Skip to Content

Colonial Cases


Cambrian, 26 October 1811

  In the month of August last, a female negro slave was pushed into a pond at Antigua, and drowned.  The coroner's inquest found it murder against some person or parsons unknown, and every exertion was made to discover the person who had committed the fact, but in vain.  At length, Mr. Wm. Harvey Thompson, a gentleman, says the Antigua paper, much esteemed by those who know him, and whose general character has been unexceptionable, went to the sitting magistrates, and confessed that he was the unfortunate person, who, without any malice against the poor woman, had occasioned her death.  An application was made that he might be admitted to bail, but this the Attorney-General resisted, and the Court unanimously refused; he therefore remains in prison to take his trial.  "It is universally regretted," says the editor of the Antigua Journal, "that a gentleman of Mr. Thompson's humanity and engaged mildness of manners, should be led by the playfulness of his disposition (at that time, it is said, exhilarated by wine) to indulge in a kind of sport which has been attended with such deplorable con sequences, and has occasioned the moist bitter reflections to himself."


Cambrian, 2 November 1811

   The Antigua paper, of the 1st of September, says: - "We have seldom had occasion to announce a more melancholy event than occurred here on Thursday last, in the death of James Hill, Esq. who, in a moment of mental derangement, terminated his existence with a pistol.  The death of an affectionate brother two months before, had such an effect on his mind, as to throw him into a state of the deepest melancholy, and ultimately to produce that state of despondency, under the influence of which he put a period to his earthly career.  A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body, and returned the following verdict, - "That James Hill, Esq. terminated his existence by a shot, in a state of mental derangement."

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School