On This Day ……. 14th June 1901

Three prisoners arrived under escort from Pentridge at the Geelong gaol on this day in 1901, where they complete their term of imprisonment under which they were sentenced. One of tho number included John Sissons, who was recently sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for a disgusting offence in Kardinia Park. He suffered considerably from fits at Pentridge, and the penal authorities decided to transfer him to the local gaol. A man named Joseph Laithwaite, who was convicted at Colac on a charge of unlawful assault was also lodged within the confines of the local gaol.

On This Day ……. 12th June 1902

William Beecham was charged with vagrancy and awarded a term of three months in the Geelong gaol.

On This Day ……. 11th June 1919

Albert Young, the youth who escaped from the local Geelong Gaol on the 4th of June, while on remand, was before the police court on several charges of larceny, all
alleged to have been committed during the last couple of weeks. He was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment on each charges. He was also sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for gaol breaking.

On this day …….. 10th of June 1920

At 6:30pm on the 10th of June 1920, a prisoner named Josphe Bouchier, who was under going a sentence of three months’ imprisonment for larceny, escaped from the Geelong Gaol. Bouchier was found in bed at a Melbourne boarding house the following night. He was taken back to Geelong gaol.

Date of birth: 1829
Native Place: England
Trade: Whitesmith
Hight: 5ft 7in
Complexion: Fresh
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown
Geelong Gaol: 1888, 1889, 1894

The death of Frederick Clarke, better known as “Josh ” Clarke, took place in the Geelong gaol on the on the 4th August 1904, which brought to the end one of the most remarkable careers in the history of Victoria’s criminals. Clarke was a natural criminal, and although the list of offences for which he was at various periods cast into prison, included robbery with violence, burglary, house-breaking, garrotting, larceny from the person, horse stealing, simple larceny, gaol-breaking, and having house breaking implements in his possession, he concocted many crimes which were carried out by others. According to the gaol records he was born in Yorkshire in 1829. He entered upon his remarkable career of crime in his early youth, and while he was yet in his teens he was arrested with two others in Yorkshire for violence, one of his companions being after wards hung. For that crime Clarke was sentenced to 10 years penal servitude, but this punishment did not take a deterrent effect upon his criminal impulses, because in 1847 he was again in serious trouble, and transported to Van Diemen’s Land. While in Tasmania he gave the authorities consider able trouble. He tried to break away once. He promoted a conspiracy amongst the convicts to seize a schooner, and he was four times flogged, receiving on each occasion 100 lashes. In 1852 he had obtained his liberty, and emigrated to Victoria, and Geelong taking his fancy, he started business in Corio street as a barber, but he didn’t stay long there. He joined with others in the rush to the Ballarat gold fields, and there he established a barber’s saloon, which was the resort of the worst characters then at Ballarat. Such associations did not have a tendency to make him any better, and in due course he was arrested and found guilty of horse stealing. That was on November 15th, 1854, when he received his first sentence in Victoria, 10 years on the roads. From that date Clarke has hardly ever been out of gaol, and, as a matter of fact, he has only enjoyed two and a half years of freedom during his sojourn of 52 years in Victoria. The sentences passed upon him at various periods of his life aggregated no less than 72years. In 1898 in company with Christopher O’Farrell, he broke gaol and remained at large for some time. In connection with this it will be remembered that the arrest of O’Farrell was accomplished by Constable Mulderry. O’Farrell was run to death in the vicinity of Lake Wendouree, and when at bay made a vicious attack on the constable with a knife, but Mulderry escaped without serious injury. Clarke was captured about the same time in the Learmonth district, and the strangest part of the whole affair was that up to their arrest the prisoners wore their gaol clothes. In 1895 Clarke made a second attempt to escape, but he was found by a warder surrounded by a heap of bricks and mortar which he had loosened from the walls of his cell with a piece of iron which he had wrenched from bucket. On his discharge from gaol in 1902 lie did not remain long at large, as he was arrested early in 1903 in Melbourne, il here he received a sentence of four years shop-breaking. He was serving this sentence at the time of his death.

EXECUTED ON THIS DAY……….. 9th of June 1879

The execution of Thomas Hogan, for the murder of his brother at Yarrawonga, took place at 9am, on this day in 1879. The prisoner, who had been spiritually attended since he was condemned, by Father O’Connor, was very calm, and walked on to the drop with a firm step. When asked by the sheriff if he had anything to say, he replied “No.” Gately then drew the bolt and the body fell a lifeless corpse. It was left hanging for two hours, and was then cut down, and the customary inquest was held upon the remains, when the usual evidence was adduced, and a verdict of “death by hanging” was returned. The body was buried in quicklime, in the same grave as that containing the remains of the murderers Smith and Brady, who were executed here five years ago. The arrangements were most complete. Gately left for Melbourne, accompanied by a warder.


On This Day ……. 9th June 1902

A prisoner from the Geelong gaol named Warren Miller, was undergoing a cumulative sentence of four years for several offences connected with burglaries and larceny, etc., was removed to Melbourne to take his trial before the Fitzroy Bench on a chaise of being concerned in crimes in which he is alleged to have been associated with, four others.

On This Day ……. 6th June 1904

At the Police Court a middle-aged man named William Beard was charged with assaulting John M’Master, a farmer, residing at Moolap. Evidence was given that on the night in question, Beard turned his wife and children, out of doors. They took shelter at a neighbour’s, and the following night Mr M’Master gave them accommodation. Early in the morning Beard tapped at Mr M’Master’s window, and when the latter put his head out to see who was there, he was struck violently in the face with either a stick or stone. Defendant had nothing to say to the magistrates, and he was sent to gaol for three months.

On this day …….. 4th of June 1891

Moyhu in North East Victoria, revived an unexpected visitor from old time Bushranger Harry Power on this day. Power had been released from Pentridge Gaol due to ill health and was ready for a career in show bussiness. An old convict ship had been refitted to show what life was like on one of the old prison hulk on Port Phillip Bay. Harry was the official greeter of guests and was billed as “a real bushranger”. Harry had returned to Moyhu, he said to search for a plant of gold he had made some years earlier. He disappeared from the district, and reappeared in Swan Hill, where he died latter that year. Harry is buried in the Swan Hill cemetery.

4th June 1946

State-wide search for four criminals who are missing from Beechworth gaol was renewed. One of the men disappeared late last year, two in April, and the fourth a week ago. The men sought are: George Albert Wilson, 36, 5ft 6in, auburn hair, brown eyes, fresh complexion, and stout build. He is a native of New Zealand, and an engineer by occupation. Russell Stanley Kirby, 36, 5ft 8in, dark hair, brown eyes, fresh complexion, medium build. He has a big scar on the back of his left hand. Albert Charles Han is. 27, 5ft 10in.l dark brown hair, brown eyes, fresh complexion, and slight build. He is William John Clarke, 42, 5ft 6in. dark hair, blue eyes, fresh complexion, and medium build. He is an Englishman. Wilson, who broke free on December 22, 1945, is believed to have left the country for New Zealand, but, the other three fugitives are considered likely, to be in Victoria still. Because of this there has been a renewal of police raids on houses where the men may be harboured. Police said that any report of the whereabouts or movements of any of the fugitives would be treated as confidential. Kirby and Harris, who escaped together on April 26, are expected to have separated. Clarke, the latest escapee, is believed to have now disappeared from the dense bush surrounding the gaol where he obviously hid immediately after getting clear of the prison.


On This Day ……. 4th June 1901

An aged prisoner, who was sent from Melbourne to complete his sentence in the Geelong gaol, died in the latter institution on this day in 1901, and an inquiry was held before Mr H. Bannister, J.P. Dr Croker, the medical officer at the gaol, certified that death was due to natural causes, and a finding in accordance with the medical testimony was returned.

On this day …….. 2nd of June 1915

Arthur William Hope, 26, who was in custody in the Geelong gaol for larceny, offensive behaviour, and vagrancy, was to have appeared in the Police, Court on the 2nd of June 1915, but he escaped while being escorted by Senior Constable Allen from the gaol to the court a distance of a 100 yards, when he asked permission to speak to Mr Hooper at his grocery store not 50 yards from the court. Hope said, Hooper would be prepared to pay his fine that might be imposed upon him. The policeman allowed Hope to enter the shop by a side door, but the prisoner simply walked through the premises into another street and bolted, followed by the officer. Constable Allen, order a man in his car to stop, he climbed in and they followed Hope, closely. Hope found a bicycle which was outside a shop and rode furiously
along the footpath to avoid the capture. Hope managed reached his mothers house in Villamanta street, Geelong West were he dashed through to the back over the fence and though three houses before his disappeared into a lane. On the 7th of June Hope, was recaptured and on the following day he was charged in court with larceny, being a rogue and vagabond, and with being without lawful means of support. The first charge was dismissed, but on the second and third charges Hope was sent to gaol for 12 months.