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

R. v. Galley [1839] NSWSupC 24

burglary - rape - bushrangers - King's Plains - convict escape

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling C.J., 2 May 1839

Source: Sydney Herald, 3 May 1839[1] 

Thursday. -- Before the Chief Justice and a Military Jury.

Joseph Galley, Thomas Sumner, Dennis Dacey, George Cook, and Ryder Gorman, were indicted for burglariously entering the dwelling house of William Wood, at King's Plains, on the 10th January, with intent to steal the g[o]ods of the said William Wood, and then and there violently assaulting the said William Wood, with intent to kill and murder him.  A second count charged the prisoner with stealing sundry article, the property of Darby Hamlin, and assaulting Ann Hamlin.

On the night of the 10th of January , a gang of bush-rangers attacked the house of a person named Wood, residing at King's Plains, they fired several slugs through the door, and broke open the windows, one of them saying ``Billy Woods, you scoundrel, get up and give us that double-barrelled gun you lagged Gowenlock for."  Woods opened the door, when one of them ``hit him a lick" on the back of the neck with a gun.  They then made the persons in the house come out and lay down, and five of them ravished a middle-aged woman named Hamlin, the mother of thirteen children while a man kept a musket at her husband's head.  Shortly afterwards, the prisoner Galley came up, and remained while the robbery was committed.  When the bush-rangers went away, they took a considerable quantity of property belonging to Woods and Hamlin.  The prisoners, Dacey, Cook and Gorman, were runaway convicts; Summer was assigned to Mr. Allen, and Galley to Mr. Liscombe.  The whole of the prisoners were positively identified, and Woods stated, that Cook was with a man named Gowenlock, who was transported for robbing him about ten months ago.  When the three bush-rangers were apprehended, some of the stolen property was found in their possession.

The prisoner Galley, stated that he had lost himself in the bush, and merely went to the station from hearing the shots fired; and Mr. Liscombe's superintendent proved, that he had sent Galley to a distant sheep-station the previous day.  The other prisoners merely averred their innocence.  Dacey stated, that he was at Mr. Sayer's robbery last year, for which, five men were transported, three of whom were innocent.

The Jury returned a verdict of Galley not guilty, the others guilty; remanded on other charges.



[1]  See also Sydney Gazette, 4 May 1839; Australian, 4 May 1839.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University