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A Short History of Rosemary Street.

An article by Raymond O'Regan

July 2004

Gtr Belfast

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Raymond O'Regan - July '08
in reply to Joe Guerrini
Refer to my reply of May 05 regarding Henry's daughter who was brought by Mary Ann McCracken as her niece.She eventually ended up in Scotland where she got married.

K G McCracken - July '08

"ok", for what it is worth, my grandfather once said my family had an ancsetor hung by the English as a rebel.

true ? whom knows , was it Henry Joy , again who knows

Joe Guerrini - July '08
Is there any information on the daughter of Henry Joy? I am reading an article at the moment suggesting I am descending through this daughter, and I am trying to substantiate this suggestion?

Raymond oregan - May '07
Reply to nina bridgewater. henry joy mccrackens father came from scotland and his mother was of hugueonet stock( protestant refugees from france whose surname was originally joyeuse; they fled france in the late 1680s)
ann joys father francis (1697-1790)married a margaret martin and remarried a woman called ann youngin1745. He was the founder of the famous belfast newsletter in 1737 which is still in circulation today
ann joy (1730-1814)married john mccracken(c1721-1803)a sea captain who traded with the west indies. his famous was henry joy mccracken hanged on the 17th. july 1798 his sister was the famous mary ann mccracken a great social reformer (1770-1866) amongst her many activities she was an active member of the anti- slavery movement and even in old age she would be seen at the gangplank of ships leaving belfast harbour for america giving out anti -slavery leaflets other names associated with the family through marriage etc ellis ,martin, young, rainey, dunbar, holmes, duffin, tomb,tennent, mcglathery

Nina bridgewater -Apr '07
Hi we in our family have always been lead to beleave that we are related to henry joy and mary ann,but i have not been able to prove his one way our the other i would love some help if any one can plz get in touch thanks nina

Shelagh Fryer - Mar '07
Did any of this MacCracken family go to live in or near Dublin?

G. Simms - Oct '06
Does anyone have any information on William or Robert Simms, who were members of the United Irishmen? Simms was actually the commander of the Ulster United Irishmen until Henry Joy McCracken took over.

Our family moved from Belfast at the same time and I believe we are somehow related to these Simms's, who owned a large shareholding in the newspaper 'The Northern Star'.

Sheila Johnson - Sep '06
I just loved your article on Rosemary St and all the changes. I have walked it many times as a child and when I go home on vacation. The point of interest for me was the NSPCA as I could not believe that people could hurt children. Remember the RED BARN?

Joe Simpson - June '06
Hello, Raymond - please see also my response for you on the "Andrew Nicholl in Ceylon" webpage. Thanks/Regards, Joe Simpson, BC, Canada.

Raymond O'Regan - May '05
More info on Henry Joy McCracken.
While awaiting trial in the barracks in Ann Street on the 17th July1798 he asked to see his minister the Rev Sinclaire Kelburn and when he wasn't available the Rev.Steel Dickson came.(Rev. Dickson was being held prisoner as he had been captured just before the uprising in Co.Down. He was not executed but spent 3 years as a prisoner in Fort George in Scotland and when he died in 1820 was buried in a paupers grave in Clifton St. graveyard) Henry Joy McCracken was offered a reprieve if he told the authorities who had been the orighinal leader of the attack on Antrim. He was passed this information by his father but said he would not name names (the original commander was Simms who at the last minute lost his nerve and McCracken took over) The trial took place in the Exchange and Assembly Rooms (former Northern Bank at the corner of North st. Waring St. and Donegall St.)and a COL. Montgomery conducted the trial.

The normal procedure was that he would be hanged and his head cut off and placed on a pike on top of the market house ,as happened to 5 of his colleagues.
Why he was allowed a normal burial we may never know but the body was returned to his home in Rosemary St. were attempts were made to revive him .It was to no avail and a small cortege followed his coffin to the burial ground in High St.

With a great interest in the Cavehill as seen by the enormous response to the articles on YPAM it may interest your contributors to learn that McCracken while on the run after the abortive attack on Antrim in 1798 hid out in a cottage on the Cavehill it was owned by a man called Bodell,a member of Ist.Presbyterian CHurch, Henry had a relationship with Bodell's daughter who gave birth to a baby girl .

Henry's daughter was brought up by Mary Ann McCracken when the mother emigrated to America.

KL Dawson - March '06
McCracken was hanged on 17 July 1798 outside the market house at the edge of Corn market (the site of the current Dunnes Stores). Attempts to revive him after the execution failed. Samuel Neilson, editor of the Northern Star newspaper and key figure withihin the United Irish movement, was an elder in 3rd Belfast Church. The minister was Reverend Sinclaire Kelburne.

Dawn - Dec '05
Hi Terry, my mother always said we were descendants of Henry Joy McCraken too. laughs

Mary O'Neill - April '05
I am seeking more recent history from rosemary street. Can anyone enlighten me as to the identity of the publican from 4 rosemary street named James Connolly?

Raymond O Regan - December '04
FAO - Terry Wright -There is ballad to Henry Joy Mc Cracken, with a mention of a girl who was in love with him and who was buried in Carnmoney cemetary.

David Sloan - August 2004
As a Belfast born citizen and immigrant to the USA, I never was aware of any of that information and found it quite interesting. It will give me something to look forward to visiting the next time I get "HOME".

Terry Wright - August 2004
Hello, What a wonderful article. I am a descendant of Henry Joy McCraken and will, on my next visit back home, seek out his grave. I was almost certain that my father said that he was hanged in the Carmoney hills. Obviously, the article has now cleared this point. Thank you.

J McIlveen
Raymond. I have just found your site, and i would like you to know that my great grand mother was a great neice of henry joy mccracken. Many thanks about Henry Joy and rosemary street.your site is very interesting to me

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