From the Freeman’s Journal, 13 June 1844:

“Laurence Broderick, a decent looking person, residing at Capel Street, was charged with having robbed Eliza Lee, who used to sell fruit and cakes about the hall of the Four Courts, of the sum of £1.15s.1d

[Miss Lee] said that she, with another female and Mr Flood, a law clerk had been in the prisoner’s room on Tuesday evening where they had sundry quarts of porter and various half pints of whiskey..

She had been ordered by her doctor to lodge out near the sea, and [had] procured a lodging above Kingstown, whither she intended to go in the evening.  A solicitor promised to call for her between nine and ten o’clock, to see her safe home by train, and when she was going down stairs to meet him, Broderick put his hands about her person and held her for a few minutes. At Essex bridge she missed the money which she was certain was in her pocket when she left.

Dr Kelly said he thought the evidence very slight, but he would take the prisoner’s recognizance and he could stand his trial if the girl prosecuted him for the robbery.

Faulkner, one of the tipstaffs of the Four Courts, stated that the girl was expelled from the courts long since… she was not even allowed into the yard, and all the tipstaffs had orders to keep her away from the place.

Dr Kelly said that was very satisfactory.”

There are a more than a few legal associations hovering on the fringes of this story. Mr Faulkner, for instance, was the very tipstaff charged with opening a cab driver’s face in the Four Courts Yard in 1837.

And it’s a long shot, but I wonder if Miss Lee, the former fruit-seller with the fine clothes and attentive gentleman friend, might be one and the same as the poor Four Courts apple-seller who fell into prostitution in 1830?

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