Author Topic: Ulster Covenant teenagers + Megain Hall  (Read 567 times)

Offline Jon_ni

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Ulster Covenant teenagers + Megain Hall
« on: Sunday 28 January 18 21:17 GMT (UK) »
Looking at Ulster Covenant images 1912 on PRONI vs the 1911 census for some distant relations I was surprised to find that some were teenagers when they signed.
Annie Stevenson on this image was 16, Jane McCleave 15/16, Lizzie Headley 17; the Montgomery's on the same page were in their 40's https://apps.proni.gov.uk/ulstercovenant/image.aspx?image=W0048550010 comparing with http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Down/Victoria__part_of_/

It was 1918 before property holding qualifications were abolished and the right to vote given to all males at 21 and females at 30 and 1928 before 21 for all. I've gad a Google and found nothing on age but the suggestion is checks were made to ensure people did not sign twice and that it was accurate.

Megain Hall was presumably East Belfast and likely somewhere in the Ballymacarrett area but not sure exactly where. It is also surprising that these teenagers signed X as literacy levels were by then in the order of 95%.
I had expected those signing to be of Full age ie 21. Anyone else spotted similar or have comments?

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Online hallmark

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Re: Ulster Covenant teenagers + Megain Hall
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 28 January 18 21:51 GMT (UK) »
No.

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Offline applemac

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Re: Ulster Covenant teenagers + Megain Hall
« Reply #2 on: Monday 29 January 18 19:19 GMT (UK) »
yes . I came across an article in the Newry Reporter about Loyalism in The Fews ( South Armagh ) where I read that my Grandmother Anna and her sister walked from Crossmaglen to Newtownhamilton to sign The Ulster Covenant .She would have been 17yrs at the time and her sister 19yrs.

Offline Jon_ni

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Re: Ulster Covenant teenagers + Megain Hall
« Reply #3 on: Monday 29 January 18 22:32 GMT (UK) »
thanks applemac, I know it was in the days before ID & Electoral Rolls but expectation had been would have been some verbal or written advert suggesting over 21, sort of distorts the numbers when handed to UK government otherwise. Obviously the aim wasn't a poll but a sign of the populus feeling, however that thought is beginning to digress from geneology which was the reason for checking.

Offline gaffy

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Re: Ulster Covenant teenagers + Megain Hall
« Reply #4 on: Monday 29 January 18 23:39 GMT (UK) »
There are newspaper and other references online to confirm that the minimum age was 16.  For example, this from the Northern Whig of 19 September 1912: ' ... It may be mentioned that the text of the Covenant will be published several days before Ulster Day, and that all Ulster Unionists over 16 years of age are eligible to sign'. 

The Megain Memorial Lecture Hall was on the corner of Chamberlain Street and Newtownards Road in East Belfast, newspaper articles indicate that it was a venue for concerts, meetings, rallies, etc. The Megain Memorial Church is there today:

http://www.rootschat.com/links/01lfm/


Offline Jon_ni

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Re: Ulster Covenant teenagers + Megain Hall
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 30 January 18 02:02 GMT (UK) »
thanks gaffy
recognise it, used to get the bus past it, few buildings have had a make over since then; thought it must be around there from the addresses