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Enniskillen Assizes County Fermanagh 1810-1817

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Enniskillen Assizes County Fermanagh

Assize court reports have been transcribed by Teena
from the Belfast Commercial Chronicle, Dublin Evening Post
and the Saunders Newsletter

Enniskillen Assizes, County Fermanagh 1810 -1817
2 April 1810

Patrick M'MULLEN was indicted for being present, aiding and assisting in maliciously shooting at T. HARTON with intent to murder him. It appeared that HARTON was a constable and that in his attempting to execute a warrant upon the brother of the prisoner, the former fired a gun loaded with small shot, which slightly wounded HARTON. The prisoner was convicted and received a sentence of death.

We fear that it is not generally known, that by a late act of Parliament, "willfully or maliciously shooting at, or, stabbing any person, even though death should not ensue" is made a capital felony.

22 Aug. 1810

Mary REILLY put on trial for stealing a piece of Calico from John KERR - to be transported for 7 years.

Thomas CALDWELL for stealing bank notes from William COX of Garrison - to be transported for 7 years.

Margaret CROOK for stealing clothes from Blanche BALFOUR - to be transported for 7 years.

John BEATTY, Andrew BEATTY and Robert CAWDON for private distilling - to be imprisoned for 3 months and pay a fine of 5 each

John McGOLRICK, Francis BRANDON, Terence McGOLRICK and Thomas McGOLRICK for private distilling - to be imprisoned for 4 months

2 Sept. 1811 At Enniskillen Assizes, Robert and John KERR were capitally convicted and sentenced to be executed, for running away with Alicia HILLCOCK with intent marry her to Thomas TUBMAN.

18 Mar. 1812

On Saturday last the Hon. Mr. Justice OSBORNE and the Hon. Baron McCLELLAND arrived and the former, took his seat in the crown court.

Grand Jury sworn;

Major-General COLE, Foreman
Henry BROOKE Esq.
Hamilton lRVINE Esq.
Gorges D'Arcy lRVINE
Richard DANE Esq.
Christopher L'ESTRANGE Esq.
Henry LESLIE Esq.
Jason HASSARD Esq.
Montgomery NIXON Esq.
George LENDRUM Esq.
George NIXON Esq.
Francis GRAHAM Esq.
Edward ARCHDALL Esq.
John BRIEN Esq.
James HALL Esq.
John AIKIN Esq. Sheriff

On Monday, Thomas MAGUIRE was put to the bar and tried for the alleged murder of John LOUGHRAN. It appeared in evidence that LOUGHRAN had been in the employment of Maguire for upwards of 6 years, that on the day this unfortunate affair happened, the deceased had been drinking and came into the prisoner's forge in a state of intoxication; that the prisoner reprimanded him for getting drunk and absenting himself from his business; that the deceased used very improper language to the prisoner and called him a liar; prisoner was making nails for the purpose of shoeing horses and deceased advanced towards him as if to strike, on which prisoner retired from the anvil towards the bellows; deceased then was about to go out of the door, but returned to the prisoner again, using bad language and as if to strike, when prisoner, who had a hammer in his right hand and a nail-rod in his left, made an awkward push with the latter, which slightly wounded deceased. Deceased was at work next day and did not complain of the wound; however he took ill and died in 2 days after. An inquest was held on his body, which was examined for the purpose of ascertaining the effects of the wound, but it was not then considered that it entirely occasioned his death, but rather a bad habit from deceased taking medicine and drinking. This latter circumstance, however, did not go to the jury as evidence. The learned judge gave an able and impartial charge to the jury, pointing out the degree of criminality on the offence, if the prisoner appeared to be guilty and discriminating accurately between the crimes of murder and manslaughter. The jury shortly returned a verdict of acquittal.

Wm. SCOTT [William SCOTT] for stealing a rapper from the hall door Wm. STEWART Esq. was found guilty of larceny to the value of sixpence.

Denis MORROW otherwise MORRIS for stealing a horse from a man by the name of VERTUE -Guilty. To be hanged on Thursday the 2nd of April.

Alice PRICE was tried for stealing a pocket-book containing some bank notes from James DUNLAP in the fair of Maguiresbridge. It was proved that she Iifted it up off the ground and proposed returning it to the owner on being applied to, for a trifling reward.- acquitted.

James MACBRIDE for stealing a hide of leather from the shop door of Mr. Andrew ARMSTRONG - Guilty -To be confined 12 months.

James BRETT, Surveyor of Excise, was put into the bar for taking off a vessel from a private distillery. This was a most shameful prosecution, the person from whom the vessel was taken, acknowledging on his cross-examination that he had just before spilled potale out of it. Mr. BRETT having only done his duty was instantly acquitted, the learned judge appearing greatly displeased at such a proceeding.

John BLACK and Robert RAMSAY for an assault and wounding _ BENSON, who had been serving Revenue summonses in the neighbourhood of Irvinestown - both guilty - to be confined 12 months and give security for future good behaviour.

Denis MAGUIRE for forging a bond for 500 on John BETTY of Belnaleck and for uttering same, knowing it to be forged. No evidence which could be suffered to go to the jury was produced and he was discharged.

22 July 1815

Hon. Mr. Justice FLETCHER and Mr. Sergeant JOHNSTON
Trial of Edward RUTLEDGE for the Murder of his Nephew, James RUTLEDGE .
This was a case which created some public interest, being tried at the last assizes, when a division took place in the jury. Mr. JAMESON, in opening for the prosecution, prepared the jury for the evidence to be laid before them, adverting to the circumstances attending the death of this unfortunate young man. He explained that on the death of deceased James's, father, about 45 acres of land, which came into the hands of the deceased by that event, would, on his demise, fall into the hands of the prisoner. That the property, during the minority of the deceased, had suffered dilapidation, for which, on arbitration, the prisoner was to pay the sum of 22 15s. That, on the morning of this young man's death, prisoner was seen going to the cow-house, where the body was afterwards found, with something in his hand, covered with straw, which bundle he had not, on returning. The prisoner showed some trepidation on going home and seemed unwell. That the cow-house was formerly a dwelling-house, consisting of a kitchen and inner room. That the deceased was found in the inner apartment, his head from the door a good distance and his feet towards it, lying on his face, a mortal wound on the back of his head, apparently given by a hatchet or other sharp instrument and that the lentil was pulled away, for the purpose, in all probability, of giving his death the appearance of being accidental.

The first witness examined was Andrew LATIMER- knew the deceased James RUTLEDGE remembers the 7 Feb. last, saw him on that day, was dead when he saw him; it was about 10 o'clock and in the townland where he the prisoner lived. witness was not the first who went in. John RUTLEDGE was in before him. Deceased was lying quit dead within the inner door, his head up between 2 heifers and his feet towards the door. By entering the outer door, you are into the inner. Saw a cut on the back part of his head. Cannot tell whether the hair was cut across or not. Saw no other wound. Saw (stones?) fallen from above the door-case of the inner door. There were 3 sticks above the door The one next to the outer door had fallen. The feet of deceased were towards the stones. John called him and he went in. James JOHN's son came in next, others came in after this. The stones had fallen outside the inner door. The door was a wicker one.

Cross examined by Mr. ROLLESTON - Knows not how long John might have been there, John told him he had turned the body, believes John was produced at the last trial, John is in town, will produce him if the Counsel wishes. Is not any part of the family, knows not if the property was freehold or not, does not know if deceased had an uncle older than the prisoner, knows that Robert, William's son, is in possession of the property, knows not in what position the body was on John's entrance, knows not whether John was produced for, or against, the prosecution.

Catharine MONAGHAN being sworn - stated that she lives a mile from the prisoner's house. Was on the night of the 6th Feb. last in the house of Edward, the prisoner. Was giving that day's spinning to the girl of the house, for which the girl was to return a day's work. Slept with Ellen CASSIDY, Anne M'ALBON and Bridget SHEEHAN, Anne is since dead. Rose on the morning of the 7th between daylight and sunrise - went to the door, saw Edward at James' cow-house, had seen him before that coming out of his own parlour; was dressed in his every day clothes; saw him go out and saw him again at the cow-house and going from it to the road, which was at the back of it. Heard a noise at the cow-house before she saw him, like a wall falling, after going to the road, saw him returning to the cow-house and looking through the door; went to the road again quickly - went the same way - could not see him when she came to the road, saw him again in his own hag-yard, in front of his house; carried a bundle of straw in his hands, that morning - saw him only that morning in the hag-yard.

Cross-examined by Mr. DERRING - There were some strangers in RUTLEDGE's home, 3 TAYLOR's lay in the parlour on straw, not the straw which was in his arms; supposes the straw was for the cows; has a cow-house adjoining his own house; 4 girls and 3 tailors were in the house, witness was the greatest stranger; never slept in the house before; is not far from Knockninney; usual to have fogs before sunrise in the clearest morning; usual for farmers to rise early; was up before the girls, to be home early; talked to the girls about getting up; slept on the loft; men slept in the lower part; was on the loft when RUTLEDGE went out; no window on loft; his own girl was down speaking to him; prisoner has 7 children; would not be uneasy if her brothers or father went out in this way; was busy preparing to go away; some bushes between the house and cow-house; a public road on the other side of the cow-house, which had a back and front door; the road a good many perches from the cow-house; stood speaking to another girl when she saw him, the person speaking to witness might have seen what she saw.

Eleanor CASSIDY sworn - knows prisoner; was hired in the house at the time of deceased's death. Cow-house is in sight of dwelling house; prisoner has a cow-house; need not go past deceased's to go to it; Deceased lived with Hugh, his uncle. Prisoner had cows in his own cow-house that day. Witness never knew prisoner to feed deceased's cattle; prisoner's wife, 3 sons &c. were in the house. It was after day-light when she got up, saw prisoner come down from his own room, put on his stockings, and bid Nanny M'ALOON bring the children to his bed. There was a hatchet in the house; saw it the night before with his son, making a board to wright on and saw it after prisoner came in next morning in his son's hand, breaking a brick to clean knives with. The straw was brought in the night before to make a bed, but was not used.

At the time our paper was going to press, the jury had not agreed to their verdict and were preparing to be carried to the verge of the County.

12 Apr. 1817

A most extraordindary and unprecedented trial took place at the late Enniskillen Assizes. A man of the name of Edward RUTLEDGE was indicted and tried for the 4th time, for the murder of his nephew. On the 3 former trials the juries disagreed and each of them after continuing a night in deliberating on the evidence was discharged by the judge at the verge of the county. The evidence on the last trial differed very little from that produced on the preceding trials. It was entirely circumstantial but sufficiently strong - if the jury believed it, to convict the prisoner. The Jury, however, after deliberating for about 2 hours, returned a verdict of not guilty.

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