Bad Eggs, Weirdos, and Heroes: A Story of Families

There is an adage that you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family…and fortunately – or unfortunately – it’s true. And oddly, as distinct from family groups in centuries past where family history and lineage was often passed down through word-of-mouth, these days we seem to know very little about our family history, or who we are, and how we are related to others in our “group”.

I attempted to trace my family roots in the early 80s. I had the basics – mothers parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters and their families. My fathers sisters and their families, but that was about it. Tracing family history back then, in the dark ages, wasn’t as easy as it is now. There was no internet, no Ancestry or Family Search, no apps for tracing BDM, graves or potential record matches for family members. No little leaves popping up against names. I contacted my mother with a list of dates and relationships I required to move forward, only to find she wasn’t interested in family, and could only supply limited family information. With my father deceased, and his family alienated, my chances of getting very far looked grim. I entered up what info I had in a large family bible – the only thing that had family tree pages – and put it all on the backburner.

Fast forward to ten years ago. The internet is in full bloom, and Mr Google is a knight-mine of information. I put Pickhills into a search engine, and suddenly all this information came to light through the newly published sets of census from England. A full, colourful family history, hidden from a blinkered families sight, came into full bloom. My family had no idea what they had missed by cutting themselves off from the curiosity to know what their forebears had done! No one knew of my Great Great Grandmother (Paternal) Elizabeth Pickhills nee Appleyard, who was dragged all over Yorkshire by her husband, Rickinson, gave birth to 12 children and had most of them die in her lifetime, who visited her 2 sons in South Australia, was arrested twice, was shipped back to England (presumably) because she was too much of a handful for her kin), and died of “senile decay” – dementia – in Tooting Bec Mental Asylum in London. Nor of my Great Grand Aunt Clara who married into the prestigious De Bomford family in Tasmania, nor my Great Grand Uncles who captained steamers up and down the Darling, Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers. One of these uncles led such a prolific life that I have a whole arch-folder dedicated to him, and it is suggested that the book “Dreadnought of the Darling” by the famous Australian war correspondent Charles Bean was based on the recollections of Captain George Rickinson Swan Pickhills’ life on the Darling River. Nor would they know that my Great Great Great Geandmother, Clara Pickhills nee Rickinson, was related to the very old and prominent Rickinson family from Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire. What a shame that all this colourful heritage was lost to my family, caught up as they were in the dross of their own lives!

The family tree currently stands at around 8,500 people, related either through blood or marriage. Lineages grow exponentially, so in reality there are no ends, and finding beginnings can be difficult. I am sure the tree is 95% accurate, and I am currently working on sorting out a couple of messy lines. It has proven an interesting experience, and many characters involved have had a hand in world history. We have Cornish miners (my mothers family) who travelled all the way here, hoping for a getter life than that offered in Cornwall and established themselves in South Australia, Broken Hill and Cobar; a Rickinson who was an engineer on Ernest Shackleton’s exprdition to Antartica; many who died in mining accidents; those who fought in WWI and are buried in Villers-Brettoneux; there are several protestant ministers; at least four convicts; bankrupts; relatives in England, Wales, Ireland, the Channel aislands, America, Canada, Germany and New Zealand. We are related to the Henschke – yes, the South Australian wine people – family in South Australia. We have humour, like Happy Victoria Morris marrying Spencer Lemon, thus becoming a Happy Lemon. And, as described below, a host of cads to keep everyone on their toes. Welcome to the world of family!

Errant Family

Elizabeth Pickhills nee Appleyard (my Great Great Grandmother) arrived here after the death of her husband Rickinson. They had 12 children within a short space of time, and of the 12, Edward, Jane, Frederick William 1, Walter and Mary died either in infancy or within a few years of birth. Henry Moorsom joined the Admiralty at 14 and died of Cholera in Bengal when he was about 21. Frederick George, George Rickinson Swan and Clara all moved to Austrlia at a fairly young age, and Charles Edward died while visiting his brothers here. Whether she intended originally to emigrate or just visit is unknown, but her stay was memorable! Anyway, she did ship herself here, and for a while probably lived with George Ruckinson and his wife, Ellen in Goolwa, South Australia. According to the South Austrlian Police Gazette, June 21, 1876 ” .A warrant has been issued at Yankalilla for the apprehension of Elizabeth Pickhills, a widow, and mother of Captain Pickills, of the Goolwa, for larceny of 2lbs. of butter from Messrs. Smith & Swan, sheep farmers, Bullapabaringa. Offender is said to be living at Mr. Luffin’s, Goolwa.” Not quite the thing you can imagine GG Gran doing. We know nothing more about the case except for this note in the South Australian Police Gazette, May 1, 1878 “re – Larceny from Smith and Swan – The warrant for Elizabeth Pickhills has been withdrawn.”. One has to wonder if George hadn’t had a few words to Smith and Swan about his mothers mental condition, and got them to be lenient. It didn’t end there. A writ appears with the Goolwa police dated 2nd May, 1889 against Elizabeth Pickhills . She appeared before a Justice of the Peace, Thomas Goode, charged with that on the 28th April 1889 she did “unlawfully use abusive words in a certain public place, to wit The Parade in North Goolwa, with intent to invoke a breach of the peace”. She had to pay a fine of £2. This incident received a mention in “A Land Abounding – A History of the Port Elliot and Goolwa Region, South Australia” by Rob Linn, chapter 5, page

On the evening of 16 December 1965 at Sylvania, Frederick Lindsay Pickhills – my father – .took his 7-year-old son Kevin out to The Gap at Watsons Bay, and jumped over with him. Frederick survived, but Kevin’s body was found 3 days later by fishermen, floating in Broken Bay.

Colin Edward Campbell...gaoled sheep stealing.

William Thomas Onions went missing whilst supposedly leaving Broken Hill and heading to SA or WA, leaving his wife, Agnes, and 5 children in destitute circumstances.

Above listed as. Cess-pit attendant in the 1895 Wagga Wagga borough expenses.

19 jul 1851 Joseph Onions charged with larceny
25 January 1928 William Joseph Onions (25) indecently assaulted Edna May Hollis (14) and committed for trial at Goulburn Quarter Sessions. On 15 February 1928 was acquitted.

James Greenwood broke into home of Rickenson Pickhills and stole some dresses and a firearm.

John Magg – family convict ancestor. Convicted in Surrey Quarter Sessions in 1822, and sentenced to 7 years in NSW. Arrived here onboard the Surry in 1823.

Richard Blinksell – a wife-basher and thief: Transcription of article from the Queanbeyan Age dated 18 May 1883; “THREATENING LANGUAGE; Richard Blinksell was brought up in custody charged with threatening the life of his wife Sarah Blinksell, of Molonglo. The prisoner had been arrested on this charge by Constable Goodhew, having been given into custody by his wife. After the evidence of the arresting constable, Sarah Blinksell, on oath stated – I am the wife of the defendant now before the court. I gave him into custody of the police on the 11th of the present month for threatening to do me some harm. On Sunday evening, the 6th inst. defendant accused me of stealing his mare, and said to me, If the mare is not brought back to-night I will jump your ____ out. This occurred between one and two o’clock. I said, I never touched your mare. Defendant said, You are a ____ liar; and whatever row we have had before it will be nothing to what there will be to-night. He then went and laid down on the bed. While he was lying there I ran away. I stayed at my father’s house (John Edmonds) for three days. I then came home to my husband again, and brought my daughter and son-in-law with me. As soon as I came in the door the defendant jumped up and asked me why I did not bring his mare back that night. I told him I had never touched her. He told me I was a ____ liar, for he saw me take her. I told him then that I did not want to live with him any longer; I only wanted my three little children. Defendant told me I could take the ____. I called my children together and gathered up their things. As I was going out of the door with them, he called them all back again. I told him he could keep his children, but I did not intend to stop myself. He caught hold of me and was pushing me about to bring me back again. When my daughter found he would not let me go she went for the police. I mean she went to Carwoola and telegraphed to Queanbeyan for the police. I went into the house with my son-in-law; but when the latter went out defendant got up and barred the door against him. I remained with him all night. After staying there some time he told me to take my frock off and go to bed. I did so. After I was in bed some time he asked me if I was asleep. I was not, but did not answer him. He said, You had better enjoy it for it may be the last ____ sleep you’ll ever have. He kept using unbecoming language to me all night. I got up in the morning and prepared his and the children’s breakfast. On leaving to go to my father’s place to do some ploughing defendant walked up to me and spat in my face, making use of some expression which I forget. When he left the house I ran away into the bush and stayed there until the policeman came. I then went with the policeman to my father’s house and gave him in charge. From all that has passed I am afraid to live with him, fearing he might do me some bodily harm. I therefore pray that he may be required to find sureties to keep the peace towards me. To the Bench – I never laid my hands on the mare since the 18th of April last when I rode her home from my daughter’s place. Defendant has often struck me before – both me and my daughter. The last time he struck me was on the 20th of April. To the defendant – I was lying on the bed with my little child when you ordered me to take my frock off. I was trying to get the child to sleep, and did not wish to go to sleep myself. Defendant was then sworn, and stated – I am a farmer and live at Molonglo. On last Sunday week my wife went away from the place and told the children she was going to meet the little boys with the sheep. That led me astray. She had not returned at dark, and when I got my little children asleep I went to look for her, fearing something had happened to her. It was raining hard and I got off and washed my feet in the floods. I heard the next day that she was at her father’s place, and I sent her two messages to come home for an hour or two. She never came home till late on Thursday evening. I asked her how she came to go away in such a clandestine manner without telling me. The daughter then said something; she was there with her husband, Anderson; they came with my wife. I got Anderson and his wife out of the house, and shut them outside, and my wife, my children, and I remained in the house altogether that night. I told my wife she would not be obliged to herself for fetching her son-in-law there. I never that night attempted to raise my hand to her. I did say something to her, but I ‘disremember’ what it was”.

January 19, 1857 at Wheeo. William Apps charged with theft of two cows & 2 heifers.

March 29 1854. Narrawa. William Apps cautions people not to harbour his daughter Ellen, who has abandoned her family home without cause.

William Apps: William was tried at Canterbury on 7th April 1826 on a charge of stealing corn. Found guilty, he was sentenced to seven years transportation to NSW, arriving at Port Jackson on 26th November 1826 on the vessel “Speke”. In 1831 William was granted his Ticket-of-Leave only to have it cancelled on December the same year for receiving a blanket under false pretences from his former master, Mr. William Broughton. For this misdemeanour Apps was sentenced to a week on the treadmill at Hyde Park Barracks. This punishment completed he was re-assigned, but his spirit was unbroken and within days he escaped from his new assignment. His re-capture was notified in the Sydney Gazette on 22nd December 1831. Finally Apps received his Ticket-of-Leave in 1833. From Convict Indents it is known that he was a short man, standing 4 feet, 11 inches tall with a fresh, unmarked complexion, brown eyes and hair. In April 1935 William Apps, aged 32, made application to marry Margery Campbell. Following their marriage, William and Margery Apps continued to live in the vicinity of Sydney and were in Parramatta in 1837 when their oldest daughter, Ellen, was born in that year. By 1849 the family moved to Wheeo, being among the earliest in that district.

Margery Campbell (wife of William Apps), from Sligo, Ireland, was the daughter of William Campbell. When she was 23 she was tried in County Down for receiving stolen goods. For this offence, her first, she was sentenced to seven years transportation. She sailed on the “Palambam” from Cork on 23rd March 1830 arriving in Sydney on 31st July the same year. Margery was 4 feet 11 inches tall with a ruddy, freckled complexion and hazel to grey eyes. On her disembarkment in the colony she was assigned to Mr. James Taylor of Sutton Forest.

Jane Langley – Jane’s story begins on the 14th of September 1785 when she was tried at the Old Bailey with Mary Finn for stealing five guineas from a Robert Robinson, on the 29th of July 1785. Jane’s parentage is unclear but she was possibly the daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Langley, at St George Parish Hanover Sq The birth occurred on the 16th of September 1761 at the Holborn lying in hospital in Endell St. At the time of her trial Jane was a Tambour worker and was described as a tall dark girl with very curly hair, she appeared to be self supporting and doubt exist as to her need to be involved in crime. On the 6th of January 1787 she was boarded on the “Lady Penrhyn” during the Voyage to Australia Jane Langley had the first of her children a daughter Henrietta born on the 23rd of October 1787. There is some speculation regarding Henrietta’s father, Phillip Scriven or Shewring who was a seaman on the The Lady Penrhyn or Thomas Gilbert the ships Master on the Charlotte was also throught to be her father.

Henrietta Shewing (1787—1828) Married to Edward Fletcher 1807 Henrietta, one of twenty little souls born on the convict transports known as the First Fleet, was to be always known as English, and never in England. Henrietta is the only child born on the First Fleet known to have Australian descendants [1]. Henrietta was born on board the Lady Penrhyn at Capetown Harbour, South Africa on 23rd October 1787 [2]. Three of the women convicts on the ship were known to be midwives: Mary Parker, Ann Colpits and Sarah Burdo. The ship’s surgeon Arthur Bowes Symth was definitely not present, and even recorded later Henrietta in the surgeon’s log as male. The ship’s log at least got the sex correct! Rev. Richard Johnson came on board to baptise the baby on the 4th November 1787, an event well liked by the crew because they received an extra ration of grog. The sailors who also had fathered children had the opportunity to buy tea and other little extras at Cape Town for their women [3]. Henrietta arrived on the shores of Port Jackson 6th February 1788, a sultry stormy evening. The next two years were hard and famine was severe in the colony, taking its toll especially of the small children. It was decided to send five of the surviving children and their mothers to Norfolk Island. That in itself was an adventure, as they arrived in high seas and were only at great peril able to be landed at Cascade with the seas breaking into the boat which was very frightening and caused much panic and screaming. That night the Sirus was swept on to rocks and shipwrecked. Henrietta lived on Norfolk Island for the next five years and in that time her mother married the marine Thomas Chipp. A brother Robert was born (and died) and a sister Ann, and a third child is recorded. I think this could have been little Thomas Chipp whose death is recorded early 1795 but most members of the family think the evidence is too flimsy. There were school classes taken by a number of individuals and eventually in 1792 Thomas McQueen was appointed schoolmaster and Susannah Hunter his assistant for seventy five pupils. We could imagine Henrietta would have been one of the pupils. Norfolk Island had passed from its early idyllic days to a wilder rougher life, and Thomas Chipp and his family decided to leave there and return to Sydney Town which had also become a pretty wild and rough place. The Governor’s wife Mrs. King started an Orphan School to house the homeless girls living on the streets of Sydney. This first Orphan School stood on the corner of Bridge and George Street. Not all the girls in the institute were orphans. In two of her letters Henrietta refers to having been in the Orphan School. The family was on record as being “on stores” in 1804. Stores were the equivalent of social security. On the 23rd March 1807 nineteen year old Henrietta was married to the convict Edward Fletcher by the Reverend Henry Fulton at St. John’s Parramatta. Edward had been working for the Knights as a servant, as was her thirteen year old sister Mary Chipp, so we assume they met through mutual acquaintances. This is the period of time Henrietta’s stepfather would have had land at Toongabbie (Seven Hills, later to be known as Bella Vista) and Isaac Knight had the adjoining farm. Henrietta applied for a land grant and a cow on the grounds she had been an inmate of the Orphan School and was granted a thirty acres at Bankstown. Today the land is occupied by Liverpool Hospital. Governor Macquarie revoked all the land grants made by the Rum Corp after the overthrow of Governor Bligh and Henrietta reapplied and was granted the Liverpool land again. The annual rent was to be 2 shillings a year after 5 years. Thomas Moore [4] apparently wanted the grant Henrietta had at Liverpool but probably helped her to obtain the grant at Narellan plus an extra ten acres, which became known as Fletcher’s Farm, and today is the land near Springs Road, Narellan. Henrietta had six children: Edward born 8th March 1808 in Campbelltown, baptised at St. Luke’s Liverpool; John born the 10th May 1810 at Cowpastures and baptised by the Reverend Samuel Marsden at St Luke’s on 15th May 1810. Eliza was born at 12th August 1812 at Campbelltown. Susanna was born on the 12th May 1815 at Fletcher’s Farm, Campbelltown; Blanche was born 17th December 1823 and Elizabeth 26th April 1828. Since 1810 Edward had been employed as a constable in the Cowpastures District. Henrietta’s health had declined over the years and by the time she died at the age of forty-one years, she was blind and crippled. Thirteen year old Susanna was working for the Rev Thomas Hassall as a maidservant on a nearby property, but William Boyle Henrietta’s nephew was living with the family, his father having died. William’s mother Mary was not coping with the change in her circumstances and her sisters took in her children. Edward had a reputation for drinking, but it was said he was always kind and thoughtful to his wife and children, and Henrietta was described as “an exceedingly reputable woman who bestowed great pains in bringing up her children”. In 1828 there was the first outbreak of whooping cough in the colony and two thousand people died as a result of it. One could be excused for wondering if Elizabeth and Henrietta were two of the victims. Henrietta and Edward Fletcher are buried in St. Peter’s churchyard Campbelltown in a well-cared-for grave, which also has a First Fleeter’s plaque for Henrietta. Though Henrietta never lived to see her grand children she had thirty six grand children. There are other family graves St Peters churchyard including Susanna Chapman’s Henrietta and Edward’s daughter. Thomas Chipp always accepted Henrietta as part of his family, and Henrietta was involved in her sisters’ marriages and lives. Thomas was the only grandfather her children knew. NB Surname: Henrietta is variously quoted with the surnames Scriven, Shewring, Skirwin, Chipp and Langley before marriage. Grandson: MH has also written a piece about William Henry Fletcher who was a grandson of Henrietta. Notes [1] A number of children born to marines on the journey, returned with their families to England. (‘Orphans of History —The Forgotten Children of the First Fleet’ by Robert Holden). [2] The baby was born at 1pm so in navy parlance was dated the 23rd as their dates changed at noon. She was also recorded as the child of T..G.. which 198 years later was to cause speculation on who was T..G.. With the passing of sailing ships the navy parlance for calling sailors after their job had been forgotten. Philip Scriven was the foremast man responsible for the Top Gallant sail.[3] As recorded in Jonathan King’s book ‘The First Fleet’.[4] This is the same Thomas Moore who is credited with founding Moore Theological College. He was a land dealer in the early colony.NMargaret Hardwick, 2009

Lynn Shepherd
was indicted for robbery in 1838, found guilty and sentenced to life on Norfolk Island

Addison Mitchell was indicted for murdering William Ablett on 8 Nov 1856 at the old Lachlan Road. John Collins testified at the trial before Mr Justice Therry at Bathurst Circuit Court] “John Collins, lives at No. 1 Swamp, near Carcoar, I recollect on 7th of November, 1856, being in company with Ablett, and prisoner; in answer to an inquiry made by prisoner, he said his name was Ablett, and he was a native of Cambridgeshire ; I should say he was about 20 years of age, 5 feet 9 inches in height, fair complexion, without whiskers, light hair, dressed in a light tweed cap, plaid jumper, fustian trousers, and watertight boots ; in prisoner’s presence, he told me that if he could find an old horse he would buy it to carry his swag to the Ovens ; I sold him an old bay horse, saddle, and bridle, for £6 ; he paid me in prisoner’s presence, with two £5-notes ; prisoner drew out the receipt; Ablett had a tent with him, and I noticed a shingling hammer (hammer found near fire shown) ; I believe this is the hammer deceased Ablett had; I noticed the boots he wore, and noticed that nails were out in front of the left boot ; to the best of my belief the boots I now see in Court are those I saw on Ablett ; the bridle now produced (found in prisoner’s bundle) is the one I sold to Ablett; I saw Ablett last at Radburn’s, 1 mile and a half from my house; he started, leading the horse with his swag placed across the saddle ; this was on Saturday ; he went in the direction of the junction of the Wagoola and Grabine roads with the Lachlan road; the horse might travel 20 or 25 miles a day ; after I left deceased, and on my return home, prisoner complained of his hands being sore from blisters ; I said we would spell that day, and commence again on Monday morning ; prisoner afterwards went out in the same direction that Ablett took ; about an hour afterwards; I did not see him again until next day, Sunday, about 2 p.m ; he was then very dirty ; he washed himself, and shortly afterwards I received information that my horse that I sold Ablett was near my house ; I went out and found the horse hobbled close at hand; I said, in prisoner’s presence, that the horse had been brought back ; prisoner said he had strayed back ; in the evening I told prisoner that it was no use in saying he did not bring the horse back, as he had been seen riding him ; he said, “well what of it, you don’t know Ablett as well as I do, he is a bolter, and there are constables after him in all directions ; that he was within a quarter of a mile of the place, but was afraid to come in ;” whilst I was sitting near the fire with prisoner, I saw the remains of a pocket-book in the ashes ; it had a clasp like the one I saw with Ablett ; I was frightened to put it in my pocket as I was alone with the prisoner; after prisoner left my house I searched for it, but could not find it ; I identify the handkerchief now produced, found in prisoner’s bundle, as one I gave to Ablett with flour in it, also the saddle and bridle sold by me to Ablett, and found concealed near my hut; on the Monday morning I discharged prisoner being suspicious of him; as he left I saw him pick up the bridle now produced; I identify it as the one sold by me to Ablett; I gave information to the police. Constable McFadden re-called : In consequence of information given by last witness prisoner was apprehended for horse-stealing: it was in looking for and making enquiries about Ablett that I found the camping ground on the old Lachlan road ; there were appearances of a tent having been pitched, there, and about half a mile distant in the scrub I found the ashes of the fire in which I found the bones, buttons, shingling hammer, hair, and buckles, which have been produced ; I made enquiries in the neighbourhood of the camp, but could find no traces of any person answering to Ablett’s description being seen in that neighbourhood. Thomas Radburn, of Carcoar, recollects Collins coming to his hut on 8th November, to change a 5 pound note ; he was accompanied by a young man; witness’s description tallied with that already given by Corby, Wood, and Collins. James Bradburn, son of last witness, gave the same evidence as to appearance and dress of Ablett ; two and a half hours afterwards saw prisoner following in the direction taken by Ablett ; when Collins told prisoner next day that he had been seen riding the horse, prisoner replied, well, what of it ? Katherine Radburn gives same description to that already given of Ablett, and thinks that the prisoner was the man she saw going in the same direction to that taken by Ablett two hours after. Richard Byrne, knows, the prisoner ; saw him on Sunday morning, 9th of November, between eleven and twelve a.m., at a place on the Lachlan road; about two and a half miles from the junction of the Wagoola and Grabine roads with the old Lachlan road; he was riding on a short brown-tailed horse, it was very thin, he had a bundle before him as full as it could hold ; I saw the horse prisoner was riding afterwards at the Court House ; prisoner was very dirty, like a man after a long journey. William Mulaly lives at Black Hill Creek, on the left of the Lachlan road, about quarter of a mile off the road; on Sunday, the 8th of November, prisoner came to my house between 11 and 12 a.m.; he-had a very poor brown horse with him ; I asked him whom the horse belonged to ; he said it was Collins’s he lent it me so that I could come over to you to get employment ; I asked him if his name was Mitchell; he said, yes ; there was neither saddle nor bridle on the horse when I saw him, prisoner’s appearance was that of a man after a hard day’s work, he was very dirty. Cross examined by Mr. Dalley: No appearance of having been engaged about a fire; his clothes were not burnt; he looked like a man after a hard day’s work. John Radburn identified the saddle as being found by him concealed at the foot of a tree near Collins’s hut. John Meiklejohn, constable in Carcoar police: On Sunday morning, the 9th of November, I was on the Lachlan Road, near the junction of the Wagoola and Grabine roads; I saw a fire in the distance, off the road about half a mile. I afterwards was taken to the place by McFadden, and I then recognised it as the place where I had seen the fire on the 9th November; looked for tracks at the junction, but could not find any. James Grant, the prisoner, was in my employment as a shepherd; he knew the country well in the neighbourhood of the junction of the roads to Wagoola and Grabine with the Lachlan road. On Sunday, 23rd November, McFadden and I found remains of a fire in a scrub, half a mile off the road; we found bones, buttons, a hammer, and portions of hair there; at the junction a tent had been pitched ; this was half a mile from the fire in the scrub. ………………The jury, after a short absence, found the prisoner guilty; and the Judge; in a most impressive manner, passed sentence of death upon the prisoner.This case occupied the whole day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Doris Olive Irene Nunns charged Thomas Henry Roy Jackson of attempted rape on 14 July 1920. He was acquitted.

Richard Cole Seaton charged with stabbing his wife with a knife and inflicting serious wounds, and also assaulting his niece.

John Henry Theodore Merrion was killed when falling from a roof during a demolition in Ngahauranga, NZ.

On 11/5/1903 Ellen Prest was remanded in gaol at Murrumburrah for 8 days due to “unsound mind”

Private Alfred Sydney Polglase deserted the army on July 21, 1916 and there was a warrant out for his arrest

Thomas Henry Roy Jackson charged with the attempted rape of Doris Olive Irene Nunns nee Polglase on 14 July 1920. Acquitted.

Squire Brooks – convict ancestor on my maternal grandmothers side – the Collins family

1924 Horace William Brooks, 9yo, drowned in Eastern Creek along with an 11 yo friend.

Sat 28 Sep 1867 at Braidwood Police Court. Thomas & Eliza Hobbs daughter Esther, 10yo, (born out of wedlock) was being prostituted by her father – a drunkard – and his wife – a drunkard and prostitute. Frederick Stephens, a witness, recollected that on Christmas Day saw Esther and a man named Dean naked together in a waterhole..the details here being too lurid to print. He had heard that it was common for liberties to be taken with the girl. Dean was known as a regular with the girl, and had been arrested for sexually assaulting her, but had been acquitted. Her parents received her earnings. The parents were known to often leave all the children on their own for long periods, to fend for themselves. The object of having the girl in court was to save her from her parents. She was sent to the industrial School. The Hobbs family members were regularly in court for drunkenness and foul language…and never argued the charges.  On Friday 18th sep 1874 at Braidwood, the above Dean was admitted to hospital, having been brutally beaten, and died that night. He was found about a mile and a half from the Hobbs house, after having been out drinking. The Coroners Court jury found that death had been caused by person or persons unknown.

1884 Lynn David Nettleton had a warrant for his arrest issued for disobeying an order to financially support his illegitimate child.

Ada Camden was excited to be marrying Harris excited, so it seems, that she forgot to divorce Roland Watts. Henry had their marriage dissolved on the basis of bigamy.

In 1885 Richard Camden alias Crib alias Snow was accused of stealing two horses belonging to James Hemsley and Thompson Ross. He was described as being 5’10”-11″, no age given, stout build, sandy complexion, and sporting Dreadweary whiskers. He was thought to have gone to Tambar Springs. No warrant was issued.

In 1919, Horace Horder (17) and a group of boys were charged with breaking and entering the home of William Clement and stealing jewellery etc to the value of £10 (part recovered). The boys were committed for trial, bail allowed.

Baptism Certificate for Sarah Camden in 1852 seems to have some difficulty deciding whether the surname should be Jones, or Camden. The transcriber made a note at the end of the certificate that the minister had added after the mothers name, on the original, that the child was born as the result of adultery. It would appear that the 17yo Richard had a dalliance with the 37yo Elizabeth Hale…with the predictable result. Sarah ended up a Camden.

In 1883, Gertrude Agnes Finke (the future Mrs Catherine Agnes Bottrill), was admitted to the Adelaide Destitute Asylum, along with 6-month old David. David died shortly after.

In 1773, at Helston Cornwall, Robert Barwick Scadden and his wife Anne were excommunicated. No clear reason is given.

24 December 1890, Thomas Ironfield charged with breaking & entering three homes in Leichhardt & Balmain. Jewellery & watches stolen. Later charged with pick-pocketing crowds in The Domain. His wife later charged him with desertion, claiming he had assaulted her for no good reason, then throwing her and her children out of the house. He also had her tossed out of a lodging house. He, in turn, said he had no desire to live with her. He was gaoled in 1898 for the robberies.

Mining Accidents – CLEAVES William

Name: CLEAVES William
Age: 0
Date: 05/02/1845
Year: 1845
Colliery: Hayeswood Coalworks
Owner: S.S.P. Samborne and Co.
Town: Timsbury
County: Somerset
Notes: Adjoining were old workings which had lain unused for many years and were filled with water. About 100 men descended for the day shift at about 5 a.m. Mr Evans, the overseer noticed there was an unusual appearance of damp but initially he did not become too alarmed as he thought it was only “the bleeding of the coal”. William’s body, along with that of George Palmer was not recovered until the following October. Two weeks later John Flower was brought out. Later another body was found and was buried in the name of Joseph Gullick. The mistake was discovered when the body of Joseph Gullick was found. 11 killed. Left a wife and 6 children.

17 Feb 1952 Adolphus Stead reversed over Margarey Ann Gould, aged 4, in his car at Broken Hill. She suffered fatal head injuries.

1903, Elizabeth Stead dies after inadvertently taking strychnine after an afternoon of consuming alcohol. 

Tim Alderman (C) 2015


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