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Colonial Cases


R. v. Bacon [1827] NSWSupC 68

R. v. Clives [1827] NSWSupC 3

R. v. Francis [1827] NSWSupC 69

R. v. Gough, Watson and Muir [1827] NSWSupC 57

R. v. Jamieson [1827] NSWSupC 31

R. v. Jones [1827] NSWSupC 6

R. v. Kelly [1827] NSWSupC 48

R. v. Lowe [1827] NSWKR 4; [1827] NSWSupC 32

R. v. M'Dowall [1827] NSWSupC 18

R. v. Puckeridge, Holmes, Sneid and Lee [1827] NSWSupC 17

R. v. Shea [1827] NSWSupC 27

R. v. Stanley [1827] NSWSupC 12

R. v. Stewart [1827] NSWSupC 73

R. v. Tommy [1827] NSWSupC 70

R. v. Ward and Cooke [1827] NSWSupC 26

R. v. Worroll [1827] NSWSupC 1


The Monitor, Saturday 6 January 1827

THE Gazette of Monday relates a direful event which took place on the 21st of December last, near Windsor, whereby a female named Bayliss, and her daughter, aged 13, were poisoned, by partaking of a deleterious liquid, mistaken for punch, which proved to be used for the destruction of vermin.  The mother fell a victim to its effects; the daughter fortunately survives.  The occurrence took place at a gentleman's house where the mother and daughter were employed in household work.  Proceedings assimilated to a Coroner's Inquest were adopted by W. Cox, Esq. J.P. who in the absence of a coroner forwarded the result to the proper authority.


The Monitor, Saturday 13 January 1827: attacks by aborigines and inquest (no details).


The Monitor, Saturday 3 February 1827

A party consisting of Captain Todd, of the Brig Magnet, two gentlemen named Adair, Mr. Burke and Mr. Brown, with two seamen, were sailing off Garden Island, on Sunday, and the Brig's jolly boat, a sudden gust of wind upset the boat, and Mr. Adair, sen. a resident in the Colony for two years, was unhappily drowned.---Prompt exertions fortunately saved the other gentlemen.  They had supported themselves in the water, sometimes by the oars, sometimes by the boats, till they were rescued from their perilous situation.  The sailors swam ashore but none of the rest of the party could swim.


The Monitor, Saturday 17 February 1827

ONE of the numerous wretches whom we described a week or two back as labouring under idiotcy, imbecility, or other severe ailment, and requiring some m ore suitable abode than the prisoners' Barracks, paid the debt of nature suddenly on Monday last.  Of the number alluded to, he appeared one of the most healthy; in the early part of the afternoon he complained of a head-ache, but declined going to the hospital---shortly he laid his body on his parent earth, and breathed his last.  The name of the deceased was O'Sullivan; his age between 40 and 50.  An inquest was held the next day at Hill's Tavern---Verdict---Died by the Visitation of God.


The Monitor, Friday 2 March 1827


On Saturday last, at the halfway House, Parramatta, Mr. WILLIAM UNDERWOOD, leaving a wife and family to regret his loss.  The deceased having died suddenly, the Coroner held an Inquest the following morning, when a verdict was returned---DIED BY THE VISITATION OF GOD.


AUSTRALIAN, Saturday 7 April 1827

On Friday last, when Daniels, the Penrith constable, was returning from Lumpy Deans, with the newspapers and public letters, on the Western Road, between Mr. Bunker's and Major Druitt's, three men suddenly rushed out of a brush cover, and ordered Daniels to stop and drop a pistol he had in his hand, or his brains would be blown out.  One of them was Ward (who lately broke out of Sydney gaol); he had his musket pointed close to Daniels; the other two (Power and Napper, runaways from the Prospect iron gang) had their faces concealed, by handkerchiefs tied over, holes left for the eyes only; one of the latter seized and took the pistol, robbed him of his jacket, handkerchief, ammunition, and hat.  Napper wished to have shot him; but Ward would not agree, and gave him back one of his handkerchiefs, shoes, and letters. The robbers then proceeded to the neighbourhood of Mr. Wood's, of Chipping, where they plundered a poor landholders house, named Foley.  A man of Mr. Wood's was passing at the time when Ward, who was sentinel at the door, ordered him into the house, where he was robbed of a good pair of shoes he had on.  The robbers then proceeded to constable McMahon's house, which is in sight of Foley's, and robbed the con stable of a musket and ammunition, and what else suited them.  In the meantime Mr. Wood's man ran homeward, and called to Richardson, who was ploughing in a paddock, that three bushmen were robbing the poor settlers, and begged of him to run to Mr. W.'s house for arms and men, to assist in taking them.  Mrs. W. gave Richardson a double barrelled gun, and all the powder and slugs in the house.  Two other men, I think named Leary and Gould, accompanied, armed with pistols and a cutlass.  After a short search, they fell in with the robbers, sitting by a water hole, in the bush.  Ward desired them not to approach, at the hazard of their lives.  Richardson and Leary replied, "that they were determined to take them, for plundering the poor settlers."  Upon which, Ward took aim at them, and his gun did not go off.  Power fired, and Mr. Woor'd men returned the fire, and wounded the whole three, in different parts of the body, with slugs.  After both had retired, loaded, primed, and prepared their flints, they advanced close to each other.  But Mr. Wood's men, discovering the robbers had balls, considered it prudent to shelter themselves occasionally, behind trees, and so was directed were some of their shots, that the bark of two trees were carried away, close to their bodies.  This description of war was kept up nearly an hour and a half; when both parties were more or less wounded - ammunition scarce - and their arms frequently missing fire.  At this crisis they closed, and attacked, with the butt-end of their fire-locks and pistols. Ward and Leary were both down, in close grasp, when Napper flew to Ward's assistance, and, when aiming an uplifted deadly blow at Leary, a man of Mr. Panton's, who just came to the assistance of Mr. Wood's men, shot Napper dead, before his blow fell.  Ward and Power then surrendered.  The arms and plunder of three robberies they had committed, within a few hours, were taken from them.-The three robbers were fighjting for their forfeited lives; but the fopur brave and meritorious servants of Mr. Wood and Mr. Panton, nobly risked their lives, for the protectiom of the poor settlers; and that too, without being led on or headed by any authority.  Such men richly deserve their freedom.


Dennis M'Doual, indicted under Lord Ellenborough's Act, and found guilty, of stabbing Alexander M'Larne, on board the barque Rosanna, at New Zealand.  A motion was made in arrest of judgment-Judgment suspended.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 11 April 1827

   An inquest was summoned on Friday last, at the sign of the Cheshire Cheese public-house, on the Sydney Road; upon the body of John Waters, who it appears was a labourer and lived in that neighbourhood; a tree suddenly fell on the unfortunate man and caused his almost immediate death.  Two other men were with the deceased at the time of the accident occurring; but they escaped with a very trifling injury.-Verdict of Accidental Death.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 13 April 1827

A Coroners Inquest was held yesterday forenoon, at the sign of the Plume of Feathers public house, in Philip-street, on the corpse of a man named Thomas Shepperd, as brazier, living in that street.  The deceased went to bed in apparent good health, but shortly after complained of illness.  A surgeon was sent for, but ere he had arrived the sick man was no more.-Verdict, Died by the visitation of God.

   Ward, the runaway, though desperately wounded when secured, is recovering very fast from his wounds.


The Monitor, Friday 20 April 1827

A CORONER'S Inquest at Parramatta, on the body of a free man, a bricklayer, has occasioned a good deal of talk.  But as the verdict of the jurors was "Died by the Visitation of God," we shall not enter into the pros and cons of the matter.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 25 April 1827

An awful instance of sudden death occurred one day last week, in the neighbourhood of Lane Cove.  A settler having partaken of a healthy supper, threw himself on the bed from fatigue, but without complaining of any ailment, and was found dead in the bed by his wife, half an hour after.  A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body, and found a verdict-died by the visitation of God.

   A poor man named White, a fisherman at Botany, was unfortunately drowned on Saturday last.  The body has not yet been found.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 27 April 1827

   A serious accident befell an overseer in the employ of Mr. Cox, at Clarendon, On Wednesday evening.  The man was galloping his horse at a furious rate up the Brickfield Hill, when his right leg came in contact with the shaft of a cart; he was dismounted, and thrown under the wheels, which passed over the lower part of his body.  Surgical assistance was immediately procured, but without effect.  The unfortunate man, some hours after the accident, died.  The man's name was Jeffey.  A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body yesterday.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidentally killed.

   We have the authority of a highly respectable merchant in Sydney, in saying, that a murder has been lately committed at Newcastle, and that some officer or other at that settlement is in custody on the charge.


The Monitor, Friday 27 April 1827

An Inquest was held yesterday at Hill's Tavern, Castlereagh-street, on the body of ----- Jeffs, servant of G. Cox, Esq. who died on the preceding evening of the severe injury received on the afternoon of the race-day.  He was riding at a quick pace, and coming in contact with the shaft of a cart, was so shockingly lacerated as to cause his death in an hour after.

   AN INQUEST was held a short time since, by Mr. Howe, upon the body of Mrs. Twyfield, wife of Roger Twyfield, of Windsor, who died suddenly that morning.  She had a cut in her head, but the surhgeon who examined it declared, that although it was a very bad one, it was not a mortal wound.  There had been a little merry-making at Mr. Twyfield's on the preceding evening, during which time the accident which inflicted the wound on the head is supposed to have happened.  The evidence, it is to be regretted, was not so decisive, as under the peculiar circumstances of the case, could have been wished.  Verdict "found dead with a cut in her head."

   A CORRESPONDENT writes us as follows:---James Hughes, a blackmsith, and a resident in the District of Appin, (lately sentenced by the Court of Quarter Sessions at Liverpool, to pay a fine of 30l. sterling to the King, for an assault on the person of one William Underwood, now in custody on a charge of cattle stealing) was murdered a few days after his discharge from gaol, within a short distance of his residence.  A Coroner's Inquest was held upon the occasion, and a verdict of Wilful Murder, was returned by the Jury, against some person or persons uinknown. Would it not, Mr. Editor, be an act of humanity, for H. M. Government to offer a reward to persons giving such information of the perpetratoprs as led to conviction ?


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 4 May 1827

A Coroner's Inquest sat yesterday on the body of a man named White, who was found drowned at Botany Heads a few days ago.  The Jury found a verdict---Accidentally drowned.



The Monitor, Friday 11 May 1827

THE unaccountable disappearance of an old man named White, a fisherman residing at Botany Bay, has excited considerable suspicion---One day last week a body was found immersed in the water, but so disfigured that it became impossible to recognize the features---this was supposed to be White, and the suspicion which had arisen against a neighbour of White's subsided from the idea of the lost person having met his death by accident---Since the sitting of the Coroner's Inquest, a new fact has come to light, namely the impossibility that, if accidentally drowned in his occupation of fishing, the body could have floated to the spot where it was found; diligent enquiry is on foot in this mysterious affair.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 18 May 1827

A Coroner's Inquest sat yesterday on the body of a man named Jeremiah Bowers, a labourer in the employ of Mr. Gore, on the North Shore.  The deceased was at work in the field with some other labourers, when, without betraying any symptoms of approaching illness, he suddenly fell down and expired.  The Jury brought in a verdict, died by the Visitation of God.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 25 May 1827

A fatal accident occurred in the course of yesterday, to a poor woman named Kennedy, the wife of a settler living up the Country; she was thrown out of a cart in which she was proceeding towards Sydney, and killed.  A Coroner's Inquest is summoned to sit this day on the body.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 30 May 1827

Two men named Halton and Tyerman, have been taken into custody on suspicion of being implicated in a murder at Illawarra.  A government man, to a settler in that neighbourhood, being found missing, an inquiry was instituted, and the body at length found, on the farm, in a wretched state.  Some believe that the deceased fell a victim to the savage fury of the blacks.

CORONER'S INQUEST.---A Coroner's Inquest sat in the gaol on Friday last, upon the body of Edward M'Guinnis, who died on the preceding day.  This man, it will be remembered, was one of the pirates of the Wellington, on her voyage to Norfolk Island.  M'Guinnis, after escaping with others from the hulk, was taken by a soldier in the bush.  It appeared in evidence thnat the deceased died of the gun shot wounds received when he was gtaken.  The Jury expressed an opinion, that the soldier had been too precipitate in not endeavouring to capture the prison er, without firing on him, especially as, after all, he might have been mistaken in the identity of the man.  They brought in their verdict---That the deceased came to his death in consequence of the wounds he received from a musket ball an d shot.

   Another inquest sat the same day at the half-way Inn, on the Parramatta road, upon the body of an aged woman, named Ann Kennedy, a settler's wife, living at irish Town.  The deceased, it appeared, had been subpoened to the Criminal Court, as a witness in a trial against some persons in custody for robbery, and was on her way to Sydney in a cart and horse, when the animal, a young colt, became unmanageable, andf ran away---the cart was upset, and the unfortunate woman killed on the spot.  Verdict---Accidentally killed.

   An Inquest sat on Saturday evening, in the General Hospital, upon the body of one John Brown, an old man, who had been just brought there in the last stage of debility, hastened by an unfortunate propensity to drinking ardent spirits.  It was stated that the deceased had not been sober a single day during the last six months.  Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 1 June 1827


It is with feelings of deep regret we have to stop the press to announce, that Captain Laughton has been unfortunately drowned---leaving, we regret to say, a disconsolate widow and three young childtren to lament his m elancholy loss.  It appears, that Captain Laughton, and Captain Cunningham, of the late ship Hope, were in a boat, making for the shore, at the place where the wreck of that vessel was lying, when the boat being nearly filled with a heavy surf, the jum,ped out and swam ashore.  However, just as Captain Laughton was treading ground, another surf washed him off his legs backwards a considerable distance into the river, while Capt. Cunningham fortunately saved himself.  Shortly afterwards, another surf brough Captain Laughton ashore---but the vital spark was then extinct.  The unhappy occurrence took place yesterday, and this morning the body was brought up to town by Captain Cunningham.  An Inquest was sitting on the body, before Mr. Humphrey, Coroner, at the Hope and Anchor, when our paper went to press.


The Monitor, Friday 1 June 1827

M'GUINESS the Pirate Bushranger, who was captured about a month since, near Mr. Terry's farm on the Liverpool road, by a Soldier; and was wounded in the contest which took place, after lingering in a state of extreme debility, died on Friday last, in Sydney gaol.  The wound he received was an extraordinary one.  The ball entered at the knee and took a horizontal direction downwards, and then coming out at the lower part of the calf!  An inquest sat on the body on the following morning, and returned a verdict of "Died from as wound received by a musket-ball."

   AN aged woman who had witnessed the vicissitudes of the Colony from almost its earliest period, met her death on her way to out last market, by being thrown from the summit of the loaded cart on which she was riding; the horse drawing it had become restive, and was proceeding down Longbottom hill with perilous rapidity, when the accident occurred, which proved fatal.  Her Son was also severely bruised.  An Inquest was held upon the body.

   The mysterious disappearance of a man named Austin, an assigned servant to Mr. Spearing of Illawarra, and the subsequent discovery of his body on the brow of a hill contiguous to the farm of Mr. S. in a state of decomposition, and bearing marks of violence, together with an investigation into the suspicions attached to two of his fellow servants, with whom he was on bad terms, have occupied the attention of the Sydney Bench, to whom the matter was referred by Lieut. Fitzgerald, the Magistrate of that District, for some days past; circumstances are strongly against one of the accused named Hutton, with whom he was last seen, added to which, his possession of Sovereigns, a kind of money known to belong to the deceased, concurs to give a dark feature to the case.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 8 June 1827

A Coroner's Jury was impannelled in Parramatta, on Wednesday last.  The subject of the Inquest was, an inhabitant of the town, named Abigail Farrell, who had suddenly died in a fit of apoplexy.  The Jury found a verdict accordingly.  The deceased had been employed at one of the Government Telegraphs.

(From a Correspondent)

On Wednesday the 30th May last an Inquest was taken before Mr. Wm. Elyard, Coroner, upon the body of James Austin, late assigned servant to Mr. Spearing, of Illawarra, who was found dead about two miles from his master's farm.  The circumstances were as follows:

"That in September last Mr. Spearing had the deceased assigned to him.  The deceased, who was extremely lame, and consequently incpabale of work, had frequently offered the overseer ten sovereigns to return him to Government; by which means the prisoners on Mr. Spearing's farm became acquainted with the deceased possessing money.  It appeared in evidence, before the Jury, that the overseer rejected the bribe; but in the course of a short period, the overseer was taken ill, and the said overseer gave him a pass to proceed to Liverpool.  In October Austin left his master's farm, for the purpose of going to hospital; the overseer having suspicion, having heard the men say that before the deceased left, they would possess themselves of his money, took the precaution on the day he left the farm, to muster the men, and to prevent them absenting, set them at one general work; and himself on that day in particular, attended them personally, except thre gardener and cook, whom he could not narrowly watch;---when the men returned from work on the day that Austin left, the gardener, named Hutton, was rather late to breakfast than usual, for it was customary for him to have the breakfast ready for his companions.

   The skull was produced to the Jury; and they visited the spot, in a lonely mountain, where the bones and part of the deceased's clothing was found.  On the left side of the head, there was a fracture as if occasioned by the back part of an axe, or any such blunt instrument.  The identity was proved by the deceased having a bumble-foot.  Boots, to answer such a foot, was found by the body; also, a leathern belt, in which he invariably carried his money.

   The Coroner interfered and wanted the juiry to return a verdict of wilful murder against Hutton; but the jury differed in opinion, and returned a verdict---"Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."

Illawarra, June 1, 1827."

[This affair has been partly investigated by the Sydney Bench of Magistrates; and evidence sufficient, it is thought, obtained to commit Hutton and another prisoner for the murder.  ED.]


The Monitor, Tuesday 12 June 1827

A Coroner's inquest was held on Sunday, upon the body of Henry Comerford, whose body was discovered drowned in Cockle Bay.  The deceased, whose name appeared but last week, as having received his certificate of freedom, had long been a resident at Newcastle and Hunters River; where he officiated as the "Village Lawyer." He was a native of Clonmell in Ireland, and was an unfortunate branch of a most respectable family, having been bred to the law, his talent in the subordinate departments was by no means inconsiderable.  At the late Newcastle trials before the Supreme Court, he assisted in drawing up the briefs &c. and had not returned to his usual quarters.  The same destructive propensity to excessive drinking, which had oft times led to his dismissal from reputable situations, now urged him on to total destruction.  On Friday night being found in the street greatly intoxicated, he was lodged in confinement, and appeared before the Police on the following day.  This disgrace, with a sense of his degraded condition led him it may be supposed to the commission of the rash act, which terminated his unfortunate career.  He was about 30 years of age, and of rather genteel manners.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 13 June 1827


Some additional particulars have reached us since our last publication, respecting the murder of the man Austin, in the district of Illawarra.  This man, when assigned to Mr. Spearing, found himself in the midst of prisoners who were all Irishmen; and whether it was from national antipathy or some other cause does not exactly appear, but he had not been long on the farm before he complained of ill-usage, which he received from his fellow servants, stating at the same time, that he was the only one who was not an Irishman.  He begged to be returned to government, but his master thought that an employment might be given to him which would prevent quarrels with the rest of his men.  Austin however could not reconcile himself to the place, and finding that it would be necessary to go to hospital, applied for leave to that effect.  There are circumstances of suspicion leading strongly to an implication  of two men, named Hutton and Stephenson, who were on the farm.  Austin set out early in the morning to repair to Liverpool; instead of being accompanied by the usual guide, a black man who was employed to shew the way over the mountain-track, he was accompanied in the first instance by two black boys---the black man had been employed on some unusual errand by Stephenson, in order as it is supposed to get him out of the way, and when Austin and the boys passed through the garden, they were accosted by Hutton, who though greatly at variance with Austin, offered to shew him the way, and sent the boys back.  This part of the evidence we suspecty depends on the statement of the black man and the black boys, and that may possibly account for there having been no evidence to this effect produced before the Coroner.  But the facts of the threats which were made, that Austin should be deprived of his money before he quitted the farm, added to the fact of Hutton being possessed of money immediately after Austin had gone away, together with some other points in corroboration of suspicion, such as his unusual lateness to breakfast, his refusal to join in the search for the body, we think should have induced the Coroner's Jury to have attended to the suggestion of the Coroner, who recommended that a verdict should be given in unison with those suspicions.  Stephenson's conduct we understand on the morning of the murder, was such, in many particulars, as would have justified the Jury in sending him before the Criminal Court.  But we hear that the Magistrates of Sydney have instituted an investigation which is likely to end in both of the men being compelled to take their trial.


A Coroner's Inquest was holden at a public-house in Kent-street, on Sunday last, upon the body of Henry Commerford, which was picked up in the course of that day, when floating opposite the Market Wharf, in Cockle Bay.  It appeared that the deceased, who usually resided at Newcastle, had lately come to Sydney upon some trial in the Supreme Court, and being in the possession of some money, he pursued a course of excessive drinking.  His reason seems to have been impaired; for on the evening of Saturday, the day previous to that on which his body was found, he called at a house in George-street, and rfequested of the landlord to lend him a pistol, assigning as a rfeason for this singular rfequest, that he was beset by constables, who were determined to take him, but added that he would clear his way from them, with a pistol, if they would only give him one.  His request to have a pistol, was of course not complied with, and the unfortunate man, apparently hurt by being refused, got up from his seat, and in a hurried manner left the house.  No further tidings of him were obtained, until his body, on being discovered next morning in animate, was dragged on shore.  The Jury, having examined the person, found no marks of violence on it, and not being put in possession of any circumstance tending to shew whether the deceased came to his death by accident or design, on his part, returned their verdict---"Found drowned."

   A second inquest was held the same day, at the sign of the Fox and Hounds public-house, in Castlereagh-street, on the body of a prisoner of the drown, who died very suddenly in the Hyde Park Barracks.  Verdict---"Died by the visitation of God."

   Same day a Coroner's Inquest was held on the body of a private soldier belonging to the 39th regiment.  The deceased, it appeared, was doing duty on the King's Wharf, on Sunday last, when he was fatally tempted to spoil one of the casks of wine which lay on the wharf, and was under his charge.  The wine was damaged, and very sour, but the soldier drank of it, and a few minutes after, died.  Verdict---"Died from drinking sour wine."  Another soldier, who took share with his comrade in the spoil, was carried off the wharf in an almost lifeless state.

   A distressing accident occurred one day last week at One-tree-hill.  One of the signal-men attached to the telegraph at that place, whilst sitting near a fire, was suddenly seized with a fit, to which he was subject, and falling into the fire in an insensible and hapless state, was literally burnt to death in that condition, before the fatal occurrence that had happened was discovered.  A Coroner's Inquest which sat on the body, returned a verdict---Accidentally burnt to death.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 20 June 1827

The body of a man which was found floating off Bradley's Head, was picked up by two persons belonging to the North Shore, on Monday night.  The person of the deceased has not been identified.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 22 June 1827

A Coroner's Inquest was holden at the Freemason's Tavern, in George-street, on Wednesday, on the body of a person found drowned, and whose identity could not be made out.  Verdict---"FOUND DROWNED---NAME UNKNOWN."


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 4 July 1827

A coroner's inquest sat yesterday on the body of one Pat. M'Cue, a dealer in Market-street, who died suddenly on Monday night.  He had been in attendance at the police officve in the course of the day, complained of illness and went home and died.---Died by the visitation of God.


The Monitor, Thursday 5 July 1827

   A resident in Sydney, named M'Kue, who was the purchaser of the Tolls of Emu Ford Ferry, had been attending at the Police Office on Monday Morning, and returned from thence apparently in good health; in a few minutes after reaching his own dwelling he was a corpse.  A Coroner's inquest was held on the body, and a verdict of Died by the Visitation of God was returned.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 6 July 1827

A fatal accident befel a woman of the name of Moss, one day last week, whilst returning to Sydney from a farm belonging to her, some miles in the interior.  She was thrown from a cart, and received such internal bruises as to occasion death.  She was but a few days confined to her bed.


The Monitor, Tuesday 10 July 1827

Portland Head, June 30th, 1827.



       I HEREWITH transmit you a true report of an Inquest holden at the School House, Sackville Reach, on Wednesday, the 27th ult. on the body of James Nash, assigned government servant to Mr. Cyrus Matthew Doyle.

   IT appeared by the evidence of Mr. D. that James Nash was reported to him as absent very early on Sunday morning, the 24th ult. and that he had taken his box and clothes with him; the other three government Servants of Mr. Doyle, when asked by him what time Nash went, denied all knowledge of his going, but said they supposed he was gone to Sydney, where he had plenty of money and clothes in the hands of a friend, to get him out of the country in the first ship.  That on receiving this information, Mr. D. reported his absence to the District Constable, and likewise to Chief Constable Jilks.  That on the Tuesday following, it was reported to Mr. D. that his man was found drowned, on which Mr. Doyle and his brother took a man and went in the boat, and found the body of Nash about a mile above Mr. D's wharf, laying with its body on the rocks and its legs in the water.  That it was reported, to the Chief Constable direct, who sent a man to report the same to the Coroner at Windsor.  That it was reported to Mr. Doyle the next morning, that one of his men had offered some fine shirts for sale, and knowing that the man had no shirt but what he had on, and hearing from the other servants that Nash was possessed of three or four fine shirts, as well as as very good suit of clothes, together with 14 or 15 l. in money, it caused Mr. D. to suspect that the man was murdered, and the Coroner and Mr. Jilks coming down, he had the man taken into custody, as were the other two men.  That it appeared to the Jury that the unfortunate Nash had been murdered on the foot-path, and dragged from thence to the distance of six rods, which was evident by his belt being found, and the caused by the weight of his body through the grass, and thrown down the steep bank on to some rocks in the water.  That on the body being examined, the face was found to be much cut, the nose completely cut through, and the jaw bone broken, with other bruises about the neck, &c.

   That after the Inquest was sitting nearly the whole day, they could find no other verdict but Wilful Murder by persons unknown, but committed one of the men by name Joseph Lee, on very strong presumptive proof.

   It is the opinion of every person in the neighbourhood that Lee is the murderer, and that the unfortunate Nash's trunk and money is secreted by Lee in the bush or rocks.

       I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,

                                                             A SUBSCRIBER.

THE procedure of the examination, against the parties charged as accessaries in the murder of Mr. Spearing's servant, has gone to the committal of one of the parties for trial, on a charge of wilful murder.

   THE death of a young man aged 25 years, has been the result of a pugilistic contest in the neighbourhood of Windsor.  The battle was a fair one, the fatal termination of it being a chance blow.  An Inquest was held before Mr. Hobby the Coroner, and a Verdict of Manslaughter returned against Kelly, the adversary of the deceased.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 13 July 1827

Several private examinations have lately taken place before the Magistrates at Sydney, relative to the murder of the man in the service of mr. Spearing, a settler at Illawarra.  The two men formerly spoken of as bring objects of suspicion, are in close confinement.

   A fatal encounter took place at Windsor on Tuesday evening last.  A native lad of the name of Kelly, challenged another man called Parker, to fight.  The combatants set-to, and Parker received several very severe blows; and, when he was down, Kelly either fell or threw himself upon him.  The serious bruises internal, as well as external, terminated the existence of Parker, who died in the course of the night.  An inquest was held before Mr. Howe, the Coroner, at Beasley's, where the affray originated, and a verdict, we understand, of manslaughter, was returned against kelly.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 18 July 1827


A Coroner's Inquest sat in the afternoon of Sun day last, on the body of a man named Joseph Greenaway, who had died on the previous evening, almost immediately after receiving through his body the contents of a pistol, which was accidentally discharged.  The jury, after a strict investigation, returned the following verdict:- "We find that the deceasaed was accidentally shot through the body by a pistol ball, by Wm. Gunn, while in the act of shewing deceased, at his own request, how a spring bayonet, attached to a pistol, could be left off."  The deceased, and the un happy man Gunn, it appears, were in timate friends, though sometimes at variance.  The former on receiving the fatal bullet, which lodged in his body, called feebly to his wife, and e xpired.  Gunn, in an excess of almost frantic grief, rushed out of the house, and, after making the circumstance known at the residence of a medical gentleman, surrendered himself into the hands of justice.  The lock of the pistol being carefully examined, it was found to snap at half-cock; and from every concurrent circumstance the jurors expressed themselves fully satisfied that Gunn was not culpable in the remotest degree, and that the death of the deceased was purely accidental.  The Coroner then discharged the man from custody.  The deceased was one of the Scottish emigrants who came out a few months ago.  He was up to the time of his death employed as a carpenter, by Mr. M'Leay, the Colonial Secretary, who in an equally humane and liberal manner gave directions for a decent interment, at his sole expense.

   A final examination of the men in custody upon suspicion of being implicated in the murder of Mr. Spearing's servant has taken place.  A man named Hudson, against whom there is said to be strong circumstantial evidence, stands committed.  The other persons, who were thought to be in some way cognisant of the murder, have been discharged from custody.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 25 July 1827


On Saturday last the Coroner convened an Inquest, at a public-house in Hunter-street, on the body of a man named Henry Peckup.  The deceased had, it appeared, been tenant to Mrs. Clarkson, for a length of time.  On Friday evening, immediately after his return home from procuring medical assistance, on account of an injury his leg had sustained, the deceased lay down on a bed, and was supposed to be asleep, when a person belonging to the house entered his room, and discovered that he slept the sleep of death.  The Jury returned a verdict of---"Died by the visitation of God."


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 8 August 1827

INQUEST.---A Coroner's Inquest was convened on Saturday morning last, at Parramatta, on the body of a black man, a native, who, it appeared had been drinking, and getting drunk in the town all the previous day.  He was found in George-street, in the evening, stiff and dead.  The Inquest returned a verdict---died by the visitation of God.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 15 August 1827


An inquest was summoned on Friday last, and convened at Botany Bay, on the body of a man named Nixon, who had been accidentally killed on the day previously.  The deceased and another man had, it appeared, left Sydney together, in order to fell some trees, for firing.  At the spot where the fatal accident occurred, they selected two trees which stood tolerably close together, for this purpose; one tree was of a smaller growth than the other, and they appeared to have thought that making a decent incision through the light tree, and cutting the heavier one through, or nearly so, would bring a diminution of labour by causing the heavier one to fall upon the lighter, and by its superior gravity, to hurl it to the ground.  To work the axes went accordingly; the men whacked away at the larger tree until it nearly tottered, and then played away on the smaller one; but a blustering gust of wind suddenly shook the leaves of the forest, blew a deathly blast on the tottering tree, which immediately came rushing to the ground, groaning and cracking, and with the destructive rapidity of a mountain torrent.  The two unfortunate men lay crushed beneath its weight; one of them, Nixon, according to the evidence of a man who described himself as having been near the spot, and having narrowly escaped destruction from the same tree, when extricated, not evincing trhe least symptom of animation; the body exhibited a horrifying spectacle, full of ghastly wounds and bruises.

   The other unfortunate man exhibited some signs of life.  He was conveyed into Sydney for surgical assistance; but breathed his last shortly after.  On him the inquest was convened the following day.  In both cases the Jury recorded a verdict, that the men's deaths had been occasioned by the accidental falling of a tree.

   A respectable young man named Richards, whose friends reside in the neighbourhood of Richmond, was found one day last week, hanging by a cord from a gum-tree.  The reasons for this rfash act remain involved in a mystery.  A Coroner's Jury sat on the remains, and returned a verdict of "temporary insanity."


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 22 August 1827


Early on Monday morning last the rumour of a woman having been murdered in an apartment of a house which she inhabited on the Rocks, spread rapidly through the neighbourhood, and the Coroner being shortly apprised of the circumstance, convened an Inquest at the Punch Bowl Public House.  The name of the deceased proved to be Margaret Duncan or Donegan.  Of the peculiar nature of the circumstances which brought about her death, an opinion may be formed from the evidence adduced before the Inquesty with which we consider it may not be amiss to present our Readers literally.

ELIZABETH COOK-Lives in a house directly opposite that where the deceased and her husband resided.  About twelve o'clock on Sunday night the deceased's husband, John Duncan, came off his duty of patrol, and knocked at the door of his own house for admittance repreatedly, but no answer being rfeturned from within, he got in at the window, and went up stairs.  In a few minutes after, Duncan came to witness, and in a tone of frensied expression said he had found a man in bed with his wife and two children.  Duncan added that he had ill-used her, and begged the witness to go in to her assistance, which she did. On entering the room, deceased was sitting up in bed.  Witness went up and spoke to her.  She appeared to have been severely beaten, and spoke in a very incoherent manner.  She was not sober at the time.

By a JUROR.-Witness saw a man named Abraham run out of the house undressed.  He carried his clothes loosly in his hand.  This was immediately after Duncan entered the house.  Believes this man was a lodger living there.---There are two rooms in the upper part of the house which are opposite; a passage parts them.  There is only one stair-case to the house.  Witness saw Abraham run down this staircase.  Witness never saw the man run out of the house in such a manner before.  It was Duncan who came to witness to ask her assistance.

ELIZABETH DART deposed that she lives in a house opposite Duncan's.  Saw the latter, when he had come off duty at twelve o'clock on Sunday night.  After rfepeatedly knocking at his house door, and obtaining no answer, he got in by the window, and went up stairs.  He returned to the window almost directly after, and called out, in a frantic manner, "Oh, murder, murder, I've often been told this, but never believed it before."  This witness added, that he heard deceased say to Duncan, "You b------ you know I never liked you."  Duncan replied, "So i's a sign."  Witness did not hear the sound of blows being given.

Doctor IVORY stated that he examined the body, and found marks of severe bruises all over, particularly about the upper part.  Was clearly of opinion that death was caused by the extent of injury received.

Abraham Davis was intended to be brought forward as a witness, but the Jury being of opinion that he might be considered in the light of an accessary to the woman's death, suggested to the Coroner the propriety of his being kept in custody.

   The Coroner promised the suggestion should certainly be attended to.

The CHIEF CONSTABLE said he had known Duncan for a number of years.  His character was that of a quiet, humane, inoffensive, and honest man.

    The Coroner would not offer any detailed comments on the evidence, but leave the Jury to be determined by the facts which had been brought to their notice.

   The opinion of the Jury was, that no proof had been adduced as to the identity of the party that had caused the death of the woman, and agreed in finding the following verdict:-- "That the deceased came to her death in consequence of bruises and injuries which she received, and which were inflicted by some person or persons, to us, Jurors, unknown.

   A warrant was then issued by the Coroner for the commitment of Duncan and Davis, as bring the only two grown-up persons in the house at the time of the outrage occurring.


John Hutton, whose trial for the murder of Thomas Austin, an assigned servant to Mr. Spearing, of Illawarra, occupied the Criminal Court on Friday, paid the debt of justice between nine and ten o'clock on Monday morning.  Before conviction and after it, and so long as he inhaled the breath of life, the wretched culprit denied having taken part in the work of death; but that he was not ignorant of the time and doing of the appalling act for which he was brought to the bar of justice, was admitted by him whilst under examination of the Magistrates---being bound by an oath not to reveal the name of the real murderer, with whom he had, however, shared the plunder of the unsuspecting victim.  The evidence against Hutton was as usually happens in the development of crimes of so dire a nature---wholly circumstantial, though in the main strong and convincing.

   Some time in the month of October last the deceased, it appeared in evidence, complained of illness, and left Mr. Spearing's farm, for the hospital, at Liverpool; journey which he was not fated to perform.  Mr. Spearing, being in Liverpool a few days after, inquired at the hospital for the man, and was told that no such person had been there. Fresh inquiries were every day made, but without success.  Several months glided away, but still no tidings of his fate.  The overseer, on going with a party to some distance from the farm one day, for the purpose of cutting cedar, imagined the atmosphere, for some distance, bore an unusually disagreeable smell, like the effluvia arising from some substance in a gross state of putrefaction.  The men, after endeavouring in vain to discover the cause, quitted the place and returned home.  Shortly after, a tribe of native blacks having wandered towards the neighbourhood, Mr. Spearing's men, with the exception of Hutton, accompanied the blacks to that part of the bush whence the noxious effluvia seemed to have proceeded, and the blacks were not long in discovering a human carcase, reduced almost to a skeleton.  The skull was picked up at a short distance from the body, and was fractured in several places.  From several marks of the body, and the tattered remains of clothing which adhered to it, the party were unanimously of opinion it must be the body of Austin, who had been missing so long.  It was recollected that Hutton had often said to one of his fellow-servants that he would have Tom's (meaning the deceased Austin's) money, or else know the reason why.  He was, it was also recollected, heard to remark, "If ever I rob a man, I would kill him at the same time---a dead cock never crows."  Shortly after the deceased becoming missed, the prisoner was found to have money in his possession; and, what was particularly remarked, several sovereigns; a description of coin the ill-fated deceased was known to have possessed.  These, and other strong corroborating circumstances being detailed on the day of the trial, enabled the Jury to throw the weight of guilt on Hutton.  His demeanour after trial was not marked by any evidence of unusual contrition or repentance.  He was assiduously attended by the Rev. Mr. Power, the Roman Catholic Chaplain; and, as the hour of the execution approached, the culprit appeared to become more tranquil.  He expected a respite, it is said, to the latest moment of his existence, and protested his innocence of murder to the last.  The executioner having performed his gloomy functions, and the culprit ceased to struggle with death, the gaol yard and heights in the rear became gradually thinned of the soldiery and mass of people which the sight had drawn together, and the body having swung suspended the usual time, was lowered and placed in a shell, for interment.


The Monitor, Monday 23 August 1827

   A fatal catastrophe, upon which a Coroner's Jury was summoned, occurred on Sunday night.  A Police Conductor, named John Duncan, a man of mild and peaceable demeanour, returning to his home, found his wife under improper circumstances.  His passion getting the better of his reason, he struck and kicked her violently, from the effect of which she shortly died.  The unfortunate man is in custody until the Jury shall have determined his fate.  A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of the deceased, but no actual proof of the committal of the deed by her husband appeared; it was therefore determined by the Jury, that the deed was perpetrated by some person unknown.  Duncan, and Davis the paramour of the deceased, have been committed to gaol on the Coroner's warrant.

   AN inquest was held lately on a poor man who was found on his back in a fire-place in a Dwelling-house at the Hawkesbury.  Verdict---"threw himself into the fire through insanity."

   THE history of the last days of this poor man is interesting.  He came to Sydney to confess to the Roman Catholic Chaplain according to the tenets of his Church---the religion of the Edwards and Henrys of England who conquered France---the religion too of those immortal men, who at Runnymede procured from the Tyrant John Magna Charta; (for never let it be forgotten---or rather be it always remembered by the Calumniations of the Catholics, that it is to Catholic Englishmen we are indebted for the great Charter.)   After confession he requested a pass.  The Reverend Priest told him he could not presume to grant him a pass, but he could give him what he was by no colonial law forbidden to give, namely, a certificate, setting forth that he had been at confession.  The man started home.  At Parramatta he was apprehended as a runaway---produced the said certificate---sentenced nevertheless to 25 lashes---on arrival home at the Hawkesbury, his ignominious punishment preyed on his mind, and being disposed to religious melancholy, he threw himself into the fire, by which he was consumed.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 24 August 1827

It is reported that some man has been murdered while on his way from Bathurst to Sydney, to give evidence in charges of cattle-stealing.

   A report was pretty current in town during the early part of the week, of one Sergeant Macdonaldson being found drowned in the Nepean River.  We forbore to give publicity to this report, as the channel through which the information reached us was one on which we could place no implicit reliance.  For the sake of the friends of that individual  we are happy to hear, that the report is without foundation.  We are, however, pained in having to record that the body of some person, whom, from its appearance, is of respectable rank, has been picked up in the Nepean River.  A Coroner's Inquest was to sit on the body yesterday.  We have not been able to learn further particulars.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 31 August 1827

                SUSPECTED MURDER.

Two men on Monday week last discovered the dead body of an elderly man laying in about four feet of water, close to the shore and the ferry over the Nepean, called Emu Ford.  The Coroner, Mr. Hobby, who resides at a distance of about six miles from this place attended promptly, and the following morning assembled a Jury---the body in the mean time being drawn out on the bank, and a messenger despatched to Parramatta, requesting the attendance of Dr. Allan, who sent an excuse, being himself under the doctor's hands.---Another surgeon attached to the Government medical department being sent to, refused, alleging it was out of his district; and through these delays the body continued exhumated on the river's bank from Monday till the following Friday.  The Jury exmained it scupulously---a deep wound, as if inflicted by some blunt instrument, appeared on the back of the head, wide enough to admit three fingers of a man's hand; the face was somewhat bruised; and from the appearance of the body, the Jury was clearly of opinion that the deceased had not been accidentally drowned, but murdered and thrown into the water. This opinion the Jury have recorded.  The name of the deceased is Charles Foster, a wheelwright in the service of Mr. Brown of Willmondill Creek.  He was a free man, and lived for some time in this country.  He left Delaney's, a public-house, on Sunday night, greatly inebriated.  Evidence, the tenor of which we are acquainted with, but which it might be imprudent just at present to disclose, was given at the Inquest.  Little doubt appears to exist of the man's death having been accelerated by violence.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 14 September 1827


An inquest was held at Newcastle on Saturday last, on the body of a prisoner of the crown, of the name of Michael Reilly, who, it appears, had ab sconded about a week before from the service of Mr. John Blaxland, at the Wollombi Creek, and had made his way, accompanied by another runaway, to the neighbourhood of the farms on the banks of the first branch of Hunter's River.  Two of the settlers there (Messrs. Binder and Whitmore) having information from a black native, named King Jonathan, of their haunts, and having learnt that they were endeavouring, through the medium of a stock keeper, to procure ammunition, determined on losing no time in attempting to take them.  They accordingly set out on Thursday evening, accompanied by two of Mr. Binder's government servants, and two black natives, and on the following morning found the runaways at a hut which had been erecdted in former times for the accommodation of government sawyers.  The men surrendered without resistance; but on Binder intimating his intention to put handcuffs on them, Reilly swore he would not be handcuffed by all the men or muskets that could be brought against him; Binder, on this "gave in," as one of the witnesses said, "to reilly's humour," and they were taken towards Binder's house; but on coming to Whitmore's farm, which lay in their way, reilly stopt, and with horrid imprecations swore he would not go any farther, and seeing two axes on the ground, near the house, he seized upon them, and throwing one to his companion, exclaimed, "the first man that attempts to lay hands on me, I will have his life, or he shall have mine"---he then flourished the axe over his head, and advanced upon Whitmore, who was glad to make a precipitate retreat, upon which Reilly turned upon Marmaduke Burrows (one of Binder's men), who was armed with a musket; - Burrows, having brought his musket to the charge, retired before Reilly, at the same time advising him to lay down the axe, and be quiet, to which Reilly replied, "No, I will have your life, or you shall have mine."  On saying which, he put himself in a menacing attitude, lifted the axe above his head, and rushed on Burrows, who immediately fired---Reilly received the contents of the musket in his breast, and, putting his hand to his side, he groaned and died.  His death was almost instanraneous.  The inquest have brought in a verdict in favour of Burrows---"Justifiable homicide."


The Monitor, Thursday 20 September 1827

NEWCASTLE, Sept. 11th.---On the 8th instant, a bushranger (an absentee from the service of Mr. John Blaxland) was captured by a Mr. Binder, a settler, and his men, somewhere on the banks of the Hunter: In their progress, however, in conveying their prisoner to a place of security, he found means to possess himself of an axe which lay at the door of some house in their route, when turning upon his captors, he threatened instant death to the first who should offer to intercept his escape; and suiting the action to the word, he immediately attacked one of Mr. Binder's men, who had a loaded piece in his hand; upon which Mr. Binder, seeing the Bushranger evidently determined to effect his purpose, and his Servant in the most imminent peril of his life, ordered the servant to fire; which he did, and the whole contents entering the ill-fated man's body, at and about the heart, he fell, and instantly expired: an inquest was held on the body, and a verdict of justifiable homicide returned.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 12 October 1827

As three persons, On Tuesday evening last, were proceeding in a boat towards the Market Wharf, having previously left the Hawkesbury River, a sudden and violent squall came on, which upset the boat.  The three unfortunate passengers sunk beneath the billow and never rose more.  The man who steered the bhoat on her leaving the Hawkesbury, was named Fountain.  The boat belonged to an industrious man of the name of Hounslow.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 17 October 1827

A Coroner's Inquest was convened on Monday last, at the sign of the Cottage public-house, in Market street, on the body of an elderly man, who had been in the service of a baker living in Clarence-street.  His death it was proved had been occasioned by accidentally falling under the shafts of a heavily laden cart, the wheel of which passing over the unfortunate man, bruised him to sev erely, as shortly after to terminate his existence.  The Jury returned a verdict of "accidental death."


The Monitor, Thursday 18 October 1827

THE servant of a Mr. Wheeler, baker, in Castlereagh Street, while driving a young horse in a cart of Friday evening, was thrown out, and the wheel passed over the region of his stomach.  He survived the accident only 12 hours.  An inquest sat upon the body; verdict "Accidental Death."


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 19 October 1827

A man, named Dennis Daley, whom we described last week as having been dreadfully injured from the accidentally blowing up of a well which was being sunk, after being conveyed to the hospital, and every care bestowed him by the surgeons of that establishment, died on Tuesday.

   During the afternoon of Monday, three men, in the employ of Mr. Jones, butcher, of Parramatta, whilst engaged in slaughtering some bullocks on Mr. Jones's premises, in the town, disagreed, and commenced having a set to.  One of the men received a stab in the abdomen, which caused the entrails to protrude from the wound.  After being stabbed, the man ran into the street about two hundred yards, when he fell.  Surgeon Martin attended promptly on the spot, applied bandages and other assistance to the wound, and caused the sufferer to be carefully conveyed away to hospital, where he now lies in a most dangerous and hopeless state. [see Australian, 26th October, below]


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 24 October 1827


A Coroner's Inquest was convened in the long room of the Wellington Inn, opposite the King's wharf, in George-street, at five o'clock yesterday evening, on the body of John Madden, when the following evidence was adduced:-

   Mr. GEORGE PASHLEY deposed, that he is the landlord of the Wellington Inn.  Deceased had been a short time a lodger in his house; he was a sawyer by trade, and had lately come up from the Five islands.  Yesterday morning deceased an d a man named William Thompson breakfasted together; they were very free in their conversation during breakfast, and seemed to be on exceedingly good terms.  After breakfast they went up stairs to their bed-room, where they were joined by four other men, who are also lodgers in the house.  A man named Birch was one of the party, and he had a gun belon ging to hikm which lay in the room they were sitting.  The people had not long gone up stairs, when witness heard the report of a un fired from an upper apartment in the house; hastening thither to check the conduct of his guests, he was met at the door of the apartment where the people had been sitting by the man before alluded to, named Thompson, who in a state of extreme agitation, cried out, "Oh, I have shot Madden, see his brains are out;" he further added, "I know I shall be hanged, though innocent."

   By the CORONER - Witness knows that no quarrel took place with deceased ot Thompson; while at breakfast they were very good friends, and during their stay in his house had invariably slept together.  The gun in question had been in witness's house upwards of a fortnight, during that time it had been kept unloaded; knows that the gun had not been loaded many  minutes before the fatal occurrence happened.

   By a JUROR - Did not consider the words I know I shall be hanged, to imply that Thompson meant he would be hanged deservedly.  He said, when speaking of himself, "I am an unfortunate man and born to gtrouble."  He did not attempt to abscond after the occurrence happened; he had drank no spirits to witness's knowledge that day.  Reported what had happenedf to the Police.

   THOMAS BIRCH deposed, that he is in the employ of Mr. Gordon D. Browne, of Sydney; that he has lately come up from New Zealand; he now belongs to the colonial vessel, called the Enterprize.  Yesterday morning, having received orders to put to sea, he loaded his musket, with ball, and placed the same at the door of his bed-room.  Deceased and four other men were in the room at the time.  Thompson was not there.  Two minutes after the piece had been loaded, it was discharged into the room; deceased instantly fell to the ground; witness then turned round, and beheld Thompson at the door.  For the space of a few seconds, he seemed unable to speak, from horror; but at length threw himself on his face, and in the wildest accents of despair, declared he had murdered his "best friend;" witness next turned his attention to the deceased, who lay extended on the floor, which was already stained with blood. The ball had penetrated through one side of the neck, and passed in a rising direction thro' the head.  The unfortunate man's brains were scattered about the room; and of his head nothing remained but an empty skull.  Witness's object in loading the musket was to take it on board ship, whither he intended to have proceeded immediately. When it was fired off, witness and the four other persons in the room were either sitting or standing quite close together; they had their backs to the chamber door.  The ball slightly grazed the ear of another man in the room.  It would not have had a clear discharge of more than  two feet from wherever the piece was fired off, and where deceased was sitting.  Witness swears that Thompson could have had no knowledge that the piece was loaded.  Is of opinion that Thompson knowing the piece had been kept unloaded for a fortnight before, took ikt up to surprise the party of persons in the room.  Deceased never spoke, nor made any sign whatever after he was shot.

   Other evidence to the same effect was adduced; and the Coroner, after charging the Jury, a verdict was returned---Accidentally shot.  Ordered, a deodand of one shilling on the ground.


The Monitor, Thursday 25 October 1827

   A fatal accident occurred on Tuesday morning at the Wellington Public house on the Rocks.  A loaded gun was indiscreetly laid down by some persons just about embarking for New Zealand, when a person named Tompson came up, and in handling, discharged it intro a small room wherein were five men.  One of them (John Madden) had his brains scattered about the room in a most shocking manner; and another, whose ear the ball grazed, was knocked down.  An inquest sat upon the body, and returned a verdict---Accidentally shot, with a deodand of one shilling upon the gun.

   An engraver of the name of Bell, in a quarrel with one Stuart, another engraver, who holds a situation in the Office of the Surveyor-General, was on Monday week, struck in the head with a spade by the latter, of which wound he languished till yesterday afternoon, and then died.  An Inquest was held this morning.  Verdict---That the deceased died in consequence of a lock-jaw occasioned by a wound supposed to be inflicted by a person named George Charles Stuart.  The prisoner was accordingly committed to take his trial upon the Coroner's warrant.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 26 October 1827

The man whom we described last week as having received a dangerous stab in the abdomen, during a quarrel with other men, who, like himself, were in the employment of Mr. Jones, a butcher, of Parramatta, died on Wednesday.  An inquest was, after a lapse of some hours, called the same day; when evidence was heard, respecting two of the men with whom the deceased had been engaged, named Henry Chivens and W. Bacon; the former was discharged from custody, and the latter, on the coroner's warrant, committed for manslaughter.  The deceased bore the name of Rd Airs. [Editorial comment on need for Coroner to be called immediately.]


At eleven o'clock in the forenoon of yesterday, Mr. Slade, the Coroner for Sydney, assembled a jury at the Plume of Feathers, a public-house in Philip-street, where they proceeded to enter upon an in vestigation of the circumstances which appeared to have brought about the decease of John Bell, who had that morning died in the General Hospital.  The first evidence called was

RICHARD OAKES, who deposed that he had been employed as servant in the house where deceased, and a man named Stuart, lived, for the last two months; recollects about ten days ago Stuart leaving home, and requesting witness to get tea ready by seven the same evening; deceased, who had been out, came home shortly after, and enquired for Stuart; he seemed to be greatly impatient for Stuart's return; and at length said he would go in quest of him; Stuart came home about ten o'clock at night; he forced open the door, and without saying any thing to witness, whom he saw sitting before the fire in the room, laid hold of a broom handle, and ran out with it into the street, a few moments after Stuart returned in-doors, and without paying any attention  to witness's entreaties not to go out, he took up a spade, which lay near the fire-place, and ran out with it into the street; not many minutes had elapsed when Stuart came back, bringing the spade with him, and enquiring if any constables were there, desired witness, upon any person enquiring for him, to say he was not at home; Stuart then went to bed.  Deceased in a few minutes after came in, holding a handkerchief to his forehead; witness enquired of him the matter, when he said, "Oh, I am very bad, Stuart has cut me;" witness examined the wound, it was very wide, and appeared to be very deep; a good deal of matter extruded from it; upon a supposition that the wound was a dangerous one, he endeavoured to persuade deceased to report what had happened to the Police; to this deceased would not agree, observing, "it is quite time enough to do that, though I am afraid I shall be a sufferer by it;" next morning deceased got up, and went out of the house; he then brought in with him the spade which witness saw Stuart take into his hands the evening before; he seemed a good deal pleased at finding it; after this he again went to bed; he complained of being exceedingly ill; he was confined to his bed, and gradually grew worse, until Tuesday last, when, becoming speechless, he was conveyed to the hospital; witness recollects deceased shewing his hat, the rim of which had been cut in length about  two inches, and said if it had not been for the hat which saved him, he must have been killed on the spot.

By a JUROR---Stuart had been drinking the same evening, but was not intoxicated; deceased was also sober.  Next morning, after this occurrence had happened, deceased told witness that Stuart took him by surprise in the street, and, without exchanging words with each other, made a blow at him with the spade.  Stuarty's conduct towards deceased, from that time, became very distant; knows they were in the frequent habit of quarrelling together.  Five or six evenings before, Stuart laid hold of a fire-shovel, and struck deceased with it, over the back, several times; after which, he turned him out of doors.  [The deceased's hat was here produced, and sworn to as having been worn by him on the night in question.  The hat exhibited the cut described by the witness in his evidence.]

JOHN HUGHES---Is overseer to the general hospital at Sydney; on Tuesday afternoon last, the man c alled Stuart came to him, and said there was a man lying in his house in a very bad state, and wished him to be received into the hospital; witness went to the man, and found him laying on a sofa, in a much worse state than had been described; he was jaw-locked; this, witness knew, was reckoned by the faculty to be often a forerunner of death; he therefore had him conveyed to the hospital for relief. Next day Stuart called on him, requesting he would become the bearer of a message from him to the sick man; witness having thus enquired the nature of the communication, and was told by Stuart that he was anxious to get a certificate from Bell (the deceased), that he, Stuart, had not been the cause of deceased's illness;  witness conveyed this request to deceased, whom he found still unable to speak.  On acquainting him with the purpose of his visit, deceased shook his head; he afterwards made a sign to be supplied with pen, ink, and paper; which being furnished him, he wrote as follows:---"Tell the Doctor, the greatest pain I feel, is at the back of my neck."  From the best of witness's opinion he thinks deceased, by shaking his head, meant to imply, that he attributed no blame to Stuart.

Dr. MITCHELL certified, that the deceased died in consequence of a locked jaw; a disease which was considered generally fatal; there was no appearance on the body, saving the forehead, of an irritable nature, so as to have brought on that disease; the man died within twenty-four hours after he had been brought into the hospital; there was an excessive irritation of the muscles; and this might very probably have occasioned blackness all over the body; is decidedly of opinion that death was occasioned by this disease.

JOHN JOHNSON deposed, that he had been for some years ac quainted with deceased; that on Monday morning Stuart met him, in the street, and after expressing satisfaction  at the meeting, said, Bell (the deceased) wanted to see him, for he was very bad; Stuart said he did not think Bell had been so much hurt, as he then appeared to be; he confessed to witness, having thrown a spade at him; witness then went to Bell, whom he pressed to disclose how the affair originated, but this he felt reluctant to do; but subsequently said, that Stuart had done it by a blow from a spade; Bell was of a very forgiving temper; witness never saw Stuart and deceased together afterwards.

THORNTON, a wardsman in the Sydney police, deposed, that, being deputed by the chief constable to investigate the affair in question, he went to deceased, and found him in the situation described by first witness, the day before he was conveyed to the hospital; witness asked him who had ill-used him' he wrote on a piece of paper "Stuart;" being interrogated what was the weapon  used to inflict the injury, he wrote, "spade;" and on  a spade being brought to him, he immediately signified, by a nod of his head, that that was the spade which Stuart had struck him with; witness, in consequence, went in search of Stuart, to apprehend him; happening in the course of the day to get a sight of him, in the street, he made a run, which,Stuart perceiving, turned quick round a corner, and in an instant disappeared; he was apprehended by witness shortly after.

The entire of the evidence having been gone through, the Coroner shortly commented upon its bearings, and the Jury, after deliberating for about half an hour, brought in the following verdict:- "We find, that the deceased died of a locked jaw, occasioned by a wound supposed to be inflicted by a person named George Charles Stuart." The latter was accordingly committed upon the Coroner's warrant, to gaol,charging him with the murder of John Bell.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 31 October 1827

On Thursday last an occurrence took place on the farm of Mr. Hovell, at no great distance from Liverpool, which has plunged the family into considerable grief.  A fine boy, the only son of Mr. Hovell, was in pursuit of flying squirrels, and having, with the assistance of a servant, cut through the butt of a decayed tree, which they intended to fell in order to get at one of the foregoing animals, the top of the decayed tree fell into the forks of another, which caused both trees to snap off near the ground, and the young gentleman being immediately under, ---the falling tree struck him forcibly on the head, and he was instantaneously killed.  The unhappy mother, on learning the disaster, became insen sible, and did not recover for many hours after.  The body was conveyed to Liverpool, and an inquest held upon it, after which it was committed to the grave.


The Monitor, Monday 5 November 1827

To --- Baxter, Esq. H. M. Attorney-General, &c. &c. &c.

Parramatta, October 30th, 1827.


   THE verdict of a Coroner's Inquest in this Town having given some dissatisfaction, I respectfully beg that you will, for the ends of justice, see the depositions that have been taken.  A verdict of Manslaughter was brought in, as regards a person of the name of Bateman.  But it is the opinion of many here, that the circumstances under which he stabbed the deceased, were of a malignant nature.  I shall be happy to reveal my name if necessary, but in our close society I do not feel justified in publicly appearing as a Dissentient from the late Inquest, unless necessary to the ends of justice; but murder is a crime, that, where I think it has been committed, I feel it my duty to speak.  The Inquests and Coroners of this country are not very well informed (as may be expected) on law points, and I think, Sir, when you come to examine this case, you will be of this opinion.

                                                          I am, Sir, with the utmost respect,

                                                              Your humble servant.

  1. B.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 7 November 1827

A Coroner's Inquest was held in Sydney, at seven o'clock in the forenoon of yesterday, at the Settlers Arms public-house, Market-street, on the body of an aged woman, named Dogherty, who resided in Kent-street.  On Monday the deceased suddenly fell down and expired.  Verdict---"Died by the visitation of God."


AUSTRALIAN, Friday, 9 November 1827

An inquest was assembled in the course of Wednesday on the body of an aged man named Puckey, whose death had happened in a very sudden way.  From the evidence adduced before the inquest, it appeared the deceased had of late become so much addicted to drinking, that he was scarcely known to be a day sober for six months past.  Early on Wednesday morning he was found laying on his face in bed, stiff and dead.  The jury found a verdict, "Died in suffocation  from excess of liquor."

   Another individual, named Blackburn, who for some time past lived in Pitt-street, and was thought to be in tolerably easy circumstances, fell a victim to the same unhappy propensity, on Monday last.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 14 November 1827

A Coroner's Inquest was convened in the forenoon of Sunday last, at the Court-house in Parramatta.  The circumstance which caused the inquest to assemble was the sudden death of a crown prisoner belonging to one of the government gangs on the Western road.  The deceased had, it appeared, in the course of the preceding Friday, complained to his overseer of being extremely ill, and he asked for a pass from thence to the Parramatta hospital.  The overseer refused granting the pass just then, but next day finding the man in an evident state of danger, directed to have him removed in a cart to the hospital for medical assistance.  On his way to the hospital, however, the unfortunate man expired.  The Jury after a patient investigation into the whole particulars of the case, found a verdict, that the deceased died in a fit, and recommended to the Coroner that the overseer should be made to answer for his conduct before a Bench of Magistrates.  The desire of the inquest the Coroner promised should be attended to.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 16 November 1827


One day this week a prisoner of the crown was brought up before the Parramatta Police Bench for some offenc, and sen tenced to confinement in a cell on bread and water.  The first day's  allowance was brought him, he received it---the cell door closed upon him, and when next it was opened his lifeless body was found suspended by a handkerchief - one end of which the unhappy being had fastened to a bar which crossed an aperture made in the ceiling for the purpose of admitting ait, and passed the other round his neck.  A Coroner's Inquest has been assembled on the remains.  The rash act is thought not to have been induced by any harsh treatment of the gaoler, who is esteemed a humane man.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 21 November 1827

Last week the hoe, with which the murder of the unfortunate Mr. and Mrs. Bradley was effected about four years ago, was accidentally discovered at Birch grove.  The hoe was found under a tuft of bushes in the same spot where it is generally supposed the murderer had endeavoured to con ceal it from appearing in evidence against him, and though a strict search was made at the time of the murder being committed and tried, which ended in the public execution of the guilty perpetrator of it, was made for the implement of death, it continued till last week to be impentratably concealed.  The marks of blood, when the hoe was found, appeared still vivid on the handle, but faded from a short exposure to the sun---the iron part was considerably eaten with rust.  It is one of those denominated grubbing hoes.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 23 November 1827

A distressing accident happened in the forenoon of yesterday, in the Dock-yard, in Sydney, to one of the government labourers employed there; whilst giving his assistance to the work which was going forward, something of considerable weight fell upon and precipitated him to the ground.  The unfortunate fellow was picked up in a terribly bruised condition, and carried away to the General Hospital.  The report of the Surgeon, on examining him, was extremely unfavourable.  The Surgeon did not expect him to survive.

   During a hard squall in the afternoon of Wednesday, two boats were upset in Cockle Bay, and two men, who were in them, unhappily perished.  The names of those unfortunate persons, we have not heard.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 30 November 1827

A boat, belonging to a person named Charlton, of Sydney, upset on Saturday last, whilst making out of North Harbour.  She was at the time deeply laden, and carried two men, who sunk beneath the yawning billow, and unhappily perished.  Similar accidents seem to have of late become of unusually frequent recurrence.

   A distressing accident befel a female, who lived as servant with a respectable family, resident in Castlereagh-street, during the afternoon of yesterday.  The sufferer is quite a girl.  She was about crossing the street, when a bullock drove against her, tossed her furiously on its horns, and godaded her so severely as to cause a protrusion of the viscera.  In this melancholy condition, the unlucky girl was conveyed away, bleeding and exhausted, to the General Hospital.  The Surgeon reports her recovery to be extremely doubtful.


AUSTRALIAN, Wedenesday 5 December 1827

An elderly man, who has been known for some time past in Sydney by the name of William Major, took his leave of life on Friday last, so suddenly, as to give reason for convening an inquest, which, after due consultation with, and examination of the friends and neighbours, came to a conclusion that the elderly man had died by the visitation of God.

   The deceased had of late taken to drinking "ower much," the neighbours reported, and being considered as a man not unacquainted with grief, did too frequently make many a lusty effort to drown it by copious potations, which fuddled the grief for a little, but sadly disagreed with the stomach, and attacked and puffed up, and diseased the liver, and was indeed, the neighbours thought, and not too without reason, the very means of bringing the unhappy patient to death's door.  On Friday he complained of feeling very unwell.  A charitable "auld wife" made him a cup of tea---he retired to bed, and was shortly after found by the neighbours a stiff and lifeless corpse.

CRIMINAL COURT---(Saturday.)

The Criminal Sittings having closed oin Friday, those prisoners upon whom sentence had not been passed, upon conviction, were this day brought up and disposed of in the following order.

...Wm. Bacon, for manslaughter, to be worked in an iron-gang for two years; James Francis, also for manslaughter, six months in irons; ... George Charles Stewart, for manslaughter, to be transported for 7 years; ...


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 7 December 1827

On Friday last an accident happened to a labouring man, known pretty generally by the appellation of Doctor Farrell, which has ended fatally.  The Doctor was engaged in excavating a rock on the new Bathurst line of road, when a large fragment over-head gave way, and tumbled upon the unfortunate man, bruising him so severely, as to cause almost instantaneous death.  He expired upon rfeaching the hospital, to which some of his fellow labourers had conveyed him.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 12 December 1827

A Coroner's Inquest was convened in the forenoon of yesterday, on the body of a man named William Robinson, the boatswain of the ship Medway, at present laying in the port.  The deceased, with some of his shipmates, had put off in a boat from the sgtairs at the King's Wharf on Friday evening last, and was pulling for his ship, when owing to the unsteadiness principally of the people in her, the better part being greatly intoxicated, the boat upset, and the deceased immediately sunk to the bottom.  When drawn up he was found en tirely destitute of anumation.  The others fortunately reached the shore.  Verdict, accidentally drowned.


The Monitor, Thursday 13 December 1827



           On Wednesday last, one of the Prisoners of No. 2, Iron gang, named John Farral, but more commonly known by the cognomen of "Doctor Farral," met a sudden death by a rock falling on his body while at work on the Western Mountain Road.  A messenger was immediately despatched to the \Coroner of the District, but to no effect, as he was found to be indisposed; a circumstance which, it is to be lamented, too frequently occurs in this neighbourhood.  The messenger then proceeded to Windsor, to acquaint Mr. Coroner Howe, who was found already engaged in taking an Inquest, and he could not attend; the dead body was in  consequence, suffered to be exposed on a sheet of bark, from Wednesday until the Saturday following, the most appalling spectacle.  The man who was at length intrusted to bring the remains of the deceased to the grave, and to perform the duty of parson, clerk, and grave-digger, allowed the body to remain between two pierces of bark on the way, while the coffin lay alongside in the cart; and while at the grave, on putting the body in the coffin, the fellow stripped the body, throwing over it some loose straw or grass.  He then nailed up the box, and after interment, made off with the clothes as his booty.  It is not, Sir, that the body of Farral will not rest as peaceably in the grave without covering, as it would, if decently shrowded; but such scenes as these, brutalize the heart, and make ruffians of the numerous eye-witnesses.  And I imagine, that though with regard to the Convicts, punishment has been the order of the day since Mr. Bigge came to the Colony, to deter others from vice by example, and not reformation; still I conceive the evils which will arise by barbarising the Convicts will, when they come to be free and mingle with society, be severely felt; and will render Mr. Bigge's policy more than doubtful.

                                                                           I am, &c &c.

                                                                                   A LOOKER-ON.

Emu Ford, Dec. 5, 1827.


AUSTRALIAN, Wednesday 19 December 1827

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Monday, by summons of the Coroner, a Jury assembled at the Red Cow, a public house in Castlereagh-street.  The subject of their deliberations was as appeared subsequently in evidence, one Jeremiah Sullivan, whose body had been found dead on a part of the road leading from Sydney towards South Head.

   James Cogan, a private in the 39th regt. deposed, that he had been intimately acquainted with deceased for some time past.  He was in the employ of Mr. James Underwood, and lived on his farm on the South Head Road.  In the afternoon of Sunday last witness went to deceased's employer and obtained permission for him to be present at the christening of one of witness's childrfen.  Deceased stayed with him till about half-past eight o'clock the same evening, when he left, taking a direction towards home.  He was then sober, but had been drinking.

   A surgeon, who had examined the body, was of opinion, from its appearance, that deceased had died from suffocation, whilst lying in a state of intoxication.

   William Beggs deposed, that as he was proceeding past the toll-gate on the South Head Road with his cart and horse, between the hours of four and five on Monday morning he saw the deceased laying in the drain on the aforesaid road, which has been recently cut out for conducting water into Sydney, directly opposite the toll-house.  He was then quite stiff.  Witness, on making this discovery, immediately called out to the toll-keeper, who, on seeing deceased, exclaimed, "Oh my God, I think it is poor old Doran, the brickmaker."  Witness did not know who deceased was.

   The toll-keeper corroborated this evidence.

   The Jury were unanimously of opinion that the deceased came to his death from accidentally falling into the drain, but suggested the propriety of there being a fence, or lanthorns put ujp by way of guard to passengers on the road, during the carrying on of Mr. Busby's works.

   The Coroner promised to attend to the recommendation of the Jury, and immediately prepared a notice to that effect to Mr. Busby, who promptly gave directions for a temporary fence to be erected for the purposers stated.


The Monitor, Monday 24 December 1827

A Coroner's inquest was held on Thursday, on the body of an infant, which was killed by the wheel of a Curricle passing over its head.  By the evidence it appeared, Mr. Justice Bell's Curricle was being driven by the Groom of the Rose and Crown Tavern; when not noticing the child in the street, he drove the horse forward, knocked it down, and the carriage passed over it.  A verdict of Culpable Homicide was pronounced on the groom, and a deodand of $(Pounds) 20 was ordered to be levied on the Curricle and horses.


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 28 December 1827

The two persons who were in a chaise when it ran over and killed a child in Phillip-street one evening last week, have been committed to gaol on the warrant of the Coroner, upon a charge of culpable homicide, besides being mulcted in a deodand of 20l. to the King.

   As Mr. James Thompson, an elderly person, who has been for some time employed in the capacity of clerk by Mr. Thomas Raine, was coming down a flight of steps on Monday evening, he unfortunately fell to the bottom and was picked up insensible.  Medical assistance was promptly called, but in vain.  The spark of life was found to be totally extinct.  The deceased once held a respectable situation in the excise in Scotland.

   One day last week, whilst a poor labouring man was employed in a part of the bush, not far off the Liverpool-road, in endeavouring to fell a tree, when nearly cut through at the butt, the head of the trunk, in descending, tumbled upon a large an d weighty branch of another, which fell with a crash directly upon the head of the unfortunate man beneath, and crushed him to a mummy.  Two men, who happened to be passing within view, came up promptly, and drew from under the destructive branch the m angled remains of the unfortunate wood-cutter.  Life was soon completely extinct.  The poor man, we believe, expired before he could be moved on the way to the hospital.

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