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2-294 (Raw)

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Newspapers & Broadsides
Ingleton, 1988
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It appears on the arrival of Tawell at Sydney, New South Wales, in 1817, he was assigned out to government, and made a clerk in the internal Revenue Office, Sydney; he continued some time in this situation, and from the circumstance of a very few emigrants being at that period in the colony, he had the opportunity, although a convict, of making a great deal of money. Subsequently he was employed in the surgery of Dr. Bowman, who was chief physician at the hospital in Sydney.
Here Tawell obtained a very great insight into chemistry, and also received much credit for his general good conduct and services on behalf of the Institution. He had also in this capacity many advantages, in a pecuniary point of view; so much so, that on obtaining his "ticket of leave" in 1823, he was enabled, from what he had amassed whilst in the colony, to open a store at Parramatta, which town is about seventeen miles from Sydney, and the second place of any importance in the colony.
From this time he accumulated wealth very rapidly, and it was not long before Tawell could command a horse and gig, in which he was accustomed to go journeys to and from Sydney to Parramatta, in one of which he had a narrow escape of being murdered by two notorious bushrangers, named, Walmsley and Webber, who at that period were the terror of all the roads in the colony. Upon this occasion he was dreadfully ill-used and robbed of a considerable sum of money by the desperadoes, who shortly afterwards forfeited their lives on the gallows in Sydney gaol for the numerous robberies and murders they had committed whilst in the "Bush".
About 1828, Tawell set up a chemist's shop in Sydney upon a very large scale, being the first of the kind in the colony. His profits in it were immense, as he was enabled to obtain large orders from the mother country; he also increased his wealth by taking a partner, a respectable man, who had arrived from Scotland with a very good capital. In less than six months, however, the partnership was dissolved, but it was well known that Tawell made considerably by the connection.
Whilst in Sydney his habits were more than ordinarily studious and regular, although it was stated that he gambled very much. It is a well known fact that he increased his wealth amazingly, by lending out sums of money to small capitalists at an immense per centage; he also greedily purchased the most saleable commodities on the new arrivals of shipping from all parts of the world. [234] His gains too, were considerably increased by speculation in the whaling trade; and at the time of his departure from the colony, he was part proprietor of two or three whaling ships. He also risked much of his capital in trafficking with New Zealand and other South Sea Islands. It is supposed, that at the time of his leaving the colony his wealth could not have been much less than £120,000.
Tawell's conduct it appears, during the many years he was in the colony was marked by strict decorum; and it is a well known fact that he was the means of benefiting the Society of Friends, of which he was originally a member, to a very considerable amount during his absence abroad. It was generally known in Sydney that Tawell had been a Quaker, which certainly tended to excite more respect and sympathy for him, which may be said in a great measure to have led to his subsequent wealth and respectability. It is a perfect truth, that for some time previous to his leaving the colony, he was in the habit of mixing in the highest society, not excepting the tables of the governor and executive council, and other authorities of the colony.

The trial took place on March 14th, 1845. The rush for seats, at the opening of the small court at Aylesbury was of the most riotous character.
The prisoner, John Tawell, aged 61, was attired in the garb of the Society of Friends, notwithstanding his expulsion from that body many years ago.
The prisoner challenged thirteen of the jurors, under the direction of his counsel.
Mary Ann ASHLEY; I live in Bath Place, Salthill. On the 1st of January, Sarah Hart was living next door to me. I saw the prisoner that day go into her house between four and five in the evening. I heard a stifled sort of scream between six and seven o'clock. I took the candle and opened the door. I saw the prisoner coming out of Mrs Hart's house. There is a little garden in front of each house, seven yards long. I went to Mrs Hart's gate before the prisoner got out. He appeared agitated, and could not open the gate. There was a small button which was hard to open. I said nothing to him about what I heard when I was opening the gate for him. I had made a remark before. Directly I went out I had said "I am afraid my neighbour is ill." I should think I spoke loud enough to be heard by the prisoner. He was in the pathway coming down, about six or seven yards away from me. No reply was made; not a word. When I got to Mrs Hart's gate I could hear her still, whilst I was opening the gate. It was the same stifled sort of scream still. When I opened the gate I merely said to the prisoner, "There is a little button, Sir; allow me to open it".
He made no reply. He was agitated. Mrs Hart's door was shut when I got to it I opened the door and went in I saw her lying with her head near the door. Her dress was disordered. Her petticoats were up nearly to her knees and her stockings down and torn, and her left shoe off. Her limbs were not moving. I took her hands and raised her, and said, "Oh! Mrs Hart what's the matter". She made no reply. Froth came from the corners of her mouth. Her eyes being fixed I thought she was dying. I saw on the table a bottle & a glass, with some porter, little more than half full. There was a glass at each side of the table. In one glass there was porter, there was only a little froth in the other. Mrs Burnett, whom I called in, used the empty one to get some water for Mrs Hart. She could not drink any. I sent one of Mrs Burnett's apprentices to Dr Champney's.
Mr THOMAS, formerly shopman to Mr Huges chemist 99 Bishopgate Street, London, (now dead) deposed that the prisoner on the 1st of January 1845 between 12 and 2 o'clock bought a bottle of prussic acid.
The learned counsel called several witnesses to character, and the court adjourned to Friday.
His Honour, BARON PARKE summed up the evidence on Friday morning; and the jury after an absence of half an hour, returned with a verdict of guilty. The judge then proceeded to pass the awful sentence of death upon the prisoner. The unhappy man received the sentence with an extraordinary degree of firmness; and beyond the nervousness which he manifested throughout he betrayed very little emotion, although numbers of persons in court were in tears and some of the females sobbed aloud.
It appears that Tawell drew up a confession some days since, and the statement will be so far satisfactory to the public that it takes away all doubt as to the guilt of the deceased. He stated he did not commit the murder from pecuniary motives, but from the dread that the relation in which he stood towards Sarah Hart should transpire and come to the ears of his wife.
The hour announced for execution was 8 o'clock, March 28th, 1845, but about a quarter of an hour before 8 a sudden motion in the crowd showed that the moment had come - the last fatal moment when the prisoner was to be launched into eternity, to meet his creator. It was an awful movement that movement of the crowd. The most intense silence prevailed - not a word escaped after the crowd had said, "He is coming".
The wretched man was greatly moved when he saw the crowd; he trembled exceedingly, and was scarcely able to stand as he stepped onto the platform under the drop. Carcraft the executioner and one of the turnkeys, led him out of gaol, and the governor stood immediately behind him. The cap having been immediately drawn over him he knelt down to pray, which he did with the utmost fervour, [...]. [235]