Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Thursday, 27 May 2021

What will we do with a drunken sailor?

You honestly couldn't make this up, and fulfilling every stereotype in the book, Irish. Sailor. Drunk. On 1 Sep 1875, Nicholas Jones, Seaman (he is brother of my great-grandfather, David Jones - himself a frequent-flier in the courts), appeared in court as a Defendant in Queenstown (Cobh)

We discover, in a report in the Cork Constitution (newspaper) of 2 Sep 1875, of the previous day's  Queenstown Petty Sessions, the following item:
"Nicholas Jones for breaking a window in the house of Mrs Cotter, publican, Harbour Row, was fined 7s 6d., compensation, and 5s. additional for being drunk."

The actual summons details that Nicholas was "Found drunk on the highway, town of Queenstown on the 3rd August 1875." It went on to say he "Wilfully committed damage to [unreadable] a pane of glass the property of Complainant [Catherine Cotter, Widow] value seven shillings and [unreadable] pence."

"Defendant to pay a fine of five shillings + costs one shilling, or in default to be imprisoned for seven days in the County Jail. Said defendant to pay Catherine Cotter the sum of seven shillings compensation for breaking said pane of glass + costs 6d." (I can't tell whether he paid up or had to do the porridge.)

As 'him indoors' speculated, he may well have been drunk inside the premises, thrown out through said window and then charged for 'wilfully' breaking it! 

(12s 6d = 75p is worth about £90 in 2021.)

Sing along: Drunken' Sailor - Irish Rovers

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If you're related to any of the people written about, I'm guessing you'll recognise them from the surnames. If you are, do please get in touch.