The Trial of Luke Dillon for the Rape and Seduction of Anne Frizell, 1831

Ruth Cannon Bl barrister Luke Dillon image
Image of Luke Dillon at the time of the trial, via National Library of Ireland.

From the Chester Courant, 26 April 1831


(Abridged from the Dublin Papers)

At five minutes to ten o’clock, the prisoner, Dillon, was removed from Newgate into the dock, when, without stopping for a moment, he at once advanced to the bar with an air, if not of callous, certainly of unblushing confidence.  His hair was dressed in the most fashionable style – the ringlets adjusted with the most studied attention to effect, and his toilette read more

Attainted Aristocrat Dies in Private Lodgings on Inns Quay, 1726

Ruth Cannon
Slane Castle, by Thomas Markey, via Whytes

From the Newcastle Courant, 21 February 1747:

“Last Sunday was interred in a Vault in St George’s Church, the Remains of William Flemming, Esq, commonly called Lord Slane, who had an annual Pension of £300 from his Majesty.  The Defunct’s Uncle had the Misfortune to be so attached to the Interest of King James the 2nd, that he forfeited a hereditary Estate of £24,000 a Year, and followed his unfortunate Majesty to France, where, not meeting with the Usage he expected, read more

Tailor Arrested for Dancing the Polka in Sackville Street, 1844

Mid 19th century Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street), Dublin, via Wikipedia. The portico of the General Post Office appears on the left. The location of the carts in front is where Mr Gaffney would have danced his polka.

From the Cork Examiner, 21 June 1844:



A young man named Gaffney, whose attire was well calculated to display the symmetry of his anatomical proportion, was brought before the magistrates of this office on Thursday, charged with having behaved on the night preceding in such a manner as to disturb the public peace, and to fright Sackville-street from its propriety.  The prisoner, who read more

Patrick Pearse and the Name on a Dray, 1905-1916

Ruth Cannon

From the Irish Independent, 18 May, 1965:

 ‘Pearse’s only Court Brief – The Name on a Dray’ by Frank Byrne

‘One man can free a people as One Man redeemed the world’

(The Singer: PH Pearse)

Did any one man do more to free the people of Ireland than Padraic Pearse, who, sixty years ago today, in the courtroom of the King’s Bench Division, publicly espoused the sacred cause of freedom when, in his only court brief, he pleaded for the right of Irish farmers to put their names read more

Seven Bagfuls of Stolen Briefs, 1875

Barristers’ brief-bags, as depicted above, were primarily designed for carrying the traditional rolled up briefs tied with a ribbon. They work less well for bound A4 booklets. Today, the bags tend to be used to carry only wigs and gowns, and various miscellaneous but personally essential items varying from barrister to barrister. Image via Ebay.

From the Belfast Telegraph, 28 January 1875, a story which gives a unique insight into everyday life in the Four Courts, and Dublin, in the mid-to-late 19th century. All of human life is here: the barristers with their bagfuls of briefs transitioning back and forth from court, to the Law Library, to their homes, as the need takes them; the transportation service (staffed by women!) available to assist them; the lucrative trade in old waste paper; and the unfailing ingenuity of the Dublin criminal read more