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James Cameron, 1841  1


The Sydney Herald, Fri 2 Apr 1841  2  


—It appears that the calender, although not very numerous for Maitland, is a very black one, embracing four cases of murder, one of rape, one of an unnatural crime, two of forgery, one mail robbery, one of cattle stealing, one of receiving stolen property, and one of a convict robbing with fire arms; in all twelve cases. The following is the calendar, Norman Smith, bond, rape; Esther Cochrane, free, murder; James Cameron free, unnatural offence; Michael Bradley, ticket of leave, murder; Abraham Clifffe, freed, forgery; Elizabeth Critchly, murder; John Smith, forgery; Eugene Quinn, free, stealing a letter from a mail bag; Michael Ryan, free cattle stealing; Michael Healy, freed, receiving the same; George Edwards, bond robbery with fire-arms; and Gregory Toby, free, murder.

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Justice WW Burton’s Notebook  3  


3rd Case [7 April 1841]
James Cameron Free Emigrant
on the 21st Novr. 1840
upon William (Antrobus ? passim) –
Plea Not Guilty
Atty. Genl. calls

    First – George Wilson. I am a laborer – I was in Mr Singleton’s service in Decr. last – Mr (Milton ? passim) was the Superintendent. I am a free emigrant. I know the prisoner by sight, he was in the same employ –

    I know (Monroe’s ?) public house near Singleton – On a Saturday or Sunday night about 11 o’clock 4 it was about 7 weeks before I gave my information before the magistrates, I saw two men walking & two women along with men when I observed two persons by the fence with their clothes down not exceeding 4 yds. off. I supposed them to be a man & a woman


& so passed on – – The prisoner was at the fence with his back towards me & the other person was close to him with their backs to me – the person of one was close to the person of the other – I supposed them to be a man & woman in connexion with one another. I asked what young woman is that, the prisoner answered it is not a woman – I then struck him, & brought him a small distance –
    One appeared close to the wall & the other behind him as close as possible – their trousers were down. I believed them to be in connexion. He told me it was not a woman – it was a man that insisted upon having connexion with him – 5

    About ¼ hr. or 20 min – I saw the same parties together again – much in the same way as the first. I saw the other man next morning – his name was Antrobus. He went The prisoner went on his


knees & begged my pardon – & said if I would I could get my pardon. The second occasion was within 20 or 30 yds. of the same place. On the 2nd. occasion I beat him very much. I did not see their persons – both their trousers were down to their knees – the prisoner said I will not do the same again – don’t kill me. I was beating him – I told him he might to be hanged for sodomy –

    He said he would not do the same again –
Mr John Milton I know the prisoner at the Bar, he was in my service. 6  Antrobus was in my employment – he absconded from me on the 6th Novr. – I am aware of a warrant being out for his apprehension & a reward offered.

By Prisoner – I have heard rumours of him before.


    Wilson reported to me on the 5th or 6th. Antrobus immediately absconded – & the prisoner next day –
Guilty of an assault
Not Guilty of Sodomy
    Sentence to be imprisoned in the Gaol at Newcastle for three years.   

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Australasian Chronicle, Sat 10 Apr 1841 7


    James Cameron, a lad about sixteen years of age, was indicted for an unnatural offence, committed on the 5th of November, 1840. The evidence in support of the capital charge having failed, the jury returned a verdict of guilty of an assault, and the prisoner was sentenced to be imprisoned in Newcastle gaol for three years.   

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The Sydney Herald, Sat 10 Apr 1841  8


    Wednesday, April 7th. Before Mr Justice Burton.

    James Cameron, aged sixteen, was indicted for committing an unnatural offence at Singleton, on 5th Nov. [1840]. The offence was not clearly proved, and the jury found the prisoner guilty of an assault, which under the statute, his Honor held they were entitled to do. To be imprisoned in Newcastle gaol for three years.


1  Depositions (9/6323 and 9/6324), for this case, could not be located at SRNSW.

2  The Sydney Herald, Fri 2 Apr 1841, p. 2. Emphasis added.

3  SRNSW: NRS5731, [2/2440], Judiciary, WW Burton, J. Notebooks Circuit Court, 1841-44, pp. 76-9. Emphasis added.

4  Mn: I was going there

5  Mn: he was within hail of the public house

6  Mn: he is about 15 or 16 yrs. of age

7  Australasian Chronicle, Sat 10 Apr 1841, p. 3.

8  The Sydney Herald, Sat 10 Apr 1841, p. 2.