Irish Catholic Chronicle And People's News of the Week
Saturday, 16 November 1867
THE TRIAL OF THE FENIANS AT MANCHESTER
On Friday the trial of John Carroll, Charles Moorehouse, and Daniel Redden,
for riot and misdemeanor was proceeded with, and the evidence having concluded,
the jury, after an absence of town hours, convicted all the prisoners. The
authorities have not relaxed any of the precautions surrounding the removal of
prisoners to and from the court-house. They are still escorted, as heretofore,
by infantry and cavalry; and so severe have been the duties entailed upon the
57th and 72nd Regiments, in providing the necessary guards to the court, the
gaols, &c., that the men, it is stated, d not get more, on the average, than two
nights rest a week, and are obliged during a greater part of that time to take
their food cold.
On Saturday morning a batch of prisoners were brought for trial before Mr.
Justice Blackburn. Their names are Thomas Scally, Michael Joseph Boylan, Henry
Wilson, Michael Kennedy, Michael Maguire, William Murphy and Patrick Kelly.
Mr. Pickering, Q.C., on behalf of the crown, intimated that he intended to
offer no evidence against Boylan, Maguire and Kelly.
Mr. Justice Blackburn - Then they must be discharged at once.
Mr. Ernest Jones, who was supported by Mr. Cottingham, made an application
that the cost of the witnesses for the prisoners, who had been discharged,
should be allowed.
Mr. Justice Blackburn said the application would require some
The trial of the prisoners was then proceeded with. In the course of the
day it was intimated by the prosecution that they would not press the charge
against Wilson, and the judge therefore ordered him to be discharged from
custody. The witnesses for the defence were part heard when the court adjourned.
MANCHESTER, TUESDAY - The labours of the special commission are fast
drawing to a close. This morning the last batch of Fenian prisoners were placed
in the dock. Their names are - Wm. Martin, John Francis Nugent, Patrick Coffey,
John Bacon, William John Brophy, John Brennan and Timothy Featherstone.
Mr. Pickering, Q.C., announced that the prosecution intends to proceed
against two of the prisoners only, Brennan and Featherstone, and on the
suggestion of the judge, he entered a nolle prosequi against the other five, who
were discharged so far as the present indictment. The two prisoners then stood
indicted for riot.
A good deal of evidence was taken. The judge reading his former notes, and
the different witnesses confirming them, the trials were brought to a conclusion
at eight o'clock this evening, when the jury, after a quarter of an hour's
consultation convicted both prisoners. These, and the five previously convicted
of misdemeanour, were then placed in the dock, and each of the seven were
sentenced to five year's penal servitude. The only prisoner who attempted to
speak was Murphy, who protested that he was convicted solely on account of the
newspapers found in his possession.
The court adjourned.
As John Francis Nugent, one of the discharged prisoners mentioned above,
was leaving the court he was apprehended by head-constable Thomas Welby of the
Irish Constabulary, on the Lord Lieutenant's warrant, charging him with
treason-felony. Nugent was one of those concerned in the rising in the north of
Ireland, in Drogheda, in March last, and only escaped from the police on that
occasion by jumping from a window when they were on the point of arresting him.
He was now handcuffed and taken to the Albert-street station, preparatory to his
removal to Dublin later in the day.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News