Portion of Matthew Baulch's prison record.

Matthew Baulch - The black sheep, or just misunderstood?


Matthew Baulch, from the Victoria Police Gazette.

Introduction

While working on my family tree on Ancestry.com.au, the name Matthew Baulch popped up. Born in 1876 to James Baulch and Ann Hulm [1], I wasn't expecting to find much on great-great uncle Matthew, but I was very surprised.

A quick search of the Victorian Register of Births [2] [G1] showed that he was the only Matthew Baulch born in Victoria between 1840 and 1920. I thought to myself, "that should make him easy to find". Records showed thus-far that he was never married, and died in Bairnsdale on 28 July 1960 at the age of 84.

My next stop was Trove. Who would have thought that a simple search on "Matthew Baulch" would have brought up so many results? The sheer number of results peaked my interest in him. He certainly "made the papers" on several occasions.

Matthew seemed to be the “black sheep” of the Baulch/Hulm family, or at the least, a troubled soul. He spent several stints in prison for events ranging from horse stealing, not paying fines, imposition, and assaulting women and Police, and was also the victim of crimes such as theft and assault.


Story

Family

Matthew was one of 21 children to James Baulch.

James was born in 1835 in Langport, Somerset, England. James emigrated to Australia. On 3 August 1857, James married Christina Patterson at Kirkstall, Victoria.

James and Christina had three children, James in 1858, Elizabeth in 1860 and John in 1862. Christina died in 1862, possibly in childbirth or shortly thereafter while giving birth to their third child.

On 13 April 1863 in Tower Hill, Victoria, James married Ann Hulm. Ann was born in 1847 in Launceston, Tasmania. James and Ann had 18 children in 26 years, including my great grandfather, William in 1873.

James and Ann Baulch, about 1923.

James and Ann Baulch, about 1923. This photo was taken for their 60th wedding anniversary.

James and Ann's children, and Matthew's siblings, include:

  • Thomas, born 1864 in Kirkstall, Victoria;
  • Andrew, born 1865 in Tower Hill, Victoria;
  • George Francis, born 1866 in Tower HIll, Victoria;
  • Joseph, born 1869 in Kirkstall, Victoria;
  • Eliza Jane, born 1870 in Macarthur, Victoria;
  • Emma, born 1872 in Macarthur, Victoria;
  • William, born 1873 in Macarthur, Victoria;
  • Maria, born 1874 in Macarthur, Victoria;
  • Matthew, born 1876 in Macarthur, Victoria;
  • Selina, born 1877 in Macarthur, Victoria;
  • Annie, born 1879 in Macarthur, Victoria;
  • Susan, born 1881 in Macarthur, Victoria;
  • Alfred, born 1882 in Macarthur, Victoria, and passed away in the same year;
  • Alfred, born 1883 in Mount Eccles, Victoria;
  • Ernest, born 1884 in Macarthur, Victoria;
  • Charles, born 1886 in Macarthur, Victoria;
  • Clara Matilda, born 1887 in Macarthur, Victoria; and
  • Ivy Mildred, born 1890 in Bairnsdale, Victoria.

So, Matthew had 9 brothers and 8 sisters, two half-brothers and one half-sister.

By the time Matthew was 21, he had seen the death of 2 of his brothers, Alfred in 1882 and Andrew in 1893, the death of his half-sister, Elizabeth in 1888 and the death of his half-brother, Andrew in 1897. Matthew out-lived 15 of his siblings.

Matthew's father James died in 1923, and his mother Ann died in 1932.

First dealings with Police

Matthew Baulch, from the Victoria Police Gazette.

His first run-in with the Victoria Police was at the age of 19 (in 1896), where he was arrested for assault [3] [G2]. Details of the assault are not known, but he was fined £2, 2/6 as a fine and costs. According to the Victoria Police Gazette, he paid the fine. The entry in the Victoria Police Gazette described Matthew at the time as:

19 years of age, a labourer, 5 feet 9 inches tall, thin build, dark complexion, dark hair, dark eyes, no hair on face, slovenly gait. He wore a dark tweed coat and vest, light moleskin trousers and a black boxer hat.

Subsequent dealings included:

  • 1907: Assaulting an inspector of local authority. Fined £10 or 3 months’ imprisonment. Fine paid.
  • 1908: Assaulting a woman, Alice Humphrey. Fined 40 schillings or 3 months’ imprisonment. Fine paid.

Extraordinary behaviour

In 1903, he resided in Omeo, Victoria. Sometime in 1903, he was hospitalised at Omeo Hospital for several months. During this time, he made a series of charges against the management of the hospital. He was moved to Bairnsdale Hospital. His behaviour while in the Bairnsdale Hospital was described as "extraordinary", and thus had to be "sent away" under the care of the medical superintendent. [G3]

In 1943, when he was 67 years old, it appears that he may have taken exception to something he ate in the Bairnsdale Ritz Cafe, where he suddenly arose to his feet and smashed the glass panel in a door leading from the cafe into the kitchen, with his fists. He was subsequently thrown outside and Police were called. He then returned later on horseback and smashed the street window with a cane. Once again, the Police were called, but he left the scene. The Gippsland Times reported the story, described as "Customer's Strange Behaviour", and calls him "Matthew Arnold Baulch". [G32]

Sentenced and gaoled

Matthew Baulch, from the Victoria Police Gazette.

His first stint in gaol took place in 1910, convicted of horse-stealing and subsequently perjury [G14] [G15] [G16] [G17] [G18]. He was charged and sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for the horse-stealing, and 12 months cumulative for perjury.

During the time he was imprisoned [4], he was moved around, including: [G34]

  • 23 Sep 1910 – Melbourne Gaol
  • 6 Oct 1910 – Pentridge Gaol
  • 19 Oct 1910 – Melbourne Gaol
  • 20 Oct 1910 – To Police
  • 22 Oct 1910 – Melbourne Gaol
  • 30 Nov 1910 – Sale Gaol
  • 6 Dec 1910 – Pentridge Prison
  • 22 Feb 1911 – Melbourne Gaol
  • 24 Jun 1912 – Melbourne Gaol

He was released from gaol on 25 June 1912. [G17]

More offences

His numerous other offences included:

  • 1904 – Dishonoured cheques. [G5]
  • 1905 – Dispute over ownership of a gig - discharged. [G6]
  • 1905 – Dishonoured cheque. [G7]
  • 1907 – Illegal impouding. [G10]
  • 1908 – Assault of an inspector of local authority. [G11]
  • 1910 – Stealing a horse, using false name. [G12]
  • 1921 – Imposition by means of false verbal representation – sentenced to 4 months’ imprisonment. [G19] [G20] [G21]
  • 1928 – Charged with assaulting Mrs. May Brown. [G28]
  • 1935 – Illegally using a horse and insulting words. [G29] [G30]
  • 1942 – Charged for leaving a dead horse in a public place. [G31]
  • 1947 – Unlawful assault. Fined £3 or seven days’ imprisonment. Imprisoned at Sale Gaol. [G34]
  • 1947 – Unlawful assault. Fined £2 or seven days’ imprisonment. Imprisoned at Sale Gaol. [G34]
  • 1947 – Contempt of court. [G33]

I'll pay nothing. I'll go to gaol. You'll get nothing!

Matthew Baulch, in court, to a judge, 14 April 1947 (at 71 years of age)

Victim of crimes

Matthew was also a victim of crimes, including:

  • 1906 – Claimant on sale of a horse. [G4]
  • 1906 – Reported stolen dog. [G8]
  • 1907 – Alleged assault. [G9]
  • 1910 – Claimed for refund for horse - case dismissed. [G13]
  • 1923 – Reported stolen a black cow. [G22]
  • 1923 – Reported stolen a brown pony gelding. [G23]
  • 1924 – Assaulted and robbed. [G24] [G25] [G26] [G27]

Death

He died on 28 July 1960 at the “Adelaide House” in Bairnsdale at the age of 84. He was never married, and did not have any children. He is buried at Bairnsdale Cemetery, but does not have a gravestone. [G35]


Timeline

Event Date Details Age
Birth 1876 Macarthur, Victoria, Australia -
Birth of sister 1877 Selina BAULCH (1877-1965) 1
Birth of sister 6 Oct 1879 Ann (Annie) BAULCH (1879-1923) 3
Birth of sister 1881 Susan BAULCH (1881-1940) 5
Birth and death of brother 1882 Alfred BAULCH (1882-1882) 6
Birth of brother 24 May 1883 Alfred BAULCH (1883-1970) 7
Birth of brother 17 Aug 1884 Earnest BAULCH (1884-1917) 8
Birth of brother 15 May 1886 Charles "Dick" BAULCH (1886-1949) 10
Birth of sister 1887 Clara Matilda BAULCH (1887-1945) 11
Death of half-sister 1888 Elizabeth BAULCH (1860-1888) 12
Birth of sister 18 Sep 1893 Ivy Mildred BAULCH (1890-1940) 14
Death of brother 21 Aug 1893 Andrew BAULCH (1865-1893) 17
Police 26 Aug 1896 Warrant issued for arrest 20
Death of half-brother 18 Apr 1897 John BAULCH (1862-1897) 21
Residence 1903 Omeo, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Labourer 27
Hospialisation 1903 Omeo, Victoria, Australia and Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia 27
Court 22 Nov 1904 Bairnsdale Petty Sessions, Claimant 28
Residence 1909 Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Independent means. 33
Conviction 21 Sep 1910 Convicted of horse-stealing. Sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment. 34
Conviction 1 Dec 1910 Convicted of perjury. Sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment (concurrent) 34
Released 25 Jun 1912 Released from gaol. 36
Death of half-brother 29 Sep 1913 James BAULCH (1858-1913) 37
Death of brother 26 Sep 1917 Ernest BAULCH (1884-1917), killed in action during WWI. 41
Residence 1919 2 Eveline Street, Burnswick, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Labourer. 43
Conviction 20 May 1921 Convicted of imposition. Sentenced to 4 months' imprisonment. 45
Released 17 Sep 1921 Released from gaol 45
Death of father 7 May 1923 James BAULCH (1835-1923) 47
Death of sister 1923 Ann (Annie) BAULCH (1879-1923) 47
Residence 1925 Turnbull Street, Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Pensioner. 49
Death of brother 22 Jun 1926 Thomas BAULCH (1864-1926) 50
Residence 1927 Turnbull Street, Baisndale, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Pensioner. 51
Residence 1928 Turnbull Street, Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Pensioner. 52
Residence 1931 70 Turnbull Street, Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Pensioner. 55
Conviction 17 Sep 1931 Convicted. 55
Released 10 Feb 1932 Released from gaol. 56
Death of mother 6 May 1932 Ann HULM (1847-1932) 56
Conviction 14 Nov 1935 Convicted of illegally using a horse. 59
Released 8 Jan 1936 Released from gaol. 60
Residence 1936 30 Turnbull Street, Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Labourer. 60
Death of sister 1940 Susan BAULCH (1881-1940) 64
Death of sister 1940 Ivy Mildred BAULCH (1890-1940) 64
Residence 1943 46 Pinnock Street, Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Drover. 67
Conviction 16 Jun 1943 Convicted and sent to Sale Gaol. 67
Released 13 Aug 1943 Released from gaol. 67
Death of sister 1945 Clara Matilda BAULCH (1887-1945) 69
Residence 1946 46 Pinnock Street, Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Drover. 70
Conviction 10 Apr 1947 Convicted of unlawful assault, twice. 71
Imprisoned 11 Apr 1947 Imprisoned in Sale Gaol. 71
Released and regaoled 16 Apr 1947 Released, then re-imprisoned. 71
Released 22 Apr 1947 Released from gaol. 71
Death of brother 18 May 1949 Charles "Dick" BAULCH (1886-1949) 73
Death of brother 4 Feb 1950 George Francis BAULCH (1866-1950) 74
Death of brother 1950 William BAULCH (1873-1950) 74
Death of brother 1950 Joseph BAULCH (1869-1950) 74
Residence 1954 Princes Highway, Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia. No occupation. 78
Death 28 Jul 1960 "Adelaide House", Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia 84
Burial 29 Jul 1960 Bairnsdale Cemetery, Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia -


References

  1. Australia, Birth Index, 1788-1922. Matthew Baulch. Registration number 10484/1876.
  2. Victorian Register of Births (1837-1920).
  3. Victoria Police Gazette, 26 August 1896, page 261.
  4. Victoria, Central Register of Male Prisoners, Penal and Gaols Branch, Chief Secretary’s Department. [Baulch, Matthew; (Matthew Baulsh): No. 32436: VPRS 515/P001 Item 62 record Page 115]. Public Records Office of Victoria, digitised [G34]
  5. Various newspapers and the Victorian Police Gazette - see references in the Gallery - Thanks to Trove.
  6. Bairnsdale Cemetery Trust
  7. Residences: Australian Electoral Rolls

Created on Friday 9 November 2018.