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From: "Jennifer Lambert Tracey" <>
Subject: Thomas Henry Hart v. Dr. James Bowman
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 21:41:44 +1000

Has anyone researched this Hart family?

A detailed account of a case brought by Thomas Henry Hart, a merchant and
trader of Pitt Street Sydney, against Dr. James Bowman, Inspector of
Colonial Hospitals, was published in The Australian, 12 December 1828. The
case, heard before Mr. Justice Dowling and two Assessors, John S. Jackson
and John Busby, in the Supreme Court on 9 December, 1828, was the first of
its kind brought in the Colony.

The report described that in 1825 Hart had fallen "into a misfortune which
rendered it necessary that he should absent himself from Sydney for a time"
[he was imprisoned at Port Macquarie]. Frances Hart took over the
responsibilities of her husband's business and during his absence, she
developed a relationship with Dr. James Bowman, the husband of Elizabeth
Macarthur, second daughter of John and Elizabeth Macarthur, becoming
pregnant to him about December 1827.

Unable to claim the paternity of her husband, and concerned by his
impending release from Port Macquarie, Frances Hart departed for Hobart
where her child was born. Upon release, Thomas Hart travelled to Hobart to
find his wife and they returned to Sydney without the child. Thomas Hart
engaged Dr. Wardell and Mr. Kerr to prepare a case against Dr. Bowman,
charging him of "a criminal conversation" with his wife and seeking damages
of £2,000.

Jennifer Lambert Tracey BA (ANU); M App Sc (UC);
Archaeological & Heritage Assessment Consultants
PO Box 4265
Tel. / Fax (02) 6295 6795
Mobile Tel. 0419 011 860

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