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Leckpatrick Old Graveyard

Clergy Memorials


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One further notable Catholic burial in Leckpatrick was that of Catholic priest, Rev. Thomas Christy, who died in 1827 at the age of 45 years. Tradition tells of Fr Christy dying from fever during an epidemic and records show that he was parish priest in Badoney Upper (Plumbridge) at that time.5 It seems likely that he had returned to his home in Glenmornan for nursing during his illness and suffered death there. The memorial stone shows an IHS inscription above a cross and chalice, traditionally marked on the headstones of Catholic clergy, but there are no other distinguishing characteristics on this gravestone.

 

Rather surprisingly the only other recorded clerical burial is that of local rector, Rev. George Smithwick, who had died in 1853 at the age of 58. Mention has been made earlier of the burial of Rev. Andrew Hamilton in the family plot at Leckpatrick but this interment is not decipherable on the memorial chapel there and the information comes from a printed source.6 Rev. Smithwick had been rector of the parish for eighteen years and had previously ministered in Camus and Badoney. Other rectors of Leckpatrick had likely moved away or retired before their deaths and we can conjecture that Rev. Smithwick suffered from a fatal illness while still in post and his death was not unlike the other clerical death of a few decades earlier, Rev. Christy.

 

5 Edward Daly and Kieran Devlin The Clergy of the Diocese of Derry: An Index (Dublin 1997)

6 J. B.Leslie Derry Clergy and Parishes (1837)

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