Bob & Jack
In 1842 two Aboriginal men, said to be from Tasmania, were found guilty of killing two white whalers in Cape Patterson, Victoria.
The two men, known as Bob and Jack, were not allowed to give evidence in their own defence, or to call forward Aboriginal witness's, they were consequently found guilty by the white settlers jury, and sentenced to be hung at Gallows Hill.
Gallows Hill, stood outside the Old Melbourne Gaol, the gallows were two large wooden poles buried in the ground with a plank between them, and a two pieces of wood, attached to the poles with hinges, for the prisoners to stand on, under the other unhinged end of the planks stood a pile of rubble, which kicked over, would release the planks and hang the prisoners.
On this occasion, the rubble did not fall far enough, and the two men hung, choking, until an onlooker realised the problem and kicked the rest of the rubble out of the way, allowing the men to die.
Bob and Jack were removed from the gallows and their bodies were taken to the Melbourne cemetery, they were not allowed proper Aboriginal Rites nor Burial. The two men were buried in the northern most section of the cemetery.
Today, the Queen Vic Market sits atop the old cemetery where it is believed hundreds, possibly thousands of people had been buried, Bob and Jack have been seen upon occasion in the Market and also are known to cause all kinds of mischief, no doubt they are restless due to not receiving their proper burial rites and the possibility of a miscarriage of justice from the white men jury.
© 2013 Allen Tiller
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