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Donegal Assizes, Lifford, Co. Donegal August 1806

Extracted from the Belfast Commercial Chronicle August 23, 1806
Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by
Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia
The Old Lifford Courthouse and Gaol (courtesy of Wikipedia)


Commenced on Monday, the 11th inst. No conviction of consequence took place in the Crown Court. A great number of informations against parishes in which unlicensed Stills had been found, were brought foeward, and many were tried, but the convictions were few, and the far greater number of informations were given up or postponed.

In the Civil Court, the case of WAUCHOB v. *DILL, from its cicumstance excited particular attention. It was an action of slander brought by the keeper of a public house at Castlefin, against his pastor, for words spoken of him before the congregation at the meeting-house. The defence was, that the plaintiff had given scandal and offence to religion by encouraging cock-fighting, cards, hazard and other irregularities at his house during the preparation week preceding the holy sacrament, in consequence of which the defendant thought it his duty to admonish the plaintiff, and finding him refractory, had proceeded to a public rebuke, which it was insisted that he had a right to do by the rules of the Presbyterian Church. – On the other side it was alledged that the defendant acted rather from motives of private malice than of zeal in the discharge of his duty. After a long trial, the Jury retired and brought in a verdict for the plaintiff, damages 40s.

This action had been tried at a former Assizes, when the plaintiff recovered 6d. damages, but the proceedings were set aside from some legal defect.

*Rev. SAMUEL DILL was minister of Donoughmore Presbyterian Church, Liscooley, Castlefin 1799-1846