LATER MELBOURNE NEWS.
(from thr daily timhs corrbspohdent.) November 12th, 1863. The three wretched convicts, Julian Cross, Elizabeth Scott, and David Gedge, convicted of the murder of Robert Scott, a refreshment tent keeper near Mansfield, in the Ovens district, in April last, were executed in the central gaol Melbourne, yesterday morning. Up to the last moment the female prisoner appeard to entertain hopes that her sex would save her from undergoing the extreme penalty of the law, but, if one really entertained any expectations of that kind they were doomed to disappointment, for from the time that after a full consideration of the whole of the circumstances of riiis atrocious case, the Government had resolvea upon sending the death warrants of these unhappy persona to the gaol, the Executive showed no inclination to arrest the course of the law. There is no doubt that had this been a case in which, so long as the penalty of death is prescribed by the law for murder, it would have been most consistent with justice to spare the lives of those convicted under it without the smallest extenuating circumstances, the female prisoner would have been reprieved. But this was a case of so atrocious a nature that neither the youth of the convict Gedge, nor the youth and sex combined of the unfortunate woman Scott, were of any avail to save them from the gallows. As so long a period has elapsed since the perpetration of the horrible and cold-blooded deed, for which these three persons have suffered, a brief summary of the circumstances of the offence may not be altogether without interest to your readers. The woman, Elizabeth Scott, was married to the unfortunate victim of the murder, but she appears to have contracted a
great dislike of him soon after her marriage, which gradually grew into a confirmed hatred. Thi3 revulsion of feeling on the part of' the wife urght have been owing, in a gieat measure, to the greater age and drunken habits of the husband, but it was no doubt much ac-. celerated by an attachment which she had in the mean time conceived for the young man David Gedge, who was one of the tools and accomplices in the fatal deed by which she expected at once to rid herself of an old disagreeable partner, and to obtain the power of allying herself with one younger and more to her taste. The murder having been resolved upon between the woman and her paramour Gedge, they proceeded to enlist the services of a man of color named Cross, who, it appears, was employed about the premises occupied by the Scotts, and who, for a consideration, agreed to carry the fell purpose arrived at into execution. A moment was chosen when the unfortunate husband was confined to his bed with an attack o£ delirium tremevs. Tbe bullet which was destined to despatch him was cast by Gedge, who handed it, as well as a pistol, to Cross. The latter after failing once in killing the unhappy victim, and on that occasion only resuming his dreadful work after reiterated and urgent requests from the woman and Gedge, aided by a glass of brandy, put the fatal shot into the husband's head and killed him upon the spot. The pistol was then placed in the right hand of the murdered man, and the report was spread that he had shot himself. This artifice, however, failed to screen the guilty perpetrators of the deed, who were soon brought to justice, when the man Cross confessed to the part which he had taken in the murder, and the speedy conviction of the other persons concerned in it followed. The prisoners underwent their fate with great firmness and died almost without a struggle. FuU particulars have come to hand respecting the finding of the bodies of Selby and Barnett, the two hawkers who were led to a tree and murdered on Carr's Plains, between Pleasant Creek and Glenorchy, but nothing of interest has transpired concerning the shocking affair since the despatch of my last, nor have the murderers been heard of.
The Port Philip Farmers' Society's exhibition opens to-day, and owing to the improved state of the weather and the excellence of the exhibits, it is likely to be highly successful. The benefit of Mrs Kean at the Haymarket on Tuesday night, was attended by a very large and highly gratified audience,
Permanent link to this item
LATER MELBOURNE NEWS., Otago Witness, Issue 625, 21 November 1863
LATER MELBOURNE NEWS. Otago Witness, Issue 625, 21 November 1863
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.