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Murder of James Mathewson at Drumquin 1824

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The Murder of James Mathewson at Drumquin 1824
Extracted from the LONDONDERRY JOURNAL

Transcribed, Compiled & Submitted by Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia

Tuesday August 24 1824


A murder of almost unparalleled atrocity was committed last week in the county of Tyrone. So cool-blooded and fiend-like an act it seldom falls to a Journalist to detail, at least in our tranquil and civilised province. For turpitude this homicide may rank with any crime to be found in the annals of human depravity—a more damning one was never hatched in hell’s black pandemonium; it would be difficult to conceive of greater demoralisation than that of which it was the offspring; and it is a humiliating thought that the monsters by whom it was perpetrated claim kindred to our species. But it is consolatory to reflect that their detection must be speedy and their punishment inevitable; inflexible justice which never sleeps is in pursuit of them, and will drag them to her tribunal; for “there is no darkness or shadow of death where the workers of such iniquity may hide themselves.” On the morning of Wednesday the 18th instant, the body of MR. JAMES MATHEWSON, of Kilmore, was found dead, in a waste house belonging to MR. McBRIDE, Innkeeper, in the town of Drumquin, where it is supposed to have been conveyed by the wretches whose ruthless cupidity the deceased was a victim. CAPTAIN BOYLE, a Magistrate, had a inquest held upon it, three surgeons being present, who opened it, and deposed that deceased’s death was caused by strangulation and other violence, marks of which were evident on his breast and back. MR. MATHEWSON had been collecting rents for -----ECKLIN, ESQ., whose tenants he had noticed to meet him at Drumquin, only two miles from his own residence. It appeared on evidence that several of them had paid him on the Monday and Tuesday preceding, and that the entire money was seen in his possession on the evening of the latter day; but when the body was found the money was all gone, a proof that he had been robbed, and that robbery was the incentive to the deed. A very large reward has been offered for the discovery of the murderers, and as the Magistrates of the neighbourhood are all on the alert, we do not think it will be possible for them to elude the fate which they merit. The deceased was a most respectable man, upright, industrious, and inoffensive, and he has left a wife and five children to deplore his melancholy end.

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