Samuel Nelson

From Canterbury Commons
Jump to: navigation, search
Justice and Police Museum Memorial listing police officers killed in the line of duty.

Samuel Nelson was born in 1828 in Chesterton, Oxfordshire, England. His Father was Samuel Nelson and mother Elizabeth Taylor. In England he married Elizabeth Goode who was born in 1828.[1]

They came on the ship called "Parcee" and arrived in Sydney on 11th January 1853. Samuel and Elizabeth could both read and write. They came with their three children who were born in England, Fredrick 6 years born 1846, Henry 1848 4 years, Jonas 2 years 1850. While the ship was at sea Elizabeth Nelson gave birth to Matilda Parcee Nelson. The ship anchored in Sydney and then proceeded to Queensland.[2]

Samuel Nelson worked at Drayton Darling Down's then made his way to Collector N.S.W. which is between Canberra and Goulburn. Four more children were born at Collector Emma born 1857, Samuel 1860, David 1862 and Thomas 1864.

It was on a Thursday, Foundation Day 26th January 1865 in the country town of Collector, when the team of bushrangers, John Dunn and his group, were spotted in the District. They had bailed up Judge F.W. Meymott and two escorting troopers at Geary's Gap a few miles south of the town. The gang of bushrangers were almost on the outskirts of Collector, when they bailed up a bootmaker named Tom Menzy; three farmers named Mitchell and William Deveron and James Bull; and a 16 year old boy named Henry Nelson - the constable's son.

At the police station Constable Samuel Nelson was studying his day's labour. He had chopped a good supply of wood and his gardens were in fine shape. He was looking forward to cleaning up a hearty supper and a quiet evening with his family, including his wife who was eight months pregnant with their ninth child. Suddenly, a young girl came running towards him calling "Mr Nelson come quickly the bushrangers are at the Kimberley's Inn", then shots from Dunn's gun were heard.[3]

Samuel Nelson entered the station and put on his uniform, jacket and belt while Elizabeth his wife looked on in surprise. At the trial of Dunn, Kimberley's Inn Keeper said "John Dunn came back from direction and said there one of your bloody are down". When somebody asked who was shot Dunn said "a little sandy bugger". Kimberley replied "I felt sure it was Nelson knowing he was a short sandy man".

Some of the other people brought in the dead body of Constable Samuel Nelson who had a wound on his cheek and a large wound over his heart. Fredrick Nelson was fired upon by the accused. Henry Nelson was forced to hold the bushranger's horses under the threat of having his brains blown out.[4]

The trial of John Dunn on the 19th February 1866 jury returned the verdict of guilty, the sentence of John Dunn was to be hanged by the neck till he was dead. On the 19th March 1866 the 19 year old murderer was taken from Darlinghurst to the place of execution and was hanged.


  1. Dean Carlson, "Samuel Nelson" Canterbury Bell.
  2. Dean Carlson, "Samuel Nelson" Canterbury Bell.
  3. Dean Carlson, "Samuel Nelson" Canterbury Bell.
  4. Dean Carlson, "Samuel Nelson" Canterbury Bell.