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 The Coroner's Inquest on June 20, 1831

Excerpts from Witness Testimonies

An inquisition held at Newtown Barry, at the Church School House, on June 20, 1831 before Richard Husan (Hewson), Esq., Coroner of Carlow, on the bodies of:

William Rogan, late of Kilbranish (or Killranick), co. Carlow, farmer
Thomas Waters, late Barnahask, co. Carlow
Patrick Leary, Raghsard (or Raghuard), co. Wexford, farmer
Andrew McDaniell, of Ballinapark, co. Wexford
James Neale, labourer, of Graigmore, co. Wexford
James Doyle, of Ballyphilip, co. Wexford, farmer
Michael Doyle
Thomas Butler
Mary Mulroney
Philip Redmond
Miles Dillon.


Excerpts from the testimonies given:

Evidence given by Loughlin Dillon, sub-constable of police stationed at Kiltealy, co. Wexford; last Saturday, June 18, 1831 he attended with a party of police at the pound of Newtown Barry on the occasion of a tithe composition; a disorderly crown gathered there and threatened to disarm his party; soon afterwards stones were thrown by the crown and a man from behind the road ditch fired one shot which struck and killed a yeoman, the said William Rogan, the deceased;  immediately afterwards he saw the said person fall backwards as he had also been killed or wounded by some other person the firing by that time having become general.

Evidence given by Thomas Delany of Newtown Barry, painter and glazier;  he was one of the large concourse of persons assembled facing the police and yeomanry; that the first shot was fired from amongst the crowd before any discharge had been made on the part of the police or yeomanry.

Evidence given by Thomas Webb, sub-constable of police; witnessed the shot fired and its effects.

Evidence given by Serjeant Laurence King; same as a heard previously; the yeomanry were commanded by Captain Graham, the police by Captain King; heard Captain Graham remonstrate with the crowd and tell them that the armed force was loaded with ball cartridge and to be quiet and throw no stones upon which the cattle were conducted in the direction of the town, stones flying in all directions; firing then commenced above the police; the police were about 37 in number, the yeomanry upwards of 100;  states again that the police fired into the air.

Evidence given by William Kilfoyle, serjeant of police; as above; added that the man who leaped through the air with a firearm shouted “We are the Graige fellows”.

Evidence given by Lorenzo Nixon Nunne, Esq., of Enniscorthy; in command of the Enniscorthy Infantry; previous to leaving Captain Graham’s yard had ordered his men to load with ball and marched them to the Newtown Barry pound; the other yeomanry officers gave similar commands to their men; there they halted and were drawn up opposite the police when they were immediately surrounded by numerous bodies of peasantry who crowded on his men with threatening expressions; he cautioned the men to be steady and to not leave their ranks; recounted Captain Graham’s address to the crown and their angry response; the police attempted to drive out the cattle; within about 60 yards stones were thrown, a shot was fired from the side of the road; his men halted when the firing became general; he ordered his men not to fire; mob then swept past his position and his men fired into them; he ordered them to cease fire and struck some with his sword; distinctly saw three other shots fired from a grove of trees and believes one of them struck Rogan; then marched back and placed the men in Captain Graham’s yard.

Evidence given by Adam Bloomfield Feltus, Esq. of Hollybrook, co. Carlow; a magistrate of co. Carlow; came to the town of Newtown Barry, accompanied by 16 men of his force and three county police, to enforce a requisition from three other magistrates; met with Captain Graham, one of the three magistrates who had signed the requisition; also met with Captain King and they were told that the cattle had been forced away; Capt. Graham blamed Capt. King for not protecting them; Graham and King then departed to bring the cattle back; he was later summoned to join them and found them with the cattle in their possession, three cattle he believed, but were unable to drive them into the pound due to a large crowd which had gathered; he then remained with the police while Graham went to turn out the Newtown Barry yeomanry;  he then discussed the matter with three men from the crowd who stated they had been asked to pay three half year tithes within one year, he then proposed arbitration, and was proceeding on that basis but the mood of the crown becoming angrier he cautioned his own men under no account to fire even if stones were thrown; Mr. McClintock to whom the tithes were owed accepted the arbitration suggestion and they had walked half way back to the pound when the first shot was fired; Mr. McClintock then ran into a nearby cabin but the deponent stood on the roadside where there were people running towards him and others were running towards Newtown Barry; deponent commented that if he had 10 minutes more he could have settled the whole affair; the police and yeomanry then came along and he went on with them to Captain Graham’s.

Evidence given by Captain John Brown of Ballinastraw, co. Wexford; he was also at the pound and saw the mob pressing the police and heard Capt. Graham warning them off; testimony same as given previously; he was shot in the right leg while astride his horse.

Evidence given by Thomas Murray of Kilnock, co. Carlow, farmer; a private of the Myshall Yeomanry; wounded in the heel; states he did not see Mr. Feltus on the road between Newtown Barry and the pound or hear him request they not fire. 

Evidence given by George Robert Hyde of Newtown Barry, surgeon; had examined William Rogan whose death was caused by a shot to the head; also examined Thomas Waters who died from a gun-shot wound through the upper part of his chest.

Evidence given by William Richards, Esq. of Farmley, Capt. of the Solsboro and Farmley Yeomanry; had attended at Newtown Barry on Saturday with part of his corps in consequence of the requisition signed by three magistrates and was ordered to march towards the pound of Newtown Barry by Capt. Graham; came up against the mob and heard Capt. Graham address them; the crowd appeared very riotous and insulting in their manner; was ordered to march his men behind the police moving up the road; heard the stones thrown, the shot fired and the general firing which forward but all behind him to the rear of the column; they were then pressed forward by the people running away; did not observe much as he was occupied preventing his men from firing; he did not see Mr. Feltus on the road when he said he was there; he was confident that no order to fire was ever given by an officer of the yeomen.

Similar testimony from William White, Esq. of Newtown Barry;  

Evidence given by John Ralph of Newtown Barry, Mr. McClintock’s agent and receiver of his tithes; he had three distrained cattle at the pound, they were then drove to the street of Newtown Barry to be sold; had them at the marketplace and went into Capt. Graham’s house to talk to Mr. McClintock; while there he saw them driven away; the bailiffs who had been left there to guard them apparently having walked away; a lot more people than normal seemed to have gathered in the streets that day; he saw notices calling for people to come to witness the sale of their neighbour’s cattle; the crowd moved off on the Enniscorthy road apparently hiding the cattle among them; he had made application to three magistrates, Capt. Graham, Major Irvine and Mr. John Derenzy for assistance to prevent the rescue of the cattle; he told Capt’s. Graham and King that the cattle were gone and Graham told King to bring them back; the cattle were then brought back to the pound by the police; a crowd developed and Capt. Graham returned to town for the yeomanry; he and his assistants drove the cattle out of the pound to take them to the town for sale under police guard; as they passed where the yeomanry were drawn up he heard a shot then a couple more and then a general firing of about 2 minutes; he did not see the cattle again.  In further questioning advised that the cattle had been seized from Pat Doyle who maintained that the tithes were not yet due.

Evidence given by George St. George Irvine, of Newtown Barry, Esq., a magistrate of this county; had been at Capt. Graham’s house to discuss the posters calling on people to witness the sale of the cattle; they thought it necessary to take measures for the prevention of a breach of the peace; they signed a requisition to several commanders of yeomanry in the area requesting their presence in Newtown Barry at the time of the sale.

Evidence given by Moses Doyle of Ballyphillip, co. Wexford; he lives in parish of St. Mary’s of which Mr. McClintock is the rector; knew that the three cattle were the property of Pat Doyle and that they had been seized for non-payment of tithes; witnessed Mr. Feltus’ suggestion of arbitration and his departure to talk to Mr. McClintock; soon after he heard the shots fired by the yeomanry and he fled with the crowd; a James Doyle running beside him was shot dead; he saw 3 or 4 dead immediately and a great number mortally wounded; believes the very first shots came from the yeomanry.

Evidence given by Marks Devereux of Glasslackin, quarryman; recounts events as before but believes that Capt. Graham did give the command to fire; was positive that the first shots did not come from the people.

Evidence given by John Corrin of Glasslacking, slate dresser; similar account of events; the bailiffs driving the cattle for McClintock’s agent were local men, James Gregan and Ned Swayne; also heard Capt. Graham give the order to fire; tried to help Mrs. John Mulrooney who was shot in the stomach and she later died; could not say who fired the first shots.

Evidence given by Joseph Byrne of Ballinavoran, farmer; similar account of events; believes that there was no gale due to McClintock so the cattle seizure was illegal; did not hear who fired the first shot; did not hear any command to fire but was about 17 to 20 yards away when the firing started and he was running towards N B when the heavy firing started; saw the cattle were left unattended and they left the pound on their own account; he never heard anyone talking about rescuing the cattle and believed the people were there to witness the auction only.

Evidence given by James Dillon, sub-constable of the police of the N B police station; was ordered to take charge of three small heifers on the Enniscorthy Road and put them in the pound; people about the pound were calm and he put the cattle in the pound peacefully; saw no firearm with anyone but the police and the yeomen; cannot say who fired the first shot; saw no inclination from the people to create a riot and does not understand why they were told to load with ball even before the assembly started; saw no stones thrown at all; does not know of any policemen who fired but some may have; does not think there were more people in town than usual.

Evidence given by the Rev. Walter Hore of Newlands, co. Wexford; rector of parish of Kilrush; came into N B that day to attend the Petty Sessions; saw a large number of police at the pound and did not know why they were there; he describes the crowd as being extremely riotous and many were carrying large sticks; he saw no firearms with the country people.

Evidence given by John Meylard of N B, labourer; was wounded by a ball shot through his shoulder from behind and out at the collar bone; saw the shot fired by Alec. Jordan of the N B Yeomanry who he knows; Jordan told him he would take his life if he could for what had passed a month ago, witness took that to mean for the bonfire they had in the street of N B and on the fair day Jordan told the witness he would mark him for carrying the card on the fair day; he had been at the fair carrying a placard but did not know what it read, he had been given it by Doyle’s son to carry that day; it was Doyle who owned the cows and promised to give Meylard a shilling for carrying the placard through the streets that day; saw about 5 of 6 stones thrown at the yeomanry; did not hear any order to fire.

Evidence given by Rev. William Hickey, Rector of Kilconnick; met a man walking away from N B carrying a short musket and who stated that he was not a yeoman. 

Evidence given by Harry Hogan of Ballyprecus, labourer; heard Capt. Graham give the order to fire; Alec Jordan fired the first shot; saw the following N B yeomen fire: Alec Jordan, James Devitt, John Deacon, Joe Radwell, Sam Radwell, Tom Radwell and John Perrin; saw Rogan the yeoman who was killed fall; saw another yeoman named John Moulton fire the shot which killed Rogan. 

Evidence given by Pat. Neville of Cloroguemore, farmer; heard Capt. Graham give order to fire; saw some stones thrown but didn’t see anyone hit.

Evidence given by John Walsh, sub-constable of police of Myshall, co. Carlow; he attended in consequence of a summons; under Capt. King’s command; was in charge of the cattle and saw no attempt to rescue them at all; received orders several times from Capt. King not to fire.

Evidence given by Richardson Britton, of Scarawalsh, farmer; landholder of near 40 acres; saw the police with the cattle; saw no-one attempt to rescue them; heard the word ‘fire’ spoken before any shots were fired.

Evidence given by James Colclough, labourer and carman of Ballinvally; witnessed the events at N B; on way home stopped at his brother’s house in Kildavin to borrow a gun which his brother had to shoot rabbits on Mr. Brownrigg’s property; wanted the gun to protect himself from the Bayleys who are yeomen of the Myshall corps which he saw at N B; gun belonged to Ned Coleman (of Raheen) but was lent to his brother; he is giving evidence against the Bayleys in the Carlow Assizes for firing shots at a RC Priest, Father Tierney; he was not afraid of the Bayleys before but he was now after witnessing the shooting at N B.

Evidence given by Edward Malone of Kildavin; nothing substantial.

Evidence given by Edward Swayne; was one of the bailiffs in charge of the cattle; the crowd took the cattle up the main street with them; called it a peaceable rescue as no-one could stand against such a crowd; there was no violence other than shouting.

Jury then adjourned on June 29th and re-assembled on July 13.  Coroner was informed that the jury could not agree.  Court was adjourned until July 16th, at 11:00 at the School House in N B at which time an indictment of murder against several parties was made.  See the list of Indictments and the Summary of the Trial at the Wexford Assizes.

Sworn Jurors: N. Browne, S. Radcliffe, T. Young, R. West, T. Barber, W. Lewis, E. Moore, M. Dunne, William Comeford, M. Doyle, Josh Redmond, L. Moore.

Submitted to the House of Commons, Oct. 18, 1831

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This page was last updated 10/18/18