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Tully Castle, 1641
Tully Castle 1641

The Island Magee Massacre

James Mitchel, of island Magee, sworn and examined, saith, that this deponent being at Ballycorry on the sabbath day, about sermon time in the afternoon, on which day the Irish of the island Magee were murdered, when there was a great confluence of Scotch-men, met together at the said village of Ballycorry, from the county of Tyrone, from beyond the Bann water and from Ballymena, all strangers to this examt., who, as this examt. heard generally reported there, gave out that they had a warrant from the king to murder all the Irish, and that they would kill any man who would save and protect the Irish. And that this examt. meeting on his way home with one William Graham told him he, this examt., was afraid all their Irish neighbours would be killed that night, for that he heard the same at Ballycorry. And this examinant further saith, that he heard that the said party, at the town of Ballycorry, did threaten that they would kill Doctor Colville, because he would not show unto them the warrant for the execution of the Irish.

And this examt. also saith, that on the next morning after the said massacre, he went into the house of Eiver Magee, who, with his family, was on that Sunday night murdered, and saw John Marshall, now prisoner in the town of Carrickfergus, coming out of the house, with bloody brackens, and clothes hanging on a staff, which he carried on his shoulder, whereupon he, this examt., told him, the said John Marshall, that it had been fitter for him to bury the dead, than to take away any of the murdered person’s clothes, who, making no answer, went unto his own house with the said clothes. And this examt. saith that he believes that the said John Marshall was a man apt to do mischief, for that within a short time after he, the said John Marshall, gave to one Thomas Russell, of Ballymenagh, a bottle of beer, for to kill one Janet McFarlane, a widow, in the island of Magee, because she demanded of the said Marshall some money, which he owed her, as this examt. was credibly informed; and it was generally reported in the country that the said Russell did thereupon murder the said woman according to the said Marshall’s desire. And this examt. saith he knoweth not of any other persons other than these herein specified that were actors or accessories in the said massacres, and further saith not.

The actors in this massacre, this examt. saith, for the most part are since that time dead, or slain as he heard, and as for such of them as survive, this examt. remembers not their names. And this examt. saith, after the said rebels did pillage and plunder the said castle, they did burn it on the day and year aforesaid. And further this examt. deposeth not anything material.

The Mark of J.M. JAMES   X   MITCHELL..      

Taken before us, 1st June, 1653,

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