EXECUTED ON THIS DAY ………. 11th of March 1873
On the morning of the 2nd of August 1872, Arthur Hagan, a digger living in a hut at Dead Horse Flat, heard a woman screaming “murder” and went down to where he heard the screams – about 100 yards away form his hut. He saw Samuel Wright having hold of a young woman named Anastasia Maher, his former paramour, and beating her with a hammer-headed driving pick. He told Wright to leave her alone, and Wright made at him with the pick, holding it with both hands. Hagan being unarmed, he retreated some 10 or 15 yards, but Wright struck him on the head, and knocked him down. Then Wright struck him a second blow on the left shoulder, and was about striking him a third blow when a man named West came and knocked Wright down, sat on him, and held him by each wrist. Hagan got up, and struck Wright three or four times on the mouth, as he was trying to bite West’s hand. A group of diggers then came up and tied Wright. Hagan was taken to a doctor and next found himself in hospital, having a compound fracture on the right side of his skull; his left arm remained paralysed. Wright was convicted of wounding with intent to murder at the Criminal Sessions of the Circuit Court at Sandhurst and was sentenced to death on the 17th of February 1873. He was hanged at Castlemaine Gaol on the 11th of March 1873 at 10 a.m.