Ben Haughton
Banford Family Chart
Banford House
Banford Bleachworks
Ballitore Quaker Village
The Linen Trade

The Banford Bleachworks

Bleach works have been in Tullylish on this site since the mid-Seventeenth Century.

The bleach green at Banford was originally owned by John Nicholson, born 1691 into a County Armagh Quaker family. Between 1727 and 1729 he was granted £150 for his bleachyard.

After he died, his son, Thomas, took over the business and built Banford House (1780), situated across the valley opposite (top left picture).

In 1815, Thomas sold both business and house to Benjamin Haughton. At this time, the business included two bleach mills. Benjamin traded under the name of Benjamin Haughton & Co.,

The marriage of Benjamin to Rachel Fennell in 1826, who was a Malcolmson before her first marriage to Robert Fennell, brought the Quaker families of Malcolmson and Fennell into the linen trade of the area.

William Malcolmson and Co., of Portlaw, Co. Waterford set up a bleaching works at Ballydown around 1860, while Fennell and Haughton had a cambric handkerchief bleaching business at Banford employing about 70 people. Fennell also owned a cambric handkerchief finishing works in Banbridge.

Meanwhile, Benjamin's sons, Thomas and Samuel, had a drill and sheet manufacturing business which was in production upto 1860.

The bleachgreen was run by Joshua Fennell. 1863 saw the formation of the Banford Bleachworks Co., created when Daniel Jaffé formed a partnership with Thomas Haughton. Sometime later, Jaffé's interest was bought by John Edgar.

** The above information is taken from Young and Quail (Old Gilford, Scarva, Loughbrickland and Laurencetown. Stenlake Publishing) who state that Robert J Nicholson introduced brown linen weaving in the 1790s which was continued by Benjamin Haughton upto 1860 when it was abandoned to concentrate on the 'more lucrative bleaching'.

The bleach greens then extended to 177 acres.

From 1863, it traded as The Banford Bleach Works Co. under Thomas Haughton, his son.  It had a workforce of 150. If this information is correct, therefore, in three years, they had more than doubled their workforce.

However, it appears that Benjamin did not concentrate solely on linen weaving between the years 1815 - 1860 as we also know that he acquired the tenancy of a further bleach mill, flour mill and three other mills in Tullylish village in 1836. (Source to be confirmed - any information on this would be gratefully received.)

From 1853 - 1860 Benjamin's son, Thomas, lived at Mount Pleasant, which had an attached flour mill. It is unclear at this time if this is anything to do with the tenancies mentioned above.

The Banford Bleachworks today