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1704 Irish Test Act: List of Derry Presbyterian Alderman, Burgesses and Sheriffs Compelled to Resign as a Result

Transcribed & Submitted by
Jim McKane, Ontario, Canada
jamckane[at]gmail.com

 

This plaque is of special historical interest as it explains the mass migration of Presbyterians from Ulster that began with The Petition of Ulstermen in 1718.

Photo courtesy of Boyd Gray

 

In commemoration of the undernamed Members

of this Congregation

who from loyalty to their Church principles

resigned their seats on the Corporation

of this City

At the passing of The Irish Test Act in 1704 [see below]

________

Aldermen

Alexander Lecky

James Lennox, M.P.

Henry Long

Horace Kennedy

Edward Brooks

Robert Shannon

William Smyth

William Mackie

John Cowan

Hugh Davey

________

Burgesses

Alexander Skipton

Joseph Davey

Sheriffs

David Cairns

Robert Harvey

Robert Gamble

John Dixon

Francis Neville

John Rankin

Joseph Morrison

John Cunningham

James Strong

Archibald Cunningham

James Anderson

John Harvey, Chamberlain

 

The Sacramental Test Act of 1704 forced Presbyterians to take the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper according to the rites of the Church of Ireland as a condition of holding any office, civil or military, under the Crown. Presbyterians were now Dissenters: suspicious of establishments- civil and religious, yet considering themselves at times as almost an alternative establishment.

Rather than conform to the demands of Anglican bishops and submit to authority, the Presbyterians of Ulster resigned all positions of authority and looked to emigration to the American colonies, a wave that began in 1717 which had reached 250,000 by 1770.