Denis Nowlan and Edward Furlong were put to the bar, charged with
stealing 30lb. Of tobacco, the goods of Thos.Condell, of Hacketstown.
James Ferris, - Is just come out of the dock; knows the prisoners at
the bar; has two brothers, John and Peter; recollects the robbery; he went
to it with his brother; Mr Furlong, the other prisoner at the bar, and
witness’s brother John, were present witness placed his brother sentry at
the door; witness went in first; Mr Furlong followed; they stripped the
house; witness could not open the press himself, but called Furlong to
assist him; when they had got the tobacco, they handed it out to Nowlan;
the party kept three rolls; Furlong got two; witness sold his own share.
Cross-examined by Mr GREENE. – Witness is just come from Carlow-gaol;
he has not been in more than two gaols – once in each. How many robberies
have you been at altogether? Together – (laughing) – why, sure I could not
be at more than one at a time. – You certainly have knocked me down by
that answer. (Loud laughing in the court.) Come, pray now, tell us how
many you have been at? I never put them down; for I never thought it would
come to my turn to give an account of them. By virtue of you oath, Sir,
will you swear that you have not been at fifteen? I would not! – (Witness
laughing.) – Would you swear that you have not been at twenty? I would
not! – (Still laughing.) Do you recollect robbing the widow Byrne in the
county of Wicklow?
The widow Byrne, who is she? Maybe it is Bigg Nell you
mean. Oh! I only took a trifle of whiskey from her, that’s all – Was it
day or night? (Laughing.) Why it was night to be sure – Did you not rob
the poor woman of every article in the house; even her bed-clothes, and
the clothes off her back? I took clothes, but they were not on her back. –
Do you recollect stealing two flitches of bacon from Doran, the Wexford
carman? Faith I do; and a pig’s head besides. (Loud laughing in the
Court.) – Do recollect robbing John Keogh, in the county of Wicklow, and
taking every article in his house? You’re wrong there; I did not take
everything; I only took his money, and a few other little things! (Witness
and the auditory laughing immoderately.) – Why you’re a mighty good
humoured fellow? There is not a better humoured fellow in the country –
there may be honester.
Do you know old Mr Furlong? I do; he summoned me
before a magistrate for robbing his tenant. – Pray Sir, don’t you know,
that in consequence of your giving testimony here today, your life is to
be saved; and that by agreement you are to plead guilty to another
indictment? I do not. – Did not Mr Condell propose it? He did not.
Peter Ferris (brother to the last witness) lived in Hacketstown in July
last, at the time of the robbery, which he recollects; his two brothers
were going to Condell’s, when they met with young Furlong, who went with
them; Furlong brought out a bag with a bulk in it like tobacco!
Cross-examined. – Witness (after considerable hesitation) admitted that
he had conversed with Condell and Hones, Condell’s brother-in-law, after
he had been examined before the Grand Jury; however, he would not swear
any thing that would hurt his soul; lives now near Carlow; had a fever,
but it was on Easter Sunday, and not at the time of the robbery; he was in
perfect health at the time; no person came to see him the day after; the
bed in which he lay had been searched for the tobacco; witness never gave
any information whatever, until yesterday, before the Grand Jury;
witness’s mother sent for him yesterday, but did not tell him to
prosecute; Mr Jones, Condell’s brother-in-law, told him to tell the truth,
but not to hurt his soul; if he knew any thing, he would tell the truth to
save his soul; why shouldn’t he? Can’t tell (laughing) which of his three
brothers is the greatest rogue; Peter, John, and James, are his brothers;
never told any one what he knew until yesterday.
Wm. Nicholson. – Knows Condell, of Hacketstown; recollects the robbery;
knows the prisoner Furlong, and never knew any thing of him but honesty;
he never came to witness to sell tobacco. Prosecution closed.
Nr M’NALLY. – My Lord, we shall not enter into any defence. Mr
Furlong’s presence is sufficient as to his character; his appearance is
abundant proof of his reputation.
His Lordship did not see one particle of evidence to criminate the
The Jury, in one minute, acquitted the prisoners, to the manifest
satisfaction of a very crowded Court.
James Ferris, the approver, was then indicted for stealing 30lb. Weight
of tobacco, the property of Thomas Condell. He pleaded guilty, and while
the Clerk of the Crown put the usual question to the prisoner. “What have
you to say why sentence of death and execution shall not be pronounced
against you?” the fellow pleaded the benefit of the statute, and laughed
in his face.
- Carlow Assizes
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