In the mid 19th century all crime was met with severe punishment. The criminals that were caught and convicted in the 1850’s were charged with some the same types of crimes that you can witness in everyday life today, such as petty theft and assault. Although, as you will see in the extracts below, crimes such as stealing feathers and grass were severely punishable by law.

Where the information was available, follow-ups were been added to those persons transported to Australia as punishment for their crimes.

convictionsThe Main Courthouse, which was in use in 1850.


The following was recorded in the Limerick Chronicle on Saturday 29 June 1850.

1850 County Quarter Sessions – Thursday

The Assistant Barrister having concluded the civil business of the Court at one o’clock, directed the prisoners in custody to be arraigned, when the following pleaded guilty, and were sentenced:-

  • John Twomey, stealing silver spoons, the property of Thomas Browning, Esq., of Crass, seven years transportation.
  • Bridget Bourke, stealing wearing apparel from Bridget Morony, two months imprisonment.
  • Joseph Freeman, stealing shoes, one month.
  • Mary Carroll, stealing a coat from John Frawley, of Bruff, one week.
  • John Barron, stealing wearing apparel at Ballinacurra, to be transported for seven years.
  • Patrick Halihan, stealing shirts, the property of Joesph Slattery, to be imprisoned three months at hard labour.
  • Thomas Condon, stealing a shirt from Mathew McNamara, one month at do. .
  • John Magee, stealing two iron wheel barrows, the property of M. Gilbertson, Kilmallock, three months.
  • Daniel O’Connell, stealing hay, the property of Bryan O’Donnell, of Ballinagaddy, one month.
  • Margaret Leary, stealing vegetables, the property of Laurence Bourke, of Drombana, one week.
  • Patrick Reilly, stealing feathers, the property of Michael McMahon, of Scart, one month.
  • Julia Welsh, larceny of kitchen utensils, same rule. (one month)
  • Margaret Collins, larceny¬† of a gown, one month.
  • Edmond Condon and John Dwyer, stealing a cow, the property William Gubbins, 15 years transportation.
  • Patrick Purcell, stealing wearing apparel from Mary Hogan, 3 months at hard labour.
  • Anthony Regan, Denis Coffee, Michael Sullivan, stealing grass, one week each and to be whipped.
  • John Hayfield, stealing flannel, the property of Jas. Ryan, 6 months imprisonment, and three times whipped.
  • Margaret Sheehan and Anne Childerhouse, stealing milk, the property of M. Hayes, of Mungret, one week’s imprisonment.
  • Maurice O’Gorman, stealing iron, the property of Michael Gubbins, at Ballinacurra, one fortnight.
  • John Lenane, stealing shirts, a fortnight imprisonment and to be well whipped.
  • M. Connor, larceny of iron, like rule. (a fortnight imprisonment and to be well whipped.)
  • Michael Shea, larceny, one week and hard labour.
  • Bryan Corkery, stealing an iron gate from Timothy Ryan, of Pallasgrean, six months imprisonment at hard labour and to be well whipped.
  • Eliza O’Brien, larceny of clothes at Thomastown, being an old offender, was sentenced to seven years transportation.
  • John Tuomey, stealing a lamb, six months hard labour.
  • John and Connor Ryan, larceny of wearing apparel from Patk. McCormack, on the 8th of May, one week.
  • Michael Riordan, stealing an iron gate from Rev. Joseph Gabbett, of Fairfield, same rule. (one week)
  • John Scully, stealing a shirt from John Devitt of Abington, a fortnight.
  • Bridget Carroll, stealing a cow from John Ryan of Abington, one week.
  • Catherine Bourke, stealing fowl, same rule. (one week)
  • James Moran, stealing wearing apparel, the property of the Killmallock guardians, do. .
  • Hanora Carthy, larceny of a sheet, one month at hard labour.
  • David Nagle, stealing iron, the property of the Kilmallock guardians, one fortnight’s imprisonment, and to be whipped.

In the appeal case of Great Southern Railway against the poor-law valuation of the Killmallock union, a compromise was effected, and an arrangement entered into that the rate should be £ a mile.

The following obtained spirit licenses: John Cronin, John Lee, John Molony, Mary Roberts, Catherine Dowling Thomas Madden, and Maryanne Kelly.


Find more information on those transported to Australia during this period can be found here