THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Retrial ordered while convicts are transported and whipped during assizes of County Antrim

From the News Letter, August 17, 1789

Monday, 17th August 2020, 6:00 am
On this day in 1789 the News Letter carried a report from the late Assizes for the County of Antrim which had been held at Carrickfergus and which had concluded the previous Monday
On this day in 1789 the News Letter carried a report from the late Assizes for the County of Antrim which had been held at Carrickfergus and which had concluded the previous Monday

On this day in 1789 the News Letter carried a report from the late Assizes for the County of Antrim which had been held at Carrickfergus and which had concluded the previous Monday.

One Stephen Blackwood of Belfast, a butcher, who had been charged with the murder of George Emerson as the deceased returned from the Hillsborough Races was acquitted of the charge.

The paper reported that as a consequence of Blackwood’s acquittal the next of kin of Emerson had been granted a new trial which was to be heard in the Court of the King’s Bench in Dublin during the next Michealmas term which was due to begin on November 3, 1789.

At the same assizes Hugh Griffin was found guilty on one indictment of stealing three sheep and on a second charge of having stolen butter.

He was ordered to be transported.

Meanwhile Edward Robinson and John Knox were indicted for being “loose idle vagrants and vagabonds” and they were ordered to be transported “unless they give security within six months to be of the peace and keep good behaviour”.

In a final trial which was heard Assizes for the County of Antrim at Carrickfergus James Orr “the elder” and James Orr “the younger” were found guilty of having stolen from Mrs Margaret Henry at Ballymoney “one quarter of a hundred potatoes, value sixpence”.

The two were ordered to be privately whipped, imprisoned for one week and to remain in jail until “they shall give security before two magistrates to be of the peace for three years”.