Coleraine Museum receives fascinating artefacts dating back to the 1700s
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Sally Forwood donated an 18th century flax seal and a First Company of Coleraine Volunteers belt buckle to the Museum recently. These amazing artefacts have been handed down through each generation of Sally’s family.
The artefacts originated with William Robb, born in 1729 at Magilligan. He married Ann Neilson of Portstewart in 1760 and they lived in Camus, Macosquin. The brass linen seal which has been donated to the collection is thought to date to around 1762 and belonged to William Robb, as noted on the inscription. Linen was a big industry at the time in the area and Coleraine was known as a very fine linen producer.
In 1779 William Robb was listed as a member of the First Coleraine Volunteers where he gained the belt buckle that was donated to Coleraine Museum.
Cllr Callaghan said: “I want to thank Sally and her family for looking after these precious and important artefacts and for bringing them home to Coleraine. This generous donation will greatly enhance the museum collection and help to reveal more about life in Coleraine during the 18th century.”
Local historian, Ronnie Gamble, who attended the handover, described the formation of the First Coleraine Volunteers. “During the American Revolution, the English army experienced a shortage of regular troops at home,” he explained.
“To meet the shortfall, a part-time military force of volunteers was raised in 1778. These Volunteers served without pay and supplied their own uniforms and equipment until 1779. By 1782 there were 60,000 Volunteers in Ireland.”