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Tyrone Assizes, Omagh, Co. Tyrone July 1834

Extracted from the Londonderry Sentinel July 26, 1834
Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by
Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia
len_swindley[at]hotmail.com

 

TYRONE ASSIZES

On Thursday week, the gentlemen summoned to represent the different baronies of this county, under the New Grand Jury Act, assembled in the Court-house, and were sworn by the clerk of the Crown. They immediately proceeded to the fiscal business of the county.

On Saturday, soon after three o’clock, the Right Hon. CHIEF BARON JOY arrived at the Court-house when the Grand Jury were sworn for the Crown business.

J. C. MOUTRAY, Esq. Foreman

A. W. C. HAMILTON, Esq.

Mervyn STEWART, Esq

Hon. A. G. STEWART

Thomas H. BROWN, Esq.

Sir R. A. FERGUSON, Bart.

James LENDRUM, Esq.

Charles RICHARDSON, Esq.

W. S. RICHARDSON, Esq.

E. BUNBERRY, Esq.

Jones CRAWFORD, Esq.

E. H. CAULFIELD, Esq.

H. L. PRENTICE, Esq.

Wm. L. CONYNGHAM, Esq.

John HUMPHREYS, Esq.

Col. H. MONTGOMERY

J. C. YOUNG, Esq.

J. GALBRAITH, Esq.

Richard BURGESS, Esq.

R. W. MAXWELL, Esq.

James HAMILTON, Esq.

A. McCAUSLAND, Esq.


 

The Chief Baron then briefly addressed the Grand Jury, by stating, that on looking at the calendar, he had to congratulate them on the state of their county: but he found since he came into the town, that there was more to do then expected, for a number of persons were out on bail to take their trial at these Assizes, whose names did not appear on the face of the calendar. He therefore wished magistrates would forward in due time, lists of such matters as were returned to the Assizes, as he had found,when he was Attorney General, a great degree of difficulty in ascertaining what the Crown should prosecute. He regretted to find, however, that there were several persons for trial for a breach of the law against party processions. He was sorry that the intelligent men of these northern counties should infringe on the law, in keeping with those foolish party differences, when he should expect that they set an example to the more enlightened inhabitants of the south of obedience to the law, and have an end put to anything tending to create a bad feeling in the country.

A few prosecutors were then called, and bills sent up to the Grand Jury, when the Court adjourned till Monday at nine o’clock.

 

SECOND DAY – MONDAY, July 21

The Chief Baron entered the Crown Court at ten o’clock – None of the trials were of the slightest interest – viz.:

ELLEN ROGAN

Larceny at Dergmoney – Not guilty.

PATRICK McKEEVER

Assault on PATRICK BAIRD, at Dromore, on the 17th March last – No prosecution – discharged.

EDWARD DRUMM

Indicted for joining in a riotous assembly at Arboe, on the 7th August 1832, and an assault on DAVID DUFF, Chief Constable of Police – Submitted. To be imprisoned one week and give security to keep the peace.

PETER McGURK

For an assault and robbery on JOHN FRAZER, on the highroad between Dungannon and Killyman, on 19th June last. – Not guilty.

MARY HEGARTY

For stealing a quantity of tea and sugar from EDWARD McKINNY, at Strabane. – Not guilty.

ELIZABETH LOVE, MARY DORAGH, ROBERT LOVE and JOHN LOVE

For a violent assault of CHARLES DEVLIN, of Dunrain. This trial lasted two hours, but was devoid of interest. JOHN LOVE alone, was found guilty, and sentenced to be imprisoned two years, and kept to hard labour. The others were discharged.

Adjourned at 6 o’clock.

 

THIRD DAY –TUESDAY, July 22.

JOHN ALLEN

Was put to the bar, charged with the wilful murder of DAVID MULLIN, at Crieve. It was stated that the prisoner was a lunatic, and a Jury was impanneled to try the case; after hearing the evidence of DR. MAXWELL, who swore that he considered Allen was of an unsound mind, that he had been insane, without a lucid interval, ever since he was committed to prison, they found a verdict accordingly.

ARCHIBALD SAWYERS

For feloniously cutting off the tails of two cows, belonging to JOSEPH SAWYERS and JAMES CLARK, at Redargin, on the 3rd of July last. Not guilty

JAMES HILL, JOHN ELLIOTT, CHARLES RUTLEDGE, and WILLIAM McCUTCHEON, sen.

For a violent assault on CHARLES BRADLEY, on 22nd May 1833, at Killen. Other counts charged the prisoners with inflicting bodily harm, so to andanger his life, &c., and the last for a common assault.

It appeared that this case arouse out of a dispute about bog, or the right to cut turf; that HILL and the BRADLEYS had been contending for it for two years past – that on the morning in question, Hill, with the other prisoners, and several other persons, attempted to go into the bog, through the prosecutor’ s land, by force; that Bradley and his brother opposed him – that four of Hill’s party laid hold of Bradley, and that he (the said Hill) struck Bradley on the head with a spade, and fractured his skull, from which he was confined to bed for thirteen weeks; Bradley’s head bore evident marks on the injury he has sustained. The trial lasted a long time, and the jury after being confined for three hours, found Hill guilty, and acquitted the others – to be imprisoned 12 months.

Mr. SCHOALES, for the Crown, stated that the Attorney-General, in ordering this prosecution, wished to convince the country that it was the determination of the Government to punish all such persons as would be found either obstructing or refusing to comply with the law, as was the case of present instance. He was glad that the prisoners had taken the advice of their excellent Counsel, and had expressed sorrow for their conduct; and as there was now an opportunity of showing to the country that opposition to the payment of county cess, or any other other cess, would be severely punished, he trusted that it would be taken as a salutary warning, and prevent such unlawful acts for the future. He concluded by expressing a wish that, as this was their first offence, and that they had made every atonement in their power, and had promised never to so commit themselves again, his Lordship would use his clemency, and not make punishment severe.


 

OPPOSITION TO THE PAYMENT OF COUNTY CESS

PATRICK McDEVITT

For rescuing a mare which had been seized for county cess, in the parish of Urney, on 3rd July, 1833 – Submitted.

JOHN, JAMES, THOMAS and WILLIAM CAIRNS

For rescuing a cow, and ANNE SHEERIN and ALICE McALWEE, for the like, also severally submitted.

Counsellor JONES addressed the Court on their behalf. He explained how a system of opposition to the payment of county cess had been sometime since organised in Strabane; that up to that time the prisoners had been quiet in their misdemeanor, and regular in their payments of cess; that they were poor but industrious people, but admitted that, in following in the example of persons who ought to have acted quite differently, thay had transgressed the law, as stated in the indictments. – Mr. Jones strongly urged upon the Court that his clients were extremely sorry for their conduct – they acknowledged their guilt , and offered every attonement in their power; he therefore implored the clemency of the Court. The Learned Baron was glad that the prisoners had taken the very proper advice of their Counsel, or he would be certainly have laid a heavy hand upon them – it was absolutely necessary to maintain the majesty of the law. It was unfortunate (he said) that so many in this country suffered themselves to be made the dupes of cunning and designing men, who were the worst enemies of their country. He regretted that the more innocent were frequently made the victims; but, under any circumstances, such acts would not be tolerated. As the conduct of the prisoners had heretofore been meritorious, and as they had been the last to give way to those who had been instrumental raising the county cess, he would only order them to be imprisoned for one week.

The Court was occupied the remainder evening in revenue cases, and adjourned at 6 o’clock.

 

FOURTH DAY – WEDNESDAY, JULY 23

PATRICK McANANEY, JAMES MULLEN, JOHN McCULLOUGH, and ARTHUR BRADLEY

At ten o’clock, [the prisoners] were put to their trial, chaged with having, with others, to the number of 300, unlawfully assembled at Plum Bridge, on the 17th March last, with arms, flags, badges &c., to celebrate Patrick’s Day, to the great terror of his Majesty’s subjects, and contrary to the statute, in that case made and provided. – They pleaded guilty.

Mr. DOHERTY addressed the Court for the traversers, stating that they had acted in ignorance of the law – that they had no conception that the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day was looked upon either as a religious or political festival; they had, therefore, determined to go to trial on the present indictment. He had informed them that they had laboured under misconception – they had violated the law – and he had to assure the Court, that the moment he had informed them, they expressed their willingness to submit, and he had instructed them to tender their submission to the Court. They were heartily sorry for their conduct, and even went further – they were willing to pledge themselves that they would never do the like again, and, also, that they would do all in their power to prevent others from violating the law. Under these circumstances, he trusted his Lordship would extend to them the clemency of the Court.

Mr. SCHOALES said, that under such circumstances, it was not the wish of the Crown to act with severity – they merely wished the majesty of the law upheld. As the traversers had submitted, they left their case entirely to his Lordship, assured that he would act in such a way as would tend to preserve the peace of the country.

His Lordship said, the laws should be vindicated – he would, however, only mark the offence in such a way as, while it would show the public that no man would be allowed to act in direct opposition to the law, and the statute, would not press heavily on the prisoners. He ordered them to be imprisoned one fortnight.

 

COMMEMORATION OF MIDSUMMER

Thirty-four Roman Catholics were now put forward , for having assembled, on Midsummer night last, at Carrickmore, with music, & c., contrary to the statute.

On being called on to plead, they said not guilty. After consuting with their Counsel, Mr. DOHERTY, they submitted, and the Chief Baron said they had come to a wise resolution. Had they gone to trial, he would certainly have laid a heavy hand upon them, for it was the determination of government to put down all such processions; and that he had to warn them not again to break the law, or they would be punished with the greatest sevirity. As this was the first case of the kind which had come before a Court of Justice, he ordered that the traversers should be discharged, on entering into their own recognizances to appear again, if called on.

ORANGE PROCESSIONS

Nine Orangeman wwere arraigned for being in procession , on the 12th July, 1834, at Coagh, contrary to the peace and statute. They submitted, and W.L. CONYNGHAM, Esq., gave them all excellent characters, as respectable and peacable men, and said he would undertake to promise, if his Lordship would act lightly with them, that they would not again be found breaking the law.

The Chief Justice said that they could not plead ignorance of the law, but from the good characters they had received he would only order them to be imprisoned for a fortnight, hoping that this would be a warning to them, and that they would not hereafter be found wanting in such an illegal manner.

JAMES TONNER

Was arraigned and indicted for the wilful murder of HUGH O’NEILL, at Magheralongfield, on 10th April last. The prisoner is about 70 years of age – very infirm – and kept rubbing his hands, and moving himself repeatedly during the trial. After a number of witnesses for the prosecution had been heard, and no defence being made, the Jury in about five minutes, gave in the verdict. – Guilty of Manslaughter in his own defence. After a few words from the Judge, the issue was returned to the foreman, and handed back with the amended verdict. – Not guilty.

The prisoner, before leaving the dock, thanked both Judge and Jury, and wished them and all in the Court long life and prosperity

BERNARD O’NEILL, PATRICK McMULLEN and JOHN HARGAN

After the trial had terminated, the Crown Solicitor had [the prisoners] who had been examined in evidence for the prosecution arrested. They are to be tried for perjury, not having sustained their informations, as taken at the inquest.

ANNE GALLAGHER

for the murder of her illegitimate child, at Drumard, near Dungannon, on the 25 th June last. – Not guilty

HUGH WARNOCK

for being of riotous assembly at Dromore, and for attempting to pull down the house of a person named McGUIRE. – Not guilty

CHARLES McGUIRE and PHILIP McCUSKER

for being of a riotous assembly at Trillick, on 14th June last, and for a violent assault on JOSEPH BLAKELEY It appeared that the prisoners were Roman Catholics, and that they were of a most riotous mob, who attacked and beat several Protestants in the fair of the day mentioned. Several witnesses clearly proved the case, and that McCusker was the person who had knocked down and severly abused Joseph Blakeley. For the defence, three or four witnesses swore they saw Blakeley knocked down, and that it was not McCusker who did so. The Jury, however, believed the evidence for the prosecution, and found the prisoners guilty.McCusker of both riot and assault. McGuire of the riot only. McCusker to be transported seven years – McGuire to be imprisoned for twelve months, and kept to hard labour.

Several petty cases were disposed of, and the Court adjourned at six o’clock.

 

On Thursday, Baron Joy was occupied in passing the presentments, while Chief Justice Doherty proceeded to open the Assizes at Lifford [Co. Donegal]

 

RECORD COURT

After the Records (four in number, a report of one of which we had in type, but obliged to omit it till our next), were disposed of, Chief Justice DOHERTY proceeded to try a few cases. The last came before the Court on Thursday evening, was the most extraordinary, we will venture to say, which was brought to trial in any Court of Justice – that of a loyal subject for proposing three cheers for the King William the Fourth! and his late declaration to the Bishops!! Will this be credited!? The following will satisfy our readers and prepare the Protestants of Ireland for what they are to expect from our Whig rulers.

ROBERT JOHNSTON, (of Omagh) was indicted under the anti-Boyne act for being of a riotous assembly, with arms, badges, &c., at Dungannon, on 1st July last, and for there joining in procession, to the great terror and imminent danger of his Majesty’s leige subjects, and contrary to the statute in that case made and provided. He pleaded not guilty.

Mr. SHERIFF WHITE, examined by Mr. SMYLY – was at the sessions of Dungannon on 1st July last; Robert Johnston was also there; there was a kind of procession through the streets that night; did not see Johnston with the procession; saw a crowd gathered around a tar-barrel in another part of the town; witness was standing near it, in company with CAPTAIN DUFF, of the police; saw Johnston also standing near the tar-barrel; the crowd cheered; heard Johnston give three cheers for King William the Fourth, and his declaration to the Bishops!! Heard him join in the cheer; none of the crowd had arms, nor was there riot or disturbance of any kind. Here Mr. Smyly said they had no other witness to produce, and he was afraid the indictment could not be sustained

The Learned Judge – From what has appeared, the traverser is not guilty of any crime.

The Jury at once found a verdict accordingly.

Comment on the above case is unnecessary. Think of the Sheriff of a County being compelled to prosecute a peaceable subject for giving three cheers for our good and gracious King!!! What next?