TRAMP-RIDDEN CLONES AND THE TRAMP CONVENTION.

Fermanagh Herald and Monaghan News.1905. Price One Penny.

TRAMP-RIDDEN CLONES ITS “CENTRAL POSITION” ATTRACT THE WANDERERS. Fifty-one of the fifty-three admissions to Clones Workhouse last week were tramps, and the Master (Mr. Joseph McKenna) reported at Thursday’s meeting of the Guardians that he believed they would go on increasing. On Saturday night there was a record number in the Casual Ward, which was congested.

The Chairman (Mr. John Smyth, Rosslea). thought the hot baths might now be dispensed with.

The Clerk said Clones was very central, and that was the reason of its being so favoured by tramps

The Master considered it probable that the tramps came to Clones on Saturday by pre-arrangement hold a conference or convention. It was on the week of the opening of Parliament, and the tramps might be holding a Parliament too. To judge their names they came from almost every county in Ireland. The Master was given permission to put some the tramps in the boys’ vacant dormitory when congestion was too great in future.

IN “CONVENTION” INSOLENT OFFICIALS DENOUNCED BY THE VISITORS.

During last week an enterprising member of the roving fraternity in the Workhouse discovered nearly every county in Ireland was represented amongst the assemblage, and, therefore, suggested holding of a Convention. So a meeting was held and the “grievances” of the fraternity were discussed.

It seems that though the tramp on present himself at Clones Workhouse is “received courteously by the officials,” and “immersed in a warm bath, after which he has his supper of stirabout and milk,” he feels that any claim thereby established on his gratitude is cancelled by a rule which compels him to break half-a-ton of stones.

A Mr. Mick Curley, a veteran of 65, who presided over the assembled tramps, has 20 years’ experience of Clones, and in his presidential address admitted that the warm bath was “progress.” They however, he complained, to submit to stone-breaking and stirabout, and insolent questions regarding their family affairs. He thought they should write to the L.G.B. to stop all this, “as that body not want to fight against poplar demand: present.”

The resolutions passed condemned the Guardians and workhouse officials, and called for the redress of a number of grievances. The untimely arrival of the Master to call the roll brought the “convention ” to a close.

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“We are Seven.”

Fermanagh Herald and Monaghan News.1905. Price One Penny.

April 1st 1905. SEVEN ROSSLEA (Ed. Literary) DRINKERS. Patrick Sweeney, Thomas McAloon, Michael Cassidy, M. McCloskey, Patrick Murray, Charles Rooney, and James McQuaid recited “We are seven” at the Rosslea Petty Sessions on Saturday last. The magistrates were:—Messrs. McLean, R.M., and B. Whitsitt, J.P. They had nothing to do beyond extracting sums ranging from 1s to half-a-crown from the above-named gentlemen, all of whom had been drunk.

“We are Seven” is a poem written by William Wordsworth in 1798 and published in his Lyrical Ballads. It describes a discussion between an adult poetic speaker and a “little cottage girl” about the number of brothers and sisters who dwell with her. The poem turns on the question of whether to count two dead siblings.

 

Wordsworth claimed that the idea for We are Seven came to him while traveling alone across England in October 1793 after becoming separated from his friend, William Calvert. This solitude with nature he claimed encouraged him to reach a deeper understanding where the experience was no longer just for pleasure, as it was in his earlier days, but also hinted at a darker side. Immersed in these feelings, Wordsworth came to Goodrich Castle and met a little girl who would serve as the model for the little girl in We are Seven. Although there is no documentation on what the little girl actually told him during their conversation, she interested Wordsworth to such an extent that he wrote:

    I have only to add that in the spring of 1841 I revisited Goodrich Castle, not having seen that part of the Wye since I met the little Girl there in 1793. It would have given me greater pleasure to have found in the neighbouring hamlet traces of one who had interested me so much; but it was impossible, as unfortunately I did not even know her name.

 

Wordsworth began to write the poem in early 1798 while working on many other poems modelled on the ballad form for a joint poetry collection with Samuel Coleridge. The collection was proposed in March because Wordsworth needed to raise money for a proposed journey to Germany with Coleridge. These poems were included in Lyrical Ballads and A Few Other Poems with a few written by Coleridge. Wordsworth describes the moment of finishing the poem:

 

    My friends will not deem it too trifling to relate that while walking to and fro I composed the last stanza first, having begun with the last line. When it was all but finished, I came in and recited it to Mr. Coleridge and my Sister, and said, ‘A prefatory stanza must be added, and I should sit down to our little tea-meal with greater pleasure if my task were finished.’ I mentioned in substance what I wished to be expressed, and Coleridge immediately threw off the stanza thus:-

 

        ‘A little child, dear brother Jem,’ —

 

    I objected to the rhyme, ‘dear brother Jem,’ as being ludicrous, but we all enjoyed the joke of hitching-in our friend, James T —’s name, who was familiarly called Jem. He was brother of the dramatist, and this reminds me of an anecdote which it may be worthwhile here to notice. The said Jem got a sight of the Lyrical Ballads as it was going through the press at Bristol, during which time I was residing in that city. One evening he came to me with a grave face, and said, ‘Wordsworth, I have seen the volume that Coleridge and you are about to publish. There is one poem in it which I earnestly entreat you will cancel, for, if published, it will make you ever lastingly ridiculous.’ I answered that I felt much obliged by the interest he took in my good name as a writer, and begged to know what was the unfortunate piece he alluded to. He said, ‘It is called “We are seven.”‘ Nay! said I, that shall take its chance, however, and he left me in despair.

 

The collection, including We are Seven, was accepted by Joseph Cottle in May 1798 and was soon after published anonymously.[5] In 1820, the poem was republished as a broadside and titled “The Little Maid and the Gentleman”.

 

Many guidebooks and locals in the city of Conwy, Wales claim Wordsworth was inspired to write the poem after seeing a gravestone in St Mary and All Saints Church. The gravestone is marked “We are Seven.”

 

WE ARE SEVEN

          ——–A SIMPLE Child,

          That lightly draws its breath,

          And feels its life in every limb,

          What should it know of death?

 

          I met a little cottage Girl:

          She was eight years old, she said;

          Her hair was thick with many a curl

          That clustered round her head.

 

          She had a rustic, woodland air,

          And she was wildly clad:                                  

          Her eyes were fair, and very fair;

          –Her beauty made me glad.

 

          “Sisters and brothers, little Maid,

          How many may you be?”

          “How many? Seven in all,” she said

          And wondering looked at me.

 

          “And where are they? I pray you tell.”

          She answered, “Seven are we;

          And two of us at Conway dwell,

          And two are gone to sea.                                 

 

          “Two of us in the church-yard lie,

          My sister and my brother;

          And, in the church-yard cottage, I

          Dwell near them with my mother.”

 

          “You say that two at Conway dwell,

          And two are gone to sea,

          Yet ye are seven!–I pray you tell,

          Sweet Maid, how this may be.”

 

          Then did the little Maid reply,

          “Seven boys and girls are we;                             

          Two of us in the church-yard lie,

          Beneath the church-yard tree.”

 

          “You run about, my little Maid,

          Your limbs they are alive;

          If two are in the church-yard laid,

          Then ye are only five.”

 

          “Their graves are green, they may be seen,”

          The little Maid replied,

          “Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door,

          And they are side by side.                                 

 

          “My stockings there I often knit,

          My kerchief there I hem;

          And there upon the ground I sit,

          And sing a song to them.

 

          “And often after sunset, Sir,

          When it is light and fair,

          I take my little porringer,

          And eat my supper there.

 

          “The first that died was sister Jane;

          In bed she moaning lay,                                    

          Till God released her of her pain;

          And then she went away.

 

          “So in the church-yard she was laid;

          And, when the grass was dry,

          Together round her grave we played,

          My brother John and I.

 

          “And when the ground was white with snow,

          And I could run and slide,

          My brother John was forced to go,

          And he lies by her side.”                                 

 

          “How many are you, then,” said I,

          “If they two are in heaven?”

          Quick was the little Maid’s reply,

          “O Master! we are seven.”

 

          “But they are dead; those two are dead!

          Their spirits are in heaven!”

          ‘Twas throwing words away; for still

          The little Maid would have her will,

          And said, “Nay, we are seven!”

SPEEDING ON A MOTOR BICYCLE IN 1905.

Fermanagh Herald and Monaghan News.1905. Price One Penny.

April 1st 1905. ON A MOTOR BICYCLE. At the Enniskillen Petty Sessions on Monday, Mr. W. C. Trimble, J.P., presiding, Constable Brown summoned Robert T. Lendrum, Enniskillen, for having driven a motor bicycle on the public street of Enniskillen, on the evening of the 14th inst. at a speed dangerous to the public. Mr. A, C. Cooney, solicitor, appeared for the defendant. Constable Brown stated that at 7.30 on Sunday evening, the 18th inst., he was on duty in Church Street, when he saw Mr. Lendrum driving his motor bicycle down Church Street and up High Street, carelessly or negligently, and at a speed dangerous to the public. In witness’s opinion defendant was driving at the rate of about ten miles an hour. There were a good many people on the footpath at the time.

Cross-examined by Mr. Cooney: Were there any vehicles in the centre of the street? None whatever. Mr. Cooney: Aren’t motor-cars owned by aristocrats driven at a much greater speed through Enniskillen than ten miles an hour? I have not seen them. If Mr. Lendrum were to swear that he had a speed indicator on the bicycle which showed that he was only going at the rate of eight miles an hour, would you contradict him? It is my opinion that he was going at ten miles an hour. Constable Kyle also gave evidence. Defendant was fined 6s and costs.

Enniskillen Jail History.

Fermanagh Herald and Monaghan News.1905. Price One Penny.

January 28th 1905. Enniskillen Jail. Arrangements have been completed for the transfer of Enniskillen Prison to Fermanagh County Council. At a meeting of the body on Friday the Chairman, Mr J. Jordan, M.P. remarked that it showed the country was in a peaceable state when the Prison Authorities could close the Jail and hand it over to the County Council; and Mr. H. R. Lindsay said he remembered seeing sixty suspects in it.

The site of part of the Jail which was built in recent years covers a portion of what was formerly a “commons” in which were found buried remains of the “gads” with which criminals had been hanged. The late Barney Bannon a respectable storehouse of local traditions, always asserted that Fermanagh men had a decided objection to being hanged with a rope. They preferred an osier gad.

In 1811 the County Fermanagh raised £15,000 for the purpose of erecting a County Jail in Enniskillen. £13,000 of this sum was advanced from the Consolidation Fund to be paid back in half-yearly instalments. In 1836 a further sum of £13,800 was raised for the same purpose. At the Summer Assizes in 1836 the Grand Jury voted £300 for the support of prisoners, £15-9-3d to Hugh Collum, apothecary, for medicines; £100 to Paul Dane, local Prison Inspector; £111 to year’s salary to the keeper; £23-1-6 to John Morrison 1st Turnkey; to Hamilton Morrison and Henry Mc Mulkin, second turnkeys, to sum of £18-9-3 to each; and to James Lacy, John Blakely and William Holmes, third turnkeys a sum of £18-9-3 each. To Mrs Jane Davis, matron, £30; £8-6s to Mrs Jane Hunter, infirmary nurse; and £13-6-11d to Wm. Hunter, schoolmaster. The bill for milk furnished at the Summer Assizes, 1836 was £40, and Charles Annon’s bill for butcher’s meat was only 6s-6d. The bread bill was £20-2-11, and the account for potatoes was £80-9-10½.

In 1841 it was determined to enlarge the jail and a committee of the following was appointed to carry out the plans for the improvement into effect, and to report as to the best mode for raising the money for the building and improvements. William D’Arcy, Esq., Rev. J. G. Porter, Edward Archdale Esq., Dr. Ovenden, and Captain Williams. At the Summer Assizes of 1841 the names of John Creighton Esq., and George Brooke Esq., were added to the committee. A sum of £7,500 was advanced by the Consolidated fund, without interest, for the extension and improvement of the building to be paid back in fifty half-yearly instalments of £150 each (a county at large charge). In 1856 there were three chaplains to the jail, Rev. Fr. Boylan, Rev. J. C. Maude (Protestant) and Rev. M. C. McClatchy (Dissenting) each of whom was paid £30 per annum.

From a return made by John Lamb, Governor of the jail on 4th March 1843, it appears that a saving of £66-10-9 had been affected since the previous assizes by prisoners’ work – in stone breaking, lime burning, weaving, hackling, tailoring, carpentry and shoemaking. Fifty-two yards of linen were bought by a local clergyman at 6d per yard but on this date 536 yards of linen and 236 yards of ticking woven by prisoners remained in the store unsold. In view of the discussion that took place at the meeting of the County Council on Friday relative to the water supply to the prison, it is interesting to note that in June 1819 James Gallogly, jailor, advertised for plans and specifications for works to convey water to the jail and jail yard.

On the night of the 23rd or early on the morning of the 24th December 1817 six prisoners escaped from the jail. One of them was under sentence of transportation for seven years for stealing clothes, and another of them was charged with stealing a bag the property of the Enniskillen Mail Coach. A reward of £10 was offered for the arrest of the man under sentence of transportation and £5 was offered to any person who would apprehend any of the others.

There were 230 persons in the two jails of Enniskillen in July 1817, of whom 192 were receiving jail allowance. Eighty-four of them were put for trial at the Assizes – 37 for burglary, 24 for stealing horses, cows and sheep, and the remainder for robberies and thefts of various kinds.

One of these was Thomas Broughton, an old man over sixty years and sentenced to be hanged on the 18th of August for house-breaking and robbery. A local newspaper issued on the morning of the day upon which he was to die says – “He is to suffer the awful sentence of the law this day about one o’clock in front of the new jail. The advanced age of the unfortunate man, as well as the infrequency of such a spectacle amongst us, no executions having taken place here for the last ten years are circumstances calculated to heighten public compassion, and to impress a deeper character and terror on the community.” It goes on to say that he had spent the interval between the assizes and the fatal day in an earnest preparation for death.

The detailed account of the execution given by Mr. E. Duffy in the Enniskillen Chronicle of August 28th, 1817, is gruesome reading. The military occupied the jail square – the whole population of the neighbourhood turned out to see the “finis.” Prospect Hill was crowded, etc.. The unfortunate man did everything that even the most fastidious and exacting of the vast concourse of sightseers might exact from him. After his body had swung the regulated time before the jail, it was lowered into a coffin and handed over to his relatives. During the interval between his condemnation and execution newsmongers asserted positively that he was the confederate of an infamous robber from Lisnaskea, and that he had been implicated in the robbery of Lisgoole forty years before. There was no foundation for either statement.

On January 15th, 1819, a charity ball was given in the Market House, Enniskillen for the relief of the poor debtors confined in the County Jail. It realized £15 and was disbursed to deserving debtors at the rate of 1s-8d per week.

Many remarkable and pathetic scenes have taken place in the old prison – the gloomy building that first attracts the attention of the visitor to Enniskillen. Thousands of grief-stricken prisoner have entered its portals some of whom were never again permitted to breathe the air of freedom. Its narrow and dreary cells are now tenant-less, no armed warders pass along its dimly lit corridors, and the stillness of the night is not broken by the click of heavy locks. The building is deserted, silence reigns supreme. It is the silence that proclaims that the county is free of crime.

An Inniskilling Pensioner

Fermanagh Herald and Monaghan News.1905. Price One Penny.

January 28th 1905. As a result of representations made to the War Office, Mr. James Mc Manus, Dame St., Enniskillen has been awarded a pension dating from 1st January last of 9 pence a day for life in recognition for his services to the Empire. Mr. Mc Manus served in the 27th Inniskillings and was one of the 200 men who sailed on the ill-fated Charlotte for the Indian Mutiny. The vessel it will be remembered was shipwrecked in Delagoa Bay and only 60 men were saved of which he was one. After the survivors were landed in India, Mr. Mc Manus saw considerable service there and was in some engagements but was eventually invalided home. He has the Indian Service Medal and treasured it faithfully ever since he received it.

Ballyshannon Workhouse Death.

Fermanagh Herald and Monaghan News.1905. Price One Penny.

January 14th 1905. NOTES.

An inmate of Ballyshannon Union Workhouse, named Roughan, died on Sunday morning, after at least fifty years’ sojourn in that institution. Over twenty-fire years ago he was placed in the dead house as a corpse, and frightened another inmate who was working round the mortuary by sitting up in his shroud on the rude table where the dead are placed.

Christmas and New Year in Fermanagh in 1905.

Fermanagh Herald and Monaghan News. 1905. Price One Penny.

January 7th 1905. LISNASKEA CHILDREN SENT TO AN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL. At the Lisnaskea petty sessions on Saturday, Mr. J. Gray, R.M., presiding Head Constable McKinney applied to have two little girls named O’Neill committed to the Monaghan Female Industrial School.

B. L. Winslow, solicitor, appeared on behalf of the mother of the children. It appeared that the mother of the children had just completed a term of imprisonment, and her husband was at present in jail. When the parents were sent to jail the children were taken to the workhouse, where they had been for the previous three months. Mr. Winslow submitted that the magistrates had no jurisdiction to send these children from the workhouse to an industrial school. The mother of the children implored the magistrates not to send them away from her. The majority of the bench decided to send the children to an Industrial School, and Mr. Winslow asked to have a poll of the magistrates mentioning that he intended to apply for a certiorari in the Superior Courts. The voting was as follows: — For sending the children to an industrial school—Messrs. Mulligan, Murphy, Mc Caffery, Tierney, and O’Donnell—5. Against — The Chairman, Major Haire, Messrs. Arnold and Henderson — 4. The order was accordingly made, the mother of the children crying bitterly.

January 7th 1905. NEW YEAR’S EVE IN ENNISKILLEN. The New Year was ushered in in Enniskillen in the customary manner. When the shops had closed the Enniskillen Grattan Band and Protestant Band alternately paraded the town playing lively airs. Large numbers remained until after midnight on the streets where the best of good humour prevailed. For some time mutual felicitations could be heard on all sides, after which the crowds dispersed and the streets were soon quite deserted.

January 7th 1905. Boating accident on Lough Erne. On Saturday afternoon a boating mishap occurred on Lough Erne. A boat, in which there were five men of the Inniskilling Fusiliers, capsized a little below the Convent grounds, Enniskillen and the occupants were immersed in the river. Some of the men were able to swim ashore, and the others assisted themselves with the aid of an oar to the bank. The men were not apparently much the worse for their involuntary bath.

January 7th 1905. ENTERTAINMENT IN ENNISKILLEN WORKHOUSE. At the meeting of the Enniskillen Board of Guardians on Tuesday, Mr. H. R. Lindsay, J.P. (chairman) preceding, the master, Mr. Thos. N. Gamble, reported:—“On Wednesday last, 20th December, an excellent dinner of roast beef and ham was given to the inmates from funds remaining on hands after the entertainment given last year. Mrs. Humphreys and Mrs. Lindsay were unable to come, and no person connected with the board or workhouse attended to assist in any way but four gentlemen from the town: Messrs. R. W. Wilson, R Ross, F Thorpe, and J. Stewart kindly came over and carved the meat, and gave great assistance in distributing it to the inmates, who enjoyed it greatly. It is proposed by several ladies and gentlemen (with the permission of the board of guardians) to give a treat to the inmates this evening. Tea, rich cake, buns, apples, sweets, tobacco, etc. will be given in the afternoon to be followed by a concert.

On the motion of Mr. Thos. Elliott, seconded by Mr. E. Corrigan, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the gentlemen who had assisted at the dinner, and to the ladies, and gentlemen who intended to give an entertainment to the inmates that evening.