The Infamous Mrs McClutchy

The first mention of Mrs McClutchy in the newspapers was The Cornwall Chronicle of 26 September 1846.  The police reports for Morven idicated “Michael McCasey, ticket-of-leave, was charged with being drunk and assaulting Constable Fullerton in the execution of his duty. Mr. McCasey had taken it upon himself to visit the house of a Mrs. McClutchy, where persons of loose character have an opportunity of enjoying themselves when not interrupted by the ‘ traps,’ and considering that none had a right to call him to account for such irregularity, he exercised his pugilistic powers on the cranium of Constable Fullerton, for daring to say that he had no right to be drunk in such a place as Mrs. M’Clutchy’s highly respectable lodging house.

The prisoner, not being able to convince his Worship that he was so pure as he pretended to be, was sentenced to exercise himself on the roads for three months.

Less than a month later, the Police Office report stated “Murray v. McClutchy.— This was an information of the Chief District Constable, against Mrs. McClutchy, the keeper of a house of ill-fame, for harbouring a female absconded offender. The Defendant in this case is a. character so well known, and the disreputable company frequenting her house, having been the subject of complaint by many of the neighbours, the Bench fined her in the penalty of five pounds and costs.

Not to be curtailed, Mrs McCluthchy was again in trouble in December 1846 when The Cornwall Chronicle reported “MORVEN. Police Office. December 12.— Mrs. McClutchy again.— Murrey v. Thompson.— This was an information against a man named Thompson, the reputed husband of Mrs. McClutchy of lodging-house notoriety, for harbouring a female transported offender illegally at large, etc.

Constable Ward accompanied the Chief District Constable to the house which was kept by defendant and Mrs. McClutchy; defendant was there, and assisted to conceal the female in question; on searching the house however, she was found concealed under the bed, which a man named Foley was occupying; it was between 9 and 10 o’clock on the night of the 5th instant; the woman’s name was Hannah Pearson; she was a transported offender illegally at large.

Hannah Pearson confirmed the evidence of the last witness, and stated that defendant had supplied her with rum; she was at that time illegally at large, and for which she had been sentenced to one month’s imprisonment. The defendant prayed the Bench to be as lenient as possible, but he being a well-known character, was fined in the sum of twenty pounds and costs and in default of payment, has since been committed to gaol. Mrs. McClutchy has also been served with a summons for the same offence, but to the joy of her neighbours, she has made her exit, bag and baggage.