Connaught Journal; 3 Jan 1825; Commission Court, Dublin
- THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL
Galway, Monday, January 3, 1825
COMMISSION COURT - Green Street
Dublin, January 1, 1825
This day, at one o'clock, the Commission was opened by Mr. Justice Jebb
& Mr. Justice Moore. Long before the arrival of the Judges, the various
avenues to the Court were crowded to excess, and the most intense anxiety
pervaded all classes, as to the swearing in and finding of the Grand Jury.-
Every precaution was adopted by the Sheriff to prevent the intrusion of the
crowd, and a number of additional constables were in requisition for that
purpose. Mr. Sheriff Warren was also most attentive in procuring every
accommodation for the Reporters. At half-past ten o'clock, Mr. O'Connell,
accompanied by Messrs. Wallace, Holmes, Perrin, O'Loughlin and Sheil,
entered the Court; they were shortly after followed by Messrs. J.S. Townsend
Scriven, M'Kane, and R.W. Green, on behalf of the Crown. Several Gentlemen
of the Bar, not in costume, now arrived, and took their seats in the back
benches. Immediately after the Judges, accompanied by the Lord Mayor and
City Officers, arrived, when the following Grand Jury for the City was sworn
Hickman Kearney; John David Latouche; Abraham Lane; Edward Croker;
Addison Hone; George S. Carlton; William Jackson; J.S. Taylor; George W.
Boileau; Isaac Hynes; James Moore; Henry Peile; John Alley; Thomas Hunt;
Samuel Fisher; William Porter; Thomas Wright; Paul Chambers; Robert Hyndman;
James Jackson; William Ring; John Herron; John Phelps.
Mr. Justice Moore then proceeded to charge both Grand Juries.
Addressing himself to the County Grand Jury, he said that they deserved
great praise for their attention to the peace of the County, in the
establishment of the Constabulary Act. It was an Act calculated, to a great
degree, to preserve the peace of the kingdom, if administered in the proper
spirit of its provision. Turning to the City Grand Jury, the Learned Judge
adverted in strong and forcible terms, but in a low and indistinct tone, to
the evils that combination had entailed on all classes of the community.-
The system of illegal affiliation, commonly called the Union of Trades, was
the most outrageous infraction of all law, subordination and order - it was
a system of despotism. These persons dared to dictate to masters what
persons they should employ, and what materials they should use. But in a
late case - thanks to the resolute conduct of the Messrs. Hutton - their
machinations had been in a great degree frustrated. It was not, perhaps, in
the power of the Jury to put an immediate stop to these malpractices; but it
behooved all classes of his Majesty's subjects to come forward, and
unanimously resist measures disgraceful to the national character, and
subversive of all settled principle.- Was it to be endorsed, that workmen
should say, you shall not use English wrought iron- that you shall only
employ such and such men, and this, after the splendid bounty which England
had manifested to this country. In fact, if this system was to be persevered
in the system of life must be changed. If the principle of an interchange of
commodities were interfered with, commerce must stagnate & manufactures
decay. He had addressed the Jury at some length on these topics, as he was
persuaded that the system and principle of combination societies was similar
and analogous to the Whiteboy system in the South. What was the essence of
both? Mystery and illegal confederation. It, therefore, became the citizens
of Dublin to resist an order of things so frightful. He was himself well
aware, and had practically experienced the evils of this system.- Some
persons, whom he had sent to repair a house in a state of decay, at
Clontarf, were subjected to the violence which had latterly been so
prevalent in the streets of Dublin. He would not detain the Jury longer on
the subject, but would revert to another. He perceived by the indictment
that bills were to be sent to the Jury in the case of an individual on
charge, the nature of which he should find it necessary to explain at some
length. The principle that he would adhere to in this case would be the
principle supported by the first Law Authorities in these Countries - he
meant the English Court of King's Bench. In the case of Sir Francis
Burdett's Leicester-Letter case - it was determined that the words should be
expressed, and that there should be no ambiguity- in fact, that there should
be an identity of persons as well as of words. They should apply this
doctrine to the case of the individuals before them. They should first be
sure that the persons words were spoken. Secondly, that they were spoken by
the person charged with having uttered them - and, thirdly, that these were
of the nature and tendency described in the indictment, that tendency should
be unequivocal. It should have the effect of alienating the minds of his
Majesty's subjects (as we understand) or of producing change by unlawful
means in the Constitution as by law established. It was necessary that this
tendency should be strictly proved, and that was matter of inference for the
Jury to decide, when the express words were testified. It would then be
necessary to consider the intent with which these words were spoken- whether
the person uttering them, taking into account their spirit and context, the
time when, and the place where uttered, had a seditious and unlawful
intention in uttering them, or whether they were spoken in the plain and
ordinary sense, without any such meaning. This was all matter important and
indispensable for their consideration, and it was necessary before they
found the bills that the person of the Speaker should be identified, and
that his intention in uttering should be similar to that described in the
indictment. The Learned Judge concluded his Charge at a quarter before four
Mr. O'Connell appeared in excellent spirits, and it was rather
ludicrous to observe the playful familiarity with which he and Mr. J.S.
The following Witnesses were then called, previously to the sending of
the indictment to the Grand Jury:
Charles O'Flaherty, Reporter of the Morning Post, sworn.
Samuel Nolan Elrington, answered and sworn. On this Gentleman's coming
to the table, he stated that his real name was Nolan, and that he assumed
the name of Elrington for a particular purpose. The Judge then directed Mr.
Elrington to be sworn.
Joseph Byrne, Reporter for the Star, sworn.
R.N. Kelly.- This Witness was called four times, but did not answer. he
was ultimately fined £100.
Leech was called four times in a similar manner and fined a similar
A person here called George Barclay, Town Clerk's Office. Much
merriment was excited by this Gentleman's getting on the table, as if he
were called to the Jury. It was, however, intimated to him that it was at
the Town Clerk's Office he was wanted.
Immediately after the sending up of the bills, Mr. O'Connell left
Court, accompanied by Mr. Perrin and his solicitor, Mr. Kildahl. On
appearing in Green-street, Mr. O'Connell was greeted by the most
enthusiastic cheers from the populace, who assembled in great numbers, and
who continued following him down Capel-street, Parliament-street, and
Dame-street, notwithstanding his frequent remonstrances, even to his own
house in Merrion-square.
A strong detachment of Horse and Foot Police were stationed in
Green-street during the whole of the day.
Quarter to five o'Clock.
Candles have been lighted and the Jury have not as yet returned their
findings. The Court continues crowded.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News