Tag Archives: adelaide

Shot of Spirits: Episode 9: Exeter Hotel Adelaide. S.A.

 Shot of Spirits: Episode 9: Exeter Hotel Adelaide. S.A.

“On 18 November 1970 the body of the hotel’s owner, Mrs Joy Josephs, was found in the kitchen and a 30-year-old man trialled and sentenced for her murder. Years later, screams, sighs and a female voice of no known source are often reported as coming from the kitchen by hotel staff. “The Exeter’s reported paranormal occurrences predate Mrs Josephs’ murder, but she’s thought to be behind almost all the spooky goings-on alleged in the hotel today. “Disembodied footsteps and voices are frequently heard throughout all levels of the hotel, while the most often reported phenomena happen near the upstairs hallway where her bedroom used to be situated. “Another common disturbance is the moving of objects – often staff will place an item on a kitchen bench, only to find it’s been moved moments later!”

Read more about this haunting in The Haunts of Adelaide: Revised Edition:

Arthur C. Gask – Crime Writer

 Arthur C. Gask – Crime Writer

Mr. Arthur C. Gask SLSA: [B 58382] 1925 

Arthur C. Gask was born in St Marylebone, England in 1869. He was educated in London and became a dentist.[1]
 Gask married Florence Mary Tippett and together had four children. Gask divorced Florence in 1909, and two months later married his children’s nursemaid, Marion Maltby.[2]

Gask, Marion, their two sons, and a daughter from his previous marriage emigrated to Australia in 1920. Gask set up his dentistry at 199 North Terrace and is credited as being the first in South Australia to use gas when carrying out teeth extractions.

 Gask became famous as crime writer while living in Adelaide. In between patients, he would write crime fiction. In 1921 he published his first book, The Secret of the Sandhills, which sold out in three weeks. He went on to write 30 novels featuring his detective Gilbert Larose, plus many other novels and short stories. Such was his reputation that H.G. Wells held him in high esteem, saying of his book The Vengeance of Larose; “best piece of story-telling…It kept me up till half-past one.”[3]

Gask retired in 1933 and moved to the country. He named a homestead he built near Kooringa, ‘Gilrose’.[4]He later, moved back to city life, settling at Walkerville.

Arthur Gask died on 25 June 1851 in a private hospital in North Adelaide. His remains were 

Books from Arthur C. Gask (from Wikipedia)

Gilbert Larose novels

· Cloud the Smiter, 1926

· The Dark Highway, 1928

· The Lonely House, 1929

· The Shadow of Larose, 1930

· The House on the Island, 1931

· Gentlemen of Crime, 1932

· The Hidden Door, 1934

· The Judgment of Larose, 1934

· The Poisoned Goblet, 1935

· The Hangman\’s Knot, 1936

· The Master Spy, 1937

· The Night of the Storm, 1937

· The Grave-Digger of Monks Arden, 1938

· The Fall of a Dictator, 1939

· The Vengeance of Larose, 1939

· The House on the Fens, 1940

· The Tragedy of the Silver Moon, 1940

· The Beachy Head Murder, 1941

· His Prey Was Man, 1942

· The Mystery of Fell Castle, 1944

· The Man of Death, 1946

· The Dark Mill Stream, 1947

· The Unfolding Years, 1947

· The House with the High Wall, 1948

· The Storm Breaks, 1949

· The Silent Dead, 1950

· The Vaults of Blackarden Castle, 1950

· Marauders by Night, 1951

· Night and Fog, 1951

· Crime Upon Crime, 1952 (Posthumous)

Other Novels

· The Secret of the Sandhills, 1921

· The Red Paste Murders (US Title: Murder in the Night), 1923

· The Secret of the Garden, 1924

· The Jest of Life, 1936

Short Stories

· The Martyr on the Land, (1935)

· The Passion Years, (1936)

· The Destroyer, 1939

· The Will, (1944)

· Buggy\’s Babies, (1944)

· Ghosts, (1944)

· Seedtime and Harvest, (1944)

· The Amazing Adventure of Marmaduke, (1944)

· The Lottery Ticket, (1944)

· The Mark of Honor, (1944)

· The Hatton Garden Crime, (1945)

· The Way of Chance, (1945)

· Black Market, (1945)

· The Bishop\’s Dilemma, (1948)

For more information about Gask’s works please visit AusLit.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2020

[1] \’Mystery Writer\’s Death\’, The Advertiser, (26 June 1951), p. 2.

[2] Michael J. Tolley, \’Gask, Arthur Cecil (1869–1951)\’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, ANU, (1996), http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/gask-arthur-cecil-10283/text18191.

[3] \’Mystery Writer\’s Death\’, The Advertiser, (26 June 1951), p. 2.

[4] Arthur Cecil Gask (1869 – 1951), WikiTree, (25 July 2020), https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Gask-6

Col. Light Sees It Through


Col. Light Sees It Through

While researching hauntings in Victoria Square, I came across this poem written by ‘A.M.’. It is a satirical look at goings-on in Victoria Square up until 1930, and strangely enough, it is pertinent today.


Victoria Square 1897 – SLSA: [B 1450]

Col. Light Sees It Through


Colonel Light planned it all in the pioneer days

And the old city grandfathers fenced it round.

And grass they planted and Morton bays

That flourished apace in the fertile ground.

There teas room to wander, for rest and to spare,

And a shady retreat was Victoria Square.


All traffic was banned to the ringed-round street;

As kids we played on the green grass banks;

Our mothers rested tired housewives\’ feet

And weary men voted a weary man\’s thanks.

The darkness brought lovers with tales that are trite

And blessings for thoughtful old Colonel Light.


But men with notions of \’progress\’ and \’go\’

Said, \’Cut tis a road from the south to the north

And another east-west across it,\’ – and lo!

It was said, it was done, and through it thenceforth

Wheels rattled and left us at heavy expense

Four scraps of a square and a mile of high fence.


Then tramway wreckers demanded their toll

And got it, of course, as tram bosses do.

\’Now pull down the fence,\’ said the corporate soul,

\’Let the proletariat (many or few)

Walk, heedless of entrance or paths if they must.\’

So the fence was exchanged for a desert of dust.


Next someone in search of live things to uproot

Cried, \’Down with the trees! They have white ants, or snakes,

Distemper or tick; so put in the boot

And the axe just as promptly before the day breaks.

Thus, wisely forestalling the ratepayers\’ wrath.

We\’ll make this a garden — but nearly all path.\’


But will it end there? Let no sceptic scoff,

All are possible things to the corporate mind.

Let\’s glance at the future— and not too far off—

To see what \’improvements\’ the clever can find.

\’Flowers fade,\’ they will say, \’like a once solved charade.

\’Let\’s make it all gravel — one big promenade.\’


They will tire of that too and for changes will yearn

And, admitting a failure but saving a face,

Will conclude, \’the scheme\’s fine but we\’ve money lo burn,

So we\’ll concrete or asphalt the whole dusty place.

Not a ghost of a tree, fence, flower or wall

Shall remain to annoy us, no -dashed thing at all\’


Some future Lord Mayor or Alderman Mac

Will arise in his day to be the first speaker

With a brand-new idea, the best in the pack,

And shout, \’I\’ve got it! I\’ve got it! Eureka!

This asphalt is hot and hard on the knees,

Let\’s put up a fence, as high as you please,



And Light in his bronze will stagger, I\’ll swear,

But he\’ll point as of old, indicating, \’Well there

Is the place it\’s to be, MY Victoria Square.\’

A. M.



\’VICTORIA SQUARE\’, The Register News-Pictorial, (19 August 1930), p. 7., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article53803906.


Researched and compiled by Allen Tiller © 2020

Lost Churches of South Australia: New Maughan Church

 Lost Churches of South Australia:
New Maughan Church
New Maughan Church 2012

After the demolition of the former Methodist New Connexion Church in 1963, a new church was built on the same site.
  In 1965, to much fanfare, the New Maughan Church was opened. It included a neo-gothic revival style church designed by Brown and Davies, the new Radio City headquarters of 5KA, 5AU and 5RM.
[1] The Salvation Army band played at the opening with three choirs and two thousand worshippers present. A procession also features the South Australian Governor, 30 clergymen of different denominations, including Catholic and Protestant, all dressed in the finest robes. The festivities were broadcast live on 5KA.[2]

 The neo-gothic church was distinctive for its folded copper plate roof that formed a 24-sided “crown” atop a steel-framed octagonal form. It also had a redbrick tower at the corner of the site. The building had been deemed one of South Australia’s most nationally significant examples of 20th-century design by the Australian Institute of Architects, South Australian Chapter.[3]
  The City of Adelaide Heritage Survey in 2009 stated of the building, “a notable and prominent example of contemporary Gothic architecture which is rare in South Australia and unique in the city centre.”[4] 

  Despite this, in 2016, provisional heritage protection on the neo-gothic New Maughan Church was revoked by the Labor Government. This allowed the historic church and former Radio City buildings to be demolished. 

In their place a new twenty-story edifice was constructed, named ‘Uniting Communities’. The new building features apartment buildings for people with a disability, a retirement village and space for conferences and worship. It opened in 2019.

To view stunning photos of the church during its demolition, please visit Autopsy of Adelaide here: https://autopsyofadelaide.com/2016/10/12/urban-exploration-adelaides-maughan-church/

Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2020

[1] Donovan & Associates, City of Adelaide Heritage Survey: 2008–2009 Volume One, (2009), pp.31-2.

[2] Transmission, vol 1, no 13, (July 1962), p. 1.

[3] Rick Goodman, Wreckers tear down historic Maughan Church in Adelaide CBD, The Advertiser, (14 August 2016), https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/wreckers-tear-down-historic-maughan-church-in-adelaide-cbd/news-story/76c1e1d453fdfc67cb32d4d308217322.

[4] Josh Harris, Vertical retirement village to be South Australia’s greenest building, ArchitectureAU, (15 February 2018), https://architectureau.com/articles/vertical-retirement-village-to-be-south-australias-greenest-building/.

Lost Churches of South Australia; Methodist New Connexion Church


Lost Churches of South Australia;
Methodist New Connexion Church.

Methodist New Connexion Church
1915: SLSA:[B 4340]

In June 1864, the Adelaide Express newspaper reported that Reverend Maughan’s New Connexion Church was nearing completion.[1] The Methodist New Connexion Church was officially opened on 19 December 1864.
It was situated on the corner of Franklin and Pitt Streets.

The South Australian Weekly Chronicle published a description of the newly completed Church:

The church, which was erected from the designs and under the superintendence of Mr. James Macgeorge, is a building which, in its exterior aspect may almost be said to represent a new era in ecclesiastical architecture in Adelaide.

The church, which was erected from the designs and under the superintendence of Mr. James Macgeorge, is a building which, in its exterior aspect, may almost be said to represent a new era in ecclesiastical architecture in Adelaide.

  Hitherto church buildings, if of the ordinary rubble and brick, have been stuccoed in resemblance of stone, or at all events the brick has been used in such a way as to show that no effect or prominence was intended to be given to it as brickwork.
  In the new structure in Franklin-street, however, quite a different idea has been followed. The materials – brick and stone – are not only used without any disguise, but are disposed in a manner highly ornamental, both as to form and color, the recessed and fretted doorways displaying many beautiful combinations of ornamental brick exemplifying the former, and suggesting: the almost endless variety which may be obtained in this style of structural ornamentation; and in point of color the brick finishing’s throughout, relieved against the neutral tints of the walls, give a pleasing and satisfactory chromatic effect. 

 The spire is carried up entirely in brick, the mortar used being of a blue color, and bands of firebrick are introduced, which enliven its appearance, and harmonize with the cut stone windows of the front. The principal front is towards Franklin-street, with an entrance tower and spire in the centre, 20 feet square at the ground, and rising to a height of more than 100 feet. The tower doorway is beautifully executed in brick, with columns at the sides (to be finished with carved stone capitals), and in the upper part of the tower there Is a circular window, filled with stone tracery of elegant design; and above the tower, at the base of the spire there are four pinnacles, one at each angle, and between each pair of pinnacles a traceried window for lighting the spire, and the spire itself is terminated by a copingstone, surmounted by a gilt finial and vane, forming an appropriate and beautiful termination to the whole.
 The front of each side of the tower shows a tall stone-traceried window, set in brick, arch, and jambe, and resting upon a brick string. The main building is 84 feet by 46 feet internal dimensions. The walls are of substantial thickness, varying from 3 feet, and nowhere less than 2 feet through. Each side of the building is divided into six bays or compartments by bodily projecting buttresses, the ornamental parts of which, as well as of the walls and windows between, are carried out in ornamental brick.

 The compartment next the front on each side is finished transpet like, with a tall gable and stone traceriel window, the steep pitch of which relieves the flatness of the main roof, and, together with the ornamental ridging and crosses on the gables, gives a pleasing variety to the sky outline, and the uniformity of slating is agreeably broken by the introduction of bands and patterns of ornamental slates. The same decorative construction has been applied to the rear of the building, the vestries having three two-light windows in the back elevation, and the wall is surmounted by an open brick parapet, and the roof, which is steep, finishing with a very ornamental ridging; and when seen from the rear the tout ensemble is as pleasing as that presented from any other point of observation. 

Entering the building we commence again at the tower entrance, which is 12 feet square inside and 20 feet high, having a cornice around the ceiling, and a floor of ornamental design in marble and tiles. We pass from the tower through an archway to a lobby, seven feet wide, ceiled, and divided by a screen wall from the rest of the church. At the extremes right and left there will be staircases to the gallery, which will ultimately be added. Folding doors open from the lobby to the church. The interior roof is divided into six compartments similar to the exterior by means of stained oak principals resting upon projecting hammer beams, and wall-posts resting upon enriched corbels between each pair of windows. A beautiful, enriched cornice rails the entire length of each side, corresponding in style with the projecting hammer-beams, and the ceiling is further subdivided into 38 panels by moulded purlines running transversely \’to the principals. 

The ceiling forms two inclined planes meeting in the centre ridge, from whence two gasaliers of double circles depend, and in the centre is placed a ventilating apparatus, which may be regulated at pleasure. The front and side windows are fitted with stained glass of varied and beautiful patterns, and the windows are finished with mouldings and enriched labels. The further or pulpit end of the church has a large centre arch and niche, with a circular traceried window, filled with coloured glass. On either side of the centre arch there is a smaller arch, the group of three, with their mouldings and pillared jambs, occupying the whole of this end of the church. In each side arch a door of very beautiful design communicates with the vestries. The platform and communion rail are of octagonal form, and occupy the recess of the centre arch, and project into the body of the church. They are executed in cedar, with carved newels, and traceried panels of beautiful design form the communion rail and arched and pillared front to the platform, surmounted by handsome fretwork; and an elegant lectern is in the place of a desk. 

The seats are particularly convenient and comfortable, attaining a just medium as to height, slope of back, &c., and the ends of novel design, having nothing to obstruct the view. In the side aisles the seats are inclined towards the platform, and at the end next the entrance there is a seat for the choir, and from the platform the floor rises slightly to the entrance-doors. The accommodation, exclusive of the gallery, is for 550 persons, allowing 20 inches to each. The church, when the end gallery is completed, will seat *00 persons at the same scale, without reckoning free seats. 

At the rear of the building there is a class-room 27 x 17, and minister\’s vestry, 17 x 11, both lighted with gas, and between the two is arranged belief and cold and hot water pipes, together with the requisite heating apparatus. Contrary to the usual plan, the work was not let in one contract but was subdivided into several contracts. Of the manner in which the work is carried out. there is no need to speak.

The work speaks for itself; and the result, in a pecuniary sense, must be highly satisfactory to the Trustees of the church, for the aggregate cost of the building- thus subdivided is some hundreds of pounds less than the Architect\’s estimate. Nor will the extras exceed the limit assigned by him when the work was let, namely, S per cent, upon the contract sum, £3,472. The structure reflects credit upon all concerned; upon the Trustees for their selection; upon the Architect for the elegant building- he has evolved from the materials at his disposal, and at a minimum of cost; and upon the contractors for the skill and attention they have bestowed upon the work. Ventilation is well provided for by means of openings in the windows at the eaves on both sides, and in the centre of the ceiling by four large tubes fitted with valves. Acoustically the building is perfect; it is easy to speak in, and there is not the slightest resonance or echo, and the lowest tones of the speaker are perfectly audible at the extreme end of the building. Probably the inclined form of ceiling- conduces greatly to this result, while it shows the adaptability of gothic architecture to yield this the most important qualification of an auditorium.\’

Prior to the completion of the Albert Tower spire on the Adelaide Town Hall, the spire of the Methodist Church was the highest point in the City of Adelaide between 1864 and November 1865.[2]

In 1888, the Methodist New Connexion Church merged with the Bible Christian Church. In 1900, the church became the Methodist Central Mission.[3]

In 1954, after an earthquake, it was feared the spire of the church would collapse. In high winds, bricks had begun to fall into the office area of 5KA and the Methodist Mission below. Pitt Street was cordoned off, and demolition crews were called in to remove the spire. This was the beginning of the end for the old church.[4]

The Church was demolished in 1863, with the New Maughan Church and Radio City building opening in 1865.

Written and researched by Allen Tiller © 2020

[1] \’HEADS OF INTELLIGENCE.\’, The Adelaide Express (25 June 1864), p. 2.

[2] \’COMPLETION OF THE ALBERT TOWER.\’, South Australian Register, (30 November 1865), p. 3.

[3] Maughan Church, Adelaide 1896 [PRG 631/2/474], State Library of South Australia, [Photograph], (10 May 2005), https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+631/2/474.: Maughan Church, Franklin St, Adelaide [B 4340], State Library of South Australia, [Photograph], (6 June 2005), https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+4340.

[4] \’CITY SCARE OVER SPIRE\’, News, (8 March 1954), p. 1.

A Haunting at the Supreme Court of South Australia


A Haunting at the 

Supreme Court of South Australia

Why would someone haunt the Supreme Court of South Australia? That is a question one could ask about any building, but a pertinent question after it came to light in January 2019, that the Adelaide Supreme Court was receiving changes to a proposed internal renovation due to a ghost!

The Adelaide Supreme Court was designed by Colonial Architect, R.G. Thomas. The building was constructed using Tea Tree Gully sandstone in 1869. The building was first used as the Local Court and Insolvency Court, then from 1873, it became solely the Supreme Court.[1]

 The building is part of a group of significant law buildings facing Victoria Square that also includes the Sir Samuel Way Court, the Magistrates Court, and the original Police Courts.[2]

 The Supreme Court of Adelaide has been home to some very notable South Australian’s including Sir Samuel Way, Sir Mellis Napier, Sir James Boucat, Sir Herbert Mayo, and Dame Roma Mitchell just to name a few. Another Judge, and the suspected ghost haunting the Adelaide Supreme Court, is Sir George John Robert Murray (1863-1942).
 Judge Murray was born at Magill, the son of Scottish pastoralists. He was educated at J.L. Youngs’s Adelaide Educational Institution, and attended the Royal High School, Edinburgh, Scotland.
[3] He returned to South Australia and attended St. Peter’s College, then the University of Adelaide. He obtained a scholarship for his outstanding marks, which allowed him to attend law school at Trinity College, Cambridge, UK.[4]

 Murray had a distinguished career, now only as a lawyer and Judge. He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia in 1912. He also served as Chancellor for the University of Adelaide six times between 1916 and 1942. In 1916 he became the Chief Justice of South Australia. Murray also administered the government of South Australia, as the states Lieutenant Governor on numerous occasions in the absence of a Governor. In 1917, Murray was honoured with Knight Commander (KCMG), The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.[5]

Murray was seen by many as an austere and serious man. He never married, and instead lived with his unmarried sister, Margaret at the family estate, Murray Park at Magill (now the administrative building of University of South Australia, Magill Campus).[6]

Sir Murray died on 18 February 1942 following an operation for appendicitis. He was buried alongside his sister at St Georges Church of England Cemetery, Woodforde (near Magill).

 It was alleged in numerous newspaper reports, that during the renovations of the Adelaide Supreme Court in 2018-19 that a psychic-medium, brought in by construction company Hansen Yuncken, identified Sir George Murray as a resident ghost in the building.
 Construction workers had reported strange goings-on in the old building. Chairs had moved through the worksite of their own volition. Fire extinguishers, placed in areas of high risk, would be found in entirely different sections of the worksite far from where workers had placed the. I personally had contact from security guards who told me they had seen the spectre of a man walk through the building, his presence was solid enough that when he walked past motion-activated doors, they would open.
 Some staff became ‘spooked’ by the ghost, so the psychic was called on to investigate. It is claimed the psychic ran her hand over the proposed plans of the building and “felt a presence”. She spoke psychically to the spirit and later identified him via a portrait of Sir Murray. She stated that Sir Murray objected to the proposed seating rearrangement of where the Judges sat in courtroom 11.

A spokesperson for Hansen Yuncken stated:

\’Apparently she spoke to what she called the \’spirit\’, which was a Supreme Court Judge, Sir George Murray, who was a little bit annoyed that the layout of his courtroom had changed so he has been causing a little bit of mayhem.\’
The spokesperson went on to say; \’There might be a little bit of a design change to keep the judge happy. There may well be some things to accommodate his, shall we say, temper.\’

 Sir George Murray was the States Supreme Justice for 16 years and served at the courtrooms from 1912 until his death in 1942. Perhaps, it is justified that his presence is felt in the courts…


Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2020

(Written for the publication; Haunted Adelaide)

[1]Adelaide Heritage, Supreme Court, National Trust of South Australia, (2019), http://www.adelaideheritage.net.au/all-site-profiles/supreme-court/.

[2] Ibid.

[3]‘Death of Sir George Murray’, The Advertiser, (19 February 1942), p. 4.

[4]Alex C. Castles, \’Murray, Sir George John Robert (1863–1942)\’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, ANU, (1986), http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/murray-sir-george-john-robert-7708/text13497.

[5]Peter Duckers, British Orders and Decorations, (Oxford 2009), pp. 26–27.

[7] Brittany Chain, $31 million Supreme Court renovations halted after medium declares the spirit of a dead judge is haunting the building – as plans are rearranged to ‘appease the ghost’, Daily Mail Australia, (20 Jan 2019), https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6611759/Supreme-Court-renovations-halted-medium-declares-spirit-dead-judge-haunting-building.html.

The Streets of Adelaide: Edmund William Jerningham


The Streets of Adelaide: 

Edmund William Jerningham

Most of the streets in Adelaide and Gawler are named after buyers of allotments of the Adelaide survey and the Gawler Special Survey, conducted by Colonel William Light

Edmund William Jerningham, born 5 September 1805.[1] He was the oldest son of William Charles and Anne Jerningham (nee Wright).  William and Anne had four sons and three daughters.  The Jerningham family were direct descendants of the 6th Baronet at Costessey Hall in Norfolk, Sir William Jerningham. Their lineage is traceable to the time of Queen Mary, and their family is famous for the defence of their Catholic faith in the face of anti-Catholic reforms across the UK. [2]

 Jerningham purchased 252 acres in the Gawler Special Survey, an estate known historically as the Para Para.[3]


Costessey Hall

Jerningham was often in the English Royal court, being invited to the palace to meet with King George IV and King William IV.[4] Later, he would later be a guest at Queen Adelaide’s birthday in 1831, through the good graces of his Aunt, Lady Bedingfield, who served as the lady-in-waiting to Queen Adelaide. [5]

Jerningham marries Matilda Waterton on 25 June 1829, they had six daughters and one son. Their son, William died in infancy.[6]

Jerningham worked for the banking Company Wright and Co. Wright’s as it became informally known, was a family business begun in 1699 by a Catholic family. In 1835, the directors were John Wright, Anthony George Wright Biddulph, Henry Robinson, and Edmund Jerningham. Jerningham was a brother in law to the Wrights. The business operated from 6 Henrietta Street in the Parish of St Paul, Covent Gardens, London. [7]
 Jerningham was a member of the Reform Club in Pall Mall, an auditor for the Protector Fire Insurance Company and a committee member for the London Southampton Railway Company, he was on the committee for the South London Union railway.

Went bankrupt in 1840 after John Wright illegally used the bank\’s money 938 Wright had heavily invested in a white-lead-manufacturing company in Lambeth that failed. Wright also offered shares in other companies he had invested in, where the shares were barely taken up. When it became time for the money from the investment to be used, it fell upon Wright to pay up, which overdrew the companies’ balance.[8]

Edmund Jerningham’s share of the failed bank debts was much smaller than the Wright Brothers, being £7,117 10s. Id. [9] By 1840, Jerningham had begun to recover from the bank’s loss, via support from his family. He joined the South Australian Society in 1840.[10]

Edmund William Jerningham died 2 November 1860, aged 55. [11]


For a more comprehensive overview of Edmund Jerningham, please read Dr Jeff Nicholas extraordinary work Behind The streets of Adelaide, published by Torrens Press.


Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2020.

[1] Jean-Charles Terlinden, Edmund William Jerningham, Geneanet, (2020), https://gw.geneanet.org/lard?lang=en&n=jerningham&oc=0&p=edmund+william. 

[2] Nicholas, Jeff & Grenvell, Julian, Lord, Baron of Kilvey, (writer of foreword.), Behind the streets of Adelaide : the unrevealed history of the roads and pavements of a modern city, Limited edition hardback set, Torrens Press, (Malvern, Victoria, 2016), pp. 932-3. 

[3] Ibid., p. 932. 

[4] Ibid., p. 935. 

[5] Ibid., p. 936. 

[6] Ibid., p. 926. 

[7] Ibid., p. 932. 

[8] \’LATEST ENGLISH NEWS.\’, The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (10 April 1841), p. 3., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article642839 

[9] \’ENGLISH EXTRACTS.\’, The Courier, (18 June 1841), p. 4., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2956107. 

[10] Nicholas, Jeff, Behind the streets of Adelaide., p. 938. 

[11] Jean-Charles Terlinden, Edmund William Jerningham.

John Martin the Celebrity Delinquent: Part 4: Flown the Coop.


John Martin the Celebrity Delinquent

Part 4: Flown the Coop.


   Friday 2nd November 1894, and 15-year-old John Henry Martin has flown the coop again. This time Martin escaped from Mr Burton’s truant school at Glanville. He had been locked in a room and escaped. His escape had only been discovered when someone had sought him to do some work, finding the locked room he was supposed to be in, empty.[1]

 The Port Adelaide police were notified of Martin’s disappearance, with word put out on the street that they were searching for him. At about 10:30pm that night, a message was sent to the police station stating that Martin was seen laying on tracks at the Port Adelaide railway yards.
 Constable Schell went to investigate and found then arrested Martin. Martin was no longer dressed in his reformatory uniform, instead, wearing clothes he had borrowed from another boy. He was wearing blue serge trousers and a tweed vest, missing his hat, work coat and one boot. When asked by police why he changed clothing, he stated, “I’m not going to let anyone see me with a uniform coat on.\” (referring to the reformatory uniform).
 Martin was taken to the Port Adelaide police station and put in the cells, all the while protesting vigorously that he had done nothing wrong and did not deserve to be locked up.
 Mr Burton, who had taken charge of the boy, decided that he, and his reformatory, would no longer accept the boy and that he should be placed back into State care. [2]



Next Week: John Martin the Celebrity Delinquent: Part 5: Cardigan Castle


Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2020

[1]\’A NOTORIOUS JUVENILE.\’, South Australian Chronicle, (10 November 1894), p. 7., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93853575.

[2]\’A NOTORIOUS JUVENILE.\’, The Advertiser, (3 November 1894), p. 6. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article25740901.

John Martin the Celebrity Delinquent: Part 2: Escape Artist


John Martin the Celebrity Delinquent: 

Part 2: Escape Artist


 John Martin became well known in Adelaide for his constant escapes from the Industrial School and Glanville Reformatory. His escapades became legendary and earned him celebrity status in Adelaide.
 When writing of his escapes, the 15-year-old (14 at the start of his crime spree) was often described with words exemplifying his actions, rather than vilifying him, as would have been done if he was an adult. ‘Pluck and determination’ were often used to describe him, and, ‘courageous, fearless, and brave’.

The Express and Telegraph newspaper published one of his escapes. In the middle of the night, Martin awoke in his third-floor dormitory. While everyone else was asleep, he quietly drifted through the room, opened a window, and stepped out onto an 8-inch (20cm) ledge protruding from the wall. He was 40 feet (12 meters) above the ground. Martin, quietly, without fear, moved along the ledge until he reached a water pipe, which he slid down to reach the ground.


Artist impression on John Martin 1896.

He was captured after three days. On his return to the reformatory, he was shackled with ‘school-irons’, a leather and iron shackle designed to hobble the wearer. The irons were chained to the bed, and a warder was assigned to stay in the room the entire night.
 On one occasion, Martin waited for the warder to fall asleep. He found a way to quieten his shackles, and snuck over the warder, removing the keys from his pocket, and unlocked himself. Again, he snuck out the window onto the ledge and used the waterpipe to escape to the ground.

 On another occasion, Martin was segregated into an isolation chamber that the superintendent thought inescapable. The only things in the room with Martin were his blanket and bed. Martin was put in the chamber, and the warders left to their rooms. The following morning, Martin was nowhere to be seen,
 As soon as the warders had left him, Martin bit the metal buttons off his trousers. He used the buttons as screwdrivers and removed the lock from the door, from the inside! He escaped into a courtyard, where he escaped over the wall.
 Unfortunately for Martin, his notoriety meant he was easily recognised and was arrested soon after his escape. [1]


Next Week: John Martin the Celebrity Delinquent: Part 3: Glanville to Manoora.


Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2020

[1] \’THE LAD JOHN MARTIN.\’, The Express and Telegraph, (11 September 1894), p. 2. (SECOND EDITION), http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209038878.

It’s Only a Bastard.

 It’s Only a Bastard.

In 1878, Mary Scudmore was charged with unlawfully beating Charles Grills, a nine-month-old child.
 Scudmore appeared at the Police-court before Judges Beddome, Wilshire and Reed. The prosecutor read the charge that Scudmore was accused of cruel conduct towards the child.

 It was claimed that on several occasions she had thrust the child’s head into dirty water to get it to stop crying, almost drowning the boy. It was stated that if anyone confronted her about her cruel behaviour she would state; “It’s only a bastard. There’s no such luck as killing it. The child has got as many lives as a cat!”.[1]

Scudmore’s neighbour reported her to the police. The child had been in Scudmore’s custody for an unknown amount of time. The Judges deliberated among themselves and came back with the verdict ‘case dismissed’ on the grounds that the evidence fell short of what required to prove the charge.[2]

[1] ‘MONDAY, OCTOBER 14.’, South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail, (19 October 1878), p. 13., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92265724
[2] ‘Law and Criminal Courts.’, Evening Journal, 914 October 1878), p. 2., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197717855