Posts Tagged ‘crime and punishment’

THREE AMIGOS + ONE – THOMAS BARRETT

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

‘The grand consideration seems to be, to get them [convicted criminals] out of Europe at all Events…simply landing these people in Africa., to let them shift for themselves’. Governor Richard Miles, Cape Coast Castle to Home Office, London. Cited in Mollie Gillen, Founders of Australia, Library of Australian History.

1781 – 30 May, London: Samuel Woodham and John Rugless, then aged about 16 years – described in court papers as ‘boys’ – appeared at the Old Bailey indicted for assault and highway robbery.

Found guilty of stealing a silver shirt buckle, a cotton handkerchief and 14 (fourteen) shillings in coin they were sentenced to hang. Reprieved both were commuted for a life-time of military service in Africa and lodged in London’s infamous Newgate gaol to await shipment.

1782 – 8 October, Westminster:  Thomas Limpus appeared at the General Quarter Sessions charged with theft of a handkerchief. Found guilty he was sentenced to seven (7) years exile in Africa.

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AFRICA: IN AND OUT OF AFRICA – THOMAS LIMPUS, JOHN RUGLESS, SAMUEL WOODHAM

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

It is natural to infer that Government understands it is simply landing these people in Africa, to let them shift for themselves, and get their Board in the best manner they can’. Richard Miles, Cape Coast Castle to Home Office, London.

1782 – 6 November, England: Government chartered the Den Keyser to transport forty (40) or so criminals reprieved death from England to Senegal on Africa’s west coast.

They were to serve sentences of seven (7), fourteen (14) years or life at the fort settlements of Goree and Cape Coast Castle. In 1644 the English established a permanent foot-hold on West Africa when its  forces captured Cape Coast Castle, the main Dutch base in West Africa,captured from the Dutch in 1644 during the third Anglo-Dutch War.

Convicts Samuel Woodham and John Rugless were destined for a life-time of military service. Civilian prisoners like Thomas Limpus; reprieved to be ‘banished from this realm’ would be dumped and left to ‘shift for themselves’.

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A VICIOUS CIRCLE – THE HANGMAN’S NOOSE

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

‘The death penalty was brought to Australia with the First Fleet’. Mike Edwards, The Hanged Man, The Life and Death of Ronald Ryan, 2002.

1788 – 26th January, Sydney Cove: About 750 (570 male and 193 female) of England’s convicted criminals disembarked from the ‘First Fleet at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788; among them Thomas Barrett, Henry Lavell, Joseph Hall and John Ryan.

1788 – 27 February, Sydney: One (1) month after landing – 27 February – these four (4) young men stood under‘ a large tree fixt as a gallows’. 

Britain’s invasion and colonisation of New Holland brought the First Nations’ Peoples starvation, disease and a racist caste system based on colour. Well practised retribution was meted out when they dared to challenge the predators who stole their land and plundered their resources.

Although the unjust consequences of invasion stand in plain sight, because of widespread ignorance of our nation’s history in mainstream non-Aboriginal Australia, these go largely unrecognised and unacknowledged or, if acknowledged, ‘blamed’.

‘Imagine if we had suffered the injustices and then were blamed for it’. Paul Keating Redfern Speech, Paul Keating, 10 December 1992.

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CATCH 22 – JAMES FREEMAN

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

 James Freeman – ‘Hang or be Hanged’. 

 

Part of the original document pardoning a convict if he acts as executioner

Extract showing a pardon on condition of becoming the public executioner. Dated 1 March 1788, signed by Governor Arthur Phillip.

‘For here was an opportunity of establishing a Jack Ketch who Should, in all future Executions, either Hang or be Hanged’. Dr John White, Chief Medical Officer, First Fleet Journal.

 1788 – 29 February, Sydney Cove:  Friday 29th February shaped as another busy day for the infant colony’s criminal court.

It was decided, after the long drawn-out dramas of the previous two (2) days, as well as to avoid Sydney’s intense midday sun and drenching humidity, court would convene earlier than usual. See: Blind Man’s Bluff

At 8 am convicts James Freeman and William Shearman, accused the previous day of stealing from government stores, appeared in the dock before a tribunal of six (6) military officers.

This judicial arrangement fed a deeply corrosive relationship already existing between the naval Governor Arthur Phillip RN and Marine Major Robert Ross commander of the Sydney Garrison.

Freeman and Shearman were found guilty as charged and sentenced to die later that day 29 February 1788.

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ACT 2: BLIND MAN’S BLUFF – A DOUBLE BILL- HALL & LAVELL

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

‘The arm of a large tree was fixt upon as a gallows’. Arthur Bowes Smyth, Surgeon Lady Penrhyn, First Fleet  Journal, Australian Documents Library, 1979

1788 –  27 February, Sydney Cove: Four (4) convicts John Ryan, Thomas Barrett, Henry Lavell and Joseph Hall were accused ‘on shaky evidence’ of robbing or conspiring to rob food from the government storehouse, all were found guilty and sentenced to death with the execution to take place later that day.

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FROM HERE TO ETERNITY – THOMAS BARRETT

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY  – THOMAS BARRETT

 ‘The death penalty was brought to Australia with the First Fleet. Mike Richards, The Hanged Man, The Life and Death of Ronald Ryan, 2002

1788 – 27 February, Sydney Cove: One (1) month after disembarking from the ‘First Fleet’ Thomas Barrett was hanged. His execution was public theatre staged to instil terror into all spectators; be they convict, soldier, sailor or silent, unseen locals – The First Australians.

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THE IRISH & THE ENGLISH KING IN AUSTRALIA

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

‘In 1800 and 1801 many hundreds of Irish prisoners  arrived, pushing the percentage of Irish to more than one-third of those under sentence and one-quarter of the white population. Governor King nervously estimated that more than half of the recent arrivals were Catholic ‘Defenders’, summarily transported  for their part in the massive Irish rebellion of 1798′. Marian Quartly, Creating a Nation 1788-1990, Chapter 2, 1990

1800 – September, Sydney: Governor Phillip Gidley King RN, on the departure of Governor John Hunter RN, took up his commission as Britain’s third naval Governor of Australia in September 1800.

King found himself juggling many balls; an unruly soldiery, a tsunami of grog, French colonial ambition and a simmering Irish rebellion. The Irish, many sentenced to death following the uprisings of 1798 on home soil, and reprieved death on condition of transportation to Australia, appeared to pose the most immediate threat.

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BOSWELL GOES INTO BAT FOR THE BOTANY BAY ESCAPEES

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

‘Boswell appeared for the defence, sometimes in well-nigh hopeless cases. He was never deterred, however, either by the poverty of his client, or by the weight of the evidence against him. On the contrary he seems to have been prone to espouse the causes of the more forlorn the more pertinaciously. C.H Currey, The Transportation Escape and Pardoning of Mary Bryant, Angus and Robertson, 1963.

 1792 – July, Old Bailey London: In 1792  lawyer James Boswell appeared for the defence in a most extraordinary case. His clients, five convicts – Mary Bryant, William Allen, James Martin, Nathaniel Lilley and John Butcher known collectively as ‘the Botany Bay escapees’ .

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CONVICT TRANSPORTATION – THE HULKS ACT & HOW THE MIND-SET OF SLAVERY CAME TO AUSTRALIA

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

‘Transportation marked a profound transition in the history of British criminal justice’. Roger Ekirch, Bound for America: The Transportation of British Convicts to America 1718-1775, Clarendon Paperbacks, 1990

1603 – England: Following the death of childless Elizabeth Tudor in 1603 her second cousin, King James VI of Scotland, inherited the English Crown and reigned as James I of England and Scotland from 1603 to 1625.

‘Slavery as punishment…a king or magistrate could mercifully spare and enslave a man whose crime had forfeited his right to life’. Winthrop D. Jordan, White Over Black, 1550-1812, Pelican Books 1969  

James the First deemed transportation ‘out of the realm’ for those reprieved death as ‘tempering justice with mercy’. 

‘The strict legality of these measures may be questioned as Blackstone plainly states that no power on earth, except the authority of Parliament, could lawfully send a criminal out of England against his will’. Blackstone Commentaries; adapted by Kerr, 1862, cited in Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, Library of Australian History, 1990

Nevertheless under the auspices of James I an already existing irregular trade transporting convicts to America as slave labour flourished.

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ARTHUR PHILLIP AND “RULE 303”

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

‘Twenty-five regiments of British infantry…fought in one of the most prolonged wars in the history of the British empire and for the first half of their stay were probably more frequently in action than the garrison of any other colony besides that of southern Africa’. Dr Peter Stanley, The Remote Garrison, The British Army in Australia 1788-1870, Kangaroo Press, 1986

Did Britain invade New Holland?

1889 – April 3, United Kingdom: Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; Lord Watson, Lord Fitzgerald, Lord Hobhouse, Lord MacNaghton, Sir William Grove, Cooper V Stuart [1889] 14 AC ruled; ‘it [New South Wales] was peacefully annexed to the British Dominion’.

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