PROTESTANT DISSENTERS (as PRESBYTERIANS were disparagingly termed) were barred from holding public office because of their beliefs. Presbyterian congregations across Ireland petitioned the parliament in Dublin for repeal of the Test Act which required all office holders, i.e. magistrates, burgesses etc. to be communicant members of the Established Church. Clearly, not all members of the Presbyterian congregation in Strabane signed: some may have been beholden to a landlord belonging to the Established Church.
Very few such petitions have survived; in Co. Tyrone only those referred to below remain and are available for consultation at PRONI, Belfast
Benburb town and neighbourhood;
Dungannon town and neighbourhood;
Strabane town and neighbourhood
PRONI reference T/808//15307
The petition from Strabane is headed up by the REV. WILLIAM CRAWFORD, minister of Strabane Congregation 1776-1798.
CRAWFORD W.: Dissenting Minister