Letter written by Sam Neale, Newington, in intercession for the life of John Laughlin

Dear Sir,

the bearer of this letter is wife to an unfortunate man, of the name of Laughlin, now under sentence of death in Naas goal, she informed me that his sentence would be mitigated to Transportation provided he could produce a letter , on his behalf, from some gentleman in this neighbourhood, & that it was (my?) desire it should be done. I take the liberty of informing you , that I am well acquainted with several of his relations, whom I know to be very honest industrious people, he formerly resided with them, & from what I knew of him at that time, he maintained the character of an honest man, latterly he mostly lived in the Kings County, during which time I knew little about him.

I find he was not active in the rebellion, being then in confinement. I believe he is as well entitled to levity as many others; & therefore beg leave, you will permit me to solicit you on his behalf, it will be the means of preserving a poor unfortunate wretch from certain destruction, and perhaps he may yet, prove himself a useful member of society,

I am Sir with great respect,

most Sincerely,

Sam Neale

Newington 22nd Nov. 1798



The Petition of Margaret Laughlin, Wife Of John Laughlin formerly of Drinnanstown, County Kildare Farmer a poor unfortunate prisoner now under sentence in Naas Goal

To his Lordship The Lord Lieuten.t of Ireland

Petitioner most humbly showeth,

THAT your poor unfortunate petitioner’s said husband John Laughlin has been in confinement upwards of half a year and during that time Petitioner and family have experienced misfortunes and hardship which are far beyond any written or other Verbal Expression whatever.

THAT the said John Laughlin is perfectly innocent of the crime laid to his charge, and could long ago (if permitted which he would not be) have proved it, but through his innocence and want of knowledge in matters of the kind was found guilty, and has been unfortunately obliged to abide by the subsequent consequences, which your Petitioner humbly shews unto your Lordship are attended with additional Grievance, as a man charged with the same crime as Laughlin, and as a Party therin, was acquitted before the court and jury, merely because he had money and interest ( two of the most essential acquisitions in cases of the kind) to assist his acquittal.

Petitioner therefore humbly & most earnestly prays your Lordship to intercede in this most unfortunate business and through your Lordships well known Tenderness and & Humanity, hopes you will permit him to enlist or otherwise dispose of him in such manner as your Lordship may think proper so as that his innocent Life may at all Events be spared-----

And Your Petitioner will pray.......