Byrnes’s text: #123 Ellen Darrigan / #180 William Darrigan

Link to REVISED entry for #123 Ellen Darrigan and #180 William Darrigan

From Byrnes’s text:


DESCRIPTION. Thirty-three years old in 1886. Born in England. Married. Housekeeper. Medium build. Height, 5 feet 4 1/2 inches. Weight, about 135 pounds. Red hair, hazel eyes, light complexion. Her nose has been broken.

RECORD. Ellen Darrigan is a well known New York shoplifter. It is claimed that she has been married three times, first to Jerry Dunn, next to John Mahaney, alias Jack Shepperd (62). He is a thief who gained considerable notoriety on account of escaping from a number of State prisons and penitentiaries. Billy Darrigan (180), the lady’s third spouse, is an old New York thief, whose picture is in several Rogues’ Galleries throughout the United States. Mrs. Darrigan was considered a pretty woman until Billy broke her nose in December, 1875. She is well known as Ellen Matthews.

Ellen was arrested in New York City on December 13, 1875, for shoplifting, and was sentenced to four years in State prison. She has served terms in several other cities since.

She finally fell into the hands of the police again on April 1, 1885, with Margaret Bell, another notorious shoplifter. They were arrested after leaving Altman’s dry goods store, on Sixth Avenue, New York City, taken to police headquarters, and searched. Nothing was found on Mrs. Bell, but a large pocket (“kick”) in Mrs. Darrigan’s skirt contained a piece of beaded cloth, valued at $50, the property of James A. Hearn & Son, No. 30 West Fourteenth Street, New York. In this case they were both tried in the Court of Special Sessions, in the Tombs prison, New York, on April 9, 1885. Mrs. Bell was discharged, and Mrs. Darrigan was convicted and sentenced to five months in the penitentiary on Blackwell’s Island, by Justice Kilbreth, the presiding magistrate.

Her picture is an excellent one, taken in 1875.

WILLIAM DARRIGAN, alias BILLY DERRIGAN, alias Wilson, alias Drake. PICKPOCKET. DESCRIPTION. Thirty-eight years old in 1886. Born in New York. Married. No trade. Stout build. Height, 5 feet 6 inches. Weight, 150 pounds. Dark hair, brown eyes, dark complexion. A short, thick-set, saucy fellow.

RECORD. Billy, or Hugh, Darrigan is a well known New York pickpocket. He was an associate of Jersey Jimmie (145), Combo (148), Shinny McGuire (155), Freddie Louther (161), and Johnny Price (150). He has spent the best portion of his life in State prisons and penitentiaries all over the United States. Some years ago he was considered a very clever man, but he cannot be relied upon now on account of his love for liquor. The “clever” ones shun him, as he is what is termed a “marker” — one known by everybody. He is very well known in all the large cities, also in Canada.

He was arrested in New York City on February 21, 1872, for picking pockets, and sentenced to four years in Sing Sing prison, under the name of Hugh Derrigan, by Recorder Hackett, on March 4, 1872.

He was arrested again in New York City on the night of October 20, 1880, for the larceny of a gold watch and chain from John H. Ford, in Tammany Hall. He pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to one year and six months in Sing Sing prison, under the name of William Davis, by Judge Cowing, in the Court of General Sessions, on November 10, 1880. His picture is a good one.

He was arrested again in New York City charged with robbery, but the District Attorney accepted a plea to assault, and he was sentenced to one year in the penitentiary, on October 1, 1890, from the Court of General Sessions.