Rockite Attacks between Ardcarne and Croghan

13th November 1830
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The 'Captain Rock' aka Rockite Rebellion of 1821-24 was one in a series of agrarian disturbances (generally referred to as the Whiteboy Movement) which began in the 1760s and continued up until the eve of the Great Famine.

Roscommon & Leitrim Gazette - Saturday 13 November 1830

CAPTAIN ROCK ROSCOMMON HOUSES ATTACKED AND PLUNDERED OF ARMS etc. —FIRING ON THE POLICE – ONE OF THE ROCKITES SHOT, etc. etc.

We find with regret, that becomes our duty, to lay before our readers, a continuation of that catalogue of crimes, which in part as related to this neighbourhood, appeared in our last publication, and which, from the nightly repetition of Outrages, committed in this quarter, we have great reason to fear, will lead, in the first instance, to the loss of the lives of many valuable characters, and ultimately end in the destruction of our ill-fated country. If strong measures, in order to crush the giant-strides of insubordination in this quarter, be not immediately resorted to, the Government, we shall, it is feared, have to contend, ere long, with all the evils attendant on a civil war.

On-the night of Monday last, the house of Charles Mullanny, of Curgower, parish of Ardcarne, in the barony of Boyle, was attacked by an armed party, supposed to be about forty or fifty in number. Nine or ten of the fellows entered the house, and demanded from Mullanny, such arms he had in the place; upon receiving an assurance that there were no guns in the house, they ordered Mullanny to kneel down, when one of the party discharged gun near him, and again used such interrogatories, and held out such threats as induced the man’s daughter, in order, as she justly conceived, to save her father’s life, to inform them where a gun had been placed. The fellows then commenced a search, and after possessing themselves of a gun and bayonet, they swore the inmate if they knew any of the party, and as to their knowledge of any other persons in the neighbourhood having arms.

On the above night, a party (the same, presume) attacked the house of Thomas Mullanny, miller, of Eastersnow. The fellows finding Mullanuy was determined to prevent their entrance, and making a bold resistance with a pitchfork, they discharged a gun containing a heavy load of shot at him, which, we regret, severely wounded him in the neck and face. The party then effected an entrance, and after beating the wife, commenced a search for arms; they, however, finding none, demanded 5s. for the use of Captain Rock’s men.

On said night, the house of Michael Rock, of Rinn, herd to Mr. John Hackelt, was entered, and plundered of a gun. This man made no resistance, and although his gun was loaded, and within his reach whilst lying in bed, quietly surrendered it to the party.

The house of John Tymon, of Fass, in the parish of Eastersnow, was also entered on the same night, by an armed party of Rockites.— Immediately after entering they demanded his gun, and being informed that it was at Mr. D. Burn’s, they swore him if he knew any other parsons in the neighbourhood who had fire-arms ; and that he would send, before Saturday, (this day,) 2s. 6d. for the use of Captain Rock’s men, to the house of John Connor, near Eastersnow. Previous their departure they inflicted, the throwing of a stone, a severe wound on the brother-in-law of Tymon.

Same night the house of Martin Flanagan was broken into by an armed party. After searching the house for arms, and finding none, they departed, taking with them the small-clothes of Flanagan, containing the price of a sack of oats.

On the same night, the said party, most probably, entered the houses of John Connor and Thomas Higgins, of Eastersnow. In each place they demanded fire-arms and money, and swore the inmates if they knew any of Captain Rock’s men. From Connor they look 4s. The party perceiving that Higgins was not disposed to be a willing victim, offered some violence,—and after threatening to burn him on the fire, they inflicted a wound from a bayonet on the person of Higgins’s son.—From this house they took 5s. which they stated, was for the use of Captain Rock’s men.

On the night of Wednesday last, an armed party forcibly entered the gate-house William Lloyd, Esq. of Rockville, and took therefrom a sword and musket. Immediately after the party had decamped, the keeper informed Mr. Lloyd of the circumstance, who, as usual, alive to his duties as Magistrate, instantly ordered out a party of the Police, and proceeded with them in the direction which the marauders took, and ultimately came with them between 1 and 2 o’clock, just after they were effecting a robbing of 1 gun, 2 pistols and a sword, from the house of Michael Barrett, of Carrowreavagh sic. [Carrowreagh] in the parish of Killummod, in this Barony. Owing the darkness of the night, and to the silence which the Rockites maintained amongst themselves, the Police were not aware of their situation till they found themselves in the midst of the banditti, and until shot had been discharged at one of the parly, when the police instantly returned the fire and wounded one of their assailants. The Roekites, usual, when they find their progress impeded by resolute men, instantly retreated, leaving their fallen companion to lament his fate. At the time our Correspondent communicated with us the unfortunate man was not dead, but the wound was considered mortal—the ball entered the back and passed through the lungs. his person was found a bullet-mould, a quantity of powder and flint. His name, understand, is Michael Lenaghan, of Drumanmllin, convenient to Rockville.

We have heard that other houses in the direction between Ardcarne and Croghan, were attacked on Thursday night;—the particulars have not as yet reached us.

It is rumoured here yesterday and to-day that a party of Rockites, supposed to be about 300, passed the suburbs of Boyle on Thursday night last. On the night of Thursday last, a large parly of persons proceeded to the lands of Grangemore, (situate midway between Frenchpark and Boyle) and scattered and destroyed 15 large Meadow Cocks of Hay. The only cause which can be assigned for this commission of outrage, is, that the hay was the property of Mr. Richard Elwood, one of the most zealous and active Magistrates in the province, and who, of late, has particularly exerted himself to maintain the peace of the country.

 

 

Roscommon & Leitrim Gazette - Saturday 09 April 1831

Local Intelligence

Last night the Rockites were, as usual, busy the neighbourhood of Croghan, etc. —they broke into several houses, and raised various sums of money for the purpose, as expressed by them, of purchasing a horse for Captain Rock. Some of them, however, we are happy to say, came in contact with a party of the Elphin Police, who were patrolling that part of the country, and who succeeded in apprehending eight of the midnight legislators. — They were brought into Elphin this morning for examination before the Magistrates.

 

 

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To learn more about the conditions which brought the Rockite disturbances about, see http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/E900002-001/text013.html

See:  Captain Rock: the Irish agrarian rebellion of 1821–1824 James S. Donnelly Jr (The Collins Press, £19.96) ISBN 9781848890107

 

 

 

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