Skip to Content

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

R. v Pretty Boy [1838] NSWSupC 81

Aboriginal defendant

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling C.J., 18 August 1838

Source: Australian, 21 August 1838

Pretty Boy, Captain, Bramble, and Jackey, four aboriginal natives, were put to the bar to be discharged, the Attorney-General stating that fruitless exertions had been made to procure an interpreter in their cases, which rendered it impossible for him to bring them before the Court.  They belonged to different tribes, Captain and Pretty Boy to Wellington, Jackey and Bramble to Port Macquarie; and the Magistrates had exerted themselves to get persons who would act as interpreters, but had failed.

His Honor asked what was to become of the poor wretches when they were discharged; as, although there was little fear of their finding their way home, yet they would be cast adrift to make their way through other tribes, who might attack them.  Some provisions ought to be made for conveying them to their native wilds.

The Attorney-General said, that whilst on the subject, he would also consent to the discharge of other four aborigines from Port Phillip, who were simillarly [sic] situated with the prisoners at the bar; they could be forwarded by water, as could those of Port Macquarie, and until opportunity occurred they might be sent to the Benevolent Asylum, which was usual in such cases.  The Registrar of the Court was desired to communicate with the person in charge of the Asylum, and the prisoners were discharged.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University