Constable Andrew KENNY


Constable Andrew KENNY



4 April, 1830


On 4 April, 1830 Captain Lethbridge of Parramatta had reported to Constable Kenny that one of his assigned servants (a boy convict named Daniel Smith) was absent without leave. Kenny went in search of the boy and soon spotted him in the bush in the company of an older man near where the Government Domain met the Western Road. Kenny then went to a nearby hut where he borrowed a gun from a man by the name of William Birch who, arming himself with a stick, accompanied the constable back to where the two men had been seen.


When they arrived Kenny informed the older man that he was there to arrest the boy. The man then said, “He’s my brother and you’ll take my life before I’ll let you take him.” The man then produced a large knife. The constable handed Birch the gun and took his stick, saying, “I don’t like to take life.” The man then suddenly rushed at Constable Kenny and stabbed him in the chest. Kenny fell to his knees and the offender stabbed him several more times, inflicting fatal wounds. Birch then took aim at the offender and fired the gun from a distance of about 8 metres, but unfortunately the shot was ineffective. The offender then ran at Birch, who retreated to his hut. The offender was later identified as John McNamara, an escapee from the No.9 Chain Gang. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser dated 20 May, 1830 announced a reward for the capture of the murderer.


Colonial Secretary’s Office, Sydney, April 7, 1830.


Whereas, John Macnamara, per Ship Brampton, a Runaway from No. 9 Iron Gang, stands charged with the MURDER of Constable KENNY, on the Western Road, about Two Miles from Parramatta, on the Afternoon of Sunday, the 4th Instant; Notice is hereby given, that the above Reward of (£50) Fifty Pounds will be paid to any Person, who shall lodge the said John Macnamara in any of His Majesty’s Gaols, or give such information as may lead to his Apprehension; and if the Party be a Prisoner, he will also be allowed a Conditional Pardon. The said John Macnamara stands about 6 feet 6 inches high, sandy complexion, about twenty-eight years of age and wore at the time he committed the Murder, a black beaver hat, white jean trousers, white cotton stockings, yellow striped waistcoat, and drab coloured jacket. He had also a false Certificate of Freedom.

By Command of His Excellency the Governor,



At the time of his death the constable had been in the police force for about twelve years and was stationed at Parramatta.

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