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

R. v. Lancashire [1802] NSWKR 1; [1802] NSWSupC 1

convict discipline - convict rations

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction

Atkins J.A., 30 September 1802

Source: Court of Criminal Jurisdiction Minutes of Proceedings, 1801 -1808, State Records N.S.W, 5/1149 [1]

[115] New South Wales

September 30th 1802

Proceedings of a Court of Criminal

Judicature held by Virtue of a Precept

Under the Hand and Seal of

His Excellency Governor King

&c &c &c


            The Judge Advocate


            Captain Ralph Wilson

            Lieutenant William Moore

            Ensign Nic Bayly

            Captain J Piper

            Ensign William Minchin

            Thomas Laycock

            The Precept being used and Sworn

Vide Indictment

John William Lancashire placed at the bar who pleading not guilty.

William Richards was called who being duly sworn deposes that about the middle of August as to the best of his recollection, deponent was in the house of Edward Jones at Toongabbie, and a person whose name he cannot positively swear to brought in a mess ticket for prisoner. That Jones shewed it to the prisoner and he positively swears that the prisoner drew two or three copies from it. That after some words Lancashire destroyed them. On the Saturday following deponent came into Parramatta, and soon after Douglas and the prisoner followed him, and went to the house of George [116] Mealmaker and asked him to lend the prisoner a pen and ink to write a pass which he did. The prisoner had previous to his application to Mealmaker asked deponent if he had drawn the mess and asked him where the ticket was. Deponent gave it to him and it was no. 78. That he saw him afterwards draw a ticket from no. 78 to no. 87 and asked a man called McLoughlin to go and draw the mess, and he would give himself a loaf. The prisoner then gave him the ticket no. 87. McLoughlin in consequence drew a mess, and brought it to the prisoner. The prisoner then gave him a ticket no. 78, to go with it to James Wright a baker at Parramatta to draw some bread and either the prisoner or Douglas gave McLoughlin half a loaf. That the prisoner had another ticket, but does not know the number. That he gave that ticket to deponent and asked him to go and draw a mess with it. That in consequence went to the stores and returned with a mess for six men for dry provisions. That the prisoner gave the wheat to Douglas and the maise [117] to deponent. That there was a third mess drawn but cannot say by whom, which was carried to Edward Jones' at Toongabbie. The week following the prisoner gave deponent a ticket which to the best of his the deponent's recollection was no. 87. That deponent told a man of the name of Williams that he had a ticket. That Williams, on the following Saturday went to Parramatta and drew a mess. Says that he never drew a mess himself or any paper that the prisoner had given him. That on the Saturday following he drew his own mess of meat, and received a ticket to draw the dry provisions. The prisoner came to deponent and asked him if he had the true ticket to draw the dry provisions, which deponent refused him. That the week after he the prisoner gave deponent another ticket, which he gave Geary who drew a mess with it, and brought it to deponent. The prisoner said he would give him something for his trouble. That the prisoner employed to draw grain from his Majesty's stores by means [118] of certain papers signed W.L. which was signed by the prisoner.

            Question by prisoner. What time was it I gave you the last ticket which you have already named?

            Answer. The time was about one on the Friday previous to my being taken up.

            Patrick McLoughlin being sworn says that he was employed by the prisoner to draw the mess of dry provisions for him from the stores and for which he received from prisoner half a loaf of bread, and that he gave him another ticket to receive five loaves of bread which he brought to the prisoner.

            Question by prisoner. Did you give me the grain you drew from the stores?

            Answer. I laid it down by you and went away for the loaves.

            Question. Did you receive from me the ticket for which you obtained five loaves of bread?

            Answer. I cannot say.

Mr Richard Hassel being duly sworn, deposes that he has for two kept years passed issued grain and rations from his Majesty's stores at [119] Parramatta. That he has found a deficiency of about two bushels of wheat within about four weeks which he supposes to have arisen from false tickets. That a man of the name of John Williams came to his house and informed him that there was false tickets and particularly mentioned no. 87, 78 and 66, in consequence of that information deponent immediately examined the tickets and found those numbers counterfeit ones. That in consequence he stopped the payment of the grain at the stores.

            Question by prisoner. Did you receive the information from John Williams prior to Richard's information? and that further did not Williams say that he saw Richards with two of the tickets which he then gave the number of and it was with one of those tickets he attained the grain from the store?

            Answer. I had no positive intelligence [120] whatever from Richards. That the first information I got was from Williams. William said he saw Richards write two numbers or more but without mentioning what those numbers were, and further says that he had that ticket from Richards.

            John Williams being duly sworn, deposes that he informed Mr Hassel that there were some false notes in circulation on the stores at Parramatta. That Richards informed him that if he would keep his own council he would be every week benefited, as he could get ticket every week and the week following he saw him.

            Richards. [Make] two. That one of the numbers he believes was 112. That this happened about 10 or 12 days ago.

            The prisoner being put on his defence denies the charge generally and the court for want of sufficient evidence do unanimously acquit the prisoner.

            Richard Atkins J.A.


[1] See also Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, Indictments, Informations and Related Papers, 1796-1815, State Records N.S.W., 5/1145, p. 192.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University