The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London, 11 April 1872

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London, 11 April 1872

Sixth Session, 1871-72, p.444

OLD COURT. Before Mr. Baron Cleasby.

ARTHUR O’CONNOR, Royal Offences > treason, 8th April 1872.


352. ARTHUR O’CONNOR (18), was indicted for unlawfully presenting a pistol to the person of Our Lady the Queen, with intent to alarm her. Other Counts varied the form of the charge.

To this indictment the prisoner PLEADED GUILTY on Tuesday before the COMMON SERJEANT.
MR. HUME WILLIAMS, instructed by the prisoner’s friends, now applied that the plea might be withdrawn, as he was prepared with evidence to show that the prisoner was of unsound mind.

After some argument as to the course to be taken, the ATTORNEY-GENERAL, on behalf of the Crown, stating that he did not wish to interpose any technical objection to the reception of such evidence, the Jury were sworn to try “whether the prisoner is now of sound mind and understanding or not,” the plea remaining on the record.

GEORGE O’CONNOR and CATHERINE O’CONNOR, the prisoner’s parents, DR. HARRINGTON TUKE, DR. JAMES THOMPSON SABBEN, and MR. HENRY SMITH, of King’s College Hospital, were then called by MR. HUME WILLIAMS; and MR. JOHN ROWLAND GIBSON, Surgeon of Newgate, at the suggestion of the Court, and examined as to the state of the prisoner’s mind. After hearing their evidence, the Jury found “that the prisoner was perfectly sane when he pleaded guilty to the indictment, and perfectly sane now.

He was then sentenced to One Year’s Imprisonment and Twenty Strokes with a Birch Rod.