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On this day …….. 12th of April 1865

The notorious bushranger Dan Morgan was the centre of attention in Wangaratta on this day in 1865. In response to many request, his body was put on public display in one of the police cells. Someone took a fancy to Morgan’s bushy beard, and it was flayed off. Someone suggested his head might be useful to Professor Halford at Melbourne University, so it was detached and wrapped in hessian for the trip to Melbourne. Morgan genitals were removed and made into a snuff box. The officials in Wangaratta who took liberties with Morgan’s body had some explaining to do, and were suspended from duty. Morgan is buried in Wangaratta cemetery.

 

ON THIS DAY ……. 30th March 1891

Workmen on the railway to Mansfield, under construction at the time, unearthed a skeleton. No one was quite sure who it was but locals thought it was probably King Alfred, an aboriginal tribal leader who had been elevated to regional status by the early landholders in the area. When Alfred died, he was buried near the spot at Merton where the excavations were being made.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – May 2, 1951

OAKLEIGH

The body of a 30-year old married woman was found by detectives to-night buried in a three-foot grave under a house in East Oakleigh. The dead woman was Mrs. Mary Godwin, who had been missing since May 2. She was the mother of four children, the eldest nine and the youngest four.

MAN ALLEGED TO HAVE BURIED WIFE

William Francis Godwin, 34, had shot his wife, burled her body under the passage of his home, and then lived with her sister, witness alleged at the Coroner’s Court today. Godwin, who pleaded not guilty, and reserved his defence, was committed for trial on a charge of having murdered Mary Godwin, 33, mother of five young children at their home in East Oakleigh, on May 2.

On This Day – May 1st, 1770

Forby Sutherland was a Scottish seaman who was with James Cook during his exploration of Australia’s eastern coast. Cook sailed into Botany Bay on 29 April 1770, where he went ashore, as he and his scientists, seamen and marines explored and mapped the region. During the brief time that Cook sojourned in Botany Bay, Sutherland, who was ill with tuberculosis, died. He was buried on a southern beach in Botany Bay on 1 May 1770.

EXECUTION THIS DAY – April 25, 1854

 

David Magee, convicted at the last Criminal Sessions at Castlemaine of murder, under the circumstances then detailed in the Argus, suffered the extreme penalty of the law yesterday morning, at the usual place of exceution, the common gaol at Melbourne. The prisoner, who was a man nearly seventy years of age, declared his innocence to the last. He was an old sailor, and had served under Lord Nelson, at Trafalgar. He was transported for smuggling in 1821. He betrayed but little fear of death; and his body was buried in the usual place in the New Cemetery. A considerable number of people assembled to witness the execution.

 

On this day …….. 15th of April 1912

Arthur McCrae, was born in Adelaide in 1880, and was educated at Sydney Grammar School and Sydney University, before coming a Mining engineer. He was a keen geologist and travelled the world, working in mines in West Africa and Siberia. He boarded the Titanic en-route to Canada to visit friends, as a Second-class passenger and died on the 15th of April 1912, when the ship went down. His body was recovered and buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

On this day …….. 12th of April 1865

The notorious bushranger Dan Morgan was the centre of attention in Wangaratta on this day in 1865. In response to many request, his body was put on public display in one of the police cells. Someone took a fancy to Morgan’s bushy beard, and it was flayed off. Someone suggested his head might be useful to Professor Halford at Melbourne University, so it was detached and wrapped in hessian for the trip to Melbourne. Morgan genitals were removed and made into a snuff box. The officials in Wangaratta who took liberties with Morgan’s body had some explaining to do, and were suspended from duty. Morgan is buried in Wangaratta cemetery.

 

ON THIS DAY …….. 1st April 1901

HEALESVILLE

Catherine and Hester Brown, mother and daughter, were charged with the murder of a newly-born male child on this day in 1901, at Healesville. Hester Brown, in a statement made to the police, and which was read in court, admitted having given birth to an illegitimate male child on the same day. She saw the child after birth on the bed, and then fainted. On returning to consciousness she heard the infant breathing hard. Then she fell asleep. She was afterwards informed by her mother that the baby was dead, and that she and her mother had smothered and buried it. She knew where the child was buried, and so did her daughter Emma. She further said she had wished the infant to live, and that it was not her fault that it was not alive now. The jury found that the accused were guilty of concealment of birth.

 

 

ON THIS DAY ……. 30th March 1891

Workmen on the railway to Mansfield, under construction at the time, unearthed a skeleton. No one was quite sure who it was but locals thought it was probably King Alfred, an aboriginal tribal leader who had been elevated to regional status by the early landholders in the area. When Alfred died, he was buried near the spot at Merton where the excavations were being made.

 

 

On this day ………… 9th March 1870

Granny Smith is a variety of apple with green skin and tart flesh, originating in Australia around 1865 from a chance seedling propagated by Maria Ann Smith, aka Granny Smith. Granny Smith was born Maria Ann Sherwood in Peasmarsh, Sussex, England, sometime in late 1799. The daughter of an agricultural labourer, she later married a farm labourer. They emigrated to New South Wales in 1838 after being recruited by government agents looking for people with agricultural skills. They settled in the district of Ryde, Sydney, which was an intensive fruit growing area. The Granny Smith apple came about when ‘Granny’ Smith discovered a seedling apple, which had developed from the remains of some French crab apples grown in Tasmania, growing by a creek on her farm. It was not commercially developed in her lifetime, but the apple continued to be cultivated by local orchardists. Maria Ann Smith died on the 9th of March 1870 and was buried in St. Anne’s cemetery, Ryde, where her headstone can still be seen. The year after her death, in the 1891 Castle Hill Agricultural and Horticultural Show, the ‘Granny Smith seedlings’, as they were known, were awarded the prize for the best cooking apples.

 

 

ON THIS DAY – January 3, 1914

The magisterial inquiry into the death of a newly-born child found buried at Elliminyt, near Colac, a fortnight ago was concluded on this day in 1915. Constable Nankervis gave evidence to the effect that he interviewed Emma Ruby Donohue, a young married woman, who at first denied giving birth to the child, but subsequently said she dug a hole in the back yard and buried it. She said the child made no sound, and she did not feel it move. The body was buried a foot below the surface of the yard. A post mortem examination did not reveal external marks of violence, but the doctor was of opinion the child was born alive and had breathed. Death was due to suffocation. Mr. Walter Selwood, the acting coroner, found the child had been wilfully murdered, and committed Emma Donohue for trial on a charge of murder at the February sittings of Geelong Supreme Court.

 

During the strong gusty wind on the morning of 25th June 1915, Nurse Hegarty, a visitor from Beechworth, aged 46 years, was blown off St. Kilda pier and drowned. She was seen to rise from a seat near the end of the pier, and appeared to be caught by a gust of wind, whereby she was blown into the sea. Between 9 and 10 a.m. three men were fishing off the side of the pier, when one of them saw the incident, and gave the alarm. Two of the anglers, after seeing the woman floating about 30 yards out, got into a boat to go to her rescue, but the sea was so rough that they could make no progress. Observing then that she was drifting towards the pier, the three, by means of boat hooks, at length drew her to a place where she could be raised to the decking. But she was there found to be apparently lifeless. They accordingly addressed them-selves vigorously to trying to restore animation until Dr. Reginald Morton and Constable Wiggins arrived. The former after examination, however, pronounced life extinct. No papers were found on the body, but in a small book in one of the pockets was the name “E. Hegarty.” A man who saw the remains said he thought he knew her, and on his information a sister in a convent at Richmond was communicated with, who afterwards identified deceased as Nurse Hegarty, stating that she held a position at Beechworth Hospital for the Insane, and that she had a brother also in Melbourne, but Constable Wiggins ascertained that neither knew that the nurse was in town. This is the second similar accident that has happened within the last two years. The sea end of St. Kilda pier is un railed and wholly unprotected. On a rough day it is dangerous for people to go near the edges. Many venturesome ladies resort there to “get a blow,” and if they are overtaken with sudden vertigo or are momentarily incautious they are apt to go overboard. The previous victim of this form of misadventure was the wife of a well-known clergyman. Nurse Hegarty had been on the staff of the local Hospital for Insane for about five years, and was on her annual holidays when she met with her death. She was generally esteemed among the staff of the institution.

In loving memory fellow worker Nurse Hegarty, the staff of the Hospital for Insane; Beechworth, have subscribed towards a magnificent porcelain wreath which was sent to the Bacchus Marsh cemetery, to be placed on her last rusting place. Miss
Hegarty was much esteemed amongst the staff for her integrity and straight. Her tragic death has greatly affect everyone. She was buried with her parents, who were amongst the first pioneers of Bacchus Marsh. Several members of her family still resided there. Her brother, Mr Walter Hegarty, was a well- known journalist in Sydney.

Nurse Hegarty is buried in the Bacchus Marsh Cemetery