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.

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

“Autobiography of an Irish traveller ” 1835

Summited by Chris Amendola

” Oh !’ said he, ‘ I have my scouts and my spies every where, who give me immediate warning. I can go in two hours, across the country, to places which they would be as many days in reaching; so ignorant are they of the bye-roads, and places we frequent. Besides,’ added he, ‘ one of our stout-hearted fellows is worth a dozen of your trained soldiers, who only fight by rule; we, squire, fight with a stick better than they with a sword. There,’ he continued, pointing to a stout, well-built young fellow, about twenty-five years of age,—’ if there be a man in Ireland who can beat down his cudgel with a cutlass, then I’1l give my head for a foot-ball.’
” Being a skilful swordsman myself, and always very cool and deliberate in my play, I answered, that if they had a good strong broad-sword, I would play a match after breakfast, for the sake of amusement.
“‘ With all my heart,’ said the young man, ‘ we are near of an age and of a size;’ and when the breakfast was finished, a cudgel and broadsword were produced.
” ‘ Comrade,’ said I, ‘ before we begin, remember we are not to strike each other ! I shall either cut your cudgel out of your hand, or you will beat down my guard; and whoever does this three times in succession is the conqueror.’
” At it we went accordingly, and, in truth, I never saw a cudgel played in such style before. He kept on the defensive, and parried all my cuts for fifteen minutes, without having his guard broke in upon. After this, changing his method, he began upon the offensive; and, in the course of ten minutes more, my sword had been three times nearly struck from my grasp. I now threw it down, and gave him my hand, satisfied of his unrivalled dexterity; for, when at Berlin, I was considered the best broad-swordsman in the college. The lads were all pleased with our trial of skill, and not less so with the good humour I exhibited on being defeated. I am convinced no swordsman could have resisted my antagonist. His cudgel moved like lightning; the inner part, from his hand to his elbow, covering his body in a half circle, or otherwise, according to the blows aimed at him.”

December 15, 2009 Posted by | As sport, Historical descriptions, other weapon, prowess | , , , , | Leave a comment

Wake poem and artwork 1825

Found by Maxime Chouinard

Drinking, dancing, fighting and carrying on at an Irish wake! Looks to have the rare image of a woman holding a shillelagh…and smoking a pipe.

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Faction fight descriptions, grip, Historical descriptions, Period illustration | , , , , | Leave a comment

MacGregor’s lecture on the Art of Defence, Paisley 1791

Dug up by Louie Pastore:

“I am told that a number of the Irish are very good at fighting with 
two sticks, viz. a short one in their left hand to guard with and a 
long one in their right, which they manage with amazing dexterity. 
This is practicing sword and dagger, the same as the evolutions of the 
backsword are performed with cudgels”
MacGregor’s lecture on the Art of Defence, Paisley 1791

February 20, 2009 Posted by | description of sticks, grip, knife, prowess | , , , , , | Leave a comment

L’opinion publique, Vol. 8, no. 30, pp. 354 (26 juillet 1877)

1877b

January 27, 2009 Posted by | as crime, Faction fight descriptions, Old Newspaper clippings, Period illustration | , , , , | Leave a comment

MURDER IN CO. LEITRIM

The Anglo-Celt, Cavan, county Cavan

Feb 12 1847

MURDER IN CO. LEITRIM–On Wednesday last, a party of lawless ruffians, supposed to be about twelve in number, surrounded the dwelling of an industrious farmer named DUFFY, on the lands of Drumshambo, in the Parish of Cloone. DUFFY and family were in the act of repeating the rosary, according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, when the degraded villains arrived to perpetrate their nefarious purposes, and (as given in evidence) remained quietly outside till this religious ceremony terminated. Three of the gang immediately broke into DUFFY’s house, one of whom carried a gun, demanded arms, and struck him violently. A severe and unequal contest ensued in which Brian DUFFY, son of the farmer, eighteen years of age, received a blow of a loaded cudgel on the side of the head, which caused his death in the course of a few hours. Intelligence of this tragedy having been reported, Alexander PERCY, Esq., coroner, repaired to the spot and empannelled a respectable jury, when after a most infinite i nvestigation, a verdict of wilful murder was unanimously recorded against a certain person aided and assisted by other persons yet unknown. DUFFY and family bear excellent character– Northern Standard.

January 24, 2009 Posted by | as crime, Old Newspaper clippings | , , , , | Leave a comment

Scenes in Austria

From http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=brigade

Scenes in Austria

 

In that same June 1860 Archbishop Cullen was “pessimistic”, sure that a shameful debacle was now inevitable.  A preliminary report from Rome read, “We must only hope that the Irish who come here will not bring down any disgrace on our country … there are some shocking fellows amongst the soldiers … They get drunk and beat one another and some of the Italians into the bargain”.  But at least these men had reached Italy.  Austro‑Irish Count Charles McDonnell, who had illegally recruited many Irishmen, marched them to Vienna to become good Catholic Hapsburgs!  A spy deepened Cullen’s gloom.  “McDonnell … has kept all our young men capable of being any use, acting in Vienna and elsewhere as clerks ‑ writing orders, telegraphic despatches etc.”  Rome confirmed that, “There was quite a scene in Vienna when one of the batches was passing through. An Irishman got drunk, the Austrian police, seven in number went to arrest him, he made opposition, they drew their swords but with the shillelah (cudgel) that never missed fire he knocked down three of them and the others ran for their lives”.

January 24, 2009 Posted by | as crime, Faction fight descriptions, prowess | , , , | Leave a comment