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In fact, we are left with nothing of any evidential value.All basic and elementary information is sadly lacking in all the internal writings and archive material.This has meant that most of what has been written on the formative years of the Black movement is nothing more than general speculation and opinion.Much of the detail covering its inception is shrouded in mystery.The unfortunate failing of many has been to accept without careful examination the statements of preceding writers.
In his thorough work Orangeism in Ireland and Throughout the Commonwealth, R. Sibbett succinctly states that “the Grand Black Chapter of Ireland …In our efforts we have accumulated some rare historic data that may give us a better perspective of the origins and development of the Black movement as a whole.To the best of our ability we will try to examine the historic unfolding of the Black movement in a chronological manner.Men are often coloured in their interpretation of material by their own particular partialities.This difficulty is even more pronounced when it comes to the study of secret societies.
If anyone could have put meat to the bones it would surely have been him. John Brown in his short history of the Black also says: “According to the best evidence the Royal Black Institution was formed on the 16th September 1797. In the early days of the Orange Society, it was felt that extra means of recognition amongst its members were necessary in those troubled times …