# 41125


[GEELONG] Copy of a bond document pertaining to a suit by Barrabool farmer John Furlong against Edward Willis and Charles Lambert Swanston for theft of his property. May, 1850.

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[Geelong : Supreme Court of New South Wales for the District of Port Phillip], May 1850. Manuscript in ink, written on the first two sides of a folio bifolium, in the hand of a legal clerk; recording a bond of £160 payable to Deputy Sheriff Alastair Mackenzie. The three liable parties are John Furlong of Barrabool, farmer; George Gibbons, licensed victualler of South Geelong; and George Elliot, general dealer of South Geelong. The condition of the bond is that it will remain in effect from the commencement of Furlong’s suit in the Supreme Court at Melbourne or Geelong against Edward Willis and Charles Lambert Swanston (joint owners of Native Creek Station, a sheep run of 4000 acres) for ‘taking and unjustly detaining’ his property – ‘to wit, one stack of hay, twenty bags of oats and dirty wheat, and one horse dray’, but that it will be made void if/when the goods are adjudged to have been returned; seals intact on the second side; docketed on the last side: ‘Dated [day omitted] May 1850 / John Furlong and others to A. Mackenzie Esq. Deputy Sheriff / Bond’; original folds; a very well preserved Port Phillip legal document.

John Furlong was a pioneer settler in the Geelong district. A farmer with a property called Woodstock in the Barrabool Hills, west of Geelong, he was a god-fearing man and a member of the Free Church of Scotland. The year 1850 had not begun well for him. In February his wife Margaret had been arrested and briefly detained by the Chief Constable in Geelong on a charge of attempting to take her own life by taking laudanum, the authorities also noting that she had recently developed a heavy drinking habit (Geelong Advertiser, 27 February 1850). Even greater tragedy was to strike the family the following summer: on 10 February 1851, an article on the Barrabool Hills bushfire in The Argus reported that ‘Mr Furlong’s stacks and fences are burnt ; Mrs Furlong was severely burnt, and her injuries may be fatal.’ Evidently she survived, because in 1853 a Mary Furlong (surely in error for Margaret Furlong?), in company with one Thomas Shaw, was charged 20 shillings for being ‘drunk in the streets of the town’ (Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer, 18 October 1853). Following the death of John Furlong two years later, the following report appeared The Age, 23 August 1855:

‘BARRABOOL HILLS. Margaret Furlong, an elderly wonun, attired in decent widow’s weeds, appeared to answer the charge of being drunk and raising a crowd in the street. The prisoner stated that she had been celebrating the intelligence of a legacy to a considerable amount, and that she was striving to engage a conveyance by the Escort to the Barrabool Hills when the alleged disturbance occurred. In consequence of her promise to leave the town at once, she was discharged.’