The King against William Breen, Patrick Byrne & John Carey

Note: Here is an interesting article about William Breen of Ballykelly, County Wicklow. My Kenny Family is related to Anne Breen, who would be my (Joe Kenny's) 4th Great Grandmother, marrying Bartholomew Kenny, in or near Kennystown, County Wicklow, sometime before 1794.  There were Breens in ballykelly at this time, (see article below) and also Breens in Craanford, County Wexford, a few miles away and most likely elsewhere in this area too.. So my Breens could have been from any of these groups. The one small bit of evidence I have that may indicated a relationship to the Ballykelly group is, when Thomas Kenny, son of Bartholomew Kenny and Anne Breen left with the Surplus people in 1851, they traveled with the Ballykelly Breen family, Mary age 75,wife of the accused William, Michael age 30, Mary age 24, William age 22 and Charles age 25. They all left on the ship Glenlyon, from New Ross.

All Spelling is how it was in article

Article provided to me by Anthony Breen of England


Below the article is an associated Map that goes with the article.

This is a transcript of an original document held in the Wentworth Woodhouse Muniments at the Sheffield Archives in England (ref. WWM/F80/93). The house and demesne named as Malton in the text is now known as Coolattin Park, Leviston’s Bridge is now known as Livingston’s Bridge the riverlet mentioned is the Coolboy River.


 Wicklow Crown Court Summer Assizes 1817

 County Wicklow to wit – Brief in behalf of the Crown} The Information of Catharine Byrne of Ballykelly in the said County taken before Abraham A Nickson Esquire one of his majesty’s Justices of the Peace for said county the (blank) day of May 1817.

 Information of Catharine Byrne

 Informant being first duly sworn deposes and says, that in the Evening of Wednesday the day in which the last fair was held in Coolattin in the said County but the date of which she this informant does not know this informant said a man whom she believes to have been the late Robert Rickerby of Ballykelly aforesaid pass through the wood of Malton in the said County having on or in his left arm some cloth and other articles. This informant deposes and says that he the said Robert Rickerby was crossed by three men William Breen, Patrick Byrne and John Carey all of Ballykelly aforesaid and that the said William Breen took hold of the said Robert Rickerby and in presence of Patrick Byrne and the said John Carey forced him the said Robert Rickerby to the ground but from the situation she this informant was then in she did not see what they further did with him, nor did she this informant hear any noise in consequence of the High wing which then prevailed. She this informant also deposes and says the after a short time the said William Breen, Patrick Byrne and John Carey held a consultation or conversation together and after such consultation or conversation proceeded down the wood towards the River, but that this informant did not again see the said Robert Rickerby at which this informant. – Informant further deposes and says that she heard and verily believes that the Body of the said Robert Rickerby was found murdered in or very near to the place she saw him attacked as aforesaid by the said William Breen aided and assisted by the said Patrick Byrne and John Carey and Informant verily believes that the said Robert Rickerby was murdered by the said William Breen, aided and assisted by the said Patrick Byrne and John Carey.

 Case on behalf of the Crown}

 On the Evening of Wednesday the 26th of February last, the day on which a fair was held in the village of Coolattin, which is adjoining the Demesne of Malton the property of the Earl Fitzwilliam and residence of William Haigh Esquire, a Gentleman well known in the County as his Lordship’s agent and generally one of its Grand Jurors, Robert Rickerby who was upwards of thirty five years steward to said Earl, and for nearly four years steward to Mr Haigh, was found most barbarously murdered his head being nearly severed from his Body and an instrument supposed to have been a cooper’s laper augur having  been forced through his head. The Body was found in the wood of Malton near the Road from Malton to Ballykelly the residence of the said Rickerby. The murder was committed as he was returning to his house after discharging his duties for that day.

 On the night of the 25th of November preceding being the eve of the day on which a fair was to have been held in this same village of Coolattin, the office of said Rickerby at Malton was broken open and robbed of Cash, Bank Notes & other property all to a considerable amount.

 The murder being committed on a fair day, the robbery on the eve of a preceding fair from such coincidence of days, a strong suspicion arose that the robbery & murder were perpetrated by the same hands, that the place was the design of the same mind, and as strangers could not have been known his office nor could they have been aware of the time at which he usually returned from Malton to his own house, some persons in the vicinity of Malton (not any in particular) was thought to have been guilty of these foul crimes.

 A strong sensation was excited in the minds of the Gentlemen of the neighbourhood by the atrocity of the murder & the prevalent belief that it was committed by some person or person residing therein - To investigate every circumstance tending to throw any light on so foul a subject every person in the neighbourhood of Malton was required to attend, an examination on Oath at which William Haigh & Abraham A Nickson Esquires two magistrates of the County of Wicklow attended & assisted was instituted and many persons examined touching their knowledge of any circumstances relative to the murder, no idea however prevailing that any particular person was implicated.

 Amongst others the prisoners William Breen and Patrick Byrne both of Ballykelly & both in the employment of Mr Haigh were examined. The examination had not proceeded to any great length when suspicion began to attach to them, which suspicion increased as the examination proceeded and arrived at such degree of certainty as is now about to be detailed. It should however here be observed that prior to the examination they were no more suspected than others in the neighbourhood.

 On the evening of the murder & shortly it was perpetrated it appeared from examinations before mentioned of said William Breen, Patrick Byrne & others & since acknowledged by said William Breen & Patrick Byrne at an examination not on oath taken before William Haigh Esquire, that the said William Breen & Patrick Byrne the prisoners and John Carey (the other prisoner) who is son in law of said William Breen and Mathew Breen son of the said William Breen, drank whiskey in company with each other at the house of Elizabeth Noonan of Coolattin - This house is marked on the map or plan which is intended to be submitted to the court of jury. They did go into the house but drank at the door and remained but a few minutes when they separated William Breen proceeded from said Noonan’s by the Road to Ballykelly, over Leviston’s Bridge, and on reference to the plan it will be seen and can be proved if necessary he chose a much lomger way to go home than he might have done- The direct way lay through Malton Yard and had he not been on evil designs he should most probably have chosen this Road as by so doing he might have accompanied his companion Patrick Byrne, who asserts in his examination that he went the very road Breen should have taken and even called at William Breen’s house. What appears extraordinary in going the great distance William Breen asserts he did, on so public a day as the fair of Coolattin, in the most populous out let from the fair, in his own neighbourhood where he knew & was known by almost every person in the fair, yet in this long distance he did not meet nor see nor pass any person known to him although he passed by houses where there were many children. Is there not therefore a strong presumption that he did not go the road he asserts he did go? Is it not more than probable that he turned into Malton Demesne at or now the place marked in the map and proceeded to the Deer House where he waited the arrival of Byrne? This was contiguous to the scene of the murder & Rickerby should pass near it in his way home after the business of the day.

 It is necessary here to remark that for the convenience of the workmen going to and returning from Malton, rails or foot ways were erected over the Riverlet at the foot of Malton Wood, one called Breen’s rails being the direct way from Malton to Breen’s house, another called the Middle rails and another the single rails.

 With respect to Patrick Byrne he asserted and there is no reason to doubt, that after remaining a short time in the fair after separating from Breen at Noonan’s, he proceeded down the fair, through Malton Yard & from thence (which is not to be believed) over Breen’s Rails and called at Breen’s house now it must be here observed that Patrick Byrne’s way home from Betty Noonan’s where Byrne was drinking in company with William Breen and John Carey the said other prisoners & Mathew Breen, was the High Road to Ballykelly over Leviston’s Bridge, the Road that William Breen asserted he went, yet Byrne who was William Breen’s companion did not accompany Breen this way, but chose the road Breen should have gone – in fact each chose the road the other should have gone – this appears extraordinary. The Road through Malton Wood over Breen’s Rails is very public and frequented by many, yet Byrne did not meet any person known to him.

 Byrne however might have wished to have gone through the fair & for this reason have declined going home by the direct road. Malton then was his shortest way, but even at Malton he did not chose the direct road which would have taken him by the well where Rickerby was murdered but proceeded as he asserts towards Breen’s Rails and crossed them – this however would appear to be altogether false. Byrne admitted in his examination on Oath, but not in that not on Oath, that he met Mr Allen & Mr Barker near Malton Gate. Mr Allen & Mr Barker proceeded up the fair & met George Pearce, son of William Pearce, Catharine Foster and Sarah Pierce, all children who were proceeding homewards by the Road Patrick Byrne asserted he went viz over Breen’s rails. The children therefore were close behind Patrick Byrne and had he gone by the road he asserted he did, they must have seen him, as they could see nearly the whole way (a great distance) to William Breen’s house. Byrne stated that he went leisurely – the children went very fast, for this reason, their father threatened to keep them out all night if not soon home. There is therefore a strong probability that they would have overtaken Patrick Byrne had he immediately preceded them on the road they took they however deny they saw him. They however will prove they met Rickerby at Malton Gate through which Patrick Byrne must have previously passed and thus might Patrick Byrne have been at the Deer House or near it, where we have before shewn the probability of William Breen having been waiting his arrival before the return of Rickerby homewards.

 That Patrick Byrne did not pass over Breen’s rails as he asserts he did, appears, exclusive of the evidence of the children, relative to which there may be some difficulty from Mr Allen & Mr Barker not recollecting to have met Patrick Byrne and he himself not having admitted it in his examination not on Oath, to be corroborated by tracks of Patrick Byrne being found in an obscure unfrequented bye path at the head of the wood and before the Paddock ditch, which road or path, Patrick Byrne, in his examination not on Oath, admits he did not pass for a long time before, nor for a week or ten days after the shoes were taken. This path is marked on the map – indeed it is not likely that any person would on fair designs, make this their way it being extremely uneven and difficult to pass, and a ready way from Malton in the direction it took. In this path however Byrne’s track were discovered. The path led to the well the scene of the murder – the tracks the same direction and as he admits that he did not pass either before or after the murder, it is clear that the tracks were made by him at that time. The tracks in the most minute degree correspond with the shoes Patrick Byrne wore on the fair day. The shoes were particularly remarkable – they had fifteen nails around the heels and seven across – no nails in the soles – very uncommon with persons of his description in this country. The shoe exactly fitted to the track, and thus is the conjecture that he might have proceeded to the Deer house or well very strongly substantiated – thus he proceeded to that Deer house or well where Rickerby was shortly to fall a victim to his thirst of Blood.

 Byrne & Breen being thus settled, the unsuspecting Rickerby proceeded from Malton on his way home – his way led him by the well, the fatal spot where he was murdered as detailed in Catharine Byrne’s information, which corresponds with the idea of their having secreted themselves in or near the Deer house her words are “the said Robert Rickerby was crossed by three men &c”.

 The testimony of Catharine Byrne, if believed, leaves no doubt on the subject – to strengthen her testimony therefore is most important for the attaining of Justice, and what will materially to do is, that similar tracks were observed from the scene of the murder towards and over the Middle Rails, over which Byrne asserts that he did not pass, till after his shoes were taken and his tracks measured. This is the direction Catharine Byrne in her information states that Breen, Byrne & Carey went after perpetrating the murder, viz “They proceeded down the wood towards the River”. Thus her evidence with respect to Byrne is greatly corroborated by the tracks of him being discovered, both leading to and from the murder. Still further corroborated by being tracked on the other side of the river towards the Road over Breen’s Rails, which was the direct road from Malton to William Breen’s and where no doubt Byrne did call.

 With respect to William Breen the other prisoner, Catharine Byrne’s Evidence is corroborated by this, that William Breen’s & his son Mathew’s tracks being discovered across the Single Rail, although William Breen admits that he did not pass over the Single Rail on the night of the murder nor for some time before and it should be observed that Mathew Breen the son of William Breen, whom it is not intended to produce as an evidence for the Crown, on his Oath asserted that he was not near the well nor off the Road, yet his track is discovered, accompanying his father’s, he therefore if produced by the prisoners should explain the circumstances of these tracks. There are strong suspicions that Mathew was aiding and assisting at the murder perhaps watching, form his tracks being discovered with his father’s. It is also a suspicious circumstance that the spade should have been found in a field where there could not have been any use for it, the potatoes having been removed from the field three weeks before. It is also suspicious that he should have gone out of his Road for the spade, although he swore he did not known of it being there – see his examination & see plan where the place the spade was found in is marked.

 These are the circumstances which occurred up to the murder & which were so calculated to excite suspicion against William Breen and Patrick Byrne – their subsequent conduct though not equally likely to excite suspicion had however that tendency in no ordinary degree.

 William Breen had a particular wish to shew himself that night to various persons. He called at the house of Mr William Barker where he was not in the habit of calling except on business. He called even at Rickerby’s house on that night although not on the habit of calling there. He expressed his wishes on Rickerby being missed to go on search of him & he pressed his services so anxiously as to surprise his Rickerby’s son Jeremiah – see his evidence. He was at Rickerby’s at the very moment the murder was discovered. The coincidence is curious; he was at Rickerby’s house also on the night of the robbery. On the night of the murder he went with Mary Rickerby the daughter of deceased, in search of the Body, when near the scene of murder, Breen directed the her to look towards where the Body lay, while he would look on the other side of the Road, Breen knowing well where the Body lay, being told prior to his leaving the house of deceased. When directed by her to raise the Body, Breen dragged the Body after him, in so brutal a manner as shocked her, nor would he approach the Body until called by her.

 Patrick Byrne was strongly suspected of the Robbery of Rickerby’s office – deceased had him searched by John Quail who did not find any money in his Boxes, yet it was a matter of notoriety that his expences were much greater than his apparent means. Rickerby frequently said in the hearing of the work men, that he every day saw the persons who robbed him & that an investigation of that robbery would shortly take place, thus intimating, that it was persons in the neighbourhood, if not in Mr Haigh’s work, that he suspected of robbing him, and thus holding out to them, an inducement to quiet their apprehensions by this murder.

 As William Breen before has been shewn to have had a desire of being seen by various persons on the Evening of the murder, Patrick Byrne followed the same plan. He called at the house of Edward Owens where he had no manner of business, at least he did not speak of any, and what is also extraordinary in his conduct although in company with his wife in the fair, he went home without her, she too did not proceed the direct way, but through Malton Yard, and so well instructed was she by her husband, that on her arrival at Malton yard she proceeded before the remainder of the Company & desired them to follow her, taking them the road over Breen’s Rails which was not the direct road, and inducing them not to proceed by the road by the well, where the sanguinary proceedings against poor Rickerby were then in perpetration or rather actually receiving the finishing stroke see testimony of Edward Owens, Winifred Owens & Mary Lattin.

 Although strong the whole of the foregoing testimony taken together is, yet it was not judged to put the prisoners at the Bar, on trial, on it alone. All hope of bringing them to justice had ceased, not the slightest exertion was further made, till Catharine Byrne appeared. This woman had been lodging with a woman of the name of Deborah Ormond, a woman by no means of chaste character, but who was greatly attached to Rickerby the deceased. Catharine Byrne a few days after the 17th March last gave some reason to Deborah Ormond to think that she, Catharine Byrne, knew the murderers. She told her that James Brennan, Michael Doyle and Thomas Byrne could tell of the murder. This information was communicated to one of the sons of Rickerby. The testimony of Catharine Byrne was embodied in an information, which was sworn before Abraham A Nickson Esquire and William Breen & Patrick Byrne were almost immediately arrested & committed to Wicklow Gaol. John Carey fled, but owing to the directions of said William Breen to his daughter who is John Carey’s wife, he was induced to surrender himself – see Evidence of David Page.

 As to this Catharine Byrne it is necessary to remark that she is supposed to be a woman of loose character, this however is not certain as there has not been an opportunity of learning more of the circumstances of the lease, owing to her having disappeare, under very strong grounds for suspecting that she was induced by fear to secrete herself. It may however be conceded that she is a woman of loose character on fact she is believed to have been waiting in the wood by appointment on a Low affair. She would not likely be there on any other business. Her evidence therefore should be corroborated by other Evidence, and it is submitted that this is especially done by many of the particulars in the above statement.

 To shew that she was in the place she asserted she was, appears from the information –she therein asserts that she could not have any noise in consequence of the High wind which then prevailed. She is confirmed in this by the testimony of Mr Mathews. She being a stranger could not have been aware of this circumstance, this therefore is strong confirmatory grounds, Catharine Byrne stated whilst hiding, after the murder she saw James Geoghan, a mason passing that way. He had in an apron, some articles he dropped one of them, she saw him stoop & take it up. She could not have seen it, had she not been there. There is no doubt but Geogham went the Road shortly after the murder. He acknowledged the fact before Mr Haigh Esquire & Abraham A Nickson Esquire, yet he is not likely again to do so, but if produced by the prisoners he may be cross-examined as to that.

 Before Catharine Byrne’s information, suspicion did not attach to John Carey. On her giving the information first, she could not state the names of the persons concerned, being a stranger in the Country, but perfectly recollected their persons. She described them well, John Carey particularly, whom she afterwards pointed out in a fair. Had he not been really concerned in the murder, there was not any reason to induce her to include him in the accusation. Finally William Breen was seen, on the night of the murder by Alice Cooper and Mary Pierce, as if he had been changing his cloathes and dressing. His coat was off & he was putting his shirt into his breeches, when seen by the above persons.

 Information of William Breen

 Examination of William Breen of Ballykelly in the County of Wicklow taken before William Haigh Esquire on the 8th April 1817 –

 Examinant was at Betty Noonan’s the night of the fair of Coolattin, John Carey, Patrick Byrne & Mathew Breen were his company – Drank a half pint of whiskey between the four – Did not stay more than a few minutes at Noonan’s – went home by the Road across Leviston’s Bridge and kept the Road until he came to Rickerby’s land Park Gate, which he crossed by the lawn & side head land to Mary Kennedy’s and from that by the road home – was not in the wood or at the well before the murder was committed – Did not go the night of the murder from the well to the Single Rail, nor for some time before the murder – before the funeral he was at the well with John Rickerby the brother of the deceased was afterwards there with Ralph Lawrenson


William Breen

 Information of Patrick Byrne

 Examination of Patrick Byrne of Ballykelly in the county of Wicklow taken the 8th of April 1817

 Examinant was drinking at Betty Noonan’s on the Evening of the fair of Coolattin in company with William Breen, Mathew his son & John Carey his son in law – Went home over Breen’s Rails – was not at the well that night either before or after the murder, nor did he go out the straight path till he arrived at William Breen’s – did not cross the Middle Rails until after the shoes were taken and his track measured – Did not pass from the gap at the head of the wood at the ditch below the Paddock, towards the well for a long time before or for a week or ten days after the shoes were taken


Proofs on behalf of the Crown

 Jeremiah Rickerby Is son of the deceased

 – will prove finding the Body went to the labourers houses amongst others to William Breen’s, who was from home at Mr William Barker’s - He met William Breen coming out of Barker’s door – Said he did not see his father – followed witness some perches of the Road pressing his services in search of deceased – witness declined them three or four times – he offered them with a degree of kindness never before used – witness often before made similar enquiries – witness at the time of the offer & before he was aware of the murder thought it very unusual and was surprised at it – will prove deceased having been robbed on November


 Thomas Derenzy M.D. T. le D. Attended the inquest on Rickerby’s Body & will prove the deceased to have been murdered – Catharine Byrne communicated the particulars on her information to this witness

 Elizabeth Noonan Will prove William Breen, Patrick Byrne & John Carey to have been drinking at her house in the Evening of the murder – The Examination of Byrne & Breen admit this – they also declare the Road each took home


ohn Mathews and Ralph Taylor Esqrs}

  Know the place where the murder was perpetrated – Can prove the noise in that place on the prevailing of a high wind – recollect the fair night of Coolattin & that a great storm did prevail on that evening & night. Mr Mathews (who is land surveyor & valuator to Earl Fitzwilliam) prepared the maps exhibited to Court & Jury – Can prove them – He can prove the circumstances of the tracks of both Breen & Byrne & the fitting of their shoes thereto, which correspond exactly


David Page and George Thompson}

 They are both shoe makers & will also prove the circumstances of the tracks p David Page will prove that Breen gave directions to his daughter Elizabeth Carey to bring in her husband or he would murder her, Breen saying, that it is the way to clear us, meaning Breen and Byrne


George Pearce aged ten years

 Met Mr Allen & Mr Barker near to Mr Jones’s in the street of Coolattin on the fair evening – proceeded homeward over Breen’s Rails – his father threatened to keep him out all night if not soon home, for this reason he proceeded quickly – Did not see Byrne on the Road before him – Could see almost the whole way to Breen’s house – was accompanied by Catharine Foster and Sarah Pearce – N. B. This witness marks the time immediately before Rickerby went home – Byrne stated he met Mr Allen and Mr Barker before the children, that is, nearer Malton Gate – see his statement


Mary Lattin

 Left the fair in company with Sarah Byrne wife of Patrick Byrne, Mary Dempsey & Thomas Kennedy – went home by the yard at Malton & passed over Breen’s Rails – leaving the yard at Malton, Sarah Byrne went first & called on the remainder saying “follow me” – taking the road to Breen’s Rails & avoiding the other road which led to the scene of murder


 Alice Cooper and Mary Pearce}

 Went into William Breen’s house on the night of the murder – saw William Breen who appeared to have been dressing – his coat was off & he was putting his linen into his breeches – as they went into Breen’s house met Anne Car


James Geoghan -

 not a safe witness but he will most probably tell truth/ Was asked by deceased Rickerby to accompany him home declined because he had not got his dinner – Did himself reach home, a distance of nearly two miles before dark – Catharine Byrne asserts that this witness dropped one of his tools & that she saw him stoop and take it up


 James Foster

 John Carey will in all probability endeavour to defend himself by proving that he was all the time at Deegan’s drinking to rebut this, James Foster of Ballykelly will prove that he was at Deegan’s when John Carey came there the candles had been lighted and from Geoghan’s testimony it will appear that Rickerby had been long murdered, as he (Geoghan) arrived home before dark, though leaving Malton after the murder at least after Rickerby proceeded from Malton


William Barker

 Will prove his accompanying Mr Allen up the street of Coolattin when they were met by Pearce’s children who afterwards met Rickerby – It was directly after Mr Allen’s dinner – He will also prove that William Breen was not accustomed to call at his house


Mary Rickerby

 Will prove that on the discovery of her father being murdered William Breen accompanied her without being asked – When near the scene of the murder she was directed by William Breen to the place where the body lay – He pretended to search on the other side of the Road – He directed her to the proper place – He had been told by her brother Jeremiah that the body was at the well – with which he had been well acquainted there was therefore no necessity for him to search on the upper side of the Road – Witness called on William Breen to raise the Body – he dragged it after him in so brutal a manner as to shock her – she desired him to desist & that she would raise the Body herself – William Breen did not go to the body until called by witness


Catharine Byrne

 To prove the identity of the three prisoners Breen, Byrne & Carey as being the persons who actually seized the deceased Rickerby in Malton Wood see her information at page (1) of this Brief


The following pages are written in a different hand and are probably a summary of later questions. The first witness is not named but judging from the text it appears to have been William Byrne the father of Patrick Byrne

 There was a lock on his box – does not think is a robbery if the son should take it – there was cash taken out of your box – he had left the key in it when the money was taken was not well pleased at his son taking the money – cannot say how much money the son took supposes that he might have taken fifty shillings did not break open the box if he did so he would break his son’s neck 10s was left in the box


Patrick Byrne

 Had the key been in the Box would not have broken it – this question being put in these words If your father swore that the box was not broken open and that you swore that you did not break it open - which on the virtue of your Oath is the Truth – Answer he still asserts that he did break open the box


William Byrne

On being asked in the presence of his son was his box broken open he asserted that it was not left the key in the box


William Breen

 Came to the far about 4 o’clock – went that day to Kilnahue returned about 3 o’clock did not (?) at home Mat Breen, Patrick Byrne – John Carey and informant drank whiskey at Betty Noonan’s – went home over Ballykelly Bridge – is a workman of Mr Haigh heard Rickerby in the work say I will make out the thief he said this in the turf house - thinks Ned Deegan was present - has heard that Rickerby was robbed the night before the fair of Coolattin – went to Rickerby’s House on that Night – was to have gone for Herrings did not go far for the Herrings because he heard they were dear. Did not meet any person on the Road from Betty Noonan’s to Bob Rickerby’s gate this was before it was dark entered at the Back Door – was at Rickerby’s when the murder was discovered cannot say that he was Rickerby’s from the time when was robbed to he was murdered. Went in company with Mary Rickerby in quest of her father, when the murder was discovered. He was told the spot where the Body lay that he desired the Daughter to look one way viz the way the body was and that he would look the other way – but admits that she saw the body before he did

 Has been the last winter a dealer in Herrings made one Journey thinks he might have made £1:0:0 sold two (?) one for 35/6 the other 58/- at Coolboy Fair received no other money

 Bought a last for £1-0-0

Breeches                   7-0

Jacket                        5-5

Hat                            1-11

Jackets for sons         3-0


27 March

 Shoes for little girl 2-10

Ditto                       3-4

Saddle                    9-0


27th March 1817

 Patrick Byrne of Ballykelly sworn – went home through Malton Yard did not see any person at the Upper Stable door & went home over Breen’s Rails – in the Brow near the place where Robert Rickerby was murdered for days before his death was not in the Brow till the Sunday after the murder – went to Robert Rickerby’s as soon as he got up the day after the murder thinks about 7 o’clock in the morning – did not return to Bed after he got up – his wife went from the fair before informant-left it & was in his sight at the Ballykelly side of the River – was speaking to his wife about half an hour before he left the fair – did not direct her not to go through the Brow in the direction of Ballykelly Bridge - does not think he told her so – took about £3.0.0 when he broke open his father’s box – never threatened that he would (unclear) on may person for accusing informant of having murdered Rickerby – wore the shoes that were not brought by Thompson the Constable from Informant’s house, when they searched did not cross amy rails except Breen’s for a quarter of a year before the murder – in addition to his former account of expenditure he admits that he paid £1.0.0 note for hay out of which he received 6 harp – Pedlars have occasionally lodged at his father’s house – never talked or thought of robbing any pedlar he took no notes out of his father’s box- only 6 pieces & 10 bits says he  paid Mr Goodison the £3.0.0. he owed him in notes but does not recollect where he got them – had a great many ways of getting money – got a £3 note changed by Mullyhall the workman – he received this note of Robert Rickerby- told that he was glad he was not out drinking the night of the murder- used to be out very much at nights meaning the fair nights of Coolattin – does not know but he mentioned he was glad he was not drinking the fair night- before he went to the wake- had not any money when he was drinking on last Patrick’s Night at Poll Kennedy’s – did not buy any groceries last Christmas – Billy Breen & John Carey were not in Breen’s House when informant arrived at Breen’s the fair evening – did not drink any Tea in his own house or eat hot Cakes at any time since the murder- bought cloathes in Carlow & paid for same out of the money he received for the oats (about £1 1s 0d) – did not buy a pair of Breeches in Gorey – does not know at what house he delivered the oats in Carlow – his brother – in – law William Hinch was with him in Carlow – did not drink more than half a pint of whiskey at Harris’ in Tinahely since the murder


John Quail senior

 – searched William Byrne’s house of Ballykelly after the granary was robbed – found some lead in a box, but did not find any money- searched every box in the house –


 William Breen

 Swears that he did not buy one pound of beef was not looking at the upper side of the road in search for the Body – Swears he did not bury a side of beef, particularly swears that he did not direct Mary Rickerby to the body and kept away himself (There is a line crossed out at this point) he did not pass by the spring well near which the murder took place on the Evening of the murder – did not cross the Single Rail at the bottom of Mr Haigh’s pasture that Evening – Mary Rickerby did not complain of Breen’s taking up her father in what she considered an improper & inhuman manner – was not through the lower part of the wood except with Ralph Lawrenson & John Rickerby for a week after the murder nor did not cross the Single Rail – did not watch for Rickerby for a week before murder at the Well or near the Well when he had occasion to go in that Direction he always travelled the regular Road


William Byrne of Ballykelly – John Quail & Robert Rickerby searched Byrne’s Box above two months before Patrick Byrne broke it open – this was about a month ago – there was six 6d pieces in the Box & some ten penny’s but does  not recollect how many – had some of the money this twenty years past – the Oats were sold in Carlow before Christmas – Mr Goddison did not charge him for the process – he was afraid of his Daughter – in – law robbing him and occasionally carried money in his Pocket – cannot tell when Mr Goodison was paid – thinks it was before his son broke the Box


Sarah Byrne

 She left the fair in Company with Mary Lattin and two other girls was desired by her husband not to go through the Brow towards Ballykelly Bridge – did not advise the girls not to proceed that way – the Box was broke open before Christmas when they passed through the yard at Malton she observed to the other girls proceeding down towards Breen’s Rails, let every one follow me – she did not wash any cloaths that day after the murder – her husband never beat or kicked her – has not had any hot Cakes or Tea since the Robbery at Mr Rickerby’s


William Hinch

 Was with Patrick Byrne in Carlow when he sold the oats – does not know to whom sold, the quantity or the price – he does not know what quantity of oats he took – Patrick Byrne bought a coat which he thinks cost about 26/- Hinch borrowed money from Patrick Byrne at different times, to the amount of 10s or 11s – does not now owe him any money


Mathew Breen (son of William) – Never heard that he was suspected of Robert Rickerby’s murder – was not near the well at any time before – crossed by the place of the Murder on Sunday & went in Company with Thomas Breen, Peter Breen, William Breen (Jack’s son) & William Pearce – went across the Middle Rails – found a jack which had been left there about three weeks before – does not know who left it there


William Breen – has three Jacks two of those now at home does not know where the other is – heard his son Matt say that he found one of the Jacks in the ditch near the Middle Rails the day Robert Rickerby was buried


Mary Lattin – Was in the last fair of Coolattin went home with Sarah Byrne, Mary Dempsey & Thomas Kennedy through the yard at Malton – across Breen’s Rails – on leaving the yard at Malton Sarah Byrne went first & called on the rest saying follow me – Sarah Byrne called into William Breen’s did not stay long – did not tell informant what passed when she called at Breen’s – did not hear Sarah Byrne say that Patrick Byrne was coming after them


Eliza Carey sworn – Patrick Byrne called to her father, William Breen’s House about three quarters of an hour before night fall – no person then in the house but informant and three or four small children – Byrne remained in the house for ten minutes to a quarter of an hour – on enquiring for her father, Byrne replied that he had not seen him since he left him at Betty Noonan’s – Sarah Byrne called at Breens but did not go in – she enquired was Pat Byrne there & informant replied he had not come yet – she then left the house – Patrick Byrne arrived in a few minutes after  her father William Breen came into the house a few minutes after Pat Byrne left it and desired her to get his dinner – her child is not yet six weeks old – Patrick Byrne is gossip


See her former examination