Examination of William Skelton

Citation: TCD, 1641 Depositions Project, online transcript January 1970
[http://1641.tcd.ie/deposition.php?depID?=836171r081] accessed Monday 25th of September 2017 10:31 AM

Dublin Core

Date: 1653-02-20
Identifier: 836171r081


1641 Deposition Item Type Metadata

County: Armagh
Deposition Type: Commonwealth
Nature of Deposition: Assault, Captivity, Killing, Multiple Killing, Robbery, Stripping
Commissioners: Edward Pyers, Richard Tigh
Deposition Transcription:

fol. 171r

<symbol> The Examinacion of William Skelton bruer servant to mrs Coale of Thomas Court aged seaven & thirty yeares or thereabout beinge duely sworne & examined before vs this six & twentith daye of ffebruary 1652, ffor and Concerninge the first risinge vpp of Sir Phelim O Neile & other Rebells in the North in this late Rebellion.
He sayeth that he was a servant of the said Sir Phelim O Neile att the very begininge of this Rebellion and dwelt att his house in Kinnard in the County of Tyrone & twoe yeares before or thereabouts in the nature of an husbandman, and vnderstood nothinge of the intencion of the Rebells about from their <A> bloody murthers, and outrages till vpon frydaye in the afternoone beinge the twoe and twentith daye of October 1641 as he best remembers, he beinge then in the feild with the plowe of the said Sir Phelim, there came to hi were heard a great crye about the said towne of Kinnard and therevpon another servant of the said Sir Phelim named Nocher O Hugh came to the feild to this Examinant and about twenty more men with him and tould him that they (meaning the Irish people whereof he was one himself) were risen about their Religion; and the said Nocher & togither with the other twenty Rebells with hand cudgells in their hands went they to the houses of mr Humfrey Potter, Henry Brasse, William Copeland, and the widdow Kendall, all English people that lived togither about a mile from Kinnard on the said Sir Phelim his lands and were Protestants, & whoe had great stocks on their lands, and plowes goeinge, & lived plentifully & peaceably, and were before (to this Examinants apprehension) well beloved

fol. 171v

by g their Neighbours the Irish, & differed not in any thing (as this Examinant doth Remember) saue only that the Irish went to Masse, & the English to the Protestant Church in Tinan a mile from Kinnard where one mr Robert Maxfeild was a minister & a constant preacher of Gods word, and where Sir Phelim O Neile himself (as this Examinant hath ben credibly informed by some of his fellowe servants) did sometymes resort after <B> his cominge over from England, but before the coming of this Examinant to the said Sir Phelims service; And there the said Nocher & the other twenty Rebells did disarme the said Mr Humfrey Potter & the Englishe before named, & for that tyme tooke from them only their Armes & best horses that were fitt to make troupe horses, In the same manner did other the said Rebells disarme & pillage the other English Inhabitants in Kinnard, and thereabouts, & likewise all the Scotts there, whoe likewise were wealthy people & well to passe, In the meane while Sir Phelym himself with his brother Turlogh Oge O Neile, Hugh Cro O Neile, & diuerse others his nere kinsmen vnder pretence (as was then generally reported) were gon to Charlamont to marry with the Lady Colefeild but indeed to surprise the ffort of Charlemont as did <C> afterwards appere, And ffor after their surprisall thereof, they the said Sir Phelym & his Rebells=followers tooke the said Lady & her sonne the Lord Colefeild prisoners, and kept them in Charlemont for the space of three monthes or thereabouts, and then sent the said Lady to the house of mr Charles Boulton of Killinall 2 miles from Kinnard, & the said Lord they carried prisoner to Kinnard to the house

fol. 172r

<D> of the said Sir Phelim, whoe as he was entringe in att the outwards gate of the said house, one Art Clogheley O Hugh fiered his peece att the said Lord Colefield, & misste to dischardge it, only fiered in the pan, wherevpon another Rebell named Edmond Boy O Hugh cocked his peece his peece & shott the said Lord, beinge on foot, whoe fell downe, & vttered these words (Lord haue mercy vpon me) all this E xaminant tyme, this Examinant stood looking out att a windowe in the house of Kinnard but durst not goe out, (The said Sir Phelim beinge then abroad with his Rebells, whoe by this tyme were gotten into a posture of warr) And this Examinant sayeth, that about a ffortnight after their said first risinge at Kinnard on the 21th daye of October aforesaid, The Rebells beganne to murther & massacre the Englishe Protestants for before, they only pillaged & plundered them, begininge first with the best of their estates as their Cattell & Corne, then their hushouldstuff att another tyme; & lastely with their Cloathes and liues; He sayeth this Examinant doth knowe himself of the murthers hereafter mencioned: vizt one Edward Boswell whoe was come over but a yeare before from England vpon the invitacion of the said Sir Phelim, his <E> wife havinge nursed att London a Cheild of the said Sir Phelim, was killed together with his wife & Childe att their owne house in Kinnard about Christmas tyme after the Rebellion Boswell being stabbed with skeines in diuerse places in their his bodyes & throwne into a well in the back side of his house, his wife had fowerteene wounds with skeines in her body, & left dead on the threshould of her doore, the Child beinge about a quarter ould had a skeine stuck int through the body & heart, & was throwne

fol. 172v

and and hidd in a turffe stack with the Skeine stickinge in the body; The same night m r Humfrey Potter & his wife were murthered in the said towne of Kinnard, John Wyng & his wife were murthered the same night, Henry Brasse & his wife , and John Leatherborrow & his sonne <ff> were murthered the same night, Jane Armstrong & her two Cheildren were murthered the same night, and a Glasiers wife his mother in lawe & twoe Children were murthered the same night, all in the very towne of Kinnard, Att the same tyme was one Preist Ahue a masse preist Governor of the house of Kinnard by Sir Phelim O Neiles appointment, And presently after the said Sir Phelim himself came to his said house att Kinnard, and appointed another Governor vnder him there insteed of the Preist, & departed, doeinge noe execution for the tyme on any of the bloody Murtherers, and afterwards about Easter followinge about ffiue and fifty persons of English and Scotts all tennants to the said Sir Phelym O Neile, & dwellers att Kinnard & thereabouts were driven together in a flock to the riverside in Kinnard & there throwne in & all drowned; and on Maye daye followinge imediately vpon the overthrow of the Irish by the <G> Englishe att the Newry, mr Maxfeild beinge prisoner att a gentleman one of the Oneiles house & mr Akeley & their twoe sonnes & one mr Henry Cowell were taken out by Turlogh Ogh O neile the said Sir Phelyms brother & hanged, and were the afterwards on the said Maye daye the said Turlogh O neile with his said bloody rebellious crew of about seavenskore & odd marched from the said hanging place to the land of the Curr and gathered togither all the English Inhabitants and Scottish Inhabitants there, to the number of seaven skore and thirteene persons, & ledd them to the Bridge of Curr, & drowned er them all saue Nine persons, whoe were begged back againe by Daneill Bawne of Crawley & his wife whoe was daughter to an Englishman, All these murthers could were not

fol. 173r

not be vnknowne to the said Sir Phelim, and most of them were don & committed as this Examinant beleiveth in his Conscience by the p ri vi ty & appointment of the said Sir Phelim the cause of his beleife is Because he the said <H> Sir Phelim was the Cheife Comander of the Rebells in those parts, & non durst have committed such murthers especially as these last mencioned murthers, without his consent and Conniuance att least, especially the last two last inhumance & barbarous murthers acted by his brother Turlogh, whoe did all things by his brother Phelims direccion, and the Countrey were generally then of this Examinants beleif, & did soe report, and the reason wherefore the said Sir Phelim should giue such comand (this Examinant conceiveth) to be, because many of the men were able men for armes & might ioyne with the Englishe & Scott & strengthen them against his party of Rebells; And further he sayeth that Sir Phelim O neile was seene to greiue for non that were murthered, but for his nurse, & the death of the Lord Colefeild, and that maye appere by this, that he placed againe in the Gouerment of his owne house att <I> Kinnard the said masse Preist whoe was Governor att the tyme of the murthers of the said Nurse & Lord Colefeild, The Examinants cause of Knowledge of the murther of the Lord Colefeild is before declared; of the murth er of the said Boswell & the rest att Kinnard about Christmas aforesaid, for he himself beinge a prisoner in Kinnard house was sent out to bury their dead bodyes, But as for the rest of the murthers since that tyme acted as before is sett forth, the cause of his Knowledge thereof is, because he was tould thereof by many and in particuler by one Quinton Glastonbury and Thomas Dikes & John Person whoe were prisoners with this Examinnant in

fol. 173v

in Kinnard, & had escaped the drowninge by the meanes of Bawne & his wife before mencioned, And lastly this Examinant beinge demanded what the Generall Report of the Irish about the then stirrs & bloody massacres was, he answeared that they intended to free the land of from all English, for he sayeth that newes came dayly to prison to them of the dayly massacres spoiles & murthers committed vppon the Englishe, & of the intencion of the Irish to make the (Lord O neile) mea s meaninge Sir Phelim O neile Generall of all the fforces in Vlster, and had it not ben the mercy of God in stirringe vpp the heart of the said Daniell Bawne & his wife to take pitty vppon this Examinant & many other poore stripped Englishe to begg their liues, & to releiue them with foode, this Examinant in all likelihood had not att present given in this his iust & true Informacion: And further he sayeth not
The marke of Will: Skelton
Taken before vs the said
Six and twentith daye
of ffebruary 1652
Edw: Pyers
Rd: Tighe

fol. 174r


fol. 174v


William Skeltons
his Examinacion against
Sir Phelim O neile

Y. 3.

Deponent Fullname: William Skelton
Deponent Gender: Male
Deponent Occupation: Servant
Deponent County of Residence: Unknown
Mentioned Non-Deponent Fullnames: Phelim O Neile, Nocher O Hugh, Turlogh Oge O Neile, Hugh Cro O Neile, Art Clogheley O Hugh, Edmond Boy O Hugh, Humfrey Potter, Henry Brasse, William Copeland, widdow Kendall, Robert Maxfeild, Lady Colefeild, Lord Colefeild, Edward Boswell, Humfrey Potter, John Wyng, Henry Brasse, John Leatherborrow, Jane Armstrong, mr Akeley, Henry Cowell, Daneill Bawne, Quinton Glastonbury, Thomas Dikes, John Person, Charles Boulton, Preist Ahue
Mentioned Non-Deponent Roles: Rebel, Rebel, Rebel, Rebel, Rebel, Rebel, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Victim, Witness, Witness, Witness, Mentioned, Mentioned