Solicitor Caned in Four Courts Yard Over Missed Deed, 1846

From the Dublin Evening Post, 26 November 1846:

“Mr Richard Hackett, solicitor, summoned Mr Michael Hackett, also solicitor, for assault. The complainant gave evidence that he was in the yard of the Four Courts [when] the defendant, in passing by, asked him to return him a deed. The complainant replied that the deed was not intended to be sent back; the defendant said “what you state is false”; the complainant replied “if what you say is that what I say is false you are a liar” [whereupon] the defendant struck the complainant with a cane, which the complainant wrested from him.

The defendant said that the facts of the case were that the conversation had reference to a certain will (he did not wish to mention names) which the complainant should have returned to him; he had sent for it and the complainant’s clerk had refused.

[The magistrate] said he would not go into those matters; he was there to try the assault.

The defendant offered to make a verbal apology.  The magistrate said that a public apology should be given for a public offence and he would suggest that the defendant should give a written apology.

The defendant having refused, the magistrate said that he felt he should not be doing justice if he did not impose a penalty of £5.”

And some say that conveyancing is a bloodless business!

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Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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