b. 1836, d. 18 March 1902
John Kessey, circa 1899.
For a detailed biography of John Kessey click here.
For more information about the Kessey surname click here.
John Kessey was born in 1836 in Bathurst.1,2,3,4,5,6,7
John Kessey and Mary Ann Hanrahan were engaged about 1857.8 John Kessey and Mary Ann Hanrahan made a prenuptial agreement on 13 August 1857 in Bathurst, NSW. Mary Ann's brother (Phillip Hanrahan) was also a party to the Indenture which recorded what had been agreed as part of a "treaty for the said marriage". The agreement provides that the 40 acres of land plus horses and cattle would be held by her trustee (Phillip Hanrahan and his heirs) for her benefit "free from the debt control arrangements or inteference of her ... husband for and during the term of her life". After her decease, the land and its produce would go to the use of the surviving children of the marriage as tenants in common (not as joint tenants) for the use of their heirs and assigns forever.8 He and Mary Ann Hanrahan were married on 27 August 1857 at Church of Saints Michael and John in Bathurst. Roman Catholic||1,2,4,9,10,5,7,11
- In 1858 John Kessey was working as a teamster for a couple of years.7
- Was employed by as in Bathurst, NSW, in 1860. He employed his son John to drive one of his teams.7
- On 1 October 1860 John Kessey was a grazier in Brisbane Valley.5
- In 1872 John Kessey was a farmer at Swallow's Nest in Native Dog Creek.12
- In 1876 John Kessey was a farmer in Native Dog Creek.13
- In 1881 John Kessey was a farmer at Swallow's Nest in Native Dog Creek.14
- On 17 January 1894 John Kessey was an employed as a thatch stacker in Brewongle.15
- On 18 March 1902 John Kessey was a farmer in NSW.4,16
John Kessey lived. He and Mary Ann Hanrahan lived at Hilsbury in Essington, NSW, on 5 April 1891. The residence housed 4 males and three females.17 He lived at Hillsbury in Black Springs, NSWG, on 31 March 1901, census night. The household comprised two males (presumably John Kessey and his son John Michael Kessey) and one female (presumably Mary Ann Kessey nee Hanrahan).18
Involvement in crime
John Kessey was arrested by Senior Constable Sutton on 5 January 1870 in Bathurst. He was charged with stealing nine cows (since recovered) the property of Peter Behan and Patrick Foley of Swatchfield. He was committed for trial at the next Bathurst Quarter Sessions.19,20 He was convicted of cattle stealing on 7 February 1870 in Bathurst. He faced three charges of cattle theft. He was found guilty on two and was sentenced to two concurrent sentences of imprisonment for 3 years with hard labour. He was not arraigned on the third charge.6,21,22,20 He was admitted to Darlinghurst Gaol on 15 February 1870 in Darlinghurst.23,24 He was transferred from Darlinghurst Gaol to Parramatta Gaol on 14 March 1870 in Parramatta. The Sheriff (George Wise) obtained authority to move John Kessey to Parramatta Gaol, "in order to separate him from his brothers Thomas & James Kessey who are at present in Darlinghurst Gaol". He didn't explain whether he was seeking to protect John or Thomas & James from bad influence!23,25,26,27 He was the subject of of correspondence between Parramatta Gaol and the Inspector General of Police on 18 April 1871 in Parramatta. John Kessey (through the Parramatta Gaol authorities) sought early release based on services rendered to the Police.28 He was was the subject of correspondence between the Under Secretary and Parramatta Gaol on 27 May 1871 in Parramatta. This is only a cover letter, so the substance is not apparent.29 He was released from prison on 6 August 1872 in Parramatta.24,30,31 He was charged with false pretences on 19 July 1893 in Burraga. He was arrested by Constables McLeay and Haynes of Burraga Police. He was committed to trial at the Quarter Sessions and admitted to bail.32,33 He was required to attend Court to face a charge of false pretences on 2 August 1893 in Burraga. The charge related to obtaining the sum of 2 shillings from Alfred E Ind by means of false pretences. The Solicitor-General, Mr RE O'Connor, declined to prosecute the case.34,33 He was arrested by Constable Rex of OÇonnell Police on suspicion of pig theft on 7 January 1894.15,35 He was charged with pig stealing on 15 January 1894 in Bathurst. It was alleged that he stole 9 pigs from Maria McPhee and subsequently sold them to Messrs Burns, Purden, Eastment and Murray. The matter was pert-heard and he was to be remanded for seven days. His defence attorney, Mr Thompson, successfully argued for bail, which was set at 40 pounds plus two sureties of 20 pounds each.15 He was convicted of stealing pigs on 6 February 1894 in Bathurst. He was sentenced to 9 months hard labour in Bathurst Gaol.6,21,36,37,38,39,40 He was photographed for inclusion in the Bathurst Gaol Photographic Index Book on 2 May 1894 in Bathurst. His entry in the index records that he was a grazier aged 57 who could read and write; he was 5 feer 5.5 inches tall; his hair was grey and his eyes grey.21 He was released from gaol having served out his sentence on 5 November 1894 in Bathurst.37,41 He was found by a later trial to have stolen one ox from Thomas Durack on 19 May 1898 in Tilbury.42 He was challenged by Constable Tapling about the origin of an ox hide that he had sold to Fox's store on 22 September 1898 in Oberon. When the policeman returned to the police station, John Kessey disappeared leaving his team of horses in the street. That night the policeman rode out to the Kessey house but John was not at home. He tried again the next day with the same result; and several more times thereafter with the same result.42 He was the subject of an arrest warrant advertised in the NSW Gazette on 12 October 1898. He was accused of stealing a cow the property of Thomas Durack.43 He was arrested at his home by Constable Howe on 31 May 1899 in Tilsbury. The police searched the house and found John in a hole underneath the floorboards beneath the bed in the bedroom. The boards had been cut off and the hole dug into the soil; it was large enough for him to secrete himself and the boards were replaced. The house was about 200 yards from Thomas Durack's Hilsbury House.42 He was committed for trial on two charges of cattle stealing on 9 June 1899 in Oberon.44,45,46 He was convicted of cattle stealing on 1 August 1899 in Bathurst. John Kessey and his counsel (MR AG Thompson) put up a strong case for the defence. They started by challenging nine jurymen. After a complex court case he was convicted and remanded until the following day for sentencing. A second charge of stealing an ox at Beaconsfield on Aug 21 1898 (the property of JC Stevenson) was not proceeded with.6,42,47,48,45,49,50 He was sentenced to imprisonment with hard labour for 1 year and 8 months on 2 August 1899 in Bathurst. After a complex court case he was convicted. On behalf of John Kessey, his counsel (Mr AG Thompson) asked His Honor, Acting-Judge Merewether, to take into consideration the old age of the prisoner (64 years) when deciding the sentence. His Honor said that it was very painful for him to have to sentence an old man. Were it not for the extreme old age of the prisoner, he would pass a much heavier sentence because the offence was a serious one. He imposed a sentence of 1 year and 8 months hard labour in Bathurst Gaol.51,45 He was photographed for inclusion in the Bathurst Gaol Photographic Index Book on 3 October 1899 in Bathurst. His entry in the index records that he was a farmer aged 62 who could read and write; he was 5 feer 5 inches tall and weighed 160 pounds; his hair was brown to grey and his eyes hazel. The little finger on his right hand was contracted and he was deaf. Dupuytren's contracture is a thickening and shortening of tissue in the palm, resulting in clawed fingers as they are pulled towards the hand. The cause is unknown, but risk factors include a history of heavy lifting, advancing age, Scandinavian and Celtic ancestry, and certain conditions such as epilepsy, alcoholism and diabetes.6,52 He was released from prison on 2 January 1901 in Bathurst.53
John Kessey died on 18 March 1902 at age ~66 in Black Springs. The cause of death was cholera. The coroner at Oberon, Albert Fox, deemed that an inquest was unnecessary.4,54,55 He was buried on 19 March 1902 at the Roman Catholic portion of the old cemetery in Black Springs.4
- [S336] Marriage Certificate, John Kessey and Mary Ann Hanrahan, 27 August 1857, Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, NSW. 1857/1385 (88).
- [S337] Birth Certificate Vol 1858 No 4602, James Kessey, (30 June 1858), NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
- [S403] "Kessey family facts", circa 1991, Gardiner (303 Birdwood Terrace, Toowong Qld 4006), to James Fleming (Sydney); Fleming Family History Archive, Sydney.
- [S453] Death Certificate, John Kessey, Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, NSW, Vol 1902 No 2534.
- [S781] Birth Certificate Vol 1860 No 5016, Philip Kessey, (30 June 1858), NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
- [S784] John Kessey, Gaol Prisoner Summary: Bathurst, John Kessey 1899, 3 Oct 1899
- [S786] Kelaher v Eviston and Others, Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 14 Oct 1890, p2.
- [S335] Deed: Hanrahan-Kessey, Land Titles Office of NSW, Book 50 Settlers No 921.
- [S463] Death Certificate, Mary Ann Kessey, Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, NSW, Vol 1907 No 10401.
- [S465] "RR: Hogan-McMahon Descendants Chart", unknown author, to James Fleming (Sydney); Fleming Family History Archive, Sydney.
- [S801] Ancestry.com, Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950, Kessey-Hanrahan
- [S877] Various, Sands' Directory (Sydney: John Sands Ltd, 1872).
- [S904] Various, Sands' Directory (Sydney: John Sands Ltd, Between 1875 and 1877).
- [S884] Various, Sands' Country Directory (Sydney: John Sands Ltd, 1881).
- [S789] Alleged Pig Stealing, Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, Part of the "Police Court" column, 15 Jan 1894, p2.
- [S604] Marriage Certificate, James Kessey and Mary Jane Kessey (Press), 23 Jan 1923, Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, NSW. 1923/3952.
- [S787] John Kessey, 5 Apr 1891 Census NSW, NSW, Essington, Archives Office.
- [S800] John Kessey, 31 Mar 1901 Census NSW, NSW, Swallow's Nest, Archives Office.
- [S814] Apprehensions, Police Gazette, NSW, 5 Jan 1870, p7.
- [S817] Return of Prisoners Tried, Police Gazette, NSW, 9 Mar 1870, p75.
- [S785] John Kessey, Gaol Prisoner Summary: Bathurst, John Kessey 1894, 2 May 1894
- [S815] John Kessey, Court Register: Bathurst Quarter Sessions John Kessey 1870, 7 Feb 1870
- [S813] John Kessey, Gaol Prisoner Summary: Darlinghurst, John Kessey 1870, Feb 1870
- [S820] John Kessey, Gaol Admission: Darlinghurst, John Kessey 1870, 29 Mar 1870
- [S816] John Kessey, Gaol Prisoner Index: Parramatta, John Kessey 1870, Mar 1870
- [S818] John Kessey, Sheriff's Papers: John Kessey 1870, 14 Mar 1870
- [S821] John Kessey, Gaol Admission: Parramatta, John Kessey 1870, 29 Mar 1870
- [S822] Gaoler Parramatta, L: Gaoler Parramatta - Inspector General of Police, Kingswood: Archives Office of NSW, 18 Apr 1871.
- [S823] Under Secretary, L: Under Secretary - Gaoler Parramatta, Kingswood: Archives Office of NSW, 18 Apr 1871.
- [S824] Prisoners to be Discharged Free, Police Gazette, NSW, 31 Jul 1872, p209.
- [S825] Return of Prisoners Discharged Free, Police Gazette, NSW, 14 Aug 1872, p221.
- [S826] John Kessey, Criminal Court Register: Burraga John Kessey 1893, 19 Jul 1893
- [S827] Apprehensions &c, Police Gazette, NSW, 2 Aug 1893, p263.
- [S788] Nolle Prosequi, Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, Part of the "Local and General" column, 2 Aug 1893, p2.
- [S831] Apprehensions &c, Police Gazette, NSW, 7 Feb 1894, p53.
- [S792] Alleged Pig Stealing, Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, Part of the "Sentences" column, 6 Feb 1894, pp2-3.
- [S828] John Kessey, Gaol Admission: Bathurst, John Kessey 1894, 22 Jan 1894
- [S830] John Kessey, Criminal Court Register: Bathurst John Kessey 5 Feb 1894, 5 Feb 1894
- [S832] Return of Prisoners Tried, Police Gazette, NSW, 14 Feb 1894, p59.
- [S833] John Kessey, Criminal Court Register: Bathurst John Kessey 16 Feb 1894, 16 Feb 1894
- [S834] Return of Prisoners Discharged To Freedom, Police Gazette, NSW, 14 Nov 1894, p387.
- [S796] Charge of Cattle Stealing, Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 1 Aug 1899, p3.
- [S807] Ancestry.com, New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930
- [S795] Alleged Cattle Stealing, Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, Part of the "District Intelligence" column, 10 Jun 1899, p2.
- [S836] John Kessey, Criminal Court Register: Bathurst John Kessey 9 Jun 1899, 9 Jun 1899
- [S837] Apprehensions &c, Police Gazette, NSW, 29 Jun 1899, p237.
- [S797] Alleged Cattle Stealing, Bathurst Daily Times, Part of the "Bathurst Quarter Sessions" column, 2 Aug 1899.
- [S799] Bathurst, The Carcoar Chronicle, 4 Aug 1899.
- [S838] John Kessey, Criminal Court Register: Bathurst John Kessey 1 Aug 1899, 1 Aug 1899
- [S839] Return of Prisoners Tried, Police Gazette, NSW, 9 Aug 1899, p237.
- [S798] John Kessey Sentenced, Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, Part of the "Quarter Sessions" column, 3 Aug 1899, pp2-3.
- [S809] Ancestry.com, New South Wales, Australia, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930
- [S840] Return of Prisoners Discharged To Freedom, Police Gazette, NSW, 2 Jan 1901, p7.
- [S466] "RR: Hanrahan-Hogan Descendants Chart", unknown author, Fleming Family History Archive, Sydney.
- [S806] Ancestry.com, Australia, Death Index, 1787-1985, John Kessey, 1902
|Last Edited||3 November 2018|