Dr James Denham, Preacher, Pastor and Defender of Presbyterianism

Booklet Cover ImageDenham ministered in Brigh, Co. Tyrone, 1826-37 and then moved to Great James Street in Londonderry where he served from 1837 to 1870.

He was no sooner installed in Great James Street when he became embroiled in a controversy following 4 sermons preached by the Rev Archibald Boyd against dissenters and Presbyterians in particular. These sermons were later printed in the Londonderry Sentinel. James Denham along with three other ministers felt obliged to reply in a series of sermons which were published shortly afterwards in ‘Presbyterianism Defended’.

Denham was a leading figure in the affairs of Derry Presbytery and in Londonderry City Mission. He became Moderator of the General Synod of Ulster in 1839 at a crucial time of discussions between the Synod of Ulster and the Secession Synod, both of which united to become the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland in 1840.

This new publication,  No.14 in the PHSI ‘Mini Biography’ Series, by the Rev Ivor F Smith presents the material under the headings after an introduction – Minister of Brigh, Minister of Great James Street, The Derry Controversy, The Wider Church, and The 1859 Revival.  The author delivered the PHSI Lecture on Denham in October 2013.

The publication may be bought online from the PHSI.


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The Adair Narrative

Book - Irish Presbyterian Church 1623-1670 by Patrick AdairA True Narrative of the Rise and Progress of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, 1623-1670’, also known as ‘The Adair Narrative‘, by the Rev Patrick Adair has been re-printed by the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland with an introduction by the Rev Joseph Thompson.

This is the first contemporary account of the history of Presbyterianism in Ireland.

The hardback book was priced at £20.00 – and is now offered at £10.00 plus delivery.  Order it online.

See more details about the book.


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Ulster Scots Connections: People, Place and Practice

Next Lecture in the Series:
Wednesday 27 May 2015 at 1.00 pm

“Edward Bruce in Ulster, 1315”
by Dr William Roulston
in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Ulster Scots Connections 1Ulster Scots Connections 2


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The Covenanters in Ireland: A History of the Congregations

Covenanters in IrelandThis definitive volume has brought together the histories of each of the Reformed Presbyterian congregations in Ireland along with the history of RP missions. Of great importance is the inclusion of the ‘Fasti’ – a brief biographical sketch of all Irish Covenanter ministers who have completed their earthly service.

Here is recorded the movement of the Spirit of God among a people over more than three centuries of distinct Covenanter witness in Ireland.

The book is available from the Covenanter Bookshop.


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Anne Jane Carlile – Trinity Presbyterian Bailieborough

Anne Jane Carlile

Anne Jane Carlile – Plaque Unveiling

The Ulster History Circle will honour Anne Jane Carlile, Temperance Pioneer, with a Blue Plaque at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bailieborough, County Cavan. On Friday 8th May 2015 Heather Humphreys Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will unveil the plaque at 7pm. Refreshments will be served and everyone is most welcome to attend.

Anne Jane Hamill was born at Rooskey, Co. Monaghan in 1775. In 1800 she married the Rev. Francis Carlile minister of Second Bailieborough (Urcher) and Corraneary. One son and six daughters were born during their marriage which lasted a mere eleven years as the Rev. Carlile died suddenly in 1811. Anne Jane and her children moved to Londonderry and some years later settled in Dublin. She became involved in temperance work and prison reform, forming a temperance society in Poolbeg Street, Dublin in 1830.

She spoke frequently on the temperance cause in Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and throughout England. Anne Jane Carlile is best remembered as the co-founder of the Band of Hope, in Leeds, in July 1847.


View the Events at Trinity Bailieborough web page for more details.

View the entry in the Dictionary of Ulster Biography.


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Robert Allen Memorial Lecture 2015

The next lecture in the PHSI Programme is the Robert Allen Memorial Lecture –

Archibald McIlroy, successful businessman, Presbyterian elder and writer of stories of Ulster rural life in the Ulster-Scots dialogue’
– tragically drowned when the Lusitania sunk on 7 May 1915

by The Very Rev Dr Donald Patton
on Thursday 7th May 2015 at 8.00 p.m.
in Union Theological College, 108 Botanic Avenue, Belfast BT7 1JT.


‘Lusitania torpedoed by German Pirate. Huns carry out their threat to Murder!’ With this front page headline the Daily Mirror announced the sinking of the ocean liner by a German U-Boat off the South West coast of Ireland on May 7th, 1915. Of the 1959 passengers and crew on board, 1198 were lost, including Ulsterman, Archibald Mcilroy. Born near Ballyclare in 1859 he became a successful Belfast businessman, a member of Down County Council, and Presbyterian elder, who emigrated to Edmonton, Canada, in 1912, to do evangelistic work with the Presbyterian Church of Canada. He was well-known as a writer of stories of Ulster rural life, preserving Ulster Scots dialogue in which there is a present day revival of interest, and described as Ulster’s equivalent to J.M.Barrie and Ian McLaren of the Scottish Kailyard genre.

More about the Robert Allen Memorial Lectures


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Bready RPC 250 – Foyle Valley Covenanters

On Friday, 8 May 2015 at 8pm, Dr William Roulston will give a talk entitled ‘Foyle Valley Covenanters – a history of Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1765-2015’ – at Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church, Victoria Road, Bready, County Tyrone.
Bready 250 Flyer

In the middle of the eighteenth century a community of Covenanters in the Foyle Valley emerged from the shadows to form a congregation. The first minister was ordained in 1765 and six years later a site at Bready was secured for a meeting house. Since then the members of this small but significant congregation have been active in preserving a Reformed Presbyterian witness in the district as well as contributing to many other aspects of local life.

The new book by Dr Roulston, all being well, will be available on the night of the talk.


Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church website


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