Reported 280 years ago (Feb 3 1739): Man kills parents; House for sale Antrim; Military leader dies

Front page January 23 1738 Belfast News Letter. The edition is in bad condition, which sections missing. The paper is equivalent to February 3 2019 in the modern calendar
Front page January 23 1738 Belfast News Letter. The edition is in bad condition, which sections missing. The paper is equivalent to February 3 2019 in the modern calendar

From the sixth surviving Belfast News Letter, Jan 23 1738, Feb 3 1739 in today’s calendar. As the pic shows, right, parts of the paper are damaged and lost, hence the uncertainty as to much of the wording:

By Letters from Dorsetshire, we received the following very melancholly Relation, That one Sunday in Dec. one Geo. Bezant, a Labourer of Kingston, under Woodbury-Hill in that County, went from his Father’s House about Ten in the Morning, pretending to go to Church, but instead thereof he went to an Alehouse, where he staid till Church was over, and then went home, and found his Father and Mother at Dinner; his Mother perceiving he had not been at Church, reproved him for it, and thereupon he stabb’d her in the left Breast, and in the Back; after which he cut his Father’s Throat; the poor old Man run out of the House and his Wife after him, for Help to stop the Bleeding at the Throat, which was no sooner done, but the Blood burst out of his Mouth, and he died immediately, at which Instant his Wife drop’d down by him. The Neighbours coming to their Assistance carried the Woman up Stairs, but she expir’d soon after; they immediately seized the Villainous Parricide, and he is now in Dorchester Goal for the same.

[The opening lines of this tragic report, before the second ‘Church’, are missing, but we know them from an identical report in a 1739 English journal]


ON Thursday, the first Day of February next, at the House of GEORGE SHAW in Tobergill, in the Parish of Donagore, will be SOLD by Publick Cant, for READY MONEY, by Thomas Benjamin Adair, Surviving Trustee for the Children of John [surname unclear], late of [location unclear, short word begins with D], deceas’d Horses, Mares, Black Cattle, Hay, and Household Furniture. Said Cant will begin exactly at Nine of the Clock in the Forenoon.
Dated the 12th Day of January, 1738-9.

[This refers to Co Antrim. If you can fill gaps above, call 028 9089 7713 or email]

DUBLIN, Jan. 20.

[words missing] died suddenly at his House at St. Stephen’s Greene, the Right Hon. Lieut. Gen. Thomas [words missing] and Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s land forces in this Kingdom, Col. of the [words missing] Regiment of Horse, Lieut. Gen [missing] , Governor of the City of Limerick [missing] member of Parliament for the [section missing] taking of Vigo with the [missing] where he received a [missing] he always complained [section missing] last War in Spain and Poland [missing] with the greatest Reputation [missing] he perfectly understood [missing] always behaved as a great Soldier [missing] He enter’d early into [missing], infantry, being an Engsign the [missing] 168, Capt, Lieut. and Cap [missing] 1690, Lieut Col 1694. Colonel the 10th April [missing] Brigadier [missing] 1706, Major General 1709 and [missing]

[Around half of this report is missing but there are tantalising clues as to the lost sections. It is clearly a glowing account of the life of General Thomas Pearce, who was born in 1670 and fought in the War of Spanish Succession and other conflicts in the early 1700s. The missing reference to 1690 seems to be a promotion that year. Mention of that year, however, is a reminder that older News Letter readers, aged 60+ in 1739, would have remembered the Williamite war including the Battle of the Boyne]