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1178Ballina Chronicle; Sep 18, 1850; Faris Murder & Creighton Suicide Co Cavan

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    Apr 4, 2007
      Ballina, Co. Mayo
      Wednesday, September 18, 1850
      CAVAN, Sept. 10, 1850 - This town and neighbourhood were thrown into
      the highest state of excitement and alarm at an early hour yesterday, being
      the arrival of several persons from the vicinity of Ballinagh, who rushed
      into Cavan with the frightful intelligence that Dr. Creighton, lately come
      to reside near Ballinagh, had just murdered one of the ladies of his house,
      and immediately after put an end to his own existence. This information was
      but too true. Doctor Creighton was a native of this county; he resided near
      Cavan up to the period of his entering Trinity College, where he graduated
      and took out the degree of Bachelor of Medicine. He commenced his
      professional career in Townsend-street, Dublin, where he practiced with
      considerable success; he subsequently changed his residence to either No. 24
      or 25 Great Brunswick-street.
      Some short time ago his manner became very eccentric, his mind was
      evidently weakened and warped, and he became full of the idea that the
      members of his own household were deeply engaged in this plot. This deranged
      state of intellect became so palpable, that his friends were advised to
      withdraw him from practice altogether, and remove him to the country.
      Accordingly, he and his family returned to this locality about two months
      ago, where, it was hoped, that by turning his attention to agricultural
      pursuits, his mind might be diverted from those miserable hallucinations by
      which it had been preyed on; arrangements were made for that purpose, and he
      was settled on a farm of some extent, Heath Lodge, the estate of William
      Humphreys, Esq., of Ballyhaise, on which an excellent house and suitable
      offices have lately been erected.
      Dr. Creighton's monomania was a conviction that his friends were
      endeavouring to poison him in his food, and accordingly he refused food for
      several days. He would frequently lay down on the lawn, or in the fields, to
      eat grass, in order, as he said, to prevent the execution of the plans of
      those around him. On all other subjects he was perfectly clear and
      collected, and conversed in the most rational manner. He was not placed
      under restraint, and walked about the grounds and roads at pleasure.- his
      family consisted of an aunt, Miss Creighton, advanced in life, and infirm, a
      young lady named Faris, a near relative of his own; and a servant man. On
      the morning of yesterday (Tuesday), at about nine o'clock, Dr. Creighton
      went to his aunt's room, and told her that the servant was waiting to shave
      him, and begged of her to give him the razors for that purpose - they had
      been purposely kept out of his reach; but seeing how calm and collected he
      was, and hearing from him that the servant was in attendance, she did not
      hesitate to give them to him. Miss Creighton, it appears, was still in bed,
      for he said to her, on leaving the room, "Aunt, you need not get up; I'll
      send your breakfast up, when it is ready." He then went down stairs, and
      nothing further was heard or seen of him until about a quarter of an hour
      after, when Miss Creighton, on going down to the parlour, and finding it
      empty, proceeded to the kitchen. Her horror may be imagined on reaching this
      spot, to find Miss Faris lying dead on the floor, a pool of blood around
      her, and her head nearly severed from her body. A broad mark of blood,
      commencing near the dead body, next attracted her attention. She surmised,
      and that correctly, that it was the blood of her unfortunate nephew, who,
      she thought, had wounded himself, and then fled from the house into the
      plantation adjacent to it. She tracked this second stream of blood to the
      closed door of a pantry adjoining the kitchen, but not opening into it. On
      pushing open the door, which was merely closed to, but not fastened, she
      found him bathed in blood and just expiring. She immediately fled to the
      house of a magistrate residing in the neighbourhood, William Smith, Esq.,
      and gave the alarm.
      An inquest was held on the bodies of these unfortunate remains by
      William Pollock, Esq., coroner, and a highly respectable jury, and a verdict
      returned in accordance with the too well known state of mind of this unhappy
      Dr. C. was one not much over 36 years of age, his victim was several
      years younger. She was an agreeable, well-educated person, and she just
      arrived on a visit to his aunt, as she was preparing to emigrate to America,
      where her friends are now residing. Nothing is known of the proceedings of
      Dr. Creighton after his leaving his aunt's room, beyond what the position of
      the bodies indicated. There was no witness to it, the servant man having
      gone for milk for breakfast. From the situation and position of Miss Faris's
      body, it is supposed that when the murderer entered the kitchen, she was in
      the act of stopping to take up the teapot that stood before the fire; that
      he seized her by her hair, and dragged her head forcibly backward, and then
      inflicted the wound that all but separated her head from the trunk. The
      second stream of blood indicates that he inflicted the fatal wound on his
      own throat whilst standing beside her body, and then walked out of the
      kitchen and into the pantry, where his body was found.
      They will both be buried in the one grave, at an early hour to-morrow

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News