George Jenkins Cavill (c.1808–1863)

GEORGE JENKINS CAVILL arrived as a free immigrant per bounty ship Jane Gifford (1841). He was a farm servant, specifically a groom, from Somerset, England. He lived in a timber cottage on Macquarie Street, Parramatta, and had a deep dislike for cats. He used to poison neighbourhood cats with strychnine. On 5 December 1863, he died after apparently deliberately ingesting rum and strychnine at JOHN ‘JACK’ HOLLAND’s establishment The Star Inn, Church Street, Parramatta. He took hours to pass away, due to the fact he sipped only a small amount, yet he would not explain why he had taken the poison, and since he was known to be in ‘easy circumstances,’ no one could account for his rash act. The coronial inquest ruled his death a suicide. He bequeathed his Macquarie Street property to JOHN ‘JACK’ HOLLAND in a last-minute ‘memorandum’ he handed to HOLLAND on the day he died. Well after JACK himself died, JACK’s wife HARRIET HOLLAND, who had good business acumen, ended up developing CAVILL’s former property.

Names

  • Alternate: GEORGE JENKINS CAVILE
  • Alternate: GEORGE JENKINS CAVIL
  • Alternate: GEORGE JENKINS CAVILLE

Burial Location

  • The Parish of St. John’s, Parramatta, exact location unknown

Occupation

  • Farm Servant
  • Groom

Relationships

  • Son of CHARLES CAVILL
  • Son of FRANCES CAVILL (née FRANCES JENKINS)
  • Partner of AMELIA BOND
  • Friend of JOHN HOLLAND
  • Friend of MARY HILLYARD

Related Material

THE HOLLANDS: GUNS ‘N’ TUBEROSES

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Abstract: Jack was very in tune with nature. He had seven stars, a sun, a half moon & a flowerpot tattooed on the inside of his arm from his younger days, woke with the birds, took his morning’s walk to Camellia to admire the camellias of Sir William Macarthur’s former gardener & nurseryman, & lovingly tended a few ‘pet plants’ of his own. But every man has his limits. Jack was not a cat person. Indeed, his extreme devotion to his greenery was precisely what precluded even so much as a begrudging acceptance that he must coexist with felinity, all because the neighbouring cats had a terrible habit of scratching up his blooming beauties. One morning, around seven o’clock, Jack found one of his tuberoses ‘smashed.’ ‘There he stood at [his] front door’ of The Star Inn, ‘with the broken flower in one hand, & a double-barrelled gun in the other,’ showing a friend his ‘broken treasure’ & ‘vowing vengeance on the tomcat that had wrought the mischief.’ Spying at that very moment ‘the delinquent cat—or a cat’—Jack took off after it, aimed, & “Bang!”: he blew that cat right out of existence. It was not the first time the Parramatta publican of The Star Inn had shown such extreme inconsistency in his regard for living things. In fact, you could say John ‘Jack’ Holland had more or less lived his whole life with a flower in one hand, & a shotgun in the other. Read more>> [See especially the section entitled “Rum ‘n’ Strychnine”]

Multimedia

Lists

# English

# Came Free

# Ship: Jane Gifford (1841)

# The Star Inn

# Suicide

# Burial year: 1863

# Grave: unmarked