ON THIS DAY…… 11th August 1884

A petition having been prepared for presentation to His Excellency the Governor of Victoria, praying for a reprieve on the ground of insanity in the case of the prisoner James Hawthorne, who was convicted of the murder of his brother at Brighton and sentenced to death.  It was decided to subject the unhappy man to a medical examination with a view of ascertaining the state of his mind. The inquiry was accordingly placed in the hands of Doctors Shields, Deahon and Peacock, who after a long interview with the condemned man sent in a report on this day in 1884 to the effect that in their opinion he is of sound mind, and consequently responsible for his actions. He was executed on the 21st of August at the Old Melbourne Gaol.