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George Williamson, one of 190 convicts transported on the Mangles, 29 March 1820
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
||18th April, 1832
life span was 56 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 14 years
||Middlesex Gaol Delivery
29th March, 1820
7th August, 1820
|Place of arrival
||New South Wales
Travelled with 191 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 280
||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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Luke Merriman on 3rd May, 2015 wrote:
Ticket of leave granted September 1827 (Sydney Gazette, 17 Sep 1827, p.4)
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 21 April 1832, p.2
MURDER.—On Wednesday morning last, George Williamson, overseer of the road party stationed at Grose Farm, on the Parramatta-road, was killed by one of his men, named John Haymell. Haymell it appears is subject to some disease, and was disputing with one of the deputy overseers, who insisted on his working, when Williamson went up to insist on his performing his duty. On his approach, Haymell sprung at him with his spade in his hand; Williamson turned round to run away, and the other hit him a blow on the back of the head, which brought him to the ground, and before any assistance could be rendered, inflicted a second near the right ear. He was then secured by some of the party, and while an express was sent into town for surgical aid, Williamson was placed in a cart and brought to Sydney, but expired on the road. An inquest was held on the body the same evening, at the Golden Fleece, George-street, and a verdict of “Wilful murder against John Haymell returned,” on which he was committed to gaol under the Coroner’s warrant.
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 5 May 1832, pp.2-3
FRIDAY, MAY 4.
(Before Mr. Justice Dowling.)
John Hammill was indicted for the wilful murder of George Williamson, by inflicting, with a spade, divers mortal wounds, bruises, and contusions, on the head of the said George Williamson, at Grose Farm, near Sydney, on the 18th of April last.
Prisoner—I am guilty of striking him, my Lord, but he struck me first.
Mr. Justice Dowling—Let a plea of not guilty be recorded, and proceed with the trial.
William Clarke examined by the Attorney General—I am attached to No. 3 Road-party as a messenger; on the 18th of April, about half after 8 o’clock in the morning, I was desired by the overseer to go to the quarry near Grose Farm, to relieve Wall, the assistant overseer, who had a working gang at the quarry; I knew George Williamson; he was the overseer of that gang; I saw him alive at half-past 9 o’clock on the morning of the 18th; I know the prisoner; he was one of the gang; when Williamson came he desired the men to cut a drain to carry off the water from the quarry; there were nine men, and in about five minutes Williamson ordered the prisoner to fall out, and put him in a position to work at a little distance from the rest of the men; the last time I saw the deceased alive, he was standing in a line with his back to the men; I was busy giving some instructions to the men, when all at once I heard a shout or scream, and, looking round, I saw the deceased lying on the ground, and the prisoner standing over him with a spade in his hand, with which he struck the deceased on the head; I called out to him to desist, and he drew back and dared any one to come near him; I called to him, for the love of God, to consider his own soul and do no more mischief; he told me he would not, and instantly threw down the spade, and walked towards me; two men laid hold of him at that moment, and I came forward and took him by the hand; he was then secured and delivered to some soldiers who came up; I went back to where the deceased lay, raised his head and washed his mouth, and the body was taken over to the constable’s place; he was then alive, but, in about three hours after, he was dead; there were one or two cuts on the side of the head sufficient to cause death; I consider he died of the wounds on the head inflicted with the spade; previous to seeing the deceased down, I heard no altercation between him and the prisoner; I was standing about twenty or five-and-twenty yards from the prisoner when I saw him strike the deceased; if any words had occurred between them I must have heard it; deceased held a ticket-of-leave.
By the prisoner—Did not the deceased strike me first?
Witness—I am on my oath, and I did not see him strike you.
By the Court—I know of no bad blood having existed between the prisoner and the deceased; prisoner was punished a short time before; deceased was a cranky, quarrelsome man with the men; he was in good temper the morning he met his death, but at times he was very aggravating in his manner towards the men; he came from London; the gang slept at Grose Farm; prisoner had been in the gang about three months; it was a road-party; not an iron-gang; I don’t know much of the prisoner; I did not hear the prisoner arguing with the deceased that morning, nor did I see the men go out to work; the men slept in a shingled building, but which admitted the rain; the night previous to the 18th had been very wet; the clothes of the men could not have been otherwise than wet that morning, particularly of those who, for want of sufficient accommodation, were obliged to sleep on the ground; the rain must have got into the place where they slept; prisoner is, I believe, an Irishman.
Daniel Haggarty, a prisoner of the Crown, belonging to No. 3 road-party, said, I was at work in the quarry on the 18th of April in the morning, when I heard one of the men cry out murder; I looked round, and saw Williamson down; prisoner was standing over him with a spade in his hand, which he lifted up and struck the deceased on the head; I went towards the prisoner, and he called out that, if I came any farther, he would knock my brains out; I heard the witness, Clarke, call out to him to lay the spade down, which he did, and said, “Clarke, I give myself up to you;” I then took him by the collar, and he was secured.
By the prisoner—I did not see deceased strike you or any other man that day; I never saw him strike a man in my life; I saw him turn you out that morning when you were drying your clothes by the fire; the whole of the gang were turned out as well as you.
By the Court—I heard no altercation between prisoner and the deceased before I saw him down; it is possible there might have been, and I not have heard it, owing to the noise made by the men in working the quarry; deceased was a strict man in keeping the men to work.
James Bulger and William Browne, also belonging to the gang, corroborated the evidence of the preceding witnesses; adding, in answer to some questions put by the Court, that the deceased was a tyrannical man—one who, when he took a dislike to any of the gang, would do all he could to punish and annoy them in every possible way.
Dr. Bland said he was called to examine the body of the deceased, George Williamson; he was then dead; there were two severe wounds on the right side of the head—one over the ear—and one about three inches forward; they appeared to have been inflicted with some instrument having a blunt edge; they might have been inflicted with a spade—it is probable they were; witness has no doubt that those wounds were the cause of his death.
This was the case for the prosecution.
The prisoner, upon being called on for his defence, said—“All I have to say is this: We had a very bad way of lying, and on the night before we were so wet with the rain; that I got up and begged to be locked up in the cells till morning, which the overseer refused. Next morning I was drying my clothes in the cook-house when he came in and would not give me time, but turned us all out in the wet. When we went to work at the quarry, he began abusing me, and pushed and drove me through the water, so I up with the spade and struck him, which I own to.”
The prisoner called no witnesses.
The learned Judge minutely summed up the evidence, and the Jury, after retiring for about a quarter of an hour, returned a verdict of guilty.
Sentence of death was then passed upon the prisoner, and execution awarded on Monday next.
Convict Changes History
Luke Merriman on 3rd May, 2015 made the following changes:
date of death: 18th April, 1832 (prev. 0000), gender: m
Luke Merriman on 3rd May, 2015 made the following changes:
date of birth: 1802 (prev. 0000)