Posts Tagged ‘hanging’

From Here to Eternity – Thomas Barrett

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

‘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…five [5] men were convicted of theft and condemned to death, illustrating that property was more sacrosanct than life itself’. Henry Reynolds, Searching for Truth-Telling, History, Sovereignty and the Uluru Statement From the Heart, NewSouth Publishing 2021

 

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

***********

‘When leaving Botany Bay [25 January 1788] Phillip noticed two French ships in the offing…there would seem to be ‘some justification for the saying that England won Australia by six days’. Edward Jenks, History of the Australian Colonies, cited H.E. Egerton, A Short History of British Colonial Policy, Methuen, London, 1928

*************

Jean-Francois de Galaup, Comte de la Perouse [was] hanging around [at Botany Bay] on an expedition with two [2] ships’.  Professor Larissa Behrendt, The Honest History Book, eds. David Stephens & Alison Broinowski, NewSouth Publishing Press, 2017

***********

‘New Holland is a good blind, then,  when we want to add to the military strength of [Mysore] India’.  Anon.  to Evan Nepean, Frank Murcott Bladen, Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol.1 1892

************

‘The arm of a large tree was fixed upon as a gallows’. 

Sydney Cove 1788 – 27 February:   One (1) month after disembarking from the ‘First Fleet’ convicts Thomas Barrett, John Ryan, Henry Lavell and Joseph Hall were charged with stealing food from the government store-house.

All, found guilty as charged, were sentenced to death. The execution to take place that same day.

Only Thomas Barrett died that day. A small plaque at the corner of Harrington and Essex Streets in Sydney’s Rocks area marks Barrett’s fleeting presence in Australia.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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

***********

‘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

***********

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

(more…)

KETCH CONNECTION: THOMAS BARRETT SYDNEY 1788 – MICHAEL BARRETT LONDON 1868 – ROBERT RYAN MELBOURNE – 1967

Monday, July 13th, 2009

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

(more…)