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1841 May 6. Apprehension of murderer of William HILL. NAMES: Hugh IRWIN aka HARRISON; CALLAGHAN; William HILL (husb. Esther COULTER); Gordon S. HOLMES. PLACES: Ballsmill.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 7, 2014


1841 May 6 Newtownhamilton.


APPREHENSION OF AN ASSASSIN. We learn, with great satisfaction, that a noted infamous character, named Hugh Irwin[1], alias Harrison, was arrested on Friday morning last, by the police of Crossmaglen, in the townland of Loughross[2], Co Louth. He was discovered, concealed, in the house of a man named Callaghan[3]. There were found, on his person, a quantity of powder, and some small pieces of iron, supposed to be intended for use as shot; and, in the room where he was arrested, a loaded pistol and a short sword, both of which he acknowledged to be his. He has also acknowledged himself to be the person who fired at and wounded Mr Hill[4], of Ball’s-mill[5]; and further, that he had twice deserted from the 95th Regiment of Foot. The activity of Sub-Inspector Holmes[6], (who has been lately promoted from the ranks), in tracing out and arresting this daring offender, is deserving of all praise.

[1] Hugh IRWIN

[2] Loughross, Co. Louth is found in townland indices in the Parish of Creggan, Co. Armagh.


[4] William HILL (1770-1852) of Balls Mill in the County of Armagh gent. Initially, I had thought that his wife was Esther COULTER, and that she was probably the Esther COULTER, daughter of John COULTER and Jane BARTLEY. Recently, I found a new clue in the 1873 will of Launcelot COULTER, who names a sister, Esther COULTER. She seems to be a much better fit. The fact that she was a COULTER comes from an 1842 Deed: otherwise COULTER of Balls Mill aforesaid the wife of the said William HILL.

·        He had a son: SOURCE: PRONI Will Abstracts: The Will (with one Codicil) of John William Hill late of Ballsmill County Armagh Farmer deceased who died 2 May 1875 at same place was proved at Armagh by the oath of Esther Hill of Ballsmill Widow the sole Executrix. NOTE: The Esther HILL may have been the mother of John WILLIAM - or he may have also married an Esther.

·        In 1832, a William HILL had a freehold at Ednasbarrow from Charles EASTWOOD and was resident at Ballsmill.

·        In 1823, a William HILL held a freehold at Tullydonnell and was resident at Ballsmill.

·        William HILL is in the 1828 Tithe records.

·        NOTE: An Edward HILL leased out considerable lands in the townland of Mounthill in the Parish of Creggan.

·       In 1824, a William HILL held a freehold at Tullydonnell for the lives of William and Edward HILL and was resident at Ballsmill.

·       See also March 23, 1841 account of the murder of William HILL.

[5] Balls Mill is just south of the R177, about 7km north-west of Dundalk. It is also just slightly north of a clutch of townlands where many of the COULTERs were known to reside (Cavananore, Shortstone, Annaghavackey and so on). It is on Ballsmill Road (on some maps – otherwise Glassdrumman Rd on other maps) and is in the Parish of Glassdrumman  SEE: http://www.devlin-family.com/timelineglassdrummond.htm 

Ballsmill (Baile na gCléireach) Armagh. Ballinaglera 1838. ‘Ball's mill’. Thomas Ball was granted land here in the 17th cent. The Irish name means ‘townland of the clerics’. SOURCE: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O40-Ballsmill.html

[6] Gordon S. HOLMES was stationed in Crossmaglen in 1846 (SOURCE: p 342,Vol. 11 #2 Seanchas Ardmacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society.) His wife was named Elizabeth. He was the grandfather of HSBC employee in the Far East, Gordon Holmes STITT (1866-1949).



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