Early records show that a meeting of the Grand Black Chapter of Ireland was held in the White Hart Hotel, Omagh on Friday 7th April 1865. The purpose of the meeting was to consider the formation of a County Tyrone Grand Black Chapter. Represented at that meeting were Aughnacloy and Strabane District Chapters and two private Preceptories not connected to any District, namely RBP No. 4 Bush and RBP No. 35 encamped at Killyman.

A resolution was passed at the meeting that Aughnacloy should be No. 1 District and Strabane No. 2. However at the next meeting, held on 9th November 1865 in Moores Hotel, Dungannon, a motion was put forward to rescind that resolution and to move that Killyman should be No. 1 District of the County Tyrone Grand Black Chapter, and at a further meeting on 7th May 1866 in Annahoe House, Ballygawley, it was unanimously agreed that Killyman should be No. 1.
RBP No. 52, Dungannon and RBP No. 77, Derryoghill first appear on official records at around this time.

The first recorded meeting of Killyman District Chapter was on 23rd March 1866. The Worshipful District Master elected on that occasion was Sir Knight William N Dawson of RBP No. 77, DDM was Sir Knight William Allen of No. 4, Chaplain was Sir Knight Rev. WJM Young of No. 4, Registrar was Sir Knight David Fizelle of No. 35 & Treasurer was Sir Knight William Courtenay of No. 35.

Early records of the District Chapter are somewhat brief, but the first Demonstration attended would appear to have been in Scarva in 1882. In 1896 Killyman District Chapter hosted a Demonstration in Moy. They met with the Sir Knights of Summerisland District Chapter at Trew and Moy Station and proceeded to Moy where Sir Knights from Killylea were also in attendance.

From a beginning of four Preceptories in 1866 the District Chapter has now expanded to sixteen preceptories and rose to 1035 members by 1971.

In 1960, the District Chapter, in conjunction with Killyman Orange District, purchased 10 acres of land at Ballygawley Road, Dungannon for £2250. The land was to be used as a demonstration field. It was named Dobson Park in memory of the late sir Knight and Brother Thomas Dobson who was DDM of Killyman Orange District and was most generous with financial support towards the purchase of the property. In 1992 further land consisting of 22 acres came on the market at Dungannon Park and this was also purchased by the two Districts. It is now known as the Lord Northland Memorial Park and was dedicated on 11th June 1997 in memory of Lord Northland, a former Worshipful Master of Killyman Orange District who gave his life in the service of his country during the First World War.

Viscount Northland

Thomas Uchter Caufield Knox, Viscount Northland was born on 13th June 1882. He was the son of the Earl of Ranfurly. Educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Lord Northland served in the Boer War with the Coldstream Guards. He left the Guards in 1906, subsequently becoming a Captain in the Yorkshire Dragoons. On the outbreak of the First World War, Lord Northland immediately rejoined the Coldstream Guards. During his father’s Governor-Generalship of New Zealand (1897-1904), Lord Northland acted for a time as aide-de-camp to the Earl. In 1912 Lord Northland married Hilda Cooper, and in 1914 their son and heir Thomas Daniel was born. The 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards was involved in heavy fighting at Cuinchy near La Basse, France when Lord Northland was killed in action on 1st February, 1915.

In 2004, the District recognised that there are widespread misconceptions about the Black Institution and decided that the development of this website would be helpful in not only dispelling such misconceptions but would also help to promote the ideals of our Institution – the religious, cultural and charitable activities that are of such great importance to our local community.

Sadly, in November 2009, the WDM, Sir Knt Eric Hall passed away.  He will be long remembered for his efficiency in dealing with District business, his underlying jovial nature and as a man who got things done. He will be greatly missed by Killyman Royal Black District Chapter No 1.

The Worshipful District Masters of the District Chapter since its formation are as follows:

  • 1866-1867 William Nassau Dawson (RBP No. 77)
  • 1867-1876 Richard Lloyd (RBP No. 31)
  • 1876-1881 Thomas Robinson
  • 1881-1890 Robert Lyttle
  • 1890-1905 Rev Edward F Campbell (RBP No. 511)
  • 1905-1906 John O Newton (RBP No. 52)
  • 1906-1950 Robert Douglas (Greeves RBP No. 511)
  • 1950-1962 W J Hall JP MM (RBP No. 523)
  • 1962-1976 John A Frizelle (JP RBP No. 9790
  • 1976- 1983 Ivan M Symington (RBP No. 882)
  • 1983-1988 William J Purdy (RBP No. 523)
  • 1988-1994 James McFarland (RBP No. 641)
  • 1994-2000 Derek Marshall (RBP No. 1168)
  • 2000-2005 Millar Farr (RBP No. 641)
  • 2005-2009 Eric Hall (RBP No. 979)
  • 2009-        Richard Emerson (RBP No 511)