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Colonial Cases


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 6 January 1832

On Sunday, 1st inst., an Inquest was held at the Windsor Hospital, on the body of James Cahill, a government servant of the Reverend H. Fulton, of Castlereagh, who was dangerously wounded in the leg, on the 3rd ult., by a fowling piece loaded with duck shot.---Verdict, "accidental death."


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 11 January 1832

Parramatta Coroner and late Inquest, which was attended by the resignation of the former.---It was not one of the Jury men who complained to the Magistrates of the illegal proceedings at this inquest, but Mr. Hugh Taylor, for which he deserves the thanks of the community.

On Saturday night, between the hours of ten and eleven, a fire broke out in one of Mr. Blaxland's stables, at Newington, in which two men and two boys perished.  It was occasioned by one of the boys carelessly leaving a lighted candle in the hay-loft, where there was a considerable quantity of straw.  But for the stillness of the night, and the prompt and praise-worthy efforts of all the servants, the whole premises must have been destroyed; too much cannot be said in praise of their exertions. [See also AUSTRALIAN, Friday 13 January.]


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 13 January 1832

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Thursday the 5th inst. an Inquest was held at the sign of the New Zealander, Kent-street, on the body of John Palmer, a disbanded sergeant and pensioner of the 102d regiment, who had lodged in a house there upwards of two years, and on the night preceding was brought home in a state of intoxication, went to his bed, and in about an hour after was discovered to be dead.  verdict, died by the visitation of God.

Another Inquest was convened on Sunday morning (7th inst.) at the Blue Posts, Cambridge-street, on the body of Charles Jackson, seaman belonging to the Lady Blackwood, who was taken suddenly ill on the Church-hill the previous day, and having been carried home, medical attendance was called in, but without effect.  Verdict, died by the visitation of God.

The Governor has settled a pension on the widow of the late constable Waterworth, who was some time ago murdered, near Parramatta, while in the execution of his duty.


The only fatal occurrence among us for the last four days---what we, in this quarter of the world, may call a jubilee, is, that an unfortunate mother, by neglect of parental solicitude or attention, through inebriety, smothered her infant chuild on a Sunday night, and she has been committed to take her trial for the said offence. ... Windsor, 28 Dec., 1831.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 18 January 1832


On Saturday last, an inquest was held on the body of a man named James Mooney, which was found on the day previously, floating in Cockle Bay.  When the body was found, a bandage was drawn tightly round the neck, which forced the eyes from their sockets.  It appeared in evidence that the deceased had frequently threatened to put an end to his existence; but the appearance of the body seemed to negative the evidence on this point, it not being common for men to hang and drown themselves at the same time.  Under these circumstances, the Jury returned a verdict "That the deceased met his death by strangulation by some person or persons unknown, previously to being found in the water."

On Saturday week an inquest was held at the sign of the Blue Posts, Cambridge-street, on the body of Charles Jackson, a seaman belonging to the ship Lady Blackwood lying in the harbour. The deceased was in excellent health the day previous to his death, and died suddenly without apparent cause.  Verdict: died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 20 January 1832

A man named Michael Kennedy, while in charge of a dray on the Parramatta-road on Thursday afternoon, on his way to Concord, was found a corpse, by the side of a bridge, a little on this side the Cherry Gardens, having fallen drunk off his shaft.


Soon after dusk on Friuday evening, the dead body of a man was fished up from out of the water in Cockle Bay, not far from the Market Wharf, where it was discovered floating, as is usually the case with dead bodies, which the gas generated by the process of decomposition  going forward within, causes to be spcifically lighter than the quantity of water the body displaces, and so renders them buoyant.  The body was conveyed on men's shoulders into the nearest public house, being the Settlers' Arms; where the Coroner, next morning, assembled an Inquest of twelve men, who, on examining it, discovered marks of injury about the neck, as if perforated with a sharp instrument, after half strangulation with the cravat, which was strained tight round the neck of the unfortunate deceased, who was identified as a woodman living in that quarter, passing under the name of James Mooney.  It is said, that when first told of the fatal occurrence, his wife betrayed a singular indifference, and even satisfaction at it.  The Inquest recorded a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.  Perhaps the offer of a reward by Government may have some tendency to elicit the gtruth.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 28 January 1832

An Inquest was held at the Nelson's Head, Phillip-street, on the body of a woman named Jane Henshaw, who was found suspended by a cord, at her house, on Wednesday last.  No reason for her committing the rash act could be discovered, and the Jury returned a verdict "hung herself in a temporary fit of derangement."

A Coroner's inquest was holden at the Windsor Hotel, Windsor, on the body of Richard Hyndes, a corporal of his Majesty's 39th regiment, who dropped down dead on his march from Parramatta to Windsor on Friday last.  Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 3 February 1832

Sixty-eight Inquests were holden by the Sydney Coroner last year, thus adding (we think,) 174 guineas to the Coroner's income, and about as many to the Surgeon's. [But see letter from 'Veritas' 10 February, correcting the amounts.]

An old woman named Hannah Henshall, in a drunken fit, on Wednesday evening last, in her skilling in Phillip-street, hanged herself by means of a shawl suspended from a beam.


R v McDonnel and Miller [1832] NSWSupC 2


R v Blake [1832] NSWSupC 3


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 10 February 1832

Nathaniel Whaley, a poor man who lived by his labor, fell down suddenly on Friday last, alongside his barrow, and expired.

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Tuesday (31st ult.) at Windsor, an Inquest was held on the body of a man named James Miles, a prisoner of the crown, holding a ticket of leave, who was found suspended by the neck from a tree, on the farm of Mr. Fitzgerald, near Windsor.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 11 February 1832


An Inquest was held at the Waggon and Horses Windsor, on the 31st ult., on the body of Samuel Myles, a sexton in the parish of Richmond, who had suspended himself by a small rope to a tree on the South Creek near to Windsor.  The body was discovered by a servant of Mr. Clayton, who cut it down, and immediately gave report to his master, who proceeded with all possible speed to the spot; but on his arrival, found that animation had for some hours fled.  The cause of this rash act has been attributed to the anticipated result of a charge about to be brought against him that day before the Windsor Bench, for having purchased some articles of slop-clothing from an assigned servant of Mr. Cox.  The unfortunate man imagined his ticket-of-leave would be cancelled.  The Jury after a very minute examination, found a verdict of, "Found dead suspended by a rope to the arm of a tree."


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 17 February 1832

Four men are in custody on strong suspicion of having been concerned in the murder of a stockman named Miller, at razor Back, Argyle Road, on the night of Monday, 6th instant.  One of the four is more strongly suspected than all the rest.


An old man named Robin M'Alister, who used to get his living by vending fuel about the streets of Sydney, seems to have met his death in rather a singular way.  On Friday last, he left home in his cart, and some hours after, on the Botany Road, the cart was discovered upside down---the horse plunging in the horrors of strangulation, owing to the pressure of the collar, and, the old man under the cart---dead.  The conjecture is, that while sitting in his cart jogging along the road, the wheel on one side rose on a stump, when the vehicle loosing its equilibrium, fell over on the other, and the old man falling under, was crushed to death by the weight of his own cart.  How truly apt the words of the Psalmist---"In the midst of life we are in death."

An unfortunate taylor named Overhand,  seizing "the fatal shears," on Sunday evening last, "snapped the thread" of his own existence.  It appears that poor SNIP, in a fit of despondency, went to the water side at Cockle Bay, about half past four on the above evening, and plunging in, was shortly after drawn forth to light, but not to life---a lifeless corpse!  The Coroner, next day, convened his 'quest on the pitiable occasion.


R v McDonnel and Miller [1832] NSWSupC 2


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 3 March 1832


SUPREME COURT, SATURDAY, FEB. 25th.---The Solicitor General prayed the judgment of the Court upon John Fitz alias Knatchbull, convicted of forgery.  Mr. Sydney Stephens moved, upon several objections, an arrest of judgment.  The Court over-ruled the objection, and passed sentence of Death recorded on the prisoner.

CONSEQUENCES OF INTEMPERANCE.---A Coroner's inquest was held at the sign of the Coach and Horses Parramatta, on view of the body of Isabella Thompson.  It appeared that she was taken up and confined in the watch-house by the police, being in a state of insensibility through drunkenness; when she had partially recovered from the effects of the liquor, she asked for a drink of water, and half an hour afterwards, was found suspended by the neck, by her shawl---dead.  Verdict---Hung herself whilst in a state of intoxication.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 9 March 1832



FRIDAY, 2d March---The Chief Justice having taken his seat, and the usual Commission being sworn in, Patrick M'Guire was put to the bar, indicted for the wilful murder of Matthew Gollagher, at Moreton Bay, on the 6th Jan. last.  This case differed little in character from the crimes of a similar nature, committed by prisoners, with a view to escape from the penal settlements, rather than of diabolical vengeance against these unhappy victims.  Guilty, serntenced to suffer death on Monday, 5th inst.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 14 March 1832




A Coroner's Inquest was held at the Cat and Mutton public-house, Kent-street, on Monday week, on view of the body of Agnes Mc'Court, a girl aged five years.  It appeared in evidence, that Ann Mc'Court, the mother-in-law of the deceased, was married to her present husband about four months back, and that she had two grown children by a former husband.  She was in the habit of getting intoxicated, and when in that state, used to beat the children cruelly, but made no distinction between her own children and the deceased, to who, at other times, she behaved kindly.  On Sunday evening, she had been drinking freely, and was in her usual state of excitement from the effects of the liquor, and which excitement had been increased by high words which had passed between herself and one Gorge Coultrip, a labourer.  Coultrip's wife it appeared had been drinking with Mrs. Mc'Court, and Coultrip had interrupted them and taken his wife into his own room, which was in the same house.  This had angered Mrs. Mc'Court.  In this state of irritation, a few words of remonstrance from the little girl sealed its death-warrant.  The mother seized and dashed it on the floor, and then trampled on it; from which treatment the deceased died shortly after.  It appeared that the prisoner, when she discovered the extent of the injury she had inflicted on the child, was much concerned, but other witnesses deposed, that she was sufficiently sensible to make use of deception to hide her crime, namely, by saying that the deceased had been poisoned by some person.  The examination lasted nearly five hours, and the prisoner appeared greatly affected, especially upon the occasion of her own daughter (ten years old) being called to give evidence against her own mother.  As soon as the examination was closed, the Jury returned a verdict of "Wilful murder against Ann Mc'Court." She was removed in custody to take her trial for the murder.

Last week, a prisoner of the Crown assigned to Mr. Mossman, met his death by the falling of a mass of rock, in a quarry on the North Shore, where he was employed; a Coroner's Inquest was holden on the body, and a Verdict of---Accidental Death returned.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 30 March 1832


On Monday, 12th instant, an Inquest was convened at the Cat and Mutton, Kent-street, on the body of Agnes M'Court, a child between four and five years of age, who met her death from the hand of her step-mother, the previous evening.  It appeared that the wretched woman had become intoxicated, and while in that state, dashed the child upon a stone, fracturing its skull, and then jumped upon it till life was extinct.  The Jury found a verdict of wilful murder; she was committed under the Coroner's warrant to take her trial for the offence.

On Thursday, 15th instant, an inquest was held at the King's Head, Argyle-street on the body of John Nealand, an assigned servant to Mr. Mossman, who, while excavating among the rocks, on the north-shore, the falling of a stone, weighing about half a ton, crushed him to death.  Verdict, accidental death.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 6 April 1832

We hear the carrier of the mail to and from Windsor, was in reality found dead on the road, as reported, having apparently met his death by a fall from his horse. [Previously reported as drunk.]


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 7 April 1832

A Coroner's Inquest was holden on the body of Robert Jones, the Windsor coach-man, who was found dead on the road.  The only assumption possible, was, that he had fallen from his horse, and received thereby a mortal hurt.  A verdict was returned accordingly.

A man named Whitehead, employed a Windsor reformer to make out a bill of sale, transferring his wife for ever to a harness maker at Windsor; the latter was to give $3(Pounds) and a gallon of rum for the bargain, but he very wisely drew in his horns on being told by Mr. Roger Connor, that the woman was a prisoner of the Crown.  Mr. Connor kicked Whitehead out of the house; who, very shortly afterwards, was found with a pair of blankets of Dr. Richardson's, and was committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions.  This woman was tried last Criminal Court for smothering her infant while intoxicated.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 11 April 1832

On Sunday last, on certain information being given to the Police, constables proceeded on board the wreck of the old Alligator, and there found a coffin, containing the body of Michael Brenan, the soldier who was shot to death on Friday last.  It is conjectured, that the body had been disinterred by the deceased's friends, for the purpose of being buried in consecrated ground, the deceased bring a Catholic, and the members of that profession holding the opinion, that a burial in considerate ground, is a highly important religious duty.  The corpse was carried back to the old grave, under Dawe's Battery, and again deposited in it, quick lime being thrown over the body, and a sentry being placed overlooking the grave, to prevent a second exhumation.

On Thursday last, an inquest was held on the body of a seaman belonging to the ship Elizabeth, named Thomas Morgan, which was found in a well.  It appeared that the deceased had been intoxicated on the evening previous, and had fallen in.  Verdict---Accidentally drowned.

On Saturday last, a Coroner's Inquest was held at the Barley Mow public house, Castlereagh street, on the body of George Bligh, who died suddenly on the preceding night.  Verdict---Died by the Visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 13 April 1832

On Sunday last, some children, accidentally playing about in Cockle Bay, discovered a coffin unearthed, which proving to be the receptacle of the mortal remains of private Brennan who was shot to death, as described in our last, on the preceding Friday; the coffin was replaced, a quantity of quick lime being thrown in, in order to consume the body.  It was thought the comrades of the deceased soldier meant to move his remains into consecrated ground.

A sailor, one night last week, being "half-seas over," tumbled from his bed-room into a deep well, at the bottom of which he was drowned.  From the very culpable carelessness of people leaving wells exposed as they do, we are only surprised that the general total of casualties is not at least doubled.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 21 April 1832

On Wednesday last a Coroner's Inquest was held at the Golden Fleece public-house, Brickfield-hill, on the body of George Williams, who came by his death from a blow inflicted with a spade on the head.---It appeared in evidence, that the deceased was an overseer of a gang of men at Grose Farm.  On the day preceding that on which the deceased was killed, he had been complained to by many of his gang, that the room allotted to them was not habitable by reason of the water running through it in a stream, and in  consequence, they requested to be removed into another apartment, which was refused by the deceased; no other difficulties appeared to have taken place between the deceased and the perpetrator of the deed, named Charles Hammell, one of the gang, than was usual between the deceased, who was a man of rigorous temper, and the other men of his gang; on Wednesday, while at work, Hammell was directed by the deceased to cut a drain in a peculiar way, and was  found fault with for not doing his work properly; when he lifted the spade with which he was working, and struck the deceased on the head, inflicting the wound of which he afterwards died.  Verdict---Wilful murder against Charles Hammell, who was removed to the Jail to take his trial for the offence.

On Wednesday last, an inquest was held on the body of William Tybals, an assigned servant to Mr. Wm. Pethers, of Cook's River, who was drowned when attempting to cross the river with a team of bullocks, as stated in another column.  Verdict---Accidentally drowned.  [On Tuesday last, the driver of a bullock-team, together with his team and carriage, were precipitated from one of the bridges over Cook's River and drowned.  The body of the driver was found, swept to a great distance by the current; the bullocks being encumbered by the carriage, were also drowned.]


THE AUSTRALIAN, Saturday 28 April 1832

Last week, owing to the heavy falls of rain previously, the creeks became so swollen that an antient bridge across Cook's River, Botany Bay, was laid three feet and a half under water.  A carter endeavouring by night to cross the ford, was  swept away together with his team, and drowned.

On Wednesday, 18th inst. an overseer at Grose Farm, was attacked by one of the assigned servants belonging to the establishment, who split his head open with a spade, and killed him.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 28 April 1832

A Coroner's Inquest was holden on Wednesday last, at THE AUSTRALIAN Hotel, George-street, on the body of Samuel Grant, who was found drowned at the King's Wharf on the morning of that day; it appeared on the testimony of witnesses, that the deceased was the second Mate of the Grecian; that he had been on shore at a late hour on the preceding evening, and in making his way on board the vessel lying at the King's Wharf, he had missed his footing on the platform communicating from the Wharf with the ship, and had fallen into the water, from which he was unable to escape.  Verdict---Accidentally drowned.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 2 May 1832

On Wednesday last, an Inquest was held at Windsor on the body of George Eaton, a Native Youth, who came by his death by a blow received in a fight with another Native named William Carver.  It appeared that on evening previously, the deceased and Carver had quarrelled, when a few blows were struck, and it was then fixed on, that they should meet the following morning and decide the quarrel with fists.  Accordingly they met, when Carver, by a heavy chance blow, closed the career of Eaton, a youth much respected in that quarter.  When Carver discovered the consequences of his unlucky blow, he was much affected, and professed great sorrow in being the instrument of his countryman's death.  Verdict Manslaughter.

A Coroner's Inquest was holden on Thursday last at Parramatta, on the body of John Andrews, a publican of that town, who put an end to his life by hanging himself by the neck from a beam in his stable.  It appeared that at the time he committed the deed he was in a state of inebriation from hard drinking.  A verdict was returned to that effect.  Andrews has left a wife and nine children to lament his fate. 


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 4 May 1832

An elderly man named Andrews, an old inhabitant, was found suspended neckwise, having in a fit of inebriety taken that mode of terminating existence.  The fatal scene occurred at Parramatta, where the decd. kept a public house.  He has left a widow and a numerous family.

The Coroner's Inquest which sat last week on the body of George Eaton who came by his death in a drunken scuffle at Windsor, has returned a verdict of manslaughter against the party concerned.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 11 May 1832



FRIDAY, 4th.---Ann M'Court was indicted for the wilful murder of her infant step-child, Agnes M'Court, at Sydney, on the 23d March.---Not guilty.

John Hammell, wilful murder of George Williamson, at Grose Farm, on the 18th of April.---Guilty.  To be executed, and his body to be delivered over to the surgeons to be  dissected and anatomised.  The  sentence was carried into effect on Monday last.

SATURDAY, 5.---John Connell, as above, sentence of death was passed upon him.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 12 May 1832

The following is the report of a trial for murder:---

SUPREME COURT,  FRIDAY, MAY 4TH---Before Mr. Justice Dowling and the usual Military Jury.

John Hammell was indicted for the murder of George Williams, an overseer at Grose Farm, near Sydney, on the 18th of April last.     TBC, several trials.




FRIDAY, MAY 4.---Before Mr. Justice DOWLING and the usual Military Commission.

Ann M'Court was indicted for the wilful murder of Agnes M'Court, a child of four years of age, at Sydney, on the 23rd March last.

The evidence in this case was nearly similar to that reported at the examination taken before the Coroner on the Inquest, which went to shew, that the prisoner had, in a state of inebriation, dashed her husband's child on the ground and kicked and jumped on it afterwards, and thereby inflicted divers wounds and bruises on its head and body. In the course of the examination it came out, that the prisoner had reported the child to have died by poison, and that no surgeon had attended and reported upon the cause of the death of the infant, on the Coroner's Inquest.  A witness (George Sculthorpe) who lived in the same house with the prisoner, and who had given evidence of the transaction at the Coroner's Inquest, gave a totally different account before the Court.  The Attorney-General, in consequence, prayed the Court to commit the witness for perjury.  Mr. Justice Dowling said, that could he arrive at the conclusion that the witness had committed wilful perjury, he would commit him; but it appeared to him rather, that the witness mistated events through ignorance.

The Court expressed itself in severe terms upon the neglect of the Coroner in omitting to call in a surgeon to view the body, and in the absence of any proof as to the real cause of the death of the infant, the Jury were directed to acquit the prisoner.

The Jury without retiring from the box, returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

[See also page 2, "THE CORONER, A MOST IMPORTANT OFFICE. Concluding paragraph:  In consequence of the neglect of the Coroner to call for the evidence of a surgeon, in the murder narrated in our account of the trial in another column, the perpetrator has esc aped trial.  Thus a woman has been permitted to throw an innocent child on the floor with great violence, and then to jump on it (and which acts appeared to have caused its death, seeing it expired very soon afterwards), without the slightest punishment?  So much for judicial bungling, and inefficient officers.  But in modern times, offices seem to be created for men, not for the duties which are attached to them.]

DREADFUL ACCIDENT BY FIRE.---On Tuesday night last, Mrs. Leake, of Castlereagh Street, in the act of bending over a lighted candle, set fire to her cap.  She immediately ran up stairs and took the cap, which was in flames, off, threw it on the floor, and endeavoured to extinguish it by treading on the cap.  In her endeavours to save the cap her clothes caught fire, and before any assistance could be rendered, she was burned so dreadfully, that she expired shortly after.

John Connelly, the soldier who was convicted of stabbing with intent to maim and disfigure, under the statute of 9. Geo. IV., William King, a sergeant of H. M. 17th regiment, was had up and received sentence of death on Saturday last.

A petition has been forwarded to His Excellency the Governor, praying for the reprieve of John Connelly, convicted of stabbing with intent to maim William King,  a sergeant of the 17th regiment.


R v Carver [1832] NSWSupC 33


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 19 May 1832

A melancholy accident took place last week, about 3 miles from Parramatta.  A match was made between a Native youth named Jaques, and a convict attached to a road-party near the place.  A purse was collected to fight for, and the combatants were backed by several gentlemen present.  The man attached to the road party, drank half a pint of spirits and a quart of beer before he entered the ring, and after a hard fight, he became ill, and presently expired.  A Coroner's Inquest was held at Parramatta on the body of the deceased, and a verdict of Manslaughter, was returned against the Principal, and also against the gentlemen aiding and abetting the fight. (very proper.  ED.)


AN UNACCOUNTABLE ACCIDENT.---A report reached the Coroner on the 9th inst. that a man had jumped overboard from a loaded boat plying on the Hawkesbury, near Caddi, on the previous evening, and that in attempting to swim ashore he was drowned.  The body has not been found.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 13 June 1832



I am induced to beg the favour of making the following enquiries, through the medium of your columns, in the hope, that yourself or some of your talented correspondents, may be able to furnish the necessary information.  I have to apprise you, that a Coroner's Inquest was held at the Female Factory on the 9th instant, on the body of a male child, six weeks old, that had been born within its walls, and whose death, if not occasioned, was accelerated by its being infected with a disease, which delicacy forbids me to name. --- [continues.]

On Tuesday last, a Coroner's Inquest was holden at the Warwick Arms York street, on the body of an Infant which was found wrapped in a coarse bag, in a sewer in Clarence-street; several witnesses were examined, suspicion having fallen on a young woman who had lived in that neighbourhood, as being the mother of the Infant.  After a long investigation, the Jury were unable to arrive at any conclusive evidence of the guilt of any party, and returned a verdict, that the Infant had been deposited in the sewer by some person unknown.

The following prisoners who received sentence of death at the late criminal sessions, have their sentences commuted as follows:

John Conlan, a soldier of the 36th regt., convicted of stabbing a sergeant of the 17th, is to be imprisoned for three months from the 5th Instant.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 15 June 1832

It was reported yesterday, that Mr. Hart, late of Pitt-street, has been found in the bush---dead !


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 16 June 1832




Parramatta, 13th June, 1832.


Observing in your journal of this morning a letter signed Justitia, complaining of the medical treatment of the female Factory, I beg to relate the incidents attending another inquest.

Died at the female Factory on Sunday evening, the 10th instant, James Connell, a male infant, aged four months and three weeks.

A Coroner's Inquest was held at that establishment on Tuesday the 12th, before Mr. Hayward, the Coroner.  After the Jury had been sworn, they proceeded to the Hospital-ward to view the body, which was lying on a table, in the same room where numbers of sick females were lying.

The Jury proceeded to examine a witness, when it was stated, that the mother of the deceased infant, had an infectious disorder (the itch) and that the child had it also, and had been ill with it and with convulsions at the same time, upwards of three weeks.

'Twas also adduced in evidence, that numbers of the women and children were ill with the same disagreeable disorder; and that in the same ward where this disorder was prevalent, there were females who at present were free from it, but confined on account of other complaints.

The Jury returned a verdict, that the child had died by the visitation of God.

Previously to the retiring of the Jurors, they recommended that the Coroner should place in the visiting book, their strong objections as Citizens and Jurors, at the females confined with other complaints, being confined in the same ward, recommending that all females labouring under the disorder above-named, should be kept apart from the others; and further, that dead bodies should be removed to the proper place, (the dead house) which at present it appeared was otherwise occupied.

I am afraid Mr. Editor the disorder above-named, will soon be as general in this Colony, as the Cholera Morbus is in Sunderland, seeing that it is now raging in the factory.

            I remain, Sir,

                       Your obedient servant,

             A JUROR OF PARRAMATTA.  

[See also The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 20 June 1832; a further letter about this inquest from Justitia, adding more detail, and criticism.]

On Tuesday last, an Inquest was held at the Rose and Crown Tavern Castlereagh Street, on the body of a woman named Christiana Stewart, who had been confined in the watch-house on the Saturday evening, apparently in a state of intoxication.  It appeared that the deceased had no settled place of residence, and had been in a state of great debility through intemperance, and want of the comforts of life for some time past.  When the real state of the deceased was discovered, she was removed to the General Hospital, where she shortly after expired---verdict---Died by the visitation of God.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 27 June 1832

On Friday last, an inquest was held at the Sussex Arms, Sussex-street, on view of the body of Edward Price, an assigned servant of Mr. Thomas Street, who came by his death by the bursting of a blood vessel in a heavy strain.  Verdict---Accidental death, from the bursting of a blood vessel.

An inquest was held on Monday, at Parramatta, on the body of Mr. G. H. Blanchard, miller.  The deceased was shot dead by a pistol, which either went off by accident and killed him, or which he fired off himself with intention of destroying himself.  No cause was given by the witnesses for the suicide of Mr. Blanchard, and the Jury brought in a verdict of felo de se.  The relatives of Mr. B. have moved the Supreme Court to this verdict aside, and call another Jury.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 30 June 1832

FATAL ACCIDENT.---A small coaster while sailing out of the harbour on Tuesday, was nearly thrown on her beam end by a violent gust of wind; the master went by the board and was drowned, there being no dingy nor means of deliverance at hand.  A boat which pushed off from the shore was too late, and the main-sail being lowered for reefing, rendered the vessel for a time unmanageable.  The accident is attributed to the want of judgment in attempting to reef when the vessel was before the wind, instead of bringing her to it for the time.  The name of the deceased was Dudgeon, a trader to Brisbane Water.

In consequence of the decision of the Supreme Court, on an application of Mr. Norton to set aside the verdict of the Coroner's Jury on the body of J. H. Blanchard, of Parramatta, a second Jury was empannelled, and after hearing evidence, a verdict was returned---"That the deceased shot himself with a pistol ball, while in a temporary state of insanity."

An inquest was holden on Thursday last, at the Black Dog, Cambridge-street, on the body of an old man named Richard Walker.  It appeared in evidence, that on the morning of Thursday last the deceased had called at his daughter's house on the Rocks, and that he had gone into the back-yard, and remained there such an unusual time, that his daughter was induced to go and seek him.  She found the old man extended in the yard in a fit.  She called her husband and some of the neighbours and removed him into the house and put him to bed.  The son-in-law immediately repaired to Dr. Hosking, and after stating the nature of the fits, requested him to give his attendance.  The Doctor enquired who was to pay him?  The son-in-law pleaded poverty, and declined becoming security for any sum, however small, though a good shoe-maker.  Accordingly the Doctor finding that charity was to be all on his side, did not go.  The old man lingered in the fits until three o'clock in the afternoon, and then he expired.  The Jury returned a verdict---"That the deceased had died by the visitation of God."


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 11 July 1832

On Friday last, an Inquest was held at the Baker's Arms, George Street, on the body of Frances Jacobs, a girl of eight years of age, who died from a severe injury from burning.  It appeared that the girl had been left in the charge of the house, and going too close to the fire, her cloaths caught the flame, and before it could be extinguished, the poor girl's body was so severely burned, as to occasion her death, after languishing in great agony.

An Inquest was held on Sunday last, at the Rose and Crown Inn, Castlereagh Street, on the body of John Mick, a private belonging to the 17th regiment, who fell suddenly from the dinner table, and expired almost immediately.  The Jury were composed of half civil and half military men, and returned a verdict of Died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 13 July 1832

A rather strange instance of sudden death, occurred on Sunday last, to a private light company man of the 17th, who, it appears, while in an act of ablution, or washing his hands after dinner, fell down dead, whether from dyspepsia, or other extraneous cause, does not appear from the Coroner's Jury's verdict, which was---died by the visitation of God.  The deceased is said to have been a young, healthy, active man.  His name was John Meeke.  The body was interred on Monday last, with Military honors.

On the Friday evening before, a child ten years of age [Frances Jacobs] was burned to death by her clothes accidentally taking fire.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 3 August 1832

The trial of Briffit, for murdering his wife, as the indictment lays the offence---is on the list for trial this day.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 10 August 1832


Full one-half of the deaths that are daily and hourly occurring, are clearly traceable to the fell passion for rum-drinking, which seems to cling to the bulk of our limited population like an epidemic or contagion, worse a thousand degrees than Cholera Morbus.

Early on Sunday morning, a man was observed struggling in the poangs of death, on the Church Hill.  In half an hour after he breathed his last.  The body lay exposed for some hours in the public highway, until the Coroner had convened a Jury; when it appeared that the deceased had formerly served as a Sergeant-Major in the 62d Regiment, from which he was discharged with a pension, which he commuted to emigrate to this Colony, and was paid about 16 Pounds on Saturday last, from the Treasury.  On part of this he got drunk, repaired to a brothel, was kicked out in the midst of Saturday night's soaking rain, and died through the combined influence of cold, wet and liquor.  On the same morning, another Pensioner in a fit of delirium tremens, caused by previous hard-drinking, attempted to hang himself, but was cut down in time to save is life.  Those are but two instances of the fatal and debasing effects of intoxication.

Criminal Court.

FRIDAY, 3d.---William Briffit was indicted for the wilful murder of his wife Ellen, at Sydney, on the 25th July inst., but her death appeared to have occurred in the course of a conjugal "row," without any evidence of malice aforethought; the Commission found the prisoner guilty of manslaughter, and he was sentenced to be transported for seven years.


R v Jacques and others [1832] NSWSupC 56


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 22 August 1832


FRIDAY, AUGUST 17.---Before Mr. Justice STEPHEN and the usual Military Commission.

Messrs. William Jaques, Hugh Taylor, Joseph Rookin, Thomas Barrett, Charles Blakefield, and James Hashman, were indicted, William Jaques for feloniously assaulting John Stone, at Parramatta, on the 14th May last, and inflicting sundry bruises and wounds on the body of the said John Stone, whereof he died; the other five prisoners were indicted for aiding and abetting in the same.  [4 columns.]

The case closed here, and the Learned Judge summed up, remarking on the brutal practice of prize-fighting, and hoping, that it would soon cease to exist.  He left the case with the Jury; who retired for a few minutes, and then acquitted the prisoners.  The latter were then discharged by proclamation.

On Sunday last, a Coroner's Inquest was held at the British Standard tavern George-street, on the body of James Roylance, a waterman, who was drowned on the 5th Inst.  It appeared, that the deceased had put off from the King's Wharf, with a seaman who was going on board a whaler lying in the harbour.  It was late at night when they started, and the deceased was much intoxicated; neither of the men were heard of from that time until Saturday last, when Mr. Moxham a Settler on the North Shore, saw, and picked up the body of the deceased.  The boat in which the men embarked was found two days after they were missing, at Bradley's Head.  Verdict---Accidentally drowned.

On the same day, an Inquest was held at the Steam packer, public-house, on the body of Malcolm Campbell, who died suddenly on Sunday morning.  The deceased lodged in the house, and had been drinking very hard for three weeks before his death; on Sunday morning he drank several glasses of spirits, and laid down his head on the table, apparently asleep; shortly after, the landlord went to awake him, and found him dead.  Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 24 August 1832


On Sunday an Inquest was convened at the British Standard Hotel, on the body of James Roylance, who on the 5th inst. left the King's Wharf in a boat accompanied by another man.  The boat was found on shore on Bradley's Head some days after, but nothing was heard of the men until Saturday afternoon, when the body of Roylance was found on the beach on the North Shore.  Verdict, drowned.

On the same day, an Inquest was convened at the Steam Packet, Sussex-street, on the body of Malcolm Campbell, found dead in his dwelling that morning, his head reclining on his arm, which was placed on a table he having indulged in spirituous liquors, which caused his death.  Verdict died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 31 August 1832

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An Inquest was held at noon on Sunday last, at the Albion Inn, Market Wharf, on view of the body of Michael Hartney, who it appeared obtained his living by splitting shingles, and plying a wood boat up the river.  In Sydney on Saturday, he spent every farthing in rum and died drunk.  Verdict---"by the visitation of God."


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 5 September 1832




FRIDAY, AUGUST 31st.  Before the CHIEF JUSTICE and the usual Military Commission.

Patrick Kelly, was indicted for the wilful murder of Christopher Rall, by inflicting sundry wounds on his head, to wit, with an iron brand, on the 6th of May last, of which he died on the 12th of the same month. .....

His Honor summed up at length and recapitulated the evidence.  The Jury retired a short time and acquitted the prisoner, who was discharged.


THE AUSTRALIAN, 7 September 1832

Criminal Court.

FRIDAY, August 31.---Patrick Kelly was indicted for the wilful murder of Christopher Rall, by means of blows inflicted on the head of the said Christopher Rall, with a branding iron, on the 6th May last, by means of which blows he lingered until, and died on, the 12th day of May following.---Not guilty; discharged.


THE AUSTRALIAN, 14 September 1832


In recording the unexpectedly sudden demise of this Gentleman, we cannot but express some surprise at his removal into a Hospital, where, if we hear true, certain of his friends had not access.  We do not know that an Inquest was held on the remains, or how they were interred.  The mystery in which the matter is at present wrapped up, gives occasion for conjectures, which would be much better set at rest, by a candid and satisfactory explanation.

DIED on the 5th instant, after a short but severe illness, in the 26th year of his age, the Rev. George Innes, M.A., Head Master of the King's School, Sydney, and Military Chaplain.

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Monday, an Inquest was held at the "Three Crowns," Cumberland-street, on the body of William Drew, who came by his death that morning from falling into a well, by over reaching himself to obtain a bucket that had fallen in.  Although he was in the water four minutes only, he expired soon after he was taken out of the well.---Verdict, Accidental Death.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 15 September 1832

On Friday last, a Coroner's Inquest was holden at the Rose and Crown Inn, Castlereagh street, on the body of Charles Goodman, who died on the previous night, on his way to the General Hospital.  It appeared, that the deceased was an assigned servant to Mr. William Brown of the Surry hills, in whose service he had been about a twelvemonth, and during the whole of that time had been unwell.  On Thursday night last he was taken so seriously ill, that his master felt himself called upon, notwithstanding the unwillingness of the [crease in paper] refused to go to the Hospital, to send him there.  Accordingly, he hired a c art from a neighbour, and lifted the deceased into it.  A man named Rigby, the owner of the cart, riding with and supporting the deceased in his arms.  On his arrival at the Hospital, it was discovered, that the deceased had died on the way.  Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 21 September 1832

CORONER'S INQUEST.---The Coroner convened an inquest at noon, on Friday last, at the "Rose and Crown," Castlereagh-street, on the body of Charles Haywood, a prisoner of the Crown, assigned to Mr. William Browne, residing on the South Head Road.  It appeared, that having long been ailing, he came out of hospital about four months ago, and becoming gradually worse,---on Thursday night, about 11 o'clock, he roused his master, observing that "he was very unwell, and thought he was dying."  He was put in a cart, a neighbour supporting his head, and the master leading the horse as gently as possible, till on arrival at the hospital about one, it was discovered he had breathed his last.  Verdict---"Died by the visitation of God."


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 22 September 1832

A Coroner's Inquest was held at the Standard Tavern, George street, on Thursday last, on the body of a man, named James Grady, who came by his death by falling into the fire, in which he was so dreadfully burnt as to cause immediate death.  It appeared in evidence, that the deceased, a young man about 25 years of age, was an assigned servant to Mr. John Redmond.  On Wednesday last he was employed in cutting wood in the bush, and returned home about six o'clock in perfect health.  At nine o'clock he was seen by a fellow servant busily employed in mending harness, and sitting in a chair by the kitchen fire.  At 12 o'clock his fellow servant, after an absence of three hours, returned to the kitchen, and found the deceased lying on the fire, into which he had fallen from his chair, awfully disfigured and quite dead.  The alarm was given and Dr. Connolly was sent for, who reported, that the deceased had been dead for some time.  Verdict---Accidentally burnt to death.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 28 September 1832

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An inquest was convened at the British Standard Tavern and Hotel, George-street, on the body of James Grady, who while sitting in front of the fire in Mr. Redman's house, was taken with an epileptic fit, and fell head foremost among the glowing embers.  Verdict,---"Accidental death."


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 12 October 1832


On Sunday the 30th ult., as a man in the assigned service of Mr. John Foster of Cornwallis, was leading a head-strong colt of his master's to be watered, having twined the halter with three or four turns round his arm, in order to keep his hold the tighter, the colt plunged and kicked and ran away, prostrating the unhappy groom whose body becoming entangled in the bight of the rope, he was dragged a considerable distance, and eventually expired of the numerous contusions which his head and body encountered against stumps and stones.  Mr. Howe, the Coroner, convened an Inquest on the remains, soon after, and a verdict was returned accordingly.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 19 October 1832

The immediate cause of the death of Mr. [Grey??], which is announced elsewhere, proves upon a post mortem examination of the decd by Mr. Crowther, to have been apoplexy.  He was seized at the door of the Ship inn on Sunday morning last, and fell with such violence on the step as to have fractured the skull, at the same time lacerating the vessels near the brain.

CIRCULAR HEAD, Sept. 17th, 1832.---On Sunday the 1st inst. Mr. Henry Hellyer, the Company's Surveyor, destroyed himself, no one can guess at the cause.---

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Friday last an inquest was held at the Square and Compass, Brickfield Hill, on the body of John Croaker, who was drowned in Black Wattle Swamp, on the Sunday previously, having jumped in while under the influence of liquor, for the purpose of swimming across.  Verdict, "accidentally drowned in Black Wattle Swamp."

On Sunday an Inquest was convened by Major Smeathman, Coroner for Sydney, at the Loggerheads Public-house, Market-street, on the body of Mr. John Brown, who died rather suddenly the previous evening.  It appeared in evidence that the deceased had for some time past been in a desponding state, which, connected with other circumstances, it was supposed caused his death.  The Jury found a verdict of---"died by the visitation of God."


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 20 October 1832

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Friday last at the Compasses, Brickfield Hill, on the body of John Croker, who was drowned in Mr. Cooper's dam; Verdict---Accidentally drowned.

An Inquest was holden at a Cabinet maker's Phillip-street, on the body of a woman named Sophia Parker, who died suddenly at her residence, at three o'clock on that day without apparent cause; Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 24 October 1832

An Inquest was held on Tuesday last, at the Colonial Hospital, Windsor, on the body of John Turncliff, reported in our last to have bled himself to death.  It appeared on the evidence of several respectable witnesses, that the deceased had been labouring under mental derangement for some time, and had been watched constantly when the fits were most serious.  The Jury returned a verdict, "that the deceased terminated his life in a temporary fit of insanity."


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 26 October 1832

The remains of Mr. Murray, late Governor of H. M. Gaol, were attended to the grave with Masonic honours, and the full band of the 17th Regiment.  It is said, that no sooner was the demise known, than within four-and-twenty hours after, the Governor had about as many applications for the vacancy.  Mr. Murray's death was rather sudden.  He was out on horseback about noon.  In the afternoon he was a corpse; apoplexy very probably.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 9 November 1832

Law Reports.


FRIDAY, 2d Inst.---Before Mr. Justice Stephen and a Military Commission:---Edward Fordham was indicted for the wilful murder of Thomas Bradford, at Lower Minto, on the 22d September last.---The deceased was an assigned servant to Mr. Brooks, of Denham Court, employed as a shepherd at his Lake Bathurst station.  The overseer of the station, sent Bradford with a pass and 200 sheep to Denham Court.  On the 23d September, a person named Rowe, who was shingle-splitting on the Raby estate, near the Cowpasture bridge, noticed tracks of blood, which he traced to a tree that was burning, and thence to a pond of water, where observing two slip-rails, on removing one of which, a hand presented itself, he lost no time in fetching a constable, who in the presence of Captain Hovell, drew out a body that had apparently been immersed but a short time; Mr. Brooks, junior, recognized the body as that of Bradford's/  Hastening on the road in the track which the sheep had taken, to the junction of the Campbell town and Cowpasture roads, Mr. B. accordingly, within six miles of Sydney, came upon the prisoner with the very sheep, and a dog which belonged to the deceased.  Mrs. Brown of the Cowpasture road, proved the deceased and the prisoner to have come to her house with some sheep, and taken breakfast there, on the morning of Friday the 21st, taking with them at their departure a pint of rum in a bottle.---Guilty,---death.

(The culprit was hanged on Monday last, confessing his guilt.)


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 14 November 1832




MONDAY, NOV. 5.---Before Judge STEPHEN and the usual Military Commission.

William Eggleton was indicted for the manslaughter of John Field, at Campbell-town, on the 15th of October last.  The deceased Field, had been lying about in the sun in a state of inebriety, nearly the whole of the day, and at night went into a public-house where Eggleton and some other persons were.  Eggleton had a few words with a third party, when the deceased interfered and struck the prisoner a blow, which he returned by another, and the deceased not being sober, reeled back, his head coming in contact with a sofa.  After this however, he sat up and smoked a pipe, nobody supposing him to be otherwise affected than by the liquor; the next morning, he was found to be in a dying state, and before surgical assistance could arrive, breathed his last.  The provocation of the deceased before the prisoner struck him, and the excellent character he bore, were fully proved by Mr. Raine, and the Jury, without retiring, acquitted him, the learned Judge observing, that he left the bar without stigma.---(It was absurd in the Coroner to have committed this man for trial, injuring his character and circumstances, and putting the country to expense without sufficient cause.  ED.)

An inquest was held, on Tuesday last, on the body of John Townsend, a carter, when it appeared, that a dog having frightened his horse, the latter upset the cart on the man, by running it against a paling fence, and which caused the man's death in a few days.  Verdict accordingly.


Murders seem also to be as fashionable as shop-lifting.  A man at the farm of Mr. Icely, near Bathurst, named M'Queen, had offended the overseer, Nowlan, who was only a temporary one, by having stated to the real overseer, who was absent, that things were going on badly.  The sub-overseer was heard to vow revenge.  In the night he went up to M'Queen in bed, and shot him dead with a pistol.  After which he retired to his own room, and reloading the pistol, blew out his own brains.

Mr. Chambers has experienced a great family affliction in the death of one of his children about four years old.  The little innocent was sent down stairs on an errand, when, in passing a servant, it received on its head, neck, and shoulders, the contents of a vessel which was filled with boiling water, which the woman was throwing out, not perceiving the child; the shock brought the head of the child in contact with the edge of the wall, which occasioned a fracture in the skull.  There were at first, some hopes of its recovery, but a few days translated it to a happier state of existence.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 28 November 1832

At Brisbane Water, a man of Mr. Lowrey's was killed by the falling of a cabbage-tree. The poor man was taken up an awful spectacle, and lived several hours, notwithstanding his limbs were crushed to pieces.

A man of colour, a native of the Isle of France, and John Peters, two sailors belonging to the Clementine, came on shore to fight out a point of honour. They had not long set to, when the Frenchman was struck a blow on the temple by Peters, which knocked him down senseless, and he presently expired.  An inquest sat on the body.  Verdict---Manslaughter. Peters was therefore committed to Jail preparatory to being tried in the Supreme Court for the offence.

On Thursday, Peters the seaman was tried for killing in a fight, fairly contested, a native of the Isle of France and acquitted, it not being quite clear whether the deceased died from the fall or the blow.  (No matter which; for if from the fall, who felled the deceased?  We do not understand English law at all; if a verdict of "Justifiable homicide" had been returned, the case would have been at least comprehensible.---ED.)

On Friday last, the men who have been chained to an iron bar in the cells of Sydney Jail for the trifling space of 18 months, and whose names are Samuel Ryan, William Snell, Thomas M'Grath, and Patrick Daley were arraigned before the Supreme Court, for the murder at Hunter's River, of the late Mr. John McIntyre. The trial was put off for three weeks, in consequence of a material witness, a female, who was on her way from Hunter's River, not being able to proceed on her journey, from having been seized with the pains of labour.  If these men are innocent, their sufferings will evince one more proof, of the wisdom and benignity of modern English law, or of the way it is administered in this Colony.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 16 November 1832


On Tuesday last, an Inquest was called at the Ship Inn, Parramatta Road, on the body of an individual named Thomas Cunningham, discovered on the preceding day, by a servant of Dr. Ramsay's in the hollow of a white gum tree, about half-a-mile, in an impervious part of the bush.  Under the left side was a bundle of clothes, and at some yards distance, his hat containing a pass from Lieutenant-Colonel Snodgrass.  One of the shirts in the bundle was marked with blood.  Dr. Jeanneret decided that there were no marks of fractured bones, but from the decomposed state of the fleshy parts, it was difficult to say, whether or not he met his death by a wound.  After six hours' deliberation, they returned the following verdict:---"This jury are of opinion, from the state of extreme decomposition in which the body of the late Thomas Cunningham has been seen by them, and the total want of evidence, they cannot decide on the actual cause of his death."


On Thursday last an Inquest was convened at the King's Arms, York-street, on the body of Michael Townhend, who on the 6th inst., while driving a cart, fell out, and the wheel injuring his head, caused death in a few hours,---verdict---accidental Death, & a deodand of one shilling on the horse.

MURDER.---On Tuesday, 30th ult. Mr. Samuel Icely and Mr. Rodd, superintendent of Mr. Thomas Iceley's estate at Bathurst, being subpoenaed on a trial before the Supreme Court, left the place in charge of a deputy overseer, named Nowland, who under the influence of spirituous liquors, took a loaded pistol from the stores, and going into the room where another man [M'Queen] was, deliberately discharged it at him in the right side, and then fired another at his own head.  Verdicts of wilful murder, and felo-de-se, have been returned by Coroner's jury.


R v Peters [1832] NSWSupC 93


AUSTRALIAN, Friday 30 November 1832

FRIDAY NOV. 23d. Before the Chief Justice,---Samuel Ryan, William Steel, Thomas M'Grath, and Patrick Daley, were arraigned for the wilful murder of John M'Intyre, at Kinghorne, in the County of Durham, on the 6th of September, 1830.  The Attorney-General said, he was anxious to proceed with the trial, but owing to the absence of a material witness was unable to do so, and therefore wished the case to stand over, the prisoners having been in confinement about eighteen months.  Dr. Wardell on the part of the Crown suggested that the case should stand over for three weeks, with leave, if not then ready to go to trial, to postpone it for another week, when it should be imperative to bring it forward, to which the Court assented, and explained to the prisoners that they would then be put on their trial or discharged.  The prisoners all protested their innocence.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 5 December 1832


In addition to the drownings in the Macquarie, which occur with periodical punctuality, and to extinction of life occasioned by drunkenness, three souls have been sent to their great account by premeditated violence, and a fourth will speedily come under the hands of the executioner.  The sensation created by the murder of M'Queen at Coumbing, and the suicide of Nowlan, had not subsided, when another deed of darkness was committed by a convict servant of Mr. William Lee's of Bathurst Plains, upon his fellow labourer, while working in the stack yard.  The parties, one an Englishman, and the other an Irishman, quarrelled about their respective nations, and the latter being of an exceedingly irritable temper, inflicted such wounds on the head of his companion as caused instant death.  The murderer dragged the body under a stack, and covered it with the chaff and rubbish of the thrashing floor.  It was shortly discovered.  The perpetrator was apprehended, and a Coroner's warrant committed him for trial, and he was despatched to Sydney gaol under escort non Saturday.

An aged man named Dennis Reardon, well known by the old hands on Emu Plains, as "Dennis the barber," being engaged in cattle [???] last week, met his death by being thrown from his horse.  A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body and returned a verdict accordingly.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 7 December 1832

A man named Walsh in the service of Mr. W. Lee of Bathurst, lately struck his companion with a shovel on the head several times, of which he died.  He then hid the corpse amongst as heap of rubbish, but an Inquest being convened, a verdict of wilful murder was returned against Walsh, who stands committed to take his trial.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 12 December 1832

Two females named Margaret Berry and Bridget Leary, in crossing the ford at Hawkesbury on their way to Wilberforce, missing their way, they walked into a hole in the river, and being overcome by terror, both perished before assistance could be rendered them.

At the Inquest held on the late Mr. Scott, Prince-street, the Coroner recommended a deodand to be levied on the horse, whose fright and running away occasioned his death; but the Jury attributed the fright to a heap of bricks which lay on the road, and declined taxing the horse.  The Jury made general complaints of the streets being too much obstructed by building materials.


We feel much regret in recording the untimely and distressing death of Mr. James Scott of Prince-street, which took place on Sunday last, in consequence of a fall from his horse.  Mr. Scott had been preaching at Carter's Barracks, and rode home on horseback.  When arrived nearly opposite his own door, the animal, which was young and spirited, being frightened by a heap of bricks, shyed on one side; Mr. S. thereupon touched him with the spurs, which only increasing his irritation, he dashed off at full speed round the military hospital, opposite the gate of which, Mr. S. was thrown, his forehead coming in contact with the ground.  The accident was witnessed by his own servant and some others, who hastened to his assistance and conveyed him home, but he only lingered about two hours and then expired. The body was examined by Dr. Imlay, who certified that a severe concussion had ruptured a blood-vessel on the brain, and so occasioned death.  The Coroner held an Inquest yesterday, at the Rising Sun Tavern, in Charlotte-place, and after hearing the above certificate reads, together with other evidence, returned a verdict of "Accidental Death, with a deodand of 5s. on the horse."  Mr. Scott formerly belonged to the 46th regiment, after leaving which, he several years held the situation of Store keeper in the Commissariat department, till having acquired by diligence and care a respectable competency, he retired from the toils of business to spend the evening of his days in tranquillity and peace.  He was for many years past an active and zealous leader of the Wesleyan Methodists, and one of the very few, whose life and conduct in the world afford a practical comment on the truth of their religious professions.  His remains will be interred this morning.---SYDNEY GAZETTE, Tuesday.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 14 December 1832

On Thursday se'nnight, one of the Windsor Constables, having received information that some Bushrangers would be at Mr. Terry's farm at Box Hill on that evening, proceeded towards the spot in company with another man both armed with Pistols, the mounted Police had also received information, and at the time the Constables arrived, the mounted Police were in the hut; a rencontre took place, (each supposing the other party to be Bushrangers), which ended in the Constable's being shot dead on the spot.  The man in company with him received a ball in his thigh.  An Inquest was held on that day; but it appearing there was no blame attributable to the mounted Police, a Verdict was returned of Justifiable "Homicide."  The constable was blameable in not challenging, and also the man in his company, previous to snapping their pistols.

DIED.  Also Mr. James Scott, of prince-street, formerly of the 73d regt., by a fall from his horse.

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Monday last an inquest was held at the Rising Sun, Church Hill, on the body of Mr. James Scott, who came to his death by being thrown from his horse on the previous day, at his own door, the animal having become frightened at a pile of bricks in Pitt Street, and shyed when Mr. S. stuck spurs into him, the horse darted furiously towards the military hospital.  Mr. Scott lost one of the stirrups, and reeling in his saddle, fell, striking his temple on a stone, which caused instant death.---Verdict accidental death.  The Jury levied a deodand on the horse of five shillings.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 15 December 1832

On Friday, an Inquest was holden at the King's Head, in Harrington-street, on the body of a respectable free emigrant, named Bowie, which was found dead floating in the Cove on the preceding day.  It appeared that the young gentleman arrived in the Colony about three weeks back by the North Briton, from Scotland, and was possessed of considerable property.  The day previously to the melancholy event, he was observed, by his friends, to be rather flighty, and was attended by Dr. Mitchell, who administered medicine.  He left home on the Thursday morning about one o'clock, and was not seen after until the body was found.  There was a scar on the neck, close to the jugular vein, as though the unhappy gentleman had first endeavoured to end his life by cutting the artery.  Verdict---Drowned himself in a temporary fit of insanity.  The Corpse was interred this morning, and was attended to the grave by a numerous body of friends.   [The body of a gentleman, lately arrived from Scotland, was picked up on the sea shore in the Government Domain.  Cause not yet known.]


R v Ryan, Steel, McGrath and Daley [1832] NSWSupC 95


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 19 December 1832

An Inquest was held on the body of Mr. John Bowie, lately arrived by the North Britain.  Verdict---"Drowned himself while in a state of temporary insanity."


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 21 December 1832

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Monday last an inquest was held at the Saracen's Head, Harrington-street, on the body of a female infant named Jane Reeves, aged three months, who was supposed to have died under suspicious circumstances.  After a very prolonged and careful investigation of the Coroner and Jury, a verdict was returned that the deceased, Jane Reeves, died by the visitation of God.

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An inquest was convened on Friday, at the King's Head Harrington-street, on Mr. John Bowie, recently arrived by the North Briton from Scotland, whose body was found floating on the water of the Domain, on Thursday afternoon, and on being got out, an incision was found on the neck.  The body was still warm, but all exertions to restore animation proved unsuccessful.---Verdict, Insanity.


On Friday last this trial commenced before the learned Chief Justice and a military commission of 7 officers, but did not terminate before the evening following, the Court having adjourned about 9 o'clock on Friday night, to allow time sufficient for the examination of evidence on the prisoners' behalf next day.  During the whole of the trial, the court room continued crowded to excess; and admitting the relation of the informer (Doolan) who stated himself to be a principal accomplice, to be true, a tale of barbarity so savage, it has rarely fallen to out lot to record.

The indictment contained three counts; the first charging the prisoner Sam. Ryan as a principal in the murder of Mr. John Macintyre, at Kinghorn, on the 6th Sept. 1830, by shooting him in the side; the second charging Willm. Steele as principal by shooting the deceased in the neck; and the third charging both prisoners as principals, Patk. Daly & Thos. M'Grath being charged as accessaries throughout.  The four prisoners pleaded not guilty.  They were very ingeniously defended by Mr. Rowe.  Dr. Wardell assisted the Crown officers, being specially retained for the prosecution by Mr. P. Macintyre the brother of the deceased.  The case for the prosecution rested mainly on the testimony of an avowed accomplice named

Edward Doolan, who deposed that in August, 1830, he absconded from a constable on his way from Liverpool to Sydney, and crossed to Hunter's River to the house of a man called Yorkshire John [?????] and after telling him that two others were at hand---fetched in Ryan and Steele, and they then laid a plan to rob the house of the deceased.  Yorkshire Johnny supplied muskets and ammunition, borrowing a musket for Doolan from a neighbour called Paddy the Goose.  Daley, an assigned servant to the deceased, dissuaded them from going near the house, as it was strongly guarded, but told them to wait till his master would be going to Sydney with 750 Pounds, to deposit in the Bank; that Mr. M'Intyre was a dreadful tyrant, had often got him flogged, and if they robbed him without taking his life, he would certainly hang them.  It was agreed that they would shoot him between his own farm and Wollorova, & that a man should be sent forward as a signal.  The parties took up their stations behind trees.  M'Grath soon after passed, and about a quarter of a mile behind him, walked the deceased bearing his coat on his arm.  He (Doolan) took aim, fired, and struck him in the fleshy part of the shoulder,  The deceased cried for "Mercy;" when Ryan and Steele fired, he instantly fell on his face, and although he continued to breathe for some time, spoke no more. 

On searching the body, they found four dollars, a dump, a rupee, an account book, a silver pencil case, a silver watch, two gold seals and a common seal; Steele was so disappointed at not finding the 750 Pounds, that he said he had a good mind to serve Daley out for giving them false information.  Steele took the boots and Doolan a pocket handkerchief, which he identified.  M'Grath took the blue coat, Daly and M'Grath went back to the farm; and the others carried the body about three miles, and prepared a large fire and burned it.  Next day they robbed a man of provisions and clothes, and proceeded on to Yorkshire Johnny's, where they stole several sheep, belonging to Mr. Sparke, and returned their arms and ammunition.  Several other witnesses were called to a late hour, when Mr. Rowe for the prisoners took objection to the indictment as informal, and also, that the body of the person said to have been murdered was not proved to have been that of the John M'Intyre stated in the indictment; which the Court overruling, it was mutually agreed to adjourn the Court till next morning, when Mr. Rowe then called Mr. Edmnd Wright, who swore that Doolan was never absent from his service between August 1829, till the 11th of December, 1830, when he received sentence of 12 months to an iron gang. Major Antill, resident magistrate, Stonequarry, corroborated the statement, as to Doolan being convicted on the 11th of October, 1830, and that he had never been reported as an absentee during the month of September, 1830.

Mr. Rowe having closed the defence, the Chief Justice in a charge of two hours, minutely put the case in all its bearings, leaving to the Commission to determine first, whether Mr. John M'Intyre had been murdered, and secondly if so, were the prisoners the murderers.  The commission retired for about ten minutes, and returned a verdict of guilty against the four prisoners, on whom the learned Judge then passed sentence of death, to take place on Monday morning, causing their bodies, after death, to be dissected and anatomized.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 28 December 1832


On Sunday last, an Inquest was convened at the Peacock Inn, Erskine-street, on the body of Francis Bell who it appeared was an assigned servant to the Chief Justice and employed on the west side of Cockle Bay at grass cutting; but for the month past had totally neglected his work and given himself up to drinking.  On the night of Thursday he left his hut taking with him his blanket.  He was not seen again till found floating in the Bay.  Dr. Bland was of opinion, that the leg had been severed by a shark.  After a long consultation, the Jury returned a verdict of---found "Drowned."

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