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Paterson River history

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Scourgers at Paterson 1825 to 1840

Historical context/background

Scourgers were employed by the Government during the convict era to flog convicts who had been sentenced by the court to receive a number of lashes as punishment for various offences. Scourgers were often ex-convicts or convicts holding a Ticket of Leave.

A summary of the historical context and background to the appointment of the scourgers listed here is available on the following page.

Scourgers at Patersons Plains or Paterson

The first scourger for Paterson was appointed in 1825 when local magistrate James Webber began holding district court sessions at Old Banks. From 1838 to 1840 two scourgers were employed at Paterson, probably because of the large number of convicts in the district. Source: Official Annual Returns of the Colony ('the blue books') plus SG 5 May 1835.

Thompson, Joseph
1825: per ship Ocean, appointed Constable and Scourger, effective from 1 July 1825 [CS 4/424 p400 and SG 1 September 1825 p1]
Higgins, George
1827: Scourger, deceased [SG 27 August 1827 p1]
Smith, William
1827: Constable and Scourger, per ship Somersetshire, in place of George Higgins who was deceased [SG 27 August 1827 p1]
Scully, John
1828: Constable and Scourger, dismissed [SG 5 November 1828 p1]
Oldaker, William
1828 to 1832: Constable and Scourger in place of John Scully who was dismissed [SG 5 November 1828 p1]. Oldakers was dismissed as Constable in March 1830 but retained as Scourger [CS Col Sec to Aubin 20 March 1830, 30/192 in 4/3828 p277]. He served until his death in 1832 [GG 1832 p390]
Harris, Benjamin
1832: Scourger, per ship America, in place of Oldaker who was deceased [GG 1832 p390]
Newton, David
1833: Scourger, who himself received 50 lashes at Paterson for drunkenness and neglect as a scourger [British Parliamentary Papers - Transportation and Secondary Punishment 1810-1841 p391]
Shepherd, Nathaniel
1833: based at Maitland, acting scourger at Paterson and to the ironed gang stationed there [CS Harrington to Anley 19 Dec 1833, 33/829 in 4/3835 p433]

police establishment at Paterson in 1838

Above: police positions at Paterson in 1838 according to the Official Returns of the Colony. The annual salaries are shown at the right in pounds, shillings and pence. There were two scourgers on the books.

extract from return of punishments of convicts at Paterson in March 1836

Above: part of the return of convicts tried at Paterson in March 1836. In the 'charge' column the offences are shamming sickness, absent from farm, drunkenness and insolence, neglect of work and insolence, and refusing to work. The right-hand column shows the number of lashes ordered by the Bench [CS X708, reel 662].

See also

Police officers, watch-house keepers and Clerks to the Bench at Paterson and Patersons Plains.

Further information

The 'Free Settler or Felon?' website oftens provides further information on the individuals listed above. Just put the name of the individual of interest into the site's search box