Tuesday, 19 June 2018


Ever wanted to circumnavigate Australia? Well, for the next few weeks, that's what we'll be doing, at least virtually, and clockwise. So as to make sure all states and territories are covered, we'll be starting in Western Australia and exploring the early history of a small part of this massive state via TROVE...

Rottnest Island
Courtesy of Pixabay

A place with an interesting history is Rottnest Island, which Wikipedia describes as follows...

Rottnest Island
Western Australia
Rottnest Island.jpg
Rottnest Island from space
Population334 (2016 census; up to 15,000 visitors at peak holiday periods)[1][2]
 • Density17.6/km2 (45.5/sq mi)
Elevation46 m (151 ft)
Area19 km2 (7.3 sq mi)
Time zoneAWST (UTC+8)
Location19 km (12 mi) W of Fremantle
LGA(s)A-class reserve administered by the Rottnest Island Authority
State electorate(s)Fremantle
Federal Division(s)Fremantle
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
21.5 °C
71 °F
14.9 °C
59 °F
702.3 mm
27.6 in

Location of Rottnest Island, Western Australia
Rottnest Island (known as Wadjemup to the local Noongar people, and otherwise colloquially known as Rotto) is an island off the coast of Western Australia, located 18 kilometres (11 mi) west of Fremantle. A sandy, low-lying island formed on a base of aeolianite limestone, Rottnest is an A-class reserve, the highest level of protection afforded to public land. Together with Garden Island, Rottnest Island is a remnant of Pleistocene dune ridges.[3]
The island covers 19 square kilometres (7.3 sq mi) and is administered by the Rottnest Island Authority under a separate act of parliament. Rottnest is a popular holiday destination, and there are daily ferry services to Perth, the state's capital and largest city. It has a permanent population of around 300 people, with around 500,000 annual visitors (and up to 15,000 visitors at a time during peak periods).

You can read the rest of the article here

Rottnest Island
Courtesy of Pixabay

The following comprise a little of the history of Rottnest Island.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 10 January 1829, page 2   
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2191607

IN our Journal of Saturday last, we inserted an extract from the Courier newspaper on the proposed new settlement at Swan River, of the discovery of which we erroneously gave the credit to Captain Stirling, of His Majesty's ship Success, who visited that estuary on our West coast in the summer of 1827.
Since the notice of this river appeared, in our Paper, we have been obligingly favored with some little history of it; and as its banks may, ere long, be the site of a Western Colony, should Captain H. W. Montague (who, it appears, has been despatched to it in the ship Crocodile) report favorably of it, on a more minute and deliberate exploration of the river itself, and adjacent Country, than it should seem Captain Stirling had effected in 1827, we are happy to give insertion to the communication for the information of our Readers.
In the year 1696, the ship Geelvink, commanded by Cornelius de Vlaming, sailed from the Texel, in quest of a Dutch East Indiaman, supposed to have been lost on the coast of New Holland during her voyage from the Cape to Batavia. In December of that year, Vlaming made the West coast, in about lat. 32 ° South, and landing on a densely-wooded island in the offing, in company with the pilots of a dogger and small galley, likewise under his orders, found the soil, which was exceedingly sterile, perforated in every direction, forming horizontal burrows, the operations of what he considered a kind of rat ; and hence was suggested the name the island has ever since borne, viz. Rottnest. These burrows, however, have since been fully ascertained to be the retreats of a non-descript animal, having the habits of a brush kangaroo, but nevertheless (accord-ing to M. Peron, the able French Naturalist) forming a genus distinct in itself, of remarkable character.
From the Western side of Rottnest Island, the shores of the neighbouring main (named Edel's Land), and the estuary of a River) were descried by these early Navi-gators. In this river, which was explored to some distance from its mouth, Vlaming and his companions disturbed many swans, who instantly on their approach took to the wing ; and as numbers of these birds were met with as they ascended the stream, of which the sketch of Van Keulen, who was of the party, is still extant, the name of " Black Swan River," then given it, was suggested.
It does not appear that any further notice was taken by Navigators of Swan River during the succeeding century; in 1801, however, the French national ships of discovery, La Geographe and La Naturaliste, under the command of Commodore Baudin, touched on our opposite shores, and surveying this river, explored its channel considerably further than the point to which the Dutch Navigators had examined it.
Captain de Freycinet, who published an account of Baudin's Voyage, gives us the results of the boat-survey in the following words. (Voyage aux Terres Australes, p. 175, et seq) : -
" The mouth of Swan River is in latitude 32°. 4' 31" S.* and longitude East of Greenwich 115°. 46' 43". The channel is obstructed by a bar of rocks, which it is very difficult to pass over, and indeed 
impracticable, if the wind blows from the sea. On entering, the passage is on the starboard side : it is narrow and shoal, and divided into two channels, in each of which there is from five to six feet of water ; after passing this, there is seven and eight feet : the course must then be towards the West, to avoid two shoals, which are on the right bank : after half a mile, the navigation is free, and in mid-channel the depth is not less than seven, eight, and nine feet. The river then trends in a northerly direction for seven miles, without any sinuosity of consequence. On the eastern bank are two
shoals ; the passage is then on the opposite side of the river, the depth of which is eight feet : beyond these banks the course of the river trends to the Eastward towards a low point, upon which there is a solitary tree: an extensive bank fronts this point, and the channel continues on the western shore ten feet deep. Here the river is a mile broad; it then increases its width, and forms spacious bays on either side, that were not examined.
* This parallel of latitude cuts the estate of J. P. Macqueen, Esq M. P. called Segenhoe, on one side of the continent, and our coast line a few miles North from Cape Hawke ; the climate of Swan River
may therefore be inferred.

" To the S. E. is an opening which may probably be an arm of the river: it was named Moreau Inlet : it was not examined.
" Opposite to it is a sharp point, fronted by a shoal, and the channel is on the Eastern side of the river, with 13 feet water.
" Here the river widens, and forms a basin two miles and a half wide : a little above this the river is blocked up by shoals and islets (Heirisson Isles) between which the depth is not more than two or three feet, but afterwards deeper gradually from five to fifteen feet : the banks of the river are then not more than one-third of a mile wide, and then-continued in a serpentine course, with a channel from seven to ten feet deep, and free from shoals, as far as the boats examined it. The stream of the river ran very slowly, and winds through a valley, one side of which is abrupt and precipitous, and when it ceases to be so on one side, the heights immediately appear on the other."
So much for the French account of Swan River, which was again visited, in 1827, by Captain Stirling, of the Royal Navy, whose observations on the fertility of the soil, and general capabilities of the circum-jacent country, coupled with those of Mr. Frazer, the Colonial Botanist, who accompanied that Officer in the Success, proved, on their return, of the most flattering description. Should these, therefore, be fully confirmed (of which we entertain not the shadow of a doubt,) by Captain Montague, a colony will doubtless be planted, to which the views of Emigrants may be the rather directed than to our side of the continent, inasmuch as the voyage outward will be at least one month shorter, and the communication with India, the Cape, and Mauritius more readily effected.

Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847), Saturday 23 May 1840, page 2
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article638693

South Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1844 - 1851), Tuesday 28 January 1845, page 3
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71600486
Excerpt.. please click to enlarge

Inquirer (Perth, WA : 1840 - 1855), Wednesday 25 March 1846, page 2 
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65770187


Courtesy of Pixabay

For further information re Western Australia, here are a few sites that may be of interest...

Tuesday, 12 June 2018


Courtesy of Pixabay


Though many of the convicts sent to Australia were sent here for sometimes what we would consider trivial offences, and worked hard to be considered for a pardon, there were quite a number who would never reform.

These are just a small selection of some of those.

McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 - 1918), Friday 27 June 1884, page 2
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90147302

Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Thursday 31 January 1895, page 5
National Library of Australia


If you wish to read more on this story, you might like to read this book...

SLNSW c004090010 detail
courtesy of Sydney Dictionary

It wasn't only male convicts who had no intentions of leading a lawful life... take the case of the notorious Helen McDougall also known as Glassford...

Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954), Saturday 10 May 1924, page 3
National Library of Australia

Sandstone court complex in Darlinghurst Road opened in 1842 and still in legal use. 

Then there was John Lynch, alias John Dunleavy, born 1813, whose story is one of the vilest you can imagine... Lynch left from  Cavan, Ireland.. transported to Sydney by the Dunvegan Castle.. He was a "mild looking man of two and twenty, short and stocky.." who would have guessed that his story (below) would be so horrific.


Daily Standard (Brisbane, Qld. : 1912 - 1936), Saturday 2 June 1934, page 5
National Library of Australia

Please click to enlarge

and on a lighter note...

Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), Tuesday 27 January 1920, page 2
National Library of Australia


Tuesday, 29 May 2018


of convicts
selections from
1847, 1848, 1849, 1852

Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), Wednesday 17 November 1847,
National Library of Australia
Please click to enlarge



Lady Penhryn

Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), Wednesday 13 September 1848, page 4

Government Gazette
Friday, September 8, 1848. 

His Excellency the Governor directs it to be notified, that in accordance with the regulation dated 2nd December, 1846, the conditional pardons granted to the undermentioned persons have been so far enlarged as to enable the holders to proceed to any part of the world, except the country or colony from which they were respectively transported.
Pardons available everywhere save in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Duplex John M'Williamson, Fortune 2. 
Finnegan Timothy, Isabella 3. 
Foreman Thomas, John 2. 
Fowler Thomas, Ocean 3.
Kelly Edmond, Larkins 2. 
Payne William, Ocean 3. 
Turner George, Mermaid.
Thompson John, Isabella 1.

His Excellency the Governor directs it to be notified, that her Majesty has been graciously pleased to authorise the issue, in conformity with the provisions of the Act of Parliament, 6 Vic, cap. 7, of pardons to the undermentioned persons, on condition that they do not return to the countries or colonies in which they were respectively convicted, during the remainder of the term of their respective sentences.
Pardons available everywhere except in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Dated 1st June, 1848.

Albone William, Lloyds 1 ; Allcoat George, Bengal Merchant 2 ; 
Anderson Margaret, Pyramus 1 ; Anderson Peter, Camden 2 ; 
Archer John, Portland 2; Arnott Douglass, Guildford 7.
Baker Joseph, Guildford 7 ; Bales George, Hive 1 ; 
Ballantine Henry, Westmoreland 1 ; Barber Jacob, Minstrel 2 ; Barrett Thomas, Lady Nugent l; Bartlett, William,  England 2; Baxter George, Denny 1 ; Basill George, Captain Cook 2; Becks Thomas, Asia 9 ; 
Bell Samuel, Susan 2 ; Bellane Patrick, Eliza 6 ; Bishop George, Lady Hare-wood 2 ; Bluett Patrick, Brampton ; Bolger John, Roslin Castle 2 ; Bolger Michael, Roslin Castle 2 ; Bond Allan, Camden 2 ; Bond William, Hercules 4 ; Bourke Penelope, Almorah; Bourke John, Blenheim 1 ; Bowen John, Vittoria; Bowe William, Portland 2; Bowden, John, John 2; Brady Thomas,  Ferguson ; Brathwaite Edward, Minerva 5 ; Brenan William, Malabar; Brewer John, Portland 1 ; Bristol Arthur, Albion 1 ; Brown Cornelius, Ocean 2 ; Brown William, Prince Regent 4 ; Brown George, Barossa ; Brown John, Roslin Castle ; Bryan Lawrence, James Laing ; Bunce alias Sibley Henry, Hercules ; Burgess John, Coromandel 3 ; Burne Richard, Parmelia ; Bush Jeremiah, Aurora ; Byfield Robert, Hooghley ; Byrne alias Murphy Andrew, Captain Cook 1. 
Campbell Richard alias John Mackay, Lloyds 1 ; Cannon James, Heroine; Carey or Casey Patrick, Eliza 6 ; Carpenter John, Norfolk 2 ; Carman Joseph, Lord Lynedock 1 ; Carr John, Mangles 2 ; Cavenhar Thomas, Exmouth ; Challenger Isaac, Hive 1 ; Chapman Richard, Lady Harewood 2 ; Chapman Robert, Hive 1 ; Chenery John, Sarah ; Chestor William, Atlas 3 ; Clancy Christopher, Neptune 4; Clarey William, Camden 2; Clark William, Parmelia 1 ; Cook Thomas, Morley 5 ; Coolahan Edward, Portland 2 ; Cooper Richard, Sesostris ; Cooper Charles, Parmelia 1 ; Cobin John, Heroine; Collins John, Norfolk; Collins Joseph, Lady Harewood 2 ; Connell John, Blenheim 1 ; Copewell Samuel, Mellish; Corbett Richard Davis, Hive 1 ; Corrigan John, Ferguson ; Cox John, Mangles 6 ; Crampton William, Midas 2 ; Cruneen Patrick, Blenheim 2 ; Cruxton Thomas, Lord Lynedock 1 ; Cummins Anthony, Mary 4; Curtis John, Lord William Bentinck, to Van Diemen's Land, Lady Kennaway to Sydney.
Daniels David, Layton ; David Thomas, Prince George; Davies William, Ocean 2; Davis Isaac, Sir William Beasley; Davis William, Prince George ; Dent George, John 3 ; Dillon William, Mangles 5; Donaldson John, Florentia 1 ; Drawner or Trayner Richard, Lonach; Driver Charles, Aurora; Drysdale John Waugh, John Barry 6 ; Dunne Patrick, Roslin Castle 2; Dunne Thomas, Forth 3; Dyball Thomas, Sarah.
Ealden James, Lady Harewood 1 ; Eaton Isaac, Guildford 6 ; Edwards George, York.
Farrell Edward, City of Edinburgh ; Fehilly 
James, Captain Cook 3 ; Finn Thomas, Hero ; Flinn Michael, Royal Admiral; Fogherty Michael, Minerva 4 ; Ford Thomas, Asia 10; Fawkes George, Asia 11 ; Freeman Kennedy, Hercules 3 ; French Thomas, Asia 2.

Garcia Daniel, Morley 1 ; Gardiner Thomas, Westmoreland 1 ; Gaynon alias Gainan John, Parmelia 2 ; Geary Humphrey, Andromeda 1 ; Gould Elias, Hooghley ; Goulding Peter, Marquis of Huntley 4 ; Grady Martin, Forth 3 ; Grant alias Brotherton John, Midas; Gray alias Longstaff James, Isabella 4 ; Green Richard, John 1 ; Green Henry, Parmelia 1 ; Griffith William, Morley 5 ; Groyne or Gwyn Ann, Kains ; Grugan or Grogan Peter, Captain Cook 1.
Hall James, Hooghley; Hammond Edward, Surry 4; Hance John, K. S. Forbes; Hare William, Guildford 8 ; Harris James, Bussorah Merchant ; Haslam William, Heroine ; Hatherall Job, Portland 1 ; Hawkesley James Fairlie; Hayes William, Norfolk 3; Heaman John, Neva; Headings William, Hooghley 2; Hibbert Charles, Lloyds 1 ; Higgs Andrew, Westmoreland 1 ; Hoolahan Cornelius, Norfolk 3 ; Hooton Richard, Isabella 4 ; Hodgson William, Asia ; Hogan Arthur, Countess of Harcourt; Hogan Thomas, Eliza 6; Holden Charles, Speke 3 ; Hohnes Robert, Guildford 7 ; Homer James, Claudine ; Horton Samuel, Lord Lynedock 1; Howard William, Champion 1 ; Huggins Edward, Lord Melville 3. Ingham James, Mangles 3. 
Jackson John, Bengal Merchant 1; Jeffries James, Asia 9; Jellett Henry, Aurora; Johnson Samuel, James Laing ; Jones William, Marquis of Hastings 1 ; Jones Samuel, Camden ; Jones Samuel, Prince George.
Kehoe James, Ferguson ; Kellaher  Patrick, Eliza 5 ; Kelliher Denis, Eliza 6; Kelly Robert, York ; Kenny Anthony, Norfolk 3 ; Kildoff Peter, Forth 3; Kirk Thomas, Planter 1 ; Kirk James, Camden 2.
Landers Richard, England 1 ; Lawrence John, Hive 1 ; Leach John, Henry ; Lenaghan Thady, Castle Forbes 2 ; Lewis Thomas, Camden 1 ; Lewis John, Lord Lynedoch 1 ; Linehan James, Eliza 3 ; Linehan William, Eliza 3 ; Linford William, Royal George ; Lockhart Edward, Borodino.
M'Alister Robert, Royal Admiral 4; McDade James, Surry 8 ; M'Donough John, Prince George ; McMahon Francis, Captain Cook 1 ; McLoughlin Hugh, James Laing ; Madden Thomas, Providence; Madden Peter, Backwell; Maguire Felix, Royal Admiral 4; Mason Joseph, John Barry 1 ; Massey Michael, Boyne ; Meers John, Midas 2 ; Miles Jasper, Heroine; Miles William, Heroine; Milne Wardon Laws, Bengal Merchant 2 ; Minall Charles, Lady Feversham ; Mitchell Bryan, James Laing; Moonan Edmund, Hive 2; Moore Joseph, Captain Cook 2 ; Moran Patrick, Eliza 6 ; Morley Robert, Guildford 6 ; Mortimer William Ash, Marquis of Hastings 1 ; Mulry Patrick, Asia 8 ; Mulville John, Eliza 6 ; Murphy Patrick, Blenheim 1 ; Murray Edward, Parmelia 1.
Niblett Charles, England 2; Nicholls John, Henry Porcher 2.
Orphan Edward, Parmelia 1.
Packham Thomas, Parmelia 1 ; Page James, 
Adrian ; Page George, Lady Nugent ; Parr William, Royal Admiral 3; Parton, alias Barton, John, Mermaid; Paskin Thomas, Guildford 5 ; Peek George, Mangles 3 ; Pedley James, Florentia 2; Pratt Benjamin, Heroine ; Perry Joseph, Clandine ; Phillips Henry, Lady Nugent ; Pimm William, Mangles 6 ; Pinders Edward, Norfolk 3 ; Pizer Edward, Hive 1 ; Plunkett Peter, Royal Admiral 4 ; Podmore Wm., Malabar 1 ; Poll James, Planter 1 , Pope Avis, Louisa ; Power John, Norfolk 3.

Quadling John, Waterloo ; Quantrell John Lady, Harewood 2.
Radford George, Portland 1 ; Reason Henry, 
Waterloo 1 ; Reeves (1) James, Asia 9 ; Reddy James, Marquis of Huntly 3; Redman William, Lady Nugent 1 ; Remmington John, Hercules 4 ; Riley William, John 4 ; Robinson Charles, Mangles 1 ; Rogers John, Isabella 4 ; Rodgers William, Speke 3; Ryan John, City of Edinburgh 2 ; Ryder Susan, Pyramus 1.
Sadler George, Strathfieldsaye ; Saville Benjamin, Andromeda 2 ; Scally John, Jane ; Scutton Robert, Asia 9 ; Sellings (the younger), John, Ocean 3; Sheedy John, Eliza 6; Shoulders Henry, Planter 1 ; Smith John, Coromandel 3 ; Smith John, Andromeda 2 ; Smith Isaac Partridge, Adrian ; Smith Henry, Mangles 6; Smith Thomas, Hercules 4; Smith William, Sesostris; Smith, alias Wedlock, alias Weadock, Thomas, Maitland; Snape Samuel, Andromeda 2 ; Slater John, Susan I ; Spencer James, England 1 ; Spencer William,  Marquis of Huntley ; Spring David, Captain Cook 2; Stand William, Aurora; Job Stanley, John Barry 3; Startin William, Waterloo; Stephen James, Lloyds 1 ; Stephenson George, Lord Lynedock 1 ; Stott Jessie, Lady Nugent 1 ; Suffolk Elijah, Bussorah Merchant 1 ; Sullivan Michael, Royal Admiral 4 ; Sullivan Michael, Blenheim l ; Sutcliffe John, Mary 4. Taylor John, England 1 ; Taylor Charles, Heroine; Taylor William, Eden; Taylor Edward, Waterloo 5 ; Tebbs Hobart, Prince of Orange 15 Thomas William, Bussorah Merchant I ; Thompson James, Aurora ; Thorn-ton Charles, Countess of Harcourt 4 ; Tracey John, Sesostris ; Trap alias Hey John, Waterloo 1 ; Travers Patrick, Roslyn Castle 2 ; Trimby Wm., Planter 1 ; Turner James, Hercules 4. Vobile alias Vovil Edward, Lady Harewood 1.
Walker Edward, Prince Regent 4 ; Walker John,
Lord Lynedoch 1 ; Wall Wm., Lord Melville  3; Wallis William, General Hewitt ; Walsh 
Daniel Hercules 3; Walsh Wm. Camden 2; Wells George, Lady Nugent 1 ; West Wm., Mary ; White James, Ferguson ; Wilkins John, Roslin Castle 2 ; Williamson Thomas, Clyde 1 ; Williams John, Recovery 1 ; Williams John, Hive 1 ; Williams Joseph, Royal George; Williams Elizabeth, Fanny; Wilson Francis, John 3; Wilson Williams, City of Edinburgh ; Wilson John, Waterloo 3; Windfield John, Lady Nugent; Wood Henry, Norfolk 2;

Wright William, Waterloo 1 ; Wythe William, Susan 1.
Pardon available everywhere except in the Isle of Jersey. 
Briffet William, John Barry.
Pardons available everywhere except in the Province of Canada

Douglass John, Woodbridge. Graham William, Maitland. Hunter William, Woodbridge. 
Pardon available everywhere except at Gibraltar.
Francisco Antonio, Prince Regent 4. 

Pardon available ererywhere except at the Mauritius.
Hector, Integrity.
Pardon available everywhere except at Barbadoes.
Scipio, Moffatt 2.
A list of unclaimed letters for the month of
August, 1848, addressed to persons residing in
the Hunter River District :
Ahorne Mr. Edward, Jerry's Plains.
Baquest Mr. George, Paterson ; Benson Mr. Newcastle ; Bradshaw Mr. Charles, Maitland ; Brown Thomas, Jerry's Plains ; Burt Mr. Edmond, Hunter's River.
Connelly Patrick, Clarence River.
Fagan Patrick, Armidale ; Flint Charles, New England ; Forbes Wm., New England ; Forsyth John, New England ; Fox Mr. P., Jerry's Plains; Franklin Jno., Hunter's River;  Fulford Samuel, New England. 
Gillett Henry, Clarence River ; Glover Samuel, New England; Gore Mr. Richard, care of Ednigton, New England; Green Patk., care of Richard Orr, Esq., Armidale ; Gryory Mr., New England ; Gross Mr. J. Charles, Armidale; Goodwin James, New England. Henderson John, New England ; Hill John, care of G. Windham, Esq., Armidale ; Huxley F., New England.
Irvin R. J. Esq., Armidale ; Ivey Daniel, Esq., Port Stephens.
James Mr., New England ; Jamieson James, Esq., New England ; Jones John, Armidale. Kelly Martin, Muswell Brook; King Mr. Ed
ward, New England.
Landrigan James, Maitland; Larrey Bridget, Wiseman's Creek ; Lewis George, New England.
Marney John, New England : Marsh F. T., New 
England; M'Arthur John, Port Stephens; M'Cann Mr., Muswell Brook ; MacCloud Mr. C, New England ; M'Donald Hugh, Muswell Brook ; M'Donald H., Esq., New England ; M'Donald Rawdon, New England ; M'Gregor Samuel, Maitland ; M'Vittie Miss, Singleton ; Moltee Thomas, New England ; Morgan Mrs., Jerry's Plains ; Morrison Charles, Esq., New England ; Morse Frederick, Tamworth ; Murphy William, Armidale ; Murray William, Armidale ; Murray Thomas, New England.

Naish James, care of Marsh, Esq,., Armidale ; Naylor Matthias, New England ; Nicholas William, Clarence Town ; Nisbett William, Murrurundi.
O'Connor John, Armidale. Pearce Benjamin, Armidale. Quinley John, Macdonald River.
Roche Frederick William, New England; Roy William, New England ; Ryan Thomas, New England. Savory Thomas, New England; Sawyer Mr. 
Joseph, Clarence River ; Scoles William, Armidale: Sheeden William, Armidale; Sheriden Patrick, Clarence River ; Skinner James, Maitland; Skinner T. S., Muswell Brook; Skinner Mr. J., New England; Skinner Henry, Armidale; Smith John, New England; Smith Walter, Murrurundi ; Smith John, care of Mr. Clark, Armidale; Spain Thomas, Clarence River ; Spokes Mr. W., New England ; Stewart Mr. J., New England; Slirings Mrs, New England.

Towns James, Armidale. Underwood James, Liverpool Plains.
Walker George, New England ; Windom John, New England ; Whittaker S. W., Patrick's Plains.

Bussorah Merchant    State Library of South Australia (B25221)

A7823, Copy of conditional pardon, 1847  Slade

Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), Saturday 17 March 1849, page 4
National Library of Australia   
Please click to enlarge..

Sesostris, Morley being piloted through the Torres Straits by HM Brig Britomart (Captioned 
                  “Sunset May 22, 1841 of Mt. Cook” 
Water colour  (Publisher ca. 1841)   National Library of Australia ( nla.pic-an23501541)

Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (NSW : 1848 - 1859), Saturday 14 February 1852, page 3
National Library of Australia
Please click to enlarge..

will be taking time off next week, 
Tuesday, 5th June..
it will return June 12th.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018


Behind this stylish image was a woman who divided the nation.. as  to her innocence or guilt... is it possible that she killed at least two husbands, possibly a third... and did she kill her five month old son?
In 1888, there was barely a week gone by from July to December, that the headlines weren't referring to Julia Collins... innocent or guilty?

Published in The Bulletin

Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), Monday 16 July 1888, page 6
National Library of Australia  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article107326794

Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), Monday 16 July 1888, page 6

Suspicious Deaths at Botany.


The City Coroner (.Mr. H. Shiell, J.P.) commenced an inquest at the South Sydney Morgue on Saturday, on the remains of a man named Charles Andrews and a child named John Collins as stated in Friday's Evening News, the bodies were exhumed for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not deceased died from poisoning. John Walters, employed by Mr. Kinsela, undertaker, deposed to burying the deceased Charles Andrews, aged about 53 years, on the 5th February, 1887, and the deceased John Collins, aged about 5 months, on the 22nd April, 1888. He believed them to be the husband and son of Louisa Collins, of Pople's-terrace, Botany road, Botany. In the presence of Sub-Inspector Hyam, acting under a warrant from the City Coroner, witness exhumed the bodies on Friday and conveyed them to the South Sydney Morgue. The coffins and remains viewed by the Coroner and jury that morning are the same. Dr. Martin, on affirmation, stated that on or about January 27, 1888, he was called about 8 o'clock in the evening to see a man named Charles Andrews, residing in Pople's Paddock, Botany. He then complained of severe pains in the stomach and constant vomiting, accompanied by diarrhoea. He prescribed a mixture to relieve the vomiting and the pain. He gave directions to his wife as to his diet, and asked her to let him know the next day how he was. About two days after a man named John George Osborne, who took the doctor out on the first visit, went to witness' residence and informed him that the vomiting still continued, and the doctor prescribed another medicine. Dr. Martin, continuing, said that on February 1, same year, he was again called to see Andrews, and found him in a very weak state. He said that he could keep nothing on his stomach, and that the pain still continued. Witness again prescribed for him, and the next day he was in formed of his death. During his illness witness entertained no suspicions as to his being poisoned, and he gave a certificate as to the cause of death being gastritis. Witness did not attend the child, John Collins, professionally ; but was called to see him on April 20, 1888, and on arrival found he was dead. Witness saw nothing on the body to lead him to think that death resulted from other than natural causes. The child showed signs of teething, and appeared to be a constitutionally delicate child. That morning, at the South Sydney Morgue, in conjunction with Dr. Knaggs, witness first examined the remains in the coffin, the lid of which bore the inscription of Charles Andrews. The body was in a considerably advanced stage of decomposition, they removed a portion of the lungs, both kidneys, and an undistinguishable mass of tissues from the abdomen, which included the stomach and portion of the smaller intestines. The kidneys and lungs were the only principal organs that could be distinctly recognised. All these were placed in three sealed jars and forwarded to Mr. Hamlet the Government Analyst. They then examined the remains of a child, in a coffin which bore the inscription of John Collins. This body was very much decomposed; in fact, more so than the other, which had been buried for about thirteen months. The lungs were the only organs clearly visible, and these, with a portion of the abdominal contents, were placed in a sealed jar, and forwarded with the others. By the Jury : Gastritis means inflammation of the lining of the stomach, and may be produced by many causes. Inspector Hyam deposed to receiving from Dr. Knaggs four glass jars which were properly sealed and contained human viscera, and handed them over to Mr. Hamlet, the Government Analyst. At this stage the inquest was adjourned till Monday morning, the 23rd inst., to allow of the viscera being analysed by the Government Analyst in the meantime, and also for the pro-duction of further evidence.

Louisa Collins pictured aged about 40 with her second husband, 23-year-old Michael Collins not long after their wedding by which time she was already pregnant with their child, a boy who only lasted five months before dying in strange circumstances and being buried under another name in a pauper's grave

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Monday 6 August 1888, page 9 (2)
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28344424

The inquiry concerning the deaths of Charles Andrews and John Collins, who were respectively husband and child of the woman Louisa Collins, was further continued on Saturday morning, at the Coroner's Court, Chancery-square, before the City Coroner (Mr. H. Sheill, J.P.). Louisa Collins appeared as on Friday. Alfred Newman, assistant custodian of wills in the department of the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of Now South Wales, produced a document purporting to be the will of Charles Andrews on the 31st Janunry, 1887, and signed by John Stephen and William Farrer as witnesses. The Coroner, after reading the will, said it was evident that the will was not prepared by the deceased. The only part in the handwriting of the deceased was the signature.
Mrs. Collins : A man in the insurance office filled the will up.
Constable Jeffs, of Botany, stated that he knew the deceased, Charles Andrews ; on the 16th December, 1886 in the afternoon, Mrs. Andrews, the woman before the Court, went to the police station, Botany, and complained of her husband " fighting and rowing' with the boarders ;" witness went down that evening, to Popple's Paddock, to the residence of the deceased, and found everything quiet ; knocked at the door and got no answer; a neighbour named James Lawes made a statement to him ; the week after Andrews's death, witness went down to Popple's Paddock
to what he believed was the house in which the deceased had lived, and there saw several people dancing and singing; amongst the persons there was Louisa Collins ; witness saw Andrews about five days before he heard of his death.
Charles Sayers, residing at, Botany, stated he knew the deceased Charles Andrews, he was a man who enjoyed first class health ; he was not in the habit of drinking to excess ; first heard of his illness on the Saturday prior to his death, which took place on the following Wednesday ; went to his house on the morning of the day he died ; he was lying on a sofa in the front room ; he was conscious; in reply to witness he said, he was vomiting, and had pains in his stomach ; he said he had seen a doctor, and got some medicine for it, but he could not keep it on his stomach, and if he did not get better he thought he would die; witness cheered him as well as he could, but he heard of his death the same afternoon.
Mary Laws, residing at Popple's-terrace, Botany, stated that she knew the deceased, also Michael Peter Collins ; knew that the latter had been living in Andrew's house prior to the latter's death; witness once heard a quarrel between the two and Mrs. Andrews ; Andrews seemed very angry at Collins being in the house, and told him he had brought trouble on him (Andrews) and his family ; Collins had left previous to that quarrel, and was living at another house, but he called that day, and that gave rise to the trouble ; Mrs. Andrews had told witness that Andrews was jealous of Collins and her ; a few days after Andrews's death, Collins returned to the house; there was dancing the week following Andrews's death in an empty house in the terrace ; Mrs. Andrews and Collins were there; it was understood that the merrymaking was in celebration of the wedding of Mrs. Andrews and Collins, although they were not aware of any ceremony having taken place ; remembered the day Andrews died; on Wednesday, the 2nd February, a little girl went over to her house, and said that Mrs. Andrews wanted witness to go over, as Andrews was dead ; witness went over; it was only a minute or two after Andrews's death, and she saw Louisa Andrews ; she said " she was going to Sydney by the next tram, to let the insurance people know, and to the Savings Bank;" she went by the next tram.
Dr. M. Martin, recalled, said that taking into consideration the whole of the symptoms of the deceased, Charles Andrews, during life, and the fact that arsenic had been found in the remains by Mr. Hamlet, wilness was of opinion that the deceased died from inflammation of the lining membrane of the stomach and bowels ; caused in all probability by some irritant poison, gastritis was one of the results of arsenical poisoning, and even if arsenic had not been found in the remains witness would still have the same opinion as to the cause of his death, from the symptoms and from the well-known fact that arsenic may not be found in the bodies of those who have died from poisoning by that drug. During witness' attendance on the deceased he was struck with the idea that she had her eye on a second husband ; witness formed this opinion from her manner; she seemed indifferent as to the fate of the deceased ; believed he gave instructions that deceased was not to have beer; but found afterwards, that he had been getting beer; on the 1st of February witness saw Andrews, and there was nothing to lead him to suppose that he would have died so soon; heard of his death the next day ; witness ordered bismuth for him ; there was no arsenic in any of the drugs prescribed for the deceased.
Dr. Samuel Thomas Knaggs said having heard the evidence of Dr. M. Martin, he now believed that the vomiting was uncontrollable by the usual remedies; the symptoms which Dr. Martin had described the deceased Charles Andrews to be suffering from were those of " gastro enteritis, " and were also in common with symptoms often found in arsenical poisoning ; the uncontrollability of the symptoms by the usual remedies would indicate the presence of some irritant poison.
By the Coroner : Not finding traces of arsenic in the body after death was no evidence that death did not arise from arsenical poisoning ; there were cases recorded, where the poison was eliminated by vomiting and purging, and yet produced fatal results without leaving a trace behind ; taking into consideration the symptoms of the deceased (as described) during life, and the fact that traces of arsenic were found in his remains, witness was inclined to suspect arsenical poisoning.
Louisa Collins declined to call any evidence or to make a statement.
The Coroner, in summing up, said that the jury in considering their verdict, must exclude from their thoughts the child John Collins. He died from natural causes. lt was necessary in exhuming the body of Andrews to do the same with the child, and the chemical analysis demonstrated the fact that not a trace of poison was found in the body. In the case of the deceased Charles Andrews it was different. They were perfectly aware that the death of Michael Peter Collins led to this inquiry. In his case Dr. Martin was called in and held a consultation with Dr. Marshall, who was in attendance upon the deceased, and noticing that the symptoms were the same as in the case of Andrews, that led to the holding of this inquiry', and they must know that in the remains of Collins, nearly three grains of arsenic were found. That Charles Andrews died from arsenical poisoning, very few could doubt. Tho symptoms were these of arsenical poisoning. The fact that a small trace of arsenic only was found in his remains, afforded no evidence whatever that the deceased did not die from arsenical poisoning. There were cases recorded, as Dr. Knaggs had said, in which deaths were proved to have taken place from arsenical poisoning, and in a remarkably short time after death no traces of arsenic had been found. The poison (arsenic) was eliminated by vomiting and purging, and it found its way out of the system in that manner during life. If they were of the opinion that Charles Andrews died from arsenical poisoning, they would have to ask themselves by whom was the poison administered and who had an interest in giving the drug to him. The woman Louisa Collins, formerly Andrews, was the wife of Charles Andrews. She had her last husband living in the house with her when Andrews was alive, and Collins was expelled from the house, and, according to the evidence of the son, Arthur Andrews, his father was at that time in good health. They had further evidence to show that at that time Andrews was a hale and hearty man, and able to work 15 hours a day. This was within a few days of his death; and young Andrews had stated that within a few days of Collins being thrown out of the house his father became ill, the illness being a pain in the pit of the stomach. That continued up to his death; and very soon after his death a wedding feast followed.
They welcomed the new bride nnd bridegroom-viz., Louisa Andrews (now Collins) and Michael Peter Collins. Was there no suspicion in all that : On the 31st January, two days before his death, the deceased (Andrews) made a will, bequeathing everything he possessed to his wife. Of the
contents of that will Louisa Collins was perfectly aware. It was read to the witness in her presence. The question for determination was, whether the death of Charles Andrews caused by arsenical poisoning ? If so, by whom was the poison administered ; If they were of opinion that Louisa Collins administered that poison to her husband and thereby caused his death, they would have to return a verdict of murder against her. If not so satisfied, their verdict would have to be in the opposite direction, exonerating her. If they considered that the deceased did not die from arsenical poisoning, then they must return a verdict of death from natural causes ; but they must consider the fact that in a number of cases where death had taken place from arsenical poisoning, no traces had been found after death. The symptoms in this case were those of arsenical poisoning, and from the fact that arsenic had been found in the remains, how could they arrive at any conclusion other than that arsenic was the cause of his death.
After 10 minutes' deliberation, the jury returned a verdict as follows : " We find that the child John Collins died from natural causes. We find that Charles Andrews met his death by arsenical poisoning, and further, that the poison was administered by his wife, then Louisa Andrews, now Louisa Collins; and we further find that Louisa Collins is guilty of the wilful murder of her husband, Charles Andrews."
The Coronor, then committed Louisa Collins to Darlinghurst gaol, to stand her trial for the wilful murder of her husband, Charles Andrews.

Darlinghurst Gaol State Archives NSW

Sydney Morning Herald 
10 August 1888

Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), Monday 10 December 1888, page 4
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108118623
The fourth trial...

There was a petition organised.....  
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), Friday 28 December 1888, page 2
National Library of Australia   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139043745

 Still, the press carried letters to the editor such as this... Evening News 24 Dec 1888

The petiton was unsuccessful...

Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), Saturday 12 January 1889, page 8
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115380911


My interest in this woman began when I came across this once more, just one of many in the NSW  Gallery of Crime and Punishment

Weekly Times Melbourne Sat 12 Jan 1889

If you would like to read more about her, you may like to read...
Black Widow - the true story of Australia's first female serial killer, 
by Carol Baxter, Allen & Unwin, is available from all major bookshops or online