Below also see: Nicholas Brennan, 1910
The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 31 Dec 1875 1
CENTRAL POLICE COURT.
Before Messrs Thompson and Waugh.
Ann Smith was convicted of being an habitual drunkard, and was sentenced to be imprisoned one month.
William Henderson, fireman on board the steamship Clarence, was found guilty of having assaulted Peter Wallace, the captain, and was sentenced to pay a penalty of 40s, or to be imprisoned seven days.
Before the Police Magistrate, with Messrs Lester and Hunt.
On the prosecution of the inspector of carriages plying for hire, two omnibus drivers were fined. Alexander Paton, for driving at a pace faster than a trot, 20s; Richard Burns for smoking, 5s; omnibus conductor Charles Moore was fine 5s for admitting a greater number of passengers than the coach was licensed to carry inside at one time; James Hayes, cab driver, was fined 5s for neglecting to bring his horses to a walking pace at turning a corner; Hugh Moore, cabman, was fined 20s, and Denis Mulqueeny, vanman, was fined 10s, for being at such a distance from their horses as to have no control over them.
After the adjournment of the Court, a young man, who gave his name Nicholas Brennan, was brought in, charged with having, about 2 o’clock pm, wilfully and obscenely exposed himself in the presence of females who were sitting on one of the benches in Hyde Park. A gentleman passing witnessed the wanton outrage, and knocked Brennan down and detained him until a policeman was procured. The police magistrate sentenced the defendant to be imprisoned three months.
Nicholas Brennan, 1910
The Daily Telegraph, Tue 20 Sep 1910 2
FATALITIES AND ACCIDENTS. 3
SUICIDE IN COOK PARK.
Whilst in Boomerang-street early yesterday morning Constable Owers, of Darlinghurst station, heard two revolver shots coming from the direction of Cook Park. Entering the enclosure the constable found an elderly man lying on the grass, with blood pouring from a bullet wound on the right side of the head. Alongside lay a six-chambered revolver. The officer communicated with the Civil Ambulance, who conveyed the man to the Sydney Hospital. The casualty surgeon there pronounced life extinct. The man’s name, it was discovered later, was Nicholas Brennan (56). His late address is unknown.
In the deceased’s clothing a notebook, some medicine prescriptions, a shilling, and some papers were found. On the fly leaf of the notebook was pencilled:—“Brennan.” On a page was written, also in pencil:—“God forgive me for what I am about to do.”
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The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 20 Sep 1910 4
AN EARLY MORNING SUICIDE.
MAN SHOT IN COOK PARK.
Constable Owers, of Darlinghurst Police Station, while on duty in the vicinity of Cook Park, shortly after 4 am yesterday, heard two shots fired in quick succession. He immediately proceeded to the spot indicated by the firing, and there found an elderly man lying in the grass, bleeding profusely from a bullet wound in the right side of the head. A six-chambered revolver, with two empty shells, was lying close to the body. The Civil Ambulance were summoned, and conveyed the man to Sydney Hospital, where, Dr Beatty pronounced life extinct.
A note-book was found in the clothing, with the name Brennan inscribed on the fly leaf, and a short note scribbled in pencil ran:—“God forgive me for what I’m about to do.” the body was subsequently removed to the Morgue, where it was ascertained that the man’s name was Nicholas Brennan, aged 56 years.
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The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 21 Sep 1910 5
Brennan.—The Funeral of the deceased NICHOLAS BRENNAN will leave Sydney Hospital (Domain Entrance), THIS WEDNESDAY, at 1.30 pm, for the Necropolis.
Mrs P Kirby and Son, Ltd.
Undertakers, 7 Elizabeth-street, Sydney
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The Daily Telegraph, Sat 24 Sep 1910 6
OLD MAN’S SUICIDE.
STRANGE LETTERS FOUND AFTER
In the case of Nicholas Brennan, who was found shot in Cook Park on Monday last, the Acting City Coroner yesterday found a verdict of suicide.
Frederick James Bowen, a chemist, employed by Washington Soul, said that he had known the deceased. Brennan had told him that he was being prosecuted by a woman whom he had married.
On Saturday I willed my money (£100) to the dispenser, Mr —–, at Washington Soul’s to bury me. But I know I was mad, or I would not do it. That madness has caused me all the trouble. I fell in love with other people, who drove me mad first.—Nicholas Brennan.
Oh, my Goad, in the name of Jesus Christ I ask Thee to forgive me for what I am going to do; but, O God, I cannot live. To the Great God I commend my soul. Bury me without the rites of the Roman Catholic Church. Take my soul out of the world. I hope the merciful God will forgive me my sins with that woman through my head being wrong. I would never have done nothing or have anything to do with that woman. My head went wrong when I turned the age of 60. No one ever tried to save me, and they knew I was wrong. Mrs —– and —– are the cause of my death. They conspired to blackmail and murder me. O God, forgive us all.
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The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 24 Sep 1910 7
SUICIDE IN COOK PARK.
An inquest was held yesterday into the circumstances attending the death of Nicholas Brennan, about 60 years of age, who was found lying on the grass in Cook Park, bleeding from a bullet wound in the right temple.
The evidence showed that while on duty at the intersection of Boomerang and College streets, about 4 o’clock on Monday morning Constable Owers heard two revolver shots in quick succession. He went into Cook Park, and found the body lying on the grass, with a revolver close by. The man was removed to the Sydney Hospital by the Civil Ambulance, but on arrival at the institution Dr Beatty pronounced life extinct.
Frederick James Bowen, a chemist, employed by Washington Soul, said he knew Brennan, who visited him on Saturday last. He then told him he was being prosecuted by a woman whom he had married. He never mentioned that fact that he was tired of life.
On the clothing being searched at the morgue a notebook containing some letters was found, in these letters deceased asked to be buried with the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, and he stated that some people conspired to blackmail and murder him. Further, he wrote:—“The detectives have driven me mad, and murdered me.”
A verdict of suicide was recorded.
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Barrier Miner, Tue 27 Sep 1910 8
SHOT HIMSELF DEAD.
A REMARKABLE LETTER.
WOMAN CHARGED WITH BLACKMAIL.
In the case of Nicholas Brennan, who was found shot in Cook Park on Monday last, the acting city coroner on Friday found a verdict of suicide. Frederick James Bowen, a chemist, said he had known the deceased, who had told him he was being prosecuted by a woman whom he had married. The following letters were found in a notebook in the dead man’s pocket:—“On Saturday I willed my money, £100 to the dispenser. Mr —–, at Washington, to bury me, I know I was mad or I would not do it. That madness has caused me all the trouble. I fell in with other people, who drove me mad first.—Nicholas Brennan.”
“Oh, my God. In the name of Jesus Christ I ask Thee to forgive me for what I am going to do, but, oh God, I cannot live. To the great God I commend my soul. Bury me without the rites of the Roman Catholic Church. Take my soul out of the world. I hope the merciful God will forgive my sins with that woman through my head being wrong. I would never have done nothing or have anything to do with that woman, but my head went wrong when I turned the age of 60. No one ever tried to save me, and they knew I was wrong. Mrs —– and —– are the cause of my death. They conspired to blackmail and murder me. O God, forgive us all.”
1 The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 31 Dec 1875, p. 2. Emphasis added.
2 The Daily Telegraph, Tue 20 Sep 1910, p. 9.
3 Nicholas Brennan’s (according to the NSW death certificate–1910/008130–Brennan was aka Michael Breen) discharge details from Darlinghurst gaol, after his 30 Dec 1875 conviction, described in the NSWPG 12/04/1876, No. 15, p. 112, include his birth year as 1855. This would make Brennan 55 years old in 1910 when his suicide was reported. Therefore, his age correspondents with that given in the 1910 Inquest newspaper reports. A search of all three NSWBDM indexes revealed that the name “Nicholas Brennan” occurs very infrequently. For example, birth registered between 1840 to 1900 only list two entries, namely one during 1851 and another during 1870. Similarly, marriages registered between 1870 to 1911 lists only one entry under the name “Nicholas Brennan” during 1900 with the bride’s name being Mary E Moore. Brennan’s death certificate states that he married when he was “about 56 years,” but unfortunately it doesn’t state to whom he got married. Finally, “Nicholas Brennan” death registration appears during 1910 being 60 years of age. According to SRNSW coronial inquest documents, before 1911, have not survived.
4 The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 20 Sep 1910, p. 13.
5 The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 21 Sep 1910, p. 18.
6 The Daily Telegraph, Sat 24 Sep 1910, p. 22. Emphasis added.
7 The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 24 Sep 1910, p. 11. Emphasis added.
8 Barrier Miner, Tue 27 Sep 1910, p. 4. Emphasis added.