Robert Howe Publican


Robert Howe  was a Publican in 1850 at Hartley located at the foot of the Big hill at the Mount Victoria Pass was often called. His testimony on the trial of George Morrison  reveals that he was running an inn in 1850.   


The business of the Quarter Sessions was commenced on Thursday last by Samuel Raymond, Esq., the Chairman, assisted by the Police Magistrate. There were eight cases for adjudication.

STEALING FROM THE PERSON. George Morrison, a native, was indicted for stealing ;2 17s. 6d., from the person of Jeremiah Galvin, at Hartley, on the 18th September last. The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was undefended. Jeremiah Galvin deposed; that he was a drover in the employment of  W.C. Wentworth, Esq., .and on the 9th September employed the prisoner to assist him in driving a herd of cattle to Sydney, his assistant, a  black; boy, having deserted him on the road, the prisoner was quarrelsome and testy until they arrived at the foot of the hill ; he (the witness), had occasion to complain to the chief constable of  Hartley of the prisoner's bad conduct on the road ; he observed .the, prisoner in the middle of the night, when he was in bed, at the Middle River, searching his (the witness's) trowsers pocket, when he made a noise to let him know that he saw , him , and the prisoner rushed into his bed ; he (the prosecutor) was taken sick when they arrived at Mr. Howe's inn at the foot of Mount Victoria, and lay down upon a bed in Mr. I Howe's kitchen ; the cook; and groom were the only persons in the place at the time, and the prisoner  was near the place ; under the verandah  he (the prosecutor) slept two or three hours when he awoke ; missed  his money, consisting of a Sydney Commercial Bank .pound note and the rest of  silver,  amongst which was a three-penny piece  with a hole in it ; he had  several times supplied  the prisoner  with money on the road, and had on these occasions given the prisoner an opportunity of seeing his money; on .one occasion   when he refused to give him  any (he prosecutor) told the  prisoner that  goto wlutMhlw ball to twar his ?E|nnum oa  the road, to, which the prisoner replied, by calling, him (the prosecutor) a liar, telling him that he, knew he had a bag full of money ; the note produced was like the one which he lost.

Robert Howe deposed that he was a publican and resided at the foot of the Big Hill ; on the 18th of last month, the prosecutor, who was on his way to Sydney with cattle belonging to Mr. Wentworth, came to him and told him he was sick, and after wards went into his kitchen and lay down; about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, he informed him that; he had been robbed of his money ; he (the witness) proceeded to the kitchen to institute an enquiry, when he was informed that the prisoner had been there; the prisoner, who came into the place all most at the same moment, fi&t denied and after wards admitted that he had been in the kitchen whilst the prosecutor was asleep ; he asked to be searched, alleging that he had no money on his person ; observing a lump in the waistband of his trousers, he examined the prisoner, and drew from the place where the projection appeared, a comforter in which he found l 2s. 3d. in silver, and upon searching his hat, he discovered a pound note upon the Sydney Commercial Bank secreted between the hat and the lining ; this note the prosecutor had previously described to him; the prisoner then stated that he had saved the money for the purpose of taking it to his mother who was sick. 

 Constable Hancock proved that he apprehended the prisoner at Mr. Howe's, and that a three-penny bit found upon the prisoner had a hole in it. Jeremiah Galvin, recalled, stated, that a three penny piece, which was amongst the silver, had been perforated.  The prisoner occupied a long time in cross examining the witnesses, apparently with no object but that of amusing himself and killing time. In defence he stated that he won the money found upon him, at Howe's by gambling  and that he had received some money from Mr. Gressier on the Saturday previous to his hiring with the prosecutor, who with the witnesses, had conspired, to get him into trouble and pocket his money. He called  Dominique Gressier, who deposed that he had paid him 16s. as wages before he left Kelso. , Constable Finnery and Mr. Fishburne, were called to speak as to character, who both stated that they knew nothing bad of him. The Chairman, in summing up, observed, that if the jury credited Mr. Howe's evidence, their duty would be to find the prisoner guilty. A strong presumption of his guilt appeared in his contradictory statements and denials. At one time he denied having been in the kitchen when the prosecutor was asleep, and at another admitted it. Afterwards he denied having any money about his person, and when it was found, stated that he was taking it to his mother. The jury found him guilty without leaving the box. He was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, the first and last fortnights to be spent in. solitary confinement.

Bathurst Free Press (NSW : 1849-1851), Saturday 26 October 1850, page 4