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William McCarthy (1865–?)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

This entry is from People Australia

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [McCarthy is far left, bottom row]

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [McCarthy is far left, bottom row]

Queensland Police Museum, PM0270

William McCarthy (1865-?) shearer, gaoled trade unionist 

Birth: 1865 in Ireland. Marriage: unknown. Death: unknown. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Came to Queensland from Tasmania in 1890. Sheared on Barcaldine Downs station. In March 1891 he and other striking shearers were charged with riot at Clermont and granted bail. Tried at Rockhampton on 24 April they were found not guilty then immediately he and others were re-arrested and he was charged with having intimidated a strike-breaker at Clermont on 21 February. On 26 May this charge was dismissed and McCarthy and his fellow defendants were released.
  • On 20 July 1894 McCarthy was, with other striking shearers at Robert Christison’s Coombe Martin station, when a fellow shearer Charles Ashford was shot. In September 1894 at the trial of Charles Prior, accused with shooting Ashford, McCarthy gave evidence for the defence, asserting that Inspector Carr was the shooter. For that evidence he was charged with committing perjury.
  • Awaiting trial for the charge of perjury, he assaulted Sergeant Malone and was sentenced to two months imprisonment with hard labour on 12 November 1894 at Rockhampton.
  • Found guilty of perjury, he was sentenced to imprisonment with hard labour for four years, on 26 November 1894 at District Court, Rockhampton, by judge Granville Miller though the manager of Barcaldine Downs station gave him a good character reference.
  • Prison records describe him as a shearer, aged 29, born in Ireland, who could read and write, was 5 feet 7 ¾ inches (172 cm) in height, stout, with a dark complexion, dark hair and hazel eyes. He had a scar on his left arm, two scars on his right kneecap, a scar on his left arm near the elbow and burn marks on the left side of his body. His weight on admission was 12 stone 10 lbs (81 kg). He gave his religion as Roman Catholic.
  • McCarthy received several cautions and some days of light rations and additional days sentence for disorderly conduct, disobedience and malingering in St Helena Island prison. Following a petition for clemency his sentence was reduced and he was discharged on 29 June 1897. His weight on discharge was 12 stone 6 lbs (78.5 kg).

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Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'McCarthy, William (1865–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [McCarthy is far left, bottom row]

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [McCarthy is far left, bottom row]

Queensland Police Museum, PM0270

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