Constables is a collection of essays featuring some of Parramatta’s earliest constables. Most of them started out as lawbreaking convicts, and while some thoroughly redeemed themselves by becoming celebrated law enforcers in their community, others found only further infamy in their constabulary role. Most were laid to rest in the parish they served (St. John’s), though only a minority have an identifiable marked grave at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta today.

The collection, supported by Create NSW and Royal Australian Historical Society, was edited by Dr. Michaela Ann Cameron and, thus far, includes work by Dr. Cameron as well as Dr. James Findlay. The collection is ongoing, so the essays listed below do not constitute a comprehensive list of constables registered in the parish of St. John’s burial records.

Essays currently available in this collection are listed below.

George Barrington: The Prince of Pickpockets

William Cosgrove: Duty and Destiny [Memorial]

Richard Grimshaw: The Eternal Masquerader [Memorial]

Joseph Kerr: Dear Prudence

John Martin: The Self-Freed Slave* [Memorial]

James McManus: The Wrath of a Madman**

Richard Partridge: The Left-Handed Flogger**

Benjamin Ratty: Convict Constable [Memorial]


This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

The essay marked* was previously assisted by funds allocated to the Royal Australian Historical Society through the Heritage Branch of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage in 2016.

The essays marked** were voluntary contributions by Dr. Michaela Ann Cameron in 2016.

Collection Design, Research Assistance, Editing, Multimedia and PublishingMichaela Ann Cameron.

Peer Reviewers: Special thanks to the peer reviewers who have so generously volunteered their time (but must remain anonymous).

Authors: Michaela Ann Cameron and James Findlay.

Cover Design: Michaela Ann Cameron.

Cover Image: Detail of “Capture of Thunderbolt, near Uralla, by Constable Walker,” ([Sydney] : Illustrated Sydney News, 1870) PIC Drawer 3652 #S4504, nla.obj-135855510, National Library Australia.

© Copyright 2016–2021 Michaela Ann Cameron