On This Day 280 years ago (March 17 1739): An extraordinary drama at a wedding in Dunluce

From the tenth surviving News Letter, dated March 6 1738 (which is March 17 1739 in today’s calendar, because the new year then did not begin until late March and so dates early in the calendar that we would consider part of 1739 were then still considered part of 1738).

Sunday, 17th March 2019, 12:31 am
Updated Sunday, 17th March 2019, 2:01 am
The front page of the Belfast News Letter of March 6 1738 (March 17 1739 in the modern calendar)

We hear from Dunluce, that a comical Marriage lately happened there, between a Couple from Finvoy near Ballymoney, as follows;

The Bride unfortunately happened to fall very drunk; who immediately after the Priest had ended the Ceremony, called out with a loud Voice, go to Bed, go to Bed, and was heard at a considerable Distance off, to the great Shame of the Bridegroom, who to prevent her Cries, and make her quiet, went to Bed with her, but as she was a going she fell down Stairs and broke her Nose; With much ado she got to Bed, still crying, go to Bed, and the Bridegroom having laid her down, went back to his Company.

An arch Wag then in the House took the Opportunity of lying downwith the Bride in the Bridegroom’s Absence, who, unhappily going to see his agreeable Bride, found the honest Fellow in Bed with her in a very loving Manner, which Sight caused the Bridegroom to fall into a Swoon, while the arch Fellow got off: the Bride also got up and ran after him still crying go to Bed, who fell a second Time down Stairs and was thereby much hurt, having lost much of her Blood.

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Her Husband is in great Trouble for the Harm his Spouse had so innocently met with.


Yesterday died in the 54th Year of his Age, the Rev. Mr Samuel Haliday, a Dissenting Minister of this Place, for about 20 Years, during which Time, he maintained in every Respect, the Character of a good and worthy Minister. He was a Gentleman of great Piety and Generosity, extensive Charity and Humanity.

He has left a Name behind him which will be remember’d by his People with the greatest Veneration and Respect; and his Death is very much lamented by all his Acquaintance.

[Born in Omagh, son of a minister, Rev Haliday studied in Glasgow and Leiden. He worked as an army chaplain, in the Royal Court and became minister of Belfast First Presbyterian in 1720]

Yesterday one Samuel Burges of Lisburn was committed to the Goal of Carrickfergus, by Edward Smith, Esq; for Bigamy.


Some Weeks ago John Downing, Hostler at the George in this Place, having hired to Horses, Value about ten Guineas, unto Joseph Hooper and John Hamilton, by Agreement to carry them to Moyra, about thirteen miles distant from Belfast; but they thought proper to ride to Cork, where it is supposed they sold them; but being suspected of Crimes, were apprehended by Richard Toller, Esq; Surveyor at Cove near Cork, and they not giving a satisfactory or true Account of themselves, were sent to Cork Jail.

Its since discovered by a File of Men come from Edinburgh, in Quest of them, that they are Serjeants, and deserted a Regiment there for fraudulently procuring Quantities of Cloth from the Merchants, and causing a Soldier (one of their Accomplices) to sell the Same clandestinely at an under Value.

The Soldier receiv’d 200 Lashes, and its believed the File of Men have by this Time got them into their Custody, and it is hoped the Hostler will soon come by his Horses again.