Ireland Old News

The Times
London, Middlesex, England
January 31, 1824

(From the Freeman's Journal.)



Mr. WALLACE. – My Lords, I have an application for a criminal information, grounded upon affidavit, charging gross abuse of magisterial authority by Lord Farnham. During the last term I applied to your Lordship in this case, but you were pleased to decide that it was against the rule of the Court to receive the application so late in the term; but I presume your Lordships have not a rule that contravenes the English practice, which in cases of this nature is quite clear; it is this – if an application be made for a criminal information, upon the last day, for an offence committee within the term, the Court will hear it; but if the offence be committee the term previous, it will not hear it, but will in the second term, against a magistrate, provided it be made within the days appointed for receiving applications for criminal informations. That being the English practice and when your Lordships shall have heard the facts of this case, I have no doubt that you will receive the application, which is founded upon the affidavit of a man named Michael Lynch. Mr. Wallace then proceeded to state the particulars of the charging affidavit, by which it appeared the deponent had a son called Michael, aged about 12 years, that said boy was summoned by Lord Farnham's wood-ranger to appear at a Petty Sessions on the 3d of September, to be held at the Dispensary (and which Dispensary was in his Lordship's gate-house, at Farnham; county of Cavan) to answer for an offence alleged to have been committee by cutting down branches of a tree on his Lordship's estate; and that deponent and his son, the boy summoned, attended at the gate-house, where there appeared no magistrates but Lord Farnham, and the Rev. Mr. Robinson; and that a person named Wilson, a wood-ranger to Lord Farnham, charged the boy with having been caught in a tree, and cutting down the branches, and which charge was not received upon oath, nor any other evidence offered than the parole unsworn testimony of Wilson; after hearing him (Wilson) Lord Farnham declared aloud that the boy, Michael Lynch, should be whipped, and whereupon the deponent entreated his Lordship's pity, as he was a very poor man, who, with his family, often went to bed supperless for want of firing to boil potatoes; that as the season had been so very wet, turf could not be had. But in this appeal to Lord Farnham's mercy, there was no admission of this crime charged against the boy. The boy also threw himself upon his knees, and in tears implored his Lordship's mercy; but his Lordship immediately stood up, saying "it would not do, and he should be tucked up;" and ordered the boy into the custody of a barony constable, named Janes M'Clean, and commanded Wilson, the wood-ranger, to prepare a bundle of rods to whip the boy with, and that neither before nor after the order was there any judicial sentence or form of conviction of the boy Michael Lynch; that after the business of the Court was concluded, the Rev. Mr. Robinson, the magistrate, who sat upon the bench with Lord Farnham, having seen the bunch of rods preparing by Wilson, remonstrated against its size, and said that it was quite un-merciful, and to take out part of it; upon which some bunches were taken from it, and Lord Farnham, in the presence of Mr. Robinson, commanded M'Clean to strip the boy, which having been done, another barony constable, named Gyles, then took him upon his back, while another proceeded to flog him; but after some time Lord Farnham stopped the constable, and took the rod himself and flogged the boy.------

The CHIEF JUSTICE. – Mr. Wallace, you have stated sufficient; take [make?] a conditional order.

Submitted by: County Cavan Newspaper Transcription Project

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