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Tyrone Assizes, Omagh, March 1848


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Tyrone Assizes, Omagh, March 1848
Transcribed from the Armagh Guardian March 13 1848

Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia
len_swindley[at]hotmail.com



At half-past nine o’clock Baron Pennefather entered the Court, and took his seat on the bench.

The following petty jury were empanelled:

Mr. Alexr. McCOLLEY

Mr. John BUCHANAN

Mr. Sam. YOUNG

Mr. Archd. OSBORNE

Mr. John McCLELLAND

Mr. Sam. CULBERTSON

Mr. Robert CARSON

Mr. Andrew STEEN

Mr. Thomas FERGUSON

Mr. Joseph ALCORN

Mr. William OSBORNE

Mr. James HOUSTON



The following were put to their trials:

EDWARD McDONALD

Indicted for having broken through the roof of the barn of ADAM ARMSTRONG, of Ballygawley, on the 17th January last, and taking therefrom three bags, one winnowing cloth and a particular instrument connected with a thrashing machine. Prisoner pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment.

JAMES McMAHON

Pleaded guilty to the charge of having entered the dwelling-house of CATHERINE MACKEY, at Desertcreat, on the 22nd December last, and stealing therefrom various articles, and was sentenced to be transported for seven years.

JOHN DUNSEATH

Indicted for entering the dwelling-house of AGNES SPEAR at Stewartstown, on the 14th February last, and stealing therefrom 6 in notes and 7 in silver. Not Guilty

JOHN SCROGGY

ROBERT SCROGGY

Indicted for having base coin in their possession. Guilty – 18 months’ imprisonment

ARTHUR McAWARD

Indicted for being one of a party who entered the dwelling-house of MICHAEL McCULLIN, at Glencoppagh, on 23rd November last, and presented a pistol at his breast, while the others carried off goods, his property. Not guilty

JANE HENRY

BRIDGET DEVLIN

For colouring and casing over base coin, Guilty – to be transported for ten years

CATHERINE DEVLIN

Indicted over a similar charge, and pleaded guilty, was sentenced to imprisonment for ten calendar months

JOHN BRISLAND

For stealing a satin vest, on the 19th January last, the property of REBECCA CARLIN, of Strabane. Guilty.

PATRICK KELLY

JAMES MURRAY

For having, on the 29th November last, at Garvalagh, been found in the act of manufacturing base coin. Not guilty.

OWEN McCRORY

For committing a rape on the body of MARY JANE LEVINGSTON, a child aged seven years, at Dervaghroy. The evidence produced in this case was unfit for publication. Guilty – to be imprisoned 18 calendar months.

THOMAS KANE

For stealing various articles from HENRY HAMIL, of Carricklongfield, on the 29th Dec. last. Guilty – to be transported 10 years.

OWEN PLUNKETT

For larceny, pleaded guilty.

JOHN DONAGHY

For burglary, pleaded guilty, and being an old offender, was sentenced to be transported ten years.

CATHERINE CALLAGHAN

for like offence, submitted – to be transported ten years.

JAS. HUGHES

On a charge of housebreaking and robbery of money, pleaded guilty – to be transported seven years.

THOMAS CASSIDY

For assaulting JOSEPH PORTER – Not guilty.

WM. McLEAN

For burglary; Not guilty



It being half-past five o’clock, the jury were dismissed, and the Court was engaged for some time in fiating the presentments.

JOHN WHITE

JOHN McNAMEE

JOHN GWYN

Indicted for entering the dwelling-house of NEAL McANULTY, at Rylands, on the 25th October last. Not guilty.

ROBERT PETTIGREW

For assaulting JOHN McANALLY, of Aughnasalis, on 10th February 1842, on the highway, and robbing him of sixpence in silver, and 1 – Not guilty.

FELIX LINN &

JOHN LINN

Were placed at the bar, charged with having aided and abetted in the murder of JOHN HEAZLETON, near Pomeroy, on 16th Nov. last. The Court ruled that prisoners should enter their own recognizances of 100 each, and two sureties of 25 each, to appear and take their trial at next Assizes.

MARY LENNON

For obtaining goods under false pretences, from ELIZABETH GRAY at Caledon, submitted; but, it appeared that the prisoner was an old offender, the court sentenced her to seven years’ transportation.

WILLIAM BROWN

For having in his possession several articles of wearing apparel, and other goods, with 14s. in silver, and two one pound notes, the property of THOMAS KEYS, near Fintona, he knowing some to be stolen. Guilty.

OWEN PLUNKETT

For larceny, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, with hard labour.

JOHN MORROW

A very young lad, was indicted for stealing a watch, from JOHN McGAW, of Stewartstown, on the 25th Feb. last. Guilty

JOHN McATARSNEY

BERNARD McATARSNEY

Father and son, for stealing two stones of potatoes, from JOHN CAMPBELL of Derrytresk, on the 20th February last. Guilty. JOHN McATARSNEY to be imprisoned six calendar months; BERNARD McATARSNEY three months, and both to be kept to hard labour

THOMAS FORD

For stealing on the 21st January last, twenty pounds in bank notes, and a number of butter cloths, the property of JOHN KANE of Lurganboy; and ISABELLA HUTCHINSON was indicted for having stolen goods in her possession. Guilty each to be transported for seven years

JOSEPH HACKETT

ELIZABETH HACKETT

PATRICK McANALLY

Indicted for stealing 90 stones of oats the property of JOHN BUCHANAN of Fintona, and MARGARET WATT of Fintona, was arraigned for receiving the same. Guilty – transported seven years.

EDWARD SLEVIN

Larceny. Guilty – four months imprisonment

MICHAEL MURPHY

larceny, Guilty – four months imprisonment

RACHEL McILDOO

For stealing various articles of goods from FREDERICK LINDSAY, at Desertcreat, on 21st January last, submitted, and was sentenced to seven years transportation

ANN JOB

BRIDGET MONAGHAN

For stealing two blankets on 2nd February last, at Trillick, the goods of TERRENCE McQUADE; and BRIDGET MONAGHAN was indicted for receiving said goods. Guilty – each to be transported seven years. The prisoner Job, on receiving sentence exclaimed ‘Thank God, it is not so bad as a bad marriage”

JANE WALSH

DOROTHEA LITTLE

For stealing two shawls, the goods of ROBERT BLACK, of Dungannon. JANE WALSH pleaded guilty; and the prisoner Little having taken her trial was found guilty – each to be transported seven years.

ANN GRIMES

MARY ANN GRIMES

Mother and daughter, for stealing five stones of oats from JAMES MILLER, of Derrycreevy, on the 1st March last. – Guilty – to be transported seven years

JANE McKENNA

For stealing poultry from WILLIAM FORBES, of Killen on the 27th January last. Guilty – to be imprisoned three months from date of committal, and be kept to hard labour.

FRANCIS DEVINE

JAMES McGOLDRICH

WM. SPROULE

HUGH GORMLEY

GEORGE DOLAN

For carrying away four cows from JAMES SEMPLE, of Lisnacreat, on the18th January last, under colour of civil-bill decree. Guilty each to be imprisoned one calendar month

WILLIAM BROWN

For stealing seventeen one shilling pieces and six pennies of the current coin, from THOMAS CORRY of Castlederg, on the 4th February last. Guilty – to be imprisoned six months with hard labour

MARY McVEY

For stealing some articles the property of THOMAS McCRORY of Castlederg, on the 4th Feb. last. Guilty – to be transported seven years.

CHARLES McGARTLAND

For assaulting WILLIAM CHAMBERS, of Mullaghmore, on 13th January last.

WILLIAM NIMMO

Charged with stealing a heifer, the property of PATRICK GAYER. Guilty – to be transported for ten years.

JAMES FYFFE

MARGRET FYFFE

For stealing two sheep the property of JAMES LENDRUM. The female prisoner was acquitted, the male prisoner found guilty, and sentenced to ten years transportation

JOSEPH KILLEN

For stealing a pair of clogs, the property of the Guardians of the Strabane Poor Law Union. Guilty – two months imprisonment and hard labour

JOHN CRIGAN

JOHN McCONNELL

Two little boys, pleaded guilty to the charge of two cakes of bread, value three-halfpence, in Dungannon. Each to be imprisoned one month, and then be sent to Dungannon workhouse

MATTHEW McGRORY

Pleaded guilty to the charge of stealing a towel. Three months’ imprisonment and to be kept at hard labour

MICHAEL CASSIDY

SUSAN CASSIDY

HANNAH KANE

For stealing sixteen stone of potatoes, the goods of JAMES CROW. MICHAEL CASSIDY guilty, the other prisoners acquitted – to be imprisoned six months and kept to hard labour



WRITING AND SENDING THREATENING NOTICES

JOHN BUCHANAN and JANE BUCHANAN were indicted, for that they, on the 19th December, at Omagh, did cause a certain letter to be delivered to WILLIAM TODD, threatening him with instant death for giving land to MR RUTLEDGE, who was stiled [sic] “an informer” in this notice. There was a second count in the indictment, charging Jane Buchanan with writing the letter, and John Buchanan for aiding and abetting in the writing thereof. The Court was crowded to excess during the whole of the trial, and the deepest interest was manifested by all present as to the result, as the traversers are persons moving in a respectable sphere.

MR. SCHOALES opened the case for the Crown. He said he was labouring under indisposition, which prevented him from stating the case as fully as he wished, and as its importance required. They (the jury) had heard the indictment read, and they all knew that part of the Blessington estate, called Rash. This estate was sold recently, and Mr. William Todd, a gentleman in Dublin became the purchaser of the Rash property, and, consequently, received applications of various persons to become his tenants, and among others, from Mr. J. B. Rutledge. Mr. Todd, in the exercise of his own right and discretion, selected Mr. Rutledge in preference to any other, and gave the land to him. This offended Buchanan, as he wanted the land for a person named QUINN, who was formerly in occupation of the land. It would appear that on the evening of the 19th Dec., after the mail had been dispatched, the letter-box of this town had been emptied, but shortly after eleven letters were dropped into the box, in the same handwriting. It was necessary to state these facts, as they bore on some parts of the case. – Among those letters, was one addressed to “Mr. Todd”, Omagh and this gentleman, residing in Dublin at the time, the letter was forwarded to him by his agent, MR. JOHN BLACKER BUCHANAN. Mr. Todd immediately on receiving the letter gave informations and the result is the present trial. He need not tell them that although the crime was but a misdemeanour, yet it was most injurious to the character of the country and the peace and harmony of society. If the persons to whom the threatening notices are addressed be timid, it has the effect of terrifying them and destroying the comfort of their families. Any man who had a spite against another, has only to take this method of annoying him, which was, after all, a cowardly system of revenge, as it tended to make the parties miserable to whom the notices are addressed. He would read them the contents of the letter. The learned counsel then proceeded to read the following the following letter commenting on its contents as he proceeded: - “MR. TODD – You have come into a quiet neighbourhood; and if it is true that you have refused to let your land to Quinn and give it to that informer, Rutledge, prepare for death. Molly Maguire and her child has been watching you what you would do. This is the first and last notice you will get, so you have been better treated than you deserve, “MOLLY MAGUIRE”.

His lordship briefly charged the jury, and a verdict of not guilty, in a few minutes, was returned.






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