Posts Tagged ‘crime and punishment’

A MILLION DOLLAR BABY – THE BOTANY BAY MEDALLION & THOMAS BARRETT

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

‘The ‘Botany Bay Medallion’ a skillfully engraved metal medallion inscribed with a relief description of the voyage dated 20 January 1788 and a representation of the Charlotte riding at anchor at Botany Bay.  Mollie Gillen, Founders of Australia,

image of charlotte medal

Thomas Barrett is thought to ‘have been the maker of the Botany Bay Medallion.’ Also known as the Charlotte Medal,  it measures 74 mm (3 inches).

One side bears a precise reckoning of the First Fleet’s gruelling eight (8) months voyage across 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of largely ‘imperfectly explored oceans’ from England to conquer New Holland, now Australia.

It appears to have been fashioned from a silver-coloured metal medical dish owned most likely by Dr. John White the fleet’s chief medical officer.

The face of the medal depicts Charlotte  one (1) of the fleet’s six (6) convict transports – Alexander, Friendship, Lady Penrhyn, Prince of Wales and Scarborough, chartered by the British government to ship 750 convicted criminals  (570 males, 190 women) from England to Australia, together with three (3) stores-ships, Golden Grove, Borrowdale and Fishburn.

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TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD – THOMAS BARRETT

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

‘He [ Barrett] may have been the maker of the Botany Bay Medallion…a skilfully engraved metal medallion inscribed with a relief description of the voyage dated 20 January 1788 and a representation of the Charlotte at anchor in Botany Bay. Mollie Gillen, Founders of Australia, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1990

image of charlotte medal

The Charlotte Medal, created by Thomas Barrett

Sydney Cove 1788 – 27 February 27: A lifer’  Thomas Barrett was the first Englishman hanged in European Australia.

Barrett fashioned the ‘Botany Bay Medallion’ AKA the ‘Charlotte Medal from a ‘silver coloured metal kidney dish’ thought to belong to Dr. John White. The fleet’s Chief Medical Officer White would have certified Barrett’s death. See: From Here to Eternity 

An excellent medical administrator White nevertheless was a flawed character.  Controversy over provenance of paintings;  ‘by  the artist known as the Port Jackson Painter’ in the Watling Collection, London Natural History Museum, remains current to this day.

London: Barrett, probably son of Irish immigrants, was born in London in 1758. His profile is not that of the usual illiterate dead-beat English common criminal. Unusual for those times he could read and, as exemplified by the medallion, wrote a find hand.

In September 1782 Barrett stood in the dock of the Old Bailey accused of stealing clothing and ‘a silver watch with chain’ from an unoccupied house, described as ‘up for rent’.

Found guilty as charged, sentenced to hang, he spent the following twelve (12) months on ‘death row’ in one of London’s appalling prisons.

On 11 September 1783 the death penalty was commuted for ‘transportation to America’ for the ‘term of his natural life’ . Barrett was transferred to Censor a Thames River prison-hulk to await shipment.

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ANALYSE THIS

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

‘On 1 April 1776 [‘whereas the transportation of convicts to H.M. Colonies in America is found to be attended with various inconveniences’] Lord North moved to bring in a Bill to authorise for a limited time punishment, by hard labour, of offenders who were liable to transportation’. Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1993

1775- April, America: Conflict between England and her American colonies – the War of Independence (1775-1783) – brought a sudden halt to convict transportation to America.

‘Convict transportation in its original manifestation [Geo.1 C.11-23-29] was a uniquely American phenomenon.’ Anthony Vaver Bound With An Iron Chain, The Untold Story of How the British Transported 50,000 convicts to Colonial America, Pickpocket Publishing, 2011

England’s gaols, previously short-term holding pens for convicted criminals,reprieved death and commuted ‘for transportation to America’, were quickly overwhelmed.

During eight (8) years of conflict approximately 10,000 prisoners were held over.

1776 – 23 May, England: The Hulks Act – 16 Geo. III, c 43 – received Royal Assent on 23rd May 1776. Lord North’s Bill was a game-changer. It changed the status of prisoners sentenced ‘for transportation’.

The legislation introduced a legal distinction that applied only to those criminals reprieved death on condition they be ‘transported out of the realm…beyond the seas’. See: April Fools Day

Deemed ‘Servants of the Crown’ until expiry of the term of sentence, their ‘service’ was for the ‘nation’, thereby ensuring ‘its original [1717-18] manifestation [remained] ‘a uniquely American phenomenon’.

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A TETHERED GOAT – JOHN McENTIRE- DECEMBER 1790

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Sydney – 1790 – January: ‘Since the 13th of May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouthwe had been entirely cut off…from the intelligence of our friends and connections… no communications whatever having passed with our native country’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961 

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‘Since we first arrived  at this distant country [January 1788] all this while we have been as it were buried alive, never having the opportunity to hear from our friends…our hopes are now almost vanished’. Reverend Richard Johnson First Fleet Chaplain cited Jack Egan, Buried Alive, Eyewitness accounts of the making of a nation 1788-92, Allen and Unwin, Sydney 1999

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‘The other great change came [June 1790] in the arrival with the Second Fleet of the first companies of the New South Wales Corps’. Nigel Rigby, Peter van der Merwse, Glyn Williams. Pacific Explorations, Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the Beagle, Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles, London, 2018

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‘Military and police raids against dissenting Aboriginal groups lasted from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. These raids had commenced by [14] December 1790’. Professor Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child, History of Law In Australia, Allen & Unwin, 1995

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‘A smokescreen of legal confusion and argument covered up a continuing pattern of killings at the frontiers of the Australian colonies’. Kercher, An Unruly Child. ibid.

Since the 13th of May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouthwe had been entirely cut off…from the intelligence of our friends and connections…in which long period no supplies except for what had been procured for us at the Cape of Good Hope by the Sirius had reached us in [May 1789]’. Marine Captain Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. L.F. Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1961 

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THREE AMIGOS – WOODHAM RUGLESS LIMPUS + 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 Mollie Gillen, Founders of Australia, Library of Australian History.

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

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

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

During the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763)  snatch-and-grab occupation of some African fort settlements see-sawed between the French and British.

Biographical information is taken from Mollie Gillen’s fabulous Founders of Australia

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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, Governor Cape Coast Castle to Home Office, London.

Englands’ Civil Wars ??????     go to Britons never never slaves  ggggggggggg

1644 – West Africa:  The third Anglo-Dutch War (1644)  waged during the English Civil War, a period driven by the energy of Oliver Cromwell, Cape Coast Castle was taken from the Dutch thereby England established a permanent foot-hold in West Africa.

1649 – Westminster: Following  the beheading of King Charles the First on …..1649 a Commonwealth was declared under Oliver Cromwell as its Protector.

The Monarchy and the House of Lords were abolished. Oliver Cromwell’s comprehensive ‘Western Design’ saw England pivot swing from passive defence of ‘the isles’ to taking the fight to the enemy.

For this he needed an amphibious navy. He gave this task to Robert Blake.  Blake drew up ‘The Articles of War’  a rigid written set of ‘Regulations and ‘Fighting Instructions’ to govern the country’s naval and military forces.

1654 – Jamaica: Under Blake, designated general-at-sea, England’s first amphibious naval expedition was directed towards north America via the Spanish West Indies.

Admiral William Penn commander was at sea and Robert Venables, commander of land forces. What could possibly go wrong. Everything!

Divide and rule – the split brought misery to the people they invaded and conquered. That misery lasted throughout English/British long history of invasion and colonisation.

In Australia that ‘misery’ has never been acknowledged let alone addressed. Our starting date must be 1642 and the beheading of King Charles the First an d the ascendency of Oliver Cromwell.

Why?Oliver Cromwell made return from banishment from the realm ?????

captured the poorly defended island of Jamaica from the Spanish garrison.

 1658-England: Oliver Cromwell died of natural causes in 1658. He was succeeded by Richard his son who proved unequal to the challenge. Richard went into exile returning later to England living in secrecy.

1660 – Holland: With Cromwell out of the way, after nine (9) years living in exile on the Continent, the Prince of Wales, son and heir of the beheaded King Charles 1, returned to England from the Netherlands

In May 1660 he entered London ‘in ‘triumph’.

1661 -London: King Charles 11s coronation took place on 23 April 1661 with much ceremony in Westminster Abbey. It is from this time the  various elements of the period are referred to as THE RESTORATION.

King Charles 11 married Catherine of Braganza a Portuguese princess and a bit of a worry. But although a Catholic, she came with an extremely attractive dowry – Bombay with seven (7) islands and Tangiers.

The King and Queen had no children together. Charles is better known for his taste in other women of a ‘certain class’. The most famous of these [Eleanor] Nell Gwynn, who for some reason is known for her ‘oranges’.

Charles and Nell had two (2) sons. She poor soul died aged thirty-seven (37) it is thought of syphilis. Charles continued on his merry way spreading his seed willy-nilly throughout the realms.

One illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, annoyed at being not recognised as a ‘true blue blood’ raised a rebellion. He was caught and executed for his impertinence in 1685.

Nevertheless King Charles 2’s reign continued to be dogged by fear of a Roman Catholic resurgence. And it appears Catholics were thick on the ground. His brother James, slated to be his heir, was also married to a Catholic.

ggggggggg

1717/18: Following legislation, 4 Geo. 1 c.11, transportation to ‘an American colony’ became the normal sentence for criminals whose death sentence was ‘forgiven’ on condition they be banished from ‘the realm’.

Every convict sent to America was sold like a slave. The only essential difference…one was sold for life the other for a term of years’. Roger Ekirch, Bound for America, 1981

By the time of King George 111’s reign (1760-1820) – tied to twice yearly sittings of county courts – ‘transportation to America’  ran like clock-work.

‘To provide for the more speedy removal of convicts,  Geo. 1111, c15 declared that where the King’s mercy was extended to them on condition of transportation they were to be delivered to the contractor forthwith, instead of lying in prison until the next session of the court to plead their pardons‘. Wilfrid Oldham, British Convicts to the Colonies, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1990

America: Britain, between 1717 and 1775, exported  50,000 convicts to her North American colonies. as The transport merchant paid Treasury for each purchased prisoner so government made money from the trade

Once in America the ‘contractor’ made his money when he sold their ‘service’ – labour – to cotton and tobacco planters.

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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 –  Sydney, Friday 29th February: Shaped as another busy day for the infant colony’s’ criminal court. See: From Here To Eternity 

After the long drawn-out dramas of the previous two (2) days and, to avoid Sydney’s intense midday sun and drenching humidity, it had been decided court would convene earlier than usual.  See: Blind Man’s Bluff – Hall and Lavell

29th February: At 8 am James Freeman and William Shearman, accused the previous day of stealing from government stores, were first to appear in the dock.

Both were found guilty.  Shearman was sentenced to 300 lashes. Freeman was condemned to death.

George Whitaker, Daniel Gordon and John Williams were next to appear. They were charged with stealing eighteen (18) bottles of wine.

Whitaker was discharged. Gordon and Williams, both Afro -Americans as Loyalists they fought for Britain in America’s War of Independence (1775-1783).

All found guilty as charged were sentenced to hang with Freeman. The executions to take place that afternoon.

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

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

‘The full force of laws against theft was imposed from the moment the expedition arrived in Sydney. At the end of February 1788 five [5] men were convicted of theft and condemned to death, illustrating that property was more sacrosanct than life itself.

The sentences were carried out at public hangings, which the whole convict population was forced to watch’. Henry Reynolds,  Searching for truth-telling, History, Sovereignty and The Uluru Statement From the Heart, NewSouth Publishing, 2021

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‘Few personal documents relating to [Governor Arthur] Phillip survive; his low personal profile and the secret work in which he was sometimes involved make him one of the least-known founders of any modern state – in this case Australia’. Nigel Rigby, Peter Van Der Merwe & Glyn Williams, Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the Beagle, National Maritime Museum Greenwich, Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles, 2018

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1788 –  Sydney Cove, 27 February: On the morning of the 27th of February four (4) convicts John Ryan, Thomas Barrett, Henry Lavell and Joseph Hall were brought before a hastily convened military court charged with stealing from the Government Store.

‘Just three [3] weeks before half a continent had been declared Crown land in one of the most remarkable acts of plunder in modern times.’. Henry Reynolds. op.cit.

The four (4) men were accused ‘on shaky evidence of robbing or conspiring to rob food from the government storehouse.

Although on the previous day each man had received ‘without distinction’ the full combat ration of ‘troops serving in the West Indies’ they were sentenced to death.

The execution to take place later that same day; and ‘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

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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 Lieutenant Phillip Gidley King RN succeeded Governor Captain John Hunter RN who had been recalled to England took up his commission on Hunter’s departure 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, were reprieved death on condition of transportation to Australia, and these appeared to pose the most immediate threat.

A mixed bunch most poor illiterates, others were educated men; General Joseph Holt a militant Protestant, Rev. Henry Fulton an Episcopalian minister and Father James Harold a Catholic priest with two (2) British army officers Captains Alcock and St. Ledger.

1800 – 11 January, Sydney: At the beginning of 1800 these five (5) men were among one hundred and ninety-one (191) prisoners, twenty-six (26) of them women, who arrived aboard the convict transport Minerva in January 1800. See: G for Gender

Minerva and another convict ship Friendship sailed together from Cork on 24 August 1799. Friendship with one hundred and thirty-three male (133) prisoners. During the voyage of one hundred and forty (140) days via Rio one (1) in seven (7) prisoners died. Father James Dixon a Catholic priest and Paddy Galvin were among the survivors. See: G for Genocide

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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 James Boswell, prominent diarist and lawyer, appeared for the defence in a most extraordinary case.

His clients five [5] convicts – Mary Bryant, William Allen, James Martin, Nathaniel Lilley and John Butcher known collectively as ‘the Botany Bay escapees’ .

Each was charged, in accordance with Act 4, Geo. I, c. 11 Transportation Act of 1717[18] with ‘return before expiry of sentence…being at large within the kingdom’. If proven ‘return before expiry’ attracted mandatory death.

1792 – 2 July, London: It is not clear how James Boswell came to defend Mary Bryant but as she stood in the dock of the Old Bailey, London’s central Criminal Court, it would be hard to imagine anyone ‘more forlorn’.

1786 – March, London:  Six (6) years earlier –  March 1786 – in the same court Mary Bryant, then Mary Braund (Broad) aged about 18 years stood charged with theft of a silk bonnet. Found guilty and sentenced to death she was reprieved and commuted for transportation ‘beyond the seas’. (more…)