On This Day – 11th February 1862

Convict Cain Brookes was charged at the Geelong Gaol on this day in 1862, with refusing to work. He was charged by Governor, was given 14 days in solitary confinement.



On This Day – 10th February 1947

The Geelong gaol reopened on this day in 1947, under the control of Mr. C. McGann, governor, and a staff of warders. The gaol had held military prisoners for the during the war.



On This Day – 10th February 1864

Convicts William Lawrence and William Turner were both charged with fighting at the Geelong Gaol. They were charged by the overseer of labour and given 24 days solitary confinement by the Governor.



On This Day – 9th February 1854

Convict Mary Donnell was charged with disobedience of orders at the Geelong Gaol on this day in 1854. Donnell was charged by the female turnkey, and given 24 hours solitary confinement by the Governor.



On This Day – 1st February 1860

On this day at the Geelong Gaol, James Blackburn was charged with breach of regulations by the Overseer of Labour,  and was given 48 hours in solitary confinement on bread and water by the Governor.

Cooper Dixon was charged with disobedience of orders by Turnkey Staines and was also given 48 hours in solitary confinement on bread and water by the Governor.

On this day …….. 31st of January 1798

Governor John Hunter was Governor of New South Wales from 1795 to 1800. Present on the First Fleet, and instrumental in the development of the colonies in both Sydney and Norfolk Island, Hunter succeeded Australia’s first Governor, Arthur Phillip on the 11th of September 1795. Hunter experienced great opposition to his authority, especially when Lieutenant Governor Francis Grose allowed the military to have too much control over the convicts. Regardless, Hunter sought to implement order in the colony, initiating new construction and works in Sydney and Parramatta. In 1797, Hunter commissioned the building of Australia’s first public clock tower, after the HMS ‘Reliance’ brought the clock to Sydney on the 26th of June 1797. The 150-foot tall tower was erected on Church Hill, one of the most elevated locations in Sydney, and completed in January 1798. On this day in 1798, the clock was positioned on the tower in front of a small gathering. The building served not only as a clock tower, but as an observation tower for members of the military who had an interest in scientific pursuits.



ON THIS DAY…… 27th December 1906

Mr. C. S: Paterson, the governor of the Geelong Gaol return from his annual leave on this day in 1906, and will retire from the service’s on the 31st of December. Mr. Robert Patterson, deputy, governor of Pentridge, took charge of the Geelong gaol, he was stationed in Geelong some years ago as senior warder.


In 1911, the staffing at the Geelong Gaol numbered 9 Warders, one Head Warder, one Chief Warder and a Governor. For this year 195 males and 4 females were received, 95 more than the previous year.


playbill.previewThe first theatre built in Australia opened on the 16th of January 1796, in Sydney and became incredibly popular. Those who did not have the price of admission stole it. The level of crime increased so dramatically that the governor was forced to take the drastic step of ordering the theatre to be demolished in 1798. Admission to the theatre was paid in cash or goods such as rum, sugar, flour or meat. The price of a seat in the fashionable gallery was one shilling or the equivalent in goods. One crime committed by a theatre lover to get the price of admission was particularly heartless. He killed a fine greyhound belonging to an officer, skinned it and succeeded in palming it’s joints off as kangaroo flesh at the price of ninepence a pound.

ON THIS DAY – December 14, 1935

12386662_222304718100664_1766816175_nSomeone cut through the lock on the outer door of the tower at Geelong Gaol with a hacksaw on the 14th of December 1935, to gained access to the prison yard and vegetable garden and subsequently escaping. The prison authorities were staggered on finding the door unlocked the following morning and a careful search failed to disclose anything missing or any contraband. A heavy lock, half an inch thick had been cut, and a grille gate leading from a street to the tower was forced open, giving access to a spiral stairway leading to the lookout tower over the exercise yard. The intruder used a rope to lower himself 30ft to the garden below. A black cloth bag and a bottle of vaseline were found near the tower in the Supreme Court yard, which adjoins the gaol. Some vaseline had been put on the lock to facilitate cutting. The police are perplexed at the motive for the escapade as it is the first instance in modern times of an adventurer gaining access to a gaol and making his escape. Footprints were found leading to the office window of the governor Mr. N. E. Touhill, but no attempt had been made to force the window. Recent thefts of cage birds in Geelong raised the theory that there had been an attempt to steal a valuable collection owned by the senior warder Mr. R. Thorley.

On this day …….. 11th of December 1792

Due to poor health Arthur Phillip, 12358384_221306054867197_1261122633_nfirst Governor of Australia return to England. He departed for his homeland on the 11th December 1792, sailing in the ship “Atlantic”. Phillip resigned his commission soon after arriving back in England, and died on 31 August 1814. Arthur Phillip was born in London on the 11th October 1738. He joined the Royal Navy when he was fifteen, and alternately earned a living as a navy officer and as a farmer. In October 1786, Phillip was appointed Governor-designate of the proposed British penal colony of New South Wales. He was a practical man who suggested that convicts with experience in farming, building and crafts be included in the First Fleet, but his proposal was rejected. The First Fleet left Portsmouth, England, on the 13th May 1787, and arrived in Botany Bay on the 18th of January 1788. Phillip immediately determined that there was insufficient fresh water, an absence of usable timber, poor quality soil and no safe harbour at Botany Bay. Thus the fleet was moved to Port Jackson, arriving on the 26th of January 1788.