The Marcus Annesleys

 of Castlewellan

Maghera Inn (Newsons Public House)

The claim that "Murder at Maghera is entirely factual" (see below) is incorrect. It is based on newspaper articles that only reported the evidence of the prosecution and as can be seen from different reports were highly inaccurate, subjective and biased. eg. The Northern Wig could not get it correct the second time.





The heading "Murder at Maghera" is wrong and is contradicted by the court verdict in the same article.

The defence evidence (see below) is not included in the Maghera Inn account. This evidence was obviously accepted by the court to reach a verdict of manslaughter and not murder.

Working as a body guard on the night of the incident gave Marcus a reason to carry a gun.The Catholic account An Historical Account of Down and Connor (large download) and Parliamentary Papers outline the tensions that existed in Maghera at that time.

Marcus was an Orangeman and member of The Church of Ireland and likely held prejudices towards Catholics. However, to simply walk into a pub and shoot someone without any provocation (as depicted in the Maghera Inn account) does not agree with the outcome of the court.

Lord William Annesly is a relative. He was the son of Earl Richard Annesley who was brother of Hon. Marcus, Marcus' grandfather. This makes him a second cousin. Lord Annesley, an Anglo-Irish noble, British Member of Parliament and Member of the Church of Ireland would have dissowned Marcus to distance himself from the potential outbreak of war. The Church of Ireland was paid Catholic Tithes from 1831-1838. Westminster granted Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and Roman Catholics were free to take seats as MPs. More recent meetings between the Annesley family in New Zealand (descended from David Annesley) and the family in Castlewellan have confirmed this connection.

Mary Chambers and four children were not left behind but arrived in Sydney shortly after Marcus. Lord Annesley or Lord Roden may have been involved in the secret passage of Mary and the rest of the family to Australia. Gone and forgotten! Mary and the children traveled under the name Chambers as steerage passengers on the ship Mail arriving in Sydney 2 December 1842. Although Marcus died three years after arriving in Australia, Mary lived into her eighties and died in Sydney 1888.

Marcus Annesley did not go to prison in Australia but worked for the Attorney General and lived with his family. He had another son, David, born 1835 in Australia. Marcus and Mary were quite well educated for the time as were their children and grandchildren. Their eldest daughter Anna Maria married a Catholic in Australia in 1852 and brought her children up as Catholic. Sectarianism had finally faded in Australia by this time.

Note: The authors of this site are catholics and do not condone the actions of Marcus Annesley but simply wish to keep the record straight and unbiased. We would prefer to see a unified Ireland free from the prejudices of the past.

Evidence not mentioned in the above article.

Newry Telegraph 29 March 1832


The following report in the Northhamton Mercury is so wrong it sounds like an entirely different case.

The Northern Wig 1832