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The Twelfth of July 1912: Portadown to Tandragee

The Twelfth of July 1912: Portadown to Tandragee

Twelfth Demonstration at Tandragee: Home Rule Peril

 

The anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne was celebrated in Portadown on the Twelfth with ‘an enthusiasm which demonstrated that lapse of time only serves to deepen the attachment of the Orangemen and Protestants of this loyal centre to the cause for which their forefathers bled and died’.

 

“Indeed, the demonstration for proportions and attractiveness far surpassed all its predecessors in this prosperous neighbourhood and formed a fitting reply to those who would have the British electorate believe that Ulster is weakening in its opposition to Home Rule”.

 

The streets were decorated to the highest of standards for the historical occasion.  The Triumphal Arches, along with rows of streamers, spanned the main streets and roadways leading to the town.

 

The Arch in Edenderry, had at the centre, a well-executed model of the gates of Derry.  Opposite the Orange Hall in Carleton Street, there was a particularly ‘nice Arch which attracted a great deal of attention and was generally admired by the Brethren who passed under it’.  Thomas Street was adorned with a ‘very striking and beautiful arch, which reflected credit on the artistic taste of those responsible for its production’.

 

The Procession

Shortly after 9:00am the Brethren of the country Lodges started to arrive in Carleton Street.  ‘For some time afterwards Carleton Street and the thoroughfares adjoining presented an animated appearance’.

 

“The growth of the Orange Institution in the Portadown District is remarkable, and during this past year its ranks have been added to by an unusually large number of new adherents”.

 

Off to Tandragee

When the procession had been formed the brethren started on their long march to Tandragee, where a ‘monster demonstration’ was held.  The procession was described as an ‘imposing one’ and ‘formed striking proof of the strength and influence of the Orange Society in this district’. 

Portadown District was led by the Worshipful District Master Brother William H Wright, Deputy District Master Brother David Moore, Chaplin’s Reverend Townley-Tilson, Brother William Jones and Brother R S Morrison, District Secretary Brother Valentine Wilson, District Treasurer Brother William Best and the Committee, Brothers John Patton, David Carrick, F W White, John Joyce and R H Hampton.

 

The Following Lodges represented Portadown District and were led by the Worshipful Masters:

 

  • LOL 7 WM: David Carrick
  • LOL 8 WM: Samuel John Smyth
  • LOL 9 WM: James Uprichard
  • LOL 10 WM: Dawson McAdam
  • LOL 13 WM: John Boyce
  • LOL 18 WM: G E Toal
  • LOL 19 WM: John Hobson
  • LOL 20 WM: William Brownlee
  • LOL 25 WM: Robert J Freeburn
  • LOL 31 WM: Alex McMurray
  • LOL 35 WM: R D Hampton
  • LOL 40 WM: David Moore
  • LOL 56 WM: David Rock
  • LOL 58 WM: J Livingstone
  • LOL 78 WM: William James Dowd
  • LOL 80 WM: John Joyce
  • LOL 81 WM: John Lappin
  • LOL 89 WM: William Best
  • LOL 99 WM: Thomas Albiu
  • LOL 107 WM: Robert H England
  • LOL 127 WM: E McCann
  • LOL 172 WM: James McBroom
  • LOL 273 WM: William D Ruddock
  • LOL 322 WM: David Bright
  • LOL 339 WM: John Hughes
  • LOL 371 WM: Richard Hobson
  • LOL 395 WM: William J Magee
  • LOL 417 WM: John Patton

 

 

Speeches and the Home Rule Crisis

When the procession entered the field, they took up their designated positions around the platform.  Thousands congregated to hear the speeches, with special interest in the two Unionist representatives present, Sir John Lonsdale and Mr William Moore.

 

The chair at the meeting was occupied by Sir James Stronge, County Grand Master.  The proceedings were opened by the Reverend Andrew Dowds, who was rector of Aughnavilly, he opened in Prayer and the crowd sang the hymn ‘O God our help in ages Past’.

 

A number of speeches followed which centred around the Home Rule Crisis.  The speakers were Brother Sir James Stronge, Sir John Lonsdale, Mr William Moore, Brother W J Allen and Brother W H Wright.

 

 

 

The Twelfth of July 1909: Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1909: Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1909: Portadown

 

“One of the most important and successful demonstrations in Ulster took place in Portadown where over 20,000 Orangemen from all parts of County Armagh assembled on the 12th to commemorate the victory achieved at the Boyne”

 

The meeting was held in the grounds of Portadown Agriculture and Recreation Co (Shamrock Park).  Portadown District had also made arrangements for the accommodation of visiting Brethren.

 

“Portadown is known far and wide for its staunch Orangeism and unwavering loyalty, but on this occasion, it surpassed itself”.

 

A Number of Triumphal Arches were on the parade route and with banners displaying mottos such as “Welcome to Portadown”, “No Home Rule”, “God save the King” and “No Surrender”.

 

The upstairs windows of many shops and houses displayed flags, orange ribbons and other decorations.

 

“The visiting Brethren were everywhere accorded a most enthusiastic welcome, and the demonstration in point of numbers was one of the largest that ever took place under similar auspices”.

 

Districts

The districts attending were Portadown, Richill, Loughgall, Tandragee, Armagh, Lurgan, Killylea, Keady, Markethill and Bessbrook.  The Aghalee District attached to County Antrim also joined Portadown District.

 

The Great Northern Railway Company led on special trains from an early hour to bring visiting Lodges from the outlaying Districts.

 

“The March out to the grounds along the Armagh Road was witnessed by thousands of spectators, and in their bright regalia, headed by beautiful banners and first-rate bands”.

 

The Procession

The procession was led by Portadown District Master Brother William H Wright, Deputy District Master Brother David Moore, Chaplin’s Reverend Townley-Tilson and Reverend Jones, District Secretary Brother Valentine and District Treasurer Brother William Best.  Also Committee Members Brothers John Patton, David Carrick, Robert Hampton, Joseph Burns and Robert England.

 

The Lodges which represented Portadown District and were led by the Worshipful Masters:

 

-LOL 7 WM: Joseph H Saunderson

-LOL 8 WM: Samuel Gillespie

-LOL 9 WM: James Uprichard

-LOL 10 WM: John Turkington

-LOL 13 WM: John Boyce

-LOL 18 WM: George Toal

-LOL 19 WM: John Hobson

-LOL 20 WM: William Brownlee

-LOL 25 WM: Robert Freeburn

-LOL 31 WM: William McFadden

-LOL 35 WM: Robert Hampton

-LOL 40 WM: David Moore

-LOL 56 WM: David Rock

-LOL 58 WM: John Livingstone

-LOL 78 WM: Thomas Fulton

-LOL 80 WM: John Joyce

-LOL 81 WM: John Lappin

-LOL 89 WM: William Best

-LOL 99 WM: Thomas Albin

-LOL 107 WM: R H England

-LOL 127 WM: Ed McCann

-LOL 172 WM: James Broom

-LOL 273 WM: William Beattie

-LOL 322 WM: D M Bright

-LOL 339 WM: Andrew Boyle

-LOL 371 WM: R Hobson

-LOL 395 WM: William Magee

-LOL 417 WM: John Patton

-LOL 516 WM: Hugh Downey

 

The meeting at the field

The meeting began punctually at 1:30pm with approximately 20,000 people assembled in the grounds. The chair was supposed to be taken by Brother Sir James H Stronge, County Grand Master, but owing to the death of a relative he was unable to attend.  His place was taken by Brother William J Allen.

 

A letter from Mr J B Lonsdale MP was sent to Brother George Crozier (Grand Secretary);

 

“It is a matter of regret that I am unable to be present at the Orange Demonstration at Portadown on the Twelfth.  Nothing would have given me greater pleasure than to take part with my friend and colleague Mr Moore in the commemoration of this great anniversary; but having regard to the political situation, it is necessary for me as honour secretary to the Irish Unionist Party, to remain on duty in the House of Commons.  I hope, however, that I shall have the pleasure of meeting many of the Orangemen and Unionists of Armagh later in the year, when we shall assemble at Portadown to unveil the statue of our late revered leader, Colonel Saunderson.  In the meantime, I should like to offer my congratulations to the Orangemen of County Armagh upon the increasing strength and prosperity of the Institution”.

 

A number of speeches were made on the platform with the main topics being Home Rule and Unemployment.

 

During the day, Messrs Moffet and Co of Portadown took a great number of photographs of the procession and meeting.  Many homes in the local area would have had photos and portraits photographed by Moffet Studios throughout the years.

 

“Mr Moffet’s enterprise in this direction is making history and helping to spread far and wide the fame of Portadown, demonstrating the fact that the cradle of Orangeism is retaining its position, one of the leading centres for upholding the principles of the order”.

 

The photos were produced on postcards and were sold from Mrs Jeffers shop in Market Street.  Many of these post cards are in circulation today by collectors.  Other images produced at the same time for postcards included the views of the ‘Twelfth Field’ and Edenderry Arch.  They were considered a great souvenir for the many American and other visitors who came to Portadown for the twelfth celebrations.

Recent Years

Although in recent years many international visitors will stop at Belfast for the Twelfth Celebrations, Portadown and the County Armagh Demonstration still attracts a good number of international visitors, as well as those from the rest of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Many of these visitors return every year for the commemorations and celebrations.

The Twelfth of July 1895 : Celebrating 100 years of the Orange Institution

The Twelfth of July 1895 : Celebrating 100 years of the Orange Institution

The Twelfth of July 1895: Portadown to Loughgall

 

The Twelfth Celebrations in 1895 were celebrated by the Orangemen of Portadown, and the rest of the County Armagh districts, as they commemorated the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne at celebrations in Loughgall.

 

“a monster demonstration, in which all the districts in the County took part”.

 

The Portadown Brethren assembled at Carleton Street Orange Hall at 9:30am. Shortly afterwards, they marched to the railway station where they made their way to the meeting place in four special trains.

 

The procession was headed by Worshipful District Master Brother W J Locke, Deputy District Master Brother W H Wright and District Chaplin Reverend F W Austin.

 

The following Lodges, led by the Worshipful Masters, represented Portadown District:

 

-LOL 7 WM: Henry Kingsborough

-LOL 8 WM: Thomas Crockett

-LOL 9 WM: James Uprichard

-LOL 10 WM: John Turkington

-LOL 13 WM: Thomas Boyce

-LOL 18 WM: William Hodgen

-LOL 19: WM: John Knipe

-LOL 20: WM: William Brownlie

-LOL 25: WM: John Allen

-LOL 31: WM: W J McFadden

-LOL 35: WM: Robert D Hampton

-LOL 40: WM: David Moore

-LOL 56: WM: J G Livingston

-LOL 58: WM John Livingston

-LOL 78: WM: John Caddie

-LOL 80: WM: John Joyce

-LOL 81: WM: W J Emerson

-LOL 89: WM: William Best

-LOL 99: WM: William Young

-LOL 107: WM: William Lockhart McMurray

-LOL 127: WM: Edward McCann

-LOL 172: WM: Henry Gilpin

-LOL 273: WM: W J Locke

-LOL 322: WM: John Black

– LOL 352: WM: Thomas Cooper

-LOL 395: WM:  James Hyde

-LOL 417: WM: John Patton

-LOL 516: WM: John H Whitley

-LOL 524: WM: Arthur Campbell

-LOL 533: WM: John Anderson

-LOL 927: WM: David Porter

-LOL 977: WM: William Symington

The procession through the town was described as imposing and well conducted.

 

“The Large turnout of the Brethren was an evidence of the flourishing condition of the Institution in the District”.

 

Loughgall

At 1:00pm, the estate of Mrs Cope of Loughgall was crowded with Brethren and spectators. The platform was ‘nicely draped with a number of flags’.

 

This meeting in 1895, marked the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Orange Institution.  This led to a number of high-profile guests as part of the platform party with a number of speeches.  Colonel Edward Saunderson led the speeches with the main topic being the concerns of Home Rule.

 

The Twelfth of July 1883: Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1883: Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1883: Portadown

 

The day before

The Twelfth celebrations and commemorations for the Battle of the Boyne started early in the morning the day before when preparations began in the streets.

 

The ladies were purchasing new hats and new bonnets for themselves and Orange Scarves and handkerchiefs for the men.  The businesses in Portadown main street which supplied the ‘finery’ were a hustle and bustle of activity as everyone prepared for the holidays.

 

“Old and young were animated in anticipation of the pleasures of the day”.

 

The children and young people through the town anticipated the celebrations by playing their miniature drums and piping on their tin whistles.

 

At different areas of the town the orange lily was displayed on street lamps and the Triumphal Arches were suspended across a number of streets.

 

Midnight

At midnight, a large Bonfire was set alight opposite St Marks Church and the large crowds who gathered cheered and celebrated until nothing but the ‘embers remained’.  Also, the bell of St Marks Church chimed for some time in celebration.  As was an old custom of the time, shots were fired at intervals throughout the town.

 

In the morning, many hoped for a dry day to continue the celebrations.

 

Twelfth Day

 

“The Morning dawned with fair prospects of a fine day, and many an eye was thrown skyward to anxiously scrutinise the drifting clouds, which at times wore the most threatening aspect and anon disappeared under occasional bursts of glorious sunshine”.

 

At 5:00am a large crowd accompanied by ‘Seagoe Flute Band’ and the ‘Prentice Boys Flute Band’ proceeded about a mile along the Lurgan Road to Mr Ruddell’s field.  At the field a sham fight took place which of course ‘resulted in the complete overthrow and annihilation of the opposing parties’.

 

From 9:00am the various country Lodges began to make their way into the town, each Lodge was accompanied by its officers, some even rode horses.  The horses were dressed in crimson and gold cloth.

 

Just after 10:00am, Portadown was crowded with Brethren and spectators.  Shortly before midday the Districts assembled at Carleton Street Orange Hall were a procession was formed.

 

Procession

The procession was headed by Mr E. Wingfield Verner County Grand Master and the Reverend A L Forde of Bessbrook.  Also, Portadown District Master Brother Joseph McCaghey and Deputy District Master Brother William John Locke.

 

The Lodges moved off in their regular order with bands and banners towards Carrickblacker Estate.   Two new District banners, as well as the banner belonging to the ‘Verner Golden Star Lodge’ were described as ‘particularly handsome and attractive’.

 

The local bands which accompanied the parade were ‘First Conservative Brass Band, Second Conservative Brass Band (who were attached to LOL 56), ‘Prentice Boys Flute Band’ and couple of other bands from Richill and Lurgan.

 

The parade route was lined with spectators and cheers were frequently given as the procession went past.

 

The Following Lodges and their Worshipful Masters represented Portadown District:

 

-LOL 7 WM: Robinson Ruddock

-LOL 8 WM: Henry Mercier

-LOL 9 WM: Thomas Hoy

-LOL 10 WM: Thomas A Woodhouse

-LOL 13 WM: John Kittle

-LOL 18 WM: Millar McIntyre

-LOL 19 WM: John Minnes

-LOL 20 WM: John Anderson

-LOL 25 WM: John Sherman

-LOL 31 WM: John McFadden

-LOL 35 WM: John Hampton

-LOL 40 WM: David Moore

-LOL 56 WM: William John Redmond

-LOL 58 WM: A Flannigan

-LOL 78 WM: Thomas Taylor

-LOL 80 WM: George Laverty

-LOL 81 WM: T Tougher

-LOL 89 WM: Samuel Marrow

-LOL 99 WM: William Jackson

-LOL 107 WM: Samuel Porter

-LOL 172 WM: Henry Gilpin

-LOL 417 WM: John Patten

-LOL 516 WM: James McIIroy

-LOL 910 WM: James Cummings

-LOL 1238 WM: William John Locke

-LOL 1301 WM: Issac Jackson

-LOL 1538 WM: Henry Thompson

-LOL 1654 WM: John Magee

-LOL 1665 WM: William Dawson

 

Carrickblacker

At Carrickblacker the Brethren marched past the mansion door, where the Baroness Von Stieglitz and a number of friends were waiting.  As the Lodges went past the standard bearers waved a salute in honour of the loyal lady who had placed her grounds at their disposal.

The bands played loyal tunes, and after paying due honour to the Baroness, the procession assembled around the platform close to the house.

A ‘Monster Meeting’ was then held from the platform and a number of speeches followed.

The Twelfth of July 1880: Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1880: Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1880: Portadown

 

On Monday 12th July 1880 the Battle of the Boyne was celebrated in Portadown with that ‘loyalty and enthusiasm for which the town and district have always been noted’.

 

Long before sunrise the sounds of fifes and drums could be heard in various parts of the town and country. At sunrise the sounds had lessened considerably as the men made their way home for a traditional breakfast to start the day.

 

“About daybreak it had lessened considerably, the possibility being that the early rising and vigorous exertion of muscle and lung promoted an appetite for the matutinal meal at an earlier hour than what was customary”.

 

At sunrise, the Triumphal Arches across the town became visible in all their glory.  They were decorated with purple rockets and orange lilies.  The floral decorations were not confined to the arches alone.  A large number of streetlamps were decorated with them also.

 

Celebrations

By 9:00am the streets began to present a livelier appearance and the sound of music could be heard across the many streets in the town.

 

A few hours later the country Lodges started to arrive in the town. A few showers fell in the early part of the morning, but none that put a dampener on the celebrations.

 

Shortly after 11:00am the various Lodges of the District gathered at Corcrain, here they were joined by five Lodges from Lurgan and six from Loughgall.

 

At midday they formed into the following order:

 

LOL 7 – Worshipful Master: Robinson Ruddock (Also Worshipful District Master)

LOL 8- Worshipful Master: Henry Mercer

LOL 9- Worshipful Master: Thomas Hoy

LOL 10- Worshipful Master: J A Woodhouse

LOL 13- Worshipful Master: James Arnold

LOL 18- Worshipful Master: William McIntyre

LOL 19- Worshipful Master: James Minnis

LOL 20 – Worshipful Master: John Anderson

LOL 25- Worshipful Master: Robert Wright

LOL 31- Worshipful Master: William Lawson

LOL 35- Worshipful Master: John Hampton

LOL 40 – Worshipful Master: David Moore

LOL 58- Worshipful Master: Alexander William Crosbie

LOL 78- Worshipful Master: Thomas Jones

LOL 80- Worshipful Master: George Laverty

LOL 81- Worshipful Master: Hugh Taggart

LOL 89- Worshipful Master: W J Gardiner

LOL 99- Worshipful Master: John Boyd

LOL 107- Worshipful Master John Dickson

LOL 172- Worshipful Master George Ruddell

LOL 417- Worshipful Master John Patton

LOL 516- Worshipful Master James Gordon

LOL 948- Worshipful Master James Cummings

LOL 1301- Worshipful Master George Smyth

 

In front of the procession walked the Reverend Sweeney from Annaghmore, Mr R Ruddock and Mr Crosbie. The procession proceeded along Woodhouse Street, Market Street, West Street, round St Marks Church, along the Church and High Street and from there to Bachelor’s Walk.  They marched back to town and separated at ‘Portadown Orange Hall’ (Carleton Street).

 

At 4:00pm the Brethren re-assembled at the Orange Hall and shortly afterwards left for their respective homes.

A Successful day

The weather was fine during the afternoon and several places of business were closed, giving the employees a holiday.  By 10:00pm the streets were clear.  The celebrations in Portadown in 1880 of the ‘victory of the Battle of the Boyne’ was one of the most peaceful demonstrations of the many that took place across Ulster.

 

The following day a large number of people from the town and country made their way to Scarva, and on their return in the evening the streets presented once again a lively and colourful celebration.

 

The Twelfth of July 1870: Carrickblacker, Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1870: Carrickblacker, Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1870: Carrickblacker, Portadown

 

The 1870 Twelfth celebrations at Carrickblacker were described as:

 

“no demonstration ever held in Portadown surpassed this one in numbers, enthusiasm or respectability”.

 

At midnight the bells of St Mark’s, Drumcree and Seagoe Churches rang, and a few small bonfires were set alight in the streets.

 

“The cheering round the fires and the sound of the bells were heard far and wide in the calm night air”.

 

At 3:30am a large group of drummers mostly young men between the ages of sixteen and seventeen, paraded the town and continued playing the drums up and down the main streets until around 6:30am.

 

Between 9:00am and 10:00am the drumming resumed and continued until the afternoon.  There were extra police brought in, as well as the soldiers who were stationed in the town.  They patrolled the streets during the day but did not interfere in the celebrations.

 

Carrickblacker

The town and the railway station were very busy with people from 10:00am as visitors from Killylea, Richill, Armagh, Lurgan, Annaghmore, Scarva, Gilford and Tandragee came to join the celebrations.

 

“There was hardly walking room in the streets”

 

The majority of visitors’ destination was the Carrickblacker Estate, where a great open-air demonstration was held.

 

“The road between that place, and the railway station was literally impassable, so great were the crowds coming from and going to the place of meeting”.

 

The use of the estate was granted by Mr Stewart Blacker, although he was not there for the celebrations as he was in Canada visiting fellow Orangemen.  We now know that from that visit came the inspiration for the building of Carleton Street Orange Hall.

 

“No site could possibly have been chosen better suited for an open-air meeting on such a large scale.  The large meadow known as the ‘Barrow’ contains at least thirty acres and extends for a quarter of a mile or more, along the edge of the River Bann.  It is well shaded with trees and the protection afforded by these, the absence of all dust, the splendid weather, and a fine cooling breeze off the water, combined to make the meeting go off more successfully”.

 

Celebrations

The following districts were present; Portadown, Armagh, Lurgan, Tandragee, Newtownhamilition, Keady, Killylea, part of Loughgall, Richill and part of Scarva.  There was around 200 Private Orange Lodges all together.  Most of the Lodges were from Co Armagh but many also came from Co Down and Co Tyrone.

 

There was a considerable number of flags along the route and in the estate.  At the entrance to Carrickblacker Estate a very ‘handsome’ Triumphal Arch was erected, which was decorated with orange lilies and other flowers.  From the centre an engraving of King William III crossing the Boyne was suspended.

 

A Platform covered with crimson cloth and two ‘beautiful flags’ was erected at the back of the mansion house.

 

Mrs Blacker, Mother of Stewart Blacker and the Baroness von Stieglitz (nee Hester Anne Blacker), took a keen interest in the meeting.

 

“At no time, however, could there have been more than 30,000 round Carrickblacker House; but at least an equal number lined the roads, and were scattered over the meadows.  Altogether there could hardly have been less than 50,000 people in the town, at Carrickblacker and on the roads connecting the two”.

 

Everyone present wore orange rosettes and ‘Orange Sashes were very conspicuous’. At 3:00pm the meeting commenced.  The crowds’ hand been entertained by Killylea Brass Band for a short period of time.  ‘Out of compliment’ to Mrs Blacker and the Baroness von Stieglitz they played a series of tunes including ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and ‘The Protestant Boys’.  The Lurgan Brass Band also played on the grounds.

 

The Reverend Charles Waring lead the service and M Rogers, County Grand Secretary introduced the various speakers. There were a number of speakers present.

 

 

 

The Twelfth of July 1863: Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1863: Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1863: Portadown

 

Sunday

The Twelfth celebrations in 1863 fell on a Sunday, as is customary the commemorations were moved to the Monday.  On the Sunday however sermons were preached appropriate to the occasion in several churches throughout the district.

 

St Marks Church was decorated with orange and purple flowers and an ‘elegant wreath was gracefully hung from one of the large beams over-head’.  At the morning service there was a large attendance.  The Reverend A. Fitzgerald preached a ‘very excellent sermon from 1st Peter’.

 

There was also a large attendance at the evening service.  The Reverend F. Archdall preached to the Orangemen of Portadown District.  He read from Revelations and during the course of the sermon also read the qualifications of an Orangeman.  The prayers used were also the same ones used at the opening and closing of Lodge meetings.

 

Monday

Early on the Monday morning at approximately 4:00am, a party of men with fifes and drums marched through the town.  It was not until 11:00am that the country lodges made their way through the town.

 

From then until 2:00pm the lodges and spectators continued to make their way to the town.  By 4:00pm it was estimated that there was ‘between 14,000 to 15,000 in the streets and public houses’.

“We never saw so many in this town before”.

 

“In this and neighbouring towns we had the usual amount of drumming and fifing, flags flying and decent looking men and women in holiday attire crowding the streets.”

 

An extra force of police was in the town from the previous Saturday, but they were not needed and never left the Barracks.  By 6:00pm, after a long day, the majority were making their way home.

 

“We did not hear from the lips of anyone an absence word or a party expression.  It passed off very quietly”.

The Twelfth of July 1860: Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1860: Portadown

The Twelfth of July 1860- Portadown

 

The early Twelfth Commemorations in the 1800’s were celebrated slightly different compared to modern times. In 1860 on the eleventh night, the bells of St Marks Church rang out.  As was a custom of the time many shots were fired in honour of the approaching anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

 

On the Twelfth Morning, at a very early hour, much earlier than the 8:30am start of modern times, the country Lodges paraded the town with Fife and Drum.  The District Master in 1860 was John. E. Brown.

 

It was a quiet day, as was the custom for much of the period of the 1800’s when the parades were a lot less structured. In the middle of the afternoon, a total of 24 Lodges made their way to Vinecash to hear a Sermon preached in the grounds of a Meeting House.  The minister was Rev. Mr Crummey.

 

After the Service had concluded, the Orangemen then ‘retired’ to their respective Lodge Rooms.  The Lodge rooms then would have been in houses and public houses.  It would be another twelve years before the first Orange Halls, were to be built in Portadown District.  A few hundred ‘returned to the town and joined the Aughlish Lodge’.  They wore their ‘scarfs’, carried their banners and played the usual Loyal tunes through the town.

 

“Everyone quietly left the town.  At 9:00pm there was no unusual activity in the streets to distinguish it from an ordinary evening”.

 

A social tea meeting was held in the Wesleyan Tabernacle, Cloncore.  It was presided over by John Shillington, Esq.  There was also a service at Derrybroughas (just off the Derrycarne Road). It was presided over by W.J.Paul, Esq.

 

There was also a Union Tea meeting at Drumnakelly (Mahon Road/Markethill Road).

 

A good attendance was described at each event.

The Historical Significance of Triumphal Arches

The Historical Significance of Triumphal Arches

Ulster Arches

In Ulster, Triumphal Arches form part of the wider cultural commemorations and celebrations of the Williamite Wars of 1688-1691.  Loyal Order Parades, Band Parades, Bonfires, Flags, Bunting and Murals are also used as part of the commemorations and celebrations.

The Arches displayed during the cultural Celebrations and Commemorations in Portadown and across Ulster are known as Triumphal Arches.

 

Edenderry Arch

Triumphal Arches

Triumphal Arches are monumental structures consisting of at least one arched passageway.  They are often erected to honour an important person or to commemorate a significant event.  Triumphal Arches are often built to span either a street or roadway that a triumphal procession will pass under.

Triumphal Arches originate from ancient Roman Architecture.  They were first built around the 2nd Century.  The Arches were built all over the Roman Empire to commemorate military triumphs and other significant events such as the accession of a new Emperor.

Thiepval Memorial, France

 

Around the World

There are famous Triumphal Arches all over the world.  Some of the most famous include the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Arch of Constantine in Rome, the Menin Gate in Belgium and the Thiepval Memorial in Picardy, France.

 

Mourneview Street

The Arches of Portadown

Outside of Belfast, Portadown has always took centre stage for the wide variety of Arches displayed. The number of Arches displayed in Portadown during the cultural celebrations and commemorations is a testimony to the town’s proud title of ‘The Orange Citadel’.

The earliest reference to an Arch in Portadown can be found in the House of Commons Journal (Hansard).  It was erected in July 1835 in Woodhouse Street.

Community

The Arches throughout the town are looked after by individual committees.  The individuals on the committees dedicate a lot of time throughout the year to raising funds for the Arches and also maintaining their upkeep.  Without these hardworking individuals in the community the Arches would not be put up for all to enjoy as part of the Cultural Celebrations.

 

South Street

Orangemen Return to Carleton Street Orange Hall 1944

Orangemen Return to Carleton Street Orange Hall 1944

Before Victory in Europe in 1945, the Orangemen and Orangewomen of Portadown could return to Carleton Street Orange Hall.  The Hall had been under military control to both the British and American Troops at different periods of time during the 2nd World War.

To mark the occasion a function was held in the Town Hall in 1944.

“The large and enthusiastic representative audience spoke volumes for the virility of the Order in the Portadown District and augurs well for its future progress here”.

 

The assembly room in the Town Hall was ‘attractively decorated’ with bunting, greenery and flowers.  This added a ‘welcome touch of warmth’.

“Everyone was in good spirits and keen to resume the good work of the order”.

Dr Dougan and the Orange Influence

In his opening address, District Master Dr George Dougan said that ‘they had a great deal for which to be thankful for.  They were grateful to get back again and it would make a great difference to the Order in the District’.

In his speech conclusion, Dr Dougan conveyed to the meeting a message of good wishes from sister Louisa Shillington, widow of the former District Master, Major David Graham Shillington.

Service

Parkmount Flute Band led the music entertainment, their conductor was Brother Albert Wilson.  Songs were performed by Brother Harold McAfee, Brother Leslie Hurst and Brother Jack Menaul.

Secretary of the Orange Hall Committee, Brother Herbert Whitten, who had been at the forefront of all negotiations with the British and American Military authorities regarding the Hall, gave an interesting survey of matters concerning the hall since its requisition by the military.

A number of speeches followed.

The Ladies

There was a short interval in the service and tea was served.  This was provided by two of the Women’s Orange Lodges, WLOL 62 and WLOL85. The District Mistress, Sister Dougan, organised the refreshments ‘with an efficiency that earned the praise of all present’.

With the interval over, Parkmount Flute Band once again took to the stage to provide musical entertainment.

Presentation

One surprise item came at the end of the evening.  Mr Callender Bullock made a presentation (on behalf of his wife) from the members of Portadown Women’s Unionist Association, to Dr George Dougan.  It was a ‘beautiful paper knife’.

The evening Concluded with the National Anthem.