The ancestors of Elvis Presley were forced to leave Ireland for fear of their lives after they were attacked by violent thugs.
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was born in Mississippi in 1935, more than a century and a half after his four times great grandfather had left Ireland.
William Presley was a farmer in Co Wicklow. A historical court paper reveals that he was savagely beaten and hounded off his land. The paper is a document recording the cases that were heard in Carlow Court of Assizes on August 25th, 1775.
Presley claimed he had been “violently insulted, assaulted, beat and abused” by a group of men in Hacketstown, Co Carlow. The attack was presumably about a dispute over land.
He described the assault, saying the men had used “whips and fists, dragged him down by the legs” and given him “several kicks in his body and face”.
Presley also stated that the men were “swearing they would have his life” and he had been left feeling in “great dread and fear of his life”.
The document also reveals the names of Presley’s attackers as “Andrew Morris of Mullannashea; Francis Morris of Whiterock; Samuel Morris of Cross; Thomas Morris, William Wilson, Thomas Matthers and Several Other Persons whose names Deponent knoweth not.”
The court deferred the case to a later date, presumably so that more investigations could take place.
However, that same year William Presley and his son Andrew left Ireland and moved to New Orleans. The family later moved to Tennessee and then Mississippi where Elvis Presley was born.