John McDonald's Account of his father's employer & Landlord
At the 1908 Clyde-McDonald reunion John McDonald (oldest son of James & Sarah) told us his memories of life in Crawfordsburn.  It is from John we learn that they sold their home, but did not own the land it was on.  They had a goat which was "something extra in the village".  When the goat died they sold the house and came to America.  His brother, William McDonald wrote, "Elder David Wilken orginized a Branch in Ireland & meetings Were Held in our House Whitch Was Head quarters for the Branch it Being about the first introduction of Mormonism in that Country. Persequishon at first Was very Bad."  County Down was not only predominantly Presbyterian, but the center of an extreme anti-Catholic movement that viewed the Church of Ireland (Episcopal or Anglican), Methodists, and Baptists as being too tolerant of Catholicism (or not Protestant enough). 
 
Just as the Protestant reformation created a climate in which the Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel was possible, the way was opened for our ancestors to receive the Restored Gospel in County Down Ireland.  John McDonald said his father worked for "Sherman Crawford" at his estate in Crawfordsburn.  I found a biography of the largest land owner in County Down.  By learning some about James McDonald's employer and landlord we gain a greater appreciation of how the Lord created the setting in which the Gospel could be preached and accepted in County Down Ireland.
 
Sharman HouseSharman-Crawford, William, an Irish politician, was born 3rd September 1780, at Moira Castle, in the County of Down. He was the eldest son of Colonel William Sharman, for many years member for Lisburn in the Irish Parliament, who died in 1803, leaving him large estates. In 1805 he married a wealthy heiress, Mabel Crawford, whose surname and arms he added to his own. He represented Dundalk in Parliament, from 1834 to 1837, was subsequently returned for Rochdale without cost to himself; and sat many years for that borough. He greatly increased the prosperity of the tenants on his large estates by extending and confirming the Ulster custom of tenant-right; and the main object for which he strove during a long parliamentary career was to give legal effect to this right, and to extend it to other parts of Ireland. The tenant farmers justly regarded him as their champion.

A great stone obelisk has been erected to his memory on a hill on the Rademon Estate, near Crossgar, Co Down. It bears on one side the following inscription:

"This monument has been erected by a grateful and attached tenantry,
and other friends in memory of one, who during a long life,
was ever the most kind and considerate landlord,
the friend of the poor, and universal advocate of tenant right
and every measure calculated to promote civil and religious liberty."

William Sharman Crawford's temple work was completed in Provo 16 May 1989.


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