Captain Thomas McCullough, Loyal Florida Infantry, Irish Yeomanry corps, Co. Down, Ireland, circa 1796-1798. The above photo shows a belt badge of the "Loyal Florida Infantry" [Gordon Yeomanry] held in the collection of the Down County Museum, Downpatrick.
The following is an excerpt from the obituary of Thomas' son James McCullough 1820-1910 transcribed from a copy of "The Warrnambool Standard" newspaper, Victoria, Australia, dated the 13th. August 1910: "His father Captain Thomas McCullough was an officer in the Gordon Yeomanry, and took part in much active service for the Empire."
The "Loyal Florida Infantry" Yeomanry Corps. [Gordon Yeomanry]
In 1755 Robert Gordon married the widow Alice Whyte and through this connection the Gordon's acquired "Florida Manor" which is about 2 Kms. N.W. of the village of Killinchy. The Florida Estate included the townlands of Ballybunden, Drumreagh, part of Kilmood, Ballygraffen, Ballyminstragh, Lisbarnet, Raffery, Ravera and Tullynagee. [Where Thomas McCullough, and his father James McCullough, were Freehold Farmers]
In 1797 David Gordon, son of Robert Gordon, succeeded to the estate on the death of his brother John Gordon. The estate included the mansion house called "Florida Manor" and demesne. David Gordon was a Magistrate, PRONI records show that a "Court" operated at the Manor and they highlight the myriad of offences that could be brought before the Manor Court. The court still appeared to be in operation by the early nineteenth century as case papers dated 1805 recite David Gordon's title to the lordship of the manor and his accompanying rights. It also states that the court met at least once a year when petty constables were appointed. David Gordon was also one of the magistrates who collected evidence about the 1803 rebellion, he also owned land near Downpatrick and Killyleagh, making him a fairly influential man of the time.
During the latter part of the 1700's [September/October 1796] Yeomanry forces were raised by landed gentry to support the English Crown and the regular army to combat the impending French invasion/Irish rebellion against the Crown [1796-1798]. The local landowner, Magistrate and the Lord of the Florida Manor at Killinchy, David Gordon esq., raised such a force and named it the "Loyal Florida Infantry" Yeomanry Corps [Gordon Yeomanry] Thomas McCullough of Tullynagee was a member of this unit and held the senior rank of Captain.