James Ollivier, 1836

'A most audacious fellow.' From the Comet, July 14th 1836.

Thirteen boys and one girl were placed at the bar, accused of having committed various petty delinquences in different parts of the town, such as despoiling gardens of their fruit, breaking windows, and destroying rabbits in Mr Priaulx's Warren [Priaulx was himself later actioned by Nant the plant nurseryman, for operating an illegal warren full of voracious rabbits right next door to his precious merchandise]. They underwent a close examination by the Attorney General and the Court, touching the accusations against them, when it turned out that James Ollivier, a young man with a wooden leg, had been the ringleader of these little boys—that he had enticed them to drink spirituous liquors, and induced them to keep away from home at unseasonable hours.

Under these circumstances, he was the first that was put on his trial, but the Court might as well have tried to silence an echo, as to keep his tongue quiet; but his gabble only entangled him in the accusation, and finally the Court ordered that he should give bail of £20, in one week, for his further good conduct, or quit the island. To this Ollivier said there was no difficulty, and as he retired from the bar, he addressed himself to one of the witnesses, who said he had destroyed 42 rabbits out of Mr Priaulx's Warren, saying, 'You infernal liar, you shall pay for that.' The witness immediately claimed the protection of the Court, when Ollivier was called back and placed at the bar under the accusation of having threatened the witness. The threat having been proved, the Court condemned him to one week's imprisonment, and to find bail of £50 instead of £20, so that Ollivier's conduct afforded a fine illustration of that old maxim, namely, that, 'many have suffered by talking, few by silence.'

Olliver's conduct manifested that he is a most audacious fellow, and capable of braving anything. He appeared to have no more respect for a Court of Justice than a Hottentot.

The boy Williamson having been next examined, it appeared that he was one of the worst characters, among the number, and the Court ordered that his father should give bail of £10 as a security for his boy's future good conduct during two years, or quit the island.

Mrs White, who was previously ordered to find bail by the 1st July, and not having done so, was ordered to be sent away by the constables, and her children together, by the first vessel leaving the island.

The other boys were cautioned and dismissed.