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Shankill Graveyard, Lurgan, Co Armagh

Died in the Execution of Duty


On April 22, 1787, the vestry minutes makes reference to three men William Kane, Edward Hudson and John Dennison, members of the Lurgan Volunteer Corps who had met their death in peculiar circumstances, and had lately been were interred with military honours in Shankill. From this it would appear that on the 19th March 1787, a party of Lurgan Volunteers, led by Lieutenant Godfrey set out serve a warrant on David Kerry residing at Ballygavie, Tullylish. Kerr resisted arrest and in the melee that followed fatally gunned down William Kane. The fugitives refused to surrender; his house was then set on fire. However, Kerr managed to escape the blaze, but not before he had bayoneted the unfortunate Edward Hudson, who lived for nearly a week after the incident, The other unlucky member of the corps John Dennison, who although he was on duty was in a bad state of health, the result being that he caught cold and died a few days after the unfortunate affair. He was buried in Shankill on the same days as Edward Hudson. David Kerr was subsequently arrested and charged with the murder of Kane and Hudson at Downpatrick Assizes, that September and was sentenced to death in the following month.


A few weeks after the event at Tullylish, the Belfast Newsletter of June 16, 1787, a death notice relating the burial of another member of the corps in Shankill. Died a few days ago Mr William McGowan of Legacurry Hill, a member of the Lurgan Volunteer Company since its foundation. They attended his corpse at the interment.


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