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Colonial Cases


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, IX/366, 5 Jan 1811/3b

One of the persons unfortunately drowned with Captain Hasselbourg was George, the second son of Mr. Thomas Allwright, baker, of Sydney; he was between 12 and 13 years of age, a remarkable fine and promising youth; whose premature destiny, we need not to remark, has overwhelmed his parents with affliction. [See also 12 Jan 1810.]

Patrick Hursley and Patrick Hand were this evening lodged in the county goal at Sydney, charged with the wilful murder of ISAAC CORNWALL  [bur 3 Jan 1811 @ 37], at Richmond Hill, on the night of Wednesday last - the day following which an Inquest was held on the body, on whose verdict the above persons were committed.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, IX/367, 12 Jan 1811/2a

On Wednesday last PHILIP SHANNAGHAN [bur as Shanagan, a prisoner, @ 34], a labourer long in the Employ of the late ANDREW THOMPSON, Esq. died suddenly at Hawkesbury, in a state of extreme intoxication, to which his death was attributed.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, IX/372, 16 Feb 1811/2a

COURT OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION.  Wednesday.  Patrick Hurley  and Patrick Hurn [Hand] were indicted for the wilful murder of ISAAC CORNWALL, on the night of the 1st of January last, at Richmond Hill, and both were acquitted.  The circumstances of the case, as appeared from the evidence, were, that the prisoner Hurley was in company with the deceased and several others at the house of the prisoner Hand, from dusk in the evening till about 9 at night.  That the company were for the most part much intoxicated; that the deceased had in the course of the evening applied to purchase a pint of spirits from Hurley, who had declined letting him have it; that the deceased left Hand's house, and in his passage towards a neighbouring cottage met Hurley who had left before, and tried to quarrel with him; which the latter endeavoured to shun; but that afterwards all the parties re-assembled at the house of Hand, upon whom and Hurley a dreadful attack was made by the deceased and one Thomas Ward, who had joined him.  That both the prisoners sought shelter from their violence in the house of the prisoner Hand, they having received many severe wounds from their assailants, who were then shut out; that the deceased armed himself with an axe, and endeavoured to make his way through the door, which was bolted within, but which he broke in several places, at the same time uttering the most dreadful threats and imprecations: That a musket or pistol was fired by some person of which no account could be given, and that immediately after the prisoner Hurley levelled a gun through an aperture in the outer door which deceased was endeavouring to force open, and shot him dead upon the spot; at which time Hand was not in the house at all.  It also appeared in evidence that no malice whatever had subsisted between the deceased and the prisoners, who were peaceable men at all times, whereas the deceased was when intoxicated a very violent and dangerous character, and that the act of shooting was in self-defence.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, IX/376, 16 Mar 1811/2c

An extraordinary development of a murder six weeks since committed on Thomas Conroy, a stockman to D'ARCY WENTWORTH, Esq. is, fortunately for the ends of Justice and Humanity, now more than likely to take place.  Martin Egan and Thomas Clough, both fellow servants to the deceased, are in custody on the charge; and as far as the enquiry at present extends, the suspected crime appears to have been accompanied with circumstances of extreme hardihood.  In the course of the ensuing week it is expected a public investigation of the facts will take place, as the whole of the evidence will then be concentrated; and then, upon certain grounds of authority the lamentable particulars will be laid before the Public.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, IX/377, 23 Mar 1811/2a

On Wednesday Thomas Clough and Martin Evans [Egan] underwent an examination before D'ARCY WENTWORTH, Esq. Superintendent of Police, charged on suspicion with the wilful murder of THOMAS CONROY.  The circumstances of the case were, that the deceased and the prisoners were stockmen on a farm of Mr. Wentworth's; and was suddenly missed by the hut-keeper, who upon enquiry was informed by the prisoners that he had gone to Sydney for the purpose of attempting to effect his escape from the Colony; that the same night one of them was particularly attentive to the burning of a fire near the hut, for which he gave no reasonable account than that he was desirous of burning down a tree that stood there; that some days after the hut-keeper found the shoes, a knife, and some other things that had belonged to the deceased, at the place where the fire had been; that they both left the farm, and one afterwards called for the cloaths left by the deceased; and that a suspicion being excited in the hut-keeper's mind by the various observations he had made, he searched about, and found in a hole under a pile of stones many burnt fragments of bone, which prove to have been those of a human being.  The guilt or innocency of the prisoners will therefore become a subject of investigation before a Criminal Court.

                     On Wednesday last a Coroner's Inquest assembled at a house in Hunter Street, on the body of ELIZABETH MASSEY, [ex Mary Ann 1797 @ 50] who by the report of a Surgeon had died in consequence of a stab; and after a strict investigation of several hours, the following special Verdict was returned; "That Elizabeth Massey came to her death by means of a mortal wound inflicted by JOHN JONES, in a quarrel that took place between them on Sunday the 19th Instant; but whether feloniously or intentionally, from the evidence adduced they are unable to say."  John Jones was in consequence fully committed to take his trial before a Court of Criminal Jurisdiction.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, IX/378, 30 Mar 1811/3a

On Saturday evening the 23d ultimo, the water was much discoloured, and began to rise; as it continued to do the whole of that and the following day, when it was supposed to have attained the height of the flood at the beginning of 1801, which proved fatal to Mr Stogdell.  [Possibly John Stockdale bur 5 Mar?]


Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, Minutes of Proceedings, 1810 to 1811, State Records N.S.W., 5/1119

R. v. Jones

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction

Bent J.A., 8 May 1811

 [150] The Court met pursuant to adjournment; and proceeded to the trial of the following persons.

JOHN JONES, charged by the Judge Advocates Information, with the wilful and felonious murder of ELIZABETH MASSEY on the 18th day of March 1811 at Sydney in this territory.

Plea Not Guilty

JOSEPH SMITH, sworn, saith, I live in Philip Street. I have known the prisoner John Jones many years. I was acquainted with the deceased Elizabeth Massey. She cohabited and lived with the prisoner. They lived in Phillip Street very near me. About the middle of the day on Sunday the 17th of March I heard a noise at the prisoners. I suppose it was him and the deceased quarrelling. They used to quarrel a good deal. The deceased a passionate abuseful kind of woman, very agitating with her tongue. I never knew the prisoner any ways spiteful and malicious. He is often passionate but it is soon over. Shortly after the noise I saw the deceased come around to my door. Her hand was upon the lower part of her belly. She asked my woman, [?] Poll, where's Poll ? My answer was out of the house and I went and brought her [?]. I came back with her the deceased was in my larder. I could not perceive that the deceased had been drinking. I went away, and saw John Jones in the street near his house. I did not speak to him.

   MARY BROWN. Sworn, says I lived with the first witness. I know the deceased very well. On Sunday [151] the 17th March I recollect being brought home by Joseph Smith. When I came home I saw the deceased lying down on a sofa in my house. She complained of her stomach. She afterwards laid down on my bed, and asked me for some water which I gave her. She [?] a good deal. She stayed on the bed until towards the night. I had no conversation with her, nor had the least suspicion in the world that she was wounded. About sun down I went to her house and made her bed. Jones was not there. Intervened and told her and she got up by herself and went home. I went to her shortly afterwards; she was sitting on the bedside and she asked me to put her slipp on which I did. She complained only of her stomach. John Jones was then at the door but I had no conversation with him. She was very sick and what came from her stomach smelt strong of liquor. I observed that her clothes were bloody as I undressed. I did not observe it to her as I thought she was unwell. I saw her the next morning before breakfast. She complained of her stomach and still asked for water. She never told me she was wounded at all, nor did I suspect it. At her desire I went for Mr Evans. I saw Jones this morning in the room with her. He was very attentive. I had no conversation with him. The deceased never discloses to one and all that she is wounded. John Jones and the deceased were in the habit of quarrelling especially lately. The deceased was passionate and abusive especially when she had a drop of liquor. She was in the habit of being tipsy.

   MARY BARKER sworn says, I live in Philip Street next door to the prisoners house. I recollect hearing a little noise at his house on Sunday the 17th March. I heard that it proceeded from the [?] of the prisoner and the deceased. On Monday evening the 18th March I was called into the Prisoners house. The prisoner was not then there. The deceased was there. She was lying in the bed. She appeared [152] to me to be in a dying state. She was quite sore. At her request I tended the bed clothes and examined her body. I saw a kind of a scratch at the bottom part of her belly. I supposed it to be a scratch. I asked her the reason she did not send for any body. She asked me if it discharged. I said no. She said He , was gone for the doctor, and she said also this is what He did. She appeared to me to be sensible that she was dying. She never gave me any further account of the cause of the wound. It was Joseph Dransfield who called me into the prisoner's house. The prisoner was not present during the time I had the above communication with her.

   JOSEPH DRANSFIELD sworn says I lodged in the house with the prisoner and the deceased. On Sunday the 17th March I went out at about the time when the people go into church. The deceased was then beginning work on the dinner. I did not return to my house that night. The prisoner and the deceased had not been quarrelling that morning. I believe the deceased had had a glass. I did not see the deceased until about an hour before sun down on the Monday. She was there in bed. I asked her what was the matter. She said she had a pain in her stomach. I did not know that she was [?]. I did not know she was wounded until the doctor came. The prisoner and the deceased quarrelled occasionally. Sometimes they had some words. She was a woman that was often intoxicated in liquor. She was very quarrelsome and abrasive at that time. I never saw Jones ill treat her. Jones is a very reasonable and quiet man.

   ELIZABETH LEGS sworn says I live in Philip Street about thirty yards from prisoners house. I had no acquaintance with the deceased. On Sunday the 17th March last I heard the prisoner and deceased quarrelling betwixt eleven and twelve o'clock. I could not distinguish what they said; but they appeared [153] to be quarrelling violently. Shortly after I heard the deceased call Poll Smith I directly looked , and then saw the deceased out of her house with her [?] upon the lower part of her body. She went into Mrs Smiths house and I saw her no more. I saw Jones come out and look at her but he did not follow her. She was considered to be a woman of a very violent disposition and much adapted to liquor. Jones bears the character of a quiet man. The deceased and the prisoner were in the habit of falling out a great deal and when in liquor she made use of very spiteful language.

   Mr JOHN REDMAN Chief Constable sworn says, in consequence of the information I received I went to the house of John Jones on Monday evening the 18th March. The deceased was then dead. Jones the Prisoner was standing outside of the dorm. I brought him in and Mr Wentworth in my presence questioned him about the death. The prisoner said that the day before in the middle of the day, the deceased and he had been quarrelling about family matters: and that she had a smoothing Iron in her hand, and was coming up to him with intent to shide him with it. That he had a knife in his hand . Whether it was in keeping her off or how it was he could not tell, but in so doing he had given her the wound. He supposed it must have been that way but he could not tell how. I then showed him a small pointed knife, and asked him if that was it. He said he did not know. There were several others about the house. I then took him in charge.

   Mr WILLIAM EVANS sworn, says I am one of the Colonial Assistant Surgeons . Between 8 and 9 o'clock on Monday morning the 18th March, I visited the deceased. She had received a wound in the lower part of the left side of her belly which I examined. I then told her that in 12 hours after that time she would be a Corpse. It appeared to have been made with a knife which had penetrated one of the smaller intestines, and I was [154] concerned it would prove mortal. She begged of me to endeavour to cure her privately otherwise Jack might get into trouble. I said that was impossible for I was ordered to proceed to Newcastle. And did not wish to undertake the responsibility. She begged of me again to endeavour to cure her privately for, she said, we were quarrelling yesterday and I was undergoing to strike him with the Iron when he gave me the blow but I do not think that he meant to hurt me. I desired her to send to Mr MOUNTFORD or Mr REDFERN. First she said cure me privately for I do not think he knew he had hurt me. On Tuesday morning I was present when the body of the deceased was opened. There was a wound in one of the small intestines nearly three quarters of an inch in length. She certainly died of that wound. I have reason to know that she was much addicted to liquor.

   Mr. WILLIAM REDFERN sworn says I am one of the Colonial Surgeons. I saw the body of the deceased. There was a wound in one of the small intestines three quarters of an inch in length which I have no doubt was the cause of the death.

   The prisoner in his defence states that the accident was the result of a sudden quarrel and the impulse of the moment.

   THOMAS HORTON I was acquainted with the prisoner and the deceased and lived at the next door. At about or nearly one o'Clock on Sunday the 17th March I was sitting by my fire. I heard a door and got up. I went to the cage of the railing next prisoners garden. I heard deceased quarrelling and making use of very bad expressions calling him rogue and rascal and other opprobrious terms. Some time after I heard the prisoner say are you going to kill me with the Iron. I heard nothing further. The deceased was very quarrelsome and also apt to get on liquor. And I have heard her several times give the prisoner very bad language.

   [155] JAMES TAYLOR sworn says I knew the prisoner and the deceased. I am Constable and was upon duty at which time and was passing by their house. I went in. The prisoner and deceased were together, and appeared to me upon very good terms.

John Carter, sworn, says I know the prisoner and the deceased. I had some conversation with the deceased on the day of her death. She was there in bed. I asked her what was the matter. She said she had hurt herself and asked me if I had seen John. I said not. She sent me for him. I returned with him.

   The Court, after having had mature deliberation, do adjudge that the said John Jones is not guilty of murdering this said Elizabeth Massey but they further adjudge that he the said John Jones is Guilty of feloniously killing and slaying the said Elizabeth Massey, and that for the said offence he the said John Jones be imprisoned in his Majesties Guard at Sydney for the space of Six Months and pay a fine of Five Pounds and be further imprisoned until the same be paid.

Source: Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, Minutes of Proceedings, State Records N.S.W., 5/1121


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, IX/384, 11 May 1811/2a 

Trials for Murder.  Thomas Jones was put to the bar and indicted for the wilful murder of Elizabeth Massey, on Sunday the 18th day of March last, at Sydney.  The following is a summary of the evidence produced in support of the charge:- The prisoner and the deceased had co-habited for many years; she was a very intemperate woman, the prisoner a man of opposite character.  About noon on the above named day a quarrel took place between them, while she was employed in ironing linen; the deceased struck at him with an iron; he took up a knife to defend himself, and she received a wound in the abdomen, in consequence of which she died the next evening; shortly previous to which she had made a voluntary declaration that Jack (meaning the prisoner) had inflicted the wound; but she was certain it was without design, and she felt convinced that he did not know that he had hurt her at the time.  From the general circumstances of the case the Court thought proper to acquit the prisoner of the charge of murder; but to find him Guilty of manslaughter; for which he was sentenced to be imprisoned six months, and to pay a fine of L.5 to the King.

 2 a&b

Martin Egan and Thomas Clough were put to the bar and indicted for the wilful murder of Thomas Cooney, on or about the 26th of January last.  James Pender the Principal Evidence, stated, that both the prisoners at the bar, the deceased, and himself, were stockmen to D'ARCY WENTWORTH, Esq. on whose farm they resided at a place called the Devil's Back, and that they all dieted and slept in the same hut; that he last saw the deceased in the afternoon of the above day; that in the evening he observed the prisoners in close conversation; that Cooney being absent he enquired after him, and was told that he had gone in search of a strayed pig; that the deponent went in to the hut, supped, and went to bed, as did also the prisoner Clough; but that Egan said he could not eat, and did not go to bed for an hour after, stating as his reason for doing so, that he had to set fire to a tree which had been many years felled, and there had been no orders, nor any necessity for burning, as it was not inconvenient to any one; but that on the contrary lay close to a fence put up by Egan himself to inclose a small garden, jointly cultivated by him and the deceased, and which was endangered thereby; that Egan did nevertheless set fire to the tree, and after going to bed, arose several times, and went out to attend the fire; that Egan the next day told him that a messenger had come suddenly for the deceased, who had as suddenly gone off with him to effect his escape from the colony by an American vessel; that Egan took all the cloathing that had belonged to Cooney, under a pretext of having purchased it; that a few days after the burning of the tree, the deponent found a knife that Cooney used to carry about him, with the handle burnt, and it was claimed by Egan as part of his purchase, and that the shoes of the deceased were found near to the burnt tree; that ten days after the burning, in which interval he heard a suspicion of the murder hinted, an idea suddenly struck him that the deceased had accidentally been killed and burnt, in consequence of which he went to the spot, and among the ashes discovered many pieces of bone, which without hesitation he pronounced to be Cooney's.  Egan had also told the deponent that the deceased was a mischief-maker and an informer; that he had nearly caused to men to be hanged; and that he would as willingly "kill him as cut his dinner the hungriest day he ever saw;" which extraordinary declaration was several days subsequent to the disappearance of the deceased.

   John Kennedy, overseer of Mr. Wentworth's agricultural concerns, corroborated the foregoing testimony in many material points; he had conversed with Egan about the deceased and told him it was reported he was in gaol for attempting his escape, which Egan contradicted, and a\with a violent oath declared that he was safe enough, for the mate of the vessel had contrived his concealment.  The deponent had also conversed with Clough on the occasion, and was told by him that the deceased had gone about the time named in search of a strayed bullock, and had never since appeared.  The deponent had received a number of pieces of bone from the foregoing witness, and had himself collected many pieces more from the ashes, which he had put into the possession of D. Wentworth, Esq. Superintendent of Police; by whom they were produced; and s worn to be human bones; among which were some of the teeth, two buttons similar to tholes worn by the deceased on the waistband of his trowsers, and a taylor's thimble similar to the one that he used to carry about him.  Several other Gentlemen of the Faculty deposed that the teeth & bones were human; and numerous other circumstances concurred to prove that the murder had been committed beyond the possibility of doubt.

   The prisoners in their defence endeavoured two shake the testimony of Pender; which was too minutely circumstantial, too perfect and connected to be weakened; & after an examination of evidence that occupied three hours and a half, the Court cleared, and remained closed for the space of two hours; when on re-opening, the JUDGE ADVOCATE in an inconceivable style of eloquence reasoned upon the case, and going completely through the evidence, remarked upon its various points, concluding with a declaration that from the close connexion of the two prisoners, the interest they had both manifested in the concealment of the crime, in which though the prisoner Clough did not appear to have taken  quite so active a part as his companion, yet that he had assisted to carry on the deception, and in doing this most certainly had betrayed a knowledge of the crime, which from the manner of its being perpetrated could scarcely be considered the act of a single person unassisted b y any other, and that too so completely to escape his observation as he had afterwards pretended it had done, were considerations that seemed to deny the possibility of discriminating between the two.  That the Court had exercised the most serious deliberation on the evidence, and had sought earnestly for considerations that might be beneficial to them, or that might be urged in extenuation of their guilt, but vain had been the labour.  Both had therefore been adjudge     d guilty of the charge, and nothing then remained but to pass the awful sentence of the Law; by which they were doomed to be executed on Friday last, and their bodies to be given for dissection.

   In pursuance of their sentence the criminals were taken to the place of execution between 12 and one on Friday, when Martin Egan suffered death, having previously confessed, the justice of his sentence, and made certain declarations with respect to Clough, which being represented to His Excellency the GOVERNOR, it was His Excellency's Pleasure to grant him a Respite until Monday next, in order that every enquiry should be made that further can tend to elucidate the fact.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, IX/386, 25 May 1811/1c

SHIP NEWS.  On Sunday last arrived the schooner Mercury, Mr Tait master, with a cargo of pork from Otaheita, via Norfolk Island.  She left the Island of Bola Bola the 17th of March last, and arrived at Norfolk Island the 13th of April; and from thence sailed on her return to this port the 19th.  She brings from Norfolk Island a number of passengers, among whom is Mr. Superintendent Best, and is the conveyor hither also of a person charged with the wilful murder of WILLIAM MARR [MAHAR]; the name of the accused is John Shay; and among the passengers are the witnesses subpoenad on the melancholy occasion.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, IX/387, 1 Jun 1811/2 a, b & c

Trial of JOHN SHAY for the murder of WILLIAM MAHAR [MARR].  Witnesses WILLIAM PATERSON, Pte 73rd Foot; JAMES FERGUSON and JAMES MORRIS, Constable Norfolk Island. Guilty.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 15 June 1811

On Friday last as then colonial vessel Revenge was passing Garden Island on her passage out, Mr. William Kimber, the master, accidentally fell overboard, and unfortunately disappeared before assistance could be rendered him.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 13 July 1811

Some days since the driver of a cart belonging to Mr. C. Dowling, in endeavouring to stop the horse, which had taken fright near the Church of St. Philip, was thrown down, and so dreadfully bruised as to give little or no hope of his recovery.  The horse afterwards drove furiously down hill towards the Orphan House, and flew off the highest part of the place where the market was kept, and with the cart still at his heels, gallopped a considerable way down George-street, but was at length stopped without further accident.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 31 August 1811

On Sunday evening last a most shocking murder was committed at Parramatta, on Mrs. Rowe, who had for many years lived in the house of Charles Wright, which lies between Mr. Joseph Ward's and the Stone-quarry.  The body of the unfortunate woman was found on Monday morning on the floor of her own dwelling, lifeless, bruised from head to foot, and strangled in a brutal manner.---She appeared to have been strangled with a shawl, she wore when attacked; her breast was much torn, by her own finger nails to all appearance, during her dying struggles.  Soon after the information reached Town, the Coroner set out for Parramatta, and arriving on Monday evening, summoned an Inquest which assembled early on Tuesday, and proceeded to the enquiry.

   A Gentleman of the faculty having declared the strangulation to have been sufficient to occasion death, several persons who lived contiguous to the deceased were examined on suspicion; and from the evidence of John Welch, a boy 14 years of age, his father James Welch, and himself, a woman named Ann Wilson who came prisoner in the Experiment brig, and James Donne, a foreigner, were committed b y the Coroner for the murder, and sent down to Sydney, where they await a legal investigation of the dreadful charge.

   Last Saturday se'nnight the remains of Ann Coleman, wife of Benjamin Coleman, of Sydney, baker, were found in the woods within a short distance of the river near Parramatta.  She had been missing several months, at about which distance of time she had been last seen at Duck River Bridge.  The body was in too decayed a state to be removed, and was in consequence returned to the earth on the spot where it had been found.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 14 September 1811


Yesterday the Court of Criminal Jurisdiction assembled at 10 in the forenoon; and proceeded to the trial of John Donne alias Dun, a foreigner; Thos. Welch, and Ann Wilson, for the wilful murder of Mary Rowe, at Parramatta, on Sunday the 25th of August ultimo.  The indictments charged Donne as the perpetrator of the crime, and under three counts charged Welch and Wilson as accessaries to, before, and after the fact.  [4 columns.]

   The Court was directed to be cleared, and after an hour and a quarter's exclusion, the prisoners were recalled to the bar, and the auditory re-admitted.

   The crisis of expectancy being arrived, The JUDGE ADVOCATE communicated to the prisoners severally the Verdict of the Court, which without a shadow of doubt had convicted the prisoner Donne of wilful murder, and the prisoner Thos. Welch of being an accessray after the fact, which extended to him the Benefit of Clergy.  Ann Wilson was pronounced Not Guilty.

   The JUDGE ADVOCATE finally proceeded to the awful Sentence of the Law against John Donne, otherwise Dunne, which doomed him to suffer Death on Monday the 16th of August instant, and his body to be afterwards dissected and anatomized.

   And as Thomas Welch was already a prisoner for life, and the nature of the offence of which he had been convicted differed in its shadowing but little from that of the condemned culprit, the Court had thought proper to sentence him to 7 years confinement to hard labour wheresoever it should be the pleasure of HIS EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR in CHIEF to direct.

   The Trail lasted from ten to five, at which hour the Court adjourned sine die.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 21 September 1811

The following melancholy accident by fire took place at the farm of Mrs. Wilkes, at Pennant Hills, near Parramatta, about three weeks since.---A fine boy, aged 3 years, being left alone in the house while his mother, Mrs. Wilkes, was engaged in the yard, the child is supposed to have drawn some burning wood off the hearth, by means of which the house took fire, and was so rapidly consumed as to render ineffectual every effort to save the life of the little unfortunate creature, who had been the innocent cause of the catastrophe that doomed it to an untimely, dreadful destiny.  An infant but a few months old, lying asleep in a cradle at the time, was rescued from the devouring element by the Divine Permission, uninjured; but a man was so severely burnt in endeavouring to save the other, that he was obliged to be taken to the General Hospital at Parramatta, where he has received every comfort and attention that humanity could suggest, or his condition stood in need of.  To the unspeakable affliction of the un happy mother the horrors of excessive penary were joined by the loss of her cloathing, and that of her surviving children, which with every little article of property she possessed perished in the conflagration.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 28 September 1811

At the commencement of the squall, which might be justly termed a hurricane, a boat proceeding towards South Head suddenly filled and went down, near Bradley's Head, three persons on board unhappily perished.  The names of the sufferers were, Thomas Sills and ------ Hinsol, both invalids from the 102d Regiment, stationed at South Head, and John Lloyd, a fisherman nearly 20 years in the Colony.  The body of the latter was picked up the same afternoon, but neither of the others have been yet found.  The doleful accident happened in sight of the ship New Zealander, which was then working out, but at too great a distance to afford assistance.  An Inquisition was the following day held on the body of John Lloyd, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 5 October 1811

The names of the three Prisoners who died on board the Gambier were as follow:

   On of the soldier's wives whose name was Mary Lyneham, unfortunately died in this port after the ship came to anchor.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 12 October 1811

On Friday a Coroner's Inquest assembled at Sydney on the body of John Thompson, a hair dresser, which was found at Pinchgut Island with his throat cut.---Verdict suicide.



At ten the Court assembled, and John Welch was put to the bar and indicted for feloniously stealing, taking, and carrying away from the dwelling-house of Charles Wright, at Parramatta, on the 25th of August last, viz. a copper tea-kettle containing copper coin to the amount of 40s. a canvas bag also containing copper coin the the same amoiunt, and sundry other articles.

   The JUDGE ADVOCATE prefaced the examination of witnesses by informing the Court, that the prisoner at the bar had been convicted as an accessary after the fact with John Dunn, who has been executed for the wilful murder of Mary Rowe, at Parramatta, on the 25th of August last; when he availed himself of his clergy, or otherwise could not have been brought forward to answer the present charge, which the peculiar circumstances of the case had rendered needful to the ends of justice,---Without reference to the former trial or any subsequent representations that may have been circulated relative to the case, the Court would confine itself dispassionately to the Evidence that might appear upon the present trial, by which and which alone its judgment would be guided. [2 columns]

   Here closed the evidence, and the prisoner was called on for his defence.---He replied that he had nothing more to say than to declare himself innocent, and that he had no witnesses to call.---The Court cleared, and after a deliberation that occupied upwards of an hour, re-opened, when by the verdict of the Court the prisoner was pronounced GUILTY of the Felony with which he had been charged.---- Sentence of Death was passed accordingly; and the Court adjourned sine die.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 19 October 1811

On Monday last Thomas Welch was executed pursuant to his sentence: on which awful occasion he gave no signs of contrition for his offence; but unhappily appeared to be little affected at his melancholy situation.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 2 November 1811

On Wednesday and Thursday an Inquisition was taken of the body of Jane Arding, which had been accidentally found under water in Cockle-bay, close to the Market Wharf, by a boy, who in bathing trod upon it.  The enquiry occupied the greater part of both days, owing to some doubts in the minds of the jurors whether the deceased came by her death by her own voluntary act or otherwise;---the former opinion at length prevailing, however, a verdict to that effect was returned, as no symptoms of insanity in the deceased had been observed by any of the witnesses.

   On Wednesday about noon, William Howarth, of Castlereagh-street, was suddenly seized at the lower end of Pitt-street, with an emission of blood from the stomach, and died suddenly.  The same day an inquest was taken, whose verdict was Death by the Visitation of God.  [Then recites the "strange Fatality" of the various members of the family in November 1805, 1806, 1808; mentions remaining son in care of William Howarth (lost in the woods).


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 16 November 1811

Last Thursday se'nnight Mr. Robert Luttrill died of a blow on the head with a nulla nulla, inflicted by a native about a fortnight before.  On Saturday the Coroner assembled an Inquest on the unhappy occasion, which owing to the residence at Hawkesbury of material witnesses, adjourned from Saturday to Monday; when the following verdict was returned; viz. "that the deceased came to his death by means of a blow from a native; which blow was given in consequence of the deceased breaking the spears of the native, and taking away their women."

   During the pendency of the above investigation, numbers of natives awaited the issue with much visible anxiety, as they had been made acquainted that upon the opinion of juries so assembled depended the safety of the person who had occasioned death; but so far from countenancing the author of the present unfortunate event, a chief of the name of Mara Mara had pledged himself to give up the offender, if demanded.  As soon as the verdict was returned, intelligence was despatched to the Magistrates at Windsor, where a number of natives had collected, but who immediately dispersed as soon as they were acquainted that they had nothing to apprehend on account of this affair.

   On Saturday a Coroner's Inquest was summoned at Parramatta on the body of Ann Whiting, which was picked up in the water near the banks of Mr. Palmer's farm.---Verdict Suicide.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 30 November 1811

Yesterday morning two attempts were made by Mr. Charles Griffin, of Cumberland-streets, Rocks, to deprive himself if life in a supposed state of despondency, both of which were happily prevented from taking effect by the timely observation of his wife.  His first effort was an endeavour to suspend himself by a rope on the outside of his house, to effect which horrible purpose he arose from bed before day-light; but after a short absence \the woman also arose, and taking the same track witnessed the preparation, and of course prevented the catastrophe.  Being induced by persuasion to relinquish his unhappy purpose, he returned within doors, and there a short time afterwards endeavoured to accomplish with a razor an unhappy determination to effect his own destruction in any way that might be practicable.  His design was in this second instance also perceived by his wife; who, by the merest accident became a witness to the reiterated attempt, and just as the instrument came in contact with his neck, seized him by the arm, unheard and unobserved. Her efforts, though not effectual in prevention a ghastly incision, yet so far succeeded as to change the position of the blade so as to prevent the wound from being immediately mortal.---The unfortunate man lies, however, in a state of extreme danger.


THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, Saturday 28 December 1811

At a late hour on Christmas Eve, as Captain Austin Forrest, of Richmond (formerly of Calcutta) was returning home from Windsor, he was unfortunately killed by a fall from his horse.  The body was found between 12 and one on Christmas morning, shortly after the melancholy accident had taken place; and on Friday the remains of this much lamented Gentleman were interred at Windsor; on which occasion a large company of Gentlemen assembled, ...

   A settler at the Nepean, named Stephen Smith, was barbarously murdered on Christmas Eve.  A man whose name is James Hunt has been apprehended on suspicion of the crime, and remains in custody.

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