History of the Lives and Actions of Irish Highwaymen, Tories and Rapparees

History of Redmond O’Hanlon, protector of the rights and properties of the benefactors, and captain general of the Irish robbers.

Redmond O’Hanlon was the son of a reputable Irish gentleman, who had a considerable estate, and lived at the root of Slievegullion mountains, in the county of Armagh, among a vast number of relations, several whereof were of the same name. After his parents had given him the best education the time and place afforded, they obtained for him a small post in the army, where he served a few years with pretty good credit, though very young, ’till the reduction of the Irish forces in this kingdom, among which our Redmond was one.

The nation being reduced by the English forces, several Irish families, who had a hand in the wars of Ireland were dispossessed, and their lands forfeited; by which means a very great alteration was made in this family, and several of the O’Hanlon’s were obliged to travel, in hopes of retrieving their fortunes. But poor Redmond, in this unhappy condition, once happened to be at the killing of a gentleman in a quarrel, and flying for safety, stayed abroad for a long time, still refusing to come to trial ’till he was outlawed, which put him to his shifts. But our hero having received some instructions in the art of war, and being naturally of an undaunted courage, was easily led into the secret of invading other men’s properties, both on the highway, and by breaking open of houses, till he had acquired as much money as might have put him in a way to live above the frowns of fortune, with good management, all his life.

But seeming to relish this new course of life more than the former, he proceeded in his robberies, ’till from an infancy in the art, he became one of the most notorious and expert of that profession that had ever been bred in the kingdom of Ireland. He had made himself acquainted with all the bye passages in the country, and he knew all the lurking places on the mountains of Newry and Slievegullion, so that whoever pretended to pursue him, made but fruitless attempts, and commonly returned with loss and shame, like dogs that lost their ears, both before and after the rewards were offered by the government for apprehending him.

He was strong and active, and as occasion required, could perform his feats either on foot or on horseback: but though he was so notorious a plunderer, he was naturally of a very generous disposition, frequently giving share of what he got from the rich to relieve the poor in their necessities. His remarkable actions and surprising attempts, spread his character through all the country; and being joined by a great number of his former acquaintance (adventurous lads who became his associates spontaneously) ’till his company was augmented to fifty effective men, mostly his own relations, he then began to take upon a captain’s command, and appointed a brigade to act in every province, who were always to return (barring accidents) four times a year to their general place of rendezvous and give an account of their success, and as soon as the booty was regularly divided, each brigade was ordered to exchange posts, and to march out on duty again. This was their constant practice for some years, by which policy they kept themselves concealed much longer than they otherwise could have done. However, there was no robbery committed any where at all in the kingdom but was attributed to Captain O’Hanlon, though it is probable he might be an hundred miles distant at the same time: nay, so well was his character established, and so notorious his actions, that it became a common proverb, when any man had a mind to brand another with infamy and scandal, for him to say, “You are as great a rogue as Redmond O’Hanlon.”

As Redmond was once traveling along the road between Newry and Armagh, like a kite in the air in quest of prey, with only two or three attendants, who were at some distance behind him, he overtook a pedlar, crying out and bemoaning his misfortune, in a very moving and piteous manner. Redmond taking compassion of the peddler, came up and asked what had befallen him? To whom the peddler replied, “that damn’d rogue of a Redmond O’Hanlon has robbed me of above five pounds in money, which was all I had; and that would not satisfy him either, but he has taken my box away too; and because I strove to hold it, he knocked me down, and abused me like a dog.” Redmond incensed at such language, had hardly patience to hear him tell out his story before he interrupted him, and called him a rascal and a lying son of a whore.—”How could I rob you you, (said he) that never saw you before? You dog, shew me which way he went, and I’ll convince you that it was none of Redmond O’Hanlon that robbed you.” By the time the fellow had described the robber, and shewed the road he took, Redmond’s company came up, and they all went in pursuit of the new rogue, whom they overtook, with the pedlar’s box under his arm, and brought him back to the place where he committed the robbery. He knew himself guilty of the fact, and returned the peddler both his money and box, without waiting to be examined, being no way acquainted with Redmond or any of his party. Upon this Captain O’Hanlon said, he would teach him to rob in his name, and without his licence or permission, and bound the peddler under an obligation to prosecute the fellow at the ensuing assizes, and then wrote a mittimus* and sent the criminal under a proper guard to the jail of Armagh. The peddler was as good as his word, prosecuted him to the very utmost, upon which the fellow being found guilty, was accordingly executed. He was not altogether so destitute of friends but that he had council to plead for him, who insisted very much upon the error in commitment, and prevailed so far as to have the mittimus produced and read, thinking to get the trial postponed; but this was of no other service than to give rise to as pleasant a fit of merriment in court as ever happened upon such an occasion, the judges and every one else laughed till they were ready to burst, at the conceit of Redmond’s acting the justice of peace.

*The mittimus, we are informed, ran thus:—
“By Redmond O’Hanlon in loco one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for County Armagh, but chief ranger of the mountains.
“I herewith send you the body of who was this day brought before me, and examined, for robbing Mr. ——— on the King’s high road, requiring of you to hold him in safe custody till the next General Assizes to be held for the said county: and for your so doing this shall be your sufficient warrant. Given under my hand this lst day of March, 1695.
“REDMOND O’Hannon.
“To ———, Gaoler of Armagh.”

Redmond had a much greater antipathy to the English than to the Scotch or Irish; for he was always kind to his country men, and made a bargain both with them and the North country peddlers, and all such as acknowledged his jurisdiction all over the kingdom; alleging for excess, that as he was a reduced gentleman, he hoped his country men would not refuse to pay him tribute towards his maintenance, upon his desisting to plunder. Upon this he made proposals, that whoever paid him half a crown per annum, he would indemnify them from robbers of all kinds: but if at any time they neglected to remit him his salary, and run in arrears, they were sure to pay for it. Such as made this bargain with him, had their names registered in his pocket-book, and were so little afraid of losing any of their goods by robbers, that they thought their effects as safe in the field as in the house; for if at any time they happened to have any thing stolen, upon application to Redmond, he would make the most diligent search that could possibly be made through all parts of the kingdom, till he found it and restored it to the owner; and if he failed to find it, always allowed his benefactor two years salary to compensate the loss. But he had so many emissaries, and such good intelligence, and all other petty rogues were so much afraid of him and his party, that none of them dared disoblige him; and besides, every robber was served with a copy of the registered names, and had strict orders not to meddle with any thing that belonged to such, but to assist the loser in searching for their goods: so that his friends seldom suffered under his protection.

Having once got cold, upon some desperate occasion, it threw him into a dangerous fever, of which he recovered; yet the place being damp where he lay, he lost the use of his limbs, and continued a cripple or lame for some years: yet during this time he was preserved among his friends, who had a great esteem for him, and escaped from being taken, though he was proclaimed a tory and a robber, and a reward of L.50 was offered for taking of him, which occasioned frequent searches after him. He likewise was punctually paid his salary or tribute by his benefactors or allies (except a few who broke the truce, but dearly paid for it after) though robberies were not so frequent during his illness as before, so that he was under a necessity of making his pay maintain him ’till he was able to go about again.

As soon as he had recovered the use of his limbs, he took the field again, and scoured all the roads in the country, sometimes alone, and sometimes with company, and took special care to revenge himself on all those who had neglected to send him his yearly pension while he was out of order; but found himself so closely hunted, that he fixed his head quarters at or about the bog of Allen for a considerable time, where he committed such a number of notorious robberies, that the country was obliged to keep under arms to guard their effects. The government taking this into consideration, a fresh proclamation was issued out, offering a reward of L.250 for the taking of him; upon which several attempts were made to secure him, but to no effect: though he was once taken in bed near Clonbullock; but had the good fortune to be rescued by his comrades, as his captors were leading him to Naas goal.

Tho’ he was very well acquainted all over the kingdom, yet he was loath to venture himself any longer in this place, and among strangers, for fear of a second disaster: so be took an opportunity of conveying himself private to his old quarters on Slievegullion, where he remained some time, and carried on his game with great success, before his enemies had notice where to seek him.

Soon after his return, he was in company with some of his associates beyond Armagh, where they met with cornet Montgomery’s steward, who having received above L.500 from his master’s tenants on an estate he had in that country, was carrying it home to his own house near Killevan, in the country of Monaghan, where he dwelt. Redmond stood at a little distance all the time of the action, and observed the dispute on both sides, and the defence made by the steward, which tho’ he maintained it with bravery for some time, yet he was overpowered by numbers, and obliged to deliver his purse to save his life. When the booty was divided, captain O’Hanlon made a present of his part to the cornet’s young son, who was at nurse in the same place, which he sent by the steward, with strict order to deliver it, and took his acknowledgment for the same payable on demand. This he did out of a pure regard that he had for the cornet, on account of some favour that he had done him formerly: and the cornet to make him a requital for so generous an action, made a promise that he would use his best endeavours to obtain the king’s pardon for him, in hopes of his forsaking his new trade; and was as good as his word, as by the sequel will appear.

A little after this action, a merchant in Dundalk had a draught on a merchant in Newry for a large sum, but was so much in dread of Redmond O’Hanlon, that he was afraid either to send for the money, or to go for it himself: while he was thus consulting with his wife how to get the money safely home, his apprentice, a lad about sixteen years of age, overheard their discourse, and as soon as he got an opportunity, desired his master to tell him why he was so much afraid of sending to Newry? The master having answered his request, the boy asked him whether he would venture to trust him with so much money? The master said he did not doubt his honesty, but on that occasion he could not tell what to think of the matter. However, by many entreaties, the boy prevailed on the master to let him go for the money, promising to forfeit his ears if he lost one half penny of it. The boy having obtained privilege to go for the money, immediately set about preparing himself for the journey, and by his master’s assistance, being provided with about forty shilling in half pence, he divided them into two parcels, and tied them up close in a little wallet, at each end, and then went to the field and brought home an old vicious stone horse, (much of the same humour with Sir Teague O’Regan’s war horse, on which he rode out to meet duke Scomberg after the surrender of Charlemount) that when any other came up to meet him on the road, be always strove to bite or kick him, by which means he commonly kept the road to himself. With proper accoutrements the boy mounted, and had the fortune to meet Redmond on the road as he was going, who, as it was usual with him, demanded where he was going? The boy told him to Newry, ‘Pray what business have you there? says Redmond. Why, says the boy, to receive about L.100 for my master. And when do you think you’ll be back? says Redmond. Why, says the boy, I believe about this time to-morrow. Well, my good boy, says Redmond, you had better take care not to tell every body what year business is, for fear you should be robbed.———Oh, says the boy, I am sure such a gentleman as you would not too me; I don’t intend to tell any body else.’ Upon this Redmond made him a present of a ducat to drink his health or to hire another horse, if the one he had under him should tire; and so they parted good friends for that time.

Redmond was then under some necessities for a little money; and as none of his companions were present at the dialogue, he was resolved not to let them know any thing of the matter, that he might have all the booty to himself; And to make himself the more sure of the prey, he ordered his comrades to a different post the next morning, and waited himself alone on the road leading from Newry, ’till the boy returned.

When they boy came in sight Redmond rode up and saluted him, and, after some discourse, began to ask him the necessary question about the money—The boy seeming to have no mistrust of his design confessed that he had received it, upon which the other desired him to let him see it. The boy seemingly under a surprise, made several excuses, but they all availed him nothing; for after a short parley, the other began to demand with some authority, and would have taken hold of him had he not been something afraid of receiving a kick from the mad horse. Among other excuses, the boy alleged that his master would think that he had made away with the money himself and deem him a rogue, for which reason he could not part with it; but at length, Redmond threatening to shoot him if he refused any longer, the boy took his wallet, and cast it over a slough by the road side, and told Redmond that if he must have it, he should follow it. Upon this Redmond alighted from his horse, and having tied him to a tree, with some difficulty he got over the slough and thro’ the hedge, to the place where the wallet lay. While he was upon this expedition the boy exchanged horses much for the better, and rode home with speed, having the money he had received at Newry safely quilted up in his waistcoat and tho’ Redmond called after him to stay, with all the eagerness in the world, yet he took no further notice of him, but left him to make the best hand he could of an old garron and a bag of half pence.

Shortly after this Redmond was presented with the king’s protection for three year, on trial of his good behaviour, by cornet Montgomery, who had taken some pains to obtain it, and remained for the space of above two years inoffensive in the country, and kept company with some of the best gentlemen in the kingdom, who not only took pleasure in hearing him relate his exploits, but caressed and made much of him; However, tho’ he knew very well, if he had continued his good behaviour for the term granted aforesaid, he might have obtained a general pardon, yet this honest way of living did not relish well with him; he had an itch to be at the old game, and accordingly began it before the admitted time was expired, growing ten times more wicked and notorious than ever he had been before.

In imitation of Oliver Cromwell, lord protector of the commonwealth, he took upon him either the title of protector of the rights and properties of his benefactors contributors, chief ranger of the mountains, surveyor general of the high-roads of Ireland, or lord-examiner of all passengers, committing such villainies, and barbarities on sturdy travelers, as he called them, as were never heard of before; often driving away whole herds of cattle from such in contempt of his protection and authority, had given offence by running in arrears, tho’ he never used any ill that did not oppose him. Yet he seldom robbed a poor man, but on the contrary was always generous to men in necessity or distress.—’Tis said that having once overtaken a poor man who had hardly any thing else lest but one cow, which he was driving to a fair to be sold, in order to raise the rent for his landlord, he asked him several questions, ’till he found certainly that he was in want, and then lent him five pounds, which he was to pay him at an inn a few weeks after: The poor man proving perfectly honest, went with the money according to compact; which pleased Redmond so well, that he bestowed it on him and five pounds more for ever.

He was likewise very generous to a soldier, if he met him alone, and understood the art of dissimulation, on disguising himself, as well as any man; sometimes appearing like an officer, sometimes like a country gentleman, and sometimes like a footman, and could after the tone of his voice at pleasure; so that the soldiers seldom knew him, tho’ he often gave them money to drink, unless he discovered himself. The Duke of Ormond, in his time, ordered out a small party of foot and horse, to pursue him, who being informed where he was, but not mistrusting his disguise, went after him immediately. Redmond perceiving how it was, dressed himself like an officer and went quietly along the high road, often looking backwards, ’till he saw the red coats at a good distance behind him; then he hastened to a gentleman’s house near the road, and told him he was an officer who was sent out with a party of men in pursuit of Redmond O’Hanlon, but being a little fatigued, made bold to call and rest himself ’till his men came up; then desiring the people of the house to call him as soon as they passed by, he stretched himself down to rest. The soldiers had not gone above an hundred yards past the end of the avenue, before Redmond went out in pretence of meeting them at a stile by the road side a quarter of a mile off; but his intent was to make his escape another way, which he had for that time unperceived.

Not long after he appeared in Armagh in the habit of a country gentleman, and requested of the commanding officer there to let him have a few men to guard him about eight miles further, for fear of being met by any Redmond O’Hanlon’s party, because he had a charge of money about him. The request seemed very reasonable, and upon his rewarding the men before hand, the privilege was granted. He and the men passed on very jocosely for about seven miles, ’till, as it seems thinking himself safe enough, he told them he was out of danger, & they might go back: upon this he gave every man a piece of money, and desired them to make a discharge for joy of his safe passage, which they aid; then he desired them to charge and do the like again, till at length they told him their ammunition was spent. This was what he expected, and giving a whistle, a parcel of his gang sprung up out of the thickets who stripped the soldiers of their arms, money, accoutrements and clothes, in which shameful condition they were obliged to go back to their quarters.

A relation of the surprising escape he made at the four mile house, between Dundalk and Newry, may claim the reader’s attention as much as any of these. Being there overtaken by an officer and twelve men, he was made prisoner; but seeming to have a great respect for the soldiers, and they for him, there was no dispute made; he submitted to every thing they demanded, and seemed ready and willing to go where they pleased. His ready compliance and civility drew compassion from the men towards him, and as an acknowledgement of their kindness, he treated them with North country whiskey, taking care to drink sparingly himself, ’till they were all overcome with that heady liquor, and not one of them able to stand or speak. While they were in this condition he got them all tied neck and heels, by the assistance of some of his comrades, and leaving them in that posture marched of with their arms, which it seems he and his gang had occasion for.

The government being justly incensed at the manner of his proceeding and behaviour, soon after issued out a new proclamation, offering a fresh reward for his head dead or alive.

There was a barrack also erected at a Carradevelin, where two troops of horse and two companies of foot were ordered for the security of the country; which tho’ several of Redmond’s comrades were dispersed, put him under no terror, for he robbed as frequently as ever; but kept in the night at very private places.

A captain of foot being informed of one of his haunts, chose out twenty of the most active men in the barrack, who stripped themselves to their waistcoats, and marched out in pursuit of him before break of day in the morning, with nothing but their muskets and bayonets, and a little provision in their pockets. In about two hours they invested his castle of defence, where he lay alone that night, but, in the midst of their search, had the mortification to hear him call out to them from an adjacent hill, bidding defiance; for it seems, he had warning of their approach, tho’ it was so short that he ran out half dressed. Upon this the military men hold a consultation of war, wherein it was resolved to divide themselves into three parties, and pursue him without delay. The captain and ten men were to follow the chase in the center, and five men on each wing, who were always to keep within a quarter of a mile of the main body. In this manner they followed him ’till noon, without giving him time to rest, but at length, several of them beginning to lag, the chase was only maintained by four, who kept so nigh him as to have him in view now and then the greatest part of the day, notwithstanding the difficulties they had to surmount in ascending the hills. In the evening he hid himself in a knot of furze, about half a mile from a small village, where several of his friends lived, intending to convey himself thither in the night expecting that the soldiers would have gone on, and have searched the village before it grew quite dark; but here he was entirely mistaken, for his pursuers (tho’ he had out ran them near half a mile) upon loosing sight of him, suspected that he had hid himself, and having fired a shot for a signal waited near they place where they had missed him ’till the whole company came up and then made a very diligent search, but to no purpose. Upon this they held a fresh consultation, not many yards from the place where Redmond lay, and concluded to sit down and make a repast of what provision they had and to lie under cover ’till morning. Redmond overheard the discourse, and was resolved to steal away, if possible, but was prevented by the brightness of the moon, and the men’s walking to and fro to keep themselves warm, till a little before sun-rise, when observing a smoke at a distance, they drew near thinking to meet with some house, to refresh themselves; but instead of finding one they found a village, where being furnished with fresh provisions, tho’ at a dear rate, as they were returning to renew the search, they observed a man at some distance, making to a cabin on the side of a hill whom they pursued & found that they were upon the scent. But Redmond looking behind him, tho’ he was exceedingly hungry, altered his course, & the pursuit was renewed with great warmth, insomuch that Redmond had not time to refresh himself all day long and was obliged to hide himself next evening in the top of a mountain, where he remained ’till break of day, and then, being almost famished with hunger, went to one of his friend’s houses to get something to eat.

At his coming up to the door, one of the dogs began to bark, which alarmed the pursuers in the center, who lay not far off; whereupon they all came up in a body and surrounded the house, just as Redmond sat down with a cake of bread, some butter, and a can of milk before him. It was now the third day since he had got a morsel, and being almost spent for want of food, was just going to put the first bit in his mouth, when the captain of the little army appeared at the door with a very kind salutation, which Redmond, (tho’ under the greatest surprise) returned with a gentleman-like air. “Mr. O’Hanlon,” (said the officer) “I am glad to have overtaken you; we have been in pursuit of you near three days with the king’s warrant, and at last are come up with you; now, sir, you are the king’s prisoner; get ready, for you must come along with us.” Redmond replied, “Sir, I acknowledge that I am your prisoner and shall comply with your orders immediately; but, gentlemen, you have been hunting me these two days past, as I never was hunted in my life. I have not had time to put one bit in my mouth ’till now. and I beg, sir, you’ll give me leave to eat my last breakfast with my friends; as soon as I have done you shall carry me where you please, and it will be no small honour to have the credit of taking Redmond O’Hanlon only don’t disturb me ’till I am ready.” This privilege was readily granted him, resting on their arms, while the other twelve guarded the house on all sides without, ’till Redmond had done; then he started up, taking his blunderbuss in his hand, and presenting it to the officer, said, “Now you take me for your prisoner, and I don’t deny it; but you must give me a little play, that the world should not have it it to say that I was taken so silly—you bear the title of captain, so do I; if you refuse to give me horse-room and car-room, I’ll discharge my piece at you this instant, and you shall die with me. I expect nothing but death gentlemen, but yet am resolved to have fair play, and die honourably—I have but one life to loose, you can take no more, and perhaps I may make three or four of you bear me company; for to goal I never will go alive.” This language surprised the officer, who seemed to give way a little, as tho’ he had a mind to consent; upon which Redmond forced out of the door, and ran for his life. The soldiers without were so situated, that he had got above twenty yards before they could fire without any danger of hurting one another: so that, tho’ every shot was discharged after him, he got clear off, with only some slight wounds, and made a complete escape for that time, taking great advantage of the delay the made in loading their pieces again.

After this he had the mortification, with five of his gang, to be frightened after a queer manner. Some of the servants being abroad, happened to spy the people at their first coming, and suspecting the design, ran to the fields to catch a horse to alarm the country—the stud, affrighted at so sudden a disturbance, galloped up towards the house and made a very great noise, which the gang took for the country in arms at their heels, and ran away in confusion before they had time to get much plunder or enter the house.

It was about this time that Power, the greatest robber in Munster, out of mere curiosity, took a journey to the country of Armagh, purely for the sake of seeing Redmond O’Hanlon, of whom he heard abundance of sine stories, but never had been in his company. When he came near the place of Redmond’s abode, he put up at an inn, but for some private reasons made no enquiry that night; for observing a gentleman, as he thought, telling over a good some of money, he took care to be informed which road he intended to take, in the morning; upon which he pursued him and overtook him at the side of a little wood: At coming up be demanded the gentleman’s money without more ado, which he told him he saw him reckoning the night before. The other told him, he had money sure enough, but swore, that whosoever took it should sight for it; upon which each of them discharged a pistol, but without any damage, and then drew their swords, without which they fought some time on horseback, without much harm or advantage on either side: a length, looking on one another, they forbore a while, and agreed to alight and decide the quarrel on foot; having alighted the victory was contended for with equal bravery and loss of blood on both sides, ’till they were able to sight no longer then sitting down to rest, “Pray, says the Sampson of the North, who are you, or what is your name.” Upon this the other confessed, he was the chief robber of Munster who hearing a great deal of Redmond O’Hanlon’s fame, came purposely have an opportunity of getting acquainted with him. Says Redmond, “then you have satisfied your curiosity, for I am the man; and I must confess you are the heartiest lad that I ever met with—I never was so worsted before.” So the battle ended—they kissed and became friends, and he made a league to tarry with Redmond a year and half in the North; but not relishing so much bonnocks and oatmeal as they usually got in this place, he returned again to his own country, and surveyed only the Munster road afterwards.

Before he departed they made a truce, and promised to give one another notice it at any time either of them was put in prison, or in distress, that the one at liberty might relieve or rescue the other if possible. And soon after this, the Munster tory was apprehended, and put into Clonmel goal, for robbing and murdering a traveller on Kilnagowan, near the place where Patrick Sarsfield afterwards had the fortune to blow up King William’s artillery, and nail down the cannon. According to their compact, he wrote a letter to Redmond, which he received at Armagh, and having communicated the contents thereof to his trust, comrades, Patrick Mactigh, John Reilly, Shan Bernag, Phil. Galloge, Pat. Mell, Arthur O’Neal, and the famous Brian O’Kelly, they took the affair into consideration: but however the time being very short, Redmond posted away alone and only reached Clonmel the evening before the Munster champion was led out to Kilnagowan, in order to be executed. Being in the habit of a gentleman, he found means of communicating with Power, and let him know that he intended to set the town on fire in several places that night—that while the people were in confusion he might have an opportunity of executing his design; but, Power let him know the danger of such an attempt, while a strong guard of soldiers were kept in the town, and dissuaded him from it, by telling him of a much better opportunity that would offer on the road the next day, there being but a file or two of foot soldiers with the sheriff to guard him; and so put him in a way of forming a probable stratagem for making a rescue. Next morning the guard set out with the prisoner, and having conducted him about half way, they stopped a while at a public house on the road, to refresh themselves. The prisoner was left in a small room at one end of the house, under the charge of four soldiers, while the soldiers sat in a large room at the other end, over a cup of liquor, not mistrusting any thing, tho’ the landlord was made privy to the design, but absolutely refused to give any aid or assistance, unless Redmond would promise to give him some slight wound, to save his credit. To make the story short, while they sat in this posture, Redmond appeared at the door in the furniture of a gentleman, and having inquired the cause of the soldiers being there be desired to have the privilege of seeing the prisoner; which being readily granted to him be called for wine and other liquor in great plenty, to treat the men and paid the whole reckoning with a great many fine compliments. This being over, the officer to make a return of such gratitude, called for more wine to treat the gentleman, while the men were plied with liquor, by Redmond’s private orders, to facilitate his design.

As soon as he thought convenient, he stepped out, on pretence of making water, and looking round about him, to see whether the coast was clear he observed eight men riding towards him, and waiting till they came up, sound they were some of his own comrades, to whom he had communicated the affair before he left the North who had followed him in order to assist him. To be sure the news was very agreeable, and his comrades could never meet him in a more welcome time; for that moment, seeing an opportunity of releasing his brother, they consulted the manner of executing their design, and had the luck to rescue him in a very surprising manner, as follows—One of the gang held the horses at the end of the house, while the rest followed Redmond into it who opening a door that was in the passage, to prevent any in the lower room from looking up into the other, stood there, and made some kind of a noise, not only to drown the voice of those with the prisoner during the scuffle, but to hinder the others from coming out to see what the matter was, if there arose any suspicion. In the meanwhile, seven of the North country robbers entered into the little room, and taking advantage of the small guard, while they were in liquor, dispatched and laid aside the four men so suddenly, that they had no time to cry out; and then having cut they cords wherewith the prisoner was bound, he followed them out, and mounted one of the horses with very little noise, and so made his escape to the mountains along with his new company. Things were so situated, that Redmond himself was the first who gave notice of the escape, and assisted the sheriff and the guard in pursuing the rescuers for several miles, ’till finding an opportunity in the evening, & observing that several of the guards, being overcome with liquor, had lagged behind, he turned off short, giving them the slip on the mountains, and followed his comrades directly to Longford-pass, near the Bog of Allen, without stop or stay, where he had directed them to post away before him. Here they all met, acrording to agreement; but what became of Power after is uncertain, tho’ partly related in the next.

Some time after this, when the soldiers in the barrack erected at Carradelvin had marched out of their quarters, and fresh ones had supplied their room Redmond having contrived the plot himself, took out with him eighteen men (among whom were the aforesaid Mactigh, Reilly, Bernagh, Galloge, Mell, O’Neal, and O’Kelly,) all alarmed and went in the night, as privately as possible to the barrack, in order to be revenged of the soldiers for the severe hunting he got some time before that, when he made his very surprising escape. It seems the soldiers had no suspicion of captain O’Hanlon’s adventure, for they were all asleep; other wise it appears to be very improbable that the Rapparees could open the door, and steal away eighteen horses unknown to the guard. However, so it was, the eighteen O’Hanlonians made off with eighteen horses, making no delay ’till they came to Ballibay, about eight miles distant from the barrack, where there stood an old castle in the valley at the foot of a great hill. Here they alighted to get some provender for the horses; where I shall leave them a while, and return to the barrack, to observe how the army behaved.

How the robbery was first discovered is not yet known, but this is fact: eighteen horsemen, each with a foot soldier behind him, began the pursuit early in the morning, and following the tracks of of the horse, came within sight of them, about nine o’clock in the morning, in the valley aforesaid. As soon as Captain O’Hanlon perceived the pursuers, he marked out a circle, and gave orders to his men to draw the horses up into an half moon, and prepare for battle. His reason for making out the circle was, that his men might move the more regularly, and keep the face of the half moon still towards the enemy, every man standing close to his horse, to prevent the soldiers from firing; because they knew very well the dragoons did not pursue them with an intention to kill their own horses.

In this posture, they were just by the side of a large trench (over which it was impossible for a horse to pass) when the officer came within a shot; and though he was a man of experience, yet could not venture with any safety, to fall on them at once, which occasioned a long debate; and at length Captain. O’Hanlon gave the officer a fair challenge, either to decide the matter by a field battle, or to give three guineas a piece for the horses; but the offer was rejected, and several stratagems were made use of by the officer to break the order of the Rapparees; which Redmond observing, and fearing that the foot men would find a passage over the trench, and get behind him while the rest were before, he thought proper to make a more moderate offer which was to return the horses at a guinea a piece, and to be allowed the liberty of marching off unmolested with his gang. If this were refused, he swore that every man he had should fire upon the army, making no doubt but that they should kill eighteen at least, and that several of themselves would escape afterwards. This audacious challenge occasioned a council of war to be held wherein it was concluded to give him the fast demand, with privilege of retiring a hundred yards before a soldier moved from his place to prevent the loss of men and horse; so a messenger was sent with the money, which when Capt. H—n had received, he and his men made use of the privilege, and retired behind the trench, which before was unperceived by the officer, who otherwise, upon an earlier discovery might have made, Redmond a prisoner, tho’ not without running a great risque. This surprising adventure ended without striking a blow.

This last action of Redmond’s incensed the government to the highest degree, and a fresh proclamation was issued out, offering a reward of L.400 or more for his head dead or alive, and L.40 a piece for thee eighteen men that were with him. The family of the Cootes, at Coote-Hill, were very active and successful in taking his comrades, as likewise the family of the Johnson of the Fews: and in a few years, the most of his chief men were taken & executed except the aforesaid Reilly, who had been so closely hunted by squire Coote, that he fled for his life to France, where shortly after, the same Coote, being on his travels, and having killed a man in fighting a duel, contrary to the laws of that nation was tried and found guilty. Reilly hearing that Coote was in danger of his life, came to him and after letting him know often he had hunted him, told him he was then come to render good for evil; and accordingly with some assistance, he rescued him and helped him to make his escape to Ireland again. When Coote got home, he inquired for Reilly’s family, and having found his father only in a small potatoe-garden, one cow, and a little cabin, on the mountain, he made him a freehold lease of a small piece of land in the county Monaghan, which the Reilly’s family still enjoy, and is now of considerable value.

Brien Kelly was the most active servant that Redmond had, and merits a place in history (if a rogue can have merit) almost as well as his master, having been in company with him in most of his during enterprises, as well as in several more private, but as the particulars have not been told me, I shall only relate one, and let the rest lie in oblivion. While Redmond resided near Allen, Kelly with two or three green-horn rapparees, beset a house in the country of Kildare, about ten o’clock at night, and having easily found means to convey themselves into a pig’s stye at one end of the house, where there was a hole made in the wall, thro’ which whey was usually conveyed into the swine-trough, the servant-maid, who was a brave sturdy girl, had occasion to go into the dairy with a candle, and observing that the hole was grown somewhat wider than before mistrusted that all was not right. Upon this she took up a large cleaver, and putting out the candle, conveyed herself to the side of the hole to watch for a considerable time. When all was hushed, the hands fell to work again to pick out the stones of the wall, and made the hole wider, and presently came in a head and shoulders, which the girl perceived by the light of the window, and making ready to give him a stroke, the fellow likewise discovered her, and called to his comrades to draw him back, because the hole was too narrow; but the girl had taken care to lighten the load, by cutting of the head, which terrified the rest without so much, that they fled for the same, and no body came afterwards to challenge the dead, neither was it known who he was, ’till Kelly, the great murderer and robber, confessed it afterwards in his last speech at Armagh. However the girl was highly applauded. But now to return to Redmond, and finish his life.

The gallows destroyed many of his accomplices, and the large rewards that were offered for taking himself, encouraged even private persons to endeavour to take him. And as the family of the Johnstons at the Fews are at present very serviceable to their country in apprehending tories and rapparees, so were they then; for the vigilant Mr. Johnston seldom let him rest after his chief comrades were cut off, but hunted him over hills and dales; but more particularly once, having notice that he was at Narrow-water, took some men and arms with him, and pursued him closely almost all the way to Carlingford where for fear that he should get and hide, and so convey himself away by sea in the night, his passages were all intercepted; which Redmond observing, he made up to an ale-house by the river-side, at which time it, happened there was no boat near hand, and no bridge within a mile and an half of the place. By some means or other old Johnston got notice of it, thinking it was not possible for Redmond to escape over so broad a river while the tide was in, for he had no other way left. When old Johnston and his men came near, they observed that Redmond had stripped off his clothes, and tied them on his back, and which he took to the river, and swam down, mostly under water, for above two hundred yards. This prevented his receiving the shot of his pursuers ’till out of danger; and what was as remarkable as this, when Mr. Johnston set his dog after him to seize him, the dog snapped at the coat, and at the same time Redmond turned about, and took hold of the dog by the throat & dragged him along with him under water till be drowned him quite, (for Redmond was a fine swimmer) and in a little time he gained the bank on the other side of the river, then dressed himself and fled directly to the Island of Magee near Belfast, where he lurked privately for a year or more, till he thought the country had forgot him, and then came up to the county of Armagh, to engage in new adventures, but did not reign long.

He was now under more apprehensions of danger than ever, he appeared but seldom publicly abroad; yet though he was somewhat advanced in years, he fell desperately in love with an inn keeper’s daughter, a very beautiful young woman, who he at last prevailed upon, by entreaties and valuable gifts, after a long suit to yield to his lustful embraces, upon a kind of a sham marriage. However, he was very fond of her, and spent most of his time in her company, ’till her father hearing who he was, and what reward was offered for apprehending him, endeavoured to get her to betray him; but all to no purpose, for it only gave Redmond warning to conceal himself with more caution. But at length one Douglas, a minister of the Church established, in the parish where the young woman mostly resided, knowing she was brought up a Protestant, and that Redmond only went to hear mass (if he frequented any place of worship at all) thought that she might be prevailed upon, on this account, to make a discovery; but all his endeavours even appeared to be fruitless for a long time, till Redmond took some occasion to abuse her; then Douglas began to work on her again, and at last obtained his end. The young woman, according to her promise to Douglass, took an opportunity to send a messenger to him, and gave him notice where Redmond was, just as he was going into bed after a hard fit of drinking. In a little time after a guard came up and took him asleep, and he was hurried to Armagh and put into goal, with above twelve stone of irons upon him, where he remained till the assizes, and being tried was found guilty of such a number of facts,* that he was condemned, and his body ordered to be cut in quarters, and to be hung in different places, as a terror to others: notwithstanding which he gave three surprising jumps in court, to shew his activity, tho’ so heavily laden with irons.

However, it is said that he was afterwards either enlarged or made his escape out of prison; for he died at last by the hand of one of his own relations (and foster brother) who for the sake of the large reward offered for Redmond’s head, caused his wife to lay a wile for him; and she having betrayed him, under a pretence of giving him some refreshment, he being weary, stretched himself down to rest, and was shot through the head as he lay asleep in a barn. He that shot him had the head carried on a staff, to Armagh, and got the thanks of the whole country, besides the reward, at the ensuing quarter sessions.*

*What the old women say of his mother’s dreams, of her going to consult an astrologer upon his birth, and of his having a “T” on his breast when born, is all a story and a fiction ; though it is certain that his exploits spread his fame through most countries in Europe. In England, he was called Captain O’Hanlon, but in France, Count O’Hanlon by all his fraternity.

Thus ended the memorable life of that notorious Highwayman and Robber Redmond O’Hanlon, on whom there was a very curious song composed in Irish after his death, tho’ never printed. And though some soldiers lost their lives in the rescue of Power, yet he was entirely against it, and intended only to overdo them with liquor. Kelly was the chief actor in the tragedy, therefore Redmond ought not to bear the scandal of so foul a deed. But stories concerning him differ greatly; nevertheless, had all his exploits and actions been recorded, they would have made as remarkable a history as most of the Irish giants

The life of Capt. Power, a genteel Robber.

Captain Power was a younger son of a worthy gentleman, who had a good freehold or estate at Kilvallen, in the county of Cork; but having entered into a suit of law, contrary to his elder brother’s advice, was cast; upon which he withdrew privately, and condemned all proceedings at law. ’till a writ of outlawry was issued out against him, so that he thought himself not secure in any public place. There had been some difference between him and his brother before that, and being somewhat disgusted, his high spirit chose to undertake any way of living rather than submit to the courtesy of friends. He was at length prevailed upon to try his fortune on the highway, and had great luck; but was never observed to abuse any travelers unless they opposed him. Some offers were made for granting him his pardon; yet he was afraid to come in, and continued a survey or of the roads till his death.

After his refusal of accepting the King’s pardon, a proclamation was issued out, and a reward offered for taking him; but he still pursued his usual courses, till his character was thoroughly established. It once happened that an ensign in Cork was informed that Captain Power was drinking alone at an inn on the road leading from Kilworth, and hearing that there was a reward of L.40 offered for apprehending him, he went out within file or two of musqueteers, who all entered the house in the evening, before Power was aware. Power was sitting in a room or parlour at the end of the house when the officer came in, and inquired for him, who being told where he was, went into the room (first having desired admittance) to take share of a bottle with him, leaving the men together over a pot of ale in the kitchen. After some discourse our officer challenged him, and said he was his prisoner; but Power was too many for him; he fastened the door, and with a pistol cocked and sword drawn in his hand, demanded the ensign’s money: and after he had secured it, he left the officer bound on the bed, and stole out of the house unperceived by the soldiers, who, thinking the prisoner safe, drank too hard, and then they marched back to Cork, like so many fools. By this we learn how foolish a thing it is to trust a prisoner’s honour when his life is in danger.

Capt. Power made some advances after this, in Leinster, where coming one evening to an obscure farmer’s house, expecting to get a night’s lodging, he observed that the man and his wife were in deep sorrow, which occasioned him to demand the cause of their grief. After many pauses the farmer at last told him, that having run in arrears with the landlord, he had caused him to be served with an ejectment, and that in a few days he would be turned out of possession, and all the effects he had taken from him; upon this Power took compassion on them, and grew more and more solicitous, ’till he found out what day the landlord intended to take possession. Then he ask’d the farmer, “whether he had any friend at all that would endeavour to help him?” The farmer said he knew of none. Then said Power, “If a friend should be so kind as to lend so much money (which he understood to be about L.60) as would clear your landlord, would you repay it again if you could.” “Indeed, said the farmer, I would if I could.” Well then, says Power, here is the sum; I’ll be your friend so far as to lend it to you only upon your own note;” which he gave him, promising not to let his landlord know that he had any money ’till he had made all the excuses that were possible, say even so far as to let him begin to drive the cattle and turn him out of possession. This passed on very well till the landlord came with the Sheriff, in order to possess himself: and after the tenant delayed as long as it was safe, he at last told him, that a friend of his had left so much money with him to keep, and rather than be turned out a beggar, he would give it to his landlord and let his friend wait ’till he could raise it.

The landlord accepted the money; but was obliged to give an acquittance in full for all rent and arrears whatsoever, and then, after having abused his tenant and called him a rogue and a villain several times, because he did not pay the money long before that, thinking it was his own, he mounted his horse and rode home-wards, the Sheriff having taken another way.

Power in disguise way-laid the landlord on the road, and took all the cash, with a watch, and some other things of value, from him; and meeting his tenant two or three days afterwards, told him his money was unlucky, for he had lost it, every penny, and a good deal more with it, on the road, being taken from him by an highway robber, whom he described as well as he could, not remembering ever to have seen him. In less than a week, Power called at the farmer’s house dressed as he was at first, in order to see how he fared. The farmer told him the whole story, and how that his landlord was robbed (which he was little sorry for) on the road. He entertained Power very handsomely that night (not mistrusting that he was the robber) and gave him a thousand thanks for the use of his money, promising to raise it for him as soon as he could. Power seeing the man’s integrity, desired him to be under no concern for it; then tearing the note to pieces, bid the farmer adieu.

We have but an imperfect account of the rest of the actions of his life. However, by all reports, he was very generous to the poor, and often told the rich that he took their purses to make a distribution among such as were in want. He was at last betrayed, for a small reward by his brother’s servant maid, who seeming to be his friend, sat drinking with him at an ale-house near Cork, ’till she got an opportunity of pouring water into the pans of his blunderbuss and pistols, and then sent privately for the guards, who surrounded the house and made him a prisoner. He was taken to Cork bound, and being there tried and found guilty, was accordingly executed, much about the time that Redmond O’Hanlon came first in vogue. He was only dubbed a captain, by reason of his exploits, by the rest of the society.

At the place of execution, he gave a very kind caution to all young men, desiring them to shun the company of lewd women. It was by giving himself too much indulgence with such cattle that he was prevented from accepting his pardon when offered, which at last brought him to that ignominious death. “By woman” (said he) “was I enticed to continue in sin, and by a woman was I at last betrayed, tho’ she pretended to be my friend,” which speech melted the spectators into tears.

Some passages of the Life of Strong John Macpherson, a notorious Robber.

I Could never learn certainly where John Macpherson was born; but his parents were not so poor but they were able to bequeath him a pretty little income at their death. He was then about nineteen years of age when the effects came into his hands, which he made a shift to spend in the company of lewd women and gamesters in less than three years, in which time he was always a leading man at hurling, patterns, and matches of football, and acquired such fame by his wondrous activity, that no single person dared to oppose him at any exercise. He was accounted in his time the strongest man in the nation; he would hold an hundred weight at arms length in one hand, and would make little or nothing of twisting a new horse-shoe round like a gad; yet notwithstanding all his activity, he was soon reduced to poverty, and so, from one step after another, brought to the gallows. Want of precaution and care in the beginning, often lays men under difficulties they can never surmount; and men that are bred up in luxury and idleness, seldom settle themselves rightly to business after. Nothing is more commendable in youth than industry, ’tis the bulwark and preservation of common wealth, and the support of private persons and families. When vice has settled itself in the bone, no medicine that can be applied to the flesh can expel it. Of this kind we have an example before us. This Macpherson, when he had sold his little income, and spent what he had, was under the necessity of seeking for a livelihood some how. He was a stranger to work, and it was beneath him to beg, neither could he brook to rely on the courtesy of his friends, who (as it usually falls out in such cases) began to look very shy upon him.

Upon this he began to think of a new way of living, and having provided himself with some weapons and a very good staff, he betook himself to the high road, far enough from his native place not to be known. In his first attempts when he came up with any one he knew had money, he first requested of them to lend him some, and if by terror or persuasion he could prevail on them so to do, he would be pretty moderate, and commonly took but a part; but, on resistance, he made little or nothing of taking a man by the arm and pulling him off his horse; he then usually would give him a pretty hearty squeeze, which seldom failed to bring him into compliance, and to deliver without further trouble; yet if a man still continued sturdy, his custom was to throw him over his shoulders, and run away with him to some private place, and there rifle him—what become of his horse he mattered not.

This was his common and usual way of robbing, which he continued for many years, very seldom with company, but mostly alone. One evening he went into a country house by himself, and when he had carried all the people he met in his way into another room and fastened the door he begin to put his plunder in order for carrying it off; meanwhile some workmen that were employed above stairs came down and set the rest loose, who all fell upon him together, with clubs and other instruments ’till he was almost overpowered; at last he got hold of the woman of the house, whom he cast over his shoulders to screen himself from the blows, (knowing very well they would not strike for fear of hurting her) and ran away with her into a little wood just before the house, where he laid her down, and clapped his foot up on her petticoats, to prevent her from stirring, while the rest stood at some distance holding a parley, and threatening, for they were afraid to do any more; but it was all to no purpose, he parleyed them out of twenty pieces of gold before he quitted her, and then left their coats.

This method of taking up the women, when he was hard set, he always after practised, and it still answered his ends: and these are two examples of his common way of robbing. He was never known to murder any body; nay, he was very cautions of striking, unless in his own defence; though in his time he committed more robberies single handed by far than over Redmond O’Hanlon did, with whom he was acquainted, but with none of his gang. However he was at last taken by treachery, and after being tried and found guilty, was dispatched by the common finisher of the law, about the year 1678. As he was carried to the gallows he played a fine tune of his own composing on the bagpipes, which retains the name of Macpherson’s tune to this day.

The History of James Carrick, a Highwayman.

When a vicious inclination is settled in the nature of man, no education, no learning, no rules of morality, are sufficient to alter his temper; and it will plainly prove that the old proverb, “what is bred in the bone will never come out. of the flesh,” was evidently verified in the life of James Carrick, as follows:—

He was born in Dublin of very reputable parents; his father being a jeweler by trade, by which having got enough to maintain him, and as he thought to settle his children handsomely in the world, he quitted the business, after having obtained for his eldest son a profitable office in the revenue, for the second, a cornet of horse’s commission, and for the third, our unhappy malefactor, an ensign’s post.

The ensign was about sixteen years of age when he first entered into the army, and at about seventeen he was obliged to accompany the regiment he belonged to into Spain; during the service of the army there, he indulged himself in all the extravagances of the country, rioting in wantonness and debauchery, which the gaiety of his temper, and the viciousness of his inclinations naturally led him into. After a conclusion of the peace, beginning to be reduced for want of pay, he went to England, where through his natural inclination to vice, he soon became an extraordinary proficient in gaming, whoring, and drunkenness; notwithstanding he was frequently supplied with necessaries by certain ladies of pleasure, with whom he kept company, yet he was many times reduced and brought into want of money to support his irregularities, often saying, “what was got over the devil’s back, was spent under his belly.” At length by frequenting gaming tables, thinking to better his fortune, he became acquainted with one Smyth, his countryman, with Whom he made an engagement to take a purse on the high-way. But these two being young at the port, and not succeeding according to their wishes, they afterwards joined with the aforesaid Butler, an old surveyor of the King’s high-way, with whom they committed many robberies on Bagshot-heath, Finchly-common, and Hounslow-heath, &c., by which they got so much money, that they appeared in their habits and accoutrements more like dabblers in politics, and expectants of the court, than vultures that made a prey of their fellow creatures. But before they continued very long in this successful game, Butler happened to be taken with one Nodes, another robber, and endeavoured to save himself, by turning evidence against Carrick; but this offer was rejected, because Butler was an old offender, and Carrick became evidence against both him and Nodes, who were both hanged as before related.

By this time Carrick’s friends hearing what troubles he had brought himself into by such ill courses, entreated him in several letters, to return home, and his elder brother was so kind as to promise to meet him, and conduct him safe to Dublin, and procure him a place. But having tasted too much of the town pleasures, he could not think of forsaking a loose and debauched life for the true felicity of a retired and salutary one; and, notwithstanding all his dissuasion, he continued in and about London, committing many robberies, till another of his comrades being taken, he withdrew himself to France for more safety. Here he also pursued the old sport, but was soon apprehended, and, in all probability, would have suffered, only for an officer that knew him in Spain, and made interest to bring him of, which when he had effected, he likewise lent him twenty pistoles to carry him to England upon a note drawn on his brother, who being advised of it, promised to pay it upon advice from his brother James; but James instead of acknowledging his countryman’s kindness in saving his life, or the just debt, (though the payment was not a farthing out of his own pocket,) utterly forswore his ever being in France, or that he had lent him a farthing, verifying the old proverb, “save a thief from the gallows, and he’ll cut your throat.”

Continuing his ill course, in conjunction with Mulhoni and Carrol, for a considerable time after, they assaulted and robbed a young esquire in a chair, in Little Queen-street, between one and two o’clock in the morning, on the 1st of July, 1722. Carrick stopped the chair, and clapping a pistol to the young esquire’s breast, demanded his money, while, others cried out, “your money, Sir; no delays, don’t trifle.” Thus they robbed him of L.42 in money, and took from him his sword and snuff-box, worth three pounds each, and a gold watch worth five pounds; but Carrick was taken on the Monday following in Monmouth-street, by Wittington and his assistant, a servant to Mr. Francis Brounker, a salesman, as he was cheapening clothes up and down the street, with the young esquire’s snuff-box, watch, and purse, with seventeen guineas and a half therein, in his pocket, upon which he was committed to Newgate, and hanged for the same act along with Mulhoni at Tyburn, on the 18th July, l722.

All the time he lay under condemnation he surprised all those who came to see him or talk with him, by the liveliness of his behaviour, and the unconcern he showed at his condition.

Notwithstanding prisoners in the condemned hole live miserably indeed! Their sighs are the chief air, the rattling of chains their music, the destruction of vermin their employment, and death their sole expectation. Here an insulting turnkey, with a grim aspect, makes them tremble with a frown of his countenance, and terrifies them more than if they were really going to the gallows on a cart, though the insulting bravo forgets that it was his own condition once. In the height of his domineering he needs no screw to his ill-favored face to form an ugly frown or a terrible look, because it is impossible he should look otherwise; and this so dejects the spirits of miserable imprisoned slaves, that one would think they have hell and ephrome before them. Surely this might easily affright them into repentance! though it often happens to the contrary, and hardens some to the highest degree of impiety. Thus we may observe, that during the time this hardened sinner lay under condemnation, he shocked all that came to visit him by the impudence of his behaviour and want of remorse, telling all that spoke to him, that “though they paid money to see him in Newgate, if they would take the pains to go to Tyburn, they would see him for nothing.” And, notwithstanding the industry of the ordinary and some Popish Priests that went to see him, (he pretended to be a Roman Catholic), none of them could make him refrain from certain lewd women then in confinement, with whom he had formerly associated himself: even immediately before death, his thoughts seemed fixed more on them than on eternity.

At the place of execution he looked about him and smiled at all he knew there, giving himself a genteel air in fixing the rope about his neck, and laughing and giggling all the while Mr. Purney was at prayers, despising so much the singing of the Psalm usual upon such occasions, that he could scarce be observed to chant it with any melody; and he constantly took snuff during the time of prayer in chapel, and behaved not so reverently as could be desired for a man in his state; even at the fatal tree, he had continually some ridiculous gesture or other, to amaze the spectators, rather than to beg the forgiveness of God, and exhort the people to take warning by his untimely end.

In his speech he told the people that “the sheriffs of London and Middlesex, had made an order than no person should touch his body;” but being wisely told by the ordinary, that should not concern him so much as the safety of his immortal soul, which he seemed but little to regard, he replied that he had received the sacrament in his own way, and had prepared himself according to his own opinion. Any impartial reader may judge whether he was duly prepared or not to leave the world: just as the cart was driving away, he disdainfully turned about Mulhoni’s cap on his head, and then pulling down his own, turned off the cart.

By this behaviour it may be observed how much the devil had hardened his heart. He confessed nothing to the ordinary, although pressed by the most moving oratory that great divine was capable of: yet he told some of his friends that Mulhoni, one Wm. Lock, then in Newgate, and himself, had robbed an invalid belonging to Chelsea Hospital, as he was returning home from the camp,where he was sent to light a colonel; and that Lock stabbed him in several places, and killed him. He also told them that a little after they likewise robbed an officer driving a coach in Piccadilly, as he was going from the camp in Hyde-park, at one o’clock in the morning; and in short that he was an old offender, and had committed many other robberies which he could not or rather would not discover.

The History of Paul Liddy, a gentleman Robber.

Paul Liddy was born in Munster, of very reputable parents, who had him educated after a genteel manner, by the best masters in the country. He was a very handsome well set young man, about six feet high and every way proportionable, and in strength outvied most of his age in the kingdom. But before he had well arrived at man’s estate, it happened very unluckily for him, that a kinsman of his was taken by the sheriff of the county,upon an execution, for a debt of about L.300. Paul and his brother having notice thereof, and not considering the danger, came with other assistance to the rescue of his relation, whom they carried away from the bailiffs by force, but in the conflict one of the sheriff’s servants happened to be killed, and himself wounded and much abused: whereupon Warrants upon warrants were issued out after the rescuers, and great rewards offered for taking the leaders; which put them in so great a panic, that they made the best of their way, and skulked about in holes and corners for a considerable time, till having spent what substance they had, and falling into bad company, Paul and his brother were prevailed upon to assist one Matthews, at very ill-minded fellow, in stealing some cattle, which they converted into money, to supply their necessities.

Thus having entered the lists, they proceeded in their villainous practices, till Paul, notwithstanding his gentleman-like education, became a notorious robber, and cow-stealer, and at length was taken prisoner with Matthews, and sent to Clare, where they were confined in the county gaol, and shortly after tried and found guilty, and condemned for the same facts. The day after the assizes happening to be the fair day of that town, Matthews’ wife begged of the gaoler to suffer her to carry some victuals to her husband, who, she said, was almost famished with hunger, and having obtained that privilege, she likewise conveyed a file proper for the purpose, with which Paul and his comrade made a shift to get off the bolts and neck-yokes undiscovered. As soon as they had done, they fixed themselves in a convenient posture, and waited till the gaoler came to try whether all was safe, (which he usually did night and morning) and as soon as he unlocked the door, Liddy knocked him down with his bolt, and took the key from him; the two criminals then, passed through the next room, which was full of people, without opposition, and Liddy having snatched a scimitar out of a gentleman’s hand, he brandished it about till all the people ran out of their way, leaving them a clear stage, and at length having got quite clear of the gaol, they came into the street, where the people all showing the like fear, ran out of their way on all sides, leaving Liddy and Matthews to march through the fair alone, which they did without resistance, flourishing the scimitar and bolts till they got quite out of danger,

After this Paul was very frequently in robberies, going about the country under the character of a hair merchant or peddler for some time, but always behaved agreeable to his education, more like a gentleman than any of his comrades, as the sequel shall make appear, but he had the misfortune to be often pursued, and was pretty well known in several parts of the country; though no single person dared to lay hands upon him, because of his strength and activity, till one morning as he was going alone near Ferbane, he met a youth walking out a fowling that knew him, and had heard that a reward of L.40 was offered for taking him, upon which he stopped Paul and presented his fowling piece towards his breast withal telling him, if he refused to return with him to the town, he would shoot him dead on the spot. Paul seeing the young man’s resolution, was obliged to march before him to town, while the piece was still kept at his back, ready to fire upon the first occasion if he refused to go. As soon as the young man had got home, he immediately called for assistance, and bound his prisoner hand and foot, and conveyed him on horse-back, with a sufficient guard to the county gaol in Phillipstown, where he continued till the following assizes, and being tried for facts committed in the county, was found guilty and condemned the second time to be hanged. He no sooner heard his condemnation pronounced, but he vaulted over the rails of the dock, though handcuffed and bolted, cursing both judge and jury all the while he was going from thence into the condemned room, through which he found means to break and make his escape the same night; but the young man recovered his reward from the county nevertheless.

After this he began to be talked of more and more, having joined with a large company of the like cattle, who were pleased to make him their captain. The company was divided into three bands, either to act jointly or separately, as occasion required; and though some of them were still employed in one part of the nation or other, either in robbing on the highway or stealing cattle in the night, which they conveyed (as some think) to the north of Ireland, and from thence to Scotland, to be disposed of. But neither horses nor cows were thought a sufficient booty. As soon as the winter appeared, Paul was persuaded by his subalterns to appoint a brigade of twelve of the most resolute fellows amongst them, whom he was to command in person, and these were to plunder in the night and bring away all profitable booty, to be disposed of as the majority of the company should agree to: they always allowed their captain a waiting man, and in dividing the spoil, every man was considered according to his desert.

Robberies became so frequent all over the nation, about this time, that all the country people that could, were obliged to keep arms, and watch in the night; nevertheless those cormorants had such success in plundering, that they found means (by their own confession) to spend at the rate of L.100 a man per annum. It cannot be expected I should give an account of every robbery they were concerned in, yet there is something so particular, or something so barbarous in what follows, that I cannot omit the relation.

It happened one night, that four men only were detached from their place of rendezvous, to go and rob a farmer that kept a malt-house, in the county of Longford, who had laid by about L.l00 to buy here in the beginning of the season. The walls of the house were only mud, and the good man was abroad, and had left nobody at home, but the wife, the children and a maid-servant, who, however, took care to keep the door well barred in his absence. As soon as the robbers came to the house, finding the door fast, without further ceremony one of them tried to enter at the window, but this being something narrow, he stuck fast a while, and made so much noise that the good wife espied him, when, with great presence of mind she cried out, “James, bring the musket out of the room; here is a rogue breaking in through the window.” The rogues surprised at this, and not knowing but that James was really there, took to their heels with the greatest precipitation, and made off: but some time after, their leaders hearing how it was, upbraided them with cowardice, upon which they left the company in disgust, and fixed their quarters in the county of Kilkenny. Soon after this cowardly action, they fixed upon robing Mr. Edward Johnson, an old gentleman in the county Westmeath, of good repute, to whose house ten or twelve of them, well mounted, having repaired at night, in the year 1725, the captain stationed his men, and gave them their orders, but waited with those that held their horses, while the rest rifled the house. His brother, three of the Fitzgeralds, Roe and the aforesaid Matthews, were the first that entered, who having secured all the people they met in the house, made a search for the money, but not finding so much as they expected, were so barbarous as to bind Mr. Johnson neck and heels, and laid his posteriors naked on the fire, in order to extort a confession; they knocked the good woman down, and kicked her into the fire also; but not hearing of the money from either, (for it seems there was not much then in the house) they kept the poor gentleman in torture so long that he died shortly after the outrage, and it is probable they would have roasted him to death instantly, only that Paul, hearing what was doing, came to the window and threatened to knock their heads together, which he was able enough to do, if they did not desist and use the old gentleman better; but he spoke too late. There was hardly any murder that had been committed for many years before that was talked of with more abhorrence, nor scarce any gentleman could be more lamented. Yet this knot of rogues were so linked through one another by blood and affinity, that they could not be prevailed on to discover, though a proclamation was issued out, offering a large reward to the informer, besides the king’s pardon: Mr. Johnson’s son also took care to write to every gaoler in the nation, giving a description of the rogues that murdered his father, and offering a reward: but nothing would do, till sometime after some of the gang, with new assistants, having plundered the house of Mr. John Kelly in the county of Galway, much after the same manner, and stolen several horses, the justices in Connaught grew very assiduous in apprehending all suspicious persons they could hear of; and two fellows of the county of Longford, being taken up in the county of Roscommon by the description given by Mr.Johnson’s son, one of them was found to be Paul Liddy: upon this means were used to prevail with him to make a discovery, which he did pretty fully for the sake of pardon and the reward, and most of his accomplices concerned in the said murder (except Matthews) were taken and committed to Mullingar, where they were tried, found guilty, and banged upon his evidence.

One might have thought that after this, Paul being pardoned, he would have been quiet; but as he now became master of the trade, and loath to change it for a new one, be shifted his quarters to the North of Ireland, where his robberies became as frequent as ever, and travelers were afraid of passing Newry mountains either by night or by day, except in large companies; nay it was currently reported, that this gang of robbers, which he joined last, consisted of no less than thirty four men, all well mounted and armed. But at last, after dealing pretty largely with the devil, his master having drawn out his account, and finding upon balance that he owed Paul a pretty round sum for his service, was willing to clear off the debt, and take a discharge in full of all accounts, sealed with his blood; which was brought about thus:
Paul grew so notorious in the county of Fermanagh, that spies were upon him at every corner, and the country were resolved on taking him. He and his waiting-man set up at an inn thereabouts one evening, but they were not long there before he was seized with a trembling which dispirited him so much, that he applied to his man, telling him how he was seized, and ordered the horses out instantly, which being, done, says he, “Let us ride off directly, for I am very sure there is some mischief before me;” and accordingly so it happened, for as they were mounting, Captain Crawfoad rode up, and desired to speak two or three words with the gentleman, and having ridden with him to the end of the avenue hard by, he asked him some questions, and seized him fast by the collar, telling him he was the king’s prisoner: then Paul took hold of the Captain in like manner, while Paul’s man and the Captain’s man exchanged shots without any damage; but Paul’s man making off with fear, the other assisted his master, and with much ado brought the prisoner back about twenty yards, where assistance joined them, and they bound him and sent him to Omagh gaol, where Matthews, his companion, lay in prison before him. Matthews’ wife being disgusted at his casting her off and courting fortune, she turned evidence, among others, so they were both found guilty, and, pursuant to the judge’s sentence, hanged and quartered in the year 1777, and Paul’s head was put up on the gaol as a terror to others, where it remained a long time.

The night before he was executed, Paul, thinking to prevent his being hanged, when he found there was no probability of making an escape, took a strong dose of poison; he was quartered at the gallows pursuant to his sentence.

John Liddy, his brother, was executed at Balinrobe, for a robbery in the county of Mayo. This was shortly after that impudent attempt on Brigadier-General Napper, in the North, who, riding to a review, was surprised by three or four of the above gang, with pistols in their hands, and obliged to give them his money, he being without company, having lost the sight of his servants who were riding at some distance before him, in the year 1780.

The History of James Butler, a notorious Highwayman, Robber, and Murderer.

James Butler was born and bred in Kilkenny, and in his pupilage kept pretty much to school; but his learning did him little service, tho’ he spoke Latin pretty fluently. When he arrived to man’s estate he enlisted himself a soldier in lord Galway’s regiment, and went with the army to Spain, where they had not been long before he deserted to the Spaniards, as his favourite party, but meeting with some usage among them that he did not relish, he soon grew tired of a military life, and gave the Spaniards the go by also. Thinking himself in danger in Spain, and not finding a convenient opportunity of returning home, his fancy led him into Andalusia, where he for no for a mountebank, and had wonderful success in raising his reputation and performing cures, that at length he undertook the method of easing the men of troublesome wives, who were taken to him by wholesale and this brought more grist to his mill than any other part of his practice. So great was his fame at last, that he outvied the famous Dr. Thornkill, who offered to be his Merry Andrew, upon condition that he would teach him his Irish assurance, but whether Thornkill did it to get rid of his competitor or not, I can’t tell; however it happened that he was discovered, and to prevent danger made the best of his way to Venice, where he set up for a conjurer; but not managing this business so well as the former, success failed him, and he joined with a company of banditti (a kind of highwaymen so called in Italy.) While he was in this company, they had the good fortune one morning to meet with a fat, lusty, medic ant friar whom they robbed, taking from him to the value of L.20,000, which he was going to carry to Modena for the widow of the late King James II. queen dowager of England; but the captain of the gang dividing the booty, ordered Butler but a small part not half his portion, which stomached him so much that he left them, and went to Florence, and by this time had learned to speak both Spanish and Italian. While he was at Florence, his curiosity led him to go and see a man executed, where he singled out a young gentleman, with whom he had some confabulation; and among the rest of his discourse, he said, “the man was a fool for suffering himself to be taken.” At these words, the gentleman taking him to be a man of resolution, carried him to a tavern, and having sounded him pretty well, offered him 500 pieces of gold to murder an uncle of his, that he might enjoy his estate. Butler assented to the proposal, and went immediately to one of the banditti, with whom he agreed concerning the matter of the murder; and taking him along with him, about 11 o’clock at night, to the old man’s house, they made a quick dispatch of his life. This being done and the reward paid them, as soon as Butler got a convenient opportunist, he likewise put an end to the young man’s life, to prevent him from discovering; and for the same reason in a little time afterwards he murdered his comrade in like manner.

Having thus committed three murders, the rumour whereof spread far and near, he grew a little afraid of his mother’s calf-skin, and fled directly to Paris, where, he soon introduced himself into Cartouche’s gang, with whom he often went out in quest of prey; but they not always distributing the booty equitable, as he thought, he ventured to go out one morning alone, and in his survey, having notice that a young gentleman of Champagne, who come to Paris on purpose to study, he met him, and accosted him pretending to be a scholar also, and then taking him to the college of Navarre, he led him through the walks, on pretence of entertaining him with some new discourses, ’till they came to a remote corner and then he robbed him.

But beginning to grow too notorious in France, and not over well liked by his comrades neither, he packed up his awls, and went into Holland, and in his travels overtook a genteel young woman near Rotterdam he began to make love, and grow very sweet upon her; she seemed at first coy, but after some discourse had passed, upon further application, she grew more familiar, and agreed to pass for his wife, and lie with him that night upon condition not to meddle with her without her consent, to which he agreed and gave his oath to perform the obligation. However not being able to reach the Hague, they stopped short at an inn on the road, where, after supper the young lady retired with her landlady to the bed chamber leaving her pretended husband and the host in company together, who drank pretty heartily, the one for joy of his expecting pleasures, and the other for sake of his own interest, till Butler grew something mellow; at length he went to bed, where he found his mistress according to his heart’s desire, with whom he spent great part of the night in caresses and embraces, ’till at length being fatigued with excess of love, and overwhelmed with wine, he fell fast asleep. As soon as his supposed wife saw day-light, (and perceiving how secure he lay) she rose and casting for her husband’s portmanteau, under pretence of getting some linen, took out of it about 300 pieces of gold; this being done to her liking, she ordered the hostler to saddle her husband’s horse for her, to go and pay a friend of hers a visit, but took care, to ride off, and let none of them hear any more of her afterwards. When Butler awakened, threw his arms about expecting to grasp his dear mistress; but finding himself disappointed, in order to make inquiry about her, and to know the time of the day, he called the landlord who told him, “his lady was a very early woman, for she had rid abroad three or four hours before.” Surprised at this news, Butler started up, and ran for his portmanteau, which when he had searched, he immediately found how finely he was tricked; yet he could not find in his heart to asperse her, or much to blame herself, because he lived by tricking. However thus outwitted as he was, he sold his lady’s horse, and having paid his reckoning, with the remainder of the money he made the best of his way to England, where fortune forsaking him, the lady poverty come to pay a visit and could never be persuaded to abandon him ’till she had brought him to a very low ebb. Being reduced to this condition, he happened one day to pick up a fresh acquaintance with Mrs. Impudence, who accompanied him and two others to King’s gate in Gray’s-Inn lane, where they attacked and stopped a coach; but finding a vigorious resistance, were obliged to hurry, and ride off as fast as they could: However, Butler was pursued, taken and committed to Newgate; but being only found guilty of an assault, for which he was fined L.100 he was kept in confinement for twelve months; yet in that time he found means to get a woman or two with child, who were put in prison for debt. At length procuring his liberty, he fell into his old courses on the highway, in conjunction with one Nodes, an upholsterer’s son by Fleet-ditch; but they had not continued the trade long before they were both taken at Holloway, and being committed to Newgate, were afterwards hanged at Tyburn in the year 1716. Nodes being in the 26th year of his age; and Butler in the 28th, who was, buried in St. Andrew’s church-yard, at the charge of lewd women, who also supported him in prison.

The History of John Mulhoni, a Highwayman.

John Mulhoni was born in Connaught; but our author (not being willing to expose his family, which on his mother’s side was of some repute) has concealed both his parentage and the place of his birth. However he informs us, that being desirous of an employment, his friends obtained for him the queen’s letter, and put him aboard of her majesty’s ships of war, in which he served several years in the Mediterranean, both about Messina in Sicily, and several other ports; having quit this vessel, he went aboard a privateer, in which he had very great success in taking pirates, whereby he got a large quantity of money. Afterwards he had the good fortune to be advanced to a considerable post in another of her majesty’s ships of war, which was sent into the Baltic, to observe some motions in the North, but, upon return of the fleet he was discharged with several others. Being out of employment in London he soon found out ways of exonerating his pockets of the pay he had received for his service, and returned into Ireland to visit his friends, in a very mean condition, which gave them a suspicion of his ill-management, and caused them to take but little notice of him. Disgusted at such treatment, he sought new company, and soon became acquainted with one Cahoon, a gamester, and perhaps not much richer than himself, who furnished him with materials for the highway; where, in conjunction with James Carrick, they committed a number of robberies; one in particular was on Mr. Dillon of above L.300 who had that same night broken the bank, at the Pharaoh-table, and another on Richard Nutley, Esq., in which last Cahoon was taken and afterwards executed. Upon this Mulhoni and Carrick, carrying with them about L.50, went over to London, where they set up for gentlemen, and frequented the play-houses and drawing rooms, like persons of distinction, ’till at length Mulhoni got acquainted with a rich merchant’s wife on the Strand, who out of stark love & kindness supplied him from time to time with money to support him in his extravagances for about a year, ’till she died. During the time of his familiarity with this gentlewoman, he picked up acquaintance with Smith, Butler, and Campbell, whom he afterwards assisted in committing many robberies on Finchly-Common and other places, ’till Smith and Campbell quarreling about dividing the prey, Campbell was killed in the fray, which dissolved the knot. Then Mulhoni and Carrick picked up Daniel Carrol as a man fit and proper for making a third person, being of a daring spirit, and fit to undertake any enterprise; and with his assistance they robbed Mathew Joncour, Esq. on Epping-Forrest, from whom they took twenty guineas, two diamond rings and his lady’s watches.

Soon after this they met with the Cambridge and Huntingdon stage coaches, which they sound pretty well filled with persons of distinction, from whom they took a considerable booty, and supplied themselves with money enough to support their extravagances ’till September following in the year 1719, about which time, finding their stock pretty low, they took their posts on the high-road again, where, meeting with the Southampton, Salisbury, and Taunton Dean coaches, and not being able to accomplish their undertaking without blows, during the engagement some of the company slipped aside and raised the country, who pursued our Irish gentlemen so close, for three miles end-ways, that they were within an aim’s ace of being taken, making their escape with great difficulty. This put Carrick into so great a panic, that he resolved to forsake so dangerous a way of living, and advised his partners to do the like; ’till Mulhoni upbraided him with cowardice, said. “Sink or swim, I’ll go on with the game ’till I get money enough to make a figure in my own country;” which occasioned Carrick to alter his intentions, and make a new league with his comrades; so swearing upon the Holy Evangelists to be ever true to one another, they proceeded, and took possession of the highway once more. But to be more private than before they took a lodging at Wapping, where they had not continued long before they pretended to have business in Scotland, and were several times making a sham agreement with Adrian Van Stokes, to carry them thither in his vessel. But while this was in agitation, they took notice that a Norway master lodged a bag of L.100 in their landlord’s hands, who was a slop-seller, and having observed where he laid it, they set their heads together to contrive how to bring it off with the least danger; and pursuant to their agreement, they secured the bag, which they conveyed privately away by night, and took new lodgings in Tothill-street, in Westminster.

But Jonathan Wild, who was likely to be a great sufferer by this action, offered a reward of L.20 to take them for the fact; upon which, not thinking themselves safe here, they removed to Oxford, where Carrick happened to see Dr. Hoskin in a coffee house whom they had formerly robbed. Whether the Doctor knew him or not is a query, tho’ he asked him several questions as What countryman he was—how long he had been in England; and where he was going? and the like, but Carrick hearing him say he was going to the Vice Chancellor’s began to suspect that he was discovered, and made the best of his way (as soon as he got an opportunity) to his companions, to whom he related the story; upon which they all agreed to remove their quarters with speed to Conventry, where they held a consultation to know, whether they had best go home to Ireland or return to London and pursue their old courses. Carrol seemed positively bent to forsake his old courses and go back to Ireland among his friends; but Mulhoni and Carrick over-ruled him, and persuaded him to return with them to London again, where they arrived in a little time: but the daily instances of the seizures of highway men, and constantly hanging them, together with the small favour Irishmen were shewn by English Juries, insomuch that it became a proverb, “an Irishman’s name is enough to hang him.” I say all these considered together discouraged our heroes so much, that they no longer adventured to survey the high-roads on horeback, but bethought themselves of a new method of making attempts, which was attacking passengers on foot by night in the public streets; and more effectually to succeed in these new enterprizes, they made it their business to pick acquaintance with the servants of persons of quality that attend at Whitehall, St. James’s, the Smyr, and Ossynder, and other chocolate houses, in order to learn of them where their masters generally spent the evening and to what place they designed afterwards, and having received information they commonly took care to way-lay them, and made the best hand they could of their captures. By this and such like stratagems, they seldom passed a week whenever they were in want, without making sure of some considerable prize.

It was customary with them when they met a chair conveniently with any one in it, for two of them to stop the men that carried it, while the third robbed the gentleman; but when they made an attack on a coach with but one servant behind, one was ordered to each side, and to have an eye on the footman, while the third stopped the driver till the feat was performed. After this manner they robbed a Scotch gentleman, whom they had observed to receive a sum of money in gold, from a banker near Hungerford market, and after that a lady in a chair within three or four doors of her own house in Park-place as she was returning from paying the countess of Walsingham a visit in St. James’s palace, from whom they took a purse of ten guineas, a gold watch, and a diamond ring. Likewise in the same month, four gentleman in a coach, from whom they took two silver watches, and swords, and about L.3 in money; fourthly on the third of March following, they robbed a gentleman and three ladies in another coach, from whom they took about L.20 in value. The next they took into the secret, as they called it, was an old courtier, who had been visiting a young lady in Great Albemarles-treet, from whom they took a diamond ring and a gold watch, but no money, the young lady having prevailed on him, to leave that with her. The sixth adventure was at Marybone in August, 1721, where observing that a baronet with one servant attending him had received a large purse of gold, they dogged him on his way home to a field, near the bordered house, and took above 200 guineas from him, with some silver, a diamond ring and a watch, then giving the silver to his man, they padded the hoof and made their ecape. However the gentleman advertised the robbery, offering a larger reward for the watch in the news papers, than it could be sold for; upon which they sent it privately to the place appointed for receiving it, and got the reward, without being asked any questions.

The next robbery they committed was in December following (and as they fully proposed should be their last) when having moved their quarters nearer to Convent-Garden, in order to be less remote from the gambling tables, in and about the little Piazza, Bow-street, Charles-street, and Bridge-street, they took notice of a Frenchman of quality, who lodged at a house on the paved stones in St. Martin’s lane, that had stripped most of the adventurers at hazard; upon this they followed him, about one in the morning, until he came to the corner of Bedfordbury, where, stopping the chair, they made the men turn two or three yards down a bye alley, and then robbed him of 230 pieces of gold, his watch, ring, gold headed cane, and sword, with which (hearing the noise of mens feet behind,) they took to their way through Rose-street, to Mulhoni’s lodging in Hart-street.

Though they were now put into a condition of living creditably, yet we may observe, that by playing cards, dice, &c. and keeping company with lewd women, they were reduced, in a little time, to their primitive condition, poverty: and meeting one day accidentally at the Rose tavern, in Bridge-street, they began to consult how they should retrieve their fortunes once more. The first attempt they made afterwards was but in vain, having dogged two gentlemen in their chairs, from thence into Tavistock-street, to no purpose; but agreeing to meet again at the Rose the night following, they stayed there until it grew pretty late, and then went out in quest of prey. As they were passing down Little Queen-street, they espied a young esquire in his chair, which they caused to be stopped in the manner aforesaid, until they robbed him of L.42 in money, a gold watch, a crystal snuff-box, and a silver hilted sword; but the watch hearing some noise at a distance, came up with speed, and being informed of the matter, pursued the robbers several ways, and Mulhoni had the misfortune to be stopped by a watchman in the passage near the duke of Newcastle’s house in Lincoln’s-inn fields as he was running away; but proving too strong for the watchman, he broke loose and got from him, just as another watchman was coming up with his dog, which being set at Mulhoni, he seized him in the first quarter of the field, and held him fast ’till his master and the other came up, who secured him in the watch-house all night. The next day being committed to Newgate, after several examinations, he confessed the robbery, & many others, impeaching both Carrick and Carrol, his confederates and countrymen; but that not excusing him, he was prosecuted for the last robbery, and hanged on the 18th of July, 1722, seeming very penitent according to the principles of his religion, dying a Roman Catholic.

The History of Charles Dempsy, alias Cahir na Gappul, the renowned Horse-stealer.

The father of this Cahir was a man of as great note among the rapparees, in the reign of King James, as any that ever escaped the gallows; tho’ after the kingdom was restored to its former privileges by king William’s forces, he left off that practice pretty much, and lived like the rest of his countrymen. He had several sons there whereof afterwards became very notorious, viz.—Daniel, Charles and Luke. Daniel was put to school in his youth, ’till he obtained the reputation of a good scholar; but not being fond of going abroad to finish his studies, chose to stay at home and lead the life of his brother, rather than be put into orders, (for he was intended for a priest.) When he arrived to mans’s estate, he was too easily drawn in to be clerk and register to his his brother Cahir, who could neither read nor write; and at length, by following his pattern, was brought to the gallows, and executed along with him in August 1735. Their brother Luke would have had the same fate, only that he fled the country, tho’ he never arrived to half the dexterity of Charles in the art of horse hiding. They all understood the canting language pretty well, yet made no use of it but upon proper occasions which made several of their neighbours think there was more laid to their charge than they deserved, ’till time made the truth manifest. But as our design here is only to give the history of Charles Dempsy, let us omit circumlocutions and proceed.

Charles Dempsy, alias Cahir na Gappul was born on the lands of Glenmalier, near Ballibrittas, in the Queen’s County, and in his childhood was kept mostly at his foster-father’s, where he learned to speak Irish, but little or no English. From his infancy, it was observed that he was much addicted to lying and defrauding his companions, little children, out of their playthings, and was so extraordinary fond of horses and riding, that before he arrived to the age of five years, be could ride and stick on a wild horse better than a great many men; a thing seldom known. ‘Tis an old proverb, and commonly taken for granted, “that he that is born to be hanged will never be drowned.” Nor has it been more apparently verified in the life of any person than in his; for at the age aforesaid, being prompted by his natural inclinations to ride one three year old colt, he persuaded a man, to put him on his back, tho’ he had nothing but a collar on his head; but not being any way capable of managing the young beast, he ran headlong with him into the Barrow and swan across it. Tho’ there was a very high flood, and the stream rapid, he held his grip by the mane very well till he got to the further side, but striving to land at a bad place, the bank broke under the beast’s breast, and sunk with it under water for a moment, and poor Charles was washed off with the current, which carried them both down the river near fifty yards, till the colt found footing, and plunged out; yet he held a fast grip of the collar till he got on dry ground, tho’ he was shortly after taken up for dead, and with some difficulty recovered. After this he used frequently to say, in Irish, he would not fear drowning if he were to sail in a turf-kish, neither was he afterwards any thing afraid of the Barrow water, for he made several dangerous adventures across to escape the hands of his pursuers.

As he grew more cautious of pilfering publicly than when he was young, not that he thought it any sin, but in dread of the law, he managed his affairs so cunningly as to lay the facts always on others, because he had an inveterate hatred to the gallows and the court-house after Sir Toby’s death.

From childhood he had an ill-favoured aspect, and in his countenance betrayed a deceitful heart, that is, he always carried a rogue’s face, tho’ his brother Daniel was a handsome portly man, and of seemly behaviour. His English was but broken at best, and sometimes he pretended to none at all, as will appear by the sequel: And as the saying is, “Save a thief from the gallows and he’ll cut your throat,” so it was with him; for his ingratitude was so great, and he had so tittle fidelity, that he made no scruple of accusing his nearest relations, or even his landlord, nay persons no ways guilty or concerned, to save himself. At the age of 12 years he began to practise the art of decoying and catching horses, in which he acquired so much skill, that he made no difficulty of laying hands on the wildest colt, and horses that had been handled, seemed to fall into his clutches of their own accord. Perhaps some reader would expect that I should give a particular account of his management in this affair, but as our intent in publishing this history is only to put honest people on their guard against robbers and rogues, it can be no way necessary, neither it expedient to teach a thief how to catch a horse, or to steal. If I can shew an honest man how to outwit a rogue, or put a trick on him, ’tis as much as can be expected; and verily that was my chief design in publishing this book.

But it fame be true, it will be entirely needless to mention any particulars; the country people do firmly believe it was by a kind of witchcraft, or charm, that he decoyed and entrapped horses, and taught others to do so; and they affirm that he received this charm from a witch in the county of Monaghan, (with whom he was very intimate) for some singular services he had done her. However, the following relation will make it seem probable that his father before him had the like charm; for which reason, I’m more than half inclined to dissent from the vulgar opinion, and conclude, that this magic was inherent in the family, and runs in the blood.

The story was related by a gentleman thus:—

“In the beginning of Queen Ann’s reign, I went to see a friend of mine near Abbeleix, and having arrived at the place, I walked about the fields in the evening alone, and when I came near to the bog, I found I had occasion to ease nature. I chose a convenient place under a hedge for that purpose, but before I had finished the discharge of my office, there appeared thro’ the hedge a man before me, driving some horses very quietly into a corner, one whereof he took hold of him by the near fore-leg, and held him fast ’till he threw a short rope about his neck, then he vaulted on him with more agility than ever I saw a miller do on his sacks; in this posture with a long stick in his hand, he drove the colt (he was never handled before) across the bog, till he got out of my sight, plunging and leaping to such a degree all the way, that one would have thought if the old boy were on his back he had but a dull chance from coming off without a broken neck; and by the noise they made, I conjectured they might have gone a mile at the same rate before I left the place. I had no notion of rapparees being out at this time, and thought it might be some one that owned the colt that had made so free with him, till returning to my friends, I told the story and then they all suspected, as it really was, from the manner of catching the colt, that old Dempsy (tho he had been quiet a long time) had come to pay them a visit.” Thus the gentleman ended his story, and now to preceed to Charles.

His foster father was a tenant under Major P—t, who once as he was riding out to take a review of his land, took notice of young Charles’s activity in riding horses; upon which he had him sent home, to him, in order to be an attendant on his groom, and to learn him to speak English, where he behaved tolerable well and modest for a month or two and then he began his waggish tricks. The groom and another servant happening to have some difference between themselves, Charles was resolved to wind it up to the highest, and bring a battle about if possible: they had often been jarring and sparing; and as the groom lay in a room under a hay loft, thro’ which there was a private hole wide enough for a man to pass through, the young rogue took an opportunity, in the groom’s absence, to drop a large sirreverence at the foot of his bed, not forgetting to besprinkle it a little. When the groom was going to make his bed, what should he lay his hand first upon but the t —————, which all bedaubed him, and threw him into such a fit of anger, that he vowed to be revenged of his fellow servant in the morning, whom he suspected and nobody else. He went not to bed that night, but sat up, and as soon as the master came out the next day, made his complaint to him. His master could hardly forbear smiling at the joke, tho’ it was a dirty one; yet he shewed a very great resentment to the other servant who was accused, tho’ the fellow who was innocent, utterly denied that he knew any thing of the matter. All this gave the groom no satisfaction, but to loggerheads he would and did go with the other, who proving too hard for him, the groom was worsted and obliged to give out; then the other, and all that took his part reported that the groom had be————— his own bed and that he laid it on another with no other view than to excuse himself; which getting wind, he was so jeered about it, that he had no quietness, till he quitted his service and went away.

There were several young gentlewomen in the house, who were very glad of the groom’s departure, because he was very ready in making complaints against themselves to the old gentleman; from thence Charles took occasion to let the young ladies into the secret, who, approving of his management, employed him in several little affairs and about messages not proper to mention here. But it happened once in the fruit reason, that the young gentlewomen had a great desire for some choice fruit out of the orchard, into which they were refused admittance by the major; upon this they employed Charles to rob the orchard, who getting up very early by break of day, the next morning and without staying to put on his breeches, crept thro’ a hole in the roof of the privy-house, adjoining the orchard, and went to pillaging the trees, where he filled a large chequered apron, with the choicest fruit, and was making ready to return. There was a clergyman that lodged in the house, who had got a touch of the country disease and was somewhat very much out of order, and having occasion to give speedy vent, had repared to the office house for that purpose while the boy was on his expedition. As the gentleman sat on his seat, and was stooping forward, the boy came to the hole, where, without looking before him as he was descending, the apron untied, and all the fruit came tumbling down about his ears; and at the same moment Charles fell with his legs on each side of the clergyman’s neck, and by the weight of the fall, threw him on his face, in this posture they lay wedged together in a nook, for near the space of a minute, before Charles could disengage himself; and the clergyman’s surprise being heightened more and more upon feeling nothing but naked skin about him he fainted quite away and lay-still on the ground. The boy thinking he had killed the gentleman, ran away with all speed, and came back no more to his service: But the clergyman who could not see him, and was as much terrified as the boy, (without suspecting him in the least) went in and told the story: some pitied him, others could hardly forbear smiling; but nobody could find out the truth, but the boy being missing two or three days, and the young gentlewomen knowing the apron that was left behind, called to mind the exploit they sent him about, and so conjectured that it could be none else but young Dempsy, who had affrighted the poor clergyman into a fit.

In the days of his youth there was a miller, at the windmill near Ballybrittas, a fellow very fit for his purpose with whom he had picked an acquaintance. Charles had often been tampering with him to come into his measures; but the fellow had imbibed such strange notions of a judge, that he thought he must be something more than mortal, to decide and give judgment on criminal causes; nay, he imagined the judge knew the truth of every complaint that was brought before him, before he heard it; for which reason, he was afraid of entering into any affair that might bring him before one, ’till he was fully informed what kind of a thing a judge is. Charles, to remove these scruples, prevailed on the fellow, who was very desirous of knowing, to go along with him to Maryborough assizes, where they heard some causes tried; which satisfied the miller’s curiosity so far, that he told Cahir, as they were returning home, that a judge was like one of themselves, and nothing but a man, and that he would be not be afraid of entering in the lists with Charles as soon as he pleased; accordingly the fellow was enlisted and put into employment by his master.

By this time Charles had picked up sufficient acquaintances in most parts of the kingdom for putting his designs into execution. He fixed five or six of his own relations in Upper Ormond and Ossory, and as many in the counties of Leitrim, Monaghan, and Derry, besides a vast number of receivers and assistants in almost every hole and corner in the country, so that nothing went amiss with him. He had likewise never less than four apprentices at a time, who were always bound for the term of seven years and paid a pretty round sum of money for learning his art and mystery, in which he had such great skill, that boys were sent to him all the way from the county of Kerry to be bound. Perhaps he was the first Irish rogue that ever thought of such a stratagem; for had he taken a L.1000 for only teaching a boy to catch or disfigure a horse or cow, I question whether he could be hanged by our laws for it; and by the sequel, we may observe that he always acted in such a manner as to be capable of evading the force of the law, if possible, though he was as great a rogue as has been hanged.

He had besides his satyrs, receivers and apprentices, a number of spies and setters, whose business only was to make observations, and give notice what cattle that might be most safely conveyed away; and these had no communication with the satyrs or drivers themselves. Whenever such notice was given to Charles, an express was immediately dispatched to one or more of the satyrs, with a description of such beast or beasts, which, without any more words, was sufficient to be understood. By such means, the downright thievery could never be proved on Charles, tho’ every body knew that he was receiver-general, and that his servants were all paid by the piece, so much a beast; but how Daniel kept his accounts is a secret.

He had private places for hiding stolen cattle of all kinds in, and at any time when he thought proper, would order such horses as came from Leinster side or Munster, down to his correspondents in the North, who either would send them from Derry, Newry, on Donaghadee to Scotland, or otherwise swap them off in fairs or sell them. Such horses, as his correspondents got in exchange, they made no scruple of selling publickly because they could prove the getting of them; but those that were stolen in the North were commonly sent to different hands, and were disposed of in Upper Ormond, Ossory, or in Munster. To satisfy the reader’s curiosity, I shall rehearse one story, being part of the confession of one of the confederates while he lay in confinement, before he was executed in Kilkenny, which will give a more particular account of his management than the foregoing.

He confessed to the people who came to see him, that one of Charles’s setters come to him by night where he lived, and told him there were three horses in a park near Clonegal; one was black, with a star and one white foot, another a bay gelding, that padded; and the third, a white pad, with his mane and tail cut close. He said he understood the messenger’s meaning very well and accordingly conveyed the three horses down to Glenmalier in two nights after. After that he was pitched upon as the most proper person for disposing of them, and pursuant to his orders took them down to the country of Monaghan but as the white horse was so very remarkable they stained him all over with a flesh-coloured red, in order to disguise him, which was done with brazlet and alum boiled in water; but that colour was soon washed off. This fellow was not so much as known in that country, so by the assistance of some of his brother receivers, he put off the three horse in a fair, being all sightly cattle to good advantage, for two of them he got L.20, and for the third a mare, that was afterwards sold in the county of Waterford for L.6. Some after the owner of the bay horse was directed to Charles, in expectation of getting some tidings of his beast; but Cahir would not undertake the inquiry, till he was paid two guineas in hand, upon which he promised to search for the horse. In about twelve days after the horse was taken out of a stone park in the night, where the last purchaser kept him and so conveyed down to Charles, who gave the right owner notice that they might find such a horse in the wood near the river Barrow; upon which the owner sent his servant for him, and had him brought home without any compliments. Some time after, the owner was riding to the North to buy linen, and having his horse with him, he was challenged and secured till the assizes; but the owner bringing sufficient evidence that he bred him, and that he had been missing all the while the other had him, got the better of the dispute, and took his horse home again. On the other hand, the purchaser could only prove, that he bought him in a fair, but could not tell from whom; so by that means the thief was seldom found.

By what has been related one may perceive how cunningly his affairs were carried on; and in the next place, I shall relate some of his own actions.

There was an elderly gentleman in the King’s County who had a particular humour of his own in several respects, and when he took a fancy to any thing was commonly so choice of it, that he would suffer no one else to use it. He had a dun horse of great spirit, and a good hunter; which he was so choice of, that he would not suffer his son to ride him. The son knew the goodness of the horse as well as the father, and had cast a covetous eye upon him, but could not tell how to compass his desire till he had advised with Cahir, who gave him proper directions. In consideration of a handsome fee, Charles, provided him with the skin of a horse of the same colour, and with the like marks of his father’s horse, which was then at grass. The skin was dipped in a bog-hole and presented to the father by one of his tenants, as the skin of his gelding, which, they said, was drowned in a bog-hole. The old man, who had not all the wit in the world, nor any mistrust of the fraud, believed his tenant’s report, and took it for a matter of fact. However some time after the son, who had kept the horse concealed, rode on him home, pretended he had bought him in a fair; as soon as his father saw him he cried out, “D—————, I vow to God, only my horse was drownded, I would take my oath that’s he for he’s as like as ever I saw in my life,” which expression passed to a sterling joke among the gentlemen of the county for a long time afterwards.

Cahir had occasion once to pay his correspondents in the county of Kilkenny a visit and to examine how the affairs and accounts stood between them; where, as he was on his march in the evening, he went into a poor widow’s house, and demanded a drink of milk, upon which she brought him a large drink of butter-milk but disliking it very much, he abused her to all intents and purposes, and bid her go for some of the new milk, which she refused, and would not own to have any other than what she brought; then he called her a bitch and a whore, and cursed her over and over, withal saying she should pay for that ill usage: And indeed so she did, for before next morning her two cows being all she had, were stolen from her, neither could she got any tidings of them after.

Much about this time he was in his prime, and kept a place much like an office of intelligence, where his brother Daniel was register, who kept an account not only of their correspondents and place of abode, but likewise how and for what every beast was disposed of; By this means they were able to answer such people as came in pursuit of cattle. If they were to be had at all, he generally demanded a fee in hand, for putting the owner in the way of getting his beast, which fee was always proportioned according to the beast’s value, or the difficulty that might attend the recovery of it; and if in happened that the beast could not be procured with any safety, he was to return such a part of his fee as was agreed to before hand, which he seldom refused. Now we must observe, that Cahir never delivered to the owner any beast that had been stolen; all he did, was to direct him to go where he might find such a one, and this stratagem was to prevent home proof being given against him. Nevertheless, he had the misfortune to be bit even in this respect, and catched in such a trap, that it cost him a summer’s work to get loose. This was in the year 1729, when the practice was so common of killing sheep in the night time, and taking away their skins, carcases, and fat, which they disposed of in distant places. This practice was carried on mostly by discarded shepherds (tho’ not without Cahir’s knowledge) who kept dogs trained sit for the purpose, with other materials.

A gentleman in the country of Kilkenny having some cows stolen from him, employed a trusty servant to make inquiry from Cahir, who having received his fee, in a short time gave proper directions, as he thought, where to find them. The gentleman managed so craftily, that he took up one of the persons in whose custody the cattle were found, and this person having accused Cahir, Cahir was taken and put into Naas goal, where on purpose to save his own neck, he turned evidence for the king, and impeached six or seven people in that country. Cahir told the judges that he could do the country a vast deal of service, that he could inform against rogues in every county in the province, and was willing to do it, to bring them to justice. The judges were pretty well informed of his capacity of doing so, but not imagining that he was a foresworn rogue, they took him thro’ the circuit to Philipstown, Maryborough, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, and Wicklow, expecting to benefit the country, by ridding it of rogues upon this evidence; but Charles took care not to inform against any one who was staunch to his interest, impeaching none but such as he thought might betray him, if taken up, or such as he owed a grudge to, tho’ they were innocent, and no way concerned with him. ‘Tis true, he was discharged, and slipped his own neck out of the halter by this means, but the country was little the better; for tho’ he caused four or five to be hanged, ’tis thought that some of them were not guilty.

Charles had not been long out of confinement before he took a small concern under a gentleman near Lea, on which he opened his office again, and as he had accused none of his staunch comrades, they had no fault to his charge, but joined him very readily, and carried on their trade as before in conjunction.

However, one of his boys had given him occasion to be angry on a certain time, for which he banged and abused him; the boy being stomached at this usage, threatened to make some discovery to his master’s prejudice, which to prevent, Charles decoyed him into a wood (knowing that he could neither read not write) and with assistance, bound him fast, and cut out his tongue; however through mistake, not so close but when he was cured, he made a shift to speak, though very imperfectly.

At another time, one of his accomplices bro’t to him by night, a very simple fellow (in appearance) from upper Ormond, who came only to get intelligence of two horses that had been stolen from him, and had laid down a guinea for information money. Charles was then near the windmill, at a very bye place; yet tho’ the fellow was brought to him by night, and thro’ the most crooked paths, he began to suspect that the man had something more in his head than lice, and was resolved to put him into the high road as privately as he came, lest he should come as a spy against him another time. After he had reprimanded his accomplices for intruding such a fellow on him without previous notice, the two horses were sent for, and ready to be delivered against day-break. Then Cahir, after he had plied the man with liquor all night, sent for a large sack, and having bound the fellow hand and foot, and gagged him to prevent him making a noise, he was tumbled into it, and then the vacancy was well stuffed with hay (only a hole was made for him to breathe thro’) to make it seem like a sack of corn. When matters were thus prepared, Charles mounted on one of the horses, and had the sack thrown up before him, which he carried thro’ as private paths as he could for about two miles, ’till he got into the high road, and it began to grow pretty light; then pitching upon a proper spot of ground where there was good grass, he took the sack off the horse, the gag out of the fellow’s mouth, tethered both horses, and made off himself. The fellow had no other way left to relieve himself, than by calling out to passengers, which he did very powerfully, but found no relief till about nine o’clock. When he was released, he catched his horses, and made the best of his way home, for fear of meeting with a second disaster.

Charles was shortly after indicted for several acts, and committed to Maryborough gaol, with his comrade Jack; but the Landlord, who perhaps was afraid of losing some arrears if he lost his tenants, made such interest and obtained so fair a character of him, that he was acquitted for that time, and his brother also, though it was very well known that they were privy to the stealing of almost every horse that had been stolen in that country.

But some little time after, the said landlord to make sure of his rent, seized on Cahir’s effects, and turned him off his land. This put him to his wit’s end to meditate revenge, which he thought he could bring about no better way than by accusing him, and bringing him in as a party concerned along with him.

His former landlord had converted a large vault, that lay under an old castle, into a stable, which was large enough to hold several horses; in this stable, and in a wood near to it (which some people say Charles did only through design) Cahir, when he had occasion, had leave to put some of his horses, and this was foundation enough for him to ground an accusation upon: nay, he made preparations for giving in examinations, and the whole country believed that the said gentleman was one of the managers in the confederacy.

Mr. G., the said gentleman, who was upon setting up for a justice, being irritated against Charles, had examinations given against him, and after a very difficult pursuit, Cahier was taken and committed to Naas goal, in November, 1734, where he remained till the March assizes following, from whence he was transmitted to Maryborough, in order to be tried. While he was pursued, he swam several times across the Barrow, tho’ the flood was great, and his said landlord’s men followed him with as much resolution, till they took him, in a haggard, where he had concealed himself.

Things being now brought to this situation, he swore several examinations in Irish, while he was in confinement, against the gentleman and others, to put off his own trial, and told his stories so plausible, that several gentleman in the country took his part, and the gentleman was tried; and were it not for some of the leading men in the country, it is to be feared he might have suffered. It was with some difficulty that his trial was put off till August assizes, tho’ Cahir was the only evidence against him. But some others whom Charles accused, were tied up by the neck, particularly one Hickey, who owned that he had often transgressed, but denied the facts whereof he was then accused, at the gallows.

We must now pass on to Cahir’s trial, at Maryborough, in August, 1735. He was first brought to the bar, and then ordered to hold up his hand, which he did pretty quietly, time after time, ’till above thirty indictments were read against him. Then the judge said, “guilty or not guilty?” but Cahir seemed not to understand one word of English, till one behind him bid him in Irish to answer; then he turned about, and asked the other in the same language, what he should say? Why, says he, say “Neel me dheer,” (i. e. not guilty.) The judge then told him, he would make him find good English shortly; and proceeded on asking him how he would be tried; but still no English from Charles, who only asked one that stood by, in Irish, what the judge said; but the judge was resolved not to be trifled with; so after much ado, he was taught to say, “py God and my guntree.” At length the first evidence was produced, and then a second and a third, &c. but still nothing but Irish from Dempsy, till a fellow from the North came up, who swore very home against him about a cow: Then all at once, he cried in a passion, “That’s murder, my lord, he does not know me at all; he’s a lying rogue, for I had that cow wid myshelf ever; she was born’d upon my own ground, my broder here knows it.” “Ah,”says the judge), “you and your broder.’—’

His trial lasted above twelve hours; for tho’ there were so many evidences against him, and even the man that had lost his tongue, yet not above two, without other circumstances, would have hanged him. He spoke broken English all along after, and pleaded very artfully, particulaly against the said gentleman, who was one of the chief evidences against him. He always contradicted him, and still would say to the judge, “That the witness was the greatest rogue of the two.” But all did not save him, he received sentence of death, and was executed in August, 1735.

As he passed to the gallows, he minded nothing but discoursing with the people who came to inquire of him about cattle that had been stolen from them. To some he gave satisfactory answers, and directed them where to seek; to others, he made none. On the ladder he continued the like discourse, till he was turned off, and even then, he was so loth to die, that he caught hold of it as it turned, and held fast till the sheriff obliged him to quit his grip, by pounding his knuckles with the but-end of his whip. Thus he went out of the world, without clearing any one that he had accused, and died according to the belief of every body, an hardened villain.

His brother Daniel, who was found guilty of the like facts, and executed along with him, behaved in a quite different manner; he continued reading, on his way to the place of execution, very devoutly, in a manuel, and repeated a great number of prayers before the ladder was turned.

This same Charles, in imitation of Redmond O’Hanlon, used to indemnify people from having their cattle stolen, for a yearly reward.

John, or Jack Dempsy, was also hanged some time before; but was not an own brother of Charles, tho’ generally taken to be so.

The Gold Finder; or, the notorious Cheats of Manus Mac O’Neil, and his Merry Andrew.

Among the many remarkable tricks related in the history of the Irish Rogues, there is none deserves more the attention of the reader, than the following, being managed by an ignorant country fellow, who, by the natural simplicity of his look, and an artful affectation of folly, passed upon the world as a stupid, innocent bumpkin, incapable of forming the least design or intrigte, which gave him the advantage of carrying on his cheats successfully for a long time, without being in the least suspected. What province or country he was born in, I could never learn, tho’ you may take it for granted, he was a downright Irishman; for he wore a brogue upon his tongue, as fashionable as any Teague in the nation. At the age of 15, or thereabouts, he was bound apprentice to a mason, at Clonbullock, in the King’s county; but his master dying before he had time to learn the trade, Manus was put under some difficulties; however, he made a shift to pick up acquaintance with an expert tinker, who had skill in running down metal; and upon occasion, was not backward in coining a piece of silver and gold, to answer his necessities. This same tinker had been tried for his life, for facts of this kind, both in Naas and Armagh, and found means to get off in both places. The indictment upon which he was tried in Armagh, was for making and uttering a bad pistole; where seeming on his trial, to know nothing of the matter, he said that not above three pistoles had passed thro’ his hands in his life, and that he should know every one again; at the same time he begged leave to see the piece he was charged with for uttering, and if he had passed it, he would not deny it; upon this, it was given into his hand to be examined. While he was viewing the piece, he pretended to bite it, but took an opportunity of drawing another out of his mouth instead of it, which he said was the same piece he had passed, and would prove it to be right good gold; accordingly it was tried, and found good, by which stratagem he got clear.

Manus having got a little insight into the business, grew sick of masonry and immediately fell upon new schemes. By some means or other, he procured as much gold as made a small ingot which he used as a decoy. With this he moved towards Allen, where meeting with a simple honest English countryman, fit enough to serve his turn, he took him into a private place, and gave him the following relation:—

“I was’ prentice, says he, wid a mason, and at Easter when my master went abroad, he left meself and anoder ‘prentice to maak a paar of pear, for a gaat at New-Abbey, in the county of Kildare, just hard by the old buildings. Both of us had a mind to maak as good a work while my master wou’d be from us, and better, nor af he’d sten wid us himself; and I went wid myshelf, and tin wid a crow in my hand, to get some good stones out of the old walls, that wou’d be fitting for us, tho’ it was Easter Monday, and the people all at mass. I saw one plaas about so big as a door, stopped up wid the sort of stones I wanted, and so I fell to work, striving to get ’em out, and taak em along wid me to my comrade; but before I got de half of ’em out, I found there was steps up before me, going down like stairs, and I went in to see what sort of a plaas there was there, and where should the steps be after bringing myself to, but into a dark room; I believe it is a want you call it, and what should I find there, but a parshil of shets, and I thought they were coffins full of bones: but when I struck my crow against one of ’em, I found it’s iron they were made of; and upon that I went out and stopped the whole up again, for fear any body would find it, and go in before night. When it was dark, myshelf and my comrade along wid me, wint it there wid a candle and dark lantern; and what should we find in the chests whin we broke ’em open wid de crow, but bars like dis (pulling out his ingot) piled up a top of one anoder, a yaad high, and fait I believe it gold, dar a neigh, look at it.—There was anoder chest full of candlesticks of the saam sort of dis, and more of them full of crosses, chalices, and rings, and fine shining stones; my comrade has one of ’em, and a gentleman says it has a carbuncle. Do you know what sort dat is? but what would you have of it? we took em all out of dat, and buried em in anoder plaas, till we got time to look ’em all over, for fear of the lord of the manor; if he hears of it, he’ll come and take it from us. You must not tell any body, only if you have any friend who would give us a little monies, he should have a great bargain, for my shelf does not know the wort of such sort, and may be too af I’ll take them to the goldsmith in Dublin, he’ll shallenge us wid ’em, and fair may be we’d get nothing for ’em, but go to gaal after. Af you have any friend that’s an honest man, we would rather let him have a bargin for your sake, than give it to a stranger; there’s a crown among it too, which they say was belong to the King of Scotland.”

The Farmer hearing the fellow talk so simply, verily imagined that he was a mere ignoramus, and thought all that he told him was as true as the hearth-money; however he kept his council as far as proper, and desired Manus to have his treasure in readiness, and not to shew it to any body, for fear of losing it, till he got an opportunity of acquainting some of his friends, who, he was sure, had a good deal of money lying by, and would purchase the whole. Manus’s sole intention was to make himself seem as foolish as possible, thereby to make his bait the more taking; yet he did not confine himself to hold the secret from all others; for he told the aforesaid story to as many as he thought he could make proper fools of, to further his designs, and behaved as much like a fool as possible, that no suspicion of deceit might hereby arise; for which reason I shall give him the title of the Irish fool, let others call him what they please. By this artifice, the story was whispered about very privately from hand to hand, among such people as were supposed to have money, who were mostly intent upon engrossing the treasure every one to himself, that for fear of being prevented they even would not give their wives an item of it.

At length, people that had money, came privately from all parts to seek Manus, in hopes of making their fortunes, but in fact it was only to lose them. The first that he made a perfect master of the secret, was an inn-keeper of the County of Kilkenny, who had brought a pretty handful of money with him, and a portmanteau, in order to purchase a large quantity of gold; but Manus, as great a fool as he pretended to be, was resolved not to be caught in any trap, and absolutely refused to sell any of his ware under that denomination, for fear of bringing himself into trouble, and gave such reasons for so doing, that the purchaser seemed to have no mistrust of a bite. Says he, “I don’t sell you my ingots of gold, that would be the way to be found out by the lord of the manor, who has the first pretension to every sort of that kind that’s found in his ground any way; and to be sure he’d have the gold above any thing else: I tell you what I’ll do wid you, give me such monies as will buy tin good cows to maintain myshelf, and I’ll give you so much of the sort I found in the Old Abbey as ever you can carry way wid you in the leather bag behind you; but you must give me your oat first that you won’t open it till you get home, nor tell any body how much gold you have, nor how you got it, and dis is some of the sort I found (laying his ingot on a brick, and pointing to it with his finger.) Now, how much monies will you give me, and I’ll sill your bag?” The bargain was agreed to, and the purchaser sworn to secrecy; then Manus led him in the night to a convenient field for his purpose, pretending a great deal of fear, lest any one should see or hear them; and having blindfolded him, he took the portmanteau a little further, where he filled it with bricks, stones, and hay, and when he had locked it, he returned with the load. The inkeeper was overjoyed at his bargain, and having paid Manus about L.40 earnest money, he put the load up behind him, and rode home post haste, promising to pay the remainder on delivery of the key, which the goldfinder was to give him in two days after at his own house, where he was to meet him and take an account of his ware. But the inkeeper waited two days, three times told before Manus appeared with the key, and might have waited till doom’s day only his impatience prompted him to be fingering the gold; upon which he tipped open the portmanteau, and finding how confoundedly he was outwitted, he fell sick of a splenetic fever, which had like to have cost him his life. However he was so much ashamed of his bargain, that he could not tell how to divulge the secret for some months after.

The rumour of finding such immense treasure was spread about with such artifice, that hundreds were apprised of it yet every man that had money and heard it imagined himself first in the babyhouse, and strove eagerly to make his market, before others knew any thing of the affair. I heard of a very responsible merchant’s son in the county of —————, that had just received a considerable fortune with his wife, who upon having notice thereof, made preparations for disposing of all his effects, in order to purchase the whole treasure, (crown, jewels and all) and to carry them to France, about the time the late French King was married, expecting to make a million of money by the bargain, and to be able at his return to purchase the whole country before him; but the gray man his father being a man of better experience in the world, suspected some deceit, and (though with difficulty) dissuaded his son from engaging in so hazardous a project.

Manus had such good fortune by his schemes, that in a little time he was able to make a new ingot of real gold, which weighed about twelve ounces, in the shape of a small bar, and this he carried about for a decoy: besides he was supplied by one of his accomplices from Dublin, with brass bars of the same size and form, gilded or covered over so that any person not well skilled in metals might easily be deceived, and not know one from the other. He had likewise the luck to pick up an acquaintance with one Andrew Farrell, an ill inclined young fellow, whose usual employment was to carry meat from the butchers in Dublin to gentlemen in the country. He presently found that this fellow would be very fit for his purpose, inasmuch as that he was intimate with several people of good credit in Dublin, and so he let them into the secret. This Farrell told his story concerning the treasure with such a seeming probality, that numbers entertained him, and treated him with abundance of courtesy, in order to get him to introduce them to Manus; however he always enjoined them to secrecy, still pretending the greatest friendship imaginable to those he told it to, by which means he drew great numbers in search of the gold. ‘Tis really a wonder, that among so many as came from all parts in quest of this treasure, that some of them did not blab out one to another, what their business was; but the mystery lay here, those that were in pursuit, kept council of necessity, and such as were bit, were under these obligations, or so much ashamed of their bargains, that they could not tell how to discover or expose their weakness.

Their most usual way of imposing on customers, was this; after the buyers had been properly informed of the treasure, and manner of finding it and so wrought up into a firm belief of the certainty thereof, without shewing any token of mistrust; then Manus began to expose the gold bar which he called brass, as a sample of his treasure, always prompting his chapman to try it, let them call it what he pleased. When they had fully satisfied themselves concerning the value of the metal, a bargain was commonly concluded upon; in the meanwhile Manus always took care, by one means or other, to exchange the gold bar for another of brass of which sort be could furnish his customers with as many as they thought proper; then as it was customary with him, he demanded either the money or sufficient earnest, which being laid down on the side of the table, and the ingits, as he called them on the other, “Now,” says he, “here is my ware, it is brass I call it, and will sell it to you for brass, and nothing else, but yourself knows the sort best. I hope you will have good luck wid it; as you don’t like it, leave it wid myshelf; here is your monies, take your choice. I’ll be bound to get more; but as you keep my ingits, you must buy it for brass, and call it brass, and you shall give me your oat you will never say you bought gold, nor tell what you give for my ingits, for fear of the lord of the manor would come and taak it all wid himshelf.” He frequently appeared to be in liquor, and by these kind of speeches, which seemed to proceed from perfect ignorance, his customers only became ten times more earnest than before, making no scruple to give an oath of secrecy, which being done, they seldom made any delay till they got home with the treasure. But as particular instances may be more satisfactory, I shall relate two or three, to render him in more plain colours.

In the beginning of his prosperity, in company with the said Farrell, he took a jaunt down to Dublin, with the ingot of real gold in his pocket and several gits of brass, as like it as could possibly be made. In the habit of a mean country farmer, he went to an eminent banker in Castle-street, and finding him alone, he drew out his ingot, and began to make his condition and case known in the most moving and pathetic manner. Says he, “God bless your worship. Sir, every body knows you have the best skill in the sort of dis of any man in Dublin, (shewing his ingot in paper) because you deal so much in monies: I believe it is the sort they make the guineas of.” “Well, says the banker, what would you have me do with it?” “Why God bless your worship, Sir, my landlord is hard upon me for the rent, and he says he’ll drive my cattle away from me, as I don’t pay him next Monday; my father and my father’s father, and his father before him had this piece in the family, and there is no luck nor grace would ever stay in the same plaas wid me if I’d sell it, but for all dat (dropping some tears) I must borrow some monies upon it or my family will be undone. God bless you, Sir, you know the worth of dis sort; strive to relieve me, and I’ll pray for you ever.” Upon this the banker took pity on him, yet not willing to depend entirely on his own judgement, he sent the ingot out to his goldsmith to be tried who sent him word back that it was good gold. The banker then would have been very willing to have purchased it at so moderate a price, but the other refused to sell; and not only so, but was for borrowing more upon it, and at a longer time than the banker approved of; so Manus took the ingot, lapped it up in the same paper, and went out, on pretence of seeking redress from some body else upon the same security; but he had not gone many steps from the door before he took an opportunity of putting a git of brass in the place of the ingot, and returned with it so lapped up to the banker again.—Says he, (giving a sigh, with a sorrowful countenance, wringing his hands and dropping a few tears,) “I must sell dis or borrow some monies upon it, to stop my cattles, I believe you will give me so much as any body for it, and as I don’t release it against Christmas day I won’t asb it any more.” The banker then told him out what he offered before and a guinea over, thinking him a simple ignorant fellow, and then laid his bargain up in a drawer without examining it, thinking that it was worth about fifteen pounds more at least. Some time after Christmas the banker had some company at dinner with him, to whom he related after what manner he had bought a great bargain of gold from a silly countryman. They were all desirous of seeing it, and when one of the gentlemen viewed it, he said it was not gold, upon which the banker held him a bottle of wine to the contrary, and had it tried over again; but to his mortification was obliged to yield the wager lost, which put him entirely out of humour, tho’ it proved very good diversion for the rest of the company, to see a banker outwitted by a fool, who never intended to pay him another visit.

When he and his man Andrew had pretty well seduced and defrauded a great number of the Dublineers out of there money, for ingots of brass instead of gold, they grew enraged against him and began to dog Andrew to his lodgings, and to the country, thinking to take him before a justice; but he observing it, gave them the slip, and posted away to his master, who had retired to the wood of Allen, where he usually spent the most of his time. As soon as Manus understood that people endeavoured to take him, says he, “dar a nagh agus dat a neagh,” we will go to Connaught; and their effects being easily carried, and affairs settled, after drinking a belly full of brandy, their common liquor, they began their journey, not in the direct road, but thro’ the Queen’s County, where Manus was obliged to make a longer stay than he expected occasioned by a misfortune that befel him. It happened that while he passed thro’ this last county, a man of some figure purchased some of his ingots of brass for which he paid Manus a pretty round sum of money; in a few days after the gentleman exposed his bargain to a goldsmith in Dublin, with a design of converting part of it into plate for his family, and to make money of the rest; but to his sorrow, being thoroughly made sensible of the fraud, he posted home, and upon search, had the good fortune of seizing Manus, whom he got committed to Maryborough goal, where he remained under confinement ’till the next assizes. At length his trial came on, and a vigorous prosecution was made against him, and to be sure the jury could have thought no better of him than he deserved, only that when he was asked what he had to say for himself, he asked his prosecutor several crooked questions, ’till he obliged him to acknowledge, that Manus told him, at the time they made the bargain that his ware was brass, and no other. “What would you have din? And is it not brass? Sure that’s no sheat for a man to sell his goots by the right name; I will leave it to my lord judge, and the gentlemin of the the jury.” In short he filled the court with surprime and laughter, to see how artfully he could evade the force of the law, tho in appearance he seemed like a fool. However the jury sat upon it, yet they could not bring him in guilty of what he was accused; upon which he was acquitted.

Now he thought every hour a day ’till he got into some remote place, and so hasted away with his man Andrew to Connaught, where having no acquaintance, they remained under some difficulties before they got into a way of getting a livelihood, and so were under a necessity of making the former spoil of the Dublineers maintain them (of which they had still a good plenty left, drinking wine and brandy very profusely) till at last Andrew got acquainted with one Dominick D—————t, a rich farmer’s son, and a sharp insinuating youth, who was very intimate with several gentlemen in that country. It was beneath a man of Emanuel’s fortune to seek customers himself, wherefore Andrew was to manage that point, who thinking this young man would make a fit bait for his hook, told him the whole story concerning the finding of the treasure, as before related, that for fear of the lord of the manor who heard of it, they fled, into that country to conceal it, and to be more private. They were over a cup of liquor at this time, and Farrell pretending to be drunk, called the other aside and spoke very privately, desiring him to let no body know but his nearest friends, who on his account only should get good bargains.

Young D—————t was overjoyed at the news, and returned in to talk to Manus, without delay or, suspicion. Manus knowing his inclinations pulled out his ingot of gold, and swore the young man to secrecy, who was charmed with the beauty of the metal; and being very desirous that his friends should make their fortunes, he brought his uncle to Manus, who told him his usual story, (like an ignorant fellow, as he pretended to be) with great artifice and having charged him pretty high with liquor, he got all the man’s money, and sent him home with gifts in lieu of it; but in some days having discovered the fraud, he complained to Dominick’s father, and poor Dominick was turned out of doors for his pains. This was what Manus wanted in his heart, and as soon as he heard thereof, he returned to Cloncomber, a scrubby island in the bog of Allen surrounded with rivers and quagmire. At a small distance from the island stands a wood, from which to the island there is a passage, but then a great part of it is commonly covered with water, and very difficult to find; and on the middle of the island there is a fort, whereon if a man stands, he may view the country round for some miles, and see every body that comes near it. Here he fixed his lodgings, so that when any that he knew not came on the wood side, he commonly would take to the bog; but if on the bog side, to the wood; and here he carried on his game for a long time, never coming out but to make his bargains, and then only in sure company, to such houses as he well knew.

Andrew had given an item to Dominick where they intended to go, who being turned out as aforesaid, followed them in expectation of getting his money returned; but Manus shewed him so many legerdemain tricks, that he soon found it was but in vain to expect any such thing, and so knowing he had no business home without it, he became a dissolute young fellow, and joined his forces along with his new companions.

‘Tis true he returned to Connaught, but then it was only as a decoy, and to make a prey of others. He brought a collector with him from Eyrecourt, to Cloncomber, whom Mac O’Neil first swore to keep secrecy, and then sold him some of his bars at a very good race, only with this liberty, upon his oath that if any one asked what he had bought, to say it was brass; and says, “dar a nagh, a dan a negh,” “I believe it is, for I don’t know gold.” But when the collector found out the cheat, he was exasperated and watching an opportunity, had Manus taken up, sent to jail, and tried. Mac O’Neil told the judge on his trial, that when he was selling him the brass, he made him off well, he would tell every one he spoke to about it, that it was brass. “And what else should I call it,” said he, “for it was brass like dish (producing one of the gifts)” which set the court into a fury of laughter and Manus appearing so very ignorant in metal, and so innocent in the matter, was acquitted.

After this, Manus removed to the woods near Clonbullock, where he followed his trade as brisk as ever, sometimes sending away led horses with portmanteaus, and sometimes cars with chests loaded with gifts, or else bricks nicely lapped up in paper; but he always took care to keep the keys himself, promising to meet them at such a place as appointed, and they not to meddle with the treasure before he met them.

When the time expired, his chapman commonly began to suspect some fraud, and of consequence would break open the locks, to examine what he had got. One fellow that had made money of all his effects to purchase his treasure, upon opening his portmanteau, found nothing but bricks carefully lapped up in paper. Which exasperated him to such a degree, that he went back armed in pursuit of Mac O’Neil; but Manus had removed to the island, as he always did when he expected a pursuit, where he might rest secure enough till he thought proper to appear again; his absconding in this manner, made the fellow search in vain, so that he was obliged to return home with loss and shame.

Not long after this, a petty farmer in the County of Limerick hearing that such a heap of treasure was to be disposed of, privately came up with his wife and all the money he could raise in order to make his fortune for ever. He found Manus near Rathangon, and when he had made a very good bargain, as he thought and got a large quantity of the treasure into possession, the goldfinder shewed as much more to tempt him the man having laid out all the money he brought with him was in no condition to buy more then; however, he had an itching to be at it, and began to treat about the price, which being agreed upon, they entered into articles, and the man was to return home with what treasure he had bought, leaving his wife in pledge with the goldfinder, ’till he brought the rest of the money back to Manus. When he got home, he put up the treasure, without shewing it to any body, and sold two draft mares he had for about L.30, with which money he went back to Rathangon, in about sixteen days: but when he came to the ale-house where he left them, he could find nobody that he knew but his wife, who informed him the goldfinders were gone to some island above three days before, and intended to see him no more; upon some other words that she dropped, he not only began to smell the cheat, but was so much blinded with a pair of horns that sprung out of his forehead that moment, and hung in his eyes, that he spent a month in groping the way home again.

Among other wise men of Gothom who expected to make their fortune by dealing with Manus, there was one C———b———n near Wexford, a great projector, who, having received private intelligence of his vast treasure, rode several miles to make further enquiry and assure himself of the matter; concerning which upon his return, he was so well satisfied, that he immediately disposed of as much effects to he could conveniently spare, and then gathering together what money he had in the house, and was owing to him, he made ready for an expedition to the island of Allen. It was about Michealmas, (as Manus says) that this gentleman set out from his house on a stout gelding, equipped like a man of honour, with a silver-hilted sword, a new suit of cloaths, a fine hat and wig, and L.60 in his pocket, with which he posted directly to Munstereven, attended only by a servant. When he came to his inn, he made all the private enquiry possible for the island of Allen, and sent his servant there the next morning to find out the goldfinder, who returned the following evening, with directions for his master to come on foot alone, or with his guide, to a little cabin on the side of an island on the bog, and bring his money along with him, for which he might expect ten times the value in gold and jewels, provided he kept the affair a secret; and the better to conduct him, Manus sent one of his men, as a guide to show him the way, and tender the usual oath of keeping council; which being done, and their hearts regaled with a good breakfast and a cup of strong liquor, they set out, and arrived at the said cabin about noon, where they found nobody but an old woman, upon which, the guide ordered her to bring a bottle of wine to the gentleman. The wine was accordingly produced, and our projector being fatigued with walking and thirst, drank pretty freely, (not suspecting there was any intoxicating stuff, or the juice of the bog-dale in it) and then sat him down to rest, ’till the guide went for Manus. C—————, notwithstanding, had his thoughts so much upon the treasure, that sleep did not suddenly invade his eyes, as otherwise it would have done; and when he had waited about an hour, seemed very uneasy that neither Manus came, nor any news from him; upon which the woman went out and called to a boy, and sent him seemingly in a great hurry for her master, and in a little time a messenger returned, with directions to open another bottle, and entertain the gentleman for about an hour, by which time Manus would certainly be there, with all his golden treasure. Upon this, our projector seemed a little easier, got another bottle which put him into a profound sleep, before the goldfinder appeared; in which condition we must leave him ’till the next day, and only guess at his fortune while he slumbered, by the sequel of the story.

When be awoke, which he supposed to be about eight the following morning, he was greatly surprised to find himself alone in an empty house, but what most increased his astonishment, was to find himself totally deprived of his money, sword, watch, hat, wig, silver buckles, handherchief, and pocket-book. However, up he got, walked about, and called, and cried, and shouted and cursed, and kicked and danced with vexation, round the house, like a madman, till he made himself so weary, that he was forced to leave off. Nobody was to be heard of, nobody to be seen any where near him, but two little boys in a potatoe garden, who would speak no English, and all that he could understand from them in Irish, was, that nobody lived in the cabin that they knew of; so, my gentleman growing very hungry, was obliged to walk back to his inn (above five miles) in the same moneyless condition, where he sold his servant’s horse to defray his expenses, and buy a new hat and wig, and then returned home, almost as poor as Whittington was before he sent his cat to the Indies.

The last story that I shall be particular in, is, of a certain gentleman, well skilled in metals, a sharp man, and one that was resolved not to be imposed on, as he had heard some others had been. He was introduced to Manus by one of his young men before mentioned, and after a good deal of discourse over the liquor, he let him know that he would buy no metal, but such as he would first try with something he had in his pocket, pulling out a bottle of aquafortis.—Manus seeing him so curious, pulled out his ingot of gold, and pretending to be drunk, says he, “try dish, for I think it is gold, dar a nagh agus dar a negh,” which was his usual expression; upon this the gentleman tried the bar, which he found was good gold, and laid the bottle on the table, expecting to see more in a little time. Manus got up as if he was going for it; but staggering about the room like one in liquor, he watched his opportunity and getting hold of the bottle, “arra,” says he, “what sort is dish?” and as he was shaking it, a drop or two fell on his fingers and smoked: then seemingly to be terribly affrighted, he cries out, as if in great pain. “O mavear, O mavear,” and at the same time threw the bottle against the wall and broke it. Now farewell aquafortis. The gentleman taking this for no other than the effects of drunkenness and ignorance, said nothing at all about the bottle, but laughed at the fellow for a bit of game. However he took care to ask him for the rest of the bars; then Manus told him, “that he had borrowed some money of a priest hard by, with whom he had left the bars in pledge, and desired the gentleman to lend him as much money as would release them; to which he consented, provided that he and his men would go with him to the priest’s house. Manus assented very readily, and waited ’till it was dark; he took the money and put it along with the bar in his pocket; he was so drunk, as he pretended, that he could not ride, but he went on foot along with the gentleman and his man, who rid till he came to a river by the side of the bog which he said was near the priest’s house. There was a foot stick over the river, and a place a little above it like a ford, thro’ which he desired them to ride, and he would meet them on the further side; upon which they went in easily enough, but before they got to the middle, the horses stuck fast in the mire, and threw the riders into the water, to shift for themselves as well they could in a cold winter’s night.

He played an hundred tricks like these, of which I have received no exact account, but being advertised in the public papers in the year 1733, he was much disappointed, and his schemes broken, tho’ he kept about Clonbullock &c. sending out his gang to play at small games now and then with rings, buttons, &c.

But the methods they now chiefly take to support themselves, is by cheating in dealing. I’m told they have places or schools in Dublin, and elsewhere, for instructing their pupils in the art of dissimulation, where they learn to buy and sell upon trust, and so forth; and he is accounted the chiefest among them, that can deceive the most artfully, under the greatest shew of honesty and simplicity. One of their gang, as I am credibly informed, lives near Kevin-street, and by his great art in appearing to be a simple, honest man, has bought above an hundred horses in three years time, for which he never paid a fourth part value. There are Jockeys that attend Smithfield, who whenever they find a horse in the hands of a person unacquainted with their artifices, come up and tell the seller they can help him to a good chap, an honest man (they call him too) that lives at some distance; here the horses is hurried to their friend, who comes out (perhaps as demure as a priest in a pulpit) and says, “sure enough, I did want a horse some time ago, but now I can’t well spare the money; however he appears like somebody,” and if the seller does not greatly want money, ’tis an hundred to one but he gets a guinea or a moidore in hand, & a promissory note for the remainder. “Well done, Sim—”, seen Ch————y well, and never fear Fullum going into the louse house. But I hope his grace may be informed of the matter some time or other.

Some of their gang introduced themselves among peddlers, either to corrupt them, or defraud those they deal with. At first they seem to deal honestly, and at length take up a little goods on tick, for which they pay pretty punctually, ’till they think they have hooked sufficient, and then they bid a long adieu to that quarter. Indeed their artifices are so various, and their knavery so great, that all dealers and shopkeepers have need to be aware of them.

The life of William Peters, alias Delany.

On the borders of Slebyloom mountains in the Queen’s county, lies a small country called Upper-wood, inhabited by several Irish families, among whom the Delanys are not the least numerous. This family being related to some reputable gentlemen in the county, of the same name, thought themselves more secure from danger in time of prosecution than their neighbours, because interest had been made by some of the gentlemen on the jury several times, by which they were often screened from justice. Such gentlemen thought that lenity would rather prevent than excite their villainous practices, but it had quite the contrary effect. Peter Delany near Ossory in the said county, had two sons, and as it is customary with my countrymen to call the sons after the godfather’s christian names, they were called Will and Jack. Jack was a fellow of shallow invention, yet his natural inclination for theft led him into this way of living, till he was tried at Maryborough and transported for receiving and disposing of stolen cattle: but he soon found means of conveying himself back to Ireland, where he skulked in holes and corners till the limited time was expired. He had been brought before courts of justice for several misdemeanors before, but by the intercession of friends was still enlarged. As soon as he ventured publicly abroad, after his return, he fell to his old trade again, and by the assistance of his father, who was a noted receiver and a concealer of cowstealers, followed the practice of living on the spoil of honest people, till he was led to the gallows, where he made his exit, before a number of people at Maryborough, in the year 1737. Old Peters, his father, was not accused of stealing cattle in person, but was accounted one of the principal receivers, and managed his affairs after a very cunning manner. A neighbour of his, who had neither wife nor child, held by lease a small piece of land adjoining to Peters, and being accused of the like practice, fled into the country, and kept in some remote parts of Connaught. During his absence, care was taken by his friends that the rent should be duly paid and receipts taken, that the property should be preserved and possession maintained. Now, when any cattle were conveyed to Peters which they thought would be pursued, they were always ground, by which means if any of them were found, it could never be rightly proved in whose custody they were got. By this and such like craft, together with the intercession of friends, this Peters preserved himself a long time from condign punishment, and remained a nuisance to all honest people in the country. But now to return to Will Peters, and observe what steps he took to get himself exalted.

In his youth he was put to school, and kept there under the tuition of an Irish school-master as long as any intermittent time from the harvest, and other affairs of the family permitted. He had read the Seven Wise Masters, Don Bellianis of Greece, Valentine and Orson, and Reynard the Fox, and was accounted on the mountains a complete scholar. The reading of Reynard gave him a taste for politics, but it was much to his disadvantage that he was not continued at school, at least till he had passed through the history of the Seven Champions, and the Destruction of Troy; he might have understood feats of knight-errantry, and has advanced himself to the dignity of a highwayman; but, by studying such mean authors as before mentioned, however attempted any thing more than petty thefts, except that he had learned from the great Charles Dempsy, to be an expert horse-napper and cow-stealer. After he had been taken from school some time, his father taking notice that_the country people extolled his son’s parts and learning, was persuaded to give him some better education in order to send him to France, and be put into clerical orders: accordingly he was put to a new master to learn the Latin tongue, and made some progress for the first quarter, but he laid the grammar aside as soon as he got through the genders of nouns, and told his father he had learned Latin enough. When any one asked his father how far he had learned, his usual answer was, to proti maris, which the boys at the school getting hold of, they gave it to him for a nick-name, and he retained it for a long time. After leaving school he led an idle life till he was nearly 20 years of age, frequenting no company but that of gamesters, and such like, till meeting with one who was a complete player at cards, he learned from him several legerdemain tricks, and soon after began the trade of cow-snatching, which he followed after.

There happened to be about this time a girl whipped through the town of Maryborough, for committing several thefts, who, by the severity of the hangman, retained the marks of the lashes a long time on her back. After she was discharged she made her escape through Mountrath into Ossory, and at length coming to old Peters’s house in the night, she made a very piteous cdmplaint, telling him that she was captain P-——’s daughter, and being courted by a young gentleman to whom her parents would not give their consent to marry her, they kept her confined to her room, and suffered her not to stir out by any means; and when she went to bed, her clothes were taken away, to hinder her from attempting to go out; and that rather than remain in this afflicting condition, she resolved to make her escape, and travel the world begging bread. She said that having resolved upon her escape, she got a bed-cord, and fastened one end in the night to the window, but that having no clothes on but her shift—(which it seems was very fine!) in descending her back turned to the wall, which had scraped all the skin off; that she went afterwards to some of her father’s tenants to get something to cover her, who gave her those rags she had on, but dared not entertain her for fear of her father. The old fellow and Will, his son, listened to her story, which she told in a very plausible manner, and believing all that she said to be true, took her in, and having got her sores dressed as well as they knew how, gave her the best entertainment they could afford, and in little time William began to make love to her She seemed very coy at first, but at length managing her cards with dexterity, consented to marry any one rather than be found out by her father. The match being thus concluded a priest was sent for privately, the witnesse sworn to secrecy, and the marriage ceremony performed without interruption.

Before many days had passed, the neighbour had a current report among them, that young Peters was married to the captain’s daughter, and would make his fortune by it. Shortly after, finding it was nothing but a bite, they were for turning her off, but she was no fool, she held her grip, and would not quit her claim till she had received a sufficient reward, and though she gave her husband a general release, yet she had the impudence to make him a present of a lump of flesh about the size of a bastard, in less than three quarters of a year. After this bite, he was ashamed to be seen by those that knew him, and seemingly withdrew for some time; but he was then beginning to make some progress in his trade, and had got acquainted with Cahir na Gappul. He was shortly after tried at Athy for stealing three cows, but no home proof appearing against him he was only fined L.5 with half a year’s imprisonment. About a year after this, he was taken in the county of Carlow for stealing a sorrel horse with a bald face and one white foot, and committed to the county gaol: the horse was delivered a few days before the trial into the gaoler’s‘custody. As soon as old Peters had notice of this, he sends one of his confidants to Dempsy, with a full description of the horse, as to size, colour, and marks, desiring him, if possible, to provide a mare of the same size, colour, shape, &c. and convey her into the stable where the horse was kept, and make an exchange, for he had no other way to save his life, because there was no home evidence against him. Dempsy was not long before he secured a mare, which he sent by one of his associates to Carlow, giving him directions how to make the exchange. When the messenger got to Carlow he put up at a private place near the water side, and made it his business to be acquainted with the hostler, and having fixed a stratagem for exchanging; he stood the morning before the trial at an ale-house door, before the water side, and as the hostler passed by, invited him in to drink, in the mean while one of Peter’s comrades took olff the collar and put it on the mare, which was given to the hostler at the door. As soon as he came out, he mounted her, and rode her to the stable instead of the horse. Peters had notice of all this, and on his trial, when the evidence had given proof enough (one would have thought) to hang a dozen men, he asked the prosecutor whether his beast was a horse or mare? to which he answered (according both to his evidence that day, and the examinations given before a justice) that it was a horse. Well, says Peters to the judges, “My Lords, let this horse be produced, and if the marks and tokens agree to what has been sworn against me, I have nothing to say against me suffering.” This was all fair, and the beast being examined, every thing appeared in the plaintiff’s favour, till her tail was lifted up, which discovered the mistake, and set the whole court into a fit of laughter. Peters made several motions for obtaining satisfaction of his prosecutor for false imprisonment; upon which the court demanded a character of each, and his request availed him nothing, but he was acquitted for that time. In about 6 months after, having stolen some fat cows, and conveyed them into Ossory, they were all killed, or safely disposed of, except one milch cow, which his family had need of, and rather than want her, he puts his wits to work to prevent her being discovered. He had notice the owners were in quest of her, and having no time to lose, he ordered the cow to be tied up, and two large loaves to be made; as soon as the loaves were rightly sodden in the oven, they were clapped on her horns hot, and held there, till the ends of them, down to the slug, grew soft with the heat and moisture of the bread, and“ bent the ends of the horns inward, holding them in that position till cold, which disfigured the cow so much, that the owner had no mistrust she was his, though Peters showed her to him the next day when he came there to search.

Another time, before Christmas, he had driven home a red cow, among others, that wanted half her tail, which made her so remarkable, that neither he nor his comrades durst venture to dispose of her alive, and she was not in order for killing. Upon this, one of them provided the tail of a red cow that had been slaughtered some days before in Mountrath, and making it a proper length, it was ingeniously stitched to the stump of the red cow’s tail, and she was driven to Rathdowny fair to be sold. The right owner of the cow was at the fair, and passing by took notice of her several times, and at last coming up, asked, “Who owned the red cow?” to which Will made answer, “She’ll soon find an owner, if you have a mind to buy her.” “No,” says the other, “I have not, but I had a cow stolen from me about four days ago, as like this as any thing in the world, only mine had a short tail; if it were not for that, I would take my oath that this is my cow.” “You say your’s had a short tail, don’t you?” “Yes,” says the man, “Why then,” replied Will, “this cow can’t be your’s, for she has a long tail, and if you won’t trust your eyes, I hope you’ll believe it when you feel it.” Upon this, Will taking hold of the tail, with a sharp knife cut it off, and her tail bled a-fresh, which was such a convincing proof on Will’s side, that the people standing by shouted after the owner, who, being ashamed of their reproaches, withdrew as quickly as he could. In the meanwhile, Peters sold the cow to the first bidder, and posted home with the money, for fear of meeting with a second challenger.

He was taken up after this in the county of Kildare for practices of the like kind, and being tried at Naas, several facts were proved home against him, and sentence of death was pronounced upon {him, pursuant to which he was led out to the gallows, where a numerous concourse of people had met, expecting to hear him make a large confession; but they were deceived, for he seemed little concerned, making but a short prayer before the halter was fastened round his neck, and then turning himself off the ladder, he hung for the space of sixteen minutes, till the hangman cut the rope and let him fall. His friends took care to provide him a cofiin,in which he was conveyed to a friend’s house about a mile from thence; and, in three hours after, they perceived that he breathed, and used all endeavours to bring him to life: he opened his eyes and looked about him, and, as he acknowledged afterwards, knew those around him though he did not speak; he was taken out of the coffin and conveyed in the night to a private thicket not far distant; in the meanwhile the coffin was filled with hay and stones, and, to deceive the people, was buried with the same ceremony that his corpse would have been, if dead. In this situation let us leave both the coffin and stones, and examine what became of Peters.

After he had lain some time in the thicket, he fell into a convulsive fit, and the two women that attended him, hearing people at some distance coming up, were obliged to leave him for fear of being discovered; but returning some time after, they found he was beginning to recover, yet they were afraid to stay with him, because a rumour of his being still alive, had spread through the country, and the sheriff had sent men in pursuit of him. Notwithstanding all the search that could be made, he recovered and escaped from that place, yet by some accident or other, he soon fell into the sheriff’s bands, who had him transmitted to Kilmainham jail in Dublin, where he was kept a close prisoner, till a rule of transportation was obtained for sending him to the plantations. Wm. Peters having notice of it, made strenuous application to his accomplices to assist him in making his escape, which was effected by filing his bolts and breaking a hole through the wall in the night; When he got his liberty, he took horse and rode down to the Queen’s Co. and in his way” tarrying a while at Glemaber, where Charles Dempsy lived, he made no scruple of discovering himself, as may appear by the following relation which a friend of mine had from his mouth, as follows: An acquaintance of mine, says he, who had been instructed in the art of surgery at Paris, came to see me in jail a few days before my trial at Naas. He prepared something for me which, if possible, I was to keep in my mouth while I hung, and said it would be a means of preserving my life: this made me somewhat careless of preparing for death, for I was intent upon observing his directions.* I turned from the ladder as easily as I could, and for the space of a minute or two was very sensible of pain, and could feel something now and then under my feet, till I thought all things before me were turned into a red flame, which presently seemed blue, and at last all things vanished quite. I remember no more of what passed at the gallows—slept till evening. Then, as I lay in the coffin, I remember to have seen several that I knew, and could hear, though not distinctly. My neck was in great pain, yet I could perceive that I was carried somewhere, and that sack was poured down my throat as I lay on the ground. What condition I was in from that time till the women came to me the next day, I remember nothing at all of, though the ground where I lay was much beaten. A last I recovered my senses partly, and used my endeavours to make my escape, though it was a long time before I was able to run: but at a time when I thought myself secure, the sheriff had notice where I lay, and came upon me unawares. I was transmitted to Dublin, and still expected my death warrant; but to my surprise, news came that I was ordered for transportation, which terrified me worse than the gallows itself; this was what set me upon contriving my escape, which I have effected, and now have got into my own country and value them not a farthing.

*People thought it was by witchcraft he preserved his life and his mother used to say, that no hemp was able to hang her son, that he had received the charm from the witch that gave Cahir- na Gappul the enchantment for catching horses.

Notwithstanding this bravado, such a search was made for him, that he was in terror, and skulked about from one lurking place to another, acting only as a petty thief, and we have little or no account of such transactions. At last passing by Derryclonagh, a hill near Mountmelick, he stopped at an old shepherd’s, named Gildagh. This man had a neighbour whose horse was a very great trespasser upon him, and destroyed a great part of his crop: after repeatedly demanding the damages in vain, Gildagh made his complaint to Peters, and one Morgan, one of his neighbours, who was then absconding from a constable, in pursuit of him for cutting down timber. These two presently put him up to an odd kind of revenge, which be treasured up in his mind. He went to the owner of the horse, vowing revenge in very broken English, (for he could speak no other)—thus, “Arrah Denis! I towld you twenty times your are spoil my oats, and you vont pay me for it, nor keep him out; af you let your are into my corn agin, I vil meke your ars pay for dat!” but Denis only laughed at him. This was in the month of September, and very early the next morning, before it grew light, the horse being taken in the shepherd’s corn again, he drove him home and put him into a waste house, where with assistance, he tied tow and flax with strong cords to his tail, interweaving them with the hair very thick and fast, adding some pitch, tallow, sulphur, &c. When the horse was thus prepared, they led him out privately, and then setting the tail on fire, he was turned loose. The colt, having never been docked, had a long tail, and, to be sure, cut a pretty figure with it in a flame; sometimes swinging it about in the air, and sometimes slapping his buttocks. In this condition he ran homewards, like a devil bewitched! and in his way, passing by an old woman, who was just come out of her cabin,to draw a pitcher of water, she was so affrighted that she fainted away; but coming to herself again, and remembering that there was a report that Ireland was to be destroyed in a few days, she ran home for her beads with all speed, in order to repeat as many prayers as she could before her dissolution, making the sign of the cross all the way as she went, but not observing which way she ran, she knocked her head against a tree, and fell into a ditch, where she lay a considerable time, and had a narrow escape from being smothered in the water. As the horse passed on a little further, be came up to his owner as he was examining some heaps of beating that he was burning in a field near his house. Denis was as much or more surprised than the old woman, thinking no other than that the world was set on fire; his horse knew him, and ran round him as though he wanted relief, snorting, kicking, plunging, and throwing the fire about like a fire-ship. However, the man was under a greater concern for his wife and children, whom he left asleep: and making what speed he could to give them notice, that they might all say their prayers and be ready for heaven together, he ran across some heaps in a mistake, and carried part of the fire home in his brogues. As soon as he entered his cabin, he awakened all the family, who finding the fire about his feet, were confirmed in the same opinion, and with their heads in their hands began their Ave Marias as fast as they could, till the fire had penetrated through the man’s stockings and brought him to his feelings and senses. He pulled off his brogues and began to shout with pain, till his wife came to his assistance, who having more wit than he, soon discovered what sort of fire he had brought in, and extinguished it. In the mneanwhile the poor colt paid for the roast; his buttocks and fundament were burned, or rather roasted to the bone, and notwithstanding a skilful farrier used his best endeavours to cure him, he died in a few days. When the family had recovered from the surprise, and could see no other part of the world on fire, they ventured abroad to see if the horse was to be had, which they found—not on fire, but groaning with pain, having his buttocks all roasted, and not a hair on his tail.—Notice was given to the neighbours all round, who immediately suspected the roguery of the matter, some of them having heard the shepherd threatening the colt a few days before; but when asked, he positively denied it. I cannot tell how long, but some time after this, Morgan and Gildagh were both apprehended at Maryborough, where for want of sufficient proof, they were only sentenced to pay L.20 fine, or suffer a year’s imprisonment. The prisoners made several excuses, and pleaded poverty a long time, till at length the fine was reduced to L.5. At last, says Morgan, “My lord I am very poor, I can’t raise a shilling in the world.” “Why,” says the judge, “if your friends can’t’raise so much for you, they must let you lie.” “Well, my lord,” says Murtagh, “we will split the differ with you.” This was a kind of phrase the judge was not acquainted with, and asked of the counsel what the fellow meant? The counsel said he could not tell, unless he meant he would give 50s. The fellow expressed himself after such a manner, that the whole court burst into laughter, and for the joke’s sake the judge was prevailed upon to reduce the fine to 50s., which sum was immediately raised, and the prisoners discharged from jail.

In conjunction with one Miles Reily, (who was hanged afterwards,) and one Cavannagh, Peters went down to Dublin to try their fortune. Not meeting with success, they laid the following scheme for robbing a shop-keeper in Thomas-street in the night. One of them was to go in on pretence of buying some goods, and get leave to let a sack lie in the shop till the cart should call in the morning. The sack was brought accordingly in the evening, and laid down at the elbow of the counter, where it lay till about nine at night. A men who was pretty corpulent chanced to sit on the sack, when Cavannagh, who was in it, and not able to sustain the load, thrust a sharp pointed knife into his buttock; the man started up in surprise, and the rest seeing him bleed, searched the sack, wherein they found a live creature, and so the Marmoot was conveyed to Newgate, where he confessed what was to follow, in expectation of getting off. In time the shop was shut, and three men were left in it to watch, with orders to open the door and let the rest in when they came, and if possible to take them. About one o’clock Reily came to the door and called Cavannagh, upon which he was let in and seized; the rest mistrusting all was not right, took to their heels. Reily and Cavannagh were both acquitted, because Reily had neither forced in, nor taken anything, and Cavannagh was promised favour on his confession.

How Peters made his way to Kilkenny afterwards, I don’t remember; but one dark night, as he was going through the street with one of his comrades, he espied an Irish woman who was a pedlar’s wife, in a shop, counting some half pence which she had just received; upon this his comrade went in, and asked her to change him a six pence half penny piece; but the woman not liking his aspect, put up her money; then the fellow blew out the candle and Peters in the mean while ran away with a roll of tobacco and seven yards of frize, that she was going to take home; this made her set up the hue and cry, and the neighbours coming to her assistance, Peters was pursued and taken, with the tobacco in his possession. He was committed to jail, and when he assizes came on was brought to trial; the woman spoke but Irish, and was allowed an interpreter; yet she prosecuted him to the utmost, and on her evidence Peters was condemned.

Several indictments were preferred against him: one for entering a house with more of his clan, while the woman was in labour, and abusing her and all the women about her (for there were no men) in a very barbarous manner: they stripped them of their clothes, and took away all the moveables they found in their way, and when they had drank as much of the liquor (designed for the groaning), as they were able, they let the rest run about the house, and then left them.

He Was guilty to be sure of many facts as black as this, and deserved hanging over and over. When he was brought into court to receive sentence of death, the judge told him, that he was informed he should say there was not a rope in Ireland sufficient to hang him. But says he, I’ll try if Kilkenny can’t afford one strong enough to do your business, and if that will not do, you shall have another and another; he ordered the sheriff to choose a rope, and Peters was hanged the next day. The sheriff having notice of his mother’s boasting, that no rope could hang her son, and pursuant to the judge’s desire, provided two ropes, but Peters broke them both one after another; the sheriff then got three bed-cords which he platted together, and this did his business. The sheriff still fearing he was not dead, stabbed him with his sword in the soles of the feet, before he would cut the rope. After he was cut down, his body was carried into the court-house, where it remained for two days, standing up, till the judge and all the spectators were fully satisfied that he was stiff dead, and then permission was given to his friends to remove the corpse and bury it.

Notwithstanding he was so great a rogue, he was a handsome portly man, very diverting in company, and could behave before gentlemen very agreeably. He had a political genius, and would have made a great proficiency in learning, if he had rightly applied his time. He composed several sogs, and put tunes to them, and by his skill in music had gained the favour of some of the leading men’s sons in the country, who endeavoured to get him reprieved. 1756.

The History of Anne Bonny

Anne Bonny was an illegitimate daughter of an attorney at Cork. Her father was a married man,-—-but his wife being ill, she retired for change of air, according to the advice of her physician, to a country house not far distant, where her husband’s mother lived; her husband, on account of his business, lived at Cork as usual. A servant maid who was left to look after his house, was courted by a young fellow, a shoemaker, who, loving his belly more than his mistress, as most of the gentle craft do, took an opportunity one day, after he had crammed his guts with good boiled beef, potatoes and strong beer, in the absence of the maid, to run away with the tankard; which the maid soon missing, and knowing that nobody had been there but himself, charged him with it, and he stiffly denied it, which put the maid in such a passion that she said she would fetch a constable and have him before a justice, if he would not give it her: at this, poor crispin was almost, frightened out of his wits, not knowing what to do, but at last be resolved to convey it between the sheets in her own bed, thinking she should be sure to find it at night, and that it would pass for a jest, and having done so, he went away laughing. The maid not finding it, went to a justice to have him taken up. The shoemaker wondered what was the matter with the girl, knowing that she must have found the tankard in her own bed. In the mean time the mistress came home with her husband’s father, and the first news she heard, was the loss of the tankard. Crispin applies to the mistress and tells her the whole story, which at first she could scarce believe, but going into the maid’s room, and turning down the bed clothes, she found the tankard, then coming to the shoemaker, she bid him go home and mind his business, and not trouble himself any more about the matter.

The mistress did not know what to think of it, neither could it enter into her thoughts that the maid had any design to steal the tankard, she being often trusted with money and things of greater value, therefore she concluded she had not been in her bed, it being above a week since the tankard was put there. Upon this the mistress grew jealous, and suspected the maid had supplied her place in her absence, calling to mind several kindnesses that her husband showed to the maid, and also, that although he knew of her coming home that day, yet he went out of town in the morning.

A woman when she is wound up to a fit of jealousy never forgives; no more did the mistress, but was all day studying revenge upon the maid. To find out the truth, she left the tankard in the bed as she found it, ordering the maid to put on clean sheets, telling her that she would lie with her mother-in-law in her bed, which when the maid was going to do, she found the tankard in her bed. Being conscious of her own guilt, she takes and puts it into her trunk, intending to leave it in some corner of the house where it might be found next morning.

The mistress, that nothing might be suspected, lies that night in the maid’s bed. She found that the maid had conveyed away the tankard, but little dreamt of what followed ; for as she was studying what to do with the maid in the morning, she heard somebody creeping into the room, whom she at first took to be a thief, but hearing him cry out, “Mary, are you awake?” she knew it was her husband, therefore, she lay snug, counterfeiting to be asleep, in expectation of what she wanted.

He, thinking the maid was asleep, slipped into bed to his wife, and began to kiss her, believing she was his maid; and then falling asleep, she stole away and left him in bed; but waking in the morning, he got up, not thinking it safe to be caught in the maid’s bed. In the mean time, the mistress was studying how she would be revenged of the maid, and without considering it was to her she owed the pleasure of that night, or, that one good turn deserves another, she sent for a constable, and charged the maid with stealing the tankard, it being found in her trunk, upon which she was carried before a justice and committed to prison.

The husband finding when he arose, his wife was come home, went out privately, loitering away his time till about noon, and then he came home. As soon as he heard what was done in relation to the maid, he fell into a great passion, upbraiding his wife with barbarity; which presently blew up the coals, and put all the house in a flame. The mother takes the wife’s part, advising her to leave him and come back with her to the country; which she did, never bedding with him afterwards.

The maid lay in prison near half a year, and then was discharged at the Assizes, her mistress (being conscious of her innocence as to the theft) not appearing against her, thinking she had been sufficiently revenged of her by her long confinement. She had not been long out of prison but she was delivered of a girl called Anne.

Some time after, the wife was brought to bed of twins, a boy and a girl, which mightily provoked the husband, who, not knowing what had happened, or that it was his wife he lay with in the maid’s bed, grew wondrous jealous, swearing that he never lay with her since her last lying-in, pretending he had suspected her a long time, but now there was a sufficient proof to the contrary, with two witnesses, a boy and a girl.

Not long after, the husband’s mother fell ill and sent to her son to be reconciled to his wife, telling him how it was: but he would hearken to nothing. Thereupon she made her will, and left all she had to the children, under the management of certain trustees, and so died.

This was unlucky to him, because his chief dependence was upon her; yet his wife proved kinder to him than he deserved, allowing him something of what was left, (though they lived separate) for about five years, until he took home the girl he had by his maid, whom to disguise from his wife, he put into boy’s clothes, pretending it was a relation’s child. The wife soon discovered otherwise, by a friend talking with the child; upon which, she being unwilling that her children’s money should be spent in the maintaining of a bastard, kept back the allowance.

The husband finding it blown, takes home the maid, and lived with her publicly. This caused him soon to lose most of his business, wherefore be resolved to remove, turning what effects he had into ready money, and so with his maid and daughter embarked for Carolina. When he arrived there, he at first thought to follow the law; but finding that would not do, he turned merchant, and got a great deal of money thereby. After some time, the maid died, and his daughter being grown up, kept his house. Whilst she lived with her father, she was courted by many men of fortune, but she spoiled all by marrying a seaman not worth a great. This so provoked the father, that he turned her out of doors—and her husband finding himself disapointed of his wife’s fortune, they both shipped themselves for Providence, where she became acquainted with Rackham the pirate, with whom she eloped, and went to sea along with him, dressed in man’s clothes; and was on all occasions as bold and daring as any of the gang. Her ultimate fate has not been ascertained.

The History of Sir John Falstaff, a notorious Highwayman.

Sir John Falstaff was born in Portan in Bedfordshire. and although Shakespeare, to embellish his play of Henry IV. represents him as a great coward, all historians represent him as a man of courage and resolution. He behaved so gallantly against the Yorkists, that Henry IV. allowed him a pension of 400 marks per annum, which, not being able to support his licentious way of living, he betook himself to the highway: which he had not long followed ,before he joined with Poins, Bardolf, Pero, Harvey, and Rosil. They Committed many robberies in Surrey, Sussex, and Kent. His chief game was on Gad’s Hill in Kent, where one day meeting a farmer, and bidding him deliver, the farmer said he never carried any money about him for fear of being robbed, upon which, Sir John pulled a manual out of his pocket and ordered him to join in prayer, with which he complied, although very unwilling in his heart. Sir John had not mumbled over many prayers, when he enquired of the countryman how he did, and what he got by his prayers? The farmer answered, not a farthing, upon which Sir John put his hand into his own pocket, and pulled out 9d, saying, that God was never unkind to the petition of a devout penitent, therefore, he bid him pray once more, for he was very sure that if he prayed sincerely, his prayers would be rewarded as well as his, and immediately Sir John took out of his own pocket, thirteen pence half penny piece, but still the farmer pretended could find nothing in his, and indeed the sum of his prayers were not to be discovered; thereupon Sir John bid him try once more; but still nothing came to him. Sir John then pulled out of his own pocket a noble, and upbraided the farmer with want of devotion, or else he cheated him, for he was very positive heaven never let any one go away empty, and then putting his hands into the countryman’s pockets he took out of them 20 pieces of gold, saying, “What, you hypocritical rogue! you would have cheated me and would not let me share with you, though your companion. Is this the compact, is this the agreement we made before we went to Prayers? Good Lord! how few are the just upon earth! Well,to punish you for your wickedness, I shall keep what heaven has sent me into your pocket, but however, that you may not want upon the road, take what I have got by praying, and when you get home, acquaint your neighbours with what an honest gentleman you had met, who gave you 8s. 6p. although you wanted to cheat him out of 20 broad pieces.

A little after this, Sir John and some of his comrades met the hangman coming from Kingston, whom they first robbed, and then hanged, as a dangerous fellow to keep company with. Just after, our knight having notice of a rich merchant coming from the fair of Guilford, dressed himself in woman’s apparel, and lay down in the road, making a lamentable noise, Which the merchant no sooner heard, than he offered his service, and enquired the cause of so much sorrow to so fine a woman. Sir John told him very dismal stories of the unkindness of relations, and the many hardships he underwent by a cruel brother; which so worked upon the merchant, that he easily credited what was told him, and then began to offer assisttance, not without some tokens of love; unto which Sir John seemed to make some small resistance, saying, ‘Alas, sir, what do you mean? what will you do to me? pray forbear; I cannot indeed; away, I pray; I am as yet a maid; I beseech you let me alone, you’ll hurt me; pish, fie, I took you for another man; what! lose my honour, more dear to me than life? away, ’tis in vain.’ However, the merchant endeavoured to comfort her with fair promises, and at length dragged her to the corner of a wood, which gave the supposed mistress an opportunity to bite him; saying, that since the unkind fates had so decreed, that she must forfeit her honour, she hoped she might not prostitute it to every body that came by; which words struck such an impression on the merchant, that he willingly carried her to a more recluse place, where they were no sooner arrived, than Sir John struck a poigniard through his arm, and then rifled him of two or three purses of gold, and rode off, leaving the merchant to make the best of a bad bargain.

A little after, Sir John and one of his companions, meeting a couple of friars belonging to Dartford in Kent, stripped them of their religious habits; after which, away they trudged to Lewisham, to the curate’s house, who, believing them to be friars, received them very kindly. The next morning getting up betimes, they came to the curate’s door, telling him in designed to say mass; he not suspecting any things, let them in, when they immediately knocked him down, gagged him, and rifled his trunks; then taking the keys of the church, they went and carried away the gold chalice, which Sir John had had his eye upon, and all the ornaments of the church.

Another time, Sir John met with a couple of the same profession, who took him for a Club, but he soon proved a Tartar; for he being used not to give but to take, made them soon sensible that they had mistook their man. He knocked one down, and the other attempted to run away; but Sir John presently fetched him back, and after having robbed them of their ready ryno, he tied them neck and heels, and pinned these lines on a piece of paper to one of their breasts:

All passengers what e’er you be,
This rogue in grain behold,
For in his stead of robbing me,
I took from him his gold.

They were not long in this plight until some persons whom they had just before robbed, happening to come up, they, carried them before a magistrate who committed them to jail, where they lay till they were tied up for good.

Quee Harry Doraghan, Napper of Ulster

This same Quee Harry was introduced into the world at Donaghadee, in the county Down, of poor parents, who perhaps might be honest enough too, with good looking after; but ’tis an old saying; “many an honest man”s son may live to make free with the gallows,” which this chap struggled hard for.

When he was ten years old, his parents put him to school, but he soon learned to mitch, and spent his time playing crig and commons among the cow-boys every day till school broke up, and then returned home as though he had been at his book, but in a little time his father was undeceived, and then used rigorous means which proved to no: purpose. Thus, finding he could do no good with his son that way, he hired him- to one Cotts, a neighbouring farmer, to herd his cows during the summer half-year, for which he was to get six shillings, and two meals a day, the usual hire in that country. Harry seemed very well pleased with his new diet and appeared satisfied in his service; but an odd adventure soon happened. They had a neighbour, one Woolson, who was at variance with Cotts, and every now and then, whenever any of their cattle trespassed either on one or the other, to pound they went; upon which account the masters had each given their herds a particular charge to take care of their cattle. However, Cotts promised Harry a penny for every head of Woolson’s he could find on his ground, and Harry was resolved to have them in some way or other. His brother cow-boy was so watchful that he could get no opportunity of driving his cattle unknown to him; so he went one day, and having left his master Cotts’ cattle secure, at a distance from the corn, he tells the other cow-boy that he knew where the best common or hurling stick in the whole country grew, and would give it him if he would bring a knife to cut it, upon which the boy ran to a house at some distance for one, and in the mean time Harry drove twelve of Woolson’s cows and a bull into his master’s corn, and then ran and told his master they had broke in, demanding 13 pence, but the master was in such a hurry that he took no more notice of Harry at that time, but calling for a parcel of boys and girls he had working in a turf-bog, he went with them to drive the cattle to pound, some carrying stones or spades, and others pitchforks and clubs—In the mean while, the other cow-boy returned, and, missing his cattle, found he was deceived, so ran to his master, Woolson, and told him the truth. Woolson, enraged at the news, called his workmen and servants together and went to rescue the cattle. Both parties met in the field of oats, where a bloody battle was fought, and many wounded on both sides, but the cattle were all the while rolling a good under jaw among the corn, and trampling it under foot, till an old woman came and drove them out. At length, Woolson happening to strike Cotts in the eye with a switch that had a small spike in the end, put the eye out, and the victory inclining to Woolson’s side, the battle ceased and he returned home with his cattle, overjoyed at his success. All this while, Quee Harry was laughing in his sleeve at the mischief. His master sent for a doctor, and then went to law with Woolson, who defended the suit so rigourously, that in the end they were both beggared, and thus these two wrangling neighbours got lawful satisfaction.

At Hollantide, however, Harry received his six shillings wages, and having got a little more from his father, he went and bought cloth for a coat at a fair; where observing that some of the pedlars received money pretty fast, at their standings, he took a great fancy for their calling; but finding an opportunity, when the pedlars were busy, he made (or stole) a pair of steel trumps, and a while after some knives, whistles, &c., but by continual practice he since learned to play upon the trump or Jew’s harp to admiration.

When he had got his coat made, he took his little brother and gave him a whistle, and then taking him about six miles off, he hired him to a farmer and got a penny earnest (which is usually given in that country) and then he went to another farmer and did the like, and so from one to another, travelling about for eight or ten days,’till he got about eighty pence, or 6s. 8d. earnest money, to begin the world with; then he sent his brother home to his father again, after rubbing him down a little with an oak towel, for only asking him for some of his earnest money.

The next adventure Quee Harry undertook was to observe how the peddlers managed their business at the fair of Belfast, which he learned so well in one day or two (though an illiterate fellow) that he went to a merchant and called for goods to the value of 6s. 11d. with as much judgment as if he had been bred to the calling: but wanting a few pence of the whole value, the merchant gave him credit for the remainder, and off went Harry to raise the wind in the country, full mounted with a load of tapes, garters, laces, pins, &c., which he carried in a bag that he had made from his mother.

Now Harry thought himself as well equipped as Don Quixote on his first adventure, though he found no opportunity of making anything considerable till he went to the fair of Legacorsy, where he met with an expert tinker, of whom thinking he might borrow some further knowledge in the art of prigging, he joined company with him, and they travelled the country together at half snack. Harry agreed to take all the old pewter, brass, or other metal whatsoever, that he could possibly find in his way, and the tinker was to comb them up again into spoons, sleeve-buttons, and such like stuff, which they sold up and down, wherever they could find the people fools enough to buy them; and sometimes they sold them for silver.

Harry wanted but little instructions, for theft and knavery were riveted in his nature, and in the first house he came to, he showed an instance of it, for seeing a few pewter spoons on a dresser, where some flies were busy upon a little milk that had been spilled, he cried out to the woman, “a pox take these flies, what are they good for?” So taking off his hat, he clapped it down, as if it were to catch the flies, but in the mean time he cunningly conveyed, the spoons into it, which the tinker observing, was so greatly pleased with his comrade’s artifice that he taught him the canting speech, and got him a box instead of his bag, and then made him a mould for casting imitations of Clement’s buttons (a famous maker of silver buttons in London).

This made Quee Harry as proud as a cock maggot on the South side of a sirreverence in the hot sun, and he projected a scheme of making half the old spoons and candlesticks between Drogheda and Derry; upon the strength of which, he invited his master to the fair of Dundalk to seal their agreement with a rum booze, with which they both made so free as to spend most of their stock upon it, and at length grew as mad with drinking as the tailor was when he jumped down the chimney with his goose in his hand, and played football with his cabbage in the pot, till he broke all the glass in the windows, and made a hole in one of them big enough to throw the house through it. Upon this, the portrieve having information of their behaviour, ordered them both into custody, where they were to remain till they could get a character of themselves and pay the damages done, but by the intercession of their landlord they were discharged a day or two after the fair, and for services done them, they spent all they had left, in his house, to a mere trifle.

Thus, our counterfeit dealers became beggars for the first time, upon their new project; but they did not long remain in this condition, for as they were travelling the road with their empty boxes, a new thought seized Harry’s brains, upon which he enquired of the tinker how far it was to the next boozing ken, who told him there was one about half-a-mile before them. Then Quee Harry gathered up some stones and filled his box, swearing he would be revenged of their late misfortunes, and having consulted with the tinker how to cheat the landlord and manage the fraud, up they marched to the alehouse, and saluting the man of the house, (who met them at the door, with “Gentlemen what’s your will, sirs?”) they called for a mug of ale, and desired the landlord to take particular care of the box, which by its great weight he took to be very valuable, and the owner very rich; and so thinking to make a hand of them, he went to his wife and ordered her to be very attentive to the gentlemen, and prepare whatever they called for with readiness, which order she cheerfully obeyed, and got them some victuals, in order to allure them to tarry all night.

This pleased Harry so well that he called for a bowl of punch, and drank his host’s health to the tune of eight or nine shillings, till it was too late to move that night; so after having persuaded his landlord to lay up his box in the cellar, as the safest part of the house, they went to bed and slept until morning; then getting up, they called for two or three drams to treat their landlady for her civily. The tinker, according to their concerted plan, went out, as though to a gentleman’s house near hand, and when he came back said, he had never wrought harder for the time in his life, for he had bottomed 3 tea-kettles, and some coppers, to the value of 10s. in about three hours, but the gentleman not having less than a 40s piece, desired him to go and get change, or call another time; so Harry drew out a few half pence,all he had left at Dundalk, saying he had a crown in silver, upon which he borrowed two crowns from the landlord, which be readily lent, supposing he had a sure pledge in the box, and that they would settle suddenly; then says the tinker to Harry, “The gentleman has a parcel of lace to sell.” “I care not,” says the other, “if he had L.40 worth, I am his chap;” so they called for more drink, as travellers are often dry, and after wheedling the landlord to lend them half a guinea more upon the strength of the box-full of stones, they bespoke a dinner to be ready in two hours, and went off, after bilking the house of near two guineas, pretending to go to the gentleman’s house, but never returned more. However, being somewhat afraid of being known, they took the most private roads in the country till they had got above forty miles off, leaving neither porringer, spoon, or candlestick, in their way unmade, that was not too hot or too heavy to handle, so that in three weeks time their plunder amounted to near L.5 with which upon the tinker’s proposition, they moved toward the mines of Wicklow mountains, expecting to make a great hand in running down the ore and coining money.

But an adventure happened that diverted their intentions a little. As they were passing through by-roads and at some distance from any town or house of entertainment, they grew very hungry, and could see no house near them but a cabin, belonging to some poor labourer; so in they went to make a night’s quarters, and asking the woman if she had anything to give them to eat, she replied, “No” “Then,” says Harry, “here is two pence; go buy some tobacco, and fetch in some water to boil our supper.” When he contrived to get her out of the way, that he might rummage the house, espying two flitches of bacon, that belonged to the landlord, hanging up to dry, Harry got the tinker to lift him up till he cut off with his long knife or cuttoe, about three pounds, and afterwards daubed it with soot, so that the place where it was cut from was not perceived. When the woman returned, the pot of water was put down and the bacon dressed, of which the tinker and Harry made a hearty supper, without once asking the man of the house or his wife to take a bit: thus the villains rewarded them for their civility.

A few days after, the landlord sent for his bacon, and missing a piece off one of the flitches he grew very angry with the tenant and his wife, who, knowing their innocence, at last recollected that none but Harry and the tinker took it. It happened, that while they were about the mines, Harry went to visit the fair of Baltinglass, where the poor woman happening to be also, espied him, and remembering him. more perfectly by his Clement’s buttons, which he was showing about, she called out in Irish, “a rogeara, les thus veit ma bacon;” which made him quit the fair with more expedition than he went to it, for fear of being apprehended.

From this place our two chaps made their way to the county of Limerick, and coming by a little town called Carricklass, Harry fell deeply in love with a pretty young woman; but, ingenious as Harry was, and expert in all other affairs, he was a long time before he could bring her to his bow, having used all his artifice upon her in vain. He spoke such broad Scotch that she took him for a heretic, and would believe nothing else; however, Harry resolving to have her at any rate, goes to the priest, and having for deception made a sort of confession, he assured him that all the Scotch, whether heretics or not, spoke in the same manner; then pulling out eight guineas, he desired the priest to keep that for him till he returned from the Co. Kerry, and in the mean while to use his endeavours with the young woman, to persuade her to think him a christian, which the charitable deceived priest, not doubting him, in a great measure did.

Having settled this matter with the confessor, Harry moves with his comrade,the tinker, to Co. Kerry, where having ranged about for several days with various success, the tinker was at length taken up at Tralee, for uttering a piece of his new coin, which being discovered by a gentleman near Ardsett to be bad gold, he was taken before a justice and committed to gaol, ‘but what became of him after, whether he was obliged to stretch hemp, or traverse the ocean, I could never learn; for though Harry promised to go for his eight guineas, and return immediately, in order to relieve him, he was never at Tralee since. However, though he was now all alone, he was resolved to be so as short a while as he could; so he posted away to the aforesaid priest, and after making a second sham confession, received his money again: he offered his confessor a treat, and then began to enquire how the young woman’s pulse beat, which by the priest’s intercession, appearing a little more favourable, the match was at length concluded, and Quee Harry was coupled in the field of matrimony to Miss Biddy, who being extremely tractable, he taught her in one month to be as expert at his game as himself, so that nothing went amiss with them; which made him often say, though he had lost a good tinker, he had found a good stroller, one well known to all the travelling dealers in the kingdom, and as kind to her friends as you please; and if any thing leads Harry to heaven, he may thank her for it, provided he still keeps the same temper with the man with the big thumb.

She was certainly an acute wench, and whether Harry was with her or not, would still have some game or other to herself; nay, if he was at the fire casting spoons, she would be either quilting or coaxing the chickens in the garden with crumbs of bread, in order to nab them.

When Harry thought her sufficiently trained, they quitted Munster, and marched northward once more; in their way you must think Miss Biddy was Harry’s best friend, and nothing went wrong till she fell into other bands she liked better: but having once learned to change, it seemed greatly to please her fancy, and she imitated the moon ever after to great perfection.

But to proceed with Harry; it happened while they were on their journey, he went with his peddler’s box to the fair of Dromore, where he carried the skirt of his coat over his goods to keep off the small rain (for it mizzled) and a country loon seeing a great many brass-hafted knives and forks in the box, the mouth of a fellow would every now and then come up with admiration, and ask, “what fine things are au those?” till at length Harry, thinking him troublesome, drew out one of the knives, and just as the mouth was peeping into the box, he draws it across his face, crying at the same time, “stand off the spring of my arm,” and cut him quite across the cheek, which bled so fast that a great number of the people gathered about, and Mr. Harry was hurried before the sovereign of the fair, who, having examined the poor mouth, began to ask Harry some questions. Harry replied that the fellow was behind him when he wanted to draw out one of his knives so show a gentleman, but it stuck fast in the sheath, and finding it wanted force to draw it out, he pulled hard, and bid the chiel stand off the spring of his arm (just so—pulling it out again with seeming difliculty,) and it happened to cut him this way, says Harry, at the same time cutting the poor fellow a second time across the nose; upon which the Johnny’s wife swore he was cut again; but the justice taking him for a madman, he was thrust out, and Harry took the opportunity of making off.

The next summer, provisions being very scarce in the North, and Miss Biddy having left him, Harry moved towards Dublin, and making Longford and Moat Granoage in his road, he had the fortune to bite an eminent man in the latter place out of a crown, which be borrowed upon a paper of his leaden buttons which he said were Clement’s silver ones; then having arrived at Thomas-street in Dublin, he met with a mort, who pretended she knew how to coin money, which pleased him- so well that he treated and coaxed her into her kindest humours; but having obliged him in the last favours, she gave him the slip one morning, and took away his money and most of his valuable goods while he was asleep, though not without first warming his bowsprit: thus Quee Harry was bilked for once, as great a rogue as he was.

Harry was now in an ill-taking, money-less and in a bad condition for pickling: however, he made friends somehow or other, and got himself cured of the crinhams, then, with what little he had left, he moved to the Co. Wexford the same summer, when wheat was sold for 40s a barrel and upwards. Here Harry was a little put to his shifts; but after some time he made use of his former stratagem, by putting stones into his box, which succeeded pretty well for some time, but at length he took it into his head to go to a rich farmer’s house late in the evening, where the people would willingly enough have seen the inside of his box, but he said it was too late, and begged leave to lodge that night in the farmer’s barn, where there lay a considerable heap of new thrashed wheat: having obtained his request and strengthened his gut with belly-timber, he went to sleep; but, very early in the morning he took an opportunity of putting out the stones and supplying their room with corn, which he concealed very cunningly. When this was done, he recollected there was a fair about seven miles off that day, and being in haste to be at it, made several excuses to get away, and even persuaded the farmer himself to help him up with his box on his shoulder. The farmer, admiring how able he was to travel under such a burthen, (for the Wheat was heavy) asked him what he had in the box? to which Harry replied, nothing sir, but muslins and cambrics, and your nab’s grannum, which the farmer not understanding, he said no more, and Harry went off to Enniscorthy, where he sold the wheat for about 8s and laid out the money on pedlar’s goods, with which he returned next day to the same farmer’s, and, having sold several shillings worth of goods in the house, he made interest for some belly-timber, and a night’s lodging in the same barn, where be filled his box a second time, and had the favour of getting the farmer to help him up a second time with the box; but as he now wondered more and more at the weight of it, Harry took his leave of that place, lest the other should smell his grannum out, and get the thief clothed with a stone doublet.

Patrick Flemming

An Irish Highwayman who held Sway near the Bog of Allen and, after numerous Murders, was executed On 24th of April, 1650

Patrick Flemming was a native of Ireland, and born at Athlone, which is remarkably situated in the counties of East and West Meath, as well as in the provinces of Leinster and Connaught. His parents rented a potato garden of about fifteen shillings per annum, upon the produce of which, and the increase of their geese, hens, pigs, etc., they wholly depended for the subsistence of themselves and nine children. They, and their whole family of swine, poultry and progeny, all took up their lodging at night not only under the same roof, but in the same room; according to the practice of abundance of their country-people, who build only for necessity, without any idea of what we call beauty and order. One may guess from the circumstances of the father that the son had small share of liberal education, though he had the most claim to it of any one of the children, as he was the eldest. But what he wanted in acquirements was made up with impudence, a quality which in most ignorant people happily fills up their void of knowledge.

When he was about thirteen years of age the Countess of Kildare took him into her service, in the capacity of foot-boy; and finding him so utterly destitute of learning, she was so indulgent as to put him to school. But instead of being grateful to her ladyship in improving his time to the best advantage, he was entirely negligent, and discovered no inclination to his book. His lady admonished him frequently, but to no purpose; for he grew not only careless but insolent, till at last, being found incorrigible, he was discharged from the family.

It was not long, however, before he was so fortunate as to get to be a domestic of the Earl of Antrim’s; but here his behaviour was worse than before. He was a scandal to the whole family, for the little wit he had was altogether turned on mischief. His Lord bore it a pretty while, notwithstanding the repeated complaints of his fellow servants, and took no notice so long as he could avoid it; but at last this nobleman also was obliged to turn him out of doors; and this was the occasion. The Earl of Antrim was a Roman Catholic, and kept a priest in the house as his chaplain and confessor, to whom every one of the servants was required to pay great respect. Patrick, on account of his disorderliness, was often reproved by this gentleman, and he received it very well, till one day he happened to find the holy father asleep in some private part of the house in a very indecent pose, whereupon he went and got all the family to that place, and showed them what he had discovered as a revenge upon the parson, who at that instant awoke. With respect to the servants this had the desired effect, and exposed the priest to ridicule. But the earl, when he heard it, took the part of his chaplain, believed the story a slander, and immediately gave Flemming a discharge, as desired. Patrick found means, however, before he entirely left the neighbourhood, to rob his lordship of money and plate to the value of about two hundred pounds, with which he fled to Athenrea, in the province of Connaught.

He hid himself here in a little hut that he found for ten or twelve days, till he imagined the hue and cry after him might be over, and then made the best of his way to Dublin, where he soon entered into a gang of housebreakers, and during the space of six years was concerned in more robberies than had ever before been committed in that city in the memory of man.

While he continued in Dublin he was twice in danger of being hanged for his offences, which were so great as to make him the subject of public conversation all over the city. He now perceived he began to be too well known to stay there any longer in safety, and so he retired into the country and turned highwayman. The chief place of his haunt was about the Bog of Allen, where he attacked almost all who passed that way, of whatever quality; telling them that he was absolute lord of that road, and had a right to demand contribution of all that travelled it, and to punish those with death who refused to comply; therefore, if they had any regard for their lives, he advised them to deliver what they had peaceably, and not put him to the trouble of exerting his prerogative. By these means he became more dreaded in the counties where he robbed than any thief of his time, for he not only threatened those with death who disputed with him, but actually murdered several, and used many others with abundance of barbarity.

It is reported that in a few days he robbed one hundred and twenty five men and women upon the mountain of Barnsmoor, near which is a wood which they call Colorockedie, where he had assembled a numerous gang, out of which not a few at several times were taken and executed. Persons of quality he usually addressed in their own style, and told them he was as well bred as they, and therefore they must subscribe towards maintaining him according to his rank and dignity.

Among the principal persons whom he stopped and robbed were the Archbishop of Armagh and the Bishop of Rapho, both in one coach; the Archbishop of Tuam; and the Lady Baltimore, with her young son, a child of four years old, whom he took from her, and obliged her to send him a ransom within twenty four hours, or else, he told her, he would cut the young puppy’s throat and make a pie of him. From the Archbishop of Tuam he got a thousand pounds. After this he fled into Munster, and continued the same trade there, till he was apprehended for robbing a nobleman of two hundred and fifty pounds, or which fact he was carried to Cork and committed to prison.

But even now they were far from having him so safe as they imagined; for the county jail was not strong enough to hold him. He was no sooner confined than his eyes were about him, and his head plotting an escape. At last he found means to get up a chimney and, by removing some few obstacles, to get out at the top, and so avoid hanging for that offence.

He followed his villainies for some years after his breaking out of prison, during which time he murdered five men, two women and a boy of fourteen years old. Besides which he mangled and wounded a great many others; in particular, Sir Donagh O’Brien, whose nose, lips and ears he cut off, for making some small resistance while he robbed him. At last he was apprehended by the landlord of a house where he used to drink, near Mancoth. The landlord sent advice to the sheriff of the county when he would be there with several of his associates, and the sheriff, according to the instruction, came one evening with a strong guard, and beset the house. Patrick and his company would have defended themselves, but the landlord had taken care to wet all their fire arms and prevent their going off, by which means they became useless; and our desperado, with fourteen more, was taken, carried to Dublin, and there executed, on Wednesday, the 24th of April, in the year 1650. After which Patrick Flemming was hanged in chains on the high road a little without the city.

Will Macqueer

Who stole the Lord Chancellor’s Mace and delighted in robbing Army Officers on the Highway. Executed at Tyburn, 1st of May, 1691.

This notorious offender was the bastard son of an Irish priest, and born at Athenrea, in the county of Galway and province of Connaught in Ireland. Coming young to England and not readily falling into any business was the occasion of his first taking to ill courses, he being exposed, as most idle fellows are, to bad company, which is the most common introduction to thieving, and as it were the first step towards Tyburn.

The first of William Macqueer’s offences was a burglary committed at Brentwood, in Essex, in company with three more. They entered a gentleman’s house there, stole four diamond rings, a very large quantity of plate, and six hundred pounds in money. Not long after this he and one more broke open the Lord Chancellor Jeffreys’ house, in Duke Street, Westminster, whence they carried off the purse and mace belonging to his office. Macqueer has been often heard to boast how he made his companion carry the two prizes before him through the park in the same manner as they were carried before the Chancellor, while he walked in state behind them, and swelled as much as any country cobbler could do when he arises to the dignity of mayor of his borough. The next morning early there was a terrible hue and cry after these ensigns of dignity, which Macqueer had secured in his closet at his lodgings, going out all day to hear what would be the event of the inquiry. The maid going up that day to clean his chamber found a small jewel on the floor, which had been dropped from the purse. This she instantly carried down to her master, who having heard the news that day, and not liking his lodger very well before, began to suspect what afterwards appeared to be the truth. For, sending for a constable and breaking open the door, they found both the mace and the purse, which were the same day restored to the Chancellor. Macqueer informed himself abroad of all that had happened, and never came near his landlord and house again till he broke it open about a quarter of a year after and stole away as many goods as were valued at eighty pounds, by way of revenge for what was done.

Nothing would serve him now but the highway, and he was resolved to be furnished with accoutrements at the expense of the public. He stole a good horse and saddle out of the stable of one Councillor Thursby, in Burleigh Street, in the Strand; and a pair of pistols he got from Mr Robert Williams, a gunsmith in George Yard, Westminster. Thus equipped he set out.

There was at that time a poet, whose name was Alexander Oldys, a man as deformed as AEsop, and so small that there was hardly such another to be seen. It was the fate of our bard to meet Macqueer between Hammersmith and Brentford, when he was accosted with the customary salutation. He now found he was got into other company than that of the Muses, and began to apprehend that his sword would do him small service against a pistol, upon which he gave Teague all the money he had, amounting in whole, as it is reported, to no more than threepence-farthing. We are certain the sum did not satisfy Macqueer, who deprived him of his sword also, in a most ungentlemanly manner; which loss was the cause of greater grief to our bard than any other affliction he could have suffered, except that of being obliged never to write any more verses.

Not long after, Macqueer met the Lady Auverquerque coming from the bath in a coach-and-six, stopped her, and desired her to lend him what money she had about her, because he had at that time great occasion; promising her to pay the whole again very honestly at their next encounter, and offering to give his bond if she demanded it. “I believe,” says the lady, “you had as good tell me at once you are come to rob me, for this is an odd way of borrowing. I am a stranger in this country,” the Irishman said, “and so if I don’t know the difference between robbing and borrowing, you must excuse me; for all I mean is, give me your money.” The lady told him it was well he had explained himself at last, and so gave him her gold watch, two diamond rings and what money she had. He then shot two of the coach horses and the horses of two footmen that attended, and so rode off with his booty as fast as he could. Macqueer took a particular delight in robbing the officers of the army, because he imagined that in so doing he gave a greater proof of his valour than he could by any other means.

The first he robbed was one Mr Adams, a lieutenant of the Second Regiment of Foot Guards, whom he met between Uxbridge and Beaconsfield. The lieutenant, being stopped before he was aware, gave our highwayman very good words; but perceiving that Macqueer was not to be talked out of his booty delivered six pounds to him, out of which Macqueer gave him back ten shillings to bear his charges.

Another officer whom he robbed was Captain Shooter, a man of bravery and resolution, who would not tamely part with what he had, and had like to have made our highwayman pay dearly for his affected courage. Their meeting was on Hampstead Heath, where they fired several pistols at each other without doing any damage on either side. They then rode up together, with their swords drawn, and made a great many pushes. Macqueer had certainly been worsted at this exercise if he had not bethought himself of another pistol in his breeches’ pocket, which he pulled out and discharged suddenly through the captain’s head, when he apprehended nothing but the sword. He got at least fifty guineas and a silver watch by this murder. The last robbery he was concerned in was in company with William Selwood, alias Jenkins, another old offender. They took two hundred and fifty guineas from one Mr Benjamin Watts on Hounslow Heath. For this fact they were both taken, condemned, and on Friday, the 1st of May, 1691, executed together at Tyburn, Macqueer being in the twenty-eighth year of his age.


Hanged at Gloucester Jail in April, 1714, for the Murder of one Mr Beachere.

MacCartney being left to the wide world, and knowing not what course to take for a livelihood, being no scholar, nor brought up to any trade, turned thief at once, being so light-fingered that anything was his own which lay within his reach. He was a notable house-breaker, and had done many exploits that way; but his greatest was in breaking open the house of Sir Thomas Rochford, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, in the kingdom of Ireland, whom he and his comrades bound, with his lady, back to back, like a spread eagle, and all the men and women servants in the house after the same manner, without either shirt or smock upon them; then breaking open all trunks, cabinets, escritoires and chests of drawers, they took what plate and money they could find, to the value of fourteen hundred pounds.

After committing this notorious robbery, his country being too hot to hold him, he fled into Scotland, where, breaking open a stable belonging to Sir James Steward, then her Majesty’s advocate for that kingdom, and stealing thence a horse and saddle, he came into England and turned highwayman. Being pretty lucky in his roguery, he always maintained himself in clothes; so that the handsome appearance which he made in his habit, with his fawning, cringing and flattering way, had brought him to be acquainted with several creditable gentlemen, to whom he pretended he had a very good estate in Ireland. One day Maccartney, with another rogue as good as himself, meeting in the Strand one Mr Vaughan, a Welsh gentleman, having about four hundred pounds per annum in Pembrokeshire, invited him to drink a pint of wine; and, going together to a tavern, whilst they were regaling themselves over a glass of claret, quoth Maccartney to his comrade: “I vow this is a fine day; we’ll e’en ride both of us out this afternoon.” Said Mr Vaughan (not in the least mistrusting they were highwaymen): “If I had a horse I would ride out with you too, gentlemen.” Quoth Maccartney: “I’ll help you to a horse, sir.” And being as good as his word, they all three rode towards Romford, beyond which place, about a mile, meeting a coach full of passengers, Maccartney and his comrade set upon it.

Whilst they were robbing them, quoth the Welsh gentleman to himself: “I’ll not stand idle; I’ll e’en be doing something too.” So perceiving another coach at a little distance behind that which the others had attacked, and in which was only one gentleman, with his footman behind, he made up to it, and commanding the coachman to stop, he robbed the gentleman of five guineas in gold and forty shillings in silver, and rode off.

Shortly after, going to Bristol, one Mr Beachere of Wiltshire also went down to that city in order to go to Ireland, where he unhappily fell into company with Maccartney, who was likewise going to that kingdom. In the morning, after their short acquaintance overnight, Maccartney calling up the aforesaid Beachere to go down to the Pill to embark, when he was on Durham Down, a mile without the city, this Irish rogue knocked him down and with a razor cut his throat from ear to ear, and then passed over into Wales, and designed for Holyhead. But messengers being sent into Wales to inquire at all the ports, heard of, pursued and took him in Brecknockshire, with Beachere’s clothes and bloody shirt. He was then committed to Gloucester Jail; and being convicted for this murder and robbery, he was there executed, on Wednesday, 7th of April, 1714, aged twenty-three years, and was afterwards hanged in chains on Durham Down.

Henry Plunket

Murderer, executed at Tyburn, on the 22nd of September, 1714.

In the case of this gentleman, we have a shocking instance of the danger into which our passions lead us. A more unprovoked murder we cannot record. Mr. Plunket was a foreigner, born at Saar-Lewis, in the dutchy of Lorraine, and was the son of an Irish gentleman, who held the rank of colonel in the French service, and was related to Father Plunket, a priest, who was called the Primate of Ireland, and came to a fatal end in the year 1679. Young Plunket was made a lieutenant when he was only ten years of age, and served under his father in Flanders, Germany, and Italy. He was remarkably distinguished for his courage, having never exhibited the least sign of fear in all the engagements in which he was concerned.

Having been a while at Ostend, he came over to England with a gentleman named Reynard, having fled from that place on account of having murdered a man. He was indicted at the Old Bailey, for the murder of Thomas Brown, by cutting his throat with a razor, on the 50th of August, 1714.

It appeared in the course of the evidence, that the prisoner lodged in the, parish of St. Anne, Soho, in the same house with the deceased, who being a peruke-maker by trade, Plunket bespoke a wig of him, which Brown finished, and asked seven pounds for it, but at length lowered his demand to six: Plunket bid him four pounds for it, but was so enraged at what he thought an exorbitant price, that he took up a razor, cut his throat, and then made his escape, but was apprehended on the following day.

As soon as the horrid deed was perpetrated, Brown came down stairs in a bloody condition, holding his hands to his throat, on which a surgeon was sent for, who dressed dressed his wounds, and gave him some cordials, by which he was so far recovered as to be able to describe the prisoner, who, he said, stood behind him, pulled back his head, and cut him twice on the throat.

It was proved that a sword and a pair of gloves belonging to the prisoner were found on a bed in the room where Brown was murdered; and Plunket having nothing material to urge in his defence, was found guilty, received sentence of death, and was executed at Tyburn, on the 22d of September, 1714.

He professed to die a Roman Catholic; and it was with the utmost difficulty that he was brought to confess the justice of the sentence in consequence of which he suffered.

Robert Whitty, Felix O’hara, and Joseph Sullivan

Executed at Tyburn, July 18,1716, for High Treason.

Among the sufferers in the rebellion were these three, who were apprehended in London, enlisting men for the pretender; and though the business in which they were engaged was of the most dangerous nature, yet they continued it for some time, but were at length apprehended, brought to trial, and being convicted, were executed at Tyburn on the 18th of May, 1716.

Robert Whitty was born in Ireland, and having enlisted for a soldier when young, served in an English regiment in Spain, where being wounded, he was brought to England, and received the bounty of Chelsea-college, as an out-pensioner.

Felix O’Hara, who was about 29 years of age, was likewise an Irishman, and having lived some time in Dublin as a waiter at a tavern, he saved some money, and entered into business for himself; but that not answering as he could have wished, he came to London.

Joseph Sullivan was a native of Munster in Ireland, and about the same age as O’Hara. He had for some time served in the Irish brigades, but obtaining his discharge, he came to England, and was thought a fit agent to engage in the business which cost him and his companions their lives.

These men denied, at the time of their trial, that they had been guilty of any crime; and even at the place of execution they attempted to defend their conduct. They all died professing the Roman Catholic religion.

We have already fully stated the law against treason, in the case of William Gregg, the first traitor, whose case came before us in the order we have placed these singular series of biography. Any comments upon the cause which stirred up this rebellion in Scotland is needless, it being well known that, like the contending parties of York and Lancaster, it was a struggle for the crown between the houses of Hanover and of the Stuarts. The latter becoming entirely extinct in the death of a Cardinal at Rome, the only remaining relative of the family, we are not likely on that score, to be again embroiled in civil wars.

Thomas Butler, Esq.

Highwayman, executed at Tyburn, on the 8th Of February 1720.

Idleness, the step-mother of dissipation, hath driven many gentlemen by education, to commit depredations on the public. This observation is fully verified in the life of Mr. Butler. He was a native of Ireland, his father being, an officer in the army of king James the II; but king William having defeated that prince at the battle of the Boyne, young Butler and his father went with James to France. When the rebellion broke out in Scotland the young gentleman was employed as a spy in the family of the duke of Ormond, for which he was allowed 20l. a year; but he hereby lost the favour of his friends and relations, who espoused a different interest. From Paris he went to Holland, where he soon spent most of the money in his possession, and then embarked for England.

On his arrival in this country, being idle and extravagant, he commenced highwayman, and went out frequently in company with a man whom he called Jack, and who occasionally acted as his servant; and they jointly committed a great number of robberies near London, particularly in Kent and Essex. When they were in London; and sometimes in a country town, they had the genteelest lodging, and then Jack wore a livery, while the ‘squire was dressed in a most elegant manner, and had all the appearance of a man of fortune.

By this style of living they continued their depredations on the highway for many years; but Butler being at length apprehended, was brought to his trial at the Old Bailey, in January, 1720, when he was indicted for robbing Sir Justinian Isham and another gentleman on the highway, of a gold watch, a silk night-gown, six Holland shirts, and other valuable articles; and was convicted on the clearest evidence.

The circumstance that led to his detection was, that offering some of the effects for sale to a jeweler, he refused to purchase them unless he knew Butler’s place of residence, which the latter readily told him; and, when his lodgings were searched, Sir Justinian’s gown was found, and was produced in court. Butler’s companion, or servant, was in Ireland, at the time of his detection, by which he escaped the fate he deserved.

While Mr. Butler lay under sentence of death, he behaved in a very penitent manner. Being a Roman Catholic, he received the sacrament from a priest of his own persuasion. It had been reported that he had eight wives; but this he solemnly denied; declaring that he was legally married to only one woman.

This malefactor was executed at Tyburn, on the 8th of February, 1720, at the age of forty-two years.

Thomas Butloge

Robber, hanged at Tyburn, for basely betraying his trust, in robbing his master, on the 18th of July, 1722.

Thomas Butloge was a native of Ireland, where he received a good education, and was then apprenticed to a vintner in Dublin; but the house in which he lived not being of the most reputable kind, he became witness to such scenes as had a natural tendency to debauch his morals.

Butloge’s master having got considerably in debt, came to England, and resided some time in Chester, whither the apprentice was frequently sent with such remittances as the wife could spare.

At length Butloge quitted his service, and came to England, with a view to settle there: but being unsuccessful in his endeavours to procure an establishment, he returned to Dublin, where he engaged in the service of a shopkeeper, whose daughter he soon afterwards married.

He had now a fair prospect of success before him, as his wife’s father proposed to have resigned business in his favour; but being of an unsettled disposition, and having conceived an idea of making his fortune in England, he could not bring his mind to think of the regular pursuit of trade.

Unhappily for him, while he was amusing himself with the imagination of his future greatness, he received a letter from a relation in England. inviting him thither, and promising his interest to obtain him a place, on which he might live in a genteel manner. Butloge readily accepted this invitation, and immediately embarking for England, soon arrived in London. He now took lodgings at the court end of the town, and living in a gay style, soon spent all the money he had brought with him from Ireland; and his relation not being able to obtain the place for him which he had expected, he was reduced to the necessity of going to service, on which he entered into that of Mr. Langlie, a French gentleman.

He had not been long in his new place, when Mr. Langlie, going to church on a Sunday, recollected that he had forgot to lock his bureau, in which he had deposited a sum of money; whereupon he went home, and found Butloge in the room where the money was left. When Mr. Langlie had counted his cash, the other asked him if he missed any thing, and the master answered, one guinea, which Butloge said he had found by the side of the bureau; whereupon his master gave him two shillings, in approbation of this instance of his honesty.

Mr. Langlie went to Chelsea in the afternoon; and during his absence Butloge broke open his bureau, robbed it of all the money, and several other valuable effects, and then took a horse, which he had hired for a gentleman to go to Chester, and set off on his way to Ireland.

When Mr. Langlie returned in the evening, he discovered the loss he had sustained; on which he applied to Lord Gage, who wrote to the postmaster of Chester to stop the delinquent; in consequence of which he was apprehended with the stolen goods in his possession, and sent to London to take his trial, which happened soon afterwards at the Old Bailey, when he was capitally convicted.

After he had received sentence of death, he acknowledged that he was not tempted by want to the commission of the crime which had brought him into such deplorable circumstances; but that the vanity of appearing as a gentleman had been one principal instigation; and he was encouraged by the consideration that Mr. Langlie would soon return to France, so that there would be no person to prosecute him. He submitted to his unhappy lot with resignation, declaring that the thoughts of death did not so much terrify him, as the reflection on the disgrace that he had brought on his family.

He was executed at Tyburn, on the 18th of July, 1722, along. with Nathaniel Jackson.

Philip Roche

Executed on 5th of August, 1723, for many Murders on the High Seas and Piracy.

We have already commented upon the foul crime of piracy. The account now to be given of this atrocious offender will show to what a horrid pitch it has been carried; and happy should we feel ourselves if we could add that this was a singular case. In latter years we find that murder, foul as that committed by Roche, was practised on board of one of our men-of-war, in which Captain Pigot, her commander, was barbarously killed; and the mutinous crew seized the frigate, and delivered her to the enemy.

This detested monster, Philip Roche, was a native of Ireland, and, being brought up to a seafaring life, served for a considerable time on board some coasting vessels, and then sailed to Barbados on board a West Indiaman. Here he endeavoured to procure the place of a clerk to a factor, but failing in this he went again to sea, and was advanced to the station of a first mate.

He now became acquainted with a fisherman named Neale, who hinted to him that large sums of money might be acquired by insuring ships and then causing them to be sunk, to defraud the insurers. Roche was wicked enough to listen to this horrid tale, and becoming acquainted with a gentleman who had a ship bound for Cape Breton he got a station on board, next in command to the captain, who, having a high opinion of him, trusted the ship to his management, directing the seamen to obey his commands.

If Roche had entertained any idea of sinking the ship, he seemed now to have abandoned it; but he had brought on board with him five Irishmen, who were concerned in the shocking tragedy that ensued.

When they had been only a few days at sea the plan was executed as follows. One night, when the captain and most of the crew were asleep, Roche gave orders to two of the seamen to furl the sails, which being immediately done, the poor fellows no sooner descended on to the deck than Roche and his hellish associates murdered them and threw them overboard. At this instant a man and a boy at the yard-arm, observing what had passed, and dreading a similar fate, hurried towards the topmast-head, when one of the Irishmen, named Cullen, followed them, and seizing the boy threw him into the sea. The man, thinking to effect at least a present escape, descended to the main deck, where Roche instantly seized him, murdered him, and then threw him overboard. The noise occasioned by these transactions alarming the sailors below, they hurried up with all possible expedition; but they were severally seized and murdered as fast as they came on deck, being first knocked on the head, and then thrown into the sea. At length the master and mate came on the quarterdeck, when Roche and his villainous companions seized them and, tying them back to back, committed them to the merciless waves.

These execrable murders being perpetrated, the murderers ransacked the chests of the deceased, then sat down to regale themselves with liquor; and while the profligate crew were carousing they determined to commence as pirates, and that Roche should be the captain, as the reward of his superior villainy.

They had intended to have sailed up the Gulf of St Lawrence, but as they were within a few days’ sail of the British Channel when the bloody tragedy was acted, and finding themselves short of provisions, they put into Portsmouth, and giving the vessel a fictitious name they painted her afresh, and then sailed for Rotterdam. At this city they disposed of their cargo and took in a fresh one. Here they were unknown; and an English gentleman, named Annesley, shipped considerable property on board, and took his passage with them for the Port of London; but the villains threw this unfortunate gentleman overboard after they had been only one day at sea.

When the ship arrived in the River Thames, Mr Annesley’s friends made inquiry after him, in consequence of his having sent letters to England describing the ship in which he proposed to embark; but Roche denied any knowledge of the gentleman, and even disclaimed his own name. Notwithstanding his confident assertions it was rightly presumed who he was, and a letter which he sent to his wife being stopped, he was taken into custody. Being carried before the Secretary of State for examination, he averred that he was not Philip Roche, and said that he knew no person of that name. Hereupon the intercepted letter was shown him, on which he instantly confessed his crimes, and was immediately committed to take his trial at the next Admiralty Sessions.

It was intimated to Roche that he might expect a pardon if he would impeach any three persons who were more culpable than himself, so that they might be prosecuted to conviction; but not being able to do this he was brought to his trial, and found guilty. Judgment of death was awarded against him.

After conviction he professed to be of the Roman Catholic faith, but was certainly no bigot to that religion, since he attended the devotions according to the Protestant form. He was hanged at Execution Dock, on the 5th of August, 1723, but was so ill at the time, that he could not make any public declaration of the abhorrence of the crime for which he suffered.

It is impossible to read this shocking narrative without execrating the memory of the wretches whose crimes gave rise to it. History has not furnished us with any account of what became of the wicked accomplices of Roche; but there can be little doubt of their having dragged on a miserable existence, if they did not end their lives at the gallows.

The mind of the guilty must be perpetually racked with torment; and the murderer who is permitted to live does but live in wretchedness and despair. His days must be filled with anxiety, and his nights with torture.

From the fate of the miserable subject of this narrative, let our sailors be taught that an honest pursuit of the duties of their station is more likely to ensure happiness to them than the possession of any sum of money unlawfully obtained. Our brave tars are not, from their situation in life, much accustomed to the attendance on religious duties: but it can cost them no trouble to recollect that to “do justice and love mercy” is equally the character of the brave man and the Christian.

Humphry Angier

Executed at Tyburn, September 9, 1723, for Robbery.

Humphry Angier was a native of Ireland, born near Dublin, but his parents removing to Cork, put him apprentice to a cooper in that city. He had not been long in this station before his master desired to get rid of him, on account of his untoward disposition. Thus discharged, he lived the life of a vagabond for two years, and his father apprehending that he would come to a fatal end, brought him to England in the eighteenth year of his age. Still, however, he continued his dissipated course of life, till having got considerably in debt, he enlisted for a soldier, to avoid being lodged in prison. As this happened in the year 1715, he was sent into Scotland to oppose the rebels; but robbing a farmer in that country, he was punished by receiving five hundred lashes, in consequence of the sentence of a court-martial. The rebellion ended, Angier came to London, and obtained his discharge. Here be became acquainted with William Duce, (see previous case) whose sister he married at an alehouse in the verge of the Fleet. After this he enlisted a second time, and the regiment being ordered to Vigo, he took his wife with him. The greater part of the Spaniards having abandoned the place, Angier obtained a considerable sum by plunder. On his return to England he, became acquainted with Butler’s associates, and was concerned with them in several of their lawless depredations, but refused to have any share in acts of barbarity. Angier now kept a house of ill fame, which was resorted to by the other thieves; and one night after they had been out on one of their exploits, Meads told the following horrid tale: “We have been out; and the best fun of all was, an engagement with a smock-faced shoe-maker, whom we met on the Kentish road. We asked him how far he was going, and he said he was just married, and going home to see his relations. After a little more discourse, we persuaded him to turn rather out of the road to look for a bird’s nest, which as soon as he had done, we bound and gagged him, after which we robbed him, and were going away; but I being in a merry humour, and, wanting to have a little diversion, turned about with my pistol, and shot him through the head.” Bad as Angier was in other respects, he was shocked at this story, told his companions, there was no courage in cruelty, and from that time refused to drink with any of them. After this he kept a house, of ill fame near Charing-Cross letting lodgings to thieves, and receiving stolen goods. While in this way of life he went to see an execution at Tyburn, and did not return till four o’clock the next morning, when, during his absence, an affair happened, which was attended with troublesome consequences. A Dutch woman meeting with a gentleman in the streets, conducted him to Angier’s house, where he drank so freely that he fell asleep, and the woman robbing him of his watch and money, made her escape. The gentleman awaking when Angier returned, charged him with the robbery, in consequence of which he was committed to prison, but was afterwards discharged, the. grand jury not finding the bill against him. Soon after his wife was indicted for robbing a gentleman of his watch and a guinea; but was fortunate enough to be acquitted for want of evidence. The following accident happened about the same time: A woman named Turner had drunk so much at Angier’s house that he conducted her up to bed; but while he was in the room with her, his wife entered in a rage, and demanding of her how she could presume to keep company with her husband, attacked and beat the woman. William Duce being in the house, went up to interfere; but the disturbance was by this time so great, that it was necessary to send for a constable. The officer no sooner arrived, than Mrs. Turner charged Angier and his wife with robbing her, on which they were taken into custody and committed; but when they were brought to trial, they were acquitted, as there was no proof of any robbery, to the satisfaction of the jury. Dyer, who was evidence against Duce and Butler, lived at this time with Angier as a waiter; and the master and the man used occasionally to commit footpad robberies together; for which they were several times apprehended, and tried at the Old Bailey, but acquitted, as the prosecutors could not swear to their persons. Angier’s character now grew so notorious, that no person of any reputation would be seen in the house; and the expenses attending his repeated prosecutions were so great, that he was compelled to decline business. After this, he kept a gin-shop in Short’s gardens, Drury-lane; and this house was frequented by company of the same kind as those he had formerly entertained, particularly, parson Lindsey. Lindsey having prevailed on a gentleman to go to this house, made him drunk, and then robbed him of several valuable articles; but procuring himself to be admitted an evidence, charged Angier and his wife with the robbery. They had again the good fortune to escape, the character of Lindsey being at this time so infamous, that the court and jury paid no regard to any thing he said. Soon after, however, Mrs. Angier was transported for picking a gentleman’s pocket, and her husband was convicted on two capital indictments; the one for robbing Mr. Lewin, the city marshal, near Hornsey, of ten guineas; and some silver; and the other for robbing a waggoner near Knightsbridge. On both these trials, Dyer, who was concerned in the robberies, was admitted an evidence against Angier. After conviction, he was visited by numbers of persons; whose pockets had been picked of valuable articles, in the hope of getting some intelligence of the property they had lost; but he said, “he was never guilty of such mean practices as picking of pockets, and all his associates were above it, except one Hugh Kelly, who was transported for robbing a woman of a shroud, which she was carrying home to cover her deceased husband.”

Mary Young alias Jenny Diver

The Head of a Gang of Thieves of every Description. Executed at Tyburn, 18th of March, 1740.

We have seldom heard of any more skilled in the various arts of imposition and robbery, than Mary Young. Her depredations, executed with undaunted courage, and artful deception, are surpassed by none which we have, as yet, met with.

Mary Young was born in the north of Ireland; her parents were in indigent circumstances; and dying while she was in a state of infancy, she had no recollection of them.

At about ten years of age she was taken into the family of an old gentlewoman, who had known her father and mother, and who caused her to be instructed in reading, writing, and needle-work; and in the latter she attained to a proficiency unusual to girls of her age.

Soon after she had arrived to her fifteenth year, a young man, servant to a gentleman who lived in the neighbourhood, made pretensions of love to her; but the old lady being apprized of his views, declared that she would not consent to their marriage, and positively forbade him to repeat his visits at her house.

Notwithstanding the great care and tenderness with which she was treated, Mary formed the resolution of deserting her generous benefactor, and of directing her course towards the metropolis of England; and the only obstacle to this design was, the want of money towards her support till she could follow some honest means of earning a subsistence.

She had no strong prepossession in favour of the young man, who had made a declaration of love to her; but she, determining to make his passion subservient to the purpose she had conceived, promised to marry him on condition of his taking her to London. He joyfully embraced this proposal, and immediately engaged for a passage in a vessel bound for Liverpool.

A short time before the vessel was to sail, the young man robbed his master of a gold watch and eighty guineas, and then joined the companion of his flight, who was already on board the ship, vainly imagining that his infamously acquired booty would contribute to the happiness he should enjoy with his expected bride. The ship arrived at the destined port in two days; and Mary being indisposed, in consequence of her voyage, her companion hired a lodging in the least-frequented part of the town, where they lived a short time in the character of man and wife.

Mary being restored to health, they agreed for a passage in a wagon that was to set out for London in a few days. On the day preceding that fixed for their departure they accidentally called at a public-house, and the man being observed by a messenger dispatched in pursuit of him from Ireland, he was immediately taken into custody. He being committed to prison, Mary sent him all his clothes and part of the money she had received from him, and the next day took her place in the wagon for London. In a short time her companion was sent to Ireland, where he was tried, and condemned to suffer death; but his sentence was changed to that of transportation.

Soon after her arrival in London, Mary contracted an acquaintance with one of her countrywomen, named Anne Murphy, by whom she was invited to partake of a lodging in Long Acre. Here she endeavoured to obtain a livelihood by her needle, but not being able to procure sufficient employment, her situation in a little time became truly deplorable.

Murphy intimated to her that she could introduce her to a mode of life that would prove exceedingly lucrative; adding, that the most profound secrecy was required. In the evening Murphy introduced her to a number of men and women, assembled in a kind of club, near St Giles’s. These people gained their living by cutting off women’s pockets and stealing watches, etc., from men in the avenues of the theatres, and at other places of public resort; and on the recommendation of Murphy they admitted Mary a member of the society.

After Mary’s admission they dispersed, in order to pursue their illegal occupation, and the booty obtained that night consisted of eighty pounds in cash and a valuable gold watch. As Mary was not yet acquainted with the art of thieving, she was not admitted to an equal share of the night’s produce; but it was agreed that she should have ten guineas. She now regularly applied two hours every day in qualifying herself for an expert thief, by attending to the instructions of experienced practitioners; and in a short time she was distinguished as the most ingenious and successful adventurer of the whole gang.

A young fellow of genteel appearance, who was a member of the club, was singled out by Mary as the partner of her bed; and the cohabited for a considerable time as husband and wife.

In a few months our heroine became so expert in her profession as to acquire great consequence among her associates, who distinguished her by the appellation of “Jenny Diver”— on account, as we conceive, of her remarkable dexterity, and by that name we shall call her in the succeeding pages of this narrative.

Jenny, accompanied by one of her female accomplices, joined the crowd at the entrance of a place of worship in the Old Jewry, where a popular divine was to preach, and observing a young gentleman with a diamond ring on his finger she held out her hand, which he kindly received in order to assist her; and at this juncture she contrived to get possession of the ring without the knowledge of the owner; after which she slipped behind her companion and heard the gentleman say that as there was no probability of gaining admittance he would return. Upon his leaving the meeting he missed his ring, and mentioned his loss to the persons who were near him, adding that he suspected it to be stolen by a woman whom he had endeavoured to assist in the crowd; but as the thief was unknown she escaped.

The above robbery was considered as such an extraordinary proof of Jenny’s superior address that her associates determined to allow her an equal share of all their booties, even though she was not present when they were obtained. A short time after the above exploit she procured a pair of false hands and arms to be made, and concealing her real ones under her clothes she repaired on a Sunday evening to the place of worship above mentioned in a sedan-chair, one of the gang going before to procure a seat among the more genteel part of the congregation, and another attending in the character of a footman.

Jenny being seated between two elderly ladies, each of whom had a gold watch by her side, she conducted herself with seeming great devotion; but when the service was nearly concluded she seized the opportunity, when the ladies were standing up, of stealing their watches, which she delivered to an accomplice in an adjoining pew. Flushed with the success of this adventure, our heroine determined to pursue her good fortune; and as another sermon was to be preached the same evening she adjourned to an adjacent public-house, and, having entirely changed her dress, she returned to the meeting, where she had not remained long before she picked a gentleman’s pocket of a gold watch, with which she escaped unsuspected.

Her accomplices also were industrious and successful for, on a division of the booty obtained this evening, they each received thirty guineas. Jenny had now obtained an ascendancy over the whole gang, who, conscious of her superior skill in the arts of thieving, came to a resolution of yielding an exact obedience to her directions.

Jenny, again assumed the appearance of a pregnant woman, and, attended by an accomplice, as a footman, went towards St James’s Park on a day when the King was going to the House of Lords, and there being a great number of persons between the Park and Spring Gardens she purposely slipped down, and was instantly surrounded by many of both sexes, who were emulous to afford her assistance; but, affecting to be in violent pain, she intimated to them that she was desirous of remaining on the ground till she should be somewhat recovered. As she expected, the crowd in- creased, and her pretended footman and a female accomplice were so industrious as to obtain two diamond girdle-buckles, a gold watch, a gold snuff-box and two purses, containing together upwards of forty guineas.

Two of the gang being confined to their lodgings by illness, Jenny and the man with whom she cohabited generally went in company in search of adventures. They went together to Burr Street, Wapping, and, observing a genteel house, the man, who acted as Jenny’s footman, knocked at the door, and saying that his mistress was on a sudden taken extremely ill, begged she might be admitted. This was readily complied with, and, while the mistress of the house and her maid-servant were gone upstairs for such things as they imagined would afford relief to the supposed sick woman, she opened a drawer and stole sixty guineas; and after this, while the mistress was holding a smelling-bottle to her nose, she picked her pocket of a purse, which, however, did not contain money to any considerable amount. In the meantime the pretended footman, who had been ordered into the kitchen, stole six silver tablespoons, a pepper-box and a salt-cellar. Jenny, pretending to be some- what recovered, expressed the most grateful acknowledgements to the lady, and, saying she was the wife of a capital merchant in Thames Street, invited her in the most pressing terms to dinner on an appointed day, and then went away in a hackney-coach, which by her order had been called to the door by her pretended servant.

She practised a variety of felonies of a similar nature different parts of the metropolis and its environs; but the particulars of the above transactions being inserted in the news papers, people were so effectually cautioned, that our adventurer was under the necessity of employing her invention upon the discovery of other methods of committing depredations on the public.

The parties whose illness we have mentioned being recovered, it was resolved that the whole gang should go to Bristol, in search of adventures during the fair, which is held in that city every summer; but being unacquainted with the place, they deemed it good policy to admit into their society a man who had long subsisted there by villainous practices.

Being arrived at the place of destination, Jenny and Anne Murphy assumed the characters of merchant’s wives, the new member and another of the gang appeared as country traders, and our heroine’s favourite retained his former character of footman. They took lodgings at different inns, and agreed that, if any of them should be apprehended, the others should endeavour to procure their release by appearing to their characters, and representing them as people of reputation in London. They had arrived to such a proficiency in their illegal occupation, that they were almost certain of accomplishing every scheme they suggested; and when it was inconvenient to make use of words, they were able to convey their meaning to each other by winks, nods, and other intimations.

Being one day in the fair, they observed a west country clothier giving a sum of money to his servant, and heard him direct the man to deposit it in a bureau. They followed the servant, and one of them fell down before him, expecting that he would also fall, and that, as there was a great crowd, the money might be easily secured. Though the man fell into the channel, they were not able to obtain their expected booty, and therefore they had recourse to the following stratagem: One of the gang asked whether his master had not lately ordered him to carry home a sum of money; to which the other replied in the affirmative. The sharper then told him he must return to his master who had purchased some goods, and waited to pay for them.

The countryman followed him to Jenny’s lodging, and being introduced to her, she desired him to be seated, saying, his master was gone on some business in the neighbourhood, but had left orders for him to wait till his return. She urged him to drink a glass of wine, but the poor fellow repeatedly declined her offers with awkward simplicity; the pretended footman having taught him to believe her a woman of great wealth and consequence. However, her encouraging solicitations conquered his bashfulness, and he drank till he became intoxicated. Being conducted into another apartment he was soon fast locked in the arms of sleep, and while in that situation he was robbed of the money he had received from his master, which proved to be 100l.

They were no sooner in possession of the cash than they discharged the demand of the inn-keeper, and set out in the first stage for London. Our heroine now hired a real footman, and her favourite, who had long acted in that character, assumed the appearance of a gentleman. She hired lodgings in the neighbourhood of Covent-garden, that she might more conveniently attend the theatres. She proposed to her associates to reserve a tenth part of the general produce for the support of such of the gang as might, through illness, be rendered incapable of following their iniquitous occupations: and to this they readily assented.

Jenny dressed herself in an elegant manner, and went to the theatre one evening when the king was to be present; and during the performance she attracted the the most passionate terms, that she had made an absolute conquest of his heart, and earnestly solicited the favour of attending her home. She at first declined a compliance, saying she was newly married, and that the appearance of a stranger might alarm her husband. At length she yielded to his entreaty, and they went together in a hackney-coach, which set the young gentleman down in the neighbourhood where Jenny lodged, after he had obtained an appointment to visit her in a few days, when she said her husband would be out of town.

Upon Jenny’s joining her companions, she informed them that while she remained at the play-house, she was only able to steal a gold snuff-box; and they appeared to be much dissatisfied on account of her ill success: but their good humour re turned upon learning the circumstances of the adventure with the young gentleman, which they had no doubt would prove exceedingly profitable.

The day of appointment being arrived, two of the gang appeared equipped in elegant liveries, and Anne Murphy appeared as waiting-maid. The gentleman came in the evening, having a gold-headed cane in his hand, a sword with a gold hilt by his side, and wearing a gold watch in his pocket, and a diamond ring on his finger.

Being introduced to her bed-chamber, she contrived to steal her lover’s ring; and he had not been many minutes undressed before Anne Murphy rapped at the door, which being opened, she said, with an appearance of the utmost consternation, that her master was returned from the country. Jenny, affecting to be under a violent agitation of spirits, desired the gentleman to cover himself entirely with the bedclothes, saying she would convey his apparel into another room, so that if her husband came there, nothing would appear to awaken his suspicion: adding that, under pretence of indisposition, she would prevail upon her husband to sleep in another bed, and then return to the arms of her lover.

The clothes being removed, a consultation was held, when it was agreed by the gang that they should immediately pack up all their moveables, and decamp with their booty, which, exclusive of the cane, watch, sword, and ring, amounted to an hundred guineas.

The amorous youth waited in a state of the utmost impatience till the morning, when he rang the bell, and brought the people of the house to the chamber-door, but they could not gain admittance, as the fair fugitive had turned the lock, and taken away the key; when the door was forced open the gentleman represented in what manner he had been treated; but the people of the house were deaf to his expostulations, and threatened to circulate the adventure throughout the town, unless he would indemnify them for the loss they had sustained. Rather than hazard the exposure of his character, he agreed to discharge the debt Jenny had contracted; and dispatched a messenger for clothes and money, that he might take leave of a house of which he had sufficient reason to regret having been an inhabitant.

Our heroine’s share of the produce of the above adventure amounted to 70l. This infamous association was now become so notorious a pest to society, that they judged it necessary to leave the metropolis where they were apprehensive that they could not long remain concealed from justice. They practised a variety of stratagems with great success in different parts of the country: but, upon revisiting London, Jenny was committed to Newgate, on a charge of having picked a gentleman’s pocket: for which she was sentenced to transportation.

She remained in the above prison nearly four months, during which time she employed a considerable sum in the purchase of stolen effects. When she went on board the transport vessel she shipped a quantity of goods, nearly sufficient to load a wagon. The property she possessed ensured her great respect, and every possible convenience and accommodation during the voyage; and on her arrival in Virginia she disposed of her goods, and for some time lived in great splendour and elegance.

She soon found that America was a country where she could expect but little emolument from the practices she had so successfully followed in England; and therefore she employed every art that she was mistress of to ingratiate herself in the esteem of a young gentleman who was preparing to embark on board a vessel bound for the Port of London. He became much enamoured of her, and brought her to England; but while the ship lay at Gravesend she robbed him of all the property she could get into her possession, and, pretending an indisposition, intimated a desire of going on shore, in which her admirer acquiesced: but she was no sooner on land than she made a precipitate retreat.

She now traveled through several parts of the country, and by her usual wicked practices obtained many considerable sums. At length she returned to London, but was not able to find her former accomplices.

She now frequented the Royal Exchange, the theatres, London Bridge and other places of public resort, and committed innumerable depredations on the public. Being detected in picking a gentleman’s pocket upon London Bridge, she was taken before a magistrate, to whom she declared that her name was Jane Webb, and by that appellation she was committed to Newgate. She was arraigned for privately stealing, and pronounced guilty. The property being valued at less than one shilling, she was sentenced to transportation.

A twelve month had not elapsed before she returned from transportation a second time, and on her arrival in London she renewed her former practices. A lady going from Sherborne Lane to Walbrooke was accosted by a man, who took her hand as if to assist her in crossing some planks that were placed over the channel for the convenience of passengers; but he squeezed her fingers with so much force as to give her great pain, and in the meantime Jenny picked her pocket of thirteen shillings and a penny. The gentlewoman, conscious of being robbed, seized the thief by the gown, and she was immediately conducted to the compter. She was examined the next day by the Lord Mayor, who committed her to Newgate in order for trial, and at the ensuing sessions at the Old Bailey she was tried on an indictment for privately stealing, and the jury brought in the verdict, “Guilty;” in consequence of which she received sentence of death.

After conviction she seemed sincerely to repent of the course of iniquity in which she had so long persisted, punctually attending prayers in the chapel, and employing great part of her time in private devotions. The day preceding that on which she was executed, she sent for the woman who nursed her thud, then about three years old, and after informing her that there was a person who would pay for the infant’s maintenance, earnestly entreated that it might be carefully instructed in the duties of religion, and guarded from all temptations to wickedness, and then, after acknowledging that she had long been a daring offender against the laws, both of God and man, she entreated the woman to pray for the salvation of her soul; she then took her leave, apparently deeply impressed with the sentiments of contrition.

On the following morning she appeared to be in a serene state of mind: but being brought into the press-yard, the executioner approached to put the halter about her, when her fortitude abated: but in a short time her spirits were again tolerably composed.

She was conveyed to Tyburn in a mourning-coach, being attended by a clergyman, to whom she declared her firm belief in all the principles of the Protestant religion; and at the place of execution she employed a considerable time in fervent prayer. Her remains were, by her particular desire, interred in St. Pancras church-yard.

We should always allow due force to the advice of our friends; and if the conduct that is recommended to us points to happiness, what folly is it to neglect it, in order to gratify an inclination, the indulgence of which will yield but a temporary gratification, and may prove the source of lasting sorrow.

Jeremiah Grant

Executed for Burglary.

The exploits of this celebrated Irish freebooter were fully equal to those of the accomplished robber Duvell. Captain Grant was the son of a poor peasant in the Queen’s County, and early evinced a predilection for the bread of idleness. His progress in literature was very trifling; indeed it has been stated that he could neither read nor write. His fertile genius, however, obviated this misfortune, and his daring spirit triumphed over minor obstacles. He sallied out, before the age of twenty, to levy contributions on the highway, and before he was twenty-one a chosen band of followers hailed him Captain.

His depredations for several years were confined to his native county, where his improvident liberality secured him the esteem and blessings of the lower orders, while the terror of his name, and dread of his vengeance, kept those of a higher rank in complete subjection to his authority.

Like Rob Roy, he levied an annual tax on the farmers, which they cheerfully paid, as it secured them from the nocturnal visits of his followers; for Grant was a man of strict honour and a rigid disciplinarian, who punished with severity any dereliction of duty in his band.

Notwithstanding the offer of reward for his apprehension, Captain Grant, as the country people called him, was to be seen at every fair and pattern in the country, and had a more numerous acquaintance than the village doctor. At every farmer’s table he was welcome, and the cottages that gave him shelter were sure of reward; for he freely shared the contributions he obtained with danger.

With the ladies he was a second Macheath, and more wives than one claimed him for their husband; and no wonder, for he was frequently complimented, on his person and manner, by the mistresses of those houses which he visited without the formality of an invitation. But it must be observed that Grant never forgot his accustomed humanity and politeness; and, unless when attacked by the police, he never did an individual a personal injury. His behaviour always evinced a degree of refinement above his education and birth; so much so, that even those who suffered from his depredations never spoke of him but as an accomplished villain.

His person was of the most elegant symmetry, and his agility surprising. At rural games he had no rival; and he danced with so much grace, that the country girls were often heard to wish he had not been a robber.

His character at length grew so notorious in the Queen’s County, that a consultation of magistrates was held for the purpose of devising means for his apprehension. In consequence of the measures they adopted several of Grant’s followers were brought to justice, and they died, as their Captain expressed it, of the ‘gallows fever.’ . For some time his knowledge of the country and the partiality of the peasantry towards him, aided him in evading the pursuit which was made after him; but a traitor was found, and Grant was delivered into the hands of the Philistines.

The gentry of the country, and ladies of the first rank, crowded to the gaol of Maryborough to see the ‘bold outlaw,’ which, it was supposed, so much affected his sensibility, that he took his departure, one night, from prison, through a window, having first contrived to cut the bars that guarded it.

Dreading another specimen of the rudeness of the Irish aristocracy, he prudently resolved to leave the Slieve-Bloom mountains, and, with the remnant of his banditti, he removed to the wood of Killoughran, in the county of Wexford, within four miles of the town of Enniscorthy. Here he continued for some time, and made frequent visits to the neighbouring towns, where he was known by the name of Cooney.

In the March of 1816 he made a journey to his native county, where he robbed the house of Thom Cambie, Esq. of money and plate to a large amount. Mrs. Cambie .was at home, and he behaved with so much politeness, that she ordered him supper and wine. The captain, being impatient of delay, applied his teeth to extract a cork from a bottle; upon which the mistress observed ‘it was a pity to spoil his fine white teeth,’ and immediately stood up and procured him a cork-screw. Grant, on his departure, took the liberty to borrow Cambie’s horse and gig, in which he rode to his retreat in the wood of Killoughran.

The captain’s occasional depredations in the county of Wexford excited great alarm, for a robbery there then was a thing of very rare occurrence. Notice was given of the banditti retreat, and Archibald Jacob marched the military out of Enniscorthy and surrounded the wood. Some of the soldiers and yeomanry penetrated the fastness, and in the thickest part of the shade they discovered the ‘Robber Chief,’ and five of his followers, on a bed of straw, situated in a romantic cave. The freebooters defended themselves with desperate valour, and, ere they surrendered, wounded five of the military. In the cave were found all the utensils of housebreaking, and abundance of arms.

The captain was committed to Wexford gaol by the name of Cooney; but. the evidence against him being doubtful, it was apprehended he would be acquitted, when fortunately it was discovered that he was the celebrated Captain Grant. The gaoler of Maryborough now claimed his body, and he was forthwith transmitted to his former abode. This was fortunate for the ends of justice; for it was discovered that on the night of his removal he had matured a scheme of escape from the Wexford gaol.

His trial came on at Maryborough August the 16th, 1816, when he was found Guilty of the burglary in Mr. Cambie’s house. To the question ‘What reason he had why judgment and sentence of death should, not be passed on him?’ he replied in the most firm, collected, and, indeed, feeling manner,– ‘My lord, I only beg of the Court some short time to arrange things before my departure for another place; not in the idle hope of escape or pardon, but to make restitution to the persons who have suffered by my had line of life. I have been visited in my cell by some blessed people, who have, thank God. given this turn to my mind, and to which I implore your lordship’s attention.’

Grant’s conduct throughout the trial was firm and collected, and was spoken of by the judge in terms of melancholy approbation.

Sufficient time was allowed him to make the arrangements he wished, after which he met his fate with decent fortitude and pious resignation, at Mary borough, August the 29th, 1816.

Thomas Brock, John Pelham, and Michael Power

Convicted of Coining, 25th of September, 1816.

In the year 1816, when Sir Matthew Wood was lord mayor of London, several conspiracies of a most diabolical nature were detected, and some of the conspirators punished. The conduct of the chief magistrate was such as to do honour not only to his understanding and ability, but to his disinterestedness and humanity.

The legislature, with the intention of stimulating the exertions of police officers, and inducing others to give information, had awarded certain rewards to the parties who should contribute to the conviction of offenders against the laws. The object was laudable, but it was capable of great perversion, and was liable to many objections; it gave the prosecutor an interest in the conviction of the accused, and on that account tended to impress the public with the belief that the condemnation, and not the acquittal of the prisoner, was the object of our criminal laws. It was too true that ‘blood money’, as this species of remuneration was emphatically denominated, did contribute in reality to the evil we allude to. But had not a development of unparalleled villainy put scepticism to flight, we could not have brought ourselves to believe that those who were paid to detect crime should be found the most active in seducing innocence and youth to its commission. Yet it is an indubitable fact that, for ten years preceding 1816, victims were brought up, session after session, to be convicted of crimes to which they were seduced by the very men who gave evidence against them, that they might revel on the ‘blood money’, or make use of it to provide other victims for the law.

The discovery of this diabolical system took place in the course of the trial of three men named Quin, Riorton, and Connolly; it appears that these unfortunate beings were detected in fabricating base shillings and bank tokens, and being brought to trial, they were convicted. During the examination of the witnesses for the prosecution, however, whose names appear at the head of this article, some circumstances came out, which induced a suspicion in the mind of the Lord Mayor that the prosecutors were in some way mixed up with the guilt of the prisoners. An investigation in consequence took place; but the convicts, on being confronted with their accusers, refused to say anything against them, saying that they were ‘under an oath’. They were Irishmen and Catholics, and the rigid observance which they pay to an oath is well known; but a priest having at length persuaded them that they were not bound by such an oath administered unlawfully, they disclosed the whole particulars of the plot, and their accusers were in consequence secured.

The three new prisoners were then indicted for participation in the crime of their dupes, which amounted to high treason; and at the session held on the 25th of September 1816, were brought to trial at the Old Bailey.

A man named Barry then swore that Pelham had applied to him to get some men to make bad shillings, which Power, it was said, could colour. Barry said they must go to the market for them, which was in Cheapside, at the corner of King Street, where poor Irishmen were waiting for employment. Some days after, he went with Brock and Power to the market, when Quin and Riorton were engaged by them. Being told they could not be employed unless they would be sworn to secrecy, they took an oath on a piece of paper. A room was hired and tools procured by the prisoners, and the poor Irishmen were set to work to cut brass into the form of shillings, &c. under the superintendence of Power. Connolly was sent for to assist. He said to Barry, in Irish, ‘We are doing a job that will hang us all’, to which the latter replied that if he thought so he would not work another day at it. The Irishmen were then employed in colouring the metal, and everything being in readiness, notice was given, the officers entered, and the Irishmen were seized, tried, and found guilty.

Pelham’s landlady proved that the scissors used by the Irish men in cutting through brass had been procured by her at Pelham’s request. Another woman also swore that the hammer and files taken in the coining room had been sold by her to Brock and Pelham.

Brock, in his defence, declared his innocence. Power denied either going to the market or the room; and Pelham said the Barrys were noted perjurers, and the women were false witnesses.

The jury, without hesitation, however, brought in a verdict of Guilty, and the prisoners were transported.

The three Irishmen were then pardoned; and the Lord Mayor having interested himself in their behalf, a subscription was opened, and they were enabled to return to their own country and there to purchase small farms.

Roger O’Connor, Esq.

Indicted for Robbing the Mail.

This gentleman, though of retired habits, has had the misfortune to be almost perpetually before the public, and sometimes in situations and under circumstances very inconsistent with his rank or fortune. Although Mr. O’Connor has been most honourably acquitted on more occasions than one, we shall make no apology for introducing his case here; for, as all men are liable to be accused of malpractices, it is satisfactory to know, that there is but one legal ordeal for the high and the low, through which they may expect to come off honourably, if not guilty.

Mr. O’Connor traces his ancestry to the last king of Ireland, and has uniformly evinced an extraordinary attachment to his native country. Whether the links of genealogy are unbroken or not is of little consequence; for the individual must be judged by his actions, and not by his name or pretensions. Mr. O’Connor, though not an Irish monarch, which some of his countrymen say he ought to be,** is certainly an independent Irishman. His education was that of a gentleman; his profession that of the law; and his fortune ample, being at least four thousand pounds a year.

The reader may recollect the case of Arthur O’Connor, which we have already given. That gentleman was brother to the subject of this sketch; and the principles for which Arthur was prosecuted were supposed to be those of his elder brother, Roger. Accordingly we find him apprehended, on the suspicion of treason, at his seat of Connor-ville in the county of Cork, in 1796, and from that year to 1803 he may be said to have been a state prisoner; for he was no sooner liberated than he was again arrested, and passed, a state shuttlecock, several times between the Irish and English ministers.

During these peregrinations he displayed great firmness, and, on the coast of Ireland, actually saved the lives of the officers in whose custody he was. Refusing the terms accepted by his brother, and the other state prisoners, in 1798 he was transmitted to Fort George, in Scotland, and, at length, was liberated from prison, on condition that he should reside in Middlesex, for the absurd timidity of the government apprehended his influence in Ireland too much to permit his return; and when they did comply with his earnest solicitations, it was on condition that he should not visit the south, where his name was supposed to be a tower of strength.

In consequence of this prohibition Mr. O’Connor had to dispose of his family mansion, and choose another place of residence. He became the purchaser of Dangan, in the county of Meath, the estate of the Marquis of Wellesley, where he continued to live engaged in agriculture and literary pursuits, never mixing in politics; and, although the intimate friend of Sir Francis Burdett, he has never appeared to give either the baronet or his friends any support, though possessed of large property in England.

O’Connor was what is called in Ireland a marked man; that is, he was one whose movements the minions of power watched closely, and, consequently, in a country where the gentry are all connected with the powers that be, he was not regarded with much respect. Almost every assizes exhibited a case in which O’Connor was either a witness, a plaintiff, or a defendant; and wherever his name appeared, angry discussion was sure to follow, though his fearless independence, and well-known courage, kept it within proper bounds.

For several years his name, except when introduced at the assizes, was almost forgotten, until the year 1817, when a most extraordinary charge was exhibited against him; nothing less than an accusation of having robbed the Galway mail five years before.

Two notorious characters, named Owen and Waring, were apprehended for a robbery in 1817, tried in Dublin, and found guilty. They received sentence of death, and the day of execution was appointed; but before the fatal hour arrived they charged Mr. O’Connor with being the captain of the banditti who had robbed the Galway mail. The circumstances which they detailed were so minute, that O’Connor was apprehended, and the two approvers received the royal pardon, to qualify them as witnesses against the persons accused, for O’Connor’s steward, named M’Keon, was also included in the charge.

The robbery of the Galway mail had taken place in 1812, ten miles from O’Connor’s residence at Dangan; but the mail-bags, and some of the fire-arms, were subsequently found in the demesne, a circumstance which, when combined with others, served to give a probability to the charge of Owen and Waring.

The arrest of O’Connor upon such a base charge produced au extraordinary sensation, not only in Ireland, but in England, which was considerably heightened by an address from that gentleman, then in Newgate, entitled “Third Attempt upon the Life of O’Connor.” In this pamphlet he attributes, perhaps justly, the prosecution to a conspiracy against his life; but when he insinuates that government, from political motives, brought all their power and influence to give effect to the charge, we can hardly suppose it possible, though we are ready to admit that the gentlemen of the post-office, as they were bound to do, supposing him guilty, did all in their power to convict him.

Mr. O’Connor’s trial came on at Trim, August the 6th, 1817, the prisoner having been removed thither, by habeas corpus, from Newgate. The court was crowded to excess, and O’Connor, with his friend Sir Francis Burdett, were allowed to sit within the bar.

Several witnesses having proved the robbery of the mail on the 2d of October, 1812, and the conviction of Richard Waring for the said robbery, Michael Owen, the chief informer, was called.

He stated that he had been a labourer in the employ of Mr. O’Connor, at Dangan, and that previous to the robbery he was asked by his master if he would join in robbing the Galway mail; he said that he would; and that Mr. O’Conner procured him and others arms; that they repaired to the turnpike gate at Cappagh Hill, stopped the mail, shot the guards, and robbed the coach and passengers; that on their arrival at Dangan Mr. O’Connor met them — hoped they had had ‘good luck,’ and then in a private part of the demesne proceeded to divide the booty, which amounted to three hundred and fifty pounds each — that O’Connor took his portion, and obtained two hundred pounds more from two of the robbers, to whom he had afforded previous protection.

Owen further stated he had been twice tried for the robbery — once on the capital charge, and at another time for passing some of the stolen notes; that he had been recently found guilty of a robbery in the county of Dublin, and sentenced to death, and that he obtained his pardon for having given information against Mr. O’Connor. On his cross-examination he admitted that he could not tell the number of robberies he had committed, they were so many.

After the examination of other witnesses, Sir Francis Burdett deposed to his knowledge of the prisoner, to whom he gave a high character for honour, principle, and integrity. The jury, without retiring, gave a verdict of — Not Guilty, and the court rang with approbation.

‘I have suffered mach.’ said O’Connor, ‘What what would I not suffer for a day like this?’

Mr. O’Connor, being thus triumphantly acquitted, commenced a prosecution of Waring for perjury. Waring’s trial came on at Greets Street, Dublin, October the 30th 1817; and the post-office, as if still believing in his statement, employed the most eminent counsel to defend him. From Mr. O’Connor’s evidence it appeared that he had more than once given Owen and Waring good characters, when on their trial for robberies; and it was proved that he had evinced great solicitude fur them at one of the Trim assizes. This suspicious attachment of Mr. O’Connor for such abandoned ruffians as murderers and mail-coach robbers produced its effect upon the jury; but what helped to throw complete discredit on Mr. O’Connor’s evidence was the fact, elicited on his cross-examination, that he did not believe in the Jewish dispensation, or the Christian atonement. This acknowledgment of his infidel opinions created a buzz of disapprobation; and, when the acquittal of the prisoner was announced, it seemed to give great satisfaction: so fickle is the opinion of the multitude, that a word will convert their applause into condemnation!

In this case there appears something very strange and unsatisfactory; but, as we are unable to penetrate the mystery which must for ever environ it, we leave our readers to draw their own conclusions. One word, however, is necessary. Mr. O’Connor was acquitted by a jury, and is therefore to be considered innocent; while it is very possible that his apparent solicitude for such wretches as Owen and Waring might have arisen from the purest humanity, and active friendship for the unfortunate portion of his countrymen, with whose destiny he boasts to have connected himself. At all events, let it not be supposed that we ‘set down aught in malice,’ either in respect to Mr. O’Connor or his prosecutors.

Since 1817 Mr. O’Connor has published the ‘Chronicles of Eri,’ and, if we believe himself, he was, at the time of his trial, engaged on a work on the Bible. It has not yet appeared, and, it is to be hoped, never will.

*In a humorous little work, lately published by Mr. Moore, entitled, ‘Memoirs of Captain Rock,’ the etymology of the name is thus accounted for: R for Roger, O C for O’Connor, and K for King. e. Roger O’Connor King. This is a double-edged satire, for it ridicules at once the supposed pretensions of the individual, and the folly of etymologists.

†An extraordinary robbery took place at Dangan in 1813. We extract the particulars from the Irish papers, and can vouch for their authenticity; for they were afterwards fully proved in evidence when an action was brought to recover the sum lost from the county:– ‘Mr. Roger O’Connor, of Dangan, in the county of Meath, for which place he pays an annual rent of one thousand five hundred pounds to Colonel Burrowes, who resides in London, has been in the habit of refusing to pay his rent at any place but on the premises. A Mr. Francis Gregory, agent to Colonel Burrowes, after some preliminary discussion with Mr. O’Connor, employed Mr. Doyle, postmaster of Trim, to receive the latter half-year’s rent. On the 28th ult. Mr. Doyle went to Dangan for this purpose: at the gate he was accosted by a person, who said he was stationed there to give Mr. O’Connor immediate notice of his approach; and Mr. Doyle followed him into the house, where he found Mr. O’Connor and his Son Roderick; when Mr. Doyle entered, O’Connor desired his son to withdraw. He then proceeded to pay Mr. Doyle the rent, amounting to seven hundred and fifty pounds, and which was chiefly in one-pound notes. Mr. Doyle observed upon the inconvenience of that mode of payment, and requested the use of pen and ink to mark the notes. This was refused: Mr. Doyle, after counting the notes, left the house — and within thirty yards of it, and before he had got to the stable, he was attacked from behind by two persons in disguise, whose faces were masked; they knocked him down, tied a handkerchief over his face, robbed him of the money he had just received, and some silver of his own; having bound his legs with a cord, and forced a sack over his head, they left him. During the whole transaction, the robbers never uttered a word. No person whatever having come to his assistance, Mr. Doyle remained for some time before he was able to extricate himself. On his return to the house he saw a lady, to whom he mentioned how he had been treated. Shortly after Mr. O’Connor arrived. who expressed great surprise at the robbery. Mr. Doyle then took his departure. The robbery been committed at eleven o’clock in the day, the necessary steps are in progress to levy the money upon the county of Meath. We have every reliance that the gentlemen of that vicinity will use their best exertions to discover the persons engaged in this most mysterious transaction.’

Patrick Devann

Executed for the Murder of the Lynch Family in Wildgoose Lodge.

In the county of Louth in Ireland, and at the distance of about nine miles from the town of Dundalk, stood some years ago a house called Wild-Goose Lodge — a name conferred upon it from its whimsically chosen situation on a small peninsula jutting into a marsh meadow, which was occasionally transformed into a lake by the winter floods of the Louth. In summer, the residence was reached from the meadow without difficulty; but during winter, the case was very different, it being then approachable only by a narrow neck of land hemmed in by the surrounding waters. At a period to which we refer, Wild-Goose Lodge was tenanted by an industrious man, name Lynch, and his family. Lynch had been successful in improving a few fields attached to his dwelling, and somewhat elevated above the yearly inundations; he was in the habit also of raising a considerable quantity of flax, which he manufactured into cloth, and carried to the adjoining markets of Dundalk or Newry, where it was readily sold to advantage. By these means he rose in respectability among his neighbours, and comfort and contentment smiled around his dwelling. But an evil hour came, and he himself was unhappily in some measure instrumental in bringing it on.

An illegal association, bound by secret oaths, sprung up among the Roman Catholics living around Wild-Goose Lodge. Lynch, though a moderate man, believed that such a combination, on the part of those who held the same opinions with himself, was necessary to counteract similar demonstrations on the opposite or Protestant side, and he therefore joined the association. A very short time sufficed to show him the imprudence of his conduct. Wild-Goose Lodge was a central point in a remote and secluded district; and the members of the association, not without the countenance at first of the occupier, began to make the house their usual point of assemblage. Their numbers, however, speedily increased so much as to submit the family to great inconvenience; and their views, besides, so far exceeded Lynch’s own in violence, as to place him under just apprehensions lest he should be held as the leading promoter of all that might be said or done by those who made his dwelling their nightly haunt. Forced to act, in this dilemma, for the sake of himself and his family, he came to the resolution of desiring his neighbours to assemble no more under his roof. This interdict excited a strong feeling of ill-will against him among the leaders of the combination, and they afterwards habitually gave him every annoyance they could think of, with the view of ejecting him from the place.

Once liberated, in some degree, from the consequences of his imprudence, Lynch persisted in the line of conduct he had entered upon. The result was, that one night a party of men, disguised, entered his house, stripped him in presence of his family, and after flogging him, destroyed his furniture, insulted his wife, and cut the web in the loom from the one selvage thread to the other down to the beam on which it rested. These wanton injuries to an honest, industrious, and (leaving aside his junction of an illegal union) well-conducted man, were galling and hard to bear. Lynch was the husband of an amiable, affectionate wife, and the father of a young family, depending on him for subsistence. If he did bear it in silence, further injuries might follow, and himself, with the wife of his bosom and his helpless babes, be deprived of their all, and thrown upon the world to beg for subsistence. Again, to denounce those with whom he had joined in an oath, was a proceeding not only full of danger, but to which Lynch could with difficulty bring his mind. Anxious and irresolute, he appealed to the minister of his religion for protection, but it was of no avail. His midnight persecutors continued to harass him; and at last, seeing the ruin of his family inevitable, unless he bestirred himself, and being able to point out and identify those who had injured him, Lynch determined to brave the anger of his assailants, and appeal to the laws of his country. Having formed this resolution, he held to it, in spite of the most awful and ominous endeavours to intimidate him; and two of the party, who had attacked his house, were prosecuted, convicted, and suffered death.

Terrible was the wrath of the secret associates, among whom it chanced there were some men of such characters as are happily rarely to be met with in the world. One of the oaths taken by this body was, that no one member should bring another before the bar of justice. Certainly this oath, bad as it was in every sense, never contemplated that one member was not to resent the gross injuries done to him by another. But, as might have been anticipated from the previous exhibition of feeling, Lynch was held, in the strongest sense of the word, to have violated the oaths he had taken.

Not far from Wild-Goose Lodge stood a chapel, where the association met after the ejection of its members from the house of Lynch. The leading man of the body, Patrick or Paddy Devann, was clerk to the priest of the district, and had the charge of the chapel. Within this building, consecrated for widely different purposes, the midnight band assembled on a night destined by the leaders of the party for the destruction of the unfortunate Lynch. Devann, the principal agent in the scene, in order to make a deeper impression on the minds of the crowds present in the chapel, assembled them around the altar, and after administering an oath of secrecy to them, descanted on the falling off of Lynch, and the necessity of suppressing all defections among themselves. He then darkly hinted the object of the meeting to be Lynch’s punishment, and hoped that it would serve as a warning to them all to be firm to the obligations on which they had entered, and true to the interest of the body. Having finished his address, Devann then lifted from before the altar a potsherd containing a piece of burning turf, and, moving from the chapel, desired them to follow him.

Some scores of the band were on horseback, having come from distant places at the imperative summons sent to them. Many more were on foot; and all these moved stealthily onwards, Devann preceding them, towards the devoted victim. To the credit of human nature it must be stated, that few of this numerous party had the slightest idea of what was intended by the originators of the movement. As the men went along, they were inquiring among themselves in whispers, what was to be done; even those who had heard Devann’s threats did not believe that they would be enforced, or that any further injury would be done than had been inflicted before.

Silence reigned along the party’s route, as they approached the abode of the unoffending, unsuspecting, and sleeping family.

While the majority of the persons present still remained ignorant of what was to be accomplished, but obeyed their leaders passively, an extensive circle of men was formed by Devann’s directions around the devoted dwelling. Then those few who were aware of all the enormity of the project, crept forward along the ground towards the house, the pike in one hand and the lighted turf in the other. Well did the wretches know that there was no chance of escape for those within, for the house was filled with the flax by which poor Lynch made his bread; and as soon as it was caught by the flame, extinction was a thing next to impossible. The turfs were applied, and in a few minutes the house was on fire — with a family of thirteen souls beneath its blazing roof! The flames rose towards the sky, and illuminated the adjacent scene. Speedily were heard from within the supplicating cries .of the miserable victims, “Mercy! for God’s sake, mercy!” But the cry was vain. So far from evincing any feelings of compunction while the work of destruction was going on, the wretches who had caused it stood ready with their pikes to thrust back those who might attempt to escape. One attempt was made to move their pity; and had the men hearts, they must have been moved. The wife of Lynch, while her own body was already enveloped in flames, had endeavoured to preserve the infant at her breast, and she appeared at the windows, content to die herself, but holding out her child for mercy and protection. Frantically she threw it from her. And how was it received? On the points of pikes, and instantly tossed back into the burning ruins, into which at the same time sunk its hapless mother. One other only of those within, and this was a man, one of Lynch’s assistants, appeared on the walls, beseeching for mercy; but he likewise received none. The veins of his face were visible, swollen like cords, and horror was painted on his whole aspect. He, and all who were within, perished. Lynch himself, either cut off early, or resigned to his fate, never appeared, either to denounce the act of his persecutors, or to supplicate their pity.

It is impossible to say with what feelings the main party encircling the house at a little distance beheld the consummation of the purposes of the night. The majority of them certainly felt horror, while others, in whose mind a blind hatred of Lynch was predominant, felt mingled sensations of horror and exultation; and the conjoined feelings expended them selves in cries, that were re-echoed by the groans of the victims. The terrified peasantry of the neighbourhood who had not joined the associated throng, started from their pillows, and gazed towards the ascending flames of Wild-Goose Lodge with fear and shrinking; for they too well knew the feelings of the district to regard it as a common accident, which it would have been their duty and their pleasure to have aided in suppressing and relieving. Until all sounds of life, therefore, were extinct within the burning house, the authors of the deed looked on undisturbed. When all was over, they skulked away, each to his own home.

The winds of autumn and the storms of winter had swept the ashes of Wild-Goose Lodge over the fields which Lynch had cultivated, ere any one of the actors in this atrocious crime was brought to justice. But the presence of some of the less guilty of them having been discovered, and brought home beyond a doubt, these, in order to save themselves, made a revelation of all they knew and had seen. Anticipating this, the ringleaders fled to various parts of the country; but the arm of the offended law overtook them. Devann was found in the situation of a labourer in the dockyards of Dublin, and others were taken at different times and places. Eleven were executed; and to mark the atrocity of their crime, their bodies were hung in chains at Louth and other spots in the neighbour hood of Wild-Goose Lodge. Devann was executed within the roofless walls of the house in which his victims were immolated, and his body was afterwards suspended beside those of his associates.

The date of his trial was the 19th of July 1817, and he was executed immediately afterwards.

John Scanlan and Stephen Sullivan

The murderers of the Colleen Bawn.

John Scanlan was born to an eminent family in Ireland, and after serving his king as a lieutenant, was discharged on half-pay following the defeat of the Corsican usurper. Sullivan had been a soldier under him, and, having been also discharged, he accompanied Scanlan in the capacity of a servant. He was a native of Limerick, and, though not more than thirty-two years of age, was much older than his master, who had not attained twenty-five.

Young Scanlan, on his way to Limerick, where he proposed residing, stopped for some time in Dublin, where he found an opportunity of ingratiating himself into the favour of a thoughtless but lovely girl of fifteen years of age, the niece of a Mr Connery, a rope-maker.

The gentlemanly appearance and polished address of Scanlan, when aided by his protestations of love and tenderness, flattered the vanity of the poor girl; but still she would not listen to him on any but honourable terms. She acknowledged her partiality and charged him, if he was sincere, to make her his wife. To this proposal he affected to consent, after some conditions had been agreed on: these were that she was to keep her marriage a secret from her uncle, lest his friends should hear of it — an event which he seemed to regard as pregnant with ruin to him.

The foolish girl consented to all he chose to enjoin, and in an evil hour quitted the roof of her kind uncle, carrying off with her one hundred pounds in notes and twelve guineas in gold. He pretended to act honourably, and carried her before an excommunicated priest, who joined their hands in wedlock. Scanlan resorted to this man, thinking the ceremony, when performed by him, not obligatory; but in this he was mistaken, for he soon after learned that, according to the laws of Ireland, a marriage so celebrated is valid.

The fugitive lovers quitted Dublin and took up their abode in the romantic village of Glin, situated on the banks of the river Shannon, on the Limerick side. Scarcely, however, had the honeymoon passed over their heads, when it appears Scanlan formed the dreadful resolution of getting rid of his wife. Her beauty, her love, her innocence, appealed to him in vain; he persisted in his resolution and too fatally carried it into effect.

It appears he was prompted to the dreadful deed by avarice and ambition: his sister, who had been married to a nobleman in the county of Limerick, apprised him of a match she was forming for him with an heiress of wealth and beauty, and requested his acquiescence. Knowing that he could not avail himself of the proposed advantage while his wife (for she was legally his wife) was alive, he determined that she should not long remain an obstacle to his advancement to rank and opulence.

Sullivan was his confidant throughout the whole affair, and to him was entrusted the execution of his atrocious plan. Scanlan had purchased a pleasure boat, in which they used to take excursions on the Shannon. Of this amusement his wife was very fond, and it was during one of these moments of recreation, while she should be impressed with the beauty of the scenery, that the monsters resolved to rob her of that life which bloomed so exquisitely on her youthful and animated cheek.

One evening in the July of 1819, Scanlan affected to be called from home on business, but desired his wife to make Sullivan amuse her for an hour on the river in the boat. With this request she complied; and Sullivan, by his master’s directions, got ready to execute their horrid purpose. Having provided a club to knock out her brains and a rope and stone to tie to the body to sink it, he proceeded down the river. This man was treated by his master and mistress with great familiarity, so that he was not obliged to keep that distance so necessary to good order, but used every freedom consistent with respect. When the boat had drifted to a secluded inlet, Sullivan prepared to execute his purpose: he raised the club in a menacing position and was about to strike, when the lovely creature, thinking he only intended to frighten her, gave him a smile of such innocent sweetness and simplicity that the assassin was disarmed. He dropped the instrument of destruction, conducted his mistress home and told his unfeeling master that he had not strength to execute his commands.

The horrid resolution was postponed, but not abandoned. A few evenings after, Scanlan, accompanied by his wife and Sullivan, went out in the boat as usual; but the unfortunate woman was never seen alive after. Scanlan returned to his lodgings, and said that for misbehaving he had shipped Ellen on board some vessel, the captain of which had taken her under his protection. This story was disbelieved, and a few days discovered their guilt; the corpse of the murdered Ellen was washed ashore, mutilated in a most shocking manner. The legs were broken in several places, one arm had been knocked off entirely, and a rope was tied round her neck. Her skull was fractured in a thousand pieces, her eyes knocked out of her head and nearly all her teeth forced from her mouth.

Horrid and deformed as was her once-lovely person, still it was instantly recognized, when the murderers endeavoured to fly from justice. Of their guilt there could be no doubt. They were seen together in the boat; Sullivan had sold the murdered girl’s clothes, and he and his master had quarrelled about some money, in which quarrel Scanlan had been accused of the murder.

Sullivan escaped for twelve months the pursuit of justice; but Scanlan was almost immediately apprehended, though he had resolved never to be taken alive. The following August, he was tried at the assizes; and, being found guilty, Baron Smith, to his immortal honour, ordered him for almost instant execution, lest the powerful interest of his family should procure a respite if he left him even the period usually allowed to criminals convicted of a murder. The time allotted Scanlan to live was too short to admit a messenger going to Dublin and back again, and consequently he was executed, to the satisfaction of all lovers of justice.

Twelve months after, his guilty servant met a similar fate. Before his execution, he made a full confession, from which the above particulars are partly taken. Such was the powerful influence of Scanlan’s family that, though they could not avert his fate, they succeeded in keeping it a secret from a large portion of the community, for they had influence enough to prevent an insertion of his case in all the Limerick newspapers; and consequently it remained unknown, except in the immediate neighbourhood of the transaction.

The trial of Sullivan, however, revealed his own and his master’s guilt and proved that, in this country, neither wealth nor power can turn aside the sword of justice or make the criminal less abhorrent, though he should have great and wealthy friends.

The circumstances of this case, we are persuaded, furnished the author of the Tales of Irish Life with the idea of ‘The Poor Man’s Daughter’.


Source: Google Books
The Ex-Classics Web Site

Dantonien Journal