William Thoroughgood – MELBOURNE

EXECUTED THIS DAY…… 23rd May 1854 An execution which took place at Melbourne on the this day in 1854, was reported by the Argus newspaper:—”William Thoroughgood, convicted last criminal sessions of rape upon a child of tender years, was executed yesterday at the common gaol, at 8am. The convicted man was a Wesleyan Methodist, and […]

Executions in Australia 1788-1967

Executions have been a part of Australian history since the beginning. The indigenous people had death sentences that were carried out under Aboriginal customary law. The first executions carried out under European law in Australia took place in Western Australia in 1629, when Dutch authorities hanged the mutineers of the Batavia. The first execution after […]

The Last Executions in Australia

Executions in Australia were abolished by most of the states in the 1960s – 1980s, excepting Queensland who had abolished the death penalty in 1922. Queensland’ final execution was that of Ernest Austin on 22nd September 1913. Austin was executed for the rape and murder of 12 year old Ivy Mitchell near Sanford.  He was […]

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 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 […]

EXECUTIONS THIS DAY ……. 12th May 1873

THOMAS BRADY AND JAMES SMITH – BEECHWORTH The execution of the two men James Smith and Thomas Brady, who were condemned to death at the Beechworth Circuit Court for the murder of Mr. Watt, at Wooragee, took place in the Beechworth Gaol. At 7am the irons were struck off the condemned men. Smith was the […]

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 […]

Execution of Frederick Turner

EXECUTED THIS DAY – April 27, 1857 On this day in 1857, at eight o’clock, the unfortunate young man, Frederick Turner, convicted at the late Criminal Sessions, of highway robbery in company with others, and of subsequent shooting with intent to murder, underwent the extreme sentence of the law. It is to be feared that […]

Execution of Fatta Chand

EXECUTED THIS DAY – April 27, 1891   On this day in 1891, the execution of Fatta Chand took place for murdering his Hindoo partner, Juggo Mull, near Healesville in November last, took place within the Melbourne gaol. The condemned man on finding he could not accomplish his purpose of cheating the gallows by starving […]

Execution of David Magee

EXECUTION THIS DAY – April 25, 1854   David Magee, convicted at the last Criminal Sessions at Castlemaine of murder, under the circumstances then detailed in the Argus, suffered the extreme penalty of the law yesterday morning, at the usual place of exceution, the common gaol at Melbourne. The prisoner, who was a man nearly […]