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John ARROW 1829-1859 and the Brutal Murder of Catherine Leary

Journal by janilye

John ARROW, was born at Bathurst on the 26 February 1829. He was the son of William Arrow 1802-1886 and Sarah BURTON 1814-1867.

William ARROW had been born in Albury, Surrey the son of John ARROW 1778-c1810 and Ann ATFIELD 1779-1845 William was sentenced to 7 years transported for 7 years for stealing a bottle of whisky and shooting game fowls belonging to "Weston Manor" Albury, Surrey.

On arrival he was assigned to the church of England minister at Bathurst whom I believe was William HASSALL.
After receiving his ticket of leave William worked as a shoemaker at Kelso where he met and married Sarah BURTON in 1828.

Sarah was born in Albury, Surrey on the 24 December 1814, the daughter of James BURTON 1792-1856 and Elizabeth Hillyer 1795-1829. James had been transported in 1816 and Elizabeth and daughter Sarah followed him out here in 1829.

William ARROW took up a grant of 40 acres at O'Connell, in the Bathurst district, in 1836, where he built a house and they raised their fifteen children. His eldest son John took land further up on Mick's Mount.

The children of William ARROW and Sarah, nee BURTON:-

* 1.John Arrow 18291859 m. Sarah Ann CAMPBELL 1838-1884 in 1858

2. William Arrow 1831 1841

3. Anne Arrow 18331896 m. (1) Joseph FARNORTH in 1850 (2) Arthur Robert BURTON in 1854 (3) Matthew CONROY in 1882

4. Ellen Arrow 18341877 m. Michael William FARRELL 1815-1877 in 1851

5. George Arrow 18381921 m. Catherine McNAMARA 1847-1917 on the 30 April 1864.

6. James Arrow 18401915 m. Euphemia WALLACE 1835-1908 in 1867

7. Roland Arrow 18411866 m. Catherine FINES 1845-1942 in 1863

8. Samuel Godshall Arrow 18451910

9. Peter Arrow 18481901 m. Ann KITT 1857-1897 in 1878

10. William Arrow 18481905 m. Martha LAWRENCE on 23 January 1875

11. Sarah Arrow 1851 xxxx m. George F CLEMENT in 1869

12. Mary Arrow 18521899 m. Dennis RUSHWORTH in 1871

13. Susannah Arrow 18541899 m. Richard HODGINS in 1871

14. Elizabeth Dinah Arrow 18581928 m. John James PEARSON 1851-1923 in 1875

*John ARROW married 24 year old Sarah Ann CAMPBELL 1834-1884 in Bathurst in 1858. John unhappy with this marriage and Sarah Ann rarely saw him.
The couple had no children and John left Bathurst soon after the marriage. Using the alias John HALL, he took a job as a labourer for Edward NICHOLLS at Summerhill near Orange. He moved in with Catherine LEARY and the couple were known as Mr.and Mrs.John HALL, husband and wife. Catherine gave birth to a daughter, she named Eliza.

The following year, on Tuesday the 22 March 1859 John ARROW was indicted for having on the 3rd. of December 1858 at Summer Hill in the Colony of New South Wales, wilfully and feloniously and with malice aforethought murdered Catherine LEARY.

On the evening of Friday the 3rd of December 1858 when doctor Henry WARREN entered a hut at Summerhill near Orange, New South Wales, he found half naked, laying on the floor partially hidden under a mattress, Catherine LEARY whom he knew as the prisoner's wife, as he had been treating Catherine over the past three weeks for another complaint.

On closer examination of the body Doctor WARREN determined she had been dead no more than two or three hours, as the body was quite warm. Her body was covered in bruises, some recent some older. Over the head and face there were a great many bruises and contusions. Several of her teeth had been knocked out, her nose was broken as was her jaw and her skull was fractured. The walls and floor of the hut were covered in blood. He saw an old gun barrel in the hut also covered in blood which he deemed to be the murder weapon.

Although the evidence against John ARROW was circumstantial, the jury only took five minutes to pronounce him guilty.

John ARROW preserved a remarkably cool demeanour throughout the trial, not the slightest emotion having been exhibited by him even during the recital of the most shocking and most painful portions of the evidence.

When his honour sentenced John ARROW to hang and said. " May the Lord have mercy on your soul". John ARROW petulantly exclaimed, "God will have mercy on me." He was then removed from the court quite unconcerned for the awful situation in which he had been placed.

The afternoon of the murder John had been drinking at a nearby public house and Catherine LEARY went to the Inn and asked him to come home for his dinner. He ignored her the first time and she repeated the request. He then left the Inn and went home with her where they quarrelled and he then bludgeoned her to death with the barrel of a gun, stripped her of her clothes and burnt them.

On the 11 May 1859 the day of execution a special train was dispatched for John ARROWS's wife and his family for their final farewell. According to The Sydney Morning Herald 100 people attended the execution and John Arrow confessed his guilt and acknowleged the justice of the sentence.
After the execution, the ARROW Family returned to O'Connell's Plain with John's body for burial on the family property.

The newspapers at the time described it as one of the most savage and barbarous murders ever committed against a woman.

Catherine Leary had a daughter in 1858 she named Eliza. The infant died a month after her mother was killed whilst John Arrow was in gaol on the 5th January 1859 the death was registered at Orange.

The children of James BURTON and Elizabeth, nee HILLYER were:-
Sarah Burton 1814 1867
James Burton 1819 1868
Elizabeth Burton 1821
Elizabeth Burton 1823
Hannah Burton 1825 1912
Catherine Burton 1827 1876

bd&m.nsw marriages;

Maria Burton 1829

Researched and Written by janilye 1990

* please note. In Australia up until only about forty years ago Australians had three meals a day namely, Breakfast, Dinner and Tea so when looking at records etc. Dinner was our midday meal and usually our main meal. It occurred between noon and 1.00pm

by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-02-09 03:16:55

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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by edmondsallan on 2011-02-09 13:37:46

hello Janilye. your research work is a pleasure to read . -Regards - edmondsallan

by janilye on 2011-04-17 22:42:19

Is anyone able tell me a bit more about BURTON sisters Elizabeth 1823 and Maria 1829

by 1bobbylee on 2011-04-18 17:18:19

Janilye, Great journal!! You didn't paste someone else's work. You put the work and research in yourself. And the photo. Thanks Jan. That's like getting extra chocolate sprinkles on an ice cream cone.
What impresses me is how you were masterfully proficient in composition, spelling and grammar. The education and experience is shown. Now, believe me. I am not running for office and trying to get your vote. I may have been reared in a small town in N.C, but I can recognize genuine talent when I see it. Yes, thank you again for all the photos. Not only do you inform members of their ancestry, but you provide in many instances possibly a family ancesteral photo for them. Thank you Jan. Yes, your research work was defintely a pleasure to read. Oh yes, when you sent me information on the Hendrix family, you sent a photo of their log cabin home. This home was the founding home of Abney Creek Baptist Church, Woodruff, SC. That was the extra chocolate sprinkles...

by andrewsm on 2011-04-22 18:55:50

I wonder if public executions would still attract a crowd today

by 1bobbylee on 2011-04-22 19:22:23

You bet!

by janilye on 2011-04-23 00:35:41

Ya think? maybe! with a sausage sizzle and a jumping castle for the kids

by 1bobbylee on 2011-04-23 01:40:34

Yeah! Don't forget the painted faces, candy apples, and cotton candy for the kiddies.

by janilye on 2011-04-23 03:22:26

Actually on that day two people were hanged the other one was Thomas Ryan alias William Martin who murdered his mate Joseph Hartweg over 4 loaves of bread.

by lola126 on 2011-07-22 23:29:12

thank you again the ancestry is what I needed. The rest has come as a bit of a shock.

by broni on 2011-07-29 07:17:46

hi, forgive me, i have noticed a couple of inconsistencies in your records. i hope the following information helps, or please provide your sources if i am wrong.

The marriage record for John Arrow to Sarah Ann Campbell states Sarah's age to be 20, she had to be given consent to marry by her guardian Mr Henry M Fulton (registration number 1858/001254)

According to Samuel G Arrow's death record, he was never married. Emily Kitt was actually the first wife of Samuel Peter Arrow 1872-1952(son of James Arrow 1836-1915 (your number 9 above) (marriage registration number 695/1895.

by janilye on 2011-07-29 08:39:10

Thank you so much for your comment Broni
Your're right I did get my Samuel's mixed when I was typing this.

As far as Sarah Campbell goes. I know very little about her or her parents.

I used the Australian Birth Index
Name: Sarah Ann Campbell
Birth Date: 1834
Father's name: Thomas Campbell
Mother's name: Ann B
Birth Place: New South Wales
Registration Year: 1834
Registration Place: Sydney, New South Wales
Volume Number: V1834647 18

AS Well as NSW.BD&M
So if you are right, looks like I have the wrong Sarah Ann Campbell.

by spike56 on 2012-06-20 13:45:43

Hi Janilye. I stumbled upon your journal whilst searching for some ancestry information on my family, ARROW. My grandfather Algenon Arrow was born around the turn of the 20th Century in, or certainly lived in Aldbury in Surrey. My Father Ivan William Arrow also lived there as a child before moving to Guildford after marriage to Joyce Splatt in the 1950's...I myself was born in Guildford, Surrey in 1962. do you think there is any connection?
Christopher Neil Arrow

by janilye on 2012-06-20 21:53:02

Hello Christopher,
I really can't help you there. I don't know if there is a relationship or not. I do know that I have come across an Algenon Ernest Arrow in that part of Surrey, he was born about 1906,in Albury. died I think in the 1970s. His father was George William Arrow born about 1870 the son of Henry ARROW 1826-1883 and Mary CHEESEMAN 1835-1912. Henry was born and died in Shere, Surrey. (Hurtford Farm).He and Mary had about 9 or 10 children, I found 9:-
Mary Jane b:1859 married John CULVER in 1890 in Shere, (they moved to Chertsy)
James Henry b; 1861 married Naomi? moved to Carshalton
Robert b: 1863 died young
Frederick Thomas b: 1865 m. Alice LEMON in 1889 lived in Albury 4 children
Susan E b:1866 don't think she married. was a cook at Gomshall in 1901
George William b:1869 m. Elizabeth ? I think she died after Algenon was born. George was listed as a widower in the 1911 census. They had another daughter Ivy May b: 1896 and a son George William b:1902. born in Albury. The family lived in Weston Sq. in 1901 Looks like Western Yard on the 1911 census, (can send you a copy)
Albert Edward b: 1870 m. Flora TICKNER in Guildford
Matilda Louisa b: 1872 went into Dom.serv. in Dorking not sure if she married.
Alice Adelaide b: 1874 and ditto for Alice.
The above is just one Arrow family around Shere, Surrey I believe there were several and a few George's but I can only find one Algenon so this one may be your's. Henry ARROW's parents were William ARROW 1784-1851 and Elizabeth EDWARD and I have not found a John Arrow in this family, but then my research abilities outside of Australia are not all that competent.
Hope the above helps in some way.

by spike56 on 2012-06-26 09:19:45

Many thanks for that Janilye. It certainly sounds like that was my family, my Granfather was Algenon Ernest and I spent a lot of my childhood in Shere and Gomshall where a lot of my family lived, including my Grandfather with his second wife Elsie. I definitely remember a John Arrow in Shere too.
If you'd like an update on my Arrow family I will be more than happy too send it to you.
Thanks again.

by SamMullins on 2014-08-03 15:24:51

This is for sure your relative Spike as it is mine! I assume from Lola's reaction to the family history in this account that you may be a relative too? All so complicated that I have had to read it twice to understand the logistics of where he was and who was who. I have done extensive research on the Arrow family of Shere and ALbury as my Great Grannie was Annie Arrow (whose grandparents were Sarah and John Edwards). Very interesting work you have done here Janilye and really invaluable - thank you :)

by SamMullins on 2014-08-03 15:35:43

oops - wrong first names there I think for the Edwards ancestors on my part - will check when I find my folder. I do know that they all farmed Lockhurst Hatch in Shere (now a guest house) - on censuses as farmer of some acres employing a few men (and no doubt women too)

by SamMullins on 2014-08-03 17:09:07

Righty - found the folder. Harriet Edwards b 1831 married Arthur Arrow b 1822 - they had 12 (?) children Walter 1851 (my gt gt grandad), Amey 1854, Maria 1855, Fanny 1858, Celia 1861, Charles 1862, Jane 1864, George 1867, Kate 1869, Edward 1870, Frank 1874, Ellen 1876. Harriet appears to have died shortly after the birth of the last child Ellen (Harriet is not on the following census return in 1881. Arthur Arrow was then living at Hurtwood. I am not sure where he was living at 1891 - I think it may have been the Parish Rooms - but he died in Guildford Union WOrkhouse around 1901. Annie Maria Arrow my Great Granny was born in 1883 to Maria Arrow (late Songhurst, formerly West) an Walter Arrow - so I guess the branch I am tracing is Walter's. I would like to know 'Sarah's' maiden name - ie Harriet Edward's mother (Sarah married John Edwards who was born 1804 Puttenham and who farmed at Lockhurst Hatch in Shere) ....

by ValerieW on 2015-04-05 21:06:37

Hi Janilye, In the above article about the death of John Arrow you mentioned Sarah Burton his mother. You add that Sarah came to Australia with her mother Elizabeth in 1829 after Sarah's father James had been transported in 1816. Actually Sarah and her mother arrived in 1819 on the ship Surry. Shipping records confirm this 1819 date. Sarah married William Arrow at Bathurst in 1828. just letting you know about this typo of 1829 for 1819. You have done some good research. Valerie Wotton descendant of John Arrow's sister Ellen who married Michael Farrell.

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