Fermanagh Crime 1839.

July 25th 1839.  ENNISKILLEN PROSTITUTION. Owing to the highly creditable exertions of George Speare Esq., Senior magistrate, three of those unfortunate females who have so frequently disturbed and annoyed the peaceable and well-disposed inhabitants of this town and neighbourhood were brought at our last assizes before Judge Torrens; tried and convicted under the vagrant act of being idle, dissolute characters – having no settled place of residence.  They were each sentenced to three months imprisonment – to give a bail at the end of that time, themselves in £10.00 each and two sureties in £5.00 each; to be of the peace and good behaviour to her Majesty’s subjects, in default of which to be transported for seven years.  The example set by this respectable gentleman cannot be too highly appreciated, in endeavouring to free our town and suburbs from the gross scenes of obscenity and drunkenness constantly practised by groups of depraved females who infest and prowl about the streets, seducing others of their own sex and gathering to themselves kindred spirits of iniquity which we exceedingly regret cannot be apprehended. It gives us pleasure to learn that it is this gentleman’s determination to cause such characters to be taken up from time to time, and lodged in gaol want and disposed of at next quarter sessions or assizes.

August 9th 1839. Farmers should see that their servants would not leave home unprovided with double reins to their horses. It is an infraction of the law, for which the police had several persons fined at Petty Sessions on Monday last.

August 9th 1839. On Monaghan Assizes, John Meehan was found guilty of rape on the person of Anne Hughes. Sentence of death was recorded.

September 5th 1839. A MOST DIABOLICAL ACT was committed on the lands of Mullaneeny, barony of Knockninny, sometimes since by cutting off the tails of three cows, the property of Francis Maguire, a tenant of Mr Creighton’s property. A large reward has been offered for the discovery and apprehension of the misguided persons who committed the offence. The only cause suspected for the wanton outrage, is that of paying his rent before his neighbours!!

October 10th 1839. One of the most extraordinary species of theft was committed on the Rev. James Sheil, P.P. of Enniskillen a few nights since. In a field near Castlecoole, the Rev. Gentleman had a quantity of wheat in stooks, and some person or persons unknown carried off several sheaves out of many of them.

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The Night of the High Wind from the Impartial Reporter newspaper.

January 10 1839.  For the last 40 years this country was not visited with so furious a Gale of wind, or one as generally and awfully destructive in its effects, as that which took place on Sunday night last.  At about 10.15 we felt the first symptoms of it from the south and south-east from which it continued to increase in violence until past 12, when it blew a tremendous hurricane from the east; about 3.00 AM in the morning it chopped about to S.S.E. again for  half an hour, after which it flew round ten points of the compass in as many minutes, blowing with terrific force from west by north where it continued until 8 o’clock when it shifted a point or two more northwards: it blew very fresh during Monday until the afternoon, when it lulled and a heavy fall of snow came on which continued all night and part of Tuesday.  A strong frost has since set in.

On my Monday morning the town presented a frightful aspect; the shops were all closed as if death had visited the inmates of each; the streets were covered with broken slates, thatch and rubbish from the different chimneys blown down and the roofs taken of.  An awful extent of damage has been done; windows broken and blown in; trees uprooted; roofs blown off; chimneys thrown down; floors forced in; cattle maimed and killed, and hay and corn blown away.

Providentially we have heard of no human lives lost, except one man who, living near the edge of the lake, went upon the roof of his house during the night to preserve it by putting weights on it, and he himself was blown away and perished in the angry waters.  Mr. Marshall, an inmate at Eden, the residence of the George Rankin, Esq., narrowly escaped with his life, he having been but a few minutes left his room through the entreaties of Mr. Rankin, when a stack of chimneys fell through the roof: it would have crushed him to death!  It would be impossible for us to enumerate in detail the losses sustained, but, we may mention of three houses have been blown down in the Castle lane.  The large ballroom in their rear of Mr. Willis’s hotel, is in ruin, there is scarcely a pane of glass left in the front of the town hall, the roof and window of the Church have been much injured, the Roman Catholic Chapel is partly unroofed and the stone cross shattered to fragments; the greater part of the old distillery of the Messrs. Innis and Armstrong is level with the ground, and their brewery much injured; the massive lead sheeting and roof of the jail was rolled up and stripped off by the wind, like so much tissue paper; £2,000 pounds we learn will not repair the damage sustained by Portora Royal School.  One of the lightning conductors, formed of a thick pole bound to an immense strong bar of iron, in the Castle barrack, was beaten to the earth like a twig.  The sentry boxes were upset in all directions.  There is not a house in the town but has suffered less or more from the effects of the Gale.

Hay and corn are mostly blown away and scattered for miles through the hills: their prospects are most melancholy, may God pity them and assist them under this awful visitation of his wrath.  The Belfast mail, which left this on Sunday night, was upset three times, and we learn that the coach man had his thigh broken in two places.  The Shareholder coach which left this for Dublin on Monday morning had returned the passengers and coach man expecting it to be blown of the road and into the fields.  The mails due here have lost several hours every day since Sunday, the Belfast particularly.  Nearly behalf of Kells is correct burned to the ground.  Part of Navan was also in flames on Monday.  Monaghan has suffered – a dreadful fire has added its horrors to those of the Gale, and the town is nearly depopulated: a party of the 38th marched from this on yesterday morning en route for it to protect the property of the unfortunate sufferers which had been saved from the flames.  Up to the hour of going to press we continue to hear occurrence of the dreadful ravages that have been engender by the storm in all directions which has been one of the most desolating and awful in its consequences that ever visited us.  The foregoing account does not contain a tithe of the damage which has been done.  It would be impossible at present to estimate it, for none have escaped.

1839 Advice on Australian Emigration.

Newcastle Courant February 15th 1839. The Hand-Book for Australian Emigrants. — “We have read not a few publications on the same subject; but there is no previous publication, so far as we know, that contains so full, ample, extended, and minute an account as ‘the Hand-Book.’ The author has no crotchets of his own to support. He seems to have read, and to have courted verbal or written information with a single eye to truth. We never read a book more free from bias or prejudice of any kind or more determined to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The Night of the High Wind – in England.

In Ireland the Night of the High Wind 6th January 1839 has been remembered vividly in Ireland. Local histories and many books have chronicled this momentous hurricane which caused so much damage and filled the newspapers for weeks afterwards. Even a Pettigo couple who married on that day were nicknamed afterwards as “the Medole McGraths” that being the Irish word for a hurricane.

As an experiment to see if this terrible event had been mentioned in English newspapers I checked in Newcastle upon-Tyne and found that with unroofed houses, churches and falling factory chimneys they had enough of their own troubles without bothering about the woes of the Irish.

Newcastle Courant January 10th 1839. DURHAM. This city was visited with a complete hurricane on Monday last, the wind blowing strong from the south west. It commenced early in the morning and continued nearly the whole of that day. The injury done to property in the city and the neighbourhood is immense, many of the houses being totally unroofed; some losing their chimneys and others much injured. The engine chimney erected at the carpet manufactuary of Messrs Henderson, fell with a tremendous crash on the roof of one of their warehouses which it totally demolished, but otherwise doing no harm, as the workmen and others usually employed in that establishment not being suffered to work for fear of any serious accident happening. The large chimney at the glass works also fell, but without doing much damage except to the adjoining garden. Two large trees standing on the Palace Green were completely torn up by the roots, the whole of the houses in the College are more or less injured, and the damage done to the Cathedral is estimated at about £100. All the shops in the town were either wholly or partially closed, and business of all kinds was completely put a stop to. Not one single life has been lost.

RYHOPE. —The gale here was most tremendous. The parsonage seems to have suffered most severely. The garden wall on the east was levelled with the ground; most of the glass in the windows of the western front was blown in; one of the outer doors, a large and massy one, was lifted from its hinges, and removed to a distance, and other damage done to a considerable amount. The chapel was partially unroofed. The chimney of one of the cottages belonging to Mr Benson fell through the roof, and the inmates narrowly escaped with their lives. Many of the corn stacks in and about the village were overturned, and , in some instances dispersed to the winds. The unroofing of houses was so general, that few have escaped a greater or less damage. A gale so violent and long-continued has not been experienced in Ryhope within the memory of the oldest inhabitant.

At Jarrow, a chimney and part of the gable end of the house of the Rev. Hugh Nanney, vicar of that place, fell, coming through the roof into the bedroom, in which Mr Nanney was sleeping, and forced the under part of the bed stock through the flooring; but, fortunately, the Reverend gentleman escaped without having sustained any injury.