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1828, Alexander Brown and Edward Curtiss - Unfit For Publication
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Alexander Brown and Edward Curtiss, 1828
Below also see: Alexander Brown and Richard Lester, 1828,
Alexander Brown and Richard Lester, 1828

 

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Fri 28 Nov 1828 1

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.
———◦———

    Yesterday arrived the Royal Sovereign, whaler, Captain Kenny, with 100 tons of oil. She put in for refreshment, and cure of the crew, who are affected with the scurvy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Wed 3 Dec 1828 2

    The chief officer, and three seaman, belonging to the Royal Sovereign whaler, to the charge against whom we sometime since adverted, have been fully committed for trial, and are now confined in the Sydney gaol, in separate cells, on disgusting charges.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Depositions for Alexander Brown and Edward Curtiss 5 Dec 1828 Sydney trial 3

1

In the Ninth Year of the Reign of
our Sovereign Lord George the Fourth,
by the Grace of God, of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
King, Defender of the Faith.

New South Wales
(TO WIT)–               }

Be it Remembered, That Alexander Macduff Baxter, Esquire, His Majesty’s Attorney General for the Colony of New South Wales, who prosecutes for His Majesty in this Behalf, being present in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, now here, on the fifth Day of December in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty Eight at Sydney, in the Colony aforesaid, informs the said Court, that Alexander [aka George] Brown late of Sydney in the Colony aforesaid Mariner on the fifteenth Day of August in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty Eight with force and arms upon the high seas within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty of England in and on board of a certain ship or vessel called the Royal Sovereign, feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature had a venereal affair with one Edward Curtiss and did then and there feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature carnally know the said Edward Curtiss and with him the said Edward Curtiss did then and there feloniously

2

wickedly and against the order of nature commit and perpetrate the detestable and abominable vice of Buggery. To the great displeasure of Almighty God. To the great scandal and disgrace of man, against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity. And the said Attorney General further informs the said Court here that the said Edward Curtiss late of Sydney aforesaid Mariner on the same day and year last aforesaid in and upon the high seas as aforesaid and in and on board of the said Ship or before as aforesaid feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature was consenting to and did permit the said Alexander Brown in manner and form aforesaid to have a venereal affair with him the said Edward Curtiss and carnally know him the said Edward Curtiss and to commit and perpetrate with him the said Edward Curtiss the detestable and abominable vice aforesaid To the great displeasure of Almighty God. To the great scandal and disgrace of man; against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity. And the said Attorney General further informs the said Court here that the said Alexander Brown and the said Edward Curtiss afterwards to wit on the same day and year last aforesaid in and upon the high seas as aforesaid and in and on board of the said Ship or Vessel as aforesaid feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature as aforesaid had a venereal affair with each other and then and there feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature did carnally know each other and with each other did then and there feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature commit and perpetrate the detestable and abominable vice aforesaid. To the great displeasure of Almighty God. To the great scandal and disgrace of man; against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.

[Signed] Alex M Baxter [AG]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[On the reverse of 1 and 2 above is the following]

Buggery
No. 37
The King
against
Alexander Brown
Richard Lester
Edward Curtiss
Information
Witnesses: John King, James Burns, George Robinson, John Coombs, John Steward, Eleazar Thornton, Thomas Marks

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

5th December 1828
Arraigned
Pleas – Not Guilty
Adjudged Not Guilty
[Signed] John Stephen Jnr, [Registrar of Supreme Court].

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

1

Sydney
TO WIT.    }

    I James Burns, ship’s steward, of the Royal Sovereign being duly sworn depose that in the early part of July 1828 the ship being off Japan I saw the Chief Mate Mr Brown [aka Browne] lying upon the Apprentice James Phillips but I saw no motion. On the 20th of July on a Sunday morning between 5 and 6 o’clock I was in my bed in a cabin facing Mr Brown’s. I saw Mr Brown go into his cabin and soon after the boy Edward Curtiss followed. After some talking there was silence. Afterwards when I heard nothing I got up from my bed, looking thru’ a crack in Mr Brown’s cabin door. I saw Edward Curtiss on his hands and knees on the deck and his front being towards

2

me. I could not see whether his trousers were unbuttoned. Mr Brown’s head and the upper part of his body I could see and he was in motion backwards and forwards. After looking two or three minutes I went on deck and beckoned to the Third Officer, Mr Robinson and he came down and looked thru’ the same crack as I did and afterwards I looked again and I can’t say as to the motion but they were in the same position. Mr Robinson then went on deck and I went into my cabin and in about 20 minutes or half an hour I saw Edward Curtiss come out and go away on deck. About 2 o’clock I reported

3

to the Captain the circumstances. Afterwards as Captain Grey was talking with Captain King Mr Brown came down and catching me by the throat said: “You are the occasion of my being found out” meaning as I supposed the unnatural crime, upon which I went on deck and I told Captain King of the facts.

[Signed] James (his X mark) Burns.
Sworn 28th November 1828 before JT Morisset JP Principal Superintendent of Police, George (Bunn ?), JP

    I George Robinson, late Third Mate of the Royal Sovereign, being sworn, depose that on Sunday morning about the month of July last

4

between 6 or 7 o’clock, tho’ I can’t be positive to the precise time, the Steward [James Burns] came and beckoned to me and made motion ensuring silence. I went down and looking thru’ the crack of the door of Mr Brown’s cabin the Steward whispered me: “Brown is in Curtiss”, but I could not see Brown. The boy Curtiss was on his knees and hands on the deck and quite still. The crack of the door is very small and I could not see more than the boy’s shirt was crumpled up near the shoulders. In about 3 minutes I went on deck. I saw Curtiss in about ½ an hour more came up on deck and his face was very red. In about a ¼

5

of an hour more I went into my own cabin and then saw Mr Brown come out of his cabin. Some time after, about the month of August, as I was coming down the main rigging, Mr Brown was going forward, and Captain King was standing abreast up the capstan with Captain Grey and I heard Brown say: “There is three more as guilty as myself”, and mentioned the people’s names, but of that I can not be positive. Afterwards I went on the quarterdeck and the boy Lister [aka Lester and Lyster] being there I heard him say to the effect that Brown had done the deed once or twice with him.

[Signed] GD Robinson.
Sworn 28th of November 1828 JT Morisset JP Principal Superintendent of Police and George (Bunn ?), JP.

6

    I John Coombs, Seaman on board the Royal Sovereign, being sworn depose that whilst the ship was off Japan I heard the boy Phillips confess that Brown had been connected with him unnaturally and that the Captain asked him how much of Brown had been into him and he said that about 3 or 4 inches, he could not say exactly. The Captain said: “was it water that came from him?” He said: “No. It was thick, flabby, stuff.” He said it had happened only once. On the next enquiry on board I was at the masthead.

[Signed] John Coombs.
Sworn 28th of November 1828 before JT Morisset JP Principal Superintendent of Police and George (Bunn ?), JP.

7

    I John Stewart, Carpenter on board the Royal Sovereign, being sworn, depose the sometime in this month of August, Captain Grey being on board the Royal Sovereign, I heard the boys Lister and Phillips voluntarily confess that Brown had been indecently connected with them and the boys afterwards confessed the same to the ship’s company in my hearing.

[Signed] John Stewart.
Sworn 28th November 1828 before JT Morisset JP Principal Superintendent of Police and George (Bunn ?), JP.

    I, Eleazar Thornton, being sworn, depose that in the month of August I recollect the Captain enquiring about the Chief Officer [Brown] heard

8

the three boys, Lister, Phillips and Curtiss confess that they were all guilty of unnatural crime with Mr Brown and the Captain asked Brown if he heard the question which he had been putting to the boys and I think he did not deny it. Brown never attempted to do anything indecent with me.

[Signed] Eleazar Thornton.
Sworn 28th November 1828 before JT Morisset JP Principal Superintendent of Police and George (Bunn ?), JP.

    I Thomas Marks, being sworn depose that I recollect about the month of August last an enquiry was made on the quarterdeck about the Chief Officer getting

9

boys going along with Mr Brown. The Captain asked boys if the Chief Mate had ever been into their bodies and Phillips and Lister said “Yes” and the other boy, Curtiss, did not own to it till afterwards. Brown was near enough to hear the questions put to the boys by the Captain. This was in the first enquiry. In the second enquiry I was at the wheel.

[Signed] Thomas Marks
Sworn 28th November 1828 before JT Morisset JP Principal Superintendent of Police and George (Bunn ?), JP.

    Higgins discharged. The four other prisoners committed for Trial for the Capital Offence

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[On the reverse of the above is the following]

Rex on the (prosecution ?)
In King against
Alexander Brown, Edward Curtiss, Richard Lester, James Phillips [all] Buggery
28 November 1828
Committed for Trial
Higgins Discharged
Sydney Police

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Mon 8 Dec 1828 4

    The Chief Office of the Royal Sovereign, whaler, together with an apprentice serving on board the same vessel, were tried before the Supreme Court, on Friday, on a capital indictment charging them with an unnatural crime,, and acquitted, after a patient and lengthened investigation. The disgusting circumstances that were detailed, in the course of the trial, renders it unfit to be inserted in the usual place in our columns. After the verdict, by which the accused were declared innocent of the charge against them, it is not for us to offer any observations on the case, further than merely to state that, from the evidence adduced, and which we are informed, was not so strong as that given before the Magistrates, public justice could not have been satisfied without sending the case before a Jury. The prisoners have been detained to answer a charge to be preferred against them, and two others, for an assault with intent to commit the crime with which they were charged. Dr Wardell conducted the prosecution. The prisoners were not defended by Counsel. Mr Rowe, we understand, was offered a very handsome retainer, but refused to take the case in hand, on being made acquainted with some of the facts which were expected to be proved.

 



Alexander Brown and Richard Lester
, 1828

Depositions for Alexander Brown and Richard Lester 11 Dec 1828 Sydney trial 5

1

In the Ninth Year of the Reign of
our Sovereign Lord George the Fourth,
by the Grace of God, of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
King, Defender of the Faith.

New South Wales
(TO WIT)–               }

Be it Remembered, That Alexander Macduff Baxter, Esquire, His Majesty’s Attorney General for the Colony of New South Wales, who prosecutes for His Majesty in this Behalf, being present in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, now here, on the eleventh Day of December in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty Eight at Sydney, in the Colony aforesaid, informs the said Court, that Alexander Brown late of Sydney in the Colony aforesaid Mariner on the fifteenth Day of August in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty Eight with force and arms upon the high seas within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and on board of a certain Ship or vessel called the Royal Sovereign feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature had a venereal affair with one Richard Lester and did then and there feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature commit and perpetrate the detestable

2

and abominable vice of Buggery. To the great displeasure of Almighty God. To the great scandal and disgrace of man against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.

    AND the said Attorney General further informs the said Court here that the said Richard Lester late of Sydney aforesaid Mariner on the same day and year last aforesaid in and upon the high seas as aforesaid and in and on board of the said Ship or before as aforesaid feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature was consenting to and did permit the said Alexander Brown in manner and form aforesaid to have a venereal affair with him the said Richard Lester and carnally know him the said Richard Lester and to commit and perpetrate with him the said Richard Lester the detestable and abominable vice aforesaid To the great displeasure of Almighty God. To the great scandal and disgrace of man against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.

    AND the said Attorney General further informs the said Court here that the said Alexander Brown and the said Richard Lester afterwards to wit on the same day and year last aforesaid in and upon the high seas as aforesaid and in and on board of the said Ship or Vessel as aforesaid feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature did carnally know each other, and with each other did then and there feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature commit and perpetrate the detestable and abominable vice aforesaid. To the great displeasure of Almighty God To the great scandal and disgrace of man, against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.

[Signed] Alex M Baxter [AG]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[On the reverse of the above 1 & 2 is the follow details:]

Unnatural crime
No. 51
The King against Alexander Brown, Richard Lester
Informations
Witnesses: John King, James Burns, George Robinson, John Coombs, John Stewart, Eleazar Thornton, Thomas Marks.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

11 December 1828
Arraigned
Pleas – Not Guilty.
His Majesty’s Attorney General confesses this day that he is unwilling to prosecute the Prisoners on the within Information.
[Signed] John Stephen Jnr, Registrar of Supreme Court, 11 December 1828.

 



Alexander Brown and Richard Lester
, 1828

Depositions for Alexander Brown and Richard Lester 11 Dec 1828 Sydney trial 6

1

In the Ninth Year of the Reign of
our Sovereign Lord George the Fourth,
by the Grace of God, of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
King, Defender of the Faith.

New South Wales
(TO WIT)–               }

Be it Remembered, That Alexander Macduff Baxter, Esquire, His Majesty’s Attorney General for the Colony of New South Wales, who prosecutes for His Majesty in this Behalf, being present in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, now here, on the eleventh Day of December in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty Eight at Sydney, in the Colony aforesaid, informs the said Court, that Alexander Brown late of Sydney in the Colony aforesaid Mariner on the fifteenth Day of August in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty Eight with force and arms upon the high seas within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and on board of a certain Ship or vessel called the Royal Sovereign feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature had a venereal affair with one Richard Lester and did then and there feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature carnally know the said Richard Lester and with him the said Richard Lester did then and there feloniously wickedly and against the or of nature commit and perpetrate the detestable

2

and abominable vice of Buggery. To the great displeasure of Almighty God. To the great scandal and disgrace of man against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.

    AND the said Attorney General further informs the said Court here that the said Richard Lester late of Sydney aforesaid Mariner on the same day and year last aforesaid in and upon the high seas as aforesaid and in and on board of the said Ship or Vessel as aforesaid feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature was consenting to and did permit the said Alexander Brown in manner and form aforesaid to have a venereal affair with him the said Richard Lester and carnally know him the said Richard Lester and to commit and perpetrate with him the said Richard Lester the detestable and abominable vice aforesaid To the great sorrow displeasure of Almighty God. To the great scandal and disgrace of man against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.

    AND the said Attorney General further informs the said Court here that the said Alexander Brown and the said Richard Lester afterwards to wit on the same day and year last aforesaid in and upon the high seas as aforesaid and in and on board of the said Ship or Vessel as aforesaid feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature did carnally know each other, and with each other did then and there feloniously wickedly and against the order of nature commit and perpetrate the detest detestable and abominable vice aforesaid To the great displeasure of Almighty God To the great scandal and disgrace of man, against the form of the statute in such case made and provide and against the peace of our Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.

[Signed] Alex M Baxter [AG]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[On the reverse of the above is the follow details:]

No. 52
The King against Alexander Brown, Richard Lester
Information
Witnesses: John King, James Burns, George Robinson, John Coombs, John Stewart, Eleazar Thornton, Thomas Marks.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

December 11th 1828.
Prisoners Arraigned
Pleas – Not Guilty.
Adjudged both guilty
[Signed] John Gurner

13th December 1828
Sentence of Death passed on Alexander Brown and Rich[ard] Lester
[Signed] John Stephen Jnr, [Registrar of Supreme Court].

December 19th 1828 Warrant issued for the Execution of Alexander Brown on Monday the 22 instant.
[Signed] John Gurner [Supreme Court Chief Clerk]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Mon 15 Dec 1828 7

SUPREME CRIMINAL COURT.
Saturday, Dec. 13 [1828]

    George [aka Alexander] Browne, and William Lyster, mariners on board the ship Royal Sovereign, convicted of an unnatural crime, being placed at the bar, the ATTORNEY GENERAL [Alexander Macduff Baxter Esq] pleaded the judgement of the Court.

    The Chief Justice [Francis Forbes] – “George Browne, and William Lyster, you have been severally convicted of an unnatural crime, called sodomy, – a crime which our laws hold in particular abhorrence. I shall not go into any observations on the offence of which you have been convicted, further than to state, that, after the most anxious consideration which I was enabled to give your case, and after putting it to the Jury as one deserving of their most attentive regard, with respect to all the circumstances connected with it, they came to the conclusion that you were guilty. The law has made your offence capital. It is one at which nature shudders; and it therefore only remains for me to pass upon you that sentence which is affixed to the crime of which you were convicted.” Sentence of Death was then passed upon the prisoners.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    “Despite this statement, he did have a discretion to impose a lesser sentence: under (1823) 4 Geo. IV c. 48, s. 1, except in cases of murder, the judge had considerable discretion where an offender was convicted of a felony punishable by death. If the judge thought that the circumstances made the offender fit for the exercise of Royal mercy, then instead of sentencing the offender to death, he could order that judgment of death be recorded. The effect was the same as if judgment of death had been ordered, and the offender reprieved (s. 2).” Source: Macquarie Uni Website

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Enclosure YY to NSW Executive Council, Minute No. 16, 1828  8

Supreme Court New South Wales
16th December 1828

Sir
    I have the honor to subjoin a short general report of the cases of persons before me during the present Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court, and Convicted of Capital felonies, in order to the same being laid before the Council in pursuance of His Majesty’s Institutions.

I have the honor to be etc.
Signed Francis Forbes
Chief Justice Sup Court

His Excellency
Governor Darling

    The King against Brown and Lester: The Prisoners Alexander Brown and Richard Lester, were tried and convicted before me, on the 11th instant of the Unnatural crime of Sodomy, Committed at Sea, on the 15th day of August last [1828], on board of a British Ship, called the Royal Sovereign.

    On the 13th instant the Court passed sentence of death upon the Prisoners, severally, and ordered them for execution at such time as the Governor should appoint.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NSW Executive Council Minute, 18 Dec 1828  9

Minute No. 16

Council Chambers
18th December 1828

Present in Pursuance of adjournment
    His Excellency the Governor [Lieut General Ralph Darling]
    His Honor the Chief Justice [Francis Forbes Esq]
    The Venerable the Archdeacon [Thomas Hobbes Scott, MA]
    The Hon the Colonial Secretary [Alexander M’Leay Esq]

    YY 16th December appendix: His Excellency the Governor laid before the Council the Report [see Enclosure above] of His Honor Chief Justice Forbes [see Enclosure above] on the following cases of Prisoners tried during the present Sessions of the Supreme Court and capitally convicted viz.

Alexander Brown
Richard Lester found guilty of an unnatural crime, and sentenced to suffer death.

    The Chief Justice read his notes of the Evidence on the trial – and the Council advised that in the case of Alexander Brown, who was first Mate on board a British ship called the Royal Sovereign at the time he committed the crime, the sentence of the law should take its course; and that Prisoner Richard Lester, a lad who was an apprentice on board the same ship, should be pardoned on condition of his immediately leaving the Colony.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Monitor, Mon 22 Dec 1828 10

(DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE CONTINUED.)

    INSPECTION.— The Quarterly inspection of the Troops took place in the Barrack-yard on Tuesday evening last, at 6½pm and lasted till 7¾pm. These inspections, by Governors Macquarie and Brisbane, were made grand field-days of in Hyde Park, where the schools and free citizens generally used to assemble, as on a holiday; and eat gingerbread and drink ginger beer at the stalls, carefully provided for their accommodation, by the attentive and industrious venders of these delicious commodities. It was observed, His Excellency was unattended by a single ADC, or other Staff Officer. Even the Clerk of the [Executive] Council was absent, which is the first time we ever witnessed the non-attendance of Lieutenant Condamine.

    The following seven unhappy wretches are to suffer death on Monday, viz. John Iron, James Holmes, William Owens, Thomas Whisken, John Walsh, William Baynes, and Alexander Brown. We are sorry to add, we are afraid they all deserve their fate. Holmes’s humanity in saving the lives of Mr Hassal’s men, perhaps, is the only one who has the least claim to mercy.

    The Colonial Secretary entertained His Excellency on Thursday to dinner.

    The Thermometer, two days this week, when the hot wind from the West prevailed, was, in the cellar, at 82; [Fahrenheit] in the parlour, at 88; and in the verandah, at 98.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Mon 22 Dec 1828 11

TURKEY.


    Seven unfortunate man, namely, John Iron, James Holmes, William Owen, Thomas Whisken, John Walsh, William Bayne, and Alexander Browne, [sic] convicted of capital felonies, during the present Criminal Sessions, have been ordered for execution this morning.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Australian, Tue 23 Dec 1828 12

EXECUTION

    At half-past nine yesterday [Monday 22 December] morning seven unhappy beings, atoned by the forfeiture of their lives for the crimes of which they had been found guilty. The names of the culprits were John Iron, convicted of robbing the house of a settler named Brown at Boong Boong, and shooting at him with an intent to murder; James Holmes, William Owens, and Thomas Whisken, for forcibly entering the dwelling-house of Mr James Hassell, at Bathurst, and putting the inmates in bodily fear; John Welch and William Bayne, highway robbery; Alexander Brown, late chief officer of the Royal Sovereign, for the commission of an unnatural crime. At nine o’clock the prisoners were brought from their cells, preceded by the Sheriff [William Carter, Esq], the governor of the gaol, [Henry Steel], and other officers. They were pinioned, and attended by the ministers of the religion each one professed. Iron Whisken, and Brown were attended by the Reverend Mr [William] Cowper [the Established Church’s, Senior Assistant Chaplain, appointed 1 January 1808] and Mr [Samuel] Leigh, of the Wesleyan Mission [who arrived 1821 as a missionary on the Brixton]. The other prisoners were attended by the Reverend Mr Power. All of them were young men – the oldest could not have exceeded thirty years, and Welch was a mere lad. He cried bitterly. After the culprits engaged in prayer with their clergymen in the execution yard for about fifteen minutes, the Sheriff intimated that the fatal hour had arrived for carrying their awful sentence into effect, when the executioner proceeded to tighten the cords by which they were pinioned. The ministers moved forward, and ascended the scaffold, and followed by the misguided culprits, intently engaged in prayer, the two executioners having completed the last sad arrangements, the clergymen, after shaking hands, retired. The platform was cleared of all save those doomed to death.– Upon a signal, the bolts gave way, and the unhappy objects were launched into a never dying eternity. Life was shortly extinct. In some of the bodies we could not witness any symptoms of convulsion or struggle. After hanging the usual time, the bodies were deposited in the coffins underneath, to be conveyed away.

    The culprit Iron confessed pervious to his execution, the commission of a robbery for which Joseph Furnis was found guilty, and sentenced to be executed. Iron was convicted of another felony, and did not admit the justice of the verdict, until ordered for execution.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Wed 24 Dec 1828 13

    The boy, Lyster, who was capitally convicted with Alexander Browne, who underwent the sentence of the law on Monday, for a series of nameless offences, has been, we understand, reprieved [see above]. Repugnant as such crimes are to human nature, still every offence possesses its gradations of guilt; and we have always been of opinion that the criminality of this lad has considerably merged in that of the great offender who has paid the forfeit of his life. There can be little doubt that the youth fell a victim to the artifices of Browne.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Monitor, Sat 27 Dec 1828 14

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.
———
EXECUTION.

    Between the hours of nine and ten o’clock on Monday morning, seven unhappy culprits expiated by the forfeit of their lives, the crimes of which they had been convicted during the present Criminal Court sittings. Their names were John Iron, James Holmes, William Owens, Thomas Whisken, John Welch, William Bayne, and Alexander Brown, the latter the chief officer of the Royal Sovereign whaler, convicted of a crime which cannot be mentioned, the others were bushrangers, all guilty of capital felonies. From the time of their sentence, there was but one man who appeared to entertain a hope that mercy would be extended towards him. That man was Brown. His former respectable situation in life encouraged him in this expectation, and his hope was rather strengthened than abated when he learned, that the life of his youthful companion in crime was spared. It is said, that his confidence in being respited did not forsake him until the very moment of the Sheriff reading his death warrant, a few minutes prior to his execution. The several culprits were brought out from their cells about ten minutes past nine o’clock; they were preceded to the execution yard by the officers of the garrison. By their side, and walking and communing with them, were the ministers of religion. The Rev Mr Cowper attended on Iron and Whisken. Mr Lee, missionary, assisted Brown in his devotions. The other criminals attended upon by the Rev Mr Power. They were all young men; the oldest apparently did not exceed thirty years of age, and the youngest, Welsh, was about sixteen. This lad cried much, and although his Rev Pastor endeavoured to wean his mind from such unavailing grief, yet he cast his eyes wistfully around him, and when they met the view of any one in the crowd in which sympathy for his fate was depicted, he would again burst into a fit of ungovernable grief. He was obliged to be supported while he went up the scaffold. About a quarter before ten o’clock, the machinery of death being completed, the Rev Divines departed; nothing remained but the signal from the Sheriff. The platform being cleared, save those doomed for execution, the bolts underneath were drawn back by the final spring, the drop gave way, and the criminals became suspended. After hanging the usual time, the bodies were lowered down, and put into shells for interment by their friends.

    Thomas Lester, the boy who was convicted with Brown, the chief mate, for the unnatural crime, has been respited during pleasure.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tue 13 Jan 1829 15

EXECUTION

    Yesterday morning, eight unfortunate men, … expiated their crimes at the place of execution …

    Five prisoners, still remain in the condemned cells, under sentences, and it is said would have been executed with those who have already suffered, but for the illness of Mr Justice Stephen, before whom they were tried, which prevented his Honour from attending the Executive Council.

    Two others, one of whom is the boy, Lyster, convicted of an unnatural crime have been respited.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Australian, Fri 27 Mar 1829 16

SUPREME COURT.—(Criminal Side.)
———◦———
Wednesday.

    Mr Justice Stephen having taken his seat upon the Bench,

Thursday.


    It seems rather extraordinary that no orders have yet been given as to the disposal of the boy Lester, who was convicted nearly six months ago, with the mate of the Royal Sovereign, whaler, of a capital offence. This lad was considered by the Executive Government as a proper object of mercy. He was accordingly reprieved, and has ever since remained in the Sydney gaol uncertain of his future destination, and we imagine not likely to be much improved in his morals by his long sojournment in that receptacle of iniquity.

    The number of prisoners in the gaol for trial yesterday morning was one hundred and eleven; and the number found guilty during the present session, none of whom have yet received sentence, was twenty-four. The former number is almost daily receiving an accession by the committal of persons from the various police offices throughout the Colony. It would appear from these data, that crime is fearfully on the increase. It thence becomes a question, to what causes’ may so alarming a fact be fairly attributed?

 


1     The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Fri 28 Nov 1828, p. 2.

2     The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Wed 3 Dec 1828, p. 3.

3     SRNSW: NRS880, [SC T28B], 28/198, Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, 1828. The other file, CP T137 37, for this case, could not be located at SRNSW. Emphasis added.

4     The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Mon 8 Dec 1828, p. 2.

5     SRNSW: NRS880, [SC T28B], 28/212, Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, 1828. The other file, CP T137 51, for this case, could not be located at SRNSW. Emphasis added.

6     SRNSW: NRS880, [SC T28B], 28/213, Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, 1828. The other file, CP T137 52, for this case, could not be located at SRNSW. Emphasis added.

7     The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Mon 15 Dec 1828, p. 3. Francis Forbes’, CJ, 1828 notebooks could not be located at SRNSW.

8     SRNSW: NRS4234, [4/1439], Executive Council, Appendices to minutes, 1825-48, pp. 205, 209.

9     SRNSW: NRS4232, [4/1516], Executive Council, Minute books, Minute 16, 18 Dec 1828, pp. 262, 265, R2436.

10   The Sydney Monitor, Mon 22 Dec 1828, p. 1440. Emphasis added.

11   The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Mon 22 Dec 1828, p. 2.

12   The Australian, Tue 23 Dec 1828, p. 3. Emphasis added.

13   The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Wed 24 Dec 1828, p. 2.

14   The Sydney Monitor, Sat 27 Dec 1828, p. 4. Emphasis added.

15   The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tue 13 Jan 1829, p. 3. Emphasis added.

16   The Australian, Fri 27 Mar 1829, p. 3. Emphasis added.