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  • Co. Donegal Assizes 1846-47

Co. Donegal Assizes 1846-47

The following transcribed by Robyn from The Freeman’s Journal – Dublin, Monday, March 23, 1846

Donegal Assizes.

Extraordinary case of seduction, and receiving stolen money.

William McKEEVIR, a man of about thirty years of age, was indicted for that he, on the 22d October last, took away Anne Jane, the daughter of David GAMBLE, farmer at Cashgowan, from under the care and charge of her said father, and without his consent, she being under sixteen years of age.

David GAMBLE, sworn and examined – Has two daughters, Anne Jane, who is only fourteen years of age, being the eldest. In October last prisoner was in his service as labourer, and had been so from the previous May; he is a married man and has children. On the night of the 22d October witness and his wife had gone to bed, leaving their daughters and John MAXWELL, their little herd boy, at the fireside. Next morning he found that she was away, went to prisoner’s house, and found that he was a missing; went to Glasgow with two of the constabulary and that day 6 weeks from the disappearance of his daughter, he found her and prisoner in the Gorbals police office; his daughter was brought up under the Rev. Mr. MACONACHIE, Presbyterian minister; witness could have given 200l. with her. [It was observed by counsel for the crown that this did not come with the clause of the act under which prisoner was indicted] – Overruled.

Cross-examined by Mr. MACKLIN – His daughter did not write to him from Glasgow; it was only casually that he learned she was there.

Mr SMYLY, Q.C., then called Anne Jane GAMBLE. She is a remarkably well-favoured girl, and delivered her evidence with much composure and firmness, although evidently labouring under very painful feelings. Being sworn, she deposed that in October last prisoner was serving as labourer to her father; about two months before then, when she was alone in the kitchen, carding wool, prisoner came to her with a bottle and poured what was in it upon her head, saying that it was hair oil, that he had got it from Wm. CULLEN, and that they on whose heads he put it would follow him through the world; she had never before allowed him to take liberties with her; one day, about a month after that, in the kitchen, he thrust her against the table, and said that he was not married to the woman with whom he lived as his wife, and had only made love to her, he also told her to rob her father of what she could lay her hands on. As it was all she would get from him, and to go away with him, the prisoner; on the night of the 22d October, he came to the house, and said to her that he would take her life if she did not go with him, and that, if she took any other man, he would make her a scandal to the world and her father would kill her; she had had intercourse with him before that; she went away with the prisoner that night; had been told by him not to mention it to her father; they left her father’s house, which is seven miles above Derry between ten and eleven o’clock, and walked to Moville, which they reached in the morning; an Ennishowen man gave her a ride part of the way in his car; they stopped in Moville till about two o’clock in the day, when they went on board a Scotch steamer which landed them at Ardrossan on the following day; they slept together in a house at Ardrossan as man and wife, and, on the following day, they went to Glasgow by the railway; she took with her from her father’s, a few clothes in a bundle; prisoner and she lived in Glasgow as man and wife for six weeks, till they were taken up by the thief-catchers, and lodged in the police office, where they were kept separately for a week before her father arrived.

Cross-examined by Mr. MACKLIN – After her return from Glasgow, she told what she has now told to Mr. MACONCHIE, whom she has seen thrice since then; it was two months after the pouring of the contents of the bottle on her head, that prisoner first had intercourse with her; believes that he was at work in Glasgow; she never told prisoner that if he did not take her she would poison him, but once, when she was in the garden cutting vegitable, he was at the ditch, and asked her to go and give him a kiss, on which she said she would rather give him poison; this was before any unlawful intercourse had taken place; she never took him away from his own fireside; she never said to him that she was gowing to be married to another man; but prisoner told the little boy that she was gowing to be married to Joseph COLHOUN; she had told the little boy that she would marry prisoner; on the night she went away, she had hurried her sister to bed; prisoner had often told her that he would take her life if she did not go with him.

His lordship, in charging the jury, observed that the indictment was founded upon a clause of the Act 10th, Geo.IV., which made it a misdemeanour to withdraw any girl under sixteen years of age, from the keeping and charge of her father or other lawful guardian, without his consent’ and it was for them to say whether the prisoner and committed that offence.

The jury at once found the prisoner guilty.

The same William McKEEVIR was indicted for that he, on the 22d or 23d of October last, received certain moneys, the property of David GAMBLE of Cashgowan, knowing the same to have been stolen. Guilty.

The judge, in addressing the prisoner, said that his was the grossest case that had ever come under his observation; and it was a gratification to him that the conviction in the last of the two cases enabled him to pronounce a much heavier sentence that would be competent to him if he (the prisoner) stood convicted only of the misdemeanour, charged in the first indictment. He sentenced him to 14 years’ transportation.

Child Murder

Mary QUINN and Jane QUINN were charged with having at Glenfad, near to Lifford, on the 19th February last, murdered a male child, of which the prisoner Mary had been recently delivered. After counsel for the crown had adduced evidence, going far to establish the commission of the crime by some one though still insufficient for a conviction, the prisoner Mary, by the advice of her counsel, Mr. DOHERTY, put in a plea of “guilty of endeavouring to conceal,” on which the counsel for the crown withdrew the capital charge.

Verdict – Both prisoners not guilty of murder; Mary QUINN guilty of endeavouring to conceal.

The Late Homicide at Westport  (From our own correspondent.)

Castlebar, Friday Morning, March 20.
I attended yesterday at Westport petty-sessions, where great excitement existed, in consequence of a summons being issued against Thomas NESTOR, at the suit of Samuel FLETCHER. For wilful and corrupt perjury, alleged to have been committed in the late coroner’s inquisition at Westport, when NESTOR swore he had seen FLETCHER fire a pistol, which shot the unfortunate woman, who died upon the spot.

Mr. O’DOWD, who attended as counsel (with Ignatius KELLY, as agent), complained of the shortness of the notice given to defendant, the summons have been only served upon the previous day; that he, as counsel for the accused, had only been made acquainted with the necessity for appearing at Westport, distant some twelve or fourteen miles from his residence, at the hour of ten o’clock on the previous evening and that having only just arrived in town, he had not time to receive sufficient instructions to defend the accused. He therefore prayed a postponement to the next court day. He also stated that the complainant, having received permission to send up a bill of indictment at the late assizes, had failed to do so, and now sought to take the defendant by surprise, by serving upon him a summons on this day before the sitting of the court.

Messrs. M. K. O’DONNELL and Neal DAVIS, who appeared for the plaintiff, resisted the application for a postponement, but the presiding magistrates (Messrs. Fitzgerald HIGGINS, Mathias MacDONNELL, Dominick J. BURKE and Captain NUGENT) decided that the application for a postponement upon such an important case was just and reasonable under the circumstances, and they accordingly decided upon adjourning the case to Monday next, when a special court will be held at Westport to hear the complaint. Mr. O’DOWD stated that he was instructed to say that a new bill of indictment would be sent up against FLETCHER at the next assizes.

The following transcribed by Teena

27 Feb. 1846 Barbarous Murder in County Donegal

A murder of the most brutal and revolting description, the details which are shocking to humanity, was perpetrated on Saturday last, near Ardara, in the county of Donegal, a secluded district near the sea shore.

The unfortunate victim was an aged man, named Samuel CRUMMER and little doubt is entertained that the perpetrators of the wicked act were his own son and daughter-in-law. It appears that the son had been married, and had two children, when his wife dying, he married a Roman Catholic, a servant girl of his fathers, which so much displeased the old man that he stated his intention of leaving some land which he possessed to the first wife’s children, to prevent the second wife, or her children, getting any part of it. In consequence of this he was treated so badly by the son and daughter-in-law that he expressed a fear to some of the neighbours that believed they would murder him, which, though not much noticed at the time, it would appear was verified by the result.

He was missed Saturday evening and Sunday, when the daughter-in-law beginning to make inquiries for him, she and her husband were immediately suspected of having murdered him, and several of the old man’s friends assembled and commenced a search for the body, which they found in a deep part of small lake near the house, with an iron chain fastened round his middle, attached which, was a heavy stone. His chest was literally broken to pieces, his left arm was also broken, and there were several wounds in his neck and head, apparently inflicted with the grape. It is supposed that the son got the father down and broke in his chest with his knees, while the wife stuck him with the grape.

An investigation took place before some of the neighbouring magistrates when the son and daughter-in-law were committed to Lifford gaol for trial at the ensuing assizes. (Tyrone Constitution)

27 Jul. 1846 Co. Donegal – Summer Assizes – Lifford

William BELL, John M’DOWELL, William FLEMING, and William M’DOWELL, were indicted for robbing Robert DANE of the mum of 4£ 5s. 6d., and for an assault upon him. After the examination of several witnesses, his Lordship charged the jury, who, without leaving the box, returned a verdict of not guilty.

James KELLY was indicted for cow-stealing. Verdict, guilty. Sentence, 15 years transportation.

Neal BOYLE for an assault on Bridget BRANNON. Not guilty.

Bernard M’CANN for an assault on the person of Margaret DUNCAN with intent to commit a rape. After the examination of the prosecutrix and some other witnesses, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. (Freeman’s Journal)

1 Dec. 1846 Sheep Stealing

On Monday last, a young man, having sold two sheep in this town, (Londonderry) was suspected of having stolen them, and Head Constable MAGEE had him taken into custody, when two other sheep were found in his lodgings. The prisoner called himself Francis M’DAID and was unable to give a satisfactory account of how he came by the sheep. Notice was given to the different police stations of his arrest, and on Thursday last, a farmer from Ballybofey, named Andrew MOUNT arrived in this city and identified the sheep as his property, which had been stolen from him on the night of the previous Sunday. M’DAID was fully committed to take his trial at the Lifford Assizes. The prisoner was employed as a farm servant, and resided in the neighbourhood of the place where the robbery was committed. (Derry Sentinel)

20 Mar. 1847 Donegal Assizes, Lifford

Francis M’DAID was indicted for burglary on the house of the deceased Moses M’CULLOUGH, Northey.

Isabella M’CULLOUGH, widow of deceased, proved that a person had broken into her house at night by removing part of the roof and taken away a handkerchief and blankets; saw them afterwards in the pawnbroker’s and identified them; prisoner had previously lodged in her house.

Hugh DEVLIN, pawnbroker, Strabane, identified a ticket which he had issued for the blankets and handkerchief, which he gave up to ANDERSON, the policeman; it bore the number 6,700; the same number was on the mark affixed to the articles.

Edward ANDERSON, policeman, identified the articles which he got from DEVLIN

Henry MAGEE, head-constable of police, arrested prisoner in Derry on another charge; found the above pawn ticket on him; cautioned him against saying anything that might criminate himself, after which prisoner told him that the articles mentioned in the ticket were his own, and that he had had them in a house where he lodged.

Verdict – guilty – seven years transportation.

Francis M’DAID was indicted for stealing at Connaghhead, two ewes and two wethers, the property of Daniel O’DONNELL. He pleaded guilty, but alleged that he took the sheep to pay himself a debt which the prosecutor owed him. – 10 years transportation.

Hugh MARTIN, indicted for having on 8th December 1846, stolen at Connaghhead, seven sheep, the property of Daniel O’DONNELL and seven, the property of his sister. Not guilty.

John KIRKPATRICK indicted for having stolen bank notes, the property of Robert WILLIAMS.

Robert WILLIAMS sworn – lives at Port; on 27th October last had 38£ and some shillings in his house; left the house and locked the door about eight o’clock in the evening; came home and found the back window had been forced and the money gone; witness then lived alone and witness about a half mile distant; two or three days after that, witness had a conversation with the prisoner, who seemed grieved at his loss and said that the thief might feel sorry on finding that he had taken so much; after that he got 20£ of his money thrust under his door; after that he got 15£ 10s. more; is quite sure that the notes returned were his own; has since passed these notes. Not guilty.

John BRATTAN, a boy, was acquitted of the charge of having stolen two scores of meal from an old woman, Helen M’CLOSKIE in Ennishowen; and found guilty of having, about same time, stolen a quantity of Indian corn meal, the property of Helen DUNDAS at Mount-scourge. – To be imprisoned 6 months from date of committal and kept to hard labour.

James M’GOWAN accused of having received from the above John BRATTAN, a quantity of oatmeal, the property of Helen M’CLOSKIE, knowing it to have been stolen. Not guilty.

Writing a Threatening Letter

Bartley LOUGHLIN was indicted for having written a threatening letter to the wife of Henry COANE Esq., of Waterloo cottage, near Bundoran. (The letter, as set forth in the indictment, was full of the grossest personal abuse of Mr. and Mrs. COANE – mentioned sundry cases of gross oppression said to have been practised by Mr. COANE towards certain of his tenants and concluded by threatening him with gunpowder, and that his only son would soon be a minor.)

Henry COANE sworn – Knows the prisoner, who was his bailiff and his handwriting; the letter charged in the indictment (which he now identified) he got from the Ballyshannon post-office and it being addressed to Mrs. COANE, he gave it to her; she opened it, put it in her pocket and having gone to another room, called witness to peruse it; it is in prisoner’s handwriting; it was contained in an envelope and to the address, though to Mrs. COANE, the word “Esquire” is added.

Cross-examined – Prisoner has been fifteen years in witness’s employment; last winter was a trying one to the poor, owing to the failure of the potato crop; in October last, he served notices to quit upon thirty of his tenants; they were not very poor; five or six days after he served them he gave prisoner directions to distrain those persons as they had not paid up their rents; don’t think it would have been difficult then to procure fodder; he ordered five or six to be distrained and prisoner did distrain three or four; it caused great dissatisfaction; never served so many notices before.(Witness was here shown a written order by him to the prisoner to distrain, which he acknowledged. It contained the names of 22 tenants.) Some of those who were distrained applied to him to get back their cattle; some he indulged and others he did not; never heard of the prisoner having been charged with anything improper before this; witness lives on his lands of Higginstown and thinks he has tenants; don’t think they are very poor; some of them are poor; thinks that the twenty-two he ordered to be distrained could have paid their half-year’s rent; has a son about seven months old; the body of the letter and the address are of different handwritings.

Counsellor DOHERTY addressed the jury for the prisoner in a very effective speech, commenting on the incredibility of the prisoner venturing to write a letter, fraught with the utmost danger to himself, to his own employer, whom his handwriting was familiar; and the great probability that the letter had been concocted by some of those of his tenantry, who had suffered from his rigorous proceedings.

The learned gentleman then called a witness, whose name our reporter did not catch, who deposed that he was and had been for twenty years the bailiff of Wm. TREDENNICK; he had been acquainted with prisoner’s handwriting for nineteen years; don’t think that the letter charged in the indictment is in prisoner’s handwriting; he writes much better; neither is the address on the envelope prisoner’s handwriting; he never penned it.

Cross-examined – (Witness was here shown two writings said to be by prisoner.) One of these does not appear to be prisoner handwriting; the other is more like it. (He was shown two other writings said to be by prisoner.) Thinks those are not prisoner’s handwriting.

Patrick LAUGHLIN brother of prisoner, being shown the letter in question and the envelope, deposed that he never saw any of his brother’s handwriting like that of the letter, or its address.

Cross-examined – Is a tenant of Mr. COANE.

Alexander HAMILTON of Coxtown, Esq., had known prisoner for fourteen, or fifteen years; there was not a man of better character in the country until this charge was brought against him.

Cross-examined – Having been shown a notice to quit, bearing to be signed by prisoner, deposed that he was doubtful as to its being of prisoner’s handwriting.

Mr. COANE recalled and examined by a juror – Shortly before receiving the letter, witness suspected prisoner of encouraging his tenants to keep up their rents. Witness then added of himself, that the day before the letter was received, prisoner had been speaking in the kitchen, in a strain similar to that of the letter and witness spoke to him about it. Identified the four writings shown to the first witness for the defence, as being of prisoner’s handwriting.

Mr. James HAMILTON of Rushbrook, examined – ls high constable of Tyrhugh; always found the prisoner to be a decent, quiet, inoffensive man; he always bore that character; had often seen him write; being shown the letter charged in the indictment, thinks that it is not of prisoner’s handwriting.

Cross-examined – Being shown the word “particularly” in the first page of that letter, thinks that prisoner must have changed his handwriting, if it be his. Being shown the name Bartley LAUGHLIN in another paper, considers it more like prisoner’s handwriting, but cannot say that it is.

The various papers produced were handed to the jury and they, having retired for about ten minutes, returned a verdict of Not guilty.

John DONALD was found guilty of having, with others, stolen seven sheep, the property of Michael WARD of Loughbarrow, the night of the 7th January last, and sentenced to 7 years transportation.

Rebecca BRACK was acquitted of the charge of having exposed her child, one month old, at Finner.

Wm. HATTON was acquitted of the charge of having at Carrowmore, on 7th January last, stolen a sheep, the property of John M’CORKELL.

Wm. and Edward DOYLE were convicted of having at Bundoran on the night of 7th February last, broke into the house of William M’MULLAN, baker, with intent to steal. – 6 months imprisonment

Shane DOHERTY, Michael M’CORMICK, and Charles DOHERTY, were indicted for burglary in the house of Thomas LILLY, Meinglass and stealing therefrom.

It appeared the evidence of LILLY and his wife that the prisoners entered the house on the 1st inst., when the family were at supper; they had shirts over them and took from the bed a quilt, sheets, and shawls and other things, which they had never since seen, excepting a basket and baby’s dress, and these had been left at a little distance from the door. Lilly owed prisoner M’CORMICK the price of 100 lbs. of meal, and some shillings to Shane DOHERTY. An alibi was established for Shane DOHERTY; and the Hon James HEWITT, in whose employment all the parties had been, gave him the highest character for steadiness and integrity and also deposed the uniformly good conduct of the other prisoners. Mr. James ANDERSON, the land agent of Mr. HEWITT, also deposed to the same effect and also that on the day following the alleged burglary, when he came to discharge LILLY, Mr. HEWITT’S gardener, had a long conversation with that person, who, though he, Mr. A., was a magistrate, never mentioned the occurrence to him. Not guilty.

James M’KELVIE was found guilty of having stolen a ewe, the property of Edward M’GINTY of Shallybradly, but on account of his previous good character, recommended mercy. Sentenced to 6 months imprisonment from the date of his committal and kept to hard labour.

Daniel RONAYNE was indicted for burglary in the house of James MYLES, Tubber, on the night of 10th December last. A daughter of MYLES swore decidedly to the guilt of the prisoner; but he, who conducted his own defence with no small ability, adduced a host of unexceptionable witnesses, who proved an alibi for him. Not guilty.

James CURRIE was indicted for having at the Port of Ballyshannon, on 26th December last, taken a pork ham, the property of Edward CHISM, knowing it to have been stolen.

It appeared by the evidence of Joseph DAVIDSON, master of a vessel called the ‘Confidence’, that on the morning of the 25th December, when he was lying at anchor at the Port, she was boarded by two boats crews, none of whom he knew, who forced him into the cabin and kept the crew under hatches in the forecastle; and having remained some hours, they robbed the vessel of 9 bales of bacon, and a hogshead of hams, the property of Mr. CHISM.

Sub-constable DAVIS deposed to having seen the prisoner, near to the Port, in the afternoon of the 25th Dec., with a ham (now produced) in his possession; he said he had got it in a hole in the ground, which he shewed witness; saw no other hams there.

Mr. CHISM identified the ham as being his and part of the cargo; and in answer to a juror, said that it had no mark, but was a very large one.

Wm. CURRIE, brother of prisoner, was called for the defence. He saw the prisoner taking the ham out of the hole, where there were several hams at the time and a number of persons conveying them away; prisoner, who lived a half mile off, went alone to the spot; the ham had been lying quite bare.

Cross-examined – About 7 o’clock that morning, witness had heard of the robbery of the ‘Confidence’; there were 100 persons in the field; prisoner had gone there to see sport on the ice.

The jury, having been closeted for some length of time, returned a verdict of guilty, but recommended prisoner to mercy. His Lordship said that had the prisoner been tried for, and convicted of the robbery, his sentence would have been a severe one. He was there, however, only as receiver and the sentence was that he be imprisoned 9 months and kept to hard labour.

MADGY GALLAGHER was indicted for having, on the 16th August last, at Ballymagronly, thrown half a pint of vitriol upon the face of Johnston CORDOCK causing him great bodily injury. It appeared that the act charged was the offspring of jealousy; and according to the evidence of Dr. IRONS of Ballyshannon, the prosecutor suffered great tortures and was confined to the house from the effects of it for some weeks. Guilty to be transported for 10 years.

James and Connell KEENY (brothers) were found guilty of having stolen a heifer, belonging to Patrick M’LAUGHLIN, which was grazing on the lands of Rasharkin near Killybegs. The principal evidence against them was Sergeant SCARLETT of the police, who having found where the carcase of the heifer had been buried, lay with a party of men concealed near the spot and at night discovered the prisoners taking the beef out of the ground. To be transported for 10 years.

Denis and John KEENY (father and son) were indicted for having stolen a ewe lamb from William MAXWELL of Drumrooney and also with having stolen a sheep, the property of Edward KENNEDY. Verdict – both guilty of the theft from MAXWELL; Denis not guilty and John guilty, of the theft from KENNEDY. Both to be imprisoned 12 months, and kept to hard labour.

Andrew and Alexander RICHARDSON (cousins) were convicted of having stolen a heifer, the property of Ralph M’NEELY from the lands of Cavan on the night of the 25th February last. To be transported for 10 years.

Constantine and John CLARK were acquitted of a charge of assault upon Owen MAGUIRE at Castlehard on 15th Jan. last.

Edward HALFERTY was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and hard labour, having been found guilty of having on the 20th February last, stolen a heifer, the property of Hugh M’GINLEY from the lands of Fulnyarron.

Unity and Rose ROGERS were convicted of having at Tarnigans, on 1st March last, stolen a ewe and two ducks, the property of Patrick DUNLEARY and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and hard labour.

James DUFFY was found guilty of having stolen 6 stones of oats from the premises of Edward FLANIGAN, of Ballyshannon and sentenced to 7 years transportation.

Edward M’SWEENY was convicted of having on 30th December last, at Ardbane, stolen a gelding, the property of Maurice M’ELHARE – 7 years transportation.

Patrick M’GINTY was acquitted of the charge of having, at Cullinbuoy, stolen a ewe, the property of Michael M’COOL.

John CREENAN and Patrick FEENY were found guilty of having on 22nd February, stolen a quantity of unthrashed oats from the barn of George CANNING, of Aught and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.

John and Daniel SMITH (father and son) were convicted of having at Meenaglin, stolen a heifer, the property of John M’GLYNN, and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and hard labour.

Charles BEATTIE pleaded guilty to the charge of having stolen a heifer from the lands of Elagh. 7 years transportation.

Biddy DOHERTY was sentenced 6 months imprisonment from the date of her committal for having pleaded to the charge of stealing a piece of calico and handkerchief at Moville.

Patrick KELLY was convicted of having stolen a box from a cart upon the street of Letterkenny, on 19th Feb. last. 6 months imprisonment and hard labour.

Peter KELLY was found guilty of having on 19th Feb. last, within a lodging-house at Ballybofey stolen two half-crowns from Patrick M’CANN, a pedlar boy, from the County of Sligo. 8 months imprisonment and hard labour.

George and Elinor ROGERS (father and daughter) were convicted of having at Killybegs stolen some oats, the property of Sergeant SCARLETT of the constabulary. 3 months imprisonment. (Londonderry Sentinel)

7 May 1847 Execution of Samuel CRUMMER

The extreme sentence of the law was carried into effect on Friday last at Lifford, on Samuel CRUMMER, who had been found guilty at the late assizes for the county of Donegal, of the murder his father, near Ardara, that county. His wife had also been convicted together with him of the same offence, but the prerogative of mercy was exercised in her favour by the Lord Lieutenant and her punishment was commuted to transportation for life. The evidence against both was circumstantial, but was so conclusive that a most intelligent jury returned the verdict without hesitation and the wretched parricide made no protestation of his innocence upon his conviction. Since then his demeanour has been that of a stolid, illiterate man, who appeared to be quite insensible of the awful situation in which was placed; but he has recently been heard to declare that his wife could prove that he was innocent, and that some members of her family were the perpetrators of the horrible and barbarous murder for which he was doomed to suffer. No sympathy was manifested for him, so fully persuaded were his neighbours and the public at large that he had committed the crime and the circumstance of his intended execution excited so slight a sensation, although fourteen or fifteen years have elapsed since a similar event took place in the county of Donegal, that not more than three, or four hundred, persons were assembled at 11 o’clock, the hour at which it was expected to occur, and the entire concourse present at twelve o’clock did not exceed a thousand persons, a large proportion of them being boys and (we are happy to say, for the honour of the sex,) very few females.

At twenty minutes before twelve, a strong party of constabulary and sixty men of the 38th depot, were marched to the open space in front of Lifford gaol, forming a semicircle, to prevent the crowd from approaching the building and the fatal rope was seen attached to the metal bar above the drop. As the sub- sheriff had been instructed not to admit strangers to the prison, we cannot describe the particulars of what happened within its precincts, but we learned subsequently that CRUMMER partook of breakfast with an apparent appetite at 11 o’clock and that he exhibited no trepidation as the time drew nigh for his execution. While the hangman was putting a large white garment over his ordinary dress and pinioning his arms, he repeated aloud ‘Lord have mercy on soul’, and before he was conducted to the scaffold he shook hands with the sheriff and officers of the prison, to whom he returned thanks for their conduct towards him during his incarceration.

At 12:00 o’clock precisely, he was led out on the drop in front of the gaol, stepping with cautious but firm tread on the iron grating. A thrill of horror ran through the multitude and a murmur, not of pity but of awe, was heard as he appeared. It was a spectacle that might well appeal to the stoutest heart, to behold a man of colossal proportions, in full health and vigour, and who had scarcely yet arrived at the meridian of life and to know that in another minute or two, he would be launched into eternity.

He was six feet two in height and but thirty-two years of age, although an imprisonment of more than twelve months, and the ghostly habiliments he wore, made him look several years older. But if anything could heighten the awfulness of the scene, it was the statement he made on the occasion. The executioner having adjusted the rope, the culprit proceeded to address the crowd in a loud voice and in a firm and collected manner, “Gentlemen and ladies”, said the wretched man, “I am going to inform you that I am about to die and I wish to tell you that I am innocent and that I never lifted hand or foot to my poor father, nor would I do it, but, __of Ardara, swore my life away for a little money in these hard tunes. I leave my blessing to my children and all friends and I forgive all as I hope to get forgiveness myself.”

We were unable to catch the name of the individual to whom he alluded as having sworn away his life, owing to the screams of a female of weak intellect in a distant part of the crowd, who cried and gesticulated violently while the prisoner was speaking. The wretched man repeated some of the foregoing observations two or three times, as if he had been endeavouring to express something which he had committed to memory, or in which he had been previously instructed and not the sentiments that occurred to him at the moment. The executioner, who was brought from Dublin for the purpose, then drew the white cap over his face, when he remonstrated, and turning towards the door, through which he had walked to the drop, he asked to see the governor of the gaol. The Roman Catholic priests who attended to prepare him for his death, the Rev. Mr. BROWNE, of Strabane and his coadjutor, the Rev. Mr. M’GEOGHEHAN, were standing at the door and the latter addressed some words to him in Irish and when Mr. FENTON, the governor, told him that it was usual to have the face covered, the priests desired him to be resigned and one of them patted him repeatedly on the shoulder. CRUMMER then stood erect on the platform, with his front towards the street and after a few seconds, which seemed to be passed in prayer, the bolt was drawn and almost instantaneously, life appeared to have left him. There was one convulsive movement of his arms after he fell, but it was only for a moment and then he hung motionless. One of the policemen on duty was so much affected at the dreadful spectacle that he was led away in almost a fainting state. After the body had been suspended for three quarters of an hour, it was lowered and deposited in a coffin by the hangman and immediately afterwards it was interred within the precincts of the prison.

The wretched man was asked on Thursday whether he wished to see his wife, but replied that he did not, remarking that she had been a bad wife for him. CRUMMER, it will be recollected, was in his earlier years nominally a Protestant, but contracted a marriage in opposition to his father’s wish with his partner in guilt, who was a Roman Catholic and when doing so, had to conform to the religion she professed. The old man continued to live with him, but threatened that would not leave them his farm on his demise and in consequence they quarrelled among themselves and it has been stated that Peggy CRUMMER beat her father-in-law and in order to obtain possession of the few acres of land he held, it is believed that she and her husband perpetrated the murder. Little as was the compassion evinced for the man who forfeited his life yesterday on the scaffold, it is reported that still less is felt for his wife. At all events, the awful tragedy should teach two lessons, namely, the evil of ill-assorted marriages, and the danger and pernicious results of covetousness.

Mixed marriages have been the fruitful source of discord and crime in Ireland,

(here edited)

How rarely do we hear of a culprit who has been under the guidance of a priest, publicly acknowledging his guilt at the hour of death and though not a shadow of doubt can be entertained, that he either perpetrated the offence for which he is to suffer, or was accessory to it, yet he passes into eternity at peace with himself, as if it mattered not whether he spoke truth or falsehood at that awful crisis; and imputing in his dying moments, to those who are charged with executing the behests of the law, the crime of judicial murder. (Derry Sentinel)