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1883, Thomas Thompson - Unfit For Publication
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Evening News, Mon 19 Feb 1883 1


Parramatta, Monday.

    Thomas Thompson, a lad of about 17 years of age, was charged this morning at the police court with beastiality. He was committed to take his trial at Sydney.

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The Daily Telegraph, Fri 23 Feb 1883 2

(Before Sir George Innes.)

    The sittings of the Central Criminal Court continued at the Darlinghurst Courthouse yesterday morning. M  WB Dalley (Attorney-General) and Mr PJ Healy prosecuted for the Crown.


  Thomas Thompson, a lad, arraigned upon this charge, [of bestiality], pleaded not guilty, and was undefended. The Attorney-General, in opening the case to the jury, stated that the prisoner was utterly friendless and helpless, and he deemed it his duty to institute enquiries concerning him. He had ascertained that in all human probability the prisoner was of weak mind, that the alleged unnatural offence was but one of many evidences of the unfortunate creature’s defective intelligence. He would invite the attention of the jury to the evidence of the prisoner’s master (Mr Baker) and if upon his evidence they thought the prisoner was not responsible for his actions they would find him not guilty on the ground of insanity. The evidence in connection with the case showed that it was a most peculiar and painful one. It appeared that the prisoner had been apprenticed to a Mr Baker, on the Woodville-road, from an institution at Parramatta. He had been in Mr Baker’s service nearly three years, and on Sunday night last he was discovered attempting to commit the offence in the cow yard. Mr Baker gave evidence to the effect that latterly the boy had exhibited signs of insanity, and had behaved himself in such a manner that he did not think him fit to be at large. The evidence in connection with the alleged commission of the offence was unfit for publication. The prisoner [Thomas Thompson] called no witnesses but stated to the jury that the Bakers wanted to get rid of him, that Mrs Baker told him to clear out, and that he would not get the money due to him in the bank if he did go. He refused to clear out, because if he had done so he would have been taken up by the police for deserting. In reply to his Honor Mr Baker admitted that there was a sum of £5 5s due to the prisoner in the bank. His Honor summed up, and after a short retirement the jury found the prisoner not guilty, and he was discharged. His Honor then expressed regret that Mr Baker could not deliver him over to someone able to take care of him. The boy said he could get his own living, and did not wish to go back to Mr Baker’s. His Honor, however, advised him to go back, as he was apprenticed to Mr Baker, and could not leave him. The boy consented, and, subsequently left with his master.



he Brisbane Courier, Sat 4 Dec 1886, p. 8.
The Brisbane Courier, Sat 4 Dec 1886, p. 8.

    The young man John Ryan, who was arrested in King-street on Wednesday night by Detective Maclean with a box containing a chalice and other articles, the property of the Right Rev Dr Quinn,  Roman Catholic Bishop of Bathurst, was brought up at the Water Police Court yesterday, before Mr Buchanan, SM. It appears that the bishop and his vicar-general arrived from Bathurst, on Wednesday evening, and put up at Arnott House, Wynyard-square. On arrival, about 6 o’clock, the prelate’s luggage was placed in the inner hall of the house by a young woman named Lillie McCormack, employed at the establishment. Amongst the articles were a portmanteau containing robes, scarfs, two silver crosses, two silver candlesticks, and a chalice, which was the gift of some students at Bathurst. Detective Maclean, who was on duty in King-street on Wednesday night about 9 o’clock observed the prisoner, who is well known to the police, sitting upon a low window sill partly concealing an object which was wrapped in a silk robe. The detective, on questioning Ryan as to the manner in which the parcel got there, considered that the answers were not of a satisfactory character, and took him into custody. He was conveyed to the Central Police Station, and on the parcel being examined it was found to contain a golden chalice. Detectives McLean and Mulqueeny subsequently made certain investigations which resulted in their finding the portmanteau and contents referred to above on a vacant piece of land near the Model Lodging-House. Ryan was then charged with stealing the articles enumerated above, of the value in all of £70, but as it was found that if such charges were prosecuted, it would compel the bishop to leave all the articles behind him, so that they could be produced at the Court of Quarter Sessions, when the prisoner was brought up for trial. It was thought advisable to alter the charge to that of stealing a chalice of the value of £11. This enables the bishop to take all the articles with him except it. The prisoner was committed to take his trial at the next Court of Quarter Sessions, which begins on Monday next.



    Yesterday the Drapers’ Association picnic took place at Clontarf, and eventuated in a considerable success. The weather was everything that could be desired, and the Young Australian Bank was on hand all day, giving out some excellent music. The steamers Commodore, Telephone, and Glenelg conveyed thither some 3000 people during the day from the Circular Quay, all of whom appeared to enjoy themselves to the utmost without any display of unnecessary jubilation. There were divers sports—running, jumping, and so on, and a cricket match between the employees of Messrs Anthony Hordern and Sons, and David Jones and Co. A banquet was served about 2 o’clock in a large marquee, which, for the time, acted as a hot-house, the temperature being exceedingly oppressive. Compagnoni’s catering was fairly good, and was appreciated by those present. Letters of apology were read by Mr McMillan, the president of the association, from Messrs Barton, Poole, Copeland, Reid, and O;Connor, M’sLA, for non-attendance. Amongst those present were Messrs Withers and Clarke, MsLA, and Mr Pool, the president of the Trades and Labour Council. The toasts given were “The Queen,” “The Governor,” “The Drapers’ Association,” “The Employers,” “The Employees,” “The Houses of Parliament,” “The Sydney Wholesale Houses,” “The Committee;” “The Ladies,” and “The Press.” Three cheers for the chairman, Mr Macmillan, followed by the usual three cheers for the Queen, brought the banquet to a close. Great stresss [sic] was laid upon the necessity of earlier hours for the city drapery shops by several of the speakers, and it was suggested that the President of the Trades and Labour Council should be asked to request employers to pay their men on Thursday, so as to ensure most of the shopping being done on Fridays instead of Saturdays, as at present. The Drapers’ Association are to be congratulated on the success of their first picnic, and to the abundant promise evinced by several of the members of the association who spoke at the banquet.

    The following were the various events:– 

    REGATTA.—Single Sculls, retail employees, entries, 2 heats.—WJ Foster, 1st heat; G Higgs, 2nd heat (walk over); row off, Higgs. Double Sculls, 18 years.—G White and F Kelligrew. Double Sculls, retail employees.—A Sanden and WJ Foster. Single Sculls (18 years and under).—Kelligrew. Pair Oar Race, retail employees.—Scott and Edmondson.

    FOOTRACES.—Flat Race, 100 yards, (18 years and under), – Kelligrew. Sack Race.—Richards. 150 Yards Race, retail and wholesale.—1st heat: Bailey 1, Kelligrew 2. Second heat: Frank 1, Harper 2; run off, Bailey. 100 Yards Ladies’ Race.—Miss Foley 1, Miss Duff 2. Three-legged Race, wholesale and retail Employees.— Kelligrew and Wallace. 440 Yards Race.—Bailey. The Tug of War was left undecided.

    The cricket match between the employees of Messrs A Hordern and Sons and Messrs D Jones and Co, resulted in a victory for the former by 10 runs. Owing to pressure of time only one innings was played.


    At the Post Office steps yesterday, a poor little girl named Christiana Bird picked up a sovereign, and, thinking a well-known bush missionary had dropped it (!) handed it to him. As a policeman was standing by, the missionary told the girl to hand the coin over to him, and gave the girl a shilling. The coin now lies at the Inquiry Office, with the girl’s address, and the owner, when he gets his sovereign, ought to share it with the finder.

    Mr “Wild” Wright, of Leichhardt, is a “oner” for breaking up a public meeting—vide recent tramway corroboree. He loves ex-mayor Pritchard so much that when he ran to embrace that auctioneer a newspaper man rapidly got out of the way.

    The election excitement in Burwood is over, and Mr HM Deakin is mayor, vice AT Rees, resigned. The Reeson for the resignation is not stated, but ex-mayor Archer was not present.

    A boy named Craig was nearly crushed between the platform and carriage steps at Ashfield railway station last night.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 23 Feb 1883 3


    The sittings of the Central Criminal Court were resumed at Darlinghurst his morning, before his Honor Sir George Innes. The Crown was represented by the Hon WB Dalley, QC, Attorney-General, and Mr PJ Healy.


    JG Deeble, DGE Alsop, Thomas Maher, AS Appleton, and EA Brahem, summoned as jurors, were fined 60s each for non-attendance.


    Thomas Thompson, about 19 years of age, was charged with having committed an unnatural offence at Woodville-road, on February 18.

    The Attorney-General said that the prisoner was utterly friendless and helpless, and that he had deemed it his duty to institute inquiries concerning him. He had ascertained that in all probability the prisoner was of weak mind, and that his offence was but one of many evidences of the unfortunate creature’s defective intelligence. He would invite the attention of the jury to the evidence of the master of the prisoner, who could give them such information as he possessed concerning the prisoner’s mental condition. If they found him at the time of the perpetration of the offence incapable of distinguishing right from wrong, they would find him not guilty on the ground of insanity. The master to whom the lad was apprenticed gave evidence as to circumstances which went to prove that the lad’s intellect was defective. His son also gave evidence which was unfavourable to prisoner; but evidently believing that prisoner was not responsible for what he had done, the jury discharged him. It appeared that he had been an inmate of an orphanage at Parramatta, that he had served his master for about three years, and that wages amounting to £5 5s had been accumulated for him in a bank. He affirmed that his master and mistress desired to get rid of him, and that his mistress said that if he went away he would not get his wages. He believed he could earn a living elsewhere. But he feared to leave lest he should be arrested for desertion. Eventually, upon the recommendation of his Honor, he returned home with his master.


1  Evening News, (Sydney, NSW), Mon 19 Feb 1883, p. 2.

2  The Daily Telegraph, Fri 23 Feb 1883, pp. 3, 4. Emphasis added.

3  The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 23 Feb 1883, p. 3.