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Monday, June 30, 2014


Empire, Sydney, Monday 17 April 1865
(Before the Water Police Magistrate.)
Jane Wilkinson, aged 29, described as a domestic servant, was brought up for protection.
From the evidence it appeared that the prisoner, on Thursday night last, threw herself into the water from the pier near the battery at Fort Macquarie and but for the timely aid of Edmund Mawbey, ship's corporal, of H.M.S. Curacoa, she  would inevitably have lost her life.
The woman had been carried into the stream fully 30 yards when Mawbey plunged in to her rescue.
She was slightly under the influence of liquor when she was given into custody. The Water Police Magistrate complimented Mawbey for his gallant conduct. The prisoner was remanded for a week for medical treatment.
Seven months later, in November 1865, Edmund Mawbey was in Darlinghurst Gaol.  Why?  He'd been awarded medals for his involvement in the Maori Wars in New Zealand, so what went wrong?

The Sydney Morning Herald Thursday 16 November 1865
Well, I've just discovered that this once gallant seaman was back in the news in November 1865 as "Edward Morby" and as a deserter from his ship, the HMS Curacao.
The police were tipped off to his whereabouts by an informer and he was found in a bed in a pub owned by a Camperdown publican, John Woodford, and his wife who were hiding him.
The publican was fined 30 pounds in default three months in prison.
Morby aka Mawbey must have been given a gaol sentence for jumping ship. 
This all happened exactly 3 years after my ancestor, George Mawbey's death in nearby Newtown.