Sunday, October 25, 2009


From Genie.

15 October 1832 Monday
On Friday an Inquest was held at the SQUARE AND COMPASS, Brickfield hill, on the body of JOHN CROAKER, who was drowned in BLACK WATTLE SWAMP, the Saturday previous, having jumped in when under the influence of liquor, for the purpose of swimming across. The Jury found a verdict of accidentally drowned on the 16th instant, in BLACK WATTLE SWAMP.


The Gazette also mentioned details of his death in a number of articles:

Tuesday 9 October 1832
MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT.-A painter in the hired employ of Mr. Robert Cooper, met an untimely death on Saturday evening at that gentleman's establishment, at Blackwattle Swamp, under the following circumstances. The deceased and some of his companions had been drinking together, end were about to proceed round the dam to the hut in which tney resided, when the deceased boasted that he could swim across, and arrive there before them if they ran round. He accordingly pulled off his clothes and plunged in, but bad not got above twenty yards, when he seized some scrub in the pond, and called out for assistance. Some of the others ran for a boat, and one plunged in, but on reaching the spot, the unfortunate man had sunk to rise no more alive. Every effort was immediately made to recover the body ; the dam was dragged all night, and nil Sunday, and guns were fired across but without effect.

Thursday 11 October 1832
"The body of John Croker, the unfor- tunate man wbo was drowned in Mr. Cooper's mill dam at the Brisbane Distillery on Saturday evening has not yet been recovered, although every means' that practice or ingenuity could devise have been made use of for that purpose. The confined limits of this piece of water renders this the more remarkable."

"The body of John Croker, the unfortunate man who was drowned in the dam of the dam of the Brisbane Distillery last Saturday week, floated to the surface on Friday morning. An inquest was accordingly held upon it the same day, and a verdict returned of- "Accidentally drowned."

NSW BDM burial entry:
V18321716 16/1832 CROKER JOHN AGE 36
So he was born about 1796.

The 1828 census shows John Croaker, aged 33, a plumber at R Coopers Distillery. He was an ex-convict, arrived on the 'Morley' in 1818 with a sentence of 7 years.


22 October 1832 Monday
Coroner’s Inquest; On Thursday an Inquest was convened at the CABINET MAKER’S ARMS, Phillip-street, on the body of MRS. SOPHIA PARKER, who died suddenly that morning after a short illness. The Jury returned a verdict of “died by the Visitation of God”.

Notes. Her death:
V18321490 16/1832 PARKER SOPHIA AGE 40
So born about 1792.


22 October 1832 Monday
On Sunday an Inquest was convened by MAJOR SMEATHMAN, Coroner for Sydney, at the LOGGERHEADS Public House, on Market Street, on the body of MR. JOHN BROWN, who died rather suddenly the previous evening. I appeared in evidence that the deceased had for some time past been in a desponding state, which connected with other circumstances, it was supposed caused his death. Jury found a verdict of “Visitation of God.”

From the Sydney Gazette:
From the evidence adduced, it appeared that the deceased who was formerly proprietor of the Bolwarra Estate, and has expended a large fontune in the colony, had experienced some serious disappointments in his pecuniary affairs, which induced him to fly to the rum bottle " and steep his senses in forgetfulness." To excess in this baneful antidote his death was evidently attributable, and the jury returned a verdict of "Died by the visitation of God."

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