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The History of the Sword : Chitticks of Fermangh, Ireland.
Author: Charles M. Stack D.D. (Bishop)
- recorded November 9th, 1905
Story: circa early 1800's.

The story I am about to write was told to me by Guy Armstrong, who lived at Clonelly Bridge (near Kesh), and was an old man at the time. Several years before the sword was found, I had told the story to Mr. Barton, the grandfather of the present owners of Clonelly. Some time after, I had a letter from Mr. Barton asking to go to Clonelly, "as he had something to show me". Upon my arrival, he said "Kellam's sword had been found just as you told me in the story."

"In the time of my grandfather," said Guy Armstrong, "there lived at Muckross a family of Chitticks, (I am not sure of the name, but it must be remembered in the neighborhood, the ruins of the house still remain). There was a widowed mother who had seven sons. The young men were wild and masterful, and carried things with a high hand in their part of the country.

"A young man named Kellam (a name still known in Kesh in my early days) had made friends with these young men and joined in more than one mad feat.

"The whole of North Fermanagh was at that time a forest. There was an opening (clearing) at Ederney with a little inn or 'pub house' about the place where the R.C. Chapel now stands. This was a favorite place of meeting of the 'young bloods' and here (on the occasion, which gave rise to this story) Kellam and his friends and several others spent the night together, drinking heavily. The reports of the night's doings reached Mrs. Chittick. She called her son to her, and asked whether the story was true, as she had been informed there had been an altercation between him and Kellam, and that the latter had used language which 'no gentleman could put up with'. He replied that he could not remember, and he believed that this was also the case of the rest of the party. "I have", she said, "a very distinct account of the affair and no son of mine can lie under the burden of words such as have been used to you. You must challenge Kellam and let his blood wipe out your disgrace". The young man pleaded that Kellam was the best friend he had in the world, and that eve if such words had been said the fact that the whole party were mad drunk, would take away any offence. However, she would not listen to him. Her last words were, "Challenge Kellam and kill him, or never let me see your face again."

"The challenge was sent and accepted." Chittick's second was one of his brothers and Kellam's second was Guy Armstrong's grandfather. The lower part of what is now Clonelly Lawn was open ground, the bog was, and still is, perhaps, above the little river. The old man described the duel thusly:

"The morning was cold and C. Chittick's brother wore a heavy horseman cloak, which he did not remove. The men had long 'cut and thrust swords', and took their swords and stood opposite each other, within reach of the duelists I knew Kellam to be the better man.

After some time Kellam was wounded slightly in the neck. We (the seconds) put our swords across and I said (Guy Armstrong), "Is not this enough?" Chittick had been fighting desperately and Kellam on his defense. Kellam said he was satisfied and that he had no quarrels with Chittick. The other said "I shall not stop until one or the other of us is on the ground" "oh!" said Kellam, "is that so? Very well then." They engaged again and after a little, Kellam dipped his sword, for he had a thrust which no man could parry (evade), and ran him through the body.

I am sure I gave this part of the story almost word for word, as Guy must have often heard it from his grandfather's lips.

"When the man (Chittick) fell, Kellam's second (Armstrong) caught him by the arm, whirled him around and said, "Run!" He (Kellman) started at once towards the river and the bog. Armstrong turned around quickly, and found that the brother of the dead man had thrown back his cloak and was deliberately aiming at the running man with a short musket.

"Muskelon", I think he said. He (Armstrong) leaped forward and just as he (the dead man's brother) fired bent down the gun with his sword. Kellam leaped across the stream and Armstrong saw the bullet strike the stone below him. He (Armstrong) ran up the bank into the bog. Where he (Armstrong) saw him (Kellam) thrust his bloody sword down into the bog and run on unarmed. He (Armstrong) never saw him (Kellam) again. Of course his (Kellam's) life would not be safe in the neighborhood with six such men as the Chitticks. He got away at once, went to London and enlisted in the Guards on the strength of his swordsmanship, for as the old man said. "He had a thrust no man could parry".

There can be no reasonable doubt that the sword in the possession of Mr. Barton, which I have identified as "the cut and thrust" sword found in the bog, is the weapon which Kellam thrust into the bog after he had killed Chittick.

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