About this blog

This blog is about the history of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and neighbouring areas, such as Pakenham, Cranbourne and Garfield, and any other historical subjects I feel like writing about. It's my own original research and writing and if you live in the area you may have read some of the stories before in the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society newsletter or the Koo-Wee-Rup township newsletter, The Blackfish, or the Garfield township newsletter, The Spectator.
Heather Arnold.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

100 years ago this week - an escaped 'lunatic'

This is an account of the capture of an escaped patient from Mont Park Mental Hospital from the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of April 30, 1914.  The work Lunatic has now gone out of fashion to describe a person who is mentally ill. According to the Oxford Dictionary the word Lunatic comes from the Old French lunatique, from late Latin lunaticus, from Latin luna '‘ moon’ ' (from the belief that changes of the moon caused intermittent insanity).

South Bourke and Mornington Journal of April 30, 1914.

Trooper Maher, is Stephen Maher, listed in the 1914, 1919 and 1924 Electoral Rolls as living at Pakenham. His occupation is listed as Constable. His wife was  Bridget Catherine (nee Ryan).   There is an interesting account, below, of Constable Maher having his horse taken from him, sounds like it was a bureaucratic decision made without any consultation - so no change there in 100 years. 

Dandenong Advertiser of May 7 1914
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88355315

South Bourke and Mornington Journal of  17 June 17, 1920,
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66198261

Stephen and Catherine had ten children, Rosaline (born 1886), Cathleen (1888), Florence Mary (1890), Olive Veronica (1893), Stephen Raymond (1894), John Thomas (1896), Thomas Francis(1899), Daniel Michael (1901) Leonard Joseph (1903) and Mary Monica (1905). Stephen died in 1931 aged 70 and Bridget died in 1939 aged 77

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