Death of Old McNulty – 88th (Connaught Rangers) Regiment of Foot

John McNulty - The Irish Attorney General

JOHN MCNULTY was born c 1788 in the parish of Aglass/Aglish, in or near the town Castlebar, Mayo according to Soldiers Documents held at Kew. These show that he served in the 88th Regiment of Foot from 1806 to 1815, and in the 68th Regiment of Foot from 1817 to 1823.  He received a medical discharge from an injury he received in service in 1821, in addition he received a gunshot wound in his left shoulder whilst fighting in the battle of Badajoz on 6th April 1812.

88th (Connaught Rangers) Regiment of Foot.

He was married to Bridget, her maiden name is unknown, and they had at least eight children, namely William born circa 1819 in Mayo, Margaret born c 1820 in Mayo (married EDWARD MCHALE), James born c 1821, Dennis born c 1823, Bridget born circa 1824 in Ireland, Catherine born c 1832 in Ireland, John born c 1833 in Ireland and Mary Ann born circa 1833 in Roscommon, Ireland.

The eldest son, William who was married to BRIDGET MULDERIG, was a Travelling Spectacle Salesman and in the early 1840’s was travelling in Wales when their first child, Mary Ann, was born in Wrexham in 1841.   The family then settled in Wrexham and a couple of years later, John and Bridget McNulty and their children, together with their spouses and in some cases their in-laws all settled in Wrexham.

John became a well-known character in the town.  It seems that he was regularly in the local court and acted as a go-between between the judiciary and the many Gaelic speaking Irish applicants and miscreants, translating for them and helping them to understand the court procedures.  For this he became known in Wrexham as the “Irish Attorney General”.

He clearly liked the sound of his own voice as his offerings at public meetings were reported in the local newspapers and he took the chair at other meetings.  There was a lot of bickering and fighting amongst the Irish community and John was not backward in bringing cases to court himself.

When he died in 1870 an inquest was held which was reported in the local newspaper, with the headline of “Death of Old McNulty” and he was described as a “curious old character entertaining many prejudices”.

Of his children, Mary Ann married a soldier named PETER OPEY whilst still quite young and after travelling with him to Quebec, Canada, Peter Opey worked in the mines in Colorado, and after his accidental death at Seaton Mine his widow and daughter settled in Silverton, Colorado. John McNulty Jnr. became a notorious house burglar, and in 1855 was sentenced to penal servitude for six years, and no further trace of him has been found. The other surviving children settled mainly in the Wrexham area where descendants still live today.

Connaught Rangers

Wellingtons Men Remembered vol.2

Source: Irelandxo reaching out; Wellington’s Men Remembered vol.2; Wikipedia.

We were unable to trace John McNulty’ headstone and may be lost forever.

Source: Irelandxo reaching out; Wellington’s Men Remembered vol.2; Wikipedia. Researched by Graham Lloyd.


  1. John McNulty is my three times great grandfather and I am the person who left details on Reaching Out and indeed with another cousin provided the information for the entry in Wellington’s men remembered. I am delighted to see these details on this website and I would be happy to be contacted by persons interested in the family history of John McNulty and his descendants. E-mail address

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