Spotlight: Smith and Brady Convicted (21 April 1873)

At the Beechworth Circuit Court on Friday last James Smith and Thomas Brady were arraigned on a charge of having feloniously murdered one John Watt, at Wooragee.

Prisoners pleaded not guilty, and were defended by Mr. F. Brown, instructed by Mr. G. Smith. The evidence. in the case has already been published and it is therefore unnecessary to recapitulate it. Happenstein, who was committed for trial with the prisoners, was allowed to turn Queen’s evidence. At the conclusion of the case, as we learn from the “Ovens and Murray Advertiser,” the jury retired, and after an absence of three-quarters of an hour, returned into court with a verdict of guilty. Continue reading Spotlight: Smith and Brady Convicted (21 April 1873)

Spotlight: Trial of Gipsey Smith and Twigham, for the Murder of Serjeant McNally (1857)

Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (NSW : 1848 – 1859), Saturday 14 March 1857, page 3 TRIAL OF GIPSEY SMITH AND TWIGHAM, FOR THE MURDER OF SERJEANT McNALLY. AT the CASTLEMAIN CIRCUIT COURT, on the 26th February, William Twigham was placed at the bar, indicted for the murder of Serjeant McNally, at Mount Ararat, on the 16th October last. Mr. McDonogh appeared for the prisoner. The prisoner pleaded not guilty. The facts of this case have been already published. The deceased and another police constable were in the pursuit of a man named Turner alias Gipsy Smith, an … Continue reading Spotlight: Trial of Gipsey Smith and Twigham, for the Murder of Serjeant McNally (1857)

Spotlight: Melville’s Defence and Charges Against the Convict Superintendent (1857)

Gentlemen, I never was a coward, and I feel nothing out the meanness of convicting myself in the judgment of the public by any such an act as that. When I die I will not die by my own hands, but will die as a man and as a Christian; and to have done such a thing as that would have been signing my own death-warrant. I see that as the case has been laid before you, the evidence is calculated to convict me. But can you not see the motive and spirit of that case? On the other hand, can you not see the motive of the case which I wish to prove to you by the evidence which I would lay before you in my favour, if I had the liberty to do it. If you can question the motive of a man who would call on the men hired to shoot him to death, on other men who saw all, and have no motive to speak in his favour but only the motive of speaking the truth, and on others who are also the men to stand their trial for the same crime I have done. I must submit to die, and I shall be happy to leave a life where no justice can be done to me. Continue reading Spotlight: Melville’s Defence and Charges Against the Convict Superintendent (1857)

Spotlight: Death of a Bushranger (1879)

“Gipsey Smith,” whose name is associated with some of the most daring bushrangers in the early days of the goldfields in Victoria, died in the Melbourne Hospital last week. According to the prison records he was transported from England when a mere youth to Van Diemen’s Land. Being a refractory convict he was subsequently sent to Port Arthur where the worst class of criminals were confined.

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Spotlight: Notoriety (Geelong, 1853)

Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 – 1856), Wednesday 5 January 1853, page 2 NOTORIETY. — Dragged from the sinks of crime into public notice, Captain Melville and his associate Roberts stand prominently forward, challenging notoriety. Every examination adds to the sum of their crime, and rumour, busily at work, invests them with fictitious attributes, to satisfy a morbid craving after depravity, the more palatable because the more debased, and having but one saving quality — that of unmistakable courage unmixed with cruelty. The poor wretch who pilfers a pocket handkerchief, and slinks away to some den, is looked … Continue reading Spotlight: Notoriety (Geelong, 1853)

The Bluestone College: Bushrangers at Pentridge

First opened in 1851, Pentridge was envisioned as a state of the art prison where the worst of the worst would be sent to learn the errors of their ways. Unfortunately, Pentridge went from being an easily escapable stockade to a home of cruel and overly harsh punishment. Here many bushrangers did time for their transgressions and this list gives the accounts of several of the more notable cases. Continue reading The Bluestone College: Bushrangers at Pentridge

Spotlight: Execution of Frederick Turner

Yesterday, the convict Frederick Turner, in the Melbourne Gaol paid the forfeit of his life for the crime of robbery with violence, committed on the Flemington road on the 24th March last. He was convicted at the last Criminal Sessions, and sentenced to death. This man arrived free in the colony by the William Jardine, in the year 1849. He was a native of London, and was twenty-five years of age at the time of his death.

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