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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

R. v. Elliott [1790] NSWKR 4

stealing food, famine period

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction

Collins J.A., 25 May 1790

Source: Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, Minutes of Proceedings, 1788 to 1794, State Records N.S.W., 5/1147A

[191] At a Court of Criminal Judicature held by Virtue of a Precept under the Hand and Seal of His Excellency Arthur Phillip, Esquire, Captain General, and Governor in Chief, in and over His Majesty's Territory of New South Wales and its Dependencies, for the trial of such Offenders as shall be respectively brought before it:

Present The Judge Advocate
Captain Lieutenant Watkin Tench, Marines
First Lieutenant James Frazer, ditto
First Lieutenant John Poulden, ditto
First Lieutenant James Maitland Shairp, ditto
First Lieutenant Thomas Timmins, ditto
Second Lieutenant John Long, ditto

The Precept being read and the Court duly sworn.
[191] Joseph Elliott alias Trimby was charged for that he on Tuesday evening the eighteenth day of May in the thirtieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third, now King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. with force and arms, at Sydney Cove, in the County of Cumberland, one pound and a quarter of potatoes, of the value of two pence halfpenny of the goods and chattels of the Rev. Mr Richard Johnson, then and there being found, feloniously did steal, take and carry away, against the peace of our said Lord the King, his Crown and Dignity.

            Prisoner being arraigned - the prisoner pleaded guilty.

            He said in his defence, that he had been very hard at work all day, and being very hungry, he did it as he was coming home.

            To receive 300 lashes on his back, with a cat of nine tails - to have his ration of flour stopped for six months - and to be chained for the same space of time to Coffin and Bayliss, two publick delinquents, [192] employed at work on the roads.

                                                                        David Collins

                                                                                    Judge Advocate

That part of the sentence which directs the stopping the ration of flour, remitted.   

Phillip, 1st May, 1790.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University