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Clonmel assizes Dec. 16th 1815 From the Times
Contributed by Mary Heaphy


Clonmel Dec. 16th.
The Special Sessions of the peace, under the Insurrection Act, was holden by
adjournment in this town, on Saturday last. If we are to form an estimate of
the state of the County, from the number of Magistrates on the Bench, or of
prisoners in the Dock, we should hope that the peace of this of this
immediate neighbourhood is in rapid progress of improvement. The former was
not in any great multitude, though they were sufficient to do the business,
and the calendar was very slender.
Peter Connell was charged with being an idle and disorderly person, out of
his dwelling at improper hours, on the night of the 11th inst.
Joseph Hannan, a soldier of the North Cork Militia, swore that on the above
night, being sentry on the barracks at Clerihan, he apprehended the prisoner
there after 1 O'Clock at night. The prisoner was sober, and on being asked
where he was going, he answered to his family, who lived between Thurles and
Templemore; and Clerihan, he understood, was on the road between those two
places. After the witness was relieved, he heard the prisoner say, that he
had been a stable boy to one Carrol in Clonmel, that a man who slept with
him there charged him with robbing him of a two pound note, and that he was
going home in dread of being taken up.
This latter part of his account was supported by James Carrol, who keeps a
Carman's Inn, and swore that the prisoner, being in  his service, was
charged by a man who slept there, with robbing him, first of a five pound
note, then of  a two pound note, and lastly of a one pound note and the
remainder of change, This simpleton, after hesitating and entertaining his
suspicious of the prisioner for 2 to 3 days, at length determined to satisfy
himself assuredly of the delinquent, resorted to a card cutter, who secured
his conviction at once, and upon the strength of the card cutters
revelation, he swore an information against the stable boy, who seems by his
withdrawing to have been as credulous to the infallibility of this juggler
as the other. The prisioner had a good character and was acquitted.
Thomas Mullowney's case occupied a great length of time, and produced a long
and tedious detail of evidence. The fact of his offence (Of being out of his
dwelling at improper hours on the night of the 11th inst) was proved by
Robert Belville, a constable, who swore that, on that night, he found the
prisoner in bed in the house of one Madden, about 4 miles from the prisoners
residence, that the prisoners account of himself, was, that he had been
married by a Protestant Clergyman, for which the Priest had excommunicated
him, and that he was living amongst his friends, and that he had been 6
weeks at Maddens as a servant.
The Rev. Charles Tuckey under whose orders Beville went out on that night,
swore, that he desired Beville to search Maddens house for improper persons,
that he had married the prisoner about 6 months hence, that the Priest had
objected to marrying them, without making them pay something by way of
mulct?, for their indiscretion, as they had gone off together, that he (Mr.
Tuckey) had them called by banns, and married them, that he knows their
Parish Priest, and does not believe that he showed them any displeasure
afterwards or that he was the cause of Mullowney's absconding.
It appeared from a number of witnesses, that this evidence which the
prisoners family laboured hard to prove, was quite fictitious, the real
cause why he quitted his own house, being, that a warrant had been issued
against him at the prosecution of his own mother, for robbing her of corn
(whereas the corn and farm were his property, not her's), that he was
arrested under the warrant, that he was more active than the constables, and
effected his escape, and went to Maddens out of the way. The case was
perplexed by his own witnesses, the fabrication of whose testimony seemed to
be humanely thrown out of consideration by the bench and he was acquitted.
Mullowneys trial was not finished on Saturday, but ran a good deal into the
business on Monday, to which day the sessions were adjourned.
On Monday, John Hennessy was charged as an idle and disorderly person, with
being absent from his dwelling on the night of Saturday, the 9th inst.
Samuel Middleton, a constable on duty that night swore that about 10'30 he
took up the prisoner, whom he saw without his shoes or hat on, running from
a crowd, that was tumultous and noisy, outside the door of one Quinlan's, a
publican, who said that the prisoner having no money to pay for drink, he
(Quinlan) had taken his shoes and hat in pledge. The prisoner was at that
time unable, from the effects of drink, to give any account of himself, but
on the next morning, he said, that he had come from Mr. Clutterbuck's
neighbourhood to look for work, and that he had lived with his father-this
account of himself he gave in English.
On his defence, this man produced his brother, a man whose correctness in
his testimony was very credible, who swore, that the prisoner was for some
time back on and off at his fathers, that on the 9th he came to Clonmel, and
told witness that his business was to buy a riding coat, and to get the 5
shillings witness owed him, together with some money owed to him by another,
that they parted between 3 and 4 O'Clock, and witness didn't think the
prisoner would stay that night. He admitted that he heard his brother
absented himself from his own house, near MR. Clutterbuck's, in consequence
of a charge against him for attacking a house, and throwing down the chimney
of it, on the roadside near Knocklofty, and there was informations against
him for that offence.
Mr. Vowel, the gaoler, swore that, at the prisoners request, he got an order
from three magistrates to apply to Mr. Clutterbuck, to whom the prisoner
referred for a character-that he (Mr. Vowel) wrote one letter by post to
that effect, and another by the prisoners father, and this old man told him
he was sure Mr. Clutterbuck could do no good. The prisoner all through his
trial denied his ability to speak english. For the defence, Thomas Murphy,
farmer of Gormanstown, swore, that he knows the prisoner since boyhood-that
he never heard anything but what was honest of him, except about throwing
down the chimney near Knocklofty, which he heard was done by disturbers.
Hennessy was convicted.
Serjeant Moore, in passing sentence of seven years to Botany Bay upon him,
remarked that besided the accusation against him for attacking the house,
and in consequence of which the prisoner appeared a fugitive from justice,
there appears another felony laid to his charge , under which he is to
remain (still of course liable to the present sentence) for trial at the
ensuing assizes.
John Griffin, who was convicted at the sessions in Clonmel on Oct. 23rd of
having concealed arms, was brough up for judgement, the court having taken
time for consultation upon his case. It appeared on the trial that one
Dwyer, a constable, under the authority of two warrants, directed to him
only by Lord Cahir and Milo Bourke, Esq went in search of arms, that he took
one Evans, another constable, and a party with him, that within 200 yards of
Griffins house. They seperated, Evans going with a party yo Griffins, and
Dwyer, the special constabe named in the warrant going to another house. The
learned serjeant pronounced the judgement of the law, that the demand by
Evans was not so authorised as to make denial to him a crime, and,
therefore, upon that point of law, although there could be no manner of
question as to Griffins intentional quilt, he was entitled to be discharged,
but he was ordered to give security for his good behaviour, himself in 50s
and two surities of 25s each.
The sessions were then adjourned to Wed 27th of Dec. to be holden in