Knaresburgh, the gentleman some time since convicted of a rape
at Carlow, in Ireland, and for which he received sentence, has,
we hear, by the interference of his friends, got his punishment
of death commuted for a voyage to Botany Bay.' (The Times,
August 31, 1791, p. 3).
Note: Up until 1828, the punishment for rape generally seems to
have been either death or transportation for life (perhaps
commuted to 14 yrs) ... the death penalty for rape was abolished
by the Substitution of Punishments for Death Act 1841, when
'transportation for life'. And when transportation was abolished
by the Penal Servitude Act 1857, the penalty became 'penal
servitude for life'.
Source: Turtle Bunbury
Death sentence for Rape did not always apply with Lord Norbury
(The Hanging Judge) sitting on the Bench....on many of the
"Calendar of Prisoners" records we witness Lord Norbury issuing
a prison sentence when dealing with rape cases but "Horse
Stealing" warranted death penalty.
Examples from one Calendar for Carlow reproduced in Volume 3 of
"Carlow in old picture postcards" reads :
Byran Doyle, Rape, 22nd Feb. 1815 - "Sentence" One months
Joseph Kelly, Rape, 19th August 1814, "Sentence" Three months
James Nowlan, Rape, 15th July 1814, "Sentence" One months
Laurence Kavanagh, 10 July 1814, taking a young girl against her
will, "Sentence" 12 months Gaol.
James Bergin, Charged with taking a Girl against her will, 29
March 1815 "Sentence" To be Hanged.
Elsewhere on same Calendar we read:
Danial Cary, Horse stealing, 19th July 1814 - "Sentence" To be
James Maguire, Robbery, 9th March, 1815 - "Sentence" To be
Edward Mogan, Horse Stealing, 14th Jan. 1815 "Sentence" Death
Duffy, Robbery, 9th March 1815, "Sentence" To be Hanged.
Elland Kinselagh, House Burning, 21 August, 1814 "Sentence"
Thomas Ward, Robbery, 3 Oct. 1814 "Sentence" Death.
Michael Wall, Haughing a Horse, 16 Jan. 1815 "Sentence" To be