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life span was 61 years*
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Sentenced to Life
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Robyn Everist on 17th July, 2019 wrote:
Information Courtesy of Female Convicts Research Centre - Keith Searson
THE EXECUTION OF SAMUEL CRUMMER
The extreme sentence of the law was carried into effect on Friday last sat Lifford , on Samuel Crummer who had been found guilty at the late assizes for the county of Donegal, of the murder of his father, near, Ardara, in that county. His wife Peggy Crummer had also been convicted together with him, of the same offence, but the prerogative of mercy was exercised in her favour by the Lord Lieutenant, and her punishment commuted to transportation for life. The evidence against both was circumstantial, but it was so conclusive that a most intelligent Jury returned the verdict without hesitation, and the wretched parricide made no protestation of his innocence upon his conviction. Since then his demeanour has been that of a solid, illiterate man, who appeared to be quite insensible to the awful situation in which he was placed; but he has recently been heard to declare that his wife could prove that he was innocent, and that some members of her family were the perpetrators of the horrible and barbarous murder for which he was doomed to suffer. No sympathy was manifested for him, so fully persuaded were his neighbours and the public at large that he had committed the crime; and the circumstance of his intended execution excited so slight a sensation, although fourteen or fifteen years have elapsed since a similar event took place in the county of Donegal, that not more than three or four hundred persons were assembled at 1`1 o’clock, the hour at which it was expected to occur, and the entire concourse present at twelve o’clock did not exceed a thousand persons, a large proportion of them being boys, and ( we are happy to say, for the honour of the sex) very few females.
At twenty minutes before twelve, a strong party of constabulary, and sixty men of the 38th depot, were marched to the open space in front of Lifford Gaol, forming a semicircle, to prevent the crowd from approaching the building, and the fatal rope was seen attached to the metal bar above the drop. As the Sub Sheriff had been instructed not to admit strangers to the prison, we cannot describe the particulars of what happened within its precincts, but we learned subsequently that Crummer partook of breakfast with an apparent appetite, at 11 o’clock, and that he exhibited no trepidation as the time drew nigh for his execution. While the hangman was putting a large white garment over his ordinary dress and pinioning his arms, he repeated loud “ Lord have mercy on my soul” and before he was conducted to the scaffold he shook hands with the sheriff and officers of the prison, to whom he returned thanks for their conduct towards him during his incarceration.
At 12 o’clock precisely he was led out on the drop in front of the gaol, stepping with a cautious but firm tread on the iron grating. A thrill of horror ran through the multitude, a murmur, not for pity but of awe was heard as he appeared. It was a spectacle that might will appal the stoutest heart, to behold a man of colossal proportions, in full health and vigour, and who had scarcely yet arrived at the meridian of life, and to know that in another minute or two he would be launched into eternity. He was six feet two in height and but thirty two years of age, although an imprisonment of more than twelve months, and the ghostly habiliments he wore, made him look several years older. But if anything could heighten the awfulness of the scene, it was the statement he made on the occasion. The executioner having adjusted the rope, the culprit proceeded to address the crowd in a load voice,m and in a firm and collected manner – “Gentlemen and ladies,” said the wretched man, “I am going to inform you that I am about to die, and I wish to tell you that I am innocent, and that I never lifted hand or foot to my poor father, nor would I do it, but——————————, of Ardara, swore my life away for a little money in these hard times. I leave my blessing to my children and all my friends, and I forgive all as I hope to get forgiveness myself.” We were unable to catch the name of the individual to whom he alluded as having sworn away his life, owing to the screams of a female of weak intellect in a distant part of the crowd, who cried and gesticulated violently while the prisoner was speaking. The wretched man repeated some of the foregoing observations two or three times, as if he had been endeavouring to express something which he had committed to memory, or in which he had been previously instructed, and not the sentiments that occurred to him at the moment. The executioner, who was brought from Dublin for the purpose, then drew the white cap over his face, when he remonstrated, and, turning towards the door, through which he had walked to the drop, he asked to see the Governor of the Gaol. The Roman Catholic priests who attend to prepare him for death, the Rev. Mr McGeoghegan, were standing at the door and the latter addressed some words to him in Irish, when Mr Fenton, the Governor, told him that it was usual to have the face covered, the Priests desired him to be resigned, and one of them patted him repeatedly on the shoulder. Crummer then stood erect on the platform, with his front toward the street and after a few seconds, which seemed to be passed in prayer, the bolt was drawn, and almost instantaneously life appeared to have left him. There was one convulsive movement of his arms after he fell, but it was only a moment, and then he hung motionless. One of the Policemen on duty was so much affected at the dreadful spectacle that he was led away in an almost fainting state. After the body had been suspended for three quarters of an hour, it was lowered and deposited in a coffin by the hangman, and immediately afterwards it was interred within the precincts of the prison.
The wretched man was asked on Thursday whether he wished to see his wife, but he replied that he did not, remarking that she had been a bad wife for him. Crummer, it will be recollected, was in his earlier years nominally a Protestant, but he contracted a marriage in opposition to his father’s wish with his partner in guilt, who was a Roman Catholic, and when doing so had to conform to the religion she professed. The old man continued to live with them, but he threatened that he would not leave them his farm on his demise, and in consequence they quarrelled among themselves; and it has been stated that Peggy Crummer beat her father-in-law, and, in order to obtain possession of the few acres of land he held, it is believed that she and her husband perpetrated the murder. Little as was the compassion evinced for the man who forfeited his life yesterday on the scaffold, it is reported that still less is felt for his wife. Al all events, the awful tragedy should teach two lessons, namely, the evil of ill-assorted marriages, and the danger and pernicious results of covetousness. Mixed marriages have been the fruitful source of discord and crime in Ireland, yet we find the Romish clergy doing all they can to promote them, in order to gain proselytes to their religious system: and when they have gained them, instead of teaching their converts to look for salvation where alone it can be found, in the blood of the Divine Saviour, and to invoke his mediation who is the only mediator between God and man, their fill their minds with “strong delusion” instructing them to offer their prayers to fallible beings, and probably send them before the Sovereign Judge of all with “ a lie in their right hand”. How rarely do we hear of a culprit who has been under the guidance of a Romish priest publicly acknowledging his guilt at the hour of death, and though not a shadow of doubt can be entertained that he wither perpetrated the offence for which he is to suffer, or was accessory to it, yet he passes into eternity at peace with himself, as if it mattered not whether be spoke truth or falsehood at that awful crisis, and imputing in his dying moments, to those who are charged with executing the behests of the law, the crime of judicial murder.
(Taken from Tyrone Constitution 7 May 1847)
Convict Changes History
Robyn Everist on 17th July, 2019 made the following changes:
convicted at, term: 99 years, voyage, source: Female Convicts Research Centre
https://femaleconvicts.org.au/ (prev. ), firstname: Peggy, surname: Crummer, alias1: Margaret, alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1816, date of death: 0000, gender: f,