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Depositions for Richard Norris 3 May 1838 Windsor trial 1


Regina v. Norris

New South Wales
to wit:                }
    Richard Holland being duly sworn, states: I am a landholder residing in Cornwallis, I know Richard Norris Senior who resides on the next farm to me.

    About three years ago I saw him making the attempt to have a beastly connection with a sow which I mentioned to my wife who said I certainly must be deceived that Norris was not a man of that description. I replied (agreeably to her desire) that I would keep it secret for the present but that I would watch him.

    On or about the 25th or 26th of July last I saw him in daylight in his peach orchard attempting the same act with a sow, but I cannot swear that he completed the deed he was endeavouring to do so, the flap of his trousers were down at the time that he was endeavouring


to have the connection, but the pig would not stand still,

    It was on Sunday the 19th day of March last (1837) I went into my garden to pick a little fruit, upon my entering it I saw Norris standing at the corner of his peach orchard joining my fence, a sow being at the opposite side close to the fence, I think he saw me as he immediately left the spot and went up to his own house, in a few minutes afterwards I left my garden and met my son Richard coming out of my house to go to church, I said to him, “Richard you have often heard me speak of the doings that Norris is carrying on, now come with me and watch and witness it.” I advanced thinking my son was after me, but on looking back I perceived he had remained behind, in coming up to the fence of his peach orchard I saw Norris with the flap of his trousers down and his private parts out holding a sow


by the tail and scratching her, I afterwards saw him penetrate into the sow and as I believe effected his purpose, I said in a loud voice “Oh you dirty old wretch what do you mean, you are to be hanged, if I had a gun in my hand I actually think I should shoot you” He replied, “He ought to be hanged and humbly begged my pardon and for the love and honour of God say nothing about it” I answered “I surely will make it known” He then said “pray don’t I will give you something very handsome that will answer you” I answered “I would not accept of any bribe for anything of the kind. I then left him, went into my house where I told my wife what I had seen. The following day I met his wife and told her of it, but that I feared I had not sufficient proof, she answered that I had better say nothing about it until there would be more


proof, and then to have him dealt with according to law.
[Signed] Richard Holland.

Sworn before me the 10th of April 1837.
[Signed] S North, PM.

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Richard Norris Arrest Warrant, 10 Apr 1837 



New South Wales
to wit.             }


By Me, Samuel North
Esquire, one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for 
the colony of New South Wales




To the Chief Constable of Windsor                             in the said Colony,

and his Assistants.

These are, in His Majesty’s Name, to charge you that do apprehend Richard

Norris the Elder late of Cornwallis,

who stands charged before me, on the Oath of Richard Holland

of Cornwallis with Buggery

and that you do bring the said Richard Norris the Elder

before me, or some other of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, to be dealt with according

to Law. Herein fail not.









Given under my Hand and Seal, at Windsor in the Colony aforesaid,

this tenth Day of April One thousand eight

hundred and thirty seven               [Signed] S North JP


Police Office Windsor

12th February 1838

    Before S North, Esquire, JP, Richard Norris, free remanded to Wednesday the 14th instant.
[Signed] S North, JP.


Charged with Buggery – Richard Norris Free

    Richard Holland being duly sworn in the presence of the prisoner Richard Norris and his deposition made on the 10th April 1837 having been read out deposes, The prisoner Richard Norris is the man I saw committing the offence with the sow, I saw him about his place for a day or two afterwards, he then disappeared it was on the 10th of April I did an informations before a Magistrate and my reason for not doing it sooner was that I thought my own oath not sufficient to convict him.

    At the time I saw the prisoner


having connection with the sow, I was about 25 or 30 feet from prisoner, there was a 5 foot paling between us, I looked over it, he held the sow by the tail and scratched her he stooped and laid his shoulder against the fence his face was towards me and the pig’s head was towards me. The pig kept moving and when it turned, turned its side towards me I saw his private parts was in it. It was not more than half a minute from the time I saw him penetrate the sow until I called out to him, he then let the sow go and turned towards the fence and buttoned up his trousers. My son who was in the paddock at the time I saw Norris is now at [illegible text here].
[Signed] Richard Holland.

Sworn before me this 14th of February 1838.
[Signed] S North, JP

    Thomas Holland aged 13 being sworn deposes, I am the son of Richard Holland. I remember one Sunday several months ago hearing my father tell my brother Richard to follow him to the fence, my brother went a little way but did not go as far as the fence and returned. I heard my father speak to the prisoner Norris, I do not know what he said, but I heard Norris say, “I ought to be hung, I ought to be shot, I beg your pardon, don’t say anything about it,” my father said nothing in reply that I heard but when he came back to the house he said he had “catched Norris,” I cannot recollect whether my father came back immediately from the fence or whether he remained there any time, when Norris was speaking to my father across the fence I could see his face, he looked frightened, I might be about 8 or 9 rods from Norris at the time.
[Signed] Thomas Holland.

Sworn before me this 14th of February 1838.
[Signed] S North, JP.


    Mary Holland being duly sworn deposes. I am the wife of Richard Holland, I know the prisoner Richard Norris, I may have known him 30 years I have lived on the next farm to him about 10 years. About 3 years ago my husband told me he thought he had seen Norris doing something improper with a Pig. I did not believe it and thought my husband must be mistaken. This was on the 24th of February 1836 my husband told me he was not mistaken about Norris, he said Norris had been trying to do something with a Pig, but that the would not swear he had done it, but would take care to look after him thoroughly the next time he saw him at anything of this kind, I know this occurred on that particular day because my husband marked down the date.

    On the 19th of March last [in pencil, 19th March 1837]


which was on a Sunday my husband had been in the garden picking figs, and my second son Richard was in the house preparing to go to church, my husband came to the gate and asked him to go and see what the old chap Norris was at, and be satisfied as he was. I saw my son and husband cross the yard together after which they separated my son remained at the garden fence my husband crept down along the fence and went to another part. I heard my husband speak loudly to some person but could not tell what he said, my son Richard returned into the house and fell on his knees and said that Norris was begging his father’s pardon and begging him not to mention it. He then went away


to the church, about 5 minutes after my husband came in and said he had seen Norris having connection with a Sow but that he feared Richard had not seen enough and that his own evidence would not be sufficient, but he would make it known.

    My son Thomas was in the house the same morning and when he heard his father talking he said oh! And has catched him and he went out. I saw Norris myself going out of the orchard after my husband had left him and came back to the house.

    On the next day Monday which was the day of Mrs Cox’s funeral my husband sent for Mrs Norris the wife of the prisoner and told her what he had seen. She made quite light of it and said it was nothing new


to her, I saw Norris the same day crossing his paddock to the funeral, I never saw him since till today. I never had an angry word with Norris or his wife in my life. Norris pigs have been caught trespassing on our land and my husband may have spoken thoroughly to Mrs Norris and the children but nothing more, never to Norris.
[Signed] Mary, her X mark, Holland.

Sworn before me this 17th of February 1838.
[Signed] S North JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Remanded for further examination until Wednesday next the 21st [Feb] inst.
[Signed] S North, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Police Office Windsor    22nd February 1838
    Remanded for further examination until Wednesday next the Monday week the 5th of March.
[Signed] S North, PM.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Police Office Windsor    5th of March 1838
    Remanded to Tuesday 6th of March.
[Signed] S North, PM.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Police Office    5th of March 1838
    Remanded to Tuesday 6th of March.
[Signed] S North, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Police Office Windsor    6th of March /38
    The prisoner being asked what he has to say against the charge – declined saying anything at present. Committed for trial in the Supreme Court.
[Signed] S North, JP, and [Name illegible], JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Witnesses’ Recognizance, 10 Mar 1838

New South Wales
to wit:               }
Regina v. Richard Norris, Senior, free: Richard Holland of Cornwallis, Farmer, one hundred pounds.
Thomas Holland of Cornwallis, Labourer, one hundred pounds.
Mary Holland of Cornwallis, wife of the aforesaid Richard Holland, one hundred pounds.

Be it Remembered, that the above-named Persons acknowledge themselves bound to Our Sovereign Lord Lady the King Queen, His Her Heirs and successors, in the penal Sums expressed against each of their respective Names; Conditioned if the above-named Persons shall personally appear at the next General Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court to be holden at Sydney in and for the said Colony, and then and there give Evidence, upon on information to the charge against Richard Norris the elder of Cornwallis for Felony and notwithstanding without the leave of the Court
then this Recognizance to be null and void, otherwise to remain in full force and Virtue in Law.

Taken and acknowledged before me, One of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the Colony of New South Wales, at Windsor in the said Colony, this tenth Day of March One thousand eight hundred and thirty eight.
[Signed] S North, JP
[On the reverse of the above is the following]

Police have duly served upon the parts …
Police Office Windsor, 10 March 1838.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Samuel North, JP, Police Magistrate,
    Police Office Windsor
    12 March 1838

John H Plunkett, Attorney General, Sydney


    I have the honour, to render deposition in the case of the individual named in the margin (Richard Norris Senior) who is, charged with an unnatural offence.

    The first information in this case was taken, in April 1837, at which time Norris absconded and kept out of the way, until February last, when he was apprehended at Maitland, he is a man of about 60 years of age and has a large grown up family, but is a person of drunken dissolute habits.

    The only witness who saw the act is Richard Holland, a man who has always been a good character, in this district where he has resided for many years and it does not appear that he has ever borne any malice or ill feeling towards Norris.

    I delayed the committal of Norris in hopes I should be able to procure the evidence of Richard Holland Junior in corroboration


of his father’s testimony, he is however at some distant station beyond the Murrumbidgee and I had no notice of my summons having been served upon him, should he appear, I will take his deposition and forward it to you.

    I also enclose proceedings in the other cases named in the margin. I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant.
[Signed] S North, JP, PM.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~    

Rough sketch of crime location – Richard Norris, 1838.
Rough sketch of crime location – Richard Norris, 1838.
Photo: Peter de Waal

Samuel North, JP, PM,
    Windsor Police Office
    19 March 1838

John H Plunkett, Attorney General, Sydney

    Referring to the case of the individual named in the margin (Richard Norris Senior) forwarded in my letter of the 12th instant, I do myself the honour to enclose a rough plan of the ground where the occurrence is said to have taken place – the plan is copied from one made by myself on the spot. I have the honour, Sir, your most obedient servant.
[Signed] Samuel North JP PM   

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Justice WW Burton’s Notebook   2


3rd May [1838] 3

In Case Richard Norris, Free, Bestiality on the 19th March 1837 with a sow – pig
    Plea – NG [not guilty]

    Richard Holland – I am free by service – have been 30 yrs. in the Colony: I live now in the district of Cornwallis – I am a married man – Prisoner Richard Norris I have been informed is a free man by service – a neighbour of mine – & a landholder – he lives next farm to me, our housing between 30 & 40 rods apart – I made a charge against him before the Magistrates on the 19th March 1837 – I went into my garden to pick some fruit on a Sunday morning – I saw the prisoner standing in his orchard leaning over a five railed fence, a sow pig


was on the other side, apparently he was feeding the pig with some thing out of his hand – he saw me & withdrew from the fence towards his house – I kept my eye on him thinking he was after something improper – my reason was that what I saw the last time, I had seen twice before – – – I called my son Richard, 22 years of age, & recalled to his recollection what I had previously told him respecting Norris – I asked him to go with me towards the garden – looking (through ?) a lemon tree we saw a man and pig – I (jumpt ?) over my own paddock (pen ?) – to that where he was – I got within 30 feet of him – neither of my sons was with me then – there were many weeds in the garden & it was difficult for them (to see ?) & he on the other side of the fence. His face & the pig’s head were towards me – & his shoulders leaning against the fence – standing on his feet


he was (exerting ?) himself very curiously. The sow moved across & in my opinion caused a separation – he scratched her hip to bring her back again & I saw him with his private parts in his hand put it 4 to the bearing of the sow & I saw him penetrate into the body of the sow  5  – all this occupied very little time – I said you dirty old wretch what do you mean – he instantly started up & turned to the farm & did up the (flap ?) of his trousers – he said “it is too bad I must allow, but for the honor & love of God do not say a word about it.” Say nothing about it said I, what do you mean, you ought to be charged – I think if I had a gun in my hand I should shoot you.

    He said oh don’t say so.

    I said this is not the first time I have seen this – twice before.

    A. [answer ?] oh don’t say so – don’t say (anything ?) & I will give you something


very handsome.

    I said if I took anything to (quieten ?) such a thing as this I should be as bad as you – he cried very much. My son was about 7 rods distant, there were two lemon trees & two fences between me & my son. This was three rods & a half or four rods from my house.

    Mr [Samuel] North [JP Windsor PM] sent for me three weeks after it happened. I had not told of it before, because I thought two witnesses were necessary to a fact like that – The matter got abroad – The prisoner left his home – I told his wife the (business ?) next day, & she told him of it, & said she would not live with him – and he left within a few days after –
    I was at the Police (office ?) since (last ? passim) Christmas – I once saw the prisoner after between the occurrence & last Christmas viz two or three days after it occurred (round the corner ?) (?) of the


same paddock towards Windsor – his wife remained at home.

    By Mr Foster for the prisoner –  6  I told Henry Foster to whom I mentioned it, not to speak of it, for it would cause a deal of trouble – I told prisoner I would not secrete it for any consideration – I determined to make it known. I told his wife – that was all I intended. I never intended to make mischief between him & his wife – or quarrelled with him – only I (asked ?) (explanation ?) about an (injury ?) committed on my fields by some of his cattle – his son came & said – Hill and my father wants to milk the cows & if you are going to (pound ?) then pound the (sow ?). I let them off. A few nights after the cows were in my wheat again – I called to him Norris what do you mean by using me this way with your cattle – by your neglect to keep your fences in repair: He said It is too bad I must allow


but get (?) in to value  the damage & I will pay it – I did not say I would have revenge on him by some means or other or words to that effect –

    I don’t know a person by name John Driscoll – he has two (men ?) one of them named John – I never said this in any previous hearing. Henry Abbot is Norris’s stockman. I never said words to that effect in his hearing.

    I was transported here – two witnesses were requisite against me.

    My son was married to (?) daughter – there were disputes between him & Norris’s (son ?) –

    I was returning from the races & was used very ill by Norris’s son – my ribs were hurt I could hardly breathe – I did not go to Court as my spirits were rather elevated that evening – I have been very little in Courts.


I know (Primrose’s ? passim) at Windsor – he (married ?) my wife’s sister –

    I did not say then, that I saw nothing of this matter myself but that it was my son that saw it, nor any words to that effect – nor that if it were not for my sons I would do nothing in the matter. 7 George & Mrs Sylvester dined there on that occasion – & James Walsh – Geo. Syl. Said it was a shocking thing. I said yes it was. I was making up my mind to leave the Colony & I wish I had done it, & then I should not have seen such an abominable thing – I cannot tell the month or day of month I went to the Police Office. Prisoner is a married man with 12 or 13 children.

    I told my own wife & prisoner’s wife & another young man – Many people called me about it next day, & I did not deny it to any one that asked me –


    By AG [Attorney General, John H Plunkett]

    I was transported for 7 years for larceny – not for perjury –

    Thomas Holland, a young lad 13 years of age – I (remember ? passim) Sunday a long while ago – I don’t know if it is a year ago – I remember Norris going away from his house – I don’t know how long before it was – My brother Richard was at home, he is up at (?) now – I heard my father speak to Norris alongside of him down in a hollow not a great way from the house about twice as long as this Court house – the fence was between them – I saw Norris, standing up & talking to my father. I heard Norris say to my father that he ought to be hung & ought to be shot but he hoped he would say nothing about it – I was about 8 or 9 rods off – standing a fence & a lemon tree between us –


I could see both of them plainly – I did not hear my father accuse him of anything – they were not long talking – my father went into the house – he then said what they had been talking of. My brother Richard had been out up at the lemon tree but went away to Church & I went out 8 & heard my father say what I have stated.

    Mary Holland – I know the prisoner he was a neighbour. His wife lived along with him. He left his place about (?) April 12month – I recollect a charge made against him by my husband on the 19th  March – he went away about a fortnight after that –

    I was at home that Sunday, I heard a noise, but not the words that passed –


My eldest son was going to Church when my husband called him – My son & Norris were on good terms – I never heard a word between my husband & Norris about his pigs – they used to do harm to our corn – The house is nearly 2 miles from the Church – St. Matthew’s at Windsor. My husband very frequently goes to Church – he was not at church that day – he did not always go – My little boy goes to school at (Cassidy ?) a mile off – all my children that are (about ?) have been to school. My husband is a sober man, in liquor some times but very seldom –

    By Mr Cheeke – From my house to the fence where H & N talking about 9

  14 rods. I don’t know whether prisoner had (land ?) up the Country or not – he had stock – I knew him


to go there to look at it – He left his place end of March or beginning of April. I never saw him at home after the Sunday –

    Case closed

For the Prisoner
    George Sylvester
    A miller free from 1816. I recollect dining at Primrose’s at Windsor when Richard Holland was there – Some conversation relating to the charge against the prisoner – I understood by his discourse that it was his son who saw it & called him out, he did not say at that time that he had seen it – He, his wife & (Mathew Lawson ?) at dinner – I & wife & a young man named (Walsh ? passim) (three ?) strangers – H said had not Norris’s sons (ill used ?) him as they had & broken his ribs at the same time he would not have prosecuted him –

    By AG
    – or appeared in Court against him.


I suppose he meant for the crime of bestiality – Holland said he had himself preferred to leave the Colony till it was all over – & (?) a man to make him to do it. Mrs H said was there another man in the Colony who would do that & leave his wife & family. I understood from H that his son had seen Norris with his trousers down &c. This dinner was about the Court of (request ?) time – Since Holland made his deposition before the Magistrate – Norris was in custody at the time. I had heard a talk of it for months before, 9 or 10 – one of Norris’s sons lives within 5 or 6 (miles ?) of me.

    I had taken a load of flour in & sold it – after dinner (we ?) joined a (?) (?) for drink –


Holland had a pot of half & half 10 before dinner & I had a draught of it – about a (tumbler ?) – there was rum after dinner.

    I might have drank a glass – 4 glasses to ½ a pint – I was sober – Holland was (fresh ?) – he let his tongue run away fluently – I swear Holland said his son called him out of the house  11  & that he went to the fence & saw him buttoning up his clothes – I won’t swear that he said his son saw him first or he saw him first – but that his son called him out & when he came out Norris had risen up & was buttoning his clothes.  12

    Holland never said that he saw him in the fact – that his son saw him & called him out & all he saw was him buttoning up his clothes – I paid very particular attention to what he said –


I understood from what Holland said – my son was out & saw Norris doing something on the S (South ?) side of the farm – & that he went out to the farm & saw H [he means N] – buttoning up his clothes:– I did not hear any one blame Holland for bringing the thing forward – I did not hear him say he did not see it himself – I did not hear him say that he actually did see it – Windsor races were in August – & this was in February or March last –

    Harriett Sylvester – I recollect dining at Primrose’s at Windsor about the time of the (?) Quarter Sessions – Mrs Holland & her husband, my husband – James Walsh & not more people – Mr & Mrs Primrose & Mrs Holland’s mother & brother – I recollect H talking about it. He said he would not have (prosecuted ?) only


for Mr Norris’s sons breaking his ribs as he came from the races – He said he was agreeable to leave the Country  13  & if Mr Norris would help him he would sell his mare & it was a hard thing for a man to leave his wife & children. He did not say who saw.  14  Walsh asked him if he saw it & he said he did not see it –

    By AG – W did you see him in the fact – he said he did not.  15

    Three females were present – he did not say what fact – & I did not know – I am not modest I am married – I came here young – I was in the Orphan School (Parramatta ?) married 6 yrs. It was Holland himself who first spoke of going away – I did not know what he was to leave the Colony for – He did


not say any one else saw Norris in the fact. I was there all the time my husband was – he must have heard the same as I –

     16  I have been to Church since my (?) (?) times – I live a long way off – Mr Stiles comes every other Wednesday – do not always attend him – about 17 (miles ?) from (?) at Windsor Church – My husband has been to Church since (?) Richmond Church about 6 (miles ? off ?) every other Sunday – Have (been ? seen ?) H at a (funeral ?) at Richmond a month ago – I have not been at Church for 12 months except at the funeral –

    [Harriett] Sylvester – I might have been at Church 3 times in 12 months – I have a water mill – and am obliged to stay at home to watch it.


    James Walsh A free man – I recollect dining at Primrose’s when Holland was there, Sylvester & his wife &c. &c. a good many there – Holland (brought ?) up the conversation respecting Norris being in gaol for a charge for some unnatural crime – He was going on a good deal – his mother-in-law told him not to go on so fast it was not a decent conversation at dinner – I took up the words. H said he & Norris had been neighbours for a long time & that N’s sons had used him very bad & so had N himself – he said that one of his sons in coming home from the races had broken his ribs, & he would keep nothing about his garden or about his place for Norris’s sons –


    I asked him if he saw the fact, if he could really prove it. He said that he was near enough to see him that he saw him get up from alongside the fence – I said probably a man might sit down to ease himself & (?) get up – He said his son was the first that saw him & went & told his mother. He said that he did not see him in the fact – I asked him did he see him draw or withdraw and he said he did not. He was a little in liquor, (part ?) but not so as not to know very well what he was about.

    [Unidentified person] I live in the (Kurryjong ?) – I appeared as a witness in a case


of Perjury – the man tried was a constable who said he bought spirits for me – he was convicted – I have known prisoner for 12 or 14 years first got acquainted with him in Windsor. I am 11 years free going on 12 years in the Country. I heard of this charge against Norris a long time before. I believe Norris went away from home after the charge. I did not know until that day of the dinner that Holland had been before the Court – the Court of Quarter Sessions were then sitting – Norris had a hearing that day. I supposed at that time that Holland was to appear again – he said so –

    He spoke himself about leaving the Country – Holland said that if N would assist him he would sell a mare of his & go out of


the Country –

    I did not hear any one tell Holland not to prosecute.

    He positively said he did not see N in the fact. He said that his son saw him & went & told his mother. I did not ask him whether he had a hold of the pig or not –  17  I was angry – throwing down my knife & fork at a man prosecuting another for such an offence when he did not see him in the fact – the whole of this conversation did not take place before the women – they withdrew when a (stick ?) was thrown down after dinner for a drink – The first part of the conversation was during dinner, the latter part afterwards.


    I never was drunk in the Country. I went to the public house about 2 o’clock; dinner was then on the table – I drank both beer & rum before dinner & a gill of wine  18  – I (?) it was in public houses I drank – I was in them that day – Primrose’s, (Gosford’s ? passim) & (Croft’s ? passim) – I paid myself at Primrose’s 6d. for a pot of beer. Gosford’s about a glass of rum – Croft’s a glass of rum & wine – We were at dinner a few minutes when the conversation began – I was not at Court when Norris’s case was heard – I did not hear what (Holl ?) gave against him –

    Note – the son could give the Chief Evidence it was he that ought to go – (?) (?) (?) (observation ?)

    19  he said his son called him out. I live 12 miles from Windsor –


I was perfectly calm & collected –

    20  I told one of Norris’s sons what had passed – I lived within 11 miles of Norris – just (?) backwards & forwards. I never saw him during the time the report was against him – My business at Windsor that day, I took in (corn ?) wheat (?) – I was in company with Richard & Mrs Norris that day – three of them – talking at the Court house & along the street as I went to see where my man & cart were – about the matter & his being in gaol – Richard is my nearest neighbour within 4 miles – he is married – I am married – R’s wife & my wife are sisters. My horse & cart were put up at Gosford’s – my actual home at Windsor. I saw Holland at Court house before dinner – at the


same time I did not speak to him – I knew that Holland’s wife & Primrose were related – I have dined at Primrose’s before about 3 weeks & stopped all night – & on another night – I went down on that day after Sylvester & his wife – Sylvester’s horse & cart were at Primrose’s. I don’t know where Holland got his liquor – I live within a mile or 1½  of Church – Kurrijong – I am a Roman Catholic – I saw a priest last week – attended worship – at one of the neighbours’ houses – twice within a 12 month. I have not confessed within the last 12 months.


    John Driscoll free since last August – previously assigned to John Norris son of the prisoner – I was often at the father’s – about 1½ years ago I was there – I saw Holland & Norris talking together one on each side the fence in a quarrelling way. I heard Holland talking about the stock – why can you not keep your stock off – do you want to destroy me by eating up my crop – Norris said if any damage were done he would be happy to (?) the damage. Holland said I will see if I can’t find a way to keep this stock off me – I was walking slowly up to


the house.

    H: I will see if I can’t have satisfaction of you –

By AG – I was never in Holland’s house – 7 years in the Country, came out for a pick-pocketer from Ireland – C [County] Cork. I had two masters – my first master was the prisoner’s son 21 for two years – he went to the Derwent on a charge of cattle stealing, I still remained at the farm – in charge of his stock. I was afterwards transferred to Isaac Gorrick [came on Atlantic during 1791; of Wilberforce and Curryjong] & served the latter part of my time with him – I can’t say how long I heard the report of this charge before I heard the conversation about the stock – Norris who was transported had only me assigned to him at the time – Gorrick lived 1½ miles from Mr Norris’s – I went to Norris


for tea & sugar for my master – it was when I was in Richard Norris’s service that I went to Norris – 12 months last July I was assigned to Gorrick – all before that I had lived with John Norris & Richard Norris – I was at Windsor Church of (Rome ?) 3 months ago – all the time I was an assigned servant I was never inside of a Church, nor any Priest came to me – I have been free since 1st August – have been at Church since – I now live at Mr Norris’s (threshing ?) – I work by the (piece ?) 6d per bushel – I have no property – I was a labourer & stockman as assigned servant –


    In Reply –
    [Richard] Holland recalled – I have heard what has been stated by Sylvester’s wife & Walsh – I think that was the day I came in to give Evidence at the Police office for the (second ?) time – I had given my Evidence before I had my dinner – I can’t recollect every thing that took place – I did not think any one wanted to take advantage of me – it appears there were – I had no thought of leaving the Country – I did not say I would sell my mare & leave the Country &c. – I did (profess ? propose ?) to my wife to leave the Country some time ago, provided I could get all my little concerns together – there was a conversation at & after dinner about Norris – Walsh said he did not believe (me ?) – any man in the world that would do such a thing – & if it was I would not go forward to swear such a thing against the man for 500 pounds – after dinner Walsh who was (? ? ?) put his chair alongside of me – I said young man you may rest yourself assured it’s no falsehood. He said oh (?) hold your tongue I believe it to be true, for his own son told me it was true – I did not say anything about my son seeing it –

     22  I don’t attend regular at Church. I go once in a fortnight or 3 weeks – all my (children ?) educated but this little boy – I attend Windsor Church – I have never attended the Communion –


    Mrs Holland – I recollect being at dinner – at Primrose’s. I had been before the Magistrate that day – I recollect the subject being begun by Walsh with me, he was quite insulting to both me & my husband. He would believe no man &c. He said as much as what my husband said was false – I heard Walsh say if he knew such a thing he would not prosecute for 500 pounds. My husband never did deny that he saw Norris in the fact – I never (left ?) the room at all and (in ?) good opportunity of hearing what passed as Mrs Sylvester. I believed Walsh had come to punish my husband.

      23 I have been outside two


or three times – I came in a minute after – I heard two or three words which Walsh said but I do not know what he said.

    Verdict Guilty
    Sentence of Death passed –

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sat 5 May 1838  24

Thursday, May 3, 1838.
(Before Mr Justice Burton, and a Military Jury.)

    Richard Norris was indicted for bestiality, committed at Cornwallis, in March, 1837.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NSW Executive Council Minute, 25 May 1838  25

Minute No. 26

    Council Chambers Sydney
    Friday 25th May 1838

    His Excellency the Governor [Sir George Gipps]
    The Hon Colonel Snodgrass [Kenneth]
    The Hon the Colonial Secretary [Edward Deas Thomson]
    His Hon the Colonial Treasurer [Campbell Drummond Riddell]

    The Council having met pursuance to summons, the Minute of proceedings of the 22nd Instant was read and confirmed.

    His Excellency the Governor laid before the Council the Reports of the Chief Justice [James Dowling] and Mr Justice Burton on the cases of Prisoners capitally convicted before them at the late Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court, in which sentence of Death has been passed; and their Honors being severally introduced, explained the circumstances attending the cases tried before them respectively; and the Council after an attentive and mature consideration of the same,   advised as follows viz

    Richard Norris, convicted of bestiality, and sentenced to suffer death; that the sentence of death passed upon him be commuted to transportation to Norfolk Island for life, with solitary confinement at night.

    The Council then adjourned to Monday next the 28th Instant at 12 o’clock.

    Clerk of the Council
    [William Macpherson]


1  SRNSW: NRS880, [9/6316], Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, Windsor, 1838, No. 29. Emphasis added.

2  SRNSW: NRS5730, [2/2435], Judiciary, WW Burton, J, Notebooks Criminal Sessions, 1833-38, p. 140-69. Emphasis added.

3  Mn: The Attorney General states to me privately that there would (?) been half a dozen such cases at this Sessions, but that he (considered ?) it best for the public (morals ?) when the party accused was a convict to commit the case to the summary jurisdiction of the Magistrates rather than shock the public feelings by bringing them forward. There were lately, he stated, 3 such cases from (Court Macquarie ?) which he commanded & it was his custom to write one general letter to the Magistrates recommending that course to them

4  Mn: I mean his private parts

5  Mn: into the sow's privates

6  Mn: I can’t say whether I saw Norris go to Mr Cox’s funeral or heard my wife say There goes Norris – From my house to the paddock 7 rods width of the garden, 4 or 5 from there, 6 to the house. I will not swear it is 25 – I saw Mr North step the ground

7  Mn: nor take any further trouble in it, nor any words to that effect

8  Mn: hearing this noise

9  Mn: 51⁄2 yds to a rod

10 Mn: beer & porter

11 Mn: to see Norris

12 Mn: Walsh (considered ?) he would not believe it &c. & Holland then said &c.

13 Mn: till such time as things were settled

14 Mn: fact committed

15 Mn: & did not say that any one else did – I did not hear him say his son saw anything

16 Mn: (Prisoner ?)

17 Mn: (?) & I did not ask the question before the women

18 Mn: a pint of beer, a gill of rum, a gill of wine

19 Mn: By (?)

20 Mn: (?)

21 Mn: John Morris

22 Mn: (?)

23 Mn: By (?) (?) -

24 The Sydney gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sat 5 May, 1838, P. 2.

25 SRNSW: NRS4232, [4/1520], Executive Council, Minute books, Minute 26, 25 May 1838, R2437.