EXECUTED THIS DAY – JULY 6, 1860
The murderer of the Hunts, George Waines, was executed yesterday morning, in the Melbourne gaol. No further confession than that already published was made by the unfortunate man. Up to the last moment he was attended by the Rev. Mr. Stoddart, who states that he appeared deeply penitent for his crime. A few minutes after ten o’clock the cell door was opened, by order of the sheriff, and after a few moments delay Waines came out into the corridor, looking firm, collected, and resigned. After casting a glance round at the small crowd grouped behind him, and wiping away a few tears, he submitted himself to be pinioned without a word or a murmur escaping his lips. During the operation he remained apparently unmoved, and upon its completion marched with a firm step to the foot of the drop, the stairs of which he ascended in like manner. Hardly a minute elapsed before the fatal bolt was drawn, and Waines launched into eternity. The last words of the chaplain, “Man hath but a short time to live” must have been ringing in the wretched culprit’s ears as he fell. A few muscular spasms of the limbs ensued, but there was no sign of suffering; in fact,a more merciful execution, if any can be merciful, could not have taken place. After hanging the usual time, the body was cut down. The one redeeming feature in Waines’ character appears to have been his affection for his wife, of whom he frequently spoke to Mr. Stoddart, In the letter he wrote her it was his wish that a lock of his hair should be enclosed. This last injunction has, of course, been observed. He also gave to an old acquaintance a religious book, put into his hands by the chaplain, accompanied by a request that its contents might be earnestly studied. The story that Waines had been previously convicted for manslaughter, and transported, he was anxious should be contradicted. By the prison books we find that he arrived in the colony a free man, in the year 1853, by the ship Duke of Richmond, from Liverpool, and that he was born at Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, in 1823. His English as well as his colonial occupation was that of a farmer.