FIFESHIRE JOURNAL THURSDAY 30 JANUARY 1845
On Friday last, about dusk, three Irishmen entered the Gillanderson toll-house, between Cairneyhill and Torryburn, which is licensed to sell spirits and ales, and called for a bottle of ale, which was given them.
Sometime after they called for a gill, but the mistress of the house refusing to give any more unless they paid for what was in, one of the men struck her a severe blow between the shoulders and the neck. She cried for assistance; her husband was not at home, but happily Dr Wilson, Torryburn, came in, and also a number of labourers.
While the Doctor attended to the woman, the labourers secured the fellows. Fortunately young Dr Dewar came up at the time; he encouraged the labourers to secure the Irishmen, and told them he would soon send them assistance. He then rode off, and immediately lodged information with Mr Bell, the inspector of police for the western district, who, accompanied by Sergeant Simpson, was soon at the spot, when they handcuffed the villains and marched them to the jail here, where they are safely lodged.
Mr Bell recognised two of them to be very bad characters -about an hour previous to this assault the same individuals went into Mr Stevenson’s, Crossford, and called for a gill and a bottle of small beer, which they paid; they requested another gill, which was refused as they seemed the worse of liquor. They then requested Mrs Stevenson to make ready some ham which they had with them, which she did. She would not give them bread without it was paid for; they said they had no money, and continued demanding it in the rudest manner, and had not some men interfered who were in the house they would have forced her to comply. After the men interfered, they devoured their ham without bread in the most voracious manner, and one of them chewed the paper in which the ham had been rolled up.