Skip to Content

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

R. v. Gandell [1822] NSWKR 17; [1822] NSWSupC 17

criminal libel

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction

Wylde J.A., 11 March 1822

Source: Sydney Gazette, 15 March 1822

            Mr John Gandell was indicted for writing and publishing a false, scandalous, and malicious libel on the Reverend Mr Hill, Assistant Chaplain of the Colony. The proceedings of this trial developed much acrimony, turpitude, and ingratitude. It was clearly manifested that the respected and Reverend Gentleman whose character was endeavoured, by the defendant in this instance, to be blackened and held up to obloquy and ridicule, had acted towards him in the most kind, affectionate, and pastoral manner. We have not room to give the particulars of the trial, and indeed, we consider falsehood and detraction should not be so much countenanced as to have publicity afforded them; the sooner the author and promulgers have silence enjoined upon them, the better it must assuredly be for the community, especially for ours. We cannot omit a saying, however, that His Honor the Judge Advocate administered an exhortation to the defendant so truly applicatory, as will long be remembered by crowded and curious auditory, not only for its personality, but also for the moral excellence of the general remarks with which it was pregnant. The defendant John Gandell, was fined £50.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University