!! Ballina Chronicle; Sep 26, 1849 "Novel Interment"
- BALLINA CHRONICLE
Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
Wednesday, Sept 26, 1849
CORK POLICE OFFICE- Saturday.
Constable Hosford placed and elderly female, named Ellen Riordan, better
known as "Kerry Nell," before the Bench, for "raising the wind" under the
following curious circumstances.
Mr. E. Newsom informed the bench that he had the honour of being,
unfortunately for himself, church-warden of the parish of St. Finn Barr. Being
aware of the various modes that parties adopted to plunder the citizens, by
obtaining money from church-wardens for foundlings, he was determined, as far as
lay within his power, to prevent it, the children were put on the parish for
support, who should have been supported by their parents; the parish also
plundered by getting money for children who were dead; and, as in the present
case, plunder was obtained by interments though foundlings had not died. The
prisoner now before the bench had obtained a parish coffin for a foundling,
which of course the citizens had to pay for. This coffin she carried to St. Finn
Barr's church-yard and interred there, which entitled her to a certificate from
the clergyman of the burial of the foundling. On the production of that
certificate to him, the prisoner would be entitled to the expenses of interment,
and what nursing money was due. This the prisoner had done, but he (Mr. Newsom)
thinking that all was not right, went to the churchyard and had the coffin dug
up, when, to his surprise, on its being opened, he found it to be filled with
Captain White remarked jocosely was deserving of antiquarian inquiry.
Mr. Newsom said the best of the story was, that the prisoner, when
overlooking the interment of the coffin, appeared, as he was informed, deeply
affected for the dead child; and so desirous was she that it should be deposited
in its final resting place with every care and affection that she would not
allow any person to touch it, and actually placed the coffin in the grave
Captain White inquired what the prisoner had to say in defence?
Constable Hosford- She has made a voluntary confession that she had buried
the coffin, but the reason she gave was, that Mr. Newsom had refused to pay her
for another child because she was unable to obtain a certificate from the
Mr. Newsom- When the proper time comes I'll prove that the child was
interred in Carrignaver churchyard, the certificates for which I hold in my
hand. As Mr. Hodder, the law agent to the church-wardens, is absent, for the
present remand the prisoner, against whom information shall be sworn."
Captain White-That shall be done.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News