The Killing and Keening of Simon Burn

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Supported by a Create NSW Arts and Cultural Grant – Old Parramattans, St. John’s First Fleeters, & Murder Tales

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

An Caoineadh (The Keening)

My steadfast love! What happened [to] you yesterday?

I thought you in my heart…a man the world could never slay[1]

Haunting death wails enveloped Simon Burn as they lowered his body into the earth in early October 1794. These eerie, unbridled sounds came from a part of his widow’s soul that was far older than her corporeal self: they were the cries of the bean chaointe (keening woman), who had been singing her sorrow in lamentation for the departed, betwixt and between the worlds of the living and the dead, since time immemorial.[2] Hers was the voice of the goddess Brigit, the Bean Sí (Banshee), and all the women who had ever mourned.[3] Much of what Fanny sang over her husband’s remains is lost to time, and would have been sung in Gaeilge (Irish). But, as a caoineadh (keen), the lyrical content of Fanny’s funeral dirge for her murdered husband likely contained a number of poetic elements that were typical of the genre.[4]

“The Banshee,” in Thomas Crofton Croker, Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, (Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1844), p. 81. Courtesy of University of Connecticut Libraries via Internet Archive.

As she knelt with her hands clasped, rocking and swaying to and fro, Fanny would have sung Simon’s genealogy for the gathered mourners—details that are largely beyond the historian’s powers of reconstruction, because so little is known of his life prior to his trial and conviction at Exeter, Devon, on 11 August 1783.[5] We might reason that Simon was of English origin at least, simply because he was convicted in England. Yet to do so, we would need to overlook the fact that Simon’s widow, Frances ‘Fanny’ Anderson, as well as his shipmate Patrick Burn—who (coincidentally or otherwise) shared not only his surname but also his crime, his trial year and trial location—were also convicted in England, despite being confirmed as Irish in the colonial records.[6] While Simon’s very Irish farewell could be attributed solely to his widow’s nationality, even in the dearth of other vital information we do know he was a noted Catholic who had petitioned for a Catholic priest in the colony, so it seems all but certain that Simon Burn (or, perhaps, Síomón Ó Broin) was an Éireannach (Irishman), too.[7]

Having detailed his lineage, Fanny probably then turned to (quite literally) singing her deceased husband’s praises. Just what Fanny would have considered praiseworthy is unknown, but as a convict herself she might have valued and romanticised Simon’s daring as a convicted highwayman who, alongside his partner in crime John Haydon, lived dangerously by robbing the rich in utter contempt of the law, only to escape the capital conviction he was given when his sentence was commuted to seven years transportation.[8] She might have detailed his further exploits as a mutineer on the America-bound convict ship Mercury in April 1784 and that he, again, evaded a capital conviction for returning from transportation, before extolling his endurance as a transportee on the First Fleet.[9] Perhaps she even sang of the fact that Simon had lost an eye ‘when, as a convict, he was employed in splitting paling for government,’ or how he had been placed in charge of a gang of labourers in the colony in 1790 only to end up in one again himself the following year after brawling with soldiers, and that he enjoyed a drop of rum and revelry with his kith and kin.[10] A mere three weeks earlier, when Simon was still teeming with life and rum, Fanny had been drinking with him in a riotous fashion in their friend’s hut. Simon had the cheek to insult the unpopular Anglican parson and Chief Cleric of the colony, Reverend Samuel Marsden, ‘in the most daring manner’ to his face on the Sabbath, no less, as Marsden passed by the hut and complained of their boisterous ways.[11] At the parson’s order, Simon had been hauled off by the ‘Prince of Pickpockets’ himself, Constable George Barrington, to the only magistrate at Parramatta at the time: Captain John Macarthur.[12] Though Marsden requested that Simon be confined ‘untill [sic] he became sober, to prevent any more disturbance in the town’ as his conduct had been ‘improper’ and he had been ‘riotous…in the camp,’ the magistrate considered the parson’s request ‘vexatious, treated [Marsden] in a manner unbecoming a gentleman, and dismissed [Simon] in his state of intoxication.’[13] Simon the great ‘rum-receptacle’ had been lucky yet again, for the magistrate was a rum trader: ‘every breath of rum-fumes’ emanating from the drunken Simon ‘was ambrosia in [Macarthur’s] nostrils because it represented dollars in his purse.[14] To him, Simon was one of the worthiest of citizens’ and ‘in a condition in which [Macarthur] would have been content to see every citizen of the young settlement.’[15]

“Stocking Maker” in Richard Phillips, The Book of English Trades, and Library of the Useful Arts, (London: The Juvenile Library, 1818).

A more traditional approach might have led Fanny to eulogise Simon’s less roguish accomplishments in life, because while he was certainly a hard drinker he was also a hard worker.[16] She might have, therefore, touched on his prowess in his trade as a stocking weaver or hosier, and the fact that, in spite of this background, he had proven highly adaptable to the life of a convict settler.[17] Indeed, while Judge Advocate David Collins would later record a very different impression of Simon and Fanny as being ‘too fond of spiritous [sic] liquors to be very industrious,’ earlier on Simon had reportedly risen to every agricultural challenge so well that he was one of the few singled out as ‘men of great industry’ by Watkin Tench, who in December 1791 inspected his farm firsthand at the Northern Boundary farms.[18] There, in a short space of time, Burn the one-eyed hosier had defied the odds and had a ‘good house, which [he had] hired people to build,’ and three of his fifty acres ‘in cultivation.’[19] At this point in her caoineadh (keen), therefore, Fanny may have even temporarily denied the death, and upbraided the deceased for neglecting his work, all with a goal of rousing him to the mundanity of his daily chores in a desperate and ultimately futile attempt to restore order.[20]

But above all, in her intoned graveside panegyric, Fanny would have emphasised the (Dutch) courage and chivalry that had been the death of the man she loved, detailing how it had all transpired, and ranting, raving and wishing ill-will upon the man who had taken his life.

An Dúnmharú (The Murder)

The fifth day of October 1794 had been another Sabbath day in Parramatta, and Simon Burn had been intent on spending it as he always did: ‘in liquor.’[21] For his drinking partner, Simon chose John Hill, ‘the Butcher.’[22] The pair guzzled rum in town all day long and by evening had carried their sloshed selves back to Hill’s hut (probably one of the many huts that lined ‘High Street’ (later George Street, Parramatta), where they continued their libations while Hill’s ‘woman’ dutifully began cooking a meal—no doubt in the hopes it might soak up at least some of the day’s intake. She would have known well that Hill was ‘quarrelsome in his cups’ and that she would soon be on the receiving end of his abuse if she did not sober him up somewhat.[23] It was hardly surprising, then, that at around half past six o’clock in the evening Hill ‘got up and beat her.’[24] Joseph Morley was one of a few others who had arrived at Hill’s hut and ‘happened to be looking at the Woman’ at the very moment Hill struck her, seemingly ‘without any Provocation…,’ and, ‘seeing no occasion for’ this mistreatment, ‘interrupted’ Hill mid-attack, giving his victim a chance to escape the hut.[25] Others present also made their objections to Hill’s aggression known, although Simon—who had a reputation for being of a ‘riotous turbulent disposition when intoxicated’—rather uncharacteristically did not exert himself in this regard.[26] In fact, as Morley would later recall, Simon showed ‘no inclination to quarrel…that evening’ whatsoever.[27] Thomas Dally, seated nearby, knew the reason for the altercation: Hill, who was a convict under sentence for a recent secondary offence, was required to return to Toongabbie that night, and ‘his woman’ was refusing to go with him, as it was getting late and beginning to rain. Dally, hoping to defuse the situation, ‘advised Hill not to go to Toongabbie,’ assuring him that he would arrange it with Constable George Barrington for Hill ‘to stay in [Parramatta]’ for the night on the basis that ‘it rained & [Hill] was in liquor.’[28] Nevertheless, Hill could not be deterred and set off in pursuit of ‘his woman,’ entering ‘various huts’ and demanding to know where she was.[29]

George William Evans, High Street, Parramatta, George Street, Government House, Old Government House, nineteenth century, 1800s, St. John's Cemetery Project, Catherine Crowley, D'Arcy Wentworth, Woodhouse, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans
Convict huts lining ‘High Street,’ later renamed ‘George Street, Parramatta.’ George William Evans, High Street [now George Street] Parramatta, from the gates of Government House, around 1804–1805. Courtesy of Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums.

Notwithstanding Simon’s previous lack of interest in the domestic dispute, both he and Morley ventured out of the hut to investigate when they subsequently heard a worrying noise. They found Hill in an adjoining garden, continuing his quarrel with the woman, dragging her ‘by her Hair’ out of ‘No. 20,’ an uninhabited hut ‘whither she had run to avoid [the] beating.’[30] Again, Morley intervened and separated the couple while urging Hill ‘to be peaceable.’[31] But Hill, in no pacific mood, instead ‘struck [Morley] with his hand.’[32] Unlike the rather loaded butcher, Morley ‘had drunk only one glass of spirits’ with Hill and company at the hut and was ‘perfectly sober,’ so he made short work of Hill, throwing him to the ground before getting ‘some Distance from him.’[33] What Morley did not know was that Hill was armed.[34] As Hill got to his feet, he ‘drew a Knife, swearing he would be [Morley’s] bloody Butcher, & ran towards him,’ wholly intent on living up to his homicidal promise.[35] ‘It was not quite dark at this time,’ Morley noted, so he was ‘positive he saw [Hill] draw a Knife on him out of a Pocket in his trousers.’[36] With razor sharp reflexes, Morley evaded Hill whom a number of other witnesses observed brandishing the knife whilst making further verbal threats of ‘I will give it to you’ and ‘I will do Murder before the night is over.’[37] Being ‘very much in liquor,’ though, Hill momentarily dropped the knife and fell against a nearby pig sty before picking up his weapon and heading for the road.[38] By the time Morley turned back around, Simon Burn and the distressed damsel were nowhere to be seen. Morley returned to the hut that Hill shared with the woman, thinking she and Simon may have fled there for asylum, ‘but not finding them,’ he retraced his steps.[39] ‘[B]efore he reached the spot where he’ had last sighted them just three minutes or so earlier, he discovered Simon ‘laying in the middle of the Road.’[40] Morley ‘went up to him,’ assuming ‘he had fallen through intoxication.’[41] On ‘going to lift him up,’ though, Simon Burn said, “I am stabbed, I am dead, I am Killed,” and ‘the Blood ran fast down him.’[42]

Another witness, an Irish convict labourer named Morgan Brien, was able to supply the pieces that were missing from Morley’s account. Having seen and heard the commotion involving Morley, Hill, Simon Burn and ‘the woman,’ Brien remained vigilant and, upon hearing a noise from Hut No. 19, stopped and listened at the door.[43] Within, he heard Simon Burn talking to the woman, persuading her ‘to go home with Hill to Toongabbie, quietly and not to be leaving a Disturbance in the House.’[44] While Brien was eavesdropping at the door, Hill himself suddenly appeared ‘running towards him, with a knife in his hand.’[45] Brien, ‘fearing…him, ran into the hut,…jumped out the Back window,’ and ‘came around by the front of the house’ in time to see ‘the woman run from the door to the next Hut….followed by [Hill] who had the same Knife in his Hand,’ and Simon Burn staggering out ‘with his right hand under his left breast.’[46] According to a passerby, Mary Reading, Simon was crying out “Oh! my God” and ‘begging to be taken to a Hut,’ before falling down ‘crying out he was stabbed.’[47] On asking him who was responsible, Simon, ‘laying in a gore of blood’ in the middle of the road, told Reading, “Oh the Butcher.”[48] She knew, as did other witnesses, there was only one who ‘always [went] by the name of the Butcher,’ and that was John Hill.[49]

Hill had not earned his sobriquet, as one might expect, by having a reputation as a murderous fiend with a habit of carving up people, but simply because he worked as an actual butcher in Parramatta. Hill usually ‘kill[ed] two [hogs] a week, sometimes three,’ a task in which Hill was typically assisted by one William Redcoat.[50] Crucially, Hill’s assistant Redcoat confirmed under oath that the knife used in the stabbing of Burn and the one Hill ‘carried about with him’ and ‘always made use of’ to butcher the hogs were one in the same.[51] In fact, he ‘ha[d] seen it in [Hill’s] Possession’ only ‘a day or two before’ and, further, was ‘very positive he found a piece of Leather carved up like a sheath of a Knife in his right Hand waistcoat pocket’ when Hill was searched soon after the stabbing.[52] John Byrne, Overseer at Toongabbie, likewise identified the weapon as the same ‘Butcher’s Knife’ he had ‘ground’ and given to Hill a fortnight earlier (29 September 1794), at which time Hill had asked ‘if it was fit.’[53] The overseer had replied ‘he did not know, he who was a Butcher knew best,’ to which Hill chillingly responded, “I’ll be damned if it should go any more into Pork.”[54] The overseer had known then, two whole weeks before Simon Burn’s demise, that the Butcher was seething over having been sent to Toongabbie as a punishment for an offence in which Simon Burn and his wife, Fanny, had been largely to blame.

Reverend Samuel Marsden being insulted by an intoxicated Simon Burn on the Sabbath in September 1794. The Man in the Mask, “When Simon Had a Heart Attack: A Settler, A Soldier and an Ex-Blacksmith,” Smith’s Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 – 1950), Saturday 18 March 1939, p. 8.

It turns out Marsden was not altogether forthcoming when he gave an account of Captain Macarthur’s lacklustre performance as a magistrate.[55] The Bacchanalian behaviour of three weeks earlier had not gone entirely unpunished, even if Simon Burn did. Getting blind drunk on the Sabbath was apparently not a misdemeanour worthy of punishment in Macarthur’s eyes, but owning the hut in which someone was doing it loudly enough to get caught by the Chief Cleric of the colony was. Thus, while the rowdy, inebriated Burns themselves got away Scot free, Hill had been the one and only person Macarthur had penalised for ‘keeping a disorderly house’ by being sent to the notoriously harsh Government Farm at Toongabbie in Toogagal Country.[56] Thenceforth, an increasingly bitter John Hill ‘considered Burn his Enemy,’ and in the days and weeks following told many a man—including the Toongabbie overseer who sharpened his butcher’s knife for him—that ‘he would be damned but he would be avenged of him.’[57] Even then, Hill may have only fantasised about cutting into Simon Burn’s flesh the same way he gutted a pig, because he had also spoken to the overseer, more than once, of confronting Burn and demanding the money he was owed, saying he would ‘be a match for him.’[58] While it could be argued that Burn’s growing debt only added to Hill’s overall sense of injustice and animosity for him, his determination to recover what he was owed indicates he may not have been set on taking Burn’s life, for what value would money have had to Hill if he were to be hanged soon after for murdering his debtor? Then again, it may just be that, with a growing list of grievances against his drinking buddy, this rational thinking (if it ever existed in Hill) was quickly lost in a fog of alcohol. Everything appeared to be Simon’s fault. ‘Simon Burn had been the cause of his being sent up to Toongabbie,’ so it was Simon’s fault, too, that Hill was now having this unholy row with ‘his woman’ about having to return there, late at night in the pouring rain.[59] It was also Simon’s fault that he was ‘very much in liquor’ yet again on the Sabbath.[60] Perhaps it, therefore, no longer mattered that Simon Burn was intervening in the domestic dispute to help Hill persuade ‘his woman’ to ‘go home quietly to Toongabbie’ and ‘not…leav[e] a Disturbance in the House,’ or, in his inebriated and enraged state, Hill may have mistakenly believed Burn to have been doing the opposite.[61] Whatever was running through his addled mind, it led him to thrust his butcher’s knife into Burn, just as he would do to a squealing pig.

Burn clung to life long enough to identify his killer and for the Assistant Surgeon, John Irving, to reach him. Irving found him in Hut No. 18 where he was ‘laying in a state of insensibility,’ having been carried there by those who had rushed to his assistance, but Irving ‘had not been there half an hour when he expired.’[62] The surgeon could clearly see ‘a wound of some size under the left Breast, rather inclined towards the Back,’ and ‘extend[ing] to some of the Vital Organs,’ but would know more once he had the opportunity to open the body.[63] When he did conduct the postmortem at the General Hospital, Parramatta, in the presence of Surgeon John Harris the following day, it became apparent that Hill’s aim had been lethal and true. He had fatally stabbed his former friend through the heart, in which there was ‘a considerable Wound…, which exactly corresponded with the external Wound.’[64] As expected in light of the events, ‘the shape of the Wound[s]’ indicated that a ‘sharp pointed flat instrument,…blunt on one side, the other side sharp,’ had been used, and that ‘one side of the wound that next the Breast, must have been severed by the blunt side, that next the back by the sharp side — one side was evidently cut, the other torn. The wound was rather nearer to the spine, than to the centre of the Breast.’[65] When the knife was produced, Irving ‘fitted’ it in the wound ‘and found it corresponded.’[66]

Fernando Brambila, Parramatta, April 1793, eighteenth-century Parramatta, eighteenth-century medicine, hospital, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans, John Irving, Surgeon
Fernando Brambila, Sketch of Parramatta, April 1793, with a view of the convict huts along High Street (George Street) and the new Convict Hospital where Surgeon John Irving performed the postmortem on Simon Burn. This clay building of 1792 in the present-day Parramatta Justice Precinct Heritage Courtyard, Marsden Street, Parramatta, replaced the former Tent Hospital of 1789. Map Library, MAPS T.TOP.124 SUPP F44. © British Library Board.

During the five-hour inquest, the Butcher did his best to provide an alibi, and attempted to pin the stabbing on Joseph Morley. However, ‘the fact of killing’ was ‘incontrovertibly fixed upon’ Hill the Butcher, ‘as well as the malice which urged his hand to take away the life of his fellow-creature, and to send [Burn], with the sin upon his head of having profaned the Lord’s day by rioting and drunkenness, unprepared before his Maker.’[67] It had not just been Burn’s positive identification of his killer, or the testimony of the several witnesses, nor solely the revelation that he had ‘borne the deceased much animosity for some time,’ that condemned him; in addition to all that, Hill had left no doubt regarding his guilt by his own words and actions when the watchman, Thomas Gardiner, came knocking on his door to apprehend him. In answer to the knocking, without even knowing who knocked, the raging Butcher had yelled out that ‘he would serve him the same as he had served the other man,’ that ‘he would cut [his] bloody entrails out.’[68] With the threat of being parted from his innards looming over him, Gardiner broke down the door and, with some assistance from Redcoat, managed to seize and search the suspect, who continued to put up some resistance. They found the sheath of a knife in his right hand waistcoat pocket, but no knife; it, too, however, was soon located, having been discarded a mere eight or ten yards away from where Burn’s bleeding body was lying in the road and around the same distance from Hill’s own hut.[69]

An Tórramh (The Wake)

I clapped my hands quickly

and started mad running / as hard as I could,

to find you there dead / with no Pope or bishop

or clergy or priest / to read a psalm over you

[with] your heart’s blood stream[ing] from you,

And I didn’t stop to clean it

But drank it from my palms…[70]

The records do not tell us how soon after the attack Fanny learnt that her husband was mortally wounded, whether she was able to reach him before he expired, or whether she drank his heart’s blood from her palms as her contemporary, Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, had over her own slain husband in Maigh Chromtha, Contae Chorcaí (Macroom, County Cork) in 1773.[71] But many mná chaointe (keening women) did such things.[72] Since Fanny would have subscribed to the belief that Simon’s soul had not yet left his body, though, we can reasonably assume she would have hastened to the place where he was lying, to keep his soul company, as well as to remove obstacles in the room and open a window to clear his soul’s path and direct it to the other world.[73] Given his death by stabbing, Fanny was likely also particularly diligent about removing any knives from the room lest they should harm his soul while it was vulnerable as a result of being disembodied and in transition.[74] No audible cries over his body would have been heard there and then, lest her wailing attracted the ‘devil’s dogs’ who were ever ready to snatch away a soul from a fresh corpse that had not yet been ritualistically prepared.[75] The fact that Fanny and/or others close to Simon were able to quickly take possession of his earthly remains following his postmortem at the General Hospital the day after an dúnmharú (the murder) supports the notion that she hurried to him on the night of his death. For while the hospital was a mere 700 metres from the Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery), which was the general burial ground for all religious denominations at the time, Simon Burn was not buried there by the Church of England’s parson. Instead, Simon’s folk removed him to the place where his blood and sweat had mingled with the earth—his Northern Boundary farm. Simon’s loved ones had gone to such lengths so that they could farewell him in their own way. Fundamental to Simon being given a proper Irish farewell, was Fanny claiming her rightful, ancient place as chief mourner.

Mná na hÉireann (Irish women) had a traditional right to completely control the death ritual.[76] This vitally important women’s work was founded in pre-Christian cosmology, in which female deities were synonymous with sovereignty, the land, birth, nurturing, mortality, and rebirth.[77] The femininity of these attributes meant grieving mortal women were also imbued with these powers and, through the extremity of their grief state, were pushed to the limits of the profane world, to a transient or liminal space, at the gateway between the land of the living and that of the other world.[78] Thus, it was the woman’s role to escort the deceased on the path to join their ancestors and to lead the surviving community through the full experience of their grief so they, too, could ‘move on.’[79]

Traditionally, the first task of the mná chaointe (keening women) was the ritual washing and ‘laying out’ of the body in the ‘wake house.’[80] Exactly how this process might have been affected by the delay caused by Simon’s postmortem at the hospital is unclear; it may be that the ritual washing occurred at the hospital. But, ultimately, the hut in which he and Fanny had lived on their farm at the Northern Boundary of Parramatta would have served as his official ‘wake house’; as such, it was where the communal ‘wake’ or vigil over his body occurred.

CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE. Simon Burn’s farm was bordered on the north by Pennant Hills Road, James Macarthur Crescent to the west (Bellevue Street also terminates roughly on the western boundary), and Belmore Street served as the farm’s southern boundary. (If Webb Street continued northwards to Pennant Hills Road, it would run closely parallel to the eastern boundary of the Burns’ allotment). James Ruse Drive cuts diagonally right across what was once Simon Burn’s farm. At some stage after Simon Burn’s death his farm became the property of William Sherwin, then Francis Oakes, whose name appears on the 1904 map I have overlaid on a present-day Google Earth map to identify the exact location of Simon Burn’s farm. Map of the Town of Parramatta Parishes of St. John and Field of Mars, County of Cumberland, Land District of Parramatta, (New South Wales, Department of Lands: 2nd ed: Sydney: Dept. of Lands, 1904), M Town map – Parramatta (1904) / FL3703477, State Library of New South Wales. Click here to open the present-day location in Google Maps.

An tórramh (the wake) was the time to pass through the various stages of grief. Due to the widespread belief within this tradition that the deceased could still hear right up until their body was interred and ‘three shovels of soil’ had covered their coffin, it was a final opportunity to air grievances, and even to reassure the deceased of their popularity and value in their community.[81] Consequently, until he was in his final resting place, Simon Burn’s corpse remained close to the living at all times and was ‘regarded as socially alive and an active participant in the merriment of its send-off.’[82] The more his body proceeded down the path of decomposition, the more those who survived him sought to ‘re-socialise’ him with a number of ‘unruly and boisterous customs.’[83] Practical jokes, gluttonous eating, excessive drinking, ‘sexual abandon,’ ‘cross-dressing,’ and ‘matchmaking’ would have occurred in his presence, to involve him in one last festive celebration of his life as he inertly and silently listened to the proceedings.[84] No doubt this would have seemed an especially fitting tribute for a man who so often chose to spend his days riotously drinking with his friends, but it was more than just a one-off celebration for a man who was especially fond of making merry, it was all part of the tradition. As McCoy has noted, ‘folktales end with a feast rather than a death,’ and ‘erotic pagan wake games’ had their place for the same reason: the end must contain the potentialities of the new beginning.’[85] These ‘merry wake games’ actually included the deceased as an inactive yet willing participant. For example, at other traditional wakes that have been recorded in more detail, the corpse was ‘dealt a hand of cards,’ ‘taken onto the floor to join the dancers,’ and had ‘a pipe put in its mouth.’[86] Perhaps such anarchic, comedic relief preceded and caused the accidental burning down of the wake house at the very first Irish wake ever recorded in the colony, that of First Fleet convict turned skilled gameshooter Patrick Burn in July 1791. The Judge Advocate David Collins, who considered the Irish convicts ‘nearly as wild as…cattle,’ reported that Patrick’s wake house ‘burnt down in the night a few hours after his decease, by the carelessness of the people, who were Irish and were sitting up with the corpse, which was with much difficulty saved from the flames, and not until it was much scorched,’ although the fire may have simply been the result of a candle being knocked over, as these were usually placed around the corpse.[87] As it happens, Simon and Fanny were probably among those ‘Irish’ mourners at their fellow First Fleeter’s vigil, as they moved in the same circles; like Simon, Patrick’s gameshooting colleague, the African American slave John Randall, was among the first Northern Boundary settlers and also a witness alongside Simon Burn at the marriage of another doomed Irish couple: Ann and Simon Taylor.[88] While we do not have the particulars of Simon Burn’s send-off, therefore, having participated in a memorable Irish wake in the colony only three years earlier, there is no reason to think that his loved ones deprived him of any of the ‘holy sorrow’ or ‘festive-carnivalesque’ ‘wanton orgies’ of ‘unholy joy’ that were typically part of the Irish wake—again, David Collins, who presided over Simon’s murder trial all but tells us as much: ‘The poor man was buried by his widow (an Irish woman) in a corner of his own farm, attended by several settlers of that and the neighbouring districts, who celebrated the funeral rites in a manner and with orgies suitable to the disposition and habits of the deceased, his widow, and themselves.’[89]

Irish people typically kept their vigil for two nights before the body was removed to the burial site on the third day.[90] This was when the bean chaointe really stepped up to fulfill her role.[91] The more excessive her wailing and histrionics, the more dishevelled, mad, and ‘otherworldly’ the blood-drinking, barefooted, bare-breasted bean chaointe appeared in her grief, the more cathartic the death ritual was for all concerned. In her state of grief-induced ‘divine madness,’ the bean chaointe delineated, embodied and audibly heralded a period of chaos in which she was able to say and do all that was necessary to heal not only herself but all those experiencing the disorder brought on by the death, without any fear of reprisals that such behaviour would attract under ordinary conditions.[92] Rather than being dismissed as irrational, weak creatures, then, mná na hÉireann (Irish women) were valued for their innate ability to feel and express emotions of anger, woe, denial, and even blame to the absolute extreme.

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. When David Collins mentioned that Simon Burn was buried in a corner of his farm, he did not stipulate which corner, which means the Burnside Homes building occupying the former northeastern corner of Simon Burn’s grant at the intersection of James Ruse Drive and Pennant Hills Road, the Uniting Airlie Preschool and “Eskdale” on the northwestern corner of Simon’s farm, or even residential properties in the southwestern and southeastern corners of Simon Burn’s farm grant all remain potential locations for Simon’s final resting place and, thus, also the first recorded Irish caoineadh in the district. The Burnside properties depicted along the right side of this image occupy the northeastern and northwestern corners of the former Simon Burn farm. Fairfax Corporation, Panorama of Burnside Homes near Parramatta, Sydney, ca. 1920s, PIC/15611/14455 LOC Cold store PIC/15611, nla.obj-162863457, National Library of Australia via Trove.

Thus it was that Fanny came to be singing and wailing over her husband’s remains in a corner of the Northern Boundary farm they had worked and lived upon together. The caoineadh (keening) aside, it was not uncommon for burials to be carried out on private farms in these early years of the colony.[93] Less common was the fact that Fanny neglected to inform Reverend Marsden when Simon was to be interred. Marsden’s exclusion from the burial itself was clearly a desire to be sensitive to the open disdain the deceased had so lately shown to the Reverend, for keening ceremonies in Éire (Ireland) did not exclude Catholic priests so entirely—they attended and officiated what was still a Catholic burial service while the keening occurred during the vigil and funeral procession.[94] In spite of their best efforts to prevent the unwelcome parson’s intrusions, Marsden did somehow learn of the burial time ‘by accident’ and ‘hastened to the place to perform the funeral rites.’[95] Upon his arrival, though, Marsden ‘found [Simon’s] companions had buried him in the most beastly manner, after pronouncing,’ what Marsden deemed ‘the most horrid oaths, curses, and imprecations over his corpse’—an caoineadh (the keening).[96] Marsden’s opinion could not be clearer: in his eyes the Irish deathways that coexisted with Catholic worship in Éire (Ireland) at the time were wicked, pagan rituals replete with a soundtrack of anti-music, all of which was at odds with the solemn burial rites observed by Christians of the Church of England and officiated by him in his own sacred churchyard in the British Colony of New South Wales. As Marsden registered this ‘beastly’ burial in the St. John’s parish register, we can picture him fuming at the thought that Simon Burn had managed to irritate and insult him in death just as much as he had done in life.[97]

*          *          *

‘On the 16th [of October, 1794],’ eleven days after he took Simon’s life, Hill himself ‘suffered death,’ after which the Butcher became the butchered, having been dissected and anatomised at the hospital, ‘according to his sentence.’[98]

In January the following year, Fanny remarried, but what became of her is not known as there is no record of her in the colony after 1801.[99]

A good four years after these events, Reverend Samuel Marsden had still not recovered from the drunken behaviour of Simon and company on the Sabbath, the way Simon had ‘insulted his person,’ the unsatisfactory amount of punishment meted out by Macarthur as magistrate, or the fact that Simon had the indecency to be murdered on another Sabbath day after profaning the Lord’s Day yet again, and to cap it all, had been farewelled in a ghastly, heathen manner with orgies that were the epitome of unholy chaos and excess. For in all this, Marsden found the perfect cautionary tale with which ‘[t]o shew [His Excellency Governor Hunter] what…ruin ha[d] come upon the settlers and their families’ in 1790s Parramatta: a ‘scene of everything immoral and profane,’ where ‘idleness, and prodigality, and excess, and ruin…raged amongst the settlers and prisoners,’ where ‘everything decent, moral, and sacred seemed totally obliterated’ as a direct result of ‘the neglect of public worship.’[100]

And, more than two-and-a-quarter centuries after being ‘forced out of the world in a state and in a manner shocking to human nature,’ Simon Burn still lies ‘in sunshine’ and ‘in shadow,’ somewhere on the land that was once his farm, where, according to tradition, the last thing he ever knew were the ancient, pre-Christian sounds of the howling bean chaointe.[101]

CITE THIS

Michaela Ann Cameron, “The Killing and Keening of Simon Burn,” St. John’s Online (2020), https://stjohnsonline.org/bio/simon-burn, accessed [insert current date]

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Dr. Alexander Cameron-Smith for very kindly supplying his copy of the minutes of proceedings from John Hill’s trial for the murder of Simon Burn when COVID-19 prevented me from obtaining a copy of my own directly from the State Archives. This essay would not have been the same without it!

References

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

NOTES

[1] This quotation is from an actual caoineadh for a different Irish couple that was performed in Ireland in May 1773, during Fanny and Simon Burn’s lifetime. Some coincidental similarities between Art O’Leary’s death and caoineadh and details of Simon’s Burn’s murder has enabled me to adapt some of the Art O’Leary lyrics to Simon, as a way of coming closer to a ‘reconstruction’ of what Fanny might have performed over his grave as he was buried in North Parramatta. For the original Gaeilge, an English translation, and an excellent short video clip demonstrating this vocal performance see: Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, “An Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire” (1773) first transcribed by Éamonn de Bhál from Nóra Ní Shíndile’s rendition, reproduced in Millstreet.ie: Community Website for Millstreet Town, (2011), http://www.millstreet.ie/blog/2011/01/15/nora-ni-shindile, accessed 27 October 2020.

[2] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 615.

[3] ‘The first sounds of the keen in Ireland were attributed to Brigit, the Triple Goddess of Irish mythology who keened when her son, Ruadan, was killed by the Fromoire. This was said to be the first time that weeping and lamentation were heard in Ireland. The connection between sovereignty goddesses and the lament tradition is said to have inspired the song of another supernatural being, the Bean sí (Banshee) or Woman of the Otherworld. This mythical creature, portrayed as having long flowing hair, is associated with mortality, and her keening is purported to be heard throughout the countryside prior to a death. Her connection with sovereignty goddesses is ‘embedded in lore of early blood drenched battles between Celtic ancestors and invading armies. She was once seen as a ‘patron goddess and personification of the land’ but…is now seen as a ‘family messenger of death – “one of your own” coming to announce death, and to accompany you…across the great divide into the company of your ancestors.’ Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 618.

[4] Patricia Lysaght, “Caoineadh os Cionn Coirp: The Lament for the Dead in Ireland,” Folklore, Vol. 108, (1997): 65–82.

[5] Clasping and clapping hands is an action that is evocative of the Bean Sí (Banshee). See “The Banshee,” in Thomas Crofton Croker, Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, (London: J. Murray, 1834), p. 102 in which the Banshee is described by one Irish eyewitness as “[coming] along…keening, and screeching, and clapping her hands, by my side, every step of the way, with her long white hair falling about her shoulders, and I could hear her repeat the master’s name every now and then, as plain as ever I heard it. When I came to the old abbey, she parted from me there, and turned into the pigeon-field next the berrin ground, and folding her cloak about her, down she sat under the tree that was struck by lightning, and began keening so bitterly, that it went through one’s heart to hear it.” See also Thomas Crofton Croker, Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, Part III, (London: J. Murray, 1825), p. 10 in which Croker writes: “THE BANSHEE. This word is variously interpreted as the chief of the Elves, and the white woman. It means a female spirit belonging to certain families, generally, however, of ancient or noble descent, which appears only to announce the death of one of the members. The Banshee shows herself in the vicinity of the house, or at the window of the sick person, clasps her hands, and laments in tones of the greatest anguish. She wears an ample mantle, with a hood over her head.” See also Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, “An Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire” (1773) first transcribed by Éamonn de Bhál from Nóra Ní Shíndile’s rendition, reproduced in Millstreet.ie: Community Website for Millstreet Town, (2011), http://www.millstreet.ie/blog/2011/01/15/nora-ni-shindile, accessed 27 October 2020. In the lament, Eibhlín also evokes the Bean Sí (Banshee) when she sings, “I clapped my hands quickly / and started mad running / as hard as I could, to find you there dead / with no Pope or bishop / to read a psalm over you.” Regarding the ‘swaying to and fro’ movements of the bean chaointe, see the Irish playwright John Millington Synge’s description of a chaoineadh he observed on the Aran Islands, cited in Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 618. For the basic details of Simon’s crime and conviction see: “Simon Burn,” New South Wales Government, Indents First Fleet, Second Fleet and Ships, NRS: 1150; Item: [SZ115]; Microfiche: 620, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[6] For example, Frances’s trial took place in Winchester, Hampshire, England on 7 March 1786: see “Fanny Anderson,” New South Wales Government, Bound Manuscript Indents, 1788–1842, NRS: 12188; Item: [4/4003]; Microfiche 614, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia). Yet David Collins informs us that she was ‘an Irish woman,’ see: David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (The Strand, London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1798), p. 393, https://books.google.com.au/books?id=yOpOAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA393#v=onepage&q&f=false, accessed 27 October 2020.

[7] For the reference to Simon being a signatory on a petition for a Catholic priest in the colony see Monsignor J. J. McGovern, “They Came Here in Chains. The Story that the Graveyards Tell,” Catholic Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1942 – 1954), Thursday 25 September 1952, pp. 7, 24; Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 60.

[8] Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 60.

[9] For a detailed account of another of St. John’s First Fleeters who was also caught up in the mutiny on the Mercury see Ben Vine, “Thomas Martin: The Ripples of a Revolution,” St. John’s Online, (2020), https://stjohnsonline.org/bio/thomas-martin, accessed 27 October 2020.

[10] For the evidence that mentions Simon Burn lost one of his eyes see David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (The Strand, London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1798), p. 396. Regarding Simon’s role as an overseer, as well as his brawl with soldiers which led to a secondary sentence in the colony see Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 60.

[11] Samuel Marsden, “Rev. S. Marsden to Governor Hunter, Parramatta, 11 August 1798,” in F. M. Bladen (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. III.—Hunter, 1796–1799, (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1895), p. 441.

[12] Samuel Marsden, “Rev. S. Marsden to Governor Hunter, Parramatta, 11 August 1798,” in F. M. Bladen (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. III.—Hunter, 1796–1799, (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1895), p. 441.

[13] Samuel Marsden, “Rev. S. Marsden to Governor Hunter, Parramatta, 11 August 1798,” in F. M. Bladen (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. III.—Hunter, 1796–1799, (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1895), p. 441.

[14]When Simon Had a Heart Attack: A Settler, A Soldier and an Ex-Blacksmith,” Smith’s Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 – 1950), Saturday 18 March 1939, p. 8.

[15]When Simon Had a Heart Attack: A Settler, A Soldier and an Ex-Blacksmith,” Smith’s Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 – 1950), Saturday 18 March 1939, p. 8.

[16] Watkin Tench described Simon Burn, whom he recorded as “Simon Burne,” as a model settler in December 1791: see Watkin Tench, A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson, (Frankfurt: Books on Demand, 2018), p. 100. David Collins would later say the opposite, although this might have been more a case of Collins assuming that Simon’s noted drunken revelry was automatically a sign of his lack of industry: David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (The Strand, London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1798), p. 396.

[17] For more information about the stocking weaver / hosier trade, see “The Stocking-Weaver,” The Book of English Trades, and Library of the Useful Arts, (St. Paul’s Church-Yard, London: J. Souter, The Juvenile Library, 1818), pp. 369–73. Confirmation of Simon’s trade is found in the following primary sources: Watkin Tench, A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson, (Frankfurt: Books on Demand, 2018), p. 100;

[18] Tench’s impression of Simon Burn’s work wthic was likely the more accurate one, since he inspected Burn specifically for his productivity in his farming venture, whereas David Collins presided over the trial for Simon’s murder, in which the details of how Burn spent his leisure time probably led Collins to incorrectly assume that someone who was partial to drunken revelry was not industrious either. David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (The Strand, London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1798), p. 396; Watkin Tench, A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson, (Frankfurt: Books on Demand, 2018), p. 100. For the location of Simon’s land grant see “Plan of Old Grants at and near Parramatta,” also known as “Plan of Part of the County of Cumberland showing position of Old Grants at and near Town of Parramatta, Referred to in Gov. Phillip’s Despatch to Secretary of State of 5th Novr 1791,” in G. B. Barton, Alexander Britton, F. M. Bladen (ed.), History of New South Wales from the Records, Vol. II.—PHILLIP AND GROSE, 1789–1794, (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1894), p. 162; James Jervis, “Old Parramatta: Northern Boundary Settlement,” The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), Wednesday 14 November 1923, p. 4; refer, also, to the image accompanying this essay showing an old map overlaid over the top of a current Google Earth map. Land grant primary sources: New South Wales Government, New South Wales, Various Land Records, Series: 12976: Reel: 1493, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia); New South Wales Government, Colonial Secretary: List of all Grants and Leases 1788–1809, Series: NRS 1213; Archive Reel: 1999, (State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood, NSW, Australia); New South Wales Government, Registers of Land Grants and Leases, Series: NRS 13836; Items: 7/444, 7/445 and 7/446; Reel: 2560, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia); New South Wales Government, Special Bundles, 1794–1825, Series: 898; Reels: 6020–6040, 6070; Fiche: 3260–3312, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[19] Watkin Tench, A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson, (Frankfurt: Books on Demand, 2018), p. 100.

[20] For a discussion of order and chaos in relation to the chaoineadh, see Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 615–624, especially 619. In the most famous caoineadh, Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill urges her husband Art O’Leary in the following way: “My steadfast love! / Arise, stand up / and come with myself / and I’ll have cattle slaughtered / and call fine company / and hurry up the music / and make you up a bed / with bright sheets upon it / and fine speckled quilts / to bring you out in a sweat / where the cold has caught you.” Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, “An Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire” (1773) first transcribed by Éamonn de Bhál from Nóra Ní Shíndile’s rendition, reproduced in Millstreet.ie: Community Website for Millstreet Town, (2011), http://www.millstreet.ie/blog/2011/01/15/nora-ni-shindile, accessed 27 October 2020.

[21] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[22] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[23] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[24] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[25] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[26] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[27] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[28] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[29] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[30] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (The Strand, London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1798), pp. 392–3.

[31] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[32] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[33] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[34] See Joseph Morley’s deposition in “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[35] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[36] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[37] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[38] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[39] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[40] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[41] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[42] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[43] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[44] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[45] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[46] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[47] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[48] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[49] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[50] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[51] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[52] On the morning of the day Simon Burn was murdered, a settler named William Evans / Evers observed Hill ‘in the garden, with a Knife in his Hand, which he saw him put into a Sheath, & put into his pocket, he saw him take it out again, turn it in the sheath, drawing in with his Hand, & then return to his Pocket, with the Handle downwards.’ “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[53] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[54] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[55] Samuel Marsden, “Rev. S. Marsden to Governor Hunter, Parramatta, 11 August 1798,” in F. M. Bladen (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. III.—Hunter, 1796–1799, (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1895), pp. 439–42.

[56] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[57] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[58] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[59] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[60] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[61] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[62] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[63] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[64] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[65] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[66] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[67] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (The Strand, London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1798), p. 393, https://books.google.com.au/books?id=yOpOAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA393#v=onepage&q&f=false, accessed 27 October 2020.

[68] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[69] “John Hill: Offence: Murder of Simon Burn, 13 Oct 1794,” New South Wales Government, Criminal Court Index 1788–1833: Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: 2700; Item: [5/1147A]; Reel: 2391, pp. 405–431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[70] This quotation is from an actual caoineadh for a different Irish couple that was performed in Ireland in May 1773, during Fanny and Simon Burn’s lifetime. Some coincidental similarities between Art O’Leary’s death and caoineadh and details of Simon’s Burn’s murder has enabled me to adapt some of the Art O’Leary lyrics to Simon, as a way of coming closer to a ‘reconstruction’ of what Fanny might have performed over his grave as he was buried in North Parramatta. For the original Gaeilge, an English translation, and an excellent short video clip demonstrating this vocal performance see: Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, “An Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire” (1773) first transcribed by Éamonn de Bhál from Nóra Ní Shíndile’s rendition, reproduced in Millstreet.ie: Community Website for Millstreet Town, (2011), http://www.millstreet.ie/blog/2011/01/15/nora-ni-shindile, accessed 27 October 2020.

[71] For the original Gaeilge, an English translation, and an excellent short video clip demonstrating this vocal performance see: Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, “An Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire” (1773) first transcribed by Éamonn de Bhál from Nóra Ní Shíndile’s rendition, reproduced in Millstreet.ie: Community Website for Millstreet Town, (2011), http://www.millstreet.ie/blog/2011/01/15/nora-ni-shindile, accessed 27 October 2020.

[72] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 621

[73] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 620.

[74] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 620.

[75] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 618; Shane McCorristine (ed.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mortality and its Timings: When is Death?, (London: Springer Nature, 2017), p. 5.

[76] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 619.

[77] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 618.

[78] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 615, 617, 619, 621, 623.

[79] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 618–9; Shane McCorristine (ed.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mortality and its Timings: When is Death?, (London: Springer Nature, 2017), p. 7.

[80] Shane McCorristine (ed.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mortality and its Timings: When is Death?, (London: Springer Nature, 2017), p. 5; Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 621.

[81] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 619.

[82] Shane McCorristine (ed.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mortality and its Timings: When is Death?, (London: Springer Nature, 2017), p. 4. See also Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 619.

[83] Shane McCorristine (ed.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mortality and its Timings: When is Death?, (London: Springer Nature, 2017), p. 7.

[84] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 620.

[85] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 623.

[86] Shane McCorristine (ed.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mortality and its Timings: When is Death?, (London: Springer Nature, 2017), p. 9; Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 619.

[87] For the ‘wild as cattle’ quotation see: David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, (Christchurch, Melbourne and London: Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, n.d.), p. 372. For Collins’s account of Patrick Burn’s Irish wake, see David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (The Strand, London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1798), p. 171. “Patrick Burn, a person employed to shoot for the commanding officer of the marine detachment, died this month: and the hut that he had lived in was burnt down in the night a few hours after his decease, by the carelessness of the people, who were Irish and were sitting up with the corpse, which was with much difficulty saved from the flames, and not until it was much scorched.”

[88] “Marriage of SIMON TAYLOR and ANN SMITH, 18 March 1794,” Parish Marriage Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. For more on John Randall see: Cassandra Pybus, Black Founders: The Unknown Story of Australia’s First Black Settlers, (Sydney, NSW: University of New South Wales Press, 2006).

[89] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (The Strand, London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1798), p. 393. For the descriptions of Irish wakes as ‘festive-carnivalesque’ and ‘wanton orgies’ see Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 620; Shane McCorristine (ed.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mortality and its Timings: When is Death?, (London: Springer Nature, 2017), p. 8.

[90] Shane McCorristine (ed.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mortality and its Timings: When is Death?, (London: Springer Nature, 2017), pp. 4, 7.

[91] Shane McCorrister notes, with reference to a firsthand account by a seventeenth-century English traveller, that the bean chaointe performed vocal laments during the two-night ‘wake-time’: [The mourners] spend most of the night in obscene stories, and bawdy songs, until the hour comes for the exercise of their devotions; then the priest calls on them to fall to their prayers for the soul of the dead, which they perform by the repetition of Aves and Paters on their beads and close the whole with a de profundis and then immediately to the story or song again, till another hour of prayer comes; thus is the whole night spent ‘till day.” Shane McCorristine (ed.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mortality and its Timings: When is Death?, (London: Springer Nature, 2017), p. 7.

[92] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 615, 621–2.

[93] The author of a brief article entitled “Parramatta in 1792,” Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 20 March 1897, p. 1 states in a section about Burn’s murder, wake and burial that ‘There was no public cemetery or consecrated ground in the district, and it was usual, when a settler died, to bury him in a corner of his own farm. This was done in Burn’s case.” However, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta, then known as the “Parramatta Burial Ground,” was the local “general cemetery” for all religious denominations from January 1790 and, as I have noted above, Burn was a mere 700 metres from the cemetery for his postmortem at the General Hospital. The reason he was buried at his own farm had more to do with the fact that his wife wanted to farewell her in a traditional Irish fashion, and while Catholic priests did accommodate such pre-Christian burial rites in Ireland, she undoubtedly knew the Anglican cleric would have forbidden such practices.

[94] Narelle McCoy, “The Quick and the Dead: Sexuality and the Irish Merry Wake,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, (August, 2012): 619.

[95] Samuel Marsden, “Rev. S. Marsden to Governor Hunter, Parramatta, 11 August 1798,” in F. M. Bladen (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. III.—Hunter, 1796–1799, (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1895), pp. 439–42, esp. p. 441.

[96] Samuel Marsden, “Rev. S. Marsden to Governor Hunter, Parramatta, 11 August 1798,” in F. M. Bladen (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. III.—Hunter, 1796–1799, (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1895), pp. 439–42, esp. p. 441.

[97] For more on the notion of “anti-music” see Michaela Ann Cameron, (PhD Diss), “Stealing the Turtle’s Voice: A Dual History of Western and Algonquian-Iroquoian Soundways from Creation to Re-creation,” (Sydney: University of Sydney, 2018), http://bit.ly/stealingturtle, accessed 27 October 2020; “Burial of SIMON BURN, 5 October 1794,” Parish Burial Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.

[98] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (The Strand, London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1798), p. 393. See also David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, (Christchurch, Melbourne and London: Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, n.d.), p. 237. George Barrington also wrote a brief account of the murder, though it was essentially just a reworking of David Collins’s account: “In the beginning of October, John Bevan, a most daring fellow, was caught in the act of house-breaking, he was tried on the first, and executed on the sixth; the evening before which, a murder was perpetrated by one Hill, a butcher, on the body of Simon Brown, a settler, who he owed an animosity. It appeared on the trial, that Hill, and a woman he lived with, had quarrelled, when she to avoid a beating, flew to an empty house followed by Hill, and poor Burn to prevent Hill from beating her, interfered, on this the rascal Hill, stabbed him to the heart, of which wound he died in an hour. Hill the fiend of iniquity, was executed on the 16th, and dissected.” George Barrington, The History of New South Wales, (London: M. Jones, 1802), pp. 135–6.

[99] Fanny’s new husband’s name was John Hamilton, aka Hambleton, Humbleton. “Marriage of FRANCES BURN and JOHN HAMBLETON, 18 January 1795,” Parish Marriage Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.

[100] Samuel Marsden, “Rev. S. Marsden to Governor Hunter, Parramatta, 11 August 1798,” in F. M. Bladen (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. III.—Hunter, 1796–1799, (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1895), pp. 439–42.

[101] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (The Strand, London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1798), pp. 396–7. “In sunshine and in shadow’ is a loose quotation of lyrics in the popular Irish song “Danny Boy” written by Frederic Weatherly (1913) and set to the traditional Irish melody “Londonderry Air”: “’Tis I’ll be here, in sunshine or in shadow, Oh Danny Boy, Oh Danny Boy, I love you so.”

© Copyright 2020 Michaela Ann Cameron