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On This Day ………7th July 1883

The notorious Captain Donegan, who was imprisoned for a variety of offences, and was sent to the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum, escaped cleverly, and has defied all attempts to find him. He had been confined in the asylum, for five years and got away twice before.

On This Day ……. 13th June 1901

An Indian, who had developed symptoms of insanity since his transfer to the Geelong gaol from Melbourne, was token to the Yarra Bend Asylum. With the Indian travelled an elderly lunatic patient who was committed to the Kew Asylum by the Geelong bench. The pair were under the care of Mounted constables Toomey and M’Phee.

ON THIS DAY – June 4, 1913

On the 4th of June, 1913, Arthur Dowell an inmate of the Yarra Bend Asylum inflicted with an axe handle such serious injuries on another patient John Joseph Tissear that he died on the 7th of June. At the time of he savage attack several inmates were milking in the cow yard when the Dowell suddenly jumped from his stool, grabbed an axe handle, and began fiercely attacking everybody within his reach. Most of those present were fortunate enough to get clear of the infuriated madman, but Tissear was struck heavily across the head. He fell to the ground, where he lay until picked up by attendants. Dowell then turned his attention to the carter, Michael Carlson who received the axe handle on one of his elbows. As there was nobody else to attack, Dowell then tried to escape, but was captured by George Maloney an attendants. The injured ones were taken to the asylum hospital, where it was found that Tissear had sustained a fracture of the skull and after having lingered for three days he died. Carlson’s injury was also found to be of a somewhat serious nature, Dr Stell, medical superintendent considers it necessary to put the arm under the X rays. During the seven years that he has been an inmate of the asylum the Dowell who used the axe handle conducted himself well, and the authorities had gained the impression that he was not dangerous. Dowell was 32 years of age and the deceased was years older. The coroner found that Tissear died from injuries wilfully, feloniously and maliciously inflicted by Arthur Dowell, of which he was found guilty of wilful murder. Dr Stell, medical superintendent of the Yarra Bend Asylum, made application to have Dowell removed to the criminal ward at Ararat.

On this day …….. 20th September 1859

An Escaped Lunatic, John Hoolahan, alias Harrington, was brought up by Police Contable Brennan as a dangerous lunatic escaped from the Yarra Bend Asylum. The prisoner had been apprehended at Kilmore. He was remanded back to the Asylum

 

On this day …….. 18th September 1868

Jacob Jobbles was transferred from Yarra Bend Asylum to the Beechworth Asylum on the 23rd of November 1867. Jobbles escape on the 18th of September 1868, he was on the run for 7 days.

 

On This Day ………7th July 1883

The notorious Captain Donegan, who was imprisoned for a variety of offences, and was sent to the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum, escaped cleverly, and has defied all attempts to find him. He had been confined in the asylum, for five years and got away twice before.

On This Day ……. 13th June 1901

An Indian, who had developed symptoms of insanity since his transfer to the Geelong gaol from Melbourne, was token to the Yarra Bend Asylum. With the Indian travelled an elderly lunatic patient who was committed to the Kew Asylum by the Geelong bench. The pair were under the care of Mounted constables Toomey and M’Phee.

ON THIS DAY – June 4, 1913

On the 4th of June, 1913, Arthur Dowell an inmate of the Yarra Bend Asylum inflicted with an axe handle such serious injuries on another patient John Joseph Tissear that he died on the 7th of June. At the time of he savage attack several inmates were milking in the cow yard when the Dowell suddenly jumped from his stool, grabbed an axe handle, and began fiercely attacking everybody within his reach. Most of those present were fortunate enough to get clear of the infuriated madman, but Tissear was struck heavily across the head. He fell to the ground, where he lay until picked up by attendants. Dowell then turned his attention to the carter, Michael Carlson who received the axe handle on one of his elbows. As there was nobody else to attack, Dowell then tried to escape, but was captured by George Maloney an attendants. The injured ones were taken to the asylum hospital, where it was found that Tissear had sustained a fracture of the skull and after having lingered for three days he died. Carlson’s injury was also found to be of a somewhat serious nature, Dr Stell, medical superintendent considers it necessary to put the arm under the X rays. During the seven years that he has been an inmate of the asylum the Dowell who used the axe handle conducted himself well, and the authorities had gained the impression that he was not dangerous. Dowell was 32 years of age and the deceased was years older. The coroner found that Tissear died from injuries wilfully, feloniously and maliciously inflicted by Arthur Dowell, of which he was found guilty of wilful murder. Dr Stell, medical superintendent of the Yarra Bend Asylum, made application to have Dowell removed to the criminal ward at Ararat.

ON THIS DAY – FEBRUARY 17, 1858

PORT FAIRY

On the 17th of February 1858, Sergeant Dodds came to the assistance of a Constable at the Star of the West Hotel in Belfast. (Belfast was the original name of Port Fairy). The Constable had arrested John Rutledge for being drunk and disorderly, but a struggle had occurred and Rutledge struck the Constable. Rutledge was overpowered by the two police members, who then began to lead him back to the local lock-up. On the way, he took a large knife from his pocket and stabbed Dodds in the abdomen. He was subsequently charged with wounding Dodds and, on 12 May 1858 was found not guilty by means of insanity. He was committed to the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum. Dodds’ injury resulted in a steady decline in his health and on 18 August 1859 he passed away. Ironically, almost 12 months before his death, Dodds’ attacker had been released form the asylum having been pronounced “no longer insane”.

 

ON THIS DAY – December 29, 1888

Joseph Howard, the lunatic charged with murdering Archibald Hunter, a warder at the Yarra Bend Asylum, on the 29th December, was placed in the dock at the Melbourne Criminal Court, before the Chief Justice. The jury found him to be insane, and His Honour ordered him to be remanded. Howard begged that he might not be sent back to the Yarra Bend, for the attendants had threatened to kill him within a month. He would go to Pentridge for life, or to any other asylum, but he would rather die than go back there, for they made him mad at Yarra Bend by starving him and putting him with the maddest lunatics. He had been starved and cruelly treated in the institution, and preferred to be in gaol amongst rational beings. The fact of his having been thrust among madmen had caused him to lose his mental balance at times, and if he were sent back it would be a living death to him. He would sooner suffer for his crime than return to the asylum. His Honour said his order had the effect of directing the prisoner to he kept in custody pending Her Majesty’s pleasure, and he could make no other. He had no doubt, however, that the officials would take note of what Howard had said.

 

On this day …….. 20th September 1859

An Escaped Lunatic, John Hoolahan, alias Harrington, was brought up by Police Contable Brennan as a dangerous lunatic escaped from the Yarra Bend Asylum. The prisoner had been apprehended at Kilmore. He was remanded back to the Asylum

 

On this day …….. 18th September 1868

Jacob Jobbles was transferred from Yarra Bend Asylum to the Beechworth Asylum on the 23rd of November 1867. Jobbles escape on the 18th of September 1868, he was on the run for 7 days.