On Thursday, the 26th February, 1863, thousands of people from the Portglenone area welcomed their recently married Justice of the Peace, Julius Casement, back to Portglenone House. The couple were returning from Wicklow, where they had been married the previous month.
The celebrations in Portglenone continued from Thursday into Friday evening, and saw many flags, and much merriment on display. Many barrels of tar were set on fire, and some 40lbs of gunpowder was set off.
Julius Casement – Some Background
Julius Casement was born on the 6th July 1830. He was the 21st (and last child) of Roger and Margaret Casement (nee McQuitty). His father was 74 years old when Julius was born. Yes, you read that correctly, he was the twenty-first child.
His siblings included: Roger Casement, Margaret Casement, George Casement, Elizabeth Casement, John Casement and Ann Casement. He was also a half-brother of Hugh Casement.
Julius received his B.A. Degree in 1851, from Trinity College in Dublin. He subsequently received his M.A. Degree in 1865 from the same institution.
He became Justice of the Peace for Counties Antrim, Londonderry, and Wicklow. He was also High Sheriff of Counties Antrim and Wicklow from 1877 to 1878.
Julius married Minnie Casement (nee Clarke) on the 21st Jan 1863 in Powerscourt, County Wicklow. Minnie was born on the 17th Aug 1840, in Sandymount, County Dublin. The couple had four sons and three daughters.
Julius died on the 6th June 1904, Cronroe, in County Wicklow. Minnie Clarke died in 1918
Will of Mr Julius Casement of Cronroe
Mr. Julius Casement, of Cronroe, Ashford, County Wicklow, left personal estate in Ireland valued at 14,000 pounds, which was a charge on an estate in the Counties Antrim and Tyrone on his son, Captain Roger Casement, and be disposed thereof, by his will dated 14th December, 1898, as follows:
- 500 pounds to his wife Mrs Minnie Clarke Casement;
- 4,000 pounds to his son Lieutenant John Moore Casement;
- 3,500 pounds to his daughter Margaret;
- and 3,000 pounds each to his daughters Minnie and May Casement.
He also left household effects to his wife, and the residue to his son Captain Roger Casement, and made his wife and son Roger executors.
Great Rejoicings in Portglenone
But let’s rewind back a few years, to the midst of life and joyous times.
Here’s an article from the Dublin Evening Mail, of Saturday 7th March 1863, celebrating Julius Casement’s return, with his new wife, to Portglenone.
It being understood that Julius Casement, Esq., J.P., Portglenone House, was to bring home his amiable lady on the evening of Thursday, the 26th ult, (i.e. 26th February 1863) preparations were set on foot to give them a suitable reception.
This was carried out in most magnificent style. About half a mile from the grand entrance, through which they passed to the house, they were met by some thousands of people.
The horses were removed from the carriage, which was then drawn by the people to Portglenone House, all vieing with each other in testifying their esteem and regard for Mr. Casement and the partner of his choice.
At the place where the horses were removed a beautiful arch was stretched across the road, bearing the motto, “Cead mille Faille!”
A great many tar-barrels were lighted on the occasion, and had a very good effect.
A large number of flags, bearing appropriate mottoes, were suspended from the windows.
The town was literally crammed with people, all anxious to testify their esteem and regard for their worthy local magistrate.
Some idea may be formed of the rejoicings on the occasion, from the fact that upwards of 40lbs of gunpowder were expended in the demesne.
Mr. Casement may be justly proud of the reception which he got, a reception far exceeding anything of the kind ever seen in Portglenone by the oldest inhabitant.
Refreshments were ordered on a very liberal scale for the vast assemblage, and it is very creditable for the town and neighbourhood that not a single disorderly person was seen during the evening.
The rejoicings were renewed on Friday evening, when the enthusiasm appeared perfectly unabated.