Thursday, 31 December 2009

CONDR*N News - 1871

As one of an occasional series, today I look at coverage of CONDR*Ns in the newspapers for the year 1871 in the British Library 19th century newspapers on-line collection. This collection comprises full runs of 48 national and regional papers from the UK, including at that time Ireland.

Charge of manslaughter
The most sensational CONDR*N story of the year was the trial of Mary Condron of Henry Street, Manchester. Mary Condron, aged 26, was charged with having caused the death of her husband Joseph Condron. On Christmas Day, 1870, Joseph, who had been drinking, quarrelled with his wife regarding the quality of his dinner and kicked over the table. His wife told him he couldn't expect to have better food, considering he had not been working for 5 months. Joseph hit his wife, who was stirring the fire with a poker. He was about to hit her again when she turned around and struck him on the temple with the poker. Early in January 1871, Joseph went to Newton-le-Willows in search of work. He got wet through in the rain and soon after fell ill. He was admitted to the workhouse hospital, where he died on 17 Mar 1871. The workhouse doctor declared that he had died from erysipalas caused by a fracture to the skull, which induced one abscess above the eye and another beneath it. The jury acquitted Mary Condron.
[Manchester Times, 25 Mar, 29 Jul 1871; The Preston Guardian, 22 Jul; Liverpool Mercury, 28 Jul]

Other court trials
In a Dublin court, Samuel Condron and fellow defendants Patrick Pidgeon and Michael Toole were cleared by the jury of a charge of having stolen on 17 Dec 1870 a large quantity of barley and flour, the property of the Barrow Navigation Company, from the Dublin Canal stores. During the proceedings, James Murphy, a maltster of Clanbrassil Street, attested that Condron had been delivering corn at his place for many years and that he know Condron a long time as an honest man, whom he believed in these proceedings to have merely been acting as a carrier, as he had been accustomed.
[Freeman's Journal (Dublin), 12 Jan 1871]

A police court in Kingstown and Bray (Co. Wicklow) found one Esther Condron guilty of using abusive language and she was fined 40 shillings, or in default one month's imprisonment. She and fellow defendants John Hosey and wife were summoned in the matter by one Ellen Troy.
[Freeman's Journal, 3 Jul 1871]

Diverse announcements
Several CONDRONs made donations to Irish-French causes: Laurence Condron of Co. Wexford made a donation to aid for the wounded of the French army; Michael Condron of Little Strand Street, Dublin, made a donation to the Irish-France Ambulance Committee; and a Mr Condron won 9th prize - a lady's gold chain and cross - at the Kell's Bazaar for the French peasantry. Also in this same year, Thomas Condron of Arklow donated to the Peter's Pence Collection for the Pope.
[Freeman's Journal, 27 Feb, 4 Mar, 18 Mar, 2 May, 8 Aug 1871]

The Castlebridge Fair was held on St Stephen's Day (26 December). The principal buyers of livestock included a Mr Condron of Wexford.
[Freeman's Journal, 27 Dec 1871]

A mysterious marriage announcement
The final item is a small mystery. The following announcement of a Liverpool marriage between James CONDRON and Augusta KIDD appeared on 30 December:
Condron-Kidd - Dec. 26, at St. Mary's, Walton-on-the Hill, by the Rev. J. Lambeth, James, son of Mr. Thomas Condron, banker, Southampton, to Augusta, youngest daughter of the late Mr. William Kidd, of Cawthorne, Barnsley.
[Liverpool Mercury, 30 Dec 1871]
The mystery is that I can find no other record of this marriage, nor can I identify the banker Thomas Condron or a likely James son of Thomas. The named bride is probably Augusta Maria Kidd whose birth was registered in the first quarter of 1853 in the Wortley registration district. Perhaps the marriage did not in fact take place, though the notice had been sent to the newspaper, or the bridegroom was not in fact who he said he was? It would be good to inspect the parish register of St Mary's, Walton-on-the-Hill, to see whether the marriage actually took place.