Agnew, Hutchinson and Montgomery Estates in North Antrim

The North Antrim area lies within the lands originally granted to the Earl of Antrim. Due to growing debts, during the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the Antrim family sold off parts of their estate. The result was smaller individual landlords owning varying numbers of townlands, not always contiguous, scattered throughout the entire North Antrim area. Some such as Leslie, Montgomery and McNaughton had big houses with demenses. Others had less grand houses and some were not even resident in the area. A search of the database Landlord of each Townland in North and Mid Antrim c.1860 will allow you to see who were were the landlords of individual townlands throughout the area in the middle of the nineteenth century.

This map shows the the landlords some of the townlands in parishes of Ballymoney and Kilraghts c.1860. The estates included are the Earl of Antrim, Agnew, Batt, Cromie, Hutchinson, Leslie, and Montgomery. The blank townlands on the map were owned by a variety of other people, which you can look up in the Landlord of each Townland database.

Three of these estates, Agnew, Hutchinson and Montgomery have books of estate maps which show the extent and layout of the holdings plus the names of the tenants and the acreages that they rented. The Agnew and Montgomery maps were produced by James Williamson in 1788 and the Hutchinson maps by James Kane in 1805. Note that the acreages given in the Agnew estate maps are in Irish Plantation acres. The acreages in the Montgomery estate maps are in Scottish Cunningham acres and the acreages in the Hutchinson estate, although it does not actually say on the maps, are given in both Irish acres and Cunningham acres.Cunningham acres need to be multiplied by 1.3 to convert them to English, statute acres and Irish acres by 1.62. For an excellent short paper on the historical background to these various measurements read this paper What size is an acre? by George Gilmore of Garvagh Historical Society.

I have included three townlands from the book of maps for the Agnew estate. Two of these townlands - Drumaqueran and Islandmore - are also the subject of case studies. I have included most, but not all, of the townlands on the Montgomery estate and I have included all of the townlands from the book of maps for the Hutchinson estate. If it is difficult to read some of the numbers in the rentals or on the maps, simply change the Zoom Level on your web browser to 125% or greater.

Note that there is also an early nineteenth-century rental for the Montgomery estate which will allow comparison with the earlier 1788 estate maps, the 1803 Agricultural Census and the 1825 Tithe Applotment Books.

The actual books of maps can be seen in PRONI, Belfast - Agnew (T/2309/1) Hutchinson (D/408/1) and Montgomery (T/1638/31/1). My thanks to PRONI for permission to use these maps and special thanks to Ian Montgomery of PRONI, who knows more about the Antrim estate than I ever will.

Copyright 2011 W. Macafee.