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On This Day ……. 19th April 1930

In the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1930, Erie Harris Brockwell aged 24, was charged with having murdered Horace Thomas Walpole on the 28th of April 1929. Walpole’s body was found in his motor car on the Queenscliff-road. There were injuries to the head, and a post mortem examination disclosed a bullet in the brain. Walpole had been shot from behind. Senior Detective Siekerdick said that when he interviewed Brockwell on the 29th April, Brockwell admitted that he fired two shots at Walpole. Witness added that Brockwell asked to be “saved from the rope”. He did not mind doing 15 years. Walpole had called him a gaol bird, and he (Brockwell) had fired at him. Brockwell later signed a statement in which he admitted having killed Walpole. Brockwell, in a statement from the dock, said that he was too drunk to remember the incident. He had intended to kill himself, because he was depressed and in ill-health. He engaged Walpole to drive him to Queenscliff, and there had been a quarrel, but he had not fired to hit. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Brockwell was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. “The jury took a very lenient view,” remarked the Chief Justice, in passing sentence. Brockwell was sent to Geelong Gaol and released in 1941.

 

On This Day ……. 12th April 1923

After remaining a mystery for more than, 30 years the solution of the method by which the convict Frederick Clark escaped, from Geelong gaol in 1889 has now been found. A larger brass key was discovered while prisoners were clearing the grounds of the Geelong Supreme Court. It suggests crude workmanship, Investigations proved it was a master-key for every lock in the gaol at the Clark made his sensational escape. Records show that Clark was crafty, clever and incorrigible. Prison officials are unanimous that the key is the solution of Clark’s escape. Clark came to Victoria in 1852 from Van Dieman’s Land, whither he was transported from England in 1847. He spent more time in gaol than out. When he died in Geelong gaol, he had sentences aggregating 85 years.

WHERE IS THIS KEY NOW

 

ON THIS DAY……31st October 1889

Fredrick “Josh” Clark and Christopher “Christie” Farrell were both ex convicts transported from England to Van Demons Land. Once both men had received their tickets of leave they sailed to Victoria, arriving at the beginning of the Victorian gold rush. Both men found there way back to the lives thy once lived in England, preying upon those returning from the gold fields. By 1889 both Clark and Farrell were in there early to late 60’s and were serving 14 year sentences in Pentridge Gaol in Melbourne. Farrell was charged with the attempted murder of a police man during his arrest at Fitzroy in 1887 and Clark for being a systematic malingering. Due to the prisoners age and behaviour both prisoners were transferring Geelong Gaol. About midnight on Monday a warder named Cain commenced his shift at the Geelong gaol. At two minutes to 2am he hard a knocking, from cell 13 occupied by a prisoner named Frederick “Josh”Clarke. Cain unlocked the trap in the door and Clarke asked for a drink of water. The warder brought the water, and was handing it through the hole when he was seised from behind by Farrell. Clarke then came from his cell and seized Cain who saw that the other man was a prisoner named Christopher “Christie”Farrell who was holding a large stone in his hand. He threatened to beat out the warder’s brains if he uttered a single word. Clark had cleverly made a skeleton key, by melting coin into the shape of the key. Clark worked as a blacksmith in the confinements of the gaol. Once the warder opened the trapdoor and walked of to get a glass of water for the prisoner. Clark then simply reached his arm though the opening in the door and let him escape. Once free he quickly unlocked Farrell’s cell before returning to his own and waiting for Cain to return. The men gagged Cain and tied his hands and feet, and took off his boots and carried him to the cook’s house, and tied him to the table, and left him there. He was found just before 6am by the chief warder, who raised the alarm. The two prisoners had meanwhile scaled the gaol wall. Immediately the alarm was given the police who scoured the country in all directions without finding any trace of the escaped prisoners. Farrell was found first on the 16th of October and Clark four days later, both men were heading north to NSW. Warder Cain was confined to his bed, owing to the injuries he received. Four His throat was greatly Swollen, and he is only able to speak with difficulty. An inquiry into the escape was held on 31st October, 1889 which saw the governor of the gaol reprimanded and the warders on duty demoted – this despite Farrell’s saying that the warder Cain had fought like a lion and should not be punished for is failure to prevent their escape. In 1923 a large brass key which proved to be a master key from the era of Clark and Farrell’s escape was found when grounds west of the Geelong Supreme Court were being cleared. Its rough-cut appearance suggested that it was an illegal copy and it was widely believed that this was the key used by Clark and Farrell in their escape. A version of events described in the gaol display has an elderly Clark claiming that he threw the key into the grounds on his way to court however, it seems highly unlikely that having been found in possession of such a key, Clark would have been allowed to keep it. A report in the paper a few days after his arrest indicated that he was found with a skeleton key on his person which had been cut from a penny. At the time the authorities were quick to point out that the make of the key was not such as could have been made in the gaol. Clark died in Geelong Gaol on 4th August, 1904, at the age of 104. Clark had arrived in Tasmania in 1847 at the age of 18, he would go on to send a total of 85 years and 7 months in gaol, over half is life behind bars. Farrell also died in the gaol at the age of 70 on 1st September, 1895. Farrell was also transported to Tasmania, arriving in 1848 and by 1851 he was in Victoria” and joined up with the “Suffolk Gang” as the convict poet. The gang would held up several mail coaches and miners alike. Farrell spent 48 years in prisoned in Australia and 46 of those years were in iron changes.

 

ON THIS DAY – April 28. 1930

GEELONG

MANSLAUGHTER – MAXIMUM SENTENCE IMPOSED.

Eric Harris Brockwell aged 24, at the Geelong Supreme Court was found guilty by a jury of the manslaughter of Horace Thomas Walpole, taxi-driver, on April 28. The Chief Justice, Sir William Irvine, said that the jury, by finding him guilty of manslaughter, had been very lenient. Therefore, he would impose the maximum sentence for manslaughter, 15 years.

THE FACT

With a bullet wound in his head. Walpole was found dead in his taxi on the Queenscliffe-road on April 28. In a statement which he read from the dock, Brockwell admitted that he had engaged Walpole to drive him, and that he had an argument with Walpole. He added that he pulled out a sawn-off rifle and tried to frighten Walpole.

THE “EXCUSE.”

“I had no intention of killing him.” said Brockwell “and I am not guiltv of murder. I was muddled with drink at the time.”

 

ON THIS DAY – April 27, 1929

On the 27th April 1929, Edward Arthur Jenkins was admitted to the Geelong Hospital in a pitiful state. He was suffering from shock and puncture wounds and was spitting up blood. Jenkins had four stab wounds to his chest, abdomen and elbow. Jenkins was admitted to the wards and received treatment which in spite of, he died at 7.45am on May 5, 1929. The marriage of Edward and Lillian Jenkins was never a happy one, and they had frequently separated and reunited over the years. On December 13th, 1928, they separated for the final time. Lillian lived at a number of places over the next few months which always resulted in Edward (known as Ted) making a disturbance and forcing Lillian to move once again. Lillian Jenkins moved into 70 Mercer Street in Geelong, the fruit shop belonging to Bartolo Natoli three weeks prior to the murder. The fruit shop was located downstairs of the two story building with a number of rooms upstairs. It was in one of these rooms that Lillian and her toddler child resided. On the 27th April, 1929, Ted visited the shop a number of times, attempting to see his wife and reportedly arguing with Natoli and calling him a “black dago bastard”. His brother Charles, reported that Lillian had appeared on the balcony at one stage and had thumbed her nose at her husband in “an offensive manner”. Charles also stated that his brother became “excitable” when under the influence of alcohol. Other witnesses state that Jenkins had been observed drinking at the fruit shop earlier in the day. Jenkins himself admitted that he was under the influence of liquour in his deposition taken before his death. At around 9.30pm, Jenkins returned to the shop in Mercer Street, in another attempt to talk to his wife Lillian. At the time, Lillian’s sister and brother were visiting her. Once they had entered her bedroom, Lillian and locked the door behind her. All witnesses stated that Jenkins had knocked but when refused entry became angry and started kicking at the door. Lillian’s sister and brother in fear had climbed through the window onto the balcony and were making their way to the street. Lillian had screamed out and Natoli came to her aid. Witnesses heard Jenkins say to Natoli “You come up here you dago bastard and I will throw you down the stairs”. Natoli rushed up the stairs to Lillian’s aid and was greeted by Jenkins who kicked him in “the privates” and punched him in the face. Natoli grabbed a knife and scuffled with Jenkins who was stabbed 4 times during the altercation. Jenkins was armed with a piece of wood with which he struck Natoli. Lillian managed to get past the struggling men and rang the police. Constables Robinson and Bennett arrived on the scene to find Natoli holding Jenkins in an upright position as if to stop him from falling down the stairs. When the Constables investigated they found Jenkins to be covered in blood. Constable Robinson asked Natoli if they had been fighting and whether he had stabbed Jenkins to which Natoli replied he had. Natoli then handed over the knife and was taken to the police station. Natoli was reported to be calm and answered all questions when asked. Constable Robinson reported that he knew Edward Jenkins and that he “was a desperate man when drinking but alright when sober”. Jenkins had an extensive criminal history with charges for unlawful assault and larceny and obscene language dating back 10 years. Bartolo Natoli went to trial in the Geelong Supreme Court on the 15th August 1929 charged with Manslaughter. He was to be tried twice as the first jury failed to reach an agreement. The second trial found that Natoli was not guilty and he was acquitted of all charges.

 

On This Day ……. 19th April 1930

In the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1930, Erie Harris Brockwell aged 24, was charged with having murdered Horace Thomas Walpole on the 28th of April 1929. Walpole’s body was found in his motor car on the Queenscliff-road. There were injuries to the head, and a post mortem examination disclosed a bullet in the brain. Walpole had been shot from behind. Senior Detective Siekerdick said that when he interviewed Brockwell on the 29th April, Brockwell admitted that he fired two shots at Walpole. Witness added that Brockwell asked to be “saved from the rope”. He did not mind doing 15 years. Walpole had called him a gaol bird, and he (Brockwell) had fired at him. Brockwell later signed a statement in which he admitted having killed Walpole. Brockwell, in a statement from the dock, said that he was too drunk to remember the incident. He had intended to kill himself, because he was depressed and in ill-health. He engaged Walpole to drive him to Queenscliff, and there had been a quarrel, but he had not fired to hit. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and Brockwell was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. “The jury took a very lenient view,” remarked the Chief Justice, in passing sentence. Brockwell was sent to Geelong Gaol and released in 1941.

 

On This Day ……. 12th April 1923

After remaining a mystery for more than, 30 years the solution of the method by which the convict Frederick Clark escaped, from Geelong gaol in 1889 has now been found. A larger brass key was discovered while prisoners were clearing the grounds of the Geelong Supreme Court. It suggests crude workmanship, Investigations proved it was a master-key for every lock in the gaol at the Clark made his sensational escape. Records show that Clark was crafty, clever and incorrigible. Prison officials are unanimous that the key is the solution of Clark’s escape. Clark came to Victoria in 1852 from Van Dieman’s Land, whither he was transported from England in 1847. He spent more time in gaol than out. When he died in Geelong gaol, he had sentences aggregating 85 years.

WHERE IS THIS KEY NOW

 

On This Day – 26th March 1890

At the sittings of the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1890, John Thompson and Edward Jones were charged with having broke into the shop of Isadora Wartzski, in Ryrie street, Geelong on the 24th. Both men stolon a quantity of jewellery valued at between £70 and £80. Thompson and Jones were remanded to the Geelong Gaol.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 29th Janurary 1907

At the central police court on this day in 1907, Richard Crofts, who was employed by Mr. Thomas M’Lennan, farmer and grazier, as a cook, was presented on two charges of forgery and uttering. Evidence was given that accused forged the signature of his employer to a cheque for £20, and cashed it at the local branch of the Bank of Australasia on 19th January, and that on 20th January be cashed another forged cheque for £40. Crofts, who had nothing to say, was committed for trial at the Geelong Supreme Court on 28th February, and was housed at the Geelong Gaol.

 

 

ON THIS DAY……31st October 1889

Fredrick “Josh” Clark and Christopher “Christie” Farrell were both ex convicts transported from England to Van Demons Land. Once both men had received their tickets of leave they sailed to Victoria, arriving at the beginning of the Victorian gold rush. Both men found there way back to the lives thy once lived in England, preying upon those returning from the gold fields. By 1889 both Clark and Farrell were in there early to late 60’s and were serving 14 year sentences in Pentridge Gaol in Melbourne. Farrell was charged with the attempted murder of a police man during his arrest at Fitzroy in 1887 and Clark for being a systematic malingering. Due to the prisoners age and behaviour both prisoners were transferring Geelong Gaol. About midnight on Monday a warder named Cain commenced his shift at the Geelong gaol. At two minutes to 2am he hard a knocking, from cell 13 occupied by a prisoner named Frederick “Josh”Clarke. Cain unlocked the trap in the door and Clarke asked for a drink of water. The warder brought the water, and was handing it through the hole when he was seised from behind by Farrell. Clarke then came from his cell and seized Cain who saw that the other man was a prisoner named Christopher “Christie”Farrell who was holding a large stone in his hand. He threatened to beat out the warder’s brains if he uttered a single word. Clark had cleverly made a skeleton key, by melting coin into the shape of the key. Clark worked as a blacksmith in the confinements of the gaol. Once the warder opened the trapdoor and walked of to get a glass of water for the prisoner. Clark then simply reached his arm though the opening in the door and let him escape. Once free he quickly unlocked Farrell’s cell before returning to his own and waiting for Cain to return. The men gagged Cain and tied his hands and feet, and took off his boots and carried him to the cook’s house, and tied him to the table, and left him there. He was found just before 6am by the chief warder, who raised the alarm. The two prisoners had meanwhile scaled the gaol wall. Immediately the alarm was given the police who scoured the country in all directions without finding any trace of the escaped prisoners. Farrell was found first on the 16th of October and Clark four days later, both men were heading north to NSW. Warder Cain was confined to his bed, owing to the injuries he received. Four His throat was greatly Swollen, and he is only able to speak with difficulty. An inquiry into the escape was held on 31st October, 1889 which saw the governor of the gaol reprimanded and the warders on duty demoted – this despite Farrell’s saying that the warder Cain had fought like a lion and should not be punished for is failure to prevent their escape. In 1923 a large brass key which proved to be a master key from the era of Clark and Farrell’s escape was found when grounds west of the Geelong Supreme Court were being cleared. Its rough-cut appearance suggested that it was an illegal copy and it was widely believed that this was the key used by Clark and Farrell in their escape. A version of events described in the gaol display has an elderly Clark claiming that he threw the key into the grounds on his way to court however, it seems highly unlikely that having been found in possession of such a key, Clark would have been allowed to keep it. A report in the paper a few days after his arrest indicated that he was found with a skeleton key on his person which had been cut from a penny. At the time the authorities were quick to point out that the make of the key was not such as could have been made in the gaol. Clark died in Geelong Gaol on 4th August, 1904, at the age of 104. Clark had arrived in Tasmania in 1847 at the age of 18, he would go on to send a total of 85 years and 7 months in gaol, over half is life behind bars. Farrell also died in the gaol at the age of 70 on 1st September, 1895. Farrell was also transported to Tasmania, arriving in 1848 and by 1851 he was in Victoria” and joined up with the “Suffolk Gang” as the convict poet. The gang would held up several mail coaches and miners alike. Farrell spent 48 years in prisoned in Australia and 46 of those years were in iron changes.

 

On This Day ……. 12th May 1911

Justice A’Beckett presided at sittings of the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1912. Norman Maloney pleaded guilty to having in January, 1910, broken into the residences of Mr F. Hodges and Harry Clarke, from which jewellery and plate were stolen. He pleaded guilty to each charge, and acknowledged two previous convictions, for which he is at present serving a sentence of two years in the Geelong Gaol. Maioney was sentenced to two years imprisonment, in addition to the term he was already under going.

 

ON THIS DAY – April 28. 1930

GEELONG

MANSLAUGHTER – MAXIMUM SENTENCE IMPOSED.

Eric Harris Brockwell aged 24, at the Geelong Supreme Court was found guilty by a jury of the manslaughter of Horace Thomas Walpole, taxi-driver, on April 28. The Chief Justice, Sir William Irvine, said that the jury, by finding him guilty of manslaughter, had been very lenient. Therefore, he would impose the maximum sentence for manslaughter, 15 years.

THE FACT

With a bullet wound in his head. Walpole was found dead in his taxi on the Queenscliffe-road on April 28. In a statement which he read from the dock, Brockwell admitted that he had engaged Walpole to drive him, and that he had an argument with Walpole. He added that he pulled out a sawn-off rifle and tried to frighten Walpole.

THE “EXCUSE.”

“I had no intention of killing him.” said Brockwell “and I am not guiltv of murder. I was muddled with drink at the time.”