Index to the County Louth assizes 1775-1810
These abstracts are
taken from The Freeman's Journal, copies of which were researched on
microfilm in the National Library of Ireland, on microfilm in the Library of
University College Dublin (over one long summer) and lately added to, from the website of the Irish Newspaper Archives Ltd.
County Louth Assizes
1775 - 1810
The Freeman’s Journal
28 Mar 1775
Saturday last the assizes of Dundalk ended,
where three several records of Nisi Prius, for non-payment of rent, were
tried before the Hon. Mr. Justice Robinson, and a very respectable
Jury, wherein Ephraim Stannus, Esq., was plaintiff, and William
Sturgeon, Esq., was defendant, when, after a full hearing, three several
verdicts were given for the plaintiff, with cost of suits. Dundalk March 27,
03 Sep 1776
Extract of a letter from Dundalk, dated August 31, 1776
This day came on before the Hon. Mr. Justice Tenison and a most
respectable jury the trial of Daniel McNeale, Neale McNeale,
John Eastwood and George Murdock, for the supposed murder of
Matthew Warren, on the 1st of July last; when after a hearing of
upwards of seven hours, they were most honourably acquitted, to the entire
satisfaction of the court and country. The jury did not take three minutes
to return their verdict. The counsel for the prisoners examined only four
witnesses in order to show where the riot on that particular day
began, and the occasion of it; the innocence of the young gentleman having
fully appeared from the testimony of the witnesses produced on the part of
13 Apr 1784
At the late assizes for the county of Louth, Mathew Doran, and
James McMahon, were tried and found guilty of robbing the servant of
Mr. Leigh, of Termanfecken, in the county of Louth, and were sentenced
to be executed at Dundalk on Monday last - Doran was a daring
offender, and was taken in the county Monaghan, after a pursuit of some
hours, and lodged in Dundalk gaol by Norman Steel, esq; with a party
of the Farney volunteers, whose alacrity and spirit on this occasion cannot
be sufficiently commended and to whom the grand jury of the county of Louth
returned thanks for the great service thereby tendered to the police of that
county. On the information of Doran, two men were apprehended near
Ardee, and committed to gaol, charged with the murder of Richard Dawson,
esq., of that place, some considerable time since, the perpetrators of which
inhuman act had remained undiscovered, notwithstanding the considerable
reward then offered to bring them to justice.
10 Mar 1785
Drogheda, March 8
Yesterday at the general assizes for the county of the town of Drogheda,
held at the Tholsel, before the Hon. Baron Power, and the Hon.
Justice Hallen, the following persons were tried and found guilty, viz.
James McMahon, for stealing a shirt,
value six-pence, the property of Mrs. Coddigton, to be whipped on
Saturday next, and to give bail for his good behaviour for one year.
Mary Casey, for stealing two purses, which contained about 6l. the
property of Mr. Lahy, her late master, to be hanged.
John Turnbull, for counterfeiting his Majesty's coin, was found
guilty, and received sentence of death, but was recommended by the jury as
an object of mercy.
William Duff, a soldier belonging tot he 5th regiment, for assaulting
Marks Murray, on the bridge of this town, was found guilty, and
received sentence to be transported.
Several others were tried for various offences, and acquitted.
This day the Judges proceeded on their circuit for Dundalk.
05 Apr 1788
The following persons were severally tried before the Hon.
Baron Power and the Hon. Mr. Serjeant Toler, Lords Justices of
Assize for the North East Circuit of Ulster:
County of Louth – Dundalk
Patrick Gaffney, to be executed on the 21st
of April, for stealing a mare.
17 Jul 1788
At the assizes of Dundalk, which ended on Wednesday last, the 17th instant,
the following persons were tried, viz. James Byrne, for robbing the
mail on the 27th of February last, at Barronstown, between Dunleer and
Drogheda, was convicted, and received sentence to be executed on Monday next
the 21st instant.
Patrick Rooney, for the same crime, pleaded guilty, but it appeared
that through his means the post-boy's life was preserved, and from some
other circumstances in his favour, he was ordered for execution on the first
day of November next.
Francis Smith, otherwise Cullen, (whose trial had been
put off last Lent assizes by the crown), was acquitted of the same robbery,
and William Connolly, John Toole, and Michael Doran,
who also stood indicted for the above robbery, and had been transmitted from
Drogheda to Dundalk, at the last Lent assizes, were discharged by
James Doran, indicted for an assault, pleaded guilty, and was fined
sixpence: and Daniel McCollister, convicted for a similar offence,
was sentenced to be imprisoned a fortnight.
Michael Morgan, John Read, Anthony Malone, John
Kennedy, George Byrne, and Bernard Egan, otherwise
Dublin, charged with several felonies; and Charles Keogh,
Bernard Byrne, John Dowdall, Christopher Burkell,
Nicholas Burkell and Hugh Cary, indicted for several assaults,
were all acquitted.
04 Aug 1789
COUNTY of LOUTH, DUNDALK ASSIZES
In the Crown Court, the following persons were tried before the Hon. Mr.
Baron Hamilton: Bernard Egan, (commonly known as the nickname
of Dublin) indicted for robbing the dwelling house of Martin Hoey
of various articles of wearing apparel, found guilty to the value of two
shillings - to be transported.
Same Bernard Egan, indicted for robbing the dwelling house of
James Carroll of many articles of wearing apparel - acquitted.
James Devling, indicted for stealing articles belonging to cars and
ploughs, the property of David Atkinson - acquitted.
James Miller, and John Lawson, presented by the Grand Jury as
idle vagabonds, found guilty - to be transported.
John Murragh, James Murragh, and John Moran, for taking
a forcible possession of the dwelling house in the possession of Laurence
Hoey - acquitted.
James Kearon, Peter Carroll, for assaulting Bridget Lamb,
and Patrick Lamb - acquitted.
Mathew Lorinan, Joseph Gray, John Pepper, John
Barran and Edward Lorinan, for assaulting Thomas Garten -
Mary Toole, indicted for privately stealing a guinea from the person
of James Develin, and on the trial it came out to be what he agreed
with her for a certain bargain - acquitted.
Francis Deane, and Nicholas Kearney, indicted for coining, the
evidence for the Crown could not support the indictment - acquitted, but to
Same persons, indicted for assaulting Owen Cassidy - acquitted
William Fitzsimons, for stealing tallow, the property of Henry
Manning - acquitted.
John McLaughlin, for assaulting Thomas Gribbs - acquitted
Richard Wallace, and Henry Wallace, for cow stealing, the
property of James Brickle; Richard Wallace was found guilty -
received sentence to be hanged. Henry Wallace acquitted.
Bernard McKinley, indicted for assaulting Miss Elizabeth Neill,
with an intent to commit a rape, found guilty - and sentenced to be
Michael Rogers (being a servant to Edward Hoey, of
Castlebellingham) indicted for embezzling the sum of 6L. 15d 1½d
the property of his said master - acquitted.
N.B. The Jury who were sworn on the trial of Murphy of Trim, were
enclosed from Saturday evening until Monday morning, when they were brought
to the verge of the county, and there discharged, as they had not agreed to
13 Apr 1790
The assizes for Dundalk ended the 12th of April instant, when the following
persons were tried and found guilty before the Hon. Baron Power.
Patrick McParland, found guilty on the chalking act, but being
recommended by both Grand and Petit Juries, judgment of execution was
respited till further orders.
Grace Graham, Francis Finigan and Mary Finigan, for
persuading Patrick Callon, and James Carragher to steal flour
from their masters, fined each one mark, and imprisoned one month.
James Moore, for rescuing from custody John Bolton, who was
arrested by virtue of a warrant under the hand and seal of the Right Hon.
John Foster, for felony, but on Mr. Foster's humanely
recommending him, the Judge only imprisoned him a fortnight, and ordered him
to give good security for his behaviour for seven years.
Thomas Morgan, presented by the Grand Jury as a vagabond, (he being
acquitted of several felonies) to be transported for seven years.
The following persons were acquitted: James Durnin, Peter Murphy,
Margaret Maguire, Peter Woods, Daniel Kelly and
James Moore, for felony.
Patrick Ward, for a riot.
07 May 1791
William Barnwell, John Hitchcock, Daniel Hitchcock,
for procuring a person unlawfully murder John Pentland, at Drogheda,
on the [?] of February last. - Trial put off to the next assizes by the
Crown, and said persons admitted to bail. [See 19
April 1792 below]
Robert Young, for taking out of the shop of Bridget Markey,
six silk handkerchiefs, value [?] - to be transported for seven years.
Patrick Tierney, for assaulting Mr. Aungrim the assizes day at
Drogheda - to be imprisoned [?] months and fined 20 marks.
James Keating, for assaulting James H[?] at Drogheda, on the
19th April last - fined [?]mark and imprisoned one month.
Same Keating, for assaulting Owen G[?], like punishment, after
term of first sentence expires.
Elizabeth Reilly, Mary McDaniel, J[?] Murray, Peter
Carroll, Thady Smith, Henry Reynolds - acquitted of
18 Aug 1791
On the 17th inst. the assizes here, which was held before the Right Hon. Mr.
Justice Kelly, when the following persons were tried: - John Donaldson, a
Preventing-officer of his Majesty's Revenue, was indicted for the murder of
Thomas Martin, a boy under the age of fourteen years.
On the prosecution it appeared in evidence that the prisoner having received
information, that a quantity of smuggled goods were at the port of Dundalk,
he the prisoner called upon a party of the the army, for his assistance; and
on his way to the shore or strand of Dundalk, he was set upon and hooted at,
by a number of small boys, who called him nick names - that the prisoner
being enraged at such conduct, his passion overpowered his reason, and the
result was, that he gave orders to the soldiers who accompanied him to fire,
in consequence of which the deceased received a shot in the thigh of which
The jury acquitted him of the murder, but found him guilty of manslaughter
at large. The learned judge sentenced him to be burned in the hand and
imprisoned for three months.
Patrick Carrol indicted for burglariously breaking open and entering a house
in Dundalk - found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged on Monday the 14th
Thomas McConwell and John Gregory, were indicted for the same burglary -
John Kane was indicted for a felony at large - found guilty, and sentenced
to be transported pursuant to the statute.
Ferdinanad McAlevy was indicted for assaulting James Hare - found guilty, and
received sentence to be imprisoned for three months, and to give security
for his good behaviour for three years.
It appeared in evidence on the trial of the traverser, McAlevy, that he is
one of the desperate gang called "defenders, or tongue cutters", who have so
long been a terror to the peaceable inhabitants of this county; and that he
was tried and acquitted at Armagh the last Assizes, for a similar offence in
company with many others of his desperate Associates.
Francis Bellew was indicted for committing a rape upon Anne Ward, and for a
rescue - acquitted.
19 Apr 1792
The King against William Barnwell, John Hitchcock, and Dan. Hitchcock.
That they, on the 21st of January, 1791, at Shop-street, in the county of
the town of Drogheda, did wickedly and maliciously combine, together with
several persons, to effect and procure the death and murder of John Pentland,
and did there wickedly urge, encourage, advise and solicit one John Wall, to
kill and murder the said John Pentland, and that he did wickedly urge,
encourage, advise and solicit, by the offer of a reward in money, the said
John Wall, to kill and murder the said John Pentland, by shooting him; and
that they did wickedly advise, encourage, solicit and tempt, by the offer of
fifty guineas as a reward, the said John Wall, to kill and murder the said
John Pentland, by shooting him; and that they did wickedly invite and
solicit the same John Wall, to kill and murder the said John Pentland, and
did there propose to the said John Wall, that the said Daniel Hitchcock
would hand over and pay unto him, the said John Wall, fifty guineas, if he,
the said John Wall, would shoot the said John Pentland, contrary to the
peace of the Lord the King, his Crown and dignity.
John Wall, the first witness for the Crown, proved, that about the time
mentioned in the indictment, he worked as a labourer with William Leggat, at
the Cross of Balgee, in the County of Dublin, and was about that time called
on by the traverser, William Barnwall, who told him he had material business
with him, but could not disclose it till he came to the house of John
Hitchcock, of Gilbertstown; but upon their arrival there he was told he must
go to Daniel Hitchcock's, Drogheda, (brother of the said John) where he
would be informed of the business; accordingly he went with Barnwall to
Drogheda, and on their leaving Gilbertstoen, the traverser, John Hitchcock,
called after Barnwall, and desired him, to be sure to hit his mark before
his return. On Wall and Barnwall's arrival in Drogheda, they went to the
house of the traverser, Daniel Hitchcock, (who was till then a stranger to
Wall) and having at some time in the parlour of Daniel Hitchcock, drinking
punch, in company with him, William Barnwall, and a man with askew eye, the
said William Barnwall told him that John Pentland, a revenue officer, had
greatly injured the said Daniel Hitchcock, having made several seizures on
him, And that it would be an easy matter to get shut of him, as there was no
watch in Drogheda; that fifty guineas were then counted down to him on a
table, which he was to get if he would shoot said John Pentland; and
Hitchcock told him he would go with him into a narrow lane, (Bessexwell-lane)
where Pentland had a stable, and that after he was shot, they could throw a
gun over a wall which he, D.H. would point out, and so pass through the
lane, and no one would be the wiser; and that he had provided a Queen Anne's
musket, charged with swan shot, and that it would be easy to do the deed
any night from nine till eleven, as Pentland often went to open the stable
about those hours. Upon this proposal, Wall asked if that was the business
for which he was brought to Drogheda, and peremptorily refused to be
concerned in it, and immediately left the house and went back to Leggat's
house, where he immediately communicated the transaction to Leggat, as also
several other persons, and in a few days afterwards, he left Leggat's, and
went to Dunleary, where he continued till he was apprehended after Pentland
had been shot.
William Leggat, who was mentioned by the last witness, proved, that the
traverser, Barnwall, had called on Wall about the time mentioned by Wall,
and that they both went off towards Drogheda together; he also proved, that
on Wall's return, on the 3d day after, he questioned him as to the business
that had brought him away, and observed, he believed it was not on a good
errand. Wall replied it was not on a good errand, if, he would do it, and
then told Leggat all that had happened, nearly as he before related. Leggat
then said, that fearing he might be brought into trouble, he parted with
Wall; and he also proved, that, he told what Wall had so related to a Mr.
Knox, who lived in his neighbourhood, and requested Knox's advice, as to
what should be done to prevent such a barbarous act from being committed,
and in consequence an anonymous letter was written to Pentland, desiring him
to be on his guard as his life was conspired against. Mr Knox proved Leggat's
communicating the business to him, and that he in consequence wrote the
letter above-mentioned to Pentland.
A brother of the deceased Pentland's was now produced, and proved the death
of Pentland; that he was shot with swan shot in Bessexwell-lane, coming
from his stable, in about six weeks after the transaction of which was had
given the account. John Claudius Beresford, Esq; proved, that after the death
of Pentland, he went to Drogheda to apprehend Daniel Hitchcock, by virtue of
a warrant from the Right Hon. Lord Viscount Clonmel, and he found Daniel
Hitchcock in bed in his own house about eight o'clock in the morning, and
him to get up and come with him, telling him he had a warrant against him
from Lord Clonmel, upon which D.H. said he could give bail to any amount,
but upon Mr. Beresford telling him he could not take bail, D.H. said
was very hard he should be taken for the murder of Pentland, when he was in
company with some of the first people in Drogheda at the time the fact was
committed." - These words, Mr. Beresford said, were made use of by the
traverser, D.H. before he, Mr. Beresford, intimated, on the nature of the
warrant; and Mr. Beresford said he conceived it as a self conviction.
Dr. Fairtclough, who accompanied Mr. Beresford to the house of
Hitchcock, corroborated Mr. Beresford in his relation of the circumstances
attending the arrest, and the words made use of by the traverser, D.H.
It appeared, as well on the direct as cross-examination, that Pentland, the
deceased, had made some seizures on Daniel Hitchcock, as well as on several
other persons in Drogheda.
Here the prosecution closed, and Counsel for the defence having mentioned
that they would produce witnesses to shew the bad character of Wall, and
that he was not to be believed on his oath.
Mr. Beresford, Counsel for the Commissioners of the Revenue, said he would
save them that trouble; that he would admit that Wall was as infamous, and
as bad a man as the Counsel, on the other side could wish to make him
appear, as the more infamous Wall was, the more probable it was he should be
applied to for a purpose of this nature.
In the defence, Counsel produced William Dillon, Esq., of the county of Meath,
who swore that Wall was not a person to be believed upon his oath, and also
that William Leggat was not to be believed upon his oath.
Mr. Dillon, on cross-examination, said that Wall was a riotous,
quarrelsome, drunken man, and would beat any man for payment, or a belly full of
whiskey; and he also admitted, that on a former trial relative to this
business, where Mr. Dillon was also produced, he did not say any thing
derogatory to the character or credit of Leggat.
Andrew Walsh, Esq; was also produced to the character of Wall, and proved
him to be of bad character, as did some other gentlemen; and, Alexander
Brown, of Dunleary, swore that Wall, very shortly before, had told him that
he had never seen or did he know Daniel Hitchcock.
Here the evidence on both sides closed, and the Hon. Baron Power, with that
perspicuity and clearness for which he is conspicuous, repeated the material
parts of the evidence, accompanied with strong and pertinent remarks; and
the Jury having retired, brought a verdict guilty, against all.
On Tuesday Morning, Baron Power came into Court before nine o'clock, and the traversers being called to the bar, they
protested their innocence, and said
that fine or imprisonment would absolutely ruin them, as they had families
depending on their industry for support.
The Baron then addressed them in a learned and elegant speech, in which he
said, that as long as he had the honour of carrying his Majesty's
commission, he never had the pain of experiencing a conviction of a similar
nature with the present. The common law, he said, looked upon such
abominable crime as next to impossible to be committed, and did not appoint
any specific punishment, nor did the statute law take notice of it, and
therefore it came under the general head of misdemeanours. He lamented, that
it fell to him to annex a punishment to a crime in which no punishment (that
he could in law inflict) would be adequate; as to a fine, he said, the noble
and truly learned Lord who presided at the former assizes, (Lord Carleton),
in measuring the bail for their appearance, had in some measure for what
they ought to forfeit to the public in case they did not appear to take
their trial, and therefore he could not impose a less fine that 200l.
each, (which was the recognizance upon them) and an imprisonment of twelve
months, which the law prescribed in cases of manslaughter, which fell far
short of the present crime in iniquity, several of the less heinous nature
having been by statute made capital.
Counsel for the prosecution - Marcus Beresford,
Robert Johnton, William Saurin and Alexander Hamilton, Esrs.
Agent - George Pentland
Counsel for the treversers - Richard Sheridan, Richard Mayne,
and - Ewing, Esqrs
Agents - James Metcalf and Garret Byrne
12 March 1793
commenced yesterday. A number of those infatuated wretches, called
Defenders, are to be tried.
The Right Hon.
the Speaker left town on Sunday morning, to be present at the assizes in
Dundalk, where he is obliged to attend.’
‘A rescue of the
Defenders to be tried in Dundalk being spoken of, a reinforcement of
military from Drogheda was sent hither, whom those that marched from our
barracks on Sunday morning are to replace.’
16 March 1793
‘Extract of a
letter from Dundalk, March 14.
"At the assizes,
yesterday, the Crown Court did not break up till seven o’clock at night. –
Judge Boyd and Downes presided on the bench alternately,
relieving each other in the fatigue of the business.
Three of the
wretches called Defenders were capitally convicted before the first
mentioned Justice, and two more before the latter. One of those found guilty
before Judge Boyd, Peter McBride, was executed at eight o’clock last
night, having went from the Court to the gallows, and the other two next
before Mr. Justice Downes are not yet sentenced. At the beginning of the
assizes, there were to be tried 120 persons, most of whom were Defenders.
It is imagined
business will not terminate here until next week. The Judges have been so
wearied, that they were obliged to write to the Lord Chancellor for aid upon
the bench; in consequence of which, Counsellor Caldbeck arrived here
yesterday with a commission of association, which was opened accordingly,
this day, and six of the Defenders capitally convicted before him.
Yesterday, a bill
of indictment was found against Napper Tandy, for dispersing about
here a libellous paper called Common Sense, at the time the Rt. Hon.
Speaker’s warrant was issued against him from the House of Commons. A
special messenger set off from hence yesterday, with a Judges warrant, to
bring him down here."’
DROGHEDA, March 16
Monday, the Hon. Mr. Justice Boyde, and the Hon. Mr. Justice
Downes, opened their respective Courts, swore the Grand Jury, and
adjourned without proceeding on any material business till next day.
Wednesday, Peter McBride, Thomas Dowdall, and James Flinn,
were tried under the Whiteboy Act, for entering Lord Clermont’s
house, near Dundalk, and taking firearms thereout; they were capitally
convicted, and received sentence of death. The trial was not over till near
seven o’clock, and McBride was executed at nine. Dowdall and
Flinn were ordered for execution on Thursday; When these unfortunate
men were brought out in order to be executed, Flinn solemnly declared
Dowdall innocent of the robbery, and through he humane interference
of the Right Hon. The Speaker, he was respited.
George McDaniel, found guilty of administering the Defenders’ oath,
ordered to be transported for life.
Bryan Smith, Charles McArdle, John Kirk, Bryan
McClerney, and Mathew Gregory, were found guilty before
Counsellor Caldbeck, under the Whiteboy Act, and received sentences of
death; also, Arthur Boyle, Pat. Bollard, and Laurence
Halfpenny, found guilty of robbing the house of Mr. Cobourne of
fire-arms, received sentence of death, and ordered for immediate execution.
Friday, Thomas Rath, Samuel Slator, John Dungan, were
tried for robbing his Majesty’s mail, near Flurry-bridge; Rath
pleaded guilty; Slator and Dungan were capitally convicted on
the evidence of James Devitt and – Quin, who were admitted
approvers on the part of the Crown.
day twenty-one men were tried for administering unlawful oaths, fifteen of
whom were convicted and sentenced to be transported for seven years.
Court was sitting at seven o’clock on the trial of John Gilmor,
Thomas Keean, and John Cunningham, for robbing John Flanagan,
near this town, on the 23rd of February last.
21 March 1793
A few mornings since a man was
discovered by the coachman of one of the mail carriages, about a mile beyond
Dundalk, lying murdered in a ditch. The perpetrators of this horrid deed
acted with unusual barbarity, the unfortunate person having received three
stabs in the belly, one in the breast, a wound over one of the eyes, an hand
cut through, and, as a finishing stroke of savage inhumanity, his head
nearly severed from his body. A broken stick, with a carved head, was
found near his mangled remains.
It is conjectured by the passengers in
the coach that the ill-fated man was a steward, going from Drogheda to
Dunleer, and being suspected to have received cash in the former place, was
attacked and robbed by some merciless villains. He was of robust make, and
seemed near fifty years of age.
Mr. McGuire, an inhabitant of this
city [Dublin], one of the passengers, endeavoured to trace the murderers,
(who appeased to have committed the cruel business a short time only before
the arrival of the coach), but without the wished for success.
On the evening of the 16th instant,
sixteen unfortunate men received sentence of death at Dundalk, we understand
they are to be executed on the 25th instant, and 25th of April next. Upwards
of twenty were sentenced for transportation; the greater number of whom are
to be transported for seven years, for taking the Defenders' oath, and
others for life, for administering the oath.- The assizes were adjourned to
Thursday the 11th of April next, then to sit for the dispatch of business.
23 March 1793
fragments of the business transacted at the above mentioned assizes having
appeared in some of the Dublin newspapers, we think it necessary to give the
following particulars which may be depended upon as a true statement of the
found guilty of a burglary and felony in the house of Elizabeth McNeal,
of Ballagan – to be hanged on the 22d of April.
A great number of
Defenders, indicted in said burglary, are not yet taken.
Thomas Keenan, and Pat Conyngham, (all Defenders) found guilty
of highway robbery, on John Flanagan – to be executed on the 1st
found guilty of a burglary in the house of Charles Cravan, Esq: -
also, found guilty of three other capital felonies under the Whiteboy act –
to be executed the 22d of April.
James Flinn, and Peter McBride, for a burglary in the house of
Lord Clermont, and several other capital felonies; Peter McBride
was hanged on the 14th instant, being the day he was found
guilty, and the other two were ordered to be hanged the next day; but at the
gallows, Dowdall confessed he did not go into the house at the time of the
robbery, and the Speaker seeing he was very young, humanely interfered with
the Judges, and had him respited. – Flinn was hanged.
Philip McArdle, Bryan McElerny and Mathew Gregory,
found guilty of several felonies, under the Whiteboy act – to be hanged on
the 1st of April.
found guilty for said felonies – to be hanged on the 12d of April.
for several felonies, under said act – to be hanged the 25th of
Halfpenny, found guilty with him for said felonies – to be hanged on the
22d of April.
John Dungan, and Thomas Reath, for robbing the mail at
Flury-bridge, county Louth, of eleven bags of letters; Reath pleaded
guilty; the trials of the other two lasted the whole of the day – all to be
hanged on the 25th of March.
for assuming the name of Defender – to be publicly whipped through the town
of Carlingford, and give security of his good behaviour for seven years.
found guilty of administering the following oath to one Peter Mathews,
‘that he should be true to his brothers; be true to his Captain or
Committee; never to defraud them, and to be ready at all calls to assist
them,’ – to be transported for life.
Thomas Mathews, Peter Markey, William Taaffe, Henry
Rider, William Johnston, Terence Lee, Francis Connor,
James Mathews, William Hughes, James Murphy, Thomas
Foggy, James Hinds, Pat Hoey, Thomas Coffey, all
found guilty of taking the above oath, and ordered to be transported for
Five others were
acquitted of taking the oath.
found guilty of a most wilful perjury, whereby three persons escaped for
murder – to be twice pillored, imprisoned three months, and afterwards
transported for seven years.
Nugent, Stephen McGuigan, Thomas Finegan, Arthur Hagan,
James Cravan, Edward McArdle, Bryan McArdle, Peter
Crilly, Michael McCabe, Pat Wall, Barny Grimes,
James Byrne, Pat Mathews, and Laurence Quigly – all
acquitted of offences under the Whiteboy act.
prosecutions were carried on by the Crown, in which the Attorney and
Solicitor Generals were indefatigable, and their conduct distinguished with
There are a great
number of persons yet untried, and the Judges have adjourned to the 11th
of April, to finish the rest of the business.
The candour and
impartiality of Mr. Justice Downes on the Bench are highly applauded.
Mr. Caldbeck proceeds from Downpatrick of finish the business, during
which, as a Judge, he has experienced the severity of very long sittings,
from nine in the morning till ten at night, which he bore with laudable
30 March 1793
Samuel Slater and John Dungan were executed in Dundalk, pursuant
to their sentence, for robbing his Majesty’s mail, near Flury-bridge: they
were launched into eternity about four o’clock, and behaved in a manner
truly penitent – also, Patrick Ballard, for robbing the home of
Mr. Bailly, near Dundalk – Laurence Halfpenny, who was concerned
with Ballard, in the above robbery was respited.
A respite for ten
days was obtained for Thomas Reath, on of the parties in the mail
robbery.’ [See Dundalk Assizes 23 March 1793]
13 April 1793
DUNDALK, April 11
‘This day, the
judges sat here pursuant to adjournment, and proceeded to business, when
James Napper Tandy was called to take his trial for publishing a libel,
signed ‘Common Sense’, and he not appearing his recognizance was effected,
and those of his bail, Mr. Arnold, of Usher’s-quay, silk
manufacturer, and another person.
Pat Byrne, of
Dundalk, Gent, who submitted to the indictment for said libel, has not yet
found guilty this day of taking the Defenders oath – is to be transported
for seven years.’
27 Jul 1793
At Dundalk Assizes, Mr. P. Byrne, a person of
respectability, convicted at the last assizes there of circulating seditious
papers, and sentenced to be imprisoned and fined 500l. - pleaded his
Majesty's pardon for the imprisonment, but paid the fine and was enlarged.
There are no Defenders to be tried in Louth, or
at Dundalk, but those that remained untried at those places at the last
1 August 1793
Assizes, Mr. P. Byrne, a person of respectability, convicted at the
last assizes there of circulating seditious papers, and sentenced to be
imprisoned and fined 500L – pleaded his Majesty’s pardon for the
imprisonment, but paid the fine, and was enlarged.
There are no
Defenders to be tried in Louth or at Dundalk, but those that remained
untried at those places at the last assizes.’
persons were tried before Justice Crookshank, the 19th instant:
Martin Fitzgerald, found guilty of robbing Mr. Blacker, of
arms, and two other capital felonies, ordered to be executed.
found guilty of conspiring to murder Thomas Rogers, and of attempting
to burn his haggard.
Peter Keenan, Michael Macloughlin, Martin Byrne;
Henry, Margaret and Catherine Levins, Henry Magee,
Francis Byrne, Catherine Murphy, Thomas Timey(?), and
Thomas Andrews, acquitted of various offences.
8 August 1793
At the above
assizes which ended on Thursday the first of August, the following persons
were tried before the Hon. Mr. Justice Crookshank: -
found guilty of traitorously and feloniously setting fire to, and burning
the house of Christophilous Jenny, Esq., at Park, on the 5th
of January last – sentenced to be hanged, quartered, &c. on the 5th
Fitzpatrick, found guilty under the White-boy act, of taking arms from
John Blacker, of Aulare – to be hanged on the 12th of
Manus McKevit, and M. Hamill, found guilty of taking arms from
different people – to be hanged on the 12th of August.
found guilty of taking arms out of the house of Pat. Reath, of Gluck,
on the 25th of May – to be hanged on the 5th of
found guilty of conspiring to kill and murder Thomas Rogers, and also
to burn his house – to be imprisoned two years and six months and to be
pillored in Dundalk.
who was found guilty last assizes of conspiring to kill Torquin Park
McNeill, Esq., found guilty at the present assizes of another conspiracy
– to be imprisoned one year, to commence after former imprisonment is out,
and to pay additional fine of 100L.
found guilty of taking an unlawful oath – to be transported pursuant to
found guilty of petty larceny, burned in the hand.
James Martin, and Bryan McMahon, found guilty of a riot and
appearing armed – to be whipped, and imprisoned three months.
found guilty of petty larceny – to be imprisoned four days, and burned in
indicted for the murder of Mr. Morgan, made an affidavit to put off
their trial, which the Court could not refuse; but imagining some trick was
intended, adjourned to the 26th of August, to try them and other
subsequent trial - see below - on 26th August 1793 Thomas Carty
otherwise Gartlany was found guilty of the murder. He was sentenced
to death by hanging and to be ‘anatomised’].
03 Sep 1793
Drogheda AUGUST 31.
At the adjournment of the assizes of Dundalk, held on Monday last, before the
Hon. Justice Crookshank, two men of the name of Callen, father and son, were tried
for setting fire to an out-house, and houghing cattle, the property of Mr. Morgan, of Lucan-green: the father was capitally convicted; an arrest of
judgment was moved in behalf of the prisoner, and allowed by the Court, until
the opinion of the Judges were taken.
- McCartney was tried for the murder of Mr. John Morgan, and capitally
convicted. - The prosecutor, McKitterick, related the proceedings of this
horrid murder with great clearness: the Counsel for the prisoner, however,
moved an arrest of judgment, on the ground that the evidence of the
prosecutor was not competent; he being himself convicted, for conspiring to
take away the life of the late Mr. Morgan, which was allowed by the Court.
05 Sep 1793
Dundalk, August 26
Adjournment of assizes.
The KING against THOMAS CARTY, otherwise GARTLANY, for the
murder of JOHN MORGAN.
Judge, Mr. Justice Crookshank.
Very long account. The names included are as follows:
Mr. Dobbs, Counsel for the prisoner.
Peter McKittrick, the approver in the case.
Mr. Sheridan, one of the Counsel for the Crown.
Mr. Mayne, one of the Counsel for the Crown.
Jack Hardy, discharged his gun at Morgan [missed].
Bryan Dullaghan, shot his gun at Morgan [missed].
Richard Morgan, brother of the deceased.
Margaret Callan, witness.
Pat Callan [brother of Margaret], a prisoner.
10 Sep 1793
DROGHEDA. Sept. 7
Committed by the Mayor, on Wednesday night last, Thomas Cavanagh and
Christopher Wogan, charged with having stopped Mr. Daniel Hitchcock, of
Drogheda, grocer, on the high road, near Blackbuth-lane, in the county of
the town of Drogheda, and forcibly and feloniously took from his person a
pocket-book, containing a bill for 105l and another bill value 112l. 9s. 6d.
a gold watch value ten guineas, together with some cash - which articles
were afterwards found in their possession.
18 Feb 1794
Drogheda, Feb. 15
Thomas Carty, one of the
persons concerned in the horrid murder of Mr. John Morgan, near
Lurgan-green, county Louth, in August 1792, and who was capitally convicted
last summer assizes, is to be executed, pursuant to hi sentence, on the
Commons of Dromiskin, on Monday next. It is hoped the magistrates and
gentlemen of property will attend at the execution, in order to
discountenance such atrocious acts, which have of late disgraced the county
Wednesday night last, Mr. Mayor, aided
by Mr. John Linton, and a party of the 12th regiment, apprehended in
the neighbourhood of this town, the following persons, against whom
examinations for various offences are sworn, viz. John Magennis,
miller; Mathew Collier, weaver; John Connolly, weaver; and
James Inglisby, weaver, and committed them to the gaol of this town.
Yesterday morning the following
persons were transmitted from the gaol of this town to Dundalk, under the
escort of an officer's guard, James Magennis, James Meade,
James Moore, Thomas Carvan, and Patrick Dooly, in order to
abide their trials at the ensuing assizes of Dundalk, for robbery and other
And this morning three prisoners,
Pat. Murphy, John Callan, and Thomas Monks, were
transmitted to Trim gaol, under a serjeant's guard.
25 March 1794
the Hon. Justice Chamberlaine too his seat in the Crown Court, where
the following persons were tried: -
and Patrick Grimes were tried and found guilty of robbing Messrs.
Bamber and McCartney, on the high road near this town, in the
and John Maginnes were convicted of forcibly entering the
dwelling-house of the Rev. Moore Smith, of Killincoole, and robbing
the same of fire-arms.
in this case was supported by the evidence of Mr. Smith and James
Cravan, an approver, who gave a very clear and accurate account of his
being at the robbery, and identified the prisoners.
Patrick Teernan, Patrick Kenny, James Morgan, Dennis
McKenna, Thos Kirwan, Patrick McKenna alias Thomas
McKenna, and Richard Kelly, were tried upon four indictments, for
attacking the house of Alexander McClintock, of Newtown, on the 25th
of December, 1792.
The evidence in
this case, produced on the part of the Crown, were Mr. McClintock,
who proved the attack, and of there having been several shots fired which
broke the windows in his house, but could not identify the prisoners.
The next witness
was Thomas Murphy, an approver, who swore he was with the prisoners
at the bar and others, at the attack on the above night – that they were
armed with guns and blunderbusses, and were all sworn Defenders, and
determined to plunder the house of arms and ammunition; his testimony was in
some respects not consistent and several gentlemen were produced, who gave
evidence that he was not a person to be credited on his oath – and that they
knew him to be guilty of several robberies. – The Jury after retiring for a
few minutes, found the prisoners – not guilty.
persons were capitally convicted:
Kennedy and Mat McCunnin for a felony and burglary in the
dwelling house of Ann Rogan
Thomas Carry, James Martin, Silvester Carry, Patrick
Hamill, for a burglary and felony in the dwelling-house of the Rev.
Robert Levins. The former was recommended by the Grand Jury, it having
appeared that he saved the life of Mr. Levins.
for a burglary and a felony in the dwelling-house of Peter Kirck.
for robbing the highway near Dundalk, James Dogherty, and John
John Morgan, and Michael McIlroy, found guilty of being
Defenders and taking unlawful oaths, were sentenced to be transported for
James Shee, Thomas Burne, and Michael Fraghan,
convicted of appearing armed as Defenders, were sentenced to be twice
publicly whipped, and imprisoned three months – and James Boyce and
John Cravan, to be punished in a similar manner for such like
for conspiring against the life of David Atkinson, Esq; a magistrate,
very active in his duty, found guilty, and sentenced to be imprisoned three
months, and fined 20L.
for sheep-stealing, sentenced to transportation.
for being a Defender, and appearing armed, to be twice whipped, and
imprisoned six months.
guilty of a riot and breaking windows at Ardee, to be imprisoned three years
and give security.
James Fee, and George Shevelan, were tried and acquitted for
robbing the Ardee mail.
charged with publishing a libel signed Common Sense acquitted.
charged with being Defenders, were acquitted.
acquitted of drinking seditious and treasonable toasts, the prosecutor
having died a few days before the trial.
Counsel for the
Crown in the above trials: The Attorney General, Mr. W.P. Ruxton,
Mr. Saurin, and Mr. McCartney – Agent, Mr. Kemins.
Counsel for the
Mr. Mayne, Mr. Dobbs, Mr. Ewing, Mr. Ball,
Mr. Saurin, and Mr. Pellew – Agent, Mr. Hartford.’
08 April 1794
Drogheda, March 5
James Scholes, Esq., Thomas Rooney and John Callaghan –
charged with having forcibly entered the house of Mary Collier, put
her in fear of her life, and feloniously took thereout cash and goods to the
amount in value of five guineas.
and Jane Keenan were committed to goal, by the worshipful Mayor –
charged with having stole out of a trunk, in the house of John Orson
Esq, Fair-street, six hundred guineas.
The cook and two
housemaids were concerned in the above robbery – one of the latter has
turned approver, by which means 178 guineas have been recovered.’
unfortunate men are to suffer death in Dundalk, pursuant to their sentence
at the last assizes:
to be executed on Monday, the 7th inst.
William Smith, and Thomas Carry, on Monday the 4th
inst. Patrick Hamill and John McGuinness, on Monday, the 11th
the 28th inst.
Philip Caragher, Sylvester Carry, Arthur Martin,
Christopher Kennedy, and Mat McCuming, are to be executed on the
26th of May next.
James Boyle and Tully Hunt, were whipt from the gaol of Dundalk
to the bridge – they are to undergo the like punishment on the 28th
James Fox, Thomas Byron, and Michael Feehan, are to be
whipt from the gaol of Dundalk to the bridge, and on the 5th of
24 April 1794
‘At the assizes
in Dundalk, held on Friday and Saturday last, Richard Mullen was
found guilty with others, the house of (sic) John Dunkin of firearms;
as was also Patrick Carney, for conspiring to take away the life of
Brabazon Smith, Esq., several other prisoners were tried for slight
offences and acquitted.’
3 May 1794
adjournment of the spring assizes, held in Dundalk, on the 18th
inst., the following persons were tried:
and John Coleman, for feloniously forceably (sic) and by threats and
menace causing John Duncan to deliver to them a gun, to be executed
on Monday next.
for forcibly, maliciously and feloniously attacking the dwelling house of
Pakenam Smith, Esq., to be hanged on Monday next.
for conspiring against the life of Joseph Coulter, to be imprisoned
two years and give security for his good behaviour.
for receiving stolen goods, to be imprisoned one year.
for being a vagabond, to be transported for seven years, unless he gives
bail for his good behaviour for seven years.
Verdon, for an assault, to be imprisoned three months.
for an assault, to be imprisoned six months.
for an assault, fined 6d.'
17 May 1794
and John Kinlan, found guilty at an adjournment of the quarter
sessions at the Thostal of street robbery, are to be executed in front of
the New Gaol, this day, pursuant to their sentence.'
20 May 1794
Michael Reilly and John Kinlan were executed for street
robbery, at the front of the New Gaol, pursuant to their sentence.'
The Freeman's Journal
25 Aug 1794
The following persons were tried before the
Hon. Justice Boyd, at Dundalk assizes:
Owen Maguire, acquitted of a burglary
and felony in the dwelling-house of Chichester Dowdall, and also of
several other capital felonies; but found guilty of demanding arms for
Defenders - to be transported for seven years.
James Kernaghan, found guilty of
stealing ten guns - to be transported for seven years.
Pat. Kelly, found guilty for the same
offence - to be transported for seven years.
Thomas Branigan, acquitted of a highway
robbery, and also of a felony under the chalking act.
Mat. Farrelly and Pat. Berrill,
acquitted of a burglary and felony in the dwelling house of Mat. Keapock.
Mat. Lennon and Thomas Callan,
acquitted of the murder of Laurence McKenna.
Bryan McArdle, acquitted of a burglary
and felony in the dwelling-house of Peter Keeran.
Catherine Baker, found guilty of a
felony at large - to be transported for seven years.
Michael McDarnell, Peter McDarnell,
Laurence McDarnell, and Jack Spring, acquitted of a felony at
Martin Maguiness, acquitted of a felony.
Pat. Byrne, Peter Leonard,
James McArdle, and Pat. Conolly, acquitted of holding a forceable
Rich. Kelly, acquitted of several
felonies under the White Boy act.
20 September 1794
persons were on Thursday tried before the Hon. Justice Crookshank at the
found guilty of corrupt perjury. It was for swearing against messrs Bird,
Hamill and Delahoyd, at the last assizes; he was convicted on the
most clear and satisfactory evidence.
gentlemen gave evidence against him, and they swore in the most solemn
manner, that the never countenanced Defenders but used every endeavour to
ordered to be pillared on Saturday the 17th inst, his ears to be
nailed to the pillar and, then, to be transported for seven years, pursuant
to the statute. [See Dundalk Assizes 25 March 1794]
acquitted of stealing a cow from Joseph Birch in the co. Dublin.
acquitted of endeavouring to seduce John McNally, a militia-man, to
join in a robbery.
acquitted of stealing a watch, the property of James Dogherty.
found guilty of perjury, in his examination before Ralph Smith Esq.,
Mayor of Drogheda – to be pillared opposite the Thostal on the 11th
acquitted of robbery on Bryan Halfpenny.
26 March 1795
ended on the 19th instant and the following persons were tried
before Mr. Baron Smyth: Michael Callan, Peter Carroll,
and John Smith, all found guilty of capital offences, received
sentence to be hanged on the 12th of May next.
found guilty of several assaults and false imprisonment, as a crimp, to be
imprisoned, six months.
found guilty of drinking a seditious toast, but being strongly recommended,
was only fined a mark, and to be imprisoned for a week.
found guilty of petty larceny, burned in the hand.
Bernard Grimes and Owen Maguire, to remain till next assizes
to stand their trial for murder.
for administering oaths.
for taking arms from Rev. Mr. Moore Smyth, and several other felonies.
also for several such like felonies.
acquitted of ditto.
for bottle stealing.’
'The assizes at Drogheda ended on Thursday last – There were several persons
tried at them, most of whom were acquitted. Daniel Hitchcock,
confined on a charge of forgery, was ordered to remain in custody, until he
give security, himself in 400L – and two sureties in 500L each, to stand
trial for the same at the next assizes.'
11th August 1795
Boylan, found guilty at Dundalk assizes of setting fire to the stable
and barn of Mr. Joseph Morgan, at Moore-town, was executed yesterday,
pursuant to his sentence.’
‘At the assizes
of Dundalk last week, the following persons were tried before the Hon.
Justice Crookshank: -
and Owen Maguire were found guilty of the murder of Thomas Wade,
on the evidence of James Thornton – who was an accomplice in the
murder, and turned approver.
are nearly as follows: -
Maguire, Thornton, and the deceased, went together on the night
of the 20th of July 1794, in order to commit a robbery at
Longstones. – They had previously concerted a plan to murder Wade, to
prevent him from prosecuting some persons who were confined in the jail of
Drogheda, at the following assizes. – When they came to the river of
Drumthallen, Maguire knocked down Wade with a blunderbuss – and the other
two held him under the water until he was suffocated. – They then took him
out – each struck him on the head with large stones, and threw him into the
Some time after
the murder was committed, Thornton was taken up in a robbery, of Mr. Gray,
of Ardee, near Tullyhesker hill, and lodged in the gaol of Drogheda. He
there discovered the murder and swore against Maguire; on his being
transmitted to Dundalk, he implicated Grimes.
When the jury
returned their verdict guilty, Grimes called on Maguire to declare the truth
– and Maguire positively declared Grimes was not at the murder, but had
given them arms to commit the intended robbery.
They were both
executed on Thursday, and their bodies sent to the country infirmary, where
they were dissected, and afterwards interred in the gaol yard.
acknowledged the crime for which he was to suffer; Grimes has left a
confession after him, in which he solemnly denies his guilt as to the
murder, but says he committed several robberies – and was led through malice
to prosecute Messrs. Bird, Hamill, Delahoyde, Read,
and others, for High Treason, at Drogheda, at Spring Assizes, 1794.’ [See 20
September 1794 - Drogheda Assizes and other references]
15 Mar 1796
Drogheda, March 12
Tuesday last the assizes of this town
commenced; the Hon. Baron Smith went through the entire business. -
His Lordship went into Court before nine o'clock in the morning, and did not
retire from the bench until after eleven at night. - Patrick Fear,
corporal in the North Mayo Militia, was tried and found guilty of insulting
George Evans, Esq., Mayor of this town, in the execution of his duty.
The learned Judge was determined to inflict very exemplary punishment upon
him, but Mr. Mayor humanely interfered with the Court - and after some very
pointed remarks upon the danger of insulting a magistrate, particularly by
men whose duty it is to protect the peace - his Lordship was pleased to
mitigate his punishment to a fine of six-pence. The soldier afterwards asked
Mr. Mayor's pardon, and returned him thanks for his humanity. There were
three records and forty civil bills tried.
His Lordship proceeded on Wednesday morning to
Dundalk, and swore in the Grand Jury of the county of Louth.
Thursday at the assizes of Dundalk, --
Clarke, of Ardee, was tried before the Hon. Justice Downes, for
administering the Defender's oath to a drummer of the Donegall Militia, and
31 Mar 1796
Drogheda. March 15
Friday, at Dundalk, Jn. Campbell, a constable,
was tried for murdering Roger Murphy, at Janesborrough, and capitally
convicted. He was to have been executed yesterday - but from some favourable
circumstances that came out on his trial, and Capt. Ogle giving him an
exceeding good character, the learned judge has recommended him to the
clemency of the Government.
Friday night last, two industrious weavers, at
Ballymakenny, were robbed by a party of miscreants of five guineas each.
13 April 1797
‘At the assizes
of Dundalk several persons were tried for various offences, and two
convicted; one for attempting to administer the United Man’s [sic] oath to a
serjeant of the Dublin Militia, and the other of cow stealing.’
05 Sep 1797
Tuesday, Aug. 29
The King against Arthur Keys.
This trial was called on, on Monday, at three o'clock, before Lord Yelverton,
who presided in the Crown Court. His Lordship, however, considering it a
case of the last importance to the safety of the country, expressed his
intention of trying the traverser, a Captain of the ARMAGH militia, and
Serjeant Derham, of the same regiment, and Mr. English, a member of the
Drogheda Yeomanry, with Serjeant-major Holmes, and Serjeant Fisher, of the
The offence as to the three first was for assaulting Patrick Murphy,
detaining him unlawfully in the guard-house, shaving one half of his head,
drumming him through he town to the tune of the rogue's march, and pumping
him at the Tholsel, all stated to have been done by the order of Captain
The case was stated by Mr. Bellew.
The Lord Chief Baron animadverted thoroughly upon the excesses of the
military, and observed that it was high time to teach them how far they were
authorised to go. For if they conceived, that the proclamation that altered
the law, or given any new power to disturb the peace of the country, they
should find themselves mistaken. He adopted the statement of Mr. Bellew in
its extent, and upon the matter being fully proved to the satisfaction of the
Jury and his own - he proceeded immediately to pass sentence.
An application was made by Mr. Macartney, on behalf of the Captain, stating
the loss which the service would endure by the imprisonment of this officer,
who was both a Captain and Adjutant of the regiment, and praying that he
might rather be punished by a fine than imprisonment, and offering some
arguments in mitigation.
His Lordship answered, that he would proceed to pass that sentence which the
offence in his judgment merited. All this would be proper to state to the
Government of the country. - Let them what would benefit the service, but
sitting in a judgment seat, he could not pass over a transgression wherein an
individual had arrogated to himself a power which neither the Supreme Court
of Judicature, the whole Bench of Judges put together, had ever presumed to
do; for he had made his own will the law, and had taken upon him, of his own
authority, to imprison one of his Majesty's subjects, and to inflict an
ignominious punishment upon him without the shadow of the law, without
examination, evidence, charge or accusation, and without authority of any
kind. He then sentenced all the parties, except Serjeant Derham, to three
months imprisonment, and further sentences Captain Keys to pay the King a
fine of 50 marks.
Serjeant Derham he discharged upon paying a fine of 6d. considering him an
instrument acting under the orders and control of his officer.
05 September 1797
Thursday Aug. 31.
This day was
nearly concluded the business of the town. The Attorney General came into
Court and expressed his intention, which was, that no bill should be sent up
against the several persons charged with treason and treasonable practices,
and committed by Mr. Gattigar, of Dundalk, amongst whom were Hugh
Reilly, Mr. James Kelly, Mr. Gossin, post-master of
Fleury-bridge, Mr. Dowdall, Mr. Smyth, Mr. Derry, late
Usher at Mr. Tindall’s school, and Mr. Maurety of this place.
They had petitioned for their trial on the first day of the assizes, and had
brought down Mr. Curram specially from Dublin, and retained Mr.
Ball, Mr. Clelland, Mr. Sampson, and Mr. Chanlon;
they are yet held to bail and bound to come forward at the ensuing assizes.
The only cause of
importance or curiosity now remaining is the trial of Mrs. Elizabeth
McGan, for persuading a soldier to become a United Irishman.’
‘This day the
assizes concluded. The trial of the lady for seducing the soldier to become
an United Irishman – did not go on.’
12 September 1797
‘At the Dundalk
assizes, which terminated on the first of September, John McGarrity
was found guilty of horse-stealing, and ordered to be executed on the 6th
of November next. It was intended to recommend him an object of mercy, on
condition of his going abroad.
persons were tried for various offences and the trials of some were deferred
to a future day, who were admitted to bail.’
16 September 1797
Ended on Friday,
the 1st of September, when the following persons were tried and
found guilty: John McGarrity, for horse stealing, to be hanged on the
6th of November next, the intention being to recommend him for
mercy on condition of serving abroad.
for assaulting a Revenue officer and a constable, to be imprisoned for a
fortnight and give security for his future good behaviour; the sentence was
made so small on account of the traverser having been in custody for five
months before his trial.
Christopher Keeran, and Pat. Lennon, for an assault at the
fair of Mullacrew, to be confined a month.
for the same offence, to be imprisoned three months and fined forty
shillings: this increase in his sentence beyond the others arose from his
having produced on his defence three perjured witnesses.
for stopping and seizing a man on the highway, asking him was he up,
and detaining him for half an hour, was not withstanding an able defence
made by Counsellor Curran, convicted, and ordered to be imprisoned
one month and to give security of the peace for seven years; it appearing by
prisoner’s affidavit that he was poor, no fine was set on him.
a journeyman shoemaker, for combination, to be imprisoned six months.
persons were acquitted:
and Bryan Duff, for murder; Felemy Hinchy, for the murder of
his own bastard child; Peter Carroll, for burglary and felony;
Arthur McCooey, and Silvester Mathews, for riots; Peter Callan,
and John Gallagher, for stealing yarn; M. McDaniel, for
combination; Daniel Laverty, a soldier in the Londonderry militia for
the murder of Christopher Grant. It appeared in evidence that the
soldier having a prisoner in custody, conveying him to justice, he was
attacked by the deceased, who threw several stones at him from behind a
ditch, one of which stones cut the soldier desperately on the head, upon
which he pursued, and upon coming up to deceased stabbed him with a bayonet;
Peter Fitzpatrick, for Grand Larceny.
trials were postponed:
for administering oaths; Nicholas Carroll, William Timmons,
and John Maguire, for murder; John Mullan, for endeavouring to
seduce a soldier from his allegiance; Bernard Dowdall, Hugh Reilly,
Nicholas Gossan, Pat Dowdall, Edward Reilly, James
Kelly, Bryan Smith, Joseph Mourity, Valentine Derry,
Hugh Hagan: - These persons had been for some time on a charge of
High Treason, and the Attorney Gen. having informed the Court, that he did
not mean to prefer any bill of indictment against them at this assizes and
that he consented to their being bailed; they were accordingly discharged on
giving security to appear at next Assizes.’
23 March 1799
Assizes, Hugh Markey was found guilty of burglary, and felony in the
house of Thomas Rafferty, and ordered to be executed on Monday the 8th
18 July 1799
‘At the assizes
of Dundalk, there was little business, owing to the happy change that has
taken place in the state of the country, but one person was capitally
convicted, and that was for stealing yarn.’
25 July 1799
Began, and ended
on the 15th July; there was no civil business.
was tried and found guilty of robbing a bleach-green and sentenced to be
executed on the 8th August – On this man’s train it appeared from
a witness produced by himself to his character, that he had committed a
murder about two years since, and had absconded for it for some time.
John Kelly, a
servant, for stealing yarn from his master’s ware-house, was ordered to be
whipped through Drogheda, and imprisoned three months.’
Began Tuesday 16th,
and ended on Wednesday the 18th, which Loughlin Duffy,
alias Brady, found guilty of stealing a mare, was sentenced to be
executed on the 2nd of September.
James Daly, a
boy about 13 years old, for picking the pockets of three of his
fellow-servants of money, was ordered to be transported for seven years, he
appearing to be an adept at thieving.
Ann Smyth and
Mary Lennon, for stealing linen cloth out of a market, ordered to be
transported for seven years.
for receiving stolen goods, to be transported for life.’
12 April 1800
Trials at Dundalk
The assizes began on Thursday the
2d and ended on Saturday the 5th April last, when the following
persons were tried and found guilty, viz: -
Edward Rourke, of the murder
of his own child, about four months old, by throwing it into a bog hole, at
Donaghmore, on the 5th of January last, by which means it was
Francis McElboy alias
McEvoy of usury – ordered to pay treble the money lent
William Taaffe, of a riot,
and seizing two horses: two cars laden with potatoes, cutting the sacks and
letting the potatoes fall about the road.
Thomas Hoey of assaulting
Pat. Hillard at Haggardstown, on the 11th Feb last; ordered
to be imprisoned for a month.
Peter Durnin, of feloniously
taking, on the 15th Oct last, sundry articles of wearing apparel,
the property of Arthur Curry, ordered to be transported for seven
Felix Dawdly, of stealing
hay, the property of John Dransfield, of Dundalk, sentenced also to
be transported for seven years.
Patrick Hanratty of pig
The following persons were
John Barlett, of the murder
of Michael Cavanagh, a soldier.
Michael Connolly, of stealing
Thomas McCann of receiving a
promissory note, which had been taken out of the mail.
Pat Hanratty for stealing a
James Finigan, acquitted of
feloniously taking £1 6s 0d in money.
Michael McDonald of receiving
20 gallons of whiskey which had been stolen.
Anne Casie of stealing
John Lamb of carrying away a
girl with intent to marry her.
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
28 March 1801
“The Notorious offender,
well known in this metropolis, and who was of the gang on the north road
will be executed at Dundalk, this day, for the murder of a man some time ago
in that quarter, as he was in pursuit of
and some of his confederates, after their committing some depredations.”
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
14 April 1801
Wednesday 25th March, 1801
This trial came
on before Sir Michael Smyth, Bart. – it was an action of
indebitatus assumsit, for money had and received by the defendant for
plaintiff; the money sought to be recovered was the fees of office received
by the defendant as Clerk of the Peace as Sessions, and the particulars of
the case are as follow:
claimed the office of Clerk of the Peace for the county of Louth, as
appointed by deputation, bearing date the 1st day of December,
1800, under hand and seal of the Earl of Roden, the Custos Rotulorum,
proved in Court by a subscribing witness. Lord Roden was appointed
Custos Rotulorum of said county, by letters patent under the Great Seal,
bearing date the 10th November, 1800, which was produced in
Court. – The defendant was in possession since 1794. A commission of the
Peace of the year 1783 was then produced, by which it appeared that Lord
Roden was at that time Justice of the Peace for said county, by the name
of Robert, Lord Jocelyn. Mr. Joy, Counsel for the defendant,
then objected that it was not proved that Lord Roden took the oaths of
office, or that he qualified according to law, without which, Mr. Joy
insisted, that Lord Roden could not hold the office or appoint a
deputy. This objection the Court over-ruled, but saved the point. – Mr.
Thomas Johnston, Attorney for the Plaintiff, was next produced, who
proved that he and plaintiff went to Ardee Sessions in January last, and
there demanded of the Chairman and Justices to be admitted Clerk of the
Peace under the above appointment, and that they refused. Defendant also, on
application, refused to give up the records. It appeared on his
cross-examination that the late Lord Roden died in 1797; a Commission
of the Peace of the year 1796 was produced to him, by which it appeared that
the present Lord Roden was not then in the Commission. Mr. Joy
then insisted that it must from thence be inferred that Lord Roden
was not a Justice of the Peace, at the time of the grant of said office of
Custos, and therefore incapable of taking or holding the same, and that the
patent, granting the office of Custos Rotulorum to Lord Roden was
void. The Court was of opinion that the objection was fatal, and non-suited
the plaintiff. It seemed admitted on both sides, that the Custos must be
appointed from the Justices, and that not being the case in the present
instance, that the office of Custos Rotulorum for the county is vacant.
Counsel for the
plaintiff, Messrs. McCartney, Ball, Mayne, and
McClelland. – For the defendant, Messrs. Joy, Ruxton,
A. Dawson, and Moore.
persons were tried and found guilty:
of Sheep-stealing, ordered to be executed on Monday the 4th May
Peter McArdle, Edward McArdle, John Morgan, and Hugh
Morgan, of Burglary and Felony, in the dwelling house of Abraham Ball,
at Darver, on the 6th March, instant; the three first ordered to
be executed the 16th April, and the others the 17th.
Wm. Fitzsimons, and James Fitzsimons, of burglary and felony,
in the dwelling-house of Lau. McArdle, at Kilmurry. – McAnalty
ordered to be executed the 20th; and the others the 13th
Thomas Devine, and Michael Smith, for the murder of Pat.
Dougherty, to be executed on the 28th March.
James Conroy, Henry Sorahan, and Mathew Hoey, for the
burglary and felony in the dwelling-house of Pat. Ward, at
Woodenstown, to be executed on the 27th April.
were found guilty of lesser offence, and received sentence accordingly.
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
30 July 1801
persons were tried and found guilty at the above assizes. Held the said
instant, before the Hon. Justice Chamberlain:
for stealing cows, the property of Denis Murray, on 23rd
May last, sentenced to be executed.
for assaulting John Bellew, his father-in-law, ordered to be
imprisoned a month, and fined 40s.
for burglary and felony in the dwelling-house of Michael Carney, at
Stonetown, on the 3rd of May last; ordered to be executed.
for stealing iron harrow-pins, the property of Pat. Clarke, on the 28th
March last. [sic]
persons were tried and acquitted.
In the case of
Edward Smyth, for cow-stealing above mentioned, the Judge informed
the Grand Jury that the had a power of presenting him as an object of mercy,
but they, considering the many depredations of the kind that were lately
committed, refused to intercede for him and declared they never would for
any convicted of such a crime.
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
04 May 1802
Held before the
Hon. Mathias Finucane, on the 23rd of April, the following
persons were tried, and found guilty:
for cow-stealing, recommended by the Grand Jury, and ordered to be
transported for seven years.
for stealing yarn, &c. at Ardee, on the 10th of November last,
the property of Margaret Commons, ordered to be publicly whipped, and
imprisoned a fortnight.
for stealing ticken, &c. the property of Thomas Kelly, at Ardee, on
the 17th of December last, ordered to be privately whipped.
found guilty of three assaults, fined £5 on each – ordered to be imprisoned
James Hogan, Patrick Hegarty, Patrick Young, and
Simon McAleer, found guilty of three assaults. Those persons were
concerned with Pepper in committing the assault, and ordered to be
imprisoned three weeks.
was ordered to be transported for stealing Coating, the property of
Richard Delahoyde, on the 1st of Dec. last.
who was found guilty last Summer Assizes, for obtaining, by means of a false
and counterfeited letter, purporting to be written in the name of Andrew
McDonagh, to Casimer Delahoyde, a quantity of iron, the property
of said Delahoyde – and was ordered to remain in prison till this
Assizes to abide the judgement of the Court, was ordered to be imprisoned
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
23 April 1803
the assizes for the county of Louth commenced at Dundalk; on the following
day. – Walsh was tried and capitally convicted of the murder of
Mr. McConnon, of Ardee, butcher. It was through the activity of Major
Sirr that this unfortunate wretch was apprehended in Dublin and brought
to Justice. He was hanged and quartered at the front of Dundalk gaol on
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
25 August 1804
Saturday. – The only trial of moment which occurred in the Criminal Court
was that of Francis Devlin, who was convicted of the murder of
Stephen McConnon on the 19th of November, 1803, on his way
(as six o’clock in the morning) from Ardee to Carlanstown fair.
It appeared in
evidence that the deceased was shot and robbed by two men, who, after
rifling his pockets, fled. – A countryman, who was travelling to the same
fair, heard the shot fired, and upon coming up saw the deceased lying on the
road. The deceased asked him for the love of God to come over to him, which
the witness did when the deceased asked him if he knew him; the witness
replied in the negative, upon which the deceased said to his name was
McConnon, and that he was murdered and robbed by Frank Devlin,
the stag. The deceased then prayed fervently to God for mercy, and desired
the witness to tell the first person he met of the murder.
appeared, that on the day preceding the murder, the prisoner, and one
White (since hanged for this murder) met in Ardee, where the prisoner
sent a man (who was examined on this trial) to buy powder and shot, and
desired him, if asked, to say it was for another person; upon the ammunition
being bought, the prisoner said – “he would take snuff out of some person
with that on the night; that it was a good night to rob, and that
Shedoge Bridge, on the Carlanstown road, was a good place,” (and it was
where the deceased was found murdered). It further appeared, from the
evidence of the prisoner’s uncle, and cousin, that he and White slept
at the uncle’s house on the night of the murder, and left it at day-light;
and never after returned, having fled the county, from which he absented
himself till he was brought back from Cork, where he enlisted for foreign
service. It appeared also that the prisoner was known I the country as stag
Devlin, on account of his having, on a former occasion, turned
approver against his associates in a burglary.
The Judge (Mr.
Baron George) in passing sentence observed, that the hand of God was
visible in detecting and bringing to light this abominable murder, the dead
having just time to declare his murder to an entire stranger to both; and he
besought the prisoner to make the best use of the few hours that remained to
him to live, as the law commanded that he should be hanged on the day next
but one after conviction, and that his body should be dissected and
anatomized – which sentence was carried into execution on Saturday at three
o’clock, previous to which the prisoner admitted the justice of his
sentence, as well as his participation in various other murders and
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
Commission Court, from the sitting at eleven o’clock until its rising at
eight at night, was occupied in the trial of the trial of a very respectable
Gentleman, Mr. Gerald Byrne, an Attorney, of the County Louth, upon
an indictment preferred against him by Messrs. Godby, Scott,
McEvoy, and Rogers, of Dundalk, for wilful, corrupt, and
malicious perjury. Mr. Barrington stated the case on the part of the
Crown at great length, and produced evidence. Mr. Egan stated the
case on the part of the defendant, and examined witnesses, many of the most
respectable characters of this country, among whom were John Ball, Esq.
Barrister; the Rev. Doctor Bunbury, rector of the Parish near the
traverser’s residence, gave testimony of the most upright, correct, and
unblemished reputation of his general character. The case being closed upon
both sides, it was the wish of traverser’s Counsel to let the matter go to
Jury, but the prosecutor’s persisting in having Counsel to speak to
evidence. Mr. Bushe on the part of traverser, addressed the Jury, to
whom Mr. Curran replied. – Baron George charged the Jury with
precision and pertinent legal observations, who without quitting the box,
delivered a verdict of Not Guilty.
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
27 March 1806
the General Assizes of Drogheda was held at the Tholsel. The Hon. Justice
Day opened the Commission; on the Grand Jury being sworn, his Lordship
addressed them at some length on the ruinous state of the Gaol, and
recommended to their serious attention the erection of a new one, in a more
eligible situation. – There were but two convictions, for shop lifting, and
the parties were sentenced to six months imprisonment. His Lordship tried
The Hon. Baron
presided in the Upper Court. A criminal information was
tried, in which James Martin, Esq., of Balbriggan, was the plaintiff,
and Jordan Roche, Esq., of the same town, defendant. The case was
opened in a most able manner by Constable Dunn. After a considerable
length, in which the Counsel on each side displayed great ability and zeal,
the learned Judge charged the Jury, in a manner that reflected honour on his
head and his heart, and after a short consultation, the Jury brought in a
verdict – Not Guilty.
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
27 August 1806
August the 21st, 1806.
This day the
Assizes for the county of Louth were opened before Right Hon. Judge Fox,
and the Hon. Baron McCleland. Judge Fox presided in the
Criminal Court, and Baron McCleland in the Civil Court.
of the country gentlemen who were summoned as Grand Jurors was so bad, that
only twenty-one were sworn upon the Grand Jury.
stood indicted for assaulting and committing a rape upon the
body of Judith Collins. When she appeared upon the table to
prosecute, she deposed that she knew the prisoner very well, and being asked
if he was any relation of her’s, she answered he was her husband. –
Margaret Divine, for stealing one cow, of the value of £5, the
property of Christophilus Garston, Esq. It appeared on the course of
the trial that the cow was the property of the prisoners – that she had been
grazing, and was taken away by the prisoners – that Mr. Garston owed
and old man (his herd) four shillings, which he refused to pay till the herd
made good the cow, and the herd prosecuted the prisoners for that purpose. –
The learned Judge called for Mr. Garston, and having investigated the
transaction, said he would lay a statement of the case before Government. –
stood indicted for a burglary on the 12th of
February last, and forcibly and feloniously carrying off, assaulting, and
committing on the body of Mary Conlan. – Acquitted for want of
Owen Finnigan stood indicted for stealing three barrels of barley,
and were acquitted; one of the prisoners was a child of 11 years old; and
Mr. Justice Fox reprobated the manner in which these examinations had
been so unfoundedly preferred.
was indicted for a riot at Dundalk in March last, and for
assaulting Catherine Johnston.
It appeared the
prosecutrix, after giving evidence at the last assizes of Dundalk against
Owen Hanratty for committing a rape upon her (of which he was
acquitted), when retiring from the Court-house, was assailed by a riotous
mob, one of whom she positively swore was the prisoner; he was found guilty,
and sentenced to be imprisoned three months.
Catherine Johnston commenced a civil action against said Owen
Hanratty, for a compensation in damages, laid at £500 and was tried at
the present assizes before the Hon. Baron McCleland, when the Jury
returned a verdict of 50s. damages.
stood indicted for wilful and corrupt perjury, touching two
Grand Jury presentments, one for £12 and the other for £24 16s. for widening
roads on Co. Louth, and was acquitted.
indicted for an assault and committing a rape upon the body of Rose
Magrane, acquitted for want of prosecution.
for an assault with an intent to commit a rape upon the body of Mary
Downy, which he would have done but for a gentleman who came to her
assistance. – Not Guilty.
for altering a forged and counterfeit bank note, purporting to be of the
bank of Sir Thomas Lighton and Co. for five guineas – there was no
person to prove the forgery, and he was acquitted.
Michael Connor, and Patrick Connor, for assaulting, forcibly
carrying away, and detaining for several hours on the 27th of
April last, Sarah McArdel with intent to marry her. – Not Guilty.
Friday, Aug. 22
and Christopher Nulty capitally indicted for the wilful murder of
Peter Boden on the 20th of April. – Acquitted.
stood capitally indicted, for having uttered and put off, as knowing it to
be base and counterfeit, one guinea note, purporting to be a genuine note of
the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland, in the month of July last,
at Dundalk, with intent to defraud James Chapman; and also stood
capitally indicted for offering as genuine, knowing it to be base and
counterfeit, a one pound note purporting to be of the Governor and Company
of the Bank of Ireland; she was found Guilty upon both indictments, and the
Learned Judge in a most tender and pathetic manner, pronounced the awful
sentence of the law for death and execution upon the unhappy young woman.
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
10 APRIL 1807
Honourable John Foster,
Thomas Henry Foster,
Esq. High Sheriff
stood indicted for assaulting James Magee and Philip Corgan,
and for shooting and wounding said James Magee, with intent to murder
and James Corgan were severally examined, and proved, that they were
accompanying said James Magee on the road leading from Dundalk to
CastleBellingham, on 13th December last, that they overtook the prisoner,
who is a soldier in the Downshire militia; he was armed, having a musket on
his shoulder and a bayonet at his side; that he asked Magee to shake hands
with him; upon which the prisoner brought down his musket to the present[?]
and put down his hand to the lock, whereupon said musket was discharged, and
the contents were lodged in the thigh of Magee, who instantly fell. –
Philip Corgan proved, that the prisoner, immediately on firing the
shot, dropped his musket, and was making his escape, but witness caught hold
of him, and the prisoner then struggled with him, drew his bayonet, and
endeavoured to stab him. Witness’s brother, James Corgan, came to his
assistance, and wrestled the bayonet from prisoner, they detained him until
they gave him into charge of some yeomen at Lurgan-green, and James Magee
was carried to a house in Lurgan-green, where he has lain over since; that
he is yet unable to leave his bed, and could not with safety to his life be
brought into Court this day to give evidence.
The Counsel for
the prosecution tendered other evidence to the same effect, as also the
surgeon who had attended Magee, and extracted the ball, which had
entered his thigh; but the Court seemed to think the evidence so offered
unnecessary, as the fact of Magee having being wounded by prisoner,
was sufficiently clearly proved; But he Court expressed its opinion that the
circumstance could not be attributed to malice in the prisoner, but must be
considered to be the effect of accident, it having appeared, on the
cross-examination of the witnesses, that the prisoner and Magee had
not had any acquaintance with each other previous to said 13th
December, and that on the occasion of their so meeting that day, they had
not any quarrel by word or deed.
The Jury, in
concurrence with the sentiments of the Court thus expressed, returned a
verdict of acquittal, as to the indictment for shooting at Magee with
intent to kill, but found the prisoner guilty of the several assaults upon
Magee and Philip Corgan.
was indicted for that he, being a layman, and pretending to be a clergyman
of the Established Church, celebrated a marriage between James Ward,
a papist, and Margaret Ball, a protestant; with a second count, for
taking upon him to celebrate a marriage between said persons. The indictment
also contained two other counts, same as the two first, save that in these
it was laid, that the prisoner, being a layman, pretending to be a popish
priest, celebrated said marriage. Margaret Ball, the prosecutrix, not
attending, the prisoner was of course acquitted, and the recognizance of
Margaret Ball, was estreated.
There were a
few other cases of a minor kind, being merely assaults and petty larcenies.
COURT OF KING’S
BENCH, - JUNE 9
This case was
tried at the last Assizes of Dundalk, before the Hon. Judge Fox. It
was to try the right to the office of Clerk of the Peace for the Co.
Louth. It appeared that the Defendant exercised the office since the
year 1791, that the Plaintiff claimed by appointment from the Earl of
Roden, as custos; a verdict of 5s was had for the Plaintiff, subject to
certain points saved by the learned Judge. These points have been at an
argument fort he two last terms in the Court of King’s Bench. The Court this
day gave judgment for the Defendant, and were pleased to say that the
Plaintiff ought not to have his action, but be non-suited: and the Plaintiff
was non-suited with costs.
Counsel for the
Plaintiff – Messrs. Holmes, and Blacker – Agent, Thos
Counsel for the
Defendant – Messrs. Scriven, Joy, Ruxton, and E.
Pennefather, - Agent, John Bourne, in person.
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
se’nnight, Andrew Hogg, tailor, of Julianstown, co. Meath, was
murdered on the Dublin road, near the old turnpike gate in the county of the
town of Drogheda. Monday morning an inquest was held on the body, and after
a number of witnesses were examined, the Jury found, “That the deceased,
Andrew Hogg came by his death in consequence of a violent blow of a
heavy weapon on the head, near the right ear, which he received from John
Farrell, of Drogheda, butcher.” Farrell has absconded – a reward
of twenty guineas is offered for his apprehension.”
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
evening last, between 7 and 8 o’clock, the Rev. Wm. Coddington was
stopped by three footpads on the North road, very near Drogheda, and robbed
of his watch and money. The villains carried away the trunk, which was on
the jaunting car, and ordered him to proceed to town – There are several
idle vagabonds now lurking about the suburbs of the town.”
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
16 MARCH 1809
commenced on Thursday before Mr. Justice Osborne, in the Crown Court
and Mr. Justice Daly in the Civil.
of any one took place at this Assizes.
were fines £50 each for unlicensed still found therein – James Fleming
was convicted of using an unlicensed still – to be imprisoned two months and
pay a fine of £50.
[THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
16 MARCH 1809
Circuit commenced o Wednesday last the 8th inst. at Drogheda.
Mr. Justice Daly presided in the Crown Court. There was no civil
business; and the Crown cases being heavier than usual, Mr. Justice
are the principal cases that that occurred.
was convicted of a highway robbery on Thomas Coyle, at Killineir, -
To be hanged on 1st April.
indicted for burglary and felony, was acquitted of the burglary, but
convicted of the felony to the amount of 2s 6d. – To be transported for 7
private in the Wicklow Militia, was indicted for the murder of James
Johnston. It appeared by the evidence, that Meehan was stationed
as centinel [sic] on the quay – Johnston had there a scuffle with
some of the men of Meehan’s regiment; in the course of which he
stripped off his clothes to fight, and gave his watch to a woman names
Ann Henry. That after knocking off one of their caps, he went with it to
the centinel (the prisoner), and complained of the abuse he had received –
the centinel ordered him to be gone, he then turned on the centinel, who
knocked him down with his firelock – He rose, and renewed the assault, upon
which the centinel knocked him a second time down, which blow is supposed to
have killed him, after lying motionless for about ten minutes, the centinel
dragged him to the river and threw him in. – It also appeared that he
prisoned and Ann Henry sold the deceased’s watch; and a confession of
the prisoner acknowledging the murder was proved by one Mary Lynch. –
Evidence was adduced of Johnston’s intoxication. Major Howard
and others of the Wicklow Militia gave the prisoner a good character. After
a very luminous charge from the learned Judge, the prisoner was acquitted.
was indicted for uttering a forged indorsement [sic] of a promisary [sic]
note of Beresford’s bank. The witness not being able to identify the note
prisoner was acquitted.
indicted for uttering a forged promissory note of Beresford’s bank, was
several other cases of minor note. – Two fines of £50 each were imposed on
the parish of St. Peter. For unlicensed stills found there.
[THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
18 JULY 1809
the Drogheda assizes were held. At half-past nine o’clock the Hon. Mr.
Justice Fox went into the Court, and His Majesty’s Commission being
read, the Grand Jury were sworn, the Right Hon. Col. Foster, M.P.
Foreman. There were only three Bills, one of which was for an illicit still
– Only one criminal conviction took place.
One Record was
entered – The Executors of Kelly against Duffy. It was
principally a matter of account, and referred to three of the Jury, who
found for the plaintiff, after deducting several items form the original
demand. - A Town-land in the parish of Ballymakenny was fined £50 for a
private still. – At two o’clock the learned Judge left town.
[THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
18 JULY 1809
On Friday last
the assizes of Dundalk commenced. The Hon Baron McClelland presided
in the Crown Court.
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
19 JULY 1809
ASSIZES, July 14
Baron McClelland opened the Court, in an eloquent address to the Grand
proceeded to trial of information on stills, when the townlands of
Priorstown, Bellinfull, and Donnelly’s-town, were fines £50 each.
for robbing the mail on the 19th December, at Coolfore,
containing letters from Collon to Dublin – Acquitted.
found guilty of an assault in Sarah Duffy, to be imprisoned two
months, and to give security. This put off at the last assizes, the
prosecutor being unable from the abuse she got, from attending.
for an assault on James Duffy, son of the said Sarah, fined 6d.
and Mary Cunningham, for stealing calico and cotton goods of Mr.
Delahoyd and Co. – Hoey ordered to give security – Acquitted.
for an assault on William Lee, Esq. Surgeon – Guilty: ordered to be
imprisoned one month, and to give security. The prisoner in this case, was a
patient in the infirmary, and thinking that Mr. Lee should have taken
her advice as to prescription, and finding him on the head of the
stair-case, threw him down the stairs.
for stealing a purse and 10s. 10d. from Mary Googerty – Guilty.
Pleaded Stat. and ordered to be burned in the hand, and imprisoned for four
and Hugh Beers, for feloniously taking out of the house of Pat.
McGorish two pistols value £1. Goods of Pat. McEver, value 4s.
6d. having pleaded Statute – Curren ordered to be transported for 7
years, and Beers to be imprisoned 6 months.
for cow-stealing – Acquitted: ordered to give security.
guilty of assaulting Peter Clarke, fined 6d. and discharged.
acquitted of a rape on the body of Mary Crinion.
for stealing calico shawls, £2 value – Guilty. Pleaded Statute, and was
ordered to be burned in the hand, and imprisoned 3 months.
and John Rogers, acquitted of do.
for stealing calico, the property of John Delahoyd, acquitted, and to
for burglariously entering the dwelling-house of Mary Clurky, with
intent to murder Pat. Clurky, and also with intent to murder said
Mary, acquitted; but found guilty of an assault on Bridget Clurky
– ordered to be imprisoned 6 months, and to give security; also found guilty
of an assault on said Pat. Clurky – ordered to pay fine of 6d. also
assault of Mary Clurky, fined 6d.
guilty of making use of a still without license, and of distilling spirits.
Ordered to be imprisoned two months.
and eight others, were acquitted of a riot at Tullykeel.
In the Civil
Court (among other Records of little moment) was tried that of Lord
Clermont against Sharp, when the verdict was given for the
defendant, with costs, subject to a further discussion on a point of law,
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
12 AUGUST 1809
On Friday last,
Patrick Jordan and Thomas Brady were executed at Worcester,
pursuant to their sentence at the last assizes for that county. They
suffered for having robbed and ill-treated Mr. Charles Bayley, on the
highway between Broomsgrave, Lickey and Notbotheld turnpike. These
unfortunate men were natives of Ireland, and were attended, after
condemnation, till the time of their execution, by a Roman Catholic Priest.
made the following confession.- He was 21 years of age, a weaver by trade,
and born in the town of Louth, county of Louth, Ireland; had been in the
army four years and a half, and deserted from various regiments. The
following are the robberies which he acknowledges to have committed:- In
London, in company with one Brogan, where he first became acquainted
with him, he stole two watches from their lodgings, then went to Bristol,
and enlisted in a regiment there – afterwards went to Bury St. Edmonds, and
became acquainted with two other associates; they bought pistols and
ammunition, in order that they might go on the highway, which they did, and
stopped two footmen, from whom they took £18 in notes. They did nothing more
until they arrived at Warwick, soon after which they robbed a man on the
Stratford road, of his watch, hat, and some copper and silver money – a week
after the latter robbery, they went on the Birmingham road, and stopped two
horsemen, but one of them having a spirited horse escaped, when Brogan
shot at him; they then pulled the other off his horse, and robbed him of two
guineas, which was all he had; a reward of 300 guineas was offered next day
for the apprehension of the person who actually fired the shot. They next
stole a sheep, after which three of the gang deserted, and attempted to rob
a man near Wolverhampton, but he escaped, although Brogan, against
the consent of his associates, fired at him. The next night they robbed a
banker’s clerk of Wolverhampton, of 318, and a silver watch. The last
robbery they committed was that for which they now suffered.”
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
12 MARCH 1810
The assizes of
the North east Circuit, commenced on Thursday the 8th inst. at
Drogheda, before the Hon. Luke Fox, in the Crown Court, and the
Honourable James McClelland, Esq. in the Civil.
trials of prisoners and traversers were immediately proceeded on, being more
numerous that generally occurs in the town.
indicted for horse stealing; not guilty.
indicted for stealing 112lbs. of hogs lard from a vessel on the quay of
Drogheda; not guilty.
for stealing 20lbs. of cotton yarn; not guilty
indicted for receiving one volume of McNally’s Justice of the Peace, which
had been stolen from Henry Pentlande Esq., Mayor of Drogheda, he
knowing it to have been stolen. The evidence was, that the book alluded to,
was found in his shop; but it appearing that it was constantly exposed in
his shop with other books for sale , and no endeavour on his part to conceal
it, corroborated by an excellent character given him by Dr. Lindsay;
alias Jane Armstrong, for stealing six yards of calico, the property
of Wm. Kegans; acquitted, the prosecutor not attending, and his
indicted for having in his possession, with intent to utter the same, one
piece of paper, with a counterfeit device and impression made thereon, to
resemble the device kept at the head office of the Commissioner of Stamp
Duties in Dublin, for charging on paper a duty of nine pence ; with a second
indictment for having forged notes in his possession; not guilty – but from
several unfavourable circumstances appearing against him on the trial, he
was ordered to give security before the Mayor of Drogheda.
indicted for receiving a letter, containing half a Promissory Note, which
had been embezzled: a second indictment for embezzling the said letter and
half note from the Post Office of Drogheda; not guilty.
alias Cahill, for passing forged notes of the Bank of Ireland; not
for passing base two and sixpenny token, not guilty.
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
14 MARCH 1810
– March 9
This day the
assizes for the County of Louth commenced before Hon. Justice Baron
McClelland in the Crown Court, and the Hon. Luke Fox in the
Civil. – The following trials were immediately proceeded on:
found guilty of stealing turkeys.
indicted for stealing two pigs, the property of James Brady: not
indicted for a burglary and robbery in the house of John Bashford,
This trial was put off on the prisoner’s affidavit, and he ordered to remain
to next assizes.
found guilty of private distilling, imprisoned two months.
for stealing £5 from Wm. Ferguson, not guilty.
for assaulting Ann McGuire, with intent to commit a rape on her, and
also for robbing her on the highway of a handkerchief: not guilty on both.
for stealing several Bank notes from one Ter. McShane, and for
assaulting said McShane: not guilty.
for horse stealing: acquitted
a road-maker, convicted of perjury in an account by him delivered to the
Grand Jury, setting forth the particulars of the expenditure of a sum
presented for repairing a road of which he was an Overseer; to be three
times pillored, and imprisoned a year.
The business of
the County very trifling.
against H. McKeever. – In the Drogheda abstract sent it was state,
that McKeever was tried in three indictments and acquitted. There was
however another indictment against him, for having a forged Bank of Ireland
note in his possession, upon which he was convicted, and sentenced to 14
years transportation, under the act of last session, by which it is enacted,
“that any person having a forged note in his possession, without lawful
excuse for the same, and proof thereof shall be upon the party accused,
shall on conviction be sentenced to transportation for 14 years”
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
10 AUGUST 1810
ASSIZES, August 6, 1810
The assizes for
the county of the town began this day, which was the commencement of the
North East Circuit. Mr. Justice Fox presided in the Crown Court,
Mr. Baron McClelland in the Civil.
are the trials of prisoners and traversers which occurred.
for the murder of John Corbolly, by shooting him, guilty of
manslaughter, to be imprisoned six months.
convicted of perjury, to be imprisoned three months.
Callaghan convicted of stealing yarn, to be imprisoned six months
from 24th March last.
charged with picking the pocket of Lieut. Squair, on the 30th
of May last, not guilty.
charged with horse stealing, not guilty.
for robbing Henry Carroll, acquitted for want of prosecution.
But one record
in the Civil Court.
THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL
27 OCTOBER 1810
BUTTER – The
Chief Magistrate of Dundalk has detected a man of the name of John Doyle
(who with his son, Peter Doyle, says he came from Dublin), in the act
of making up a preparation, like butter, in the following manner: he boiled
runnet [sic] to a curd, and melted a quantity of good butter over it – put
it into bowls, and let it lie in water for a night, after which it looked
remarkable well. On cutting it a quantity of water appeared in it, and on
washing and newly dressing it 7lb. sold, turned out, but one pound and a
half. A quantity of arranetra and some saffron were also found prepared for
colouring it. They are both safely lodged in Dundalk gaol, to abide their
trials next Assizes. No less a quantity than eleven parcels were found
generally made into bowls of about 7lbs.
17 March 1815
evening about four o’clock, the Hon. Justice Daly arrived in town.
Justice Mayne arrived in town this morning; his lordship presided in the
trials took place this day –
for having forged stamps in his possession, with an intent to issue them and
thereby defraud the Revenue – Not Guilty. John Taafe for stealing
sugar the property of John McCan (sic), acquitted. The indictment by
mistake, stated the sugar to be the property of McCann, instead of
Coleman. James Coleman and Martin Moore for a conspiracy
to rescue John McKenna, a prisoner in Drogheda jail – Not Guilty. But
ordered to give bail for their good behaviour. – Michael Smith alias
Rice, indicted for uttering several bank notes knowing them to be
forged, Guilty – Death.
and Ann Dowdall, indicted for an assault on Mr. Benjamin Smith,
and rescuing A. Thompson, William Roberts, and John Wilson,
three soldiers of the 98th regiment – indicted for the murder of
Thomas Bird – Not Guilty. Michael Gilligan, indicted for
stealing butter, the property of Michael Bird, Esq. – Not Guilty.
Joseph Martin indicted for stealing a pig, the property of Michael
Mathews – Not Guilty.
15. – The Sheriffs have received a warrant for the execution of Michael
Smith, alias Rice, convicted on Saturday last, for passing forged
notes, knowing them to be such. Judge Daly, in passing sentence on
the unfortunate culprit, stated, that if any favourable, or even doubtful
circumstance had appeared in his favour, on the trial, he would have
recommended him to mercy; but on the contrary, it turned out, that he was an
old offender – that he had been arraigned at the bar, where he then stood,
for an offence of the same nature, four years ago, and acquitted for want of
prosecution; that his life had been one scene of inquiry. The wretched man
made no declaration whatever, but begged a long stay. The execution is fixed
for Saturday, the 8th of April.
Callan, two of the villains who robbed Mornington House, and abused
Mr. Brabazon, have been found guilty at the Assizes of Trim. It is
rumoured, they are to be executed at Blackbush, but we have no certainty of
the truth of the report.
Index to the County
Louth assizes 1775-1810
25 January 2010