Tipstaff Bōjutsu, 1837

From the Freeman’s Journal, 25 September 1837:

“Patrick Falkner, a tipstaff, was indicted for assaulting John Kelly, a car-driver.

Mr Kelly deposed that he was waiting, with his car, in the yard of the Four Courts for the gentlemen to come out, when, on his refusing to leave, the accused came up to him and struck his horse a violent blow with the staff which he carried, then… broke the staff on his knee, and, holding a piece in the hand, beat both him and the horse, striking him in the face so violently as to open his cheek, with which he was confined for more than three weeks in the hospital.

Brecken, another tipstaff, swore that Kelly threatened Falkner with his whip, that Falkner aimed a blow with his staff against the horse, and struck the shaft of the car, and thus broke the staff. He believed it was a blow from the broken end of one of the pieces from the staff which cut Kelly’s cheek.

The Recorder then pressed the jury to come to a decision, [saying that] whatever the verdict might be, the punishment would be no more than a reprimand, it being plain that the accused committed the assault in the discharge of his duty, but that he had gone too far in using more force than was necessary.

The accused then withdrew his plea, and his lordship having reprimanded him for the harshness of his conduct, fined him one shilling.

Different times, certainly! Three weeks in the hospital – poor Mr Kelly! Poor horse!

Image credits (left) (right)

Author: Ruth Cannon BL

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

Leave a Reply