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Colonial Cases


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 3 January 1834

Last week a person of the name of Kirkbride, who formerly kept a draper's shop in Pitt-street, and has been residing for some time back at Lowther Park, near Bathurst, was drowned while crossing the ford on horseback, at Cox's River.  There was rather a flood in the river at the time.  It is supposed he had left go the bridle, fallen from the saddle, and was carried  down the stream.  The body had not been found.  It is a pity there is not a bridge carried across the river, somewhere near the ford, for lives have been frequently sacrificed, and horses and drays are sometimes obliged to stop for a week or more before they can cross, to the great inconvenience and loss of the settlers in that neighbourhood.  The body has since been found, and a verdict of accidentally drowned returned at the Inquest.

The two Fitzgeralds, and the other two men, implicated in the recent murder and disturbance at the Spinning Wheel, on the Parramatta Road, underwent another long examination on Wednesday.  They were remanded, and will be brought up again this day.  It is understood for final examination.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 6 January 1834

On Christmas Day, a child at Liverpool unfortunately died from drinking a quantity of spirits, which she took from a bottle without being perceived.  She was taken to the hospital alive, but did not survive many minutes after arriving there.  A jury was called, but no Coroner was to be found.

The Fitzgeralds and others have been remanded to the gaol for further examination on the charge of murder preferred against them.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 13 January 1834



MONDAY AFTERNOON.---By accounts just received from Bathurst, we learn that the whole of the men, who had taken the bush, have been captured by the party of mounted Police, who were coming from Argyle under the command of Major Breton.  The intelligence we have obtained is not very specific, but it appears to be certain.  The bushrangers are stated to have stood to their arms, and not to have surrendered until one of their party was shot dead, and all further resistance was useless.  A ticket of leave man who was pressed into the pursuit is said to have been the party who shot him, and was himself subsequently killed.

EXECUTION.---This morning at nine o'clock, at the usual place, the last dread penalty of the law was inflicted upon Bryant Kyne, who was tried on Friday last for the murder of James Gavanagh, when a verdict of guilty was returned.  ... biography.


R. v. Kyne [1834] NSWSupC 3


R. v. Brennan [1834] NSWSupC 2


The Sydney Monitor, Friday 17 January 1834

During the last month, many people have complained of spasms in the bowels; and other symptoms that are said to attend slight attacks of cholera.  By an inquest held lately in George Street, the medical attendant said, that the deceased died from spasmodic cholera---accelerated by his frequent intoxication.---(Quaere ED.)

Mr. Clegg, of the Liverpool Road, drowned himself in a water-hole last week.  His affairs having become deranged, the circumstance preyed so much upon his mind, as to produce temporary insanity.  Clegg was a kind hearted honest man, and we regret his untimely end.

SPASMODIC CHOLERA.---An Inquest was held by Major Smeathman at the Hope Public House, recently opened in George-street, on the body of James Eaton, a groom employed by the Landlord; who was seized by Spasmodic Cholera on Saturday evening, and died on Sunday.---The evidence of the Medical Attendant established the nature of his disease; and that it was moreover greatly facilitated by the continued indulgence of the deceased in the excessive use of ardent spirits.---Verdict "Died by the visitation of God." The Coroner from the violent nature of the disease ordered the bed and bedding of the deceased to be immediately destroyed by fire. (On a subject so important, we wish a consultation of the faculty had been held.---ED.)

An Inquest was held at the Rum Puncheon, King's Wharf, on the body of a poor man named Dennis Shean, who was found dead in a remote hut at the North Harbour, on Sunday last.  He was conveyed to the Rum Puncheon for the Coroner's Inquest.  From the evidence it appeared, that he had been labouring under an infection contracted amongst the Aborigines in the interior for a period of six years, the virulent affects of which had brought on a pulmonary disease of which he died.  The body exhibited a hideous spectacle.  Verdict---"Died by the visitation of God."


Letter re Samuel Craven, assigned servant of Mr. Morgan, merchant, died yesterday (Jan 15th) in the Hospital.  Signed, THE SPIIRIT OF HOWARD.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 17 January 1834

Coroner's Inquests.

On Monday last a Coroner's Inquest was held at the Anchor and Hope in George street, on the body of James Erskine, who died the previous day.  It appeared the deceased had been addicted to excessive drinking.  The jury returned a verdict of "died by the visitation of God."

Yesterday another Inquest was held at Mr. Hanson's, the Rum Puncheon, on the King's Wharf, on view of the body of Dennis Sheehan, when it appeared the deceased had been labouring for some years under a lingering illness; the Jury returned a verdict of "died by the visitation of God."

Another inquest was held on Wednesday at the Bell in Phillip-street, on the body of Samuel [Merritt??], late mate of the Lambton cutter.  It appeared that about 8 o'clock on that morning the deceased met an acquaintance in Pitt street, he was then in a very feeble state, and requested he would accompany him to the hut of a friend living near the old mill, at the back of Government House; on arriving there which he did with some difficulty, he was immediately laid on a bed, and received some warm wine and coffee, he also continually asked for water, a quantity of which was given him, he lingered on a little while complaining of excessive thirst, and died about 4 o'clock the same morning.  In this case it was deemed essential that the body should be opened, and a medical gentleman being in attendance it was accordingly done.  The Jury adjourned and afterwards re-assembled, when, on examination of the body it was found the inside was in a state of much inflammation from the effects of poison; the [???] of the stomach were completely destroyed and a huge portion of crude arsenic was contained therein.  The Jury after examining four witnesses returned a verdict that "the deceased destroyed himself by taking arsenic while labouring under aberration of mind."

Mr. John Clegg, publican of the Liverpool road, was found on Monday morning last, about [four??] o'clock by his servant drowned in a water hole, which is in a paddock at a short distance from the house; whether it was an accident, or whether the unfortunate deceased destroyed himself, does not readily appear; but there is no apparent cause for his going to the pond at that early hour.  He was easy in his circumstances and on good terms with his family, and had been unusually cheerful on the preceding evening and went to bed in good spirits.  When found he was in a standing position, suspended as it were in the water.

George Clear, who had been brought up a prisoner by the schooner Byron, from Wanganui, New Zealand, on a charge of murdering Charles Woodgate, a British subject residing there, was put to the bar.  Captain John Payne, commander of the schooner Byron, deposed that the prisoner had been delivered to him, on his taking charge of the vessel, as a prisoner who had been charged with murder, before taking command of the schooner, he remembered to have been on board when the prisoner was brought in custody, by a number of natives and British subjects, on the above charge, and he was confined accordingly.  Mr. John Morgan chief officer, deposed that he was on board when the prisoner was brought, he asked him if he had killed the man, when the prisoner answered in the affirmative, stating that he had been obliged to shoot him, to save his own life, had he not done so, his life would have been sacrificed; the natives charged him with the crime, one of whom had seen him do it, but could not be found when the vessel sailed.  The prisoner when called upon to speak in his defence, but cautioned against saying any thing that might tend to criminate himself, stated that he had been in the interior in the service of Mr. Cavenagh, as a collector of flax; he subsequently removed to the sea port, where he resided with the deceased about four months; the native dogs had destroyed some pigs belonging to the deceased, when he laid wait for them and shot them; this was a few days before his death; having occasion to go into the wood where he remained some hours, he returned, when he found the deceased had been murdered.  The natives came to the hut shortly after and stripped it of every thing it contained, leaving him in a state of nudity; they took away a quantity of flax, all his clothes, a [canoe??], and his little boy, about two years old, being thus left destitute he charged himself with the crime in order to obtain a passage to Sydney, where he hoped to find employment, and recover himself; he professed his innocence of the murder.---Remanded.  He has since been discharged.

Law Intelligence.



Before His Honor the Chief Justice and a Civil Jury.

Edward Brennan, stood indicted for the wilful murder of Martha Condron, at Parramatta, on the 18th November last.  The indictment contained 3 counts, severally charging the prisoner, with having caused the death of the deceased in a variety of ways, to all which the prisoner pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Therry appeared on behalf of the prosecution.

Another prisoner, Bryan Kyne, being called on to plead to a charge of murder, chose to be tried by a military jury, when the Chief Justice directed him to the other Court.

Mr. Rowe hereupon suggested to the Court, the difficulty in which his removal would subject him, Mr. R. too, he being retained in one case for the defence, and in the other for the prosecution, and begged, if it were possible that the case might not be removed.  Mr. Therry stated himself to be precisely in the same predicament.  His Honor the Chief Justice observed, that an arrangement for the despatch of the business of the Court, and the accommodation of the public had been adopted, and he could see no reasonable grounds, why the arrangement should be disturbed.  His Honor Mr. Justice Burton referred to a very simple maxim in legal practice, that no counsel can be retained in two cases set down for trial at the same hour, there was no good argument therefore, for interfering with the arrangement of the Court.  The prisoner Kyne was then removed to the other Court.

The case of Brennan then proceeded ---

Ann Unwin examined---I live in Parramatta; I was there on the 18th November last; I recollect being in the house of Martha Condron, on the morning of her death; I went there voluntarily; she was not dead when I first saw her on that morning, she lived some hours afterwards; I had been at her house on the Thursday preceding; I was called upon by the prisoner, who told me that Mrs. Condron had sent for me; he said she had received a wound on the Wednesday night, but she would not tell him who had inflicted it, but he observed she might tell me; the prisoner desired me to take a pair of sharp scissors, to cut the hair from the wound; he said Isabella Cooper had been there, but her scissors would not cut; the prisoner said he ought to have come for me at an early hour in the day, but he had met with a friend and had been drinking and forgot to call; the prisoner then went away; I immediately went to Mrs. Condron's house; on my way I met the prisoner in company with a man named Evans, who had lived opposite to the house of the deceased; Evans observed that I was going to Mrs. Condron's; I said, pointing to the prisoner, that he had told me of Mrs. Condron's having received some serious wounds on the preceding night, when Evans replied "pooh, pooh, she got drunk and fell down;" I then went on to Mrs. Condron's house; I found her sitting under a window; she appeared to be very poorly, and said she had been expecting me since morning; I observed I was afraid she had been drinking, when she said she had! I asked her if she had been hurt, when she told me to look at her head, which she said she had dressed herself, as Bella Cooper, when she came, did not offer to look at it; I asked her how it happened, when she said "never mind, I know who they are, God will forgive them, and I shall tumble up again," an expression she commonly made use of; the house appeared to be in a state of disorder, to which she directed my attention; I observed marks of blood on the wall and on the floor; she said she had washed up the blood herself; on Friday morning I examined her head! the wound was a very small one; a man named Peter Murray came in while I was washing her head, I sent him to Mr. Ellison's for a little brandy to wash the wound with, but Mr. Ellison did not send it, saying he would come over himself; after I had washed her and put things to rights, I went away; I went again on the following Sunday; I saw Sergeant Hamilton, who said "I am very glad to see you have come, this poor old woman has been falling about on the stones, and I fear she will dash her brains out; she has been vomiting very much."  I found her very sick, and complaining of being unwell, and made her a little [????wine] and water, which she took; I went away and returned in the afternoon; while I was in the act of washing her head, the prisoner was coming in, when Mrs. Condron said, "here he comes, d-n him let him go;" Mr. Nichols, who appeared on behalf of the prisoner, objected to the words of the deceased being received as evidence, and quoted various cases in support of his objection.  Mr. Therry, for the prosecution, contended that there was evidence to offer, that the deceased was, at that time, conscious of her approaching dissolution.

His Honor observed that the words of the deceased, in the absence of the prisoner, could not be taken in evidence, but the witness must be allowed to proceed, if nothing further was elicited to prove the deceased's consciousness of being past recovery; the evidence might be rejected.

Witness in continuation---Deceased said "I am much worse than you take me to be, I cannot live very long, I hope you will attend to me in my last moments, and see me buried;"  I promised I would; I live near her; she said a man who lived opposite would buy her a coffin; I asked her if she would like to hear me read to her, when she said she would; I read a Chapter in John to her; she said she hoped she would be able by the next Sunday to go with me to a place of worship, as she long wished to change her life; arrangements had been in contemplation, that I should go to live with her altogether, which I was to have done on the day following on which she died.

Mr. Therry observed, there has been abundant proof elicited, that the deceased thought seriously of her approaching end;  her conviction of her dangerous state expressed to witness, her anxiety to hear the gospel, the coffin, her wish to be able to go to church, and her review of her past life, were all conclusive testimonials that she felt her recovery impossible; without however going so far, Mr. Therry was of opinion that her words were admissible as evidence, and quoted cases in support of his argument.

By the Court.---I did not think she was dangerously ill; she was certainly poorly; I cannot say whether it was her intention to go on the following Sunday to Church; she said she would wish to go if she were able; she observed she would wish to alter her course of life, particularly with regard to drinking, which she said she knew would kill her, if she did not; she had been vomiting very much, but I cannot say it was the effect of drinking; I feel convinced she had not been drinking then, or I must have perceived it; I had some further conversation with her; we were speaking about Mrs. Macarthur, she was then sitting in the outside room; after this we went to take a walk in the garden; the subject of the conversation about Mrs. Macarthur was, the deceased said she would go on the following morning to complain that Mr. Ellison had not used her well; Brennand was then present; he said there will be no occasion Mrs. Condron, for you to complain  to Mrs. Macarthur, for Mr. Ellison is going to make an arrangement to allow you so much a week, and was glad to hear that this woman (meaning me) was going to live with you; I cannot say that at this time she was conscious of her approaching end.

Mr. Therry---Deceased used the expression "here he is, d-n him let him go;" on the approach of the prisoner; he had a vessel in his hand containing beer, which he said had been sent to her by Mr. Ellison; I said, my friend she shall not drink either beer or spirits; the prisoner Brennand asked me if the cut was deep, when I replied that it was too deep for those who had done it, if she has not done it herself, the wretches should be brought to justice; I must remark, the neighbours were of opinion she had been drinking, and had fallen and cut her head; the prisoner observed, that she would not tell him who had done it, or he would look after them; the deceased observed, it was not very likely she had done it herself, or how could the window come out on to the floor without breaking; the prisoner hereupon observed that the window had certainly been out, as himself and Evans had nailed it up; the deceased did not seem to be under any apprehension in the prisoner's presence; when he went out she said "that is the man who has done it;" after some other conversation, I went away; on the following morning about 1 o'clock, I went to the house of deceased; I went to the door and found it locked; I then went to the window and heard a noise of some person snoring; I thought the sound differed from that of a person asleep; I shook the window shutter, and it flew open; on looking in I saw the deceased lying on the floor, with her head towards the door of the room; I then ran to Mr. Ellison's to tell him that the deceased was dying on the floor, and asked them to lend me an axe to force the door with; I informed a person named Henry Incle and his wife, who reside in the neighbourhood, when he brought an axe and forced the door; when we went in, the deceased was lying on the floor, apparently in a dying state, but not quite dead' her hand and foot seemed to be drawn up, black and red marks also appeared on her throat; I thought they were occasioned by a band which she always wore under her neck; her cap and the band were under her head on the floor; a great deal of moisture came from her mouth and nose; I did not observe any additional wounds; she was insensible and did not speak after I went in the house; I took her hand in mine, and putting my mouth close to hers, I asked her if she knew me, she did not answer me; I had not sufficient presence of mind to go round to the back door, to get in in the first instance, when I found the front door bolted, the sound attracted me to the window, which flew open on my touching it; when, on seeing the deceased in a dying state, I immediately ran for assistance; her feet were towards the foot of the bed, and her head towards the room door; she could not have fallen out of bed in that position; myself, Bella Smith, and Henry Snell went in, lifted the deceased on to the bed; I frequently saw the prisoner backward and forward at the house of deceased; I have also seen him at Ellison's; I do not know where the prisoner resided constantly; I knew that he brought deceased her food daily from Mr. Ellison's, who supported her; I did not see the prisoner on the morning of her death; I lifted the deceased on the bed from my own wish, and not at the suggestion of any other person.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols---I thought the marks on the throat of the deceased were occasioned by the band which she used to wear; it was not on her neck at that time; I thought the contraction of her arm and leg were occasioned by a paralytic stroke; I tried to straighten it, but it remained in a contracted state until she was put in the coffin; on my first seeing her she lay with her linen about her neck, as if she had been kicking about, her hair was all about in disorder; I thought from her first appearance, that she had fallen into a fit; I never recollect her to have been in a fit before; I am sorry to say she has been frequently in a state of intoxication; I saw the prisoner frequently at the house of the deceased, he used to carry her victuals daily from Mr. Ellison's; I am certain the back door was closed when we entered, but I cannot say it was bolted; the wound on her head was not very long, nor very deep; I cannot say that she might have received such a wound from falling out of bed; Mr. Evans said that she had been so drunk, that she had drawn the cupboard down upon her; the cupboard appeared to have been down; when I saw it had been lifted up again, but it was not fastened; on the Thursday when the prisoner came for me, he said that some persons had cut the head of the deceased, but she would not tell him who it was, but she might probably tell me; if any person had been in or about below Howell's Mill, I think they might have heard a cry of murder from deceased's house, if it had been very loud.

By a Juror---I thought that deceased's motive in pulling my apron on the approach of the prisoner on Sunday when I was dressing her head, was merely to draw my attention to his coming; when she was found in that state described on Monday morning, her bed had certainly the appearance of having been lain on.

John Brooks---I lived on the premises of the deceased until the Wednesday prior to her death; I rented the skilling near the stable; I left on that day because the rain used to come through the roof; I left about 9 o'clock, and bade her good night; I then went to sleep in my own boat which was moored near Mr. Howell's Mill; I was in the habit of sleeping there; I was just dozing off when I heard her crying out "John, John, won't you come, won't you come."  I heard no cry of murder, she cried very loud; I pulled my boat to the side, and went towards her cottage; on approaching it I saw some person in white go across the road from Mrs. Condron's gate; I could not tell who it was; I could not say who was the person who came out of the gateway; I cannot say it was a female; I afterwards saw the prisoner Brennand cross the road, he came out of the deceased's yard; this was about 11 o'clock; he went between Mr. Ellison's and the next house; I am positive it was out of her yard by the [???] gateway; the bed-room window of the deceased's looks into the yard towards the gate; I went to the window and asked the deceased if she was in bed, she replied she was; I then asked her if she had called me, she said she had, but I did not come, she said she would have been killed but for my coming, but I put them past it; I then asked her if I could do anything for her, when she said I could not, and had better go to bed, as she could make shift by herself, which I did; on the following morning I went to the deceased's house to return the key of the house I had quitted; I saw a quantity of blood on the window; she then told it was occasioned by the persons who had cut her head on the previous night; the prisoner Brennand was bringing some fire into the house, when I asked her if she knew who the persons were who had done it, when she said it was Brennand; the prisoner at this time was quite close to her; I thought he could not help hearing her; he might have been at the distance of five yards, not more; he looked on and said nothing; there appeared to be a good deal of blood on the window and on the floor; I had been robbed in the house I left many a time; I am not aware that I accused the prisoner of robbing me, I may have done so; I know he was one of the party; I felt aggrieved at the prisoner for taking my property, I never told him I would serve him out for it; that is not the cause of my appearing here to day; I neither like him nor dislike him; I never said that I would get him  hanged; I have had no conversation with any person on this matter; I did not give evidence privately to Mr. Macarthur; the only evidence I gave was at the Police Office; I cannot say what the distance from the deceased's to my boat is; the mill was not going on that night; I swear that it was about 11 o'clock; I could hear her cries very plainly; I only went to her window; I did not go into her house, she was not drunk; I am not aware that the deceased was a woman of weak mind; I am positive I saw Brennand; I did not speak to him; I knew he was in the habit of going there; the deceased shewed me the blood, she did not shew me her head; I did not see the person who came before the prisoner from deceased's house; I believe it to have been a man; I don't know the dress that prisoner wore on that occasion; I know he was not in his shirt; I saw his face; it was a star light night; it was not quite dark; the distance from the person who went before the prisoner was about forty yards; I cannot swear whether it was a man or a woman; the deceased spoke audibly, when she said the prisoner had done it; I am of opinion that he must have heard her; she did not seem to be afraid of the prisoner hearing her; she did not say she would go to a Magistrate; I was not aware that an inquest was held on the body after her death; I gave no evidence on that occasion; I have known deceased to be fresh; but I never heard her sing out John before.

By the Court---I used to sleep at the deceased's house before I went to my boat.  I rented a house from her the evening of this day; was the first time I slept there; my sleeping place from that of the deceased's was about 10 yards; I was a protection to her when I slept there; a person named Snell and his wife used to sleep there after the death of her husband; I think I gave deceased notice that I was about to leave; I am positive I told prisoner of my intention to do so on that day; I never saw the window of deceased's bed room open before that night, it was always shut; when I went to the window I found the window sash lying on the floor inside, appearing to have been forced in.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols---I was a protection for deceased sometimes; I was absent sometimes all night down the river, sometimes two days collecting ashes and shells; I was nearly as much out of Parramatta as in it.

By a Juror---The reason why I did not stop the persons whom I saw going from the deceased's house, I was not aware what was the matter; I told deceased that one of the persons who had been there was Brennand; I don't think he heard the whole of the conversation when he was carrying the shovel of fire by the deceased, but I have no doubt he must have heard her mention his name.

By Mr. Therry---The reason I asked her if she knew who had done her the injury, seeing the prisoners going backwards and forwards; I did not imagine it to be him.

Eliza Newman---I remember going to the house of the deceased on Sunday the 17th November; I knocked at the front door; it was bolted; the prisoner came and opened it; the deceased did not appear to have been drinking; she said she was very poorly; after a little conversation I went into the garden to gather plumbs and roses, and again returned to the house; when I was leaving, the prisoner opened the front door, and remarked as I went out, that he expected to find her dead some morning, the same as her husband; It had been generally reported that her husband had been found dead a few months before; when I left the house the prisoner bolted the door.  The prisoner's remarks might have been made in allusion to her habits of intoxication; the deceased had been ill used by a man and woman on the Wednesday evening, and they had given her a black eye; but she did not say who they were; the bed on which she lay was a kind of  stretcher; the distance from the residence of deceased to Howell's mill, is about 30 or 40 yards; If the mill were going, I don't think a person below the mill could hear a cry from the house of the deceased; she only complained to me of a black eye, and said a man and a woman had come in at the window.

By a Juror---there had been no conversation with the prisoner that could lead to this remark; I know this woman; I did not hear that she had dressed a wound on the head of the deceased; I saw no cuts or plasters on her head; I heard of nothing further than the black eye; I do not know the prisoner; I had never seen him there before, his appearance [occasioned??] no surprise; his remark made no impression on me, I scarcely noticed it; I never mentioned the remark to any person until the time of the Inquest, when I mentioned it to Mr. H. Taylor.

Thomas Shaw---I am a stone mason.  I was in the employ of Mr. McArthur on the 18th November; I cannot speak to the exact time in the morning; I think it was a quarter of an hour before five o'clock, when I passed Ellison's, the house was not then open; I saw the prisoner cross the road from Ellison's gate; I knew the deceased, he lived nearly opposite; I made no particular remark to the prisoner on that occasion, nor he to me; I was examined before the Magistrates on this subject; I remarked to the other men, the prisoner had a down look, and was after no good at that early hour in the morning; I don't know that he heard me say any thing; he held his head down and passed on making no reply; on the following morning at about half past 5 o'clock, he crossed in the same direction; he was in conversation with a sergeant of the Regiment.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols---I am not on bad terms with the prisoner; I had some words with him about his appearing against me in another court; but I would not swear a lie against him on that account.  I have certainly threatened to indite the prisoner and Mr. Ellison for perjury on that occasion .

Robert Chapman Rutter---I am a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London; I was  called into attend the deceased on the 19th November; I found her in convulsions, there were two females present when I arrived; I stated that it was of no utility to administer any thing to her, as she could not survive an hour; she was very violently convulsed! there was a slight contusion on the forehead; also a slight contusion on the back part of the head; but it appeared to have bled freely; a slight discoloration on the anterior part of the throat; it had escaped general observation until I pointed it out.  I opened the head; I discovered the anterior wound had not perforated the skull; the membranes of the brain were perfect on that part of the head; had the blow been a serious one this could not have been the case; I am of opinion  that the death of the deceased was not caused by that wound; there was about six ounces of fluid in the ventricles of the brain, which caused the vessels to be unusually turpid; the appearance of the brain was otherwise healthy; I made an incision in the throat, and discovered an effusion of blood in the cellular membranes, which stopping the circulation, was the proximate cause of death; these facts led me to the conclusion that the deceased died  by strangulation; the appearances of the fluid on the brain are not caused by strangulation, I attributed that circumstance to long previous disease.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols---I am of the same opinion now, that I was at the Inquest; I recollect the contractions of the arms and legs of the deceased; these were the effects of convulsions and not delirium tremens; the marks on the throat were not a [lines missing??] the marks of the fingers extending round the neck'; there was a narrow contusive mark of about four inches in length across the trachea; the band which I saw would not produce such a mark, nor would the application of the fingers for the purpose of strangulation have caused such a mark;---I am of opinion  that it is attributable to accident, and not to design.  The wound in the head was not in itself sufficient to cause death; there were several discolourations on the body, all the parts of the culact were much discoloured by the escudative of the deceased, and the heart.

Edward Webster.---I am a Surgeon, I live at Parramatta; I have been regularly admitted in London as a Surgeon.  I was called on to visit the late Martha Condron; she was not alive when I saw her, it was while the inquest was being held; she lay in her own house on a kind of sofa in the bed room; I examined the wound on her head and was of opinion that the blow and profuse bleeding might have caused her death; at the inquest I was asked if on examining the neck I had any cause to suspect that strangulation had taken place; I said I had not examined the neck, and went back again to the deceased; I was not aware that Dr. Rutter had been there on my first visit; I considered the wound on the head to be an incised wound and sufficient to cause death; on returning to the inquest, I gave up my opinion as to the wound being the cause of death, and came to the conclusion, that the deceased died by strangulation; I cannot say she had been addicted to liquor; I saw nothing that could warrant that opinion.

By a Juror---If strangulation had been effected by the fingers; it is still possible she might have lived for a short time; had the strangulation been effected by means of the band usually worn by the deceased, it would not produce a mark similar to that on the neck of the deceased, it would have been much broader; a cord would produce a similar mark.

Mary Grounds.---I am a married woman, I knew the late Martha Condron; I saw her on the morning of her death. I heard she had been dreadfully beaten, I went in and could not help saying O my God Mrs. Condron who has been murdering you in this manner, she appeared as if great violence had been used, hearing my voice she turned round and appeared to endeavour to speak to me, but she could not.  I observed a dreadful black eye and two or three black marks on her throat.  I thought the marks were occasioned by some person choking her; there was a great deal of blood about and it appeared as if some person had been attempting to wash it out, and pipeclay had been rubbed over it.  I called aloud for Henry Ellison that she was dying and went towards home, Mrs. Unwin and several other persons were there at the time.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols.---I thought that the marks on the throat were occasioned by the finger and thumb of some person, I think so now.  I don't know that deceased was foolish, she used to get drunk frequently, I went back again to the deceased's house, I don't know the distance from the house of the deceased to Howell's mill.

Isabella Smith.---I live at Parramatta, I know the deceased, I saw her on the day she got the cut on her head, I was called in to see the state she was in.  She shewed me some blood on the window and asked me to cut the hair from a cut on her head.  I said in the name of God how did you come by this, she said a man and a woman came through the window and done it. The prisoner said she would be the better of a little spirits, I gave him three pence and he bought a gill of rum, he gave me a glass and the deceased held in her hand she said "Oh the villain, the villain," and drank the rum, she did not look at the prisoner, nor appear to address those words to any person in particular; I did not understand it to have reference to what she had told me.  On the following Monday morning Mrs. Unwin came for me to my house, I was cutting wood, she begged me to go with her to Mrs. Condron's, the deceased, as she was  dying, I went accordingly and found her lying in an indelicate state, I saw some marks on her neck.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols.---I asked her on the Thursday, if she would know the persons again who had injured her, she said she would if she saw them.

John Lacey.---I reside at Parramatta.  I knew the late John and Martha Condron.  I don't remember how long it is since they died.  I saw the deceased Martha Condron previously to her death when she was in a state of convulsion.  I did not take particular notice of the marks in her neck, it was much swollen, I saw the prisoner a very short time prior to this at a public house kept by a tenant of mine where I was; he asked me what I would take for the mortgage I had on Condron's property; he was not sober at the time.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols.---There is no dispute between Ellison and I about a farm, no law suit; it is at the Cowpastures, it was given to Ellison by John Condron, I heard so from the Coroner, I don't know that Ellison was to support her while she lived, I had no conversation with deceased.

James Brown.---I am a constable, I recollect the night of the death of Martha Condron, I saw the prisoner on the evening of that day in George street, he was then unarmed, he went to the house of a man named Evans, opposite to the deceased's, I saw him take a piece and load it, when he had done so, he observed that if that were not sufficient he would put something extra in it, he then went towards the Military Barracks, he was absent about half an hour; when he returned, as he passed me he said, the first constable or other person who would attempt to stop him, he would put the contents of the piece through him.  I could not leave my post.  I don't know that he was suspected of Martha Condron's murder, I was not at the inquest, I do not know that he was aware I am a constable.  I had my staff in my hand, when he went away, he went towards the inquest which was held at Mr. Armstrong's he was rather in liquor.

By a Juror.---I have known him for two years, he has been frequently employed by Mr. Mackie as a bailiff.  I do not know how long he lived at Mr. Ellison's.

Augustus Hayward Esq.---I am the coroner of Parramatta.  I presided at the inquest held on the body of the late Martha Condron, the prisoner attended the inquest, I told him that he was suspected of being the person who had caused her death, that was before he gave his evidence, after which I was told he was gone.  I received a letter from him stating that he would be forthcoming in the morning, I considered his absenting himself as merely to avoid going to the watch house for the night.

Andrew Hamilton---I am a Sergeant of the 17th regiment; I live near the house of the deceased; I remember speaking to her on Sunday the 17th November, about two o'clock; I saw the prisoner on the Thursday previously; he asked me if I had not been over to Mrs. Condron's; I said I had not; he then told me she had been robbed last night; I then went to my lodging, and pulled off my belt, and went into Mrs. Condron's house; she told me that a man and woman had broken into the house, but she did not know the man Brennand, the prisoner, and Evans, were present at the time they came to nail a  window which had been broken into; the deceased said she knew the woman; she said in the presence of the prisoner and Evans she did not know the man she told me the same after they had gone away; if she had known him I would have been the most likely person in the street for her to have told it to; Brennand and Evans went away together, they took no part in the conversation.

Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols.---The distance between Mrs. Condron's house and the mill is 80 or 90 yards; if the mill had been going, I don't think a person near the mill could hear the cry of murder at Mrs. Condron's house.

Charles [Lally??]---I am acting corporal in the 17th regiment; I recollect mounting duty on the main barrack on the 17th November, I went on at [??] eleven o'clock on that day, and remained on duty until eleven o'clock on the 18th (Monday;) I don't know where Mrs. Condron's house is; I know Mr. Ellison's, I passed it on the morning of the 18th, about day break; the drums had not beat rivalie; it was about half past four o'clock; I saw the prisoner standing exactly opposite the house where I afterwards understood the murder had been committed; Ellison's house is not exactly opposite that house; I saw him standing in his shirt leaning against a paling on the opposite side of the way, and as he was not smoking, or any thing it struck me as being rather curious; I thought he looked somewhat confused more so than when I had seen him in the Catholic Burying Ground a few days before; I don't know where Evans the tin man lives, but I know there is a tinman lives near them; the prisoner was standing on the inside of the paling; it is at some short distance from Ellison's house.

The case for the prosecution closed here.

Mr. Nichols begged leave to submit to the Court that there had not been a particle of evidence adduced touching the means by which the deceased had met her death, as laid down in the various counts in the indictment, and there was therefore no case to go to the Jury.

His Honor was of opinion that it was certainly unfortunate that the two medical gentlemen had not consulted together, in order to enable them to come to a definite conclusion as to the means by which the death of the unfortunate deceased had been effected; but he was of opinion that there was sufficient evidence, independently of that of the medical gentlemen, to send the case to the Jury.  There was strong circumstantial testimony, the best testimony which can be probably relied on in cases of this nature, where the perpetrator naturally shuns throwing himself into the way of direct evidence of his guilt, he could not therefore take the case out of the hands of the Jury, to whom it is properly referable.

The prisoner being called on for his defence, protested his innocence of the charge on which he was arraigned, he declared he was in bed when the injuries were received by the deceased, and he had always acted more like a son to her than a murderer.  Indeed he declared he had done more for her than he had for his own mother in Ireland.

His Honor addressed the Jury at some length, and patiently recapitulated the evidence, drawing their attention to the most important points for and against the prisoner.  The case being submitted for their consideration.  they retired about twenty minutes, and returned a verdict of not guilty, and the prisoner was discharged by proclamation.


Before Mr. Justice Burton and a Military Jury.

Bryant Koyne was indicted for the wilful murder of James Gavarin, at the residence of J. H. Plunkett Esq. Solicitor General at Waterview on the 20th December last, by firing at and shooting him with a pistol loaded with gunpowder and bullet.  Prisoner pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Therry in opening the case, regretted that the business in the other Court would prevent him from conducting this case as had been previously arranged he should, he regretted the more, inasmuch as his learned friend the Solicitor general would be compelled to make a sacrifice of personal feeling to duty of the most painful nature, in conducting the prosecution of one of his own servants.

The Solicitor General proceeded to call witnesses, the first of whom was Margaret Donnellan, who being sworn said I am Mrs. Plunkett's maid, my master and mistress were absent from home (Waterview) some days in December last, during which time there were several servants at Waterview, the prisoner was amongst them, he was overseer, the deceased James Gavarin and myself were among the number, on the 26th of December, the deceased had occasion to go to Sydney on his master's business, and returned that evening, before he did return home, the prisoner told me that two rooms in the house had been broken open, and showed me the drawing room and parlour doors, which had the locks knocked off them; I exhibited some surprise at this, and said it was very singular, and that there was nobody in the house but the prisoner and old women; I had just been walking with a  fellow servant (a female) to the water's edge, soon after which, the deceased came home and on being told that the doors had been broken open, the deceased said that if he had been at home it would never have occurred; the prisoner heard this and said to him if you do not hold your tongue he would send him on board the Hulk, the deceased said it was not in his power; prisoner said he would do, and that in irons too; the deceased said to the prisoner, "I did not come out to this country the same as you did, with another man's blood upon your head" prisoner replied, 'by god I'll blow your brains out."  Prisoner went out of the kitchen  where this occurred, to the passage of the house, the deceased following him, in about a minute I heard the report of arms, a man named Horpan ran to the passage to see what was the matter, and another shot was fired.  I then ran into the passage and saw the prisoner standing on the floor, and the deceased leaning himself against the wall; I went directly with a fellow servant named William Wonocott to the water's edge, he fired a pistol and a gun to alarm the people on board the hulk, shortly after which a boat with Mr. McKeig the Superintendent, and Mr. Keck the assistant Superintendent and some soldiers came up; I went with them to the house; the deceased was lying on the floor groaning.  I did not hear him say one word; I saw the body of the deceased when dead.

Cross-examined by Mr. Rowe, both master and mistress were from home at the time, and the prisoner was left in charge of the house, the prisoner had been absent from the house a short time during the afternoon, when he went he left all the doors fastened; I did not know until the prisoner told me that the doors had been broken open; the prisoner was in a great passion; when I came back from the water side the prisoner was in the kitchen, his face was bleeding; from the time when the prisoner left the kitchen until the shot was fired it could not be more than a minute, prisoner told deceased that if he did not be quiet and leave him, he would blow his brains out; deceased said very well and followed him immediately, the deceased was also in a passion; from prisoner's bedroom to the kitchen I should think to be about ten yards.

Mr. Henry Keck, assistant Superintendent of the Hulk Phoenix being sworn; says I recollect the night on which the people on board the Hulk were alarmed, the Superintendent at that time ordered the gig to be manned and the guard to go into the boat, I went into the boat myself with the guard and four  sailors to Waterview, when there, heard no alarm but asked what was the matter, some person replied "oh! matter enough, a man being murdered" when I got in I saw one of the boat's crew seize a person who was then in the act of putting his hands into his pockets.  I ordered his hands to be tied to prevent more mischief, I then went over to the deceased who was lying near where I understood the prisoner slept, in the passage which runs through the house; I knew the deceased well, the deceased when I went to him caught me by both his hands, he knew me well and called me by name; the prisoner was standing by the hall door, probably within hearing at the time, there was a great noise and bustle in the hall, I stay'd but a short time, saw several persons in the house.  I took the prisoner in the gig and conveyed him to the Hulk, he appeared to be tipsey; on my return about a quarter of an hour afterwards, I saw the deceased, he was dying, the deceased told me he was, I said, I fear you are, have you anything to say, or any message to send to your master or mistress, the deceased said he could not speak; I said I would put some questions to him, to which he must rouse himself and endeavour to answer, he  said he  wished for a clergyman, whether this was on my first or second  visit I can not say, and also said, ":we  quarrelled, he threatened to blow my brains out, he left the room for pistols and I followed him, he met me and shot me, he deliberately murdered me, he knew well what he was about."  I understood him to mean the prisoner; when I first went he  said, the villain Koyne murdered me; he lived from the first time I went in, an hour and a half; he said nothing after what I have already related, and it was with extreme difficulty he articulated that; I remained in the house till two o'clock and stood by him at the time of his death; the pistols produced are those lent to Mr. Plunkett or the prisoner, for the protection of Mr. Plunkett's house; I saw them at Waterview, they were handed to me as one of which that did the murder, they I think had been used recently, one of the pistols goes off at half cock, I cannot recognize which pistol was given to me as having done murder; I saw other fire-arms viz, a large horse pistol, a double barrelled gun, a  rifle, and a case of small pistols, the arms were generally kept in Koyne's bed-room; when in the Hulk I said to the prisoner your victim is dead, he said he could not help it, it would be all our fate some  time.

Cross-examined by Mr. Rowe.  He  said he could not help it, telling me repeatedly the circumstance was accidental, he said the pistol on being half cocked went off in the scuffle, or something to that purpose; the prisoner's head was very much cut when he came on board the Hulk, two or three fresh wounds on his head sufficient I should think to cause a great passion to arise in the breast of a man, if such blows as caused these wounds were given by another man.  The prisoner during my conversation with the deceased, was at some distance which might have prevented him from hearing the deceased remarks, that the prisoner could not make any reply, the prisoner  said to me he would tell how it occurred; I told him, I did not want to hear anything from him now, the prisoner was anxious to explain, the prisoner did not say who caused the blows, I had it from other persons; the deceased called the prisoner by very opprobrious names.  I cannot say whether in anger or not, but I should think no man would call another by such names unless in anger; in my last interview the deceased did not mention the prisoners name.

Daniel Crump Horpan, sworn, recollects the night after Christmas day, resides at Birch Grove, near Waterview, was at Sydney that day, and returned about seven or eight o'clock in the evening, deceased returned with me in a boat to Waterview; after landing, went with deceased and William Wonocott to Waterview, stopped in the kitchen about two minutes, during which time, I heard an altercation between prisoner and deceased; when I first went, prisoner opened the door to me, prisoner had said to deceased, he would send him to the hulk in irons; deceased said if he had been at home, that would not have occurred, I do not know what he meant; immediately prisoner went out, deceased followed him, I heard a noise, and thought it was a fight between the deceased and prisoner, I went to the kitchen door and heard a shot, neither prisoner nor deceased had arms, when they left the kitchen; when I heard the shot I rushed to the hall where I saw prisoner on his back on the floor, and deceased standing over him with his hand on the butt end of a pistol, and the prisoner with both hands on; his right hand had hold of the barrel of the pistol, and both apparently struggling to get it; I interfered, and caught hold of the pistol with both hands, got it from them and fired it off against the floor, saw the mark of the ball on the floor.  I picked up a ball on the floor soon after, on the same place where I saw the hole, the ball did not penetrate the board; when I heard the first shot go off, it was very dark, there was no light except in the prisoner's room; after I discharged the pistol I threw it out of my hand; when prisoner was getting up off the boards, I saw deceased give him two kicks, after I got the prisoner up, I saw deceased strike prisoner over the head twice, with the butt end of a pistol; I rescued the pistol from deceased with much difficulty, I snapped it, found it was loaded, and threw it out of my hand.  I found that deceased was injured when I took the pistol from him: he said, "Oh ! Mr. Horpan, I am shot."  Prisoner was standing close to him, and said, "he is not shot," deceased  said "I am you murdering villain." I opened the waistband deceased's trowsers, and saw an incision in the abdomen, apparently done by a ball---prisoner wanted to get into his bed room, I would not let him, he said he would show me the pistols were not loaded; after I shut the door, prisoner said the pistol went off accidentally, when in the scuffle.

Examined by Mr. Rowe.---Both appeared to be in a passion, prisoner was endeavouring to get the pistol from the deceased.

By a Juror.---I did not observe any appearance of singeing, or smell of gunpowder about the clothes of deceased.

William Wonocott, sworn.---I hold a ticket of leave, and work at Waterview, recollect going to Sydney with the deceased and Horpan, we returned about dusk, and went together to Mr. Plunkett's house at Waterview, we all went together into the kitchen, saw prisoner call deceased, saying, that two doors had been broken into, and Mr. Koyne know nothing about it, he being left in charge of the house, and that if he had been at home it would not have occurred; prisoner was angry at this, and threatened to send him in irons on board the hulk, if he did not hold his tongue; deceased said it was not in prisoner's power, and said he never had any ones' blood upon him; prisoner went out of the room saying to deceased, that if he did not hold his tongue he would blow his brains out; prisoner turned round and went I think to where the arms were, and followed him; I heard a shot go off---I had seen a light in the passage, and went there, but when I got there it was very dark, the candle had gone out, perhaps blown out, whether so or not I cannot say---cannot say if accidentally or on purpose; I stood opposite the arms room, to prevent any one entering there; the housekeeper brought a light about a minute afterwards---the first thing I saw was deceased upon the top of prisoner, and Horpan struggling with both, apparently attempting to get away a pistol which deceased and prisoner had both fast hold of.

During this part of the evidence of the witness, we regret to say that Mr. Rowe, the prisoners Counsel was suddenly seized with illness, which caused considerable bustle in the court.  Mr. Rowe was removed, and at the request of the Solicitor General, His honour adjourned the court until Mr. Rowe should be sufficiently recovered to continue his duties.  The court waited some time, and Mr. Rowe not having returned, his honour suggested that some gentleman had better take Mr. Rowe's case.  Mr. Foster happened to be in court, and consented to do so, and the evidence of the last witness went on.

Witness corroborated the testimony of the other witnesses and called for assistance at the hulk, which came as before stated, on his return the deceased was lying in the same posture, and seemed incapable of raising himself.  Mary the cook was speaking to him---M'Keig and Mr. Keck, went to the front door, I think deceased was in the passage, in his second entry---does not know to the contrary that prisoner and deceased were sober.

Mr. M'Keig, Superintendent of the Hulk, sworn---I went to Waterview on the night the alarm was given; I heard what had occurred before I had got to the house; I entered at the front door; it was opened by the prisoner; I asked him who was the murderer; he said I am the person, or I am the man; I gave him in charge of a sentry; I took two soldiers with me; stationed one at the back and one at the front of the house; I ordered the boatswain's mate to search the prisoner, then had him tied; the wounded man was in the hall; he said he was a murdered man; he asked to have a priest; I sent him a priest from the hulk, a person  who officiates there, also the Doctor who has medical charge of the hulk; I went into the prisoner's room, where  the arms were; I found none loaded.

John Gleeson---I am gardener at Waterview; I recollect the night after Christmas day; Mr. Wonocott, deceased and Horpan came from Sydney; I heard a noise between prisoner and deceased; I heard deceased say the doors had been broken open; if he had been at home that would not have happened; prisoner told deceased to hold his tongue or he would send him in irons to the hulk; if he did not be quiet, he would blow his brains out; prisoner went out; deceased followed him immediately; I afterwards heard a report of firearms, cannot say where fired; someone called for a light; I went to look for a candle, I was some time lighting it, I handed it to somebody in the hall; I heard a report of a pistol, I went to the hall and saw deceased lying down bleeding, prisoner was standing close by him.

Cross-examined by Mr. Foster---Can't say what occurred between the parties in the passage; they might have been fighting together; did not see them before the pistol was fired.

Dr. Moncrieff, Assistant Surgeon at the General Hospital, being sworn, deposed having saw and examined the body of deceased at Waterview, on the 27th December, a Coroner's Inquest was sitting upon it.  I found a wound on the right side of the lower part of the abdomen, from which a portion of the entrails protruded; opened the body, and extracted a bullet from the bone of the pelvis, immediately opposite where the ball entered, viz. on the right side of the lower abdomen; I am of opinion  that this would cause death; the ball took a complete horizontal direction.

Cross-examined by Mr. Foster---I am of opinion that it was fired at by a person standing, it would not have taken a horizontal direction, but would have declined; the usual mode I should think of one person intending to shoot another, the arm would be raised, consequently a ball must enter higher than in this case.

Mr. Foster here took an objection, that the surname of the deceased had not been sufficiently proved, stating that the indictment charged prisoner with shooting at and killing one James Gavarin, alias Goverin, alias ----, neither of which names had been distinctly proved.

The court appealed to the Solicitor General, who held that although three names were laid in the indictment, there was sufficient evidence to go to a Jury.

The Court over-ruled Mr. Foster's objection, re-calling several witnesses, amongst whom was Margaret Donnellan, who deposed she knows deceased to have been James Gavarin; never knew him by any other name; did not hear any scuffle in the passage before the report of the [first??] pistol.

The case for the prosecution being closed, John Weston, Esq. was sworn---I am Governor of His Majesty's Gaol; I have known prisoner for two years, ever since he came into the Colony; prisoner has been under my immediate orders for 14 months; I have had sufficient opportunity of observing his conduct, which was always that of a sober, honest, steady, humane man; in consequence of his remarkably good conduct, I recommended him to a situation as messenger to the Solicitor General's Office in the Court House, where his pay would be slightly increased; I have known and seen him daily since that time; have had no reason to alter my former good opinion of him; was much surprised, when I heard prisoner was the man charged with murder; he is not a man likely to be guilty of so heinous a crime; I know him to be an inoffensive, humane man.

J. H. Plunkett, Esq. sworn---prisoner had been a messenger at my office for 12 months; always considered his character good; he conducted himself remarkably well; never knew him else than a quiet inoffensive man; I selected him to take charge of my house during my absence, and that of my family.

The learned Judge, in charging the Jury, stated that there were three points for their serious consideration.  1st. whether or not the offence for which prisoner was this day placed at the bar to take his trial, was premeditated and intentional, and amounted to wilful murder, such as was enlarged in the information; 2d. whether the act was committed in such a manner as would bring the prisoner under that humane clause of the law which reduced the crime to manslaughter; 3d. whether the shooting was accidental, as a portion of the defence set up attempted to show.  His Honor then went carefully and distinctly over all the evidence, pointing out the parts of the various testimonies likely to lighten the crime charged to the prisoner, and minutely examining those portions of it, where stronger conclusions of his guilt might be drawn---charging the Jury to dismiss from their minds every circumstance connected with it but what appeared in evidence.

The Jury retired for about fifteen minutes, and returned with a verdict of guilty.

His Honor, in proceeding to pass sentence of death upon the prisoner, observed that it was now his last and painful duty to pass that sentence of the law which would leave him but a few short days to make his peace with his offended God---painful to him as it always was, to number the days of a frail mortal like himself, yet upon the murder than anguish was spared him, for upon none so justly as the murderer could that sentence be passed, as in spiritual law it says he who shed man's blood, his blood by man shall be shed.---His Honor sincerely hoped that this awful warning in a Court of Justice might have that effect which in attending our Churches, many fail to receive.---Drunkenness was the idol to which the unfortunate wretch (whose life was nearly brought to its close) so blindly had knelt to, a vice too prevalent in our Colonial Societies---exhorting the unhappy culprit to occupy the remainder of his time in making intercession with God.  His Honor putting on his black cap, passed the sentence of death upon the prisoner.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 3 February 1834

It will be remembered, that some time ago, it was mentioned in the Newspapers, that Captain Waldron the Commandant at Wollongong, had been so violently assaulted by two of his female convict servants, as to be confined to his bed.  We regret to be informed that this gentleman has since died, in  consequence of the treatment he then received, leaving a widow and a very large family.  The women have been given into custody, and are on their way to take their trial for murder.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 10 February 1834

On Tuesday an Inquest was held on the Parramatta Road, upon the body of Ambrose Death, who met his death by the wheel of a dray passing over him.---It was somewhat strange, that three Coroners were in attendance, as the accident occurred in a place which left it in doubt at which place it occurred.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Law Intelligence.


FRIDAY.---Before Judge Dowling and a common Jury.

Michael Curran, Thomas Curran, and Mary Curran were jointly indicted for the wilful murder of Frances Perryn, by beating her on the head and throwing her on the ground at Goulburn Plains on the 11th November.  There being no proof of the allegation contained in the information, the prisoners were acquitted and discharged. Messrs. Rowe and G. R. Nichols defended the prisoners.

Before calling on the next case the Solicitor General challenged all the jury, but not having the law of the case at his finger ends he thought better of it and recalled his challenge.

James Cavenagh was indicted for the wilful murder of Robert Stewart by striking him on the head with a throw, and Bloodseur Chesterfield and Charles Serjeant were indicted for being present aiding and abetting in the murder, and James Farrell was indicted as an accessory after the fact for that he well knowing them to have committed the felony aforesaid, did receive harbour and maintain them, at Bathurst on the 30th Nov.

The second count laid the person murdered to be by name unknown to His Majesty's Attorney General.

The evidence in this case rested principally upon the testimony of P. Wallace a runaway from No. 11 iron gang who deposed to the following effect.  He ran from the gang to which he belonged on Tuesday, and made for Bathurst where he arrived on Friday, the day laid in the information and proceeded to the house of Mr. Hawkins, on Major General Stewart's estate, where he met Cavenagh, Chesterfield, and Sergeant: in the course of the evening Farrell came in and some rum was introduced, which had been obtained at the house of the murdered man who sold it illicitly; Cavenagh, Chesterfield and Sergeant said they intended to rob Mr. Blackets store that evening,---having blacked their faces, the three went out accompanied by witness leaving Farrel at home; when they went out of the door they altered their minds and said they would rob the deceased Stewart, whom they called "the Scotchman," Cavenagh was armed with a firelock and a throw (an instrument used for splitting shingles) which they said was to pull out the bricks of Mr. Blackett's store, being a new building.  Sergeant had a loaded pistol, and Chesterfield a stick.  When they arrived at the house of Stewart, Cavenagh and Sergeant went to the door and Chesterfield stood at the end nearest Mr. Hawkins house; having knocked at the door the persons inside called out, "who goes there," "Macingatty" replied Cavenagh, the door was then opened when Cavenagh and Sergeant placing their shoulders against it rushed in, immediately a shot was fired inside and Stewart and Waters ran out, Cavenagh struck Stewart on the back of the head with the throw, during this time Sergeant came out and reloaded his pistol, he then went to Cavenagh and assisted him in beating Stewart, who said, pathetically if they would spare his life they might take all he had; witness who during these proceedings had been standing at about twenty yards distant said "don't murder the man," Cavenagh replied, "hold him, and I'll serve him the same," Waters ran round towards the back of the house followed by Cavenagh and Sergeant; witness ran off towards Mr. Hawkins house at which time Chesterfield remained at the end of the house and had not then struck either of the men; when he arrived at Mr. Hawkins he unlatched the door and put Cavenagh's musket in which he had picked up, saying "[A??] bloody murder had been committed," he could not say that Farrell was in the house at the time; witness then went to the camp and informed Lieut. Darley of the circumstances, who with two mounted Police then proceeded to Mr. Hawkins where they found Chesterfield and Farrell, who surrendered; Sergeant was found naked and creeping towards the stables, his shirt was found wet as if it had been washed and some blood was found on it, he said it came from his finger which had been wounded by a shot fired by a bushranger, then he said he cut it with a piece of bark.  Cavenagh was shortly afterwards seen coming towards the house with a bundle, on observing the witness he threw down the bundle and ran off but was soon captured by one of the police; the bundle was found to contain property belonging to the deceased, on being searched 17s. 6d. was found which appeared to have been lately cleaned, but one of the half crowns had blood upon it; the bodies of the men were found at a short distance from the house, to which place they appeared to have been dragged, both were dreadfully mangled.

His Honor, in summing up, remarked respecting Chesterfield, that although he might stand at the end of the house and not assist in the murder, yet in law he was equally guilty, if persons went out to commit a felony, and in the commission of that felony a murder was committed, they must answer for that murder; he remembered a memorable instance at Lewisham in Kent, where nine men went to commit a burglary, eight of them were placed round the house, and the one that entered, nephew to the man who they went to rob, was deprived by him of life, six of them were afterwards apprehended, tried, and executed, and His Honor had the unpleasant duty of defending three of them when that point was decided.  With respect to the prisoner Farrell they would judge from the evidence whether there was sufficient to show he knew of the murder having been committed at the time Chesterfield was found with him in the house.  The case of the other prisoners rested mainly on the evidence of Wallace, but if they were satisfied he had spoken the truth, they were bound by their oaths to do their duty to their Country.  The Jury, after an absence of half an hour, found all the prisoners guilty, and Farrell as an accessary after the fact, who was ordered to be remanded till last Saturday.

The other three men having been called up for judgment, His Honor proceeded to pass the sentence of the law upon them; he observed that after a long and anxious investigation before a respectable Jury of civil inhabitants, they had been constrained on their oaths to find them guilty of the atrocious offence of murder, and they must long have anticipated such would have been the result.  In the whole list of human crimes but few cases were marked with such features of atrocity; to the honor of the British character, it was seldom that men, even in their situation of life, dipt their hands in blood for the lucre of a little gain; in the dead of night they besieged the dwelling of this old man, with one leg in the grave, the ruthless bloodthirsty villains dipped their hands in his blood and hurried him into eternity, although he went upon his knees and prayed to them to spare his life and take his property, he hoped for the sake of human nature that their case would be marked by public execution.  The sentence of the law was, that they should be hung by the neck, at the usual place of execution on Monday, and when dead, that their bodies should be delivered to the Surgeons for dissection and anatomization.

Mr. G. R. Nichols defended the prisoners.


R. v. Cavenagh, Chesterfield and Sergeant [1834] NSWSupC 6


The Sydney Monitor, Tuesday 11 February 1834




FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3.---Before Mr. Justice DOWLING and a Civil Jury.

Trial of James Cavenagh, Charles Sargeant and Bledsworth Chesterfield; and James Farrell.

James Cavenagh, Ryan Eagan, James Crawford, Peter Murphy, and Patrick Burke, were indicted for the wilful murder of Maurice Malone, at Maitland.

The deceased's name was proven to be Maurice Maloney, and the Solicitor-General finding he could not support the indictment, withdrew the record.  The prisoners were accordingly acquitted on the indictment, and remanded to be indicted for manslaughter.


SYDNEY GAZETTE, 11/02/1834

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling J., 7 February 1834

(Before Mr. Justice Dowling, and a Jury of Civil Inhabitants.)

NICHOLAS CURRAN was indicated for the wilful murder of FRANCES PERRING, at Goulburn Plains, by striking her on the head with both his hands, and throwing her violently on the ground, on the 11th November last, from the effects of which she died on the 13th following; and THOMAS CURRAN and MARY CURRAN were charged as principals in the second degree, for aiding, abetting, and assisting the first named prisoner in the commission of the said murder.

The second count charged the offence as having been committed with a piece of wood, of no value.

The third and fourth counts differed only from the first and second, in charging Thomas Curran as principal, and Nicholas Curran and Mary Curran as abettors in the said crime.

The prisoner pleaded not guilty.

The Solicitor General conducted the case for the prosecution; Messrs. Rowe and Nichols appeared for the defence.

The deceased met her death under the following circumstances: - The female prisoner is the wife of Nicholas Curron; he is the brother of the other male prisoner; and all are neighbours of John Pering, the husband of the deceased, who lives at Goulburn Plains.  On the day laid in the indictment, the prisoners brought a gallon of rum to Perring's house, where two or three other persons were assembled; drinking then commenced until all the parties became more or less intoxicated, and a general fight was the result.  John Perring was so much beaten by the two male prisoners, that he was compelled to leave the house, in order to avoid worse consequences, and during his temporary absence the deceased received her death blow.  None of the witnesses produced on the trial saw the fatal stroke given; but John Smith, who appeared to have been the most sober person of the party, deposed, that when he last saw the deceased, before she received the injury, she was standing out side the door of the house, where the two male prisoners were fighting with the legs of a stool which they had broken up for the purpose.  This witness had occasion to retire to the back part of the premises for a few minutes, and at his return found the two male prisoners still fighting with the stool legs inside the house, the deceased lying on the floor, and the female prisoner standing by, and looking on.  The deceased was raised up by Smith, but she was insensible, and continued so until her death, which occurred two days afterwards.  Mr. WILLIAM JOHN KERR, a Member of the Dublin College of Surgeons, examined the body of the deceased some hours after her death: the external part of the back of the head was very severely contused; on removing the skull-cap, a large quantity of extravasated blood was found on the surface of the brain, the membraneous covering of which was excessively vascular.  The principal extravasation of blood was under the left temporal bone, upon which no external injury appeared, but that, the medical gentleman observed, frequently happened in cases of contusion from blows and violent falls.  The deceased seemed a stout low-sized woman, but exhibited no predisposition to apoplexy, of which there was no appearance whatever.  The injuries on her head were quite sufficient to have caused death, and might have been occasioned by a blunt instrument, such as a stick.  They might have been caused by frequent falls, and the head coming in contact with some hard substance.

The learned Judge, in his charge to the Jury, observed that, in the absence of all positive evidence as to the manner in which, and from whom the deceased met her death, the presumption was as strong as otherwise, that it was occasioned accidentally while the two brothers were fighting with sticks: perhaps the deceased went between them to prevent worse consequences ensuing, and met the fatal blow in that manner: but the fact of the male prisoners themselves fighting, seemed to rebut the allegation of intended malice to the deceased, and rather favoured the idea of the blow having been accidental. - His Honor was about to go through the whole of the evidence, when the Jury expressed themselves satisfied, and without hesitation acquitted the prisoners.

The prisoners were discharged by proclamation.

See also SYDNEY HERALD, 10 February 1834; AUSTRALIAN, 10 February 1834; Dowling, Proceedings of the Supreme Court, State Records of New South Wales, 2/3275, vol. 92, p. 26.


R. v. Curran [1834] NSWSupC 7


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 14 February 1834

A person named Deal, a Bathurst Currier, fell from the shafts of a dray near the Half Way House on Friday morning, the wheel passed over the unfortunate man's body and caused his instantaneous death.  A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body, and a verdict of accidental death was returned.

Coroner's Inquest.

On Sunday last, an Inquest was convened at the Evening Gun, in Cumberland street, on the body of a young man named John Miller, who met his death through severe injuries sustained by a fall from a horse on the Parramatta road on Friday.  The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental death.

The same day an Inquest was held at the White Horse, Pitt street, on the body of John [Banks??] who died suddenly the previous day.  The Jury returned a verdict of Died by the visitation of God.

On Monday an inquest was held at the Albion Inn, on the body of Francis Aorton, an elderly man, who arrived in this Colony by the first fleet. It appeared that the deceased in attempting to proceed down stairs the evening before, his foot slipped, and he was precipitated to the bottom,  falling upon his head which was fractured, and caused his death.  The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

EXECUTION.---Yesterday morning Blitzer Chesterfield, who was convicted of being accessary (before and after the fact,) to the murder of Robert Stewart at Bathurst, underwent the extreme penalty of the law. ...

James Cavenagh was indicted for the manslaughter of Patrick Burke and Ryan Eagan, James Crawford, and Peter Murphy, were jointly indicted as accessaries, at Black Creek, near Bathurst.  The case completely failed, and the prisoners were discharged.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 17 February 1834

James Farrell, convicted as an accessary after the fact, of the murder of Stewart, at Bathurst, was placed at the bar.---Judge Dowling observed that it was fortunate for him he had not been tried with Chesterfield, Serjeant and Cavanah, who had expiated their offence on the public scaffold, as there was sufficient evidence of his knowledge of their concerting together to commit a robbery, and if in the committal of that violence ensued, he was answerable to be tried as an accessary before the fact.  From the aggravated circumstances of his case, the Court considered it their duty to pass upon him the utmost penalty of the law, namely, that he should be transported for life.


R. v. Elliot [1834] NSWSupC 11


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 21 February 1834


On Sunday an Inquest was held at the Whaler's Arms, Cockle Bay, on the body of John Wellare, a seaman belonging to the ship Esther.  It appeared that deceased had been on shore on liberty, and returning to the wharf, where some boats were moored, it is supposed he attempted to cast one adrift, to proceed on board her, and in so doing he fell into the water, and was drowned.  The Jury returned a verdict, that the deceased was accidentally drowned.

On Monday an inquest was holden at Parramatta, on the body of William Macdonald.  It came out in the course of evidence, that deceased and his brother John while being brought from Penrith to Parramatta under escort, slipped their handcuffs and  bolted, when one of the guard, a soldier of the 17th regiment fired, and shot the deceased dead on the spot.  The Jury having minutely and patiently investigated the case, returned a verdict of Justifiable Homicide.

On Monday, a man coming to town from Parramatta on a dray, lost his seat, and fell into the road, the wheels of the vehicle passing over him, he shortly expired.


R. v. Shield and others [1834] NSWSupC 20


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 24 February 1834

SATURDAY.---Before Judge Burton, and a Military Jury.

Sarah M'Gregor and Mary Maloney were jointly indicted for the wilful murder of Charles Waldron, Esq. late Captain in His Majesty's 39th Regiment of Foot, at Springfield, near Illawarra, on the 14th January.

Mrs. Waldron, the lady of the deceased, deposed that she was the mother of twelve children of whom deceased was the father; that early on the morning of the day laid in the information, witness had occasion  to complain to prisoner Malony that she had not washed out the verandah, as it was her duty to do, who replied that it had been done; witness pointed out to her tobacco ashes that were still there, and marks of feet on the carpet; Malony said that the ashes were from her own pipe, while cleaning the verandah, and not from her master's overnight; deceased told witness not to be imposed upon, as he was convinced no water had been used there that morning; Malony immediately commenced cursing and swearing, called deceased a b----y old soldier, and she hoped that all evils might fall upon and curse him and his family; deceased told he it was not fit conversation for his wife or children to hear, and ordered her into the kitchen; she went, and deceased followed; when he came to the kitchen door, he said to Malony, "I shall take you to the Bench," meaning the Bench which is so called there; prisoner M'Gregor said, "then I shall go too;" the deceased told her he had no complaint against her, and therefore she could not go; M'Gregor rejoined, if he had no complaint, she would give him cause for one, and immediately struck him a violent blow under the ear, which caused him to stagger back, and fall on his left side down the declivity in front of the kitchen door; both the prisoners then commenced beating deceased on the head and neck; witness, who saw the transaction, called to four men who were present to assist, and not see her husband murdered, but not one would render any assistance; deceased's eldest son, a fine lad twelve years of age, immediately ran up, and seizing Malony, struck her several times in the face; witness then came up, when she observed an alteration  in the features on the right side of the face; witness  said to prisoners, "you wretched women, what have you done to my husband;" Mary Malony then pulled up her clothes, and said she'd stick the b----y old soldier with a carving knife; having taken deceased into the house, he wrote a letter, and despatched it to Captain Allman, requiring the assistance of the police to secure prisoners; he then complained that he was very dry about the tongue, and requested some tea; while it was being made, he said to witness, "my dear, do you see how my head's falling;" on looking, witness observed that the right side of his head was shaking; the tea having been placed on the table, deceased attempted to reach it with his right hand, but could not, and it then appeared that the whole of his right side was parylised; he was conveyed to bed, where he remained till the 28th of the same month, when he expired; during the whole of the time he was scarcely sensible, and only spoke a few disconnected words; deceased was a very quiet man, of temperate habits, and not given to sudden bursts of passion.

Charles Waldron, aged twelve years, a son of the deceased, corroborated the above statement of his mother.

----- Wade, assigned servant to deceased, deposed that on the day in question he was in the carpenter's shop adjoining the kitchen, which was separated from it by slabs, but through the cracks he saw the deceased come up to the door, and call Mary Malony a b---h, stabbing his hand at the same time, with his finger extended towards her; did not see Malony strike deceased, but on going out of the shop, he saw the deceased lying on the ground, and the two prisoners stooping over, but not striking him; they did not strike him; was in such a position that if they had struck him, he must have seen it; heard his mistress call for assistance, and went to the prisoners, and advised them to go into the kitchen and not make things worse; his master was a good sort of person, but passionate; heard nothing said by prisoners about sticking the b----y old soldier with a carving knife.

----King, a cooper assigned to deceased, remembered the day in question; was in the workshop, when his attention was called to a noise in the kitchen; heard deceased say to Mary Malony, "go in for a b ---h;" she replied, she was no b---h, and asked if he had not a mother of his own; heard M'Gregor laugh, when deceased said he would have her punished for that; saw an arm extended, and push against deceased; heard the mistress call for assistance, but he remained at his work; when witness went out, he saw deceased sitting on the ground, kicking out at the prisoners, one of whom was standing near his breast, and the other stooping over him; deceased was afterwards lying on his back, and he, as well as the prisoners, appeared in a great passion; prisoners did not strike the deceased; was so close, that if it had taken place, he must have seen it; saw his master get up and walk about the garden for a  quarter of an hour; deceased wore at the time a long coat that came down to his knees; considered his master a violent man. 

Dr. Glover, who attended the deceased at the time of his death not being forthcoming, was called upon his subpoena.

Captain Allman, Chief Police Magistrate at Illawarra, knew deceased, had been a brother officer of his, on the 14th January received a letter from him by his son, took the horse on which he came and rode off immediately, when he arrived there found deceased lying on a sofa nearly insensible.  Mrs. Waldron said to her husband, "my dear, don't you know Capt. Allman," he opened his left eye and made a faint attempt to put out his left hand saying very feebly, "Allman," never saw the deceased intoxicated; knew him to be a very temperate and moderate man; thought he was a man liable to be irritated if his servants did not obey his orders, but he must qualify that by observing that a more humane kind man did not exist.

After his Honor had read over the notes of the evidence, Dr. Hosking was called to give his opinion as to the cause of paralysis in the present caser; he considered that the paralysis could not have originated in the present case from the violence described, without marks of external violence, it more probably originated from natural causes.

His Honor left the case to the Jury upon the following points, 1st. were they satisfied that Charles Waldron was dead, of that probably there could have been no doubt after having heard the evidence; 2ndly, was his death caused in the manner laid in the information, and if so, then thirdly was it caused by one or either or both of the prisoners.  They would observe contradictions in the evidence; Mrs. Waldron and her son swore to facts which it they believed they could arrive at but one conclusion; the two assigned servants had sworn to circumstances distinctly contrary, but it was for them to say to which side they would give credence, his Honor then read over the notes pointing out the discrepancies.  He should leave the case in their hands and they would return such a verdict as  their consciences would dictate.  The jury after an absence of twenty minutes, came into Court and found both the prisoners Guilty, but recommended them to mercy.  Judge Burton wished to know on what grounds.

Foreman---because the fatal result was not contemplated.

Judge Burton wished to put the Jury clear upon one point, if they considered the blows were given without provocation, and that they caused death it was murder as the law presumed the animus in the act; if they considered the blows had been given and were not more than any provocation that might have been received, then it would only amount to manslaughter; but if they were of opinion the blows had not been given, or if given, were not the cause of death in that case they must acquit the prisoners.  He hoped he had made himself clear upon that point.  They would reconsider their verdict.  The jury having had their heads together for a few seconds pronounced both prisoners guilty.  Judge Burton observed he should record their verdict and make a note of the recommendation and transmit it to the proper quarter.

The prisoners were then called up for judgment and the learned Judge having placed the fatal cap upon his head, passed the awful sentence of the law upon them, ordering them for execution of Monday morning, and when dead, that their bodies should be delivered over to the Surgeons to be dissected and anatomized.  The prisoners were removed from the bar declaring it was not their intention  to have committed murder.

Mr. Rowe defended the prisoners.

The witness Wade and King were committed to take their trials for wilful and corrupt perjury.


R. v. McGregor and Maloney [1834] NSWSupC 13


The Sydney Monitor, Friday 28 February 1834






Several cases of Murder in New South Wales reviewed.

[4 columns]

...;for if it should be so allowed, a man has only to get intoxicated, and he will be rewarded for his intemperance by being allowed to commit all sorts of wrongs, injuries, and crimes, with impunity.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 28 February 1834


On Sunday an Inquest was convened at the King's Head, on the Brickfield Hill, upon view of the body of James Brown, who met his death from poison.  On Sunday night deceased came to the house and required a bed, which was given, the following morning not coming to breakfast, a person entered the room, and found Brown dead under the bedstead.  The body being opened, it was found that Brown had taken a very considerable quantity of arsenic.  The jury returned a verdict, that the deceased had destroyed himself during a fit of temporary derangement.

On Monday an Inquest was held at Mr. Jenning's, Market-street, upon the body of William Claxton, who came by his death under the following circumstances---on Sunday as Matthews was going his round in the Domain, he heard a rustling in the bush, and going to the spot he found the deceased lying on his back with his throat cut from ear to ear.  The unfortunate man was conveyed to the hospital, where he expired on Monday morning.  The jury returned a verdict, that deceased had destroyed himself during a state of temporary derangement.

On Wednesday an Inquest was held at Mr. Jennings in Market street, on the body of George Wellings, an assigned servant to Mr. Pendray, of George street.  It appeared that deceased was found drowned near Mrs. Bigg's bathing house in the Domain, the causes of this rash act were love and embezzlement combined; deceased had been paying his addresses to a young woman, but of late she had rejected him, joined with which the sum of 8 Pounds was discovered to have been received by him on his master's account, but not handed over, this had been hinted to him when he flew to ardent spirits to drown care, and while in a state of intoxication, put a period to his existence.  The jury returned a verdict that deceased had destroyed himself during a state of temporary aberration of intellect.

The unfortunate woman, Mary Maloney and Sarah McGregor, have been respited during his Majesty's pleasure.

On Tuesday, a Meeting of the Executive Council took place, for the purpose of considering the case of Sarah McGregor and Mary Malony, convicted of the murder of Captain Waldron; the Judges were present, and the whole case having been fully gone into, the women were respited until His Majesty's pleasure shall be known.---This decision is quite correct, for no person on reading the evidence of the trial, could arrive at the conclusion that murder legally so called, had been committed.

The empannelling a jury of Matrons, on Monday, is the first instance upon record in the Colony.

Law Intelligence.


MONDAY.---Judge Burton took his seat on the Bench this morning, when Sarah M'Gregor, convicted of the murder of Captain Waldron, was placed at the bar, and the following Jury of matrons were impannelled, to say whether she was with quick child, she having pleaded that in bar to her execution---Mesdames Curtis, Murdoch, Bolton, Chandler, Burns, Bailey, Burns, Le Burn, Long, Hawthorne, Levy, and Dowling.  An officer was then sworn to keep the Jury until they had agreed upon their verdict; they then retired, and prisoner was taken out to them.  After an absence of a quarter of an hour, they returned into Court, and found that the prisoner, Sarah M'Gregor, was not with child of a quick child, she might be pregnant, but whether she was with child of a quick child, they could not tell for a fortnight or three weeks.  Judge Burton said, he could not take such a verdict, they had better retire and reconsider it, and if they came to the conclusion that she was pregnant, then whether in their merciful consideration they could not find that she was pregnant of a quick child.  The Jury on again coming into Court, found that Sarah M'Gregor, to the best of their opinion, was not with child of a quick child.  They were then discharged.

On Tuesday, a woman named Eliza Sheridan, was stuck in the Stocks for six hours, for getting drunk and using violent language to one of the Jury of Matrons, empannelled in the case of Mary Malony [sic].


The Sydney Monitor, Tuesday 4 March 1834

Dangerous Streets.

...  Several individuals have been deprived of life, and some maimed for life, in the dangerous street at the back of the Custom's House, as well as in the lane leading from Prince street to the Quarries, a very great thoroughfare.  No enquiry but that of an inquest was held, when a verdict of accidental death was pronounced. ...


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 7 March 1834

Dreadful Accident.---On Wednesday, a black smith, well known in Sydney, named Russell, whilst proceeding up stairs lost his footing, and was precipitated a considerable height, he fell upon a chair, which broke, one of the points of the back passing through his body.  Medical assistance was immediately procured and every assistance rendered the unfortunate man, but it is feared from the nature of the injury received, that he cannot survive the accident. [See 15 March below.]


AUSTRALIAN, 10/03/1834

Forbes C.J., Dowling and Burton JJ, 8 March 1834

Mr. Therry begged to take the opinion of the Court on the case of STEPHEN FITZGERALD, who had been convicted during the late criminal sessions, and was now on board the hulk, about to be sent, as he was informed, to Norfolk Island.  He was free when tried, and according to the Act of Council - - - - - -

The Chief Justice observed, that when free men were sentenced, the Judges made a  practice of sentencing them merely to be transported, and they were then sent away under the provisions of the law, - in case of convicts again convicted, they always added to such Penal Settlement as His Excellency the Governor should be pleased to appoint.

Mr. Therry said this was a peculiar case, for the prisoner had originally been transported, had become free, and went home, whence he had returned as a free emigrant.  The words of the Act were persons who had arrived free in the Colony, now he had arrived free.

Mr. Justice Burton stated he would write to the Governor at the rising of the Court, as he had tried the prisoner, to prevent his being sent to Norfolk Island.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Saturday 15 March 1834

Coroner's Inquest.

On Sunday, an Inquest was held at the Hole in the Wall, Pitt street, on the body of Jas. Russell, a blacksmith of this town.  It appeared that the deceased while ascending a ladder to a loft, lost his footing and falling, the broken part of the back of a chair went through his body; he lingered from the wound a few days, and died on Sunday morning.  The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.  The deceased was buried the same afternoon, and his funeral was numerously attended by his friends.

On Wednesday an Inquest was holden at the Sailor's Return, on view of the body of Thomas Donohoo, who was found dead in the quarries the same morning; on his person were found six sovereigns, two one pound notes, seven pounds and one shilling in silver, and a silver watch.  It appeared that deceased was seen between five and six o'clock on the morning in question, lying on his back, in the quarries.  Dr. Neilson, who was the medical gentleman in attendance having opened the body, found that six of his ribs were fractured.---The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 21 March 1834

Coroner's Inquest.

On Sunday morning an inquest was holden at the Three Tuns, Phillip street, before the Sydney Coroner, on view of the body of an unfortunate gentleman named M'Leod, who was found dead at the foot of Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, on the previous evening, by some gentlemen who were taking a walk in that direction.  A bottle containing a small portion of laudanum having been found near the deceased it was considered advisable that the body should be opened, which operation was performed by Dr. Neilson, when it satisfactorily appeared that the deleterious drug, the remains of which had been found in a bottle, was the cause of his death.  From what could be collected respecting deceased, it would appear, that he had come out to this Colony as surgeon to THE AUSTRALIAN Agricultural Company, under the patronage of Mrs. Macquarie, but having of late suffered from pecuniary as well as domestic afflictions, he had taken the fatal resolution of putting a period to his existence.  It is a melancholy consideration that deceased had selected out for his purpose that portion of the Domain which bore the name of his patroness.  The Jury returned a verdict that deceased had put a period to his existence during a state of temporary derangement.

On Monday an Inquest was held before Major Smeathman, the Coroner for Sydney, on view of the body of Joseph Perry, Wheelwright of George street of Sydney, who put a period to his existence by shooting himself.  The body was opened by Dr. Neilson when it appeared that the ball from the pistol used by deceased, had perforated the left breast, coming in contact with a piece of bone it diverged from a right line and taking a horizontal direction, finally settled in the abdomen.  The deceased lived nearly four hour's after the ball had entered him, during which time he stated that embarrassed circumstances was the cause of the rash act.  The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased had put a period to his existence during a temporary aberration of intellect.


The Sydney Monitor, Friday 21 March 1834

An inquest was held at the Farrier's Arms, on the body of Mr. J. Perry, a wheelwright, residing opposite the Royal Hotel.  It appeared that the deceased laboured under pecuniary distress---and, at last, this preyed on his mind to such a degree, that he came to the resolution of committing suicide, and this he effected by firing a pistol into his mouth.  The Jury returned a verdict of---temporary insanity.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 24 March 1834

A man was having some dispute with a constable at the door of Lacy's public house, on the other side of the Parramatta Turnpike, on Saturday last, which ended by the constable shooting him dead on the spot.  We are not acquainted with the particulars of the case, but the offender is in custody.


The Sydney Monitor, Tuesday 1 April 1834

At the close of the inquest on the body of Robert Earle, found dead in the Quarry at Darling harbour, on Friday last, a memorial was drawn up to the Governor, pointing out the necessity of placing a fence on the top of the Quarries, to prevent the further loss of life; to be forwarded by the Coroner.  Such is the elevation of these rocks, that a person falling over, has no chance of escaping death.  It is therefore hoped, that this memorial will be speedily attended to.---SYDNEY HERALD.

Since writing the above, we have learned that another accident has occurred, of a melancholy nature, by which another fellow-creature has lost his life.  A young man, a gun smith, who resided in Cumberland-street near the Three Crowns, and has left a widow to deplore the absence of precautionary measures on the part of the authorities, with regard to this dangerous place.  The particulars of the lamentable catastrophe will be found in the report of the Coroner's Inquest.---(SYDNEY HERALD.)---It is a pity, if the life of one be equal to that of another, that some gentleman of rank should not take the place of one of the commoner people on these occasions.---ED.

A private of the 4th, named John Hewett, on bathing with two of his comrades at Soldier's Point, Cockle Bay, dived off a rock, and rose no more.  The body was soon found, but life had become extinct.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 4 April 1834

Coroner's Inquest.

On Friday an Inquest was held at the Sailor's Return, in Cumberland street, on the body of Robert Earl, who met his death by falling from the rocks into the quarries near Trafalgar Terrace, in Cockle Bay, a height of about thirty feet, by which he was so disfigured, that he could be hardly recognised.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 7 April 1834

Coroner's Inquest.

On Friday an Inquest was held at the Swan with Two Necks, in George street, upon the body of John Collins.  It appeared that the deceased had come to Sydney from the farm of J. J. Close, Esq. J.P. M.C. at the Hunter, and that on the same morning he dropped down and suddenly expired.  Dr. Neilson, who examined the body, gave it as his opinion that deceased had died from water on the brain.


The Sydney Monitor, Tuesday 8 April 1834

On Saturday a Coroner's Inquest was convened at the Welsh Harp, George-street, on the body of Thomas Clarke, a servant to W. H. Moore, Esq., who was found dead at his bed-room door early that morning.  It is supposed that he fell, while in a state of intoxication, in such a manner as to cause suffocation.  Verdict---Accidental Death.

Another inquest was held on Sunday, at the Rum Puncheon, on the body of Peter Mason, a passenger per ship Eldon.  It appeared that the deceased and a fellow passenger, named John Ferguson, had been on shore visiting some acquaintances until near 11 o'clock.  On coming to the Wharf, and not finding any watermen there, they borrowed a small dingy from a schooner lying near the Wharf, to get on board the Eldon. When they had proceeded a few yards, Ferguson finding the boat began to fill, jumped overboard,  saying, "It behoves every man to do the best he can for himself."  The deceased was not seen again until his body was raised by means of grappling irons, on Sunday morning.  The Jury returned a verdict of---Accidentally drowned, and regretting that Ferguson did not take some steps to save the life of the deceased.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 11 April 1834

Coroner's Inquest.

On Monday an Inquest was held at Mr. Green's, the Cricketer's Arms, in Pitt street, on the body of Mary Malony, who died suddenly the previous evening.  A post mortem examination took place, when the stomach was found to be in such a state, that the Jury could not hesitate in arriving at the conclusion, that a too great indulgence in the use of ardent spirits had caused her death.  A verdict of died by the visitation of God, was returned.

Original Correspondence.

To the Editors of THE AUSTRALIAN.

GENTLEMEN,---As a public Journalist, I take the liberty of transmitting to you the following authentic particulars respecting the loss of the postman carrying the mail from this place to Campbell Town.  He was an assigned servant to Mr. G. Brown, the contractor for carrying such mail.  The mail was despatched at the usual time on Monday the 31st March last, during a heavy rain, for Campbell Town, the road being over the mountain which is intersected by several dangerous gullys, and down which the waters rush dreadfully in heavy rains, and it had rained heavily the whole of the two preceding days.  It appears from circumstances that he had succeeded in crossing several falls of water, and had reached the most dangerous one---he had traversed it up and down, the brink of the current, and at length had attempted to cross, but the horse had been stopt by a steep bank, which he could not gain.  It is supposed that then the girths must have broken, as the horse, when found, was without saddle or bridle.  As the return mail did not arrive at Wollongong on Tuesday evening as usual, Mr. Brown, the contractor, though very unwell at the time, set out the next morning early to obtain what intelligence he could respecting his postman, and proceeding to the foot of the mountain, he heard of the horse being found.  He then despatched both blacks and Europeans to the mountain to search for the unfortunate postman, and the mail, and after two days search, the body was found in a deep hole, a distance below where he had attempted to cross, but the mail has not yet been discovered.  Persons are now gone up the mountain with a good coffin to bring down the body to this place to be decently interred.  [continues.]

Wollongong, April 5, 1834.       AN ILLAWARRA SETTLER.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 14 April 1834

On Thursday Isaac Williams, a timber merchant accompanied by his assigned servant, proceeded in a small boat to Lane Cove, where they arrived in safety.  They left it the same day for Sydney, and they have not since been heard of; but that they must have met a watery grave is much feared, as the boat has been since found bottom upwards.

On Sunday morning as a man was drinking a glass of grog in the house of Mr. [Kilbeck??], in Phillip Street, he suddenly dropped down, and immediately expired.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 18 April 1834

A man [Thomas Holden] was thrown or fell from a wall some time since, which caused his death.  He was buried in the usual way.  On Tuesday some person raised a report that the deceased was murdered, in consequence the body has been exhumed.

Coroner's Inquests.

On Tuesday an Inquest was held at the Currency Lass, Campbell street, on the body of Thomas Holden.  It appeared that deceased had been buried for eight days, when a report was raised that he had come foully by his death, in consequence the body was exhumed.  The only evidence that could be arrived at was, that the deceased had met his death from a fractured spine, but whether caused by his falling or being thrown down the quarries, did not appear, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.

The same day an Inquest was holden at the  King's Arms, Hunter street, on the body of Maria Murray, who died that morning, owing, it is supposed, from fretting, at having had her head shaved in the factory.  The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.

Yesterday an Inquest was held at the Sheer Hulk, King's Wharf, on the body of a child aged four years, named William Beautmontxier, who died suddenly the previous day.  He had been ill some time before, but of late was considered to have been recovering.  The Jury found a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 19 April 1834

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Tuesday and Wednesday a Coroner's Inquest was held at the Currency Lass, Castlereagh street South, on the body of Thomas Holden, a fisherman, who had been buried eight days.  Upon the Jury viewing the body (which was not in such a state of decomposition as was expected) several of them were of opinion, that the spine should be examined by a medical man, in order to ascertain whether it was sufficiently injured to have caused death.  The Coroner requested Mr. Bloomfield (who had attended the deceased before his death) to examine the body.  Mr. Bloomfield stated, that he was quite satisfied the man had died from an injury done to the vertebrae, and that there was no occasion for a post mortem examination.  The Jury not being satisfied, Mr. Bloomfield positively refused to open the body, unless the fee were handed to him first.   He stated as a reason, that he had such great difficulty to get the fee allowed by Government, that he was determined not to perform any operations, in future, until secure of his fee.  Mr. Neilson then examined the vertebrae, and pronounced one of them to be broken.  This confirmed Mr. Bloomfield's statement.  The cause that led to his interment was, that Colonel Wilson hearing reports of the deceased having met his death by unfair means, summoned Mr. Nash (the deceased's son-in-law) before him, to state what he knew of the circumstances.  This deposition being forwarded to the Coroner he had caused the present inquest to assemble.  The substance of the evidence adduced was, that the deceased, Thomas Holden, was very drunk in Eagling's public house in Liverpool-street, about seven o'clock on the evening of the 29th of March.  Mr. Nash, the deceased's son-in-law, took all the money out of his pockets, and left him there.  About two o'clock in the morning of Sunday, David Kelly, overseer on the premises lately occupied by Mr. Dixon, heard a groaning in the yard, and upon searching the premises, found the deceased lying on his back directly under the rocks at the east end of Goulburn-street.  (The Jury examined this spot, and from the top of the wall in Goulburn street to Mr. Dixon's yard beneath, could not be less than 30 feet.  The precipice is great.)  When Kelly asked him how he came there? deceased said that, "a man had robbed him of a loaf, knocked him down, and then thrown him over the wall into the yard below."  A cart was procured and Holden taken home to his son-in-law's place.  He there told Mr. Nash and Mr. Bloomfield, more than once, that when he left Eagling's house, a man came out of a house four doors off, dressed in a light coloured dress, and asked him where he was going? he told him to his son-in-law's, outside the toll-bar.  The main said, "I am going your way, and will see you home."  He found the man was taking him the wrong way and told him so; upon which the man took his loaf from him and knocked him down.  He did not recollect anything else until he found himself in the yard.  Mr. Nash having taken all his money away, it was considered very doubtful as to his having had a loaf at all, for no person could be found near Eagling's who had trusted the deceased with a loaf.  The wall in Goulburn-street is three feet and a half high, so that no person could possibly fall over, without first climbing the wall; and it is not very likely that a man, who was so much intoxicated as the deceased was, could get on the wall.  A man can get into the yard from the front way, at any hour of the night; but then if the deceased had got into the yard that way, the fracture of the back bone would not be accounted for.  The deceased lived eight days after the occurrence.  In the course of the examination the coroner passed some severe remarks on Mr. Nash, the deceased's son-in-law, in burying the body without calling an inquest, especially after his wife had been advised to do so by Dr. Bloomfield.  After an investigation that took up the best part of two days, the Jury returned a verdict that, "Thomas Holden met his death, either in consequence of being thrown, or of having precipitated himself over a wall of the height of from 25 to 30 feet; but by which of the catastrophes the Jury could not decide."---We were sorry to observe the interruptions which a gentleman, named Hilton, gave to the Coroner during this inquest.  Indeed, such was the violence of his language and gestures, that one almost doubted his sanity.

Another inquest was held, on Wednesday afternoon, at the King's Arms, Castlereagh-street, on the body of Maria Murray, an assigned servant to Mr. Roberts, the cabinet maker.  The deceased had been ailing for several months; but was not seriously ill until the morning of her death.  About 12 o'clock she complained that her heart was bursting, and in 20 minutes expired.  The Jury returned a verdict---"Died by the visitation of God." (The Herald of Thursday intimates, that the deceased had been greatly depressed at her having had her head shaved in the Factory; but no evidence of a depression of spirits arising from that cause, transpired.  And if it had, it would have caused no just reflection on the practice, which is a very wholesome one.---ED.)

Another inquest was held at the Sheer Hulk, on Thursday, before C. Smeathman, Esq., on the body of William Beaumonier, a boy four years old, who died suddenly that morning.  After due investigation the jury returned a verdict of---"Died by the visitation of God."

A boat, keel uppermost, was picked up on Friday in the river, and a bundle of hay.  On enquiry, they were ascertained to be the property of Mr. Williams, who had left his farm, at Lane Cove, the afternoon before, in company with his servant.  It is conjectured they both met a watery grave.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 21 April 1834

All attempts to discover the bodies of Mr. Isaac Williams or his servant, drowned returning from Lane Cove about a fortnight since, have been without effect.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 23 April 1834

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An Inquest was held at the Red Lion, Kent-street, on the body of Sarah Hatchman.  It appeared that the deceased's husband, who is a prisoner of the Crown, had lately been sent into the interior.  This circumstance, it was supposed preyed on her mind.  She was a woman very seldom given to liquor.  On a former day, she had attempted to cut her throat, but had been prevented by a neighbour.  On Saturday night she succeeded in hanging herself in her bed-room.  Dr. Wallace attended as soon as she was discovered, but he found life extinct.  The Jury returned a verdict, that the deceased destroyed herself whilst labouring under a temporary aberration of mind.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 26 April 1834

CORONER'S INQUEST.---On Thursday afternoon, an Inquest was held at the [??] of Mr. M'Laren, (on the north shore) on the body of William Worcester, a free man, employed by Mr. M. as a clerk.  It appeared that the deceased was much addicted to drinking, and had been drinking very hard a few days before his death.  He was found dead in his bed the morning before the Inquest.  Dr. Wallace examined the body, and from his certificate, coupled with the evidence, the Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Monday 28 April 1834


In reference to what has been said in the papers, respecting the lamentable accident, which terminated the existence of this gentleman, we are enabled to state, that every effort was made to render him assistance but in vain.  Boats were on the spot where he was last seen, in less than half an hour,---an almost incredibly short space of time, considering the distance, and the period required to man and launch the boats.  It is supposed however, that he had received a blow on the rocks which prevented his exerting himself as might have been expected, (as he was a capital swimmer and was seen afloat for some time) for ere the boats arrived, he had sunk to rise no more.



Our readers may remember that on Friday last, four men escaped from the custody of an overseer, who had been ordered to take charge of them while they were employed in cutting wood at Lane Cove.  The misguided men, on thus regaining their liberty, committed several robberies on the settlers in the vicinity of the place they first obtained their liberty.  On Saturday, about half past two, the four men in question named Henry Smith, Richard Herring, John Lahey, and [Michael] Lawless, had found their way to the Botany Road near the Veteran's Swamp; on the road they fell in with a man cutting grass, whom they forced to direct them to his master's house, which he did, being that of Mr. Lowden, formerly of the 48th regiment, then of the New South Wales Veteran's, and now a retired pensioner; on arriving there, Mr. Lowden and family found that two of the four marauders were provided with firearms, another with a sword attached to a belt, and the fourth unarmed.  Smith asked for some tobacco, Lowden replied that he had none, one of them pushed him into the house, and put his piece across the door, Smith said, "remember we are bushrangers, you have arms, and we must have them, together with ammunition;" a sentry was then placed over Lowden, and they searched the house for plunder; one was stationed on the hill to see that no person was approaching, and a third at the door; Smith then helped himself to two stand of arms, four belts, and a powder horn, which he made Lowder put his powder in; it was of a coarse quality, and supposed to have been obtained from [Busby's Gang] at the New Gaol, they then helped themselves to provisions, and compelled Lowden to guide them to his next neighbour, a Mr. Chadburn, formerly a hair dresser in George street; previous to leaving, Smith, who had been an officer in the Indian Army, observed, that he did not think he should see the Races over, and if he did he would return all he had taken; they went to Chadburn's whom they stripped of his wearing apparel, and his house of a musket and a powder horn, three pounds in money, and a silver watch, which they had taken, were returned by Smith, the watch, because Chadburn said it was a family relict, and the notes, as Smith said the numbers might be known.  Lowden requested to go home, which was refused, and the marauders then divided the spoil, making it up in bundles; they then insisted upon Lowden showing them the Botany Road, he proceeded with them about two hundred yards to the foot of the hill on which Chadburn's house is situated, and desired them to proceed by Mr. [L???'s] where they would find the road; Smith not understanding the direction, ordered Lowden to conduct them to his own house, and put them on the cart road; on arriving at Lowden's, Smith ordered the kettle to be boiled and tea made immediately; the marauders then shaved and dressed ordering Lowden's wife and daughter out while they did so; when Smith had taken off his shirt, he turned to Lowden, and said, "you have been a soldier, Lowden replied yes," when Smith showed him his back, which had, from appearances, lately suffered under the lash, and exclaimed "look here, remember it is hard usage which has brought me to this."  Smith then desired Lowden to procure a pair of braces for him, which were made out of a piece of webbing, and a sheet of paper he also requested as a stiffener for his neck handkerchief, which was supplied; they then had tea; at this period Chadburn's man came up and wished a blanket, they seized and put a sentry over him, and after making Lowden tie pieces of rag over the locks of their pieces, they took Chadburn's servant with them to point out the Botany Road, and having bid Lowden good night, they departed.  The man they had taken with them, instead of taking them to the Botany Road, led them to Wilcox's mill, near the new Race Course, and there managed to get away from them.  Information having been given to the proper authorities, four constables, named Christie, Jones, Cunninghame, and Lawless went in pursuit, and between nine and ten o'clock on the same night, came up with them on the road near Botany bridge; Smith immediately exclaimed "who goes there," which was returned by the constables, when Smith cocked his piece, levelled, and pulled the trigger upon Christie, fortunately the piece missed fire, and while he was again preparing his piece, Lawless fired, Smith sprang about three feet from the ground, and fell dead; in the mean time, Lahey and Herring were knocked down, after both attempting ineffectually to discharge their fire arms; constable Jones gave chase to Lawless a one armed man, who, while retreating, placed the piece on the stump of his arm, and endeavoured to discharge it, but without success; he then took to a swamp, Jones fired at him, and he considers that the charge must have touched him; Lawless however escaped, and the two prisoners, with the dead body, were brought into Sydney.  On Sunday, an Inquest was held upon the body of Smith at the Princess Charlotte in York street.  Dr. Wallace opened the body, and found that the ball entered on the right side, but took an oblique direction in consequence of striking a metal button on the coat of deceased, which had been taken from Chadburn's, and finally lodged in the left shoulder.  The Jury returned a verdict of Justifiable Homicide, at the same time expressing their opinion that the constables had acted with the most praiseworthy zeal on the occasion; with which it cannot be doubted that every well wisher of social order will join. [Next para, James Lahey and Richard Herring charged; "The constables are in pursuit of the one-armed man Lawless who, it is expected will soon be captured."]

Coroner's Inquests.

On Thursday an Inquest was held at Mr. M'Laren's, on the North Shore, upon the body of William [Wosier??], clerk and [????]-keeper to Mr. M'Laren.  It came out in the course of evidence that deceased had accustomed himself to an immoderate quantity of ardent spirits, which had caused his death.  The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 30 April 1834


A Coroner's Inquest was held on Saturday last, at the Princess Charlotte, public house, York-street, on the body of Henry Smith.  It will be remembered that last week four men of the names of Henry Smith, Richard Herring, John Lawless, and John Leahey, four hulk prisoners effected their escape from the escort, when sent to cut wood at Lane Cove.  After committing divers depredations, ... The Jury returned a verdict of justifiable homicide, at the same time observing, that the conduct of the constables on the occasion, had been highly becoming their character as public officers.  [See also previous paragraph, hearing at the Police Office.]

Mary Malony and Sarah M'Gregor, convicted some time ago of the murder of Capt. Wallace, have been removed from Sydney, the one to Windsor gaol, and the other to Newcastle gaol; to be there confined until His Majesty's pleasure be made known.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 2 May 1834

The two unhappy women McGregor and Maloney who have been in the condemned cells since conviction of the murder of Captain Waldron, were removed on Tuesday last, one to Windsor and the other to Newcastle Jail, there to await the decision of His Majesty in Council on their case.

On Tuesday evening Michael Lawless, one of the four bushrangers that escaped from the hulk, gave himself up to constable Tiernan, near the Police Office, at the same time stating who he was.


R. v. Jackey [1834] NSWSupC 94


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 6 May 1834

During the late heavy gales, a Hawkesbury boat, called the Red Pole, went down at her anchors in Newcastle bight, and two hands drowned.

On Sunday the body of a child was found in a box, secreted in a tomb in the old Burying Ground.  It is supposed to have been still born.  An Inquest will be held upon it.

On Sunday night the steward [Butler] of the Lucy Ann met a watery grave, by his foot slipping from the gunwhale of the vessel, by which he was precipitated into the deep.

Coroner's Inquests.

On Friday a Coroner's Inquest was convened at the Counsellor O'Connell, Brickfield Hill, on the body of a man named William Smith, by trade a plasterer, who while at work on a scaffold, burst a blood vessel, from the effects of which he shortly after expired.  The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.

Yesterday an Inquest was held at the Manchester Arms, on a still born infant found in the old Burying Ground, supposed to have been placed there by the unnatural father.  The coffin or box which contained the infant had been made by one of the Jury, whose evidence was quite conclusive, and the Jury returned a verdict of the child being still born.  This is the Coroner's account of the inquest, and mysterious it is.

On the same day an Inquest was convened at the Rum Puncheon, King's Wharf, on the body of the steward [Butler] of the Lucy Ann, lying in the harbour.  It appeared that the body of the deceased had been found at six o'clock in the morning, and he is supposed to have fallen overboard while in a state of intoxication.  The Jury returned a verdict of---found drowned.

On Saturday an Inquest was held at the Sydney Arms, York street, on the body of Mary Cadman, who died suddenly the previous night.  A post mortem examination by Dr. Street having taken place, it was found that deceased had accelerated her death by the too free use of ardent spirits, and other debauched habits.  The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.

Law Intelligence.


FRIDAY --- Before Judge Dowling and a Jury of Inhabitants.

Thomas Clark was indicted for the wilful murder of Furgus Cunningham by firing at him with a pistol, loaded with powder and ball, at Parramatta, on the 22nd of March.

Thomas Caine left Sydney with a dray and team which was in charge of deceased, who was an assigned servant of Sir John Jamieson, when they arrived at the Irish Arms public house, situated on the hill where the old toll-bar formerly stood near Parramatta, witness laid himself on a form in the kitchen of the house, as he was suffering from bruises received in consequence of the dray overturning on the road; when he had slept for some time, he was awoke by the servant girl who said he was a pretty fellow to remain sleeping while his companion was lying outside the house, shot dead; he laughed at it, but she repeated her assertion, when he went out and saw deceased lying on the ground breathing hard, he observed a hole at the corner of one of his eyes, through the scull and hat; several persons were present, but he did not see the prisoner till the evening at the Inquest.

Dr. J. B. Favell saw deceased about two minutes after he had been shot; observed a ball had entered the right eye, passed through the brain and back part of the head; the wound was sufficient to have caused death; the ball was of a large description.

Marty Hough lived opposite the Irish Arms, on the Parramatta Road, was standing at the window of her home ironing, saw prisoner coming from Parramatta, and go into the Irish Arms; in five afterwards he came out and reclined against the front of the house, deceased came out immediately afterwards, and went towards his team of bullocks which were at a short distance, laid hold of their horns, as though playing with them, at the same time he had a small piece of batten in his hand, he let go of the bullocks and came towards the house, prisoner advanced towards him and they stood face to face about a minute; deceased flourished the batten before prisoner, but not in a striking position; prisoner raised his pistol, and in a moment fired at deceased who fell immediately; prisoner stepped forward to look at the body, he then turned round, and put his hand to the back of his neck, as if he pretended he had been struck, but such was not the case; witness saw the whole of the transaction, having  waited a moment to see if deceased would move, witness ran out, and said to prisoner, "you villain, you have murdered the man," then spoke to the landlady of the house to have him apprehended for the murder; prisoner said something but she could not hear what, he did not complain of having been struck; it was not five minutes from the time deceased came out of the house, till he was a dead man.

Cross-examined---Witness never took her gaze from the transaction during the whole time; deceased was within arms length of prisoner, and within striking distance, deceased did not appear as if he was going to strike prisoner; prisoner did not attempt to run away, witness was about twenty yards distance from where the transaction took place, there were no words used, or witness must have heard them; the pistol might have gone off accidentally.

H. Bell was at the Irish Arms public house, taking dinner with deceased, who went out, and in five minutes heard a pistol fired, witness went out and saw deceased lying dead on the ground; prisoner was in custody of Mr. Lacey who handed him over to witness; he had a pistol in his hand which appeared to have been recently fired, the pan was  damp and smoke was coming out of the muzzle; a piece of batten was lying near the deceased, about three feet long, three inches wide, and half an inch thick; witness did not see prisoner inside the house; did not see the last witness on the spot, if she had been there must have seen her.

Catherine Cavenagh---Is an assigned  servant to Mr. Titterton of the Irish Arms; on the day in question she was at the parlour window, which is on the ground floor, saw prisoner coming with a pistol in his hand, deceased turned round from the bullocks, prisoner  walked  quick up to him, presented the pistol to his head, and fired at him, deceased fell, prisoner turned and looked at him, and then put his hand to the back part of his neck, no words passed between them, they were about a yard and a half distant from each other, prisoner had been there in the early part of the morning with four larceny women, prisoner was not drunk, but thinks he had been taking a little, the pistol fired could not have been an accident, prisoner made no attempt to escape; did not see deceased with a batten.

Mr. J. Lacey apprehended the prisoner, he appeared quite at a loss, and did not say anything, heard a man named J. Malone order spirits in the morning for the women in charge of prisoner which he would not allow them to have, only some half and half, thinks deceased was there at the time, in the paddock with his bullocks.

Sir John Jamison, master of the deceased, gave him an excellent character, and had never seen him intoxicated, was not aware that he had been punished only once, and that unjustly.

Proceedings before the Coroner were then put in---This closed the case for the prosecution.

In defence prisoner stated---That when he arrived there that morning, he had four women in charge, one of them had two bonnets, one of which she requested him to take to her husband; he said he would, and left it in charge of the landlady, two men who were there wished to give the women spirits, which he refused, but allowed them to have some beer, he then left the house, delivered the women, and then returned for the bonnet in about two hours, he met the deceased who came staggering drunk against him and called him a d----d old scoundrel for not allowing the women spirits in the morning, he told him that he could not, it was against orders, Cunningham then made a kick at him, which he avoided, he then struck him a blow on the arm with the batten, he told him to go away, when deceased again raised the batten and faced him, he put up the pistol which he had in his hand to guard the blow, but whether from the blow or his finger being on the trigger, it went off fatally, he had never seen the deceased before that morning, therefore, could any man say that he had any malice of premeditation in committing the act.  The prisoner then contrasted several points of evidence which varied.

Six witnesses were then called who gave the prisoner an excellent character for kind=heat5t5edness and humanity.

His honor judge Dowling then summed up.  This was a case of deep importance to the public and the prisoner at the bar, as his life was in the hands of the jury, and he hoped they would pay every attention to the evidence before they made up their minds to a verdict.  The offence with which the prisoner was charged was the highest in the catalogue of crimes except high treason; any man who deprived a fellow creature of life was prima facie guilty of murder, and the onus rested upon him to shew that the act was excusable.  The evidence in this case rested mainly upon the testimony of the woman who had been ironing, and the servant at the public house, and if there was nothing to relieve him from their testimony, he was guilty of murder, but it behoved them to bring into that box their knowledge of the world and of human nature, to come to a satisfactory conclusion; they would remember the sex of the witnesses, whose humanity and feelings were always elicited against what appeared to be cruelty and oppression; they would observe that the prisoner had not premeditated the act of arming himself, being a constable, he was lawfully armed which explained away that fact.  The defence was, that the piece going off was accidental and not wilful, but what a prisoner said in defence could not be taken as evidence, only where it supplied a link in the chain on the part of the prosecution, or to explain any reasonable probabilities, and it was competent for Juries to take his statement into consideration, and try it by the evidence brought against him.  The learned Judge then recapitulated the evidence, and the Jury, after an absence of forty minutes, came into Court and acquitted the prisoner.

Mr. Sydney Stephen defended the prisoner.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 7 May 1834

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An inquest was held, on Monday before C. Smeathman, Esq., at the Manchester Arms, on the body of an infant found in the Old Burial ground in a small box.  It appeared, on examination, that the child had been still-born, as there were no marks of violence on the body; and it had, no doubt, been placed there by its parents who, from poverty, were unable to procure it Christian burial.  Verdict---still born.

Another inquest was held on Sunday morning, at the Sydney Arms, York-street, on the body of Mary Chadman, who died suddenly the night previously.  Her husband called on Mr. Jilks and stated the circumstance, observing that he had been walking with her in perfect health round the Domain in the afternoon, and that if she had poisoned herself he could not help it.  He said he had called on several Doctors, but that none of them would attend.  Mr. Jilks called on Dr. Street, who accompanied him to Chadman's house and examined the body; when it appeared that she had died of excessive drinking.  Verdict---Died by the Visitation of God.

Another inquest was also held at the Rum Puncheon, on Monday morning, on the body of a man named Butler, steward of the Lucy Ann, lying near the Domain.  It appeared, he went ashore in the afternoon, and drank pretty freely as he was seen in a state of intoxication; and on his returning to the vessel late at night, it is supposed he must have slipped off the rock into the water.  Verdict---Found drowned.


R. v. Clarke [1834] NSWSupC 50


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 9 May 1834

An Inquest will be held this morning at Lane Cove, during which some circumstances of rather a peculiar description, it is expected, will be developed. [James Bergatty??]


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 13 May 1834

On Sunday afternoon a woman named Patterson, while in a state of intoxication, approached too near the fire, her clothes ignited, and in a few minutes she was most dreadfully burned.  She was conveyed to the hospital, but her life is despaired of.  The woman is since dead.


On Saturday an Inquest was held at the O'Connell's Head, Brickfield Hill, on the body of John Lownds, a servant in the employ of Mr. C. Smith, who died the previous Friday, owing, it is supposed, to a wound inflicted on the left side of his face, by a fellow servant named James Whalen with a dinner knife.  It appearing that the principal witness was out of town, the Inquest adjourned till Sunday.

Sunday.---Court met pursuant to adjournment, when the following witnesses were called.

Henry Richards---I am huntsman to Captain Hunter, and reside on Mr. Smith's farm, where the hounds are kept---On Sunday fortnight, at twenty minutes past seven, Whalen and deceased came into the hut---Whalen had supper, and deceased laid on the bed---they were both intoxicated---Whalen said that while talking to some friends of his at the Cross Keys, Elizabeth street, Lownds interfered, which he had no right to do---Lownds got off the bed and struck deceased a back handed blow on the face---Whalen said, "will you strike an old man"---Lownds replied "yes," and fell upon him---Whalen had a knife in his hand, they scuffled and fell, Whalen was uppermost---Qhalen got up with the knife in his hand---I said, "Whalen you have killed the deceased"---deceased was bleeding---he replied, "I could not help it, I couldn't get away from him, or throw the knife out of my hand"---Lownds bled from his neck and mouth about two quarts---the wound was tied up, and he went to bed---in the morning Whalen came into the hut and asked deceased how he was, saying he was very sorry---Mr. Smith sent out to the farm to know if Lownds would have medical assistance, or if he should send a cart to take him to the hospital---he said he was a free man, and not going to die there---he said he wouldn't have Whalen taken into custody---he said his neck was a little stiff, but he should be well in a few days, and able to do his work---on Friday, the day he died, Mr. Smith sent out a gig to take him to Sydney---when it came, he said he had the double ague, and was very cold, and wished to rest---some time after he fainted, and we took him into the air, and put him into the gig---I sat alongside him, and the man led the horse---when we had got about 20 yards from the hut, I stopped the gig, saying he was dying, as he had the rattles in his throat, and in about five minutes he died, saying nothing---he had been ill eight or nine days before internally, for which he took some salts, but they appeared to do him no good---deceased was a sober, quiet man---when Whalen got up from deceased with the knife in his hand, he threw it on the ground, and I picked it up---it was covered with blood---that is the knife (knife produced;) it is a dinner knife worn to a point, and very sharp.

Cross-examined---Whalen never said he would choke the deceased---Whalen held the knife in this position (witness showed what he meant, by clasping the knife) like a dagger, with his thumb on the end of the handle.

Thomas Johnson---I am a free shepherd in the employ of Mr. C. Smith---I know nothing of the transaction---the first thing I saw was Lownds and Whalen scuffling on the ground, Lownds was uppermost---I never saw any thing of the knife---I saw the deceased bleeding on the side of the face---I ran out of the hut being a cripple---I was sitting five yards from Whalen---I brought in some water, and the huntsman washed him---Lownds had been ill three weeks before---he told me they had a few words in the former hut---I saw no blow struck---the last witness had the knife in his hand, which he picked up after Whalen threw it down---it was bloody, and deceased said Whalen had stabbed him with it---deceased said he would have Whalen apprehended, when he got well, for stabbing him---saw prisoner since he was apprehended, but did not speak to him---saw him in the bush before---he said he could get rest no where---it was an unlucky job, and he was afraid he should get apprehended for it---he was sorry it had happened---I saw Whalen and deceased have a few words in the hut, about what took place in Sydney---I saw deceased tap Whalen on the hat with the back part of the hand.  This witness prevaricated so much, that the Coroner threatened several times to commit him to the watch house.

Dr. Neilson then gave in his certificate to the following effect.---That upon examining the body he found strong adhesions between the pleurae pulmonalis and costalis upon the left side---the lungs were diseased, and upon their surface were seen some ulcers---upon the intestines being exposed, there was an appearance of strong inflammation with effusion---upon the left side of the face, below the ear, an incised wound running downwards and forwards, inclining to the trachea with extravasation of blood in the cellular membrane.  From these symptoms his opinion was, that inflammation of the stomach and bowels with effusion, was the immediate cause of death, and not the wound inflicted.

The Jury were of opinion that the deceased came to his death by internal disease, but find the prisoner guilty of wounding him with a knife, and therefore commit him to take his trial for cutting and maiming.

Coroner's Inquest.

On Friday an Inquest was held at Mr. Bloodsworth's house, at Lane Cove, on the body of James Bergatty, who came to his death the previous day under the following circumstances:---While riding on a timber dray, without being intoxicated, he fell from his seat, and the wheels passed over his body, and he died almost immediately.  On opening the body, I found that two ribs were broken, and that the lungs of the deceased were almost totally decayed.---The Jury returned a verdict of---accidental death.  The distance from Sydney being sixteen miles where the Inquest was held, the Coroner and Jury did not arrive in town till ten o'clock at night.

Law Intelligence.


FRIDAY.---Before the Chief Justice and a civil jury.

Patrick Farrell was indicted for the wilful murder of his wife, by beating her on the head and various parts of the body with a stick, at Brisbane Water, on the 25th of December, 1833.

It appeared in evidence, that prisoner and his wife, a native of the Colony about twenty five years of age, resided at Brisbane Water, where he followed the business of a Sawyer---had some rum in his hut on the day laid in the information, Christmas Day, which he left in charge of his wife who, falling asleep some one entered the hut and carried it away---this irritated the priso0ner, who armed himself with a piece of heavy wood that had been used as the leg of a table---deceased ran out of the house followed by prisoner, who struck her while she was running twice on the back part of the head---deceased made for the house of the overseer Smith, in the employ of Mr. Cox, who, when she came inside the hut, bolted the door---she sat down on a bed, and shortly after fell back as though in a fit---prisoner forced open the hut door and seized hold of a broom handle, with which he beat the deceased---she recovered, and Smith told her to go to her hut thinking to detain the prisoner---she went and was followed shortly after by the prisoner who again struck her with the broom handle either on the head or arm, and then on the hip, which caused her to fall---some of the neighbours there came up and carried her to her own house, at which time her head was bleeding---the following day deceased said she was very ill, and had a locked jaw, a stiff neck, and a pain in the chest---at that time her husband attended  her with great care---the following day she had a swelling in the throat, which fell to the pit of the stomach below the breast bone, when she said the pain had gone lower down---it was about the size of a pullet egg, and when pressed with the finger she said she felt ease from it, but as soon as the pressure ceased, the lump returned and the pain with it---the following day she told her neighbours that a man named Stewart had beaten her on the head with a stick the same day her husband beat her, and she was afraid a locked jaw would be the result---the same evening she died---no Doctor attended deceased, there being none on the Settlement---the Chief Constable Smith summoned a Jury to hold an Inquest, but only three attended, and out of them only himself and another would look at the body---it was so putrified that they could make nothing of it, and prisoner was allowed to bury it---he had never attempted to do so before or to conceal the body.  This was the evidence on the part of the prosecution.  For the defence it was argued that her death had been occasioned by the blows inflicted by Stewart, and that he had said rather than face the Court for what he had done to her he would be transported for seven years, also that deceased had an affection of the lungs for which she had been repeatedly bled.  Several witnesses also gave prisoner a character as an affectionate husband and a humane man.

The learned Judge observed in putting the case to the Jury, that the question for their consideration was, did deceased die from blows---if so, then by whom were they inflicted.  That the prisoner had inflicted the blows ascribed to him was so very strong upon the evidence, as hardly to admit of a doubt.  The witnesses had come forward and given their testimony without any motives to criminate the prisoner at the bar.  If the blows inflicted were the cause of death, then prisoner was guilty of murder; but if the Jury thought that the blows were not inflicted by prisoner, or that they did not occasion the death of his wife, or that they had been inflicted by any other person, then  he was not guilty of the charge laid in the information.  If they had any doubts upon their minds, they would of course give the prisoner the benefit of them.  The Jury, after an absence of forty minutes, came into Court, and said they could not conscientiously come to a decision without having the opinion of a medical man.  Mr. Therry, on the part of the prisoner, objected to this course of proceeding, and the Chief Justice held that in the present stage of the proceedings he could not permit a medical man to be called; if they had any doubt as to the cause of death, they must give the prisoner the benefit of it.  The Jury, after a few minutes absence, found the prisoner not guilty, in consequence of doubts arising from the non attendance of a medical gentleman.  Discharged.

Mr. Therry defended the prisoner.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 14 May 1834

Country Inquest Juries.

Letter re Inquest on Hugh Corrigan, Black Creek, Hunter's River, from JURATOR.


An Inquest was convened on Saturday, at the O'Connel Arms in George-street, to take into consideration the cause of the death of John Loundes, a free man, in the employ of Mr. Charles Smith, who received a wound in his left cheek, with a knife, on the 28th day of April, and after lingering until the 9th, expired.  After the Jury had inspected the body, which was lying at Mr. Smith's Tavern, the inquest was adjourned until the following day at 12 o'clock, in consequence of a material witness being absent at Parramatta.

Sunday, 12 o'clock, the Inquest was resumed, and Henry Richards, assigned servant and Huntsman to Captain Hunter, who had the charge of his master's hounds on Mr. Smith's premises, that the deceased John Loundes, and James Wheylen, were in the hut on the farm with him on the evening in question.  Loundes was lying on his bed, and Wheylen was eating his supper at a table.  Wheylen, who had been into Sydney with deceased, and had taken some liquor with him at the Cross Keys, made some strong remarks on deceased's having interfered with him and a countryman of his.  Deceased immediately rose and struck Wheylen a blow with the flat of his hand, and Wheylen striking him again, a scuffle ensued, when both parties fell, Wheylen being uppermost.  When Wheylen was struck, he said, "what strike an old man?" he being older than Loundes.  On attempting to separate the parties, witness found, that deceased had received hand; Witness said, "Wheylen you have killed this man, he is bleeding very fast." Wheylen replied, "Huntsman, I could not help it, I could not get away from the man, nor could I throw away the knife."  He immediately left the hut, and witness did not see him again until next morning.  Deceased struck Wheylen first, and they were both of them intoxicated; witness bound up the wound with a handkerchief, but no medical man was called in.  On the following morning, Wheylen called at the hut and asked deceased how he did, and said he was very sorry for it, but he did not do it intentionally. [full column.]

Dr. Neilson said, that on a post mortem examination of the body, he found a strong adhesion between the plurae pulmonias and costalis on the left side; the lungs were also diseased and ulcerated.  Upon the intestines being exposed, there was a strong appearance of inflammation and effusion; upon the left side of the face below the ear, a punctured wound, running downwards and forwards inclining to the trachea, with extravasation of blood in the cellular membrane.  From these symptoms it was his opinion that inflammation of the stomach and bowels, with effusion, was the immediate cause of death, and not the wound inflicted.

The Jury were of opinion, that the deceased came to his death by internal disease, and found Wheylen guilty of wounding with a knife; he was therefore committed to take his trial for cutting and wounding.

Another Inquest was holden by the Coroner, in Mr. Jenning's Publican, Market street, on the body of Mary Peterson.  It appears that the deceased being intoxicated, approached too near the fire, and her apron igniting before any one could come to her assistance, she was so dreadfully burnt, as to preclude all hopes of her recovery.  She was immediately removed to the Hospital, where she lingered until Monday morning, and then expired.  The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death, being in a state of great inebriety.

Another Inquest was holden on Friday last, at Mr. Bloodworth's house, at Lane Cove, before Major Smeathman, the Coroner, on the body of [James?] [S?????].  The deceased was driving a {????} carriage in the afternoon, and from some cause he fell, and the wheel passing over his body caused immediate death.  Verdict---Accidental Death.

Another Inquest was held, at Rush Cutter's Bay, on Monday, on a gigantic skeleton, which had been exhumed by some workmen in Mr. M'Donald's employ.  The Jury declared it to be the remains of an Aborigine, and the Coroner ordered the bones to be re-interred. (The Coroner had better have represented the matter to the Sydney Museum.---ED.)

GIGANTIC REMAINS---On Saturday last, as some men were digging on Mr. M'Donald's grounds at Rushcutter's Bay, they discovered a few inches below the surface, a human skeleton of extraordinary dimensions; and which, on inspection, were pronounced to be the remains of an Aborigine.  The main bone of the leg (tibia) measured nineteen inches and a half; the minor bone of the arm from the elbow to the wrist, sixteen inches and a half; the skull (a part of which was taken off) was amazingly thick.


R. v. Farrel [1834] NSWSupC 56


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 16 May 1834


In the case of William Chapman and Henry Mills, brought before the Police yesterday, charged with murder, Colonel Weston observed that he thought it would be conducive to the ends of justice if the proceedings in the case already taken were not published, it being remanded for further evidence.  We therefore refrain from publication.

About two years since many of our readers may remember an Inquest being held upon the body of a butcher named Chapman, which was picked up in Port Jackson without a head.  On the Inquest sufficient evidence was elicited to commit a man named Wilkes, for murder.  On the trial the then Solicitor General, Mr. Macdowell, having addressed the Court, said he did not think there was sufficient evidence to warrant him in continuing the case, and the prisoner was discharged. Within the last few days Wilkes, who is in gaol on a charge of felony, gave such information to the Police as to cause the brother of the deceased and his widow, to be taken into custody on a charge of murder.  The case is under investigation by the Police.

On Monday an Inquest was held at Rush Cutters Bay, on the bones of a human being, found suspiciously buried at that place.  They were of  an unnatural size, and were pronounced by the Jury to be those of an aboriginal, and a verdict returned accordingly.  They were ordered to be buried in unconsecrated ground.

On Monday an Inquest was held at Mr. Jennings's, in Market street, upon the body of Mary Paterson, who died in the hospital that morning; it appeared in evidence that the deceased, while in a state of intoxication, had incautiously approached the fire, by which her clothes ignited, and before any assistance could be rendered, she was most dreadfully burned.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death, caused by burning, while in a state of intoxication.


Chapman and Mills, in custody for the murder of Chapman, will be brought up for further examination this morning.  We attend to the intimation of the magistrates in not publishing the testimony, as conducive to the ends of justice, although we question if their Worships are not mistaken.  In cases brought to light after the lapse of years, the publication of the evidence has frequently brought to the recollection of individuals seeing it, trivial circumstances, of no importance in themselves, but tending to bring home the offences to the guilty.

On Friday an Inquest was held at the Coach and Horses outside the Turnpike, upon the body of John Middleton, an inmate of the Asylum, who died there the previous evening.  On the head being opened it was discovered that the deceased had come to his death from serum on the brain, occasioned by the excessive use of ardent spirits.  The Jury returned a verdict accordingly.


R. v. Herring, Lahey and Lawless [1834] NSWSupC 60


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 23 May 1834

Henry Mills, Thomas Chapman, alias Priest, and Lydia Chapman, were again brought up at the Police Office on Wednesday last, charged with the murder of Chapman's brother, and after several mote witnesses being examined, they were remanded by the Bench to the gaol for eight days more, and to be then brought up again for final examination.

Yesterday an Inquest was held at Mr. Hamilton's, the Loggerheads, in Market street, on view of the body of John Lowe, a shoemaker, residing in Clarence street, who, while sitting with a few friends on Sunday afternoon, was suddenly seized with a fit of epilepsy, and fell to the ground.  In a short time he recovered a little, and on the following day went to work.  On Wednesday he kept his bed all day.  On Thursday morning, his wife was awoke by the child crying, and on asking her husband for a light he made no reply.  On her getting a light, she found her husband a corpse.  A Surgeon examined the deceased, when it was found there was a considerable extravasation of blood to the head.  The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 27 May 1834

On Saturday a Coroner's Inquest was held at the Currier's Arms, in Castlereagh street, on the body of Susannah Wright, who died suddenly that morning.  The Jury inspected the body, and nothing appearing to make them conclude that her death was occasioned by any other than natural means, they returned a verdict, died by the visitation of God.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 28 May 1834

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An Inquest was holden on Saturday, at the Currier's Arms, on Susannah Wright, a resident at Botany, who had been ailing some time and died suddenly.  After circumstances attending her death had been explained to the Jury, they returned a verdict of---Died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 30 May 1834

An inquest was held on Wednesday last, at Mr. Levey's, the Red Cross in George street, on view of the body of Captain Tommy, an Aboriginal native, who was found dead that morning lying opposite the gaol.  It is supposed he had got intoxicated the previous evening, and falling asleep, his death had been occasioned by the intense coldness of the night.  The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 6 June 1834

On Tuesday week last an accident occurred at Bathurst, which was attended with fatal consequences.  Joseph Coen, an old and faithful servant, and lately overseer to Thomas Raine, Esquire, of that district, while riding on a cart, fell from it, and coming in contact with the stump of a tree, he received so severe an internal injury, as to cause his death in a short time after.

On Wednesday an Inquest was held at Mr. Burn's, the Prince street Hotel, on the body of Mr. William Johnson Nelson, who died suddenly that day; Doctor Rule opened the body and pronounced his death to be caused by enteritis spasmodica.  The Jury accordingly returned a verdict of---Died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 10 June 1834

Henry Mills, Thomas Chapman, alias Priest, and Lydia Chapman, were fully committed to take their trial on Saturday afternoon, charged with the murder of Chapman's brother, more than two years ago.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 17 June 1834

Mary Cartwright, the female who was some short time ago exposed in the pillory for perjury, died in the hospital a few days since of a broken heart.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 18 June 1834

An inquest was held, On Saturday, at the Dove and Olive Branch, Kent Street North, on the body of Captain William Worth, later master of the barque Lucy Ann, who was in his usual state of health the night before, and went out to take tea with a friend, and when near his own house, on his return home about 9 o'clock in the evening, fell down and expired.  Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.

Henry Ham has been committed, by the bench at Patrick's Plains, for the murder of a man named Corrigan, who was found dead at Black Creek, at Hunter's River, about two months ago.  He is now in Sydney gaol.  He is a native of the Colony.  This is about the first native youth we recollect committed for this offence.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 20 June 1834

An unfortunate bricklayer [Price] employed at the buildings of Mr. Wilcox in Pitt street, was killed yesterday evening, by the falling of a weighty piece of timber, his breast was literally crushed; the accident was occasioned by the breaking of the rope with which the piece of timber was being elevated.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 21 June 1834

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An Inquest was holden on Tuesday, June 17th, at the Dove and Olive-branch, on the body of James Fonteen, a Welshman, free, in the employ of Mr. Langdon, butcher, of George-street, who put an end to his existence, on the morning of the day above stated, by cutting his throat with a razor.  It appeared from the evidence of Mr. Buckman Morgan, who had repeated opportunities of observing the conduct of deceased, that he had been in the employ of Mr. Langdon about eighteen months ago, and continued to be so, until about six months since, when he left; he however returned in a short time, but was quite an altered man, being despondent and sullen.  On the morning her perpetrated that fatal act he was particularly so, and was seen walking up and down the slaughterhouse, with a large knife in his hand.  The body on inspection presented a very frightful spectacle, the trachea being completely severed, and the neck presented a very gashed appearance.  After the body had been viewed by the Jury, and the different witnesses had given their evidence, a verdict was returned---that the deceased died of a severe wound in the throat, inflicted by himself with a razor, being at the time labouring under an aberration of mind.

A dreadful accident occurred at a house in Pitt-street, on Thursday evening, on the premises erecting by Mr. Zachariah Wilcox.  In putting up the front joint of the upper floor, the rope to which the beam (weighing at least 7 cwt.) broke, and the timber on falling, struck a man of the name of Price on the head and breast, and dashed him to the earth.  On being lifted up, he observed, he was not much hurt, but in a few moments afterwards, he became speechless, and in that state, by order of the Chief Constable, who was present, he was immediately removed to the hospital, when he lingered for a short time and expired.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 27 June 1834


An Inquest was held on Friday last, at Mr. Richard Driver's, the Three Tuns, King-street, on the body of John Price, who had died in the Hospital at ten o'clock, in consequence of a severe hurt received from a rope which broke, when he along with several other workmen, were in the act of hoisting up a beam about a ton weight, at a new building belonging to Mr. Wilcox, in Pitt-street; the deceased was nearest to the rope, when it unfortunately broke, and felled him to the ground.  After examining witnesses, the Jury returned a verdict, that deceased was accidentally killed by the breaking of a rope, while hoisting a heavy beam of timber, with a deodand of five shillings on the beam.

An Inquest was held at Mr. Morley's, the Dove and Olive Branch, in Kent-street, North.  A married female, servant to C. C. Dutton, Esq. residing in that street, had on Saturday last been delivered of a still-born infant of about seven months.  It appeared from the evidence of the matron who had been called in on that occasion, that the mother of the infant, previous to her accouchement, had been lifting some heavy pots on the kitchen fire, and thus the premature birth had been occasioned.  The Jury returned a verdict of still-born.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 1 July 1834

Yesterday the Coroner held an Inquest on board the James Laing prison ship now in the harbour.  It appeared that Mr. Richard Allen, Surgeon Superintendent of the convicts on board said ship, had for some time previous to the arrival of that vessel off the heads, been in a very abstracted and desponding state and shewn evident symptoms of aberration of mind.  He had been unremittant in his attention to his duties, and the comforts of the prisoners committed to his charge during the voyage.  On the approach of the ship to the heads, he had some conversation with Captain Tomlin, R.N. commanding the vessel, about half-past 3 a.m. on Sunday morning, after which he retired to his cabin, and had been there about an hour and a half, when the Captain was awoke in his cabin, which was near to that of deceased, by the report of a pistol; he immediately arose, and found it proceeded from the cabin of deceased, whom he found quite dead, having applied a pistol to his head, the contents of which had deprived him of life.  Verdict, destroyed himself by a pistol shot while labouring under aberration of mind.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 19 July 1834

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An Inquest was held yesterday, at the Crown, on the South head-road, on the body of Charles M'Gonshie, a gardener, in the employ of Judge Dowling during the last three years.  About 4 P.M. on Thursday, while working in the garden, he was seized with a violent fit of coughing, and almost instantly expired.  The deceased had been addicted to excessive drinking.  The Jury returned a verdict of "died by the visitation of God."


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 25 July 1834

'An Inquest was held at the Crown Inn, on the South Head Road, on Friday, on view of the body of Charles M'Gonerhie, gardener to Mr. Justice Dowling, who while at work in the garden on that day, was seized with a violent fit of coughing, and expired almost immediately.  On the evidence it appeared that the deceased had lately been addicted to excessive drinking, and had latterly been under the care of Doctor Bland.  The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.

On Saturday morning another Inquest was held at the Bird in Hand, Clarence-street, on the body of Mr. William Foreman, formerly a publican of Kent-street, who cut his throat that morning between three and four o'clock, while labouring under a fit of  temporary mental insanity.  The Jury, on hearing evidence, returned a verdict to that effect.

On the same day also an Inquest was held at the Sheer Hulk George-street, on view of the body of William Willis, who died suddenly at Middle harbour.  From the evidence, it appeared the deceased had been a habitual drunkard, and his sudden death was the result of his long continued dissipation.---The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.

Report of severe accident to Robert Bayles, aged 81; amputation likely fatal. [Also Friday 8th August; letter.]


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 5 August 1834


A Coroner's Inquest was held on Thursday at the Free Mason's Arms, York street, on the body of Peter Mitchell, a private belonging to the 50th regiment.  He was found dead in his bed that morning; he was drunk when he went to bed the evening before; no surgeon was examined, and it did not appear what was the cause of his death.  Verdict.---Died  by the visitation of God.

Another Inquest was held yesterday at the 'AUSTRALIAN,' on the Parramatta road, on Ann Greathead and her infant.  It appeared that inflammation on the bowels had brought on premature labour which was the cause of her death.  Verdict.---Died by the visitation of God.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 6 August 1834

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday at THE AUSTRALIAN Inn, Parramatta Road, on the body of Ellen Greathead and her still-born child; it appeared that the death of the mother had occurred through inflammation of her bowels, which she had laboured under for some time, and which brought on a premature accouchement; the Jury returned a verdict of the child still-born, and the mother died by the visitation of God.

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An Inquest was held yesterday at the Bricklayer's Arms, Market-street, on the body of Roger Heffern, a labouring man about sixty years of age, who was found dead on the floor of the house in which he lived in Pitt Street.  Mr. Neilson who examined the body gave it as his opinion, that the deceased had died through strangulation.  Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.


R. v. Jackey [1834] NSWSupC 94


R. v. Manley [1834] NSWSupC 88


AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 12 August 1834

Coroners Inquests.

An inquest was held on Tuesday at the Bricklayers Arms, Market-street, on the body of Roger Hiffern, a labouring man about 60 years of age, who was found dead on the floor of the house where he lived in Pitt-street.  Dr. Neilson examined the body, and gave it as his opinion, that the deceased had died through strangulation.---Ver- died by the visitation of God.

Another inquest was held on Saturday last, at the "Tam O'Shanter" public house, on the body of Hector Williams, late the landlord of the "Three Horse Shoes," Pitt-street, who expired about 10 o'clock on the same day, a verdict was recorded.---Died by the visitation of God.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 13 August 1834

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An Inquest was held on Saturday at the Tam O'Shanter, on the body of Mr. Williams, Landlord of the Three Horse shoes, who had been for some time in an ill state of health, and who expired about ten A.M. of the Wednesday.  The jury returned a verdict of Died by the Visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 15 August 1834

An inquest was held on Tuesday at the "Governor Bourke" in Market-street, on the body of Thomas Whitaker, who was found drowned in the Parramatta river that morning.  It appeared, the deceased had lately leased a piece of ground in Sydney, on which he was building a house, and had been in the practice of going up river for timber in the company of another man.  The boat was upset in the squall of Friday, and the man being a swimmer, got a shore, but Whitaker was unfortunately drowned; when found, the greater part of his neck was eaten away,---Verdict found drowned.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 19 August 1834

Yesterday an Inquest was held at the Rum Puncheon, King's Wharf, on Michael Ready, a mariner on board the Currency Lass schooner, who at sunset on Sunday fell from the mast-head of that vessel, in the act of striking the colours, and died in a few minutes after.  Verdict, accidental death.

Law Intelligence.



Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., 15 August 1834

(Before the Chief Justice, and a Jury of Civil Inhabitants.)

HENRY MILLS, and WILLIAM CHAPMAN, were indicted for the wilful murder of SAMUEL PRIEST, otherwise CHAPMAN, near Waterview, on the Parramatta River, in the harbour of Port Jackson, on the 10th November, 1831; and JULIA PRIEST, otherwise CHAPMAN, was charged as an accessary after the fact, in afterwards harbouring, comforting, and maintaining the two first-named prisoners, well knowing them to have committed the said felony and murder.  The information contained four counts, charging the prisoners in the same way; namely, Mills as principal in the first, and Chapman in the second degree in the crime, and the female prisoner as an accessary after the fact; but alleging the deed to have been perpetrated by the different means of striking the deceased on the head with a piece of wood, by drowning him in the river, and by cutting his neck with a knife.

The Solicitor General stated the case for the prosecution; the prisoners were defended by Mr. Williams.

CHARLES BAYLES being sworn, said - I live at the back of the barracks in Clarence-street; I knew Samuel Priest, who was also called Chapman; I saw him alive a few days before his death; I afterwards saw him dead lying by the water side of Darling harbour; I saw the coroner and Mr. JILKS, and two or three hundred people there; I could not identify the body; one of the deceased's legs were shorter than the other in his life time, but I could not distinguish that in the dead body; the body was in a horrid state; the head was off; the neck looked as if the head had been cut off with some sharp instrument; the bone did not seem to have been cut, but the flesh did; the bone appeared to have been wrung off; I cannot swear that it is the body of Samuel Priest; it might or might not be his body; the deceased was a small man, about 5 feet 5 inches in height; the body was that of a smallish man; it was I think about four or five days from the time the deceased was missing, that the body was found.

Cross-examined - I knew the deceased for eight or nine years, but I could not recognise the body as his; part of one of the thighs appeared to have been eaten by fish; it is not impossible but the neck might have been gnawed in the same manner, but it appeared to have been cut; I am a butcher; one man could wrest off the head of a bullock after the neck being previously cut round.

PETER HOSKING, Esq., being sworn, said - I am a surgeon; I was called to attend the coroner's inquest on the body of the deceased; I gave a certificate after I had viewed the body; it bear the date of the 23rd November, 1831; the body which was a mere skeleton was contained in a coffin; I examined the neck; the head was taken off at the first vertebrae of the neck in a very smooth manner; the flesh of the neck was nearly all off, I could count every vertebrae; the articulation was very smooth; my impression was that the head had dropped off from putrefaction, or from being bit off by the fish; it was apparent that the bone had not been cut off, but it might have been wrested off; I was told it was the body of a man named Chapman, but I did not know anything of the man.

Cross-examined - If I had not heard of this alleged murder, I should have concluded the man had been drowned, that the flesh had been bitten off the neck and other parts by fish, and that the head had dropped off after putrefaction, but its own gravity; there was nothing apparent however, to rebut the position that the flesh of the neck had been previously cut through; one man could easily wrest off the head of a human being, after the neck being cut through; from the state the body was in, I should say it was impossible to identify it unless it had some peculiar mark.

JOSEPH WILKS being sworn, said, I am free, and live in Argyle; in 1831, I lived with the deceased, Samuel Chapman, in Clarence-street; he was married to the female prisoner at the bar; I never heard him called Priest; I know the two male prisoners; William Chapman was the reputed brother of the deceased; he lived with the deceased at that time; Mills, I do not think had any regular employment then, but he used to come backwards and forwards to the house; I was the deceased's hired servant; on Thursday the 10th Nov., 1831, I and the deceased went from the Market Wharf in Mr. Anderson's boat to Kissing-point, on the Parramatta river; we set off about 6 o'clock in the morning and arrived at Kissing-point between 9 and 10; we went to serve a law process on a person named Warman who lived there; it was an execution from the Court of Requests; an arrangement was made between deceased and Warman to receive 10 dollars, and take a bill at three months for the remainder and stay proceedings; on the previous day it was arranged at Chapman's that I should be placed in charge of Warman's goods; William Chapman persuaded the deceased not to settle the affair unless Warman paid the whole of the debt, but to sell of his goods; we left Warman's on our return a little before sun-set; we stopped at Mr. Small's, and in presence of Warman had two pots of porter and three gills of rum; the deceased and I then proceeded on our way to Sydney; on reaching the police station at Longnose, which is about six miles, the deceased complained of the effects of the liquor, and I advised him to lay down in the boat, and I would pull the oars by myself; on arriving at Longnose, I was hailed by another boat lying on the shore at Birch grove; it was William Chapman who called out; he said is that you Sam; I said no; I knew his voice; I said it was myself; both boats then met; the male prisoners were the persons in the other boat; they asked me what I had done with the deceased; I told them he was drunk, and lying asleep in the boat; both boats pulled together till we reached the middle of Birch grove bay; I was sober; I could see the house at Birch grove, I do not know that it is called Waterview; it was when we arrived at this place that William Chapman proposed for me to exchange boats, his being a smaller one, and I could more easily pull it by myself; I accordingly got into their boat, and they got into mine, I leaving the deceased with them; I asked what made them come to meet us; they said they did not think the deceased would be able to get the boat home by himself; they did not know I was to come with him; William Chapman then asked why I had returned; I told him how the business had been settled; he said I had d--y disappointed him; I asked how; he said it was not his intention to have let the deceased every return to Sydney; I dissuaded him from doing anything like that threat seemed to convey, telling him it would be sure to be found out; when we arrived at the point where the Phoenix hulk is now stationed, a bottle of rum was produced by Mills, who asked me if I would have a ball; I said I had no objection; we both stopped rowing, and we all three drank of the rum; I drank out of the bottle, about one glass full; it was just getting dark, between seven and eight o'clock; both boats were close together; Mills was rousing up the deceased, saying Sam, come get up and have a ball; the deceased rose up and asked what the devil brought him there; Mills said they had come to look after him; the deceased leaned over the gunwale of the boat and began scooping some water into his face with his hand to refresh himself; Mills then laid hold of a tree-nail made of iron-bark about a yard in length, which was lying in the boat, and made a blow at the deceased with it, saying he would be d--d if he would be disappointed; the blow struck him on the back of the head and stunned the deceased, who scarcely spoke or moved afterwards; he fell with his head in the water; Mills laid hold of him by the trowsers and threw him into the water, holding him by the legs; he kept him in that position for about five minutes; the boats were drifting at this time quite close in shore towards Birch Grove; in the house I think I have heard called Waterview, but I am not sure; as the deceased was held in the water, I could perceive his arms move in the water like a man swimming, but very gently; I began to scream out as soon as the blow was struck, and threw the bottle overboard; William Chapman called me a chicken-hearted b--r, and asked what I was afraid of no one was going to hurt me; William Chapman then struck the deceased twice with one of the oars, two violent blows between the neck and shoulders as he lay in the water; the prisoners then got out of the boat and dragged the body on shore in Waterview Bay; they unbuttoned his clothes, and in the waistband of his trowsers they found two folds of bank notes, one of which they presented to me; a person could tell what they were if they had them in their hand, but it was not light enough to read them; I said I would have nothing to do with it, as it would get us all in trouble; I did not go ashore, but both boats were aground and lying close together; I was afterwards prevailed upon to accept one note, which in the morning I discovered to be a £5 note; they were not more than ten minutes on the shore; Mills produced a butchers' knife and said he would black him; the male prisoners are both butchers by trade; Mills took the deceased by the hair of his head and cut the neck all round; William Chapman then kneeled on his body, while the other wrung off his head; I was not more than four feet from them at this time; I saw the head taken off; it came off at one twisting; the head was then tied in a yellow silk handkerchief that the deceased had worn round his neck; I then told William Chapman it would be the means of all of us being hanged, as it would be plainly seen the man had been murdered, when the body came to rise; Mills said he would prevent it rising again; with that he shoved his knife into the middle of the stomach, and ripped it up to the breast; he said that would prevent him from every rising; this was before we left the shore; the prisoners then took the painter off the boat, and tied it round the deceased's feet, making it fast to the stern of their boat; the deceased's head in the handkerchief was placed on the bow of my boat, I mean the boat I left Sydney in; we then rowing out into the midst of the stream they towing the body after them; it was then proposed I should make for Sydney and they would follow me; we separated, they pulling for Goat Island, and I for Sydney; they were to let the body go in the stream; they had not left me many minutes when I heard the approach of another boat from the direction of Sydney, upon which I shoved the head off the bow of my boat into the water; this was in the middle of the river; shortly after, the prisoners overtook me in their boat; we had not been apart more than ten minutes; they asked if I had spoken to the boat which passed; I said I had; it was then proposed by William Chapman that on my arrival in Sydney I should report that the deceased had fallen overboard in rising to attempt to make water, and he said nothing could hurt any of us so long as I kept my own counsel; at the same time saying, that if I mentioned it ever so much, nothing could save me, as no one knew they had left Sydney, and that there would be plenty of proof that no one was in company of the deceased but me; I told them not to be afraid of my saying anything about it; William Chapman said if I told nothing about it, he would see that I should have £50; when we got near the Miller's Point the prisoner left me, telling me to mention to the first constable I should meet, the story we had concocted; they wished to be at home first, that no one should be aware of their having been away; they landed in some of the small bays about Jack the Miller's Point; I went considerably lower down, to the Market Wharf, where when I arrived, I saw a constable named COCKRANE, to whom I represented that the deceased William Chapman had fell overboard and was drowned; I asked him what steps I was to take; he requested me to go with him; we went to the Coroner and acquainted him that the deceased was drowned; I said the deceased had accidentally fell overboard in rising to make water; I begged of Cockrane to go with me to the deceased's house to communicate the news to his wife; I went in after Cockrane, the three prisoners and a person named Anderson were sitting together drinking; after I had related what he had agreed upon, the female prisoner seemed a little affected, and walked into the bed room; I think she was weeping; I saw her tears, but she said nothing; she remained in the bed room about half an hour; we all drank together; Cockrane soon went away; the table and glasses were then cleared away, and the neighbours began to assemble; I delivered up the execution and the ten dollars to the deceased's wife in presence of the constable, agreeably to a previous wish of Wm. Chapman's, as I feared that Warman had seen the deceased deliver it over to me; I laid them on the table before the female prisoner went into the bed room, and Wm. Chapman carried them in to her shortly afterwards; I told the same story to the neighbours, as I had told the constable; the prisoners appeared as if they knew nothing about the matter; I think it was on the 25th of the month, I was ordered to attend the Coroner's Inquest; I am not positive as to the precise date, but I think it was about a fortnight after the death of the deceased; I saw the body; I knew it by the shoes on the feet; the deceased was lame in his life time; before I saw the body, the male prisoners came to my lodgings, and told me that a body had been found with nothing on it but shoes; I said I should know it by the shoes; they said whether it was, or was not the body of the deceased, it would be better for me to say it was his body, and then the subject would soon die away; I then went with the two prisoners to see the body, and I said it was the deceased in presence of many persons; I knew it by the shoes, from the cuts which the deceased had made in the toes of them with a knife which Mr. Warman lent him, as they hurt his feet; the body was lying at the water side near the ``Cat and Mutton," public-house in Kent-street; I attended at the Coroner's Inquest; I saw the body there; I was committed from the Inquest; I saw the prisoners there; Wm. Chapman told me not to be afraid, as nothing could hurt me, if I kept my own secret, and he would take care I should be provided with Counsel at the trial; I was sent to prison, where the prisoners supplied me with provisions; they were brought to me by a person named ROBERT HESKETH; I lived with the prisoners at the bar in the deceased's house, until I was sent to gaol; I slept at my lodgings, and went to the house in the day time; I was in prison until the month of February following; I received £15 from Wm. Chapman, on the day that the body was found; it was given to me as a part of the £50, that I was to receive; Mr. Rowe, I understood, was paid £10 to defend me at the trial; I was told so by Hesketh; the prisoners did not visit me in gaol; the provisions were brought to me as from Mr. Anderson, the prisoners not wishing to have their names mentioned; I had been about a week in gaol when I wrote to Chapman, saying I was determined to disclose what had happened, and I received a visit from Mr. Anderson in consequence of it; the prisoners were not present at that interview; this letter is in the handwriting of William Chapman, it was sent to me in the month of March last, when I was again in gaol under commitment to take my trial for forgery; it was not connected with the former charge; about a week after I received this note, I wrote to William Chapman, telling him I intended to disclose the particulars of the murder; he afterwards came to see me in gaol, and told me not to be afraid, everything should be done to get me out of trouble, and to make me comfortable afterwards; the deceased and the female prisoner did not live on good terms; they used to quarrel when she got intoxicated; about a month before the murder, the deceased fell out of his cart and pitched on his head; when I told the prisoner, William Chapman of this, he said I wish he had broken his b--y neck; I would not grudge £50 to any one who would make away with him; I have no reason to believe that the female prisoner knew any thing of the murder; she once told me afterwards that she thought there was something very mysterious more than she was aware of in the death of her husband, and pressed me to tell her if I knew anything about it; I desired her not to bother me about it, and did not tell her anything on the subject; I believed then that she did not know anything of the murder, but I thought differently before; I do not know what was done with the deceased's property; when I came out of gaol it was all made away with; I believe, that since the murder William Chapman and the female prisoner cohabited together as man and wife, but I do not know whether they did so immediately after the murder; I believe there was an intimacy between them during the lifetime of the deceased; when I screamed out as the deceased was struck, I made a great noise, such as persons generally make when they are frightened; I cried loud enough to be heard by the people at Waterview; the deceased wore a black beaver hat on the night of the murder; the hat was not missed until we arrived home; I think it was myself who first discovered the loss of the hat; the two male prisoners, myself, and several of the neighbours went on pretence to search for the body; it was at the inquest that I first saw the hat; I know that Mr. Middleton found the hat; the deceased had two small books on his person at the time of the murder, in which he kept some meat accounts; these are them; part of the entries in them are in my handwriting; the deceased always owned William Chapman as his brother; the boat that we borrowed, belonged to Mr. Anderson, the same person who was drinking with the prisoners on the night of the murder, and who afterwards brought me the message from William Chapman to the gaol; when we went pretending to search for the body, they did not separate from me to search in Waterview Bay; the tree-nail with which the deceased was struck, was thrown overboard, or left at the place where the head was taken off.

Cross-examined.  I am still under commitment to take my trial for forgery, and I was so when I made the present disclosure; I first disclosed it in the month of May last; I wrote several notes to Chapman after my commitment; I wrote to him for money to obtain a counsel for me and pay for my bail bonds; I signified in my letter that I thought a curse had been hanging over my head ever since the murder; I sent this letter by a messenger in the gaol, the letter I have sworn to as the hand writing of the prisoner William Chapman, I swear to the best of my belief is in his handwriting; I did not know of the two rolls of bank notes being on the deceased's person until I saw them taken by the prisoners; I did not keep the deceased's books; I was in his service for seven weeks; I do not know of the deceased receiving any money the day before his death; I was about the premises all that day; the deceased often said he had more money than his wife or any one suspected; the day before, I was on the Parramatta Road with the deceased selling his meat; on his return home he always gave the silver and copper coin to his wife; William Chapman cut the notes out of the waistband of his trowsers; the money was in between the waistband of the trowsers and the lining; I persuaded the deceased to settle the execution rather than distress the man for his few goods; Warman wished to accompany us to Sydney in the boat, but the deceased would not permit him; I did not attempt to prevent his coming; I was sober but the deceased was drunk; Warman had not paid the 10 dollars to the deceased when he arrived at Small's; I was accused of murdering and burning a man once, but I was proved to be innocent; the black natives did it; I was induced to keep the secret so long a time from the promises that were made to me by William Chapman' the tree-nail was brought from Small's place to make handles for the deceased's cleavers and knives; I never gave Mrs. Chapman £12 to keep for me; I returned £6 to William Chapman out of the £15 he gave me at his request, he fearing that if I should be searched at the Inquest, and so great a sum discovered in my possession, it might create suspicion against me; the deceased bled very freely when the head was cut off, and the blood flowed on the ground.

[This witness underwent a lengthened cross-examination, but he remained unshaken in his testimony.]

Re examined - I was not placed on my trial for the murdering and burning of the man I have alluded to; it was merely an investigation before the Magistrates, and I    was discharged from the imputation.

WILLIAM EDNEY being sworn, said I live in Kent-street; about two years and a half ago I found a human body on Goat Island; an Inquest was held on that body at the ``Cat and Mutton" public-house, and I heard that it was the body of Chapman, a butcher; I never saw the body after it was removed by the Constables from Goat Island; I was fishing at Goat Island with a few friends when I first discovered the body.

THOMAS RYAN being sworn, said I am a tailor, and resided in York-street some time ago; I know the prisoner Chapman and the female prisoner; I knew the deceased; I only knew him by the name of Chapman; I saw the body; I cannot swear to its identity, it was so disfigured; I know that the deceased and his wife quarrelled occasionally; when they quarrelled, they abused one another and sometimes fought.

[A long desultory conversation here took place between the Solicitor General, Mr. Williams, and the Court, relative to a question proposed by the former to the witness, respecting a conversation alleged to have taken place between the female prisoner and another person on the expression of her feeling towards the deceased, her husband.  After considerable and renewed argument between the parties, conducted with much legal ingenuity, the Court ruled that the law was imperative in the matter - the female prisoner was charged as an accessary after the fact - her crime could only commence after the deed was perpetrated - and no evidence of any former expression of feeling against the deceased could operate against her as having comforted the murderers after the commission of the crime.  The testimony proposed to be elicited from the witness was therefore rejected as irregular.]

Examination continued - I was understood that the deceased and William Chapman were brothers; I do not know whether William Chapman and the female prisoner cohabited with one another as man and wife, after the murder; I heard that he was lost overboard out of the boat, I think the morning after it was reported to have happened.

Robert Hesketh being sworn, said I am a free man residing in Sussex-street; I know all the prisoners at the bar; I recollect Wilks being in gaol for trial of this murder; I visited him several times there, with provisions from the female prisoner; she said she did not like to go near the gaol; Mills used afterwards to bring provisions to me to take to Wilks; I was on friendly terms with the prisoners; the female prisoner desired me to see Mr. Rowe to procure him to defend Wilks for the murder; I enquired and told her the fee was £10 10s.; she gave me £8 on account of it, and the remaining £2 10s. I gave Mr. R. my note for; Mr. Rowe afterwards sued me for that amount, and I paid it; I have never been repaid it; after the deceased's death, the prisoner William Chapman still continued to manage the business as before; I do not know whether William Chapman cohabited with the female prisoner.

Cross-examined - I never told Wilks in the gaol, that the provisions I took to him there came from Mr. Anderson, neither in gaol nor out of it; for aught I know to the contrary, the £8 Mrs. Chapman gave me, may have belonged to Wilks.

SAMUEL HILL being sworn, said, I am a prisoner of the crown, and came here from the Phoenix hulk, where I was sent for absconding from my service; I lived with William Chapman and Julia Chapman about a twelve month since; I was out of a situation, and remained with them for about three months; they seemed to cohabit as man and wife; they quarrelled when they used to get in liquor; one evening I recol- [sic] they had a great quarrel; the male prisoner beat her, and while she was on the ground she called him a murdering b---, and said, who cut the man's head off; I have seen Wilks once at the house.

Cross-examined - The female was intoxicated and under much excitement at the time; it was about last August; I thought the words related to the murder which had been committed; it was after the Coroner's inquest, and when the female prisoner had heard of her husband's head having been cut off; the words were used tauntingly; Chapman made no reply to them.

EDWARD CHOCHRAN being sworn, said, I was a constable in 1831; I recollect a man named Wilks telling me on the Market Wharf one evening, about the latter end of November, in that year, between 7 and 8 o'clock, that the deceased Samuel Chapman was accidentally drowned by falling out of a boat in which he and the deceased were coming from Kissing Point; I accompanied Wilks to the Coroner, and afterwards to Chapman's house; Wilks reported the same story he had told me to Mrs. Chapman, in presence of William Chapman, Mr. Anderson, and to the best of my opinion, the prisoner Mills; the female prisoner seemed a little alarmed, but not so much as I think a virtuous woman ought to be for the loss of her husband; Wilks reckoned out some money which he said he had received on account of an execution; she told William Chapman to take it up and he did so; at 12 o'clock that night, I met the female prisoner, I think with Wm. Chapman and Mr. Anderson, in King-street, a very few rods from their own house; the female appeared to be in a state of intoxication; I thought it was rather a surprising circumstance for one in her situation; I was present at the inquest; I saw William Chapman there; Wilks was taken into custody on the day the body was found; after the inquest I saw William Chapman shake hands with Wilks, and say never fear, you shall want for nothing; this was said as I was conducting Wilks to gaol; I brought the body from Goat Island; the Coroner committed Wilks, and I conducted him to prison.

Cross-examined - I did not see the female shed tears when her husband's death was announced; she said, ``Oh, my God! is my Sam gone?"  I am sure it was William Chapman that was with Mrs. Chapman when I met her in King-street on the night of her husband's death.

PETER HANSLOW being sworn, said, I live in Clarence-street; I know the prisoners, and also the witness Wilks; I received a letter four or five months ago addressed to Mrs.  Chapman in another letter from Wilks, which I delivered to the female prisoner, and I received another letter from her in return, which she requested I would forward to him; I sent him the letter by my little boy; Mrs. Chapman told me that she had had the bailiffs in her house that week for £10 due for rent, and that she was distressed, and could not assist him.

ARTHUR LITTLE being sworn, said, I reside in King-street, Sydney; I knew the deceased Samuel Chapman; I also knew him by the name of Priest; at the time of his decease he was a tenant of mine; for a short time afterwards his widow and William Chapman lived there; thoy [sic] have both of them paid me rent.

Cross-examined - I went with several others to try to discover the body of the deceased; William Chapman went also, and appeared as anxious as any one to discover the body; we went in the neighbourhood of Birch Grove and Longnose to search for the deceased, in consequence of the information given of his accidental loss by Wilks; I have heard the deceased called by both the names of Priest and Chapman; I knew him four or five years.

JAMES WARMAN being sworn, said, I resided at Kissing Point in the month of November, 1831; I am a schoolmaster; I knew the deceased Samuel Chapman; he came to me on the 13th November, 1831, with the witness Wilks, in a small boat; he said he had an execution against me; I paid him some money before he went away; I went with him to Mr. Small's, and left him about 3 or 4 o'clock; I wanted to go to Sydney, and I asked him to give me a passage in order to get the money there from my wife's relatives; the witness Wilks, who seemed to have great influence over the deceased's mind, opposed my going, by offering many frivolous excuses against it; he appeared very desirous that I should not go in the boat; he said I should be neglecting my public duties if I went, and expose myself to the censure of the government by doing so; my wife was very uneasy at the time; she was afraid of my losing my situation through the execution being enforced; I got 10 dollars from Mr. Bray, which I paid to deceased; my impression is that my wife did not wish me to go to Sydney; I am almost positive that she did not tell Wilks that she did not wish me to go to Sydney; I think it very improbable that she did so; the deceased borrowed a knife out of my kitchen to cut one of his shoes which he said hurted him; they had something to drink at Small's, but not to excess; they were both perfectly sober when they left Small's, which was between 3 and 4 o'clock.

Cross-examined - I think they were about an hour in my house; I do not recollect Wilks saying I should be put in gaol if I went to Sydney; if Wilks had allowed me, I should certainly have gone to Sydney; after I heard of the murder, I suspected Wilks for it from his conduct in wishing to prevent my going in the boat; Priest was fresh, but not so much so, as not to be perfectly able to know what he was about; I think I told Wilks that if I were to come to Sydney, I should be able to pay the whole of the money.

MARY BRADY being sworn, said, I now live in Kent-street; in the year 1831, I lived with the Reverend Mr. Middleton, at Balmain, which is now called Waterview; I recollect a man being reported to be drowned; on a Wednesday night in November, 1831, before dark, I heard a noise from the direction of Goat Island; it seemed the voice of some person saying oh! oh! in a moaning manner; I do not know the distance, but the voice seemed to come from Goat Island; I took the noise to be made either by some black-fellows, or bushrangers; we had no man about our place at the time; my master returned home that night, and I told him what I had heard; I said I was afraid to stop any more on the farm without there was some man here; I afterwards saw a hat in the kitchen; my master said Mary you are quite right, there has been some row, I have found a gentleman's hat; there were some papers in the hat.

Cross-examined--It was quite light when I heard the noise; I was walking under the verandah with three children, and Miss MIDDLETON; there were only two groans, that I heard; I heard a noise before the groans; it seemed as if two persons were quarrelling.

The Reverend GEORGE AUGUSTUS MIDDLETON, being sworn, said in November 1831, I lived at Waterview; on the 10th November, in that year, I dined from home; when I came home, my servant, Mary Brady, seemed under great agitation, from having heard a great noise and altercation between two persons at least; one person seemed to be pursuing another, and she heard an exclamation several times repeated; on the second morning after, I observed something dark from my verandah, near the landing place, and on proceeding there, I discovered a hat, and a portion of papers, some in the hat, and some at a little distance from it, which appeared to belong to it also; I am satisfied the papers produced, are those I found in the hat; I have not the most distant doubt of it; I felt satisfied these papers would throw a light upon the noise to which my servant had alluded; on the second morning, after I found the hat, I had reason to believe a person had been drowned there, from a conversation with the male prisoners at the bar; I had previously watched them for some time, evidently looking after some object in the bay of Birch Grove; no individual was present, but the two prisoners at the bar; they told me that they were seeking for the body of a friend of theirs, who had been drowned a few evenings before, as he was coming down the river from Kissing Point; I then enquired what description of hat their lost friend had worn, when they most minutely described the one I had found, so that I was induced to send my son to the house for it; they said nothing whatever about papers in it; I allowed them to examine the hat and they immediately identified it as belonging to their deceased friend; they did not undergo the slightest change of tone or colour, when they saw the hat; they afterwards returned to Sydney, without continuing their search in the rest of the bay; I said nothing whatever to them about the papers, which I had already forwarded into Sydney; I kept the hat in my possession for some time, and then delivered it up to the police; this occurred between 7 and 8 o'clock in the morning; I attended at the Inquest; the hat was produced there.

Cross-examined - My servant described the noise, as if made by one person pursing another; the pursued party making a noise, which grew louder, as it seemed to approach her, and then suddenly ceased; there was not any trace of blood, or feet marks, where the hat was found; there was only a very slight portion of the hat wetted, and it seemed to have been thrown upon the shore, by the last effort of the tide.

(A plan of the estate and bay at Waterview, was handed up for the inspection of the bench.)

The Solicitor General, here proposed to read in evidence, the deposition, before the Coroner's Inquest, of a person named HENRY JACKSON, who he was unable to produce before the Court, on account of his having been since transported to Van Diemen's Land.  This evidence was alleged to be material, in-as-much as Jackson had made the shoes for the deceased, which were found on the feet of the mutilated body.  After much discussion on the subject, the Court felt bound to act strictly under the rule of evidence.  The production in evidence of a deposition, on which an accused party had not enjoyed the benefit of cross-examination, was held to be inadmissible with three exceptions - which were, the death of a witness, his inability to travel for the purpose of giving evidence, or his being kept out of the way by the contrivance of the accused.  In the present instance, none of these causes seemed to exist, and the Court would not therefore be justified in sanctioning a departure from an established rule, where the exceptions were so explicitly laid down.  It was incurring too great a responsibility to establish such a dangerous precedent; a responsibility which the Court was not warranted in using.  The evidence was consequently rejected.

[The letter sent to Wilks, and sworn to as the handwriting of the prisoner William Chapman, was read in evidence, from which it appeared that the writer pleaded distress as the cause of not being able to furnish the witness with any pecuniary assistance; but he promised to do every thing in his power towards his comfort at some future time.]

This was the case for the prosecution

Mr. Williams submitted that there was no evidence affecting the female prisoner sufficiently to place her upon her defence, but this point was overruled by the Court.

ROBERT HENDERSON being sworn, said, I am a farmer, and live at Brisbane Water; I recollect the time the deceased disappeared; I knew him when he was alive; I was at his house when the news was bought of his death; I saw William Chapman a few minutes before this at his own door; I had also seen him in the course of the day; Cockrane told the news of his death; the widow seemed very much affected; it was about 9 o'clock when the report was brought; I had been in the house from about 7 o'clock, and I saw William Chapman at home a few minutes before that time; I saw no drinking at the house; Cockrane first, and Wilks afterwards explained to the widow that her husband had been drowned; William Chapman seemed vexed at the deceased's death; he went with me and several others to seek for the body, and every exertion seemed to be made by Chapman to recover it.

Cross-examined - I was at the deceased's house three or four hours on the day the death was reported to have occurred; I knew William Chapman lived at that house for months before; I had also seen Mills there; I used to go frequently to the house; I visit Sydney regularly every week or fortnight; I was at the deceased's house for three hours before the constable came with the report, and I saw William Chapman standing there when I got there; there was no drinking going on there at the time; I went to my lodging in Kent-street soon after Cockran came with the report, and I did not see the female any more during that night; I have no recollection of seeing Cockran afterwards on that night; I did not meet him in King-street, in company with William Chapman and the female prisoner; I swear that I did not see the female prisoner intoxicated on that night.

JOHN NOBBLETT being sworn, said, I have known William Chapman for several years; I am a barber; (this witness not appearing to know anything of the circumstance, was withdrawn.)

WILLIAM BELL being sworn, said, I know William Chapman; I recollect the circumstance of Samuel Chapman being reported to be drowned; I was in Sydney that day slaughtering cattle; the prisoner William Chapman was playing skittles with me from 12 to 4 o'clock that day; I did not see Mills that day; we played at skittles next door to Chapman's shop.

Cross-examined - I came from the gaol where I am serving a fine from the magistrates; I am a butcher, and a free man, and was so at the time I am speaking of.

GEORGE MARTIN being sworn, said I live at the corner of Market and York-streets; I lived next door to the deceased; I kept a skittle-ground; (this witness not appearing to know any thing of the matter, was also withdrawn.)

DAVID ANDERSON being sworn, said I am free, and reside in Kent-street; I recollect the report of Chapman or Priest being drowned; I owned a boat at that time; I lent William Chapman my boat every day from the first day after the deceased was drowned, until the body was found; he paid me a dollar for every day I attended with the boat; he ordered me to use every exertion to find the body, and he seemed to use every exertion himself for the same purpose; we took grappling irons with us to drag for the body.

Mary Brady recalled by Mr. Williams - The noise I heard seemed to increase until it approached near to me, and then suddenly died away.

Edward Cockrane recalled by the Solicitor General - I swear positively I met Robert Henderson with the female prisoner intoxicated, and William Chapman about 12 o'clock on the night the deceased's death was reported; I think it impossible that I should have mistaken Mr. Henderson.

The prisoners severally protested their innocence, and here closed their defence.

The learned Judge summed up the evidence in a manner not less laborious than luminous, of which we regret exceedingly our want of space will not allow us to take any notice, and left the case with the Jury, who after a short consultation, returned a verdict of guilty against the two male prisoners, and acquitted the female prisoner.  Sentence of death in the usual manner was passed upon Mills and William Chapman, awarding execution on Monday morning next; Julia Chapman was discharged by proclamation.  The Court was crowded to excess during the whole day: among the throng we noticed many females, who anxiously assembled to hear the recital of the atrocious and inhuman deed; and the buzz of the crowd increased to such an extent during the latter part of the proceedings, that the learned Judge was obliged to interpose his authority, and threaten to clear the Court, if order was not better observed.  The male prisoners seemed unmoved, and left the dock protesting their innocence. [*]


We have devoted a more than usual space in our columns this day, and been necessarily obliged to leave out other matter, in order to make room for the above extraordinary trial for murder.  The Court was densely crowded, and during the day it was surrounded by a multitude of people anxiously awaiting the result.

See also SYDNEY HERALD, 18 August 1834; AUSTRALIAN, 19 August 1834.

[*] The report in THE AUSTRALIAN, 19 August 1834 states that Wilks was committed from the Coroner's inquest, charged with murder, but was subsequently discharged.  It also states that Forbes C.J. commented in his charge to the jury that this was the most horrid murder he had tried: ``The recital was so appalling, it was enough to freeze one's blood, and make one shudder to think there were such monsters in existence."  The same newspaper said that when Julia Chapman got outside after her acquittal, ``she was very roughly handled by the crowd, and was obliged to take shelter in an adjoining house."  The SYDNEY GAZETTE, 18 August 1834, said that the trial did not conclude until past eleven o'clock at night, and that it was the most crowded court since the foundation of the colony.

Mills and Chapman were hanged on 18 August 1834, just a few days after the trial.  Before ascending the scaffold, Chapman confessed that he had lived in adultery with the wife of the deceased before his death, but had played no role in the murder.  Mills also denied his liability, which the two of them repeated on the scaffold: AUSTRALIAN, 19 August 1834.  [For the trial of Joseph Wilks for forgery, see R. v. Wilks, 1834.]


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 20 August 1834

Trial of Henry Mills and William Chapman for the murder of Samuel Priest, otherwise Chapman, and Julia Priest, otherwise Chapman as accessary after the fact. [6 columns, copied from the SYDNEY GAZETTE.]


An inquest was held on Monday, at the sign of the Rum Puncheon, King's Wharf, on Michael Ready, a mariner on board the Currency Lass schooner, who, on Sunday evening at sun-down, was in the act of striking the colours of that vessel from the mast-head, and accidentally fell thence to the deck, and died in less than ten minutes after, from the concussion sustained on the brain.  Verdict---Accidental death.

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Saturday, at the Bricklayer's Arms, Market-street, on the body of Richard Howe.  The deceased, who had come down from Bathurst on a subpoena to attend the Supreme Court, was residing at the house of a fruiterer in Market-street, named Warren; on the day previous to the inquest he was seized with a violent inflammation of his bowels, which caused his death.  Mr. Bloomfield who had attended the deceased prior to his death, having given a certificate to that effect, the Jury returned a verdict of died by the visitation of God.

Julia Chapman, who was acquitted of the murder of her husband, on Friday last, has been sent to the Factory; the Governor not considering that she is a proper person to hold a Ticket-of-Leave.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 23 August 1834

The only person that remains to be tried during the present sittings of the Criminal Court is Henry Ham, for the murder of a man named Corrigan; he will be brought up on Friday next; after which, the Court will adjourn to the first day of Term.


An Inquest was held on Thursday last, at the Three Crowns, the corner of Gloucester-street, on George Dowling, a child about six years of age, residing in that street with his parents.  It appeared from the evidence of a lodger in the house and from that of the boy's sister; that on Tuesday last the child had been permitted by its parents to join a drinking party under their roof, until the late hour of 2 a.m. the following morning, and was then put to bed by a lodger in the house, the parents being totally incapacitated from this duty, by excessive inebriety; it also appeared that the following morning, Wednesday, the depraved mother quitted her house, about 7 o'clock, taking her unfortunate child with her in search of more liquor, and returned home with him in a shocking state of intoxication, about 9 a.m.  The poor boy was immediately put to bed by his sister, a young woman about 17 years of age, and remained there in strong convulsions from the effects of the rum.  The inmates of the house became alarmed, a medical gentleman, Surgeon Nicholson, was sent for, who upon arriving, attempted to bleed him repeatedly, cupped him in the back of the neck---applied mustard poultices, and warm baths, but without effect, and the poor child expired about the hour of 12 the same night in strong convulsions. The Jury unanimously expressed their indignant feelings at the shameful and reprehensible conduct of the abandoned mother, and requested the Coroner to give it all the publicity in his power, and returned a verdict of "Died on consequence of his having taken ardent Spirits to excess supposed to have been given to him by his own mother."


R. v. Vials [1834] NSWSupC 92


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 26 August 1834

Law Intelligence.


FRIDAY.---Before his honor the Chief Justice, and a Jury of civil inhabitants.

William Ogill was indicted for the wilful murder of John Scott, at Airds on the 31st May last, by striking him divers blows on the head with a waddy or stick, thereby occasioning his death.

The Solicitor General opened the case, remarking that it was one where the evidence was circumstantial; and proceeded to call the following witnesses.

Mr. Robert Kenny.---I am a surgeon residing at Campbell Town; I knew the deceased John Scott, by sight, because he belonged to No. 3 road party, through which I had occasion to pass almost every day in the course of my profession; on the 31st May, I was called to examine a body, which I was informed had been found in a gully, and supposed to have been murdered; I proceeded to the spot and on examination, recognised it to be that of Scott; I inspected the wounds, and have no doubt his death was caused by a fracture of the skull above the left eye, there was also one on the back of the head, either of which were sufficient to cause immediate death; the upper and lower jaws were destroyed.

Joseph Philpots.---I am a prisoner of the crown, attached to No. 3 road party.  Knows deceased and prisoner, they both belonged to the same party.  Remembers the 29th May last, on that evening John Horton also belonging to the same gang, who had previously absconded, cane to me, and said that, Scott and prisoner wanted to see me; Scott and prisoner had also taken to the bush together on the 29th May.  I went and found deceased and prisoner in the bush along side a fire, Horton was along with them; deceased had on a straw hat with black ribbon round the rim of it, prisoner had on a black hat at that time, nearly new.  I saw the deceased on the day he was murdered, there was a black hat lying near where the body was, it was like the hat prisoner had on the Thursday when he left the party; I recognised the body to be that of Scott, although it was dreadfully mangled.

Patrick Shepherd.---I belong to No. 3, Road Party, deceased and prisoner belonged to the same party.---On the 31st May, I had occasion to go some distance for milk; on my return back, while coming through a gulley I saw a person lying on his face, I thought at first it was a bushranger, I went and informed my overseer of the circumstance; ---The overseer first called to him, but he made no answer, we then went up and found that he was dead; on turning the body over, the face presented a horrid spectacle; John Horton knew the deceased, I did not, he said it was the tailors, Scott was known as such; we found a hat, waddy, and bludgeon in the bush about 5 or 6 yards from the body; the bludgeon was covered with blood, it was about the length of my arm.

Cross-examined.   I have been in the Colony since November last, Horton said that the body was Scott's; our party was about 5 miles from where the body was found; never heard that the prisoner and Scott had quarrelled; they both bore very good names, they were generally together.  I was present when the prisoner was brought in to see the deceased, he did not betray any fear or alarm, he looked as he usually did.

William Fry.---I am a special constable on the estate of Mr. F. Mowatt, apprehended the prisoner on Mr. Mowatt's ground; it was one or two days after this that I heard of a body being found; the prisoner came to give himself up to one of our men, who would not take him.  I took the prisoner to the watch-house, it was about half a mile from where the body was found.  In going along I asked him what had made him take the bush, he said he thought there was something else against him, but would not tell me what it was; he said there was an other man in the bush with him, but would not tell me his name, but he thought it likely he was in the watch-house at Campbell Town; when prisoner gave himself up to me he had on a straw hat.

Robert Burke.---I am Chief Constable of Campbell-Town; I produce two sticks, and a straw hat, taken from the head of prisoner.  He was brought to Campbell-Town by Fray as a runaway on the 31st May and punished; he was sent to his party, and was apprehended again on the same evening; the sticks were delivered to me by two constables who were in charge of the body, the body was at a short distance from where there had been a fire; it was said to be the body of John Scott belonging to the gang.

Robert Stewart, Esq.---I am Police Magistrate at Campbell-Town, I received information of a body being found about 7 o'Clock on the evening of the 31st May; I saw the body on the following Monday; I saw the prisoner a little before 8 o'Clock on the 31st May, it was after I heard of the body being found; I apprehended the prisoner with the assistance of the Chief Constable; I understood he had been in the watch-house before that; I do not know of my knowledge that he was before the Campbell-Town bench, as I was in Sydney a few days prior to the 31st May.  When I saw the prisoner at the hut in his camp, I asked him questions, telling him that he was not bound however to say any thing that might convict himself, as it might be used hereafter against him.  I took down in writing at the time his answers; in order to refresh my memory afterwards.  I examined the hat now produced at that time, I discovered spots of blood on it, they appeared then much the same as they do now.  I marked it at the time with my initials; this is the same straw hat, the spots are inside the rim, [here the hat was shown to the Jury.]

The Solicitor General here was about to ask the witness some questions with reference to the written statement taken by the witness from the prisoner when he was apprehended.

The prisoners Counsel Mr. Sheehy (who happened to be in Court at the commencement of the trial, and who much to his credit, although not retained, had at the instance of the learned Judge undertaken the [????blank] objected to this being produced as evidence.

The Solicitor General replied, quoting several authorities in support of such a line of examination.---And the Chief Justice admitted the evidence with certain reservations.

The Solicitor General stated that he would close his case here, as the witness who could have identified the stick as being in the possession of the prisoner was not forthcoming.

Mr. Sheehy previous to entering on the defence begged to ask his honor, if that part of Mr. Stewart, evidence relative to the answers taken from the prisoner was admissible.

His honor admitted it.

Mr. Hayward was again put into the witness box, and to a question from the Chief Justice said,---when the hat produced was before me at the coroners inquest, the traces of blood upon it, the same as now.

The following witnesses were called for the defence.

Thomas Howarth.---I am overseer of the party where the prisoner was, I know the deceased; I knew him from February when he joined me until his death in May, the prisoner and the deceased were always friendly, indeed like brothers, they were always together, prisoner took the brush once before with the deceased, I never saw any thing bad of the prisoner in my life.

Cross-examined.---prisoner absconded on the 19th May along with Scott, and the body was found on the 31st, saw prisoner at the Police Office, Campbell Town, he was punished and  came back with me; I asked him what had become of Scott, and he had not seen him since; when I heard of deceased's death, I put hand-cuffs on the prisoner; he did not know what was the reason he did not go with deceased to the robbery.

Re-examined.---I said I would take prisoner to Campbell Town without hand-cuffs, he said he left Scott in consequence of his going to do a robbery.

By one of the Jury.---The body when found, was in the same dress with which deceased left the gang.

By the Chief Justice.---To the best of my belief, that is the hat Scott had on when he absconded.

Some other witnesses were called, but they did not appear, and this closed the case for the defence.

Fray recalled and cross-examined by one of the jury.---I did not see any marks of blood on the prisoner when he gave himself up. Neither did I see any marks of violence on his person as if he had been fighting.

Thomas Howarth re-called,---and to a question from his honor said.  Deceased was a stouter man than prisoner, but not so tall.

The learned Judge summed up with great minuteness, the whole of the testimony given; the guilt of the prisoner rested upon circumstantial evidence alone, and he called upon them to weigh it well, and give it their most scrupulous attention.

After an absence of nearly two hours, his honor sent for the jury, and on being asked if they had agreed on a verdict, the foreman, Mr. W. Perry said, that they had not, nor were they likely to for some time.  His honor asked them, if there was any thing in the evidence that they wanted explained, or any point of law, he would be glad to do it.  The foreman replied, that it was the strength of the evidence that they could not come to a decision upon.  His honor said that was their province, and rested with God and their own consciences.  It being then half past 4, his honor adjourned the court till 6 o'clock, ordering the jury to be locked up in the mean time, and he would meet them at that hour to hear their verdict.

The Chief Justice came into court at 6 o'clock.  The jury were then sent for, on their names being called over they returned a verdict of guilty.

The learned judge immediately passed sentence of death on the prisoner, ordering him for execution on Monday morning, and his body given for dissection.  His honor, in the course of passing sentence stated, that from the evidence given, he had not the slightest doubt of the guilt of the prisoner, although in his charge to the jury, he had more immediately left that for their consideration.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 2 September 1834

On Sunday evening last, a man of the name of John Steel, of some 30 or 40 years standing in the Colony, and well known in Parramatta as Harris's gardener, drowned himself in the Parramatta River close to the bridge.  A Coroners Inquest was held the following morning, and a verdict of accidentally drowned, was returned.

Law Intelligence.


FRIDAY.---His Honour the Chief Justice and Judge Dowling having taken their seats, the following prisoners were brought up for sentence.

"Jackey," an aboriginal black, for the murder of John Flynn, at Williams River, was sentenced to be transported from the Colony, for the term of his natural life, having been found guilty of man slaughter.

Henry [Hann??] was then  put to the bar, indicted for the wilful murder of Hugh Corrigan, at Black Creek, Hunter's River, on the 11th March last.  A number of witnesses were examined for the prosecution, at the conclusion of which Dr. Wardell for the prisoner rose and contended that there was no case to go before the Jury, in which the Foreman, on behalf of his brother Jurymen, agreed, and the prisoner was discharged.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 5 September 1834

An Inquest was held on Wednesday, at the Dove and Olive Branch public house, Kent-street, north, on the body of Richard Creasey, one of the ship-wrecked crew of the ill-fated Edward Lombe, which was washed ashore at the wharf of Mr. [H???], near that place. It appeared that the deceased was at the wheel at the time the ship entered the heads, but was forward with the rest of the crew when she struck.  After the chief mate, Mr. Marshall, had given his evidence, the Jury, who were chiefly composed of masters of vessels, who had  sailed out of the port for the last ten or eleven years, returned a verdict, "Found drowned, being one of the unfortunate sufferers by the ship Edward Lombe," accompanied by a recommendation that steps ought to be taken to erect a beacon on the Sow and Pugs, to be constructed on so substantial a plan as might in future be the means of preventing such disastrous occurrences.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 6 September 1834

Another Inquest was held the same day at the White Horse, Pitt street, on the body of Richard Agar, an assigned servant to Mr. Richard Jones, M.C., who had expired that morning.  The deceased had been unwell for some time, and had been under the care of Mr. Neilson, who deposed to that effect.  Died by the visitation of God.

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday at the Dove and Olive Branch, Kent street, on the body of Richard Crasey.  The body being identified as that of one of the seamen belonging to the Edward Lombe, who lost his life at the time that vessel was wrecked, the jury returned their verdict to that effect.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 9 September 1834





ANOTHER bloody deed has now stained the annals of this Colony:---early this morning it was announced in Sydney that Dr. WARDELL, of Petersham, was supposed to be murdered;---being desirous to obtain the best information of the particulars of this horrid transaction, we hastened to the scene where it was supposed the monstrous deed had been perpetrated.  After wandering far and wide, 'cross  rocks and swamps, we at last discovered the spot where this murderous act had been consummated.  In a darksome bush, about a  quarter of a mile from Cook's River we descried an assemblage of a few men, upon nearer approach, to out infinite regret we discovered that all which now remains of ROBERT WARDELL was there !  lying prostrate beneath the branches of a tree riven from its trunk, it appeared to us impossible that the deceased could have placed himself in the position in which we saw him, covered with gore; it was too evident that some bloodthirsty wretches, after having perpetrated the bloody deed must have placed the body in the situation in which it was found.  On enquiry on the spot, we learned that the deceased left his residence at Petersham, about one o'clock on Sunday for the purpose of making his customary inspection of the work that had been performed during the past week, and to take a general review of the condition of his property.  It is supposed that the murderous act must have been perpetrated about three o'clock.  The deceased not returning home as was expected to dinner at that time, anxious fears began to be entertained that some mischance had befallen him.  In consequence, some of his neighbours and servants went in quest of him thro' the various paddocks, nothing however was that evening discovered that could in the least solve the anxious fears that were entertained for his safety.  The only discovery made, was that by his groom, who saw or supposed he saw the horse on which the deceased rode in one of the paddocks, but the darkness of the night and the density of the bush prevented him from prosecuting this discovery.

Early on the ensuing morning, about half an hour before sun-rise, Mr. David Johnstone of George's River, accompanied by two of the deceased's servants recommenced the search, and after wandering about for some hours the hat of the deceased gentleman was discovered near a temporary hut, which appeared, was constructed within about three days; near the hut a tree was on fire, in consequence it appears of some persons having lighted one for the purpose of cooking provisions.  In or near the hut was found a cloth and a quantity of flour, two razors, and about 6 or 8 pounds of beef; opposite the opening of the hut there were to be seen the traces of foot marks of at least two persons, and also the marks of horses' feet; it also appeared that some scuffle had taken place, and there doubtless was the scene of blood.  At about 160 rods from this place the body was found, by two servants of Dr. Wardell, who had accompanied Mr. Johnston, he had ordered them to remain by the hut, but it appears they had been more desirous to procure food than to abide by their instructions.  The hut was more distant from Dr. Wardell's late residence, than the spot where the body was found; in proceeding as they stated homewards for provisions, they found the body as before described, covered by the fallen top of a tree.  At no great distance of time from that now stated, we arrived on the spot, and there to our infinite regret, beheld a scene of horror, which to attempt to describe with truth, is not in our power; imagine a human being crimsoned over with his own heart's blood; a fearful wound on the left side of the throat, immediately under the ear, and another gaping wound sufficient for the escape of a hundred lives, immediately between the left shoulder and the breast; and you have some faint picture of the scene which we yesterday beheld.  The blood stained corpse, of which was once Robert Wardell, was here before us; that no ordinary plunderer had committed this sanguinary act, is evident from the fact, that his watch, and his money, had not been abstracted from his pockets.  Eight and sixpence in silver and an old gold coin were found upon his person.

It is presumed with good reason, that the murderers, immediately on perpetrating the sanguinary deed must have fled; leaving behind them, not only the provisions before enumerated, but also various articles of clothing, and a knife.  It is supposed they made their escape by crossing a part of Cook's River, at a short distance from Mr. Thorpe's establishment; of the probability of rather possibility of this, we had ocular demonstration; having ourselves peeped over it in the course of the day.  Many conjectures are entertained as to the persons who have been the actors in this bloody tragedy; but no well grounded suspicion at present attaches to any party.  Plunder could not have been the object, some other cause must have been operating, whoever it was that perpetrated, or whatever the motive that impelled to this dark act, it is evident that the parties had been on the spot, at least, according to appearances, for three days;  either they had been waiting for an opportunity to accomplish this deed of blood, or it may be that a horde of bushrangers have now taken up a position and resting place, it is possible the Dr. might have seen them, and thus have paid the forfeit of his life, through venturing to remonstrate with a gang of lawless marauders.  For independent of this deed of blood, it appears they had been engaged in a robbery, the clothing found upon the spot, and the razors, having been identified by a person resident near the Dr.'s house, as having been stolen from him.  We had the melancholy task to follow the remains of this gentleman from the place where they were discovered, to his late residence at Petersham, he was removed in  consequence of instructions to that effect, from Colonel Wilson to the constables on duty, when viewed at his late residence, the Coroner, and jury, and several influential persons were present to receive the body.  Amongst them we noticed the late Sheriff, and Mr. Wentworth, and the chief magistrate Colonel Wilson.

The jury immediately proceeded to inspect the body, and at their request Dr. Bland and Neilson commenced a post mortem examination; the evidence given before the jury we have now before us, and as with the exception of the opinion of the medical gentlemen, it would only be a repetition of what we have before stated; we rather prefer remaining satisfied with the detailed account we have given, than wearing our readers by a repetition of circumstances so abhorrent to the mind of all men of feeling. 

The opinion of the medical gentlemen, was to the effect that the Dr. died of hemorage, in consequence of wounds inflicted by bullets or slugs; after an address of the Coroner, the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder, against some person or persons unknown. ... 

From the first moment, intimation was given to the police, the most active endeavours were made by them to discover the actors in this black tragedy.  The whole of the assigned servants of the late Dr. are now in custody.  It is to be hoped that from this, or some other source, information may be obtained that will lead to the conviction of the villains who have imbrued their hands in the blood of a fellow creature.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 10 September 1834


An Inquest was held on Saturday afternoon at the Rum Puncheon Tavern, King's Wharf, on the bodies of Thomas Gibbs, surgeon, James Starkie, seaman, and ---- Kemp, passenger, who were drowned at the wreck of the Edward Lombe on the 25th ult.  The bodies of Kemp and Starkie were washed on shore near the wreck, and hauled up on the beach by two of Mr. Bass's men, the other body was floating between the Heads, and hauled ashore by Mr. Humphries. They were all in a state of perfect decomposition, but were positively identified by Mr. Thomas Marshall who was chief officer on board the vessel.  The jury returned a verdict that the deceased met their death through being washed off the wreck of the Edward Lombe.

Another Inquest was held on Sunday at the Cooper's Arms, South Sussex street, on the body of Elizabeth Hobson an infant between two and three years of age, who had expired about five o'clock that morning.  It appeared that one that day month the deceased child had been playing with others at a fire; that she offered to take a pot off then fire when her clothes ignited and she was severely burnt.  She lingered until that morning and then expired.  The jury returned a verdict of accidentally burnt to death.

Another Inquest was held at the same place on Monday morning on the body of William Mason an infant aged two years and four months who had died that morning through severe burns received on Friday.  The jury returned a verdict of accidentally burnt to death.

Yesterday an Inquest was held at the Rum Puncheon Tavern, King's Wharf, on the body of George Norman, who was second mate on board the Edward Lombe, at the time she was lost.  The body being positively identified, the jury returned a verdict to that effect.



A Coroner's Inquest was held, on Monday afternoon, at the "Bay Horse," Parramatta Road, on the body of Robert Wardell, L.L.D., whose body had that morning been discovered lying in the bush.  After the Jury had been sworn in they proceeded to view the body, which had been taken from the spot where it was found to the house; when it was deemed expedient that the body should undergo a post-mortem examination, which was performed by Mr. Bland, assisted by Mr. Neilson.  After the dissection, the Jury returned to their room, and the following witnesses were examined.  

George Plumridge, assigned to Dr. Wardell, employed as a groom---About a quarter before one yesterday I brought my master his horse; he appeared to me to be in his usual state of health; I have since seen the horse; the bridle was gone, the saddle was bloody and torn; the horse had been all night among the mares in the paddock; they might have kicked him; I saw the Doctor gallop across the paddock when he started; the horse was very fresh; that was the last time I saw my master alive; I never heard any of the Doctor's men say they would do him any injury; I do not believe that it was any of the Doctor's men that killed their master.

Mr. David Johnstone---I reside at George's River; about 12 o'clock last night, I was told that Dr. Wardell had been absent from his house since one o'clock.  About half an hour before sunrise I commenced searching for him.  I was accompanied by my brother and several other individuals; new searched the paddocks in the neighbourhood of his house, and then parted.  I and my brother went down one paddock while the other persons went in different directions.  After we had proceeded about three miles Abraham Hearn called out, that he had found the Doctor's hat, and that apparently the Doctor and the bushrangers had had a scuffle; there was a bush-hut near the place made of boughs; it had not been made above two or three days; we went into it and found some knives and razors; there were evident marks of a horse's hoof, it appeared to me as if the Doctor had first rode up there, and that he and the people of the hut had had a scuffle; my brother and Abraham Hearn then rode in to give information; I continued searching and found some clothes planted in a hollow tree; there were two velveteen waistcoats and another, all clean; they had been planted yesterday, as there was a fresh bough placed before them; there was the track of two men near the place; about three hours after the body was found, it lay the distance of about 160 rods from the bush hut; it was found by two of Dr. Wardell's assigned servants; they halloo'd, and I immediately went back to the spot; I found the body laying on its back, within the head of an oak tree; the right thumb was in the fall of his trowsers, and the right leg drawn up; the body was perfectly cold, and I should think had been dead all night; there was a great quantity of blood which had flowed from a wound in the chest; I think it is a pistol wound from the size of it; I did not examine the body, nor take the clothes off; it was in a direction from the hut to the Doctor's house that the body was found.

Henry Crossdale Wilson J.P.---I am first Police Magistrate; between nine and ten o'clock this morning I arrived at Petersham, for the purpose of discovering the perpetrators of the murder; when I came to the body I thought it would be best to search it to ascertain if there had been a theft; Mr. Jilks searched the body in my presence; a gold watch and eight shillings in silver were in his pockets; on the advice of Mr. Wentworth and other gentlemen, the body was then removed to the house.

Dr. Bland here stated in writing to the Jury, that he had carefully examined the body of the deceased and had found a piece of lead, apparently half a bullet, under the collar bone, and that he was of opinion the deceased's death had been caused by as haemorrhage proceeding from the wound.  And that there were two scars, one on the shoulder and the other on the front of the neck, which appeared as if they had been caused by the grazing of bullets.

James Orr---I searched the body and found a watch, eight shillings in silver, a small gold coin, apparently an old half guinea, and three keys.

The Jury, after a minute's deliberation, returned a verdict, that the deceased came to his death in consequence of a gun shot wound, inflicted by some person unknown.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 24 September 1834

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday at the Red Cross, George-street, on the body of John Barclay, a prisoner in His Majesty's Gaol, who was waiting to take his trial for cattle stealing.  It appeared from the evidence of constables Light and Rogers, that on Sunday night the deceased complained of being ill, and was immediately removed to the gaol hospital, where he was bled and had some medicine administered to him, by the hospital assistant; in the morning he was worse, and the same was reported to Dr. Moncrief, who ordered the deceased to be removed to the general hospital, and while they were in the act of removing him towards the gaol door, he expired.  Dr. Moncrief visited the gaol soon after, and after a post mortem examination wrote a certificate, stating that the deceased had died through the bursting of a blood vessel.  The Coroner passed some very severe remarks upon the con duct of Dr. Moncrief, in opening the body before the Jury had examined it, and said that it was part of the instructions to all surgeons on no occasion to open a body before it had been examined by the Jury.---Died by the visitation of God.

(We think that Dr. Moncrief in this instance was not the proper person to open the body at all.---ED.)

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday afternoon, at the Barley Mow, Castlereagh-street, on the body of George Baxter, who resided at the Sydney College.  It appeared that the deceased who had been forty years in the army, was a pensioner from the New South Wales Corps, and that he was lately much addicted to drinking.  About ten o'clock the previous night he was taken ill, he complained of difficulty in breathing; Surgeon Neilson was sent for, but without avail, as he died about ten o'clock in the morning.---Died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 12 September 1834

Funeral of Doctor Wardell; report.

Domestic Intelligence.

The bodies of Mr. Gibbs, Surgeon, Mr. Kemp, a Passenger, Mr. Norman, Second Mate, and James Starkey, a Seaman, four more of the unfortunate sufferers, by the Edward Lombe have been found during the last week, and coroners inquests held on them, they have been identified by the chief officer, Mr. Marshall, and have been decently interred.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 16 September 1834

Capture of Wardell murderers; long descriptive letter from 'A Sydney POLICEMAN, about the intensive hunt and capture.

Police Incidents.

Murder of Dr. Wardell.

SATURDAY.---In consequence of its having been ascertained during the morning that ruffians who perpetrated the murder of the ill-fated gentleman were in custody, the Police Office was crowded to excess to witness their examination. ......

The prisoner [Emanuel] Brace, a mere youth, of little more than 16 years of age, had previously made a declaration of all the circumstances connected with the murder, and was admitted as King's evidence.

Emanuel Brace stated that about six weeks ago his master, Mr. Adam Wilson, of Cook's River, gave him a pass to go to the Hospital, instead of doing which, he remained in the bush all night, and the following morning crossed the river; ........ did not wake until pretty far advanced on Sunday morning, when they took breakfast and then amused themselves firing at a mark cut on a tree, they went to sleep again, and were aroused by the sound of horses feet, on which the late lamented gentleman rode.  Brace aroused first and called his companions, when Jenkins jumped up and went outside the hut, Dr. Wardell asked him who he was, when he answered in an abrupt manner "he was a man," the same question was asked of the others, and a similar reply given.  As the witness expressed it, the Doctor began to bounce them, ordering them to go along with him, when Jenkins took up a large stone, and with a horrid exclamation, threatened to knock his brains out with it.

The Doctor being intimidated at their manner, expostulated with them, entreating them not to injure him, and to go along with him quietly, as it would be much better for them; Jenkins then desired the prisoner Titterdale to go and fetch the musket which was laid under some bushes, at a short distance, and on his shewing some unwillingness to comply with this request, Jenkins told him if he did not make haste, he would blow his b----y brains out. Doctor Wardell then leaned over his horses neck, took up a stick and waved it over his head, as if calling some one to his assistance.  Brace stated, that finding Jenkins's determination was to murder the gentleman, he begged him not to do any  thing of the kind, as it was foolish to risk their lives for 50 lashes, which was the punishment to which they would be subjected, were they apprehended under the present circumstances.  The prisoner Tattersdale brought the fowling piece and handed it to Jenkins, which the Doctor, on seeing, begged him for God's sake not to do any mischief with it, when he said by God, and immediately levelled the piece and fired, he came quite close to the horses neck before he presented the piece.  Doctor Wardell said, oh! my God I'm shot.  The horse went backwards for a short distance, then turned and went off at full speed, the unfortunate gentleman leaning on the animal's neck till quite out of sight, (waistband of a pair of trowsers produced), this was the waistband of Jenkins's trowsers, in which he had secreted several musket balls.  They then packed up every thing they had, Jenkins telling them to be quick, if they were not, he would knock their b----y heads off; they then went in the direction of the river; they then threw away a towel, containing flour, &c., they then crossed the river, near Pickering's Point; here Tattersdale was nearly  drowned, but was saved by Jenkins, they swam across with their clothes on their heads, Jenkins taking the musket on his head; they stopped that night in an old hut near the house of Mr. Thorpe. .........The prisoners were remanded for farther examination until Monday.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 19 September 1834


An Inquest was held on Tuesday last at the King's Head, Harrington-street, on view of the skeleton of a human body, which was found the preceding day by Mr. John Stephen in a cavern at the corner at the back of his garden at Waterview.  On removing the planks, shells and sand, with which it was covered, the skeleton appeared to be that of a tall person of the male sex.  From the position in which the remains were found, there is little doubt but that the individual must have been doubled and placed there in a shell or sack.  From the appearance of the bones and plank, with which it had been covered, it was thought it had lain there for near twenty years.  The Jury returned a verdict, that the bones were those of a human body of the male sex, but under what circumstances it had been deposited in the place where it was found, there was no evidence to show.


R. v. Jenkins and Tattersdale [1834] NSWSupC 118


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 26 September 1834

A coroner's inquest was held on Tuesday evening, at the King George the III public house, in Clarence-street, on the body of Benjamin Jackson.  It appeared that the deceased, along with a fellow workman, had lately arrived from Van Diemen's Land, and that he had been for some time in a low desponding state of mind.  On Tuesday morning, her gave a razor to his fellow workman, and requested him to cut his throat.  Sometime after, and during the absence of the landlord of the house, in which they lived and his wife, the unfortunate man found means to possess himself of a musket, and a report being heard, the landlady proceeded up stairs, and found him lying dead on his bed.  The musket was near him, and which he had fired by attaching a string to the trigger and placed his foot upon it.  The jury returned a verdict, "that deceased had shot himself, while labouring under a mental aberration of mind."


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 30 September 1834

Detailed and critical letter from JUSTITIA, commenting on previous letter, and the details of the crime scene.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 1 October 1834

CORONER'S INQUEST.---An inquest was held on Monday at the White Hart public-house, on the Botany-road, on the body of William Frost, free, a stout looking man about 40 years of age, who was found dead a little behind that house, on Sunday.  From the evidence of Mr. Flood, the landlord, it appeared that the deceased had drank a pint of beer at this house on the previous day; that although not then drunk, he appeared to have been drinking previously, and that he seemed in a dejected and desponding state.  This was the last time the deceased was seen alive; on the following morning his body was discovered a little distance off in the bush, by Hannah Gardener, a child about 8 or 9 years of age.  A person named Sumner deposed, that he had known the deceased for the last 4 years, and that during that timer he was continually indulging in spirituous liquors to a great excess; and that latterly he had complained of a continued violent pain in his chest.  Mr. J. Neilson held a post mortem examination on the body, and certified that he found an extensive inflammation in the stomach and intestines, with considerable decay in the lungs and the liver, all of which symptoms he was of opinion were caused by an intemperate use of ardent spirits.  There were no external marks of injury on the body, except a slight contusion on the neck, which he was of opinion had been occasioned by a blow given a day or two before death; he was also of opinion, that the death of the deceased was occasioned by the high state of inflammation in the stomach, which contained a great quantity of liquid substance, very highly coloured, and strongly impregnated with rum.  The Jury returned a verdict of died by the visitation of God.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 4 October 1834

A Coroner's Inquest was held at the Bricklayer's Arms, Market-street, on the body of a man named Baker, attached to the ironed gang at Goat Island, who was accidentally killed while blasting some rocks the previous day.  The Jury returned a verdict to that effect.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 7 October 1834

A Coroner's Inquest was held last night at the Blue Bell, Sussex-street, on the body of Maria M'Cormick.  The Inquest occupied some considerable time, and at our going to press, the jury had not determined upon their verdict.  The husband of the deceased is in custody awaiting the decision of the jury---Dr. Neilson, who performed the post mortem examination, certified, that the deceased did not meet her death by any outward violence.

ONE O'CLOCK.---Our reporter has just returned from this rather extraordinary Inquest, the particulars of which are too lengthy for this day's publication, the result however is---the Jury not being likely to agree, the Coroner took their opinions seriatum, when there appeared to be 5 for a verdict of Wilful Murder against the husband, and 7 for that of---Died by sanguinary apoplexy, which latter verdict the Coroner recorded.

On Saturday afternoon as a man in the employ of Mr. Falkner, on the Liverpool-road, was felling a tree, it suddenly split up, and fell before he had  time to get out of the way, and catching his leg, completely severed it in two about four inches above the ancle.  Every assistance was given, but he died on the way to the hospital.  The floor was dug out afterwards from under the fallen tree.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 8 October 1834 and 11 October 1834; 1st and 2nd Inquests Maria M'Cormick.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 10 October 1834

We stated in our last that the verdict of the Coroner's Jury on the body of Maria M'Cormick, was, that she had died by sanguinous apoplexy.  On Colonel Wilson being informed of this, and that Patrick M'Cormick had been discharged by the Coroner, he immediately ordered him to be again apprehended, which was done at two o'clock on Tuesday morning.  He was brought up to the Police Office.  Doctors Street and Bloomfield, who had been requested by Colonel Wilson to make a post mortem examination on the body, which they had done in the morning, gave it as their opinion that the deceased might have met her death in consequence of external injuries.  From the state of the brain in consequence of the previous extravasation, they could not take upon themselves to say, it was so injured as to cause death.  A great number of witnesses were examined, and several facts elicited which did not appear at the Inquest---three of the witnesses swearing distinctly that the prisoner said he had killed the woman, and that he would have done the same to any one that had attempted to prevent him.  He was fully committed to take his trial for the wilful murder of his wife, Maria M'Cormick.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 14 October 1834

A fencer of Sir John Jamison's was drowned last week crossing the big River on a mare belonging to himself, which he was endeavouring to prevent from falling into the hands of Macdonald and his crew, who were then following him.


On Thursday a second Coroner's Inquest was held at Mr. Ferrier's, the Rob Roy, in Erskine-street, on the body of Maria M'Cormick.  It was with great difficulty a jury could be collected.  After the constables running about in all directions for about three hours, the number was at length made up, and Doctor Bland, who had been requested to attend, having made his appearance, the Coroner proceeded to open the Court.  The Coroner stated that from certain circumstances that had occurred, and instructions he had received, it had been considered necessary to call a  second Inquest.

He then read the certificate given by Dr. Neilson.  Dr. Bland stated that the certificate just read did not bear out the conclusion arrived at, and that there must have been some omission.  The Foreman pointed out the omission, and Dr. Neilson coming in at the time and confirming it, it was added to the certificate.

Dr. Bland then proceeded to examine the body, which he had taken out of the coffin for that purpose.  He minutely examined the wound on the eye and the mouth, and also that part of the leg where the deceased had received an injury.  On returning to the Inquest Room, Dr. Bland gave a certificate of the various wounds and concluded by recording his opinion, that the blow over the eye was not the cause of the death of the deceased.

The Coroner then read all the depositions taken at the former Inquest; after which a considerable deal of discussion arose on the subject of examining all the witnesses over again.  The Coroner was quite averse to this, saying he did not conceive there was the least necessity for such a mode of proceeding.---Several of the jury expressed their determination to persist in having them called, and after a noisy prolongation of the argument, in which the Coroner, to say the least of it, did not display that courtesy to some of the Jury which became his situation---a majority of them seeming to incline to the Major's opinion; it was at length agreed to call constable Duffey, who had given evidence at the Police Office.

Constable Duffey, on being examined by the Coroner, deposed that at one o'clock on Monday morning he  saw the deceased in company with her husband near the Patent Slip, throwing stones at the windows of that house, and he then took them into custody, but liberated them on M'Cormick's promise to make good the damage he had done to the windows; they were not then drunk.  About 2 o'clock was in his own house, and seeing some constables go past, he went along with them to the house of M'Cormick, on entering which he found deceased lying on the threshold of the inner door, she was dead; he found a stick in the house with marks of blood on it, also a crow bar with two spots on it; saw spots of blood on the walls of the inner room, and some on a bucket.

By the Coroner.---Well, Sir ! Did you not see another bucket also full of blood.  After all this bloody narrative of yours, how do you know it was blood, Sir ! or if it were so, how do you know, Sir, that it was not pig's blood, or bullock's blood, or kangaroo's blood, Sir !  The witness stated that he was not sufficiently skilled in those matters to be able exactly to distinguish what sort of blood it was, but that it was blood he was most certain.

By one of the Jury---When M'Cormick was apprehended, constable Stewart asked him if Lycet had been there, could he have prevented what had been done, he replied no; that if he or any body else had been there, he would have served them in the same way; M'Cormick seemed to be labouring under the effects of liquor at the time.

By the Coroner---This conversation took place while the Inquest was going on.

By the Foreman---Was aware that these circumstances were necessary to the matter then under enquiry; did not acquaint the Coroner with them; did not do so because there were other witnesses in the room at the time who were to be examined, and who must have heard the prisoner make the remark; Stewart must have heard it; considered it was more the duty of those witnesses to apprise the Coroner than he, as he was not there as a witness, but as a police officer.

George Stewart---Did not ask M'Cormick if Lysett had been present, it would have prevented the attack on his wife; asked the prisoner "Paddy what did you do this for," when he replied he could not help it, the deceased had been drinking and making away with his money, and had irritated him to such a degree he did not know what he was doing, he struck her twice with his fist, but did not use any weapon, he was sorry for it, but what he had done was not with the intention of doing her any harm.

At the close of the examination of these witnesses, which was conducted by the Coroner in a most extraordinary manner; a scene of confusion took place which it would be impossible to narrate, and which we never wish to see exhibited again on so solemn an occasion; the Coroner sometimes indulging in witticisms, and at others threatening to dissolve the Jury.  He had always evinced a desire to lean to the side of mercy, and whenever there was a chance of saving the life of a fellow creature, he should always be ready to do so.  He would put it to their good sense (if they had any which was rather a question with him) of the gentlemen who were for returning a verdict of manslaughter, what evidence there was that M'Cormick struck the first blow.  The certificates of Dr. Bland and Dr. Neilson clearly showed that the deceased's death was caused by sanguineous apoplexy, and they could not consistently return any other verdict.  It did not matter with regard to the prisoner what verdict they returned, for he was already in prison, and would be tried before a higher tribunal. The Coroner then quoted several opinions relative to the law of manslaughter, and again locked the Jury up.  A little past 12 o'clock the Coroner was again sent for, and a recommencement of arguments took place, in the course of which the Coroner, in no very good taste, told one of the most intelligent of the opposition that his observations were not only nonsensical, but idiotical.  The Jury, about half past two o'clock, came to the decision, "that the death of the deceased was occasioned by sanguinary apoplexy, produced by external violence."

During the above Inquest, the Coroner alluding to Colonel Wilson, remarked, that the Chief Magistrate had acted highly improper, and had arrogated a consequence to himself in committing M'Cormick after the first Inquest, which the laws of his country did not warrant, and he should feel it his duty to lay the whole circumstances of the case before the Chief Justice.  He stated that his office was one of very ancient standing, and that his Court ought not to be interfered with by any other, however high.

Letter  from IMPARTIAL concerning the conduct of various officers re this Inquest, and also the death of Dr. Wardell.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 15 October 1834

Letter from "Observer" regarding conduct of Coroner and Police Magistrate in respect of Dr. Wardell's murder, and several others.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 17 October 1834


On Tuesday afternoon, the body of a woman was found close to the water's edge, near Mrs. Bigge's bathing house in the Government Domain, by a labourer in the employment of a Mr. Campbell of Bligh-street.  Information was given by him to the proper authorities, and the following morning an inquest was held at Mr. Jennings's, the Bricklayer's Arms, in Market-street.  It appeared from the evidence of J. Hutton, employed in the service of Mr. Campbell, of Bligh-street, that he resides at Mrs. Bigge's bathing house, that on Tuesday, when he was at home at his dinner, he was informed by his son, a boy of about twelve years of age, that he saw something in the water which resembled a human body; he went into the water, and with the assistance of a pole, drew it out, when it proved to be that of a female about 32 years of age; she had no bonnet on, and did not appear to have been any length of time in the water; with the assistance of the constables he took the body from the shore, and placed it under a rock; he had not seen the female before, but he was informed by his wife that she had seen a woman walking in the neighbourhood without a bonnet.

A paper, containing the following words, which with great difficulty could be made out, was found in her pocket, which appeared had been written by herself: "Oh, George ! and can you say what you did of me ? and did I ever give you any reason for it in a foreign land ? but never mind now, and I'll put you to your oath as a dying woman, if I have not been a wife, and a mother, and a father to you, why should you say what you did of me ?"

Mrs. Campbell, residing in Elizabeth-street, stated, that she had been to view the body of the deceased, which she identified as that of Elizabeth Watson, her assigned servant, who had been with her for the last fifteen months.  This witness deposed, that the deceased, before coming to her service, had been living for some years with a prisoner of the crown, named George Turner, who is assigned to a gentleman of the name of Wilson, residing about 20 miles up the country, and was desirous of joining him; and although she (being a laundress) could ill spare her services, she had consented to her being transferred to Mr. Wilson, and for the purpose of communicating this, had waited upon Mrs. Wilson, in Park-street, when that lady informed her that she had received a note from her husband, stating that Elizabeth Turner was a dissipated character, and he did not wish to have anything further to do with her.  Mrs. Campbell returned home between 1 and 2 o'clock on that day, and informed the deceased what Mrs. Wilson had said, when this witness stated that the deceased repeated words similar in effect to what was contained in the written paper contained in her pocket; and shortly afterwards went out of the house, saying she would be off, and she had not seen her since, until to-day where she was lying near Mrs. Bigge's bathing house---this witness, (whose husband is a carpenter,) at the suggestion of the Coroner expressed her readiness to see that the deceased was decently interred; and throughout her examination evinced a feeling of regret at the fate of her servant, who she said was a most attentive workwoman, except when she had a glass in her head, which she would always take when she could get it.

The Coroner summed up the evidence in a perspicuous manner, and the verdict of the Jury was---"That the deceased had drowned herself while labouring under temporary mental excitement."


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 21 October 1834

A settler of the name of Morgan when returning last week to Lake Bathurst from a station which he had been visiting, was unfortunately drowned while crossing a creek; the mare on which he rode, with the saddle and his hat were found in the water next morning, but the body had not been found when our informant left.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 22 October 1834

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday at the home of Mr. Hall, Hunter's Hill, Lane Cove, on the body of Mr. Simpson, formerly of Pitt-street.  It appeared that while the deceased was at tea the previous evening, he was taken suddenly ill, and expired in about three quarters of an hour.  Mr. Neilson's certificate stated, that the deceased had come to his death through the rupture of a blood vessel.  The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Sunday, and by adjournment on Monday, at the Green Man, Parramatta Road, on the body of Mr. Alexander Rutledge, who came to his death under the following melancholy circumstances.  On Saturday afternoon, the deceased had been to Kissing Point, and on his return overtook a waggon drawn by four horses, belonging to Mr. Macdonald, of Pitt Town, driven by Richard Clough, one of Mr. M's servants; the man Clough was very drunk; and the deceased saw him knocked down, and the waggon wheel passing longitudinally over his leg, completely tearing off the calf.  The deceased then put Clough in the waggon and commenced driving towards Sydney.  The deceased told the landlord of the Cheshire Cat (a house on the road) these particulars.  After this, no more is known of the deceased's proceedings; but he was afterwards discovered lying alone on the road to Sydney, near the Brisbane Distillery, in a mangled state.  Clough stated, that he recollects nothing from the time he left the Fox and Grapes to the time he found himself at the Currency Lass, in Castlereagh street, where, it appears, the horses went without a driver; his (Clough's) leg was dreadfully lacerated, and had the appearance of a wheel having gone over it.  Dr. Neilson delivered his certificate, that the deceased had died from external violence, five of the ribs on each side being completely stove in, and the liver much lacerated.  Dr. Bland's certificate stated, that the deceased had met his death from some heavy body, probably a waggon passing over him.  The Jury returned the following verdict---The Jury are of opinion that Alexander Rutledge came to his death by a waggon drawn by four horses passing over his body, on the night of the 18th instant, and direct that a deodand of 10l. shall be levied on the waggon.

The deceased Mr. Rutledge was in business as a carpenter and builder; he was in the prime of life, and has left a wife and eight children to deplore the loss of a husband and father.  We recommend the widow to the consideration of the affluent and humane.  The Rev. Mr. Hill, we understand, has kindly consented to receive donations on her behalf.---[We think that the publican who gave the driver the last half pint, ought to have been noticed by the Jury.---ED.]


THE  AUSTRALIAN, Friday 24 October 1834

An accident occurred on Saturday last on the Parramatta Road, which was attended with fatal consequences.  On that afternoon, Mr. Rutlidge, a respectable builder residing in Elizabeth-street, went to Kissing Point on business; on his return he overtook a waggon on the Parramatta Road, drawn by four horses, belonging to Mr. Macdonald of Pitt Town, driven by a servant of Mr. M.'s who was very drunk.  Mr. Rutlidge saw this man knocked down, and the wheel pass over his leg, tearing off the calf in a frightful manner.  He put the man into the waggon and proceeded on to Sydney.  Mr. Rutlidge called at a Public House on the road, the Cheshire Cheese, and told the landlord those particulars.  This was the last place he was seen at alive; his body was afterwards found lying on the road near the Brisbane Distillery.  A Coroner's Inquest assembled at the Sportsman ion Sunday, and afterwards on Monday by adjournment, to enquire into the cause of his death.  The man who drove the waggon on being called, stated that he recollected nothing from the time he left the Fox and Grapes on the road, until he found himself at the Currency Lass in Castlereagh-street, where the horses went without a driver.  There was no doubt the horses had taken fright from the vivid flashes of lightning which took place on that evening, and ran off with the waggon, throwing the deceased on the ground, by which accident, and the wheel passing over his body he had lost his life. Dr. Bland gave a certificate stating that deceased had met his death by some heavy body passing over him, perhaps a waggon.  Dr. Neilson also certified to similar effect, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly, with a deodand of ten pounds on the waggon.  Deceased was much respected, and has left a wife and eight children.

Dr. Wardell: another letter from IMPARTIAL.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 25 October 1834

A Coroner's Inquest was held yesterday at the Star, Kent-street, on the body of Joseph Prosser (free) a man nearly ninety years of age.  The deceased returned to his home intoxicated on Wednesday afternoon, and had not been able to leave his bed afterwards.  Dr. Nielson certified, that the deceased had died of exhaustion.  The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.

An Inquest was held yesterday at the Tradesmen's' Arms, Jamison-street, on the body of Robert Wallace, an assigned servant to Mr. Hunt, the undertaker, who died about five o'clock yesterday morning.  It appeared, that on Tuesday the deceased complained of illness & was gradually growing worse until Thursday, when Dr. Nielson was sent for, who ordered two pills to be taken every two hours, but it appeared that he did not take them.  About three o'clock in the morning, the deceased attempted to go down stairs in doing which he fell five or six feet; he was taken to his bed, and shortly afterwards expired.  Mr. Nielson performed a post mortem examination, and certified that the deceased died of congestion of blood, and effusion of serum; verdict---died by the visitation of God.

The young girl named Reynolds, mentioned in our last, as having met with an accident by fire, died on Sunday, after having endured the greatest suffering for three days.  The deceased was a peculiarly fine girl, and much sympathy was excited by her melancholy end.  She was followed to the grave on Tuesday last, by a great number of young females, and most of the girls in the School of Industry, to which establishment the deceased formerly belonged.---SYDNEY HERALD.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 1 November 1834

A Coroner's Inquest was held at the Bricklayer's Arms Market-street, on Thursday and by adjournment on Friday, on the body of John Taylor, a free man in the employ of Mr. Thompson, of Ultimo who died on Thursday morning in the General Hospital.  From the evidence which was adduced, it appeared that a week since the deceased and a woman named Ann Smith with whom he cohabited had a quarrel about eight o'clock in the morning, when he refused to give her a shilling to get some rum.  After some violent language between the parties, the deceased was heard to cry out that he was stabbed by Ann Smith.  No one saw her stab him but a shoemaker who lodged in the house saw her with a knife in her hand.  No assistance was rendered him until four o'clock in the afternoon, when some person who lived in Goulburn-street known by the name of Doctor administered a dose of castor oil, but applied no bandages to the wound, nor even examined it.  On the following day the deceased accompanied by two men went to the Hospital (a distance of upwards of a mile); he was very weak and was compelled to stop several times on the road.  The deceased was admitted into the Hospital, and continued getting worse until Thursday morning when he expired.  The woman Ann Smith was subsequently sent for twenty eight days to the Gaol as a vagabond, and from which place she was brought up to await the decision of the Inquest.  The wound which was a very small one was on the right side, and Dr. Moncrief certified that this wound was the cause of death.  The Jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against Ann Smith.  She was committed to gaol on the Coroner's warrant.

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Wednesday, at the Cross Keys, Elizabeth-street, on the body of Jane Gudgeon, a female about fifty years of age, whose clothes caught fire the previous afternoon while she was taking the kettle off the fire.  She was so dreadfully burnt that she expired about two hours afterwards.  Verdict---accidentally burnt to death.

Another Inquest was held the same day, at the house of a person named Elliot, about 14 miles from Sydney, on the Liverpool-road, on the body of Maria Elliot, an elderly female who had expired that day.  Dr. Nielson certified that the deceased came to her death through the bursting of a blood vessel.  Verdict---Died by the visitation of God.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 5 November 1834

In the report of the Coroner's Inquest upon Joseph Taylor, published in our last, we stated, that the mortal wound was inflicted on the right side; the wound was on the left side.

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday, at the Steam Packet, Sussex street, on the body of Patrick Sweeney, a timber merchant, residing at the Field of Mars.  On Friday evening about six o'clock, during a very severe squall, the deceased went into the Red Cross, George-street and told the landlord that he had run against the shafts of a dray and had broken something in his inside; he requested that a surgeon might be sent for, which was done.  The deceased was then removed to the house of a friend named Hawker, residing in Sussex-street, where he was attended by Dr. Hoskings.  He lingered until Saturday about eleven o'clock, when he expired.  The point of the shaft struck the deceased in the abdomen, and caused a dreadful rupture.  The deceased did not know whose dray it was that he ran against.  The Jury returned a verdict---that the deceased's death was caused by his accidentally running against a dray or cart.


R. v. McCormack [1834] NSWSupC 119


R. v. Jenkins and Tattersdale [1834] NSWSupC 118


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 11 November 1834

The conviction of the unhappy man M'Cormick, for the murder of his wife, is a matter of greater interest than it would be, affecting as it is in itself to humanity, in consequence of those attending circumstances which have been a subject of notoriety, in bringing the duties of the coroner and the chief police magistrate into collision.  [See R. v. McCormack [1834] NSWSupC 119.]

 [continues.] ...we should consider ourselves negligent of our own, as commentators of this important event if we did not give a word of advice to the coroner, by whose ridiculous notions of his duties, a murderer had nearly escaped the hand of justice. ...

On Tuesday last the Foreman of this Office was returning through the bush, after bathing, picked up the front of a man's shirt, covered with blood, and near the spot there were several marks of blood.  The same party happening to be in the same direction on Sunday, about one o'clock found a human body lying in a hole.  It was in such a state of decomposition that the features were not discernable; he gave immediate information, and a Coroner's Inquest assembled yesterday at Mr. Jenning's, in Market-street.  The Jury, accompanied by Dr. Neilson, proceeded to view the body, when it was ascertained to be that of a man of the name of William Fannon, a shoemaker, who resided on the Brickfield Hill, and had been absent from his house since the previous Tuesday.  From the appearance of the body, there cannot be a question that a most foul and barbarous murder has been committed.  Doctor Neilson examined the deceased, when it was found that there were 13 ribs broken, and a wound in the breast, as if done with a knife.  The throat also appeared to have been cut.  The Jury afterwards returned to Mr. Jenning's, but in consequence of some material information given by Conductor O'Mera, (which as it might impede the course of justice) we decline mentioning.

It adjourned until this morning, when the Inquest will resume the investigation.

EXECUTION.---The extreme penalty of the law was yesterday morning carried into effect upon Thomas Jenkins and Tattersdale, for the wilful murder of Doctor Wardell, and also upon Patrick M'Cormick for the murder of his wife Maria M'Cormick.  [quoted above.]  [Report of trial same column and following page. --- medical evidence:

Mr. John Neilson, Surgeon, Sydney.---I knew the deceased by sight, I saw him dead about 8th September, at his house at Petersham; I opened the body.  Upon taking off the clothes, I found a gun shot wound on the left breast, which on being probed, proved to run upwards towards the throat, that was the mortal wound.  The left subclavian artery was ruptured; by loss of blood, such a wound would cause death.  I found the third of a bullet in the subclavian artery, this bullet caused death.  From the state of the body, I should think death must have ensued about 22 hours before.]


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 14 November 1834

Domestic Intelligence.

Atrocious Murder and Robbery.---Coroner's Inquest.

In our last we stated that the body of a man, whose name was ascertained to be William Fannon, had been found in the Domain on Sunday, and from the appearance it exhibited, there could not be a doubt that he had been murdered.  A Coroner's Inquest assembled at Mr. Jennings's, in Market-street that afternoon, but in consequence of the absence of some material witnesses, it was adjourned until the following morning.---On Monday it resumed its sitting, when the following evidence was adduced:---

Mrs. Cook, residing in Phillip-street, deposed that she had occasion to go into the Domain on Tuesday last for the purpose of getting some pipe clay.  On her return she met the deceased (whom she knew, he having made shoes for her) along with a woman, and spoke to him; the woman had on a straw or Leghorn bonnet, with blue ribbons on it; did not think she would know the woman again, but perhaps might if she had the same dress on.

Mary Stone, living in a house behind the Roman Catholic Chapel, saw a man and woman on Thursday night, about 10 o'clock, going in the direction of the Domain Gate; when they came near it they went along the wall, until they came to a breach in it, by which they entered.  She heard the woman call the man William, and say, "hurry on, you do not know who may be after us;" was almost sure it was Thursday, but could not swear positively; saw two men go in that direction immediately afterwards; they took the same way exactly, and went through the breach in the wall; they then went into her house, and in five or six minutes after she distinctly heard the cries of murder repeated three times, the latter time rather faintly; when she heard the cries she went to the door, but did not hear any more; she communicated the circumstance to her husband, who said it must be black fellows.

The husband of this woman was called to prove the precise evening on which this took place, when he said, the strongest impression on his mind was, that it was Thursday, but he could not positively swear that that was the evening.  Mrs. Stone was also further questioned on that point, when she still persisted that to the best of her belief it was Thursday evening.

(A very proper suggestion was here made by the Foreman, Mr. Jennings, that the Jury should again inspect the ground contiguous to where the body was found.  The Jury proceeded to the spot, and after searching for about a quarter of an hour, the blade of a knife, covered with blood, was found in the small gully where the body was discovered, at about 40 yards distance from where it lay; also in the same direction distant about a dozen yards, the hat of the deceased, with his name written on the inside; the collar of a check shirt was also found in the scrub by a reporter, which might have probably been torn off in a scuffle.)  The Jury afterwards returned to the Inquest room, and proceeded with the examination.

A Mr. Toole, a miller residing at Woolloomoolloo, proved that he had seen the deceased walking on the Surry Hills about three weeks before in company with a female named Besty Gurner; he knew that to be her name, from the circumstance of her coming to call upon his wife, they having been in the Female Factory together; but he having discovered that there was something improper going on between her and deceased, he had latterly forbidden her his house; when he saw deceased walking with the female, the latter had on a Leghorn bonnet with blue ribbons.

Constable Weldon apprehended Betsy Gurner on Wednesday evening, at twelve o'Clock, in George-street, near the Police Office.  He knew her to be an assigned servant to Fanning, and took her into custody.  She complained of being very faint, the witness put his hand to her face, which was covered with a cold sweat; she talked a great deal about William, and requested him to take particular notice of the hour he apprehended her.

Mrs. Fanning produced the certificate of her marriage with the deceased.  On Monday last her husband went out in the afternoon to go to a funeral; she gave him the key to get his clothes, and he went to go to the funeral, but she understood he did not accompany it; he did not return in the evening, and she had not seen him since till she saw the body in the domain; the witness was not surprised at his absence for the first day or two, as he had been talking of buying a piece of ground at Parramatta, and she thought he had gone to complete the purchase; he was always in the habit of carrying his money about with him; he lately sold a piece of ground to Mr. Inglis for 122 Pounds, and got a cheque on the bank for it; Elizabeth Gurner, assigned to her husband, absconded from her house on the Tuesday; a witness named Early deposed that he knew the deceased intended leaving the Colony in the Camilla, and that he informed him that he was in possession of nearly 200 Pounds.

The Jury waiting for some time expecting to have the evidence of Elizabeth Gurner, who had been sent to the factory on Thursday, by the Police Bench, but she not being forthcoming, the Coroner addressed them stating that they were a court of enquiry, and only met there to ascertain the cause by which the unfortunate man had met his death, and from the evidence of the Surgeon, their own observations, and other concurrent testimony there could be little doubt that the deceased had met his death by the hands of some assassins.  The Jury immediately returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.

(We learn that Elizabeth Gurner has since been brought from the factory and is confined by herself, preparatory to her examination before Colonel Wilson, with strict instructions not to let her have communication with any body.  It is confidently anticipated that a speedy detection of the murderers will take place.)

Two women and a man, charged with being implicated in the murder of William Fannon, underwent a long private examination at the Police Office yesterday before Colonel Wilson, with the result of which we are of course unacquainted; it is reported that other two parties were apprehended yesterday evening on a similar charge. [See THE AUSTRALIAN, 16 April 1840; further proceedings.]


R. v. Smith (No. 2) [1834] NSWSupC 124


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 18 November 1834

Law Intelligence.


FRIDAY---Before Mr. justice Dowling and a Military Jury.

Ann Walsh alias Smith, was indicted for the wilful murder of John Taylor, at Sydney, on the 23rd of September last, by stabbing him with a knife, which wound he died on the 30th of the same month.

(Our reporter had taken down a full account of this trial, but as it has already appeared in the other papers, and out limits not admitting its insertion in this number, we only give it in a condensed form.)

It appeared that the deceased cohabited with the deceased.  On the morning of the 23rd of September, she asked him for a shilling to get half-a pint of rum, which he gave her, and she procured it; on her returning, she asked him for another shilling to get more rum, which he refused; they were afterwards seen to go out of the door by the landlord of the house in which they resided, and he proved that the prisoner at that time had a knife in her hand, which had been taken from his stool, (he being a Shoemaker), a few minutes afterwards, deceased came into the house, and on going up a ladder to an upper room, said he had been stabbed; they had been quarrelling together, and prisoner said deceased had struck her with a bolt which lay near the door which he did not deny.  Several witnesses were examined, and after a patient investigation, His Honor summed up at great length, pointing out minutely the law as relating to murder and manslaughter, putting many similar cases to the jury, as connected with the facts proved before the Court in the present case.  The Jury very shortly deliberated, and returned a verdict of guilty of manslaughter.  The prisoner was remanded.

In consequence of the energetic measures taken by the Chief Police Magistrate, it is expected that a clue to the parties implicated in the murder of the man William Fannon, found in the Domain, is most likely to be obtained.  In addition to the parties already in custody, two more have been apprehended.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 19 November 1834

Trial of John Kennedy for murder of Nicholas Delaney near Penrith, 2 September; mentions Inquest.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 25 November 1834

In the Parramatta Church Yard, the following curious epitaph is engraved on the tomb stone of one Simon Taylor, who was executed for the murder of his wife, (to whom he had given the facetious cognomen of "his old tin pot."  He was committed on circumstantial evidence; his wife and himself had retired to the bush, after becoming intoxicated, and on the ensuing morning, she was discovered lying dead, and Taylor asleep beside her.  Rice acted at the time in the two fold capacity of gaoler and the finisher of the law.


Beneath this stone lies Simon Taylor,

Who was hung by Rice the gaoler;

To hang on a tree, it was his lot,

For knocking the bottom out of his old tin pot.

The following has been added, it is supposed, by some friend who doubted Simon's guilt.

Now let no one be artailer,

For an innocent man was Simon Taylor.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 28 November 1834

A great deal of pains has been taken by the chief police magistrate, to arrive at some satisfactory conclusion respecting the cruel (and undoubted) murder of Fannon, lately found in the Government Domain; and many private examinations have taken place at the police office, but nothing has been elicited to fix the guilt on any particular party.  The foreman of the coroner's inquest, Mr. Jennings of Market-street, has been indefatigable in his endeavours to bring forward the ends of justice in this case, which is certainly much more aggravated in its nature, than that of the late lamented death of Dr. Wardell.  One of the female witnesses who was examined on the inquest, called om Wednesday on Mr. Jennings, and stated that from fear of the threats made use of by some parties, she had been deterred from giving all the evidence she was possessed of, and that she was now desirous of communicating the whole of what she knew; Mr. Jennings lost no time in apprizing Colonel Wilson of this, and as soon as the business of the Police office was over, the worthy magistrate proceeded to the house of the witness, and there is every reason to hope that, ere long, a clue will be obtained to lead to the detection of one of the most villainous murders that ever disgraced a civilized country.


An Inquest was held on Tuesday last, at the Thistle, in Kent-street, on view of the body of Mary Browns, who was found drowned in a well in that street on the previous day.  On Monday evening the Chief Justice sent to Colonel Wilson, requesting him to make enquiry into the circumstances of the case, as he understood the Coroner was ill.---Colonel Wilson despatched a messenger to Doctor Rule, who inspected the body, and attended at the Inquest with his certificate, but the Coroner had brought his own medical Achates along with him, and in the exercise of that supreme authority vested in him, ever since the days of good King John, would not permit him to appear before the Jury, and it is said threatened to commit him; which would not have been the first warrant signed by him in the same house, although in the last the worthy Coroner made a slight mistake.  It appeared in evidence that the deceased had been subject to occasional fits of insanity, and it was supposed that during one of these she had thrown herself into the well.  The Jury returned a verdict, drowned herself during a fit of mental aberration.

To the Editor of THE AUSTRALIAN.

SIR,---I regret feeling myself obliged to contradict the paragraph contained in your paper of this date, relative to the statement in yesterday's Herald of the death of the Bushranger M'Donald, ....

I have to assure you that M'Donald and Lynch were shot dead at Liverpool Plains, by two stockmen belonging to Sir John Jamison, on Tuesday 12th instant.  M'Donald was shot through the head while in the act of drawing his belt pistol, ...

Royal Hotel, Nov. 25. 1835.       H. C. SEMPILL.


The Sydney Monitor, Saturday 29 November 1834

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Tuesday at the Thistle, Kent street, on the body of Mary Brown, who, in a fit of temporary insanity, threw herself into a well and was drowned.  The jury returned a verdict accordingly.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 2 December 1834

The man Buckley, who was implicated in the murder of Fannon, and discharged the other day, has been again apprehended on a warrant issued by Colonel Wilson, in consequence of some additional information received from a witness examined at the Coroner's Inquest.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 5 December 1834

On Wednesday another private examination of Buckley, and the two women, on the charge of the murder of Fannon, took place at the Police Office before Colonel Wilson, and they were again remanded.


On Monday last an Inquest was held at Goat Island, on the body of a prisoner of the Crown, named John Thomas, who had died suddenly the previous evening.  A post mortem examination was made by Doctor Moncrieff, who certified that the deceased met his death by sanguineous apoplexy.  The Jury returned a verdict of---died by the visitation of God.

Another Inquest was held on Tuesday at the Hope, in Clarence-street, on the body of a child named Cornelius Denier, aged thirteen months.  It appeared from evidence adduced, that the child had been playing in the street, when a cart coming along at the time, the wheel passed over its head.  The child was not quite dead when taken up, but expired shortly after.  No blame can be attached to the carman, who was driving very carefully at the time.  The Jury returned a verdict of---accidental death, and a deodand of forty shillings on the cart.

On Sunday last a barbarous murder was committed at Wilberforce, by a female named Elizabeth Nowlan, on the person of one Charles Mullins, with whom she cohabited.  The parties had retired to a sly grog shop in the neighbourhood, when a quarrel ensued between them, and it is supposed the unfortunate man was stabbed to the heart the female, who was seen with a knife in her possession shortly after the murder was committed, which was subsequently found covered with blood.  A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body, who returned a verdict of wilful murder against Elizabeth Nowlan, and she was committed to prison on the Coroner's Warrant.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 9 December 1834

Mr. Lindesay, a gentleman from India, and in the East India Service, residing with Captain Collins at Petersham, has been missing since Tuesday last, when he left home early in the morning on foot, without having made any preparations for taking a journey; great fears are entertained for his safety, as enquiries and search have hitherto been made in vain.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 12 December 1834

A shocking murder was committed on Monday last, at Emu; the victim was an old woman of the name of Cooper, residing in a hut by herself; she had received several blows from an adze on the head, any one of which would have been sufficient to have caused death.  Three men from an iron gang in the vicinity are in custody, and there is reason to think that the guilt will be brought home to them.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 16 December 1834

Domestic Intelligence.

The woman who was stabbed by the man Bowles on Thursday last, in a fit of jealousy, died on Sunday evening.  A Coroner's Inquest sat upon the body yesterday morning, when a verdict of wilful murder was returned against the husband, who our readers are probably aware is in  custody.  [continues with "rather a romantic story" about deceased,  which explains the quarrel.]


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 17 December 1834

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Saturday at May's, Sportsmens' Arms, Parramatta-road, on the body of Eliza Harris, aged ten years, who had been found drowned in Mr. Turner's well the previous day.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

On Monday seven persons were received in to Sydney gaol on charges of murder, viz. Elizabeth Jones, Susannah Davison, & Wm. Reynolds, for the murder of -------; by Mr. Howe, the Coroner for Wilberforce; Ambrose Higginbottom, Thomas Ashbourne, and Edward M'Mann for the murder of Alice Cooper; by Mr. Dight, the Coroner for Penrith.  The seventh was Bowles, for the murder of his wife.

We regret to state, that Mr. Jonathan Hassall, of Matavia, Cowpastures, who had been in a deranged state of mind for the last three months, put a period to his existence on Saturday last.  He left home early on the morning of that day, with a determination, as he stated, of shooting some person who had offended him; but as he was in the habit of behaving in this strange manner, no particular notice was taken of his threat.  However, he not returning at the usual hour, search was made, when his hat and stick were discovered floating in a lagoon near his farm.  We had not heard of his body being discovered at the time we went to press.


A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday at the Edinburgh Castle, Bathurst-street, on the body of Sarah Bowles, who was stabbed by her husband on Saturday 6th of December.  After the Jury were sworn, they proceeded to the house of Mr. Hoddle, where the deceased was then lying.  The body presented a dreadful appearance.  There were four wounds, exclusive of a slight cut on the arm, the whole of which in the eye of any but a medical man, presented a healthy appearance; they were situated---one on the left breast, one on the side about the fourth rib, one on the back near the shoulders, and one on the loins.  A number of letters to the deceased, to Mr. Hoddle, and to the Rev. Mr. Hill, were laid before the Jury, but they established nothing, save that Bowles was afflicted with uncontrollable jealousy, which caused him to meditate upon and commit the rash act.  At the time the deceased was married to Bowles, she had a child about thirteen months old, which she avowed belonged to a person named Jones, residing in England.  After they were married, Bowles, who kept a school in Goulburn-street, became very jealous of his wife.  Constant quarrelling took place, and Bowles was bound over to keep the peace; this was about a month since.  The deceased then left her husband, and went to service.  While the Jury were awaiting the arrival of Bowles from the gaol, the letters which were taken from Bowles' person were read by the Jury; they were of a very curious nature, and all of them breathed a strong feeling of jealousy.  One of them asserted, that "a waiter belonging to a public house in Sydney, sent up to church to tell her not to be married, but he came too late, as the ceremony was performed."  A postscript to the same letter referred to Mr. Hoddell (to whom it was addressed) to the Solicitor-General, Mr. Dillon, and their ladies, for an account of his connexions in Ireland, of which country he is a native.  Another paper stated, that the deceased had attempted to strike him with a knife.  As soon as Bowles arrived, the Coroner informed him, that he was sent for in order that he might hear what was sworn against him, but that he was on no account to interfere with the proceedings of the court.

James Legget, a shingler in the employ of Mr. Dargin, deposed, that between seven and eight o'clock on the morning of Saturday 6th December, I heard a cry of murder in Bathurst-street; I went towards the noise and found it proceeded from the verandah of the cottage of Mr. Hoddle.  There I saw the prisoner on top of a woman with a knife in his hand (knife produced).  I believe this to be the knife.  I ran up to the paling and saw him give her three wounds on the left side; I said, "you d----d vagabond, are you going to kill the woman?"  It was not more than a minute from the time I heard the cry of murder until I was on the spot.  I went with all convenient speed.  I would have laid hold of him, but was rather timid to lay hold of a man with a knife in his hand; I threw three bricks at him and forced him to get up, leaving the knife in the side of the woman.  Some people were gathered round by this time, and picked the woman up; she put her hand to her side, drew the knife out and threw it on the ground.  The deceased said, "I am a murdered woman."  At the same time, Mr. Flood came up and apprehended the prisoner.  I cannot say whether or not he struck him with a stick. (The witness now went to look at the body; while he was gone the prisoner wished to make a remark, when the Coroner again informed him that he must be a tacit observer.)+ The body I have just seen is the body of the woman that I saw being murdered under the prisoner.

[+ It has been the custom in this Colony to allow the person accused to put questions to witnesses through the Coroner.  It would be well to know which is legal.  Such questions would be allowed in an examination before magistrates; and a Coroner's inquest bears analogy more to an examination before magistrates than a grand jury, where the accused is not present.  We question the Coroner's law on this point.-ED. SYD. MON.]

Henry Feltham, carpenter, residing in Pitt-street, deposed, I sleep at Mr. Hoddle's.  The whole of yesterday I was with the deceased; three or four days since deceased told me, that her husband had stabbed her, and that she had never given him cause to inflict the wounds she was then suffering under.  About two hours previously to her death, the deceased said she had something on her mind.  She said that she had been accused by her husband of perjury, in swearing that she never married to the father of her child.  She said she was dying of the wounds which her husband had inflicted.  She died about five minutes past eight.  A few days before the deceased received the wounds, she informed me that her husband told her he had sent a letter in her name to a man with whom she was acquainted, requesting a meeting at eleven o'clock that night, and that if the appointment had taken place, she (deceased) would have been a murdered woman.  She told me that she was between thirty three and thirty four years of age.

Dr. Bland then delivered in the following certificate.


Sydney, 15th December, 1834. 

I hereby certify that I have carefully examined the body of Sarah Bowles, on which there were four wounds apparently inflicted with some sharp pointed instrument; each penetrating about two inches into the body.  The post mortem appearances indicated considerable effusion of blood about the wounds, one of which was situated in the left breast, two on the right side, and one in the back close to the right side of the spine; together with considerable inflammation of the back part of the left lung.  As medical attendant on the deceased from the time of the accident, I further certify, that deceased came to her death by a disease called tetanus or cramp, caused in the opinion of Dr. Bland and myself, by the wounds above described, and ending in a locked jaw.

                (Signed)                             ROBERT BAND, Surgeon.


After a few minutes' consultation, the Jury returned a verdict of---wilful murder against William Phineas Bowles.  Bowles was accordingly committed to gaol on the Coroner's warrant.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Friday 19 December 1834

We regret to say that no tidings have been heard of Mr. Lindesay, since his mysterious departure from Petersham a fortnight ago.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 24 December 1834

A Coroner's Inquest was held at the Dove and Olive Branch, Kent-street, on Sunday, on the body of a fine boy about five years of age, named Edward Brewer, who was accidentally drowned in a well the previous day.  The Jury returned a verdict accordingly.  It is surprising that from the number of accidents which are almost daily occurring to children, that parents are not more careful.  We are informed that this well is entirely open, without either fence or covering; if so, we should think that the proprietor is liable to be indicted for a misdemeanour. [The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 31 December 1834, page 3, column a:---We understand that an information has been filed against the individual who owned the well down which a child fell last week, for allowing his well to be open without proper covering;...]

Another Inquest was held on Monday at the Currency Lass, Castlereagh-street, on the body of a New Zealander, in the employ of Mr. Barker, called Jackey Isaacs.  It appeared that the New Zealander, who had died several days previously, had been buried in a retired spot on the Surry Hills.  With this the countrymen of the deceased were not satisfied, but made complaints to the police and the coroner that they suspected some unfair play, and consequently the body was exhumed and an inquest held.  Dr. Nielson certified that the deceased came to his death through inflammation of the lungs.  Verdict---died by the visitation of God.  The New Zealanders have expressed themselves dissatisfied at the deceased being refused christian burial.

Another Inquest was held yesterday at a secluded spot called Honorang near Botany Bay, on the body of Henry Hughes, aged 62 years.  It appeared that the deceased (who was a veteran from the 102 regt) visited Sydney on Saturday, and returned to his hut in the afternoon of that day very wet from the rain; he complained of being affected with a shivering, and went to bed; on Monday morning he expired.  Dr. Nielson gave his certificate that the deceased came to his death from effusion of serum on the brain.  Verdict---died by the visitation of God.


THE AUSTRALIAN, Tuesday 30 December 1834


On Saturday last a Coroner's Inquest was held at the Princes-street Hotel, on the body of Richard Richards, who was discovered that morning lying in the water, underneath one of the three quarries overlooking Kent-street.  The deceased, it appeared, was a sea-faring man, belonging to the Cape Packet, and had, it is supposed, on Friday night, fell over the cliff while making his way to his ship.  The Jury having viewed the body, under the direction of Mr. Neilson, returned a verdict of---"Died, in consequence of having fallen over a precipice," with a strong recommendation that Government should take immediate steps to remedy the evil.

No tidings have been heard of Mr. Lindesay, of Petersham; no hopes are now entertained of his being again heard of, as there is some reason to believe that he has drowned himself in the deep part of Cook's River.


The Sydney Monitor, Wednesday 31 December 1834

Further loss of Life through the negligence of Government.

A Coroner's Inquest was held on Saturday, at BYRNE"S Prince's street Hotel, on the body of a man which was discovered that morning lying in a hole of water in the quarries, at the North-west end of Argyle-street.  From the evidence of Henry Mathers, an assigned servant to Colonel Wilson, it appeared, that at nine o'clock that morning he had proceeded to the water-hole in question for a load of water to make mortar with, and while there, observed a man's arm out of the water covered with mud; he (Mathers) ran to Colonel Wilson and reported the circumstance, and the body was taken out of the water.  It appeared to be that of a middle aged, middle-sized, seafaring man.  Andrew Rennie, boat-steerer on board the Cape Packet whaler, deposed, that to the best of his belief, the deceased was a seaman on board the Cape Packet, known by the name of Richards, a Welshman , who had been absent from his lodgings several days.  Richards had the figure of a mermaid on his left arm; and upon examining the deceased, he found a similar mark.  Dr. Nielson delivered a certificate in the following words:---

"I hereby certify, that I have carefully examined the body of a man by appearance a sea-faring man, whose name is at present unknown (but who is supposed to be a seaman named Richard Richards.) and from the post mortem examination which has taken place, I am of opinion, that the deceased met his death by accidentally falling over the quarries, and fracturing four of his ribs of the left side, with effusion of blood in either cavity of the chest." ---John Nielson, Surgeon."

The Jury returned their verdict in the following words:---"This Jury is unanimously of opinion, that Richard Richards was found dead in a hole at the end of Argyle-street, which is so improperly exposed, as to endanger the lives of their fellow-creatures, and that it behoves the Government to have it immediately and securely fenced in, to prevent the recurrence of similar accidents; and ...Coroner is requested to communicate the ..... to Government.

[Critical editorial follows, but this column is damaged.]

A Coroner's Inquest was held yesterday at the Thistle, Kent street, on the body of a man named Thomas Marsson, who died after a short illness, on Monday evening.  Dr. Nielson certified that the deceased died of inflammation of the bowels, brought on by the excessive use of ardent spirits, and the Jury returned the following verdict---Died by the visitation of God; but that deceased's death has been accelerated by the excessive use of ardent spirits.  Marsson was a man of considerable property; and there are some curious circumstances connected with his death; but as the matter will be brought before another Court we shall forbear making any remarks for the present.

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