Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/178353/domains/unfitforpublication.org.au/html/plugins/system/gantry/gantry.php on line 406
1851, William Adams - Unfit For Publication
Text Size


Empire, Wed 29 Jan 1851 1

DOMESTIC.


    Between the hours of nine and 10 last evening, Sergeant McGee took into custody a hoary headed beast named William Adams, charged with a revolting and unnatural assault upon the person of James Mountain, a boy of tender years. From the evidence, it was gleaned that the youth had wandered into the Domain, where he met the prisoner, who decoyed him into the scrub, and there attempted to fulfil his inhuman purposes. Owing to the absence of material evidence, further proceedings were adjourned to this day.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 29 Jan 1851  2 

    POLICE OFFICE.—The Mayor and the Police Magistrate were the sitting justices at the Police Court yesterday. Neither of the roster magistrates was present.

    INDECENT ASSAULTS.—

    A man named William Adams was charged with assaulting, with intent to commit an unnatural offence, one James Mountain, a lad of sixteen years of age, in the Government Domain, between the Fort and Bathing House, about nine o’clock on Monday night.

    The prisoner stands remanded for further examination to-day. The defences of Murphy and Coyle were conducted by Mr Nichols; Mr Cory, at the request of the Police Magistrate, watched the evidence, and cross-examined the witnesses on behalf of Adams.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Empire, Fri 31 Jan 1851  3 

POLICE OFFICE.
    THURSDAY, JANUARY 30.
    Before Messrs Flood, Egan, the Mayor, and the
    Police Magistrate.


    William Adams, remanded from Tuesday last, was sent to take his trial at the Supreme Criminal Court, for an attempt to commit a capital offence on the person of a lad named Mountain.    

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 1 Feb 1851 4  

SYDNEY NEWS.
———
(From our Correspondent.)

Sydney, Thursday Evening.


    COMMITTALS.—William Adams was this day committed to take his trial for an attempt to commit an unnatural crime.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Depositions for William Adams 25 Feb 1851 Sydney trial 5

1

William Adams
for
Sodomy

    Sergeant Alexander McGee States on Oath: between the hours of nine and ten last night the Prisoner was given in Charge to me by two men named Robinson and Clayton, for having Committed an Assault on a Boy named James Mountain with intent to Commit an

2

Unnatural Crime. The boy stated that the Prisoner drew a knife on him and threatened him. The Prisoner was then present and said nothing in reply. No questions were put. Prisoner appeared to be sober.

Sworn Police Office Sydney 28th January 1857.
[Signed] A McGee
Before James S Dowling, [PM], JP.    

3

    James Mountain states on Oath: I am nearly sixteen years of age. I live with a woman named Gallaher in Parramatta Street. My Father is dead and my Mother is in Gaol. I know the Prisoner. I saw him last night between 9 and 10 o’clock near the Battery at Government House, he asked me to go home with him. I asked him where he lived and he said up Wolloomoolloo [sic] Bay and I told him I

4

did not know where it was and he then said if I would go with him he would shew me the way. I then was going with him and when near the Government House bathing house he took me by the collar and he put me down between some bushes. He then put his knee on me and put his hand on my mouth and said if I spoke a word he would (?) Me stick me a knife into me. He had his trowsers [sic] down. I saw his private parts. My trowsers were

5

not down but he was trying to pull them down. His private parts were stiff. I saw them. It was as dark as pitch. Prisoner said nothing but he lay on top of me. I called out and a man and woman came. I (?) then ran away and the man and woman and myself went after him up to him. A sailor was watching him in some bushes and two men afterwards took him and gave him in charge. I was lying on my back. The prisoner was trying to open my flap.

6

I saw the pen knife produced in his hand. He had it open in his hand – he did not run away. He remained quiet in the bush – where he knocked me down –

    By Mr Cory: I am an apprentice to a tailor named Gallaher. There was not person with me at the time the prisoner spoke to me. He spoke first – I saw the knife open. He was trying to open my flap when the man and woman came. He did not say what he wanted me for. He was lying some time at the side of the road before I saw him – I was not trying to

7

pick his pockets. He was sitting up when I came up. He then spoke to me. I don’t know the man and woman that came to my assistance. Any person passing could have seen the prisoner as well as I did. He was half drunk. He did not appear as if he woke up out of sleep.
[Signed] James (his X mark) Mountain.
Sworn Police Office Sydney 28th January 1851.
Before [Signed] James S Dowling, JP.

    Remanded till 9 o’clock tomorrow.
[Initialled] JSD.

8

    David Creighton states on Oath: I am a Shoemaker living at Broughton Place Pitt Street. I know the prisoner and the boy Mountain. I saw them on last Monday night about 9 o’clock on that night as I was coming with my wife from the Government Gardens towards the Battery. The boy called out “Mister Stop” – and I did so and the boy then said prisoner a man was going to cut his throat. I went with the boy towards the Battery. I had a child in my arms and we met a man. I turned back with the man. We ran and

9

the boy with us and a sailor man and he pointed out the prisoner. Close to the steps on the fence side of the path – and we then apprehended the prisoner and handed him over to a Constable. All the boy said that the prisoner was going to cut his throat. The boy was standing up when he called out. When I returned there was a man who appeared to be a sailor took the prisoner out. He stated he heard all that took place. Prisoner said nothing; he appeared to be

10

tipsy. It was not very dark at the time.

    By Mr Cory: Prisoner was in the bush. I did not see him when the boy called out. The boy said nothing about committing an unnatural crime. When the prisoner was given in charge the sailor man said he heard all and that he would swear to it. That was when the prisoner was given in charge. The boy was frightened, he did not say he was knocked down. He said prisoner put his hand on his mouth. Prisoner’s trowsers were unbuttoned

11

when he was brought to the tent. The top button was not opened.
[Signed] David Creighton.

Sworn Police Office Sydney 29th January 1851.
Before, [Signed] James S Dowling, JP.

    Remanded till tomorrow for further examination.
30th January 1851

    No further evidence forthcoming after diligent search. Committed for trial at the next Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court.
[Signed] James S Dowling, JP.

12

G.63.

RECOGNIZANCE FOR WITNESSES.

NEW SOUTH WALES
TO WIT.                 }

David Creighton Shoemaker of Broughton Place Pitt Street in the City of Sydney.

    £ Forty pounds.

Be it remembered, that the above named person acknowledges himself bound to Our Sovereign Lady the Queen, Her Heirs and Successors, in the penal sums expressed against his name, if he shall make default in the condition hereunder written.

    The condition of the above written Recognizance is such that if the above bounden person do respectively appear at the Court to Gaol Delivery to be holden at Darlinghurst Sydney, on the 24th day of February now instant, at nine o’clock in the forenoon, or at such other Court, time, and place, as Her Majesty’s Attorney General for the Colony shall, by a special notice, appoint, and then and there give such evidence as he knows upon an information to be then and there exhibited on behalf of Her Majesty against William Adams late of Sydney for an assault with intent to commit an unnatural crime and shall not depart thence without leave of the Court, then this Recognizance is to be void, or else to remain in its full force,

    Taken and acknowledged before me, one of Her Majesty’s
    Justices of the Peace for the Colony of New South
    Wales, at Sydney
    in the said Colony, this seventh day of
    February 1851. 184.
    [Signed] Jno McLeod, JP.    

13

G.63.

RECOGNIZANCE FOR WITNESSES.

NEW SOUTH WALES
TO WIT.                 }

Alexander McGee Sergeant of Sydney Police    £ Forty pounds sterling
James Mountain at Gallagher’s Daltons Lane of Parramatta Road, Sydney    £ Forty pounds sterling

Be it remembered, that the above named persons acknowledge themselves bound to Our Sovereign Lady the Queen, Her Heirs and Successors, in the penal sums expressed against each of their respective names, if they shall respectively make default in the condition hereunder written.

    The condition of the above written Recognizance is such, that if the above bounden persons do respectively appear in the Court of Gaol Delivery to be holden at Sydney, on the twenty fourth day of February now next, at nine o’clock in the forenoon, or at such other Court, time, and place, as Her Majesty’s Attorney General for the Colony shall, by a special notice, appoint, and then and there give such evidence as they respectively know upon an information to be then and there exhibited on behalf of Her Majesty against William Adams late of Sydney for assault with intent to commit an unnatural crime and shall not depart thence without leave of the Court, then this Recognizance is to be void, or else to remain in its full force.

    Taken and acknowledged before me, one of Her Majesty’s
    Justices of the Peace, for the Colony of New South
    Wales, at Sydney
    in the said Colony, this thirtieth day of
    January one thousand eight hundred and fifty one.
    [Signed] James S Dowling, JP.
   

14

Memo
    The seaman referred to in these depositions stated his name to be Robinson and that he lived in Sussex Clarence Street. Diligent search was made for him there and elsewhere but he could not be found.
30th January 1851.
[Signed] James S Dowling, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[On the depositions’ cover sheet is the following]

1851
Supreme Court
Sydney “20”
Regina
v.
William Adams
Depositions

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

42
Depositions 12033
Queen
v.
William Adams
(Sodomy)
Committed
Supreme Court
Police Office Sydney

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Justice A Stephen’s notebook  6 

10

[Sydney] Tuesday 25th February 1851
(2. Courts.)
Part of February GD 1851. (From Vol.7. p.146.)
William Adams. F.S. Assault with intent to commit sodomy on James Mountain at Sydney on 27 January ’51 – (?) (?) Common Assault.
(Callaghan prosecutes)

    James Mountain. Nearly 16. Mother in Parramatta (St ?) Father dead 9 months – Mother in Parramatta St 8 months. 7 Nigh a month ago first saw the prisoner near the Battery below Government House. It was evening. I was going home … towards Macquarie Street. I had been in boat with a lot of more

11

boys. I landed near the Battery. The other boys went away. Prisoner asked me would I take him home. I asked him where he lived and he said in Woolloomooloo & I said I would take him if he could walk. I was taking him home and just as I got me near the Bathing House he collared me like this (shews) & chucked me among the bushes. He said nothing. He jumped over me and put his hand on the top of my mouth and said if I offered to speak a word he would run a knife through me. He was trying to undo my trowsers & he had his down. A man and woman were passing by and I sang out to them. I saw no part of his person. Did not see his private parts. It was very dark.

12

When prisoner heard me call out he let me go. Prisoner was lying on the grass … going to get on top of me. Not on the top of me but rolling me over. The man and woman took me along with them and met a man and fetched him down to the tents & gave prisoner in charge to a Constable. I was lying on my back. Prisoner was not doing anything but what I have said. Prisoner had a knife open. He took it out of his waistcoat pocket & opened it and said that if I offered to speak a word he would run it through me. When I first saw prisoner he was sitting down. It was on Monday: the day of the Regatta. I left home in the morning. My Mother was in gaol. Had been for a fortnight. 8 Saw her in

13

a fortnight week. We were living in Dalton’s Lane with a tailor.

    Cross-examined. Have been at St Benedict’s. Never to school. Don’t know what it is to “turn over a Lushington.” Can say the Lord’s Prayer. When I first saw you, you were sitting down: not asleep: not lying down. I was alone. You had the pen knife in one hand … and your hand on my mouth … & trying to take down my trowsers at the same time.

    By me. He had been undoing my trowsers before he pulled out the knife –
You had me down underneath you … I was on my back … & prisoner sitting on my thighs … facing me. I saw the blade of the knife. It was not pitch dark. I made no resistance … or noise. It was 200 yards from the tents. I was frightened of

14

you. You were putting your hand in your pocket. Saw you open your trowsers when you jumped in to the bushes after me.

    By me. (I asked prisoner if he could walk because I thought he may not be able. He did not seem to be quite sober. I turned back with him to go with him and we walked on about 200 yards till we got to the Bathing House; when he chucked me in among the bushes.)
I told the man and woman that the prisoner threatened me with a knife. That was before the knife was found on the prisoner – I did not try to get money out of your pockets. Did not ask you for money … I saw prisoner undo his trowsers: they buttoned up & down: it was when he sat on my legs: I then saw his private parts –   

15

    (Deposition read. Some discrepancies. The boy seems stupid but I believe that he means to speak the truth.) –
You promised me no reward. You were not able to walk without help. I don’t know what made me go. I turned back: did not know where I was going with prisoner. I have never “picked up a Lushington.” Never was in the skittle ground.

    David Creighton. Shoemaker. On the Anniversary about 9 in evening the prisoner was apprehended I was coming by the Government Gardens with my wife … near the Bathing House. Heard & saw a boy … he was standing up beside the scrub … he said Master … here’s a man going to cut my throat.

16

I asked where the man was. He said, here. That is in the bush right behind him. A sailor was standing by & he went in behind the bushes & pulled prisoner out. The boy complained of violence used towards him. Prisoner was not sober: nor drunk. I could just see the boy at 5 or 6 yards off. Never seen the sailor since. Observed that the prisoner’s trowsers were partially unbuttoned – about the middle … not the upper ones.

    Cross-examined. As I passed the boy said, “Master.” He was not near enough to the booths to have been heard, had he called out. I only met 2 persons   

17

in the course of my walk. Boy said that you tried to cut his throat with a knife. Did not hear at the time of attempt to commit unnatural offence. The boy said that the man was trying to cut his throat with knife. I could have heard that 5 or 6 yards off. The prisoner was nigh enough to have heard. He said nothing. My wife was with me. I never asked the boy for particulars.

    Alexander McGee. Police. Prisoner was brought to me in the tents. Last witness & Robinson, a sailor. Have not been able to find him out since. The sailor said   

18

in the prisoner’s presence that he gave prisoner in charge for attempting unnatural offence. He said that he had been in the bush and heard all what passed – prisoner said nothing. He was not drunk. Searched prisoner and found on him 2s. & some coppers and this knife in his waistcoat pocket.  I had known the prisoner to be a tailor living in Sydney Place near the Haymarket. Never knew him live near Woolloomooloo – I had not seen him for a month & don’t know where he was living during that time.

    Cross-examined. Heard the boy say at the Police Office that was the knife used. In the place

19

where the boy is said to have been he might have called out long enough without being heard.

Defence.
    Prisoner says that he was asleep from drink & awoke from somebody trying to rob him.

    Patrick Connell. Tailor in Sydney Place. Master Tailor. I know the prisoner for 4 years. Worked for me this last time 2 months. Only 2 months in the whole. He was working for me during December & up to 27 January – He lived with me during that time. One of the quietest men I had. Never heard anything against his character.

20

    Cross-examined. Prisoner has been  I heard him say for above 20 years.
Guilty. 2 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 26 Feb 1851  11  
   

LAW INTELLIGENCE.
CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
TUESDAY.

    Before His Honor Sir Alfred Stephen, Chief Justice.

INDECENT ASSAULT.

    William Adams was indicted for having, at Sydney, on the 27th January last, assaulted one James Mountain, a boy about fourteen or fifteen years of age, with intent to commit an unnatural offence.

    The evidence in this case is unfit for publication, but the offence having been clearly proved, the prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with hard labour, in Sydney Gaol.

 


1  Empire, Wed 29 Jan 1851, p. 2.

2  The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 29 Jan 1851, p. 2. Emphasis added.

3  Empire, Fri 31 Jan 1851, p. 2.

4  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 1 Feb 1851, p. 2.

5  SRNSW: NRS880, [9/6363], Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, Sydney, 1851, No. 20. Emphasis added.

6  SRNSW: NRS7696, [2/7019], Judiciary, A Stephen, CJ. Notebooks Criminal, 1840-71, pp. 10-20. Emphasis added.

7  Mn: BC – in Sydney.

8  Mn: 2 of my brothers were in the Poor House & one with her in the gaol.

9  Mn: The boy was present.

10 Probable omission here of the word here.

11 The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 26 Feb 1851, p. 2.