An Irish Tea Party! – Illustrated London News 14 May 1842:
A brace of Irish ladies came before Mr. Hardwick with all the evidences upon them of having been recently engaged in pugilistic contest.
The complainant in particular had her face so tatooed by the nails of her adversary, that she resembled a New Zealand squaw.
“Yer hanner,” said Mrs. Ryan, the complainant, “I don’t know Nelly Roche, barring she lives on the same flure. On Wednesday I was taking my bit of tay in my own room, when in comes Nelly, and without axing anybody’s lave, sits down behind me.”
“A warm day, Mother Ryan,” says she.
“That’s no news, Mother Roche,” says I.
“A cup of tay wouldn’t do me any harm,” says she.
“You know best about that,” says I.
“Then, yer hanner, she set for a minute without spaking, and then, up she jumps, and calls out, ‘Bad luck to the woman that won’t ax another to a cup of tay.’
“Then she ribands aff me cap, and scrapes me face wid five finger-tails, till I’m unable to stand up in my defence.”
Mrs. Roche, in reply, admitted the assault, which had been provoked by Mrs. Ryan’s inhospitality, in not asking her to have tea, when she had been out with her all the morning, and had spent all her “market money” at the various gin shops which they had visited together.
The magistrate, after hearing a witness, ordered the defendant to pay the expenses.