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Colonial Cases

1837INSW

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 13 January 1837

An inquest was held on Tuesday, before Mr. Coroner Hayward, at the Saint Andrew's public-house, Kent-street, on view of the body of Mary Ann Green.  The Jury returned a verdict of died by suffocation, super-induced by an excessive indulgence in the use of ardent spirits.

   We have been requested by several of our subscribers at Windsor, to enquire how it is that the Coroner of that district, has never made a report of the inquest that was held upon the body of a man named Fowler, who died rather suddenly a few days since.

   ...on the Hunter, in which he gives an account of the Protestant Minister of that district refusing to bury the body of a Roman Catholic who had met his death by drowning, ...

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 20 January 1837

CORONER'S INQUESTS.

An inquest was held at Mr. Cunningham's King-street, on view of the body of a man named Daniel Dual, assigned to Mr. W. Long, who died in the General Hospital on Friday.  Deceased, it appeared from the evidence of a seaman belonging to the brig Dee, was employed on board that vessel on Thursday morning, and carelessly sat down on a hatch that was not secured; without looking at its condition, as if he had he would have seen that it would not bear him, the hatch instantly gave way, and the deceased was precipitated to the bottom of the hold; witness saw he was hurt, and led him to the hospital.  Mr. Surgeon Stewart, deposed to having examined the body since death, and found a severe contusion on the forehead, and a fracture of the collar bone, the concussion to produce which, must have been of sufficient force to cause death.  The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

   Another inquest was held before ---- Hayward, Esq., on Saturday last, at the Benevolent Asylum, on view of the body of Joseph Milbank, aged 70 years, an inmate at that Establishment, who died suddenly on the preceding morning.  Charles Clarke, a wardsman in the Institution, deposed that deceased was found in the water-closet on Friday morning, from whence he was immediately removed to his bed, when in a short time he became insensible, and soon afterwards expired.  The jury returned a verdict of Died by the visitation of God.

   Also another inquest was held by J. R. Brenan, Esq., at the sign of the Billy Blue, Bridge-street, on Tuesday last, to inquire respecting the means by which a man named Martin Daly, came to his death. It appeared that deceased was a drayman, in the  employ of Mr. Gooch, that he complained at breakfast on Monday morning of being very ill, and expressed his belief that some day he would fall down dead in the street; in the afternoon he was proceeding along Bent-street, towards Mr. Campbell's stores, when he requested to be lifted off the dray, (upon which he had a few minutes before been lifted at his own request, in consequence of feeling very ill); he was placed on the footpath, his head resting against the step of the Court of Requests' Office; he almost instantly expired.  Died by the visitation of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 24 January 1837

Coroner's Inquest.

An inquest was held by J. R. Brenan, Esq., on Sunday morning, at the Three Crowns Public House, Church Hill, on the body of a man named John Delany, who died suddenly on the previous morning.  Verdict---died by the visitation of God.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 25 January 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An Inquest was held on Sunday last, at the Three Crowns, Church Hill, on the body of John Delany, an aged man who died suddenly at his residence in Cumberland-street, on the preceding evening.  It appeared, that the deceased had been labouring under a pulmonary affection for some time.  Died by the visitation of God.

   Another inquest was hold at the Prince-street Hotel, on the body of William Hawkins, an assigned servant to Mr. R. Jones, merchant, who had cut his throat on that morning.  The deceased had been lent on Friday last, to a gentleman of the name of Ferriter residing in Fort-street, and according to the evidence of a fellow-servant, wore a very melancholy appearance.  He seldom spoke, but seemed frequently excited, striking one hand against the other.  Imagining on one occasion that his fellow-servant observed him, he said, "you think I am a curious fellow but I cannot help it; I wish I could be happy."  On the morning of his death, he took breakfast with witness and ate heartily.  A mason employed in an adjoining building took breakfast with them; at the conclusion of which, deceased let the workman out at the front door, leaving witness in the kitchen; he did not return.  In a few minutes afterwards, witness heard a hollow groan, which he at first thought was the low growling of a dog, in an adjoining kitchen; but the noise being succeed by a gurgling noise as if it was in the throat of a human being, he went into the inner room to ascertain the cause, when he found the deceased lying on the ground, the blood running from his throat; he opened his mouth once, but did not speak.  Witness went for assistance, but on his return, deceased was lying on his back quite dead.  Witness had not heard deceased complain of the cause of his dejection, but he had heard a female servant of Mr. Jones's say to him, "never mind, there's as good fish in the sea as ever was caught;" from which he inferred, that the conversation alluded to a female with whom deceased had been intimate.  The Jury found a verdict of temporary insanity.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 27 January 1837

Coroner's Inquest.

On Tuesday afternoon, an inquest was held on the body of a man named William Hawkins, an assigned servant to Mr. Ferriter, of Fort-street, who had that morning terminated his existence by cutting his throat with a razor.  It appeared that deceased had been for a length of time under a depression of spirits respecting a female whom he wished to marry; he left the breakfast table for the purpose of letting out a man who had been taking breakfast with him and a fellow servant; he did not return to the table, but was found in a minute or two afterwards in the state in which the jury saw the body.

   An inquest was held yesterday afternoon, at the Prince-street Hotel, on view of the body of a man named James Saunders, who resided in Argyle-street, and was found dead in his bed yesterday morning.  It appeared, that for some time past he had been subject to frequent bleedings at the nose and mouth, which was certified by the surgeon who saw the body, to have been caused by a rupture of a blood vessel.  A great quantity of blood was found in his bed, which appeared to have flowed, either from his mouth or nostrils.  The Jury returned a verdict of "Died from suffocation, caused by the flow of blood from the rupture of a blood vessel."

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 30 January 1837

Letters have been received from Port Macquarie, in which it is stated that William Watt was drowned by the upsetting of a dingy, in which he was rowing to get on board the steamer.  The same letter also stated that Alfred Howe, the eldest son of Mrs. Watt, had died from the effects of a lock-jaw, brought on by a bite from a shark in the leg when he was bathing.

   Some clue we understand has been discovered to the murderers of Fannon in the Government Domain.  The woman who was originally apprehended on suspicion of being concerned in the murder, and who was discharged for want of sufficient evidence, has since been convicted and sentenced to transportation for larceny.  Since her conviction she has given such information as will no doubt eventually cause the perpetrators of this foul deed to be brought to justice.

Death.

By drowning, on the 24th instant, in crossing at Tom Thumb, near Wollongong, Charles Cotes F[?????], Esq., in his 22nd year.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 7 February 1837

It is with extreme regret that we have to announce the death of Mrs. Alfred Stephen, the lady of Mr. Attorney-General Stephen.  She departed this life on Monday morning last, at six o'clock, having a few days previously given premature birth to a daughter, which did not survive two days. ... Colonial Times, January 24.  [Obituary; AUSTRALIAN, 14 February, 'pueperal fever.']

 

R. v. Davis [1837] NSWSupC 3

 

R. v. Brady and Nutter [1837] NSWSupC 20

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 17 February 1837

The body of a man was washed on shore on Tuesday last in almost a state of decomposition; it is supposed to be the body of one of those unfortunate men who was drowned a few weeks since off Miller's Point.

   Andrew Gillies underwent the awful sentence of the law on Monday last, for wilful murder.  The unfortunate culprit was attended in his last moments by the Rev. Mr. M'Encroe, and he appeared to pay great attention to the Reverend Gentleman's instructions, and joined firmly in prayer.  He protested to the last moment that he was innocent of the charge for which he was to undergo the awful sentence of the law. [See AUSTRALIAN 21 February: correction, executed in Wednesday.]

LAW.

SUPREME COLURT.---(CRIM INAL SIDE.)

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13.---(Before His Honor the Acting Chief Justice and a Civil Jury.)

   Andrew Gillies stood indicted for the wilful murder of John Kelly, at Yass, on the 10th day of April, 1835.

   James Dannagher deposed---I was Chief Constable at Yass in  1835; I recollect John Kelly; he had been in the employ of Gillies (who travelled about the country, selling rum, sugar, tea, &c.) and came to the Yass bench to give information of his (Gillies) retailing spirits without a license; an information having been filed, Kelly was sworn in as constable, and received arms to go with me to seize the prisoner's teams and the spirits; we went to Russel's, about forty miles from Yass, where we found a cask, a small keg, a tarpaulin, and the teams, in charge of a man named Hoy; seized the casks and teams and took them to the Bench at Yass; a man named Aikin was with us driving a team; I gave Kelly orders to go and serve the summonses on the people whom he mentioned as having purchased spirits of Gillies; he went away, and I never saw him afterwards; he wore high-low shoes, a black hat, brown jacket, and nankeen trousers; he was about five feet four inches in height, of a sandy fresh complexion, about thirty-five years of age; there were a good many people at Russell's, but it was not a public-house; after parting from Kelly, I proceeded towards Yass with the two carts and horses, and the driver; Kelly should have been back on the Tuesday-week following, to have given evidence against the prisoner; when the day came, Kelly was absent, and the Court adjourned; the prisoner attended, as did Hoy; the effects were held in custody for some time, but Kelly not appearing, they were ordered to be delivered to the prisoner; I was not chief constable when Hoy turned approver; I was never sent to where the grave was found, nor have I since seen any clothes of the deceased; it was suspected that Hoy was interested in the sale of spirits by Gillies, but there was no information against him.

   By a Juror---One of the persons for whom Kelly had a summons, named Flinn, appeared at the Court.

   Edward Burke Roach, sworn---I am chief constable at Yass; I remember receiving a warrant from Mr. O'Brien, I think in September or October last, to attend Hoy in the apprehension of Gillies, for the murder of John Kelly; I proceeded to the station of prisoner at Colah Creek, where I apprehended him; I read the warrant to him; Hoy was outside the door; prisoner did not appear at all agitated, but said "very well;" I proceeded to the spot where the body was said by Hoy to have been buried; Hoy pointed out the place, and assisted in raising the body; his recollection  of the place was not perfectly accurate; the body was lying alongside of a log of wood; he found a shoe and dug up the feet first; when I told a man to dig at the other end he did so and found the skull, which I put in a bag and brought away, leaving the rest of the body; the remains were three feet below the surface; it was about three feet from a running stream of water which, at times, is very wide, extending over the spot on  which the body was found, with very deep water-holes; there were some stones on the body which appeared to have been accidentally placed there; I went to the spot again last Friday, and examined the remains, the bones of which were kicked about; I could only find one shoe, or a lace-boot, a piece of brown cloth, apparently the sleeve of a jacket, a button, and three-and-sixpence in money; there is no place for crossing the water near there; it is a clear stream of running water, the chain of holes or ponds are very deep, and in fact, in winter, form a wide river.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Foster---I did not hear that Gillies was about to give information against Hoy for cattle-stealing.

   John Hoy, deposed---It will be two years ago in March since I left Mr. Roberts' employ as stock-man, and went to Phil. Ward's, at Cunningham's Creek, where I found Gillies' teams---two horses and two carts, and a man and a boy; in the cart were quantities of rum, tea an d sugar; prisoner was away looking for cattle, but a day or two afterwards  I saw him, and was drinking with him at Ward's; Gillies had two casks in a cart nearly full of rum; prisoner left Ward's and went to Harris's, which was the first time I saw him; Gillies asked what made him stop so long away---words ensued---and Gillies paid him his wages and sent him away; the teams were then sent to a water-hole ten miles from Harris's, and when we had been there a few days, word came by a man named Dacey, that a constable was coming from Yass to seize the rum, in consequence of information given by Kelly; the rum was then hid in the bush, about half a mile from the water-hole; Gillies swore that if he met Kelly he would shoot him; a constable and Kelly came and seized the teams and property belonging to Gillies, and took them to Yass; next morning the prisoner and I started for Yass, where we learned that Kelly had gone to the Murrumbidgee to serve summonses on those persons who had purchased rum of Gillies; the following day, the trial came on, but Kelly was not to be found; Gillies said he would go and endeavour to find Kelly to make it up with him, as, if the case was tried, Mr. O'Brien would not only fine him, but seize upon all he had, which would ruin him; we started to go to Bogolong, to a Mr. Connor's, and met Kelly, armed with a musket; when he came up he stood aside from Gillies, who got off his horse, and threw himself on his knees, and said to Kelly, he hoped he would not ruin him---that he would sooner give him the amount of money in which he should be fined than give it to Mr. O'Brien, as in the latter case everything he had would be seized; Kelly said, "If I make it up what will I do with Mr. O'Brien's musket?" The prisoner said, "the musket is easily planted in the bush, and if you consent not to go to Yass, I will give you 30l;" Kelly consented and Gillies paid him 30l. in notes; we started on there, and when we came to the Creek, Kelly and the prisoner went down to drink, while I held the horses; Gillies first drank; then Kelly went, leaving his musket on the bank; when he (Kelly) stooped to drink, I saw Gillies pick up a stone of about two or three pounds weight, and threw it sideways at Kelly; I know it struck Kelly, because he immediately fell on his mouth; Gillies then rushed down and seizing him by the collar, struck him several blows towards the back of the head with a stone which would weigh perhaps seven or eight pounds; I let go the horses and rushed towards him, crying out, "In the name of God, what the devil are you doing?" he told me if I did not stand back, he would shoot me; I ran back and was about to ride away when he called out, "Jack, Jack, for God's sake, come back;" I said, "I dare not while you have the piece;" he then took out the flint and endeavoured to draw the charge, but could not, when he threw the musket into the water hole; Kelly was then lying dead on the bank; when I went to him, he said, "Jack, my life is in your hand; he's done---he'll never put any more money in the pocket of government;" he then took the 30l. out of the pocket of the deceased; he took the handkerchief off his neck, and that of the deceased and tied his legs and arms, and fastened a stone to the body, and rolled it into the water-hole; I gave no information of the murder until about a year after the occurrence; I thought that if I did that it would be endangering my own security in that part of the country.

   James Connor, sworn---In the month of April, 1835, the prisoner called on me to request that I would not appear to a summons which he said was issued for my appearance to give evidence respecting having purchased some rum of him; he told me he would give the informer 30l. if he would settle it.

   In his defence the prisoner strongly protested his innocence of the charge, and stated that the approver Hoy was himself the murderer of the man Kelly.

   After His Honor had summed up, which duty was performed in a ,luminous manner, the Jury retired for a few minutes, and on their return, pronounced a verdict of guilty.

   The prisoner was then sentenced to be executed on Wednesday morning, at the usual place.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 17 February 1837

   Mr. Ross, the shoemaker, of George street, dropped down dead yesterday afternoon at 5 o'clock, in his work-shop.  [See Sydney Monitor Monday 20 February 1837.]

   A man in the employ of Messrs. Campbell Sen., & Co., fell off a Wool dray near Grey's Inn, Sutton Forest, and was killed on the spot.

   ACCIDENTAL DEATH.---Mrs. Lynch, a very old inhabitant of Cumberland-street, on retiring to rest last evening, fell back-wards down stairs, and expired immediately afterwards. [See Sydney Monitor Monday 20 February 1837.]

   An inquest was held at the Butcher's Arms, Kent Street, yesterday on the body of a fine boy aged eight years, named Charles Dougherty, who was drowned in a well on the premises of Mrs. Morris.  The mother of the child had sent him to the well for a kettle of water, but he not returning, a search was made in the neighbourhood, when the body of the child was discovered in the well.  Verdict---Accidentally drowned.

   Another inquest was held at the sign of the Sailor's Return, King's Wharf, on the body of a man unknown, which was found floating in Darling Harbour, on Monday last.  From the length of time it had been in the water, the features were so far destroyed as to cut off all possibility of identity.  The Jury being unable to arrive at a conclusion from the absence of witnesses, they adjourned sine die.  It is supposed to be the body of a shell-gatherer named Walsh, whose boat was capsized in crossing the harbour some weeks ago, and himself drowned.  (If the body were found on Monday, how is it the inquest is not held till Thursday?---ED.)

 

R. v. Gillies [1837] NSWSupC 4

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 20 February 1837

CORONER'S COURT.---Liverpool Hotel, George-street, Friday, 17th February.---Previously to commencing an inquest the worthy Coroner informed the Jury and audience, that he was in possession of Irish papers, which asserted that female Emigration was put an end to in that part of the world, in consequence of the misrepresentations of the Sydney Journals which, he said, had done great harm to the Colony, by falsely representing the state of affairs.

"I do not believe," said the worthy Coroner, "that the number of women of ill fame amounts to one-tenth of the number that have been represented.  I have been in the Colony two years and a-half, and you may suppose I have an official knowledge of many matters; and I can safely say, that only one house of ill fame has come under my notice.  Newspapers can only be supported by assailing the characters of individuals; I have fallen in with my share of slander; but I have always treated them with contempt.  Newspapers are the bane of New South Wales; and the state of things they create, can't long continue."

The Court then proceeded to take examinations as to the death, and after view of the body, of Mr. George Ross of George-street Bootmaker.  It appeared from the evidence of Luke Holmes, that the deceased had been in a bad state of health for some time past, and on Thursday afternoon witness heard a noise up stairs, and the girl exclaim, oh! master is dying.  On proceeding to the bed room, he found the deceased lying of the floor bleeding profusely at the mouth. Dr. Bennett was immediately sent for, but before he arrived the deceased had expired.  Dr. Bennett certified, that the death of the deceased had been caused by apoplexy.  Died by the visitation of God.

   Another Inquest was held on Friday last at the 'Fortune of War," Cumberland-street, on the body of Margaret Lynch, an elderly female, who had died at an early hour on that morning in consequence of injuries received in falling down stairs on the preceding night.  The jury returned a verdict to that effect, adding, that the accident had occurred in consequence of the deceased having been in a state of intoxication.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 21 February 1837

The Monitor and the Gazette state that a forefinger of the malefactor Gillies, who was hung on Wednesday last, was exhibited in a public-house the same evening.  It is supposed that it was stolen from the Hospital, to which place the body of the deceased had been removed for dissection.

   Mr. Ross, boot and shoe-maker, of George-street, fell down on Thursday last and suddenly expired.  An inquest has since been held upon the body, and a verdict of---"Died by the visitation of God"---returned.

   The cook of the William IV steamer was drowned on Wednesday last at the Green Hills.  It appears that he had been ashore drinking, and in the evening he went from the shore in a boat to the steamer, and when ascending the side of the vessel he lost his hold, fell into the water, and was drowned.  Every attempt was made by the Captain and crew to save him, but without effect.

   An old woman named Lynch, residing in Cumberland-street, fell down a flight of stairs on Thursday last, and broke her neck.  An inquest has since been held, and a verdict of accidental death returned.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 22 February 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Monday afternoon an inquest was held at Cunningham's, King-street, on the body of a man named Thomas Newell, who was said  to have come by his death in consequence of injuries received in a quarrel with a convict named Peter Kelly, who was in custody of the charge.---Mary Murphy sworn---I knew the deceased; he formerly lived at Mr. Priston's, in Castlereagh-street; I also know the prisoner in charge; he was a fellow servant of mine at the time of the occurrence.  I recollect, five weeks ago a quarrel taking place between the prisoner and the deceased in the yard at the rear of Priston's house; they got to high words and began fighting; the deceased followed the prisoner into his (Prisoner's) bed-room, and continued fighting while in the room about five minutes.  When the deceased came out, he held his hand to his head which was bleeding, and said, "he has struck me with something."  I could not see what occurred while they were in the room.  There was no person in the room with the deceased except the prisoner---the bed-room is entered from the yard.  I saw the deceased the next day, and asked how his head was? he replied, "very bad."  The door is opened by the spindle of a lock, which being put in the lock turns the latch; the spindle produced is, to the best of my belief, that belonging to the room of the prisoner; I did not see it on the night in question.  I was not in any way concerned in the quarrel, neither did I take any part in it, but with a view to prevent their fighting.  Cross-examined: I had not been drinking that night, nor was I taken to the watch-house for quarrelling and fighting.  My Mistress returned me to the Factory on a general charge of drunkenness.  I was under engagement to marry the deceased.---Dr. James Mitchell certified, that the deceased was admitted to the Hospital on the 14th instant, and lingered till the 18th (2 p.m.), when he died.  On a post mortem examination, he found a wound on the fore and upper part of the head; the cranium was fractured, and a small speckle of bone from the inner portion of the skull had entered the brain causing inflammation and abscess, and finally death.  The instrument produced [the spindle of the door] I consider to be likely to produce the injury I have described.  I think considerable violence must have been used.  I consider such a wound to be very dangerous, if not mortal.  I do not think it probable the fracture could have been caused by the deceased falling against any hard body.  The aperture was very small, evidently caused by some sharp instrument.---Edward Wallace Trundle stated, I remember the fight between the prisoner and the deceased; the conduct of the deceased was very violent; assisted by the former witness, he forced his way into the bed-room of the prisoner, and challenged him to fight when he refused [?????????????????] as he said deceased was a free man [?????].  The deceased then assaulted the prisoner, and was assisted by Mary Murphy.  Kelly forced them both out of the room, and the deceased fell with his head against the curb stone.  I do not recollect seeing the spindle of the door during the disturbance.  The Witness Murphy, was also drunk and violent that night, and was sent to the watch-house in consequence.  The Coroner summed up the evidence briefly, and pointed out the inconsistencies of the witness Mary Murphy, in regard to her drinking that night, and taking part in the fray; they seemed to be all drunk together.  The law laid it down, that where a person forces his way into the house or apartment of another, and is beaten by that other, even though the blows should prove mortal, yet not being done with malice, it was justifiable.  If the prisoner had struck the deceased in the yard, or followed him into the yard, and then struck him, it would be manslaughter.---The Jury immediately returned a verdict of Justifiable Homicide.---After the verdict, the Coroner said:

"I cannot help commenting on the conduct of one of the Jury, who appeared on this inquest prepossessed in favour of the prisoner.  If the Juror really knew so much of the affair as he seemed, it was improper for him to come forward and offer himself as a Juror."

---(We think the Coroner ought to have subpoened the nurse or attendant of the dying man, to ascertain what he said of the conduct of the assailant.  We also consider the surgeon of the Hospital neglected his duty to permit the man to die, without sending for Colonel Wilson, and taking the man's testimony.  The witnesses on the inquest seem to be persons of frail morals and understanding; and altogether, the Coroner, Jury, and Surgeon, seem to cut but a very sorry figure in this case of homicide.  The spindle of the lock of a door is an unlawful and cowardly weapon for any man to strike another with on the head.  The law as laid down by the Coroner, was laid down in a very clumsy way.---ED.)

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 24 February 1837

ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE.

To the Editor of The Sydney Monitor.

   Sir, I have been induced to trouble you in consequence of noticing in your last paper, some remarks on the late inquest on the body of Thomas Newell.  Your observations in this case I consider to be perfectly just, for blame is certainly to be attached to the Coroner in disposing of the case with such haste.  The parties at whose house the deceased lived from the day he received the blow up to the time of his entering the Hospital, were in attendance during the whole of the inquiry, prepared with evidence as to the manner the deceased received the blow; yet were they not called upon.  Surely the omission of such testimony renders the Inquest as an Inquest; a mere form or farce?

NEMO.

[We recommend the Attorney-General to order an investigation into the death of this man.  The Jury on the Inquest appeared to us to have tried the case and acquitted the man on the shewing of the law by the Coroner.  The Coroner should beware of "summing up."  It is his province, and that of the Jury, to enquire simply and merely, "is this a case, for trial?"  is this a case to which sufficient doubt attached, to require the opinion of the King's Judge and a Jury of the Country?"  This is the simple duty of Mr. Brenan and his humble Juries.  We do not admire his attempts at charging his Juries.   ED.]

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 24 February 1837

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

TUESDAY.---On their Honors the three Judges taking their seats this morning, the Attorney-General moved that the trials of Thomas Hartley, John M'Cann, James Buckley, John Court, and George Squires, be postponed till the next session.  The learned gentleman grounded his motion on an affidavit of the Crown Solicitor, which set forth that, in each case, witnesses whose evidence was material to the ends of justice, could not be found, although the strictest search had been made to discover them that it was practicable to institute.  Their Honors wished to see the depositions in the cases, which were handed up, and after a perusal of their contents, the prisoners were ordered to be remanded.  Hartley then addressed the court, complaining of the hardship of his case, having been in custody on an allegation of murder since June last, and represented that one of their Honours had last session promised him that this session he should either be tried or discharged.  The Attorney-General said, that this case was one of peculiar difficulty, inasmuch as the crime with which Hartley was charged was perpetrated beyond the limits of the colony, many weeks before he (the Attorney-General) was made acquainted with any particulars of it; immediately on receiving information, however, he wrote to the nearest Bench to the scene of the offence (Yass) on the subject, but as there was no paid Magistrate there, and the gentlemen composing that Bench were all absent, he received no intelligence or assistance from that quarter.  He then wrote to Captain Allman, who resided a hundred miles from the spot, requesting that he would institute some inquiry into the affair; that gentleman soon afterwards wrote to him to the effect that all the persons whom he could learn were present on the occasion each accused the other as the perpetrator of the deed; the result, however, was the committal of Hartley.  His Honor Mr. Burton said that, in England, it was the practice in all cases of murder to despatch a Bow-street Officer to the spot, and it would be well if in all similar cases in this colony a person of responsibility from that court were promptly sent to inquire into the circumstances.  The court was of opinion, on an attentive perusal of the depositions, that there was a prima facie case of murder against Hartley, and that he ought to be remanded for trial.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 28 February 1837

Coroner's Inquest.

On Saturday an inquest was holden by Mr. Coroner Brenan and a Jury on view of the body of Daniel L. Randolph, who was in the morning found dead in his bed.  It appeared that the deceased belonged to the American whaling ship Mechanic, in what capacity did not [appear]; [crease in paper line missing.] Colony he had lodged in Mr. Doyle's house; he had not complained of any thing in a manner to induce a belief that he was in a state of illness from which any thing serious could be anticipated; he had complained of piles only; a person who slept in the same room saw, and spoke to him about ten o'clock on the previous evening in bed; and about half-past eight o'clock on Saturday morning he went to call him up to breakfast, but deceased was dead, and from his being so cold it was tho9ught he must have been dead some hours.  Verdict---"Died of Apoplexy."  We hear that the deceased was highly connected in America.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 3 March 1837

BIRTHS.

On Saturday the 25th inst. Mrs. R. Kemp of George-street, of a daughter (still born.)

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 3 March 1837

LAW.

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

John Henry Whiting [Whitehead?] was placed at the bar charged with the Commission of Murder at Port Philip.

   Mr. Windeyer for the prisoner moved that the trial might be postponed until Friday.  The Attorney General having no objection, it was ordered so to be postponed.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 7 March 1837

Coroner's Inquest.

An Inquest was held at the Edinburgh Castle, Pitt-street, on Saturday afternoon, on the body of an infant only fourteen days old.  It appeared that the mother was an assigned servant to Mr. Burne, of Pitt-street, and that her mistress had allowed her to put her infant out to nurse (rather than lose her services) to a Mrs. Blay, by whom, in mistake, a poisonous powder had been applied to the infant's body, which Dr. Smith certified was sufficient to cause death.  A verdict was returned of---Died by the visitation of God.

 

R. v. Whitehead [1837] NSWSupC 10

[See The Sydney Monitor, Friday 10 March 1837, for critical comment on this verdict.]

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 17 March 1837

A most shocking accident befel a female child of Mr. B. A. Phillips, of George-street, on Tuesday last.  She was standing near a large kettle of boiling water, which by some accident capsized, and went over the poor child, and scalded it in the most shocking manner.  Medical aid was immediately procured, which we are sorry to say was of no avail, as the little sufferer lingered in the most dreadful agonies until Wednesday afternoon, when death put an end to its sufferings.

Coroner's Inquest.

An inquest was held yesterday on the body of an infant daughter of Mr. Phillips, cabinet-maker, of George-street, named Rebecca, about three years of age, who, while playing about in her father's kitchen, laid hold of the handle of a saucepan of water boiling on the fire, which over-set it, and the contents poured over her body, scalding her most dreadfully.  The infant lingered a short while, but on Wednesday evening died.  The Jury returned a verdict---"Accidental death."

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 22 March 1837

For the Attorney-General.

   AN adjourned Inquest was held on Tuesday last at the sign of the Barley Mow, Castlereagh-street, on the body of Louisa Griffiths, an infant, aged three years and a half, who died on Saturday last, and whose death was suspected to have been caused by her person having been violated.  It appeared by the evidence of Mary Ann Griffiths, the mother of the infant, that she had permitted her child to reside with a young couple named Dunn, recently married.  Having heard that the child had been badly used, she went to Dunn's house, and took the child away.  It appeared to have been ill-treated as its back, neck, and thighs appeared bruised, as if beaten with a strap.  In a few days after the child had been taken home, it became very ill, and witness sent it by a neighbour to Dr. Hosking, who informed the mother that the child had been violated. Witness had had no suspicion before the child had been taken to Dr. Hosking, that there had been any attempt at violation.  On interrogating the child as to who had hurt her, she replied, Uncle Edward; meaning Dunn, in whose house she had lived, "while Aunty had gone out for mutton chops, had hurt her," and described what had taken place.  This statement of the child was confirmed by the evidence of Elizabeth brown and Bridget Lane, who were present when she made it.  These witnesses also stated, that Sarah Marsh, the mother-in-law of Dunn, was also present; but when called, she denied having heard the child make such a statement.  Dr. Hosking certified, that he had examined the child on the 7th instant, and found excoriation and inflammation; and also a rupture of the hymen, which, in an infant of so tender an age, was sufficient to cause death.  There were other marks of violence on the body of the child.  Considerable violence must have been used to cause these appearances.  On the first examination, the Coroner had ordered Dunn to be taken into custody.  The Coroner, in summing up the evidence, put the case to the Jury on the broad question, touching the guilt or innocence of Dunn, leaving it to them to consider how far the evidence of a child of so tender an age would be entitled to credit if alive.  The Jury, on this charge of the Coroner, returned a verdict of Not Guilty, there not being sufficient evidence against Dunn.  At the direction of the Coroner, they further added, that the deceased came by her death in consequence of injuries inflicted on her person, but how, or by whom, there was not sufficient evidence to shew.  The prisoner was thereupon discharged.

[The Coroner and his Jury have evidently tried the prisoner Dunn, and acquitted him.  This was not their province.  A violation had taken place.  It was not for this Jury to say, whether the prisoner was innocent or guilty.  There was evidence sufficient to send the case to a Jury.  We call upon the Attorney-General to prosecute Dunn.---ED.]

[See below, THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 24 March.]

CORONER'S INQUEST.

An Inquest was held at the "Albion Inn" Market Wharf yesterday morning on the body of Joseph Desmond, who died suddenly at Lane Cove on the previous day.  It appeared from the evidence of Thomas Washurst that the deceased and witness were in the employ of a person named Wilson at Lane Cove.  Deceased was in his usual state of health in the morning, and ate heartily at breakfast, but complained shortly afterwards of cramp in the stomach which gradually increased; warm bricks were applied to his stomach and warm tea administered, but he died in a few minutes.  The deceased had been much addicted to the use of spirits, but had not drunk any thing for fourteen days preceding his death.  He was 70 years of age.  Verdict,---Died by the visitation of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 24 March 1837

Coroner's Inquests.

An inquest was held at Mr. John Solomon's, Albion Hotel, near the Market Wharf, on Tuesday morning, on view of the body of a man named Thomas Dismond, seventy years of age, who died suddenly the previous day at Lane Cove.  The deceased complained of cramp in the stomach early in the morning, and after breakfast was much worse, and in a short time fell back and expired.  A post mortem examination was made by Dr. Hosking, who certified that the deceased died from natural causes, and the Jury returned a verdict of---"Died by the visitation of God."

   An inquest was convened on Saturday last, at the Barley Mow public-house, on  view of the body of a child, little more than three years of age, named Louisa Griffiths, who died that morning.  It appeared in evidence, that the child had been residing with a person named Dunn, but that a few weeks ago the mother had her home, and having examined her body, discovered that the greater part was very much discolored, and the child having stated that her uncle (for so she called Dunn,) had beat her, the discoloration was attributed to the violence of the correction which he had bestowed; the child was taken to Dr. Mitchell, who treated her under a similar impression; On Saturday morning the infant died; a few days prior to her deceased, however, she made statements to her mother which induced a suspicion that the treatment under which the child was suffering, was of a nature very different to that of severity of chastisement, telling her mother and other individuals that her uncle had committed the assault now complained of, but as she was considered to be fast recovering the effects of the violence, of whatever nature it might have been, her mother did not inform Dr. Mitchell of it. Unexpectedly, however, on Saturday morning she died, and an inquest was immediately convened.  Evidence was brought as to the statement of the infant, and Dr. Hosking was called in to examine the body, when he certified\ that the interior of the body presented every appearance that would indicate violence having been used in an attempt at sexual knowledge, and that it was sufficient to cause death.  The inquest was then postponed until Tuesday, in order that Dr. Mitchell's evidence might be taken, but as he had not been called to examine the body further than the external bruises, his evidence was in no way material.  On the testimony brought forward at the first hearing, the Coroner directed the apprehension of Dunn, on suspicion of his having committed a rape on the infant, and he was that evening taken into custody by police-sergeant Callaghan. The Jury, however, pronounced him not guilty, and he was discharged; touching the child's death, the verdict was that she had died in consequence of violence inflicted upon her body, but of which sufficient evidence has not been offered to determine by what means, or by whom such violence was effected.

   About fourteen days since, a runaway belonging to Mr. Booth, at Wollondilly River, who had been at large some time in the bush, was captured by one of the Goulburn Mounted Police.  When on the way to Goulburn they stopped at a person's house by the name of Jones, at Currawong, Lake Bathurst, for the night.  The policeman hearing a noise early in the morning, found that the prisoner was trying to make his escape; the prisoner succeeded in going some distance when the policeman called out for him to stand, but he still continued running, the policeman fired and shot him dead; the ball entered his back and passed through his heart.  The corpse was then taken to Goulburn, and an inquest held on the body; a verdict was returned of---Justifiable Homicide.

 

St. MATTHEW'S CATHOLIC CHURCH, BURIAL REGISTER, 1835-1844; No. 66

George Armstrong alias John Loughman, aged 30; Shot by the Police at Kurrajong.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 27 March 1837

   An Inquest was held at the Albion Inn, Market Wharf, on Friday last, on the body of Robert Gordon Davidson, late a Lieut. in the Army, and recently arrived from India, who died suddenly at his lodgings (the Woodcutter's Arms), on the previous evening.  It appeared by the evidence that deceased had been in the habit of consuming great quantities of spirituous liquors daily.  Dr. Hosking certified his opinion, that the deceased had been attacked with apoplexy, and the Jury returned a verdict, died by the visitation of God.  [The Sydney Monitor, Monday 27 March 1837: In the course of the evidence on the Coroner's Inquest on Mr. Davidson late of the Bengal Army, who died suddenly on Friday last, it was stated, that the unfortunate man had lately been in the habit of drinking upwards of thirty glasses of spirits per day. (The Herald says Lieut. D. was a patriot.  He belonged to Rowell's club we believe.)]

   An Inquest was held at the Custom House Inn, Argyle-street, on the body of Thomas Hobart, a seaman, belonging to the Royal George, lying at Campbell's Wharf, who had died on board that vessel on the preceding evening.  On his death, information was given to the Police that he had been at the Fortune of War public-house, King's Wharf, about an hour previously to his death, where he had been thrown out of the door, by Palmer the landlord.  By the evidence of a shipmate of the deceased, it appeared, that he was at Palmer's house on the evening of Thursday, where some person knocked his hat over his eyes, for which he blamed a strange man who had just entered the house, and a quarrel commenced.  Palmer defended the stranger from the charge, which seemed to irritate the deceased, as he expressed himself rather chagrined that palmer, in whose house he had been drinking all the evening, should take the part of a stranger in preference to him.  He became violent, and struck his hand against the counter, which broke a panel; when Palmer desired him to leave the house, which he refused; and Palmer thrust him out.  There are five or six steps in front of Palmer's house, down which deceased fell into the street.  Witness followed him, and on his rising advised him not to return to the house, but accompany him to the vessel, which he did.  The deceased did not complain of having been hurt by the fall, but walked briskly along; he said nothing during the way to the water side.  Witness saw him go on board.  In about an hour afterwards, witness was informed that deceased was dead.  Other witnesses corroborated the testimony of this witness.  Mr. Burchell, surgeon of the Royal George, and Mr. Surgeon Hosking, who made a post mortem examination of the body, certified, that they found the internal viscera in a healthy state, with the exception of the left lobe of them lung, which adhered to the ribs.  On opening the head, a slight extravasation of blood was found; the blood-vessels of the head being in a state of extreme largessence, which in a person of plethoric habit like the deceased, was likely to result from excitement of any kind.  The wound in the forehead, where deceased had fallen against the ground, was pronounced not to be sufficient to cause death; there was no fracture of the skull.  They were of opinion that the cause of death was apoplexy, and the Jury after a few minutes consultation, pronounced a verdict to that effect, and Palmer and the other persons who had been in custody, were discharged.

   When the death of the seaman of the ROYAL GEORGE, which took place on Thursday evening on board that vessel, was reported to Colonel Wilson, as having been caused by being forcible ejected from the FORTUNE OF WAR public-house, King's Wharf, by Palmer the Landlord, he sent a posse of constables to take all persons then in the house, in custody; which they did to the number of fifteen, including even Mrs. Palmer! six of the number being taken from their beds!  All of them passed the night in the watch house.  Next morning Mrs. Palmer were let go, but the rest remained in custody until the Coroner's Jury pronounced a verdict of apoplexy.  These persons was taken into custody without a warrant; a proceeding which they complain of.  REPORTER.  (The constables who took them, gave the name of the first Police Magistrate as having authorised their conduct.  Vigour in executing the laws is a good thing; but vigour and tyranny are distinct things.  Before Col. Wilson gives sweeping orders to take wives into custody, and lodgers sleeping peaceably in their beds, it would be better for him, as first Police Magistrate, to go down to the place where any outrage has been perpetrated, and make enquiry. Palmer it appears, turned a sailor out of his house with violence, because he would not go out peaceably.  Had he not done so, he would have incurred the charge of keeping a disorderly public house.  The man fell in being thrust out, went on board his ship, and died.  Well; here was ground sufficient to take Palmer into custody, and any other persons who had helped to turn the deceased out of the house.  But to give a sweeping order to take into custody every soul in the house, husband and wife, servants and lodgers, and leave the property in the house at the mercy of children and strangers, was an act which we can scarcely believe to be lawful.  If however it be just within the line of the law, it exhibits another instance of the rashness and arbitrary temper of our worthy Chief Magistrate.  We can tell Colonel Wilson, that these continual petulent freaks of his, are rendering him very unpopular with all classes.---ED.) [The Sydney Monitor, Friday 31 March 1837; another paragraph on this affair.]

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 28 March 1837

Bushranger Shot.

The Mounted Police of the district of Windsor received information a few days since that Armstrong, the Bushranger, who has been at large for some time, and who has been a cause of great alarm to the settlers up the country, was harboured on a farm near Windsor; they immediately proceeded thither and discovered him, but before they could get near enough to capture him he made off; one of the policemen called to him to surrender but he refused, upon which the mounted policeman levelled his piece and shot him dead.

Coroner's Inquests.

An inquest was held at Mr. John Solomon's, Market Wharf, on Friday morning, on the body of Robert Gordon Davidson, a retired Lieutenant in the Bengal Service, who died suddenly the preceding day.  Dr. Hosking, having examined the body, gave his opinion that the deceased had died from natural causes, and the Jury returned a verdict of---"Died by the visitation of God."

   An inquest was held on Friday last, at the Custom House Inn, Harrington-street, on view of the body of John Hubbard, cuddy servant of the Royal George, and from the evidence given it appeared that the deceased was in company with some sailors of the same ship, at the Fortune of War, and had been drinking to a great extent, and shortly after nine o'clock the landlord wished the deceased to leave the house, which he refused to do.  Palmer (the landlord), then pushed him out of the door, and he fell down the flight of steps in front of the house, and bruised himself very severely.  He got up however, and followed his shipmates, went on board and proceeded to the pantry for the purpose of washing himself, and was shortly afterwards found lying on the ground on his face, dead.  A post morten examination had been held on the body by the surgeon of the Royal George, and Mr. Surgeon Hosking, who gave it as their opinion that the deceased had met his death by apoplexy, which might have been brought on by excitement.  The Jury then retired and returned with a verdict---"That the deceased died by apoplexy, brought on by excitement."  Palmer who had been taken into custody, was then discharged.  The remains of the unfortunate deceased were buried on Sunday, followed by the officers and crew of the vessel to which he belonged.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 29 March 1837

Capture and Death of the notorious bush-ranger, George Armstrong alias Loughman, per ship "Norfolk." ...

He then got on his legs, and drew his pistol from his belt, and was preparing to fire on the police; when one of the policemen snapped his pistol at him, which burnt priming; he then attempted to run away, when another policeman fired at and shot him through the back---he fell, and requested the police to finish him and put him out of his pain.  He was taken to Stinton's house, and expired shortly after.  The following day an inquest was held on the body, and a verdict returned accordingly.---From our Windsor Correspondent.---Gazette.

   An Inquest was held on Saturday last, at the Three Tuns, King-street, on the body of Morris Curran, a free labouring man who died in the General Hospital on Saturday morning.  It appeared, that deceased was at the York Hotel about a fortnight ago, and while endeavouring to light his pipe in the kitchen, his clothes ignited, and burned him severely before the flame could be extinguished. He was taken to the Hospital, where he lingered until Saturday.  Dr. Mitchell certified, that death was caused by having been burnt.  Verdict,---Accidental death by fire, while in a state of intoxication.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 31 March 1837

Late on the night of St. Patrick's day, a man named Maurice Curran, went to the public-house of Mr. Martin, in York-street, being at the time in the grossest intoxication.  Being known to the domestics as an  old servant of Mr. Martin's, he was taken into the kitchen, where he sat down near to a table on which was a lamp burning.  At about half-past two o'clock a loud moaning was heard by the waiter, who was attending upon some company in the parlour, and who on proceeding into the kitchen there saw the deceased, his head lying on the table and his clothes about his body, shirt, waistcoat, &c., burning, but the man himself still in such a state of intoxication that he could not help himself.  He was undressed, and laid upon the table, covered with a sheet, the next morning, he was clothed in apparel belonging to one of the servants, and he got up and walked away to a constable's house in the neighbourhood, and requested to be conveyed to the hospital; on the way to which, he did not speak a word.  He lingered until last Friday evening, when he expired, and on Saturday an inquest was held upon the body at Mr. Cunningham's public--house in King-street.  Dr. Mitchell certified that the deceased had died in consequence of the burns, which were all over his body, the Jury returned a verdict of---"Accidental death by burning, caused by his clothes catching fire while in a state of intoxication."

 

R. v. Brady and Nutter [1837] NSWSupC 20

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 4 April 1837

A reward of five pounds is offered in Wednesday's Government Gazette for the apprehension of the blacks, named Jackey, Old Packer, and Charley, who are charged with the murder of John Peacock, Charles Somerville, and William Lennox, at Cago, in the District of Port Macquarie.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 7 April 1837

Coroner's Inquests.

Two inquests were held on Monday, the leading cause of death in both cases being intoxication.  One was held at the Soldier's Retreat, King street, on the body of a man named Patrick M'Intyre, an old pensioner, who fell down an excavation in King street, and died shortly afterwards.  The other was held at the Billy Blue, Erskine street, on the body of a female, in which the Jury returned---Died by the visitation  of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 14 April 1837

An Inquest was held on Friday, at the Lamb Inn, Liverpool-street, on the body of a child named John Davis, about a twelvemonth old, whose clothes caught fire during the absence of his mother in the yard, and so severely burnt, that death ensued the following day, notwithstanding medical aid was promptly brought to its relief.  The verdict was---"Accidental death."

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 28 April 1837

   A Coroner's Inquest was held last Monday evening at the "Cat and Mutton" public-house, upon the body of a man named Miller, who obtained his living by taking out cattle to feed.  He returned home on Saturday night as well as usual, and went to bed, but was found dead soon afterwards.  Doctor Hosking was in attendance.---Died by the Visitation of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 28 April 1837

A native of Russia, named Constantine Mellicho, has been fully committed to take his trial for the wilful murder of an individual at Yass, whose name we have not been able to ascertain.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 1 May 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An Inquest was held this morning at Solomon's Albion Hotel Market Wharf, on the body of Charles Cooke who met with his death at Lane Cove yesterday, by falling off the tongue of a timber waggon and the wheels passing over his body.---Verdict Accidental.

   Yesterday morning, a person of the name of Levingstone of Bathurst-street put a period to his existence by strangling himself in the following most determined manner.  He inserted a ruler under his cravat and by twisting it round "Spanish windless fashion," till suffocation ensued.  He was found lying on his face grasping the ruler with both hands to prevent its recoiling.  He has left a wife and three children.  An Inquest will be held this day.

   A man in the employ of Messrs. W. walker & Co., met with a very serious accident this morning in the following manner.---While standing under the Stores a bale of Wool fell upon him; he was picked up insensible, and removed in a dying state to the Hospital.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 2 May 1837

We are glad to hear that the Mounted Policeman who shot the notorious Armstrong, has been allowed the reward of Fifty Pounds offered by Government for the apprehension of the outlaw, His Excellency being satisfied, from the whole of the shot being in the man's back, that it was the only means the policeman had of putting a period to the bush-ranger's lawless career.

Coroner's Inquests.

An inquest was held on Sunday at the Hope Inn, York Street, on the body of a free servant of Mr. Webb, named Mary White, who died suddenly on the previous evening.  A post mortem examination of the body was held by Dr. Hosking, who certified that she died of apoplexy, and the Jury returned their verdict accordingly.

   Two inquests were holden yesterday.  One at the Albion Hotel, Market Wharf, on the body of a ticket-of-leave man named Charles Cook, who, it appeared from the evidence, was on Saturday afternoon employed at Lane Cove driving a timber dray; coming down a very steep part of the road he stumbled over a root which projected above the surface of the ground, and fell directly before the wheel of the carriage, which passed over his neck; he instantly expired.  Accidental death.

   The other inquest was held at the William the Fourth, public house, Sussex street, on the body of John H. Livingstone, who was found dead in his bed at noon of Sunday.  For some time past he had addicted himself to intemperate habits, which occasionally subjected him to temporary fits of insanity.  When he was found on Sunday, it was instantly perceived that he had died of strangulation, his neckcloth being round his throat, and by means of a counting-house ruler, which was inserted, it was twisted to that degree, and evidently by his own hands, that death was the consequence.  The verdict was,---Died by strangulation at his own hands while under a temporary fit of mental aberration.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 5 May 1837

INQUEST AT PARRAMATTA.

  On Tuesday evening last an Inquest was held before Augustus Hayward, Esq., Coroner, at Mrs. Bedford's, the "Cottage Inn," Parramatta, to investigate concerning the death of one Thomas Simpson, who died on Monday morning last, and had been interred on Tuesday morning.  The Coroner had given directions for the body to be disinterred, and after having impannelled and sworn the Jury, proceeded along with them to the Church-yard to view the body.

   It appeared from the evidence that the deceased was a drayman in the employ of Messrs. Tingcombe and Watkins, merchants, at Parramatta, and on his returning from Penrith on Saturday evening, the 15th ult., being in a state of intoxication he had fallen from the dray, and by some means broken his right leg.

   When he arrived at Parramatta, (which was about two o'clock on Sunday morning) every attention was paid to him, and a medical man sent for immediately, who reduced the fracture, and left him doing well.  The deceased continued to do well until Saturday, the 29th ult., (fourteen days after the accident) when he was attacked with Setanus (sic) or Locked-jaw, and, notwithstanding every medical aid and other attention was paid to him, he died on Monday morning about 10 o'clock.

   The Jury returned from the Church-yard to the "Cottage Inn," and without much deliberation (for they all seemed to wonder why they had been summoned on the occasion) delivered, by the directions of the Coroner, the following Verdict---"That the deceased died by accident."

   The deceased had been an old and faithful servant of Messrs. Tingcombe and Watkins.   [Notice to Correspondents; response to criticism by 'Humanitas'.]

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 5 May 1837

Coroner's Inquest.

An inquest was held on Tuesday, at Cunningham's public-house, King-street, on the body of a man named Robert Burns.  It appeared that deceased was employed in removing some bales of wool from the stores of Messrs. W. Walker and Co. for shipment; he was carelessly standing near the truck into which a bale of wool was being lowered, although repeatedly warned not to do so, when accidentally the bale slipped off the hooks by which it was suspended and fell upon him, crushing him in a shocking manner.  He was immediately removed to the hospital, but his was a case beyond human skill, and he died a few hours afterwards.  He never spoke after the accident.  The Jury returned a verdict of---"Accidental Death."

LAW.

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

MONDAY.---William Deane was indicted on a charge of manslaughter and acquitted.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 9 May 1837

Jones, who was found guilty of murdering a soldier at Berrima, underwent the extreme penalty of the law yesterday morning.

LAW.

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

FRIDAY.---Before His Honor Acting Chief Justice Dowling and a Civil Jury.

   John M'Caffrey (assigned to Mr. Barton, of Berrima), John Jones (assigned to Mr. Atkinson, of Berrima), and John Moore (free), were indicted for the wilful murder of Thomas O'Brien, a private in His Majesty's [50th??] Regt., by striking him on the head and breast with a stick, thereby inflicting certain wounds and bruises, from which death ensued, on the King's highway, near Berrima, on the 10th of February last.

   The prosecution was conducted for the Crown by Mr. Carter; and Mr. Windeyer was employed as Counsel for M'Caffrey and Moore.

   The first witness called was James Hayes, a private of the 6th Regiment, stationed at Berrima, who, having been sworn, deposed---On the 19th of February I went, in company with Thomas O'Brien and two young women to Atkinson's public house, about a couple of miles from Berrima; it was about three or four o'clock when we started, when we got there the three prisoners at the bar were in the house; I knew Jones well he having been for some time in the iron gang under my charge; M'Caffrey I knew as a servant of Mr. Barton's, but of Moore I knew nothing.  While standing outside Jones came an d asked me to drink; a little time afterwards O'Brien came into the room, and Jones asked him if he recollected the time that he (O'Brien) got him twenty-five lashes in the iron-gang.  O'Brien said he did; "well," Jones replied, "I hope there is no animosity between us now," holding out his hand; they shook hands, and O'Brien sat down and Jones treated him to drink.  When we had been there some time O'Brien became very much intoxicated, and stripped off his jacket to fight any man in the company.  I told him not to make a fool of himself, and had some difficulty in preventing his fighting.  In consequence of the disturbance created by O'Brien Mrs. Atkinson came into the tap room and turned him out of the house.  I then said I had better go with him but was desired to remain; the three prisoners went out afterwards and stayed away perhaps half an hour.  On their return M'Caffrey said it was time I was at home, and to whom I replied that I should go when I thought proper.  M'Caffrey struck me and blows were exchanged between us; I then went towards home, and on my way there I saw three men leaving the spot on which, when I arrived at it, I found the dead body of my comrade O'Brien.  They each wore a blue jacket, and two of the three were M'Caffrey and Moore; when I came up to the body I found it stripped of the shirt, the jacket rolled up and put under the head, the body was lying on the left side with one arm out, a quantity of blood was on the ground, and the head of the deceased was covered therewith.  He was quite dead, there were pieces of sticks lying by his side covered with blood and hair; also a small sapling which I took up and carried with me to the stockade, where I went as quickly as I could to report the murder to my officer, and on my arrival at the stockade I was put under arrest for leaving my guard.  When I saw M'Caffrey walking away from the body he had a large stick in his hand; it was between five and six o'clock, when I found the body; I afterwards saw a handkerchief taken from one of them which I am certain was worn by O'Brien that day.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Windeyer.---I had not my firelock with me; I am sorry I had not; I said at the Barracks that O' Brien was dead, not that he would be dead before assistance could be given; he was not on duty, he was not very drunk; I was sober, the prisoner Jones was more sober than M'Caffrey.

   John Nielly, a private of the 50th Regiment, sworn.---I recollect being at Atkinson's public-house in the evening of the 19th of February; as I was entering I met Jones coming out, who asked me if I remembered Tom O'Brien getting him flogged; I said I did not; he then told me that O'Brien's head was now as sore as ever his back was, as I might see if I took the trouble to go and look at him; while we were talking a man came up to the house who told me that one of my comrades was murdered on the road.

   Daniel Whitehead---I am the medical attendant for the Berrima Stockade; on the 19th of February last I was sent by my Lieutenant Briggs, in command of the troops at Berrima, to see the body of private Thomas O'Brien, which was reported to be lying murdered on the road; I found it about a quarter of a mile from Atkinson's public-house, quite dead, with neither shirt or boots on; I examined the body, and found several wounds on the head and breast, apparently inflicted by a bludgeon, and were of themselves sufficient to cause death; one wound over the left eyebrow was sufficiently large to allow of a man's forefinger being inserted therein; the skull was fractured, and four of the teeth were nearly out; there were some blows on the breast, likewise on one arm, as if the man had defended himself; there were three pieces of wood lying near the body, which appeared to be parts of one stick, and on them was a quantity of blood and hair, with the marks of teeth; the stick must have been five or six feet in length when whole, and was nearly as thick as my arm---it must have been a hand-spike; it was such a weapon as might have inflicted the wounds I have described; I heard that Hayes brought the first information of the murder to the barracks.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Windeyer---I always carry a lancet about me; I tried to bleed deceased, but without effect.

    Richard Flynn sworn---I am district constable at Berrima; in consequence of information communicated to me respecting the murder of O'Brien on the 19th February, I went to search Jones' hut, on Mr. John Atkinson's farm, about nine or ten o'clock in the evening; Jones was not there, but two other assigned servants of Mr. Atkinson's were there; I searched Jones' sleeping place, and found a black silk handkerchief concealed between the double sacking of the stretcher; I gave the hand kerchief to the Police Magistrate.

   Richard Boston, a private of the 50th regiment, sworn---In consequence of the information of Nielley, I went on a Sunday afternoon in February, about five o'clock, to the hut where Jones ,lived; he was there, and asked me what I wanted; I told him that I came to apprehend him; I took him into custody; I afterwards saw a black handkerchief, which I understood had been taken from Jones's hut, which I know belonged to O'Brien, having sold it to him myself a few months previously.  The information of the murder was first brought to the barracks by Hayes, and afterwards by Nielly.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Windeyer---Hayes said he saw Tom O'Brien murdered in the road, and that it was done by big Jack (M'Caffrey) and Jones; about half an hour elapsed between Hayes' report, and its confirmation by Nielly.

   Patrick Connelly, private of the 50th regiment---I was sent to ascertain the truth of Hayes' report of O'Brien's murder, and on the way I met private Nielly, who told me he had passed the body murdered; I proceeded on and found it so; I went in search of M'Caffrey, and found him lying on the ground speechless drunk; the next morning M'Caffrey, Jones, and Moore, were in custody in the guard room; a handkerchief which was on Moore was recognised by some of the men as belonging to O'Brien; Moore said he might have  picked it up in the public house; I could not swear to the handkerchief, but I had frequently seen such an one in O'Brien's possession.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Windeyer---Moore neither admitted nor denied that the handkerchief belonged to O'Brien; he used it as a night caop; it was between five and six o'clock when I apprehended M'Caffrey.

   Robert Jones sworn---On the 19th February last I was with the prisoner Jones and Moore, proceeding towards Atkinson's public-house, and when we had come within a short distance of the house, I observed to the others that there were two soldiers, and a couple of girls at Atkinson's' Jones asked me if I saw that big man, pointing to one of the two soldiers; I replied that I did, when he said, "he once got me twenty-five lashes when I was in the Berrima iron-gang, and, my b----y oath, I will make his head sorer than ever my back was;" when we were a little nearer he repeated the observation; when we had been a little time in the tap-room, the prisoner Jones called one of the soldiers (Hayes) in, and asked him to drink; shortly afterwards O'Brien (the big man pointed out by Jones) came in; Jones and O'Brien got into conversation about the flogging; Moore desired them to forget all old grievances, and to shake hands; O'Brien got very tipsy, and then quarrelsome, and was eventually turned out on wanting to fight; soon after he was turned out, Mrs. Atkinson said she would serve no more, and sent the prisoner Jones home, saying that he had no business off the farm without a pass; she gave him some liquor in a bottle when she sent him away, and he went towards his home; I went away at the same time, but in a contrary direction.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Windeyer---The three prisoners each had blue jackets on that day; the Police Magistrate inquired of me the colour of the dress worn by Jones and M'Caffrey; O'Brien was more intoxicated than any one else there; Hayes and Jones appeared to be very intimate; O'Brien got Jones punished, but Hayes was the man who stuck to him (Jones) as a friend.

   Cross-examined  by the prisoner Jones---When you, and I, and my wife left the house I did not see O'Brien; I asked you to come home with me, but you refused on account of what Mrs. Atkinson had said to you.

   One or two other witnesses were examined, but their evidence was not material, and the case for the Crown closed.

   On the prisoners being called on for their defence, Moore said that the handkerchief found on him he picked up in the midst of the confusion caused by O'Brien's quarrelsome behaviour, and did not know to whom it belonged; James handed in a long written statement, urging the improbability of his imbruing his hands in the blood of a man whom he had been treating, and endeavouring to throw the imputation upon the first witness, Hayes.  M'Caffrey said nothing.

   Mr. Windeyer, on the part of Moore and M'Caffrey called several witnesses, the first of whom was

   Mrs. Jane Atkinson, who deposed---On Sunday, the 19th of February, O'Brien and Hodges came to my husband's public house; my husband was at the time in Sydney.  I did not see them drink nor did I serve them with any liquor.  When I was in the room where O'Brien was he was the only person there; he had been quarrelling and making a noise, and I had put him out; about half an hour afterwards Moore and M'Caffrey went away and returned in about a quarter of an hour; in consequence of the disturbance created at the house by O'Brien I then shut up the house and went to a tenant's, Richard Smith, about twenty or thirty rods from the public-house; I had been there a little time when M'Caffrey came and asked for me; Smith denied my being there, as I knew he wanted more drink and I thought he had enough.  He went away and in half an hour later he returned, he stopped some time and on going away this time I saw him proceeding towards his own home.  It was about half past two o'clock when I shut up the house and left it; I had my eye upon Moore and M'Caffrey from the time that Robert Jones went away until I shut up the house; when O'Brien stripped his jacket off to fight he had a black handkerchief on his neck, which was the only one I saw about him.  

   Cross-examined by the prisoner Jones---When you left the house to go home, about a quarter of an hour before you shut up the house, you went in the direction towards your home; O'Brien was then between our house and Smith's.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Carter---When Jones went home I gave him some liquor in a bottle; when I came out of Smith's house to go home, I heard the ostler calling for me; I asked him what he wanted, when he informed me of O'Brien having been murdered.

   Richard Smith deposed---From my house to Atkinson's is about one hundred yards; on the 19th February, about three o'clock in the afternoon, Mrs. Atkinson came to my house; when she had been there some time I saw Moore and M'Caffrey coming from her house towards mine; when they came up I saw M'Caffrey was tipsy, but not very drunk, and inquired for Mrs. A. saying, they wanted her to give them more drink; I denied that Mrs. Atkinson was there; before they came, a soldier who Mrs. Atkinson pointed out to me as O'Brien, who had made the disturbance which caused her to shut up the house, went by the house to Berrima; Moore and M'Caffrey stopped at my house talking for about half an hour; I told M'Caffrey I just saw a woman go into the house, and if they went they would most probably get something to drink; they then went away towards Atkinson's, and when they had got about twenty yards on the way, Moore left M'Caffrey, and struck off towards his own home, and I saw no more of him; M'Caffrey went direct to the house, and in three quarters of an hour returned to my house with a bottle in his left hand; he sat down just by my door; I told him he had better go home, and he said he would presently; he got up and went away in the same direction  as Moore; he fell once to the ground, and a man named Scott picked him up; this was about half past four, or nearly five o'clock; I was standing in the front of the house all the time, and saw no one go in the same direction as O'Brien until half an hour after M'Caffrey went away, when a soldier passed; no one passed that way between O' Brien and the second soldier; about three quarters of an hour after the second soldier passed I heard the report of O'Brien's being murdered; M'Caffrey and Moore took the road to their dwelling, opposite to my house, the road O'Brien and the other soldier took to Berrima, ran along in front.

   Cross-examined---O'Brien ought to have been at Berrima before the second soldier passed; some one might have passed through the bush at the rear of my house in the interval I speak of, and have joined the road without my seeing them; O'Brien was just out of sight the first time M'Caffrey came to my house; I was examined before Captain Thompson and Lieut. Briggs on this affair, but my evidence was not taken down.

   James Welling deposed---On the 19th of February a man named Paton and I saw on the Berrima road the dead body of a soldier; this was about half-past four o'clock, and about five hundred yards from Atkinson's public house; we had previously met Hayes but he did not speak to us nor we to him.  Paton stopped with the body while I went on to Atkinson's to give an alarm.  I saw a soldier and the prisoner Jones in conversation; I told the soldier that a comrade of his was murdered on the road, he said, "can it be possible?" and started off to see.  Jones exclaimed, "where the b----- h--- are you going in such a hurry?" Moore was in the public house, and on hearing my report said, "if it is Tom O'Brien that is murdered I will give my deposition against Jones, for I heard him say, 'that O'Brien's head should be sorer than ever his back had been.'" I was present when Moore was taken into custody, but did know on what charge.  I was examined before the magistrates.

   District Constable Flynn recalled---Moore was apprehended on suspicion of being a runaway, but afterwards detained on the charge of murder.

   The prisoner Jones then called several witnesses to make out the statements in his defence, but failed in some instances and was contradicted in others.

   His Honor summed up most minutely, and left the case in the hands of the Jury, who retired for about a quarter of an hour; on their return they declared Moore and M'Caffrey not guilty; Jones, guilty.

 

R. v. McCaffery, Jones and Moore [1837] NSWSupC 24

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 12 May 1837

   A murder has been committed lately at the Hunter's River on a man named Costigan under aggravated circumstances.  Two men one assigned to Messrs. C. & F. Wilson and the other assigned to Mr. James King have been apprehended and committed to take their trials.  We shall endeavour to obtain full particulars in our next.

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Monday afternoon, an inquest was held at the King's Head, Harrington-street, by Mr. Ryan Brennan, on the body of John Nugent, an invalid soldier who met his death, on Sunday afternoon, by falling down the hatchway of the ship John, lying in the cove.  The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 15 May 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Wednesday, an Inquest was held at the Thistle, corner of Bathurst and Kent-streets on the body of a female named Ann Cavenagh.  From the Certificate of Dr. Hosking it appeared that her death was caused by the excessive use of ardent spirits.  Verdict Died by the visitation of God.

   On Saturday afternoon an inquest was held in Harrington-street, on the body of a young man named Stephen Richards, who died in the watch-house, the previous night. Michael Murphy, a constable in the Sydney Police, stated, that while on duty in George-street on Friday evening about 9 o'clock, he was called upon by Mrs. Langdon to take the deceased to the watch-house, who she said was drunk; the deceased was lying on his back on the steps, and was foaming very much at the mouth and breathing very hard; witness said he did not think the man was drunk, but in a fit, and refused to remove him until he had consulted the Inspector; he went to the watch-house for that purpose, where he reported the case to the Serjeant, who ordered him to return and bring the deceased to the station house, and sent three other constables to assist him.  On removing him to the watch-house, he was attacked by another fit which subsided shortly after taking him inside and laying him down; the deceased was never able to speak after the time of his being removed from George-street; witness returned to his beat after taking deceased to the watch-house; in about two hours after witness heard of his death.  Serjeant Lintsky stated, that he was in charge of St. Phillips' watch-house on Friday evening, when the deceased was brought in and stayed there till he died, he was brought in about ten minutes past nine, and seeing that he struggled very much, witness would not let him be put in the inner room, he was laid on the ground, and a pillow was placed under his head, he breathed very hard and made so hoarse a noise, that he might be heard outside the watch house; witness knew the deceased, he had been in the watch-house twice before for drunkenness; he died about ten minutes to twelve; shortly before he died Fitzpatrick arrived and ordered a constable to go to the hospital for a cart to remove him there; but before the cart arrived, the deceased had died; this witness assigned as his reason for not sending for medical assistance during the interval that elapsed, between the arrival of the deceased and his death, that he had witnessed many persons in more violent fits at the watch-house, brought on by drinking, who generally got better after some little time.  George Taylor stated that he resides at the Red Cross, George-street, and had known the deceased about three weeks; he had never seen the deceased intoxicated; he came to Mr. Beatson's last Thursday at dinner timer, and on being asked by Mr. Beatson stayed to take dinner, but was suddenly taken in a fit which lasted two hours; the deceased stayed there that evening, but in the middle of the night, he arose and falling down stairs he cut his head very much, and was found in the morning lying at the foot of the stairs bathed in blood; he recovered and expressed his wish to return to Mrs. Langdon's and was visited in the day by a person in her employment who desired him to come immediately; but witness refused to take him till the evening as his clothes were stained with blood; in the evening he assisted the deceased to Mrs. Langdon's, who left him on the steps in the [crease in paper] of two of her people.  Dr. Hosking certified that his death was caused by apoplexy.  The Coroner said he could not help contrasting the kindness of Mr. Beatson in treating a person, almost a stranger to him, with so much attention, and the unkindness of Mrs. Langdon, who it was proved had suffered the deceased, who had been in her service very lately, and was again about to enter it, to remain in the same position on her steps till she had procured his removal to the watch-house.

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An inquest was held on Thursday morning, at the Duke of Gloucester, Gloucester-street, on the body of a native of New Zealand.  From the certificate of the gentleman who examined the body, it appeared there were signs of consumption,---Died by the visitation of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 16 May 1837

An inquest was held on the body of a New Zealander, at the Duke of Gloucester Public-house on Thursday last.  He had been in a very feeble state for some time past, and died rather suddenly on Wednesday evening.  Dr. Hosking, who was called in, certified that the deceased had died from natural causes.  The Jury returned a verdict of Died by the visitation of God.

   An inquest was held on Saturday, on the body of a young man named Richards, who had been in the employ of Mrs. Langdon, as clerk.  It appears that on Friday night the deceased was found by a constable lying in the street, who supposed him to be in a state of intoxication; by means of assistance which the policeman procured, Richards was taken to the watch-house, where it was discovered that he was in a fit.  As soon as possible he was conveyed to the hospital, but the vital spark had fled ere he arrived there.  The jury found that the deceased died of---"Apoplexy."

To the Editor of THE AUSTRALIAN.

SIR,---A few months since, a little boy named Fisher, at play with two of his schoolfellows at the Male Orphan School at Liverpool, was stooping to drink at a tank, and was by them pushed in and drowned.   ... Allow me further to ask, whether an inquest was held on the body of poor little Fisher, ... Perhaps, if one were held, the public---who support the school, and allow salaries and rations to master, store-keeper, and schoolmaster, to attend to the welfare and safety of the children,---may be favoured with the verdict, whether "visitation of God,"---"negligence of superintendents,"---or, a mere casualty.   .... VERAX, May 9th 1837.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 19 May 1837

POSTSCRIPT.---TWO O'CLOCK.

MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCE.---This morning, about a quarter before twelve, the body of an elderly man was found by Mr. Lecky, the Ranger of the Government Domain, floating near the Fig Tree bathing place; the legs were tied together with a cord.  A Constable has been stationed at the spot, where the body lies waiting the result of a Coroner's Inquest.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 22 May 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Saturday at noon, an Inquest was held at the Tam O'Shanter, Hunter street, on the body of Thomas Bowles, whose body was found on Friday floating near the Fig Tree in the Domain by the Ranger.  After the Jury had proceeded to view the body, evidence was adduced which showed that the deceased was a commuted pensioner of the Royal George, five years ago, and had latterly been in the Poor House from which he had been discharged about five days since, at his own request.  The legs were tied together.  From the certificate of Dr. Hosking who examined the body, it appeared that death was occasioned by drowning, and the body did not appear to have been long in the water.  The Jury after some consideration returned a verdict found drowned.

A SHOCKING ACCIDENT.---A young lad who had been minding a herd of cattle, was discovered the other day, at the Murrumbidgee, on the head of one, quite dead, with the horn through the body!---Gazette.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 23 May 1837

The Attorney General informed the Court that the prisoner Hartley, who was committed on the 1st of June, 1836, to take his trial on a charge of murder, could not be put upon his trial for the want of the witness, and therefore recommended his discharge.  The accused being a prisoner of the crown, and could not therefore give any security to appear when called on, the Court ordered him to be returned to Hyde Park, Barracks, but not to be assigned.

   The trial of John  Halloran, committed for murder, was ordered to stand over for the next session.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 26 May 1837

Original Correspondence.

To the Editor of The Sydney Monitor.

      SIR,

   On perusing your paper of the 22nd instant, I find it stated, under the heading of Law Intelligence, that I had committed a man, named John Cronan, on a charge of murder, alleged to have been perpetrated some time since, and who had been previously discharged by the Bench of magistrates. ... [mentions Inquest]... Charles Sims, [Coroner] Penrith, May 24, 1837.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 26 May 1837.

   A boat called the Gannett was upset on Tuesday afternoon by a sudden gust of wind in North Harbour, and the party precipitated in the water, and one man of the name of Samuel Johnson, met his death.  Every effort was made from the shore to save him, but without effect. The body has not yet been found.

   CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Wednesday afternoon at two o'clock, an inquest was held at the "Currency Lad," on the body of a man named Thomas Charlton, a waterman of the King's Wharf, who was found dead in his bed the same morning.  From the certificate of the medical gentlemen it appeared that death ensued from natural causes.  Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 26 May 1837

Coroner's Inquest.

On Thursday morning the ranger of the Government Domain was taking his rounds when he discovered in the water, near the spot known as the Fig-tree bathing place, the dead body of an old man with his legs tied together, which circumstance occasioned a supposition that the unfortunate man had come to his death by other means than that of either accident or self-destruction.  An Inquest was held by the Coroner on Saturday morning, at the Tam O'Shanter public-house, Hunter-street, but nothing has been discovered upon which the Jury might form an opinion as to whether his death was the consequence of his own act and deed, or of violence from any other individual; the verdict therefore was one simply of --- found drowned.  The name of the deceased is Thomas Bowler, who arrived in the Colony by the Royal Sovereign five years ago.

   A boat was upset in North Harbour, on Tuesday last, and the man who was in it named Samuel Johnson was unfortunately drowned.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 30 May 1837

We have received intelligence of a murder committed at Maitland last week.  It appears that two men in the employ of a butcher at that place were quarrelling in the shop, when the master came in and turned them out, and one of them seized a paling and struck the other over the head, which felled him to the ground.  Medical assistance was immediately procured, but it was of no avail, as the unfortunate deceased died shortly afterwards.  A coroner's inquest has been held on the body and a verdict of wilful murder returned.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 31 May 1837

We regret to say that Mr. Ed. J. Keith, one of our oldest and most respected Solicitors, died suddenly, on Monday night; he appeared to enjoy excellent health a very short time previous to his death. A report of the inquest will be found in another place.

CORONER'S INQUEST.---Yesterday afternoon, an inquest was held at the Three Tuns, King-street, on the body of Edward Joseph Keith, Esq., solicitor.  The jury after proceeding to view the body, which lay at the deceased's house, in Elizabeth-street, and which still retained a portion of warmth, occasioned (as asserted by Dr. Hosking) from the sudden stagnation of blood, returned to the jury room, when the following evidence was adduced.  John Mackanness, Esq., stated that he had known the deceased many years; yesterday the deceased came to his house for dinner; he appeared in perfect good health when he arrived; in the course of the evening, the deceased drank, it might be about one bottle of port wine, but no spirits; witness does not keep spirits in his house; the deceased dined heartily; in the course of the evening, he talked very much, and seemed excited; he became somewhat inebriated, and on his removal into the air, he fell down'; he expressed a desire to go home; witness desired two of his servants to accompany him; they carried him, witness walking by their side; deceased at first resisted being carried, but afterwards consented; witness did not hear him speak afterwards; when they arrived at the house of the deceased; witness desired the men to take off his cravat; as soon as Mrs. Keith saw the deceased, she said that he appeared black in the face, and witness immediately sent for medical aid. Two men, servants of Mr. Mackanness corroborated this evidence.  Dr. Hosking on being sworn said, I was called last night, between the hours of ten and eleven to attend deceased; I found him lying on his back on the couch on which the body at present lies; I examined the body and felt for the pulse, but could not find any; I then opened the eyes of deceased, and found the pupils fixed and dilated; about this time Mr. Tawell arrived, and in consequence of some one expressing a  wish that I should attempt to bleed deceased, I referred to Mr. Tawell as to whether life was not extinct, he expressed himself of the same opinion, and that bleeding was useless; I am decidedly of opinion that death was caused by apoplexy.  Mr. Tawell was next examined by the jury.  He corroborated the evidence of the last witness.  The jury returned a verdict accordingly.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 2 June 1837

An inquest was held on the body of Mr. Edward Joseph Keith, who had died suddenly, at the Three Tuns, King-street, on Tuesday last.  After the Jury was sworn in, they proceeded to the residence of the deceased to view the body, which, owing to the sudden stagnation of the blood, still retained some warmth.  The first witness called was John Mackaness, Esq. who stated---I have known the deceased for some time, on Monday he dinned (sic) at my house, at which time he appeared in very good health; at dinner he drank about one bottle of wine, and upon his retiring from the table he appeared rather intoxicated, and when he got in the open air fell down; I immediately directed two of my servants to carry the deceased home, and I accompanied them; on our arrival at the residence of the deceased, I desired my men to take off his neckerchief, when Mrs. Keith exclaimed that his face was black; medical assistance was immediately sent for, and in a very short time Dr. Hosking arrived; I requested Dr. Hosking to bleed him, but he said it was of no use, as he was already dead\; Dr. Tawell then arrived, who was of the same opinion as Dr. Hosking.  The evidence of this witness was corroborated by Drs. Hosking and Tawell, and the men who carried the deceased home.  The Surgeons stated, that it was their opinion that he had died of apoplexy, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 7 June 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Monday afternoon, an Inquest was held at the "Soldier's retreat," King-street, on the body of an elderly man named John Gorman, who it was stated had obtained his living by selling milk about the streets.  From the evidence it appeared that he was found dead in his bed that morning; her had retired the previous evening in his usual state of health.  From the certificate of Dr. Stewart who was called in to examine the body, it appeared that death was caused by apoplexy.---Verdict apoplexy.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 9 June 1837

An inquest was held on Monday, at the Soldier's Retreat, on the body of a man named John Gorman, who was found dead in his bed on that morning.  The deceased was a milkman, and it was stated that he returned to rest on the previous night in perfect health.  Mr. Surgeon Stewart gave evidence to the effect that the deceased had died of apoplexy, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 16 June 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Wednesday afternoon at four o'clock, an inquest was held at the "Cat and Mutton," Kent street, on the body of a woman named Sarah Sayles.  It appeared from the evidence of a woman who resided in the house with the deceased, in Clarence-street, that the deceased was a widow; her husband had died in the hospital at Liverpool, about three weeks since, leaving her with two children, the eldest being only about two years and a-half old, and the other only six months of age, the deceased was consequently unable to procure any employment so as to be able to support them, and had suffered a degree of want, being occasionally relieved by charitable neighbours.  The witness stated, that the deceased appeared in good health up to Saturday last, from which time she began to complain of sickness; on Tuesday, when witness returned from her work, she found the deceased in a worse condition, she gave her some tea, which appeared to relieve her, and then returned to rest; about four o'clock on Wednesday morning, witness was awakened by the eldest child crying, she got up and procured a light, when she found the deceased was dead. The certificate of Dr. Hosking, who examined the body, was read, by which it appeared that death was produced by natural causes.  The jury returned a verdict of died by the visitation of God.  After the business of the Inquest had been disposed of, the Coroner addressed the jury on the subject of the two children; he said he had ascertained that the deceased had not left any relatives; he regretted extremely that he was not vested with sufficient authority to authorise their immediate removal to some public Establishment; he addressed himself to the Foreman (Mr. Henry Webb, of York-street, Publican), and asked if he knew of any person who would undertake the care of them for a few days, till he could learn from the Colonial Secretary, what could be done with them, and very kindly remarked that he would be answerable for any expenses that might arise, which he said he would defray out of his own pocket.  A young woman Mrs. Samson of York-street, who described herself to be godmother to the eldest child, replied that she would provide for that child, and Mrs. Williams of Cumberland-street undertook to procure a nurse for the infant.  The Coroner said that some money might be wanted in the meantime, and handed a pound note to the Foreman, who followed his example, and promised to see the money applied for the benefit of the children.  About $(Pounds)3 8s. was collected from the Jury.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 16 June 1837

An inquest was held at the Cat and Mutton public-house, on Wednesday afternoon, on the body of a female named Catherine Sayles, who had died early on the same morning.  A certificate was put in from Mr. Surgeon Hosking to the effect that the deceased had died from natural causes, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 19 June 1837

MURDER.---A dreadful murder, committed near Cabramatta, was discovered last week, under the following circumstances---A young lad, named Michael Callaghan, about twelve years of age, had been missing since Sunday; the last time he had been seen was in the company of a man named John Kemp, a prisoner assigned to captain Weston, in the neighbourhood of the place where the body was subsequently found.  A few days afterwards, a man of the name of Hughes, on his way from Denham Court to Sir John Wylde's Estate, having missed his way, strayed into a rather thick part of the bush, and saw, what he at first conceived, was the mangled remains of a dead sheep, but which, on a nearer inspection, proved to be the body of a boy, with marks of great violence on it; a stick covered with blood and hair was lying near the body, and a quantity of blood was on the ground; the trowsers were down, which, with other circumstances, tended to create a belief that unnatural violence had been used.  Information was immediately given to the Police and the man Keep was taken into custody. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body on Friday, at the house of Mr. Martin, at Kemp's Creek, Cabramatta, before Mr. Heywood, the Coroner of Parramatta; and it was proved in evidence that the deceased was last seen in the company of the prisoner, going in the direction of the place where the body was found.  Keep admitted that the deceased accompanied him a part of his way home, which was in quite a contrary direction from that in which they were seen.  The Jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against John Keep, who was committed on the Coroner's warrant.  It is supposed that he first committed an unnatural assault on the boy, and afterwards murdered him to avoid detection.

   An accident occurred yesterday afternoon about three o'clock, which was attended by a melancholy loss of life.  Four persons consisting of a brother of Mr. Russell the hatter, his two assigned servants, and an apprentice belonging to Mr. Peterson, of George-street, proceeded in a sailing boat of the schooner Truelove from Dawes' point for the purpose of sailing up the Harbour.  They were carrying a press of sail and were apparently unable to manage the boat.  The boat had not got far from the land when it was capsized by a sudden gust of wind and the four persons precipitated into the water.  Mr. Rickards of George-street, who witnessed the accident, immediately put off to their rescue, and succeeded in rescuing one of the party---an assigned servant of Mr. Russell's.  The other three were drowned.  Every effort was made to recover the bodies, but without success.

   CORONER'S INQUEST.

   On Thursday afternoon, an inquest was held at the house of Mr. Gallott, at New Town, on the body of Thomas Shieby, an assigned servant of Mr. Gallots, who hung himself, under the following circumstances.  It appeared from the evidence adduced, that on Wednesday, the prisoner drove his mistress into Sydney in a gig, and while in town, he was so drunk that he was that he was unable to manage the horse on going back; the consequence was, that the vehicle was upset, and his mistress much injured.  Mr. Gallott being absent, a gentleman residing in the house came into Sydney to procure a constable to take the deceased into custody, and although he saw two inspectors, yet strange to say, neither of them could spare him a constable for the purpose.  The gentleman returned home on Wednesday evening, intending to make application to Colonel Wilson the next day; on his return, he found the deceased had been drinking afresh.  A fellow servant to the deceased deposed, that the deceased seemed very melancholy during the whole of Wednesday night, and would not retire to rest; and that early on Thursday morning, the deceased went out of the house stating that he was going into the bush for a short time.  About seven o'clock, when the family began to move about, the deceased was discovered hanging to a tree quite dead.  It appeared evident that the deceased committed the rash act himself; when found, his feet nearly touched the ground, and his legs were bent, as if he had kept hold of his feet by his hands.  The jury returned the following verdict: that the deceased hung himself in s state of temporary derangement, brought on by drink, and the fear of punishment! !

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 20 June 1837

Melancholy Accident.

On Sunday morning, the brother of Mr. Russell, the hatter, of George-street, accompanied by the foreman of Mr. R.'s establishment, one of his assigned servants, and an apprentice of Mr. F. Paterson, the painter, also named Russell, went to enjoy an aquatic excursion in a small sailing boat.  At about half-past one o'clock, when abreast of the point opposite Dawes' Battery, a sudden gust of wind capsized the boat, the sheet having been very incautiously made fast at the time, and (melancholy to relate) the whole of the above parties were drowned, with the exception of the assigned servant, who was picked up in an exhausted state by Mr. Rickards' boat, which happened fortunately to be near the distressing scene.  Two of the unfortunate sufferers (the two Russels) were under twenty years of age.  Mr. Russell's brother was only fourteen.  The bodies have not been found, and it is feared that the strong westerly winds which have since prevailed, may tend much towards precluding their discovery.  Mr. Russell, we understand, will give a handsome reward to any person recovering the body of his unfortunate brother.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 23 June 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Saturday afternoon, an inquest was held at the Lord Nelson, at the corner of Phillip-street, on the body of an elderly man, named John Stewart, a shoemaker, who died suddenly, at his house in Phillip-street the previous day.  Dr. Hosking, who examined the body, certified that the deceased came by his death from natural causes.  The jury returned a verdict of Died by the visitation of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 27 June 1837

An inquest was held on Thursday last, at the Thistle public-house in Kent-street, on the body of James Byrnes, an aged man, employed occasionally as an assistant bailiff, who dropped down dead suddenly at the corner of Clarence-street.  A Medical Gentleman having examined the body, the Jury returned a verdict of, Died by the visitation of God.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 28 June 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Friday afternoon an inquest was held at the sign of the "Thistle" in Bathurst street, on the body of an old man named Burns an incurable drunkard, who was picked up by the police in a dying state in the streets on the previous evening.  He died shortly after his arrival at the watch-house.  The certificate of the medical man tended to show that the deceased died of apoplexy.  The Jury returned a verdict of---"Died by the visitation of God."

   A murder has recently been discovered to have been committed on the Hawkesbury, near the estate of Mr. Wiseman.  The murdered man was a prisoner of the Crown and had quarrelled with some persons about giving information against an individual for sly grog selling.  The murder was committed by cutting off the head of the unfortunate man.  It is said that the perpetrators of this horrid act are in custody.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 5 July 1836

   The body of a man was found floating off the Market Wharf, on Saturday last.  He is said to be a woodcutter of Lane Cove, he left Sydney on Wednesday evening to proceed there, and had not since been heard of.  The body was much mangled by the fish.  The Jury who sat on the body returned a verdict of Found drowned.

   A fatal accident occurred the night before last.  As a man named James Rum, known as Jemmy the Rum was crossing the road near the old Toll-bar, he was knocked down by a stage coach going at full speed, before he had time to get out of the way. [Samuel Lamb?]

   A man was last night killed by falling down the Cut at the West-end of King-st.  An inquest will be held on the body this afternoon.  This part is a great thoroughfare, and should be protected by a railing.  The path is so narrow, and after a shower of rain, so slippery that the lives of the most temperate are in jeopardy.  Drunkards stand but a poor chance.  A constable is stationed at the one end with a lantern, but this affords but little or no protection to the public who may approach from the west-end.

   This morning a Coroner's Inquest was held at "Solomon's Hotel," Sussex-street, on the body of Thomas Evans, an apprentice belonging to the Richard Bell brig; at present lying off Hosking's Wharf, which was found floating in Darling Harbour.  The body on being viewed presented several marks of violence about the head and neck.  It appeared from the evidence of the Captain and Mate that the deceased had been missing since the 27th of June; he had put the mate shore the same evening, and shortly after the boat was found floating to windward of the ship which led to the supposition that he had run away. They stated that the deceased had been on very friendly terms with the crew, and they did not think any violence had been used towards him.  He was picked up yesterday morning about eleven o'clock about midway between the ship and the shore.  One of the ship's boys stated he saw the deceased sculling the boat to the stern of the ship after landing the mate; and soon after a man hailed that the boat was adrift.  Search was made, but it was fruitless.  Verdict---Found drowned.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 7 July 1837

   A coroner's inquest was convened at the Wellington public house, Parramatta-street, on Tuesday last, to enquire into the death of a man named Samuel [Lamb], said to have met his death by being run over by Watsford's coach the previous night.  Several persons were examined, and Watsford was taken into custody.  But in the absence of some material witnesses at Parramatta, the inquest was adjourned till this day.  We shall give a report of the case in our next.  Watsford has been allowed to go on bail.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 7 July 1837

An Inquest was held at Solomon's Hotel in Sussex-street on Wednesday last, on the body of Thomas Evans, an apprentice to the brig Richard Bell, whose body was discovered floating in the harbour on the previous day.  It appeared some few days since, the deceased sculled one of the officers of the vessel ashore, and in returning it is conjectured he must have fell overboard, as the boat was found drifting without him. The deceased was on good terms with the whole of the ship's company, so that there was no reason to imagine he met his death otherwise than accidentally.  The Jury returned a verdict of---found drowned.

   On Monday evening last, as Mr. Watsford, junior, was driving the Parramatta coach, he ran over an old man named Samuel Lamb, on the top of the hill just before reaching Cooper's distillery, and the coach passing over the man's head, killed him on the spot.  An Inquest was held on Tuesday on the body, when an adjournment took place to await further evidence.  The Jury re-assembled yesterday, but in consequence of the indisposition of the Coroner, the further investigation was postponed until this morning.

   An elderly looking labouring man [John Gavin] was discovered on Wednesday morning lying dead in the road in west King-street, where the ironed-gang is employed levelling the street.  No Inquest has yet taken place on the body in consequence of the indisposition of the Coroner,---and the corpse still remains lying by the road side.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 10 July 1837

   An inquest was held, on Tuesday last, at the "Wellington Inn," Parramatta-street, to enquire into the death of Samuel Lamb, a brickmaker, who was said to have received his death in consequence of being run over by Watsford's Penrith Coach.  Evidence was gone into, and the Jury seemed much disposed to return a verdict that would have had the effect of charging the coachman with wilful murder; the evidence not being sufficient to warrant such a finding, the Coroner adjourned the enquiry till Friday for further evidence.  The following is a digest of the evidence adduced on the proceedings on both days. Watsford, the driver, was taken into custody in the interim and held to bail.  The first witness called was Elias Blackburn, who deposed that between four and five o'clock on Monday afternoon the deceased was crossing the road opposite the blacksmith's shop in Parramatta street; the Penrith Coach was approaching at the rate of six miles an hour; it appeared heavily laden; the coachman called out to the deceased twice; he observed the deceased knocked down and the near wheels pass over his body; the deceased was about five yards from the coach when the driver called out.  Mr. Surgeon Stuart, who examined the body, stated that he found the ribs on the left side were fractured, also the left collar bone, and the vertebrae of the neck; the skull and bones of the face were much fractured; he added that the injuries appeared to be caused by a heavy body passing over the deceased, which must have produced instantaneous death from the injuries inflicted on the hear and brain.  James Ram, a brickmaker, stated that he had been drinking with the deceased on Monday afternoon and parted with him a short time before the accident; he described the deceased as being very deaf.  Edward Carpenter, servant to Mr. Norton of the Parramatta Road, stated that he saw the deceased knocked down; witness was standing near the deceased, was about 20 yards from the coach when deceased was struck down, (this witness afterwards qualified his evidence by saying he was no judge of distance.)  The accident occurred at a place where the road became steep; it the deceased had heard the cry he might have escaped; the coach was heavily laden; the driver did not flog his horses.  The witness added that a man was driving sheep in the road, to whom the coachman called out if he did not get out of his way, he would serve him as he served the other man.  Joseph M'Teer sworn stated that he was employed by Mr. Samuels of King-street as shepherd.  On  Monday afternoon witness was driving a flock of sheep into Sydney; when opposite Roach's the wheelwright he observed the defendant's coach approaching, the driver called out to witness to keep the sheep out of his way, or he would drive over them; witness replied if you do "I'll make your heart ache," meaning that he would take the law of him; the coachman said nothing more, but drove on; he did not say any thing to the effect that he would serve witness as he served the other man; he slackened to give way for the sheep; witness added he observed a crowd before him, when he approached he found that a man had been killed as the people told witness by the coachman who had just passed.  Mr. John Solomons of Longbottom deposed that he was a passenger by the Penrith coach on the day in question; the coach was going down the hill and had moved to the right hand as is usual at that place to avoid a bad part of the road, some c arts were standing on the other side, a man was observed crossing the road opposite the blacksmith's, when the coach was approaching, he stopped short in the road, had he gone on he would have escaped; the coachman called out twice and pulled upon the reins to check the horses, but the coach was heavily laden and could not be stopped in time; the deceased went down and the coach passed over him.  If the deceased had passed on as he had intended he would have escaped, but he stood still exactly opposite the horses; one step either way would have saved him.  Witness thought if the driver had attempted to turn the coach it would have run the risk of being capsized; witness did not think it possible to have turned the coach in time to avoid the deceased.  Mr. Watsford the driver jumped off the coach and wished to remain was recommended by the passengers to go on and leave the guard behind, which he did.  Witness was of opinion the coachman did all that man could do to avoid the deceased.  The Coroner summed up the evidence of the witnesses, and commented upon certain inconsistencies, particularly in the evidence of Carpenter, who swore that the coachman threatened to run over the shepherd, which the shepherd denied.  He directed the jury that there was no evidence before them which shewed either malice or negligence on the part of the driver; if malice had been proved it would have been murder; but the evidence clearly showed that the driver used every precaution, and in that case the finding must come under the head of homicide per infortunium.   He added he was sorry to observe that some of the jury did not seem to have cleared their minds from pre-existing prejudice, and transactions totally unconnected with the case.  The jury retired for about half an hour and then returned a verdict of accidental death, with a deodand of $(Pounds)10 on the wheels.

   CORONER'S INQUEST.

   Negligence of the Police.

   On Friday last, an inquest was convened at the "Cross Keys" Public-house, to enquire touching the death of John Gavin, who was found on Friday evening, in the new-cut, at the West end of King street, in a very debilitated state and died the following morning.  It appeared from the evidence of Mr. Villiers of Kent-street, that he had known the deceased about three years, he was a carpenter, and had just come out of the House of Correction; the deceased was described as being a confirmed drunkard.  John Haddington, the watchman, stationed at the end of the quarry in King-street, deposed, that a little before twelve o'clock on Tuesday night, his attention was arrested by hearing a noise in the quarry, he went down with his lantern and discovered the deceased on his hands and knees in the middle of the street, there was blood flowing from one of his hands; witness tried to move him but could not.  A short time after, witness observed a constable approaching, he called to him; he approached, and looked at the deceased, who remained in the same state as when first observed by witness.  The constable after looking at him said he could do nothing by himself, and went away.  About half an hour afterwards two more constables came up and looked at the decreased, they got him up on his legs and removed him to the side of the road; witness asked them to remove the old man to the watch-house, they replied, the deceased was drunk, and would soon be better, and that it was no use taking such an old man there, and went away telling witness if any other constables came up, not to say they had been there.  The deceased did not say anything; he was very drunk; witness could not say whether the deceased fell down from the pathway; he might have fallen from the path.  Witness is stationed at the east end of the cut to light persons going from Kin g-street to Kent-street; goes on watch about five o'clock in the afternoon, and retires about six in the morning; never makes it a rule to go to sleep; it appeared to witness that the deceased had been coming up the street; witness visited the deceased about eight or ten times during the night; he died about four o'clock in the morning.  After the two constables who had removed the deceased, went away, another constable approached from the south, he also looked at the deceased and made the same remark as the first constable had made, that he could do nothing of himself.---

   The Inquest was then adjourned.

   On Saturday morning at eight o'clock, the Jury re-assembled and the following evidence was adduced.  Clifford a constable in the Police, stated, that he was informed by the last witness on Wednesday morning about four o'clock, that a dead body was lying in the street; he went and informed his sergeant, who ordered him to remain over the body till the morning; witness came on duty at twelve o'clock, his patrol extends from the watch-house in Clarence-street south, to King-street, down King-street into Kent-street, then north to Erskine-street, and back to the watch-house.  On the night in question, witness on arriving at the end of Clarence-street, by King-street, instead of going into King st., to Kent-st., returned back to Clarence-st.  Witness never saw or heard of the deceased till he heard the last witness calling out for a constable; witness went up and was informed that a dead body was lying in the street.  Haddington the watchman being recalled, stated, the deceased died lower down the street than were placed by the constables; he had crawled by himself.  The Coroner asked if the constables whose turn it was to be on duty near the spot in question were in attendance; being replied to in the affirmative, he directed that Haddington should go out with the Coroner's constable, and see if he could identify any of them as being those who visited the deceased.  On his return, he stated that he could not speak positively to any of the parties, he said that of the two constables who visited the deceased, one had on a forage cap, and the other he thought spoke with a Scottish accent.  The Coroner then desired that the constables should be brought into the Inquest-room; when Haddington said that one of the constables (Bryan Norton) appeared like one of the men who visited the deceased, but he could not speak positively to him; he also said that Serjeant M'Fall bore some resemblance to the other one.  The Certificate of Dr. Hosking was read, it stated that he had examined the body of the deceased, and could not discover any marks of violence, except a few bruises on the back of the right hand, and was of opinion that the death of the deceased was caused by apoplexy, brought on by excessive drinking.  The Coroner addressed the Jury, he stated that it was evident that death ensued by apoplexy, he could not say whether it was accelerated by neglect.  He commented strongly on the inhuman conduct of the constables; and said if no other charge could be brought against them, there was one of neglect of duty, he should forward the depositions to Colonel Wilson and refer the case to him with a view of ascertaining who were the constables who had shown such palpable neglect of duty.  All he (the Coroner) could say, was, that men who would suffer an old man like the deceased to remain exposed so long on such an inclement night, were unfit to remain in the Police. The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased died by the visitation of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 11 July 1837

An Inquest was held at the Cross Keys, Public House, King street, on the body of an old man named John Gavin, who was discovered on Wednesday morning, lying dead in King street, where the iron-gang is employed levelling the Street.  It appeared in evidence that the deceased was an habitual drunkard, and had only just returned from a sojourn at the House of Correction.  Shortly after midnight, the watchman stationed to prevent persons from falling in to the cut, perceived the deceased staggering up the street from the water-side, apparently inebriated.  He fell down in the middle of the Street, and remained there.  Shortly after a constable observed him, and removed him to the side of the road, where he left him, telling the watchman that if any one should enquire, not to say that the constable had seen the man.  Afterwards two other constables, and subsequently another came and did the very same thing.  The deceased remained where the constables left him, and on the watchman going up to him about four o'clock, he discovered the deceased was dead.  Dr. Hosking having viewed the body, certified that the deceased died from apoplexy, induced by excessive intoxication, and the jury under the direction of the coroner, returned a verdict of died by the visitation of God.  The watchman was unable to identify the constable who visited the deceased, but he described one of them as being a Scotchman, and another as having worn a forage cap; and the coroner directed a report of the circumstance to be made to Colonel Wilson, in order that measures might be taken to discover who they were.  We trust they may be discovered and dealt with accordingly---for in addition to their gross neglect of duty, they have evinced a total want of humanity in permitting an infirm old man, although drunk, to remain exposed to the inclemency of the weather during a cold night, merely to avoid the trouble of conveying him to the watch-house.  Although this man's death was not occasioned by falling into the excavation, as has been elsewhere reported, still the place is a dangerous one, of which the Town Surveyor himself had ample experience the other day, his horse falling backwards into it, and he himself narrowly escaping a similar fate, by timely jumping off the animal's back.

  Since writing the above we hear that the convict watchman at the quarry in King-street, where the man was found dead, swore at the inquest that he had applied to four different constables to remove him; but it appears that the superintendent and the inspector who passed during the night, that a sergeant of police, and every constable who could have been near the place, have been confronted with him, and he has not been able to identify one of them. The strictest inquiry has been made, and not the slightest suspicion attaches to any individual belonging to the Sydney Police.  The story appears to be a fabrication on the part of the watchman to excuse his own neglect.

   An Inquest was held on Tuesday last, at the Wellington Inn, Parramatta-street, on the body of Samuel Lamb, who was run over by the Penrith coach on the previous evening, and killed upon the spot.  From the evidence produced, it appeared that the deceased, who was a brickmaker residing at New Town, had been drinking freely just before the unfortunate occurrence, and that he was habitually deaf; shortly after four o'clock, Mr. Watsford, junior, was driving the Penrith coach, which was rather heavily laden, at a moderate pace down Parramatta-street, and when he had commenced going down the gradual declivity which approaches Black-wattle Swamp, the deceased was in the act of crossing the road, at a few yards only in front of the horses; Mr. Watsford called out to the deceased, and imagined that he had time enough to get out of the way; but the deceased perhaps not hearing the warning, or being confused from intoxication or fear, suddenly stood still in the middle of the road, and was consequently knocked down by the horses, and both wheels on the near side passing over his head and body, he was killed instantaneously.  A witness named Carpenter deposed that after the occurrence, and when the coachman had remounted his box, he encountered a man driving some sheep a little distance from where Lamb was killed, when he called out to the shepherd, that if he did not get out of his way, he would run over him the same as he had the other man, alluding to the deceased.  Hereupon the Inquest was adjourned to procure further evidence, and Mr. Watsford was held to bail, to give his attendance when called upon.

   On Friday morning the Jurors having re-assembled, the following evidence was taken.  Joseph M'Teer deposed that he is shepherd to Mr. Samuell, the butcher, of King-street, and that on Monday evening he was driving his master's sheep up Parramatta-street, towards Sydney; at a little after four o'clock he met the Penrith coach, driven by Mr. Watsford, junior, at a pretty fast pace, and he called out to witness to get out of his road.  Witness did not go in among the sheep, lest by doing so he might scatter them still more over the road.  The coachman then said something which witness did not distinctly hear, but witness observed to him that he was on the wrong side of the road at any rate.  The coachman replied that he would drive over any thing in his road if it did not leave his road; to which witness rejoined that if he hurt any of his sheep, he would make his heart ache for it, meaning that he would take the law of him, as he was upon the wrong side of the road.  The coachman said nothing more, but drove on without hurting any of the sheep.  Witness did not hear the coachman say that he would drive over him if he did not get out of his way, or that he would kill him as he had killed the other man.  The coachman slackened his speed a little when he came up to the witness's sheep, which possessed the greater part of the road.

   Mr. John Solomon deposed that he was on the Penrith coach at the time of the accident of the death of deceased.  It took place opposite a blacksmith's shop, which projects out of the line of the street into the carriage road.  Witness saw the deceased in front of the horses, and he appeared to be drunk.  Mr. Watsford, junior, called out to the deceased, who instead of moving out of the road, stood still right in front of the horses.  Witness saw the deceased fall, and the coach passed over him and killed him on the spot.  Mr. Watsford was perfectly sober.  Witness thought there was a cart at the time on the left hand side of the road.  Persons usually drive on the right hand side of the road in that particular spot, in order to avoid the badness of the road on the other side.  Mr. Watsford called out to deceased more than once.  If the deceased had either advanced or receded ever so little in the way he was going, the accident would not have happened.  Witness thought it was not possible to turn the coach at the moment, without upsetting it, and endangering the safety of the passengers.  The coach was rather heavily laden.  At the time the deceased was first called to, he was  eight or ten yards off.  Witness sat immediately behind Mr. Fairs, who occupied the box seat, and he had a perfect view of what occurred.  The coachman appeared to hold the reins tighter when he called out to deceased.  Witness was of opinion that no sober man could have been run over in the manner in which deceased was ran over.  The deceased appeared not to hear the warning, and he seemed to pay no attention to his dangerous situation.  Mr. Watsford pulled up immediately, and gave the reins to Mr. Fairs, and went towards deceased.  He returned with marks of horror in his countenance, saying "poor man, he's dead."  Mr. Watsford wished to remain, but witness and some of the other passengers urged him to go on.  To the best of the belief of witness, the coach stopped about ten minutes in consequence of the accident. Witness was so agitated after the accident, that he did not recollect meeting the sheep, or hearing the coachman call out to any other person.  Witness thought it was the lefty wheels which passed over the deceased.  In the opinion of witness, Mr. Watsford, junior, was a careful driver.

   Mr. Watsford handed in an affidavit from Mr. Fairs, who was prevented from giving his attendance on the Inquest in consequence of his being engaged as a special juror in the Supreme Court; but the Coroner was of opinion it could not be offered to the Jury as evidence, and he therefore declined reading it to them.  The Coroner then proceeded to read over, and comment upon the evidence, which he observed went to establish the following positions, namely:---that Mr. Watsford was not pursuing any unlawful act at the time of the death of deceased---that he was in the exercise of his ordinary avocations---that he was not driving furiously---and that there appeared to have been no want of ordinary caution on his part; under these views of the case, he would recommend a verdict of homicide per infortunium.

   He next went on to offer a few remarks on the subject of deodands, which he said had their origin in the times when England was under the dominion of the church of Rome, for which they were expressly levied for offering up prayers for the repose of the soul of the departed.  After the reformation, deodands were levied on behalf of the crown, and their object seemed to be the operation as a punishment for that degree of carelessness, or want of necessary precaution against accident, which would not subject the party to a charge of culpable homicide.  In no case however, were deodands given for more than the real value of the article of forfeiture, because if the owner chooses to do so, he could surrender up the article itself.  Deodands of nominal value only were therefore usually awarded, in order that the law in this respect might be satisfied.  The Jury returned a verdict of "accidental death," finding a deodand of 10 Pounds on the two left wheels, being 5 Pounds for each wheel.

   The above case presents one feature in it, on the subject of which we beg to call the attention of the proper authorities.  The blacksmith's shop opposite to the spot where the above accident occurred, is considerably out of the line of the street, and even projects considerably into the carriage road, which at that particular part runs close by the shop, in consequence of the road on the left hand side being somewhat out of repair.  The situation of the blacksmith's shop prevents a clear view of the road, and being on a descent, affords a more than ordinary facility for accidents similar to the above.  We would therefore suggest the propriety of its removal.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 14 July 1837

Horrid Murder.

A correspondent has favoured us with the voluntary statement of a man named Comerfort Comerford], who has been captured, relative to the murder of five prisoners who had taken to the bush.  It is in type, but we are compelled to let it stand over until our next for want of space.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 18 July 1837

The following is the statement of the man Comerford, made in the presence of Messrs. Jones, Potts, and Cockburn, detailing the particulars of one of the most blood-thirsty (although, providentially, short) bushranging careers with which the annals of this Colony have been stained.

   I arrived in this Colony in the ship Hive on 1835, a prisoner for seven years; I was assigned to Mr. Ambrose Wilson, at Penrith; I remained there about six months, and then absconded; I passed as a Native of the Colony, and entered the service of Mr. Ebden at the Murray River, and went with that gentleman to Port Phillip; I remained there but a short time, and then took the bush; I then joined a party of armed men who were also in the bush. The party consisted of three of Mr. Howey's assigned men, three of Mr. Ebden's servants (one of whom was free), a free man named Smith, a man calling himself John Digman (now in custody), and myself.  We stole one of Mr. Ebden's mares, and stopped together one night peaceably; at this time we were proceeding to Portland Bay.  The second night I heard Mr. Howey's shoemaker (while I was at a water-hole) tell Digman that the rest of the party meant to murder us, "and I don't think that native (meaning me) will stand by and see it done."  They agreed to take a musket, and gave me one, and Digman had a tomahawk; we then went to bed, and at about eleven o'clock the shoemaker awoke me; the prisoner Digman then got up, and we three went outside; the rest of the party were asleep at this time.  Digman then uncovered the heads of the sleeping party, and struck four of them with the tomahawk on the head; they never spoke after; the tomahawk then flew out of Digman's hands, and fell upon Smith and awoke him; Smith was in the act of getting up, when Digman (who had taken a musket in his hand) shot him dead; he (Digman) then struck a man of the name of Salley with the butt end of the musket, and killed him on the spot; the shoemaker then went up to a man named Dominick and hit him on the head with the butt end of his musket, and killed him also; both muskets were now broken; I fired a musket to save myself, but I did not intend to kill any one.   Digman, the shoemaker, and myself, then made up a large fire of logs, into which we threw the dead bodies, and covered them with logs; at daylight we went to see if any signs remained, when Digman covered the blood and brains with dirt, and with a stick broke the skulls.  We then took the mare that we had and went on towards Portland Bay.  We had  gone about two days' journey, when Digman, watching his opportunity, killed the shoemaker with a tomahawk; the body we dragged to a water-hole near Major Mitchell's road, and covered it up with long grass.  Digman and myself then went back to Port Phillip.  After the second day's journey the mare knocked up, when we took her to a water-hole and shot her, and took part of the carcase for rations.  We next reached Mr. Agar's station, and hired with him; Mr. Ebden happened to come up, who apprehended us both for absconding from him; we were handcuffed all night, and in the morning, Mr. Agar and Mr. Ebden, after having breakfast went out and left us to get ours; the key of an other pair of handcuffs lying near, Digman tried it on ours, and as it fitted he released himself and me.  We each took a fowling-piece and went out; Digman presented his at Messrs. Agar and Ebden, and swore that he would shoot them if they moved; he then desired me to go into the hut and get some flour and other rations; he then told me to catch Mr. Ebden's horse and saddle him, and having put the rations on him I mounted, and we proceeded over the hill; we met Mr. M'Leod, and Digman seized his horse and mounted it himself.  We then made for Mr. Agar's sheep station, but missing the short way we took a round of five miles, and Mr. Ebden was in the hut before we got there; he asked us to leave the horses, and I said he might have the one I rode if he sent one of his men to the top of the hill with me, but Digman said he would blow my brains out if I left the horse.  After proceeding about a mile and a half Digman missed his blankets, and sent me back to look for them; on returning with them, when about two hundred yards from Digman, I saw Messrs. Agar and Hamilton riding over the hill; on seeing us they turned short, and one of them fired, wounding Dugman in the hand, which caused him to fall from the horse; I dismounted and we both bolted into the bush. In three days we reached Mr. Bunny's, where we stopped that night, and in the morning Frederic Hallam, as assigned servant to Mr. Ebden, said he was sorry that he had not joined us before, but he would do so now, to which Digman agreed.  Hallam stole an entire horse of Mr. Ebden.  We three then robbed Mr. Bunny's hut of wearing apparel and fire-arms, and then proceeded to the Murray river, after crossing which we concealed the fire-arms (namely, two single and one double barrelled guns), keeping in our possession a case of horse and another of pocket pistols; we then re-crossed the river to Mr. Ebden's cattle station; Digman gave Mr. Ebden's stock-keeper, named William Wise, as large canister of gun powder, and I gave him another, together with a horse pistol; next morning Digman and myself proceeded on to Mr. Dutton's station, but Hallam remained; from thence we went to the Rev. Mr. Therry's station, for the purpose of furnishing ourselves with horses and rations for the journey to Portland Bay, but were disappointed.  I then persuaded Digman to proceed, in hopes that I might meet some of the Police and give him in charge; on our reaching Mr. Jones's I related the foregoing facts and Digman was apprehended.

GEORGE COMERFORD.

June 25th, 1837.

Murder by the Aboriginals at Port Macquarie. [See The Sydney Monitor, 21 July.]

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 19 July 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Friday afternoon, an Inquest was held at Mr. Betts's, at the Glebe lands, Darling Harbour, on the body of Michael Kain aged five years, who met his death by burning.  It appeared in evidence that the deceased was son to a servant of Mr. Betts, and was left by his mother to play in a room where there was a fire, into which he fell and was dreadfully burned.  Dr. Wallace, who was called in certified that the deceased came by his death in consequence of injuries received by burning.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

INQUEST.---On the same afternoon, an inquest was convened at O'Meara's Public House, on the Surry Hills, to enquire into the death of an old man named Joseph Bartholomew.  It appeared in evidence, that the deceased had obtained a livelihood by selling vegetables; that on Wednesday evening he went to the garden of Mr. Waters of the Surry Hills for the purpose of procuring vegetables, and was shortly afterwards found lying dead in the garden.  Dr. Hosking certified that death ensued from natural causes.  The Jury returned a verdict of died by the visitation of God.

INQUEST.---Yesterday afternoon, an Inquest was held at Mr. Cunningham's, "Three Tuns," King-street, on the body of Henry Butt, an assigned servant to Mr. Thomas Wilsford, of Elizabeth-street.  Ellen M'Guiggan, a girl about thirteen years of age stated, that she was a fellow-servant with the deceased; on Monday afternoon witness missed the deceased about half-past four o'clock, and on searching for him found him hanging to a beam in the bed-room, he was suspended by his neck-handkerchief, his feet resting on the floor, she immediately gave an alarm, and he was cut down.  The witness stated that, the deceased did not appear to be in his right senses before he committed the act; she added, that he had been drinking that day, and had come home very drunk on the previous day.  Peter Gardner, Esq., of the Bank of Australia, stated, that he lodged at the house of Mr. Wilford, and returned home on Monday about eighteen minutes to five; he had not been in his room two minutes when he heard the last witness running along the passage crying out that Henry had hanged himself, witness rushed into the room and discovered the deceased suspended to a beam with a silk-handkerchief, with his feet resting on the floor; witness immediately cut him down, and after taking off the handkerchief ran out to procure medical assistance, he stopped the first gig he saw and requested the gentleman to drive to Doctor Henderson, which he did, and returned with that gentleman; the whole time not taking more than three minutes; on their return, it was ascertained that Nutt was dead.  Mr. G., stated the deceased to be of a vacant disposition, and that he did not appear to be at times in a right state of mind; he added, that he returned home in a state of intoxication the previous evening, the effect of which, coupled with what he had been that day drinking, witness conceived might tend to disturb his mind more than usual.  Dr. Nicholson certified, that death was caused by suffocation from hanging.  Verdict---temporary insanity, furthered by intoxication.

   Another Inquest was held at the same place, on the body of Charles Evans, lying at the General Hospital.  It appeared, that the deceased had been admitted to the Hospital on the 29th June, he stated that he had fallen down the hatchway of the "Medway," of which ship he was a sailor, his head was slightly fractured in consequence; he continued getting worse till Monday, when he died.  Verdict---Accidental death.

   Yesterday afternoon, as a gentleman was walking in the Domain near Mrs. Macquarie's chair, he observed the body of a person respectably dressed lying out of the pathway, it was soon discovered to be the body of Mr. Hugh Murray, a gentleman of property lately residing in Sussex-street, and brother to one of the tutors in the Sydney College.  Mr. Murray had been absent from home since Monday, and was last seen in the afternoon of that day when he was observed going into the Domain; being a person of rather retired habits and delicate appearance, considerable fears were entertained for his safety, by his brother, who ordered a search to be made for him yesterday morning, but it was fruitless and nothing was heard of him till the fatal intelligence that he had been found dead in the Domain.  When found he had his watch and money amounting to about eight pounds on his person, by which it would appear that his death was not occasioned by violence.  An inquest will be held this day.

   The body of a man was found floating near the shore, of the Domain, opposite the Man-of-war, Victor.  The body bore the appearance of having lain some time in the water, the dress consisted of a blue coat and drab trowsers.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 21 July 1837

   During an inquest on Tuesday last the Coroner remarked that, although it was only the eighteenth day of the month, he had attended eight inquests; in each case it was clearly proved that intoxication was the proximate cause of death.

MURDER OF THE ABORIGINALS AT PORT MACQUARIE.

One of the Native blacks who committed the outrage at Mr. Magnus M'Leod's farm, called "Kago," in the neighbourhood of Port Macquarie, in February last, has been apprehended, and is now in Sydney gaol. His native name is "Wombarty" and he calls himself "Jemmy Barlow."  A correspondent has furnished us with the following particulars of this outrageous murder, and as no particulars have yet been laid before the public, although a considerable time has elapsed, we deem the account of sufficient interest to be inserted in our columns.  It appears, that on the 9th of February, four persons, named John Spokes, John Pocock, Charles Somerville, and William Lennox, free persons, in the employ of the above-named gentleman, were asleep in their hut---that about break of day, a native black entered the hut, and asked for a drink of water; he was directed by the man John Spokes who was the only man awake, to help himself out of the bucket; while he was doing so, seven more natives entered the hut, accompanied by a boy about ten years of age, and they all, with the exception of the boy, commenced an attack upon the white people, with their 'waddies' and 'nulla nullas,' without uttering a sentence, and continued beating Pocock, Somerville, and Lennox, over the head, until they supposed they were dead, the sculls of each being frightfully fractured; they then went outside the hut and joined several others, the boy before mentioned having been employed conveying every portable article out of the hut.  Spokes escaped in consequence of being supposed to be dead, as he was knocked down in the early part of the affray, and in consequence of Lennox falling on him and the blood which flowed from his wounds entirely hiding his features, the blacks imagined he was dead; after the blacks left the hut, Spokes made his escape although pursued by the blacks, who flung their 'womberas' at him, to an adjoining hut, where he gave an alarm. Which was instantly spread to the neighbouring farms and in consequence the blacks disappeared.  Spokes is enabled to identify the native who has been apprehended, and he has been fully committed for trial.  The names of three of the others are 'Jackey, Old Parker, and Charley,' and four other; whose names are not known---none of them have been apprehended.  The prisoner 'Wombarty' will be tried at the ensuing Sessions of the criminal Court.---AUSTRALIAN.

FROM THE AUSTRALIAN.---The following is the statement of the man Comerford, made in the presence of Messrs. Jones, Potts, and Cockburn, detailing the particulars of one of the most bloodthirsty (although, providentially, short) bushranging careers with which the annals of the Colony have been stained.  [See above, 18 July.]

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 21 July 1837

Coroner's Inquest.

An Inquest was held on Tuesday last, at the Three Tuns, public house, in King-street, on the body of Henry Nutt, the late assigned servant of Mr. Thomas Wilford, who was found suspended on his master's premises the previous day.  The deceased had been drinking to excess before he committed the rash act, and no doubt, while under the excitement occasioned by inebriety, performed self destruction.  The attendance of Dr. Henderson was obtained immediately on the finding of the body by Mr. Peter Gardner, of the Bank of Australasia, a lodger in the house, but surgical aid was of no avail, as life was already extinct.  The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased had destroyed himself while laboring under a temporary aberration of intellect.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 24 July 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Wednesday morning, an inquest was held at the Derwent Cottage at the south end of Sussex-street, on the body of Mr. Hugh Murray, who was found in the Domain on Tuesday afternoon last.  It appears that a naval officer named Harris, while walking in the Domain opposite Mrs. Macquarie's chair, observed the body of a man lying between two rocks, at high-water mark; he was moving away to give an alarm when he met the Domain Ranger, Mr. Walker, and Mr. Farrell of George-street, he informed them of the circumstance, and they proceeded to the spot and found the body quite dead.  Mr. Farrell immediately rode into town to inform the relatives of the deceased, who had the body removed to the house in Sussex-street, formerly inhabited by the deceased.  From the evidence it appeared that the deceased had been for some time past in a desponding state of mind, to such a degree that it was considered necessary to have a person constantly attending on him.  On Monday morning the deceased and his attendant went into the shop of Mr. Brownlow.  During his stay there, the attendant took advantage of the opportunity to take home some vegetables.  On his return to Mr. Brownlow's he found that the deceased had left the house, and could not be found.  A search was made but ineffectually, and nothing was heard of him till the body was found.  The body was quite wet, and it was supposed to have floated to the spot where it was found.  The Jury returned a verdict of Accidentally drowned.

CORONER'S INQUEST.

On Thursday, at noon, an inquest was held at Cunningham's at the sign of the Bunch of Grapes, King-street, on the body of James Gill, aged sixty-five, who met his death in the following manner.  The deceased, who was holder of a ticket-of-leave, was by trade a sawyer, and employed by Mr. Reilley of  Burwood.  On Monday last, the deceased accompanied by Mr. R. and another person went into the bush, for the purpose of falling timber, and a tree which they had been at work upon fell, and in its descent struck a sapling behind which the deceased had been standing for safety.  The sapling struck the deceased and knocked him down fracturing his thigh and otherwise seriously injuring him. Mr. Reilly immediately caused him to be removed to the Hospital at Sydney, by a cart which was standing near at the time.  He was admitted to the Hospital about three o'clock on Monday afternoon and died on Wednesday morning.  The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental death.

   The body of a man was found in the water by the North Shore yesterday; an inquest will be held this day.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 25 July 1837

A Coroner's Inquest took place on Tuesday, at the Bunch of Grapes, public-house, in King-street, on the body of Charles Evans, a seaman belonging to the ship Medway.  The deceased had accidentally fallen down the main hatchway of the vessel while taking in cargo, and was removed to the general Hospital after the occurrence, where he lingered until death terminated his sufferings on the previous Monday.  A slight fracture was made at the base of the deceased's skull, which ultimately occasioned his death.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

   Another Inquest was convened at the Derwent Cottage, public-house, Sussex-street, on Wednesday, on the body of Mr. Hugh Murray, who was found drowned opposite Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, in the Domain, on the previous afternoon.  The deceased was formerly in opulent circumstances, and was proprietor of the Cherry Tree, public-house, in King-street.  He had latterly been much addicted to intemperate habits.  There was no cause for suspicion that the deceased came to his death by unfair means, as there was upon his person, when found, eight pounds in money, and his watch.  The Jury returned a verdict of found drowned.

   An Inquest was also held at the Bunch of Grapes, public-house in King-street, on Thursday last, on the body of James Gill, an aged man, employed as a sawyer at Burwood.  It appeared from the evidence taken, that a tree accidentally fell on the deceased while he was at his usual work on the previous Monday; and although he was immediately removed to the General Hospital for surgical treatment, it was unavailing, as he died on the following Wednesday.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 26 July 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Sunday last an inquest was held at Hanson's "The Rum Puncheon," King's Wharf, on the body of a man named George Davison, late in the employ of Mr. Bass of the North Shore, as overseer.  It appears that the deceased who was a pensioner, about three weeks ago received his pension, since which time he had been in a continual state of intoxication, and died on Saturday.  The medical gentleman who examined the body certified that death ensued from natural causes, hastened by excessive intoxication.  The Jury returned a verdict accordingly.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 28 July 1837

CORONER'S INQUESTS.---On Wednesday afternoon, an Inquest was held at the Red Cow, Bathurst-street, on the body of William Smith, a man better known about Sydney under the cognomen, of Billy Double, a barber, who was found dead under the following circumstances: John Moulding residing at the Red Cow, stated that he knew the deceased, and last saw him on Tuesday afternoon, when he appeared in his usual health; the deceased was subject to fits.  The witness stated, that between six and seven o'clock that morning a bricklayer informed him, that the deceased was lying in the water closet, quite dead; witness immediately sent information of the circumstance to the police, and on the arrival of a constable, he, with him, proceeded to view the body, which was discovered with the feet on the seat, and the body leaning over on the ground, as the body was quite dead witness did not disturb the position.  Dr. Stewart who examined the body, certified, that death was caused by apoplexy.  Verdict accordingly.

   After the foregoing, a Jury was convened at the Butcher's Arms, Kent-street, on view of the body of a man named Patrick Gillespie, who died the previous evening.  From the evidence adduced, it appeared that the deceased was lodging at the house of a man named Grady, residing in Kent-street, and that on Tuesday evening he ate his supper heartily; soon after he fell with his head against a fellow lodger; he was placed on the ground and notice was sent to Dr. Wallace, who was away from home at the time; the deceased died in about three quarters of an hour.  The Doctor's certificate mentioned that apoplexy was the cause of death.  The Jury returned a verdict of Died by apoplexy.

   The Jury then proceeded to the Horse and Jockey, in Sussex-street, to enquire into the death of a woman named Sarah Tunks, who was found drowned at the Commercial Wharf the same morning.  The deceased was an aged person, and was well known about Sydney, and Parramatta, where her son, a publican resides.  It appeared from the evidence of John M'Night, that as he was going down to the wharf that morning, soon after six o'clock, he discovered the deceased in the water, he drew the body out and went to give information to a constable.  It also appeared that the deceased had only arrived from Parramatta the previous evening, and had not been seen again until her body was found.  Dr. Stewart examined the body and certified that death was caused by drowning.  The Jury returned the verdict found drowned.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 1 August 1837

Coroner's Inquests.

An inquest was held at the Red Cow, public-house, in Bathurst-street, on Wednesday last, on the body of William Smith, the holder of a ticket-of-leave, who was found lying dead in the privy of that house, at an early hour on the same day. The deceased was the celebrated "Billy Double," for many years an eminent reaper of china in this Town.  He was not less celebrated for his graceful bearing in the dance; and some years ago, scarcely a fiddle was in motion, from the Rocks to Brickfield-hill, but "Billy" became the principal figurante.  His propensities for capering, and latterly for excessive drinking, had frequently got poor "Billy Double" into trouble.  The deceased had recently been subjected to occasional fits, and it was conjectured, that during one of those attacks he must have expired.  He was seen walking towards the privy on the previous afternoon, apparently in good health, and perfectly sober, which seemed to be the last time he was seen alive.  Between six and seven o'clock on the following morning, the body was discovered by some brick-layers, the legs being on the seat, and the face on the floor.  The features and neck presented an unusually livid appearance, probably arising from the gravitation of the blood, induced by the position in which the deceased must have died.  Dr. Stewart having examined the body, certified that the deceased came to his death by a fit of apoplexy.  The Jury returned a verdict of "Died by the visitation of God."

   Another inquest was convened shortly afterwards, at the Butcher's Arms, public-house, Kent-street, on the body of Patrick Gillespie, a middle-aged laboring man, who died suddenly at his lodgings the previous evening.  It appeared from the evidence of a man named Grady, that on the previous Sunday night, the deceased came to lodge at his house, and continued there till he died.  He had just partaken of a hearty supper, and was perfectly sober, when he suddenly leaned his head on the shoulder of the person sitting next to him, and went into a fit.  The deceased was then laid on the floor, with a pillow under his head, and remained in that position until he died, which was within three quarters of an hour.  Medical assistance was sent for, but did not arrive in time.  The deceased never spoke after the attack; and after death, his body bled profusely at the nose.  Dr. Stewart, having examined the body, certified the cause of the deceased's death to be apoplexy, and the Jury returned a verdict of "Died by the visitation of God."

   A third inquest was assembled immediately after the above, at the Horse and Jockey, public-house, in Sussex-street, on the body of Sarah Tonks, an  elderly female, and very old inhabitant of the Colony, having arrived here in the second fleet.  A laboring man named M'Knight, deposed, that on going towards the Government Wharf, in Sussex-street, he discovered the body of the deceased lying in the water quite dead.  He fastened it to a boat, and then made the Police acquainted with the circumstance.  Mrs. Mary Handley, wife of Mr. Jabes Handley, landlord of the Horse and Jockey, deposed that she knew the deceased to be Mrs. Sarah Tonks, and that she went up to Parramatta on the previous day in one of the steam boats, for the purpose of seeing her sons, who resides there, and who is in opulent circumstances.  It was conjectured, that in returning back, and coming from the steam boat ashore, the deceased must have fallen in to the  water, for the body was found at the precise spot where the steam boats stop.  No evidence was offered as to whether the death of the deceased had been caused by accident or otherwise.  Dr. Stewart examined the body, and certified that the deceased came to her death by drowning.  The Jury, under direction of the Coroner, returned a verdict of "Found drowned."

   A Coroner's inquest was held on Saturday last, at the White Horse Inn, Pitt-street, on the body of Mrs. Mary Austin, (widow of the late Mr. Austin, engraver to the Bank of New South Wales,) who expired suddenly on the previous day.  The deceased was upwards of seventy years of age, and was subject latterly to occasional fits of delirium, during the continuance of which, she would take no sustenance whatever, and was obliged to be closely attended, to prevent her doing personal violence to herself.  On Thursday evening the deceased was seized with one of her usual fits, upon which Dr. Mitchell, who usually attended her, was sent for, but did not come.  The deceased continued in the fit until the following afternoon, when she expired.  Dr. Stewart, having examined the body, certified that the deceased came to her death from natural causes.  The Jury returned a verdict of "Died by the visitation of God." [This made the nineteenth inquest that was holden in Sydney during the month of July.]

   An Inquest was held at the "Punch Bowl" public house, yesterday afternoon, on the body of Mrs. Euphemia Nelson, aged 33 years, who was found dead in her bed on Saturday evening, about 11 o'clock.  Mr. Hosling certified that the deceased came to her death from apoplexy, induced by excessive drinking of ardent spirits, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.

   Another inquest was convened immediately afterwards at the "Tam O'Shanter" public house in Hunter-street, on the body of an unknown individual, who was discovered in the Government Domain on the previous day, lying dead under a tree near the Bathing House, with a black silk handkerchief made halter fashion and suspended to a bough over his head.  The deceased had been seen a few days previous in the Domain by the Bailiff, and he was then in a state of intoxication; he then said he had something heavy on his mind, but the Bailiff thinking it was the effects of drunkenness, desired him to go home, and he then left the Domain.  A pair of shoes was found on the body which had been made by Mr. Sawyer, of Kent-street, for some person who did not call for them, and they were afterwards sold to a casual purchaser for ready money.  The deceased was not identified by any person, but the deceased was attired in a blue jacket and trousers, and bore the appearance of a seafaring man.  There was a livid mark around the neck, such as is usually produced by strangulation. Dr. Hosking examined the body, and certified that the deceased's death was caused by suffocation arising from hanging, and the Jury returned a verdict, Found dead.

 

R. v. Doyle, 1837

 

R. v. Wise [1837] NSWSupC 50

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 4 August 1837

One of the seamen [John Folks] belonging to the Abel Gower, on Wednesday last, attempted to put a period to his existence by cutting his throat with a razor.  Fortunately he was discovered immediately he had committed the rash act, and was conveyed to the Hospital, with little hopes of recovery. [See 8 August.]

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 7 August 1837

CORONER'S INQUESTS.---On Wednesday last, an inquest was held at Mr. Kilsey's, Green Gate, Lane Cove, on the body of Elizabeth Forster, an aged woman. It appeared from the evidence, that the husband of the deceased, on Sunday last, was absent in Sydney.  In the course of the day, a son of the deceased, who resided at a short distance, called at the house, and finding the windows and door fastened, his suspicions were excited, and he burst open the door, and found his mother suspended to the rafters, she was quite dead.  Some witnesses proved the fact that the deceased was much addicted to intoxication.  The jury after a little consideration returned a verdict, that the deceased hung herself, while labouring under the effects of previous intoxication.

   On Thursday afternoon, an inquest was held at the Bunch of Grapes, King-street, on the body of John Folks, a seaman belonging to the ship Abel Gower.  Richard Putnam, a sailor, deposed that the deceased appeared on Tuesday and Wednesday to be in low spirits; on Wednesday, when the men proceeded to their dinner, the deceased was missed, and shortly after, the cook gave an alarm that John Folks had cut his throat in the hold, some of the men proceeded below, and found the deceased bleeding at the throat with a knife in his hand, which witness wrested from him, he was laid on the casks, and immediately after, he was removed to the hospital. Dr. Wallace was in attendance at the time.  The deceased struggled very much, and resisted until his hands were tied to prevent further violence; the deceased continued at his work up to the time of the committal of the act.  On the passage out, he was remarkable for a flow of spirits.  The wardsman of the hospital stated, that the deceased was received into the hospital at three o'clock, with his throat cut, Dr. Mitchell dressed the wound, but the deceased forced it open again, his violence was so great, that it required several men to hold him in the bed; he died about a quarter past six on Thursday morning.  Dr. Wallace certified that he was on board the Abel Gower when the alarm was raised, that the deceased had cut his throat, he proceeded and examined him, and found that the larynx had been divided and considerable hemhorrage was going on at the time, and a quantity of blood was flowing into the lungs, he (Dr. W.) made every effort to stop the blood, which proving unavailing, he recommended his removal to the hospital.  The jury returned a verdict, that the deceased cut his throat, while laboring under a state of temporary derangement.

   An inquest was then held at the same place, on the body of Thomas Harrison, an invalid, under sentence of transportation to Port Macquarie, who died at the hospital, on Wednesday morning, about an hour after his arrival there, from the Phoenix hulk.  Dr. Mitchell certified that the deceased died of pectoral affection and general debility.  The jury returned a verdict that the deceased died by the visitation of God.

SUPREME COURT.---CRIMINAL SIDE.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2ND, 1837.

  John Keep, late of Liverpool, labourer, stood indicted for the wilful murder of Michael Callaghan, at Kemp's Creek, Cabramatta.  The prisoner pleaded not guilty.....

   His Honor briefly summed up the points of the case, and the circumstances attaching the prisoner to the crime in question, which he stated were not clearly defined; if any doubt occurred to the jury, they must give the prisoner the benefit of it.  The jury after an absence of a few minutes, returned into Court, with a verdict, of Not Guilty.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 8 August 1837

Two prisoners of the Crown, attached to the iron-gang at Newcastle Stockade, employed blasting the rock for the Breakwater, were dreadfully mangled on Wednesday last, by the explosion of a blast during the time they were employed ramming the powder down; they now lie in the hospital, in a deplorable state.

   An Inquest was held on Thursday, at the Bunch of Grapes, Phillip-street, on John Folks, a seaman belonging to the Abel Gower, who met his death in consequence of a severe wound inflicted in the throat with a razor, by himself.  He was conveyed to the hospital immediately after the rash act had been committed, where he lingered until the following morning, when he died.  Evidence was put in to shew that the deceased had been for a long time in an unsettled state of mind, and a verdict was delivered accordingly.

   An Inquest was then held on the body of a prisoner of the Crown named Harrison, who had died at the hospital.  He had become invalided, and had been sent on board the hulk to be forwarded to Port Macquarie; after he had been on board a short time he was taken ill, when he was conveyed to the hospital, where he died in a few hours.  Verdict, died by the visitation of God.

   A Coroner's Inquest was held yesterday at the Lamb public-house in Liverpool-street, on the body of Mr. Wright Thomas Burrus, late a partner in the firm of Burrus and Samuel, oil merchants.  The deceased had lately been in a depressed state, in consequence of pecuniary difficulties, and is supposed to have taken arsenic, while labouring under aberration of mind.  Mr. Kennett, at whose house the deceased lodged, discovered him when in the agonies of death; and although Dr. Hosking was almost immediately after in attendance, the deceased had breathed his last.  The jury returned a verdict that the deceased had destroyed himself by taking arsenic, while labouring under temporary derangement.

   An elderly looking female was discovered on Sunday last, in the bush near Blackwattle Swamp, suspended from a tree, with a bottle containing rum, half emptied, standing close to her.  An inquest will be held upon the body, which has not yet been identified, at eight o'clock this morning.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 9 August 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Saturday last, an inquest was held at the sign of "Jack's Delight," Cumberland street, on the body of Henry Splitt, who died suddenly.  Visitation of God.

   On Monday morning an inquest was held at the "Lamb," Liverpool-street, on the body of Mr. Thomas Burrus, formerly of the firm of Burrus and Samuel.  It appeared in evidence that the deceased formerly resided at the house of Mr. Kenneth, the Horse dealer; he had been some time past in a desponding state of mind, and on Sunday last he took arsenic; Mr. K. discovered the fact immediately afterwards, and sent for Dr. Hosking, but death ensued before that gentleman's arrival.  Dr. Hosking certified that death was caused by poison, and the Jury returned a verdict, that deceased put a period to his existence, while labouring under a state of mental derangement.

   Yesterday morning at eight o'clock an inquest was held at the 'Rose and Thistle,' Parramatta-street, on the body of a woman, name unknown, who was found hanging to a tree in a paddock belonging to Mr. Charles Smith, on the Botany Road; a bottle containing some rum was found by the tree.  Dr. Hosking certified that death was caused by hanging, and stated that from the appearance of the body it would be probable she had been hanging for some days.  All attempts to identify the body being fruitless, the Jury returned a verdict of found hanged, name unknown.

  Last night, between the hours of 11 and 12 o'clock, a man was discovered lying on the pathway near the Rob Roy Tavern, Hunter street, apparently asleep, but upon being spoken to by some men passing at the time, and not making any answer, they lifted him up and found he was dead; they immediately conveyed him into the Rob Roy and sent for Dr. Hosking of George-street, who on his arrival, pronounced the man quite dead.  The man is by appearance, a prisoner, and about 50 years of age.  No marks of violence are on his person.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 11 August 1837

LAW.

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

WEDNESDAY.---Before Mr. Justice Kinchela and a Military Jury.

   Bernard Lyons was indicted for the wilful murder of Patrick Costigan, at Williams's Farm, Pattersons River, on the 29th April last; and James Lemon was charged with being present, aiding abetting and assisting the first named prisoner in the said murder.  The Jury found the prisoners guilty of manslaughter, and they were remanded for sentences.

...

A man was found dead near the Rob Roy, in Hunter-street, on Tuesday evening last.

 

R. v. Hall [1837] NSWSupC 53

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 15 August 1837

   Before Mr. Justice Kinchela, and a Military Jury.

   Lewis Williams for indicted for the wilful murder of John M'Cormick, at Guyder River, on the 6th June last, by striking him on the head with an axe.  The evidence was merely circumstantial, but of a very strong nature.  The Jury returned a verdict of "Guilty," and the prisoner was remanded for sentence.  (This was the first conviction for murder, since the passing of the Local Ordinance respecting the time of carrying into effect the punishment of that crime.)

   George Green was indicted for the wilful murder of a native black named Diamond, at Patterson's River, on the 3d January, 1837, by discharging a loaded pistol at him.  The prisoner called a witness to character, who considered him a moderately honest man.  The Jury returned a verdict of "Not Guilty," and the prisoner was discharged.

   Constantine Melligo was indicted for the wilful murder of James Warren, on the 30th March last, by stabbing him on the breast and thigh with a knife.  The Jury found the prisoner "Guilty" of manslaughter, and he was remanded for sentence.

   James Whitfield was indicted for the wilful murder of Michael M'Shane, at Doyle's Farm, on the 20th May last, by beating, pressing, and kicking him with his hands, knees, and feet, on the head, stomach, back, and sides.  A second count alleged that the prisoner, with both his hands had choaked, suffocated, and strangled the deceased.  The Jury found the prisoner "Guilty" of manslaughter, and he was remanded for sentence.

      His Honor Mr. Justice Burton yesterday refused to have tried an Aboriginal black for murder committed at Port Macquarie, as no interpreter could be found who understood his language.  He was remanded until the next criminal sessions.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 16 August 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An Inquest was held at the Military Barracks, Emu Plains, on Friday last, by Mr. Sims the Coroner, on the body of John Taylor, a private of H.M. 80th regiment, who was drowned while bathing with some of his comrades in the Nepean, the day previous.  It appeared that the deceased having swum across the stream, which was about a quarter of a mile wide, was observed when on his return suddenly to sink.  Two of his comrades immediately plunged into the river on one side, while Mr. Gale in Sir John Jamison's boat hastened from the other side and all arrived at the spot about the same time.  Mr. Gale after diving several times unsuccessfully, at length succeeded in bringing the unfortunate man to the surface, but not before life was extinct.  Every means was resorted to by a medical gentleman, who shortly arrived, but without avail.  The deceased was a meritorious and gallant soldier, and had been twenty two years in the Regiment without having undergone the slightest punishment.  The greatest credit is due to his comrades and to Mr. Gale, all of whom so promptly hazarded their lives in the hope of saving that of another.

 

R. v. Kirkwood [1837] NSWSupC 56

 

R. v. Fitzpatrick [1837] NSWSupC 55

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 18 August 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Sunday last an Inquest was held at the Black Horse, Clarence-street, on the body of a man named Charles Layles.  Dr. Wallace who examined the body, certified that death ensued from natural causes.  Verdict---visitation of God.

   On Tuesday last, an inquest was held at the sign of the Ship, Globe street, on the body of an old waterman named John Gravett, who died suddenly on the previous day.  Dr. Hosking examined the body, and the Jury returned a verdict of visitation of God.

   Yesterday morning, a fatal accident happened to a child, named Rebecca Fidden, residing in Goulburn-street.  The deceased was playing with some children in the yard of the Cooper's Arms, at the corner of Goulburn and Sussex-streets, when a large sign post that was placed carelessly against the wall, fell and killed the child on the spot.

   The following strange circumstance occurred last night: a stonemason named Henry Hall, was residing with a native of the Colony named Eliza Paddle, in Clarence-street; the woman had been absent from her home since Tuesday night.  Yesterday evening, when Hall returned home and was getting into bed, he felt someone there, and on procuring a light, discovered the woman Paddle quite dead.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 18 August 1837

LAW.

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

TUESDAY.---Before Mr. Justice Burton, and a Jury of Military Offi8cers.

   Michael Cagney was indicted for the wilful murder of Edward Hughes, at Maitland, on the 23d May last, by striking him on the right side of the head with a stick, from the effects of which the deceased languished until the following day, and then died.

   Mr. Therry conducted the case on the part of the prosecution; and Mr. Windeyer appeared on behalf the prisoner.

   The circumstances of the case were these:---

The prisoner, a young man between 20 and 21 years of age, who came free to the colony, lived in the service of a butcher named Wholagan at Maitland, who, having occasion to slaughter a beast about two o'clock in the morning of the day laid in the indictment, was assisted in that office by the deceased, one Broadway, and another person, not produced before the Court.  The beast was slaughtered in a paddock about 200 yards from Wholagan's shop, and during the time the parties were engaged in slaughtering it, the prisoner came to them, and began to expostulate with Wholagan for remaining from home for so long a time, upon which the deceased observed, what a cub, or brat of a boy, the prisoner was to be master over Wholagan.  On hearing this observation, the prisoner immediately took up one of the feet which had been cut off the slaughtered animal, and threw it at the deceased, knocking him senseless, and then ran off.  The deceased, however, recovered sufficiently in two or three minutes to be able to finish slaughtering and dressing the animal, and after it was completed, the body was quartered and put into a cart to be taken to the shop.  An hour and a half had now elapsed since the deceased had been knocked down with the beast's foot, and in the interval his brother, an aged man, had been sent for; but as the deceased had recovered, no further notice was taken of the matter.  Wholagan,. Broadway, and the deceased conveyed the meat in the cart to the shop, and when they came there, the prisoner was standing under the verandah with a piece of paling in his hand about 3 ½ feet in length, 4 inches in width, upwards of 1 inch in thickness, and weighing about 10 lbs.  Wholagan endeavoured to dissuade the prisoner from renewing the quarrel, and attempted to take the bludgeon from him, but could not.  After having reasoned with him, however, for about five minutes, he considered the prisoner's anger had abated, and he then commenced unloading the cart.  At this time the deceased was standing just inside the doorway, with his face inclined towards the left, as if looking up the street.  The deceased's brother was in the verandah just opposite to him, and facing the prisoner, who stood at the end of the verandah with the bludgeon in his hand.  Wholagan was in the act of putting a quarter of the beef on his back, in which he was assisted by Broadway, when the sound of a violent blow caused Wholagan to throw down the quarter of beef, and ascertain the cause of the noise.  He then perceived the deceased lying stretched on the floor, with his head inside the shop and his feet upon the lintel, upon which he immediately cried out, "Oh! my God, the man's murdered." He then went for a  surgeon.  James Hughes saw the prisoner come towards the door just as the blow was struck, but thought he was merely going into the shop.  Broadway, and Furze, a constable, saw the prisoner immediately after the blow was struck, throw down the bludgeon and run away.  He was apprehended on the following day.  Mr. Cochrane attended the deceased immediately, and found him in a state of insensibility, in which he remained for 26 hours, and then died.  There were two wounds on the right cheek, one of trifling importance, and the other producing a traverse fracture of the lower jaw.  The violence of the injury had caused concussion of the brain in the first instance, and compression of it afterwards, and from these combined effects, the deceased died.  The symptoms were so well marked, that Mr. Cochrane deemed it quite unnecessary to open the deceased's head after his death.  The witness thought that a slight blow with such a weapon as the one produced (and which had been identified by the constable) would have caused the injury of which the deceased died.  The prisoner said nothing in his defence.

   The learned Judge having explained the distinction between murder and manslaughter, proceeded to comment upon the evidence.  His Honor told the Jury, that if they could see any thing upon the evidence to reduce the crime to the minor offence, to do so.  The Jury, after a few minutes consideration, found the prisoner "Guilty" of murder, and the learned Judge putting on the awful insignia, viz.---the black cap, immediately passed sentence of death upon the prisoner---admonishing him to lose no time in preparing for the awful change he would soon have to undergo---for although a recent alteration in the law afforded a longer period for the repentance of convicted murderers, yet he, the learned Judge could see no reason in the present case why the law should not take its course.

WEDNESDAY.---Before Mr. Justice Burton, and a Jury of Military Officers.

[See R. v. Kirkwood [1837] NSWSupC 56, R. v. Fitzpatrick [1837] NSWSupC 55]

 

R. v. Cagney [1837] NSWSupC 54

 

AUSTRALIAN, 18/08/1837

   Dignum, the man who murdered the five bushrangers on their road to Port Phillip, has been received in Sydney gaol, he was accompanied by Comerford, the man who has turned approver, ...

 

R. v. Wombarty, 1837

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 23 August 1837

CORONER'S INQUESTS.

   On Saturday morning, an inquest was held at the "Derwent Cottage," Sussex-street, on the body of a child, named Emma Rebecca Fidden, who was accidentally killed in the yard at the rear of the Cooper's Arms, by the falling of a sign post on her.  Accidental death.

   On Saturday afternoon an inquest was held at the "Tradesman's Arms," on the body of Eliza Puddle who was found dead in her bed.  Mr. Russell of York-street who was called in to look at the body gave it as his opinion that death was occasioned by natural causes, accelerated by intemperance.  Verdict accordingly.

   An Inquest was held yesterday morning at the Woodlark, Kent-street, on the body of an elderly man named Joseph Smith, who died suddenly the previous day.  Dr. Hosking examined the body, and certified that death was occasioned by Apoplexy.  Verdict accordingly.

   A woman supposed to be a runaway, died at the Canteen in the Military Barracks yesterday in a state of intoxication.  The body was removed to the Hospital, where it lies awaiting the result of a coroner's inquest.  [See Sydney Monitor, 28 August.]

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 25 August 1837

CORONER'S INQUESTS.---On Wednesday, an inquest was held at the sign of the Sir Walter Scott, Sussex-street, on the body of Mr. John Henry Hughes, master, of the barque Magnet, at present lying off Barker and Hallen's Wharf, Darling Harbour, who put a period to his existence by taking poison.  It appeared from the evidence that the deceased was subject to delirium tremens the consequence of the excessive use of ardent spirits, and at times, while so labouring would be very much excited; his behaviour had latterly been most extraordinary, having been in the habit of giving numerous and contradictory orders on the same subject.  It was also shown that on the voyage out from England he had attempted to commit suicide by cutting his throat, but ineffectually.  He had for the last few days been in a desponding state, although he had taken very little spirituous liquor lately.  On Tuesday evening, a noise was heard where he had been left sitting, and on the steward proceeding in to enquire the cause he found the unfortunate man extended on the ground in a state of insensibility seemingly as if drunk, a broken bottle was found under the table; Dr. Nicholson was immediately sent for, who on examining the deceased, gave it as his opinion that he had taken poison; every effort was made for his recovery, but all was without avail, and he died early the next morning. A search had been previously made, and it was found, that a bottle containing three ounces of laudanum, had been extracted from the medicine chest, the contents of which it is supposed had been drunk by the deceased, as the broken bottle found under the table still retained some of the poison.  The jury returned a verdict, that the deceased put a period to his existence by taking a large quantity of poison, while in a state of mental derangement.

   Yesterday morning, at eight o'clock, an inquest was held at the Royal Oak, Miller's Point, on the body of John Mills, a constable, in the Sydney Police, who died suddenly in Colonel Wilson's garden on the previous evening.  Dr. Nicholson who examined the body, certified that the deceased had ruptured a blood vessel and that death was the result.  The jury returned a verdict, Died by the visitation of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 25 August 1837

LAW.

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

SATURDAY.---At 12 o'clock, the Acting Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Kinchela took their seats upon the Bench, for the purpose of passing sentence upon the respective prisoners convicted during the recent Criminal Sittings of the Court.  Mr. Justice Burton was absent from indisposition.

   Bernard Lyons and James Lemon, convicted of manslaughter, being placed at the bar to receive sentence, Mr. Justice Kinchela took occasion to remark, that the entire four cases of homicide upon which he had to pass sentence that day, had their origins in drinking and in grog shops.  As there were grades of distinction in the guilt of the prisoners, so also would there be a distinction in the measure of punishment awarded.  Lyons was sentenced to be worked in irons on the public roads of the Colony for three years, and Lemon for one year.

   Lewis Williams, convicted of wilful murder, was next put into the dock.  The prisoner asserted his entire innocence of the deed. Mr. Justice Kinchela addressing the culprit said, that he had been convicted of a cruel and blood-thirsty murder, which he had endeavoured to shift upon his overseer, but without effect.  The prisoner had been found guilty by the laws of the land, and he (the learned Judge) felt no hesitation as to the propriety of the verdict.  If however the Prisoner were really as innocent as he asserted he must settle that point with the Almighty, before whom he would shortly have to appear.  There was nothing whatever in his case to warrant the Court in holding out to the prisoner the slightest hope that mercy in this case would be extended to him.  Sentence of death, with after anatomization, was then passed upon the prisoner in the usual terms.

   Constantine Melligo convicted of manslaughter under mitigated circumstances, the deceased being a stronger man than the prisoner, and standing over him at the  time was sentenced to be imprisoned in Sydney gaol for one year.

   James M'keen, convicted of manslaughter, being brought up for judgment, Mr. Justice Kinchela remarked, that the prisoner was another melancholy instance of death arising from intoxication.  The prisoner was sentenced to be worked in irons on the public roads of the Colony for two years.

   The following prisoners had their trials postponed until the next Sessions, on the motion of the Attorney General, grounded upon affidavits of the absence of material witnesses, viz.---Patrick Ward, charged with wilful murder; ... Michael Tobin, James Marshall, Richard Maddock, and John Dunkley, charged with wilful murder upon the verdict of a Coroner's inquest; ...

   A Coroner's Inquest was held at the Sir Walter Scott public-house, on Wednesday last, on the body of Captain John Henry Hughes, of the barque Magnet, lying in Sydney harbour, who put an end to his existence on the previous day, by taking laudanum.  It appeared that the deceased had been for some time past in a desponding state, during the continuance of which he had committed the rash act.  The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased had destroyed himself, while labouring under temporary insanity.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 28 August 1837

   An inquest was held on Thursday afternoon last, at the 'Bunch of Grapes,' King-street, on the body of a prisoner of the crown, named Elizabeth Hannon, a native of Berkshire, assigned to Mr. Macpherson Castlereagh-street. A constable stated that he found the deceased lying near the Canteen in the Military Barracks, on Monday, in a state of insensibility from cold and the effects of spirits; he caused her removal to the hospital, and proceeded, from information which he received, to Mr. Macpherson's, where he ascertained she was assigned, as before stated, and had been absent since the previous day.  The constable further stated that he had been informed by a female that the deceased had been seen drinking in the Canteen on the previous evening, but he added, when his informant was given to understand that she might be called to speak to that circumstance, she afterwards denied it.  Dr. Mitchell stated that the deceased was received into the hospital on Monday, and continued insensible till Tuesday afternoon when she said she could not recollect who took her to the Canteen; she died on Tuesday evening.  Dr. M. gave it as his opinion that the deceased had drunk a large quantity of rum, which with the subsequent exposure, had caused her death.  The jury returned a verdict to that effect.

   In last Wednesday's Monitor we made a mistake in asserting that a female prisoner died in a drunken state at the Canteen in the Military Barracks, on the previous day; we therefore hasten to correct the error.  The woman in question, named Elizabeth Hanson, died the following day in the Hospital.  The constable who found the woman, in his evidence stated, that he found her lying near the Canteen, in a drunken state, and insensible from exposure; he also said, that he had been informed, that the deceased had been seen in the Canteen on the previous night.  Dr. Mitchell, Surgeon, of the Hospital, stated, that when the woman in some degree recovered her senses, she said, "she could not recollect who had taken her into the Canteen."

   A prisoner of the Crown [James Castles] formerly assigned to the Rev. Mr. Threlkeld, was apprehended the other day by Constable Whelan, and confined in No. 5 watch-house, after having absconded for two years.  Early this morning, he committed suicide by hanging himself with a leather strap fastened to the iron bars of the window; he silently effected his purpose in the presence of twenty prisoners confined with him, and was not discovered till about half-past five this morning, when he was quite dead.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 29 August 1837

A Coroner's Inquest was held yesterday morning at the Erin go Bragh public house, York-street, on the body of James Castles, a convict for life, assigned to the Rev. L. E. Threlkeld, at Lake Macquarie, who was found suspended in the receiving room at No. 5 watchhouse, at half-past five o'clock that morning.  It appeared that the deceased was a runaway from his service, and on Sunday last he was put on board a small vessel for the purpose of being forwarded to Brisbane Water, but his conduct was so violent and ferocious, that it was considered unsafe to take him without a better escort, and he was returned to the watch-house.  On his way thither, he behaved most extravagantly, throwing himself down, and rolling on the ground; and on his arrival at the watch-house he struck one of the constables a violent blow with his fist. About half past five o'clock on the following morning, one of the prisoners confined in the same room, having occasion to go to a tub, in the corner of the apartment, discovered the deceased suspended from the iron bars of a small aperture made for the admission of air, with his feet inside the tub.  It appears that the deceased must have got on the tub, and then made fast round his neck the leather belt with which he supported his heavy irons, fixing the other end to the iron bars alluded to; he must have slipped off the side of the tub, and in that manner have strangled himself.  Though there were upwards of twenty prisoners in the same room, no one was aware of what had taken place until the deceased was found hanging, and quite dead.  Dr. Hosking examined the body, and found no marks of violence on it, except a mark round the neck produced from the hanging, which the Dr. was of opinion caused the deceased's death.  The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased had destroyed himself by hanging, while labouring under temporary insanity.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 1 September 1837

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Wednesday morning last, at the Bunch of Grapes public-house, King-street, on the body of James Doolan, an assigned servant of the Right Reverend Dr. Poulding, R.C. Bishop of Australia, who was discovered that morning lying dead in a water-hole behind St. Mary's Church, in Hyde Park.  It was supposed that the deceased in going to his master's residence, accidentally fell in to the water-hole, and being unable to extricate himself, was drowned.  The Jury returned a verdict of---"Found Drowned."

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 4 September 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An inquest was held on Wednesday morning, at the Bunch of Grapes on the body of James Doolan, assigned to the Rev. Dr. Poulding, who was found dead in a water-hole at the rear of the Catholic Chapel, on the previous day.  He was supposed to have walked in during the preceding night, there being no railing to prevent such accidents.  The Jury returned a verdict of found drowned.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 5 September 1837

Melancholy Death.

We have to record the death of the Reverend James Vincent Corcoran, Roman Catholic Chaplain of Windsor, which took place yesterday evening, between 5 and 6 o'clock, under the most melancholy circumstances.  The deceased was proceeding from Windsor to Sydney, with a friend, Mr. Edward Ryan, in a gig.  After he had proceeded through the Sydney Turnpike about 20 rods, he turned his head, being at that time driving, for the purpose of observing two other friends---the Rev. Mr. Sumner and Mr. John Dermott, when the wheel unfortunately went into a rut, and he was precipitated from his seat with such force as to cause a concussion of the brain, the wheel passing over the left temple at the time.  A coroner's inquest was held on the body of the Rev. Gentleman, at 8 o'clock yesterday evening, before J. R. Brenan, Esq., and a most respectable jury, when a verdict of accidental death was returned.  The coroner, at the request of the jury, promised to report the bad state of the road at the place where the accident happened to his Excellency the Governor.  It was stated by a gentleman present, that an accident had happened to the Windsor Coach in the same spot, on Tuesday evening last, but fortunately without injury to the passengers. [Also an Obituary, aged 35.]

   A Coroner's Inquest was convened on Thursday evening at the Blue Bell public house, Erskine-street, on the body of an infant aged two years and four months, named Catharine Barling, who died from the effects of severe burns occasioned by its clothes accidentally taking fire.  It appeared that about half-past seven o'clock on the previous morning, the mother of the child who lives in Sussex-street, left the deceased sitting on the kitchen  floor at a distance from the fire, while she went into the yard to get some wood.  Hearing the cries of the child almost immediately after, she threw down the wood which she had in her hand, and returned into the kitchen, when she discovered the deceased's night-clothes enveloped in flames.  Upon this Mrs. Barling hastily threw some water over the child to extinguish the fire, and sent for Dr. Gillespie, who attended and applied the usual remedies but without effect, as the little sufferer was so dreadfully burnt from the feet up to the face, that she merely lingered until midnight, and then died.  Dr. Gillespie having certified that the deceased died from the effects of the burns, the Jury returned a verdict of---"Accidental Death."

Execution.

The awful sentence of the law was carried into effect on Friday morning last, on Lewis Williams and Michael Cayney, convicted at the late criminal sittings of the Supreme Court of wilful murders. Williams being a Protestant, was attended by the Rev. William Cowper; and Cayney, who was of the Roman Catholic persuasion, was assisted in his devotions by the Rev. John M'Encroe.  The culprits appeared to have daily prepared themselves to meet their fate in a becoming manner, but they made no public declaration of their guilt.  After the awful preparations had been completed, the fatal bolt was withdrawn, and the murderers were ushered into the presence of their maker.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 6 September 1837

We regret to state that on Monday evening last, between five and six o'clock, the Rev. James Vincent Corcoran when within a short distance of the Old Tollbar, was thrown from his gig and the wheel passed over his head; he received such injuries as terminated in his death in about half an hour.  The Rev. Gentleman was driving, when his attention was diverted by recognising two friends, the Rev. Mr. Sumner and Mr. John M'Dermott, thus occasioning the melancholy accident.  An inquest was held on the body at 8 o'clock the same evening, before Mr. R. Brenan and a most respectable jury, when a verdict of accidental death was returned. Many complaints were made of the state of the road where the accident happened, which the Coroner promised to report to the authorities.

CORONER'S INQUESTS.---On Monday afternoon, an inquest was held at the Black Dog, Gloucester-street, on the body of Jeremiah Dalley, who was alleged to have come to his death in consequence of injuries he received while in a state of intoxication.  It appeared from the evidence of the various witnesses, which occupied a considerable time, that about a fortnight ago, the deceased was in a public-house in Cumberland-street drinking in company with two women---that a quarrel ensued between the deceased and one of them, named Ann Evans, who struck him several times, when the landlord interfered and separated the parties.  The deceased who had been previously in a sickly state of health, continued in a weak state till Saturday last, when he expired.  Dr. Nicholson held a post mortem examination of the body, and gave it as his opinion, that the deceased died from severe recent injuries he had received, he added that he did not think from the appearances that they could have been caused by a blow of a fist, or by his falling down, but more probably from the kick of a horse.  The jury after some consultation, returned a verdict, that the deceased died of injuries inflicted on his person while in a state of intoxication, but how inflicted there was no evidence to show.

   On Monday evening, a jury was convened at the Toll-gate, on the Parramatta Road, to enquire in to the death of the Rev. James Vincent Corcoran, who met his death that afternoon by being thrown from his gig.  Mr. Edward Ryan of Geelong stated that he was in company with the deceased and Mr. M'Dermott in a gig coming from Windsor to Sydney, the vehicle had passed through the Toll bar a short distance, when the wheel fell into a rut in the middle of the road, and the concussion was so great as to throw the deceased out of the gig into the road, he fell on his head. Witness and Mr. M'Dermott immediately ran to his assistance and asked him if his arm was broken; he answered no, and never spoke after. He was carried into the Toll-house, and Drs. Hosking and Smith sent for.  Shortly after their arrival, he expired.  Verdict, accidental death.

   Yesterday morning, an inquest was held at the Bunch of Grapes, King-street, on the body of Thomas Harley, an assigned servant to Mr. Templeton of Castlereagh-street. It appeared in evidence, that on Saturday week last, the deceased trod on a nail which penetrated his foot and caused a slight lameness; poultices were applied and he appeared better, and continued at his work till Friday, when he became worse, and was removed to the hospital, where he was seized with tetanus or lock jaw, and lingered until Monday when he expired.  Dr. Mitchell certified that the deceased died from tetanus produced by an injury in the foot; verdict accordingly.  Deceased was perfectly sensible during the whole continuance of this horrible affection.

   After which an inquest was held at the same place, on the body of Judith Far, aged eighteen years, assigned to Mr. Peden of Hunter-street, said to have come to her death by the kick of a horse.  The body presented so disfigured an appearance, that Mr. Peden said he could not identify it.  The nurse of the hospital stated that the deceased was admitted on Friday afternoon, when she stated that she had been kicked by a horse as she was crossing the street; she attributed blame to no one but herself in going so near the horse.  She lingered till Sunday morning when she expired.  Mr. Peden stated, that on Friday afternoon, he was informed of the above circumstance, and on his going into the street, he found his servant lying on the ground and groaning very much. He was informed at the time, that she had been kicked by a horse which had been sold by Mr. Polack.  Witness caused her removal to the hospital, and afterwards enquired at Mr. Polack's rooms what horses had been sold that day, but was told that the sale had not commenced at the time.  He (Mr. Peden) thought the sale was over as the time was between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, and it was not usual to sell horses by auction as so late an hour in the day.  Dr. Mitchell certified that on a post mortem examination, he found an extensive cerous effusion, one of the intestines ruptured, and inflammation of the lungs; these appearances were likely to be caused by the kick of a horse.  Verdict, accidental death.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 8 September 1837

CORONER'S INQUESTS.

   On Tuesday afternoon an inquests was held at the sign of the 'Light House,' on the body of John Joseph Woodland, aged three years and a half, who came to his death by burning.  From the evidence of his mother it appeared that she left the deceased in a room by himself while she went to fetch a loaf; she had only gone a few yards from the door when she heard the child scream and saw him come to the door with his clothes in a flame.  She extinguished the fire with her apron and sent for Dr. Wallace, who attended and applied the usual remedies, but without effect, and the child died shortly after.  The jury returned a verdict of accidentally burned.

   The above case is the second death within the last week occasioned by the incautious manner in which many mothers leave their children near fires without proper safeguards.

   On Wednesday morning an inquest was held at the sign of the 'St. Patrick.' Cambridge-street, on the body of Diamond a New Zealander, formerly a seaman on board the Currency Lass, which vessel he left on Monday last, in a sickly state, and died at a house in Cambridge-street! The Jury returned a verdict of visitation of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 8 September 1837

Coroner's Inquests.

An inquest was held at the Black Dog public-house, Gloucester-street, on Monday afternoon last, on the body of Jeremiah Daley, who met his death in consequence of injuries he received while in a state of intoxication.  About a fortnight previous, the deceased, while drunk, had quarrelled in a public-house with two women, one of whom struck him several blows before the landlord, who interfered between the parties, could separate them/  The deceased was in ill-health at the time, and from those, or other injuries he received, his death was accelerated.  Dr. Nicholson having carefully examined the body, certified that the death of the deceased was caused by injuries his person had received, but he thought they appeared more likely to be caused by the kick of a horse than by a female's fist, or by his falling down.  The jury having deliberated for a considerable time, returned a verdict that the deceased met his death from injuries he sustained whilst in a state of intoxication, but how or by what means did not appear from the evidence before them.

   On Tuesday morning an inquest was held at the Bunch of Grapes public-house, in King-street, on the body of Thomas Harley, the assigned convict servant of Mr. Templeton, cabinetmaker, residing in Castlereagh-street, who expired in the General Hospital on the previous day.  It appeared that a few days previous to his death, the deceased accidentally trod on a nail which penetrated into his foot.  For a few days the wound was considered trifling, but on last Friday alarming symptoms appearing, the deceased was removed to the Hospital where he ultimately died of locked-jaw, arising from this apparently trifling injury.  Dr. Mitchell having certified the cause of death, the jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

   Another inquest was convened at the same place immediately after the above, on the body of Judith Faly, aged 18 years, an assigned servant of Mr. Peden, residing in Hunter-street, who also died in the General Hospital on the previous Friday afternoon, the deceased received a severe kick from a horse, near which she had incautiously ventured.  She was immediately removed to the General Hospital, being at the time in great agony, in which she lingered until death terminated her sufferings.  Dr. Mitchell examined the body, and certified that he found an extensive internal serous effusion, with a rupture of one of the intestines, and inflammation of the lungs.  These symptoms, he was of opinion, were likely to have resulted from a violent kick from a horse.  The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

   Another inquest was held on the same day at the Lighthouse public-house, in Sussex-street, on the body of Joseph John Woodlands, a child of three-and-a-half years of age, who met his death on that morning in consequence of injuries he received from burning.  It appeared that the mother of the infant went out to an adjoining baker's shop, leaving the deceased alone in the house.  She had not proceeded far, when hearing the child scream, she turned her head, and beheld it standing at the door with it's clothes enveloped in flames.  She immediately extinguished them, and sent for Dr. Wallace, who prescribed the usual remedies for the burnings, but without effect, as the little sufferer only lingered a few hours in great agony, and then died.  A verdict of accidental death was returned.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 11 September 1837

   On Friday morning, an inquest was held at the Eliza in Elizabeth-street, on the body of a child, named Edward Ellis Phillips, who fell dead suddenly on the previous day.  The medical man who examined the body certified that death proceeded from natural causes.  Visitation of God.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 12 September 1837

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Friday last at the Eliza of London public-house, Elizabeth-street, on the body of Edward Ellis Phillips, an infant between two and three years of age, who expired suddenly on the previous day.  The deceased was the son of a waterman residing on the Surry Hills, and he was in his usual good health at dinner time, shortly after which he was attacked with sudden indisposition, and in the course of ten minutes was a corpse.  The Jury returned a verdict of Died by the visitation of God.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 13 September 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---This morning, an inquest was held at the Coach and Horses, Cumberland-street, on the body of Robert Hall, a private of the 50th regiment, lying at the military hospital.  It appeared from the evidence of private Murphy, that the deceased had been at an out-station, and being in an ill state of health, had been placed under the charge of an escort to be brought down to the military hospital at Sydney.  On the arrival of the party at Liverpool, the sergeant who commanded the escort made application on behalf of the deceased to Dr. Hill, who gave him some medicine, but did not receive him into the hospital.  The deceased was then forwarded to Sydney under the charge of witness; he appeared to be labouring under a degree of insanity, and complained of a pain in his side and chest.  On the night of the 12th instant, they encamped near the Iron-Cove Bridge, and the deceased was received into the house of a man named Pate, formerly in the 17th regiment.  In the course of the night, an alarm was given by the wife of the deceased that he had escaped from the hut and was lying in the bush; witness and two other soldiers found him on the ground in a dying state; they removed him to the watch-fire, where he expired.  The body was then forwarded to Sydney.  Dr. De Moulin certified that he had examined the body, and found no marks of external violence; he was of opinion that death proceeded from natural causes.

CORONER'S INQUEST.

   On Monday afternoon an Inquest was held at Cunningham's King street, on the body of a free man a baker, named John Leisbev [??], who was received into the General Hospital on Sunday, in a very ill state of health and died in about half an hour.  Dr. Mitchell certified natural death.  Verdict accordingly.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 15 September 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An inquest was held this morning at eight o'clock, on board the hulk Phoenix, on the body of William Catterick, who died in the cells on the previous day.  It appeared from the evidence of Mr. M'Kaeg, that the deceased was received on board the hulk on Saturday last from Hyde Park Barracks, as an invalid for Port Macquarie.  He had been sick a long time, and confined in the hospital.  Dr. Alexander of the 28th regiment visited the man the day before his death, and administered medicine to him.  On Thursday morning an idiot, who was confined in the cell with the deceased, gave an alarm that Catterick was dying; he (Mr. M'Kaeg) went down and found him expiring.  The jury returned a verdict of visitation of God.

   William Walworth, the man who was wounded in the side by Grover, on the Parramatta Road, died on Wednesday night.  Previous to his death, Grover was confronted with him and identified, and the man's deposition taken. [See top of column for Police Office proceedings, and Monitor Monday 18 September below; Also comment re the 'idiot' after inquest on Walworth, below.]

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 19 September 1837

The man named William Walworth, who had been stabbed on the Parramatta-road, by a prisoner of the Crown named Glover, died in the hospital on Wednesday night last.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 18 September 1837

CORONER'S INQUESTS.---On Friday morning an inquest was held at the Bunch of Grapes, King-street, on the body of a man lying at the General Hospital.  Constable Clifford stated that on the 22nd of July last, he found the deceased lying in Clarence-street, he was bleeding at the mouth.  Inspector Fitzpatrick, who came up ordered witness to remove him to the Hospital.  A wardsman at the Hospital stated that the deceased was received into the Hospital on the day mentioned by the last witness; he appeared insensible and continued in a state of stupor until Wednesday evening, when he died.  On being asked what was his name, he replied it was M'Cormick, but subsequently contradicted this, and mentioned other names.  Several persons from the Prisoner's Barracks had been called in before his death to identify him, but were unable.  Dr. Mitchell certified that on a post mortem examination of the deceased, he found a considerable extravasation of blood on the brain, which was in a diseased state, which, he was of opinion, was the cause of death.  These appearances might have been caused by a fall.  There were no marks of violence.  The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased person, sometimes called M'Cormick, died by the visitation of God.

   After which an inquest was held on the body of William Walworth, lying at the Hospital.  The facts of this case are already before the public.  A man named Grover, who was stated to have stabbed the deceased, has been committed for trial for cutting and maiming.  After a lengthened examination, the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against John Grover, who as forthwith committed on the coroner's warrant.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 20 September 1837

ACCIDENT.---As a man named James Thompson, a veteran and lately residing at Bathurst, was returning home yesterday afternoon on a dray, while passing by Blackwattle Swamp, in attempting to get off the dray his foot slipped and he fell, extended on the ground and one of the wheels passed over his body, causing instantaneous death.  An inquest will be held this day.

   On Monday a prisoner of the Crown named Greensmith, employed in one of the street gangs, was sentenced by the Bench at Hyde Park Barracks to receive twenty-five lashed for some neglect of duty.  He was taken to a cell previous to his being punished; he had scarcely entered before he cut his throat with a knife.  An alarm being given assistance was procured, and he was removed to the hospital, where he expired on Tuesday night; an inquest will be held this day.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 22 September 1837

   As Callaghan the Coroner's Constable, was hastening to an inquest the other day, he fell from a precipice at the corner of Albion-street by Foss's; the fall rendered him in sensible, he was taken into a public-house and a discussion was carried on as to the propriety of convening a Jury to sit on him, when he to the astonishment of all present recovered, and after returning thanks to the byestanders, for their humane intentions, he hobbled off to the proper inquest.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 22 September 1837

A Bathurst settler, named James Thompson, a retired soldier, was unfortunately killed on Tuesday evening last, near Cooper's Distillery, by jumping off his dray, which was proceeding on the road heavily laden at the time, but missing his footing as he alighted, the wheel passed over his body, and he died in three hours afterwards.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 25 September 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Friday, an inquest was held at the Bricklayer's Arms, Goulburn-street, on the body of Eliza Jones, who met her death under the following circumstances: It appeared by the evidence, that the deceased on Saturday last was in a state of excessive intoxication, and fell down a flight of stairs, by which she severely injured her spine and the back part of her head, and died on the evening of Thursday.  Dr. Gillespie certified accidental death, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 27 September 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---Yesterday morning, an Inquest was held at the "William the Fourth," Goulburn-street, before Mr. A. Hayward, the Coroner for Parramatta, on the body of John Lowe, a boy, who received several severe injuries by scalding, a short time since, of which he died on Monday last.  The medical gentleman in attendance certified that death was caused from severe scalding.  The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 29 September 1837

During the present month, no less than three individuals have been committed from the country districts to take their trial at the ensuing sessions of the Supreme Court for wilful murder.  Two have been committed from Port Macquarie and one  from the district of Cook.  We are indebted to our Correspondent for the following particulars:---"A prisoner of the Crown, named John Carey Willis, was fully committed by Wm. N. Gray, Esq., Police Magistrate at Port Macquarie, on the 15th inst., for the wilful murder of Dennis Malonie, a convict attached to a road-party, on the 19th of August last.  The murder was discovered in consequence of a statement made by the prisoner, who sought to implicate other parties; the Magistrate doubted the statement, which led to further investigation, and the result has been the committal of the prisoner for trial at the ensuing sessions of the Supreme Court.

   Another convict, named James Freeman, has also been committed for trial by Mr. Gray, charged with the wilful murder of Roger Kenny, at the Settlement Farm, in the district of Port Macquarie, in June last.  An inquiry had been held on the body of the deceased soon after it was discovered in the river, and the jury upon that occasion returned a verdict of 'found drowned.'  The prisoner, on the 14th of September, made a voluntary confession, admitting that he was the party who had caused the death of the deceased by pushing him into the river and drowning him; upon this evidence he will be placed on his trial at the approaching sessions of the Supreme Court.

   A person, named John Phoenix, was fully committed on the 4th inst. for trial before the Supreme Court, by Francis Allman, Esq., J.P, Police Magistrate at Campbell Town, for the wilful murder of Daniel Hoghan, a sawyer, employed by Mr. John Douglas Campbell of Oren, in the district of Cook.  It appears, that the unfortunate deceased had been drinking with the prisoner on the night before the inquest was held---that they became drunk, and in consequence of some quarrel a fight ensued, which ended in the deceased being killed by various blows inflicted on his person with a wooden fire-shovel."  The prisoner has been received in to the Sydney Gaol.  This is another melancholy instance of the fatal effects of intoxication.

Coroner's Inquest.

An inquest was held on Tuesday last, at the William the Fourth public-house, Goulburn-street, before Mr. Hayward, Coroner for Parramatta, who officiated for Mr. Brenan in his absence, on the body of a lad named John Lane, who met his death from severe injuries he received by accidental scaldings.  The usual medical certificate having been granted, the jury returned a verdict of---Accidental death.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 2 October 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Saturday morning an Inquest was held at the Adam and Eve, Sussex-street, on the body of Mr. Patrick Garrigan, formerly Catholic Schoolmaster, who died suddenly the previous day, at the house of Mr. Rainy, Sussex-street.  Dr. Burke, who attended the deceased, certified that he died from natural causes.  Verdict, visitation of God.

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Friday afternoon at the Wellington Inn, Parramatta-street, an inquest was held on the body of Harriet M'Sweeny aged six years.  William M'Sweeny father to the deceased stated, that on the previous day his daughter came to him at Cooper's Distillery about two o'clock, to call him to his dinner; in going through the premises she had to pass by a vat called the Underback, witness was alarmed by hearing the fireman shriek and cry out that she had fallen in, witness ran to the spot and saw the cloathes of the deceased floating on the top of the liquor.  When she arose he caught hold of her and drew her out.  The liquor contained in the vat was at 175 degrees of Fahrenheit.  A medical gentleman residing near the spot was called in and rendered every assistance but without effect until nine o'clock when she expired.  Mr. Croper certified that death was caused by scalding and the Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

   On Sunday morning about eight o'clock, as Sergeant Healy of the Mounted Police was on his way to Parramatta, he discovered a Mounted Policeman lying in the road between Cains and Longbottom.  From the great quantity of coagulated blood lying on the spot, Healy was of opinion that the man had been lying there all night.  He was in a state of insensibility.  The man was first removed to Cains and thence to Parramatta where he died.  An Inquest will be held to-morrow.  The accident is supposed to be the result of a fall from his horse.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 4 October 1837

SUPPOSED MURDER.---Yesterday afternoon about half-past one o'clock as Mrs. Worley of Elizabeth-street, was walking in the Domain near Mrs. Higg's Bathing house she discovered the body of a child lying in the water quite dead.  It is the body of a male child apparently about three months of age; when it was first discovered it was wrapped in a piece of flannel; and had a large stone of about twelve pounds weight lying across the neck.  There are marks of violence about the body, which, coupled with the fact of the stone being placed so as to keep the body in the water, led to the supposition that the child had been murdered.

   Yesterday morning, an assigned servant of Mr. Tress, of Appin, while coming in charge of a dray to Sydney along the Liverpool road, fell down suddenly and expired.

    CORONER'S INQUESTS.---Yesterday afternoon an Inquest was held at the "Ship Inn," Globe-street, on the body of John Gregory, and old fish vendor, who was found dead in his bed that morning.  Dr. Hosking certified that death was caused by apoplexy.  Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.

   This morning an Inquest was held at Ford's public-house, Windmill-street, on the body of George Brown, a seafaring man, who fell down in the same house, yesterday, and expired.  Dr. Nicholson gave the usual certificate.  Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.

   On Monday afternoon a female servant of Mrs. Bolton of the Black Dog was employed melting some bees wax and turpentine, when, by accident, the liquor boiled over and caught fire, which set her clothes in flames; she was dreadfully burnt before the fire could be extinguished.  She was removed to the Hospital where she died yesterday. [Mary Ann Perry.]

                                                  

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 6 October 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Wednesday afternoon, a Jury was convened at the Bunch of Grapes King-street, to enquire touching the death of a male infant, found on Tuesday in the Domain under mysterious circumstances.  The Jury proceeded to a hut near Mrs. Bigg's bathing-house to view the body.  It appeared to be a child of about a fortnight old, and bore no marks of violence about it.  When found it was wrapped round with a piece of flannel, which was pinned on, and nearly covered the face; it also had on a small shirt, and a white muslin cap; a printed frock was found in the water near it.  The Coroner directed the body to be buried, and the clothes to be preserved, in the hope of leading to a discovery of the guilty party.  The spot where the body was found was near low-water mark, a stone was lying across the head, and kept the body under water.  The Jury then returned to the Juryroom, and the evidence of the person who found the body taken, when the Inquest was adjourned to Saturday morning.

   After the above an inquest was held on the body of Mary Ann Perry, formerly a servant in the employ of Mr. Bolton, land-lord of the Black dog, Gloucester-street.  It appeared from the evidence of Mrs. Redding, a sister of Mr. Bolton, that on Monday morning the deceased said she would polish the furniture, and for that purpose went into the kitchen to melt some bees wax and turpentine in a tea cup at the fire.  About ten o'clock the witness heard a cry in the kitchen, but did not pay any attention to it at first, thinking deceased might be calling to a goat that was in the house; but soon afterwards witness went towards the kitchen and discovered it in flames.  While she was there deceased ran in from the area, with her clothes burning, she ran screaming up to witness whose clothes would also have taken fire if they had not been woollen.  Witness looked about the room, but could not see anything to throw round deceased, to extinguish the flames, on which the deceased rushed past her through the house into the street, which she crossed and ran into the house of Mr. Thurston a butcher, with her clothes still enveloped in flame.  Mr. Thurston threw a bucket of water over her and extinguished the fire, and Dr. Nicholson was sent for, who recommended her removal to the Hospital, where she died the following day.  Previous to her death she said, that the turpentine accidentally boiled over and set her clothes on fire.  Dr. Eckford certified that death was produced by burning, and the Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 6 October 1837

CORONER'S INQUESTS.

An Inquest was held on Tuesday afternoon, at the Ship Inn, Globe-street, on the body of John Gregory, and old vendor of fish in the town of Sydney, who was found dead in his bed on the morning of that day.  Dr. Hosking examined the body, and having certified that the death of the deceased was caused by apoplexy, the jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.

   An Inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon, at the Bunch of Grapes, public-house, King-street, on the body of a male child unknown, apparently not more than a month old, whose body was discovered on the previous day lying in about two feet of water, near the edge of the shore in the vicinity of the bathing-house in the Government domain.  It appeared that Mrs. E. M. Worley, with several children, and her servant, Elizabeth Yates, were amusing themselves picking up shells at the place alluded to, when the servant discovered a child's colored frock lying on the beach, which she wrung out, and laid upon the strand, intending to take it home with her, and give to some poor person's child.  In about half an hour afterwards, she observed something floating upon the surface of the water, which she at first took to be a bundle of clothes, but on pulling it towards her, she discovered it to be the long white robe of an infant, the hand, and part of the face of whom became revealed at the same time.  The hand was at this time fastened to the ground [by a] piece of rock about one foot square, and three or four inches in thickness, but whether the body had thus become placed by the motion of the water, or been done by human hands, was not apparent.  When taken out of the water the body was quite dead, but blood poured out of one of its eyes, and presented an appearance of not having lain long in the water.  An infant's flannel dress was pinned over the head, on which was a frilled cap, with another plain cap at the water's edge.  There were no marks on the clothes, which were ordered to be taken charge of by the coroner's constable, in the hope that they may ultimately lead to the detection of the perpetrator of the inhuman deed.  Dr. Hosking examined the body, and found no marks of violence on its person; but from its appearance, he was of opinion that its death was occasioned by suffocation from drowning.  At the request of the jury, the coroner adjourned the Inquest until to-morrow morning at 7 o'Clock, in order to afford time to make enquiries respecting some parties who are suspected of being implicated in the base transaction.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 9 October 1837

   On Saturday morning at seven o'clock the Jury on the adjourned inquest on the child found in the domain, met at the "Bunch of Grapes," the Coroner stated that he had no further evidence to offer the Jury at present; every enquiry had been made after a person on whom some suspicion had fallen, but it was ascertained that the female in question had been absent from Sydney about two months.  One of the jurymen disclosed some hints he had that morning received, which the Coroner said should have consideration.  One of the Jurymen suggested that if a reward was offered by the Government, it might stir up the police to investigate the transaction.  Mr. Brenan said he would attend to the suggestion.  The Jury then returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.

   EFFECTS OF DRUNKENNESS.---After the above, an inquest was held at the house lately known as the "Sir William Pitt," Castlereagh-street, on the body of an aged man, named Andrew Byrne, who died on the preceding day.  It appeared from the evidence that the deceased had been brought to the house where he died, on Thursday, labouring under convulsions which continued until his death.  Previous to his deceased he stated that he was poisoned by rum.  The witness stated that Byrne had hardly been sober for the last six weeks.  Dr. Hosking certified that death was caused by drinking spirituous liquors.  The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased came to his death from the excessive use of ardent spirits.

   On the same morning an inquest was held at the "AUSTRALIAN Inn," Market-street, on the body of Robert Fletcher.  It appeared from the evidence of the woman with whom he lived, that he had been much addicted to drinking, which she said he had died of, and she was dying of it too.  Mr. Surgeon Russell certified to the same effect as in the last case, and the Jury found that the deceased died from the excessive use of spirituous liquors.  The Coroner recommended the female to go to the Hospital, her appearance did not belie her words, she appeared to be dying from the effects of intoxication.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 10 October 1837

CORONER'S INQUESTS.

An Inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon at the Bunch of Grapes public-house, King-street, on the body of Mary Ann Perry, aged 18, a free servant in the employ of Mr. Bowden, of the Black Dog, public-house, Gloucester-street, who met her death from injuries she sustained by her clothes accidentally catching fire.  It appeared from the evidence of Mr. Bowden's sister, Ann Reading, that on Monday morning last, the deceased and her were alone in the house, when the former left her for the purpose of rubbing some furniture in the upstairs room; and in a short time the witness hearing the cry of Oh! in the kitchen, she proceeded towards it, when she observed a great blaze, and immediately afterwards the deceased ran towards witness, her clothes being enveloped in flames.  Witness pushed her away as she came towards her, fearing that she also might catch fire, when the deceased ran across the street to Mr. Thurston's, the \butcher's shop, who immediately extinguished the flames with a bucket of water. The deceased was then laid upon a shutter, and conveyed to the General Hospital, where the usual remedies were applied by Dr. Eckford but without effect, as she lingered in great agony until about noon the next day, and then expired.  While in the hospital, the deceased told the nurse, Esther Smith, that she was melting some bees-wax and turpentine in a cup over a small fire; when the cup falling, she endeavoured to save it with her hand, but it upset, and the burst of flame that was the immediate consequence, set fire to her clothes.  The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

   An adjourned inquest upon the body of the male infant unknown discovered near Mrs. Bigge's Bathing-house in the Government Domain, the particulars of which were briefly reported in our last number, took place on Saturday morning last, at the Bunch of Grapes public-house, King-street, but no further particulars having been obtained respecting the transaction during the interval of the adjournment, the Coroner suggested the propriety of the Jury returning a verdict of "wilful murder against some person or persons unknown," which was ultimately recorded.  The Coroner stated that he would privately examine some parties who are supposed to be enabled to throw light upon the subject, but who are at present absent from Sydney, and should the result furnish sufficient grounds of suspicion against any one, he would then be enabled to issue his warrant for apprehension, and have the circumstances fully investigated before the police.  At the suggestion of one of the Jury, the Coroner also promised to communicate with the Government upon the propriety of offering a pecuniary reward for the discovery and apprehension of the perpetrators of the presumed atrocious deed.

   An inquest was held the same morning at the William Pitt public-house in Castlereagh-street, on the body of an aged man named Andrew Byrne, who died at a small house immediately opposite, on the previous day.  From the evidence of James Hoyle, tenant of the house in question, it appeared that the deceased, with whom he had been acquainted for many years, was brought to his house in a cart about one o'clock on Thursday afternoon last, in a convulsed state, and that he continued labouring in successive fits for twenty-four hours, when he died.  Witness had heard that the deceased had not been sober for six weeks previous to his death, and during one of the intervening spaces between the fits, he questioned deceased as to the cause of his ailment, when the latter replied that he was "poisoned through rum."  Dr. Hosking examined the body, and certified that the deceased met his death from the excessive use of ardent spirits, to which effect a verdict was returned.

   Another inquest was convened immediately after the above, at THE AUSTRALIAN public-house, corner of Kent and Market-streets, upon the body of Robert Fletcher, a labouring man, who died suddenly on the previous morning at a miserable hovel in Kent-street.  It appeared from the testimony of Ann Walker, who stated that she had cohabited with the deceased for about four years, that the deceased had been what is called a very hard drinker, and that on the day before his death, he was in his customary state of inebriety.  Witness stated that she believed the deceased met his death from intemperate drinking, and she added, "indeed it is killing me too."  The wretched appearance of the unhappy woman too plainly confirmed the truth of what she had said, fir she appeared before the inquest as a compound of emaciation, poverty, and disease; and the Coroner, who indulged her with a chair while she was giving her testimony, advised her to lose no time in procuring admittance into the hospital, if she was desirous of avoiding the fate of the deceased.  The witness replied that she would keep out of the hospital as long as she could, or in other words, that she would only be carried there, to be carried elsewhere. Dr. Russell examined the body, and certified that the deceased met his death from the excessive use of ardent spirits, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 18 October 1837

DREADFUL ACCIDENT.---Yesterday evening, about half-past seven, a free labourer in the employ of Messrs. Dodds and Davies, named Thomas M'Dead (singular coincidence) was amusing himself at the steam engine, by standing on the 'connecting rod' and suffering himself to be swung about; while the rod was performing its evolutions by some accident his foot slipped, and he fell on the engine; his left leg was immediately jammed to a mummy, and his body thrown with considerable violence forward against the crank, the key of which struck him on the belly, which it ripped up, and his entrails came out.  Assistance was immediately rendered him, and he was extricated, but presented a most horrible spectacle; messengers were dispatched for medical assistance, and that of a Military Surgeon was procured, but when he arrived the man was quite dead.  The body was removed to the Hospital.

CORONER'S IN QUEST.---Yesterday morning an inquest was held at the "Cheshire Cheese," on the Parramatta Road, on the body of an elderly female, name unknown, who was found by a labouring man, on Monday, lying in a water-hole, in the bush, about a mile and a-half from the road opposite the Cheshire Cheese.  Dr. Hosking, who examined the body certified, that there were no marks of violence discernable.  The Jury returned a verdict of Found Drowned.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 20 October 1837

About seven o'clock on Wednesday evening, a crowd of several hundreds of persons followed a private soldier of the 50th regiment, from Castlereagh-street, into George-street, vowing vengeance against him for having killed a man in the former Street.  The soldier, whose name is Wallis, with his unsheathed bayonet in his hand, took possession of a fruiterer's shop near the Theatre, who happened to be from home at the time.  Inspector Cuffe, and a person named Stewart formerly a constable in the Sydney police, rushed into the shop, disarmed the prisoner, and took him to the watch-house.  From evidence submitted before Colonel Wilson at the Police Office yesterday, it appeared that Wallis with another soldier was in Phillip-street, half inebriated, when they grossly insulted a female servant and also the wife of a resident there named Crawford. Mr. Crawford desired the soldiers to go about their business, when Wallis endeavoured to force his way into the house, making several stabs at Mr. C. with his bayonet, the marks of which are visible in the door.  Mr. Crawford, shortly afterwards went out for the purpose of laying his complaint against the conduct of the soldiers before the commanding officer of the garrison, when the delinquents went on towards Castlereagh-street, where they again insulted another female, upon which an old blind fish vendor named Sullivan came up to expostulate with them upon the grossness of their conduct, but Wallis immediately knocked him down, and kicked him violently as he lay upon the ground.  When the soldiers had gone away a few yards, the old man got up, and called Wallis "a Munster dog," upon which he returned and kicked and beat the old man until he was senseless, and had not the bystanders interfered, he would have been in all probability killed upon the spot.  He was removed to the general Hospital where he still remains in a precarious state.  Mr. W. O. Hughes who resides in Castlereagh-street, with several other spectators, went up to interfere, and succeeded in obtaining the bayonet of the second soldier, who had also drawn his weapon and placed himself in an offensive attitude, but the soldier himself escaped, and ran off.  Wallis made several stabs with his bayonet at Mr. Hughes, who fortunately escaped the intended mischief; after which he precipitately fled, followed by a numerous crowd, whom his ferocity had attracted together, when he was ultimately prevented from doing further mischief in the manner already described.  The prisoner was remanded for further evidence.  In the mean time, we think it would be advisable on the part of the Commanding Officer of the Garrison to deprive the private soldiers of the privilege of wearing their side arms when off parade, especially when they visit the town during the night.  This is not a solitary instance of mischief having been done in Sydney by drunken soldiers with their drawn bayonets---one very celebrated case of the same nature happened in the year 1828, when a poor man was without the slightest provocation on his part, killed upon the spot, and several others severely wounded. [See also letter from "One Who Gave Chase" referring to The Herald of 9 October; in AUSTRALIAN 20 October 1837.]

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 23 October 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Saturday afternoon, an Inquest was held at the Black Horse, Clarence-street, on the body of a child named James Gimber, the son of parents residing in that street.  It appeared from the evidence, that this was one of the numerous deaths which ensue from parents incautiously leaving their children near a fire without any one to look after them.  The child, who was about sixteen months old, had not been left many seconds when it approached the fire to light a piece of paper, and set its clothes on fire.  Assistance was immediately rendered, but it was of no avail.  Verdict---Accidentally burned.

   On Wednesday evening last about six o'clock, as some boys were playing in the old burial ground, they discovered a new cedar box lying in one of the open graves; they made off with it towards the Market place, and thinking they had got a prize, took their station between the buildings and proceeded to break it open.  A constable came up at the time and saw that it contained the body of an apparently still-born infant, quite fresh; he returned it to the burial ground and buried it.

   A man named Joseph Fry, while working at a vessel near the King's wharf on Friday, met his death by the fall of some weight from aloft.

 

CJA, 3/219, 25/10/1837

On the 16th instant, at her residence, Macquarie-place, Mrs. DUKE of a son, still born.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 25 October 1837

   An inquest was held at Leary's York-street this morning, on the body of John Mazzagora who met his death by the accidental discharge of a gun.  Mazzagora who arrived in the Colony as an Emigrant, about twenty-three years ago, bore an excellent character for probity and was universally respected.  From the evidence it appeared that the deceased had been out shooting in the bush near the Parramatta Road.  As Booth's coach was passing to Sydney about six o'clock in the evening, when near the Ship Inn, the deceased called out and bargained to be brought to Sydney.  He had a double barrelled gun in his hand, and a shot belt round his shoulders; he had just taken his seat in the coach which had no other passengers, when he remarked that he wished he had fired off the charges before he got into the coach; the driver whipped the horses and was just starting when he heard the report of a gun, and on looking round, saw the deceased with his head leaning against the guard iron, and the collar of his jacket burning; the driver was about extinguishing the fire when he observed blood flowing and on moving the body he discovered that life was extinct.  He drove on and observed a man named Pagg coming out of his house, called to him and informed him of the circumstances.  Pagg picked up the gun and hat of the deceased on the brow of the hill, where the piece had gone off.  The coachman was proceeding with the body towards a Public House, when he met the Coroner of Parramatta, who directed the body to be brought into Sydney, and the deceased was brought to the receiving watchhouse.  Pagg stated that one of the barrels was loaded and both cocks were down when he picked up the gun.  The son of the deceased who was present said that there was a defect in the gun, which had gone off on a former occasion in a similar manner.  The charge had entered under the left ear and came out at the top of the head, carrying away the brains.  Dr. Hoskings was in attendance.  The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 27 October 1837

Michael Wallis, the private soldier of the 50th Regiment, of whose ferocious assault upon a poor old blind man in Castlereagh-street on the 25th instant, .... The prisoner displayed much ferocity in his aspect, blended with much low cunning.  He was proceeding to give himself a very good character, when Colonel Wilson interrupted him, saying that his commanding officer had represented him as being one of the worst men in the regiment. ...

Coroner's Inquest.

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Wednesday morning last, at the Erin go bragh public house, York-street, on the body of Mr. John Marzagora, an old inhabitant of the Colony, residing in Cumberland-street, and following the occupation of a birdstuffer, who accidentally shot himself on the previous evening in Booth's coach on the Parramatta road.  The deceased had been shooting during the day, and on the arrival of Booth's coach near the Ship Inn, the deceased hailed it, and got in with a view of being conveyed to Sydney; at the same time remarking that he wished her had discharged the contents of his double barrelled fowling piece.  There was no one in the coach except the deceased, and on the coachman starting his horses he heard the report of a gun behind him, upon which he looked round, and discovered the deceased lying against the guard iron quite dead, his jacket in flames, and the blood flowing profusely from a large wound in his head, through which the contents of one of the barrels had passed.  The accident appeared to have happened in consequence of a defect in one of the locks, which was increased by the sudden starting of the coach.  The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 31 October 1837

Coroner's Inquest.

An Inquest was held yesterday afternoon at the Barrack master's office in Sydney garrison on the body of James Currie, second barrack serjeant, and formerly a colour serjeant in the 57th regiment, who put a period to his existence on Saturday afternoon last, by hanging himself in a store, attached to the Barrack department, near the North gate of Sydney barracks.  The last time the deceased was seen alive, was about one o'clock on Saturday afternoon, at which time he appeared in good health, and perfectly sober.  After that period, the deceased was missed, and suspicion that he had destroyed himself having been excited in consequence of his razors being missing, the first Barrack sergeant proceeded to search for him; on going about nine o'clock to the store alluded to, which is near the deceased's quarters, he observed the outer padlock taken off the door, and the stout lock made fast inside, upon which he broke the door open.  The deceased was then discovered suspended from the upper flooring, near a ladder, off which he had to all appearance jumped.  The body was quite cold and stiff.  No immediate cause was assigned for the deceased's having committed the rash act; some vague insinuation was thrown out of his having labored under religious fanaticism, and also that he was addicted to habits of intemperance; neither of which assertions, however, were confirmed by anything like satisfactory evidence.  The deceased has left a large family, the widow having been delivered of her seventh child, only yesterday morning, about twenty-four hours after her widowhood.  The Jury, which was composed of an equal proportion of soldiers and civilians, returned a verdict that the deceased had committed suicide, while labouring under temporary insanity.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 1 November 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Monday afternoon an Inquest was held at the Barrack Master's Office, on the body of James Curry, 2nd Barrack Sergeant, who hanged himself on Saturday evening.  From the evidence it appeared that Curry had been observed some time past to be in a desponding state of mind, which by some was attributed to religious fanaticism, and by others to the effects of liquor to which he had been lately addicted.  The deceased was seen on Saturday afternoon, and seemed very much depressed in spirits.  At nine o'clock he was reported to Sergeant Kecham as being absent, and on his room being examined his razors were missing, which led them to suppose he contemplated suicide; the last place where Curry had been seen, was near the stores, which were under his charge; Kecham went to the place and found the padlock unfastened, but the door locked inside.  He broke open the door with an axe, and found the deceased "suspended" by a rope fastened to a beam at the roof of the stores.  The unfortunate man musty have ascended by a ladder to the upper floor, and after fastening the rope, thrown himself through a trap door.  When found he was quite dead.  Dr. Dumoulines attended and certified that death was caused by hanging.  The Jury found a verdict of "Temporary Insanity."  Another cause assigned for the act, is disappointment.  It is mentioned that the situation of Barrack Clerk, which had formerly been filled by a convict, had lately been given to a free person with a salary of five shillings a day.  Curry from his experience of the duties of the situation thought he had some claim to the appointment, and felt aggrieved at his being passed over.  He has left a wife and several children; his wife was confined on Monday morning with a sixth child.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 3 November 1837

LAW.

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

WEDNESDAY.---This being the first day of the Criminal Sittings of the Court, the trials commenced as follows:---

Patrick Ward was indicted for the wilful murder of Thomas Marshall, at Lake George, by striking him a mortal blow on the forehead with a certain blunt instrument to the Attorney General unknown, upon the 17th April last, of the effects of which he lingered until the 23rd following, and then died.  It appeared that the prisoner had charge of a hut belonging to one Patrick Kelly, who had gone to Goulburn Plains, when the deceased and some other men came in to it, and partook of some wine there.  Some of the parties becoming intoxicated, the deceased and a man named Wilkinson asked the prisoner to supply them with some wine upon credit, which he refused to do.  A quarrel then ensued between the deceased and the prisoner, which after a short time was considered by the bystanders to have terminated.  Upon the deceased however quitting the hut some time afterwards in company with Wilkinson, and a man named Brislan, the prisoner addressed deceased, saying, "never let me see you here again you d----d rascal."  Marshall replied, "I will, and you can't stop me,: and then returned towards the door.  The prisoner then said twice to the deceased---"if you come in, I'll knock you down."  The deceased was in the act of forcing his way into the hut, when he received a blow on the forehead which knocked him senseless.  No one saw the blows struck, but the prisoner was observed standing at the door immediately afterwards with something very much like a hammer in his hand.  He is a tinsman, and had been working at his trade only a few minutes before.  He then ran out of the hut, and did not return until the evening of the next day.  The deceased was conveyed to the General Hospital at Goulburn on the 19th Instant, where he lingered until the 23rd of the same month, and then died.  William Richardson, Esq., Colonial Surgeon, held a post mortem examination of the body, on the head of which he discovered an extensive fracture reaching from the crown of the head to the base of the skull in front, produced to all appearance from a triangular wound in the centre of the forehead.  There was coagulated blood on the surface of the brain all along the course of the fracture.  The dura mater was also softened, and discolored.  The witness had no doubt that the deceased's death was occasioned partly from the pressure of the coagulated blood upon the brain, and partly from the inflammation of the dura mater.  The deceased was a stout muscular man, apparently about 30 years of age, and had borne the character of a drunken quarrelsome character.  He was also what is called a fighting man.  The learned Judge put the case to the Jury as one of manslaughter, should they be of opinion that the deceased was endeavouring to make a forcible trespass into the house, of which the prisoner had the charge in the absence of his master; but he was also bound to tell them that the force used to resist the prisoner's (sic) entry, was greater than was justifiable in law.  The Jury found the prisoner guilty of manslaughter, and the learned Judge, after a suitable admonition, sentenced him to be transported for seven years.  Mr. Kerr defended the prisoner.

   A prisoner of the Crown, named Hugh Hart, was committed to take his trial on the 17th ult., at Goulburn, by Mr. Stewart, the Police Magistrate, for the wilful murder of William Day, by cleaving open his head with an axe, at Young-galars, a sheep station belonging to Sir John Wylde, near Maneroo.  The deceased, it was supposed, had given some information against a person at Gunderoo, which is the cause of the horrid deed having been perpetrated.

   Two sons  of a respectable magistrate, residing in the district of the Upper Hunter, have been committed for trial upon a charge of being accessary to the wilful murder of several aborigines.  The parties have been admitted to bail. 

 

R. v. Phoenix, 1837

 

R. v. Doyle, 1837

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 6 November 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Saturday afternoon an Inquest was held at Cunningham's, King-street, on the body of George Lees, lying at the Hospital.  It appeared from the evidence that the deceased was found on Tuesday evening lying in Hunter-street, very drunk: when helped up he said some body had given him a blow under the ear, he was assisted, but unable to stand, on account of intoxication.  He recovered so far the next day as to be able to go about the town, but on Friday evening after retiring to bed he was violently attacked with fits; he remained as if paralyzed until the morning, when he was taken to the Hospital and expired as he was being carried in.  Dr. Eckford after a post mortem examination, stated that he found a quantity of coagulated blood on the brain and an effusion of serum about the base of the cranium; these appearances were sufficient to cause death; they might have been produced by violence of a blow, or a fall, or by habitual intoxication; the body bore evident marks of a diseased constitution.  After some discussion the Jury found, that the deceased came to his death by apoplexy which might have been accelerated by intemperance or violence, of which there was no evidence before them.  Lees was a man well known about the town, he was formerly collector to THE AUSTRALIAN, and lately to Mr. Macdonald.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 7 November 1837

LAW.

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

THURSDAY.---before the Acting Chief Justice, and a Jury of civil inhabitants.

   Thomas Hartley was indicted for the wilful murder of John Brennan, at Cunningham Creek, beyond Yass Plains, and without the located districts of the Colony, on the 23rd April last[1836], by striking him on the head with a stick, from the effects of which he then and there died. The prisoner was an assigned servant of Mr. Manning, Registrar of the Supreme Court, and the deceased was also a free servant in the same service.  The only evidence offered against the prisoner, was that of a fellow servant, who stated that he saw the deed perpetrated, and the prisoner afterwards lay the body at the foot of a tree, covering it with leaves.  The witness however denied that he was at all accessary to the transaction, or that the prisoner enjoined him to secrecy.  The learned judge put the case to the jury, as one of great improbability, and upon which it was unsafe to act without some corroborative testimony; and the jury concurring in that view, the prisoner was pronounced not guilty, and discharged.

FRIDAY.---Before the Acting Chief Justice and a Jury of civil inhabitants.

   John Phoenix was indicted for the wilful murder of Daniel Hogan, at Campbell Town, on the 4th September last, by beating him on the head with a wooden shovel, from the effects of which he then and there died.  The Jury found the prisoner guilty of manslaughter, and he was remanded for sentence.

   John Grover was indicted for the wilful murder of William Walworth near Ireland's on the Parramatta road, by wounding him with a knife in the belly on the 11th September, from the effects of which he lingered until the 13th following, and then died.  The unfortunate deceased had been drinking with the prisoner, and some others at the time of the occurrence---the deceased was very much intoxicated, but the prisoner appeared to be more sober.  One of the parties attempted to use some undue familiarities with a female in an adjoining room, who screamed out for assistance, upon which the prisoner went in and rescued her.  When the prisoner was leaving the hut out of which he had been ordered, the deceased followed him and challenged him to fight, which the other declined.  The deceased then struck the prisoner twice on the breast, who having a knife in his hand at the time, inflicted the wound which terminated so fatally.  The jury found the prisoner guilty of manslaughter, and the Court sentenced him to be imprisoned in Sydney Gaol, for six calendar months.  A witness named John Ashwood, was also committed to prison for six months by the learned Judge, for gross prevarication in giving his evidence.

SATURDAY.---Before Mr. Justice Burton, and a Jury of Civil Inhabitants.

   Michael Tobin was indicted for the wilful murder of James Fletcher, at Lower Portland Head, on the 18th June last, by drowning him in the River Hawkesbury; and James Marshall, Richard Maddocks, and John Dunkley were charged with aiding, and abetting the first named prisoner to commit the said murder.  Mr. Therry conducted the case on behalf of the Crown.  Mr. Foster appeared for the prisoner Tobin; and Mr. A'Beckett for the prisoner Maddocks---the other two prisoners were undefended by Counsel.  It appeared from the evidence that the prisoner Tobin, who was a trader in a boat upon the river from Windsor to the lower branch of the Hawkesbury, stopped at Mr. John Brown's farm on Sunday morning, the 18th June last, between nine and ten o'clock, and there commenced a practice he seemed to have been accustomed to do for some time, viz:---the illicit sale of spirituous liquors among the assigned servants upon the farm.  The deceased and Marshall were in the employ of Mr. Brown, and Maddocks and Dunkley were servants of Mr. Wiseman, who lives a few miles  from Mr. Brown, but they made their appearance that day on the latter gentleman's farm, though whether with or without their master's sanction, did not appear.  From the effects of the liquor, the deceased, the whole of the prisoners at the bar, and most of the other servants on the farm, became more or less intoxicated, and commenced fighting one with another.  Upon Tobin, and a passenger by his boat, named M'Connell preparing to leave the farm in the afternoon, the former missed a keg of wine from his boat, and on their proceeding to search for it, M'Connell observed the track of a man's bare feet in the sand, leading from the boat towards some high reeds, where they discovered the wine concealed.  They left Mr. Brown's farm about sunset, Mr. B. from the drunken scenes which existed, having ordered them and Mr. Wiseman's two men away. At this time the deceased had not been missed at Brown's farm, nor did Tobin mention any thing to M'Connell respecting him. Tobin and M'Connell then proceeded to Reed's farm, which is about a mile and a half further down the river, where M'Connell went to bed, and Tobin with Wiseman's two men went further down the river.  About midnight however Tobin returned to Reed's farm; he was then alone, and woke up M'Connell, telling him that he had been robbed, and that he wanted him to accompany him Tobin, back to Brown's farm, at the wharf of which there was a man lying drowned with a stone made fast to his belt.  M'Connell observed it was strange as he had gone to the farm sober, and returned from it sober, that he the witness had not heard of the circumstance before, and expressed his surprise that Tobin had not told him of it when they were leaving Brown's wharf.  Tobin insisted upon going back to Brown's farm to report the circumstance, and thither he and M'Connell accordingly went by land, Tobin observing that he was afraid it would be a bad job.  In the mean time Fletcher had been missed at the farm, and the servants were ordered by Mr. Brown to proceed in search of him, which they did, Marshall being among them, who observed that he supposed the deceased must be lying drunk under some of the peach trees.  Tobin and M'Connell reached Brown's farm about one o'clock in the morning, when the former went to Brown's house and called him up, and the following conversation then occurred between them, as was proved in evidence by an intelligent girl named Catherine Burns apparently about twelve or thirteen years old, who had been brought up from her infancy in Mr. Brown's family; Brown himself had died since the occurrence.  The witness stated that when Tobin was asked by Mrs. Brown what he wanted at that hour of the night, he replied that one of the men was lying drowned at the wharf, and when Mrs. Brown asked what man it was, he answered it was the tall man.  Mrs. Brown then awoke her husband, and desired him to get up, which he did, and he was then apprised of the circumstance.  Mr. Brown asked Tobin why he did not tell it before he left the farm in the evening, to which Tobin replied that he was in a hurry to get away with his boat, fearing that the district constable should come upon him, and get him fined for selling his rum.  Tobin said that he supposed the deceased had been stealing some of his rum out of the boat, but being drunk he fell in the water, yet he was not dead when he Tobin saw him, but was foaming at the mouth and nose.  He added, "your own little Brummagen man (meaning Marshall) and Wiseman's two men were there, and raised him up against a bank, and Marshall washed his face.  I ran to get some salt and a couple of lemons to revive him, and when I came back, the man was gone.  I asked Marshall where he was, when he replied he is right enough.  I repeated the question, when he answered he is right enough down in the river with a stone in his belt."  Mr. Brown said that Tobin ought to have acquainted district constable Cavenagh of it, and to this Tobin made no reply.  He told two different stories of the transaction---first he said he found the man in the water---and then that he found him on the sand.  The witness observed to him---"Tobin, you must have a better story than that"---upon which Tobin replied "what do you mean?  You will hang me among you."  The witness added that Tobin remained at the farm until morning, that he was in and out of the house all the intermediate time, that he frequently scratched his head, looked confused, and seemed much embarrassed.  When Mr. Brown accompanied by Tobin and M'Connell went into the men's hut soon after the latter two returned to the farm, Marshall was sitting by the fire, and immediately exclaimed, "well Tobin, you've done it now; I don't deny that I am guilty in assisting to carry the man into Brown's boat, but you are the man that threw the man overboard."  Tobin denied this, and said that he, Marshall, was the man that assisted to carry him from the bank to the boat; and then repeated in Marshall's presence what he had before told Mr. Brown.  Mr. Cavenagh arrived at Brown's farm in the course of Monday morning, and having heard of the recriminating accusations of Tobin and Marshall, he took them into custody, and proceeded after the other two prisoners, but Dunkley being absent from Mr. Wiseman's farm, he only apprehended Maddocks at that time.  Mr. Cavenagh having returned to Brown's farm, in the evening, proceeded to search for the body, which he discovered about 9 o'clock in the precise spot previously pointed out both by Tobin and Marshall.  The belt was loose about the body, so as to admit of a stone having been placed in it as stated.  There were marks of violence on the forehead, nose, eyelids, and lower lip, and blood issued from the wounds after the body had been taken out of the water.  On Mr. Cavenagh taking the prisoners to Windsor after their commitment by the Coroner, Tobin and Marshall were frequently upbraiding each other respecting the shares they each took in the transaction, Marshall always admitting that he helped to carry Fletcher into the boat, but that Tobin threw him overboard.  Tobin always denied this, except on one occasion, when he said to Marshall "well if I did throw him in, what is that to you."  The learned Judge in charging the Jury, told them that the present was a case of the greatest difficulty that he had ever known in his judicial capacity---the only persons who could furnish any thing like a correct version of the transaction, being the prisoners at the bar themselves.  The Jury must be guided entirely by the actings and doings of the prisoners, in arriving at a verdict.  It was a humane suggestion, scarcely warranted by the evidence, that the unfortunate man might have stolen Tobin's rum, and that being detected in the act, he might have been ducked for the theft by one or more of the prisoners, not at that time contemplating his death---but finding him already dead, they then sank him with a stone in the river.  But if they were entirely blameless of his death, and if the deceased had himself fell into the river from drunkenness as was insinuated, what necessity was there for the concealment of the body?  It was probable also that Maddocks or Dunkley might have either one or both been present throughout the entire transaction, but the accusations of Marshall and Tobin not made in their presence could not legally affect them.  The Jury found Tobin and Marshall guilty of manslaughter, and acquitted Maddocks and Dunkley who were discharged.  In passing sentence of transportation for life upon Tobin and Marshall, the learned Judge commented severely upon the scenes of drunkenness and rioting which had been carried on in this case on the sabbath day---as well as the cruel and unchristian manner in which the prisoners had disposed of the body after they had discovered it was dead.  His Honor observed that this was the third or fourth case which had come before him, where the sacrifice of human life had taken place from excessive drinking on a Sunday.

...

On a person named Phoenix being arraigned for Murder on Friday last, a gentleman in Court observed it would be of no use to pass sentence on him in case of conviction, as his motto was "Resurgam."

Coroner's Inquests.

An Inquest was held on Friday afternoon last, at a private house at the corner of O'Connell and Hunter-streets, on the body of a carter named John Keefe, who was accidentally thrown down and ran over by his cart on the previous Wednesday.  It appeared that the deceased was proceeding with a cart load of loom down the Brickfield-hill, when the horse became restive, and the deceased going to the animal's head for the purpose of curbing him, was accidentally knocked down, and the wheel passed over his chest.  He lingered until the morning of Friday, when death terminated his sufferings.  The Jury returned a verdict of---"accidental death."

   Another Inquest was held on Saturday afternoon last, at the Bunch of Grapes, public-house, on the body of George Lees, who for some years past has been employed as a collector of rents and other monies, who died while being conveyed to the Hospital on the morning of that day.  The deceased had been of intemperate habits lately, and was discovered by an acquaintance on Wednesday evening lying in the road by the side of the footpath in Hunter-street.  He complained of having received a blow on the neck by some strange man, and the part complained of exhibited considerable injury.  He had so far recovered from the effects of it as to be enabled to attend to his business on Friday morning, but he was soon taken alarmingly ill, and was compelled to go home, where he was attacked with a series of convulsions, after which he fell into a state of stupor, in which he continued till he died.  Dr. Eckford having opened the body, certified that he discovered a considerable quantity of serum on the surface of the brain, which might have been occasioned either by the intemperate habits of the deceased, or by the external injury he had received.  The jury returned a verdict that the deceased had met his death by apoplexy, but whether caused by intemperance or by violence, there was no evidence before them to shew.

 

CJA, 3/221, 08/11/1837

SUPREME COURT.

Thursday, Nov. 2.  Before the Acting Chief Justice Dowling and a Common Jury.

THOMAS HARTLEY was indicted for the wilful murder of JOHN BRENNAN, at Mr. Manning's station, near Cunningham's Creek, beyond Yass, on the 23rd of April, 1836, by beating him over the head, &c. with a stick. - Not Guilty.

Friday, Nov. 3.  Before Mr Justice Burton and a Military Jury.

JOHN PHOENIX was indicted for the wilful murder of DANIEL HOGAN, at Harrington Park, near Campbell Town, on the 4th day of September, by beating him on the head with a wooden shovel. - Guilty of Manslaughter.  Remanded for sentence.

JOHN GROVENOR alias GROVER was indicted for the wilful murder of WILLIAM WALWORTH, at a place near Ireland's, on the Parramatta Road, by stabbing him in the belly, causing a wound whereof he died at Sydney.  The Jury found him guilty of manslaughter, and in consequence of his good conduct while Chief Constable at Norfolk Island, he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment.  A witness in the case, named JOHN ASHWOOD, was also sentenced to the same punishment for gross prevarication.

MICHAEL TOBIN was indicted for the wilful murder of JAMES FLETCHER, by throwing him into the River Hawkesbury, on the 1st June, and JAMES MARSHALL, RICHARD MADDOX and JOHN DUNKLEY were indicted for being present, aiding and assisting.  Tobin and Marshall Guilty of manslaughter, to be transported for life, Maddox and Dunkley, Not Guilty.  Court adjourned.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 10 November 1837

A person, well known in the Colony by the name of Gentleman [John] Jones, a large stock-holder, residing at Taree, met his death, a few days since, in consequence of being stabbed in the thigh, by one of his men, with a pair of sheep sheers---the man was intoxicated at the time.  This is an instance of the evil results of distributing spirits to men engaged in washing and sheering sheep, which is made a common practice all over the Colony.

 

THE  AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 14 November 1837

LAW.

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

THURSDAY.---(Before Mr. Justice Burton, and a Jury of Civil Inhabitants.

   John Carey Willis was indicted for the wilful murder of Dennis Malony, at Port Macquarie, on the 29th August last.  The deceased's death was variously described as having been effected by strangulation with a cord, and by beating the deceased over the head with a stick, from the effects of which he then and there died.  The prisoner and deceased were both attached to the Western-road gang, Port Macquarie, and were both absent from their huts on the night of the deceased's murder.  On the following morning the deceased was the first who gave information of the circumstance, and charged several other fellow-prisoners with the murder, saying that himself and deceased had been on the previous night to rob the hut of the parties whom he charged with the crime, and that they detected and pursued them, killing the deceased with several blows upon the head with an axe-handle, the prisoner standing behind a tree about twenty yards off, and witnessing the transaction.  It was proved, however, that the prisoner was particularly short-sighted, and that even if his vision had been of the clearest nature, he could not have seen from the spot where he stated he was concealed behind the tree, to the place where he described as that where the deceased met his death.  He subsequently pointed out the body of the deceased concealed under a bridge, after having contradicted his first statement in many important particulars.  Dr. Moncrieff examined the body, and found symptoms of strangulation upon it, as well as several contused wounds about the back of the head---he was of opinion, however, that the death of the deceased was occasioned by the former cause.  The Jury without hesitation found the prisoner guilty of murder, and the learned Judge immediately sentenced him to suffer death in the usual mode, and his body to be afterwards delivered to the surgeons for dissection and an atomization.  The prisoner left the bar, exclaiming "Thank God, it is no worse"---he exhibited throughout the trial, the most apathetical indifference.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 17 November 1837

   A child, aged fifteen months, met its death, yesterday, in rather a curious manner.  The mother left the house for a few minutes, leaving the child secure in a room where she had been washing.  On her return, she found the child dead in a tub of water, into which it must have fallen during its gambols, and could not extricate itself.  An Inquest was held the same evening, and a verdict of Accidental Death returned.

   An aged female was found this morning on the point of death, in a dilapidated shed in Bathurst-street.  A constable was called, but before he could procure assistance she expired.  The deceased woman had a wretched appearance, and it was supposed had sought the shed, which was seldom frequented, to avoid the inclemency of the weather, and there died, through mere decrepitude.  Nothing was found about her person that could afford any clue to discover who she was.

CORONER'S INQUEST.

On Wednesday afternoon, an Inquest was held at the "Sportsman's Arms," Parramatta Road, on the body of a man (name unknown), who was found the previous day drowned in Blackwattle Swamp.  The deceased seemed an elderly man, and exhibited a wretched appearance.  Dr. Hosking certified that death was caused by drowning.  The Jury returned a verdict to that effect.

  

R. v. Doyle, 1837

R. v. Phoenix, 1837

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 21 November 1837

LAW.

SUPREME COURT.---(CRIMINAL SIDE.)

SATURDAY.---This day the Court sat in banco, to pass sentence upon several prisoners convicted during the late Criminal Sittings. Upon this occasion, Mr. Justice Willis, for the first time in this Colony, took his seat upon the Bench.

[See R. v. Doyle, 1837]

Inquestral Examination.

   Information was received last week that a murder had been committed at Mr. Key's station at the Buckenbur, by some Aborigines on a Shepherd; and the Police Magistrate proceeded thither to enquire into the affair.  The following is the result of the examination taken on the spot:---

   It appeared that three blacks, the one an old man, with two youths, and a gin, encamped within a few rod of the sheep station, at which were two shepherds and a hutkeeper.  The shepherds brought home and folded their flocks in the evening, when the deceased, a free man named John Colville, after ascertaining that the blacks were camped for the night, expressed his determination to see one of the gins. The other shepherd (Richard Sherlock) persuaded him not to go near them, as they were strangers, but deceased persisted in his design, and went down to the black's camp, Sherlock remaining in the hut.  Some time after his leaving the hut, Sherlock, who stood in the doorway, heard the blacks saying Bail Bail, which he understood to mean for deceased not to touch the gin.  After a little, Sherlock went to sleep, awoke about nine o'clock, and not finding his mate returned, he proceeded to the camp, and there saw the deceased extended on the ground, a blow as of a tomahawk on the back of the head near the neck, and the blacks gone.  From this station Mr. Kinchela proceeded to Mr. Lee's station, further distant, and heard that a tribe of blacks had called there the morning after the murder.  The three blacks in question had also called and reported the death of Colville, but stated that they did not do it, as they were in the hut at the time.  The evidence was so satisfactory that Mr. Kinchela immediately issued a warrant against the three blacks, supposed to be named Captain, Billy, and Spider. The scene of the action was within thirty miles from the spot where Mr. Cunningham's body was found, and the tribe are supposed to be the same concerned in that Gentleman's murder.

 

CJA, 3/223, 22/11/1837.

DEATH.   On the 26th ultimo, at Turee, County of Bligh, JOHN JONES, Esq. From the affects of two severe wounds inflicted with a pair of sheep shears by one of his servants.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 22 November 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An inquest was held, at the Black Dog, Gloucester-street, this morning at seven o'clock, on the body of Edward Helson, a carpenter, residing in the same street, who was said to have come to his death in consequence of injuries he received in a fight with a man named Charles Walton, who was in custody.  Samuel Lewis stated that he was at Rech's public house, on Monday evening, between nine and ten o'clock, the prisoner and the deceased were there playing at bagatelle; a dispute arose concerning the game, and the parties came to high words; the deceased struck the prisoner in the face, they then closed and had a bit of a scuffle.  The landlord interfered, and said they should not fight in his house; the landlord then left the room on hearing the child cry, and they again commenced fighting; witness did not know who struck the first blow on this occasion; during the struggle, the deceased fell with his head against a cock of a beer barrel and broke it off; the landlord returned before the deceased fell, and ordered him to leave the house, which he did, observing that he would pay him out at the first opportunity.  Witness did not notice that the deceased's head was cut, he observed some blood flow from his nose; the deceased was the person in fault, and was the attacking party all through; he was always very quarrelsome when in liquor; the  quarrel lasted about eight or nine minutes.  Jacob Rech, the landlord of the "Tumble Down Dick," in Argyle-street, stated that on Monday evening, the prisoner and deceased were at his house playing, the deceased was nearly drunk, and lost a shilling, which he did not seem willing to pay; the prisoner said to him, "don't you recollect losing three shillings at Fraser's?" and put his arm against deceased's breast, on which he struck him, and they commenced fighting; they fell on the ground, the deceased fell towards a beer barrel, the tap of which was broken off; witness then parted them, and they promised they would be at peace; he had occasion to leave the room for a minute or so, when he heard them again fighting, he returned and saw them fall in the middle of the room; the deceased said he wished he was not so tipsy, or he would give him something more; after that, he went home; the deceased said he must have struck his nose or mouth against the barrel, as he was bleeding.  Witness was quite certain that it was on the first occasion that the tap of the barrel was broken.  The last witness was present, and a person in company with the deceased; witness, on his oath, said that the deceased was most in fault; he did not think the prisoner would have struck him unless he had been first struck; the prisoner was quite sober. Elizabeth Helson, the wife of the deceased, stated that her husband returned home on Monday evening, between nine and ten o'clock, he was quite sober, and bore no marks of violence; he got some money, and went out again, and returned home about one o'clock; he was then intoxicated, and bore marls of violence.  He went to bed, and complained much of his head; he went to sleep, and awoke in a few minutes, groaning very much, and so on alternately the whole night; about nine o'clock he died.  Doctor Nicholson certified, that on opening the head of the deceased, he found about seven ounces of blood between the dura mater and the brain, caused by some violent blow, in his opinion the cause of death.  The Coroner summed up the evidence, and stated the distinction in law between murder, manslaughter, and homicide; and, after pointing out the discrepancies of the first two witnesses, give it as his opinion, that the only verdict they could arrive at would be Accidental Death, which was accordingly returned. [See Monitor, 24 November.]

 

R. v. Wombarty, 1837

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 24 November 1837

A short time back, complaints were made by the press, of the delays that occurred in holding inquests, and the cause attributed to Mr. Brenan's multifarious duties.  Since his retirement from the office of superintendent of convicts, less notice has been taken of these delays, although there have been frequent occasions for such.  It has become a practice with the Coroner to appoint an hour after sunset for the holding of inquests.  On Tuesday, the hour of seven in the evening was appointed by Mr. Brenan to hold an inquest on the body of a man who had died that morning, at nine o'clock, and who was stated to have come to his death through violence.  Dr. Nicholson, who was concerned in the case, very properly refused to make a post mortem examination by candle light, and sent a message to that effect to the Coroner, who then appointed the next morning for the purpose.  If Mr. Brenan's private practice is so extensive as not to admit his holding an inquest by daylight, he should resign his situation of Coroner.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 24 November 1837

Coroner's Inquest.

An Inquest was held at the Black Dog public house, Gloucester-street, on Wednesday morning last, on the body of Edward Elstone, a carpenter residing in that street, who came to his death on the previous morning, by injuries which he received in a drunken affray on Monday evening.  It appeared the deceased and a fellow tradesman, named Charles Walton, were playing at bagatelle at the Tumble Down Dick public house, in Argyle-street, when some dispute occurring about the game, the parties came to blows, and Elstone was knocked down in the scuffle, his head coming in contact with the brass tap of a cask, which was broken by the violence of the concussion.  The deceased appeared to have been in every respect the aggressor, and after the affray was over, he walked home, bleeding at the nose. Shortly after he got home, he complained to his wife of a violent pain in his head, and continued moaning until his death, which took place about nine o'clock on the following morning.  Doctor Nicholson having examined the body, certified that he discovered about seven ounces of blood between the dura mater and the brain, which must have been produced by some external injury, and which was the cause of the deceased's death.  Under all the circumstances of the case, the Jury concurred in returning a verdict of Accidental Death.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 28 November 1837

An accident attended with loss of life occurred yesterday evening, a short time before six o'clock, in Darling Harbour.  A sailing boat containing three men assigned to Captain Fotheringham, and a female[ Eliza Mills], assigned servant of Mr. Edrop, of Sussex-street, was tacking about Darling Harbour, when opposite Girard's Wharf, owing to some mismanagement, the boat turned over and filled, and the parties precipitated into the water; the three men being swimmers kept themselves afloat until assistance arrived from the shore, and they were picked up; the woman unfortunately went down, and was not again seen.  One of the men got his face injured by striking against the boat in his attempt to get from the dying grasp of the female who had hold of him,.  The boat also sunk.---Monitor. [see Monitor 1 Dec. below.]

 

The Sydney Monitor, Friday 1 December 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---Yesterday afternoon an inquest was held at the Bunch of Grapes, King-street, on the body of James Mutch, who came to his death the previous night, by falling from the shafts of a cart, the wheels of which passed over him.  John Marrington, nightman, of Kent-street, stated that the deceased and another man had been at work with him from ten till twelve o'clock on Wednesday night, and while returning, as the cart was passing round a corner of the Race Course, the deceased, who had been sitting on the off shafts, fell.  He was not missed until the cart had moved on about a hundred yards, when they returned and found him lying in the road, groaning very much; he said "John, I am killed;" a great quantity of blood was lying by him.  He was assisted to the Hospital, where he soon expired.  The wheel had passed over his right thigh, which was much shattered, and the femoral artery divided.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death, with a deodand of one shilling on the wheel.

   The body of Mrs. Edrop's assigned servant [Eliza Mills], who was drowned on Sunday last, was yesterday found in Johnson's Bay, about two miles and a half from where the accident occurred.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 1 December 1837

Coroner's Inquests.

An inquest was held on Tuesday last, at the Duke of Gloucester public house, in Gloucester-street, on the body of a child belonging to a New Zealander.  Verdict---Accidental Death.

   Another Inquest was convened the same day, at the Sir Walter Scott public house, Bathurst-street, on the body of John Swaine, an assigned servant to Mr. J. H. Grose.  The deceased, who was a blacksmith, was on board the steamer James Watt when that vessel was leaving Grose's Wharf, to proceed to Port Phillip and Launceston, on the morning of Tuesday last, and when the vessel had just hauled into the stream prior to starting, the deceased, who appeared to have been intoxicated at the time, jumped overboard for the purpose of swimming ashore.  When about midway between the vessel and the shore, the deceased was seen suddenly to turn on his back, and lay motionless in that position, which at first was taken no notice of, it being imagined that he was resting from being fatigued in swimming; but after he had lain in that posture, for a considerable time, some persons who were watching the transaction, pulled after him in a boat, and upon their coming up to the deceased, they found him in an almost lifeless state.  Although surgical assistance was immediately obtained, it was unavailing, the deceased expiring in a short time.  Verdict---Accidental Death.

 

THE AUJSTRALIAN, Friday 8 December 1837

Coroner's Inquests.

An Inquest was held at the Bunch of Grapes public house in King-street, on Thursday afternoon last, on the body of James Mutch, a carter in the employ of Mr. John Marrington of Kent-street.  It appeared that a little before twelve o'clock on the previous night, the deceased, with his master and another man, were employed in removing soil from a house in Hyde Park, near the south end of the continuation of Macquarie street, when in turning a sharp corner of the road, the deceased, who was sitting on the off side shaft, was jolted off his seat, and fell under the cart, the wheel of which passed over his right thigh, which it literally crushed to pieces, lacerating all the blood vessels, nerves, and muscles near the seat of injury.  He was conveyed to the General Hospital, where he survived for only about half an hour.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death, and found a deodand on the cart of one shilling.

   Another Inquest was convened on the same evening at the Albion Inn, Sussex-street, on the body of Eliza Mills, an assigned convict servant of Mr. James Edrop, residing in that street.  It appeared from the evidence of Henry Cook, a waterman, that about five o'clock on the previous Sunday afternoon, he was proceeding in his boat past the Soldier's Point, at the bottom of Erskine-street, when a man and a woman hailed him, and asked him to give them a sail.  He complied, and took them into his boat.  The men was an assigned servant of Captain Fotheringham, of the patent slip, named Morgan, and the woman was the deceased.  They were both perfectly sober, as was also the witness himself.  They had not proceeded far, when it seemed threatening to rain, and the wind changed.  A sudden gust of wind from the southward upset the boat, which immediately went down.  The deceased and witness clung together for some time, and went down together---he however extricated himself from her grasp, and when he came up, he saw her at some distance off.  Witness saw a boat coming to his assistance, which he hailed to go to the assistance of the woman, as he saw other boats also coming up, in which he expected to get.  One of the boats got up to the spot where the woman was, and one of the parties in the boat caught hold of deceased's clothes, which gave way from the grasp, and she then again went down, and was no more seen. A New Zealander dived repeatedly for her, but without effect.  The witness himself had a narrow escape of being drowned.  The deceased was about eighteen years of age, and Morgan was a middle aged man.  The Coroner intimated that Morgan was unable to attend to corroborate Cooks's statement, he being confined in the Hospital.  The body of the deceased was not found until Thursday afternoon, when it was so much decomposed and discolored, that not a single feature could be recognized.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidentally drowned.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 12 December 1837

Two soldiers have been committed for trial at the vale of Clwyd, for the alleged murder of a prisoner of the Crown, named Fleming, who was killed by being stabbed with their bayonets.

BATHURST.

(From our own Correspondent.)

Rather a mysterious case is under the consideration of the Police.  It appears that a man named Boulger, and another named Flynn, were in partnership---they resided at the Badger Brush, and some time back, about a month before the partnership would have expired, Flynn disappeared from his place, and Boulger retained a dray and team of working bullocks, without making known to any person that Flynn was missing.  The blacks have been sent out to reconnoitre and throw some light on the subject.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 15 December 1837

A few days since, a man going in with two others to bathe in a water-hole, in Mr. Blackwell's station, in Argyle, was drowned in consequence of his inability to swim.  His two companions could not render the unfortunate man any assistance.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Monday 18 December 1837

THE BEE WHALER.

DEATH OF CAPTAIN GLUVIAS.---The above case is already concluded, by the sudden death of the object of prosecution.  After he was remanded on Saturday, he was removed to one of the cells of the receiving watch-house, where he remained until the female prisoners were brought there, when he was removed to the common strong room.  About three o'clock on Saturday afternoon, Mr. Gluvias first appeared unwell, and soon exhibited symptoms of a fit of apoplexy; he was then brought out of the cell and laid down on blankets on the floor of the passage, a constable was dispatched to the nearest medical man. (Mr. Campbell residing opposite the Police Office) with a request that he would come and bleed him.  The constable (Carroll) saw Mr. C., who said, that he was too much occupied to come over.  A gentleman connected with the Police Office also endeavoured to induce him to come over, but without effect.  Messages were sent to other medical men residing in the neighbourhood, but none could be met with at home.  Information was then sent to the General Hospital, whence a cart was dispatched to convey him to that place, and Dr. Robertson remained in attendance to receive him.  About half-past seven the cart arrived at the Hospital with Captain Gluvias, who was speechless; every effort was made by copious bleeding, in the arms and temples to relieve him, but all without effect; he expired about twelve o'clock.  His head was subsequently opened by the Surgeon and it was found that a rupture of some of the vessels had taken place, producing apoplexy, and causing death.  From the appearance of the body and head there was a manifest predisposition to apoplexy, but it appears that it was hastened in the present instance by mental despondency.  Since his confinement in the watch house, no one had visited him, and it appears that he was without the means of obtaining the assistance of counsel; the gentleman to whom he had applied having refused to interfere unless his fee was first sent; Captain Gluvias was at this timer without the necessary funds, but attempted to procure a loan of money on his watch, in this he was also disappointed, and his watch detained in the custody of the Police.  He never spoke a word after he was remanded on Saturday, but layed down and sighed heavily, until he was seized with apoplexy.  An inquest would have been held on the body yesterday, but for the indisposition of Mr. Ryan Brenan, the Coroner, which rendered it necessary to procure the attendance of Mr. Hayward, the Coroner of Parramatta, on whose arrival the Inquest will be held.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 19 December 1837

A fine boy, about ten years of age, the son of Mr. John Lucas, of Burwood, was unfortunately drowned in  Hen and Chicken Bay, on Thursday last.

Coroner's Inquests.

An Inquest was held on Friday last, at the Sportsman's Arms public house, on the body of a person named Jones, a free hired servant belonging to Robert Johnstone Esq., J.P., of Annandale, who died the previous day in consequence of injuries he received from being thrown from a horse two or three days before.  The Jury returned a Verdict of Accidental Death.

   Another Inquest was held the same day at the Captain Piper public-house, Erskine-street, on the body of Mr. William Sexton, a respectable master tailer, who was accidentally drowned on the previous afternoon at the Soldier's Point.  The deceased was an expert swimmer, and went to enjoy the benefit of bathing, accompanied by one of his servants.  On going in to the water, the deceased complained that the water was too cold, and it is supposed that he must have been seized with cramp, as an alarm was almost immediately given from the shore that he was drowning.  A boat was instantly dispatched to his assistance, and he was picked up apparently lifeless.  The usual remedies were resorted to, but without effect, the vital spark having fled.  The Jury returned a Verdict of Accidental Death.  The deceased was a respectable man, and has left a widow and three children to mourn his loss.

   On Friday last, four of Mr. Rouse's assigned servants went to bathe in the Nepean.  After they had been in the water a short time, one of them became entangled in the weeds for which this river is notorious, and, being unable to extricate himself, was drowned.  The unfortunate man's body has been subsequently found, an inquest held, and a verdict returned of Accidental Death.

 

The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 20 December 1837

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Monday afternoon, at three o'clock, an inquest was held before Mr. Hayward, the Coroner for Parramatta, at the "Bunch of Grapes," King-street, on the body of Capt. Thomas Gluvias, lying in the Hospital.  Constable Francis Theodore [Finhard?] stated, that the deceased was received into No. 5 watch-house on Thursday last, and remained till Saturday, except the two or three times when brought before the Bench.  After being remanded on Saturday morning, he was removed into a large room, in which only one other prisoner, a man named Jones, was confined.  Witness took in his dinner, consisting of some bread and meat, which had been left for him by one of the crew, at the usual time.  On this occasion, the deceased spoke a few words; he asked witness for his watch; witness replied it was in the custody of Mr. Mitchell.  After that he lay down on the guard bed, and continued sighing.  About three o'clock, Jones gave an alarm that the deceased was in a fir; witness went in, and had him removed out into the passage, and gave him some cold water and washed his face; a constable was sent over to Mr. Campbell, residing only a few yards off, but he would not come over; other medical men were sent to, but could not be met with.  A constable was then sent to the Hospital for the cart, which was immediately brought down, and conveyed the deceased thither.  Harris, the head wardsman, stated that the deceased was received into the Hospital about eight o'clock, and remained alive until about twelve when he expired; he was insensible the whole of the time.  Dr. Robertson was then examined; he stated that as soon as the deceased was brought in, he was bled in the temples and arms, under witness's direction, and the usual remedies in cases of apoplexy applied, but without effect; he died about twelve.  On Sunday, witness opened the head, and found a rupture of one of the blood vessels of the brain, and others much enlarged and full of blood, and congestion of the head, which was the cause of death; the deceased was evidently an apoplectic subject.  The symptoms before described were very likely to be accelerated by distress of mind.  Witness did not think that had the remedies been applied sooner, they would have had the effect of saving his life.  There were no marks of violence.  The Jury without hesitation returned a verdict of apoplexy.

   Immediately after the inquest, the body was conveyed to the burial ground by Mr. Gannon, followed by the whole of the crew, who appeared deeply to sympathise in the fate of their late commander. [Next column: Letter from (Dr.) J. A. Campbell, George street, 19th December, contradicting evidence given at the inquest.]

 

CJA, 3/227, 20/12/1837

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday last at the "Bunch of Grapes" public-house, corner of Phillip-street, on the body of Captain GLUVIAS, of the brig Bee, who died at the General Hospital on Saturday night.  It appeared that the deceased was placed in the watch-house on a charge of embezzling whalebone, the property of Messrs. Wright and Long.  He was taken to the Police Office on Saturday, and remanded till Monday.  There was nothing in the deceased's manner to indicate illness, until four o'clock, when he was seized with a fit.  The constable in attendance had him conveyed to the Hospital, where he expired about midnight.  The jury returned a verdict - "Died of apoplexy."

 

THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 22 December 1837

Long report of the incident involving Captain Gluvias - see above.]

Coroner's Inquest.

An Inquest was held on Monday afternoon, at the Three Tuns public house in King-street, before Augustus Hayward, Esq., Coroner for Parramatta, acting for Mr. J. R. Brenan, who was unable to attend from serious indisposition, on the body of Mr. Thomas Gluvias, late master of the whaling brig Bee, whose case before the police is briefly reported in another column of our present number.  It appeared that after the deceased was remanded to the watch-house on Saturday last, he was waited upon about one o'clock by the constable in charge, with his dinner, when the deceased made enquiry as to who had got his watch, and being informed that it was in the possession of the assistant chief constable, he said nothing further. After this it appeared he never again spoke, but went to lay down on the guard-bed in the male ward in which he was confined.  About three o'clock, his only fellow prisoner, a man named Jones, hearing him sigh deeply, and unable to articulate, raised an alarm that the deceased was in a fit, whereupon he was brought out into the open passage of the watch-house, and attempted to be revived with cold water, but without effect.  Medical aid was sent for, but strange to say, it could not be obtained, and the unfortunate man remained in a state of stupor until eight o'clock, when he was conveyed to the General Hospital in the usual covered cart.  When he arrived at the Hospital, Dr. Robertson immediately opened the veins of both arms, and the temple arteries, but without affording any relief to the patient, who remained in a state of insensibility until midnight, and then expired.  From a post mortem examination of the body, it appeared that there was an extravasation of blood upon the surface of the brain, most of the vessels of which were unusually distended, and charged with blood. The deceased was of an apoplectic habit, and the Surgeon was of opinion that the symptoms, had even earlier remedies been resorted to, were likely to have been attended with fatal results.  The immediate cause of the determination of blood to the brain, was supposed to have been occasioned by his anxiety of mind in an unusual state of excitement.  The Jury returned a verdict of Died by Apoplexy; and the body, which had begun to exhibit symptoms of rapid decomposition, was immediately interred with respectability, the crew of the Bee attending the funeral obsequies of their late ill-fated Commander.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School