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Rev. Richard Lyttle: A Home Rule Protestant

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 02, 1986


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By Hugh C. Thompson

"In the graveyard beside the small Non-Subscribing Church in the village of Moneyrea, in the midst of the prosperous farmlands of North Down stands a plain granite headstone. On it is the inscription, "In loving memory of Revd. Richard Lyttle, who died on the 22nd. October, 1905, aged 39 years."

When Richard Lyttle came to Moneyrea in 1889, the countryside was anything but prosperous. Bad harvests, poor farm prices, high rents and unemployment among farm workers had led to great distress and poverty.

Lyttle's interests led him beyond the normal pastoral duties and soon he became involved in the two outstanding controversies of the time - Home Rule and Land Reform.

Before his untimely death at the age of thirty nine, he made Moneyrea more widely known than ever before, or since."

This article looks at Rev. Richard Lyttle - the son of a linen merchant from Dromore, Co. Down - and his involvement in Home Rule and Land Reform.