Lieutenant Kirwan Stabbing, 1845

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A serious accident occurred at Hounslow barracks on Sunday evening. Lieutenant-Colonel Harcourt Masters of the the Light Dragoons gave an entertainment to his brother officers in celebration of his recent promotion from the rank of major. After dinner the officers generally amused themselves with wrestling, and eventually with fencing, and Quarter-master Tarleton received a wound in the side from the sword of Lieutenant Kirwan. The surgeons of the Regiment immediately attended the wounded officer who was considered to be in a precarious state.

Lieutenant Kirwan was next day, by the military authorities at the Horse Quarters placed under arrest. Quartermaster Tarleton’s deposition was taken in writing by a magistrate and afterwards, the evidence of Mr. Frogley, the surgeon as to the nature of the wound and the state of the wounded man. A warrant was then issued for the apprehension of Lieutenant Martin Kirwan on a charge of cutting and wounding. Mr. Frogley, the surgeon, informed the local magistrates that he was unable to pronounce the wounded officer out of danger. Lieutenant-Colonel Daly expressed his readiness to enter into any amount of bail for the appearance of Lieutenant Kirwan. The Bench said the charge was of so serious a nature that they could not take bail, and it was their duty to remand the prisoner to Tothill-fields Bridewell until the fate of Quartermaster Tarleton can be ascertained. The prisoner accompanied by some of the officers of the regiment was then removed by a police officer in a fly to Tothill-fields Bridewell.

From a source on which reliance may be placed the following version of the occurrence has been obtained : – During the entertainment given to the officers on the evening of Sunday, between eleven and twelve o’clock, some words arose between Lieut. Kirwan and another officer, when Lieut. Kirwan left the room in a great passion, declaring he would cross swords with the officer who had offended him. Quarer master Tarleton followed him to his room, and endeavoured to prevent him leaving his apartment with a drawn sword in his hand, when by some means the unfortunate occurrence took place. Lieut. Kirwan was intoxicated at the time, and during some wrestling which took place after dinner, had been thrown twice with great violence on his head. The officer between whom and Lieut. Kirwan the disagreement had taken place was Captain T. Fane of the same regiment. Quarter-master Tarleton is a married man and has a family of three children. His father was Quartermaster of the 18th Light Dragoons for many years. He has since been declared out of danger and Lieutenant Kirwan has been admitted to bail.

Taken from : The King’s Co. Chronicle
Vol. 1 No. 3
Wednesday, Oct 6th, 1845

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