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1845, Frederick Blackwell and Frederick Weston - Unfit For Publication
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Depositions for Frederick Blackwell and Frederick Weston 8 Jan 1845 Sydney  1 

JL Innes
Cockatoo Island
13th November 1845

John H Plunkett, Attorney General
Sir
    I have the honor to enclosed herewith the Depositions taken in the Case of the prisoners named in the margin 2  who were this day committed to take their trial for Sodomy.

    I have the honor to be
        Sir
    Your obedient servant
[Signed] JL Innes JP
Visiting Magistrate.

1

Frederick Blackwell per Asia 1837, 14 years
Frederick Weston per Parkfield 1839, 10 years
Both Prisoners of the Crown on Cockatoo Island charged with
Sodomy

New South Wales, Cockatoo Island
TO WIT.                                      }                                                                

Cockatoo Island prison yard. Sketch: <i>Illustrated Sydney News</i>, Thu 14 Nov 1889, p. 16. Reproduction: Peter de Waal
Cockatoo Island prison yard. Sketch: Illustrated Sydney News,
Thu 14 Nov 1889, p. 16. Reproduction: Peter de Waal

    Mr George Newbolt Assistant Superintendent on Cockatoo Island being duly sworn on his oath saith:– Yesterday Sunday the ninth day of November 1845 at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon I was walking round towards the back part of the island and when I reached a certain place I looked over the rocks. I saw the two prisoners now before the court committing an unnatural crime. The prisoner Weston was in a stooping position with his head down and trousers down, and the prisoner Blackwell was behind him with his trousers down; and both in the act of copulation. I then took them into custody and sent for the Dispenser. When I first saw them they were not more than 12 feet distant from me a directly under me.
[Signed] George Newbolt
Sworn before me this 10th day of November 1845.
[Signed] J Long Innes, JP.  

2

    William Steward Moncrieffe prisoner of the crown, Dispenser on Cockatoo Island, being duly sworn on his oath saith:– On Sunday the ninth day of November 1845 I was called upon to examine the two prisoners now before the court detected in the act of sodomy. I first examined the prisoner Blackwell. His penus [sic] was of an unusual size, and the prepuce evidently showed marks of copulation. I then proceeded to examine the prisoner Weston and round the verge of the rectum was human seed. The rectum was considerably inflamed and showed most striking proof of the deed of sodomy having been committed.
[Signed] WS Moncrieffe.
Sworn before me this 13th day of November 1845.
[Signed] J Long Innes, JP.

3

    James Chinnery prisoner on the Island Acting Constable being duly sworn on his oath saith:– on Sunday the 9th of November 1845 when I was taking the two prisoners before the court to the cells on Cockatoo Island I heard the prisoner Blackwell say to the prisoner Weston “This is a party job you have led me into. I shall get lagged now.”
[Signed] Jas Chinnery.
Sworn before me at Cockatoo Island this 13th day of November 1845.
[Signed] J Long Innes, JP.
    Committed for trial.
[Signed] J Long Innes, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[On the depositions’ cover sheet is the following]

1845
13th November
Cockatoo Island 12 & 13
Regina
v.
Frederick Blackwell, B
Frederick Weston, B
Depositions
[Initial illegible]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Justice JN Dickinson’s Notebook  3  and 4

9

Thursday January 8th 1846
Regina v Frederick Blackwell – Sodomy with Frederick Weston.

    George Newbolt. Superintendent at C[ockatoo] Island. Knows prisoner & Weston – prisoners at Cockatoo Island. Remember Sunday 9th November/46 – I (?) (?) prisoner coming from (spot ?) I went there – I (?) (?) prisoner & Weston at a place where water closet was built – a place not (?) for concealment from some points of island. I (on ?) top of rock looked over & saw these men. I saw Weston in (front ?) of prisoner in a stooping position – prisoner standing up close behind Weston in motion. I called out to the two to come up – they made a start & came up to me buttoning up. Their clothes I I called to a man to bring a (custody ?) – I gave them in charge. I sent these men to the cells. I sent for the dispenser Moncrieff to the cells – he came there – I remained. He inspected Blackwell & then Weston –

10

The middle (part ?) of Blackwell – (?) (?) (?) – posterior of Weston – the motion of Blackwell towards & back W. Weston not resting against anything. Blackwell rather stooping in his shoulders – inclined over the other. Did not see whether he was holding Weston.
    Cross-examined by prisoner.
    William Stewart  5  Moncrieffe. Dispenser at Cockatoo Island. (Recalled ?) on Sunday 9th October last I examined prisoner & W. His penis enlarged of unusual size, prepuce much reddened. Examined Weston. I saw human seed at verge of rectum without – a redness about the anus outside as if produced by friction. Redness & seed might be by attempt to penetrate – no faeces on penis of prisoner.

Guilty of Common Assault.
    Jury intimated that it was done with intent. I sentence imprisonment in this gaol for 12 months with hard labour.

11

Regina v Frederick Weston – Sodomy with Frederick Blackwell –
Same evidence as before.

    George Newbolt. Can distinguish right from wrong. Came to C[ockatoo] Island for protection. Other prisoners make game of him.
    William Stewart Moncrieffe. Same evidence as in last case. Can distinguish between right & wrong.

    Guilty – common assault. The jury found thought that he intended to commit sodomy.

    I sentence – Imprisonment in this Gaol for 12 months with hard labour.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 9 Jan 1846 6

LAW INTELLIGENCE.
CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
Thursday. [8 Jan 1846]

Before His Honor Mr Justice Dickinson. 

NEW MAGISTRATE.

Mr Richard Blackwell, of Picton, was sworn in as a magistrate of the territory.

JURORS.

    Mr George Forbes, Mr Francis Gaunson, Mr R Fitzgerald, and Mr J Gillespie, were severally fined 40s. for not attending as jurors. 

UNNATURAL CRIME.

    Frederick Blackwell, late of Cockatoo Island, a convict, was indicted for an unnatural offence, on the 9th November last.
    Frederick Weston was indicted for a similar offence, at the same time and place.
    The prisoners were tried as they were indicted, separately.
    The details are wholly unfit for publication.
    Both the prisoners were found guilty of a common assault, and were sentenced to be kept at hard labour in Her Majesty’s Gaol, Darlinghurst, for twelve calendar months.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Australian, Sat 10 Jan 1846 7

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.

    Thursday, Jan. 8.– Before his Honor Mr Justice Dickinson. 

NEW MAGISTRATE.

Mr Richard Blackwell, of Picton, was dully sworn in as a Magistrate of the territory. 

JURORS FINED.

    Messrs Joseph Gillespie, Robert Fitzgerald, (of George-street, Sydney); Francis Gaunson, Henry Freeman, (of Botany); and George Forbes, (of Parramatta), were severally fined 40s. for non-attendance as jurors. 

ASSAULT.

    Frederick Blackwell and Frederick Weston were indicted for an unnatural offence. They were tried severally, and found guilty of a common assault. The Court sentenced them each to twelve months lard labour in the Sydney gaol.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Wed 14 Jan 1846  8

SYDNEY NEWS.
———

    Central Criminal Court.—On Thursday Frederick Blackwell and Frederick Weston, indicted for an unnatural crime, were found guilty of a common assault, and sentenced to hard labour in Darlinghurst Gaol for twelve months.

 


1  SRNSW: NRS880, [9/6332], Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, Cockatoo Island, 1845. Emphasis added.

2  Mn: Frederick Blackwell per Asia 1837, 14 yrs. Frederick Weston per Parkfield 1839, 10 yrs

3  SRNSW: NRS5862, [2/3089], Judiciary, JN Dickinson, J. Notebooks Criminal Causes, 1844-1860, pp. 9-11. Emphasis added.

4  Sir John Nodes Dickinson born 1806 in Grenada in the West Indies was educated at Fulham and Caius colleges and Cambridge. In 1840 he was called to the Inner Temple and Common Law Bars. On the appointment of the NSW Supreme Court Justice, WW Burton, to Madras, Dickinson was considered for the vacancy in 1844. In the same year Dickinson and wife, Helen, arrived in Sydney 13 Oct on board Garland Grove and sworn in the next day. Dickinson was the last NSW Supreme Court judge appointed in England. For almost a year from 15 Feb 1860 to 17 Feb 1861 Dickinson was acting chief justice of the NSW Supreme Court during the absence of Sir Alfred Stephen. Dickinson retired in 1860 and returned to England and died, while on a visit to Rome, on 16 Mar 1882. ADB, 1851-1890, vol. 4, pp. 71-2.

5  Transcribed as Steward in depositions.

6  The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 9 Jan 1846, p. 2.

7  The Australian, Sat 10 Jan 1846, p. 1747.

8  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Wed 14 1846, p. 1.