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Armagh Assizes
from the Belfast Commercial Chronicle 26 July 1809

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Armagh Assizes
from the Belfast Commercial Chronicle 26 July 1809

Transcribed by

The Assizes for this County commenced before Mr. Baron McCLELLAND in the Crown Court and Mr. Justice FOX in the Civil Bill Court. The following Gentlemen composed the Grand Jury:

William BROWNLOW, Esq.

John MOORE, Esq.

James VERNER, Esq.

John MAXWELL, Esq.

John OGLE, of Forkhill, Esq.

James JOHNSTON, Esq.


John O'DONNELL, Esq.

Wm. VERNER, Esq.

Robert THOMSON, Esq.

Robert MACAN, Esq.

William HARDY, Esq.

George ENSOR, Esq.

Jonathan SEAVER, Esq.

Joseph ATKINSON, Esq.

William LOFTIE, Esq.

James FORDE, Esq.

John Henry BURGESS, Esq.

John OGLE, of Fathom, Esq.

William REID, Esq.

George ATKINSON, Esq.


William IRWIN, Esq.

Owen O'NEILL was indicted for that he on 26 April 1809, at Mullinure, stole a gelding, price 8 Pounds, the property of Henry ALEXANDER. In this case the prosecutor having been bought over by the prisoner, he contradicted the informations he had originally sworn; whereon the Judge directed the Jury to acquit the prisoner, and requested the Clerk of the Crown to send to the Grand Jury immediately an indictment for perjury against the prosecutor. Prosecutor not yet tried on the indictment.

Alexander BELL - Against this man there were four different indictments. The first capital one under Lord Ellenborough's act, for that he on 31 July 1806, 46th year of his Majesty, with a bayonet, did stab James BIRMINGHAM, with intent to murder him; the second for assaulting him with intent to murder him on the same day; the third for an assault on 28 February 1807, 47th of his Majesty; the fourth for the like on 14 June 1806, 46th of his Majesty. The prisoner at first pleaded guilty, but Mr. Baron McCLELLAND, with great humanity, refused to listen to such a plea; the trial then went on, when the prisoner was found guilty on the clearest evidence, and under circumstances of most wanton barbarity. James BIRMINGHAM, of Hacknahay, Barony O'Neiland East, being examined, swore, that in July, 1806, he applied to Currin WOODHOUSE, Esq. of Portadown, and obtained a summons for Alexander BELL to answer complaint of Edward BIRMINGHAM, his son, for assaulting him, and he went into the dwelling-house of said BELL, in order to serve him with said summons, and BELL did then and there, without provocation, stab witness with a bayonet in the left cheek; the bayonet's point to the length of five inches broke off in his head, and remained sticking there for seven days, when it was extracted under his right ear by Doctor FLEMING, of Banbridge: Witness on night of Saturday 28 February 1809, as he was returning home to his house, between the hours of 10 and 11, he was way-laid by said BELL, who did violently assault him, and gave him several dreadful blows with some weapon which he believes to be a hatchet, and did knock him down, and repeatedly struck him when down with the same, so as to leave him dead; and that afterwards had crawled over a ditch into a field adjoining the road, and from thence saw said BELL searching in the ditches on each side of the road, as if looking for him: That he was perfectly convinced that said BELL did stab him, as before-mentioned, with intent either to murder, maim, disfigure, or disable him, and said BELL did wound him with intent to murder him, as he threatened after so to do. The prisoner was ordered to be hanged on 7 August 1809, at Portadown.This appearing to be a very atrocious act, the Learned Judge was pleased to address the Grand Jury, regretting to find that such a delinquent could have been permitted to hover through the county so long as he did, still threatening the life of the prosecutor.

Edward KELLY, for a rape on Catherine LORY, otherwise LOUGHRAN, a widow - Acquitted.

Felix KELLY, found guilty of stealing two iron gudgeons, value 10s. the goods of Samuel SIMPSON, &c; pleaded statute - Ordered to be transported for seven years.

Thomas McCORMICK, for stealing a pocket-book and bank notes, property of Mungo DICKSON - Guilty; pleaded statute - Ordered to be transported for seven years.

John HOGAN acquitted of pig stealing.

James LEATHAM, for burglary and felony, in dwelling-house of Richard McALINDON - Acquitted.

Joseph MATBERS, for forging and uttering counterfeit Belfast Bank Notes - Acquitted.

Margaret HANLON, for stealing goods, property of Executors of Thomas DOBBIN - Guilty; pleaded statute - Ordered to be burned in the hand, and to be imprisoned three months.

Terence McPARLAN, for having a still without license - Guilty; ordered to be imprisoned two months.

Robert MURRIN, alias McMARIN, for forging notes of Belfast Bank, and uttering them - Not Guilty.

Joseph MILLER, for making use of a still - Guilty; ordered to be imprisoned two months.

Robert EDMINSTON, for unlawfully entering the bleach-yard of Edward SLEVIN, with intent his goods feloniously to steal there-out - Guilty; ordered to be imprisoned three months.

Margaret McCORWELL, for stealing 40 Pounds, 19s property of Margaret RICE - Acquitted.

Edward WRIGHT, for stealing a gelding, the property of Edward McGOAN - Ordered to give security to keep the peace for seven years.

Bryan CABY, indicted for a rape on Mary DALY - Acquitted.

Bryan McCABE, for a rape on Rose CUNNINGHAM - Acquitted.

John RUSSELL and Elizabeth RUSSELL, for feloniously setting fire to the out-house of Nathaniel LITTLE, and by such fire consuming same - Acquitted - said John ordered to give security.

John CARRAGHER, submitted to indictment for using an unlicensed still - Ordered to be imprisoned one month.

Hugh NUGENT, for passing counterfeit tokens of the Bank of Ireland - said Hugh, guilty of having in his possession bad half-guineas; ordered to be imprisoned for six months, and to give security.

Loughlin KEANAN, acquitted of perjury in an affidavit of charging three prisoners with being deserters.

Wm. HAZELY, acquitted of stealing a gelding, the property of Robert RAINY.

John McCARTAN, acquitted of stealing a pound note, the property of Mary OAKMAN.

Jas. MALLAND and A. WILSON, for stealing a cow, the property of Jas. WILLSON - Guilty. To be hanged 15 Aug 1809.

Arthur CARRAGHER, for being an unlicensed distiller - pleaded guilty - This man came forward to traverse a fine about to be imposed on his townland for an unlicensed still, when it appeared to the Court it was in his house the still was found - Mr. Baron McCLELLAND immediately ordered him into the dock, and desired him to be indicted. He was so, and pleaded guilty, although he wanted to shew the fine should not be imposed.

Townland of Carrickadaff, parish of Keady, fined 30 Pounds for an unlicensed still.

Fourteen Records tried.

At the Assizes of Armagh, a case came on to be tried before the Honourable Justice FOX, wherein Thomas HARVEY, of Greenhill, in the county of Tyrone, Esq. was plaintiff, and Richard ARMSTRONG, of Ballygawly, in said county, Esq. defendant, to recover the amount of two promissory notes, for 75l. each, drawn by the defendant, in favour of the plaintiff. The notes were executed on the terms of the statute of bankruptcy being superseded, which issued against a person of the name of Thomas FINDELATER, of Aughnacloy, in said county Tyrone. The plaintiff notwithstanding the statute never was superseded, brought his action to recover the amount of the notes, when, after a minute investigation of the case before a most respectable Jury, and the eloquent charge of the learned Judge, the Jury retired for a few minutes, and found a verdict for the defendant, with six pence costs. Counsel for the plaintiff, Messrs. BELL and BLACKER; Agent, Mr. James BELL. - Counsel for the defendant, Messrs. DUNN, HOLMES, and CURRY; Agent, Mr. James FALLS.

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