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110 High Street
Maitland NSW 2320

Tel: +61 2 4931 2800
Fax: +61 2 4931 2811

Email: [email protected]
Web: www.maitlandhuntervalley.com.au

Background

Police Magistrate, Edward Denny Day joined the 46th Regiment as an ensign and later became a lieutenant in the 62nd Regiment. He resigned in 1834 after suffering ill health whilst in India, and then moved to Australia where he began employment as Clerk to the Executive Council. In 1837 he was appointed police magistrate in Maitland, where he made a name for himself for his unceasing activity in bringing to justice notorious offenders of the law.

110 High Street
Maitland NSW 2320

Tel: +61 2 4931 2800
Fax: +61 2 4931 2811

Email: [email protected]
Web: www.maitlandhuntervalley.com.au

Acts of the Law Enforcer

In 1838, Day was sent to arrest a party of white men who were said to have killed at least twenty eight aboriginals in what became known as the Myall Creek massacre. Eleven of the culprits were caught and seven hanged. After this, Day resigned and lived privately in Maitland where he became a business man and active partaker in local affairs. He also became a foundation member of the Australian Immigration Association and its Maitland Branch chairman.

In 1840, while visiting Muswellbrook, Day became involved in the arrest of Teddy “the Jewboy” Davis and his gang of bushrangers who had been terrorising the community. Davis, who appears to be the only Jewish bushranger on record, was an escapee convict who had made a series of daring escapes and, from 1838 to 1840, formed a bushranger gang in the Hunter Valley and beyond that was locally known as “the Jewboy gang”.

The gang made raids on townships and travellers but it is said that Davis played the part of an Australian Robin Hood, robbing the rich and going out of his way to relieve the misery of the assigned servants. The gang ore gaudy clothes and tied pink ribbons to their horses bridles. They had not resorted to murder until December 1840, when a shop clerk was killed during a robbery. Day and a posse of settlers followed the bushrangers and surprised them at their hideout. Six of the gang were captured and sentenced to death for murder and aiding and abetting. Day, who along with Davis suffered superficial injuries, was presented with a set of silver plates for his efforts by the grateful citizens of Scone.

110 High Street
Maitland NSW 2320

Tel: +61 2 4931 2800
Fax: +61 2 4931 2811

Email: [email protected]
Web: www.maitlandhuntervalley.com.au

Tributes

Day laid the foundation stone for Maitland Gaol in 1844 and in 1846 as the Governors representative he laid the foundation stone of Maitland Hospital, becoming a trustee. However his businesses ventures did not go well and so in 1846 Day returned to the public service as Superintendent of Police in Sydney. Day held this position until 1850 when a form of indiscretion, possibly caused by too much alcohol, forced him to retire.

Day had been an especially popular Police Superintendent and received a number of written tributes from the citizens of local Hunter communities on his retirement. As a result of their appreciation Day was appointed as a stipendiary magistrate in Port Macquarie and Maitland. He again retired to Maitland in 1869.

Day was the first private person to own Government Cottage which was constructed as the local official residence for dignitaries. The building still exists in East Maitland. Edward Denny Day died in Maitland in 1876.