Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Newcastle in 1820

Newspaper Extracts


The Sydney Gazette 8 January 1820


Benjamin Grainger paid £5 salary from 30 June to 30 September 1819 (Miner at Newcastle)

Captain Morisset Commandant paid £67/17/- for the period 1 January to 30 June 1819

John Evans, Superintendent of Government slaughter house paid £25 for the period 1 January to 30 September 1819

Henry Wrensford Donation for service as schoolmaster at Newcastle £5


Francis Chartres was brought up to this office and charged by Mr. James Stewart with stealing a gold brooch his property and being convicted thereof was sentenced to be transported to Newcastle

Mathew Merritt to receive 100 lashes in the Market Place on Friday next and be sent to Newcastle for two years; and John Marchant to receive 50 lashes, and sent to Newcastle for 12 months

John Thompson , a prisoner arrived by the General Stewart, and John Howlett a prisoner arrived by the Canada were brought before the Bench for effecting their escape in the ship Tottenham from this Colony, having been returned hither by the St. Michael, and were directed to be sent to Newcastle for two years.

The Sydney Gazette 15 January 1820


On Friday the 7th instant, were executed at Newcastle, pursuant to their sentence, William Smith and John Pagan, who were tried and convicted at the last Court of Criminal Jurisdiction for the wilful murder of James White, which crime was perpetrated on the 11th October. They were conveyed to Newcastle in the brig Elizabeth Henrietta, and to all appearance died very penitently, acknowledging the justice of that sentence which had decreed them to suffer death.


Edward McCabe , a prisoner, was charged with stealing a quantity of superfine broadcloth from the warehouse of Mr. Connell, in Pitt Street. The prisoner had offered to dispose of some cloth to various persons and among others to Mr. Cooper, of George Street to whom he shewed a pattern, but which was declined. Information was accordingly given to the Police of the circumstance; and the prisoner was apprehended with two different pieces of cloth, as samples, on his person, and which were identified to be of the same colour and quality as that stolen. The prisoner urged nothing in his defence; and being found guilty, he was sentenced to receive 100 lashes at the cart's tail in the market place on Friday next, and be afterwards sent to Newcastle for the remainder of his original term of transportation.


Michael Crogan was found guilty of a street robbery, and sentenced to receive 50 lashes and afterwards sent to Newcastle.

The Sydney Gazette 29 January 1820

Reverend G. Middleton , Prince Regent, Clerk. Appointed assistant Chaplain at Sydney until permanently appointed.


The Sydney Gazette 25 March 1820


Monday Thomas Till and Michael Haggerty, tried on a charge of stealing 17 sheep, the property of John Blaxland, Esq. Haggerty pleaded guilty; and was repeatedly exhorted by His Honour the Judge Advocate against persisting in the plea; in the affirmative to which he replied as often as challenged. Till pleaded not guilty; and was acquitted upon the first count for stealing but found guilty upon another count charging him with aiding assisting and abetting in the robbery - both remanded for sentence

Same day - William Brown, for stealing a colt; found guilty and remanded for sentence

Tuesday - Thomas Smith, Thomas Blazey, Edward Aibrey , Thomas Fox, and John Sears, for stealing a boat the property of Mr. William Stuart - All found guilty and sentenced 7 years to Newcastle to hard labour; the first year to work in double irons.

Same day - Joseph Cunningham born in the colony aged 18, and Samuel Medworth a prisoner servant were indicted on a charge of stealing two head of cattle and both found guilty and remanded for sentence

Thomas Rourke indicted for stealing sundry articles of wearing apparel in the dwelling house of Martha Plomley her property was found guilty and sentenced to 14 years to Newcastle.

The prisoners convicted on capital charges were brought before the Court to receive sentence. These unhappy creatures were nine in number viz

Michael Haggerty and Thomas Till, for sheep stealing;

Joseph Cunningham and Samuel Medworth for cattle stealing

Theophilus Chamberlain , for stealing a mare;

William Brown for stealing a colt;

Dominick McIntyre for sheep stealing;

John Davis for stealing a bullock; and

James Francis for stealing a cow and calf

Upon his awful occasion nine unhappy men standing at the bar of a court in expectation of their horrifying doom presented to the pitying eye of the spectator a melancholy picture of calamity; the dye was cast, and the forfeit to be paid! What forfeit? Nothing but life itself, extending to a new creation, in which the doom of mortals was to be irrevocably fixed.

His Honour the judge in a most impressive speech drew all the prisoners into a sense of contrition; and while he assured them of mercy, so far as affected their lives yet suggested the impossibility of suffering them longer to remain in a condition wherein their crimes might be prolengthened. The youthful as well as the hoary head were equally now the miserable subject of contemplation; and in the especial case of Cunningham, he was sorry to remark, that in his particular case he had disturbed that vast fidelity of character that belonged to the Youth of this colony, whose bright example it was a pity should be so unhappily traduced by the wretched misdoings of one individual of a society that had preserved itself in a state that carried with it the highest of commendations and merited the reward of approbation, which was greater to a rising generation than could be possible rewarded otherwise than in the estimation the esteem, and commendation of an admiring world.

His Honour was much affected in his admonition to this wretched youth, who under a good guidance might have made a fine young man; but, alas! He was given up to destruction, and had fallen under its ruins. He was happy, however, in mitigating the sentence of death to all of the prisoners at the bar.


The Sydney Gazette 22 April 1820


Principal Superintendents Office

The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all constables and others are hereby strictly required to use their utmost Exertions in apprehending and lodging them in safe Custody. From Newcastle:

Francis Rhodes ,

James Munroe


The Sydney Gazette 3 June 1820


Bench of Magistrates - This day George Pocock for burglariously entering into the Store of Mr. George Williams was sentenced to 100 lashes in the Market Place and to be afterwards transported to Newcastle for the term of three years. Offenders of this description have not the plea of want; they have sufficiency to live upon and if, instead of endeavouring to excite an interest in their behalf by an obvious amendment of principle they pledge themselves hoity toity into new disgrace, to whom can they expect to appeal for relief? The

The Sydney Gazette 17 June 1820


Government and General Orders Government House, Sydney 14 June 1820

Civil Department

His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint Mr. Isaac Elliott to be Superintendent of Convicts and Public Works at Newcastle in room of Mr. John Evans, deceased with a salary of £50 sterling per annum, commencing from this date and to be paid from the Colonial Police Fund.

The Sydney Gazette 24 June 1820


Principal Superintendents Office

The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all constables and others are hereby strictly required to use their utmost Exertions in apprehending and lodging them in safe Custody. From Newcastle:

James Mullins per Grenada, seaman, aged 28 years; 5'4in high; dark eyes; black hair; ruddy complexion; a native of Belfast.

John Briggs per Baring aged 50

James Woodey Lord Eldon aged 22

William Harper per Indefatigable; aged 30; bargeman; tried in Kent August 1813

James Stacey per Atlas aged 31

John Brown per Gambier aged 32

Piratically taking a Boat at Newcastle with which they were chased into Rushcutter's Bay

Any persons harbouring concealing or maintaining any of the said Absentees will be prosecuted for the offence.


This day the Court resumed its sittings when Samuel Perkins, a soldier in the 48th Regiment, was indicted for stealing wearing apparel and other articles in a dwelling house. Guilty. Sentenced to Seven years transportation to Newcastle.

William Hempenstall and Samuel Bayley were indicted for a highway robbery and feloniously taken from the person of Corporal Allen a silver watch, his property. Both Guilty. Remanded for judgment.

Robert McIntosh, for robbing the King's stores, was found guilty, and sentenced to four years transportation to Newcastle.

Wednesday - William Taylor, James Engling, Edward Cottain, and Thomas Acton, were indicted; the three former for burglariously breaking open the stores of R. Brooks, Esq. Of Sydney, and stealing there from considerable goods and merchandize, the property of Mr. E. Sindrey; and Thomas Acton with feloniously exciting aiding, assisting, harbouring and comforting the said three prisoners. The circumstances were detailed nearly in substance and fact as those that came out on the robbery of Mr. Robinson's house in Castlereagh Street, the same night, on the evidence of an accomplice Standidge, and in consequence of the property being traced into the possession of Acton. All four guilty. Remanded for judgement

Thursday - William Long charged with stealing from the lumberyard, at Sydney two iron wedges, the property of the Crown was found guilty and sentenced six months to Newcastle. A man brought forward as an evidence for the prisoner was committed by the Court for prevarication and perjury


The Sydney Gazette 1 July 1820


On Monday the Court reassembled; when Godfrey Hanskie was found guilty of having sheep in his possession knowing them to be stolen; and John Scott was also found guilty of a similar charge.

Tuesday - William Earl and William Christie were indicted for sheep stealing, and both found guilty

Wednesday - Thomas Waite and Jane Mitchell were indicted for house breaking at Parramatta - Both guilty Patrick Hagan and John McTag were found guilty of a highway robbery and rape

Thursday - James Smith alias Stubbs, James Garland and Elizabeth Hannil, were all found guilty of forging store receipts

Friday - Donald Tierney was found guilty of sheep stealing; and John Clarkson of privately stealing in a dwelling house

All the above prisoners will be brought up for judgement on a future day.


Principal Superintendents Office

The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all constables and others are hereby strictly required to use their utmost Exertions in apprehending and lodging them in safe Custody. From Newcastle:

Thomas Simms, sawyer, lately from Newcastle

James Edison, John Brown, John Shaw from Newcastle

John Briggs and James Stacey for piratically taking a boat

The Sydney Gazette 8 July 1820


Tuesday - James Newcome was arraigned for feloniously stealing a book and other property (being the whole contents of his house) from the premises of James McGarr; and being found guilty was sentenced to 14 years to Newcastle.

Mary Butcher for stealing; and Mary McCabe and Eleanor Scooner (both for receiving), 33 shirts and other property from Roderick Cooper; were all found guilty and sentenced each 6 months to Newcastle.

The Sydney Gazette 15 July 1820


On Thursday the 6th instant the various prisoners that had been convicted during the session received sentence as follows:

James Stubbs and Elizabeth Hannell, implicated with James Garland for forgery life to Newcastle; William Hempenstall and Samuel Bailey, stealing a watch - 14 years to Newcastle; Godfrey Hanskey, William East, and William Christie, sheep stealing at Van Diemen's Land - 14 years to Newcastle; Thomas Wayte and Jane Mitchell, stealing out of a dwelling house - 7 years to Newcastle

Patrick Hogan and John McKeg, for highway robbery and rape; William Taylor, James Ingley, Thomas Acton and Edward Ogle alias Cottam, burglary; John Brady, Thomas Bailey, John Scott, Peter McGue, and Donald Tierney, sheep stealing; and James Garland for forgery - All received sentence of death!

Yesterday morning were executed, James Ingley, William Taylor, and James Garland. We are most happy to state, that each of these premature sufferers met death with that fortitude which vital Christianity alone can inspire. While on the platform they each delivered an appropriate speech to the numerous spectators, who gave solemn attention, exhorting their fellow prisoners who witnessed the unhappy spectacle to shun those vile practices which prevailed among them, gambling drunkenness, theft and the total neglect of religion. Garland concluded his admonition by praying that peace might rest upon all who saw his end, and adored his blessed Redeemer.


Principal Superintendents Office

The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all constables and others are hereby strictly required to use their utmost Exertions in apprehending and lodging them in safe Custody. From Newcastle:

James Edison

John Brown

John Shaw

James Stacey

The Sydney Gazette 29 July 1820


Saturday 26 July 1820
His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to direct the following Statements of the Police and Female Orphan Institution Funds for the quarter ending 31st March 1820.

Henry Wrensford, Schoolmaster £15

Mr. Evans, Superintendent £12/10/-

Benjamin Granger, miner £5 John Howe, Expenses for Expedition of Discovery to Hunter River £76/14/6-

Major Morisset, Commandant at Newcastle. Salary to 31st March £34/2/6


The Sydney Gazette 5 August 1820


Wednesday July 26 - Francis McGowran, Ennesley McGrath, David Bell and George Crawford were indicted on a charge of cattle stealing, and being found guilty thereof were remanded for sentence. The prisoner George Crawford, was found guilty as an accessory after the fact.

Friday July 28 - Jeremiah Buffey and Thomas Till were acquitted of a charge of highway robbery. Jeremiah Buffey, Thomas Till, and Mary Buffey, were indicted for having property in their possession knowing the same to have been stolen and being found guilty were sentenced 7 years to Newcastle

Thomas Baverton was convicted of stealing a quantity of working tools and adjudged 3 years hard labour at Newcastle

Tuesday August 1 - John Smith was indicted for feloniously entering the dwelling house of Hannah Moss, on the 4th ult., and stealing there from sundry articles of wearing apparel, and a quantity of dollars. The prisoner, about 23 years of age and who only arrived here in the Coromandel in the beginning of April last, pleaded guilty to the indictment - 7 years to Newcastle.

John Winch was found guilty of stealing a gridiron and sentenced 6 months hard labour at Newcastle

John Kelly was next arraigned for having in his possession property rather to a considerable amount well knowing the same to have been stolen. The articles produced in Court, and which several identified as having been stolen from them at various times, consisted principally of watches, seals and jewellery. The property being found in his possession, and sworn to as having been stolen, the prisoner said in his defence he had purchased it, but not bringing the parties forward from whom he had bought it, or attempting to prove he came by the articles in an honest way, he was pronounced guilty. The prisoner seemed to be upwards of sixty years old, very decrepit, and extremely miserable and wretched in his appearance so much so that His Honor the judge Advocate informed the Members of the Court he had been deemed an object of commiseration, and as such the blessedness of that charitable Institution, the Benevolent Society had been extended to him; but the prisoner, under the garb of poverty and wretchedness, had practiced a most gross imposition upon that Institution, and so far from being any longer entitled to the least spark of compassion, had drawn upon himself from the aggravated nature of the offence of which he had been clearly found guilty, the severest judgement the law affords in such cases of extreme depravity and the sentence of the Court was that he be transported to the settlement of Newcastle for seven years.

Wednesday August 2 -

William Rouse, George Rouse and John Richards were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the quarters of Lieutenant Macquarie and stealing there from wearing apparel and other articles; and Thomas Carpenter was charged with feloniously receiving the same.

The Sydney Gazette 12 August 1820


John Sullivan, a prisoner was brought before the Bench as an absentee. It was proved that the prisoner had only been liberated from solitary confinement a few days before and so trifling was the impression made upon his mind in being treated with leniency upon that occasion that he availed himself of the first opportunity to get at large. He was apprehended in the neighbourhood of Kissing Point and brought into town. The Bench deemed it necessary to remove such a character to the settlement of Newcastle for two years.

The Sydney Gazette 19 August 1820


John Thompson, a prisoner and quite a boy, was brought forward on a charge of attempting to stab his overseer and making use of infamously offensive and violent language; which being clearly proved to have been the case he was ordered to receive 25 lashes and be sent to Newcastle for twelve months.

The Sydney Gazette 26 August 1820


On Tuesday last John Smith, a prisoner, was brought before the Superintendent of police, and charged with exciting the men in the prisoners' barrack to riot and tumult, thereby endangering the life of a fellow prisoner; which fact clearly appearing, he was sentenced to be publicly whipped, and sent to Newcastle for 12 months. Yesterday morning George Rouse, Thomas Ford, alias Ward, and Dennis Maloy, were executed pursuant to their sentence. Maloy (convicted of cattle stealing) made no confession of guilt. Rouse and Ford acknowledged that from their youth they had lived in abandoned habits; and they left this world in the hope of meeting with mercy in a better.


The Sydney Gazette 16 September 1820


Police Office - John Fitzmorris, a prisoner was charged with absenting himself from Government labour. The charge being proved against the prisoner, and his character being of the worst stamp, he was sentenced to Newcastle for the remainder of his term of transportation.

The Sydney Gazette 23 September 1820


Wilson Appleyard (arrived per Seaflower)an assigned government servant to Richard Brooks Esq., was brought before the Police Magistrate on a charge of obtaining under false pretences, sundry property in various parts of the town, upon diverse occasions and appropriating the same to his own use. It appeared from the evidence that the prisoner was employed by Mr. Brooks as clerk, in whom the utmost confidence had been placed; upon which account his situation was rendered as comfortable as possible and in fact made respectable; but it unfortunately turned out that he violated the trust reposed in him in the most shameful and ungrateful manner. The prisoner had drawn orders, in the usual way of business, in the absence of his master, upon the most respectable houses in town, for chests of tea, bags of sugar, slops, tobacco, flour, etc., to a considerable amount, which articles as soon as obtained, were converted into cash by the prisoner, being sold upon his own account to enable him to maintain the dissipated course of life into which he had embarked. Such was the confidence placed in him by his master, and all his household, that the servants became the instruments of assisting in his too well organized plans of plunder and fraud. Various parties appeared, who clearly proved the guilty of the prisoner, which he did not attempt to deny. The amount of his frauds I somewhat considerable; but, had not a discovery fortunately taken place, it cannot be conceived to what extent the prisoner might have gone. Against such infamous breaches of faith and confidence the Magistrate observed there was unhappily scarcely a possibility of guarding; the Public were ever in danger from such systematic villainy; and it behoved the inhabitants to be more circumspect in future in complying with orders from persons so circumstanced, and to know to whom they were giving their property at the least. The prisoner was sentenced corporal punishment, and to be sent to Newcastle for the remainder of his term of transportation.


The Sydney Gazette 14 October 1820


Police Office - Saturday - James Brown, for absenting himself from his master's employ repeatedly, and obtaining articles from various individuals under false pretences was sentenced 12 months to Newcastle. John Norris, a prisoner of the Crown possessing a ticket of leave, was brought before a Bench of Magistrates this day and charged with purchasing military clothing and having in his possession sundry articles of stolen property belonging to Government; which being clearly proved against the prisoner he was ordered to be sent to Newcastle for the space of 2 years.

The Sydney Gazette 21 October 1820


Principal Superintendents Office

The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all constables and others are hereby strictly required to use their utmost Exertions in apprehending and lodging them in safe Custody. From Newcastle:

James Chamberlain

James Kelly

John Kinsela


Monday Patrick Berry a free man who had only returned the previous Friday from Newcastle after a servitude there of five years was fully committed for trial; having perpetrated a robbery in Pitt Street on Sunday night.


The Sydney Gazette 25 November 1820


On Wednesday, at the hour of ten in the forenoon, the court commenced its Sittings when the customary forms being gone through, the business of the Sessions immediately went on.

Richard Evans and John Evans, found guilty of stealing sundry articles the property of Samuel Dell - sentenced to three years to Newcastle

Patrick Berry was found guilty of stealing in the dwelling house of Bridget Cuffe, in Pitt Street, various articles of wearing apparel - sentenced to seven years to Newcastle

Thursday -

William Nichols, found guilty of feloniously stealing a saw - 2 years to Newcastle

John Manly was indicted for feloniously and burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of George Merryman, a baker in George Street, on the 25th October last, and stealing there from 48 loaves. Some of the bread was found in the prisoner's possession, which was sworn to be part of the identical batch that was stolen; and in confirmation of a suspicion that became attached to the prisoner from the fact of his being employed by the prosecutor on the day of the robbery, attended with other circumstances, he decamped in terror fro his lodgings and was not taken into custody for some weeks after. The prisoner denied the charge, but had no evidence to corroborate his statement; and was therefore found guilty - sentenced to 14 years to Newcastle.

George Ison was indicted for embezzling on the 3rd of July last, from Mr. Robert Cooper of George Street, sundry articles viz 48 red caps, 12 pair of shoes, 24 table spoons, and 12 quart pots. The circumstances were these: The prisoner, who came to this colony as boatswain of the ship Eliza had shipped in June last on board the brig Campbell Macquarie, and had received, with the other seamen, two months advance, to proceed on a voyage from which she has since returned. A day or two previous to the sailing of the vessel, the prisoner importuned Mr. Cooper to let him have a couple of red shirts which he complied with an order to go to Mrs. Cooper and obtain the articles specified in the indictment, for the use of the vessel with which he was to proceed on board. The prisoner took the order to the warehouse; received the goods; and instead of going on board and proceeding on the voyage according to agreement was not heard of for some weeks. A short time previous, however, to the return of the vessel from the southern settlements the prisoner was apprehended and committed for the fact of embezzlement to take his trial. He did not attempt to deny the receipt of the articles in question, together with his disappearance, but attributed it to other causes than that of a felonious intention, which, however he failed in proving and was therefore adjudged guilty - 7 years to Newcastle.

Friday Margaret Cuddy and Margaret Lawrence were found guilty of stealing a watch on the 25th of September last, from the person of Charles Tunstall sentenced to seven years to Newcastle.

Jeremiah Simmons, James Tyler and John Mayo, were indicted for feloniously entering the dwelling house of Mr. John Croaker in George Street, on the evening of the 9th august last, and stealing there from a box, containing 15 in cash and a quantity of women's wearing apparel, the property of Mary Coppinger. The prisoner, Jeremiah Simmons, pleaded guilty to the indictment.

Mary Coppinger, the prosecutrix, on this occasion deposed, that she lived in the family of Mr. Croaker as servant, prior to the robbery; and that one of the prisoners at the bar, John Mayo , who was a prisoner of the Crown, lived also in the same family, being an assigned Government servant to Mr. Croaker; and that he was at home on the evening of the robbery. The witness also stated, that she had seen the box in question about five minutes before its removal had been effected. A number of articles of wearing apparel before the Court were sworn to as forming part of the property the box contained when stolen.

Mr. Croaker deposed, that hearing an alarm made by the prosecutrix on the evening already stated, and discovering the cause every effort was immediately made to trace the thief in which they were apparently joined by the prisoner at the bar, John Mayo, but that all search proved fruitless; that no violence to effect an entry into the dwelling was at all visible; and from the situation of the prosecutrix's room, together with the nature of the bolt that secured the door, which no stranger knew how to open, more than ordinary suspicion became excited on the occasion against the prisoner John Mayo, which, from circumstances that transpired during the evening and following morning. Simmons, who had pleaded guilty lodged at her house at the time of the robbery and stated that habits of intimacy existed between the three prisoners, Simmons, Tyler, and Mayo; the Tyler frequently visited Simmons, and that the latter had been employed by Mayo to make him a pair of shoes about a month before, which was his trade: On the morning that the robbery was committed same evening, Mayo came and particularly enquired for the prisoner Simmons, who was then from home, but was directed by the witness where he might be found; and that, in the evening between the hours of 8 and 9 the prisoner Jeremiah Simmons came home, in company with James Tyler, having a quantity of wearing apparel, now before the court, concealed about their persons which they tied in a bundle in her presence accounting for the possession of it by saying they had found a box on the Race Course; that the bundle containing the spoil was then thrown upon the loft; and next forenoon the prisoner John Mayo came to the house in company with Simmons ( Here Mr. Croaker stated that the prisoner Mayo had been absent the morning after the robbery, which, of course tended to increase the too well grounded suspicion entertained against him). Jane Long's testimony went on to state, that for the purpose of security, she removed the articles in a few days to a neighbours of the name of Simpson where they were found by Dalton, the constable; but, upon her cross examination it became apparent, so far from evincing any honest intention in the transaction she had actually and immediately subsequent to the robbery altered and cut up some of the apparel for her own use, for which articles she was stripped in the watch house. His Honour the Judge Advocate commented in the strongest terms upon the infamy that had developed itself during the examination of this witness, Jane long, and severely regretted, with the Members of the Court, that instead of being an evidence on the trial, she had not been placed at the bar of that tribunal as a felon, being as much entitled to the justly incurred vengeance of the law as her companions were, who now awaited the issue of their trial. Further Testimony was adduced which went chiefly to criminate the prisoner who had pleaded guilty. The prisoners at the bar, being put upon there defence declared their innocence of the charge alleged against the. No doubt existed as the to intimacy between the prisoners Simmons and Tyler; also the connexion of Mayo with them as he doubtless had been the planner and adviser of the robbery, whereby his fellow servant was to be deprived of her all. His participation in the crime, however, was too apparent to be capable of being disproved; as it was proved by the testimony of Jane Long, infamous as her character appeared to be, that he was anxious to partake of the ill gotten wealth by his visit next morning to Simmons, which fact was indubitably supported by Mr. Croaker; that circumstance alone being established, clearly proved that the robbery had been pre concerted; and, although the prisoner Mayo was at home on the evening it happened, and exactly at the time as was proved, yet for all that it was too apparent he had been the promoter, as well as a participator in the crime. The charge being substantiated against the prisoners, they were found guilty 14 years to Newcastle.


were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the warehouse of Mr. Simeon Lord, on the 16th August last, and stealing there from a quantity of jewellery, and some silk handkerchiefs; and Margaret McKennell was indicted for receiving the same, knowing them to be stolen.

Mr. John Black, Clerk to Mr. Lord, deposed that on the night of the 16th or morning of the 17th of August last, the warehouse had been broke into and various articles, consisting of jewellery and silk handkerchiefs were discovered to be stolen together with a chronometer, value 40 but which, with most of the stolen property, had been since recovered. Mr. Black also stated, that subsequent to the apprehension and committal of the prisoner Delworth he had been informed by him that he Delworth had found the articles in the Government domain round Bennelong's Point, and that he would conduct him to the spot where some of the articles remained secreted, that he availed himself accordingly of such information and went with the prisoner, and some of the property now before the Court was then and there found

Mr. Thomas Dunn, Chief constable, deposed that he went attended by several peace officer to the house of the prisoner Margaret McKennel in Phillip Street, on or about the 20th August a few days after the robbery, where the prisoner Delworth lodged, having the authority of a search warrant to discover whether certain information that had been laid before the Superintendent of Police was correct.

The prisoner, Margaret McKennel upon being made acquainted with the nature of his entrance resisted unhesitatingly declaring the property to be her own; that in a few minutes after she desired Mr. Dunn to be seated, when the whole affair should be explained. She then said that the articles had been brought home by the prisoner Delworth, who told her he had found them in the government Domain, and requested her to keep them secure for him. The prisoner Delworth being then in the house, he was secured. The above testimony was confirmed by that of three other peace officers.

Levy Abrahams, an assigned Government servant to Mr. Josephson, jeweller, deposed, that the prisoner William Smith had offered to sell him various articles of jewellery, asserting he had received an assortment from a person who was apparently a seaman; that he acquainted his master with the circumstance hoe directed him to procure a sample; and meeting the prisoner again in a day or two, according to appointment, he obtained various articles, which he delivered to his master, Mr. Josephson, in whose mind suspicion being awakened on the occasion, he very properly and judiciously had the prisoner, William Smith brought to him, whom he conducted with the proffered articles to the Police Office,; from whence the prisoner was committed to take his trial in conjunction with his associates at the bar.

Other testimony was called to prove the tracing of the property to the possession of the prisoner Jones Delworth , who in his defence still declared that he had found the property in the Government Domain. William Smith denied all knowledge of the transaction, further than that of receiving the articles from Delworth to sell; and Margaret McKennell strenuously denied, in a written defence, all felonious intention on her part, but the chain of evidence adduced, and the evident connexion between the prisoners was too clear to admit of the possibility of doubt existing as to the guilt of either of the prisoners who not having any witnesses to corroborate their assertions they were found guilty. Jonas Delworth and William Smith life to Newcastle; Margaret McKennell, whose original term of transportation had only expired while in custody for the present offence 7 years to Newcastle.


The Sydney Gazette 2 December 1820


James King and William Crow both prisoners were indicted for robbing the cottage of Joseph Louis at the Field of Mars in the day time by breaking down the door when no one was in. Guilty. Sentenced to 14 years to Newcastle.

The Sydney Gazette 9 December 1820


Thursday November 29

David Jones, Thomas Horsely and Henry Bell were convicted of pig stealing and severally sentenced to be transported to Newcastle for the term of seven years.

John Kinsela and James Chamberlain, were indicted on two charged; namely with having stopped and robbed upon the king's highway John Watkins a constable of a pistol; and secondly with having presented the same at the constables who had afterwards endeavoured to retake them, with threats to fire if they persisted in the attempt. The prisoners were fugitives from Newcastle; and found shelter and concealment on and about the estate of a Gentleman at Castlereagh, of which information was sent to the Magistrates of Parramatta, by whom constables were sent out and they were apprehended; they were handcuffed together, and delivered into the charge of the prosecutor Watkins to be conducted into Parramatta; but one of them managing to extricate himself form the hand cuff they both determinately demanded the pistol which being given up they threatened the life of the prosecutor, should be attempt to impede their escape telling him that they would leave the pistol for him at a place they described near the toll gate, where he would find it by nine at night. The prosecutor went accordingly but it had not been left as promised to be. The next day three armed constables went in pursuit of them; and they were discovered in the bush by the smoke from their fire, and one of these pursuers deposed in evidence, that he had known the voice of Kinsela as they approached; and seeing him, unperceived, with a pistol in his hand, he levelled his piece and fired at him, the contents lodging in his arm, whereupon he and his companion were both secured, and the pistol found loaded upon the half cock. The unhappy man, Kinsela, has since endured seven or eight weeks of dreadful torture, and his emaciated and apparent state of suffering at the bar, excited much the commiseration of the auditory.

His Honour the Judge Advocate examined this witness in the strictest terms on the motives that had induced him to fire on the prisoner before he had challenged him, and commanded him to yield himself up; to which he replied, that having himself been at Newcastle in an inferior capacity at a time when the wounded man was, he had an opportunity of ascertaining his character to be desperate, and his agility great; and that he was at the instant convicted that there was no means of securing him while he was armed, without imminent danger of their own lives.

The evidence for the prosecution being closed the prisoners were left to their defence; in which they varied considerably from the statements exhibited against them. They denied the taking of the pistol from the witness John Watkins by force, or that they had presented the pistol at any body; but averred that it had been given up to them on their request and that they had shook hands at parting; Kinsela also supplicating mercy from the Court on account of his long protracted and extreme bodily suffering - The defence concluding, His Honour summed up the evidence and expatiated at length upon the leading facts, submitted the ultimate question to the consideration of the Court; who returned a verdict pronouncing the prisoners Guilty upon both charges.

Monday December 4 James Steel and Michael Cassidy were indicted for pig stealing. Steel was acquitted. Cassidy found guilty; and was remanded

Nicholas McCanne and Anthony Silva found guilty of stealing four geese the property of James Richards. Sentenced to 1 year to Newcastle

Kennedy Murray, who pleaded guilty and Joseph Ward, were indicted for poultry stealing. Ward found guilty 1 year to Newcastle. Murray remanded

Michael Smith found guilty of stealing from a dwelling house. Sentenced to 7 years to Newcastle

Wednesday December 6 John Powell found guilty of stealing in a dwelling house 7 years to Newcastle

The Sydney Gazette 16 December 1820


John Kirby and John Thompson are indicted for the wilful murder of Burragong, alias King Jack a native chief at Newcastle on the 27th of October; and the first witness called in support of the prosecution was Isaac Elliott, a superintendent at that settlement who deposed that the two prisoners charged were employed in the blacksmiths' shop there; that Kirby had been removed thither from hence two years ago under sentence of the Criminal Court; and that Thompson was also sent thither, for endeavouring to effect an escape from the Colony; that on the 26th of November they were absent from their work, and he discovered that they had both run from the settlement; which being reported to the Commandant, he immediately dispatched a military party, attended by two constables, in quest of them. In ten minutes after the party had left, a black woman arrived with information to deponent, of two men being taken up by some natives, who were conducting them into the town; the pursuing party were in consequence recalled from their adopted route, and joined by deponent, went out to meet the natives with their prisoners; and shortly met a number of natives (accompanied by the two prisoners), all armed with spears and other weapons the murdered chief guarding Kirby; both the prisoners very soon descrying deponent and the pursuing party; immediately where upon the natives set up a yell and shout, and clearly articulated the words Croppy make big Jack booey by which was to be comprehended that one of the white men had killed Jack their chief; whom the prisoner Kirby was seen to raise his arm to seize upon, but fell himself from a blow by a waddy. Witness further deposed that no blow was struck by the natives until the murderous act had been committed by the prisoner Kirby. The other prisoner at the bar had only endeavoured to effect his escape, but was secured by one of the constables as was Kirby also, who had risen and endeavoured to run off. Deponent saw the deceased in a wounded state by some sharp instrument, in the belly and bound him round; had him conveyed into the town; had a search made for the destructive implement, which could not be found. After ten days survival the deceased went to deponent with an order from the worthy Officer that commands the settlement to receive a suit of clothing and then said he was merry bujerry, meaning that he was much recovered; but in five days after, deponent heard that this kind, useful and intelligent chief had breathed his last. The fatal wound was given on the 27th of October and he painfully languished till the 7th of November ultimo.

James Wills one of the constables who attended the party corroborated the foregoing evidence; and particularly to the fact that no blow was struck by any native before he saw Kirby stretch out his arm towards the wounded man, and heard the yells and shouts of the natives; and that while in the act of hand cuffing the two prisoners, the prisoner Kirby expressed his regret at not having killed the deceased outright. He saw the deceased a few days after in the woods and he then expressed a complaint of much illness, owing to his wound and in a few days after he was dead.

The other constable of the party Meneeto corroborated the foregoing testimony.

Mr. Fenton , assistant surgeon of the 48th Regiment, gave testimony of the deceased having been brought into the settlement wounded, and was attended to with every care, in his own quarter; where he would not continue after the third day, though every persuasion was used to detain him, he being desirous of resorting to the expedients practiced by themselves in wounded cases. Dr. Fenton described the wound to have been received in the abdomen and extremely dangerous. In five days after his quitting he returned and Dr. Fenton dressed his wound he then appearing in a convalescent state; but he soon after heard of his death. Dr. Fenton had no doubt of the death ensuing from an internal mortification in the abdomen, occasioned by the wound proved to have been inflicted by the prisoner John Kirby, against whom a verdict was returned of Wilful Murder; and sentence of death was immediately pronounced upon him. his body directed to be dissected and anatomised. John Thomas was acquitted.

Henry Morris, Lawrence Fennell, James Chamberlain, Charles Stevens, Michael Bowling and Thomas Givney sentenced to life to such part of the Territory as His Excellency the Governor may think proper to direct. William Brown and John Fulton sentenced 14 years to any part of the Territory as before stated.

Capture of runaway convict John Kirby by Aborigines; and stabbing of Jack, Chief of the Newcastle tribe, 1820 [4-1807 pp.135-137] View more documents from State Records NSW

The Sydney Gazette 23 December 1820


Principal Superintendents Office

The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all constables and others are hereby strictly required to use their utmost Exertions in apprehending and lodging them in safe Custody. From Newcastle: Thomas Lymington

George Napier, assigned to Wilson's Gang, absconded from the Prisoner's Barracks, Hyde Park; he had been recently returned from Newcastle, from which settlement he had formerly absented himself for a length of time. This old bushranger is well known in the districts of Liverpool and Castlereagh, is about thirty years of age, stout made, of dark complexion; slightly pock pitted, and arrived per ship Fortune.

The Sydney Gazette 30 December 1820


Names and Descriptions of Prisoners of Crown supposed to have made their Escape from the Colony in an open Boat, on the Night of the 25th or early on the Morning of the 26th Instant;

John Briggs, aged 45, seaman native of Bermuda, 5ft 9 in. high, light complexion, brown hair, grey eyes; came per ship Baring; his right hand is much disabled by a wound; he lately ran from Newcastle with a boat and was chased into Rush-cutting Bay by the boats from that settlement.

James Kelly aged 30 seaman, native of Galway, 5ft 9 ½ in. high, dark ruddy complexion, dark brown hair; hazel eyes, came per ship Isabella; lately returned from Newcastle.

John Smith aged 25, seaman, native of Portsmouth, 5 ft 7 ½ in. high, sallow complexion, black hair and eyes, came per ship Sir William Bensley; lately returned from Newcastle

Patrick Hernon aged 22; clerk, native of King's County, 5 ft. 5 in. high, fair freckled complexion, sandy hair, hazel eyes, came per ship Surrey; has been twice sent to Newcastle and but lately returned.

Thomas Wade, aged 40, clerk, native of Dublin 5ft 8 in high, pale complexion, black hair, hazel eyes came per ship Dorothy; assigned servant to Mr. Quarter Master Stubbs.

Thomas Gordon aged 44 seamen, native of Dumfries 5ft 9 in. high, sallow complexion, brown hair hazel eyes, came per ship Dorothy; ran from Richmond Road Party, was in the Colony before in the name of Thomas Leach, and came then per ship Fortune

John Ossingbrook, aged 32 seaman and sail maker, native of Sweden 5 ft 7 ½ in high, yellow complexion, dark flaxen hair, hazel eyes, came per ship Batavia; lately discharged from Gaol Gang and attached to Wilson's Gang.

William Russell, aged 24 carpenter and joiner native of Cheltenham 5ft 8 in high, fair ruddy complexion, dark flaxen hair, hazel eyes came per ship Tottenham; Attached to Prisoners Barracks Hyde Park

William Atkins aged 27 carpenter native of Bury St. Edmonds 5ft 9 in dark ruddy complexion, black hair, hazel eyes, came per ship Grenada; attached to prisoners Barracks Hyde Park

William Bradbury aged 46 labourer native of Derbyshire 5ft 10 in high, dark sallow complexion, brown hair, grey eyes came per ship Baring; ran from Government Works at Pennant Hills,

John Bishop aged 39 cabinet maker and joiner native of Windsor 5ft 11 in high, dark pale complexion, black hair hazel eyes came per ship Atlas in 1816; Government servant to Mr. William Noah.

James Stacey aged 32 waterman native of Surry 5ft 1 ¼ in high, dark ruddy complexion black hair hazel eyes, came per ship Atlas in 1816; lately ran from Newcastle with a boat and was chased into Rush Cutting Bay by boats of that settlement

William Arrow alias Stacey aged 21, labourer, native of Surry 5' 3½in high, pale complexion, brown hair; per Fanny. Also ran from Newcastle.

The last two were servants to Dr. Harris whom they have robbed of a considerable quantity of property.