- Marriage (1): Margaret Rocks
- Died: 27 Aug 1878, Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia
Cause of his death was Suicide - Gunshot.
James & Henry Cahey were apparently committed for criminal offences in the Armidale and Tenterfield Courts for larceny and cattle stealing. There is a report in the Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser 9th October 1866 about James Cahey being charges with stealing a steer belonging to Mr James G Dickson. The steer bearing a brand of Dicksons was found to be in Cahey's herd. He was bailed to attend court another day.
In the Advertiser of March 5th 1867, page 2 it is reported that, on bail, he reappeared charged with stealing a calf, the property of James Gordon Dickson of Barney Downs. He was released on bail on that occasion after his lawyer received a telegram!
James committed suicide on Tuesday 27th August 1878 by shooting himself with a rifle. At the time he had been accused of stealing some clothes.
It was reported in The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser on the 29th August 1878:
(From the Tenterfield Star, Aug. 28.)
On Tuesday morning last the startling intel ligence was brought into Tenterfield that a far mer named James Cahey, living about three miles from town, and who has been residing in this neighbourhood for many years, had shot himself dead in an old hut on his farm. On the police proceeding to the spot, it was found that such indeed was the sad case. After examining the body and the surroundings of the affair, Sergeant Lonihan, leaving Constable Goodhew in charge of the body, returned to town to report the matter to the local magistrates with a view to an immediate inquiry. The Polioe Magis- trate being from horne, Mr. E B. Whereat, J P who was acting on the Bench that morning, at once made arrangements to hold an investiga- tion, and, as soon as the business of the court permitted, that gentleman accompianied by Mr C. A Lee, J P, Dr. Bateman, and the repre- sentatives of the local press, proceeded to the hut above mentioned On arrival there a sad spec- tacle met our view. There on the bare ground, in an inner room of an old slab and bark hut now used as a barn, lay the body of the unhappy man, which presented a wretched appearance, the face being very much discoloured, and the clothes about the chest where the fatal shot had been fired all burnt and charred. The body was laid on its back when we entered the hut, but it was afterwards placed in the position as first seen by the police, which was with the face downwards, lying partially on the left side, the left arm being under the face or rather the forehead, and the right arm somewhat lower down. The left hand was also blackened as if it had been grasping the muzzle of the gun when discharged. The legs were extended and crossed, while lying along the right leg of the deceased was a single barrel gun, the muzzle of which was pointing towards the head of the body, and reached as far as the knee. There was also a gunshot wound in the chest, somewhat to the right of the breast bone, and the immediate parts were all blackened and charred as if from the effects of gunpowder. The peculiar position of the body and the gun made it at first exceed ingly difficult to realize the possibility of the act being committed by the deceaaed himself, which, however, was cleared up by the finding under the body of a twig of willow tree, about two feet long, with a fork at one end, and a crook or elbow at the other; it showed to have been recently broken from one of the willows growing near the hut; and from the marks of powder upon the bent end had evidently been the means by which Cahey had forced the trigger back in firing the fatal shot, while the consequent con- cussion to the body, and the rebound of the gun would doubtless account for the relative posi- tions of each as found. There was further found a powder and shot flask against the partition of the hut, also underneath the body a paper containing a few gun caps, and parts of the supplement of the Tenterfield Independ- ent, some of which was torn up small as if for wadding. 0n the body, which was dressed in moleskin trousers, cotton shirt, dark tweed vest, and blue guernsey, there was found when searched a padlock key, pipe, piece of tobacco, and a few matches ; his hat was found lying in the adjoining room. An inquiry was held at the Court House in the afternoon, before Mr E. B. Whereat, J P., when in addition to the above facts as related by Sergeant Lenihan, that officer stated that he had seen deceased on the day previous (Monday), and had a conversation with him, relative to some clothing that he (de-
ceased) was accused of stealing from two men who were working near for Mr. Curry, named William James Bennett and John Gordon, when the manner of the deceased was strange and in- coherent, and said to the Sargeant, " Well, I thought it would come to this ; all the water in the sea would not clear me of it, and it will be a good job when I am out of the way" The Sergeant further stated that he knew deceased had had a good deal of family trouble lately. Mary Jane Wright, a married daughter of the deceased, stated that he had resided with her since the 5th instant, during which time he had appeared to be in a deal of trouble, but more particularly yesterday (Monday); he left her house in the evening about 7 o'oclock, and she did not see him again alive ; she was very un- easy at his absence, and went out several times to look for him, and also called to him. In the morning at daybreak, she went over to her sister's, Mrs. Coghlan, to see if her father had slept there. On finding that he had not been there the two women went to the old hut in search of him ; when they arrived there they found the door open, and seeing the hat of the deceased on the floor of the outer room, were afraid to enter, feeling fearful that something alarming must have happened to him ; they therefore sought the assistanoe of W. J. Bennett and John Gordon, who were working close by ; these two men entered the hut and found the deceased dead in the position before described. The men then told Mrs Wright and Mrs Coghlan, and afterwards came into the town to inform the police, W. J. Bennett further stated that he had seen deceased on Saturday last with reference to the clothes allowed to have been stolen by him from Bennett's hut; that Cahey on giving up the things had begged of Bennett not to say anything about it or it would ruin him, saying also that " all the world was against him." He (Bonnett) had, how ever, in self justification, laid as information against Cahey for larceny ; of this deceased was aware, and this had most probably so affected him that he had committed the dreadful act of self destruction. The evidence of Dr Bateman went to show that death must have been instan- taneous, the heart being cut in two, and several ribs shattered and broken; some pellets of shot were also found lodged in a cavity in the spine. The finding of the Bench was that deceased had died from the effects of a gunshot wound fired by his own hand.
James married Margaret Rocks.