Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1804 inquests

Sydney Gazette 1804 inquests

Sunday 15 January 1804
On Saturdy the 7th Instant an Inquest was held on the body of an infant daughter of Richard Grimshaw, taken up after interment in consequence of a suspicion that her death had been occasioned by the merciless treatment of the said Richard Grimshaw. The opinion of a medical Gentleman confirmed the supposition; and from the evidence that appeared before the Coroner, a Verdict of Wilful Murder was returned against the father of tbe child, who was in consequence fully committed to His Majesty's Gaol at Sydney, to take his trial for the offence before a Court of Criminal Jurisdiction.

Note. NSW Burial entries - there may be two as she was disinterred then reinterred.
V1804675 148/1804 GRIMSHAW MARY INFANT


Sunday 10 June 1804

On Monday night died suddenly when going down a dance at Government House, Vernicourt De Clamb, Esq, of Castle Hill. The day following an Inquest was held, at which the medical Gentlemen who attended the deceased at the approach of death, gave it as their opinion, that the event was occasioned by an apoplexy; the verdict of the Jury was, Death by the visitation of God. The above Gentleman was a Knight of the Order of St. Lewis, and had served with much professional Honour as Captain of the Regiment of Pondichery, and was among the few Officers taken at the reduction of that place, who prefering the conscious duty of continuing his Fidelity to his unfortunate Sovereign, remained under the protection of the British Government in India, and under the peculiar countenance and favour of Colonel now General Floyd, who witnessed Le Chevalier D'Clamb's heroism in his conduct at Pondichery, while he considered himself fighting for his King ; no sooner was the Fort surrendered than that marked fidelity which has ever distinguished him took place of every other sentiment, in which he lived and died.

For a short time the Chevalier held some important Command under some of the Native Princes in India, but on their being an appearance of hostilities between his employers and the British Interests in India, he resigned that situation and returned to cultivate a small spot of ground at the village of Chingle - put near Madras, where he succeeded in raising vines. Some affairs calling him to England he came to this Colony under the auspices of Government, a Free Settler, in the latter part of 1801, and had a very desirable Farm of One Hundred Acres given him at Castle-Hill, which, with an extended assistance given him by Government, he made a very great progress, not only in clearing his land and producing the necessary grain, &c. but also in raising Coffee Trees from seeds he brought with him, and in which he has been very successful; so much had this respectable Officer that object at heart, that he has frequently expressed a wish to be buried among them, a wish that humanity and respect for so amiable a character could not refuse. It is understood that he has one or two legitimate children now in India under the protection of a respectable General Officer.

Note. NSW Burial: V18041896 2A/1804 DECLAMP VERNICOURT


Sunday 15 July 1804
Early on Sunday Morning last the body of STEPHEN BOYLIN was found immersed in water in a cavity nearly at the Northern extremity of the Rocks, and when taken out a quantity of blood gushed from an aperture of the right temple, which being examined by JOHN HARRIS, Esq. Surgeon of the New South Wales Corps, was declared to have proceeded from a heavy blow with a pointed instrument. The violence of the stroke had been such as to occasion a fissure on the skull ; and which Mr HARRIS had no doubt had been the cause of the unfortunate man's death.

At nine in the morning an Inquest assembled on the body, before whom the testimony of a number of witnesses was taken, and at half past nine at night the Jury found a Verdict - Willful Murder against several persons taken into custody on suspicion.

Two days before his death, the deceased arrived from Wreck Reef in the Marcia ; and it was supposed, had gone in quest of an acquaintance who formerly resided near the spot where the body was found :- It was conveyed to the General Hospital, and interred on Tuesday."

Notes. NSW Burial: V18041903 2A/1804 BOILING STEPHEN
Buuried at the Old Sydney Burial Ground.


Sunday 23 September 1804
On Monday last an infant of Sarah Pearce, in the Brickfield's experienced a fate the most distressing that can possibly be imagined. The mother on returning home with the little creature in her arms, placed it on the bed, in order that she might her self go in search of two other children, but unhappily after which she closed the door, and secured a young pig also within the house.

After a short interval she returned and supposing the child to be asleep, paid no immediate attention to it. Some moments after, to her utter astonishment and horror, she accidentally approached the bed, and there witnessed a spectacle, the horrors of which are not to be conceived. The pig had by some means mounted the bed, and was then in the very act of devouring the child. The mother's shrieks brought the neighbours to bear witness of the calamity, but alas ! too late to render assistance to the babe ; whose face was torn to pieces and devoured ; the hands of the ill-fated innocent were also mangled and destroyed, owing, it is probable, to its incompetent resistance.

The same day a Coroner's Inquest was held on the body of the Child, whose Ver- dict was dictated by the terrible circum- stances or its death, and acquitted the dis- tracted parent of any blame whatever. The voracious animal was shot immediately that the Accident was discovered ; and was afterwards burnt by order of the Coroner. -It had been given to the poor child by a sponsor on the day of its baptism.


Sunday 25 November 1804
On Thursday last a representation was made to the Provist Marshal by William Neil, stating the death of Mrs MCDUAL, of the Back-row East in consequence of violent treatment received from her husband. Neil's declamations were calculated, however they might have been designed, to excite strong suspicion: in consequence of which, the above Gentleman waited on and made known the circumstance to his Excellency ; who was pleased to issue a circular letter to the Gentlemen of the Faculty, 'requesting their attendance at the house of the deceased, there to inspect the body, in order to determine the neccesity of summoning an Inquest.

In compliance with the foregoing instruc- tion, Thomas Jamison, Esq. Principal, and Mr. James Mileham, Assistant Surgeon, together with John Harris, Esq, Surgeon of the New South Wales Corps, proceeded to whence, after the most minute enquiry, they were decidedly of opinion that the declaration of the above informant was false, infamous, & malicious ; as that no symptom of violence whatever appeared on the body - and the perons who attended the deceased during her illness protested solemnly, when examined se- perately,that no violence whatever had been offered her.


Sunday 23 December 1804
Between 10 and 11 in the forenoon of Wednesday last an express was received in town, stating the almost sudden death of Mr. Thomas Smyth, Provost Marshall. On Thursday morning the body of the deceased arrived in Sydney; and by His Excellency's Order an Inquest assembled to enquire into the circumstances that occasioned the above Gentleman's death ; Mr. Tho- mas Moore appointed to act as Coroner.

At 11 in the forenoon the Inquest was convened ; when from the most respectable and undoubted testimony it appeared the; deceased had gone to the house of Mr. William Baker of Hawkesbury, storekeeper, on Sunday last, and appeared to enjoy a much better state of health than he had for some months past ; but that between two and three on Tuesday afternoon he was seized suddenly with a convulsion, which rendered it necessary to call in the assistance of Thomas Arndell, Esq. Magistrate and Residentiary Surgeon at the above Settlement, by whom he was attended accordingly ; that during his illness which lasted until between the hours of twelve and one on Wednesday morning every possible attention was paid to him, as well by Mr. Arndell as by Mr. Baker, and Family ; but that every appearance of life then disappeared.

Mr. Smyth's death is much regretted, as he was universally respected for his humanity in acquitting himself of the duties of his office; the generosity and benevolence of his heart ; the affability of his manners, and the placidity of his dispofition.

The hour appointed for the interment was five on Wednesday evening ; which turned out rainy and unfavourable ; but nevertheless, the moft respectful attention was shewn to the passing bier by all classes of inhabitants; and notwithstanding the extreme badness of the weather, the procession was conducted with a solemnity suited to the occa sion, and to the general regret.....

About six o'clock the procession reached the burial ground ; and after the funeral obsequies were concluded, three rounds were fired over the grave by 50 of the New South Wales Corps, in token of the high respect due to the remains of a true Patriot, a loyal Subject, and a worthy Member of Society.

Note. No burial indexed for a Thomas SMYTH in 1804 but there is a Thomas SMITH.

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