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1887, Claude Gale, William Edwards, and John Watson - Unfit For Publication
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Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser, Sat 20 Jun 1885 1


  Still another improvement has been made among the shops of Balmain West.  Mr Claude Gale, who has been in business as a draper in Darling road for some years, has had a very neat shop erected to his order. The structure almost adjoins that previously occupied by him. They are roomy and convenient premises, well suited for the requirements of an increasing business, and we have no doubt that Mr Gale, who is well known in the neighborhood, will continue to be extensively patronised by the inhabitants of Balmain West.

Gale’s advertisement. Image: Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser, (NSW), Sat 8 Aug 1885, p. 4. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Gale’s advertisement. Image: Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser,
(NSW), Sat 8 Aug 1885, p. 4. Reproduction: Peter de Waal  

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The Daily Telegraph, Sat 22 Oct 1887 2


Balmain West (now Rozelle) public school. Image: Australian Town and Country Journal, (Syd, NSW), Sat 17 Nov 1888, p. 1014. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Balmain West (now Rozelle) public school.
Image: Australian Town and Country Journal, (Syd, NSW),
Sat 17 Nov 1888, p. 1014. Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    The friends of Mr Claude Gale, in return for numerous favors, gave him a return social in the Jubilee-hall, Balmain, on Wednesday evening. About 100 couples were present. The hall was neatly decorated, and fruits and flowers garnished an excellent table. Dancing commenced at 8.30 and was sustained until 4.

    Mrs C Gale wore a gas green surah skirt, cream lace overskirt, satin bodice trimmed with lacc and bows of green ribbon.

    Mrs R Cunninghame appeared in a costume of pale green nun’s veiling trimmed with white Yallenciennes lace.

    Miss Golling was attired in pale blue nun’s veiling, with white beaded panel on skirt, bodice trimmed with white lace and pearls. Penrith sent three ladies, one in orange satin covered with Spanish lace; one in pale-blue satin relieved with white lace; and one in pink satin.

    Mrs Ezold was in black tulle skirt, with long loops aud bows of Jubilee ribbon, aud Jubilee plush bodice.

    Mrs Barrett was dressed in cardinal satin brocade, with cream bodice and scarf.

    Mrs Hatton appeared in an orange satin skirt and blue satin bodice, set off with cream lace.

    Mrs RV Gale was attired in steel gray satin relieved with malise lace.

    Excellent music was discoursed by Mr Binder.

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Evening News, Thu 29 Dec 1887 3


    At the Water Police Court, on Wednesday, before Mr Marsh, SM, Claude Gale, 30, a draper; William Edwards, 54, seaman; and John Watson 35, no occupation, were charged with having assaulted Frank Cook on the Circular Quay.

    From information received, Senior-constable Higgins and Constable Adair, proceeded along Circular Quay; and, at the instance of the prosecutor, Watson was arrested. He said that it was “an attempt to extort money” from him, Edwards and Gale being arterwards taken in charge. Prosecutor had stated in the charge room that Gale was the first to commit the assault. Watson has been frequently seen hanging about the Circular -Quay, and although the police have been watching him they have been unable to find anything wrong. Gale had been allowed to go away once, as the police did not at first believe the prosecutor’s charge against him.

    Prosecutor had lately arrived from Bourke. Last night be was on the Circular Quay, and the assault was alleged to have been committed by each of the prisoners.

    By Mr Hill: Had only been in the colony about two mouths; had been six or seven weeks at Bourke and three weeks on the Hawkesbury River. Had also been in Sydney two or three days before he went to Bourke.

    The case was then adjourned until Friday with bail in £100 in each case.

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The Australian, Fri 30 Dec 1887 4

The Accused Discharged.

IN the Charge division of the Water Police Court to-day, Claude Gale, William Edwards, and John Watson, were again brought before the court on a charge of committing, one with the other, an indecent assault on Frank Cook, on Circular Quay, on Tuesday evening last. The case, which is of a disgusting character, was commenced a couple of days ago, and to-day Gale handed in a written statement denying all connection with the affair. All the prisoners stoutly denied the charge, and testimony as to excellent character was given about Gale.

    Mr Marsh, in summing up, said that he had, from the first, considered the case a most improbable one, and seeing that certain of the prosecutor’s evidence had been found unreliable, he could adopt no other course than to discharge the prisoners. An attempt at applause was instantly checked.

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Evening News, Sat 31 Dec 1887 5

(Some of the following items appeared in our
second and third editions of yesterday.)
(Friday’s Brevities.)

    No escape for Judge Docker. Minister Clarke will insist upon an explanation.

    “If I was examined on the cross I couldn’t tell yer any more,” said Mick McDonagh in the Water PC to-day.

    The Brisbane police have received instructions to prosecute persons letting off fireworks on New Year’s eve.

    “Can’t I have my boots, your worship?” asked a man committed for trial whose boots had been used in evidence against him.

    The Central Police Courts and their dependencies are, after all, immediately to be pulled down, and the Central Square is to be formed on their site before the end of January.

    A bailiff named Kurtz had a rosy time of it at the house of Mrs McKeown in Balmain on Wednesday last. She banged, bumped, and jammed him against everything she came across, and wound up by throwing him across a bed, and sitting on him.

    David Kirby Farr, solicitor, charged with forgery, remanded for another week.

    Claude Gale, Wm Edwards, and John Watson honorably acquitted on a charge of serious assault.


    Claude Gale, Wm. Edwards, and John Watson, who were charged on Wednesday last with indecent assault on Frank Cook, were brought up on remand at the Water Police Court on Friday before Mr Marsh, SM.

    The case being called on, the prosecutor, Frank Cook, did not put in an appearance.

    Thomas Martin stated that he had heard the evidence given by the man Cook on Tuesday last, and he had since been to the German Consulate in this city, and turned up the papers of the ship in which the man said he came to the colony. He found that it had arrived here on September 5, 1887, and left in October last. Among the names of the people who arrived in the ship there was no one of the name of Cook. Cook was not a German name.

    Mr CE Jeanneret, MLA, Senior Police sergeant Boyd, Rev Mr Madgwick (late of Balmain), and other gentlemen spoke as to the high respectability of Claude Gale, and expressed their surprise at the charge; Senior-sergeant Boyd, of the Balmain police, stating that he was the last resident of Balmain against whom he thought such a charge could be preferred.

    His Worship, in discharging the accused, said that from the first the case had been most incomprehensible to him; he could not understand how the assault could have been committed by the three accused.

    The three men were then summarily discharged, the decision being received with approval by every one in court.


1     Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser, (NSW), Sat 20 Jun 1885, p. 2. Emphasis added.

2     The Daily Telegraph, (Sydney, NSW), Sat 22 Oct 1887, p. 10.

3     Evening News, (Syd, NSW), Thu 29 Dec 1887, p. 6. Emphasis added.

4     The Australian, (Syd, NSW), Fri 30 Dec 1887, p. 6.

5     Evening News, (Syd, NSW), Sat 31 Dec 1887, p. 6. Emphasis added.