Times; April 23, 1832; Tithes - Limerick
- The Times
London, Middlesex, England
April 23, 1832
Tithes - County Limerick
Dublin, April 29
Several incorrect statements have appeared respecting the causes which
led to the late affray at Bilboa, county Limerick, the Rev. Mr. Hickey,
parish-priest of Doon, (whose cow was lately sold at auction to satisfy a
tithe claim of the Rev. Mr. Coote, rector of the parish), has authorized the
following correct account of the affair as far as he is concerned.
It was stated in the provincial papers that the seizure and sale of his
cow were intended to teach him a lesson on the impropriety of expressing any
opinion on the subject of tithes, and that the late demand of Mr. Coote was
the first made against him. This is not the fact. The seizure of the cow was
for tithes claimed for the year 1831, and at the last sessions of Limerick
Mr. Hickey had to defend himself against a claim made by Mr. Coote for
tithes of land which had been five years out of his possession. This claim
was (Mr. Hickey asserts) scouted out of court in the presence of a multitude
of persons. Further, Mr. Hickey, previous to the year 1827, had been obliged
to pay the same Rev. Mr. Coote four years' tithe of land which he held at a
The predecessor of Mr. Coote in the parish was the Rev. Mr. Chadwick,
who, during the war with Napoleon and the high prices of agricultural
produce then existing had only an income of 150l. derived from tithes. The
Rev. Mr. Coote has, notwithstanding the depression of prices consequent on
the peace, contrived to obtain 900l. per annum from the same parish. Mr.
Hickey states that he has not been the only person marked out to be taught a
lesson of the power of the law in the Rev. Mr. Coote's hands, the goat of a
destitute widow was lately seized, and a poor man, named Fitzgerald,
suffered not only the loss of his tenth potato, but the pot in which it was
to have been boiled.
Mr. Hickey states further, that Colonel Womass, who commanded the troops
that were marched out of Limerick to attend the auction, was a bidder for
the cow, and had a dispute as to "the time of his bidding" with persons
among the crowd, that in point of fact there were only two regular bidders
out of four and the sale was therefore illegal,- the third and fourth being
less than the second -viz. first offer, 10s., second (by the priest's
brother), 12l., third, 1s, and the fourth (by Colonel Womass), 2l.
Mr. Hickey pledges himself to seek redress against this proceeding. He
joins in none of the praises bestowed on Colonel Womass but bestows the
warmest eulogium on Major Miller and Captain Brady.
Mr. Hickey further offers to prove a singular fact - that the people
were excited to the attack on the police, and subsequently on the military,
by two individuals professedly engaged in the preservation of the peace.
These ruffians were the first to throw stones, and had it not been for them,
no mischief whatever would have occurred.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News