Grand Banquet To Lord Lurgan.
The Belfast News-Letter,
Friday, July 30,
Yesterday evening, in the Diaper Hall, Lurgan, a very magnificent entertainment was given to the young Lord Lurgan, by the gentlemen of the neighbourhood, his lordship’s tenantry, and others, by way of welcoming the heir of the Brownlow estates on his arrival amongst his attached friends, neighbours, and dependents, and as an appropriate sequel to the enthusiastic demonstrations of congratulations and rejoicing which have already hailed his presence upon his patrimonial property.
The banquet was served in the most sumptuous style by Mr. Irvin, of the Brownlow Arms, in Lurgan. The arrangements, which were of the most complete description, were entrusted to a committee, who deserve great praise for the elegant manner in which the room was fitted up. The side walls were covered, from roof to ceiling, with alternate draperies of crimson and white muslin. The walls, at the head and floor of the room, were clothed with red cloth, and, at the upper end, above the chairman’s seat, an exquisite device, representing the Lurgan Arms, on a shield, composed of heaths, dahlias, crimson geraniums, and other bright tinted flowers, formed the most conspicuous ornament of the saloon. The ceiling was draped, tent-like, with alternate breadths of white and pink cloth, and from the cross-beams, which were similarly ornamented depended tri-coloured banners of white, green, and pink, sixteen in number. The effect of the whole was singularly pleasing, refreshing, and elegant. In the words of the classic writer, it was simplex mundities. Covers were laid for 160 guests, for whom ample accommodation was provided. Vases, filled with the finest flowers of the season, decorated the tables. We annex the bill of fare : –
|FIRST COURSE – Boiled legs of mutton, roasts of beef,|
|stewed rumps, and rounds of beef.|
|Hams and tongues, and smoked beef.|
|Roast veal and lamb.|
|Veal, chicken, and pigeon pies.|
|Geese, ducks, and chickens.|
|SECOND COURSE – Roast pigeons and wild ducks.|
|Ices and iced puddings.|
|Custards and creams.|
|Ornamental dishes of confectionary.|
|All the fruits in season.|
The wines were of the very finest kind, including iced French wines, &c.
The following gentlemen acted as stewards on the occasion : –
|F. Fforde, Esq.,||J. W. Greer, Esq.,|
|H. Watson, Esq.,||J. Malcolm, Esq.,|
|J. Armstrong, Esq.,||S. Ruddell, Esq.,|
|R. Coulter, Esq.,||B. Riddell, Esq.,|
|Francis Watson, Esq.,||J. Cuppage, Esq.|
|R. Morris, Esq.,|
At half-past six o’clock, the company sat down to dinner. The chair was occupied by Colonel Blacker.
On the right of the chairman, we observed,
|Lord Lurgan,||Elliott Brownlow, Esq.,|
|Archdeacon Saurin,||Thomas Stannus, Esq.,|
|Major Brownlow,||Walter Stannus, Esq.,|
|Captain R. P. Dawson,||B. Close, Esq.,|
|Charles Douglass, Esq., J.P.,||Thomas Waring, Esq.|
|Major Waring, J.P.,|
On the chairman’s left sat,
|Rev. the Dean of Ross,||Joseph Greer, Esq., J.P.,|
|H. G. Brownlow, Esq.,||R. H. Dolling, Esq., J.P.,|
|W. McDonald, Esq.,||Henry J. Porter, Esq., J.P.,|
|J. Hancock, Esq., J.P.,||N. Hancock, Esq.,|
|Rev. S. Knox,||S. Blacker, Esq.,|
|C. Knox, Esq.,||Rev. Edward Kent.|
In other parts of the room we observed,
|John O. Woodhouse, Esq., Portadown;||Wm. Leny, Esq.,|
|Thomas Shillington, Esq., Portadown;||Hugh Watson, Esq., Buck Park;|
|Wm. Paul, Esq., Portadown;||J. Hall Boyd, Esq.,|
|the Rev. Dr. O’Brien,||Thomas Carleton, Esq., Portadown;|
|Rev. Mr. Millar,||William Langtry, Esq., Portadown;|
|Rev. Mr. McKay,||John Irwin, Esq., Portadown;|
|Dr. Hannay, M.D.,||Thomas Ringland, Esq., (Ulster Bank);|
|Dr. Maclaughlin, M.D.,||Thomas Hall, Esq., (Northern Bank);|
|Dr. Bell,||Rev. C. Falloon,|
|W. Armstrong, Esq.,||Rev. W. P. Oulton,|
|Robert Armstrong, Esq.,||John Henning, Esq., Waringstown;|
|W. Morris, Esq.,||John Lockhart, Esq., &c., &c.|
The two vice-chairs were occupied by John Cuppage, Esq., J.P., Lurgan, and H. F. Fforde, Esq., Raughlin.
A blessing was asked by Archdeacon Saurin, and, the company having done full justice to the excellent viands provided for them, after the dessert was removed.
The gallant CHAIRMAN (Colonel Blacker) rose, and spoke as follows : – My friends, you have done me no little honour by calling upon me to preside on this interesting occasion. I am very sensible the situation might have been more efficiently filled-(no, no)-and perhaps you will be of the same opinion before the night is over; but, this I will say, that you could not have found a chairman whose heart is more sincerely in the object of our meeting. (Cheers.) On this ground I call for your support, nay, more, the Constitution allows of but one despot, and that is a toast-master-(cheers and laughter)-and on that ground I look for your obedience also. Permit me first to hint my opinion that the overflow of good feeling and sentiment which the occasion will, of course, elicit, will be regulated by a fair consideration of the flight of time, in which I shall, as in duty bound, endeavour to set you an example. And now, my friends, for business, “prime and load.” (Great cheering.) In my younger days, “Love and loyalty” were wont to be joined in happy alliteration at the festive board, and I shall not disunite them now – this is a banquet of love, and we will commence in loyalty, by drinking the health of our gracious Queen. (Immense cheering.)
The toast was honoured with the most enthusiastic demonstrations of loyal feeling.
The CHAIRMAN – There are few things in which her Majesty has shown more taste and judgement than in the selection of her Royal Consort. (Cheers.) The general voice of the nation bears testimony to her discernment, and Lurgan will not be singular in the case. George the Fourth was considered the best bred man in Britain; our appreciation of her Majesty’s good-breeding-(laughter)-will be shown by drinking with the Royal Consort, the Royal offspring. (Loud cheers.) I give “Prince Albert and the Royal children.”
The toast was drunk with all the honours.
The CHAIRMAN – I will now call upon you to do fitting honour to her Majesty’s representative, a noble-man who appears to have enlisted on his side the best feelings of the country to the fullest extent. (Cheers.) His inclination to do substantial good seems equal to the ample means he possesses of doing it, to which Dublin in particular bears testimony. I have not yet had the honour of being presented to him, and my only communication with his Excellency has been in regard to a matter of clemency which I wished to be extended to two prisoners in our county jail, and I found my request graciously and promptly acceded to. (Loud applause.) I feel assured that he has at heart what I would couple with his name in giving “The Lord Lieutenant and prosperity of Ireland.” (Great cheering.)
After the toast was patriotically and cordially honoured.
Colonel Close, admist loud cheering, rose to respond. He said it was natural that they should all have an anxiety for the prosperity of their native land, and he rejoiced to think that they had now a Lord Lieutenant who had its interests at heart. Let them, therefore, all join in supporting him in the government of their native country; and he would pray, that whatever Administration might be called to the counsels of the Queen, Ireland might long enjoy the prosperity which the present Viceroy was anxious to secure for her. (Loud cheers.)
The CHAIRMAN again rose and said – Our gallant defenders by land and sea, is a toast which needs no preface to recommend it. I cannot, however help observing that, if there is one part of the country in which the mention of our army should excite greater interest than in another, it is this very locality, for scarcely any part has contributed more to its numbers and efficiency. Need I refer to the number of veterans, who continue at stated times to parade their wooden legs and medals of honour before the local magistrates. (Cheers.) I can speak from some experience. I have myself (and I was only one of many so employed), enlisted fully a thousand men in this country, the greater proportion of whom went to swell the ranks of that host which chased the Marshals of Napoleon from Spain and himself from Waterloo. (Loud cheers.) There a distinguished regiment of dragoons in former days called the Ligoneers, but who, subsequently, got the name of the Lurganeers-(great cheering)-from the numbers of men it enlisted here. I believe our contributions to the navy are few enough, but I could mention one from this neighbourhood, a post-captain, who died at the age of thirty-six, from wounds received in his country’s service, after having been engaged with the enemy oftener than he was years old; if it is your wish I could name him. (General cries of “Name.”) He was my own brave brother. (Great sensation.) But though we have given so few blue jackets to the service, I need not tell you of the number of fine young fellows who have gone, and are daily going to wear the blue coats of that unrivalled corps, the British Artillery. I give you “The Army and Navy.” (Loud applause.)
Major Waring rose to return thanks. He said – Notwithstanding the manner in which Colonel Blacker had spoken of a revered relative of his own, there were two characteristics by which the British soldiers had been distinguished – one was gallantry in the field, and the other good conduct in quarters. (Cheers.) To the latter, he had no doubt, many then present could bear testimony, from personal observation; and, if they examined the annals of history, from the glorious days of Cressy to those of Waterloo, abundant proof would be found of the gallantry of the British soldier in the field. (Cheers.) In later times, likewise, in conjunction with their gallant comrades of the Indian army, on the banks of the Sutlej and the Irawaddy, and in South Africa, the British soldier had nobly sustained his character, and by his courage, and perseverance, and patient endurance of privation, has proved himself in no wise degenerated. And sure was he (Major Waring) that whenever the British soldier would be called on to meet an enemy in the field of action, he would carry the colours of his country triumphantly to victory. (Cheers.) With regard to the navy, its splendid achievements were well known, and the remembrance of them was so deeply engrafted in the hearts of his fellow-countrymen that they needed no eulogium from him; but he knew that whenever their country called upon the British navy to exhibit
“The flag that braved a thousand years.
The battle and the breeze,”
it would be found to emulate the conduct of those whom Nelson so often led to deeds of glory and renown, until they placed, by a great and crowning victory, the laurel crown of naval supremacy on the British brow. Whilst Britain continues to wage war only in the cause of truth and righteousness – attributing the victory to Him by whom kings reign and nations prosper – the God of battles will never suffer that crown to be torn from her brow. (Loud Cheering.)
The CHAIRMAN next rose and said – My friends, I must not command a high bumper for the toast I am about to propose, it will do so itself – it is the toast of the evening, (Cheers.) In the journey of life we must frequently pass through the valley of pain to arrive at anything like pleasure. A few years back saw us plunged into deep grief and gloom. I will not dwell upon that sad period. Time, and an acquiescence in the will of the great Disposer of events, have done their part in lightening the burthen of our affliction, but I am inclined to look to this evening as tending still further to fill up the measure of consolation. That is a beautiful saying in the Irish language, “There’s a silver lining to every cloud.” (Cheers.) I would fain hope we are in for an illustration of it. We meet to hope we are in for an illustration of it. We meet to congratulate our young and noble friend on arriving at his majority, and on his return to the domain and abode of his ancestors. (Loud cheers.) I knew him in his boyhood, and there were sundry reasons which induced me to take note of his general disposition and leaning, and my impression is that, bad as the world may be, it is next to impossible that its contact can have done away the fair promise of his early days. (Cheers.) My hopes of him are high; they are built to some extent upon considerations of hereditary worth; they are strengthened by his feeling and beautiful reply to your committee when their welcome was proposed-(cheers)-and I give him, in your name and my own, the “Cead milia faltha” -(great applause)-the hundred thousand welcomes of men prepared to respect and love him, and to hail his residence in his paternal mansion as a boon to the country. He has inherited what is better calculated to prove a blessing to himself and all around him – the treasure of a good example. (Cheers.) I shall not enlarge. Flattery would, I am sure, be as distasteful to his lordship as it is foreign to my own habits. My dear young lord, one who is too near life’s close to become a dissembler, offers you his hearty congratulations, and his sincere wish that the Giver of all good may prolong your life in health and happiness. The toast is, “The Health of Lord Lurgan.” (Great and prolonged cheering.)
Lord LURGAN rose to respond, and for some minutes the cheering was so great as to prevent his first sentences from being heard. We understood him to speak as follows : – I am sure it will be set down as no common motive, that under which I rise to convey my cordial and sincere thanks for the manner in which you have drunk my health, and for the various marks of favour I have received since I entered this town, on Tuesday morning last. (Cheers.) I had but very little right to expect even an ordinary amount of esteem, but the enthusiasm which greeted me has quite overwhelmed me. I hardly know how to begin, or how to conclude. I seem to labour under an embarras du richesses, and I hardly know how to respond to the compliments you have paid me. When yet at some distance from you, and having before my own mind a picture of the Rubicon I was about to cross, a certain legal-looking document was put into my hands; and I must confess the sensations I experienced were anything but pleasant when I received it, for none of us are fond of these lawyer-like documents-(a laugh)-but judge of my satisfaction, on opening that paper, when I found that it was merely an earnest of your good-will and affection towards myself. (Cheers.) Scarcely had this feeling subsided, when it was intimated to me that the town and inhabitants of Lurgan were waiting, in a large and respectable assemblage, to greet my arrival amongst you. (Cheers.)
[His lordship continued, in an eloquent and affectionate strain, to address the company; but we are reluctantly forced, in consequence of the late arrival of our reporter last night from Lurgan, to conclude somewhat abruptly his lordship’s remarks, and give only a summary of the rest of the proceedings, reserving for our next publication a full report of the remaining incidents of this interesting reunion.]
After Lord Lurgan had concluded, the next toast given from the chair was “Prosperity to Agriculture.” It was responded to by R. H. DOLLING, Esq.
“The memory of the late Lord Lurgan.” This toast was pledged in expressive silence.
The CHAIRMAN – I will now give you the health of a noble lady, to whose worth and amiability, the kind acquaintance with which she honoured me, enables me to bear my personal testimony – it is the health of the mother of our noble guest, and the younger branches of her family, with a wish, in which you will all heartily join, that the day may not be far distant when we shall be enabled to hail her as “the Dowager” Lady Lurgan. (Loud cheers.)
“The health of Lady Lurgan, and the younger branches of the family.” (Cheers.) Replied to by W. McDONALD, Esq.
“The Linen Trade of Ireland” – eloquently responded to be FRANCIS WATSON, Esq., Lakeview.
CHAIRMAN – There is nothing I can say calculated to raise higher in your estimation, and that of all who know her, a young lady whose health I am about to propose, with that of the gentleman who has had the good fortune to engage her affection – “The health of Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. DAWSON.” (Cheers.) Captain DAWSON returned thanks.
“The Resident Landlords of Ireland.” (Cheers.) CHARLES DOUGLASS, Esq., responded.
The health of Colonel Close, Henry Brownlow, Esq., and George Brownlow, Esq., were successively given from the chair, and responded to by those gentlemen.
CHAIRMAN – The next toast I find on my list is one which (however congenial to my own sentiments) from its being the subject of so much controversy, I was cautious in proposing when all should be harmony, but it has been placed before me in such a shape as must, I think, obviate all cavil; in fact, I give you not a theory, but a practice, which, I am led to believe, has afforded much local satisfaction; as such I give – “The Tenant-right, as long recognised on the Lurgan estates.” (Immense cheering.) R. COULTER, Esq., replied to this toast.
“The health of Colonel Blacker, the gallant and veteran chairman,” was then eloquently proposed, amidst rapturous cheering, by Lord LURGAN.
The CHAIRMAN replied as follows : – My friends, you have already honoured me sufficiently, by placing me in the chair, without heaping this additional compliment upon my old head. I thank you for this mark of your kind approbation. If pride be justifiable in any case, it is when one has won the good opinion of such men as I have now the pleasure of addressing. I only hope that you may have been so dazzled by the glowing metal, in the way of eloquence, which has been poured upon you during the night, that you will be less able to detect the baser coin in which I would endeavour to repay your kindness. I drink all your healths. (Much cheering.)
The CHAIRMAN, shortly after, addressed the company as follows : – We will now fill to the continued prosperity of as respectable a body of men as any in this favoured province, with many of whom, of all ranks, I have the pleasure of being well acquainted – the tenantry on Lord Lurgan’s estates. In connexion with the preceding toast, I must call upon you to drink the health of the gentleman to whom the care and management of the Lurgan estates has been so happily entrusted, and who has discharged the arduous duties of his situation with such judgment and ability, and that in seasons which called for no ordinary display of both. His position involved much duty of a public nature also, and this has afforded me opportunities of knowing his value, and I rejoice in bearing witness to it. We have worked most happily together in matters of public interest, and I feel it due to him to acknowledge the advantage both the country and I have derived from his acute mind in matters of business. In fact, I know no man on whom I would more readily depend for unravelling the tangled intricacies of an Act of Parliament. I have great pleasure in proposing “The health of Mr. Hancock.” (Cheers.) Mr. HANCOCK responded in suitable terms.
“The Tenantry on Lord Lurgan’s Estate.” (Loud cheers.) Responded to by F. FFORDE, Esq.
“The health of the Vice-Chairmen.” (Cheers.) Responded to by J. CUPPAGE, Esq.
“The Town and Trade of Lurgan.” (Cheers.)
“The Royal Flax Society.” Ably responded to by J. MALCOLM, Esq.
The CHAIRMAN – Gentlemen, we live in what has been called the age of progress. Science has held on her steamy course, until the period seems at hand, anticipated by the worthy squire, who expected, as he said, to find himself, some fine morning, a-hunting on his own tea-kettle. (Laughter.) Engine has succeeded engine in smoking rapidity; but there is one engine whose power is second to none of them all, and that mighty engine I am going to propose to you. I need not, in such a company, enlarge upon the paramount influence of public opinion. Many a caitiff who disregards all restrictions, divine or human, is found to quail before that influence. “To give it, then, a tongue is wise in man.” (Cheers.) This engine, like others, may sometimes get off the rail, and run wild, but, like the spear of the Grecian warrior, it is endued alike with the power of healing, as well as wounding; but, above all, it is the great palladium and bulwark of that liberty, civil and religious, in which we fondly glory, and desire to perpetuate. (Cheers.) In a word, I give you “The Press, its Freedom and Independence.” (Great cheering.)
The toast was drunk with much enthusiasm.
The CHAIRMAN then gave “The health of those friends and neighbours who have honoured us with their company this evening;” after which the company separated, highly delighted with the evening’s entertainment.
This Newspaper Article has been reproduced by the kind permission of the British Newspaper Archive Limited, (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).