Gravesites Of Tasmania

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Life Sentences for Murder

Extracts from the Campbell Street Gaol Gate-book

 1873Ė1890

Compiled by Laurie Moody 

Between 1873 and 1890 twelve men were charged with murder, five of whom were found guilty and executed, the remaining seven received life.  As the executions have been dealt with elsewhere, the following listings concern those men who received life sentences.  It is interesting to note three of whom arrived on the same vessel in 1852. 

A search of BDM records was undertaken for each person mentioned, but unfortunately in some cases this did not always provide further information.  

Abreviations:- 

The use of Ďakaí indicates Ďalso known así, Van Diemenís Land appears as VDL; New South Wales as NSW; Campbell Street Gaol as CSG; Hobart Supreme Court as HSC; Ticket of Leave as TOL; Conditional Pardon as CP and Births, Deaths and Marriages appear as BDM.  

Acknowledgements & Thanks: 

Archives Office of Tasmania for Births, Deaths and Marriages, Pioneer Shipping Records, Leonie Mickleborough, Sue Guinan and Linda McKenzie. 

BAKEY; Michael

Convict shipping records show Michael arrived in VDL aboard the Lord Dalhousie from Cork, Ireland on 14 August 1852.  On 20 February 1877 he was found guilty in the HSC of the Willful Murder of Thomas Lynch and sentenced to Life (a commutation).  His warrant number 798.  He arrived at CSG six days later when shown as 60 years-old, a labourer, Catholic with one prior conviction and illiterate. Michael was eventually released on 21 February 1887 after serving ten years.

A search of BDM records show a person of this name may have married an Ellen Mulcahy at Franklin, 16 June 1868.  He is shown as 44 years-old and Ellen, 40 years-old.  There is no further information.

CONNOLLY; James

Gate-book records show James arrived in VDL aboard the Pestongee Bomangee as a free settler.  A search of convict shipping records revealed six persons of this name aboard other vessels; however it failed to find a person of this name aboard the Pestongee Bomangee, but did reveal an Andrew and a John Connolly aboard Pestongee Bomangee (3).  On 5 April 1883 James was found guilty in the HSC of Murder and sentenced to Life (a commutation).  His warrant number 14823.  He didnít arrive at CSG until 2 May when shown as 54 years-old, a baker, Catholic with three or more prior convictions and literate.  James, according to a late entry after the gate-book closed, was eventually released on 7 July 1895 after serving just over twelve years.

A search of BDM marriage records show a person of this name possibly married a Mary Murphy at Hobart, 30 July 1855.  He is shown as 23 years-old and Mary, 17 years-old.  There is no further information. 

COWAN; Hugh (transported as COWEN)

Convict shipping records show Hugh arrived in VDL aboard the Lord Dalhousie from Cork, Ireland on 14 August 1852.   On 4 April 1878 he was found guilty in the LSC of Murder and sentenced to Life (a commutation).  His warrant number 12365.  He arrived at CSG on 19 April when shown as 62 years-old, a labourer, Protestant with one prior conviction and literate. Hugh was eventually released on 15 April 1890 with remission after serving twelve years.

A search of BDM records show a person of this name died at Hobart; 8 May 1898 aged 80 years.  There is no further information. 

DUNN; William

Convict shipping records show William arrived in Tasmania aboard the Clarence as a free convict, possibly from NSW, in early 1866.   On 24 April 1866 he was found guilty of Murder and sentenced to a Life of Penal Servitude.  His warrant number is not shown.  He arrived at CSG from Port Arthur on 2 May 1876 when shown as 40 years-old, a shoemaker, Catholic with no prior convictions and literate.  Hugh was then sent to the Cascades Depot for discharge.  He was released on a TOL the following day.

A search of BDM records shows two marriages for a person of this name, one to a  Rosannah McQuin at Port Sorell,  14 August 1865 and another to an Anne Russell at Ringarooma, 29 October 1888.  The search also shows a death for a William Dunn at Deloraine; 6 November 1898 aged 66 years. There is no further information.

LEATHLEY; George

Convict shipping records show George arrived in VDL aboard the Blundell (port of departure not shown), on 6 July 1844.   On 23 January 1866 he was found guilty in the HSC of Murder and sentenced to Life (a commutation).  His warrant number 11331.  After spending ten years at Port Arthur he arrived at CSG on 30 January 1876 when shown as 48 years-old, a blacksmith, Protestant with one prior conviction and illiterate. George was released with a TOL on 2 February 1876.

A search of BDM records show a person of this name possibly married a Catherine Curtain at Spring Bay, 23 December 1882. Both are shown as adults. The records also shown the death of a George Leathley at Hobart; 23 June 1895 aged 71 years.  There is no further information. 

OAKES; William

Convict shipping records show William arrived in VDL aboard the Lord Dalhousie from Cork, Ireland on 14 August 1852.  On 29 September 1886 William was found guilty of the Murder of Margaret Oakes (his wife).  Found guilty at the HSC, he was sentenced to Life (a commutation).  His warrant number was 16456.  He arrived at CSG the same day when shown as a hawker, Protestant, with three or more prior convictions and literate. Oakes died at CSG on 5 June 1887.

A search of BDM records show William married a Margaret McGregor at Hobart; 18 May 1857.  He is shown as 23 years-old and Margaret, 28 years-old.   There is no further information. 

 

STOCKLEY; James

Convict shipping records show two persons of this name arrived in VDL, one aboard the Asia (6) from Portsmouth on 21 August 1841 and the other aboard the Surrey (4) from London on 11 August 1842.  On 22 July 1879 he was found guilty in the HSC of Murder and sentenced to Life.   No warrant number is shown.  James arrived at CSG nine days later when shown as 69 years-old, a labourer, Protestant with three or more prior convictions and literate.  James died (apparently under suspicious circumstances according to a notation) at CSG on 5 September 1883.

A search of BDM records show a person of this name died at Hobart; 8 May 1898 aged 80 years.  There is no further information. 

 

 

 

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