1823. Daniel O’Connell on the Manor Courts where the party to get the verdict was he ‘who gave the Seneschal and the Jury the most whiskey’
Echoes other accounts:
In 1837 a Parliamentary Commission took evidence on the operation of Manor Courts. It heard evidence from John Jagoe. He was one of the main witnesses. He was from Bantry a Fish Merchant, had sat on a Fisheries Commission had engaged in correspondence with Dublin Castle on fisheries and non-denominatinal education. His mother was Young of the Bantry Fishing family who propably held the property, a former mill, now the Maritime Hotel on lease from the Bantry Estate. His father originated in Kilcolman, Dunmanway. At one stage he was reputed to have been a shopkeeper on the Bandon Road/Barrack St., Cork. His only son John became a Barrister. He was admitted to Grey’s Inns London in 1835 aged 34.
His wife was O’Connor may be related to Dr. Bryan O’Connor of Bantry sent to Botany Bay in Australia with Alexander McCarthy Barrister for being United Irishman. He had three brother officers in the British Army.
He wrote a book on Irish Fishery law, 1843:
In his evidence he said that there were Manor Courts in Bantry and Leamcon (Schull). They were generally held in public houses wiht a jury drawn from a low class. The Seneshal was drawn from a drunken class and paid £50-£80 per annum. His evidence suggested that the jury demanded cash or whiskey from the successful party. This was referred to as a ‘cob’. The jury did not retire but openly debated the verdict and onlookers could hear and influence. The more respectable class of person avoided the Manor Courts preferring the Session Courts which sat in Bantry once a year.
Chief Secretary Papers:
|TITLE:||Memorandum by [Stephen N Elrington] providing an eyewitness account of a meeting of the Catholic Association on 29 November 1823|
|SCOPE & CONTENT:||Memorandum by author identified as ‘S N E’ [Stephen N Elrington] providing an eyewitness account of a meeting of the Catholic Association at unknown location, chaired by the O’Conor Don; [Daniel] O’Connell and [Richard Lalor] Sheil noted that ‘duly qualified Catholics were ready to claim their freedom’ of the city of Dublin from the corporation, that the public would be asked for subscriptions to assist the court cases and that O’Connell and Mr Ford, an attorney, would provide their legal services gratuitously; O’Connell criticized the administration of justice in the inferior courts, proposed that a committee be established to prepare details of facts to be presented to parliament and highlighted the shortcomings of the Court of Conscience where ‘conscience generally remained at the door but never went in’, the Manor Courts where the party to get the verdict was he ‘who gave the Seneschal and the Jury the most whiskey, the chairmen for counties and assistant barristers who were not appointed ‘until it was found they could not rise at all in their profession’ and claimed that ‘the Orangeman got everything … The Catholic got no justice’; H O’Connor, [Nicholas] Mahon, Mr Mullen and O’Connell discussed the exclusion of catholics from the board of directors of the Bank of Ireland noting the defeat of Sir John Newport’s motion in the House of Commons, Sir Samuel Romilly’s opinion was that catholics were eligible and Mullen’s suggestion that catholics force the issue by purchasing Bank of Ireland stock; O’Conor Don was disappointed that they had been ‘waiting on Dr Murray’ [Daniel Murray, archbishop of Dublin] ‘relative to the New RC Churchyards’, recalled that both he and [John] Troy [Catholic archbishop of Dublin] had been on the Catholic Convention in 1793 and called for the clergy and laity to unite for the purposes of petitioning on catholic emancipation; O’Connell replied that the clergy could join the association for free and added that the Catholic Convention had been the ‘Real Representative of the People’.|
|EXTENT:||1 item; 18pp|
|DATE(S):||29 Nov 1823|
no original number
From Chief Secretry Papers.