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Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
||3rd April, 1872
life span was 59 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||NSW Convict Indentures 1836; NSW Australian Convict Muster, Queanbeyan Depositions 1838 -1844, Canberra - History of and Legends relating to the Federal Capital Territory by John Gale, Biographical Register of Canberra and Queanbeyan and Queanbeyan Pioneer Cemeteries Register page 440.
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Wendy Smith on 8th April, 2019 wrote:
Maurice Walsh, a bachelor, died in Queanbeyan Hospital from exhaustion 3 April 1872 aged 68. Convict indentures of 1835 state that he was 20 years old; 5 ft 8 inches, brown hair, grey eyes and a sallow complexion. He was assigned to Mr James Wright at Lanyon. History of Canberra states that he was the last man flogged in the region. Queanbeyan Deposition papers stated that during his service to Mr James Wright that he was found guilty of Disorderly Conduct on 12 February 1839. Sentence: Twenty five lashes.
Wendy Smith on 13th November, 2019 wrote:
Reference: ‘An autobiography or Tales and Legends of Canberra pioneers’ by Samuel Shumack (1850-1940) First paperback edition 1977 pp 93-94 on Maurice Welsh. Surname spelt as Welsh not Walsh.
Maurice Welsh was transported in the early days and came to Canberra in the early forties (i.e. 1840’s). He was past seventy when I first met him, and he drove the ration cart at Ginninderra. He crossed himself a dozen times a day and said, ‘By Jasus’ a hundred times a day. In 1860 brother John (Shumack) took the sheep to the washpen and he slept in the watchbox with Maurice, who taught him many prayers. He said to John, ‘I often cry when I think of your mother and father, what good people they are, and there is no hope for them if they don’t join the true church. It is awful to think they must go to hell.
Maurice Welsh sincerely believed it was so, and would often walk the sixteen miles to Queanbeyan to attend Mass. On several occasions father gave him a lift to town, the last occasion being at Easter 1874. Maurice remained to see the races and was later found dead on the race course - vile firewater was the cause. Father McAuliffe would not allow Welsh to be buried in the Catholic Cemetery and so he was buried outside. A few years later the cemetery was enlarged and Maurice was then in consecrated ground.
I believe that Maurice Welsh was the last man to be flogged at Canberra, and when Dr Murray bought Yarralumla he had the flogging tree cut down. I saw the stump on many occasions. On one occasion when Maurice was being flogged he upset the triangles and one of the officials was injured. Maurice was then tied to a leaning tree and received a few extra lashes for good measure. He was five feet ten inches and weighted fourteen stone, and he was supposed to be the strongest man in County Murray. I thin that Christopher Dunn was a stronger man than Maurice - he was a man of seventeen stone when I first met him and was the champion wrestler of New South Wales. About 1849 Welsh was assigned to James Wright, the owner of Lanyon and Cuppacumbalong estates, and was installed as hutkeeper for the shepherds. One night the dogs set up a great row and Maurice left the box to investigate and saw a man lying near a log. He prodded the man with his hurdle fork and the intruder jumped up and ran away, but not before Maurice struck him a number of heavy blows about the head and body. Next morning he told the shepherds what had happened and then set off for the head station to report the matter to Mr Wright. On arrival he was informed that his master was ill. After some little delay Mrs Wright came to the door and after hearing Maurice’s story she took him to the bedroom where Mr Wright lay with his head bandaged. ‘I have a headache this morning. Welsh - what is the matter?’ Wright said.
‘Thieves, thieves, Mr Wright - they came to steal your sheep. I nearly had one great big fellow - I have him a couple of heavy blows and then tripped and fell. I think if we get the police we may be able to capture the thieves - Hong Kong, the police tracker, is just across the river’, Welsh said.
‘Thank you, Welsh’, Wright said, ‘you have done your duty so go the kitchen and Mrs Wright will give you breakfast.
Maurice told me that it was the best breakfast he had had for many a long day, and when leaving Mrs Wright gave him a bottle of rum as a reward for his vigilance the previous night. Years later, when relating the incident, Maurice said that he had recognized the intruder as James Wright and that he had been warned the Wright would be prowling around at night and to be on his guard.
Convict Changes History
Wendy Smith on 8th April, 2019 made the following changes:
convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: NSW Convict Indentures 1836; NSW Australian Convict Muster, Queanbeyan Depositions 1838 -1844, Canberra - History of and Legends relating to the Federal Capital Territory by John Gale, Biographical Register of
Wendy Smith on 13th November, 2019 made the following changes: