EXECUTED THIS DAY – March 1, 1858
On the 1st of March 1858, at 8am the convicts Edward Brown and William Jones, who were found guilty at the Ballarat Sessions of the crime of robbery with violence, were executed at Melbourne Gaol. Edward Brown, who belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, was attended in his last moments by the Rev. Mr. Stack, and had, on the previous day, received the Sacrament of confirmation from the Right Rev. Dr. Goold. He was the elder man of the two prisoners, having been born in London in the year 1831. He arrived in this colony free by the ship Othello, in 1852, but had been sent bond to Van Diemen’s Land previously. He was a labouring man. The younger convict, William Jones, arrived in the colony free, in the Andromache, in the year 1849, and was but 23 years of age, having been born in 1835, at Towersley, in Buckinghamshire. He was a member of the Baptist persuasion, and was attended by the Rev. Mr. Taylor, Baptist minister, and at the scaffold by the Bev. Mr. Stoddart, chaplain of the gaol. The prisoner Brown had been twice convicted prior to the commission of the crime for which he suffered, namely, of vagrancy, in 1853, for which he received a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, and again of the same offence in 1857. Jones was once convicted of horse-stealing and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Very few persons besides the proper authorities were present at the execution. Neither of the unhappy men spoke a word, but seemed much downcast. They appeared to suffer when the drop fell for some moments. The bodies, after hanging the usual time, were cut down, and the formal inquest having been held upon them, were interred at the Melbourne cemetery at a late hour in the afternoon.