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Limerick - Various Abstracts from London Times

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    The Times; London, Middlesex, England; August 28, 1800 LIMERICK, Aug 15 Last Tuesday night, Edward Riordan, a very bonefit, industrious farmer, who lived near
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2007
      The Times; London, Middlesex, England; August 28, 1800

      LIMERICK, Aug 15

      Last Tuesday night, Edward Riordan, a very bonefit, industrious farmer,
      who lived near Cullen, has his throat cut, and his brains beat out, by a
      party of those nefarious miscreants who have long infested that part of the
      On the same night and in the same neighbourhood, Edmond English was
      ham-strung with scythes; Michael Ryan was so cut on the head that his life
      is despaired of, and four others, the same night were so maimed by cutting
      their back sinews, as to disqualify them from any sort of labour. From the
      suspension of the late sentences of Courts-martial, it is apprehended that
      these abominable wretches entertain an idea that they will escape that
      condign punishment so loudly called for by their barbarous and unexampled
      On Thursday night last a banditti supposed to amount to about 60,
      mounted on horseback, went to the house of Thomas Lynch, of Cunigar, in the
      liberties of this city, an industrious farmer, dragged him and his son out
      of bed, and flogged them unmercifully with cutting whips; the crime for
      which this punishment had been inflicted was, for Lynch having turned off a
      dairy-man. The same party, it is supposed, went to the house of James
      Coghlan, of Lisenulta, and whipped him in like manner; other dairy-men,
      whose names we have been requested not to mention, were also whipped on the
      same night.

      The Times; London, Middlesex, England; August 21, 1816

      [From the Irish Papers]
      LIMERICK, Aug 14

      The case of Thomas Burke, and his two confederates, Michael Hehir and Henry
      Evans, who were executed on Monday for the murder of Thomas and Margaret
      Dillon, at Moyle, in this county, was one of peculiar atrocity. Eight men
      more remained to be tried on Monday for the same crime, against the greater
      portion of whom the evidence was presumed to be conclusive. On Saturday the
      counsel for the Crown paused in their proceedings. Three lives had already
      been forfeited, and they thought the work of blood might cease, and that the
      examples thus set would be sufficient to operate as a prevention of future
      crimes. They consulted the Grand Jury, but it was the unanimous desire of
      that body that the trials should proceed, and that the law should take its
      course. A riotous assemblage took place within a few miles of Limerick on
      the night preceding the expressed intention of the counsel for the Crown not
      to go farther in prosecuting the murderers of Dillon and his wife, in
      consequence of which one of the party lost his life. This transaction, which
      occurred while the Judges of the land were administering the law, seemed to
      justify the determination of the Grand Jury, in which the Crown lawyers
      acquiesced, and the trials of the eight men were to have proceeded in on
      An application has been made since to postpone the trials of these eight
      individuals until the next assizes, on the ground of their Counsel being
      hastily obliged to leave town in consequence of the illness of one of his
      family. Sergeant Johnston humanely attended to the application but desired
      that they might be prepared for trial on the 16th of September, at which
      time he intends to return; and ordered the present grand and other Juries to
      be in attendance on that day.
      The principal witness in these cases is a child of 14 years old, the
      daughter of the two murdered persons. The following is a statement of the
      testimony she gave on the trial of Burke and his two associates.-
      She deposed that she was 14 years old, her father's name was Tom Dillon,
      and her mother's Peg Wall; they lived in Castletown-Waller. She knew, and
      had always known, Tom Burke, who lived at Pallas-Kenry, within about a mile
      of her father's house. (Here she was asked if she saw any body in Court she
      knew. She turned round and identified Bourke.) She remembered she said, the
      night the people came to her father's house; the family were in bed, her
      father asleep, and herself and her mother awake, they heard a rapping and
      her mother woke her father; he got up, and took a bayonet that was near the
      bed, and went towards the kitchen, when he found the door dragged out on the
      road with a sledge; he then ran back to the bed-room, shut the door, and put
      his back against it, when they fired through it from the outside, and he
      fell back dead on the bed where her little sister lay. There was a partition
      in the room, and when the rapping first came at the door, her mother shook
      hands with her, put her upon the partition, desiring her to mind her brother
      and sister, and to watch these people, as they had come to murder her father
      and herself. When her father was killed, the people broke into the bed-room,
      in a corner of which her mother was, with an infant in her arms, the witness's
      little sister in bed, and herself concealed on the partition. They called to
      her mother to go out, she did, saying, "Lord have mercy on my soul!" to
      which they replied, "My good lady, you had no mercy when you were giving
      evidence on the Bench." When her mother went out, the witness came down from
      the partition, and followed her, the people took her out on the road, and
      the witness went to the kitchen window. They were crying out, "Stick her and
      shoot her," and she saw the prisoner put a gun up to her mouth, and fire
      into it. They had at this time taken the child from her, and were holding
      her up at each side when the shot was fired. They then put her down on the
      ground, and stabbed her in both breasts, after which they put her near a
      wall. The witness was here asked how she knew any one as it was night? "Any
      one would know them," said she; "it was moonlight, and some sods of turf,
      which I put down before my mother and myself went to bed, were blazing on
      the hearth." When they put her mother near the wall, two men came into the
      house, when she ran into the room where the pig was; the men took out her
      father, and soon after two men came in and asked her little sister for the
      bayonet. It was in a potatoe barrel near the bed, and gave it to a man who
      wore white trowsers. They said they would not hurt her, and went away
      shouting. Witness came from her hiding place and again went to the window
      and while there, the men returned, and one said, "the devil would not kill
      the dog; and one of them took up a big stone, and broke his face with it.
      They then went away, 'twas on a Friday night, and on the following Sunday,
      her father and mother were buried; she staid in the house in the mean time,
      and "I gave the pot to my aunt," (said this interesting poor creature) "for
      it was she who sewed my father's mouth" All the people in the neighbourhood
      refused to let her in, desired her "to go to the devil, " in consequence of
      which she went away with her aunt, with whom she slept on Sunday night, and
      was next day taken away by the Rev. Mr. Westropp, where she remained several
      weeks, and was from thence removed to the poor-house, and finally to the
      gaol, from whence she was now brought to give evidence.

      During our Assizes here, which have not yet closed, three men were found
      guilty and passed by our door this morning to be hung, for a murder
      committed near a year ago about nine miles off, of a man and wife. He had
      taken a house contrary to the will of the country people; a party went to
      his house, and beat him for taking it, on which he informed a neighbouring
      Magistrate, when, shortly after, about 40 entered the village where the man
      lived, and after placing two men as guards on each house in the village,
      they attacked his house, and murdered him and his wife in a most shocking
      manner, stabbing the woman first in different parts of her body, to make her
      put away an infant she held in her arms to save her from their fury; a
      daughter about 15 escaped, and the infant. They said they had no ill-will to
      the man, but killed him to prevent others acting as he did. A man who lived
      next door to the unfortunate family, some time after got so uneasy in his
      mind, he could not rest till he discovered the matter, by which means it was
      found out, after being concealed perhaps for months. They were all Roman
      The Times; London, Middlesex, England; September 26, 1816

      (From the Irish Papers)

      LIMERICK, Sept. 18

      This morning, Patrick Scanlan and Patrick Burns, in pursuance of sentence,
      on Monday, were executed at Gallows-green, near this city. After hanging the
      usual time, their bodies were brought to the Infirmary for dissection.
      To-morrow, Sheehy and Evans are to undergo a similar execution.
      John Tourney, who was convicted on Saturday at the sessions, under the
      insurrection act, is to be sent off to Cork, on Saturday, for embarkation.

      Tuesday, Second Day

      This day Bryan Sheehy and Henry Evans, concerned in the above murders, were
      tried and convicted on the came clear and undeviating testimony. Evans was
      particularly identified by the little child as being at the murder, which
      was supported by John King, her next door neighbour; she could not swear as
      to the identify of Sheehy being present, but the testimony of King, the
      former witness, and Wall, was conclusive against him. The same humane
      attention of the Bench as evinced in the preceding trials was paid to the
      unfortunate prisoners, who made no defence. Evans, who is a smart young man,
      got an excellent character from the Rev. Thomas Westropp, Mr. Davenport, Mr.
      Heaccocke, and Mr. O'Brien. Sheehy worked for Mr. Langford five years ago,
      and at that time his character was good. Sergeant Johnston charged the jury
      in an able manner, who retired, and after a short consultation, returned
      with a verdict of Guilty against both. The learned Sergeant, in an awful and
      impressive manner, passed the sentence of death, and particularly remarked
      upon the dreadful state of society, when a young man of Evan's good
      character could be got, without any cause, to be a participator in murdering
      his unoffending neighbours. After sentence was passed, Sheehy, who is an
      uncommon ill-looking fellow, acknowledged he was at the murders, and that
      Boruke and Hehir were the only persons as yet convicted that were also
      particpators in his guilt and that all the others were innocent. This last
      part, which we are confident was disbelieved by every individual who
      attended the trials, was instantly refuted by Mr. Pennefather, who was
      astonished at the shocking depravity of the criminal and mentioned to the
      Court, that Sheehy a few weeks ago gave information against nine, and at the
      same time swore that Evans, who was hanged, was innocent; and it should be
      remarked, that at the gallows, Burke and Hehir, who he said were guilty,
      persisted in their innocence.

      Maurice M'Mahon was yesterday tried for cow stealing and acquitted. He is
      remanded to the prison for sheep stealing.


      This day, Henry Neille and Thomas Hehir are on their trials for the Dillons'
      Bridget Dillon, in her examination, has proved that Neille assisted in
      dragging her father's body out to the road, after being murdered and that
      Hehir was the man who went into the house for the bayonet with Scanlan, when
      her mother was shot. The trials had not closed when we put to press.
      Four o'clock -The Jury have just given in a verdict of Guilty against
      Neille and Hehir - they are both to be hanged on Friday. The Crown Lawyers
      have declined proceeding in the trials of any more at present, and in
      consequence the Juries are discharged.
      The Times; London, Middlesex, England; August 15, 1817

      LIMERICK ASSIZES, August 6
      (From the Patriot)

      John Clanchy, who was tried and acquitted for writing a letter to Alderman
      Wilkinson, offering to take away the life of Mr. Tuthill, was on Saturday
      brought into Court, the Grand Jury having represented him as a vagabond.
      A jury was impannelled, and Mr. Tuthill having been sworn, deposed that he
      never knew Clanchy until the day he was apprehended; had heard him described
      as a bad character; believed that he was one; knew the prisoner at the bar
      to be the same person who had confessed to have written the letter to Mr.
      Prisoner on being asked whether he had any one to give him a character,
      said he could not call any one in Court, except Mr. Tinsley, attorney.
      Mr. Tinsley said he did not sufficiently know the man to take upon him to
      say what his character was; he knew him to have been in comfortable
      circumstances, but did not believe that to be the case latterly.
      His lordship then put the case to the jury, who returned a verdict finding
      for the presentment, and against the traverser.
      The learned Judge then addressed the prisoner nearly as follows: "John
      Clanchy, you were indicted for a most malicious and wicked offence, for
      which, if you had been found guilty, you would have received the severest
      punishment of the law. The jury, no doubt, did their duty in acquitting you
      of the charge; however, it has been clearly shown you did write that letter,
      actuated by the most abominable motive. If the fact of intention was
      established, you would, in the eye of the law, have been considered as a
      murderer; however, I believe, that your intention was to hoax the
      Magistrate, to whom you had the impudent audacity to address it, out of a
      sum of money. I consider you to be a man of the most depraved principles,
      who would lend yourself to the commission of another act, however atrocious;
      you appear to be lost to every thing worthy of the name of man; you; in the
      wickedness of your own heart, conceived the diabolical project of taking
      away the life of a respectable gentleman, and you then threw an indirect
      imputation against the character of a Magistrate, by attempting to make him
      the pander to your guilt, and finally, not content with having gone thus far
      in iniquity, on a subsequent examination, you had the effrontery to
      endeavour to criminate others, by saying that you were instigated thereto.
      The Grand Jury have presented you as an idle and disorderly person, as
      having no certain place of residence, no visible mode of living, and
      finally, as a vagabond. The provisions of the Act enable me to sentence you
      to transportation for seven years, and I think the punishment perhaps too
      trivial for the magnitude of your offence. The law, in its lenity, says,
      that if the people so described shall within a certain time find any two
      persons of respectability who will take upon them to contradict the
      presentation of the Grand Jury, he may remain in the country. In this case,
      however, I think the mitigation of punishment too great to leave a character
      of your description in the country. I do not think it right; and perhaps for
      yourself it would also be better you were not, as your situation very
      probably would neither be safe or agreeable. The sentence of the law is,
      that you, John Clanchy, be transported from these countries beyond the seas,
      for the space of seven years, unless you can, in a [?] I cannot pronounce
      (but which will be directed by the Government of which I am the organ), find
      and produce two ostensible persons to bail you, which I think you will find
      it difficult to do. If, however, you can do so, you may remain where you

      On Monday last the dreadful sentence of the law was put in execution on
      these unfortunate men, pursuant to their sentence on Friday last. Precisely
      at 12 o'clock, Henry Burke, and Thomas Clarke prepared on the fatal drop,
      attended by their clergyman, who, we are glad to find, had the happy effect
      of bringing their minds to a proper sense of their awful situation, very
      different to that [?] spirit of revenge exhibited by them in Court, on
      hearing the awful sentence of death pronounced on them. Indeed Burke evinced
      a depravity of mind even to the fatal moment, that we have never before
      witnessed on a like occasion; both acknowledged that they were guilty of the
      murder, for which they were so justly to forfeit their lives, and in a few
      moments were launched into eternity.
      At half past one Thomas Gormly and Thomas Rochford were brought out to
      suffer the like sentence, they appeared deeply penitent and impressed with,
      the solemnity of their awful state; after spending a few minutes in prayer,
      they also were launched into eternity.
      After the bodies were hanged the usual time, they were all put into a cart
      and taken to the County Infirmary to be directed and anatomized, pursuant to
      the statute, after which they were reconveyed to the gaol-yard for
      interment.-Mullingar paper.
      The Times; London, Middlesex, England; March 20, 1818

      The Solicitor-General was occupied on Saturday in the County Court,
      investigating the following Nizi Prius causes, in which the Chief Magistrate
      of Limerick was nominally the defendant, to recover damages for losses
      sustained in breaking into stores, &c, during the riots in June, 1817:-
      Mr. Blakeney claimed 147l., for the loss of flour and oatmeal - verdict
      Mr. Bannatyne claimed 150l. - verdict 100l.
      Mr. Reddan claimed 212l. - verdict 200l. Mr. R. used every exertion to
      defend his property.
      Mr. Rose - verdict 30l.
      Mr. Robert Ferguson claimed 13l. verdict for defendant.

      The only capital conviction which has yet taken place is that of Patrick
      Moylan, who was found guilty of the murder of Mr. Switzer, at Ballingarry,
      and received sentence of death - to be executed on Friday, and his body
      given for dissection.

      The Times; London, Middlesex, England; March 21, 1818

      The bodies of J. Dillane, a respectable farmer, his sister, the widow
      Costelloe, and her daughter, were found murdered on the lands of
      Knockfenish, barony of Upper Connelloe, in this county, on Monday last. It
      appears that these unfortunate persons were at the market of Newcastle on
      Saturday se'nnight, and after disposing of some pigs, were, returning home,
      waylaid and murdered; and from that time, though diligent search was made,
      no clue could possibly be had to ascertain their fate, until Monday last,
      when they were found as thus described, in an unfrequented part of a
      mountain-road. It is clear that robbery was not the object of the murderers,
      as all the money which the deceased persons received at the market was found
      on them. The motive of so dreadful an outrage can only be ascribed to
      revenge, as it is said the widow Costelloe, at our last assizes, very
      properly prosecuted two persons for cow-stealing, who were convicted. Since
      writing the above, we have learned that an inquest was held on the bodies of
      S. Harding, Esq., coroner, when a verdict of willful murder was returned
      against persons unknown. The necks of the unfortunate sufferers were broken,
      and their bodies not only had the appearance of violence, but parts of them
      were mutilated.-Limerick Chronicle.
      The Times; London, Middlesex, England; November 27, 1821

      The Rev. John Croker and his lady, returning in their carriage to his house
      at Croom Glebe, a few nights ago, were fired at by some villains from behind
      a hedge, near Croom, happily without effect.
      On Friday night last a party of armed men attacked the porter's lodge at
      Whitehall, near this city, at the entrance to the dwelling house of Captain
      Keane, Paymaster of the county Limerick Staff. It was occupied by one of the
      men belonging to that corps; and supposing that he had his musket in the
      house, they searched it minutely, but fortunately without success. The same
      party also entered the lodge at Mr. Lowe's of Quinpoole, with the like
      A second visit was made to Major Tomkin's house near Patrick's-well, a few
      nights since, in search of fire-arms, and the party succeeded in getting one
      We are credibly informed, that those nightly marauders, in order to protect
      their persons from the effect of light shot or slugs, actually envelope
      themselves in hay ropes from the feet to the neck, which, we are told, will
      repel that description of ammunition.
      On Sunday last, about 2 o'clock, at noon, as John Hewson, Esq., of
      Castle-Hewson, near Askeaton, was walking in his lawn, a short distance from
      the dwelling, he was surrounded by a number of armed men, who had lain
      concealed in the shrubbery, and who ordered him to walk towards his house,
      and deliver up what arms and ammunition it contained. Mr. Hewson not
      expecting so extraordinary a meeting and being unarmed, was compelled to
      yield to their requisition. On the party approaching the house, the inmates
      were preparing to resist them, when the fellows presented their hostage to
      view, and stated, that if any opposition should be made, and if the arms,
      &c., were not instantly handed out, Mr. Hewson should meet the fate of Mr.
      Going. There was no remedy, the arms were given, with which they walked off.
      The house of Edward Griffin, Esq., of Ballynort, within a short distance of
      Mr. Hewson's, was also visited by the same party, in a short time after, and
      one gun taken.
      The Times; London, Middlesex, England; March 18, 1822

      The Dublin papers of Thursday announce in the list of outrages the murder of
      P. Hart, the steward of John Brown, Esq., who was stoned to death by the
      White Boys, in the liberties of Limerick on Saturday last. A barbarous
      murder is also said to have been committed on a person named Thomas Knox,
      one of Major Donoghue's police establishment. One of the perpetrators had
      been apprehended. In the county of Limerick no disposition has been
      manifested to give up arms.
      The Times; London, Middlesex, England; October 1, 1822
      (From the Limerick Chronicle)
      On Friday night last, Messrs. Kelly and Smith, of Captain Wilcock's
      Police, succeeded in apprehending the noted James Fitzgibbon, Patrick Carty,
      John Molony and Thomas Collins, all of whom are charged with the wilful
      murder of Ulick Burke, Esq., in Feb. last near Cappa; they are lodged in
      Rathkeale Bridewell.
      On the next morning at ten o'clock, a female, who had been seen the day
      before at Rathkeale, and who was conceived to have given information which
      led to the apprehension of the four fellows, proceeding to the well of
      Cappa, near where she resided, for a can of water, was seized upon by a man
      with his face blackened, who instantly dragged her into the grove, and in
      the most savage manner attempted to cut her throat. The approach of some
      persons prevented the miscreant carrying his intention into effect, as he
      only gave her some scars under the chin, and by the humane directions of Mr.
      Kelly of Captain Wilcock's Police, she is placed under surgical care in
      Rathkeale, and hopes are entertained of her speedy recovery. The most prompt
      exertions were made by the police, accompanied by Robert Peppard, Esq. and
      his son, to apprehend the perpetrator, who has for the present escaped.
      Since writing the above we have received the following from a
      respectable magistrate:-
      "SIR, - I have to acquaint you with one of the most daring attempts at
      assassination which perhaps has ever been recorded in the late, I fear, I
      may add present, rebellion.
      "As a girl of the name of Catherine Hickie was walking on the avenue
      leading to Cappa-house, on Saturday last, about the hour of 11 in the
      forenoon, a man, whose face was blackened, seized her, and dragged her into
      a grove that stands by the avenue, and there with a razor cut her throat
      across, but providentially the design of the ruffian is frustrated, as there
      are sanguine hopes of the girl's recovery.
      "This scene took place within from twenty to sixty yards of a cluster
      of houses, one of them a forge, the door of which opened towards the spot to
      which the assassin drew her, and in that forge were four men at the moment.
      I must state that no suspicion of collusion rests against these four men, as
      the noise in the forge prevented the girl's cries from being heard. There
      are two police-men stationed at Cappa, and Mr. Peppard was walking within
      sight of, and not more than two or three hundred yards from, the girl at the
      time the transaction occurred; one of the most public roads in the county
      runs beside the place where she was attacked.
      "This outrageous attempt on the life of an innocent young woman, caused
      by a suspicion of her having given information against murderers, is a clear
      evidence that the spirit of desolation has only lain smothered during the
      few months of doubtful tranquility that has reigned in this county, and the
      man's face being blackened is a well-known symptom of rebellion."
      "P.S.- I have opened my letter to inform you that one of Mr. Raymond's
      offices, at Hollywood, lately occupied as a barrack, was burnt last night
      (Monday) by White Boys."
      Within the last few nights parties of ruffians visited several houses
      between Clarina and Adare in this county. They flogged a farmer, named
      Lynch, at Briskee; and the dwelling of Mr. C. Parker was attacked by an
      unarmed party, who beat him for not sending out his servant to be flogged by
      Monday night, John Frayley received a flogging, near Rathkeale, from a
      party of ruffians. He was suspected of giving information.
      At an early hour on Monday morning, a communication reached the
      Police-office of Captain Drought, in his city, that at six o'clock on the
      preceding evening, two men of his infantry corps, named Gunnell and
      Armstrong, returning from Castle Connell to their quarters at Bird-hill,
      were attacked on the Gouigg-road, and that the former was murdered, and the
      body supposed to have been thrown into a bog-hole, as no trace could be
      found of it. At three o'clock, however, a messenger arrived who stated that
      Gunnell has been found in the corner of a ditch, at some distance from where
      the attack was made upon him; and that, though wounded and stabbed in
      several parts of the body, he was likely to recover. Various causes are
      assigned for this outrage; but as an inquiry is about to take place, we
      abstain from noticing any of the rumours.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
      IGP Projects - Limerick Archives
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