The Groves of Blarney

THE groves of Blarney, they look so charming,

Down by the purlings of sweet silent brooks,

All decked by posies that spontaneous grow there,

Planted in order in the rocky nooks.

’Tis there the daisy, and the sweet carnation,

The blooming pink, and the rose so fair;

Likewise the lily, and the daffodilly —

All flowers that scent the sweet open air.

These are the opening lines of a lovely poem written by Richard Alfred Milliken (see picture below) a Cork attorney, who after the 1798 Irish Rebellion turned his attention to art and poetry. In the ‘Authentic Memoir of His Life in the Poetical Fragments of the late Richard Alfred Millikin’, it states that he was born on 8 September, 1767, and the son of Robert Millikin of Castlemartyr, near Cork.  Robert’s father, also called Robert, was a member of the Quaker Society of Friends and linen manufacturer who came originally from Moyallen (Moyallon) in the parish of Tullylish, Co. Down, Ireland.  In an evil hour, he is said to have put his name to a bond of security for a man with whom he was connected by marriage.  This man subsequently absconded and left the elder Robert in debt to a large sum of money, which almost ruined him but for the help of a close friend Henry Boyle, Earl of Shannon. He offered Robert the opportunity of establishing a linen factory at Castlemartyr near Cork, where he moved sometime in the 1730s.

Robert Millikin is mentioned several times in the Quaker Records of Lurgan and Moyallen Meetings. On 20 September, 1723, the minutes of the men’s meeting held at Lurgan in Co. Armagh reported he had been married by a priest to a woman of another persuasion. To the Quakers, a minister of the Church of Ireland was also priest and a marriage celebrated outside the Society’s rules was a transgression subject to confession and rebuke. In the minutes of the meeting held on 31 October, it was reported he had acknowledged his marriage and his confession was to be read out to him publicly at the next meeting at Moyallen. This is the last notice we hear of him in the records of the Quaker Society of Moyallen. The personal name and family surname of his wife has gone unrecorded.

In the Authentic Memoir of His Life, the author goes on to narrate how that after a few years the project developed by Robert Millikin was finally abandoned and disappointed he thought to "remove to the country of his ancestors - Scotland - where he had rich, but proud relatives, to whom though reluctantly he meant to apply; when he was informed by his munificent patron, the Establishment with the adjoining farm, should be his during his life".  By inference it can be concluded that the rich and proud relative refers to James Milliken Esq. of Milliken, the only Milliken in Scotland who could have fitted this apt description.  But how was he related?  Robert Millikin the elder, had a brother called John Millikin and both these men were the sons of James Millikin of Moyallen in Co. Down, a wealthy Quaker.

The Quaker Society has long been renown for it’s record keeping and thankfully near all the records for the and Lurgan Lisburn Quarterly Meetings have survived. They detail the family of James Millikin of Moyallen, father of Robert Millikin of Castlemartyr who was born in 1696. The record of his father’s marriage is also given and notes he married Martha Camel of Antrim on August 14, 1671, and was the son of Robert and Margaret Millikin of Lisnagarvey renamed Lisburn.  In what is probably one of the earliest surviving baptismal registers for the North of Ireland, the Register of the Church of St. Thomas, Lisnagarvey 1637-46 (published by the Representative Church Body Library), we find the baptismal entry of James - son to Robert Millikin (sic. Mulligan) baptised on 19 November, 1646.  As far as I can ascertain, this is the oldest ‘M’ baptismal entry on record in Ireland.

Children of James Millikin and Martha Camel:

1. Sarah Millikin, born in 1672, at Legacorry, Co. Armagh.

2.  James Millikin, born May 15, 1677, at Legacorry, Co. Armagh, and died Sept. 23, 1694.

3.  Margaret Millikin, born Aug. 20, 1671, at Lurgan, Co. Armagh, and died Mar. 2, 1694.

4.  Rebecca Millikin, born Jan. 10, 1684, at Lurgan, Co. Armagh.

5.  Martha Millikin, born Dec. 21, 1688, at Lurgan, Co. Armagh.

6.  Elizabeth Millikin, born April 2, 1691, at Lurgan, Co. Armagh.

7.  John Millikin, born Mar. 23, 1694, at Moyallan, Co. Down.

8.  Robert Millikin, born July 22, 1696, at Moyallan, Co. Down.

There is in the Genealogical Office in Dublin a Coat of Arms almost identical to those depict by Major James Milliken of Milliken Estate in Renfrewshire, Scotland, which evidently belonged the Millikins of Cork.  In Scottish Heraldry, cadet members can bear a variant form of the undifferentiated Arms borne by the Chief.  The mark of difference in the case of the Dublin Arms lies in the imperial crown depict on the three demi-lions and the crest.  The very fact this difference was made, suggests the ‘Ms’ of Moyallen and Castlemartyr were a cadet branch and therefore, kinsmen of the Chief of the Name of Milliken.  Robert Millikin of Lisburn appears to have been a manufacturer of cloth and linen in 1646, or to put it another way, a merchant weaver, the given occupation of John Millikin who was admitted burgess and guild brother of Ayr in 1651.

It is known that Major James Milliken was born in 1669, two years before the marriage of James Millikin of Moyallen (1646-1718), making the latter a contemporary of Thomas Millikin in Ayr (d. 1694), James Millikin (1648-1711) in Irvine and Thomas Millikin of the Island of Arran. There is a tradition preserved in the Rev. Ridlon’s book asserting that Robert John Milliken who lived near the town of Dromore in Co. Down, ancestor of the Millikens of Kishacoquillas Valley, USA, was the Major’s uncle, but on further examination it becomes apparent this man was born at least a generation later.  This tradition, however, should not be dismissed as it conceals facts that point to a firm connection between this family and the Majors’.  It is extremely unusual to find a person born in the 1600s bearing a second Christian name and I wonder if perhaps Robert John should in fact read as Robert and his son or brother John Milliken.


Abstract documents relating to the Millikins of Castlemartyr and Cork


Marriage licence of Patrick Bellew to Margaret FitzGerald.


Marriage licence of Robert Millikin to Elizabeth Battley.

[Marriage License Bonds for Diocese of Cloyne 1630-1800, National Archives of Ireland (NAI)]


Religious Survey – Protestants - Castlesmartyr, Co. Cork.

Robert Millikin, senior.

Robert Millikin, junior.

[Diocese of Cloyne, Religious Survey 1766 (NAI), M.5036a]

July 4, 1771

Abstract Will of Margaret Bellew of Castlemartyr, Co. Cork

To sister Anne Battaley £100 and household items

To nieces Ann Millikin £20

To brother John Fitzgerald £20

To niece Ann Field £20

To niece Margaret Battaley £20

To the heirs of my deceased brother James Fitzgerald 1 shilling each

To nephew in law Robert Millikin £100 and interest, which said £100 is lodged with Robert Pratt Esq. for the above purpose together with the residue remainder of my forture

I appoint said Robert Millikin my executor

Signed and dated Margt Bellew on 4th July 1771

Witnesses Ann Lucey and Wm Hallaran

Proved on 20 March 1772 by Robert Millikin the sole executor

[Gertrude Thrift Collection, National Library of Ireland]

July 4, 1771

Abstract Will of Margaret Bellew of Castlemartyr, Co. Cork

To sister Anne Batteley

To brother John Fitzgerald

[Sir William Betham Collection, National Library of Ireland]


Index of Will for Margaret Bellew, Castlemartyr, Co. Cork

[Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810 by Sir Arthur Vicars (1897)]


Death at Castlemartyr of Patrick Bellew, Esq., supervisor of heaths for Youghal District.

[The Hibernian Magazine, Vol. 5, p. 255]

November 3, 1785

Killevarig (Kilbarry) - Fitzgerald to Simock (No. 374. 259. 248946)November 3 & 4, 1785: John Fitzgerald of Garrangamer, Co. Cork, Esq. sold to Thomas Simcock of Youghal, Co. Cork, Esq., among other lands the land and town of Killevarig otherwise Kilbarry in the Barony of Buhallow on of £9. 75s. Witnessed by Robert Milliken of City of Cork, Gent, and John Dennis of City of Cork. Registered December 3, 1785.

[Abstracts of Deeds, Barony of Duhallow, County Cork 1778-1791]

December 8, 1788

“Monday last in Cove Street, Cork, Robert Millikin Esq. died”.

[Hibernian Chronicle, Thursday December 11, 1788]


Will of Robert Millikin of Cork, Gent., made probate 1789.

[Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810 by Sir Arthur Vicars (1897)]

May 29, 1788

Abstract Will of “I Robert Millikin of the City of Cork, Gent., … whereas by marriage articles entered into at the time of my marriage with my beloved wife, Elizabeth Millikin, she will be entitled to £200 … if she relinquish this … to receive the interest on £100 and interest of my house in Castlesmartyr, and interest of lands in Caryawood; … daughter Anna Millikin £250 and household goods; … son Richard £150 and freehold interest of Castlemartyr and Caryawood; … son Rev. George Millikin interest on £100 and houses and firearms; … son Robert Millikin £100; … beloved son William Millikin £100. 50s. after his mother’s death; Francis White and Richard Lawson of Cork, guardians”.

Probate August 6, 1789.

[The Gustave Anjou Manuscript (Unpublished, 1906-7)]

May 29, 1788

Will of Robert Millikin of Cork, Gent.   

Will dated 29 May, 1788.

Probate 6 August, 1789.

Wife Elizabeth Battley, married 1763.

Children Richard, Rev. George, Robert, William and Anna.

[Extract Pedigrees compiled by Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms from wills proved in the Prerogative Court of Ireland 16th - 18th century (PROIN T.559/28/265)]


Admission of Richard A. Millikin, attorney Exchequer, M 1792 r.

[King’s Inns Admission Papers 1607-1867 (Edited by Edward Keane, P. Beryl Phair and Thomas U. Sadleir, (Dublin 1982)]

June 9, 1792

Advertisement, Robert Milliken, late apprentice to Mr. George Aickin, has opened shop at No. 17 Tuckey Quay side of Grand Parade, Cork

[Cork Gazette, Saturday, June 9, 1792]


Marriage of Robert Milliken to Eleanor Franks.

[Marriage License Bonds for the Diocese of Cloyne 1801-1866]

May 31, 1801

Last Sunday at Fermoy, Robert Milliken, watchmaker, to Miss Franks.

[Cork Advertiser, Tuesday June 9, 1801]


Marriage of Richard Alfred Millikin to Ann Raymond.

[Marriage License Bonds for Diocese of Cork & Ross 1716-1844 (NA)]

September 28, 1801

Married last week, Mr. Richard A. Millikin to Miss Raymond of the Grand  Parade, Cork.

[Cork Evening Post, September 28, 1801]


Millikin, Miss., academy, Dean Street, St. Barry’s, Cork.

Millikin, Mrs, academy and boarding school for young ladies, Queen Street, Cork.

[Connor’s Cork Directory 1812]

March 18, 1813

On Thursday evening in St. Barry’s at an advance age, Mrs. Milliken, relict of the late Robert Milliken of this City … her remains were this morning deposited in Douglas Church yard.

[Cork Advertiser, Saturday, March 20, 1813]

Millican, Milligan, Millikan, Milliken, Millikin, Mullican, Mulliken, Mullikin etc

Robert Millikin, linen draper of Castlemartyr

Richard Alfred Millikin of  Cork