Spotlight: Execution of the Norfolk Island Rioters (1846)

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 14 November 1846, page 2


(From late Australasian Papers.)

Twelve of the desperadoes at Norfolk Island had been hung, among whom were the notorious Jackey Jackey, and Lawrence Kavanagh, the Van Diemen’s Land bushranger.


Jackey Jackey was twenty-six years of age only when he suffered. On the scaffold he solemnly protested his belief in the innocence of four of the men who suffered with him. He left behind him, in the possession of the clergyman who attended him, a long written history of his career in guilt, of which the following is the last paragraph : “Sir the strong tyes of earth will soon be wrentched and the burning fever of this life will soon be quentched and my grave will be a heavens – a resten place for me Wm. Westwood. Sir out of the bitter cup of misery – I have drank from my sixteenth year 10 long years, and the sweetest draught is that which takes away the misery of living death – it is the friend that deceives no man – all will then be quiet no tyrant will disturb my repose I hope – Wm. Westwood. Sir I know bid the world adiue and all it contains. Wm. Westwood his wrighting.”

South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register (Adelaide, SA : 1845 – 1847), Saturday 14 November 1846, page 3


NORFOLK ISLAND. — The Lady Franklin arrived yesterday morning, bringing intelligence of considerable interest. She had as passengers, Mr Gilbert Robertson, Superintendent of the Agricultural Department, and others, who have been suspended by Mr Price the Civil Commandant. The criminal sessions had not closed when the Franklin sailed. As principals in the riots, and the murders of Smith, Morris, and others, fourteen prisoners were tried. Of these twelve were found guilty and two acquitted. Of the twelve found guilty, and sentenced to die, were William Westwood (the well-known bushranger in New South Wales, and in this colony by the name of ” Jackey Jackey,”) and Lawrence Kavanagh, the associate of Cash and Jones in this colony. The twelve men found guilty were executed on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 13. Six of them at eight in the morning, and the other six at ten o’clock on the same day. The scene has been described to us, by eye-witnesses, as one of most awful solemnity. All the men died penitent. — Courier, 28th Oct.

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