Tim Tie (1856 – 1886) was born in Amoy (Xiamen), China and arrived in Queensland in 1876. He worked as a cook in Dulbydilla, west of Roma. After a disagreement over a gambling debt, Tie was charged with Jimmy Ah Fook’s murder in early 1886. At the trial in Roma, Tie professed his innocence but was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was transferred to Brisbane and executed at the Boggo Road Gaol on 5 April 1886.

Tim Tie was employed by Mr Falconer’s water boring party at Dulvavilla (now Dulbydilla), 500km west of Brisbane on the road between Roma and Charleville. Tie was born in Amoy, Fujian, China in 1856 and arrived in Queensland in 1876. Although his name was spelled Tie in his trial and gaol records, it was generally spelled Tee or Tea in newspaper reports, likely indicating how Tie’s name was pronounced.

Tie’s trial for the murder of Jimmy Ah Fook took place at the Roma Circuit Court on 9-10 March 1886. Jimmy Sam from Amoy acted as interpreter. Testimony was given that Tie had come back to his tent to find a man he believed to be Ah Fook getting dressed. Tie was said to believe that Ah Fook had been with his wife Kate. Tie went to Ah Fook’s bakery shop and, after arguing over a gambling debt, returned to the shop and shot Ah Fook approximately 40 times with a double-barrelled shotgun.

Among the people giving evidence was Jimmy Ah Gee, brother of Jimmy Ah Fook, also a cook in Dulbydilla. He was called to his brother’s bakery on the night of the shooting and helped carry him to the railway station so he could be sent to Roma for medical treatment. However, Ah Fook died of his wounds at the station before the train departed.

Tim Tie denied that he shot Ah Fook but was found guilty by a jury and executed by hanging at the Boggo Road Gaol in South Brisbane on 5 April 1886.


Jan Richardson, ‘Tim Tie (1856 – 1886)’, Harry Gentle Resource Centre, Griffith University, 2022 (updated 2023), https://harrygentle.griffith.edu.au/life-stories/tim-tie/.

Archival Resources

Queensland State Archives (QSA), Item Representation ID DR17247

Photograph, physical description and criminal history of Tim Tie, March 1886, No. 297/96.

Certificate of execution, Queensland Government Gazette, Vol. XXXVIII, 1886, p. 1382

via Findmypast (citation only, subscription required).

Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Death registration, Tim Tie, 5 April 1886, 1886/B/18747.


Leonie Gane, The Hungry Ghosts of Boggo Road.

2nd ed., Fairfield, Qld: Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society, 2008.


Colonial telegrams, Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), 1 Mar 1886.

Queensland news, Brisbane Courier, 1 Mar 1886.

Alleged murder at Dulbydilla, Brisbane Courier, 4 Mar 1886.

Murder, Western Star and Roma Advertiser, 13 Mar 1886.

Execution at the gaol, Brisbane Courier, 6 Apr 1886.

Online Resources

Griffith University, Prosecution Project

Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society, Executed prisoners, Brisbane 1883-1913

Findagrave memorial for Tim Tie