Saturday, January 30, 2010

Edward Ewer (1827-1884)

Ron Harper e-mailed to let me know about some Sydney Morning Herald articles he found relating to Edward Ewer Jr. (1827-1884). Edward was the eldest child of Edward EWER (1796-1854) and Ann EDWARDS (1808-1854), born in Parramatta and moved with the family to Bathurst around 1840-1842. In 1851 he marred Catherine (Kate) AHERN (1834-1910) and they had nine children. Edward died in 1884. I know relatively little about Edward, so these articles help to understand a little of his life.

The first story appeared in 1846, when Edward was just 19. Edward's father was transported to Australia after stealing a watch - quite a coincidence.

Sydney Morning Herald - Tuesday 29 September 1846

Friday 25th September
Edward Ewer and John Corry were indicted for stealing a watch, &c. This case occupied the Court some time. The prisoner Ewer was defended by Mr. Bligh.  The Jury, after an absence of more than two hours, returned a verdict of guilty.  Ewer, on account of previous good character, was sentenced to six months' confinement only in Bathurst Gaol ; Corry to twelve months in irons on the public roads." 

Apparently the experience did not entirely dissuade Edward from future infractions, as two years later (aged 21) he again ran afoul of the law:

Sydney Morning Herald - Monday 18 December 1848 
Edward Ewer was indicted for burglary, a second count charged him with larceny. From the evidence of the prosceutrix it appeared that on the night of the 1st November she was awoke by a noise as of the breaking of glass ; she arose, and on looking out of the window she saw the prisoner outside, with a lighted candle in his band, and through the broken pane his arm was extended in an endeavour to remove the fastening of the sash; on searching the rear of the premises it had been found that a slab had been removed from near the fireplace and the lock from the back door forced off. The Jury, after an absence of half an hour, returned a verdict of guilty. Sentence - six months' imprisonment in Bathurst Gaol with hard labour.

Another two years, and Edward again appears in the papers - this time for an act of bravery:

The Sydney Morning Herald - Friday 16 August 1850
On Saturday last, a by-match between two horses, the property of Messrs. Ford and Hood came off. A boy named Young had been requested by his father to follow him to the course, in attempting to do so, the poor little fellow soon found himself out of his depth, and swept by the current, the river being high, and running at a rapid rate. A young man named Edward Ewer, who was standing on the banks of the river, seeing the boy's danger, at once plunged in, and caught  him by the hair of his head, just as he was sinking the second time, drew him to shore, and thus saved his life. Much credit is due to Mr. Ewer for his humane exertion on this occasion, and we are sorry to hear that he is suffering much from his cold dip.

Edward married the next year, and in 1859 was the informant on his father's death certificate, entered as a 'dealer', of Durham street Bathurst. In 1863 Edward appeared in insolvency court in Bathurst. There is a large gap till the next article, the year before he died:

The Sydney Morning Herald - 25 October 1883
The Circuit Court opened here today, before his Honor Sir George Innes.... John Brown, charged with maliciously wounding one Edward Ewer, was convicted, and sentenced to eight years' penal servitude. The evidence showed that Ewer had been brutally assaulted with an iron bar, and had his arm broken, and he was otherwise much injured.

Edward died the following year, 1884, aged 57. It is possible that his death was accelerated by the assault.

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