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1875, Thomas Woods - Unfit For Publication
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Thomas Woods (1875)

Evening News, Mon 7 Jun 1875  1 & 2

EXTRAORDINARY ATTEMPT TO EXTORT
MONEY.

    A charge of an extraordinary nature was heard at the Central Police Court on Friday last, before Captain Scott, PM, and adjourned till this morning. A person named Thomas Woods, alias McDonald, alias Moore, alias Browne, was brought up under warrant, in custody of Detective Lyons, on a charge of attempting to extort money. The information set forth that William Buchanan and W McDonald did, on or about the 26th May, 1874, [sic] at Sydney, feloniously threaten to accuse one Thomas Stackhouse of having committed an unnatural offence, with a view thereby to extort money from him. Mr W Roberts appeared for the prosecution. Woods, alias McDonald, alias Moore, alias Browne, was arrested by Detectives Lyons and Camphin, on the 27th May, and he was brought up on the following day at the Central Police Court, and remanded till Friday last. On being arrested the prisoner said his name was not McDonald, and denied that he had ever written any letters. He also said his name Was woods. [sic] The prosecutor, Thomas Stackhouse, who is a retired commander of the Royal Navy, made a statement to the following effect on oath before the court on Friday. On an evening towards the latter end of April last he was sitting on one of the seats in Hyde Park, in this city, near the main walk on the northern end. It was about 8 o’clock at night, and he was smoking. He was seated alone for a time—four or five minutes—when a stranger came up and sat beside him. He entered into conversation with Captain Stackhouse, saying his boots were out of repair, and his feet cold from the wet grass. He appeared about twenty-one years of age, and remarked that he was out of work, that his trade was that of a photographer, and proceeded to say that he could supply obscene pictures and prints, at the same time placing his hand upon Captain Stackhouse’s knee. Captain Stackhouse then got up and left him. Captain Stackhouse saw nothing more of him that night.

Australian Club, Sydney, corner Bent and Macquarie Streets, c. 1900-1910. Image: NSW State Library collection. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Australian Club, Sydney, corner Bent and Macquarie Streets,
c. 1900-1910. Image: NSW State Library collection.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    He went direct from his seat to the Australian Club, [Bent Street, south side, between O’Connell and Bligh Streets, Sydney] where he resided. About three or four days afterwards, however, the captain saw the same person at the club. The man said very little on that occasion, but told Captain Stackhouse his brother was outside, and he beckoned to a man who was near to come, and the person he called his brother immediately came forward. The prisoner before the court was identified by Captain Stackhouse, as the person who came up and was introduced as the brother of the stranger. He was more shabbily dressed then than when before the court. He spoke first, saying he was brother to the man who had spoken to Stackhouse previously. The Prisoner said “You remember having been with my brother in the enclosure on Wednesday last; I was watching you; it’s an indelicate subject to speak of here. I will meet you at any time or place you like, and then we can talk it over and settle the matter;” or words to that effect. Captain Stackhouse declined to name any time or place, and the prisoner named the Metropolitan Hotel, King-street, the same day. The two men then left, the prisoner threatening to return to the club if Captain Stackhouse did not keep the appointment. Captain Stackhouse kept the appointment at the Metropolitan Hotel. The prisoner was accompanied by the person he called his brother. He declined to go into the hotel, as there were so many respectable people there; and after looking into one or two of the hotels, he, with his brother, eventually went into an hotel at the corner of Hunter and O’Connell streets, and Captain Stackhouse followed. On this, as in all their interviews, Woods was the principal, in fact almost the only spokesman, the second man saying little or nothing. He commenced by saying that unless Captain Stackhouse gave his brother the means of leaving the colony, he would expose him for his conduct in Hyde Park on the night in question. He said he would tell the servants of the club, and expose him generally. Captain Stackhouse regarded the matter as a serious one, and as involving a charge for which there was not the slightest foundation, and after some deliberation asked the man how much would be required. The prisoner said £40, but eventually agreed to take £20, for which he obtained a written acknowledgement, and it was arranged that the money should be paid on the following day. The appointment was kept next at the Currency Lass Hotel, and the £20 was paid, and the acknowledgement was returned to Captain Stackhouse, who considered he had been relieved from further annoyance in the matter. He paid the £20 to prevent unjust exposure and in consequence of threats the prisoner had held out. About ten days afterwards, however, Captain Stackhouse received a letter signed, he thought, “Thomas Macdonald.” This letter he destroyed but it was in substance a request to Captain Stackhouse to meet the writer that night at 9 o’clock, at the Public Library. Captain Stackhouse kept the appointment, and met Woods (prisoner), this time alone. Woods then told Captain Stackhouse that he must have the other £20, and added that he believed there must be a curse upon him for not having exposed him, at the same time calling Captain Stackhouse’s name out in a loud tone of voice. In consequence of Woods’s conduct and threats Captain Stackhouse agreed to meet him at the Currency Lass Hotel, on the following morning. This appointment was also kept, and Captain Stackhouse paid Woods another sum of £20, in bank notes. Subsequently Captain Stackhouse, at Woods’ invitation, had another interview with him. During all this time the prisoner was known to Captain Stackhouse as McDonald. They walked up the street together, and Woods said “I suppose I am a black serpent in your eyes.” Captain Stackhouse said “you are.” Woods then said, if he would give him five minutes’ conversation in the Domain he would make an entire change in him. Woods was ill, or pretended to be ill, and very much affected, and spoke with great difficulty. They sat down on a seat under a tree in the domain, and Woods then made the extraordinary statement that he was in exactly the same position as himself; that the man he had called his brother was not his brother; and that he had served him (Woods) as he (Woods) was serving Captain Stackhouse; and had compelled him to act as he had done, after having taken from him all the available cash he had; and that the recollection of what he had done had caused him very great annoyance and distress, and had prevented him from eating or sleeping, and had made him very ill. He also said that the man he had called his brother had been listening to what was going on at the last interview, and had since gone to Melbourne. He asked Captain Stackhouse to pardon him, and after some conversation they shook hands and parted. Captain Stackhouse saw no more of him till he saw him in the watch-house. Woods, however, in the course of their last conversation, said he had written to a friend for the money he had extorted from Captain Stackhouse, and that when he received it he would return it; but the money was never returned. Woods described himself as a station manager, and said that he was respectably connected.

Panoramic view of Hyde Park, c. 1880, from St James’ spire. On the right is portion of David Jones’ site. The obelisk towards end of park is a replica of Cleopatra’s Needle but owing to its utilitarian purpose it has been nicknamed “The Scent bottle”. Image: NSW State Library PXA 2113, box 56. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Panoramic view of Hyde Park, c. 1880, from St James’ spire. On the
right is portion of David Jones’ site. The obelisk towards end of park
is a replica of Cleopatra’s Needle but owing to its utilitarian purpose
it has been nicknamed “The Scent bottle”. Image: NSW State Library
PXA 2113, box 56. Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    Captain Stackhouse pretended to believe him, but did not. The last appointment made between them was to meet at 7 o’clock at night, opposite St James’ Church; by Captain Stackhouse had in the meantime communicated with the Inspector-General of Police. A detective was sent to the spot, but the prisoner was not to be seen. He was arrested, however, on the following day by detectives Lyons and Camphin, in George-street. The case came on for hearing again before Captain Scott, PM, on Monday morning, when further evidence was given, the most important being that of Detective Lyons, in reference to certain property found in the prisoner’s possession. Mr Roberts intimated that it was his intention to have proceeded against the prisoner on the charge of conspiring to injure and defraud Captain Stackhouse, by charging him with committing a felony; but he asked his Worship to make that intimation to the Attorney-General, which would answer the same purpose. The prisoner reserved his defence. He signed his name “Thomas Browne” to the committal warrant. He was committed to take his trial at the Central Criminal Court.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 8 Jun 1875 3

CENTRAL POLICE COURT.
MONDAY.

BEFORE Messrs Meyer, Bailey, and Levey.

     Before the Police Magistrate and Mr Goldring.

ATTEMPT TO EXTORT MONEY.

    William Woods, alias Moore, alias Macdonald was charged that he, with another, at Sydney, on or about the 26th May, did feloniously, with intent to extort money, threaten to accuse one Thomas Stackhouse with having committed an abominable offence. He said, in answer to the charge when apprehended by detective Lyons, on the 27th ultimo, that he knew nothing about it, and on the following day was remanded for a week, another person being named in the information and warrant who had not been apprehended, nor has he yet been discovered.

Hyde Park, men sitting on benches, 1910. Image: NSW State Library PXA 2113, box 56. Reproduction: Geoff Friend
Hyde Park, men sitting on benches, 1910. Image: NSW State
Library PXA 2113, box 56. Reproduction: Geoff Friend

    Thomas Stackhouse deposed that about 8 o’clock one evening towards the latter end of April, he was sitting smoking a cigar on a bench in Hyde Park, and shortly afterwards a stranger took a seat beside him and entered into conversation; he said he was a photographer, out of employment, and that he could supply obscene prints; witness immediately got up and left him; three or four days afterwards the same man came to him at his residence, and gave his name as Buchanan, and beckoned to a man outside; he said that the man was his brother; the man came; he said that the subject of his visit was a delicate one to speak of there, and wished for an appointment; an appointment was made and kept; prisoner was spokesman, and said that unless witness gave his brother the means of leaving the colony, he would expose the conduct which took place between them (his brother and witness) on the racecourse; the man’s conduct was intimidating and threatening in respect of a matter for which there was not the slightest foundation; he asked £40, but afterwards consented to take £20, which witness promised to pay him at that place on the following day; witness paid the money as agreed; prisoner and the other being present; witness paid the money in order to avoid annoyance, in consequence of the threat of exposure; a week or ten days afterwards prisoner made a demand for another £20, and, being intimidated by his manner, promised to give, and on the next day gave, a second sum of £20; witness put himself in communication with the Inspector-General of Police who instructed detectives Camphin and Lyons in the matter, and the prisoner was apprehended. Committed for trial at the Central Criminal Court. Mr Roberts conducted the prosecution.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

The Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser, Sat 12 Jun 1875 4

LAW
———◦———

CENTRAL POLICE COURT.

BEFORE the Police Magistrate and Mr Goldring.

ATTEMPT TO EXTORT MONEY.

    William Woods, alias Moore, alias Macdonald was charged that he, with another, at Sydney, on or about the 26th May, did feloniously, with intent to extort money, threaten to accuse one Thomas Stackhouse with having committed an abominable offence. He said, in answer to the charge when apprehended by detective Lyons, on the 27th ultimo, that he knew nothing about it, and on the following day was remanded for a week, another person being named in the information and warrant who had not been apprehended, nor has yet been discovered.

    Thomas Stackhouse deposed that about 8 o’clock one evening towards the latter end of April, he was sitting smoking a cigar on a bench in Hyde Park, and shortly afterwards a stranger took a seat beside him and entered into conversation; he said that he was a photographer, out of employment, and that he could supply obscene prints; witness immediately got up and left him; three or four days afterwards the same man came to him at his residence, and gave his name as Buchanan, and beckoned to a man outside; he said that the man was his brother; the man came; he said that the subject of his visit was a delicate one to speak of there, and wished for an appointment; an appointment was made and kept; prisoner was spokesman, and said that unless witness gave his brother the means of leaving the colony, he would expose the conduct which took place between them (his brother and witness) on the racecourse; the man’s conduct was intimidating and threatening in respect of a matter for which there was not the slightest foundation; he asked £40, but afterwards consented to take £20, which witness promised to pay him at that place on the following day; witness paid the money as agreed, prisoner and the other being present; witness paid the money in order to avoid annoyance, in consequence of the threat of exposure; a week or ten days afterwards prisoner made a demand for another £20, and, being intimidated by his manner, promised to give, and on the next day gave, a second sum of £20; witness put himself in communication with the Inspector-General of Police who instructed detectives Camphin and Lyons in the matter, and the prisoner was apprehended. Committed for trial at the Central Criminal Court. Mr Roberts conducted the prosecution.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Justice JF Hargrave’s Notebook, 12 Aug 1875  5

Justice John Fletcher Hargrave. Image: Australian Town and Country Journal, Sat 19 Sep 1874, p. 453. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Justice John Fletcher Hargrave.
Image: Australian Town and Country Journal,
Sat 19 Sep 1874, p. 453.
Reproduction: Peter de Waal

34

Q v. Thomas Woods [aka Macdonald; Moore; Brown]

    Threatening to accuse of sodomy. 
    Pleaded not guilty. 

48

[Tried] Thursday 12th August 1875

On 28th (August ?)/75 at Sydney

Queen v Thomas Woods

Threatening Thomas Stackhouse to accuse him of sodomy with W (Buchanan ?)

       “             “             “          “     “        “     “      “         “    name (withheld ?)

    1.  Detective P[atrick] Lyons. (Police ?) (Force ?) (of ?) NSW long time – knows prisoner – remembers 27th May – saw prisoner at 11 o’clock on Thursday 27th May. Charged him on information read to him as (feloniously ?) threatening him as &c &c. He said I know nothing about it. I am not McDonald. I never wrote any letters. I will (name ? have ?) a (solicitor ?) McD. Will be here no “where is he” or “who is he” now? He made no reply – If you can tell me where he (stayed ?) beforehand – I will try to (find ?) – silence you & your friend dead set on me – I was going away today or tomorrow – (not seen ?) any more – passage is paid – Camphin was present. I understood him to refer to Camphin & me having arrested him on 10th May as Moore, when he said his name was not Moore but Woods – or “Brown” – Property found on prisoner – £1.8, 3 (studs ?), 1 silver watch & chain, pencil case, 1 book – on 4th June I went to hotel in Sussex Street – I found this (?) (?) 6 photos & 2 pieces of paper. I showed these to prisoner & he said oh you did find my lodgings when I produced these 2 photos & said I thought you said you (?) (?) (?) you need not trouble he is gone to Honolulu.

49

    These other photos are of prisoner himself. Compares letters, accustomed as police officer to compare handwriting – I carefully compared them & (their ?) envelopes – & all by same handwriting. 6

    2.  W Camphin. Detective. 27th May last about 11 o’clock in George Street near Royal Hotel [440 George Street] into Market Street – when he came out I said “Do you remember me.” He said think remember you – (?) said (?) Do you know Captain Stackhouse. He said No. Correspond with (Captain ?) (Stackhouse ?) No. Been (there ?) to enquire &c. No. Any objections to come to watch house (?) He said no. Went there & Captain Stackhouse came & identified him – Prisoner said you & your friend made a dead set at me. Would have been (outcry ?) (?) charged with the information. I’m not McDonald but have a solicitor & McDonald will be there. Lyons said where – . Prisoner refused to give any address – On 10th May I had occasion to question him. He said his name was Moore & he refused to give any address – He then said his name was Thomas Woods by (?) (?) (?) (pleased ?)

    3.  Captain Thomas Stackhouse. Retired Captain of Royal Navy at Australian Club in May last – recollect evening in April last, about middle of April, sitting in Hyde Park about 8 pm smoking alone for 5 minutes. A person came, a young man – sat down. He (said ? seemed ?) badly off feet cold & (grass ?) (?) 20 to 22 – He said he was a photographer & could supply obscene pictures &

50

got close up to me & hand on knee upon which I got up & left him. Nothing else took place – I went straight back to the club – nothing more for some days. In the following week saw the same person in the Strangers’ Room at Australian Club. I believe the man was the same as at Hyde Park as he mentioned on (&c ?) – my brother was watching us & he is there outside – He came in & said to me “I suppose you recollect meeting &c.” what took place you know very well &c – I was very much confused. I felt I had been imprudent but perfectly innocent. Speaking sufficiently loud to be heard by servants & stewards – I asked him to name a place rather than there – He named the Metropolitan Hotel [corner King and Castlereagh Streets, Sydney] same day at 2 o’clock – It was then 12.30 – (?) but would not go as he saw Mr Williams (?) (?). He took me to Sir M O’C – they were both there. The prisoner was the only spokesman. He said he supposed I did not wish an exposure of what took place – He never would (gain ? give ?) any charge – but always spoke in a loud & threatening tone. Would not allow me to speak. He said if I would give £40 no more trouble to me nor annoyance. I said I would not give £40. The other man spoke – &c & £20 to San Francisco. I gave an (?) – £20 rather than they should give this trouble at Australian Club. He added something (about ?) (?) – to be paid at same place.

51

I gave them the £20 at Currency Lass [Hotel, 137 Pitt Street, Sydney] & they gave me back the (account ?). I thought the matter ended. Next received a letter in a Lady’s hand asking to meet me in Public Library. I destroyed it. It was signed “Thomas Buchanan”. It was civil – If you don’t come – neat ladylike, will come to the Club. I kept the appointment. I saw the prisoner alone. I asked him what he wanted. He said he must have the other £20 as his brother would not go without it – called my name out loud – almost a scene – to which I objected as exposure (?) agreed to meet him at 12 o’clock next day at the Currency Lass – He refused to go in there & up King Street to house nearly opposite – & there paid him the £20 to prevent annoyance before 12 at noon – a few days after a servant at Club said “Mr Buchanan had called again.” – naming a time to be there at 2 o’clock & he was there & asked me if I would walk to the Domain – more money (I’d ?) suppose – a sort of black snake. I said yes &c under the fig trees & what he said I am treated as you & (?) off in same position as myself would shake hands & (forgive ?) him & at the same time he said that the other man was present compelling him to do as he did at the Public Library – no doubt it is the man. Never forgot his face – believe he was standing at the Club & with his hat on it was in the dark – shortly afterwards I received a letter dated 22nd received a day or two afterwards at Club & signed McD. – to meet at St James’ Church & &c.

52

(Then ?) saw Inspector General of Police & made an appointment by writing “Mr B” would meet his correspondent at “Old Duke of Wellington Hotel” [60 Parramatta Street, south side, now called Broadway] at &c & I went there & Camphin as above was there 26th May or about, received another letter signed JB & received at the Australian Club – read &c &c laid a (trap ?) & (?) “sodomizing beast &c” &c &c &c. Not the slightest ground for these imputations all I did was from terror – Camphin was at St James’ Church – Lyons may have been there (?) (arrest ?) with C. 7

    2 Recalled [W Camphin] Saw a man with a hat like that (?) at the Club – (?) 2nd man came round fence (?) compared handwriting (?) forgeries &c looks at handwriting –

    4.  Mr Brown. Manager 18 years at Commercial Bank (?) examined letters – & envelopes of letters sent.

    5.  Joseph Burgess. Hall Porter at Australian Club. Remembers “Buchanan” once calling at Club asked if he was in & called again at 2 o’clock. I had told Captain St: 8  9 the prisoner does not (resemble ?) “Buchanan” but “McDonald” with Captain.

Prisoner said knows –

Remanded for sentence

55

    Buchanan applied for names of the additional witnesses & their evidence which Mr Foster for Crown then gave to Mr B.

Postponed till tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday 13 August 1875
    Sentenced Woods to 15 years on the Roads with special (reporting ?) to be added.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[Below found inserted at p. 55]

August 12th 1875

(?) Thursday

My dear Hargrave,

There is hardly any crime more atrocious than the attempt to extort money by threatening to accuse of an unnatural offence. I am clearly of opinion that the prisoner ought to receive the heaviest sentence you can inflict where by 15 years hard labour on the roads & a three years imprisonment would be most inadequate even with the three public whippings which with such a scoundrel would be of no moment beyond the temporary physical suffering. The punishment ought to [be] such as to be a warning – and for this purpose the 15 years is the proper thing.

Yours faithfully
[Signed] James Martin [QC, Attorney General]

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    (1) The section of that statute under which information filed & this trial taken place without a word from the prisoner scarcely audible.

    (2) So astounded that I could not pass any sentence but deferred for a night’s consideration & to consult the CJ who concurs with me – Mr JF I could not trouble. The statute enacts these great (punishments ?) for a single (?) & a single sum of months – but what punishment for such an atrocious villain. If possible to amend him I had thought of the imprisonment with the 3 whippings but as the CJ – opp. Read (Park ?) & no (?) in my (?) 10

    Let us shortly state the facts. Letter after letter – interview after interview conducted with the utmost deliberation to twist your folds around this Gentleman – selected the places to strengthen your power over him – to public houses compelled him to be seen in public streets walking with you, so as to lay broader foundations day by day for your villainy – The walk into the Botanic Gardens the pretended confession only to probe Captain S [Stackhouse] (intrusion ?) as – The kind forgiveness made a new (?) departure for the extortion – The AG’s “miraculous” no the (Grace of God ?).

    Read the regulations for solitary confinement &c &c &c In the Return which I shall make next week to the Governor & &c I shall add. Herewith I send copy of the notes of evidence & a recommendation that no remission nor relaxation of the sentence I have passed either for less period or any prison indulgences under the ordinary regulations except under special consideration of the Governor for the time being for your conduct in this crime as proved in clearest evidence has been so merciless, so hard hearted, so diabolical, cruel that no ordinary prison laws or gaol regulations can apply to the enforcement of punishment of such a criminal.

    I did not exactly say the above but only the substance.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 13 Aug 1875 11

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
Thursday [12 August 1875]

    Before his Honor Mr Justice Hargrave.

    The Attorney-General (the Hon WB Dalley) prosecuted for the Crown.

CHARGE PREFERRED TO EXTORT MONEY.

    Thomas Woods, alias Buchanan alias Macdonald alias Moore alias Brown was charged on three counts, when substantially charged prisoner with having threatened to accuse Thomas Stackhouse of having committed an unnatural offence, and thereby extorted money. Prisoner pleaded not guilty and was undefended.

    The case was ably opened by Mr Dalley.

    The circumstances are simply these:

    Prosecutor, Captain Stackhouse, who is a retired captain in the Royal Navy, about 8 o’clock on a Sunday night towards the latter end of April last [1875], was sitting smoking on one of the seats in Hyde Park, near the northern extremity of the main walk. Prisoner, who was a perfect stranger to him came up, and entered into conversation with Captain Stackhouse. He then told prosecutor that he had obscene prints, which being a photographer, he could supply. Captain Stackhouse indignantly got up and walked away to his residence the Australian Club . About three or four days afterwards prisoner called at the Club and said his brother was outside. Prisoner then called the other man up and together they said they could witness against Captain Stackhouse, unless he were to settle the matter, for which purpose they would meet him at the Metropolitan Hotel [Corner King and Castlereagh Streets, Sydney]. They left, threatening to return to the Club and expose Captain Stackhouse, unless he kept the appointment they had fixed. Captain Stackhouse kept the appointment, but prisoner declined to go into the Metropolitan Hotel, as there were so many respectable people there, including Mr Williams, the Crown solicitor, whom he did not wish to see. They then went to a public-house at the corner of Hunter and O’Connell streets. Prisoner, who had with him then man whom he called his brother, acted as spokesman, and said that unless he were to give his brother the means of leaving the colony he would expose him. He asked for £40. but eventually agreed to take £20. On the next day, Captain Stackhouse paid the money at the Currency Lass Hotel . Prosecutor said that, when at the Club, prisoner spoke loudly and in a threatening tone, (so ?) that he was glad to name another place for an interview, for fear of their conversation being overheard. When he paid the £20. he understood that there was to be no further annoyance. Prisoner returned a note which he had written before that at his (prisoner’s) dictation, stating that he owed the £20 to prisoner. About ten days after he received a letter signed Thomas Buchanan, which he destroyed. It named another appointment at the Free Public Library, and the writer threatened to come to the Club unless he kept it. Captain Stackhouse went to the Library, and saw prisoner, who said that his brother would not leave the colony without the other £20. He spoke loudly his name “Captain Stackhouse,” so as to attract attention. Witness paid the money on the following day at an hotel in King-street, prisoner having refused to go again into the Currency Lass Hotel. In accordance with an appointment one afternoon afterwards Captain Stackhouse walked with the prisoner to the Domain, when the latter apparently became much affected, and told him that he would try to refund the money, and that the man whom he had called his brother was not his brother, and that this man had treated him (prisoner) as he had treated prosecutor. He affirmed that he had been compelled to take the course he had taken by this man, and also accounted in this way for the violence of his manner. Prisoner afterwards wrote to make an appointment near St James’ Church, which Captain Stackhouse did not keep, as he placed himself in the meantime in communication with the Inspector-General of Police. There were read threatening letters sent by the prisoner to Captain Stackhouse.

    Detectives Lyons and Camphin deposed to the circumstances connected with the arrest of the prisoner who at first denied all knowledge of Captain Stackhouse. On searching his lodgings at an hotel in Sussex-street, there were found several cartes-de-visite of the prisoner, and of the man who in the first instance he had called his brother. The detectives asked whether certain of the photos did not answer the description of the second person named in the warrant. Prisoner said that they need not trouble, as he had gone to Honolulu. On the 10th of May prisoner was arrested for obtaining £20 from another gentleman in a similar manner; but the gentleman declined to prosecute the case. The jury without leaving the box, returned a verdict of guilty, and prisoner was remanded for sentence. Prisoner, it appeared, had been convicted of a like offence in Victoria.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Evening News, Sat 14 Aug 1875 12

SEVERE SENTENCE.

    In the case of Thomas Woods, who had on the previous day been found guilty of extorting money from one Thomas Stackhouse by threatening to accuse him of the commission of an unnatural offence, his Honor Mr Justice Hargrave had the prisoner called up to the bar yesterday (Friday) morning to receive his sentence. His Honor told him that he had been so astounded on the previous day at the circumstances elicited in the trial of the case that he felt unable then to pass sentence. He had deferred the matter for the night’s consideration, and to consult with the Chief Justice, [Sir James Martin], who concurred with him in the sentence he had resolved to pass upon the prisoner. In his case the penalty was either 15 years’ hard labour, or imprisonment for four years and to be thrice publicly whipped. It appeared to him that the prisoner, to commit such an offence as he had been found guilty of, must be so hardened that he would not be punished even if he were to be whipped through the streets of the city, through Hyde Park, where he had met the poor gentleman whom he had persecuted, and passed the Club in which that gentleman resided. Prisoner had had interview after interview with the utmost deliberation, so that he might entwine the folds of nefarious scheme round Captain Stackhouse; he had selected for interview certain places so chosen that he might strengthen his power over him, and compelled him to be seen with him (prisoner) walking in the public streets, so as to lay broader foundations for his villainy. The law allotted the punishment of fifteen years on the roads for sending even one letter of the character of those sent by the prisoner. He had, however, sent several threatening letters, and not only had he done so, but he had even pursued Captain Stackhouse into the society of the gentleman with whom he associated. He (prisoner) had shown a far more hardened and persistent deliberation and determination in the perpetration of his crime than was indicated in the information. He had afterwards pretended to be sorry for the offence in an interview which took place in the Domain between himself and the gentleman whom he had persecuted, and who had been compelled to take the course he had taken. He had hypocritically pretended grief, and had told a whole pack of lies of the most atrocious kind.

    (Prisoner: “I beg your pardon, sir.”)

    His Honor: “You must hold your tongue, sir. You should be or ever dumb before your fellow-men after the committal of such an offence as that of which you have been found guilty.” He (his Honor) had received information from Melbourne intimating that a similar crime had been committed there by prisoner and his brother.

    (Prisoner again interrupted.)

    Prisoner was under sentence and must be silent. He (the Judge) thought something should be done to put a stop to such crimes, and in his sentence he should first determine that while in gaol prisoner should occupy a separate cell; that he should be occupied in certain work separately from all the other prisoners; then when the warder should pass him he should turn his face to the wall, as he was nor worthy to speak to any human being. He should sentence the prisoner to be kept to hard labour on the roads or other public works of the colony for fifteen years. This sentence was then pronounced upon the prisoner, and his Honor added that he should in his return to the Governor, send a copy of the notes of the evidence, and recommend him that no remission or relaxation of the sentence he had passed, either for a less period, or any prison indulgence under the ordinary regulations, should be granted, except under the special consideration of the Government for the time being.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 14 Aug 1875 13

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
Friday [13 August 1875]

    Before his Honor Mr Justice Hargrave.

    The Attorney-General (the Hon WB Dalley) prosecuted for the Crown.

SENTENCE.

    Thomas Woods, found guilty of an attempt to extort money, was brought up for sentence.

    His Honor, in sentencing the prisoner, told him that he (his Honor) had been so astounded on the previous day at the circumstances elicited in the trial of the case, that he felt unable then to pass sentence. He had, therefore, deferred the matter for a night’s consideration, and to consult with the Chief Justice, who concurred with him in the sentence he was prepared to pass upon the prisoner. In his case the penalty of the law was either that he be sentenced to fifteen years’ hard labour on the roads; or to imprisonment for four years and to be once, twice, or thrice publicly whipped. But it appeared to him that prisoner, to commit such an offence as that of which he had been found guilty, must be so hardened that he would not be punished even if he were to be whipped through the streets of the city, through Hyde Park, where he had met the poor gentleman whom he had persecuted, and past the club in which that gentleman resided. Prisoner had had interview after interview with the utmost deliberation, so that he might twine the folds of his nefarious scheme round Captain Stackhouse; he had selected, for interviews certain places; so chosen that he might strengthen his power over him, and compelled him to be seen with him walking in public streets, so as to lay broader foundations for his villainy. The law allotted the punishment of fifteen years on the roads for sending even one letter of the character of those sent by the prisoner. But the prisoner had sent several threatening letters; and not only had he done so, but he had even pursued him into the society of the gentlemen with whom he (Captain Stackhouse) had associated. He had shown a far more hardened, persistent deliberation in the perpetration of the crime than was mentioned in the information. He afterwards pretended to be sorry for the offence in an interview which took place in the Domain between himself and the gentleman whom he had persecuted, and who had been compelled to take the course that he had taken. He had hypocritically pretended grief, and had told a whole pack of lies of a most atrocious kind.

    (Prisoner: “I beg your pardon, sir.”)

    His Honor: You must hold your tongue, sir. You should be for ever dumb before your fellow-men after the committal of such an offence as that to which you have been found guilty. He (his Honor) had received a telegram from Melbourne mentioning a crime of a similar character which had been committed by himself and his brother.

    (Prisoner: Again interrupted.)

    [His Honor]: You are now under sentence and must be silent. He thought that something should be done to put a stop to such crimes as these; and in his sentence he should first determine that while in gaol prisoner should occupy a separate cell; that he should be occupied in certain work separately from the other prisoners; that when the warder should pass him by he should turn his face to the wall, as he was not worthy to speak to any human being. He should sentence the prisoner to be kept to hard labour on the roads or other public works of the colony for fifteen years. In the return made next week to his Excellency the Governor, he should send a copy of the notes of evidence, and a recommendation that no remission or relaxation of the sentence he had passed, either for a less period, or any prison indulgence under the ordinary regulations, should be granted, except under the special consideration of the Government for the time being.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 17 Aug 1875 14

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
————
(From Friday’s Evening News.)
Thursday.
(Before his Honor Mr Justice Hargrave.)

    The Attorney-General (the Hon WB Dalley) prosecuted for the Crown.

CHARGE PREFERRED TO EXTORT MONEY.

    Thomas Woods, alias Buchanan alias Macdonald alias Moore alias Brown, a young man of respectable and prepossessing appearance, was charged with having, on the 26th May, unlawfully and feloniously threatened to accuse one Thomas Stackhouse, a retired captain of the British Navy, of the committing of an unnatural offence, with the intention of extorting money from the said Thomas Stackhouse. There were two other counts in the indictment, bringing out clearly against the prisoner’s charge of having extorted money by the means set forth in the first count. The prisoner, who was dressed respectably and even fashionably, was undefended and stood leaning throughout the trial against the dock rails, with his elbow, protected by his handkerchief, resting on the pointed ends of the rails, and his hands covering about a third of his face. Mr WJ Foster instructed by the hon the Attorney-General, prosecuted on behalf of the Crown. The evidence given by the witnesses detective Lyons, detective Camphin, Captain Stackhouse, RN, and Joseph Burgess, showed the following startling case. Captain Stackhouse, who retired from the British navy some time ago, and who is a gentleman of untarnished character, was staying in Sydney in April last, and at the time was living at the Australian Club, in Bent-street. One evening in the middle of April he was sitting on one of the seats in the centre avenue of Hyde Park, near Prince Alfred’s statue; he was alone, and sat smoking. When after being there about five minutes, a young man whom he had never seen before came up to him, and, after saying that his name was Macdonald, took his seat beside him; he said he was very poorly off, and remarked that his feet were very cold, as the grass through which he had walked was wet. He was quite a young man, not more than twenty-two years of age, and very plainly dressed. Captain Stackhouse sympathised with him, as the effrontery of his action was neutralised by the pitiful tale he was telling, and was apparently about to advise him how to find employment, when the stranger remarked that he had a supply of obscene photographs. That appears to have turned the Captain at once against him, and he was about to rise, when the strange man became familiar, and placed his hand in a disagreeable manner upon the Captain’s knee. At once Captain Stackhouse walked away, and shortly afterwards forgot all about it. He repaired to the club, and the matter never again entered his mind until about two or three days after, when he was at the Club, a message was brought to him that there was a person waiting to see him. He went out, and in the strangers’ room of the club there was a man whom he did not recognise, and to whom he could not have sworn, even after being reminded by him that he was the man who had spoken to him (Stackhouse) in Hyde Park on the previous Wednesday evening. The Captain recollected the circumstances of the meeting as he described them, yet could not swear that the man to whom he was then speaking was the same as the one to whom he had spoken in Hyde Park. The man described to Captain Stackhouse merely the circumstances of his having sat down beside him; but added with bitterness and hidden motive, “My brother was there and he was watching us; and here he comes,” and as he uttered these last works, another man, who was none but the prisoner at the bar, walked suddenly into the room where Captain Stackhouse was then standing engaged in conversation with the other man. That was the first time in his life that Captain Stackhouse saw the prisoner, and remarked that he was well dressed, though not so well as now, when he stood in the dock. He said in a loud and threatening tone of voice “I suppose you recollect the evening you met my brother.” Captain Stackhouse replied, “Yes, I do; but”—and then prisoner added, “Oh you know what took place; now that’ll do,” and here he increased his voice in power, saying, “I’ll make known what took place between you and my brother,” whereupon Captain Stackhouse said, “I don’t know you; what do you mean?” Then the prisoner speaking with more violence and exercising an almost mesmeric influence over the Captain, spoke in such terms that his meaning was at once apparent; and the Captain, shocked to his inmost soul of such a charge being preferred against him by two men, arranged with the prisoner to have an explanation. He was given to understand that money alone would save him from disastrous exposure, and probably utter ruin. The Captain acknowledged that this was a most imprudent step, but the prisoner’s voice and action were very violent. The Metropolitan Hotel was named as the place where prisoner would see Captain Stackhouse to settle the matter. The time was 12.30 on the following day. Captain Stackhouse, true to appointment, met the prisoner in King-street, near the Metropolitan Hotel, but he (prisoner) said he would not go in there as he had just seen Mr Williams, the Crown Solicitor, in there. Prisoner then took him to an hotel at the corner of Hunter and O’Connell streets, where they met the other man, and here prisoner, as on all occasions, was the spokesman. He said “Well I suppose you didn’t want an exposure of what took place between you and my brother on Hyde Park,” and to this the Captain said, “What took place?” Prisoner replied, “That will do; you know;” and then he increased his voice and endeavoured to create a scene, and on every attempt being made by the Captain to get further explanation, his voice was drowned by prisoner who now began to use language indicating that he would charge him with having committed an unnatural crime. The captain acknowledged that he was now completely in a trap from which Providence alone could rescue him. (It might be mentioned here that the prisoner has apparently a strong power exhibiting itself in his eyes and features, and could evidently exercise with ease almost supernatural influence over Captain Stackhouse, who is apparently a man of nervous temperament.) Eventually, after stopping Captain Stackhouse from speaking, he added “If you’ll give us £40 we will say nothing more about it, and give you no further annoyance.” Here an opportunity presented itself to the Captain to free himself from his anxiety, and he said “No; but if you’ll go away and give me no further annoyance, I’ll give you £20 not £40.” The prisoner said he wanted the money to pay his brother’s passage to San Francisco, but he would see whether he would take a second-class passage, and thus be satisfied with £20. He agreed to take £20, and the Captain under the influence of the threats used towards him by prisoner, arranged to pay him the £20 on the same day; and the prisoner made an appointment to meet him at the same hotel. They met outside the hotel, the prisoner apparently alone, but he refused to go into the hotel and led the Captain to the Currency Lass, corner of Pitt and Hunter streets. All this time, Captain Stackhouse felt himself completely in the power of this evil genius. They entered the hotel, and on paying over the money Captain Stackhouse got back the acknowledgement which prisoner had compelled him to write out in the early part of the day, at the hotel where they first met. They parted, and nothing further transpired till a few days after, when Captain Stackhouse received a letter at the Club from the prisoner. That letter was written in a lady’s hand, and was civilly worded, except that it wound up with a threat that if he (Captain Stackhouse) did not meet him he (prisoner) would go to the Club and expose him. The letter was signed “Thomas Buchanan,” and it was brought by a messenger, who was waiting for an answer. The captain kept the appointment made in the letter, and on seeing the prisoner, he asked him what he wanted again, and he said, “I must have the other £20, as my brother would not go without it. I will have nothing less.” Occasionally prisoner called his (the Captain’s) name out loudly in the street, and on his being remonstrated with on his breach of contract, and on his misconduct in endeavouring to expose him (the Captain) in the street, he became still more violent, and endeavoured to create a scene. His conduct was such that the Captain agreed to give the other £20 to get rid of further annoyance; and prisoner, always the master, arranged that he should meet him at the Currency Lass at twelve o’clock on the following day. They met accordingly, but the prisoner refused to go inside, and then he led Captain Stackhouse up Pitt-street into King-street, and then into an hotel opposite the Supreme Court, where he paid him the £20 to get rid of the annoyance, prisoner promising to go away for ever. The next time that Captain Stackhouse heard of the prisoner was from one of the messengers of the Club, who said that prisoner had been inquiring for him; he gave the name of Mr Buchanan. Captain Stackhouse afterwards saw prisoner in the Domain, where he admitted that the man whom he had called his brother was not his brother, and that he would endeavour to refund the money. Captain Stackhouse communicated with the police, and prisoner was charged with the offence for which he was now on trial. The jury, without leaving the box, returned a verdict of guilty, and prisoner was remanded for sentence. His Honor, the judge, after having the prisoner called up for sentence, said that he had never listened to a case showing forth such startling atrocity. He believed that the prisoner was so hardened that he would in no way be affected if whipped through the streets of the city. He had the option of sentencing him to three years’ imprisonment, and to have him thrice publicly whipped, or to sentence him to imprisonment with hard labour for fifteen years. His Honor then pronounced the latter sentence upon him, and stated that he would make a regulation that would secure the prisoner being kept apart from all other prisoners in whatever gaol he might be worked—thus passing upon the prisoner a sentence that would cut him off for fifteen years at least, from all intercourse with fellow men.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Queanbeyan Age, Wed 18 Aug 1875 15

A STARTLING CASE.
————

At the Criminal Court, Sydney, on Thursday, before his Honour Mr Justice Hargrave, Thomas Woods, alias Buchanan, alias Macdonald, alias Moore, alias Brown, a young man of respectable and prepossessing appearance, was charged with having, on the 26th May, unlawfully and feloniously threatened to accuse one Thomas Stackhouse, a retired captain of the British Navy, of the committing of an unnatural offence, with the intention of extorting money from the said Thomas Stackhouse. There were two other counts in the indictment bringing out clearly against the prisoner a charge of having extorted the money by the means set forth in the first count.

    The prisoner, who was dressed respectably and even fashionably, was undefended, and stood leaning throughout the trial against the dock rails, with his elbow, protected by his handkerchief, resting on the pointed end of the rails, and his hands covering about a third of his face.

    Mr WJ Forster instructed by the hon the Attorney General prosecuted on behalf of the Crown.

    The evidence given by the witnesses detective Lyons, detective Camphin, Captain Stackhouse, RN, and Joseph Burgess, as summarised in the Evening News, showed the following startling case:—

    Captain Stackhouse, who retired from the British Navy some time ago, and who is a gentleman of untarnished character, was staying in Sydney in April last, and at the time was living at the Australian Club, in Bent-street. One evening in the middle of April last he was sitting on one of the seats in the centre avenue of Hyde Park, near Prince Alfred’s statue. He was alone, and sat smoking. When after being there about five minutes a young man whom he had never seen before came up to him, and after saying that his name was Macdonald took his seat beside him; he said he was very poorly off, and remarked that his feet were very cold, as the grass through which he had walked was wet; he was quite a young man, not more than 22 years of age, and very plainly dressed, Captain Stackhouse sympathised with him, as the effrontery of his action was neutralised by the pitiful tale he was telling, and was apparently about to advise him how to find employment, when the stranger remarked that he had a supply of obscene photographs. This appears to have turned the captain at once against him, and he was about to rise when the strange man became familiar, and placed his hand in a disagreeable manner upon the Captain’s knee. At once Captain Stackhouse walked away, and shortly afterwards forgot all about it. He repaired to the club, and the matter never again entered his mind until two or three days afterwards, when he was in the club, a message was brought to him that there was a person waiting to see him. He went out, and in the strangers’ room of the club, there was a man whom he did not recognise, and to whom he could not have sworn, even after being reminded by him, that he was the man who had spoken to him in Hyde Park on the previous Wednesday evening. The Captain recollected the circumstances of the meeting as he described them, yet could not swear that the man to whom he was then speaking, was the same as the one to whom he had spoken in Hyde Park. The man described to Captain Stackhouse merely the circumstances of his having sat down beside him; but added with bitterness and hidden motive, “My brother was there and he was watching us, and here he comes,” and as he uttered these words another man, who was none but the prisoner at the bar, walked suddenly into the room where Captain Stackhouse was then standing engaged in earnest conversation with the other man. That was the first time in his life that Captain Stackhouse saw the prisoner, and remarked that he was well-dressed, though not so well as now, when he stood in the dock. He said in a loud and threatening tone of voice, “I suppose you recollect the evening that you met my brother.” Captain Stackhouse replied, “Yes, I do; but”—and then prisoner added, “Oh you know what took place; now that’ll do,” and here he increased his voice in power saying, “I’ll make known what took [place] between you and my brother,” whereupon Captain Stackhouse said, “I don’t know you; what do you mean.” Then the prisoner speaking with more violence, and exercising an almost mesmeric influence over the Captain that his meaning was at once apparent; and the Captain, shocked to his inmost soul of such a charge being preferred against him by two men, arranged with the prisoner to have an explanation. He was given to understand that money would alone save him from disastrous exposure, and probably utter ruin. The Captain acknowledged that this was a most imprudent step, but the prisoner’s voice and action were very violent. The Metropolitan Hotel was named as the place were [sic] prisoner would see Captain Stackhouse to settle the matter. The time was 12.30 on the following day. Captain Stackhouse, true to appointment, met the prisoner in King-street, near the Metropolitan Hotel, but he (prisoner) said he would not go in there as he had just seen Mr Williams, the Crown solicitor, in there. Prisoner then took him to an hotel at the corner of Hunter and O’Connell streets, where they met the other man, and here prisoner, as on all occasions, was the spokesman. He said, “Well I suppose you didn’t want an exposure of what took place between you and my brother on Hyde Park?” and to this the captain said, “What took place?” Prisoner replied, “That will do; you know;” and here he increased his voice and endeavoured to create a scene, and on every attempt being made by the captain to get a further explanation, his voice was drowned by prisoner who now began to use language indicating that he would charge him with having committed an unnatural crime. The captain acknowledged that he was now completely in a trap from which Providence alone could rescue him. (It might be mentioned here that the prisoner has apparently a strong power exhibiting itself in his eyes and features and could evidently exercise with ease almost supernatural influence over Captain Stackhouse, who is apparently a man of nervous temperament.) Eventually, after stopping Captain Stackhouse from speaking, he added, “If you’ll give us £40 we will say nothing more about it, and give you no further annoyance.” Here an opportunity presented itself to the captain to free himself from his anxiety, and he said “No; but if you’ll go away and give me no further annoyance, I’ll give you £20 not £40.” The prisoner said he wanted the money to pay his brother’s passage to San Francisco, but he would see whether he would take a second-class passage, and thus be satisfied with £20. He agreed to take £20, and the captain under the influence of the threats used towards him by prisoner, arranged to pay him the £20 on the same day; and the prisoner made an appointment to meet him at the same hotel. They met outside the hotel, but he refused to go into the hotel and led the captain to the Currency Lass, corner of Pitt and Hunter streets. All this time, Captain Stackhouse felt himself completely in the power of this evil genius. They entered the hotel, and on paying over the money Captain Stackhouse got back the acknowledgement which prisoner had compelled him to write out in the early part of the day, at the hotel where they first met. They parted and nothing further transpired till a few days after, when Captain Stackhouse received a letter at the Club from the prisoner. That letter was written in a lady’s hand, and was civilly worded, except that it wound up with a threat that if he (Captain Stackhouse) did not meet him, he (prisoner) would go to the Club and expose him. The letter was signed “Thomas Buchanan,” and it was brought by a messenger, who was waiting for an answer. The captain kept the appointment made in the letter, and on seeing the prisoner, he asked him what he wanted again, and he said “I must have the other £20, as my brother would not go without it. I will have nothing less.” Occasionally prisoner called his (the captain’s) name out loudly in the street, and on his being remonstrated with on his breach of contract, and on his misconduct in endeavouring to expose him (the captain) in the street, he became still more violent, and endeavoured to create a scene. His conduct was such that the captain agreed to give the other £20 to get rid of further annoyance; and prisoner, always the master, arranged that he should meet him at the Currency Lass at twelve o’clock on the following day. They met accordingly, but the prisoner refused to go inside, and then he led Captain Stackhouse up Pitt-street into King-street, and then into an hotel opposite the Supreme Court, where he paid him the other £20 to get rid of the annoyance, prisoner promising to go away for ever. The next time that Captain Stackhouse heard of the prisoner was from one of the messengers who said that prisoner had been enquiring for him; he gave the name of Mr Buchanan. Captain Stackhouse afterwards saw prisoner in the Domain, where he admitted that the man whom he had called his brother was not his brother, and that he would endeavour to refund the money. Captain Stackhouse communicated with the p0olice, and prisoner was charged with the offence for which he was now on trial.

    There were read threatening letters sent by the prisoner to Captain Stackhouse.

    Detective Lyons and Camphin deposed to the circumstances connected with the arrest of the prisoner, who at first denied all knowledge of Captain Stackhouse. On searching his lodgings at an hotel in Sussex-street, there were found several cartes-de-visite of the prisoner, and of the man who in the first instance he had called his brother. The detectives asked whether certain of the photos did not answer the description of the second person named in the warrant. Prisoner said that they need not trouble, as he had gone to Honolulu. On the 10th of May prisoner was arrested for obtaining £20 from another gentleman in a similar manner; but the gentleman declined to prosecute the case. The jury, without leaving the box, returned a verdict of guilty and prisoner was remanded for sentence. Prisoner, it appeared, had been convicted of a like offence in Victoria.
Severe Sentence.

    In the case of Thomas Woods, who had on the previous day been found guilty of extorting money from one Thomas Stackhouse by threatening to accuse him of the commission of an unnatural offence, his Honour Mr Justice Hargraves had the prisoner called up to the bar yesterday (Friday) morning to receive his sentence. His Honour told him that he had been so astounded on the previous day at the case that he felt unable then to pass sentence. He had deferred the matter for a night’s consideration, and to consult with the Chief Justice, who concurred with him in the sentence he had resolved to pass upon the prisoner. In his case the penalty was either 15 years’ hard labour, or imprisonment for four years and to be thrice publicly whipped. It appeared to him that the prisoner, to commit such an offence as he had been found guilty of, must be so hardened that he would not be punished even if he were to be whipped through the streets of the city, through Hyde Park, where he had met the poor gentleman whom he had persecuted, and passed [sic] the Club in which that gentleman resided. Prisoner had had interview after interview with the utmost deliberation, so that he might entwine the folds of his nefarious scheme round Captain Stackhouse; he had selected for interviews certain places so chosen that he might strengthen his power over him, and compelled him to be seen with him (prisoner) walking in the public streets, so as to lay broader foundations for his villainy. The law allotted the punishment of fifteen years on the road for sending even one letter of the character of those sent by the prisoner. He had, however, sent several threatening letters, and not only had he done so, but he had even pursued Captain Stackhouse into the society of the gentlemen with whom he associated. He (prisoner) had shown a far more hardened and persistent deliberation and determination in the perpetration of his crime than was indicated in the information. He had afterwards pretended to be sorry for the offence in an interview which took place in the Domain between himself and the gentleman whom he had persecuted, and who had been compelled to take the course he had taken. He had hypocritically pretended grief, and had told a whole pack of lies of the most atrocious kind. (Prisoner—“I beg your pardon, sir.”) His Honour—“You must hold your tongue, sir. You should be for ever dumb before your fellow men after the committal of such an offence as that of which you have been found guilty.” He (his Honour) had received information from Melbourne intimating that a similar crime had been committed there by prisoner and his brother. (Prisoner again interrupted.) Prisoner was under sentence and must be silent. He (the Judge) thought something should be done to put a stop to such crimes, and in his sentence he should first determine that while in gaol prisoner should occupy a separate cell; that he should be occupied in certain work separately from all the other prisoners; then when the warder should pass him he should turn his face to the wall, as he was not worthy to speak to any human being. He should sentence the prisoner to be kept to hard labour on the roads or other public works of the colony for fifteen years. This sentence was then pronounced upon the prisoner, and his Honour added that he should in his return to the Governor, send a copy of the notes of the evidence, and recommend him that no remission or relaxation of the sentence he had passed, either for a less period, or any prison indulgence under the ordinary regulations, should be granted, except under the special consideration of the Government for the time being.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser, Sat 21 Aug 1875 16

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
———◦———

BEFORE his Honor Mr Justice Hargrave.

    The Attorney-General (the Hon WB Dalley) prosecuted for the Crown.

————
CHARGE PREFERRED TO EXTORT MONEY.

    Thomas Woods, alias Buchanan alias Macdonald alias Moore alias Brown, was charged on three counts, which substantially charged prisoner with having threatened to accuse Thomas Stackhouse of having committed an unnatural offence, and thereby extorted money. Prisoner pleaded not guilty and was undefended.

    The case was ably opened by Mr Dalley.

    The circumstances are simply these: Prosecutor, Captain Stackhouse, who is a retired captain in the Royal Navy, about 8 o’clock on a Sunday night towards the latter end of April last, was sitting smoking on one of the seats in Hyde Park, near the northern extremity of the main walk. Prisoner, who was a perfect stranger to him, came up, and entered into conversation with Captain Stackhouse. He then told prosecutor that he had obscene prints, which, being a photographer, he could supply. Captain Stackhouse indignantly got up and walked away to his residence the Australian Club. 17 About three or four days afterwards prisoner called at the Club and said his brother was outside. Prisoner then called the other man up and together they said they could witness against Captain Stackhouse, unless he were to settle the matter, for which purpose they would meet him at the Metropolitan Hotel. They left threatening to return to the Club, and expose Captain Stackhouse, unless he kept the appointment they had fixed. Captain Stackhouse kept the appointment, but prisoner declined to go into the Metropolitan Hotel, as there were so many respectable people there, including Mr Williams, the Crown solicitor, whom he did not wish to see. They then went to a public-house at the corner of Hunter and O’Connell street. Prisoner, who had with him the man whom he called his brother, acted as spokesman, and said that unless he were to give his brother the means of leaving the colony he would expose him. He asked for £40, but eventually agreed to take £20. On the next day, Captain Stackhouse paid the money at the Currency Lass Hotel. Prosecutor said that, when at the Club, prisoner spoke loudly and in a threatening tone, so that he was glad to name another place for an interview, for fear of their conversation being overheard. When he paid the £20, he understood that there was to be no further annoyance. Prisoner returned a note which he had written before this at his (prisoner’s) dictation, stating that he owed the £20 to prisoner. About ten days after he received a letter signed Thomas Buchanan, which he destroyed. It named another appointment at the Free Public Library, and the writer threatened to come to the Club unless he kept it. Captain Stackhouse went to the Library, and saw prisoner, who said that his brother would not leave the colony without the other £20. He spoke loudly his name “Captain Stackhouse” so as to attract attention. Witness paid the money on the following day at an hotel in King-street, prisoner having refused to go again into the Currency Lass Hotel. In accordance with an appointment one afternoon afterwards Captain Stackhouse walked with the prisoner to the Domain, when the latter apparently became much affected, and told him that he would try to refund the money, and that the man whom he had called his brother was not his brother, and that this man had treated him (prisoner) as he had treated prosecutor. He affirmed that he had been compelled to take the course he had taken by this man, and also accounted in this way for the violence of his manner. Prisoner afterwards wrote to make an appointment near St James’ Church, which Captain Stackhouse did not keep, as he placed himself in the meantime in communication with the Inspector-General of Police. There were read threatening letters sent by the prisoner to Captain Stackhouse. Detectives Lyons and Camphin deposed to the circumstances connect with the arrest of the prisoner who at first denied all knowledge of Captain Stackhouse. On searching his lodgings at an hotel in Sussex-street, there were found several cartes-de-visite of the prisoner, and of the man who in the first instance he had called his brother. The detectives asked whether certain of the photos did not answer the description of the second person named in the warrant. Prisoner said that they need not trouble, as he had gone to Honolulu. On the 10th of May prisoner was arrested for obtaining £20 from another gentleman in a similar manner; but the gentleman declined to prosecute the case. The jury, without leaving the box, returned a verdict of guilty, and prisoner was remanded for sentence. Prisoner, it appeared, had been convicted of a like offence in Victoria.

    Thomas Woods, found guilty of an attempt to extort money, was brought up for sentence.

    His Honor sentenced the prisoner to be kept to hard labour on the roads or other public works of the colony for fifteen years. In the return made next week to his Excellency the Governor, he should send a copy of the notes of evidence, and a recommendation that no remission or relaxation of the sentence he had passed, either for a less period, or any prison indulgence under the ordinary regulations, should be granted, except under the special consideration of the Government for the time being.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thomas Woods, Gaol photo sheet 18

SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6040], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 15 Dec 1874-22 Mar 1876, No. 1299, p. 142, R5098. p.1.
SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6040], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 15 Dec 1874-22 Mar 1876, No. 1299, p. 142, R5098. p.2.

 


Gaol Photo Sheet - Transcribed Details

No. 1299
Number on Gaol Register: 2782/75

Portrait taken: 11th June 1875

Prisoner's Name: Thomas Wood
(aka Thomas Moore, Thomas McDonald)

Native place: Tasmania

Year of birth: 1849

Arrived        Ship: Macedon 
in Colony }   Year: 1875

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Station master

Religion: C of E

Education, degree of: R & W

Colour of hair: Dark brown

Colour of eyes: Grey

Height: 5' 10½"

Weight     On committal: 170
in lbs     }  On discharge:  "

Special Marks: Devise with a cluster of Flags on right fore arm.

 

General Description:

Where and when tried: Sydney SCC
12 August 1875

Offence: Threatening to accuse another of having committed an abominable crime.

Sentence: 15 years roads. 

Remarks: His Honor the Judge [said] that no remission of sentence or indulgence be granted to the prisoners [sic] unless by special authority of [the] Governor. 

 (Previous Number ... ) 

PRISON HISTORY

Where and When Offence. Sentence

Sydney SCC

12

Aug

1875

Threatening to accuse another of having committed an abominable crime.

15 years roads

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thomas Woods, Gaol photo sheet 19

SRNSW: NRS2326, [2/2110], Maitland Gaol photographic description book, 1882, No. 12991⁄2, p. 112, R5127.

Gaol Photo Sheet - Transcribed Details

No. 1299½
369G

Portrait taken: 11 April 1883

Prisoner's Name: Thomas Woods
(aka Thomas Moore, Thomas McDonald, Thomas Buchanan)

Native place: Tasmania

Year of birth: 1849

Arrived        Ship: Macedon 
in Colony }   Year: 1875

Trade or occupation
previous to conviction  } Station Manager

Religion: Ch of England

Education, degree of: R & W

Colour of hair: Dark brown

Colour of eyes: Grey

Height: 5' 10½"

Weight     On committal: 170
in lbs     }  On discharge:  "

Special Marks: Devise with cluster of flags on the top of right forearm.

General Description:

Where and when tried: Sydney Gaol Delivery 12th August 1875

Offence: Threatening to accuse of attempting to commit the abominable crime of buggery with intend to extort money

Sentence: 15 years HL Roads

Remarks: His Honor said this was a very aggravated and contentious extortion and the severest Gaol regulations should be enforced and no remission except after great consideration 

 

 (Number of Previous Portrait ... 1299 ) 

PRISON HISTORY

Where and When Offence. Sentence

(Copy)

Police Dept Melbourne, 10/7/1875

    This photograph has been recognised as that of Thomas Buchanan who with his brother William Buchanan & James Henderson extorted money from Mr [Robert John] Glass 20 of Wharparrella [sic–Wharparilla, Vic] near Euchuca [sic–Echuca] by threatening to accuse him of having committed a horrible offence on Thomas Buchanan, Mr Glass is of a very timid disposition and is reluctant to take out Warrants against them not wanting to have his name appear in the matter. Steps will be taken however to have Warrants issued. The prisoner is not known to have served a previous sentence.

 



1     Depositions for this case (9/6582-9/6584) could not be located at SRNSW.

2     Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Mon 7 Jun 1875, p. 2.

3     The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 8 Jun 1875, p. 7.

4     The Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser, Sat 12 Jun 1875, p. 757.

5     SRNSW: NRS6032, [2/4400], Judiciary, JF Hargrave, J. Notebooks Criminal Causes (Darlinghurst), 1865-78, pp. 34, 48-52, 55. Emphasis added.

6     Mn: Nothing to ask

7     Mn: nothing to ask witness

8     This whole section, especially in its order, very unclear.

9     Mn: Capt: that was the prisoner I saw at 2 o’clock

10   Again, this passage very unclear and practically impossible to decipher.

11   The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 13 Aug 1875, p. 2. Emphasis added.

12   Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Sat 14 Aug 1875, pp. 4-5. Emphasis added.

13   The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 14 Aug 1875, p. 5. Emphasis added.

14   The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 17 Aug 1875, p. 2.

15   Queanbeyan Age, Wed 18 Aug 1875, p. 3.

16   The Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser, Sat 21 Aug 1875, p. 247. Emphasis added.

17   Sand’s Directory, 1875, p. 546. Emphasis added

INSTITUTIONS DIRECTORY;
Comprising
Associations, Artistic, Benevolent, Educational,
Literary, Scientific, Social and Others.
1875.
————————
Clubs
Australian Club, Bent st.

       Patron—His Excellency Sir H Robinson, KCMG, &c
       President—The Hon Sir E Deas Thomson, CB, KCMG.
       Vice-President—Hon Sir W Macarthur, MLC; Hon John Hay, MLC.
       Trustees—Hon Sir William Montague Manning, QC, MLC; Edward Broad hurst, QC; Christopher Rolleston, Esq; Hon Joseph Docker, MLC; Hon ED Ogilvie, MLC.
       Secretary—JB Markey.
       Members of the Committee—Captain Burn, A McDonald, WB Dalley, William Macleay, MLA; Harold Maclean, RAA Morehead, A Sandeman, Captain Stackhouse, RN; Hon W Busby, MLC; GC Davis, Captain Onslow, RN; GB Simpson, RL Jenkins, HHG Alleyne, MD.
       Bankers—Bank of Australasia”

18   SRNSW: NRS2138, [3/6040], Darlinghurst Gaol photographic description book, 15 Dec 1874-22 Mar 1876, No. 1299, p. 142, R5098.£

19   SRNSW: NRS2326, [2/2110], Maitland Gaol photographic description book, 1882, No. 1299½, p. 112, R5127.

20   Robert John Glass appears in various newspaper articles regarding alleged land ‘dummyism’ in the Echuca district. See: Riverine Herald, (Echuca, Vic; Moama, NSW), Wed 26 Mar 1873, p. 3. The Argus, Fri 21 Nov 1873, p. 5 – Regarding his election as Echuca Shire President. The Argus, Sat 14 Nov 1874, p. 7. The Argus, Wed 23 Dec 1874, p. 6. The Argus, Wed 13 Jan 1875, p. 6. &c

       Echuca and Moama Advertiser and Farmers’ Gazette, (Vic), Tue 9 Mar 1915, p. 4.

ONE OF THE PIONEERS.
———◦———
DEATH OF MR RJ GLASS.
————

       There died at his home ‘Wharparilla,’ Porta ferry, County Down, Ireland, on 22nd December last, Robert John Glass, who was one of the pioneers of Echuca. Mr Glass, who had reached almost the venerable age of 90 years, was born in Porta ferry, and came to Victoria in 1817 in order to join his elder brothers, Hugh and James, who had preceded him. This was before the gold rush took place, so that Mr Glass and his brothers were pioneers in the real sense of the word. Passing over the then undiscovered gold area, Mr Glass came north, and at Deniliquin entered into squatting pursuits in company with the late Mr McLauren. Later he purchased Wharparilla station, near Echuca , where he resided until 1877, when he sold out to the late Mr James Mackintosh, and returned to Ireland in the following years. Since then he had lived in retirement in has [sic] native country.

       During his residence in Echuca Mr Glass took a keen interest in the district, and aided greatly in its development. He was a member of the old Echuca Road Board and of the Echuca Shire Council, of which latter body he was for some time president. It is related that in the old days the council met at different squatting homesteads in turn, and when it is remembered that the shire originally extended from Ovens river to Kow Swamp, a distance of about 150 miles, it will be readily understood that it would be difficult to select a fixed meeting place that would suit all the councillors. To the late Mr Glass Echuca was in a great measure indebted for the beautiful avenues of trees which make the streets the most picturesque of any town in Victoria. He was an enthusiastic arboriculturist as well as a horticulturist. He was among the first to test the growth of citrus fruit plants in the north, and that alone indicated his far sightedness, and is eloquent of his recognition of possibilities which were noot recognised for many years afterwards. He had some success in citrus culture, but he had to contend with blights, for which, at the time, the remedies had not been discovered, and most of his trees were thus destroyed. Mr Glass also grew at Wharparilla large quantities of grapes, from which he made wine of fair quality, especially of the dark Burgundy type.

       The subject of our sketch was a stanch supporter of the Presbyterian Church. He and his amiable wife, who predeceased him, were noted for their hospitality. They had two daughters, both of whom are married, the elder being married to Mr John Greer, of Ulster, and the younger to Colonel Moore, of the Indian Army. Up to the last Mr Glass was in constant communication with some of his Australian friends.”