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ON THIS DAY…… 26th September 1853

Elizabeth and Michael Finnessy were married in Burra, South Australia, they had two children who had both died. The couple had moved to Victoria and lived in a small house in Chinatown. A week before Elizabeth was murdered, she had found at that her husband was married to another woman, who was still alive. With this news Elizabeth began to drink heavily and was locked up in the watch house to sober up. On being release she was taken back to her house to speak with her husband. Sitting in the lounge room Michael said “Won’t you speak to me Lizzy” and upon this the man who lived in the house with the couple left the room, thinking they would become reconciled.  Remaining just outside in the street, he heard a pistol shot. Returned to the room he saw Elizabeth stumbling across the room, she returned to the part near where she had been sitting, and falling under the table.

She was raised up and placed upon a sofa in the room, but was barely able to speak. In a soft voice she begged the man who placed her there, to fetch a priest, as she knew she was dying. So didn’t speak again and died within 10 mins.

Her husband, almost immediately after the dreadful deed, rushed into the next room, and proceeded to reload the pistol, but was stopped before he could kill himself. He was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder. Michael was executed on the 25th of October 1853, at the same time as another murderer. After hanging the usual time, one hour, the bodies were taken down and conveyed to their destination at the Melbourne Cemetery.

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 21st August 1918

Roma Smith or as she was know on the street Ginger Tommy. Smith was described as a prostitute “of the lowest type”. Like many women of the day, prostitution was the only way to make ends meet. Smith was murdered in her house in Cumberland Place in Carlton.  She had been stabbed so brutally that the tip of the knife had broken off in her neck.  The Government posted a 250 pound reward.  Roma was buried by her fellow streetwalkers in the Melbourne Cemetery.  Her murder is still unsolved.

 

 

EXECUTED THIS DAY – March 1, 1858

On the 1st of March 1858, at 8am the convicts Edward Brown and William Jones, who were found guilty at the Ballarat Sessions of the crime of robbery with violence, were executed at Melbourne Gaol. Edward Brown, who belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, was attended in his last moments by the Rev. Mr. Stack, and had, on the previous day, received the Sacrament of confirmation from the Right Rev. Dr. Goold. He was the elder man of the two prisoners, having been born in London in the year 1831. He arrived in this colony free by the ship Othello, in 1852, but had been sent bond to Van Diemen’s Land previously. He was a labouring man. The younger convict, William Jones, arrived in the colony free, in the Andromache, in the year 1849, and was but 23 years of age, having been born in 1835, at Towersley, in Buckinghamshire. He was a member of the Baptist persuasion, and was attended by the Rev. Mr. Taylor, Baptist minister, and at the scaffold by the Bev. Mr. Stoddart, chaplain of the gaol. The prisoner Brown had been twice convicted prior to the commission of the crime for which he suffered, namely, of vagrancy, in 1853, for which he received a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, and again of the same offence in 1857. Jones was once convicted of horse-stealing and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Very few persons besides the proper authorities were present at the execution. Neither of the unhappy men spoke a word, but seemed much downcast. They appeared to suffer when the drop fell for some moments. The bodies, after hanging the usual time, were cut down, and the formal inquest having been held upon them, were interred at the Melbourne cemetery at a late hour in the afternoon.

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 26th September 1853

Elizabeth and Michael Finnessy were married in Burra, South Australia, they had two children who had both died. The couple had moved to Victoria and lived in a small house in Chinatown. A week before Elizabeth was murdered, she had found at that her husband was married to another woman, who was still alive. With this news Elizabeth began to drink heavily and was locked up in the watch house to sober up. On being release she was taken back to her house to speak with her husband. Sitting in the lounge room Michael said “Won’t you speak to me Lizzy” and upon this the man who lived in the house with the couple left the room, thinking they would become reconciled.  Remaining just outside in the street, he heard a pistol shot. Returned to the room he saw Elizabeth stumbling across the room, she returned to the part near where she had been sitting, and falling under the table.

She was raised up and placed upon a sofa in the room, but was barely able to speak. In a soft voice she begged the man who placed her there, to fetch a priest, as she knew she was dying. So didn’t speak again and died within 10 mins.

Her husband, almost immediately after the dreadful deed, rushed into the next room, and proceeded to reload the pistol, but was stopped before he could kill himself. He was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder. Michael was executed on the 25th of October 1853, at the same time as another murderer. After hanging the usual time, one hour, the bodies were taken down and conveyed to their destination at the Melbourne Cemetery.

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 21st August 1918

Roma Smith or as she was know on the street Ginger Tommy. Smith was described as a prostitute “of the lowest type”. Like many women of the day, prostitution was the only way to make ends meet. Smith was murdered in her house in Cumberland Place in Carlton.  She had been stabbed so brutally that the tip of the knife had broken off in her neck.  The Government posted a 250 pound reward.  Roma was buried by her fellow streetwalkers in the Melbourne Cemetery.  Her murder is still unsolved.

 

 

EXECUTED THIS DAY – March 1, 1858

On the 1st of March 1858, at 8am the convicts Edward Brown and William Jones, who were found guilty at the Ballarat Sessions of the crime of robbery with violence, were executed at Melbourne Gaol. Edward Brown, who belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, was attended in his last moments by the Rev. Mr. Stack, and had, on the previous day, received the Sacrament of confirmation from the Right Rev. Dr. Goold. He was the elder man of the two prisoners, having been born in London in the year 1831. He arrived in this colony free by the ship Othello, in 1852, but had been sent bond to Van Diemen’s Land previously. He was a labouring man. The younger convict, William Jones, arrived in the colony free, in the Andromache, in the year 1849, and was but 23 years of age, having been born in 1835, at Towersley, in Buckinghamshire. He was a member of the Baptist persuasion, and was attended by the Rev. Mr. Taylor, Baptist minister, and at the scaffold by the Bev. Mr. Stoddart, chaplain of the gaol. The prisoner Brown had been twice convicted prior to the commission of the crime for which he suffered, namely, of vagrancy, in 1853, for which he received a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, and again of the same offence in 1857. Jones was once convicted of horse-stealing and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Very few persons besides the proper authorities were present at the execution. Neither of the unhappy men spoke a word, but seemed much downcast. They appeared to suffer when the drop fell for some moments. The bodies, after hanging the usual time, were cut down, and the formal inquest having been held upon them, were interred at the Melbourne cemetery at a late hour in the afternoon.