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Tocal's convicts 1822-1840

One-stop justice in Paterson

Between 1822 and 1825 much of the land along the Paterson River was taken up by settlers and turned into farms using convict labour. With the large influx of convicts, a local magistrate and a scourger (flogger) were needed to maintain discipline.

In 1825 Tocal's owner, James Webber, was appointed magistrate, and a government scourger was also appointed at Paterson's Plains. One-stop justice had been achieved - convicts in the district could now be sentenced and flogged locally. Tocal's convicts were the exception, as a magistrate could not sentence his own convicts.

A wooden slab lockup at the 'Old Banks', Paterson's Plains, about two kilometres south of Tocal, served as the local jail until one was built in the newly proclaimed village of Paterson in 1835. The return of punishments for the Newcastle district in June 1825 shows Webber and the scourger in action:

Column headings are Names, Ships, By whom lashes ordered, No. of lashes inflicted, Offence.

monthly return of punishments 1825