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  • 2-30 Oct. 1841 News of the Day

2-30 Oct. 1841 News of the Day

Transcribed by Teena from the Londonderry Sentinel

2 Oct. 1841

Death by Drowning Suspicious Circumstances

At an early hour on Sunday morning last, the body of a female was discovered floating in the Strabane Canal, about 300 yards from the quay. The police were apprised of the fact and hastened to the spot. On taking out the body, it proved to be that of an unfortunate girl named Mary M’NAMARA. A man who was seen with her late on Saturday, was taken by the police and kept in custody till after the inquest, and ultimately admitted to bail. An inquest was held on the body by the coroner for Tyrone, Mr. ORR, but the jury were unable to arrive at any verdict. They are to meet again on the 6th of this month.

9 Oct. 1841

Ulster Deaf and Dumb Institution

Yesterday evening at 7 o’clock a large and respectable meeting of the friends of this institution was held in Corporation Hall. The Rev. Messrs. DICKEY and PARKE, who attended as a deputation, were introduced to the meeting by the Rev. W. M’CLURE, who moved Sir Robert FERGUSON Bart., M P., to the chair and opened the proceedings with prayer, after which the Rev. Mr. DICKEY addressed the meeting and explained to them the object and design of the Belfast Institution and detailed the progress which it had already made.

He then introduced to the meeting a blind man, named Thomas M’CARTER, about 28 years of age, who was admitted to the institution in 1836. He was then 23 years of age and consequently lost many years before he received any instruction whatever. This had prevented him from making the progress that he would otherwise have done, had he entered the institution when a boy. He is, however, able to read, but not without some difficulty.

Mr. DICKEY next stated the particulars relative to Mr. GALL’S invention of books for the blind, the expenses attending on the undertaking were so great, that the Gospel of John was sold at 21s. Mr. GALL afterwards entered into an arrangement with the British and Foreign Bible society, who, by a considerable outlay, had succeeded in reducing the price of the entire new testament, printed for the blind, in quarto volumes, to 4s. 6d. a volume. In addition to this, a magistrate of Glasgow, Bailie ALSTON, had chiefly by his own exertion, succeeded in bringing out, in this manner, the entire bible. This work was printed in Roman capitals and the government gave four hundred pounds towards its completion. He said that the number of pupils at present in the institution was 53; of these 32 are deaf and dumb and 21 blind; none of the blind are boarded in the institution.

The young man M’CARTER, now before them, was occupied from seven in the morning, till seven in the afternoon, in spinning twine. The many hours he was employed during the day had prevented him from making such a progress in reading, as he otherwise would have done and the knowledge of the scriptures which he possessed was, in a great measure, derived from hearing others read to him, and at the Sabbath-school. The gospel according to St. Luke was then handed to the blind pupil, who read very distinctly the 15th and part of the 18th chapter; after which he underwent a searching examination by the Rev. Messrs. M’CLURE and WALLACE, who put to him several questions, of which he answered in a way highly satisfactory, elucidating in a clear and comprehensive manner, the Christian religion.

After the examination of the blind young man had terminated, Mr. DICKEY introduced Charles DOHERTY, one of the deaf and dumb pupils, a fine intelligent-looking boy of about nine years old, belonging to the town of Coleraine. He said that he was only a year in the institution and though he had no idea of sound, he had, nevertheless, been taught to articulate. One of the teachers had, at some time since, introduced this branch of teaching and by spelling on his fingers what he wished the pupils to say, had succeeded in making some of the boys speak a few words correctly. He said he would first examine GILLILAND, who had made, but very little progress in using his voice. He accordingly brought him forward but the attempt made by him was grating to the ear.

The pupils were then examined on a variety of subjects, with which they appeared to be perfectly conversant. The examination was of the most interesting character, affording much amusement to the beholders

The Rev. Robert PARK then addressed the meeting in an eloquent and impressive speech; we regret that it is not in our power to give an outline of Mr. PARKE’S <sic> speech, which seemed to make a deep impression on the audience.

Awfully Sudden Death

An inquest was held in Coleraine by Mr. GAILEY, county coroner, on Monday last, the 4th instant, on the body of James HARKIN, who died suddenly the day before. It appeared in evidence that the deceased had been engaged counting a sum of money, on Sunday morning, when two young women, on their way to a friend’s house, called to see him and his wife. Some time after they had left the house, he missed the money and suspected that they had taken it. He took two policemen with him and went in pursuit of them to the place where they said they were going, two miles distant. There they were taken into custody and searched, but no money was found in their possession. The deceased was very much agitated, and having been greatly heated by walking, took off his coat on his way home. When about a mile from Coleraine, on his return, he felt unwell and went into a public house, where he had a glass of peppermint water. Immediately after drinking it he exclaimed, ‘that he was gone – that the trash had been his end’ and on the instant, expired. The verdict returned was that the deceased died from congestion of the brain, brought on by over-exertion and excitement. The money that he had missed was found in a drawer, in his house, in which it is supposed he had laid it, but forgot having done so.

16 Oct. 1841

Londonderry Quarter Sessions

The Quarter Sessions commenced here on Tuesday, before the assistant- barrister for the county, James LYNE Esq. After the registration of voters and applications for spirit licenses had been disposed of, the following trials were proceeded with;

Abbe Anne CALLAGHAN and Patrick CALLAGHAN, her father, were indicted for robbing John DONAGHY of £4 5s. at Claudy on the 17th September. DONAGHY, on being examined, deposed to finding the woman put her hand into his breast, but could not swear that she took the money from him.

Another witness, named Wm. MARSHALL stated that he saw the woman take something out of the breast of the prosecutor.

Sub-constable Henry BENSON was then examined and stated that on the 17th September last he arrested the female prisoner, on an accusation of having committed the robbery and took her father at same time into custody. Next day they were taken before Acheson LYLE Esq., when they underwent an examination and as nothing was found on their persons, the man was discharged, but as the woman had been seen putting her hand into DONAGHY’S breast and taking something out, she was committed to gaol. On the night of Monday last, the 11th inst., the witness, BENSON, observed the male prisoner lurking about the house in which he lodged the night the money was taken from DONAGHY, where he afterwards found him in bed and on making a strict search, succeeded in discovering £4, which was supposed to be part of the money that had been stolen, between the bedside and the wall. Witness then took the elder prisoner into custody and the next day brought him before J. A. SMYTH Esq., who fully committed him and he was accordingly put on his trial. Both prisoners were found guilty. To be transported for seven years. (Too much praise cannot be given to BENSON for his activity in apprehending the prisoners, whose character has long been of the worst description.)

Bridget BAKER was indicted for stealing a cotton frock, the property of John TAAFE, at Limavady. Not guilty.

Joseph MOORE and Jess LOVE were indicted for stealing, at Nn-Limavady, 10 slate pencils, 10 marbles and a whip, the property of Joseph MOORE. Guilty – Joseph MOORE to be imprisoned six weeks – Jess LOVE to be imprisoned one fortnight.

Robert FERGUSON and John ROBINSON were indicted for assaulting Archibald THOMPSON, at Killyblaght. This case, which occupied the court for a considerable time, was a kind of family dispute, arising out of the possession of some land for grazing cattle and though the assault was clearly proven, it was, nevertheless, from the witnesses examined, shown that the traversers did not assault the prosecutor till after he had first struck Joseph FERGUSON, a lad who was sent by his father to drive cattle off the disputed ground. Not guilty.

Archibald THOMPSON was then indicted for assaulting Joseph FERGUSON. Guilty – To be imprisoned for one month, and give security to keep the peace, himself in £10 and two sureties in £4 each.


A girl of the name of MULLOY, about fourteen years of age, recently met with a serious accident at Prehen quarry, under the following circumstances – Her father was employed in the quarry and she had taken him his dinner, which he sat down to under the shelter of a tree, against which, there was a large flag leaning. After he had finished his meal, the girl, by his directions, sat down in the same place to partake of what remained. She, however, had scarcely been seated when the flag referred to fell and crushed one of her legs in a fearful manner. The father of the sufferer ran to her assistance, but was unable to remove the stone on account of its weight, till aided by five other men. The poor girl was then removed to an adjoining house and Dr. ROGAN shortly after driving past, and being apprised of the accident, instantly went and examined the wound and ordered her to be conveyed to the infirmary, where she now lies, receiving the utmost attention, but suffering extreme pain.

The body of a young woman named LEITCH, from the parish of Ardstraw, which had been missing these five or six weeks, was found in the river at Magavelin, near St. Johnston, about eight miles from where it is supposed she fell in. She had been in a weak state of mind for some years and it is supposed, on her return home, she had fallen into the river near the new bridge, at the foot of the Derg river and met her untimely end.

23 Oct. 1841

Derry Fair

On Monday our October fair was but thinly attended. Excepting a few lots of cattle especially, stock were of a very inferior quality; prices of all sorts very brisk. A lot of seven calves, belonging to the Bishop of Derry, brought £21; Captain MANSFIELD, Killygordon, asked for six bullocks, £70; milch cows went from £8 to 10 guineas; Mr. FYFFE offered £15 for a newly calved heifer, bred by Mr. BROWN, Ballyarnett; feeders, wishing to purchase winter stock, left without buying; sheep were not numerous, nor of the best description; the best lot of ewes exhibited were the property of Mr. PORTER, of Elagh, who asked £2 a head; very few high-priced sheep for sale; pigs looking up; at the horse fair, few appeared to suit the farmer. We observed half-a dozen high priced horses; Mr. WILSON, near Raphoe, showed a splendid very dark bay horse at 70 guineas but, on the whole, very little business was done.

Extraordinary Memory of A Youth

Among the many boys employed for the different purposes of calculation, on the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, there is at present one, named Alex. GWIN, only 8 years old and a native of Derry, whose abilities, at his early age, are truly surprising. He has got by rote the fractional logarithms from 1 to 1,000, which he will repeat in regular rotation, or otherwise, as the interrogator may please to put the questions. It is certainly astonishing to think so tender a mind can retain, with such tenacity and correctness, seven figures of an answer (according to their different variations) for 1,000 numbers. His rapidity and correctness in the various calculations of trignometrical distances, triangles, &c. are amazingly beyond anything we have ever witnessed. He can, in less than one minute, make a return in acres, roods, perches, &c. of any quantity of land, by giving him the surveyor’s chained distances, while the greatest arithmetician, with all his knowledge, will take nearly an hour to do the same and not be be certain of truth in the end.

Melancholy Accident – Death of Mr. Joseph NELSON, Charlemont

A melancholy accident occurred at Charlemont, County of Armagh, on the evening of the 16th inst. Mr. Joseph NELSON, of that town, formerly a resident of Belfast, accompanied by a young gentleman named M’BLAINE of Dungannon, had been taking a pleasure sail in Mr. NELSON’S canoe, on the Blackwater river and were approaching Moy-bridge, when nearing the quay, at Mrs. MARTIN’S, a little after six o’clock p. m., the canoe, owing to some inexplicable cause, was capsized and both gentlemen were precipitated into the water. Mr. M’BLAINE was saved by the exertions of a boatman named ERSKINE, but Mr. NELSON was unfortunately drowned.

30 Oct. 1841

(Londonderry) City Sessions

Jane and Mary BOYLE, sisters, were indicted for stealing from Mr. DUNN, at the Waterside, on the 16th of April last, £10. Guilty – Jane BOYLE to be imprisoned six months, Mary BOYLE to be imprisoned three months

John WALLACE for stealing turf. To be imprisoned one fortnight.

Charles DURRACH for stabbing John ALLISON. Not guilty.

Mary FALLOON for stealing twenty sovereigns from Hugh M’INTOSH, master of a herring smack. Not guilty.

Daniel BARR indicted for larceny, Guilty – to be imprisoned 2 months.

Thomas M’CLURE for assaulting Hugh DOHERTY, of the night watch. To be imprisoned 2 months.

Hugh DOHERTY, Unity DOHERTY, Catherine DOHERTY sen.,Catherine DOHERTY jun., and James DOHERTY, for larceny and assault. To be imprisoned 6 weeks each and kept to hard labour.

Accidental Fire

On the night of Friday, the 22nd inst., the barn and byre, belonging to a man named George LOVE, of Cooly, were observed to be on fire, which it is supposed £100 worth of property was destroyed. The melancholy catastrophe is said to have occurred under the following circumstance; On Friday and preceding day, Mr. LOVE had been employed in breaking a quantity of flax, preparatory to its being scutched and on the evening of that day two “skeafs”, or bundles of dried flax were removed from the kiln in a state of overheatedness, into the barn, in which were deposited already, 30 stooks of bruised flax. It is supposed that there were particles of fire concealed within the “skeafs” that were put into the barn, (although unperceived by those handling them.) and these igniting, soon communicated the flame to the heap of flax. Be this as it may, in a short time after the house was discovered to be on fire, its entire roof presented the appearance of a sheet of living flame, which quickly came in contact with the adjoining house, where were a fine young horse and cow, which died from suffocation. In a short time the whole range of houses were reduced to a pile of smouldering ruins, notwithstanding the exertions of Mr. LOVE’S anxious and sympathising friends to rescue his property from the devouring element.