John McCullagh February 24, 2004

The 18th century had its own crop of rapparees or highwaymen.  


At the Summer Assizes of 1735 one Macklin, a famous horse-thief ‘went down the nine steps’, as was said in Armagh of those on whom the death penalty was passed.  These led to the condemned cells below the Sessions House in Market Street. 

Hanging on Gallows Hill was the fate of thieves, no matter what they had stolen.  Macklin had notified friends and kin to attend.  A great crowd assembled, fiercesomely rattling clubs and staves but the military kept order.  Before his hanging, questioned about his many exploits he openly admitted to every offence short of murder and gave many witty answers.  He swung nevertheless.

C

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