WANTED! You! Dead or Alive

The Darlinghurst Courthouse was completed in 1880. According to Sydney Intelligence on 18 March 1842, the Courthouse was: “decidedly the most elaborate architectural erection in the Australian colonies.” This is confirmed by the fact that it is the only old colonial Grecian public building left in Australia. Forget Sicily and the Valley of the Temples! Our gangs and bushrangers give the Mafia a run for their money. 💰

The walls of the Darlinghurst Courthouse have witnessed the trials and tribulations of many crooks, wranglers and the like. One of considerable interest to me is Frank Gardiner. His rugged looks would make any gal want to be arrested! Here he is most wanted and on trial at the Darlinghurst Courthouse:

Frank enjoyed stealing multiple horses and cattle in his spare time, escaping gaol, and digging for gold and/or robbing gold escorts.

Whilst minding his own business (bushranging) in the Sunshine State from 1863-1864, Frank was apprehended in controversial circumstances by New South Wales police operating outside of their jurisdiction. He was sentenced to 32 years of hard labour. However, his two dearly beloved sisters ensured his early release (after 10 years) through their perseverance with appeals to the Court. Girl power! 💥

Frank’s early release was conditional upon him leaving the country. In late 1874 Frank left the land down under for a new life in sunny California.

He was one of the lucky ones.

Seventy-six prisoners were sentenced to the gallows.

If you are interested in a tour of the Darlinghurst Gaol please see the National Art School website hyperlink below:

Darlinghurst Gaol Tour

Until next time, stay out of trouble folks!

xoxo darlo girl


An extract from darlo girl’s court memoirs

They say the way I misprounounce suburb names in the indictments is a gift. Sometimes, people can detect a lilt in my voice, which makes them wonder which part of Australia I come from. But no one can hear the hilarious remarks coming from the bench, “you can tell my associate is not from the south of Sydney!”

The Oxford dictionary defines associate as “a partner or companion in business or at work.” However, I’m not like Mike Ross from Suits, sorry to disappoint you. Instead, I sit behind a small bench in front of a Judge in a courtroom witnessing the daily theatrics and poor acoustics of the criminal justice system. In this position, I am virtually transparent. But, when you feel invisible, there is no end to the trouble you can get into. There is a reason that my nickname comes from the…

(to be continued)

Athena – Greek goddess of justice ❤

Drop by next weekend to read my historical blog on the Darlinghurst Courthouse.