Executions at Old Melbourne Gaol

During its operation, the gaol was the setting for 133 hangings. The most infamous was that of bushranger Ned Kelly at the age of 25, on 11 November 1880. After a two-day trial, Kelly was convicted of killing a police officer. As stated by law at the time, executed prisoners were buried (without head) in […]


EXECUTION ON THIS DAY…….. 20th May 1873 The last sentence of the law was carried out at the Castlemaine Gaol, on the body of Pierre Borhuu, for the murder of Mrs. Smith, of Kangaroo Flat, Sandhurst. Which took place on the 28th April 1872. Pierre Borhuu was a native of Guernsey, his parents, who are […]

Execution of Feeney – MELBOURNE

EXECUTED THIS DAY……. 14th May 1872 The execution of Edward Feeney for the murder of Charles Marks in the Treasury gardens on the 6th March last, took place in the morning at the Melbourne Gaol at the appointed hour of 10. The sheriff (Mr. W. Wright) was present, as were also the governor of the […]

Half sovereigns

On This Day ……. 13th May 1910 At the Geelong police court, Robert Bryer, aged 17, was charged with having stolen a suit of clothes, a hat, two half sovereigns, and some silver, the property of R. J. Connelly. He was sentenced to two months imprisonment in Geelong Gaol.  

Execution of Joseph Brown

EXECUTION THIS DAY – May 4, 1865 MELBOURNE The execution of Joseph Brown, who at the last Criminal sitting of the Supreme Court was sentenced to death for the murder of Emanuel Jacobs on March 22, at the Whittington Tavern Bourke-street, took place at the Melbourne gaol, in presence of about twenty spectators. At an […]

Execution of Branigan, Brown and Bryant

EXECUTED THIS DAY – April 29, 1857 FRANCIS BRANIGAN, WILLIAM BROWN AND RICHARD BRYANT EXECUTION OF THE MURDERERS OF MR. PRICE. EXECUTION OF FRANCIS BRANIGAN, WILLIAM BROWN, AND RICHARD BRYANT. These criminals suffered death on this day in 1857, and died with the same firmness which had been displayed by their wretched companions in the […]

Execution of Price’s Murderers

EXECUTED THIS DAY – April 28, 1857 THOMAS WILLIAMS, HENRY SMITH (ALIAS BRENNAN) AND THOMAS MALONEY THE MURDER OF MR. PRICE. Execution of Thomas Williams, Henry Smith alias Brennan, and Thomas Maloney. On this day in 1857, at eight o’clock, Thomas Williams, Henry Smith alias Brennan, and Thomas Maloney, the first three prisoners convicted at […]

Mystery Solved

On This Day ……. 12th April 1923 After remaining a mystery for more than, 30 years the solution of the method by which the convict Frederick Clark escaped, from Geelong gaol in 1889 has now been found. A larger brass key was discovered while prisoners were clearing the grounds of the Geelong Supreme Court. It […]

Flogging at Beechworth Gaol

On This Day……… 8th April 1872 The first flogging in the Beechworth Gaol took place on this day in 1872. The victim was a chinaman call Ah King, convicted of an indecent exposure. He was tied to a wooden tripod, which was known as being married to the three sisters. The prison received 17 lashes […]

Almost Executed

On This Day……… 7th April 1857   On this day in 1857, Rosanna Nicholls had the dubious honour of being the first person to be sentenced to death in Beechworth. Rosanna was convicted of murdering her child and ordered to be sent to Melbourne for sentence to be carried out. Rosanna missed another first, if […]

With a Little Help from Friends

ON THIS DAY ……. 29th March 1876 John O’Reilly wanted to annoy the English and so he hatched a plan to rescue Irish Convicts from Western Australia. For his plan, he organised for an American boat, the Catalpa, to sail to Western Australia to rescue Convicts. On March 29, 1876 the Catalpa arrived off Western […]

Infantile Paralysis Epidemic

On This Day – 27th March 1938 Restrictions placed on concert parties visiting the gaol because of the Infantile paralysis epidemic has been lifted, and the first concert for the year was given on Sunday, the 27th of March, when a party from Melbourne visited the gaol.