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!! Connaught Journal; Aug 12,. 1824 "Carroll Trial - Defence and Verdict - Part 3"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    ...continued... THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL Galway, Thursday, August 12, 1824 FOR THE DEFENCE. Dr. Devereux examined by Mr. Dixon Is a physician; knows Father
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 26, 2005
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      ...continued...

      THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL
      Galway, Thursday, August 12, 1824

      FOR THE DEFENCE.
      Dr. Devereux examined by Mr. Dixon
      Is a physician; knows Father Carroll for the last 14 years; remembers the
      unfortunate transaction now under discussion; had been for the last three years
      in attendance on Mr. Carroll, with the exception of two months previously to
      this transaction; and during that period he had not seen him. To a question of
      what he thought of Mr. Carroll's state of health, the witness replied that he
      laboured under a determination of blood to the head, a confusion of ideas, and
      impaired memory, and he considered him incapable of understanding even simple
      subjects. He was what medical men call having a predisposition to insanity, not
      always relieved by medicine. Mr. Carroll had ceased to take medicine for two
      months previously to this unfortunate act. Witness saw him by accident on the
      day of the 9th July kneeling in the gripe of a ditch by the rode [sic] side with
      his hat off, and covered with dust; he was then apparently very much deranged.
      This occurred between four and five o'clock in the evening, and before any part
      of the occurrence now before the Court had taken place. He had known the
      prisoner for 14 years, and during that period he had borne the character of
      being a most exemplary man, and a most pious clergyman; witness thinks that his
      having omitted for two months to take his medicine which had been prescribed for
      him to that state of fanaticism which deluded him into the idea that he could
      work miracles; knows Miss Browne; attended her; there was to witness's knowledge
      a delusion among the people as to supernatural powers being vested in Father
      Carroll as well as in other Roman Catholic Priests; Witness's profession leads
      him to mingle with the lower orders, and he can therefore swear that he finds a
      great proneness in them to believe in miracles, and also the people are
      possessed by the Devil, and that the Priests have the power of banishing him.
      Cross-examined by Mr. Fox
      Mr. Carroll ceased to take medicine for two months previously to this
      transaction; witness believes that his so ceasing to take medicine occasioned
      his derangement. About three years ago Mr. Carroll was affected but had no
      particular delusions at the time. Witness lives in Wexford and the prisoner in
      the parish of Killinick, within four miles of Wexford, and continued to
      officiate as a Priest in it up to the period o this transaction; never apprised
      Carroll's friends of his tendency to insanity; the Rector of the parish heard of
      the circumstance preceding the occurrences for which the prisoner is now
      standing his trial, but he did not interfere to prevent the prisoner from
      officiating. Witness believes Mr. Carroll a person incapable of distinguishing
      between right and wrong.
      The case on both sides being closed.
      Mr. Justice JOHNSON proceeded to charge the Jury. His Lordship stated that
      in this case the prisoner had been indicted for the wilful murder of Catherine
      Sinnot, and that the other prisoners had been indicted for being present, and
      for aiding and assisting in the murder. The fact of the death of the child
      having taken place, and by that violent means, and by the hand of Mr. Carroll,
      has been proved beyond the possibility of all doubt; that he is, therefore,
      guilty of a homicide is quite manifest; but it would be for the Jury to say,
      whether the prisoner, Carroll, at the time of his so committing the homicide,
      was in such a state of mind as to enable him to distinguish right from wrong.
      His Lordship, then, with regard to the other prisoners, desired the Jury to bear
      in mind the words of the law, which stated, that it was necessary that they
      should not alone be present at the murder, but that they must be aiding and
      abetting in the perpetration of it, or they could not be considered guilty in
      the eyes of the law. His Lordship then went into a detail of the evidence as
      given to the Jury and particularly cited the case of Hatfield.
      At two o'clock the Jury retired, and in a few minutes returned with their
      verdict of Not Guilty against five of the prisoners, and Not Guilty against
      Carroll, he being at the time insane.
      Some inaccuracy having occurred in the wording of the verdict, his Lordship
      desired that the exact words of the Act of Parliament should be copied and
      submitted to the Jury, as according to the 1st and 2d George the 3d, he would
      not be warranted in detaining the prisoners unless the precise words of the Act
      were specified in the finding of the Jury. The Jury again retired, and
      immediately returned the following verdict which was recorded.
      "We find Nicholas Wickham, Jas. Devereux, P. Parrel, Nicholas Carrish and
      Walter Scallan, Not Guilty, and we further find the said J. Carroll, at the time
      of the committal of the offence in the said indictment charged, was a person
      insane, and the said John Carroll has been acquitted by us of the said offence,
      on account of the said insanity."
      After the verdict had been delivered, the Jurors addressed the prisoner in
      nearly the following words:
      John Carroll, you have been indicted in this Court for murder and you
      pleaded, "Not Guilty" to the charge. From the plea you put in I must suppose
      that you were not when you pleaded in the state in which the Jury have since
      found you. The circumstances attending the case have made it necessary for me to
      comment upon it at some length at the present moment, which I forbore today in
      my charge, the more especially as a medical gentleman, whose profession
      naturally brings him in contact with the lower orders, has sworn that the
      peasantry of this country are prone to believe that Catholic Priests are gifted
      with supernatural power and capable of performing miracles- Many of the most
      dreadful facts which stain the pages of history have had their origin in
      fanaticism, and there cannot be a more melancholy proof to what length
      fanaticism can be carried, than what has happened this day. A clergyman of the
      Roman Catholic faith- a faith which embraces the great majority of the
      inhabitants of this country, and almost exclusively in certain districts the
      whole of the lower orders -exercises such influence over the minds of his
      parishioners, that he induces a number of them to remain quiet spectators while
      the life of a fellow creature is sacrificed! The efficacy of prayer to the Most
      High, no one can deny, but to say that an individual is capable of usurping the
      attributes of the Divinity, is blasphemy in the extreme. See what this
      assumption has led to in the present case- the murder of an innocent child, and
      that too in a manner which would shed disgrace upon the most brutal savage. You,
      Sir, and this child ill in bed- you procure a tub and in the most savage manner
      torture the infant until you at length deprive her of life. That you were the
      victim of delusion should have extended to the crowds by whom you were
      surrounded, and have prevented them from interfering, is a circumstance of too
      horrifying a nature for the mind to dwell upon. I hope, however, that what has
      this day transpired in this Court will teach the lower orders to distrust the
      promises of such professors.


      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
      http://www.IrelandOldNews.com/
    • Susan Patterson
      Phew!! Susan ... victim of delusion should have extended to the crowds by whom you were ... too ... has ... the
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 26, 2005
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        Phew!!
        Susan
        ----- > that you were the
        victim of delusion should have extended to the crowds by whom you were
        > surrounded, and have prevented them from interfering, is a circumstance of
        too
        > horrifying a nature for the mind to dwell upon. I hope, however, that what
        has
        > this day transpired in this Court will teach the lower orders to distrust
        the
        > promises of such professors.
        >
        >
        > Cathy Joynt Labath
        > Ireland Old News
        > http://www.IrelandOldNews.com/
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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