Sunday, July 20, 2014


Sometime during Monday night or early on Tuesday morning last, the house of a man, named Duffy, at Kangaroo Point, was entered by-the window, and an inner door being opened, a box, the key of which was lying on the table, was unlocked by the thief, and a £1 note and three penny pieces abstracted. It appears that Duffy was absent from Brisbane, and his wife was sleeping at a friend's house, as was customary during the absence of her husband. On returning to her own house in the morning, the robbery was discovered, and information given to the police. The suspicion of District Constable-Murphy fell upon a ticket-of-leave holder by the Mountstuart Elphinstone, named Isaac Tomlin, and, finding that gentleman at the Police Office, where he was making a modest request to be allowed a pass to remain in Brisbane, Murphy took the liberty of searching him, and found on his person a £1 note, which was positively sworn to by Mrs. Duffy as the one stolen from her house; she identified it by the peculiar way in which it had been folded, and by some remarkable stains upon it. On comparing the prisoner's boots with the foot-prints near Duffy's house, Murphy found them to agree exactly, and a nail being out of one of the boots, that deficiency appeared also in the track on the soft soil. The prisoner declined saying anything in his defence, and was, last Wednesday, sentenced to be worked in an ironed gang for six months. It was lucky for him that he was not a free man, or he would probably have been tried at the Circuit Court, and sentenced to something much more serious.

To the Editor of the Moreton Bay Courier. (1850, July 20). The Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1846 - 1861), p. 2. TROVE

Two points about this article - I just love the way the English language was used in days past. Look at the ending of the first sentence "and a £1 note and three penny pieces abstracted", such a nice way of saying they were stolen. The second point was the fact that because he was a 'ticket of leave' man, he only got six months in an iron gang, whereas if he had been a free man, the sentence would have been more severe.

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