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Saunders Newsletter Fri. 3 Dec 1784

On Sunday last the inquest was held in the house of Mr. Andrew HANNA
publican,(?) the quay, on the body of John M‘CORMICK, a seaman,
belonging to Ballywalter, who had died there suddenly the night
before. In the course of evidence it appeared, that the deceased and
another sailor, named Isaac HELME otherwise MULHOLME went into HANNA's
house on Saturday night, and drank three quarts of beer, during which
time the bottom of the glass was broke, and on paying for the beer to
the son of said HANNA (a boy about twelve years of age) payment was
also demanded for the glass, which was complied with, but on the boy
going out of the room, M‘CORMICK threw the glass after him, a part of
which cut him on the head and HELME in his deposition clearly proved,
that shortly after the boy had left the room, his father (HANNA)
entered it in a furious passion, and instantly seized an iron poker,
with which he struck said M‘CORMICK and which HELME declared to be the
cause of his death, which happened instantly after receiving the blow.
Several Surgeons attended and examined the deceased who were fully of
the opinion that a wound which the deceased had on his head did not
occasion his death but from several concurring circumstances in the
course of the evidence, they wished to examine the corpe (?) more
minutely and their informing the Court and Jury that such an
examination would take considerable time, it was agreed the inquiry
should be postponed till next day, at 5o'clock, when they would give
their report upon oath. Accordingly they met yesterday, and after
minute investigation reported to the Jury, that the death of M‘CORMICK
was occasioned by the aforesaid blows, it appearing that the brain was
injured thereby,

In consequence of which the Inquest Jury (after sitting from 5 till 8
o'clock last night) returned a verdict that his death was occasioned
by a stroke, or strokes, which he received from Andrew HANNA or by a
fall, or falls, occasioned by the said stroke or strokes.”

HANNA was accordingly ordered to be committed to the county jail to
stand his trial for said offence, likewise his wife, for the active
part she took on the occasion. The deceased has left a disconsolate
widow and 4 children to lament his melancholy fate

It behoves the masters of inns and taverns to their guard how they
treat unfortunate people in a state of intoxication a small matter
takes away a life , and let the provocation be ever so pointed, it
bears no sort of proportion to the feelings which must attend the man
through life who is unguarded enough (however unintentional) to hurry
an unprepared fellow creature into eternity.

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