THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Man sentenced to hard labour for attacking Methodist class leader

From the News Letter, March 10, 1860

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 6:00 am
Scotch Street, Armagh, Co Armagh. NLI Ref: L_CAB_03632. Picture: National Library of Ireland

A man named Patrick Devlin appeared before the Armagh Assizes in this week in 1860 charged with “a violent and unprovoked assault” on a Mr Abraham Boland in Charter School Lane in Armagh.

The sessions heard that Mr Boland had been at a prayer meeting which was held in the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Abbey Street.

By ten o’clock the religious service had concluded and Mr Boland had begun to make his way home and he walked through Primrose Street and Charter School Lane.

When he came to the school on the latter street he said he was accosted by the defendant who had demanded to know his name.

Boland refused to give him his name and he pushed him off the footpath demanding to know if he has seen the man walking down Primrose Street.

He then told Devlin that he was the said man and the two walked on to the Nursery outside of the town.

On reaching this place Devlin gave out a whistle and shouted: “Come on, boys; I have him.”

Fearing for his safety Mr Boland tried to scare Devlin off by telling him that he had a pistol, but Devlin was unfazed.

He then proceeded to pick up several stones and attacked Mr Boland with them.

On reaching Cullen Bridge the two men were met by a Mr Adams.

It was hear that Mr Boland reported the assault at which Devlin took up another stone and threatened to “dash Boland’s brains out”.

Imprisoning Devlin (who was described by the police as a “quarrelsome” person) for one month hard labour the magistrates said that his actions would not be tolerated.