A missing photograph and missing letter: John SMITH (x 2) per "Mangles" and Lord Calthorpe

Prisoners called John SMITH per Mangles 1835
Lord CALTHORPE's missing letter
T. J. NEVIN's missing mugshot(s) of a John Smith

Convict ship Mangles, master John Coghill
Date [ca. 1858-ca. 1911]
Identifier(s) H92.410/20
State Library of Victoria
Link: http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/132516

This is a very interesting ship with a colourful history. A logbook of the Mangles on this voyage, listing passengers, crew and prisoners, is held at the New York Public Library (Archives and Manuscripts). It contains entries made by Edward Roberts (3rd officer on board) from April 10, 1835-April 1, 1836, commanded by Captain William Carr. The ship left Deptford and Portsmouth, voyaging to Hobart, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), disembarking a company of soldiers, convicts, and some of the passengers before proceeding to Timor and Lombok, Dutch East India. A thoroughly engaging account written by Veronica Peek of the arrival of the Mangles and crew at Murray Island in the Torres Strait on the voyage to Dutch East India details the discovery by the crew of a white man living among the islanders.

Further reading:

The short John Smith and the tall John Smith

Two convicts called "John SMITH" were transported from Britain to Hobart, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the ship Mangles, arriving at Hobart, 1 August 1835. One of these men was 5ft 4½ inches tall, the other was 5ft 10½ inches tall.

Ship Mangles (7) (1835)
Ship Name: Mangles (1835) (7th voyage)
Rig Type: S.
Built: Calcutta
Build Year: 1802
Size (tons): 594 Voyage
Master: William Carr
Surgeon: Peter J. Suther
Sailed: 21 April 1835
From: London
Arrived: 1 August 1835
Port: VDL
Route: Days Travel: 102
Convicts Landed: 310 males & 0 female convicts

Details for the two convicts called John SMITH per Mangles (1835)
1. Convict Name: John Smith (no. 2035, the short one, 5ft 4½ inches tall)
Trial Place: Suffolk Quarter Session
Trial Date: 21 October 1834
Sentence: Life

2. Convict Name: John Smith (no. 2045, the tall one,5ft 10½ -11 inches tall)
Trial Place: Wilts Quarter Session
Trial Date: 14 October 1834
Sentence: 7 years

Source of notes: Hawksbury on the Net

One of these two men called John Smith per Mangles, prisoner no. 2035 arrived with a letter of reference from his former employer, Lord Calthorpe, addressed to the Governor who would have been Lt-Gov Colonel George Arthur in August 1835 at the time of the ship's arrival, the letter now apparently lost. The other prisoner called John Smith per Mangles, no. 2045 reportedly absconded from the Port Arthur prison on December 3, 1873. According to the Tasmanian police gazette notice of his escape on December 12, 1873 (p. 203), the police had in their possession photographs of prisoner no. 2045 which they stated they had distributed (see police gazette record below). Lacking further information, we are assuming the photographs were police mugshots rather than private studio portraits, and that the police had distributed them to colleagues in regional police stations. Those photographs, apparently, are now lost as well. A recidivist who consistently offended from 1860s to the 1880s, he would have been photographed by T. J. Nevin as a matter of course at the Hobart Gaol.

Prisoners photographed at the Hobart Gaol
When Sheriff of Tasmania and Inspector of Police, John Swan was questioned on Penal Discipline in Tasmania for the Commissioners' Report, tabled on July 24th, 1883, he stated that prisoners tried at the Supreme Court Hobart. Tasmania, were photographed on incarceration. He made no mention of photography for prisoners admitted at the Launceston Gaol in the north of the island. His description of the procedure dated back to its inception in Victoria and NSW when T. J. Nevin's contractual arrangements were formalised for 14 years' duration, from 1872-1886, for the provision of prisoner identification photographs to the Tasmanian colonial government.
JOHN SWAN, Esq., further examined.
12. Do you hold any other office besides that of Sheriff?
Yes; I am the Inspector of Police.
13. What steps are taken for the classification of prisoners in each Gaol respectively?
Proper classification is impossible under existing arrangements. This has been reported, and was pointed out by the Commission of 1874. Parliament voted a sum for effecting certain alterations. Plans were prepared, and a report from Mr. Hunter furnished. In Hobart, first and second convicted prisoners from Supreme Court are kept in the Gaol, old offenders in the House of Correction. In Launceston, there is no separation during the day. At night first and second convicted prisoners occupy cells, old offenders dormitories.
14. Are the Gaols and Houses of Correction sufficient to accommodate the present . number· of prisoners? [etc etc ....

..pages 11 & 12:

20. Describe the course a convicted prisoner passes through from reception to discharge?
At Hobart, a prisoner tried at the Supreme Court on reception is bathed, shaved, has his hair cut, is dressed in prison clothing, and photographed; he is then put into H. Division to serve a certain period of his sentence in separate treatment. At the expiration of such period he is put to hard labour, either at a trade or gang labor. He is bathed once a week, and attends Divine Service on Sundays; those who wish to attend school at night are allowed to do so. An Inferior Court prisoner on reception is bathed, shaved, and hair cut according to regulations; is then dressed in prison clothing, and put to hard labour either in the quarry or garden gangs; is bathed once a week, and attends Divine Service on Sundays. At Launceston, on admission he enters the receiving-room, his personal description is recorded, searched, and then taken to the male house of correction, where he is bathed, deprived of his clothing, dressed in a grey suit, hair cut, and whiskers shaved. If he is an effective he is placed in the stone-yard until Sheriff's authority is received to employ him outside the prison, He is then drafted into one of the gangs, where he usually remains until his sentence expires.
Source Parliamentary Papers 1883
Link: https://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/tpl/PPWeb/1883/HA1883pp41.pdf

Constable John Nevin (1852-1891), younger brother of professional photographer and government contractor Thomas J. Nevin, was resident at the Hobart Gaol on salary as Gaol messenger when he contracted typhus and died on 17th June 1891. He had assisted his brother Thomas J. Nevin with prisoner admissions since 1875 at the Hobart Gaol when Thomas was needed to photograph the prisoner on sentencing at the Hobart Supreme Court (next door to the Gaol) and incarceration. With John Nevin's death, and his brother's retirement from professional photography in 1886, the colonial administration advertised in 1892 for the employment of  one or two civil servants to replace the services of the Nevin brothers.

This document records the cost of employing a "writer and photographer" at the Hobart Gaol in 1892 was £77.0.0. No similar cost was incurred at the Launceston Gaol, so it would seem that prisoners there were not photographed until or unless they were relocated to the Hobart Gaol if their offense was serious enough to warrant imprisonment for longer three months.

The cost and estimated value of labour performed by the incumbent(s) as writer and photographer, £77.0.0, was shown on this return of 1892:

Source: Tasmanian Parliamentary Papers 1856 - 1901
Link: https://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/tpl/PPWeb/1893/1893pp44.pdf

Following legislative requirements introduced in NSW and Victoria in 1872 for prisoner identification photographs to be taken on sentencing and discharge, the colonial government in Tasmania engaged professional photographer T. J. Nevin in prisons to produce up to six duplicates from his capture on glass in a single sitting with every prisoner when merited. In all likelihood, he photographed one prisoner or several who called himself "John Smith" over more than a decade, yet no mugshot identified as either prisoner, whether the short one or the tall one, or indeed another using the name as an alias, has survived, or been suggested as likely among the handful yet to be identified in the Beattie collection held at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston.  As each primary document - the letter and the photograph - appears to be lost, these details of each prisoner's criminal career may assist in differentiating one from the other. A further problem appears to be the conflation of records for both men as one catalogue entry at the Archives Office of Tasmania. See this set of records, for example, at -

If a mugshot and duplicates were made of prisoner no. 2045, John Smith per Mangles (1835) as the police gazette attests, there is no reason to assume that the prisoner (a) was not photographed at the Hobart Gaol, or (b) that the photographer was not government contractor Thomas J. Nevin. There is not now, nor will there ever be any factual evidence that the commandant at the Port Arthur prison, A. H. Boyd had photographed this or any other prisoner in 1873 while in charge. As Julia Clark - the most recent and the most ardent fantasist wanting to "believe" in a Boyd accreditation for the National Library of Australia's collection of "convict portraits" which were correctly attributed to T. J. Nevin before she started her whimpering to them that she thought Boyd "should get the guernsey" in 2007 purely in self-interest in her quest for a PhD degree - as Julia Clark all too clearly reveals here in her ignorance of jurisdictional procedures of the era, her laziness in not conducting proper research, her confabulation of circumstance to prove her case, and her willingness to buttress these naively conceived fictions about Boyd with abuse of T. J. Nevin AND his descendants, she has not one iota of information to offer on the subject:-
A John Smith arrived on the Mangles on 1 August 1835 but his record stops for lack of room in the 1840s and I have not been able to find any further record of him. No image inscribed ‘John Smith’ has been found and he does not appear in the supplementary lists.... One might then expect that there would be some mention of this project in Boyd’s reports and official correspondence for 1873 and/or 1874; none has so far been found, which is curious....Boyd does not mention photographs in his Annual Reports from Port Arthur, which seems strange given that they include quite detailed accounts of expenditure that note, for example, what it cost to feed the working dogs.654 Perhaps photography was seen as an inexpensive, one-off project rather than a recurring expenditure....
From: Clark, Julia ‘Through a Glass, Darkly’: the Camera, the Convict and the Criminal Life
Unpublished, PhD thesis 2015, University of Tasmania  pp148-149.
Read our comments on this sad little thesis here:
The LONG con: our comments on Julia Clark's fraudulent thesis

Two prisoners called John SMITH

1. Prisoner no. 2035 John Smith per Mangles and the letter
Age: 38 years old on arrival at Hobart in 1835, born ca. 1797
Crime: larceny, stealing money
Trial place: Suffolk Quarter Session
Trial Date: 21 October 1834
Sentence: Life
Height and description: 5ft 4½ inches; hazel eyes; dark brown hair.
Occupation: groom and coachman
Religion: Protestant
Literacy: can read
Native Place: Worcester.
Family: Wife Sophia at Hampton; 6 children.
Stated he had lived with Lord Calthorpe for 25yrs.
Letter from Master Lord Calthorpe addressed to the Lt Governor.
1835 and 1837 Musters in Van Diemen’s Land: assigned at Government House, Hobart.

No. 2035 John Smith per Mangles. His Conduct Record noted this statement:
"I lived with Lord Calthorpe for 25 years"
Source: Archives Office Tasmania
Link: https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON31-1-40$init=CON31-1-40P131JPG

Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe (1790–1868) lived at Perry Hall Staffs, at the time prisoner no. 2035 John Smith per Mangles (1835) claimed he lived with him as a servant for 25 yrs. If this John Smith, servant to Lord Calthorpe, was 38 years old on arrival in Hobart, born therefore ca. 1797, and had "lived with" Lord Calthorpe for 25 years, he must have begun service at Perry Hall ca. 1810 when he was 13 years old.

Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe (1790-1868) and Lady Calthorpe (1790-1865)
Carte-de-visite 1860 by Disdéri of Paris.
Source: http://www.19thcenturyphotos.com/Lord-and-Lady-Calthorpe-125853.htm

Location: Perry Barr, County WARWICKSHIRE
Year demolished: 1929
Source: Presented by Sir Richard Paget Bt, 1930.
Link: http://www.lostheritage.org.uk/houses/lh_warwickshire_perryhall_info_gallery.html

More information regarding a letter from Lord Calthorpe was noted twice on the opposing page of the INDENT record for No. 2035, John Smith per Mangles:

"Letter deposited in the M M Office from his Master Ld Calthorpe"
written in original script, - and the second, enclosed in quotation marks, added in original script in faded blue coloured pencil -
"In possession of the Lieutenant Governor"
Source: Archives Office Tasmania
Link: https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON14-1-4$init=CON14-1-4P49

Assuming that the letter accompanied the prisoner no. 2035 John Smith on the Mangles, it was deposited on arrival in 1835 at Hobart. The second note states the letter was then placed in the possession of the Lieutenant Governor, who was George Arthur in 1835, and Sir John Franklin by January 1837. John Smith's CONDUCT record states that during 1837- 1838 he was a coachman assigned to Government House when he committed further offences. The contents and purpose of this important letter from Lord Calthorpe, probably testifying to John Smith's capabilities as groom and coachman despite his criminal offences which earned him transportation for life, must have worked in his favour, since his first assignment was to the highest official in the colony, the Governor. The letter might therefore be among the letters held by Sir John Franklin until his departure or those of this successors, still undiscovered at the Archives Office of Tasmania along with relevant documents pertaining to employment of prisoners at Government House in those years.

Police no. 2035, John Smith per Mangles 1835 received a Conditional Pardon on 29 August 1848 and soon after departed, probably for the Victorian gold fields. He may not have returned to Tasmania.

Prisoner No. 2035 John SMITH per Mangles
Detail: Conditional Pardon 1848
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: CON31-1-40P131

TRANSCRIPT (where legible)
2035 SMITH John
Mangles 1st August 1835
Suffolk QS 21st Oct 1834. Life

Transported for Larceny. Gaol Report. Bad character convicted before, a drunkard. Hulk. Report orderly. Married. Stated this offence, Stealing a purse from Maria Vickers once for Beer, 12 months, Married, 6 Children, Wife Sophia at Hampton. I lived 25 years with Lord Calthorpe, Surgeon's report Good.

April 27th 1837, Gov't House Charged by Mr Hepburn in assaulting David Webster. Solitary Cell at nights for 10 nights after his labour by day. [? initialled by authority] To be recorded in his favour his good conduct at the recent fire of Gov House [? initialled] Vide Sup 2 Dec 1837. Nov. 8th 1838 Coachman Govt Ho/ In a public House after hours [? initialled] January 22nd 1839 Drunk and ill using his masters horses Cells on bread one week [? initialled] July 8, 1839 [? initialled] Being in a public house after hours. All 7 nights doing his work by day [? illegible, struck through -"refusing to work.." initialled] June 23, 1840 making use of obscene language - 14 days cells [? initialled] August 24th 1840 [?..Wal?] Stealing 15lb of flour the property of his master To be [? ] to hard labor in chains for 6 mos [months- two sets of initials] Oct 9, 1849 C J [initialled] Ch (chain) Gang. Misconduct in leaving the church during divine service without leave, Rept disch Tol [ticket of leave] 1.3.44.
12 Sepr 1845 TL Breach of Police Act fined 20/- JP/ Recommended for a Con Pardon 29/8/48
Although commended for good conduct when a fire broke out at Government House, Hobart on 21st December 1837, John Smith was not among the three assigned convicts who received a public commendation. In 1837, with the arrival of Sir John Franklin, costs of the forty (40) convicts who were assigned to Government House, Hobart, to Government Cottages at Launceston and New Norfolk, the Domain and Gardens, called "billet men", were defrayed to the Colonial Revenue (page 3, Launceston Advertiser, Thursday 7th December 1837).

... The Lieutenant-Governor has been pleased to grant tickets-of-leave to the following men as a reward for their meritorious exertions on the occasion of the recent fire at Government House: — William Morrow, Moffatt ; James Wicks, Roslyn Castle ; John Adams, Bussorah Merchant.
Source: THE HOBART TOWN GAZETTE. Friday, December 15, 1837).

1852departure probably for the Victorian gold fields
Name: Smith, John
Record Type: Departures
Rank: Steerage
Status: Conditional Pardon
Departure date: 18 Mar 1852
Departure port: Launceston
Ship: Shamrock
Ship to colony: Mangles
Bound to: Melbourne
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:609880
Resource: POL220/1/1 p617

2. Prisoner no. 2045 John Smith and the photographs
Age: 21 years old on arrival at Hobart in 1835, born ca. 1814
Crime: house breaking
Trial Place: Wilts Quarter Session
Trial Date: 14 October 1834
Sentence: 7 years
Height and description: 5ft 10½; 2 blue marks, brown complexion; black hair; blue eyes.
Occupation: ploughman/farm labourer
Religion: Protestant
Literacy: can read
Native place: Osborne
Family: single, brothers - David and Thomas. Sisters - Jane and Sophia. Supreme Court, Hobart 17/04/1844 - sentenced to another 7yrs.

Prisoner No. 2045 John Smith per Mangles (1835) family members, housebreaking offence
Source: Archives Office Tasmania
CON14-1-4P64, CON14-1-4P65

Prisoner No. 2045 John Smith per Mangles (1835) criminal record 1830s
Source; Archives Office Tasmania Ref:CON31-1-40P135

Prisoner no. 2045, John Smith, criminal record 1840s
Police number: 2045
Index number: 65510
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1435437
Source: Archives Office Tasmania
Link: https://stors.tas.gov.au/NI/1435437

Prisoner no. 2045 John Smith per Mangles (1835) criminal record 1850s-1878
Source: Archives Office Tasmania

EXTRACT (loosely transcribed)
22 May 1860 Tried Supreme Court Oatlands 26 September 1860 Assault & Robbery being armed. Death recorded. Commuted to Penal servitude for life. Never again allowed to engage with the community.
4 August 1864, Port Arthur. Absconding from the Penitentiary PA, 5 years imprisonment with hard labour in chains, the first six months in separate prison
10 August 1868 Misconduct PA 4 days in solitary conf
13 November 1869 PA Misconduct 7 days solitary conf
19 December 1873 Absconding 12 months SP Separate Prison first month in solitary confinement
22 May 1875 Misconduct 6 months solitary confinement PO police office Torquay
25 6 1878 Larceny 2 months

SIDEBAR column:
To be released from heavy chains & placed in medium irons until further orders. C. O. 27.9.67
Released from chains 30.11.68
The Gov in C declines to interfere 20. 12. 70
H.C. (House of Corrections, Hobart) 7/8/75
Gov inf 20/11/76 T of L. granted Not to reside in Hobart Town
Died Invalid Depot New Town [Hobart] 11 January 1892

1873: "Photographs distributed" of absconder John Smith
This notice was to inform police that prisoner no. 2045, John Smith per Mangles, 60 yrs old in 1873, 5 ft 11 inches tall was wanted on warrant. His mugshot and its duplicates, in existence by December 1873, have disappeared, whether lost, damaged, stolen or destroyed. If he was at the Port Arthur prison prior to absconding in December 1873, and not on a chain gang in Hobart at the Domain with the Gregson brothers among others, he was photographed there during the visit of partners Samuel Clifford and Thomas J. Nevin in August 1873

On the 5th instant, from Port Arthur, whilst under-going a sentence of life passed on him at S. C. Oatlands, 26th September, 1860, for assault and robbery.
John Smith, per Mangles, aged 60, 5 feet 11, sallow complexion, brown to grey hair, hazel eyes, long nose, medium mouth, round chin, native of Hampshire, England, 2 blue marks inside right arm. Photographs distributed.
Tasmanian police gazette notice, 5 December 1873. John Smith was arrested within a week and sentenced to 12 months. His record shows he petitioned the Attorney-General in 1870 who declined to interfere. He was transferred to the Hobart Gaol, Campbell St. on 7th August 1875 where Nevin may well have photographed him again on being received, as well as on discharge in November 1876, per regulations in force since 1872. 

1876: discharged from Hobart
Prisoner no. 2045, John Smith per Mangles, 64 yrs old in 1876, 5 ft 11 inches tall, discharged.

John Smith per Mangles was tried at Oatlands S.C. on 26 September 1860 for assault and robbery being armed.
Sentence extended to life.
Native place: Hampshire
Age: 64 years old
Height: 5 ft 11 inches, grey hair, mole near left temple
Discharged 29 Nov 1876. Ticket of Leave.

1878: ticket-of-leave, convicted and discharged
This again was prisoner no. 2045, John Smith per Mangles. When convicted of larceny at Port Sorell (20 kms east of Devonport, northern Tasmania) per this police gazette notice of June 29th, 1878, John Smith per Mangles (1835) held a ticket-of-leave (TL). Now 64 years, 5 feet 11 inches tall, (still growing?) a baker by trade and resident of the Midlands district (Tasmania), the notice recorded a sentence of two months for theft of a watch, and quite remarkably, failed to record any of his prior convictions.

He was discharged two (2) months later, per this notice 31 August 1878.

According to this notice in the Tasmanian police gazette of discharges between 31 August and 4 September 1878,  John Smith, transported per Mangles, 64 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall, with grey hair and mole near left temple, born England, was tried at Torquay, the former name of Devonport (Tasmania - see Addenda below) on 25 June 1878 for larceny, sentenced to two months' incarceration, and was discharged in late August 1878

1880-1890: Health and Welfare Records
Which of the two men called John Smith per Mangles (1835) do these records describe? Records for the short prisoner John Smith no. 2035 cease after 1852. Given the death date of the tall John Smith in 1892, these records most likely pertain to the former prisoner with the record no. 2045. From 1880 to 1890, John Smith was admitted and discharged at Invalid Depots in Hobart. For example, this notice recorded his admission in 1880 because of disobedience of orders, and his discharge because he was able to work in 1881.
Feb 2, 1881, return of paupers discharged from Invalid Depots Tasmania
Authority No. 64. John Smith per Mangles admitted at Campbell Town on 12 July 1880,
Date discharged: 1 February 1881,
Remarks: Discharged because of disobedience of orders, able to work.
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: POL709-1-18P28

Feb 2, 1881, return of paupers discharged from Invalid Depots Tasmania
Authority No. 64. John Smith per Mangles admitted at Campbell Town on 12 July 1880,
Date discharged: 1 February 1881
Remarks: Discharged because of disobedience of orders, able to work.
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: POL709-1-18P28
Source: Tasmania Reports for Police, (police gazette), February 1881

John Smith per Mangles was admitted again in 1889 and discharged in 1890.
Prisoner John SMITH per Mangles
Return of Paupers discharged from the Invalid Depots Tasmania
Authority No. 38, admitted from Hobart on 10 Sept 1889, discharged 11 Feb 1890
Remarks: at own request
Archives Office Tasmania
Ref: POL709-1-23_1890P47
Source: Tasmania Reports for Police, (police gazette), February 1881-1890

Source: Archives Office Tasmania
Link: https://stors.tas.gov.au/NI/1605660

1892: Death of John Smith (prisoner no. 2045)
Unless both men transported on the Mangles (1835) called John Smith were bakers in late life, this record of John Smith's death at the New Town Charitable Institute of senile debility, 76 yrs old, on 10th January 1892, is the record of the taller one, former prisoner no. 2045, John Smith, 5ft 10½ -11 inches tall. Looking back to his Conduct and Indent records, he was 21 years old on arrival at Hobart in 1835 on the Mangles, so in 1892, he was ca. 78 years old, born ca. 1814.

Smith, John (former prisoner no. 2045)
Record Type: Deaths
Gender: Male
Age: 76
Date of death: 10 Jan 1892
Registered: Hobart
Registration year: 1892
Record ID:NAME_INDEXES:1236916
Archives Office Tasmania Resource: RGD35/1/13 no 977

Disambiguation: George MARSH alias John SMITH
None of these prisoners with the surname or alias of SMITH in the list below who were scheduled in July 1873 to be transferred from the Port Arthur prison back to the Hobart Gaol was prisoner no. 2045, John Smith per Mangles,(1835) 60 years old who reportedly absconded from Port Arthur in December 1873, and was sentenced to 12 months when arrested within weeks. Why wasn't he listed, if the place from which he absconded was Port Arthur? He was most likely a "billet man" working on a chain gang,  perhaps near Torquay (Devonport) in the north of Tasmania when he absconded, and not at Port Arthur, the original place of his incarceration and recidivism for most of the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s. He was confined again at the Police Office, Torquay in 1875 .

1. John Smith alias Wm Orrin, 42 years old, date of conviction 26 November 1872, tried at the Supreme Court, Hobart, Crime- Feloniously receiving, Sentence - 10 years. (DOB ca. 1830)
2. John Smith alias George Marsh , 55 years old, date of conviction 13 June 1871, tried at the Police Office Launceston, Crime - Larceny and absconding, Sentence - 6 months (DOB ca. 1816)
3. Henry Smith, 37 years old, date of conviction, 12 September 1871, tried at the Supreme Court, Hobart, Crime - Housebreaking, Sentence - 5 years (DOB ca. 1834)
4. Campbell, William alias Job Smith, 45 years old, date of conviction 19 March 1872, tried at Supreme Court, Launceston, Crime - Uttering a forged cheque, Sentence - 8 years (DOB ca. 1827)
5. John Smith, 42 years old, date of conviction 10 September 1872, tried at Supreme Court, Hobart, Crime - Attempt at burglary, Sentence 2 years (DOB ca. 1830)
6. Alexander Smith, 40 years old, date of conviction 26 November 1872, tried at the Supreme Court, Hobart, Crime - uttering counterfeit coin, Sentence - 2 years (DOB ca. 1832)

Public outrage in the press at judicial inconsistencies in sentencing mentioned prisoners George Marsh with Henry Page and Charles Downes as getting a reprieve while Job Smith aka Campbell was hanged in 1875. John Smith aka George Marsh was 55 years old in 1871, 5ft 4 inches tall, when he arrived at Port Arthur on 9 December 1876. He was sent back to Hobart in 1877 per this Port Arthur conduct record of earnings, which incidentally doesn't show any earnings. This prisoner was not photographed at Port Arthur during incarceration there, and if he was photographed on discharge, his photograph apparently has not survived either as George Marsh or the alias he used, John Smith, but by 1884 when he was admitted to the Insane Asylum at New Norfolk suffering hallucinations of animal attacks and found to be of unsound mind, he was admitted as George Marsh.

Source: George Marsh as John Smith
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: CON94-1-2P20
Hospital records George Marsh
HSD285/1/1891 Marsh, George dob c.1820 03 Jun 1884 03 Jun 1884

Addenda 1: Lord Calthorpe at Perry Hall

Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe (1790-1868) and Lady Calthorpe (1790-1865)
Carte-de-visite 1860 by Disdéri of Paris.
Source: http://www.19thcenturyphotos.com/Lord-and-Lady-Calthorpe-125853.htm
A carte-de-visite portrait of Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe (1790-1868), and his wife, Lady Calthorpe. Born in London on 14 June 1790, he was the son of Henry Gough-Calthorpe, 1st Baron Calthorpe and his wife Frances née Carpenter. On 12 August 1823 he married Lady Charlotte Sophia Somerset, daughter of Henry Charles Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort and Lady Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower. The marriage produced at least three daughters and four sons; three of the sons succeeded in turn as Baron Calthorpe. He served as MP for Hindon from 1818 to 1826 and as MP for Bramber from 1826 to 1831. On 14 May 1845 his name was legally changed by Royal Licence to Frederick Gough. In September 1851 he succeeded his older brother George and became 4th Baron Calthorpe of Egbaston in the County of Warwickshire. Lady Calthorpe died, aged 70, on 12 November 1865 at Elvetham in Hampshire. Lord Calthorpe died, aged 77, on 2 May 1868, also at Elvetham. His will (dated 13 May 1856) was proved on 14 May 1868, at under £70,000.Photographed in 1860 by Disdéri of Paris.
Copyright © Paul Frecker 2021
Link: http://www.19thcenturyphotos.com/Lord-and-Lady-Calthorpe-125853.htm

Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe (1790–1868) lived at Perry Hall Staffs, at the time prisoner no. 2035 John Smith per Mangles (1835) claimed he lived with him as a servant for 25 yrs.
Perry Hall was acquired by Sir Henry Gough of Oldfallings near Wolverhampton in 1669 and continued as the main residence of the family until 1923 when the estate was sold. The hall itself, which occupied the Northern end of a medieval moated site, bore the date 1576, although substantial additions and modifications had been made to it in 1788 and, by the architect S. S. Teulon, in the late 1840's. A two day sale of Perry's contents in March 1928 included parts of the structure itself, such as "1000 Stone Mullion & other windows", "120 Oak & Pine Doors" and "40 Marble & Oak Mantelpieces". It was demolished shortly afterwards but the moat remains as a boating pool in Perry Hall Park. In 1911 Perry, as part of the parish of Handsworth, was included within the City of Birmingham.

Location: Perry Barr, County WARWICKSHIRE
Year demolished: 1929
Source: Presented by Sir Richard Paget Bt, 1930.
Link: http://www.lostheritage.org.uk/houses/lh_warwickshire_perryhall_info_gallery.html

Perry Hall Park or Perry Hall Playing Fields is a park in Perry Barr, Birmingham, England, at grid reference SP059918. It was in Staffordshire until 1928.[1]
It was formerly the site of Perry Hall, demolished 1927, home of the Gough family, though only the hall's moat remains after the Birmingham Corporation had to choose between saving Perry Hall and the nearby Aston Hall for financial purposes. When Harry Dorsey Gough set up home in Maryland, United States, in 1774, he named his estate there Perry Hall. The site is protected by Fields in Trust through a legal "Deed of Dedication" safeguarding the future of the space as public recreation land for future generations to enjoy.[2]
The park is bisected by the River Tame, which was remodelled in 2005 to slow the flow, alleviate flooding and create improved habitats for wildlife, as part of the SMURF (Sustainable Management of Urban Rivers and Floodplains) project. The park has a small heronry.
The park is skirted by the Birmingham - Walsall railway line (the "Chase Line"), formerly the Grand Junction Railway and served by nearby Perry Barr railway station and, at the western end, Hamstead railway station.
In July 1913, the first International Scout Rally in Birmingham was held in the park, attended by about 30,000 Scouts.[3]
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_Hall_Park

Addenda 2: History of Devonport (Tas)
* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area around Devonport had been home to the Tommeginne Aborigines for an estimated 30,000 years.
* The first explorers into the area reached the Mersey River as early as 1823. Reports were not favourable with one explorer noting that the land was "mountainous, extremely barren and totally unfit for habitation".
* The arrival of the Van Diemen's Land Company in 1826 resulted in the district being explored and surveyed. Settlers began to arrive later that year.
* The local Aborigines resisted settlement. This culminated in the killing of Captain Bartholomew Boyle Thomas, the district's first settler, in 1829.
* The tiny settlement of Torquay was established on the east bank of the Mersey River in 1851.
* A settlement named Formby was laid out on the west side of the Mersey River in 1853.
* The port facilities - a store, wharf and warning beacons as well as the Don Railway - had been completed by 1854.
* Throughout the 1850s the port was used by timber cutters and boat builders. There was also some coal mining in the area.
* Prior to 1860 the only way to cross the Mersey was by boat or swimming.
* In 1860 a rough log bridge was built upstream at the village of Latrobe. Eventually a ferry plied the river.
* A local Marine Board was formed in 1868.
* The railway from Launceston reached Devonport in 1885.
* The Devonport Town Board was formed on 11 February 1890 when Formby and Torquay amalgamated.
* The port's lighthouse, now part of the National Estate, was completed in 1899. It still stands on Mersey Bluff.
* It wasn't until 1902 that a bridge was finally built across the river.
* Devonport Municipal Council was formed in 1908.
Source: Aussie Towns: Devonport, Tasmania

RELATED POSTS main weblog

Prisoner Thomas ARCHER alias Thomas SMITH or James SMITH 1875


Thomas ARCHER alias Thomas SMITH or James SMITH
Two copies of this one image of a prisoner identified on numerous transportation, gaol and police records as Thomas Archer, alias Thomas Smith or James Smith, are extant in public collections. All three names are associated with the prison ships John Calvin (to NSW) and Tory (from Norfolk Island to Hobart, VDL). Whether the prisoner in this image was known to the police administration as Thomas Archer alias Thomas Smith or James Smith, he was photographed just once at the Hobart Gaol in July 1875. His image was produced at the one and only sitting with government contracted photographer Thomas J. Nevin from his glass negative, and duplicated for police records. One of these copies, most likely the copy held at the Archives Office of Tasmania, was reproduced for print publication or exhibition in the 20th century.

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery copy

Prisoner: Thomas ARCHER alias Thomas SMITH
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin, July 1875
Location: Hobart House of Corrections (Hobart Gaol)
TMAG Ref: Q15583

Number on recto: this mugshot of prisoner identified as Thomas Smith was mounted as a carte-de-visite when first printed in 1874-75, but it was numbered "43" on the recto when it was removed from the John Watt Beattie Collection at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston in 1983 for an exhibition at the Port Arthur prison heritage site on the Tasman Peninsula. It was not returned to the Beattie Collection at the QVMAG in Launceston, as it should have been, it was deposited instead at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart (TMAG), along with at least fifty (50) more cdvs of prisoners similarly numbered. The original photographs of these men were taken by professional photographer Thomas J. Nevin in the 1870s on contract for daily use by police and prisons administration. The QVMAG list (2005) showed a total of 199 mugshots, but only 72 were physically held at the QVMAG when the list was devised. At least 127 mugshots were missing by 2005.

Verso. Prisoner: Thomas ARCHER alias Thomas SMITH
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin, July 1875
Location: Hobart House of Corrections (Hobart Gaol)
TMAG Ref: Q15583

Number on verso: this cdv was numbered "153" on the verso much earlier, in the early 1900s when it was removed from the Hobart Gaol and Municipal Police Office registry and inscribed verso by Beattie et al with the wording "Taken at Port Arthur 1874" along with more than a hundred of these original mugshots taken by government contractor T. J. Nevin in the 1870s. J. W. Beattie, as the government photographer by 1900 who was contracted to promote Tasmania's penal heritage, sent this mugshot of James Smith or Thomas Archer alias Smith - among many dozens more - for inclusion in travelling exhibitions associated with the fake convict hulk Success at Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide. On Beattie's death in 1930, the QVMAG acquired this travelling set of Tasmanian mugshots, removed each from the cardboard to which they were pasted, and exhibited them in 1934 at Launceston as part of the estate of John Watt Beattie's convictaria collection.

The Archives Office of Tasmania copy
This copy of the photograph taken from the one capture at a single sitting by Thomas J. Nevin of the prisoner Thomas Archer, alias Thomas Smith is held at the Archives Office of Tasmania with the name of James Smith. The slight vertical dark mark at the edge of the oval mount at right suggests it was coupled next to another image or object when reproduced, not in the 1870s when police used duplicates from Nevin's single glass negative for their Photo Books and the Gaol's blue rap sheets, but decades later.

LINC Tasmania APA citation: “James Smith, Convict transported per John Calvin.
Photograph taken at Port Arthur by Thomas Nevin.”

Prisoner James Smith per ships Calvin (to Norfolk Island) and Tory to (VDL)
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin, Hobart Gaol, December 1874
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: 30/3256

Trials and sentences from 1855 to 1884
In the Remarks column of this record (below) which documents the prisoner transported as Thomas Archer but later convicted as Thomas Smith, is the note:
For former history vide Thomas Archer per John Calvin
After his arrival in Van Diemen's Land in September 1846, and at the termination of his initial sentence of ten years, Thomas Archer as Smith was regularly incarcerated for periods of eight or ten years for burglary and larceny. This record document records his trials and sentences between 1855 and 1884.

Thomas Archer as Smith was imprisoned and released from 1855 to 1859 at the Prisoners Barracks and Port Arthur, and then tried as Thomas Smith at the Supreme Court, Hobart on 23 July 1862 for burglary, sentenced to eight (8) years. The Judge at trial advised the prisoner should serve the full sentence.

As soon as Thomas Archer as Smith was released, he was arrested again and tried at the Supreme Court Hobart on 6th July 1869 for housebreaking and larceny. He was sentenced to another eight (8) years imprisonment.

The Governor in Council remitted the residue of Thomas Archer alias Smith's sentence on 19th July 1875.  He was released to freedom on 24th July 1875 from the House of Corrections, Campbell St. Hobart. Government contractor Thomas J. Nevin photographed Thomas Archer alias Thomas Smith between the 19th and 24th July 1875 as soon as Archer's sentence was remitted.

It seems June and July were Thomas Archer's preferred time of the year for his chosen criminal vocation - burglary. Less than a year after release to freedom in July 1875, he was tried again at the Supreme Court Hobart, on 8th June 1876 for burglary and larceny and sentenced to ten (10) years imprisonment.

Once more released to freedom, he was tried at the Supreme Court Hobart nine years later, on 25 March 1884 for burglary and sentenced to another 10 (ten) years imprisonment.

Remarks on this record :
For former history vide Thomas Archer per John Calvin
Prisoner Thomas ARCHER alias Thomas SMITH
Archives Office of Tasmania
Link: https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON37-1-8$init=CON37-1-8P434

Transportation and Port Arthur records
Names: Smith, Thomas
Record Type: Convicts
Employer: Degraves, Charles: 1854
Additional identifier: 2
Departure date: 9 May 1846
Departure port: Woolwich
Ship: John Calvin
Voyage number: 371
Remarks: Off Norfolk Island per Tory Jun 1847
Index number: 66197
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1436039
Conduct Record: CON33/1/88
Employment: CON30/1/2 Page 330
Indent: CON14/1/37 Page 162

Name: Archer, Thomas
Record Type: Convicts
Also known as: Smith, Thomas
Departure date: 9 May 1846
Departure port: Woolwich
Ship: John Calvin
Voyage number: 371
Remarks: Off Norfolk Island per Tory Jun 1847
Index number:1327
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1369338
Conduct Record: CON33/1/88
CON37/1/8 Page 2837
CON94/1/1 Page 316
CON94/1/1 Page 316 (cont.)
CON94/1/2 Page 33
Indent: CON14/1/37 Page 124
CON14/1/37 Page 125 (cont.)

Prisoner Thomas ARCHER alias Thomas SMITH
Archives Office of Tasmania
Link: https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON33-1-88$init=CON33-1-88P3

Prisoner Thomas ARCHER alias Thomas SMITH per John Calvin
Archives Office of Tasmania
Link: https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON94-1-2$init=CON94-1-2p65

This record of Thomas Archer's earnings is transcribed with the note:
"Discharged to Freedom 23 July 1875"

The police gazette records which list a prisoner's place of discharge from "Port Arthur" are misleading. On this discharge notice, for example, Thomas ARCHER as Thomas Smith per John Calvin was listed second from top as released from Hobart Town in the week ending 28th July 1875, no physical details provided, Free in Servitude, received from Port Arthur. Further down on the same list, third from bottom,  he is recorded again as released from Port Arthur, native place Essex. The gaol book gives more detail: he was granted a remit of sentence on the 19th July 1875 by the Governor in Council, and released to freedom on 24th July from the House of Corrections (Hobart Gaol), Campbell Street, Hobart (see record above - CON37-1-8 Image 434)

Prisoner Thomas Archer alias Thomas Smith was photographed and discharged from the Hobart Gaol in the week ending 28 July 1875.
Source: Tasmania Information  for Police (weekly police gazette).

Errors made by the 19th century administration which recorded the prisoner's first convictions; errors made by archivists cataloguing those same documents decades or even centuries later; the inevitability of aliases used by any convicted criminal who claims to have been born with the name "James Smith" - all these pitfalls return the sorts of confusions which a researcher seeking the history of family members long dead may well pursue to the end of their days, but which a frustrated researcher may well ask - "Is it really worth it?" For example: - 

This James Smith who was sentenced to 12 months for perjury in December 1874 could not have been the same James Smith who was not released to freedom until July 1875, yet these two records are conflated as if there was just one prisoner called James Smith.
Surname Smith Given names James
Colony Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island
Sentence term 15
Ship John Calvin
Tried at York Special Assizes
Record extract Convicted at York Special Assizes for a term of 15 years. Gender m

Surname SMITH
Given names James
Ship John Calvin
Departure date 9 May 1846
Arrival in NSW year 1837
Date record 20 Mar 1845
Record summary Certificate of Freedom
Additional information TL 41/945
Citation [4/4397; Reel 1019]
Gender m

This James Smith was employed by Charles Degraves in 1852. The ship on which he arrived at NSW - Norfolk Island - was the John Calvin, then to Hobart on the Tory, arriving June 1847.This James Smith was given permission to marry Mary Haneen on 18 December 1855.

Convict Records (held by State Library of Queensland)
John Calvin, 09 May 1846
Link: https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/john-calvin/1846

Thomas Archer, one of 200 convicts transported on the John Calvin, 09 May 1846
Thomas Archer Central Criminal Court
Sentence term: 10 years
Ship: John Calvin
Departure date:9th May, 1846
Arrival date:21st September, 1846
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island

3. IS THIS Thomas ARCHER aka James SMITH?
James Smith, one of 200 convicts transported on the John Calvin, 09 May 1846
York Special Assizes
Sentence term: 15 years
Ship: John Calvin
Departure date: 9th May, 1846
Arrival date: 21st September, 1846
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island
Community Contributions
Anonymous on 15th October, 2011 wrote: James was convicted at York, England on 6 Dec 1845 for robbery - 15 yr transportation sentence. Travelled on the ‘John Calvin’ to Norfolk Island (for 13mths) then to van Diemens Land (Tasmania) on ‘Tory’ arriving 21 Sep 1846. He was assigned to various locations and coal mines and sent to Port Arthur Penal Settlement for assault on a police officer. He received his Ticket of Leave in 1855 and Conditional Pardon in 1857. He married an Irish convict, Mrs. Mary Hanneen (or Hannon) in 1856. (She had 2 children back in Ireland and also an illegitimate child in Tasmania who was subsequently raised as one of the family.) It is known they had at least 4 children. They lived in the Oatlands, midlands of Tasmania and appear to have been highly regarded. He died 86 yrs and is buried in the R.C. section of the Oatlands cemetery.
Link: https://convictrecords.com.au/convicts/smith/james/24345

4. Thomas SMITH or James SMITH?
Thomas Smith, one of 200 convicts transported on the John Calvin, 09 May 1846
Central Criminal Court
Sentence term:15 years
Ship:John Calvin
Departure date: 9th May, 1846
Arrival date:21st September, 1846
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island
Thomas Smith, one of 200 convicts transported on the John Calvin, 09 May 1846
Crime: Robbery with violence
Convicted at:Central Criminal Court
Sentence term: Life
Ship:John Calvin
Departure date: 9th May, 1846
Arrival date: 21st September, 1846
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island
Community Contribution:
Thomas was charged and found guilty at the CCC London on 5 Jan 1846 of obtaining a 10 pound note, using weapons, from Thomas Phillips, Camberwell, London. Found guilty and sentenced to Life transportation. His wife was stated as Mrs. Ann Jones and she said they were married at Towcester, Northamptonshire. It seems "Smith" was not his correct name. (CCC court ref. t18460105-452). Tas Archives Convict record indent also states his proper name is "James Hales". Native place ‘Tochester’- but this may read Towchester. Wife-Ann; Father - Stephen; Brother-Samuel; Sisters -Ann, Lucy. Protestant, could read & write, 5 4 1/4", brown hair, blue eyes.
Escaped from hulk in Portsmouth. Convict record shows he absconded several times and charged with misconduct. Ticket of Leave 18 June 1861 but later revoked. 4 Mar 1862 listed as absent. Spent time on Norfolk Island and van Diemen’s Land. (Ref. Tasmanian Convict Conduct & Indent records.)
Link: https://convictrecords.com.au/convicts/smith/thomas/27973

5. WHO was this James SMITH ?
This James Smith who was sentenced to 12 months for perjury in December 1874 could not have been the same James Smith who was not released to freedom until July 1875.

1874, December: James Smith, 12 months for perjury

Before His Honor Sir FRANCIS SMITH, Chief Justice.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL prosecuted on behalf of the Crown.

James Smith was charged with having, on the 22nd September last, wilfully committed perjury, by giving certain evidence in the case of an information heard against a publican named Henry P. Ryder, and knowing at the same time such evidence to be untrue.

The prisoner conducted his own defence.

It appeared from the evidence that at the hearing of the information against Ryder, on the 22nd September last, the prisoner had made certain statements as a witness in Ryder's behalf. Ryder was charged with having received a watch from one John Fahey as pledge over the bar for drink, in lieu of money. The prisoner had sworn on oath that the watch had been sold by Fahey to Ryder in his (the prisoner's) presence.

Edward Cahill, Council Clerk at New Norfolk, produced the depositions of the prisoner, as given by him in the charge against Ryder, heard before Messrs. Jamieson and Huston, J.s.P., on the 22nd September last.

John Pain deposed to having gone into Ryder's Inn on the day in question, without any money. He asked Ryder for beer, and wanted him to trust him. He saw the prisoner in the bar. He appeared to be drunk. Witness and Ryder went into the parlour, leaving prisoner in the bar. Witness in the parlour tendered a watch to Ryder, in the presence of Mrs. Ryder and a man named Burt. The prisoner at the time being in the bar. After that witness returned to the bar, and got a considerable quantity of beer.

Thomas Smith gave somewhat similar evidence Henry Ryder deposed to the same facts.

In cross-examination by His HONOR, Ryder admitted that it might be possible for a person to see from the bar into the parlour.

His HONOR in summing up went over the facts of the case. He commented forcibly on the conduct of Ryder throughout the transaction, and directed the jury, that if they believed the prisoner had seen any action such as the handing over of the watch to Ryder, or the passing of money, they should give the prisoner the benefit of this belief.

After a brief consultation the jury returned with a verdict of " guilty," accompanied by a recommendation to mercy, believing the prisoner to be the dupe of the man Ryder.

His HONOR said that he believed the prisoner had been led away. He was one of those men who habituated public-houses and had not been particular as to what he had sworn. But taking into consideration the facts connected with the case, and the recommendation to mercy of the jury, the sentence of the court was that he be imprisoned for 12 calendar months.
Source: Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Thursday 3 December 1874, page 2

When James Smith appeared in the Criminal Court, Hobart 2 December 1874 and sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, he appeared in the same session as James Geary who was sentenced in February 1874. Another prisoner sentenced to death in the same session for murder was George Williams (no photograph, and no execution?)

CRIMINAL COURT, HOBART TOWN The sittings of the Court were resumed on Wednesday... In the Second Court, before Mr Justice Dobson, George Williams, accused of the murder of his wife, was found guilty, and sentenced to a death. James Smith, wilful perjury, found guilty with a recommendation to mercy, sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment. James Geary, horse stealing at Bothwell was found guilty and sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment.
Source: Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899), Saturday 5 December 1874, page 3
James Smith was charged with having committed wilful perjury in the New Norfolk Police-court in an information filed against Mr. Ryder, a licensed victualler. The perjury consisted in prisoner having sworn that Mr. Ryder had given money and beer to a man named Fahey for a watch, and that the transaction took place at the bar of a public house. Ryder was charged with having received a pledge for drink.
Prisoner pleaded not guilty.
Up to a late stage of the case the particulars were devoid of the slightest interest. It appeared that the case arose out of a drunken bout.
Prisoner asserted the prosecution was a conspiracy, and he called Mr. Ryder as a witness. His evidence came to this: that he had made the best statement he could for himself, and that he had allowed the prisoner before the New Norfolk magistrates to state what he knew to be untrue.
The Solicitor-General, in closing the case, said Ryder was as bad, if not worse that the prisoner, for he admitted that he had been guilty of subornation of perjury.
His Honour in summing up to the jury said they would have to be satisfied that the prisoner, in addition to having sworn what was false - for there was little doubt upon that point - but that he knew it was false, and that he designedly and wilfully swore what he knew to be false. After reviewing the evidence of the various witnesses, His Honour left it to the jury to say what weight was to be attached to it....
Source: SECOND COURT. (1874, December 3). The Tasmanian Tribune p. 3.

6. Thomas ARCHER as Thomas SMITH or James SMITH?
Old Bailey Proceedings 1740-1913
Record ID obpdef1-452-18460105
Trial text at oldbaileyonline.org
Data created by Old Bailey Online
5th January 1846
Surname SMITH
Given names THOMAS
Age 24 Birth year 1822 Gender m
Offence category violent theft: robbery
Verdict category guilty
Sentence category transport
Sentence term 99
Victim's name Thomas Phillips
Offence date 14th of Dec
Offence details that he, with a certain other person, being armed with offensive weapons, viz. pistols and daggers, did assault Thomas Phillips, on the 14th of Dec, putting him in fear and robbing him, from his person and against his will, of 1 10l. Bank note, his property;
Punishment summary: Transported for Life Old Bailey Online reference ID t18460105-452

RELATED POSTS main weblog

The case against Henry Stock (var. Stocks) 1884 for murder of his wife and her child

MURDERS of WOMEN and CHILDREN 19th century Tasmania

Detail of photograph below:
Henry Stock: carte-de-visite photograph by T. J. Nevin in buff mount pasted opposite death warrant dated 13 September 1884
Death Warrants V.D.L. Tasmania Supreme Court. Mitchell Library C203. SLNSW
Photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2009

Henry Stock: carte-de-visite photograph by T. J. Nevin in buff mount pasted opposite death warrant dated 13 September 1884
Death Warrants V.D.L. Tasmania Supreme Court. Mitchell Library C203. SLNSW
Photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2009

This carte-de-visite in an oval mount is a booking shot of Henry Stock still wearing his fine street clothes. It was taken by government contractor T. J. Nevin when Stock was incarcerated at the Hobart Gaol in July 1883. Even as late as the mid 1880s, Thomas Nevin, assisted by his brother Constable John Nevin who was armed in sessions involving violent prisoners, continued to compose and print mugshots of prisoners for police and prison records within the conventions and techniques of 1870s commercial studio portraiture. This cdv may have been taken soon after Henry Stock's arraignment at the Supreme Court, Hobart, 24 July 1883, charged with forgery, and reprised a year later to accompany his death warrant when he was arrested for the murder of his wife in September 1884. Bequeathed from collector David Scott Mitchell's estate in 1907, both the photograph and death warrant were certainly the property of the Tasmanian government when collated in Volume 2, Tasmania Supreme Court Death warrants and related papers, 1818-1884 (C 203), held at the State Library of NSW.

1883: Henry Stock charged with forgery
Imprisoned at the Hobart Gaol, Campbell Street, for six months for "alteration of a figure on a cheque" with another man William John Lawrence, Henry Stock was discharged on 16 January 1884.

CRIMINAL SITTINGS, Tuesday July 24 [1883] .... Henry Stock, charged with forgery at Hamilton, pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr R. Sergeant. He was convicted, and sentenced to six months' imprisonment.
SUPREME COURT, HOBART. FIRST COURT. (1883, July 25). Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. : 1883 - 1928), p. 2.
Source: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article149499290

Henry Stock was 19 years old , locally-born ("native" indicates he was not a transported convict) when he was arraigned in the Supreme Court Hobart, 24 July 1883 for forgery and uttering, and sentenced to six months.
Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police, (police gazette)

Henry Stock, Tasmania Supreme Court trial dates and sentences
Griffith University, The Prosecution Project Historic Trials
Link: https://prosecutionproject.griffith.edu.au/

1884: murder of wife and child
Discharged on the 18th January, 1884 from the Hobart Gaol, the Tasmania Police Gazette listed Henry Stock as 22 years old, although he was 19 years old only six months earlier. The police added an "s" to his name - Stocks which the press repeatedly published; gave his height as 5 feet 7 inches, determined his hair was light brown, and recorded a large scar on left wrist. His status was free, prior to arrest.

Henry Stock was discharged from the Hobart Gaol 18th January 1884 (Tasmania Police Gazette: p. 12). Less than two months later, on 28 April 1884,  Elizabeth Stock, his wife, was reported missing by police. Henry Stock was arrested on suspicion of murdering her, and her three-year old son (his step-son) Walter Stock.

Information is requested of a married woman named Elizabeth Stock, and her son, aged 2 years, who are missing from their home, Victoria Valley, since the 5th ultimo. Description - 21 years of age, about 5 feet high, stout build, light brown hair, dark eyes, fair complexion, supposed to be wearing a blue cross-barred dress, white hat trimmed with white and red rose, and wore elastic boots. Has two sisters in service at Mr. Terry's, New Norfolk.
Notice of missing woman Elizabeth Stock and child Walter Stock, with illegible comment written across it. Tasmania Police Gazettes 2 May 1884, p. 70.

Henry Stock was arrested on suspicion of murder of his wife. Tasmania Police Gazette 2 May 1884, p. 69

The inquest of 1st May 1884 returned the verdict that Elizabeth Stock, 21 years old, and her son Walter Stock, aged 3 years, were murdered at Victoria Valley (Tas) by Henry Stock on or about 6 April 1884.

Henry Stock was remanded for the murder of his wife Elizabeth on 13th May 1884, and again on 22 July 1884 for two murders, his wife and her son as well. In the latter session, according to the footnote at the bottom of page 139, the jury was locked up for the night, "being unable to agree, and discharged at 10 a.m. on the 23rd July." On 23 September, 1884, the verdict of death by hanging was determined.

Arraigned at the Supreme Court, Hobart on 23 September 1884, Henry Stock, 23 years old, was sentenced to death for the murder of Elizabeth Stock. The charge of murder of her son Walter Stock was dropped - "Nolle prosequi". Source: Tasmania Police Gazette 3 October 1884, p. 159

The death warrants

Death Warrants V.D.L. Tasmania Supreme Court. Mitchell Library SLNSW C203.
Photo copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2009

Catalogue Notes: State Library of NSW
Tasmania. Supreme Court - Death warrants and related papers, 1818-1884
Creator: Tasmania. Supreme Court
Call Number: C 202 - C 203
Date: 1818 - 1884
Contents: 1818-1884; Death warrants for the execution of prisoners in Tasmania; with related papers including receipts for bodies received at hospitals, orders for sentences to be commuted to penal servitude for life, and for transportation to Macquarie Harbour. There are two photographs in volume 2 (C 203) which may be of James Sutherland in 1883 and Henry Stock in 1884. (Call No.: ML C 202 - C 203)
Arrangement: The warrants and papers are not in chronological order within the two volumes; volume 1 contains documents dated between 1818-1855 and volume 2 between 1827-1884.
Source: Mitchell Bequest, 1907. State Library of NSW, Sydney.

Henry Stock: carte-de-visite photograph in buff mount pasted opposite death warrant, 13 September 1884
Death Warrants V.D.L. Tasmania Supreme Court. Mitchell Library C203. SLNSW
Photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2009

To the SHERIFF of Tasmania and to the Keeper of Her Majesty's Gaol at Hobart in Tasmania, jointly and severally.
Whereas at a Session of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery of the Supreme Court of Tasmania holden at Hobart in Tasmania aforesaid on Thursday the Twenty third day of September instant Henry Stock was convicted before me of the murder of Elizabeth Stock and thereupon for that Offence received Sentence to be hanged by the neck until he should be dead - NOW IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that executing of the said Sentence be accordingly made and done upon the said Henry Stock on Monday the Thirteenth day of October next at the usual Hour and Place of Execution, and that his body when dead be buried privately by the Sheriff.
Given under my Hand and Seal at Hobart in Tasmania aforesaid this Thirteenth day of September in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eighty four.
[signed by W. L. Dobson and stamped with the Royal Arms colonial seal ]

John Swan Sheriff, 10 October 1884: his authorisation for the execution of prisoner Henry Stock.
Death Warrants V.D.L. Tasmania Supreme Court. Mitchell Library C203. SLNSW
Photo copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2009

To all to whom those present shall come Greeting. I John Swan of Hobart in Tasmania Esquire, Sheriff of Tasmania and its Dependencies hereby appoint, authorize depute Philip Samuel Seager of Hobart aforesaid Gentleman for me and in my stead to execute on the Thirteenth day of October instant the sentence of the Law passed on the prisoner Henry Stock at the last Session of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery held at Hobart aforesaid before the Honorable William Lambert Dobson Acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Tasmania aforesaid, and to do and execute and perform all things that may be necessary in or about the premises.
Given under my hand and Seal of Office this Tenth day of October One thousand eight hundred and eighty four. John Swan Sheriff.
[signed by John Swan and stamped with the Royal Arms colonial seal]
The use of the word "execute" in this warrant, given the circumstances, is misleading. At a glance, it might appear that Sheriff John Swan was authorising his deputy Philip Samuel Seager to perform the hangman's duty, to carry out the actual execution of the prisoner. His use of the word "execute" twice in this document, though unfortunate given the context, is correct idiomatic English, meaning to put a plan or order into action. John Swan had only deputised Seager to carry out the order - to "execute ... the sentence of the law", and to "to execute and perform all things that may be necessary in or about the premises" in preparation for the execution of Henry Stock; the actual hangman for this and several other executions at the Hobart Gaol was the socially shunned Solomon Bray (Breay, var. spelling of father's name). He pinioned the prisoner. i.e. tied his hands and legs with leather straps, according to this summary from the Daily Telegraph (Launceston):

EXECUTION OF STOCK. The execution of Henry Stock, who was convicted at the last Criminal Sessions of the murder of his wife and child, took place at 8 o'clock this morning, in the presence of Messrs. Seager, the Deputy Sheriff; Quodling, the Governor of the Gaol ; Hedberg, Sub Inspector of the Territorial Police ; Smith, the Under Gaoler : Rev. Geo. W. Shoobridge, Chaplain to the Gaol ; Rev. T. M. O'Callaghan ; the members of the Press, and the gaol officials. On Mr Seager asking Stock whether he had anything to say, he replied, 'All I have to say is that I am innocent.' When asked whether he had any message he would like taken to anybody, he replied ' .No.' He was then pinioned by Solomon Blay, and he followed Mr Shoobridge to the drop. The condemned man appeared somewhat faint, but his step was firm, and he walked on to the platform bravely and exhibited no signs of breaking down. In his right hand he carried a little bunch of flowers with the following text attached : ' He shall speak peace unto the heathen.' He then mounted the platform, the white cap was placed over his head, the bolt drawn, and the unfortunate man launched into eternity. The operation took over three minutes, Mr Shoobridge continuing the prayer during the whole time. Whilst in gaol Stock was respectful to all the officials. Up to the time of his death he made no confession. On Sunday night his rest was partially disturbed, but this morning he eat [sic - ate] a hearty breakfast of fish. The body was cut down after an hour's time and examined by Dr. Turnley, who pronounced the body to be dead. His remains were conveyed at 11 o'clock to Cornelian Bay. Mr A. J. Taylor took cast of his head.
Execution of Stock. Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. : 1883 - 1928), Tuesday 14 October 1884, page 2

A. J. Taylor: head casts and phrenology
Alfred Joseph Taylor (1849-1921), librarian and collector, was born on 24 March 1849 in Hobart Town, son of Emma and Thomas Joseph Taylor. Although he received only a basic education, he gained employment as a librarian at New Norfolk in his teens. In January 1874 he became librarian of the Tasmanian Public Library which was located in rooms at the Hobart Town Hall during the years 1876-1880 when photographer Thomas J. Nevin held the position of Hall and Office Keeper with residency for his family. A. J. Taylor's large private collection of ethnographic and natural science materials was acquired by the TMAG. Read more here at ADB...

Photograph - Mr A. J. Taylor, Tasmanian Exhibition, 1894-5, Season Ticket Holder - Public Library
Item Number: NS738/1/2585
Start Date: 01 Jan 1894
Source :Archives Office of Tasmania
View online:https://stors.tas.gov.au/AI/NS738-1-2585

On delivery of Henry Stock's body to the Cornelian Bay cemetery, Alfred Taylor took a cast of Henry Stock's head prior to burial. Stock's was not the only head cast destined for his private collection, as this photograph (below) of Taylor's private museum reveals. Shelves and shelves of head casts and death masks line the wall on right. According to the Tasmanian News, Taylor used them for sessions on phrenology in which practitioners of this bogus science claimed to demonstrate the characteristics of criminality through delineations of the head.
The remains of the unfortunate were conveyed to the Cornelian Bay Cemetery at 11 a.m. where they were interred, the Rev. A. Martin, curate of Holy Trinity Church, conducting service at the grave. By permission of the authorities, Mr A. J . Taylor took a cast of Stocks' head after death, and will probably, at an early date , furnish the Press with a phrenological delineation.
Source: Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas. : 1883 - 1911), Monday 13 October 1884, page 3

Photograph - A J Taylor's Museum - Interior
Item Number:PH30/1/7667
Start Date: 01 Jan 1910
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

While Andrew Taylor most happily allowed his intention to take a cast of the head of dead Henry Stock to be published in the press, he was not so happy about misrepresentation of his sentiments with regard to the living Henry Stock. He asked the press to correct any suggestion that he wanted to be at this prisoner's execution, or indeed, at any other, as stated in his letter:

A J. Taylor. letter to editor re visit before execution of Henry Stocks
Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899), Friday 17 October 1884, page 3

SIR,-I notice that a misstatement contained in Tuesday's Mercury, and corrected in today's issue, has been copied in today's Examiner - viz., that I applied for, and was refused, permission to witness the execution of Stocks. As a matter of fact I never have applied, and probably never shall apply, for permission to be present at an execution. I have no wish ever to witness such a scene as that enacted on Monday last.
A few days before the execution of Stocks I told the Sheriff that if there were no objections to my doing so I should like to visit the condemned man in his company, but on Mr. Swan informing me that the Rev. Mr. Shoobridge had expressed a wish that visitors might not be admitted, I at once withdrew my request, as I had no wish to do anything likely to disturb the mind of the unfortunate man lying under sentence of death. By inserting the above you will oblige - Yours, etc., ALFRED J. TAYLOR.

On Alfred Taylor's death in 1921, his extensive collection of death masks was acquired by John Watt Beattie for display in his own museum at 51 Murray St. Hobart. A portrait of Alfred Taylor hangs above the display of death masks in this photograph (below). Beattie's collection of death masks, the largest collection in Australia at that time, was purchased by the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in 1927 and largely forgotten until 1978 when they were discovered in an advanced state of decay in a basement under the QVMAG library. Most were unidentifiable.

Death masks lining the walls at Beattie’s Port Arthur Museum, 51 Murray St. Hobart 1920s
TMAG collection Q1993.56.263

John Watt Beattie (on left) and Alfred Taylor (on right) ca. 1920
Archives Office of Tasmania

Press reports of the murder of Elizabeth Stock
The press reported many witness statements in lurid detail as the date of execution approached of Henry Stock for the murder of Elizabeth Stock his wife, and her son Walter Stock.

2nd May 1884:
Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899), Saturday 3 May 1884, page 3

HOBART, May 2. The inquest on the body of Elizabeth Stocks and her infant was resumed at the Ouse, at 3 pm. yesterday, before Mr. John King, Coroner.
William Jenkins deposed he was a farmer, residing at the Dee since March 10 last, and worked with Henry Stocks at Bigmarsh, sleeping in the same hut with him; witness occupied a room with Stocks at the back; and under his bed was a single barrelled gun; in Henry Stocks's room there was a double barrelled gun; Stocks removed the gun from the premises on one Saturday, and took it to a house where witness's mother resided, but he could not possibly swear to the exact date; on the night of the 5th April Stocks slept at witness's place, but he could not swear that Stocks took his gun away, nor could he be positive of the date; Stocks occupied a bed in Jenkins's room that night, but the hour of his departure in the morning was not known, but when the witness got up Stocks was not in the room; they both, however, went to bed together; witness did not remember the hour on the following morning when he saw Stocks on the road leading from the Ouse to Marlborough, between Dee and Duck Marsh; Stocks was going towards the Dee from the valley, and in his possession there was a double-barrelled gun; witness asked him had he seen his wife; he said "No;" witness was in the habit of visiting his mother once a fortnight; but never remembered Stocks carrying his gun before the above-mentioned day; Stocks often stayed at the house of wit-ness's mother, but there was no intimacy going on between him and Miss Mary Jenkins before his marriage with the deceased; nor had there been any since; Stocks never spoke to witness about his wife; nor was the latter carrying a gun when he met the prisoner, who told him he was going to see his wife. By the prisoner — Stocks told witness he was going to shoot some opossums, and he did shoot some. Re-examined — Witness did not believe that a gun fired in the valley could be heard at the Dee, distant about a mile and a half; he advised Stocks to leave his wife; Stocks was carrying ammunition on Sun-day morning, the 6th of April, to the best of witness's belief, and Stocks had the powder flask and belt produced, which be-longed to him; witness used No.1 shot and "BB " mixed, which was also used by Stocks; the shot produced from the remains of the deceased was similar to that in Stocks's pouch.
Arthur Edward Stannard deposed that he resided at the Duck Marshes, New Country, and on the 6th April last heard two shots fired, but could not swear to the direction; one shot followed the other in quick succession; immediately afterwards told his mother what he had heard, re-marking it was a very early hour for shooting; this was between 6 and 7 in the morn-ing; it was very rare for any one to be shooting so early in the morning; he lived about three miles from where the deceased lived; his father would not allow strangers to shoot during Sunday on his marsh.
William Keats, junr., deposed that he was a labourer, and the prisoner Henry Stocks was his brother-in-law; Stocks had been married about two years; last Tues-day week Keats formed one of a search party to look for his sister, who was then missing; the search lasted for two days, on Saturday last the party found the re-mains of the deceased; was able to identify them by the clothing; Stocks never said anything to Keats about his sister being absent from the house, but reported the fact of the deceased's absence to Sub-Inspector Caste.
Wm. Watson, a farmer, deposed, that he also formed one of a search party to look for Mrs. Stocks; when asked concerning his wife, the prisoner Stocks denied all knowledge of her whereabouts; the body was found on Saturday, attention being drawn to the spot where it lay by a powerful odour.
Sarah Stannard deposed that she was the wife of Michael Stannard, residing at the New Country; on the 6th April she saw Henry Stocks passing her house between 9 and 10 a.m.;. he was coming from the valley, and going towards the Dee; he was carrying a gun; early that morning her son told her he heard a couple of shots fired; about three hours elapsed between the hearing of the shots and the time Stocks passed the house; she never saw any other person carrying a gun on that day; no one had permission to shoot over the Duck Marshes; she had never heard that the prisoner Stocks and his wife lived unhappily.
At this stage the Court adjourned to the following morning (to-day).
The Court resumed its sittings at 11 o'clock to-day, being again crowded.
Charles H. Marrock, a shepherd, deposed that he was present when the bodies were found in a thick scrub; believed the deceased was murdered on that spot. Joseph Stocks, uncle of the deceased, a farmer residing at Victoria Valley, de-posed that he was one of the search party for the deceased; prisoner was present at that search, but took no interest in it; the body was found a quarter of a mile from Stocks's hut; during the search Stocks said — "I suppose they will hold me fast if my wife is found dead;. I shall have to swing and save some other poor ------from hanging."
Mary Jenkins, aunt of the prisoner Stocks, deposed that he stayed in her house on April 5; prisoner went to bed.at 10 o'clock that night, but was away very early in the morning; returning in the afternoon carrying a gun; she never knew the deceased or prisoner to have a single cross word; her daughter was never engaged to the prisoner.
The Court at this stage was adjourned. The inquest will probably conclude to-morrow. The greatest excitement is prevailing in the district, and on the recovery of the bodies Stocks would probably have been lynched by the indignant friends of the deceased. Stocks is 23 years old of the larrikin type, and behaves in the coolest manner possible, exhibiting not the slightest feeling. The medical evidence to-morrow will show that the deceased was shot in the region of the heart, several pellets, being found in the victim's chest which correspond with those used by Stocks and found in his pouch.
5th May 1884
Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Monday 5 May 1884, page 3
The New Country Tragedy.

The inquest on the body of Elizabeth Stocks was resumed to day. Betsy Jenkins, cousin of the accused, said she remembered Henry Stocks remaining at her mother's house on April 6. He went to bed at 10 o'clock. Witness was up at 6 the following morning, and he had gone out. She met him about 11 coming from Victoria Valley. He was carrying a gun. She did not know whether there was, or is, anything between her sister Mary and Henry Stocks, but had heard so during the last week. Prisoner, told her when she met him that he had shot a rabbit near Duck Marsh, and had fired two shots at it.
James Stocks, brother of Henry Stocks, said he slept at Mrs Stocks' hut on Wednesday night. On leaving on the Thursday morning she told witness that his brother was to be up late on the Saturday night or early Sunday morning following. Witness returned to his sister-in-law's hut 10 days after. The hut evidently had not been occupied for some days. On his way to Ouse he met William Keats, jun., the brother of deceased, Shawfield, and informed him that his sister was missing. Witness bought some shot at Ouse, and loaded the left-hand barrel of the gun found in deceased's hut. The right barrel was useless, and he did not load it. The shot produced and the wadding was similar to what he bought, and the wadding he believed was the same as he loaded the gun with.
George Horrocks, an expert, said the shot produced was No. 4, and was the same or similar to that found in deceased's body. One whole grain is the same. The shot used, was a mixed one. Witness was one of the search party, and distance from the spot in which deceased was found to Stannard's house, where the shot was heard, is only about two miles and three quarters direct. During early morning no doubt the report of a gun fired could be heard that distance.
John Cashion, Sub-Inspector of Police, proved receiving the report of deceased's absence on the 23rd ult. from her father. He reported to Superintendent Neylon, and a search party was formed on the following day (Thursday), and the search was continued till Saturday afternoon, 26th ult, when the remains were found. Prisoner was present, but seemed unconcerned. Witness asked prisoner what brought the deceased there, and he answered "I don't know." Witness pointed to a hole in the child's skull, and asked what caused that; Prisoner replied, "Shot, I suppose.'' Witness asked him had he brought a gun on April 6 from Dee to the Valley, and prisoner said "No." Superintendent Neylon, examined, said: He received a report from the last witness of deceased's absence and instituted a search. He recovered, a double-barrelled gun from the hut occupied by accused, along with a shot pouch and powder flask. He had the remains of the dead bodies which were found removed to the Ouse for inquest.
Superintendent Neylon, by permission of the coroner, then addressed the jury, point-ing out the most salient facts elicited by the evidence.
The Coroner occupied the Court 20 minutes in summing up and reviewing the evidence, and the jury after 10 minutes returned a verdict of wilful murder against Henry Stocks.
The prisoner was not at all affected by the verdict, and appeared perfectly callous, as he had been during the whole enquiry.
The inquest on the child will be commenced on Monday.
The bodies were interred yesterday in the Ouse Cemetery, followed by a large crowd. The Rev. Mr. Earl conducted the service at the grave.
22nd July 1884
Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas. : 1883 - 1911), Tuesday 22 July 1884, page 3

(Before His Honor Chief Justice Dobson.)
Henry Stocks, aged 22, was charged with having, on April 6, at the Ouse, wilfully murdered his wife, Elizabeth Stocks.
The following jury were empanelled: —- J. H. Propsting (foreman). H. S. Barnett, B. Dixon, A. R. Blacklow, J. Briggs, W. Westcott, J. Kerr, G. I. Newberry, J. W. Lindsray, F.Belbin, E. Taylor, W. Watson. Prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr. A. Dobson.
The Attorney-General prosecuted on behalf of the Crown, and stated his case, saying prisoner was married about two years ago to a young woman named Elizabeth Keats, aged 19, who was then the mother of an illegitimate child, of which prisoner was aware at the time. About 12 months ago prisoner was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for forgery. On his release from gaol, in February, he did not return home, and on March 26 his wife sued him for maintenance. An agreement was made by which the wife and child were to live in prisoner's hut, where there were provisions, the prisoner remaining at work at the Big Marsh, and agreeing to visit her every fortnight. The Attorney-General then reviewed the case, and cursorily fore-shadowed the evidence to be adduced.
Thomas Oldham and J. T. Smith, officials at the Hobart Gaol, deposed that prisoner had been imprisoned for six months for forgery, and a letter came for prisoner from Mrs Triffet, with a cheque for £1, on behalf of prisoner's wife, to take him home.
John King, Warden of Hamilton, de-posed that he knew the prisoner and his wife. The latter laid an information for maintenance on March 15 against prisoner. On March 26 prisoner and his wife attended at the Hamilton Court, but the summons was not proceeded with.
Wm. Kents, sen., deposed that he was a farmer residing at Lane's Tier, Hamilton. Prisoner married witness's daughter about two and a half years ago. She was then 19 years old, and had a child before marriage, of which prisoner was aware. Prisoner received a sentence about a year ago. and his wife went to service at Mrs Triffett's, witness keeping the child. Previous to then prisoner and his wife had been living at Victoria Valley, on his father’s property. Witness saw prisoner nine or ten days after he was discharged from gaol. Mrs Stocks went to the hut where they had been living before her husband got into gaol, but could not say whether prisoner lived with her after he returned. Witness’s daughter summoned prisoner on March 26 for maintenance; the case was not proceeded with as it was settled, but witness could not say what were the terms of the agreement. The Warden asked prisoner what objection he had to take his wife back; prisoner said he had no objection to take his wife back, but he would not take the child. He said his wife could go back to the hut where she was before, and he would visit her once a fortnight. Deceased agreed to go back, prisoner promising to keep her suppled with food. On March 31 deceased took her child and went to the hut, a distance of nine miles. Witness never again saw her alive. About three weeks after that witness found deceased was missing, That was on April 23, and a search party was organised to look for her. Prisoner did not join the party the first day, but did so on the second. Witness was not present when the body was found. When she left witness’s house to go to the hut she had on a green plaid dress and black straw hut. On the second day of the search witness asked prisoner where his wife was. Prisoner replied that he did not know. Witness said it was time he did know something about her. Prisoner replied that if she went away she could come back again. The dress on the body found was the same as that worn by deceased when she left witness's house.
Cross-examined by Mr Dobson — The child was two and a half years old, and deceased was living with witness when the child was born. Wm. Cashion was the father of the child. He was a relative of the policeman at Victoria Valley. Witness had stated at the coroner’s inquest that prisoner had been unwilling to take the child back, but deceased said where she went the child would go, and the Warden said he must take both back. When prisoner returned from Hobart he took a job of fencing at the Big Marsh, about 16 miles from where his wife was living at Victoria Valley. Witness believed prisoner proposed to leave his wife at home whilst he worked at the Big Marsh, and he to visit home fortnightly. Witness did not persuade his daughter to take out the maintenance summons against prisoner, but he had talked with her about him. Witness could not tell if his daughter wanted anything in the hut. There were provisions found in the hut after deceased had left it, but they had been carried there by deceased. There had never been any quarrel between witness and Stocks. Re-examined — The money found in the hut had been given to deceased by witness’ wife. He did not believe prisoner had given her anything after the trial.
James Stock deposed he was brother to prisoner, and knew the latter’s wife. He last saw her alive on Thursday, April 3, at Victoria Valley. She was in the hut with his wife and child. Witness stayed there all night, and left early next morning. Deceased was quite well then. Witness returned to the hut about ten days after. Witness saw prisoner at the Dee then, and asked him if he had seen his wife lately. Witness’s reason for asking prisoner the question was because he had called at the hut on his return, and there was no one at the hut. The hut was tidy, except the breakfast things had not been cleared away. Witness remained in the hut all night. Witness's father’s gun was standing in the corner. It was a double-barrelled gun, but only one barrel was useful. Witness loaded the gun with powder and shot he had brought from the Ouse. He did so to shoot an eagle-hawk, but the latter flying away, he left the gun loaded. It was on Sunday morning, the 13th, when he left the hut, and the same day he asked prisoner about his wife. There were cakes, flour, and corned meat in the hut. Cross-examined by Mr Dobson: The two bags of flour, together with tea and sugar, were supplied by prisoner’s father The meat came from the Dee, Witness thought deceased was at her father place. Witness was using No. 3 shot. All the people in the district shoot. Knew a man named Pearce, who often visited the hut. Cashion had often visited the hut whilst prisoner was away. He stayed till 12 and 1 o’clock in the morning. Witness heard deceased and Cashion quarrelling one night after witness had gone to bed. She ordered Cashion to leave. Prisoner was very fond of his wife’s little boy, and he never heard deceased complain of receiving any ill treatment from prisoner.
Re-examined: Deceased lived for a short time in the hut after prisoner was sentenced for forgery. She then went to service. Prisoner told witness he went to the hut on his return from Hobart, but his wife was not there, and he then went to the Big Marsh, fencing. Never heard of any quarrel between prisoner and his wife.
Arthur Edward Slannard deposed to hearing two shots fired on Sunday, 5th April, between six and seven o’clock in the morning; and his mother, Mrs Michael Stannard, swore to prisoner passing her house that day. John Cashion, Acting Supt. of Police, deposed to finding on the 26th of April the remains of Mrs Stocks and her child in a thick scrub, half a mile from the hut, very much decomposed. There were shot holes in the child's skull. Prisoner had said during the search that if his wife was found dead he supposed he would have to swing for it.
Charles Harris, farmer, of Whitemarsh deposed to having seen Mrs Stock chopping wood on the 4th April, when he spoke to her. Both she and her child seemed well. Witness was one of the Search party who found the body of the deceased and her child, he could not recognise the remains of Mrs Stocks when he saw them.
Elizabeth Jenkins gave evidence as to the prisoner saying he would shoot George Harris. Met prisoner on the road after he left her mother’s house on the 5th April. He then said he had not seen his wife. Witness told him that if anything happened to prisoner's wife she would bear witness against him if she had to go on her hands and knees to Hobart. He said he was not at all frightened of the scaffold, he had been on the scaffold before. He said that if his wife had not had the child she would not be missing. He also said that his wife had gone to New Zealand.
William Jenkins and Maria Jane Jenkins deposed to prisoner having threatened the life of his wife. On the 5th April Stocks slept at their mother’s, and went away early in the morning, When William Jenkins met him on the road between Victoria Valley and their residence, Stocks had a gun, and said he had shot a rabbit.
The evidence of William Keats, jun., brother to the murdered woman, was to the effect that it was the 22nd April before he become uneasy about her. On the 23rd he organised a search party, and Stocks then said he had not seen the deceased. Could not swear to his sister’s dress, but could swear to the child’s hat.
[Left sitting.]
25th July 1884
Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. : 1883 - 1928), Friday 25 July 1884, page 3

(Abridged from the Mercury.)
Henry Stocks was charged before His Honor the Acting Chief Justice (Mr W. L. Dobson) on Tuesday with having, on the 6th April, murdered his wife Elizabeth. He pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr A. Dobson.
Mr John King, Warden of Hamilton, deposed that Elizabeth Stocks summoned her husband for maintenance on 26th March, but it was not proceeded with.
William Keats, farmer, of Lane's Tier, deposed — The prisoner married my daughter, Elizabeth, two years and a half ago. She was 19 years of age at the time. She had had a child before her marriage. Remember Stocks getting a sentence last year, and his child was living with me, and his wife was at Mrs Triffett's, Hamilton, at service. Prior to this prisoner and his wife lived together at Victoria Valley, on his father's property. Saw prisoner nine or ten days after he came out of gaol, and my daughter went back to live with him. Do not know whether my daughter was living with him before the maintenance order was taken out. Was at Hamilton on March 26 when the case came on. Prisoner and his wife were there also. Had no conversation with the prisoner, but spoke to his daughter. Prisoner said nothing to me about the case. The case was not tried, but was compromised. The Warden asked the prisoner what objection he had to take his wife back, but prisoner made no answer. Afterwards he said he had no objection, but he wouldn't take the child. Prisoner at last said, in answer to the superintendent, that his wife could go back. My daughter went back on the following Monday, between 7 and 8 o'clock. She took the child, but other wise she was alone. She had to go about nine miles, and took only a change of clothes with her. Never saw her alive afterwards. It was about three weeks after she left that I missed her, that is, about April 23. Formed one of the search party to look for her, but prisoner was not with us at the beginning. This was on the Thurs-day, and I saw him on the Friday. I had no conversation with him. Was not present when the body was found. When my daughter left my house she had a green plaid dress and a black hat. After my daughter left, and before the body was found, I had no conversation with prisoner, except on the Thursday I asked him where my daughter was, and he said he didn't know, but if she went away she could come back again. The dress on the body at the inquest was the same as deceased wore when she left my house. The child, a boy, was two years and a half old, when she was married. Deceased was living with me at the time. William Cashion was the father of the child, and he is a relative of the policemen at Victoria Valley. After the prisoner was told by the Warden that he must take the child back he agreed to do so. Prisoner did fencing jobs at Big Marsh, about 14 miles away from the hut in Victoria Valley for about four weeks. Believe he proposed to leave his home while he did his work, but he went home about every fortnight. After he left deceased she took out the maintenance summons. She spoke to me about the summons, but I did not persuade her to take it out. Did not propose that it should be done in order that deceased might be allowed so much a week. No order was made at the court. Don't know whether she ever wanted for any thing. There were two bags of flour and some bread and money in the hut. There was never any quarrel between myself and the prisoner. My daughter some times visited me during her married life, and stayed two or three days at a time. The money that was found in the hut was given to her by my wife.
The Attorney-General proposed to put a question as to a statement as to some thing that was said by the deceased before her death, but it was disallowed.
James Stocks, brother of the prisoner, said : Knew the prisoner's wife. Saw her last alive on Thursday, April 3, at the hut in Victoria Valley. There were only herself and her child there at the time. Remained there from the previous night, and went away the next morning. She seemed quite well. Returned again to the hut about 10 days afterwards, on a Sunday, April 13. Saw the prisoner, but he said in answer to a question that he had not seen his wife lately. Was led to put the question because I had not noticed the prisoner's wife about. The hut was clean and tidy, but somebody appeared to have just finished a meal. Remained there from the previous night, but saw no one there on the Saturday. There was a double-barrelled gun in the hut belonging to my father, but one barrel was useless. Loaded the barrel to shoot at a hawk in an adjoining tree. Brought the shot with me from the Ouse, but had no other shot in the hut. Did not fire the gun off but put it back. There were two bed rooms and a kitchen in the hut, but I slept on the sofa. Saw my brother on the Sunday, and put the question to him then. The gun (produced) belongs to my brother. Prisoner never said where his wife was; I never asked him. There were some provisions in the hut when I went there on the second occasion. The two bags of flour were sent by my father, and there was also tea and sugar. The meat came from the Dee. Did not notice whether there was any fire in the hut. The bed was made. My impression was that deceased had made the bed and gone away. When I loaded the gun used No. 3 shot. It is a common thing for people in the locality to shoot such things as kangaroo and wallaby. Knew a man known as "Bumper" Pearce, and he has been in the hut up to 12 and 1 o'clock at night when prisoner was away. One night when I was in bed heard words taking place between Pearce and deceased, and the wife called out to Pearce to "be off" Prisoner was very fond of the boy, and his wife never complained as to his treatment of him. The gun referred to had been in the hut for over 12 months. Had not seen Pearce about the hut since the search was instituted, but had seen him in deceased's bedroom. I was living in the hut before she went to service. Cannot say whether prisoner and his wife lived together any time since the sentence was up. My father sent the meat that was in the house. Did not say anything about "Bumper" Pearce before the coroner. Pearce was at the hut when the sentence was being served. She was living at service at Mrs Triffett's, but she came up sometimes. It was four months before the deceased's death, and before she went to Triffett's, that I saw Pearce in my sister-in-law's bedroom. Told this to the prisoner after he came out of gaol, but he would not believe it. Saw prisoner about a fortnight after he left gaol, and then told him of it. Charles Harris, farmer, of Macquarie's Marsh, said — Know the hut at Victoria Valley where the deceased and her child lived. Saw her last on Friday, April 4. Went to the hut on that occasion about 11 o'clock a.m. Saw nothing of the prisoner. Deceased was outside chopping wood, and both she and the child seemed in good health. Had some conversation with her. She was then in apparently good health, Made one of the subsequent search party, and was one of the first to see the body. Could not recognise the body or the clothes. The remains of the child's body were close to those of the wife. On April 6 I was looking after some sheep near the hut, and that took me to the place.
Wm. Jenkins, laborer, residing with his mother at the Dee, said — Prisoner and I were working as mates together in March and April at the Big Marsh. Used to sleep in a 4-roomed weatherboard house, in separate rooms. Worked there for about six weeks. It was about a month after the prisoner came up that we took the job. Prisoner sometimes slept at my mother's house. On the first Saturday in April prisoner left the Big Marsh and I followed him just about dusk. We each had guns. Mine was a single and his a double-barrelled gun. On Saturday we slept at my mother's, and prisoner went to bed at about 10 p.m. It was about 8 or 9 o'clock when I got up. I saw nothing of the prisoner, and the gun had been taken away. Don't know why he went away. Saw him again about midday on Sunday, between the Duck Marsh and the Dee, on the road that would lead between the Marsh and Victoria Valley. Prisoner had a gun with him. Asked him whether he had seen his wife. He had told me that he had not. Put the question merely because I thought he had gone there. He asked me whether I had seen a rabbit which he had shot as he was going down. I did see it; it was about a mile away. I went on towards Victoria Valley to Mr Gill's, and returned home, where I found prisoner. He slept there in my room, and we went away the next morning. When prisoner came up from Hobart he stopped at my mother's. Prisoner met his wife there, and slept in the house. They appeared to be on good terms. When we went out I suggested that we should take the guns from the Big Marsh to my mother's in order to shoot opossums. When the body was found did not notice prisoner run away, but saw him come up with the others.
Elizabeth Jenkins, sister of the last witness, said — I live with my mother at the Dee. When I got up on the Sunday morning, at 7 o'clock, prisoner had- gone. Next saw him about midday on the Victoria-road. He had a gun with him, but in answer to my question he said his wife was not at home. Asked Stocks, between this time and the time when the body was found, whether he was going to look for his wife? and he said "No." Told him that if anything happened to her I would go on my hands and knees to Hobart to go against him. He said he didn't care; he wasn't frightened of the gallows; he had been on a scaffold before. He also said to my sister in my hearing, that if his wife had had the child she would not be missing, and to my sister Maria, he stated that deceased had gone to New Zealand. I did not say this at the inquest. Inspector Neylon spoke to me about the case afterwards, and threatened that I would get something (he did not say what) if I did not tell every thing that I knew about the case. He told my sister, in my hearing, that I would get six months or seven years if I didn't tell everything.
Maria Jenkins deposed — I live with my mother at the Dee. Asked prisoner on one occasion whether he would or would not live with his wife, and he said he would not, and that he would not have got the six months if it had not been for her. He also said in the course of some, conversation, "I will be hung for her yet: I'll murder her. This was after the time she summoned him. Previous to his going down to his hut, as detailed by the previous witness, I asked him whether he was going to see his wife, and he answered, "No, I don't think so — no." I told prisoner that I had dreamed that he had murdered his wife, and he replied that he had, and smiled. Saw him again at my mother's, when I asked him whether he was going to look for his wife, and he replied "No." I said to him he ought to go, and he said there was nothing up with her. Told him if he had done anything the search party would dis-cover it. Was not examined by the coroner. Neylon first spoke to me about my examination. He said if I did not tell him, and speak the truth, I would get six months. I had a long talk with him about it, and he asked me a good many questions about it. I told him all I have told to-day, and all I have told is true.
Wm. Keats, jun., deposed — I was at prisoner's hut on Sunday, the 6th April, about 12 o'clock in the day. The place was clean. The bed appeared to have been slept in. It had not been made. A fire had apparently been lit there that day. I did not see any sign of my sister. I saw a purse with some silver in it on the shelf. That was in the first room. I saw two hoods hanging up in one of the rooms. I made some enquiries about my sister, and on the 22nd April I became uneasy about her. I did not see Henry Stocks until after I had organised a search for my sister. On the 23rd I asked prisoner where my sister was, and he said he did not know. I asked him if he saw her on Sunday when he was down, and he said no. I asked him if he made a fire in the hut on the 6th April, and he answered in the negative. Prisoner said he saw her last in Hamilton. The nearest house to the hut is John Best's. Cashion's place is near Best's. I am quite sure that I asked the prisoner if he had lighted the fire that morning, and he said he had not.
Joseph Stocks deposed — I went out with the search party. When Stocks arrived at the hut he said be put the bark into the fire place and burned it so as to show that he had been there. Stocks said he last saw his wife when she asked him if he was going to live at the valley. I was present when the remains were found. Henry Stocks was also present. I could not identify the remains. There was . nothing strange about Henry Stocks on the day the search was instituted. Prisoner was in the Search party on Friday, and also on Saturday. He did not turn up on Friday until about 12 o'clock, although he promised to be there at the start.
James Lane, farmer, Lane's Tier, Hamilton, deposed — I formed one of the search party. The remains were found on the 26th April. The day before I had a little conversation with prisoner, and said to him: "Harry, this is a fearful affair;" and prisoner said, "I will have to suffer. The police will find her dead or her alive, and if she is found dead, I suppose I will have to swing. I will, perhaps, save some other poor being from being hung." I was present when the remains were found. Stocks came up at the time, but made no remark.
Arthur Stannard deposed — I was at home on the 6th April. I was up at between 6 and 7 o'clock. I then heard two gun shots. They seemed to be far away. This was unusual on a Sunday morning. I spoke to my mother at the time about it. I never heard gun shots in that locality on Sunday before.
John Cashion, Sub-inspector of Police, stationed at Victoria Valley, said the fact of Mrs Stocks being missing was reported to me on the 23rd April. I was one of the search party, and found the remains. They were discovered about half a mile from the hut. I could not recognise the remains. They were those, however, of a female and a child. The body was lying face downwards. The body was in a decomposed state. One of the arms was eaten away by vermin. Only the bones were visible. The trunk of the body was eaten by maggots. Prisoner was one of the search party, and came running up after we found the body. I asked him what caused the hole in the skull of the child, and he said it was shot. I asked him if it was possible for his wife to get there, and he said he did not think so. It was a hard thing to get to the place where the bodies were found. When the body was found Stocks run away, and I called after him to come and identify it. Stocks joined us on Friday, and he then said that "if my wife is found dead I will have to swing for it." After the body was found I went over to Big Marsh, and I asked prisoner if, on April the 6th he had his gun with him when he went to see his wife, and he said "No." He also said he had no dogs with him. I found a gun in prisoner's bedroom at Big Marshes. One barrel was loaded. There were about 20 people in the search party. The ground where the bodies were found was a kind of a hollow. Prisoner ran away when I called that the bodies were found. I believe that prisoner tried to shun the sight of the bodies. He ran past me, and did not like to seem to come near me. Prisoner was at first at the head of the search party. He, however, went away and seemed not to pay attention to what was said.
William Bannister, Native Tier, de posed — I was one of the search party. Stocks was near me. Stocks asked me if I smelt anything, and I said "Yes." He then took some dogwood and rubbed it up in his fingers. I said that was not what I smelt, and prisoner then said "that is an old cow which is dead over there." Some one then called out "Hullo," and I ran up to the spot. The bodies had the same smell which I had noticed previously when with prisoner. I did not see prisoner run away.
Martin Neylon, Superintendent of Police, Hamilton, deposed — On Saturday, April 26, I proceeded to the Victoria Val-ley, Hamilton, and saw the remains of a woman and child. The remains were afterwards submitted to Dr. Huston for examination. I asked prisoner when he last saw his wife, and he said he had not seen her since the 26th of March. I then took him in charge for murdering his wife. I proceeded to Big Marsh, and found the gun. The left-hand barrel was loaded. I drew the charge and now produce it in court. The charge in the gun was similar to that in the shotbelt, namely, BB and No. 3. I afterwards received from Dr. Huston some other shot. I produce them. They are similar to that in the shotbelt, namely, the two sizes. On the 26th March I remember a conversation between Stocks and his wife. There was a maintenance case on, and I asked him to settle it out of Court, which prisoner agreed to. Prisoner said he could only come once a fortnight to see his wife, as the distance was too far from where he was working. I got Cashion to fire two shots from where the remains were found, while I was standing at Stannard's. I could not hear the reports. I have been principally engaged in getting up the case for the Crown. I have never threatened witnesses. I had only difficulty with the Jenkins family in getting evidence against the prisoner. I did not threaten any of them with imprisonment.
Thomas Frodsham, district surveyor, deposed — I made a survey under the instructions of the Attorney-General of the distances and localities mentioned in the map produced. The map shows correctly the position of the various places. I was with Cashion when he fired two shots to test if they could be heard at Stannard's. Soon afterwards I heard two shots fired from the direction of Stannard's; the wind was blowing from Stannard's, in the direction to where I was standing.
Dr. G. F. Huston said — I saw the bodies. The bodies were denuded of flesh. There was no fracture or positive mark of violence, but there was an indication of some injury. There was no scalp left, but there was some red matter. Otherwise there was no injury to the skull. From the examination I made I found shot holes in the clothes, under the right arm. A quantity of the ribs had been driven from one side to the other, and broken in three or four pieces. I searched under the decomposing matter, and found 13 shot within the space of 3in or 4in. These were as nearly as possible where the heart should be. I observed that the injury which I have referred to was a shot wound through the right side. On further examination I found two other marks which showed that some foreign substance had passed through. I saw a piece of skin which must have been charred and burned during life, and if a gun had been fired it must have been very close to the body. I am of opinion that two shots had been fired. The child's skull had nine small holes in it, caused by several shots. I think the first shot must have been fired from the side, a little to the back of the female, and at a very short distance from the body. My opinion is that some of the shot drove through the ribs, and some entered the child's head, and through the hat. The other shot must have been fired from a higher level, the muzzle of the gun having been depressed. The bodies must have been lying where found for about 3 weeks. The extravasation of blood would be caused more especially by a wound inside the scalp. It might have been produced by a knock with a gun or a fall, but under the circumstances there would have been an injury to the bones. I held the inquest at the Ouse. The bones were denuded of flesh; everything soft about the body was gone. The remains of the rib bones were left in the left cavity of the chest. The piece of skin of which I am speaking was red. It was the only piece of skin about the re-mains, and it was preserved owing to having been charred. It was red and brown in color. I believe that piece of skin was injured before death. The re-mains that I saw were preserved by the boots and stockings. The skull of the child may have been removed 20 yards away by wild animals, as well as the sub-stance of the body of the woman. The shot taken from the body were of two sizes.
Lucy Evans, wife of David Evans, deposed — I know prisoner and his family. I remember one night in March last going down to meet my husband at Jenkins' house. I had a talk with one of the girls, and prisoner came in. Harry Stocks said, "I see that Mary has been speaking to you." I said, "Yes, something about you and her going to bolt," and continued, "What is to become of your wife," and he said "I don't mean to live with her anymore. I hate the b----- sight of her. I would not get into half the bother I do only for her tongue." Prisoner then said "Have you seen Betsy lately?" — meaning his wife, and I said not. He said "I heard she was to pull me, but if she does I will make it warm for her." This is the first time that I have given this evidence. Mary Jenkins, mother of a previous witness of the same name, said — I do not believe the last witness on her oath. I never heard prisoner quarrelling with his wife, and he appeared to be fond of the little boy. I heard the Superintendent of Police threaten that he would take my daughter to Hamilton.
This was all the evidence for the prosecution, and Mr Dobson said he had no witnesses to call for the defence. Mr Dobson proceeded to address the jury on behalf of the prisoner. There was no doubt, he said, that this unfortunate woman and her little one had met her death in a terrible and outrageous manner, and naturally there was a great deal of feeling against the one supposed to have committed the foul deed. He asked them to be entirely free from prejudice, because there was no doubt that a prisoner like his client was terribly handicapped, the mere fact of his apprehension on such a charge being sufficient for many people to think him guilty. A man who did such a deed must be a terrible human monster. He asked the jury to consider the nature of the evidence brought forward by the Attorney-General. He held that it was of a purely circumstantial character, and he reviewed the evidence in detail. Suspicion, he continued, might as well have been thrown upon the other man as upon the prisoner. No theory had been suggested as to how prisoner had so suddenly decoyed his wife and the child to this lonely spot upon this particular day. He quoted Taylor on circumstantial evidence to show that such evidence must be connected by degrees, and said that in the present case they had a pretty good exemplification of this writer's ideas on the subject. If prisoner had committed this crime would he have stayed in Hamilton or in the colony? There was nothing done by him to try and hide the evidence of his now supposed guilt. The case seemed to be like a picture, the principal features of which were faintly sketched, and he did not see how they could convict, or hang any man on such evidence. He made an eloquent appeal for the prisoner, and referred to the many cases in which innocent men had been condemned on circumstantial evidence. It was their duty, if there was any reasonable doubt, to give the prisoner the benefit of that doubt.
The Chief Justice, in addressing the jury, said that he need not tell them that murder was the killing of a person with malice aforethought, and the first question for them to consider was whether the woman and child were murdered, and, secondly, whether prisoner had committed that murder. The evidence had not only to be consistent with the prisoner having committed the murder, but also inconsistent with any other reasonable conclusion. The bodies were found in a dense scrub, and medical evidence was given that shot was found in the bodies. What was the conclusion to be derived from this? There was a mystery as to how they got into this scrub. But they were found there dead, and the question came to be how did they come there? Were they carried there? or had they to walk before the muzzle of the gun, as many others have had to do in this colony in days gone by? The question reduced itself to whether these persons were murdered and whether prisoner committed the murder. His Honor went carefully through the evidence, and pointed out that one of the strongest features of the case against the prisoner was that shot of two sizes were found in the bodies, and that similar shot were found in accused's shot belt, and in one of the barrels of his gun. The jury had carefully to consider the whole of the evidence, and the question he put to them was, whether the whole of the evidence was inconsistent with any other reasonable conclusion than that the prisoner took the life of that woman and child. It was a case of very great importance — it was a question of life and death to the prisoner. He asked them to care fully consider their verdict. The jury retired at 6.45. At 8 o'clock the jury were called in, aud they had not then agreed as to their verdict. As there seemed no possibility of their coming to a speedy conclusion, they were ordered to be locked up until next morning. On Wednesday morning His Honor asked the jury if they had agreed to a verdict. The foreman, Mr J. H. Propsting, said they had not, and he did not see any possibility of their agreeing. His Honor then discharged the jury, and the prisoner was remanded until next sitting of the Court.
24th September 1884
Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. : 1883 - 1928), Wednesday 24 September 1884, page 3

(Before His Honor Acting Chief Justice Dobson).
Henry Stocks was again placed at the bar charged with the murder of his wife and child. Mr R,. P. Adams, Solicitor-General, conducted the Crown prosecutions. Mr A. Dobson) appeared on behalf of the prisoner. The evidence was almost precisely that taken at the previous trial, except that Mr Ward (Government Analyst) had examined the shots and found that those from the body corresponded almost exactly with those from the gun and pouch. Three shots taken from the body, however, were much lower in weight, but they appeared to have been mutilated. No evidence was called for the defence. After an hour's retirement, the jury returned and delivered a verdict of guilty. His Honor addressed a few words to the prisoner, holding out no hope of mercy, and then passed the formal sentence of death. The prisoner received 'the sentence quietly, and in answer to the usual question whether he had anything to say why sentence should not be passed upon him, made no reply. The Court was crowded. During the hearing of the case Maria Jenkins, sister of the deceased took a fit, and had to removed from the Court.
24th September 1884 cont ...
Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Wednesday 24 September 1884, page 3

SECOND COURT. (Before the Acting CHIEF JUSTICE ) The Solicitor-GENERAL prosecuted on behalf of the Crown. MURDER.
Henry Stock pleaded not guilty to a charge of having on April 6, at the Ouse, wilfully, and with malice aforethought, killed and murdered his wife The Hon. A. Dobson (instructed by Messrs. Young, Walker, and Allport) defended.
The case was heard at the last sessions, but the jury being unable to agree, a new trial now took place.
Jury: W. S. Firth, W. Bignell, J. Clark, J. F. Strutt, F. H. Belette, G. Parsons, T. Morresby, T. Cosgrove, A. Joseph, J. B. Chandler, T.Illes, G. Hooper.

Prisoner, a young man 22 years of age, was married rather more than two years ago to Elizabeth Keats, a young woman 19 years of age. Prior to the marriage the girl had a child, but her present husband was not its father. The couple did not appear to have lived very happily together, but when prisoner was discharged from the Hobart gaol in January, after having served a sentence for forgery, his wife went back to live with him. Differences seem again to have arisen, for on March 15 she applied to the Warden of the Hamilton municipality for a maintenance information. The summons was returnable on March 26, but although on that date both parties appeared, the difference was settled, and the case was not proceeded with. Prisoner consented to take the wife back, but objected to the child. On the Monday following the day on which the case was to have been heard, however, the wife with her child left her father's home at Lowe's Tier, and dressed in a green plaid dress with a common black hat on her head, and a bundle containing a change of clothing in her hand, set out for her husband's hut. She was seen by a farmer named Harris, at the hut at Victoria Valley, on Friday, April 4, at 11 a.m. At the time she was chopping wood, and Harris entered into conversation with her. Both herself and the child seemed then to be in good health. On the following Sunday the deceased's brother, a young man named Keats, called at the hut at about mid-day. The place was clean, and the bed appeared to have been slept in, but it had not then been made. A fire had apparently been lit that morning, but Keats could see no sign of his sister. Becoming uneasy, and being unable from enquiries he made to ascertain anything about her, he, on April 22, organised a search party. On the following day Keats asked the prisoner where his wife was, and he replied that he did not know, that he had not made the fire on April 6, and that he last saw her at Hamilton. A lad named Stannard heard two gunshots between 6 and 7 o'clock on the Sunday morning and it was so unusual an occurrence that he spoke to his mother at the time about it. During March and April prisoner had been working at a place known as the Big Marsh, and occupied a weatherboard house with a young man named Jenkins. On April 5 they went to Jenkins' house at the Dee, and remained there for the night. When, however, Jenkins got up on the following morning the prisoner was missing, and Jenkins did not see him again until midday, when they met between the Duck Marsh and the Dee, on the road running between the marsh and Victoria Valley. Prisoner had a gun with him, but, on being questioned, he stated that he had not seen his wife. During the course of some further conversation he remarked that he had shot a rabbit, and asked Jenkins whether he had seen it. Jenkins replied that he had, and that it was about a mile away.
John Cashin, the Sub-Inspector of Police at Victoria Valley, and a member of the search party, to which reference has already been made, found the body on April 23, about half a mile from the hut. The remains were those of a woman and a child, but they were unrecognisable beyond that. The body was in a decomposed state, and was lying face downwards, while one of the arms and trunk of the body had been eaten by vermin. Prisoner was one of the party, and on a question being put to him after the body was discovered, he replied that it was shot which had caused the hole in the child's skull. This particular spot was a dense scrub, and prisoner expressed the belief that he did not think it possible for his wife to get there. Prisoner further said that he had no gun when he went to see his wife on April 6, but the sub-inspector found in the prisoner's bedroom at Big Marsh a gun, one barrel of which was loaded. He said, too, that he had not seen his wife since March 26. The superintendent of police at Hamilton, who arrested the prisoner, found on ex-amination that the left-hand barrel was loaded, and the charge was similar to that in the shot belt, viz., BB and No. 3. The remains of the body was examined by Dr. G. F. Huston and he found shot holes in the clothes under the right arm. Some of the ribs had been driven from one side to the other and broken in three or four pieces. He searched under the decomposing matter in the region of the chest, and found 13 shots within the space of 3in. or 4in. The child's skull had nine small holes in it caused by several shots. The doctor's opinion was that some of the shot drove through the ribs and some entered the child's head and through the hat. An ex-amination was made of the shot by Mr. Ward, the Government analyst, who found that the average of the shot from the pouch and the gun agreed very closely, but three of the shot taken from the body were of much less weight, and appeared to have been mutilated. The remaining 10 of the shot from the body were within the extreme of those from the pouch. The shots from the gun were from 4gr. to 7gr. in weight, while those from the woman varied between 4gr. and 6gr. With regard to the decreased weight of three of the shot they were liable to lose weight through lying in decomposed matter, and from the friction arising from their being fired. Another witness was also called, and he said that he heard gun-shots, but he was almost positive that it was on April 13, and not on April 6. No evidence was called for the defence. Counsel having addressed the jury, His HONOR summed up, and pointed out the serious nature of the crime, and sketched in detail the nature of the evidence, and the peculiar circumstances by which the case was surrounded. The question the jury had to consider was whether there had been a murder, and whether that murder was com-mitted by the prisoner, and they had to con-sider not only whether the evidence was consistent with the prisoner's guilt, but whether it was inconsistent with any other theory.

After an hour's retirement, the jury returned a verdict of guilty.
When asked in the usual way whether he had anything to say why sentence should not be passed upon him, prisoner made no reply.

His HONOR then said: Prisoner at the bar, you have been found guilty by a jury of your countrymen of the terrible crime of murder, a verdict involving not only the murder of your wife, but of the little child as well. You have had a long and patient trial, and you have been ably defended by the counsel who has appeared for you, and now the jury, after bestowing every attention upon your case, have arrived at a conclusion which I, for my own part, can-not help thinking that the evidence war-rants. I don't wish to dwell upon the circumstances of the case, or in any way to aggravate your position. I desire however — and I trust you will yourself — fully realise it without anything I can say to you. You yourself have shown no mercy to your own wife and child, and I am afraid that I can hold out to you no prospect of any mercy from an earthly judge, and I can only conjure you to make your peace with that heavenly judge before who you will have to appear. You will have an opportunity, how-ever, of being visited by a minister of religion. You will now be taken hence to the place whence you came, and taken thence to the place of execution, and you will be hanged by the neck until you be dead. And may God have mercy on your soul.
The prisoner was then removed.

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL said he would enter a nolle prosequi on the second indictment of the murder of the child.
The jurymen were then discharged, and the Court at 9.20 p.m., adjourned sine die.
2nd October 1884
Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas. : 1883 - 1911), Thursday 2 October 1884, page 3


Sir, — There is one point in Stocks’s case which does not seem to me to have received sufficient attention at the hands of those who have decided that the law shall take its course, namely, the statement made by one of the witnesses, that during the time Stocks was in gaol his wife had been unfaithful to him, and that he (Stocks) had been made aware of this fact. God only knows what may have grown out of this knowledge working upon a jealous disposition. I do not for one moment say that the belief that she had been unfaithful to him would justify Stocks in murdering his wife (if he did the deed ); but there are circumstances which create a very wide distinction, even in cases of murder; and I think that this is one of those cases in which the Executive should hesitate before carrying out the extreme penalty which the law can inflict. FAIR PLAY.
6th October 1884
Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Monday 6 October 1884, page 3
SIR, — I am glad to notice that an effort is being made to induce the Executive to com-mute the sentence of death passed upon Henry Stock. I have had some experience of criminal cases in other countries, and have no hesitation in saying, that the present is not a case in which the extreme penalty of the law should be carried out. Yours etc.,

SIR, — Letters have been written about the demeanour of the condemned man, Henry Stock, from the time of his first apprehension, for causing the death of his wife and her child. Perhaps he being a man of strong will, secrecy and determination is well able to keep up the same appearance under great trial, and even smile to throw ordinary seers off their guard, and let his friends know, even if he died on the gallows, that he would not break down. Sit-ting near the prisoner Stock while the Chief Justice Dobson summed up the case, and directed the jury on that trial (I noticed prisoner Stock's features the whole time), his attention was riveted on the Judge at that time, and when His Honor spoke of the woman being carried by some one or driven at the point of the gun to the spot in the rough bush, where shot and found, and also about the manner of how the woman and child where shot, and the motive for so doing, persistently Stock's eyes watered with a pained expression in the face for a moment only, wanting in pity and sympathy, and the whole time after that till the Judge gave his final directions to the jury Stock had all he could do to contain himself: his throat was constantly gurgling as one who had lost all heart and felt his position. Should Stock be pardoned it will be a license to kill with fire-arms, and keep quiet, get a slight sentence, and be set at large again to be a hero. D. K.

SIR, — I think the members of the Executive ought to know that there is a feeling in the minds of many that there is a prejudice against the unfortunate man Stock, because he belongs, to what is called, a "bad lot." Therefore, his case will receive little sympathy when it is again taken into consideration.
To my mind the unfavourable circum-stances which have always surrounded him, and the extenuating circumstances which have undoubtedly been brought out in this case, form, in themselves, good and sufficient reasons why a commutation should be granted when the Executive meets this morning. — Yours, etc.,
11th October 1884
Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas. : 1883 - 1911), Saturday 11 October 1884, page 3

T H E   M U R D E R E R   S T O C K S.
At a meeting of the Executive Council held yesterday, it was decided to let the law take its course in the case of Henry Stocks, who was convicted of murder at the last sittings of the Supreme Court. Stocks was informed of the decision of the final Executive Council by Mr John Swan, Sheriff, yesterday, when he appeared to be somewhat affected. He is still quiet and respectful to the gaol officials and his warders. He also pays great attention to his spiritual adviser, the Rev. G . W . Shoobridge, who visits him regularly .
Stocks takes his meals and sleeps the same as he did before his trial.
On Thursday, he was visited by His Lordship the Bishop of Tasmania, who stayed with him some time. This morning, arrangements were being made for the execution, which takes place at 8 a.m. on Monday.

13th October 1884
Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas. : 1883 - 1911), Monday 13 October 1884, page 3

Execution of the Murderer.
He Protests his Innocence.

The last dread penalty of the law was exacted this morning, and Henry Stocks has passed from the judgement of man to a tribunal that is unaffected by the controversies of time, or the contrarieties of human opinions. The execution of the Ouse murderer took place at 8 a.m. today in the presence of Mr P. S. Seager, Deputy Sheriff; Mr H. G. Quodling, Governor of the Gaol; Mr E. O. Hedberg, Sub Inspector of Territorial Police; Mr J.T. Smith, Under Gaoler, and other members of the constabulary. There were also present the Revs Geo. W. Shoobridge (Chaplain of the Gaol), and T. M . O’Callaghan, as well as members of the Press, and two private individuals. Punctually at 8 a.m.-, those mentioned above proceeded from the prison yard to the condemned cell, where the Rev. Geo. W. Shoobridge was found busily engaged ministering to the prisoner, who appeared to be listening very attentively. In answer to a question put to him by Mr Seager, as to whether he had anything to say, he replied, “ All I have to say is that I am innocent." Upon being asked whether he had any message he would like taken to anybody, he replied in the negative. Stocks was then pinioned by Solomon Blay, the hangman, and he followed Mr Shoobridge to the drop. The Rev. gentleman very impressively read the usual prayers, and Stocks listened reverently. The condemned man appeared to be somewhat faint and his face had a ghastly appearance, being deadly pale, but his step was firm, and he walked on to the platform bravely, and exhibited no signs of breaking down. In his right hand the unfortunate man carried a pretty little bunch of flowers, to which was affixed a small scriptural text, bearing the following:—“ He shall speak peace unto the heathen," which was sent to him by Miss M. Smith, daughter of the Under Gaoler. On mounting the platform, Stocks gave a hurried glance round at those assembled, and at the paraphernalia, which was to cause his death. Almost immediately the hang-man approached him, and placed the rope round the neck of the prisoner, who started visibly, as the fatal noose came into contact, with his flesh. The white cap was then, placed over his head, the Rev. Mr Shoobridge continuously offering up prayer for the unfortunate man, who, however, uttered no response.
At 8:8 am. the fatal bolt was drawn, there was a heavy grinding sound of the platform falling, the body shot from the gaze of the spectators, there was a sickening thud, which proclaimed that the rope had done its terrible work, and all that now remained of Henry Stocks was a quivering mass of flesh and bone, his body was dead, and his soul had winged its way. Henry Stocks had paid, the awful penalty and had solved the great mystery, for “death had told him more than the melancholy world doth know-things deeper than all lore."
Ever since his incarceration Stocks has maintained the same solid, quiet demeanour and attitude of indifference—with one exception, viz., when he was visited by his parents and brother. From first to last he made no admission of his guilt. His manner towards his gaolers was invariably respectful and reserved. Last night his sleep appeared to be frequently broken and several half hours he whiled away by singing snatches of hymns. He ate his meals heartily yesterday, and observed to his warder that he meant to take a good breakfast this morning, so as not to go to the scaffold empty. This determination he carried out by partaking of a good repast prior to the final event.
The body was cut down shortly after 9 a.m., when Dr. Turnley examined it, and pronounced life to be extinct. A further examination disclosed that there had been no dislocation of the vertebrae. The time that elapsed between the drawing of the bolt and the cessation of muscular action was exactly three minutes. The remains of the unfortunate were conveyed to the Cornelian Bay Cemetery at 11 a.m. where they were interred, the Rev. A. Martin, curate of Holy Trinity Church, conducting service at the grave.
By permission of the authorities, Mr A. J . Taylor took a caste of Stocks' head after death, and will probably, at an early date, furnish the Press with a phrenological delineation. During the execution all labour was suspended in the penal establishment and the Rev. A. Martin held a solemn service amongst the prisoners. The deceased criminal whilst confined within the prison walls, was daily attended by the Rev. G. W. Shoobridge, the rev. gentleman visiting him last night at 8:15 p.m., and staying until 10 o'clock, and was again in attendance at 7 a.m. today, earnestly ministering the consolations of religion according to the rites of the Anglican Church to which denomination prisoner, professed allegiance.
It is worthy of remark that Stocks occupied a portion of his time whilst in durance by writing various sentences and sentiments, more or less coherent, upon the walls of his cell. Amongst others, the following have been deciphered:- "All young men that don’t wount to die just take a warning by me, don't be led astray by women, for they will ruin you forever." —“ Introductory note to Morning Prayer, Our Father’’—"October 12, 1884! —Henry Stocks last day in his cell, and God keep all men out of it; but I hope that them - girls will be in here before long ; so good-bye, all my kind friends and God bless you for ever.” The names of a family were inscribed on the wall with their ages. There were also some drawings of ships, etc., as well; as some other writings which were illegible.
Counts of murder, TASSC
This visualisation shows twelve verdicts of guilty of murders committed by males between 1852 and 1891, sentenced in the Supreme Court of Tasmania. The dates were chosen to reflect the life term of Constable John Nevin (1852-1891) who witnessed several executions at the Hobart Gaol before his own death from typhoid in 1891.

The Prosecution Project, Trial Statistics, Griffith University (Qld)
Link: https://prosecutionproject.griffith.edu.au/

RELATED POSTS main weblog

Australia's first MUGSHOTS

PLEASE NOTE: Below each image held at the National Library of Australia is their catalogue batch edit which gives the false impression that all these "convict portraits" were taken solely because these men were transported convicts per se (i.e before cessation in 1853), and that they might have been photographed as a one-off amateur portfolio by a prison official at the Port Arthur prison in 1874, which they were not. Any reference to the Port Arthur prison official A. H. Boyd on the NLA catalogue records is an error, a PARASITIC ATTRIBUTION with no basis in fact. The men in these images were photographed in the 1870s-1880s because they were repeatedly sentenced as habitual offenders whose mugshots were taken on arrest, trial, arraignment, incarceration and/or discharge by government contractor, police and prisons photographer T. J. Nevin at the Supreme Court and adjoining Hobart Gaol with his brother Constable John Nevin, and at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall when appearing at The Mayor's Court. The Nevin brothers produced over a thousand originals and duplicates of Tasmanian prisoners, the bulk now lost or destroyed. The three hundred extant mugshots were the random estrays salvaged - and reproduced in many instances- for sale at Beattie's local convictaria museum in Hobart and at interstate exhibitions associated with the fake convict ship Success in the early 1900s. The mugshots were selected on the basis of the prisoner's notoriety from the Supreme Court trial registers (Rough Calendar), the Habitual Criminals Registers (Gaol Photo Books), warrant forms, and police gazettes records of the 1870s-1880s. The earliest taken on government contract by T. J. Nevin date from 1872. The police records sourced here are from the weekly police gazettes which were called (until 1884) Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police 1871-1885. J. Barnard, Gov't Printer.

Supreme Court convictions