RAHS Day Lecture – “Make haste and go fetch the Coroner!” Death Investigation in Colonial Sydney

Murder in colonial Sydney was a surprisingly rare occurrence, so when it did happen it caused a great sensation. People flocked to the scene of the crime, to the coroner’s court and to the criminal courts to catch a glimpse of the accused. Most of us today rarely see a dead body. In nineteenth century Sydney, when health was precarious and workplaces and the busy city streets were often dangerous, witnessing a death was rather common. And any death that was sudden or suspicious would be investigated by the coroner.

In this lecture, Dr Catie Gilchrist will talk about her recent book, Murder, Misadventure and Miserable Ends: Tales from a Colonial Coroner’s Court, and discuss some of the primary sources she used to uncover life and death in colonial Sydney.

About the Speaker: Catie Gilchrist is a Research Affiliate in the History Department at the University of Sydney. She has a PhD in convict history from the University of Sydney (2004). In 2014, Dr Gilchrist wrote a new syllabus course for the Department of History at Sydney entitled ‘Sin City? A History of Sydney’. It has proved surprisingly popular with students. She has published many articles for the Dictionary of Sydney and various academic publications. In 2015, Catie wrote a Walking Tour of Historic Randwick, available as an app, in association with the Dictionary of Sydney.


When: Wednesday, 1 May 2019 | 1pm – 2pm
Where: History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Cost: Free (tea, coffee and biscuits served)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply