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Newgate Calendar - ISAAC WEST and JOHN DUNCAN


Convicted of Burglary in Botany Bay, 12th of September 1809

            At the Court of Criminal Jurisdiction in Sydney, Botany Bay on 12th of September 1809, Isaac West, and John Duncan, (convicts) were indicted; Isaac West for breaking and entering the house of Elizabeth, alias Sarah Hill, on the 17th of August last in the day time, and stealing therefrom articles to the value of twenty-seven shillings; and John Duncan for receiving the said articles knowing them to be stolen. Isaac West was sentenced to receive three hundred lashes on his bare back, and to be imprisoned five years at Fort Dalrymple; and John Duncan to fourteen years' transportation.

            Note: Sarah Hill was then a convict, but obtained the indulgence of her own time, giving money in lieu of public work. She took a house, and converted it into a brothel, acting the part of bawd therein; after figuring some time in the character of, what we in London term, "a girl of the town."

            We should have concluded that these punishments, if not operating as an example to others in the like case offending, would surely have fully sufficed to have deterred the rogues themselves from committing further depredations; but it seems, like a great part of their fellow convicts, they were incorrigible. We find in the Gazette that ere the back of one of them whipped had ceased smarting from the lashes above mentioned, they had relapsed into their wonted propensity to thieving, as will appear from the following paragraph:

"On Tuesday last West and Duncan, who were lately convicted of robbing the house of Elizabeth Hill, in Chapel-row, were examined before a bench of magistrates on a charge of stealing poultry, which Duncan declared he had found; but as the fact of stealing was too palpable to admit so unplausible a justification, both were ordered to sleep in the gaol as improper characters."


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