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1867, Edward Rowlands and John Brown - Unfit For Publication
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Depositions for Edward Rowlands and John Brown 13 Aug 1867 Sydney trial 1

William Chatfield, Visiting Magistrate,
Sydney Gaol 14 June 1867

James Martin QC, Attorney General

Sir,
    I have the honour to submit herewith Depositions taken before me yesterday at the gaol, upon which the prisoners named in the margin 2 have been committed to take their trial at the next gaol delivery, on a charge of Sodomy. I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant.
[Signed] W Chatfield, Visiting Magistrate.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Depositions of Witnesses.

TO WIT

the examination of William Steel at Darlinghurst Gaol, in the Colony of New South Wales, Charles Elyard [aka Heleyer], John Lovett and Isaac Aaron, also of Darlinghurst Gaol, in the said Colony, taken on Thursday, this thirteenth day of June in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty seven, at Darlinghurst, in the Colony aforesaid, before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said Colony, in the presence and hearing of Edward Rowlands and John Brown who are charged this day before me, for that they the said Edward Rowlands and John Brown, on the 11th of June at Darlinghurst Gaol, in the said Colony, did commit the crime of sodomy.
[Signed] W Chatfield, JP.

1

Edward Rowlands & John Brown.

    William Steel being duly sworn maketh oath and saith: I am a prisoner in the Darlinghurst Gaol employed as wardman sweeper in the C Wing, on Tuesday evening last about 3 o'clock I was in a cell numbered 65 at the end of the building and on the top landing, I was taking up water I took up a Bible belonging to one of the prisoners which was on the bed and commenced reading it. I heard scraping of feet, I came out of the cell and walked to the bridge, when on the bridge I saw the legs and back of the prisoners now present, I believe their name to be Rowlands, I walked gently to the cell door number 66 I saw Rowlands and the boy Brown (now present) Rowland had hold of Brown whose trousers were down as far as his knees with his face to the wall. When I went into the cell Rowland immediately stooped down, Brown stood up and pulled up his trousers — Rowlands' trousers were open and his person was exposed when I entered the cell, Rowland fastened his trousers while stooping, I did not speak to either Rowland or Brown at that time. I went down and sat

2

on a form at on the outside of the door of the building. About 10 minutes after I called Brown over to me and asked him how he could allow Rowland to have connection with him in that manner, he said, "I am not the only one that has done it." A young man named Charles Elyard was sitting alongside me when I spoke to Brown. I went round the corner of the building for the tubs Rowland followed me and said, "For God's sake don't say anything about it." I told him I should consider myself as bad as he was if I did not say anything about it. About half an hour after Mr Lovett a warden asked me about that matter and I told him all I have now stated.
[Signed] William (his X mark) Steel.

Taken and sworn before me at Darlinghurst Gaol this 13th of June 1867.
[Signed] W Chatfield, JP.

    Charles Eliot Elyard being duly sworn maketh oath and saith, I am a prisoner in Darlinghurst Gaol, sometime in the afternoon I was sitting with William Steel in front of the C wing. Steel called the boy Brown over he accused the boy of being up in a cell with a man, Brown I said he was not the only one that done it.
[Signed] C Elyard.

Taken and sworn before me at Darlinghurst this 13th of June 1867.
[Signed] W Chatfield, JP.

3

    John Lovett being duly sworn maketh oath and saith: I am a warden in Darlinghurst Gaol. About 3 o'clock in the afternoon on the 11th instant I received information that something wrong had occurred I called prisoner Steel into one of the cells and questioned him about it — in consequence of what I then heard I reported the circumstances to the Chief Warden [Frederick Robert Bernard] who took this prisoner Brown immediately over to the Surgery.
[Signed] John Lovett.

Taken and sworn before me at Darlinghurst this 13th of June 1867.
[Signed] W Chatfield, JP.

    Isaac Aaron being duly sworn maketh oath and saith — I am surgeon to the Darlinghurst Gaol. In the afternoon of Tuesday last about 4 o'clock the prisoner Brown was brought before me in the surgery, I was told that he was the passive agent in an attempt of sodomy. I examined his person, there was nothing to show that any crime had been committed. I the next day

4

morning examined the prisoner Rowlands, I found nothing to prove the crime.
[Signed] Isaac Aaron.

Taken and sworn before me at Darlinghurst this 13th of June 1867.
[Signed] W Chatfield JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Statement of the Accused.

New South Wales,
TO WIT                   }

    Edward Rowlands and John Brown stand charged before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the Colony aforesaid this 13th day of June in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty seven for that they, the said Edward Rowlands and John Brown on the 11th day of June instant, at Darlinghurst in the said Colony, did commit sodomy and the examination of all the witnesses on the part of the prosecution having been completed, and the Depositions taken against the accused having been read or caused to be read to them by the undersigned by or before whom such examination has been so completed, and the undersigned having also stated to the accused and given them clearly the understanding that they have nothing to hope from any promise of favour, and nothing to fear from any threat which may have been holden out to them to induce them to make any admission or confession of their guilt, but that whatever they shall say may be taken in evidence against them upon their trial, notwithstanding such promise or threat; and the said charge being read to the said Edward Rowlands and John Brown and the witnesses for the prosecution William Steel, Charles Elyard, John Lovett and Isaac Aaron being severally examined in their presence, the said Edward Rowlands and John Brown are now addressed by me as follows:- "Having heard the evidence, do you wish to say anything in answer to the charge? You are not obliged to say anything unless you desire to do so; but whatever you say will be taken down in writing, and may be given in evidence against you upon your trial;" thereupon the said Edward Rowlands and John Brown declined to make any statement.
[Signed] W Chatfield, JP.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Edward Rowlands & John Brown.

    Committed for Trial at the next gaol delivery to be holden the 12th of August 1867 for the crime of sodomy.
[Signed] W Chatfield, JP. Darlinghurst June 13th 1867.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Justice A Cheeke's Notebook 3

50

[Sydney, 13 August 1867]
Edward Rowlands and John Brown
Attempt to Commit Sodomy

    William Steel. Prisoner at Darlinghurst employed as sweeper C wing — 11th June Tuesday. I took some water to No. 65 Cell — top landing end of the building — a Bible was on the bed belonging to the prisoner. Heard a noise off Cell and at the bridge — faced Cell 66. Then I saw prisoner Rowlands back (?) the boy (bent ?) his trowsers down below his knees and when Rowlands drew back saw his person exposed — his trowsers down open at the flap. I walked away went downstairs

51

mentioned something to prisoner (Heleyer ? passim) then called Brown over to me. I asked how he came to let to let (repetition ?) the old man have connexion. He said others had done it as well as he — not the only one — (Then ?) Rowlands came he followed me — said Have you spoke to the boy. I said yes — he hoped to God I would look over it — I (& ?) Lovett had some conversation.

    Cross-examined. I did not know to whom to report it (explained ?) Rowlands' backside was not naked, afterwards saw his private parts. Cannot say whether in state of erection. The boy did not say they all did it.

    Charles Heleyer Prisoner Darlinghurst — Confined C Wing. 11th June Steel came to me. We sat down on a form — he called Brown over, he told him he ought to be (turned/burned ?) for allowing a man to have connexion with him. He said that is nothing — I did not know any thing of Steel out of gaol.

52

    John Lovett. Recollect receiving some information from Steel about 3 o'clock, I (?) (?) the best (?) prisoners (that ?) conviction — Both prisoners denied it.

    Dr [Isaac] Aaron. I received some information, examined Brown, no (?) of any offence committed patient (?) of (?)

    John Desmond. Now confined at Darlinghurst . I said if (?) the prisoner some of his time taken off he said he might  If Information given some time in general taken off. 4

    Reed. Conduct good during his imprisonment.

Guilty

Rowlands: under sentence of 12 months for prison breaking from 19th February 1867 — 
Two years Darlinghurst Gaol (hard labour ?) upon expiration of present sentence now underway.
Brown. Twelve months Darlinghurst Gaol (hard labour ?)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Empire, Wed 14 Aug 1867 5

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
TUESDAY.
————
(Before his Honor Mr Justice Cheeke, and a general jury.)

....

UNNATURAL OFFENCE.

    Edward Rowlands, 50, and John Brown, 17, two confinees in Darlinghurst gaol, were indicted for having attempted to commit an unnatural offence on the 11th June.

    The offence was stated by two prisoners to have been committed in a cell in C wing, Darlinghurst gaol.

    The case having concluded, his Honor summed up.

    The jury, after a brief absence, returned a verdict of guilty against both prisoners.

    Rowlands had been several times convicted. Brown had received two light sentences, bot of which had expired since this offence.

    Rowlands was sentenced to two years' hard labour in Darlinghurst gaol, to commence on the expiration of his present sentence. Brown was sentenced to twelve months' hard labour in Darlinghurst gaol.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 14 Aug 1867 6

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.
TUESDAY.

BEFORE his Honor Mr Justice Alfred Cheeke.
...

UNNATURAL CRIME

    Edward Rowlands and John Brown, confines of Darlinghurst gaol, were indicted for that they did, on the 11th June last, [1867] attempt to commit an unnatural crime.

    The prisoners pleaded not guilty, and were undefended. The Solicitor General [Robert McIntosh Isaacs] prosecuted.

    The prisoner Rowlands was an old man of 50 years of age; the prisoner Brown was a lad of seventeen. The evidence in support of the charge against them was given by two other confines of the gaol and one of the warders. The particulars of the case are unfit for publication. The prisoners were found guilty and sentenced  Rowlands to two years' imprisonment in Darlinghurst gaol, with hard labour, and Brown to twelve months' imprisonment in Darlinghurst gaol, with hard labour.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Sydney Mail, Sat 17 Aug 1867 7

CRIMINAL COURT.
MONDAY.

Before his Honor Mr Justice Cheeke.
...

TUESDAY

...

UNNATURAL CRIME.

    Edward Rowlands and John Brown, confines of Darlinghurst gaol, were indicted for that they did, on the 11th June last, attempt to commit an unnatural crime.

    The prisoners pleaded not guilty, and were undefended. The Solicitor-General prosecuted.

    The prisoner Rowlands was an old man of 50 years of age; the prisoner Brown was a lad of seventeen. The evidence in support of the charge against them was given by two other confines of the gaol and one of the warders. The particulars of the case are unfit for publication. The prisoners were found guilty and sentenced—Rowlands to two years' imprisonment in Darlinghurst gaol, with hard labour, and Brown to twelve months' imprisonment in Darlinghurst gaol, with hard labour.

 


1  SRNSW: NRS880, [9/6494], Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, SGD, 1867, No. 553. Emphasis added.

2  Mn: (Edward Rowlands & John Brown:)

3  SRNSW: NRS5775, [2/2522], Judiciary, A Cheeke, J. Notebooks Criminal Sessions, 1865-74, pp. 50-2. Emphasis added.

4  Mn: too well watched for the offence to be committed

5  Empire, Wed 14 Aug 1867, p. 5.

6  The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 14 Aug 1867, p. 3.

7  The Sydney Mail, Sat 17 Aug 1867, p. 5.