Sydney Gazette of 25 August 1829

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Sydney Gazette of 25 August 1829
Description of the hanging of John Holmes on 21-8-1829 afte
r burning down a barn belonging to James Thomas John BEAN (Jun.)

On Friday last, John Holmes, convicted of arson at Campbelltown, was executed pursuant to his sentence. When on the scaffold, the rev. Mr Therry addressed the Under Sheriff and enquired whether he would be permitted to communicate the prisoner's confession to the numerous assemblage of persons who were collected to witness the execution. Immediate assent was given and Mr Therry then stated that the unfortunate culprit acknowledged his guilt, as well as the justice of his sentence; that he had committed many crimes, but sincerely hoped that God had forgiven him, as he freely forgave all those by whom he had ever been injured. The prisoner then addressed the spectators himself earnestly entreating that they would take warning by his fate, and avoid the evil consequences of bad company which had brought him to an untimely and disgraceful end. The Under Sheriff expressed himself gratified at hearing a declaration from the prisoner which must be so consolatory to himself, and so gratifying to his friends and all present. Holmes then joined in prayer with great devotion and in a few minutes the drop fell.

After hanging the usual time, his body was earnestly requested by many persons, and Mr Prorit directed it to be delivered over to his friends on condition that it should be interred on the evening of the same day, as he was aware that they were desirous of having a wake over the body, which in all probability would have occasioned a disturbance in the town at night.

A neat Coffin was provided by his friends and on the evening the corpse was followed to the grave by a numerous train

was granted 80 acres of land||In September 1824 he wrote to Sir Thomas Brisbane to say that the land was now in cultivation with the exception of a few acres and that he had fouteen head of horned cattle, and that he would request a further grant of land to support his family, which consisted of his wife and four children. He was supported in his application by William Howe and the assistant chaplain who attested to his good qualities. As Howe wrote "he and his family are remarkably industrious and respectable". Another memorial was sent on 24 November and added that he now also supported two convicts, Jacob James and John Wenham. James was successful in having his grant extended to 300 acres and received a further 200 acres in the Brisbane Waters area of Northumberland
was granted 80 acres at Menangle (Grant No: 507)|| The property was later called "The Beehive"

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