Thomas Sinton

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Thomas Sinton, JP (February 1826 – 20 August 1887) was an Irish industrialist and magistrate. Sinton made a significant impact upon the Irish linen trade; not least establishing the village of Laurelvale, County Armagh.

Ireland Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Magistrate officer of the state, usually judge

The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest ranking government officers, and possessed both judicial and executive powers. In other parts of the world, such as China, a magistrate was responsible for administration over a particular geographic area. Today, in some jurisdictions, a magistrate is a judicial officer who hears cases in a lower court, and typically deals with more minor or preliminary matters. In other jurisdictions, magistrates may be volunteers without formal legal training who perform a judicial role with regard to minor matters.

Irish linen brand name for linen woven in Ireland

Irish linen is the brand name given to linen produced in Ireland. Linen is cloth woven from, or yarn spun from the flax fibre, which was grown in Ireland for many years before advanced agricultural methods and more suitable climate led to the concentration of quality flax cultivation in northern Europe. Since about the 1950s to 1960s the flax fibre for Irish Linen yarn has been, almost exclusively, imported from France, Belgium and the Netherlands. It is bought by spinners who produce yarn and this, in turn, is sold to weavers who produce fabric. Irish linen spinning has now virtually ceased, yarns being imported from places such as the Eastern part of the European Union and China.


Thomas Sinton was born in Tamnaghmore House, [1] Tandragee, County Armagh, the son of David Sinton and Sarah Green. The Sintons, like so many of Northern Ireland's linen families were Quakers, in this case of Scottish descent; although the Sintons had been settled at Tamnaghmore for several hundred years. Thomas Sinton was sent to board at Friends' School, Lisburn – a Quaker school. In 1859 he married Elizabeth Bridget Hesilridge Buckby (1835–1900), her family lived at Prospect House, Tandragee. He had eight children by his wife;

Tandragee village in the United Kingdom

Tandragee is a village on the Cusher River in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It is situated in the civil parish of Ballymore and the historic barony of Orior Lower. It had a population of 3,486 people in the 2011 Census.

County Armagh Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

County Armagh is one of the traditional counties of Ireland and one of six counties that form Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the southern shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 1,326 km² and has a population of about 174,792. County Armagh is known as the "Orchard County" because of its many apple orchards. The county is part of the historic province of Ulster.

Friends School, Lisburn

Friends' School, Lisburn is a Quaker voluntary grammar school in the city of Lisburn, Northern Ireland, founded in 1774.

Maynard Sinton British businessman

William Maynard Sinton, JP was High Sheriff of County Armagh, an Ulster Unionist County Councillor for Armagh and industrialist.

Tullylish village in the United Kingdom

Tullylish is a small village, townland and civil parish in County Down, Northern Ireland. It sits on the River Bann, along the main road between the towns of Banbridge and Portadown. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 105 people. It lies within the civil parish of Tullylish and Banbridge District.

Gilford may refer to:

Sinton died at his home, Laurelvale House (later the home of Michael Torrens-Spence), and was buried at Moyallon [4] Friends' Burial Ground, Gilford. His effects were valued, in 1887, at over £100,000. Sinton, through his brother John Sinton, was a great-uncle of the soldier and doctor John Alexander Sinton.

Michael Torrens-Spence British Royal Navy officer

Captain Frederick Michael Alexander Torrens-Spence, was a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm pilot in the Second World War. Torrens-Spence earned the distinction of holding commissions in the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

John Sinton, JP,, was a Ulster Scot industrialist, philanthropist and a Quaker, was the seventh child of nine born to David Sinton (1792–1860) and Sarah Green (1795–1856). Belonging to a large and well-known family descended from the Ulster-Scots Benjamin Cynton (1640–?), John Sinton purchased a linen mill at Ravernet, Co. Down, close to Lisburn, Co. Down in 1873, and established another one at nearby Drumnavaddy. He was the younger brother of Thomas Sinton (1826–1887), linen manufacturer and Quaker philanthropist, who created the new village at Laurelvale, Co. Armagh, in the 1850s, and cousin of industrialist David Sinton of Cincinnati, once one of the richest men in America.

John Alexander Sinton British medical doctor, malariologist and soldier

Brigadier John Alexander Sinton, was a British medical doctor, malariologist, soldier, and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Linen factory

Thomas Sinton's mill, Laurelvale Sintons Mill Laurelvale.jpg
Thomas Sinton's mill, Laurelvale

Sinton built the model village of Laurelvale (named due to the abundance of laurel bushes in the area), also known as Laurel Vale, to house workers at his large linen factory – Thomas Sinton & Co. The factory was started in the early 1850s and by the 1880s it employed around 700 workers, responsible for manufacturing very high-grade heavy linen. The company was responsible for almost all of the houses built in the village, especially those for family members and factory managers.

Model village a type of mostly self-contained community, in most cases built from the late eighteenth century onwards by industrialists to house their workers

A model village is a type of mostly self-contained community, built from the late 18th century onwards by landowners and industrialists to house their workers. Although the villages are located close to the workplace, they are generally physically separated from them and often consist of relatively high quality housing, with integrated community amenities and attractive physical environments. "Model" is used in the sense of an ideal to which other developments could aspire.

Laurelvale village in the United Kingdom

Laurelvale is a village in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It is beside the smaller village of Mullavilly and the two are sometimes referred to as Laurelvale-Mullavilly or Mullavilly-Laurelvale. The village is three miles south of Portadown and 1.5 miles northwest of Tandragee. It had a population of 1,284 people in the 2011 Census.

Linen textile made from spun flax fiber

Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fiber is very strong, absorbent and dries faster than cotton. Garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot and humid weather.

He also owned factories in Tandragee, by the River Cusher, and at Killyleagh, County Down. His younger brother, John Sinton, owned a linen mill at Ravernet near Hillsborough, County Down, and Thomas's descendants would also acquire the Banford Bleachworks, at Tullylish.

Killyleagh village and civil parish in County Down, Northern Ireland

Killyleagh is a village and civil parish in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is on the A22 road from Downpatrick, on the western side of Strangford Lough. It had a population of 2,483 people in the 2001 Census. It is best known for its 12th century Killyleagh Castle. Killyleagh lies within the Newry, Mourne and Down area and the Strangford Constituency area.

County Down Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

County Down is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland, in the northeast of the island of Ireland. It covers an area of 2,448 km2 and has a population of 531,665. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland and is within the province of Ulster. It borders County Antrim to the north, the Irish Sea to the east, County Armagh to the west, and County Louth across Carlingford Lough to the southwest.

Hillsborough, County Down a village located in County Down, United Kingdom

Hillsborough is a village, townland and civil parish in County Down, Northern Ireland, situated 19 km (12 mi) from the city of Belfast. It is within the Lisburn and Castlereagh District Council area.

The Laurelvale factory closed in 1944 when it was acquired by the Ministry of Defence and used by the Hoffman company for the manufacture of ball bearings for tank turrets etc. In the 1970s it was damaged in a fire but was inhabited by a private family until the mid eighties. Both the house and the factory area have recently been cleared and replaced by a housing development. All that remains of Laurelvale House and the factory now is an old wall, which was part of the stable block.

The Tandragee factory was still in production, employing 200 people, until 1996. [5] There were then plans afoot to convert the mill, which remained the Sinton family's property, into a tourist and retail facility, with the hope of a £7–8 million investment. [6] Planning permission was granted for this, however, the building was put up for sale by Thomas (Tim) Sinton (the subject's great-grandson) in 2003. [7]

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  1. "Home". DOE.
  2. "Unionist Politics and Protestant Society in Edwardian Ireland, Alvin Jackson". The Historical Journal. 33, No. 4.: 839–866 December 1990. JSTOR   2639801.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-07-12. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  5. "The Belfast Telegraph; "Tandragee to Get Mill Back in Action"".
  6. "The Belfast Telegraph; Tourist Plan For Old Mill".
  7. "Surprise as Mill up For Sale". The Belfast Telegraph.