Skip to Content

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

Minor Moreton Bay Cases, 1857

Supreme Court of New South Wales, Moreton Bay

Milford J.




THE first criminal sittings of the Moreton Bay Supreme Court commenced on Monday last, the18th inst. His Honor Judge Milford took his seat on the Bench, precisely at ten o'clock.

The Circuit  Court  was in the first place formally opened, and Mr. Pring, the Crown Prosecutor, applied, to have some of the information squashed, in order that he might proceed with the cases in the District  Court . After some little discussion, the Circuit  Court  was adjourned till Thursday, and the business of the District  Court was proceeded with.

His Honor said that William Teagle, who was charged with murder, was undefended, and he would therefore request Mr. Milford and Mr. Roberts to undertake the defence. Mr. Milford said he would willingly undertake the defence, and he had no doubt that Mr. Roberts would consent to act with him.


Online as R. v. Woodby, 1857


Online as R. v. Hickie, 1857


Tuesday, May 19.

Online as R. v. Moore (No. 1), 1857



George Canning was indicted for having, on the 22nd January, at Maryborough, forged a cheque on the Bank of Australasia at Sydney, for £30 10s., and a second count charged him with uttering the same.

The prisoner pleaded not guilty.

John Wilcox, sworn: Am a clerk with Mr. Eaton, butcher, Maryborough. About the 12th January, the prisoner came into the shop, and producing the cheque, said that Mr. Martin, with whom he was living, had given it to him to purchase goods in Sydney. On the 22nd he again came to the shop, and asked me for 4s., as he wanted to buy a bottle of rum for Martin, and he would leave the cheque with me to get change for him. I gave him the money, and he said he would call next day. He never called. The signature resembled Martin's.

In cross-examination by the prisoner, the witness said he had given an order for the 4s.

Henry Martin was about to be sworn, when the prisoner objected that he had lately been confined as a lunatic; and as it appeared that the witness was not in his right senses, he was not allowed to give evidence.

John Harwood, sworn: I am a constable at Maryborough. From information I received, I apprehended the prisoner. On telling him what it was for, he said, "I can't help it." He also said, "I wish I had never gone to his place, and then I should never have been tempted."

A statement made by the prisoner before the magistrates was put in, wherein he admitted having committed the forgery, but denied that he had any intention of uttering the cheque.

The prisoner, in his defence, said the signature was Mr. Martin's, and he picked the cheque up while Mr. Martin was drunk.

The prisoner was found guilty of forgery, and was sentenced to hard labour on the roads for five years.

Online as R. v. Malveay, 1857



Hugh Jones, charged with stealing two bottles of gin, the property of Francis Richard Stirling at Brisbane, pleaded not guilty. The prosecutor, who left Brisbane in the Ballarat some time since, did not appear, and the prisoner was discharged on his own recognizances to appear at the next circuit  court  and take his trial.


Thomas Cook, pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with stealing one mare, the property of William Williams, at Drayton Swamp, on the 20th February.

Mr. Pring having briefly opened the case, the following evidence was adduced.

William Williams, sworn: I know the prisoner Thomas Cook, and have known him since last Christmas. On the 20th March, if I recollect right, he borrowed a mare from me branded JH conjoined with ? after. He asked me to lend it to him to go to M'Carthy's at the Swamp, and said he would be absent about two hours. I saw nothing of him for six days, when I commenced proceedings against him. He has never returned either the mare or the saddle and bridle.

Cross-examined by prisoner: I do not think you had any intention of stealing the mare when you borrowed it.

By the Judge: The prisoner and myself were on friendly terms, nothing more.

By Mr. Pring: Saw the mare I lent the prisoner at the police court. It was the same, and it is here in the yard today.

George Cummings sworn: I am postman between Drayton and Ipswich. About the 23rd of April I saw the prisoner at Laidley Creek, and made a "swap" with him. I gave him a horse I had and £2 to boot for a mare he had with him. He gave me a receipt. The mare was branded JH conjoined on the near shoulder. I saw the mare produced at the Drayton Police Office, where it was claimed by Mr. Williams. The same mare is in the yard to-day. [The jury here withdrew to examine the animal, which was in the  court -house yard. ] The receipt was drawn out by Mr. Clinton, as I told him the brands; I had examined the brands previously.

Edward Sullivan: I am a blacksmith, and reside at Laidley Creek; I know the prisoner and saw him at my place. I do not remember the time. I signed my name as witness to a receipt, but did not see the prisoner sign it.

By the prisoner: You came to my place on Sunday, and were drunk at the time. You offered Connolly the constable the mare in exchange.

Cummings recalled: I have just seen the mare in the yard, and it is the same I bought of prisoner. It is branded JH conjoined with ? after.

William Devine, sworn: I am a constable. I apprehended the prisoner for horse stealing. I found the mare in the possession of Cummings about 15 miles from Drayton on the 30th March.

The prisoner, in defence, said that if he had not been mad with drink it would not have happened.

His Honor briefly summed up, and the jury, after retiring for about 20 minutes, returned a verdict of guilty, recommending the prisoner to mercy on account of his age.

The Judge: How old are you, prisoner?

Prisoner: 70, your honor.

Sentence: Two years in Darlinghurst Gaol.

James Norman was indicted for stealing from the person of one Robert Hickie, orders and money to the amount of £42, on the 2nd January last, at Mundubara, Burnett District. The prisoner pleaded not guilty.

The case was briefly opened by the Crown Prosecutor, and the following witnesses were called:-

Robert Hickie, sworn: I know the prisoner at the bar; have been four months in gaol with him. I saw him before at a public house at Mundubara, in the first of the year. I went to the house on the 1st January, with £57, in cheques, orders, and money. The prisoner was stupid, drunk at the time. I was there on the 2nd, and was drinking with all that were in the house. The prisoner was drunk every day I was there. I got drunk myself on the 2nd and every other day. I carried the money I had in a sheepskin pouch. I went to lay down about three o'clock on the landlord's bed, in a side room with doors leading from the verandah to the bar. Any one had access to the room; the landlord was in it when I went to lay down. I was roused up by the landlord, and went into my own room and laid down; my money was all right at that time. I went to sleep for some time, and was awoke by the door shutting; I looked up and saw someone going out. I saw the legs of a man, nothing more; he had on a pair of white drill trousers, I believe. I can't remember after being four mouths in gaol. I came into the bar and accused the landlord of stealing my money. He said that the prisoner had it, and I then accused him, and had a row with him. The landlord paid me the amount of my money, because, as I believe, he was afraid I should go to Gayndah and report the circumstance, and he lose his license. The landlord and I went to look for the money, but we did not find it. When the landlord and I came back to the room, I had the row with the prisoner. The prisoner was not in the room when the landlord gave me the money. The prisoner was stabbed and laying in bed when he gave it to me. He gave me £42 11s.

Cross-examined: I can't swear you stole my money, but if I swore that any one stole it, I should say it was the publican.

George Gannon sworn: I keep a public house at Mundabara. I know the prisoner at the bar, and Hickie also. They were at my house on the 2nd January. They were both drinking there in my bar, and Hickie accused Norman of robbing him. He did not accuse anybody else. I and Hickie went to look for the money, but could not find it. There was afterwards a quarrel between Hickie and Norman. The money was found on the 5th; Norman brought it to me, about an hour after Hickie left my house. He had a paper with the money in it, and said it was a lucky thing he had found it. He offered it to me, but I told him to take it to somebody else. The order produced I recognise. Norman said he had found the money outside the window where he had been sleeping. I had on the 2nd searched all round the premises.

Cross-examined by prisoner: I cannot swear that you stole the money.

The witness, at the request of a juryman, sketched the position of the rooms in the


By his Honor: The room where Hickie was sleeping had its entrance from the public dining-


By Mr. Pring: I gave the £42 11s. to Hickie because I was afraid of the man losing his life. I gave it on the spur of the moment.

Michael Castle, sworn: I saw Norman and Hickie at Gannon's in the beginning of January. Hickie accused Norman of robbing him. Gannon and Hickie went to look for the money, but it was not found then. I afterwards, on the 5th, saw Norman bring in the money to Gannon, who said he would have nothing to do with it. I counted the money, and I recognise the cheque produced as being amongst the money I counted.

The prisoner declined to say anything in his defence.

His Honor summed up, and said that if the jury had anv doubt as to the prisoner having committed the robbery, they ought to give him the benefit of that doubt.

The jury, after consulting a few minutes, returned a verdict of not guilty.

Wednesday, May 20.

Online as R. v. Teagle, 1857



Henry Dickinson pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with having "stolen at Little Ipswich, on the 14th August, 1855, one gelding the property of David Williams. The prisoner was undefended.

The evidence in this case seemed rather conflicting, and his Honor did not think that a felony had been proved.

The jury, after a short consideration, returned a verdict of not guilty, and the prisoner was discharged.


Thursday, May 21.

Online as R. v. Moore (No. 1), 1857

Thomas Woodby, Robert Hickie, and Thomas Cook, already sentenced, were brought up, and his Honor announced that their place of imprisonment was changed from Darlinghurst to Brisbane Gaol.

The Circuit  Court  was then formally re-opened, according to adjournment on Monday.



James Cummings, alias Johnston, was indicted for having, at Warra Warra, on the 10th November, 1856, forged a cheque on the Union Bank of Australasia for £5 10s.; and a second count charged him with uttering the same, knowing it to be forged.

Mr. Milford defended the prisoner.

Mr. Pring said he would only proceed on the first count.

John Davidson, sworn: I know a person named M'Coy, and received a cheque from him for £5 10s. The cheque produced is the one I received from M'Coy. I never saw the prisoner till I saw him in  Court.

Charles Douglas Eastaugffe, sworn : I am chief constable at Dalby. I know the prisoner by the name of Johnston. I know a person named M' Coy. I have seen them together two or three times. I know the prisoner's handwriting. M'Coy cannot write. I have known Mr. Fitz's handwriting for eighteen years. The signature to the cheque produced for £5 10s. is not Fitz's signature. The writing is the prisoner's at the bar. I apprehended him on the 26th November last, at Bandooma, on the Burnett. The station is very open. On coming in sight of it, I saw the prisoner standing at the doorway of a hut; and on seeing me he retired into the hut. I galloped up to the door, where he met me. I told him to surrender. He replied, "I'll defy anyone I ever saw to say they saw me sign the cheque." I cautioned him against saying anything. He afterwards said, "I can walk dryshod out of it."

Cross-examined: The signature resembles Fitz's. I first saw the prisoner's writing in the latter part of 1844; the last time I saw him write was about 1853; I then got the prisoner to address a letter for me.

Stephen Mehan, sworn: Am a storekeeper at Drayton. I know Henry Bates Fitz. I know no other person of that name. The signature to the cheque produced is not at all like Mr. Fitz's.

Mr. Milford contended that there was nothing to connect Cummings with M'Coy, and the comparison of handwritings was not at all conclusive.

He said the evidence of the witness Eastangffe was to be received with suspicion, as he had shown great animus in the matter.

Mr. Pring having replied, his Honor summed up, and the jury immediately returned a verdict of guilty.

The prisoner was sentenced to five years on the roads or other public works of the colony.

Online as R. v. Cray  1857


George Alstock, committed on a charge of larceny, was discharged by consent of the Crown Prosecutor.

Charles Doan, a Chinaman, charged with larceny, was discharged on his own recognisances to appear at the next Assizes.

William Macdougall, charged with larceny. This prisoner had escaped from custody, and Mr. Pring applied to have the recognizances of witnesses respited.

David Powell, out on bail from last Assizes on a charge of larceny, was discharged by consent of the Crown Prosecutor.

This having concluded the Criminal business, the  Court  was adjourned till Tuesday next, the 26th, when the civil business will be brought on.


Moreton Bay Courier, 30 May 1857, p. 2




(Before a special jury of four; R. Cribb, H.Bulgin, R. Cannan, and R. J. Coley,)




This was an action on a promissory note for £100, for goods sold. Mr. Milford appeared for plaintiff. The cause was undefended.

The plea put in was, that the defendant had made the note without any consideration, for the accommodation of the plaintiff. There were two other counts to the plea.

Verdict for the plaintiff.




An action on a promissory note for £105. Mr. Pring appeared for the plaintiff. There was no appearance for the defendant.

Verdict for the plaintiff for the full amount.

Online as Macdonald v. Mehan, 1857.

Online as Crego v. Cambell, 1857.


This case was postponed.

This concluded the business before the Circuit Court which was adjourned sine die.



Moreton Bay Courier, 30 May 1857, p. 3




(Before his Honor Judge Milford.)



This was an action to recover the sum of £10, for goods sold and delivered.

Mr. Roberts appeared for the plaintiff. There was no defence filed.

Verdict for the plaintiff


An action for £18 0s. 9d., for goods sold and delivered.

Mr. Roberts for plaintiff. Tho case was undefended.

Verdict for plaintiff.


This was an action for £9 6s. 6d., balance of an account for work done.

Mr. Rawlins appeared for plaintiff.

A defence had been put on record, but there was no appearance for defendant.

The plaintiff, George Newas, who is a blacksmith, deposed that he had engaged to work for the defendant at a rate of £3 a week, and that he continued in his service for twenty-eight days, when, finding some difficulty in procuring his money, he left off work. He had received from time to time £3 13s. 6d. from defendant.

Thomas Hopkins deposed that he knew both plaintiff and defendant in this action, and that the latter had told him that he was paying the plaintiff at the rate of 10s. a-day.

Verdict for plaintiff for amount claimed.


An action for £29 3s. 6d., for medical attendance and medicine.

Mr. Pring for plaintiff. The cause was undefended.

Frederick Cumming, the plaintiff, deposed that he was a general medical practitioner, and resided at Ipswich. He had attended tho defendant's family, and supplied them with medicine; and the amount sued for was the balance now due to him, after deducting £5 which he had received on account.

Verdict for plaintiff.


This was an action for £27 14s. 8½d. for goods sold and delivered.

Mr. Milford appeared for the plaintiff. The cause was undefended.

The plaintiff in this action, Mr. R. A. Kingsford, draper, Queen-street, and the defendant is Mr. Matthew Stewart, lately publican in Brisbane. The goods had been supplied at various times to the defendant's wife, and it being necessary to prove the different items in detail a number of witnesses, assistants in the plaintiff's shop, were called upon to prove the various entries as made in the books. After the examination of the witnesses, Mr. Milford said he was only in a position to prove £20 11s. 9d, A verdict was accordingly returned for that amount.

This concluded the civil causes, and the  Court was adjourned till Friday.


THE MORETON BAY COURIER (Brisbane, Qld.: 1846-1861)

Saturday 18 July 1857 Page 3 of 4

Item 33



Estate of J. C. Pearce.-A third meeting for proof of debts in the estate of Mr. J. C.Pearce, was held on Thursday, before his Honor Judge Milford. The following claims were proved:-Arthur Lloyd, £15; David Jones & Co., £16 5s. 2d.; Towns & Co., £193 3s. 9d.; D. F. Roberts, £21 6s.; Montefiore, Graham & Co.; £94 16s. 8d. The insolvent was allowed his wearing apparel, &c. It transpired in the course of the meeting that no appointment of an Official Assignee has yet been made.

Estate of John Stevens.-A meeting of creditors in this estate will be held before his Honor Judge Milford, on Saturday, 8th August.

New Insolvent.-The estate of Mr. William Kent, Shafston, was sequestrated on the 14th inst. The schedule shows the insolvent's total liabilities to be £6387 1s. 6d., against which there is a statement of assets amounting to £5420 7s. 1d.; leaving a deficiency of £966 14s. 5d. The assets consist of real property, £2075; personal property and moneys, £3126; debts due to insolvent, £219 7s. 1d.

MORETON BAY COURIER, 04/08/1857 [Tuesday]

Page 1S



Saturday, 1 ST AUGUST.

Before his Honor Judge MILFORD.


Online as R. v. Alstock, 1857



MORETON BAY COURIER, 04/08/1857 [Tuesday]

Page 1S



Saturday, 1 ST AUGUST.

Before his Honor Judge MILFORD.



Hugh Jones , remanded from last assizes, was indicted for stealing four bottles of gin, the property of Mr. G. D. Webb, of South Brisbane .

The Crown Prosecutor stated that this was a case that should never have come before the Court. The magistrates had the power, in their summary jurisdiction, to have disposed of the case, and he regretted that they had not done so.

Edward Kitchen, sworn: I apprehended the prisoner on 26 th January at his house, in South Brisbane ; he was drinking out of the bottle now produced at the time; he was very much intoxicated.

Cross-examined by prisoner: I cannot swear you stole the bottle of gin I took from you.

George D. Webb sworn: I am an agent of the A.S.N. Company; I missed 4 bottles of gin out of a case on the wharf; the case had been brought from Sydney .

Cross-examined: I always found prisoner a very faithful servant; the wharf was open to the public.

F. R. Stirling sworn: I know the prisoner; he was a sailor on board the Ballarat; as I was going on shore, on 25 th January, I saw prisoner with a bottle in his hand; I asked him what he had there, he said nothing; I took the bottle and asked him if he called that nothing; I told him to go on shore, and I would report him to Mr. Webb; I took nthe bottle from the break of the forecastle and gave it to Mr. Webb; I did not ask the prisoner any more quesrions; he was intoxicated at the time. There was no gin on board the Ballarat. I saw the case after it had been broken open.

This was the case for the Crown.

His Honor said it was a very trumpery case; and the evidence was not conclusive as to the prisoner's guilt.

The Jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

The Crown Prosecutor stated that Jones [unclear] ready suffered four months' imprisonment.


MORETON BAY COURIER, 04/08/1857 [Tuesday]

Page 1S



Saturday, 1 ST AUGUST.

Before his Honor Judge MILFORD.




Kiran Walsh , on bail, was indicted for stealing a cow the property of Mr. F. A. Forbes, of Ipswich .

The Crown Prosecutor asked for a remand of this case till next Sessions, owing to the absence of Mr. Forbes.

Mr. Milford, for the prisoner, said it would be a hard case for the prisoner to be remanded again. he had been at great trouble and expense already; and he therefore hoped the prisoner would be discharged.

The Crown Prosecutor stated that the Court had no power to discharge the prisoner, he would be entitled to his discharge at the next Sessions under the Habeas Corpus Act.

Prisoner was admitted to bail on his own recognizances to appear at the next Criminal Sessions.

The Crown Prosecutor applied to have the recognizances of Mr. F. A. Forbes estreated which was granted.


MORETON BAY COURIER, 04/08/1857 [Tuesday]

Page 1S



Saturday, 1 ST AUGUST.

Before his Honor Judge MILFORD.


Online as R. v. McLeod, 1857




Charles Dean , on bail. In this case the prisoner had been remanded from the last sittings on account of a material witness being absent. Information had since been received that the witness was dead.

His Honor discharged the prisoner.

The sureties of William M'Dougall applied to be discharged from their recognizances which was granted by the Court.


MORETON BAY COURIER, 04/08/1857 [Tuesday], Page 1S



Saturday, 1ST AUGUST.

Before his Honor Judge MILFORD.

Online as R. v. Chigwidden, 1857

The Court adjourned for an hour to allow the depositions in a case of robbery, &c. by the blacks, to be filed.


MORETON BAY COURIER, 04/08/1857 [Tuesday], Page 1S


Saturday, 1ST AUGUST.

Before his Honor Judge MILFORD.

The Court adjourned for an hour to allow the depositions in a case of robbery, &c. by the blacks, to be filed.

Online as R. v. Bedong and Johnny, 1857

This being the last case for trial, the business of the sittings closed.


Moreton Bay Courier, 15 August 1857, p. 3





The following causes were tried before his Honor Judge Milford.

Kelly v. Stewart. -This was an action to recover £29 8s. 4d being amount of a promissory note. Margaret Kelly proved the signature of Stewart. Judgment for plaintiff.

Buckley v. Stewart ,-This was an action for £19 7s. 8d., balance of promissory note with interest. James Ramsay deposed to Stewart having made the note, and to his endorsing it. Judgment for plaintiff.

Bale v. Maddock .-This was an action for £12 on a promissory note. Judgment for plaintiff.

Online as Strachan v. Scott, 1857

The  Court  then adjourned.



Online as McGrath v. Blundell, 1857


The  Court  then adjourned.



Online as Johnston v. Roberts, 1857




Online as Flanagan v. O'Sullivan, 1857

The  Court  then adjourned till Monday.

Moreton Bay Courier, 22 August 1857, p. 2






This was an application made under the Equity Relief Act, for the defendant to account for the distribution of the estate of her deceased husband, as administratrix of the same.

Upon the motion of Mr. Rawlins, who appeared for the plaintiff, it was ordered that the personal estate of the late George Griffen, deceased, be administered in this Court; and for this purpose that an account thereof be taken, and that the Registrar be required to ascertain who are the next of kin of the said George Griffen, deceased, entitled distribution of his personal estate.



(Before his Honor Judge MILFORD.)

The recognizances of the following witnesses were estreated for non-appearance. Mr. F.A. Forbes, Mr. H.B. Fitz, and Mr. - Sharp. The amount of each recognizance was £40.

On the application of Mr. H. Milford, the Court remitted Fitz's fine. Execution was ordered to be enforced in Forbes' case, his plea not being satisfactory. The remaining case waqs allowed to stand over.

Online as Johnston v. Roberts, 1857


Moreton Bay Courier, 12 September 1857, p. 2




Griffin v. Griffin. --- In Equity. His Honor Mr. Justice Milford took evidence to show who were the next of kin of G. Griffin deceased, in pursuance of the order made upon a claim for distribution of the intestate estate of the deceased. The plaintiff, Mr. J.B.S. Griffin, was examined. Mr. Rawlins appeared for him.

Moreton Bay Courier, 10 October 1857, p. 2


  Criminal Jurisdiction.

 On Monday last his Honour Mr. Justice Milford opened the October sittings of our Supreme Court in its Criminal Jurisdiction. Considering the short time which has elapsed since the last sittings the calendar may be considered heavy, both as to the number of prisoners and the gravity of the offences charged against them. The calendar contained the names of 16 prisoners; for feloniously killing, 1; forgery, 2; allowing prisoner to escape, 3; robbery, 3; obtaining money under false pretences, 2; cutting and wounding, 1; arson, 1; horse-stealing, 2; cattle-stealing, 1.

Online as R. v. Daly, 1857


James Tredenneck and Terence Rocks were arraigned for having allowed a prisoner named Nelson to escape from their custody.

Mr. Milford, for the prisoner, applied for a copy of the information and to be allowed the usual four days to plead.

The Crown Prosecutor consented, and the bail bonds were renewed.




Mr. Pring stated that he had declined to prosecute in the case of James Rankin, charged with arson. He had no power under the Moreton Bay Court Act, or he should have signed a certificate for his release. He therefore moved that the prisoner be discharged.

His Honor discharged the prisoner accordingly.

Online as R. v. McLeod, 1857


William Rae was indicted for stealing a bag of wool, weighing 13lbs, the property of Mr. R. H. Palmer, at Gladstone, on 3 rd June last. The prisoner pleaded not guilty and was undefended.

The Crown Prosecutor stated the facts of the case to the jury, and said he was reluctantly compelled to go to trial in the absence of the principal witness Mr Palmer. As it would be a serious inconvenience to the witnesses to have the case postponed, he had determined to go on with it. It was a charge that could have been easily disposed of by the Gladstone bench under the Summary Jurisdiction Act.

David White sworn: I am a constable at Gladstone; on 3 rd June I saw prisoner with a bag of wool on his back, going from Mr. Palmer's store; it was a bright moonlight night; prisoner was in Mr. Palmer's employ; he took the bag and put it near another store; I asked him what he was going to do with it, he made no answer. I told him he, prisoner, must go to Mr. Palmer's with me; prisoner asked me to let him go this time; I told him no, I would not, and took him to Mr. Palmer's. Mr. Palmer looked at the bag and said it was his and he believed it was his wool.

Cross-examined by prisoner; I do not know whether the store was locked; it is not a public thoroughfare.

Cross-examined by Crown Prosecutor: I saw prisoner drop the bag.

Mr. Pring then put in the statement taken before the Gladstone Bench, at the time of his committal from which it appeared that the prisoner admitted taking the wool but denied intending to steal it.

The prisoner addressed the jury in his defence.

His Honor addressed the jury upon the law of the case, and said this was a case that might have been disposed of without sending it from Port Curtis.

The jury retired, and after an absence of ten minutes returned, with a verdict of Not Guilty.

The prisoner was then discharged.

Online as R. v. Moore (No. 2), 1857




Martin Fletcher was indicted for having on 2 nd June last, forged and uttered a bank cheque for £70, with intent to defraud Messrs. Hope and Ramsay.

The Crown Prosecutor applied to have the case stand over till next Assizes, owing to the absence of a most material witness, Mr. Dardier; a subpoena had been sent to him, but he was absent from home. Mr. Dardier had been met on the road and told that his presence would be required, but he had not thought fit to attend.

The prisoner stated that he had been in custody ever since the 4th August last.

The Judge: If you are found guilty you can remind me of that.

In reply to the Crown Prosecutor His Honor said that if the case stood over the prisoner must be admitted to bail. He would therefore allow the case to stand over till next Sessions. If the prisoner could find bail it would be received; two sureties in £50 and himself in £100.

Mr. Pring applied that notice should be given to the Crown to approve of the bail.

The prisoner was then remanded.



John Royal, on bail, was indicted for having, on the 7th of April, at Ipswich, stolen one gelding the property of Samuel Thorpe.

Mr. H. Milford appeared for prisoner.

The Crown Prosecutor stated the case to the jury, -and called

Samuel Thorpe, who deposed: I know prisoner, he borrowed a horse from me on the 1 st or 2 nd of Sept., to go to Woogaroo; I asked him how long he wanted the horse for, he said two or three days; this was about the 1 st of Sept. I told him he could have the horse, and to bring it back in two or three days. He is a brown or bay horse, with grey hairs through him; branded MC near shoulder. Prisoner asked for the horse he previously had two or three weeks before; I saw him take the horse away. He never returned the horse, nor have I seen it since.

Cross-examined by Mr. Milford: It was taken from the hill near the Catholic Chapel at Ipswich; I have not paid prisoner any money. He took the horse, towards Bell-street; that was the way to Dr. Simpson's. I live in Ellenborough-street; two streets from Bell-street.

Charles Smith, sworn: I know prisoner. He was at my house at the beginning of April last; he remained there four or five days. The horse was in the stable: prisoner sold the horse to Mark McCarthy; he had been there four or five days then; the horse was branded MC on near shoulder; he was a dark bay or brown horse: prisoner lent me the horse once when I was going to look for a horse of mine; I witnessed the receipt; Royal made his mark to the receipt; prisoner had the horse at my place before.

By Mr. Milford: He had the horse at livery; and came backwards and forwards at times. The horse was valued at £15. I would not like to give more for him. Prisoner had been at my house several times.

By the Jury: Prisoner was perfectly sober when he sold the horse.

Mark McCarthy sworn: I know the prisoner; I bought a horse from him, branded WC; I have him in my possession now; I have a receipt for him; he is worth £15; I never saw the horse before I purchased it: I saw the horse in Smith's yard, and asked Royal whose horse it was; he said it was his. I said I thought it a pity to see the horse in a state of starvation. He said he would sell the horse, and I bought it for £15;- I could not bring him here, as he got out of the stockyard before I left, and I could not find him.

William Cunningham, a witness in this case, came into Court to give evidence, when he was found to be in a state of drunkenness. His Honor committed him to gaol for ten days.

Samuel Thorpe recalled: I did not know prisoner to have any horses of his own; he (witness) had four horses of Cunningham's brand.

By a Juror: The horse I lent prisoner was my own property.

Mr. Pring put in the prisoner's deposition, taken before the magistrate, in which he stated, that "some time ago Samuel Thorpe authorised me to sell the horse in the presence of his wife as one horse was enough for him."

Mr. Milford addressed the jury for the defence, -contending that the facts of the case went directly against any intention to steal the horse; that the prisoner had never attempted to conceal the fact of his having the horse; and that it was with Thorpe's own knowledge and consent that he kept the horse. He should call witnesses to prove these facts.

James Macdonald sworn: I know prisoner; and I also know Thorpe by sight; I remember before last Christmas seeing prisoner and Thorpe at Sullivan's, the North Star Hotel, Ipswich; prisoner gave Thorpe £10, for which it was agreed that he should keep a bay horse till it was paid; I asked prisoner to sell the horse; he said it was not his but he would ask Thorpe; Thorpe said he would give him permission to sell it for £16; I said I would not give £16 for it. Thorpe called it a dark brown; I saw McCarthy with it last.

Cross-examined by Mr. Pring: I was at the North Star Hotel when the advance of money took place. There were several persons present; we were drinking there in the bar. When I first came in I saw £10 handed to Thorpe by Royal; I understood the horse was to be held as security. I do not know whether the money has been paid back again.

John Sullivan: I live in Ipswich, and know Royal and Thorpe; I remember them being in my house last Christmas. I lent Royal £10 to give to Mr. Thorpe; it was for something about a horse; I always found Royal an honest man .

Mr. Pring to witness: Are you not trying now to recover a horse of your's from a gentleman in Brisbane that has been stolen by prisoner.

Mr. Milford objected to this question being put and it was argued by counsel. Mr. Pring eventually waived the question.

Cross-examination continued: The transaction took place in October, 1856. I saw prisoner hand over £10 to Royal; I then walked away.

Mr. Pring replied on behalf of the Crown. He contended that the evidence brought forward by the defence was worth nothing; and had nothing whatever to do with the charge brought against the prisoner.

His Honor summed up the case to the jury.

In reply to a question from a juror, Mr. Sullivan stated that he had never been paid the £10.

The jury retired, and after an absence of half-an-hour returned into Court with a verdict of Guilty; recommending the prisoner to mercy on account of his extreme age.

The prisoner said he should not have sold the horse if he had not had permission. He had never wronged any man, of a shilling, in his life.

His Honor sentenced the prisoner to be imprisoned in Her Majesty's gaol at Brisbane for the period of eighteen months, remarking that if the statement of the prisoner was true, he could represent his case to the Executive Council.

The Court then adjourned till next day at ten o'clock.


Tuesday, October 6


Kyran Walsh, on bail, was indicted for having, on the 2 nd May, 1857, at Walloo, stolen one cow, the property of Darby McGrath. The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr. Milford.

The Crown Prosecutor stated the facts of the case to the jury, and called

Darby McGrath, who deposed as follows: I have known the prisoner for the last five or six years; and I also know Mr. Forbes. I bought some cattle after a sheriff's sale on 28th August from Mr. Forbes; they were branded CW, No. 2 over, that was Walsh's brand. There were some other brands on the cattle. I missed a good many of them from the run in May last; they were cows and bullocks. I missed one cow in particular; she was very fat, and was branded CW No. 2 over, and CXN on the rump. I had seen her about a month before I missed her. I never sold her. I saw a hide at Dowden's; it was branded with the same brand, and belonged to the cow missed. [The hide was here brought into court and identified by the witness.] That is the hide I saw at Dowden's.

Cross-examined by Mr. Milford: I did not attend the sheriff's sale, I bought 400 head of cattle, more or less, from Mr. Forbes. I have never mustered more than 80 or 90 head. I paid £180 for them. I bought the chance of the CW No. 2 brand. There were some other brands on the cattle. I bought the right to the brand, but did not expect to get more than 200 out of the 400 head. I know Sullivan and O'Brien, I referred a dispute I had with Walsh to them, on the day Walsh was committed before he went into court. The terms of the arbitration was agreed to by me, and were that Walsh should never touch any of the cattle again, and I would not prosecute him. The case had been before the magistrates but could not be decided, I did not say at that time that I did not think he intended to steal the cow, I knew he intended to steal it.

By Mr. Pring: Mr. Oxenham came and asked me to settle the affair about the cow before it came to court.

Re-cross-examined by Mr. Milford: I went to Mr Oxenham's office. He did not come to me.

By His Honor: There had been several disputes about cattle between me and Walsh.

By a juror: All the cattle were branded CXN. [The hide was taken out of court to be viewed by the jury.]

James Dowden sworn: I know prisoner, and bought a fat cow from him on 2 nd May; she was branded CW No. 2, and CXN on the rump. I killed her. McGrath came and took the hide away. The hide now produced is the same. I got a receipt from Kyran Walsh. I cannot tell whether the one produced is the same, as I cannot read. I paid £4 for the cow, and that was her full value.

F. A. Forbes sworn: I recollect the Sheriff's sale in August last year; they were Walsh's cattle that was sold. There was a list of brands read over before the sale, the principal brand was CW No. 2. Walsh was present. I furnished the list of brands, and Walsh was asked if they were correct, and he said yes. I afterwards sold them to McGrath, all that I bought. The CW No. 2 brand was particularly mentioned. The CXN is Charles Coxen's brand. After the sale Walsh went stockkeeping for me. I think the CNX was not mentioned.

Cross-examined by Mr. Milford: I remember having some dealings about cattle with Walsh in 1855. Walsh purchased 115 head at £2 per head at that time; he never paid for them. He gave me a cheque, but it was not paid. I produce no accounts. He gave me a promissory note for £120; and gave me a mortgage over some cattle; I have not a copy of it with me. The mortgage was over the whole stock Walsh had. I don't know how much I have received on the mortgage. I purchased the right to 400 head at the Sheriff's sale for £102, there were supposed to be 400 head. I know there has been ligitation between McGrath and others about these cattle. I believe Walsh has some children; I know from what Walsh told me that the cattle did not belong to his children. CW No. 2 was the original brand, and that covered all others. I never sold any cattle to the prisoner with the CW No. 2 and 6 on the neck brand. If an original brand is mentioned it carries all others.

Mr. Pring here put in the statement of the accused before the Ipswich bench, viz :-"The cattle belonged to my children".

Mr. Milford then addressed the jury for the defence, contending that the case was, in reality, one of disputed property. Owing to Walsh's poverty, he had not been able to pay the fees for the production of the accounts, which would perhaps have turned the evidence in prisoner's favor.

Mr. Pring replied, and contended that the production of the accounts would not have been of the slightest benefit to the prisoner, because they had nothing whatever to do with the present case.

His Honor summed up the facts of the case, and the jury, after a lengthened absence returned a verdict of guilty. Sentence deferred.

Online as R. v. Castling, 1857

Online as R. v. Bedong and Johnny, 1857


Richard England was charged with cutting and wounding one John McLean, on 8th August.

Mr. Pring requested that the prisoner be remanded till next Sessions, owing to the absence of two of the witnesses; and expressed his willingness to bail being taken if it could be procured by prisoner.

Mr. Pring then moved that the recognizance of John McLean and William Armstrong be estreated. He had received a letter from Mr. Fitz, which had been sent to that gentleman by Dr. Armstrong, stating that as there was only one medical man then in Drayton he, could not leave his patients. He (Mr. Pring) hoped that the magistrates would take much heavier recognizances in future, in order to compel witnesses to attend. The recognizances were now ridiculously low, as many of the witnesses would rather pay the £20 than leave their business, no matter how important the case might be. He trusted that through the medium of the press this would be made known to magistrates and acted upon them for the future.

The prisoner was ordered to be remanded to gaol in the event of not obtaining sureties.


Wednesday, October 7.

Online as R. v. Montgomery, 1857

Online as R. v. Rocks and others, 1857



Marcus Birkman was indicted for having, at Warwick, on 28th September, feloniously killed and murdered one Bridget Birkman. The prisoner pleaded Not Guilty, and was defended by Mr. Milford.

Mr. Milford said he had an application to make, and he wished to read a document which had been drawn up by the prisoner. The statement set out that prisoner had not been able to procure the attendance of two material witnesses; and had not had time to prepare his defence.

Mr. Pring applied to have the case postponed till next criminal sittings. The depositions only reached him on the first day of sittings, and two material witnesses for the Crown had not been bound over to attend. On account of the heavy calendar, he had not been able to devote the necessary time to the depositions.

His Honor ordered the case to stand over till next criminal sittings, and the prisoner to remain in custody.

The recognizances of the several witnesses in the case were enlarged by his Honor till 7th December.

Online as R. v. Daly, 1857



Kyran Walsh , who was convicted of cattle stealing on Tuesday last was brought up and sentenced to be imprisoned and kept to hard labor on the roads or other public works of the colony for the period of three years.


Moreton Bay Courier, 17 October 1857 p. 2


Civil Jurisdiction

Monday, October 12.

The Court opened at ten o'clock. A jury having been sworn, the case of


Online as Collins v. Davidson, 1857






In this case the parties consented to refer the matter to arbitration, the plaintiff nominated Mr. Wm. Pettigrew, and the defendant Mr. W. A. Brown.




This was an action for £23 3s. 7d., for goods sold and delivered. Mr. Pring for the plaintiff.

The acknowledgment of the account by the defendant was proved, and his Honor gave a judgment for the full amount.




For £15 1s. 6d., for rent and articles supplied. Mr. D. F. Roberts for plaintiff. Verdict for the full amount.




In this case the action was brought for £10 17s., balance of account, but a verdict for £2 17s. was accepted, proof of other entries not being on the spot. Mr. D. F. Roberts for plaintiffs.




For £7, balance of passage money from Sydney. The debt was proved by Mr. G. D. Webb, the Company's agent, and letters were put in in the defendant's handwriting tacitly acknowledging the justice of the claim. Verdict for plaintiffs, for whom Mr. Roberts appeared.

MORETON BAY COURIER, 31/10/1857 [Saturday], Page 2




 His Honor Mr. Justice Milford being about to depart for Sydney by the steamer on Wednesday, the following rules were issued to regulate the business of the court for the remainder of the year.

Regulae Generales.

Whereas in consequence of the pressure of business in the Supreme Court at Sydney , the presence there of the Resident Judge is required it is ordered :---

That this present Term do end on Wednesday the 28th day of October instant.

That the Civil Sittings appointed for the 16th day of November next, be postponed to the 4th day of January, 1858, to be then holden.

That the Criminal Sittings appointed for the 7th day of December next be postponed to the 25th day of January, 1858, to be then holden, and to continue from that day for one fortnight.

That in all cases in which cause has been ordered to be shown why fines and recognizances heretofore ordered to be paid or estreated, should not be levied, shall not be heard on the first day of the said term

And further that the month of December next be the vacation of the said Court, instead of the month of January, 1858.

SAML. FREDK. MILFORD , Resident Judge.

Monday, October 26th , 1857.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University