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1735–1739: News transcripts for Kilrea & environs

Home > Records > Historical newspapers > Kilrea & environs > 1735–1739

Notes: — (1) See the Notice about the ethical and not-for-profit use of any part of a transcript, with a caveat about unexpected use of language, at the bottom of this page. (2) See also a sample source citation for use of any part of a transcript or extract. (3) The transcriber consulted a number of source references to compile these transcripts. (4) The transcriber’s remarks have been inserted within [square brackets]. (5) Spelling “errors” reflect contemporary (i.e., 18th–19th century) orthography, phonology, and regional variations. Generally, these have been left as published, and the editorial mark [sic] was used sparingly. Exceptions occur where the transcriber’s [suggested corrections], such as modern spellings, might provide clarification. (6) The accompanying subject and surname indexes employ the modern (c.1851) spelling variants for territorial divisions such as townlands and civil parishes.

Derby Mercury, 15 May 1735:
From the Whitehall Evening-Post, May 13.
Dublin, May 3.—Last Week one Charles OCahan was executed at Kilrea near Londonderry, for assisting Roger OCahan, in breaking into the House of Mrs. Sarah Thompson, a young Lady of Fortune, and carrying her away by Force, and obliging her to marry the said Roger OCahan: This Action was so highly detested and resented by the Protestants of that Country, that to prevent any insolent Attempt of a Rescue by his Accomplices, the Sheriffs were attended to the Place of Execution by 2312 Men, all Protestants and well armed, among whom were most of the principal Gentlemen of the County, who stood by till they saw him executed.

Belfast News-Letter, 13 July 1739:
To be Run for,
On the Course of Killrea, in the County of Londonderry, on Thursday the 19th Instant, the best of three Heats, by any Horse, &c that never won 5l. or the Value thereof, at one Time, A Piece of fine Linen Cloth, Value 5l. And also a Hunting-Saddle, with Stirrups and a Bridle, Value a Moydore. And on the Friday following for a Piece of Linen. Value 3l. and a Saddle, with Stirups and a Bridle, Value a Moydore, by any Horse, &c. of no greater Value than 3l. And on the same Day will be run for by Girls, a fine Linen ruffled Shift, with a Riband in the Breast And on Saturday following will be run for, Sweep-Stakes, and several other things: A British Shilling to be paid for every Horse that starts, at the Post.

The Political State of Great Britain, Vol. XLIX,
June 1735, pp. 586-87:
Extraordinary Execution in Ireland.
— At the last Assizes for the County of Derry, in the North of Ireland, one Charles O-Cahan was convicted of burglariously breaking the House of Miss Thompson, and aiding and assisting in forcibly taking her away, and obliging her to marry Roger O-Cahan. Several of the Justices of the Peace solicited the Judges to order his Execution in the Town of Kilrea, about 30 Miles distant from Derry, a Place remarkable for the many Riots and Thefts committed there, and in the Neighbourhood, and where many of this Criminal’s Relations and Friends, all Papists, resided: This Request the Judges complied with, and he was accordingly carried either [hither] and executed, on Wednesday the 23d of April last. As there was some Reason to suspect, that his Friends might attempt a Rescue, therefore he was conducted to the Place of Execution by a Guard of 1300 Men, all Protestants, well armed, whom the Mayor of Colraine, Rowley Hill, George Cunningham, Stratford Canning, John Downing, William Gage, and William Ford, Esqs; Justices of the Peace, brought from their several Districts, at their own Expence, besides a great Number of other Gentlemen who attended, to assist the High Sheriff in guarding the Prisoner, and seeing the Sentence duly executed upon him. This commendable Behaviour of the above Gentlemen caused a perfect Tranquillity, so that no Manner of Disturbance happened, tho’ there was a most extraordinary Concourse of People at the Execution. The Criminal was hanged on a large Tree which grew in the Street; and tho’ he had been guilty of one of the most villanous Crimes, yet he shewed so little Concern, that he endeavoured to throw down the Hangman, who was above him on the Tree, for tying the Rope, as he said, too short, and for not asking Forgiveness; and would probably have effected it, and thereby broken some of the Man’s Bones, if the Sheriff and some of the Justices had not interposed. This Contempt of Guilt, for it ought not to be called Contempt of Death, may probably have been owing to his having been persuaded, by those who had the Direction of his Superstition, that what he had been guilty of was not in itself criminal; for when Men allow themselves to be entirely governed by Superstition or Enthusiasm, they may easily be made believe, that the most cruel Rapes and Murders, and the most villanous Thefts and Frauds, are in themselves meritorious, as being necessary for promoting what they blasphemously call, The Cause of God and his holy Religion.

Ornamental border for this page entitled, "News transcripts for Kilrea & environs, 1735–1739."

Source references :

The Belfast News-Letter was viewed in The Belfast News-Letter digital archive, held online by Ancestry™ (accessible by subscription), in the library of St Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast. Other newspapers cited were viewed at university libraries in Toronto, London, and Windsor, Ontario and at other public archives & libraries, on microfilm purchased by the transcriber (Alison Kilpatrick), and in online digital archives including The British Newspaper Archive and (both of which are accessible by subscription).

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Sample source citation :

Sample source citation: — Belfast News-Letter, 13 July 1739. [“Insert title of article.”] Transcript by Alison Kilpatrick. Online at News transcripts for Kilrea, county London:Derry & environs; hosted by Arborealis,; accessed [Insert date of access].

End notes :

Source citation for this page: — News transcripts for Kilrea, county London:Derry & environs, 1735–1739. Transcripts by Alison Kilpatrick. Online at Arborealis,–1739/; accessed [Insert date of access].

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Updated 29th Oct. 2023.