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.  

Murder of John Price

ON THIS DAY ……… 26th of March 1857 On the 26th of March 1857, while investigating complaints by convicts employed on public works in Williamstown, Melbourne John Price was struck by missiles, knocked down and severely battered. He died next day, and following the inquest, fifteen convicts were tried for murder, seven being hanged. After […]

Breakin at Wartzski’s Shop

On This Day – 26th March 1890 At the sittings of the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1890, John Thompson and Edward Jones were charged with having broke into the shop of Isadora Wartzski, in Ryrie street, Geelong on the 24th. Both men stolon a quantity of jewellery valued at between £70 and […]


On This Day – 24th March 1858 Convict Mary Cameron was charged at the Geelong Gaol with misconduct by the Acting Matron and sentenced to 7 days in solitary confinement and half rations by The Gaoler.    

Disobedience Charge by Sharry

On This Day – 24th March 1866 Convict Jeremiah Lee was charged at the Geelong Gaol with disobedience of orders by Turnkey Sharry and was sentenced to be discredited from billet by the Governor.  

Release of a Prisoner

On This Day – 24th March 1895 The Mayor of Geelong stated that he had signed a petition to be presented to the acting governor asking for the release from gaol of Mrs Hoffman, of Pettavel. He intended also joining a deputation to wait on the Acting Governor, and urging for Mrs Hoffman’s liberation. He […]

Confined by Brodie

On This Day – 24th March 1863 Convict William Gilmore was charged at the Geelong Gaol with disobedience of orders by the Senior Turnkey and was sentenced to 24 hours solitary confinement by Governor Charles Brodie.  

Driving Without Lights

On This Day – 22nd March 1892 A young man named Samuel Edward Bees, was at the Geelong Court on the double barrelled charge of furious driving and driving without lights on the 3rd March. The evidence of the prosecutor was to the effect that on the evening of the day named defendant drove along […]

Escape of William Hartwell

ON This Day – 21st March 1930 ATTEMPTED ESCAPE FROM GAOL After having inquired into the attempted escape of William Hartwell from the Geelong gaol a week earlier. The Inspector General of Penal Establishments decided to take disciplinary action against the warder for alleged lack of proper vigilance, and to commend another warder for his […]

Drunk Minnie

On This Day – 20th March 1897 A young woman who appeared under the name of Minnie Matthews, was charged with drunkenness. She was arrested on the evening of the 20th of March 1897, by Constable Zimmer, who took her into custody to save her from the attentions of a parcel of “hoodlums,” by whom […]

New Lighthouse at Point Lonsdale

ON THIS DAY ……… 20th March 1902 The new £2252 lighthouse at a Point Lonsdale, mouth of Port Philip Bay, Victoria was lit for the first time on the evening of the 20th March 1902. The 24 metre high lighthouse had been under construction by builder George Coate for about 14 months. When the foundations […]