Reported On This Day 280 Years Ago (Dec 23 1738): Hackney chairs for Dublin; Woods for sale Co Down; Thief tricks priest

The front page of the third surviving Belfast News Letter, dated December 12 1738 (December 23 modern calendar)
The front page of the third surviving Belfast News Letter, dated December 12 1738 (December 23 modern calendar)

From the third surviving Belfast News Letter of December 12 1738 (December 23 in the modern calendar). The paper was founded a year earlier, in September 1737 but all the earliest papers are lost:


There will be three of four Hackney Chairs this Week in Town from Dublin; therefore if any Persons intend for Dublin they may have a good Opportunity of the returning Chairs.

THAT the Woods growing on the Lands of Listooder and Ballydian, in the Parish of Kilmore, in the County of Down, within six miles off Downpatrick, one off Clogh, six off Killyleagh, and ten off Lisburn, consisting of Oak, Ash, Elder and Birch, will be sold by publick Cant, to the highest Bidder, on Tuesday, the second of January next, at the House of John McBroom, in the said Parish. Any Persons, who incline to purchase, may have what Information they think proper, by John Killing, who is to be found at Listooder aforesaid.

N.B. Whoever proposes to buy, must be provided with proper Securities


On Thursday last before Day, there was a great Thunder and Lightning near Dublin.

We hear, by letters from Rosscrea, that a fellow dressed like a Beggar, went to the Priest of that Parish in the Evening, and asked Charity, which the Priest very readily gave. The Beggar then asked leave to lye with him, as it was late, and the Gentleman ordered a Bed of clean Straw to be made for him in a Barn; but the Mendicant said, he was afraid of Spirits, and begged leave to be in the House, to which his generous Benefactor readily consented.

The supposed Beggar had not been long in his Chamber, when the Maid of the House saw him undressing himself, and saw him lay two Pistols on the Table. The Servant acquainted her Master with what she saw, and told her Suspicions to him, that this Fellow must be a Robber, upon which he sent her to a neighbouring Protestant Gentleman, who was so kind as to bring Arms with him. When the Vagabond Beggar, imagined that all were asleep, he went to the Priest’s Chamber, demanded the Key of his Chest, and to tell where his Money lay. The Priest gave the Key, the Robber went to take the Money, and while he was searching the Chest, the Gentleman shot him thro’ the back; and the Rogue expired immediately.

The Noise of the Pistol alarmed four Villains, which were waiting without to share the Plunder, who broke into the House, in Order to Murder the Family, and as they were endeavouring to break open the Door, the Gentleman fired a Blunderbuss, which wounded them all in a terrible Manner; and we hear that some of them are dead; and we hope the others will soon be taken.

LONDON Nov. 23, 25, 28, 30.

From Hanover, ‘21st Inst. That they’ve forbid, on Pain of Death, Persons coming from Places suspected of the Plague from entering their Dominions without performing a strict Quarantine.

[The Great (bubonic) Plague of 1738 killed tens of thousands of people in areas that would now be in Romania, Hungary and Ukraine]