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  • 1849, Thursday, 15 March – County of Tyrone Assizes As reported in “The Tyrone Constitution”

1849, Thursday, 15 March – County of Tyrone Assizes As reported in “The Tyrone Constitution”

Cases Transcribed,
Paraphrased & Submitted by
Rob Doragh
From “The Tyrone Constitution”
Thursday 15 March 1849

Saturday March 10 1849

The Hon Judge TORRENS ENTERED the crown court today, at three o’clock, when, the commission having been read by Terence T. DOLAN, Esq., clerk of the crown, the Grand Jury were resworn as follows:-
Lord Claud HAMILTON, M.P., Foreman; A. W. Cole HAMILTON, Charles ECCLES, Samuel GALBRAITH, Joseph GOFF, Robert Waring MAXWELL, Francis J. GERVAIS, Samuel VESEY, Robert EVANS, Thomas HOUSTON, A. Ferguson KNOX, Richard LLOYD, Esqrs., Charles BOYLE, David WHITE, James SCOTT, John CRANSTON, Robert WRAY, T.W.D. HUMPHREYS, James ANDERSON, Walter HORE, James CROSSLE, John X. TENER and Geo. C. BRACKENRIDGE, Esqrs.. C. C. DAVIDSON, Esq., Sub Sheriff

CROWN COURT Monday, March 12

[The] prisoners were arraigned and the following petit jury empannelled:-
Messrs. David DENNY, Wm. RODGERS, Andrew RODGERS, Daniel BLAIR, John CALDWELL, John HOUSTON, John BUCHANAN, John M’ADAM, James M’GREW, Robert SMITH, Robert JOHNSTON and Thomas HAMILTON.

CHILD MURDER, Mary M’KELVEY, indicted for having, on the 1st July last, at Turmagh, near Pomeroy, given birth to a male child and afterwards caused its death by suffocation. Witnesses: Peter M’ALEER, Peter MALLAGHAN, Constable William DUNCAN, Rachel WHITE, Elizabeth WHITE, daughter of last witness, Margaret ROBINSON, lives next door to Rachel WHITE, Martha KERR, lives at Beragh, Mary DALY, Mary QUIN, James DUNLOP, Dr Thomas ROBINSON.- made a post mortem examination… had no doubt it died of strangulation by violence…
The jury returned a verdict of guilty, after a brief consideration.
The court said the evidence was perfectly clear, and that the prisoner had by her offence forfeited her life to the laws of her country. He hoped, however, that she would repent of her crime and that her character would become improved, and would, therefore, sentence her to be transported for life.

BURGLARY. Susanna M’CLUSKIE and Edward GARDINER, for having on the 12th January last, at Fintona, [Donacavey parish] feloniously entered the house of Joseph ANDERSON, with intent to steal his goods. Joseph ANDERSON deposed that he had a store in Fintona, which was locked on the night in question; watched the house on that night, with a man named M’ELROY, and found the prisoners in it about four o’clock in the morning. Bernard M’ELROY corroborated the evidence. Joseph M’DONNELL gave similar testimony. Constable FLOYD deposed that Edward GARDINER had previously been charged with similar offences. Guilty – Each to be imprisoned for three months and kept to hard labour.

ASSAULT. John and James MEENAGH, for having, on 22d August last, at Ramackin, [Termonmaguirk parish] assaulted Isabella KYLE, with intent to disable and do her grievous bodily harm. James KYLE examined. – cautioned the prisoner not to trespass on his field; James MEENAGH said he would go through him and came forward with a hook; a struggle took place, during which Isabella KYLE, who came, to witness’s assistance was severely wounded above the eye with a hook, by John MEENAGH; did not see James MEENAGH strike. The witness was cross-examined at length by Mr. M’CROSSAN, solicitor. Isabella KYLE deposed that she had merely interfered to save her brother from from being severely injured by the MEENAGHS…Surgeon Wm CLEMENTS deposed to the extent of the injury. Several witnesses were examined for the defence. It was sworn by Henry MEENAGH that James MEENAGH had been very severely injured, and that John MEENAGH received a blow or kick on the head, which had raised a lump as big as witness’s fist, which he need not tell the court was “a wonderful lump.” (Laughter.)
The jury found a verdict of guilty against John MEENAGH – James MEENAGH not guilty.

ASSAULT AND RAPE. John GALLAGHER, for having on 9th Sept. last, at Tulnashane, [Termonamongan parish] assaulted and ravished Bessy PHILLIPS. Terence PHILLIPS examined.- Was lodging in the house of Hugh O’NEILL, in Tulnashane, on the night in question; witness and his wife and child were lying in bed together; three men came in near the morning, two of whom committed the offence against the witness’s wife; one of these men was GALLAGHER. On his cross-examination by Mr MACKLIN, the witness gave a rather confused account but persisted in identifying GALLAGHER. Bessy PHILLIPS corroborated the evidence of her husband. Cross-examination did not shake her testimony. Hugh O’NEILL deposed PHILLIPS and his wife were in the house on the night in question; heard noise in the house but did not wish to interfere, as he was afraid for himself. Sub-constable James SWEENY deposed that the prisoner lived in the next house. The prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to 7 years transportation

ASSAULT AND ROBBERY. William M’DONALD, John GALBRAITH, and Jackson MILLAR, were indicted for an assault on George KIRKLAND, of Terryscolop, [Clonfeacle parish] and for having stolen from him 13s. [shillings] 6d [sixpence]. Not guilty.

BURGLARY AND ROBBERY. William M’DONALD was indicted for having, on the night of the 17th Jan. last, entered the shop of Mary Anne MILLAR, of Carrowcolman [Clonfeacle parish], and for having stolen a quantity of goods, consisting of Orleans cloths and other articles. Margaret KENNEDY, of Dungannon, was also indicted for having received said goods. Mary Anne MILLAR examined. Heard during the night a noise, as of some goods being thrown out of a window; got out of bed and saw the back of a man jumping out of a window; saw the good afterwards in Dungannon; identified goods. Rubert MULLAN examined. Is bridewell [prison] keeper of Dungannon; Wm. M’DONALD came to the bridewell on the 19th January last; he brought some goods for the use of his wife, who was confined there. Witness suspected that the goods were stolen, and gave information to the police who discovered the robbery. Constable CORR, of Dungannon identified some of the goods as having been pawned by Wm M’DONALD and others as having been pawned by the other prisoner, Margaret KENNEDY. She strongly denied all knowledge of the goods being stolen, having never seen M’DONALD before. The jury found M’DONALD guilty, and acquitted Margaret KENNEDY.

LARCENY. John O’NEILL, for stealing several articles of wearing apparel from the guardians of the Castlederg union, on 11th February last. Pleaded guilty – sentence deferred.

ATTEMPT TO POISON. Eleanor NOBLE, for having, on 14th January last, attempted to poison George COULTER, of Knockaravin [Dromore parish], by forcing a quantity of arsenic into his mouth. George staying in the house overnight to execute a sessions degree in the morning. Mentioned Aaron NOBLE in his evidence. Thomas OSBORNE, George COULTER, William COULTER (son), Charles SPROULE examined by Mr NORMAN. Last two claimed to have heard Eleanor say something like, “thank God if he is dead he has left a widow and twelve orphans.” Peter GLENN, sub-constable, and Dr. Joseph MARSHALL also gave evidence. Verdict.- Not guilty of the felony, but guilty of the assault. To be imprisoned for 12 months with hard labour. Aaron NOBLE, indicted for riot, affray, and assault, in connection with the poisoning case, was acquitted by direction of the court.


Robert CULLEN pleaded guilty to the larceny of several articles of clothing from the guardians of the Dungannon [Poor Law] union. Sentence deferred.
Patrick CULLIGAN pleaded guilty to having in his possession two stolen cushions, and for having pawned same in Moy [Clonfeacle parish].
Anne QUIN pleaded guilty to having pawned a stolen spade, the property of James M’DONNELL, of Mullygowan [ name not found].
Margaret GARDINER pleaded guilty to having a stolen shawl in possession, and for having offered to pawn same at Fintona [Donacavey parish].
Anne MAXWELL pleaded guilty to having stolen £6, and several articles of clothing from from Andrew MAXWELL, of Glassmullagh [5 townlands named Glassmullagh], on 6th February last.