Constable Thomas WRIGHT


Constable Thomas WRIGHT

Assault – Cutlass


2 September, 1816


Constable Wright is thought to have been killed on duty, almost certainly in the Windsor area. The Sydney Gazette of 26 October, 1816 reported that Patrick Callaghan, Thos. Davis and William Kirby were indicted for the wilful murder of Thomas Wright, a constable of Windsor, on the night of the 2nd of September. Upon which charge all the prisoners were acquitted. Want of room does not permit our entering into a detail of the evident that appeared upon the trial; which excited considerable interest, and terminated in a manner that appeared highly gratifying to the general feeling.


Original court transcripts for the trial of Callahan (or Gollocher, Gollicker, Gallagher etc), Davis and Kirby are extremely faded and difficult to read. It would appear however that the following incident occurred, resulting in the death of Constable Wright.


Apparently Constable Wright had previously removed an illicit still from the army barracks at Windsor, which was possibly the motive behind his death. About 9 pm on 1 September, 1816 he was standing outside the Guard Room at the barracks when the first of three soldiers (Patrick Callaghan [as recorded in Sydney Gazette], Thomas Davis and William Kirby) may have assaulted him with a cutlass or on some accounts a long white stick. The first soldier, Callaghan, sought medical help for him but Wright lingered until 2 or 3 am when he died. Conflicting witness statements may have been the cause of the not guilty verdict in October. Patrick Callaghan in the information laid was recorded as Patrick Gollogher or Gollicker but was referred to in the depositions as Gallagher by witnesses who knew him. Patrick Gallagher/Callaghan had been on guard duty at the time of the assault.


At the time of his death the constable was stationed at Windsor.

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