Mob Attack, Inns Quay, 1830

For the Good Friday that’s in it, this story from Saunders’s News-Letter, 7 June 1830:-

“DESPERATE OUTRAGE – For some months past, a person of genteel appearance has appeared in the streets, in various parts of this city, preaching to people, and according to his notions, following the life of one of the first preachers of the Gospel. He has generally held a small edition of the Bible in his hand, occasionally read a verse from it, and commented on his reading. In this inoffensive pursuit, he has been frequently attacked by mobs, but the most dreadful we yet have heard of took place on Saturday evening near the Four Courts. The mob not only attacked with stones and dust, but attempted to throw him over the Liffey wall. Some humane persons, at the risk of their lives, brought the unfortunate man to the head office for protection, where he remained for some time until the mob was dispersed. Of what religious denomination can those persons be who thus behaved to a really unoffending being? Is it possible, with reference to the country, that they were Irishmen?”

Indeed, the mob may not have been Irishmen – or, in fact, men – at all. Having regard to the date, location and general description of the attack, the fishwives of Pill Lane, who did not take kindly to strangers treading on their centuries-old territory, would seem to be the primary suspects.

It is heartening to know that this poor well-intentioned man was able to find in the Four Courts a place of temporary succour and refuge!

Picture Credit: National Library of Ireland

Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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