Wednesday, April 22, 2020

GeniAus - #AtoZChallenge - S is for Strayed

During April 2020 the month of this #AtoZChallenge I will be sharing short posts on some of the 2,000+ descendants I have identified of my 3x Great-Grandmother, Elizabeth Phipps

Elizabeth Phipps 1785-1869 was a convict who was transported from England to New South Wales in 1814 per Wanstead

The Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954) was a tabloid newspaper and scandal sheet. When reporting on scandalous doings it sometimes reported on them in a humourous manner. Such was the case with the following story that featured Clarence Victor Magick.

If you are likely to be offended by this salacious story please do not read on. 

1926 'HERBIE HAD A LITTLE LAMB', Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), 22 August, p. 17. , viewed 28 Mar 2020,

Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), Sunday 22 August 1926, page 17

Full text of the above article follows

But the Magic Love of Magick Enticed It Right Away

THIS is a story of a game of love as it was played out where the horizon never ends, and where the bleat of the Springtime lamb, and the purr of the growing mint are lost in the cries of the crow Read on, and you will find how - Herbie had a little lamb — How it gambolled far away—

How Herbie fired the little lamb In Divorce the other day. It all came about because there was a weak woman, who was "lonely"; a hubby who was in love with his work, and that far from home; a neighbour, who could 'tell a tale,' and whose motto apparently was:

"Here's to love and unity, Dark, corners, and opportunity." 

The ingredients were: Herbert William Garbutt, a "Digger" and station hand of the second generation; his wife, Edith Fenson Garbutt, a Northamptonshire lass; and Clarence Victor Magick, also a station hand, with an idea that perhaps one day he might take Valentino's job as sheik.

With the three mixed together and stirred well for a long period, and the hubby skimmed off, the result was all that might have been expected.

Of course, it was a fine mixture, and baked in the Oven of Life, It ended with hubby taking a ticket for the Divorce Court, and getting a solicitor to introduce him to Mr. Justice Owen and a jury of twelve.

The prize, of course, was a divorce, with £300 extra prize-money added. Hubby asked for £500, but the twelve men gave him only £300.

Herbert is a back country man, one versed in the lore of the jum buck, a man who has spent the larger part of his 31 years 'out in the open spaces, whose fences are the stars'; mustering, droving, shearing, dagging, lamb-marking — living among sheep, eating them, dreaming of them. All these various things he did, and did well. He conquered them all.


And then In a fit of abstraction, he tackled a wife, an entirely new problem —and she beat him. It was in the year 1918, and In a freezing July when the westerlies shriek across the plains that the Merrigal man felt the cold that he warmed up to the Idea of matrimony.

He began mustering the ewe lambs he knew, but there wasn't one of Aussie stock that satisfied his expert eye as a classer. Then in Sydney he discovered an English lamb, which he judged to be a pure merino. With the aid of a sky pilot, the bushman yarded and branded her with his own name In the Church of England at St. Peter's.

Originally she was Edith Fenson Wood.

After his successful muster, and the culling of his own especial pet lamb, Herb ventured to Armatree, near Dubbo, where he paddocked the lamb, seeking work at a station about eight miles from the township. Among his few acquaintances Herb had a pal named Clarrle Magick. They had often split a 'johnny cake.' and a billy of tea together, and slept under the same blanket. Herb had great faith in Clarrle, as he called him.

Clarrie was working on a station about two miles from Armatree, some six miles nearer Garbutt's lamb than her real shepherd.

Clarrie used to call around and see that the lamb was safe, while the shepherd was away from home, and this consideration for her forlorn lot made a deep impression on her.

Two little lambkins were added to the flock while Herb worked near Armatree, and everything was Christmas. 'Up to the time she met Clarrie she was a good woman.' said Herb mournfully to his Honor. 'She was a good housekeeper, and good to the children. We all lived happily together."

Some time after this Herb moved to Corvan, a considerable distance away from his home paddock, and the false shepherd, Clarrie, continued to ride boundary about the Garbutt homestead.

Soon Herb began to notice little endearments passing between Clarrie and his little lamb. So he pulled the wool out of his eyes, and dropped a warning to her.

'I think you are a bit too familiar In your relations with Clarrie,' he ventured to say.

'Oh, Herb,' she bleated. 'Clarrle Is all right; there's no harm in him.'

Mr. E. Abigail: So you let it sleep?— Well, yairs; I thought it was all right.

Later on Herb's little English lamb suggesled that a holiday to the Big Smoke would buck her up a bit, and Herb good-naturedly agreed, and handed her £10 for the trip.

On September 2, 1925, she climbed into a train, and went to the city.

Herb bade farewell to her, and she was effusively affectionate at parting, more affectionate than the fabled 'Mary's little Iamb' of our schooldays.

It was merely a coincidence that two days before the lamb's departure, Clarrie also pointed his nose citywards. He came to Herb and told that simple bush man that he was going down to the city for a few days, and then he Intended to make for Queensland, where he hoped to secure a selection through the Repat

'I have about £600.' said Clarrie. 'and I'll get a block of land.' 'I bade him good-bye,' said Herb, 'and away he went.'

When the wife went away, she left the two little lambkins with Herb. Her holiday ran into two months, and Herb was getting anxious about her.

Then she wrote to say that she would not come back to Corven any more, and she added: 'I won't write to you anymore.'

The Show Down

Unfortunately Herb had destroyed the letter. Her complaint was that the country was 'too quiet.' She loved the bright Iights. and the surge and swing of the hustling crowds.

Came an interegnum (sic) but soon after the lamb's mother wrote a letter to Herb. That epistle galvanised him into activity. He went to Sydney as fast as the rattler would carry him. Here he picked up some information about his lost sheep, and hastened to get on her tracks.

Accompanied by a Mr. Sorley and James Morrison, a law clerk from Mr. Ernie Abigail's office, he went to a house in Green St, Tempe. Arrived at the doorstep, they knock ed, and a voice, which Herb re-cognised as that of his stray lamb, bleated something.

Then she came to the door. She was asked if she was Mrs. Magick. She said she was, and Mr. Sorley asked If they could come inside.

This was agreed to, and they entered the dining room. She was asked if they could see Mr. Magick, and in answer to a call, the false shepherd, Clarrle, came into the room. He was coatless, hatless, and bootless, and appeared to have been cleaning up the kitchen for 'Herbie's little lamb.'

'Is this your husband?' asked Sorley, pointing to Clarrie, who looked as if he wished he had gone to Queensland after that block of land.

'Yes,' said the lost sheep. 'Do you know this man here?' asked Sorley, pointing to Garbutt, who emerged

'Yes, he's my husband,' was the reply.

 'Are you living here as man and wife?'


'Are you ready to sign a confession to that effect?'

 Clarrie took the lamb into the bed room to discuss the matter, and when they came out they both signed a con-fession.

Flock Reduced

It read as follows: — I,Clarence Victor Magick, hereby admit that for the past five weeks I have been living with Mrs. Edith Garbutt as man and wife at Green Street, Tempe. —
 (Signed) C. MAGICK,
March 20, 1926.

Mrs. Garbutt wrote under this con-fession her own, and signed It with the same pen In the presence of her hus-band, Sorley and Morrison.

The Joint confessions were written on the one slip of common writing paper, and the scrawl showed the agitation of the sheep stealer and his victim.
There were many large and small ink blots, but no tear stains.

After a brief retirement the jury re-turned to Court with a verdict of — dam-ages £300.

His Honor found that Mrs. Garbutt had been guilty of misconduct with Magick, at Green Street, Tempe, between June 1, 1925. and March 31, 1926.

His Honor granted the delighted bushman a decree nisi, reduced his flock by one straying sheep, and gave him the custody of the two lambkins.

I love to connect with cousins and fellow researchers. Should you find any errors in my post or have additional information please contact me. 


crgalvin said...

Creative storytelling appears to have been a specialty of The Truth!

Dianne said...

That is rich!
I found an ancestor relative that was a bigamist. After they were found out I can’t find hide nor hair of the three of them!!

Anne Young said...

Creative reporting of what might otherwise have been a dull albeit sordid tale


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