McCoskers and the Law – 1870 – 1889

And from the early 1870’s the McCosker’s still kept the courts busy it seems – though gradually there were more mentions of the McCosker’s for Cricket etc in the newspapers than judicial matters.

The biggest issue was the accusation that Cornelius A McCosker, James Galvin and Patrick McManus had committed Robbery Under Arms at the Scotts Hotel, Mountain Creek near Armidale on July 19 1883. However six months later they were acquitted – but their accuser Charles O’Malley faced 10 years hard labour on the roads. Who was this Charles O’Malley – click here to read more.

  • 1871 – Patrick McCosker sentenced to three months imprisonment
  • 1871 – Thomas McCosker charged with assault – charge withdrawn – Thomas admonished and discharged
  • 1872 – Thomas Cleary has taken Cornelius McCosker to court
  • 1872 – Windant alleged assault by a McCosker – neither appeared in the Singleton court

    74400309 Singleton Court House

    Singleton Court House – source – http://www.panoramio.com/photo/74400309

  • 1872 – Thomas McCosker witness in court case
  • 1873 – James Arthur suing Cornelius McCosker in regard to a Promissory Note – settled out of court
  • 1873 – Bernard McCosker pursuing various parties for payment via the courts – Margaret McManus, David Shearer – Trover, William Hamilton and Thomas Quirk – matters settled out of court ?
  • 1874 – John McLoughlin charged with stealing from Bernard McCosker –1, 2, 3, 4,
  • 1875 – Elizabeth McCosker / Mills – Maitland Gaol Entrance record
  • 1875 – Charles Cridland pursuing Bernard McCosker for payment via the courts
  • 1876 – Thomas Greer found guilty of manslaughter of John McCosker at Haslams Meat Preservation Works – not media initially reported that it was John who was responsible for death of Thomas – 1, 2,
  • 1880 – Bernard McCosker sued Joseph Kerner for slander
  • 1880 – Cornelius McCosker fined for allowing animals to stray
  • 1881 – Bernard McCosker of Royal Mail Hotel summonsed to appear in Singleton Court for breach of the Tenements Act – but no order made initially due to informality of the information –1, 2,
  • 1881 – Francis Dennis had taken John McCosker to court but the court had no jurisdiction – so the case was struck out
  • 1881 – Dennis’s pursued Bernard McCosker for rent in Singleton Court
  • 1882 – John Paton in court for burglary of Bernard McCosker’s home
  • 1883 – Cornelius A McCosker, James Galvin and Patrick McManus accused of robbing Scott’s Hotel Mountain Creek on July 19 1883 – O’Malley also involved but seems to have turned “approver” and not prosecuted – O’Malley was claimed to be a brother to the bushranger  O’Malley (John O’Mealley)who had some years earlier been shot down – 1, 2, . Apparently a man named Scott in the hotel had been shot – 1. ”

    Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette (Vic. : 1877 – 1889), Friday 2 November 1883, page 4 – link 

    BUSHRANGING AT BLACK MOUNTAIN. The Sydney correspondent of the Age reports that a man named Charles O’Malley, who lately resided in Armadale, was arrested on Wednesday and brought up at the police court on Thursday charged with the late robbery at Scott’s Hotel. IIe was remanded until all the prisoners concerned will be brought before the court and the case will be fully gone into. When O’Malley was arrested he said, ‘ I do not deny the charge ; James McManus and I stuck up Scott’s Hotel and robbed it. McCosker and Paddy Galvin had as much to do with the sticking up as we had.’ O’Malley is the brother of the once celebrated bushranger of that name. who was shot many years ago by Mr. Campbell (John O’Malley was part of the Ben Hall gang and the bushranger Frank Gardiner is believed to be a connection as well – 1, 2, 3, 4, . It is generally believed that he gave information to the police which put them on the right track, and it is thought that his evidence will be accepted against the others implicated.”


    It is all rather peculiar, as previously two navvies aka railway men working on the railway line (extension of the Great Northern Railway to Armidale ?), William Gillott and James Carr,  were identified, arrested and charged with the same robbery back in late July 1883 – but in Armidale Court on October 12, 1883, they were acquitted as the evidence and identification of the two men were not clear. Cornelius McCosker had been on the Jury that heard their case and was a bondsman for them when they were freed on bail  – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, .

    HRCP5088-Beardy-Street Armidale Court House Foreground on Right

    Armidale Court House with clocktower (right foreground) on Beardy Street – source – https://archivesoutside.records.nsw.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/HRCP5088-Beardy-Street.JPG

  • 1884 – 17 January – Cornelius A McCosker, James Galvin and Patrick McManus were acquitted of charges – the Judge directed the Jury to find them not guilty. However Charles O’Malley was facing his second offence, and he had shot Scott in the hotel during the robbery, and so after he was found guilty, he was sentenced to 10 years Hard Labour on the Roads for Robbery under Arms and – extract from POlice Gazette January 1874. – 1, 2, 3, 431842_216742-00047 1883 robbery copy
  • 1884 – Francis McCosker gave evidence in a court case of a sheep too hard to shear
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