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

R. v. Hatton and Cross [1791] NSWKR 3; [1791] NSWSupC 3

stealing, clothing - flogging

Court of Criminal Judicature

Collins J.A., 27 July 1791

Source: Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, Minutes of Proceedings, State Records N.S.W., 1147A - 237[1]

[237] James Chapman (labourer) was brought before them charged with having on Thursday, the second day of June in the thirty first year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third, now King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, ┬┐, about the hour seven on the night of the same day, with force and arms, at Sydney, in the County of Cumberland, the dwelling house of John Petrie, there situate, feloniously and burglariously, did break and enter, and one shirt of the value of five shillings, and one pair of breeches of the value of eight shillings, of the goods and chattels of the said John Petrie and one silk handkerchief of the goods and chattels of one John Medcalf, of the value of three shillings, and one piece of nankeen of the value of one shilling sixpence of the goods and chattels of Samuel Wheeler, in the same dwelling house, then and there feloniously and burglariously, did steal take and carry away against the peace of our said Lord the King, his Crown and Dignity

And, Joseph Hatton and Charles Cross, labourers, were charged with having afterwards, to wit on the sixteenth day of July, in the year aforesaid with force of arms, in the road leading to Parramatta in the County of Cumberland, the goods and chattels above [238] mentioned, so as aforementioned, feloniously and burglariously stolen, taken and carried away, feloniously did receive and have, they the said Joseph Hatton and Charles Cross then and there well knowing the said goods and chattels abovementioned to have been feloniously and burglariously stolen, taken and carried away) against the form of the statute in this case, made and provided, and against the peace of our said Lord the King, his Crown and Dignity.

            The prisoner James Chapman, on his arraignment pleaded guilty. Confesses. Death.

Joseph Hatton, Charles Cross on their arraignment, pleaded not guilty.

John Arscott, principal of the watch at Parramatta, being sworn, deposed, that about a month since being at Sydney, he saw Petrie the taylor, who informed him his house had been broken open, he had lost a silk handkerchief the [-] parts of a nankeen waistcoat and a pair of nankeen breeches, and a white shirt, and desired him to look out and stop them if he saw them at Parramatta. Accordingly he did search but could find nothing. He was informed the same day that he made the search, that James Chapman had been asking a person to buy some articles of clothing, such as had been described to him. That as of that night he mustered all the huts to see who was absent. That Chapman was not at home then, nor at the [-]. He then went to the prisoner Hatton's hut, who was then in bed. From [239] the person who answered him on asking if all were at home. He then went home, and sending for Rice and Brown, two of the watchmen, gave them one musquet each, and told them to set off on the road leading to Sydney to look after James Chapman which they did and met with him and the prisoner Cross, about four in the morning and returned with them about 8 o'clock. He asked Chapman what he had been doing at Sydney, who after some time acknowledged he committed the burglary at Petrie's, and had been for the property. He also told him that the prisoner Hatton had come out to meet him, and that he had given the property to him. He then sent Hatton and Chapman, with those watchmen, to the spot where the property lay, and Brown (the watchman) brought it in.

Question. Did you not tell Cross' wife there were two men gone to Sydney for some stolen property?

Answer. Yes.

            John Brown (watchman at Parramatta) being sworn, deposed, that he was sent by Arscott on the road from Sydney, to wait for James Chapman, who he had information, was gone thither for some stolen property. That he went with this Richard Partridge (alias Rice) and about four in the morning fell in with Chapman, and the prisoner Cross. There was no property found upon them. He thinks they were not heard or seen by them until they came upon them. [240] That they brought them in to Arscott, who questioned Chapman, and was told by him that Hatton had concealed the property he went down for. That he was afterwards sent with Hatton and Chapman who could not keep up with them all the way and staid behind with Partridge, leaving him and Hatton to go on. That Hatton led him to the spot, and found the property. He saw the property in his hand just after he had taken it. He did not see him pick it up, being himself looking about. The prisoner Cross was left at Parramatta.

(The property produced and deposed to be the same as he received from the prisoner Hatton.)

John Petrie being sworn, deposed to a pair of nankeen breeches and a shirt, to being his property.

John Medcalf being sworn, deposed to one silk handkerchief

produced, being his property.

The prisoner Hatton being put on his defence, says that the wife of the prisoner Cross came to his house, when he was in bed, and knocking at the door, he got up to her. She told him she believed her husband was gone to Sydney, but she was not sure, and that Mr Arscott had been at her home and told her two men were gone to Sydney for some stolen property; and being fearful, though not certain that her husband was one of them, she wished him to go for him [241] him, for fear he should get into trouble. He refused her several times, saying the consequences would fall heavy on him if he was found. He at last consented to go, the woman begging him so earnestly that he did go, and met Chapman with the bundle, and asked him what he had on his shoulder, he said a bundle which he got at Sydney. On Chapman's asking him where he was going, he said to get some tea, and told him the constables were looking for him, to take him up for going to Sydney. He asked him if he was a constable, he said no. Chapman said the property in the bundle was not stolen, and as he had been so good as to tell him the constables were looking after him, he would give him the bundle, throwing it down, that he told him he would not take it if it was gold. That Chapman left the bundle.

            Richard Partridge being sworn deposed, that he heard (alias Rice) Chapman say, that he first gave the bundle to Charles Cross, who gave it to Hatton. That he heard Chapman say that Hatton at first refused to take the bundle. He does not believe that Cross knew the property to be stolen, having particularly questioned Chapman if Cross knew what he was going for, and was told by him he did not.

            [242] Charles Cross. Not guilty.

Joseph Hatton. Guilty. To receive 500 lashes on his bare back with a cat of nine tails.

David Collins

Judge Advocate.


[1] We would like to thank Trish Moon and Leonie Simon┬┐ for the transcription of this document.


Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University