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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

County Carlow

Court Martial of Maurice Kavanagh

8th July 1799

8th July 1799

The Court being assembeled proceeded to the Tryal of Maurice Kavanagh Charged That he in furtherance of the Rebellion being a yeoman Enrolled and Attested under an act of the 37th of his present Majesty did after such Enrollment Desert from the Corps Troop or Company to which he belonged and did Join in the said Horrid Rebellion by Traiterously adhering to divers Rebels the King’s Enemies levying open War against our said Lord the King — And that he the said Maurice Kavanagh in order further to promote the said Rebellion did on the 12th day of June 1798 being assembled with numbers of Rebels in arms Enter the Town of Borris in the County of Carlow and set fire to several Houses therein and particularly to the House of James Carty there [ ] a loyal subject of His Majesty —

Prisoner pleads Not Guilty

1st Witness Walter Kavangh Esquire sworn
Question Do you know the Prisoner
Answer I do
Q. Do you command a Corps of yeomen in this County
A. I do
Q. Was the Prisoner Regularly Enrolled and Attested a Member of that Corps
A. He was, an original Member
Q. Did he after being so Enrolled and Attested Desert from your Corps
A. He did.
Q. Do you of your own Knowledge know of his having Joined the Rebels after his Desertion from your Corps
A.on the 5th of June the day of the Battle of

[p. 2]

Ross I was informed by my lieutenant that he had deseted and ran away to the Rebels
Q. Was there any attack made on the Town of Borris after
A. There was the 12th of June following —
Q. What number of Rebels do you suppose attacked the Town —
A. Upwards of a thousand
Q. Was there any part of the Town burned that day by the Rebels —
A. There were a great many of the best Houses
Q. Was the House of one James Carty burned on that day —
A. It was —
Q. by Prisoner, Do you know of my having anything to do with the Rebels before. —
A. I do not, if I had you should not have been in my Corps —
2nd Witness — Edward Kavanagh Esqre. Lieutenant in the Borris Cavalry Sworn —
Q. Do you know the Prisoner
A. I do.
Q. Was he a yeoman Attested with you on the Borris Cavalry.
A. He was
Q. Do you know whether he Deserted.
A. I believe he did, on the day of the Battle of Ross I went towards Poulmounty where we saw the Rebels who shouted after us, I was told by one of the Corps that the Prisoner intended to Desert. I ordered him into Borris but he declined, I afterwards took his arms from him I was told he Deserted after to the Rebels —
Q. Was the Town of Borris Attacked

[p. 3]

Answer, It was and part of it was burned
Q. Do you know of your own Knowledge whether the Prisoner was at the Attack —
A. I don’t know except by hearsay
Q. Was James Carty’s House in Borris burned on that day.
A. It was. Q. by the Prisoner, Did I not offer my arms to you before you demanded them —
A. No you did not. 3rd Witness Samuel Little Sworn
Q. Do you know the Prisoner
A. I do
Q. Were you a yeoman in the same Corps with him
A. I was
Q. Do you know any thing of his having Deserted his Corps.
A . I know of his having left the Corps
Q. Do you know of your going with him the 5th of June on any pretence towards the County Wexford and what particularly happened.
A. I went with him about about half a quarter of a mile beyond the House he asked me to go with him towards Ross to see how the Battle was going on —
Q. Did any Conversation between you and the Prisoner that inclined you to believe which side the Prisoner would wish the Battle would go.
A. I don’t think there did
Q. by the Court — Were you present when Lieutenant Kavanagh went to the Prisoner’s House —
A. I was.
Q. Did Lieutenant Kavanagh ask him to Come up and

[p. 4]

Join the Corps.
A. To the best of my opinion and belief he did
Q What reply did the Prisoner make to that order
A. That he would stay to take his Furniture out of his House for fear it would be burned but that he would Come and Join the Corps the next Morning.
Q. Did Lieutenant Kavanagh leave the Prisoner’s house on receiving that answer.
A. I believe he did
Q. Did you see Lieutenant Kavanagh Return to the Prisoners’ House on that day.
A. I did
Q. Did you hear what passed between him and the Prisoner on his Return to Prisoner’s House.
A. Lieutenant Kavanagh asked the Prisoner for his Arms and he gave them to him
Q. Did you hear Lieutenant Kavanagh give any reason for his asking him for his Arms.
A. No I did not
Q. Did the Prisoner Join the Corps the next morning according to his promise to Lieutenant Kavanagh
A. He did not
Q. Do you know the Reason he did not join the Corps.
A. I do not.
Q. Were you of the party or did you hear of Captain Kavanagh’s sending to look for the Prisoner the day following.
A. Not to my knowledge
Q. Did you ever hear any reason given why he did not Join the Corps.
A. None except my having heard he joined the Mob

[p. 5]

Question — Did you hear any reason given for Captain Kavanagh’s sending them parties out to take the Prisoner
Answer, I did for the Prisoner’s having Joined the Mob. 4th Witness James Lenon sworn
Q. Do you know the Prisoner
A. I never knew him the day the Rebels Came into Borris the 12th of June
Q. Did you see him on that day
A. I did
Q. Was he along with the Rebels
A. I did not see a man with him
Q. Did he take upon him to Command you in any one act on that day.
A. He did not
Q. Did you see Carty’s House on Fire on that day
A. I did
Q. Did you see a Man in Carty’s Yard with a Pistol in his hand on that day.
A. I did a red haired Man
Q. Did you see the Prisoner Command that Man to do any act on that day.
A. I did to put out the fire and the Prisoner said he would not wish for five pounds it had been set on fire.
Q. Did he not advise you to put a green bough in your Hat on that day.
A. He did for fear of two men that were armed who were coming down the Road, I believe they were Rebels.
Q. by the Court, - Was it before or after Carty’s House was set on fire that you first saw the Prisoner on that day.
A. Almost at the same time for it was set on fire

[p. 6]

by a shot the Noise of which brought me out of my House
Q. Did you go down immediately to Carty’s House with the Prisoner
A. I followed him immediately and overtook him before he got there.
Q. Did you hear the Prisoner give any orders or directions when he got to Carty’s House.
A. Yes I heard him order a man to put out the Fire —
Q. Did that man obey that order
A. he attempted to do so but the Fire was too violent, he then said he would not have wished for five pounds that the House had been set on fire that it was too bad and that there should be no more damage done in the Town.
Q. Had the Prisoner any arms on that day
A. He had a Sword.
Q. Was he on Horseback or a Foot.
A. on Horseback
Patrick Dunn Sworn
Q. Do you know the Prisoner
A. I do
Q. Do you remember the day the Town of Borris was set on fire.
A. I do
Q. Did you see James Carty’s House in Borris set fire to on that day.
A. I did.
Q. Did you see the man that set fire to the House on that day
A. I did
Q. Had they not arms and did they not appear to you

[p. 7]

to be Rebels
A. They were armed and appeared to me as such
Q. Did you not see the Prisoner on that day
A. I did he passed through the Town on Horseback
Q. Had you any Conversation with him on that day
A. on his return he desired me to put a green bush in my Hat
Q. what distance does the Prisoner live from the Town of Borris.
A. about five or six miles.

The Evidence on the part of the Crown being Closed and Prisoner put on his Defence says he has no Witness, that he was forced on that day — The Court having maturely considered the [ ] the Prisoner Maurice Kavanagh is of opinion he is Guilty of the Crimes laid to his Charge and do therefore Sentence him to suffer Death by being Hung at Borris in the County of Carlow.

General Matthews Major R:DS: Regiment President —
Samuel Carpenter acting as Deputy Judge Advocate
Confirmed Cornwallis

No. 2
Maurice Kavanagh
Warrant drawn 18th July 1799
Entered Wexford
Carlow 8 July
No. 21
Entered 18th December
Entered & Arranged

[Rebellion Papers, 620/5/58/2]

Source: National Archives
Transcribed by Terry Curran c2008

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