Depositions for Thomas Maher, 23 Jan 1830, Campbell Town Trial
In the Tenth Year of the Reign of
Our Sovereign Lord George the Fourth,
by the Grace of God, of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
King, Defender of the Faith.
New South Wales
(TO WIT)– }
Be it Remembered, That Alexander Macduff Baxter, Esquire, His Majesty’s Attorney General for the Colony of New South Wales, who prosecutes for His Majesty in this Behalf, being present in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, now here, on the twentieth day of January in the year of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty at Campbell Town in the Colony aforesaid, informs the said Court, that Thomas Maher late of Campbell Town in the Colony aforesaid, Labourer on the twenty sixth day of November in the year of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and twenty nine with force and arms at Appin in the Colony aforesaid, with a certain Bitch then and there being feloniously, wickedly diabolically and against the order of nature had a venereal affair, and then and there feloniously, wickedly, diabolically and against the order of nature with the said Bitch did commit and perpetrate that detestable and abominable crime of Buggery (not to be named amongst Christians) against the form of the Statute in such case made and provided and against the Peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.
[Signed] Alex M Baxter, [AG].
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[On the reverse of the above is the following]
The King against Thomas Maher
Witnesses: John Macknea, John …, William Hawthorn.
January 23rd 1830
Plea Not Guilty
Verdict: Not Guilty.
[Signed] John Gurner
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The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sat 30 Jan 1830
Before Mr Justice Stephen
CAMPBELL TOWN ASSIZES
SATURDAY [23 Jan 1830]
J Maher was indicted for a horrible crime, with the disgusting details of which we cannot sully our columns. Were we to do so they would in all likelihood have the same effect upon our readers which the witness stated the detection of the prisoner had upon him. In his own emphatic words, “it made his blood run cold, and caused his whole frame to shudder.”
Mr Rowe conducted the defence, and after the witness was examined, took an objection that there had not been legal evidence of the completion of the offence.
Mr Justice STEPHEN admitted the propriety of the objection, and the prisoner was discharged on the capital indictment, and remanded to take his trial at the Session for the misdemeanor [sic].
1 SRNSW: NRS880, [SC T30], 30/32; SRNSW: NRS880, [CP T144], 7, Supreme Court, Papers and depositions, 1830.
2 The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sat 30 Jan 1830, p. 3. Justice Stephen’s 1830 notebooks have not survived.