Month: July 2021

Barrister Magistrate Marries his Nurse, 1908

From the Dublin Evening Telegraph, 28 April 1908:


At St Patrick’s Church, Monkstown, at half-past nine o’clock yesterday morning, Mr Thomas J Wall, K.C., 26 Longford Terrace, Monkstown, was married to Miss Gertrude Garland, of Dublin. The ceremony was performed by the Rev Father Eaton, P.P., of Monkstown. The son of the bridegroom is stated to have been present, presumably in the capacity of best man. Mr Wall, Junior, is about 26 years of age, and a very read more

Mrs Biggs Again, 1840-42

From the Waterford Mail, 21 October 1840:


A female of very showy exterior named Eliza Biggs, who resides at No. 5 Hardwicke Street, was summoned to answer the complaint of Mr Wilson, the respectable linen merchant of Sackville Street, for obtaining blankets, quilts and other articles from him, to the amount of £7 by means of false pretences.

Mr Wilson stated that on Wednesday last the defendant came to his shop and purchased goods to the above amount; they were sent home read more

The Lady Alleged to Have been Mad, 1836-9

A continuation of Wednesday’s post

From the Dublin Morning Register, 24 September 1836:

“On yesterday Mr Cummins, the governor of Swift’s mad house, came to this office, in consequence of a private letter written to him by Mr Cole, to give an explanation, as far as he could, with regard to a lady at present in Swift’s hospital, the particulars of which appeared in our paper of yesterday.  Mr Cummins came to the office shortly after two o’clock and stated to the magistrates read more

Husband Alleged to Have Had Estranged Wife Declared Insane to Avoid Paying Maintenance, 1836

From the Belfast Commercial Chronicle, 26 September 1836:

“HENRY STREET POLICE-OFFICE, DUBLIN. – Two ladies, of respectable appearance, came before the magistrates, and made the following statement:- They said, that some time in the month of July last, a lady of respectability came before their worships, at that office, to say that she dreaded her husband would send her to a madhouse, and requested advice of the magistrates.

Mr Cole said that he remembered the circumstances perfectly read more

The War of the Motions: Silk Precedence in the Court of Exchequer, 1834-39

From the Dublin Morning Register, 24 February 1836:

“By some strange combination amongst the clients, almost all the law business of the country is brought into the Court of Exchequer, the Common Pleas being perfectly idle, the judges absolute masters of their own time, and being frequently met with at one o’clock in the day during the middle of term at Kingstown or Howth, enjoying a little country air ‘after the fatigues of business.’ Unfortunately it does not appear read more

Mother of Bride Dies of Apoplexy as Officer Groom Exposed as Fraudster, 1857

From the Carlow Post, 1857:

An extraordinary case just occurred in Kingstown [now Dun Laoghaire] Police Court. It appears that a gentleman who recently held a commission in the 95th Foot was about to be married to a lady in that town. On passing through Birmingham, last week, he purchased jewellery to the value of about £45 or £50, and gave a draft on a London bank, in the name of Lord Charles Hay, and then proceeded to Ireland. The draft, on being presented in London, was declared read more

Lord Chancellor’s Mace-Bearer Fined for Assaulting Dublin United Tramways Conductor, 1902

From the Irish News and Belfast Morning News, 1 July 1902:


Today in the Southern Police Court, before Mr Wall KC, a respectable-looking elderly man named Matthew Orr, a crier in the Four Courts, was brought up in custody of Constable 46B, charged at the instance of Patrick Reddy, a conductor in the employment of the Dublin United Tramways Company, with having been guilty of disorderly behaviour by catching Reddy by the corner of the coat, shaking him, and striking him on read more

Slidecast 5: The Downfall of Enniskillen Solicitor John Macniffe, 1876-88

A slidecast about John Charles Macniffe, solicitor, husband of Oliver St. John Gogarty’s aunt Julia, whose tribulations kept newspapers selling steadily during the period 1886-88. How could all this have happened to one Fermanagh solicitor in his 30s? What had his life been like previously, and what happened to him after?

Index for quick listens to the various bits of Mr Macniffe’s story:

  1. 1877-1880 Marriage and children (00.30-3.52)
  2. 1877-1885
read more

Laughter at Under-the-Table Police Chase in Rolls Court, 1857

From the Wexford People, 17 June 1857:

The Master of the Rolls having taken his seat on the bench on Tuesday last, proceeded with the hearing of motions of course. Before they had concluded, Mr Richard Major Hassard, the well-known litigant, who has been for some years past in the frequent habit of making viva voce appeals in person to the equity judges, made his appearance at the side bar, and addressed his Honor, complaining of an order lately made by him in one of the suits in which read more

The Scandalous Divorce of Gogarty’s Aunt, 1888

From the Irish Times, 11 February 1888 and 14 February 1888:

“MCNIFFE V MCNIFFE (Probate and Matrimonial Court, Warren J)

The parties were married in 1877, in Dublin, and after their marriage they went to live at Enniskillen, where the respondent practised as a solicitor. For some years they lived happily, but in February 1886, the respondent went to Dublin with a governess in his employ… it was understood they would come home that night, but they did not come back that night… read more