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1875, Ah Sic and James Stephens - Unfit For Publication
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The Sydney Morning Herald, Thu 17 Jun 1875 1

Wellington courthouse, build 1872. Photo ID: SRNSW 4346_a020_a020000102.jpg
Wellington courthouse, build 1872.
Photo ID: SRNSW 4346_a020_a020000102.jpg

WELLINGTON.
———◦———
(FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.)

WE are now in the middle of winter. The weather is very seasonable, though some think the rain has been un excess. The Macquarie and Bell Rivers have been in flood. On Saturday night there was a heavy thunderstorm; the lightening was very vivid. There is little doubt we shall have another magnificent spring.

    The business at our Police Court continues brisk. Last week a man was committed for trial on the charge of stealing a horse named Shamrock, the property of Mr Clifford, butcher, Wellington.

    A Chinaman, named Ah Sic (lately prosecutor at Dubbo in a horse-stealing case), and a lad named [James] Stephens, were also committed for trial on a nameless charge. The two were travelling in company.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Depositions for Ah Sic and James Stephens 6 Oct 1875 Dubbo trial 2

No. 5-326

Edmund Fosbery JP,
Inspector General, Sydney Police
14 July 1875

John Williams, Crown Solicitor, Sydney

Sir,
    I have the honor to inform you that Ah Sic and James Stephens at present confined in Wellington Gaol, are under Committal for trial at Mudgee Circuit Court on a charge of Sodomy.

  Ah Sic is the prosecutor in the case noted in the margin (No. 590. Regina v Samuel Thomas and Reuben Cooper Horse Stealing) for trial at Dubbo Sessions on the 6th proximo, and as all the witnesses in the Sodomy case are residents of Wellington it would Effect a Considerable saving in the Expense of witnesses and Escorts if Ah Sic and Stephens were tried at Dubbo Circuit Court instead of Mudgee

    I have the honor to be
       Sir
    Your Most obedient Servant
[Signed] Edmund Fosbery JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Marked “A”

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James Stephens, 1875. SRNS- W: NRS1998 [3/5955], Photo: SRNSW
James Stephens, 1875. SRNSW: NRS
1998 [3/5955], Photo: SRNSW

Police station Wellington 28 May 1875

    I James Stephens do of my own free will, without any promise or favour from any one make the following statement to Senior Constable [John] Chiplin – having reference to the crime for which I am now awaiting my trial.

  I have known the chinaman Ah Sic for three or four years about the Mookerawa Creek [Wellington County] and Macquarie River. About five or six weeks since I became his mate and we worked together gold mining, at the Mookerawa Creek. What gold I got I always gave to Ah Sic and he kept me in what I wanted, he bought me a pair of boots shortly after I first went mates with him, he also gave me money to buy my food, or he used to go to the chinese store and order it for me, I slept at home with my grandmother on last Sunday week I started to Dubbo with Ah Sic. Ah Sic had to go to Dubbo to give evidence in a horse stealing case, he asked me to go with him, and he promised me to pay my expenses to Dubbo and back again to the Mookerawa. We went to

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Dubbo and left Dubbo on last Wednesday week by boat Cobb & Co Coach and arrived at Wellington at midnight. Ah Sic took me to Ah See’s boarding house in Wellington,  the place where I was arrested. We went to bed together, in the same bed the bed is in the front room and close to the front door, the chinaman did nothing to me that night. We slept in the same bed together. The next night (Thursday) after we went to bed Ah Sic began playing with me, catching hold of my person, and after playing with me for some time, he had connection with me, I was lying on my back at first when he was playing with me, he (Ah Sic) put his arms around my neck and turned me round so that my back was towards him, and after lying a little while in that position I was just going to sleep, when he put his privates between my legs and up against my bottom, and he had his arms around me, and squeezed me towards him, his Privates was stiff – I some time after was just falling to sleep his arm was still around me when he pulled, or squeezed me, close to him and, put his person into my bottom – his person

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went into my bottom. The next day Ah Sic took me up the town and bought me a Meerschaum pipe and afterwards gave it to me, he also bought me cakes, he also gave me opium to smoke at the boarding house. We went to bed together again this night, in the same bed as we had slept before – directly after we went to bed Ah Sic began playing with me, putting his privates up against my bottom and pulling me about. I turned over on my back, and he turned me round with my back towards him. And he then put his privates into my bottom – his privates went right in. On Saturday night we slept together in the same bed but he did nothing to me that night. On Sunday night we slept together in the same bed and as I was just going to sleep he turned me round and put his privates into my bottom again. On every occasion that he put his privates into my bottom and while his person was into me I felt something wet come from his privates. I also felt the same come from him on to my legs and bottom on Thursday night when he first tried to do it to me. We both undressed ourselves

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on each night, when we went to bed. On Thursday night a man named “Andrew” slept on the floor alongside the bed we slept in, there was a fire burning in the room all night, and there was light enough from the fire to see anything that was going on in the room. Some strange chinaman was sleeping in another part of the room. On Friday night the man Andrew was lying on the floor sitting on the stool by the fire close to our bed until midnight until he went away after the Ah Sic had done to me what I have told you. In Dubbo Ah Sic lost a horse I had lent him to go there, and on Sunday last he bought me one in the place of it.

[Signed] James Stephens.

Witness [Signed] John Chiplin [Senior Constable] and James Anderson.

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(M., 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)

Depositions of Witnesses.

New South Wales, Wellington
TO WIT.                               }

The examination of John Chiplin of Wellington in the Colony of New South Wales, Senior Constable. Robert Rygate of Wellington in the said Colony, Surgeon. Andrew Sinee of Wellington in the said Colony, and Ah See of Wellington, in the said Colony, boarding house keeper taken on oath, this 8th day of June in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy five at Wellington in the Colony aforesaid, before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said Colony, in the presence and hearing of Ah Sic and James Stevens who are charged this day before me, for that they the said Ah Sic   and James Stevens,   on the 20th, 21st and 23rd days of May 1875 at Wellington in the said Colony, did commit sodomy. 

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Ah Sic and James Stephens

Charged Sodomy

    James Anderson on oath states:– I am acting Gaoler and Police Constable at Wellington. Yesterday morning about 7 am I was present when Senior Constable Chiplin arrested the two prisoners before the Court on charge of sodomy.

    The evidence is not yet complete. I therefore am seeking for a remand of 8 days for the Crown.

[Signed] James Anderson. Witnessed Henry M Keightley,  PM

 

    Remanded for 8 days for evidence.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM.

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    And this deponent John Chiplin being duly sworn states:– I am Senior Constable of Police in Wellington. I arrested the 2 prisoners now before the Court Ah Sic and James Stephens on the 24th Instant Monday in Wellington. I charged them with sodomy in consequence of the prisoner Ah Sic stating that he is not able to understand English and being unable to obtain the services of an interpreter. I pray for a remand of the case.

[Signed] John Chiplin. Sworn before me at Wellington the 31 of May 1875.

[Signed] John Chiplin and witnessed HM Keightley, PM.

    Remanded accordingly for eight days.
[Signed] HM Keightley, PM.

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8th June 1875

Court House, Wellington.
    Ah Sic and James Stevens on remand charged with sodomy.
    Ah Sim sworn as interpreter for Ah Sic.
[Signed] John [no family name found].

5

    John Chiplin being duly sworn states:– I am Senior Constable in Wellington. I arrested the two prisoners now before the court, Ah Sic and James Stephens, on Monday morning the 24th Instant at the house of Ah Lee who keeps a boarding house in the town of Wellington. I charged them with sodomy. Before arresting the prisoners I asked Ah Sic where he had slept the night before. At the same time pointing to a bed in the front room close to and at the back of the front door. I said “Did you sleep there?” He said “No, inside,” pointing to another room. I then said to Stephens “Where did you sleep last night?” He said “There,” pointing to the bed I pointed Ah Sic’s attention to where Ah Sic slept with me. I then addressed both prisoners and asked them how they came to Wellington. Stephens said “By the coach on Wednesday night from Dubbo.” The other prisoner

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replied “Yes”. Stephens went on to say that Ah Sic had been at Dubbo about a horse stealing case; “I went with him to show him the road. We had been working together as mates, gold mining at the Mookerawa Creek.” He said “Ah Sic promised to pay all my expenses to Dubbo and back.” I said “Where have you slept since you came to Wellington?” He said “There”, pointing to the bed I have already referred to – we both slept together each night – Ah Sic replied “No, me sleep in there”, pointing to an adjoining room. I then said to Stephens “I am going to arrest you for allowing this man – pointing at the same time at Ah Lee – to have connection with you.” I said “Do you understand what I mean?” He said “Yes, but it is not true. He has done nothing to me.” I then arrested him and charged with sodomy on the nights of Thursday and Friday Sunday nights, previously the 20th and 21st Instant.

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I then said to Ah Sic, “I arrest you on the charge of committing sodomy on this boy” – pointing to Stephens at the time, “on Wednesday and Friday night last.” I duly cautioned both prisoners after I arrested them and before they answered any questions. I said to Ah Sic (?) “I mean about the charge of sodomy is that you have been sleeping with this boy and having connection with him as if he was a woman.” I said “Do you understand what I mean?” He said “yes, I understand, no fear. I had nothing to do with him.” I then took both prisoners to Dr Rygate at his residence and at my request the doctor examined both prisoners. I produced a written statement made by the prisoner Stephens in gaol on the 28th Inst – Friday, marked “A” [see above]. His grandmother had seen him in the gaol and had advised him to speak the truth thereupon he voluntarily made

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the statement which I took down in writing and which he signed. It was witnessed by myself and the gaoler, Anderson. Before he signed it he went with me over it word by word, and the alterations in it were made at his request. After the boy’s statement I charged the prisoner with committing sodomy on three nights, viz. 20th, 21st and 23rd of May. Cross examined by prisoners’ Counsel James Barrett.  The bed is a fixture. Stakes driven in the ground and a sheet of bark on the top – there was a piece of matting on the bark and bedclothes on top of that. The clothing was turned down towards the post as if the person had first got out of it. There were 2 pillows on the bed; the edge of the bed comes up square with the fireplace, and it is just large enough for two persons to stay in it and not so large as a usual double (?) bedstead. There is a similar bed on the opposite side of the fireplace and a space of 3 or 4 feet between the two – just the width of the fire

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place. The prisoners were both only partially dressed when I entered the room. Stevens had his trousers on at the edge of the bed. There was no lamp (?) on the bed that I saw. The room is ordinarily used as a sleeping room. Ah See told me in the prisoners’ presence that the two prisoners are Ah Sic came there and asked him for a bed. He pointed to the bed and said “He slept there”. I then said “Every night he said “I suppose so”; I go to bed in another room and I leave them both there. When I went into their room there was a chinaman in the other bed the two there were two heaps of clothing built up for pillows and seemed to have been used separately by different examined the bed and it seemed to me that it was slept upon by two persons only and both the prisoners’ both some of their clothing from the pillow.

    By the Bench: The prisoner Ah Sic’s boots were lying under the bed.

    By Counsel: The bedclothes were lying all in one heap. After I explained the charge to Ah Sic – he said “I understand.”

[Signed] John Chiplin. Sworn before me at Wellington the 8th June 1875.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM.

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    And this deponent Robert Rygate, being duly sworn states:– I am a legally qualified Medical Practitioner residing in Wellington. On the morning of the 24th of May last Constable Chiplin called at my place with both of the prisoners and he asked me to examine them. This was about before breakfast and about between 7 and 8 o’clock. I requested prisoner Stephens to let down his trousers – he resisted for a considerable time and appeared very reluctant to undergo an examination – and it was only after being threatened he consented – I examined his fundament and upon opening and dilating it I found a rent or tear and in the upper part which was a recent rent. It was not visible to the eye without opening and distending the fundament – I then examined the chinaman but found no marks on him. The prisoner Stephens remarked about the state of his bowels that they had not been open since the day previously about 12 o’clock in the day and then the motion was not a very hard one.

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The rent was more recent than the day previous. It had blood on the surface. The conclusion I arrived at after examining Stephens was that force had been applied in dilating the anus of the prisoner – and coupling that with his statement that his bowels had not been open since 12 o’clock the day before – I arrived at the conclusion that force had been applied externally to cause the rent in the fundament. The blood was not in a dried state – the wound was quite fresh and had not had time to become swollen – it must have been made within an hour or two. The wound was too internal to be received from excoriation. I am of opinion that some force had been employed on prisoner Stephens some short time before he came under my notice to cause the rent. Connection would have produced appearance.

    Prisoner declined to ask any questions.

[Signed] R Rygate. Sworn before me at Wellington the 8th of June 1875.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM.

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  And this deponent Andrew Sinee being duly sworn states:– Andrew Sinee I have been about travelling round for the last few weeks. I know both the prisoners. I know Ah See’s lodging house in Wellington. I stopped there myself when the prisoners stopped there. I was there one morning when Senior Constable Chiplin arrested the prisoners and charged them with sodomy. I recollect sleeping in the room with the prisoners in a separate bed from theirs. The two prisoners slept in the other bed – it was 3 days before the Constable arrested them. The first night I slept there I was in bed before prisoners came in. This was on a Thursday night – they came and knocked at the door. They were let in – the boy asked for a bed and the owner of the house gave them two blankets and they went to bed together in the other bed from the one I was sleeping in and in the same room

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I was in. There was a fireplace in the room and a fire burning, there was light enough to see them. The prisoners are the same persons. I did not notice anything that night. The following night, Friday, I also slept in the same bed, the two prisoners also went to bed in the other bed, they slept together. I had gone to sleep but I awoke and heard a noise and saw the blanket on their bed moving. I got up then and I sat alongside the fire. This was about 3 o’clock in the morning. I was sitting on my bed; I saw the chinaman look at me, and I heard no more noise. There was a fire and I could see the chinaman was on the outside of the bed and the boy lay inside and with his back to the chinaman. I thought the chinaman was treating the boy as if he was a woman. The next night, Saturday, I also slept in the same bed

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the two prisoners also slept in the other bed that night. During the night I heard a noise and I saw the chinaman jump down with his trousers in his hand. He jumped onto the floor. I did not notice the boy. The chinaman jumped then off the bed. He saw me getting up. Before he jumped down he was in the bed. What I mean about the trousers is that the chinaman had his legs in his trousers but he was holding up the upper part with his hands. On Sunday night I remained until about 12 o’clock and went away because I had not the means of paying for my lodging on that night I saw and before leaving I saw the prisoners go to bed together. I never saw the boy on his hands and knees. I had not known the prisoner before. Neither of the prisoners said anything to me – I was of the opinion that some impropriety was going on between the two prisoners – as one of the 

15

chinaman’s friends wanted me to sleep with them. The prisoner Ah Sic treated the boy like a man would his wife. The two prisoners were under the same blanket every night. When I saw the blankets moving I saw the bodies of both prisoners moving together. The bodies under the blankets were moving in such a way as if the person was having connection with another, and the bed was making a noise. I saw this before I got up. I then got up and the prisoner Ah Sic looked at me and stopped. This was about the same both nights. I reported the matter to Constable Chiplin.

    The prisoner declined to ask any questions.

[Signed] Andrew Sinee. Sworn before me at Wellington the 8th June 1875.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM.

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    And this deponent Ah Lee being duly sworn according to the custom of his country by blowing out a candle, states:– The two prisoners came to my place in Wellington one night. I have a boarding house. Prisoners stopped at my place. I gave them 2 blankets and went into my own bed in another room. Sinee stopped the 3 nights at my place. Ah Sic paid me. The boy paid me nothing. Ah Sic did not buy anything for the boy. Cross examined by prisoner’s Counsel. I did not know Sinee before he came to my place. He stopped 3 nights. He did not tell me anything about the prisoners.

[Signed] RAH (his X mark) Lee. Witness, James Anderson.

Sworn before me at Wellington the 8th June 1875.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM.

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(N., 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)

Statement of the Accused.

New South Wales, Wellington
TO WIT.                               }

Ah Sic stands charged before the undersigned one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace in and for the Colony aforesaid, this eighth day of June in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy five, for that he, the said Ah Sic on the 20th 21st and 23rd days of May at Wellington in the said Colony, did commit sodomy and the examinations of all the witnesses on the part of the prosecution having been completed, and the depositions taken against the accused having been cause to be read to him by me, the said Justice, (by/or) before whom such examination has been so completed; and I the said Justice, having also stated to the accused and given him clearly to understand that he has nothing to hope from any promise of favour, and nothing to fear from any threat which may have been holden out to him to induce him to make any admission or confession of his guilt, but that whatever he may say may be given in evidence against him upon his trial, notwithstanding such promise or threat; and the said charge being read to the said Ah Sic and the witnesses for the prosecution John Chiplin, Senior Constable, Robert Rygate, Andrew Sinee, Ah Lee being severally examined in his presence, the said Ah Sic is now addressed by me as follows:– “Having heard the evidence, do you wish to say anything in answer to the charge? You are not obliged to say anything unless you desire to do so; but whatever you say will be taken down in writing, and may be given in evidence against you upon your trial;” whereupon the said Ah Sic saith as follows:– “Through his Counsel James Barrett  I reserve my defence.”

[Signed] Ah (his X mark) Sic. Witness, [Signed] James Anderson.

Taken before me, at Wellington in the said Colony, the day and year firs abovementioned.
[Signed] HM Keightley, PM.

18

(N., 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)

Statement of the Accused.

New South Wales, Wellington
TO WIT.                               }

James Stephens stands charged before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace in and for the Colony aforesaid, this 8th day of June in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy five for that he, the said James Stephens on the 20th 21st and 23rd days of May at Wellington, in the said Colony, did commit sodomy and the examinations of all the witnesses on the part of the prosecution having been completed, and the depositions taken against the accused having been caused to be read to him by me, the said Justice, (by/or) before whom such examination has been so completed; and I, the said Justice, having also stated to the accused and given him clearly to understand that he has nothing to hope from any promise of favour, and nothing to fear from any threat which may have been holden out to him to induce him to make any admission or confession of his guilt, but that whatever he may say may be given in evidence against him upon his trial, notwithstanding such promise or threat; and the said charge being read to the said James Stephens and the witnesses for the prosecution John Chiplin, Senior Constable, Robert Rygate, Andrew Sinee and Ah See being severally examined in his presence, the said James Stephens is now addressed by me as follows:– “Having heard the evidence, do you wish to say anything in answer to the charge? You are not obliged to say anything unless you desire to do so; but whatever you say will be taken down in writing, and may be given in evidence against you upon your trial;” whereupon the said James Stephens saith as follows:– “I have nothing more to say than what I have said to Mr Chiplin.” Taken before me, at Wellington in the said Colony, the day and year abovementioned.

[Signed] James (his X mark) Stephens. Witness to mark, John Chiplin.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM, JP.

19

Decision.

    Ah Sic and James Stevens stand committed to Common Gaol at Mudgee until the next Court of Assizes to be holden at Mudgee in the Colony of New South Wales, on Wednesday the 13th day of October 1875 when an indictment will be preferred against the men in the offence with which they stand charged. Court House Wellington, 8th June 1875.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM.

20

(O. 1, 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)

Recognizance to give Evidence

New South Wales, Wellington
TO WIT.                                } 

Be it remembered, that on the eighth day of June in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy five John Chiplin a Senior Constable of the Police Force, Andrew Sinee of Wellington in the Colony of New South Wales, and Ah See and Robert Rygate Esquire of Wellington in the said Colony, of New South Wales personally came before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the Colony of New South Wales, and acknowledged themselves to owe our Sovereign Lady the Queen the sum of forty pounds each, of good and lawful money of Great Britain, to be made and levied on their goods and chattels lands and tenements, to the use of our said Lady the Queen, her Heirs and Successors, if they the said before mentioned persons shall fail in the conditions endorsed. Taken and acknowledged the day and year first abovementioned, at Wellington in the said Colony, before me.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM, JP.

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The condition of the within written recognizance is such, that whereas Ah Sic and James Stephens was this day charged before HM Keightley, PM, Esquire one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said Colony, with sodomy. If therefore, they the before mentioned persons shall appear at the next Court of Assizes to be holden at Mudgee in and for the Colony of New South Wales, on the 13th day of October next at nine of the clock in the forenoon, and then and there give such evidence as they know, upon an information to be then and there preferred against the said Ah Sic and James Stephens for the offence aforesaid, to the Jurors who shall pass upon the trial of the said Ah Sic and James Stephens then the said Recognizance to be void, or else to stand in full force and virtue.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM, JP.

22

(O. 1, 11 & 12 Vic., Cap. 42.)

Recognizance to give Evidence.

New South Wales, Wellington
TO WIT.                               }

Be it remembered, that on the 11th day of June in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy five in the Colony of New South Wales, Robert Rygate Esquire, JP, of Wellington in the said Colony, Surgeon, personally came before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the Colony of New South Wales, and acknowledged themselves to owe our Sovereign Lady the Queen the sum of forty pounds each, of good and lawful money of Great Britain, to be made and levied on their goods and chattels, lands and tenements, to the use of our said Lady the Queen, her Heirs and Successors, if they the said before mentioned persons shall fail in the condition endorsed. Taken and Acknowledged, the day and year first abovementioned, at Wellington in the said Colony, before me.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM, JP.

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The condition of the within written recognizance is such, that whereas Ah Sic and James Stephens was this day charged before HM Keightley Esquire, one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said Colony, with sodomy. If therefore they, the before mentioned persons shall appear at the next Court of Assizes to be holden at Mudgee, in and for the Colony of New South Wales, on the thirteenth (13) day of October next, at nine of the clock in the forenoon, and then and there give such evidence as they know, upon an information to be then and there preferred against the said Ah Sic and James Stephens for the offence aforesaid, to the Jurors who shall pass upon the trial of the said Ah Sic and James Stephens then the said recognizance to be void, or else to stand in full force and virtue.

[Signed] HM Keightley, PM, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[On the depositions’ cover is the following]

8th June, 1875
No. 568
Depositions No. 3
Regina v. Ah Sic (a chinaman.) and James Stephens.
Sodomy
Circuit Court, Mudgee 13th October, 1875
Dubbo Circuit Court, 6th October, 1875
(see fold.)
Wellington.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sodomy

[Initialled] WBD [William Bede Dalley] AG
Sep, 16, 1875

    The only evidence of penetration is that furnished by the statement of Stephens which is of course only evidence against himself. There is however in the medical evidence testimony some slight evidence; but the prisoners can be found guilty of the assault with intent.
16.9.75.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Australian Town and Country Journal, Sat 9 Oct 1875 3

Colonial & Intercolonial Messages
————

DUBBO.

Thursday.

    The assizes are just over. Henness, for horse stealing, was sentenced to four year’s imprisonment; McBride, for stealing money, two years; Grimes, horse-stealing, one year; Canan, larceny, six months; Ah See [sic] and Stevens, convicted of an unnatural offence, sentence of death recorded.

    Weather fine. Large lots of stock moving.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Justice WM Manning’s Notebook 4

Sydney
12 October 1875

AC Bridge
Clerk to the Executive Council

Sir
    I have the honor to report for the information of His Excellency the Governor and the Executive Council that on the 6th instant, at the Dubbo Circuit Court, 5 Ah Sic, (a chinaman) and James Stephens (an English lad) were convicted before me (for ?) Sodomy; but that Sentence of Death was thereupon recorded against both.

    On the following day I intimated that it was my intention to submit to His Excellency and the Council a recommendation that the sentences should be remitted and that in lieu thereof Ah Sic should be kept to hard labor on the roads or other public works of the Colony for the term of seven years; and that James Stephens be imprisoned and kept to hard labor in Bathurst Gaol for the period of two years.

    I have now the honor to submit respectfully to submit a recommendation accordingly.

    Should His Excellency and the Council care to see my note book.

    With this report I beg to forward my note book of the Evidence, and to refer to the Crown Solicitor for the confession of Jas Stephens which was read in evidence against him.

    I have the honor to be
       Sir,
    Your obedient Servant
[Unsigned letter from Justice WH Manning]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  Mr Bridge presents his Compliments to Sir William H Manning and begs to inform him that as Sentence of Death was only recorded against “Ah Sic” and “James Stephens” the case does not require to go before the Executive Council.

  Mr Bridge has therefore forwarded Sir W Manning’s Report and Note Book to the Colonial Secretary.

    Executive Council office
Sydney 12th October 1875

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

75/7577

Colonial Secretary’s Office
Sydney
26 October 1875

The Honorable
[Justice] Sir William Manning Knt

Sir
    In the case of the prisoner named in the margin (Ah Sic) who was convicted before you at the recent Dubbo Circuit Court on a charge of sodomy and against whom the sentence of Death was recorded, I am directed by the Colonial Secretary to inform you that His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to commute  Ah Sic’s sentence to seven years hard labor on the Roads or other Public Works of the Colony; and that the necessary instructions have been given for carrying this decision into effect.

    I have the honor to be
       Sir,
    Your most obedient Servant
for the Under Secretary
[Signed] William Goodman

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

75/7563

Colonial Secretary’s Office
Sydney
29 October 1875

The Honorable
[Justice] Sir William Manning Knt

Sir
    In the case of the prisoner named in the margin (James Stephens) who was convicted before you at the recent Dubbo Circuit Court on a charge fo Sodomy and against who the sentence of Death was recorded, I am directed by the Colonial Secretary to inform you that His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to commute  Stephens’ sentence to two years imprisonment with hard labor in Bathurst Gaol; and that the necessary instructions have been given for carrying this decision into effect.

    I have the honor to be
       Sir,
    Your most obedient Servant
for the Under Secretary
[Signed] William Goodman

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

William Gore Beverley letter, 30 Oct 1875 6

75/7741
No. 75-2764

William Gore Beverley,
Chief Clerk, Department of Prisons NSW
30 October 1875

    Henry Halloran, Under Secretary,
    Colonial Secretary’s Office, Sydney

Sir,
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 29th instant notifying the commutation of the sentence of Death 7 to two years imprisonment passed upon the prisoner named in the margin; (James Stephens) and to inform you that a Warrant has been prepared for his removal to Bathurst Gaol.

I have the honor to be
Sir,
    Your most obedient Servant
[Signed] W Gore Beverley 
in ab: Comptroller General

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ah Sic, Gaol photo sheet 8

SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6040], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 15 Dec 1874-22 Mar 1876, No. 1374, p. 216, R5098. p.1. SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6040], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 15 Dec 1874-22 Mar 1876, No. 1374, p. 216, R5098. p.2.

Gaol Photo Sheet - Transcribed Details

No. 1374
Number on Gaol Register: 577/75

Portrait taken: 16 November 1875

Name: A Sic

Native place: China

Year of birth: 1847

Arrived        Ship: Not known 
in Colony }   Year: 1838

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Labourer

Religion: Nil

Education, degree of: Read & Write

Colour of hair: Black to gray

Colour of eyes: Hazel

Height: 5' 7¾"

Weight     On committal: 146 
in lbs     }  On discharge: 

Special Marks: Nil

General Description:

 

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PRISON HISTORY

Where and When Offence. Sentence

Dubbo C.C.

 

 6

 

Oct

  

1875

  

Sodomy

 

Death.

Commuted to 7 years Roads

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

James Stevens, Gaol photo sheet 9

SRNSW: NRS1998, [3/5955], Bathurst Gaol photographic description book, 22 Dec 1874-27 Jul 1880, No. 59, p. 59, R5084.  

 


Gaol Photo Sheet - Transcribed Details

No. 59

Date when Portait was taken: 14 December 1875

Name: James Stevens

Native place: Muckerowa

Year of birth: 1857

Arrived        Ship: N/A 
in Colony }   Year: N/A

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Labourer

Religion: C of E

Education, degree of: R&W

Colour of hair: Dark brown

Colour of eyes: Blue

Height: 5' 5¾"

Weight     On committal: 136 lbs
in lbs     }  On discharge:  

Marks or Special Features: Nil

When and where tried: Dubbo CC
6 October 1875

Offence: Sodomy

Sentence: Death recorded
commuted to 2 years HL Bathurst Gaol

Remarks:

 

 

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PRISON HISTORY

Where and When Offence. Sentence
         

 

 


1  The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 17 Jun 1875, p. 7. Emphasis added.

2  SRNSW: NRS880, [9/6587], Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, Dubbo, Oct 1875, No. 568. Emphasis added.

3  Australian Town and Country Journal, Sat 9 Oct 1875, p. 565. Emphasis added.

4  SRNSW: NRS7343, [2/6019], Judiciary, WM Manning, J. Notebooks Circuit Courts, 1872-80. Found the loose commutation correspondence between pp. 71-2 in the aforementioned notebook.

5  Justice Manning’s notebooks covering the Dubbo trial could not be located at SRNSW.

6  SRNSW: NRS905, [1/2306] (75/7741), Col Sec, Letters received, 1826-1982. There was a further file (1/2305-75/7294), from Justice Manning in respect of Ah Sic and James Stephens’ case, which could not be located at SRNSW.

7  Mn: Papers with 75/7563 No Dept of Justice Communication of Sentence of Death passed upon James Stephens.

8  SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6040], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 15 Dec 1874-22 Mar 1876, No. 1374, p. 216, R5098.

9  SRNSW: NRS1998, [3/5955], Bathurst Gaol photographic description book, 22 Dec 1874-27 Jul 1880, No. 59, p. 59, R5084.