On three of these Tuchet estates, according to the survey of 1522, “there are only five (British) freeholders and twenty-two leaseholders”. Worse still, “the land is generally inhabited with Irish”, who altogether amounted to 140 families.73
The survey of 1622 also mentioned that three of the Tuchet estates had “now come to Sr Henrie Mervin”.74 The latter was married to old Lord Audle’s fourth daughter, Christian Tuchet, who was also her husband’s third cousin, once removed.75 Either Sir Henry Mervyn or his son, James, a captain in the Royal Navy, built Castle Mervyn at the old Irish site at the Tri Leac (the three flagstones) and also built the new village of Trillick in the townland of Cavanamara.76
The eastern section of Dromore parish along with a part of the northern section of Donaghcavey and southern part of Drumragh parishes was granted to Lord Audley’s second son, Sir Ferdinand Tuchet on March 12, 1610-11. This estate was called the manor of Tuchet.77 Again the plantation surveys of 1611 and 1619 report that nothing was built on the estate either.78 But the 1622 survey reports that the castle of Ballynahatty was then built, probably by the Mervyns too, who succeeded to this property as well.79
A few remaining lands around Grennan and Drumlish, in the very north of this parish were granted, with most of the parish of Langfield, to Lord Audley’s distinguished son-in-law, Sir John Davies, the Attorney General, on June 28, 1610.80 Unlike the other planters above, he had already commenced building Castle Kerlish in 1611 and had it completed by 1619.81 Its remains can be seen today, about a mile north of Drumquin, in what was called the Manor of Claraghmore.82
The Mervyns were the first Plantation family to become associated as effective landlords with most of this parish. The naval officer, Captain James, was granted the three Tuchet estates in 1630.83 He seems to have been the first of them to reside here at Castle Mervyn with his wife, Elizabeth, also English.84 He evidently was on good terms with the native Irish of Dromore parish, if we are to judge by their wholehearted supporting evidence on his behalf in a dispute between him and Bishop Spottiswood over the ownership of some local lands.85 He died childless, in 1641, and was buried in St.
73 UJA, loc. cit.
74 Ibid., Sir Henry came from Petersfield, Hants, was M. P. for Wooten Basset, and Admiral of the Narrow Seas (Belmore, 57).
75 Belmore, 57.
76 Obviously built after the 1622 survey, but difficult to ascertain the exact date. Cf. Note on this site, CR (1966), 198.
77 Old Fintona, 22-3, 25-6.
78 Belmore, 57
79 Old Fintona, 23
80 Hill, 271. Incorrectly referred to here as ‘Clonaghmore’, rather than ‘Claraghmore’.
81 Belmore, 53-4
83 H. B. Archdale, Memoirs of the Archdales (1925), p. 19
84 Captain James Mervyn was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Philpott of Thruxton, Hants. (do.)
85 Hill (p. 537) and Belmore (p.58) quoting from the Spottiswoode Miscellany, I, 140-4.