Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Lower Cumber Ordnance Survey Memoir:

Once, there was a Doctor named McAdoo

in the habit of staying many days

at the Glebe House, Rectory, Killaloo.

Upon hearing of some treasures concealed;

he mustered all the Rector's sturdy men

labourers; together out in the fields

Provided with sledges, crowbars, and adzes;

went to McAvraghan's farm at Slaghmanus:

the Giant's grave, to the ground, to be razed.

Removing the topstone; they succeeded;

then commenced to the standing columns

obstructing their progress, as they proceeded.

Digging up where the money was concealed;

they made a great hole from the old Giant's grave.

Alas, when the cairn was destroyed, it revealed:

Chisels, compasses, and great mounds of dirts;

hammers, spurs, an old sword with no stave:

but nought a single brooch for their skirt's.

So, the Doctor and Mustered men went home.

Then McAvraghan filled up the empty pit,

he covered the grave, and left it a loam.

obeedude 22/Mar/07

This Poem is based on an actual account taken from the "Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland: Parishes of Co. Londonderry IX 1832-8, West Londonderry".

The incident in question here happened in the year 1816. The name of the Doctor was listed as [Blank] so I took out my 'ol "Poetic License" and gave him the name of "McAdoo" to work with the rhyme scheme, (The actual name may have been Spencer but when I used that I was very very tempted to slip into a Naughty Limerick and that is not the way I wanted to go...)

The literal translation for
"Slaghmanus" a townland in 19th Century Northern Ireland is: The Grave of "Manus".

My Ancestor, Alexander Gilmour was born born in or about 1800 or 1802. If by this time he was an Apprenticed Cooper, to as I suspect, Mr. McLaughlin or MGonikle (I am not sure yet which was the name of his "Master") at the Glebe House, he would have been 14 to 16 years of age. Just the right age and frame of mindset to go "Treasure Hunting". (O.K., maybe Grave Robbing is more correct here....)

So anyway, My Fathers, Mothers, Fathers, Uncle: James Gilmour of the Gilmour family letters, from the time period 1860-1862, that got me set out on this track in the first place, is always talking about gathering "Sacred Relics" from the "Sacred soil of Va" in his letters to his brother Robert Gilmour. Or, promising to send things like a "chip of the door where John Brown was imprisoned" or "ruins from the old Carpenters shop" (at Harpers Ferry) home to his friend "Mr Cummins" So, imagine my finding this little tidbit in the Lower Cumber Ordnance Survey Memoir.... A "Chip" off the 'ol Block perhaps? ;)


  1. Mimi writes:

    Mark - I think this is your best work ever - tongue in cheek or
    tongue loose and wagging - you have created a pleasurable, satisfying
    poem. I love the flavor of another land, another century, the lilt
    and list of this poem.


  2. hey man
    that is a pretty cool poem.

    how are you feeling, i noticed that you didnt come in to work on tuesday and wednesday.
    that sucks man.

    o well, have a good one.

    ~Jason Conover

  3. In an E-mail sent to me bv Said:

    Excellent, obd, the pic, the poem, the annotation. All great.