Category Archives: Manchester Martyrs

The Prison Records of the Manchester Martyrs

From http://www.manchester-family-history-research.co.uk/new_page_17.htm – accessed 20141225

THE PRISON RECORDS OF THE MANCHESTER  MARTYRS AND THEIR ASSOCIATES AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS

ON THE 26th November 2007, Gerard Lodge made the most significant discovery of his life when he came upon the New Bailey Prison records of the twenty-six men who were charged with the murder of Charles Brett.

Lodge has transcribed the full register entries for the main accused – including William P Allen – and extracts for the others:

579 William Gould. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: Death. Age: 30. Ht: 5 ft 8 1/2. Complexion, Hair and Eyes: Fresh , Lt brown, Grey.  Occupation: Clerk. Where Born: New York, America. Last or Usual Residence: 72 Clopton St, Hulme. Religion: RC. Education R(eads) + W(rites) well. Single. Irish. Marks etc: Cut over right eyebrow small cut 2nd finger left hand. If in any other prison: Liverpool Assizes December 1866 for possession of fire arms. Acquitted. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed of: Executed Nov 23rd 1867.

580 William O’Mara Allen. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: Death. Age: Last April 19 6/12. Ht: 5 ft 91/2. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Pale, Brown, Grey. Trade or Profession: Joiner. Where Born: Near Thurles, Tipperary. Last or Usual Address: 101 Sudell St, Manchester. Religion: RC. Education: R + W well. Single. Irish. Marks etc: Cut on left cheek bone, cut top of nose, cut on 2nd finger left hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Executed Nov 23/67.

581 Edward Shore. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: Death: Commuted to Penal Servitude for Life. Age 27. Ht: 5ft 8ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Fresh, Dk Brown, Grey. Occupation: Hawker. Where Born: County Cork. Last or Usual Address: Clopton St, Hulme. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp(erfect). Married with no children.. Irish. Wt in: 11st 4lbs. Wt Out: 11st Olbs. Marks etc: Cut on right eyebrow, cut left of upper lip, cut on left thumb. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 24/67 Removed to Millbank.

582 Michael Larkin. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: Death. Age: 30. Ht: 5ft 51/2. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Pale, Brown, Grey. Occupation: Tailor. Where Born: Parson Town, King’s County. Last or Usual Address: 12 Eliza St, Hulme. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Married. Four Children. Irish. Marks etc: Large scar under left jaw, small scar under right jaw, cut 4th and 5th fingers left hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Executed Nov 23/67.

583 Charles Moorhouse. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: 5 years Penal Servitude + 2 years Hard Labour to be concurrent. Age: 23. Ht: 5ft 3ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Fresh, Lt Brown, Hazel. Occupation: Clerk. Where Born: city of Dublin. Last or Usual Address 6 Menai St, Manchester. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Well. Married. 2 children. Irish. Marks etc: Eyebrows meet. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed:  Nov 16/67 Removed to Millbank.

584 Patrick Kelly (Galway). When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 35. Ht: 5ft 31/2 ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Fresh, Black, Hazel. Occupation: Potato dealer. Where Born: Athenry, Galway Last or Usual Address: Bengal St, Manchester. Religion: R C. Education: N(il). Married. 2 children. Irish. Marks etc: 2 blue dots under left eye, scar right of chin, cut 5th finger of right hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 9/67.

585 Michael McGuire. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 32. Ht: 5ft 8ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Sallow, Brown, Grey. Occupation: Shopkeeper. Where Born: Kilkearn (sic), Galway. Last or Usual Address: 40 Smithfield Market, Manchester. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Married. 2 children. Marks etc: Scar left of forehead, cut over right eyebrow, cut end of 2nd & 3rd fingers left hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 9/67.

586 John Martin.  When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age:34. Ht: 5ft 101/2ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Sallow, Brown, Grey. Occupation: Cooper. Where Born: St Michael’s, Dublin. Last or Usual Address: Varley St, Miles Platting, Newton Heath. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Married. 2 children. Irish. Marks etc: lost 3 upper teeth, cut corner right eye, scar bridge of nose, cut on 2nd finger left hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 9/67.

587 John Brannon. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: 5 years Penal Servitude + 2 years Hard Labour to be concurrent. Age: 40. Ht: 5ft 81/2ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Sallow, Black, Grey  Occupation: Clothes Dealer. Where Born: Roscommon. Last or Usual Address: Cable St, Manchester. Religion: R C. Education: R . Married. 4 children. Irish. Wt in: 11st 5lbs. Wt Out: 11st 5lbs. Marks etc: Lost 2 upper front teeth, slightly pockpitted, cut back of right hand. If in any other Prison since last Committal here: 2 years at city gaol 6 or 7 years ago. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 16/67 Removed to Millbank.

588 John Francis Nugent. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 22. Ht: 6ft 0ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes:  Fresh, Brown, Grey. Occupation: Joiner. Where Born: Drogheda, Louth. Last or Usual Address: 68 Buckley St, Manchester. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Single. Irish. Marks etc: Hollow scar centre of forehead, two cut on two fingers left hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 12/67

589 William Martin. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 35. Ht: 5ft 71/2ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes:  Fresh, Red, Hazel. Occupation: Clerk. Where Born: City of Dublin. Last or Usual Address: Varley St, Manchester. Religion: R C. Education: R + W well. Married.  6 children. Irish. Marks etc: cut centre of forehead, cut inside right hand When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 12/67.

590 John Carroll. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: 5 years Penal Servitude + 2 years Hard Labour to be concurrent. Age: 24. Ht: 5ft 9ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes:  Fresh, Brown, Grey. Occupation: Labourer. Where Born: Danefort, Kilkenny. Last or Usual Address: 2 Bradleys Buildings, Naylor St, Manchester. Religion: R C. Education: N. Single. Irish. Marks etc: Large scar right cheek, mole right of mouth, mole under left eye. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 16/67 Removed to Millbank.

591 Michael Jos Boylan. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester.  Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 34. Ht: 5ft 5ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Sallow, Greyish, Grey. Occupation: Schoolmaster. Where Born: Aughnamullen, Monaghan. Last or Usual Address: 69 Syndall St, Ardwick. Religion: R C. Education: R + W well. Married.  0 children. Irish. Marks etc: Cut on right eyebrow, cut ball of thumb. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov9/67

592 Michael Kennedy. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Acquitted. Age: 28. Ht: 5ft 53/4ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Fresh, Dk Brown, Hazel.  Occupation: Cane Dresser. Where Born: Tarmonbarry, Roscommon. Last or Usual Address: 96 Clarendon St, Hulme. Religion: R C. Education: R. Single. Irish. Marks etc: Red natural mark on right cheek. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 12/67

593Thomas Maguire (soldier in the Royal Marines). When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: Death (Nov 13th 1867 Recd Free pardon from the Secretary of State). Age: 31. Ht: 5ft 61/2ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Fresh, Brown, Grey.  Occupation: Soldier. Where Born: Kings Court, Cavan. Last or Usual Address: 42 Greengate, Salford. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Single. Irish. Marks etc: Blue cut left of forehead in hair, blue ring third finger left hand, anchor on right arm + bracelet on wrist. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Discharged Nov 13/67 having received a free pardon from Secretary of state.

594 Henry Wilson. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Acquitted. Age: 27. Ht: 5ft 8ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Fresh, Brown, Grey.  Occupation: Clothes Dealer. Where Born: city of Dublin. Last or Usual Address: 50 Smithfield Market, Manchester. Religion: Ch (C of E). Education: R + W Imp. Married. 1 child. Irish. Marks etc: Small mole back of right hand, cut 5th finger left hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 9/67.

595 John Bacon. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 40. Ht: 5ft 5ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes:  Sallow, Dk brown, Grey. Occupation: Shoemaker. Where Born: Faughuitown (sic),Westmeath. Last or Usual Address: 29 Cable St, Manchester. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp . Married. 0 children. Irish. Marks etc: Left foot deformed, cut on 3rd finger left hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 9/67

596 Patrick Coffey. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 27. Ht: 5ft 4ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Pale, Brown, Grey. Occupation: Joiner. Where Born: Ballinasloe, Roscommon. Last or Usual Address: Bonsall St, Manchester. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Single. Irish. Wt In: 8St 7lbs. Wt Out: 8St 7lbs. Marks etc: 5th finger right hand crooked, cut 2nd finger left hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 12/67

597 Thomas Ryan. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 30. Ht: 5ft 7ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes:  Pale, Brown, Grey. Occupation: Fustian Stiffener. Where Born: Salford, Lancs. Last or Usual Address: Brown Cross St, Salford. Religion: R C. Education: R. Married. 3 children. English. Marks etc: Cut back of right hand, cut over left eyebrow. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 7/67.

598 Thomas Scalley. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: 5 years Penal Servitude + 2 years Hard Labour to be concurrent. Age: 22. Ht: 5ft 5ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes:  Fresh, Brown, Grey. Occupation: Tailor. Where Born: Loughglyn, Roscommon.  Last or Usual Address: Chapel St, Salford. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Single. Irish. Marks etc: Large scar near right temple, very large eyebrows. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 16/67 Removed to Millbank

599 Timothy Featherstone. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester.  Sentence: 5 years Penal Servitude + 2 years Hard Labour to be concurrent. Age: 20. Ht: 5ft 8ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes:  Sallow, Brown, Grey. Occupation: Shoemaker. Where Born: Limerick.  Last or Usual Address:15 Cook St, Salford. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Married. 0 children. Irish. Wt In: 10St O lbs. Wt Out: 10St 0lbs. Marks etc: 2 cuts 2nd finger left hand, scar back of right hand, small mole right of nose. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 16/67 removed to Millbank.

600 William Murphy. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: 5 years Penal Servitude + 2 years Hard Labour to be concurrent. Age: 25. Ht: 5ft 8ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Sallow, Dk Brown, Grey.  Occupation: Shoemaker. Where Born: Menagh, Tipperary. Last or Usual Address: 42 Hardman St, Manchester. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Single. Irish. Marks etc: 2 cuts on left thumb, small mole back of right hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 16/67 Removed to Millbank.

601 Thomas Johnson. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 5th 1867 R. Knowles Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester.  Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 30. Ht: 6ft 1ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Fresh, Brown, Grey.  Occupation: Labourer. Where Born: County Mayo. Last or Usual Address: Fleet St, Ashton Religion: R C. Education: N . Married. 0 children. Irish. Marks etc: Blind of left eye, blue scar right of forehead. Register Number in Next Case: 4992. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 7/67

The others were listed as follows:

699 Daniel Redden. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 16th 1867 R. Fowler Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: 5 years Penal Servitude + 2 years Hard Labour to be concurrent. Age: 25. Ht: 5ft 81/2ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes:  Fresh, Brown, Grey. Occupation: Plasterer. Where Born: Kingstown, Dublin. Last or Usual Address: Crawford St, Tythebarn St, Liverpool Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Single. Irish. Marks etc: Pockpitted, blue cross top of left thumb, anchor top of right thumb. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 16/67 Removed to Millbank.

670 Jas O’Brennan Chambers. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 16th 1867 R. Fowler Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 29. Ht: 5ft 91/2ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Sallow, Dk Brown, Grey.  Occupation: Joiner. Where Born: Town and County Wexford. Last or Usual Address: Clifton St, Liverpool. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Married. 1  child. Irish. Marks etc: Lost a[ll] front upper teeth, scar on right arm, cut 2nd finger left hand,  small scar centre of forehead. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed: Nov 7/67.

671 William Brophy. When Received and by Whom:  Oct 16th 1867 R. Fowler Esq. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Discharged No Evidence Offered. Age: 26. Ht: 5ft 91/2ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Fresh, brown, Grey. Occupation: Porter. Where Born: Thurles, Tipperary. Last or Usual Address: Chadwick St, Liverpool. Religion: R C. Education: R + W Imp. Single. Irish. Marks etc: Small mole left of neck, small mole right of neck, small mole right arm, cut 3rd finger left hand. When Discharged or Otherwise Disposed:  Nov 12/67.

 

William P Allen - Entry in New Bailey Prison Register
William P Allen – Entry in New Bailey Prison Register – credit Gerard Lodge

 

1249 Wm Pherson Thompson. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester .Sentence: Death. Commuted to Penal Servitude for life. Age: 28. Ht: 5ft 8 1/2. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Sallow, Lt Brown, Grey. Occupation: Hawker. Where Born: Greenock, Scotland. Last or Usual Residence: No Settled Residence. Religion: RC. Reading and Writing: Imp. Wt In: 9st 3lbs. Wt Out:9st 1lb. Marks etc: Mole under right jaw. April 1st removed to Millbank.

1927 Patrick Melody. Offence and Where Committed: Having on the 18th September 1867 feloniously wilfully & with malice aforethought killed & murdered one Charles Brett at Manchester. Sentence: Death. Commuted to Penal Servitude for life. Age: 24. Ht: 5ft 9ins. Complexion, Hair, Eyes: Fresh, Sandy, Grey. Occupation: Coach Trimmer. Where Born: City of Dublin. Last or Usual Address: 161 Stanhope St, Hampstead Road, London. Religion: RC. Reading and Writing: Imp. Wt In: 11st 4lbs. Wt Out: 11st 0. Marks etc: Scar top of right thumb. Removed to Millbank April 1st 1868.

See also The Remains of the Manchester Martyrs.

William Allen – Yvonne Cooper – 20120406

From: “Yvonne Cooper” <yvonne.cooper@activ8.net.au>
Subject: [FENIANS] William Phillip ALLEN -fenian hung 1867 at Manchester
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2012 12:49:03 +1000

Hi, I am researching William Philip ALLEN, one of the Manchester Martyrs. He was hung at Salford, Manchester 23 Nov 1867. I am trying to prove he was the Uncle of my grandmother-in-law as she had said. I have obtained his death certificate with his name given as William O’Mara ALLEN (same name as given on prison admittance record). I am looking for his any information about his family, his birth (about Apr 1848 near Thurles, Tipperary or possibly at Bandon, Cork), the names of his parents and his 4th brother and his sister who lived in Cork in 1867. His other three brothers were James, Joseph & Peter and they and William were converted to Roman Catholicism in 1866. His father’s name was either Henry Thomas ALLEN or Thomas ALLEN (1814?-1909?). He was a constable and later keeper of the Bridewell at Bandon, Cork from about 1851 to 1868. His father was a protestant and his mother was a Catholic Several sources state William was born in Tipperary in Apr 1848 and moved to Bandon when he was 3 years old. His speech from the dock “My name is William Philip ALLEN and I was born and reared in Bandon, Cork”. Many of the documents I have read refer to his mother, sister, aunts, cousin, and brother without mentioning their names. I have read so many documents that it is frustrating to still be missing the key names. I think I have found his sister in Cork and if I am correct she would be the Aunt of my grandmother-in-law, but I want to prove it not assume it. Any advice would be appreciated. Yvonne Cooper (Australia)

Discovery of William Allen’s Papers in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Excerpt from Paul Rose, The Manchester Martyrs (1970), p. 127

… in April, 1967, the Dungannon Observer published the following remarkable report from Pittsburgh, a city very much like Manchester on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean:

Letters of Manchester Martyrs Found in Pittsburgh, USA

William P. Allen's Farewell Messages to Family Presented to Library of Irish Center
by Tom McGuigan Jr.

I was present in the home of Mr. Robert Gariby, great grandnephew of William P. Allen, one of the three Manchester Martyrs (Allen, Larkin and O'Brien), when Mr. Gariby turned over to Dr. James McKaveney five letters which were written by Allen to members of his family on the eve of his execution. These letters will be hermetically encased, and put on permanent display in the library of the new Irish Centre in Pittsburgh, Pa.

William Allen’s Papers were donated to the University of Pittsburgh in May 1977 and may be viewed here.

The Boys Who Smashed the Van

Excerpt from Paul Rose, The Manchester Martyrs (1970), pp. 100- 103.

William Philip Allen, with his pale face, high cheekbones and flowing hair, had taken a leading part in the assault upon the van. Dedicated to the Fenian cause – some would say fanatically – he was quite prepared to lay down his life for its leaders. Indeed there was almost a premonition of this when he spoke to Kelly on his release: “I told you, Kelly, I would die for you before I parted with you” – or words variously reported to that effect. It was Allen whose spirited and reckless disregard for his own safety along with his colleagues made the rescue possible, and it was he who took personal responsibility for seeing that Kelly was safe before his own capture, in the course of which he was severely beaten by the mob.

Witness after witness testified that Allen appeared to lead the attack, and although he denied having fired the fatal shot there can be no doubt that this young man was a natural leader. How much his other talents might have contributed to the Fenian Movement we shall never know, but as so often is the case in revolutionary action the lead in action is taken by those who have scarcely reached manhood.

The son of a Protestant father and a Catholic mother, he was born in Tipperary but moved at a very early age to Bandon, County Cork, where his father became Bridewell keeper. His religious background must have contributed to the breadth of understanding and experience, for at one and the same time he attended regularly both Catholic and Protestant schools in Tipperary. What must again be remembered is that one of the features of Irish history smothered by divisive struggle between the Orange and the Green is that many of the great leaders in the struggle for national freedom from Wolfe Tone onwards have been Protestant and, particularly, dissenters.

But Allen himself, after attending a Catholic Mission in the town, was received into the Catholic Church by the local priest along with his sister, while his four brothers remained in the Protestant faith. Commenting on Allen and the other prisoners, Father Gadd later said, “I never had more devotional penitents in my life than the condemned Irishmen of Salford gaol.” [O’Dea, Story of the Old Faith in Manchester (1910)]

Like the great majority of Fenian supporters, he was a manual worker. The strength of the Fenian Movement “lay in the shop assistants, clerks and working men in the towns, and the agricultural labourers and small farmers in the country. The comfortable classes, the large farmers and the upper classes, were outside. But the mass of the people were with it.” [P. S. O’Hogarty, History of Ireland under the Union.]

Apprenticed as a carpenter at Bandon, Allen found work in Cork for about six months before returning home. He then went to Manchester to join some relatives and was engaged to a girl in the city at the time of his execution. He spent a few weeks in Dublin as a builder’s clerk and in the summer of 1867 he made his fateful return to Manchester. While in prison he was visited by his mother, two aunts and his fiancee, Mary Ann Hickey, who was heartbroken and desperate at the plight of young Allen.

All the indications are that he must have been one of Kelly’s close associates in Dublin, and it is no accident that in his extremity Kelly turned for help to Allen and his friends after the arrest in Oak Street. In all probability the two had been in contact before that event, particularly as Condon and O’Brien would have provided another link with Kelly.

All eyes were upon Allen during the trial, and although the strain showed upon him, all accounts bear witness to the fat that he endured not only the physical pain of his capture and subsequent handcuffing with fortitude but he mastered his feelings to a degree that all but concealed his obvious sensitivity. The recklessness of his leadership on Hyde Road was matched by his remarkable self-control in the dock and upon the scaffold. Confronting the Court upon his sentence, his speech followed the best tradition of speeches from the dock, all too often the only platform open to those Irishmen who laid down their lives for national emancipation during the years of the Union.

My Lords and Gentlemen - It is not my intention to occupy much of your time in answering your question. Your question is one that is easily asked, but requires an answer which I am ignorant of. Abler and more eloquent men could not answer it. Where were the men who have stood in the dock - Burke, Emmet and others, who have stood in the dock in defence of their country? When the question was put, what was their answer? Their answer was null and void. Now, with your permission, I will review a portion of the evidence that has been brought against me.

Interrupted by Mr. Justice Blackburne, he was told that it was too late to criticise the evidence: “If you have any reason to give why either upon technical or moral grounds, the sentence should not be passed upon you, we will hear it, but it is too late for you to review the evidence to show that it was wrong.” Allen went on:

No man in this court regrets the death of Sergeant Brett more than I do, and I positively say, in the presence of the Almighty and ever-living God, that I am innocent, aye, as innocent as any man in this court. I don't say this for the sake of mercy: I want no mercy - I'll have no mercy. I'll die, as many thousands have died, for the sake of their beloved land, and in defence of it. I will die proudly and triumphantly in defence of republican principles and the liberty of an oppressed and enslaved people. Is it possible we are asked why sentence should not be passed upon us, on the evidence of prostitutes of the streets of Manchester, fellows out of work, convicted felons - aye, an Irishman sentenced to be hanged when an English dog would have got off. I say positively and defiantly, justice has not been done me since I was arrested. If justice had been done me, I would not have been handcuffed at the preliminary investigation in Bridge Street; and in this court justice has not been done me in any shape or form. I was brought up here, and all the prisoners by my side were allowed to wear overcoats, and I was told to take mine off. What is the principle of that? There was an obvious object in that; and so I say positively that justice has not been done me. As for the prisoners, they can speak for themselves with regard to that matter.

And now with regard to the other means by which I have been identified. I have to say that my clothes were kept for four hours by the policemen in Fairfield Station, and shown to parties to identify me as being one of the perpetrators of this affair in Hyde Road. Also in Albert Station a handkerchief was kept on my head the whole night, so that I could be identified the next morning in the corridor by the witnesses. I was ordered to leave on the handkerchief so that the witnesses could more plainly see I was one of the parties alleged to have committed the outrage. As for myself, I feel the righteousness of every act with regard to what I have done in defence of my country. I have no fear. I am fearless of any punishment that can be inflicted on me. One remark more. I return Mr. Seymour and Mr. Jones my sincere and heartfelt thanks for their eloquent and able advocacy regarding my part in this affray. I wish also to return to Mr. Roberts the very same. My name, Sir, might be wished to be known. It is not William O'Meara Allen. My name is William Philip Allen. I was reared in Bandon, in the county of Cork, and from that place I take my name. I am proud of my country, and proud of my parentage. My Lords, I have done.

Forty years later Condon was to collect money for Allen’s father, who was active in the Fenian organization, although he took no part in the rescue. … [the other prisoners speak]

At this point the words were taken up by [O’Brien’s] companions in the dock. “God save Ireland” they all cried. (It was these words which were taken up in the anthem which was to remain the National Anthem of Republicans until replaced by “The Soldier’s Song”.) …

As the condemned men thanked their counsel, they looked towards the benches where their friends were seated and the only words that passes were perhaps the most moving of all: “God be with you, Irishmen and Irishwomen.”

Fenianism at Manchester – 18671203

Manchester, Saturday. The apprehension of a man who gave the name of William Pherson Thompson, at the London Road Railway Station in this city, shortly before seven o’clock last night, with 45 new revolvers in his possession, has caused a good deal of consternation and not a little alarm among the citizens. This morning the man was brought up at the City Police Court, for examination. He is a young man, of respectable attire and intelligent-looking, and speaks with a strong Irish accent. The prisoner was charged with having been one of the men engaged in the attack on the prison van in Hyde-road, on the 18th September last, when Sergeant Brett was killed, and also with having in his possession forty-five new revolvers, supposed to have been stolen. Prisoner denied that he was present at the attack on the van, and said he bought the pistols from Mr. T. Bishop, 61, Hollowayhead, Birmingham. The following document was found on the prisoner and produced in the court: – “Nov. 20, Birmingham. “Mr. Pherson bot of T. Bishop, 61 Hollowayhead, 25 six-shot double shot action pistols, at £1 2s. each – £27 10s. (Signed) “J. T. Bishop.” Prisoner said he bought the other 20 pistols from Mr. Bishop also, but he had not the receipt for them. His object in bringing them to Manchester was to sell them. He thought that just now it would be a good market to get rid of them. He being a hawker had no place of fixed residence; nor had he yet a license to hawk. From the evidence of Captain Palin, the Chief Constable and Mr. Superintendent Maybury of the Detective Department it seems that the police had received a hint to be on the look out for the arrival of the 10.20 p.m. train from Birmingham. When the prisoner alighted on the platform with two joiners’ vasses full of something heavy he was at once judged to be the person they were look for, and on being questioned what he had in the vasses he said joiners’ tools, but such not being the fact he was at once taken down to the detective office and there kept in custody. To-day on the application of the police (who think he will turn out to be more important a man to them than a mere hawker) the prisoner was remanded till next Friday. Fenianism in Manchester - Cork Constitution 18671203 Cork Constitution, December 3, 1867

An Irishman’s Experience of Fenianism – 18671203

“An Irishman” writes to a San Francisco paper, the Morning Call: – “I came to this State about eighteen months ago, and having little money, of course I found friends. In consequence of this I became a Fenian. It was then hail fellow well met – tea, toast, and whiskey galore. I was then persuaded, last November, to subscribe the sum of three hundred dollars, receiving in return Irish Republican Bonds. The benefits that I and my friends were to receive for the above amount were glowingly pictured, and so told and re-told, that I really began to fancy myself a great man. Guess, however, my astonishment and despair, when I discovered, a few months past, that the whole affair was a deliberate system of wholesale daylight robbery, and would not be tolerated in any respectable country. I have made every inquiry, and cannot discover what has become of all the money paid by myself and friends on account of Fenianism.”

An Irishmans experience of Fenianism - Cork Constitution 18671203

Cork Constitution, December 3, 1867

“Father” Mawe and the Fenians – 18671203

A story is told commonly about the town of Tralee, and I have good reason to believe the truth of it. “Father” Mawe is the person referred to in the evidence of the Detective Head-constable Talbot, at the last Kerry assizes, as being singled out to be hanged by the Kerry Fenians as soon they got possession of the town. As the story is told, it appears that on Thursday evening last a deputation, consisting of seven of the work girls and servants of the town, waited on “Father” Mawe, at his house, to ask him to say masses for the souls of the three Fenians recently executed at Manchester, for which they offered him £5, which they were collecting for some days previous. “Father” Mawe refused to accept the £5, or to say the Masses, and retired up stairs, leaving the deputation in his parlour. They wrote a letter in the parlour, again requesting him to accept the offer, and sent it up stairs to him. He immediately returned, and, after lecturing them severely on their Fenian sympathies, threatened, if they did not at once go away, to send for the police. The members of the deputation were indignant, and defied him, and told him in words to the effect that it would be better for him to look out for himself, or they would do for him as was done for Brett. They then left, and went to Dr. Rushe of the Dominican order, who promised to take the matter into consideration. – Correspondent of the Daily Express.

Father Mawe and the Fenians - Cork Constitution 18671203

Cork Constitution, December 3, 1867

Public Demonstration of Sympathy at Manchester – 18671201

The Manchester Fenians Public Demonstration of Sympathy Yesterday A demonstration of sympathy for the three men Allen, O’Brien, and Larken [sic], who were executed last Saturday week at Manchester for the murder of Constable Brett, took place yesterday in this city. It took the form of a funeral procession, with the usual accompaniments of a bier, though there was no dead body to be borne on it, and crape and scarfs and hat bands, with green ribbons. Ever since it was known on Friday that the authorities would not prevent the display for the deceased men, the trade done in these articles was enormous, and where all the green ribbons that yesterday fluttered from the polls of women and the button holes of men came from, or how on short notice the dealers here in such a commodity could supply such a quantity, must be a mystery to all save the initiated. The only solution that any outsider could come to is that they had been specially ordered days before for the occasion. They appeared in every shade of the colour from the lightest to the darkest, and in every conceivable form. Some were real streamers, as long as a man-of-war’s pennant, while others were worked into pretty rosettes which with a small admixture of mourning ribbon, looked very well on the wearers. Crape was very generally worn with the green – indeed, it may be said that every one of the several thousand who joined in the procession had either one or other, but the predominating colour was the green. Stalwart men and tiny children had their share of it flying from their coats or round their caps, bu the show of it by their fair sisters threw them altogether into the shade. If ever the green was really “worn” it was by them yesterday, many of them appearing absolutely enveloped in it; while the young boys wore in addition to ribbons green neckties. The desire of all seemed to be to show either excessive grief by a profession of crape, or strong nationality by a similar quantity of green. The procession, though large, could hardly have been as much so as was expected. It did not come within many thousands of the celebrated M’Manus funeral, but such as it was it gave a  very good indication of the strength of the Fenian force as well feminine as masculine in this city and district. By those who are accustomed to compute numbers the processionists comprised about 6,000 persons – 4,000 men and 2,000 women, girls and boys, but the lookers on all through the route could not have been less than once and a half as many. Where narrow ways were passed through the roads and footpaths were entirely occupied, but in the wider thoroughfares this was not at all so. A feature in the whole occurrrence was, that from the beginning to the end of the procession not one man of any position here or anywhere else was to be seen in it. It was solely comprised of traders and tradesmen, clerks, and assistants in large houses, with the women and boys. All assembled in the neighbourhood of the Mercy Hospital between 1 and 2 o’clock, and shortly after the latter hour the procession began to move. It was headed by a fife and drum band, playing the Dead March in Saul, and then came the boys of different schools, followed by “the ladies.” Three other bands, two brass and the third a fife, were place at intervals in the procession and played alternately the Dead March and the Adeste Fideles. In front and in rear of the bier walked the trades and the general public, all four deep. The bier itself was drawn by six horses draped in black velvet, and surmounting the catafalque was a structure in the form of a parallelogram covered with black cloth and having on the sides white calico with the names of the three culprits printed in large black letters – Michael O’Brien, Michael Larkin, and William P. Allen. Immediately after the bier there came three carriages, one containing the sister and some other relatives of Allen; the second O’Brien’s brother and a few relations, but the third, which was intended for Larkin’s friends, appeared unoccupied. After starting from Mercy Hospital the procession took the following route – through Henry-street, Duncan-street, Great George’s-street, North Main-street, Pope’s Quay, Patrick-street, Grand Parade, South Mall, Anglesea and Infirmary Roads, Summer Hill South and on to the Botanic Gardens. From several windows in some of the streets crape and green ribbons hung, showing their occupants’ sympathy with the proceeding; and some of the shipping had their flags at half-mast. At about 5 o’clock the head of the procession reached the Cemetery, and all who could get in gathered round the tomb of the late Father Mathew. The crush here was very great, but every body seemed willing to put up with the inconvenience. As a favour the ladies were allowed to occupy the foremost places, and the men were all thrown back. When order was completely established Mr. O’Crowley, tin plate worker, Coat-quay, got on a stool and addressed the crowd as “fellow countrymen and women.” He mentioned that they all knew what they had assembled for, which was to do a very proper act. (Hear, hear.) He then called on the men to uncover while the burial service was read for the three men “who were murdered at Manchester.” This met with a wild shriek, which Mr. O’Crowley instantly suppressed, observing that such was neither honourable to the dead nor creditable to the living. The prayers were then by the light of a “lantern dimly burning” read by him, and the responses were generally joined in by those around. Afterwards he again addressed the people, and on the part of the committee returned their most sincere thanks to all who had taken part in the demonstration and for their exemplary demeanour. Every man, woman and child, he said, felt the part they took and acted it in a manner that did honour to their country and to the cause at stake. No man could sneer at them or the manner in which they had conducted themselves, and he hoped that the day would close as it had begun and gone on; that all would quietly return to their homes and not enter public-houses, so that no one the next day could say that they disgraced themselves or turned their proceeding into a mockery. (Hear, hear,) It was no mockery – it was no farce. (Hear, hear.) It was true they had not got there the ashes of the three dead men – they were within the walls of an English gaol mixed with lime (hear, and groans); but notwithstanding, prison bars could not bind them, and if justice was denied them on earth there was a good God in heaven. (Hear.) He again thanked all, on behalf of the committee, for the part they took, but particularly the ladies, who he said, had done their duty nobly and were worthy of Cork. (Cheers.) He next spoke of the “murdered men,” and said that several relatives and friends of theirs were present. The men were happy, but their friends were miserable. However, they all knew that they died innocent and in a good cause. (Hear and cheers.) Mr. O’Crowley then asked as a special favour to “the ladies,” to whom the committee returned their special thanks, that they might be allowed to take their departure first, as they must have been greatly inconvenienced during the day. This was rigidly carried out, not a man scarcely stirring until the women had got outside the gate. The proceedings then ended. It is scarcely necessary to add that there was no burial. The day was an exceedingly unpleasant one, a fierce, biting north wind prevailing throughout, accompanied at times by smart showers of rain. Several umbrellas were turned inside out and dozens of hats blown off during the route; but everyone bore up well under the severity of the weather, and as regards the procession it may be fairly said that a more orderly one never took place in this or any other city. The spectators were for the most part congregated in Great George’s-street, Patrick-street, on the Grand Parade and the South Mall, all wide thoroughfares, where there was an abundance of room. During the passing of the procession along them there was never anything like a crush. The Mayor and magistrates of the city held a meeting on Saturday for the purpose of taking steps to prevent a breach of the peace should such occur in consequence of the procession. The meeting feeling itself not empowered to prevent the demonstration, came to the conclusion of using whatever measures lay with them to preserve public tranquility. They resolved on keeping the public-houses closed from Saturday night to Monday morning, and issued a proclamation to that effect. The police were confined to their barracks last night, and were under arms. On Saturday a reinforcement of twenty men under the command of Sub-Inspector O’Brien, arrived here from the Depot, Dublin, and were dispersed through the various stations in the city. A body of three hundred men of the 6th Regt. came by train from Fermoy on the same day, and two companies of them were drafted to Elizabeth Fort. Yesterday the military were confined to barracks. Mr. Hamilton, R. M., went to Dublin on Friday evening on a telegram from the Castle, but returned on Saturday. During the last evening and night the city was perfectly quiet. The streets were all but deserted, every one of the processionists having apparently gone to his or her home. Public demonstrations of sympathy yesterday - Cork Constitution18671202 Cork Constitution, December 2, 1867

Fenian Demonstration at Manchester – 18671201

[By Special Telegram.]
(From our Reporter.)

Manchester, Monday Morning. – Yesterday afternoon there was a great Fenian demonstration in honour of the “Irish martyrs” – Allen, Larkin, and Gould. It rained heavily, but, notwithstanding, four or five thousand spectators. The procession halted opposite the site of the gallows, and gave several cheers for Allen, Larkin, Gould, and Ireland. The processionists wore green favours. The band played the Dead March and Adeste Fideles. At the close of the proceedings the processionists quietly dispersed.

Fenian demonstration at Manchester - Cork Constitution 18671202

Cork Constitution, December 2, 1867

The Roman Catholic Press on the Manchester Executions – 18671130

There are wise people who tell England, till England is tired of hearing them, that the Irish never will listen to reason, never will appreciate fair dealing, and never will see in humanity anything but cowardice. Every now and then, it must be said, this estimate receives a painful confirmation in facts. What else can we think when we read the comments of the Irish Catholic organs on the execution of the Manchester murderers? In the newspapers and on the chapel doors the Irish are told that it is a meritorious and heroic act to kill any defender or servant of the British Government in the performance of his duty. It is meritorious, they are told, to combine, to arm, to hold secret meetings, and issue mandates for the execution of any means that may be thought conducive to the subversion of the British rule, and the establishment of a revolutionary government in Ireland exclusively in the hands of one race and one religious communion. It is more than a duty – it is heroic to obey these mandates and execute these orders, whether by lurking assassination or by the use of overwhelming numbers and deadly weapons. Murderous assaults bring upon their actors all the honours of martyrdom and beatification. The simple fact of the recent case is that three men, armed with loaded revolvers, and assisted by forty or fifty others, armed with revolvers and other weapons, surprised and slaughtered an unarmed and perfectly inoffensive policeman doing his duty. They shot down upon him as he stood helpless in the well of the prison van, refusing to betray his trust. Unless the assailants had been swift to shed blood, as well as ready, they need not have done so in this case, for so many could have mastered the poor sergeant. The butchery could hardly have gained them more than a minute of time. This deed, horrible and detestable by every English standard, confers glory and immortality in the opinion of the Irish press. They proclaim, in effect, that this is what every Irishman ought to do when the opportunity occurs. The execution of the murderers, after a most careful trial and after every possible allowance in their favour, is ascribed by these leaders of opinion to the British “spirit of hatred and brutal revenge.” It is described as an “injustice,” which the Irish people are invited not to accept as one of the inevitable decrees of “Providence” – that is, as falling under the canon against murder. The practices and ceremonies of their Church, which have regard to the condition of souls in a future state are made the vehicle of attacks on the British rule, which is declared to be so utterly out of the pale of Christian law that it has no right to defend itself. Alike alien and excommunicate as it is, anybody may take the life of its servants without incurring the guilt of murder, while every act of self-defence on its own part, if it take life, must be murder and nothing less. In order to make England Russia and our Queen a Czar, these writers are rather fond of comparing their own country to Poland. It is not every Irishman who knows the condition of Poland, its history, its race, its politics, or what the Russian Government is doing with it. They would be considerably surprised to find the true state of the case. The surest plan would be for the Irishman to send some of its staff to Warsaw to establish a journal on its own lines, and supply paraphrases mutatis mutandis, of its own articles. The striking similarity between the two Sovereigns and Governments would make this an easy matter. The results we will not anticipate, but as the climate of Ireland is decidedly preferable to that of some less maritime countries we should be sorry to hear that any friend of ours had committed himself to the experiment. But the Irish do know the case and condition of their own country. In the first place, they know that they are permitted to call it heroism to slay an officer of the British Government, and a murder to inflict capital punishment for that crime. They are permitted to say just what they like. They are permitted to declare continual war upon the British Government, to proclaim it under perpetual outlawry, to maintain that no act against it is a crime, and even to promise advantages in the world to come to all who die or suffer in the crusade against it. In order respects Irishmen can do whatever an Englishman can do. They have the world before them exactly in the same sense that Englishmen have, and, as it happens, are much better able to make their way in the world than Englishmen generally are. The three unfortunate men who chose to make open war against the British Government at Manchester may really be called representative Irishmen, and no Englishman need be ashamed to point to their story. Allen, for example, was born near the town of Tipperary, which is at least as thriving as most English country towns. His father removing to Bandon, and becoming keeper of a bridewell, he was educated at a school under the superintendence of the present Bishop of Tuam. 1

The Right Reverend the Honourable Charles Brodrick Bernard (died 31 January 1890) was an Irish Anglican bishop.[1]

Bernard was the younger son of James Bernard, 2nd Earl of Bandon, by Mary Susan Albinia Brodrick, daughter of the Right Reverend Charles Brodrick,Archbishop of CashelFrancis Bernard, 3rd Earl of Bandon, was his elder brother.[2] He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford,[3] and appointed the 56th Bishop of Tuam, 55th Bishop of Killala and 56th of Achonry in 1867. He died in post on 31 January 1890.[4]

It is only four years since he became a Roman Catholic. At Bandon he was apprenticed to a respectable carpenter and timber merchant – about as good a chance as is found in that class of life. Indeed, any English gentleman wishing to apprentice a promising lad to a carpenter in good business will find that he has to pay a good premium. However, this foolish, unsettled youth was induced by relatives to go to Manchester. There he had the same chances and certainly the same liberty that other people have at Manchester. Gould, alias O’Brien, served an apprenticeship in a drapery business, in the prosperous city of Cork. He also tried his fortune in America, where he had many relatives, some in prosperous circumstances. He joined the army, and served several campaigns. It was thus his own career and circumstances, not the history and misfortunes of his country, that led to the unhappy result. Such are the two careers, which are forced upon us as fair specimens of the Irish social state. Will our Continental critics, always ready to throw Ireland in our teeth, say that they find in these two biographies valid reasons for placing England under an interdict, and relieving from present disgrace and future consequences all manslaughters and other crimes committed against her devoted head? But when the Irish press proclaim murder no murder, so long as the victim is an Englishman doing his official duty, they must be aware that the doctrine is progressive, and that their pupils will improve on it. Every hotbrained youngster, every man with a turn for enterprise, and everybody with a morose temper may now read on the chapel doors, or imbibe at his leisure from the popular organs of his party and creed, a warrant to murder everybody with whom he can fasten a political or quasi political quarrel in any way that he may please. He may do it by night or by day, alone or in masses, by ambuscade or by force, as taste or opportunity may direct. If he can only manage to escape apprehension at the instant, he will find an “underground railway” everywhere, passing him safely from one hiding-place to another; he will be enrolled on the list of Ireland’s worthies, and when he dies at last a grateful country will pray for the mitigation of his purgatorial pains. Such is the Poland of this despotic and intolerant Empire. We know not whether the Poles will see the likeness, or even feel flattered by it. So far as regards to moral aspects of the case, they may even prefer their own country, where, if there is an ever-smouldering rebellion, there is something like reason for it, which there certainly is not in Ireland. – Times.

The Roman Catholic press on the Manchester executions - Cork Constitution 18671130

Cork Constitution, November 30, 1867 – reproducing Times.

  1.  The Right Reverend the Honourable Charles Brodrick Bernard, the younger son of James Bernard, 2nd Earl of Bandon, appointed the 56th Bishop of Tuam, Anglican Church of Ireland, in 1867.