Page images
PDF
EPUB

re-examination, that he might same character ; but he had anohave time to inquire more mi- ther witness to call, a person of nutely into the circumstances of the name of Edwards, a police the case. Mr. Gurney then, at officer also, but one who, it would considerable length, detailed to appear from the testimony of all, the jury all the circumstances, as even of Vaughan himself, had they came out on the different been admitted into the transaction examinations of the defendants occasionally, to give it credit, and Mrs. M'Donald. The learned though he had never been in the counsel was also proceeding to secret. With this corroborative read the confession of Mackay, evidence, he was persuaded the when

jury would consider the case as Mr. Arabin, for the defendants, complete ; and if it should so ap. objected to the reading of this pear to the jury, they would have document, and contended that it no other duty to perform but to could not be taken as evidence find the defendants guilty. It was against Vaughan.

impossible to aggravate the case The Chairman observed, that by calling in the aid of fancy, or the confession of Mackay cer- by using any terms that our lantainly must not be taken as evi- guage supplied. It disclosed an dence against any other than hin- attempt to commit murder by self.

making the law and the admiMr. Gurney resumed, and ob- nistration of justice subservient served, it was only as such that to so horrid a purpose. Nothing he wished to read it. Mr. Gur-. could be said in palliation of such ney then proceeded to read it, and an offence-nothing could be it was found particularly to relate pleaded in its favour to reduce to the burglary at the house in our indignation against it. He Gray's-inn-lane. It detailed dif was sure that no endeavour at ferent conversations between mitigation would be made by his Vanghan, Drake, and Hubbard; learned friend who was counsel in one of which Vaughan under- for one of the prisoners. He was took to furnish Hubbard with a convinced he would allow the crow-bar, skeleton keys, and enormity of the guilt, and would other necessary implements of draw an argument in favour of house-breaking ; and in another his client's innocence from that conversation Vaughan was stated very enormity. Admitting the to have said to Drake,

blackness of the transaction if told you can do a great deal; can proved, his learned friend would you get two or three men to do attempt to show, that there was a crack ?" Drake said he could ; no man so llevoid of every sentiVaughan said, “ If he did, he ment of humanity, of every

feel. should have 51. after they were ing of nature, as to have engaged committed.” This testimony in it; in short, that the commight be said to be that of a mission of such guilt would infer party concerned. Some other a monster who did not exist. But witnesses which he should have if, by the evidence which he should to call, it might be said, bore the lay before the jury, this guilt was

established,

[ocr errors]

established, he should have to re of Drake's arts, and that a desire gret, that the law had not pro to do his duty towards the public vided an adequate punishment, had led Vaughan into the error and that it was iinpossible, in the into which he had fallen. With present circumstances, to indict respect to the confession of Macfor a higher offence than the kay, the jury would be told by charge against the prisoners con the Chairman, that nothing contained.

tained in that confession could be The examination of a number taken as evidence against Vaugof witnesses then followed, which han. He should be able to call it is unnecessary here to copy. the most respectable testimony as After the case was closed on the to Vaughan's character, and lię part of the crown,

was convinced the jury would Mr. Arabin addressed the jury hesitate before they would, on the on the part of the defendant unsupported testimony of such a Vaughan, and observed, at so witness as Drake, pronounce a late a period of the day, he should verdict of guilty against a young not attempt to follow his learned nan, which verdict must have the friend through his opening; he effect of blasting all his future would only allude to one or two prospects in life, and rendering points which had fallen from him infamous for ever. him ; one of which was to join Mr. Arabin then called Edw with his learned friend in requests Christian, Esq. Chief Justice of ing that the jury would now di- Ely, who stated, that the privest their minds of all prejudice, soner, Vaughan, had been in his and decide only on the evidence service as a clerk, and, up to the before them. The next point was time of this unfortunate trans. this-his learned friend had said action, he had always had the he would not ask the jury to find highest opinion of him. the defendants guiliy, unless the Mr. Gurney shortly replied, evidence of the five men, and that and the Chairman recapitulated of Drake, was corroborated by the evidence. The Jury, after a the pure testimony of unconnect minute's deliberation, found all ed witnesses. Had the evidence the defendants guilty. of that wretched and infamous The Court immediately proman been corroborated ? He was ceeded to pass sentence. The ready to contend it had not; and, Chairman commented, in impresexcept his testimony, there was sive terms, on the enormity of not a tittle of evidence to affect the crime of which the defendants Vaughan. It was far from his had been found guilty, and senintention to deny that a conspiracy tenced them to be imprisoned for did exist somewhere, and that five years in the House of CorDrake was deeply implicated in rection, and at the expiration of it : but, in his opinion, Vaughan that time to find security for three had had no concern whatever in years, theinselves in sol. and two it; on the contrary, he was per- sureties in 401. each. The case suaded that Vaughan, as well as occupied the whole of the day, Edwards, had been made the dupe from ten in the morning till seven

was

save

as

in the evening. The court was froin originating in any pecuniary crowded throughout the day, and consideration. While he was in a full bench of Magistrates at this laudable pursuit, Mr. John tended.

Fenton, one of the prisoners,

came up, and interfered in a man. Sligo.-Crown Court, Thursday, ner which appeared to hin not March 21.- The King v. Fentons.* to be very correct : an altercation

-On this day this very interest- arose ; and the result was Mr. ing trial was proceeded in, when John Fenton's telling Major Hilthe court was crowded to excess. las, " that, if he interfered fur

The prisoners, Thomas and ther, he would throw him into John Fenton, esqrs. were indiet the sea.” He, however, contied for the murder of John Hillas, nued his exertions from the 6th esq. by killing him in a duel. to the 8th of December, on

Mr. Vandeleur, as counsel for which day the other prisoner, the crown, laid before the jury Mr. Thomas Fenton, arrived with the following statement of the a body of yeomen, and forced circumstances in which the pro- the property out of his possession. secution had originated :

It was in vain that Major Hillas Upon the 6th of last Decem- remonstrated; it was in vain ber, a vessel was cast ashore, by that he declared his object was stress of weather, upon the coast not salvage, and that he of Tiveragh, near to the residence only endeavouring to of Major Hillas, who was an ac much as possible from the wreck, tive magistrate, and a young man

for the benefit of the owners. of the most humane disposition. Being in this manner frustrated A Roman Catholic clergyman, of in his intentions, he made a jourthe name of Burke, sent to inform ney to Scotland, where the owners him of this unfortunate occur- resided, in order to make them rence. He immediately hastened acquainted with the circumstances to the spot to discharge his duty of their loss; and on his return, as a magistrate, and fullil his na Mr. John Fenton sent him a mestural inclination as a man. The sage, which, however, was decaptain, he found, had fallen over- clined, upon principles which, board; and to his exertions during he must say, appeared to him perthe entire of a dark and storniy fectly justifiable. Thus the mat. night, the safety of the mate, and ter rested until the 30th January, of eleven of the crew, was chiefly when Major Hillas and Mr. Fento be attributed. His object in ton put in their respective claims so acting resulted merely from before Mr. Wynne and Mr. Irwin, motives of humanity, and was far two magistrates who were ap

pointed to investigate the matter. The reason for inserting this trial is Major Hillas disclaimed before not because duels are rare events; but be

them having been actuated by cause an example can scarcely elsewhere any pecuniary motives, and probe found, of the publicity and disregard to fessed that he came there merely all decorum with which they are carried on to have the rights of the respecin Ireland, and of the open preference given to the laws of custom to those of the tivé parties clearly ascertained. land in that unhappy country.

It was upon this occasion that the

circunistances

circumstances arose in which the towards Hillas ; he thinks he reduel originated. Major Hillas tired a little before Fenton recomplained that he had been tired ; after that they fired immetreated un handsomely by Mr. diately; Fenton fired first, and Thomis Fenton, who had inter Hillas fell : the two shots went fered unjustifiably, and, by taking off just as one might say “one, the mate out of his hands, se two." cured to himself in an unhand On his cross-examination, he some manner the legal custody said, when John pushed Thomas's of the vessel. Mr. Wynne ånd elbow, the effect was, that he Mr. Irwin investigated the trans presented a less front to his anaction. In four days after the tagonist-it protected his body; investigation closed, Mr. John after the ground was cleared, Fenton delivered a message to both were at liberty to fire immeMajor Hillas, in the name of Mr. diately ; he saw Hillas before the Thomas Fenton, the result of transaction ; he gave him a paper which was fatal to Mr. Hillas. to copy abouť ten days before ;

The following witnesses were on reading it, he remarked, that then examined :

the language was very strong, James Moffat knew Major Hil- and calculated to irritate : Hillas las : he died by a pistol shot fired said, it was not strong enough for by Thomas Fenton ; he was on

such conduct, and that, if stronger the ground at Kilmacowen, in could be used, it ought to be inthe county of Sligo ; was there sérted. before the parties were placed on Dr. Armstrong is a professional the ground; saw the ground man, and attended the deceased measured ; Fenton and Hillas as such on the ground; he saw walked backwards and forwards Loftus Jones, the deceased, and on it; they passed each other Capt. W. Ferrall, on the ground; a twice; Fenton was first placed stone marked the spud where Hilon the ground, then Hillas took las stood, another the spud where his ground; thinks from about a Ferton stood; when witness came minute or two before Hillas was to the stone on Hillas's side, he placed on his; cannot say who moved it a little from a rising handed Fenton his pistol; when ground, where it was, down to he had it in his hand, John Fen- the level ground; John Fenton ton came up and pushed in Thos. asked him why he did so'; he an Fenton's arm, opposite to Hillas's swered, because the place was hip, he then stood between him not level; when on their ground, and Hillas, who also had his pis- Hillas addressed the crowd; he tol; he stood immediately before was not certain that Fenton heard Thomas Fenton ; he cannot say him ; he said, “ I am sorry the how long before the word was mistaken laws of honour oblige given, but he remained there me to come here to defend myself, about ten seconds after ; John and I declare to God I have no anithen stopped aside, across the mosity to any man or womanon the muzzle of Thomas Fenton's pistol; face of the earth ;" John stood Mr. Jones did the same to- before Thomas, he moved his

hand

mɔved away.

the toss,

hand a little up and down ; Jones put his pistol in his hand, and stood opposite Hillas, they each shoved him round; Fenton got

his pistol before Hillas, because On his cross-examination he Captain Ferrall was a lame man, said, that he is connected by blood infirm, and between 70 and 80 and marriage with the deceased; years old ; Hillas declared he had Captain Ferrall was friend to Hil no animosity; Fenton might have las ; there was no better judge of heard him, as he was within seven the laws of honour ; believes Fer or eight yards of him; John Fenrall tossed up for the choice of ton was behind him first, and the ground, and won it; Hillas then he shifted before him; he was dressed in black; when he heard no word given ; but supthrew off his frock, he had on a poses Ferrall gave it, as he won black waistcoat with black sleeves

as we call it." John to it; he saw Hillas at Captain Fenton remained in front of Soden's house shortly before the Thomas about a minute. Witduel, and asked was it possible ness was much agitated; he does for any friend to bring about a not think there was half a second reconciliation? Hillas said not, between the shots ; could not say and that he would not make any how soon Thomas fired after John apology while his heart beat in went from before hiin, his bosom; he heard that before On being cross-examined, he the duel he said he would insult said he was an advising friend to either Thomas Fenton or one of Hillas, so was Mr. Taaffe ; Caphis family; there was such a re tain Ferrall was his acting friend; port in the country, but he did they were all practitioners. When not hear him say so.

Fenton squared himself, he made Loftus Jones, esq:—He was Hillas square himself also; after present when a message was de- the message, Hillas was in witlivered to Hillas by John Fenton ness's house : he made arrangein the name of Thomas. The ments for the duel there : he premessage was to fight a duel ; he pared his pistols there: tried was present at the duel; he them : there was a vast number was not on the ground exactly of shots fired : Hillas fired two when Fenton arrived ;

shots out of witness's pistols at a walking with Hillas; not sure tree, as a mark: he was dressed who was first there, but he ac in black on the ground, and had companied Hillas; he was 15 or black sleeves put on his waistcoat 16 yards from the Fentons ; he after the message was delivered, saw the ground measured, and no doubt with a view to the duel. stepped out the nine paces him. John Armstrong was on the self, at Captain Ferrall's request, ground, and described the transwho was laine ; he saw them both action in a manner similar to the take their ground; Fenton was preceding witness. He believed on his ground about a minute it to be the duty of a friend to before Ilillas took his; he had square his friend on the ground, his eye on Fenton ; saw him

so as to place him as advantage. squaring himself to tight; John ously as possible-John Fenton Fenton was with his friend, and did nothing more to his friend.

Robert

he was

« PreviousContinue »