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John Cafferty and William Albert Penn
Late last century, John Cafferty, William Albert Penn and Grace Cleary sailed to Great Barrier Island from Auckland with the intention of kidnapping one Elizabeth Anne Taylor. The plan was for the four to sail off to a South Pacific deserted tropical island and live in an idealic love paradise.
Probably the largest hurdle for them was that John and William were lovers and Grace and William were lovers and Grace despised John. Elizabeth had moved to Great Barrier after breaking her engagement with John and had married a Mr Seymour.

On the morning 20 June 1886, John and William raided the Taylor home and shot Elizabeth's father in the head, killing him. Mrs Esther Taylor was spared her life by telling the two where Elizabeth had fled. They got in their boat ' The Sovereign of the Seas' and while going to fetch Elizabeth were si
Elizabeth Anne Seymour (Taylor) testified at the trial that John would come seeking her with a " ring or a revolver".
detracked into chasing a ship they believed was going to report them. This ship outran them and they decided to run for the Pacific. They were caught in a storm and drifted to Australia where police were waiting for them.

The two men were returned to Auckland, charged with murder and went to trial on 22 January, 1887. No charges were laid against Grace. Elizabeth Anne Seymour (Taylor) testified at the trial that John would come seeking her with a " ring or a revolver".

John and William were hanged at the same time and place.


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John Cafferty and William Penn, terrorised the Taylor family of Great Barrier Island in an effort to abduct Elizabeth Taylor and mercilessly murdered her father.  

 John Cafferty Portrait 


 John Cafferty Portrait 


 John Cafferty Portrait 


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