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Leckpatrick Old Graveyard

Seventeenth-century memorials


The earliest recorded burial in the cemetery has a direct link with the plantation period in the memorial to John Maghee in 1617. It is likely that this John Maghee was a freeholder on the estate of Sir George Hamilton and the Civil Survey of 1655 records a David Maghee as freeholder in Balliburney (Hollyhill) in the parish of Leckpatrick. David Maghee was agent to the Abercorns for much of the mid-seventeenth century and it was this farm in Hollyhill that passed to the Sinclair family in the 1680s from captain George Maghee. This family name was prominent in Strabane in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and a Daniel Maghee is recorded as Church of Ireland curate in Camus in 1668 while the parish schoolteacher for both Camus and Leckpatrick in 1686 was also Daniel, possibly the same person.3


Rev. George Maghee was rector of Camus parish in the years 1765 –69 while a son William was curate in Leckpatrick in the period 1768 –72. The father of Rev. George Maghee was also George, an apothecary in Strabane and it is likely that this was the same George Maghee who was removed from Strabane corporation in 1732 when Abercorn was attempting to regain control of the borough. It was soon discovered that Maghee had been the victim of unfounded allegations and his appointed replacement proved much less amenable to Abercorn’s interests that had been anticipated.4 This may have been the same George Maghee whose death is recorded on a flat sandstone slab in Leckpatrick graveyard, with the inscription – ‘Here Lyeth the Body of George Maghee who Departed This Life The 29 Day of November Anno Dom 1743’.


3 Michael Cox - The Plantation and Seventeenth Developments in The Fair River Valley : Strabane Through the Ages by J.Bradley et al (Belfast 2000)

4 Antony Malcomson – The Abercorn Family and Political Control in Strabane 1690 –1800 in The Fair River Valley (Belfast 2000)

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