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Colonial Cases

1830-1839 Tas

COLONIAL TIMES (HOBART), 1 January, 1830

We understand that there have been no less than four Inquests during the week upon the bodies of men who have died from excessive drinking. ...



On Saturday last two several coroner's inquests were held on persons who had died from the effects of drink.  We have not heard their names, neither do we think it worth while to inquire, ...  

   Yesterday morning the town was plunged onto a state of the deepest consternation by the sudden death of Mrs. Sweeney, whose husband had recently established an eating house in Brisbane street, and by whom it is said in a fit of rage, arising from the unfortunate woman's propensity to drinking, the injuries were inflicted which have bereaved her of existence.  We refrain from saying more until the Coroner's Jury shall have given in their verdict.  Sweeney has always borne the character of a well intentioned and quiet man. - LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER, 4 January 1830 (Supplement.)

We last week noticed the murder  of Mrs. Sweeny, by her husband, of which the following are the particulars, so far as we have been able to obtain them, as given in evidence on the Coroner's Inquest.

   John Thomas, a tailor - lodged in Sweeny's house frequently; saw Sweeny beat his wife; she never assaulted him in return; never heard her abuse her husband; but she was frequently intoxicated.  Sweeny kept an Eating-house; saw Sweeny take up a chair and knock his wife down; afterwards dragged her into another room and shut the door.

   James Jackson - saw Sweeny jump upon his wife twice with his shoes on, and kick her on the left side; told Sweeny he would kill his wife; he answered, you have no business to interfere; saw him  strike her with a paling, very hard and repeated blows; Sweeny, he thought, was sober; attempts were made by various persons to prevent him from ill-treating his wife, but in vain; hew said, I will chastise my wife when I please if she gets drink; Mrs. Sweeny was sitting on a sofa crying, from the treatment she had received. - When Sweeny brought a bucket of water, after discharging the contents over her, he threw the bucket at her, which was caught by one of the bye-standers.  Sweeny had his wife shut up in a room all night, he went in repeatedly during the night and continued beating her, her groans were heard by those in the house.  Next morning he invited Mrs. Beard to breakfast, who, on going to the bed found Mrs. Sweeny a corpse; she was covered with bruises from head to foot, her skull was fractured, one of her hands, held up to ward off the blows, was black with bruises; she was b eat most dreadfully over the Posteriors, and in presence of two men who were looking on, and prevented from interference by Sweeny's threats, he being a free man, and the by-standers prisoners.

   The body appeared to have been washed, the linen found on it had evidently been changed, as it was quite clean and smooth in appearance, the cap was also newly put on, and on searching, behind a box in the room, a cap which had been removed was found covered with blood, a nightgown, also very much stained with blood, was discovered in the yard, an d both the cap and night-gown were proved to be the property of Mrs. Hooper, who had put them on the deceased previous to the murder.

   There were 13 witnesses examined, and the Inquest lasted from 11 o'clock A.M. until midnight.  Verdict - "Wilful Murder against the Husband.


   We regret to announce, that Mr. Gleadow's Servant, whose unfortunate accident was mentioned in our last week's n umber, has since died."

   Drowned on Christmas day last, J. Watson, at Mr. T. C. Simpson's on the Macquarie.  He was bathing in a deep hole with another man, and was heard suddenly to exclaim, Oh my God!  His companion saw no more of him until the morning of Monday the 28th, when his body rose to the surface.  A Coroner's Inquest was assembled, and a Verdict returned of Accidental Death."


COLONIAL TIMES, 15 January 1830

On Monday last, John Mayo, pursuant to his sentence in the Supreme Court, for the wilful murder of James Bailey, at the penal Settlement, at Macquarie Harbour, was executed at the Gaol, \in Hobart Town. - The murder was attended with circumstances very unprovoked, the prisoner having without the least cause deliberately taken up an axe, and struck him on the head with it.


COLONIAL TIMES, 22 January 1830

 The Supreme Court has been occupied since Monday with the trial of two murder cases - one, where a Constable was killed by a man of the name of Brown, whom he was conveying up the country, and who was found Guilty, and ordered for execution on Wednesday morning, but was afterwards reprieved, in order to allow time for the argument of a point that has been reserved in his favour.

   The other was the trial of Wilks and Ferguson, for a most cruel and inhuman murder, nearly two years ago, on Brune island.  It lasted three days, when Wilks was found Guilty, and is to be executed to-morrow morning.  Reguson was acquitted.  We shall endeavour to collect the particulars of this horrid affair for our next publication.

Sudden Death by Upsetting of a Car.

On Sunday last as Mrs. ROBERTS, of Muddy Plains, was proceeding home from Hobart Town, that cart in which she was travelling suddenly upset, by which she was killed on the spot.  The body was removed to Mr. MAUM'S, Clarence Plains, where an Inquest would be held over it; but we have not yet heard the result of the inquiry.

   On Wednesday the body of Mrs. ROBERTS, who met her death by the upsetting of a cart under which she fell, was interred in the burial ground at Clarence Plains.  The Coroner's Inquest found a verdict of accidental death.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER, 1February 1830 (Supplement)


The public mind has been much excited last week in consequence of the murder of a Gentleman much respected, residing upon his estate in the interior.  The unhappy man accused of this horrible act is in custody. [Richard Garner.]

   An Inquest was held on the 26th, on the body of a respectable young man named Henry Snook, who was drowned while bathing in Humphrey's River, near Tolosa.  A verdict of "accidental death" was recorded.


On Wednesday, a servant of Wm. E. Lawrence, Esq. was engaged at the river North Esk - he slipped out of his depth, and although another man had a rope tied round his body, yet he could not be saved alive.  His body was found, and a Coroner's Inquest declared their verdict - accidental death.  The man's name was Jefferies; a ticket of leave man of very industrious habits.


HOBART TOWN COURIER, 6 February 1830

Last week an inquest was held at Tolosa, Humphrey's rivulet, the residence of Henry J. Seagrim, Esq. on the body of Mr. Henry Snook, who was drowned in the rivulet about a mile from the house.  The deceased had gone to bath about 10 o'clock on Sunday morning, and is supposed to have died of apoplexy.  He was a young man of good connexions in Wiltshire, and most exemplary morals.  He was about 25 years of age, an excellent practical agriculturalist, and of enterprising habits.  His premature death is therefore a loss to this colony, as well as to his numerous friends here and in England.



Hugh Campbell, a private in the 63d regiment, was this day convicted of the wilful murder of Jonathan Brett his comrade in November last, by shooting him in the stomach with his musket.  After the verdict was delivered he was sentenced to be hanged on Monday the 1st instant. (This unfortunate man was afterwards respited until Wednesday morning, when he suffered the penalty of the law in presence of all the troops in garrison and a large concourse of the people.  He died very penitent.)


COLONIAL TIMES, 12 February 1830


King v. Michael Best.

Michael Best was indicted for the wilful murder of Richard Garner, a Settler in the Macquarie District, on the 25th of January last.

   The Attorney-General opened the case, by detailing the evidence he had to adduce in support of the prosecution.  He  said, he understood the plea meant to be set up was insanity.  It was his duty therefore, as public prosecutor, to shew to the jury, what the law was on that head.  The Learned Gentleman then  quoted many cases from Russell, to shew what insanity in law really was.  He read the cases of Earl Ferrers, Thomas Bowler, Bellingham, Hatfield, and others, to shew how the Judges in  England held the law of lunacy.  He then called the following witnesses:-

Samuel Lee, servant; William Smith, servant; William Rennike, Chief Constable of New Norfolk; William Langridge, timber cutter; William Roadknight, Constable at Hamilton.

   Dr. Officer. - I am a Surgeon residing at New Norfolk.  On the 27th of last month I went to the house of Mr. Garner.  I saw his body.  It was in a small hut behind the house, lying on the floor, lying on its right side, with the face rather downwards and a quantity of blood under it. I found a wound which had passed through the neck; it appeared to have been done with a knife.  I saw the knife produced to day at the place, and compared it with the wound, and it exactly fitted it.  Such a wound must have proved fatal, and caused death in a few moments.  There was another wound upon the left side of the chest, immediately below the collar bone, about the same depth as the other, between five and six inches.  I did not open the chest, as the wound in the neck was certainly fatal, and sufficient to produce death, and the body was in a dreadful state of putridity.  There was a cut across the back of his left hand, a superficial wound about two inches in  length.  I have known  the prisoner for some hears; I have never attended him professionally.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Gellibrand. - Remember from the  20th to the 23d of last month the weather was excessive hot, a person being exposed to the sun might and does at times produce fever, amounting to temporary delirium, but I have not known any circumstance  of the kind in my district.  I should think Mr. Garner about 30 years of age, a strong active young man.

[For the prisoner: Bryan Bennett, of New Norfolk; Mary Bennett, his wife; John Hagan of New Norfolk; James Weldon; Alexander M'Curdy, timber splitter;

   Dr. Officer re-called by the Attorney-General.

   I was in Court when Mrs. Bennett was examined.  I heard her examined.  It is my opinion that the conduct of the prisoner as imputed by Mrs. Bennett, is not a symptom of insanity.  I cannot state from any thing I have heard from her, that best was deranged at the time he was at her house.  I do not think he was in a state of insanity.  I saw the prisoner at Cockatoo \Valley when the Inquest was held.  He appeared to me to be in a state of stupor and terror, but not to be in a state of in sanity.  I saw him on Tuesday last in Hobart Town gaol, and I think he was then  sane and not insane.  I have heard the testimony of Wilson, and his evidence does not tend in the slightest degree, to lead me to think Brest was insane. [Also evidence of Mr. Bisdee, Keeper of HM Gaol at Hobart Town.]

... Pursuant to his sentence, the wretched man was executed yesterday.


HOBART TOWN COURIER, 13 February 1830

On Thursday morning the miserable man Michael Best, suffered the dreadful penalty of the law for one of the most inhuman and barbarous murder which, perhaps, has ever been committed, of Mr. Garner at the Lolwer Clyde.  Although he fully confessed before his death, that he was the single perpetrator of the horrid deed, the motives which instigated him to it are unknown, except from conjecture.  He is known of late to have been frequently intoxicated, in addition to which it is supposed that the unfortunate victim of his murderous intentions had accidentally become acquainted with some suspicious transactions of his regarding sheep, which he was probably afraid might be divulged.  Mr. Garner was a most respectable settler, and a more quiet inoffensive gentleman did not exist in the island.  We believe it was endeavoured to e stablish a case of insanity against the wretched prisoner, but if his mind was at all unduly excited it must have appeared to the jury to have been the effect of intoxication.

   We forbear to harrow the minds of our readers with the horrid particulars of this most inhuman deed.  Suffice it to say, that the murderer was known to have entered Mr. Garner's servants' hut where he then was, and to have committed the murder without any other human witness, using a knife which he had found in the place as the fatal instrument.  The struggle must have been great on the part of Mr.. Garner to defend himself, as his hands and other parts of his body were much cut in warding off the blows.  But Best though not more than 22 years of age, was a powerful, large boned young man, and had no doubt taken his victim at the advantage. [Comment on execution. And - "Best came with his mother and brothers, quite a boy, into this colony about 6 years ago, and nothing appears more evident than that the present unspeakable crime would not have been committed had rum never reached his lips."]


COLONIAL TIMES, 19 February 1830

 Barbarous Murders.

A most barbarous murder was committed on Saturday night last, on the body of Susan Corfield, a young woman  who had become free by servitude, and had for some time past cohabited with a Mr. Reed, who was about to marry her. - It appears that John Oxley, formerly a Constable, had been long an intimate acquaintance with the unfortunate woman, and he had several times before threatened to do her some personal injury.  There is every reason to believe. From expressions that he had recently used, that he had heard of the intended marriage, an d it seems he took the opportunity of introducing himself to her at a time when she had been drinking, to which she was much addicted. 

   She was found with her throat cut, the head almost severed from the body, a very few minutes after Oxley had been standing inside her door, and calling her from an opposite neighbour's, no one else being near or by the house.  These circumstances and that of Oxley's immediately going to his lodgings and burning the clothes he had worn, with many other most suspicious circumstances, left no doubt in the minds of the Jury, upon the Coroner's Inquest, as to their verdict, which was - Wilful Murder against John Oxl;ey. 

   The enquiry occupied nearly three days.  Mr. HONE presided as Coroner, and bestowed his usual patience and perseverance upon the painful investigation.  Although Mr. reed was confined during the enquiry, not the slightest suspicion was attached to him, the cause of his detention was his coming home and finding Corfield dead, and so immediately after the murder; but the evidence of Mr. Wintle and Mr. Olding, both respectable men, fully established the fact of his not having been near the premises for hours before the horrible deed.

   We have heard of another murder \being committed at a hut, near the Cross Marsh; but we are not sufficiently acquainted with particulars to state more till our next.


HIOBART TOWN COURIER, 20 February 1830

An inquest was held this week at the Lamb Inn, Brisbane street, before Joseph Hone, esq. Coroner, which sat for 3 days on a most appalling case of murder.  Susan Caulfield who was on the eve of being married, had been murdered in a most barbarous manner on the Sun day previous, at a house hard by in Murray street./ her throat was cut in a most horrid manner.  The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against John  Oxley, who is in custody, and will be immediately tried for the dreadful offence.

   An inquest was held last week at Betts-holme, in Hartington parish, at the house of Lieutenant Betts, before William Anstey, Coroner, on the body of William Hopley who had been killed by the Aborigines between Hollow tree bottom and the Big lagoon.  The poor man was by trade a journeyman carpenter, and was on his way from Hobart town  to the Blue hills, when he had been attacked by them.  The body was found lying on its face dreadfully mangled.  The Jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some persons unknown belonging to the Aboriginal tribes.



An Inquest assembled on Monday to ascertain the manner in which the unfortunate man James jones had met his death.  Verdict "Accidentally suffocated by drowning." - In the course of the inquiry it was shown by Doctor Werstbrook (whom we are proud to see rapidly attaining a very considerable practice) that the head of a person when taken out of the water should be raised.

   We are sorry to find, that on Thursday, a man employed in then Boat "Currency Lass," deliberately jumped overboard, and found a watery grave.

   BEVAN. - This notorious bushranger was shot dead near Launceston last night, and his body brought in this morning.  Many rumours are afloat respecting this affair, but we defer giving particulars till after the Coroner's Inquest.


COLONIAL TIMES, 26 February 1830

 Bevan, the Runaway.


Bevan, the notorious runaway, for the apprehension of whom great rewards have been offered for the last two years, has been shot.  It appears, that a man absconded from the Chain Gang for this purpose; that Becan, Britten, and himself were a little distance from then road, near the Sand-hill, on Sunday evening, when they observed young Mr. THOMAS (the Sub-Treasurer), and another gentleman riding towards the town; that it was agreed that Britten should go up to them, and if he found them unarmed, he should rob them, but if armed he was to make a signal to that effect.  Upon Britten's leaving them, Bevan laid down his double-barrelled gun, to strike a light; whilst so doing, the man who had been watching an opportunity, placed himself between the gun and Bevan, and ordered him to march before him to Waddel's, threatening to shoot him through the head if he made any resistance.  Bevan, notwithstanding sprang towards his gun, when the other instantly shot him dead on the spot!  From the wadding communicating with the dress, the body was so much burnt as to make it difficult to recognize it.  The man escaped towards Waddel's.  When Bevan's gun was found this morning, the stock was much burnt.  Britten is described as being very indolent, and an easy prey.  An Inquest was to be held on the body of Bevan on Tuesday.


John Oxley, for the horrible murder of Susan Corfield, of which we gave some particulars in our last, was tried on Monday, and found guilty. ...The unhappy man previously to his execution, confessed that it was the intention  of the deceased and himself to murder Mr. RFEID the same evening, and that they had sharpened the razor for that purpose; ...


HOBART TOWN COURIER, 27 February 1830

The same tribe of natives who have of late committed so many outrages, we lament to state have furnished us with an additional list to our melancholy catalogue.  Inquests were held last week, before Mr. Anstey, Coroner, at the Green ponds, on the bodies of two free men, namely John Blackaby , and Philip Norboy, who had been murdered by the blacks close to Mr. Pooler's and Mr. Aston's houses, and also on a child about 9 years of age, named Plaistow, a son of Mr. Plaistow, a settler at Bagdad, one of the 12 or 14 gunners who settled here about  five or 6 years ago.

   Another account of the capture/killing of Bevan.  "Bevan stretched out his hand to recover his gun and tried to shoot, when the man fired a charge of three balls, which passed through Bevan's body, and a large flask of gunpowder which was slung round his loins exploded, and his body is much burned."


John Oxley; more details of the plan to murder Reed; previous attempts by Oxley to kill her.




Bevan's killer identified as Joseph Charles Hall. ... On the following Tuesday, the Inquest sat upon the body of Bevan, and after a very painful investigation a verdict of "Justifiable Homicide" was returned.



 Two Coroner's inquests have been held this week, - one on the body of a man in the employ of Messrs. Bryan of the Liffey River, who was drowned whilst washing sheep; the other on a man in the employ of J. Thomas, Esq., who was drowned in endeavouring to cross the river South Esk, on horseback,  near the Snake Banks, in which attempt the horse  also perished.  Verdicts were returned in both cases - "Accidentally drowned."


COLONIAL TIMES, 30 April 1830

Coroner's Inquest.

On Tuesday last an Inquest was held at the Man-of-War before JOSEPH HONE, Esq. Coroner, to enquire into the circumstances attending the death of Ann Turner.  From the evidence produced before the Coroner, it appear that on the evening of Saturday last, while the children of the deceased were asleep in an adjoining room one of them cried, and she having no candle in the house, took a match and lighted it, for the purpose of allowing sufficient light in the room to ascertain the cause of the child's crying, and it is supposed that a drop of the lighted brimstone fell upon her dress, for on her looking round, she perceived her gown was on fire; she ran immediately to the water-tub in the yard, which unfortunately was at the time nearly empty.  On her state of agitation and suffering, she rushed in to the street, where she was soon surrounded by persons who came to her assistance.  So utterly unconscious was she of what was going forward, that all endeavours to  render her assistance was useless, for she kept running and shrieking from those who were endeavouring to help her, until a person seeing the necessity of prompt exertion knocked her down, and  with the assistance of woollen cloths extinguished the fire.  She was conveyed to her own house, and on her way thither related the above particulars. 

   She was so dreadfully burnt that no hope was entertained of her recovery, but she lingered until Monday morning, when she expired in dreadful agony.  The witnesses who described the poor woman while she was running in the street compared her to a ball of fire.  After a most minute investigation of the affair, the Coroner summed up the evidence in his usual able manner, and the Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.



An unfortunate accident happened last week at Mr. Gatehouse's brewery at Newtown. Stephen Ward, an old and faithful servant who attended the brewhouse, was unfortunately killed by the falling of the cooler.  Only a few minutes before the accident happened 2 or 3 others of his fellow labourers had been standing in the same room, and would have met the same fate had they not providentially withdrawn.  An inquest was held on the body.

   On the same day a distressing occurrence happened in Argyle street, near the Brick-fields.  A young woman named Ann Turner, (24 years of age) accidentally set fire to her gown, and immediately running out of the house for assistance, the fresh air added to the f\lames and she died next day.  [Editorial comment on her life.]

   In addition to this distressing event we have to mention the death of another poor woman from a similar cause, who died on Monday in the hospital.

   We have received a letter dated Jerusalem, giving a painful account of the death of a poor man, in the employment of Mr. Nairne at the Coal River, by the Blacks.  They had been hovering round that neighbourhood for some says, and sobbed several huts.  The poor man had received two mortal wounds in the back from a spear, and his head was beaten in a most shocking manner.


An inquest was also held yesterday, before Joseph Hone, esq. Coroner, on the body of John Kimbon, who met his death by falling from the hatchway of the ship Mary now lying in the harbour.



We have received another letter dated Jerusalem, ...A Coroner's inquest sat on the body of the unfortunate man that was found killed last week.  In these affecting cases, we think the coroner should be empowered always to see that the body be decently interred with the last solemn duties.




Yesterday week, a man named Williams, one of the herdsmen of Messrs. Mawle & Co.'s Whaling party, was unfortunately  drown bed in consequence of getting involved in a whale line which at the time was fast to a whale.  He has left a Widow and a large family, for whom a Subscription has been opened, to which the whalers have liberally subscribed, and to which no doubt the Public will generously contribute.




William Thomas was then put to the bar, for the murder of John Warne, commonly known by the name of Smutty Jack. ...

   The Chief Justice summed up in a most Impartial manner, pointing out to the Jury every thing that could possibly benefit the prisoner; and the Jury, after retiring about 10 or 15 minutes, brought in a verdict of p- Guilty.


George Staines was indicted for stealing an axe, value 5s., the property of James Hortle. ...This was a very trifling case, and it appeared very likely the man had bought it of a woman who, lived with Golder, not his wife, but who had cohabited with him 10 years, but who it appeared by the evidence, got drunk with the prisoner at the time he bought the axe, an d has since died, while in a state of drunkenness. ...


COLONIAL TIMES, 11 June 1830

On Monday, the 31st of May, a woman in apparent good health, dropped down dead suddenly, at the house of Mr. Thomas Brown, in Brisbane-street.  She had just received the newspaper from the hands of the carrier, when she fell down and instantly expired.  The Coroner's Inquest sat on Friday, and returned a verdict of - "Died by the visitation of God." - Mrs. Sweeney was murdered in the same house in December last. - Launceston Advertiser.


(From the Launceston  Advertiser.)

JUNE 3. - Edward Sweeney was tried for the murder of his wife, in December last, and his trial occupied the Court the whole day. ... Sweeny, during his trial, when a verdict was given against him, and also under the feeling address of His Honor the Chief Justice, while passing sentence, preserved the same imperturbable state of insensibility as he displayed when arraigned.



  On Wednesday last, a man named Richard Holdgate, was found murdered at Pleasant hills.  An Inquest has been held upon the body, and the verdict is "Found murdered by some persons unknown, but supposed to be the Aborigines."  Some waddies were found near the body - it was laying near the edge of the Tamar supposed to have been driven there by the blacks.


COLONIAL TIMES, 18 June 1830

The Aborigines still continue their depredations in the most outrageous manner.  Since our last we have the painful duty to state, that a party of these wretcheds, known by the appellation of the "Abyssinian Mob," murdered a woman of the name of Daniels, and her twin children, at the hut of Captain Wood, called ":The Den ," on the Regent's Plains.  It appears that the husband, who is a stock-keeper to captain Wood, was ploughing at a short distance from the hit, and perceiving the door stand open an unusually long time, returned to know the reason, when upon his thrusting the door open, to his grief and astonishment he beheld the mangled corpse of his wife and in fan t children.  The unfortunate woman was sadly disfigured, being speared and beaten with waddies in a dreadful state.  From then appearance of the children (who were twins and only about seven months old) it is supposed that the wretches must have strangled them, as their faces were discoloured and their mouths bloody.



An inquest was held at Denniston before Thomas Anstey, esq. Coroner, on the body of the unfortunate woman Mary Daniels, and her two infants, who were murdered by the Blacks, as above stated, on the Thursday preceding at the Den, Regent Plains.

   A melancholy accident happed on the river on Wednesday night, in a boat belonging to Mr. Forbes at the Cove, which was returning from Hobart town, and was anchored close to another in the river.  One of the boatmen named William Ford, made a false step between the two boats into the river, and notwithstanding every exertion was made by his comrades to save him, he sunk to rise no more.



An inquest was held at Clarence plains on Wednesday, before F. Roper, esq. coroner, on the body of an old man named James Miller, who died from excessive drinking.

   An inquest was held before T. Anstey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Me. William Lambe, at the Clyde, on Saturday the 26th June.  He returned from Hobart town  on the 24th, having lost his way and passed the previous night in the bush.  He had gone to town for the purpose of marrying Mrs. M'Craw, and it was supposed that he had quarrelled with her, and that the marriage did not take place.  A bottle which had contained rum was found in his pocket.  When he reached the Clyde on the morning of the 24th, he appeared in a state of melancholy stupor, from the united effects of cold and the rum.  He fastened himself securely in his house at Bothwell, immediately bolting the door in the inside and leaving the key in the lock on the outside.  At 8 at night, the neighbours forced an entrance and found poor Mr. Lambe dead and stiff.  A n incision had been made in the left side of the abdomen, through which a considerable portion of the intestines had protruded. A pen knife was found by his side.  So determined was he in his purpose of self destruction, that he had cut and tore away\ (according to the deposition of Dr. Sharland) a considerable portion of the mesen tery!

   The unhappy man was a native of Leith, where he has some most respectable relations.  He was in full employment as a builder at the Clyde, in which profession he was said to have been eminently skilful.

   Verdict - That the deceased Wm. Lambe cut out his entrails in a paroxysm of mental derangement.



An inquest was held on Saturday last in the Colonial Hospital before J. H. Moore, esq. Coroner, on the body of John Vesey, servant of Mr. Mortimer, who died in consequence of the wounds he received by a log of wood falling on him which he was shipping at East bay neck.



A melancholy and distressing event took place at Jericho on Monday last.  A young gentleman named Mr. John Watt, very respectably connected in Greenock,. Who arrived in this colony in the Australian Company's ship City of Edinburgh in February, 1829, and who it will be recollected had along with two other fellow passengers some discussion with the Colonial Times, respecting a trivial circumstance at the Commercial Tavern, had arrived at Oatlands about three weeks before, and had been living partly at Dr. Hudspeth's and party at Mr. Watt's , (no connexion we believe) the respectable and industrious miller of the Bath mills.  He was evidently labouring under great despondency, and wandered about the bush at times like a person insane.  On Monday morning he took the opportunity of being alone to commit suicide in the most desperate manner.

   It appears that he had read the 88th Psalm from the Bible, which was found laid open and marked at the place, and having  deliberately taken off his right shoe he had pulled the trigger of a loaded musket with his toe, and blew his head to pieces, and when found presented the most ghastly spectacle.

   An inquest was held the following day before T. Anstey, Esq. Coroner, and a very respectable Jury, who speedily arrived at a verdict of in sanity.  [Funeral, &c.}  Soon after his arrival from Scotland he went to Sydney, from whence he returned to Launceston about 4 or 5 months ago, evidently labouring under mental aberration, in a fit of which he had before made an attempt on his life by cutting his throat, and was in the Colonial hospital for nearly 2 months.




An inquest was held on Thursday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of William Thomas, a fisherman, who died of apoplexy occasioned by drunkenness.  We record these melancholy events without the slightest hope they will check the survivors of the same class from running their headlong, fatal career, a misery to themselves and objects of disgust to others. 

   The Coroner directed the constable attending the court to inform the Police of the public house in which the miserable man had made himself so fatally intoxicated, in order that it might be reported to the bench of Magistrates at the approaching licensing day.

   The foreman of the jury stated to the Coroner, the hardships that he and his brother jurors lay under in continually serving on the inquests which have of late been so distressingly numerous, while many gentlemen who had their time more at command, and had devoted much of that spare time to make a  talk and get up petitions about our noble prerogative, trial by jury, stood aloof, and did not even when summoned attend and take their share when they had an opportunity of so essential a public duty.



An inquest was held on Tuesday on the body of Thomas Murdoch, an old man who died of apoplexy in the Penitentiary the day before.



On Tuesday the body of a man named Holloway was found in a very snug retired place among the rocks of the cataract.  He had received some money from his employer, Mr. William Field the day before, and from appearances, it was concluded that he had been murdered.  A jury sat on the occasion on Wednesday, and, after a most patient and scrutinizing enquiry, they returned a verdict of - Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown"; but we have reasons for believing that they, the murderers, are not altogether unknown, and we trust that speedy justice will overtake them,.

   On Thursday last an overseer in Government employ, of the name of Thomas Hayes, while engaged in getting the Government Punt up, which had been carried away by the flood, unfortunately slipped into the river and was drowned.  We learn that Mr. Kenworthy was present, and used every endeavour to rescue this man from a watery death, but all was unavailing - he sunk and his body is not yet found.  He was a very useful man to Government, and has held the situation of overseer for many years, chiefly being in charge of the Government working oxen.

   We have just learned the following additional particulars from an eye-witness:- The above unfortunate man was very busily employed warping up the Punt, when by accident the main warp broke, and she carried away one of the stanchions, which struck him down on the deck, a smaller warp then gave way, which warp was entangled round one of his legs, by which means he was drawn overboard under the surface of the water, and was seen n o m ore.

   On Thursday Charles Holloway (that was murdered), was buried - ... We hope next week to be able (if they do not escape in the interim), to lay before our readers the account of the commitments of those desperate wretches who murdered this man for a few pounds in money.

   On Saturday last an Inquest was held upon the body of a man named Andrew Trimble, an assigned servant of Dr. Landall's, and from the evidence adduced, they found that the man came to his death accidentally.  The evidence deposed that at a short distance from town, on the road to his master's farm, that he was seen riding in the c art, that the wheel going over a stump overturned the cart, which tumbled the man back - that the man fell under it, and was dragged some distance, the tail board upon him, and that he had got out all but one leg, which leg [?????] the evidence liberated.  He then washed Trimble's face, and squized some water in to his mouth, but he never spoke after, he only sighed once. [Editorial comment.]

   We regret with feelings of deep poignancy, that one of our most respectable Publicans, a husband and a father, has been missing since Friday evening, and fears are entertained for his life.  We would fain hope that he is only gone astray.



LAUNCESTON, August 16, 1830.

   In quest on Holloway.

   Thomas Hayes, an overseer in the service of the Crown, was accidentally drowned at the Ferry at Perth, on Tuesday last; and an assigned servant of Dr. Landale's lost his life near Launceston on Thursday, by a fall from a cart.



A fourth [correspondent] adds the following tragic recital:- "On Sunday afternoon, about three o'clock, the hut of Mr. James Hooper in Spring Hill parish, (and not more than a gun shot from the main road) was attacked by the Blacks 30 or 40 in number.  Hooper and his man had but one gun between them; with it and a flail they kept the Natives at bay nearly half an hour; when the Blacks (some with lighted fire-sticks and some with spears) made a rush at the hut.  Hooper fired without effect, and in an instant was overpowered - his man fled.  On the return of the man, in half an hour, with assistance, he found his master dead, covered all over with horrible wounds.  The hut was pillaged of most of its portable articles.

   An inquest was held on the body, this morning, before T. Anstey, esq. Coroner; verdict, "Wilful murder against certain persons of the aboriginal tribes of the Island, to the Jurors unknown."

   Mr. James Hooper was a man of prodigious muscular strength.  He had two farms in this district, and another (on which he generally resided) on the Derwent.  A spear was driven 4 inches into his back, and another into his breast, and his head was beaten, so dreadfully, it was horrible to look upon.


COLONIAL TIMES, 3 September 1830

Yesterday, a Coroner's Inquest was held before J. HONE, Esq., and a respectable Jury, to enquire in to the cause of the death of a child, the offspring of ANN EDWARDS.  After fully investigating the case, the Jury were of opinion that the child had evidently been born alive and in a healthy state, that either from  the wish to conceal the birth, or the improper management immediately on its coming in to the world, it had been suffocated; but, as we suppose the case will come before another Court, we shall be silent, in order that we may not prejudice any party by our observations.  Late last evening a Verdict was returned:- "That the child of Ann Edwards died through carelessness and neglect of the mother, whereby it was smothered and choaked."


HOBART TOWN COURIER, 4 September 1830

An inquest was held on Thursday at the Lamb inn, Brisbane-st. on view of the body of a female infant, the daughter of a young woman named Ann Edwards, whose parents live in Murray-st.  Mrs. Edwards, it appeared, went to call in the aid of Mrs. Barrett, but on their return the child was found dead.  The jury returned a verdict that the infant had come to its death through neglect and the want of proper attention, which had caused suffocation.

   A fine little child named Frances Killow, daughter of William Killow, York plains, died last week in con sequence of a sting, which she received from some reptile, which had lurked in an old log of wood, brought to the house for fire-wood, on which she had been playing.


HOBART TOWN COURIER, 11 September 1830

It is with much regret we have to announce a melancholy and fatal accident which has happened at Macquarie harbour.  In the morning of Monday the 23d August last, the signal being hoisted by the pilot, Mr. Bowhill, for the brig Tamar from Hobart town having arrived in sight, a boat was dispatched from the settlement with Serjeant Dawson and a crew of 7 prisoners, as usual, for the dispatches.  On arrival at the heads, the pilot, boarded them, and proceeded with them to sea to meet the vessel and conduct her safe to harbour.  Shortly, however, after leaving the land, it came on to blow a severe gale, and Mr. Bateman of the Tamar states, that he found it necessary to turn the ships head to sea in order to ensure her safety.  The boat was then lost sight of from the settlement, and, we regret to add, has never since been heard of.  It is we fear now but too certain that she and all on board have fallen a prey to the waves.  Every exertion was made by Capt. Briggs, the commandant, in hopes of discovering some vestige of the boat or its unfortunate inmates but in vain, and a military party narrowly examined [the sea?] all the way to Port Davey, but also without success.  The following are the names of the nine persons who were in the boat, viz. - Mr. George Bowhill, the pilot, Serjeant Henry Dawson of the 63d regiment, and the 7 following prisoners, - 140, W. M'Farlane, per Lady Ridley, Coxswain;  Joseph Atkin, alias Butler, per Asia, 335, James Buckley, Maria, 330, Isaac Bond, Medway, u712, Peter Chandler, Medway, 319, George Graham, Morley 4, 434, Samuel Hippisley, Prince of Orange.


COLONIAL TIMES, 17 September 1830

Supreme Court.


Charles Routley [48] was indicted for the wilful murder of John Buckly, in the month of July, 1825.

   The first count charged the prisoner with burning the said John Buckly, by which means he met his death; in the second he was charged with wrapping him in a hide, and suffocating him; and in the third with striking him in divers parts of the body, after which he was wrapped in a bullock hide, being still alive, and thrust into a fire and suffocated.

   Evidence from Hugh M'Ginnis, jun., James Gordon, J.P., Hugh M'Ginnis, senior, Ralph Dodge, William Sale Smith, Richard Green, Robert Cockburn, Margaret Donovan, W. Webb, James Shelby, constable,  --- Tripp, Charles Carter, constable,. ...

   The prisoner then addressed the Court to the following effect:-

   Your Honor and gentlemen of the Jury.

   I need not trouble the Court with my observations, as I have a clear conscience, that I am innocent of this charge.  I am charged with killing a man, whom it is not proved is dead, or has been murdered; - it is not proved that "Pretty Jack" has not left the country.

   [Guilty.] Throughout the whole of this very extraordinary trial, which lasted from 10 o'clock on Tuesday to neatly 4 o'clock on Wednesday morning, the prisoner conducted himself with a propriety that could scarcely be expected from a person of his class of life, standing in such a situation.


Soon after 8 o'clock this morning, the execution of Charles Routley took place.  ... He had before most fully confessed to a train of most horrible murders, ...

   The first who suffered was a friend and partner of his, an, as he confesses, her was instigated to this crime merely in order to possess himself of the whole property that belonged to both of them; - this man's name was Butler, and he was shot when they were walking together in the bush.  He also confessed to being one of the murderers of Mr. Simpson, whom most of our readers will recollect was so barbarously cut to pieces, as it was supposed by piece-meal, in order that his sufferings might make him confess where his money was.  Dickson [Dixon], one of the associates of this wretch, was also sacrificed; it appears that Routley and his companions considered it necessary to get rid of him, as he was too well acquainted with all their actions;   in order to do this, they broke open Dr. Young's house, and from the medicine chest procured a quantity of corrosive sublimate, and dissolving it in some rum, returned to their companion in the bush, to whom they gave it to drink, the effects were almost instantaneous owing to the large quantity administered, the man soon [?????] and sunk down, at the foot of a tree, which Routley's other companion observing, levelled his gun at him and shot him in the shoulder, and although the man begged and prayed that his life might be spared, Routley beat his head with his gun-stock till he died,

   The murder of Buckly is elsewhere before our Readers. Even so late as a few months before he was apprehended, he confesses having murdered the shepherd [Lawson] of Mr. Armytage.  It appears this man had discovered the hut of Routley and his companion in the bush, and seeing what was going forward, intimated to them that he should be obliged to tell his master - they immediately fell upon, tied his hands behind him, and marched him into the bush, when Routley shot him through the back - the man fell dead instantly.  While the other man was stooping over the body, Routley, fearing that his companion might be the means at some future day of bringing him to an account for the deed, raised his gun and levelled a blow at the man's head, who was thus stunned and then murdered. ...


A Coroner's Inquest took place on Wednesday last, on the body of a man who came prisoner by one of the latest vessels which arrived in this Colony.  It appears that the man died in consequence of excessive intoxication.  The verdict was returned accordingly.


HOVART TOWN COURIER, 18 September 1830

An inquest was held on Thursday before F. Roper, Esq. Coroner, at Kangaroo Point, on the body of Thomas Gadberry, a boy 14 years of age, who has been scarcely a month in the colony, an assigned servant to Mr. M'Cormick, who died of suffocation occasio9ned by excessive drinking of spirituous liquors.

   A distressing accident happened at the Old beach the other day.  Some of the prisoners out of the late transport ship, who had arrived so far on their way to the masters to whom they had been assigned in the interior, having stopped there for the night, had made a large fire at the foot of a great tree, and laid themselves down to sleep around it.  About 3 o'clock in the morning, the tree, being burned through, fell down with a tremendous crash, and one of the largest limbs falling directly on one of the prisoners, killed him instantaneously.

   Charles Routley; another account of trial, confession and execution.




   Numerous reports are flying around the town of persons being speared by the Blacks, at various farms on the Tamar; but we believe most of them are false.  Yet we fear that one man has been killed by them at Piper's river, on the East coast, at the farm of Mr. Thomas Gee.

On Wednesday an inquest was held on the body of -------------, who was so dreadfully beat by the Natives at Swan Bay, as noticed in our pages last week.  Verdict, - Wilful murder against the Aborigines, persons unknown."

    On Thursday the funeral of Mr. Henry Darke took place.  He came by his death in a most melancholy manner.  A servant of his had been striking a light with his gun, and had stopped the touch-hole with rag, and had afterwards re-primed it, and attempted to shoot some birds; the piece flashed in the pan, the man took it from his shoulder, and while holding it in his hands, it went off, and lodged the contents in the arm and body of Mr. F. Darke, he walked to the hut, about 150 yards, and he survived about 2 hours, and fortunately for the man, was able to relate how the affair happened, he suffered but little, and expired in the presence of his disconsolate parents.



... an d we doubt not but every care will be taken by the present Government, to great them with due lenity, but there is very little chance of preventing their deadly incursions, except by shooting a few of them, for even at the very moment that the order appeared here, giving credit to a party of blacks for their peaceableness at George town, at that very moment an inquest was ordered, to be prepared to examine into the particulars of the death of a white man killed by the very same peaceable party; ...


COLONIAL TIMES, 1 October 1830

Coroner's Inquest.

[WILLIAM TIDD.] [Very long and detailed report.]

Yesterday an Inquest was held at the Commercial Tavern, on the Wharf, before JOSEPH HONE, Esq. Coroner, and the following Jury:- Foreman, Mr. Stokell, Mr. W. Mawle, Mr. J. L. Roberts, Mr. J. Walker, Mr. Rand, Mr. Lightfoot, Mr. Stracey, Mr. Crombie, Mr. Cleburne, Mr. Graham, Mr. Raine, and Mr. Bodry.

   Evidence by: Henry Daniels, a servant in Mr. McLachlan's stores; W. A. Betune, Esq. the employer; W. C. Davidson, clerk to Mr. M'Lachlan; Mr. Brown, storekeeper to M<'Lachlan; Catherine Burton, Mr. Stokell, self shot to Tidd; John Riseley;

   Dr. Crowther. - I saw Mr. Tidd yesterday morning.  He was dead.  With the assistance of Daniel I examined the head.  I found the lower jaw fractured in several places.  The bones and the place where the balls had perforated had torn the right and left cheek in several places, and fractured the upper part of the mouth, by which means such an arterial hemaorrhage caused as to cause instant death.  I found no bullets, but swan shot would have caused such perforations as I have described.  Larger shot would not have passed through.  Life was gone, but the body had not cooled.  I have no doubt death was caused by the discharge of a pistol loaded with swan shot. Some time since, about six weeks ago, he was in a state of great excitement, and he rushed out of his house with intent to destroy a gentleman [Dr. Crowther named him] and he was relieved by bleeding. ...


The Jury retired, and after a long consultation, returned a verdict of Temporary Insanity.



 Benlomond, Sept. 27, 1830. - Dear Sir, I have just time to say that the natives, last Thursday week, murdered two men at Oyster bay; and on the next day they beat a sawyer almost to death.  On last Wednesday they attacked the house of Mr. Boultbee, when he was absent, and if it had not been for a soldier who happened to be there, they would have murdered Mrs. Boultbee and all the children.  On Friday last, they murdered three men at a hurt in which eight men lived, belonging to major Grey, and left a fourth for dead who is not as yet out of danger.  They robbed the hut of 4 guns, 12 blankets and other things, they had come direct from Oyster bay.  Your's truly, JOHN BATMAN.


COLONIAL TIMES, 8 October 1830

The melancholy occurrence which was detailed at large in our Paper of last week, when reporting the proceedings of the Coroner's Inquest upon the unfortunate [William] Tidd, has given rise to many painful and serious considerations. ...

   On Thursday last the body of Mr. A. Drummond (who has been a long time missing) was found by his widow near the South Eask. ...



On Thursday the 7th instant, a Coroner's Inquest was held before Frederick Roper, esq. Coroner, at the Golden Fleece public-house at Kangaroo Point, on the body of William Sharpless, who it appeared in evidence, on the 4th instant, about 2 o'clock in the day, being in a state of intoxication, went into the River Derwent to bathe, and was accidentally drowned.

Blackman's River, Oct. 5.

I presume that you are already aware of the Aborigines having extended their depredations in robbing the residence of Mr. Thomas Scott, Macquarie rover, on the 30th Sept. where they killed one man and so dreadfully beat the other with their waddies that little hopes are entertained of his recovery. ...



On Friday last news reached the Police Magistrate, while in court, that the blacks had attacked captain Stewart's stock huts, almost 3 miles from Launceston, and had speared one of his shepherds.

   Melancholy to reflate, on Sunday last in the evening, Mr. Joseph Cordell, Pilot, in coming up the river called at the house of Mr. Gildas, (an old and respected settler), about 16 miles from Launceston.  Upon looking into the house he (Cordell) found it had been plundered, and search being made, the body of Mr. Gildas was found near some firewood a little way from the dwelling-house.  It appears that he was alone at the time, the murder happened, and that he had left the house to get some wood to cook his dinner, and that he had received two spears from some of the blacks, concealed under his fence, that he had fallen instantly, and that they had afterwards beat him about the head with stones until life was extinct, he must have been dead some hours when found.  An inquest will be held upon his body, which Mr. Cordell has brought up to Launceston.


HOBART TOWN COURIER, 23 October 1830

A melancholy and fatal accident happened at Swan port the other day, in the death of a most promising young man, the son of Capt. Watson, who was unfortunately drowned while bathing on the coast.


COLONIAL TIMES, 19 November 1830

On Tuesday, an Inquest was held on the body of James Holt, a shoemaker, better known by the name of "Old Patten."  It appeared by the evidence that the deceased, and a man with whom he resided, had gone to bed early on Sunday evening.  The deceased's companion awaking about midnight, found Holt had been dead some time, as his body was quite cold.  The verdict returned was Died by the visitation of God.

   The young man who was brought in from the lines a few days back, and who was so dreadfully wounded by the accidental  explosion of his musket has since died of his wound.


HOBART TOWN COURIER, 20 November 1830

 It is to be remarked, that on the late attack on Mr. Gingell's house, in defending himself, he thrust a pitchfork into the breast of one of the blacks which he thought at the time must have severely wounded him, and it appears it must have been fatal, as his body has since been found not far from the scene.  It is therefore probable that these natives had come back to Mr. Gingell's for the purpose of avenging the death of their comrade.

   Another humiliating instance of the effect of habitual drunkenness occurred this week in the case of a shoemaker who fell a martyr of this detestable vice.  His wife, addicted to the same horrid propensity, died only a few months ago from the same cause.  An inquest say\t upon the body.



Since our last, we have heard of fresh outrages of the Aborigines.  Two men in the employ of Mr. Allerdyce, at the Eastern Marshes, have been cruelly speared by these misguided creatures. - The names of the unfortunate men are Francis Burrell and Thomas Duncan.


COLONIAL TIMES, 31 December 1830

We have heard the particulars of a most un fortunate affair in the interior; it would be prejudicing the case - or at least, our merely publishing the transaction might be construed prejudicial - either to the individual or to the cause of justice; within a short period the investigation will perhaps occupy the attention of the Supreme Court, when we shall give a full detail of the transaction.  We allude to the distressing affair that took place about a week since, at the Broad Marsh. -

   Since writing the above, we have received a letter, dated Brighton, Dec. 30, stating, that after a most patient and minute investigation, yesterday, before F. ROPER, Coroner, and a most respectable Jury, it was clearly ascertained, that the unfortunate man, William Bray, came to his death by being casually, accidentally, and against the will of Mr. Richard Allwright, his master, by him shot and killed.

   On Friday last, two men in the  employ of Mr. MATHER, were unfortunately drowned, when in charge of a boat, freighted with goods, for Mr. Mather's farm at Muddy Plains.  One of the men was an excellent swimmer.  From what we can understand, it is believed  that on the boat being drifted near the shore, full of water and at the mercy of the waves, the man undressed himself and leaped into the water, in order to swim ashore, when he was attacked by a shark and carried under; the body was found soon afterwards in a dreadfully mutilated condition, the flesh of the lower part of the body being torn.  The other man was found dead in the boat, and the whole cargo of goods was washed out, with the exception of some of the sails.

   During the severe gales of wind we experienced on Christmas day, two or three boats were sunk, one belonging to the Deveron  was among the number, in which were the second mate, the carpenter, and a boy, all of whom thus met an untimely end. [see 1831]



We regret to state that the squalls and high winds which prevailed last week were attended with several serious and fatal accidents.

   On Christmas day Mr. Gordon, as Coroner, held two inquests on the bodies of the unfortunate men who were drowned.  The one was on Robert Dudlow, a free servant of Mr. Aylwin.  The boat had scarcely left the shore when the black girl, whom he is bringing up, ran to him saying the boat had gone down, which he discovered floating under water.  Assisted by Mr. Chipman he succeeded on rescuing Brown, the man who had charge of the boat, and at the imminent risk of his own life dashed through the breakers and dived and brought up his assigned servant, who had sunk to the bottom, and by proper care was ultimately restored to life.

   The unfortunate Dudlow, however, it would appear, when he had quitted his hold of the vessel had been seized by a shark, as his remains were much mutilated.

   The other inquest was on Alexander Burns, an assigned servant of Mr. Mather, who with another was upset on the same day, proceeding to his master's farm at Muddy plains, with a cargo of goods.  The boat had been picked up, divested of all its load, by Mr. Cox's servants, and the poor man was completely jammed into the aft sheets.

   A whale boat also belonging to the Deveron was upset in the harbour on Saturday, when a seaman named John Smith was unfortunately drowned.


 COLONIAL TIMES, 21 January 1831

 On Monday, the 11th instant, a poor Settler, named Shay, rather deranged, was found drowned in a river, near his farm, at Bagdad.  An Inquest was held on the body on the following day, and a verdict returned accordingly.


  COLONIAL TIMES, 1 February 1831

Captain HELSHAM has been tried for the murder of Lieutenant CROWTHER, brother of our highly esteemed Medical Practitioner, of that name.  As the trial embraces many interesting points, we shall, at first opportunity, give the particulars.  The verdict returned was - not guilty. [At Boulogne.]


COURIER, 12 February 1831

An inquest was held last week at the Military barracks on the body of a soldier of the 63d. regiment, who shot himself in a fit of mental derangement.




We mentioned in our last that the Body of a man named STEPHENSON had been found down the River; and that it was supposed he had been murdered.  We were then unable to state the particulars, which are as follows:-

   The man had been missing since last Tuesday se'nnight: and it was generally supposed he had been murdered by the Blacks.  On Monday last, two men who knew him, happening to be going through a part of the Bush where they thought it probable he might have been killed, made a diligent search; and at length were guided to the spot where the body of the unfortunate man was, by the smell exhaled by the putrescent Corpse.  He was found lying in an extinguished Fire - into which the Murderers had doubtlessly thrown him, to conceal their guilt  But Providence was never suffer Murder long to remain undetected, for strange to say, although every other part of the Body, was destroyed by fire and decay, a spot on the left side remained uninjured.  On this spit there appeared two wounds, which a Surgeon declared were inflicted by a Gun shot having entered at, and broken the fourth rib, and come out, and broken the ninth.  This wound was sufficient to occasion Death; and from the state of the Body it was not possible to determine whether any other violence had been used.  An Inquest was held upon the Body on Wednesday and Thursday, before William Lyttelton, Esq., and a most respectable Jury, when a Verdict was returned of "Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown."

   There were some very suspicious circumstances developed in the course of the Enquiry, which it is not proper at present to make public.




It is this week our painful task to record a most frightful; and fatal accident in consequence of Drunkenness, which happened on Thursday last.  A man of the name of W. LITTLE an\ assigned servant to Mr. BRYAN, was proceeding with a dray on the road near Magpie Hill, in company with three other men, all the men but one were very tipsy; and LITTLE who was sitting on the Pole of the Dray, being unable to keep himself steady, fell, when the wheel passing over his skull, fractured it in a horrid manner.  He was taken first to Mr. RAYE's house near the spot, but that person refused to take him in!!! (shame!).  The unfortunate man was then conveyed to the house of Mr. J. CUMMINGS the Division Constable; and there put to bed, but no medical assistance was sent for to examine his injuries.  The poor fellow lingered at Mr. CUMMINGS till 9 o'clock the following morning, when death terminated his sufferings.  An Inquest was held on the body before Mr. LYTTELTON the Coroner, when the foregoing facts transpired.  Verdict "Accidental death."


COURIER, 12 March 1831

An inquest was held on Thursday on the body of George Porter, a young man formerly a constable at Hobart town, who had lately become addicted to drinking, and died in consequence of a fall from his horse, attended by a violent concussion of the brain.  The jury gave a deodand of 25 Pounds on the horse.

   An inquest was also held on Wednesday on the body of John Thomas, a native of Mauritius, waiter to Mr. Bernard Walford, who died of apoplexy.


COLONIAL TIMES, 15 March 1831


On Friday last an Inquest was held at O'Brian's Bridge, by Joseph Hone, Esq. Coroner for the District of Hobart Town, on the body of George Porter, a native of the Colony, aged 22 years, residing at the Black Snake, and formerly a constable attached to the Hobart Town Police.  The Jury was composed chiefly of the settlers in the neighbourhood of Glenarchy.

   It appeared upon the enquiry, that on the morning of Saturday, the 5th instant, this unfortunate young man left his home on horse-back, and after transacting business in Hobart Town, was on his return (about three or four o'clock in the afternoon) in a state of intoxication, when he stopped (as was his custom to do) at O'Brian's house, on the rivulet, on leaving there he asked a relative how long she thought it would require him to overtake two persons who had about that time rode forward. - Mr. Johnson, the dairyman, and another, - his relation warned him not to ride too fast, lest an accident should occur; but, disregarding this admonition, he galloped off, and the horse having in the morning been fed within an enclosure adjoining to O'Brian's, made a sudden turn to enter the same place, when what had been anticipated, as it were, instantly took place.

   Porter was thrown from the horse, and falling against the stump of a tree, was taken up in a state of insensibility.  Surgical aid was sent for from Hobart Town, but as Dr. Westbrook was passing the spot shortly after, he rendered all the assistance that the case required, and subsequently, on the arrival of another gentleman of the profession, it was intimated that every thing that could be done had been in the first instance resorted to.  He lingered in a state of perfect insensibility until Tuesday, when he died. Several witnesses to the unfortunate event were examined at very considerable length, and the Jury, under the direction of the Coroner, brought in a verdict - "That the deceased met his death by a mortal concussion of the brain, occasioned by an accidental fall from the horse at the time he was intoxicated."  The horse was found to be of the value of 25 Pounds and was made a deodand.

   The Coroner did not con fine himself to the express duty of ascertaining by which means this ill-fated youth had terminated his mortal career, for on examination of one of the witnesses, in particular, he told him that he was sorry to have observed him (the witness) frequently riding furiously on the road when in a state of intoxication - that he must or ought to recollect he had more than once warned him of the result to be expected from such conduct, and he was now grieved to say, without any good effect; but he would, in pity to an infirmity that in justice deserved neither pity or consideration, call to his recollection the circumstance of an Inquest having been held some time ago near the very spot on an old man named Bonny, who had frequently passed him on the road as he was driving home in his gig to New Town, galloping in an infuriated state of intoxication.  ... at the very moment he was closing the address, of which we have given the substance, a Sheriff's bailiff came up to the place, and on being called in and questioned before the Jury, he stated that he had an execution against the entire property of the deceased, at the suit of creditor; that he had actually seized the horse, then outside the door for the purpose of this enquiry, and that he was proceeding to the Black Snake to seize the rest of the property.


COLONIAL TIMES, 22 March 1831

A melancholy instance of suicide was discovered yesterday (March 18) among the shrubs in the Government Domain.  The unfortunate man was found lying dead upon the ground, having shot himself as it appeared with two pistols which were found discharged by his side. - We have since learned that the unfortunate individual above-mentioned is Mr. Brown, who married the widow of the late Mr. Watson, of the Crown Inn, Bagdad. - COURIER.

    A melancholy and fatal accident happened on the 12th inst.  A young man conducting a horse to New Norfolk, which had a side saddle on its back, in order to ride the more easily had fixed a piece of rope to supply the place of a second stirrup.  But the horse taking fright, as it is supposed, threw his rider, and his foot being entangled in the rope he was dragged for some miles, his head beating on the ground all the way, long after he was dead, until it became the most ghastly spectacle that was possible to be looked upon.  The unfortunate man was named John Reddingham, and was servant to Mr. Woodward, who gave him an excellent character.  An inquest was held on the body before Joseph Hone, Esq. - Verdict accidental death.  A deodand of 20 Pounds was placed upon the horse. - COURIER.


COURIER, 26 March 1831

It is this week our painful duty to record one of the most awful and calamitous domestic afflictions which has occurred in the colony since the commencement of our public labours.  On Thursday evening, soon after Capt. Bell had returned home to hid villa at New-town, and the family had retired to rest, a noise was heard in the bed-room of a little girl about 12 years of age, who resided in the family.  Capt. Bell, on going to ascertain the cause, and on bursting open the door, found the unfortunate girl speechless and writhing in tortures, having cast herself on the floor and fallen beneath the bed.  He immediately took her in his arms onto the cool air in the verandah, and by sprinkling water and other means endeavoured to restore her, but in vain, as a few minutes reduced her to an inanimate corpse.

   On returning to his bed-room, he found his equally afflicted lady in similar agonies, and, melancholy to relate, had to endure the heart rending misery of seeing her also expire before him ion spite of every endeavour to restore her. Our Colonial Surgeon, Dr. Scott, who had been sent for at the first alarm, speedily arrived, and also Dr. Turnbull, but the unfortunate subjects of this awful visitation were already removed beyond all possibility of relief.

   A little boy, the brother of the little girl who had just expired, was also found vomiting and writhing in extreme pain, and notwithstanding every remedy, although he had not lost the faculty of speech when Dr. Scott approached him, he also fell a prey to the virus with which Mrs. Bell and his sister had been so fatally affected.  A man servant also was found affected in a similar, though not so violent a manner, and fortunately by the force of judicious and timely sedatives his life has been preserved.  We forbear to touch upon the agonized feelings of the afflicted husband, thus bereft at a blow of the affectionate partner of his home; but in the midst of his almost unmitigated calamity, the deep and general sympathy which ever attend the respectable members of the community when affliction overtakes them, must afford some, though an unavailing consolation.

   Every search was made throughout the dwelling to ascertain the cause of this accumulated calamity but in vain, until at last it was discovered that Mrs. bell and the two children had partaken of some fish at tea, which had been recently caught, and of which the man servant had also, though  doubtless more sparingly, eaten.  On further enquiry we believe it has been ascertained that the species of fish the poison of which had proved so virulent, was what is commonly known here by the term road or frog fish, and which is nearly allied to the noxious species so common, and so often fatal when eaten, at the Bahama islands.

   We would here remark, that violent vomiting, one of the first symptoms with which those who have eaten of poisonous fish are usually seized, did not make it appearance except in the man servant and poor lad, who fell a prey to it, the virus in the unfortunate cases of Mrs. Bell and the girl appearing to be so strong as to carry the patients off by convulsions, before nature could make an effort to =rid itself by eructation. [Dangers, antidotes,

   The blacks we regret to learn have made their appearance at Norfolk plains, ... They first visited, (says our correspondent) about 7 o'clock on Sunday morning, a stock run of Mr. Laurence's, where three men are stationed, two were absent going round their sheep, the other unfortunate man was found on the return of the shepherds, a frightful corpse, being beaten literally to pieces in the yard where he was in the act of milking, ...Two other men belonging to Mr. Parker were not so fortunate, ... one poor fellow has three spear wounds; one hit the point of his nose, which was pinned to his cheek, and two in his body.  It is thought he cannot possibly recover. ...


On Tuesday last, ---- Jacobs, residing at Mr. Hill's at Perth, put a period to his existence by cutting his throat with a razor.  This unhappy man it seems, had been possessed of a little money, and lost it in betting at the late fight, which is supposed to have been the cause of the rash act.  An inquest was held before Capt. Smith, and a respectable jury on Wednesday last, and a verdict of felo de se returned.

   On Saturday last, the cook of the Prince Regent, a man of colour, fell overboard and was drowned.

   A lamentable accident happened on Friday morning last in the river.  A man belonging to the bark Burrell, was engaged in a boat alongside the vessel, when by some accident he fell overboard, and was drowned.  One of the officers of the ship saw the accident; but no assistance could be afforded to the unfortunate sufferer, who came up, and then sunk to rise no more.  Search has been made for the body, but without success.

   The facts adduced in evidence, on the inquest upon Mrs. Cunningham, were briefly as follows: - She was at work in the garden when the natives came down.  She was first speared in the back.  Immediately she caught up her infant and ran towards the house, the blacks following her.  As she ran she received another spear from behind; and before she could reach the house, having several times fallen, a native met her and knocked her down with a waddie.  As she fell, she received another spear, which entered her body, passing nearly through her.  She then drew herself over the child, when the savages came up, and stabbed her with spears about the body till she fainted.  They then left her.  She came to herself some little time after, and ran to a neighbour's house, where, in spite of all the assistance which could be afforded her, she lingered in extreme agony till the following morning, when she expired.  The infant was much bruised, but is not mortally wounded.


COLONIAL TIMES, 29 March 1831


Melancholy death of the lady of JOHN BELL, Esq. J.P., and the two children of an overseer residing with the family, supposed by eating of a fish of the species called Toad Fish.

   On Friday, one of the most respectable Juries that probably ever assembled upon any similar occasion met at the country residence of Captain Bell, Weston Lodge, New-town, to investigate into the causes that had produced most fatal consequences to no less than three individuals of this highly respectable family.  The Coroner, Joseph Hone, Esq., assisted by a Jury consisting of J. T. Gellibrand, Esq., Foreman: W. Bunster, Charles M'Lachlan, W. Fletcher, J. Briggs, J. Swan, R. O'Ferrall, W. M. Orr, J. S. Browne, W. Robertson, H. J. Emmett, H. J. Seagrim, and J. Walker, Esqrs. and others - in all fourteen persons attended about 7 o'clock in the evening.   The first point to which the attention of the Coroner and Jury was directed being to view the bodies of the three individuals who had so recently been deprived of existence, almost as it were instantaneously, and although only about 18 or 20 hours had elapsed since these unfortunate persons had been in the full possession of health and vigour, such was the subtility of the infectious matter, that already had decomposition taken place to a very great extent.

   The Jury proceeded to the garret or loft in which the men servants slept, and heard the evidence of one man who was in bed, and stated himself to be very ill - and then of another servant who was evidently suffering under the effects of some such calamity as that which had ended so fatally.  After this course had been adopted to the extent that appeared necessary, the Coroner and Jury occupied one of the lower rooms, and proceeded with the inquiry, by going into the evidence of other parts of the establishment.  As the Inquest has not yet terminated, it would be unwise in us to give more than the outline of the proceedings, which we do in order to calm as far as we can the intense anxiety pervading the public mind relative to this sad catastrophe.

   During the sitting, which continued the whole night and until nearly 7 o'clock the next morning, it appeared expedient to take a course that would allow an adjournment of the investigation to a future day, and that would admit in the interim of a burial warrant being issued.  This was effected after the examination of a Surgeon, who was enabled to state, that having dissected one of the bodies, he felt competent to unite his observation with any evidence that might be obtained hereafter, as to come to a satisfactory conclusion of the causes that had terminated so fatally; this course was rendered almost imperative by the state of rapid decay that was apparent in each case, rendering it imprudent to expose them for many hours longer, except with a chance of infection to the survivors of this unfortunate family; at 7 o'clock on Saturday morning, the Coroner and Jury being in a state of actual exhaustion, an adjournment took place to 10 o'clock on Monday, and it was understood that their labours were to be resumed at the Waterloo Tavern, Davey-st., the Coroner having before the adjournment given a warrant for the interment of the bodies.

   In the course of the investigation (chiefly arising from the manner in which some of the witnesses gave their testimony) the Coroner deemed it prudent to place three of the servants in separate custody, so that no communication should take place between them, previous to the further progress of the enquiry.  We cannot lean that any suspicion actually attaches to the persons placed under restraint; but it certainly was necessary to satisfy the public mind, and out of regard for the feelings of the distressed and highly respectable gentleman who had experienced so dreadful a calamity, to let no point pass notice that could in any way tend to remove what, next to the sad misfortune itself, must of necessity be moist painful, - we means, even a symptom of there being any thing like mystery in the conduct of those who were employed on the premises at the time of this dreadful event.  We shall endeavour to give a full report of the Inquest, in our next publication.

   As it is a property of animal poisons, not to admit of a test by chemical operations, like those derived from mineral substances - it has been thought prudent to make an experiment at the Colonial Hospital, by giving a portion of the Toad Fish to some small carnivorous animal,   so that it may be more correctly ascertained what effect this noxious food has upon bring received into the stomach.


COURIER, 2 April 1831

After a very full investigation of the circumstances connected with the melancholy fate of Mrs. Bell and the two children, before Mr. Hone and a most respectable jury, a verdict was returned of accidental death.

   On Monday an inquest was held at the Colonial hospital, before Joseph Hone, Esq. Coroner, on the body of John Baldry, assigned servant of Mr. Orgill, tailor, in Campbell street, who died in consequence of a blow he had received in an affray on St. Patrick's day.  Verdict wilful murder against some person unknown.

   An inquest was also held on the body of a fine boy about 12 years of age, the son of Mr. Howman,  saddler, Argyle street, who having mounted a horse that happened to be standing at his father's door, was unfortunately thrown from its neck, and died in consequence of the fall which he received upon his head.


COLONIAL TIMES, 5 April 1831


 On Tuesday, the Coroner and Jury in the distressing case of Mrs. Bell and the two children, resumed their labours, having assembled at an early hour in the morning, at the Waterloo Tavern, Davey-street.

   Captain Bell was examined at very great length, and the substance was as follows: - I left my house at New-town, on Thursday morning, at half-past 9, and was expected to return home to dinner, but remained in Hobart Town, quite unexpectedly, at the house of a friend, and returned home at half-past 7, in the evening.  I found Mrs. Bell in the parlour, in her usual health, who enquired if I would take dinner or tea, to which I replied that I did not feel disposed for any thing.  Mrs. Bell did not complain of any thing regarding the servants.  I saw the little girl, but not the boy.  I took a walk through the grounds and returned to the house at a quarter-past 8.  Mrs. Bell was then going to bed - the little girl came down from Mrs. Bell's room, and inquired if I wanted any thing previous to their going to bed.  I said no.  The little girl slept in Mrs. Bell's room - there was a button to fasten the door on the inside - nothing was said to me by any person, as to what had been eaten for dinner.

   About three-quarters of an hour after this, I heard a violent scream from Mrs. Bell's room, and instantly ran up stars - the bed-room door was fastened - I heard a sort of struggling on the floor - called to Mrs. Bell, but there was no reply - called to the little girl to open the door, she said I cannot see; I then forced open the door, by which time, a servant I had called from another part of the house came to me with a light.   I went up to the bed in which was Mrs. Bell, her eyes were fixed on me, but she did not speak; the child appeared choaking - I gave it to the man to carry into the air, and sent another servant off to Hobart Town, for Dr. Scott. I then returned to Mrs. Bell, and found after a little time, that she ceased to breathe, but was still quite warm; my servant Speed was then in the room.  I observed to him, how extraordinary it was, that both should be in the same state at the same time, and enquired what had been eaten for dinner, to which he said he did not know.  I directed them not to awake the little girl's brother, who was in bed in the servants apartment.

   Dr. Scott came about 10 o'clock on Thursday night, when he arrived found the little girl was dead, on approaching Mrs. Bell's bed, found she was also dead; he said it appeared certain that death must have ensued from the parties either being poisoned or having poisoned themselves.

   Dr. Turnbull came about 12 o'clock, at which time it was understood that the\ boy and the girl had eaten together at dinner, and it was thought strange that he (the boy,) should not have been affected in the same way; at this moment, Mr. Connolly came in, and  said that the little boy and the gardener were both ill; then went to the boy's bed-room, found the boy very sick, but sensible, he said that he had eaten some fish, that Speed had caught 20 for Mrs. Bell, and nine had been sent out to the kitchen.  Speed has lived with me two and a half years; after Mrs. Bell's death I found nearly 100 Pounds in money in her bed-room, that I was not aware was there, it was in her wardrobe.

   Dr. Scott being examined, said, I was sent for to Capt. Bell's at New-town, on Thursday night.  I saw Capt. Bell, who stated that Mrs. Bell was dead.  I first saw the female child, who lay in the parlour, cold and dead; I then went to Mrs. Bell's room; she was breathless, yet quite warm; in both cases the mouths were clear.  I tried to restore animation, but could not succeed; was quite satisfied that poison had terminated life in both cases.  I enquired what had been eaten at dinner, or if Noyeau, Champagne, or Peaches, had been drank or eaten.  Speed was present, and seemed struck with horror at what was before him.  I sent for Dr. Turnbull, and with him searched for poisonous substances; went to the kitchen with Capt. Bell; on a dresser observed a pie-dish, on which was some fish, gutted and in water; I looked at the fish, but they did not strike me at the time as anything particular.

   Dr. Turnbull came; we examined the child, but found no symptoms that would explain the cause.  I then went to the boy's room with Speed; the boy was in bed and  vomiting; said he had eaten some fish for supper; that Mrs. Bell and his sister, also some persons besides myself in the kitchen, had eaten of them; saw Smith, the gardener, who had eaten some, he said he could not move his legs.  The boy could not swallow, and he said that he could scarcely see.  I had him removed to the kitchen fire, and in a few minutes he died.  Dr. Turnbull and myself then tried strong stimulants on Smith, the gardener, and opened the jugular vein; Speed was present; he said he had eaten of the fish.  Another servant, named Enderly, said he did not like them on tasting, and cast his away.  When the boy said he had eaten of the fish it first occurred to him that it must have been toad fish, and that what he had observed in the kitchen were of that description.

   On Friday I inspected the three bodies; putrefaction was fast going on, so much so that in the short space of two hours it was not possible for any person to recognize the individuals.  I made an internal examination on the body of the female child; there were non inflammatory symptoms.  On taking out the stomach I observed several small pieces of fish, part not digested.  From this inspection I was quite satisfied that the poison had acted on the nervous system so as to terminate life.  I took with me from the house to the hospital two of the fish I found in the kitchen, and one of the livers also, and then procured two cats, one old and the other young. I cut one fish to pieces, and threw it to the cats; they smelt at it repeatedly, but for some did not eat of it.  I had the other fish cooked, and placed whole on the floor; both the cats eat of it; in 30 minutes one of them began to vomit.  I then left them, and returned in two or three hours; the youngest animal had its extremities so paralysed that it could scarcely crawl.  The old one could neither stand nor move.  The pupils of the eyes appeared dilated - the tongues dry, and were making a moaning noise from the mouth, very similar to that made by the boy, just before his death.  I then injected 25 drops of arsenical solution into the stomach of the young one - in a few minutes it appeared to rouse the nervous system, and in a quarter of an hour it staggered about the room; in a day or two it became well.  The old cat died in the course of the afternoon after eating of the fish.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 11 January 1832

Annoyances to the Press. .  .  .  .   At the Coroner's Inquest upon the unfortunate Chapman, held at the "Cat and Mutton" tavern on Thursday evening, he was obliged, in consequence of arriving late, to take his notes at the window-ledge, instead of the table; and being thus exposed to the street, became the butt of their ridicule and insolence, in which they were actively encouraged by a constable of the name of Garfield.  So long as they confined themselves to words, the Reporter treated them with silent contempt; but being at length personally assaulted, he appealed to the Coroner for protection, at the same time charging Garfield with having encouraged rather than checked the disturbance; whereupon this same Mr. Garfield seized him by the collar, and, sans ceremonie, dragged him out of the room!


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 14 January 1832

   A melancholy event occurred on Sunday evening last.  Daniel M'Gorrie, an industrious well meaning man with a small family, formerly a corporal in the 40th regiment, since Christmas day had evinced distressing indications of insanity, and on Sunday evening it appears after having made an attempt on his own life by cutting his throat, he escaped from his friends and was missing until Thursday morning.  After a diligent search his body was then found in a rapid state of decay in the pond of the upper mill at the top of Collins street.

   [Editorial comment.] .  .  .  On Monday last, the 9th instant, an inquest was held before Mr. Anstey, Coroner, and a jury (Lieut. Espinase, of the 4th regiment of foot, foreman) on view of the body of Adam Briggs, one of Mr. Cassidy's tenants, in Gibbs' parish, in the district of Oatlands.  According to the evidence, the deceased was an honest and industrious man but unhappily inveterately addicted to dram drinking.  On the evening of Thursday the 5th instant he arrived at the Glen Kelman, Kitty's Corner, and was evidently under the influence of liquor.  He asked Mr. Hugh Cassidy for some rum; a glass was given to him.  He asked for another glass, and was refused.  Shortly after nightfall deceased roared our, "I am burnt, I am poisoned."  Mr. Cassidy jun. and others ran to the room where deceased was, and found that he had gone to the cupboard to look for rum, and laying hold of a bottle containing sulphuric acid, has applied it to his mouth, and before he discovered his mistake had swallowed enough of the fiery fluid to occasion his death on the following day.  The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."

   Dr. Hudspeth, the District Assistant Surgeon, who opened the body, deposed that the gulp of vitriol taken by the deceased could not have been less than an ounce!


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 14 January 1832

   The number of the fatal casualties particularised in the late Sydney papers is very remarkable, the coroners being to all appearance closely engaged in their painful duty of holding inquests.  One distressing case deserves to be mentioned of a poor woman named Mary Smith, whose body was found after ten weeks absence, in a putrid state in a sack at the bottom of a well.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 18 January 1832

   An inquest was convened last night at 6 o'clock before W. Lyttleton, Esq., Coroner, for the purpose of ascertaining how Elizabeth Fyles came to her death.  The deceased was the wife of the overseer to T. C. Climpson, Esq., and was found poisoned yesterday morning.  The verdict of the jury had not transpired when we went to press.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 25 January 1832

(From The Independent.)

   We regret exceedingly to have to record several instances of untimely death since our last publication.  Mr. Newman Williatt, the late Postmaster General for Launceston, died on Thursday last, in consequence of injuries sustained about a week ago, by two men, on the road to Norfolk Plains, who pulled him off his horse, and beat him in a dreadful manner, and it was with the greatest difficulty he contrived to reach his home.

  Another case is the melancholy death of Captain Rewcastle, of the Brenda, who met a watery grave by an act of suicide.  The first report of the painful occurrence was not credited, but a boat which came up the river this morning stamps it as but to true.

   The third is Mr. Jacobs, the master of the Fanny, on her way from this place to Circular Head, who was unfortunately knocked overboard by the main boom, when putting the vessel about.

   A few days ago, a man, whose name we have not learnt, was drowned at George Town. 

   A Coroner's Inquest was held on Tuesday evening on the body of Elizabeth Fyles, who died in consequence of taking corrosive sublimate.  A verdict was returned accordingly.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Pas.), 4 February 1832

   The body of the unfortunate soldier (Clink) that was drowned last week has been found and an inquest held upon it.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 8 February 1832

INQUEST. - On Monday an inquest was held on the body of a female in the service of Captain Barclay, before W. Lyttleton, Esq., coroner, and the Jury returned their verdict - Died by the visitation of God.


The Hobart own COURIER (Tas.), 18 February 1832

   Not a week is allowed to pass over our heads in this scene of drunkenness without some one or other appalling instance of its melancholy effects.  On Monday, John Lisher a private of the 57th regiment had indulged in the accustomed orgies of the demon to such a degree that the following morning he was found a corpse in his drunken bed.  An inquest was held on view of the body on Wednesday, at Mr. Whitaker's, Free-Mason's Tavern, Harrington-street, before Joseph Henry Moore, Esq., Coroner, when a verdict was returned by a most respectable jury of "died of apoplexy occasioned by drunkenness."


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 22 February 1832

AN INQUEST was held yesterday afternoon, before W. LYTTLETON, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of James Charge, as assigned servant to W. BRYAN, Esq. who died in consequence of having been run over by a dray which he was driving, while in a state of intoxication.  Verdict accordingly.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 10 March 1832

   The improvement in the moral condition of the people, which is now taking place throughout this colony, has been very prominently brought to light by the circumstances attending the death of the late Rev. Mr. Robinson, of New Norfolk. .  .  . In our brief statement of the particulars of his death in our last, we should have stated that even on the Saturday evening he felt himself seriously indisposed, Mrs. Robinson, notwithstanding the infirm state of her own health, watching and attending him during the whole of the night.  On the Sunday morning feeling himself a little better, his anxiety for the due performance of his sacred duty, induced him against his strength to go to Church, where he delivered a singularly impressive sermon, reminding his congregation of the shortness and uncertainty of life.  After the service feeling himself a little stronger he proceeded to Dr. Officer's where he dined, proceeding two miles further to the public school where he performed the afternoon's service.  On his return home however in the evening his illness returned upon him with increased force, affecting him with severe pains in his stomach, nothing that Mrs. Robinson could administer to him affording him the least relief.  On the Monday morning he continued to get worse, when Dr. Officer was sent for, who with his now afflicted widow continued by his bedside until it pleased providence to relieve him from this state of woe about 11 o'clock on Monday evening.

   An inquest was concluded on Thursday at Richmond, which lasted six days, on the body of George Grove, the flagellator, who had fallen or been thrown from the parapet of the bridge, a height of 27 feel, where he had laid himself down while drunk. [The HOBART TOWN COURIER, 15 June: The trial of John Colman, charged with the murder of George Grover, the later flagellator at Richmond, in throwing him over the Coal river bridge, is fixed to come on today in the Supreme Court.]


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 17 March 1832

   A truly distressing accident happened to the whaling ship Sophia, 419 tons, Captain Alcock, in December last. In latitude 31/2 south and 49 east, they fell in with several fish and killed 2.  The 1st and 2nd mate with ten men went in pursuit of the whales, in two boats, but from some cause not ascertained they never returned to the ship, although Captain Alcock cruised about the spot for 4 days in the vain hope of meeting with them.  He entered Table Bay, at the Cape, on the 28th Dec. to replace his officers and men.

   On Monday an inquest was held at the Jolly Sailor, in Campbell street, before Joseph Henry Moore, Esq. coroner, on the body of Thomas M'Manus, one of the Chelsea pensioners who recently came out on the new arrangement in the ship Science, verdict - died of apoplexy and mental affection.



WRECK OF THE BRENDA, with captain Rewcastle.


   On Friday last, about two o'clock in the day Mr. THOMSON's Stock-keeper was attracted to a particular spot on the river side, by the movement of the cattle, and on proceeding thither discovered the skeleton remains of a human Body, with a check shirt and a pair of fustian trowsers on, and having a lanyard of small rope round the back bones. - On mentioning the circumstances the remains were taken out of the river and conveyed to this town, where an inquest was held before W. LITTLETON, Esq. Coober, and from the evidence adduced, it was ascertained that the remains were those of the unfortunate young man Charles STEWART, who was drowned about nine or ten weeks ago. - Although the bones found were completely stripped of flesh, the identity of the young man was distinctly proved by the clothes, and the lanyard, which he used to wear round his waist, as well as by a rope which he took overboard with him when drowned; and also by a lock of hair attached to the scull which was proved to be of the same colour as STEWART's: - Verdict accordingly


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 14 April 1832

   The dreadful effects of drunkenness, in spite of every effort to avoid the painful subject are incessantly pressing themselves upon our observation.  On Monday an inquest was held on the body of Edward Maddox, a carter and lime burner, who after having been seen in a loathsome state of intoxication was found on Saturday night a hideous corpse on the roadside near the lime kiln.  His lips were livid and his face, probably from the manner in which he lay, had turned completely black.

   On Tuesday also an inquest was held at the Dusty Miller in Liverpool street, on the body of George Burrel, a plasterer, who in walking up the street the day before had sat himself down upon a wheelbarrow and suddenly fell over and expired. He was a habitual drunkard and his death as well as that of Maddox had evidently been induced by the wretched propensity.   [Editorial follows on remuneration of Coroners (and that of Hobart Town, Mr. Murray.]



DEATH BY DRINKING. - On Wednesday last an inquest was taken, before W. LYTTLETON, Esq., coroner, at Patterson's Plains, on view of the body of Richard EVANS, a free man, who died the preceding day.  It seems that the deceased and another man had been fighting, and had afterwards adjourned to a public house where he got so beastly drunk, that he died in consequence of suffocation. Verdict, died from the effects of excessive intoxication.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 5 May 1832

   Capt. Plunkett, of the Persian, we regret to say, enjoyed so bad health in England previous to his departure on the 26th Dec. that he was despaired of.  For the first two or three days of the voyage he seemed to recover, but afterwards relapsed, and died on the 5th Jan.  Mr. Friend, (nephew of Capt. Friend of the Wanstead), who succeeded to the command, wished to have interred the body at Madeira, but not being allowed to land it, he was compelled to consign it to the deep.

   An inquest was held yesterday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a little child named Martin, in Goulburn street, that was accidentally burned to death.

   On Thursday also, an inquest was held at Brighton before F. Roper, Esq. On the body of Patrick M'Carty, who expired from an asthmatic affection on the highroad the day previous.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 9 May 1832

   Is it true that at an inquest held by the Coroner on the body of a little girl, only six years of age, who was burned to death, (her clothes having accidentally caught fire,) .  .  .  [Editorial critical of the sexton, Mr. Bryant, who charged fifty shillings for the coffin.]



ANOTHER DEATH FROM DRUNKENNESS. - On Sunday last, a female servant of Dr. Lansdale's, met her death under the following awful circumstances. The unhappy woman had been out during the afternoon, and not returning, her master went in quest of her, sending a constable into the different public houses. While the Constable was absent, and the Doctor was waiting for him in Cimitiere-street, he observed a man carrying something in his arms.  The Doctor stopped him, and ascertained that it was his servant, as he thought in a beastly state of intoxication, when he desired the man to lay the woman down, and took him into custody.  When the constable returned, both were taken to the watch house, when the unhappy victim of drunkenness was found to have breathed her last.  An inquest was held on Tuesday, and the verdict was - Died in consequence of excessive drinking.



   An inquest was held on Saturday at Mr. Allport's at the Roadmarsh, before F. Roper, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Thomas Porter, who died of apoplexy in consequence of drinking ardent spirits.



THE VERDICT of the jury at the inquest, held on the remains of the two men, FITZGIBBON and KELLERMAN, found murdered at St. Paul's Plains, was wilful murder against JOHN TOWERS, (Free,) and JAMES FLETCHER, a crown prisoner.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 26 May 1832

   An inquest was held on Thursday, at Brighton, before F. Roper, Esq. on the body of oh M'Cafferty, a discharged veteran, who died suddenly of excessive drinking.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 1 June 1832

   We regret to record a melancholy and fatal accident which occurred to one of our whaling boats on Monday morning, a little after sunrise, off Betsey's Island.  Mr. Young with a crew of 5 men had gone in pursuit of a whale, but which upset the boat, and the second boat which should have followed and been in attendance in case of accident, having unadvisedly done after another whale, there was no relief at hand, and four out of the six men unfortunately perished.  Mr. Young with the other man was providentially rescued from death by a boat belonging to the Eagle which came up to their rescue just when exhaustion had gone so far that they could hold out no longer, and after being in the water upwards of 4 hours.  Three of the poor men who were drowned sunk praying for mercy while clinging to the boat, the fourth whose body was picked up it is singular never sunk at all, but lay floating on the water.  The body was brought to town and an inquest was held at the Commercial tavern before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on Wednesday.

   It is remarkable that the men who were drowned were all good swimmers, while the man who has been preserved with Mr. Young could not swim.  .  .  .



   An inquest was held at Brighton on Wednesday on the body of Jonathan Higginbottom, a private of the 4th regiment; verdict, Accidentally drowned.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 15 June 1832

[sleeping in the bush]    Last week, no less than two fatal instances of this occurred, and inquests were held on the bodies of the unfortunate men before W. T. Parramore, Esq. the Police Magistrate and Coroner of the Richmond District. 

   The one was on the body of a poor travelling tailor named William Kaye, better known by the name of the Diamond Merchant, from his bring curious in pebbles.  The inquest was held on Monday at the Hollow tree. The body was found on the Friday previous, lying at the door of a new house which was uninhabited and locked.  He had been out exposed to the cold rain the whole of the Thursday night.  He was without money, and for all that appeared, without friends, and the jury found that he died by the visitation of God through excessive cold.

    The other case was that of a soldier of the [63d], who was going from his station at the Carlton to Richmond, on Saturday the 26th of May.  It rained hard and he stopped on his journey for about half an hour at Orielton where he had some tea, but could not be persuaded to stop all night though the evening was drawing in.  After leaving Orielton he missed his way and was twice put right by persons whom he met on the road.  He had, it appeared, had two or three glasses of grog, but not enough to affect his senses of his walking if he had not lost himself.  His body was not found until the Wednesday morning after.  From the manner in which it was lying, it was concluded that he had laid himself down for the night and had been seized with the cold.  His blanket was under him, having one corner doubled up for a pillow.  The jury returned a verdict similar to that on the poor tailor.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 22 June 1832

   An inquest was held on Wednesday at the Birmingham Arms, Murray-st. before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Christopher Nagier, a brick-maker in the Public Works, who died suddenly on Monday evening in consequence of excessive drinking.  It did not appear in the evidence at what house the deceased had become intoxicated, but the Coroner stated in the open Court, that whenever he could find that a Publican allowed a prisoner of the Crown to drink to excess, he would direct an inflammation to be laid against him. Dr. Turnbull who was summoned as an evidence as to the probable immediate cause of the man's death, suggested the propriety in cases of accident, apoplexy or apparent death of immediately placing the body on a door or some other convenient instrument, and brining it as quickly as possible to the Hospital, where instant aid would be given, instead of occupying time in running to and fro for medical assistance, which owing to the pause of time might be obtained too late.  To this we may add that an eminent physician in London has recently recovered several subject apparently dead from excessive drinking or other causes, by dashing pailsfull of cold water on the head.



   An Inquest was held on Saturday, before W. Lyttleton, Esq. Coroner, on a view of the body of Henry Dempsey, a government boatman who met his death by drowning in the Tamar.  Verdict accordingly.


The Hobart Town COURIER (Tas.), 13 July 1832

   An inquest was held on Wednesday at the Union Tavern, Argyle-street, before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Francis  Wilson, who died in the Colonial Hospital on Sunday morning, in con sequence of swallowing a phial full of laudanum the evening before.  The stomach pump, warm bath, friction, and the usual remedies were used with every diligence and anxiety, but without effect.  The unhappy man was a printer in the  

Employment of Dr. Ross, at the COURIER Office, and since his arrival in the colony, a period of three years that he had been in his service, had all along evinced a very sullen, and at times, especially when under the influence of drink, to which he was much addicted, a very wild and ungovernable temper, so as to undue those who knew him, to doubt the soundness of his intellect.

   The jury wished it to be made public, that no druggist should dispose of medicines or dugs of such a nature or quantity, as to cause death of taken as a draught, without the signature of a respectable householder, or licensed medial practitioner.  In this instance the poor man had produced an order, (without date), signed 'R. Darby,' but which one of the witnesses, proved to be in the deceased's own handwriting.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 17 July 1832

   Is it true that one of the Deep Gully road party was found dead in his hut one day last week, and that the overseer reported the circumstance to the nearest Coroner?  As soon as that Officer had found a day suited to his purpose, he set out, but when he arrived at the spot to hold the Inquest the body was found to be rather in a decomposed state; that trifling circumstance, together with the difficulty of procuring a Jury - the distance to any station at which lunch could be procured - the cold and wet - the utter senselessness of making  enquiry on such a "subject," induced the Coroner to order the body to be at once consigned to its mother earth without a "Crowner's Quest" - .  .  .


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 7 August 1832

   An inquest was held on the 1st instant, at Muddy-plains, before W. T. Parramore, Esq. Coroner, and a respectable jury; a  young man of weak intellect, named Joseph Carter, aged 18, had the day before been found drowned in the Pipe clay Lagoon; a verdict to that effect was as a matter of course returned.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 21 August 1832

   On Saturday an inquest was held at the Military barracks, on the body of Patrick Lyon, a private of the 63rd regiment, who was found drowned in the Hobart Town creek. - Verdict accordingly.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 31 August 1832

   An inquest was held on Saturday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Joseph Massey, a prisoner in the Penitentiary, who met his death by accidentally falling down the draw well in the yard the previous morning.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 9 October 1832

   On Thursday night last, about half-past eleven o'clock, an alarm was given that a man had hung himself under the verandah of Messrs. Woods, the kinsman's, opposite the Ship Inn, the rain was falling in torrents at the rime the deed was discovered.  On cutting the body down, it was found to be quite dead, and was immediately taken to the hospital.   The unfortunate turned out to be an old man, of the name of Cooper, an itinerant tinman, formerly a resident at Sandy Bay, and well known to many of our readers; he had long been thought insane, and for some time was an inmate of the hospital at New Norfolk, but frequently absented himself without any person knowing the reason.  In order to effect his self-destruction, he got a house-pail, and standing upon it, adjusted his neckerchief round his neck, and making it fast to a beam of the verandah, kicked the pail away.  When found suspended, his feet were within an inch of the ground.  A Coroner's inquest was held upon the body of Saturday, when the Jury returned a Verdict, "That the deceased hanged himself in a fit of temporary derangement."


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 1 November 1832

   On Thursday last, an Inquest was held in this town, before W. LYTTLETON, Esq., coroner, on view of the body of a young man, named FRANKLIN, who put a period to his existence on the preceding evening, by firing through his heart.  The deceased, it is supposed, had been some time labouring under a fit of jealousy, which led him to commit the rash act.  He had enquired at the different shops in the town during the day, for bullets, which failing to procure, he retired to his lodgings; and having loaded a gun very heavily with buck shot, and attached a loop of string, into which he introduced his foot, to the trigger, he put his breast to the mouth of the piece and effected his fatal purpose. - Verdict Felo de se.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.),

.  .  .  Another, is the case of a woman in the Colonial Hospital, now deceased, and upon whose case a consultation of medical men was held, in the presence of whom yesterday, a post mortem examination of the body took place, when the fatal and irredeemable disease with which she was suffering (cancer), and for the relief of which she had been under medical treatment, became apparent.  .  .  . 


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 23 November 1832

On Wednesday last, the 14th inst., Mr. Anstey held an inquest at Bothwell, on view of the body of James M'Clure, a private soldier in H.M. 63rd regt. of foot, who was found dead on the preceding day on the high road leading from Bothwell to the Shannon.  He had a large sum horn round his neck, and it was thought he had drank a large quantity of it, after which he lay down, and being a very rainy day it is supposed he perished in consequence of wet and cold.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 30 November 1832

   An inquest was held on Wednesday on the death of Sarah Arnett, a Jewess, the wife of a chair-maker at Kangaroo Point, who being subject to fits, was found dead in bed.  Mr. Row who attended was prevented by the form of the Jewish religion from opening the body in order to give evidence as to the immediate cause of her death, until the Coroner decided that it would be so.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 7 December 1832

   An inquest was held at the Scotch Thistle, on Wednesday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, touching the death of Thomas Brown, one of the pensioners lately arrived, who hanged himself in a fit of insanity.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 14 December 1832

   An inquest was held last week at Oatlands before T. Anstey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a child which was found on the borders of the Jordan, sewed up in a blanket, having to all appearances been in the water some time.

   An inquest was held on Friday night last at Brighton, before F. Roper, Esq. on the death of John Hodson, an assigned servant who died suddenly the day before.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 27 December 1832

AN Inquest was held on Thursday last at the Court House, before M. L. SMITH, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of a man who died the previous evening from the effects of a blow; which the jury found to have been inflicted with a paling, by one M'Mahon, a private soldier of the 63rd regiment.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 3 January 1833

   On Monday last an inquest was held on the bodies if two men, GEORGE SHWARTZ and PHILIP MATHEWS, who were drowned crossing the North Esk in a small punt.  The men were intoxicated. Verdict - Accidentally drowned.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 18 January 1833

   It is with very sincere compassion and regret, we this week record a fatal and melancholy accident that happened on Wednesday in the family of Mr. Boyd, chief clerk of the police-office.  The children of that gentleman happened to be playing about his new building on the New-town road, when a beautiful little boy not two years of age, fell from a height of 5 feet from the ground, and was so hurt as to survive the accident only two hours.   .  .  .

   Last week while some men were clearing a piece of ground near the Brown mountain, a free taking a direction unawares, fell upon one of the workman, and killed him on the spot.

   An inquest was held last week before W. T. Parramore, Esq., coroner of the Richmond district, on the body of a poor man who hanged himself near Break-neck hill, (ominous name) in a fit of despondency.    Another man, a prisoner who saw the body cut down, touched as it were with the singular infection, made a similar attempt upon his own life, from which he was with difficulty rescue d.

   The number of suicides that periodically take place among the prisoner class in this colony, replies but in too strong terms to the arguments of those uninformed persons at home who suppose that transportation to Van Diemen's Land is no punishment !


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 22 January 1833

   A Correspondent of the Tasmanian makes the following strange communication in regard to the manner in which Mr. Moore, the only paid Coroner of the colony, earns his Two guineas.  We ourselves abstain from comment, as well as the writer who thus brings the affair before the public; indeed, it may truly be said to require no comment, being rich enough in this respect, within itself:-

Mr. EDITOR, - I submit to the public through your columns, the following facts without comment.  A few days ago a fine little boy was unfortunately burnt to death by his clothes taking fire, during the momentary absence of the mother - the father, being a labouring man, was at his work.  The cottage in which these poor people (John and Eliza Wood) reside, is near the Factory.  Mr. Moore, the Coroner, ordered an inquest to be held at the public-house of Mr. Haskell, half-way between his own house, and the office which he possesses as Collector of Internal revenue. But instead of proceeding to view the body where it lay, he sent a constable to fetch the mangled remains of the poor child to the public-house.  The parents resisted to the utmost of their power, but the constable's orders being positive, the father wrapped the body of his child in a piece of calico, and conveyed it in his arms to the Publix-house, where he delivered it up, and returned to his afflicted wife; and Mr. Moore, after he had concluded his inquest, sent his remains back to the parents by one of his constables. .  .  .

   We regret much to say that, On Thursday last, Mr. Boyd lost a beautiful little boy, only two years old, by a fall at his new building, which caused so violent a concussion of the brain, that the child only survived two hours.  A Coroner's Jury was immediately summoned. Verdict - Accidental Death..


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 1 February 1833

   An inquest was held at the Green Point on Friday last, before F. Roper, Esq. Coroner, on the body of one of Mr. Steel's servants, who had been killed by the upsetting of a bullock cart on the previous day.  Deodand on the cart and bullock 25s.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER, 8 February 1833

   Another of those truly painful and humiliating instances of intoxication occurred last week in a brickmaker's hut in the upper part of Argyle-street.  A labourer had come into the hut, which appears to have been a rendezvous of drunken and depraved characters, between six and seven o'clock in the evening in a state of intoxication, but bringing with him a bottle of rum, which having been partaken of by the persons present, he laid himself down to sleep, using the horrible exclamation "God strike me dead, but I will lie down and die." His aspiration was awfully verified, for he fell into a slumber, from which he never awoke.

   An inquest was held on the body on Saturday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, at which Mr. Crowther attended, who gave in evidence that the wretched man had died of serous apoplexy, from the effects of intoxication. The Coroner took occasion very severely to caution and reprimand a ticket of leave man who happened to be in the hut at the time, and who holding the indulgence from the Government which he did, ought to have known better than to have permitted himself to have been seen in such company, or to have at all sanctioned their proceedings with his presence, or participated in them.

   Another inquest was held on Monday on the body of a young woman named Margaret Pendergast, an inmate of the insane ward of the colonial hospital, who hanged herself in the cord of the strait jacket with which she had been confined.  She was 21 years of age.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 14 February 1833

   Another death has occurred here during the week by drowning. - The body of a young man lately in the employ of Mer. Reed, on the Tamar, was brought up in a boat on Sunday, and a coroner's inquest convened on Monday, returned a verdict of Accidental Death.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 15 February 1833

   A distressing and fatal accident happened on board the Gulmare during a violent gale on her voyage out.  A heavy cask suddenly broke from its fastenings during the night, sand bursting through a partition, fell on two of the young yeoman sent out from the parish of Lambeth, as they were lying in bed and asleep, and awful to relate, killed them on the spot.   .  .  . 

   An inquest was held on Monday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a prisoner of the Crown named Mills, employed as a transcribing clerk in the Principal Superintendent's office, who was found drowned in the river a little distance from the shore off Macquarie-point on Sunday morning last.  It appeared that on the morning on being let out at the usual hour from the prisoners' barracks, he had gone to take a short walk as he said, but although his clothes were on the beach with a stone upon them, apparently placed by the unfortunate man to keep the wind from blowing them away, and the body was found as if he had been bathing, with no part of his dress on but his boots, as if to keep the stones from hurting his feet; those who knew him best, had strong suspicions that he had an intention to drown himself.  He had for some time past evinced a very desponding manner, and been constantly addicted to drinking, that feeling was probably accelerated by that ruinous habit.  About 3 years ago ha had made an attempt on his life, which he was prevented at the time from carrying into effect.

    As indeed remarked on a former occasion the number of suicides among the prisoners sent to this colony, is too melancholy a proof of the severity of transportation, which compels so many to seek an end of their miseries in the grave.  These are facts in truth which cannot be too strongly or too often reiterated in the ears, not only of our friends at home, but of the ministers of government down to the lowest criminal in the island. .  .  . 


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 1 March 1833

   An inquest was held yesterday at the Fox inn, Glenorchy, before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a lad named Mathew Cellar, aged 17, an assigned servant to Mr. Mills, the coach proprietor, who being employed felling a tree on Tuesday last, unfortunately allowed it to fall upon him and he was killed on the spot.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 15 March 1833

   We last week recorded the awful example afforded to drunkards in the truly distressing end of the late poor Mr. George Laing, the butcher, who died in gaol insolvent and insane, and we regret extremely to add in our present number the still more tragical death from a similar cause, of a no less useful member of the community, Mr. James Wood, the mason and builder, with whom most of our country readers are well acquainted.   He had recently been employed in erecting a dwelling for Mr. Lancester, at the Hunting ground, and having received a payment, we believe of 40 l., as the work advanced, he came to town and indulged in dissipation, until reason completely deserted him.  He however found his way back, but only in time to make another journey from home.  After being absent about two days his friends went in search of him, and he was found almost in a state of nudity in the bush, with his feet cut and torn in a shocking manner by the rocks and stones he had run over.  He was gradually restored, but was still so violent that his friends found it necessary to endeavour to secure him and to tie his hands to prevent him from doing mischief.  He surfside them however with a burst of maniac rage, and with a great knife which he happened to get hold of, before they could be aware, gave himself two tremendous cuts across the throat, by which his head was nearly severed from his shoulders, and he was almost instantly a corpse.

   An inquest was held at the Union Tavern on Wednesday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a poor man named Richard Parry, who was employed with others at the new wharf in blasting the rock.  Being disappointed in the explosion not going off when he expected, after having twice charged it, and finding it difficult to extract it, he at last became so impatient, though strongly cautioned by his fellow workman, as to use part of the gudgeon of a wheelbarrow instead of the proper instrument, and in his eagerness he applied his pickaxe, which striking into the rock produced a spark that ignited the gunpowder while he was immediately over the spot.  He was reduced to a shacking spectacle, both his hands being blown off, dreadfully maimed in many parts of his body, and a large piece of the rock having entered his breast, which was the immediate cause of his death.  Four or five others, who were near him at the time, were seriously hurt but are likely to recover.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 26 March 1833

   On Thursday last, a Coroner's inquest was held on the body of a man named Pierce, who previously to obtaining his ticket of leave was employed in the office of the Inspector of Roads. Ever since Pierce obtained his last indulgence, he has addicted himself to drink, and the numerous warnings given him b y his former master, appeared to him nothing in comparison with the delights of intoxication. His body was found in the Derwent, no great distance from Government Garden, his clothes were on, but the body was badly eaten away on the right side by the fish; this man was formerly in the naval pay office; soon after his arrival in this Colony, he was sent to Maria Island, where his conduct was exemplary in the extreme; in a small patch of ground he cultivated the tobacco plant to perfection in this Colony.  It is not known whether Pierce met his death accidentally, or otherwise.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 29 March 1833

   Yesterday an inquest was held before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of George Priggins, formerly employed as clerk in the colonial hospital who has been free about 18 months.  He had fallen into the excavation at the top of Argyle-street, (where so many accidents have already occurred) in the dark of Tuesday evening, and was from the nature of the place and depth of water unfortunately drowned.  We trust the proper authorities, will not lose a single day in putting a barrier round this dangerous place, for it is beyond all description disgraceful that it should have remained an absoluter trap to passengers so long.



   An inquest has been held upon the body of the unfortunate youth, F. N. Westcott, Captain Langdon's nephew; found since the publication of our last number.  Coroner, W. Lyttleton, Esq. Verdict, - Accidentally drowned.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 5 April 1833

   A painful duty devolves upon us, that of recording a most deplorable and distressing event, which happened on Wednesday morning to a fine youth, twelve years of age, the nephew of Lieut. Langdon, R.N., commander of the Thomas Laurie.  Frederick Walter Westcott, only son of Thomas Pottinger Westcott, Esq., of Granby-hall, Clifton, (late Attorney-General of Newfoundland,) was proceeding to the Cataract in a boat, when he accidentally fell overboard and was drowned.  Every boat from the different ships in the harbour, with creepers and drags, repaired instantly to the spot, and some natives of the Sandwich Islands continued diving for several hours, but without success.

   The Thomas Laurie's long-boat had an eighteen pounder placed in her, and fired over every few yards of that part of the river where he sunk, and Mr. Flexham, a passenger by that vessel, with two medical gentlemen who kindly attended, continued the whole day dragging for the body. This melancholy accident has placed Mr. and Mrs. Langdon in the greatest distress, in which they have the unfeigned sympathy of their numerous friends and acquaintances in this colony, to all of whom he was known and remarked as a noble-minded promising youth. LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER.

   To this distressing narrative we have the melancholy duty to add, that the body of the unfortunate youth was found on Monday near the spot where Capt. Langdon fired the shots, in exactly the same state, untouched by the fish or anything else as when it sunk on the Wednesday previous.  A vault was preparing for its reception in Launceston church-yard, where it was to be interred agreeably to the wishes of the afflicted relatives.

   An inquest was held on Monday before J. H. Moore,. Coroner, on the body of Mr. Richard Haimes, formerly settler at the Teatree brush, who was killed on the Saturday previous, at Sandy Bay, while endeavouring to catch a horse, that unfortunately gave him a violent kick in the head, which nearly separated it from the body.  Verdict accordingly. Mr. Haimes was a very honest industrious man, and has left a widow and a numerous family of children to deplore his loss.



ON TUESDAY last a man on his way from Launceston to Norfolk Plains with a loaded cart, when a few miles from town, fell, and was killed on the spot, by the wheel passing over him.  His death was, we hear, accidental, but we have not the particulars of the coroner's inquest.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 3 May 1833

   On Monday night as a free man named Solomon Farr, was returning with a bullock-cart from this town to Norfolk Plains, the cart was driven with some violence against the stump of a tree in the neighbourhood of Muddy Plains, by which means the unfortunate man was thrown from the cart, and falling upon his head, died a few minutes after.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 3 May 1833

 An inquest was held on Monday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Mrs. Roberts, (daughter of Mrs. Campbell, formerly of the Highlander, Macquarie-street) who was married not many months ago, and who died in consequence of premature labour, occasioned by a fall.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 21 May 1833

   Ain inquest was held on Saturday last at Mr. Williamson's, spirit dealer, Elizabeth street, on the body of Mr. James Gow, hosier, residing in the same street, who was found dead in his bed on the morning of that day.

   On our reporter entering the room, which was at three o'clock (the hour appointed to hold the inquest), a number of respectable shop-keepers were present, who, after some time had elapsed, evinced a great uneasiness at the absence of Mr. Moore, the coroner, observing "that he was paid for his attendance, and ought to be punctual," whereas, they were tradesmen, and could not be withheld from their busies.  At twenty-two minutes past three, they unanimously agreed to separate, and on entering the street, they were met by the coroner, who said that the cause of his absence was owing to his having to make some necessary enquiry connected with the business for which they were summoned; some of the gentlemen retired, whist others re-entered the room, and after a shirt time had elapsed, a sufficient number being then present, they were sworn, and retired to view the body.

   On again entering the room, wherein the inquest was held, Mr. James Caldwell was  sworn, who stated that he had been on terms of intimacy with the deceased; that scarcely a day passed in which he had not seen him; that he had  been in the deceased's shop on the previous evening, between eight and nine o'clock, conversing with him; that he appeared quite healthy and cheerful; had known him to complain of a pain across his chest about three months previous, but not latterly; that he had sent home a considerable sum of money by his wife, who sailed in the Lavinia; and that he laboured under no pecuniary embarrassment.

   John Birch, knew the deceased since witness came to the Colony, which was in December last; never heard him complain of illness; thought he was rather depressed in spirits since his wife went home, but to no great extent; slept in deceased's house the last three nights past; on the previous night supped with him; they had some cold mutton, bread, and a bottle of porter; they had no spirits; the deceased eat hearty and complained of no illness; he retired to bed at eleven o'clock.  Witness rapped at his bed-room door next morning, at about seven, and receiving no answer, in about ten minutes he rapped again, and all being silent, he became alarmed, and sent in the servant woman, who screamed on entering the bed-room; he then called in Mr. Mill, the apothecary, who declared him to be dead; the body was still warm.

   Mr. Crowther, who examined the body after it had been viewed by the Jury, stated that he was surgeon to the deceased; that on viewing the brain it appeared to be in an unhealthy state; that there was water on the right and left side of the chest, and that the heart of the deceased was enlarged, it was twice its natural size, and that he was of opinion the deceased came to his death from cerus apoplexy, produced by an enlargement of the heart.

   The coroner having summed up the evidence, the Jury found, "That the deceased died by the visitation of God, from cerus apoplexy."


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 4 June 1833

   An inquest was held by J. H. Moore, the coroner, at the George and Dragon, in Elizabeth street, on Thursday last, touching the death of Mrs. Agnes Wilson, the late proprietor of the lodging-house, who was found dead upon her bed, about 1 o'clock the preceding day.  Dr. Lloyd, who was called in to view the body, by the friends of the deceased, shortly after her death, gave it as his opinion, that she expired in a fir of Apoplexy - the foreman and the jurors having expressed themselves perfectly satisfied, a Verdict to that effect was recorded.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 23 July 1833

   Yesterday, a coroner's inquest was held at the Waterloo Tavern, on the body of a woman found drowned on Sunday.  It appeared from the evidence adduced, that the deceased was the wife of a soldier, and that she gained her livelihood by washing.  She was on board the Government brig in the harbour on Saturday - that was the last time since she was seen alive - there were several suspicious circumstances which weighed on the minds of the Jury, none of which it would be prudent for us here to name.  The Jury, after mature consideration, delivered a verdict of - Found drowned.

   The unfortunate woman met her death in one of the small pools close under Government House, formed by the new road leading from the New to the Old Jetty - the water was not two feet deep - when discovered, she must have been in the water some hours.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 23 July 1833

To the Editor of the COLONIAL TIMES.

SIR, - We have had a great deal of outcry in our District, on account of there being no Coroner within twenty-five miles, or, we might say, nearer to us than Hobart Town.  There have been several deaths which ought most assuredly to have had inquests sat upon them; but for the want of a Corner, the bodies have been interred without that most necessary investigation. 

   A servant girl, in the employ of Captain Fenton, drowned herself some week or ten days since, and busy and ill-natured rumour reported many things, which an investigation of a Coroner's Inquest would have immediately cleared up.  Some said the girl was found by some of the men belonging to the establishment, some few hours after having made away with herself, and that the men, refusing to take her out of the water, tethered her by the neck to a tree, leaving her in that state till the floor, which was then in the river, fell and left her high and dry on the bank.  That, in that state, she remained till a coffin could be procured, into which she was [placed, and then left for some days on the very spot she was found - that the Magistrates wrote to all parts of the country for a Coroner, but none came, and the body was at length in such a state, that two or three Magistrates assembled and took down the evidence, and then ordered the burial of the deceased. This, Mr. Editor, is the version generally given to this affair.  It surely cannot be imagined, that any human being would have tethered the body in the manner described, and yet, owing to the want of a Coroner, such reports get circulated, and there are no means of contradicting them.

   Mr. Moore, the Hobart Town Coroner, did attend at New Norfolk the other day, after being repeatedly sent for.  The case he investigated, was that of the death of a man, who is supposed to have had more liquor than was wholesome; and who it appears from the evidence, fell down dead on the spot, in the very act of cursing the landlady of the house, because she refused to give him more liquor. But, Mr. Editor, the length of time which had elapsed before the Coroner could be procured, and then the jury was such, that when the medical gentlemen were called in to give their opinion as to the cause of death, they found it impossible to say, whether the deceased met his death from intoxication, or otherwise.

   Do, pray, write some article on the absolute necessity of having a Coroner appointed to the District - and, if it would not be too much, we might, perhaps, ask without giving offence, that a Police Magistrate should be appointed, who could remain in the District, and who would not be obliged to leave a gaol full of people, because his military duty required him elsewhere.

I am, Sir, &c.  OXONIAN.  New Norfolk, July 21, 1833.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER Tas.), 2 August 1833.

   An inquest was held yesterday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body the infant child of John Ragan, a shoemaker in Campbell street.  Verdict - death by accident arising from gross neglect of the former whilst in a state of drunkenness.

   We regret to record the painful and premature death of Mrs. Young, of the Infant School, in consequence of the fright from fire and premature labour occasioned by it a few weeks ago.  The unfortunate lady expired on Wednesday to the unspeakable grief of her afflicted husband, and every one to whom she was known. [see 16 August below.]


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 16 August 1833

   An inquest was held before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, at New Norfolk, on Tuesday, on the body of a fine lad named Wheeler, about 15 years of age, who with his younger brother had been employed in burning down a tree, but which in falling to the ground crushed the poor boy to death.

   The little orphan child of the late Mrs. Young, of the Infant School, which had been kindly adopted and nursed by Mrs. R. L. Murray, notwithstanding every care and attention, expired on Saturday last.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 23 August 1833

   An inquest was held yesterday on the remains of a soldier who had fallen over the bridge in barrack-st. and so fractured his skull that he survived only two days.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 13 September 1833

   We have been kindly favoured with a copy of the inquest on the late Mrs. Thomas, at Richmond, but as we have already recorded the melancholy occurrence, and the report now sent has appeared verbatim in another journal, we forbear to insert it.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 4 October 1833

   An inquest was held last week before F. Roper, Esq. on the death of Charles Rush, a prisoner in the employment of Capt. Wood, who died suddenly.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 17 October 1833

   A few says since in a quarrel between two men, on the road to Perth, near the Magpie Hill, one struck the other with some severe blows with an axe-handle; the effects of which, it is said, caused his death.  An inquest sat on #Tuesday, which was adjourned for 10 days, in consequence of the illness of a female, a principal witness.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 18 October 1833

   Two inquests were held at Brighton last week, before F. Roper, Esq. on the bodies of James Tickner and James Grabbit, who died suddenly by the visitation of God.


The LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 31 October 1833

   The adjourned inquest on the body of Richd. Tyrrell, whose death we gave some days ago, was held at the Court-house yesterday, before W. Lyttleton, Esq. the coroner, and the jury returned a verdict of "Manslaughter" against Henry Tillen, an assigned servant to Roderick M'Donald, of the Magpie Hill.

   A man named Thomas Whitbread, was picked up in a state of intoxication, on Sunday, and conveyed to the Colonial hospital, in this town, where he breathed his last on Monday morning, notwithstanding the prompt and unwearied attention of the medical officers of the establishment.

     A very melancholy case of drowning occurred on the Tamar, on Friday last. - The Countess Dunmire, from London, was met by a boat from the town, in which was a man, named O'Neill, an industrious individual, formerly watchman at the Cornwall Bank, who was proceeding on board the ship, to see his children, accompanied by his daughter, a fine girl of 17, a soldier, and the soldier's wife.  When within a short distance of the vessel, the dangerous situation of the boat, which was then mid-channel, fell in the vessel's course, was observed by the pilot and officers of the ship, whop shouted to the persons in the boat, without effect, and the ship soon afterwards went over them, and left them astern struggling in the water.  Three succeeded in gaining a hold of the boat; but the poor young female sunk to rise no more.  Several baits plying on the river, were immediately on the spot, and picked up the survivors, who were conveyed on board the Dunmore.

   The body of the girl as found on Monday, and a coroner's inquest, which was called on Tuesday, returned a verdict of "accidentally drowned."


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 5 November 1833

  The inquest that had sat upon the body of the man who was murdered on the Sand Hill road, again met on Tuesday, when a verdict of "manslaughter" was returned.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 6 December 1833

   An inquest was held last week at Oatlands on the body of Thomas Rogers, who was found dead on Bowman's farm near Colebrooke vale. - Verdict, died by the visitation of God.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 23 January 1834

   An inquest was held on Tuesday, on view of the body of Angus M'Donald, who was found drowned in the Tamar, on the 290th inst.  It was reported the deceased had his throat cut, but no evidence to that effect was produced, and the Jury returned a verdict of Accidentally Drowned.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 24 January 1834

   Notwithstanding the repeated melancholy and fatal accidents which we have from time to time had the pain to record, the same carelessness in felling trees, we are sorry to say still continues.  Last week a poor man named John Toole, employed in the Spring Hill road gang, was reported to Mr. Anstey, the Coroner at Oatlands, as being killed by the fall of a tree.  Just however as that gentleman has issued his precept for an inquest, it became known that Toole was still alive having only had his lower jaw severely fractured in the centre of the chin, and one of his ears torn off by a ,limb of the tree.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 31 January 1834

   An Inquest was held on Monday, on the body of a man named Angus Macdonald, who fell overboard and was drowned, in consequence of a boat hook staff breaking while in the act of shoving a boat from the shore.  Verdict accordingly. - Ibid. [Launceston Independent?]


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 7 March 1834

   Two inquests were held this week, the one on an unfortunate prisoner in the hulk chain gang, who was one of several others employed in digging away the bank at the new wharf, but having undermined the superstratum by excavating too much, the bank suddenly fell down and a large stone imbedded in it so bruised him in the back and loins as to cause his death, after lingering a few days in great pain in the hospital.

   The other was employed in blasting rock on the premises of the Rev. Mr. Conolly, and the explosives going off before he was prepared, he was hit by two portions of the stone in the throat and neck, the one obstructing the great ascending vessel from the heart and the other that of the opposite descending one in such a manner as to stop the circulation.  This poor man also lingered in great bodily pain some days in the hospital, though in the opinion of the surgeons who examined the body, the more immediate cause of his death was a diseased liver.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.) 18 April 1834

   An inquest was held on Tuesday before J. H. Moore, Esq., Coroner, on the body of Mr. William Eldridge, the late druggist of Elizabeth street, who died of apoplexy, while a prisoner for debt in the gaol.  Mr. Eldridge had for the last two or three years been subject to fits of a similar nature.

   A [verdict] was also held on the previous Saturday, before the same coroner, at the White Conduit House inn, in Liverpool-street, on the body of a little child aged four years, named Lazarus, which had been unhappily burned to death.  The child's sister having got up in the morning to light the fire, the little sufferer had gone to warm itself, and standing near was amusing itself with a bit of string, which having set fire to at one end, it permitted to communicate to its bedgown.  The whole was consumed to the neck before the mother discovered it, the poor thing not crying out from first to last, nor appearing to suffer bodily pain till it died next day.



   A MOST diabolical murder was committed at Norfolk Plain, on Monday last, at the farm lately occupied by Lieut. DYBALL, T.N. The victim, a respectable old female, the mother of Mr. HOWELL, the individual who hired the Estate of Mr. DUBALL on that gentleman's departure for England.  We have not the details before us; but from what we can learn, on the first alarm it was said the murder was committed by BRITTON's party; who, after tying the hands of the assigned servants, proceeded to plunder the house; and experiencing some opposition from Mrs. HOWELL, (the only free person at home, her son being absent in Launceston,) they immediately shot her dead.  Since the first report, we hear it rumoured that the hour of the day, (between 2 and 3 in the afternoon) at which time the murder took place; as well as the exposed situation of the dwelling-house, in a thickly populated neighbourhood, tends in some measure to throw doubt upon the truth of BRITTON's gang being the murderers.  We under stand a coroner's inquest on the body has returned a verdict of "wilful murder by some person or persons unknown."


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 9 May 1834

   A distressing and fatal accident happened at Kangaroo point on Monday.  A poor man named John Brown, who used to get his livelihood by buying produce on the other side of  the Derwent and bringing it over for sale in Hobart own, had embarked in one of the passage boats and had reached the opposite side where he requested to be landed at the steam boat wharf.  In getting out of the boat, however, the logs which formed the side of the wharf being round and he not being able to get a good hold, he fell in and was unfortunately drowned.  It was evident; however, as appeared at the inquest, which was held on Tuesday, before J. H. Moore, Esq., that he might have been rescued, had there been more than one man in the passage boat in which he had come over as without more assistance the boatman was unable to get to his relief in time.   [Continues with editorial comment.]


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 23 May 1834

   An inquest was held last week, before W. H. Glover, Esq. Coroner at Richmond, on the body of a prisoner in the Risdon road gang, who dropped down a corpse in the midst of his labour.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 17 June 1834

Friday, June 13, 1834

Before His Honor the Chief Justice, and a Military Jury.

   Benjamin Davidson, William Hurtop, and Henry Street, were placed at the bar, charged with the wilful murder of Ann Howell, on the 5th of May last, at Norfolk Plains. [John Curtis admitted as evidence for the Crown.] .  .  .  . Mrs. Howell was then sitting in the parlour, with her side towards the door, and with the door open.  Davidson pointed the musquet through the door, and short Mrs. Howell. .  .  .  . As soon as Mr. Saltmarsh arrived, the premises were searched, and Mrs. Howell found dead, with a short through her breast. .  .  .


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 20 June 1834


.  .  .  . Mr. Cook, the surgeon, who examined the body after the murder, and was one of the jury on the inquest, stated that the ball had entered under the right shoulder blade bone, touched one of the ribs, and had come out just above the left breast, having gone through the body and causing instant death. .  .  .  .


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 27 June 1834

   We observe with much pleasure the gratifying result of the public meetings at Oatlands and Campbell town, to consider the merits of Mr. Robinson in removing the hostile blacks.  At Oatlands, Mr. Anstey in the course of his address in moving the first resolution, mentioned the appalling fact that in his office of coroner for that single district, he had held no fewer than 28 inquests on the bodies of that number of persons, men, woman, and children, murdered by the blacks. .  .  .  . 


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 4 July 1834

   A melancholy suicide took place on Sunday evening, in the case of a young man named Barfoot, a carpenter, who arrived in the colony about a year ago.  He had lived for the last few months at Mr. Ludgater's in Goulburn street.  He had gone out in the morning to amuse himself with shooting on the neighbouring hills, and on his return in the evening from some unhappy delusion, arising out of a harmless mistake and consequent untoward misunderstanding, deliberately shot himself with a pistol in the abdomen, from the effects of which he lingered in great pain until 11 next morning, when death relieved him.  He was only 21 years of age, and expressed himself before his death in grateful terms of the kind conduct and attention (as indeed appeared on the inquest) uniformly afforded him by every members of Mr. Ludgater's family.  The jury which was highly respectable, took unusual pains to investigate the case, and in returning the verdict, particularly requested the coroner Mr. Moore to note the above satisfactory circumstances.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 18 July 1834

   An inquest was held last week on the body of a black man, an assistant cook on board the Clyde, whose body was found dried up in the hold of the vessel, lying beside a spirit cask, having been some days missing.

   An inquest was also held at Jerusalem on the body of Benjamin Parkes who was found dead in his hut.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 1 August 1834

   An inquest was held in the parish of Somerton, Oatlands, on Saturday, before T. Anstey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Mrs. Austen.  The husband, who formerly kept the Golden Cross, Hobart town, had quitted the colony and left his unfortunate wife without provision.  She had, unhappily, in keeping the public house, become so addicted to spirituous liquors that she had for some time abandoned herself wholly to drunkenness.  Mrs. Bishop, of Somerton parish, with whom she resided, had for the last two or three months prevented her from indulging in the ruinous habit, but on opening the body it was too apparent that the poison with which the stomach had been so plentifully charged had too well performed its office.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 8 August 1834

   An inquest was held on Monday, before J. H. Moore, Esq. coroner, on the body of John Brophy, a corporal in the 21st Fusiliers, the circumstances attending whose death have occasioned considerable public interest.  About the 16th of last month, the small Government vessel Porpoise was despatched up the river with stores, &c., under charge of the deceased with a private.  The vessel anchored in the river opposite the Powder magazine in the Domain, and some of the crew having, previous to the soldiers, going on board, drawn off about 8 gallons of spirits belonging to the stores, had placed it in a smaller boat astern of the other.  The crews of both boats then began to regale themselves with the spirits thus purloined, and induced the soldiers to join them, when all on board got very drunk.  In order to make room for the stores consisting mainly of bale goods, the bedding of the soldiers was placed upon the packages, the coxswain having for his own accommodation and that of a female whom he had permitted to go on board, reserved the cuddy to himself.  Next morning the corporal was missing, but the vessel proceeded on its voyage without making any report, although within 50 yards of the sentry at the Magazine.  At Bridgewater the coxswain reported that the corporal had fallen overboard, but the inquiry that was in consequence made by the police into the circumstances proved wholly unsatisfactory owing to the gross prevarication of the persons forming the crew of the vessel.  On Saturday morning last the body of the deceased was discovered by the corporal on guard the magazine, floating near the beach.  The inquest lasted 12 hours and it appeared that every person on board consisting of the crew 3 in number, the two soldiers and the female had all been drunk together, and the next marooning the corporal being missed the private soldier was supplied with drink to keep him as is supposed insensible of the loss of the corporal until next day.  The coxswain had on the morning of the 11th fired off one of the soldiers' muskets for the purpose of lighting a match but it did not appear that these circumstances had any thing to do with the poor man's death.

   After a very long and anxious investigation rendered painful and tedious by the very disgraceful prevarication and perjury of the witnesses, it was proved that the deceased had come to his death in consequence of a blow or injury at the back of the head previous to the body being immersed in the water, Dr. Pilkington and Dr. Secombe having both examined the body, and not from any gunshot wound or suffocation by drowning. Throughout the examination it did not appear that any disagreement or quarrelling of any kind had occurred on the night previous to the corporal being missed, and when his body was found his clothes and some accoutrements being on him in the usual manner, did not shew any symptom that if violence had been resorted to any struggle had ensued.

   An inquest was held last week in York parish, Oatlands, on the body of a poor old man named William Parker, aged 74, who w as found dead on Mr. Pike's farm.  It appeared that he died of suffocation from an ulcer in his windpipe.

   An inquest was held before the same coroner (T. Anstey, Esq.) at Oatlands, on the body of Thomas Jones, aged 62, a miserable and inveterate drunkard.  He was a blacksmith at Oatlands, to which place he had lately removed from Ross bridge, and being one of the best shoeing smiths in the colony, his customers were numerous.  But all his gains were expended in rum - he even sold his tools, and laid out the proceeds in the purchase of his darling fiery fluid.  It appeared at the inquest, that being drunk as usual, he had got into a cart in Albany vale, and for a lark, as he said, laying hold of the tail of one of the bullocks, the animal plunged forward and pulled the old man out of the front of the cart, when one of the wheels went over his back and loins, and caused his death.  The whole body exhibited in a few hours one livid mass of putrefaction.  A more loathsome spectacle was never exhibited to a jury.  The verdict was of course - "accidental death." [Editorial comment, re Jones.]


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 14 August 1834

Long decrial on the Inquest on JAMES PIKE. .  .  .  .   But what perhaps is the most surprising feature in the whole of the unhappy business, is the return of the jury on the inquest.  Here is a man proved incontestably to have been ill for some time; to have had no medical aid during his illness, but, on the contrary, to have suffered actual mis-treatment and personal neglect; and at length to have died: a Coroner's inquest held on the body return for a Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God. .  .  .  .

   On Tuesday last a Coroner's Inquest was held on the body of a man named PIKE, belonging to NOTTMAN'S road party.  The inquest was called by Mr. LYTTLETON, in consequence of information received from Mr. BARTLEY, to the following effect: - That he (Mr. B.) was going out of town to his residence, Kerry lodge, and, on his way, met a cart in which was a man being conveyed to the hospital, in a most emaciated, wretched condition.  That on ascertain that he was from NOTTMAN's road party, he was surprised at any man having been kept so long out of the hospital in a state of illness which had

Reduced him to the dying state in which he saw him, and he (Mr. B.) resolved upon making inquiry as to the cause of the apparent neglect.  On arriving in town, on the following morning, Mr. B. found the man had died in the hospital about 4 hours from the time he left him in the cart upon the road !

   It came out during the investigation that the deceased had been confined several days in a cell, with others, in consequence of refusing to work, on the plea of illness.  On the morning of the 6th of August he was unable to walk from the gaol, where he slept, to the cell, without assistance; that on the morning of the 7th of August he was carried to the cell on his bed; and was not removed until the surgeon ordered him to be taken to the hospital, on the afternoon of the 7th, the evening of which day he died.

   A man was reported sick by Mr. NOTTMAN to Dr. GARRETT on the 5th, and the Dispenser was immediately sent out on horseback to the station.  When he arrived there, he was shewn a man named SLATER, who was lying in one of the huts; and this man was sent in to hospital on the morning of the 6th.  The Dispenser then asked if there were any more cases, and was answered in the negative, which he reported to Dr. GARRETT, on his return to the hospital.

   The evidence of a witness who was confined with the deceased during the greater part of the time he was ill, and who was removed to the hospital by the Dr.'s orders, at the same time, proved that the deceased had, every morning, from the 29th of July to the 6th of August, (the day previous top his death,) requested one of the overseers of the gang to allow him to go and see the doctor; but was always informed by the overseer that "he knew the rules - he must either go to work or into the cell."

   The evidence of Mr. LEECH proved that he visited the gangs on the 5th of August: that missing some men from the works, he enquired after them, and was informed they were in the cell; which he then visited.  He found the deceased crouched on the floor, in a corner of the cell, in a very wretched state, and complaining of severe pains in the head and body.  He (Mr. L.) promised to send medical aid; and, on his way to town, having met the Commandant, he reported the case to him.

   In consequence of this report, it appeared that Major FAIRWEATHER directed a note to the surgeon requiring medical assistance at the station.  This note was dated the 5th, the same date as the request from Mr. NOTTMAN, and Dr. GARRETT informed the Commandant he had despatched the Dispenser to bring in the man reported sick.

   The principal points of the Surgeon's evidence were that "when he personally visited the gang on the 7th of August, he found the deceased, PIKE, in the cell, on a mattress; his breathing was short, hurried, and difficult; tongue very dry and furred; hot dry skin; and a very quick and weak pulse; he (Dr. G.) remarked that he should have been sent to the hospital much earlier; and that he would not live long, and gave orders for his immediate removal to town.  On a post mortem examination, he found the left lung adhering firmly to the ribs; an effusion of blood into the cellular substance; and many abscesses full of matter.  He considered that death was occasioned by the obstruction of the passage of the blood and air through the lungs; and that the cause of the disease was exposure to cold and wet."

   The above comprises the substance of the information given to the Jury; and their verdict was as follows: - Died by the Visitation of God.  At the same time the Jury feel it incumbent upon them to express their regret, that medical aid was not sooner obtained, as the life of the deceased might probably have been prolonged.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 15 August 1834

   In our last, we had the pain to record two most humiliating inquests on deaths occasioned from a propensity to ardent spirits.  We have since to record a similar inquest on a private of the 21st regt. who died of apoplexy induced by swallowing an inordinate quantity of strong drink. [Editorial comment follows.]


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 21 August 1834

Letter to the editor, re Pike inquest.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 29 August 1834

   An inquest was held yesterday on the body of James Shields, who was unhappily killed by the blasting of a rock on Tuesday afternoon at the New Wharf, and the day previous at Mr. Morrisby's inn at Kangaroo point, on the body of Wm. Perry an old man who died suddenly of apoplexy.

   An inquest was held at Brighton last week before F. Roper, Esq. on the body of William Gibbs, who was drowned in the boat during the squall the week before with the unfortunate Mr. David Reynolds. 

   An inquest was also held on the Thursday following, before the same coroner, on the body of John Taylor, attached to the invalid party at Greenport, who was drowned in the Jordan.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 11 September 1834

Editorial re James Poke inquest. "WE can obtain no answer."


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.) 12 September 1834

   We have the pain to add to the melancholy catastrophes of the week the death by drowning of three valuable colonists, in the 6th inst. at George's river.  Mr. W. Steel, brother of Mr. Steel of Hobart town, who has an estate at that place, had gone down with his vessel, the "Jean," of Falmouth, accompanied by Capt. Margrave, a gentleman in the India service (40th N.I.) recently arrived by the Indiana, and Mr. Dunn the millwright, who was ogling to erect a mill for Mr. Steel upon his farm.  Contrary to the advice of the master of the vessel, Mr. Steel unfortunately, instead of anchoring at Falmouth, endeavoured to cross the bar and ran aground.  They tried in vain for three days to get her off, and in going ashore in the boat, a wave broke upon it and filled it when about half way between the vessel and the shore.  The master and two sailors, who could swim, contrived with difficulty to get back to the vessel, but Mr. Steel, Capt. Margrave, and Mr. Dunn, sunk to rise no more. .  .  . 


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 18 September 1834

Repeat if editorial re James Pike inquest. Also on 25 September, detailed and critical.]


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 25 September 1834

INQUESTS. - An inquest was held on Monday last, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. on the body of a poor man named John Clarke, who was drowned at the Cataract during the recent heavy flood; and the jury returned a verdict of Accidentally drowned.

   On Tuesday an Inquest was held before the same Coroner, on the body of a woman named PARISH, who was killed by the upsetting of a horse cart which she was driving, and a verdict to that effect was returned.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 26 September 1834

   An inquest was held on Wednesday the 18th, at the Cove inn, before F. Roper, Esq. on the bodies of Robert Hunter and Charles Anthony, who were upset in a canoe near Mr. Forbes's jetty, on the Sunday evening previous, when they were both unhappily drowned. Verdict, accidental death.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 17 October 1834

   An inquest was held on Monday on the body of Mr. R. Probert, who shot himself in the left side with a pistol the day before.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 24 October 1834

Richmond, Oct. 20, 1834. - Will it be gratifying to you to be enabled to add another to your melancholy list of death from the effect of the "dose."  I was present on Friday last at an inquest on the body of George Thom, a corporal in the 21st regiment, stationed at Grass-tree hill.  The deceased was sent on duty to Richmond last Wednesday, where he got drunk early in the day, and attempted to go to his station, but could not find his way.  He went back to Richmond barracks about 8 o'clock that night, when two of his comrades accompanied him part of the way to Grass-tree hill, and left him sitting upon the road, as they imagined quite capable of proceeding to his station.  He was found next morning lying across the road, quite dead, with his head in one cart track and his feet in the other.  - Verdict - Died by suffocation from excessive drinking.  .  .  .  .


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 31 October 1834

We regret to learn that 3 men belonging to Mr. Sprent's surveying party, by name Charles Campfield, Henry Harewood, and James Kerr, besides the coxswain of the boat, were lost in a squall on Monday coming from Three Hut Point to South Bruny.  

An inquest was held last week on the body of discharged veteran named Hamilton who died suddenly from the bursting of a blood vessel.  The unhappy man was inveterately addicted to drinking, seldom taking any other nourishment than what the glass afforded him, except perhaps a dry biscuit in an evening.  He earned his living by playing dances on the flute in various public houses, leading at the same time in other respects an immoral life.  His sudden death under such circumstances was truly awful.

   Another no less distressing inquest was held on Saturday and adjourned till Monday on the body of Caroline Eastgate, a fine handsome young woman, one of those that arrived recently by the Strathfieldsay, who had dropped down dead in a fit of apoplexy the day before.  She had gone with a whaler to the house of  a man named Cadman in Goulburn street, who supplied them with drink, and next morning feeling very unwell, she had merely time to ejaculate "Lord have mercy on me and forgive me my sins," when she expired.  From the very bad character if Cadman's house it was currently suspected that he had descended to the customary wicked practice in low grog houses of mixing a quantity of laudanum technically called a 'doctor,' in the drink, (in order to rob the victims while sunk in sleep) which had occasioned the poor woman's death, more particularly as the whaler was also taken dangerously ill, and it appeared at the inquest that Cadman kept a phial of that description in his house. But after the most minute analysis of the contents of the stomach by Dr. Scott and assistant surgeon Bedford it was clearly made manifest that in this instance at least nothing of the kind had been done, and on opening the head that the deceased had died of serous apoplexy, brought on doubtless by the intemperate life she had been leading; and the illness of the whaler, now recovered, it was shown arose from quite a different cause.   .  .  .  .


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 14 November 1834

   On Saturday last an inquest was held before T. Anstey, Esq. Coroner, on William Rooney *(free) a hard drinker of run, who was found dead on the 6th instant, near Lake Sorell, in the Bothwell district.  District Surgeon Sharland examined the body in presence of the jury, and on opening the skull he found a ruptured blood vessel in the brain.  Dr. Sharland attributed Rooney's death to sanguineous apoplexy.  The jury entertained no doubt of the long continued copious potations of intoxicating liquors being the cause.  Deceased was found on his face on the floor of a hut at the Lakes.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 20 November 1834

   AN INQUEST was held on Monday last, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of a man servant of Dr. LANSDALE's who was killed by falling from his horse, whilst riding a short distance from town.  Verdict accordingly.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 28 November 1834

   An inquest was held on Wednesday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of John Clark, one of the commuted - we should say - circumvented - pensioners, who having been by that most disreputable measure - prompted and projected forsooth on the plea of national economy - reduced to destitution, with a wife and two children totally unprovoked for, hanged himself in despair last week.  He was discovered and cut down before life was extinct and conveyed to the hospital, but the inflammation which the attempt at strangulation produced, caused though a more protracted, yet a more painful death than the one the unhappy man had been interrupted in bringing on himself.  .  .  .


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 18 December 1834

   We have the painful duty this week to record the sudden demise of R. GARRETT, Esq., Assistant Colonial Surgeon at this place, who was found dead in his bed on Friday morning last.  An Inquest was held during the day before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. coroner, and a most respectable jury.  It appeared in evidence that the deceased went to bed about 10 o'clock on the night of Thursday, in perfect health, and in good spirits; about eight the next morning he was found lying with his face on the pillow, and on being moved, in consequence of not returning an antiwar to a question put, a stream of blood gushed from his mouth, after which he was not seen to speak or move.  The evidence of Dr. LANSDALE proved the immediate cause of death to have been the rupture of vein, the flow of blood from which into the lungs, produced suffocation.  Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God. [Funeral.]


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 26 December 1834

   An inquest was held at the Union Tavern, on Tuesday, before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a poor man named Thomas Ayres, a prisoner holding a ticket of leave.  It appeared that for the last 3 weeks he had been ill in an uninterrupted state of intoxication so as to completely deprive him of his senses, and in a fit of desperation he cut his throat, and died in a few hours.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 1 January 1835

  AN INQUEST was held on Monday last before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a man late in the employ of Mr. SINCLAIR, who came by his death in consequence of taking a quantity of corrosive sublimate.  It appeared in evidence that Mr. EVANS, chemist, in preparing a recipe forwarded by Mr. M'NAB, surgeon, gave the potion by mistake.  After a most patient investigation, which occupied nearly the whole day, the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter against Mr. EVANS.   .  .  .  .


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 16 January 1835

   An inquest was held on Monday at the Union Tavern, Campbell street, before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a man named William Watkins, recently arrived in the harbour as cook of the Cygnet.  Having been on shore, he had contrived to get intoxicated, and was so outrageous and disorderly when he returned on board that no efforts of the mate were sufficient to repress him, and by the disturbance he created, gaining some of the other persons in the ship to join in his insubordination, a scuffle ensuing while endeavouring to keep him from the quarter deck in which he received a blow on the head.  Bering stunned, he remained in sensible for some time - and though taken to the hospital where every attention was paid him and effort made to recover him he lingered only a few days.   The jury assembled by the Chief Constable was highly intelligent and respectable as the investigation of the manner in which the deceased had come by his death invoked a point of much importance as affecting the individual by whom the blow had been given.  It was clearly made manifest, however, that the bar or handpike which was raised to preserve order received its principal force in striking the unfortunate man's head, by himself resisting and rushed with violence against it. - Verdict accordingly.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 22 January 1835


Inquest. - The Coroner held an inquest on Tuesday upon the body of a man named Watkins, a seaman of the cygnet.  The unfortunate deceased having been guilty of much irregularity, and warrant having been issued against him for deserting, went on board and acted with extreme violence towards the Chief Officer, who in self-defence struck him a severe blow on the head with a bar, by which he died in a few hours.  Verdict, excusable homicide.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 5 February 1835

[Capture of bushrangers] It is with a degree of pleasure we record the destruction of the party of bushrangers under BRETTON, who have been defying the efforts of the Police to capture them, and have kept the Settlers in the adjacent districts in such a state of alarm for so long a period; but we regret that the service to the community has not been accomplished without bloodshed; an active constable named SMITH, having been shot dead by BROWN.  BRETTON has not been captured; and the other two BROWN and JEFFKINS have only yielded with their lives.  JEFFKINS was shot through the head, and BROWN in the body; the latter living until he arrived at George Town, where he died, after suffering great pain for some hours.  The particulars being fully detailed in the evidence before the Coroner, we refer our readers to the report below.


   THE Inquest was held yesterday morning before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner.

   The Jury met at 10 o'clock, at the Court House, and after viewing the bodies, returned; when the first witness called was

   Thomas Rogers, who being sworn, stated - that Brown and Jeffkins came to a hut at Port Sorell, where he was employed as a lime burner, on Sunday, the 1st of Feb., in a very bad state as to clothing; they had no shoes, but had pieces of leather and blanket tied about their feet; Brown had a gray jacket drawn in instead of trowsers, and Jeffkins had a blanket sewed up found him; they were both armed with double barrelled guns; they tied him and another man; an old man who was in the hut they did not tie; they ordered him to get them something to eat; they said they had nothing to eat for five days; but a parrot and a cockatoo, and were 3 days without water; they remained all night, and kept us toed; one kept watch whilst the other slept; they eat a great deal during the night; their stomachs would not retain their food they were so weak, and they frequently went out to vomit; nest morning they got up before day and ordered the old man to bake a damper; they told us they were going to a bark shopper's hut, three quarters of a mile from out hut; they marched us up to the place where the "barkers" lived; Brown went up, Jeffkins following; Brown asked a man at the hit where his comrades were; we then saw three constables coming over a hill at a short distance; Brown ran towards them; he immediately levelled his price and fired; I saw a man fall; directly after I saw a gun fired by one of the party and Brown fell; Jeffkins ran up and said "get up you cowardly b----r and come on;" Brown said he could not; Jeffkins rested his gun against a tree, and fired; he cried to the party "come on there is enough of you to eat me;" he presented his gun and I think fired a second time; I saw him soon after fall, after hearing a gun fired from the party; I did not hear anything pass between the party and Brown before the firing; I heard something  said by the party when Jeffkins was behind the tree, but I do not know what it was; after the firing when I went up to the party, I found the constable who was shot, and whose name was Smith, still living, but he died soon afterwards; Jeffkins died after the constable; they were both shot through the head; Brown was wounded in the body and had his left arm crushed by the shot; I called out to the constables when Jeffkins fell that there was no more of the bushrangers; I should know the constables who were of the party if I saw them - [The men, James Small, James Buckley, ()who were with Smith when he was shot,) John Harris, Frederick Carman, Henry Chalk, William Birmingham, Richard Berbrage, and Thomas Walker, - were then brought in and were recognized by the witness] - I saw nine constables in the party; I only know two of those constables; six came up after the skirmish commenced; Brown and Jeffkins took clothes from us when they were in the hut on Sunday; they did not say anything, but took them from the box in the hut. .  .  .

   Wm. Secombe, being  sworn, said - I am an Assistant Colonial Surgeon; I have examined the body of Thomas Smith, constable, now lying dead; he has come to his death by a penetrating gun-shot wound, entering the parietal bone, anteri, passing through and out of the upper part of the occipital bone, destroying the upper part of the brain, and fracturing all the bones of the cranium; instant death must have ensued; - I have examined the body of George Jeffkins; he has also come to his death by a penetrating gun-shot wound, apparently passing from the left to right side of the crown of the head, destroying the brain, and shattering all the bones of the cranium; - I have examined the body of Edward Brown; he has come to his death by penetrating gun-shot wounds; one passing into the left side, entering and fracturing the middle of the eighth rib, passing through the diaphragm on the right side, wounding the right lung, raking an oblique direction between the cartilage of the  false ribs, and making its exit about four inches below, and anterially to the right nipple; another penetrating gun-shot wound on the left side of the back, taking an oblique direction downwards, fracturing the left transverse precis of the fifth dorsal vertebrae, penetrating into and dividing the spinal marrow; there are also bullet wounds through the left arm, fracturing the bone into several pieces; there is another gun-shot wound on the top of the left shoulder, passing about six inches beneath the integuments, and then escaping; either of the first two wounds would have caused certain d ath.

   The Jury without retiring returned the Verdict - Murder against BROWN and JEFFKINS - Justifiable Homicide in the case of their death.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 12 February 1835

Burial of Constable Smith.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 13 February 1835

   Two inquests were held last week before F. Roper, Esq. Coroner, the one on a little boy 6 years of age, named William Baldwin, who was killed by the upsetting of a bullock cart; and the other on the body of a man named Benjamin Reddish, who was killed by the falling of a bank at Constitution Hill.

[Also more details on the capture of the Bushrangers.]


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 14 February 1835

Long report on capture of bushrangers.]


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 19 February 1835

   A young man named MUNDAY, residing in Launceston, committed suicide by cutting his throat in the moist dreadful manner, one day last week.  So effectively did the unfortunate man accomplish his purpose that his head was nearly severed from his body.  No particular cause could be assigned for the rash act.  The Jury at the Inquest held on the body returned a verdict of Temporary Insanity.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 6 March 1835

   An inquest was held at the Ferry yesterday, on the body of Mr. Allen, who put a period to his life in a fit of insanity.



INFANTICIDE. - A dreadful murder has been committed at Oatlands by a woman, named MASTERS, upon her own child, the issue of an adulterous intercourse with a man of colour, formerly an assigned servant to her husband.  After the murder the body of the infant was thrown into Lake Frederick, where it was found.  At a Coroner's inquest the jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against SARAH MASTERS.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 27 March 1835


   On Monday the 15th instant an inquest was held by J. Morgan, Esq. Coroner, on the body of George Harris, a free farm labourer, in the employ of Mr. Troy of the Coal River, who had been killed by a cart, loaded with wheat, passing over his head, on the Saturday previous.  Verdict, accidental death.




On Monday last an inquest was held at the Court house, on the body of the late WM. MELLISH, Publican, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. when the jury returned a verdict Accidental Death.

   The circumstances of the case appear to be as follows: Mr. MELLISH was driving towards Launceston in his gig, about 6 o'clock, on Friday evening, when at some distance beyond Mr. MARR's Public house, he was observed to be engaged in playing with a dog that was in the gig: and that the horse which drew it swerved from the middle of the road, and ran amongst a team of bullocks, that was drawing a cart heavily laden.  Mr. MELLISH, endeavouring to extricate the horse, drew the wheel of the gig against the fore part of the cart, occasioning a shock which threw him out of the gig, under the wheel of the cart, which passed on over his chest, and caused his death in less that an quarter of an hour afterwards. - No blame appears to attach to the driver of the cart.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 1 May 1835

   A coroner's jury proceeded yesterday in the government brig Tamar to South Port, for the purpose of holding an inquest on the bodies that have floated up and been recovered from the wreck of the George the Third. - 35 bodies have been washed on shore.

   An inquest was held at Glenorchy on Saturday, on the body of a little girl, whose clothes had caught fire, and before the flames could be extinguished was so dreadfully burned as to die the next day.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 5 May 1835

   An Inquest was held at the Star and Garter, public-house, Compton Ferry, on Saturday 2nd inst., before Frederick Roper, Esq. on view of the body of Mrs. Agnes Love, who w as thrown out of a boat on Thursday evening last, at the Old Beach, and drowned, when a Verdict of Accidentally Drowned, was returned.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 5 May 1835

More on the Inquest of the George the Third wreck.



   An inquest was held on Monday last on the body of a man, an assigned servant of Mr. BRYANT, who diode in consequence of a cart going over him, whilst in a state of drunkenness. Verdict - Accidental Death.


Colonials Times (Hobart, Tas.), 19 May 1835

We have just received a letter which informs us, that very suspicious circumstances attended the death of Mrs. Love, of the Old Beach.  An inquest has been held on the unfortunate sufferer, and a verdict of thrown out of a boat returned.  Under the circumstances, which we have been made acquainted with, we think it the duty of the authorities to enquire more fully into the affair.  We are sorry to say, the death of Mrs. Love has left six children motherless, three of whom are under five years of age.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 19 May 1835

The George the third affair.  Long editorial.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 5 June 1835

   The body of the unfortunate young man, William Lowe, who we stated a fortnight ago was missing from his home at the Tea Tree under very suspicious circumstances, was found last week murdered in the bush.  Mr. Bonney, who had been in quest of the body for the preceding three weeks, was about to give up his painful task in vain, when in going out for the last time, he providentially as it were, and as if by accident, unchained and took with him his Newfoundland dog, which had never been loose for twelve months before.   He had not gone far when the sagacious creature bounded forward making his way into the bush out of his master's sight.  He soon however returned, and taking again and again the same course, at last led him to the foot of an old tree where he began scratching.  The body was found not much decayed huddled up in a hole made between the roots with no other mark of violence than a gun-shot wound through the back of the head leading to the brain, in which the surgeon on dissection found two slugs which must have caused instant death.

   Various other circumstantial, but most convincing evidence, which we forbear in the present state of the case to particularise, induced the Coroner's jury, who most patiently investigated the matter for three whole days, to return a verdict of "wilful murder" against his fellow-labourer, Wm. Cole, the man who worked with hymn at the saw-pit. The murdered man's wife, though a young woman of only 17 years of age, appears to be a most depraved character, having subsequently cohabited with Cole, whom she acknowledges she liked better than her husband, to whom she has one child.  If substantiated, it is scarcely possible to conceive a more cold-blooded murder, and the country at large is indebted to the Coroner and jury who behave so unweariedly sifted the distressing case, and particularly to Mr. Griffith, the gentleman for whom both men had been working, ands whose indefatigable exertions have been so successful in bringing the dreadful deed to light.

   Mr. Roper also held an inquest on the body of a woman named Isabella McMahon, who has added one name more to the numerous victims of intemperance.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 26 June 1835

  An inquest was held at the Green Ponds on the 17th instant, on the body of Mr. Edward Gorringe, which was found with a shot through the head on the Monday previous near a bush about 200 yards from his father's house, when the jury returned as their verdict, we regret to say, that the unhappy man shot himself in a state of temporary derangement.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 30 June 1835

   A melancholy accident occurred on Saturday night last.  A ticket-of-leave man named Milsom, a brickmaker, on his way home, fell into the stone quarry at the upper end of Argyle street.  He was discovered next morning in an almost lifeless state, and died a few hours afterwards.

   Mr. Moore, the Coroner, held an inquest at Mr. P. Buchanan's, Kangaroo Point, on the body of an old man of the name of William Buckington, who fell from a cliff, in the neighbourhood, in a state of intoxication.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 7 July 1835


Trial of Cole for the murder of Lowe.  Guilty, recommended mercy.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 20 August 1835


   An Inquest was held at George Town, on Thursday last, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, upon a new-born female infant, found dead in the privy of an inn, in that township.  The Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against the mother, MARY JELLIARD, as assigned servant employed in the inn; who it appeared had been privately delivered on the night of the previous Sunday week, and had placed it in the privy herself.

   Another Inquest was held on Saturday, in Launceston, on the body of CHARLOTTE YOUNG, who was dreadfully burnt on the 18th of July last, and died on the 11th inst. in the hospital of the Female factory, in Launceston.  The Inquest was necessarily adjourned until Saturday next, on account of the absence of a material witness. - A person is in custody, waiting the result of the Inquest, on suspicion of having wilfully caused her death.

   Another Inquest was held on Monday last, also in Launceston, on the body of SAMUEL LUCAS, who was drowned in the North Esk about a month ago, and found floating in the river, near Launceston, on the morning of the Inquest. Verdict - Accidentally drowned.

   Another Inquest was held on Tuesday, on the body of FRANCES KITTO, which was found dead on Sunday last at Paterson's Plains, dreadfully fractured and bruised.  Verdict - Wilful Murder against her husband, RICHARD KITTO, who has been since committed under the Coroner's warrant for trial.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 27 August 1835

   THE Inquest on the body of CHARLOTTE YOUNG, adjourned from the 14th to the 21st instant, as stated in our last, is further adjourned to the 28th instant.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 28 August 1835

   A verdict of 'wilful murder' was returned, at an inquest held on Tuesday last, on the body of Frances Kato, who was found dead on the previous Sunday, at Paterson's Plains, in a  sadly mangled state, against Richard Kato, her husband, who has been committed to gaol for trial under the Coroner's warrant. - Cornwall Chronicle.

   A woman, named Mary Jellard, as assigned servant, has been committed to the gaol of this town, charged with the wilful murder of her infant child, by throwing it down the temple of the house she resided in, at George town. - Ibid.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 10 September 1835

   WE omitted to mention last week that the adjourned Inquest on the body of CHARLOTTE YOUNG was held on Monday the 31st ultimo; at which a Verdict was returned of Wilful Murder against WILLIAM RATHWELL.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 16 October 1835

   The poor man Stevens, who was so dreadfully wounded by his fellow prisoner Bennet, at Port Arthur, died last week.

   An inquest was held on Friday last, at the house of Mr. Blacklow, of the Black Brush, on the body of Thomas Hyde, an assigned servant, which was found hanging by a cord to a wattle tree that same morning.  Verdict, temporary derangement.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 3 December 1835

MURDER. - It is our painful duty this week to record the death of a respected colonist, Captain SERGEANTSON, late of the 40th Regiment, (and son-in-law to R. WILLIS, Esq.,) who has fallen by the hand of a murderer.  The unfortunate gentleman it would appear left his farm on Monday evening between five and six o'clock, intending to proceed top the residence of Mr. WILLIS, a distance of about eight miles.  Not having arrived there during the night of Monday, nor on Tuesday morning, some alarm was naturally felt, and a search was commenced in the bush, which ended in a very short time by the discovery of the unfortunate gentleman quite speechless and in a dying state, at a short distance from home.  He was immediately removed, but died before he could reach the house.  His death was occasioned by gun-shot wounds in the body; but no further details have reached us.   A messenger came to Launceston for Mr. WILLIS, on Tuesday night; and the body has been removed to Hamlithy, to await a Coroner's Inquest.

   INQUEST. - An inquest was held in the Court House, Launceston, yesterday, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on the body of John M'Cormick, late carpenter of the brig Socrates, who threw himself overboard from the vessel, on Wednesday last. Verdict - Drowned himself, while in a fit of temporary insanity arising from excessive drinking.

   PART of the carcase of some person unknown, was found floating down the river Tamar a few days ago, but in so mutilated a state as to prevent recognition.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 10 December 1835

Account of the inquest on Capt. SERGEANTSON. .  .  .   The body, too, when discovered, was perfectly dead and cold; - indeed from the nature of the wound the deceased could not have survived many minutes.  It was a gun-shot wound, the piece loaded with a charge of shot, having evidently been fired within a few inches of the lower part of the breast. The effusion of blood was very great, but all was absorbed by the clothing of the unfortunate gentleman, - at least none was discovered where his body was found, or near to it. .  .  .  . 


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 11 December 1835

Captain Sergeantson, Inquest, burial and obituary.

   An Inquest was taken yesterday before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, and a most respectable jury, on the body of "Sarah Renshaw," who had been an assigned servant of Mr. Condell, brewer, New Town Road, and after a most minute investigation which last nearly 5 hours, it was most distinctly proved on evidence that Sarah Renshaw died in consequence of a diseased liver of very long standing, and not from any external injury. - Much public feeling has existed in consequence of reports being in circulation that Mr. Condell had ill-treated his servant Sarah about three weeks ago and which ultimately caused her death.  The present case proved how very improper it is to circulate reports prior to legal inquiry taking place in cases of sudden death.  .  .  . 


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 15 December 1835


Monday, December 7, 1835

The Sitting Magistrate, Mr. Clark, and the Chief Police Magistrate's time was employed nearly all the forepart of the day, on a charge made by Sarah Renshaw, a patient at the Hospital, against her master, Mr. Condell, .  .  .  . 

Note: - On Wednesday, the woman died.  Verdict on the Coroner's Inquest - died by the visitation of god.  This verdict had nothing to do with the prior proceedings taken by the Magistrates; for the woman's statement was not produced to the Coroner's Jury.  Several surgeons attended the inquisition, who before giving their testimony, opened and examined the body.  The cause of death was supposed to have been caused by a diseased liver.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 17 December 1835

   AN Inquest was held on the 7th instant, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on the body of JOHN RAYNER, a prisoner of the Crown.  Verdict - Died by the visitation of God.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 16 January 1836


   An inquest was held at the Court House, on the [10th] instant, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq., upon the body of a male infant, found tied yup in a blue spotted handkerchief, in an allotment of ground belonging to Mr. D. Robertson, situate at the corner of Wellington and Frederick streets, neat to Kelly's public-house.  The Jury, after a few hours deliberation, returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.

   Ann inquest was held at the court House, on Monday last, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of John Holker, assigned servant to Mr. Gough, of Patterson's Plains, who was found drowned in the River. Verdict - accidentally drowned by bathing.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 21 January 1836


An Inquest was held on Saturday last before the coroner, P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. on the body of a male infant about four days old, which was found wrapped in a part of a Sydney Monitor newspaper, and tied up in a blue cotton handkerchief, by some children on Friday afternoon in an unoccupied allotment in Wellington-street.  A broom-stick was placed under the ties of the handkerchief, as though the deceased infant had been suspended from the stick, and so carried over a person's shoulder.  The stick was stained with blood nearly its whole length; and upon examining the head of the deceased, Dr. SECOMBE, the Assistant colonial Surgeon, came to the conclusion that the infant had received a severe blow on the forehead from some blunt instrument - which blow could not have been caused by a fall; and to which he attributed its death.  There were marks upon the paper which led him to believe that the infant was alive when it was wrapped in it. - The Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against some person, or persons, unknown.

   ANOTHER INQUEST was held on Tuesday and yesterday, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. on the bodies of JOSEPH HARRISON and GEORGE WIGGINS, prisoners of the Crown, and belonging to the Launceston Chain Gang.  The deceased were employed on Monday forenoon in unloading coals from the vessel to the wharf, a sudden movement of the vessel displaced the stage, and the unfortunate men were precipitated into the water and drowned. - The Jury returned a verdict of Accidentally Drowned; and expressed their great regret at the careless manner in which the stage had been constructed. - We understand that an order has been subsequently issued for the construction of a proper stage, - we believe now finished, - and that the loading and unloading of Government vessels will in future be brought under the direction of the Harbour Master.  We think the stages from all vessels should be examined by this officer.

   A disgraceful attempt to fix the blame of the death of these men upon the overseer, was fully discovered on Tuesday, on the part of a prisoner of the crown of the name of HENRY SMITH.  The Coroner brought him before the Acting Police Magistrate, and the culprit was sentenced by Mr. GUNN and Major WELMAN to be worked three years in chains and removed to Port Arthur. [See also Cornwall Chronicle, 23 January 1836: LAUNCESTON. POLICE INTELLIGENCE.]


 The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 23 January 1836

[Harrison and Wiggins Inquest.] Editorial: We  repeat, that in our opinion, a verdict of Manslaughter against the head of the Commissariat department, should have been returned.  The Law of England - construes a death arising out of the unlawful doing of a lawful action - manslaughter - and it goes further - it says that if the unlawful doing of a lawful action is wanton, and if death results from it, it is murder.  Let any man of sense read - the verbatim evidence (in another part of thief Paper) of the witnesses, [produced upon the Inquest held at the court House on Tuesday, and say - whether or not a verdict of manslaughter would not be more consistent than that given - Accidental Death.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 28 January 1836

INQUEST. - An Inquest was held on Thursday last before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of a young seaman of the Alexander Johnston, who fell overboard from that vessel and was drowned. Verdict - Accidental Death.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 4 February 1836

DREADFUL ACCIDENT. - On Saturday last, Mr. GRAY, only son of Mr. W. H. GRAY of St. Paul's Plains met with the most violent death.  He was about leaving Captain GRAY's, where he had been with his sisters spending the previous day, on a spirited mare belonging to a friend, and had scarcely gained his seat on the saddle when the animal ran off at dull speed; and had not run half a minute before the unfortunate young gentleman was struck on the head against a tree, and was killed on the spot.  Such was the force of the concussion that the head was literally broken to pieces, while the brain was jerked in an entire liquid state as distance of several yards from the body.  An inquest was held on Monday before Capt. FORTH, the Crooker for Campbell Town, and a verdict of Accidental Death returned.



DEATH FROM THE BITE OF A SNAKE. - A fine young man, belonging to the government schooner Eliza, was bitten by a black snake on Friday last; and, after lingering in great agony until Saturday, expired.

   An adjourned inquest was held at the Court House on Friday, to enquire into the death of Mr. NEVILLE, whose decease, resulting from an accident on the race-course, we noticed last week. Verdict - Accidental Death. [10th March: THE Races we regret to say did not pass over without serious accidents.  The son of Mr. GOUGH was rode down on the race ground on the second day, and had one of his arms seriously fractured; and on the last day Mr. NEVILLE, professor of music, received such dreadful injurious from a similar cause that he did on Sunday morning last.]


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 22 April 1836

   One of those sudden and melancholy events which overwhelm us like a destructive storm, occurred in the family of Mr. Cleburne on Saturday morning.  A sweet little child, six years of age, on a visit with a neighbour, had just risen from bed and approaching the fire too near, her clothes were suddenly in flames, and before assistance could be procured was so dreadfully scorched as to occasion her death the same day.  The sympathy of the inhabitants with the afflicted parents on the trying occasion is deep and universal.

   Another fatal accident of a similar kind happened on Tuesday in the case of a little girl, who was found burnt to death, after a few minutes absence of the mother.

   The present week has been unusually fraught with accidents and heart rending scenes.  On Monday night a quarrel ensued in a public house in Goulburn-street, between a private of the 21st regiment, named Oliver Broadbent, and some persons drinking.  Peace was ultimately restored and the soldier left the house.  His body was found, however, sometime afterwards lying in the street quote dead, but as we learn, with few or no marks of violence upon it.  Such was the irritation of his comrades on hearing the man's fate, and concurring that he had come to his death by violence, that it was with difficulty they could be retained within the precincts of the Barracks.  An inquest was convened next morning, which, from the number of witnesses, was not concluded till last night when a verdict was returned "the deceased came by his death by unnatural suffocation occasioned by some person or persons unknown in a riotous mob, and that Thomas Johnson, Charles Pollard and James Clare were accessories therein.

   A horrid murder was perpetrated the same evening near Kangaroo Point, on the post office messenger, John Clyde, who was conveying the mail.  His body was found on the road with his head dreadfully beaten to pieces, but neither the mail not the silver in his pocket had been interfered with.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 26 April 1836

[Ralph Broadbent, 21st Regt.] Inquest and editorial.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 7 May 1836

INQUEST. - An inquest was held on Tuesday, the 3rd instant, by Peter Archer Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Edward Newman, who came by his death by falling from a plank. On his passage on shore, from a vessel lying at the Wharf.  The Jury returned a verdict of accidentally drowned, being at the time in a state of intoxication.


Another inquest was held on Wednesday, the 4th instant, by the same Coroner, on view of the remains of John Callaghan.  The deceased was in the employ of Mr. James Corbett, who, upon his complaining of a serious head ache, requested him to take a walk, considering, that a little exercise on so fine a day would relieve him.  He left the house for the purpose, and his not returning created some uneasiness to Mr. Corbett, who, being without any tidings of him up to last Saturday evening, advertised the young man's unaccountable absence in the CHRONICLE. About 1 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, some persons discovered the remains of the body, at the foot of a precipice on the town side of the cataract, in an advanced state of decomposition.  During the afternoon of the same day, they were removed to town, and after being viewed by the Jury, were consigned to the Church Yard.

   Not the slightest evidence was adduced upon the inquest, as to the cause of the deceased's death.  It is probable, that he fell by accident, from the top of the rock, under which he was found.  The Jury returned a verdict accordingly - FOUND DEAD.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 13 May 1836

   An inquest was held on Wednesday on the body of Frederick Swindell, a well conducted young man, messenger at the Treasury.  The poor fellow had lighted a coal fire in the small recess under the stair at the treasury, and having shut the door and gone to sleep, was found next morning suffocated by the noxious gas of the coals.  The features were dreadfully distorted.

   An inquest was also held yesterday on the body of Margaret Murray, an unfortunate emigrant, whose dissipated life brought her to an untimely end.  She drank excessively, and  was found dead yesterday morning, having gone to bed the night before apparently in good health, but in her usually drunken state.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 11 June 1836

   An inquest was held on Wednesday, on the body of a man named David, which was found dead in a ditch in the Swamp.  No evidence appearing to prove that the death was other than the effect of accident, a verdict was returned accordingly.



   AN Inquest was holden on Tuesday last, in the Courthouse, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. on the body of one RICHARD LEE, a currier in the employ of Mr. LLOYD, who died on Saturday night last.  The inquest was adjourned till one o'clock this day.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.) 18 June 1836

   AN Inquest was holden on Tuesday last, at the Court House, before PETER ARCHER MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on the body of RICHARD LEE, who died last Saturday.  In consequence of it having been reported that the deceased came by his death through the improper treatment of his medical attendants, considerable interest was created in the Town, and the Jury gave the matter serious investigation.  The inquest was adjourned until Thursday, when the following verdict was returned - "Died by the visitation of God.  The Jury desire to express its opinion that the Medical treatment of the deceased Richard Lee, by Messrs. Constantini and Cook, was highly improper, arising from an imperfect knowledge of his complaint."


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 21 June 1836

   Two inquests have been held this week, in both of which, verdicts of accidental death were returned - one on the body of John Harris, a shingle splitter, who was killed by the falling of a tree, the other a seaman of the schooner Red Rover, who fell overboard.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 9 September 1836


An inquest was held at New Norfolk last week, before Thomas Mason, Esq. and a most respectable jury of 14 inhabitants of the township, on the body of an unhappy man, Edward Fitzgerald, a shoemakler.  He was a most inveterate drunkard, and the intervals of despair which his inveterate habits induced when the means of intemperance were wanting, were so terrific in his exhausted brain, that he was induced to destroy himself.  He effected the dreadful deed by hanging himself with his handkerchief to a rafter of the shed in which he lived.  So determined was his purpose that he had previously to throwing himself off, contrived to fasten his hands in a noose behind his back.  The jury unanimously returned a verdict of felo de se, and his body was buried in the church yard, between the hours of 9 and 12 at night, without any ceremony.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 15 September 1836

INQUEST. - An Inquest was held yesterday before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. at the Court House, on the body of GEORGE COOPER, who came by his death by falling from the shaft of a water cart while in a state of intoxication, on Tuesday morning.  It appeared in evidence that the unfortunate man, with some other persons, had been holding a wake during the night of Monday, over the body of a woman recently deceased; he went to his employment on the morning of Tuesday, and about eight o'clock met with the accident which caused his death. Verdict - Accidental Death.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 23 September 1836

   On Thursday last an inquisition was taken before J. H. Moore, Esq. coroner, on view of the body of James Aitchison, gardener to Judge Montagu, at Kangaroo Point.  The deceased was missed on Tuesday morning the 23rd Aug. last, and his body was found drowned on Wednesday the 14th instant. .  .  .  .

   When Evans was under examination, he made a full disclosure of all the circumstances of the case, which Taylor, when examined a second time, fully supported in the main facts, and as all the witnesses who worked with and knew the parties, spoke to the good feeling that subsisted between them, and as there were not any marks of violence on the body, the jury were unanimous in their decision, that the deceased came to his death accidentally by drowning, having been upset in the boat when in a state of intoxication. .  .  .


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 14 October 1836

   An inquest was held at Green Ponds on the 1st instant, before F. Roper, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Moses Jones, who died in consequence of a kick he had received from a young man three days previous.  Verdict accordingly.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 20 October 1836

   AN Inquest was held on Monday last, at the Court House, Launceston, on the body of a lad supposed to have been drowned from the Camilla some months since, found in the Tamar on Sunday. - Verdict - Found Drowned.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 22 October 1836

A melancholy accident occurred in No. 2 Tunnel, at Morven, to two men engaged in blasting the rock at that work.  One man named Buchanan was killed on the spot, by the ill-timed ignition of a charge of powder, and another was very seriously injured.  An inquest was held on the body of the deceased on Thursday - when a verdict was returned of - Accidental Death.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 10 November 1836


   An Inquest was holden yesterday, at the Court House, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of JOSHUA LANGLEY, who was found dead on the morning of Tuesday last.  Verdict - Died from suffocation, caused by drinking an excessive quantity of wine.

   It appears that the workmen who have been employed at the erecting of premises building in Brisbane-street, had, on the completion of a certain portion of the work, received some allowance of wine; when the deceased drank to the excess which cased his death. [Editorial comment.]


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 11 November 1836


   We regret much to record an awful instance of this inhuman crime.  On Wednesday Mrs. George Mills, of the New Norfolk coach, accompanied her husband a short way from the township, in order to dismount after taking the air, and walk leisurely back.  Having rode between two and three miles she dismounted to return home, and the coach proceeded to town.  On Mr. Mills's return in the evening, not finding Mrs. Mills in the house, and every thing in the state he had left it in the morning, he made enquiry amongst his neighbours, and ultimately with the constables, with whose assistance the body of the unfortunate woman was found murdered only a short distance from the spot where she had left bathe coach, and about thirty yards in the bush from the roadside.  Her face was much disfigured, and her neck was black as if she had been strangled.  An inquest was held yesterday, the result of which we have not heard, but a person is, we learn in custody, who was seen following the coach, and was apprehended with blood upon his clothes.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 12 November 1836


   An Inquest was holden at the Court House, Launceston, on Wednesday last, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on the body of one Joshua Langley, a carpenter, in the employ of Messrs. Weit and Ferguson, and the Jury returned a verdict - Died from suffocation, caused by drinking an excessive quantity of wine.

   Another Inquest was holden on Friday last, at the same place, and before the same Coroner, on the body of one Jane Oliver, who was found dead on the farm of Mr. John Ghee, at the Springs, on the morning of Thursday last, and after the evidence and statements touching her death, the Jury returned a verdict of - "Died from drinking an excessive quantity of spirituous liquor, and being subsequently exposed to the inclemency of the weather."


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 12 November 1836

The Mills murder.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 15 November 1836

   We had intended to have given full particulars of the horrible murder, of a respectable lately married young woman, of the name of Mills, at New Norfolk.  The inquest not yet having terminated, and several persons being in gaol on suspicion, it would be impolitic at present to give full particulars.  There is a mystery connected with this horrible affair, which is truly astonishing, but we trust a clue has been obtained, which will certainly bring the cowardly murderers to justice.  Mrs. Mills was murdered in sight of the town, and the horrid deed was perpetrated by the monster taking off her garter, making a slip noose with it, and strangling her.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 17 November 1836

Jane Oliver inquest.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 22 November 1836

   The inquest on the body of Mrs. Mills sat for a third time on Thursday last, and is again adjourned till next Thursday, at ten o'clock.  There is as yet no direct clue to the murder; but what is most extraordinary is, that a suspicion is now entertained that the murderer of Mrs. Doran will be discovered through the means of thirds inquest. The Jury seem determined to do their duty to the public; they say, that as three females have been murdered within a short distance from New Norfolk, and within the space of eighteen months, without discovery, that it is their duty not to dissolve till all hope of discovery ceases.  Much praise is due to the Coroner, Mr. C. Arthur, who is fast becoming a favourite in that leading district.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 26 November 1836

   An inquest was held this day, upon view of the body of Christopher Williams, an assigned servant to Mr. Joseph Thorn, of the Sand Hills, who came by his death by falling out of a cart. Verdict - Accidental death.

   A man named Benjamin Knott, came to his death by drowning, off the beach at Kangaroo Bay a few days back.  The deceased was engaged upon the farm of the Rev. Dr. Browne, at that place - and is supposed to have been seized by the cramp when in the water - two other persons were bathing at the same time, who endeavoured to assist their companion - bit without success.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 29 November 1836

   The Coroner's Inquest held on the body of Mrs. Mills, after consulting four days, returned a verdict that the deceased came to her death by means of strangulation, and Samuel Guillem was immediately committed to gaol to take his trial for the offence; the evidence adduced was circumstantial.  At the present time it would be improper to state full particulars, as Guillem, before long, will no doubt be placed at the bar of the Supreme Court to take his trial,. .  .  .  .


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 3 December 1836

INQUEST. - An Inquest was holden at the Colonial Hospital, on Monday last, on the body of a man named Francis Kirkham, as assigned servant to Mr. Francis Turnbull, of Landfall, and the Jury returned a verdict of - "Accidental death, he being, at the time the accident occurred, riding in a cart drawn by six bullocks, which overturned, and killed him on the spot."


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 9 December 1836

   An inquest was held on Monday at the Edinburgh castle, on the body of Cornelius Prouton, a whaler, who, it was strongly suspected died in consequence of some deleterious drug being mixed in some rum which he had drank a fortnight before his death in a disreputable house in one of the back streets of the town.  The jury, however, after due deliberation, returned a verdict of "died by the visitation of God." [See COLONIAL TIMES, 20th December.]

   Yesterday morning a poor man, a stonemason, named Henry Candlsh, destroyed himself by cutting his throat at his house, in Collins-street.  We have not heard any cause assigned for the fatal act.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 10 December 1836


   An inquest was holden on Tuesday last, the 6th instant, at the Jovial Carpenters, Wellington-street, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Michael Day, and a verdict returned of - Accidental Death.'

   Another inquest was holden on Wednesday, the 7th instant, at the Colonial Hospital, on the body of James Thompson, an assigned servant of Mr. Thomas gee, when a similar verdict was returned.

  An inquest was also held this day on the body of a soldier, who was drowned]. Verdict; [crease in paper.]


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 20 December 1836


   Joseph Hopwood, of grog selling notoriety, was charged with retailing spirituous liquors without a license.  The circumstance of the poor whaler, who died a short time since under very suspicious circumstances, led to this prosecution, through evidence adduced by Jesse Saunders on the inquest.  She now swore directly opposite, and there being no other evidence, the case was dismissed.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 30 December 1836


   On Friday a distressing and fatal accident happened at the New Jetty, from want of attention to those numerous cautions, which we have so frequently given in this journal.  A poor man, named James Salummy, engaged with two others in blasting rock for the public words and roads, was re-opening a blast-hole, which had missed fire three days before, and unhappily using an iron jumped for the purpose, instead of the copper needle, an explosion unexpectedly took place, which so dreadfully lacerated his left thigh, and otherwise shattered his frame, that notwithstanding every care at the colonial Hospital, the unfortunate sufferer died in a few hours.  An inquest was held before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, and a verdict returned accordingly.

   An inquest was also held on Monday before the same coroner, on the body of Joseph Shaw, constable, who like many others when intoxicated became furious, with a strong desire for self-destruction.  On Saturday evening having quarrelled with his wife from some trivial cause, he made an attempt to cut her throat, and afterwards to beat her, which being prevented in doing, he went home and hanged himself by a silk handkerchief tied to a beam.  Verdict, temporary insanity.

   Lydia Venables, a passenger by the Columbia, died in a fit of apoplexy to which she was subject before leaving England.

   John Adams, as assigned servant at Clarence Plains died of suffocation, from over-eating and drinking.

   A seaman belonging to one of the vessels in the harbour met with a dreadful and sudden death during the hurricane on Tuesday evening.  For a vessel dragging her anchors was coming in contact with the one on which he was employed, when with a laudable but unreflecting zeal to prevent mischief, he placed himself between in order to keep them apart, and was in consequence crushed to death in a moment.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 31 December 1836


   An Inquest was holden yesterday, (Friday) at the Gaol, on view of the body of Robert Fleming, who had been a constable in the Police for twelve years, who died in the cell in which he was placed by the Police Magistrate, when suffering illness. - Died by the visitation of God, in a fit of apoplexy. [Critical editorial follows.]

   At the inquest held upon Constable Fleming, on Friday, it was given in evidence by Dr. Secombe, that he had several men under his care, who were seriously suffering from drinking at some public house in St. Giles's.  It is supposed that a deleterious drug is commonly mixed with the liquor sold at the house in question - if so, the Magistrates ought not to lose one moment in bringing the offender to justice.  If the fact cannot be directly proved against the publican - the circumstance of several men suffering at one time after having drank at his house, is sufficient ground for the withdrawal of the license from it.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 5 January 1837

   AN Inquest was holden on Tuesday last before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq., the coroner, at the Colonial Hospital, on view of the body of WILLIAM MOORE, a prisoner of the crown. Verdict - Accidental Death.  And on Friday an inquest was held at the Gaol, on view of the body of ROBERT FLEMING, who had died in a solitary cell, early on Thursday morning. Verdict t - Apoplexy.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 9 February 1837

   A MELANCHOLY fatal accident happened on Friday evening last to an assigned servant of Mr. ARCHER's.  Two men in Mr. ARCHER's employ absconded some time since, and there is reason to believe have been harboured by some persons on the farm; and with the intention of capturing them, the chief constable of this town, on the evening of Friday, stationed constables on different parts of the farm, giving instructions, with all due precaution, that the overseer should be informed of the stations which they occupied, and that a pas-word should be used should he have occasion to go from the house during the evening.  .  .  .  . Immediately after leaving the blouse he [Francis Purdie] came upon two constables, who state that they called out to him on his approaching their ambuscade, and not being answered in a friendly manner, but on the contrary hearing a gun snapped at them, they supposed him to be one of the runaways, and fired; a ball entered the unfortunate man's breast, and he never spoke afterwards.  The inquest, it will be seen by our paper today, stands adjourned until this morning.


   On Monday, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Mrs. Mary Kelly, who died of locked jaw, the effect of a wound of the thumb, inflicted while chopping wood with a tomahawk. Verdict - Accidental Death.

   At the same time, and before the same coroner, an inquest was held on the body of Francis Purdie, who was shot on Friday last, by a constable, as detailed in another part of the paper.  In consequence of the absence of material witnesses, the inquest was adjourned to Tuesday; and on that day further adjoined until Thursday.

   On the afternoon of Tuesday, another inquest was held at the Colonial Hospital, by the same Coroner, on view of the body of Mary Ann Carling, an infant, aged between two and three years, who was found drowned in a tan-pit on the previous day. Verdict - Found drowned.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 10 March 1837

  On Tuesday evening last at Albany Vale, not far from the township of Oatlands, the dead body of a man was discovered on the Sward near the trunk of a fallen tree in the last stage of decomposition, the head and right foot and the fingers of both hands being plucked off and carefully picked by the birds of prey - leaving no apparent clue to the identity of the deceased but his clothing which was in a tolerable state of preservation.  An inquisition being taken on the following morning before John Whiteford, Esquire, and a respectable jury it was found after diligent equity that the body belonged to one Peter Giles formerly messenger at Ross bridge, in which capacity he had been sent to Hobart Town with despatches from Capt. Turner to Major Fairweather about the 12th of October last,  from which time the poor creature was never heard of, and his name was in consequence Gazetted in the usual form as a Runaway.  A Launceston one-pound note and tobacco box, he was known to possess at the period of his deceased, were found in his pockets as likewise the remains of the sealed communication for Major Fairweather, which being carefully dried became legible and fully established the identity.  The attitude in which the body was fixed left no doubt in the minds of the jury that the deceased had reclined to sleep or under the influence of intoxication had died from apoplexy, or the effects of colds on the brain, described by the faculty under the name of coma.  A verdict of Found Dead was returned accordingly. It excited no little surprise on the minds of the jury that they body which was lying not further than thirty yards from the main road was not sooner discovered.

   An inquest was also held before Mr. Whiteford, a few days previous, upon view of the body of Richard Bond, a free man in the service of Mr. James Jones, residing near Jericho, - who it appeared met his death while carting manure in his master's paddock, owing to the horse becoming unruly and running away as the deceased was in the act of taking him out of the cart . - The unfortunate man made an effort to stop the animal, and in so doing was dragged for some distance and thrown to the ground, when the horses hind feet descending with violence upon his head, the temporal and  frontal bones were driven in, and the brain injured to a degree which occasioned almost instant death. - Verdict, Accidental Death, with a deodand upon the horse.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 14 March 1837



   Samuel Guillem stood charged with the murder of Mrs. Mills at New Norfolk.

.  .  .  . 

   Dr. Officer. - I am a surgeon, I had known the deceased about twelve months; she was a slender,  delicate, timid woman; I examined her body on the 10th November; in my opinion, her death was caused by strangulation, by a cord round the throat; on the left side from the throat downwards were continued marks of scratches, and small pieces of gravel and sand sticking on the head; there were marks of violent pressure on one of the wrists of considerable discoloration; there was a deep mark made by the cord on the throat; there was a great deal of froth about the nostrils and mouth; I have no doubt but that strangulation caused her death; round the throat I found a piece of silk cord exactly resembling what I now hold in my hand, which if sufficient force were used, is sufficiently strong to cause strangulation; it was quite impossible for her to have drawn the cord with sufficient force to have caused her own death, coupling it with the other appearances on her body, viz. The scratches on one of her sides; she could not have caused the scratches by falling down, she must have been dragged. [Also evidence of Mr. William Benson, surgeon.]


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 17 March 1837

[Recap and continuation of Guillem trial.] Guilty, execution, no confession.



   AN Inquest was held yesterday before JOHN CLARKE, Esq. Coroner, on  view of the body of one RICHARD MARSH. - Verdict, Accidental Death. - It appeared in evidence that the deceased went into the Ship Inn,. On the Wharf, on Thursday morning last, apparently quite sober, and laid himself upon the tap-room table to sleep.  A short time after he fell from the table, while asleep, dislocated his neck, and died soon after.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 28 March 1837

[Critical editorial re death of little boy at the Races, and inactivity of the Coroner, J. H. Moore.]



   A man named JAMES LONG [IVORY?] came by his death on Saturday night last, at Mr. CAROLAN's, of Prospect Hill, in a most extraordinary manner.  He was found suspended by the neck between two perpendicular iron bars fixed in the window of Mr. CAROLAN'S store, quote dead.  From the position in which the body was found, it is supposed the deceased must have been attempting to gain access to the building, whilst intoxicated, for the purpose of getting rifest, and that after putting his head through the bars, his feet must have slipped from the log upon which he appears to have elevated himself, and thus have dislocated his neck.  An inquest was held on Tuesday before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. corner, when the jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 22 April 1837

   An inquest was held on Tuesday, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, at Prospect Hill, on the body of James Ivory [LONG?], who came by his death in an extraordinary manner.  On the night of Saturday, the 15th instant, he left the house of Mr. P. Carolan, between seven and eight o'clock, and was discovered next morning, hanging between two perpendicular iron bars, at the store of Mr. Carolan, about 250 yards from the house.  It is supposed he was endeavouring to force himself through the bars for shelter for the night, but his feet suddenly slipping, he fell from the cill, and was caught by his head in his descent, which dislocated the first vertebrae of the neck, and caused instant death.  The Jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 5 May 1837

Supreme Court. - Criminal Sittings.

Friday, April 28, 1837.

   John Mc'Kay and John Lamb were indicted for the wilful murder of Mr. Joseph Edward Wilson, near Perth, on the 1st April last; .  .  .  .   


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 13 May 1837

   An Inquest was held on Wednesday the 10th instant, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Sarah Jones, and a verdict returned - Died by the visitation of God.



   AN inquest was holden last week on the body of a man named PROCTOR, who was found suspended by his neck in a hut on the Cataract hill, on Thursday last.  Verdict - Insanity.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 30 June 1837

    In addition to our report of Coroner's Inquests, in another part of our paper, we have to announce, that the wife of a most respectable merchant and shop-keeper in Liverpool-street, met a very serious accident on Wednesday last.  Sitting near the fire, her clothes caught a spark, and in a moment were in flames.  The lady was dreadfully scorched, and her medical assistant entertains some fears of her recovery.  It is not more than six months since, that the same gentleman alluded to lost a child, which was burnt by coming too near the fire.


   The numerous inquests held within eight days, exhibit very culpable neglect on the part of parents, and we hope that warning may be taken from publishing particulars.

   Not less than six inquests were held before Joseph Henry Moore, Esq. on the bodies of persons who have come b y their death, either from inebriation, negligence and callousness of parents.

   June 19. - William Amos, a lad at Brown's River, was dreadfully burned, and lingered until the next day.  The inquisition was held at the Antelope Public House in Goulburn-street, kept by Mr. Joseph lacy. Verdict - Accidental Death.

   On the same day, at Mrs. Beazley's, the Union Hotel, Campbell-street, on a child that was found exposed near the creek in Harrington-street.  Mr. Morgan, the Chief Constable, much to his credit, exerted himself to the utmost in order to trace the parents, but with no effect.  It appeared by the evidence of a medical gentleman, that the child was still-born, and a verdict given accordingly.

   June  21. - On the body of William Salvin, a child, whose parents reside at Clarence Plains.  A large brush fire had been lighted, and a large boiler placed on it to scald pigs.  The boy, about 3 years of age, was playing with another child of his own age, when most unfortunately some sparks of the fire caught his clothes.  He had a hat on which also was set in flames, when the poor little creature cried "Mamma, my hat is burning, but Mamma will make me another."  He was brought to the hospital, and lingered till the next day.  Verdict - Accidental Death.

   June 22. - A man unknown.  The inquest on the body was held at Mr. Thomas Walton's Public House at O'Brien's Bridge.  The man was found drowned, and supposed to have been in the water about eight days.  The place where he met his death was in the Prince of Wales Bay, and it is more than probable that he was in a state of inebriation at the time the accident happened.  There were no marks of violence about him. Verdict - Accidental Death.

   Same day. - On the body of B. Rout, in the employ of Mr. Henry Hopkins.  This youth was sent to the New Jetty, with another lad, with a dray load of goods, which he safely delivered.  Upon his return, and when opposite the Waterloo Tavern, he suddenly fell on his knees, and was assisted into the tap.  Before any medical assistance could be procured, he expired, without having spoken a single word.  Verdict - Died of a fit of apoplexy.  The inquest was held at the Edinburgh Wine Vaults.

   June 26. - On the body of William Naylor, a child about three years of age, the son of William Naylor, a shoemaker at New Town.  The inquisition was held at Mr. Newman's Inn, the 'Hose and Jockey,' of New Town.  Naylor, on the previous Wednesday, and another man were at work in the shop, and the child was with them.  The man went into some room and lighted a fire to cook the dinner, and then returned.  The child was not missed, but about ten minutes after, his cries were heard from the room where the fire had been made.  On the father's coming in, the unfortunate boy was found dreadfully burnt, although he had only a shirt on.  He lingered in great pain till the following Saturday.  Verdict - Accidental Death.  This poor child has scarcely recovered from a former scald, and his cure was on that occasion almost deemed a miracle.  The Rev. Mr. Naylor, one of the gentlemen of the jury, severely animadverted on the culpable negligence of the parents, in not taking warning from the child's former accident.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 12 August 1837

   Some weeks back a young man, named Greenwood, lost his life by falling off a plank placed from the wharf to the ship ELIZABETH, when attempting to get on board.  An inquest viewed the body, and found a verdict "Accidentally Drowned," and accompanied it with a censure, .  .  .  .   


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 17 August 1837

.  .  .  .  On Monday last, in consequence of information given to the Police, that a mutilated body of a man had been floated by the tide into a tea-tree scrub, on the west bank of the Tamar, a district constable and two policemen proceeded in a boat to the spot; it turned out upon inspection of the remains, that they were part of the body of a ticket-of-leave man named George Mog, who had been missing from his home for several weeks, and from the horrible state of his remains no doubt was left of the deceased having met with a violent death; and that after accomplishing his purpose, the murderer had cut the body of his victim into two parts and thrown them into the river !  On examination of the body by the surgeons, it was found that the murder of the deceased had been effected by an extensive fracture of the skull.  A wound, high on the forehead, inflicted apparently by some blunt instrument, it would seem had brought the deceased to the ground; and that when down, and most likely in sensible from this blow, some heavy body (probably a stone) had been used to complete the horrible intention of the murderer - the right side of the head, behind the ear, having been completely battered.  The portion of the body which has been found is from the naval upwards; the division of the lower part from the upper, having evidently been effected with a common knife, or some instrument not prepared for the occasion, the flesh having been much mutilated in the operation.

   On the body, and but little displaced, was a red baize shirt over a striped shirt, in the breast of which the pocket-handkerchief of the deceased still remained; and on the neck was a black silk cravat.  To this, at the back of the neck, was tied a piece of ratline, to which it is supposed some heavy weight had been suspended, in order to keep the body under water, and that the constant friction produced by the action of the tide, had caused the weight to cut the line - a supposition fully borne our by the ragged appearance of the ends of the line, and the manner in which it was tied to the cravat.

  An inquest was summoned and the jury met yesterday morning at the Colonial hospital, with P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, when the following facts were elicited. .  .  .  .  The inquest was adjourned at a late hour yesterday for ten days; to allow time for witnesses who are now at a distance being summoned to give evidence; Gardiner still being held in custody.  Every exertion has been made to discover the other portion of the body, but without success.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 19 August 1837


We are concerned to learn, that a man named Driscoll, employed in one of the whaling parties near Encounter Bay, was savagely murdered by a native, about six weeks ago, near that place.  The individual who committed this act is in custody; and we understand the authorities have commenced an investigation into the transaction.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 26 August 1837

The adjourned Inquest on the body of George Mogg, took place this day at the Hospital - when, after a lengthy and patient investigation - the Jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against Charles Gardiner, who is committed for trial upon the Coroner's Warrant.

   A man named WILLIAM GULLEN, holding a ticket-of-leave for some years, but who has been treated in a most harsh manner by some of our Launceston Authorities, received this day an INDULGENCE, accompanied with an order to proceed into the interior.  Having an old-established business in this Town - the absurd mandate caused in him a fit of derangement, under the effects of which he threw himself into a well in the Penitentiary, and drowned himself ! We shall endeavour to call the attention of his Excellency to this affair, in our next.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 14 October 1837


   John Gardiner stood charged with the wilful murder of George Mogg.  He pleaded not guilty, in a form tone of voice, and appeared to be quite unconcerned.  .  .  .  . 

   Dr. James Grant - I saw a portion of a human body at an inquest, on 17th August; I had seen it at the Wharf on the previous day; it was the upper part of the body, from the head to the small of the back; on the following morning Dr. Pugh and I examined the body more minutely; this was before the inquest on the same day; there was a blue striped shirt on the body, and a red one over it; there was a small wound over the eight eyebrow, of a convex shape, the convexity looking outwards, as if made by the end of a bolt of a bout an inch in diameter, or rather less; the bone was not broken by that wound; behind the right ear there was an extensive contused and lacerated wound; the skull was driven in about 2 ½ inches, a little larger than a dollar; this wound was behind the right ear; there were two or three lacerations of the skin, as if done with some blunt instrument, with an irregular surface; I compared these lacerations with the head of as small axe now before me, and found they corresponded in a remarkable manner; the handle projects past the head of the axe; the iron head of the axe, and the corners of it all correspond exactly with the lacerations in the skin; I think the person who inflicted the wound, must have been behind the deceased, whose head must have been on the ground; the wound on the forehead would not cause death, but might have stunned; it is probable that that was the first blow struck, as there was a considerable quantity of bruised blood; it was not made by this axe; the portion of the body I saw, was from the top of the head to the navel.

   The body appeared to have been separated, from the haggled nature of the wound, by a blunt knife.  I afterwards saw what I thought to be the other portion of the body; I believe it to be so, because it corresponds exactly in the place where the other was divided; this was about a month afterwards; I was in a boat and saw it found, near Mr. Berridge's; Mr. Peel AND Mr. Charles Friend were with me.

   On examining the upper part, I found in the stomach, some partially digested food, and some spirits; the food was what appeared to be pork - salt pork, lumps of fat; it was impossible to distinguish anything else; digestion goes on after death.  The food had been acted upon, and hardened by the spirits, and the stomach had been weakened by a large portion of spirits; I cannot, therefore, positively say how long the food had been in the stomach; the function of digestion was weakened, and the food hardened by the action of the spirits; but taking into consideration all these circumstances, I think the food had been received into the stomach for or five hours before death.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 20 October 1837

   The interment of Mr. Nicholas, whose melancholy death by accident, we noticed in our last number.   .  .  .   We understand that Mr. Nicholas had only partially recovered from the effects of a very similar accident, occasioned many months before, by the same horse, when he received the further injuries which cased his death.  .  .  . 


On Monday forenoon the town was put into a state of excitement by the report of the suicide of Mr. George Innes, of the Brewton Bear.  The deceased accomplished his purpose by cutting his throat with a razor.  A coroner's inquest has been held, and a verdict of insanity returned.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER *(Tas.), 26 October 1837

   The bodies of Mr. BLACKLER, and the two printers of this establishment, were found last week; and the Inquest which was held on them found a verdict upon each of Accidentally Drowned.

   ANOTHER death by drowning in the Tamar ! A young gentleman of the name of CRAYCROFT, a nephew of Mr. CRAYCROFT, the Indian Judge recently on a visit to this Island, was drowned last Sunday morning at the Cataract, while bathing.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 27 October 1837


   We have the melancholy duty of recording the death by drowning, of Mr. Edmund Cracroft, a relative of Judge Cracroft, (who some time since arrived in Launceston from India, for the benefit of his health) and related also, we believe, to Miss Cracroft, niece to Sir John Franklin.  On Sunday last, the 21st instant, while bathing in what is called the basin, which is surrounded by rock, he somehow missed his footing from the end of a perpendicular rock, and was unable to recover himself, not being a very expert swimmer.  Mr. Reeve, who was bathing at the time, swam to his aid, and succeeded in grasping his hair, but had not neared him above two yards when he lost his hold, and was not able to give further assistance; seeing which, Mr. Harvey, who was present, threw off his coat and hat, and plunged in to his relief, but it was too late, Mr. Cracroft was sinking, and before Mr. Harvey could reach the spot, the unfortunate young gentleman was beyond the power of help.  With all dispatch a boat was placed upon a dray, and taken to the spot, and with the assistance of constables and the 'drags,' his body was found and conveyed to a public house.  An inquest has since been held.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 28 October 1837

   Two men were killed yesterday evening, at the gravel pit, by the falling in of the earth upon them.  We believe that within the last few months as many as  right  deaths have occurred at the same place, from the same cause.  Some blame must lie with the owner, whose conduct merits investigation.

   An Inquest was held at the Scottish Chiefs, on Monday, the 23rd instant, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Christiana Hay, and a verdict returned of accidental death, caused by burning.

   Another inquest was held at the same time and place, and before the same Coroner, on view of the body of Mr. Edmund Cracroft, and a verdict returned of accidentally drowned, in the Cataract Bason, on Sunday, the 22nd instant, whilst bathing.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 25 November 1837

INQUEST. - An inquest was held on Saturday last, before R. Wales, Esq. on the body of an industrious man named Booth, who came to his death by the falling of a log of wood from a cart when he was standing on the wheel loading it.  His foot slipping he fell to the ground, and the log striking him at the same time on the temple, caused his instant death.  Verdict accordingly.  The unfortunate man has left a wife and four small children.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 2 December 1837

Letter to the Editor. .  .  .  .  I have been led into these observations by remarking, that in the case of a man named Richard Martin, whose sudden death took place about a month ago, and was noticed in your Journal, no Coroner's Inquest was held upon the body, but the man dying at seven o'clock in the evening, was interred by 12 the next day; .  .  .  . 


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 7 December 1837

   AN Inquest was held at the Court-house on Monday, before P. A, MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a seaman belonging to the schooner Gem, who came by his death in a most extraordinary manner.  The schooner, as appeared in evidence, was undergoing the process of fumigation; and during the time, the deceased, who was on shore, had returned unperceived on board, found his way down the skylight into the cabin; and after the fumigation had been completed, was found dead in one of the berths.  Verdict - Accidental Death.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 8 December 1837


Coroner's inquest. - infanticide.

On Thursday last 30th ult. an inquest was held before J. H. Moore, Esquire, Coroner, at Mr. Peregrine Clarks's Inn, Kangaroo Point, on a view of the body of a new born female infant.

   Mr. Peregrine Clarke deposed to the effect - that Sarah Coffee [Cornett?], is female servant (free), had lived with him for about two months last past; that during the last month he suspected Sarah had been pregnant, but which she denied.  Sarah continued to attend to her work until Tuesday morning last 28th ult., when she complained of a pain in her shoulders after she had cleaned down the house in the morning; Sarah occupied a bed room off the landing place up stairs next the large room used sometimes as a billiard room; that during the time she had been in his service, she never slept out of that room, except about three times, none of which took place within the last three weeks.  In that bed room was a large sea chest his property; but which Sarah used for the purpose of holding her cloaths; the lock on the chest was not available as the key was lost.  The bed room door could be fastened from the inside only by means of a bolt; the key being mislaid; in side the chest was a tray, which fitted the entire length and breadth of the chest: it served to separate the clothes that might be contained in the chest.

   On Wednesday Mr. Clarke expected some company at his Inn, and in making preparations for them, took some table covers and other things and threw them on the chest in Sarah's room; the lid was  down; he observed a heavy foetid smell, but attributed it to the closeness of the room, the windows being shut; on going into the room again, the smell still continuing, he removed the things from the chest, and finding in  lifting the lid the smell to increase, he removed the tray likewise, there was a bonnet and some other cloaths of Sarah's there; he likewise observed a dirty dark gown that Sarah had on, on Tuesday morning rolled up and appearing to be bloody; on removing a fold of the gown, he observed the head of an infant child - dead.

   He immediately replaced the tray, shut down the chest lid, and  write to Mr. Jemott the Chief District Constable to attend, who after having  ascertained the s ex of the child, sealed down the chest; as also the room door, and took Sarah Coffee into custody.

   On Tuesday morning Sarah had on that dark dirty gown, in which the child was found w rapt in; but when she came down stairs after tea time on Tuesday evening to get some tea, she had changed her dress, and put on a new clean green gown, which struck him as being remarkable; had said nothing to Sarah about it.  On Wednesday morning Sarah got up early and cleaned out the house as usual, without any suspicion attaching of what had occurred.

   Mrs. Clarke deposed as to having suspected within the last month that Sarah was pregnant, but which she denied, saying it was only her shape as she was rather a corpulent girl - that on Tuesday, after having cleaned some of the rooms, Sarah complained of a pain in her back - that Sarah went up to her vied room, where she remained until after tea time - that having occasion to go to that bed room, in the course of the day, Sarah had herself bolted in, but got up and opened the door.  That when at tea time she went up to know if Sarah would have any tea, Sarah had then her dirty dark gown on her.  That it was half an hour after before she came down to get some tea and then it appeared to her remarkable she should come down dressed in a clean new gown, when there was not any apparent necessity for it, as there was not any company in the house at that time.  That Sarah shortly after went up stairs to bed again.  That the next morning (Wednesday) she got up as usual and cleaned out her rooms.

   Mr. Jemott proved being sent for by Mr. Clarke, on Wednesday, and finding the deceased child in the chest as described by Mr. Clarke; that no further examination or disturbing of the gown to view the body took place than was necessary to make a report to the Coroner, that  he sealed down the chest in the manner as seen by the jury.

   Doctor Learmonth, after a skilful examination of the child, clearly proved that it had been born alive, that it had come to juts death by suffocation from strangulation, by means of the piece of tape, which the coroner and jury had observed, had been tied tightly round the child's neck, and that from an examination of Sarah Coffee, the appearances which she presented, proved that she had been very recently delivered of a child, which corresponded in every particular, with the apparent age, &c. of the deceased child.

   The jury after deliberating for some time brought in the following verdict.

   That the infant whose body had been examined by them, came to its death by strangulation, caused by a piece of tape tightly tied round its neck, but by whom does not appear in evidence, and the jury are of opinion that Sarah Coffee, is the mother of the above named infant, and is guilty of concealing its birth.

   On enquiry we find that the coroner transmitted the depositions in this case to the Attorney General, as grand jury.  Sarah Coffee who labours under some weakness, is we believe an inmate of the colonial Hospital free ward.


Criminal Side.

Wednesday, December 6.

   Sarah Cobbett stood charged with the wilful murder of her infant child, which on the coroner's inquest had been proved to have been born alive.   Mr. Clerk of the Wheatsheaf, a most respectable innkeeper at Kangaroo Point, deposed to the various circumstances connected with the case.  When giving his evidence he evidently laboured under great depression of spirits.

   He is known to conduct his Inn in a most respectable manner, and expressed his regret that the occurrence should have taken place in his house, and he gave the prisoner a most excellent character, she arrived free in this colony.

   Mr. Champ the sitting Magistrate, although he found it is his duty fully to commit the prisoner, told her that if she could at any time adduce any evidence in her favor, he would be happy to assist her, and she might send over to the office.  Sarah Cobbett appears to be very young, and of decent demeanour; she offered nothing in her defence, she was very much affected, and shed many tears.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 16 December 1837


An Inquest was held at the Court House, on Monday, the 4th instant, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. on view of the body of John Jeffson, who was found dead in the cabin of the schooner gem, on the Sun day morning previous.  From the evidence elicited on the occasion, it appeared that the deceased had worked his passage from Port Philip in that vessel, and on being paid the trifle of wages which was allowed over and above his passage, he repaired to a public-house and got intoxicated.  This was on Saturday morning.

   Orders had been given in the mean time to fumigate the Gem, for the purpose of destroying the vermin with which she was infected; charcoal and brimstone was used, and the hatchways were closed and fastened down, every aperture being then secured with clay. In the evening Jeffson was seen by one of his shipmates (having slept off the effects of his debauch) and then stated that he should go on board the Gem to sleep, adding, that he had no money to procure himself a lodging elsewhere.  He was warned that the vessel was being smoked, and that orders had been given to the constable stationed on the Wharf, not to suffer any person to go on board.

   He paid no attention to this information, but eluding the vigilance of the constable, gained ac cess to the cabin by unmoving the sky-light which he left open.  The mate had slept on the deck wrapped in a sail, and early in the morning his attention was attracted by the open sky-light; - having observed the necessary precaution of raising the hatchway, he descended, and found the deceased lying in a berth, quite dead.

   Dr. Lansdale opened the body, which resented a healthy appearance, with the exception of the lungs, from the state of which he was led to infer, that the deceased died by suffocation.  The Jury returned a verdict accordingly, but severely censured the conduct of the Master, in not ordering a proper watch to be kept on board the vessel during the night; the particular necessity of which, whilst the fumigation was in progress, being so obvious to any one.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 22 December 1837

   An Inquest was held before F. Roper, Esquire, at Mr. Strodart's Green Ponds, on Monday the 11th instant, on the body of Dennis Moran, a free man, employed at Mr. Kemp's Cross Marsh, who died of a fit of apoplexy.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 30 December 1837


We regret to state, that another life was list on Wednesday afternoon last, by drowning.  A young lad named [George] Hawley, of very respectable connexions in London, belonging to the barque Arabian, Captain Cains, when employed in a raft of timber alongside, fell overboard, and before assistance could be afforded him, sunk to the bottom.  The curfew of the vessel in boats, assisted by a boat and crew from the Bardaster, Captain Virtue, swept for the body, and succeeded in recovering it, in about twenty minutes after it had sank, but the vital spark had fled.  An inquest was held at the Court-house before the Coroner, P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. yesterday morning, when a verdict was returned - Accidentally drowned.

   An Inquest was held yesterday, at Perth, before the Coroner for the District, ROBT. WALES, Esq. on view of the body of Samuel Dyke, a prisoner of the crown, who was struck dead b y the blow of the handle of a whip, with an iron hammer attached to it, by the district constable, Mr. Hamilton, when the following verdict was returned:-

   When in the execution of his duty as district constable, unlawfully killed Samuel Dyke, by inflicting a blow upon his head with unnecessary and incautious violence, whilst the deceased was endeavouring to escape from his custody.

   Mr. Hamilton being fully committed for trial upon the Coroner's Warrant, we forbear further remark on the affair.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 4 January 1838

Inquests on George Hawley and Samuel Dyke.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 12 January 1838

INQUEST AT PERTH. [Samuel Dyke.]

.  .  .  .   Dr. Salmon sworn. - Is district surgeon at Perth, residing there; on Wednesday evening about seven o'clock witness was called by Mr. Hamilton in a great hurry to go and see a man which he (Mr. Hamilton) had knocked down in attempting to capture; witness went immediately on Mr. Hamilton's horse to the spot which had been described, and there found the deceased Samuel Dyke sitting on the ground, his back supported by two men; he was in a state of perfect insensibility, and appeared to be ,labouring under the effect of a blow on the left side of the temple, just above the ear; witness examined the injury, and immediately bled him, after this deceased was carried on a door to the hospital; deceased bled freely, but received no relief from it; witness continued attending him till 8 o'clock last night, when he died; from witness's first attending deceased to the last moment of his existence, he never spoke; is decidedly of opinion  that the injury was inflicted by the hammer end of the whip; Mr. Hamilton expressed considerable sorrow, and appeared to be much agitated; Mr. Hamilton stated to witness that he had struck the deceased in consequence of his attempting to lay hold of his (Mr. Hamilton's) bridle, and acting in such a manner as if the deceased intended throwing Mr. Hamilton off his horse; Dr. Payton and witness had examined the head of the deceased; in taking off the skull cap they had found a fracture on the left temporal bones, a piece about the size of a shilling severed distinctly from the bone itself had been depressed into the brain, causing internal haemorrhage and producing death; .  .  .  .  It would require a heavy blow to produce such a fracture as the deceased received, but the part injured was the thinnest part of the skull; witness considered the weapon dangerous; should be afraid of killing a person were he under any circumstances to strike him over the head; .  .  .  .   a blow from a constable's staff at the end of it, might probably produce the same kind of injury if aimed at the same part of the skull.

   Dr. Paton sworn. - Is district surgeon Norfolk Plains, has examined the head of the deceased; there was a recent injury on the cleft temple bone; on cutting down to the bone, a fracture was perceived, which on opening the head, was more clearly ascertained as to extent and shape; the five portions of bone adhering together, which I now produce, were separated from the bone around and depressed; there was also a considerable effusion of blood which had become coagulated; the portion of the brain opposite the fracture was altered in appearance, as if from the effect of  heavy blow; the whole mass of the fracture was depressed into the substance of the brain; if the blow had been given by the arm of a man witness would have supposed it to have been done with a knobbed instrument; the behead of a whip (here produced) would cause such a fracture; witness believed the deceased died in consequence of the blows given; the immediate cause of his death being a compression of the brain, caused by the fracture and extravasations of blood; .  .  .  . 

   The whole of the evidence having closed, the jury deliberated among themselves for about half an hour, when they returned the following verdict:- We find the deceased came by his death in consequence of a blow inflicted with a loaded whip by district constable Mr. William James Hamilton, incautiously given and with unnecessary violence, whilst in he exaction of his duty, in attempting to take the deceased in to custody.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 13 January 1838



   Wm. James Hamilton, was indicted for the manslaughter of Samuel Dyke, a prisoner of the crown. - Plea, not guilty. .  .  .  . 

   The Jury returned a verdict of Guilty, but strongly recommended the prisoner to mercy, and the Judge most mercifully sentenced him to pay a fine of £50 to the Queen.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 23 January 1838


Sarah Coffee stood charged with the murder of her infant child on the 28th November 1837, at Kangaroo Point.

.  .  .  .   Dr. Learmonth, sworn. - I remember attending an Inquest at M r. Clarke's on the 30th November last.  I saw the remains of a  child wrapped in a woman's gown in the bed chamber; I saw it first with the Jury, and inspected it afterwards.  I found the face and head remarkably livid, its limbs even flexed, but the body was quote fresh, and around its neck was a piece of tape tied so tight as to leave a deep mark; it was wrapped round he neck several times, and then  tied with a knot.  I observed the cord when I first saw the child; the probable effect of the cord round its neck would stop respiration, and might cause death.  The child was born alive I found from the lungs when I opened the body the child had breathed.

   Not guilty of murder; guilty, with endeavouring to conceal the birth.  Sentenced to twelve months in the female house of correction, with hard labour.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 2 February 1838


   On the 11th instant, an inquest was held here on the body of a prisoner named Robson, who came free to the colony; bur was tried and transported for mutiny, he died suddenly of apoplexy; verdict, died by the visitation of God.

   On the 22nd instant, also an inquest was held on the body of a boy named George Wiggins, who w as drowned on Sunday Morning.  He had been permitted with three others to go to wash, in charge of an overseer.  These four boys were for absconding, double ironed, having a log of wood attached to their irons.  Wiggins in spite of the overseer swam out a considerable distance; and on returning got entangled in the kelp, and sunk.  Every exertion was made to recover the body; which was not found until the following morning, the head much mutilated by fish.  Verdict, accidentally downed, while bathing.  The jury suggested that prisoners in irons, or with logs, should not be allowed in future to bathe in places, where they could swim out of their depths; which suggestion the Coroner (Commandant) said should be complied with.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 3 March 1838

   An Inquest was held this afternoon before Peter Archer Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Elizabeth Newman, who was found hanging this morning to a bar in the training stable of Mr. C. B. Hardwicke, in Patterson-street.  Certain evidence being thought necessary that could not be procured today, the inquest was adjourned until Monday.

   Another inquest took place at the Green Gate, jupon a child who was"overlaid" by its mother last night.  After a lengthened examination, the Jury returned a verdict of accidental death.  On the verdict t having been read, Major Wentworth ordered the mother before the Jury, and addressed her in the most feeling manner the subject before them, and sincerely urged that this would be a warning to her and all others, whose indulgence in intemperance might be the cause of such deplorable accidents.



   An inquest was held on Saturday last before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. on the body of a female named NEWMAN, who was found dead, hanging to the manger of a stable in Patterson-street.  The inquest was adjourned on Monday, give time to procure certain evidence, (some reports having been circulated of the girl having been murdered,) when the inquiry was resumed.; and the jury, after a patient investigation, returned a verdict of - Hung herself in a fit of despondency, caused by jealousy.

   An inquest was held on the same day before D. WENTWORTH, Esq. Coroner, on the body of an infant who was suffocated on Friday night by the mother laying upon it, whilst in a state of intoxication.  Verdict - Accidental Death. [Coroner's remarks, see above.]


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 13 March 1838

   Yesterday an Inquest was held at the Free Mason s'; Hotel, J. H. Moore, Esq., the Coroner, and a highly respectable Jury, upon the body of Mary Ann Black, who was found dead in St. David's church-yard, about six o'clock on Sunday morning.  From the evidence adduced, it appeared, that the unfortunate woman  had destroyed herself with poison, having made a similar attempt a few months ago.  A man, with whom she cohabited, was in custody, as an accessory, but was liberated by the verdict of the Jury, which was that of Felo de se against the deceased.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 17 March 1838

   A man named john Smith, cook on board the Government cutter Shamrock, sculled her boat away from her on Thursday evening last, and was not afterwards heard of until Sunday morning, when his body was picked up in the river.  The boat has not yet been found.  On Monday an inquest sat upon view of the body, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. when a verdict was returned - Found drowned.  [Editorial comment.]


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 20 March 1838


   On Thursday, the 15th instant, pursuant to a requisition, an inquest was held at the Rose and Crown,. New Town Road, before J. Moore, Esq., the Coroner, and a highly intelligent Jury of fifteen, to enquire into the cause of the death of Thomas Vowles, an infant, the son of Job and Mary Vowles, of Veterans' Row, when the following evidence was adduced:- .  .  .  .  [Long account.]

   Mr. Colonial Surgeon, Dr. Derner. - I have examined the body of the deceased, with a view to ascertain the cause of its death; the cause of death was "obstinate diarrhoea;" I think it was brought on by the visitation of God, in consequence, partly by weaning, and partly by teething - the child thereby sinking rapidly.  I did not attend this child, having only been appointed to the Factory yesterday.  The mother ought, if she had milk enough, to haves been permitted to suckle the child; this course would have been much more desirable.  If the mother had milk enough, I would have ordered the mother to have suckled it.  In my opinion, the child ought to have been brought under the notice of the medical attendant; it would have been more judicious to have permitted the mother to have suckled the child, and this is the course which I should have adopted.

   The Coroner stated, that he had not summoned Dr. M'Braire, as he was given to understand, that he would not attend.

   The Coroner now briefly addressed the jury, who retired, and brought in the following verdict - "That the said Thomas Vowles came to his death in a natural way by Diarrhoea, induced by teething and weaning, and that he died on the 12th instant.  And the Jury are strongly impressed, that the confined state of the nurseries, and want of proper precaution at the time of receiving the child, Thomas Vowles, at the House of Correction, and in the nursing, induced the same."


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 20 March 1838

Editorial on the case of Thomas Vowles.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 24 March 1838

Letter to the Editor.

COLD-BLOODED BUTCHERY. - In the COLONIAL TIMES is the report of an inquest held on view of the body of an infant named Vowles, about 12 months old, who died in consequence of being taken from its mother's breast, upon her being received into the Factory, wither she was sentenced for punishment. .  .  .  .   This matter, we trust, will not be lost sight of by our contemporaries in the capital.  It savours most foul, and affords proof of something wrong in the internal management of the Female Factory.  .  .  . 


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 27 March 1838


We have pledged ourselves to an exposition of the horrible proceedings, carried on within the walls of the female Factory.  .  .  .   One hope, however, is strong within us.  Mr. Spode is the actual chief of that department, under which the Factory is placed.  Upon him, therefore, we call, to originate the reformation, which is so greatly needed.  His course will not be arduous, neither will his trouble be great.  Let him recommend to the Governor the institution of the proper enquiry, and let that enquiry be full, free, and open; let troth, in fact, be elicited in the most ample manner, and then the Female House of Correction may be rendered what it certainly is not now - a place of punishment and reform for the women - and a nursery and asylum for the poor infants.


The COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 27 Marc h 1838

Editorial on J. H. Moore, Esq., the Coroner.


The COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 27 Marc h 1838

  The inquest, which was held, the week before last, on the mortal remains of the poor, martyred child, Vowles, has excited very great and extensive interest.  His Excellency had denounced the mode of management at the "Valley of the Shadow of Death," as frightful and wicked; and means, we understand, are to be immediately adopted, to "reform it altogether!!  In the meantime, Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson will resign, - to avoid the only alternative - that, of being dismissed; for if one half of the facts, adduced on the Inquest referred to be true, we do not hesitate to say, that the superintendant and matron, are totally unfit for their situations: we could easily say more, but this will suffice at present.


The COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 27 Marc h 1838

   The lateness of the hour, at which the Inquest, held yesterday at the Female factory, terminated, precludes all but a brief orifice this week.  The Jury, after some trifling technical demur, on the part of the Coroner, proceeded, having viewed the remains of Barbara Hemmings, to inspect the Building, accompanied by Mrs. Hutchinson, Mr. and Mrs. Cato, and Dr. Learmonth, who has, we believe, taken medical charge  of the Factory for the present; Mr. Hutchinson was not in attendance.   .  .  .  .   We shall take up the matter very earnestly in our next, and, in the mean time, we publish the verdict of the Jury:-

   "Died of Diarrhoea and fever, produced by being confined in a crowded unwholesome place, without necessary air and exercise."  .  .  .  . 


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 30 March 1838

The Coroner's inquests recently held on the body of the child Vowles, and Barbara Hemmings, in the Female factory and House of Correction, have excited considerable sensation  in the public mind.  There can be no doubt of the existence of some very serious defects, both in the internal domestic economy, and in the necessary discipline of the establishment, which require prompt and rigorous examination. .  .  .  . 


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 3 April 1838


.  .  .  .  Having concluded the inspection, which occupied nearly two hours, the Jury proceeded to the more immediate business of the evening - the Inquest on Barbara Hemmings, which lasted till near midnight. .  .  .  .  It was, also, stated, that there was no specific register of deaths kept ! - that within the last three months, twenty-one deaths had occurred; ands that during the last fortnight, two individuals had died, without being subjected to any Inquest.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 3 April 1838



The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 6 April 1838


   A man, named William Martin, was shot on Monday week last, in an attempt to break in to the house of William Garratty, who resides in a hut on the estate of Mr. Hopkins, on the Coal River.  The particulars are as follows:-

   In consequence of his hut having been robbed during his absence, about nine weeks since, Garratty was on his guard, the more especially of late, as he knew that an absconder, named Leatherborough, who  it seems bore him some pique, was in the neighbourhood.  He was still more induced to be watchful, as the stock-keeper's hut was robbed on Friday last, as was suspected, by Leatherborough.

   On Monday mourning, the 27th instant, about two o'clock, Garratty awoke and heard his dog bark, and at the same time heard the latch of the door stir.  His wife pushed him with her elbow, but he placed his hand upon her to motion her to be quiet; he then got up, taking his gun with him, and went to the door.  On asking who was there? A man replied, it is me.  Garratty asked who it was, and was answered, William Taylor.  He then asked the man what he wanted, and on being desired to open the door refused.  Two men then attempted to force the door open, and another went round to the windows and knocked it in, the others joining him there.  Garratty then placed himself near the windows, through which he observed that a gun was pointed.  In about a minute a man partly got in with his feet upon the table; but Garratty, who had placed his gun by his side, seized a pole, struck him a blow which knocked him back through the window.  On his falling another man attempted to get in, upon which Garratty seized his gun and fired at him.  Garratty observed his hat fall off, and the man wheeled round.  Another man then crossed the window and laid hold of the part next where Garratty stood, upon which the latter discharged his second barrel at him.

   After this the men went round to the end of the hut and appeared to consult together.  For a little time Garratty looked through the window, and perceiving no one jumped out, and went for assistance to Mr. Hopkins' house, about three hundred yards distant.   While absent from his hut, the man he had shot was found by one of Mr. Hopkins' servants, who had been roused by Garratty, about a hundred and fifty yards from the house.  On being conveyed to the hut he lingered about two hours, and then died.  The entire charge had entered the left side, and some of the slugs passed through the intestines to the right hip.  In searching his person two knives were found in his pocket, apparently intended for defence.

   An inquest was held upon the body, and a verdict brought in of Justifiable Homicide.  Martin was in such pain that it was impossible to elicit much information from him.  He told his name, and said he should not have advanced to the window after the first shot, if Leatherborough had not called him a coward, thus proving beyond a doubt that this man was with him.  Leatherborough and two of the absconders were apprehended the same day some miles from Mr. Hopkins', one of them had received a blow, which blackened his eye, in all likelihood from the pole used by Garratty, whose conduct throughout the affair was cool and determined, and called forth the approbation of the jury.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 7 April.


Editorial comment with extracts from other newspapers.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER *(Tas.), 13 April 1838


   In the COURIER, of the first week of January last, when we enlarged our journal about eight columns we invited the Police Magistrates and Coroners in the interior, to supply us with such information with respect to police business and coroner's inquisitions, the knowledge of which might prove extremely useful to the public in general, forming as it were a centre of information of what passes in various parts of the island.  We should gladly have given publicity to all matters of this description.  We now repeat our solicitations on that head, for we learn with great regret that an accident happened not long since in the Great Swan Port distinct, which involved the life of a fellow-creature.  The circumstances are as follows:-

   One of those itinerant hawkers who traverse this island in all directions, happened some little time since to call at the residence of Mr. P. Duffy, a respectable farmer in the Great Swan Port district, with various articles of traffic.  John Camel, groom to Mr. Duffy, fancying himself not very well, requested the hawker, whose name is Coleman Loughlin, to let him have a dose of Epsom Salts.  The latter gave him what he supposed to be salts, which was taken at two o'clock of the morning, and at ten of the same day the poor fellow died under the most excruciating tortures, declaring that he was poisoned.

   A coroner's inquest was held, the jury composed of some of the most intelligent gentlemen in the district, Mr. Meredith foreman.  Loughlin stoutly denied that he had given Camel anything but salts, but the paper containing the supposed medicine was found in the room of the deceased, and marked "Oxalic Acid, poison for sheep wash."  Loughlin then confessed that he could read print, but not writing.  After a most patient investigation, the jury brought in a verdict - "The deceased came by his death by a physic supposed to be salts, and which happened to be poison.  Coleman Loughlin can read print, but not writing."

   Our friends in the interior may now perceive the necessity of supplying prompt information in all cases of the nature above mentioned.  The public may thus, through the medium of the press, be put on their guard against the ignorance and carelessness of persons hawking that about the country of which they have no knowledge.  It might have happened, that immediately after giving Camel the salts, Loughlin had proceeded elsewhere, ands without any malicious intention administered poison to some one else.  We certainly should imagine that the Legislature might provide some enactment against pedlars and hawkers selling medicines. .  .  .  .   We are informed that the jury, from the verdict given, had expected that Loughlin would have been fully committed, at least on a charge of manslaughter, but as it was not so, we can only bring the matter forward in our columns as a caution to the public.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 17 April 1838


   Yesterday afternoon, an Inquest was held at the Bee Hive, in Goulburn-street, on two children, named Charlotte Hitchcock and George Goodwin, who were supposed to have come to their deaths in some improper manner.  The facts are simply as follows:-

   About six months ago, a woman, named Goodwin, was confined in child-bed at O'Brien's Bridge, and attended by Dr. Crowther.  Anticipating some peril, the Doctor remained with her two hours, but was then called away to another patient at Glenorchy, leaving Mrs. Goodwin to the care of a neighbour, one Mrs. Hitchcock, with full instructions, as to what she had to do.  On his return, he again visited Mrs. Goodwin, when he found her a corpse, having expired by haemorrhage, and the woman Hitchcock and Mr. Goodwin under the bed! A short time afterwards, the woman Hitchcock left her own husband, and went to cohabit with Goodwin, taking with her one child, the deceased, Charlotte Hitchcock, and leaving another with the father.  The children, named in the Inquest, having both died within a few hours of each other, it was considered necessary to hold an Inquest on them, especially when the circumstances under which Goodwin and Hitchcock cohabited together were considered.  After a minute investigation, of five hours, it was ascertained, that the children both died from natural causes - Charlotte Hitchcock of croup, and George Goodwin from diarrhoea, caused by a change of diet while teething.

   The Jury, when Dr. Crowther related the facts connected with the cohabitation of Goodwin and Hitchcock, deputed their foreman, Mr. Gilbert Robertson, to address them on the enormity of their conduct, which he did in a most impressive and appropriate manner; although, we fear, without producing any salutary effect on their depraved and hardened hearts.


HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 20 April 1838


   During the last week, the district of Campbell Town has been much annoyed by the lawless proceedings of two runaway convicts, named Regan and Williams, .  .  .  .  The bushranger immediately put a horse pistil close to Morley's head and fired - the ball passed through the scull, and Morley fell down dead, .  .  .  . 

   An inquest was held on Monday last upon the body of Morley, before F. Forth, Esq. Coroner - and the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against two persons as yet unknown; and also against George Thomas, as an accessory thereto.



   AN inquest was held on Wednesday, the 17th inst. at the Waterloo Tavern, George Town, before M. C. FRIEND, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a seaman named Henry Johnson, belonging to the barque Brougham, who was thrown over-board at Port Phillip, by a jerk of the boom while setting the lower studding  sail, and although every exertion was made b y the Captain and crew to save him, and they succeeded in picking up the body in a very short space of time, the vital spark had fled. - The coroner and jury expressed their great regret that any vessel should go to sea without being furnished with the rules recommended for adoption by the Royal Humane Society, for the recovery of persons apparently drowned; Dr. Smith having, in his evidence, given it as his opinion that had those methods been adopted, there was every reason to hope they would have been successful.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 28 April 1838

   An Inquest was held on Thursday week, at the court-house, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Antonio Franco, a man of colour, who met with his death by drowning.  From the evidence, which was of the most corroborative kind, it was quite clear, that the deceased, who was employed as a cook on board the RHODA, came by his death in a manner perfectly accidental, by making a false step whilst in a state of intoxication. Verdict - Accidentally drowned.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 5 May 1838



   By the Evening's mail, we have received intelligence of the death of one of the Bush-rangers, who have for so long a time infested the neighbourhood of Campbell Town.  .  .  .  .  Moore having had sufficient time to reload his piece, again fired, and Palmer fell dead upon the ground, .  .  .  .   The circumstances connected with this affair being communicated to the Police Magistrate, he immediately proceeded to the spot, an inquisition was held over the body this day, the result of which has not yet reached us.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 8 May 1838

   We have been favoured with the following interesting account of the death of one of the bushrangers:-

   An inquest was held at Ellenthorpe Hall, on Saturday last, on the body of Thomas Palmer, one of the three bushrangers, who have lately committed so many depredations. .  .  .  .





The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 11 May 1838

Another account of the Bushrangers; Thomas Palmer identified as the murdered of Morley.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 12 May 1838


An Inquest was held on Wednesday last, at Sorell, before W. H. Glover, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Matilda Patterson, aged 5 years, who was accidentally burned to death on the previous evening.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 26 May 1838


A DISTRESSING ACCIDENT OCCURRED ON Friday morning last, within a few miles of Ellenthorpe Hall, causing the instant death of Mr. Charles Bostock, an amiable young gentleman, of about 20 years of age, eldest son of Mr. R. Bostock, of the South Esk.  This young gentleman was returning from Ellenthorpe Hall, on horseback, escorting two of his sisters, and two other young ladies, who were in a covered cart, on their way home to spend a few days holiday.  He carried a percussion gun loaded with ball, and the spirited animal; which he rode, having thrown him suddenly from his seat, the gun, on striking the ground, immediately discharged its contents into the head of the unfortunate young man, and he died instantly.  The accidental firing of the gun can easily be accounted for in supposing that the concussion produced by its contact with the ground, ignited the cap, as the gun was not carried cocked by the youth.  A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body on Saturday, at Mr. Cassell's, Jacob's Sugar-loaf. - Verdict - Accidentally Death. - ADVERTISER.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 29 May 1838


   It was not more with surprise than with indignation, that we perused the Coroner's Inquest, inserted in another part of our papers.  That such a Golgotha, as the Factory Nursery, should be permitted to exist for one day, after its abominations were made public, so long as the middle of March last, is to us utterly inexplicable; and, we think, the conductors of that portion of the press, who were honest enough to expose the same, have good right to charge the authorities with great and most culpable neglect, not only to their earnest and well-directed expostulations, but to the public interests and welfare.  .  .  .  . 

   We are quite sure that Sir John Franklin cannot be aware of the full extent of the evil, attached to this disgraceful Nursery.  Should he not be so, we call upon him, earnestly and eagerly, immediately to make himself acquainted therewith, and then to order - not to recommend, - not to advise, - not to suggest, but to ORDER the immediate removal of the children, and not to stand upon any shilly-shallying remonstrance - as to expense or inconvenience; let them be sent away at once, and domiciled in some place, where they may, at least, enjoy the benefit of pure air and bright sunshine.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 29 May 1838


   On Wednesday last, an Inquest was held upon the body of an infant, named William Spry, aged about 1 ½ years.  It appeared from the evidence of Mary Spry, a prisoner, and mother of the deceased, that he was about twenty months old, and was born in the Female House of Correction; that she was permitted to nurse her child for eleven or twelve months, and after being weaned, to keep it under her own care, and dry nurse it for fourteen weeks, when she was removed from the nursing ward to the second yard, owing to other woman requiring to be placed there.  That she was permitted to see her child every month - that she was selected to be an assistant to the head nurse in the hospital, and during this time Dr. Macbraire (who was then the medical attendant at the Factory) told her, he child was unwell owing to "teething;" - that she was always permitted to see him, but that she thought the child was ill from fretting, owing to its nurse in the weaning nursery being changed after she went to the second yard, those who had charge of the child at first being, she believed, assigned out.

   That she left the Factory about four months ago, but was permitted at all times to see her child whenever she called at the Factory - sometimes twice - sometimes three times a-week.  That having obtained her ticket-of-leave on Monday week, she applied on last Friday to have her child, whom the head nurse brought to her, telling her at the same time the child was very ill, and would not live, but I said "I would rather have my child with me in his last moments, if he were to die."

   I never complained, at any time, when I visited my child, as he was always wrapt up when brought to me to see him.  That since she took the child from the Factory, she considered its emaciated appearance to proceed from being starved. - [Here the witness introduced the names of other parties, rendered unnecessary by the verdict to advert to.]

   Jane Dutton, a nurse in the weaning ward, stated, that the deceased was the only child she had to take care of - that child had bread and milk, sago, and wine, as ordered by the Doctor; that the child had abundance of food, and did feed, notwithstanding it continued to sink and waste away; that in consequence of the child getting worse, Dr. Derner ordered the child into hospital, and that she was selected by the Doctor to attend the child in hospital, and that she had charge of that child only, until he left the hospital on Friday last.

   This witness stated in a very impressive manner, "I am the mother of children, and I solemnly wear that I gave that child the same attention that I would my own."  The child eat very heartily, and still wasted away; I cannot say what occasioned the child to waste away; as there is a fire in the hospital, I had always an opportunity to give him food whenever he required it.

   Other women nurses in the establishment were examined, who supported the testimony of Jane Dutton.

   Dr. Derner, the Assistant Colonial Surgeon, in charge of the female Factory, since Dr. Macbraire retired, stated, that the child was ill when he took charge; that when he ordered the child into hospital, he continued Jane Dutton in charge of the child, and had her transferred to the hospital, because she appeared to pay so much attention to the deceased when in the weaning ward, and because she was so good tempered towards the child; that he was perfectly satisfied with the attention that Jane Dutton paid the child, and that he had every reason to believe that the child received the diet and medicine that was ordered for him; that the present appearance of the child is consequent upon the disease the child laboured under, and certainly not from starvation.  That the medicine and diet had no effect; that the opinion he previously entertained as to the disease the child laboured under was confirmed by the result of the post mortem examination - and that disease, marasmus, was neither induced or accelerated by neglect on the part of the nurses, or want of the food allowed or ordered for the deceased.

   The evidence being closed, the jury unanimously came to the following verdict:- That the deceased, William Spry, came to his death in a natural way - to wit, of Marasmus, and not otherwise; and the Jury feel convinced, that every attention necessary had been paid to the deceased b y those in charge of the Female House of Correction. - Tasmanian.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 8 June 1838

  Within the last fortnight three inquests have been held in the district of New Norfolk, in all of which verdicts of Accidental death have been returned.

   The first was on the 28th May last, at Belmont, on the body of Marianne Davis, daughter of the  widow of Oscar Davis, a child of between 7 and 8 years of age, who was killed by the upsetting of a bullock cart in which she was riding.  The cart, with four bullocks, was driven by a bony of 9 years of age, and in passing through a gate caught against the side post and was turned bottom upwards.  The child was killed instantaneously.

   The second inquest was held on the 29th May, at the Black Snake, on the body of Richard Hays, well known as a carrier, and residing at Campbell Town.  He was riding on the shaft of his cart, which was drawn by horses, near the ten mile-stone on the New Norfolk road, when he fell off and the wheel passed over the abdomen, and caused an internal injury, of which he died the following night after considerable suffering.

   The third inquest was held on the 30th May, at the house of David Dunham, near New Norfolk, on the body of William Tippoo Saib Ralph, who was drowned about a month before, having, as it was supposed,  fallen out of his boat in which he was seen by some men who were fishing.  In about a quarter of an hour afterwards  drifting down the river with only one s cull in her, and although every effort was made for some days to find the body it was not discovered till the 29th ultimo, when it appeared among the tea tree brush near the spot where it was supposed to have sunk.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 12 June 1838


Saturday, June 9.

   This morning being appointed for the trial of Regan and Atterell, two of the bushrangers, for being accomplices in the murder of Robert Morley, the court became crowded soon after its opening.  On being placed at the bar, Regan bowed respectfully to the Court, while Atterell assumed a bold and careless demeanour.  On being arraigned, they both pleaded "Not guilty," in a firm and audible tone.  The Clerk of the court read the indictment, which after setting forth the murder of one Robert Morley, by a man named Thomas Palmer, since deceased, charged the prisoners at the bar, James Regan and James Atterell, with illegally aiding, assisting, and abetting in the murder of the said Robert Morley. .  .  .  .   [Guilty.]


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 15 June 1838

   Another attempt at bushranging has been made by five armed men, named Thomas Fisher, John Beard, Benjamin Ball, George Birrell, and James Ely, (the last named having been since apprehended.).  .  .  .  they tied all the men there, and shot a man named Samuel Day.  This atrocious murder was, we regret to say, accompanied by an attempt to burn the body of the unfortunate ate man - the bed on which he laid bearing the appearance of having been set on fire, and the body much burnt.  His hands were toed behind his back, and some cord (exactly corresponding in appearance with that used for this purpose) was found in Ely's pocket. The ball with which he was shot appears to have entered the heart, and to have come out through the opposite shoulder-blade. .  .  .  .   An inquest was held on the body of the unfortunate man Day, on Tuesday last, the particulars of which have not yet reached our office. .  .  .  . 


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 15 June 1838




The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 22 June 1838

The Bushrangers.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 26 June 1838

REWARD for murderers of Samuel Day. [Descriptions.]


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 14 July 1838


A Jury was summoned on Monday last, at the Barracks, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. to enquire into the cause of the death of a child named Eliza Carrell, who died on the 7th inst., (Saturday).  It appeared in evidence that the deceased had been dreadfully burnt on the 19th ultimo, and had lingered in great agony from the effect of it, until her sufferings were terminated on the day above stated. Verdict - Accidental Death.

   Another Inquest was summoned at the Hospital, in Wellington-street, before DARCY WENTWORTH, Esq., Coroner, yesterday mourning, to enquire into the cause of the death of one Samuel Percival, who was buried on Tuesday last, and in consequence of suspicion having arisen, that deceased came by his death from arsenic having been administered to him, his remains were dis-interred on Friday morning.  The content of his stomach being submitted to an examination of the faculty, enquiry was deemed necessary.  The inquest was adjourned on Friday evening, and met again this morning, at the Britannia Tavern.  We understand it has not yet arrived at a verdict.

   Another inquest was held on Tuesday, at the colonial Hospital, before the same Coroner, on view of the body of John Nowlan, who was found dead, with his throat cut, at his residence, at Patterson's Plains, on the Sunday previous.  Verdict - Cut his throat when in a temporary fit of insanity.



   An Inquest was held on Friday last, at the General Hospital, to enquire into the death of a man formerly residing on the Windmill-hill, named Samuel Perceval, who was interred on the previous Tuesday; but in consequence of reports that the deceased was poisoned, the body was disinterred, and the inquest summoned.  After a patient investigation, the enquiry having been adjourned form day to day until the day before yesterday, the Jury returned a verdict of Died by the Visitation of God.

   ANOTHER Inquest was held at the Hospital on Tuesday, on the body of an assigned servant of Mr. M'Kee, of this town, who died suddenly on the morning of that day.  Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 21 July 1838


   The Jury assembled again on Monday at the Court House, when the medical gentlemen were examined, touching the cause of the death of Samuel Percival, when, after a patient investigation, which had occupied four days, the Jury came to the following verdict - Died by the visitation of God. 

   A correspondent who has addressed us upon the subject of the death of Percival, is in error.  We made enquiry personally of the chemist who supplied the arsenic, and are satisfied that that person used every necessary precaution in the sale of it.  The verdict of the Jury renders further observation needless.

   Another inquest was held on Tuesday last, at the Hospital, before Peter Archer Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Thomas Roper, a prisoner of the Crown, assigned to Mr. Samuel M'Kee, who died suddenly on the morning of that day.  Verdict p- Died by the visitation of God.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 27 July 1838

   Our correspondent at Port Arthur informs us, that a convict in charge of a soldier of the 51st regiment was shot by the latter for attempting to escape.  An inquest has been held, and as the soldier will be tried, we forbear to give further particulars.

   A telegraphic communication was made from Port Arthur, yesterday morning, to the following effect - that a constable had reported that the settlement Post Office messenger was found drowned near the Carlton River.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 28 July 1838


   An inquest was held at the Colonial Hospital on Tuesday last, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of a prisoner of the Crown, in the service of Mr. Ashburner, who was killed by a cask of wine rolling upon his chest from a cart he was driving.  Verdict - Accidental Death.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 10 August 1838


   Many of our readers will probably have heard that Benjamin Ball has been shot - one of the four bushrangers for whose apprehension a considerable reward has been offered by the Government.  .  .  .  .    The gun with which Agnew fired was loaded with twelve buck shot and a ball; five of the shot entered the lungs of the deceased. .  .  .  .  An inquest was held before Robert Wales, Esq. Coroner, at the post-office, Morven, on the 6th of August, when a verdict was returned of justifiable homicide. .  .  .  . 


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 14 August 1838



   Robert Bellas, a private of the 51st regiment, stood charged with the manslaughter of a prisoner of the Crown, named James Hall, at Port Arthur, on the 14th July last, by shooting him through the neck.  .  .  .  . 

   William Benson, - I am Assistant colonial Surgeon at Port Arthur, and have been here about 8 months.  I was called upon on the morning of the 14th July last, to examine the body of a man who was shot.  I went on the Wedge Bay road, about two miles from the settlement, accompanied by Bellas, some constables, and some prisoners, bearing a sick hammock.  I saw the dead body of a man, and was directed thither by Bellas; there was a fire lot, and by it the body of a man, lying on his back, with his knees drawn up, and his arms over his chest.  On examination, I found he was dead, with a wound through the neck, and other, through the wrist, from which a quantity of blood had  flowed. I ordered the men to remain there till day light, and then to take the body to the settlement.

   At the Coroner's Inquest, I examined the wound more minutely, and found that one wound had started at the fore part of the neck, and passed through in a right line at the back of the same side; from the appearance of the wound, I should suppose it was caused by a bullet, which in its course had fractured one of the processes of the bones of the upper part of the spine, rupturing an artery; the effects of such a wound would be fatal in four or five minutes; the fracture of the bone would not have caused death; there was much blood on the ground under the head and back of the deceased, and a great deal extravagated  amongst the skin (cellular substance) of the neck.   The wound in the neck was quite sufficient to cause death, without referenced to any other injury.

   There were wounds on both wrists - in that upon the left wrist, the ball had entered the back part of the wrist, and, passing through, had fractured one of the bones of the forearm, and wounded an artery; I cannot tell whether this was a gun-shot, or other wound; the effect of the artery wounded, would be death, if immediate assistance was not afforded. .  .  .  . 

   His Honor directed the Jury's attention to the charge against the prisoner, namely, that of manslaughter; if they deemed him guilty of murder, they must acquit him on this information, so also, if they found he had committed Justifiable homicide.  They retired for a few minutes, and returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

   His Honor. - You find for Justifiable Homicide?

   Foreman. - Captain M'Kay - Justifiable Homicide, your Honour.

   The Judge completely concurred in the verdict, and informed the soldier, that he left the bar without the slightest imputation on his character or conduct; but His Honor observed, that he should use his influence to prevent the occurrence of similar accidents in future, by rendering it imperative for soldiers, in charge of prisoners, to be accompanied by a constable.


   We regret to state, that the remains of Dr. De Little, the C. A. Surgeon at Brighton, have not yet been discovered.  His horse and hat have been found, but no clue whatever has been obtained relative to the body, which is supposed to be lying under some logs in the Clyde, in which river the unfortunate gentleman, it is conjectured, was drowned.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 16 August 1838

   AN Inquest was held on Tuesday on the body of Thomas Frederick Macdowall, a seafaring lad who arrived in the colony by the Britannia, and who has been since employed in a boat belonging to Mr. Hudson, on the river Tamar.  It appears that about a fortnight since the lad was missed from the boat by the man in charge, whose fears were excited as to the probability of the lad being murdered by a man on board, he having heard a splash in the water on the night the lad was missed, and having observed other circumstances which gave grounds for suspicion; nothing however was elicited on the inquest to confirm the suspicion of his having been murdered, and it seems probable that the lad accidentally fell overboard.  The inquest is adjourned until today.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 23 August 1838

   THE Inquest on the body of the late Thomas Frederick Macdowall, who we mentioned last week had been drowned in the river Tamar, was concluded on Thursday last; the verdict being "found drowned."  The lad arrived in the colony as an apprentice on board the Britannia, Capt. Gibson, from London; and absconded from the vessel shortly after her arrival.  His remains have been interred at the public expense.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 31 August 1838

   The remains of the soldier of the 21st regiment, who has been missing since the 1st instant, were found on Monday evening last by one of Dr. Murdoch's assigned servants, about three quarters of a mile from that gentleman's residence.  It appeared that he had been at Evans' public house, on the road to Kangaroo point, and in consequence of a dispute with his comrades respecting some rum, refused to return with them to Grass-tree hill.  They endeavoured to persuade him not to try what is called the short cut through the Tiers, as there is no track; but he persisted, and told them he would find his way to the station , by as direct a route as any soldier in the regiment.  He then separated from them.  At this time he was partially intoxicated; and there is not the slightest doubt that he lost his way, got benighted, and perished through the inclemency of the weather.  The jury at the inquest returned a verdict accordingly.  His remains were recognised solely by the clothing.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 4 September 1838

   Captain Wilson, of the Government schooner Shamrock, died suddenly last evening, on board his vessel.  An inquest will be held, of which particulars in our next.  The vessels in this harbour have their flags flying half-mast high in consequence.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER, 14 September 1838

Another fatal accident from drowning occurred on Monday evening last during the passage of a boat across the river from Kangaroo Point, with a party of young men; one of them, a clerk in the police Department, named Brandon, by some means or other fell overboard and was disowned.  We have heard no particulars, excepting that some of the party were in a state of intoxication, and amongst the number the unfortunate deceased.


The Cornwall Chronicle, (Launceston, Tas.), 27 October 1838

 DEATH BY DROWNING. - We regret to record another accident that occurred to a seaman belonging to the ship Africaine, named Richard Wilson, who fell overboard from that vessel, on returning from the shore on Thursday night.  The body was recovered, and an inquest held yesterday at the Court house, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, which returned a verdict of Accidentally Drowned.

   The body of a man named Joseph Coleman, as assigned servant to Mr. Greene, Tailor, was picked up yesterday in the Cataract River, in which he was drowned on Saturday, the 13th instant, when crossing the Ford a little above Cummings' Folly.  An inquest was held this day on view of the body, at the Scottish Chiefs, in Wellington-street, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, when a verdict was returned - Accidentally drowned.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 24 November 1838

   An inquest was held at the court House this day, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of a new-born infant, who died under circumstances singularly extraordinary.  The medical gentleman who attended at the accouchement on Thursday at 3 A.M., pronounced the child to be "still-born," when it was put under the bed, covered by an apron.  About 10 o'clock on the following morning, the child was discovered to be alive, and lived until 9 o'clock of the same evening.  The Jury returned a verdict of Died by the visitation of go," and expressed a dissatisfaction at the carless manner of the medical attendant.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 11 December 1838


On Saturday night last, about midnight, when the brig William, Captain Thomas, was hawling alongside the Queen's Wharf, James M'Millan, second mate of that vessel, in attempting to pas a boat, lying alongside, astern, missed his hold, and fell overboard.  The body was picked up about seven or eight minutes after, and, although every means at hand were promptly exercised to restore life, it was ineffectual.  An inquest was summoned on Monday, which returned a verdict, Accidentally drowned.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 29 December 1838

INQUEST. - An Inquest was held this afternoon at the Britannia hotel, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of an infant child, 6 months old.  It appeared upon evidence, that the child had been suffocated by its mother, residing at King's Meadows, while in a state of intoxication, on the night of the 26th instant, and a verdict was returned accordingly.


   A fatal affray occurred at George Town, on Christmas Eve, between two men, - one an assigned servant to Mr. Gardner, of the West Bank, Tamar, named John Kelly, the other a free man named Daniel Ray.  A dispute having arisen, they quarrelled and fought, when Kelly seizing a paling - struck Ray on the head, thereby inflicting a serious wound, which occasioned his death.  The result of the Coroner's Inquest held at George Town on view of the body was - Manslaughter - and Kelly was committed for trial. [See 3 Jan 1839.]


  Another fatal accident has this week resulted from eating this highly poisonous fish. .  .  .  .  An inquest was held on the body of the deceased seaman on Monday last, of which the following is a report:-

   Christian Petersen, 2nd mate of the Hamilton, examined :- The deceased Hendrik Rudolph, aged 31, a native of Prussia, was seaman on board the Hamliton; .  .  .  . 

   DR. PUGH, examined - I was called on to attend the deceased about half-past 12 o'clock on Saturday night; he was speechless and altogether powerless; the surface of his body was quite colds, but there were signs of sensibility; he yielded to the efforts of those whom I ordered to administer medicine to him, being incapable of assisting himself; I administered an emetic to him, and then went aft to attend the second mate and steward; the second mate had partially lost the use of his limbs and speech, the steward complained of an inability to move; I administered an emetic to each, which operated and immediately relieved them; whilst attending them in the cabin I was informed the deceased was much worse; I returned to him ion the fire-castle, and found he was dead. 

   I have heard the whole of the evidence which has been given before the Inquest this day, and  from that and my own observations, I believe the death of Rudolph was caused by the poisonous action of the fish which he ate on Saturday might; I afterwards attended the captain who was and still is ill from the same cause.

   Decomposition had proceeded so rapidly, that I do not consider any further examination would be useful; I saw a part of the substance discharged from the stomach after the emetic was administered, it had the appearance of partiality digested fish; I never attended in a similar case before, but it is an established fact, that the toad-fish is highly poisonous.  Williams, the cook, also complained of a fullness and numbness at the upper part of the spine, which is a common symptom where animal poison has been taken.  VERDICT - Accidentally poisoned by eating toad-fish. - LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 3 January 1839

INQUEST. - An inquest was held on the 26th instant, at the Waterloo Tavern, George Town, before M. C. Friend, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of a man named Grey, who was killed by a blow, inflicted with a bucket during a quarrel by one John Kelly, the day previously.  The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter against Kelly, who was immediately committed to take his trial for the offence.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 10 January 1839

   AN Inquest was held at the old Court-house, yesterday, on view of the body of a female named Elizabeth Riley, whose death, we regret to say, may be immediately attributed to excessive drinking. Verdict - Died by visitation of God.


The LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 24 January 1839

   AN Inquest was held on the 21st instant, at George Town, before M. C. Friend, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a man named William Kidney, who was killed on the 18th instant, at Flinder's Island, by the accidental discharge of a fowling piece.  It appeared by the evidence of the chief officer of the government cutter Shamrock, and of Mr. GOULD, the naturalist, that the deceased had accompanied these gentlemen on shore in the jolly boat of the cutter, at Flinder's Island, and on pulling out from the boat a spare percussion gun belonging to Mr. GOULD, by the muzzle, the hammer of the lock caught against the thwart of the boat and discharged the contents into the man's right side.  The gun was loaded with swan shot, and deceased died instantly.  Verdict - Accidental death

   A YOUNG man named Stokes, lately mate of the Spectator of Sydney, who had engaged as sailing master of the Munford, fell overboard from that vessel on Saturday morning last, and was drowned.  The body, it appears, did not rise again, and we believe has not since been found.  - Since the above was in type, the body of the unfortunate man has been found, and an inquest holden yesterday at the old Court House, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner.  Verdict - Accidentally drowned.

   AN Inquest was held before the same coroner, on the 21st instant, at the Bricklayer's Arms public-house, on view of the body of a child, named WILLIAM KEAN, only 18 months old.  The child had been left in a room along for a short time only, and fell into a saucepan of boiling water which had been removed from the fire to the hearth; and was so severely scalded as to cause death. Verdict - Accidental death.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 14 February 1839

   We regret to learn that two boatmen attached to the Pi9lot service at George Town, were drowned by the upsetting of the pilot boat conveying a pilot to the Black Joke, when the vessel was coming in from South Australia.

   AN Inquest was held at the Britannia public-house, in Wellington-street, on Monday last, in view of the body of MILES MOLLOY, who was killed by falling from a cart on the Perth road, near the Portland Arms inn.  Verdict - Accidental Death.



   AN Inquest was held at the "Scottish Chiefs" public house, in Wellington-street, on Monday last, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on the body of James Hough, alias Masters, who was killed by the upsetting of a bullock dray whilst descending a hill on the road to Patterson's Plains; an iron bolt or arm of the dray having been forced through the side, into the heart of the deceased.  Verdict - Accidental death.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 16 March 1839


We are solicited by several respectable persons to ascertain, if possible, the reason for not holding a coroner's inquest upon the body of a prisoner of the Crown named William Morton, who died very suddenly in the hospital last Sunday morning about seven o'clock.  The result of our enquiries convince us, that the cause of the death of Morton, and the medical treatment he received prior to his death, should have been the subject of investigation in the prescribed form.  It is said, that the coroner, Mr. Mulgrave, thought an inquest upon the body was not necessary; we should like much to know the authority upon which the coroner passed an opinion on the subject - according to our opinion, the necessary for an inquest was made out by the fact of doubting the necessity for one; and again, it is evident it was necessary by the difference of opinion expressed by the medical gentlemen at the post mortem examination, who, we are told, some of them in very plain terms, condemned the treatment the deceased had been submitted to. .  .  .  .  And therefore we ask, why a coroner's inquest was not held on the body of the deceased?


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 16 March 1839


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 19 March 1839



The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 23 March 1839


   In Applying to the country (for it is madness to expect any interference of the authorities in redress any public grievance or abuse in the present age of impotency and favouritism,) to ascertain the reason why an inquest was not held upon the body of William Morton, a prisoner of the Crown, who died suddenly in the hospital a few hours after he had been received therein, we should have stated that it was the medical treatment he received PRIOR to his reception in that institution which is complained of.  When he was received into the hospital he was delirious and dying, and lived only twenty-four hours afterwards. .  .  .  . 

   The post mortem examination of the body proved the cause of death.  It was not a natural dearth - because proper medical treatment would have prevented it; this was the expressed opinion of the medical gentlemen at the post mortem examination.  Is it not clear to every mind that a coroner's inquest should have been held upon the body of the deceased? Then, why was it not held, after notice had been given to the coroner by the medical gentleman at the hospital? .  .  .  . 

   Here, we again assert, was a proper subject for a coroner's inquest, and we trust that Mr. Mulgrave, the coroner, will be called upon by superior authority - if such there be in the colony - to account for his refusal to hold it.  The public is insulted by the refusal, justice is mocked, and Mr. Pugh is seriously injured by it.  It is absolutely necessary to possess the public confidence, that medical gentlemen should ever be ready to subject their professional conduct to examination; and it would not have injured Mr. Pugh, had his treatment of William Morton been satisfactorily explained to the public by the usual mode of a coroner's inquest.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 26 March 1839


   Alexander M'Cullum, holding a ticket-of-leave, late in the service of Hugh Ross, Esq., who committed suicide by suspending himself to a tree, with a silk handkerchief, on the hill above Mr. Proctor's house, near the female factory.

   Sarah Ann Ferguson deposed, that she is a prisoner of the Crown, assigned to Mr. Proctor; that the deceased had been a fellow servant formerly, at Mr. Proctor's; that three weeks ago he shewed her a memorial to the Government, for permission to be married, when he stated that he had paid to a clerk 3s. and 6d. and £1, for preparing and forwarding the memorial; that on Monday last, the deceased and witness proceeded to St. David's Church, to be married, in which they were disappointed, their names having neither been called nor registered; she conceived that he had deceived her, and returned home to her master's on Wednesday, having previously refused to say anything to him; he told her that if she would not, he would destroy himself; about 2 o'clock she heard a cooey from the hill, - the deceased called out to deponent, but she told him that if he came upon the premises, he would be sent to gaol, and refused to encourage him; she went into the house, where she spoke to a fellow servant, Charles Lovel, to tell him that he had received directions if he came there to take charge of him; the deponent and Charles Lovel having returned into the house, coming out again, discovered the deceased hanging to a tree.  She desired Lovell to go and cut him down, which he did in company with another man, followed by Mr. Vigor, of the Flour Mills, but before they attained the ascent life was extinct. These facts were corroborated by the examination of Charles Lovell, the quarryman, who accompanied him when he went to cut down the body, Mr. Vigor, and Dr. Dermer, who was returning from his official duties at the female Factory.  The verdict of the Jury was that the deceased came to his death by suffocation, by hanging himself to a tree, while in an unsound state of mind.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 26 March 1839


   We have, this week, to record as foul a murder, as ever was perpetrated, the appalling particulars of which will be found in the proceedings of the Coroner's Inquest. .  .  .  . 


   On Wednesday morning last, an inquest was held at the Butcher's Arms, in Argyle-street, to inquire into the cause of the death of James Matthews, who was found dead on the footpath, in Warwick-street, about six o'clock on Tuesday morning.

.  .  .  .  Dr. Bedford deposed to the following effect:- Having examined the body of the deceased, he found a lacerated wound on the right temple, with a fracture of the skull' there was, also, a triangular piece of bone driven in between the skull and the brain, the upper part of which was bruised; about five ounces of blood in the brain; the wounds, as well as the fracture were the effects of external violence, and might have been inflicted by such an instrument as the paling, then produced; the triangular depression might be produced by the angular portion of the paling, and most decidedly by some blunt instrument.  The wounds and the fracture were the cause of deceased's death. .  .  .  . 

   This closed the case on the part of the Crown; the jury having retired for a short time, the prisoners were brought in, and the evidence read over to them, for the purpose of enabling them to put any questions they might think proper.  The Coroner them summoned up, having discharged Mrs. Frappell, and laid down the law, as if affected the several prisoners.  The Jury, after a short deliberation, returned a verdict of wilful murder against David and Riley, and committed Frappell as an accessory before the fact.  The prisoners were then fully committed, upon the Coroner's warrant, to take their trial for the crime imputed to them.  This case, even on the second day, occupied till half-past eleven o'clock, and has excited considerable interest amongst all classes.  The prisoner Riley, designated throughout as "the tall Irishman," is a powerful looking man, with a most forbidding aspect.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 6 April 1839


   We refer the reader to a communication from this gentleman to The Editor, in our last number, in reply to a statement touching his salary and emoluments on office, the correctness of which is denied. .  .  .  . 



INQUEST. - An inquest was held on the 5th instant, at the Britannia public-house, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of one George Keith, who came by his death, when confined for drunkenness in the watch-house, on the previous Wednesday, in consequence of being severely beaten on the head by another man also confined for drunkenness.  This man had been handcuffed, and had struck the unfortunate deceased with the irons, whilst holding deceased's head between his knees.

   Constable Sage deposed that he was in charge of the watch-house in Launceston, on Wednesday last; when John Lumley was brought there drunk and put into a cell, that shortly after, a man named Thomas Worcester was brought to the watch-house, also drunk, and that George Keith the deceased, was afterwards  brought there, also drunk; that in consequence of Worcester calling out to the  watch-house keeper that Lumley was striking him, he (constable Sage) took Lumley out of the cell, hand-cuffed him, and put him back into the same cell; that shortly after this, Mrs. Symonds, wife of constable Symonds, resifting in the watch-house, told Constable Sage she thought there was a man ill-0using another in the cells, that he then went with constable Ball and opened the cell, and saw Lumley standing facing the door, near the back wall; he was stooping and had Keith's head between his knees with his face uppermost.  Lumley's hands and wrists rested on Keith's face.  Lumley's trowsers and shirt were smeared with blood, and the handcuffs were also stained with blood.  That Drs. Seccombe and Drurie immediately attended, and caused the deceased to be removed to the Colonial Hospital, where he died early the following morning.

   Constable Ball fully corroborated the evidence of this witness.

   Dr. Seccombe stated that he was called to the watch-house, to attend deceased on Wednesday that he found deceased insensible and breathing with difficulty.  He immediately had him removed to the colonial hospital, where he died during the night; on the post mortem examination, he found that there were two deep wounds on the side of the head, and the upper lip was completely separated on the right side to the teeth; on the upper and fore part of the brain he found clits of blood, and full 32 ounces of blood in the cavity of the brain; there was no fracture of the skull, but he believed that the blows which caused the two wounds he had described on the head, were sufficient to cause death.

   Thomas Worcester stated that he was so intoxicated at the time he was in the cells with Lumley and the deceased as not to remember anything which transpired.

   Lumley called no witnesses and declined making any statement. N Ve4rdict - Manslaughter.  [See editorial, LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER, 11 April.]

   A ticket-of leave man named SNOW, COMMITTED SUICIDE IN Morven gaol, on the 3rd instant.  He had been apprehended on suspicion of being concerned in a robbery at Dr. KENWORTHY's, had been examined on the charge, and remanded for further examination to gaol.  He was found suspended by his handkerchief to an iron bar of the cell in which he was confined, on the morning of the day named, life being quite extinct.  It appears that in all probability a further examination of the unfortunate man's case would have removed the suspicion which seemed to attach to him.  The jury which sat on view of the body returned a verdict of Felo-de-se.


   THE April Sessions of the Supreme Court, commenced on Saturday last, before His Honor the Chief Justice, and closed on Tuesday.  The COURT opened with criminal cases; of which the following were tried during the sittings:-

   John Lumley, charged with manslaughter, in causing the death of George Keith (particulars of which will be found in an account of the inquest in today's paper); guilty; transported for life.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 25 May 1839


An inquest was held at Mr. Edward Bartlett's public-house, On Tuesday, 21st May, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Joshua Joseph, a child 21 months old, who was accidentally crushed on Monday last, by falling under the wheels of a loaded dray in St. John-street.

JURY - R. Bland, Foreman; G. Thomas, G. Radford, -- Butler, G. Findley, C. Sisted, J. Ashley, R. Waldron, A. Martinie, W. Storr, J. Ruskin, J. Davis.

   Dr. Pugh - Between 2 and 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, I was called to attend Joshua Joseph, 21 months old, son of Mores Joseph, of Launceston, the body was lying in the apartment5 where it has been viewed by the inquest, the child's head had evidently been crushed by some weighty substance having passed over it, the injury was such a one as might be produced by a cart wheel passing over the face and head, the skull was extensively fractured in several directions and a portion of the brain was protruding over the right eye, and instant death must have ensued.

   George Lukin - I was in St. John-street yesterday afternoon between 2 and 3 o'clock, a dray belonging to Eddie, Welsh & Co., drawn by one horse, laden with 3 hogsheads of ale, was passing down that street between the house of Moses Joseph and the Victoria Tavern, the driver who had charge of that dray (William Parsons,) was close to the horses' head on the other side of the road, and from the situation where he was he could not see anything on the opposite side of the dray.  At the moment that the dray was in the place I mentioned, I first saw the deceased, it was close to the front of the off wheel of the fray, and it was passing leisurely along, the horse walking slowly, the child laid hold of the spokes of the wheel as they were going round, and the revolving of the wheel threw the child under the body of the dray, and the wheel passed over the head of the child; this all passed so momentarily that I had not time to call out or move; I was about 20 yards from the child at the time, there was not any person nearer the child than myself that I  know, instantly after the accident I called to the driver who stopped the horse, and pointed to the child, and he said, Mr. Lukin, you saw how this happened - I did not; he appeared very much affected.  I immediately saw Josephs and told him what had happened, I showed him the child, I then felt myself so much affected that I was glad to get away; the driver was quite sober.

   Joseph [Gilmon?], Ticket-of-Leave. - I was passing along St. John-street yesterday afternoon, when I heard Mr. Lukin call out it is too late, the child s dead, I turned round and daw deceased lying in the road behind the wheel of a dray, driven by William Parsons, he was by the horses head.  Moses Josephs just then came up to his child and looked at it and then ran into the house4 as if shocked, crying out Oh! my child; Oh! my child. I lifted the child and carried it into the inner room and laid it on the carpet, where it was viewed by the inquest, the head was very much crushed, and the brains were protruding through the fractures of the skull; the child loved its legs and head once r twice.  Verdict - Accidental Death.




   An Inquest was holden on Monday last, at the Victoria Tavern, on the Wharf, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a seaman of the Dawsons, named ANTRONIO DENS, who fell from the wharf in attempting to go on board the brig Meteor, on Sunday evening.  Verdict - Accidentally Drowned.

   Another inquest was held on Tuesday evening, the 28th instant, at the Plough Inn, Charles street, on the body of an infant child of Mr. ARCHER, the landlord of the above inn.  It appeared that the child's clothes accidentally caught fire on Sunday morning, and it was so dreadfully burnt as to cause death. Verdict - Accidental death.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 1 June 1839

INQUESTS.- Three Inquests have been held during the past week, the reports of two of which we have given elsewhere; the third Inquest was held at the Britannia Hotel, on view of the body of an old man named James Owen, 62 years of age.  Deceased was a man of intemperate habits, and died suddenly at the colonial Hospital on Thursday last.  Verdict - died by the visitation of God.


   AN Inquest was held at the Victoria Tavern, on Monday, 27th May, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq., on view of the body of Antonio Dens, a sailor belonging to the brig Dawsons.

   Captain John Hassel. - I commanded the brig Dawsons from London to Van Diemen's Land; she arrived at Launceston about the 26th of April; Antinio Dens was seaman of that vessel; he was a native of the Island of Madeira; I should think he was about 25 years of age; he was rather addicted to drinking; I believe he was on good terms with the whole of his shipmates, and was much liked by them; Captain R. Price now commands the Dawsons; she is lying below the Bar.

   John Prior. - I am a seaman on board the Meteor brig; Antonio Dens was with me on board the Meteor, lying at the Wharf, about 10 o'clock last Saturday night; the vessel was about 1 ½ fathoms from the Wharf; it was about high water; there were two planks lying close together, which led from the deck of the Meteor  to the Wharf; they were not level, they sloped downwards from the brig; deceased and I are both natives of Madeira; we had had a glass or two of grog each on shore that evening; he went on board with me, and after a short time there he took leave of me as I was going down the forecastle; he was sober; soon after I parted from him, I heard a noise as if something heavy had fallen into the water; I ran to the gang-way and saw Dens in the water, and just sinking, between the brig and the Wharf; in about six or seven minutes the body of the deceased was taken out of the water and laid on the Wharf; he was not breathing; his wet clothes were taken off, and his body wrapped up in blankets; his eyes were closed, but he opened them once or twice whilst they were rubbing salt over his chest and body; deceased was in good spirits when he took leave of me; it was bright moonlight; the vessel did not move just at that time.

   Dr. Seccombe. - I was called to attend the deceased, Antonio Dens, last Saturday night; the body was then where it has been viewed by the Inquest, wrapped up in blankets; the lower part of the stomach was warm, and the chest was cold; he was quite dead; there were marks, as if very hot water had been applied to his chest; I believe his death was caused by suffocation from drowning; there was not any mark of violence on the head or body;  I should not suppose he had been dead more than an hour or one hour and a half; the application of hot water to the chest, and hot salt to the stomach, would be rather beneficial than otherwise.

   Henry Noon. - A am a seaman on board the Dawsons; the deceased, Antonio Dens, came on shore with me about half-past seven o'clock on Saturday evening; I parted from him, and a little before ten o'clock that night I saw him go on board the Meteor, lying at the Wharf, with John Prior; deceased came from the Meteor, and asked me to take a glass of grog, which I declined; he then returned on board the vessel; about ten minutes afterwards I heard Constable Borradaile cry out there is a man overboard; I ran to the Wharf, and saw the deceased in the water; I ran down to my boat, which was at the stairs, and I then saw that deceased had laid  hold of one of the piles of the Wharf; there were two men in the boat, and I pointed and cried out "There he is," and as one of the men put out his hand I saw the deceased sink; I got hold of a boat-hook, and one of the men who was in the boat caught hold of his clothes with a hook; he was carried up the stairs of the Wharf carefully; he was laid on his belly across a cask to get the water out of him, as they said;  I ran for a doctor, and was absent about five minutes; when I returned, a number of persons were rubbing him with hot water on his chest with flannel, and bottles filled with hot water were put to his feet; his wet clothes were taken off, and his body wrapped in blankets; he was then taken to Mr. Brand's, and laid before the fire.

   John Watts. - I am a seaman on board the Meteor brig; had the watch on deck last Saturday night; saw John Prior and Antonio Dens standing in the gangway; as I went down the forecastle to turn the half-hour-glass, between ten and eleven o'clock, I heard a splash in the water; I heard a cry "There is a man overboard;" Prior ran to the gangway, I followed him, and saw a cap floating on the water; there was not any person on the deck of the Meteor besides Prior and myself; I must have seen if there had been.

   Constable William Borradaile. - I am a constable; I was on duty at the Wharf at Launceston last Saturday night; about twenty minutes past ten o'clock I was about twenty yards from the gangway leading to the Wharf, when I heard a splash in the water; I did not see on board the Meteor any person, or on the gang-way, at that time; deceased was lifted out of the water with a boat-hook, and several persons assisted to get him on the Wharf; when the body was brought up and put across the cask, I felt his pulse; it didn't beat; he did not breathe, and I believe he was then dead; the body was handled very carefully from the tine it was taken out of the boat until it was laid on the Wharf; all the persons who assisted in removing the body appeared sober.  Verdict - Accidentally drowned.

.  .  .  .

   Another Inquest was held at the Plough Inn, on Tuesday, 298th May, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of James Henry Archer, son of Mr. Thomas Archer.

   Emma Clifton, examined. - The deceased. J. H. Archer, is two years and seven months old; I am servant to Mrs. Archer; Mr. and Mrs. Archer were from home last Sunday; about noon of that day I last saw the deceased alive in the room behind the bar; he went towards the back door; he was in the habit of playing in the adjoining yard with some other childfree; about ten minutes after I had seen him in the back room, I heard Mrs. Peart cry out "Fire;" I ran out and saw the child in the adjoining yard, trying to get out of the large gate; his frock was burnt off; I ran to the house to fetch a blanket, and as I returner with it I saw Mr. Francis rolling the child on the ground, and the fire was extinguished; Dr. Grant was then sent for, and soon after arrived.

   Dr. Grant. - I was called to attend the deceased about half-past eleven o'clock last Sunday forenoon; he was lying in a back room; he was entirely naked; he had been severely burnt, evidently from his dress having taken fire; I have no doubt but those burns caused his death; I remained with him until three o'clock in the afternoon.

   Mrs. Maryanne Peart. - I live next door to Mr. Archer's; about eleven o'clock last Sunday forenoon I saw the deceased in the yard near the gate opposite to where we are now; the child's clothes were on fire; there was no person near the child; all its clothes were burnt except a small part of his shirt and sleeves of his frock; there was some water standing bye, which I threw over the child; I have frequently seen the child playing in that yard; the child did not say anything till I threw the water on it, and he then cried out for some more water.

   Mrs. Rose Graham. - I live in the yard adjoining Mr. Archer's house; the deceased was often playing there; I did not see him there last Sunday forenoon, but I  know that on that morning there was a fire in a room attached to my home in that yard, the door of which is often open; it is occupied by the hostler, who is often out of the room; I went into that room after the accident happened on Sunday forenoon; it was then a-light, and some of the wood coals had been drawn down from the fire-placed on to the ground.

   Mr. Benjamin Francis. - I was passing the adjoining yard to Mr. Archer's house between eleven and twelve o'clock last Sunday forenoon, when I saw Mrs. Peart in the yard; she was crying out, "Oh! my God - Oh! my God - the child is on fire!" I then saw the deceased close to her; a part of a frock, shirt, and petticoat were on the child, and were on fire; I called out for a blanket, and laid the child down on the grouched and rolled it to extinguish the fire; the child was burnt from head to foot; Mrs. Field took the child away.

   Elizabeth Field. - I am servant to Mr. Archer; I saw the deceased in his father's kitchen last Sunday forenoon; about ten or twelve minutes after I happened to look out at the back door, and saw Mrs. Peart standing by a child on fire in the adjoining yard; it was the deceased; I brought the child into the house; Dr. Grant was sent for; he came and re4mained with it until three o'clock, when Dr. Pugh came and attended the child till it died, a little after seven o'clock that evening; I have frequently seen the4 child run in and out of the hostler's room, and he had a habit of playing with fire if he was left for a minute where there was any.  Verdict - Accidentally burnt.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 25 June 1839

   On Friday night, the clothes of Mrs. Watson, wife of Mr. Watson, the headman, were enveloped in flames, owing to her approaching to near the fire, by which she was so dreadfully burned, that she expired in the Hospital the following morning.  An inquest was held upon the body, and a verdict of accidental death returned.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Hobart, Tas.), 18 July 1839


   A Coroner's Inquest was held on Monday last, at the Scottish Chiefs public-house, in Wellington-street, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a man named James Lovett, who died in the Colonial Hospital, on Friday morning, the 12th instant.  The deceased, who was a free man, had been committed to the tread-mill for some offence, and on his arrival there was immediately taken ill; and it is stated remained without medical aid from Friday, the 5th, until Tuesday, the 9th instant; on which day he was removed to the Colonials Hospital, where he died on Friday, the 12th.  The Coroner, having received such information, caused a post mortem examination to be made by Mr. Grant, and convened a jury.  The following is the evidence adduced. -

   James Morgan. - I have known James Lovett the deceased about 4 years; I have seen his body this day, he was formerly  a prisoner of the crown; he was a man of intemperate habits during the whole of that time, and was sometimes light-headed in consequence of drink; I believe he was not so after drinking.

]   Josiah Amiel. - I am superintendent of tread-mill, Launceston; I received the body of the deceased viewed by the inquest this day; he was taken to tread-mill on Friday afternoon, between 3 and 4; I saw him, his clothes were very wet; his knees were knocking together; he did not complain of being ill; I suppose he trembled from cold; it was raining at the time; he had no means of changing his clothes; he was furnished with a bed, a blanket, and a rug; her had no food to my knowledge on that day; he was a free man, and slept in a ward with 5 other free men; I saw him about half-past eight o'clock on Saturday morning, he was then working on the wheel with other men; I saw him frequently during the day, he did not complain of being ill on that day; the last time I saw hymn on that day was about half-past 5, he appeared well; about 8 o'clock on Sunday morning, 7th instant, I was informed the deceased was unwell; I went to his ward, he was unwell, without his clothes, he said he was very unwell, and had a bad cold, I gave him some skilly; I wrote a note to Dr. Seccombe, or his assistant, saying that James Lovett, and another man, were ill, and required attendance or examination, I don't know which; I sent it by Benjamin Stanley; it was then Sunday; I sent again bon Sunday afternoon; I saw James Lovett again about 8 o'clock on Monday morning in his bed, he complained of having passed a very bad night, and having violent pains in his chest; he had a little tea and skilly; about 9 o'clock that morning I sent another memorandum by Robert Williams, to the Hospital, and stated that Lovett was very ill and had been in bed one day; this was addressed as above to Dr. Seccombe or assistant; Lovett continued unwell and complaining during the day; no person attended from the hospital that day; he complained of pains in his chest and also violent pains in his kidneys and violent breathing; about 5 o'clock that afternoon, or later, I sent a third written memorandum stating that Lovett was very ill, and entertained great fear; this was addressed as others; I sent this by B. Stanley; he returned about half-past 6, and said that both the Doctors were from home, and brought 2 pills, which were to be given immediately, and the moment either of the Doctors returned they would attend; no person did attend on Monday at the tread-mill from the Hospital; on Tuesday morning I saw Lovett about 7, he complained of being worse; he said "I am worse and quite delirious;" he said he thought he should not live many hours; I went a fourth written memorandum addressed I believe as the others were, by Stanley,  stating that I believed James Lovett was worse, or very ill, and had been in bed two days; I sent about 8 o'clock; Stanley returned about half-past 8, and  said he delivered it; Mr. Drurie attended about 10, or half-past 10, I don't know which; he saw James Lovett in my presence, examined him, and said he was dangerously ill, and must be immediate4ly removed; Charles Wilkinson, dispenser at the Hospital, attended at the tread-mill about 15 minutes after Dr. Drurie went away, and bled Lovett, and he was immediately removed in a cart.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Drurie - Mr. Franks was at the tread-mill on Monday forenoon; I never said to Mr. Franks that James Lovett was  feigning ill; between 12 and 1 on Monday I was at Mr. Franks' offices; on that day I stated to Mr. Franks I had either two or three men ill, that I had sent to the Hospital, and that no person had attended; I believe I stated that a soldier and another man were feigning ill; when I so stated I did not allude to Lovett; I don't believe I mentioned any names to Mr. Franks; I never stated to Mr. Franks that there was a soldier and a free man feigning ill; he must have misunderstood me of he said so; A alluded besides the soldier, to Samuel Cook; I am quite positive I did not allude to Lovett.

   Cross-examined by the Coroner. - I never stated in any of the messages I sent to the Hospital that Lovett was feigning ill; Mr. Drurie said he had no lancet or he would have led Lovett himself.

   Benjamin Stanley. - I am a prisoner of the crown, I was a messenger at the tread-mill on last Saturday week; about 8 o'clock that morning I took a note to the Hospital from Mr. Amiel, addressed to Dr. Seccombe, colonial surgeon, I delivered it to C. Wilkinson, immediately afterwards, at the Colonial Hospital, in the surgery; I did not observe any other person there; I left it, and did not wait for any answer; a little after 5 o'clock that afternoon, I received another similar paper from Mr. Amiel, who said leave it, and say if a little opening medicine is sent it might do good, as he is "gammoning" - as he had a pain in his head from cold; I gave that paper to the same man in the surgery at the Hospital, and told him what Mr. Amiel told me, that he thought he was 'gammoning;'  Mr. Wilkinson gave me two pills, and told me to have then given to the man immediately; I took the pills to the gate-keeper at the tread-mill, whose name is Williams, and I saw him give them to Lovett; I swear I took no note from Mr. Amiel at the tread-mill, to the Colonial Hospital, either on Monday or Tuesday, the 8th and 9th of July.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Drurie. - The man who came into the tread-mill without his coat, was the man Mr. Amiel alluded to, when he said opening medicine would do for him; this was said on sending me to the Hospital, on Sunday evening; I saw James Lovett come into the tread-mill on Friday, 5th July, without his coat.

   Cross-examined by the Coroner. - When I gave the note to Wilkinson, on Sunday evening, there was a little man saw me go in; he had a bottle in his hand; when Wilkinson gave me the pulls he said he would send Dr. Seccombe to the tread-mill first thing in the morning.

   Mr. Amiel recalled. - Is certain Stanley was sent with a note on Monday night; Williams stated to me it was on Monday night and not on Sunday night; if I made use of any light expression respecting the men "gammoning" it must have been on Sunday morning; I afterwards considered Lovett was very ill.

   Robert Williams. - I was gate-keeper at the tread-mill, on Friday, 5th July; James Lovett was taken there between 3 and 4 o'clock in the evening; he was without a coat and trembling violently with cold; B. Stanley was messenger at the tread-mill at that time; there is only one gate to the tread-mill, I was the only gate-keeper at that time, and no person has been so, until today; Stanley took a note to the Hospital on Sunday morning, 7th July; I heard Mr. Amiel tell him to; I saw the note, it was not sealed; Mr. Amiel said he wished the doctor to see the man, as he did not know whether he was really sick, or "gammoning"; I let Stanley out of the gate on Sunday between 5 and 6 o'clock; I saw a paper in his hand; he said he was going to the Hospital; he brought two pills with him, on his return; I took the pills from Stanley, and gave them to Lovett myself; on Monday morning about 5 minutes past 9 o'clock, I saw Mr. Amiel give Stanley a note and he told him to take it to the Hospital; I said I wanted medicine myself, and he said I might take it; I did so; I delivered it to C. Wilkinson, dispenser in the surgery, in the Hospital; I don't know to whom the note was directed; I can't read writing; Mr. Amiel told me to say that Lovett was dangerously ill, and I told C. Wilkinson so, in the surgery, a few minutes after 9 o'clock that morning; I cannot say any person was sent from the Hospital to the tread-mill on Monday afternoon; on Sunday morning about 8 o'clock, I heard Mr. Amiel tell Stanley to go to the Hospital, and deliver the note, for that the man Lovett was very ill indeed; Dr. Drurie came to the tread-mill a little after 9 o'clock, and a very short time after Dr. Drurie went away; Wilkinson came to the tread-mill, and bled Lovett; he took a large tin dish of blood from him; I informed Mr. Amiel on Sunday night, that two pills had been sent from the Hospital to Lovett, and I had given them to him.

   Mr. Jones. - Is Superintendent of Prisoner's Barracks, at Launceston; was on duty on the tread-mill on Monday, July 8; about 4 o'clock in the afternoon saw James Lovett there; he said I am very bad, and shall not survive the night; understood attendance had been required from the Hospital, but none had arrived; desired James Yowell, to go to the Hospital and say there was a man dangerously ill at the tread-0mill; this was on my return to the barracks, about 5 o'clock the same afternoon.

Adjourned until Wednesday.

[The inquiry was resumed on Wednesday morning, in the examination of Mr. Seccombe, Mr. Grant, Mr. Franks, assistant superintendant of convicts, and the statement on oath of Mr. Drurie, assistant at the Hospital.  The inquest was not closed until a very late hour last evening; we are therefore under the necessity of postponing, until out next, the evidence taken yesterday.  The verdict was as follows - Died by visitation of God, and the Jury are of opinion that it is probably his death was accelerated by the want of medical attendance on Sunday, the 7th, and Monday, 8th July.  We shall have to direct the attention of the authorities to this case, when we have given the evidence complete.]


 The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 20 July 1839

Another long report of the inquest on James Lovett.

   Another Inquest was held at the Queen's Head public-house, at the corner of Wellington and Elizabeth-streets, on Thursday, 18th instant, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of George Tunk, a child 10 months old.

   Ann Hammond. - The deceased, George Tunk, is 10 months old, son of Stephen and Clara Tunk; Mrs. Tunk is my sister; I have lived in the same house about a month; the child has been sickly ever since it was born; I was in the habit of seeing the child three weeks before I went to live there; the child was always kindly treated by its father and mother; I stopped with them to nurse4 the child; he slept in the same bed with his parents; the child had had a bad cough for the last seven weeks; no medical attendance was obtained for the child.

   I put him to bed about 7 o'clock last Monday evening, 15th instant; it see4med better that evening than I had ever seen it; I put it to bed, and laid its head on the pillow; Mr. Tunk went into the bed-room to go to bed about ½ past 10 o'clock; he was quite sober; my sister followed her a few minutes after quote sober; my brother came to the front room and called Clara, I want you; she went into the room; I screamed out6; she called me Nancy, come in, I want you.  I went into the room, Mr. Tunk was standing at the foot of the bed, below where I laid it; my sister was close to the bed; when I went into the room my sister said Nancy, George is dead; Mr. Tunk said he could not believe it was dead; he said that he had moved him that my sister might make his bed for him next the wall, where he generally slept; I put his feet into hot water, for about five minutes; it had ceased to breathe, although the stomach was a little warm.  Mr. and Mrs. Jelly came into the room soon after; I asked my brother in what position the child was when he went in; he said, upon it face.  My brother is very poor, and could not afford medical advice; the child had been sickly for some time.

   Dr. Drurie. - I am Assistant Colonial Surgeon.  I saw George Tunk about 6 o'clock on Tuesday last; there were no marks of violence about the child; I examined the body today after it had been viewed by the inquest, from every appearance I believe he died a natural death, but what particular disease I could not tell; there was no discoloration about the neck nor bruises on the head; the liver, intestines, and the heart have a healthy appearance, and also the lungs and brain.

   John Jolly - I have lived in a part of the Houser occupied by Stephen about two months; I never knew the deceased Georgetown ill used by any person; last Monday night about 10 o'clock Nancy Hammond informed that her brother's child was dead; I went in and saw the child dead on the bed, and asked Stephen Tunk if he had given the child anything that night, he said no; I then told him he had better send for a doctor, but he said it was no use as the child was dead, and he could not bring it to life; my wife has been partially deranged for several years.

   Stephen Tunk examined - I went into my bed room last Monday night about 10 o'clock, the bed clothes were not tucked up at the feet; I called to my wife to tuck up the clothes; the child was lying on its face, by the side of the pillow; I lifted up the child to make room, and it appeared lifeless; it did not breathe, but felt luke warm, and its eyes were partially shut.  I tested its breathing by a looking glass, but without dimming it; I told Mr. Jelly, and he said I had better run for a doctor; I told him it was no use, it would only run me to useless expense, which I could not afford.  I suffered under a severe fit on Saturday last and am still very unwell.

   Clara Tunk. - I am the mother of the deceased child, who was ten months old; it has ever been weakly.  My husband was very fond of the child.

   Verdict - Died by the visitation of God.

.  .  .  . 

   An inquest was held before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, at his Office in George-street, on Friday, 19th July, on view of the body of Ellen Riley, who was burnt to death on Thursday morning last.

   Bridget Riley - I am the wife of Corporal Riley, of 51st regiment; I live in the Commandant's office in Launceston; I have occasion to go to the Military Barracks every morning; I went there yesterday morning between 8 and 9 o'clock; there was no one then in my house besides the deceased, Ellen Riley, my daughter, sixteen months old; there was only a fire in the back room.  I pulled the door of that room to as I usually did when I left the house, left my children in the hall, and had done so often before; I locked the doors of the house before I went out; I was absent about a quarter of an hour; there was no appearance of any person having been in the house during my absence; I went in at the front door, and saw my daughter Elizabeth in their hall; I went into the room where I had left the fire; it was full of smoke; I could not see up to the ceiling; the smoke was so very thick, I could scarcely see my hand held at a short distance; I then saw the child lying by the side of the4 bed, not far from the fire; I lifted her up, and perceived that her clothes had been burnt off, and she was dreadfully scorched and burnt; I screamed out, as I lifted her up, she moaned twice, but did not breathe nor move after that; some of the bed-clothes near which she was lying were on fire, which I extinguished; I screamed loud many times, but no person came near, and I went over the way to the Police Barracks, where I saw constable Waller - I told him what had happened, and he went into the room and saw the child; Dr. Seccombe came about a quarter of an hour afterwards; when I left home that morning Ellen had on her a calico pinafore with long sleeves, a cotton frock, two flannel petticoats, a pair of cotton drawers, a pair of woollen stockings, and a pair of shoes - nearly all these clothes were burnt off her when I returned, except the stockings and shoes; the fire was not very large when I left home, and I placed two iron bars before it to keep the children from it before I went out - they were in the same state when I returned. Ellen was much in the habit of lighting pieces of paper at the fire whenever she could get them, for which I have often chastised her; my husband was on guard that morning at the gaol, and I am confident neither a door or window of the house had been opened while I was away.

   John Waller - I am District Constable.  Yesterday morning, between 8 and 9 o'clock, I was sitting in a room at the back of the watch-house, when I heard a child's clothes were on fire in the Commandant's Office, opposite; I immediately went there, and saw the deceased lying on a bed in a back room, in the same position state as when she was viewed by the Inquest this morning; she was quite dead, and very much scorched and burnt all over her head, body and limbs; a few remnants were on her; there was no other person in the room but Mrs. Riley; she appeared very much distracted and weeping; I asked her when she found the child; she said she had been out of the house about a quarter of an hour, and when she returned she found the child lying on her face, near the bed, and about a yard from the fire; I asked her if it was alive; she said she had heard it to give one or two heavy sighs; the broom was full of smoke when I went in, and I saw some of the bed clothes on fire; I extinguished them; I sent a constable for Dr. Seccombe, and he came in about half an hour afterwards.

   Dr. Seccombe. - I am Assistant Colonials Surgeon.  I saw the deceased, Ellen Riley, yesterday morning about 9 o'clock; she was lying on a bed in a back room in the Commandant's Office, in the same position as viewed by the Inquest this day; she was severely burnt, her face, the whole of her body, arms, and thighs - threes burns must have caused instant death.

   Verdict - Accidental Death.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 20 July 1839


   In the discharge of our duty, however painful it may be to us, we are bound to call the attention of the supreme authority to the disgraceful and culpable neglect of the Hospital Surgeons, which has for so long a period been noticed in the strongest terms of censure by the public, and of which our paper of this day furnishes a very distressing instance.  [Editorial on the Lovett case.]


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 23 July 1839


   On Monday afternoon, a Coroner's Inquest was convened at Mr. Priest's tavern, Davey-street, on the bodies of Samuel and Rebecca Sykes.  The Jury was especially intelligent, and most respectable, Mr. Champ being the foreman.  The deceased parties were last seen at the house of Mr. Tame, the Fortune of War, in Macquarie-street; they left at half-past nine o'clock, and were found the following morning at seven o'clock, by a constable and a man named Brown, whom lives at the adjoining premises; they were lying in the open air, upon a small patch of ground railed in from a cottage, at the upper end of Davey-street; the man was breathing and sighing, and died in a few minutes; the woman was quite dead. The time from their leaving Tame's house, until they were found, was not accounted for.  Dr. Bedford was decidedly of opinion, that death had been produced from cold, owing to the inclemency of the weather, they being, at that time, in a state of intoxication.  The Jury returned a verdict accordingly.

   The two witnesses who found the bodies, declared, that they were afraid to endeavour to resuscitate them, for fear of the consequences (and no wonder with a Colonial Constabulary who will swear any thing).

   The Jury, thereupon, appended the following minute to their verdict:-

The Jury, without attaching the slightest charge of the want of humanity to the persons who found the deceased parties, consider it right to express their regret, that any prejudice should prevent the utmost exertion being made to preserve the lives of persons, who may be found in that dreadful state, but those  who may find them."

The Jury expressed their dissatisfaction, at the bodies being left exposed from 7 o'clock on Sunday morning, until 4 o'clock on Monday afternoon, without any Inquest being held.

   [On the inquest which was held on the body of the man, Matthews, supposed to have been murdered, some months ago, in Warwick-street, the Coroner expressed his desire, that, in future, when the body of any individual, was found dead in the street, that it should there be left, until the Jury could inspect it.  Without questioning the propriety of such a measure, we may be allowed to observe, that, whether it is to be invariably observed or not, it is the duty of the Coroner to lose no time in convening an inquest; we throw this out, merely, as a friendly hint. - EDITOR.] [See also Cornwall Chronicle, 27 July.]


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 27 July 1839


   On Saturday last, an Inquest was held before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, at his Office in George-street. On view of the body of John Downey, holding a ticket-of-leave, cook to Thomas Williams, Esq., who was found dead in his bed on the day previous.

   Dr. Pugh. - I have examined the body of John Downey, as viewed by the Inquest this morning; his death was caused by an attack of apoplexy, consequent upon the long-continued abuse of spirituous liquors, the pernicious effects of which are clearly indicated by the expensive disease of the whole of the organs of the body; there was no appearance of any injury having hastened his death.

   Henry Parsonage. - I hold a ticket-of-leave; I am in the service of Mr. Thomas Williams; John Downey held a ticket-of-leave; he was cook; he left me in the kitchen about 12 o'clock on Thursday night the 18th instant, to go to bed; he was quite sober.  About a quarter of an hour before v8n o'clock on Friday morning, Peter Forster came to me in the stable, and said that he had found the deceased, John Downey, lying dead in his bed; he appeared very much alarmed.  I went into Downey's bed-room; he was lying upon his back in the bed, his head on the pillow, and the bed-clothes covering his body up to his chin; the bed-clothes were quite smooth; his legs were straight; his right hand on his chest; his left  arm and hand raised up; his eyes and mouth were shut; there was no froth on his nose or mouth.  I have lived with Mr. Williams eleven months; Downey was there when I went; he has been in the habit of intoxicating himself frequently ever since I have been there, chiefly with rum.

   Peter Forster. - I hold a ticket-of-leave; I am in the service of Mr. Thomas Williams; I have been so for the past five months; John Downey has been my fellow servant all that time; I last saw him alive last Thursday night about 12 o'clock in my master's kitchen; he was sober; he complained of a pain in his head when he left the room; he said he was going to bed; he slept in the room where the body was viewed by the Inquest; no person slept in the same room with him.  I am waiter; yesterday morning I went into the kitchen about half-past 7 o'clock, and did not see Downey there as usual; the outer door was shut, and an oil can placed against the inside.  I shoved the door open; the second door was a little a-jar; I called to Downey three or four times, and no answer being returned, I went to his bed-side and called out, "Cook, are you going to get up?"  I then perceived that her was breathless; I laid hold of his left hand, which was a little out of bed; it was quite cold; he was lying on his back; his head was a little on one side, on the right side, on the pillow; his right hand was on his body; his left leg was straight, his right one a little bent.  I felt his chest; it was a little warm; his chest was covered with the bed clothes; they were lying smooth on the bed; his eyes were closed; his mouth nearly so; there was no froth on his mouth or nose.  I immediately reported what had happened to my master; Dr. Lansdale was sent for, and arrived in a few minutes, he said Downey was quite dead; and Dr. Pugh examined the body with Dr. Lansdale soon afterwards; and he (Dr. Pugh) opened the body this morning.  Downey was on very good terms with all his fellow-servants; he was in the habit of drinking large quantities of all sort of spirits.

   Verdict - Died by the visitation of God, in a fit of apoplexy, caused by the excessive abuse of spirituous liquors.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 27 July 1839

Letter to the editor, re James Lovett, from D. Durie, commenting on the evidence at the inquest.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 30 July 1839


   On Wednesday last, an inquest was held at the Watermans' Arms, Liverpool-street, on the remains of Thomas O'Byrne, a stone-mason, in the employ of Mr. Kirk, of this town.  The Jury was highly intelligent and respectable; Mr. W. Carter being the Foreman, and Messrs. R. Lewis, Hackett, Thomas, T. Johnson, Cutts, Gerrard, J. Thomson, Gilbert, &c., &c., being impanelled.  A fellow-workman of the deceased, named M'Blaine, having been in custody on suspicion of having caused the death of the deceased, was introduced into the inquest room, when the following evidence was adduced.

   John Kirk, is a stone mason in Hobart Town: he had seen the mortal remains of Thomas O'Byrne, then lying in the dead-houase3 at the Hospital: had known the de4ceased for six and a half years, and always knew him to be a quiet, sober, industrious man; deceased was in witness' employ, last week, and he paid him his wages (£2 8s.), about ten minutes before six o'clock on Saturday afternoon, at Mr. B. Walford's public-house; on Sunday morning last, a person, by trade a carpenter, knocked witness up early in the morning, and said - "Thomas O'Byrne would work no more for him."  Witness - asked - "Why? - what's the matter?"- The man said he was murdered last night going home.

   Witness went up to deceased's house, about 9 o'clock on the Sunday mor4ning, when he saw O'Byrne in bed; - he had a wound on the forehead, and a plaster upon it.  Witness then left, and returned in the afternoon, with Mr. Matheson: deceased was then lying on a bier, for the purpose of being carried to the hospital: witness said to him: "my little Tommy - or my little Fellow, who has done this to you?"  The deceased then raised himself a little from the bier, and then lay down again: looking up, and stretching out his hand, saying - "M'Blaine! M'Blaine!"  Witness considered this an answer to his question.

   Mr. Kirk farther deposed, that M'Blaine, who had been formerly in his employ, was a man of intemperate habits, and of a quarrelsome disposition.  Mr. Kirk, also, stated, that on Monday morning, he called upon a man named Kinghorne, a stonemason, and an acquaintance of M'Blaine, and informed him of the circumstances of the case, when Kinghone replied, that they (meaning M'Blaine and O'Byrne) were not friendly, and that M'Blaine "had a pique at O'Byrne."  When Mr. Kirk put the question to the deceased, as to who hurt him, and when he answered "M'Blaine! M'Blaine!" there were present, Mr. Matheson, Sergeant Drew, Mr. Wallis, and some other persons.  The wages, which Mr. Kirk paid the deceased, consisted of two one pound notes of the Commercial Bank and some silver; one of the notes was rather new, and the other had a little dirt upon it.

   John M'Loughlen, a carpenter, deposed to the following effect - he had known the deceased, O'Byrne, for seven years, and had always known him to have been a man of sober, horst, and quiet habits; saw him alive for the last time, on Sunday; was, then, lying on his bed, and his wounds had been dressed by the Doctor.  Witness said to the deceased, "Tom: Tom: do you know me?" he made no answer to that; witness then asked him "if he knew his gossip?" as he had stood Godfather for one of his children.  He replied, "yes Mac; Yes Mac;" - by which he generally called witness.  Witness asked him, "who had struck him, or who beat him!" He answered twice, "M'Blaine, M'Blaine."

   A person named Abraham Houghton, who was present with the4 last witness, corroborated his testimony in every particular, and especially, as to the repetition of the words "M'Blaine: M'Blaine."

   William Turner, is a gardener and dealer, and lives at the upper end of Goulburn-street, near the house of the deceased, whom he had known for two or three years.  He was going home on Saturday evening, and, at the upper end of Goulburn-street, between six and seven o'clock, he had occasion to stop suddenly, from a cramp in the stomach; while he was thus stopping, he heard persons approach from behind; one of whom he r4cognised, by his voice, to be the deceased, and the other, by his personal appearance, he knew to be the man then present, M'Blaine; who, also, gave him the time, and said "good evening."  About three minutes (continues Mr. Turner) after they came up to me, and after they had passed about ten minutes, they were in my hearing; there was no wind that night.  I heard their voices: I am sure the voices proceeded from no other persons; they were speaking in rather angry tones: M'Blaine was speaking the loudest: he was swearing at O'Byrne: I did not hear any scuffling, nothing but the swearing I have before spoken of.  I can have no doubt, on my mind, but that John M'Blaine, is the person, I have been speaking of as having been in company with O'Byrne on Saturday night, and swearing at him.  The remainder of Mr. Turner's evidence, went, merely, to corrobirat4, what we have extracted.

   Dr. Bedford deposed, in his usual lucid and intelligent manner, to the cause of the death of O'Byrne, which was produced by a heavy blow on the forehead, from some blunt instrument, the bone having been, actually splintered.

   Mrs. Alison Read corroborated, in the main points, the evidence which tended to shew that the man, M'Blaine was in the nrighbout5hoof of Upper Gopulburn-stre4t, on the evening in question, as a man closely answering his description, put his head under her bonnet, after she and O'Byrne had recognized and saluted each other, near Barrack-street; this person followed O'Byrne; and when Mrs. Read heard, afterwards, that he was seriously injured, she went to his house, and, on asking him, who had struck him, he replie4d - "Hugh M'Blaine," which he repeated, in full, twice, most distinctly.

   John Read, son of the above witness, stated, that as he was going home from work, he passed by O'Byrne, who was struggling to lift himself up by a paling from the pathway; suspecting him to be intoxicated, he went on to inform Mrs. O'Byrne of the circumstance, who returned with him to the spot, and assisted in leading the poor man home.  He was insensible; and, on being searched, his pockets were found completely empty.  This witness did not leave O'Byrne's house till 12 o'clock, and, during the time he was there, deceased said, several times, "Oh! let me go, good man; let me pass you."  Again, he said, "Oh, High Mac - Mac - what have I to do wit6h you? Let me pass."

   The only other evidence was that of two constables - one, William O'Niel, who deposed that he saw a person whom he believed to be M'Blaine, coming down Macquarie-street5, about 11 o'clock A.M.: the other constable, James Pross, certified to the apprehension of the prisoner at Bagdad, about 8 o'clock on Wednesday morning last.

   The inquest was now (8 o'clock) adjourned till 3 o'clock this day.


The HOBART TOWN COURIER (Tas.), 2 August 1839

Advertisement by the Jurors of the O'Byrne Inquest.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 6 August 1839


Editorial - refers to various cases: Mr. & Mrs. Sykes, and Lovett.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 6 August 1839


   On Monday, July 29, an inquest was held before J. H. Moore, Esq. Coroner, at the Blue Bells of Scotland, Murray-street, upon the body of Sarah Pregnall, who died about one o'clock that morning.  It came out in evidence that during Sunday, the deceased, her husband and a man named George Wilson, were together drinking Cape wine, they had about five pints; the deceased was very drunk, Wilson slightly so, but Pregnall was sober; shortly after the wine was drank, Wilson went away; the deceased was out to bed with her clothes on by her mother, whom lived in the house with her eldest son; Pregnall went to bed about half an hour afterwards; his wife, who was subject to fits, first went to sleep, and himself shortly after; upon awaking about one o'clock Pregnall found his wife's head upon his breast, as th9ugh it had fallen over, upon taking hold of it and finding it cold, and  that altho9ugh he reoe4aetdly called his wife he could not awaken her, he became alarmed, and jumping out of bed, called his eldest son to bring a light, when he found his wife dead, and black in the face; he immediately gave information to the police.

   Dr. Dermer, who held a post mortem examination upon the body, certified, that he found the stomach distended with wind, but empty, although it bore marks of liquor, and the vessels in the breach were also distended, and that death had been caused by epilepsy, occasioned by excessive  drinking.

   The Coroner remarked, that in five of every six inquests he held, death had been caused from drunkenness, and if he could find out the houses where the liquor was obtained, he would attend the bench of Magistrates and have them punished with the utmost extremity of the law.

   The Jury returned the following verdict - That the deceased, Sarah Pregnall, had come to her death by the visitation of God - to wit, by an epileptic fit, induced by intoxication.

                TUESDAY, JULY 30.

   The inquest, held, last Wednesday week, on the mortal remains of Thomas O'Byrne, was resumed, pursuant to adjournment, at the Waterman's Arms, on the day above specified.

   The first witness called, was a Mary Ann Jones, servant tom Mr. B. Walford, who deposed, that, while she was standing at the post, at the corner of Murray-street, on Saturday week, she saw, the accused M'Blaine, pass by.  She knew the man M'Blaine, ad he was in the constant habit of frequenting Mr. Walford's house.  M'Blaine used to work for Mr. Kirk, and had been paid at Mr. Walford's, by Mr. Kirk; he was not paid there on the Saturday, now referred to; but was on the Saturday previously.  M'Blaine pasese4d by, about the customary dinner hour; but what hour that was, witness could not say; she could not be mistaken as to M'Blaine, when he passed up the hill; when she next saw him, he was in yellow clothes, and in charge of the Police. [This witness gave her evidence in a very re4luctant manner; but whether from timidity, or design, we could not discover.]

   At the termination, the accused, M'Blaine, exclaimed, It is false, - quite false, as God is true!"

   In being questioned, as to the general dinner hour of the family, the witness could give no satisfactory answer.

   John Browne, by trade a bricklayer, testified to the following effect: he knew the prisoner, whose name, he thought, was M'Blaine; he, witness, and prisoner were working, on Thursday week at Mr. Smith's in Liverpool-street: about 4 p.m. on that day, they went into the Coach and Horses, in Elisabeth-street, where they "tossed." This witness had no doubt as to the day he had stated.

   John James Carrol, was a mason, and working with M'Blaine; he stated, that he saw him in Hobart Town this day (Tuesday) fortngiht6, at seven o'clock in the morning, near the Union Bank in Liverpool-street; witness spoke to him, and received an answer; the next time witness daw him, was, when he came down handcuffed.  This wiriness was closely examined by the Coroner, and several Jurymen, as to the precise day, and time thereof, when he saw ands spoke to M'Blaine, in Hobart Town; but he varied not from his original testimony.

   The evidence was adduced, but it varied so materially, as to the time stated, that, it was almost impossible for the Jury to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion.  After, however, a brief consultation, the accused was discharged, and the following verdict returned:

   The Jury's verdict was, that the deceased, T. O'Byrne, was murdered by some person or persons unknown; but the one recorded, was in the following words:- The deceased came by his death by certain bounds, inflicted upon his head with a blunt instrument, by some person or persons unknown, on the 20th of July instant, whereof he lingere4d at the colonial Hospital, and lingering did fie on the 23rd instant.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 10 August 1839

   An inquest was held this day before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, at his office in George-street, on view of the body of Charity Williams, anout6 26 years of age, who came by her death by falling with her head against the corner of a chest, when in a state of intoxication.  It appearing acco9rding to the husband's statement, that he had pushed her away from him, which occasioned her fall, the Jury brought in a verdict of Homicide by misadventure.  [See LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER, 15 August.]


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 10 August 1839


   Our readers will recollect the extraordinary disappearance, some years ago, of a young woman named Jenny Ives, who co-habited with a man named Manning, at a place called "the Corners," near New Norfolk.

   When she was last seen alive, she had been drinking with Manning and some other persons, and was in a state of intoxication when she and Manning parted from her companions: Manning appeared to have some difficulty in getting her along; they were met by Mr. M'Nallo, then clerk to Mr. Haldane, who saw Manning strike her two violent blows on the h4ead.  Another person, one of their acquaintances, afterwards met Manning carrying her with her legs over his shoulders and her head hanging down; to this person she appeared to be dead drink; he told Manning that she would be suffocated, if he carried her in that way, and assisted in paving her on his back with her head up; she appeared quite insensible as he thought, with the effects of drink; and he observed, after he had placed her upright, that her head and hands fell into a lifeless attitude; this was the last time he saw her.  Manning, on being examined, said they both got drunk and laid down in "the bush," and fell asleep, and, on waking, he missed her, and could give no account of what had become of her.

   He was apprehended, and committed for trial, but discharged by proclamation, as the body had never been found, nor any other legal evidence of her death.  The circumstance was almost forgotten - at least, had ceased to be the subject of conversation, even in the neighbourhood where it happened, when, a few weeks back, a bullock died, belonging to a man named Weaver, residing very near to the place where Manning and Ives lived; a dog belonging to Weaver, was in the habit of going to feed upon the carcase, which, being near the hut, became offensive, and was dragged by the owner5 to some distance from the place where it originally lay: the dog still continued to go to the carcase, but in place of eating his fill, where it was removed, carried a portion of it to the place where it first lay, and scratched a hole, in which, at different times, he buried parts of it.

   A traveller passing by the place, was attracted by the putrid smell, and, on looking, saw a hole, which attracted his further attention, and, on examining it, the first thing he found was the shoulder bone of a human body; he gave information to the neighbours, who immediately suspected that it was the body of the missing Jenny Ives: a woman present said, "if it is the body of Jenny Ives, I can produce a piece of the gown that she wore on that day, for I gave her the stiff of which it was made, and helped her to make it: it can be recognized by the manner in which the breast is gathered," which she described, and produced the piece of the gown.  On examining the grave, a large portion of the gown was found, entire, which provide to be the breast part, gathered exactly as the woman had described, and corresponding in fabric and colour, with the piece which she had shown.  We have not heard whether a cor9oner's inquest was held, but we hear that Manning is in custody. - True Colonist.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 15 August 1839

   An inquest was held at the office of the Coroner, on Monday last, on the body of Joseph Dell, a child of about 7 years of age, the son of Mr. Dell, of Brisbane-street, who was killed by a fall from a pony on Sunday evening.  The little fellow was riding the pony, following a gig which contained his parents, and it appears that when in Charles-street, the horse he was riding suddenly shied, at some object, and threw him.  Verdict - Accidental Death.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 17 August 1839

[Inquest on Joseph Dell:]

   Dr. Grant. - At about 8 o'clock last night I was called to attend the deceased, Joseph Dell; he was in a state of complete insensibility, and the lower extremities paralyzed.  He had received an injury on the back of his headed, and I believe his spine was injured; I used the usual means in such cases, but he died in about a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes afterwards from the effects of the injuries he had received, which it is probable was caused by a fall; a fall from a horse would have produced such injuries.

   Mr. Joseph Dell.- I reside in Brisbane-street, Launceston; the deceased, Joseph dell, is my son; he was six years old last March.  Yesterday I went out in a gig with my wife; the deceased rode a poney, which he had frequently done for the last three weeks.  We went to my father's at Norfolk Plains.  The deceased was in full health and strength.  On our return home between 7 and 8 o'clock, we were trotting out horses at a quick pace up Charles-street, opposite Messrs. M'Killop and Anderson's; the deceased was on the poney by the side of the gig, when two men were walking in the road towards us, one of whom came close to the poney, when the poney suddenly started on one side, and the deceased's right foot was thrown out of the stirrup; and when he had proceeded about six yards, apparently trying to recover his seat, he fell off the poney on the ground; the poney ran home.  I do not know who those two men were; one of them lifted up the deceased.  I got out of the gig and laid hold of the deceased, who was crying; he appeared quite senseless and helpless; he could not move; I lifted him into the gig, and conveyed him home immediately.  I sent for Dr. Grant, who came in a few minutes; he gave the deceased some medicine and bled him, but he died in a very short time afterwards.  I do not attribute any blame to either of the two men who met us; it was very dark; I do not believe they saw the poney until they were close to it.  Verdict - Accident Death.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 17 August 1839

   An Inquest was held on Thursday, the 15th instant, at the Victoria Tavern, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the bodies of Elizabeth Squires, Joseph Latham, and William Allan, who were drowned on the previous evening.

   Thomas Snell. - I am a surveyor.  Joseph Latham, Elizabeth Squires, and myself, came in a boat from Mount Direction yesterday for the purpose of Eliza Squires and Joseph Latham being married; they were not married.  About 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon, the deceased, Eliza Squires, Joseph Latham, William Allan, myself, John Haig and a young man whose name I do not know, went in a boat at the Wharf at Launceston to go to Mount Direction; I went to sleep soon after we passed the bar; Allan, and the young man whose name I do not know, were pulling the boat; I was awoke by being plunged into the water; I sae the boat close alongside of me full of water, and Eliza Squires floating on the water about six yards from me; I swam to her, and tried to get her on the bow of the boat, but could not; I called out, and Joseph Waller, John Griffin, and Mr. Lambert, came and took me and Eliza Squires into the boat; this passed close to the One Tea-tree Scrub, about one mile from the wharf at Launceston.  I was nearly senseless when I was taken into the boat, and remained so until I was landed at the wharf; I do not know in what state Eliza Squires was when she was taken into Mr. Lambert's boat; it was near high water when we started; all who went into the boat were very tipsey; all the persons in the boat appeared to be on very friendly terms when they went into it; no differences took place before I went to sleep; the boat belonged to Mr. Wiseman at Mount Direction; it could carry twelve persons safely, if properly handled; there was not any sail in the boat; there were only two paddles and the rudder; all the persons in the boat, except the men who were pulling, were forward before I went to sleep; I was lying in the stern sheets; I hold a ticket-of-leave, and am employed by Captain Timed at Mount Direction; John Haig, Joseph Latham, William Allan, and Eliza Squires, were all prisoners of the crown.

   Dr. Lansdale. - I am Surgeon; I was called to attend the deceased Eliza Squires, John Griffin was there; Eliza Squires was quite dead; I examined the body, she was quite dead, there was no mark of violence about her; he death was caused by suffocation by drowning; I this day examined the bodies of Joseph Latham and William Allen, their deaths were also caused by suffocation from Drowning.

   Mr. William Lambert. - I am a leadsman belonging to the Marine Department; about 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon, I saw a boat leave the wharf, in which there were 4 or 5 men and a woman in the boat; Joseph Latham, now lying dead, was witting in the bow of the boat, and Eliza Squires between him and another man, whose name I do not know, all the persons in the boat were intoxicated; I was going down the river on service, and passed that boat about 20 yards from the Wharf; I saw nothing more of nit till about 1 ½ hours afterwards, when I was returning to town in a boat near the one mile scrub, when I heard a person cry out here's a boat capsized, make haste;  I rowed to the place; I saw Thomas Walker and John Griffin in a small boat, waking Thomas Snell out of the river into their boar; it was quite dark; I saw something floating on the water, it was part of the garment of Eliza Squires; I took her into the [could] to Launceston; I put her in the boat-house, and immediately sent for Dr. Lansdale, who came in five minutes; Snell appeared insensible, close along the boat in which I came up with walker and griffin; I saw the boat as I before stated, it was full of water; I questioned Snell this morning respecting the accident; he said he was asleep when it happened; two of the men who went into the boat, whose names I do not know, were quarrelling together on the Wharf, and one of them shook his fist at the other, but what they said I did not hear.

   John Griffin. - I am a prisoner of the crown, employed in the Marine department; between 6 and 7 o'clock last night, I was on the River Tamar in a small boat, along with Thomas Walker, coming up to town; I heard a person call out boat a-hoy, we went in the direction of the voice, and there saw a boat full of water, belonging to Mr. Wiseman, at Mount Direction; Thomas Snell was standing in the boar, the water up to his middle; I knew a boat was coming astern with Mr. Lambert; I called out, and Mr. Lambert came alongside as we got the man into the boat; I then saw something floating in the water, it was the body of Eliza Squires; she was taken onto Mr. Lambert's boat, and brought up to Launceston; Dr. Lansdale was sent for immediately, who came directly; after we got Snell into the boat he said where is the woman, but he afterwards appeared insensible.

   William Cooper.- I belong to the Marine department; about 12 o'clock today I was in a boat on the River; I found the body of William Allen, opposite the One Mile Tea Tree Scrub, about four yards below the low water mark, in nine feet of water, his head lay down the river, in the same posture and clothes as when viewed by the Inquest; he was brought up and landed near the boat-house.  Verdict - Found Drowned.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 22 August 1839

The Inquest on Squires, Latham and Allen (Allan).


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 7 September 1839

INQUEST. - An inquest was held this day at the Ferry House, Tamar-street, before DARCY WENTWORTH, Esq., on view of the body of JOHN BROWNE        , a seaman on board the barque Lady Emma, who was drowned by falling overboard from that vessel, on the night of Wednesday, the 14th August. - Verdict - Accidentally Drowned.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 122 September 1839

DEATH BY DROWINING. - It is again our painful task to notice a fatal boat accident on our river.  A boat, belonging to the Arab, and containing eight persons, put off from the Queen's Wharf on Monday night, about 10 o'clock, and almost immediately capsized.  A prisoner of the crown, named Johnson, observed the accident from on board the government brig Isabella, and with praiseworthy promptitude jumped into a boat, and pushed off to the assistance of the persons who were in the water, but succeeded only  in rescuing six of the number; a young man named Hall, a passenger by the Arab from London, and the third mate of that vessel, a Mr. Finlayson, having found a watery grave.  Great credit is due we hear to Johnson; the whole of the persons saved being more or less intoxicated.  The government will no doubt reward this man for his exertions on the occasion.  The bodies of the deceased have not been found.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 14 September 1839

   An Inquest was held on Saturday last, at the Ferry House, kept by Mr. Daniels, before D'Arcy Wentworth, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of John Brown, who fell overboard from the Lady Emma, about 3 wells ago, and whose body was picked up this morning, by one of Mr. John Griffiths's men, floating on the river, opposite to Mr. Daniels's.

   The following evidence was adduced:-

   William M'Kay - I was employed as Watchman at Capt. Scott's Premises last Wednesday  3 weeks, when between ½ past 11 or 12 o'clock I heard some person call out my God ! I am overboard; I looked toward the bow of the ve4ssel, when I perceived what I supposed to be the form, of a man fall into the water; I heard a splash, but did not see the body rise again; I immediately hailed the vessel, when the mate roused the crew, and it was discovered that a man was missing; I heard the crew say that it was Old Jack that was missing; every exertion  was made to  find the body, but without effect.

   William M'Intyre - I am a seaman, I belonged to the Lady Emma three weeks ago last Wednesday. On that night about half past eleven we were all in bed and asleep on board that vessel, when the watchman in Capt. Scott's yard, gave an alarm that a man was overboard, we all jumped out of bed and the curfew was mustered, when John Brown, one of the crew was missing; I was the last person that went to bed that night, and I know that John Brown was in his berth and asleep at the time; I saw him go to bed quite sober and also quite well; he had not been quarrelling with any of his shipmates that day; the night heads were under repair that day and in a very insecure state; the general opinion on board was that he had gone to the night heads and had fallen through; I sleep in the berth above him and as soon as I jumped out I felt his bed which was warm; I missed him out of his bed, he could only have been just turned out; we all got into a boat to look for the body but could not find it; it was not dragged for until the next morning and we could not find it; I have seen the body of a man laying on the bank of the river; I know it to be the body of John Brown.

   Dr. Pugh - I have this day examined the body of the deceased John Brown, it has not any marls of violence upon it; it has evidently been lying in the water for a long time; I have no doubt he came to his death by drowning.  Verdict - Accidentally drowned.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 14 September 1839

   An inquest was held this day upon the body of the late Mr. Beale, the report of which reached us too late for insertion. Verdict - Found Drowned.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 21 September 1839


   An inquest was held on Saturday last, the 14th instant, at the Ferry House, at the bridge, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Mr. Onesipherus James Beale, a young gentleman who came out in the Cecilia, and has been missing for the last month, and for whom a reward of 50 guineas has been offered by his disconso0late father, who has just left the colony for Port Phillip.;

   The following is the evidence adduced:-

   Catherine Monk - I came from England in the barque Cecilia, with Mr. Beale's family; we landed at Launceston on the 29th July. The deceased Onesipherus James Beale was 24 years of age, always in good spirits, and on the best terms with his family; I never heard him express any intention of leaving them.  He was quite well and in his usual good spirits on Wednesday, the 14th ult.,; Captain Waddell, of the Cecilia, spent a part of that evening at his father's house, he left about 10 o'clock; I saw the deceased about 9 o'clock that evening; he wore the same clothes that are now on the body, as viewed by the inquest; I can speak positively as to the coat and trowsers; and I know, by the marks on the arms, vis. An anchor on the right arm, and two hearts and a dart on the left arm, that they are the remains of Onesipherus James Beale.  The handkerchief now produced was the property of the deceased, and I know he had it in his pocket on the 14th August last; I know he left his father's house about a quarter of an hour after Captain Waddell that evening; I supposed he had gone into the garden; some time afterwards search  was made for him, and it was discovered he was absent; we supposed he had followed Captain Waddell, to whom he was much attached, and who he knew purposed leaving the port next morning.

   Captain Bateman - I am Harbour  Master at Launceston.  The barque Cecilia was lying alongside the wharf on Wednesday, the 14th ult., the stage from the wharf to the Cecilia had been taken to pieces preparatory to her sailing next morning, and there was only a plank on the evening of that day from the wharf to the vessel; it was a very narrow plank, and required great caution in passing over it; I came on shore on it after dark that evening.  The Cecilia was about a fathom and a half from the wharf; it was low water between 10 and 11 o'clock that night; there was only three feet and a half between the Cecilia and the wharf; the mud was very soft and deep.  Captain Waddell left Launceston about three weeks ago, and before he went the deceased was missing, and he (Captain Waddell) told me that he passed part of the evening of the 14th ult., in company with the deceased at his father's house, and that he (the deceased) said he should call and see him on board that night, it w as a dark night.

   Miss Catherine Beale - I am sister to the deceased Onesipherus James Beale; the last time I saw him was on Wednesday evening, the 14th ult., in my father's house; he was in very good spirits that evening with us; the deceased wished to accompany him on board; Captain Waddell advised him not to do so;  about 10 minutes after captain Waddell left the deceased wished us all goof-night; we supposed he had gone to bed; a few minutes afterwards I heard him go out at the back door, and shortly after, as he did not return, he was sought for, and it was discovered he had left the house, and had taken his hat with him from his bed room.  He had the mark of an anchor on one arm, and two hearts and a dart on the other; he had not had any difference with any person that evening, and was not labouring under any depression of spirits.

   Dr. Pugh - I have examined the body of the deceased Onesipherus James Beale.  There is not any mark of violence upon it, and I have no doubt his death was caused by suffocation from frowning; the body appeared to have been lying in the water for a month or upwards.

   John Smallhurst - I am a fisherman; I found the body which has been viewed by the inquest about ten minutes before 7 o'clock yesterday mo4ning, on the left bank of the North Esk river, about two miles from Launceston by water; the head was upon the mud on the bank; the other part of the body was in the water, except the upper part of the neck; it was then in the same position as it is now.  Joseph Firkin * [This man was called Joseph Dudley by the man Smallhurst, while giving his evidence, but this is merely a bye name which he has, his proper name being Joseph Firkin, in which he was tried and convicted, and by which he is known to the Police. - REPORTER.] was with me in the boat when I first saw the body; he was alarmed, and would not allow me to take it into the boat; we immediately returned to Launceston, and reported the circumstance to the Police.

   Josef Firkin corroborated the former wetness, as to finding the body.

   Constable Webster - In consequence of information I received from John Smallhurst, I went yesterday morning up the North Esk river in a boat, and found the body which has been viewed by the inquest in the same place and position as described by the two previous witnesses.

   Verdict - Found drowned.

.  .  .  . 

   An inquest was held on Monday last, the 16th instant, at the Victoria Tavern, Wharf before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the bodies of William Chalk and John Haigh, who were drowned on the 14th ult., with two other men and a woman, by the capsizing of a boat while on their passage down the river to Mount Direction.  An inquest it will be remembered, was held on the two men and the woman the day after the accident occurred.

   Dr. Lansdale - I have examined the bodies of the deceased William Chalk and John Haigh, and am opinion that their deaths were caused by suffocation by drowning.

   Thomas Snell - Both the bodies which have been viewed by the inquest, I believe to be those of men who were with me in a boat on the River Tamar on the 14th ult.; one of them I know was named John Haigh, but the other man I do not know.  There was a woman named Eliza Squires, and two men named Joseph Latham and William Allen, in the boat at the time; we were all intoxicated; Haigh and Allen were rowing; I went to sleep in the stern sheets; the other persons were sitting forward in the bow of the boat.  I was awoke by being thrown into the water; I immediately struck out to swim; the boat was about six yards from me; Eliza Squires was floating about twelve yards from the boat; I swam to her and held her up; Thomas Walker and John Griffiths came to our assistance in another boat in which we were conveyed to Launceston.  I have not seen the two deceased men since the time the boat was capsized near the One-mile Scrub until this morning; I do not know by what means the boat was capsized, there was not any mast or sail in her.

   Thomas Burrell - I am assigned to Mr. Kirkby.  I know that the bodies which have been viewed by the inquest are those of William Chalk and John Haigh, Chalk was free, and Haigh held a ticket-of-leave.

   John M'Kay - I am assigned to Mr. Coward.  On Friday afternoon I saw the body of William Chalk floating in the river Tamar about seven miles from Launceston, nearly opposite Mr. Griffiths's farm, about thirty yards from the East bank; I conveyed it to Launceston o=in a boat on Saturday last; the body was in the same state as it is now, except that it is blacker.

   Jeremiah Sullivan - I am assigned to Mr. Barrett.  I was coming up to Launceston in a boat yesterday, when I saw the body of John Haigh floating in the river, near the East Bank; it was towed up to town astern of the boat, it was in the same state then as it is now.

   Verdict - Found drowned.

   [This inquest closes the account of the seven lives lost bin one night, the 14th August last, viz. - Eliza Squires, John Latham, William Allen, William Chalk and John Haigh, all five out of the boat going to Mount Direction; John Brown, seaman of the Lady Emma, who fell overboard; and Mr. Onesipherus James Beale, who was found drowned, without any proof as to how he was drowned. - REPORTER.]


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 26 September 1839

   AN Inquest was held on the 24th instant, at the Victoria Tavern, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Mr. John Finlayson, third matte of the Arab, who was drowned on the night of the 9th instant.  Verdict, Accidentally drowned.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 28 September 1839


   AN Inquest was held on Tuesday last, the 24th instant, at the Victoria Tavern, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of John Finlayson, third officer of the barque Arab, who was drowned, with another man, named Hall, a passenger by the same vessel, on the night on Monday, the 9th instant, by the boat which they were in, capsizing just as they shoved off from the government brig Isabella, which was then lying at the government landing place, opposite the Post-office.  Hall's body has not yet been found, but a hat was picked up on the morning after the accident occurred, above the bridge, opposite Mr. Daniels' ferry-house, with the following inscription in the lining:- "Frederick Hall, Doonham, Norfolk, 1837."

   R. Pugh - I have examined the body of John Finlayson, now lying dead; there are not any marks of violence upon it; his death was caused by suffocation by drowning.

   George Towner - I am a seaman on board the Arab; the body which has been viewed by the Inquest is that of John Finlayson, late third mate of the Arab.  On last Monday fortnight, about 11 o'clock at night, I was in a boat on the North Esk river, near the government landing place at Launceston, with the deceased, John Finlayson, my shipmate, George Rule and five other persons, when, as one of them was passing from the bow of the boat along the thwarts to the stern, she accidentally heeled from starboard to larboard, filled, and turned over several times; all hands were thrown into the water, the whole of whom were saved except the deceased and Mr. William Hall; the deceased was in the stern sheets, steering the boat, and Mr. Hall was sitting next to him; there had not been any quarrelling between any of the parties; it was quite dark; the tide had been flowing about an hour; the deceased was about nineteen years of age.

   George Rule, a seaman belonging to the barque Arab, corroborated the former witness in every point, and further stated, that five of the men were saved by a boat belonging to the government brig Isabella, and one got on board that vessel by the chain cable.

   Charles Watson - I am carpenter of the Arab; we were pumping at the hand-pump fog the Arab about 7 o'clock in the morning, when I saw the body of the deceased  floating down the River Tamar towards the vessel; it floated close alongside the ship under the larboard gangway ladder.  I assisted in getting the body on shore; I found this watch, which I know was his property, in his waistcoat pocket.  The relatives of John Finlayson live at No. 2, in the East India Road, opposite Poplar church; his father is a Lieutenant in the navy.  Verdict - Accidentally drowned.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 1 October 1839



On Friday, an inquest was held at the Man of Ross, Liverpool street, upon the body of Mary Ann O'Neil, who died the previous night.  The Jury having proceeded to view the body, which was in a shocking state, from bruises, witnesses were examined, who proved that on the night of the 12th of September, between the hours of nine and ten, the deceased was found sitting upon the supports of the watch box in Liverpool-street, bleeding dreadfully, and one mass of bruises; she was too weak to speak much, but requested to be carried to a Doctor; she was conveyed to the Hospital, where her wounds were dressed by Mr. McDougall, the Dispenser; from that period up to the time of her death, she gradually declined.  Several witnesses spoke to the ill-treatment inflicted upon the deceased by her husband.  A little girl, named Reeves, and some other witnesses, not being in attendance, the inquest was adjourned until Monday at two o'clock.


   The inquest resumed its sittings this day, according to adjournment; several witnesses were examined, and amongst them, Drs. Bedford and Howe, who gave it as their opinion, that the deceased had died through erysipelas, and the Jury returned a verdict to that effect.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 3 October 1839

INQUEST. - An inquest was held on Monday last, at the Victoria Tavern, before P.  A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Mr. Frederick Hall, passenger by the barque Arab, from London to this port, who was drowned on Monday night, the 9th instant, by the upsetting of a boat at the landing place at the Queen's Wharf.

   George Toser, a seaman belonging to the barque Arab, stated that the deceased, Frederick Hall, who came out passenger in the Arab, was with him in a boat on the North Esk River, on Monday, the 9th ultimo, between nine and ten o'clock at night; Mr. Finlayson, third mate of the Arab, was steering the boat, and called out to some man who was sitting in the bow to come aft, and while he was doing so, he fell on the gunwhale of the boat when she immediately capsized and all hands, consisting of eight persons, were thrown out; five were saved by the timely assistance of the government brig Isabella's boat; the deceased and Mr. Finlayson, the third mate, were drowned; the other person got on boar the Isabella by her chain cable.

   George Revel, a seaman on board the Arab, corroborated the testimony of the former witness.

   Dr. Lansdale - I have examined the body of Frederick Hall; decomposition is in an advanced state; I cannot discover any mark of violence upon it; I believe his death to have been caused by suffocation by drowning.

   John White - I am a prisoner of the Crown employed in the Marine department; I found the body of the deceased, between ten and eleven o'clock yesterday morning, lying on the right bank of the river Tamar, about a mile from Launceston; the face was downwards, the feet were in the water; the body was in the same state as it is now; I assisted in bringing it up to town. - Verdict, accidentally drowned.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 10 October 1839


Wednesday, Oct. 9.

   The Court was occupied the whole of this day with the case of Mr. Durie, late assistant colonial surgeon at Launceston, who was indicted for manslaughter, in having neglected James Lovett, who died in the colonial hospital on the 12th of July last.  The evidence was much the same as that upon the inquest, which will be found in our numbers of the 18th and 25th of August.  The case occupied the court and jury until nearly eight o'clock in the evening, when a verdict of Acquittal was returned.  With this case the business of the Court ended.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 12 October 1839


   An inquest was held on Saturday, 5th Oct., at the Cross keys, before D'Arcy Wentworth, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Thomas Marsden, who came by his death by being thrown from a cart on Saturday, the 28th ult.

   John Buttress - I reside in Launceston and work a team of bullocks; on Saturday, 28th of September, as I was going along Patterson-street with my cart and bullocks, when I saw Marsden's horse running away with his cart; he was standing on the shafts leaning against the water butt, holding the reins in his hands, endeavouring to stop the horse; Marsden called out to me to stop the horse, just as he came up to me; I drew my bullocks up to one side of the road; I was afraid to stop the horse; the horse continued running away until the right wheel came in contact with a large stone and turned the cart over; he was thrown off and the cart rolled over him; I saw Mr. Neville drag the deceased from under the cart; he was quite insensible and appeared very much bruised; his left foot was cut with the wheel of the cart, and he complained of his arm after he became a little sensible.  I do not know what frightened the horse, he was a very startlish one, if flogged with a whip he was likely to run away.

   Dr. Pugh - I was requested to visit the deceased on Saturday, the 28th September, between 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon; I found him much hurt, the left shoulder dislocated, the flesh of the fore part of the left foot torn off, there were also other injuries on the left side.  I used such remedial measures as the case demanded.  Marsden  continued in a very hazardous state until Monday, when symptoms of improvement presented themselves; he subsequently relapsed, and on Thursday night, finding a gangrene had commenced in the foot, I removed a part of it; he serviced the operation between two and three hours; a long course of intemperance had evidently destroyed his constitution, and no doubt mainly contributed to his death.  The injuries he received (if he had been a man of different habits) might not have led to the same fatal result.

   Verdict - Accidental Death, caused by being thrown from his cart by the horse running away.

   Another inquest was held on Saturday, the 5th October, at the Edinburgh castle, before D'Arcy Wentworth, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Mitchell Nisbett, who dropped down dead in Mr. Sanderson's apothecary's shop in Elizabeth-street on the previous evening.

   Charles Bradley - I have known deceased Mitchell Nisbett, two years and upwards; he has been complaining for some time past; I saw him yesterday morning, and he promised to see me in the evening, but he did not return; I next heard of his death; he has not been well for the past three weeks.

   William Sanderson - The deceased came to my shop in Elizabeth-street about half-past ten yesterday morning, and complained of a severe pain in his bowels; I gave him a dose of castor oil, which he took, and I told him to return in the evening; he did so about half-past six; he said his bowels had been relieved; he felt easier, but was afraid of the pain coming on again; I told him to wait as I was busy at the time; he did so, but he suddenly run out of my house and round the corner, and was sick; he returned again in about two minutes, bent nearly double, earnestly requesting me to give him something to relieve him; I told him to sit down in a chair, while I turned round to give him some camphor mixture and tincture of opium, his head fell heavily on the counter, in which position he remained until I ran round and got a man to assist me; he laid him on his back, and I endeavoured to bleed him, but the blood would not flow; I immediately went for Dr. Pugh, but he died before he arrived; he died in less than five minutes after he fell on the counter.

   Dr. Pugh - About six o'clock yesterday afternoon I went to Sanderson's shop at Elizabeth-street, in consequence of being sent for, and found Mitchell Nisbett lying dead; I have examined his body, as viewed by the inquest, and I found the left side of the chest filled with blood, caused by the rupture of a vessel in that situation; the rupture had evidently occasioned the death of the deceased; the other parts were perfectly healthy, and there are no marks of violence on the body. Verdict - Died by the visitation of God.

   A third inquest was held at the Britannia public house on Tuesday last, 9th instant, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Joseph Gibson, who died in the Colonial Hospital on Friday, the 4th instant, from the effects of a fall in endeavouring to get over a fence at the back of the Plough inn, on Wednesday morning, 2nd instant.

   Richard Snell - I am a horse breaker.  At ten minutes before 6 o'clock last Wednesday morning I found the deceased, Joseph Gibson, lying on his back in a yard at the Plough Inn, in Charles-street; I asked him what was the matter with him; he said, I fell down, in getting over the fence; he appeared to have been drinking; he groaned and appeared to be in great pain; he was lifted up but could not stand; he was then taken into the kitchen; shortly afterwards a district constable came and I went away; he appears to have been between 40 and 50 years of age.

   Charles Grant - I keep the Plough inn in Launceston; I saw the deceased lying on his back in my kitchen between 5 and 6 o'clock last Wednesday morning; he appeared to have been drinking; he said that in attempting to get over the fence at the back of my house he had fallen and could not get up again, and had lost the use of his limbs from lying in the wet, and being incapable of rising after his fall; constable Waller came soon afterwards, and Dr. Secombe was sent for, who ordered the deceased to be taken to the Hospital; I was in the yard about 12 o'clock the preceding night, he was not then there.

   William Greentree - Am a constable; the deceased was a free labouring man; about three months ago he resided in part of the same house where I did in Cameron-street; I do not know where he has since lived.

   John Brown - Am cook at the Plough inn; between 5 and 6 o'clock last Wednesday morning Richard Snell told me there was a man laying in the yard; I went out and saw the deceased, Joseph Gibson, there; he appeared intoxicated; there was not any mark of violence on his face or head; he complained of a pain in his back, his right leg and hand; Doctor Seccombe came in about an hour and a half and ordered him to be taken to the Hospital.

   Dr. Seccombe - I was called to attend  the deceased at the Plough  inn on last Wednesday morning about 8 o'clock; I found him lying on his side in the kitchen; he said he had fallen and could not move his lower limbs; he was breathing with great difficulty; I had him removed to the Hospital; he told me he had been working on board the Mary Mallaby, and afterwards had been drinking, but would not say where; that a man who was in company with him got over the fence before him; that he (the deceased) fell in attempting to follow him; he would not tell me who his companion was, or what became of him; he was quite collected when he gave me this statement, which was on Friday last; he died about 11 o'clock that night.

   I have examined the body of the deceased this day; his death was caused by the fracture of the lower vertebrae of the neck, and the consequent pressure upon the spinal marrow; the injury he received was incurable - such an injury would paralyze the lower limb.  Verdict - Accidental Death.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 12 October 1839


Report of the trial of Dr. Durie, for the manslaughter of James Lovett, and editorial comment, with letters.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 17 October 1839

   An inquest was held on Tuesday, the 15th instant, at the Scottish Chiefs public house, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Corner, on the body of Edward Rowlands, who died in the Colonial Hospital, on Sunday evening last.  The evidence adduced was as follows:-

   William Dunbar Howe - Am Assistant Colonial Surgeon; the deceased Edward Rowlands was brought to the Hospital about half-past ten o'clock last Sunday morning; I had previously seen him lying on a rug in Mr. Waddle's empty stable, in Brisbane-street; his right side was paralysed, extremities cold, and he had not the power of swallowing and could not speak; he was removed to the Hospital in a filthy and destitute state, and was there cleansed and put to bed, when warm applications and other necessaries used in such cases were applied; he remained in a state of paralysis until 8 o'clock on Sunday evening, when he died; there is not any mark of violence on his body; he died from effusion of serum on the brain, which might have been caused from intemperate habits and exposure to cold.

   Dennis Andrews - Has known the deceased for the last five years; he has generally been employed as a labourer, and was a man of intemperate habits; when I last saw him he was intoxicated; he had not any fixed place of residence; he was in the habit of sleeping in any out-house he could.

   Joseph Files - I have known deceased for five or six years; he was always a great drunkard, and slept where he could; about half-past 8 o'clock last Sunday morning, I found the deceased lying in a stable on Mr. John Waddle's premises, where I at present reside; I immediately communbi9cated the circumstance to the Chief Constable; shortly afterwards Mr. Howe came and examined him, and had him conveyed to the hospital.

   William Chadwick - I saw the deceased, on Sunday last, about the middle of the day; he appeared weak, and in a state of destitution; his clothes were in rags; have known him for 12 or 14 years; he was always given to drink; he has not of late had any fixed placed of residence. Verdict - Died by the visitation of God. [Also Cornwall Chronicle, 19 October 1839.]


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.), 22 October 1839


   On Thursday, an Inquest was held at the Cross Keys, Melville-street, upon view of the body of Maria Needham, alias Mannigan, who died that morning, about a quarter past one o'clock.  It appears that deceased had cohabited with a man named Richard Vineall, and a report had got abroad that the woman had been foully murdered by this man, but from the certificates of Doctors Dermer and Bedford, who held a post mortem examination upon the body, it appeared that deceased had no marks of violence upon her person, but that she was suffering from an inflammation of the right lung, which caused her death, and might have arisen from her dissipated habits, or from cold.  Under these circumstances, the Jury returned a verdict of "Died by the Visitation of God," and Vineall, who up to that period had been in custody, was discharged.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 9 November 1839

   An Inquest was held on Monday last, at the Cross Keys, York-street, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Charles Boskill, a child three years of age, found drowned in a waterhole at the bottom of York-street.  It appeared that the parents of the deceased live at the lower end of York-street, and that the child was in the habit of playing near some unfenced water-holes only a short distance from his parents' dwelling in that street; that he left his father in his garden on Saturday, and was soon afterwards found drowned.  The coroner commented strongly on the dangerous situation of these water-holes, which in some places are four feet deep; and the jury suggested that a representation should be made to the Town Surveyor.  Verdict - Found Drowned. - LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER.


   An inquest was held at the Plough Inn in Charles-street, yesterday, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of John Burn, a whaler in the employ of Messrs. Henty, who was found dead in his bed about two o'clock on Wednesday morning last.  From the evidence adduced it was satisfactory to the jury, that the deceased's death was the result of habitual intoxication, and a verdict was returned accordingly - Died from excessive intoxication.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 14 November 1839

   AN Inquest was held on the 8th instant, at the Plough Inn, Charles-street, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a seaman named John Burns, lately employed as a whaler at Portland Bay.

   Some reports had been circulated that the deceased had been violently maltreated, and that his death had thus been accelerated, but from the evidence adduced, the report appears to have been utterly groundless.  The deceased, ever since he arrived from the fisheries about five weeks since, had been intoxicated; and the evidence of Dr. Grant, who was a witness on the inquest, was conclusive as to the deceased having positively drank himself to death.  On the examination of the body all the symptoms of habitual drunkenness were conspicuous.  Verdict - Died from excessive drunkenness.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 21 November 1839

   An Inquest was held on the 15th instant, at the Scottish Chiefs, Wellington-street, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on the body of John Falle, lately in the employ of Messrs. Henty and Co., as a whaler, at Portland Bay.

   It appeared by the evidence of Dr. Howe, assistant colonial surgeon, that the deceased was brought to the Hospital, at Launceston, on the 12th instant, about seven o'clock in the morning, quite dead; that there were no marks of violence upon his person; that, on opening the body, the vessels of the brain were in a high state of congestion, and smelt strongly of spirituous liquor; the lungs and liver were also in the same state; that he attributed the death of the deceased to apo0plexy induced by excessive drinking.  He appeared to be between forty and fifty years of age.

   By the evidence of Mr. J. B. Gardner, it appeared the deceased came to him on the Friday previously, and was then in a very destitute state, having lost or spent all his money.  Having been formerly in his service, he took him in; the next morning he was very unwell, and acknowledged the cause to be excessive drinking.  Here he was attended by a Mr. Thwaites, and supplied with medicine, until Tuesday morning last, when, in the absence of the servant who attended him, the deceased got out of the house, and was found at the bottom of York-street, in a high state of delirium.

   The overseer of a government gang, who found him there, had him conveyed to the Colonial Hospital, but on his arrival he was found to be quite dead. - Verdict : Apo0plexy, accelerated by excessive drinking.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 28 November 1839


   AN Inquest was held at the Court House, Launceston, on Monday, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Matilda Chambers, an infant who was born in the Female House of Correction, on the 8th of September last -

    I appeared by the evidence of W. D. Howe, Esq., assistant colonial surgeon, that the mother of the deceased, whose name is Mary Chambers, is a very sickly woman, and was incapable of suckling her child; and it was given into the charge of Charlotte M'Intosh, a healthy young woman who had also been delivered of a child the same day, and that the child had every attention paid to it; but that it was always very delicate and sickly.  It had not any specific disease, and died on Friday last of general debility.  The child had been in a dying state for several days previous.

   Charlotte M'Intosh deposed that she was nurse to the deceased, and suckled the child; she had sufficient milk for it as well as her own; she had additional allowance in consequence of suckling it, and was amply found in every thing; the deceased was regularly attended by the medical gentleman every day; and that in her opinion the child died from weakness.  Verdict - Died by the visitation of God.

   On Wednesday, before the same coroner, at the Court House, Launceston, on another infant, who had also died at the female Factory.  The child's name was James Bland, the son of a prisoner of the crown, confined in the Female Factory.

   The evidence of Dr. Seccombe proved that the deceased was afflicted with water on the brain, and was teething; and that his death was induced by spasms, caused by the complaint on the brain. The mother of the child deposed that it was taken ill on Saturday, and died on Tuesday last; that she and her infant were well supplied with necessaries, and that the medical gentleman attended the child regularly - and that he attended, when first called to the infant, at near midnight; she stated that the nursery was, however, very close; that twenty women and twenty-four children had slept there, for several nights past; that W. Franks, Esq. Dr. Seccombe, and P. QA. Mulgrave, Esq., had together visited the nursery at the Female House of Correction, and inspected it; that since then, and as she believed in consequence of the visit, six woman and eight children had been removed to another department, and that a further removal was contemplated.  Verdict - Died by the visitation of God. [Editorial comments fo0llows.]


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 30 November 1839

   A fatal accident occurred at Perth this week, from the incautious use of fire arms.  A blind boy was playing with a pistol, ignorant of its being loaded with ball, in the presence of his sister; the pistol went off, and its contents passed through the girl's abdomen.  The poor sufferer lived but a short periods after the accident.


   On Tuesday last, Capt. Wright, riding into Launceston from Westbury, when about a mile on the Westbury side of Carrick, found a poor fellow stretched on the road in a lifeless state, having been run over the body by the wheel of a waggon belonging to Mr. Gibson, the horse attached to which had stopped by the road-side, near to where the man lay. .  .  .  . 


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.),  5 December 1839

Editorial comment on inquest at Launceston Gaol.

   AN IBNQUEST was held in the gaol, Launceston, on Monday last, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of a man named Timothy O'Brien, who had been confined, awaiting his trial on a charge of fraud, since the 15th of October last, and died on the morning of Saturday, the 29th ultimo.  The following is the evidenced on the occasion:-

.  .  .  .  James Grant, (surgeon) - I examined the body of Timothy O'Brien this morphing; he died of apoplexy, caused by an extravasations of the blood in the right ventricle on the base of the brain, and there was congestion to a very great degree throughout the vessels of the brain; I cannot tell by  what exciting cause; it might arise from high living, or want of exercise, and exposure to the sun; O'Brien was of a very full habit of body; head-ache, lethargy, and confusion of ideas are symptoms of apoplexy, as also sickness in the stomach, is a symptom of congestion of the brain, and approaching apoplexy; a man of full habit of body complaining of severe head ache I should perhaps bleed, but this would depend on the state of congestion in which I found him; bit is not easy to say, unless on examination of the patient, whether bleeding, when apoplexy appears, would be proper or not; if a man was flushed in the face, frothing at the mouth, and delirious, I would conceive immediate bleeding necessary, and I think the delay of bleeding, even ten minutes, would accelerate death; every moment is of the utmost importance; I believe that in this case the disease had been increasing for some days, and suddenly ended in a rupture of a blood vessel; it is impossible to say how many hours the state of congestion existed; it might have been only a few hours - it might have been many hours; it is possible, if I had been called to the deceased on Friday afternoon, and he had only complained of head ache, I might not have thought it necessary to bleed him; it would have depended entirely on all apparent symptoms, particularly the state of his pulse, and the appearance of the pupils of the eyes; no one but a medical man could say whether bleeding was necessary or not; on Friday night, if congestion had arrived to such a height that the patient was delicious and frothing at the mouth, it is possible bleeding might have saved or prolonged his life, but not certain; it is highly probable it might have saved or prolonged it.

   By Dr. Howe - Cases of apoplexy have happened in my practice; the patients did not all recover, some of them died; I have read of cases of apo9plexy which had terminated in a few moments; when extravasations does take place, bleeding does not always save life; I know bleeding in some cases would be mischievous, but only when the patient was in articulus mortis; that could be only known by inspection; attacks of apoplexy, accompanied by extravasations on the brain, are frequently fatal.

   By the Coroner - The symptoms would be, state of complete lethargy and great dilation of the pupils of the eyes; previous to such symptoms, bleeding would be absolutely necessary.


.  .  .  .   Dr.            Grant recalled - In cases of epilepsy there are always convulsions; very often discoloration of the face, frothing at the mouth, and difficulty in breathing; in such cases bleeding is not frequently, but often had recourse to, and the necessity of bleeding can only be determined by the stage of the case, and inspection of the patient; epilepsy sometimes, but not frequently, terminates in apoplexy; in epilepsy the patient falls down with a cry or scream.

   By Dr. Howe - The appearance of patients on post mortem examination, who die of epilepsy, vary exceedingly, but in those who die of apoplexy the appearances are always the same; I should conceive that bin a case of death from epilepsy there would not always be congestion of the brain; there would generally be a degree  of congestion, but not so great as apoplexy; death from epilepsy is very rare, and death from apoplexy is very frequent;  in the state of congestion in apoplexy the face would be equally flushed as in epilepsy; frothing at the mouth is decidedly a more common symptom in epilepsy than apoplexy; when death arises from serous effusion, there is seldom any discoloration of the countenance, it is rather pale than otherwise.

   Verdict - Died by the visitation of God; and the Jury regret that Dr. Howe did not attend earlier.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 7 December 1839


   It is not to be wondered that the public feeling, excited as it has been for such a length of time in disapproval of the doings of the colonial surgeons, should have been again raised, and the voice of the whole town be loud in  demand for an inquest upon the body of Timothy O'Brien, who died suddenly in the gaol on Saturday last.  .  .  .  . 

   We feel that but few observations are necessary on our part; a degree of neglect was shewn by Dr. Howe, which, although culpable, is yet excusable.   .  .  .  .  The verdict of the jury of course exonerates Dr. Howe, who, we learn, has resigned, in disgust at the "system" adopted in the department.  This circumstance we regret exceedingly, because it was given in evidence on the inquest that that gentleman was usually attentive to his public duties; and as his medial abilities are of the first-rate order, and his experience extensive, the public institutions in Launceston will suffer a serious loss by his resignation. .  .  .  . 


We regret to record a fatal accident which befel Mr. George Scrimgeour on Monday last.  By some means he fell down in his own room, and struck his head so violently against the fire-place, that he lingered until Wednesday about 12 o'clock, when he expired. .  .  .  .   -Hobart Town Advertiser.

   It is our painful duty to notice this week the premature death of the eldest son of Major Gray, an amiable youth of 17, who was drowned in the Break-o'-day river on Thursday, Nov. 28. .  .  .  .  LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER.


COLONIAL TIMES (Hobart, Tas.) 10 December 1839

FATAL ACCIDENT. - The body of Mr. Dempster, formerly commander of the schooner Black Wattle, and who has been so long in the Pittwater and Richmond trade, was found near the New Wharf.  It is supposed that he fell out of a small boat he was sailing on Saturday week, after dark, - to get on board his vessel.  The Coroner's Inquest returned a verdict of - Found Drowned.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 12 December 1839

   A CORONER'S jury was summoned on Monday to enquire into the circumstances connected with the death of the wife of William Lilly, residing in Charles-street, Launceston; it having been reported that the death was the result of a fright, occasioned by a bullock being driven furiously through the streets a few evenings previously.  The enquiry was adjourned, after the examination of only two witnesses, until Saturday next; we shall therefore take no further notice of the case until after the inquest.

      AN Inquest was held on Monday last at the Victoria Tavern, Wharf, before P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. Coroner, upon the body of John Norman, a carpenter, lately in the employ of Mr. Richard Scott,  shipwight, of Launceston, accidentally drowned in the Tamar, on the 2nd instant; having fallen from a boat, whilst employed upon the repairs of a ship.  The following is the evidence:-

   W. R. Pugh, (surgeon) had examined the body; there was no appearance of violence upon the person of the deceased; it had all the characteristics of the remains of a person whose death had been caused by suffocation from drowning, and had been lying s considerable time under water.

   W. C. Capon, deposed that he was in a pinnace belonging to the barque Prince Regent, lying below the bar, at Launceston, on Monday the 2nd December instant, employed, in company with a man named William Smith and the deceased John Norman, repairing the vessel; that the deceased, John Norman, was in the stern of the boot sculling it, to get under the ship's counter; Smith was in the middle of the boat, holding on by the hawser, and himself at the head, hanging on by the mooring chain; the tide was running down very fast; all of a sudden Norman  was missing, and nothing was to be seen of him but his cap, and the scull he had been using in the stern of the boat, floating at the distance of some yards from the boat; an alarm was immediately given to the people on board the barque, and boats were sent to drag for the body, but without success.

   Charles Coward, who was on his way down the river Tamar, from Launceston, on Saturday evening, December 7th, deposed to finding the body of the deceased about a mile and a half below the bar, made fast to a post, with a rope round it; he could not return that night, therefore left it at Captain Stewart's; he had examined the body, and found no marks of violence upon it.

   William Martin, a waterman, deposed that he and Robert Stewart were conveying a passenger down the river between five and six o'clock last Saturday evening when some boys in a boat hailed them, and informed him that the body of a man was floating on the water near Stephenson's Flats; he and Stewart went and made the body fast to the pile opposite, and proceeded with their fare; on returning found the body removed, and reported the circumstance at Launceston that night; the next morning assisted in bringing the body to Launceston.  Verdict, Accidentally drowned.


Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 14 December 1839


   We have received information of the death of [3] men, one named Furtado, overseer to the late Dr. Pierson, a foreigner, who earned his livelihood as a fisherman, and a person named Bootle.  The accident occurred about ten days since, whilst attempting to cross a stream on horseback, at a place called Hanson's Creek, situate on the east coast.


LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER (Tas.), 19 December 1839

   The adjourned inquest on the body of the late Mrs. Lilly, referred to in our last, was held on Saturday, at the Bull's Head, Charles-street, before P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq. Coroner, and after a patient investigation the Jury gave their verdict as follows:_

   That the deceased, Margaret Lilly, died by premature labour, occasioned by the furious driving of three wild cattle near her, while standing at the door of her residence on Saturday, the 30th of November, 1839

   The Jury requested the coroner to report the circumstances of the case to the executive government; in the hope that measures would be adopted by the authorities to prevent the recurrence of similar accidents, by bringing forward in the legislature some legal enactment, attaching a heavy penalty to the furious drivi9ng of wild cattle, or other cattle not under sufficient controul, through the streets of the town or other public thoroughfares.

   The suggestion we are certain will be promptly acted upon by our worthy coroner; emanating as it does from a highly-respectable and intelligent jury; and we trust that the Government will immediately act upon the suggestion.


The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), 21 December 1839

Another report of the John Norman inquest.


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