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Trove Tuesday - Cattle Stealing

My 4th Great Grandmother Flora Sinclair (nee McRae) along with her son David Sinclair are mentioned in today's Trove Tuesday article. Flora arrived in Australia from Scotland in 1837 on board the ship Earl Durham with her husband William Sinclair and their children Peter and Margaret.  Unfortunately William died c.1852 leaving Flora a widow with a large family to support.  One interesting new fact I learned from this article was that Flora needed a translator as she didn't speak English. She had been in Australia for nineteen years and still didn't speak the language, yet the family grew and prospered under her guidance.  Flora never remarried, she died on the 10th June 1885 and is buried at North Gundagai General Cemetery with her son Peter Sinclair who died in January 1875.

Source: TUESDAY, 23RD. (1856, September 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved August 13, 2013, from



Gabriel Izzard and Edward Izzard were indicted for stealing an ox, the property of Thomas Fardy, from the Red Ground, on the 1st of May, 1856.
Gabriel Izzard pleaded guilty, Edward Izzard not guilty.
The prisoner was defended by Mr. Butter.
It appeared from the evidence that Michael Hogan, the step-son of the prosecutor, having received information that this beast had been seen in the neighbourhood of Goulburn, he proceeded to Goulburn, and found the ox in the yard of a butcher of the name of Kennedy ; he claimed the bullock as his stepfather's.
James Kennedy, butcher, Goulburn, proved that he bought from Gabriel Izzard two bullocks, one a large black bullock, branded HL on rump off side.  The witness Michael Hogan came to his yard on Sunday morning, and claimed the black bullock for Thomas Fardy.
Thomas Fardy proved that the hide produced Court, and branded HL, was that of the bullock which the prisoner was charged with stealing.
Mr. Butler addressed the jury for the defence, contending that there was no evidence to convict younger prisoner, and that he was not aware that bullock had been stolen.  He then called Gabriel Izzard, who stated that in June last he drove a mob of cattle, amongst which was the black bullock he admitted to have stolen, his brother was not with him at the taking of the beast, and had no interest in the cattle ; my brother did not know that any of the cattle were stolen. 
His Honor summed up, and the jury, without leaving the box, acquitted the prisoner.
The same prisoners were again indicted for stealing, at Red Bank, on the 20th of May, 1856, one ox, one cow, and one heifer, the property of one Flora Sinclair.  The elder prisoner, Gabriel Izzard, pleaded guilty ; the younger prisoner, Edward Izzard, pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr. Butler.
Mr. Isaacs stated the case, and called David Sinclair, who deposed : My mother's name is Flora Sinclair ; she lives at Clare Hill ; she has cattle running there, which I look after ; in May last, or beginning of June, I missed one red and white bullock, a black cow, and spotted heifer ; I looked for them, but I found them in pound at Goulburn, in charge of the chief constable, where I identified them, and claimed them as my mother's, and I then took them home.
The next witness called was Abraham Kershaw, who stated : I am chief constable of Goulburn ; I know the prisoner ; I saw him on the 1st of June last, and from the information I received, my attention was drawn to him ; I followed prisoner and brother, and overtook them with a herd of cattle near Shelley's Flat ; I apprehended the prisoners, put them in the lock-up, and the cattle in the pound ; three of the cattle were claimed by Sinclair, on behalf of his mother ; they were a red and white bullock, a black cow, and a spotted heifer.
Flora Sinclair.  This witness not speaking English, Donald Mackenzie was sworn as interpreter.  Witness stated ; I live near the Clare Hills ; I possess cattle ; in June I saw three of my cattle in Goulburn pound ; they were one red and white bullock, a black cow, and a spotted heifer ; I never sold them.
Mr. Butler addressed the jury for the defence, and submitted that they should not convict the prisoner, as the whole of the evidence amounts to the fact that he was found in company with his elder brother, driving the cattle charged to have been stolen, and had no guilty knowledge of cattle being stolen.
Gabriel Izzard, called for defence, stated, I have recently dealing in cattle ; I have been arraigned for stealing cattle of Flora Sinclair, to which I pleaded guilty ' I stole those cattle by myself, there was no one else with me ; my brother was with me at the time I drove the cattle from home to Goulburn ; I never told him the cattle were not my own.
His Honor summed up, and the jury, without leaving the box, acquitted the prisoner.
Gabriel Izzard and Edward Izzard were again indicted for stealing forty oxen, the property of one Henry Mitchell, from Stoney Creek.
Both prisoners pleaded not guilty, and were defended by Mr. Butler ; attorney, Mr. Deniehy.
Mr. ISAACS stated the case, and called Henry Mitchell who stated, I live near Mummell ; in the month of April I had bullocks there.  On the 2nd of June last I had occasion to go to the pound and found four of my bullocks there which I identified.  I have sued the prisoners at the bar, but never had any dealings with them.  Examined by Mr. Butler ; I had the bullocks in April last in Goulburn ; it is 10 miles from Mummell to Goulburn ; the prisoners live between 20 and 25 miles from Goulburn.  I have no doubt as to the bullocks being mine, I knew them by their brands.
Abraham Kershaw, chief constable, Goulburn, states ; I know the prisoners, I apprehended them on the 1st of June last ; I saw the elder prisoner on the Friday previous, he had brought cattle into town and I saw him with a butcher ; I asked him if he could account for eleven head of cattle in a yard at the back of the town ; he said if I was civil he would, he then produced a receipt from one McDonald.  I then asked him if he could account for the other four ; he said they were his.  On going to the yard that night I found the cattle gone ; I followed them and apprehended both prisoners near Shelley's Flats ; I took them on a charge of cattle stealing ; I put the prisoners in the lock-up and the cattle in the pound.
Henry Mitchell claimed a yellow bullock, CR & R off side, and a red bullock same brand ; and red bullock, T Y & No.9 on shoulder ; and another red bullock.  They were given into Mitchell's possession.  
Cross-examined by Mr. Butler ; The prisoner produced a receipt for seven head ; there were eleven head altogether, and he said the remaining four were his.
George Evans deposed ; I reside at Mummell ; I am acquainted with Henry Mitchell ; he had a few working bullocks at Mummell ; I never disposed of any of them.
Cross-examined by Mr. Butler ; Most working bullocks will go astray if not looked after ; they were in no one's care in particular.
Mr. Butler addressed the jury at some length for the defence.
Mr. Isaacs replied.
The Judge summed at length, and the jury, after a short absence, returned into Court with a verdict of guilty as to Gabriel Izzard, and not guilty as to Edward Izzard, who was discharged.

William Sinclair and his wife Flora McRae had the following children:

  • Peter Sinclair (c.1834-1875)
  • Margaret Sinclair (1836-1919)
  • Duncan Sinclair (?-1910)
  • David Sinclair (1840-1921)
  • Catherine Sinclair (1843-1927)
  • Christina Sinclair (1844-1923)
  • Gilchrist Sinclair (1846-c.1847)
  • Archibald Sinclair (1848-1928)
  • Colin Sinclair (1852-1880)

NSW BDM Birth Indexes

 V18401294 47/1840  SINCLAIR  DAVID  WILLIAM  FLORA  
V18521004 51/1852  SINCLAIR  COLIN  WILLIAM  FLORA    

NSW BDM Marriage Indexes


NSW BDM Death Indexes

 V18521336 38B/1852  SINCLAIR  WILLIAM  AGE 42

Source: NSW BDM Indexes. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  Retrieved from

It would seem that the Izzard brothers had quite a reputation for illegally possessing other peoples livestock!

   New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930 about Gabriel Izzard

Name: Gabriel Izzard
Event Place: New South Wales, Australia
Event Type: Theft
Publication Date: 14 Jun 1856


Gabriel and Edward Izzard have been apprehended by the Chief Constable of Goulburn, on three distinct charges of cattle stealing; as these men are notorious for the offence, the attention of the Police is directed to this matter, as there may be other charges of a like nature against them.'
Source: New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.


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