Saturday, March 30, 2013

28 March 1814

Judge Ellis Bent was the Judge Advocate of NSW on the 28 March 1814 when he found James Gough and his companion Ann Traits (Cain), guilty of the theft of clothing from James Doherty who shared their house in Sydney. Although Doherty's evidence was confused, James Gough was sentenced to three years hard labour at Sydney Jail and Ann was sentenced to three years hard labour at Parramatta Jail.

Do you think they were both guilty? Was it just circumstantial evidence that convicted them?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St Patrick's Day

With a long history of Irish immigration to Australia, it is not surprising that St Patrick's Day is a day of celebration for many to share their Irish ancestry. With my 50% Irish ancestry (and 25% Scottish; 25 % English) I am certainly among those who claim Celtic origins. Of course everyone is Irish on St Pat's Day and invited to join the celebrations. 

For James Gough and his son John, the 17 March was not a day to celebrate. It was on St Patrick's Day in 1841 that a cow was stolen and within a month they were both detained at Berrima Jail for theft. Found guilty, John was sent to Tasmania for ten years and James was sent to Cockatoo Island prison.

But in the best traditions of Irish humour here is a joke to put a smile on your face:

Two Irishmen were working for the city public works department. One would dig a hole and the other would follow behind him and fill the hole in. They worked up one side of the street, then down the other, then moved on to the next street, working furiously all day without rest, one man digging a hole, the other filling it in again.

An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn't understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, "I'm impressed by the effort you two are putting in to your work, but I don't get it - why do you dig a hole, only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up again?"

The hole digger wiped his brow and sighed, "Well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we're normally a three-person team. But today the lad who plants the trees called in sick.''

Do you have Irish ancestors? How do you celebrate St Pat's Day? Add your comment.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The White Hart

The White Hart, Fyfield, Oxfordshire UK

The White Hart is one of the most popular names for pubs in England, including this pub in Fyfield, Oxfordshire. It was also the name of the inn that James Gough was managing on the Windsor Road in 1826, halfway between Parramatta and Windsor. It stood at the junction of old and new Windsor Road and the name is retained by the White Hart Bridge that crosses Caddie's Creek.

 UPDATE: White Hart Inn rediscovered