Explosion at the Town Hall, trial and conviction of prisoners 1881

Liverpool Town Hall, Illustrated Police News, 1881

Liverpool Mercury, June 20th, 1881



James M'GRATH and James M'KEVITT were brought before the stipendiary magistrate Mr RAFFLES at the first police court, Dale St, on Saturday charged with being concerned with the outrage at the Liverpool Town Hall on the 10th of this month. Mr MARKSD conducted the prosecution on behalf of the Treasury and the prisoners were defended by Dr O'FEELY [instructed by Mr QUELCH]. The court was crowded throughout the entire day and at different times seats on the bench were occupied by Messers A. B. FORWOOD, E. SAMUELSON, George MELLY, Thomas MILLS, John HUGHES, J. E. REYNOLDS, and Clarke ASPINALL. The prisoners guarded by several policemen and bridewell keepers, were placed in the dock at 10.45 am and the hearing lasted nine hours. During its progress M'GRATH and M'KEVITT, frequently conversed together, and communicated with their solicitor Mr QUELCH, from time to time.

Mr MARKS in opening the case said, "I appear sir, in this case to prosecute on behalf of the Treasury, who, as you are aware, have taken the matter up. The facts of the case are no doubt, well known to you and other magistrates, but, as a matter of convenience, I purpose shortly to narrate the circumstances of the specific offence with which the prisoners are charged, in order to more fully explain the evidence which I shall bring before you afterwards, bearing on their movements prior to the date in which the offence took place. You will remember on the remand the men were originally booked under two sections, one being the 12th section of the 24th and 25th Victoria, chapter 100, and the other the 10th section of the 24th and 25th Victoria, chapter 97, the one relating to property the other to person. No doubt if you find it your duty to commit these men, it will be advisable to indict them at the assizes in a variety of ways under both acts, but this mooring the two sections on which I mean chiefly to rely, and on which I base my case for you to decide, are the 9th section of the 24th and 25th Victoria, chapter 97, and the 10th section of the same act.

Mr RAFFLES, "That is the property section?"

Mr MARKS, "That is the property section. I shall have something to say to you with reference to the 12th section, with regard to intent to murder. Of course that will be purely a legal aspect of the question. I shall ask whether you are disposed to commit on that, and if you are not, I shall rely on the 9th and 10th sections. Now to refer to the facts of the case. It appears that on the morning of Friday, the 10th of the present month, a man named John ROSS, who is a car driver, was going slowly up Water St, on the look out for a fare. On arriving at the end of Exchange St West, he saw two men whom he supposed to be seamen. They had a bag with them which looked like a mariner's bag, and they were sitting on the steps of the west door of the Town Hall. He did not speak to them but waited for some time, and then, as they did not hail him, drove on. He will tell you that he afterwards saw these two men in custody, and that they are the men who are now in the dock. He proceeded slowly down Castle St, the horse walking, and when he got near Cook St, he heard a slight report, soon afterwards followed by a report of a very violent nature. He then, very naturally, drove back to the Town Hall. PC 712 REED, who was on duty in the neighbourhood, also saw these two men, who, when the cabman had gone away, seemed to have thought it was time to commence operations. The bag, which I believe was a sailor's bag , was then lying on the top step, and one of the men, he says distinctly M'NEVITT, was stooping down with his hand towards the bag, as if doing something to it. He saw smoke coming from the bag, and having similar explosions in his mind, he made a rush towards the men. M'KEVITT at once made off towards the Exchange Flags, and the constable went and tried to get hold of M'GRATH. M'GRATH put his hand to his breast pocket, but then seemed to change his mind and took to his heels following the other man. PC 712 gave chase as fast as he could, blowing his whistle. He pursued them across Chapel St into Oldhall St, and there he met Constable 884 CREIGHTON, and then 712 did something which will surely merit the approbation of not only yourself but of all the public. Instead of taking 884 with him to assist him in the capture, he had the presence of mind to send him back to the Town Hall, had he not done so a terrible explosion would have taken place on the steps, what the consequences of that might have been I cannot say, it is due to 712 that very serious consequences were averted. He continued the chase and kept blowing his whistle, and at last fortunately attracted the attention of PC 553 CASEY, who came up the street in advance of the men who were running away. Seeing this the men at once turned down another street. PC 712 made into Vauxhall Rd to try and intercept them, but found they had not gone that way, and lost sight of them. PC 553 kept up the chase, finally running them into Tinglepeg Lane, being acquainted with the neighbourhood he knew this was a cul-de-sac, and that he could not fail to capture one of them, he saw M'KEVITT crouched under a lorry. He went to him, and M'KEVITT, who seemed to be in a state of exhaustion, put his hand in his pocket and drew a revolver. The moment he drew it CASEY seized his arm. I am bound to say that the man had an opportunity of firing the weapon if he had thought it, but I don't think that was his intention. At any rate he threw it into a coal-yard. CASEY finding that the other man was not to be seen, went back with M'KEVITT and gave him into the custody of another officer. In the meantime he had seen a workman of Mr RAWCLIFFE'S, named PYE, who was endeavouring to open the gate into which the pistol had been thrown. He told PYE to look after the revolver, and PYE got over the wall or gate, and when the officer returned, I think it was PYE who handed the revolver to him".

Mr RAFFLES, "It was loaded was it not?"

Mr MARKS, "It was loaded in nine chambers, one having been discharged at some other time. I think I shall be able to explain that chamber being empty. CASEY, by the help of a man named NELSON, who had the key, got into Mr JACKSON'S coal yard and there searched about. Here there seems to be a difference in the story of the PC and that of NELSON, as to who saw the man first, but this does not matter the men NELSON and PYE gave every assistance they possibly could. The man M'GRATH was found lying secreted in the coal flat ALEXINA, according to his own statement, on getting over a wall, instead of dropping on to a towpath as expected, there being a very narrow ledge there, he, in his excitement and exhausted condition dropped into the canal, and, if his story was to be believed, his physical appearance bore it out, he had a narrow escape from being drowned. He had been a sailor and had managed to struggle to the flat he found. CASEY had in his hand the revolver he had got from PYE, and he presented it at M'GRATH and asked him had he anything of the kind, M'GRATH said he had and it was in his pocket. CASEY did not take it out then, as had been reported, but walked him along until he met another constable and then took it from him. That revolver, a six-chambered one, was loaded in all barrels, and was at full cock, so much for the capture. After PC 712 had alarmed PC 884, the latter turned to the Town Hall. Two other constables, 893 and 924, who had also been alarmed met them there, on their arrival, one of the most marvellous things in the whole proceedings took place. One of the constables went to the bag and heard a fizzing noise, which I suppose would be the fuse fizzing. He dragged it from the doorway into the street and was going to cut the string, when another more cautious officer said, "You had better mind what you are doing" and they moved away, hardly getting away from the bag when a most terrific explosion took place. How these men were not injured being only 2 or 3 yards off is a marvel. It is suggested by people who understand these things that it was owing to their having been at the ends of the bag and not at the sides. The force of the explosion will be spoken of by the witnesses who were present, and Dr Campbell BROWN who has examined the bag will tell you that the material it contained was certainly not gunpowder, but something of the character of nitro-glycerine, and must have been of great explosive power in order to scatter the pieces of iron tube of the size used. The explosion caused considerable damage to the windows of the Town Hall, but little damage to the structure beyond the clipping of some of the stones. The Phoenix Insurance building on the opposite side of the street was also slightly damaged. Even if we had no other evidence, this would be a very strong case against these men independent of their statements, which they gave, in addition to certain evidence the police have, which make the case much stronger. M'GRATH said he had been lodging in a house in Cottenham St, kept by Mrs DONKIN, she will be called and will give very material evidence in relation to the matter, which will prove he did lodge there and on various occasions was visited by M'KEVITT. M'GRATH when he went there gave the name of BARTON, of M'GRATH, and he did not sleep there regularly, in fact only a few nights. LYNCH will state she slept there all the night of the week prior to this Friday morning, and M'GRATH came early in the morning. She will tell you on one occasion the two men brought into the house a pipe similar to the one used for the bomb, and the pipe was carried in and out of the house in a mysterious manner, it was secreted under the bed and two days before the explosion took place a piece of wood was brought in and a considerable amount of hammering went on, M'GRATH saws off a piece of this clump of wood, about the length required to make a plug. On the house being searched tools were found in his room and in a box belonging to him, including a gimlet, a hammer, a saw and a chisel which evidently had been used very recently on a hard surface, the inference he would ask the bench to draw being that it had been used in trimming the rough end of the pipe. One day whilst these men were in Mrs DONKIN'S she heard a report, she went into the room and found they had a revolver, she asked, "What is this all about?" to which M'GRATH pointing to M'KEVITT, replied, "He's up to his fool's tricks" the ball had pierced through a door and struck against a all of the house, which would account for one of the barrels of the revolver found on M'KEVITT being empty. There is another witness, Mrs KEARNEY, up to a short time ago she lived in Ashton St and took in lodgers, M'GRATH she says, seeing a notice in the window this was the very same time he had lodgings in Cottenham St, inferring he really was lodging at Mrs KEARNEY'S as he slept there most frequently and he was using the house in Cottenham St more as a workshop. She will tell you that the day before the explosion these two men entered her house carrying a very heavy parcel, they then went into the parlour and soon afterwards went out, on endeavouring to enter the parlour she found the door was fast and she couldn't get in. She afterwards got in and found a door to a cupboard in the room was also fast. On M'GRATH coming in she asked what business he had to lock the cupboard, telling him he was only a lodger, and had only joint use of the cupboard and it was not his. He gave her an impertinent reply, saying she could have the cupboard in the morning, but, that he was going to keep it that night. She thought he then went to bed, but next morning when she got up M'GRATH was nowhere about, in fact, I believe he was then in custody, and the chain was removed from the door proving he had gone out quietly in the night. On Mrs KEARNEY'S premises being searched there was found a piece of pipe corresponding to this other piece, as it had been a part of the same, and it would be proved there was wrapped around the bomb used at the Town Hall a piece of an old green dress and a piece of mat which Mrs KEARNEY could identify as her property which had been removed from her property without her knowledge. It seems to me there is ample evidence of premeditation, in fact, that a more villainous and more deliberately planned plot could scarcely be imagined A great deal has been said in the public prints with reference to Fenianism, I don't intend to give any evidence whatever with regard to Fenianism as this case stands on its own merits"

Mr RAFFLES, "You could not legally go into it."

Mr MARKS, "No I could not. The only piece of evidence which the police have obtained on that point is in relation to M'KEVITT. M'KEVITT'S statement before you last week, was that he had no connection with any such unlawful organisation as Fenianism, he had nothing whatsoever to do with it, but that he as a foolish man, being a compatriot of M'GRATH, was led into this. If you will permit me, I will call a postman who will prove that for a considerable time has been delivering to M'KEVITT papers from America, copies of the United Irishman, which it is common knowledge is the organ of the Fenian brotherhood, and is either edited or owned by O'DONOVAN ROSSA, and the M'KEVITT'S name was printed on them as if he was a regular agent."

Mr RAFFLES, "I think that will be evidence."

Mr MARKS, "I think so."

Mr RAFFLES, "I shall certainly allow you to put it in."

Mr MARKS, "With your consent, then, I will put in it. I don't intend to say more than a word or two on the 12th section, with regard to the intent to murder. I think there is some evidence that would justify me in asking for a committal on that charge. Of course, the 9th section of the other act gives the same punishment, penal servitude for life."

Mr RAFFLES, "We had better take the evidence first and discuss that pint afterwards."

John ROSS, "I am a cardriver No 300, and live at 5 Southampton St, I remember the morning of Friday the 10th, when at 4.10am I was looking out for a fare in Water St. I passed the end of Exchange St, West when I saw two men, one of whom as sitting on a sailor's bag on the steps of the side door of the Town Hall. I pulled up, I didn't speak to them, the man who was not on the bag was standing at the opposite end of the street. I remained about 2mins on pulling up and saw the faces of the men who are now in the dock. MGRATH was the man sitting on the bag. They didn't speak to me and I drove down Castle St, I heard a police whistle, then a report louder than the 1 o' clock gun. On hearing this I turned back towards the Town Hall, and on getting there found there had been an explosion on the west side of the Town Hall. The street was strewn over with the remains of a bag, and pieces of iron and glass. I saw M'KEVITT in custody afterwards. It was daylight when I saw the men. I was with Inspector JACKSON when he afterwards picked up a piece of iron at the corner of Exchange St East".

By Dr O'FEELY, "From the crossing in Water St to the town Hall door is a dozen of 15yds, I pulled up in the center of Exchange St West. I could see from that distance that what M'GRATH was sitting on was a bag, like a sailor's bag about a foot wide. Two minutes after I drove away I heard the explosion. The men did not make any attempt to conceal themselves, and there was nothing in their conduct to attract particular attention."

PC 712, READE, "I was on duty at the Town Hall, corner of Exchange St West and Water St, at 4.10am on Friday week last, I had come from the Dale St direction and noticed the two prisoners standing about a foot from the lower step in front of the side door of the Town Hall in Exchange St West. I could not say whether the men noticed me, I saw them through railings. M'KEVITT stopped as if to lift the bag which was on the top step next to the door, it looked like a sailor's bag. Just as M'KEVITT stooped down I saw smoke come from the mouth of the bag, I had turned the coroner of the street and rushed to the men, M'GRATH hesitated for a second before running off, and put his hand to his breast. M'KEVITT had meanwhile run off across Exchange Flags. M'GRATH started to run following the other man, I blew my whistle and ran after them. We had ran through the arches of the Exchange into Chapel St, where I saw PC 884, and called out to him to run to the Town Hall as a fuse had been put to it. At this time the man was 20yds ahead, and I continued the chase along Oldhall St, blowing my whistle all the time. PC 553 joined in the chase, having come up Queen St, and the prisoners on seeing him turned into Edmund St. I told PC 553 what had taken place, and lost sight of the men who turned into Key St and Plumbe St. I went along Prussia St in order to intercept them, and got into Pownall Square and Vauxhall Rd but did not find them. When in Prussia St I heard a loud explosion, I t was a "bursting" noise which "vibrated" the air and louder than the report of a cannon. I saw two constables in Vauxhall Rd and told them what had occurred. I next saw M'KEVITT in Dale St in the custody of PC 884, and M'GRATH in Hatton Garden in custody of PC 553."

Dr O'FEELY, "The distance I stood from the railings to the Town Hall steps is about 25yds. I saw the white side of the bag, the man who stooped just appeared to touch the bag, the end of which was towards me. I was never nearer than 25yds when they looked round as I ran after them I saw their faces, as soon as I saw M'KEVITT and M'GRATH , I said they were the men."

Constable Peter CASEY who captured both prisoners, The Graphic

PC 553, Peter CASEY, "I was on duty in the early morning of Friday the 10th in Queen St, At 4.10 am I heard a whistle in Oldhall St and ran to the top of Queen St, when I saw the prisoners running in front of PC 712 and towards me. On seeing me they turned into Edmund St, PC 712 gave me some information and I followed the men, who turned into Plumbe St, I then lost sight of them, and went through a court in Plumbe St which leads into Ray St. I next saw them at the bottom of Ray St, in Leeds St, they were trotting past, but didn't see me, and I gained ground on them. I turned down Maiden's-green to get them unawares and saw them standing in Leeds St at the bottom of Highfield St. When they saw me they rushed down Tinglepeg Lane, I knew there was no way out of the lane. When I got round the corner I saw M'KEVITT and a man named PYE, who was kicking at the gate of the coalyard, M'KEVITT was crouching beneath a lorry standing in the lane. I didn't speak to PYE, but at once laid hold of M'KEVITT, who put his hand to his waist and drew out a revolver, I tried to seize it but he threw it over a gate into Messers S. B. JACKSON and Son's coalyard. I whistled and M'KEVITT said, "You needn't whistle I will go quietly. You can put the handcuffs on me" With this he held out his hands. A man named NELSON, who lives in the neighbourhood looked out of his window, and I asked him to come down and open the gate, as a revolver had been thrown over. He replied, "I can't it is not our yard and I have no key" I then took M'KEVITT down Tinglepeg Lane where I met PC 884, who said, "That's one of the men" I handed M'KEVITT over to him and went back through the lane, by this time there were about 12 or 15 men in the lane and one of them handed me the revolver, which was a 10 chambered one, one chamber was empty" [revolver produced]

Mr RAFFLES, "There is no maker's name on it. Is it English manufacture?"

Inspector BOYES, " Belgian sir."

Witness continuing, "I went into Messers RAWCLIFFE'S coalyard, which had been opened and climbed over a wall into JACKSON'S coalyard. I asked some men on the bank whether they had seen anybody, they said "No" I climbed the wall again and saw a women, who told me something, in consequence of which I went back to RAWCLIFFE'S yard. I had given a man the revolver to hold while I climbed. NELSON opened the canalbank gate of RAWCLIFFE'S yard and I stepped onto a flat which was lying in front. M'GRATH I found lying under a ledge inside a canal boat, the ledge is what the flatmen walk on when the flat is loaded with coal. I seized hold of him by the collar, presented the revolver to him and told him if he resisted I would shoot him. He said, "I will go quietly, I am half drowned and have had a narrow escape". I asked him if he had a revolver and he said, "Yes you can take it out of my pocket." He was very wet and his trousers were torn from top to bottom, he asked me to stop till he fixed them. Nobody had told me he was on the flat, when I collared him the men were all in the yard. I took him down Highfield St and handed him to PC 873, who held him while I took the revolver out of his pocket. It was 6 chambered, fully loaded and at full cock [revolver produced] I next took M'GRATH to the detective office in Dale St He was taken into the presence of M'KEVITT, and I charged them both in these words which I read from a piece of paper. "You are jointly, charged with damaging buildings by explosive substance and also with placing explosive substance near a building with intent to destroy or damage." In answer to the charge both prisoners said, "It is not with intent to murder" M'KEVITT subsequently said, "You had sufficient proof to know I had no intent to murder." M'GRATH gave the name of William Robert BARTON, and when asked for his address said, "I don't wish to get anybody else in trouble. I was caught in the act myself." He told me he had torn his trousers and cut his hand getting over a gate."

Dr O'FEELY, "PYE saw what happened to M'KEVITT, I took hold of M'KEVITT'S collar with my left hand. I could not say whether he wore a belt. He took the revolver from his waist with his right hand, I seized his elbow and he jerked the revolver over a wall. My account of the capture of M'GRATH is that no person was present when I took him in the flat, he told me at once he had a revolver in his pocket, it was in his right hand trouser pocket. He was not handcuffed. I prepared the charge myself and wrote it at the time. The men were excited and fatigued when I charged them, and had been in custody 14hrs when charged."

By Mr RAFFLES, "I heard the explosion when crossing from Tinglepeg Lane to Leeds St, it was a report from a 32lb gun."

By Mr MARKS, "I held M'GRATH with one hand, and had M'KEVITT'S revolver in the other."

PC 712, recalled, "ROSS passed me in his cab at the main entrance of the Town Hall."

Constable Edward CREIGHTON, who removed the explosive device from the Town Hall doorway, The Graphic

PC 884, Edward CREIGHTON, "I was in Chapel St at 4.10am on the morning in question, about 5 minutes later I heard whistling, coming from the Exchange. I saw the prisoners run through the central arch of the Exchange, with PC 712 after them. PC 712, shouted to me, "Go to the Town Hall, there's a bag on the steps and a lighted fuse attached to it." I told him I would go and to carry on blowing the whistle, as PC 553 was higher up in Oldhall St. I ran to the east side of the Town Hall not knowing where the bag was, then to the south and afterwards the west. I met PC 994 at the corner of Castle St, and he came after me when I got to the west side. I saw a bag lying on the top steps of the door. There was smoke issuing from the mouth of the bag, PC 898 also came up. I thought it was something dangerous and dragged it to the kerbstone. It was heavy, PC 898 got hold of it and chucked it into the street, 2 0r 3yds from the kerbstone. He had a knife in his hand and was going to cut the string when I warned him there was something fizzing inside. We stepped back 4 or 5yrds when it exploded giving two reports, the first like that of a field gun, the second, I cannot describe it was tremendous, immediately afterwards was a crash of glass, I thought the hall was blown down. When the explosion was over I ran up Oldhall St into Leeds St, where I met PC 553 with M'KEVITT and said to PC 553, "That is one of the men I saw running away." PC 553 handed him over to me and said, "You take this man to the office, I know where the other man has gone and will follow him." M'KEVITT said to me coming into Leeds St, "It is all over?" I said, "What?" He said, "The explosion." and I replied, "Yes" He then said, "Did it do any harm?" and my answer was "There is plenty of broken glass." He next asked, "Is there anyone hurt?" and when I told him "No" he said, "I am glad" I took him to the detective office, where he asked, "Is there anyone living in the building?" and I told him the keepers were there. He said, "If I knew that I wouldn't have placed the bag on the doorstep. When I looked and saw that young constable [553] following me I could have shot him. I didn't want to have murder on my head and threw the revolver over the wall." I said to M'KEVITT, "It was not powder that was in the bag" He said, "No it was dynamite" I asked him what quantity, This was as you were going along was it? No sir, it was in the waiting room in the office, he said he didn't know."

Dr O'FEELY, "I was in Chapel St, within 30yrds of the men when they passed me. I saw them whilst they were crossing the street into Oldhall St. I knew M'KEVITT by sight for a long time before. I have known him for 3 or 4yrs."

Mr RAFFLES, "In Liverpool?"

Witness, "Yes"

PC 898 Charles M'BURNEY, "I was on duty in Brunswick St on the morning of the 10th, about 4.10am I heard a whistle in the direction of the Town Hall, I ran along Castle St and saw PC 924 on the other side running to the Town Hall, and PC 884 passing along the front of the building. I followed them into Exchange St West, and saw a bag on the steps of the west door of the Town Hall, smoke was passing from the mouth of the bag an PC 884 said there was something dangerous in it, and pulled the bag from the top step to the parapet. I then took hold of it and threw it into the middle of the street, about 3yds out".

Mr RAFFLES, "Had you particular reason for doing that?"

Witness, "I thought there was something dangerous in it and threw it in the middle of the street to save the buildings. I took out my knife and was about to cut the string when I heard something fizzing in it. PC 924, shouted out to me from behind, "Come away, there is something in it very dangerous." I retired backwards about 5yrds and it went off with a loud explosion."

Mr RAFFLES, "You were not injured?"

Witness, "No sir, there were two explosions, the first like the shot of a gun, the second very loud, after this explosion I shouted that it was all over. I heard glass falling on each side of the street. I looked on both sides to see what damage had been done and saw windows shattered, I gathered fragments that were about [produced] This piece of old rug looks like part of a bag, it is the same colour. In company of PC 924, I also picked up the pieces of the iron and wood, now produced, the iron is nearly three-quarters of a inch thick. We removed them to the detective office, I was one of the officers left in charge of the men in the detective office. PC 924 and PC 884 were along with me. The latter asked a few questions.

Mr RAFFLES, "He had much better have left it alone."

Mr MARKS, "What the officer gave in evidence is all in favour of M'KEVITT, or else I should not have let him say it."

Mr RAFFLES, "A good deal of it was in favour of M'KEVITT."

Mr MARKS, "That was my reason for letting him say it."

Mr RAFFLES, "It would have been better if he had not done it, but as the case is going elsewhere I will not say any more."

Mr MARKS, [to witness, "Did you ask him any questions?"

Witness, "I did not."

By Dr O'FEELY, "I was about 5yds from the bag when it exploded. The others were just a bit behind me, not far."

Mr RAFFLES, "It is a marvellous thing none of them were struck."

PC 924, Donald SINCLAIR, "About 4.10 am on the 10th of this month I was on duty in Union Court into Castle St, and saw PC 884 on the east side of the Town Hall, looking down the area, I ran across to him and asked him what was the matter, he said there was a fire somewhere. When we got to the west side there was what appeared to be a sailor's bag on the top of the step of the west door. PC 884 took hold of the bag and pulled it down the steps, PC 898 lifted it up and threw it into the middle of the street. He took his knife out of his pocket and was about to cut the string at the mouth of the bag when PC 884 told him to come away, that there was something dangerous in the bag. We retired 4 or 5yrds and there was a report as a pistol shot and immediately afterwards a very loud report, followed by breaking glass, and the street shook under my feet. After the explosion we picked up the debris produced."

Liverpool Town Hall, after the outrage, The Graphic

Fletcher Thomas TURTON, deputy surveyor to the corporation, "I examined the Town Hall and adjoining buildings on the morning of the 10th inst. On the ground floor in the Mayor's parlour one square of glass was broken. In the room of the Mayor's secretary there are seven [Mr Raffles, in the Graphic they have broken them all [laughter] ] The blinds were slightly damaged and there was a small dent in the wall, about 4ft from the outside of the building. In Mayor's lavatory, six squares of glass were broken and there were slight marks on the walls and ceiling, the latter about 12ft from the outside of the building. In the entrance from Exchange St, West, six squares of glass were broken in the fanlight. The outside lamp over the entrance was not broken. In the lavatory north of the entrance nine squares were broken and one piece of glass in the ventilator, one piece in the council chamber, and one on the staircase adjoining. In the blank windows and the dining room on the first floor, 9 squares were broken. On the outside of the building on the west side, the stone work is marked with six indentations. The woodwork of the entrance is slightly damaged, and the head of one of the railings is broken off. In the buildings on the west side of Exchange St West Phoenix Chambers and Brown's Buildings nine squares of plate glass were broken and the stonework marked in fifteen places, the highest mark on the cornice of the building, 60ft above the ground, where a small piece has been broken out. In 1 and 3 Water St, one square of glass was broken, and the stonework marked in one or two places.

Dr O'FEELY objected to this evidence.

Mr MARKS, "It shows the force of the explosion., in all the damage you found inside and out."

Witness, "That is all, there was no special mark on the roadway."

Dr O'FEELY, "The incident in the secretary's chamber is merely a small piece of the ceiling knocked out, little more than a scratch. The marks in the Mayor's lavatory were of the same character, the dints on the outside are about half an inch deep."

Dr O'FEELY, "Would you describe the damage done as damage to the freehold?"

Mr RAFFLES, "That is a lawyer's question."

Dr O'FEELY, "With all due respect I think it is not."

Mr RAFFLES, "I will not allow it to be put in. I will take a note of your objection and you can bring it up elsewhere."

Dr O'FEELY, "Would the injury done to that building deteriorate its value in the market?"

Mr RAFFLES, "It is perfectly idle to go into that, it is immaterial whether he answers yes or no. I don't think it necessary to have an answer at all."

Dr O'FEELY, "Are the permanent injuries ?"

Witness, "The damage to the stonework is necessarily a permanent injury, but the glass has been renewed."

Samuel PAGE, a night watchman, employed at the Liverpool Town Hall said, "I was on duty on the night of Thursday the 9th, I went on duty at 10pm, there was another man on duty as well, Matthew SWARBRICK. Shortly after 4am on Friday I was in Benyon's room adjoining the Mayor's parlour. Whilst there at 4.12am I heard a small rumbling like the sound of a gun, after that I heard a loud report indeed. The second noise shook the building and the room I was in and I heard falling glass. I went into the side passage and called for SWARBRICK, who was in the pantry below. He came up there was a great quantity of smoke in the passage and a strong smell. We went to the side door together, on going out we found broken glass on the pavement and a piece of railing. In Water St near the mayor's ante-room I found the piece of iron produced. It was my duty to go round the building, which I did at 2.40am. I have seen the damage spoken of by Mr TURTON, they were not done as far as I am aware before the explosion."

Thomas PYE, "I am a carter in the employ of Messers RAWCLIFFE, I live at 48 Leeds St. Messers RAWCLIFFE have a coalyard and stables down Tinglepeg Lane, I was there on the morning of Friday the 10th. It was about 4,15am when I went down the lane, about 20mins past when I got to the gate. Two men ran right past me and one got over JACKSON'S gate, M'GRATH was the one who got over the gate. M'KEVITT asked me to give him a leg over. I said I would not, I have no right to do it over that yard. He tried to get over himself and could not then he got behind the waggons in the lane close to Jackson's gate, PC 553 came running down the lane, he looked at me, and I looked at the man behind the waggon, with that CASEY got hold of the man behind the waggon and then blew his whistle. The man did nothing, he was quiet a man as I ever saw. He drew out a revolver and threw it over Jackson's wall, the policeman said to me, "You get me that." I said, "I can't get it until NELSON gets up, then I will get it for you." I did not tell the policeman where I saw M'GRATH go. I saw 553 take M'KEVITT away. I knocked NELSON the yardman up and got into the yard and got the revolver, I gave it to the same officer when he came back to Tinglepeg Lane, about 10 minutes later, he and I went into the yard close together, Nelson pointed out the way to get into Jackson's yard, Rawcliffe's yard was then open. The policeman went into Jackson's yard and searched, but could not find the man. He called to a woman on a flat, "Did you see a man passing over here?" The woman said, "No, but I heard a man drop on the deck" The policeman came back into Rawcliffe's yard and Nelson opened the gate from Rawcliffe's yard to the canal, saying, "We'll see if he's here." Then he said, "Here he is" He saw his clothes smoking, the policeman went on the boat and fetched the man out, and took him to Tinglepeg Lane I have not seen him since. I did not go on the boast nor did Nelson". Dr O'FEELY, "1 went to the detective office on Friday night but did not see the men, I was told to go there to state my case, I will undertake to swear that M'GRATH is the man who went over the wall. I saw both men trying to get over the gate and saw both as they passed."

Anthony NELSON, another yardman with Messers RAWCLIFFE said, "I live in a house in Rawcliffe's yard, at the bottom of Tinglepeg Lane. I was roused on the morning of the 10th at 4.15am. Thomas PYE knocked me up, I looked out of the window and saw M'KEVITT and 553 standing in the lane, in 5 minutes I came down, M'KEVITT had gone with the constable. I opened the yard gate and saw PYE go into Jackson's yard, he brought back with him the revolver [produced]. In about 5 minutes 553 returned and PYE gave him the revolver in Tinglepeg Lane, the policeman then went over into Jackson's yard and afterwards came back into Rawcliffe's yard. A door opens from our yard onto the canal bank, I opened it, there was an empty flat [the Alexina] belonging to us lying by the door, I stepped my foot on the flat, when I stepped on the gunwale I saw a bit of smoke. I thought it was the man's wet clothes which were smoking. I saw a man lying in the flat right underneath me and stepped back. As soon as I saw the man lying there I was dumb, and I started going like this [trembling and showing signs of fear, amidst the laughter of the court]."

You had seen the revolver then ?"

"I had seen the first one."

"You didn't go any further?"


"Who did?"

"I turned round and motioned to Thomas PYE, whistling and pointing, PYE told the policeman and he came down, I came off the flat and the officer went on, there is a plank goes round the gunwale about 9 or 10inches wide, and the man was lying right under that. I saw the officer bring M'GRATH out of the boat."

Dr O'FEELY, "I am not a flatman, I have nothing to do with navigation. The days of Horatio Nelson are gone [laughter]"

Inspector James JACKSON said, "About 4.15am on the morning of the 10th, I was in Castle St and heard a loud explosion in the direction of the Town Hall I at once went there and found the witness ROSS and several policemen, and pieces of iron pipe and canvas lying in the street. I gave directions to 898 and 924 to gather up the pieces and take them to the police station. M'KEVITT was taken to the Town Hall while I was there, ROSS then identified him and he went on from there to the detective office. I went as well and he said in my presence "I have been a fool to be persuaded to do this by other people." He said that voluntarily, not in reply to any question. I found a piece of iron pipe in Dale St, near Exchange St East, it was quite warm at the time."

PC 125, Edwin SPERRIN said, "I am acting as clerk at the detective office, I saw these two men there on Friday morning. On of them M'KEVITT was brought in about 4.20am, and the other 8 minutes afterwards. I searched them, on M'GRATH, I found in his breast coat pocket a silk handkerchief in which was wrapped up the detonating cap [produced, which was handed up to the bench, Detective Superintendent WILLIAMS, remarking, amidst laughter, "Don't squeeze it"] I also found in different pockets a quantity of revolver cartridges which I produce. They are similar to those in the revolvers found on M'GRATH. I found also a few loose lucifer matches. On M'KEVITT I found a detonating cap similar to the one found on M'GRATH. I was examining it and M'KEVITT made the remark, "Don't squeeze it or it will explode."

Mr MARKS, "That is the one you have in your hand now?"

Witness, "It is sir."

Mr MARKS, "Well don't squeeze it" [laughter]

Witness, "I found two medals on him, medals of "The Irish Republic" and some revolver cartridges, which fitted a revolver that was taken from him."

Mary DONKIN, "I am the wife of Robert DONKIN, and live at 15 Cottenham St, Kensington. I know the two prisoners, M'GRATH by the name of BARTON and M'KEVITT by the name of LYNCH. M'GRATH first called at my house five weeks last Saturday, the 7th of May. He saw a card in the window and came to take lodgings, he did not tell me what he was that night but, told me when he came on Monday. I told him to come on the Monday and he came at 7am, he said he was a cattle dealer, or working for a cattle dealer. When he came on Monday morning he had a sailor's bag with him, and a brown paper parcel strapped. He used to go out in a morning about ten to half past and stay out all day. He was very seldom in and perhaps would not come back at night. The first week he slept at our house almost every night. The first Saturday after he came I found a piece of gaspipe or sewer pipe in my backyard [piece of pipe produced]. It was a new pipe, from 3 to 4 inches in diameter. I was in the yard on Saturday morning when M'GRATH brought it into the house, and I found it in the kitchen. A man named "Tom" used to come round and see M'GRATH. I saw M'GRATH tying a piece of string round the pipe while it was on Tom's knee, it was in brown paper. A week afterwards while cleaning M'GRATH'S room, I saw a long brown paper parcel under the bed, I brushed around it, it was very heavy I thought then it was a pipe. I missed the parcel a week subsequently. M'KEVITT first called on the evening of the 28th May and asked for BARTON, I said Mr BARTON, whom he described as a cattle dealer, wasn't in, but that I expected him. He went away, and afterwards, he, Tom and M'GRATH came to the house together, they went into the parlour and I heard a report of a pistol shot. Going into the parlour I found the three men there and said, "Whatever is that?" M'GRATH replied, "It is only that man there Tom, it is nonsense" There was a small hole in the door and M'GRATH said he would make it right. On the knees of one of the men I saw what I thought was a pipe. All three went out about 11pm, I believed M'GRATH'S business kept him out late and he had a key. I did not see M'GRATH and M'KEVITT again that night, but both were there next morning. M'GRATH told me he had brought M'KEVITT in because it had been to late for him to go home. M'GRATH was often away, on Monday the 6th, he asked me whether M'KEVITT might come and stay with him for a few nights. I hesitated but consented, and M'KEVITT slept in the house that night, but M'GRATH did not, nor did he sleep there afterwards. He came to the house about 10 o' clock on Tuesday morning, and remained with M'KEVITT in the room until after dinner. Next morning M'KEVITT brought in a piece of wood [produced] and took it upstairs, M'GRATH followed him then brought it down and put it in the scullery, and I heard the sound of a saw. He carried the piece that had been sawn off upstairs. I then heard a good deal of knocking in the room the men occupied, when the knocking stopped M'GRATH came down and threw some chips in the coal place, saying they would do for firewood. The men went out for the day and I heard someone in about 12.30am on Thursday, and go upstairs very quietly, but come down again in a few seconds. The person came downstairs with difficulty and without shoes, I left my room and called out, "Mr LYNCH, do you want a light." but got no answer. Just then the out door was shutting, I thought a box was being removed, and I went into the men's room and found the box there, but the long brown parcel had been removed. Half-an-hour subsequently I heard someone come back and go into the bedroom. Later in the morning I knocked on the door and M'KEVITT answered, I asked him what it was he had come in for on the previous night, and added. "What is that pipe you are bringing in and out ?" He made no reply, however. M'GRATH came in at 10.30am on Thursday, and stayed with M'KEVITT an hour or two. They went out after dinner, at half past one and did not return. I had no tools of any kind in the room they occupied".

Dr O'FEELY, "I saw the piece of pipe on Saturday the 14th, but not after that. It was about yard long, and was iron. M'KEVITT did not tell me what it was, but I thought he might be a servant to M'GRATH. There was a butcher living in the house, but he had nothing to do with M'GRATH and M'KEVITT. He had no tools".

Rose KEARNEY, "I am the wife of Charles KEARNEY who is at present in London. I live at 43 Ashton St. I recognise M'GRATH as BARTON but don't know M'KEVITT. I first saw M'GRATH on Good Friday last, when he came to my house and took apartments. On the following day he entered into occupation, bringing with him a trunk. He first said he went to sea and afterwards said he was a cattle dealer. He did not appear to have any occupation, as he had no regular business hours. After breakfast he read the paper or played the piano. He stayed in my house on Thursday night the 9th, I remember him coming in at night about 11.30, and called for some coffee, I had none and said I would give him tea. He then asked for tea, two eggs and two cups, there was nobody with him then. That afternoon between 5 and 6, M'GRATH came to the door with another man, whom I don't know, and who had a bag of a dull black colour. M'KEVITT was not the man. From the way the man carried it, it was heavy, and I asked what it was, M'GRATH replied, "Mind your own business" They went into the parlour and five minutes afterwards I found the door fastened, the lock does not work, I don't know how they fastened it. They went out in about quarter of an hour, but took nothing with them, I went into the parlour and tried to open a cupboard there, but could not. M'GRATH came in alone between 7 and 8, and I spoke to him about the fastening of the doors, he replied I would have the cupboard that day or the next. On Friday night I came downstairs and found the prisoner had gone, on that night I found an iron pipe on a small sideboard in the parlour, it was full of bits of iron [pipe and pieces of iron produced] There was a small package, but I did not examine it and threw it with the pipe and iron into the midden. The green stuff now shown me is a portion of an old dress of my daughter's, the bit of old rug produced is mine."

Dr O'FEELY, "Other lodgers had access to the parlour. The green rag is a very common pattern."

Luke WEBSTER, "I am assistant to W and J. HUGHES, pawnbrokers, 116 Brownlow Hill. The hammer, saw and gimlet produced I have seen before. I sold them about three weeks ago to M'GRATH."

Mary Jane BOUFIELD, "I am daughter of Mrs KEARNEY, and live with her. The green rag produced is part of a cast off dress of my sister. The dress was not worn when it was cast off."

PC 737, John BROADFOOT, "Between 1 and 2 o' clock this afternoon I was in the house 11 Naylor St, and heard a knock at the door. I went to the door and got the two parcels of newspapers produced from a woman, addressed in print, "James M'KEVITT, 11 Naylor St, Liverpool" and bearing the Liverpool and New York postmarks."

Mr MARKS now proposed to put the newspapers as evidence. Dr O'FEELY, objected, pointing out the newspapers had come into the possession of the prosecution a fortnight after the event. Mr MARKS, agreed to withdraw the proposition, but, would call a witness. Dr O'FEELY, suggested though the witness proved the delivery of the newspapers to a person named M'KEVITT, it was not sufficient to show he was the receiver. Mr MARKS, said the M'KEVITT gave his address as 11 Naylor St.

Hugh M'LAUGHLIN, "I am a letter-carrier connected with the Liverpool post-office, Naylor St is my delivery district. I know 11 Naylor St and have been in the habit of delivering newspapers there to the name M'KEVITT for about twelve months. [packages of newspapers produced] Those I saw at the post-office today and are similar to packages I have delivered."

Dr O'FEELY, "I have never saw M'KEVITT at 11 Naylor St."

Dr Campbell BROWN, D. Sc, London and public analyst for Lancashire and Liverpool, "I have examined the fragments produced today, and I am satisfied that the explosive substance used to shatter the pipe was not gunpowder, because it had not left the black mark nor the peculiar odour which gunpowder leaves after explosion. It was one of the nitro compounds, of the nitro-glycerine class, the most common of which is dynamite. I have also examined a percussion detonator said to have been found on M'GRATH. I scraped out the contents, and on analysis found fulminating mercury, which is a very powerful explosive. It may be exploded by percussion or by heat. These detonators are used for exploding dynamite and such substances."

Dr O'FEELY, "The evidence that shows me that the substance was of the nitro-glycerine class is circumstantial."

George WILLIAMS, "I am chief superintendent of the Liverpool detective department. I was fetched to the detective office on Friday morning, the 10th, and arrived a little before 5am. On my arrival I found the prisoners in custody there, and took charge of the case as a subject of investigation. M'GRATH gave the name William Robert BARTON, and said he was a carpenter by trade, living at 15 Cottenham St, and that he had only been in Liverpool about 4mths, and had worked his passage across on the steamship Arizona. I noticed he was very wet and ordered him to be stripped and a blanket put round him. While this was being done he said, "I feel very poorly. This is a bad job. It was my contrivance this matter of the Town Hall. We were caught in the fact, and I suppose we will have to suffer for it." M'KEVITT gave his correct name, James M'KEVITT, and said he worked at Leylands, No 2 Huskisson Dock, and that he lived at 11 Naylor St, Vauxhall Rd. I then said I would go to his residence, and he then said, "I have not known BARTON long, and as we were caught in the fact at the Town Hall, it is a pity I ever knew him." I and Inspectors MARSH and BOYES went to 11 Naylor St and found that what he had said was true. I and MARSH and BOYES went to 15 Cottenham St and found in the room pointed out by Mrs DONKIN as having been occupied by the prisoners, a hammer, gimlet, saw, chisels and other tools. Besides being used as a bedroom the place looked as if it had been used as a workshop. We also found some rope similar to that found in the street at the Town Hall. We also found wood chips in the coal place corresponding in length to the plug found at the Town Hall."

George MARSH, "I am detective inspector in the Liverpool police. From information which I and Head Constable MURPHY of the royal Irish constabulary received, I searched the midden at 43 Ashton St, where I found the pipe produced. There is a wooden plug in one end and in the other end was fastened an iron nut. Inside were five pieces of iron and four iron nuts. In the house we found a piece of iron piping and a piece of green stuff corresponding with that found at the Town Hall after the explosion."

Dr O'FEELY, "We had great difficulty in getting the nuts out. The nut at the end was not smooth with the edge of the pipe."

With this the case for the prosecution came to a close.

Mr RAFFLES, "What do you charge the men with? There is no question about the 9th or 10th sections of the Criminal Consolidation Act."

Mr MARKS, "The question I should like to have your opinion on is as regards the 12th section. After going into the matter. I think there is just ground for asking that the prisoners should be committed for attempting to murder."

Mr RAFFLES, "Have you a case bearing on the point?"

Mr MARKS, "I t is very difficult to get a case in point, and I can only arrive at one by a succession of theories."

Mr RAFFLES, "It is clear enough that if the watchmen had been at the door and the thing had exploded close to while they were there, they would have been killed."

Mr MARKS, "I should submit that the prisoners might be committed under the section for attempting to murder, as regards the constables."

Mr RAFFLES, "If you ask me I shall commit them under that section as well as under the other two."

Mr MARKS, "It is utterly impossible to prove intent in any case. It can only, as the standard works say, be arrived at from a succession of overt acts. If one of these policemen had been killed would it have been murder?"

Mr RAFFLES, "Certainly."

Mr MARKS, "There can be no shadow of a doubt about that I quote sir, the remarks of Mr Justice PATTISON in the case of the Queen v. Jones [C and P.258] Mr Justice PATTISON appeared to think it doubtful whether upon the repealed statute 7 Wm.1V. and 1. Vict, c, 85, s 3 [which was in the terms of the present statute], it must not appear, in order to make out the intent to murder that that intent existed in the mind of the defendant at the time of the offence, or whether it would be sufficient if it would have been murder had death ensued. He said, however, that the circumstance that it would have been murder if death had ensued would be a good ground whence the jury might infer the existing intent, as every man must be taken to intend the necessary consequences of his acts."

Mr RAFFLES, "We may have time by not arguing that here. I shall commit on the charge of attempting to murder, if you think it desirable."

Mr MARKS, "Then sir, I ask you to commit the prisoners on this charge in addition to the others."

Mr RAFFLES, "Very well. You do not object to this Dr O'FEELY ?"

Dr O'FEELY, "I don't object to my friend taking as many forms as he likes."

Mr RAFFLES, "The punishment is as severe under the 9th as under the 12th section."

Dr O'FEELY, "It is the same sir."

Mr R.ROBERTS, the assistant clerk to the magistrates, who had taken the depositions throughout, then read over the charges which were in the following terms :-

That James M'GRATH and James M'KEVITT did, on the 10th day of June, instant, at the city of Liverpool, feloniously, unlawfully, and maliciously place near a certain building, to wit, the Town Hall, a certain explosive substance, with intent to damage the said building, contrary to the statute in the case made and provided, also that they did on the 10th day of June instant, a the city aforesaid, by the explosion of a certain explosive substance, feloniously damage a certain building, to wit, the Town Hall, with the intent to commit murder, and also that they, on the 10th of June instant, unlawfully and maliciously, by the explosion of certain explosive substances, did damage part of a certain building, to wit, the Town Hall, whereby the lives of certain persons were endangered.

Mr RAFFLES, "Prisoners, have you anything to say?"

The prisoners [simultaneously], "No sir."

Dr O'FEELY, "They reserve their defence."

Mr MARKS now said that there was ample evidence against M'GRATH with regard to the explosion at the section house in Hatton Garden, and he would ask Mr RAFFLES to hear that case. Mr RAFFLES was not disposed to go further that day. Mr MARKS, thought in necessary, when there was evidence that the other case should be gone into, but Mr RAFFLES, would take one case at a time and would finish this one first. Mr Marks, wanted a committal that day as he would have to apply for a writ of habeas corpus.

Mr RAFFLES, now formally committed the prisoners to the assizes for trial on the charges that had been read by Mr ROBERTS.

M'KEVITT was at once removed to the cells below, M'GRATH was kept in the dock in order that the section house charge might be referred against him.

Mr MARKS proceeded with his case and the first witness was called.

William THEAKSTONE, who said, "I am a storekeeper at the police station and have charge of the section house in Hatton Garden. I went from the section house to the detective office at 11.10am on 16th May, which was a Monday, Whilst in the office I heard the sound of an explosion like the blasting of rock at 11.50am. Thinking it came from Hatton Garden I went there and found the entrance to the section house full of smoke, the door was open and there was a strong smell of gunpowder. When I got three paces in the lobby I found between the outer and inner doors, at the left-hand corner of the doorway, a piece of piping with some pieces of fuse round it still lighted. The gas had been extinguished and the light broken, when I relt the gas I found the floor strewn with broken glass and several pieces of piping were lying about. The were 40 persons in the house that night, most were in bed. The outer door is open until midnight, constables coming and going".

James COLLINGWOOD, "I am a detective constable. I was in company with Mr THEAKSTONE on the night of the 16th of last month, between 8 and 10 minutes to twelve, when we heard a loud report. We ran to the section house door and found the broken glass, the fuse and the pipe produced, as Mr THEAKSTONE has described. We saw no one about."

PC 318, William WOODWARD, "I live at the section house Hatton Garden and went in on the night in question at twenty minutes to twelve. The entrance light was then lighted, and the pipe was not there then. I stood at the entrance from half-past eleven until twenty minutes to twelve smoking a pipe.

John LATHAM, I am a joiner in the employ of Mr CORLETT, 3 Cottenham St, Kensington. I have seen the prisoner before, I first saw him on a Monday afternoon, 9th May, when he came to my master's place and said to me, "Will you make me two plugs?" I replied that I durs'nt make them, the master being out, he then said, "I only want two short ones, my water pipe is broken. I would like to get it done, they charge me so much." I thought, "Well poor fellow, I'll save you a shilling or two." I consented to make it. He told me that he had been working in the streets in America mending water pipes and could manage the thing himself. He said he was living in the neighbourhood. He produced two pieces of string showing the diameter of the plugs he wanted, I picked up a log and cut a piece off, and he measured it but, it was too small for what he wanted. He said, however, it might be cut, and I cut two pieces off and chopped off the corners, making the two plugs. When I made them, at his request, I drilled a hole through the centre of one. The plug now shown is one of the two I made, I know it by the compass mark and by its cut on the skew. The plug and the log produced are cut on the same slant. The prisoner made a mark on the log and the plug fits with a sixteenth of an inch. The broken pieces of plug in my hand show a hole into which the drill I used fits, these are the pieces of the plug I drilled. When I asked what he wanted the plugs for, he said that he should not be without water while mending the pipe."

Fletcher Thomas TURTON, deputy surveyor to the Corporation, "I went to Hatton Garden on the morning after the explosion and found nine squares of glass were broken. The casting of the water pipes and the inner doors was blackened, also the architrave, casing and door of the inspector's room. The inside architrave of the storeroom door was slightly forced from the wall, the lock was damaged and the brickwork slightly marked. Four panes of glass in the inside lamp were broken, the lamp being 4yds from the street. One square of glass was broken in the window of the landing, about 11yds from the street. The damage could amount to about £8.

Mr TURTON, "The breaking of the glass was the result of the concussion."

Mary DONKIN, a witness in the other case repeated the evidence she had already given. She could not, however, identify the broken pipe produced.

PC 553, Peter CASEY, "On the morning of the 10th of this month I apprehended the prisoner on another charge."

This was the case for the prosecution

Dr O'FEELY, asked whether Mr RAFFLES thought there was a case?

Mr RAFFLES, could not say that it was a strong case, but could not say there was none, especially after the joiner's evidence.

M'GRATH, who reserved his defence was then committed to the assizes for trial, the charges being identical in form to those in the Town Hall case. He was immediately removed from the dock and followed downstairs by his mother and brother, persons of very respectable appearance belonging it is said, to St Helens, who had obtained the magistrates permission to have an interview with him.



About half an hour after their committal the prisoners were removed from the main bridewell to Walton gaol. The authorities had no reason for alarm, or to apprehend there would be an attempt at a rescue, but Major GREIG and Mr WILLIAMS thought it prudent to take the same precautions as had been observed before. The prison van in which the prisoners were taken from Cheapside to Walton was carefully guarded, and was preceded and followed by cabs occupied by armed officers. The route taken was different from that usually followed by the vans when carrying prisoners from the bridewell to Walton gaol. The whole thing was very quietly done, and there were a few people present to watch the departure of the accused. Liverpool Mercury, Aug 3rd, 1881

James M'GRATH, aged 31 and James M'KEVITT, aged 30, described as sailors, were tried at the Liverpool Assizes, yesterday for the outrages at the Town Hall on the 10th June. Extraordinary precautions were taken by the police and intense interest was manifested in the proceedings. At 5 o' clock the jury retired, returning in 10 minutes with a verdict of guilty against the prisoners on the first count of the indictment, "for having feloniously, unlawfully and maliciously placed near the Town Hall a certain explosive substance, with intent to damage the said building" Sentence was deferred and a new jury was empanelled to try the second charge against M'GRATH, of having, by an explosion of gunpowder, unlawfully and maliciously damaged the police section house in Hatton Garden on the 16th May. The jury found the prisoner guilty as an accessory before the fact. Mr Justice LOPES, sentenced M'GRATH to penal servitude for life, and M'KEVITT to penal servitude for 15 years.


Liverpool Mercury, August 10, 1881

The Watch Committee has decided to recommend the Liverpool Council to grant the following rewards, out of the borough fund to the policemen and detectives concerned in the capture and conviction of the Fenians M'Grath and M'Kevitt for the outrages at the Town Hall and police station, £50 each to Constables George READE [712] and Peter CASEY [553], £25 each to Constables Edward CREIGHTON [884], George M'BURNEY [898] and Donald SINCLAIR [924], and £10 each to inspectors Stephen BOYES and George MARSH.

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