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Ararat Lunatic Asylum
Jane Ford was committed to Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 5th of March 1873. Ford escaped and was arrested near Talbot on the 23rd of July 1876. The escapee was a woman by the named Jane Fordo, who for the last three years had been living in the asylum at Ararat. On escaping Ford made her way to Talbot the town in which she was from. The evening before her arrest she was seen by some residents of Evansford and recognised, but she managed, however, to evade capture. Ford was ultimately found about two miles from Evansford in a hollow log, from which she had stuck her head out. Ford was at once taken to the Wallace’s Junction Hotel, as she was suffering hypothermia. Ford told police that the reason she escaped was because she was overworked. During the 10 days of her wanderings she had only eaten on three occasions and had slept in a shed two nights with only pieces of bark to cover her. On the other nights Ford slept in the bush or on the road without shelter. During the day of her capture she had seen the police searching for her, and hid herself in the log to avoid being sent back to the asylum, however because she was so cold and hungry she allowed the police to find her. The only clothing Ford was wearing was an old skirt, a threadbare shawl, and a tattered hat. She was returned to the Asylum. Ford would go on to escape two more times, the seconds on the 15th of November 1876 and recaptured on November the 17th and again returned, 22nd of march 1882 and recaptured on march the 25th.

 

On This Day …….. 4th July 1905

FRONT DOOR ESCAPE 1905

A dangerous lunatic named Smith escaped from the main building of the Ararat lunatic Asylum about 7pm on the 4th of July 1905. It is not known how Smith managed to open the front door of the Asylum but its possible he fund some wire and picked the lock. Smith has been an inmate of the Asylum for
over 20 years, and the authorities are treating his escape with much concern. Smith was never found.

On this day …….. 4th September 1868

Oliver Dragoon was committed to Ararat lunatic asylum, Western Victoria, on the 10th of February 1868. Dragoon managed to escaped from the Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 4th of September 1868. He was arrested in Piggoreet on the 11th of September and was taken into Ballarat by Constable Magrath, and lodged in the Western lockup, before being returned to Ararat. This is the second time Dragoon has escape from the asylum, on the first occasion he succeeded in evading all search for several months. Dragoon died in the asylum. On the 2nd of June 1871, Dragoone escapes again and course on the 27th of June.

Ararat Lunatic Asylum
Jane Ford was committed to Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 5th of March 1873. Ford escaped and was arrested near Talbot on the 23rd of July 1876. The escapee was a woman by the named Jane Fordo, who for the last three years had been living in the asylum at Ararat. On escaping Ford made her way to Talbot the town in which she was from. The evening before her arrest she was seen by some residents of Evansford and recognised, but she managed, however, to evade capture. Ford was ultimately found about two miles from Evansford in a hollow log, from which she had stuck her head out. Ford was at once taken to the Wallace’s Junction Hotel, as she was suffering hypothermia. Ford told police that the reason she escaped was because she was overworked. During the 10 days of her wanderings she had only eaten on three occasions and had slept in a shed two nights with only pieces of bark to cover her. On the other nights Ford slept in the bush or on the road without shelter. During the day of her capture she had seen the police searching for her, and hid herself in the log to avoid being sent back to the asylum, however because she was so cold and hungry she allowed the police to find her. The only clothing Ford was wearing was an old skirt, a threadbare shawl, and a tattered hat. She was returned to the Asylum. Ford would go on to escape two more times, the seconds on the 15th of November 1876 and recaptured on November the 17th and again returned, 22nd of march 1882 and recaptured on march the 25th.

 

On This Day …….. 4th July 1905

FRONT DOOR ESCAPE 1905

A dangerous lunatic named Smith escaped from the main building of the Ararat lunatic Asylum about 7pm on the 4th of July 1905. It is not known how Smith managed to open the front door of the Asylum but its possible he fund some wire and picked the lock. Smith has been an inmate of the Asylum for
over 20 years, and the authorities are treating his escape with much concern. Smith was never found.

On this day …….. 25th May 1901

A man named Cummins, who escaped from the Ararat Lunatic Asylum was rearrested at Camperdown. Cummins was being bought by train to Ballarat by Constable’ M’Cahn on the 25th of May 1901, were he managed to escape at the Colac railway station. As the engine was pulling into the station Constable M’Cahn saw Sergeant Dowler a few yards standing on the platform, so he went to ask him to watch Cummins while he got some refreshments. Although only a few moments elapsed until both the police returned, the lunatic had disappeared, and all efforts to discover him, he could not be found. On the 8th of June 1901, Cummins was found at Skenese Creek, Apollo Bay. He was taken straight back to Ararat.

On This Day ……. 21st May 1908

A lunatic named William Martin aged 50 years old, escaped from the criminal ward of the Ararat lunatic asylum on the night of the 21st of May 1908. Martin was able to escape while some alterations to the walls were in progress. He was seen at Crowlands, but managed to disappear before he could be captured. He was 6ft 7in height, and at the time was dressed in asylum clothes.

On this Day – April 18, 1875

Ararat Lunatic Asylum

An inquest on the body of Aaron Thomas, an inmate of the Ararat Lunatic Asylum, who was killed by another inmate named Fitzgerald on Sunday, says the Advertiser, was held on Tuesday by the coroner. Fitzgerald is described as an unusually muscular and powerfully-built man, and with the short stout stick which he had torn from the sun-shade to effect his purpose with might have felled a bullock. One of the attendants stated that he saw Fitzgerald a few minutes before the attack, that he looked then to be quite composed, and he (the attendant), having occasion to go to another part of the yard, soon after heard a noise among the patients, and on running to the place he found Thomas lying dead, from the blow which had been inflicted. When Fitzgerald was asked why he had killed the man he spoke of having made the earth and received the Fathers’ love, but nothing intelligible could be got from him. A verdict was returned in accordance with the evidence.

ON THIS DAY …….. 24th March 1883

David Chalmens was committed to Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 14th of July 1869, by his brother Alex Chalmens. Chalmens was a Black Smith for the Port Phillip Mining Company in Clunes. On admission Chalmens was described but the Medical Superintendent Dr William Armstrong as Convalescent. Chalmens escaped on the 24th of March 1883, and was recaptured on the 2nd of April. On the 12th of April 1884 Chalmens was transferred to Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum.

 

 

On this day ………… 14th February 1895

Two men who were confined in the criminal ward of tho Ararat Lunatic Asylum, Victoria escaped on the 14th of February 1895. One was Andrew Miller, aged 22, sentenced for robbery under arms, and the other Fredrick Wilson, aged 37, sentenced to death in connection with a rape at Condah swamp. Wilson sentenced was commuted to eighteen years imprisonment. While A disturbance was taking place in the adjoining airing yards, and the guards left assistance Warder Brown. During this time the two patients made a rope out of sheets and attaching a peace of angled iron to the end, then by throwing it over the wall they made their escape. In 1897, nether Miller or Wilson had been found, and there example was used in a government report about the dangers of escaped lunatics. There are either criminal lunatics with equally bad reputations enjoying complete freedom, so far as Victorian in situations are concerned. Two dangerous characters Miller and Willson escaped from the Ararat Asylum about three years ago, and nothing has since been heard of them. Last year there were nearly 4,000 lunatics in the colonies asylums. Of these 25 escaped, 18 of whom were recaptured, but the remaining seven are still “wanted.” Sarah Price, who died on 18th of December. The only additional evidence to that elicited at the of William Price, deceased’s brother, was that of Dr. Harse, of Elmore, who deposed that he attended deceased. She was suffering from paralysis resulting upon a shock to the nervous system. The body bore no traces of injuries whatever, although deceased had probably been shoved about by her brother.

 

 

On this day ………… 13th February 1868

The Greta Arson case came before the Wangaratta Police Court, North East Victoria, on this day, in 1868. James Kelly uncle of Ned Kelly was charged with setting fire to a house in a Greta, in which three women and thirteen children were living at time. He was committed to take his trail in Beechworth. James Kelly was sentenced to Beechworth Gaol then transferred to Ararat Lunatic Asylum and back to Beechworth Lunatic Asylum where he died.

 

 

On this day …….. 4th September 1868

Oliver Dragoon was committed to Ararat lunatic asylum, Western Victoria, on the 10th of February 1868. Dragoon managed to escaped from the Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 4th of September 1868. He was arrested in Piggoreet on the 11th of September and was taken into Ballarat by Constable Magrath, and lodged in the Western lockup, before being returned to Ararat. This is the second time Dragoon has escape from the asylum, on the first occasion he succeeded in evading all search for several months. Dragoon died in the asylum. On the 2nd of June 1871, Dragoone escapes again and course on the 27th of June.