up in 1779 but registered in 1781 in which Dorothy Beresford Shaw, William of Piedmont’s widow who must have been in her eighties, and Dr John’s children agreed to accept an undisclosed sum in return for renouncing any further claim on the estate of James of Camoley (RoD 336-580-526444). However much they received, it did not satisfy the doctor who even in his last will and testament of 1787 still demanded the £350 for his children (RoD 394-413-260785).
Finally, on 8 June 1795, the doctor’s executor Robert Young was paid £493 6s 9d and released his claim on the coastal lands at Ballyicon east of Ballycastle (PRONI 509/924). It had taken over 50 years for the brothers to pay out the modest inheritance of their sister and brother-in-law. By that time, Margaret, John and several of their children were long dead.
William himself died in 1799. He had three children.
- William McCulloch died young
- Ann McCulloch died a spinster in Dublin in 1797
- Dorothy Beresford Upton Shaw McCulloch married John Reed in 1800 when she was already 42. On her death in 1832, there were no more McCullochs in Ireland in the male line from James of Grogan, but the lands they held in Co Armagh passed to a descendant of Dr McCulloch who married Margaret the daughter of William of Piedmont.
3. Henry McCulloch (c1723-1755)
The youngest son of William of Piedmont was appointed Secretary of the Province of North Carolina in 1754 before dying there the following year (NCpedia). He and his wife Mary had six daughters who were baptised in London before they emigrated.
- Jane Letitia (died in infancy)
- Letitia Alice (died in infancy)
- Henrietta Mary who married Mark Brownrigg
- Dorothy Beresford who married Jordan White
- Elizabeth Margaret married Capt Joseph Meredith
- Penelope Martha who married Job Parker
The last four were named in his will. By 1784 only Betsey and Dolly were still alive and Capt Meredith was still battling to claim their inheritance from the will of William of Piedmont.
All the rights to the money due [Henry’s daughters] in Ireland are now vested in Capt Meredith, his wife having purchased them before marriage, except Job Parker’s share who married Poppy, if that entitled him to a part…I believe Capt Meredith is now going to endeavor to receive this money in Ireland himselfJames Iredell to Henry Eustace McCulloch, 1784 quoted in Henry McCulloh and Son Henry Eustace McCulloh (Dunaway, 2014)
4. Margaret McCulloch
As I mentioned before, the only daughter named in the 1743 will of William of Piedmont was Margaret who by then was already married to Dr John McCulloch with a son William.
John and Margaret were my 6xgreat grandparents. I don’t know how (or if) he was related. According to the Ulster Directory of Doctors, Dr John McCulloch’s death was announced in the Belfast Newsletter on 4 May 1787. It says he was born in 1706/7 which is presumably calculated from his age given in the death notice, but unfortunately that copy of the Newsletter is not available on Ancestry.com so I can’t check. The Directory of Doctors says he was also a Brewer, but I think the brewing kettle mentioned in his will was used for making medicine not alcohol.
It seems unlikely that he could be the eldest son of Henry of Feehogue (who was married by 1685) and impossible that he was the witness at the 1718 wedding of his wife’s parents. Perhaps he was a son of the John buried at Randalstown in 1720. He was certainly a good deal older than his wife.
W.D.Barbour’s Ancestral Tables say about Dr McCulloch:
Resided in Antrim in 1781. Old in 1781. Appears to have been in good comfortable circumstances. Aunt Bruce heard that Dr McCulloch had been in the Army as a Doctor.
Issue Dorothy who married Dr Jno Morton who had been Apprentice to her father, though she was much older than he. His parents resided in Ballymena. Dr M speaks of his wife & children in 1781 & of Dolly having frequent returns of spitting of blood. Mrs M died young, her eldest daughter being quite young at the time.
It’s not clear which Mrs M he means, but both the first Mrs McCulloch and Mrs Morton died young.
The doctor does not feature in many of the deeds in the Dublin Registry of Deeds, other than the two dealing with his brother-in-law William in 1754 (RoD 167-114-111534) and 1779 (RoD 336-580-526444) and his will (RoD 394-413-260785) written within a couple of weeks of his death. He was a landowner, but only in a small way. His will mentions the townlands of Clonboy and Ballylurgan, both near Randalstown. As they were owned at one point by his father-in-law, it would seem he was given them at the time of his marriage.
Although he described himself as a ‘Surgeon & Apothecary’ in his will, for most of his life he was only an Apothecary which was more like a chemist than a doctor. He wasn’t trained as a Surgeon, like his two sons, and certainly not as a Physician like James McCulloh’s father-in-law, Dr Victor Ferguson. However, in a small town he no doubt fulfilled some of the responsibilities of the higher medical ranks.
Dr John McCulloch featured regularly in the pages of the Belfast Newsletter. He lived and practised in a largish house in the centre of Antrim town at the end of the Massereene Bridge (pictured below) leased to him by Lord Massereene on 13 September 1753. This was evidently a convenient place for people to use as a contact point and in adverts for land potential purchasers are often directed to him. As well as his brothers-in-law who no longer lived in Co Antrim, other people with land to sell who used him as a sort of estate agent included Kennedy Henderson (probably the son of Rev John Henderson, the minister at Duneane) in 1760 (selling land at Moneyrod near Piedmont), his son Dr Henry McCulloch in Ballymena in 1773 and various unidentified sellers.
One interesting case involved the sale of the townland of Ballynickle in Co Down which was bequeathed in the 1722 will of John Young to his son. In 1752 it was advertised for sale by a Miss Young, presumably a granddaughter, with Dr McCulloch accepting offers on her behalf. However, the following year the townland was included in the marriage settlement of David McCulloch of Antrim Town and Jane Young (RoD 159-133-106276). James of Camoley was the trustee which suggests strongly that David was a relation. In 1755 there are deeds where David and Jane along with a Margaret Lorimer release the townland to two of the farmers in the above advert (RoD 179-73-118918 & 118921), but by 1762 the lands were advertised for sale again ‘for payments of debts pursuant in decrees of His Majesty’s Exchequer in Ireland’, proposals to Mr (Ezekiel) Bullock in Dublin and Doctor McCullogh in Antrim. David McCulloch was heard of no more.
The children of John and Margaret, all mentioned in the 1781 deed mentioned above, were
- Dr William McCulloch (1738/9-1811) whose only son was John Shaw McCulloch. He started his career as a doctor by 1769 when he was offering his services inoculating patients against smallpox using the Suttonian method. He achieved notoriety when he briefly owned Ballygally Castle between 1786 and 1790. (See my earlier post.) He died at Ballymena on 22 July 1811.
- Dr Henry McCulloch died between 1781 and 1787 leaving two daughters Margaret and Jane
- Dorothy Beresford McCulloch married Dr John Morton (1749-1826), my ancestors. They had four daughters, Margaret, Jane, Dorothy & Letitia
- Jane McCulloch married Dr Joseph Walker who announced in the Belfast Newsletter in 1779 that he was setting up his practice in Newtownards.
- Victoria McCulloch married a Mr Jackson between 1781 & 1788
Dr John McCulloch’s second wife was Margaret Shaw, the sister of John Shaw of Ballygally. Her aunt Mrs Nixon came to live with them in Antrim. Mrs Nixon died in 1789. According to legend, she died at Ballygally and her ghost knocks on doors there, so perhaps she moved back there while Dr William lived there.
The only McCulloch grandson, John Shaw McCulloch, became Postmaster at Drogheda. He had three daughters (one the mother of Baron Atkinson) and his eldest son died in 1846 aged 11. I have only found one other son, Latham Blacker McCulloch who followed his grandfather into the medical profession. He married but died in Wales without children so, as far as I can tell, that was the end of the McCullochs in Ireland descended from the last Laird of Myrton.