More on Isaac Workman’s Public House


It’s funny, when you are looking for something directly, you often can’t find it. But when you aren’t looking, you discover it.

If you recall, we recently covered the awful Christmas Day shooting tragedy in 1912, involving Workman’s pub in Eden.

I had no luck a couple of months back, trying to find anything further in old newspapers, about Isaac Workman’s public house in Eden. Zilch, nada, nothing. Indeed, was the pub even in Eden?  Maybe it was a few miles away in Drumoolish.

But this week, during an entirely different search involving Mulhollands over at the nearby village of Bellaghy, a very interesting reference cropped up in the midst of an advert for a farm sale.

The sale of a farm consisting of 66 acres of land, via public auction, under the control of John Mulholland of Eden, was to take place at 11am on the 12th November 1918 (by the way, that was exactly 24 hours after the first world war officially ended).

On this land, the newspaper advertisement says, is a licensed house and premises (a pub) which was run by the farm owner’s tenant, Isaac T. Workman. It was seemingly a profitable enterprise, because we learn that “for many years a lucrative trade has been carried on.”

Some questions.  Can we identify this John Mulholland and where these 66 acres were located in Eden.    A “Bellaghy estate” is mentioned.  Does that suggest that someone recently had died and that the farm was passed on to John Mulholland, or that he merely was an executor overseeing the estate?  I haven’t had the opportunity this week to look at death records and see who died around that time, i.e. pre late 1918.

public auction mulholland workman

Here is the original advertisement in the Mid-Ulster Mail, 24th October 1918, announcing the farm sale by auction.

Valuable Freehold and Licensed Premises For Sale

We have received instructions from Mr. John Mulholland to offer for sale by public auction, on the premises, on Tuesday, the 12th day of November, 1918, at the hour of 11 o’clock, a.m., all that farm of land in the townland of Eden, containing 66 acres or thereabouts, statute measure, as now in the occupation of the vendor and held by him under the Proprietors of the Bellaghy Estate, subject to the early Head Rent of 5 pounds, 8 shillings,  4d, and a Tithe Rent of 13 shillings and 6d, situated in the Barony of Loughlinsholin and County of Londonderry with the rights, members and appurtenances.

Descriptive Particulars 

There is a valuable Licenced House and Premises on the holding at present in the occupation of Isaac T. Workman, as tenant to the Vendor in which for many years a lucrative trade has been carried on.

The Farm, which is easy of access adjoining the leading county road from Bellaghy to Kilrea, is compact and level, rich and arable. and has an excellent situation, being only four miles from Bellaghy, five miles from the important market town of Kilrea, and four miles from Maghera.

There are two Cottier Houses on the holding, the rental of which would be sufficient to pay the entire Head Rent and Tithe Rent charge.

A cottier is a person who rents a small cottage, with or without a plot of land. Cottiers in many cases worked on the landlord’s farm. This labour usually would be in exchange for the right to live in a cottage.

Within the holding there are two excellent Flax Dams and an abundant supply of good Turbary.

Turbary is a piece of land where turf or peat may be dug or cut.

The Fields are well fenced and drained, and have been heavily manured in recent years and are capable of producing abundant crops.

The Dwelling-House is comfortable and commodious, and the Office Houses, comprising Byre, Stables, etc., are in good order and repair.

In the yard at the rear of the premises there is an excellent well and pump.

It is seldom that such an excellent property is offered for sale in this locality and Intending purchasers should give the matter their best attention.

All outgoings will be paid by the Vendor to 1st November 1918, and good title and immediate possession will be given to the Purchaser.

Terms at Sale

Purchasers to pay a deposit of 25 per cent on the purchase money, together with two and a half percent auction fees.

For further particulars as to title and conditions of sale, apply to Glover & McGuckin, Solicitors, having Carriage of Sale, Broad Street. Magherafelt; or to McIlrath Brothers, Auctioneers and Valuators and Livestock Salesmen. Kilrea.

P.S. immediately after the sale of the above, we will proceed to sell for Mr. Isaac T. Workman, on the Premises, eleven head of cattle, nine have been running with the bull and are almost certain to be in calf.

Some Additional Jottings

Isaac crops up on a few other occasions in the Mid-Ulster Mail.

  • Constable Shortt prosecuted Isaac Workman of Dromoolish for being drunk and disorderly. He was fined 2 shillings and 6d.
    Mid-Ulster Mail – 16th December 1911
  • Transfer of the public house license to Isaac T. Workman, of Eden, occurred in November 1912. The solicitor acting for Mr Workman was Mr. McGuckin of Magherafelt.
    Mid-Ulster Mail, 16th November 1912
  • In May 1913, Isaac Workman, of Eden, was fined 1d for having an unlicensed dog.
    Mid-Ulster Mail, 10th May 1913
  • Constable O’Connor charged Isaac Workman of Eden, County Derry, with driving a horse and cart on the public road without a light, an hour and five minutes after the time. Fined 2 shillings 6d and costs.
    Ballymena Observer, 13th April 1917

Trudger

"I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

2 thoughts on “More on Isaac Workman’s Public House

  1. Really enjoy reading all your blog William, although I can’t help you on any of these things, and I’m afraid all the older members of the family have either passed away, or have memory problems.
    I hope you are keeping well, we are having a wonderful spell of dry warm weather, which I am sure is great for the farmers, and which we all enjoy,

    Every good wish, and keep on blogging.

    Sybil x

    1. Hello Sybil. Thank you for the lovely message. Delighted to hear that you are enjoying the blog.

      Yes, I wish I had started writing the website 15 or 20 years ago. As you say, by this point, many of the family have passed away, and with them goes a lot of information, answers, memories and stories. Oh to have hit play and record, on a tape recorder all those years ago….even for just one evening of stories.

      Glad to hear that the weather is good. I hope that you are all doing well.

      All my very best.

      William xxx

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