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A stabbing at Bendigo

James Brown only just escaped a lynching by fellow diggers after he savagely stabbed his neighbour in the face.

7 September 1853
Published Source
Australian National Dictionary Centre, The Gold Rushes and Australian English: a resource for researchers, teachers and students, Australian National University, 2005, http://www.anu.edu.au/andc/res/aus_words/gold/index.php. Details
This material is provided by the Australian National Dictionary Centre, a joint project of the Australian National University and Oxford University Press Australia.


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13th October, 1853 His Honor Mr. Acting Chief Justice Barry took his seat at nine o’clock this morning, when the following was the business of the day. CUTTING AND WOUNDING. Before the following jury:—S. Love (foreman), J. Hayward, O. Jones, G. Gawler, N. Jenkins, W. Jamieson, T. Irving, W. Hope, G. Johnston, J. Knowles, J. Hartley, J. Jenkins. James Brown pleaded not guilty to an information charging him with that he did maliciously with a certain knife, stab, wound, and cut one Arthur Mackininy at Bendigo, on the 7th September last, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm. A second count charged the prisoner with cutting and wounding with intent to disfigure. Mr. P. Thomson defended the prisoner. The prosecutor Mackininy (who presented a shockingly disfigured face) and the prisoner Brown were gold-diggers, working in adjoining holes at the Back Creek, Bendigo. On the 6th September, being a very wet day, Mackininy and his mates did not go to work, but were informed during the morning that the prisoner Brown had cut a drain and was discharging the water from his pit into Mackininy’s; upon which Mackininy proceeded to the spot, and, being vexed at the time, struck the prisoner some blows with a pick-handle about the ribs; and, having stopped the course of water, went away. On the following morning, Mackininy again proceeded to his work, and met the prisoner Brown, also at his work. A few words were exchanged, Mackininy threatening to fill prisoner’s pit with water. From some reply prisoner made, Mackininy made towards him with the intention of striking him, when his foot slipped, and he fell; upon which the prisoner rushed upon him, kept him down, and inflicted several stabs about his face, ribs, and hand. Mackininy calling out murder, some diggers came to his assistance, when Brown ran away, but was soon after captured, and narrowly escaped being sacrificed to the rage of the diggers. Verdict—Guilty on the first count. Sentence, eight years’ hard labor on the roads of the colony. Argus, 22 October 1853