Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rowland Edwards (6)

Following from my previous posts on the murder of Rowland Edwards, the next issue of the Sydney Gazzette carried a report on the release of the wrongfully accused pending a pardon from the King.

Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser
Saturday 30th July 1814, page 2
The space necessarily occupied by the report of the Criminal Trial in the Gazette of last week, precluded the admission of one of the most gratifying results that ever engaged the public feeling. The trial of John White occupied the whole of Wednesday, and the Court adjourned to three o’clock on Thursday afternoon ; when Michael Hoollaghan and Alexander Suitar, who had on 25th ult. received sentence of condemnation, were recalled to the bar, as a necessary preliminary to their liberation from confinement, as their total innocence of the dreadful crime of which they had been convicted had been thoroughly established. Having previously been made acquainted that they were to be liberated on bail, until their case should be represented to His Majesty’s Ministers, and receive the Royal Sanction, they were required by the Court to enter into recognizances, themselves in 50l. and two sureties in 25l. each, to render themselves up to the Law, at any time hereafter, if required. This form was immediately gone through ; and two fellow creatures were thus restored to Society, from a peril scarcely to be exampled. Among other strange coincidences that accompanied the trials, (see Gazette of Jun 29), Thomas Woolley states in evidence that Alexander Suitar came to this Colony in the ship with him, and that his name was Scott. In the last week’s report it will be found from the evidence of Sarah Burnett, that Dennis Donovan had been introduced to her house in Clarence street, but the name of Alexander Scott, and she had always known him by that name. –Mrs Barrow, in her evidence on the first trial, in swearing to Suitar’s person, described his wearing a piece of lead in the left ear, which upon examination was found pierced – so also was the left ear of John White, who was last week tried and executed ; Suitar’s hat was of straw, and tarred – so also was that left near the toll gate by White ; and the handkerchief, which was torn by the witness Mayne from the face of Donovan, though of uncommon and most remarkable pattern, yet happened unfortunately for Hoollaghan to be identically of the same pattern with his own ; while other circumstances, connected with the general chain, made up one of the strongest cases of guilt that could have been conceived ; and so must have continued to be held, had not Providence interposed in behalf of the innocent, and leveled its vengeance at the proper victims.

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