Markham trial report

THE LIMERICK CHRONICLE held by the National Library, Dublin.

Saturday March 2

 Limerick Special Session under the Insurrection

Act, Thursday, February 28, 1822.

Friday March 1, 1822

County court –


EDWARD MARKHAM – charged with having in his possession at Mt. Brown on 28th ult one case of pistols [i.e 2 pistols-FCM] which he denied possession of and  for being an idle and disorderly person.

When the Clerk of the Peace read the indictment, the prisoner desired he should read it again, which was done. He again desired a repetition in a more audible voice, seemed to smile and appeared to have no concern as to his condition. The Court interposed and remonstrated with the prisoner as to his assumed  levity. Sergeant Torrens then repeated the words of the indictment to the prisoner to which he replied that he was not idle or disorderly, that the arms were certainly found in his house but that no charge was ever before preferred against him.

Thomas McEnnis, private of the Third Dragoons,stated in evidence that he repaired with others on the night of the 28th of February in search of arms in the neighbourhood of Mount Brown accompanied by Mr. Brown a Magistrate, and demanded arms at the house of the prisoner who said that he had no arms in his possession. Mr. Brown made a diligent search after the soldiers and found in the bottom of the cupboard a brace of pistols one of which was silver tipped the other was of a large size and seemingly a militaryone.

Witnesses said to prisoner that he was a fool to bring such desolution and trouble upon himself to which he replied that “It can’t be helped now!”

John S. Brown Jr. Esquire, a magistrate, said that on the night of the 28th he proceeded to the party of the 42nd and some of the police which amounted to about 19 men. They searched some of the houses in the neighbourhood of Mount Brown which is distant from Rathkeale about 3 miles. At about 3 o’clock in the morning he proceeded to the prisoner’s house. One of the soldiers searched the house after demanding arms but could find none. Witness examined after the soldiers and found concealed in the lower part of the cupboard a large pistol mounted with brass and one of a smaller size tipped with silver both in good preservation.

The prosecution closed and the prisoner had no defence. He was found Guilty

(After other cases on the day) EDWARD MARKHAM, first prisoner convicted, was then put to the Bar.

Sergeant Torrens then addressed MARKHAM in a most impressive manner upon the nature of his offence and told him that this very moment, even while the sentence of the Court was pronouncing upon him, preparations were making for taking him out of the country. He was sentenced to transportation. The seven persons whose names are already enumerated were then addressed by Sgt Torrens in a very energetic manner, touching upon the disordered, frightful and alarming state of the County, and the awful consequences which must succeed to the commission of those crimes. He felt it his duty to eulogise the firm, zealous and excellent conduct of Mr. Brown of Mount Brown, the Magistrate, whose exertions must be a subject of admiration and which, if imitated, the most beneficial results to the peace, order and tranquility to the County will follow.

 In this panegyric the entire Bench fully acquiesced. He then told the prisoners that they were now about the quit their country. This very instant, preparations were making for their bidding adieu to their families, friends and all that they held dear, and he sincerely hoped their punishment would prove a salutory lesson to the misguided.

He then sentenced each of the prisoners to Transportation for 7 years to any of His Majesty’s colonies which should be selected for them. Sgt. Torrens then said, “Mr. Sheriff, see that these men be removed forthwith for transportation. The promptness of the trial, sentence and the execution of it had a most impressive effect on the Court as well as the populace.

At half past 5 o’clock Captain Thompson, Governer of the County Gaol, placed the above 8 men on two carts at the courthouse doorand a detachment of the 43rd Light Infantry,being in readiness, they were instantly forwarded to Charleville on their way to Cork to be put on board the hulks for transportation agreeable to sentence.