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Abraham Gaston, one of 320 convicts transported on the John Barry, 07 September 1835
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
||31st October, 1844
life span was 57 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to Life
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/10, Page Number 141 (73)
||This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.
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Christine Grassmyer on 27th February, 2020 wrote:
11/02/1818 Baptised at Minchinhampton Gloucestershire along with his brother Peter and sister Martha
17/03/1833 breaking and entering @ William Poole stealing 10lb of bacon and 10 farthings
17/02/1835 breaking and entering @ Henry Rudge stealing 6 cakes and a pound of garden seeds.
Maureen Withey on 1st March, 2020 wrote:
Love, Jealousy, and Murder.
Frederick, alias Abraham, Gaston (ticket-of-leave) was indicted, at Bathurst, on the 25th ultimo, for the wilful murder of Elizabeth Price, alias Robinson, of Hartley, by shooting her.
It appeared that the deceased had for some time previous, to the murder been keeping company with the prisoner, and had promised to marry him; but some time afterwards, she ceased his acquaintance, and engaged to marry one John Power, commonly called Big Jack. When the prisoner heard of it, he was much enraged, and went to deceased’s residence to know her reasons for refusing him. He then began upbraiding her with her falsehood, and some quarrelling ensued, when the prisoner, at length, took down a fowling piece that hung on a beam in the hut, and presented at deceased, who took hold of the piece, with the intention of diverting the aim of it. The prisoner tore it from her grasp, and shot her in the abdomen. He then said that he would settle Big Jack as soon as he came on him, and Mr. Wilson, of Kanimbla, likewise. He then made off, and took to the bush, and was not taken till three weeks afterwards. When took one of the mounted police came on him unawares, and did not take him till a couple of shots had been exchanged.
In the meantime the deceased lingered for a couple of days in great agony, and expired, having, previous to her death made a statement to the Police Magistrate that Gaston had shot her, and that she considered he had done so in a ‘fit of jealousy, he having been an admirer of hers,’ and having heard that she was about to be married to another man. The prisoner had also acknowledged to several persons that he had shot her, and expressed no contrition for the deed.
Mr, Cheeke who defended the prisoner, endeavoured to show that no malice existed, and consequently the offence was merely one of manslaughter, and called several respectable witnesses who gave the prisoner a high character as a quiet, sober, well-conducted, and inoffensive man for the last eight years.
The Jury returned a verdict of guilty, and his Honor passed sentence of death on the prisoner, at such time and place as might be appointed.
The Star and Working Man’s Guardian, (Parramatta) 5 Oct 1844.
Frederick Gaston alias Abraham Gaston was
found guilty of the wilful murder of one Elizabeth
Robertson alias. Elizabeth Price,. Kanairabla, in
the district of Hartley, by shooting her. The
prisoner was sentenced to be hanged.
Morning Chronicle, Sydney, 2 Oct 1844.
Execution.-This morning (Thursday, October 31), at nine o’clock, sentence was carried into force on Frederick alias Abraham Gaston, convicted at the late Assizes of the wilful murder of Elizabeth Robertson. Mr. Keck, Governor of Sydney Gaol, officiated as sheriff on the occasion. Gaston was attended from the Gaol to the place of execution, a distance of about a quarter of a mile, by the Rev. Messrs. Sharpe and Lisle, reading prayers alternately. On arrival at the foot of the scaffold, these gentlemen prayed some time with the prisoner, and on his ascending the scaffold the former gentleman accompanied him, and remained in prayer with him for several minutes, and on Mr. Sharp descending from the scaffold the unfortunate man was immediately launched into eternity. The prisoner was escorted by a file of soldiers, a party of the mounted police, several constables, and the gaoler. There was a very great concourse of people assembled to witness the execution, and amongst them a great number of females. Great commiseration was felt for this unfortunate man, from the time of his conviction-much on account of his previous excellent character, being always a quiet inoffensive man, and from the woman, on whose account he suffered the dread penalty of the law, being of indifferent, not to say bad character, and also from circumstances that transpired at and since his trial. The principal witness for the prosecution, a sister of the deceased woman, stated at her first examination, before the bench of magistrates at Hartley, that when Gaston had the piece in his hands with which her sister was shot, she, the witness, caught hold of the stock of the piece, to prevent Gaston from shooting her sister. If her evidence in this first instance was correct, it might lead to a conclusion that the piece may have gone off accidentally in a scuffle; at the trial, however, she most positively denied having touched the piece while in Gaston’s hands, and notwithstanding her being strongly questioned and cross-questioned on this point, she still persisted in her story. It would be but natural to suppose that when she first gave her evidence before the magistrates every circumstance of the case would be fresher in her memory than it would be at the trial, after a lapse of some months. This discrepancy, in fact positive contradiction, was a very material feature in the case, and from this and other circumstances that transpired or became known after trial, a petition was got up, respectably signed, and forwarded to His Excellency the Governor. This petition, we know, was immediately referred to Mr. Justice Stephen, who presided at the trial of Gaston, and his Honor promptly attended to the subject, and forthwith caused an investigation of the circumstances alluded to in the petition to be had before the bench of magistrates at Hartley. In fact every attention seems to have been paid to the case of this unfortunate man, and after all that has been done, as the law was left, to take its course, we must conclude that no good grounds were shown for an extension of mercy, and that the Executive must have still considered this man merited the fate that has been meted out to him. We have every reason to think that, through Mr. Sharpe’s exertions, Gaston died truly penitent, although he maintained to the last that the piece went off accidentally.
Sydney Morning Herald, 5 Nov 1844.
Convict Changes History
Christine Grassmyer on 27th February, 2020 made the following changes:
date of birth: 1815 (prev. 0000), date of death: 31st October, 1844 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime