Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell  Papers
Window broke in Chapel Lane

By kind permission of Michael Purcell  12/2009

1823 Window broke in Chapel Lane.

Carlow 1823.

Witnessed by William Humprey, Esquire, one of his Majestys Justices of the Peace for Carlow. Whereas Roger Hughes of Carlow town, Gentleman, came this day before me and made Oath on the Holy Evangelists Saith that on Tuesday the Sixth Day of May, Thomas German , Late of Ballyh?, Farmer, came to Francis Hughes Dwelling House in Chapel Lane in the Town of Carlow in a most Riotous and Disorderly Manner, Broke a Window Thereon and Called him and the Inmates of the House ---Several Scandalous and Indifferent Names and Said that he would be Revenged of Him or Them. Sworn before me this 12th Day of May 1823.

(signed) William Humfrey. Roger Hughes.

The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.

Transcribed by Jean Casey, 2010


Garret Curren maketh Oath

24th April, 1823

Garret Curren maketh Oath that he is a Householder, and has a house where he actually resides, at Carlow and that he is worth the Sum of Ten Pounds Sterling, over and above all his just Debts and that he supports and maintains himself by Dealing.

(signed) Garret Curren, William Fishbourne and (her mark) Ann Shehan.

[note added 2010: Margaret McLoughlin is seeking a Magistrate's order that Ann Shehan be of good behaviour "towards His Majesty's Liege Subjects and particularly towards Margaret McLoughlin", Garret is swearing a Bond for Ann.]


The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.

Transcribed by Jean Casey, 2010

Secret Society 1823

Names: Coogan, Kavanagh, Fenlon & Toole

There are two dates recorded on the James Coogan's original  Statement - 1820 and 1823. I guess 1823 should be the date.

Here is another reference to the "Moll Doyles" in Carlow.

From the National Archives of Ireland.

Ref:  May 1820.


Chief magistrates, Head Office of Police, Dublin: issue of warrants for capture of persons alleged to have taken part in outrage in County Carlow

Letter from the magistrates, Head Office of Police, Dublin, to William H Gregory, Under Secretary of Ireland, Dublin Castle, to indicate that warrants have been issued in respect of persons alleged to have taken part in an outrage in County Carlow: also encloses copy deposition of Edward Daly, carpenter, and Patrick Daly, turner, both of 27 Garden Lane, Dublin, stating that on the night of Sunday 23rd April their house at Rathmore, County Carlow, came under attack by a gang of men, some of whom declared ‘We are the Boys that will Moll Doyle you’ states that they were warned’ that if they and their families did not leave their house before morning it would be burned about them; implicates a number of local men in the outrage including Thomas Neill, Thomas Donahue, Patrick Finnegan, Mathew Finnegan, Hal [Lanten] and Richard Boyce.


Secret Society 1823,

Names: Coogan, Kavanagh, Fenlon & Toole

[Note added by Michael Purcell, 2012.

There is a reference in the following report to swearing an oath "to be true to Moll Doyle". The "Moll Doyles" were one of the many secret societies operating during this period.

They were feared by most of the population and considered by many to be robbers and murderers.

In Donal McCartney's book "The Dawning of Democracy 1800 - 1870" (page 93) we read for the period 1821:

"A group calling itself the "Moll Doyles" was appearing in arms in Rathvilly, Co. Carlow, and attacking the houses of tenants who had offended against their agrarian code. A gang of thirty or forty had burned a house in King's County, shot a man, driven a bayonet in the eye of a woman and tried to cut out her tongue - she died the next day from her injuries and her mother died a few days later from shock".

[In the following report it appears that one of the "Moll Doyles" has turned informer.]

From Pat Purcell Papers

Names: Coogan, Gorman, Kavanagh, Fenlon & Toole.


The Informations of James Coogan of Killilish in the County of Wicklow. Who being duly sworn and examined Saith That in the month of February 1820 James Gorman of Woodfield (with others now in custody) in the County of Wicklow broke open a house on the lands of Tankardstown in the County of Carlow and took thereout a Keg of whiskey and brought same to the house of Laurence Kavanagh of Rathdaniel where said party drank part of same and at which period James Gorman Swore James Kavanagh of Rathdaniel to be true to Moll Doyle -- James Gorman and party then proceeded to the house of John Fenlon of Tankardstown which they broke open in Search of Arms – They afterwards went to the house of Laurence Toole of Tankardstown or wise Ballybit and took a Gun therefrom..

 (signed) James, his X mark, Coogan.

Being first duly read to James Coogan.

Sworn before me this 20th day of March 1823. (signed) Edward Box.

Transcribed by Friend of Carlow 2012.

The Hanging Judge, Lord Norbury, claimed some of the credit for breaking up the Moll Doyles as we learn from a recent posting from Turtle Bunbury -

The Times, July 28, 1823, p. 2


At the opening of the Queen's County Assizes, Lord Norbury, in charging the Grand Jury, alluded to the recent miracle of Prince Hohenloe performed in that county.  

"If," said his Lordship, " a female has been brought to the recovery of her speech in this county, God be praised but as great a miracle has been performed in another county (Carlow), where Moll Doyle has been made perfectly silent !" (Shouts of laughter.).  

He was glad to see even the humblest men in the community laugh when he talked of " the miracle!"

Prince Hohenloe, Pastorini & Prophecies.

In the recent post from Turtle Bunbury reference was made by Lord Norbury to "the miracle of Prince Hohenloe performed in the Queen's county".

Donal McCartney in his book "The Dawning of Democracy: Ireland 1800 -1870", (page 101) writes;-

"In the height of the fever about the prophecies of Pastorini, miracles were ascribed to Prince Hohenloe, a German priest who was visiting Ireland.

The miracles (one woman was said to have recovered her speech) were publicised by Bishop Doyle of Kildare and Leighlin and Archbishop Murray of Dublin in whose diocese the miracles were reported. Thanksgivings were offered in the churches, and at Ennis a high mass was celebrated. Reports of the miraculous cures seemed to confirm the truth of the Pastorini prophecies".

Source: Turtle Bunbury

[Note added by Michael Purcell 2012 -

According to the Michael Brophy research notes in the PPP the secret society of "Captain Rock" were trying to convince the people that the prophecies of Pastorini had special significance for Ireland.

Handbills were distributed by "The Rockites" stating that "all heretics (Protestants) would be eliminated in Ireland "before the dawning of 1826" as prophesied by "Signor Pastorini"

The date 25th December 1824 was believed to be the date the massacre of the heretics would begin.

Among the PPP there are two warning notices, dated February 1822, addressed to the "Heretic Landlords of Carlow" (naming nine landlords including Benjamin Bunbury) signed by "Captain Rock".

Born in 1771, Prince Alexander of Hohenloe was a member of the Bavarian royal family, he was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Church and became famous throughout Europe as a miracle worker.

He preformed many of his "miracles" by appointment, telling believers to pray at a certain time on a certain date in order to have their affliction cured.

Pastorini translated from Italian as "the little pastor" was sometimes referred to by the authorities in Ireland as "the little bastard".]

Rathvilly Gang were only out for themselves...there was no mention of secret societies at their trial in July 1822 before Lord Norbury in Carlow,  but, depending on who they were dealing with or what level of fear they were inspired to arouse, I am sure the gang often claimed they were representing -  Moll Doyles / Whiteboys / Ribbonmen / Rockites / Whitefeet / Carders / Blackfeet / Caravats / Shanavests /  Black Hens / Three Year Olds / Four Year Olds / Magpies or any of the other "secret societys' that were terrorising the countryside during this period....I will soon post extract from 1822 Captain Rock notice to the "Heritic Landlords of Carlow".

1822 Page 48 1823

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