QUEENSLAND TIMES, IPSWICH HERALD AND GENERAL ADVERTISER
28TH MAY, 1864 P4
ORIGIN OF LYNCH LAW
The office of Warden of Galway has become memorable in the literary world since Maturin dramatised the story of the rigid justice administered by Warden Lynch in ordering the execution of his son, in the year 1500. Hardiman, in his History of Galway, gives the particulars at length, which are shortly as follows:-
Warden Fitzstephen Lynch formed a friendship with Gomez, a rich merchant of Cadiz, and had his son, a youth of nineteen, with him on a visit. The Warden’s only son, two years older than young Gomez, and the Spaniard were constant companions and friends. Young Lynch became attached to Agnes, the daughter of a neighbouring merchant, but she preferred Gomez. Lynch, maddened by jealousy, stabbed his friend with a pinnard on the brink of the sea, and hurled the body into the sea. Immediately repentance came, he accused himself of murder, and was conducted to prison.
His own father sat as magistrate in judgment upon him, and from his lips sentence of death was pronounced. The populace became tumultuous, and mediated a rescue, when so rigid was the magistrate in the administration of justice, and so exalted his virtue, that on the night before the day appointed for the execution he embraced his son, led him out, and had him executed from a window!
The house still stands in Lombard street, which is yet known by the name of the “Dead Man’s Lane.” Over the window may be seen, carved in black marble, the representation of a human skull with two bones crossed underneath, and is “supposed,” says Hardiman, “to have been put up by some of his family as a public memorial.” This house is always an object of interest to the tourist, and the first to which his attention is directed by his guide in Galway.