Reported 280 Years Ago (April 28 1739): Careless servants cause houses to burn down in Co Down

The Belfast News Letter of April 17 1739 (April 28 in the modern calendar)
The Belfast News Letter of April 17 1739 (April 28 in the modern calendar)
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From the Belfast News Letter of April 17 1739 (April 28 in the modern calendar):

Last Week six Dwelling Houses in Ballysallagh in the County of Downe, were burnt down by an accidental Fire, occasioned by the Carelessness of Servants, in throwing out Ashes with Fire in them.


We hear that his Majesty will go to the House of Lords on Thursday, and give the Royal Assent to the Land-Tax, and several private Bills.

And that his Majesty has declared his Intentions of going for three Weeks to Kensington, after the Rising of the Parliament. And afterwards to pass the Remainder of the Summer at Hampton-Court; where the Princess Amelia will have a Drawing-Room. His Majesty’s Hunting Horses are ordered to be sent to Hampton Court. [George II was king]

We hear that the new-born Prince is to be baptiz’d on Thursday se’nnight at Norfolk-House. His Majesty hath set an Order to the Jewel-Office for several Necessaries to be brought from the Tower for the Christning of the New born Prince. [Edward’s older brother became George III]


The Timber for building the Barracks in this Place is just arrived, and all other Materials for that Purpose will speedily be provided, so that no Time will be lost to have them expeditiously finished this Summer.

Last Week arrived the St. Peter of Arundel, with 250 Tons of choice good Fir Timber for Messrs Patrick Smith and John Gordon, which they will sell on very reasonable Terms.

On Saturday last the Assizes ended at Downpatrick, when the Person mentioned in a former Paper to be charged for the Murder of a Woman near Dromore, was acquitted.— One Martin of Lisburn, convicted of feloniously taking Lead belonging to the Right Hon. Lord Viscount Hillsborough; but it’s thought he will be transported. — John Mc.Neely, a reputed common Baritor, (being charged before the said Lord Hillsborough as such) was then taken Prisoner, and committed to the Goal of said Place, where he remains to stand another Trial at next Assizes.

By private Letters from London we have Advice that the Right Honourable the Lord Viscount Duncannon is appointed one of the Commissioners of his Majesty’s Revenue in this Kingdom, in the Room of his Excellency Henry Boyle Esq; now Chancellor of the Exchequer.

DUBLIN, April 14.

We are credibly inform’d, that a certain Set of free and accepted Masons belonging to regular Lodges in this City, are proposing to raise a Fund for the better Support of their sick and distress’d Brethren, and that they intend to bury their Dead with great Funeral Solemnity. There is near 100 already enter’d; and ‘tis hop’d, that every publick-spirited Brother will favour so laudable and charitable an Intention.

The Right Hon. the Lord Cathcart is made Govenor of Londonderry, in the Room of the late General Wynne.

From the Paris A-la main, April 11. M Peter, Titular Bishop of Waterford and Lismore in Ireland, died a few Days ago, in the 94th Year of his Age.


Edinburgh, April 9. Tuesday last the Presbtery of Dunkeld met, when several Rev. Members moved, That in respect of the late Prosecution, and unanimous Sentence of the high Court of Justiciary against Mr. James Hog Minister of Caputh, the Presbytery should proceed to make a proper Examination into the Truth of the Facts he stood charged with; while others insisted, that any such Examination seem’d inconsistent with the Presbytery’s former conduct in applying for the Royal Mercy: Which last Overture seeming likely to prevail, Mr. Fryar Minister at Lethindy, Mr. Bower at Rattray, &c. protested in Form, That for the Honour of the Church, the Vindication of their Brother (if he was to be such) the Discharge of their own consciences, they thought themselves in Duty bound to insist, That Mr. Hog be served with a Libel.

The Chin-Cough is so very mortal among Children here, that no less than 20 have died of that Distemper last Month.

By Letters from Naples we hear, that Mount Vesuvius, since the Loss of its Top, has been very quiet, and the Curious now enter it without any Fear, but when within side the Ground is so hot, that it almost scorches their Feet, and sometimes there issues out a warm Smoke within the Body of the mountain.

The Academy of Sciences of that City (under a Cloud during the German Administration, and conversant only in Trifles, now under the protection of a young Kent, her Maecenas) raises its Head, and have lately published a valuable Journal and Natural History of the last Eruption, with excellently grav’d Draughts of the mountain in its former present State. [Vesuvius, which destroyed Pompeii in AD 79, had erupted in 1737, one of two dozen eruptions at Vesuvius over the last 400 years, the last in 1944]

There has been a Report in Town for three Days past, that a Ship bound from Jamaica to London, had fallen into the Hands of the Spaniards; but as neither the Ship’s Name, nor Place is mentioned, ‘tis hoped the whole is a Fiction, and without Foundation.

We hear Complaint has been made at the Secretary of State’s Office, that the French have committed some Incroachments on our Fishery on the Coast of Cornwall, and we are assured, that a Romonstrance [sic] will be made on that Account.

l It is hop’d my good Customers will excuse me for not publishing their Advertisements in this Paper, which was occasioned by the Arrival of so many English and Scotch Packets.