Police Report of JANE NEW, 31 March 1829

CAPTURE EXTRAORDINARY

“The bird has flown.”

“——————— how like a froward child,

That lets it hop a little from her hand,

And with a silk thread plucks it back again,

So loving-jealous of its liberty.”

On Saturday a young woman, of an appearance rather prepossessing, was introduced to the presence and notice of the Police Bench, being ‘squired into the office by Master SKINNER, the chief constable’s assistant. The young woman was desired to step up and hear what Master SKINNER had to say. The young woman accordingly did step up, and Master JOHN SKINNER being sworn upon the Holy Evangelists, deposed that he had apprehended the woman on Friday night, in the house of a person named ———, at Irish Town. Knowing lad as he is, he knew her to be—to be—JANE NEW! who was tried in the Supreme Court, and attracted so much notice a little time ago.

MRS. NEW admitted to his Worship that she was the person described. Captain ROSSI informed her that she was now to be sent to the gaol, to be forwarded from thence to t he factory, there to remain until she can be returned to Van Diemen’s Land, according to the decision of the Supreme Court. That will do said the constable, and Mrs. NEW, who behaved with the utmost propriety and respect to the Bench, effected her exit, when SYDNEY STEPHEN, Esq., Barrister at Lae, entered the office, and addressed the Magistrate as follows: —

“Please your Worship—I came here for the purpose of attending on behalf of a person, whose case I understand has just been disposed of. The party I mean is Mrs. JANE NEW. I wished to state to your Worship that there is a Proclamation of the Governor dated November, 1826, which declares — —”

Captain ROSSI here intimated to Mr STEPHEN that he must cut him short. He could hear nothing upon the subject, as the sentenced was passed! and the woman was disposed of in the manner directed by the Supreme Court.

Mr. STEPHEN put on his hat and retired.

This woman must not be treated with any sort of coercion further than such as shall be barely necessary to secure her person till she can be conveyed hence to Van Diemen’s Land: otherwise the order of Court will not be obeyed.

So highly alarmed were certain of the Authorities during the temporary absence of Mrs. NEW, that we understand two or three constables were stationed on board every ship announced for sailing, [lest] “the fair fugitive” should, by taking leave “a la Francois,” defeat the kind intentions of the executive, and save them the trouble and expense of providing her a passage to Van Diemen’s Land.

See Original: “CAPTURE EXTRAORDINARY. “The bird has flown,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW: 1824 – 1848), Tuesday 31 March 1829, p.3