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Another great suit was tried at Cork Spring Assizes, in the year after (1816), in which John Tuthill, Esq., on behalf of the independents, was plaintiff, and the Corporation defendants. The jury remained in two days and one night—they gave no verdict—eleven were for the plaintiff. One only, a Mr. William Taylor, for the defendants. Mr. Taylor was presented with the freedom of the city for this act, in a gold box, and was made Sheriff in the years 1819, 1820, 1821, and 1822.
On the 23rd of March, another trial took place, with the same plaintiff and defendants, on other grounds, in which the plaintiff was non-suited.
At the commencement of this century one of the most ancient families in the County of Limerick, could lay claim to three distinguished individuals whose names are interwoven with the history of the time. We refer to Standish O'Grady, afterwards Chief Baron O'Grady, afterwards Viscount Guillamore. Harry Dean Grady, and Thomas Grady of Belmont, better known by the soubriquet of Spectacle Grady.
We have already referred to the Rt. Hon. Standish O'Grady, far the most distinguished of the three.
Harry Dean Grady was a barrister of great and rising talents. He represented Limerick in Parliament in conjunction with Colonel Vereker, and supported the fatal Union, against which his colleague voted on every occasion. He was rewarded with the office of "first Counsel to the Commons/' after which he slowly sunk into obscurity. Two of his daughters, Lady Muskerry and Lady Roche, were married to members of their native County. Mr. Thomas Grady's first appearance in public was at the meeting of the bar convened to discuss the Union on the 9th of December, 1799. Of course the Father of the Bar occupied the chair, and Saurin, Plunket, Bushe, Jonah Banington, Peter Burrowes, and all the most distinguished members of the bar attended. St. George Daly was the first to speak in favor of the Union. Of him it was wittily observed, that the Union was the first brief he spoke out of. Thomas Grady was Fitzgibbon's spokesman. "The Irish," said Mr. Grady, following Daly, "are only the rump of an aristocracy. Shall I visit posterity with a system of war, pestilence and famine? No! Give me a Union. Unite me to that country where all is peace, order and prosperity. Without a Union we shall see embryo chief justices, attorneys-general in perspective, and animalcula sergeants? &c. &c." Mr. John Beresford, Lord Clare's pursebearer, followed in the same strain, and Thomas Goold, another Limerick man, practically closed the debate with the declaration, that "the Almighty has in majestic characters signed the great charter of our independence. The great Creator of the world has given our beloved country the gigantic outlines of a kingdom. The God of
of Ministers, including Limerick, amounts to 1798 wheels and 383 reels, at the total expense of £1000.
Ball's Bridge, Mary-street, Nicholas-street, Castle-street, and part of Thonond Bridge, newly paved since the commencement of this year.
In the Summer Assizes of this year, a change in the route of the Munster Circuit took place— since the Summer Assizes of 1796, when Tipperary and Waterford were added to the Leinster Circuit, the judges began at Ennis, thence to Limerick, thence to Tralee, and finished the judicial career at Cork. This year, they commenced at Cork, thence to Ennis, thence to Limerick, thence to Tralee; and in consequence of the weight of the criminal business, return again to Cork after all the other business of the Circuit is finished.
Messrs. Williams and Cockburn of Dublin, have contracted for the new Lunatic Asylum about to be built in this City, at a sum not much exceeding £20,000. This work will give employment to the numerous distressed tradesmen at this period
July 4th.—Two Dutch Boers or farmers have been brought by the Linen Board from Holland, to instruct the peasantry of this county in the cultivation and management of flax, which is a source of national wealth to Holland. Their tour will be the Counties of Cork, Limerick, Clare, and Galway. A great number of linen wheels and reels have, within a short period, been distributed among poor young females here to encourage them to industry. Diary of the weather for June:—
Thermometer—Highest, 70. Lowest, M.
Barometer— Highest, 30, 40. Lowest, 29, 30.
Days of rain—10. Cloudy—6. Sunshine—13. Thunder—1.
July 12th The following will show the great depression in the articles of life. A boat load
of potatoes was this day sold at the Poor House at three farthings per stone.
July 26th.—At the Summer Assizes £4000 to be presented in the County for the Insurrection Act to the Judges; £2000 to the Police.
In the month of July a new Butter Weigh-house built in Carr-street, closely adjoining the new Linen Hall. The former Weigh-houso outside Mungret Gate ejected for want of title.
August 4th.—A man named Daniel O'Connell, who had been tried at the Assizes, was executed in front of the new County Jail for murder. He acknowledged that he was one of tha party who broke into the house of Dennis Morrissey, on the 22nd of February, 1822; but he denied that he fired the shot by which Morissey was killed.
August 7th Labourers commenced digging the foundations for the New Lunatic Asylum on
the Waterford and Tipperary road, Upper William-street. State of the weather for July:—
Thermometer—Highest, S lowest, 50.
Barometer— Highest, 29. Lowest, 0.
Weather—Days with rain—27. Cloudy and no rain—3. Sunshine 1.
Wind in general W.S.W. and N.W.
nature never intended that Ireland should be a province, and by she
Loud applause followed, and the division being taken there appeared
Against the Union, 166
For it 32
Majority ... ... ... 134
For his vote on this occasion, Thomas Grady was made a county Judge, worth £600 a year.
August 16th.—A wooden portico of four Doric columns with its entablature, erected at the entrance of the new Augustinian Chapel (lately a Theatre) in George's-street.
August 18th.—Patrick Ivis executed at the New Gaol, pursuant to sentence at the last Assizes. He acknowledged his guilt; he was sixty years of age.
August 22ml James Connell and John Dundon executed at the New Gaol, pursuant to
sentence at the last Assizes. Daniel Nunan, under similar circumstances, received a reprieve, a few minutes before his associates were led to execution.
The vulgar tradition, "that if St. Swithin's day (loth July) is wet, it will rain for forty days after," was most completely exemplified this year; probably a wetter autumn has not been remembered. Turf was taken by the country people from the Quays to Charleville, Bruff, Tipperary, Rathkeale, and all around in the County of Limerick, to the extent of twenty miles, the bogs being under water and inaccessible. At this period (August 26th; the crops are very luxuriant and promising; but the heat is only 61 on Farenheit- scale, whereas summer, or ripening heat is always 76.
August 30th.—Henry Rose, Esq. elected to serve the office of sheriff for the ensuing year, in the room of John Cripps, Esq. Jun. who was appointed to that situation on Monday after the 24th of June.
From returns made to the House of Commons in the course of the last Sessions, it appears that the following Protestant Parochial Schools are in the sees of Limerick and Kerry:—
Fifteen Parochial Schools which are attended by about twelve hundred children. The greater part of the population are Roman Catholics, and stoutly persist in refusing to permit their children to receive any instruction from a Protestant Establishment.
Sept. 5th.—A Special Session of the Insurrection Act held at the Court-house; a man sent off from the dock for transportation.
Diary of the weather for August:—
Thermometer—Highest, 72. Lowest, 41.
Barometer— Highest, 30-10. Lowest, 29.
Weather—Sunshine, cloudy, and rain more or less every day j wind in general S.W., W.N.W. Quantity of rain—1 inch.
Although possessed of great talents he practically failed at the bar. He was eaten up with the green-eyed monster, and if surpassed by any one, he cherished for him the most undying hatred, being totally incapable of understanding, that sooner or later we all meet our masters. Even his relative, Standish O'Grady, was not exempt from this jealousy, and many were the satire directed against him by his kinsman. Sick at heart and soured in disposition, Grady ultimately left the bar, and devoted much time to his pen.1
1 The character of this extraordinary man may be thus epitomised.—he was a gentleman of independent property, a good lawyer, but without judgment, def amatory poet, a severe and scarcely decent satirist, and an indefatigable tuft-hunter. He wrote the " Flesh-brush" for Lady Clare; the " West Briton" for the Union, " The Barrister" for the Bar, and the " Nosegay" for Mr. Bruce the banker at Limerick, who it is said, refused to appreciate the value of some accommodation bills tendered to him in exchange for cash. The following extract from the " Nosegay" will show the characteristics of the poem. It represents Bruce tortured by his own conscience and reflections in the solitude of night:
Yet in the dark and dreadful midnight hour,
Oh! Heav'nly Father! merciful and kind,
It is to be regretted that many passages in his works render them unfit for general perusal. In the year 1816 he published a second edition of the " Nosegay," upon which an action for libel was brought against him at Spring assizes, 1817, and £500 damages given to Bruce, though £20,000 were sought. The following are the names of the jury before whom the case was tried:—Hon. George Eyre Massy, Foreman ; Edward Croker; Stephen Edward Rice; The Knight of Glin; De Courcy O'Grady; Thomas Rice; Michael Scanlan ; Edward Villiers; George Tuthifi; John Greene; Robert Cripps; Alexander Rose, Esqrs. The local papers suppressed the trial, but portions of it wero printed by A. J. Watson, Limerick, for the editor, which caused much litigation afterwards. The damages Grady would never pay, and voluntarily expatriated himself for life. He died some few years ago at Boulogne. His works abound in curious anecdotes about Limerick people. The following anecdote about Bernard, Bishop of Limerick, in 1799, will afford ■ fair specimen of his dry humour:
LOCOMOTION.—MB. BIANCONI.—EDUCATIONAL REPORM.—INTBODUCTION OP
THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS TO LIMERICK.—THOMAS SPRING RICE, ESQ.
CHAIRING OF MR. TUTHILL.—DISTURBANCES AFTER VISIT OP GEORGE IV.
TERMS OFFERED BY THE INSURGENTS, &C. &C.
It was in the same year (1815), that Mr. Charles Bianconi, an Italian by birth, but an Irishman in heart, and of wonderful energy and ability, applied his active mind to the promotion of means for the public accommodation of passengers in the South of Ireland, which had been hitherto confined to a few mail and day coaches, which travelled with comparative leisure on the great lines of road between Munster and Dublin.
From his peculiar position in the country, he had ample opportunities of reflecting on many things, and nothing struck him more forcibly than the great vacuum that existed in travelling accommodation between the different orders of society.
"I never will forget the impression this accomplished man (the Bishop) made upon me, the first day I sat in his company. It was at Lord Oort's—after dinner the conversation took a stupid turn upon our taxes, and particularly upon the window tax, then lately laid on this country, and I threw in some stupid observations, reprobating the tax and lamenting the miserable five or six pounds a-year I had to pay for my house in Dublin—' Sir,' says he, 'yon have no taxes, it is idle to talk of taxes in this country. Sir, I had a house once in London that lay at the angle of two great streets. By consequence it had two fronts—each very extensive, and with more than the ordinary proportion of windows to each front—and sir, I had to pay for the window tax of that house (I think he said) £80.' This struck me with horror—proximut ardeL I had a prophetic anticipation of what had since happened, and in the state of despair arising from the coup (Tail, I burst forth into the vulgar and indecent ejaculation of 'oh blood and 'ounds!' I saw in an instant the lawn sleeves present themselves to my confounded imagination. I was sensible of the vulgarity and grossness I had committed, and I most humbly asked his pardon. He saw I was degraded and humbled in my own feelings, and fixing his eyes upon me, which sparkled when he was going to be playful, and gave notice of the coming flash—' Well— you may say ' blood and 'ounds,' sir! It was enough to make any honest man say ' blood and 'ounds,' sir! I can tell you, sir, it has made a bishop say 'blood and 'ounds,' sir.' The whole table was convulsed, and I was redeemed by the wit, the pleasantry, and good nature of this admirable man."
O'Grady also wrote " Sir Phelim O'Shaughnessy," the " Two-penny Post-Bag," &c.
September 29th.—Pursuant to Act 4th Geo. IV. the Freemen of the City assembled in the Tolsel Court, to elect two Common Speaker for the Court of D'Oyer Hundred j John Barclay Weatropp, Esq. was elected. There is no mention in the existing books of the Corporation of a Common Speaker being chosen since the 3rd of April, 1680, when Robert Smyth, Burgess, was chosen to that office. Mr. Westropp and Mr. Hughes Russell were the only Candidates for the office of Common Speaker, the former on the Corporation interest, the latter on the independent interest. The Rev. Henry Ivera Ingram, the oldest resident freeman, presided in the Chair. Numbers for Westropp, 122; for Russell, 20.
In this summer Rutland-street, George's-street, and Patrick-street, were newly paved.
In this year the 2'Jth Regiment quartered here ; they paraded to church every Sunday twenty boys and twenty girls. Captain Bridges was remarkable in the Regiment as a very wealthy man; he drove a bang-up coach and four-in-hand, the first seen in Limerick—he always drove, and was accompanied by several of his brother officers seated on the roof, with one or more servants in the hinder seat, blowing horns.
October 3rd.—Ten men tried In Ratbkealc, under the Insurrection Act, and sentenced to seven years' transportation ; and on the 4th, three more met the similar fate.
The inconvenience felt for the want of more extended means of intercourse, particularly from the interior of the country to the different market towns, gave great advantage to the few at the expense of the many; and, above all, a great loss of time.
In July, 1815, he started a car for the conveyance of passengers from Clonmel to Caher, which he subsequently extended to Tipperary and Limerick; at the end of the same year, he started similar cars from Clonmel to Cash el and Thurles, and from Clonmel to Carrick and Waterford, and he subsequently extended this establishment, including the most insulated localities, and numbering in 1843, 100 vehicles, including mail coaches and different sized cars, capable of carrying from four to twenty passengers each, and travelling eight or nine miles an hour, at an average of one penny farthing per mile for each passenger, and performing daily 8,800 miles, passing through over 140 stations for the change of horses, consuming 3 to 4,000 tons of hay, and from 30 to 40,000 barrels of oats, annually, all of which were purchased in their respective localities.
His establishment originated immediately after the peace of 1815, having then had the advantage of a supply of first class horses intended for the army, and rating in price from ten to twenty pounds each, one of which drew a ear and six persons with ease seven miles an hour. The demand for such horses having ceased, the breeding of them naturally diminished, and, after some time, he found it necessary to put two inferior horses to do the work of one. Finding he thus had extra horse power, he increased the size of the car, which held six passengers—three on each side—to one capable of carrying eight, and in proportion as the breed of horses improved, he continued to increase the size of the cars for summer work, and to add to the number of horses in winter, for the conveyance of the same number of passengers, until he converted the two-wheeled two-horse cars into four-wheeled cars, drawn by two, three, or four horses, according to the traffic on the respective roads, and the wants of the public.
Oct. 6th New mayor and sheriffs sworn to office; the sergeants-at-mace, bailiffs, and constables, appeared in new and hitherto uncommonly fine uniforms. Before this time it was not the custom to clothe them till the ensuing spring assizes.
The toll on corn and grain this year is one penny per bushel.
The decadence of theatricals throughout Ireland is instanced this year, not only by the change of the Theatre of Limerick into an admirable Catholic Church, but that at Kilkenny, so famous some years ago for its theatricals, has been changed into a hay market and corn store. The Patrick-street theatre, Cork, is appropriated to the fine arts, and the Wexford theatre converted into a dissenting meeting house.
October 29th.—At a special sessions in the City Court House, under the Insurrection Act, a man sentenced to seven years' transportation, and sent out of the dock.
October 80th and 81st.—Dreadful storms and shipwrecks on the English coast. This city, and Ireland generally, have escaped.
December 3rd.—A great depression in the mercury, but no storm.
Viscount Gort elected baby sitting peer of the Realm in the room of the late Viscount Powerscourt.
Dec 6th This day the Cork coach from this city leaves the Post Office at half-past eleven
o'clock, A.M., and arrives in Cork at eight, P.m.; leaves Cork at six, A.m., and arrives here at half-past two, P.m., performing the journey of fifty miles, Irish, in eight hours and a-half.
Dec. 10th and 11th.—Special sessions at Rathkeale, under the Insurrection Act; one man, a country schoolmaster, an alleged writer of Captain Rock's orders, transported.
In the summer of this year a vestibule or portico, supported by four wooden columns of the Ionic order, erected over the entrance into the new Augustinian Chapel, George's-street.
Dec. 12th In the Court of King's Bench the will of the late Mrs. Hannah Villiers, of this
city, fully established; among many charitable bequests, she has left the sum of £288 per year for the support of twelve poor widows at £21 each. By this will an Alms House was built at her expense for their reception on a piece of ground adjoining St. Hunchin's churchyard, and known by the name of the Bishop's Garden, which she had purchased several years before for this purpose. This Alms House is admirably built, and is beautifully situated in view of the Shannon, the Clare mountains, &c.