Fremantle Stuff > people >

John McGibbon

J.K. Hitchcock:
A Scotchman by birth, this clever figure-faker was a public accountant in the city of London at the time of his conviction, and he always declared that his presence here was due to his having been transported for a crime which a name-sake of his had committed. His devious career here, however, led most people to take this statement "cum grano salis." Like Bret Harte's heathen Chinee his business methods were "peculiar," but with all his chicanery, success never seemed to attend his undertakings, which were many and diversified. He was always in financial difficulties, and was in his element when engaged in litigation. In the witness box he was ready-witted and plausible, and seemed to delight in a verbal encounter with a cross-examining attorney. The late George Leake described him as "a man within a man," and some people credited him with having forgotten more about law than some of the letral luminaries of that day ever knew. Owing to his loquacity the lawyers always sought to pin him down to answering a question with a simple "yes" or "no," but none ever succeeded. He would enter into a long harangue and protest that it was as unreasonable to expect him to answer with a "yes" or "no" without explanation as it would be to expect his interrogator to similarly answer the question: "Have you left off beating your wife yet?" Sometime in the 80's, when he was a very old man, McGibbon left this State for Canada in quest of "fresh fields and pastures new." He was a brainy man, and might have attained to opulence if his activities had been pursued with a due regard to the ethics of commercial morality, the elasticity of which ought to satisfy even the most unscrupulous.

References and Links

Hitchcock, J.K. 1921d, 'Some notable convicts', Fremantle Times, Friday 18 February 1921: 2.

Garry Gillard | New: 23 October, 2020 | Now: 23 October, 2020