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Cornwell, Isaac (1774–1811)

Patrick Hurley and Patrick Hand were indicted for the wilful murder of Isaac Cornwall [Cornwell], on the night of the 1st of January last at Richmond Hill, and were both acquitted. The circumstances of the case, as appeared from the evidence, were, that the prisoner Hurley was in company with the deceased and several others at the house of the prisoner Hand, from dusk in the evening till about 9 at night. That the company were for the most part much intoxicated; that the deceased had in the course of the evening applied to purchase a pint of spirits from Hurley, who had declined letting him have it; that the deceased left Hand's house and in his passage towards a neighbouring cottage met Hurley who had left before, and tried to quarrel with him; which the latter endeavoured to shun; but that afterwards all the parties re-assembled at the house of Hand, upon whom and Hurley a dreadful attack was made by the deceased and one Thomas Ward, who had joined him. That both the prisoners sought shelter from their violence in the house of the prisoner Hand, they having received many severe wounds from the assailants, who were then shut out; that the deceased armed himself with an axe, and endeavoured to make his way through the door, which was bolted within, but which he broke in several places, at the same time uttering the most dreadful threats and imprecations: That a musket or pistol was fired by some person, of which no account could be given, and that immediately after the prisoner Hurley levelled a gun through an aperture in the outer door which the deceased was endeavouring to force open, and shot him dead upon the spot; at which time Hand was not in the house at all. It also appeared in evidence that no malice whatever had subsisted between the deceased and the prisoners, who were peaceable men at all times, whereas the deceased was when intoxicated a very violent and dangerous character, and that the act of shooting was in self defence.

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Citation details

'Cornwell, Isaac (1774–1811)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/cornwell-isaac-27115/text34661, accessed 18 August 2019.

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