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Depositions for William Goodberry 10 Sep 1845 Maitland trial 1

Recognizance to give Evidence
Thomas Boxsell forty pounds (£40)
James Boxsell forty pounds (£40)
Richard Boxsell forty pounds (£40)
Patrick Myers forty pounds (£40)

New South Wales,
TO WIT.              }

    Be it remembered, that the above named persons acknowledge themselves bound to Our Sovereign Lady the Queen, her Heirs and Successors, in the penal sums expressed against each of their respective names, conditioned, if the above named Thomas Boxsell, James Boxsell, Richard Boxsell and Patrick Myers do attend and appear personally before the Circuit Court or Court of Quarter Sessions next to be holden at Maitland when called on to give evidence in a case of felony.
Then this Recognizance to be null and void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue in law.
Taken and acknowledged before me, one of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said Colony of New South Wales, at Paterson in the said Colony, this 31st day of July One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty Five.
[Signed] Alex Warren, JP. Frederick Bedwell, JP.


    Police Office Paterson
    31st July 1845

Before Alexander Warren  Esq JP and Frederick Bedwell Esq JP
William Goodberry free by servitude charged with sodomy.

    Thomas Boxsell sworn deposes on the 10th July Inst:– On a Thursday I sent my son James Boxsell on an errand a short way from my house into the bush with his brother. This was about eleven ten o’clock am. He returned home in about half an hour and a half. I live at Nelson’s Plains, Hunter River, County of Durham, Parish of Seaham. My wife came to me most directly after this and told me that Hannan’s man had been having Jimmy away in the bush and had pulled down his breeches and hurt the boy Jimmy and she recommended me to go to call the man, which I did. I found the prisoner working in the bush about half


or quarter of a mile from my home. He was chopping timber with an axe. There was no person with him. I found him in the same paddock through which I directed my son to go in the morning. I asked him what he had been doing with my boy. He said nothing. I then went direct to the prisoner’s master’s house, about a quarter of a mile from where I found the prisoner. His Master, Dan Hannan was not at home but I found his wife there. I asked her the name of her servant. She said she did not know his name. I know the prisoner to be Hannan’s servant as I had seen him 2 or 3 times while he was with Hannan. He had been there two months in Hannan’s service. While I was talking to Hannan’s wife the prisoner came in and told me his name, but it was not the name of Goodberry. I then went away home. When I got home my elder son told me that Jimmy had been taking telling him that Dan Hannan’s man had been taking down his breeches and put


his tipple in his backside, by which I understood that the man had put his penis into the boy’s backside. The word tipple is a common expression for penis in the part of England that I come from (Sussex). I then proceeded to examine the boy in the presence of my wife and son, Richard, and afterwards in the presence of Robert Miller and Patrick Myers. The boy’s appear fundament appeared red and some inflamed and appeared as if it had been ruptured and did not appear in a natural state. I therefore believe what the boy told me about the matter. Before the day in question the boy was in his usual good health and he complained that it hurt him to stool for a day or two after and his mother was obliged to give him phisic [sic]. I heard that the prisoner left the neighbourhood the same afternoon and I have not seen him since that day till now. I reported the matter to the Bench of Raymond Terrace


but as that was out of my district I was told to report the circumstance to this Bench. I would have got a medical man to examine my son but was advised not, that it was not necessary. Some days after my son had been hurt, I asked him particularly what took place between him and Hannan’s man. The boy said that the man took him in his arms in a coaxing manner and took down his breeches and spat on his backside and put his tipple with meaning his yard, into his backside. He said he tried to do it two or three different ways. The boy said it hurt him; something like a nail going in. He said his backside was in a complete mess after the man had done with him and that he (the boy) got some tea tree bark and wiped himself. He also said that the prisoner threatened him if he make a noise. He also said that he (the boy) ran away home as soon as he could. I am not aware that Dan Hannan had any other men but the prisoner on the day in question. I went to where the prisoner


was at work from the direction I received from my wife, who was told where the man was by my son Jimmy. My wife’s name is Mary Boxsell. My son James is aged ten years and a half. He is not apt to tell lies. He can read a little. He is a good little boy. I hold a Sunday School in my own house and he attends it. There are few boys of his age so intelligent of his age. The reason because why I did not report the circumstance before today at this Bench was because I heard he was apprehended on another warrant and was in the lock up. My son Jimmy told me that there was no person with him when the prisoner abused him. He had first parted from his brother and was on his way home. I have occasion to know that my son Jimmy knew the prisoner before the circumstance abovementioned took place, as he had seen him before.

    Examined by the prisoner: I have no doubt the prisoner was the man who followed me down to Hannan’s house.
[Signed] Thomas Boxsell.
Sworn before us, this 31st July 1845.
[Signed] Alex Warren, JP Frederick Bedwell JP.


    James Boxsell after being examined as to his moral and religious knowledge, sworn, deposes:– I recollect my father sending me off on an errand some considerable time ago. He sent me with my  brother down to the goat road to help him with the bullocks. The road goes through the paddock. My mother [sic–brother ?] and I passed the prisoner at work as we were going through the paddock. I went a little further on with my brother and then parted from him I then and came on my way home. I saw the prisoner at the same place where I had left him when we were going. The prisoner chopped a tree out of the way to allow us to pass with the slide. My brother spoke to him. When I was returning by myself the prisoner met me and took me up in his arms and lifted me over the tree and then put me down and told me to follow him. I followed him a short distance from the goat road. He took me into some fallen timber. He then took me on his lap and


took down my breeches. He was sitting on a tree at the time. He then pulled his own breeches down. He spit on his hand and rubbed it on my backside. He then pushed his tipple, I mean the thing he makes his water from, into my backside. He first tried to do it as he was sitting down, then he made me kneel and then he made me lie down on my belly. At each of those times he pushed his tipple into my backside. It was very painful when he was doing it and I cried out. He called me a liar and fool because I made a noise. He gave me tuppence and told me, when I was going away, that I was to tell my father [sic]. I was delayed from the prisoner cutting a tree out of the way. I had seen the prisoner a good many times before the day in question. He was Dan Hannan’s servant. I have no doubt whatever that the prisoner at the Bar is the man that pushed his tipple into my backside on the day in question. After the prisoner let me go I found my bottom all over with something like spittle. I wiped


it off with tea tree bark. The prisoner buttoned up my breeches behind and I did myself at before. I felt very sore in my backside as I was walking home. When the prisoner put his tipple into my backside he kept pushing me and drawing his tipple backwards and forwards and repeated it both while I was on his lap, when I was on my knees and when I was on my belly. I went home when he let me and told my mother I had been abused. I also told my brother Richard more minutely. I told my mother that Dan Hannan’s servant had abused and I told all about it to my brother Richard. I am sure I told my brother Richard who it was, the prisoner, that abused me. I have not seen the prisoner since the occurrence above mentioned took place.

    Examined by the prisoner: I know the prisoner well. It was that abused me. I am sure he is the man and no other. There was no-one with me when he abused me.
[Signed] James Boxsell.

Sworn before us this 31st July 1845.
[Signed] Alex Warren, JP, Frederick Bedwell, JP.


    Richard Boxsell duly sworn deposes:– About three weeks ago from this day my brother came home in the forenoon and told me that Dan’s man had took him out in the bush and took down his breeches. Made him sit on his lap, made him kneel on the ground and lie on his belly, and that Dan’s man had took out his tipple and put it up his bottom. Jimmy complained that it hurt him. I told my father what brother James told me … that was after my father returned from scolding the prisoner. I could judge from the description that Jimmy gave me of the man that abused him that it was the prisoner. Jimmy knew the prisoner very well as he was had often seen him. The prisoner was known by the name of William and then Hannan’s servant. I was not present when my brother told my mother about the matter. I was present when my brother’s bottom was examined about an hour and a half after he was ill-treated. My father and mother and others were


also present at the examination. The prisoner at the Bar is the person described to me by my brother that abused him. He was then Hannan’s servant at the time the abovementioned occurrence took place. My brother meant his cock when he said the prisoner pushed his tipple into his bottom.
[Signed] Richard Boxsell.

Sworn before us this 31st July 1845.
[Signed] Alex Warren, JP, and Frederick Bedwell, JP.

    Patrick Myers sworn, deposes:– I live at Nelson’s Plains next house but one to Thomas Boxsell. I am a married man with three children. I recollect when Thomas Boxsell called me when he was examining his son James’s bottom about three weeks ago. I saw the boy’s bottom. it was I saw stains of blood about the rectum and from the appearance


of the rectum I said I did think that the boy had been hurt. I knew the prisoner at the Bar to be Dan Hannan’s man. He was at my house on the Sunday before the transaction and I don’t know that Hannan had any other servant but the prisoner when the occurrence took place. I don’t think that Hannan could have another man without my knowing it. Mr Boxsell brought the boy down to where Miller and I were at work for the purpose of examining the boy.
[Signed] Patt Myers.

Sworn before us this 31st July 1845.
[Signed] Alex Warren, JP, Frederick Bedwell, JP.

    Committed for trial for the crime of sodomy.
[Signed] Alex Warren, JP, Frederick Bedwell, JP.

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[On the depositions’ cover sheet is the following]

Maitland Circuit Court
Paterson “13”
William Goodberry
[Initial illegible]

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The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 6 Sep 1845 2


    The Maitland Circuit Court will open on Wednesday next, the 10th instant, before Mr Justice Dickinson. The following are the prisoners who have been warned for trial up to the 3rd instant:—
    John M Ireland, came free, cattle stealing.
    Nordeeran, an aboriginal, felony.
    James Fitzpatrick, and John Fitzgerald, bond, murder.
    Jane Bentley, came free, bigamy.
    William Ortron, born in the colony, passing forged orders.
    William Low, ticket of leave, house robbery.
    Mary Johnson, free, manslaughter.
    James Burnes, alias Burnett, and Michael Murphy, free, felony.
    William Goodberry, free, sodomy.
    Robert White and Thomas Hall, free, horse stealing.
    William Butler, ticket of leave, horse stealing.
    Hugh Duffy, free, house breaking.

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Justice JN Dickinson’s Notebook 3


[Maitland, September 10th 1845]
Regina v William Goodbury 4 – Sodomy with James Boxsell

    Thomas Boxsell. Keeper Sunday School at Nelson’s Plains & rents a piece of ground. Father of James Boxsell – He is more than 10 years old, 10½ years old. He has been educated a little – good understanding. I have explained to him the nature of an oath. I recollect sending boy on errand with another son – boy to help the other & then come back. I started them at 10 am. Boy returned at ½ past 11 o’clock. He made some complaint to his mother. I went to Dan Hannan’s paddock.


I saw prisoner (I believe). I asked him what he had (?) with my boy – he said nothing – I said I know better, a boy will not come home crying. Prisoner said he had done nothing. I said to him my wife told me the boy had said he had taken him into the bush, pulled his breeches down & hurt his backside. He denied it. I gave him a scolding & went to his master’s house to find out his name. There the mistress was at home. Prisoner came after me. Prisoner said at house he said he was not ashamed of his name. He gave a name – not Goodbury. I went away home. As soon as I got home – I examined boy (& wife & son ?) examined the boy an hour & ½ after I was home – His backside looked red, & I (saw ?) (round ?) some spots of blood not quite come through the skin. The redness close to the fundament – round – considerable redness. He was troubled to ease himself for a few days.


I called 2 neighbours to witness the backside. I then went to Raymond Terrace to ask for a constable. Refused, not in district. A constable sent 7 or 8 days to find the man. I looked for man at Dan Hannan’s.

    Cross-examined. This happened on the 10th July. I do not know the day prisoner was taken up – nor the day I went against him – 6 weeks ago.

    X 5 James Boxsell. Remember Father sending me with brother Edward. I went part of way – saw prisoner before I left my brother. I left brother in Dan Hannan’s paddock. I turned home. I saw prisoner again. He lifted me on a log & told me to come with him & he would give me a penny. I went with him into the bush some way. He took me in his lap & pulled down my trousers. He pulled down his own. He put his tipple up my bottom – tipple the thing he makes water with. Then he made me kneel down – then made me lay down. He hurt me much. It went up. He moved backwards & forwards. He made me cry at the time.


I could not do a job myself afterwards till mother gave me medicine. He was a long time about. He spit on his hand & rubbed my backside. I was wet. I pulled bark to wipe my bottom with. I thrust away. He buttoned up my breeches behind & I before, & ran away. He said I was a fool & (?) in my crying. He told me to tell my father that I stopped while he cut a tree down. I went home & told of it. I remember my father & others looking at my bottom.

    Patrick Myers. Neighbour of Thomas Boxsell. Went to see the boy James sometime about 10th July. I examined boy’s person. The boy took down his trousers & I looked at the boy’s backside – stained with blood – ready to come through skin round the passage. Passage seemed hurt & disturbed.
Sentence of Death recorded to be (recommended ?) for transportation for life.
Judge to be spoken to about oath of child.

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The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 13 Sep 1845 6

(Before Mr Justice Dickinson and a common jury.)

    This court opened on Wednesday last, the 10th instant. His Honor arrived at Morpeth on Tuesday morning by the steamer, where he was received by a number of gentlemen, and accompanied to Mrs Muir’s [Family] Hotel, East Maitland. On Wednesday morning, about half-past ten o’clock, his Honor attended divine service at St Peter’s Church, and at half-past twelve o’clock he took his seat on the bench. No members of the bar accompanied his Honor from Sydney. The Solicitor General attended as crown prosecutor, and Mr Gregory as clerk of arraigns; together with Cornelius Prout, under sheriff.


    William Goodbury was indicted for having, at Nelson’s Plains, on the 10th July, 1845, committed an unnatural offence with James Boxall, a boy of ten or eleven years of age.

    After some difficulty with the boy as to his knowledge of the nature and obligation of an oath, it was decided by his Honor that as he evidently understood the obligation of an oath, and the perilous consequences of breaking it, although it did not appear that he understood its nature, his evidence should be admitted.

    The case was then proved by the evidence of the boy, and his father, and of Patrick Murphy.

    His Honor called attention to the importance of parents instructing their children in the nature of an oath, which was of the utmost consequence that all should comprehend.

    The jury found the prisoner guilty without leaving the box, and his Honor directed sentence of death to be recorded against him, telling him that he would take care that at all events he should leave the country for the term of his natural life.

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Morning Chronicle, Wed 17 Sep 1845 7

Before His Honor Mr Justice Dickinson.
Wednesday, Sept 10.

    William Goodbury was indicted for an unnatural offence, at Nelson’s Plains, on the 10th July last.
    The prisoner was found guilty, and sentence of death was recorded against him, his Honor telling him that he would undoubtedly be sent out of the country for life.

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Judge JN Dickinson letter, 6 Oct 1845 8


    Justice Dickinson on further communication regarding sentence passed on W Goodbury
Edward Deas Thomson, Colonial Secretary

    Judge JN Dickinson
    October 6th, 1845
    Supreme Court

    With respect to William Goodbury convicted before me at the late circuit at Maitland (?) and on whom sentenced of Death was recorded for an atrocious felony and whom I recommended should be transported for life but intimated and hope that the suggestion should not be acted on till I have consulted the other Judges as to whether I was right in admitting certain evidence at the trial. I have the honor to acquaint you for the information of His Excellency [Sir George Gipps] the Governor that the other Judges are of opinion that I was correct in admitting the evidence in question.
    I therefore humbly recommend that William Goodbury be transported for life.
    9 I beg here also to observe that I consider the case of that delinquent to be one of the worst I ever heard of.
    I have the honor to be
    Your most obedient servant.
[Signed] JN Dickinson

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JL Innes, Visiting Justice letter, 24 Oct 1845 10


    Re: Visiting Justice Darlinghurst Gaol – enclosing list of prisoners under sentence of transportation to VDL
Edward Deas Thomson, Colonial Secretary

    JL Innes, Visiting Justice
    HM Gaol Darlinghurst
    24th October 1845

    Herewith I do myself the honor to enclose a nominal list [see below] of all prisoners now in the Gaol and on Cockatoo Island under sentence of Transportation and I would Express a hope that with the Exceptions of No. 1, 37 and 38 they may all forwarded per the Contract vessel Waterlily, now in port, on her return to Hobart town. 11
    I have the honor to be
    Your most obedient Servant
[Signed] J Long Innes, VM

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Prisoners at Darlinghurst Gaol and Cockatoo Island under transportation sentence, 24 Oct 1845











 On Cockatoo Island




William Goodberry


James Pattison


Transportation B Life


 HM Gaol Darlinghurst, 24th October 1845, [Signed] J Long Innes JP, Visiting Magistrate

 Note: Only relevant parts of the original has been copied

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The Australian, Fri 22 Oct 1847 12


    A list of unclaimed letters for the month of September, 1847:—

    Goodbury William, per “James Pattison,” 1837;

1  SRNSW: NRS880, [9/6333], Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, Maitland, 1845. Emphasis added.

2  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 6 Sep 1845, p. 2. Emphasis added.

3  SRNSW: NRS5864, [2/3162], Judiciary, JN Dickinson, J. Notebooks Circuit Courts, 1845-60, pp. 9-15. Emphasis added.

4  In this document Goodbury is definitely the spelling, rather than Goodberry.

5  X Mn: Judge to be spoken to about oath of this child. Question as to evidence of penetration – Solicitor General seems doubtful.

6  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 13 Sep 1845, p. 4.

7  Morning Chronicle, Wed 17 Sep 1845, p. 2.

8  SRNSW: NRS905, [4/2708.2] (45/7197), Col Sec, Letters received, 1826-1982.

9  Mn: 45/7093 – Principal Superintendent of Convicts 30 Sept list of Convicted at Maitland Circuit open on reply. 6 Oct

10 SRNSW: NRS905, [4/2707.3] (45/7693), Col Sec, Letters received, 1826-1982. 

11 Mn: See letter to Controller General VD Land 28 Oct 1845 

12 The Australian, Fri 22 Oct 1847, p. 3.