Part 772h – Brunhammer Doherty Genealogy – The Mystery of GG-Grandfather Audley Holmes – 1855 – The Plot Thickens

30 September 2012

Good Day,

Researching one's genealogy requires me to constantly be looking up words and phrases. Words and phrases from the past, and try to understand exactly how they were used in context, and exactly what did those words and phrases mean at the time when they were used. I have to remember that I have to not attempt to use them in today's context and vernacular. My argument is that there could always be, in some cases a different meaning at a different time and age.

The three phrases and words, without being of a legal mindset, are “Habeas Corpus”, "remanded" and “Court of Oyer and Termiuer”. Both these phrases are used in the article that was next found revolving around the case of the murder of gg-grandfather Audley Holmes.

HABEAS CORPUS - A Latin term meaning "you have the body," refers to the right of every prisoner to challenge the terms of his or her incarceration in court before a judge.

REMANDED - To send back or recommit. When a prisoner is brought before a judge on a habeas corpus for the purpose of obtaining his liberty, the judge hears the case and either discharges him or not; when there is cause for his detention, he remands him.

OYER AND TERMINER - The name of a court authorized to hear and determine all treasons, felonies and misdemeanors; and, generally, invested with other power in relation to the punishment of offenders.

Well that is our legal lesson for today.

The 24 January 1855 edition of The Luzerne Union published on Page 2 a short article titled “Habeas Corpus Case”. The article refers to the fact that The Cook, “Margaret Burk” has been in jail for some time “on the charge of being concerned in the alledged murder of Adley Holmes...” (Note the different spelling of gg-grandfather Audley's name.)

The short article basically states and implies that she, Margaret Burk has been in jail since gg-grandfather Audley's body was discovered and she was arrested. The judge looked at the “facts and attending circumstances”. He then “remanded the Prisoner for trial at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer.

And then, something you do not see in the Media as much these days, the reporter continues “It is not proper at this time to any of the testimony.

Here is my highlighted image of the article from The Luzerne Union.


And my transcription -

The Luzerne Union
Page 2
24 January 1855


Habeas Corpus Case

The woman, Margaret Burk, who has been
in jail for some time on the charge of being
concerned in the alledged murder of Adley
Holmes, who, it will be remembered, was
found under the Bridge on the ice, one morning
in the early part of the winter; was brought
up yesterday on a Habeas Corpus before his
Honor John N. Conyngham. Nearly the whole
day was consumed in the examination of wit-
nesses. After a full investigation into all the
main facts and attending circumstances, the
Judge remanded the Prisoner for trial at the
next Court of Oyer and Terminer. It is not
proper a this time to give any of the testi-
mony. District Attorney Brundage and Wood-
ward represented the State. Ketchum and C,
E. Wright the Defence.

Stay tuned for the next installment. Will Margaret Burk(e) be found guilty? Who knows?

Enjoy,

Jim

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