{Town History title}Page 1 of 4
The next few pages give a brief history of my hometown from the earliest known records until today. This history is far from complete but will round out the history of the Edgeworth's elsewhere on this site.If anyone finds a factual error here please let me know.
St. John's Church of Ireland
The original church was founded c. 6th. century by St. Beatan whose feastday is 24th. January. John O'Donovan mentions St. Berach (Barry) in his 1837 survey as being patron but this is doubtful. Several buildings occupied this site but it is not known when the present church was built. The parish is Mostrim or Meathus-Truim. Mention is made in the Four Masters of the death of Bishop Forann in 75I and under date 755 in the Annals of Ulster. About 121O a grant of land was given by Thomas de Rosel (Russell) to the Priory of Tristernagh. It is thought that this land was at Lacken. An obscure reference in the Annates speaks of Mostrim and Russagh as being one parish with the rectory at Mostrim and a curacy at Russagh with a perpetual vicar. The rectory there was long vacant in 1410 when that at Mostrim was given to Nemeas or Giolla -- na -- Naomh O' Fearghail then prior of Inishmor in Loch Gamhna(Gowna). The site of the parish church was the same when the Down Survey was made in the I7th. century. It was the church of the Edgeworth family. The spire was built on the ground on an iron frame and covered with slates by Richard Lovell Edgeworth in 1811 and then brought to the top of the tower by a system of balancing pulleys. It lasted until 1935. A wooden gallery was erected about 1704 for the benefit of poor parishioners. This was removed in 1888 when further reconstruction was carried out at a cost of £450. Final repairs were made in 1957 after storm damage and dry rot in the timber. Inside are memorial tablets in memory of many of the Edgeworths -- one mentions Admiral Beaufort who devised the scale to measure wind force which is used in weather forecasts to the present day. The adjoining cemetery contains some interesting graves apart from the Edgeworth vault. These include Dr. Thomas O' Beirne (1739/1747) Catholic Bishop of Ardagh who may have been from Mullagh or Mostrim, and nearby are those of two Vicars-General. One was Rev. Francis Ferrall, Pastor of Ardagh and Mostrim, the other being Rev. F. John O' Rorke parish priest of Edgeworthstown, a Franciscan of the old Friary of St. John Baptist. He died in 1793. A favourite sister of Oscar Wilde is also buried there but there is no trace of a headstone which is thought to have been demolished. She died in 1867 aged nearly 1O. She was on a visit to her aunt,the wife of the Rector at the time (Rev. G. Noble). Many years later Oscar wrote a poem ''Requiescat" in her memory. The last person to be buried there was Conal O' Ferrall of Camlisk who died in January I933. The cemetery was officially closed about 1896 when the present one at Aughfin was opened. The present rectory attached to St. Johns was built in 1732, possibly as a dower-house of the Edgeworths.
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