William Collits


  feb 16 1839 Pierce placed an advertisement to advice the public that William was "an idiot" and has not property.


Caroline married William on the 18th November 1840. 

On 15th December, 1841 William placed ad in paper.


3rd January 1842 Caroline Collits was murdered

.After just 6 months after her marriage to William on 18th November 1840, her sister Maria, married John Welsh (or Walsh) 7 JUN 1841 in Hassan Walls Presbyterian Church.

It was alleged that the sisters were pestering William about giving them some cattle.




THIS is to caution any person from giving trust or credit to my son, William Collits. who 1 proclaim to be an Idiot, and has no command of any property, only through me, and 1 will not pay any debts he may contract after this date. PIERCE COLLITS. Mount York, ) February 16  1839.


AN Advertisement appeared in the Australian, a few days since, signed Pierce Collits, cautioning the Public against giving credit to his Son,. William Collits, and. describing him as an Idiot. That portion of the Advertisement describing  the said William Collits as an Idiot is an error, but the other portions of the Advertisement are correct. PIERCE COLLITS. Mount York, 1 March 4th, 1839. J


THE Public are again cautioned against giving trust or credit to William Collits, or having any dealings with him in buying, selling, or otherwise, he having no property of his own, he being considered not of sound mind.


Monday 17 January 1842


The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (NSW : 1838-1841) Friday 24 December 1841 Edition: MORNING p 1 Advertising


  WHEREAS my wife, CAROLINE COLLITS, having left her home some months   back, without any just cause or provocation, -I do hereby caution the public against harbouring or giving the said Caroline Collits any credit. as I will not be answerable for any debts she may contract, and that any person found harbouring her after this advertisement shall be prosecuted to the utmost rigor of the law. WILLIAM COLLITS. Mount York, 15th December, 1841.

The Berrima and Mount Victoria


In the annals of crime, it has not been met with, nor has it ever fallen, to our lot to publish the particulars, of the diabolical and atrocious circumstances attending the perpetration of the crime of murder-the latter case at Berrima, by a monster named John Lynch, alias Dun- leavy, who has expiated his crimes on the gal-   lows; the other culprit will be executed at Bathurst this morning. An outline of the career of these men may not be uninteresting  

to our reader.

John Welsh was tried before Mr. Justice

Stephen at the late Bathurst Assizes, and after a very lengthened trial, was found guilty of the wilful murder of Caroline Collitt, at Mount Victoria, on the 31 of January last.  

The young woman Catherine Collitt, at the time of her death, was not more than 17 years of age, and was married about 18 months previous to Collit, who was regarded as a person of a ner vous and weak disposition, but possessed of a con- siderable number of cattle, and other property. Alter she had been married about a year, in a fit of drunkenness her mother hung herself in her own bouse; her husband was in the house at the time, but in such a beastly state of intoxi- cation, as to be incapable of preventing her destroying herself. Shortly after her death, he was taken up on suspicion of being concerned in her destruction, but after being confined for upwards of 6 months in gaol, he was liberated.   Some months after the mother's death, a younger sister of Caroline Collit's married the murderer Welsh, and continued to reside with him until the day of her sister's murder. It has been ascertained since the trial of the cuprit, that Welsh's wife as well as Caroline Collit, were very loose and abandoned characters, which is totally borne out by the circumstances, that prior to Welsh marrying the younger sister, he was in the habit of cohabiting with the elder, and since his marriage with the younger sister, Caroline had separated from her husband Collit, and was living with Welsh and her sister in the same house. It is also a fact, that a short time before her murder, she was   again on terms of intimacy with her husband,   and was going to live with him again.

Welsh is a native of Ireland, from whence it is said he was transported for 7 years to this   Colony in 1833, and was about 30 years of age at his late trial. It also appears that since his arrival here, he was twice tried for murder   previous to his last conviction-once before the Chief Justice, but acquitted of the murder of a man named Create. In 1839, he was again tried before Mr. Justice Stephen, for having murdered a woman and her little son. On ac- count of the character of the principal witness against him, he was a second time acquitted,- In the former case, it was established by the evidence, that the residence of the murdered woman had been robbed of some tobacco and a keg of spirits, and that she and her son had been beaten to death with a bludgeon, which was found near their murdered bodies. Not long afterwards, Welsh took an aboriginal with him to assist him to remove the plunder, which had been concealed near the hut, telling the black that he had been told by the bushrangers where the property was secreted ; that they, the   bushrangers, had committed the murder, and afterwards the robbery -adding that the bush- rangers were afraid of being apprehended, if they attempted to remove the property. A quantity of clothing was afterwards found, be- splattered with blood. Welsh accounted for the dress he had on when taken, by saying that the bushrangers had forced it upon him, in order that he might assist them to disguise themselves, to make their escape out of that neighbourhood.

On his trial for the murder of Catherine Collitt, he endeavoured to show that four or five men had set upon him and the deceased, and after beating him, compelled him likewise to give them his clothes, they then murdered the woman. The culprit, Mrs Col- litt, and her husband had all been seen drinking together, kept by a man named Jagars, near to Mount Victoria; here Welsh obtained, and

drank two glasses of brandy, Collitt drinking   only one, and his wife partaking of a small quantity of lemon syrup. Soon after leaving the public house, without the slightest provo- cation, Welsh knocked Collitt down, using the most dreadful imprecations; his victim (Caro-   line) interfered with the murderer, and by seizing his arms, at the same time shouting to her husband-"run, run, he has got a stone, and will murder you," allowed him to escape. These were the last words that Catherine Collitt was heard to utter, nor was she after that affray again seen alive. On the following morning, about a mile and a half from that spot, her body was found lacerated in a dreadful manner, the face and head being covered with bruises, cuts and blood. A deep wound on the temple had penetrated the brain, which had, no doubt, been inflicted by a sharp jagged stone, which was found close by, covered with hair and blood. Soon after Welsh's condemnation, and when under sentence of death in Bathurst gaol, it is said he addressed Mr. Justice Stephen, and recalled to his recollection, the circumstance of his trial and acquittal for murder in 1839. This man's career has been marked with deep scenes   of blood, but they are nothing in comparison of the blood-thirsty.  

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803-1842) (about)
Tuesday 3 May 1842

James Harmer and John Welsh were indicted     for tile wilful murder of William Kelly by beating   him on the head with a stick, kicking bim &c.  

at Harper's Hill on the 28th December. Not Guilty. Discharged, 

Monday 12 August 1839