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’.
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.