Search This Blog

Thursday, February 4, 2010


This photograph (C) Pamela Mawbey 2010
Please acknowledge my copyright if reproduce
Sydney Supreme Court,
Cnr King & Elizabeth Sts

SUPREME COURT, SYDNEY, 10 and 21 August 1837
English-born GEORGE MAWBEY was a witness for the Crown in the matter REX v. ONIONS in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, presided over by Acting Chief Justice DOWLING, on 10 August 1837.
The issues arising were malicious
prosecution, civil procedure, imprisonment for debt and perjury.
It was argued that SAMUEL ONIONS had unjustly caused JOHN RAINE to be arrested and held on bail on the false claim that he was indebted to him to the sum of 20 pounds.
Mr RAINE, a public notary, claimed he had applied to Samuel ONIONS, of King-Street, ironmonger, to supply him with agricultural implements in February 1834.
He had also given him some jointers (carpenters planes) and old cast-iron mill work to sell and credit against his account.
Someone else then brought a libel case against Mr RAINE for which he was fined and imprisoned.
When RAINE got out of gaol, Onions accused him of owing him 20 pounds.

GEORGE MAWBEY, Mr Onion's clerk, was called to depose that the jointers and ironwork had not been disposed of at the time he left the employ of ONIONS on 10th January last. He said he had always understood they were left there to be sold on commission.
Two months before the trial got underway, a couple of letters pertaining to the matter had been published in Sydney newspapers:
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 13 June 1837
Advertisement. To the Editor of the Sydney Gazette.
On reading last Friday's Australian, I observed a letter signed ALFRED AUSTIN relative to my Advertisement Thursday last in which he states he was the author of giving notice to the public for the Sale of my Articles "and he does not think Mr ONIONS was aware of it".
In reply, I beg leave to state Mr AUSTIN did call I believe on the 24th or 25th May last, saying he had a demand against me for eight pounds from Mr ONIONS;
I told him I would see the party myself.
On the same day I had occasion to go to the bottom of BRICKFIELD HILL when I saw Mr Onions at the corner of Hunter Street who said has my collector called for the amount of the bill I hold of yours; I told him "yes, about an hour ago" but I will settle it in a few days to which Mr O replied he shall not call again (the Collector), but he shall expose you in the Newspapers and the articles shall be advertised for sale.
I do also perceive in another column of the same newspaper, a letter signed G MAWBEY, formerly clerk to the said Mr Onions, stating that I came with a pitiful tale, asking for the loan of eight pounds, which I totally deny, for I only asked for seven pounds at first and Mr ONIONS was "kind enough" to charge me one pound as interest for 14 days which I gave him as I before stated my acceptance for eight pounds;
also I insisted on leaving as collateral security the articles of jewellery; with respect to the part of Mr G M's letter, I will leave it to the public to form their own opinion how far it is consistent that I should insist on leaving my articles independent of giving my acceptance;
he further states they were accordingly "booked" in the day book;
if so, why did Mr ONIONS refuse to give me an acknowledgement, stating the number of articles left; he has also stated with regard to interest he thinks Mr Onions never received any;
let him ask Mr O if the very watch key now attached to his watch is not the same key I gave him, forming one of the articles he received which I enumerated on account of interest therein;
and should .... By your giving the above a place in your columns, in reply, will much oblige.Mr Editor, Yours obediently, LEWIS JOSEPH. June, 10, 1837.

The Australian, Friday 9 June 1837
To the Editor of The Australian
SIR, - With reference to the advertisement which appears in the Sydney Gazette of the 8th instant, bearing the signature of "Lewis Joseph", relative to some jewellery that was left in charge of Mr Onions for security for money advanced to Mr Joseph, and in reply I have to state for the information of the public that the whole of the production alluded to is a complete tissue of falsehoods from beginning to end, as I was clerk to Mr Onions at the time Mr Joseph came to Mr Onions with a pitiful tale, almost begging for the amound of 8 pounds, and which Mr Onions was kind enough to advance him.
At this time Mr Joseph insisted on leaving as collateral security the following articles of jewellery, viz: four eye glasses, two coral necklaces, two pair of ear rings, and seven brooches, all of which I duly entered in the day book, which can be inspected by any one, as to that particular fat, so that that part of Mr Joseph's advertisement as regards the quantity of articles is a most palpable falsehood.
As to the interest on the occasion, I am inclined to think Mr Onions never received, as he would be very glad to receive the principal only.
G. MAWBEY, Late Clerk to Mr S Onions, George-street, June 8, 1837.
[Source: xxx]

When I originally made this post, The Australian newspaper was in the process of being digitalised and was not available.
A copy was sent to me in February 2011 by a descendent of the Candy family, one of whom was married to a Melbourne Mawbey.
For more about Samuel Onions, click on his page in the right sidebar of this blog.
The following year he sold the 812 acre estate to ENOCH RUDDER from Birmingham who called the area 'Kempsey' after Kempsey on the Severn in Worcestershire, England.
[Source: Macleay River Historical Society Inc., 'Walks in History - East Kempsey'.]



The Supreme Court of New South Wales was originally intended to be housed in the building next door that is now St James Church of England. The construction of the Supreme Court building had been initiated by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, but his bete noir, Commissioner Bigge, made him convert it into a church.
Coincidentally, Bigges' brother-in-law, who arrived in the colony three years later, was the first minister at the new church which was dedicated to St James!
Was that a bit of nepotistic 'forward planning' on Bigges' part?
[Source: Lawlink NSW website]

The Argus, Melbourne, 29 May 1853
William MAWBEY charged driving a dray with no number on it but discharged.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 27 April 1867
Central Police Court.
WILLIAMS v MAWBEY proceedings under the Tenants Act were granted.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 23 August 1894
GEORGE MAWBEY, a contractor, of Ann-street Surry Hills, was charged in the police courts of having caused his horse to be cruelly ill-treated by permitting it to be worked whilst lame in the foreleg.
The case was brought by an inspector to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Defendant was fined one pound, with costs; in default, seven days imprisonment.

This would have been George (II) Mawbey, younger brother of John Thomas of Breelong and son of George (I) and Ann Mawbey, and my great uncle.
He was aged 36 at the time.