Friday, November 30, 2012

Thomas Viggars' family

What was Thomas Viggars' story?  I believe he was the son of William James Whiston Viggars and his wife Sarah.  Thomas had been born in Kidsgrove, Staffordshire, England on 1 August 1901.  

I believe that his family tree looks something like this:

William James Whiston Viggars (1867 - August 1945, Marlborough) married Sarah (1871 - May 1944, Marlborough).  

1.  Lilian Viggars (1896 - May 1962, Marlborough).  Lilian never married.

2.  William Viggars (13 August 1898 - 1974) 

William married Agnes Winifred Forsyth in 1919.  I believe that William had a motor cycle garage and repair shop called Viggar's Garage in Ghuznee Street, Wellington and he was involved with motor racing.  In 1932 William was living at 68 Fairlie Terrace, Wellington, and it's reported that he suffered a compound fracture of his right leg, following the motor cycle he was riding colliding with a motor car on 30 November 1932.
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3.  Thomas Whiston Viggars (1 August 1901, England - 27 October 1964, Dunedin).  Following his brush with the law, and subsequent imprisonment (he must have been released by early 1925 at the latest), Thomas married twice, by my calculations - first to Alicia Hazel Evelyn Lamb in 1928, and then to Venus Pearl Renwick (9 January 1918 - 1977). Following his release from prison, it looks like Thomas went and worked as a motor mechanic for his brother in Wellington, but unfortunately trouble followed him, as this article from the 13 December 1937 Evening Post reports:

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4.  Elsie May Viggars (3 October 1905 - February 1977, Marlborough).  Elsie never married.  

5.  Ethel Viggars (1912 - February 1929).  Ethel died early, at the age of only 17.  All three sisters are buried near their parents in Omaka Cemetery in the Marlborough District.

Curtis family and sad story of Rita Nicoll

James Frederick Curtis and his wife Ellen Alice Neale (1852 - 1891) were the natural parents of Christopher Stanley Slater.  I believe that the information I have received is probably correct, in that Stanley was born around 1890 and his mother, Ellen died in 1891, and that probably James was unable to care for the infant, especially with other children to care for.  I've had a look to see if I can find out more about the family, but can't see how they came to New Zealand.  I believe that James and Ellen had the following children in addition to Stanley:

1.  Rose Beatrice Curtis (1880 - 1909) married Willie Brunton Nicoll (1879 - 1959) in 1901.  During their brief marriage, Rose and Willie had a number of children:
  1.1 Willie James Herbert Nicoll (1901 - 1955).  Willie married Hilda May Lavinia Batt in 1926.

  1.2 Harold Leonard Frederick Nicoll (1902 - 1964).  Harold married Dorothy Cecil Vorback (22 February 1906 - 1987) in 1929.

  1.3 Rita Violet Ellen Nicoll (1904 -1923).  Rita died early, aged just 18 years.  It appears that she sadly died as the result of a botched abortion, in the days before abortion was legal in New Zealand.  The NZ Truth published this report about the Depositions hearing with respect to the two men charged with her murder - her boyfriend Thomas Viggars, and Richard Hollis - on 26 May 1923:

Two Youths Committed For Trial
The extraordinary interest taken throughout Marlborough in the pitiful death of the pretty young girl, Rita Violet Ellen Nicoll, who died recently at the Wairau Hospital from the effects, of an alleged illegal operation, was well exemplified, when in the presence of a crowded Court room.
Magistrate T. E. Maunsell committed for trial on the capital charge of murder, two young men alleged to have been concerned in the girl's death. These were Richard Hollis who is alleged to have performed the illegal operation and Thomas Viggars, a well known Blenheim youth, against whom it is alleged that he procured Hollis to perform the alleged criminal act.
The two young men were originally arrested on the charges mentioned above, but after the inquest on the dead girl fresh informations were sworn and they were apprehended for murder.
When the case came before the Magistrate Crown Prosecutor C. H. Mills was granted formal permission to withdraw the original charges, and the accused were then charged on two counts — first, murder of the girl Nicoll on May 7 (the date of her death), and, second, with using an instrument with intent to procure a miscarriage.
Mr. A. C. Nathan appeared on behalf of the accused Viggars, while Mr. C. T. Smith appeared for Hollis.
Viggars's counsel objected to BOTH THE CHARGES BEING HEARD AT ONCE, claiming that, evidence relevant to one charge would not necessarily be relevant to the other, and after some argument the Crown agreed to take the murder change first and to be guided by circumstances as to whether the second count should be proceeded with.
The Crown Prosecutor opened the case with a brief review of the evidence to be submitted, his statement roughly traversing the evidence adduced at the Coroner's inquest, and then proceeded to call his witnesses who were quickly disposed of, the defence not asking a single question, though counsel for both accused raised plenty of objections to the admission of a great deal of the evidence, principally on the grounds that it was not in accord with the law of evidence and also on the ground that what might be evidence against one accused was not necessarily evidence against the other.
Vincent Henry Dodson, a farmer residing at Spring Creek, said the late Rita Nicoll was employed by him as a domestic servant for 16 months. She left witness's employment on Saturday, April 21, at about 6.15 p.m. and caught the train to Blenheim. Her health then appeared to be quite all right. Witness said he knew the accused Viggars and had often seen him at the gate in company with the deceased girl. Viggars usually arrived on a motor cycle and the pair were in the habit of going away together on the machine. The girl started going with Viggars about three months after she entered witness's employ, and after that she went with no one else. Deceased left witness's employ of her own free will, having given a week's notice. As to her behavior, she was "THE BEST GIRL WE EVER HAD."
Mrs. Wilhelmina Bagby, an aunt of the deceased girl, said she resided in Eltham Road, Blenheim. The girl was just on 19 years of age.
Witness gave evidence as to the girl's illness on the lines of her statement at the recent inquest.
Witness said the girl appeared to be in quite good health until witness saw her in bed about 7.30 on the Tuesday morning (April 22) when witness, after a talk with the girl, decided to call in Dr. Russell Adams. However, when the doctor arrived the girl declined to allow him to examine her. The girl was up all day on Wednesday until 8.30 p.m., but was very ill. During the night witness was called by her little girl and went to see Rita and found her in terrible pain and in a very serious condition. She was taken to the Wairau Hospital.
Witness said she knew the accused Viggars, who was introduced to her by her niece eight or nine months ago. She had seen the girl in company with Viggars on a motor cycle. Witness identified three photographs of the girl, which were produced by the prosecution.
Dr. Julian, medical superintendent at Wairau Hospital, gave evidence on the lines of his statement to the Coroner, regarding the admission of the girl to the hospital, her condition when she arrived, her treatment there, and her death" on May 7. He asked Dr. Russell Adams to consult with him on the case. On the following morning witness considered the girl's condition hopeless and about 9.55 a.m. had a conversation with her. Witness told her that she was dying and she replied that she knew she was dying.
Mr. Nathan challenged this as "hearsay" evidence, but Mr. Mills argued that the evidence was permissible as showing that the girl knew she was in a dying condition. Proceeding, witness related that the girl said SHE KNEW SHE WAS DYING and had no hope of recovery. Witness asked her if she knew she was pregnant.
In reply to the Bench, witness said he was satisfied from her demeanor that she knew she was dying.
Witness proceeded that the girl replied that she knew she had been pregnant. He asked her if an instrument had been used.
Mr. Nathan again objected to this evidence and his Worship said he would note the objection to the whole of the conversation between witness and deceased, but he would admit the evidence.
Witness said the girl replied to him that an instrument had been used. He asked her by whom and she replied, "Hollis." He asked her Hollis's Christian name and she said she did not know. He asked her where the Instrument was used and she replied "High Street." He asked her whereabouts in High Street and she did not answer. He then asked her. "Was it in Hollis's butcher's shop?" (belonging to accused's brother) and she said "yes." He asked her when the instrument was used and she replied "on the Monday evening" immediately prior to her admission to the hospital. Witness asked her who took her there and she said, "my boy, Viggars." Her mind at the time was perfectly clear. Witness proceeded that he communicated with Senior-Sergeant Clarkson on the telephone.
What did you tell him? — That the girl's condition was hopeless in my opinion. Anything further? — He said he would get a Justice and come up.
What time was that conversation? Just prior to my conversation with Miss Nicoll. It would be about 10 minutes to 10.
Shortly after that did Senior Sergeant Clarkson come to the hospital? - About half an hour after.
Accompanied by whom? A Justice of the Peace, Mr. Hill; the Clerk of the Court: a man whom I understood to be Hollis; a policeman, and others.
Well, you were present when the party arrived ?- Yes.
Was a statement obtained at that stage, from the deceased?— Yes.
By whom?— Mr. Hill, the Justice of the Peace.
Mr. Mills then asked that witness stand down till tbe Registrar of the Supreme Court in whose custody it is, formally produced the deposition made by the girl.
This' was done, the Registrar, Mr. A. F. Bent, deposing that he was present when a deposition was made by Rita Nicoll to Mr. Hill, J.P., and was handed to witness as Registrar. Witness proceeded to read the deposition, and Mr. Nathan asked that his formal objection to the admissability of this evidence be noted.
Witness said each of the accused had the opportunity to cross-examine the girl if they had desired to do so.
The evidence of Dr. Julian was then resumed. He was handed the deposition, which he read. He said that it was the statement made by Rita Nicoll on May 4 in his presence. At that time she was dangerously ill, but capable of understanding what was said to her. She lingered on until May 7. After the death an examination was held at which he was present. Witness described injuries which could have been caused by some perforating instrument more or less pointed or rounded. The cause of death was septic pneumonia due to puerperal infection caused by a surgically dirty instrument used by an unskilled person. Septic pneumonia, he added, was a complication which might follow any septic infection.
To the Bench: An unskilled person could cause a miscarriage at four months* pregnancy without endangering life, but would require to know of one or two small points.
Dr. R. Noble Adams gave evidence as to the post mortem, which he performed on the body of the girl. There were external signs of acute septic infection. Witness corroborated Dr. Julian's evidence as to injuries to the girl. In witness's opinion the injuries must have been caused by some more or less sharp instrument, probably straight. They conld not have been caused by any. surgical instruments m common usage. The cause of death was pneumonia arising from an acute septic infection primarily caused by the use of some unsterilisecl instrument.
Dr. Russell Adams deposed that he was called to Mrs. Bagbys house on April 25 to see Miss Rita Nicoll. The girl was in bed, but witness did not make an examination because the girl DID NOT WISH TO SEE HIM at all. Subsequently, on May 3 witness was called into consultation on the case by Dr. Julian at the Wairau Hospital. Witness examined the girl, who was suffering in witness's opinion, from puerperal septicaemia and secondary pneumonia. She was, in a very critical state. Witness was satisfied that the treatment being accorded her was correct. From the examination which he made witness formed the opinion that the primary cause of the septicaemia was abortion.
Edward Johnston Hill, a Justice of the Peace, gave evidence that on May 4 at the request of Senior-Sergeant Clarkson he accompanied the Sergeant to the hospital to take a deposition. They met Dr. Julian in the corridor and, in reply to a question by the Sergeant, the doctor said, "It is a hopeless case."
Mr. Nathan objected to this answer, but his Worship, ruling that the Justice must be satisfied as to the deponent's condition, overruled the objection, though he noted it.
Witness proceeded that he was aware when he went to the hospital that he was to take a deposition in regard to an information which had been laid, and he was quite satisfied when he had seen her that the girl was able and willing to give evidence. Witness was also satisfied that it would have been impossible to have taken her evidence in open Court in the ordinary manner, for from her condition as described by the doctor, he was of opinion that she might have died at any moment. He felt sure of this. The Senior-Sergeant administered the oath to the girl. Miss Nicoll could only articulate "yes" or "no" to questions put to her by the Sergeant. She made no straightout statement herself, except that she said, onn one occasion, "yes, my boy, Tommy." Witness said he personally wrote the statement in the form of a deposition. It was the statement previously read in Court. After writing the statement it was read over by witness to the girl and to the two accused. Both accused were invited to ask the girl any question and Hollis replied: "No; I don't want to upset her." Viggars simply said, "No."'
Witness added that VIGGARS WAS NOT PRESENT at the time the deposition was written and signed, but he was present just after the girl put her mark on the document as signature and it was read over to him and he was asked if he had any questions and replied, "No."
Hollis was not represented by counsel, though witness had tried to get in touch with Mr. Smith.
Witness said he took Viggars to the bedside and said: "Rita, do you recognise this young man standing here?" She replied: "Yes, that's my boy, Tommy." Witness said: "Tommy who?" and she said: "Tommy Viggars." On going into the room, witness said to the girl, "Rita, I have brought a Justice to obtain a statement from you as to the cause of your illness," and she replied, in a low voice, "Yes." She was quite rational and appeared to understand all that was said and all that was going on.
Replying to a question by the Bench, witness said the girl had the pen in her fingers to make her mark or signature, but MR. HILL GUIDED HER HAND. Constable Canning, on relieving duty in Blenheim, gave evidence that he was present at the hospital when the girl's depositions were taken. Later in the day witness was on duty on the street and Viggars approached him and said: "I have been round to the police station to report, but the Sergeant is not there. If I report to you, will that do?" Witness replied, "Yes." Viggars then said: "I did not like the look of the girl to-day." Witness replied: "No; no more do I.'! Viggars then asked: "How will I be getting on?" Witness said: "From what I hear, you asked Hollis to do the job." Viggars replied: "He did not want much asking. I am sorry for the girl."
Constable Doggett, in charge of the Picton district and police gaoler at Picton, said Hollis had been in his custody since May 4. At about 2 p.m. on May 8 Hollis asked witness if he had heard HOW THE GIRL NICOLL WAS GETTING ON. Mr. Nathan objected to any of this evidence being taken as regards Viggars. The Crown Solicitor said Mr. Nathan could rest assured that this evidence did not affect Viggars. Mr. Nathans objection was noted.
Witness said he told Hollis he was in a position to tell him how the girl was, but that it was his duty to warn him that anything he might say might be used in evidence against him. He replied: "Yes; I understand." Witness then told him the girl had died the previous morning. He simply said, "Ahem!" A little later he said: "I expect that will make it worse." Witness said: "It's a wonder you got implicated in this matter at all,” and he replied: "Yes; it's a wonder to me and to everyone else."
This concluded the evidence.
Neither of the counsel for the accused addressed the Court.
His Worship said he took it that so far as Viggars was concerned, the Crown proposed to ask the jury to find that he ought to have known better than to take part in an action likely to cause death.
Mr. Mills: That is so, your Worship.
His Worship said that so far as Hollis was concerned, he had some doubt as to whether a murder charge would lie, but no doubt the Supreme Court would direct the Jury in the matter.
Both accused, who reserved their defence and who were not asked to plead, as it was a murder charge, were committed for trial at the Supreme Court sessions to be held, in Blenheim on June 5.
Viggars was admitted to bail in his own recognizance of £200 and two approved sureties of £500 each.
There was no application for bail for Hollis.

Papers such as the Auckland Star reported, on 7 June 1923, that both Thomas Viggars and Richard Hollis had been convicted in the Supreme Court, on a lesser charge of manslaughter of Rita:

(By Telegraph.—Press Association.)
BLENHEIM, this day.
After a trial extending over two days of Richard Arthur Thomas Hollis and Thomas Whiston Viggars, on charges arising out of the recent death of Rita Violet Ellen Nicoll, a young woman who died in Wairau Hospital after the effects of an illegal operation, the jury returned a verdict of guilty against both accused, with a recommendation for leniency in the case of Viggars.
Hollis, who had a previous conviction for a similar offence, was sentenced to seven years' hard labour, and Viggars to eighteen months' hard labour. The two accused men were committed from the Lower Court on a charge of murder, but the Grand Jury threw out the bill on the murder charge, and returned a true bill charging accused with manslaughter.
Sir John Salmond said he could not accept the plea ofViggars counsel for probation, and must impose imprisonment as a salutary warning to the young man. However, he perfectly agreed to the recommendations of the jury towards leniency, and he thought eighteen months would meet the case.

Rose and Willie's fourth child was only 12 months old when they separated, and he became the subject of proceedings:

  1.4 Augustus Cecil Neale "Cecil" Nicoll (1905 - October 1943, Marlborough)

The following article appeared in the 19 September 1908 edition of the Marlborough Express:

Yesterday afternoon, Mr T. Scott- Smith, S.M., heard a case brought by Rose Nicoll against her husband, Willie Nicoll, for maintenance of his child aged 12 months.
Mr McNab, who appeared for the husband, applied for a separation order, and also asked for the custody of the child, on the ground that the wife had deserted the defendant and had been away from him since 28th January last.
Counsel for plaintiff said his client would agree to a separation order; provided she were allowed the custody of the child. The child was only 12 months old. If defendant would not agree he (counsel) was not prepared to go on with the information for separation, as it had only just been served. The question was whether the husband had failed to provide adequate maintenance for the child. The wife was not asking anything for herself.
Mr McNab said the wife had left her husband in 1906, and on the 12th May, 1907, he had taken her back. Later on there was a disturbance, and the wife again cleared out, taking the child with her. There were three other children of the marriage who had been left with the husband and he had to keep them. He was only a working man and he would be better able to keep the youngest child along with the others.
Counsel for plaintiff suggested that an order be made for the maintenance of the child, the money to be paid to the Clerk of the Court; such order could be varied at any time if the money were not being properly applied. He did not wish to claim any large amount. No evidence was called, and after counsel had discussed the matter conversationally an agreement was come to in the following terms: — The separation order was granted, the husband to pay 4s per week in monthly instalments towards the maintenance of child, no mention being made as to the custody in the meantime; an order also to be made allowing the husband the custody of the three children at present in his care. His Worship accordingly made the orders in accordance with the agreement arrived at.

Accordingly, Cecil obviously stayed in Rose's care while the other children stayed with their father.  Later Rose had a child, but the father was not recorded:
  Eileen Mabel Curtis Nicoll (1909 - 1909).  This baby died at the age of just seven weeks.  
Probably as a result of the birth, Rose also died in 1909.  I think, following Rose's death, Cecil was probably returned to his father's care.

In 1921 Willie Brunton Nicoll married Susannah Maber.   

2. Harold Sidney Curtis (1886 - 1965) married Esther Knapp (1886) in Palmerston North in July 1905.  However, by March 1906 they had been granted a separation order and later in 1906 there is reference to him not obeying an order of the Court to maintain his wife.  

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They were divorced in May 1919:

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Harold then married Charlotte Alvina Hardy (1892 - 1952)in 1920.  Harold and Esther had at least two daughters:

   2.1 Leah Ellen Curtis (1905).  Leah married Charles James Harrison (8 December 1900 - 1982) in 1927.
   2.2 Vera Curtis (1907 - 1956).  Vera married Frederick Ralph Lewis in 1928.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Liddell family

James Thompson and Jane Grieve Liddell - this couple were another set of Alister's Great Great Great Grandparents.  Jane's family were, to the best of my knowledge, as follows:

Peter McPhun Liddell (c1821) married Jessie Armstrong (daughter of Thomas and Jane Armstrong nee Grieve (c1821), who had married on 6 October 1828) on 31 December 1842 at St Cuthberts  Presbyterian Church, in South Leith, Edinburgh.  In the 1850s, they were living in Edinburgh.  They had the following children: 

1. William Liddell (12 September 1844)

2. Jane Grieve Liddell (8 May 1847).  Jane supposedly came to New Zealand as a child under the care of a governess on the ship Caribou into Port Chalmers, on 14/15 July 1865.  The ship remained in the harbour and the passengers were transported from the ship to the shore via the steamer Tuapeka.  Jane first married James Thompson.  Following James' death, Jane married John Behan (1836 - 1906) in Lawrence in 1890.  John Behan was also from the Roxburgh area and was a dredgeman.  

3. Peter McPhun Liddell (1849 - ?).  Some people believe that he emigrated to Australia, under the name "Henry Liddell" around 1866.  This gentleman married Mary McLean in New South Wales in 1872.  Together the had the following children:
  Henry Hector Liddell (1873)
  Alexander H Liddell (1877)
  Alice Marion Liddell (1880)  
"Henry Liddell" then died of tetanus in Sydney, New South Wales in March 1882.  I haven't seen anything to prove that Peter McPhun Liddell Jnr and Henry Liddell were in fact the same person, and am dubious as to whether they were even related.  Certainly the names used for the children tend not to provide any familial link to our Liddells, which the Scots were renowned for doing.  

4. Jessie Liddell (16 August 1851)

5. John J Liddell

6. Robert Liddell (22 June 1855)

7. James Liddell 

8. Williamina Armstrong Liddell (9 August 1860)

The 1851 Scottish Census records the family living at 62 Charlotte Street, South Leith as follows:
Peter McPhun Liddell - a 30 year old who was the head of the house.  Peter was a Lithographic Letter Printer who employed three men.
Jessie Liddell, nee Armstrong is listed as his 30 year old wife (however many ages for adults were simply rounded up to the nearest number).  Jessie was born in  Edinburgh.

William Liddell, their six year old son.
Jane Grave Liddell, their three year old daughter.

Peter McPhun Liddell, their one  year old son.
Also living in the house were:
Jemima Armstrong, Jessie's 20 year old sister.
John McLeod, Peter's two year old nephew.
Charles Conmacha, a fifteen year old Apprentice Printer

The Liddell Family had businesses as Printers & Engravers in 1840s' & 1850s' around South Leith and Edinburgh as follows: 

Liddell Brothers: 
1846/47 13 North Bridge, Edinburgh
1847/48-1849/50 18 North Bridge, Edinburgh & 62 Charlotte St, Leith 
1851/52 - 1859/60 62 Charlotte St Leith
1860/61 49 Nicholson St, Edinburgh & 69 Shore, St Leith. They are described as engravers & general printers (1846/47-1859/60) then engravers, lithographers & opticians (1860/61) 

Connected business are as follows: 
1844/45 Liddell, Peter McPhun, engraver & printer, 1 West Nicholson St, Edinburgh. 
1845/46 Liddell, Peter engraver & letter press printer, 1 West Nicholson St, Edinburgh.
1861/62 Liddell & Co, engravers, lithographers & printers 69 Shore St House, 15 Elder St, Edinburgh. 
1860/61 P & R Liddell engravers & printers & engravers, 46 Nicholson St, Edinburgh
1861/62 Rt Liddell, optician & spirit level manufacturer 35A Hanover St - House 15 Elder St, Robert Liddell, engraver & lithographer, 46 Nicholson St
1844/45-1857/58 JJ Liddell optical mathematical & philosophical instrument maker - 3 Hanover St. 
JJ Liddell 91 Southbridge (1858-59)

Millers Flat Murder

Following are some contemporary reports about the murder of Joseph Augustin Roggiero at the hand of his father in law (Alister's ancestor), John Francis Kitto.  More information about the family is contained here.   

The 1 June 1882 edition of the Grey River Argus reported:

Dunedin, May 30.
With respect to the man Kitto, the perpetrator of the recent Miller's Flat murder, it has transpired that about four years ago he was an inmate of Dunedin Lunatic Asylum for a month.
At that time, however, he was perfectly quiet and inoffensive, his delusion consisting only in a deeply-seated grudge against the son-in-law Roggiero, who has now become his victim.
Threats by Kitto against the latter are recorded in the books of the institution, and Kitto was possessed by the remarkable idea that Roggiero was the devil, an hallucination which probably accounts for the exclamation “Praise be to God," when informed of the fatal effect of his shot.
There is no further news to hand concerning the murder at Miller's Flat on Sunday night. Klogh, the son-in-law, who was wounded by Kitto, is progressing favorably.
May 31.
At the coroner's inquest yesterday, Kitto was committed for trial for wilful murder. He was discharged from the Lunatic Asylum in October, 1878 and has since resided with his family at Miller's Flat. He had not shown any signs of insanity since his discharge.

The Otago Daily Times edition of 16  June 1882 laid out all their earlier stories, to give the reader a time line of sorts, and then updated the reader on the inquest happenings:

Roxburgh, May 29th.
A man named John Kitto, of Miller's Flat, went to the residence of his son-in-law, Joseph Augustus Roggiero, about 7 o'clock last night and without any warning, shot through the window with a rifle at Roggiero, who was sitting by the fire.
The screams of Roggiero's wife attracted her brother-in-law, who had to pass Kitto's house.
Kitto shot at him also, the ball entering the wrist and coming out at the elbow. Roggiero died a short time afterwards. Kitto, who was in the Lunatic Asylum some time ago, came to Roxburgh and gave himself up to the police.

Kitto is now in the lock-up at Roxburgh. He is evidently suffering from religious mania. When told that his son-in-law was dead, he replied, “Praise be to God!”

It is just reported at Roxburgh that unfavourable symptoms are showing in the wounded man, whose name is Kloogh.
Dr M'Carthy, with Sergeant-major Moore, are expected from Lawrence this evening.

With respect to the man Kitto, the perpetrator of the recent murder at Miller's Flat, it has transpired that he was some four yeavs ago an inmate, of the Dunedin Lunatic Asylum. He was at that time, however, perfectly quiet and inoffensive in his behaviour, his delusion consisting only in a deep-seated grudge, against the son-in-law, Joseph Augustus Roggiero, who has now become his victim. Threats uttered by Kitto against the latter are recorded in the books of the institution, and Kitto was possessed by the remarkable idea that Roggiero was the devil, an hallucination that probably accounts for his exclamation “Praise be to God” when informed of the fatal effect of his shot. Kitto was only detained a month in the Asyum, and was then dismissed as presumably cured.
The Mount Benger Mail gives the following further particulars as to the insanity, of the man Kitto:—"For a month past he has been more unsettled than usual, and on the day in question he was decidedly worse. He believed himself to be the Saviour (or Joseph), his brothers and son-in-law being imps of Satan, Roggiero being Satan himself. After the occurrence he crossed the river in his own boat and made straight for Roxburgh, where he stated to the police that he was inspired by God to commit the deed, and was on his way to the New Jerusalem. Kitto's friends have recently spoken to several people in Roxburgh about the state of his mind, but unfortunately nothing was done. He says he has no fear of man, as God will see that no harm befalls him."

John Kitto, the man charged with the murder of Roggiero at Miller's Flat, has been transferred from the Gaol to the Lunatic Asylum. The prisoner, since his lodgment in gaol, has been examined by competent medical authorities, who pronounce him insane. Their report was forwarded to the Hon. the Colonial Secretary, who ordered Kitto's removal to the Asylum pending his trial at the ensuing sessions of the Supreme Court.

Peter Kloogh, who was taken to the Hospital on Monday, June 12, is fast recovering. It appears he had been staying at the London Hotel, where he had very comfortable quarters, and was progressing remarkably well until Saturday morning, when an artery suddenly gave way in the shattered limb. Fortunately the doctor in attendance on the case was in the immediate neighbourhood, and the bleeding was completely stopped in less than five minutes from the time of the accident. No bleeding has occurred since then but it was deemed advisable by the doctor to have him removed to the Hospital, as he will require to be closely watched day and night in the event of a recurrence of the bleeding.

W. Pool, constable in charge of Roxburgh police-station, stated: On Sunday night, 28th inst., at 9.15, a man named John Kitto called at Roxburgh and informed me he wished to give himself up. I asked him his reason. He replied, for shooting his two sons-in-law. He had a gun in his left hand, which he handed to me at my request, saying "This is the gun I did it with—take care of it, it is loaded." I asked him," Who are your two sons-in-law?" He replied he did not know, but knowing accused, I asked him if he meant Peter Kloogh and "Mexican Joe." He said he supposed so.' I then locked him up.
While searching him, I said, "What brought this about?" He replied, "I will answer before a judge."
I have examined the gun; it appears to be loaded; it is a single-barrel, and the nipple has been blown off. I proceeded to Miller's Flat to make inquiry if there was any truth in Kitto's statement.
On arriving at Peter Kloogh's residence, I found he had been wounded in the arm. He said he could not see the man who shot him, but thought it was the old man, John Kitto. I then proceeded to Roggiero's—it was about 2 a.m. - and found him lying on his bed dead, with a wound in his right side. I now produce the gun received from Kitto at the lock-up. I produce the bullet handed to me by Dr McCarthy, who said he took it from deceased's body, at the back part. The bullet appears to fit the bore of the gun.
Samuel Moore: I am sergeant-major of constabulary, stationed at Lawrence. About 11 o'clock this morning (30th inst.), at Ettrick, I asked the accused, Kitto, if he had any other name but John. He replied: "My name is John Francis Kitto." He added: "After I shot Roggiero I went towards my own house, and I saw Kloogh running to catch me. He hunted a dog on me but the dog turned on himself, and prevented him getting away. When I shot him it was near the fence."
Charles Edward DeLacy McCarthy, medical practitioner, residing at Lawrence, stated: I arrived at Miller's Flat and went to see Niels Peter Kloogh at 9 p.m., and found him suffering from a gunshot wound in the right arm. This morning I made a post-mortem examination on the body of Augustus Roggiero (deceased). A bullet had gone through the left lobe of the liver and one lung, fracturing the tenth rib on the right side, and lodging there. I extracted the bullet (now produced). Death was caused by a gunshot wound and the haemorrhage from the lung caused by the bullet.
James Kitto, miner, Moa Flat, deposed: The accused John Francis Kitto is my brother. He is about 50 years of age, a married man, with a wife and 10 children, six being at Home. When my brother was 15 years of age he had a severe fall of seven fathoms in a coal-mine and injured his head, and since that he has never appeared to be the same, always appearing light-headed.
He was in the Lunatic Asylum four years ago. He appears now to be worse than ever I saw him before, and he says he glories in what he has done.
The Jury then retired, and returned with a verdict of "Wilful murder" against the accused John Francis Kitto.
When the accused was brought in for identification the scene was most heartrending. On Sergeant-major Moore requesting the wife of the deceased to look at the accused, she exclaimed, "That's the wretch who did it. He is my father, but I can call him so no more." Accused merely uttered the words, Praise be to God.
The inquiry was concluded at about 8 o'clock in the evening.
An inquest was held by Jonas Harrop, Esq., J.P., acting coroner, on Tuesday, at the residence of the murdered man Roggiero, at Miller's Flat. Mr Nicholson was sworn foreman of the Jury; and after the Jury had viewed the body, an adjournment was made to the residence of Peter Kloogh. Sergeant-major Moore conducted the inquiry.
Niels Peter Kloogh, the wounded man, whose evidence was taken in bed, deposed: I am a miner, residing on the east bank of the river at Miller's Flat. I remember Sunday evening, the 28th inst. I was in my house and about 20 minutes past 6 p.m. I heard the shot of a gun. It was moonlight, I heard a scream, and then went outside. I saw two of Wm. Kitto's children coming towards my house. They were running. They told me that John Murray had accidentally shot Joseph Roggiero. The children are about 10 and 11 years of age. I then ran as hard as I could towards Roggiero's. On the way I met Betsy Ann Roggiero, wife of deceased, near John Kitto's fence, and near his house. She said the old man (meaning John Kitto) had shot Joe (meaning her husband), now deceased. From what Mrs Roggiero told me, I ran to give what assistance I could to deceased. When I proceeded about 10 or 12 steps I received a bullet wound in my right arm. Mrs. Roggiero went in the opposite direction. I was shot on the path near John Kitto's house, when about four yards from the fence, I saw a man standing between John Kitto's house and the fence when I received the shot and immediately my hand dropped and I heard the report of a gun. The man was about 20 yards distant from me when I received the shot. I could not recognise the man. I noticed the flash from the gun. I feel satisfied that I was shot by that man. I did not notice any gun but came home again. The man appeared to have on dark clothing. I am acquainted with John Kitto; he is my father-in-law. He answered the description of the man whom l saw ancl who wounded me, and resides in the house with his wife and family. I am not aware of any ill feeling, but we have not been speaking for some time. I heard his family say he did not care to converse with anyone. About Tuesday last I saw John Kitto's son William carrying a gun at Miller's Flat. I recognise tho gun now produced it is not the one William Kitta carried, but it is John Kitto, jun.'s gun. I recognise it by the brass mountings and large barrel. On returning to my house after receiving the shot, I met my wife, Tamar, I told her that I was shot too. I asked a man named James Burns to go for a doctor. He caused Dr McCarthy to be sent for from Lawrence. At the time I received the wound my dog was with me.
Betsy Ann Roggiero, wife of deceased, deposed: I remember Sunday evening last. My husband was sitting in the rocking-chair, putting the baby to sleep, at 20 minutes past 6 o'clock by our clock. The child is four months old. He was sitting in the kitchen near the fire nearly opposite the window, and facing it. There are only two rooms in the house (bedroom and kitchen), one window in each room. There is only one door to the house, which opens to the outside. About the time stated (6.20 p.m.) I was standing at the end of the table washing up after tea. A shot was fired through the kitchen window, which struck my husband in the breast.   He exclaimed, “My God, Annie, someone has shot me!” I said, “Oh no, Joe, it is only someone playing a lark.” I ran out thinking it was someone with Chinese crackers. I saw my father, John Kitto, walk away from the window with his back towards me. I said, “You wretch, what did you do that for?” - meaning, shooting my husband.   I did not hear him make any reply, but ran to my husband. As I entered the door I met the deceased, with his hand across his chest and saw the infant fall from his arms on to the floor. I then put my arms round his neck. He said, “Don't stay with me, Annie; run form help; I am shot.” I then ran out and called my brother-in-law, Niels, Peter Kloogh. I met my brother John nearly opposite the house. I told him to go to decesased while I ran towards my brother-in-law, Peter, whom I met coming running towards me, near my father's place, on the path. I requested him to go to my husband and was returning with him. I saw my father, John Kitto, standing between his own house and the wire fence. He held up a gun to his shoulder and deliberately took aim and fired at my brother-in-law, Niels Peter Kloogh. After being shot he ran towards the house. I knew he was shot. The time father put the gun to his shoulder I saw the flash. About 10 o'clock p.m. I returned to my own place with Mr Macklay and Mr McLelland. My husband expired about 2 o'clock on the following morning (29th). I have been nine years married in June next, and have five children, the youngest four months and the eldest seven years. So far as I know, my husband and father were on good terms.
By a Juror: I do not know that the accused had ever threatened my husband.
The accused was then brought in and identified by witness as the man who shot her husband.
John Francis Kitto, jun,: I am the son of John Francis Kitto, the accused, who is known as John Kitto, residing on the east side of the river, Millers Flat. I am a miner, 19 years of age. I had tea at home on Sunday evening last, about 6 o'clock. My father was in the house, and sitting at the kitchen fire. During the time I took tea I noticed nothing unusual in his manner. I left the house at 6.15 and went to William Murray's place, about 200 yards distant. While in Murray's house I heard a report of firearms. The report appeared to be that of a gun in the direction of deceased's dwelling, which was about 600 yards distant. I then came out of the house and heard a cry, and thought it was my brother who had accidentally shot himself as he occasionally went out shooting. I then ran towards deceased's dwelling, and met my sister (wife of deceased), who said father had shot Joe through the window. She said he was coming behind. I saw him coming from Roggiero's with a gun in his right hand. I was about 20 or 30 yards from father. We did not speak. I went and told mother, and afterwards proceeded to Mr W. Smith's, which is about 200 yards from our house. I heard a second shot when near Smith's place, and being frightened, did not return. I identify the gun now produced. My father gave it to me about five years ago. I last saw it in my bedroom on Sunday morning last; 28th. It was not then loaded. I did not miss the gun until between 6 and 7 o'clock in the evening, at the time I went in to tell mother that father had shot Joe (deceased). I did not see the gun until I saw it in possession of the police this morning. I know of nothing to cause father to shoot the deceased. My father was an inmate of the Lunatic Assylum for six weeks about four years ago. He appeared sulky at times and would not speak, and appeared to be troubled with religion, as he was frequently talking about it. When I saw the gun on Sunday the nipple was in, but now it appears to have been blown out.

The Timaru Herald reported the outcome of the Supreme Court case on 21 July 1882:

Dunedin, July 20
John Francis Kitto, under committal for the murder of his son-in-law, Roggerio at Miller's Flat, was brought before the jury to try whether be was insane or not.
Dr Neil, of the Asylum, gave evidence that he considered Kitto insane.
The prisoner asked him in what way he had found him insane.
Dr Neil answered that he had considered bis son-in-law possessed by the devil. "No," said the prisoner, "not possessed by the devil, he was the devil."
His Honor asked if Kitto imagined himself to be any particular person, and Kitto said “I am professing to be The Christ."
The jury found him insane, and he was remanded to the Asylum, pending the pleasure of the Colonial Secretary. 

A longer version of events is found in the 29 July edition of the Otago Witness:

(Before his Honor Mr Justice Williams and a Common Jury.)
John Francis Kitto, who was found guilty by the Coroner's Jury of the murder of his son-in-law, Joseph Augustus Roggiero, at Miller's Flat, on the 28th of May last, was placed in the dock.
Mr Haggitt (the Crown prosecutor) said: In this case, your Honor, the prisoner was found guilty of murder by the Coroner's Jury, and the Grand Jury have also found a bill against him. He has been confined in the Lunatic Asylum under the warrant of the Colonial Secretary, issued under clause 7 of "The Lunatics Act, 1868." I applied for instructions to the Minister of Justice as to whether he should be brought up to be arraigned or not, and I was instructed to have him brought here and arraign him. But I am informed by the superintendent of the Asylum that he is not in a position to plead he is actually a lunatic, and cannot, therefore, be put upon his trial. The course under such circumstances, I imagine, is to empanel a jury to try the question whether he is in a fit state to plead.
His Honor: Yes; and if the Jury find that he is not in a fit state to plead, an order can be made for his confinement.
Mr Haggitt: There can be no doubt he is not in a fit state to plead. Dr Neill will say so, and there is no evidence on the other side.
A jury of 12 was then sworn to try the question.
Mr Haggitt said: Gentlemen of the Jury, the prisoner was committed on a coroner's warrant to the Gaol in Dunedin, and after his commitment to the Gaol it was found necessary to remove him to the Lunatic Asylum, where he has been for some weeks past. An indictment has been found against him by the Grand Jury for murder, but before he can be tried upon that indictment it must appear that he is of sane mind, because the law does not allow a prisoner to be put upon his trial upon any indictment unless he has sufficient capacity to plead to the indictment and conduct his defence intelligently. This person is not in that condition. I shall put Dr Neill, who is superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum, into the box, and he will tell you that the prisoners state of mind is such that he conld not understand the proceedings at this trial, and therefore could not conduct his defence properly. There will be no evidence on the other side, and you will be invited to find a verdict according to the evidence.
Dr A. H. Neill, superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum, Dunedin, deposed: The prisoner has been under my care since the 13th of June. He was committed to my charge by order of the Colonial Secretary, under the 7th sectiom of "The Lunatics Act, 1868." He is still in my charge. The prisoner, in my opinion, is not able to plead to the indictment found against him, nor is he of sufficient intellect to comprehend the course of the proceedings at a trial so as to make a proper defence.
His Honor: As the prisoner has stood silent and not manifested any signs of insanity, I suppose I must ask him if he has any questions, to put to the witness.
Prisoner (to witness): In what part have you found me a lunatic, that I am not able to plead my own case?
Witness: From the letters you have written and the delusions under which you suffer.
Prisoner: I should like to have an explanation from someone to show whether I am a lunatic or not.
His Honor: Have you any of the, letters with you?
Witness: I have them all, your Honor.
(Witness here handed in a large packet of letters.)
His Honor: What are his delusions?
Witness: Religious delusions.
His Honor: Of what nature?
Witness: He imagines himself to be a Jew.
His Honor: What else?
Witness: He considers his son-in-law, Roggiero, was possessed of a devil. Prisoner: Not possessed, but was.
Witness: Was the devil?
His Honor: Anything else?
Witness: That his son-in-law who is wounded is also the devil.
His Honor: Is there anything else, doctor?
Witness: All his delusions consist of that character.
His Honor: Does he imagine himself to be any particular person?
Witness: l am not aware of his imagining himself to be other than a Jew. Prisoner: I am professing to be the Christ.
His Honor: Yes; quite so.
(Addressing the Jury): Gentlemen, that will do. I do not know if it is necessary for me to say anything. You have heard the evidence, and the statement of the prisoner which he has just now made. If a prisoner is insane at the time of arraignment— at the time when he properly comes up to be arraigned, he is not to be arraigned, because, not being in full possession of his senses, he cannot plead to the indictment, nor conduct his defence with proper care. All that you have to determine is whether he is in possession of his senses or not. Will you be kind enough to consider your verdict.
The Jury at once returned a verdict that the prisoner was insane. His Honor directed that the verdict should be recorded, and the accused kept in strict custody until the pleasure of the Colonial Secretary be known. The prisoner was then removed by one of the warders of the Asylum.