IMA Source Catalog

Gathering all the sources for historical Irish martial culture in one place.

INVOLUNTARY HOMICIDES.

The Moreton Bay Courier Saturday 27 May 1854

INVOLUNTARY HOMICIDES.

“We have ever been disposed to pay the
mögt unqualified respect to the judicial
tribunals of the country, mid to those exulted administrators of the law whose
incorruptible purity is a source of pride
to their fellow countrymen and to admiration to others. But as men are
not infallible, even the Judges may occasionally commit on error or propound a

fallacy; and we feel assured that his
Honour Mr. Justice Dickinson made

a slip of this kind ou Saturday hist. As
the occasion was a trial for murder, and
is the culprit fate may be considered
as still pending, we shall endeavour so to
frame our remarks as to avoid prejudice

His Honour started what we cannot

but regard as a great and dangerous novelty. Everybody has heard that Irish-
men are addicted to the use of the stick,
or “shillelagh” ; and, no doubt, there
has been «great deal of exaggeration respecting this partiality. ‘Now Mr. Justice Dickinson thinks that on the trial
of an Irishman for murdering another
with a stick, or bludgeon, evidence respecting his native country may bo useful to the jury; because, argues his
Honour, Irishmen, being accustomed to

beat each other about the head with
sticks, might sometimes kill their
antagonists without intending it. In
other words, an Irishman, when merely
intending to give another a drubbing according to the custom of
his country, and having no intention
to kill or to do grievous bodily harm,
might chance to fracture a person’s skull,
without being guilty of murder. A
more dangerous doctrine we never heard
from the Bench ; and we do not wonder
that it created, as his Honour remarked,
some little -” emotion,” or that the Attorney-General replied to it with some
warmth. But this honourable and learned
officer of the law applied his remarks
more to what he conceived to be an offensive allusion to his countrymen, than to
the mischievous consequences likely to
result, in criminal proceedings; from the
opinion expressed by the Judge, his
Honour denied any intention of branding
the Irish people as assassins, and we feel
well assured that he had no such desire :
but ho wished to say that people of that
nation were very likely to kill each other
with sticks, without intending such a
crime. Herein consists the mischief of
the thing. To say that the customs of
a man’s country arc to be taken as evidence of his intention in beating another
on the head, is to offer facilities for the
evasion of justice. If such evidence
were ruled to bo good in law, we fear that
we should hear of many murders being
committed with sticks, and that the
perpetrators would invariably represent
themselves as Irishmen, who would have
a sort of privilege to fracture sculls. We
never before heard of any such distinction being made, and we cannot but think
that on this occasion the learned Judge
expressed an opinion without that calm
and philosophical deliberation for which
ho has usually been so highly distinguished.

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October 7, 2012 Posted by | as crime, court, Old Newspaper clippings | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Saturday 7 November 1835

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Saturday 7 November 1835
…..At this
juncture, Mr. Constable Moore, who described himself as standing just opposite
Mr. Bruce’s door, came up and interfered in behalf of the latter; and after
an exchange of high words between the
parties, Moore collared Whelan with a
view of taking him to the watch-house
for having pushed Bruce, who refused to
go until he had delivered something he
had with him, at his master’s house.
Upon this, Moore, who was divested of
his jacket or baton of office, struck the
defendant a violent blow over the head
with his shillelagh, which the other resented by an immediate application to
fisticuffs. Moore being disarmed of his
shillelagh by some of the by-standers, in
order to render the encounter on a more
equal footing, he got considerably the
worst of the pugilistic scuffle that ensued
as a charming pair of black eye», with
beautifully cut nose and face could fully
testify; upon which be prudently withdrew to the adjoining watch house, where
having procured a reinforcement of authority, be returned to the scene of tumult,
and triumphantly bore off his antagonist
into custody.

October 7, 2012 Posted by | as crime, Old Newspaper clippings, pugilism | Leave a comment

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Monday 31 December 1827

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Monday 31 December 1827

On Christmas day, an assigned servant of Dr. Rutherford’s named Maher, in company with some of Sir John Jamison’s servants, went to bathe in the Nepean, when Maher, happening to go beyond his depth, was unfortunatly drowned, although every exertion had been made by the other men to render him ever assistance. It appears that the unfortunate man was an Irishman, and the other four being Englishmen. Dennis Delany who had been present
at the search made for the body, swore he would be revenged on the four men for the death of his countryman, and sure enough he was as good as his word, for he turned to with his shillelagh, with the utmost fury and struck at them most unmercifully. Two of them have been dreadfully wounded and in particular one of them is not expected to live, his head having been so severely cut that he has remained speechless ever since the affray. Delany on being interrogated why he had used such a weapon replied with the utmost coolness, that with
nothing in his hand but his fist he would convince any man present of what he could do. No one however compelled inclined to try the experiment.

October 6, 2012 Posted by | as crime, Historical descriptions, Old Newspaper clippings, prowess | Leave a comment

Faction Fighting Documentary

Here are links to a three part Irish Language documentary on Faction Fighting. I had my doubts at first but was pleasantly surprised. Highly recommended.

Na Chéad Fight Clubs (P1)

Na Chéad Fight Clubs (P2)

Na Chéad Fight Clubs (P3)

December 29, 2010 Posted by | as crime, Faction fight descriptions, Historical descriptions, other weapon, prowess, Stickfighting schools | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Some NY Times quotes 1857, 1861, 1878, 1895, 1924

Contributed by Stephen Logan:

December 5, 1857 p. 1 (excert from a longer, extremely interesting article that is well worth a read)

NY Times

ERIE RAILROAD STRIKE. Two Hundred Men Discharged at Peirmont – They Drive Off New Employees. Twenty-Five Metroploitan Volunteers Dispatched to the Scene of Riot. THE RIOTERS ARMED WITH MUSKETS AND CANNONS.

…Heedless of their threats, however, the Superintendent came to the city and hired two hundred laborers, who were got together and sent ip to Piermont on Thursday. They found upon their arrival the whole place up in arms and ready to give them a warm reception. They attempted to land but were warned off, but being placed alongside the dock by the steamboat there was bo alternative but to land and vindicate their claim to hold the place against the rebels. Clubs, stones, and missles of all kinds were now put in requisition, adnt he invanding and repelling forces were joined in a fierce contest. The new comers were seized and pitched into the dock, they were pummeled with shillelaghs and fists until they were obliged to beat a retreat. They entrenched themselves on board the boat, put their wounded under the care of the surgeon, (the cook,) and waited for thte steamer to carry them back to the City…

July 8, 1861 p. 4

European Emigration to this Port for the Half Year

…Of course no son of Erin would ever think of going over to America or New York – which is about the same thing – after he heard that; for, Pat is proverbially of a beligerent turn of mind, and has lately shown himself as happy to wield a rifle in Virginia as heretofore a shillelagh at Donnybrook, it could hardly be expected that he would emigrate with his wife and his brood of young ones to a country where a general scrimmage ended in a universal flight for life…

January 20, 1878 p. 4

A BRAVE TROOPER – When gallant Ponsonby lay grievously wounded on the field of Waterloo, he forgot his own desperate plight while watching an encounter between a couple of French lancers and one of his own men, cut off from his troop. As the Frenchmen came down upon Murphy, he, using his sword as if it were a shillelagh, knocked their lances alternately aside again and again. The suddenly setting spurs to his horse, he galloped in hot pursuit, but not quite neck and neck. Wheeling round at exactly the right moment, the Irishman, rushing at the foremost fellow, parried his lance and struck him down. The second, pressing on to avenge his comrade, was cut through diagonally by Murphy’s sword, falling to the earth without a cry or a groan; while the victor, scarcely glancing at his handiwork, trotted off whistling “The Grinder.” — Chambers’s Journal.

November 10, 1895 p. 30

IRISH FACTION FIGHTS – From the Westminster Review. The Origin of these senseless, brutal, and cruel conflicts is more or less shrouded in obscurity. It is abundantly clear that neither politics nor religion had anything to say in the matter. They probably originated in ‘hurling matches,’ a species of hockey, once a favored amusement among the youth of Munster on Sundays and holidays after “last mass.” These matches were generally played between neighboring parishes or counties, in some large convenient field or on a bit of “commonage.” The matches naturally caused a good deal of rivalry and jealously; disputes, of course, were inevitable, and it was only natural than a hot-blooded Tipperary gorsoon, finding himself getting the worst of an argument with a Limerick logician, should have recourse to the unanswerable and readier argument of the stick. The “hurley,” “common” or crooked stick used in the game was especially adapted for this species of argument; and judiciously applied, as a rule, immediately silenced an opponent. A ponderous “shillelagh” waved aloft, a piercing “whoop,” a dull thud, and a groan were the signals for a general scrimmage. In a twinkling, the whole filed was a seething, yelling mass of ferocious, wild-eyed, skull-cracking demons.

Such contests took tremendously and grew rapidly in popularity. By degrees a petty quarrel become a matter of well neigh national importance, and whole parishes and baronies took it up and vindicated their champion’s honor whenever opportunity permitted and then fates were propitious. Every male, and, indeed, may old ones, too, were members of some faction or another and thus year after year and generation after generation, the feud grew and throve, and not a man knew what on earth he was fighting for. The leading factions in County Limerick were the “Three-Year-Olds,” and the “Four-Year-Olds,” so called because of a petty dispute as to the age of a bull in the remote past. In County Waterford the factions were called the “Shawnavests” and the “Corrawats,” while in Tipperary the “Magpies” and the “Blackhens” were the most notorious. Although, of course, the women were non-combatants, never the less they belonged to one faction or another, and, did an opportunity present itself for wreaking vengeance, neither sex nor age afforded the least protection. Chivalry, sad to relate, was conspicuous by its absence.

March 13, 1924 p. 7

IRISH CENTENARIAN LIVELY – He Jumps a Fence and threatens a Neighbor With a Shillelagh. LONDON, March 12, — The dangerous age in the case of Owen Connelly of Laskey, County Sligo, Ireland, seems to be an even hundred years. Connolly, hale and vigorous centenarian, walked nine miles to the court house recently to answer a charge of having “used threatening language and abused,” one Patrick Brady. He jumped over a fence and threatened me with a blackthorn,” declared Brady. The magistrate dismissed the case.

July 8, 2010 Posted by | as crime, grip, Old Newspaper clippings, other weapon, prowess | , | Leave a comment

Harpers Weekly 1871

harpers1871

January 28, 2009 Posted by | as crime, Faction fight descriptions, political cartoons | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New York Times December 5, 1857

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000168 EndHTML:0000001857 StartFragment:0000000489 EndFragment:0000001840ERIE RAILROAD STRIKE. Two Hundred Men Discharged at Peirmont – They Drive Off New Employees. Twenty-Five Metroploitan Volunteers Dispatched to the Scene of Riot. THE RIOTERS ARMED WITH MUSKETS AND CANNONS.

 

…Heedless of their threats, however, the Superintendent came to the city and hired two hundred laborers, who were got together and sent ip to Piermont on Thursday. They found upon their arrival the whole place up in arms and ready to give them a warm reception. They attempted to land but were warned off, but being placed alongside the dock by the steamboat there was bo alternative but to land and vindicate their claim to hold the place against the rebels. Clubs, stones, and missles of all kinds were now put in requisition, adnt he invanding and repelling forces were joined in a fierce contest. The new comers were seized and pitched into the dock, they were pummeled with shillelaghs and fists until they were obliged to beat a retreat. They entrenched themselves on board the boat, put their wounded under the care of the surgeon, (the cook,) and waited for thte steamer to carry them back to the City…

January 28, 2009 Posted by | as crime, Faction fight descriptions, Old Newspaper clippings, pugilism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cavan Observer September 3, 1864

ASSAULT

Thomas M’KEON summoned James REEHILL for an assault. The case had been postponed on a previous day in consequence of the complainant being unable to attend….

Thomas M’KEON examined by Mr. M’Gauran–Lives in Ballanacarry; on the 18th of August last was lifting flax off the spread, and drawing it with a horse and cart; was passing by a meadow where REEHILL was mowing; on coming up to him bid him “the time of the day;” he replied that he would not allow any one to speak to him who had threatened to break his bones; I said I had never threatened to do so; he then jumped out on the road and struck at me with his fist; I warded off the blow as best I could; he then kicked me….In about an hour I began to feel the effects of the kicks…….

The Bench ordered Reehill to pay a fine of 10s and costs.

January 27, 2009 Posted by | as crime, court, kicking, Old Newspaper clippings, pugilism | , | Leave a comment

Cavan Observer March 3, 1860

Patrick MONAGHAN, appellant; Sub-Inspector WEIR, respondent.

In this case the appellant had been sentenced to two months’ imprisonment, at the Ballyjamesduff Petty Sessions, for an assault upon the respondent, who is Sub Inspector of Constabulary at Ballyjamesduff.

Messrs. James and John Armstrong appeared for the appellant. Mr. S. Knipe appeared for the respondent and briefly stated the case.

Sub-Inspector WEIR was then called and examined.–On the 10th of January I was sitting in my own house; it was between 5 and 6 o’clock; I heard a row in the street opposite my house; I ran out and saw several persons fighting; MONAGHAN and a man named CRUMMY appeared to be the worst; they were in grips, fighting; I ran over, and caught each of them by the throat and told them they should come with me; CRUMMY’s wife told him not to resist; she said “for God’s sake go quietly;” MONAGHAN resisted and struck me several times with his fist….James M’GEBNEY deposed he was looking on during the assault on Mr. WEIR, and previously, saw CURRY and MONAGHAN fighting; they were fighting when Mr. WEIR ran out; saw MONAGHAN strike Mr. WEIR several blows…

Thomas CRUMMY examined by Mr. Armstrong–Is a broguemaker, and on the night of the row was quarrelling with another broguemaker, named COLWELL; it wasn’t a fight–only an argument about trade. Here Mr. CRUMMY turned and poured forth a torrent of vituperation upon the previous witness, calling him a thief, a robber, &c., and shouting that he (Mr. C) had to be constantly watching his potatoes to prevent him from stealing them……He was at length interrupted by the Chairman, who inquired if he knew where the gaol was?

January 27, 2009 Posted by | as crime, court, Old Newspaper clippings, pugilism, wrestling | , , , | Leave a comment

Cavan Observer July 5, 1862

Thomas M’GINNELL and two brothers named GALLIGAN were charged with having assaulted Pat. GAFFNEY, on Tuesday, the 10th of June. GAFFNEY’s informations stated that on the 10th of June he was in SHERIDAN’s public house in this town, and saw the prisoners disputing about drink with the servant girl; M’GINNELL was about to strike the girl for taking off his cap, and he interfered to protect her, upon which some angry words passed between himself and M’GINNELL; on his way home in the evening he was overtaken by the prisoners and some others near Lough Bray, and severely beaten by them; they struck him with sticks, knocked him down, kicked him, broke two of his teeth, and M’GINNELL struck him with a loaded butt. In his informations GAFFNEY fully identified the prisoners, but now he appeared to be troubled with a bad memory, and did all in his power to screen them from punishment by asserting that he could not identify them as his assailants. Vain were all attempts to induce him to give a direct answer to any question, and it was only under the threat of having his recognizance estreated he was induced to identify M’GINNELL. A young man named Patrick REILLY, summoned by the police, and who had witnessed the assault, fully identified M’GINNELL and one of the GALLIGANs; the other he was not sure of. Constable NOLAN, of Crosskeys, proved that he searched for the prisoners several times, but they evaded justice until lately…..The Court considered the charge proved against M’GINNELL and one of the GALLIGANs, and sentenced them to one month’s imprisonment, with hard labour. The other prisoner received the “benefit of the doubt,” and the Chairman rebuked GAFFNEY for his attempt to defeat the ends of justice. GAFFNEY had to pay for the stamps, and REILLY was allowed 3s expenses.

January 27, 2009 Posted by | as crime, kicking, Old Newspaper clippings | , , , | Leave a comment