Times Past, 180 years ago

February 16, 1833

‘Crushed to atoms’

Melancholy Death of Captain Boyle. This unhappy event was occasioned by the upsetting of the Cork mid-day mail on Tuesday night, in the town of Abbeyleix. The ill-fated deceased resided near Littleton, and was a Magistrate for the County Tipperary; he was on his return from Dublin to his now afflicted wife and seven children.

On the arrival of the Coroner, HP Delaney Esq from Maryborough, he issued his warrant for the apprehension of the coachman, Nicholas Byrne. The inquest was opened in the court house. The view of the body was most distressing; part of it being literarally crushed to atoms.

Doctor Boxwell told of finding Captain Boyle in a dying state, with his upper and lower jaws fractured; his chest, back, and collar bone broken, of which wounds he died in one hour or less.

Mr W. Mooney, shopkeeper, said he saw the Cork Mail Coach drive into Abbeyleix in a zig-zag way, on Tuesday night, at a very rapid rate. The coach got off from the main road, and seemed to be dexterously turned by the coachman rather in a semicircle round the market-square; it then came in violent collision against a stone fence. On candles being obtained the deceased was founding lying under the body of the coach. Byrne the driver appeared to have taken a little drop, however, not drunk, nor incapable of his business.

After hearing further witnessses, the jury returned the following verdict: “We find that A. Boyle, Esq., came by his death, in consequence of the upset of the Cork Mail-coach, which fell upon his body in the town of Abbeyleix, on the evening of the 12th Febuary, 1833, occasioned by the furious and imprudent driving of Nicholas Byrne, the coachman, and driver of Peter Purcell Esq & Co., the proprietors of said coach, and on which coach we find a bond of £50 sterling.”


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