Windsor Court House

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Windsor Court House

The oldest existing local court in New South Wales was built in Windsor in 1821.rss wlc front

Designed by the famous convict architect, Francis Greenway, Windsor Court House was set up as a Supreme Court, being the first proper judicial establishment in New South Wales. A Court of Quarter Sessions was held at Windsor in December 1824, when a Grand Jury with William Cox as foreman and nineteen others, were empanelled.

One of the cases on that first day was that of James Dargon, who was convicted of stealing a pig at Castlereagh. For that crime, he was sentenced to three years transportation to Port Macquarie. After he served his term he went to live at Bathurst.

Another case at the same session was that of Palmer Carney and his father who were charged with receiving five pecks (about 30kg) of wheat, which they had stolen from William Cox.  The son was sentenced to be "whipped at the carts tail from the bell post to the Feathers Public House in the town of Windsor and backThe father to witness the punishment and be imprisoned for one year".  The bell post was in Thompsons Square and the Feather Public House is thought to have been about 2 blocks along George Street.

In the 1840's, whilst Judge Therry was on the bench, a humorous incident occured at the Windsor Court of Requests.  A blacksmith named Finamore had his shop below St Matthews Church.  a local famer owed him 1/18/0 (1 pound, 18 shillings) for work done.  Finamore used the write his accounts for each job done on the back of his shop door.  When the farmer wouldn't pay, he decided to sue for the amount.  The defendant disputed the claim before Judge Therry and the Judge asked Finamore for evidence of the debt.  Finamore said he didn't have it with him and the case was adjourned to the next morning on the condition that the blacksmith produce the account in writing.

The next morning, Finamore appeared before the Judge with the door of his shop, which he had taken off it's hinges and carried up George Street.  The distance from Finamore's shop to the court house would have been about 2 kilometres. Judge Therry ordered the defendant to pay the amount claimed...

Windsor Court House has recently undergone renovation to restore it to it's original condition.

If you would like to read more cases from the archives, there is a site maintained by Macquarie University which contains cases from 1788 - 1899 which may be of some interest.

 

Roderick Storie Solicitors 290 Windsor Street, Richmond NSW 2753

ABN: 178 187 94865

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