John Morrison (victim) and Mathew Madden convicted of Manslaughter at Ullina, Lilliput Run via Rutherglen
Mathew Madden, a shepherd and servant employed by Mr. Jason Withers (Ullina Station adjoining the Lilliput Run), was indicted for the wilful murder of John Morrison (also a shepherd and servant employed by Jason Withers) at Blind Creek, near the Black Dog Creek, upon Ullina Station, Lilliput on the morning of October 3rd, 1850. John Morrison lingered through injury and died the next day on the 4th October being pronounced dead by Dr. J. Keating.
Both men had been the worse for wear from the previous night of drinking at Dillon’s pub near the Black Dog Creek (originally called the Horse & Jockey Hotel). The effect of alcohol carrying over to the next morning! According to witness statements, at 7am on the 3rd of October, John Morrison was harassing Mathew Madden with stick, both throwing it at him and hitting him with it! This behaviour was episodic and continued for some time throughout the morning. John Morrison got more vicious with his stick onslaught and knocked down Mathew Madden, kicking him in the head region twice and causing a bleeding injury. Madden then lay down in his hut, with witnesses stating that he was muttering he “would rip his guts out” (“his” being the assumed reference to Morrison). He thereafter asked Clark Stafford (a witness to the mornings events) for his knife.
Madden alighted from his bed, grabbed a pair of old sheep shears and chased Morrison around the back of the hut, the melee continued and Clark Stafford in his concern went to get help. He did not witness the goings on at the back of the hut but heard the fracas. Just when departing, Madden called out to Stafford and told him he’d “ripped the bloody buggers guts out” and that he (Morrison) was laid down by the fold! Morrison lingered to the next day and was coherent enough to state that Madden had stabbed him in the left side with a pair of old sheep shears. Jason Withers having returned with Clark Stafford tended his wounds all that day and evening. Madden called in to the hut where Morrison was laid up and expressed his sorrow at what had occurred, saying to Morrison “you see what you caused me to do”!
At the 19th and 20th of November trial in Albury, Madden states he was not inebriated, and that Morrison came home from Dillon’s pub (by the Black Dog Creek) with two bottles of rum and continued to drink. He was singing and when Madden corrected him about the lyrics of a song being incorrect, it sparked the beginning of the long drawn-out altercation!
A couple of points noted at the November trial were that Mathew Madden tended to the wounded man during the night along with his employer Mr Jason Withers, he told Jason Withers to take medical fees from his pay and had stated that he would not have meddled with Morrison had he not hit him with sticks and kicked him in the head!
The trial took place on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th November 1850 at Albury. The jury found Madden not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
Mathew Madden was sentenced to 7 years to be served at the newly established Penal Colony of Pentridge undertaking hard roads labour around the colony. He was one of the first prisoners to be incarcerated there! Whilst incarcerated, Mathew Madden was charged with being disobedient, insolent to his superiors and refusing to work. He was sentenced with an additional two months to his sentence for being insolent and using bad language!
Not much information is known about the life of John Morrison yet, however a deal has been uncovered about Mathew Madden. Both men had only been employed at Ullina Station for a period of 6 weeks prior to the incident. Both men were Irish.