Old news from Armidale and New England

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Striking feature

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Saturday 27 October 1866, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

FREE SELECTION. – At the Quarter Sessions, held here last Monday, before Judge Mcymott, an assault case was tried, which revealed a striking feature of the easy manner in which a free selector secured a house, garden, and cultivation ready to his hand. The case will be better explained by a summary of the evidence produced at the trial. A man, named Timothy Mulreay, waited on the land agent in January last, and selected a portion of the Europambela run, known as Butler’s station, near Walcha; and, on offering the usual deposit, and describing the ground he desired, was told by the land agent that he believed the ground could not be selected, and referred him in the meantime to the district surveyor for definite information. Mulreay waited on the surveyor, from whom he learned not only that it was not open for selection, but that the lessee had applied for it in consequence of the valuable improvements on it, that the law did not allow it to be free selected, and if Mulreay did so the ground would be measured off, and any additional improvements he might make would go to the lessee. Mulreay said he would take it on chance, and take he did. In July the surveyor had instructions from the Government to survey the land, as applied for by the lessee, and proceeded to the place for that purpose, when Mulreay prevented him by assaulting him several times, and finally cutting his chain into five or six pieces. The survey was relinquished, Mulreay was prosecuted, and at the Sessions was convicted and sentenced for the assault; but I believe his family still retain possession of the land, house, garden, cultivation, and all. Now, if this is not taking possession of another man’s property by force and under colour of law, it would be difficult to say what forcible possession is. We are constantly witnessing the mischievous effects of some parts of the Land Act of 1801, but this appears to be one of the most daring violations of right that has come under my notice. Whether the Government will allow Mulreay or his family to retain possession of this land remains to be seen, for if the Government make no effort to disturb them it will be difficult to say if the squatter’s principal residence will not be the next point of attack by some equally as daring free-selector in search of a home made ready to his hand. – Armidale Correspondent of Herald.

Written by macalba

April 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. Very interesting!
    A Woodsrunner’s Diary.

    Le Loup

    May 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm

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