Tralee, July 10.– We have just heard the following mysterious circumstances:–
A woman, whose maiden name was Stonehouse, we understand, of very respectable connections, and whose family formerly lived in the city of Cork, many years since married a farmer of the better class, named Hennessy, in the barony of Iraghticonnor, in this county. Hennessy has since died, leaving one daughter, who was not long since married to a young man named Casey. Hennessy’s widow afterwards became the wife of a person named Kelly; she enjoyed a jointure of 40 pounds (or guinees) per annum, in right of the first husband, which jointure was payable from off a landed property possessed by Casey, in right of his wife, the daughter of Hennessy. It appears that Kelly, the second husband, has experienced some difficulty and opposition in receiving this jointure, and in consequence of some attempt lately made by him to distrain, a warrant for some alledged illegal act was granted against him, and he was lodged in our county gaol, where he lay when the shocking murder we are now called upon to notice, was perpetrated.
On the night of Monday last, a gang of ruffians broke into the house where Mrs. Kelly lodged, at Ballyquinmon, in this county, and cruelly murdered her, in the most barbarous manner. We have not heard of the plunder of any property, or that any other person in the house was injured. Kelly, the unfortunate woman’s husband, was yesterday admitted to bail, and passed through this town, homeward, to mourn over this dreadful scene of horror and destruction.– Cork Chronicle.
In our last we gave such particulars of this horrid assassination as had then reached us; and we have now to add, that on the first information received by John Weeks, Esq., one of the Coroners for this county, he, very early on tuesday morning last repaired to the place where the murder was committed, and on that day he held an inquest on the body of that unfortunate victim. Nothing material transpired on the inquest, the only witness examined was Honora Moore, the servant maid of the deceased (who has since been committed as an accomplice), who swore that the murder was perpetrated on the night above–mentioned, by some persons who entered at the window, very near witness’s bed; that they threatened to murder witness also, unless she covered her head with the bed clothes; that her mistress was butchered within a few feet of the bed where witness lay; that she did not know the voices of any of the assassins, nor would she know them if she heard them again. Her evidence was altogether inconsistent and inconclusive. The following verdict was returned by the Jury.–
“We find that the deceased, Elizabeth Kelly, died in consequence of several wounds received from sharp instruments, which wounds were inflicted by persons at present unknown to us.”
The corpse was shockingly mangled. Shortly after the verdict was returned, that active magistrate, John Raymond, Esq., set every engine at work for discovering the murderers; and having posted up an offer of a reward of 50L, on the neighbouring chapel, in a few hours after he received such information as led to the apprehension of the following persons, who were fully committed by Mr. Raymond, to abide their trial for the murder at the ensuing Assizes, viz.–James Casey (son–in–law to the deceased), Michael Hennessy, William Moore, Bridget Sullivan, alias Hennessy, and Honora Moore.
They were transmitted to town, and lodged in gaol yesterday evening.–Tralee paper.
James Casey, Michael Hennessy, William Moore, and Honora Moore, the prisoners were put on their trial for the murder of Elizabeth Kelly, and the Prisoner Casey applied to have the trial postponed until the next Assizes, on account of the absence of material witnesses, grounded on an affidavit sworn yesterday. Mr. Lloyd, Counsel for the Crown opposing the application stated that the names of the witnesses having been communicated to the Crown Solicitor last night, he sent a carriage to the residence of the witnesses and they were brought to town this morning, and were then in attendance. The prisoners said they had no money to fee Counsel or Attorney, and the Court asked if there would be any inconvenience in postponing the trial till the next Assizes, the Counsel for the Crown, replied that there would probably be a failure of justice, but that to avoid all objection the Crown Solicitor would supply the prisoners with money to have professional assistance, and this being answered the trial was fixed for Monday next. William Moore who is deaf and dumb was then put to plead, and a witness having been examined to prove that he did not stand mute from obstinacy, but by the conviction of GOD, and that he understood signs, the nature of the charge was communicated to him, and the Clerk of the Crown was directed by the Court to record a plea of not guilty for him.
NAI REFERENCE: CSO/RP/1822/1378. 5 Oct 1822 – Petition of Patrick Kelly, Ballybunion, County Kerry, to Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquis Wellesley, Lord Lieutenant, Dublin Castle, requesting appointment to post of employment under Government: claims that he succeeded in bringing to justice the killers of his wife Elizabeth Stonehouse ‘who had been barbarously and inhumanely murdered on the night of the 8th of July last, by her son in law, James Casey and one Michael Hennessey’ (Anna named her first son Michael), indicates that his wife had an annuity of forty guineas flowing out of lands of Lahardane, barony of Iraghticonnor, which provided the motive for her murder, and expresses fear that ‘his own destruction is already contemplated by the friends and accomplices of said murderers’. Statement signed and attested by 12 persons.
NAI REFERENCE: CSO/RP/1822/2505. 21 Nov 1822 – Letter from Mathew Barrington, (crown solicitor, Munster circuit), 13 Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin, to Henry Goulburn, Chief Secretary, Dublin Castle, reporting on petition of Patrick Kelly, Ballybunion, County Kerry, outlining case and seeking employment: confirms that Kelly ‘prosecuted to Conviction at the last Assizes for the County of Kerry James Casey and others for the murder of his Wife’ but notes in conclusion that ‘Kelly has lately died having been found dead in his bed some days back’; includes memorial of Kelly to Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquis Wellesley, Lord Lieutenant, Dublin Castle, seeking a situation under Government and making reference to case under which Casey, a relative through marriage, together with Michael Hennessey, were prosecuted and executed for murder of his wife, Elizabeth Stonehouse, who held an annuity of forty guineas out of lands of Lahardane, barony of Iraghticonnor, County Kerry.
In the 1825 Tithe Applotments, Lahardane was leased to a Maurice Hennessy and, still later (Griffiths Evaluation), to our James O’Connell who married Anna Hennessy