Lisburn Memorial Re-dedication

Original 1964 unveiling of the Louis Crommelin memorial, attended by Mrs. Labouchere-Crommelin, Rt. Hon. J.L.O. Andrews, Sir William Scott, Mrs. G.M. Stone-Lacherois, Sir Graham Larmor, Frits Fabius, Capt. R.M. Crommelin

The Lisburn memorial was originally commemorated on July 3, 1964 to mark the gravesite of various family members related to Louis Crommelin, the founder of the linen industry at Lisburn, Ireland. In 1698 Louis Crommelin was invited by King William III to bring his expertise at growing flax to Northern Ireland in an effort to improve its ailing economy. The result was a Huguenot community that prospered at Lisburn, spawning satellite communities in Portarlington and .... which also adopted the lucrative linen trade.

Over the years the original memorial had begun to crumble because of unsatisfactory building materials and the theft of the little bronze portrait of Louis Crommelin. A major restoration had become necessary. The project was undertaken by the Lisburn Historical Society and completed with a re-dedication ceremony on November 3, 2015 attended by various family members who are distantly related to the early Huguenot Crommelins of Ireland.

Here are Francisca Crommelin, Catharina Dessain (Angelique Day's sister), and Anne-Marie Sillem-Crommelin in the Lisburn Cathedral graveyard at the re-dedication of the family memorial, Also present was Angelique's sister, Georgina (the photographer). Anne-Marie and her niece, Francisca, were the representatives of our family but Angelique Day, regretfully, wasn't able to attend.

The image above is Elizabeth Allston McCrady (who sculpted Samuel Louis Crommelin's head in bronze which is also seen here) and James Waring de Bernieres McCrady, her father. He was the representative of the elder line of the de Bernieres, descendants of Louis Crommelin's daughter - the only surviving child with children. Mr. McCrady kindly paid for the bronze and organised its conveyance from USA to Lisburn. Photos by Georgina Sampson, Angelique Day's sister.

Present at the event were James Waring McCrady from Sewannee, Tennesee, a descendant of Samuel Lewis Crommelin, and Finny O'Sullivan who ogranized the restoration. Photo by Cliff Donaldson

The Ulster Star gave a good writeup on the re-dedication ceremony which we reproduce here verbatim:

Tuesday 17 November 2015

A special service was held to commemorate the restoration of three memorials of the founding fathers of the linen industry, which were professionally returned to their former glory.

The rededication service was held at Lisburn Cathedral last week to acknowledge the completion of a major project to restore Crommelin, Dubordieu and Coulson memorials at a cost of £82,500. The event was organised by the Lisburn Memorial Trust (of the Lisburn Historical Society).

Among some of the guests was the author of ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ Louis de Berniere who was in attendance.

The Lisburn Memorial Trust was set out two years ago and obtained funding from Esme Mitchell Foundation, Lisburn City Council, the Huguenot Society, Lisburn Historical Society and donors to carry out a survey of the memorials.

They then successfully applied for £82,500 of lottery funding, which was then used to restore the memorials at the Cathedral of the Crommelin, Dubourdieu and Coulson families, all who made a major contribution to the development of the linen industry.

To acknowledge the Huguenot origins of the Crommelin and Dubourdieu families, part of the service was in French. The service was attended by descendants from Holland, France, England and the USA then followed by a reception at the Lisburn Museum.

Waring de Berniers from Carolina, who generously commissioned a medallion in bronze of the head of the Louis Crommelin placed on the memorial, gave a brief history of the various branches of the family.

Descendants of Saumarez Dubourdier also gave a talk about their family.

Additional information regarding the Crommelin memorial is available on the Lisburn Memorial Trust website and this Restoration document (.pdf file).