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Sharon Oddie Brown. November 10, 2008


1798 August 17

The Times, Friday, Aug 17, 1798; pg. 3; Issue 4258; col C

Belfast August 10.

Court martial. Trial of James Taylor[1], John Moore[2], John Jackson[3]; William Cunningham[4], and John Wilson[5] continue

Wednesday the Court met at 10 o'clock.

The Counsel for the prisoners stated, he had brought witnesses to town to prove Connellan[6] the Evidence for the Crown was not to be believed on oath, and he would bring them forward for examination.

The Public Prosecutor objected to their being examined. The Court had heard the charge against the prisoners; they had heard their defense to these charges, to which he had replied; and it would be irregular were the Court to be open to hear more evidence.

The Court was cleared, to consider whether they should hear more evidence or not.

When the Court opened, the President stated it to be the wish of the Court, that the trial should be immediately closed upon the evidence they had already heard; and if the Public Prosecutor and the Counsel for the prisoners would agree, they should proceed to consider what decision they should give, without troubling them to comment on the evidence. The Counsels having acquiesced in this proposition, the Court was again cleared, to consider of their verdict. –


Yesterday James Mitchell[7] was brought before a Court-martial charged with treason and rebellion in being in arms at Saintfield, on 10 June last. This charge was fully proven. -- sentenced to receive 500 lashes and to give him bail to keep the peace, himself again 50l, and two sureties in25l each.

Saturday John Queery[8] and Gawin Watt[9], both of Belfast, were brought before a general Court-martial at Carrickfergus, charged with treason and rebellion, in being in arms of the rebels at Antrim, on 7 June last. Both prisoners pleaded guilty. -- John Queery received sentence to be transported for life, and Gawin Watt for seven years.




[1] James TAYLOR

[2] John MOORE

[3] John JACKSON. An excellent article on the JACKSONs in the 1798 Rebellion can be found at: http://farrell-family.org/ancestry/JacksonsKirkmans/Rebels/Rebels.html  Going from this, I would think it likely that this is most likely  the John JACKSON (1744-1824), the son of Hugh JACKSON & Elinor GAULT. The residence of John Jackson, the younger brother of James, was named Creeve House, and he is usually called "John of Creeve." John was peripherally involved in the "Poitin Affair" in Ballybay in 1797…. Other than the informer report, the evidence of John's involvement in '98 is sparse. He provided refuge for Samuel Neilson when he escaped the roundup at Bond's Dublin home in March, 1798, fleeing to Ballybay. A search was conducted at John's house "and he [Samuel Neilson] had escaped out of his bed by a back window into an adjoining house. [Madden, R. H., 1842-1846, United Irishmen, 1st Edition,, Series 2, 1:332]. After the rebellion John cared for the Neilson daughters while Samuel was incarcerated in Ft. George, and Samuel visited them their after his release from Ft. George and on his way to exile [Madden, R. H., 1842-1846, United Irishmen, 1st Edition,, Series 2, 1:332

[4] William CUNNINGHAM. A William Cunningham of Ballymena, Co Antrim came from a family extensively involved in the milling business and with connections to Ballyaby. SOURCE” Mary France Kerley, The Rise & Fall of a Village Industry Cornacarrow & Laragh Mills 1775 – 1925 published in Johnston, J. (Ed), “Monaghan studies in Local History”, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, 2008. I am unsure if he was deported. There was a William CUNNINGHAM at the time in St. Vincents. SOURCE: PRONI D/1108/A  Cunningham and Clarke manuscripts.  The name is mentioned in Historical Collections Relative to the Town of Belfast  by Henry Joy, 1817

[5] John WILSON. I know nothing. There was a Hugh WILSON mentioned in the Banishment Acts.

[6] John CONNELLAN. A most amazing story is told in Ulster in 98: Episodes and Anecdotes.  Robert M. Young. Belfast. 1893. According to a conversation that the author had with an Andrew Stilly in 1845, who had been involved in the Uinited Irishmen of 1798, Connellan was an apothecary in Dundalk. He “was afterwards sent out as a surgeon on board a convict ship, when the convicts rose, far out at sea, and literally cut Connellan to pieces, and threw the fragments of his body into the sea. They then ran the vessel into France, where they were taken prisoners and branded; but some of them made their escape, retaining, however, on their persons the marks of the branding iron – amongst other, two brothers of the name of Bourne.”

[7] James MITCHELL (I am assuming that he is not the John MITCHELL, a south Antrim weaver, who was convicted and deported).

[8] John QUEERY of Belfast. He and Gawain WATT were with Henry Joy McCRACKEN when he was arrested. SOURCE: Madden, Richard Robert, "The United Irishmen Their Lives And Times". 1916. New York: The Catholic Publication Society of America. P. 484.

[9] Gawin WATT of Belfast.



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