WF2 BLACKER FAMILY IN IRELAND & ENGLAND.
POINTS OF INTEREST REGARDING THE BLACKER FAMILY.
Additional Notes added in about 1980 by Ruth May:
When deciphering and confirming many Irish place names for the history compiled by Major C. M. Blacker, reference was made to the A.A. Road Book of Ireland (Printed 1956-65 by Hely Thom Limited) and this brought to notice many items of interest concerning the Blacker family background - consequently, extracts are given hereafter:
Carraig Bhlaicear: Blacker's Rock.
The family home of the Blackers, who are said to trace their descent from Norse kings, was demolished in 1956. There are memorials to the family in Seagoe Parish Church, to the northeast of Portadown.
COUNTY OF ARMAGH (Ulster)
(County Town: Armagh)
This is the smallest of the six counties of Northern Ireland. The flat shores of Lough Neagh form the northern border, and the River Bann flows from the neighbouring County Down to Portadown and into the lough.
Ard Macha: Macha's Height or Height of the Plain.
A town of profound interest, the history of which commences where the history of Emain Macha ends. With Emain Macha ended the era of Pagan culture, whilst Ard Macha ushered in the era of Christian culture. The race of powerful kings had passed with the destruction of Emain Macha and when St. Patrick arrived at Ard Macha a petty king named Daire was the local ruler. His residence appears to have stood on the hill which is now crowned by the Cathedral. Armagh soon became the leading city of Christian Ireland. Such multitudes flocked to its famous school of learning, even from England, that one of the wards of the city was called the Saxon Ward. The activities of this school were curtailed, if not wholly destroyed, by repeated Marauding expeditions of the Norsemen. More than a score of times within five centuries the city, with its Cathedral, was either burned down or plundered, so that although Armagh has a long and eventful history, little remains to illustrate that history.
Two scenes stand out prominently in its history. First was the visit of Brian Boru as Ard-ri, when he was received with great state; the precious book of Armagh was placed in his hands and his visit duly noted in the book. Before his week's visit terminated, kneeling before the alter of St. Patrick's Church, he presented twenty ounces of pure gold to the Church. The second scene took place ten years later. The Battle of Clontarf had been fought and the bodies of Brian and his son were brought by faithful servants for burial in hallowed ground beneath the shadow of St. Patrick's Church. The period of mourning for the dead lasted twelve days, and on the day of burial the sacred Book of Armagh was borne before the King's coffin. Two heirlooms of the early days have come down to us - The Book of Armagh and St. Patrick's Bell.
Armagh is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, the seat of both the Cardinal Archbishop, Primate of All Ireland, and of the Protestant Archbishop. It is an interesting city, noted for its two cathedrals and its many Georgian and Regency houses. On the outskirts lies the great rath of Emain Macha of much historical interest.
Cluain Tarbh: Meadow of Bulls.
Situated on the inner north shore of Dublin Bay. A crushing defeat of the Norsemen by Brian Boru took place here in 1014. The Irish leader was, however, mortally wounded in the battle.
Baile Atha Cliath: The Town of the Ford of the Hurdles.
Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, enjoys one of the loveliest settings of any European city, standing as it does at the head of the wide expanse of Dublin Bay. The Cathedral stood practically in the centre of the medieval city, which extended on the north side down to the Quays on the river bank, and on the south side to the River Poddle, which now flows underground along the line of Little Ship Street. The stream enters the Liffey at a pint about 30 yards east of the present Grattan bridge, the junction with the Liffey being identified by the flock of sea-gull which for some reason is never absent during the day-time from the culverted exit of the river. Gratton Bridge is at the eastern extremity of the medieval city near the black pool (Dubhylinn) by which name the city was known to the Norsemen. Baile-atha-cliath (The Town of the Hurdle Ford) is the older name for Dublin, and it had reference to a place further up the river, close to the first frail wicker bridge which was stretched across it. This wicker bridge had several successors before its present representative, Father Mathew Bridge, was built in 1818.
Though both Atha-Cliath and the harbour of Dubhlinn must have been important places even in Celtic times, little is known of the history of the locality until the coming of the Norse sea-rovers. The medieval city, whose position and dimentions are outlined above, was of Norse origin. Three score and five ships of Norsemen arrived in Dubhlinn harbour in 837; in a short space of time a rough, but strong fortress was constructed on the high ground, probably where the upper portion of the Castle now stands, as excavations suggest. Turgesius, the commander, an outstanding figure, had a bold policy, the subjugation of the whole of Ireland, and in pursuance of this object he built and maintained fleets of ships on Lough Neagh, Carlingford Lough, and the middle reaches of the Shannon, but his amatory exploits were his undoing, and he met his end by a violent death before he had made much progress with his scheme. The Norsemen, however, in spite of fierce internecine struggles for possession of the spoils, and though they had to withdraw at times to seek temporary refuge on the islands off the coast, managed eventually to strengthen and consolidate their position at Dubhlinn with such success that in the course of one or two centuries the town became the recognised centre of the Norse settlement, which occupied every important harbour from Carlingford to Waterford.
There were many sanguinary struggles, the most famous of which occurred at Clontarf, in 1014, when the Irish, under Brian Boru, gained a signal victory that resulted in curbing the territorial expansion of the Norsemen, whilst it left them in possession of their fortress town, which had already become the emporium of the country. A little over twenty years after the Battle of Clontarf, the Norsemen, popularly known as Ostmen, had very generally become Christians, and a Church was built by Sitric, their king, on the site of the present Cathedral of Christ Church; the crypt of the Cathedral is said to preserve the original lines of this structure. Even in those early days the city had established a suburb called Ostmanstown across the river, near the site of the old hurdle ford; the Parish Church of this suburb, St. Michael's, remains to the present day.
In the spring of 1171, Earl Richard, known commonly as Strongbow, at the head of 200 knights and 1,000 men at arms, " took the town" and he was successful in defeating every attempt of the Norsemen to retake it.
Baile Ath Fhirdia: The Town of Ferdia's Ford.
...The importance of Ardee in Celtic days is shown by the extensive rath at the south end of the town. The quadrangular Castle, with its projecting towers on the east and west walls, built by Roger de Pippart in the 13th century, marks the coming of the Anglo-Normans to the town, for which they obtained a charter of incorporation. Part of the castle has been restored and is used as a court house. James II spent a night at the castel on his way to the Battle of the Boyne, and close on his heels came William III, who also lodged here.
Baile Forda; Ford's Town.
To the north of Clough is the 18th century 'Seaforde House' and in Clough the ruins of a 13th century castle on the motte of an Anglo-Norman motte and bailey castle.
Port an Dunain: The Harbour of the Small Port.
In the distant past it owed its importance to a ford across the River Bann, and its name is reminiscent of that time.
A picturesque town on the side of a steep hill, overlooking the valley of Slaney; the river from this point is navigable to the sea. The town has many historical associations. ...to the west Mount Leinster 2610 ft. and the Blackstairs range; to the south, beyond the estuary, the hills of the Barony of Forth. ...The road leading north-westwards from the town in the direction of Mount Leinster climbs steeply to reach the lofty Scullogue Gap.
Droichead Atha; Bridge of the Ford.
This picturesque industrial town and port, situated 4 miles from the mouth of the River Boyne, was in remote times called Inver Colpa, the Port of Colpa. It is intensely interesting in itself, historically and archaeologically, and also by reason of its nearness to the prehistoric and Christian remains in the valley of the Boyne. The importance of the place in ancient times was due to a ford across the river, which divides the counties of Louth and Meath, and which was used in many Celtic foray. The Norsemen were quick to realise this fact and to use the place as a base from which to plunder the surrounding country; it became one of the many strongly entrenched quarters of the dreaded Turgesius early in the 10th century. The Norsemen of Drogheda, as at Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Wexford and other towns, had settled down as peaceful traders, intermarrying with the natives, when the Anglo-Normans arrived and secured possession of the place, building a bridge across the river on the site of the ford; hence the name, Drogheda, The Bridge of the Ford. Henry III gave a separate charter of incorporation to the two divisions of the town on the north and south banks of the river and much rivalry, sometimes leading to bloodshed, existed between the two towns, but in 1412 the authorities of the two towns were persuaded by an eloquent monk to secure from Henry IV a new charter combining the two towns in one. In the reign of Edward III Drogheda ranked with Dublin, Waterford and Kilkenny as one of the four staple towns of Ireland.
Cluian Mhic Nois; The Meadow of the Son of Nos.
The monastery of Clonmacnoise was founded in A.D. 547 ...(it) soon grew to be one of the most important in the country. It is situated on a ford on the Shannon almost in the exact centre of Ireland ... at the junction of three important kingdoms of Connacht, Munster and Meath. Clonmacnoise was much patronised by the royal families of Leth Cuinn who built churches, erected crosses, and granted lands, and many kings were buried there. The monastery suffered grieviously in the Viking wars and inter-dynastic wars. Turgesius 'chief of the foreigners in Ireland' burned (it) in A.D. 844 ...the Anglo-Normans established themselves in a great castle built in 1214, the ruins of which can still be seen on the river bank to the S.W.
Baile Daithin; Little Daithi's Town
A suburb of Mallow, on the south side of the River Blackwater. (There is a medicinal spring at Mallow.)
Baile Ui Bheachain; O Beachain's Town.
A small port on Galway Bay, chiefly of interest as an excellent centre from which to explore the Burren district.
Cill Mhaighneann; Maighne's Church.
This is a place of great historic interest. Across the river, close to where the bridge now spans it, was a ford which Celt and Norsemen and Anglo-Norman often used. This way came the Dalcassians under Brian Boru, before the Battle of Clontarf, eager to meet the Norse foe. ... Road making in the district in 1933 revealed several graves of Norse warriors with swords, battle-axes, and spear-heads, now in the National Museum. In the 7th century, Maighnenn ... built his little church on the ridge overlooking the ford. It prospered in the years that followed ... The coming of the Anglo-Normans, in the 12th century, meant for this little Irish monastery, as it did for so many others, eclipse in favour of a foundation under the patronage of the invaders, in this case a House of Knights Hospitallers, a curious order, half religious, half military, which divided its hours between prayer and military drill. Their goal was the rescue of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem from the Saracen infidels, but whilst they failed to achieve their object, at least they attained to a position of immense importance and riches, and Kilmainham became the chief house of their order in Ireland, its Prior, an influential ecclesiastic, having a seat in Parliament.
Cuil Rathain; Fern Recess.
Though the town is comparatively modern, the importance of its position was recognised in ancient times, but of the Abbey, Priory, and Castle which formerly occupied the site of the town no traces remain. A large rath, or mound, is known as Mount Sandle.
An Ceide; The Plateau.
Situated on high ground, near the Monaghan border, with Clay Lake lying to the south. There are several other small lakes in the vicinity. 2 miles north-east at Tassagh is an old burial ground associated with the Culdee Priory of Armagh.
Bun Raite; Mount of the River Raite.
Situated at the head of a small creek on the Shannon estuary, at the mouth of the Bunratty River, with a very strong Castle which played an important part in the struggle between the Anglo-Norman de Clare and the Thomond family in the 13th century. The castle has been well restored, and is partly a museum containing valuable furnishings.
OTHER INTERESTING DATA ADDED IN 2002.
Note: C from 'The Millennial Harbinger' Series III Vol. V - Bethany, March, 1848. No: III
(Extracts from one of Alexander Campbell's letters)
LETTERS FROM EUROPE--No. XXIV.
" My dear Clarinda--YORKSHIRE is much the largest county in England. It commands an extensive seacoast, embraces many important towns besides its capital, is well supplied with rivers, and much of it in the highest state of cultivation. Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Richmond, Kingston-on-Hull, &c. &c., are within its precincts. York, its capital, is situated on the river Ouse... "
In 1346, the Scots, under their king, David Bruce, entered England, and ravaged the country as far as Durham. Philippa, the wife of Edward III., then in France, collected an army, and gave battle to the Scots, at Neville's Cross, near Durham, totally defeated them, and left 15,000 of their number dead upon the field.
Note: D from 'The Wars of the Viking Age' By Mike Walloch.
THE NORWEGIANS AND DANES IN IRELAND
Ireland had remained mostly isolated before the Vikings. The Irish were never part of the Roman Empire and so it's collapse really didn't affect them that much. But they never managed to pull together as a single nation either. Ireland had been a collection of clans for hundreds of years.
The situation changed in 839 when the Norwegian Turgeis (Thorgisl) conquered Northern Ireland, founded Dublin, and crowned himself king. The Norwegians continuously attacked and plundered the locals until 851 when the Danes attacked the Irish Norwegians. The Irish supported the Danes and for a time they replaced the Norwegians as masters of Ireland. The
Norwegian leader Olaf (Amlaibh) and his brother Ivar-Imhar fought back against the Danes and a lengthy war ensued. Eventually the Irish managed to repulse them both, only to be re-conquered by a new Norwegian invasion.
In 1000 Brian Boru defeated the Vikings and declared himself High King (Ard Ri) of all Ireland, but his hold over the island was not really complete. The Vikings did not yet give up their fortified settlements on the island, nor did all the Irish leaders support Brian Boru.
Note E. from 'The Rise and Development of Portadown by S. C. Lutton. - 'Town History'
The other large landlords who owned land on the east bank of the Bann were the Blacker family who resided at Carrickblacker House built in 1692. This family originally hailed from Yorkshire and purchased the Manor of Carrowbrack comprised of 16 townlands, from Anthony Cope of Loughgall. The Blackers were prominent in the Army and the Church.
Note: F. However, Ballyvaughan is in county Clare - A small port on Galway Bay, chiefly. See Black Head.
Black Head is in the Burren (q.v.) district, overlooking Galway Bay and the distant Connemara hills and noted for its many rare rock plants.
WF2 Samuel Blacker = (1st) Martha
(1715 - 1806) ( ? - ? )
= (2nd) Elizabeth Brookman
[m. 1783] (1756 - 1812)
Samuel Blacker (whose parents have not yet been traced) was born in June, 1715. He was a Collery proprietor, a landowner and a farmer; also a copyholder under the Duchy of Cornwall. His first wife's name was Martha, but it would seem that there was no issue of this marriage, (at least none recorded by Major Latham C. M. Blacker on which most of the information concerning this branch of the Blacker family is based.) They lived at 'Clandown', Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England. It is not known when his first wife died but at the age of 68 he married a widow, Elizabeth nee Brookman, who was born in 1756. They were married on 7.6.1783 by licence and had four children. Samuel died on 13.11.1806 in Midsomer Norton, aged 91 and his wife, Elizabeth, died on 8.11.1812, aged 56.
He must have been in a good way of business because on his death he left six hundred pounds to each of his daughters and this was eventually inherited, (in the case of Elizabeth Warner nee Blacker,) by her daughters, being approximately two hundred pounds each after deductions for legal charges, etc., were made and interest added. All papers concerning this litigation can be seen at the Albany Museum in Grahamstown, South Africa.
Samuel and Elizabeth Blacker's four children were :
c.1. Samuel Palmer Blacker
d. 24. 9.1853 Midsomer Norton
m. in 1808
Betty Ann Bush
d. 9.10.1862 Midsomer Norton
They had 4 children:
(i) Samuel Blacker b. 10.9. 1809.
(ii) Edwin Blacker
(iii) Frank Blacker
(iv) George Frederick Blacker
b. 1818 Midsomer Norton, Somerset.
d.8.9.1874 Midsomer Norton, Somerset.
He became a surgeon.
m. Mary Ann Keel Dudden of High Lyttleton,
married on 30.11.1843 at High Littleton Parish Church
She was the daughter of John Dudden.
b. 1818 Midsomer Norton [(?) but as shown on early tree]
c. 10.8.1908 Norton Clifton, Somerset.
And they had 5 children:
(a) Jane Blacker died in infancy
(b) John Dudden Blacker died in infancy
(c) Arthur Edward died in infancy
(d) Ernest Blacker M.D. d. 21.1. 1911 Midsomer Norton
(e) M. E. Blacker
c.2. Sarah Patience Blacker
m. Charles Thomas Coles (Colls?)
Their issue were living in New Zealand in 1885.
[See under W1/4.[B]C Samuel Good Warner for the shooting accident which took place at their home 'Ashgrove', near Redpost, near Radstock.]
c.3. *Elizabeth Blacker
b. 1.5.1784 Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England
c. 18.6.1840 Great Fish River, Cape Province, South Africa.
m. 4. 2.1804 Bristol, Gloucester, England.
b. 15. 3.1782 Bristol, Gloucester
d 5.6.1868 Wodehouse, Transkei, South Africa.
They had 5 children and they were among the Settlers who emigrated to South Africa in 1820. [See under W2/3.* Henry Warner = *Elizabeth Blacker for details of the lives and family]
c.4. Mary Blacker
bapt. 4. 2.1786 Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England
d. 1.12.1827 Cripplegate, London
m. 15.10.1805 Midsomer Norton, Somerset.
b. 11. 2.1783 Bristol, Gloucester, England.
d. 29. 6.1866 Hillsborough, Ireland.
[See under W1/5.D[A] Ebenezer Warner for details of their lives and family]
BLACKER FAMILY INFORMATION.
The following names and dates are carved into a sarcophagus which stands slightly left and in front of the door to the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist at Midsomer Norton:
Betty Blacker, wife of Samuel d. 2. 1.1774 Aged ???
Samuel Blacker, their son d. 6.11.1754 Aged 8 months
Samuel Blacker, the father d. 13.11.1808 Aged 91
Samuel Palmer Blacker (son) d. 24. 9.1853 Aged ???
Betty Ann Blacker (son's wife) d. 9.10.1862 Aged 76
George Frederick Blacker (son of Samuel Palmer) d. 8. 9.1874 Aged 56
George Frederick Blacker (b. 1846) d. 25. 5.1865 Aged 19
Augustus Blacker d. 20. 5.1876 Aged 25
Jane,John Dudden and Arthur Edward, children
of George Frederick Blacker died in infancy
Harriet Sophia Williams, wife of Arthur Edward
Blacker of Clifton d. 4. 5.1900 Aged 41
Mary Ann Keel, wife of George Frederick b. 15.11.1820
Blacker d. 10. 8.1908 at Clifton
Also, Ernest Blacker, son of above d. 21. 1.1911
George Frederick, only son of Arthur Edward killed in France 9.5.1915
Blacker and late Sophia Williams Blacker of Clifton and buried there.
'From the records of Merton Priory, the first Church in Norton of which there is any knowledge may be dated 1150. The archway and other stones now preserved in the vicarage garden, show that it was certainly a Norman Building ... The official year of dedication is 1312 ... Today all that remains of the original building is the tower and the upper part of this was repaired and restored in the 15th and 17th Centuries.
In 1828 it was decided to demolish the old church (apart from the tower) prior to rebuilding it completely. The Foundation Stone of the new building was laid on 8.10.1828. The present Vicarage was built in 1844 on a new site.
The font is Norman and is the most ancient piece of workmanship in the church. It was discovered nearby in Mr. Hallway's garden in the last century.
Midsomer Norton has a peal of bells that originates from 1623 ... Three of the bells come from the Norman Tower which was demolished in 1674 and another three were given by King Charles II. The inscription on the seventh bell (of the present 12) reads:
" 'Twas Charles the Second our Gracious King
Was the chief cause we eight bells ring."
The eighth, ninth and tenth bells are inscribed:
" Anno Domini 1623."