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Abercorn Tenants in Strabane, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland 1744-5

Extracted from Introduction to the Abercorn Letters as Relating to Ireland 1736-1816
John H. Gebbie (Strule Press, Omagh 1972)
Transcribed, compiled and submitted by Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia

Letter from James, 8th Earl of Abercorn, Cavendish Square, London to his agent, Nathaniel Nisbitt, Strabane

15 January 1744/45

I have in my hand not only a counterpart but the deed also itself of a tenement to JOHN CARSAN 41 feet in front and extending backwards to the river, between JOHN MODERWELL’s on the south and THOMAS HETHERINGTON’s on the north. I do not know whether this will have any relation to SAMUEL CARSAN but you will enquire out what tenement it is, and I am ready to give up the deed to anybody that has a title to it.

I took some pains when I was first at Strabane to find out whose names the deeds of the several tenements were first made out in. And I have lately taken a great deal of trouble in comparing the deeds with the rent rolls.

What I chiefly purpose from it, is to keep the rent rolls more regular by inserting the original grantees, in the same manner as the collectors do in their receipts for the quit rents.

I shall now give you the following names out of the rent roll and you must endeavour to find out who were the original grantees. It is not to my purpose to know who claimed before the trustees, and where there are several freeholds in one person you must endeavour to divide them:-


MR. McGHEE did intend once give me a list of his freeholds but I have lost it, and it frequently had only the names of the claimants before the trustees. I know part of SINCLAIR’S is for MARGERT HAMILTON 15s. [shillings] and THOMAS WILL £1.0.8 but there remains £2.13.6.

It will be of some assistance to give you a list of such entries as I find in former rent rolls and do not distinguish at present. Among those are:-


Ditto for KYLE’S acres £1.4.0

GEORGE HAMILL and tenements £1.15.0


JOHN or ROBT. CRAIG £2.18.0



And there is an entry of JAMES LAWRENC’S house street during my Lord’s pleasure 10s.

There is a deed to ROBERT ALLEN and ISABEL CALWELL his wife of a tenement between the castle and the church, bounded south by the little brook and east by the road to Ballymagorry.

JOHN SAUNDERS should pay £1.5.4 and is charged £1.5.6 and JOHN DUNLAP is charged £1.5.7 and should pay but £1.5.0. You will make abatement for the future.

There is a deed to HUGH KNOX of a tenant called JANET BRISLANE’S next to JOHN and DAVID EDGAR‘s ......18s. 6.

I commenced a suit against WILLIAM BAIRD for the corner house near the Castle.