Petitioning for William Real

In March 1886, fifty men from the Blackall district, twenty-eight of whom were residents of Jericho, presented a petition, supporting William Real during his imprisonment in Blackall Gaol. He had been charged with two offences – forgery and uttering, also larceny and receiving. The petition supported William Real’s request to be released from the final two weeks of a six-month sentence. He was released but perhaps not before the date he stated as urgent – 1st June.

Petition, first page


The residents signing the petition demonstrated their concern for William Real on a number of counts, among which were that the prisoner had lost evidence central to his defence in a fire at his Pine Hill office; that the Jericho Police Magistrate, without reason, refused to offer bail and that the prisoner had a wife and young children to support.

Most of the 28 men who signed the petition in Jericho were business men, the overwhelming number of whom were also moving from terminus to terminus along the line, so would have known William Real for some years. Just a few were public servants, a few others carriers, possibly his clients. The petitioners’ statements on the petition show that support for this complex man was based on a numbers of reasons – lack of producible evidence, police responses and personal and family concerns.

However there is more to the story of William Real’s time along the railway line than this trial and imprisonment.

Notes on the database:


The petition is included in a file of Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence at Queensland State Archives: Petition and Court papers, File 3989, Item ID847197.

Petition re William Real, March 1886 [Jericho signatories]

Name Occupation Address
Gustav Andrew Henderson Timber Merchant Jericho
Thomas Prendible Chemist etc. Jericho
A J Masters
Henry J Hewer Surgeon Jericho
Robt Buffham Soap Manufacturer Jericho
Robert Ker Bell Storekeeper Jericho
Alexander McCall Carrier Jericho
John McCall Carrier Jericho
George Long Carrier Jericho
H Chatfield Van[?] Proprietor Jericho
Thomas Linton Hotel keeper Jericho
W Holland & Co Butchers & Graziers Jericho
A Forrest Book keeper Jericho
Phillip Holmes Butcher Jericho
Fr. Jungmann Contractor Jericho
Peter Vesper Hotel keeper Jericho
A Emerson Hotel keeper Jericho
Thomas Fisher[?] Hotel keeper Jericho
W Young Sing Hotel keeper Jericho
Joseph Forrest Store Keeper Jericho
J E Kellaway & Co Wine & Spirit Merchant Jericho & Emerald
Hugh Savage Store Keeper Jericho
Peter Clark Hotel keeper Jericho
F Rivers Carrier Jericho
F Wilshire Norris Accountant Jericho
Wm Shirras Accountant Jericho
R Beattie Merchant Jericho
J Doyle Hotel keeper Jericho
R T Goodson Storekeeper’s assistant Jericho