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Prisoners Antrim & Down

Prisoners – Carrickfergus Gaol, House of Correction County Antrim and Downpatrick Gaol, County Down.

Plaque, Carrickfergus Town Hall- reads
“Franciscan Friary 1232 – 1560’s
Joymount Palace 1618 – 1768
Present Building Erected 1779 as Court-House & Gaol
Refurbished 1935 as Town Hall

The following are transcribed by Teena from the Belfast Commercial Chronicle, Belfast Newsletter, Dublin Evening Post, Saunders Newsletter, and the Sun, unless otherwise noted.

1825 – Town of Carrickfergus Gaol

This gaol consisting of 5 rooms is in so dilapidated a state, that it is totally unfit for the reception of visitors, nor is it less fitted for that purpose by want of room, or of repair ,than it is rendered so by the filthy state in which it is kept by an old man totally unqualified for the care of the smallest class of prison. At present the greater part of the prisoners are committed to the county gaol and the expense of their dietary discharged from the funds of the town of Carrickfergus. The magistrates of the town look for a an arrangement by which the prisoners will be entirely transferred to the county gaol of Antrim, but in failure of such an arrangement being accomplished, in the next session it will be essential to build a new gaol.

1825 County of Antrim Gaol

The prison of the county of Antrim is formed in the shape of the letter H, with a keeper’s house in front; the debtors are placed in the cross centre building; the rear prisons are occupied on the one side by females, and on the other by juvenile criminal offenders., The felons occupy the front prison on both sides the classification is as follows viz;
1 Felons untried
2 Ditto tried
3 Misdemeanants tried and untried
4 Debtors
5 Females

The average number of prisoners within the last year has amounted to 140; the maximum at any one time 210; the cells are 62 in number’ From this statement it is clear that the prison is wholly insufficient for the gaol of this extensive county and no means appear practicable for rendering it so; by an additional building upon the present site’ From 30 to 60 prisoners are placed in one yard; the number has amounted to eighty. Everything that can be done to counteract these defects by regularity of system and a striking degree of cleanliness has been effected in the gaol; the interior regulations, of which do great credit to the local inspector and officers. A well contrived steam kitchen apparatus has been erected and the messing of the classes is conducted with great regularity. The school is carried on very well, but no other employment is effected for the male prisoners. This want, however, is the less to be lamented in a county in which so efficient a house of correction is supported. It is still, however, a serious defect arising from the badness of the gaol. The female class is conducted by a competent matron, but I should recommend some improvement in order to enable the local inspector the better to regulate the class.

1825 County of Antrim – Bridewells

There are 11 minor prisons in this county, exclusive of the county gaol and the gaol of the town of Carrickfergus.

Accounts & Papers of the House of Commons Vol. 23, 3 Feb. – 6 Jul. 1825

Carrickfergus Gaol (Town Hall)

22 Nov. 1796
On Tuesday last, Joseph CUTHBERT, Thos. POTTS, Thomas STOREY and Charles O’DONNELL were committed to Carrickfergus gaol, charged on oath with entering into a conspiracy to murder; John GORDON was also committed for the same crime. 

20 Dec. 1796

Yesterday, Mr. Alexander GORDON of this town, (Belfast) was taken into custody by Col. BARBER, on a charge of conspiracy, and committed to Carrickfergus gaol. Same day Mr. John BOYD was taken on a charge of high treason,and committed to same place. Messrs. O’DONNELL,POTTS, and John GORDON who had been committed to Carrickfergus on a charge of conspiracy, have all been liberated on bail.

2 May 1801

At the late assizes of Carrickfergus, William M’OWENS, John MAGEE and Patrick MARRAN were tried before the solicitor General, for a very atrocious murder and were all were convicted on the testimony of Patrick M’OWENS, a boy of 14, and son to the prisoner William. The court seemed shocked at so strange and unnatural a spectacle, as that of a child giving evidence against his father’s life, but the boy’s story bore such strong marks of veracity and was so corroborated by other evidence, that it was impossible not to find the prisoners guilty.

Previously to passing sentence, the solicitor general remarked on the striking circumstances which distinguished this case and which resembled an awful, interposition of providence. The prisoner M’OWENS, instead of training up his son in the path of virtue, had embrued his hands in blood and at the age of 14, had made him his agent and accomplice in committing murder; this very son, Heaven had chosen for its instrument in bringing the guilt to light, and had inflicted on the unhappy father a severer punishment than the loss of life, by making his own child the person who should bring him to an ignominious death. They were executed pursuant to their sentence on Wednesday the 8th instant.

6 Nov. 1803

Tuesday last at Carrickfergus, Hugh POTTER, a journeyman tailor, was convicted, on the clearest evidence of summoning the people of Carmoney to assemble 23rd July; of going to Broughshane camp as he called it; of returning on Wednesday 27th July and again threatening the neighbours if they would not rise in insurrection.

Belfast, Oct. 25
Thomas RUSSELL was executed at Downpatrick on Friday last, pursuant to his sentence. Nothing extraordinary occurred on that occasion. The same enthusiasm which supported him on his trial, accompanied him to the scaffold and enabled him to preserve a settled serenity of countenance to his last moments. At the place of execution, he said nothing farther than expressing hope that he died in peace with all mankind. James DRAKE, tried at Downpatrick on Friday last, was found guilty of high treason and ordered for execution on Saturday. James CORRY, tried Saturday, was also found guilty of high treason and ordered for execution on Monday. Andrew HUNTER was yesterday tried before the special Commission, Carrickfergus, for high treason and found guilty. His execution stands for this day. (Bells Weekly Messenger)

23 Jan. 1808

On Tuesday morning last, James M’GIRVAN under sentence of transportation for breaking the shop of Mr. David BIGGER of this town, effected his escape from Carrickfergus jail, by means of rope, with a number of knots tied on it and thrown over the wall of the jail-yard by some confederates, which enabled him to surmount the wall and get clear off. His escape was discovered in about 10 minutes, but notwithstanding an immediate pursuit, he could not be traced, having got through the neighbouring fields to the adjacent hills, favoured by a very thick fog. He was, however, discovered and apprehended from the following circumstances;

On Wednesday night, the shop of Mr. Wm. SIMPSON of Larne, was broken into and robbed of goods and money to a considerable amount. Three young men, carrying bundles, were met near Glenarm Thursday morning by a person, who, recognising the similarity of the bundles to some articles in the shop that was robbed, gave so close information, that 2 lads answering the description, were taken in bed in Carnalea, with a quantity of goods in their possession. They proved to be the fugitive convict and his brother, who was one of his assistants in making his escape. They had been accompanied in the robbery of the shop by a lad of the name of GREEN, who is known to be an old offender. They were both safely lodged in jail.

30 Jan. 1808

On Saturday last, the body of a woman, named Ann CURRAN, was found on the bank of the Lagan, above the Long-bridge. She was well known about town, as a vender of fruit, &c. The coroner’s inquest sat Monday, but from the absence of some witnesses, it was adjourned till Wednesday, when the following circumstances were given in evidence.

It appeared that on Friday night, between 10 and 11 o’clock, the deceased went into a public house in Ann street, kept by Martin ANDERSON; that when she came in, she was a good deal intoxicated and having sat down by the kitchen fire, she asked for a glass of spirits which was refused, but a pint of beer was given her. At this time one William HOLLINGER came down stairs, where had been with some companions; that a conversation ensued between him and the deceased; which terminated by a proposal to play ‘odds’ or ‘even’, for a naggin of spirits; the deceased having lost, refused to pay, which produced a quarrel in which she vented a great deal of abuse against HOLLINGER, saying, she would not pay for him, or any such Monaghan wrecker and Orangeman. Upon this he struck her several times upon the head and face and knocked out one of her teeth, which caused her to spit a good deal of blood; after this, HOLLINGER, with his companions, went out of the house and the deceased also went away in a few minutes. Some time after, a violent cry of murder was heard in Ann street and a woman (one of the witnesses), who looked out of her window, saw 2 men beating the deceased on the head and knock her down to the ground, upon this, she called for the guard, and immediately the men fled in contrary directions, leaving the deceased lying on the ground. A person who then came up, raised her and she appeared to stagger, as if going towards Prince’s street or the bridge. Another witness stated that he went forward at the time the two men were beating the deceased; one of them had a bundle in his hand and that they ran off, but he soon after saw them return and follow the deceased towards the Long-Bridge. lt also appeared that on the following morning HOLLINGER went into ANDERSON’S house, with a bundle in his hand, which he had the proceeding night; that he then begged of Agnes M’CONNELL, who lodges in the house, to request of Mr. ANDERSON, for Godsake not to mention that he had been with Nancy CURRAN the night before; that he then drank a quart of beer and went away. It further appeared, that HOLLINGER and another man knocked at the door of James POAG, in Pottinger’s-entry, about 20 minutes after 1 o’clock Sunday morning; that they went into the house and stopt about 15 minutes, when HOLLINGER said he was sick and wished to go to bed; their conversation related to the dispute with the deceased.

Doctor BANKHEAD who examined the body, stated, that he saw no marks of violence thereon, except a small hurt on the side of the face, which appeared to have been occasioned by a blow and that the deceased seemed recently to have lost some of her teeth, but from such marks he did not think they could have occasioned her death.

Verdict of the jury – “We find, from the evidence produced to us, there are strong reasons to suspect Wm. HOLLINGER to be in part, instrumental in the death of the deceased Ann CURRAN”. Thee Coroner immediately issued a warrant, and he was committed to Carrickfergus gaol.

15 Jun. 1808

Daniel M’CANN, who was taken into custody for picking a gentleman’s pocket in Ballyclare fair and made his escape from the constable as he was conveying him to Carrickfergus gaol, was taken on Tuesday last  by Mr. John COURTNEY of Ballymena, and conduced to prison.

5 Jun. 1809 – 50 Guineas Reward;

To any person or persons, who shall give such private information to the Rev. Edward MAY or William CLAVER Esq. Belfast; Mr. Aaron STANTON Carnmoney; or Mr. Robert REED, White Abbey, as may bring about the discovery and conviction of all, or any, of the said villains, and their names will be kept secret if required.

Escaped from the Co. Antrim Gaol, on the night of Thursday 1st June instant, the following prisoners;

Patrick M’FALONE aged abut 50 years or thereabouts, stout made, 5 feet 8 inches high, or thereabouts, brown hair and red whiskers, round faced and marked with small pox.

John M’CULLOCK, alias DARRAH, slender made, 5 feet 8 high, brown hair and whiskers, blue eyes, pale complexion, about 30 years of age.

Thomas WILSON, alias PHILLIPS, slender made, pale complexion, black hair, aged about 33 years, 5 feet 9 inches high or thereabouts.

William HANLEY aged 40 years, stout made, sandy hair, fair complexion, long visaged, marked with small pox, about 5 feet 9 inches high.

Any person lodging the above men in any of his Majesty’s gaols, detecting and giving information of them to William M’CLAVERTY, gaoler, Carrickfergus, so as they may be apprehended will receive a reward of 10£ each.10 Jun. 1809

On Thursday night, between the hours of 12 and 2 o’clock, four prisoners escaped from the Co. Antrim gaol, Carrickfergus, in a manner not inferior to any of the escapes effected by the celebrated Baron Trench.

They were confined in 2 separate cells, 2 in each, at the usual hour of 9 o’clock. With the assistance of a gimblet and a penknife, they cut the wood case of the door over the iron bolt, so as to introduce the finger and shoot the bolt; by this means they got into the passage; they had yet 4 doors to open before they could get into the yard; two of them they opened in the manner above stated; but the third door, 4 inches thick and studded with iron, was so effectually secured, that it resisted every effort; they now had recourse to a most singular method; by some means, or other, they lighted a fire, by which they heated pieces of an iron hoop and the bar of a grate and by this method, actually burnt the door in 2 pieces, as completely as if cut by a saw.

Having now got into the yard, they carried out their 2 wooden bedsteads and placed one on the other, against the wall in the yard, which is near 40 feet high, they then fastened the blankets of their bed together, by whip cord; to the end of the blanket they fastened an old iron grating, which they found in the yard, and threw the blanket and the grating over the wall, keeping hold of the other end, and by that means, gained the top of the wall, and cleared off.

30 Aug. 1810 – Carrickfergus Assizes – Horrid Murder

Charles UNDERWOOD and John CHERRY were this day brought to trial, the former for murdering John M’CLURE, near Aghohill, in October last and the latter for having aided and abetted him to commit it.

From the evidence of a number of witnesses it appeared, that the deceased, having had some pecuniary transactions with the prisoner CHERRY, the latter procured a forged bond, on which he arrested the deceased, but when the case came to trial, CHERRY was cast and one of his sons, who had appeared as a witness, was afterwards indicted and transported for willful perjury.

The deceased afterwards commenced an action against CHERRY, the prisoner, for false imprisonment and to avoid the consequences, CHERRY adopted the dreadful resolution of having him murdered before the cause could come to trial. To effect this diabolical scheme, he proposed to the unhappy prisoner, UNDERWOOD, to give him the half of Braid Farm, and his daughter in marriage, on condition that he should murder M’CLURE and he also offered to lend John GALLOWAY (who became King’s evidence) £200, on condition that he should assist in the murder. UNDERWOOD and GALLOWAY accepted the offer and promised to murder M’CLURE before the next Term in Dublin.

John UNDERWOOD, an uncle of the prisoner of that name, also engaged in the conspiracy and proposed that they should poison the deceased, but although they procured poison with the intention of mixing it with his tea at a friendly meeting, they had not a fit opportunity for doing it. GALLOWAY then declined to have any thing more to do in the business, as he conceived the UNDERWOOD and CHERRY wished him to take all the risk of the murder upon himself. He afterwards went to CHERRY’S house, where he heard the prisoner UNDERWOOD, say that M’CLURE could never trouble CHERRY more, as he was murdered and CHERRY, appearing doubtful upon it, UNDERWOOD offered to swear it upon a bible. CHERRY then believed him and gave him 2 sheep, promising him money when he could get it from his attorney.

UNDERWOOD on his way home with the sheep, confessed to GALLOWAY that he had drank with M’CLURE the preceding evening and on their way home, murdered him and buried his body in a field. UNDERWOOD also showed GALLOWAY the pocket book of the deceased, concerning his papers, which chiefly related to his law suit with CHERRY. UNDERWOOD burnt the papers, observing that if they were found, he might get hanged.

Afterwards CHERRY, knowing that some money was due to M’CLURE by his attorney, employed GALLOWAY to write a letter in his name, dated from Dublin, requiring the money to be sent to a particular address, where he said he could get the money instead of M’CLURE. UNDERWOOD confessed that M’CLURE was murdered, with a bayonet, by a man of the name of COURTNEY, but said he looked in at the window, without assisting in it. The body was in a very putrid state when found, but several people identified it.

After the evidence, which was very circumstantial, had been recapitulated by the Judge, the jury found UNDERWOOD guilty of the murder and conspiracy to murder and CHERRY guilty of the conspiracy to murder only. They were sentenced to be hanged on the Friday next and the body of UNDERWOOD to be dissected.

CHERRY is 71 years of age and denied having committed the murder and said be should persist in it under the gallows. UNDERWOOD acknowledged his guilt and said COURTNEY and GALLOWAY were present when the murder was perpetrated. CHERRY is an old offender and was tried several times, but escaped conviction. He was very lately tried at Dublin, along with another man, for horse stealing, when they were both acquitted, but ordered to find bail. CHERRY found bail and was liberated, but his companion being unable to get bail, he was detained and CHERRY having neglected him in prison, induced him to inform a proper officer in Dublin of the circumstances of M’CLURE’s murder, which CHERRY had communicated to him in confidence. The prisoners were immediately apprehended and a reward offered for the apprehension of those who have escaped.

29 Aug. 1810

On Friday morning, about 4 o’clock, the convicts John CHERRY and Charles UNDERWOOD, were taken from Carrickfergus, to be executed near the place where the unfortunate J. M’CLURE was murdered. They were put on a car, on one side of which was the executioner and escorted from Carrickfergus by a small party of militia, commanded by an officer, under the direction of Joseph FULTON Esq. sub-sheriff of the County.

At Templepatrick, Antrim, Randalstown &c. they were joined by different corps of yeomanry, that accompanied them to the place of execution. CHERRY, from the time he received sentence, and all the way to the awful spot, which was to finish his guilty career, continued in the most hardened and senseless impenitency. UNDERWOOD’S conduct on the contrary showed he possessed a heart of a very different stamp, a heart, melted into a sincere contrition and which sought to make peace with God and man.

Between Antrim and Randalstown, UNDERWOOD was met by his unfortunate wife, and a most heartrending scene took place. She was permitted to sit on the car with him and to administer all the consolation his wretched state could admit of. In Randalstown they were taken into the market house and attended for a considerable time by the Rev. Mr. PRATT and the Rev. Doctor HENRY and were exhorted to make an ample confession before they left this world, in order to atone for their crimes, as much as they could. UNDERWOOD was disposed to comply with this necessary injunction. In particular, he declared that he attributed his unfortunate situation to his neglect of every religious duty. He mentioned, to the utter disgrace of those by whom he was reared, that he was often severely punished for attending public worship! He made a written confession, in which he acknowledged the justice of his sentence and the truth of the greater part of GALLOWAY’S evidence. He denied that he was the actual perpetrator of the murder, admitting, however, that he was in every wise privy to, and present, at it. He imputed to his uncle, John UNDERWOOD and his grandfather who reared him, the entire depravity of his life and repeatedly exhorted CHERRY to make all the reparation which was now in his power, by a full avowal of his crimes and of this in particular.

But not all the solicitations of UNDERWOOD, the exhortations of the Rev. Clergymen or a consideration of his awful situation, could work on his hardened heart. To one of the questions, however, that were put to him, he replied, as if taken by surprise, “I cannot say but I did ken o’t. l consent tilt”, but more he would not confess on the subject. On some observations made by the Rev. Mr. PRATT, he replied, “that he knew he was hardened in vice,” and it was on this occasion that he manifested the only sign of compunction; a tear or two trickled down his furrowed cheeks. Taking advantage of this circumstance, his Reverend attendant exhorted him to join them in prayer; he desired them to pray for him, which would do just as well; he could not even repeat the Lords prayer. At length, however, he was induced to go on his knees and join in prayer and repeated a few words, after the clergyman. At this trying moment, a circumstance occurred, which more strongly marked his extreme depravity, than we could have considered human nature capable of.

He was in a room in the market house and a quarrel happening to take place (most disgraceful, by the bye, every one concerned in it) the noise attracted his attention, he suddenly bounced to his feet, went to the window, and seemingly enjoying the disturbance, exclaimed “see how those rascals are fighting!” He, CHERRY, seemed frequently altogether to lose sight of his situation and became quite argumentative, occasionally taking snuff. When asked about the murder of Francis EDENS, the clerk of Sir John BLACKWOOD, he denied that he was murdered at all and said that he drowned himself. Being asked if he did not assist in drowning him, he still denied it, saying, it could not possibly be the case, as 3 half guineas were found in the pockets of the deceased. We understand he acquitted a County of Down man, who was tried for the murder, and said, “he was no way concerned.”

From Randalstown they were taken to the place of execution. The gallows upwards of 14 feet high, was erected on a rising ground, in a grazing field belonging to a relation of UNDERWOOD, about 4 miles from Randalstown and 2 from Ahoghill This field was well chosen, from its elevation and from its immediately adjoining the field where the unfortunate M’CLURE was murdered, and also that in which his body was found.

After remaining some time in prayer, they ascended the car, when UNDERWOOD with the most penitential, though manly fortitude and great presence of mind, and in an audible, clear, and distinct manner, implored the surrounding multitude to beware of falling into evil company, exhorting all present to attend regularly public worship on the Lords day, and the duty of private prayer, pathetically lamenting his own neglect to both those duties and acknowledging, that though he had obtained numberless blessings from the almighty, yet he scarcely ever thought of returning thanks. He again declared that though he was present, he had, not his hands, in the actual murder of M’CLURE; but said that Robert COURTNEY, who was liberated at the last assizes, gave M’CLURE a stab in the neck with a bayonet and that his uncle, John UNDERWOOD, struck him on the head with a stone, which he supposes, though he was not quite certain, fractured his skull.

He further declared that he had been promised no reward from CHERRY, but that he had been solely induced to engage in the horrid business by the advice of his uncle, John UNDERWOOD, “on whose head he laid his blood.” His uncle was to receive 100£ from CHERRY for murdering M’CLURE. He said he was quite satisfied to die, as had he lived longer, he probably would have been guilty of other crimes and he hoped he would obtain pardon for what was laid to his charge; declaring that what gave him the most trouble at the moment, was his unfortunate wife, who, we understand, he had previously recommended to the consideration of Mr. AIKIN. He said he died at peace with all men and requested the forgiveness and prayers of all. Then, turning to his unfortunate fellow sufferer, he exhorted him, in the name of god, to make an open confession of his crimes, telling him he was under a very bad character. The other appeared determined to die wicked and asked, “what would he have him confess?” exclaiming, “he was free of the murder”. UNDERWOOD then told him, that he was the original cause of bringing them both to that shameful end and repeated that he had promised his uncle John UNDERWOOD, 100£ to murder M’CLURE and that he was to lend John GALLOWAY 200£ for a length of time, interest free, in case M’CLURE was put out of the way. He also reminded him of some other crimes he had been charged with, but CHERRY still appeared to be obdurate and would confess nothing. UNDERWOOD then uttered a most fervent prayer for his fellow sufferer and told him he entirely forgave him and hoped God would also forgive him.

After remaining a few minutes in private prayer, they were both launched off the car, but by the bungling contrivance of the executioner, they instantly came to the ground. This was a dreadful interval to the surrounding multitude, but particularly to the unfortunate beings, who were about to suffer, but not a murmur escaped from UNDERWOOD’S lips, as his countenance was unchanged and without any appearance of fear. Not so his companion, he seemed to show (though such a hardened wretch) considerable symptoms of alarm. An idea may be formed of CHERRY’S behaviour from what he said when the hangman was tightening the rope, “Take care” he cried, “and give us fair hanging.”

As it took some time to adjust the ropes, UNDERWOOD exclaimed he was thankful he had still a little longer for prayer and after recollecting himself, he mentioned the names of several persons to whom he owed sums of money and requested his friends would see them paid. He still continued exhorting the people to refrain from all kinds of wickedness and hoped his untimely end would be a warning to all. He then prayed very fervently and shortly after they were both placed on the top of their coffins and about 4 o’clock, launched into eternity.

An unusual circumstance took place previous to mounting the fatal car. UNDERWOOD stripped himself naked and was again dressed by his friends in a suit of what is called ‘dead linen’, which gave a new feature to the ceremony and tended strongly, to make the whole scene awful and impressive.

The Rev. Dr. HENRY attended at the place of execution and gave every religious aid in his power to the unhappy culprits, but UNDERWOOD alone seemed to join fervently in the prayers put up for them to the throne of Divine mercy.

After hanging about 35 minutes, the bodies were cut down and CHERRY’S given to his friends. The body of UNDERWOOD was conveyed the County Infirmary of Lisburn, for dissection, but from his proper behaviour, application having been made, it was shortly afterwards given to his father-in-law and other friends. CHERRY, we understand, could neither read nor write; a strong proof that the majority of those who suffer an ignominious death for their crimes, are in a state of the deepest ignorance and clearly points out to the Legislature, the necessity and propriety of establishing a system of national education, in this country.

On Saturday, about 1 o’clock, Anthony SYLVA, a Portuguese seaman, convicted of the murder of Robert MORRISON, on the quay of Belfast, by stabbing him with a dagger, was conveyed to the common place of execution at Carrickfergus, and after a considerable time spent in the most devout prayer, in which he was aided by 2 Catholic Priests, suffered the sentence of the law, dying in the most penitent manner.

7 Jan. 1812

On Wednesday last, Mrs. DOUGHERTY came to Carrickfergus jail to see her husband, Francis DOUGHERTY, a sadler from Belfast, confined for debt. She was accompanied by James O’NEILL, late of Corn market and James DALTON, innkeeper. After said party spending the day with their friend, they took the opportunity, when the strangers were quitting the jail in the evening, and had DOUGHERTY dressed in his wife’s clothes, and he was in the act of escaping when the face was recognised not to be Mrs. DOUGHERTY’S, but Mr. D.’s and he was turned back from the outer door into his ward, where his wife remained concealed.

8 Feb. 1817

In consequence of some information which our gaoler received last week, he had reason to believe that William GREEN, one of the convicts who made his escape from gaol, along with POLLETT and others, was under confinement in Carrickfergus gaol; he without delay dispatched John KIRK to Ireland, who immediately identified GREEN and an application was made to the Lord Lieutenant for his removal to Carlisle, so that he may be expected to arrive at his old quarters in a few days. (Carlisle Patriot)

29 Mar. 1817 – Insolvent debtor’s

Take Notice that our petitions have been presented and our schedules and oaths filed with the Clerk of the Peace for  County Antrim, in order to our being discharged out of custody and from the demands of our creditors, pursuant to an Act of Parliament made in the 53rd year of his present Majesty’s reign, entitled. an Act for the relief of insolvent debtors in Ireland; And also an Act of Parliament made in the 54th year of his present Majesty’s reign entitled “an Act to amend an Act made in the last session of Parliament for the relief of Insolvent debtors in Ireland; And also of an Act of Parliament made in the 56th year of his present Majesty’s reign, entitled, “an Act to amend an Act of the 53rd year of his present Majesty for the relief of insolvent debtors in Ireland.”

And we further give notice and declare, that we are ready and willing to be fully examined touching the justice of our conduct to each and every of our creditors. And likewise take notice, that the matter of said petitions will be taken into consideration on the 17th April next, at Antrim, by the Worshipful Richard DOBBS, assistant barrister for the County of Antrim aforesaid.

All in Carrickfergus Gaol

Patrick CRANEY

creditors of Thomas HAMILL
Robert TRAIL
Francis DANIEL
Christopher HUDSON
Hugh CRAWFORD and Narcissus (BATT?)
Hugh MONTGOMERY & Co. Robert LAW
all of Belfast
Arthur HAMILL, Falls, John ALSHINDIE, Dromall
William FAGAN and Charles M’GRADY, Dromore
John M’MULLAN, John CROSSLY, Alexander DAVY, and James CLOSE, all of Belfast
John HURD, Ballygomartin and all other Creditors

creditors of Patrick CRANEY
Daniel M’LARNON, Tullyrusk
Hugh MAGILL, Aghagallon
Robert BEST William FEARY sen. and William FEARY jun., Aghalee
James GALEY, Doctor RAVENDROFT? and Thomas WEATHERHEAD, all of Ballinderry
James NEILSON, Glenavy
Mr. MAXWELL, Mollycarton
_ (left blank) TOULERTON, ditto
Thomas LAKEY, Moira
John and Richard CRANEY, Aghagalgin
and all other creditors

Creditors of Hugh M’LARNON
George HILL Larne
John SERVICE, Belfast
Hugh MULHOLLAND, Ballymena
John MOORE and John DIXON, Doctor James GREEN, Dromall
Samuel CRAIG, John FOX, Hugh and Joshua MOOREHEAD, Belfast
Alexander HOLMES, Larne
Bryan LAVERTY, Innishowen
William CLARK, Carnany
Lawrence M’KINTY, Randalstown
William HAMILTON, Ahoghill
Daniel M’DONNELL, Belfast
Joseph M’LARNON, Ahoghill
James HAMILTON and Francis QUINN, Ahoghill
Daniel M’ALEY of Ballymena and all other creditors.

Creditors of William HESLET
John ROSS, Loughnagarry
Richard ERWIN, John and Irwin ERWIN, Ballykid
John BOYLE, Canary
James GORDON, Craigawinnon
Charles MONTGOMERY, Broughshane
James HUNTER, Gallanagh
Archibald M’VICKER, Ballymena
James BARKLIE, Slaute
Coghran LEECH, Derfin
John HENRY, Kilrea
William GILLILAND, Ballymena and to all other creditors

5 Apr. 1817 – Trial and Execution of J. and R. GREER for the Murder of Their Father

On Monday se’ennight, John GREER and Robert GREER were sentenced to death at Carrickfergus, for murdering their father, a tythe proctor at Churchtumbler, in the county of Antrim. John was a dissenting preacher, and was engaged in teaching in some of the neighbouring families. The circumstances were detailed by a man who swore he was present while John struck his father and knocked him down with the butt end of a pistol, and when he attempted to rise, his son jumped on his breast, and finished him with repeated blows of a hatchet. The deceased weltered and groaned, but never spoke.

Doubts were thrown on this witness’ evidence, as on the coroner’s inquest he swore that he was ignorant of the murder, but the other witnesses corroborated him in all the leading parts. John had had a quarrel with his father and was, a few days before, dismissed from his house. A long circumstantial evidence was led, to prove that Robert was accessary, to the premeditation of the deed, though not present when it was perpetrated. The convicts were married. They were ordered to be executed at Carrickfergus on Wednesday.


On Wednesday, about 12 o’clock, the High sheriff, attended by a party of the Royal Scots, went to the prison and the criminals were brought out soon after. They were placed in the rear of the cart, in which were their coffins and attended by 3 clergymen; the executioner, disguised, immediately behind them. The procession then slowly proceeded to the place of execution, one mile from the town; on its arrival the criminals joined in singing a hymn and afterwards knelt down with the clergymen and others, and prayed fervently, with an audible voice; at this time Robert GREER was observed to be much agitated and trembled violently. John GREER continued to evince his usual firmness. Prayers being ended and the fatal preparations completed, the wretched brothers shook hands and bid farewell.

John first mounted the cart, and being tied up, whilst Robert remained below, asked, is my brother Robert to be thrown off with me?” which was answered in the affirmative. Robert was then tied up by the side of his brother; they were both again solemnly exhorted to declare their guilt. John said “I forgive my persecutors, prosecutors, and all my enemies, and I hope God will forgive them, as I do.” Robert prayed aloud to the Almighty to enable him, in these, his last moments, to tell the truth and then addressing himself to those about him, said, “I am a guilty sinner and suffer justly and lawfully;” then turning to his brother, said, “John, will you not confess?” to this appeal John made no reply, when a person said, “John, do you hear what your brother Robert says? to which he replied, “I have done,” meaning that he would not speak again. The cart was now drawn away, and they were launched into eternity.

Robert appeared to suffer little, but John was long convulsed. After hanging the usual time, their bodies were cut down, put into shells and sent off to the infirmary at Lisburn for dissection, pursuant to their sentence. It is almost unnecessary to comment on the fate of these unfortunates; the horrible crime of parricide, for which they suffered being, until now, unknown in this country.

Besides the above particulars, furnished by a respectable correspondent, we have been informed, that when John knelt down to prayer, he expressed himself in language extremely appropriate, pathetic, and even elegant. His demeanour was collected and his enunciation distinct. Robert’s voice was tremulous and feeble and his whole frame greatly agitated. The persons near to them formed a circle and also knelt during prayer. The whole scene was impressive and awfully solemn. Though John refused to make a confession of his guilt, yet he never denied it. All accounts say that John was an excellent scholar; he was about 30 years of age and Robert was about 26. The High sheriff, who attended to see the sentence of the law carried into effect, was accompanied by a number of respectable gentlemen. (Caledonian Mercury)

19 May 1817

Escaped from the Gaol of Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim on the 29th April instant at 8 o’clock in the evening, by means of false or skeleton key.

William GRAHAM under rule of transportation.
He is about 5 feet 6 inches high, stout made. light brown hair, fair complexion, squints a little, pock marks, about 47 years of age. Weaver by trade, bred in the Co. Tyrone; had on when he escaped, a superfine olive coloured coat, brown great coat, superfine brown waistcoat, silk cravat, grey pantaloons, and shoes.

William HAWTHORNE, under rule of transportation
He is about 5 feet 2 inches high, stout made remarkably inn kneed, fresh complexion, brown eyed, short nose, round visage, dark brown hair, about 26 years of age; had on when he escaped, a short blue jacket, a brown great coat, corduroy pantaloons, shoes and hat; he was bred near Lurgan and is by trade a flax-dresser

John STEVENSON, under rule transportation
He is about 5 feet 9 inches high, proportionately made, fair complexion, round visage, has a genteel appearance, light brown hair, blue eyes, about 21 years of age, a native of Belfast and by trade a brush maker; had on when he escaped, a grey surtout, a black coat, black waistcoat, superfine brown pantaloons and wellington boots; wears his hat a little to the one side

John DOUGHERTY, committed March last, charged with uttering forged notes of the Greenock Bank
He is about 5 feet 6 inches high, swarthy complexion, grey eyed, short black hair, slender made, small pock marked, about 40 years age, is a native of the Co. Donegal and bred a seaman; had on when escaped, a short sailor’s jacket and blue pantaloons, waist coat and shoes

John MILLIKIN, sentenced imprisoned 6 months
He is about 5 feet 5 inches high, stout made and round visaged, ruddy complexion, short light brown hair, brown eyed, has a genteel appearance and about 32 years of age. a weaver to trade, and a native of Derriaghy Co. Antrim; had on when he escaped, a grey surtout, olive coloured coat and brown waistcoat, apparently of the same web as GRAHAM’S, superfine brown pantaloons, wears sometimes a red waistcoat under his brown waistcoat. He was known to have a considerable sum of bank notes with him, 2 of which were post bills of the bank of Ireland for 10£ each; one ditto of the Northern Bank for £10 and a quantity of other small notes.

Now, I will pay a reward of 5£ to any person or persons who shall, within 6 months from the date hereof, lodge each, or any, of the above named persons in any of his Majesty’s gaols.

William M’CLAVERTY, Gaoler of the Co. Antrim, Carrickfergus.

In addition to the foregoing, I hereby offer a reward of 10£ for the apprehension, within 6 months, of each, or any, of the above named persons. Henry FULTON, Under Sheriff

21 May 1817 – Committed to Carrickfergus jail by Mr. FERRAR;

James LIDDY for picking pockets

Martha M’LARNON, for uttering forged Bank of England notes

William GRAHAM for escaping out the jail the 29th April last.

28 May 1817

Captain Matthew JOHNSON of the 2nd Ballymacash Loyal infantry, has received from Henry FULTON Esq. sub-sheriff of the Co. Antrim, £10 sterling and from Mr. M’CLAVERTY, jailer, £5, a reward to the party under his command, for the apprehension of John MILLIGAN, (or MALAGHAN and MILLIKEN, as he has lately called himself), one of the persons who lately escaped from Carrickfergus Jail.

17 Jun. 1817

Two more of the convicts who lately escaped from Carrickfergus gaol, John STEVENSON and William HAWTHORNE, have been retaken, the former in Dublin, since lodged in Kilmainham gaol, the latter was arrested by Archibald M’BRIDE, at Cushendall, while attempting to escape Scotland. Thus 4 out of 5, who were advertised, have been retaken. It is hoped that DOUGHERTY will not long escape detection.

9 Oct. 1817 – Attempted Escape

About 4 o’clock Monday last, Wm. YOUNG and Alexander MOONEY, confined in Carrickfergus Gaol, the former under the linen Act and the latter for debt, contrived to secrete themselves on the roof of the necessary, in the rere of the new addition to the gaol, being flat and constructed for a reservoir. The usual view of prisoners and the yard and cells being examined by the gaoler and the doors carefully locked, and nothing appearing to interrupt the bold and daring enterprise of escape, YOUNG and MOONEY, about 11 o’clock, proceeded to ascend the roof of the new addition, which, from the number of debtors, and the praiseworthy and successful measures taken to prevent fever among the prisoners, has been lately ordered for their accommodation. On getting to the roof they descended with the assistance a rope which they had provided for the purpose, and coming to a wall underneath, they fastened the rope to the bars of a window, and by that means lowered themselves to the ground, immediately beside the guard room, in the very act of which the sentry made several stabs at them with his bayonet.

Alarm being given, several of the guard (part of the 92nd regiment) set off in pursuit of them, but YOUNG, being an active fellow and first down, effected his escape. The other, Alexander MOONEY, being closely pursued, and called on to stop, but declining to so, one the soldiers fired at him; the ball entered his right shoulder and passed to his collar bone in the opposite side, and was shortly afterwards extracted by Doctor STEWART, without any symptoms of his life being endangered. A reward is offered by Mr. WATTS, the gaoler, for the apprehension of YOUNG and little doubt is entertained of his being soon taken.

‘The Rere View of Carrickfergus Gaol’
source William Orr published 1906

14 Oct. 1817

It deserves to be noticed that for a considerable time past, sickness, nor fever, has been in the gaol of Carrickfergus. For 20 days past, no visitors have been admitted. This salutary regulation and attending to cleanliness, may have prevented infection of the fever, now so prevalent elsewhere.

1 Apr. 1818 – Carrickfergus 21 Mar. – Abduction

SamueI DICK was indicted for feloniously assaulting and forcibly carrying away on the 5th Nov., Elizabeth CROCKATT, with intent to defile and also for an assault, with intent to commit a rape and for a rape on the said Elizabeth CROCKATT on the 6th November.

Counsellor CORRY opened the case. The prisoner, Samuel DICK, stands indicted for the forcible abduction and subsequent defilement of Eliz. CROCKATT, the prosecutrix in this case. She is a young woman of a respectable family in the county of Derry and upon the death of her father, she became entitled to and possessed of a considerable property, about 2600£ in her own right; this property, her youth, being scarcely 17 years of age and her personal attractions, such as they were, had been the cause of 2 different atrocious outrages for the purpose of obtaining possession of them.

In the month of August last, upon the Sabbath day, while returning from meeting, she was forcibly carried off and taken to Magherafelt; from Magherafelt to Castledawson; from that to Portglenone; thence to Ahoghill; and finally to Ballymena, where she was rescued by her brother and uncle with a military guard. In that case, however, no violence was offered her person and even her mother was allowed to accompany her, thinking to procure her consent to the marriage by gentle methods, which, however, she steadily refused.

On their return home, her mother, naturally alarmed for her safety, sent her for some time to reside with a relation, within a few miles of Stewartstown, in Co. Tyrone, a Mr. Mathew FAIRSERVICE and she remained there for a month or 5 weeks previous to the 3rd November. On the night of the 3rd Nov., Mr. FAIRSERVICE’S family were invited to spend the evening at Mr. HENRY’S, where the prosecutrix met Miss Jane DICK, sister to the prisoner and who is related to the prosecutrix, her mother and prisoner’s mother having been cousins german. The prosecutrix, with Mr. Robert FAIRSERVICE, his sister (Miss FAIRSERVICE) and Miss DICK, then went from Mr. HENRY’S upon the car, to a ball at a Mr. PARK’S, where she danced the greater part of the night. While at Mr. PARK’S, Miss DICK invited prosecutrix to Stewartstown, which she declined. Miss DICK said, as a farther inducement, she had her brother’s house to herself, as he was from home and by all means to come as they would have some good diversion. The prosecutrix still refused.

When they had got on the car, witness did not wish to go to Stewartstown, but Robert FAIRSERVICE drove the car rapidly towards Stewartstown, without paying any attention to the remonstrances of the prosecutrix; when in Stewartstown they drove to the prisoner’s house, where she saw the prisoner; break-fasted there and after breakfast Miss DICK asked Miss FAIRSERVICE and the prosecutrix to go to Dungannon with her, as she wished to make some purchases; the prosecutrix refused and said she should be too late going home, but Miss DICK laughed at her and said she would be back in good time. She was prevailed upon and did go into Dungannon; remained shopping there until the evening; returned to Stewartstown, dined in the prisoner’s house and about 9 or 10 o’clock, the prosecutrix was asked by Miss DICK would she go out to the next door to assist her in purchasing some thread and the distance being so trifling, she did not think even of putting on her bonnet. When out of the hall door, she was forcibly seized by some person, whom she did not know and put into a chaise, in which, was the prisoner, who caught her by the arm and pulled her, while the other pushed her in; when in the carriage she found her cloak and bonnet had been previously placed there, which was sufficient proof of the preconcerted plan. The prosecutrix, the prisoner, with Miss DICK and the other person, who you will find by the evidence to have been a bricklayer, of Stewartstown, hired for the purpose of assisting in this nefarious transaction; these 4 persons were driven from Stewartstown to Lurgan without stopping, a distance of 20 miles, when they stopped for some refreshment, before day light in the morning, the prisoner DICK guarding the prosecutrix with a pistol.

After some time she was again put into the chaise and driven through Moira, to the house of a person named SWAYNE, where, after having wept and fasted the whole day, she was prevailed upon to go to bed with Miss DICK. From the fatigue she had suffered the 2 preceeding nights, joined to the anxiety of mind she had undergone, you will naturally judge, Gentlemen, that she would fall asleep and you will also imagine with what horror she found on awaking in the morning, that in place of Miss DICK being her bed fellow, the prisoner at the bar was.

l will not pollute your ears Gentlemen, with the disgusting recital of what passed on the occasion; it will be sufficient to hear it from the witness herself; nor do I conceive it necessary to arouse your indignation against the abominable pander to her brother’s lustful and avaricious propensities. The next morning, the prisoner attempted to soothe the prosecutrix by promises of marriage and went to Dr. CUPPLES of Lisburn, to procure a license, leaving his sister and the bricklayer as her guardian, or rather to watch over her, till his return; in spite of them, she contrived to make her escape to the house of a Mr. ENGLISH, where she was protected until delivered into the hands of her uncle. I will not trespass on your attention by further details of the circumstances; the evidence will be before you and you will dispose of it according to its merits.

Elizabeth CROCKATT was called and gave a detail of the whole circumstances and of the way in which she was treated, confirming in every particular, the statement of the Learned counsel.

Thomas SWAYNE was examined for the prisoner – Eliza CROCKATT did not tell witness that she had been carried away against her will. Went to Lisburn for a license; took Eliza CROCKATT into the room and asked her if she knew any reason why she and Sam DICK should not be married? she said she didn’t and desired him to go for the license and he went by her directions; when witness came home, she had run away.

The learned Judge summed up the evidence, showing what degree of credit was due to the several witnesses, particularly to the uncorroborated testimony of SWAYNE, leaving it to the jury to say what degree of guilt attached to the prisoner.

Guilty on all the 3 counts and left for execution.

(Note; in Saunders Newsletter Eliza. CROCKATT is recorded as CROCKETT)

17 Apr. 1818 – Belfast
A warrant, signed by the Lord lieutenant, has been received by the jailer of this County, to respite the execution of Samuel DICK until further orders.

11 Dec. 1820 – Escaped

Escaped from the old part of the Jail of the Co. Antrim, on the night of the 3rd instant at the hour of 7 o’clock, by getting to the roof from the front yard and by assistance from a scaffolding plank; got over both walls, to the street, by a strong cord, the following persons viz;

Robert STEELE, under rule of transportation and aged 20 years, 5 feet 6 inches high, pale completion, slender made, smooth faced. neither beard nor whiskers and a sickly appearance, had a dark gray jacket and gray and white trowsers, neither shoes nor hat, a native Ballycarry in said County.

John HENDERSON charged with stealing a gun, aged 30, 5 feet 7 inches high, well made, pock-pitted, swarthy complexion, dark hair and eyes, had on a dark gray big coat and fustian trowsers, he was from the neighbourhood of Lisburn.

Neill M’NEILL charged with house robbery, is about aged 18 years, 5 feet 3 inches high, stout made, fair hair gray eyes, well- looking, had on a blue coat and blue pantaloons, a native of Belfast.

Michael MOAN, or CREILLY, charged with a bleach-green robbery, aged 30 years, 5 feet 6 inches high, sallow complexion, brown hair and eyes, cocked nose, had on a brown coat and fustian small-clothes and a native of Crega in Co. Armagh.

John CONNOLLY, charged with cow stealing, 27 years of age, 5 feet 9 inches high, sallow complexion, dark hair, blue eyes, crooked neck, had on a blue coat and fustian breeches, a native the Co. Monaghan.

Patrick FERGUSON detained for bail condition (ed?) for good behaviour, aged 20 years, 5 feet 3 inches high, stout made, filthy appearance, had scarcely any clothing, a noted bleach green robber and pig stealer, a native of Dromore in Co. Down.

A reward of 10£ will be given for the apprehension and lodging in any of his Majesty’s jails in this Kingdom, the above named Robert STEELE and 5£ each for the next named 4 persons, within the space of 6 calendar months from the date hereof by; James WATTS Gaoler of Co. Antrim, Carrickfergus gaol.

5 Feb. 1821 – Captured

A few days ago Pat. FERGUSON who escaped from the jail of the county of Antrim, on the 3rd Nov. last, was retaken at Belfast and safely lodged in his old quarters. We hear that John HENDERSON alias DEVELIN and Neal M’NEILL alias SMITH who escaped at the same time have also been retaken and lodged in Armagh jail for another robbery committed by them in that town. STEEL, the convict who escaped with them, and retaken some time ago in a miserable and starving condition is much recovered. CREELY and CONNOLLY, 2 of the party who escaped with them and yet remain at large, were last seen near to Monaghan, where they are well known.

30 May 1821 – Committed to Carrickfergus gaol, by Thom_ (Thomas?) VERNER Esq. Sovereign

Mary Ann KELLY, Po__? STEWART and Catherine JOHNSTON for having in their possession and passing forged notes and coin; also, Maria GRAY charged with felony and seduction.

1 Apr. 1822 – Capture

On Tuesday evening last, Mr. John M’KEOWN of Loughgilly, a respectable farmer, on returning home, was attacked near Monaghan street by four men and on making resistance was knocked down and robbed Jas. HARE, alias the Kiln Man’s son, is charged as principal in this daring robbery, he having passed a bank post bill to Mr. Dan. JENNINGS of Mill street, which led to his discovery but we are sorry to say, he has at present eluded the strong and sure hand of justice. Peace officer BLOXAM is entitled to the thanks of the public and a more substantial reward for his promptness and dexterity in tracing out this robbery, so as to get Mr. M’KEOWN his note. we likewise find, that he seised and made prisoner, on the 16th inst. a desperate character, called Michael MOAN, alias CRILLY, who made his escape out of Carrickfergus jail, at the Lent Assises for 1821, for which service we hope he will be rewarded.

13 Apr. 1822 – Committed to Carrickfergus gaol, by Peter AICKEN Esq.

John MORGAN, alias CRILLY, charged by the verdict of a jury, at an inquest held on the body of John MACGOWAN with the murder of the said John MACGOWAN, at Tamlaght, in the parish of Drummaul, in the County of Antrim. It is really melancholy to relate, that the unfortunate occurrence took place through intoxication, occasioned by one of those itinerant venders of whiskey, who now infest the country, coming to that neighbourhood and selling whiskey to a number of young lads and what makes the case still more distressing is that the deceased and the unfortunate young man charged with his murder, were good characters. Would it not be a meritorious act of the people of the country, to have such illegal venders of spirits prosecuted by law, for the protection of their children and servants from such destructive snares of vice.

1 May 1822 – Committed to Carrickfergus gaol by Thomas VERNER Esq. sovereign,

Patrick M’KEEVER, charged with stealing machinery brass from the cotton factory of Randalstown.

25 Aug. 1824 – Execution of Mother and Son at Carrickfergus

Hugh LOUGHBRIDGE, a blind man, aged 28, lived at Polintammy, within 6 miles of Ballymone.(?) He was committed to Carrickfergus gaol in August 1823, charged with poisoning his wife. He rented a small farm and was occasionally employed at such work as dark persons are capable of performing. His wife had two children to him and it is said they lived on very bad terms.

Esther LOUGHBRIDGE, an old woman, bent beneath the cares of 75 years, was mother to this man. She lived next door to him and it appears took some interference in the internal affairs of her son’s house. She was mother to 10 children and when committed with her son to prison, her husband was alive. They were both of the Presbyterian religion and had been regular attenders at the Finvoy congregation. The scriptures appeared to have been carefully perused by the old woman and her son must have had frequent opportunities of hearing them read, for his memory was extensively stored with their contents. They were convicted on last Friday at the Antrim assizes for the foul murder of the wife of Hugh and were sentenced to be executed on the following Monday.

On Saturday morning, Esther gave 10 pence, which she had earned in prison by spinning, to the Matron of the jail and requested her to take it to her son, that he might pay it to some of the persons in prison, from whom he had borrowed it . Whilst the matron was discharging this commission, she observed to him, that if his mother was innocent and himself guilty, he ought to confess it; as probably that might be the means of saving her life. He paused seriously, and requested to be left alone for a few moments; then sent for the Rev. Mr REID and made the following confession “I am guilty,” said he, of the death of my wife. We had always lived on bad terms and I determined on her death.

On the Friday mentioned in the trial, I went to Ballymoney and purchased 3d. worth of arsenic. I kept it in my pocket until the morning of Monday. After my wife had gone to the moss, I went in to my mother and told her there was no bread in our house and Hannah was at the bog and would be hungry when she came home. I requested her to come in and bake a cake for her. I had, previously to this, mixed the poison with a small quantity of meal, in a wooden bowl. My mother came in and baked the cake, but she knew nothing of any poison being in it. She then gave me the cake to harden at the fire. The meal that remained in the bowl, I took out and buried in the earth. I hardened the bread and when my wife came home, I broke off a piece from the cake and took it into my mother, to get some butter on it, as there was none in my house. I then gave it to Hannah, who eat of it. She complained that it was bitter, and laid it down. I eat a little of it myself, which pained me a good deal afterwards. On her complaining of the bitterness, I told my mother, who was then in the house, that Hannah complained of the bread she had baked. She replied, “that was the thanks people got for their kindness.” I solemnly ‘aver, she knew nothing of the poison. She did come twice or thrice to see her when she was ill; but not very often, as they had been on bad terms. The rest of the cake and what remained of the buttered piece, I buried as I dreaded the children getting any of it.

On hearing this confession, Mr REID immediately followed the Judge who tried the case, to Belfast and laid the statement before him. His Lordship did not attach any importance to it and was fully satisfied of the guilt of both parties.

Another person, who had visited them in their cells, also called on his Lordship on the same errand of mercy. He was politely received, but was answered to the same effect as Mr REID had been. The age of the female and the humiliating spectacle of exposing on the scaffold, a mortal, who was struggling for existence on the grave’s brink, gave birth to these humane efforts.

A memorial to his Lordship, forwarded to him on Sunday morning to Col . FORDE’S, dictated with the same feelings towards the old woman, met with no better success. The remainder of Saturday and Sunday were spent in the discharge of religious duties, Mr. REID and Mr. DODDS giving their never ceasing attendance. The old woman became settled and quite prepared to meet her fate, although never swerving from her assertions of being innocent of the alleged crime.

On Sunday night they both slept well and had 2 singular dreams. Hugh believed himself in the place of his nativity and possessed of sight; he thought he had put before him a large basket of ripe fruit; he chose the finest one and was in the act of eating it, when the awful knock of the turnkey awakened him from his trance and, instead of wandering in Elysian fields, he saw not the light of heaven, even through the grates of his cell and the song of the wild choristers of nature, melted away into the hollow curses issuing from the convict yard. Poor dreamer! we sincerely hope that the Saviour who can wash the polluted clean, has long ere this blotted out the horrid crime, he so deservedly suffered for. Esther imagined in her dream that she was in company with her mother, who is long dead and of her husband, who died since she was committed to prison. Afterwards they both partook of a hearty breakfast, prayed fervently for blessings on the jailor and the matron and on the religious men who attended them and prepared for the awful scene they were about to act in.

About 1 o’clock the sheriff gave direction for their being brought forth. The executioner proceeded to Hugh’s cell and whilst pinioning his arms, the unfortunate man said, “he would rather die the shameful death he was about to suffer, than again live with his wife, were she alive!” He stripped off his coat and shoe’s and stockings and was conducted, in a shabby dress, to the execution room. Esther had mentioned, in the course of Sunday that her son had at one time threatened to drown himself, in consequence of his wife’s bad temper; she said she had advised him off it; and that he had threatened to destroy either the one, or other, of the parties. Too truly, he shortly after put his threat into execution.

They were seated on 2 chairs, placed opposite the door leading to the drop. At this time, there were nearly 2,000 persons assembled around the prison. They did not speak to each other on meeting. The Reverend Mr REID required them to declare anything they had to disclose, as they were shortly to appear before Him, who knoweth all things. Hugh replied that he had nothing farther to state. He was guilty, but his mother was innocent. Esther said she knew nothing of the affair. Hugh then asked her forgiveness, for bringing her to this untimely end and said his death was made doubly horrible by that reflection. She hesitated, but at last said, “I forgive you and all the world, but oh, Huey, when you intended to do the deed, you should have told me and I would have advised you off it.” The reverend clergyman then gave out the 23rd Psalm , which they wished sung. Both joined in it, without the lines being read out. Mr REID then read a part of the 15th chap. of 1st Corinthians; prayed and prepared the unfortunate people for death.

The executioner advanced to do his duty, adjusted the ropes, and removed them separately to the platform. They prayed fervently, both aloud and in silence; they offered no obstruction to the executioner whilst he was officiating. Hugh then said a few words expressive of his contrition and hoping that his example would be a warning to all men and that he relied on his Saviour for forgiveness. Esther was bent nearly double and appeared to require little aid to help her from a world of sin and care. The executioner touched the spring and both were soon in another world, to render up their earthly account. (The Scotsman)

13 Apr. 1825 – Police Office

Committed by W. H. FERRAR Esq. to Carrickfergus Jail;

John CARRIGAN and John G-LLAN (?) charged with assaults.
John FOX charged with having forged Bank of Ireland notes in his possession;
Edward GOBBIN, who stands indicted for the murder of Edward O’DONNELL in the County of Donegall, in the year 1817.

To the House of Correction;

Thos. FRANCIS, jeweller’s apprentice, convicted of embezzling his master’s property, to be kept at hard labour for 1 month;
Wm. MAGEE, painters apprentice, convicted of a misdemeanor, the like for one fortnight
Margaret M’DENAGH, for an assault;
Charles MULLAN, for attempting to pick pockets;
James HAMILTON, convicted of receiving embezzled yarn, to be kept at hard labour for 14 days or to pay £5;
Margaret TROY, until she finds bail to keep the peace.

28 Jan. 1826 – Police Office Committed by Mr. FERRAR

To Carrickfergus gaol;

Joseph FLEMING, charged with stealing wearing apparel and Patrick M’SHANE for stealing a table cloth and a card cloth;
Bernard MACDADE for stealing clothes in a garden;
John SMITH, for stealing a card cloth from a house in George’s street, which he entered in the day time, through the parlour window.

To the House of correction;

Thomas TAYLOR, chandler’s apprentice, convicted of absenting himself from his work, to be kept at hard labour for 14 days;
James MONTGOMERY, shipmaster’s apprentice, convicted of eloping from his vessel, to be kept at hard labour for one month;
Wm. RUTHERFORD and Thomas HAMILTON, cotton printer’s apprentices, convicted of absenting themselves from their work, to be kept at hard labour for 14 days.

28 Jun. 1826 – to Carrickfergus gaol;

Felix DEVLIN charged with obtaining goods by false pretences; Charles NOCHER, Francis DOUGLAS and Hu. TONER charged with assaults; John CREGAN, charged with a burglary in the county of Sligo; George GORDON convicted of selling spirits, without licence, to be imprisoned for 1 month.

To Downpatrick gaol;

Wm. BELL, Alex. WILLIAMSON,  John DRAKE, charged with stealing a large quantity of leather and skins, from the stores of Mr. A. RALPH at Comber.

To the House of Correction;

Letitia HANNAH, Sarah PATERSON and Catharine GRANT for assaults;
Alice CARSON, charged with stealing wearing apparel;
James WILSON, cardmakers apprentice, convicted of absconding from his master, to be kept at hard labour for one week.

29 Jul. 1826 – Committed since the assizes by John AGNEW Esq. sovereign,

To Carrickfergus gaol;

Jane M’CLINCHY charged with stealing a watch;
James M’GINLEY for stealing wearing apparel
George GALBRAITH for stealing three silver spoons;
Robert GARDNER and Wm. MURPHY for stealing wearing apparel;
Sarah FRYER and Ann FRYER charged with stealing clothes and furniture from Mr. SEEDS house at Cromac;
Eliza DAWSON, William TAYLOR, James CONLAN and James RAMSAY charged with assaults;
Margaret JORDAN charged with stealing a blanket;
John MAGINLEY for receiving a stolen gold watch chain.

Committed by W. H. FERRAR Esq.;

Robert HAMILTON, charged with stealing iron from the quay; John JORDAN for stealing clothes out of Mr. STEVENSON’S cart;
Bell VALLALY charged with stealing a watch, which was recovered by one of the watchmen;
Ann DOHERTY for stealing a piece of cassimere out of a shop in Bridge street on Wednesday, at the time the female convicts were passing through on their route to New South Wales!
John M’CUSKER charged with stealing a saddle out of Mr. CRANSTON’S stable on Monday, detected by Mr. BALLANTINE pawnbroker;
Matthew WRIGHT, a deserter from 12th light dragoons.

To the House of Correction;

Henry M’CAHERTY, weaver, convicted of embezzling cotton yarn, to be imprisoned 14 days;
John GRAY, convicted of wilfully breaking a window, to be kept at labour 14 day.

9 Sept. 1826 to Carrickfergus Gaol;

William BROWN, charged with stealing lead from a vessel the quay; Margaret O’NEILL charged with stealing two silver spoons;
Charles MULLAN and James MORRISON, charged with breaking into Mr. RUET’S house on Sunday morning, and stealing thereout a quantity of wearing apparel. MORRISON had been confined for five years in the Dublin Penitentiary, and had lately been sent home reformed!
John KELLY charged with harbouring MULLAN and MORRISON and receiving the goods they had stolen;
Samuel M’BURNEY for stealing a pair of boots;
William MAGEE, for an assault, aed(?) (and?) John M’CLUNEY, charged with stealing four shirts and four pairs of stockings at Silverstream.

To Downpatrick Gaol;

Ann CAMPBELL charged with stealing a large quantity of clothes from the laundry at Turf Lodge on Tuesday morning last and John TOWNLEY charged with stealing woollen yarn and fowls at Strandtown.

18 Nov. 1826 – Committed to Carrickfergus gaol;

Alex. M’GAW charged with stealing cotton yarn from Messrs. MULHOLLAND’S mill, wherein he was employed;
Ann KENNEDY, charged with stealing a hat;

To the House of Correction;

Henry LYONS convicted of deserting from the ship Dunlop, Captain GOWAN, to be kept at hard labour for 6 weeks.

On Wednesday morning, Meredith MAGENIS, a weaver, late of Ballymacarrett and who was charged with stealing goods from a bale on the Lisburn road, escaped from one of the cells in the Watch-house, by breaking a hole in the wall, which communicated with Mr. MAGEE’S cellar, and proceeding from that through the shop, he opened the front door and passed unobserved into North street.

5 Apr. 1828 – Escape

In conveying the prisoners back to Downpatrick gaol on Tuesday evening, Margaret M’GLOWN, who was found guilty of stealing from several shops in Newry, and sentenced to 7 years transportation, made her escape. In entering the inner door of the gaol she happened to be the last and stepped behind the door; the turnkey supposing all the prisoners had passed, locked the door on the inside and walked out; the outer turnkey supposing her to be a visiter, complacently opened the door for her to exit.

5 Apr. 1831 – List of Prisoners in the Co. Antrim Jail

Under rule from former assizes;

Daniel GARTLEY, 2 years in jail;
Bridget TOLAND, ditto;
Sarah GALLAGHER, do;

from 22nd April 1830

James V. M’CARRY, fined £500 late currency;
Robert ABBOTT, Edw. BEATTY, 2 years in jail from Summer assizes 1830;
Jane GLEGHORN, 2 years in jail from 19th Sept. 1830;
Hugh MORGAN, 1 year do. from 13th Nov. 1830;
Margaret RICHARDSON, 2 years do. from 30th Sept. 1830;
John BAMBER, 18 months do. and bail from same time;
James BAMBER, 12 months, do. do;
Hugh MURRAY, 9 months, do. do;

Under Sentence from Lent assizes 1831

Thomas COLL
Terence M’MAHON
Edward BOYLE
Alexander BUNTING, Malcom BUNTING, for burglary;
Simon DOGHERTY, for horse stealing;
Walter GRAY
David CRAWFORD, for uttering forged notes;
Jos. MURPHY for stealing a mare;

Seven years Transportation;

William BENSON
William BOYD
Elizabeth QUIN
Alex. M’ALISTER (a blind man);
Daniel KELLY and John CAMMELIN;
James KERR for perjury, a months imprisonment and 7 years transportation;
Robert PHILIPS, for having in his possession a forged Bank note, knowing it to be so, to be transported for 14 years;

Nathaniel GLASS, convicted of manslaughter, 6 months in gaol at hard labour;
Robt. HULL, for an assault, 9 months;
Peter MARKEY and David ADAMS, for larceny, 6 months;
John M’MAHON, for a felony, 6 months;
Catherine M’CANN, for larceny, 1 month;
John BELL for receiving stolen goods, 9 months;
Samuel M’KINLEY, for larceny, 6 months;
John COWAN for a felony, 6 months;
Samuel BONAR, for a felony, 6 months;
William RICE, for embezzlement, 12 months;
Samuel JOHNSTON, Hugh M’ILVENA, Edward CAMPBELL, for uttering base coin, to be imprisoned for 6 months and give security for 6 months more;
Robert M’LAUGHLIN for bigamy, to be imprisoned 12 months; Samuel CAMMELIN, for receiving stolen goods, 12 months; Robert ECKLIN, for like, 6 months;
John M’VEY for obtaining goods by false pretenses, 6 months
Sandy PARIS, for larceny, 6 months
John HARDY, for larceny, 3 months

and all (above) to be kept at hard labour

To be imprisoned in the House of Correction at Belfast and kept at hard labour;

Catherine SLOAN, 6 months;
Rebecca MAGHAN, 3 months;
Margt. DOGHERTY 6 months and give security for 6 months more;
Elizabeth FALLON 6 months;
Mary MACARTNEY and Ann MACARTNEY for 3 months each;
Thomas MOONEY, Hugh MOONEY, Patrick MOONEY, Cornelius O’HARA, John MOONEY, and Richard MOONEY 6 months each and find security.

10 Feb. 1838 – Attempt To Escape from Carrickfergus Gaol

On Tuesday last a discovery was made of a most daring and blood-thirsty conspiracy, on the part of the prisoners confined in Carrickfergus gaol, to murder the officers of the prison and then effect their escape. This desperate scheme was planned by John LINN, who it is well known, in the most barbarous manner, some years ago, murdered his father, in this town, was tried for it, but acquitted on the grounds of lunacy and sent for confinement to the District Lunatic Asylum, from whence he escaped, by scaling the garden wall. When this desperate murderer was apprehended in Liverpool being then on his way to America, he swore at and denounced in the most horrid manner all those persons who had been instrumental in effecting his arrest and on his way to Belfast, he made the most solemn assevertious to a gentleman on the coach that, if ever he escaped, he would undoubtedly murder the proprietor of the Whig for having published such a description of his person as probably led to his detection. We had previously asserted, and at the time we now refer to, we repeated it as our opinion that this atrocious ruffian was no more insane at the time of the murder than his own heart-rooted wickedness and profligate habits had rendered him. When he escaped the gallows, we were satisfied it was mistaken lenity Subsequent events and the one of Tuesday not the least stong? have confirmed our opinions respecting this barbarous savage. Providentially, the plan was suspected, and LINN was brought into a private room and searched, after a desperate struggle, in which his brutal strength had nearly overcome 5 men; nor could he have been mastered had not the governor stabbed him with a bayonet. Secreted in his breast was found a bar of iron, sharpened at the point like a dagger, with which he said he intended to “stab to the heart” the turnkey; and then aided by the other 51 prisoners, seize the stone hammers, murder all before them and break out of the prison. There is no doubt, had the discovery not been made that day, that at the lock up hour the attempt would have been made and lives would undoubtedly have been taken. Government sought to remove this ferocious murderer to some permanent place of safety. If they do not, he will assuredly slay some one and that before long.

24 Oct. 1843 Escape of Two Prisoners from Down Gaol

On Monday week, two persons named Archibald REAVY and James LYLE, effected their escape from Downpatrick Gaol. It appears that some men, who had been whitewashing in the Gaol, left a ladder in the yard and the cell in which, the prisoners were not being locked, they watched till the yard was clear and with the assistance of the ladder and a web of linen, that lay in their way, succeeded in making their escape. A reward is offered for their apprehension.

17 Oct. 1848 – Attempt to Escape from Carrickfergus Gaol – A Prisoner Killed

At the above prison between 6 and 7 o’clock on Thursday morning, at the time the prisoners were being removed from their cells to the wards, occupied by them during the day, a most daring attempt to escape was made. In the corridor of the prison, immediately adjoining the Governor’s house, there are two wings containing 10 cells each, in which 48 convicts, under sentence of transportation were confined. Mr. JOHNSON had just opened the cells in one of the wings, when a convict named ORR, who had given the Governor an intimation that a conspiracy was on foot, having observed one of the prisoners, named BOYD, slip out of the cell, under some pretence, gave the alarm, but the iron door was immediately shut and fastened on the outside, thus closing up Mr. JOHNSON with 28 convicts. At the same moment a similar occurrence had taken place in the left wing of cells, under the charge of another turnkey, named LOGAN. He had opened the last cell and was about to give the word to march out, when he observed the door shut and 2 convicts, named EDWARDS and HUNTER, fled.
With the greatest coolness and self-possession, he unbuttoned his coat and producing his pistols, ordered the men to return to their cell. threatening to fire upon them instantly, in case they refused. The convicts were overawed and at once obeyed his orders. Mr. JOHNSTON’S determination produced an effect upon the felons in the cell in which he was confined. The alarm was immediately given, the prison bell rung and the other officer of the gaol hastening to the corridor, found the 4 leading doors closed and (bound?).

One of the escaping convicts, BOYD, had formerly been confined in the prison and was intimately acquainted with the leading passages and apartments so that the knowledge he possessed in this respect gave him a facility to escape. He had been in the capacity of cook in the gaol for a considerable time and the first important passage closed up by him after quitting the cell, was that leading to the kitchen. He then closed the 3 ward doors and made towards the hospital yard, where he was joined by (James) EDWARDS and HUNTER, the 2 other convicts They then placed a form against the wall, by which they mounted to the roof of the porch and next climbed by a window to the top of the wall. EDWARDS gained the top of the wall first, followed by HUNTER; but BOYD, who had been the most active in the attempt, in following them, fell to the ground and then hurried back to the prison, where he was secured. EDWARDS and HUNTER having reached the roof of the new wing of the gaol, ran along the spouting on the hospital side, a distance of 20 yards carrying with them a bucket and their sheets, cut up in strips, to assist in the descent from the wall. The guard on that side of the prison observed and immediately challenged them; but EDWARDS cried out he would murder him if he attempted to fire.

THOMPSON, the guard, presented his gun, which burnt priming and the 2 desperadoes, encouraged by this circumstance, hastily descended the wall (a height of 22 feet) and ran towards the sentry box, EDWARDS crying to his companion “your soul, come on.” THOMPSON, with great presence of mind, ran towards the other corner of the prison and having primed his gun afresh was joined by Mr. JOHNSON armed with a blunderbuss and then hastened back to meet the convicts, who were by this time armed with stones and determined to risk their lives in the attempt to escape THOMPSON immediately fired and the unfortunate EDWARDS fell, 2 stones dropping from his hands at the same moment; whereupon HUNTER fell upon his knees and begged for mercy. He was secured and conducted back to his cell. EDWARDS lingered 15 minutes, his last breath calling upon God for mercy.

14 Apr. 1848 – Antrim Assizes

James EDWARDS for stealing a mule, the property of Thomas WALKINGTON of Ballinderry was found guilty. The prisoner was also found guilty of sacrilege, i.e. having broken into and extracted a number of articles from St. Anne’s Church, this town. For the latter crime he was sentenced to 20 years transportation.

10 Jul. 1849 – Escape of a Convict from Downpatrick Gaol

On Saturday morning, the 7th inst., James BROWN, a convict under sentence of transportation for seven years, convicted at July sessions 1848, held at Newtownards, escaped from the above gaol, by means of a rope made of a hank of linen yarn. He ascended by a spout which is inside the wall. The convict is about 16 years of age, 5 feet 3 inches high, very swarthy complexion, light brown hair, grey eyes, stout make, a cut on the right side of the upper lip and several smallpox marks on the forehead. Had on a prison dress, stamped ‘Downpatrick Gaol.’ The convict is a native of Belfast.