ON THIS DAY – January 10, 1870
On January 10, at Bow-street Police Court, Islington, England, George Dyer, forty-seven, was brought up on his own confession, with having murdered George Wilson at the gold diggings at the Loddon, Victoria, Australia. James Thomson, superintendent of E division of Metropolitan Police, stated that the prisoner, who was brought to Bow-street Station by Inspector Hubbard, stated that he wished to surrender himself on a charge of wilful murder. Witness cautioned him, and took down what he had to say. He was sober, and perfectly calm and collected. He made the following statement, which was taken down in writing. He said that his name was George Dyer, and he was forty-seven years of age, and resided at Hilliford-street, Islington. He was a clerk in the employ of Messrs. Browne, Shiplake, & Co., ship merchants. He was married and had three children by his first wife. In 1853 he left England for Melbourne, and arrive in August of the same year, and stayed there until May, 1855, when his wife died, and be sent his children home to England. He went to the gold diggings at the Loddon, Victoria, about June. He took up a claim, and worked it, and remained at Loddon. About a month before Christmas, 1857, he met a man named George Wilson, an English sailor. They were both single-handed, and as each wanted a mate, he joined him (prisoner) in working his claim. They got on very well together for nearly a month, when a quarrel arose between them in his tent as to the quantity of gold realised. It led to mutual recriminations. Wilson drew his sheathed knife. To defend himself he (prisoner) took up his spade and struck him down with it. He cut his head clean open, and he fell down dead immediately. Prisoner threw his body into a deep well. It was about ten or twelve o’clock at night when he killed him. The body was quite warm when he threw it in. He returned to the tent and went to bed. They were both perfectly sober at the time of the quarrel. The next day he went to work alone, and when asked by other mines what had became of his mate George, he answered that he had gone to the ‘ Inglewood Rush.’ Prisoner ultimately came to England, but moved from the place where the murder was committed very soon. He did no good, and he left London, went to Melbourne, and then to New Zealand. He stayed at different places, and finally left for England. He reached Liverpool about July 30th, 1866, in the Great Britain. He had been in correspondence with his children, and went to them on his arrival in England. He lived at first with his married sister, Mrs Axtor, and then with his eldest son. He lived afterwards at other places. Not a soul knew of this murder but himself. He was perfectly calm and rational, and fully realised the situation in which he was now standing. He made this statement of his own free will.
The Judge stated even assuming his statement to be correct, there were numerous discrepancies as to time and locality, and his statement was quite contrary to the circumstances connected with the murder at Mia-Mia Creek near Loddon. In his opinion, the evidence was very conclusive. The prisoner said he wished to say nothing further, except that there might be as little delay as possible in sending him over to Australia. The judge said he was sure there would be no unnecessary delay, and fully committed the prisoner under the Extradition Act to take his trial in Australia. He was sent to 4 years in Pentridge Gaol in Melbourne.