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Colonial Cases



THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Sunday 21 January 1810

On Wednesday a Coroner's Inquest sat bon the body of John Richardson, who died suddenly at a little tenement in Pitt's Row.---Verdict, Death by the visitation of God.---The deceased was a well known character who for many years had struggled for the subsistance of a family by hawking fruits and cakes about the streets, on which account he was better known by the name of o'Muffins than his real name.  We are thus particular in a description of the deceased, because while living he was universally known to be exceedingly indigent, having four infant children, the mother of whom was crippled eight years ago by a beam falling on her in the lumber yard, and has ever since walked on crutches.  Trifling as might have been the earnings of this poor son of misfortune, yet they were all that Providence had bequeathed to those dependent on him; and now deprived of even that dependance, what must be the distress to which they are thus unhappily, thus unexpectedly reduced!


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Sunday 4 February 1810

Yesterday se'nnight a Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of George Wood, who died suddenly at the South Creek.---Verdict, Death by the Visitation of God.  [Died intestate; advert.]


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Monday 12 February 1810

Last night a man of the name of Hargrave, in the act of entering the fowl house of S. Foster, at [Seven??]-Row, received the contents of a loaded musket in the face, b y which his eyes are stated to have been blown out of his head by the ball or slug which struck him on one of the temples in an oblique direction.  The unfortunate man was conveyed to the General Hospital, where he remains in a dreadful condition, with little hope of surviving his wounds.  The man who fired the musket had been placed as a guard, owing to the frequent thefts of poultry that had taken place; and the wounded man turns out to be one of those persons some time since concerned in robbing Rose the baker's house in Chapel Row.  [Advert by Samuel Foster, referring to this incident, Saturday 17 February 1810.]


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 31 March 1810

On Sunday last a child two years old, daughter of Matthew Timpson, of the Brickfields, unfortunately fell into a fire, during the absence of her mother; and survived the melancholy accident until Wednesday morning, when the little ill-fated sufferer expired in extreme anguish.


THE THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 7 April 1810

Yesterday morning a dead body was found floating near the Hospital Wharf, which upon being brought on shore proved to be that of Henry Gatehouse, a seaman belonging to the Porpoise, who 8 days previous had come on shore with some others of the ship's company to scrub their hammocks in the Dock-Yard; and had never more appeared.  An inquest was taken on the body yesterday afternoon---Verdict---Accidental Death.


THE THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 12 May 1810

On Sunday morning last a fine girl of eleven years of age, the daughter of Katherine Baker, was burnt so violently as to occasion her dearth this afternoon at two o'clock.---The unfortunate young creature was under the protection of a respectable and very worthy family in Serjeant-Major's Row; and being earnest in rendering herself as useful as she could, upon the fatal morning of the accident, while the family were in bed, it is conjectured she had employed herself in expediting the boiling of the tea-kettle, when her cloaths caught fire, and she was burnt in the most dreadful manner that can be imagined before the flames could be extinguished by several persons who hearing her shrieks had run to her assistance.  The accident being instantly reported to Mr. WENTWORTH, Principal Surgeon, she was conveyed to the General Infirmary, that she might receive the most ample benefit from that gentleman's exertions, and the very strict attention paid to the sick there; but not withstanding all that professional talent and the most tender treatment could effect, the event of death could only be protracted for a few days.---The sufferings of the mother of this poor child can scarcely be conceivable; she had engaged a passage home by one of the vessels that this day sailed; and after the most affectionate attention  night and day, and resolving to submit to any disappointment rather than leave her in a state of doubt, at length perceiving death was inevitable, was obliged to take a sorrowful farewell at the moment the little sufferer was about to breathe her last. [Follow-up article on Katherine Baker; Saturday 19 & 26 May 1810.]


THE THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 2 June 1810


The Trials commenced on Monday, and continued till Friday; during which the following prisoners were tried: viz

Lawrence Finland, indicted for violating the person of Ann Cutred, was Acquitted, the prosecutrix not appearing; and

TERENCE FLYNN (a prisoner who had escaped from this Colony), alias Peter Hall, alias John Manchester, charged with the willful murder of Thomas Dawson, the 17th of February last, at Hobart Town, was tried on Thursday: ...Guilty of Murder


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 4 August 1810

On Monday last in the afternoon, William Bowen, one of the Harbour Pilots, was found in a dying state near his own house, in the vicinity of the Government Wharf; and shortly after expired.  Excessive drinking appeared to have been the cause of his death.  The day following a Coroner's Inquest sat on the body, whose verdict was --- Death by suffocation.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday, 18 August 1810

On Saturday last, was interred at Hawkesbury the remains of Elvira, daughter of Mr. Ferdinand Meurant, aged 6 years old.  Her death was occasioned by severe burning in consequence of her clothes taking fire some days previous, during the whole of which interval she was perfectly sensible, noitwithstanding the agony she endured; and under a strong presentiment of her approaching end, solicited to be interred on a particular spot on her father's farm,---a compliance with which innocent request was promised and faithfully performed by her fond parengts, whose excessive grief the sensible imagination can alone do justice.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 1 September 1810

This day the body of James Brown, a labouring man, who was unfortunately crushed to death b

y the falling of a tree he was employed in cutting down, was brought in a boat to the wharf.  An inquest was been taken---Verdict, Accidental death.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 22 September 1810

On Thursday last an infant daughter of Mr. J. Warby, of Prospect Hill, was so severely scalded as to leave but little hope of the unfortunate child's recovery.  This dreadful accident was occasioned by the upsetting of a large pan of boiling water, which had a few moments before been taken off the fire, and unguardedly left on the open floor.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 29 September 1810

DIED---On Tuesday, at her house in Pitt's Row, Mrs. M. Skinner, widow of the late Mr. Samuel Skinner, in consequence of an illness occasioned by her un fortunately breaking her right leg ten days before.  [Fell off horse.]


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 20 October 1810

On Monday last a Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of an infant daughter of Mr. Thomas Allwright, who was stifled in a small pan of ley sunk in the ground at the back of her father's house.---Verdict Accidental Death.---The unfortunate event occurred in consequence of the child having dropped a penny-piece into the pan, in striving to recover which she lost her equilibrium, and was too young and helpless to extricate herself from the disaster which proved fatal.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saurday 17 November 1810

John Howarth (known as William) last member of family; (recites previous list of deaths in November 1805, 1806 and 1808;) "found on Tuesday near South Head, having lost his way, and being almost in a perishing state."

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