27 June, 2017

June 27

1857 An inquest was commenced on Saturday, before Dr. Girdlestone, the Maryborough District Coroner, on view of a human head, found in a miner's shaft near Avoca. After examining the following witnesses, from whose evidence it appears that a foul murder has been committed, the inquiry was adjourned till the 7th of July, for the purpose of allowing the police an opportunity of finding the remainder of the body.

John Thomas was sworn and said : I am a miner, residing at Paddy's Gully, about a mile and a half from the Avoca township. I saw this head on Monday last. It was in a drive, only one foot from the side of a shaft. The shaft was eleven feet deep. I went down the hole on Wednesday with a constable, and brought the head up. I went down two or three other holes, and removed some loose dirt to look for the body. My mates found a fly—it was more like a canvas cover for a dray than a fly— about three weeks ago, in the next one to the one I found the head in. There was blood on the fly when I found it—I saw it. I have lived in Paddy's Gully for five weeks. The head was in a hole 150 yards from my tent. There are a great many holes all round. There is a road leading from Avoca to Four- mile Flat, about twenty yards from the hole. If the head had been thrown down the shaft, it could have rolled into the place where I found it.

William Fawden, a mate of the last witness, deposed to finding the fly (which is of stout canvas, about eight or nine feet square, and very much like a dray-cover) as follows : I took the fly (produced) out of a hole about three weeks ago. I did not go down the hole for it. I drew it out with a hook and rope. It was all bloody when I drew it out. I washed it with thirty buckets of water. The blood seemed fresh. The fly was at the bottom of the hole, about eleven feet deep : it was not covered up. We put the fly over our tent, and it has been there ever since I found it.

Wm. Selwyn Morris, legally qualified medical practitioner, of Avoca, said : I have examined the head, There is a fracture of the skull in two places, in the forehead and the occiput, and another fracture connecting these two. There is also a fracture over the orbit, This person has, I should say, been dead three months, or longer. I consider the head to have been that of a female, about thirty years of age. All the teeth are in the head entire, except two, which are decayed. From appearances I should say that the head had been severed from the body by a sharp instrument, at the second cervical vertebra, A part of the bone is cut. I think the wound in the head is a bullet wound. There is a round hole in the skin over the frontal bone and another over the occiput. Besides this, other violence has been used to fracture the skull to this extent There was some reddish, brown hair by the side of the head, some of it attached. It appeared curly, but there was no long back hair, as women usually have. The ears are not pierced for earrings. The head is that of a European. The wounds inflicted on this person must have caused death instantaneously.

 1892 Yuinhup was found ill by the police at Eddington and taken into Dunolly Hospital, age around 70, he died there on 27th June 1892, Yuinhup, given the English name of Thomas Clark, Yuinhup became a novelty as often attended festivals and openings dress in an old top hat and carrying a banner made of plaster, being the intestines, taken from his family, after using flour given to them by the settlers at that time. Yuinhup was often called King Tommy, and evaded capture many times, it could be said that. that Yuinhup. the last of the Dja Djawrrung to live and die on his tribal land.

 1940 The telegraph lines foreman, Mr RC Lawson, was transferred to Beechworth, the office staff gave him a farewell

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