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Robert Corney

Australasian Chronicle, June 25, 1842

A CONJUROR.-
A man named Robert Corney was yesterday brought before Mr. Windeyer, charged by Inspector Molloy of Sydney police with exhibiting sundry sleight of hand tricks, and conjurations with cups, pepper-boxes, papers, cards &c,. in Johnson's public-house at the bottom of Brickfield Hill, on Thursday evening, and afterwards obtaining money from the people of the house. The defendant had a license from the Colonial Secretary, authorising him to exercise his skill in Parramatta for two months, but he had no such license to display his art in Sydney. Mr. Windeyer said the case did not come within the meaning of the act; he therefore ordered the defendant to be discharged, all his implements of conjuration to be returned to him, advising him to be off at once to Parramatta, as it was only in that town that he was authorised to show off his acquirements as a disciple of Caterfelto.

 

... and another, tongue-in-cheek, version of the same tale:

Sydney Free Press, June 25, 1842

A MODERN MAGICIAN – Those of her Majesty’s leiges who were assembled at the George-street Police Office yesterday morning, were considerably amused by the examination of Mr. Robert Corney, who appeared before their worships at the instance of Inspector Molloy, being charged by that functionary with having displayed sundry tricks of legerdemain, and slight of hand at the Crown public house Brickfield-hill, on the previous evening, “contrary to the statute,” &c. Among these exhibitions of genius as described by the Inspector there was a singular and somewhat dirty looking roll of blue and white paper, which by dint of carefully drawing out to its full length had been made to figure as a barber’s pole proceeding from the mouth of the exhibibiter.  There were also among the conjurer’s kit a considerable variety of other articles of a similar nature, calculated to act upon the gullibility of any ordinary pot-house audience, in which collection that very essential requisite, a pack of cards, was not forgotten. In reply to the charge, the defendant handed in a license which he had received from the Parramatta Bench to exhibit his tricks in that district, and as the document fully satisfied the Bench, the defendant was discharged, with an intimation that he must not carry on his profession in Sydney for the future, but must content himself with his Parramatta practice.

[Brickfield Hill is the section of George Street, Sydney, running down towards Chinatown.  Parramatta is now a suburb of Sydney, though a large city in its own right].

 

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