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James Arndell Gunn (1847–1884)

James Gunn, n.d.

James Gunn, n.d.

Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, 620645

Yesterday morning the inhabitants of Launceston heard with surprise and regret that Mr James Arndell Gunn, who was on a visit to Glendhu, the residence of his mother, had either accidentally or intentionally shot himself, and was lying in a very critical state. Mr Gunn has been for some time Inspector of sheep in the district of Bothwell, but having suffered severely from injury to his right leg was allowed a month's leave of absence for the benefit of his health. The leave was up yesterday, but we hear it was extended for a fortnight. However, Mr Gunn intended to leave, and had his portmanteau and luggage packed and all ready to town yesterday, though not to return direct to Bothwell. About 9 o'clock Miss Allison asked him if he was coming to breakfast. He replied in the affirmative, but went upstairs to his brother's (Mr Ronald Gunn) room. There he found a revolver lying in a case with five chambers loaded. Soon after a report was heard, and immediately succeeding it a second. Mr Phillips, the gardener, hearing the second report, ran into the house and up with Miss Allison to the room. There he found Mr Gunn and the revolver lying on the floor. Blood was flowing copiously from wounds about the head. Dr. Maddox was promptly sent for, and soon arrived, followed by Dr. Pike. On attending to the wounds they found that one shot entered underneath the right jaw bone, and came out of the right cheek below the eye. The other ball had entered the head just above the right ear, and emerged at the top of the head. The injuries were so extensive that the medical gentlemen having consulted and taken all the facts into consideration, entertained small hope of his recovery. The right side of the body was paralysed, and the sufferer was at times apparently conscious, but incoherent, at other times quite unconscious. Very sincere regret is widely expressed that a man who has been a favorite from his childhood should have been reduced to so desponding a state as to adopt such a desperate remedy in the hope of escape from pain and worry, exaggerated by temporary depression. When Dr. Maddox visited him at 11 o'clock last night the symptoms of possible recovery were more favorable. Real sympathy is felt for Mrs Gunn sen., and all the relatives of Mr Gunn. He is only aged about 36 years, and is the youngest son of the late Mr William Gunn, so long Police Magistrate of Launceston. He represented the district of Sorell for about ten years in the House of Assembly, from 1872 to 1882. He has been in the Commission of the Peace since 1871. We hope to hear this morning that Mr Gunn's life has been mercifully spared.

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Citation details

'Gunn, James Arndell (1847–1884)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

James Gunn, n.d.

James Gunn, n.d.

Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, 620645

Life Summary [details]


5 November, 1847
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


14 February, 1884 (aged 36)

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.