Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A burglary in Windsor - Trove Tuesday

In April 1828, William Ford and Samuel Tibbin carried out a burglary in the Windsor district. Stephen Hunter resided in the Cornwallis area and was awoken after midnight and noticed some men trying to enter his home. Shots were fired. Fortunately Jones, a neighbouring labourer, heard the ruckus and ran to Hunter's place to assist. With a pitch-fork he was able to take William Ford as a  prisoner.

Meanwhile, Windsor's Chief constable Benjamin Hodgin, was given some information which led to him going to a house, inhabited by a Mr Pitthouse, and  taking Samuel Tibbin into custody. 

James King, a prisoner employed in the No. 10 iron gang, provide the court with an account, when the case was tried before Justice Stephen, on the 24 May 1828. Published in the Australian, the report on the 28 May 1828, provides interesting reading.

"I absconded from that gang on Easter Sunday, the 6th of last April, in company with the two prisoners, and went into the bush.  On the day following we met with a man named Maloney, and all three went to Mr. Cox's paddock at Richmond, and concealing ourselves, slept there all day.  From thence we went to Windsor, and returning a little time before day-break, again concealed ourselves, and sleeping the whole of the day, went out at midnight and took a direction towards the farm of Stephen Hunter, the prosecutor. Maloney, the two prisoners at the bar, and myself, went in company. 

Maloney opened the window, and the two prisoners went into the house. We had two muskets between us. Maloney had one, and Ford another. Maloney was the first who entered the house by means of the window, and he opened the door to admit the two prisoners. I remained outside on sentry. A good deal of bustle took place in the house. Maloney came to the door, and I saw him discharge his musket into the house.  Our object in going there was to get all we could.  Immediately upon the discharge of the piece there was a cry of murder set up in the house, and we all ran off.  

Prisoner Ford was stopped and taken a short distance off.  The gun now produced was in the possession of Ford on the occasion spoken of. Maloney gave it to Ford.  The piece that was discharged contained small pieces of stone.  I was apprehended on the present charge."

Eventually the Jury found both of the prisoners guilty. William Ford and Samuel Tibbin were sentenced to death and executed on 11 June 1828.

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