The ‘First’ Murder

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Supported by a Create NSW Arts and Cultural Grant – Old Parramattans & Murder Tales

WARNING: This essay discusses a violent murder, which may be distressing to some readers. Reader discretion is advised.

Portrait Miniature of David Collins, watercolour on ivory, by John T. Barber (c. 1797–c. 1803), MIN 538 / FL8840099, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

There had been plenty of killings in the months and years since the newcomers arrived in January 1788.[1] But they did not apparently count as ‘murder’—at least, not to Judge Advocate David Collins.[2] In the main, they had been cross-cultural killings and, for the Judge Advocate, they occurred beyond the borders of the British settlement where the convicts were forbidden to go and, thus, beyond the law.[3] Killing became bona fide ‘murder’ only when it involved a British perpetrator; someone who knew enough of the British laws to be subject to them.[4] As for the remaining cases, out of a total of fourteen British men and women (free and bond) who went ‘missing’ presumed dead in the first year of the colony alone, foul play was suspected on the part of convicts in a few of those instances.[5] However, without human remains ever being located, death could not be confirmed at all, let alone the cause of death or any perpetrators, so such cases could not be formally deemed homicides. When a soldier died at the hospital from injuries received whilst ‘fighting with one of his comrades’ in November 1788, therefore, it seemed the colony had its first official case of murder and the charge was accordingly laid, giving the colony its first murder trial: but, even then, the verdict proved to be manslaughter.[6] So things continued until sometime in 1793, when a report ‘spread’ that ‘a watchman belonging to the township of Parramatta’ in Burramattagal Country had been murdered.[7] Yet, again, it was ‘never…confirmed, either by finding the body among the stalks of Indian corn, as was expected, or by any one subsequent circumstance,’ leaving Collins to ‘hope…that the story had been fabricated, and that murder was a crime that had not hitherto stained the annals of the colony.’[8] Years later, Collins would look back, ignoring the blood and brains that had littered the landscape following fatal cross-cultural encounters, to see this as a rather halcyon era of the penal colony; for, even as numbers had increased, ‘and the inhabitants’ had begun ‘to possess those comforts or necessaries which might prove temptations to the idle and the vicious,’ he insisted ‘that high and horrid offence’ of murder did not then exist—‘at that moment all thought their person secure, though their property was frequently invaded.’[9]

Thus, it was not until early January 1794—six whole years after the British arrived and established themselves at Warrane (Sydney Cove) in Cadigal Country—that Collins acknowledged the so-called ‘first’ murder had at last splattered blood all over the annals of the colony.

The Victim: John Lewis

Studying the victim of the colony’s first officially acknowledged homicide at a remove of over 225 years presents a number of challenges. The main challenge is that, while the likes of Judge Advocate David Collins knew precisely who the victim of this crime ‘John Lewis’ was, we do not. A lack of diversity in the given names of Christians in a Christian settlement—even a very small one like the early Colony of New South Wales—resulted in as many as six convicts named John Lewis having set foot here in time to be murdered at Parramatta in early January 1794: two Second Fleet convicts named John Lewis per Neptune (1790); three Third Fleet convicts named John Lewis per Admiral Barrington (1791), Atlantic (1791) and Britannia I (1791); and two convicts named John Lewis per Royal Admiral (1792). A couple of these John Lewises hailed from Wales, while others were from London, Kent, and Wiltshire, so their distinctive accents as well as physical attributes, distinguishing marks and trades no doubt helped their contemporaries to separate them with a great deal more ease. Later convict indents contained some of those demographic details and often do help researchers separate individuals in the same way, but our problem of differentiating between the six contenders is compounded by the fact that the early convict indents do not supply anywhere near as much demographic detail.[10] A process of elimination, albeit using this problematic, inconsistent evidence, points to the Third Fleeter John Lewis per Britannia (1791) being the most likely person to have been what Collins described as the ‘elderly convict’ who fell victim to ruffians in early January 1794.[11]

There is precious little information that remains on John Lewis per Britannia (1791), but we know he was tried and convicted on 11 January 1791 at the Quarter Sessions for Wiltshire held in the market town of Devizes, Wiltshire, England.[12] The Court judged him guilty of ‘stealing a silk handkerchief, three pair of silver plated buckles, &c. from a stable near Guildford,’ and was ‘ordered to be transported for seven years.’[13] The crime was certainly one that an ‘elderly’ fellow would have been physically capable of committing, so there is nothing here to disqualify the Britannia’s John Lewis as being the man who was murdered and buried in the parish of St. John’s, Parramatta, almost three years to the day since this trial.

While thirty-eight-year-old Collins considered Lewis ‘elderly,’ this did not automatically mean he thought of him as frail. Not only had Lewis survived imprisonment in England in notoriously poor conditions that proved detrimental even to the health of the young and the fit, he had also survived the long voyage to the colony and, further, was judged to be physically capable to be ‘employed to go out with the cattle’ in the Government Domain at Parramatta, Burramattagal Country, also known as ‘Cumberland Park.’[14] He therefore would have been very physically active and strong, walking miles every day over what was then a 2000-acre reserve that stretched from ‘the redoubt,’ (approximately the line of present-day O’Connell Street, Parramatta in the east) to Toongabbie, Toogagal Country in the north-west, which had been ‘set apart by Governor Phillip for the purpose of grazing the Government cattle, as well as those of the settlers.’[15] It is not surprising to learn from Collins that, ‘though advanced in years,’ Lewis was indeed ‘a stout muscular man.’[16] Lewis was clearly not physically vulnerable, then, but he was vulnerable in other ways.

Though this image is of Brickfield Hill (present-day Surry Hills) in 1796, it provides a general depiction of a stockman with cattle, likely being taken out to graze, close to the period in which John Lewis performed the same job in Cumberland Park at Parramatta. “Brickfield Hill, 1796,” DG SSV1A/11 / FL8951626, Dixson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales.

The very nature of Lewis’s job made him more susceptible to attack insofar as it isolated him. Working alone in the rambling, wooded domain, for hours on end, with no colleagues but the cattle he tended, gave anyone with wicked intentions plenty of opportunity to ambush and attack him without being seen, and ample time to get away undetected, as Lewis would not even be missed for quite some time. All that was needed was a motive and, unfortunately, poor Lewis himself reportedly provided one.

The old fellow reportedly put a target on his own back through his ‘indiscreet declarations.’[17] It was well known that he had ‘imprudently boast[ed] of being worth a good deal of money,’ and, most foolishly in a colony of desperate thieves, let it be known that ‘he always carried it with him sewed up in some part of his clothes, to guard against losing it while absent from his hut.’[18] ‘If…true,’ Collins acknowledged, ‘what he carried with him certainly proved his destruction.’[19]

‘Butchered…By Merciless Wretches’

The life of John Lewis was snuffed out on 5 January 1794, which happened to be the Sabbath.[20] In this respect, murder (officially) began in Parramatta very much as it continued to go on, with Sundays proving to be among the bloodiest of days in the district in the decades that followed. It was as though these murderers deliberately wished to add further insult to the greatest of injuries by ‘profaning the Lord’s Day’ while they were committing their abhorrent acts, or perhaps it was simply that Saturday evening libations often fuelled their evil schemes and they exploited the first opportunity to enact their foul deeds—on Sundays when the better citizens of the felonry were off attending divine services.[21]

Lewis had gone out with the cattle that day, as usual, and presumably with his treasures sewn into his clothes for safekeeping, as usual. But he and the cows did not return from the woods in which they were grazing, and that was not at all usual. The cattle had lost their conductor and, thus, ‘remained that night in the woods.’[22] He had evidently been a responsible stockman, so his absence did not lead anyone to jump to the conclusion that he had shirked his duty. Instead, among those who knew him, his disappearance immediately ‘excited an apprehension that some accident had befallen him.’[23] But it would be three days before they realised what had occurred was no accident: what happened to John Lewis was as deliberate as it was heartless.

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Cattle detail from F. C. Terry, “Kings School, Parramatta,” DL Pd 759 / FL8781686, Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales.

The cattle had been the sole witnesses to their keeper’s brutal murder, and it was the cattle that led to the discovery of his body. Their ‘snorting and great uneasiness’ in a particular area of the domain, ‘about four miles’ from the town, drew attention to ‘a hollow or ravine’ into which John Lewis ‘had been thrown by th[e] merciless wretches who had butchered him.’[24] He was lying there, ‘covered with logs, boughs, and grass.’[25] In the meantime, ‘some native dogs, led by the scent of human blood, had found’ his discarded corpse, ‘and by gnawing off both the hands, and the entire flesh from one arm, had added considerably to the horrid spectacle which the body exhibited’ after being exposed to the elements at the height of the Australian summer.[26] Nevertheless, a ‘very careful’ post-mortem examination conducted by Assistant Surgeon Thomas Arndell was still able to reveal that he had suffered ‘various wounds,’ and that many of these were defensive.[27] The old man had not gone down without a fight; he had ‘well defended himself, and could not have parted with his life until overpowered by numbers.’[28] For as he was such a fit, muscular man, it was concluded he had to have been up against not one attacker, but many.[29] Collins made no mention of whether any remaining clothing on the body appeared to have been ripped apart to obtain any of the rumoured money the convict had stashed away on his own person. John Lewis was given a proper burial at Parramatta the following day, Thursday 9 January 1794.[30]

Dingo
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. “Some native dogs, led by the scent of human blood,” had found Lewis’s body, “and by gnawing off both the hands, and the entire flesh from one arm, had added considerably to the horrid spectacle which the body exhibited,” wrote David Collins. “Dog of New South Wales,” (London: J Dobrett, 29 December 1789), in John White, Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales: with sixty-five plates of non descript animals, birds, lizards, serpents, curious cones of trees and other natural productions, (London: J. Debrett, 1790), D Q79/33 / FL3735311, State Library of New South Wales.

The Perpetrators

Even with the special skills of the ‘Prince of Pickpockets,’ convict constable George Barrington, on the case, it seems John Lewis’s murderers had accomplished the perfect crime, for the settler community’s ‘first’ murder also proved to be its oldest unsolved murder. ‘One or two men of bad characters were taken up and examined, as well as all the people employed about the dockyard,’ to no avail.[31] ‘Nothing appeared that tended to fix’ the ‘atrocious offence…upon any one of them’ so ‘it was feared that until some riot or disagreement among themselves should occur, no clue would be furnished that could lead to their detection.’[32]

While the perpetrators evaded identification and were never brought to justice, the investigators had, nevertheless, developed a very strong profile of the particular subgroup of convict to which they likely belonged. Whereas John Lewis had evidently delayed gratification in the small pleasures that were available to all in preference for persistently abstaining from such activities and saving his money for some greater, long-term plan, his murderers were profiled as his absolute antithesis: convicts who could not resist ‘the pernicious vice of gaming.’[33]

To such excess was this pursuit carried among the convicts, that some had been known, after losing provisions, money, and all their spare clothing, to have staked and lost the very clothes on their wretched backs, standing in the midst of their associates as naked, and as indifferent about it, as the unconscious natives of the country which these gamblers disgraced. Money was, however, the principal object of these people; for with money they could purchase spirits, or whatever else their passions made them covet, and the colony could furnish.[34]

Their ‘meetings’ at which they played ‘cribbage and all-fours, for six, eight, and ten dollars each game’ were, inevitably, therefore ‘scenes of quarrelling, swearing and every profaneness that might be expected from the dissolute manners of those who composed them.’[35] Thus, Collins railed against gambling as the first and grand cause, not only of Lewis’s murder but also as the source of all the other great evils that plagued the colony: ‘to this improper practice must undoubtedly be attributed…pilferings, garden robberies, burglaries, profanation of the sabbath, and murder.’[36]

A Pleasanter Field

We may not know much about the ‘first’ murder victim, John Lewis, but it is clear he had unfulfilled dreams that he believed could be bought with the ‘good deal of money’ he had slowly but surely amassed and so carefully sewn into his clothes.[37] What had Lewis been planning to do with it? Was he content enough with where his crooked path in life had led him and planning to purchase some land and live out his remaining years in the colony? Or was Lewis a more patient (though arguably no more rational) version of a fellow convict who, a few years earlier, sold all his rations to save money for his passage home, only to starve to death in the process?[38] Whatever they were, Lewis’s dreams died with him, along with the knowledge of his murderers’ identities. He was not the only one whose hopes were buried that week.

Judge Advocate Collins had held such hopes that the British community could continue to be ‘murder-free’ for some time. The colony was far from idyllic, he knew, but in this sense at least he had been able to fancy that it was. The discovery of John Lewis’s butchered body had brought an abrupt end to all that; the hope he had clung to through every one of those suspicious disappearances and potential murder cases that had preceded it was gone. The following lines penned by Collins as he neared the conclusion of his Account of the Colony of New South Wales capture precisely how jaded he was left by the murder of John Lewis and the other heinous murders he had gone on to recount in the years afterwards:

May the annalist whose business it may be to record in future the transactions of the colony find a pleasanter field to travel in, where his steps will not be every moment beset with murderers, robbers, and incendiaries.[39]

For all its appearances of hope and well wishing, it is abundantly clear that the embittered Collins knew full well that whoever succeeded him as the colonial ‘annalist’ would find no such place here.

CITE THIS

Michaela Ann Cameron, “The ‘First’ Murder,” St. John’s Online, (2020), https://stjohnsonline.org/bio/john-lewis, accessed [insert current date].

References

NOTES

[1] See for example the cross-cultural killings documented in John White, Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales: with sixty-five plates of non descript animals, birds, lizards, serpents, curious cones of trees and other natural productions, (London: J. Debrett, 1790), esp. pp. 160–2, 214, 216. http://digital.sl.nsw.gov.au/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?embedded=true&toolbar=false&dps_pid=IE3733931 See also David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), pp. 30–1, 43.

[2] Collins does use the word ‘murder’ to describe cross-cultural killings, even though in the next breath he states that murder had not yet stained the annals of the colony because there were no proven cases of British people killing each other. See David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), pp. 30–1. For an example in which Collins uses the word murder to describe cross-cultural killing but then goes on to identify a later murder of a British subject by a fellow British subject as the first confirmed murder case in the colony, see David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 213 compared to p. 335. Governor Phillip also spoke of cross-cultural killings as “murder,” and sought to bring the culprits to justice whether they were Aboriginal or British. In cases involving Aboriginal killers of British subjects, these (failed) attempts to identify and detain the culprits were military operations, involving armed British soldiers. In a case in which it was suspected an Aboriginal person had been murdered by a British settler, even though a body was never found this did not stop Governor Phillip from offering a pardon to anyone who would furnish information about the case to bring the British murderer to justice. No one ever came forward to take advantage of the offer, but it does show the governor’s intention to deal with a British person killing an Aboriginal person within the confines of the British law they had established in the new settlement. See David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), pp. 34–5.

[3] For discussion of Aboriginal violence being ‘beyond the law’ in the early period of the colony see Lisa Ford and Brent Salter, “From Pluralism to Territorial Sovereignty: The 1816 Trial of Mow-watty in the Superior Court of New South Wales,” Indigenous Law Journal, Vol.7, Issue 1 (2008): 72. David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), pp. 11, 43. Of one particular convict who, against clear orders to stay close to the armed soldiers, did stray and was murdered by Aboriginal People, Collins writes: “This poor wretch furnished another instance of the consequences that attended a disobedience of orders which had been purposely given to prevent these accidents; and as nothing of the kind was known to happen, but where a neglect and contempt of all order was first shewn, every misfortune of the kind might be attributed, not to the manners and disposition of the natives, but to the obstinacy and ignorance of our people.” For a discussion of cross-cultural murders in the colony, see Michaela Ann Cameron, “No Pity for the Hunted,” St. John’s Online, (2020), https://stjohnsonline.org/bio/the-hunted, accessed 27 October 2020.

[4] Governor John Hunter reportedly also expressed this view in 1799 when an Aboriginal was delivered to him with a letter from Lieutenant Hobby, Commanding Officer at the Hawkesbury, explaining that he should be put to death for an attack on a settler: Hunter said, “Well what am I to do with him why did not your own Commanding Officer at Hawkesbury do something with him” that [Peter Farrell] answered he supposed it was from a wish to make a more Public Example of this Native – that His Excellency remarked it was not in his power to give Orders for the hanging or shooting of such Ignorant Creatures who could not be made sensible of what they might be guilty of, therefore could not be treated according to our Laws.” For further discussion regarding Aboriginal violence being outside the law in this period see Lisa Ford and Brent Salter, “From Pluralism to Territorial Sovereignty: The 1816 Trial of Mow-watty in the Superior Court of New South Wales,” Indigenous Law Journal, Vol.7, Issue 1 (2008): 72.

[5] See John White, Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales: with sixty-five plates of non descript animals, birds, lizards, serpents, curious cones of trees and other natural productions, (London: J. Debrett, 1790), p. 216. http://digital.sl.nsw.gov.au/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?embedded=true&toolbar=false&dps_pid=IE3733931 For Collins’s tally of those killed by natives and the ‘missing’ in the first year of the colony, see David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 50.

[6] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), pp. 46–7; R. v. Baker and others [1788] NSWKR 8; [1788] NSWSupC 8, “Court of Criminal Judicature, Collins J.A., 17 November 1788,” Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788–1899, (Division of Law, Macquarie University, 2011), https://www.law.mq.edu.au/research/colonial_case_law/nsw/cases/case_index/1788/r_v_baker_and_others/, accessed 27 October 2020.

[7] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 335.

[8] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 335.

[9] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 335.

[10] The Digital Panopticon (https://www.digitalpanopticon.org, 2020), “Convict Indents (Ship and Arrival Registers) 1788–1868,” https://www.digitalpanopticon.org/Convict_Indents_(Ship_and_Arrival_Registers)_1788-1868, accessed 27 October 2020.

[11] Tracing each of the six John Lewises through other colonial records and eliminating those who appear alive and well after the death date of January 1794 narrows down the list by half, leaving us with the two per Neptune (1790) and the one who arrived per Britannia I (1791). The incomplete or inaccessible nature of early datasets, however, means all three of these remaining individuals simply vanish in the records when we continue our attempts to trace them. We know one of those three died and his burial was registered in the parish of St. John’s, Parramatta in November 1791, although which of the three is impossible to say, as no ship was recorded; one thing is certain, whoever he was, he was not ‘our’ murder victim, as our John Lewis was murdered just over two years later. Another of the John Lewises married a ‘Sophia Jones’ at Parramatta on 12 August 1792, and may have been our murder victim, yet he just as easily could not have been. Again, no ship was recorded on the 1792 marriage registration, so that married man may not have even been one of the three on our shortlist. Electronically obtained transcriptions of convict particulars extracted from 1788–1868 Convict Records held at the New South Wales State Records Office provide approximate birth years and ages for the two Neptune convicts on our shortlist as aged fifteen and twenty-three on arrival; though it must be said, without sighting the original primary source, it is impossible to verify the accuracy of those transcribed dates. Inconsistencies in the early records presumably also mean that while the two Neptune convicts’ ages are included in those transcriptions, the same cannot be said for the John Lewis per Britannia (1791), who has no birth year or estimated age in his entry at all. But we know the other five John Lewises were aged between fifteen and forty-five years old.[11] Cross-referencing those known ages against David Collins’s description of the murder victim as an ‘elderly convict’ leaves us with one candidate: John Lewis per Britannia. Problematic as the transcriptions may be, with so little to go on, let us proceed with John Lewis per Britannia being our most likely murder victim, albeit on the basis of admittedly very shaky evidence. David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 335.

[12] The Bath Chronicle (Bath, Avon, England), Thursday 20 January 1791, p. 3, accessed via Newspapers.com 27 October 2020.

[13] The Bath Chronicle (Bath, Avon, England), Thursday 20 January 1791, p. 3, accessed via Newspapers.com 27 October 2020.

[14] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 335; “Parramatta in 1792,” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 20 March 1897, p. 1 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108865583

[15] At 210 acres, present-day Parramatta Park, which was part of this original reserve, is therefore only a tenth of the size of the old Government Domain. “Parramatta in 1792,” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 20 March 1897, p. 1 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108865583

[16] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[17]  David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[18] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[19] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 335.

[20] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 335.

[21] See, for example, the following cases in the “Murder Tales” collection: Michaela Ann Cameron, “The Killing and Keening of Simon Burn,” St. John’s Online, (2020), https://stjohnsonline.org/bio/simon-burn, accessed 27 October 2020; Michaela Ann Cameron, “Ungodly Visitation,” St. John’s Online, (2020), https://stjohnsonline.org/bio/mary-martin, accessed 27 October 2020.

[22] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[23] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[24] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[25] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[26] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[27] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[28] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[29] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[30] “Burial of Jno Lewis, 9 January 1794,” Parish Burial Register, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. https://stjohnsonline.org/burials/year-1794/bur17940109/

[31] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[32] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[33] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336. For an in-depth study of colonial attitudes to gambling see John O’Hara, “‘Getting a stake’: Gambling in early colonial Australia,” Journal of Gambling Behaviour, Vol. 3, No. 1, (1987): 41–59. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01087476 and John O’Hara, (PhD Diss.), “Gaming and Betting in Australia, 1788–1983: A Social and Cultural Analysis,” (Armidale: University of New England, 1985).

[34] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[35] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 337.

[36] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336.

[37] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 336; slightly different wording in this edition: David Collins and James Collier (ed.), An account of the English Colony in New South Wales, (London: Whitcome and Tombs Limited, n.d.), p. 209.

[38] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 48. “A convict having been found dead in the woods near the settlement, an enquiry into the cause of his death was made by the provost-marshal; when it appeared from the evidence of Mr. Balmain, one of the assistant-surgeons who attended to open him, and of the people who lived with the deceased, that he died through want of nourishment, and through weakness occasioned by the heat of the sun. It appeared that he had not for more than a week past eaten his allowance of provisions, the whole being found in his box. It was proved by those who knew him, that he was accustomed to deny himself even what was absolutely necessary to his existence, abstaining from his provisions, and selling them for money, which he was reserving, and had somewhere concealed, in order to purchase his passage to England when his time should expire.”

[39] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Second Edition, (London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1804), p. 520.

© Copyright 2020 Michaela Ann Cameron