The State papers of those days tell the names of the more notorious of them: In 1667, “several tories have been tried and executed, particularly in the county of Tyrone”.101 On June 3, 1668, a number of named Ulster tories were proclaimed outlaws, including “Thomas McGragh, late of the parish of Dromore”, Co. Tyrone, and they had then “escaped in woods and mountains and there stand upon their keeping so as to be contemners of the law”.102 One of their hide-outs was Kerlish Woods, near Drumquin and the high hills of the Barr, which also sheltered the highway, “Supple Corrigan”, in the next century.103 In early 1669, there is a report of:
Some of the old Irish rebels being abroad again. They have robbed many in Tyrone, burned several houses and one whole town, took the High Sheriff prisoner, kept him a good while and threatened to hang him. He is released, but I do not know on what terms. They were lately so numerous that they made a great part of the country pay them contribution…104
Another proclamation of June 1, 1670, names more leading Tyrone tories, including a number from Langfield and “Henry O’Neill McNeill Oge”(i.e. Henry, the son of Niall Og O’Neill, whose brother, Conn, was also a tory), also “James McCascar” (or Cusker), and “Rory McQuaid McHenry” (i.e. Rory, son of Henry McQuaid) – all from the parish of Dromore, Tyrone.105 Thomas McGrath belonged to the same family as those who paid the hearth tax in Aughlish and Drumconnis, in 1666. Another of them, Fr. Henry, was P.P. of Dromore at this time too, of the very same lineage as the famous family of Termonnagrath, around Lough Derg.106 Rory (who was evidently the local leader) and some of this tory band were surprised outside of the village of Lack, in Fermanagh, by one Captain Stewart and his troops, including, surprisingly Maolmhuire O’Hussey of the old Fermanagh bardic family.107 Four of the outlawed tories were slain-Owen Maguire of Lurg. Fermanagh: Art McRory from near Omagh; Patrick O’Lonaghan of Moygashel and Magrath of Dromore.108 They were then beheaded on the spot and their heads brought in for the reward. But Rory McQuaid? The reporter of this skirmish describes him:
He is as tall as an man you ever saw and very well proportioned to his height. He might have
escaped if he would, but resolved to fetch off his foster-brother, which he did. He kept a pass
against 37 men all alone and hurt two of them. He was at last taken and put in prison.109
100 His Oliver Plunkett, Ireland’s New Saint (Dublin 1975),k 43.
101 Cal. S. P. Ire. (1666-69), 331
102 Ibid., 608
103 “The woods called ‘Cairlow Woods’ in this parish (Langfield), the shelter of the Tories” (Canon Leslie, Derry Clergy and Parishes, 248). These woods lasted up till the mid-eighteenth century (John McCrea, A Statistical Account of the County Tyrone. Dublin, 1802, p. 15), Old Fintona, 29.
104 Cal. S. P. Ire. (1666-69), 690
105 Cal. S. P. Ire. (1666-70), 144
106 Franciscan Library, Killine (MS D 2, p. 42) includes names of Clogher priests mentioned in 1666. Names published by Fr. Cathaldus Giblin,OFM, in CR (1970), 181
108 Ibid. These four tories were already named in the proclamations of 1668 and 1670. Cf., notes 105, 108 above.
109 Cal. S. P. Ire. (1669-70), 197. The description comes from Lord Donegall