Benjamin Ratty: Convict Constable

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Supported by a Create NSW Arts and Cultural Grant – Old Parramattans


To Catch a Thief

A lone traveller, slightly in liquor, carried a bundle on foot along the Great Western Road—a sitting duck for bushrangers, who lurked in the area to rob the coaches that regularly used the highway.[1] Sure enough, the incautious traveller did not get far from the Western-road toll-bar house on the dark evening of 23 September 1826 before he was accosted by five or six ‘knights of the road’ who demanded that he surrender his property.[2] “Gentlemen, take all I have, but don’t ill-use me!” the traveller cried as he threw the bundle towards them. Immediately the sound of a pistol cracked through the night air.[3] To the bushrangers’ surprise the shot came from the traveller, who was clearly not the defenceless, stumbling inebriate they had taken him for but Benjamin Ratty: a fearless undercover constable whom Governor Brisbane had awarded a few years earlier ‘for meritorious service in the Apprehension of Bush-rangers.’[4]

Mays Hill Gatehouse, Parramatta Park, Governor's Domain, Nineteenth-century Gatehouse, Gate, Great Western Road, Great Western Highway, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans, Benjamin Ratty, Bushrangers, Convicts,
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. The c.1879 Mays Hill Gatehouse was built well after Ratty’s lifetime. Even in Ratty’s day, though, this was the site of the southern gate to the Governor’s Domain (Parramatta Park) where the bushrangers involved in the fray that night were first heard and suspected to be up to no good. Photo: Michaela Ann Cameron (2015).

Constable Ratty’s bullet had hit its mark with lightning speed. The bushranger who stooped to pick up the bundle fell dead before he even had a chance to touch his prize, which as it turns out was nothing more than a handkerchief and a pillow given to Ratty for the purposes of the sting.[5] Seconds later, another two pistols fired and the ambushers became the ambushed as Ratty’s reinforcements, Chief Constable John Thorn, Constable Wells, and Mr. James Piesley, jun., emerged from where they were lying in wait and hurried forth. Seeing Ratty, one of his best men, surrounded and a bushranger preparing to strike him with an unidentified object, Chief Constable Thorn instructed Constable Wells to fire.[6] But ‘the night was dark, and it was difficult to discern friend from foe—a Constable from a Bushranger,’ and it was brave Ratty who fell, crying out in agony.[7] He was shot through the back, the victim of friendly fire.[8]

It would take an excruciating two weeks for Ratty to succumb to his mortal wound.[9] In the time he lingered, though, Ratty gave an account under oath of his last great ruse de guerre, which left one bushranger dead on the road and two others under arrest.[10] He also ‘exculpated’ his unfortunate shooter Constable Wells ‘from any evil intent.’[11] The Jurymen at his inquest later agreed it was not the constable who fired the pistol who was at fault, for Ratty had died in the line of duty, protecting the public from the attacks of bushrangers.[12] Ultimately, three of the bushrangers—convicts Thomas Cook, James Curry and William Ward who had escaped from the Emu Plains iron gang—were tried as ‘principals in the second degree in the shooting of Constable Ratty’ but were found ‘not guilty’ on a technicality.[13]

Milestone, Sydney, Parramatta, Great Western Road, Great Western Highway, Bushrangers, Mays Hills Gatehouse, Parramatta Park, Pitt Row Tollhouse, tollgate, St John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans, Benjamin Ratty, Convict Constable
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Milestone on the Great Western Highway. Its current position marks the approximate location of the Macquarie-era Pitt Row toll-bar house where Mr. James Piesley, jun. was when he heard voices in the Governor’s Domain opposite, and suspected the voices belonged to bushrangers. The constables’ plan to capture the bushrangers was promptly hatched with Constable Ratty taking on the role of “principal actor”—and, thus, sealing his fate. Some say this milestone is not the milestone built between 1814 and 1818, but an 1846 replacement. Photo: Michaela Ann Cameron (2015).

It is a testament to the respect for Ratty’s memory that the three captured bushrangers were again brought before the Courts early the following year, ‘indicted under the black act…for maliciously shooting’ at Constable Ratty.[14] They were found ‘not guilty’ a second time, but a relentless pursuit of justice for the dearly departed constable ensured Curry and Ward were soon executed for other unrelated offences. Ward’s final words on the gallows’ ‘fatal platform’ were devoted to confessing his guilt for all former offences, and noting he deserved to die whilst confirming he had no ‘direct participation in the death of Ratty, though present during the affray, as none of the party to which he belonged had discharged their pieces.’[15] Only Cook was discharged and reassigned. And when the townsfolk of Parramatta learnt that Ratty’s salary had been entirely drained to pay his creditors, ‘leaving nothing to bury him,’ rather than see their hero in an unmarked pauper’s grave, they immediately established a subscription ‘to defray the expences of the funeral [sic]’ and a committee to manage the funds.[16] They raised £26, 11 s, 11 d in total, which paid for refreshments, ‘A coffin, &c,’ ‘Head and foot stone, with inscription and painting, Pallisading, Painting,’ as well as a ‘Suit of mourning’ for Benjamin’s widow, Ann, who was then a convict under sentence.[17] The Governor, thoroughly impressed by the Parramattans’ commemoration of the late constable’s services and conduct, was compelled to publicly assure ‘the Constables and Others employed in the Service of the Public…that their Families would not be neglected in the Event of any Accident occurring to them in the Execution of their Duty’ and pledged that the Government ‘in such Case’ would ‘pay every Attention to their Wants, and to consider them as Objects of its immediate Care.’[18] The Governor was true to his word, for a week after Benjamin’s passing the Sydney Gazette could report that Ann Ratty had been issued her ticket of leave.[19]

All this seems perfectly in order for a gallant constable killed in the line of duty. What is interesting about Benjamin Ratty being held in such high esteem by the community and the colonial authorities in particular, however, is that his daring and his prowess in catching thieves had quite a bit to do with the fact that he had been a thief himself.

The Ratty Boys

Over two decades earlier, in 1805, when Benjamin was around thirteen years of age, he and sixteen-year-old James Ratty were tried at the Surrey Lent Assizes at Kingston-upon-Thames for ‘St[ealin]g a Watch and a Gun in a store.’[20] The outcome of their trial is unknown; nevertheless, the punishment must have been light, because by the following year the Ratty boys, who were likely brothers, were soon in trouble with the law again.

Convicts, prison hulk, hulk, Deptford, London, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. William Henry Harriott, “Convicts being rowed out to a prison hulk,” (c.1834), after George Cooke and Samuel Prout, “Convict hulk off Deptford,” in George Cooke, Views In London And Its Vicinity, Complete In Forty-Eight Plates, Engraved On Copper, By George Cooke, From Drawings By Callcott, R.A. Stanfield, A.R.A. Prout. Roberts. Stark. Harding. Cotman. Havell. &c. &c. After The Original Sketches Made On The Spot By Edward W. Cooke, (London: Published By Longman And Co., Paternoster-Row; J. & A. Arch, Cornhill; Hodgson, Boys, And Graves, Pall Mall; And Mrs. G. Cooke, Barnes, Surrey, 1834). © National Maritime Museum Collections.

The elder Ratty, James, was the first to go down. At the Surrey Lent Assizes on 26 March 1806, he was tried and sentenced to death for housebreaking.[21] Soon after, James received His Majesty’s pardon ‘on condition of being transported to Botany Bay for life’ and by 19 April he and a number of other ‘young lads’ were sent ‘in apparent high spirits’ reportedly to the Prudentia hulk, though he was actually received on the Retribution, which was also moored at Woolwich.[22] While imprisoned on the hulk, James worked by day on the Thames along with countless other convicts until the time came for his transportation ‘beyond the seas.’[23]

Rather than being deterred by James’s imprisonment on the disease-ridden hulk or his sentence of transportation, Benjamin seemed more determined than ever to follow in his footsteps. By 13 October 1806 Benjamin, too, was tried alongside another youngster named John Hamley alias Hampton, charged with stealing on 8 September ‘a tin watering pot, one pair of copper scales, a scale beam, two smaller scales,…an old pocket-book filled with papers’ and other articles from the seed shop of Mr. George Chambers at Newington.[24] The Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser’s account of the trial revealed that when Benjamin was selling some of his ‘hot’ merchandise to a tinman, he claimed ‘he was sent by his mother to know how much [the tinman] gave per pound’ for the copper scale.[25] Perhaps this motherly reference was merely a tactic to appear to be a trustworthy youth dutifully performing an errand for his beloved parent; or maybe it is a hint that the Ratty boys’ criminal activities had always been motivated by the need to support a larger, unseen, poverty-stricken family. Such circumstances would have been a given if the Ratty boys’ father, for instance, was absent or otherwise incapacitated. The loss of the main provider in a family in this era, because he was himself an incarcerated or transported criminal, an invalid, a wife deserter, or simply dead, could have catastrophic effects on a mother who found herself alone with a number of dependants.[26] There may well have been a Mrs. Ratty with a number of hungry babes to feed with little choice but to send her eldest (albeit young and unskilled) boys out to thieve to support them all. The records for the parish of Merton, Surrey, do little to shed light on the situation, as no baptism records can be found for either Benjamin or James, although their conspicuous absence from the baptism register either in that parish or in the surrounding areas might on its own suggest they came from a family that was already in distress or on the fringes of society.

Another detail in the news report of Benjamin’s 1806 trial confirms others had seen abject poverty as a significant motivation for his criminal activities, for they had previously attempted to address the root cause by sending him to the Marine Society.[27] The Marine Society, a ‘benevolent institution,’ was originally established in 1756 and reopened in 1769, ‘for fitting out’ poor or destitute boys willing to go to sea ‘for sea-service’ by providing them with clothing and places on board ships, either in the Royal Navy or Merchant Navy.[28] For the ‘numerous distressed objects who incessantly appl[ied] for admission,’ the Society was essentially a ‘floating workhouse,’ insofar as it absorbed youths who could not be supported by their community and thus ‘reclaim[ed]’ them ‘from the paths of idleness, and too probably of infamy and perdition.’[29] Based on the Marine Society’s minimum age requirement of thirteen years, the fact that boys ‘charged with petty offences’ were listed among those the Society considered in their Bye-Laws and Regulations, and the timing of Benjamin’s first trial, it seems his admission was related to his earlier court appearance in 1805.[30] That is, the court probably pardoned him in the crime he committed with James on the condition he willingly enlisted in the Society, thereby setting himself on a path to becoming a ‘useful and creditable member…of the community.’[31]

Whatever precipitated Benjamin’s reception into the Marine Society, the process was the same. Young Benjamin was taken to the Society’s ‘plain brick building’ that once stood at 54 Bishopsgate Street.[32] Within, he was stripped of his rags and subjected to a ‘thorough…cleans[ing] in a warm bath from [his] filth.’[33] Then the Society’s ‘surgeon or apothecary in attendance’ proceeded with an equally thorough examination of the boy.[34] A full set of new clothes were bestowed upon him, the likes of which Benjamin would never have known before, and he was immediately transferred to a decommissioned ship moored at Deptford for the purpose of receiving the Society boys.[35] There Benjamin would have been ‘initiated’ into his new profession, ‘reduced to habits of subordination and obedience, and inured to gentle discipline.’[36] He also would have begun to learn many useful skills related to ‘nautical duties,’ as the Society boys were ‘taught to row in boats, to go aloft, to loose and take in sail, to knot and splice; also the use of the compass and tourniquet,’ and ‘the exercise of the great guns and small arms’—just the thing for a lad who had lately been tried for stealing a gun.[37] Instruction in reading and writing was also compulsory, and there was ‘strict attention’ to the boys’ ‘morals and religion,’ so they regularly attended divine service at Deptford Church on Sundays or on board, both morning and evening’ if their great numbers could not be accommodated at the church.[38]

Marine Society, Marine Society Office, Bishopsgate Street, London, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans, Benjamin Ratty, Convict Constable
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. The Marine Society’s Office, a “plain brick building,” stood at 54 Bishopsgate Street, London. “Elevation & Plan of the Marine Society’s House & Local Establishment, in Bishopsgate Street, London, entered upon in October 1774,” 1880,1113.3920, AN750764001, (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), © Trustees of the British Museum.

The Marine Society’s program had worked (and would continue to work) for thousands of youths, but obviously not for Benjamin.[39] According to his gaoler Mr. Ives in 1806, Benjamin ‘had run away’ from the Society before committing the latest crime for which he was being tried.[40] It is possible Benjamin was simply wilful and preferred a life of crime on land as opposed to the discipline of life upon the sea and, thus, absconded once the Marine Society had enabled him to avoid a sentence of transportation. However, it may be another indication that the pressure to satisfy the immediate needs of dependant relations led him to give up on what would have been a long-term solution for himself. In the short term, the criminal life was the better option for those who may have depended on him, so long as he did not get caught—but, of course, he had been.

When the judgement for his latest crime was relayed at the next sessions of the Court on 13 January 1807, Benjamin’s accomplice John Hamley was discharged while Benjamin was given a sentence of seven years transportation.[41] And at the close of 1807, on 27 December, a five-year-old girl named Ann Ratty and seven-year-old boy named George Ratty were buried together at St. Mary’s in Benjamin’s parish of Merton. Perhaps these two little ones were the very people the Ratty boys had been thieving for all along.[42]

Ships to Nowhere

Benjamin was now to be ‘initiated’ into a malevolent kind of marine society. Like many convicts under sentence of transportation, including James Ratty, Benjamin was sent to the hulks moored at Woolwich: decommissioned vessels that served as makeshift, floating prisons. Unlike many convicts who spent anything from a few months to a year or two on a hulk before enduring a single long sea voyage to the colony, however, Benjamin served considerably more time in those conditions—six and a half years in all—floating on a ship to nowhere, moving only as far as the next hulk on the Thames.[43]

If Benjamin was at least hoping to be reunited with James when he reached the Thames to board the Prudentia hulk on 4 February 1807 he was disappointed. James had already left the hulks in December and by 19 February was in Portsmouth, Hampshire, setting sail for the Colony of New South Wales per Duke of Portland (1) (1807).[44] What awaited Benjamin on board the Prudentia instead was a stranger who ‘immediately stripped, and washed’ him ‘in [a] large tub…of water’ and issued him with a coarse suit of ‘ship-dress’ known as ‘slops,’ put him in irons, and sent him below deck—a grotesque parody of his reception into the benevolent Marine Society a year or so earlier.[45] His experience ‘on descending the hatchway’ was undoubtedly ‘nothing short of a descent to the infernal regions,’[46] just as it was for the twice-transported convict James Hardy Vaux, who did time on another hulk Benjamin would soon know well—the Retribution hulk, moored nearby:

There were confined in this floating dungeon nearly six hundred men, most of them double-ironed; and the reader may conceive the horrible effects arising from the continual rattling of chains, the filth and vermin naturally produced by such a crowd of miserable inhabitants, the oaths and execrations constantly heard among them; and above all, from the shocking necessity of associating and communicating more or less with so depraved a set of beings…I soon met with many…who were…eager to offer me their friendship and services,—that is, with a view to rob me of what little I had; for in this place there is no other motive or subject for ingenuity. All former friendships or connexions are dissolved, and a man here will rob his best benefactor, or even mess-mate, of an article worth one halfpenny.[47]

Unfortunately, extreme temperatures, the damp, disease, filth and vermin as well as low quality rations that typically accompanied life on a ship—not to mention the ever-present threat of being robbed in the thick of so many thieves—were not the worst things awaiting Benjamin on board.

The hulks presented other dangers, especially for juvenile offenders like Benjamin, who was by then about fourteen old. While ‘unnatural crimes,’ as they were then called, were ‘openly committed,’ (that is, consensual relationships between convict men, whether situational or otherwise), the rape of new arrivals was reportedly an outright tradition on board these homosocial ‘floating dungeons,’ too.[48] According to the prison reformer Jeremy Bentham: ‘At Woolwich, an initiation of this sort stands in the place of garnish [extortion] and is exacted with equal rigour…such things ever must be.’[49] If this was not mere hyperbole on the part of the prison reformer—and similar accounts by others closely associated with the hulk system suggests it was not—Benjamin could hardly have avoided being raped when he set foot on board the Prudentia, or each time he was subsequently transferred to a new hulk on the Thames or, indeed, in the days, months, and years that followed on board those vessels. Automatically on the lower rung of the hulk social hierarchy due to his tender age and immature body, the adolescent Benjamin would have been no match for the full grown male convicts. At worst he may have become what was known as a ‘punk’—a young convict who was raped by ‘old lags’ wishing to violently assert their dominance. At best, he may have been ‘taken under the protective wing of a controlling guardian’ and ‘christened’ with a girl’s name, like Kitty, Nancy, Bett, or Polly.[50]

Prison Hulk, Convicts, working, labourers, prisoners, The Warren, The Thames, Woolwich, Kent, England, Hulks, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramatta, Benjamin Ratty, James Ratty
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. “A view near Woolwich in Kent, shewing the Employment of the convicts from the Hulks [sic],” (No. 69 St. Paul’s Church Yard, London: Bowles & Carver, c.1800). © National Maritime Museum Collections.
Regardless of what might have befallen him whilst locked away below deck in those foul maritime dungeons, at seven o’clock each morning Benjamin would have joined other members of the hulk population who were at least ‘capable of getting into the boats’ to engage in hard labour on shore at the Warren. As the cons worked in gangs of around twenty, guards ‘devoid of all feeling; ignorant in the extreme, brutal by nature, and rendered tyrannical and cruel by the consciousness of the power they possess’ wielded ‘a large and ponderous stick’ as they watched over them; ever-ready, ‘without the smallest provocation,’ to ‘fell an unfortunate convict to the ground,’ repeating their blows ‘long after the poor sufferer [wa]s insensible.’[51] The convict labourers had just one hour to return to the ship and eat dinner at midday before heading ashore again to labour from one o’clock to sunset, at which point they were returned to their damp prison below deck, the hatches noisily locking above them for the night.

By the start of his third year on the hulks, in January 1809, Benjamin had been transferred to the Retribution; the hulk on which James Ratty had been imprisoned prior to his transportation and which James Hardy Vaux would experience in 1810 and later describe in such horrid detail.[52] After a year in that hell hole Benjamin was moved to the Zeeland hulk, where he would remain from January 1810 until 13 June 1813 when he received His Majesty’s pardon for the final six months of his seven-year sentence.[53] But for a still very young man whose formative years had been spent in an environment more conducive to obtaining an apprenticeship in crime rather than a good, honest trade, what did he have to move on to when he finally stepped off the Zeeland with his freedom?

Surrey County Gaol

Just over four months after his release, Benjamin was picked up by James Theobalds, constable of Tooting, and thrown in a Surrey County Gaol cell on Horsemonger Lane. He had evidently returned to his parish, Merton, because on 27 October 1813 Benjamin allegedly ‘feloniously’ stole ‘three pairs of stockings, a shawl and two handkerchiefs’ from ‘a poor woman named [Ann] Hudson,’ the wife of ‘Thomas Hudson of Merton, printer.’[54]

The ‘not guilty’ pleas of a youthful yet ‘old offender’ lately returned from a seven-year stint on the hulks counted for nothing against a long list of people who willingly lined up to accuse him when he was tried at the Surrey Sessions House on 11 January 1814. In addition to the victim of the crime, Edy Cooper the daughter of John Cooper, Amos Jackson the son of Bartholomew Jackson of Putney, and George Ellyett of Fothergay Buildings, Clapham Common also testified against Benjamin.[55] The good folk of his parish, it seems, were unanimous in their desire to be rid of him rather than see him integrated back into their community. Even the journalist who reported the trial in The Morning Chronicle very effectively dismissed Benjamin as an ungrateful ne’er-do-well by noting that, despite having the last six months of his sentence generously ‘remitted by the Crown, and which six months expired this day,…he was again convicted and sentenced to another seven years’ servitude on board the hulks.’[56] Benjamin only confirmed his status as an incorrigible delinquent when he made the following ‘candid declaration’ in response to the Chairman’s sentence:

My Lord, if I escape the Hulks, and that I can do once within a month, I will be the death of that d[amne]d old rascal Tibbalds (the constable of Tooting who apprehended him) who deserves hanging more than I do [sic].[57]

Napoleon Bonaparte, Exile, Elba, Satire, May 1814, George Cruikshank
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. George Cruikshank, “God save ye King!! by an Old performer – & the Devil take the Cryer,” (Published by S. Knight, Sweetings Alley Royal Xchange, 17 May 1814). 1868,0808.12781, (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). © The Trustees of the British Museum.

It is hard to believe that the same constable-cursing Benjamin Ratty would one day be a decorated constable himself. More thought provoking still is that Benjamin’s threat to murder Constable Theobalds the minute he got the chance was precisely what ensured he would be sent to the place where his own destiny in the constabulary would be fulfilled. No sooner had he voiced his threat than the Chairman ‘assured him…most particular attention should be paid to him, and every possible precaution used to prevent his carrying his meditated escape into effect.’[58] True to the Chairman’s word, though Benjamin was soon back on the Retribution hulk, the authorities did not risk leaving him there for a lengthy period of time again.[59]

Benjamin was practically on the next ship out of England. The Somersetshire (1814) sailed from Spithead on 10 May 1814 carrying to the isolated Colony of New South Wales 200 exiled convicts and the ‘GLORIOUS INTELLIGENCE’ of a new exile of a different sort: Napoleon Bonaparte, who in the month prior had been ‘expunged from the list of European Potentates,’ his power made totally ‘extinct’ and the House of Bourbon restored along with ‘a general Peace throughout Europe.’[60] The parish of Merton and the continent of Europe at large could breathe easy now, well cleansed of their undesirables.

The Place of Atonement

The Somersetshire arrived in the Colony of New South Wales on 16 October 1814 having lost only one convict during the voyage.[61] The next day, ‘a Royal Salute was fired from Dawes’s Battery, by command of His Honor Lieutenant Governor MOLLE; and in the evening a general illumination took place’ to celebrate what was, by then, the six-month-old news about Napoleon.[62] Not that Benjamin could enjoy any of the fanfare. He would remain on board and presumably below deck until the 25 October when he and 49 others were among the first prisoners to disembark and be forwarded to ‘the Hawksborough’ [sic] for distribution at Windsor.[63] According to the convict indents created at the time, he was 5’6” tall with a sallow complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes, and his occupation was ‘Calico Printer,’ even though this was a trade for which he surely would have had little to no opportunity to complete the requisite apprenticeship and his two trials had only ever recorded him as a ‘labourer.’[64] Benjamin’s stated trade on arrival, therefore, may have been aspirational rather than actual. On the other hand, Benjamin’s parish, Merton, had been a real hub for textile production and calico printing factories and his most recent victim’s husband had been listed as a ‘printer’ there.[65] Benjamin might have been employed fresh from the hulks as a low-level, relatively unskilled ‘labourer’ in a calico printing establishment at Merton just before committing his last offence.

As Benjamin reached land for the first time in months, perhaps he looked around with some excitement that the Ratty boys finally shared the same, albeit vast, prison and might somehow find each other again soon. But James Ratty had already gone on ahead, much further than this land beyond the seas, to a place Benjamin could not follow—not yet.

Three years and eight months earlier, shortly after six o’clock on the morning of Wednesday 27 February 1811, James Ratty and another prisoner named James Hutchinson, ‘showing no symptoms of agitation,’ had been led from the county gaol to their ‘place of atonement’: ‘the Sand-hills, East of the Brickfields.’[66] There, a Clergyman had made his exhortations to the men of the hour and a crowd of onlookers—the kind who liked to turn up to these ‘unhappy occasions’ in the old country as well as the new one for a generous serving of religion with a side of macabre spectacle. The two felons listened to the man of the cloth ‘with decency’ only to ‘relapse…into their former apparent unconcern’ as soon as he was finished, ‘convers[ing] together’ and making ‘frivolous observations.’[67] Indeed, Hutchinson even ‘gave directions to the executioner respecting the adjustment of the apparatus.’[68] But ‘as the cart was about to be driven from beneath them, they joined hands, and were launched off in that posture.’[69]

The Place of Atonement, Sandhills, Brickfields, Chippendale, Sydney, Central Station, New South Wales, James Ratty, James Hutchinson, execution, hanging, gallows, St. John's Cemetery Project, Convict Constable Benjamin Ratty, Old Parramattans, convicts, Parramatta Road
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. “The place of atonement, on the Sand-hills, East of the Brickfields,” the “potence en activité” (active gallows) and cemetery, Chippendale, Sydney, near the “high road” to Parramatta. Detail from Jean Baptiste Antoine Cloquet, PLAN DE LA VILLE SYDNEY, Capitale des Colonies Angloises, AUX TERRES AUSTRALES, (Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1824), D Z/ Ce 82/ 2 / FL3750138, Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales via the Dictionary of Sydney.

James Ratty and James Hutchinson had robbed a shop of broad cloth, muslins, &c. to the value of more than 40s.’[70] For the Learned Judge who had the opportunity to show the pair mercy there was little doubt that neither had been worth saving from the gallows. James Ratty’s ‘conduct had for some time past evinced [a] depravity of mind.’[71] On an earlier occasion, for instance, James had escaped the Lady Nelson bound for the Hunter’s River while under sentence for another secondary offence in the colony, proving Benjamin was not the only escape artist in the Ratty clan.[72] Hutchinson’s offences, too, were ‘numerous and heinous’ and he had already ‘obdurately perverted the ends of clemency’ by repeatedly renewing his ‘lawless courses.’[73] The only use either of them had to society was as an ‘example to deter others from treading in [their] footsteps.’[74] Since the thousands of convicts transported to the penal colony were proof enough that grisly public hangings in the Mother Country had rarely scared people away from a life of crime, it is doubtful that any of the habitual offenders who may have been watching on amid the crowd that day were finally set on a decent, law-abiding path by this particular gruesome ‘example.’

The shocking news of how James Ratty ended his days may well have had the desired effect on at least one young convict when he finally learnt the truth, though. For, thus far, Benjamin had indeed followed James’s footsteps into a shop to rob items, into court, onto the hulks, and ultimately to the Colony of New South Wales. Yet the same young man who had threatened to murder a constable only months earlier apparently resolved soon after arriving in the colony that he would not follow James to the gallows too. The colony would be Benjamin’s place of atonement, as it had been for James. But unlike the elder Ratty, Benjamin would repent by ‘behav[ing] himself as becoming a Person in his Situation’ by unwaveringly displaying ‘Honesty, Sobriety, & Obedien[ce] to His Master…Isack Bolton [a] Settler…& Mistress in doing every thing they requested of Him [sic].’[75] In fact, Benjamin’s behaviour proved to be so exemplary for ‘so long with his Master’ that after a few years he felt quite within his rights ‘To Cast himself at [His] Excellency…[Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s] Feet Craving the Indulgence of a Tickett of Leave [sic].’[76] In his petition, which bears no date but may have been around 1819, he revealed he was then a shoemaker by trade and even ‘flatter[ed] himself that by Care & Industry He c[ould] procure him a very Comfortable Living.’[77] He also argued that the ticket of leave would ‘be the means of my Procuring something for the time I have lost as I never Charged [my Master] anything for my Labour, having always had a Feeling from Him & his Family well knowing the Distressed State they were in and Sickness following of them.’[78] His master wholly endorsed the petition by acknowledging he had ‘received the benefits above stated from the Petitioner for himself and Family,’ and by giving Benjamin ‘a good character.’[79] It was not the last ‘His Excellency’ Governor Macquarie would hear of the ‘Humble Petitioner.’[80]

Lawbreaker-Turned-Law Enforcer

In August 1820 ‘His Excellency’ was ‘pleased’ to appoint Benjamin Ratty, ex-con, as ‘Town Constable at Parramatta on the recommendation of none other than colonial elite Hannibal Macarthur, Esq. J. P.[81] Strange as it may seem, it was actually common for lawbreakers to be engaged as law enforcers. Though initially the responsibility of policing had fallen to the Royal Navy Marines in 1788, suitable free men were in short supply in a young colony plagued by the ‘frequent commission of offences,’ so Governor Arthur Phillip established a ‘Night Watch’ comprised of twelve men ‘selected from among those convicts whose conduct and character had been unexceptionable since their landing.’ Judge Advocate David Collins admitted it was not ideal for the ‘members of our little police’ to be drawn from ‘a body of men in whose eyes…the property of individuals had never before been sacred,’ but he also acknowledged ‘there was not any choice.’[82] Even when the Night Watch was replaced by the Sydney Foot Police in 1790, the police continued to be sourced from the convict population out of sheer necessity.

Given that New South Wales was a penal colony in which the majority of the ever-growing population were either convicts or ex-convicts, arguably the people who had a hope of policing this demographic most effectively were those who had been hardened by their own misspent youth as felons. While constables drawn from the ranks of newly-emancipated cons might have had the requisite toughness and skills to manage those ‘cut from the same cloth,’ though, managing their own urges was at times less successful.

In June 1826, for instance, an Irish, cloak-stealing, ‘snub-nosed, cherry cheeked little damsel’ named Mary Madden per Lady Rowena (1826) was placed ‘under the guardianship of a constable,’ whose duty it was to convey her from her temporary lodgings at the Orphan School Asylum on George Street, Sydney to her new master’s residence on Pitt Street.[83] ‘[B]ut,’ reported the Australian, ‘the luckless wight made her entrè into the house of her expecting master, quite “tossicated like”’ and was sent packing.[84] When brought before a Magistrate to ‘assign reasons for getting drunk,’ she answered in her King’s County (Offaly) accent, “Arrah, y’r honor, it wasn’t meself got drunk, at all, but them as made me,” pointing to the constable who escorted her to the Office.’[85] The constable had ‘allowed’ her ‘to quench her thirst [and]…set [her] wits a wandering…in more than one, two, and three public-houses’ with Madden’s ‘ould croney’ who ‘kept close to her heels all the way.’[86] Madden was not only deprived of her intended service, she was also sent up river to the Parramatta Female Factory whereas the constable was not punished for the negligence which facilitated the bar crawl. The following week the Monitor noted: ‘Discipline at least if not decency requires, that the Justices should allow of no disgraceful conduct of this kind in the subordinate offices of the Police, but on the contrary, that they should break all constables who disgrace themselves and their office by such conduct.’[87]

Convict Constable, Eliza Macguire, Tasmania 1856, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans, Constables, Misconduct, Dismissal
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Things were no better in 1850s Tasmania, as the case of Eliza Macguire demonstrates. “Eliza Macguire” (Melbourne: Printed and published by Edgar Ray and Frederick Sinnett, 1856), shows Eliza, “free-born and of good repute” being assaulted by Caliban, the district-constable of Franklin, Tasmania; Eliza Macguire’s story was in a letter to the editor of the Tasmanian Daily News where she claimed she was “dragged as a felon, lodged as a felon, detained by Walpole, the police magistrate, and then sent as a felon to walk thirty miles through the bush with a convict constable (Caliban), in the rain and the wind” to Hobart. Image MP03/07/56/169. Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

The authorities appear to have taken the Monitor’s complaint and advice about ‘policing’ the conduct of their largely convict-sourced constabulary seriously. The following year, Peter Rush per Lord Sidmouth (2) (1821), a former Irish soldier and newly freed convict who had been appointed a constable of Sydney a mere five months earlier, was charged with ‘having been negligently disposed in the discharge of his duty, and committing a breach of trust.’[88] Instead of conveying a convict woman—humorously nicknamed ‘Hoppy M’Hearty’—to the Parramatta Female Factory as ordered, Constable Rush instead ‘toyed and dallied in the innocence of love’ with his protégé upon the green, till morn o’ertook and blushed upon their gambols.’[89] On that occasion the constable was dismissed.[90]

Convict constables were capable of taking far worse liberties, as the misconduct in the infamous ‘Cadman Case’ reveals.[91] In 1836, two brand new ‘ticket-of-leave constables’ of Bong Bong, Patrick Brady per Ann and Amelia (1825) and George Nutter per Eliza I (1) (1820), were tried at the Supreme Court and found guilty of raping fifteen-year-old Martha Emily Cadman in the presence of three or four invalid convicts who, on account of their status, felt unable to intervene on her behalf.[92] Cadman had arrived in the colony free with her convict mother Jane Cadman per Lucy Davidson (1829) and was raised in the Female Orphan School then apprenticed out as a servant, but she had received a three-month sentence in the House of Correction at Sydney herself after running away from her master who had ‘ill used’ her’ by holding her down and cutting off her hair.[93] The rape occurred while Cadman was in the convict constables’ charge for the almost 200-mile journey ‘(most likely on foot)…in bad shoes…among the wilds of Australia’ from Araluen to Sydney.[94] Being ‘ravished’ had left Cadman ‘labouring under a loathsome disease…gonorrhea’ and, as feared by the Judge presiding over the trial as well as reporters covering the story, proved to be her ruination.[95] It led to her ‘adopt[ing] a disgraceful course of life,’ first as the ‘kept mistress’ of a juryman in the very trial against her rapists and, later, as ‘a blasé-looking demirep of the “pave”’ who daily drank herself into ‘a most delectable state of “betweenity”’ and frequently participated in violent exchanges with others of her ilk.[96]

These are just a few examples among many, as the dismissal of constables for misconduct and even criminal proceedings against them were by no means uncommon outcomes. In fact, the Government Gazette frequently printed notices from the Colonial Secretary’s Office stating that particular constables had been ‘dismissed for Neglect of Duty and Improper Conduct,’ including anything from drunkenness, disobeying orders and provoking a breach of the peace, to assault.[97] It is hardly surprising, then, that one reporter of the day asserted: ‘The constables of this Colony, generally, are men of bad character…Still, there are SOME constables good men…’[98]

Good Cop, Bad Cop?

So, was Benjamin Ratty a ‘good cop’ or a ‘bad cop’? There can be no doubt Benjamin showed dedication to his job and never flinched in the face of danger, as any avid news-reading Parramattan would have known. In late 1820, for instance, the Sydney Gazette reported that Constable Ratty sought to detain three men suspected of housebreaking and ‘committing many violent outrages’ as well as ‘stealing sundry articles’ but found himself and his fellow constables being assaulted with stones.[99] The constables, with some reinforcements, succeeded in arresting one of the offenders ‘after a vigorous resistance’ at the scene and Benjamin testified against the men at the Criminal Court.[100] As we know, Ratty’s heroics were not isolated to that incident, despite the fact that from October 1821 onwards he had a wife to support.[101] And in January 1825, he was listed among the ‘Constables employed in…doing the Duty of the Town, and Districts both by day and Night…and…conveying Prisoners, and Letters from Parramatta to Liverpool, Emu Plains, Windsor and Sydney,’ where escaped convicts turned bushrangers terrorised ‘the King’s highway.’[102] Just a few months before his death, he would appear again in court to give evidence against a woman who harboured two escaped convicts.[103] The overall picture is one of a brave, responsible constable who could be relied upon to keep order among ‘the felonry of New South Wales.’[104]

Nevertheless, the few pieces of evidence we have of Constable Ratty’s outstanding performance as a constable are on their own inconclusive when it comes to determining the goodness of his character. After all, Ratty’s name appeared in the list of police rewarded for capturing bushrangers in August 1822 alongside that of Constable James McManus, who went on to be a deranged axe murderer, and Peter Rush, the disgraced ci-devant constable who went for a roll on the green with a Factory girl.[105] There also appears to have been a charge against Ratty, Constable William Flowers and a fellow named Thomas Clode regarding an assault against John Hodges, which went to the Supreme Court in late December 1825, although Ratty’s pay slips reveal no interruption to his service, therefore the Court must have ruled in Ratty’s favour on that occasion.[106]

So, we must look to other parts of Benjamin Ratty’s life to gain insight into whether he was a man of ‘good character.’ We do not know for sure whether he ran away from the Marine Society so much as towards a family who needed him, but it may well be that self-sacrifice defined his life both at home in Surrey in the 1810s and on the roads of 1820s Parramatta. Nor do we know exactly how long Benjamin was a part of the Marine Society before his ‘escape’ or, therefore, how much of an impression its moral as well as nautical instruction had upon the formation of his character. While it could not have been long, as Ratty signed his name with an X on his constable pay slips whereas Society boys were literate, perhaps his limited yet early exposure to the path he might have taken had been enough. Because, in his latter years, it seems Benjamin did live up to many of the Instructions to Every Boy of the Marine Society he would have received had he completed the program and set out from the Seamen’s Office ‘into the wide world’ instead of being sent to endure the degradation of the hulks.[107] In spite of being reduced to that squalor and being forced to learn how to survive for years on end among men who were treated as little more than beasts of burden, once Benjamin obtained his freedom, he appears to have quite deliberately set about acquiring the trappings of respectability; steady employment in a role of great responsibility in 1820, a wife in 1821, and a 50-acre grant at Castle Hill in 1823.[108] Ultimately, the good word of his former master at Windsor and the outpouring and generosity of Benjamin Ratty’s local community upon his demise are also strong indicators that, in the end, those who really knew this particular convict constable considered him to be more constable than convict.[109]

Yet the fact is, Benjamin had inhabited both worlds. It is perhaps fitting, then, that the inability to correctly identify him as either criminal or constable on a dark night in late September 1826 was the cause of his early demise. For all his struggling to survive the terrible consequences of his criminal activities after rejecting the charity of the Marine Society, and Benjamin’s subsequent determination to instead find the inner strength to leave ‘the paths of idleness…infamy and perdition’ behind, he fared no better than James Ratty—neither of the Ratty boys made old bones.[110] But the reasons for their premature deaths could not have been more different. James had died the ignoble death of a condemned con before a sea of hardened spectators in Sydney; Benjamin left this world a decorated and communally mourned constable of Parramatta. And so, it was Benjamin alone who had the honour of receiving a ‘snug spot of ground’ marked not only with his name but a grand memorial detailing the constable’s greatest achievements as a ‘useful and creditable member…of [his] community.’[111]


CITE THIS

Michaela Ann Cameron, “Benjamin Ratty: Convict Constable,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2019), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/benjamin-ratty/, accessed [insert current date]


References

Primary Sources

John Bowring (ed.), The Works of Jeremy Bentham: Now First Collected, Vol. XI, (Edinburgh: William Tait, 107 Prince’s Street, 1843).

David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798).

Jonas Hanway, Prudential Instruction to the Poor Boys, fitted out by the Corporation of the Marine Society, with moral and religious advice adapted in a Sententious manner to their Condition, and to every one who is a Candidate for Happiness on Christian Principles, (1788).

The Marine Society, Instructions to Every Boy of the Marine Society, Given by their Secretary when the Boys set out from the Seamens Office on Thursdays, [London, England: The Marine Society, c.1770], held at the British Library.

The Marine Society, The Bye-laws and Regulations of the Marine Society, 7th Edition, (London: A. & R. Spottiswoode, New-Street-Square, 1829).

James Hardy Vaux, Memoirs of James Hardy Vaux, written by himself in two volumes, (Northumberland-Court, Strand, London: W. Clowes, 1819).

Secondary Sources

Michaela Ann Cameron, “Stop 4: St. John’s Cemetery, ‘God’s Acre,'” in “Convict Parramatta,” Dictionary of Sydney Walks, (2015).

Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: St. John’s, (Parramatta: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991).

Catie Gilchrist, (Ph.D. Diss.), “Male Convict Sexuality in the Penal Colonies of Australia, 1820–1850,” (Sydney: University of Sydney, 2004), http://hdl.handle.net/2123/666, accessed 23 May 2019.

John Ambrose Hide, Black Plaques London: Memorials to Misadventure, (The History Press, 2019).

London Lives 1690 to 1800: Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis https://www.londonlives.org/, version 2.0), Boys Recruited into the Marine Society, 1770–75, 1780–83, 1792–93, 1800–04,” https://www.londonlives.org/static/AHDSMAR.jsp, accessed 22 May 2019.

John Farquhar McMahon, (Ph.D. Diss.), “External and Internal Security in the Australian Colonies from their Founding to the End of the Macquarie Era,” (Hobart: University of Tasmania, 2004), https://eprints.utas.edu.au/20579/1/whole_McMahonJohnFarquhar2004_thesis.pdf, accessed 23 May 2019.

New South Wales Government, “Former Great Western Highway Alignment,” New South Wales State Heritage Register, (Sydney: Office of Environment & Heritage, 1999), https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=1140283, accessed 23 May 2019.

New South Wales Government, “Mays Hill Gate House,” New South Wales State Heritage Register, (Sydney: Office of Environment & Heritage, 1999), https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=4681025, accessed 23 May 2019.

Roland Pietsch, “Ships’ Boys and Youth Culture in Eighteenth-Century Britain: The Navy Recruits of the London Marine Society,” The Northern Mariner / Le marin du nord, Vol. XIV, No. 4 (October 2004): 11–24, https://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mariner/vol14/tnm_14_4_11-24.pdf, accessed 23 May 2019.

Graham Willett, “Debauchery on the Fatal Shore: The Sex Lives of Australia’s Convicts,” The Conversation, (2017), https://theconversation.com/debauchery-on-the-fatal-shore-the-sex-lives-of-australias-convicts-88321, accessed 23 May 2019.


NOTES

[1]CRIMINAL COURT.—(Monday.),” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 22 November 1826, p. 4; “REFLECTIONS BY MOONLIGHT,” The Monitor (Sydney, NSW : 1826 – 1828), Friday 8 December 1826, p. 3. According to the New South Wales State Heritage Register, the Great Western Road (present day Great Western Highway), also known as the Western Road and the Old Western Road, was “in this location as early as 1793 and a toll bar was located almost directly opposite the present location of the Mays Hill Gate House by 1822….The…1818 Great Western Road…most likely followed an earlier Aboriginal track for a route over Prospect Hill….The Great Western Road was one of the three Great Roads built in the colony between 1815 and the 1840s. The others were the Great North Road (1826-36) and the Great South Road (1819–mid-1840s). See New South Wales Government, “Former Great Western Highway Alignment,” New South Wales State Heritage Register, (Sydney: Office of Environment & Heritage, 1999), https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=1140283, accessed 23 May 2019 and New South Wales Government, “Mays Hill Gate House,” New South Wales State Heritage Register, (Sydney: Office of Environment & Heritage, 1999), https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=4681025, accessed 23 May 2019.

[2]CRIMINAL COURT.—(Monday.),” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 22 November 1826, p. 4.

[3]CRIMINAL COURT.—(Monday.),” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 22 November 1826, p. 4.

[4] Mr. John Piesley had been “in the toll-bar house leading out of Parramatta” earlier in the evening when he heard “a number of voices in the Government Domain, immediately opposite” (the southern gateway to the Governor’s Domain, the present day site of the Mays Hill Gate House, Parramatta Park) “—it was then quite dark—he suspected they were bushrangers, and in consequence went to the chief constable in Parramatta [John Thorn], and acquainted him with the circumstance—the latter accompanied by two constables and [Piesley], determined to lay wait for them on the road that night—it was proposed that one of their number should provide himself with a bundle, and pretend to be drunk—in that disguise he should walk along the road side…and Ratty, one of the party, agreed to” to be the “principal actor” in the “sting” while his reinforcements waited nearby, ready to capture the bushrangers. “CRIMINAL COURT.—(Monday.),” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 22 November 1826, p. 4; F. Goulburn, “GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS, Colonial Secretary’s Office, Aug. 1, 1822. Civil Department,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Friday 2 August 1822, p. 1; New South Wales Government, Special Bundles, 1794–1825, Series: NRS 898; Reels: 6020-6040, 6070; Fiche: 3260–3312; Page: 90, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[5]CRIMINAL COURT.—(Monday.),” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 22 November 1826, p. 4.

[6]CRIMINAL COURT.—(Monday.),” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 22 November 1826, p. 4.

[7]No title,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 11 October 1826, p. 3.

[8]CRIMINAL COURT.—(Monday.),” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 22 November 1826, p. 4.

[9] Benjamin Ratty died on Saturday 7 October 1826. “[FROM A PARRAMATTA CORRESPONDENT],” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 14 October 1826, p. 3.

[10]REFLECTIONS BY MOONLIGHT,” The Monitor (Sydney, NSW : 1826 – 1828), Friday 8 December 1826, p. 3.

[11]REFLECTIONS BY MOONLIGHT,” The Monitor (Sydney, NSW : 1826 – 1828), Friday 8 December 1826, p. 3.

[12]No title,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 11 October 1826, p. 3.

[13] Thomas Cook per Asia I (2) (1822), James Corry (aka James Curry and John Curry) per Ann and Amelia (1825) and William Ward per Dick (1821). “No title,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 11 October 1826, p. 3; “Police Reports. PARRAMATTA,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Wednesday 11 October 1826, p. 3; “Supreme Criminal Court. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1826. Before Mr. JUSTICE STEPHEN,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Wednesday 22 November 1826, p. 3; “CRIMINAL COURT.—(Monday.),” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 22 November 1826, p. 4.

[14]Supreme Criminal Court. WEDNESDAY, 29th NOVEMBER. BEFORE THE CHIEF JUSTICE,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 2 December 1826, p. 3; “REFLECTIONS BY MOONLIGHT,” The Monitor (Sydney, NSW : 1826 – 1828), Friday 8 December 1826, p. 3.

[15] Curry and Ward were hanged at Sydney on 21 May 1827. Curry, recorded as “John Curry” was executed for highway robbery committed against Joseph Cox on the road between Liverpool and Parramatta, while William Ward was executed along with an accomplice named Thomas Power for ‘stealing from the dwelling house of a person named Michael Foley living at Bringelly.” A fourth man, William Webb, was also hanged that day and, reportedly, all four were self-professed Roman Catholics and spent the preceding night ‘in reading and prayer’ aided by the light of a candle they requested for the purpose. “Supreme Criminal Court. MONDAY, JANUARY 5,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Tuesday 6 February 1827, p. 3; “SUPREME COURT.—(Monday),” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 7 February 1827, p. 3; “Supreme Criminal Court. TUESDAY, MARCH 13,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 15 March 1827, p. 3; “Supreme Criminal Court. WEDNESDAY, MAY 9,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Friday 11 May 1827, p. 3; “EXECUTION,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Wednesday 23 May 1827, p. 3.

[16][FROM A PARRAMATTA CORRESPONDENT],” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 14 October 1826, p. 3; “No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Wednesday 13 December 1826, p. 3.

[17]No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Wednesday 13 December 1826, p. 3.

[18]Government Notice. COLONIAL SECRETARY’S OFFICE, 17th OCTOBER, 1826,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Wednesday 18 October 1826, p. 3.

[19]No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Wednesday 13 December 1826, p. 3.

[20] “James Ratty & Benjm Ratty, When Tried: Lent Assizes 1805, Crime: Stealing a Watch & a Gun in a Store, How Disposed: D.P.” Home Office, Criminal Registers, England and Wales; Records created or inherited by the Home Office, Ministry of Home Security, and related bodies, Class: HO 27; Piece: 1; Page 140, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England).

[21] “Jas. Ratty, When Tried: Lent Assizes 1806, Crime: Housebreaking, Sentence: Death recorded,” Home Office, Criminal Registers, England and Wales; Records created or inherited by the Home Office, Ministry of Home Security, and related bodies, Class: HO 27; Piece: 2; Page: 174, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England).

[22] “On Saturday last the following prisoners, who received sentenced of death at the last assizes for the county of Surrey, at Kingston, but who have received his Majesty’s parson on condition of being transported to Botany Bay for life, were sent to Woolwich, and put on board the Prudentia hulk, viz. James Ratty, George Hall, John Draper, George James, John Bailey, John Brown, alias Ponsford, Wm. Beard, Thomas Kirk, and John Deaton, all young lads, for various burglaries. John Jones for privately stealing in the shop of Benjamin Ward, a silver watch; and Wm. Jones, alias Smith, and Isaac Gawker for being found at large in this kingdom before the term for which they had been severally transported had expired. They all went off in apparent high spirits.” See “OFFENCES,” Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser, Monday 21 April 1806, p. 3 via British Newspaper Archive (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/), accessed 23 May 2019.

[23] “James Ratty, Age: 18, Date Received: 19 April 1806, Ship: Retribution, Place Moored: Woolwich, Date Convicted: 26 March 1806, Place Convicted: Kingston, Surrey,” Home Office, Convict Prison Hulks: Registers and Letter Books, Class: HO9; Piece: 4, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England).

[24] The full transcript of the news report is as follows: “J. Hamley alias Hampton, and B. Ratty, two boys twelve years of age, were indicted for stealing a tin watering-pot, one pair of copper scales, and an old pocket-book filled with papers, the property of Mr. Chambers, a seedsman of Newington. The fact against Rattey [sic] was made out by the evidence of a tinman in Blackman-street, who stated that the boy brought him a copper scale, which he wished to sell, saying he was sent by his mother to know how much he gave per pound. He told the boy 14d. which he took and went away. He after this sold the watering-pot to Price, a broker in the Mint. Mr. Chambers swore to the articles, and the prisoners were found Guilty. Judgement was respited till next sessions. Mr. Ives, the gaoler, said, that Ratty had already been sent to the Marine Society, from which he had run away.” “SURREY ADJOURNED SESSIONS,” Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser, Thursday 16 October 1806, p. 2 via British Newspaper Archive (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/), accessed 23 May 2019; “Benjamin Rattey [sic], Michaelmas 13 October 1806,” Surrey History Trust, Surrey Quarter Sessions 1789–1820, QS2/6/1806/MIC/2/18, (Surrey, England: Surrey History Trust, 2011).

[25] “SURREY ADJOURNED SESSIONS,” Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser, Thursday 16 October 1806, p. 2 via British Newspaper Archive (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/), accessed 23 May 2019.

[26] See Caitlin Adams, “Lives Left Behind: The Forsaken Families of First Fleeters William Gloster and James Ogden,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2019), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/james-ogden/, accessed 15 August 2019.

[27] “SURREY ADJOURNED SESSIONS,” Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser, Thursday 16 October 1806, p. 2 via British Newspaper Archive (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/), accessed 23 May 2019.

[28] Thomas Allen, The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, (London: Cowie and Strange, Paternoster Row and Peter Lane, 1827), p. 159. For more on the Marine Society boys, see The Marine Society, The Bye-laws and Regulations of the Marine Society, 7th Edition, (London: A. & R. Spottiswoode, New-Street-Square, 1829); The Marine Society, Instructions to Every Boy of the Marine Society, Given by their Secretary when the Boys set out from the Seamens Office on Thursdays, [London, England: The Marine Society, c.1770], pp. 1–2, held at the British Library; Jonas Hanway, Prudential Instruction to the Poor Boys, fitted out by the Corporation of the Marine Society, with moral and religious advice adapted in a Sententious manner to their Condition, and to every one who is a Candidate for Happiness on Christian Principles, (1788); Roland Pietsch, “Ships’ Boys and Youth Culture in Eighteenth-Century Britain: The Navy Recruits of the London Marine Society,” The Northern Mariner / Le marin du nord, Vol. XIV, No. 4 (October 2004): 11–24, https://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mariner/vol14/tnm_14_4_11-24.pdf, accessed 23 May 2019; John Pugh, Remarkable Occurrences in the Life of Jonas Hanway, Esq., (London: T. Cadell, jun., and W. Davies, 1798), pp. 108–16; “Research guide C13: The Merchant Navy: Tracing Merchant Seamen,” Royal Museums Greenwich https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/researchers/research-guides/research-guide-c13-merchant-navy-tracing-merchant-seamen, accessed 22 May 2019; London Lives 1690 to 1800: Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis https://www.londonlives.org/, version 2.0), Boys Recruited into the Marine Society, 1770–75, 1780–83, 1792–93, 1800–04,” https://www.londonlives.org/static/AHDSMAR.jsp, accessed 22 May 2019.

[29] The Marine Society, The Bye-laws and Regulations of the Marine Society, 7th Edition, (London: A. & R. Spottiswoode, New-Street-Square, 1829), p. 72; Roland Pietsch, “Ships’ Boys and Youth Culture in Eighteenth-Century Britain: The Navy Recruits of the London Marine Society,” The Northern Mariner / Le marin du nord, Vol. XIV, No. 4 (October 2004): 24, https://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mariner/vol14/tnm_14_4_11-24.pdf, accessed 23 May 2019; Charles Dickens, Dickens’s Dictionary of The Thames, from its Source to the Nore, (London: Macmillan & Co., Bedford Street, Strand, 1885), p. 133.

[30] The Marine Society, The Bye-laws and Regulations of the Marine Society, 7th Edition, (London: A. & R. Spottiswoode, New-Street-Square, 1829), p. 73 https://books.google.com.au/books?id=KWkCjqF4ZSUC&pg=PA73#v=onepage&q&f=false, accessed 23 May 2019 states the minimum height was 4’9”. According to London Lives, the requisites for entry were a willingness to join, a minimum age of thirteen, and a different minimum height of 4’3” so perhaps the height requirements were altered over the years. London Lives 1690 to 1800: Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis https://www.londonlives.org/, version 2.0), Boys Recruited into the Marine Society, 1770–75, 1780–83, 1792–93, 1800–04,” https://www.londonlives.org/static/AHDSMAR.jsp, accessed 22 May 2019.

[31] Historian Roland Pietsch notes, it is “debatable” how voluntarily the poverty-stricken, undisciplined, fatherless boys who had no legal way of supporting themselves decided to join the Society. “The Society tried to ensure that [boys] enlisted out of [their] own free will, but the attempt was undermined by the laws and practice of poor relief, which often ignored [the boys’] wishes, and by the fact that most [Society boys] were very young, immature, and easily put under pressure.” Roland Pietsch, “Ships’ Boys and Youth Culture in Eighteenth-Century Britain: The Navy Recruits of the London Marine Society,” The Northern Mariner / Le marin du nord, Vol. XIV, No. 4 (October 2004): 24, https://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mariner/vol14/tnm_14_4_11-24.pdf, accessed 23 May 2019. For the direct quotation “useful and creditable etc.,” see Charles Dickens, Dickens’s Dictionary of The Thames, from its Source to the Nore, (London: Macmillan & Co., Bedford Street, Strand, 1885), p. 133.

[32] Thomas Allen, The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, (London: Cowie and Strange, Paternoster Row and Peter Lane, 1827), p. 159.

[33] Thomas Allen, The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, (London: Cowie and Strange, Paternoster Row and Peter Lane, 1827), p. 159.

[34] Thomas Allen, The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, (London: Cowie and Strange, Paternoster Row and Peter Lane, 1827), p. 159.

[35] Thomas Allen, The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, (London: Cowie and Strange, Paternoster Row and Peter Lane, 1827), p. 159.

[36] Thomas Allen, The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, (London: Cowie and Strange, Paternoster Row and Peter Lane, 1827), p. 160.

[37] John Feltham, The Picture of London, for 1802, (London: Lewish and Hamblin, Paternoster Row, 1807), pp. 227–28; Thomas Allen, The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, (London: Cowie and Strange, Paternoster Row and Peter Lane, 1827), p. 160.

[38] Thomas Allen, The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, (London: Cowie and Strange, Paternoster Row and Peter Lane, 1827), p. 160; Jonas Hanway, Prudential Instruction to the Poor Boys, fitted out by the Corporation of the Marine Society, with moral and religious advice adapted in a Sententious manner to their Condition, and to every one who is a Candidate for Happiness on Christian Principles, (1788), https://books.google.com.au/books?id=twvTMWjbmbUC&pg=PR1#v=onepage&q&f=false, accessed 23 May 2019.

[39] According to Thomas Allen, writing in 1827, “since its establishment in 1756, 33,171 boys have been fitted out; and the number of men and boys, who have been clothed and relieved by the institution, is 72,531.” Thomas Allen, The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, (London: Cowie and Strange, Paternoster Row and Peter Lane, 1827), p. 159.

[40] “SURREY ADJOURNED SESSIONS,” Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser, Thursday 16 October 1806, p. 2 via British Newspaper Archive (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/), accessed 23 May 2019.

[41] “John Hamley, When Tried: 13 January 1807, January Sessions [Convicted last session but not sentenced], Surrey England, How disposed of: Discharged” and “Benjn Rattey [sic], When Tried: 1807, January Sessions [Convicted last session but not sentenced], Surrey England, Sentence: Transportation 7 Years,” Home Office, Criminal Registers, England and Wales; Records created or inherited by the Home Office, Ministry of Home Security, and related bodies, Class: HO 27; Piece: 3; Page: 218, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England); “Benjamin Rattey [sic], Michaelmas 13 October 1806,” Surrey History Trust, Surrey Quarter Sessions 1789–1820, QS2/6/1806/MIC/2/18, (Surrey, England: Surrey History Trust, 2011).

[42] At the time of publication, no direct evidence linking these children with either Benjamin or James Ratty has been uncovered. This information is provided solely on the basis that their surname and parish were the same as Benjamin and James’s and that their recorded age at the time of their burial puts them in the right age bracket to have been their younger siblings. The timing of their death, within a year of both James and Benjamin being incarcerated likewise adds further weight to the theory that the Ratty boys may have stole to support a poverty-stricken family. For the parish burial register entries in question see “RATTY, GEORGE & ANN, December 27th, 1807, Aged 7 and 5 years,” Anglican Parish Registers, Reference Number: 3185/1/4, (Woking, Surrey, England: Surrey History Centre).

[43] “Benjamin Ratty, Age: 14, Date Received: 4 February 1807; Ship: Prudentia; Place Moored: Woolwich; Date Convicted: 13 January 1807; Place Convicted: Surrey, England,” Home Office, Convict Prison Hulks: Registers and Letter Books, Class: HO9; Piece: 4, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England).

[44] James Ratty’s hulk record indicates he and a number of others tried and convicted on the same day (possibly accomplices in the same crime), were all transferred off the Retribution hulk and presumably directly onto the Duke of Portland on 6 December 1806. “James Ratty, Age: 18, Date Received: 19 April 1806, Ship: Retribution, Place Moored: Woolwich, Date Convicted: 26 March 1806, Place Convicted: Kingston, Surrey,” Home Office, Convict Prison Hulks: Registers and Letter Books, Class: HO9; Piece: 4, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England); “JAMES RATTY, Duke of Portland (1807),” New South Wales Government, Bound Manuscript Indents, 1788–1842, Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4004]; Microfiche: 632, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[45] Adapted from Vaux’s description of the procedure for new arrivals on the Retribution in 1810, a hulk that Benjamin would also experience firsthand in 1809. James Hardy Vaux, Memoirs of James Hardy Vaux, written by himself in two volumes, Vol. II, (Northumberland-Court, Strand, London: W. Clowes, 1819), p. 109.

[46] James Hardy Vaux, Memoirs of James Hardy Vaux, written by himself in two volumes, Vol. II, (Northumberland-Court, Strand, London: W. Clowes, 1819), p. 109.

[47] James Hardy Vaux, Memoirs of James Hardy Vaux, written by himself in two volumes, Vol. II, (Northumberland-Court, Strand, London: W. Clowes, 1819), p. 109.

[48] For “unnatural crimes are openly committed,” and “floating dungeon” see James Hardy Vaux, Memoirs of James Hardy Vaux, written by himself in two volumes, Vol. II, (Northumberland-Court, Strand, London: W. Clowes, 1819), p. 112 and Jeremy Bentham, “Bentham to Sir Charles Bunbury,” in John Bowring (ed.), The Works of Jeremy Bentham: Now First Collected, Vol. XI, (Edinburgh: William Tait, 107 Prince’s Street, 1843), p. 120, in which Bentham writes, “Dear Sir,—Crimes, distinguished by the name of unnatural, are endemial, not to say universal, on board the Hulks in both places, Woolwich as well as Portsmouth. As the Hulks are emptied of the contents, these crimes flow out with them, and propagate themselves in patriam populumque.” For discussions of consensual relationships between convict men see Graham Willett, “Debauchery on the Fatal Shore: The Sex Lives of Australia’s Convicts,” The Conversation, (2017), https://theconversation.com/debauchery-on-the-fatal-shore-the-sex-lives-of-australias-convicts-88321, accessed 23 May 2019.

[49] Jeremy Bentham, “Bentham to Sir Charles Bunbury,” in John Bowring (ed.), The Works of Jeremy Bentham: Now First Collected, Vol. XI, (Edinburgh: William Tait, 107 Prince’s Street, 1843), p. 120

[50] John Ambrose Hide, Black Plaques London: Memorials to Misadventure, (The History Press, 2019), n.p.; Graham Willett, “Debauchery on the Fatal Shore: The Sex Lives of Australia’s Convicts,” The Conversation, (2017), https://theconversation.com/debauchery-on-the-fatal-shore-the-sex-lives-of-australias-convicts-88321, accessed 23 May 2019. For more on convict sexuality on the hulks and elsewhere see Catie Gilchrist, (Ph.D. Diss.), “Male Convict Sexuality in the Penal Colonies of Australia, 1820–1850,” (Sydney: University of Sydney, 2004), http://hdl.handle.net/2123/666, accessed 23 May 2019.

[51] James Hardy Vaux, Memoirs of James Hardy Vaux, written by himself in two volumes, Vol. II, (Northumberland-Court, Strand, London: W. Clowes, 1819), p. 110.

[52] “Ship Name: Retribution, No. 158, BENJ.N RATTY, Entry: Jany 1st 1809, From Whence: Surrey, No. of Days Vict.d: 90,” in “Hulks At Woolwich For Quarter Ending for Year 1809” in Treasury, Departmental Accounts, Convict Hulks 1802–1831, Series: T38; Piece: 335; Year Range: 1807–1809, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England).

[53] “Ship Name: Zeeland, No. 90, BENJ.N RATTY, Entry: Jany 1st 1810, From Whence: Surrey, No of Days Vict.d: 90,” in “Zeeland’s Book for Year 1810–1811,” in Treasury, Departmental Accounts, Convict Hulks 1802–1831, Series: T38; Piece: 336; Year Range: 1810–1811, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England); “An Acct of Convicts Victualled on Board the Zeeland Hulk and Discovery Hospital Ship at Sheerness from the 1st of October to the 31st of December 1812 both says Inclusive, Ship Name: Zeeland, No. 20, BENJ.N RATTY, Entry: Oct 1st 1812, From Whence: Surrey, No of Days Vict.d: 92,” in “Zeeland’s Book for Year 1812–1813,” in Treasury, Departmental Accounts, Convict Hulks 1802–1831, Series: T38; Piece: 337; Year Range: 1812–1813, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England); Ship Name: Zeeland, No. 496, BENJ.N RATTY, Entry: Jany 1st 1813, From Whence: Surrey, No of Days Vict.d: 90, Jackets: 1, Waistocats: 0, Breeches: 0, Stockings: 1, Shirts: 0, Handkerchiefs: 0, Shoes: 1, Hats: 0, Bed: 0, Blankets: 0, Irons: 0,” in “Zeeland’s Book for Year 1812–1813,” in Treasury, Departmental Accounts, Convict Hulks 1802–1831, Series: T38; Piece: 337; Year Range: 1812–1813, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England); Ship Name: Zeeland, No. 1, BENJAMIN RATTY, Entry: April 1st 1813, From Whence: Surrey, No of Days Vict.d: 74, Jackets: 1, Waistcoat: 1, Breeches: 1, Stockings: 1, Shirts: 1, Handkerchiefs: 1, Shoes: 1, Hats: 1, Bed: 0, Blankets: 0, Irons: 0,” in “Zeeland’s Book for Year 1812–1813,” in Treasury, Departmental Accounts, Convict Hulks 1802–1831, Series: T38; Piece: 337; Year Range: 1812–1813, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England). For evidence of the pardon he received for the last six months of his sentence see “RATTY, BENJN,” Home Office, Registers Of Criminal Petitions, Series: HO19; Piece: 2; Year range: 1797–1812, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England) and “SURREY SESSIONS. SESSIONS HOUSES, HORSEMONGER LANE,” Morning Chronicle, Thursday 27 January 1814, p. 3 via British Newspaper Archive (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/), accessed 23 May 2019.

[54] “Benjamin Ratty, Epiphany 11 January 1814,” Surrey History Trust, Surrey Quarter Sessions 1789–1820, QS2/6/1814/EPH/56, (Surrey, England: Surrey History Trust, 2011).

[55] “Benjamin Ratty, Epiphany 11 January 1814,” Surrey History Trust, Surrey Quarter Sessions 1789–1820, QS2/6/1814/EPH/56, (Surrey, England: Surrey History Trust, 2011).

[56] “Benjamin Ratty was indicted for stealing a quantity of linen from a poor woman named Hudson, residing at Merton. The prisoner, who is only twenty-three years of age, has already served one seven years on board the hulks, wanting only six months, which part of his sentence had been remitted by the Crown, and which six months expired this day, when he was again convicted and sentenced to another seven years’ servitude on board the hulks. After the Chairman (Mr. Kendrick) had pronounced the sentence of the Court, the prisoner addressed him as follows:—“My Lord, if I escape from the Hulks, and that I can do once within a month, I will be the death of that d—d old rascal Tibbalds (the constable of Tooting who apprehended him) who deserves hanging more than I do.” The Chairman thanked him for his candid declaration, but assured him at the same time most particular attention should be paid to him, and every possible precaution used to prevent his carrying his meditated escape into effect.” See “SURREY SESSIONS. SESSIONS HOUSES, HORSEMONGER LANE,” Morning Chronicle, Thursday 27 January 1814, p. 3 via British Newspaper Archive (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/), accessed 23 May 2019.

[57] “SURREY SESSIONS. SESSIONS HOUSES, HORSEMONGER LANE,” Morning Chronicle, Thursday 27 January 1814, p. 3 via British Newspaper Archive (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/), accessed 23 May 2019.

[58] “SURREY SESSIONS. SESSIONS HOUSES, HORSEMONGER LANE,” Morning Chronicle, Thursday 27 January 1814, p. 3 via British Newspaper Archive (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/), accessed 23 May 2019; Home Office, Criminal Registers, England and Wales, Class: HO 27; Piece: 10; Page: 286, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England).

[59] “An Account of the Number of Convicts Victualled on board the Retribution Hulk, and of Clothing issued to them, between the First Day of January and the Thirty first of March 1814, No. 561, Entry: Feby 5 1814, BENJ RATTY, Discharged NSW 5 Mar, No. of Days Victualled: 29, Jackets: 1, Waistcoats 1, Breeches: 1, Shoes: 1, Shirts: 2, Stockings: 1, Handkerchiefs: 1, Hats: 1, Beds: 0, Blankets: 2, Irons: 0,” in “Retribution Hulk of Woolwich for Year 1812–1814,” in Treasury, Departmental Accounts, Convict Hulks 1802–1831, Series: T38; Piece: 330; Year Range: 1812–1814, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England).

[60]The Somersetshire,The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 22 October 1814, p. 2; “No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Wednesday 19 October 1814, p. 1.

[61] “BENJAMIN RATTY,” New South Wales Government, Bound Manuscript Indents, 1788–1842, Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4005]; Microfiche: 635, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia); “No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Wednesday 19 October 1814, p. 1.

[62]No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Wednesday 19 October 1814, p. 1.

[63] New South Wales Government, Copies of Letters Sent Within the Colony, Series: 937; Reels: 6004–6016; Page: 346, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia). Benjamin himself later referred to the Hawkesbury as the ‘Hawkesborough’ when he petitioned Governor Lachlan Macquarie for a ticket of leave in 1817: “BENJAMIN RATTY, Shoemaker, Servant to Isaac Bolton, Petition for Mitigation of Sentence,” in New South Wales Government, Petitions to the Governor from Convicts for Mitigation of Sentences, 1810–1825, Series: 900, Fiche: 3163–3253, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[64] “BENJAMIN RATTY,” New South Wales Government, Bound Manuscript Indents, 1788–1842, Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4005]; Microfiche: 635, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia). Regarding the skilled trade of Calico Printing, see “The Calico-Printer,” in The Book of English Trades, and Library of the Useful Arts, (London: C. & J. Rivington, St. Paul’s Church-yard, and Waterloo-Place, Pall-Mall, 1827), pp. 65–69.

[65] For discussion of Merton and surrounds as a hub for calico printing see Muriel Clayton and Alma Oakes, “Early Calico Printers around London,” The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 96, No. 614 (May, 1954): 135–139 and John Henry Brady, A New Pocket Guide to London and its Environs, (London: John W. Parker, West Strand, 1838), pp. 419–21; For evidence recording Ratty’s trade was a “labourer” but that his last victim’s occupation was a printer of Merton see “Benjamin Ratty, Epiphany 11 January 1814,” Surrey History Trust, Surrey Quarter Sessions 1789–1820, QS2/6/1814/EPH/56, (Surrey, England: Surrey History Trust, 2011).

[66] As historian James Dunk notes, originally “The hills hosted ritual revenge combat among the Eora at the turn of the century, later becoming a burial ground before the dead made way…for Central Station.” It was in 1820 that this area became the Devonshire Street Cemetery (aka Sandhills Cemetery), which was located between Eddy Avenue and Elizabeth Street and Chalmers and Devonshire Streets, at Brickfield Hill. The cemetery was closed in 1867 and was later demolished. See “Epilogue,” in James Dunk, Bedlam at Botany Bay, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2019). “No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 2 March 1811, p. 2; James Dunk, Bedlam at Botany Bay, (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2019), p. 236.

[67]No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 2 March 1811, p. 2.

[68]No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 2 March 1811, p. 2.

[69]No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 2 March 1811, p. 2.

[70]COURT OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION. MONDAY, FEB. 11,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 16 February 1811, p. 2.

[71]COURT OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION. MONDAY, FEB. 11,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 16 February 1811, p. 2.

[72]SYDNEY,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 17 March 1810, p. 2; New South Wales Government, Special Bundles, 1794–1825, Series: 898; Reels: 6020–6040, 6070; Fiche: 3260–3312; Page: 5, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia). For sources detailing James Ratty’s escape see “PUBLIC NOTICE,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 30 June 1810, p. 2 and “JAMES RATTY, Reported to have absconded from Newcastle and at Sydney and escaped from Mr. Overhand,” New South Wales Government, Main Series of Letters Received, 1788–1825, Series: 897; Reels: 6041–6064, 6071–6072, Page: 22, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia); John Thomas Campbell, “Colonial Secretary Campbell to Ellis Bent, re: inquiry into escape of James Ratty” New South Wales Government, Copies of letters sent: local and overseas, 28 Dec 1809–28 Dec 1813, Series: 935, Reel: 6002, Page: 117, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[73]COURT OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION. MONDAY, FEB. 11,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 16 February 1811, p. 2.

[74]COURT OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION. MONDAY, FEB. 11,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 16 February 1811, p. 2.

[75] “BENJAMIN RATTY, Shoemaker, Servant to Isaac Bolton, Petition for Mitigation of Sentence,” in New South Wales Government, Petitions to the Governor from Convicts for Mitigation of Sentences, 1810–1825, Series: 900, Fiche: 3163–3253, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia). It is not clear exactly who this ‘Isack Bolton’ was, as the only Isaac Bolton in this region was a currency lad of around seven years of age at the time of Benjamin’s arrival. There was a ‘John Bolton’ who was a settler and a District Constable in the Hawkesbury around 1809, but there is no reason to believe that man ever went by any name other than John. A ‘John Bolton’ announced his intention to leave the colony in late 1819, which would be around the time of Benjamin’s undated petition for a ticket of leave.

[76] “BENJAMIN RATTY, Shoemaker, Servant to Isaac Bolton, Petition for Mitigation of Sentence,” in New South Wales Government, Petitions to the Governor from Convicts for Mitigation of Sentences, 1810–1825, Series: 900, Fiche: 3163–3253, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[77] “BENJAMIN RATTY, Shoemaker, Servant to Isaac Bolton, Petition for Mitigation of Sentence,” in New South Wales Government, Petitions to the Governor from Convicts for Mitigation of Sentences, 1810–1825, Series: 900, Fiche: 3163–3253, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[78] “BENJAMIN RATTY, Shoemaker, Servant to Isaac Bolton, Petition for Mitigation of Sentence,” in New South Wales Government, Petitions to the Governor from Convicts for Mitigation of Sentences, 1810–1825, Series: 900, Fiche: 3163–3253, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[79] “BENJAMIN RATTY, Shoemaker, Servant to Isaac Bolton, Petition for Mitigation of Sentence,” in New South Wales Government, Petitions to the Governor from Convicts for Mitigation of Sentences, 1810–1825, Series: 900, Fiche: 3163–3253, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[80] “BENJAMIN RATTY, Shoemaker, Servant to Isaac Bolton, Petition for Mitigation of Sentence,” in New South Wales Government, Petitions to the Governor from Convicts for Mitigation of Sentences, 1810–1825, Series: 900, Fiche: 3163–3253, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[81] John Thomas Campbell, “GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. Secretary’s Office, Sydney, 12th August, 1820,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 12 August 1820, p. 1; Bede Nairn, “Macarthur, Hannibal Hawkins (1788–1861),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/macarthur-hannibal-hawkins-2388/text3149, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 31 May 2019.

[82] Numerous “Government Notices” from the Colonial Secretary’s Office published in colonial newspapers indicate just how common it was for men who had arrived per convict ships only a few years prior to be appointed constables. For just one example, see Alexander McLeay, “GOVERNMENT NOTICE. Colonial Secretary’s Office, May 31, 1827,” The Gleaner (Sydney, NSW : 1827), Saturday 16 June 1827, p. 1. Part of this paragraph in the essay was previously included in content I wrote for, “Stop 4: St. John’s Cemetery, ‘God’s Acre,'” in “Convict Parramatta,” Dictionary of Sydney Walks, (2015). For the primary source quotations see David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South WalesVolume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), pp. 77–78. See also John Farquhar McMahon, (Ph.D. Diss.), “External and Internal Security in the Australian Colonies from their Founding to the End of the Macquarie Era,” (Hobart: University of Tasmania, 2004), https://eprints.utas.edu.au/20579/1/whole_McMahonJohnFarquhar2004_thesis.pdf, accessed 23 May 2019.

[83]POLICE INCIDENTS,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Saturday 3 June 1826, p. 3 and Female Factory Online (https://femalefactoryonline.org, 2019), law report of MARY MADDIN [sic], (p18260603), https://femalefactoryonline.org/law-reports/p18260603/, accessed 23 May 2019. See also an article penned in response to the case, in which it is pointed out that the constable was at fault: “Domestic Intelligence,” The Monitor (Sydney, NSW : 1826 – 1828), Friday 9 June 1826, p. 2. For more on the Irish convict involved in this police incident, see Irish Convicts to New South Wales, 1788–1849 (http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/cgi-bin/irish/irish.cgi, 2011), MARY MADDEN, http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/cgi-bin/irish/irish.cgi?requestType=Search2&id=17661, accessed 23 May 2019.

[84]POLICE INCIDENTS,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Saturday 3 June 1826, p. 3 and Female Factory Online (https://femalefactoryonline.org, 2019), law report of MARY MADDIN [sic], (p18260603), https://femalefactoryonline.org/law-reports/p18260603/, accessed 23 May 2019.

[85]POLICE INCIDENTS,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Saturday 3 June 1826, p. 3 and Female Factory Online (https://femalefactoryonline.org, 2019), law report of MARY MADDIN [sic], (p18260603), https://femalefactoryonline.org/law-reports/p18260603/, accessed 23 May 2019.

[86]POLICE INCIDENTS,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Saturday 3 June 1826, p. 3 and Female Factory Online (https://femalefactoryonline.org, 2019), law report of MARY MADDIN [sic], (p18260603), https://femalefactoryonline.org/law-reports/p18260603/, accessed 23 May 2019.

[87]Domestic Intelligence,” The Monitor (Sydney, NSW : 1826 – 1828), Friday 9 June 1826, p. 2.

[88] Irish Convicts to New South Wales, 1788–1849 (http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/cgi-bin/irish/irish.cgi, 2011), PETER RUSH, http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/cgi-bin/irish/irish.cgi?requestType=Search2&id=25947, accessed 23 May 2019; For the public announcement of Peter Rush’s Certificate of Freedom see, “PUBLIC NOTICE,” The Monitor (Sydney, NSW : 1826 – 1828), Friday 30 March 1827, p. 1. For Rush’s appointment as a constable soon after see: Alexander McLeay, “GOVERNMENT NOTICE,” The Gleaner (Sydney, NSW : 1827), Saturday 16 June 1827, p. 1 and his charge “OFFENCES,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW: 1824 – 1848), Friday 23 November 1827, p. 3 and Female Factory Online (https://femalefactoryonline.org, 2019), law report of HOPPY M’HEARTY, (p18271123), https://femalefactoryonline.org/law-reports/p18271123/, accessed 23 May 2019.

[89]OFFENCES,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW: 1824 – 1848), Friday 23 November 1827, p. 3 and Female Factory Online (https://femalefactoryonline.org, 2019), law report of HOPPY M’HEARTY, (p18271123), https://femalefactoryonline.org/law-reports/p18271123/, accessed 23 May 2019.

[90] Note: although there was a follow-up report in the Sydney Gazette stating that the matter with Rush had been investigated and the constable had been reinstated, a second follow-up report by the Sydney Gazette then noted that this retraction was erroneous. Another incident naming the ‘ci-devant constable Rush’ [i.e. the former constable Rush], reinforced that Rush had indeed been dismissed following misconduct with a convict woman on her way to the Parramatta Female Factory. See “No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Friday 7 December 1827, p. 2; “Police Report: Maria Robins,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Friday 21 December 1827, p. 2.

[91] For media coverage of the Cadman Case see “Accidents, Offences &c,” The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), Thursday 1 December 1836, p. 3; “No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 1 December 1836, p. 3, “Most Distressing Circumstance,” The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1826 – 1838), Wednesday 7 December 1836, p. 3; “SUPREME COURT: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10. RAPE,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 11 February 1837, p. 3; “LAW INTELLIGENCE. Supreme Court—Criminal Side,” The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), Monday 13 February 1837, p. 3; “Rape. SUPREME COURT. Criminal Side. Friday, February 10,” The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 – 1838), Friday 17 February 1837, pp. 2–3; “SUPREME COURT (Criminal Side),” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Tuesday 4 April 1837, p. 3; “No title,” The Colonist (Sydney, NSW : 1835 – 1840), Thursday 6 April 1837, p. 4.

[92] Irish Convicts to New South Wales, 1788–1849 (http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/cgi-bin/irish/irish.cgi, 2011), PATRICK BRADY, http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/cgi-bin/irish/irish.cgi?requestType=Search2&id=1305, accessed 23 May 2019 and The Digital Panopticon (https://www.digitalpanopticon.org/, version 1.1), George Nutter Life Archive (ID: obpt18190217-18-defend230), https://www.digitalpanopticon.org/life?id=obpt18190217-18-defend230, accessed 23 May 2019. Regarding the invalid convicts’ inability to intervene because they were convicts and the offenders were constables see “Rape,” The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 – 1838), Monday 13 February 1837, p. 3.

[93]Rape,” The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 – 1838), Monday 13 February 1837, p. 3. As the Sydney Monitor noted regarding the master cutting off Cadman’s hair, “This was an assault in law, as well as an unjust act. To cut off the hair, is in this Colony, the punishment of female convicts for vile offences. To every female, the ornament of the hair is most valuable. To deprive her of it, is the greatest punishment when she offends; the greatest act of tyranny when not according to law — This act of domestic tyranny by her master, occasioned the girl to run away. If she had run to a Magistrate for justice, she would have acted legally. But because, being young and friendless, she ran to the house of a friend, she was punished, while he who caused the offence, being rich and “respectable,” was allowed to go free!!!”

[94] Regarding bad shoes see “Rape,” The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 – 1838), Monday 13 February 1837, p. 3. For the locations and distance Cadman walked with her attacker see “Most Distressing Circumstance,” The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1826 – 1838), Wednesday 7 December 1836, p. 3.

[95]No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 25 May 1837, p. 3; “SUPREME COURT: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10. RAPE,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 11 February 1837, p. 3. In the latter source, the Judge was also quoted as saying that as a result of the attack and her time in prison, he feared Cadman would “associate with the most depraved and abandoned of [her] sex, whereby [she would be] hurled into a vortex of misery on [her] departure from prison.” For another article that points out the constable “had been the means of setting her an example which would cling to her through life, and ultimately end in the most abject misery and wretchedness” see “No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 25 May 1837, p. 3.

[96] Her rapist and his accomplice who aided and abetted the attack were sentenced to death. However, owing to “some extenuating circumstances had come to light since the trial,” which suggested Cadman had been promiscuous anyway, the disgraced constables’ death sentences were commuted to transportation. As The Colonist noted, though, “let it even be true that the character of the prosecutrix is as immoral as it is represented, still, as a female she is entitled to decent treatment and protection, and to send a young and attractive woman with no other companions but two constables as journey of upwards of a hundred miles, we shall ever consider an act unworthy of a magristrate or of any man.” The same article is the one that used the phrase a “disgraceful course of life,” see “No title,” The Colonist (Sydney, NSW : 1835 – 1840), Thursday 6 April 1837, p. 4. And for the article reporting that Cadman became the kept mistress of a juryman, see “No title,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Thursday 25 May 1837, p. 3. For other reports of her being involved in violent altercations in which she demonstrated a signature move, namely, twisting the hair of her adversaries so hard they thought they were being scalped see “LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. Police Office, Tuesday, July 8,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Thursday 10 July 1845, p. 4; “The Rival Queans,” Parramatta Chronicle and Cumberland General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1845), Saturday 12 July 1845, p. 1; “Police Reports,” Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (NSW : 1845 – 1860), Saturday 13 June 1846, p. 3.

[97] See for example the search results for keywords “dismissed constable” in the Government Gazettes: https://trove.nla.gov.au/gazette/result?q=dismissed+constable&sortby=dateAsc. For a few specific incidents, see Alexander McLeay, “Government Notice. Colonial Secretary’s Office, 10th March 1827,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 17 March 1827, p. 1; Alexander McLeay, “Government Notice. Colonial Secretary’s Office, 23d June, 1826,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 24 June 1826, p. 1; “Police Report. Liverpool: SATURDAY, MARCH 3.—William Flowers,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Tuesday 13 March 1827, p. 3.

[98]Rape. SUPREME COURT. Criminal Side. Friday, February 10,” The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 – 1838), Friday 17 February 1837, pp. 2–3.

[99]COMMISSARIAT,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 2 December 1820, p. 3.

[100]COMMISSARIAT,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 2 December 1820, p. 3.

[101] “Marriage of BENJAMIN RATTY and ANN ARNOLD, 29 October 1821,” Parish Marriage Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. Benjamin Ratty married convict Ann Arnold (née Ann Bodger) per Lord Wellington (1820), typically quoted in the convict indents as “the wife of Samuel Arnold.” Oddly, her husband, Samuel Arnold per Glory (1818), was in the colony living as close as Sydney when she married Benjamin, so it is not clear why she was permitted to marry Benjamin. A year after Benjamin’s death, she married a man named Edward Smith per Shipley (2) (1818) and became a publican in Parramatta. Ann’s first husband, Samuel Arnold, outlived both her second and third husbands, dying at the Liverpool Asylum in 1856.

[102] “List of Constables Composing the Police of Parramatta, and their Respective Employments,” New South Wales Government, Main Series of Letters Received, 1788–1825, Series: 897; Reels: 6041–6064, 6071–6072; Page: 4, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[103]PARRAMATTA POLICE. Mary Kane or Kennedy,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Wednesday 26 July 1826, p. 3.

[104] James Mudie Esq. coined the term “felonry” in 1837 “as the appellative of an order or class of persons in New South Wales—an order which happily exists in no other country in the world. The major part of the inhabitants of the colony are felons now undergoing or felons who have already undergone their sentences. They occupy not only the station of the peasantry and labourers in other civilized communities, but many—very many—of them are also, as respects their wealth or their pursuits, in the condition of gentry, or of dealers, manufacturors, merchants, and lawyers, or other members of the liberal professions. Hitherto there was no single term that could be employed to designate these various descriptions of persons.” See James Mudie, The Felonry of New South Wales, Being a Faithful Picture of the Real Romance of Life in Botany Bay, with Anecdotes of Botany Bay Society, and a Plan of Sydney, (London: Whaley and Co., Holywell St., 1837), pp. v–viii.

[105] F. Goulburn, “GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS, Colonial Secretary’s Office, Aug. 1, 1822. Civil Department,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Friday 2 August 1822, p. 1. For more on James McManus see Michaela Ann Cameron, “James McManus: The Wrath of a Madman,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2016), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/james-mcmanus-ii/, accessed 23 May 2019.

[106] If the “John Hodges” in this incident was the same John Hodges who won gold in a card game at James Larra’s Freemason’s Arms in Parramatta and built the Georgian townhouse later known as Brislington on the corner of George and Marsden Streets, then Hodges was an ex-convict who was involved in the sly grog trade and ran a “disorderly house” and continued his thieving ways in the colony. In short, Hodges was a bit of a rogue, so it is possible the Court felt any force the defendants used against the prosecutor was entirely justified. “William Flowers, Benjamin Ratty and Thomas Wolde: Offence: Assault on John Hodges, 24 December 1825,” New South Wales Government, Appendix B: Prisoners tried before the Supreme Court, 1825: Supreme Court: Miscellaneous Paers, 1825, 13477 [T22] 25/208, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[107] The first two pages of the Instructions read: “My good Lad, I beg you will be attentive to what I am going to say. You are going into the wide world, if you set out honestly you will thrive, for honesty is the best policy, and you will certainly find it so in the end. You will meet with some difficulties; expect them, but be not disheartened, they are difficulties which lead to honor, profit and pleasure, which cannot be obtained without difficulties. Some of you are relieved from great misery and wretchedness. You are now in the way of Fortune, I hope she will be your friend…You are now equipp’d. The MARINE SOCIETY, by the help of GOD, has furnished you with Clothes and Bedding fit for the sea; they recommend you to his Majesty’s brave Admirals, Captains, Commanders, and other Officers, that you may fight for your King and Country. Many on shore are in want of such necessares, and have no such advantages as you now have, as you all can witness. Learn how to value your own good fortune, make a proper use of it, and thank GOD for it.” The Marine Society, Instructions to Every Boy of the Marine Society, Given by their Secretary when the Boys set out from the Seamens Office on Thursdays, [London, England: The Marine Society, c.1770], pp. 1–2, held at the British Library.

[108] New South Wales Governemnt, Registers of Land Grants and Leases, Series: NRS 13836; Item: 7/488; Reel: 2704 (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia); New South Wales Government, New South Wales, Various Land Records, Series: 1217; Reel: 2561, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[109] “BENJAMIN RATTY, Shoemaker, Servant to Isaac Bolton, Petition for Mitigation of Sentence,” in New South Wales Government, Petitions to the Governor from Convicts for Mitigation of Sentences, 1810–1825, Series: 900, Fiche: 3163–3253, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[110] Charles Dickens, Dickens’s Dictionary of The Thames, from its Source to the Nore, (London: Macmillan & Co., Bedford Street, Strand, 1885), p. 133. Part of this paragraph in the essay was previously included in content I wrote for, “Stop 4: St. John’s Cemetery, ‘God’s Acre,'” in “Convict Parramatta,” Dictionary of Sydney Walks, (2015).

[111] Charles Dickens, Dickens’s Dictionary of The Thames, from its Source to the Nore, (London: Macmillan & Co., Bedford Street, Strand, 1885), p. 133. For the ‘snug spot of ground’ see “Australian Oddities,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Saturday 14 October 1826, p. 3; “Burial of BENJAMIN RATTY, age 28 [sic], Constable Shot by bushrangers, Free, 9 October 1826,” Parish Burial Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. For his headstone transcription, see Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: St. John’s, (Parramatta: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991), p. 172.

© Copyright 2019 Michaela Ann Cameron