Depositions, such as those contained in these documents, served as a record of the initial hearing held before a local magistrate in which the charges against a person arrested were presented. The evidence of a witness was heard in front of the accused who had an opportunity to respond. As a signed statement, depositions had legal weight and formed the basis of evidence for the full trial. These are the recognizances and depositions of witnesses against Henry Westerby taken on 27 October 1854, for his involvement in the destruction of the Eureka hotel. Westerby was tried on 20 November 1854 and was sentenced to six months imprisonment.
VPRS 5527/P Unit 1, Item 9
Created: 22 February 2006