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

R. v. Muskelly and Cumming [1838] NSWSupC 1

robbery - convicts, iron gang, conditions of

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling C.J., 1 February 1838

Source: Sydney Herald, 5 February, 1838[ 1]

Thomas Muskelly and John Cumming were indicted for robbing William Quirk of a musket, the property of the Queen, on the highway, near Hassan's Walls, on the 26th September.

The prisoners belonged to the ironed gang stationed at the Hassan's Walls, and on the day laid in the indictment, with ten others, were sent to a quarry for stone; they were in charge of a private of the 80th regiment, named Quirk thought the men did not walk fast enough, and, went to the foremost men to desire them to go faster, when the prisoners, who were with the rearmost cart, rushed at him, and Muskelly seized him and threw him down, while Cumming took his musket away, and they both made their escape.

In their defence, the prisoners complained of the treatment they received in the stockades, and said they would rather be shot than remain there, and if they complained of the soldiers, they were sure to be either flogged or put on the chain. Guilty.  Death Recorded.



[ 1]See also Sydney Gazette, 6 February 1838; Dowling, Proceedings of the Supreme Court, Vol. 146, State Records of New South Wales, 2/3331, p. 1.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University