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McConkey v. Staples

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1878 to 1880
Location: Muff, Lissan, Magherafelt, County Londonderry, Irelandmap
Surname/tag: mcconkey
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Article about the case

On 13 January 1880 a case was brought at the Magherafelt Land Sessions by the McConkeys of Muff, Lissan, County Londonderry. against the landlord Robert Staples of Dunmore, Queen's County. "Magherafelt Land Sessions - M'Conkey v. Staples", Northern Whig - Tuesday 13 January 1880, Page 6.

Relevant facts from the above article:

Related records

  • Claimants: Henry John McConkey, Sarah McConkey. They claim £2460 as Tenant-right on a holding of 82 statute acres in Muff. Represented by Mr. Twigg. The annual rent was £62 10s.
  • The landlord was Mr. Robert Staples of Dunmore, Queen's County; represented by Mr. Glover.
  • William McConkey also had a holding under Mr. Staples about half the size of his brother's, rent £31 10s. The farms were adjacent. Henry was a bachelor; William was married with a large family.
  • The land in both holdings was first-class quality with valuable tenant-rights.
  • William had debts and tried to sell his farm, intending to move in with Henry.
  • The land-agent refused sale of William's farm (William arranged purchasers but the agent declined due to the price being too high), several times.
    • William McConkey testified that if he had been allowed to sell, he could have paid of all of his debts.
  • A notice to quit both farms was issued by the landlord on 7 Jan 1879.
  • At arbitration, Henry's farm was valued at £1,213 10s by an independent valuer William Hunter; with George Bell as umpire. The claimants request to receive this amount by decree since the sale was previously blocked by the landlord's agent.
  • Henry claimed he had received a notice to quit in April 1878 because he refused to sell to three adjoining tenants, preferring to sell on his own account.
  • A witness John Bell, tenant of an adjoining property, testified he had bought it for £900 with no valuation held.
  • About 7 or 8 years ago (i.e. 1871-1872) there was an auction elsewhere on the state, where land owned by Bryce Blair was sold to a man named Silly. The sale proceeded without consent of the landlord.
    • Blair was in hiding to avoid execution.
  • The judge dismissed the case.


Brice Blair M.D. (1810-1873) may be "Bryce Blair" former land-owner of Muff. His date of death of 1873 would line up with being wanted for execution in 1871-2, however the cause of death was given as "congestion of lungs" with nothing remarkable on his record. It seems unlikely this Brice's son or father would be the person in question though.

James Scilly (abt.1849-1883) of Killybasky (adjacent to Muff) would be the person "Silly" buying the land from Blair.

Robert McConkey (abt.1813-1895) (son of George) in 1893 had his house at Muff burnt down by John Silly, a nephew of Robert.

Other records

Griffith's Valuation for Muff:

  • (1) Bryce Blair, 2 acres
  • (3,4,5) Henry John McConky, 67 acres.
  • (4b) Thomas Wiley, sublets from Henry John McConky.
  • (6) William McConky jun., 38 acres
  • (8) George McConky, 21 acres.
  • (9) William McConky sen., 9 acres.

Valuation Updates:

  • 1869: (3,4,5) was transferred to William McConky then back to Henry John.
    • (6) went the other way (!)
  • 1872: (1) transferred to James Silly.
  • 1873: Thomas Wiley no longer sublets (4b)
  • 1873: (9) goes to Reps. William McConky (suggesting he died)
  • 1864-1876: (8) goes to Robert McConky. The change is undated but in that book.
  • 1877-1883: (3) goes to William Smith Black. Alexander Black has (7). (5) is deleted, (4) to Thomas Johnston.
  • 1877-1883: (6) goes to William Rutherford.
  • 1877: (9) goes to Sarah McConky.
  • 1889: (9) goes to William Kane.

1831 Londonderry census:

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