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Tombstones of the Ulster Plantation

John Hart


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A broken slab at the west end of the church commemorates the Reverend John Hart who was Presbyterian minister of Taughboyne from 1655 until his death in 1687.  He was a native of Hamilton in Scotland and according to the inscription on his tombstone, which is in Latin, was illustrisso, ‘of noble birth.’  When first appointed it was under the Cromwellian commonwealth regime and he would have preached in the parish church of Taughboyne.  However, with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, he refused to conform to the episcopalian form of worship and was ejected from the church.  Mentioned on his gravestone are many ‘sufferings’ endured and these refer to the persecution he was subjected to by the bishop of Raphoe, which resulted in him spending a total of seven years in Lifford gaol.  He would appear to have been highly regarded for in 1658 he was invited by Cromwell to attend a conference in Dublin intended to settle the religious differences of the people of Ireland.

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