# 35703


Warrant on Fi. Fa. in Assumpsit. Samuel Raymond Esq., Deputy Sheriff of the District of Port Phillip, in the Colony of New South Wales, to William Johnson Sugden, my Bailiff, Greeting:

$400.00 AUD

  • Ask a question

Sydney : W. J. Row, Government Printer, [1842, or earlier]. Foolscap folio (335 x 210 mm), single sheet of laid paper with Britannia watermark, printed recto only, with manuscript entries; a warrant on Fieri Facias In Assumpsit empowering William Johnson Sugden, the Deputy Sheriff’s Bailiff, to recover the sum of £23 10/- 8d in damages and costs from Thomas Softly Kay (Little Bourke Street), owed to the plaintiff, Andrew Crockett (Little Flinders Street), as ruled in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, for the District of Port Phillip, and to be delivered to the Court before 10 February 1842; the document is dated 4 January 1842; embossed court seal at lower right; signed by Raymond and countersigned by the plaintiff’s attorney, David Ogilvy, at the foot; verso with clerical summary ‘Crockett Plaintiff / Kay Defendant / Warrant on Fi. Fa. / D. Ogilvy Plaintiff’s Attorney; original folds, fine.

A very early Port Phillip legal document, associated with several significant pioneer colonists.

William Johnson Sugden (c.1804-1868) was one of the most notable early Port Phillip colonists. A portrait of him by Thomas Foster Chuck was published in Chuck’s The explorers and early colonists of Victoria (1872). Sugden, formerly a soldier in the Life Guards and attendant to George IV, arrived in Australia in 1834. He lived in Hobart where he was the licensee of the Dorchester Butt Hotel in Campbell Street, between September 1835 and May 1836, before being declared insolvent. He left Van Diemen’s Land to try his luck in the new settlement at Port Phillip, and records show that in 1839 he became the first secretary of the Melbourne Union Cricket Club and a founder of Odd Fellows Lodge. In 1841, Sugden was appointed Sheriff’s Bailiff, and the present document dates to this period of his career. During 1842 and 1843 he is also recorded as being an auctioneer and burgess (councillor) for Burke Ward, with a residence in William Street. In 1843, William Johnson Sugden married Louisa Frost at St James’ Cathedral, and the following year he received the appointment of Chief Constable of Melbourne. During his time in this position, Sugden introduced the new English model of the modern police detective to Melbourne. An indication of the esteem in which he was held in Melbourne is that in 1850 he was Grand Marshal of the parade that celebrated the opening of Princes Bridge.

David Ogilvy (c.1804-1871), the plaintiff’s Edinburgh-born Queen Street solicitor, arrived in Port Phillip on the Superb in 1839. He married Elizabeth Aitchison Williamson in Viewbank, Heidelberg, northeast of Melbourne, on 9 September 1841, and the couple would have seven children. Ogilvy became the first President of the Law Institute of Victoria when it was founded in 1859. He died in London in 1871.

Andrew Crockett, the plaintiff, was a merchant who was running a grocery and bakery in Little Flinders Street as early as 1840. He was granted a depasturing license for Portland Bay in February 1844.

Thomas Softly Kay, the defendant, was the licensee of the Horse and Jockey public house in Little Bourke Street. In April 1842 – some three months after the date of the present document – Kay was declared insolvent, and his application for the renewal of his publican’s license was rejected. Despite these setbacks, Kay battled on; a few years later, in 1847, we find him listed as a ‘mathematical instrument manufacturer in Collins Lane.