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1835, Patrick Kilmartin - Unfit For Publication
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The Sydney Monitor, Sat 25 Apr 1835  1 

    MURDER.– THE BODY OF JAMES HAMILTON, late constable in the Domain, formerly in the Parramatta Police, was found yesterday morning near ten o’clock, about half a mile from the Race-Course. The body was stripped of every article of clothing except the stockings. The neck exhibited marks of apparently a violent blow, or gripe. The lower part of the belly had two dreadful cuts, about nine inches long, apparently made with a clasp knife. The deceased was seen on Thursday night after sun-set, in a state of intoxication, in company with a tallman who had no jacket on. A few minutes after eight, Conductor [James] Christie who was patrolling the road, received information that an assigned servant of Mr Willoughby Dowling, was absent without leave, named Patrick Kilpatrick, and upon his (Christie’s) going to the Royal Admiral tent kept by a person named Abraham Davis, he saw Kilpatrick there; he took him into custody, and after examining his clothing, found that he had on two pair of trowsers, two shirts &c.; upon which he charged him with having committed a robbery, and lodged him at the Police Office, where he found that the hat the prisoner was wearing had Hamilton’s name in it. Mrs Hamilton has since identified the whole of the clothes, as being those of her husband, whose body was found as above described. An Inquest will be held this morning.

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Coroner’s Inquest, James Hamilton, 27 Apr 1835 2

 

Coroner’s Inquest, Registration No. 85, 1835

 

District

 

Coroner

 

When & Where

 

Received

 

Acknowledged

 

Name

 

Verdict

 

(Certificate signed ?)

 

Sydney

 

JR (B ?)

 

Sydney 25 April 1835

 

27 April 1835

 

            

 

James Hamilton

 

Wilful murder (on ?) one Patrick Hamilton

 

14 July 1835

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The Sydney Herald, Mon 27 Apr 1835  3  

CORONER’S INQUESTS.

    An inquest was held on Saturday [25 April] last, at the “Roebuck”, Surry Hills, on the body of James Hamilton, recently of the Sydney Police, who was found dead near the New Race Course on Friday morning, under circumstances which left no doubt that the unfortunate man had been murdered. The discovery of the horrid transaction spread alarm and terror amongst the numerous individuals who attended the course for the purpose of witnessing the Races; and involved a question of painful uncertainty as to the probable fate of other under similar circumstances; this excitement was considerably increased when it was ascertained that a man had been taken in custody on the previous evening, having, on his person, the clothes in which the deceased had left home, and in which he had been seen on the course. The Coroner having been made acquainted with the circumstance, made arrangements for holding an inquest on the body, on the afternoon of Friday; but from the thronged state of the public-houses in the neighbourhood, it was found necessary to postpone the enquiry until the following morning, when the several witnesses and a jury attended; also, the individual before alluded to, as having been found with the clothes of the deceased on his person, was brought in custody, in order to be present at the enquiry, and to hear the evidence against him. The Jury, to the number of seventeen, having been sworn, they proceeded to take a view of the body, which was lying on the side of the road, at the distance of about three miles; it was found to be in a state of nudity, and presented the most appalling spectacle; the abdomen having been perforated with a knife or other sharp instrument, exhibited a wound of about four inches in length; the left side of the throat was much bruised and discoloured, the appearance of which conveyed an impression that the unfortunate deceased had been in the first instance strangled. The Jury having carefully examined the body, returned to the Jury room, when the following witnesses gave evidence:– 

    Mr James Christie, Wardsman in the Sydney Police, deposed, that he received a communication from Mr Willoughby Dowling, on Thursday evening last, that his assigned servant, Patrick Kilmartin, had absented himself, and was, in all probability, gone on the race-course. Deponent took three other constables and proceeded thereto for the purpose of apprehending runaways. On arriving at a booth on the road side, about half a mile from the course, it being then about eight o’clock, deponent saw a light at the back part of the booth, and sent the constables round to ascertain what it was, while he went in at the front. On entering the booth, the prisoner was seated, but immediately stood up and turned his back towards him, which exciting deponent’s suspicion he followed him, and discovered that he was the individual of whom he had been in search; the prisoner was dressed in a blue jacket, and black hat, which suggested to deponent, as he knew him not to have such articles of dress of his own, that he had been robbing some person; and on looking narrowly at the jacket, he recognised it to belong to Hamilton, he having worn it while in the Police; it was rather a remarkable looking jacket having been made from an old coat. The prisoner had a bundle in his hand, which, on investigation, was found to contain his own clothing, consisting of blue shirt and trowsers, which deponent made him put on, taking the other clothing from him; he was then sent in custody to the watch-house. Mrs Hamilton, wife of the deceased, having been sent for, recognised the clothes to be those in which her husband had left home.

    Mr John Brown, publican, of the Edinburgh Castle, deposed, that he had a booth on the race-course; on Thursday evening last, the prisoner, whom he knew to belong to Mr Dowling, entered the booth in company with the deceased, whom he also knew, and requested a gill of rum on credit; deponent observed to him, that it was rather unusual thing to give credit at race time, and hesitated to comply with his demand; but he renewed his entreaties, stating, that it was for the purpose of treating his particular friend with, pointing to deceased; deponent observed that he knew deceased, and would have no objection to treat him himself, and gave a gill of rum, which he believes was for the most part drank by deceased; deceased was very reserved, and said but few words, which deponent attributed to his having no money, he having been dismissed from his situation in the Police a few weeks ago. Deponent was very much engaged, and did not direct much of his attention to the parties, but heard some loud words spoken by the prisoner, which he thought were addressed to the deceased, and were to this effect:– “I will beat you, but at the time, I would beat any other man that would attempt to beat you.” The prisoner and deceased remained about half an hour and then went away together; this was as near as deponent can recollect about seven o’clock. The prisoner was then dressed in a blue shirt, apparently duck trowsers, and a low cabbage-tree hat. The deceased had on a black hat and blue jacket.

    Sarah Hamilton deposed, that her husband, the deceased, left home on Wednesday morning last for the purpose of going to the races; that was the last time she saw him alive; the clothes produced are the clothes in which he left home.

    Enquiry was made by the Coroner if the person who first discovered the body was in attendance, and was answered in the negative; it was unknown by whom the discovery was first made.

    Mr Charles Cathrow stated, that having been on the course at an early hour, he walked to the bridge to see the people arrive, when a saw a cart stop at a little distance on the road; the persons in the cart all got out, and remained some minutes looking at something on the side of the road; on subsequently passing the place where he stood, the persons in the cart made some observations as to the atrocity of the murder, which was the first intimation he had of it; he proceeded to the spot and there saw the body; he had not heard by whom the discovery was first made.

    A little boy named [John] Love, deposed to finding a knife buried in the sand at a short distance from the body, which it was suspected was the instrument with which the wounds had been inflicted; the knife is rather a remarkable one, having a smooth horn handle rounded at the end, at the extremity of which is a bright rivet, and had no doubt been taken from one of the booths for the diabolical purpose. Mr Brown examined the knife, but stated that it was not his property. This was all the evidence at present arrived at. The prisoner put no questions, and was cautioned against saying any thing which might tend to criminate himself; he made a general declaration of his innocence; denied having any knowledge of being in the company of the deceased, and had found the clothes on the road, which he had put on.

    The evidence Mr Surgeon [James] Stewart, [surgeon], who attended the inquest, supported the general impression that the immediate cause of the death of the deceased was strangulation, the other injuries having been inflicted after death; immediate death would not have resulted therefrom, the intestines having been found uninjured; the body must have been stripped before the infliction of the wounds, as the clothes were not cut, as they must otherwise have been.

    The Jury returned a verdict – That the deceased died by strangulation and other injuries inflicted by the prisoner, Patrick Kilmartin, who was thereupon committed on the Coroner’s Warrant, on a charge of Wilful Murder accordingly.

    Another inquest was held at the “Lamb,” Liverpool-street, on the body of Charles Barnes, in the employ of Messrs Clewett and Patten, marble masons, Pitt-street, who died suddenly on the previous evening, inconsequence of the rupture of a blood-vessel.

    The Jury returned a verdict, Died by the visitation of God.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tue 28 Apr 1835 

CORONER’S INQUEST.

    On Saturday [25 April] morning last an inquest was held at Mr Flood’s public house on the Surry Hills, on the body of a man named James Hamilton lately a constable in the Sydney police. The inquest was to have taken place the previous Friday, being the day the body of the unfortunate man was found, but from some of the witnesses being rather too fresh the inquest was postponed till the next morning.– The jury, sixteen in number being sworn, proceeded to take a view of the body, which at this time presented a most appalling spectacle being entirely naked and mangled in a manner that beggars all description – after a minute and careful investigation of the body, in the jury room the following witnesses were examined.

    Wardsman [James] Christie deposed, that he was informed by W Dowling Esq that his assigned servant Patrick Kilmarlin [sic] was absent without leave; defendant with other constables went to the Race Course by command, to pick up runaways and other disorderly characters; they went into a booth called the Lord Duncan, about a mile from the Race Course about 8 o’clock in the evening where defendant saw and recognised the prisoner Kilmarlin, who had a bundle in his hand, which, upon examination, appeared to contain mens clothes; this caused deponent to examine Kilmarlin more minutely; when he recognized the jacket the prisoner had on as belonging to the deceased; the deceased having worn it whilst in the (police ?), and being made out of an old body coat cut down; subsequently however, deceased’s wife recognised all she [sic–the] clothes Kilmarlin had on as belonging to deceased; the bundle contained prisoner’s own clothes, which deponent made Kilmarlin put on and divest himself of those he had on.

    Mr [John] Brown, of the Edinburgh Castle, deposed that he remembered Kilmarlin and the deceased coming into his booth on the race-course and asking for a gill of rum, which he refused to serve them, but immediately added, “as it’s race time, and I know you both, I’ve no objection to treat you”, and accordingly gave them the rum, which the deceased drank nearly all; the deceased appeared extremely low spirited; they then both went out of the booth; this was about seven in the evening.

    The wife [Sarah Hamilton] of the deceased deposed that the deceased went to the races, and that the clothes now produced were the same he left his home in.

    A person named [Charles] Cathrow deposed that he saw the deceased as he was proceeding to the race-course on Friday morning; he did not know who was the first person that saw the body; a little boy [John Love] stated he saw a knife buried in the sand a little distance from the body.

    Kilmartin, who was present, strongly asserted his entire innocence of the transaction, and stated he found the bundle containing the clothes, but denied being in company with, or knowing any thing about the deceased.

    The report of the surgeon, Mr [James] Stewart, who examined the body, was to the following effect:– That the immediate cause of the deceased’s death was strangulation, the body having been cut open after the decease; that the body must have been stripped before it was cut open, the clothes being undamaged.

    Verdict:– Deceased met his death by strangulation and other injuries inflicted by Kilmarlin who was fullycommitted on a Coroner’s warrant on a charge of wilful murder.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Monitor, Wed 29 Apr 1835  5 

    A CORONER’S INQUEST was held on Saturday, at the Roebuck, Surry Hills, on the body of James Hamilton, who was murdered near the Race Course, on Thursday evening. The circumstances sworn to before the Jury were similar to those stated in our last, namely, that the deceased and Patrick Kilmartin, an assigned servant to Mr W Dowling, were seen drinking together in a tent at the Races at seven o’clock on Thursday evening; and that Kilmartin was apprehended by wardsman Christie in another tent at a different part of the Course, nearer the scene of the murder, at ten minutes past eight the same evening; he had on Hamilton’s jacket and waistcoat, and in a bundle he had the remainder of the deceased’s clothes. The next morning the body of Hamilton was discovered most barbarously murdered. The prisoner seemed very composed, and stated, that he, in company with another man, whose name he did not know, found the clothes near the bridge. A table knife with a round point, and smooth horn handle, and a large bright rivet at the end of it, was found near the bodyon Saturday morning. As it is most likely that this is the knife with which the execrable deed was committed, any person who had similar knives at the races, might, perhaps, assist in furthering the ends of justice by coming forward and owning it.

    The Jury without any hesitation, returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against Patrick Kilmartin, and he wasaccordingly committed on the Coroner’s warrant.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Colonist, Thu 30 Apr 1835  6 

    MURDER.—James Hamilton, recently a constable in the Sydney Police establishment, was found murdered on Friday last, within a short distance of the Race-course, and about a dozen yards off the main road. The body was quite naked, and had been stabbed by some sharp instrument, leaving a incision of about five inches in length. Several marks of bruises appeared about the throat, as if the murder had had a violent struggle with his victim. Patrick Kilmartin, as assigned servant to Mr W Dowling, who it seemed had absented himself from his master’s service without leave, has been apprehended on suspicion, by Christie, a wardsman in the Sydney police, who recognised the blue jacket which he wore as being the property of the deceased, from its having been made out of a coat. At the time of his apprehension he had a bundle containing his own clothing. The widow of the deceased, on being sent for, swore to the clothes which the prisoner had on, as those of her husband. It appeared the prisoner and deceased had been drinking together. The prisoner protested his innocence, and said that he found the clothes on the road. At the Coroner’s Inquest which was held on the body of Hamilton, Mr Stewart, Surgeon, stated that the deceased must have been strangled, and that the wound must have been inflicted after he was stripped, as, otherwise, his clothes would have been cut by the knife. The Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against the prisoner, and he was accordingly committed to take his trial.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Depositions for Patrick Kilmartin, 8 Mar 1835, Sydney Trial  7 

1

In the fifth Year of the reign of
Our Sovereign Lord William the Fourth,
by the Grace of God, of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
King, Defender of the Faith.

New South Wales
(TO WIT.)–         }
Be it Remembered, That John Kinchela, Esquire, Doctor of Law, His Majesty’s Attorney General for the Colony of New South Wales, who prosecutes for His Majesty in this Behalf, being present in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, now here, on the First Day of May in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty five at Sydney, in the Colony aforesaid, informs the Court, that
Patrick Kilmartin late of Sydney in this Colony of New South Wales Labourer not having the fear of God before his eyes but being moved and deduced by the instigation of the Devil
on the twenty third Day of April in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty five with Force and Arms, at the Botany Road in the Parish of Alexandria
in the Colony aforesaid, in and upon one James Hamilton in the peace of God and of our said Lord the King then and there being feloniously wickedly and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and that the said Patrick Kilmartin both his hands about the neck and throat of him the said James Hamilton then and there feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did (fix ?) and fasten and that the said Patrick Kilmartin with both his hands so as aforesaid fixed and fastened about the neck and throat of him the said James Hamilton

2

him the said James Hamilton then and there feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did choak [sic] and strangle of which said choaking [sic] and strangling he the said James Hamilton then and there instantly died And so the said Attorney General saith that the said Patrick Kilmartin him the said James Hamilton in manner and (?) aforesaid feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did kill and murder against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity – And the said Attorney General further informs the said Court here that the said Patrick Kilmartin afterward to wit on the same day and year last aforesaid with force and arms at the Botany Road in the Parish of Alexandria aforesaid in the Colony aforesaid in and upon the said James Hamilton in the peace of God and of our said Lord the King then and there being feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did make another assault and that the said Patrick Kilmartin with a certain knife of the value of one shilling which knife he the said Patrick Kilmartin in his right hand then and there had and held the said James Hamilton in and upon the belly of him the said James Hamilton then and there feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did strike stab cut and wound giving to the said James Hamilton then and there with the knife aforesaid in and upon the belly of him the said James Hamilton one mortal wound of the breath of six inches and

3

of the depth of two inches of which said mortal wound the said James Hamilton then and there instantly died and so the said Attorney General saith that the said Patrick Kilmartin him the said James Hamilton in a manner and form aforesaid feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did kill and murder against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity – And the said Attorney General further informs the said Court here that the said Patrick Kilmartin afterwards to wit on the same day and year last aforesaid with force and arms at the Botany Road in the Parish of Alexandria in the Colony aforesaid in and upon the said James Hamilton in the peace of God and of our said Lord the King then and there being feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did make another assault and that the said Patrick Kilmartin both his hands about the neck and throat of him the said Patrick Kilmartin then and there feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did fix and fasten and that the said Patrick Kilmartin with both his hands so as last aforesaid fixed and fastened about the neck and throat of him the said James Hamilton him the said James Hamilton then and there feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did choak [sic] and strangle and that the said Patrick Kilmartin with a certain other knife of the value of one shilling which said last

4

mentioned Knife he the said Patrick Kilmartin in his right hand then and there had and held the said James Hamilton in and upon the belly of him the said James Hamilton then and there feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did strike cut and wound giving the said James Hamilton then and there with the Knife last aforesaid in and upon the belly of him the said James Hamilton one other mortal wound of the breath of six inches and of the depth of two inches, of which said last mentioned choaking [sic] and strangling and also of which said last mentioned mortal wound he the said James Hamilton then and there instantly died and so the said Attorney General saith that the said Patrick Kilmartin him the said James Hamilton in manner and form last aforesaid feloniously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did kill and murder against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.
[Signed] John Kinchela
Attorney General

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[On the reverse of the (1-4) above is the following]

26.
In the Supreme Court
No.
The King against Patrick Kilmartin, bond
Information for murder
Witnesses. William Christie, Sarah Hamilton, John Brown, John Love, James Stuart, Richard (Camden ?),Charles Cathrow<
[Initialled] J. K.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday May 8, 1835 Ch J, C [Civil] Jury

Plea not guilty
Verdict guilty

Death passed (and ?) Execution awarded on 11th instant (Monday)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

May 9th 1835 warrant issued for the Execution of the prisoner on Monday the 11th instant

[Signed] John Gurner [Chief Clerk, Supreme Court]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Persons subpoenaed for Patrick Kilmartin 8 May 1835 trial

 

In the Supreme Court of New South Wales

The King against Patrick Kilmartin

Eight Day of May 1835, I certify, that the undermentioned Persons were Subpœnaed to attend the Supreme Court, as Witnesses on the Part of the Crown, in the above-mentioned Case; and that they did attend the said Court for the Times, and from the Places mentioned against their respective Names; viz.–

 

Names

of

Witnesses

 

Free

or

Bond

 

From

whence

Subpœnaed

 

Distance

from

Sydney

 

Time

of

Attendance

 

ALLOWANCE

 

Total

allowed

 

For

Travelling

 

For

Attendance

 

Sarah Hamilton

 

Free

 

Sydney

 

 

1 Day

 

 

 

 

 

John Brown

 

do

 

Do

 

 

1 Day

 

 

 

 

 

John Love

 

do

 

Do

 

 

1 Day

 

 

 

 

 

(?) Goodwin Love

 

do

 

Do

 

 

1 Day

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Love

 

do

 

Do

 

 

1 Day

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Cathrow

 

do

 

Do

 

 

1 Day

 

 

 

 

 

John Ryan (?)

 

do

 

Do

 

 

1 Day

 

 

 

 

Richard Cainburn, not paid

 

Constable

 

Parramatta Road

 

7 Miles

 

1 Day

 

 

 

 

 

 [Signed] David Chambers, Crown Solicitor

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[On the reverse of the above is the following]

Rex
v.
P Kilmartin
May 8th

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sat 9 May 1835 

(Before His Honor the Chief Justice, [Francis Forbes] and a Civil Jury.)
FRIDAY, MAY 8th.

    Robert Kilmartin, a prisoner of the crown, stood indicted for the wilful murder of James Hamilton, on Thursday the 24th April, 1835 on the Botany Bay Road.

    The evidence adduced on this trial was entirely circumstantial, and precisely the same as was given on the Coroner’s Inquest; therefore we shall forbear giving a repetition of it to our readers.

    The prisoner, in his defence, stated that he found the clothes on the road side, and put on the hat, as he had been robbed of his own whilst engaged in a fight on the race course. The evidence, however, was of such a description as not to leave a doubt on the minds of the Jury as to the guilt of the prisoner, who was found Guilty and sentenced to be executed on next Monday morning.

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The Sydney Monitor, Sat 9 May 1835  9 

    FRIDAY, MAY 8.–Before the CHIEF JUSTICE, and a Civil Jury.

    Patrick Kilmartin, an assigned servant to Mr Willoughby Dowling, was indicted for the wilful murder of James Hamilton, at Sydney, on the 23rd of April. The case has been so recently before the public, that we shall merely give a short account of the affair, which is as follows:– On the evening of the day between the races, about seven o’clock, the prisoner and the deceased, were seen drinking together in the booth on the race course. At ten minutes past eight o’clock the prisoner was apprehended at another booth, with the whole of the deceased’s clothes in his possession, part of his person and the remainder in a bundle, this created suspicion. The next morning the body was found a short distance from the booth where Kilmartin was apprehended, most barbarously murdered. Guilty. Death.– Ordered for execution on Monday [11 May] morning.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

The Australian, Tue 12 May 1835  10  

LAW INTELLIGENCE
SUPREME COURT–CRIMINAL SIDE

    Friday.– Before his honor the Chief Justice and Civil Jury.<
    Patrick Kilmartin was charged with the wilful murder of James Hamilton on the Botany-road, on Friday the 24th of April last.

    William Christie, wardsman in the police, knew late James Hamilton – saw him last on 24th April, about 11 o’clock dead on the Botany-road, he had a bruise on the left side of the neck, apparently by strangulation, or the mark of a knee – the body was naked, except a pair of socks on the feet. I observed a long cut on the belly and a cut on the penis; I was ordered to take the prisoner in charge; I know prisoner, he was an assigned servant to Mr W Dowling; he was reported as a runaway; I apprehended him in Denman’s booth on the Botany road; the booth was about 50 chains from where I saw the body next day; when I apprehended the prisoner he had on a blue jacket and waistcoat, which I never saw upon him before; I took a bundle from him, after sending him in charge to Sydney I sent for him back again to Duncan’s booth, thinking he had robbed someone; I made him pull off his jacket and waistcoat, having some knowledge of the jacket and waistcoat, I asked him how he came by them, he said they were his own; I did not take the hat which prisoner had on until the following morning, Friday; JS Hamilton was written in the lining of the hat; the hat produced is the same prisoner had on; I knew the prisoner well, and he knew me; upon finding these clothes, I thought it best to send for deceased’s wife; when I took the prisoner he had a bundle of clothes with him, he told me upon asking him, that he was bound for the bush; I knew Hamilton wore a jacket much like this; I knew it because it was a coat cut down jacket; 1 pair trowsers, 1 pair drawers, 1 pair boots, 1 shirt, 1 waistcoat, were tied in the bundle; I took from his person 1 black handkerchief and pad, jacket and waistcoat; I sent for Mrs Hamilton on Friday24th, she came; I asked her where her husband was, she said she had not seen him since Wednesday 22d; I asked her if she would know any of her husband’s clothes, she recognised all the articles except 1 waistcoat, handkerchief, 2 bladed knife, and cross barred handkerchief in which the clothes were tied; I took the knife from prisoner’s pocket; the case knife produced was given up to me by a boy who follows Joe Love, a blind man about the town, there was blood upon it, and fresh when delivered up to me.

    Cross-examined by prisoner. You told me when I apprehended you, the clothes were your own, I was first up to you, and apprehended you.

    By a jury. The clothes fitted prisoner very tight.

    Sarah Hamilton, widow of James Hamilton, saw my deceased husband on Wednesday, the 22d last, he was going to the races; I know the dress he had on there; the jacket, waistcoat, trowsers, drawers shirt, hat and boots were his, on which he was dressed on Wednesday; I saw my husband dead when the jury sat upon him; I did not know prisoner.

    James Stewart. I am a surgeon; I was called to examine a body on the 25th April, by the Botany-road; deceased’s name was Hamilton; I found the body naked except a pair of socks; I observed a mark of injury on left side of neck, and on the left jaw, appeared to have caused by pressure by some heavy body on those parts; there was a wound in the abdomen 6 inches in depth, 2 inches in breadth; 1½ inches depth, sufficient to cause death, but not immediate; I observed an injury in the private member, apparently as if an attempt had been made to sever it from the body; I am of opinion that strangulation was the cause of death, and that the wounds were inflicted before vitality had ceased; I did not open the head to examine the brain; I consider the injury on the neck quite sufficient to cause strangulation; the pressure on the neck caused respiration to be intercepted; the knife produced would inflict such wounds as I saw on deceased; the deceased certainly came by a violent death; the pressure of a strong man might produce that death.

    John Brown – I keep the Edidburgh [sic] Castle, corner of Bathurst-itreet [sic]; I had a booth on the Race Course, during the Sydney races, on 22d April; I knew the deceased, James Hamilton, in my booth on 23d April in the evening, the prisoner was with him; I saw them drinking together, Hamilton had been drinking, prisoner called for the liquor, they left my booth together, about 7 o’clock in the evening, prisoner proposed going, deceased rather wished to stay; prisoner him to go, and they went in company, they did not say where they were going; I supposed they were going to Sydney; the booth was about 3 miles from Sydney; prisoner was dressed in a blue shirt and no jacket; and I think a straw or cabbage-tree hat, not a black hat; deceased had on a blue jacket and black hat; after they left my booth, I did not see the deceased; on the following morning I heard of his death.

    Cross-examined by prisoner – When you asked for a gill of rum, I was near to you and barefaced you; afterwards you pressed me and I ordered my boy to give it [to] you; I did not see you give deceased any rum.

    Cross-examined by a Juror – I am positive it was a blue shirt prisoner had on; they did not remain in the booth more than half an hour.

    Richard Cainburn – I am a constable in the Sydney police; I gave constable Christy information about bringing the deceased body of Hamilton; I saw about 10 o’clock, on Friday morning, on one side of the Botany Bay; it was naked, except a pair of socks; when I found it; I covered it with bushes.

    John Love. I was with Andrew Goodwin on the morning we saw the dead body; it was 7 fathoms from the road, Goodwin found a knife, he gave it to me, I gave it to my brother who gave it to a constable; the knife produced is that found by Goodwin.

    George Love. I was with my brother J Goodwin when we saw a dead body; Goodwin found a knife, this is the knife, I gave to constable Armstrong.

    This closed the case for prosecution.

    Prisoner [Patrick Kilmartin] in defence. Had no way of getting a counsel; I was unfortunate to find the clothes mentioned; I tied them up in a bundle.

    Ch J in summoning up, remarked that in this case, the evidence is entirely circumstantial, but expressed his opinion that circumstantial evidence where it lead but to one conclusion is the strongest of evidence.

    Verdict Guilty. Ordered for execution on Monday.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    “In this, as in many other murder cases in New South Wales during the period in office of Chief Justice Forbes the trial was held on a Friday and the prisoner condemned to die on the following Monday. This was consistent with the provisions of a 1752 statute (25 Geo. III c. 37, An Act for Better Preventing the Horrid Crime of Murder). By s. 1 of that Act, all persons convicted of murder were to be executed on the next day but one after sentence was passed, unless that day were a Sunday, in which case the execution was to be held on the Monday. By holding the trials on a Friday, judges gave the condemned prisoners an extra day to prepare themselves for death.”  11

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The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tue 12 May 1835  12 

    EXECUTION. – Yesterday morning Patrick Kilmartin underwent the extreme sentence of the law for the wilful murder of James Hamilton, on the Botany Bay road, on the intervening Thursday of the Sydney Races. He was attended in his last moments by a Catholic clergyman, but seemed more anxious to exhibit a show of bravery in his last moments, than to make peace with his Creator. He was a stout, athletic young man, about 25 years of age. A great concourse of people assembled to witness his execution, and at ten minutes past nine he was launched into eternity.

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The Colonist, Thu 14 May 1835  13  

POST OFFICE.


    Execution.—On the morning of Monday last, Patrick Kilmartin underwent the extreme sentence of the law for the murder of James Hamilton, on the Botany Bay road, on the night of Friday the 24th of April, while returning from the Sydney races. The wretched man was attended by a Roman Catholic clergyman, but did not exhibit any concern at his fate.

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The Sydney Herald, Thu 14 May 1835  14  

    EXECUTION.–On Monday morning last, at the usual time and place, the wretched man Patrick Kilmartin (convicted on the proceding [sic] Friday of the murder of James Hamilton) suffered death pgrsuant [sic] to his sentence. A great concourse of persons assembled to witness the awful spectacle, with the view to ascertain from the mouth of the culprit in his last moments (anticipating that he would make a confession) the motive which induced him to perpetrate the dreadful crime. Their anxiety in this respect was excited by the fact, that the unfortunate victim of his sanguinary attack was known by him to possess no money: and his humble apparel, of which the murderer possessed himself, could not be suppused [sic] to possess such attraction as to induce the dreadful crime of murder. The wish to be satisfied on this point was general, but the culprit made no confession. He was attended in his last moments by the Rev Mr M’Encroe, and met his fate with a firmness bordering on recklessness, and persisted to the last in deolaring [sic] his innocence. He appeared to be about 26years of age.

 


1  The Sydney Monitor, Sat 25 Apr 1835, p. 2.

2  SRNSW: NRS343, [4/6611], Registers of Coroner’s inquests, 1834-94, R2921.

3  The Sydney Herald, Mon 27 Apr 1835, p. 3. Emphasis added.

4  The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tue 28 Apr 1835, p. 3. Emphasis added.

5  The Sydney Monitor, Wed 29 Apr 1835, p. 3. Emphasis added.

6  The Colonist, Thu 30 Apr 1835, p. 4.

7  SRNSW: NRS880, [SC T40]; SRNSW: NRS880, [SC T41]; SRNSW: NRS880, [SC T42] Information No. 26, Supreme Court,
Papers and depositions, 1835.

8  The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sat 9 May 1835, p. 2. Francis Forbes’ CJ 1835 notebooks could not be located at SRNSW.

9  The Sydney Monitor, Sat 9 May 1835, p. 2.

10 The Australian, Tue 12 May 1835, p. 3. Emphasis added.

11 Source: Professor Bruce Kercher, Macquarie University, Law School, NSW Supreme Court cases website.

12 The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tue 12 May 1835, p. 2.

13 The Colonist, Thu 14 May 1835, p. 4.

14 The Sydney Herald, Thu 14 May 1835, p. 2.