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Caledon Estate, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland Farming Society Ploughing Match, April 1848

Extracted from the Armagh Guardian April 10 1848
Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by
Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia


This society held its annual Ploughing Match on Thursday, the 6th inst., on the farm of Mr JOSEPH McCLEERY, Glenarb. The day being extremely fine, a great number assembled to witness the trial of skill among the competitors, as some of them rank among the best ploughman of the day. Several carriages graced the field, and among the gentry present we observed, the EARL OF CALEDON, the COUNTESS OF CALEDON, Miss ALEXANDER SHAW, Rev. GODFREY ALEXANDER, H.L. PRENTICE, Esq., Mrs. PRENTICE, Miss PRENTICE, & c.

At the time appointed, there were 18 well-appointed ploughs, and never did we witness more admirable order than was preserved by those who had the superintendence of the arrangements; as not one individual was permitted to accompany the workmen, or in any wise intermeddle with the work. The Countess of CALEDON seemed to take great interest in the proceedings, as her Ladyship was in the field when the ploughs started, and remained until the work was almost completed.

The judges were Mr. BAIRD, Killilea; Mr. WM. WILSON, Derridaragh and Mr. JOHN ROBINSON, Glasslough, whose adjudication gave perfect satisfaction even to the competitors.

The following are the persons to whom prizes were awarded –

Prize Name Residence Notes
1st Mr. ROBERT MERCER Finglush plough held by his son WILLIAM
2nd Mr. GEORGE CONSTABLE Turry plough held by self
3rd Mr. JOSEPH MARSHALL Mullaghmore plough held by son MATTHEW
4th Mr. JOHN BARR Model Farm plough held by ROBERT McMURRAY
5th Mr. JOHN IRWIN Dromess plough held by brother THOMAS
6th Mr. JOSEPH HADDEN Dromore plough held by brother RICHARD
7th Mrs. MAGEE Ballymacully plough held by son EDWARD
8th Mr. JAMES IRWIN Dyan plough held by WILLIAM MOORE


It is worthy of remark, that the first prize was won by a home-made plough, by WILLIAM GORDON, Caledon, nearly all the others being “Wilkie’s.”

After the business of the day the Committee and judges sat down at the Caledon Arms Hotel, to an excellent dinner, served up in the usual good style of that establishment. During the evening several toasts were given and responded to, in short appropriate speeches. The healths of the Earl of CALEDON, the COUNTESS, young Lord ALEXANDER, W. J. ALEXANDER SHAW, Esq., HENRY L. PRENTICE, Esq., were all given with the warmth and enthusiasm, with which the several proposers seemed inspired, and the party dwelt emphatically upon Lord Caledon’ s liberal encouragement to the society