Death Registrations

Discussion in 'Criminal Ancestors' started by Archie's Mum, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Have been searching for death registrations for three men who were executed. I know when and where they were executed. Is there a reason why they are not on the BDM register here in NSW. Years are 1844 and 1855.
    Thanks
     
  2. Doug

    Doug Administrator. The Main Man. Staff Member

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    According to the NSW BMD site the period you are looking at was pre civil registration and church records are being used:

    From 1788 to 1856 the only birth, death or marriage records kept in the Colony of NSW were registers maintained by the Churches when they performed a baptism, marriage or burial. This required people to attend a Church in person, and not all life events in this period are recorded.

    I wonder if there is no record because they were executed and there was possibly no church burial.
     
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  3. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Thank you Doug. I didn't think of that but now that you mention it, we would only have a burial record for those dates. No burial record for those of course who didn't get a burial. Just a hole dug somewhere and forgotten about.
    Fred Ward, Captain Thunderbolt has his supposed grave just inside the gate at Uralla Cemetery. A lovely white fence all around, nice little memorial stone, the works. My neighbour grew up in Uralla and told us that he is actually on the other side of the boundary fence, somewhere as it was forbidden for him to be buried on consecrated ground. :(
     
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  4. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    This is a pretty horrid subject but my interest has been sparked.
    John Knatchbull, naval Captain and convict was executed 13 February 1844, Darlinghurst. After he was committed to be executed he appealed the death sentence on the grounds that the judge had not directed that his body be dissected and anatomized after execution, thus making his sentence illegal. He lost the appeal by the way.
    So was this the normal for all executed convicts and is this why there is no record of a death or burial. Sorry folks but I find this a tad interesting.
     
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  5. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    It seems such was the case. From a History of Criminal Law in New South Wales.
    According to the Murder Act of 1752 (England) to increase the deterrent effect of the death penalty. 'Every murderer shall after execution either be dissected or hung in chains'.
    There you have it. Just what you needed to know. But at least I know now why there is no trace of some who were executed.
     
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  6. Bonzo Dog

    Bonzo Dog Still the Mad Scientist?

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    It may be a horrid subject AM, but one that can give glimpses of public and legal attitudes at the time.

    I have known for some time that a relative died young in Cockermouth, Cumberland and found a transcript of his burial record on Family Search. I never got round to obtaining a copy of his death certificate but thanks to a newspaper article I now know he committed suicide in Cockermouth "Lock-Up" after he had been arrested for robbery.

    The article also gave the information that he was considered to be suffering from "temporary insanity" when he hanged himself. This can be seen as an act of compassion as it meant his family were spared having to arrange a burial devoid of any religious service between the hours of 9 pm and midnight. It also shows the vicar had compassion. He could have refused permission for the burial.
     
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  7. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Lots of info on John Knatchbull on Trove so I thought I may get a hint as to where he might be buried. Not so, as he was the brother of one Sir Edward Knatchbull the sometime Baron of somewhere I now forget. No trace at all. I did find that Sir Edward paid for the education of John's victims children until they finished school.
    He was removed in a coffin 'ready for burial' but was he buried? Or did he meet that horrid fate?. :(
    Life (and death) was cruel back then.
     
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