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Robert Wood Gransden
Mary Anne Stone
William Gallaway Russell
Mary Ann Gransden
George Russell


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1. Margaret Osborne Beattie

George Russell

  • Born: 31 Mar 1839, Campbells River, Rockley, New South Wales, Australia 600
  • Christened: 29 Mar 1847, Campbells River, near Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia 125
  • Marriage (1): Margaret Osborne Beattie on 2 Aug 1882 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 125
  • Died: 10 Apr 1884, Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia at age 45 125

bullet  General Notes:

Occupation: Dentist and apothecary at Goulburn, NSW.
Religion: church of England

Re: Margaret Beatty Beattie & George Russell

Goulburn Herald, 5th February 1884
George Russell was charged with having defaced the alignment post at the corner of Auburn and Bradley Streets.

John Boyd, Inspector of Nuisances, deposed that he saw placards containing Professor Russell's name on the alignment post at the corner of Auburn and Bradley Streets; he saw the defendant twice in reference to it and on each occasion he promised to have them removed; the placard was still on the post when the information was laid.

George Russell, defendant, deposed that he had not on any occasion placed any placard on the alignment post mentioned; he had always given instructions to persons posting his bills not to place them anywhere but on the boardings which he had paid for.

The case was dismissed.

Goulburn Herald, 12th April 1884
A startling case of death from narcotic poisoning occurred in Goulburn on Thursday morning, when George Russell, generally known as Professor Russell, Hairdresser and Dentist, of Auburn Street, died from the effects of an over dose of Morphia, administered by himself, presumably for the purpose of inducing sleep. He had been in the habit of using narcotics for this purpose, and on this occasion took three pills, containing probably half a grain of morphia each, which had a fatal effect in about three hours and a half afterwards. He was in a comatose state from the time he was first seen by the doctors, and their efforts were powerless to revive him. Deceased was well known in the city and district for the past two years. He was a man of some parts though his abilities would seem to have been not well directed; and his unexpected and tragic demise cannot but awaken a feeling of pity.

The particulars of the occurrence will be best gathered from the evidence taken at the inquest held by Mr Betts, Coroner, at the residence of the deceased on Thursday evening.

Margaret Russell, otherwise Bullough, deposed; the body just viewed by the jury is that of George Russell, Dentist; he had been in Goulburn about two years; he was forty-five years of age; I have been living with him as his wife for about two years; I am the mother of one child by him; I returned from Sydney this morning by the first division of the mail train; deceased met me at the station and we returned home together; we had some coffee and sent to bed in about an hour; after we went into the bedroom the deceased said: "I have not taken any draught tonight on account of your coming home; I have to appear in court in the morning and you with me"; after some time he said: "I cannot sleep", and got out of bed and took three pills out of a bottle and then came back into bed and said I was to let him sleep as long as he could in the morning; he then went to sleep; as he was breathing heavily I took the baby from him; the baby used always to sleep on his arm; about half past four o'clock, thinking he was breathing rather heavily, I called the assistant and asked him if he thought Mr Russell was bad; he said: "No, nothing is wrong"; I did not go to sleep afterwards, and at daybreak I tried to awaken deceased and could not, and I went for Dr McKillop; I believe it was about four o'clock when deceased took the pills; he has frequently taken some before; I don't know what the pills contain; the deceased use to get them from Elliott Brothers; I had taken two, and they have had the effect of making me sleep; deceased had some coffee with me when we returned, but nothing else so far as I know; he has on different occasions taken doses of chloral; I did not see him take any this morning; I blame his not being able to sleep to his being summoned to the court today about our alleged marriage; it has preyed on him ever since he received the summons; I believe he took the pills to cause him to sleep; he had never said in conversation that he intended to take his life; he was rather dull this morning when he met me; he was not of an excitable temperament and was not of a strong constitution; he was rather low spirited the last fortnight.

Senior Constable Emerton deposed; I was present at the post mortem examination of the body of George Russell; I produce a bottle with contents of the stomach and also a bottle containing pills which I received from Dr McKillop.

Dr McKillop deposed; I was called at eight o'clock this morning to see the deceased, George Russell, and found him breathing stertorously; I considered he was suffering from narcotic poisoning; I applied remedies and asked Mrs Russell to send for Dr Davidson; Dr Davidson and I applied the stomach pump and I produce a bottle containing the contents of the stomach; I found a bottle of pills on the table and I diluted one and found it to contain morphia; the deceased died about a quarter past nine this morning; this afternoon I made a post mortem examination of the deceased's body, and found about 6ox of fluid in the stomach; the stomach looked healthy; the liver was enlarged; the heart and lungs were in a healthy state; the kidneys were slightly congested; there was nothing in the appearance of the internal organs to account for death; I believe there is also morphia in the fluid ejected from the stomach; in cases of death from morphia there would be no post mortem appearance; I did not open the skull as I considered the cause of death sufficiently apparent; I could not state the quantity of morphia in the pills, but assuming there was half a grain in each the dose might cause death; I have attended deceased professionally on several occasions; the last time I so saw him was about a fortnight ago; he appeared to me to be suffering from cold and debility; he told me that the previous night, not feeling well, he took a pill containing half a grain of morphia; I cautioned him about meddling with poisons lest he might take an overdose; he said he had been in the habit of taking half a grain of morphia occasionally; I sent some medicine to the deceased and told him to abstain from all other medicines; all the symptoms which I saw in deceased this morning were consistent with narcotic poisoning.

Arthur Le Pettie deposed; I have been assistant to the deceased for the last six weeks; about four o'clock this morning I was aroused by Mrs Russell; I put on my clothes and went into deceased's room; he was lying on the bed breathing rather heavily; Mrs Russell said deceased had taken something to make him sleep, and asked me if there was any necessity to send for a doctor; I replied I thought not, as I knew he was in the habit of handling drugs; a few days ago the deceased told me that in consequence of not being able to sleep he was compelled to take narcotics to produce sleep; I remarked I did not think sleep produced by them was any good; we were removing till late last night from the other shop, and before my going to bed deceased and I were talking over plans for carrying on the business in the future.

This concluded the evidence.

The Coroner in summing up condemned the practice which he said had become common of persons using narcotics to produce sleep, and expressed a hope that this sad event would act as a warning to all those who indulged in such a dangerous habit.

The jury returned a verdict "That deceased came by his own death from an overdose of morphia, administered by his own hand, but that there was no evidence to show that he had taken it with the intention of causing death", and they added the following rider: "we hope the unfortunate incident will act as a caution to others against using narcotics.

Goulburn Herald, 12th April 1884
POLICE COURT - making a false declaration.
George Russell stood charged on the information of the Police with having made a false declaration when registering the birth of a child. Sub Inspector Fenton, in consequence of the death of the accused, desired to withdraw the case.
(Joy Conroy)

(1) N.S.W.BDM Index Death #6249-1884
Death index has unknown parents and age 40-50 years.

(2) Baptised 29 March 1847 in the Parish of Bathurst. Parents residing at Campbells River. Father a farmer. George was baptised at the same time as his brother Charles.


George married Margaret Osborne Beattie, daughter of David Beattie and Margaret Spencer, on 2 Aug 1882 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.125 (Margaret Osborne Beattie was born on 16 Aug 1838 in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland and died in Aug 1892 in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia.)

bullet  Marriage Notes:

At Sydney, on the 2nd instant, GEORGE RUSSELL to MARGARET BULLOCK. Both of Goulburn.
1882 'Family Notices', Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW : 1881 - 1940), 12 August, p. 4. , viewed 06 Feb 2018,

No marriage registration able to be found. The closest one is for George Russell to Margaret Brown, but that is in 1872 and George is noted as a baker of 29 years old. The marriage is to Margaret Brown. Given later events, although this marriage was in the newspapers, it may never have existed.

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