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Title: History of the Australian Bushrangers
Author: Boxall, George E.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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 _Author of "The Anglo-Saxon,
 a Study in Evolution," etc., etc._


 _FIRST EDITION, September, 1899._

 _SECOND EDITION, May, 1902._

 _THIRD EDITION, May, 1908._


In this story of the bushrangers I do not pretend to have included the
names of all those who have at various times been called bushrangers
in Australia. That, as will be seen from what I have said in the
earlier chapters, would be not merely impossible but useless. I
believe, however, that I have collected some particulars about all
those who succeeded in winning even a local notoriety, and I have also
endeavoured to supply such personal characteristics of the leaders
in the movement as may throw some light on the causes which induced
them to "take to the bush." My principal object, however, has been to
make the picture as complete as possible, so that the magnitude of
the social evil which the Australians set themselves to cure may be
realised; and it is generally believed in Australia that this cure has
been so complete that bushranging will never again become epidemic.

The story is a terrible one. Some of the incidents related are no
doubt revolting, but it is necessary that even these should be told
to show how civilised man may be degraded by unjust and oppressive
laws. We are all creatures of the educational influences to which we
are subjected in our youth, and therefore it is unfair to blame the
earlier bushrangers; because they were the products of the civilisation
of their day, and were not themselves responsible. But sensational as
the story is, its tendency is rather to depress than to exhilarate
the reader, for the story is a sad one, in that it shows a deplorable
waste of what under happier conditions might have been useful lives.
As a rule I have adhered very closely to the newspaper reports of
the time, but to make the story (which naturally tends to be scrappy
and disconnected) as homogeneous and continuous as possible, I have
followed one gang to the close of its career, and then returned to take
up the history of another gang. I have paid special attention to the
geography of the country, and the reader who possesses a fairly good
map of each of the colonies should have no difficulty in following the
movements of each of the gangs, and may thus obtain an idea of the
extent of the area over which it operated.

Hitherto the histories of Australia have passed very lightly over
the bushrangers, but there can be no doubt that they exercised some
influence, and not always for evil, for to their influence is due some
of the sturdy Republicanism of the modern Australians. The publication
of this story may perhaps assist the future historian in tracing the
growth of public opinion in Australia, and will therefore not be
without its use. It is in this hope that I submit it to the public.



  Reports of the Select Committees of the House of Commons on
  Transportation, Sessions 1837 and 1838: Chapters I., II., III., IV.

  Report of the Special Commission of Enquiry into the state of the
  Colony of New South Wales. By John Thomas Bigge, 1822 and 1823:
  Chapters I., II., IV.

  Despatches of Governors Macquarie, Bourke, Sorell, Arthur, Franklin,
  Denison, Latrobe, &c., to the Colonial Office: Chapters I., II.,
  III., IV., XII.

  History of Van Diemen's Land, from 1820 to 1835. Anonymous. Chapters
  I., II.

  History of Bendigo. By George Mackay. Chapter XII.

  The Last of the Tasmanians. By James Bonwick, F.R.G.S. Chapter II.

  _The Spectator._ Chapter IX.

  _Hobart Town Gazette._ Chapters I., II., III.

  _Hobart Town Courier_ and _Murray's Review_. Chapters I., II., VI.,
  X., XI., XV.

  _Colonial Times._ Chapters X., XI., XV.

  _Cornwall Chronicle._ Chapters I., II., III., VI., IX., X., XI.

  _Launceston Advertiser._ Chapters I., II., VI., IX., X.

  _Launceston Examiner._ Chapters VI., IX., XI.

  _Sydney Gazette._ Chapters I., IV., VI., VII.

  _Sydney Monitor._ Chapters I., IV.

  _Sydney Australian._ Chapters I., IV.

  _Sydney Morning Herald._ Chapters V., VI., VII., VIII., IX., XV.,

  _Melbourne Argus._ Chapters IV., XIII., XIV., XV., XXI., XXV.,

  _Port Phillip Herald._ Chapters VI., VII., VIII.

  _Geelong Advertiser._ Chapters XII., XIII., XIV., XV.

  _Melbourne Herald._ Chapters XII., XIV., XV.

  _Melbourne Age._ Chapters XXIX., XXX., XXXI.

  _South Australian Register._ Chapters VIII., XXIV.

  _Brisbane Courier._ Chapter XXVII.

  _New Zealand Herald._ Chapter XXVI.

The quotations from numerous provincial papers acknowledged in the
text have been taken at second hand, principally from the metropolitan
papers of the colony referred to, and which are included in this list.



  Chapter I.--Characteristics of the Convicts sent to
  Australia; Bushranging; Origin and Meaning of
  the Term; The Cat and the Double Cat; Condition
  of the Prisoners; Some Terrible Revelations; The
  Desperation of Despair; Some Flogging Stories;
  The Bushranging Act and its Abuses; Some
  Opinions of the Magistrates; Savage Treatment of
  Criminals Continued to the Present Time; Brutality
  not Cured by Brutal Punishment; When Bushranging
  First Began                                                         1

  Chapter II.--Van Diemen's Land; The First Bushranger;
  Mike Howe, the King of the Ranges; The
  Raid on the Blacks; The Black War; Musquito;
  Outrages by the Blacks; Brutal Treatment of the
  Blacks by Bushrangers; A War of Reprisals;
  Gigantic Scheme to Capture the Blacks; A Cordon
  Drawn Round the Disaffected District; Details
  of the Scheme; Its Failure; Only Two Blacks
  Captured; Estimated Cost; Fate of the Blacks                       17

  Chapter III.--Pierce the Cannibal; A Terrible Journey;
  A Shocking Confession; Escapes from the Western
  Hell; The Ruffian Jefferies; Brady the Bushranger;
  Escapes from Macquarie Harbour; Sticks
  up the Town of Sorell; The Governor's Proclamation;
  Brady Laughs at it; The Fight with Captain
  Balfour; Betrayed by a Comrade; Captured by
  John Batman; Sympathy at his Trial; End of the
  Epoch                                                              33

  Chapter IV.--Bushranging in New South Wales; Manufacturing
  Bushrangers; Employing Bushrangers;
  The First Bank Robbery in Australia; Major Mudie
  and his Assigned Servants; Terrible Hollow;
  Murder of Dr. Wardell; The Story of Jack the
  Rammer; Hall, Mayne and Others                                     48

  Chapter V.--John Lynch; Murder of Kearns Landregan;
  Lynch's Trial and Sentence; His Terrible
  Confession; Murder of the Frazers, Father and
  Son; Murder and Cremation of the Mulligans;
  His Appeals to Almighty God                                        60

  Chapter VI.--Jackey Jackey, the Gentleman Bushranger;
  His Dispute with Paddy Curran; Some
  Legends About Him; Jackey Jackey Always Well
  Dressed and Mounted; His Capture at Bungendore;
  His Escape at Bargo Brush; Jackey Jackey visits
  Sydney; His Capture by Miss Gray; Paddy
  Curran's Fight with the Police; Recaptured and
  Hung; John Wright Threatens to Make a Clean
  Sweep                                                              71

  Chapter VII.--The Jewboy Gang; "Come and Shoot
  the Bushrangers;" Constable Refuses to Leave
  his Work to Hunt Bushrangers; Saved by his
  Wife; Robberies in Maitland; Bushrangers in
  High Hats; The Bullock-driver Captures the
  Bushrangers; An Attempt to Reach the Dutch
  Settlements; Mr. E.D. Day Captures the Gang;
  Assigned Servants' Attempt at Bushranging; Some
  Other Gangs                                                        82

  Chapter VIII.--Bushranging in South Australia; The
  Robbers Captured in Melbourne; A Remarkable
  Raid in Port Phillip; Going Out for a Fight with
  the Bushrangers; A Bloody Battle; Cashan and
  McIntyre; The Fight with the Mail Passengers;
  Cashan Escapes from the Lock-up; Is Recaptured;
  McIntyre Caught at Gammon Plains                                   95

  Chapter IX.--Bushrangers and Pirates; Capture of
  H.M. Brig _Cyprus_ by Bushrangers; A Piratical
  Voyage; Stealing the Schooners _Edward_ and
  _Waterwitch_; Mutiny of Prisoners on H.M. Brig
  _Governor Phillip_ at Norfolk Island; The Trial of
  the Mutineers at Sydney; How Captain Boyle
  Recaptured the Vessel                                             103

  Chapter X.--Van Diemen's Land Again; A Hunt for
  Bushrangers in the Mountains; Some Brutal
  Attacks; "Stand!" "No, thanks, I'm very Comfortable
  Sitting;" A Degrading Exhibition; A
  Determined Judge; Cash, Kavanagh, and Jones,
  an Enterprising Firm; The Art of Politeness as
  Exhibited by Bushrangers; A Bushranger Hunt
  in the Streets of Hobart Town; The Capture of
  Cash; Break Up of the Gang; a Doubtful Mercy                      111

  Chapter XI.--Norfolk Island; Its Founding as a Penal
  Station; The Terrible Discipline in Norfolk Island;
  An Attempt to Ameliorate it; Its Failure; The
  Rigorous Treatment Restored; The Consequent
  Riot; Jackey Jackey's Revenge; An Unparalleled
  Tale of Ferocity; The Soldiers Overawe the
  Rioters; Thirteen Condemned to the Gallows;
  Jackey Jackey's Remarkable Letter; The End of
  Several Notorious Bushrangers                                     124

  Chapter XII.--The Third Epoch of Bushranging;
  The Gold Digging Era; Influx of Convicts from
  Van Diemen's Land; Passing of the Criminals'
  Influx Prevention Act; Attitude of the Diggers
  Towards the Bushrangers and other Thieves; The
  Nelson Gold Robbery; Some Pitiful Stories; A
  Rapid Raid; Insecurity of the Melbourne Streets                   134

  Chapter XIII.--Captain Melville Takes to the Road;
  He Ties and Robs Eighteen Men; He Goes to
  Geelong for a Spree and Boasts of his Exploits; His
  Sensational Capture; Sent to the Hulks; Murder of
  Corporal Owens; Melville Removed from the Hulk
  _Success_ to the Gaol; Murder of Mr. John Price,
  and Mutiny of the Convicts; Melville Attacks Mr.
  Wintle; Death of the Noted Bushranger                             148

  Chapter XIV.--Murder of a Bullock-driver; Sticking
  Up in the Melbourne Streets; Stealing £100,000 in
  Bank Notes; Want of Efficient Police Protection;
  Murders and Robberies at Ballarat, Bendigo, Mount
  Alexander, and other Diggings; The Robbery of
  the McIvor Gold Escort; A Bushranger Intimidated
  by a Bottle of Brandy; Robbery of the Bank of
  Victoria at Ballarat; Capture of Garrett in London;
  Prevalence of Horse Stealing; The Doctor's
  "Creamy"                                                          158

  Chapter XV.--An Escape from Norfolk Island; Stealing
  a Government Boat; The Convicts of New South
  Wales; A Terrible Indictment; Thomas Willmore;
  Murder of Philip Alger; Murder of Malachi Daly;
  Fight Between Two Bushrangers; Hunting Down
  Willmore; His Capture While Asleep; The Last of
  the Van Diemen's Land Bushrangers; Wilson and
  Dido; Some Minor Offenders; An Unfounded
  Charge; A Change of Name to Rid the Island of
  Evil Associations                                                 173

  Chapter XVI.--The New Bushranging Era; Fallacy
  of the Belief that Highwaymen Rob the Rich to
  Enrich the Poor; The Cattle Duffers and Horse
  Planters; The Riot at Lambing Flat; Frank
  Gardiner, the Butcher; Charged with Obtaining
  Beasts "On the Cross," He Abandons His
  Butcher's Shop; Efforts to Establish a Reign of
  Terror in the District; A Letter from Gardiner;
  The Great Escort Robbery                                          188

  Chapter XVII.--Johnny Gilbert; His First Appearance
  in Australia; Miscellaneous Bushranging Exploits;
  Mr. Robert Lowe Makes a Stand; Mr. Inspector
  Norton Captured by the Bushrangers; A Plucky
  Black Boy; "Mine Know it, Patsy Daly Like it,
  Brudder;" A Brave Boy; O'Meally Shoots Mr.
  Barnes; A Bootless Bushranger; Capture of John
  Foley; Something about the Foley Family; Ben
  Hall                                                              205

  Chapter XVIII.--Racers as Mounts for the Bushrangers;
  The Shooting of Lowry; The Bushrangers
  Visit Bathurst; They Hold the Town
  of Canowindra for Three Days; Burke Shot by
  Mr. Keightley; Female Bushrangers; Death of
  O'Meally at Goimbla; A Newspaper Man and
  His Wife Stuck up; Lively Times During the
  Christmas Holidays                                                218

  Chapter XIX.--A Heavy Sessions at Goulburn; Ben
  Hall Hard Pushed; An Amateur Mail Robber;
  Discovery of Frank Gardiner; His Trial and
  Sentence; The Old Man; A Brush with the Police;
  The Chinkies Show Fight; Messrs. Hall & Co. Take
  a Lease of the Main Southern Road; Capture of
  Mount and Dunleavy; Johnny Dunn; A Desperate
  Duel and Death of Sergeant Parry; A Country Ball
  and Its Sequel                                                    232

  Chapter XX.--Meeting the Gold Escort; Murder of
  Constable Nelson; A Brush with the Police;
  Attempt to Stick up the Araluen Escort; Death
  of Constable Kelly, and Pluck of Constable Burns;
  Sir Frederick Pottinger Resigns; Death of Ben
  Hall; A Sketch of His Life; Death of Johnny
  Gilbert; Record of Johnny Dunn and the Gang;
  Capture and Trial of Dunn; His Execution; Fate
  of the Chief Members of the Gang                                  246

  Chapter XXI.--Bloodthirsty Morgan; Morgan's
  Opinion of the Police; Murder of Sergeant
  McGinnerty; Murder at the Round Hill Station;
  A Pseudo Morgan; Morgan Threatens to Brand
  All Hands; He Shoots Sergeant Smyth; Challenged
  to Visit Victoria; He Accepts the
  Challenge; His Death at Peechelba                                 258

  Chapter XXII.--The Brothers Clarke; The Raid at
  Nerigundah; Deaths of William Fletcher and
  Constable O'Grady; Murder of Four Special
  Constables at Jinden; Annie Clarke at Goulburn;
  Capture of Thomas and John Clarke; A Terrible
  Record; A Plucky Woman; An Attempt to
  Escape Custody; "Shoot Away I Can't Stop
  You"; Some Daring Robberies; Murder and
  Cremation of the Brothers Pohlmann; Blue Cap                      269

  Chapter XXIII.--Bushranging in the Northern District
  of New South Wales; Captain Thunderbolt Robs
  the Tollbar; A Chinaman Bushranger; A Long
  Chase; A Fight with the Police; "Next, Please";
  The Bushranger Rutherford; Captain Thunderbolt
  and the German Band; Desperate Duel
  between Captain Thunderbolt and Constable
  Walker; Thunderbolt's Death                                       287

  Chapter XXIV.--Bushranging in the Wild Paroo;
  A Raid into South Australia; A Relic of the
  Bushranging Era; Agitation for the Release of
  Gardiner; Official Reports as to Twenty-four
  Bushrangers Still in Gaol; The Cases of Gardiner
  and William Brookman; Gardiner and the other
  Bushrangers Released; Gardiner leaves the
  Country                                                           304

  Chapter XXV.--Bushranging in Victoria; Robert
  Bourke; Harry Power; He Escapes from Pentridge
  Gaol and Sticks up the Mail; An Amateur Bushranger;
  The Police Hunt Power Down and Capture
  Him Asleep; A Peacock as "Watch Dog;" The
  Power Procession at Beechworth; The Trial of
  Power; His Sentence; Engaged to Lecture on
  Board the _Success_; His Death                                    315

  Chapter XXVI.--Bushranging in New Zealand; Alleged
  Fears of the Escort being Robbed; The First Bushranger;
  Henry Beresford Garrett; The Maungapatau
  Murders; Arrest of Sullivan, Kelly, Burgess,
  and Levy in Nelson; Sullivan's Confession; The
  Discovery of the Bodies; Sullivan's Release                       326

  Chapter XXVII.--Bushranging in Queensland; Some
  Bushrangers from Over the Southern Border; A
  Bogus Ben Hall; The Wild Scotchman; Queensland's
  Only Bushranger; A Man of Many Aliases;
  He Goes to Fight a Duel with Sir Frederick
  Pottinger; He Escapes from the Steamer; Recaptured
  and Tried                                                         335

  Chapter XXVIII.--Captain Moonlite; The "Reverend
  Gentleman" Robs the Bank and Nearly Makes His
  Escape; He Breaks Out of Ballarat Gaol; He
  Becomes a Reformed Character; He Sticks up the
  Wantabadgery Station; A Desperate Battle with
  the Police; His Young Companions in Crime;
  Sentenced to Death; The Wild Horse Hunters
  Turn Bushrangers; An Abortive Attempt to Rob
  a Bank                                                            341

  Chapter XXIX.--The Kelly Gang; Horse-Stealing a
  Great Industry of the District; Faking the Brands;
  Assault on Constable Fitzpatrick; The Bush
  Telegraphs; Murder of Sergeant Kennedy and
  Constables Scanlan and Lonergan; Sticking Up
  of the Faithfull Creek Station; Robbery of the
  National Bank at Euroa; A Big Haul                                353

  Chapter XXX.--The Kellys Stick op the Town of
  Jerilderie; Robbery of the Bank of New South
  Wales; A Symposium in the Royal Hotel; A Three-days'
  Spree; "Hurrah for the Good Old Times of
  Morgan and Ben Hall"; The Robbers take a Rest
  for a Year; The Kelly Sympathisers Again; The
  Kellys Reappear; Murder of Aaron Sherritt                         365

  Chapter XXXI.--Fight between the Police and the
  Bushrangers at Glenrowan; The Railway Torn
  Up; Attempt to Wreck the Police Train; The
  Glenrowan Inn Besieged; Ned Kelly in Armour;
  His Capture; The Burning of the Inn; Death
  of Dan Kelly, Steve Hart, and Joe Byrnes; Trial
  and Conviction of Ned Kelly; His Death; The
  Kelly Show; Decrease of Crime in the Colonies                     377

  Index                                                             386


  Introductory; Characteristics of the Convicts Sent to Australia;
  Bushranging: Origin and Meaning of the Term; The Cat and the Double
  Cat; Condition of the Prisoners: Some Terrible Revelations; The
  Desperation of Despair; Some Flogging Stories; The Bushranging Act
  and Its Abuses; Opinions of the Magistrates; Savage Treatment of
  Criminals Continued to the Present Time; Brutality not Cured by
  Brutal Punishment; Where Bushranging First Began.

The species of brigandage known in Australia as bushranging was,
without doubt, evolved, more or less directly, from the convict system
established as the basis of the earlier settlements in the island
continent. The first bushrangers were simply men who took to the bush
to escape work and enjoy freedom of action. Under the harsh laws of the
Georgian era the greater criminals were hung, and not transported, and
the convicts sent to "Botany Bay," in the eighteenth and the earlier
years of the nineteenth centuries, were generally men to whom the
trammels of the civilisation of their day were irksome. Many of them
were political agitators, industrial rioters, and machine-breakers.
The others were poachers and similarly comparatively mild offenders
against the laws, who, under the present laws of Great Britain, would
be sufficiently punished with a few months' imprisonment. Many of these
men, when they were removed to a new land where the social conditions
did not press so heavily on them, became honest and reputable citizens,
and, perhaps, but for the harsh treatment they were subjected to,
numbers of others who were driven to continue their fight against
authority, might also have lived quiet and useful lives. This subject
is a very delicate one, and it is not my intention to pursue it
further here; but if it could be fully treated without giving offence
to numbers of worthy and, in some cases, justly honoured residents
of Australia, some very valuable lessons might be learned from the
histories of some of those families whose founders could not live in
England without offending against the laws, but who could and did earn
the respect of their fellow colonists in Australia who were not "sent

The student of history in Australia is reminded, perhaps more forcibly
than his fellow in England, that the humanitarian spirit, now so
distinguishing a trait in the Anglo-Saxon character, is of very recent
growth. Under the operation of this new force the criminal law of
England was rapidly softened and ameliorated, and with every advance
in this direction the character of the convicts sent out to Australia
steadily deteriorated, if I may so describe the process. With every
alteration in the law a fresh class of criminal was transported, and
these with few exceptions would, a few months before, have been hung.
At first, pickpockets, then sheep and horse-stealers, forgers and
others, who had previously only escaped the gallows in rare instances,
when they could find some influential friend to take sufficient
interest in them to plead their cause, were now transported as a matter
of course. This process continued until transportation ceased, and as
the last batch of prisoners sent out was presumably the worst, having
been guilty of more heinous crimes than their predecessors, we are too
apt to judge the earlier convicts harshly from our knowledge of the
later ones. The general effect was that while, with the amelioration
of the laws, crime steadily decreased in England, it just as steadily
increased in Australia, and no doubt the worst criminals were
transported to Van Diemen's Land after transportation had ceased to
New South Wales in 1842. The laws of England previously to the great
changes made during the past sixty years seem to me to have operated,
whether designedly or not, to clear the country of the disaffected and
the discontented, rather than the criminal. How far the introduction of
large numbers of this class into the country may have paved the way for
modern advances in liberal government in Australia, is a question which
it might be profitable to study; but it only relates to the bushrangers
so far as it enables us to account for the large number of men who
"took to the bush."

The earlier bushrangers seem to have been idle and dissolute, rather
than criminal, characters. They watched for an opportunity to escape
into a patch of scrub whenever the eye of the sentry in charge of
them was turned away, and the nature of the country was so favourable
to this method of evasion that it constituted a continuous challenge
to them to run away, and, almost incredible as it may appear now,
numbers of men started northward or westward in hopes of reaching the
Dutch or English settlements at Batavia, Singapore, Hong Kong, or
some other place in that direction. It must be remembered that the
majority of the working classes at the beginning of the century could
not read and had no knowledge of geography. They had heard sailors
speak of these settlements and had no idea that hundreds of miles of
sea flowed between them and Australia. How many of these poor ignorant
men lost their lives in the attempt to achieve the impossible cannot
be said, but some terrible stories of cannibalism have been related
in connection with this phase of bushranging. The majority of the
"runaways," however, had no such definite ideas as these, erroneous as
they may have been. They hoped to be able to live in freedom in the
bush and to subsist on fruits, roots, or other native growths. Some few
joined a tribe of blacks and stayed longer or shorter times with them;
others simply wandered about until hunger drove them back; while very
many remained at large until they were captured, and these lived by
stealing from farmers and other settlers any articles which could be
eaten or sold. When one of these early bushrangers grew tired of his
freedom he gave himself up at the nearest police station and received
fifty lashes. The penalty for a second offence was twelve months in a
chain gang.

There was no adequate system of classifying the convicts. It was the
custom in advertising runaways to give the name of the man and that
of the ship in which he was transported. Then followed the personal
description, and that was all. It was admitted to be inconvenient,
but no attempt appears to have been made to improve it. Besides
this, for administration purposes, convicts were divided into three
classes according to their sentences. Thus there were men who had been
transported for "seven" years, for "fourteen" years, or for "life."
They were also classified as "young," "middle-aged," and "old," and
usually the crime for which they had been transported was specified,
but such a description gave no indication of the character of the man.
Finally they were divided into "town thieves," "rural labourers," and
"gentlemen." This was a step in the right direction, but it was too
vague to be of much use. The educated convicts were all classified as
"gentlemen" whether they came from the towns or the rural districts.[1]
It is worthy of note that the proportion of skilled labourers, or
tradesmen as they are called, was very small. Very few men who had been
apprenticed to a trade were among the convicts sent to Australia at any

There were no regulations as to hours of work, and the severe
taskmaster might work his assigned servants as many hours as he
pleased. It was generally understood that Sunday was to be a holiday,
or day of rest, but excuses were readily found for making the convicts
work on this day, and this was a fruitful source of discontent. Very
frequently men absconded on Saturday night, remained in the bush on
Sunday, and returned on Monday to take the customary fifty lashes and
resume work.

If flogging is efficacious in preventing crime, it should have made
the convict colonies the most virtuous places on earth, for the
"cat" was in almost continuous use in New South Wales and in Van
Diemen's Land. The "cat" generally used was the ordinary military
or naval cat; but "the cat used at Macquarie Harbour was a larger
and heavier instrument than that used generally for the punishment
of soldiers or sailors. It was called the thief's cat, or double
cat-o'-nine-tails. It had only the usual number of tails, but each of
these was a double twist of whipcord, and each tail had nine knots.
It was a very formidable instrument indeed."[2] How far the influence
of this barbarous instrument of torture tended to make the prisoners
at Macquarie Harbour the most reckless and ferocious of the convicts
of Australia it is unnecessary to enquire, but there can be no doubt
that its influence was for evil and not for good. It is with the
ordinary "cat," with which England in these barbarous times flogged
her defenders as ferociously as she did her prisoners, that we have
to deal; and, frightful as the tortures were which were inflicted on
the convicts, we have positive evidence that their lot was looked
upon with envy by the soldiers who guarded them. Several soldiers in
New South Wales deliberately committed crime so that they might be
convicted, in the hope that, by good conduct, they might earn some of
the indulgences open to convicts. The fact is that any prisoner who
contrived, by obsequiousness or in any other way, to make friends with
an official, had his way made easy for him, while the independent,
whether industrious or not, were ruthlessly persecuted until, in many
cases, they were finally forced to the gallows.

"The prisoners of all classes in Government are fed with the coarsest
food; governed with the most rigid discipline; subjected to the
stern, and frequently capricious and tyrannical will of an overseer;
for the slightest offence (sometimes for none at all--the victim of
false accusation) brought before a magistrate, whom the Government
has armed with the tremendous powers of a summary jurisdiction, and
either flogged, or sentenced to solitary confinement, or retransported
to an iron gang, where he must work in heavy irons, or to a penal
settlement, where he will be ruled with a rod of iron. If assigned to
a private individual he becomes a creature of chance. He may fall into
the hands of a kind indulgent master, who will reward his fidelity with
suitable acknowledgments; but, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred,
he will find his employer suspicious, or whimsical, or a blockhead,
not knowing good conduct from bad, or a despot, who treats him like a
slave, cursing and abusing, and getting him flogged for no reasonable
cause. He may be harassed to the very death--he may be worked like a
horse, and fed like a chameleon. The master, though not invested by
law with uncontrolled power, has yet great authority, which may be
abused in a thousand ways precluding redress. Even his legal power is
sufficiently formidable. A single act of disobedience is a sufficient
ground of complaint before the magistrate, and is always severely
dealt with. But, besides the master's power, the prisoners are in some
measure under a dominion to the free population at large; any man can
give him in charge without ceremony. If seen drunk, if seen tippling
in the public-house, if met after hours in the street, if unable to
pay his trifling debt, if impertinent--the free man has nothing more
to do than to send him to the watch-house, and get him punished. The
poor prisoner is at the mercy of all men."[3] This appears to be a fair
and unexaggerated statement of the conditions, and therefore it is
little cause for wonder that the general tone of morality in the colony
was low. Mr. J.T. Bigge says that "every opportunity was seized for
cheating. When the convicts attended at the store to draw their weekly
rations, supplies were frequently drawn for men not at work there.
False lists of men employed in the various gangs were made out."[4]
In fact, the Government of the Colony was a military despotism under
which corruption was rampant, so that the authorities themselves set an
example of immorality which the convicts were not slow to follow. "The
police made a considerable revenue by blackmailing convicts who were in
business."[5] Those who could pay were allowed to continue to enjoy a
freedom to which they were not legally entitled, while those who would
not, or could not, be blackmailed, to satisfy the exorbitant demands
of the so-called custodians of the peace, speedily "got into trouble,"
and were prosecuted. It was said that if a man could escape from a
country district and go to Sydney he might, if he could afford to dress
well, pass as a free man without attracting attention. A blacksmith
named Brady, assigned to Major James Mudie, of Castle Forbes, eluded
the police in this way for nearly two years. He was recognised by a
fellow convict, some time before he was captured, but this man "let
him go for £5." Such cases, however, were exceptions to the general
rule. The majority of runaways went into the bush and not into the
town, and the _Sydney and Hobart Town Gazettes_ in early times contain
numerous proclamations by the various governors calling upon all well
disposed persons to assist the military in capturing runaways. Some
of the issues of these _Gazettes_ contain columns of the names and
descriptions of persons variously styled "absconders," "absentees,"
"bolters," or "bushrangers." In these the term "bushranger" appears
most frequently in New South Wales, while "bolter" was the more popular
in Van Diemen's Land. The first bushrangers, therefore, were men who
"took to the bush" to escape work, and therefore it was quite possible
for a man to be a bushranger without committing any depredations on his
more prosperous fellows.

But laziness was not the sole cause of bushranging in early times.
A more powerful impulse perhaps was discontent, love of change.
"One of the most common indications of the misery of convicts under
existing circumstances is a passionate desire for change of place;
and when serving considerate masters they are sometimes indulged in
this by being transferred (though always as a sort of punishment) to
their disadvantage. In other cases, however, the desire becomes so
strong that they will steal, or commit some equal offence, expressly
to be condemned to a road gang or penal settlement."[6] In fact the
monotony of their lives became insupportable, even in those cases
where they were not cruelly treated. Captain Maconochie cites cases
of men who have so acted within a few months of their being entitled
to a ticket-of-leave, and who have thus forfeited their chances
of freedom in the near future. In some cases this was due to the
"inhuman treatment" of the master. In one case a valuable servant--a
blacksmith--whose time had nearly expired, was goaded into running
away so that he might be condemned to a further term of service before
obtaining his ticket-of-leave, and this was not an isolated case.

"Generally," said Dr. J.D. Lang, "the condition of the assigned
servant in New South Wales is superior to that of the farm labourer
of England. He is better clothed, better fed, and as comfortably
lodged. He is under personal restraint, not being allowed to leave
his master's property without a pass, but he has many comforts and
means of amusement which render his situation by no means irksome or
severe."[7] But it was just this restraint which the persons with
whom we are now dealing found intolerable. They had not the patience,
the long-suffering resignation of the English farm labourer. Many of
them had been English farm labourers and had found the conditions in
which they lived intolerable, and when they realised that they had not
very much improved these conditions by being sent to Australia, they
rebelled again. "The experience furnished by the penal settlements,"
said Judge Forbes, "has proved that transportation is capable of being
carried to an extreme of suffering such as to render death desirable,
and to induce many prisoners to seek it under its most appalling
aspects.... I have known cases in which it appeared that men had
committed crimes at Norfolk Island, for the mere purpose of being
sent to Sydney to be tried, and the cause of their desiring to be so
sent was to avoid the state of endurance in which they were placed in
Norfolk Island." ... Several cases occurred in which "men at Norfolk
Island cut the heads of their fellow-prisoners with the hoe while at
work, with the certainty of being detected, and the certainty of being
executed. They did this without malice, and when charged said it was
better to be hung than to live in such a hell."[8] Sir Richard Bourke
said: "Capital crimes have been committed in that penal settlement from
a desperate determination to stake the chance of capital conviction and
punishment in Sydney against the chances of escape which the passage
might afford to the accused and to the witnesses summoned to attend the
trial."[9] The early bushrangers of Australia ranged therefore from
the comparatively innocent wanderer in the bush, to such desperadoes
as these, while the crimes they committed varied from petty theft to
burglary, bank robbery, robbery on the high road, and murder. The
modern idea of a bushranger is a bold highwayman, and no doubt many of
the bushrangers come up to this ideal, but the story of the bushrangers
would not be complete if it took no note of the others.

The settlement on Norfolk Island was established with the view
of sending all the reconvicted prisoners there. It was the penal
settlement of a penal settlement. It was abandoned for a time, after
the founding of a similar settlement on the banks of the Derwent river
in Van Diemen's Land, but was re-established as a place of punishment
in connection with that colony, and many of the most notorious of
the bushrangers ended their days there, as we shall see later. It
was in the convict settlements in those islands that the greatest
brutalities were perpetrated on the prisoners, and Norfolk Island,
Macquarie Harbour, and Port Arthur were each known as "The Hell" among
the "old hands," as the convicts were called after transportation had
been abolished. It was in these settlements that the more violent
and refractory of the convicts were gradually collected, and the
history of these places tends to prove that brutality cannot be cured
by brutal means. Flogging which was an every-day occurrence had no
reformatory effect. The early bushrangers thought nothing of it. It
certainly did not deter them from absconding whenever they thought
fit. When an absconder tired of wandering about the bush, he returned
to the settlement to take his flogging "like a man." In the stories
told by the old hands, the absconder or offender in some other way was
represented as walking jauntily up to the triangles, throwing off his
jumper, placing himself in position for tying, and then, when he had
been secured, telling the flagellator to do his "d----est," and, if
the descriptions of the manner in which the floggers performed their
task which have come down to us are true, the punishment was a terrible
one. It is said that there were two floggers in Sydney who were
regarded as artists in their profession. These men performed together,
the one being right-handed and the other left. They prided themselves
on being able to flog a man without breaking the skin, and consequently
there was no blood spilled. But the back of the flogged man is
described as having been puffed up like "blown veal." The swelling
"shook like jelly," and the effects were felt for a much longer period
than when the back was cut and scored as it generally was, for we are
told that the ground, in the Barrack Square in Sydney, all round where
the triangles stood, was saturated with human blood, and the flogging
places elsewhere must have been in the same condition. But to return.
When the man had received his dose and was cast loose, he would throw
his jumper across his shoulders and walk away with a grin--or with some
such remarks as "Well, is that all you can do?---- you!" and afterwards
boast that "the---- couldn't get a whimper" out of him. I have heard a
story of a man who was flogged. The flagellator kept hitting him low
down across the loins. The prisoner turned his head round once and said
fiercely: "Hit higher, blast you!" The flogger took no notice, and the
prisoner made no other sign until he was untied. Then he knocked the
flogger down with his fist, and was immediately seized up for another

"I can assure you, from personal observation, that it is not uncommon
to see a poor wretch working on the roads, or labouring in the fields,
with his coarse shirt sticking to the green and tainted flesh of his
lacerated back, and that, too, for the most venial offence.... I
have it from unquestionable authority, that it frequently occurs in
the summer season that the eggs of the blue-fly become inserted and
hatched in the wounds of the punished offender, from which they are
occasionally extracted by some humane companion."[10]

The blow-fly in Australia, although frequently called "blue-bottle,"
is not blue. It deposits its young alive in the form of maggots, and
great care has always to be taken to prevent sores on man or beast from
being "blown." It is very common for flannel shirts, which have become
greasy from perspiration, to be blown on the backs of workmen, and the
maggots thus deposited will attack and irritate any scratch or sore
they can find if not removed quickly.

The convict, so far from having been ashamed of being flogged, boasted
of it. But nothing pleased them better than the relations of stories
about the flogging of "freemen," as those settlers who had gone to the
colonies neither as convicts nor officials were called. One story,
which may or may not be true, has been told as having occurred in every
convict district in Australia. It was to the effect that a master one
day gave a letter to an assigned servant and told him to take it to
the nearest gaol. The servant, surmising that the letter was somewhat
to the following effect:--"Dear Sir,--Please give the bearer fifty
for absconding (or what not), and oblige, yours truly, &c.," told a
plausible tale to the first freeman he met and induced him to deliver
the letter. The point of the story generally lay in the ingenuity
with which the convict induced the freeman to deliver the letter for
him, but the astonishment of the freeman when he was seized up to the
triangles in spite of his struggles and protestations, and given the
"fifty," was a perpetual source of joy and hilarity to the convicts who
heard the story. There is nothing inherently improbable in this story.
It is quite probable that the incident may have occurred more than
once. Although freemen were legally exempt from flogging, unless under
sentence of a qualified Court, many authentic instances of freemen
having been flogged have been told. Here is one. "A store-keeper in
Hobart Town had offended his neighbours, and one of them, in revenge,
posted a written placard libelling the offender. The placard was
affixed to a big gum stump at the corner of Collins and Elizabeth
Streets. Just as the complainant was putting this bill on the stump
the man libelled in it passed and called the attention of the Military
Commandant, who was near at hand at the time, to it. A sort of informal
drum-head Court Martial was held on the spot, and the libeller was
found guilty and sentenced to receive three hundred lashes, which were
administered at once, in spite of the protests of the victim that he
was a freeman and was therefore entitled to a judicial trial. When
two hundred lashes had been administered, a cry of 'Ship ho' was
raised, and the last hundred was got rid of as quickly as possible, the
Commandant, the flagellator, the spectators, and others all rushing
away to the wharf to hear the news from Europe."[11] If the law could
be thus set at defiance by a military official in the case of a free
immigrant holding a good position, what chance of justice could there
be for a convict? A story illustrating the reckless manner in which
prisoners were flogged is told by the _Launceston Advertiser_. "A
prisoner was found guilty of absconding, and sentenced to receive fifty
lashes, when some circumstances were disclosed which proved that the
prisoner was innocent, but had lost his pass. 'Never mind,' said the
Launceston magistrate, 'the warrant is signed, let him be punished now;
I will forgive him the next time he's brought up.'" The tyranny of the
officials was boundless. One Government rule was that all convicts
should take off their hats to officers and officials whenever they
passed. In January, 1839, a party of convicts was building some steps
at Woolloomooloo Bay, on Sir Maurice O'Connell's estate. Several of
them were rolling a heavy stone down to be placed in position when an
officer passed along and the convicts immediately rose up and took
their hats off. The stone rolled quickly down the steep embankment,
struck the overseer and knocked him down, almost breaking his leg.
Captain O'Connell gave orders that the men should not salute anybody
in future while at work. A few days later Colonel Wilson, Chief
Police Magistrate of Sydney, passed, accompanied by his daughter. The
convicts continued at work without noticing him. "Take off your hats,"
cried the Colonel. Several of the men did so, but Joseph Todd, who
was carrying a heavy load, took no notice. "Take off your hat, you
scoundrel," said the Colonel. Todd said he had been ordered not to.
The Colonel shouted "I'll have your back skinned for you, you rascal,"
called the sergeant of police who acted as guard, and gave Todd in
charge. Captain O'Connell appeared to defend his man and said Colonel
Wilson was trespassing and had no right to interfere with assigned
servants on their master's estate. Sergeant Goodwin deposed that the
path was a common one and people frequented it to get to the bathing
place. Sergeant Mather said that Todd had struggled when arrested.
The Bench held that Todd being an assigned servant had been guilty of
disorderly conduct in resisting the police. Had he been a freeman he
would have been justified in resisting arrest without a warrant; but,
being a prisoner, his conduct had been highly disorderly, and he was,
therefore, sentenced to receive fifty lashes. A week later Todd was
again arrested for being out after hours, and was sentenced to receive
thirty lashes. The paper in reporting this charged Colonel Wilson with
tyrannical conduct, and says that he went to see Todd flogged.[12]

I am not relating the worst cases in order to "make out a case" for the
bushrangers, but simply facts to illustrate the life in the colonies at
the time, and thus account for the large number of men who "took to the
bush," and the special Acts passed to prevent this breach of the law
were as tyrannical as the acts of the officials or the masters which
went so far to create it. The "Bushranging Act" (11 George IV., No. 10)
authorised the military or civil police to arrest any person on the
mere suspicion that he or she was illegally at large, and the onus of
proof was thrown on the suspected party. This Act was a fruitful source
of complaint. No one was safe except well known officials, and it is
said that the Act was extensively used for purposes of extortion and
black mail. A young woman was arrested by an ex-constable and charged
with being illegally at large. It was in vain that she protested that
she was "free" and did not require a pass. He insisted on taking her to
the lock-up. Fortunately, while walking along the street she met some
one who knew her and who threatened the ex-policeman with prosecution
if he did not release her. The fellow did so and was not prosecuted.
Probably had an enquiry been held it would have been found that he was
acting in collusion with the police. Even the officials were not always
safe. Mr. Jacques, the Government auctioneer, had been to a dinner
party. Being near the Custom House he decided to walk to the wharf from
whence the steamer, which ran to Balmain, started and go home in her.
Not having walked to the wharf from that point before, he found it
necessary to apply to a constable for information as to which turning
he should take, and was immediately arrested as a convict illegally at
large. In spite of his protests he was conveyed to the nearest police
station. The sergeant in charge refused to believe his story, and
thought that the presence of a well-dressed man in that quarter was
suspicious. Mr. Jacques was therefore detained till morning, when he
was recognised by the magistrate and discharged. In 1834 a circular
letter was addressed by the Governor to the various police-magistrates
in New South Wales, enquiring whether, in their opinion, the Act
should be reaffirmed or not, and the replies were by a large majority
in favour of its being continued, while others merely suggested that
it might be amended in various ways to prevent the abuses which had
grown up under its operation. Judge Burton was almost alone in his
condemnation of the Bushranging Act, which, he said, was repugnant to
the laws of England. "England and the United States of America," he
said, "are the only two countries in the world where passports are not
compulsory," and he deprecated the introduction of the passport system
into Australia. It was held that the conditions existing in the colony
made such an act necessary, and it was therefore re-enacted without
amendment.[13] It is worthy of note, as illustrating Colonial Office
procedure of that day, that it was the paid officials, and not the
public, who were consulted in this matter.

The facts being as I have stated, the wonder is not that large numbers
of prisoners "took to the bush" but that all did not do so, and the
more we study the early history of the convict settlements the less
we feel inclined to blame the early bushrangers, however savage or
atrocious their actions were. But we have not yet quite escaped from
barbarism. In spite of the positive evidence that flogging brutalises
and does not reform it is still continued. We also continue to hang
criminals, although there is no proof that it deters crime or effects
any good whatever. I do not belong to any society for the abolition of
capital punishment. I may admit that perhaps there may be men whose
death is desirable or expedient; but, if it is so, if there are men
unfit to live or whose death might add to the happiness or security
of the majority, then I think that we might extend to our fellow
creatures, however ferocious or abandoned they may be, the mercy which
we show to savage or superfluous dogs and cease from torturing them
in their last moments. Hanging has had a sufficiently lengthy trial
in Australia if it has not in England. Old residents in Sydney or in
Hobart Town or in any other locality where penal settlements have
existed can point out numbers of places where the gallows has been
erected, and in some cases trees are still standing where numbers of
men have struggled away their last few moments of life. This, however,
is not the place to enlarge upon this subject, but the story I have
to tell shows a lamentable waste of life, and many even of the more
notorious of the bushrangers have exhibited qualities which might under
happier conditions have fitted them for useful work. This is specially
true of the earlier bushrangers who were the victims generally of
unjust laws. Of the later ones, the native-born bushrangers, it is
impossible to speak in the same terms. They were not driven to crime
by want or oppression, but they were the vicious products of a vicious
past. Their crimes were due to vicious environment and education, but
they are gone now and, if we may draw some lessons of utility for the
future, even their lives may not have been altogether wasted.

From the evidence I have adduced it will be seen that the early
bushrangers were very numerous. "In one case it became known," said Mr.
James Macarthur, "that a gang of about sixty convicts, employed in the
Government gangs in Liverpool, intended to break out on a certain night
and take to the bush. It was considered advisable to allow them to
break out, proper precautions having been made to capture them. It was
the intention to attack our farming stations at Camden. We armed twelve
of the best-conducted of our convict servants, but the absconders found
that their design had been discovered and did not attempt to put it in
force."[14] Thus the bushrangers did not always go out singly, or in
twos or threes. Mr. J.T. Bigge says: "At Windsor, and in the adjoining
districts, the offence termed bushranging, or absconding in the
woods, and living upon plunder and the robbing of orchards, are most
prevalent.... At Emu Plains, or the district of Evan, gambling, absence
from work, insolence to overseers, neglect of work, and stealing, are
the most common offences.... As the population of New South Wales has,
until lately, been virtually limited to the occupation of a small
tract of land that lies between the Blue Mountains and the sea, and as
few temptations to plunder existed in the tracts contiguous to these
boundaries, excepting those that are afforded by the wild cattle in
the cow-pastures, the offence of bushranging, or continued absence in
the woods, has not of late been common. Instances have occurred of the
departure of convicts for the purpose of traversing the country with a
view to escape, of the escape of some from Newcastle, sent thither for
punishment, and their wandering and temporary existence in the vicinity
of Windsor; and latterly, a few instances of escape from the road
parties in the districts of Liverpool and Bathurst; but there has been
no systematic or continued efforts of desperate convicts to defy the
attempts of the local Government in New South Wales, or to subsist by
plunder, such as have existed until a very late period in Van Diemen's

It is in Van Diemen's Land, therefore, that our story of the more
serious phases of bushranging first begins.


[Footnote 1: Evidence of Sir Francis Forbes, Chief Justice of New South
Wales. Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, July,

[Footnote 2: Despatch from Governor Macquarie to Earl Bathurst, June
28, 1813.]

[Footnote 3: _Sydney Gazette_, November 20, 1830.]

[Footnote 4: Commission of Enquiry into the state of the colony of New
South Wales, 1822.]

[Footnote 5: Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on
Transportation, July, 1837.]

[Footnote 6: Report by Captain Maconochie, forwarded to the Colonial
Office by Sir John Franklin, October 7th, 1837.]

[Footnote 7: Select Committee of the House of Commons on
Transportation, August, 1838.]

[Footnote 8: Select Committee of the House of Commons on
Transportation, August, 1838.]

[Footnote 9: Despatch to Colonial Office, entitled "Administration of
Justice at Norfolk Island, November, 1838."]

[Footnote 10: Secondary Punishments discussed by an Emigrant of
1821.--_Launceston Advertiser_.]

[Footnote 11: History of Van Diemen's Land from 1820 to 1835.]

[Footnote 12: _Sydney Gazette._]

[Footnote 13: Dispatch of Governor Bourke to the Colonial Office, 1835.]

[Footnote 14: Select Committee of the House of Commons on
Transportation, July, 1837.]

[Footnote 15: Commission of Enquiry into the state of the colony of New
South Wales, 1822.]


  Van Diemen's Land; The First Bushranger; Mike Howe, the King of the
  Ranges; The Raid on the Blacks; The Black War; Musquito; Outrages
  by the Blacks; Brutal Treatment of Blacks by Bushrangers; A War of
  Reprisals; Gigantic Scheme to Capture the Blacks; A Cordon Drawn
  Round the Disaffected District; Details of the Scheme; Its Failure;
  Only Two Blacks Captured; Estimated Cost; Fate of the Blacks.

The first settlement in Van Diemen's Land was founded in 1803, when
a penal establishment, to which the more refractory of the prisoners
in Sydney might be despatched, was founded on the banks of the River
Derwent. Subsequently other penal stations were opened, and of these
we shall hear later. The island continued to be the chief penal
establishment of New South Wales until 1825, when it was erected into
an independent colony. The first shipment of convicts, direct from
England to Van Diemen's Land, took place in 1823, and from that date,
until transportation to the island finally ceased, in 1853, 64,306
convicts were sent to that colony from the British Isles. The number
sent previously from New South Wales was not large, nevertheless
it included the majority of the most turbulent of the convicts and
relieved the mother colony of their charge and control. The island was
in fact "nothing but a jail on a large scale."[16] The early conditions
in the colony appear to have been favourable to bushranging. In 1805
there was such a dearth of food stuffs, owing to the non-arrival of
store ships from Sydney, that a famine appeared to be imminent and,
to relieve the store, the Lieutenant Governor ordered the liberation
of the convicts and sent them into the woods to catch kangaroo and
other wild animals for food. When the stores arrived and food became
plentiful, the attempts to recall the convicts were only partially
successful. Many had learned how to subsist in the bush and disregarded
the proclamations issued by the Lieutenant Governor ordering them to
return to work. At first the bushrangers or bolters were similar to
those of New South Wales and contented themselves with petty thefts.
The first proclamation in which reference is made to "a gang of
bushrangers" was published in the Hobart Town _Gazette_ by Lieutenant
Governor Davey and dated September 10th, 1810. It offered rewards and
indulgences to convicts for the capture of any members of a gang which,
under the leadership of a convict named Whitehead, had been committing
depredations on the property of settlers and farmers in the vicinity of
Hobart Town.

Whitehead, therefore, was the first to organise a gang which combined
highway robbery with burglary and petty larceny. Bushrangers were not
at that time specialists. From time to time other proclamations were
issued in which this gang was mentioned, but it was not until May 14th,
1813, that a special proclamation was published, calling upon the
"bolters" to surrender. Those who neglected to obey this order were to
be proclaimed "outlaws" on December 1st.

Very few particulars are published about this gang in the newspapers,
and the proclamations rarely specify the facts in connection with the
robberies committed. The newspapers of the time seldom mention the
names of the bushrangers, and appear to have been quite as averse to
mentioning the Christian names as the modern English papers are those
of professional cricketers. Thus Whitehead is referred to as "the
convict Whitehead," or the "notorious bushranger Whitehead," and so
on. He is debited, however, with one horrible crime. The gang captured
a half-crazy fellow named John Hopkins, and accused him of trying to
betray them. As a punishment for this offence a pair of moccassins,
roughly made of bullock hide, was fitted on to his feet, and in these
were placed a number of the great red ants, commonly known in Australia
as "bull-dog" or "soldier" ants (_myrmecia gulosa_). These ants are
an inch and a quarter long, and of most ferocious appearance. They are
the dread of the colonists. They sting quite as severely as a bee or a
hornet. But a bee stings only once, while a soldier ant will continue
to sting until removed. It is always ready to fight, and never lets go
when it has taken hold; hence its popular names. The horrible barbarity
of such a punishment can be best appreciated, perhaps, by those who
have inadvertently stood on a "soldier's" bed or nest. The victim is
said to have died in agony.

Whitehead was shot by a party of soldiers in October, 1814, and Michael
Howe, commonly called the "First of the Australian Bushrangers,"
was elected captain of the gang in his stead. Mike Howe, as he was
usually called, was transported from England for highway robbery, and
soon after his arrival at Sydney "got into trouble," and was again
transported to Van Diemen's Land, where his violence caused him to
be repeatedly flogged and otherwise punished. He made his escape
and joined Whitehead's gang, and soon, by his superior education,
gained an ascendency over his comrades. His previous experiences as
a footpad in England no doubt tended to fit him for the leadership
of the gang, and he is still regarded as one of the most notable
of the revolters against law and order in the colonies. One of his
earlier achievements was to organise a raid on a tribe of blacks for
the purpose of providing himself and his comrades with wives. This is
said to have been the first act in the tragedy which closed with the
complete annihilation of the blacks of the island. The savages, of
course, resisted, and many of them were shot, and the women were forced
away to the bushrangers' camp. In revenge, the blacks attacked, not the
bushrangers' camp, but the houses of settlers who had no connection
with the bushrangers, and fights between the settlers and the blacks
became frequent. Some of the black women seem to have become reconciled
to the change, and Howe's "wife," Black Mary, is associated with him in
most of the stories told of him. It is said that it was her knowledge
of the bush which enabled him to escape so frequently from the military
bands sent out to capture him.

Howe addressed a letter "From the Bushrangers to the Hon. T. Davey,
Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land," in which he protested
against the charge, made against himself and his mates in the
proclamations, of having been guilty of "horrid and detestable
crimes." He asserted that he had never committed murder and had only
used violence when it was necessary to avoid capture. The letter was
conveyed to Hobart Town by an American whaler named Richard Westlick,
who had an interview with his Excellency, and was sent back with a
verbal message that the Governor "did not wish to take the life of any
man," but merely to preserve order. If, therefore, Howe, or any of his
comrades, would surrender no charges should be made against them for
their acts while "in the bush." No notice was taken of this generous
offer, and the depredations continued. Later on Mike Howe addressed a
letter "From the Governor of the Ranges to the Governor of the Town,"
and sent it to Lieutenant Governor Sorell, who had succeeded Colonel
Davey. In this the bushranger offered to give himself up on condition
that he received a free pardon. He demanded that some recognised
official should be sent to meet him at an appointed spot, so that they
might "confer as gentleman to gentleman." The fact that this insolent
offer was accepted affords incontrovertible evidence of the power of
the bushrangers, and shows the anxiety of the Governor to put a stop
to the robberies which harassed the industrious settlers and made the
roads of the colony unsafe. Captain Nairne, of the 46th Regiment, was
sent out to meet the bushranger, and the result of their conference
"as gentlemen" was that Howe accompanied the Captain back to Hobart
Town. On his arrival there he was informed that the Lieutenant Governor
had no power to grant pardons, but that he would write to Governor
Macquarie in Sydney and urge him to grant a pardon without delay. Howe
agreed to wait in Hobart Town. He was liberated on parole, and soon
became very popular in the city. Then a rumour began to spread to the
effect that Howe had committed no less than four murders, not reckoning
the blacks he had killed, and that, therefore, the Governor declined
to grant him a pardon. As soon as Howe heard this rumour he, without
waiting for its confirmation, broke his parole and returned to the
bush. A proclamation was immediately issued declaring him an outlaw,
and offering one hundred pounds reward for his capture, dead or alive.
Smaller rewards were offered for other members of his gang, whose names
were known.

The estimates of the strength of his gang vary extremely from time to
time. Sometimes he is said to have a hundred or more followers, while
frequently he is represented as acting alone or in company with only
one or two others. The facts appear to be that many men, who merely
"bolted" into the bush as a relief to the monotony of their lives,
became bushrangers; and, when hard pressed, or when they tired of that
pursuit, returned to the town, gave themselves up, and were punished as
ordinary bolters. One day, not very long after his escape from Hobart
Town, Howe was surprised while asleep by two ticket-of-leave men named
Watts and Drew. They captured and tied him. Howe fought like a lion and
contrived to break the rope with which he was tied. He snatched a knife
and stabbed Watts. He then seized Watts' gun and shot Drew dead. Watts
ran away, while Howe was employed in re-loading the gun, and managed
to secrete himself in the scrub for a time. When the way was clear he
crawled to a farm and gave information. He was cared for as well as
circumstances permitted, but he died from loss of blood before a doctor
could be brought to him. Howe was followed by the military, but escaped.

Several skirmishes took place between Howe and his gang and the
soldiers, and more than one of his accomplices were shot, but the
chief always contrived to get away. At length a kangaroo hunter named
Warburton led William Pugh, a soldier commonly known as "Big Bill," and
a seaman named John Worrall, to where Howe was camped under a gum tree.
A terrific fight took place, Howe's brains being beaten out before it
was over.

In his review of this period, Mr. J.T. Bigge said: "The excesses of
the bushrangers in the neighbourhood of Port Dalrymple, and likewise
near Hobart Town, had attained their utmost height and most sanguinary
character at the latter end of the year 1813. They had been joined
by two persons who had held subordinate stations in the commisariat
department, named Peter Mills and George Williams, and continued
a system of violent depredations upon the homes and property of
individuals of every description. So great was the intimidation
produced by their combined efforts, that the inhabitants of several
districts abandoned their dwellings and removed for safety to the
towns.... Colonel Davey issued a proclamation offering rewards for the
apprehension of a party of nine, and with the advice of Mr. Ellis Bent
another proclamation calling upon them to surrender before December
1st.... The effect of this was the reverse of what was intended. It
increased the crimes and audacity of the bushrangers during the six
months that it allowed for their return; they profited by the pardon
by making a temporary surrender, and then resumed their habits of
plunder.... Hector McDonald, the leader, was shot by two convicts sent
in pursuit of a gang of four. Another was shot by a soldier of the 48th
regiment, and the other three were captured and on conviction flogged
and transported."[17]

For the time, bushranging in Van Diemen's Land was said to have been
put down, but "the Guerilla War" between the whites and the blacks,
inaugurated by the bushrangers, continued. Mr. Gilbert Robertson was
appointed conciliator, with a view to arranging terms of peace, but he
was not very successful. Several proclamations were issued assuring the
blacks that if they would come in and make peace the Government would
endeavour to protect them against their enemies the bushrangers; but,
as was pointed out at the time, issuing proclamations to savages who
could not read was absurd. Then a pictorial proclamation was issued. In
one portion the governor was shown shaking hands with a blackfellow;
in others blacks and whites were exhibited mingling together in
friendship. In the two bottom compartments a white man was shown being
hung for having shot a black, while a blackfellow was being hung for
having speared a white man. Copies of this pictorial proclamation
were posted on trees and other places where the blacks might see it.
Lieutenant Governor Arthur in fact, on his arrival in the colony, tried
by every means in his power to appeal to the blacks and whites alike.
He endeavoured to restrain the settlers from attacking and driving the
blacks away from their farms whenever they appeared, as had become the
custom, but some new outrage by the bushrangers gave a new impulse to
the feud, and the settlers were compelled to fight in self-defence. In
one of his despatches to the Colonial Secretary Governor Arthur said:
"It is not a matter of surprise that the injuries real or supposed,
inflicted on the blacks, have been avenged upon the whites whenever
an occasion presents itself; and I regret to say that the natives
led on by a Sydney black, and by two aborigines of this island, men
partially civilised (a circumstance which augurs ill for any endeavour
to instruct these abject beings), have committed many murders upon the
shepherds and herdsmen in remote settlements.... I have long indulged
the expectation that kindness and forbearance would have brought about
something like a reconciliation, but the repeated murders which have
been committed have so greatly inflamed the passions of the settlers,
that petitions and complaints have been presented from every part of
the colony, and the feeling of resentment now runs so high that further
forbearance would be totally indefensible."[18]

The Sydney black here mentioned was known as Musquito. He was
transported to Van Diemen's Land for the murder of a black gin
(presumably his wife, which is no crime according to native law) in
1823, and having been employed on a cattle station in New South Wales,
was appointed stock-keeper. Later, he was employed as a tracker, and
aided the soldiers in capturing some of the bushrangers. For this he
was so persecuted by his fellow convicts that life became a burden
to him. He appealed to the authorities for protection; but, as this
was not accorded to him, he became a bushranger himself. "Perhaps
taken collectively the sable natives of this colony are the most
peaceable creatures in the universe. Certainly so taken they have never
committed any acts of cruelty, or even resisted the whites, unless
when insufferably goaded by provocation. The only tribe who have done
any mischief were corrupted by Musquito, a Sydney black, who, with
much perverted cunning, taught them a portion of his own villainy, and
incited them after a time to join in his delinquencies."[19]

Knowing, as we do, the general character of the Australian blacks, it
seems strange that one of them should prove himself so much superior
to the Van Diemen's Land blacks as Musquito is represented to have
done. But however that may be, there can be no doubt as to his skill in
organisation. Some of his attacks on settlers were so skilfully planned
and carried out, that many persons believed that the blacks had been
led by a white man. After about two years of bushranging, Musquito and
Black Jack, the two leaders, were captured. Musquito was charged with
the murder of William Holyoak, and Mr. Gilbert Robertson appeared in
his defence. Mr. Robertson urged that the murders committed by Musquito
were in self defence. Had he been protected by the Government, as he
should have been after the services he had rendered, he would never
have taken to the bush. He related many instances to show the skill of
the black, and among others, said that he had seen him "cut the head
off a flying pigeon with a crooked stick."[20] This seems to indicate
that however intimately Mr. Robertson might be acquainted with the Van
Diemen's Land blacks he had no acquaintance with the boomerang. In
spite of the conciliator's efforts Musquito was convicted and sentenced
to death. When the sentence had been pronounced Musquito said, "Hanging
no---- good for blackfellow." Mr. Bisdee asked him "Why not as good for
blackfellow as for whitefellow?" "Oh," exclaimed Musquito, "Very good
for whitefellow. He used to it." Black Jack was convicted of the murder
of Patrick Macartney. The only English known by Black Jack was of the
"old hands oaths brand." The two blacks were hung in Hobart Town, but
"The Black War" continued.

"The deadly antipathy which was excited between the aborigines and
the bushrangers of Van Diemen's Land provoked a series of outrages
which would have terminated in the utter extinction of the whole race,
if the local Government had not interposed to remove the last remnant
of them from the island; an act of real mercy, though of apparent
severity."[21] Before proceeding to describe this attempt to save the
remnant of the race we may perhaps give a list of the "Atrocities
committed by the blacks." It is not a very long one, taking into
consideration the time occupied in the war. In March, 1820, forty-nine
natives attacked Mr. Broadribb's house. They were divided into several
parties which came up from different points simultaneously. One man was
speared in the thigh before the blacks were repulsed. They all went
away together and stripped Mr. Thomson's house of everything portable.
They then proceeded to Mr. E. Denovan's and robbed his place. On April
1st John Raynor was speared and dreadfully beaten at Spring Bay. On
May 18th a party of blacks attacked two men employed by Mr. Lord. One
was dangerously speared and the other beaten. The hut was stripped.
On June 1st Mr. Sherwin's hut, at Weasel Plain, was plundered, and on
the 15th, Den Hut, at Lake River, was stripped bare, and Mary Daniels
and her two children murdered. On August 7th, S. Stockman's hut, at
Green Ponds, was plundered. On the 9th, some muskets, powder, and shot
were stolen from the huts of Mr. Sharland, a Government surveyor. On
the same day the Government hut, between Borthwick and Blue Ash, was
robbed, several horses stolen from Mr. Wood and Mr. Pitcairn, and a man
wounded at Mr. Purvis's. This party consisted of about forty blacks.
They were met by Mr. Howell's party, and the blacks were driven off
after a fight. A woman living near was wounded with a spear. On the
23rd, the huts of Mr. J. Connell and Mr. Robertson were attacked, and
the latter plundered; Mr. Sutherland's shepherds were robbed of their
arms and one of them wounded; some arms were taken from Mr. Taylor's
hut. The next day James Hooper was killed, and his hut plundered. The
huts of Lieutenants Bell and Watts were attacked, but the blacks were
repulsed. On September 8th Captain Clark's shepherd was attacked, but
contrived to escape. On the 13th one man was killed and another wounded
on the banks of the Tamar River. On the 14th a man working at the
Government lime kilns at Bothwell was attacked, but escaped. On the
18th a private of the 63rd Regiment was speared and two other soldiers
wounded. One of the savages was killed. On the 27th Francis Booker was
killed with spears, and on the next day three men at Major Gray's hut
were wounded. On the same day two men were killed at Mr. G. Scott's
place and their bodies thrown into the river. A third man was wounded,
but escaped into the bush. The house was stripped of everything. This
robbery was so systematically carried through that it was believed that
the blacks had been led by white men. A hut on the opposite side of
the road was also stripped. On October 16th the settlement at Sorell
was attacked, one man being killed and another severely wounded. Four
houses were stripped. On the 18th Captain Stewart's shepherd was killed
and a settler, Mr. Gilders, was also speared and died. On the 19th,
Messrs. Gatehouse and Gordon's house was attacked, but the blacks were
repulsed. They were also driven away from Mr. Gaugel's place, but not
before he was severely wounded. On November 19th two huts were robbed
on the Ouse River. Captain Wight's shepherd was killed and dreadfully
mangled. His body was found later. On the 27th a hut on the Esk River
was stripped bare. On February 3rd, 1821, an attack was made on Mr.
Burrell's house on the Tamar River. Mr. Wallace was severely wounded in
several places, and a child was also wounded by a spear. L. Knight's
hut was plundered, three horses belonging to Mr. Sutherland were killed
and three others were wounded. His hut at North Esk was also plundered.
Mrs. McCaskell was killed near Westbury, and her hut plundered of
everything. An attack made on Mr. Stewart's house was repulsed. On
March 8th, two sawyers were wounded, and two huts near New Norfolk were
plundered. On the 12th, Mrs. Cunningham and her child were severely
wounded, and her hut at East Arm plundered. Mr. Lawrence's servant
was wounded, and three men were wounded on Norfolk Plains. On April
5th, T. Ralton was killed with a spear while splitting wood. On the
16th, Mr. Fitzgerald was sitting at the door of his hut reading, when
a blackfellow sneaked up and drove a spear through him, after which
his cottage was plundered. On the 17th, another attack was made on
Fitzgerald's house. On May 10th, the Government store at Patrick Plains
was burned down. Mr. Kemp's establishment at Lake Sorell was attacked
by a large mob of blacks. Two men were killed, one wounded, the
buildings were burned down and the firearms carried away. On June 6th,
several huts were attacked at Hunter's Hill. Mrs. Triffet was speared
and her house plundered, the huts of Messrs. Marnetti, Bell, and Clark
were robbed, and Mrs. N. Long was killed. On September 5th, Thomas
Smith was killed at Tapsley, and his hut plundered; John Higginson
was killed and his hut robbed, and a sawyer's hut was plundered. On
the 7th, Mr. B.B. Thomas and his overseer, Mr. Parker, were murdered
near Port Sorell, while endeavouring to carry out the conciliatory
policy of the Government. Mr. Stocker's hut was attacked, a man named
Cupid killed, and a child wounded. On the 27th, Mr. Dawson's hut on
Bushy Plains was attacked, and a man severely beaten. On the 23rd, Mr.
Dawson's man Hughes was again beaten with waddies and nearly killed. On
October 13th, the natives, armed with muskets, attacked and robbed the
house of Constable Reid, and afterwards that of Mr. Amos Junior.[22]

This report covers only a portion of the time during which the war
lasted, but it sufficiently indicates the character of the war. When
the blacks attacked the cottages, or huts as they are called in
Australia, of shepherds, sawyers, splitters, and other workers, they
were frequently successful, but were generally repulsed when they
attacked the residences or houses of the employers. The manner in
which the blacks fought struck terror into the hearts of the settlers.
No one was safe. At any time, day or night, a party of blacks might
sneak up and, with wild yells, spear men, women, and children, old or
young, without warning. Their patience in tracking was indomitable.
If they could not effect a surprise they withdrew and waited. No
doubt, as the advocates of the cause of the blacks said, the number of
whites killed was much smaller than the number of blacks slaughtered
by bushrangers in their lust and by settlers and soldiers in defence.
But it can be readily understood that the position of the settlers was
intolerable. Every attempt to drive the blacks away from the settled
districts only provoked fresh reprisals, while every attempt at
conciliation failed until at length it became evident that the blacks
must be either captured or killed. It was therefore with a view to
saving the blacks that Lieutenant Governor Arthur urged the necessity
of capturing and removing them from Van Diemen's Land to one of the
Islands in Bass's Straits. In his despatches to Governor Bourke and to
the Colonial Office, he said that it was utterly impossible to restrain
the colonists, so great was their rage at the murders of peaceful
citizens, and especially of women and children, while all his attempts
at conciliation had failed in consequence of the continual outrages
committed on the blacks by the bushrangers. Mr. Gilbert Robertson said:
"One day a settler was riding across his grounds looking for cattle.
He jumped his horse over a log, and while doing so caught the sparkle
of a pair of eyes gleaming from the shadow of the log. He pulled
up, wheeled his horse round and dismounted, thinking he had found a
kangaroo, but on pulling some brush away saw a poor cowering black
trying to hide himself, but there was no mercy in the heart of the
settler. He cocked his gun and shot the black in cold blood."[23] The
story is a very pathetic one, but perhaps the settler had had reason to
know that "the poor cowering black" was sneaking up to the settlement
to murder any unsuspecting man, woman, or child he might come across.
Hiding behind logs, crawling through brush, was the ordinary method of
fighting employed by the Van Diemen's Land aborigines, and had he not
been on the war path he would not have resorted to this secret manner
of travelling but would have stood out boldly. The blacks are not
cowards, and are not afraid of showing themselves, as a rule, after
their first superstitious fear of the white man passes away. This being
the general experience of bushmen, the settler may have been justified
in killing the black. He may have been simply treating him according to
the blackfellow's own rule in war time. But although we may acquit the
settler of blame by such reasoning, the existence of such conditions
as to necessitate such a war is not the less deplorable. The whites
all carried arms when travelling, and even while working about their
homes. Shepherds and other workmen went in pairs. There was no safety
anywhere outside the cleared lands round the larger towns. Reviewing
the whole situation from our present standpoint, it is difficult to say
what other measures could have been adopted than those tried by the
Government. The authorities were apparently incapable of controlling
the bushrangers, nor could they prevent convicts from running away,
and these outlaws appear to have always considered the blacks as
fair game. Mr. Robertson tells us that a convict known as "Carrots"
boasted shortly before his death that, "having killed a native in his
attempt to carry off the black's wife, he cut off the dead man's head
and obliged the woman to go with him carrying it suspended round her
neck."[24] Is it any wonder that even such "passive and inoffensive
creatures" as the Van Diemen's Land blacks are said to have been,
should have been aroused to fury by such methods? But although the
Government had no control over the convicts in the bush, and such
outrages as this were not known of until long after they had occurred,
it can scarcely be said that even Governor Arthur, in spite of his
earnest desire to protect the blacks, was altogether blameless. The
whole policy of the Government in relation to the blacks was weak and
vacillating. Governor Arthur promised a native, known as Teague, a boat
on condition that he should assist in the capture of some bushrangers.
The black performed his share of the work, but he never got his boat,
and is said to have fretted himself to death in consequence. The Sydney
black, Musquito, was forced "into the bush" by the failure of the
Government to protect him against the persecution due to the manner
in which he had been employed in the service of that Government. In
September, 1826, two blacks were hung in Hobart Town "to impress the
others." Nothing could be more absurd than this, and it was far more
barbarous a method of reprisal than the shooting of a "poor cowering
black." But the Government was not even consistent in its savagery.
At the trial of Eumarrah Mr. Robertson pleaded that the black was
justified in resisting the invaders of his country in any and every
way; and, on his undertaking to remove Eumarrah to Flinders Island,
where he had collected about thirty-eight blacks under the charge of
missionaries, the plea was accepted and the prisoner was handed over to
him. By this time, however, the war had become so vindictive that even
the authorities in London recognised that the blacks must be captured
or annihilated, and consequently permission was granted to Governor
Arthur to put in practice the most extraordinary project perhaps ever

In April, 1828, a proclamation was issued which, after describing the
state of tension which existed between whites and blacks, exhorted
all well-disposed persons to assist the Government in attempting to
establish peace and order. The proclamation went on to explain that a
cordon was to be drawn round the disturbed area and that this was to be
gradually contracted until the natives were either captured or driven
across the narrow isthmus which connects Tasman's peninsula with the
main portion of the island. "But I do, nevertheless, hereby strictly
order, enjoin, and command, that the actual use of arms be in no case
resorted to, by firing against any of the natives, or otherwise, if
they can by other measures be captured."

The force employed in this gigantic scheme is said to have been about
two thousand two hundred men, of whom five hundred and fifty were
soldiers belonging to the 63rd, the 57th, and the 17th regiments. The
whole force was divided into parties of about ten each, and one of
these was appointed a leader. On October 7th, a chain of posts was
established from St. Patrick's Head along the rivers St. Paul, South
Esk, Macquarie, and Meander, under the command of Major Douglas, of
the 63rd regiment. A similar chain of posts was formed from the Derwent
River along the River Dee to the Lakes, under Captain Wentworth, of
the 63rd regiment. A third party, under Captain Donaldson, of the 57th
regiment, was stationed in the rear to capture any blacks who might
escape through the front line. Captain Moriarty, R.N., in charge of
a party, was appointed to scour between the lines and to drive the
natives forward or capture them. Mr. Gilbert Robertson and other
friends of the blacks acted with this group of parties with the object
of persuading such natives as they might meet to surrender quietly.
For about three weeks the posts were advanced slowly, and frequent
reports were circulated that the beaters had seen parties of blacks
and that they were going in the desired direction. On the 25th Mr.
Walpole reported that he had come on a camp of blacks and saw them
lighting their fires and cooking as if nothing unusual was going on.
He watched all night, and just before daybreak crept up slowly and
found five blacks asleep. He seized one and held him after a desperate
struggle, during which the black bit him severely on the arm. A boy
of about fifteen was captured by another settler who was with Mr.
Walpole, and these two were handed over to the authorities and conveyed
to the nearest police station to be kept until the remainder were
captured. On the 26th Lieutenant Ovens saw a black with a firestick
apparently trying to sneak through the lines. He ran forward and the
black retreated into the bush. Several other blacks were turned back
from other points in the line. These also carried firesticks. On the
27th the cordon had been drawn so close that the escape of the blacks
within the line was considered impossible, but as no reports had been
made for some time of any blacks having been seen, some discontent was
manifested by the hunters. On the 31st an order was issued from the
camp at Sorrell rivulet to close in, and hopes were expressed that no
blacks would be permitted to escape in the final rush. The following
day the lines closed in, and no blacks escaped. There was none there
to escape. They had slipped through the lines as soon as they became
aware that they were being hunted, and the man and boy caught by Mr.
Walpole's party were the only blacks captured. A proclamation was
published next day, in which the Governor thanked the settlers for
their services, and regretted that their efforts had not been more
successful. In a despatch sent to the Colonial Secretary, Governor
Arthur said, "I regret to report that the measures which I had the
honour to lay before you terminated without the capture of either
of the native tribes,"[25] and that was all that was said about it
officially. It has been estimated that the scheme cost the colony some
£35,000, but no particulars were published, and therefore all estimates
of cost are mere guesses.

From a humanitarian point of view it is to be regretted that it did
not succeed, but the fact that it could be attempted proves how little
was known of the blacks by the authorities. The fact that the blacks,
who were said to be endeavouring to escape through the lines, held
firesticks in their hands proves that they were then unaware of the
intention of the whites, and they were probably outside the lines very
shortly after it had been thus intimated to them that they were being
hunted. But it is doubtful whether the race could have been preserved
if they had been removed in large numbers from Van Diemen's Land. Mr.
Gilbert Robertson and his successor, Mr. G.A. Robinson, succeeded in
removing about 130 blacks to Flinders Island, where, although they were
under the care of missionaries, they gradually died off. It was not
recognised in those days that compelling the blacks to wear clothes
induces skin diseases which soon prove fatal. The only way to preserve
the Australian blacks is to leave them alone, and the knowledge of this
fact came too late to save the Tasmanians.


[Footnote 16: History of Van Diemen's Land from 1820 to 1835.]

[Footnote 17: Commission of Enquiry into the state of the Colony of New
South Wales, 1822-3.]

[Footnote 18: Despatch dated April 17th, 1828.]

[Footnote 19: _Hobart Town Gazette._]

[Footnote 20: Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons,

[Footnote 21: Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons,

[Footnote 22: Despatch from Governor Arthur to Earl Bathurst, dated
October 13, 1831.]

[Footnote 23: Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons,

[Footnote 24: Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons,

[Footnote 25: Despatch dated June 27th, 1835.]


  Pierce the Cannibal; A Terrible Journey; A Shocking Confession;
  Escapes from "the Western Hell"; The Ruffian Jefferies; Brady the
  Bushranger; Escapes from Macquarie Harbour; Sticks up the Town of
  Sorell; The Governor's Proclamation; Brady Laughs at it; The Fight
  with Colonel Balfour; Betrayed by a Comrade; Captured by John Batman;
  Sympathy at his Trial; End of the Epoch.

In a despatch to the Colonial Secretary in 1822, Lieutenant Governor
Arthur said that bushranging had been "totally suppressed in Van
Diemen's Land during the past three years," or since the breaking up
of Howe's gang. But the happy conditions suggested by this report
were not destined to last. There was still a number of runaways or
bolters in the bush, but bushranging had by this time come to mean the
commission of more serious crimes than petty larceny, and it was in
this sense that the Governor made use of the term. We have, however,
not yet arrived at the time when others, besides highwaymen, can be
excluded. The next illustration is, perhaps, the most terrible of all
the events connected with bushranging, although it concerns only the
bushrangers themselves. On September 20th, 1822, Alexander Pierce, Bob
Greenhill, Mathew Travers, Thomas Bodenham, Bill Cornelius or Kenelly,
James Brown, John Mathers, and Alexander Dalton made their escape from
the recently-founded penal station at Macquarie Harbour. According to
Pierce's confession it appears that they "made it up for to take a
boat" and proceed to Hobart Town. Greenhill being at work at the mines,
"we had to call for him, he being a good navigator." Greenhill smashed
up the miners' chests with an axe, and took all their provisions. "We
then put out all the fires with buckets of water, so that the miners
could not signal our escape; but, when we were a quarter of a mile
out we saw fires all along the beach, so we could not have put them
all out. We thought a boat would be despatched after us, so we went a
little further and then landed. We knew it was no use trying to go by
water, so we broke up the boat. We then proceeded to the side of the
mountain right opposite the settlement. We were afraid that Dr. Spence
or the Commandant would see us with the spy glass, the settlement being
so plain to us. So we agreed to lie down until the sun went round. When
the sun was behind the hill we went to the top, kindled a fire, and
camped all night. Next morning we started again, and walked all day.
Little Brown, who came back, and died in the hospital, was the worst
walker of all. He was always behind, and kept cooeying. So we said we
would leave him behind if he did not keep up. We kept off Gordon River
for fear the soldiers might be after us. We travelled from daylight
till dark night over very rough country for eight days. We were very
weak for want of provisions. Our tinder got wet and we were very cold
and hungry. Bill Cornelius said 'I'm so hungry I could eat a piece
of a man.' The next morning there were four of us for a feast. Bob
Greenhill said he had 'seen the like done before and it eat much like
pork.' Mathers spoke out and said it would be murder; and perhaps then
we could not eat it. 'I'll warrant you,' said Greenhill, 'I'll eat the
first bit; but, you must all lend a hand, so that we'll all be equal
in the crime.' We consulted about who should fall, and Greenhill said,
'Dalton, he volunteered to be a flogger. We will kill him.' We made a
bit of a breakwind with boughs, and about three in the morning Dalton
was asleep. Then Greenhill struck him on the head with an axe and he
never spoke after. Greenhill called Travers, and he cut Dalton's throat
to bleed him. Then we dragged him away a bit and cut him up. Travers
and Greenhill put his heart and liver on the fire and ate them before
they were right warm. The others refused to eat any that night, but the
next morning it was cut up and divided and we all got our share. We
started a little after sunrise. One man was appointed each day to walk
ahead and make a road. He carried nothing but a tomahawk. The others
carried the things. This morning Cornelius and Brown said they would go
ahead together and carry the pots. We had not gone far when the leaders
were missing. We went back to look for them, but could see no signs of
them. We said, 'They will go back and hang us all,' but we thought they
would not find the way, so we went on. We walked for four days through
bad country, till we came to a big river. We thought it was the Gordon.
We stopped a day and two nights looking for a place to cross. We felled
trees, but the stream was too strong and carried them away. Travers
and Bodenham couldn't swim, but at last we got over and cut a pole
thirty or forty feet long and reached it across, where there was a rock
jutting out into the river, and pulled them across. We got up the hill
with great difficulty, it was so steep. The ground was very barren on
the other side, and covered with scrub. We were very weak and hungry.
A consultation was held as to who should be the next victim. Bodenham
did not know anything about it, and it was resolved to kill him. Me and
Mathers went to gather wood, Travers saying, 'You'll hear it directly.'
About two minutes after Mathers said, 'He's done; Greenhill hit him
with the axe and Travers cut his throat.' Greenhill took Bodenham's
shoes and put them on, for his own were very bad. We ate only the
heart and liver that night. Next day we camped and dried the meat. We
travelled on for three days, and saw many emus and kangaroos, but could
not catch them. Mathers and me went away together, and Mathers said,
'Let us go on by ourselves. You see what kind of a cove Greenhill is.
He'd kill his own father before he'd fast for a day.' We travelled on
for two days more. We boiled a piece of the meat, and it made Mathers
so sick that he began to vomit. Greenhill started up and hit him on
the forehead with the axe. Although he was cut, he was still stronger
than Greenhill. He called out, 'Pierce, will you see me murdered?'
and rushed at Greenhill. He took the axe from him and threw it to
me. We walked on till night, and then Travers and Greenhill collared
Mathers and got him down. They gave him half an hour to pray. When the
half-hour was up Mathers handed the prayer-book to me and Greenhill
killed him. When crossing the second tier of mountains Travers got his
foot stung by an insect and it swelled up. On the other side we got to
a big river and camped for two nights. Me and Greenhill swam across
and cut a long wattle, and pulled Travers over as he could not swim.
Here the country got better and we travelled well for two days. Then
Travers' foot got black, and he said he couldn't go any further. He
asked us to leave him to die in peace. When we were a little way away,
Greenhill said: 'Pierce, it's no use for to be detained any longer;
let's serve him like the rest.' I replied, 'I'll have no hand in it.'
When we went back Travers was lying on his back asleep. It was about
two o'clock in the day. Greenhill lifted the axe and hit him on the
head, and then cut his throat. We crossed the third tier of mountains
and got into fine country, the grass being very long. Greenhill began
to fret, and said he would never reach a post. I watched Greenhill
for two nights and thought that he eyed me more than usual. He always
carried the axe and kept it under his head when lying down. At length,
just before daybreak, Greenhill dozed off to sleep, and I snatched
the axe and killed him with a blow. I took a thigh and one arm and
travelled on four more days until the last was eaten. I then walked for
two days with nothing to eat I took off my belt meaning to hang myself,
but took another turn and travelled on till I came to a fire with some
pieces of kangaroo and opossum lying beside it. I ate as much as I
could and carried the rest away. Some days later I came to a marsh. I
saw a duck with ten young ones. I jumped into the water and the duck
flew off, while the little ones dived. Two of them came up close to my
legs and I caught one in each hand. Next day I saw a large mountain,
and thought it was Table Mountain. Then I came to a big river and
travelled down it for two days. I came on a flock of sheep belonging
to Tom Triffet, at the falls, and caught a lamb. While I was eating it
the shepherd came up and said he would tell. I threatened to shoot him.
Then he got friendly and took me to the hut, and fed me for three days.
Then he told me that the master was coming up and I'd have to go. I
went to another hut and stayed three weeks. Then I fell in with Davis
and Cheetham and they said I could join them. They had 126 newly-marked
sheep and said they were going to select some more. I shepherded the
mob while they were away. They continued robbing the stations until the
soldiers came. The soldiers captured the gang except Bill Davis, who
snatched up his gun and ran away, Corporal Kelly followed and called on
him to stop. As he kept on Kelly fired and missed, when Davis turned
round and said, 'I've got you now.' Kelly cried out 'Murder,' and the
other soldiers ran forward and fired. Davis was wounded in the arm and
gave in."

The confession may here be very much abridged, as the account he gives
of his acts is very rambling. About 250 sheep, a gold watch, two
silver watches, and a number of other articles were found at the camp.
Several of the gang were hung and the others sentenced to long terms
of penal servitude. Pierce denied having taken any active share in
the robberies, and as he was merely found in charge of the stolen, or
as he euphoniously calls them "the selected," sheep, he was sent back
to Macquarie Harbour to be dealt with as a bolter. On November 16th,
1823, Pierce again absconded from Macquarie Harbour in company with
Thomas Cox. On the 21st, as the schooner _Waterloo_ was sailing down
the harbour, a man was observed standing on the shore and signalling
with smoke from a fire. These signals had also been observed from the
settlement, and a boat was despatched from there. The boat sent by
Mr. Lucas from the schooner reached the place at the same time that
the boat from the settlement arrived. On landing it was found that
Alexander Pierce had made the fire, and he was immediately arrested by
Lieutenant Cuthertson. Pierce said that he had killed Cox and eaten
part of the body. He volunteered to show where the remainder was. On
going to the place it was found that all the fleshy parts had been
cut away, leaving the bones and viscera. It is impossible that Pierce
could have committed this murder through want of food. He had only been
away from the settlement for a few days, and some flour, a piece of
pork, some bread, and a few fish, which Pierce and Cox had stolen from
a party of hunters, were found at the camp. Before his trial Pierce
said that he had been so horror-struck at the crime he had committed
that, when he signalled, he did not know what he was about. After
his conviction, however, he said that man's flesh was delicious; far
better than fish or pork; and his craving for it had led him to induce
Cox to abscond so that he might kill and eat him. He was wearing the
clothes of the murdered man when he was captured. Although he made no
secret of his cannibalism after his conviction, but boasted about it,
he is believed to have very much toned down his share in the murders
perpetrated during that terrible journey across the Western Tiers.
Possibly Greenhill may have been the moving spirit in these atrocities,
but we have the fact that Pierce was the sole survivor, and he gives
but a very brief account of the last struggle between himself and
Greenhill. We can conceive something of it. Pierce was the larger and
stronger man, but Greenhill was active though small, and moreover he
carried the axe. The two men probably pretended to be actuated by
friendly feelings towards each other; each one endeavouring to put the
other off his guard; but each knew that the other was only watching for
an opportunity to slay him. For two days they walked side by side at a
safe distance apart; each afraid to let the other get behind him, or
near enough to spring upon him; and each was also afraid to allow the
other to get out of sight because of the certainty that he would merely
dog him through the scrub until an opportunity to strike occurred. For
two nights they sat facing each other, a short distance apart, each
afraid to go to sleep or to allow the other to go out of sight. If
one rose up the other started to his feet immediately. Every slight
movement of one caused the other to be on the alert. The tension must
have been fearful. At length, when the second night was drawing to a
close, Greenhill could bear up no longer. He dozed, and Pierce sprang
on him at once. That is something like the tradition handed down among
the "old hands," who knew nothing of Pierce's confession, but who had
heard the tale from companions of the cannibal himself. There was a
time when it was frequently told round the camp fire in rough, coarse
language, plentifully intermingled with profanity, but the old hands
have died out and it is heard no longer. Pierce, the cannibal, has
been almost forgotten, and yet the story has its moral. It affords
us an example of the terrible depths of degradation to which men can
be reduced by brutal treatment, and it is not good that the story of
Alexander Pierce should be forgotten as long as any remains of the old
prison discipline which produced such men continues to exist, either in
Australia or in any other civilised country.

The settlement at Macquarie Harbour, "the Western Hell," as the
convicts called it, was opened as a penal station on January the 3rd,
1822, and from that time until its removal to Port Arthur in May, 1827,
one hundred and twelve prisoners ran away. Of these, seventy-four are
reported to have "perished in the woods." The remains of a number
of men have been found at various times; but, as a rule, too late
for identification, and therefore the official records do not assert
positively that these men did perish, but only that, as nothing had
been seen or heard of them for long periods, and remains supposed to
be theirs had been found, it was reasonable to assume that they had
perished. Two returned, as related by Pierce, namely Bill Cornelius or
Kenelly and James Brown. On both these men portions of the murdered
man Dalton were found, and Cornelius was punished as a bolter. Brown,
however, was too ill, and was admitted to the hospital, where he died.
Eight of the hundred and twelve runaways from Macquarie Harbour are
reported to have reached Port Dalrymple or some other settlement, but
in each case the official report bears the significant note, "wants
confirmation." Five men were eaten as related. Three were picked up
in a wretched condition on the beach by the steamer _Waterloo_, three
others of the same gang being included among those who perished. Two
were shot; two found dead. This leaves sixteen, and these are known to
have reached the settled districts. Of these, Pierce was one. Every
precaution was taken at Macquarie Harbour to prevent bolting. A line
of posts was established across the neck of land between Pirates' Bay
and Storm Bay, and fierce dogs were chained at these places to give
notice when any one passed or approached. This use of dogs gave rise
to a report in England that bloodhounds were used in Van Diemen's Land
to track runaway convicts or bushrangers. This, however, was shown
not to be true. The dogs were used as watch dogs and not as hunting or
tracking dogs.[26]

Three other men who ran away from Macquarie Harbour were Jefferies,
Hopkins, and Russell. Like Pierce and his mates they started to cross
the Western Tiers. They lived fairly well for several days, Jefferies
having a gun and ammunition which he had stolen, it is supposed, from
a soldier, but at length their provisions failed and they could find
no game. They therefore agreed to toss up to decide who should die to
save the others. Russell lost and was immediately shot by Jefferies.
The two men lived on the flesh for five days, when they came to a
sheep station. They immediately threw away about five pounds weight of
Russell's flesh and killed two sheep. The shepherd ran forward at the
sound of the shots, when Jefferies told him that if he interfered he
would "soon be settled." They only wanted "a good feed." Jefferies and
Hopkins appear to have adopted bushranging as a profession. Of Hopkins
we hear little, but Jefferies established a character for brutality
which has been rivalled by few and surpassed by none. When he bailed up
Mr. Tibbs's house he ordered Mr. and Mrs. Tibbs and their stockman to
go into the bushes with him. The stockman refused and was immediately
shot. The other two then went across the cleared paddock towards the
timbered country, Mrs. Tibbs carrying her baby and Jefferies walking
behind. When near the edge of the timber Jefferies ordered Mrs. Tibbs
to walk faster. The poor woman was weeping bitterly. She sobbed out
that she was walking as fast as she could with the baby in her arms.
Jefferies immediately snatched the baby from her and dashed its brains
out against a sapling. Then he asked her "Can you go faster now?" Mr.
Tibbs turned round and rushed at the bushranger, who shot him, and then
walked away, leaving Mrs. Tibbs with her dead and dying. At Georgetown
Jefferies stuck up and robbed Mr. Baker and then compelled him to carry
his knapsack. They had not, however, walked far along the road when
Jefferies, who was behind, shot Mr. Baker without warning and for no
apparent cause. Jefferies was captured by John Batman, a native of
Parramatta, New South Wales, and afterwards one of the founders of
the city of Melbourne, Victoria. Batman had taken several Australian
aborigines to Van Diemen's Land and was engaged by the Government to
track and capture bushrangers. He caught Hopkins and several others.
A man named Broughton, who had been captured a short time before,
was convicted of murder and cannibalism shortly before Jefferies and
Hopkins were brought to trial.

It is quite a relief to turn from these monsters in human form to
Mathew Brady, the central figure among the bushrangers of this epoch.
Brady was a gentleman convict: that is, he was an educated man. He was
transported to "Botany Bay" for forgery, the capital sentence having
been commuted. In Sydney he soon "got into trouble" for insubordination
and was retransported to Van Diemen's Land. He was one of a gang
of fourteen who effected their escape from Macquarie Harbour. His
companions in this enterprise were James Bryant, John Burns, James
Crawford, James McCabe, Patrick Connolly, John Griffiths, George Lacey,
Charles Rider, Jeremiah Ryan, John Thompson, Isaac Walker, and John
Downes. They stole a whale boat on June 7th, 1824, and pulled round the
coast until they came to a favourable place for landing, from whence
they walked to the settled districts. Here they were joined by James
Tierney, and for some two years they defied the authorities. In company
with the "notorious Dunne," Brady stuck up Mr. Robert Bethune's house
near Hobart Town when the males of the family were away. In the evening
Mr. Walter Bethune and Captain Bannister returned from the city on
horseback, and Brady went out to meet them. He told the two gentlemen
that they were prisoners and that resistance was useless. They were
taken by surprise, and unarmed, and surrendered at once. Brady called
one of his men to "take the gentlemen's horses to the stables and see
that they were cared for," and then conducted the gentlemen into the
parlour as if he were the host and they merely visitors. The ladies of
the family and the servants, except the cook, were already gathered
there, and Brady ordered dinner and invited those present to take their
seats at the table. He himself sat down, while his companions had food
taken to them at the stations where he had placed them on guard. When
the meal was over Brady made a collection of watches, rings, money,
and other valuables, and then, after profusely thanking Mr. Bethune
for his hospitable treatment and the kind reception he had given them,
the whole gang mounted and rode away. On the following evening he rode
into the little town of Sorell. The soldiers stationed there had been
out kangarooing, and were cleaning their muskets. Taken completely by
surprise, they were easily overpowered, and were locked up in the gaol,
the prisoners being released. Mr. Long, the gaoler, contrived to make
his escape, and ran to the residence of Dr. Garrett. Here he found
Lieutenant Green, who was in command of the military stationed at the
town. The doctor and the lieutenant walked together to the gaol, and
the doctor was seized by Brady's orders and placed in a cell. Green
refused to surrender, and was shot in the arm by one of the bushrangers
and overcome. The bushrangers made a good haul from the houses in the
town, and then left quietly. The only personal injury inflicted was
the wound received by Lieutenant Green, who was forced to have his arm

On August 27th, 1824, Governor Arthur issued a proclamation offering
rewards for the capture of Brady, McCabe, Dunne, Murphy, and other
bushrangers, and calling upon all Crown servants and respectable
citizens to aid the soldiers in their capture.

By way of reply, Brady and his gang paid a visit to Mr. Young's house
at Lake River. It was late at night, but the bushrangers soon roused
the inmates up. After having secured the men, Brady enquired whether
there were any ladies inside, and on being told that there were he
issued an order to them to get up and dress at once, and to go into any
room they pleased, pledging his word that they should not be interfered
with. While this was being done Brady sat on the verandah chatting with
Mr. Young. Among other things he spoke of the Governor's proclamation,
and asked whether Mr. Young had seen it. He laughed heartily at the
idea of the soldiers capturing him. While the chief was thus employed
the other members of the gang searched every room of the house, and
collected everything they thought worth taking. The ladies had all gone
into one room, and when the rest of the house had been searched they
were requested to leave that room and go into another.

One day Brady walked alone into a house close to the town and "made
a swag" of all that was valuable. He then called two of the convict
servants and ordered them to take up the bundles and carry them for him
into the bush. He was obeyed because it was believed that his gang was
not far off, and the owner of the property saw it carried away without
making an effort to preserve it. On another occasion Brady ordered an
assigned servant to leave his master's house and join the band. The man
refused. Brady walked to the sideboard, filled a glass with rum, and
asked the man whether he could drink that? The man said he never took
strong liquor. "Well, you will this time," exclaimed Brady, pointing
his pistol at the servant's head. "Now choose." The man took the glass
and swallowed the rum. Brady laughed heartily as he staggered away.
However, the next morning, the unfortunate man was found lying in the
bush some distance from the house. His dog was lying beside him licking
his face. He was still drunk. His employer, who found him, tried to
rouse him up, and after he had shaken and called for some minutes the
man opened his eyes, called out "Water, for God's sake, water!" and
rolled over dead. When Brady was informed some time after of the man's
death, he said he was very sorry. He had made him drink the rum as a
joke and without any thought or desire to injure him.

Brady stuck up the Duke of York Inn, and finding Captain Smith
there, knocked him down, having mistaken him for Colonel Balfour. On
discovering his mistake the bushranger apologised. He then threatened
to shoot Captain White, but on Captain Smith saying that White had
a wife and family Brady told the two officers to go away. He "hated
soldiers" and did not know what he might do if they stayed.

Colonel Balfour, of the 49th regiment, with a strong party of soldiers,
had been beating the bush for some time in hopes of capturing Brady
and his gang. A report spread abroad that the gang intended to break
open the Launceston gaol and torture and shoot Mr. Jefferies. The
threat was treated with derision, but about 10 a.m. a man came into the
town and said that the bushrangers had taken possession of Mr. Dry's
place, just outside the town. Colonel Balfour, with ten soldiers and
some volunteers, started out and a fierce fight took place. Ultimately
the bushrangers were driven off, but not before they had secured
Mr. Dry's horses. The soldiers followed, and the bushrangers fired
from behind the trees. Suddenly a report spread that the attack on
Dry's place was a ruse to draw the soldiers from the town, and that
a party of bushrangers under Bird and Dunne had gone to attack the
gaol. Colonel Balfour sent half his force back to protect the town.
The report was found to be partly true. The bushrangers had entered
the town and had robbed Mr. Wedge's house, but had not gone to the
gaol. At Dr. Priest's house some shots were exchanged, and the doctor
was wounded in the knee, but the soldiers coming up at the time the
bushrangers made off.

The following day the gang made an attack on the farms of the Messrs.
Walker. They burned the wheat-stacks and barns belonging to Mr. Abraham
Walker and also those of Mr. Commissary Walker. They had Mr. Dry's
two carriage horses, which they had stolen the day before. Brady was
wearing Colonel Balfour's cap, which had fallen off in the fight at
Launceston. On the next day they burned down the house of Mr. Massey at
South Esk, having sent him a letter a day or two before informing him
of their intention.

Two of the gang called on Thomas Renton, and shouted for him to come
out. On his doing so, they charged him with having attempted to betray
them. Renton denied the charge. A wrangle took place, during which
one of the bushrangers shot Renton dead. It is highly improbable that
Brady was aware of this outrage. He boasted loudly on every available
occasion that he never killed a man intentionally, and he is known to
have quarrelled with members of his gang who were too ready with their
firearms. Thus he drove McCabe out of the gang on account of his
brutality, and McCabe was captured and hung shortly afterwards.

The gang held almost complete control over the roads, and resistance
was very rarely offered when they ordered a man to "bail up."[27] One
of the customs established by the gang was to order their witnesses
to remain where they were for half an hour, and the order was rarely
disobeyed. Any person who declined to promise to remain was simply tied
to a tree and left for any chance passer-by to unloose. In by-roads,
or in those cases where the prisoners were marched some distance off
the high road into the bush before being plundered, being tied up was
a very serious matter. Cases are known to have occurred in which men
have remained bound to a tree until they have died of starvation.
From this time forward tying up the victims was a common practice
with bushrangers, though some like Brady accepted the promise of the
victims to remain where they were left for a certain time to allow the
bushrangers time to get away.

At length about the middle of 1825 a convict named Cowan or Cohen
was permitted to escape from an iron gang with broken fetters on his
legs. He was found by some of the gang and was taken to a friendly
blacksmith who knocked his irons off for him. He joined the gang and
more than once led them into conflicts with the soldiers out of which
only the skill and bravery of Brady delivered them. Cowan was no doubt
a clever man in his way; he completely hoodwinked Brady and his mates;
he fought bravely in their skirmishes with the troops and was always
eager in looting houses or other places attacked. He professed to rob
"on principle." He is said to have murdered the bushrangers Murphy and
Williams while they slept, but there is no proof of this. He betrayed
the camp to Lieutenant Williams of the 40th regiment, who was out
with a party of soldiers in search of bushrangers. A terrific fight
took place in which several were killed on each side; some of the
bushrangers were captured while others escaped, but the gang was broken
up. Cowan is said to have received a free pardon, several hundreds of
pounds reward, and a free passage home for his services.[28]

Brady made his escape in the bush and was followed by Batman and his
black trackers. The bushranger had been wounded in the fight and could
not travel fast. Batman came up to him in the mountains and called on
him to surrender. "Are you an officer?" asked Brady, coolly cocking
his gun. "I'm not a soldier," replied Batman, "I'm John Batman. If
you raise that gun I'll shoot. There's no chance for you." "You're
right," replied Brady, "my time's come. You're a brave man and I yield;
but, I'd never give in to a soldier." Brady was taken to the nearest
lock-up, where, as it happened, Jefferies, the cannibal, had been
lodged some days before, and much to Brady's disgust the two men were
conveyed to Hobart Town in the same cart. Brady, however, refused to
sit on the same side of the cart as Jefferies, and kept as far from him
as possible during the journey.[29]

The trial of Mathew Brady excited great interest. He and his gang
had kept the country in a ferment for twenty-two months. Many of his
companions had been shot or captured, but the leader had escaped.
One of his mates, James Crawford, who had escaped with him from
Macquarie Harbour, but who had been shot by the soldiers some time
before the break up of the gang, was said to have been a lieutenant in
the army.[30] Numerous stories were told to illustrate his reckless
bravery, his skill in strategy, or some other trait of his character.
On the day of his trial a number of ladies were in the court, and when
the verdict of guilty was returned, and the judge put on the black cap,
they showed their sympathy by weeping so loudly that the judge had to
pause until order was restored, and sentence of death was pronounced
amid signs of sorrow by all present.[31]

At the same sessions Jefferies, Hopkins, Bryant, Tilly, McKenny, Brown,
Gregory, Hodgetts, and Perry were sentenced to death for bushranging,
cattle, horse, and sheep stealing, and for murder. Some of these had
been "in the bush" with Brady. The last of the batch was hung on
April 29th, 1826, the prisoners being hung two or three at a time at
intervals of a few days.

The remnant of the gang under the command of Dunne continued for a time
to commit depredations. In one of their journeys they saw a tribe of
blacks camped on the other side of the river. Dunne swam across and
attacked them. He fought them for some time driving them back until he
seized one of the women, when he turned back forcing her to accompany
him across the river. He had this black girl with him when an attack
was made on Mr. Thomson's house, but she escaped. On the following day
two men were quietly driving in a cart along the road when the blacks
attacked and speared them, killing one and wounding the other. The
blacks went on and burned the hut of Mr. Nicholas. They attacked Mr.
Thomson's place, and speared a man named Scott. The woman who had been
stolen by Dunne was present urging the blacks on when Scott was killed.
The troops were sent out to drive the blacks back, and while so engaged
came across the bushrangers and shot Dunne. One or two were captured
and hung as related.

The _Hobart Town Gazette_, of the 29th of April, 1826, said that for
some months the roads had been safe, and with the executions to take
place that day, the colony might be congratulated on having at length
stamped out the crime of bushranging. As a fact, it was only the close
of the first epoch; the first act in the great bushranging tragedy
which was to close so sensationally more than fifty years later.


[Footnote 26: Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons,

[Footnote 27: The first supply of horned cattle for Australia was
obtained from Capetown, South Africa, big-boned, slab-sided animals,
with enormous horns. These animals are much more active than the
fine-boned, heavy-bodied, short-horned, or other fine breeds, but they
can never be properly tamed. It is always unsafe to milk one of these
cows unless her head is fastened in "a bail," and her leg tied. When
driving the cows into the bail it was the custom to order them to "bail
up." It was also usual for bullock drivers when yoking their teams to
call out "bail up" to the bullocks, although no bail was used for this
purpose. The words were in constant use all over Australia, and were
adopted by the early bushrangers in the sense of "stand."]

[Footnote 28: History of Van Diemen's Land in the _Launceston
Advertiser, 1840_.]

[Footnote 29: _Hobart Town Gazette, 1826._]

[Footnote 30: _Launceston Advertiser, 1840._]

[Footnote 31: _Hobart Town Gazette._]


  Bushranging in New South Wales; Manufacturing Bushrangers; Employing
  Bushrangers; The First Bank Robbery in Australia; Major Mudie and his
  Assigned Servants; Terrible Hollow; Murder of Dr. Wardell; The Story
  of Jack the Rammer; Hall Mayne and Others.

Bushranging of the more serious character with which we are concerned,
appears to have begun in New South Wales in about 1822. In that year
thirty-four bushrangers were hung in Sydney. The crimes for which these
men were executed were generally of a petty description. Robberies of
articles from the farms had become so prevalent that it was deemed
expedient to adopt severe measures, but beyond removing so many
evil-doers and preventing them from continuing their depredations, this
severity of the judicial authorities does not appear to have had much
effect. Bushranging not only continued, but the bushrangers became
bolder and operated over a wider area. On March 16th, 1826, a desperate
fight took place between a party of mounted troopers and seven
bushrangers near Bathurst. The Blue Mountains had only been crossed
thirteen years before, and the settlement was a very small one. The
leader of the gang, Morris Connell, was shot dead by Corporal Brown,
and the other bushrangers ran away into the bush.

The _Sydney Monitor_ of September 22nd reports that a shepherd on Mr.
H. Macarthur's run at Argyle ran away into the bush. He was captured,
and taken to Goulburn to be tried for absconding. He complained that
he had not received his proper allowance of rations, and had gone to
seek for food. He was of course found guilty, and, when sentenced to
be flogged, he sulkily said, "It's in the power of the likes of me to
have revenge when lambing time comes round." For this threat he was
sent to Liverpool for trial. He was convicted, and as a warning to
other shepherds he was sentenced to receive five hundred lashes and to
be transported to a penal settlement for life. The _Monitor_ denounced
this sentence as being "unduly harsh," and spoke of the heavy sentences
given whenever the Rev. Samuel Marsden, Principal Chaplain of New South
Wales, took his seat on the Bench. The chaplains were at that time all
_ex officio_ magistrates, and the Rev. Samuel Marsden was said to be
very active in the discharge of this portion of his duties. It is of
Mr. Marsden that Mr. J.T. Bigge says "His sentences are not only more
severe than those of other magistrates, but the general opinion of
the colony is that his character, as displayed in the administrations
of the penal law of New South Wales, is stamped with severity."[32]
Judging from the sentence under notice, it does not appear that the
reverend gentleman had become any more merciful since Commissioner
Bigge compiled his report some years before. The _Monitor_ charged him
with "helping to manufacture bushrangers." In this connection I may
mention that the opinion expressed by the "old hands" was that the
clerical magistrates were generally far more cruel and brutal than the
lay magistrates, and this opinion was crystallised into a cant phrase
which was current among the old hands many years later. It was "The
Lord have mercy on you, for his reverence will have none." This phrase
was used on all occasions, whether it was appropriate or not to the
subject under discussion or the circumstances of the time.

In the Windsor Court on February 10th, 1827, Mr. McCarthy was fined
£14 10s., including costs, for having employed a returned bushranger
instead of handing him over to the police for punishment. About the
same time a bushranger was charged in Sydney with having bailed up a
settler's house and compelled him to hand over some money and a bottle
of wine. Taking the wine was an aggravation of the offence which was
more than the worthy magistrate could stand. "What right," he demanded
of the delinquent, "have you to drink wine? Do you not know, you
rascal, that when you were convicted you forfeited all rights?" "Yes,
your honour," replied the culprit, "But, I didn't forfeit my appetite."

The robbery of the Bank of Australia does not properly, perhaps, come
under the head of bushranging, but as the later bushrangers made
bank robbery a feature of their depredations the record would not be
complete if this, the first and in some respects the most remarkable of
the bank robberies which have taken place in Australia, was omitted.
The Bank of Australia was established in 1826 and was spoken of as the
"new bank" to distinguish it from the older Bank of New South Wales.
It was also sometimes called "the squatters' bank." Its president was
Mr. John Macarthur, the first of the squatters. It was situated in
George Street, Sydney. The strong room was constructed under ground,
and had walls nine feet thick. Near the foundation of the bank was a
large drain or shore, one of the openings of which was on an unoccupied
plot of ground on the opposite side of the street to that in which
the bank stood. The other end of the drain terminated on the shore
of the harbour. Into this drain the thieves must have entered, and
judging from the amount of work done and the quantity of the remains of
provisions found afterwards they must have been at work for a week or
more. As they were too deep underground for the strokes of their picks
or hammers to be heard, they may have worked night and day. However
that may be, they took the bricks out of the side of the drain facing
the bank and then dug a tunnel until they reached the foundations of
the bank. How they disposed of the earth dug out is not known, but it
was surmised that they carried it away in bags. With great labour they
dislodged a stone at the corner of the foundations, and then gradually
enlarged the hole until there was sufficient room for a man to get
through. Having effected an entrance in this way into the strong room,
they found there forty boxes each containing £100 worth of British
silver coins; a smaller box containing two thousand sovereigns; a box
containing one thousand dollars, and another containing five hundred
dollars. But the robbers took only the two boxes containing dollars
and seven of the forty boxes containing British silver; leaving
thirty-three boxes of silver and the box of sovereigns. They took
also some bundles of bank notes, amounting to between ten and twelve
thousand pounds worth. The forty boxes of silver weighed a ton, and it
was believed that the thieves had been disturbed by some noise before
they had time to remove so great a quantity. The locks on the boxes
left in the vault were found to have been so rusted by damp as to be
useless. No arrests were made and no traces of the robbers could be
found. Notifications were issued denying that the loss, heavy as it
was, would affect the stability of the bank, but it appears that it
never recovered. In 1833 it was re-organised. In 1845 the Government
passed a Lottery Bill to enable the bank to raise money, but to no
purpose. The bank failed in 1848 and caused a great many other failures
and much distress. The robbery was discovered on September 15th, 1828,
and was reported in the _Monitor_ of the 20th.

There has been much speculation in Sydney from time to time as to what
became of the money stolen, and it has been reported that the thieves
buried it somewhere on the shores of Snail's, or White Bay, or some
other place on the opposite side of the Harbour to Sydney, but although
several persons have searched for the hidden treasure, it has not yet
been found. There is a somewhat similar legend of buried treasure at
North Sydney. The story is, that a sum of money variously stated at one
thousand and two thousand guineas, sent out in early times from England
to pay the troops, was stolen from the ship while she lay at her anchor
and was buried either near Mosman's Bay or Great Sirius Cove. This also
has been searched for at various times but hitherto without success.
What truth there is in these legends it is now impossible to say.

John Poole, James Ryan, and James Riley, assigned servants of Mr. John
Larnack, son-in-law of Major James Mudie, of Castle Forbes estate,
Patrick's Plains, Hunter River district, took to the bush on November
4th, 1833. Three other assigned servants, Anthony Hitchcock, alias
Hath, Samuel Parrott or Powell, and David Jones, were sent away the
following morning, in charge of constable Samuel Cook, to Maitland,
under sentence of twelve months, in a chain gang for insubordination.
About half-a-mile from Castle Forbes, Poole, Ryan, and Riley, and
another man named John Perry, who had been in the bush for some time
previously, met the constable and called on him to stand or they would
shoot him. Cook only had a pistol with him and he snapped it at the
robbers and then surrendered. The robbers took the pistol from him,
led him some distance off the road and tied him to a tree. Parrott
refused to go with the bushrangers and was tied to a tree near Cook.
The robbers went back to Mr. Larnack's house which they reached about
noon. They called upon Mrs. Larnack to stand, but she and one of the
female servants jumped through a window and ran. Perry followed them
and brought them back, threatening to blow Mrs. Larnack's brains out if
she refused to do as she was told. The robbers took a double-barrelled
gun which was always kept loaded in Mr. Larnack's room, and some guns
and fowling pieces from the dining-room. Hitchcock brought the shearers
from the shed, walking behind them and threatening to shoot any man
who resisted. The robbers broke open the door of the store and put the
shearers inside. They emptied a chest of tea into a bag, took bags of
flour, sugar, and other provisions from the store, and fastened up the
door leaving Perry on guard. They took a quantity of pork from the
kitchen, a bucket of milk from the dairy, and the silver-plate and
other valuables from the house. Then, having made the shearers secure
in the store and locked Mrs. Larnack and the female servants in the
kitchen, they went away after having told Mrs. Larnack that they were
sorry "the old----," the Major, was not at home, as they wanted to
settle him. One of them also expressed sorrow at the absence of Mr.
Larnack, and added that when they could catch him they would "stick
his head on the chimney for an ornament." As soon as the news of the
robbery became known, a party was organised to follow the bushrangers.
Mr. Robert Scott, mounted trooper Daniel Craddige, and a party of five
came up with the robbers at Mr. Reid's station, Lamb's Valley. Some
shots were exchanged and then Jones and Perry ran away. Constable
Craddige followed them and called on them to stand, and they did so. He
took them back and by that time Mr. Scott and the rest of the pursuing
party had captured Hitchcock, Poole and Riley. The boy Ryan got away
in the scrub but was discovered and caught next day. Alexander Flood,
overseer to Messrs. Robert and Helenes Scott, with two constables,
took charge of the prisoners, and conducted them safely to Maitland
for trial. Mr. John Larnack then said that on the morning of the 5th
of November before the attack was made on the house, he was at the
sheep-wash. The prisoners came up and said to the washers, "Come out of
the water, every---- one of you, or we'll blow your---- brains out."
Larnack jumped into the water among the washers. Hitchcock fired at him
shouting, "You'll never take me to court again, you----." He called
on the washers to get out of the way and let him shoot the----. Poole
also said, "I'll take care you never get another man flogged." Larnack
scrambled out of the wash-pool on the opposite side to where the
robbers were, and ran to the timber. He went on to Mr. Danger's farm,
and remained there till next day. He was only ten yards distant when
Hitchcock fired at him. Shots from the other bushrangers struck the
water within twelve and eighteen inches of him, but none of them hit
him. The robbers had four double-barrelled guns, two single-barrelled
fowling pieces, a musket, and two pistols, when they were captured.
When asked what they had to say in defence, Hitchcock called Ensign
Zouch and other gentlemen to speak as to his character. It appears that
until he was assigned to Major Mudie and Mr. Larnack, he had always
been well behaved. The prisoners complained that they were given short
rations, that the flour was mouldy and the meat bad, and that they were
repeatedly flogged. Some of them had been flogged for refusing to work
on Sunday. Hitchcock had been sentenced to work in an iron gang, for an
offence of which he knew nothing. Whatever punishment was threatened by
the master was sure to be inflicted by the Bench. Jones was acquitted
of the capital offence, but was sent to Norfolk Island for life. The
other five prisoners were sentenced to death, Hitchcock and Poole being
hung at Maitland, and Ryan, Perry and Riley at Sydney. An enquiry was
held as to the alleged illusage of their assigned servants, by Major
Mudie and Mr. Larnack, and they were acquitted by Governor Bourke of
the charges of tyranny and ill-treatment, but Major Mudie's name was
removed from the Commission of the Peace. On his return to the station
after the result of the enquiry had become known, he was greeted with
cries of "No more fifties now, you bloody old tyrant."[33]

The beautiful valley of Burragorang is enclosed on all sides by
precipitous mountains, there being only one practicable entrance,
which, in early times, before a government road was cut into it for
the convenience of the farmers who now occupy the valley, was easily
blocked with a few saplings, so that sheep, cattle, or horses turned
into the valley could not escape. Precisely how the entrance to this
extensive enclosure was first found is not known. It is believed,
however, that it was discovered by a party of bushrangers, who
endeavoured to discover a road over the Blue Mountains, in order to
reach a settlement of white men, which was popularly supposed to lie
somewhere in that direction. Whether this supposed settlement was a
Dutch or an English settlement does not appear, but as I have already
said, there was a wide-spread belief that some of these settlements
were at no very great distance from Sydney, and could be reached
overland. The valley is situated only about fifty-four miles from
Sydney, and for many years was an absolutely secure hiding-place for
bushrangers and their plunder. Later on the valley came to be known,
from the horrible tales told of the convicts who made use of it,
as "Terrible Hollow," and under this name it is introduced by Rolf
Boldrewood in his "Robbery under Arms." Among the old hands themselves
it was known as "The Camp," "The Shelter," or "The Pound." Bark huts
were erected in this valley by the bushrangers, and here they retired
when hard pressed or when wounded. When the secret of the entrance
was betrayed to the soldiers, who were out in search of a party of
bushrangers, it was evident that the valley had been long in use by
the bushrangers. Cattle and sheep were running wild there, numbers of
broken shackles, handcuffs, and other relics were found, and, besides
these, evidences that several murders had been committed there; but
there are no records of these events, and only the recollections of
the legends which have been handed down among the old hands remain to
explain why this beautiful valley should have been called "Terrible
Hollow." One of these legends may be told somewhat as follows: A
settler was reported to have received a large sum of money. This
became known to the bushrangers and they determined to rob him of it.
They bailed up his place, tied his assigned servants, and searched
everywhere for the money but could not find it. The settler declared
that he had not received the money, but was not believed. He was
threatened with death if he refused to disclose its hiding place. He
persisted in his assertion that he had no money, and a consultation
was held by the bushrangers to decide what should be done with him.
Some were for shooting him there and then; but, this was so evidently
not the way to extort money, if he had any, that it was resolved to
take him to "the camp," and there force him to say where the money was
hidden. When they got him there they tied him to a sapling, built a
circle of bushwood round him at some distance away, set fire to it, and
slowly roasted him to death. His screams are said to have been fearful,
but no one heard them in that solitude except the fiends who were
torturing him, and they had been rendered too callous, by treatment
little less fiendish by the authorities, to heed his agonised cries.
Whether this story is literally true or not it is impossible to say,
but certainly charred remains of human bones were discovered in the
valley when it was searched, though whether the bodies had been burned
before or after death could not, of course, be determined.

It was to this valley that Will Underwood and his gang were said to
retire when hard pressed or when they required a rest. Underwood
operated on the roads about Campbelltown, Liverpool, Penrith, and
Windsor, sometimes sticking-up people, and robbing farms on Liberty
Plains and other places between Parramatta and Sydney. The gang was a
large one and continued to operate in the more populous districts for
some two years. Among the members of this gang were Johnny Donohoe,
Webber, and Walmsley. Donohoe was shot by a trooper named Maggleton,
near Raby, in September, 1830. Webber was shot a month later, and
Walmsley was captured in another skirmish between the troopers and the
bushrangers. Walmsley was sentenced to death, but was reprieved for
disclosing the names of "fences," or receivers of stolen property, and
his revelations caused quite a sensation, a number of hitherto highly
respected persons being implicated. Underwood was shot in 1832, and
shortly afterwards a "traitor" is said to have led a party of soldiers
into Terrible Hollow. There was a fight between the troops and the
bushrangers found there at the time, and several of the bushrangers
were captured and the gang was broken up. The evil reputation which the
valley had acquired, at first prevented settlement there, but when the
bushrangers and their doings had been forgotten, the Government threw
the valley open for selection, and a number of farms were taken up or
purchased. More recently, a line has been surveyed for a railway to the
valley, but this line has not yet been constructed. In the meantime, a
good road has been opened into the valley through the one practicable
entrance, and those who visit the valley now for the first time, can
scarcely credit the horrible stories which have been told in connection
with it.

One Sunday in September, 1834, Dr. Robert Wardell, a practising
barrister in Sydney, and editor of _The Australian_, was riding
across his park, which stretched from the Parramatta road, where the
municipality of Petersham now stands, to Cook's river, to look after
his herd of fallow deer, of which he was very proud. He jumped his
horse over a log and found himself confronted by three armed men.
Thinking they were poachers after his deer, he reined his horse in and
cried, "What are you doing here, you rascals?" The reply was a shot
from one of the guns, and the doctor fell. His horse galloped to the
house and alarmed the family. Men were despatched in all directions
to seek for the doctor, who it was believed had somehow been thrown
and injured. The search was continued all day and night, but with no
result. The next day his body was found covered over with boughs,
apparently to prevent the dingoes from tearing it rather than to hide
it. John Jenkins, Thomas Tattersdale and Emanuel Brace were arrested on
suspicion and charged with the murder. Evidence was produced that they
had been seen in the neighbourhood, and they were committed for trial.
Brace was a lad who had only recently been sent to the colony, and
before the day of trial he consented to turn King's evidence. From his
testimony it appeared that Jenkins was the man who had fired the gun.
But both he and Tattersdale were hung for the crime, and it was said
that they had been guilty of various acts of bushranging. After the
doctor's death the herd of fallow deer was neglected. Some were sold,
and their descendants may still be seen in the park at Parramatta,
and elsewhere. A large number, however, escaped, and the late Mr.
Charles Hearn, for many years landlord of the Stag's Head Inn, on the
Parramatta road, about five miles from the Sydney Town Hall, used to
boast that he shot the last of Dr. Warden's deer about where the Callan
Park Lunatic Asylum now stands.

The story of Jack the Rammer illustrates the relationship which
sometimes existed between the bushrangers and the assigned servants,
and indicates the difficulties with which law-abiding citizens had
to cope. Jack had been living by robbery in the Manaro district for
some time. One day Mr. Charles Fisher Shepherd, the overseer of the
Michelago sheep station, said something about all bushrangers being
cowards. One of the assigned servants on the station, named Bull,
replied, "They'll be here next." "If they come here," exclaimed
Shepherd, "I'll give them a benefit." A few nights afterwards Shepherd
was asleep in his hut. He was awakened by someone calling on him to
come out. After a time he did so, and saw Jack the Rammer and a man
named Boyd standing at the door. Jack cried out to him, "Keep your
hands down." They stood for a second or two regarding him, and then
Jack said, "What a benefit you're giving us." The two bushrangers
then walked away. Although he felt convinced that Bull was in league
with the bushrangers and had reported his speech to them and that
he probably could not expect any assistance from the other assigned
servants on the station, Shepherd loaded his gun with No. 4 shot, the
largest he had, and started off after the bushrangers. It was about
daybreak on a beautiful December morning in 1834, probably between
three and four o'clock, and the air was soft and balmy as he made his
way through the bush in the direction in which the bushrangers had
gone. After travelling some distance he came on a sort of a camp, and
saw Boyd through the trees. He kneeled down and fired, but missed. He
was about to fire the other barrel when Bull stepped from behind a
tree close by, and said "Don't shoot him, sir." "By G----, I will,"
exclaimed Shepherd. "If you fire, by G----, I'll shoot you," returned
Bull. Before Shepherd could reply another bushranger named Keys fired
at him from behind a tree, and wounded him. Shepherd rushed forward,
and was about to close with Keys when Boyd ran up and fired, wounding
Shepherd in the head. Keys seized him, but Shepherd shook himself free,
and ran back to the station. He went to the house, roused up the owner,
and said to him, "Good God, Catterall, I'm shot all to pieces, and you
never help me." "What's the good?" returned Catterall. "What can I do?"
Just then the bushrangers came up, and Catterall went in and shut the
door. Shepherd rushed across to his own hut, and tried to shut himself
in, but Boyd thrust the barrel of his gun in in time to prevent him.
Shepherd seized the gun and tried to wrench it out of Boyd's hands, but
Keys pushed the door open and struck Shepherd on the head. Shepherd
fell, and Boyd put the muzzle of his gun close against his chest and
pulled the trigger. The bushrangers, including Bull, then went away.
It was some hours later when Shepherd regained consciousness, and
yelled out as loud as he could. He continued calling for some minutes,
and at last Catterall came out of the house and went to the hut.
"Why," he said, as he looked at Shepherd, "I thought you were dead."
He went away, but soon returned with several of the station hands,
and had Shepherd carried into the house and put to bed. He sent for a
doctor and the police. When the doctor arrived he took fourteen slugs
and bullets out of various parts of Shepherd's body. He recovered,
and lived for many years afterwards. In the meantime the police
followed the bushrangers, and shot Boyd as he was trying to escape by
swimming across the Snowy River. Keys and Bull were captured, and were
subsequently hung. Jack the Rammer escaped for a time, but was shot a
few months later.

On September 24th, 1838, the bushrangers Hall and Mayne stuck up Mr.
Joseph Roger's station at Currawang, near Yass. As they approached
the kitchen door the men inside rushed out, and the bushrangers fired
among them. A lad named Patrick Fitzpatrick was struck in the mouth,
the bullet coming out at the crown of his head. Three of the men were
wounded. The bushrangers appear to have regretted their act as soon as
it was done. They made no attempt to get away, but assisted to carry
the wounded men into the kitchen. Hall had been captured previously,
but had succeeded in escaping from the Goulburn Gaol shortly before
this attack on Mr. Roger's station. When sentenced to death, he said,
"I've been all over the country in my time without taking the life of
any one. I've been baited like a bull dog and I'm only sorry now that I
didn't shoot every---- tyrant in New South Wales." When taken from the
court-house to the gaol, he said to the crowd assembled there, "I've
never had anything to say against the prisoners, but I've a grudge
against every---- swell in the country. I'll go to the gallows and die
as comfortably as a biddy and be glad of the chance." The trial took
place on May 15th, 1839, and between then and the date fixed for the
execution. Hall made a desperate attempt to escape from Darlinghurst
Gaol. He failed and was hung on June 7th, with Michael Welsh, Donald
Maynard, and his mate, Mayne.

In January, 1839, Mr. Bailley was returning to his home on the
Parramatta Road, Sydney, when he was knocked down and beaten by three
men near his own door. They took a roll of bank notes from his pocket,
but a vehicle driving rapidly approached and frightened them so that
they dropped the notes and ran. Mr. Bailley picked them up and went


[Footnote 32: Commission of Enquiry into the state of New South Wales,

[Footnote 33: Select Committee of the House of Commons on
Transportation.--July, 1837. Major Mudie's evidence.]


  John Lynch; Murder of Kearns Landregan; Lynch's Trial and Sentence;
  His Terrible Confession; Murder of the Frazers, Father and Son;
  Murder and Cremation of the Mulligans; His Appeals to Almighty God.

John Lynch is usually regarded as the most callous and brutal of the
bushrangers of New South Wales. He was transported from Cavan, Ireland,
in October, 1831. For some months after his arrival in the colony he
worked in a road gang in the neighbourhood of Sydney and was then
assigned to Mr. Barton as a farm servant. Soon after his arrival at
the farm, near Berrima, he appears to have exercised his ingenuity in
stealing any articles which he could find and of selling them to any
person who would buy them. In 1835 was arrested and tried at Berrima
on a charge of having stolen a saddle from his employer but was
acquitted. He "bolted" into the bush and a few days afterwards a man
named Thomas Smith, who had been witness in a case of highway robbery,
was found dead in the scrub. Several bushrangers were arrested. Lynch
being among them, on suspicion of having decoyed Smith from his hut
and beaten his brains out with clubs as "a warning to traitors," as
all those were called who gave evidence against bushrangers. Lynch
was again acquitted, but two others were hung for the murder. During
the following two or three years he was sentenced to twelve months'
imprisonment for having harboured bushrangers, and on February 21st,
1841, he was arrested at "Mulligan's Farm" and charged with the murder
of Kearns Landregan. On the 19th, Mr. Hugh Tinney was travelling to
Sydney with his bullock dray and camped for the night at Ironstone
Bridge. The next morning his driver walked along the creek bank to
look for the bullocks. He noticed some freshly cut scrub piled up, and,
being curious to know what it had been placed there for, he pulled
some branches away and discovered the newly-murdered body of a man.
On examining further, he found that the head had been fearfully cut
and battered. Round the neck was a piece of string, and to this were
attached an Agnus Dei and a temperance medal. Mr. Tinney sent Sturges,
the bullock-driver, to Berrima to give information, and he returned
with Chief Constable Noel, Mr. James Harper, the police magistrate, and
Dr. McDonald. On search being made, signs of a camp were found not far
away. A small fire had been lighted as if to boil a quart pot of tea,
and some remains of hay were found, showing that a horse had been fed
there. It was noticed that grey hairs were scattered about where the
horse had rolled, and therefore it was evident that the horse was of
that colour. During the day investigations were made by the police, and
the following morning Chief Constable Chapman, Sergeant Freer, and Mr.
John Chalker, landlord of the Woolpack Inn, Nattai, went to Mulligan's
Farm, Wombat Brush, and identified John Dunleavy, as John Lynch, a
prisoner illegally at large. When arrested on the charge of having
murdered Kearns Landregan, Lynch exclaimed: "I am innocent, I leave it
to God and man. I don't blame you, Chapman, but Chalker is interfering
too much in what doesn't concern him."

A grey horse was found at the farm, and Chalker identified this as the
horse which Lynch had been driving when he stopped at the Woolpack
for dinner. Lynch had "shouted" for Landregan and the landlord before
leaving, and Chalker gave him a bundle of hay for the horse. The hay
was rye grass, similar to that found at the camp.

Lynch was tried at Berrima on March 21st, 1842, before the Chief
Justice, Sir James Dowling. Mary Landregan said that the body found
was that of her husband. The temperance medal had been given to him by
Father Mathew before they left Ireland. They were both teetotallers,
and had come to Australia as free immigrants. Her husband had about £40
when he left his last place and started to look for another job. She
had not seen him since, but he had sent word, by Susan Beale, servant
at Mr. Chalker's hotel, that he had engaged to put up fencing and do
other work for Mr. Dunleavy for £15.

A leather belt on which the words "Jewish Harp" had been scratched,
apparently with the point of a knife, was found at the farm, and was
identified as the property of Kearns Landregan by his brother, who said
that Kearns had promised to meet him at a public-house of that name in
the neighbourhood, and had scratched the name on his belt so that he
might remember it.

Further evidence showed that Lynch had purchased, at the Post Office
Stores, Berrima, on the 20th February, a merino dress, some women's
caps, a pair of child's shoes, and some tobacco. He was served by Mrs.
Mary Higgins and gave her a £5 note in payment. From the store he went
to Michael Doyle's, White Horse Hotel, and bought two gallons of rum,
four gallons of wine, half a chest of tea, and a bag of sugar. He gave
his name as John Dunleavy, Wombat, and said he had taken Mulligan's
farm. He gave six £1 notes and a note of hand for £5 2s. in payment.
The goods were placed in a cart drawn by a grey horse. Some of the Bank
notes were identified as having been among those carried by Landregan.

There were a number of witnesses, and the case against the prisoner
with regard to the murder of Landregan was very clear. It was
also stated that Mr. and Mrs. Mulligan and their two children had
disappeared suddenly, and that there was a suspicion that they had been
murdered. Lynch produced a letter dated from Wollongong purporting to
have been signed by Mulligan, but the writing was said to be unlike
that of Mulligan. Several other mysterious disappearances were also
spoken of. When asked what he had to say Lynch replied that he had met
Landregan on the road, and Landregan asked him to carry his swag for
him. Landregan said he had been gambling at McMahon's public-house,
and must have left his money there. Lynch told him to get up and ride
as far as he was going his way. When they reached Bolland's, Lynch
asked Landregan to have a drink, but Landregan refused, saying that his
wife was there, and that he did not want her to see him. When they
got a little further along the road Landregan got down, took his swag,
and walked away into the bush, and he had not seen him since. Lynch
complained that he had been treated very unfairly. He had, he said,
been sent out for seven years, but had been treated as a "lifer." He
had served his time fairly, but he could not get his rights. When his
father died in Ireland he had left him between £600 and £700. That was
how he bought Mulligan's farm.

Lynch was found guilty, and, in passing sentence, his Honour said:
"John Lynch, the trade in blood which has so long marked your career
is at last terminated, not by any sense of remorse, or the sating of
any appetite for slaughter on your part, but by the energy of a few
zealous spirits, roused into activity by the frightful picture of
atrocity which the last tragic passage of your worthless life exhibits.
It is now credibly believed, if not actually ascertained, that no less
than nine other individuals have fallen by your hands. How many more
have been violently ushered into another world remains undiscovered,
save in the dark pages of your own memory. By your own confession it
is admitted that as late as 1835 justice was invoked on your head
for a frightful murder committed in this immediate neighbourhood.
Your unlucky escape on that occasion has, it would seem, whetted your
tigrine relish for human gore--but at length you have fallen into toils
from which you cannot escape." His Honour quoted from the evidence
at length, and said that the prisoner had "spared neither age nor
youth in gratifying his sordid lust for gain." The disappearance of
the Mulligans had not been accounted for, but there could be little
doubt that the prisoner knew what their fate was. He concluded his
exordium by saying that too much praise could not be bestowed, "not
merely on the police, but upon the inhabitants of the neighbourhood,
in unravelling the dark mystery of Landregan's death, and bringing his
blood home to your door." He then pronounced sentence in the usual form.

The prisoner listened throughout with an unmoved countenance, and
when the Judge had finished he said he hoped his Honour would order
that the small amount due as wages to the Barnetts should be paid.
They were innocent of any complicity in the offence with which he had
been charged, and he hoped they would soon be released from gaol.
There was also £1 due to a boy who had been working on the farm, and
he hoped this would also be paid. Whatever had happened at the farm
it had happened before either the Barnetts or the boy went there, and
they knew nothing about it. For some days after his sentence John
Lynch continued to assert that he was innocent, but finding, as is
supposed, that there was no hope of a reprieve, he asked to see the
Rev. Mr. Sumner on the day before that fixed for his execution, and in
the presence of the police magistrates and the minister, made a very
extraordinary confession, of which the following is a brief summary:--

He arrived in the colony in 1832 in the _Dunvegan Castle_. The entry on
his indent was:--"False pretences; sentence, life." This was wrong. He
had only been sentenced to seven years' penal servitude. He had applied
to the authorities at the Hyde Park Barracks for his free papers, but
had been kept waiting a fortnight without getting any satisfaction. So
he returned to the Berrima district, where he had been assigned. He
went to John Mulligan for advice and assistance. Mulligan had a lot of
goods and valuables, which Lynch is supposed to have stolen and left at
the farm. He wanted to sell them, but Mulligan refused to give a fair
price for them. Lynch had made up his mind to live honestly, but this
treatment disgusted him. He complained bitterly of the dishonesty of
men who were in a good position and who "ought to have known better."
He left Mulligan's and went to T.B. Humphrey's farm at Oldbury and
stole eight bullocks, which he had himself broken in, and started
with them for Sydney, with the intention of selling them, so that he
might "start honest." At Mount Razorback he fell in with a man named
Ireland, who was in charge of a loaded team belonging to Mr. Thomas
Cowper. The load was a valuable one, consisting of wheat, bacon, and
other farm produce. Lynch thought it would pay him better to kill
Ireland and take possession of the dray and its load than to sell Mr.
Humphrey's bullocks. He therefore camped with Ireland that night, and
"they were very friendly." In the morning a black boy who accompanied
Ireland went to look for the bullocks, and Lynch followed and killed
him. He returned to the camp without his absence having been noticed
by Ireland, and watched for a chance. Ireland had no suspicion of foul
play, and Lynch soon got near enough to him to strike him a blow with
his tomahawk. Lynch hid the bodies in a cleft between two rocks, and
piled stones over them. He remained at the camp two days. On the second
day two other teams arrived at the camp in charge of men named Lee and
Lagge, and they all agreed to travel together for company. When near
Liverpool Mr. Cowper rode up and was surprised to find a stranger in
charge of his dray. Lynch told him a plausible story to the effect that
Ireland had been taken suddenly ill, and had asked him to take the
team on. The black boy had stayed behind to nurse Ireland, and they
were to follow as soon as Ireland got well enough. Mr. Cowper believed
him and was satisfied, and after making enquiries as to where Ireland
was stopping, arranged with Lynch where they should meet in Sydney.
The time and place having been agreed on, Mr. Cowper rode away. Lee
and Lagge were bound for Parramatta, and therefore, when they reached
the junction of the Dog Trap Road with the Liverpool Road, they parted
company with Lynch, who kept straight on. Left by himself, Lynch drove
on night and day, reaching Sydney two days before the time appointed
for him to meet Mr. Cowper. He hired a man who was half drunk to sell
the loading, and as soon as he had received the money for the loading
he started away with the team on the Illawarra Road. When near George's
river he met Chief Constable McAlister, of Campbelltown, and fearing
that he might have been recognised, he turned off the road on to a
cross track leading towards the Berrima road. He knew there would soon
be a hue and cry after him and feared that McAlister would report
having met him on the Illawarra road. He travelled on until he came
back to Razorback, near where the murder had been committed. Here he
met the Frazers, father and son, driving a horse team owned by Mr.
Bawten. He kept company with them and they camped together at Bargo
Brush. Another horse team with which there were two men and their wives
also camped there. After their supper Lynch was lying under his dray
when a mounted trooper rode up and asked Frazer some questions about
a dray which had been stolen, and which belonged to Mr. Cowper. The
Frazers were unable to give him any information and the trooper rode
away without noticing Lynch, who was lying under the very dray he was
enquiring about. This narrow escape gave Lynch a terrible shock. He
lay awake all night thinking of the danger he was running by keeping
this dray. He "prayed to Almighty God to assist and enlighten" him
in this emergency, and feeling much strengthened he resolved to kill
the Frazers and take their dray. Having arrived at this decision he
became calmer and thought out the details of his plan carefully. In
the morning Lynch left the camp under the pretence that he was going
to look for his bullocks, but in reality to drive them away. On his
return he reported that he could not find them and spoke of the trouble
bullocks gave by their wandering habits. He asked the Frazers to help
him to pull his dray into the bush where he could leave it safely until
he could return with another team of bullocks and take it home. There
was nothing surprising in this, as bullocks frequently stray away home
as soon as they are unyoked and will travel astonishing distances,
even when hobbled, before morning. The Frazers, therefore, helped
Lynch to drag the dray away from the road to where there was a clump
of trees, and then yoked up their horses. Lynch put such few things as
he had in the dray into Frazer's cart, and they all started together.
That night they camped at Cordeaux Flat. In the morning young Frazer
started to find the horses, and Lynch accompanied him. Lynch wore a
coat because, he said, it was rather cold. As a fact, it was to hide
his tomahawk. When they were in the bush, out of sight of the camp.
Lynch found "no difficulty in settling him." He struck one blow, and
"the young fellow fell like a log of wood." Lynch returned to the camp
leading one horse, and said the lad was looking for the other. This
made Frazer very uneasy, not on account of his son, but because he had
never known the horses to part company before, and feared that some one
must have stolen the other horse. He "fidgeted about" until Lynch, who
had been watching for an opportunity, got behind him and "struck him
one blow and killed him dead." Lynch buried the two bodies a little
way off the road and remained at the camp all day. The next morning he
drove through Berrima to Mulligan's farm. He told Mrs. Mulligan that
the dray and horses belonged to a gentleman in Sydney. He asked her
for the £30 which he said her husband owed him for the articles which
he had left at the farm, and which he had obtained by burglary and
highway robbery. Mrs. Mulligan assured him on oath that all she had in
the house was £9. Lynch felt sure she was only "putting him off," and
felt very much discouraged. He walked to Mr. Gray's, Black Horse Inn,
about three miles down the road, and bought two bottles of rum. On his
return he gave some to Mr. and Mrs. Mulligan, but "took very little"
himself. He sat down on a log near the fence, and thought, "This man
passed me by as if he didn't know me when I was in the iron gang in
Berrima. He never offered me a shilling though he has made pounds out
of me, and I risked my life to obtain it. It would be a judgment on
him to take all he's got for the way he's treated a poor prisoner.
Oh, Almighty God, assist me and direct me what to do." After praying
he felt strengthened and returned to the hut. Mrs. Mulligan told him
that she had dreamed that she had a baby and that he had taken it away
and killed it. "It was all covered with blood and looked horrible."
Lynch joked with her about this dream; but, at the same time, he "felt
very frightened." He believed that "she could foretell things," and
he knew that "she could toss balls and turn cups." He went away again
and prayed to God to enlighten him, and at last made up his mind to
"kill the lot." He returned to the hut and "talked pleasantly." Then
he asked young Mulligan, who was about sixteen years of age, to "come
and cut some wood" for the fire. The boy went with him, and as they
walked along Lynch spoke to the lad of the fine property he would have
"when the old man died;" adding, "Ah, Johnny, you don't know what's in
store for you." They chopped up several sticks and then, when the boy
was stooping, Lynch swung the axe round and "hit him on the head." He
threw a few branches over the body, and then, picking up an armful of
the wood they had cut walked back to the house. Mrs. Mulligan asked him
where her boy was, and Lynch replied that he'd "gone to the paddock
with the horses." Mrs. Mulligan was very uneasy and asked Lynch to fire
his gun off, as a signal to the boy to return. Lynch said this might
bring the police round and he didn't want them "to see that dray."
Mulligan also objected to the gun being fired. Both Mulligan and his
wife were greatly excited. The old man paced up and down in front of
the house, while the old woman, after asking Lynch several times what
he had done with her boy, started up the path to look for him. Then
said Lynch, "I knew it was time for something to be done." He got his
tomahawk without being seen, walked up to the old man and cried "Look!"
Mulligan turned round and looked up the road where Lynch pointed, Lynch
struck him "one tap" and he "fell like a log." Lynch then followed Mrs.
Mulligan, tripped her up and killed her. He walked back to the hut and
saw the daughter, a girl of fourteen, standing behind the table with
a large butcher's knife in her hand. She was trembling violently. He
said to her "Put down that knife," She hesitated to obey him, and he
cried louder, "Put down that knife." Then she put it down. He walked
round the table and took her hand. He said he did not wish to hurt
her, but if he let her live she would "only put him away." He told her
to "pray for her soul," as she had "only ten minutes to live." She
sobbed bitterly and he tried to comfort her, talking very seriously,
and telling her that life was full of trouble, and that she would be
better dead. Then he took her into the inner room, and after having
violated her, brought her out again and killed her with the tomahawk.
He dragged the four bodies together, heaped firewood over them and
set fire to the heap. "I never seen nothing like it," he said. "They
burned as if they was bags of fat." He threw the greater part of their
clothing on to the fire and burned it. He stayed at the farm all next
day, and then, when he had "made things right," he went to Sydney. Here
he inserted an advertisement in the _Sydney Gazette_ to the effect that
Mrs. Mulligan having left her home without his consent he would not be
responsible for any debts she might contract. This was signed "John
Mulligan." He returned to the farm and wrote letters to those people to
whom he knew Mulligan owed money, informing them that he had sold the
farm to John Dunleavy, who would pay their accounts. These letters he
also signed "John Mulligan." Lynch then engaged Terence Barnett and his
wife to work on the farm, and stayed there quietly for six months. The
stories he told in the neighbourhood induced the belief that Mulligan
had taken him in with regard to the farm, and that he had paid more
for it than it was worth. At the end of six months Lynch paid another
visit to Sydney, and on his return journey met with Kearns Landregan,
who said he was looking for work. Lynch engaged him to put up some
fencing. Landregan agreed and got into the cart. Lynch drove on until
they were passing Crisp's Inn. Here Landregan crouched down as if to
hide himself. Lynch asked him what he did that for. Landregan replied
that he had summoned Crisp for stealing a bundle of clothes from him
and didn't want a row about it then. Lynch felt sorry that he had
engaged Landregan and determined to get rid of him. He decided to camp
at Ironstone Bridge and, when Landregan was sitting on a log near the
camp fire, Lynch crept up behind him and struck him with the tomahawk.
In his confession Lynch was very particular in pointing out that in
all his previous murders he had not struck any one of his victims
more than one blow with the tomahawk or axe. Landregan, however, was
a big powerful man, who boasted that he had never met his match in
wrestling, and Lynch felt afraid of him. He therefore departed from his
rule and struck Landregan twice. He attributed his "ill-luck" in being
caught and convicted to this breach of the rule he had laid down for
himself. Lynch seems to have persuaded himself that he was acting under
Divine inspiration in committing his murders. He was very emphatic
in his assertions that he never committed a murder, without having
first prayed to Almighty God to assist and direct him, until he felt
sufficiently strengthened to carry out his intentions. He appeared to
believe that he was justified in taking life. Whatever may be thought
of his confessions, however, there can be no doubt that the main
facts were correct. After his death a search was made at the places
where he said he had hidden or buried his victims, and in all cases
the remains were found as he had stated they would be. With regard to
the Mulligans, a large heap of ashes was searched and found to contain
human remains. The confession only included his more serious crimes. He
said nothing about the numerous robberies he had committed at various
times, nor of his relations with other bushrangers, with whom it was
known he was on cordial terms during at least a portion of his career.
Lynch was hanged at Berrima on April 22nd, 1842. At that time he was
only twenty-nine years of age. He was about five feet three and a half
inches in height, of fair complexion, with brown hair and hazel eyes.
There was nothing ferocious in his appearance.


  Jackey Jackey, the Gentleman Bushranger; His Dispute with Paddy
  Curran; Some Legends About Him; Jackey Jackey Always Well-dressed and
  Mounted; His Capture at Bungendore; His Escape at Bargo Brush; Jackey
  Jackey Visits Sydney; His Capture by Miss Gray; Paddy Curran's Fight
  with the Police; Recaptured and Hung; John Wright Threatens to Make a
  Clean Sweep.

William Westwood, better known as Jackey Jackey, was the darling of the
old hands. He was only an errand boy in England, and was transported
for some small peccadillo when he was sixteen years of age. He landed
in Sydney in 1837, and was assigned to Mr. Phillip Gidley King, at
Gidley, in the Goulburn district. He stayed at the station for nearly
three years, and then, in company with a notorious scoundrel named
Paddy Curran, stuck up and robbed his employer's house. The partnership
between Jackey Jackey and Curran, however, did not last very long.
Curran disgusted Jackey Jackey by his brutality to women. In one of
their mutual enterprises Curran criminally assaulted a woman, the
wife of the farmer whose place they had stuck up. Jackey Jackey was
furious. He declared that even if a man was a bushranger he might be
a gentleman, and added that he would never see a woman insulted. He
threatened to shoot Curran unless he left at once, and stripped him of
his horse, arms and ammunition. This story furnishes the key-note to
Jackey Jackey's character. To the old hands he was always the gentleman
bushranger. The stories told by them about the Jewboy and other
bushrangers, and even about Mathew Brady, were generally coarse and
sometimes brutal, but Jackey Jackey was always polite and well-behaved.
More legends have collected round the name of Jackey Jackey than round
that of any other of the bushrangers, and many of them are obviously
variants of the stories told of the historical highwaymen of England.
For instance, Jackey Jackey is said to have bailed up the carriage
of the Commissary. When he discovered that the Commissary's wife was
inside he dismounted, opened the door and, sweeping the ground with
his cabbage tree hat, as he bowed low before her, he invited her to
favour him with a step on the green. He rode incredible distances in
incredibly short periods of time. He is represented as bailing up a
man near Goulburn and telling him to note the time by his watch and
then racing away and bailing up another man at Braidwood or some other
place a hundred or a hundred and fifty miles away in a few hours and
asking that person to note the time. Many of the popular stories told
about him are so evidently apocryphal that little notice can be taken
of them. But one thing is certain and that is that he was always well
mounted. He scorned to steal an inferior horse and would travel miles
to secure a racer. He stole racehorses from Mr. Murray, Mr. Julian, and
many other gentlemen in the districts over which he ranged.

Although he appears to have been of humble origin he is credited with
having been highly educated. This point was especially insisted upon by
his eulogists among the old hands. By them he was always represented
as being "able to hold his own," in conversation, with "the best of
'em." I remember one old fellow telling me that when Jackey Jackey
met Governor Gipps (of which meeting, however, I can find no record)
the governor and the bushranger had a long conversation and parted
mutually pleased with each other. "You and me," said the old chap,
"couldn't have understood what they said though it was all English;
but, they talked grammar." What his precise meaning was I had no
idea, but I have always thought that he intended to suggest that
their conversation was all carried on in what he might have called
"dictionary words;" that is, words not used by the uneducated. But
everything said of Jackey Jackey redounds to his credit from the old
hand point of view. He was emphatically "a good man." The meaning
attached to words is purely conventional, and is therefore liable
to vary with the conventionalities. The point of view of the convict
being entirely different to that of the law-abiding citizen, the terms
"good" and "bad" changed places in their vocabulary. Thus the clergy,
the magistrates, the free men, were generally "bad men," while those
who resisted authority, who fought against law and order, were "good
men." Even the cannibal Pierce was a good man from their point of view,
however strongly they might condemn his methods. But Jackey Jackey,
although he continued the fight to the bitter end, and ended his life
on the gallows when he was only twenty-six, never did anything mean
or brutal or unworthy of a gentleman bushranger, until he was almost
goaded to madness by the cruel discipline of Norfolk Island.

Paddy Curran was "out in the bush" several months before Jackey Jackey
joined him, and he was not the only bushranger at work in the district.
On December 31st, 1839, the station of the Rev. Mr. Cartwright was
stuck up and robbed. On the same day a skirmish between the police
and seven mounted bushrangers took place near Yass. One of the police
horses was killed, and the police were compelled to retreat. On the
same day, Mr. Heffernan's house, not far from Goulburn, was stuck up
and robbed of £21 in money, a case of duelling pistols, a valuable
mare, and other property. Mr. Israel Shepherd also lost a valuable
horse, besides some money, and Mr. Charles Campbell was reported to
have been shot dead. This is a heavy record for one day, and as the
robberies took place so far distant from each other, there must have
been at least three separate parties concerned in them. About the same
time it was reported that Scotchy and Whitton were plundering the
stations on the Lachlan River in all directions, and that Mr. Arthur
Rankin had left his station and retired to Sydney in consequence of
the insecurity in the country districts. The robberies continued all
through the year 1840, and a great part of 1841.

On January 13th of the last-mentioned year a man ran into the township
of Bungendore, and said that Jackey Jackey had followed and fired at
him. A few minutes' later Jackey Jackey himself, mounted on a splendid
mare, which he had stolen from the Messrs. Macarthur, hove in sight
on the plains. He was dressed in a fine suit of clothes which he had
obtained when he stuck up and robbed the store at Boro a few days
before. He stopped to speak to a man near Eccleton's. In the meantime
Mr. Powell, the resident magistrate, and his brother, Mr. Frank Powell,
promptly mounted and went towards the bushranger, and were joined
by Richard Rutledge, who, however, had no arms. As they approached
Jackey Jackey wheeled round and fired at them, but failed to hit any
one. Mr. Balcombe and the Rev. Mr. McGrath drove up in a gig, and Mr.
McGrath jumped down and presented his gun. Jackey Jackey seeing himself
surrounded, surrendered. He explained that his mare had come a long
journey and was unfit to travel, and that his musket was out of order
and would not go off. He was conducted to the inn and placed in a room,
two ticket-of-leave men being placed there to guard him. Jackey Jackey
sat very quiet for some time. Then he jumped up suddenly, knocked down
one of his guards, snatched his musket, jumped through the window, and
ran across the plain. Frank Powell, who was close at hand, followed
him, and with the assistance of Dr. Wilson's postman, recaptured him.
Among other exploits previous to this capture Jackey Jackey had robbed
the Queanbeyan, Tarago, and other mails, stuck up Mr. Julian, Mr.
Edinburgh, and a number of other people on the roads at various times
and places, stolen horses from all the principal owners and breeders in
the district, fired at the driver of the Bungendore mail, who escaped,
and had robbed the Boro Creek store of clothing, money, provisions, and
other articles, on the Tuesday before his capture. For several months
Lieutenant Christie and the whole of the mounted police of the district
had been trying to capture him, and he had more than once escaped only
by the superior fleetness of his horses. As soon as possible after his
capture he was handed over to Lieutenant Christie, who conducted him
to Goulburn, where he was lodged in the lock-up. The following day he
was being taken to Bargo Brush, on the road to Sydney, when he made
a desperate attempt to escape on foot, running for a mile before he
was recaptured. He was then tied on the horse and the journey was
resumed, but at night he broke out of the Bargo lock-up, taking with
him the watch-house keeper's arms and ammunition. He soon procured a
horse, and on the following day stuck up Mr. Francis Macarthur on the
Goulburn Plains. He robbed Mr. Macarthur of his watch, money, and other
valuables, and took one of his carriage horses because it was better
than the animal he was riding.

In the meantime the other bushrangers in the district had not been
idle. In September, 1840, a fight took place between the police and the
bushrangers near Wellington. One of the bushrangers was shot dead, and
a mounted trooper was wounded in the shoulder. A few days later another
encounter occurred, when a constable was shot dead within two miles of
the township.

On October 3rd, Mr. Robert Smith's station, Newria, was attacked by
four armed bushrangers and plundered of everything worth carrying away.
Mr. Aarons had recently arrived from Sydney, with the intention of
opening a store in Wellington. The bushrangers threatened to throw him
into the fire unless he handed over his money. They got upwards of £400
from him. Mr. McPhillamy rode up at the time, and was invited by one
of the bushrangers to dismount and come in. He dismounted, and then,
discovering the class of men he had to deal with, quickly jumped on his
horse again and started. The bushrangers fired at him, and one of the
bullets so severely injured his hand that it had to be amputated. A
reward of £200 was offered for the capture of these men.

On Tuesday, May 18th, 1841, a gentleman, mounted on a spirited horse,
pulled up at the tollbar on the Parramatta Road, Sydney, and asked
the toll-keeper if he could oblige him with a pipe of tobacco. The
toll-keeper gave him a piece, and the gentleman dismounted and filled
his pipe. As he stood at the door of the toll-house he remarked a
firelock hanging over the mantelpiece, and asked what it was for. "For
bushrangers," replied the toll man. "But there are none now. I've never
seen it taken down since I've been here." "Did you ever hear of Jackey
Jackey?" enquired the gentleman. "Oh, yes," replied the toll man,
"but he's a long way away. He never comes to Sydney. If he did he'd
soon be caught." "Not at all," replied the gentleman laughing. "They
don't know how to catch him, nor to keep him when they do catch him.
I'm Jackey Jackey." He raised the lappels of his coat as he spoke and
showed a brace of pistols stuck in his belt on each side. The tollman
looked very much alarmed, but the bushranger said to him, "Don't be
frightened, I am not going to hurt you. I've been in Sydney for three
days and I'm going back to Manaro." He informed the tollman that he
had taken a horse in Sydney, but that he was too old and stiff, so he
had taken the liberty of exchanging him for the one he had with him
at Grose's Farm. "Ain't you afraid of being took?" asked the tollman.
Jackey laughed. "I'd like to see who'll stop me while I've these little
bull-dogs about me," he said, tapping his pistols. He stood chatting
while he smoked regardless of the fact that Grose's Farm, now the
grounds of the Sydney University, was within a stone's-throw of the
tollbar. He offered the tollman some money and asked him to go to the
public-house for some rum. The tollman replied, "I can't leave the
bar." "All right," returned Jackey, "then I'll get it myself." He went
away to Toogood's Inn and returned in a few minutes with half-a-pint of
rum. He gave some to the toll-keeper and took a stiff glass himself.
Then he shook hands with the tollman, mounted his horse, and rode on
towards Parramatta.

On the 8th of July a great commotion was caused in George Street,
Sydney, by a soldier arresting a well-dressed man and asserting that he
recognised him as Jackey Jackey. A large number of people assembled and
there were plenty of them quite ready to assist in the capture of the
noted bushranger. On the prisoner being taken to the police court proof
was soon forthcoming to show that he was a free man. He was discharged
and the soldier was censured for being too officious. Since the visit
of the bushranger in May had become known a constant look-out had been
kept in case he should repeat his visit.

Jackey Jackey did not long maintain his freedom, however. He one day
went into Gray's Black Horse Inn on the Berrima road, called for some
refreshments, went into a sitting room, and threw himself on the sofa.
He was served by Miss Gray, and while he was drinking she pounced on
him and screamed. Her father and mother came to her assistance, but
Jackey Jackey fought with so much determination that he would no doubt
have got away. A carpenter named Waters was working near, however, and
hearing the noise he rushed in and struck Jackey Jackey on the head
with his shingling hammer. Knocked senseless, the noted bushranger
was easily secured. It will be remembered that Gray's Black Horse Inn
was about three miles from Mulligan's farm, and was the place where
Lynch had bought the rum to treat Mr. and Mrs. Mulligan just before
he murdered them. The capture of Jackey Jackey was effected for the
purpose of securing the reward of offered for him dead or alive. He
was tried for the robbery of the Boro store, and was sentenced to
penal servitude for life. He was first confined in Darlinghurst Gaol,
Sydney, but being detected in an attempt to escape, he was transferred
to Cockatoo Island at the mouth of the Parramatta River. While here
he organised a band of twenty-five prisoners, and made a desperate
attempt to escape. The gang overcame and tied a warder, and then jumped
into the harbour with the intention of swimming to Balmain. The water
police, however, were apprised of the mutiny and captured the whole
gang. It has been asserted that no prisoner has escaped from Cockatoo
Island. The distance from the island to the shore is not very great,
certainly less than half-a-mile to the nearest point, but all who have
tried to swim it have either been retaken by the police or eaten by

The gang was tried for this attempt at escape and were sentenced to be
sent to Port Arthur, Van Diemen's Land. Being such a desperate lot of
scoundrels they were chained down in the hold of the brig, in which
they were forwarded, for safety; but, in spite of this precaution, they
contrived to get loose and were only prevented from capturing the brig
by the hatches being put on and battened down. They reached Port Arthur
in an almost suffocated condition, and were nearly starved, as they
had had no food for several days; the captain of the brig not daring
to remove the hatches, either to let in air, or to pass food to the

Jackey Jackey succeeded in escaping from Port Arthur and immediately
resumed his bushranging career. He was captured, however, after a
very short run and was sent to Glenorchy Probation Station for milder
treatment. Probably this attempt at reformation came too late, but
however this may have been, it had little beneficial effect. Jackey
Jackey made his escape and again began bushranging. He was captured
in a house in Hobart Town and was sentenced to death. The sentence,
however, was commuted to penal servitude for life and he was sent to
Norfolk Island, where we shall hear of him again later on.

In the meantime, Jackey Jackey's old mate, Paddy Curran, continued to
rob as before. He went to Major Lockyer's station and entered the men's
hut while they were having their Christmas dinner, in 1840. He had a
pair of handcuffs hanging at his belt, and was therefore thought to
be a constable out on the spree. He helped himself freely to the good
things on the table, and behaved generally so as to induce the idea
that he had been drinking. One of the men, however, said he did not
believe that the visitor was "a drunken trap," and Curran immediately
knocked him down with the butt of his gun. The man jumped up at once
and rushed at Curran. There was a struggle for a time, and the man
got Curran down. He was, however, too much exhausted to hold him, and
Curran got up. The other men, who were all assigned servants on the
estate, looked on and applauded the wrestlers, but not one of them
made any motion to assist his mate, otherwise Curran might easily have
been captured. After his wrestling match Curran walked out of the hut,
mounted his horse, and rode away. On the following day Curran again
went to the station, and found Mr. North, son-in-law to Major Lockyer,
and another man in the store. He called on them to bail up, and both
men held their hands up. Curran was about to enter the store-door when
he was pinioned from behind. Mr. North and his store-keeper rushed
forward, and after a severe struggle, during which the bushranger
tried hard to get his gun free, he was captured and tied. The man who
had pinioned him was the man with whom he had had the wrestling match
the day before. Curran was taken to Goulburn for examination, and was
remanded to Berrima to take his trial, "where," said the _Port Phillip
Herald_, "it is to be hoped he will be more securely confined, and not
allowed to escape, as he did before."

Paddy Curran and James Berry, another bushranger, were sent to Berrima
for trial in charge of Constables McGuire and Wilsmore. They stopped at
a hut on the road for a rest and food. After they had finished their
meal Constable Wilsmore left the hut, and stayed away for some time. At
length Constable McGuire went to the door of the hut to call him, and
Berry and Curran, taking advantage of his action, immediately rushed
upon him. They were handcuffed together, and this no doubt hampered
their movements. McGuire fought hard. The bushrangers had seized the
guns, and each held one. McGuire endeavoured to wrest the gun from
Curran with one hand, while he held Berry's gun off with the other
hand. He yelled for Wilsmore, but Wilsmore did not come. At length
Berry got his gun loose and shot McGuire in the back of the head and in
the shoulder. At this moment Constable Wilsmore returned, and seeing
his mate dead and the prisoners in possession of the guns, ran away
again. Curran and Berry beat McGuire about the head until he was dead,
and a "fearful spectacle to look upon." Then they searched his body,
and finding the key of the handcuffs, released themselves and made off.
The two bushrangers continued their depredations for only a few months,
however, as they were tracked down by the police and captured. Curran
was tried on September 15th, 1841, for the murder of Mr. Fuller. He
afterwards confessed to this murder. He said he was in company with
two other bushrangers on the road near Bungendore when he heard two
men quarrelling. Curran and his mates went towards the road and hid
behind trees. Presently two men, riding on one horse, came in sight
and appeared to be having a dispute about something. They were talking
loud and swearing at each other. Curran stepped out from behind the
tree and called on them to stop. Instead of doing so they wheeled the
horse and began to gallop away. Curran fired and both men fell, while
the horse bolted along the road and soon got out of sight. One of the
men jumped up as soon as he fell and ran into the bush and they did not
see him again. The other man was Mr. Fuller, and he was either dead or
at point of death. "I turned him over and took about £11 in money and
a pocket knife out of his pockets," said the bushranger.

Curran was also tried for having committed a rape on Mary Wilsmore.
He went to the hut occupied by Wilsmore on the 8th of February. It
was near Bungendore. He ordered Mrs. Wilsmore to get him some tea. A
bushranger, named White, was with him. Mrs. Wilsmore went outside to
get some wood to make up the fire and Curran followed her, knocked
her down, and dragged her away to some scrub where he committed the
offence. He was found guilty of both crimes and was sentenced to be
hung. There were another case of rape, several cases of murder, and
numbers of robberies and burglaries charged against him, but none of
these were heard.

James Berry was tried for the murder of Constable McGuire, and was
sentenced to death.

At the same sessions John Wright, another bushranger, was also
sentenced to death. The case against him was as follows;--On May 17th,
1840, Mrs. Margaret Foley, living at Long Swamp, about thirty miles
from Bathurst, was going from her house into the detached kitchen
at the rear, when three armed men appeared. She shouted "Here's the
bushrangers" and ran into the kitchen. Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Foley's
partner in the farm, came out of the house and fired both barrels of
his gun at the intruders, but failed to hit any of them. The leader of
the gang followed Mr. Cunningham, who went back into the house; and
saying, "It'll be a long time before you and Steel (son of Captain
Steel) hunt us again," shot him dead. Wright then went to the kitchen,
pushed the door open, and asked where Foley was? On being informed that
he had gone to Bathurst, he replied "I'm sorry for it. I'd 'a served
him the same as Cunningham if I'd 'a caught him." He swung his gun
about in such a reckless manner that one of the assigned servants in
the kitchen requested him to be careful, adding "Recollect that there
are women and children here." Wright told him to mind his "own----
business and be----" to him. He continued to swear about Foley's
absence and declared that he'd a "good mind to make a clean sweep."
He became cooler afterwards, and having collected all the jewellery
and other valuables, went away. In passing sentence the Chief Justice
commented on the great number of robberies which had been committed by
Wright and his gang and said there was no hope of mercy. Wright thanked
his Honour and then coolly asked whether he might have a candle in his
cell, as it was very dark.


  The Jewboy Gang; "Come and Shoot the Bushrangers;" Constable Refuses
  to Leave His Work to Hunt Bushrangers; Saved by his Wife; Robberies
  in Maitland; Bushrangers in High Hats; The Bullock-driver Captures
  the Bushrangers; An Attempt to Reach the Dutch Settlements; Mr. E.D.
  Day Captures the Gang; Assigned Servants' Attempt at Bushranging;
  Some other Gangs.

One of the most notorious of the early bushrangers of Australia was
Edward Davis, commonly known as The Jewboy. Next to Jackey Jackey and,
perhaps, Mathew Brady, more yarns have been told about this hero of
the roads than of any other bushranger in the pre-gold digging era.
The Jewboy gang varied in numbers from time to time, no doubt from
the cause already noted in the cases of Mike Howe and Mathew Brady.
Numbers of runaways joined the gang for a time and then returned to
what was called civilisation, gave themselves up as ordinary runaways,
and "took their fifties like men." Others were shot or captured, and
either hung or sent to a penal settlement to continue their careers
there. The Jewboy appears to have commenced his depredations in 1839 in
what were then the northern districts of the colony of New South Wales.
His range extended from about Maitland to the New England ranges, he
having taken possession of the Great Northern Road, but he was not
particular and, therefore, either he or other members of his gang, or,
perhaps, independent bushrangers who were only supposed to belong to
the Jewboy gang, travelled considerable distances from the road. On
January 12th, 1839, Mr. Biddington's servant was stuck up and robbed
near Mr. Wightman's station on the Namoi River, some distance lower
down than Tamworth. The servant sent an invitation to Mr. Wightman to
"come and have a shot at the bushrangers." The _Sydney Gazette_, of
April 3rd, said: "The country between Patrick's Plains and Maitland
has lately been the scene of numerous outrages by bushrangers. A party
of runaway convicts, armed and mounted, have been scouring the roads
in all directions. In one week they robbed no less than seven teams on
the Wollombi Road, taking away everything portable. They also went to
Mr. Nicholas's house, and carried away a great quantity of property
after destroying a great many articles which they did not want. Mr.
Macdougall, late Chief Constable of Maitland, and a party of volunteers
set out in pursuit. The Wollombi district constable is a tailor by
trade, and he refused to leave his work to accompany the party on the
plea that it would not pay him." This reminds us that the ordinary
police force of the present day did not exist in Australia at that
time. In the larger towns there were paid constables and watchmen who
devoted their whole time to guarding the citizens and their property;
but, in country districts, a tradesman was paid a small sum per annum
for acting as constable. There was, however, a mounted patrol force
which is frequently spoken of as a police force. The police duties in
Sydney, Parramatta, and other large towns were discharged by soldiers.

Major Sutton was stopped on the road by armed men, and robbed on his
return from attending the Maitland police sessions, and a hut belonging
to Mr. Windeyer, near Stroud, was broken into and robbed. Robberies
were very frequent about Maitland, and in the Upper Hunter and
Patterson River districts, and these were all credited to the Jewboy
gang, which was just coming into notoriety. On June 17th, 1839, four
bushrangers were captured near Murrurundi. They had a black gin and a
black boy with them. These were supposed to be part of the gang which
had bailed up Lieutenant Caswell's place on the 9th. When challenged
Lieutenant Caswell refused to stand. One of the bushrangers fired at
him, but his wife rushed forward and struck up the barrel of the gun
in time to save her husband's life. For doing this another of the gang
knocked her down. They searched the place and took away about £400
worth in money, jewellery, and other property. They held the road for
a day between Green Hills and Maitland, and robbed every person who
passed. The next day they went to Mr. Simpson's house in West Maitland.
A man employed there, however, fired at them, and they made off. On
the following day Mr. Michael Henderson was knocked down and robbed
near Wallis' Creek, on the road between East and West Maitland. Mr.
Cotham came up at the time and was seized, thrown down, and robbed.
As soon as news of these robberies were reported, Lieutenant Christie
with a party of mounted troopers started in pursuit. From Maitland the
gang is supposed to have travelled northwards, and on the 15th Mr.
Fleming received a note requesting him to get up his horses early on
the following morning. Instead of complying with this insolent order,
Mr. Fleming sounded his men, and believing that he could trust them
distributed arms among them and stationed them at various advantageous
points. When the bushrangers arrived the men fired at them. The robbers
returned the fire and ran to a hut, which they took possession of. A
regular siege ensued, and the black gin proved herself to be an expert
in loading guns. She was said to have acted as guard over men bailed
up, while the bushrangers were waiting to stop other travellers. The
bushrangers were dressed as gentlemen in clothes which they had stolen
from some of their victims. They were well armed and had plenty of
money. One of them, Thomas Maguire, was said to be a free man.

During the year 1840, the Jewboy gang committed numberless
depredations. They robbed Mr. Deake's house at Wollombi, stole his
horses, took horses from several other stations, and held the roads at
various places for a day at a time, and robbed every one who passed
along. The head-quarters of the gang were at Doughboy Hollow in the
Liverpool Ranges, and it was said that any man riding along the road
near Murrurundi or Quirindi, or between these places and Tamworth,
was "almost certain to lose his horse and whatever property he might
have about him, and be compelled to walk to the next stage and perhaps
further, while the bushrangers were riding his horse to death harrying
other honest people."

One of the stories told of the Jewboy was that he "rounded up" the
chief constable of the district with a party of constables and
volunteers who had gone out to seek for him, and after having "yarded
them like a mob of cattle," took their horses, arms, and whatever
money they had, and rode away laughing. However, sometimes the tables
were turned on the bushranger. A bullock driver named Budge was bailed
up by two of the gang. Budge had a little boy with him, and one of
the bushrangers stood over Budge and the child while the other was
ransacking the dray. Budge kept his eye on the sentry and, noticing him
look round to see how his mate was getting on, sprang on him, snatched
the pistol from his hand, and knocked him down. Then he ordered the
other bushranger to get off his dray, and made the two stand side by
side. He kept them standing thus for about two hours in hopes that some
travellers would pass along and assist him to take them to the nearest
lock-up, but unfortunately no one came, and he was forced at length to
let them go. He, however, kept their arms and saddles, and these he
delivered to the Commissary on arriving at his destination. There were
two guns and four pistols, all loaded. One of the saddles was owned by
Mr. Joliffe and was returned to him. In connection with this it is said
that Budge, when he was an assigned servant on Mr. Potter's Marquesas
Estate, some years before, had bolted with six or seven other servants
on the estate, and started to walk northward with "the hope of reaching
the Dutch settlements at Timour." They travelled for three days, during
the last forty-eight hours of which they had nothing to eat Budge
therefore left them and returned towards the Hunter River. He was so
exhausted, however, for want of food, that he fell. He was discovered
by a stockman who was out rounding up the cattle on the station. Budge
was taken into the station in a deplorable condition, and for a time
was not expected to live. He recovered, however, and continued to work
in the district. Of his companions nothing was heard for some years,
but later, when the country northward was explored, remains were found
which were believed to be theirs. From these it was conjectured that,
after Budge left, one man had been killed "to save the lives of the
others." There was evidence that one man had been cut up, it was
supposed for food; but this had not saved the others. That at least is
what the evidence pointed to. The remains had been so torn about by
dingoes, crows, and hawks, as to make it impossible to identify them.
The bodies were scattered over a wide area, some of them being several
miles away from the others; and it is not even certain whether the
whole number were ever found.

Nine men were arrested in Sydney and charged with being runaways. Eight
of them proved that they were free men, and the constable who arrested
them was censured. The case was cited as an instance of the arbitrary
character of the Bushranging Act. One of the men, however, proved to
be James Jackson, who had absconded from the estate of Mr. Turner, of
Maitland. He was sent back to Maitland and convicted of bushranging,
and was sent to penal servitude for life. He was said to have taken
part in some of the robberies committed by the Jewboy gang, having been
at large since the middle of 1840.

On Sunday, September 26th, some of the gang bailed up the mail man
between Muswellbrook and Patrick's Plains, and are supposed to have
taken some £250 from the letters. After this robbery one of them
bolted from his mates, taking the greater part of the proceeds of
their industry with him. He made his way to Sydney, where he passed
himself off for a time as a free immigrant. He was arrested under
the Bushrangers' Act and charged with being illegally at large. Then
news of the mail robbery reached Sydney, and the fellow was sent
to Muswellbrook, where he was identified by the mail man, and was
sentenced to penal servitude.

The gang afterwards went to Scone and stuck up Mr. Danger's store and
Mr. Chiver's Inn. The storeman in charge, named Graham, fired at the
bushrangers and then ran for the soldiers, but one of the bushrangers
followed him, and before he reached the watch-house, shot him dead.
They hastily made a bundle of such articles as took their fancy, and
left the town. They went to Captain Pike's station and seized the
overseer, taking him with them. When they were far enough in the bush
they formed themselves into "a court," and tried him "for want of
feeling." He was found guilty and sentenced to receive three dozen
lashes, "which he got in good style."

On Sunday, December 21st, 1840, Captain Horsley, of Woodbury, Hexham,
on the Hunter River, about five miles from Maitland, was awakened
and alarmed by the violent barking of his dogs. He rose twice during
the night and went out on to the verandah of the house, but could
see nothing. As the noise continued he went out for the third time,
when three men rushed at him. They threatened him with their guns and
compelled him to surrender. They then took him back to his bedroom,
made him get into bed, lie down, and cover his face with a pillow.
The captain and Mrs. Horsley were told that if either of them moved,
they would both be shot instantly. The robbers demanded the keys, and
on being told where to find them they opened the drawers, cabinets,
and cupboards, and made bundles of the clothes, jewellery, plate, and
money. They collected all the guns and pistols in the house, using the
most violent and profane language during their search for plunder.
It is supposed that they were disturbed in their work, as they left
very suddenly and dropped two gold rings and two silver candlesticks
in their flight; as these articles were picked up the following day
outside the house. On hearing of this outrage, Mr. Edward Denny Day
headed the soldiers and followed the bushrangers. They received tidings
of them at several points on the Great Northern Road, the robbers
bailing up people as they went along. They crossed the Page River at
Murrurundi and came up to the bushrangers near Doughboy Hollow. Here
the Jewboy made a stand. The fight was a desperate one, but ultimately
the bushrangers were beaten and Edward Davis (the Jewboy), John
Everett, John Shea, Robert Chitty, James Bryant, and John Marshall were
captured. Richard Glanvill, the remaining member of the gang, made his
escape, but was so closely pursued that he was captured in the scrub on
the following day, the 24th December. They were tried and convicted and
were hung on March 16th, 1841.

In January, 1841, a public meeting was held in Maitland, and a vote
of thanks was passed to Mr. E.D. Day for the service he had rendered
the district in ridding it of such a desperate lot of villains as
those which constituted the Jewboy gang. It was also resolved that a
subscription should be taken up with the object of presenting Mr. Day
with a handsome testimonial, and this was duly carried out. But the
capture of the chief members of this formidable gang by no means rid
the northern district of bushrangers, although no doubt it paved the
way towards that desirable end. Of those who remained it is impossible
to say whether they were members of this gang or not. Some of them
had no doubt acted with it occasionally, while others may have always
operated independently, though many of their depredations were credited
to the gang by the public.

Charles Vaut and Henry Steele, two of the assigned servants of Mr.
George Furber, worked in the field all day on Saturday, April 24th,
1841, and were seen in the kitchen at eight o'clock at night. On the
following Sunday evening the Rev. John Hill Garvan, residing at Hull
Hill, four miles from Maitland, was sitting at tea just after sunset,
when two men came to the door, presented their guns at him, and said,
"Don't stir." Mrs. Garvan was so much alarmed that she nearly fainted,
and Mr. Garvan asked that she might be allowed to retire to the
bedroom. "Sit still," cried the robber, "or I'll blow your brains out
and put your wife on the fire." Mr. Garvan then struck the smaller man,
Vaut, who was nearest to him, and he snapped his gun at the minister,
but it missed fire. The bigger man then ordered Mrs. Garvan to "go and
sit on the fire." "Oh, don't, pray don't, make me sit on the fire,"
cried the poor woman, but the ruffian took her by the shoulders and
forced her back on to the burning logs. At that moment a dray was heard
coming along the road, and Steele let her go. She was more frightened
than hurt, but her stockings were scorched. The two men then ran away,
and went back to their beds at Mr. Furber's. They were arrested on the
following day by Chief Constable George Wood, of Maitland. A pistol was
found under the sheet of bark which served them for a bedstead. When
brought up for trial, Judge Stephen (afterwards Sir Alfred Stephen),
said the law of England on burglary made no provision for such an
outrage as this, committed in a dwelling before nine o'clock. If they
were convicted they could not be sentenced to more than fifteen years'
imprisonment. The jury found them guilty, and they were sentenced to
the term mentioned. They were afterwards charged with shooting at Mr.
Garvan with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and were found guilty
and sentenced to transportation to a penal settlement for life. It is
more than probable that these men, and many others like them, assisted
the bushrangers whenever an opportunity occurred--that is, when the
bushrangers operated in the neighbourhood in which they were assigned
servants, but without actually becoming members of the gang. There was
a sort of freemasonry among the convicts which impelled them to assist
each other in their war against society, and even in cases where it
was obviously to their interests to stand by and assist their masters,
their sympathies with the bushrangers and their hatred of all forms
of authority impelled them irresistibly to take the opposite side, to
their own individual detriment. But the principal gang having been
broken up in this district, robberies of the kind described gradually
ceased, and it was some years before this district was again disturbed
as it had been. In other districts, however, the bushrangers were still

Mr. Michel, of Kurraducbidgee, was travelling to Port Phillip in
February, 1840. He went into an inn near Yass for food and refreshment
and found the place in the hands of the bushrangers. Fourteen men were
bailed up and Michel was compelled to take his place in line against
the wall of the bar. The bushrangers handed him a pannikin full of
tea before they took his money. Knowing what was coming, he held the
pannikin as if the tea was too hot to drink and, when the bushranger
in charge was looking away, dropped his roll of bank notes into it. He
stood very quietly and when the bushranger came to feel his pockets
there were only a few shillings in them. They appeared to be quite
satisfied and, on his saying that he had important business to attend
to, he was allowed to go. He carried the pannikin out with him, took
the money out and put it in his pocket without being observed, and
threw the tea away. Then he mounted his horse, rode to the nearest
police station and gave information. The police started for the hotel
immediately, but the robbers had decamped and no information could be
obtained as to the direction in which they had gone.

William Hutchinson, who had run away from the prisoners' barracks at
Hyde Park, Sydney, in July, 1836, was captured on June 28th, 1840, at
the corner of Market and George Streets. He had been out with a gang in
the Windsor district and a reward of £25 had been offered for him.

In January, 1841, six armed men called at the lock-up at Appin, and
asked Constable Laragy who was in charge to put them on the right road
for Campbelltown. They said that they had come from Kings Falls. The
constable stepped back for his gun, when one of them presented his gun
at Laragy and told him not to be a fool. They didn't want to hurt him.
As there was no one there to assist him he answered "All right," and
showed them the road, which they probably knew as well as he did. It
was said that this was merely a _ruse de guerre_ to let the police know
that they were out.

On Sunday, October 24th, 1841, a man entered the house of a soldier
in Parramatta and offered to pay half-a-crown for a night's lodging.
The offer was accepted, but the host afterwards, noticing that his
lodger carried pistols, became suspicious and went to the police
station. A constable accompanied him back and identified the lodger as
a bushranger who "was wanted." It was said that he had stuck up Mr.
Frazer and several other persons just outside the town. The constable
made an attempt to seize him and was promptly knocked down. The
bushranger ran towards the river, and was followed and caught after a
severe struggle. He walked quietly back towards the lock-up until he
came to the corner of Macquarie Street, when suddenly wrenching himself
free from the two men who were holding his arms, he exclaimed "This is
my road," and "bolted." He was seen two days later at Longbottom, about
half-way between Parramatta and Sydney, and was chased, but succeeded
in eluding capture in the scrub at Five Dock.

In February, 1842, the house of Mr. Gray in Balmain was stuck up. The
bushrangers collected the watches, rings, money, and other valuables,
and then compelled Mr. and Mrs. Gray and the servants to drink
tumblers full of sherry wine to their success. They were very merry,
and drank Mr. and Mrs. Gray's healths. When they departed they took
a dozen and a half of sherry and a dozen of bottled ale with them to
"have a spree in the bush."

In the same month Colonel and Mrs. Gwynne, Major Woore, and Mr.
Thomas Woore, J.P., with the Chief Constable of Goulburn, and another
constable, were driving near Bargo Brush. The party was in two
carriages, with the constable on horseback. They were stopped by a gang
which it was said had just robbed the Goulburn mail. The constable
on horseback was the only one of the party who carried a gun, and he
bolted as soon as the bushrangers appeared, dropping his musket. The
robbers took £11 14s. and the gun, but after holding a consultation
among themselves they returned three one-pound notes and the fourteen
shillings so that "the gentlemen might drink their healths." Then,
wishing the party good-day, they departed.

In January, William Gunn and John South were arrested as runaways
from the station at Port Macquarie. It was said that they had been at
large for more than a year and had been with the Jewboy. They robbed
the northern mail near Scone and were followed and captured. They wore
black coats and vests, beaver hats and clean white shirts, "as if they
had just come from an inn or a gentleman's residence."

In March, 1842, John Wilkinson alias Wilton escaped from Towrang
stockade, carrying away with him Captain Christy's double-barrelled
gun and a fowling piece. He was joined by another runaway named John
Morgan, and on March 10th they took possession of the Sydney Road
near Berrima and bailed up every person who passed. They plundered
several drays and stopped the mail-man. They searched the mail bags,
but finding no money in the letters, they permitted the mail-man to
gather them up and proceed on his journey. They took seven pounds from
a passenger named Jones, but on his saying that he would have no money
to pay for his board and lodging while in Sydney, they returned him
two pounds. At Red Bank they stole a horse belonging to Mr. Post to
carry their plunder. Further along the road towards Sydney, they met a
trooper and a constable, and told them that they were in pursuit of a
woman who had run away from her husband and had taken his spring cart
and horse and some of his property. They pretended that they expected
to overtake her before she reached Liverpool. At Crisp's Inn they had
some champagne. Not far from there, still going towards Sydney, they
tried to bail up Dr. McDonald, but he rode away. They fired at him but
failed to overtake him. They slept that night in the little church
at Camden. The following day they rode straight into Sydney, put up
at a first-class hotel and remained there for several days, "living
like gentlemen." By some means, however, they excited the suspicions
of the police and became alarmed at the enquiries made about them.
They therefore left suddenly and returned towards Berrima. Mr. Post,
who had been away from home when his horse was stolen, started out in
company with his son-in-law, Tom Howarth, to follow the bushrangers.
The rapidity of their motions, however, threw him off the scent. On
their return to the district in which he lived he met them and tried
to bail them up, but the bushrangers rode away. The following day
Chief-Constable Hildebrand, of Stone Quarry, and Tom Howarth saw the
bushrangers near Bargo Brush. Hildebrand pretended to be drunk, and
rolled about on his horse as if he was going to fall off, and Howarth
started singing to heighten the illusion. This put the bushrangers off
their guard and they allowed the constable to come close up. As soon
as he was near enough Hildebrand pulled out his pistol and called upon
them to surrender. They were taken by surprise and yielded at once.
Howarth boasted that these two made eighteen bushrangers whom he had
helped to capture. The two men were tried at Berrima, and sentenced
to penal servitude for life. They narrowly escaped being charged with
murder, as one of the bullock drivers stuck up on the 10th had been
severely wounded for forcibly resisting the ransacking of his dray. He
recovered, however.

Mr. Harrison, a jeweller and watchmaker, of Sydney, went to Glen Rock,
and walked from thence to Berrima, to call on the settlers along the
road to solicit orders. He was bailed up by three men, who threatened
to cut his throat with a razor. They tied his handkerchief over his
eyes, took three £1 notes, a cheque for £1, and an order for £10 from
his pockets. They returned the order saying it was "no---- good to
them." A bullock driver and another traveller were bailed up, and then
the bushrangers went into the road to stop a gig, and Mr. Harrison
bolted into the bush.

Mr. Campbell was travelling along the Dog Trap Road when he was
bailed up by three men and robbed. He returned to Parramatta and gave
information to Chief Constable Ryan, who dressed in private clothes
and with another constable similarly disguised started to drive along
the road in Mr. Campbell's gig. Between Anlezack's Inn and Liverpool
three men came out from behind trees and called on the constables to
stand. Ryan immediately pulled up, and presenting his pistol at the men
called on them to surrender in the Queen's name. The other constable
jumped out of the gig and also presented his pistol, and the robbers
capitulated. They were identified as John McCann and William Lynch,
escapees from Norfolk Island, who had landed from a whale boat some
months previously, and James O'Donnell, alias William McDonald, who
had absconded from the Hyde Park Barracks a short time before, in
September, 1842. A considerable amount of property was recovered when
their camp was searched.

Mr. F.E. Bigge, a settler in the northern district, started to take a
drove of horses across the country to Moreton Bay. He was assisted by
Alexander McDonald and two assigned servants. When between Schofield's
and Brennan's stations, near Tamworth, they were called upon to halt
by three armed men, known as Wilson, Long Tom or Coxen's Tom, and Long
Ned. The order was obeyed, and then Mr. Bigge was ordered to strip.
He refused, and one of the bushrangers called to another of them to
knock him down with the butt of his gun; but, observing that Mr. Bigge
was trying to get his pistol out of his belt, he fired. The first shot
was said to have been fired by Long Tom, but Wilson fired immediately
afterwards and wounded Bigge in the shoulder. McDonald, having no
arms, rode away to Schofield's for assistance. In the meantime Bigge
succeeded in getting his pistol out of his belt and fired at the
nearest bushranger, who fired in return, the other two also firing.
Bigge drew his second pistol and fired, and the bushrangers having
expended their ammunition ran away. Bigge then mounted and rode to
Brennan's. Finding no one there he went on, and his horse bolted
and threw him. He then walked to Nillenga, where he found Dr. Jay,
who dressed his wounds, which were not considered dangerous. In the
meantime, McDonald, when he started to go to Schofield's, met Mr. Kayes
and another gentleman, but they refused to go with him to assist Bigge.
McDonald went on to the station, but not being able to obtain any arms
or assistance there, he rode back again, and found the bushrangers'
horses and some baggage, which they had left behind when Mr. Bigge
put them to flight. McDonald collected the horses, which had been
scattered, and drove them to Tamworth, where Mr. Allman soon organised
a large party to go in pursuit of the bushrangers. Wilson had been
captured by Mr. Robertson only a few weeks before and had been sent to
the chain gang at Maitland, from whence he had effected his escape.
They were all three caught and were sent to penal servitude.


  Bushranging in South Australia; The Robbers Captured in Melbourne;
  A Remarkable Raid in Port Phillip; Going Out for a Fight with
  Bushrangers; A Bloody Battle; Cashan and McIntyre; The Fight with
  the Mail Passengers; Cashan Escapes from the Lock-up; Is Recaptured;
  McIntyre Caught at Gammon Plains.

Three bushrangers named Wilson, Green, and another, robbed the settlers
in the vicinity of Lyndoch Valley, South Australia, and extorted
heavy contributions from their victims in the latter part of the year
1839 and the beginning of 1840. These robberies had been going on for
some months before news of them reached Adelaide. The colony had been
only founded a little more than three years before, and communication
was difficult and very irregular. There were no roads and the police
provisions were not yet of a character to enable the authorities to
cope effectually with such an outbreak as this.

The robbers called at Mr. Read's station and knocked at the door of the
house. The woman opened the door and was immediately knocked down by
one of the robbers without any notice being given or question asked.
Another robber fired his musket at her at so close range that the
wadding of the gun bruised her cheek, but the slugs with which it was
loaded did not injure her. Immediately on hearing of this outrage,
Mr. Inman, superintendent of the police, left Adelaide with a party
of mounted troopers, and as he proceeded on his way, news of other
robberies were spread about. The movements of the police, however,
appear to have been known to the bushrangers, as they were fired at
when passing through some scrub. Not knowing how many men there might
be in the gang, Mr. Inman intrenched himself, and sent to Adelaide for
more men, and in a few days parties of mounted police arrived from
Gawler and Mount Barker. The district was thoroughly searched, but
without success. About the middle of February, three men on horseback
arrived in Melbourne, Port Phillip. Their principal place of resort
was the Royal Highlander Inn, in Queen Street, where they spent money
freely and drank heavily. One of the men was recognised by the police
as a convict from Van Diemen's Land, free by service. He was arrested
on suspicion of having stolen the horse he rode, from Mr. Cox, but
as Mr. Cox's superintendent could not swear to the animal, although
he bore the station brand, the man was discharged and immediately
left Melbourne. On Sunday, February 23rd, Wilson was arrested for
drunkenness and rowdyism, and was fined 5s. next morning at the police
court. While there he was seen and recognised by two South Australian
policemen who had been to Sydney with some prisoners, and were on
their way home. Wilson and Green were both arrested that evening and
charged with the robbery at Mr. Read's station, South Australia. They
were detained until warrants could be obtained from Adelaide, when they
were sent there and convicted. The robbers had travelled from South
Australia to Melbourne, _via_ Portland Bay, and had probably stolen
the horses and perhaps some other property on the road. The third man,
whose name is not given, was searched for, but was not found, and it
was supposed he had crossed the Murray into New South Wales.

What is generally said to be the first highway robbery in the Port
Phillip district took place in April, 1842. A gang, composed of John
Ellis, _alias_ Yanky Jack, Jack Williams, Young Fogarty, and a "Van
Demonian" named Jepps, bailed up Mr. Darling and a friend as they were
riding to an out-station on the Dandenong run to brand cattle. The
robbers took £2 and a silver watch from Mr. Darling, and one shilling
and sixpence from his friend. Mr. Darling was riding a thorough-bred
horse, and Jack Williams remarked that he was a fine beast, and ordered
Mr. Darling to show off his paces. This was a blunder on the part
of the bushranger, who should have tried the horse himself, and Mr.
Darling was not slow in taking advantage of it. He did not wish to lose
his horse, and therefore jerked the bit, rolled about in the saddle,
and pretended that he had as much as he could do to keep his seat while
the horse was cantering. Williams watched as the horse went past him
a couple of times, and then said, "That'll do. He seems to be a----
rough 'un." He contented himself with the horse the friend was riding,
giving him his knocked-up horse in exchange. The bushrangers handed Mr.
Darling his watch, asked for it again, and returned it a second time
after passing it round for each to look at. Then as the gang was going
away Williams turned back, asked Mr. Darling to let him see what the
time was, and when that gentleman again showed him the watch he took it
and put it into his pocket. He then produced a bottle of rum, and after
having taken a swig himself passed it to Mr. Darling and his friend
with the remark that "a drop of grog was good on a cold day." Then
he took five shillings from his pocket, gave this also to Darling to
"drink their healths with at the next public-house," said "good day,"
and rode on after his mates. The gang went along the main road up the
Plenty River robbing the stations on either side of the road as they
came to them. They stuck up Messrs. Serjeantson, Peet, Bond, Langor,
Marsh, Fleming, Rider, Bear, and Captain Harrison, collecting a goodly
assortment of watches and chains, mostly silver, and some money. It was
after dark when they finished at Mr. Bear's house, and they camped by
the creek within sight of the house for the night.

Early next morning the gang took to the road again and robbed Messrs.
Sherwin, Roland, and Wills. At about nine o'clock they reached Mr.
Campbell Hunter's station as the family was sitting down to a breakfast
of roast duck, kippered herrings, and coffee. Williams walked into the
room pistol in hand and cried, "Put up your hands." He was immediately
obeyed. Then looking round he said "Gentlemen, you must make room for
your betters." Those present were Messrs. Campbell Hunter, Alexander
Hunter, Streatham, Rumbold, Boswell, and Dr. Grimes. They were made to
stand up against the wall while the roast ducks and other good things
were removed to a slab hut used as a store room. The bushrangers had,
however, only just begun their breakfast when a large party of armed
men galloped up.

News of the robberies of the previous day had reached Melbourne in the
evening, and Messrs. P. Snodgrass and H. Fowler, of the Melbourne Club,
had resolved to "go out for a hunt." They got their arms and horses,
and started, and were joined by several other gentlemen, among whom
were Mr. Serjeantson, and others who had been robbed, to the number
of about thirty. The bushrangers hastily made the Messrs. Hunter and
their other prisoners promise not to take part in the coming fight,
and then took up positions behind the fence. Undeterred by this show
of resistance, Mr. Gourlay jumped his horse over the fence, alighting
close to Jack Williams, so close, in fact, that the flash from the
bushranger's pistol, which was fired immediately, singed his whiskers
and burned his cheek. The bushranger dashed his pistol down on the
ground with an oath, and drew another, but Mr. Snodgrass, leaning
over the fence, shot him in the head before he could make use of it.
Thinking he had killed his man, Snodgrass turned to Yanky Bill, when
Williams jumped up and fired point blank at Gourlay, who shouted,
"Tell my friends I died game," and fell. Mr. Chamberlain shot Williams
through the head and killed him. Much to the surprise of those near,
Mr. Gourlay jumped up again almost as quickly as he had fallen, and it
was soon discovered that the pistol bullet had smashed his powder flask
and glanced off, inflicting only a severe bruise.

On the death of their leader the bushrangers rushed to the hut, and
took shelter there, pointing their pistols through the openings between
the slabs, and a fierce fusilade took place, during which Mr. Fowler
was severely wounded. Then there was a pause. It was believed that
the ammunition of the robbers had been expended, and a horse dealer
residing in the neighbourhood, named John Ewart, but usually known as
Hoppy Jack, volunteered to go in and speak to the bushrangers. At first
this was objected to as being too dangerous, but Hoppy Jack insisted,
and said it would be "all right." He advanced towards the hut waving
a white handkerchief, and after a few words at the door was admitted.
The result of this embassy was that the bushrangers agreed to surrender
provided that their captors would sign a petition to the judge to deal
leniently with them. This was readily agreed to, and the men came out
and gave themselves up just as a party of mounted police appeared on
the scene, and the prisoners were handed over to them.

This raid was principally remarkable for the boldness and rapidity with
which it was executed. The bushrangers travelled directly from one
station to the next, taking the shortest route, which was generally
along the main road. The robberies were effected in very short time
at each station, the bushrangers contenting themselves with money,
watches, rings, and other property carried on the person. There was
no time wasted in breaking open boxes or drawers, and there was no
necessity to spare their horses, as a knocked-up horse could be
exchanged for a fresh one almost whenever the robbers pleased. Mr.
Gourlay was little the worse for his bruises and burns, although the
powder marks on his face remained, but Mr. Fowler died a few days after
the fight. The prisoners were tried and convicted, and in spite of the
recommendation to mercy duly signed by their captors and forwarded to
the judge, were sentenced to death for the murder of Mr. Fowler. Jepps
confessed that it was he who had fired the fatal shot, but he also said
that he had refused to join in an attempt to murder Judge Willis, the
resident judge in Port Phillip. They were all hung in Melbourne, in
May, 1842.

During the following two years there was little bushranging in any part
of New South Wales, but in 1844 McIntyre and Cashan, alias Nowlan,
held the roads between Hartley, Bathurst, and Mudgee for several days,
robbing all who passed. On December 2, 1845, they stopped the mail at
Bowenfels, on the main Sydney road at the foot of the Blue Mountains,
on the western side. They called on the passengers to hand over their
money and valuables, but two of them resisted and drew their pistols.
A fight took place, and the bushrangers were worsted, Cashan being
captured, while McIntyre ran away into the bush. Cashan was taken
to Bathurst, tried, convicted, and sentenced to be transported for
life. He was being taken to Sydney, in April, to be sent to Cockatoo
Island, when the escort stopped at Weatherboard Hut for the night,
Cashan being lodged in the lock-up. He broke out during the night,
and could nowhere be found. He travelled to Gundagai, where he stuck
up Mr. Nicholson's station, taking clothes, provisions, horse, saddle,
and bridle. Mr. Andrews, who was in charge of the station, and who
was absent when Cashan called, on hearing of the robbery followed the
bushranger. He rode to Charles Simpson's station, but was told by
Messrs. Edwin and Alfred Tompson, who resided there, that no bushranger
had been seen. While they were talking a man on horseback came in
sight, and Andrews recognised him as the robber from the description
that had been given of him and the horse he was riding. Andrews
retreated into the house out of sight, and Cashan rode up, dismounted,
and asked for refreshments, but he was immediately seized by the
Tompsons and told that he was a prisoner. He asked, "How dared they
insult a gentleman in that manner," and struggled hard to escape; but,
finding that this was no use, he became quiet, and said he was ready
to go wherever they wished him to. They took him towards the house,
which was only a few steps distant, when suddenly he broke away with a
laugh, ran down the bank, and plunged into the Murrumbidgee River. The
river was in flood at the time, and was therefore twice its ordinary
width, and running strongly. Cashan, encumbered with a great coat, and
perhaps with other stolen property, could make no headway against the
current. He sank at once, rose some distance lower down, and succeeded
in grasping the pendulous branches of a swamp oak (_Casuarina_) hanging
over the water. After a severe struggle he contrived to haul himself
out of the water, and took a seat in the fork of the tree. He was still
on the same side of the river as Simpson's station, and at no great
distance from the bank, although the flood waters prevented Alfred
and Edwin Tompson from getting close to him. However, Edwin Tompson
covered him with his pistol, and threatened to shoot him if he moved.
They talked for some time, and the bushranger, seeing no chance of
escape, agreed to give himself up. He dropped into the water, swam to
the bank, and walked quietly to the house, where he was tied and made
secure for the night. The next day he was taken to Yass by the Tompsons
and Andrews, and in spite of his frequent attempts to break the
handcuffs and make his escape, he was safely lodged in the lock-up.
He was identified as one of the men who had burned Dr. Bell's house at
Braidwood, and robbed the Braidwood mail. When robbing the Braidwood
mail in company with McIntyre, he nearly committed murder, one of
the passengers having been dangerously wounded. He was convicted and
sentenced to be hung.

In the meantime, his former partner had not been idle. On the 21st
April, 1846, the two brothers Cutts were travelling towards Sydney with
a number of horses, when they were stopped at Meadow Flat, less than a
quarter of a-mile from Howard's Inn. They were compelled to dismount,
place their money on the ground, and retire. They deposited £3 18s.
in notes and silver and a watch on the ground, and then stepped back
several paces as they had been ordered to do. William Cutts begged
that a seal attached to his watch might be returned to him, as it
was a present from his dead wife, and he valued it accordingly. The
bushranger, who was supposed to be McIntyre, told him that "if there
was any more palaver" he would get his brains blown out. The robber
took up the money and watch, mounted his horse, and rode away. As soon
as information of the robbery was received in Bathurst the mounted
troopers started in pursuit of the bushranger.

On Monday, August 11th, two men went to the Golden Fleece Inn, Gammon
Plains, and remained drinking till Friday. On that day the landlord,
Mr. Perfrement, received his copy of the _Maitland Mercury_, and saw
in it a list of the numbers of the bank notes recently stolen from
the Singleton mail. He compared the numbers with those of the notes
he had received from his two guests, and finding that some of them
corresponded, he went to the police station and gave information. The
inn was not a large building, but there were several out-houses and
the bushrangers were in some of these. Perfrement and the police went
to one of these huts at the rear of the inn and found McIntyre there.
Perfrement put his hand on the bushranger's shoulder and said "You're
a prisoner." "Am I," exclaimed McIntyre jumping backwards, "Come on."
Constable Barker rushed in and a fierce wrestling match begun and
lasted for some minutes. Then McIntyre got on top and tried to get
his pistol out from his belt. Mr. Perfrement, who had snatched the
other pistol from him when the wrestling first began, now threatened
to shoot him if he did not surrender, but as the bushranger took no
notice Perfrement endeavoured to twist the other pistol out of his
hand. While this struggle was going on Barker wriggled from under the
bushranger, got up, and struck him so heavily with his fist as to
stun him. McIntyre lay still for several minutes before he regained
consciousness, and by that time his hands were tied. His companion
was found fast asleep in another hut and was easily captured. They
were tried in Maitland, and McIntyre was subsequently hung, while his
companion was sent to penal servitude.


  Bushrangers and Pirates; Capture of H.M. Brig _Cyprus_ by
  Bushrangers; A Piratical Voyage; Stealing the Schooners _Edward_ and
  _Waterwitch_; Mutiny of Prisoners on H.M. Brig _Governor Phillip_ at
  Norfolk Island; The Trial of the Mutineers at Sydney; How Captain
  Boyle Recaptured the Vessel.

The connection between bushranging and piracy may not at first seem
very apparent, but the bushrangers stole more than one vessel, and
started a career of crime on the high seas instead of on the high
roads, and our story of the bushrangers would be incomplete were
no reference made to thefts of vessels and boats, and their use as
vehicles for robbery. It is not very surprising that so many convicts
made their escapes from Macquarie Harbour, Port Arthur, and Norfolk
Island, in whale boats which they stole, long as the voyages made
were. The whale boat has played a conspicuous part in Australian
exploration. Lieutenant Bass made his memorable voyage from Sydney,
when he discovered the straits which bear his name, in a whale boat in
which he started to explore the coast. Flinders and many others also
made long voyages and many discoveries in whale boats; for the Pacific,
the largest of the oceans of the world, however stormy it may be at
times, fully deserves the name bestowed upon it by early navigators,
for several months in the year. Hence a voyage in a whale boat from
Norfolk Island or from Van Diemen's Land is not so dangerous as the
distance to be travelled might suggest. We know that even now it is
no very uncommon occurrence for convicts to steal boats and sail or
row from New Caledonia to some part of the coast of Australia, and
we know also that the Australians have at times entertained no very
friendly feelings towards France for persisting in maintaining a
penal settlement so near their shores. It is not with the capture of
whale or ships' boats that we now have to deal, but with the seizure
of larger vessels. In August, 1829, the Government brig _Cyprus_,
commanded by Captain Harris, left Hobart Town for Macquarie Harbour
with thirty-three convicts on board, the crew consisting of twelve,
including the Commander, and there were also some soldiers under the
command of Lieutenant Carew, and some women and children, numbering
eleven altogether. The brig put into Research Bay on the south coast of
the island, and anchored, but a gale arose and the brig was driven from
her moorings, and lost her anchor and cable. She put back to Hobart
Town, obtained a fresh anchor, and started again. On reaching Research
Bay she was again anchored, and the anchor and cable lost a few days
before were recovered. At about six in the evening, while the men on
board were having supper, Lieutenant Carew, Dr. Williams, a soldier,
and Popjoy (the coxswain), with two or three convicts, started in the
long boat to catch some fish. They had not rowed very far when they
heard shouting and some shots on board the brig, and Lieutenant Carew
exclaimed: "Oh, my God! The convicts have taken the ship." They pulled
back as rapidly as possible, and Carew tried to climb on board, but
was threatened with a musket by one of the prisoners. When the trigger
was pulled the gun flashed in the pan and Carew again tried to get on
board, but was pushed back into the boat. He then asked the convicts
who were clustered round to give him his wife and children, and these
were passed into the boat. Mrs. Williams, her servant, and the wives
of a couple of the soldiers were also put into the boat. It appears
that when the long boat left there were only Captain Harris and two
soldiers on deck, the rest of the crew and passengers being below at
supper. Suddenly five heavily ironed prisoners made a rush, and knocked
down the captain and two sentinels. Others rushed to the hatchway,
and began to put the hatches on, when the soldiers and crew, fearing
that they would be suffocated, agreed to surrender. They gave up their
arms, and as they came on deck they were conducted to one of the boats,
in which several prisoners who had had their irons taken off seated
themselves at the oars. Popjoy was compelled to go on board, as it was
said his services would be required for navigating the vessel. Then the
captain, the lieutenant, and doctor, with the women, the soldiers, and
the crew, were rowed to an island in the bay and landed. Seventeen of
the prisoners were also landed, the mutineers only numbering sixteen
of those on board. The boats were hoisted in, the sails lowered, and
the ship got under way. But as she started Popjoy jumped overboard and
swam ashore. As the brig went down the bay the men on board shouted
"Hooray! the ship's our own, hooray!" The captain and others landed on
the little island in the bay, with no means of reaching the mainland,
suffered great hardships. For several days they had nothing but a few
mussels and other shellfish which they picked up on the beach to eat.
Popjoy, however, came to the rescue. He made a sort of canoe of bark
and sticks, and sailed out into the open sea. Here he saw the barque
_Zebra_, and made signals. He was taken on board, and a couple of boats
with provisions were sent in to feed and bring off the fugitives.
For these services Popjoy, who was a convict with a ticket-of-leave,
received a free pardon. What became of the brig and its crew of
mutineers was for some time a matter of conjecture. It was reported
in Australia that she had been seen at Valparaiso. Then it was said
that she had foundered at sea owing to the ignorance of navigation
of the men on board. However, in the beginning of March, 1830, the
Committee of Supercargoes at Canton were informed that four persons
with a ship's boat had landed. They represented themselves as part of
the crew of an English merchant vessel which had been wrecked on the
China coast. The story was not believed, as no such wreck had been
reported, but enquiries were made and a man calling himself William
Waldon, of Sunderland, was examined. He represented himself as having
been the commander of the brig _Edward_, which left the London Docks in
December, 1828, bound for Rio de Janeiro. On his return voyage he had
called at Valparaiso and the Sandwich Islands. At Japan his ship had
been fired at from a battery and much damaged. He sailed for Manilla,
but had to abandon the brig near Formosa, as she leaked heavily. He
and the fifteen men of the crew had taken to the boats and all had
been lost except himself and the three men with him. The boat bore
the name:--"_The Edward_, of London--William Waldon." Although some
doubt was still entertained the Committee arranged for the four men
to be taken to England in the _Charles Grant_. A few days after their
departure another boat with three men on board arrived at Whampoa. The
leader, Huntley, represented himself as having been wrecked in the
brig _Edward_, but said the captain's name was James Wilson and that
she had left London in June, 1828, and gone straight to the Cape. When
near the Ladrones he had quarrelled with Wilson and run away. As the
two accounts differed so materially the former suspicions were revived
and Huntley was sent home under arrest in the _Killie Castle_, and on
the arrival of the _Charles Grant_ in London the three men on board,
John Anderson, Alexander Telford, and Charles Williams, were arrested.
Waldon had landed at Margate, and thus escaped for the time, but was
arrested in London a week or two later. The four men were brought up
at the Thames Police Court on September 22nd, 1830, for examination,
and were charged with piracy. The principal witness was Popjoy, who
had returned to England on receiving his pardon. He identified Huntley
as George James Davis, a convict who had been sentenced to death at
Hobart Town for highway robbery, but whose sentence had been commuted
to penal servitude at Macquarie Harbour. Davis was one of the leaders
of the mutiny when the brig _Cyprus_ had been seized. Alexander
Stevenson, sometimes called Stevie, who now appeared as Telford,
had been convicted in Glasgow in 1824, and had been reconvicted for
bushranging in Australia. John Beveridge, alias Anderson, was sentenced
in Perth in 1821, and was further sentenced in Hobart Town to seven
years' penal servitude for having robbed Mr. Peachey. William Watts,
alias George Williams, was known in Van Diemen's Land as Wattle. He ran
away from a chain gang and took to the bush. He had stabbed one man
and had attempted to shoot another. Of Swallow, Popjoy knew nothing,
but had seen him on board the _Cyprus_ before the mutiny. The boat
which had been sent from China to England was identified by Popjoy as
one belonging to the _Cyprus_, the names _Edward_ and _Waldon_, having
been painted on it since the mutiny. The prisoners were tried at the
Admiralty Court, on November 4th. Popjoy, under cross-examination,
admitted that he had been transported to New South Wales for
horse-stealing. He had been assigned to a master, and had run away.
He had received two hundred lashes at Botany Bay, but this was "only
a few." He had been sent to Van Diemen's Land, and had been charged
with highway robbery near Hobart Town, but had "proved his innocence."
He had "buried in oblivion all the charges" made against him in the
colony. He went to Macquarie Harbour in the _Cyprus_ as a volunteer.
Dr. Williams, surgeon, said that he was on board the _Cyprus_ when she
was seized by convicts in Research Bay, in August, 1829. He had gone
in the long boat with Lieutenant Carew to fish, and when the boat was
some distance from the brig they had heard a clashing of arms. They put
back, and Lieutenant Carew tried to get on board but was repulsed, and
a pistol was snapped at him. He then asked for his sword, but a convict
named Ferguson, who had it, refused to give it up. When Mrs. Carew and
Mrs. Williams were put into the boat, Swallow came to the side of the
vessel and said, "Gentlemen, you see I'm a pressed man. I am unarmed,
and surrounded by armed men." In consequence of this testimony,
Swallow, alias Waldon, was acquitted, but was subsequently sent to
the colony to serve his original sentence. Davis, alias Huntley,
Watts, alias Williams, Stevenson, alias Telford, and Beveridge, alias
Anderson, were sentenced to death.

On January 13, 1840, six bushrangers were captured at Woolnorth, near
Circular Head, and were charged with having attempted to seize the
schooner _Edward_, the property of the Circular Head Shipping Company
of Launceston, Van Diemen's Land. The object with which this vessel was
seized was to enable the bushrangers to escape to one of the South Sea
Islands, where they intended to settle.

The schooner _Waterwitch_ was seized at the Forth River by three
bushrangers on January 27th. The robbers told the captain that they
did not wish to do him or his vessel any harm, but that they were
determined to go to Sealers' Cove. If he liked to take them, well and
good; if not, they would take the vessel there themselves and turn
her adrift. The captain agreed. He took the bushrangers to where they
wished to go, and parted with them very amicably.

From time to time several small vessels disappeared, and it was
supposed that their captors had succeeded in navigating them to some
of the Islands, but as nothing further was ever heard of them, it is
supposed that they either foundered at sea, or that if the bushrangers
reached the islands, their predatory habits or brutal violence
embroiled them with the natives, and they were killed in the fights
which took place, but it is impossible to do more than conjecture their
fate, and to speculate as to whether their acts of aggression were the
cause of some of the apparently unprovoked attacks of the savages on
the crews or passengers of other vessels. This subject has never been
adequately investigated, and there is too little evidence available to
enable us at present to do more than refer to the subject as one worthy
of enquiry.

The case which attracted the most notice in Australia, perhaps, was
the capture of H.M. Brig, the _Governor Phillip_. On October 15th,
1842, John Jones, Thomas Whelan, George Beavors, Henry Sears, Nicholas
Lewis, and James Woolf, alias Mordecai, were charged in the Criminal
Court, Sydney, with that they did on the 21st June, 1842, on board
the brig _Governor Phillip_, the property of Our Sovereign Lady the
Queen, assault one Charles Whitehead, with intent to murder. There was
a second count charging the prisoners with piracy. The brig was lying
out in the roads, at Norfolk Island, discharging cargo and taking in
ballast. The prisoners were sent from the shore with a boat load of
ballast and slept on board the vessel. Two of them were called up at
about four a.m. to bale the boat out, and Jones asked William Harper,
one of the sailors, if he could navigate? Harper replied "Yes, if I
had a slate and pencil." No notice was taken of this incident at the
time, but afterwards it was deemed to have been an indication that a
conspiracy to seize the vessel had been formed among the prisoners. At
seven o'clock the remainder of the boat's crew was called up to begin
work, when Bartley Kelly rushed at one of the sentries and knocked him
down with a belaying pin, while Lewis knocked down another. Then there
were cries of "Jump overboard, you----" and "Throw the---- overboard
and they'll tell no tales." Charles Whitehead was sergeant of the guard
in charge at the time. Henry Sears struck him. It was not known whether
the soldiers jumped or were thrown overboard, but one sentry who was
missing had been thrown over by two of the mutineers. The noise roused
the soldiers who were below and they attempted to gain the deck, but
were driven back by the prisoners, who shouted "Keep down, you----,
or we'll kill you." They also called for "Hot water to scald the----
soldiers." Captain Boyle, who was in command of the vessel, was in
his cabin at the time when the mutiny occurred; Christopher Lucas,
the second mate, being in charge of the deck. Lucas had been knocked
down in the first charge, but he contrived to slip away and went to
the captain's cabin and reported the mutiny. He also went to the
soldiers' quarters and roused them up, but by that time the prisoners
had control of the deck and prevented the soldiers from ascending the
hatch gangway. Lucas had received several very severe blows on the head
with belaying pins and had been left for dead. The captain also tried
to mount the gangway but did not succeed. He then went to the men's
quarters and ordered the carpenter to cut away the fore and aft piece
of the hatchway which the mutineers had closed. By this means he was
enabled to raise the hatch slightly and shot a prisoner named Moore.
Bartley Kelly had also been severely wounded by one of the sentries and
was unable to rise. Another prisoner named McLean came to the hatchway
and told Captain Boyle that if he would consent to leave the brig with
the soldiers they would all be put on shore. The captain refused.
McLean then told him to give up his arms. The captain fired at him by
way of reply and McLean fell dead. The death of the leaders seemed to
have a depressing effect on the other mutineers. Beavors asked the
captain "for God's sake" not to fire any more. Encouraged by this
appeal for mercy, Captain Boyle forced the hatchway open and went on
deck, followed by the soldiers, and the mutineers, having lost their
leaders, surrendered. The vessel was under the control of the mutineers
for about a quarter of an hour. Beavors, alias Berry, and Jones, alias
Jack the Lagger, were the least active of the mutineers. It was Sears
who had struck Whitehead, the sergeant of the guard, immediately after
Whitehead had shot Kelly. Kelly died from his wound the following day,
but Whitehead recovered, although, at one time, his life was despaired
of. The brig was 180 tons burden, and there were on board eighteen men,
including an officer and eleven men of the 96th regiment. The Chief
Justice, Sir James Dowling, before whom the case was tried, said that
had Sergeant Whitehead died he could have held out no hopes for the
prisoners. The jury which had found them guilty had recommended them to
mercy, and he agreed in that recommendation for all except Henry Sears.
It was his duty to pronounce the death sentence, but with the exception
named he would not deprive them of hope. As a result Sears was hung,
while the sentences on the other prisoners were commuted to penal
servitude for life.


  Van Diemen's Land Again; A Hunt for Bushrangers in the Mountains;
  Some Brutal Attacks; "Stand!" "No, thanks, I'm very Comfortable
  Sitting;" A Degrading Exhibition; A Determined Judge; Cash, Kavanagh,
  and Jones, an Enterprising Firm; The Art of Politeness as Exhibited
  by Bushrangers; A Bushranger Hunt in the Streets of Hobart Town; The
  Capture of Cash; Break Up of the Gang; A Doubtful Mercy.

For some years the roads in Van Diemen's Land had been comparatively
safe, very few highway robberies being recorded, and the newspapers
generally asserted that bushranging, in its worst form, had been
stamped out. This assertion, however, is not altogether borne out by
the evidence, and the most that can be said is that bushranging was not
nearly so prevalent as in former times, and no bushranger had exercised
his calling for a sufficiently long time to earn notoriety, but even
this comparatively happy condition did not last very long.

The bushrangers James Regan, William Davis, James Atterill, alias
Thompson, and Anthony Bankes having committed a number of depredations
on the settlers, the Government resolved to make a decisive effort to
capture them. Consequently, on February 21st, 1838, Captain Mackenzie,
with three privates of the 21st Fusiliers, two constables of the Field
Police, and two prisoner volunteers, went to Jerusalem, where he was
informed by the Police Magistrate of Richmond that another house had
been robbed by the bushrangers, who had retired to the Brown Mountain.
A guide, well acquainted with the Tiers, was found, and the party
started the following morning. They struck into the bush a short
distance beyond Mr. Tomley's, and at two o'clock came to a hut where
the stockman, an intelligent lad, informed them that the bushrangers
had robbed his master's house on the previous night at ten o'clock,
taking a horse to carry the robber Bankes, who had been wounded. The
lad was taken as a guide, and led them up a ravine, which soon became
too steep for the horses. They reached the summit of the Brown Mountain
about dusk, but without seeing any fire or other indication of a camp.
They reached Mr. Ree's house, on the Richmond side, about midnight, and
returned to Jerusalem at six on Friday morning, having been marching
for twenty-three hours over very rough country. After six hours'
rest Captain Mackenzie took Wesley, one of Mr. Johnson's shepherds,
as guide, and resumed the search. They reached Mr. Stokell's house
at dusk, and approached it with great caution. Finding no one there,
Captain Mackenzie left two sentries, and pushed on to Romney's, where
they arrived at about half-past one. The moon was shining brightly. The
hut was surrounded, and Captain Mackenzie called for three volunteers,
telling the men that it was a forlorn hope, as the robbers would
probably shoot two out of the three, the moonlight being so bright. The
captain called on Regan by name to surrender, but received no answer.
He then walked up to the window, and said to the occupant of the hut,
"Tucker, you old blockhead! why don't you open the door?" There was a
rattle of musketry, and the captain stepped back into the shadow of
the hut. Captain Mackenzie called out to his men not to fire unless
the bushrangers did, or unless they rushed out and tried to escape.
Then Constable Peacock advanced to the window and looked in. Captain
Mackenzie said if the door was not opened he would fire, and after
waiting a minute or so told Private Cockburn to shoot, but not too low.
Cockburn fired into the window when the door was opened, and a man came
out. The captain cried "Lie down, or you die." "I'm Tucker," said the
man, "don't shoot," and threw himself on his face. The captain went
to the door and looked in, when Private Cockburn cried, "Take care,
captain, the fellow is going to fire. They are all armed." This raised
a cheer among the soldiers, who now knew that their men were there.
Regan it appears had tried to bring his musket to bear on the captain,
but could not do so without exposing himself. The captain gave the
word to fire, and a volley was poured into the hut. Then the captain
asked Regan to surrender, promising not to hurt him. Regan endeavoured
to induce the captain to promise not to prosecute them, but he refused,
saying it was more than he could do. Finally, they consented to
surrender, and Atterill crawled out naked. He was tied. Regan was then
called, and he refused to come out on his hands and knees, saying that
he would sooner be shot than be treated like a dog. The captain told
him he might walk out if he came without arms and held his hands up.
He did so, and the police then went in and brought out the other two.
The prisoners were handcuffed and placed in a cart. About £14, found
in their clothes, and their guns and pistols, were carried in another
cart. Tucker was employed by Mr. Romney and was considered the best
guide in the district. The robbers had taken possession of his hut and
intended to make him show them the way across the mountains on the
following day. The party reached Richmond on Saturday night, and early
next day the bushrangers were lodged in the gaol at Hobart Town. The
prisoners were tried and convicted of several acts of bushranging,
ranging from highway robbery to burglary. They were all sentenced to
death, but only Regan was hung.[34] _The Cornwall Chronicle_ said "His
inquisitors were conscious that, had he been permitted to give his
dying attestation to the treatment he had received from his master, it
would have been so appalling and horrible as to leave the guilt of his
crimes, in the estimation of an impartial public, not on his own head,
but on theirs." "The Government," said the paper, "is afraid to hear
the dying statements of the condemned."

On September 8th, 1840, two armed men entered the Post Office at Ross,
and bailed up the post-mistress, who was also a store-keeper. They took
from her about £16 in cash and a quantity of wearing apparel. A large
sum of money which was enclosed in a letter ready for despatch was
missed by the robbers. The police were informed and at once followed
on the track of the bushrangers, but failed to arrest them. On the
following evening the bushrangers went to a hut on the station of Mr.
Joseph Penny, of Ashby Cottage, and tied the shepherd, telling him that
if he was quiet and did as he was ordered they would not hurt him;
but that if he refused to obey they would shoot him. They went to the
gardener's lodge and compelled the gardener to give them some food.
While they were engaged in eating a man who had previously agreed to go
out opossum hunting with the shepherd called at the hut and shouted. He
received no answer, the shepherd believing that the bushrangers were
"trying" him. The friend knocked again and shouted, but receiving no
reply went in. He was surprised to see the shepherd lying down tied and
quickly untied him. The two men then went to the house and informed
Mr. Penny of what was going on. Quickly arming himself and the two men
Mr. Penny went to the gardener's lodge and surprised the bushrangers
before they could get their pistols and guns ready. They were tied and
conducted into the town, and were subsequently convicted and sent to
penal servitude.

James Leverett, while driving a cart belonging to Mr. James Cox,
of Clarendon, was attacked by a bushranger and brutally beaten.
The bushranger struck him on the head from behind and stunned him.
He stopped the horse and battered Leverett about the head. Then he
searched his pockets and decamped. The constable stationed at Morven
happened to pass along the road, and seeing the horse and cart standing
went over to ascertain what was the matter. Finding Leverett lying
in the cart insensible the constable took him to the police station
and sent for a doctor. He then followed the tracks of the bushranger,
but failed to find him. Another man, a servant of Mr. Stephenson, of
Curramore, was beaten and robbed in a similar manner. It was said that
these assaults were committed by ticket-of-leave men, who were thrown
out of employment by the arrival of a large number of free immigrants.

On the 15th April, 1841, James Broomfield and Jonas Hopkins bailed up
and robbed Henry Atkins, Bonney, taking seven five pound notes from
him. In company with James McCallum the same two bushrangers went to
the house of Thomas Bates, at Norfolk Plains, about midnight, and woke
him up, demanding something to drink. Bates told them that there was
plenty of water in the cask. This, however, did not satisfy them, and
they broke into the kitchen. They took some flour and grain from the
cask and made a damper. While this was baking they took a watch, some
money, and a quantity of clothes out of the bedroom. When they had had
a meal, they left with their plunder, but were followed and captured.
They were convicted of robbery with firearms and were sentenced to
death; their sentences were, however, commuted to imprisonment for life.

John Gunn, George Griffiths, William Lambeth, Samuel Harrison, and
Thomas Hurn stuck up and robbed Daniel Downie on the 5th September,
1842, of clothing and money. They were followed by Constables Patrick
Flynn and George Marsden, and a volunteer named Joseph Masson. The
bushrangers were armed with a fowling-piece and a musket. They went
next morning to the hut of James Thompson, and told him not to be
frightened as they did not intend to hurt him. They took his money
and were walking away, when the constables came up and called on them
to stand. They surrendered and were taken to gaol. When they were
convicted, sentence of death was recorded against each of them, but
they were not hung.

On May 4th, 1843, Mr. Thomas Massey, of Ellerslie, South Esk River,
was sitting on his verandah when John Conway came up, presented a gun
at his head, and cried "Stand." "No, thank you," replied Mr. Massey,
"I'm very comfortable sitting down. What do you want?" Conway then
asked where the man was. Mr. Massey replied, "Out in the kitchen." A
man named Riley Jeffs was standing a short distance away with Henry
Blunt and a man named Pockett, both of whom had their hands tied behind
them. Jeffs left the two tied men and went round to the kitchen, while
Conway demanded money and firearms. Jeffs returned with the manservant
and tied his hands. The robbers then took two double-barrelled guns, a
single-barrelled fowling-piece, with a shot belt and powder flask, some
tea, sugar, flour, and a gallon of rum. After they had gone Constable
Thomas Connell, of Campbelltown, with Joseph Masson, Matthew Perry,
Edward Quin, Aaron Dunn, and Stephen Wright followed the bushrangers
to Blunt's hut, when two men ran away. One of them was lame and was
soon caught. It was Jeffs, who said he had accidentally wounded himself
the day before, after he left Mr. Massey's. The other man, Conway, was
captured after a brisk run. At their trial, Mary Bryan, servant at Mr.
Massey's, said she recognised Conway by his big nose. "How many inches?
Did you measure it?" asked Jeffs, but the question was ruled out of
order by Judge Montagu. The prisoners were then tried for the murder
of Constable William Ward. They went to Mr. James Gilligan's house,
Clifton Lodge, Break-o'-day Road, and asked Sarah Vasco, the servant,
whether any one was at home. She replied, "Only master and mistress
and a gentleman." They had four men with their hands tied behind them.
Jeffs stopped with these at the kitchen door, while Conway walked into
the passage. When he reached the parlour door he presented his gun
and cried, "Stand, or I'll blow the contents of this through you."
Ward, who was sitting near the door, jumped up and grappled with the
bushranger. They struggled together into the passage. Mrs. Gilligan
pushed her husband to prevent him from going out, and slammed the
parlour door. Mr. Gilligan heard the struggle along the passage, and
then a gun went off. He got the door open at last and went out. He saw
Ward lying on the floor of the kitchen. Jeffs and Conway and the four
men whose hands were tied were looking at him. Conway said to Gilligan,
"You go back into your room, old man, or I'll mark you." In the fight
in the passage both of the men had endeavoured to obtain possession
of the gun, but between them they let it fall and it exploded without
injuring any one. Conway then broke away and ran into the kitchen.
Ward followed him and was grappled by Jeffs. While they were wrestling
Conway drew a pistol and watched for a chance, and when Ward was on top
holding Jeffs down Conway deliberately put the pistol to his shoulder
and fired. Ward rolled over dead, and Jeffs got up. The robbers then
demanded money, and Mrs. Gilligan went to the bedroom upstairs to fetch
some. Conway accompanied her. Mrs. Gilligan said, "It's a great pity,
Mr. Ward had a large family." "Well," replied Conway, "why didn't he
keep out of our road? We tried to shoot him before." The prisoners were
convicted of wilful murder. In his summing up the Judge said that the
four men who were present appeared to be accomplices, although they
were tied. They had prevaricated so much in their evidence that it
was worthless or worse. He would consider whether it was advisable to
prosecute them for perjury. Conway was very violent while in gaol. He
threw a loaf of bread at the gaoler, and threatened that if he got out
he'd "do for him." Jeffs and Conway were hung at Launceston in July.
The census of the town had been taken a short time before, and showed
that the population was 4458 souls. _The Launceston Advertiser_ said
that there were more than a thousand men, women, and boys present to
see Jeffs and Conway hung. Numbers of people took their blankets with
them and slept in the square all night. They were singing songs and
making a great noise. The paper says the scene was a disgraceful one,
and doubts whether such exhibitions can have any beneficial effect.

John Price and Thomas Roberts were tried for highway robbery. Judge
Montagu said that if the robbery had been committed at night, or if any
undue violence had been used, he would have cast them for death without
hope of mercy. It appeared, however, that they had been followed and
captured at once, and therefore, although the death sentence would be
recorded against them, they would be sent to a penal settlement, and he
hoped they would reform.

John Fletcher and Henry Lee stuck up and robbed Daniel Griffin at
Cocked Hat Hill, on November 6th, 1844. In passing sentence of death,
Judge Montagu said that he was determined to put down robbery on the
high road between Hobart Town and Launceston, and especially about
Cocked Hat Hill. It was a horrid place. No man was safe there. The
residents were fortunate in having so active and energetic an officer
stationed there as Constable Harvey. He would sentence the prisoners to
transportation for life. When they were being removed from court, Lee
said, as he was passing Constable Harvey: "I'll rip your---- guts out,
you----, if ever I get out."

On the 10th July, 1841, Hogan and Armytage visited the Travellers'
Rest Inn, within four miles of Launceston. There were eight men in
the bar and they took all the money they could get, some grog, and
provisions. Hogan said he was tired of the bush, and wished "it was
all over." Armytage looked ill and miserable. The police followed them
as soon as news of the robbery was conveyed to Launceston, but without
success, as the bushrangers were too well acquainted with the country
round there.

On January 8, 1841, a bushranger went to a shepherd's hut on Mr.
Frank's station, Lake Crescent, and tied the shepherd, telling him
that he would shoot him if he got loose. The robber only got a few
shillings. The robber went away, but soon returned, and seeing the
shepherd still tied, cautioned him again and went away. The man
remained tied for several hours before he attempted to untie the rope.
It was said that this was the man who had robbed Mr. McCrae's station,
and murdered a shepherd on Mr. Brodribb's station.

On the following day, Hogan the bushranger walked into a public-house
kept by Mrs. Bonny at Deloraine, and asked for two case bottles of rum.
On these being given to him, he took a ham and a pudding and walked
away, saying that he wanted them for his mate, who was ill. Although
there were five or six men in the bar at the time, no attempt was made
to detain him. Nothing further is known about Armytage, who is supposed
to have died in the bush; but Hogan was captured and sentenced to penal
servitude on Norfolk Island.

On April 2, 1842, it was reported that Martin Cash, the notorious
bushranger who had for so long a time defied the police, had been
captured in a house in Harrington Street, Hobart Town, by Constables
Kirby and Williams. He was lodged in the lock-up, but during the night
succeeded in making his escape.

On March 25, 1843, the bushrangers Martin Cash, Lawrence Kavanagh, and
Thomas Jones, armed to the teeth, bailed up Mr. Panton at Broad Marsh,
and fired at Dr. Macdonald. The police started in pursuit. On April
18th, the gang visited Mr. Hay, who was in his barn overlooking five
shearers who were at work. They were ordered to stand up and put down
their shears. Then the men were forced to tie each other. While the
bushrangers were plundering the house, Mr. Ward came up. He was ordered
to stand, but instead of obeying he ran away. Cash followed and fired
his pistol, the shot grazing Ward's ear. Ward, however, kept on and got
behind a tree, and the bushrangers decamped, taking very little plunder
with them. On the 19th they captured Mr. John Clarke and his overseer,
Mr. Denholme, and compelled them to accompany the bushrangers to the
late Mr. Allardyce's house on the Clyde River. They went into the
parlour, and after arranging the chairs, invited the gentlemen to sit
down. Then they called for brandy and glasses. The servant brought in a
bottle of brandy and a tin pannikin. Cash was in a great rage. He swore
at the servant, and asked him in an indignant tone, "Is that a proper
thing for gentlemen to drink out of? Take it away and bring glasses."
When they had had some refreshments, Cash sat talking to Messrs. Clarke
and Denholme, while Kavanagh and Jones collected the plunder. The
bushrangers were said to be very haggard in appearance and not well

On May the 18th they invited themselves to visit Captain McKay, on
the Dee River, and dined with him in the most amicable manner. After
dinner they loaded two horses with clothing, provisions, and other
articles from the store. Then, taking Captain McKay with them, they
went to Mr. Gellibrand's, where they loaded a third horse. With this
the bushrangers appear to have been satisfied, as they went away.

"Messrs. Cash & Co.," as some of the Van Diemen's Land papers called
the gang, visited Mr. Christopher Gatenby, of the Isis, on July 1st,
and politely apologised for their intrusion. They as politely asked for
a supply of provisions, which they said were necessary owing to the
police having recently captured their camp and taken away all that they
could find there. Mr. Gatenby opened the store and gave them what they
required, and then Cash said he should feel extremely obliged if Mr.
Gatenby and four of his servants would carry the provisions to their
new camp. He politely explained that this was necessary, as the police
had taken their horses. The invitation was so pressing that Mr. Gatenby
could not refuse. He therefore took up a portion of the swag, while
his servants shouldered the rest, and escorted by the three bushrangers
they started into the bush. After walking for about two miles Cash said
he would not trouble Mr. Gatenby to go any further, as he thought that
they could manage without him. The load he was carrying was distributed
among the bushrangers, and Mr. Gatenby returned home, after having been
profusely thanked for his generosity in giving them the provisions and
his kindness in carrying them so far. The servants were taken two or
three miles further into the bush, and were then allowed to deposit
their loads under a gum tree and return home. Cash denied that the gang
had had an encounter with the Campbelltown constables. He said that the
constables found their hiding place when he and his mates were absent.

On August 22nd two men dressed as sailors were seen by the constables
in Hobart Town enquiring for the residence of a well-known suspicious
character. One of the constables stepped forward, and gave them the
address they required. Then one of the sailors walked away, while the
other remained standing near the constables as if in bravado. The
constables held a consultation, and decided to arrest the sailor as a
suspicious character. Two of them went towards him, when the sailor
drew a pistol, fired, and then ran. The shot took no effect, and the
constables gave chase. Charles Cunliffe, a carpenter, was standing at
the door of his house as the sailor passed, and hearing the constables
chasing him and crying "Stop, thief!" he joined in the chase. As
they went down Brisbane Street Constable Winstanley came out of the
Commodore Inn on hearing the hullabaloo, and attempted to seize the
sailor, but the sailor drew a pistol from his belt and fired. The
ball passed through Constable Winstanley's chest, but nevertheless he
grappled with the sailor and held him until Cunliffe came up, when
Winstanley fell. Cunliffe and the sailor had a terrific struggle for
a few minutes, Cunliffe being much bruised, but he held on until the
other constables arrived and secured their man. The sailor was taken
to the Penitentiary, where he was identified as Martin Cash. It was
believed that the other sailor was Lawrence Kavanagh, but although
search was made for him, he could not be found. Constable Winstanley
died from the effects of his wound two days later.

Martin Cash was tried for the murder of Peter Winstanley on September
15th, and was found guilty. He said he had been standing quietly in
the street when a constable came up and cried out, "It's Cash, blow
his brains out." He had then fired and run. The constables were all
cowards. They thronged round him when he was down, but they would
never have caught him if it had not been for Cunliffe. Judge Montagu
said in reply that he could see no proof of cowardice in the action of
the police. They were not such fast runners as the prisoner. Charles
Cunliffe was the more active, and consequently he had caught the
prisoner first. For this he deserved credit, but the police had arrived
at the spot without delay and were also to be complimented for their
share in the capture of so dangerous a character as the prisoner. He
then sentenced the prisoner to be hung on Monday, the 18th instant.

Cash, however, was not hung, but was sent to Norfolk Island for life.
Rewards of one hundred acres of land or one hundred sovereigns, in
addition to the rewards previously offered of fifty sovereigns, with
a free pardon for convicts and a free passage to any post in Her
Majesty's dominions, were offered for the capture of Kavanagh and
Jones, dead or alive.

Thomas Jones, in company with John Liddell and James Dalton, stuck up
Catherine Smith's house on December 6th, at Effingham Banks. They tied
the servants and went into Mrs. Smith's bedroom. The lady requested
them to go out while she dressed, and they complied. When Mrs. Smith
got up the bushrangers ordered the servants to get them some supper,
telling them that they need not be afraid, as nobody would hurt them.
They made the servants sit down while they ate. After their meal they
opened the drawers and took out clothes and other articles which suited
them, and went away. On December 11th they stuck up a hawker named John
McCall. They drove his cart half a mile into the bush off the road, and
tied McCall to a tree. Then they made a bundle of the articles they
wanted in the cart, and went away. On December 30th Thomas Jones,
"late with Messrs. Cash & Co.," with another man named Moore, dressed
as sporting gentlemen, went to Mr. William Field's, and enquired if
he was in? They were answered in the negative, and they then went to
the men's hut and bailed up the two men there. As the others came
in they were compelled to stand in a row against the wall. When Mr.
Shanklin, the overseer, came in, Moore told him to kneel down and say
his prayers, as he intended to shoot him. The men interceded for the
overseer, saying that he always had treated them well. Moore asserted
that Shanklin had "got him an extension of time," and he meant to have
revenge. He was very violent in his language. Jones had been looking on
very quietly, but he now said, "Oh, let the---- go, and let him beware
how he behaves in future." Moore at first objected, but gave way, and
Shanklin was made to stand up with the assigned servants. The robbers
broke open Mr. Field's escritoire, and took £50 out of it. They also
took tea, sugar, flour, and other things from the store.

In the meantime the police had not been idle. They had had several
brushes with the bushrangers, and had captured Kavanagh, Liddell,
and Dalton. After this last robbery Jones and Moore were followed,
and Jones was captured. They were all convicted and sentenced to
death, but were told that probably their sentences would be commuted
to penal servitude. On hearing this Liddell exclaimed, "I don't want
mercy from you or any one else. I've been eleven years at Port Arthur
and I don't want to go there again. I'd rather die than live." Judge
Montagu said that this statement showed a deplorable frame of mind and
exhorted Liddell to think of the future. Dalton complained that he had
been knocked down by Thompson, the gaoler. Mr. Thompson said that the
prisoner was a very desperate man. "But you'd no right to put irons on
my neck," cried Dalton. The Judge said it was the duty of the gaoler
to prevent escape. If he deemed it necessary he had a perfect right to
put irons on the neck of a prisoner as well as on his hands and feet.
He should report the behaviour of the prisoners in the proper quarter
and he could not recommend either Liddell or Dalton to mercy. "I don't
care a---- what you do," exclaimed Dalton. George Cumsden, who had also
been associated with Jones in some of his robberies since the capture
of Cash and Kavanagh, was also sentenced to death, "without the hope
of mercy." He had threatened to "blow a hole through" any witness who
appeared against him.

There was again a lull in bushranging in Van Diemen's Land, and again
the papers asserted that the crime had been stamped out. The majority
of those convicted had been sent to Norfolk Island, and this, it was
said, would act as a deterrent to other evil doers. Norfolk Island was
feared more than death.


[Footnote 34: _The Colonial Times._]


  Norfolk Island: Its Founding as a Penal Station; The Terrible
  Discipline in Norfolk Island; An Attempt to Ameliorate it; Its
  Failure; The Rigorous Treatment Restored; The Consequent Riot; Jackey
  Jackey's Revenge; An Unparalleled Tale of Ferocity; The Soldiers
  Overawe the Rioters; Thirteen Condemned to the Gallows; Jackey
  Jackey's Remarkable Letter; The End of Several Notorious Bushrangers.

Norfolk Island, lying some seven hundred miles from the coast of New
South Wales, was first utilised as a penal settlement in 1788, when
it was decided that convicts who committed crimes in New South Wales
should be transported there for more severe treatment. Early in the
nineteenth century a rumour spread in Australia that Napoleon the First
intended to fit out a fleet to search for Admiral La Perouse, and to
found colonies in the south seas. The truth of this rumour seemed to
be affirmed by the activity of the naval authorities in New South
Wales. Settlements were made at Port Essington in the north, King
George's Sound in the west, and the Derwent River in Van Diemen's Land.
Shortly afterwards, in 1805, the prisoners were removed from Norfolk
Island to Hobart Town, apparently for the purpose of strengthening
the settlement in Van Diemen's Land. When Van Diemen's Land was made
independent of New South Wales, in 1825, Norfolk Island was again made
a penal settlement of the mother colony, and it so continued until
transportation to New South Wales ceased in 1842, when Norfolk Island
was transferred from the jurisdiction of the Governor of New South
Wales to that of the Governor of Van Diemen's Land. The treatment of
the prisoners in the island was rigorous in the extreme, and may aptly
be described as savage. When the enquiry of the House of Commons, by
Select Committee, was made in 1837 and 1838, as to the condition of
the convicts in the penal settlements, the few particulars published
about the evidence in the English newspapers had some effect on public
opinion, and in 1841, Captain Maconochie, one of the witnesses examined
who said that the prisoners might be governed with less harshness, was
appointed Commandant of Norfolk Island, with instructions to try the
mild reformatory treatment he advocated. Captain Maconochie and his
supporters in England do not seem to have realised that human beings
who have been under demoralising influences until they have reached
the adult age, and their characters have become set, are not amenable
to civilising influences. These should have been applied during the
impressionable years, and the younger they are applied the more
successful they are likely to be. This fact, however, does not yet seem
to be known sufficiently in England, and therefore small blame attaches
to Captain Maconochie, if he was not aware of it sixty years ago. The
new Commandant abolished Sunday labour as a punishment, shortened the
hours of labour on week-days, and granted holidays for good behaviour.
He allowed the men to build huts and to cultivate small patches of
ground, and thus to provide themselves with vegetables. He also gave
them tins to cook in, and served out rations individually, instead of
giving the rations out in messes. It does not appear that the prisoners
became unduly riotous under this treatment, and no such murders as
were mentioned by Judge Forbes and other witnesses before the Select
Committee, in which men had killed their mates for the purpose of being
hung "out of their misery," took place. One of these murders which
occurred only a short time before Captain Maconochie took charge may be
mentioned here. Stephen Brennan was sent to the island for bushranging.
He was tried there and found guilty of the murder of another convict.
There had been no quarrel between the two men, who were as friendly
as circumstances permitted under the rigid discipline, nevertheless
Brennan suddenly struck Patrick Lynch a blow with a stone-breaker's
hammer, and then stabbed him with a knife. The murder was committed
avowedly so that the perpetrator might be hung, and thus escape the
harsh treatment he was subjected to, and it is not improbable that
it was committed with the consent of the victim, for although there
is no evidence of this in this case, it is well known that men had
actually drawn lots in Norfolk Island, to decide which should murder
the other and get hung for the crime. In place of crimes like this,
there were quarrels and some rowdyism, but this was sufficient for
the opponents of the new experiment. Paragraphs appeared in the Van
Diemen's Land papers jeering at the "plum pudding policy" of Captain
Maconochie, and asserting that Queen's birthday rejoicings only led
to increased disturbances in Norfolk Island. Whether these paragraphs
were inspired by the prison officials, who feared that if Captain
Maconochie was successful there would be an end of "the system" which
they had organised, it is impossible to say, but after a three years'
trial, the mild treatment was pronounced a failure, and Major Joseph
Childs was appointed to supersede Captain Maconochie, as Commandant of
Norfolk Island, and reached the island on February 8th, 1844. Major
Childs landed with orders to revert to the old rigid discipline, and
he appears to have endeavoured to carry these orders out to the best
of his ability. The hours of work were increased, holidays abolished,
and all the old punishments re-established. These alterations were
made very gradually. As I have already said, the prisoners had been
supplied with rations individually, and were allowed their own pots
and pans to cook them with. In July, 1846, new regulations were issued
that rations were to be issued in bulk and to be cooked in the general
mess house. The rations on the island had always been notoriously bad,
and consisted generally of salt beef and maize. Captain Maconochie had
allowed them to grow potatoes. The privilege was abolished on January
1st, 1846, when the garden plots were taken from the prisoners and
laid waste. The prisoners refused in a body to go to work unless some
equivalent was given them for their potatoes, and half a pint of peas
daily was promised them. After three days the peas in stock gave out,
and another mutiny took place. Numbers of the prisoners were flogged,
but this did not quieten them, and Commandant Childs promised them
that eight ounces of flour should be served out in place of the peas.
In a few days, however, the stock of flour was exhausted, and then,
"incredible as it may appear, an old order, issued in May, 1846, after
the gardens were taken away from the prisoners, stating that two
pounds of sweet potatoes should form part of the daily rations, was
posted up; although it must have been known to the superintendent that
it would be utterly impossible to serve out a single ounce of sweet
potatoes a man daily for a week."[35] The sweet potatoes in the island
had been grown by the men, and had been most unjustly taken away from
them when their gardens were laid waste. It was well-known that there
were no sweet potatoes in the island, and the reposting of this old
and obsolete regulation was an outrage on truth. The prisoners were
not slow in showing their indignation, nor very particular as to the
words they used in expressing it. And it was during the dissatisfaction
consequent on the posting of this old order, that the new regulation
calling in the kettles on July the 1st was posted. When the order
was first posted, the majority of the prisoners were in their cells.
A few were attending school, and among these was Jackey Jackey, who
was doing a sum when the soldiers came round to collect the kettles.
Hearing the rattling of the tins, he raised himself up, pencil in
hand, and listened intently. Then he pushed the slate away, folded his
arms, and sat as if in deep thought. The other prisoners present were
whispering together, trying to conjecture what was being done with
their tins. On the following morning, July 2nd, the prisoners were all
mustered for prayers, a practice only recently introduced along with
the repressive measures of the new superintendent. During the service
the men kept whispering and paid but little attention. Several times
order was called for, but this only produced a lull for a time. When
the prayers were over the men marched to the Lumber Yard and read
the new regulation. Then they found that their tins had already been
removed. There was silence for a moment, followed by fierce and eager
whisperings, then the whole body marched to the Barrack Yard, broke
open the store, and took out all the tins they could find. They marched
back to the Lumber Yard, and then Jackey Jackey made the following
speech:--"Now, men, I've made up my mind to bear this oppression no
longer; but, remember, I'm going to the gallows. If any man funks let
him stand out. Those who wish to follow me, come on."

A policeman named Morris was standing in the archway or entrance to
the yard, Jackey Jackey rushed forward, struck him a fearful blow
with an enormous bludgeon, and knocked him down. A large mob of the
prisoners snatched up such weapons as came to their hands and followed
him. Many of the prisoners only had sticks, some large, some small.
One had a reaping hook and another a pitchfork. As soon as the sentry
fell under the blow from Jackey Jackey, the other prisoners were
upon him, beating, stabbing, and cutting until the man was a fearful
sight to look upon. Jackey Jackey then led the way to the cook-house,
where Stephen Smith, the police overseer, was in charge. Smith was
something of a favourite among the prisoners, but this good feeling
availed him nothing at this time. When Jackey Jackey came rushing
towards him, Smith cried out in a piteous tone, "For God's sake don't
hurt me, Jackey? Remember my wife and children!" "Damn your wife and
children," shrieked Jackey Jackey, as he crashed in one side of Smith's
head with his bludgeon. Jackey Jackey passed on, leaving those who
followed him to finish his bloody work if necessary. Near the gate of
the Barrack-yard John Price, overseer of work, and a man named Ingram
were standing together. Jackey Jackey rushed towards them and aimed a
blow at Price, but he dodged back and the club struck Ingram, nearly
killing him. Jackey Jackey raised his club for another blow at Price,
when the surging crowd behind pushed him forward, and Price escaped and
ran for the soldiers. The prisoners behind Jackey Jackey now raised
the cry of "Barrow! Barrow!" and from this it is conjectured that
their main object was the murder of the Stipendiary Magistrate of the
Island, Mr. Barrow, who was believed by the prisoners to be the cause
of much of their misery. Jackey Jackey turned from the Barrack-yard
and led the way towards Government House. On their road they came to
the limekilns, and Jackey Jackey, who had by this time exchanged his
club for an axe, opened the door of the hut there. Two policemen were
stationed there and they had not yet risen from their beds. One named
Dixon was still asleep, and Jackey Jackey smashed the axe through
his skull as he lay. The other, Simon, sprang from his bed on to the
floor, but was immediately knocked down by a ferocious blow aimed at
him by the bushranger, his brains and blood spattering the walls of the
hut. Jackey Jackey immediately left the hut, and while his followers
crowded in to strike at, or jeer at, their dead enemies as their humour
prompted them, he coolly stood aside and lighted his pipe. After
drawing a few whiffs he said in a loud calm voice, "Now, boys, for the
Christ killer," and the crowd responded with shouts of "Hooray! Now
for Barrow's." "To Barrow's." "To Barrow's." They started off, but had
not gone far when the soldiers with muskets loaded and bayonets fixed
barred the road.

At this time there were about eighteen hundred prisoners on the island,
and of these, sixteen hundred were among the rioters. The soldiers
numbered only about three hundred, but their discipline enabled them
to overawe the vastly superior force, numerically, opposed to them.
Perhaps the habits of obedience and submission, so long enforced on
the prisoners, may have had some influence. Perhaps, even among this
herd of desperate and reckless men, the sight of the soldiers standing
firmly with their guns presented ready to fire may have instilled
some fear. However this may have been, there was no fight. The rebels
retired slowly and unwillingly to the Lumber Yard, where they permitted
the soldiers to arrest them one after the other without making any show
of defence until one thousand one hundred and ten of them were placed
"on the chain." Perhaps Jackey Jackey and the more violent of his
followers may have thought that they had done sufficient to ensure them
that death on the gallows which was the avowed object of their rising,
while the majority had been so demoralised by official brutality as to
be utterly indifferent as to what might become of them.

Among those arrested were Jackey Jackey, the bushranger with a
continental notoriety, and Lawrence Kavanagh, the Van Diemen's Land
highwayman. John Gardner, John Jackson, William Duncan, Abraham
Farrer, and John Booth, some of them convicted bushrangers, were
also conspicuous for their support of Jackey Jackey in the murder of
officials. Another New South Wales bushranger engaged in this riot was
Michael Houlihan, who had been captured by Commissioner Brigham on
September 10, 1842, in the Lachlan district, and transported to Van
Diemen's Land for highway robbery and horse-stealing, and had been
sent from thence to Norfolk Island for similar offences committed near
Hobart Town. Besides these there were John Price, and many others named
in Chapter X., who were among the insurgents and who more or less
actively supported the leaders. On the other hand, Martin Cash, the
companion of Kavanagh, refused to take part in the rising. He retired
from the Lumber Yard when Jackey Jackey announced his intention,
and remained in his cell during the whole time of the riot. Some
speculation has been indulged in as to his reason for so acting. It is
certain that he was not deterred by fear. Possibly, having been for so
long the leader of a gang of bushrangers, he objected to serve under
another and a younger man. He, however, was almost the only well-known
bushranger confined in the island at the time who did not follow Jackey

As soon as news of the riot and its suppression reached Van
Diemen's Land, Judge Brown was sent to Norfolk Island by the
Lieutenant-Governor, Sir W.T. Denison, to try the prisoners, and Jackey
Jackey, Henry Whiting, William Pickthorne, William Scrimshaw, Kavanagh,
Gardner, Jackson, Duncan, Farrer, Booth, and three others, making
thirteen in all, were arraigned on the charge of murdering John Morris.
They were convicted and sentenced to death. They were all executed on
October 13, 1846.

The following letter was written by Jackey Jackey to a former chaplain
at Port Arthur, and was published in the _Cornwall Chronicle_. "The
spelling of many of the words has been corrected, but the style has not
been interfered with":--

 H.M. Gaol, Norfolk Island.
 Condemned Cells, 1846, October the 8th.

  Reverend Sir,--As in duty bound to you for the kindness you have
  shown to me, and the interest I have always seen you take in those
  that have ever been under your spiritual care, whatever may be
  their fate, I have been induced to write to you, hoping this may
  find you in good health, and in the enjoyment of all God's choicest
  blessings. I have to inform you, that long before this letter reaches
  your hands, the hand that wrote this will be cold in death. I do not
  grieve that the hour is fast approaching that is to end my earthly
  career. I welcome death as a friend;--the world, or what I have seen
  of it, has no allurements in it for me. 'Tis not for me to boast;
  but yet, Sir, allow a dying man to speak a few words to one who
  has always shown a sympathy for the wretched outcasts of society,
  and ever, with a Christian charity, strove to recall the wretched
  wanderer to a sense of his lost condition. I started in life with a
  good feeling for my fellowman. Before I well knew the responsibility
  of my station in life, I had forfeited my birth-right. I became a
  slave, and was sent far from my dear native country, my parents, my
  brother, and sisters--torn from all that was dear to me, and that
  for a trifling offence. Since then I have been treated more like
  a beast than a man, until nature could bear no more. I was, like
  many others, driven to despair by the oppressive and tyrannical
  conduct of whose whose duty it was to prevent us from being treated
  in this way. Yet these men are courted by society; and the British
  Government, deceived by the interested representations of these
  men, continues to carry on a system that has and still continues to
  ruin the prospects of the souls and bodies of thousands of British
  subjects. I have not the ability to represent what I feel on this
  subject, yet I know from my own feelings that it will never carry
  out the wishes of the British people! The spirit of the British
  law is reformation. Now, years of sad experience should have told
  them, that instead of reforming--the wretched man, under the present
  system, led by example on the one hand, and driven by despair and
  tyranny on the other, goes on from bad to worse, till at length he
  is ruined body and soul. Experience, dear bought experience, has
  taught me this. In all my career, I never was cruel--I always felt
  keenly for the miseries of my fellow-creatures, and was ever ready
  to do all in my power to assist them to the utmost, yet my name will
  be handed down to posterity[36] branded with the most opprobrious
  epithet that man can bestow. But 'tis little matter now. I have
  thus given vent to my feelings, knowing that you will bear with me,
  and I know that you have and will exert yourself for the welfare of
  wretched men. It is on this account that I have strove, though in but
  a feeble manner, to express my feelings. The crime for which I am
  to suffer is murder. Reverend Sir, you will shudder at my cruelty,
  but I only took life--those that I deprived of life, though they did
  not in a moment send a man to his last account, inflicted on many a
  lingering death--for years they have tortured men's minds as well
  as their bodies, and after years of mental and bodily torture, sent
  them to a premature grave. This is what I call refined cruelty, and
  it is carried on, and I blush to own it, by Englishmen, and under
  the enlightened English Government. Will it be believed hereafter,
  that this was allowed to be carried on in the nineteenth century?
  I will now proceed to inform you what has happened since I left
  Port Arthur. I was sent to Glenorchy Probation Station. I was then
  determined, if possible, to regain my freedom, and visit my dear
  native country, and see my parents and friends again. I took to the
  bush, with two men; one of them said that he knew the bush well, but
  he deceived me and himself too. Our intention was to take a craft
  from Brown's River; we were disappointed--there was no craft there.
  We then turned to go to Launceston, thinking to get one there, and
  to cross to the Sydney main. But after leaving New Norfolk, I lost
  one of my mates, and the same night the other left me at the Green
  Ponds. I was soon after taken and sent to Hobart Town. I was tried
  and sent to Norfolk Island, and this place is now worse than I can
  describe. Every species of petty tyranny that long experience has
  taught some of these tyrants is put in force by the authorities. The
  men are half-starved, hard worked, and cruelly flogged. These things
  brought on the affair of the first of July, of which you have, no
  doubt, heard. I would send you the whole account, but that I know you
  will have it from better hands than mine. I am sorry that this will
  give you great pain, as there are several of the men that have been
  under your charge at Port Arthur concerned in this affair. Sir, on
  the 21st of September, 1846, Mr. Brown arrived in the Island with a
  commission to form a Court, and try the men. On the 23rd of September
  he opened the Court. Fourteen men were then arraigned for the murder
  of John Morris, that was formerly gate-keeper at Port Arthur. This
  trial occupied the Court nine days. The Jury retired, and returned
  a verdict, and found twelve out of fourteen guilty of murder. On
  the 5th of October the sentence of death was then passed on us, and
  to be carried into effect on the 13th of October, 1846. Sir, the
  strong ties of earth will soon be wrenched, and the burning fever
  of this life will soon be quenched, and my grave will be a haven--a
  resting-place for me, William Westwood. Sir, out of the bitter cup of
  misery I have drunk from my sixteenth year--ten long years--and the
  sweetest draught is that which takes away the misery of living death;
  it is the friend that deceives no man; all will then be quiet--no
  tyrant will there disturb my repose, I hope, William Westwood.

  Sir, I now bid the world adieu, and all it contains.

 William Westwood, his writing.

Beneath the letter is printed as follows:--

  _The Dying Declaration of William Westwood, alias "Jackey Jackey."_

  "I, William Westwood, wish to die in the Communion of Christ's Holy
  Church, seeking mercy of God through Jesus Christ our Lord and

  I wish to say, as a dying man, that I believe four men now
  going to suffer are innocent of the crime laid to their charge,
  viz.:--Lawrence Kavanagh, Henry Whiting, William Pickthorne, and
  William Scrimshaw. I declare that I never spoke to Kavanagh on the
  morning of the riots; and these other three men had no part in the
  killing of John Morris as far as I know of. I have never spoke a
  disrespectful word of any man since my confinement. I die in charity
  with all men, and now I ask your prayers for my soul!"

 William Westwood, aged twenty-six years.

Jackey Jackey, at the time of his death, was twenty-six years of age.
He was 5 feet 9 inches in height, with fair hair, blue eyes, and a
ruddy complexion.

Shortly after the death of these men, Mr. John Price, superintendent of
Port Arthur, was sent to Norfolk Island with instructions to break up
the settlement and remove the prisoners to Van Diemen's Land, and this
was gradually effected. Two or three years later the Government of the
Island was again transferred to the Governor of New South Wales, and
in 1857, about two hundred of the Pitcairn Islanders--the descendants
of the Mutineers of the _Bounty_ were landed there and have remained
unmolested to the present time, and the later history of this beautiful
island may be summed up in the one word "peace."


[Footnote 35: _Launceston Chronicle._]

[Footnote 36: "Posperity" in the paper is so obviously a typographical
error that I have taken the liberty of correcting it.]


  The Third Epoch of Bushranging; the Gold Digging Era; Influx of
  Convicts from Van Diemen's Land; Passing of the Criminals' Influx
  Prevention Act; Attitude of the Diggers Towards the Bushrangers, and
  Other Thieves; The Nelson Gold Robbery; Some Pitiful Stories; A Rapid
  Raid; Insecurity of the Melbourne Streets.

Before entering upon the next stage in the story of the bushrangers,
it may be advisable to say something of the vast change which suddenly
took place in the conditions in Australia about this time. In 1842-3
the colony of New South Wales was plunged into a financial crisis,
about which it is unnecessary to say much here, but from which the
colony was only beginning to recover in 1851. Wages were still very
low, and numbers of men were out of work. In April, 1851, the news that
gold had been discovered at Summerhill Creek, in the Bathurst district,
roused something like a ferment in the colony. Men employed in Sydney
threw down their tools to "go to the diggings." There was a general
exodus from the coast cities and towns to the ranges, then considered
far away in the interior. Wages jumped from about one shilling per day
for labour to ten or more, meat rose from one penny per pound, for the
best cuts, to sixpence. The roads leading to Orange, the Turon, and
other early goldfields in New South Wales, were thronged by men, either
going to the diggings to seek their fortune, or returning disappointed.
In July, 1851, the Port Phillip district of New South Wales was erected
into the independent colony of Victoria, and in August the news that
gold had been struck in the Ballarat district of the newly-established
colony turned the tide of gold-seekers in that direction. The police
establishment, with which the new colony started, was merely that
of an outlying district of a huge sparsely-populated colony, and was
wholly inadequate to the requirements.

There were two gaols in the colony; one at Melbourne, the other at
Geelong; neither of them very large. The Geelong gaol, in fact, was
little more than a lock-up, and it was only within the past two years
that the gaol had been enclosed within a high wall. In 1850 it stood
out on the hill, a short distance from the banks of the Barwon River,
an ordinary-looking brick building, with the Governor's House and
other offices grouped near it, and all opening out directly on the
level flat which stretched from the top of the banks of the Barwon
River to the hill on which the main portion of the town of Geelong was
situated. On the top of this hill, the last building in that direction,
in "old Geelong"--as it was called, although it had only been founded
about twelve years before--was the court house, and there was no other
building along Yarra Street, on the southern side of the hill and
across the little flat (a distance altogether of about half-a-mile)
until the gaol was reached. The Melbourne gaol stood on what was
then the boundary of the city of Melbourne. It was a larger and more
imposing building than the Geelong gaol, but still wholly inadequate
for the requirements; and therefore one of the first duties of the
Legislative Council of the new colony was to provide accommodation
for evil doers, who could no longer be sent to the gaols of Sydney to
serve out their terms of punishment. This was done by the establishment
of "stockades" at Collingwood and Pentridge, both near Melbourne,
and the purchase of two old trading vessels, the _President_ and the
_Success_, in September, 1852, to be converted into convict hulks for
the safe keeping of the more desperate of the malefactors. Subsequently
three other hulks were added to the list, and these were in use for
many years after large prisons had been erected at Melbourne, Geelong,
Ballarat, Bendigo, and other centres of population.

Looking back from the present time it appears to me that the Colonial
Office was guilty of a serious tactical blunder in appointing Mr.
Charles Joseph Latrobe, as the first Governor of Victoria. He had been
appointed Resident Magistrate, or Superintendent, of the Port Phillip
District in 1839; and, during the agitation for the separation of that
district from the huge colony of which it was a part, Mr. Latrobe, very
naturally perhaps, did all that he could to prevent the inhabitants
from gaining their end. As a consequence, he was perhaps the best
hated man that has ever lived in Australia. He was usually called "the
Governor's poodle," and was denounced in no measured terms by the
advocates of separation. When that was carried, and Mr. Latrobe became
Lieutenant Governor, his harsh treatment of the diggers nearly drove
them into rebellion. This is not the place to give the history of the
Ballarat riot, but some reference to it is necessary. A most exorbitant
licence fee was imposed on all residents on proclaimed goldfields,
and this tax was collected in a most arbitrary and brutal manner.
There were no gaols nor lock-ups on the diggings at the time, and men
arrested for all sorts of offences--murder, bushranging, stealing, or
the non-payment of licence fees--were simply fastened with handcuffs
to a bullock chain attached to a tree stump by a huge staple. Later
some boxes, made of corrugated iron, were put up as cells and these
were known as "the Dutch ovens," or "the sardine boxes," and prisoners
confined in them on hot summer nights suffered tortures, and begged
to be put "on the chain" as a relief. Mr. Latrobe, therefore, soon
came to be as cordially hated by the new comers as he had been by the
older inhabitants of the district. But whatever may be said as to the
harshness of his treatment of the gold diggers, the efforts he made
to check the lawlessness rampant in the colony cannot be too highly
commended. He and the Legislative Council organised a fine body of
police in a very short time. The horse police were as well-disciplined
and mounted as any similar body in any part of the world, but allowing
for their efficiency, it would have been impossible for them to repress
lawlessness so rapidly and completely as they did, had they not been
assisted by the attitude of the general public. I may be wrong perhaps,
but it has always appeared to me that the antagonism between the free
and the convict elements in the population of which I have already
spoken was continued long after the abolition of the convict system,
and even passed on to those who landed in the country during the rush
to the diggings. There was a general tendency at the time to credit
all sorts of misdeeds to the convicts. No doubt, among the enormous
crowds which landed in Victoria in the early years of the rush to the
diggings, there was a fair admixture of rough and reckless characters
who were not convicts, but it was the custom to assume that all crimes
were committed by the "old hands," and that any man arrested for any
criminal offence had been "sent out." Thus, when Mr. Lachlan M'Lachlan
was appointed police magistrate of Bendigo, he merely expressed openly
the opinion held by other magistrates, and the public generally, when
he declared that nearly all thefts were perpetrated by "old hands."
He asserted that he could distinguish a convict from a free man at
a glance. He would order the police to make the prisoner walk down
the court, and would exclaim: "Turn him round again, sergeant. Ah!
I thought so! I can see the marks of the irons on his legs."[37] By
which he meant that the man had acquired a sort of limp through wearing
irons, and that he could detect it. All such men were sent to gaol for
six or twelve months, not so much for the crime or offence with which
they stood charged, as because they were ex-convicts. And generally
the public endorsed this apparent injustice. "It's a pity we ain't got
more magistrates like Bendigo Mac," was an expression frequently heard
in all parts of the colony. It is not impossible that the fashion of
crediting all crimes and offences to convicts, however unjust it may
have been, tended to prevent others from committing crimes. Whether
this was so or not, it is certain that the diggers, rough and careless
as the majority of them were, steadily set their faces, as a class,
against crime, and never hesitated, even during the height of their
dispute with the authorities, to hand over to the police any person
detected in stealing. Probably they were forced into this attitude in
self-defence. The diggings were merely huge camps, everybody living
in tents or "houses" made of wooden rafters and uprights, covered
with calico or canvas. Even the big hotels and theatres were calico
structures. It was so easy for an evil-disposed person to rip open a
tent and thrust his hand under the pillow or into any other place where
he thought gold might be concealed. But such thefts, although numerous,
constituted only a minority of the crimes committed on the goldfields.
All round were holes twenty or thirty feet deep, and the paths from one
part of the field to another wound in and out between these holes, so
that it was dangerous for a stranger in the locality to travel about
after dark. In such a place it was so easy to stab a man and throw
his body down a hole that the very facilities offered operated as a
temptation to murder. Scarcely a day passed without a body being found
murdered and rifled, and thus a peculiar sort of morality was developed
on the diggings, and the diggers, while resisting the police, jeering
at them and showing their hatred of them in every possible way, still
assisted them in capturing thieves and other criminals. It was the
custom to call public meetings for political and other purposes, by
sending men to all the various camps each carrying a tin dish. These
heralds would beat their tin dishes and yell, "Roll up! roll up!"
Frequently a "roll up" was called for the purpose of organising a party
to hunt down thieves or other evil-doers, and very soon the "roll up"
carried terror through the ranks of tent thieves and other robbers.
Sometimes the delinquent when caught was cuffed and beaten and ordered
off the diggings on pain of death, but, as a rule, he was marched to
the police camp, popularly known as "The Camp," and handed over for
trial. It was perhaps because of this attitude of the diggers, that
"Lynch law" did not become an institution in Victoria, as it had in
California. On more than one occasion, it was proposed that thieves,
robbers, and murderers should be summarily dealt with by their captors,
but such resolutions were not endorsed at the "rolls up"; although, on
more than one occasion, it was said that if the Government could not
protect the diggers from bushrangers, the diggers would have to protect
themselves. Some of the old names, now rapidly disappearing, record
the character which the neighbourhood once bore. Thus "Murderer's
Flat," the old name of a portion of the Mount Alexander Goldfield,
is almost forgotten. The flat is now a portion of the pretty little
mining and agricultural town of Castlemaine. It was the custom here
in the "roaring fifties," for the diggers to fire off their guns and
pistols every night after sundown, and ostentatiously reload them, as
a caution that any person seen prowling round the tents during the
night would be shot without further notice. In many of the outlying
gullies on the Bendigo and Ballarat Goldfields the same ceremony was
performed nightly. Beyond the limits of the goldfields the roads were
infested by footpads and bushrangers, who hated the diggers for their
antagonism to their class. To these the digger was fair game. It was
popularly supposed that these bushrangers were all convicts from "Van
Diemen's Land," hence they were known as "Van Demonians," "Derwenters"
from the River Derwent, and "Tother siders." The newspapers were full
of references to their doings. The _Geelong Advertiser_ of June 2nd,
1851, warned the public that "large numbers of men--half bushranger,
half gold-seeker--are travelling along the roads, especially the Sydney
road, robbing all who are unprotected." These were said to be Van
Demonians who had landed in Geelong or Melbourne, and who were making
their way to the goldfields of New South Wales. In the same month the
_Melbourne Herald_ published several articles calling the attention of
the authorities to the large "influx of Van Diemen's Land expirees who
are thronging into Port Phillip." These "villains," it was said, were
travelling along all the roads which led to the diggings on the Sydney
side, and lived by plundering honest travellers. On June 23rd the mail
coach was bailed up at Bruce's Creek, between Portland and Geelong. The
coach, with three passengers on board, was going down the hill to the
crossing-place, when two men stepped from behind gum trees, presented
their pistols, and cried "Bail up." The driver, William Freere, instead
of complying, began to flog his horses, but before they could respond
their heads were seized by one of the bushrangers, while the other put
his pistol to Freere's head, and threatened to blow his brains out.
The coach was taken some distance off the road, and its occupants were
tied to trees. The robbers went very leisurely through the letters, and
when all that was of value had been abstracted one of the bushrangers
took a saddle and bridle belonging to one of the passengers (Mr. Thomas
Gibson) and set it aside with the remark, "Ah, this is just what I
wanted." This bushranger was dressed "in a black suit of fashionable
cut, and wore black kid gloves." He was afterwards identified as Owen
Suffolk, while his companion was Christopher Farrell. Suffolk took one
of the coach-horses, put the saddle and bridle on, and mounted. Farrell
jumped on the other horse barebacked. The tied men begged hard to be
let loose, offering to swear that they would not give information to
the police, or move from the spot until their captors were away, but
their supplications were only laughed at. The road was at that time but
little frequented, and the next mail, which might possibly be the first
vehicle to pass, would not come for a week. Moreover, they were out of
sight of the road. The struggle to get free was therefore a struggle
for life, and it was a severe one. Mr. Gibson was the first to get one
hand loose. After this the rest was comparatively easy. In less than an
hour they were all free, and they walked straight to the township at
Bruce's Creek to tell the police. The robbers were caught in Geelong a
day or two later. Suffolk was strolling along the beach near the wharf,
and Farrell was found in a boarding-house not far away. They were
sentenced to ten years' penal servitude, the first three in irons.

James Mason and John Browne, two diggers, were sitting at their camp
at Bendigo having supper, when a man named William Scott passed along,
going towards the "township." They invited him to "sit down and have a
feed," as he looked tired, and he did so. But while eating he slipped
his hand under the edge of the tent and took out a bag containing 110
ounces of gold. The gold was missed before he was out of sight, and he
was followed immediately and captured. He was taken to "the camp," and
subsequently sent to gaol for five years.

On January 28, 1852, the _Melbourne Herald_ reported that "a gang of
Vandemonians have kept the road between Bendigo and Eaglehawk Gully for
three days, robbing all who passed." The police were sent out and the
gang was broken up. One was shot and three others traced to Halliday's
Inn at Kyneton, where they were captured. They had thirty-three pounds
weight of gold in their possession, and were taken on to Melbourne for

Such reports were so frequent that the Legislative Council was
compelled to take action, and as a consequence the Act known as the
Criminals' Influx Prevention Act (18 Vic., No. 3) was passed in
November. This Act was specially designed to keep ex-convicts out
of the colony. It was impossible to prevent those from New South
Wales from crossing the Murray River, but it no doubt checked the
influx of the more desperate criminals from Van Diemen's Land, where
transportation was continued for many years after it had ceased to New
South Wales. But although the Act prevented ex-convicts from landing
at Victorian ports it could not prevent them landing at Sydney or
Adelaide and walking overland to the Victorian diggings. In spite of
this, however, the Act was undoubtedly very efficacious in checking
the landing of criminally-minded persons. There were, however, so many
in the colony previously to the passing of the Act that the police had
plenty of employment in hunting them down.

On February 6th, Corporal Harvey, of the mounted police, was searching
some boxes at the Police Barracks, Buninyong, to ascertain whether
they contained gold. A man named Goldman threatened to shoot him if he
touched his box. The trooper simply replied "I must do my duty," and
opened the box. Goldman shot him at once. This crime was a purposeless
one. The trooper had been ordered to remove gold from all boxes left
at the station so that it might be sent down to Geelong by escort. The
only excuse which can be made for Goldman is that the diggers were very
sensitive where their gold was concerned and were also very ready to
protect it even at the risk of murder. But the boxes were left there
in charge of the police, and any man who objected to his box being
searched had no right to take it there. However, Goldman was convicted
of murder and hung.

On February 23rd, Elliott Aitchison, a squatter, was robbed near
Buninyong. The robber took horse, saddle, bridle, saddle-bags, watch, a
bill of exchange for £30, and some money. The bushranger was identified
as a man named Edward Melville, who had been working for a neighbouring
squatter, Mr. Winter, of Winter's Flat, and was well known in the
district. A reward of £30 was offered for his apprehension.

The ship _Nelson_ arrived at Geelong from London in March, 1852, where
she landed her passengers and cargo and took on board some cargo for
her return voyage. She was then taken round to Hobson's Bay to fill
up. On the night of April 1st she was lying off Liardet's Beach, near
where the South Melbourne pier now stands. There were on board Mr.
Draper, the mate in charge, Mr. Davis, second officer of the _Royal
George_ lying at anchor near, three seamen, three passengers, and the
cook. At about two a.m. they were roused by loud calls, and as each one
came out of his cabin to ascertain what the row was about he was seized
and lashed to the bulwarks. When all had been secured the robber who
appeared to be leader untied Mr. Draper and ordered him to show where
the gold was. The mate refused. The robber fired and wounded him in
the side. He then threatened to shoot him dead next time he refused.
Another of the gang prodded Mr. Draper behind with a sword, and,
realising that resistance was useless, he led the way to the lazarette.
The door was soon broken down, and twenty-three boxes containing 8183
oz. of gold, valued at about £25,000, were taken out and carried on
deck. "I say, mates," exclaimed the leader, "this is the best----
diggings we've seen yet." The boxes were lowered over the vessel's side
into boats, and then the men tied to the bulwarks were unloosed, their
hands tied behind them, and they were marched into the lazarette. The
entrance was closed up with the broken boards nailed across. When the
stevedore and his men arrived some hours later to go on with their work
the prisoners in the lazarette were released, and information was given
to the police. The robbers were said to have numbered about twenty. A
search proved that two of Mr. Liardet's boats had been removed from
their moorings. They were found far away along the beach, and it was
conjectured that these boats had been used by the robbers. A reward was
offered by the Government of £250 for the capture and conviction of the
robbers, and this was supplemented by a further reward of £500 offered
by Messrs. Jackson, Rae & Co., the consigners of the gold. Within a few
days John James, alias Johnston, was arrested in Melbourne, and shortly
afterwards James Morgan and James Duncan were found at the Ocean Child
Inn, Williamstown. They were in bed, and when the police entered the
room Morgan exclaimed: "If we'd known you was---- traps we'd a' blown
your ---- brains out." When taken to the lock-up he said: "We may be
sentenced, but we'll live to dance on your ---- grave, and have 2000
a nob to ride in our carriages." At the trial it was said that they
had been concerned in several highway robberies on the Keilor Plains
and in the Black Forest, but these cases were not gone into. They were
convicted of having stolen the gold from the _Nelson_, and sentenced to
fifteen years' hard labour, the first three in irons.

The winter of 1852 was an exceptionally severe one, and snow fell
heavily in the ranges. A bullock driver who was looking for his
bullocks near Buninyong was bailed up by three armed men. Although it
was snowing at the time they stripped him and tied him to a tree while
they searched his clothes. Finding only about five shillings in his
pockets they cast him loose, gave him his clothes and money, with the
remark that they thought he "was a---- digger from Ballarat." A few
miles further along the road they met a party of real diggers and took
from them 8 oz. of gold and an escort receipt for 84 oz. more.

Such robberies as these were reported daily on the roads round
Ballarat, Bendigo, and Mount Alexander. Perhaps the worst places were
the Stoney Rises, on the road from Geelong to Ballarat, and the Black
Forest, between Melbourne and Mount Alexander. But the conditions even
in Melbourne were not much better than elsewhere. On August 6, 1852, a
digger who had just returned from Bendigo was knocked down in Little
Collins Street, Melbourne, and the pocket of his trousers cut out.
He, however, lost only a few shillings, while the robbers missed 3lb.
weight of gold which he held clutched in his hand.

Judge Barry and Mr. Wrixon, the barrister, left the Supreme Court House
together on August 11, at about half-past eight p.m. When they were
near St Francis' R.C. Church, Lonsdale Street, they heard a shout for
help. Ploughing through the deep mud they stampeded three robbers who
had got a man down in the gutter. At that time the streets of Melbourne
were not paved as they are now and the judge and the barrister nearly
got bogged while pulling the digger out of the mud hole in which he was
nearly smothered. The robbers escaped, but the digger found his gold

Mr. John Scraggs was going home to his house in Richmond one evening.
When passing a corner near his own residence he received a blow on
the head and fell stunned. When he recovered consciousness his watch,
chain, ring, and purse had disappeared. The next day he purchased a
revolver, loaded it carefully, and carried it in his hand ready for
use as he went home. He was specially vigilant when he approached the
corner where he had been knocked down before. Probably he was rather
too vigilant on one side. However that may be, he received a blow on
the other side which "stretched" him again. That time the robbers only
got a revolver, and Mr. Scraggs swore that they should get no more
firearms from him.

It was about this time that the _Melbourne Herald_ reported a case of
a captain of a vessel lying in Hobson's Bay. The captain had been to
the theatre and was walking to Liardet's Beach to get a boat to take
him on board his ship, when he was knocked down in Flinders Street and
dragged into a right-of-way. Here he was stripped stark naked and left
insensible. It was early morning when he regained his senses. After
some hesitation he walked towards an hotel, hoping to be able to borrow
some clothes there, but he was pounced on by a vigilant policeman and
taken off to the lock-up. His story was not believed and he was taken
into court and charged with "indecent behaviour," which was adding
insult to injury, and the magistrate remanded him till next morning,
to allow enquiries to be made, bail being refused. Later on, when it
was ascertained that he really was the captain of a vessel, he was
discharged. The _Herald_ cited this as an instance of the vagaries of
police magistrates, and charged the police with being unable to protect
the public against robbers.

But to return to the knights of the road. A pitiful story was told of
an old man and his son who had left their work in Melbourne, and gone
to the diggings to "make their pile." They were unsuccessful, like
a good many more, and started to walk back to Melbourne, to return
to their ordinary work. They were bailed up on the edge of the Black
Forest. The bushrangers refused to believe that they had no gold. It
was a stale trick, they said, to throw a bag of gold behind a log and
swear they hadn't got any, and then go back and pick it up, when the
bushrangers had gone away. It was in vain that the old man swore that
he had had no gold to throw away. One of the bushrangers compelled
him to hold out his hand and fired a bullet through the palm. As he
continued to declare he had no gold the bushranger was about to shoot
through the palm of the other hand, when the boy made a rush at him and
was shot dead by the other bushranger. The old man was then allowed
to go on his sorrowful way. Bushranging was the common subject of
conversation. Little else was talked of, and even the children played
bushranger. Two young lads, who were old enough to know better, thought
it would be good fun to "stick up" their father. He was a farmer living
on the Barrabool Hills, about eight or nine miles from Geelong. He went
into town with some produce and was returning at nightfall when, at
about half a-mile from his own gateway, he was ordered to "bail up" by
two persons on horseback. Without hesitation he snatched up a gun from
the bottom of the dray and fired. One of the bushrangers fell and the
other cried out "Oh, father, you've shot Johnny! We were only in fun."
It was too late. The father's aim had been too sure and the boy was
taken home to his mother dead.

On October 24th, 1852, Henry Johnston, John Finegan, John Donovan,
Charles Bowe, and John Baylie, known as the Eureka gang, were tried
for highway robbery in Melbourne. William Cook said he was riding from
Melbourne to Bendigo, on August 4th, when near Aitken's Gap he was
bailed up by Finegan and Donovan. Three other men sat on their horses
some distance away along the road, but did not interfere. One of the
bushrangers held a pistol to his head, while the other stripped him
naked and searched his clothes. He also felt him all over, under the
armpits and elsewhere. They took £2 14S. and a pistol from him. Finegan
wanted to take everything, but Donovan would not agree to that, but
gave him back his clothes. Then he returned one of the £1 notes and
the fourteen shillings in silver. Wesley Anderson identified Baylie
and Donovan as the two men who had robbed him on a Sunday in August,
near Buninyong. The proceedings were very similar to those in the first
case. All the other prisoners were identified in a similar way by other
witnesses. The robberies were effected over a wide range of country,
and were all of a similar character. When asked what they had to say
in defence, one of the prisoners asked the Judge whether he thought
they were crows? "Here's one man," he continued, "says we stuck him up
at Aitken's Gap, another at the Porcupine, another near Mount Egerton,
and others at other places, and the police says they caught us in the
Crown Hotel, Buninyong. Why, your Honour, horses couldn't get over the
ground in the time." The jury, however, seemed to have formed a better
opinion of the power of the bushrangers' horses than the bushranger
himself. Perhaps this was due to the fact that some of them at least
had exchanged horses with their victims. However that may be, they were
all found guilty. Finegan and Donovan, who appeared to have been the
leaders, and to have taken part in the majority of the robberies, were
sent to gaol for twelve years, and the others for six years each.

The Geelong mail was stuck up in December, 1852, between the old Burial
Ground and the Flagstaff Hill, now in the very heart of Melbourne. The
robbers took watches, rings, and money from the passengers, but did not
dismount from their horses nor interfere with the mail bags. Probably
it was too close to the city.

On December 26th two diggers returning to Melbourne were robbed near
Keilor by three armed men on horseback, who took a large parcel of gold
dust and an escort receipt for more. On the same day a man was brutally
beaten on the Sydney road, about fifteen miles from Melbourne, and
robbed of his watch, some gold specimens and nuggets, and his money.


[Footnote 37: "Mr. Lachlan McLachlan, or 'Bendigo Mac,' as he was more
familiarly styled, administered the law with a vigour and severity
which brought upon him censure from many quarters ... but 'desperate
evils require desperate remedies.' ... When an old hand happened to be
among the prisoners, he would be terrified by the fierce reprobation
of 'Bendigo Mac,' or by the glare which shot from that inevitable
eyeglass.... At other times he would say to a prisoner, 'This district
is not big enough for both you and me. One of us must leave--which
shall it be?' The prisoner would feel, of course, that there was very
little doubt about the matter, and would promise to make himself
scarce, requesting probably a couple of days' grace to wash up a bit of
washdirt." "History of Bendigo," by George Mackay, chap. III.]


  Captain Melville Takes to the Road; He Ties and Robs Eighteen Men;
  He Goes to Geelong for a Spree, and Boasts of His Exploits; His
  Sensational Capture; Sent to the Hulks; Murder of Corporal Owens;
  Melville Removed from the Hulk _Success_ to the Gaol; Murder of Mr.
  John Price and Mutiny of the Convicts; Melville Attacks Mr. Wintle;
  Death of the Noted Bushranger.

Of all the bushrangers of the "roaring fifties" none was more talked
of than Frank McCallum, alias Captain Melville. Every now and then,
during the latter half of the year 1852, stories were told of daring
robberies committed by Captain Melville, and rewards were offered for
the capture of the captain, dead or alive, or any person who aided and
abetted him. On December 18th, 1852, he rode up to a sheep station near
Wardy Yallock and asked Mr. Wilson, the overseer, who was the owner?
"Mr. Aitcheson," was the reply. "Is he at home?" asked Melville; and
on being answered in the affirmative he expressed a wish to see him.
Mr. Wilson having no suspicion as to who the civilly spoken visitor
was went into the house and returned with Mr. Aitcheson. Melville drew
out a pistol, pointed it towards them, and ordered them to "put up"
their hands. The two gentlemen complied at once and were marched to
the woolshed. Here they found the sixteen shearers and other workmen
sitting in a row down the middle of the shearing floor and William
Roberts, Melville's mate, standing sentry over them pistol in hand.
Aitcheson and Wilson were conducted to the head of the row and ordered
to seat themselves, which they did. Melville then searched about until
he found a rope. This he cut into lengths and then mounted guard while
Roberts called the prisoners out one by one and tied them to the
fence. Mr. Aitcheson asked Melville what he wanted? and the bushranger
replied, "Gold and horses, and we're going to get them." When all the
men were securely tied the bushrangers cautioned them not to attempt
to get loose until permission was given, and then walked to the house.
Melville told Mrs. Aitcheson not to be afraid, as he never interfered
with ladies any more than was necessary. He told all the women and
girls to go into one room. One of the women was told to get some food
ready, and part of this was taken, with two bottles of brandy, to the
men at the shed. Melville and Roberts both ate heartily. They searched
the house thoroughly, and took all the money and jewellery they could
find. They picked out two fine horses with saddles and bridles, and
when mounted they stopped at the woolshed to bid good-bye to Mr.
Aitcheson and their "other friends," and to inform them that Mrs.
Aitcheson would come and untie them as soon as he and his mate were out
of sight along the road.

The boldness with which this robbery was conceived and carried out
caused quite an excitement throughout the colony. The idea of eighteen
men permitting two to tie and rob them without a struggle caused
as much amusement perhaps as wonder. People talked of little else
for days, and everywhere the question was asked, "What next?" This,
however, was not all. After leaving the station the bushrangers only
travelled a few miles and camped in the bush. The following morning
they stuck up two diggers, Thomas Wearne and William Madden, on the
Ballarat Road, and robbed them of £33. After taking the money, Melville
asked them where they were going. "To Geelong to see our friends, and
spend Christmas. But now we shall have to go back to the diggings," was
the reply. Melville drew Roberts apart, and after a brief conversation
he came back, handed the diggers a £10 note, and hoped that would be
sufficient to enable them to enjoy their holidays. During the next few
days the bushrangers stuck up and robbed a large number of travellers
on the Ballarat Road, travelling themselves towards Geelong at the
time. On the morning of the 24th, they stuck up and robbed a man near
Fyan's Ford, about five miles from the town, and then rode straight
into Geelong. They put up at an hotel in Corio Street, where they
had dinner and saw that their horses were fed. Then they went to a
house of ill-fame, a little off the street, and not far from the
Corio Street lock-up. One of the women was sent to a public-house in
Moorabool Street for some bottles of brandy, and the spree began. The
liquor opened Melville's mouth, and he informed one of the women who
he was, and boasted of his exploits. This woman told the others, and
as there was a hundred pounds reward offered for "such information as
would lead to his apprehension," the chance of making money was too
good to be missed. One of the women put her arms round his neck and
talked to him, while another slipped out by the back door and went to
the police station to inform the police as to the character of their
visitors. Somehow Melville became suspicious. He suddenly pushed the
woman away, and called to Roberts to go and fetch the horses, swearing
that he would leave the town at once. Roberts, however, was too drunk
to heed him. He was asleep with his head resting on the table. Melville
jumped up and shook him, but finding that he could not rouse him,
resolved to go alone. He opened the front door and saw a woman with
two policemen just entering the gate. Slamming the door to hurriedly,
he rushed across the room, and seizing a chair, dashed it through the
back window. Then, jumping clear through the opening thus made, he
raced down the yard to the back fence and climbed over in time to meet
another constable, who was hurrying up towards the back of the house.
Without a moment's hesitation Melville knocked the policeman down, and
ran across a piece of vacant land. His first intention had, of course,
been to go for his horse, but on reaching Corio Street after this
enforced détour, he knew he would have to pass the lock-up to reach the
stable where his horse was. This was too dangerous, and he took the
opposite direction.

On its western side Geelong proper--that is, the older part of the
town--is separated from its western portion by a deep gulley, which in
early times was closed up by a dam. The water thus penned back spread
over a flat, and served to supply the first settlers with water. In
1852 the dam was still there, and formed the roadway which connected
Geelong with Ashby, Kildare, and other suburbs. It was across this
dam that all the traffic on that side of the town passed. At short
distances away the Melbourne and Ballarat roads branched off, the one
along the banks of the bay, and the other towards the Bellpost Hill.
A few years later the dam was cut away, and a handsome iron bridge
erected across the deep gulley, while the space formerly covered with
water was converted into a park or garden.

The dam was in a line with Malop Street, and Melville raced away across
the vacant lots to that street, followed by several policemen. It was
near sundown, and as Melville came to the dam Mr. Guy was returning
from his afternoon ride. Mr. Guy was a young gentleman who had not
been long in the colony. He was lodging at the Black Bull Inn, Malop
Street, where the most extensive stables in the district were. The
Black Bull was a great sporting house and there were always some race
horses there, either in training or waiting for engagements; and, as
Mr. Guy was an excellent horseman, he frequently took one or other of
these horses out for an airing. On this occasion he had been for a
gallop across the plains to Cowey's Creek, and was walking his horse
quietly back to allow him to get cool. When crossing the dam a man
suddenly rushed up and seized him by the leg. He was lifted out of the
saddle, and half fell, half jumped to the ground. He landed on his feet
and rushed round the horse in time to collar the man who was trying to
mount. The horse was a spirited animal and objected strongly to this
summary change of riders, otherwise, perhaps, the bushranger would
have got away. He reared and plunged and prevented the bushranger from
mounting. Guy seized the bushranger, and received a heavy blow for his
trouble, but he held on gamely, and in the struggle the horse broke
away and galloped off to his stable. A moment later the police came
up, and Melville was captured. Mr. Guy was highly complimented for his
plucky fight with so redoubtable an opponent, but he usually replied
that he wasn't going "to lose a horse in that manner if he could help
it." Of course, he was intensely surprised when he was informed that
he had captured the notorious bushranger, Captain Melville. Melville
and Roberts were lodged in the "old gaol" in "South Geelong," and I
remember going to see "the bushrangers" conveyed across the flat and
up the hill to the court-house to stand their trial. They were seated
in a dray, heavily ironed--there was no "black Maria" in Geelong in
those days--and drawn by two horses. There were several armed policemen
on the dray, and others marched before and behind. The court-house, of
course, was crowded, and, as boys were not admitted, I was not present.

It may perhaps be of interest to notice that at that time there were
stocks outside the Geelong Court-house. They were converted into
firewood about two years later when the foundations for the new and
larger court-house were laid. I believe these were the last stocks seen
in Victoria, the Melbourne ones having been destroyed some time before,
when the court-house there was enlarged.

Melville was convicted on three charges of highway robbery, and was
sentenced to twelve years' penal servitude on one and to ten years
each on two other charges, making in all thirty-two years. A number of
other charges were withdrawn. Similar sentences were passed on Roberts,
but they were made concurrent. Melville was taken by boat from Geelong
to the hulk _President_ in Hobson's Bay, "until the devilish spirit
he had for so long a time exhibited appeared to be broken," to quote
the _Melbourne Herald_. Rather more than a year later he was removed
to the hulk _Success_ "for milder treatment," and was permitted to go
ashore to work in the Government stone quarry at Point Gellibrand.
At that time Melville was engaged in translating the Bible into the
language of the Australian aborigines, "in which he could converse
fluently." For more than two years the public heard nothing of Captain
Melville. On October 22nd, 1856, a launch with fifty or sixty convicts
on board was being towed from the hulks _Success_ and _Lysander_ to
the landing-place near the quarry, when Mr. Jackson, the officer in
charge, observed that the prisoners were crowding towards the bow of
the launch. He shouted to them to go back and trim the launch. Some
obeyed, but those nearest the bow seized the tow-rope and rapidly
pulled the launch up to the stem of the boat which was towing it. Then
the prisoners began jumping into the boat. Mr. Jackson was hurled into
the water. Corporal Owen Owens' head was smashed, and he and John
Turner, one of the rowers, were thrown overboard. The other rowers
jumped, some on to the wharf, the others into the water. The convicts
seized the oars and pulled rapidly down the bay, Captain Melville
standing up in the boat, waving the hammer with which it was said Owens
had been killed, and shouting "Adieu to Victoria!" The desperadoes,
however, were not to be allowed to escape so easily as they imagined.
The guard on the hulk _Lysander_ fired at them as they passed, and the
water-police from Williamstown soon followed and overtook them. Being
threatened with muskets at close range, and having no arms themselves,
they surrendered and were towed back quietly to the _Success_. Nine
of the conspirators were tried for mutiny, Melville at his own
request being placed first at the bar alone. In the charge sheet he
was described as Thomas Smith, alias Frank McCallum, alias Captain
Melville, and was said to have been transported to Van Diemen's Land in
1838. This contradicts the many rumours which gained currency about him
during his bushranging career. That most generally received was that
he had come to the colony in charge of an emigrant ship from England,
and that he and his crew had deserted her and gone to the diggings,
where, being unlucky, he had taken to bushranging. This report was
frequently denied, but still it was extensively believed, especially in
the Geelong district. After hearing the evidence, the jury were unable
to agree on a verdict of murder in the first degree, as there was a
doubt as to who struck the blow which killed Corporal Owens. The Judge
ruled, however, that if, in an attempt to escape from lawful custody,
any person is killed, all of those attempting to escape are guilty of
murder. In consequence of this ruling Melville was found guilty and was
sentenced to death. The other prisoners were acquitted. The sentence
was afterwards commuted to imprisonment for life, and when Melville was
informed of the "mercy" which had been extended to him, he remarked
quietly, "Well, you'll be sorry for it."

On March 26, 1857, Mr. John Price, Inspector General of Convicts in
the Colony of Victoria, attended at the quarry near Williamstown to
hear any petitions or complaints which the convicts might have to
present. Convict James Kelly was the first called and he asked for a
ticket-of-leave. Mr. Price replied that he was unable to accede to
this request. As he walked away Kelly was heard by Captain Blatchford
to mutter "Bloody tyrant, your race is nearly run." He appeared to
be in a furious passion, but very little notice was taken of him at
the time. Several of the prisoners pressed forward and began to crowd
round Mr. Price, loudly complaining that they had not received the due
amount of rations. Some exclaimed that they were being cheated. Mr.
Price stepped back and said in a loud voice, so as to be heard above
the din, that these complaints must be given in proper form, when full
enquiries should be made. If the charges were true the abuses should
be rectified, but if they were false or unfounded, those making them
would be punished. Suddenly a rush was made. Kelly threw a heavy stone,
shouting at the time, "Down with the bloody tyrant." The stone struck
Mr. Price and he reeled. The convicts pressed forward shouting "Give
it him, give it him," and a volley of stones was sent flying through
the air. Captain Blatchford was struck several times and rushed off to
summon the guard, which was stationed on the other side of the quarry
tramway, behind a large heap of stones. A convict named Bryant was
said to have struck Price with a heavy navvy's shovel. He then shouted
"Come on. He's cooked. He wants no more." When Captain Blatchford
returned with the guard the convicts had placed Price's body on a hand
barrow, which they held up in their hands. The remainder stood round
as if waiting for orders. The face of the murdered man was calm, even
pleasant to look at, but the back of his head was terribly battered,
and the heap of stones was covered with his blood and brains. The
guards surrounded the convicts, who offered no resistance, and they
were marched away to the wharf and taken on board the _Success_. Soon
afterwards shouts of "The bloody tyrant's done for, hooray," and much
cheering were heard on board of this vessel and on the _Lysander_.
Fearing that a general mutiny of convicts might take place, the
harbour defence vessel _Victoria_, with her guns shotted and the crew
at their quarters, was laid alongside the _Success_ ready to sink her
if necessary. The convicts, however, were very quiet and allowed
themselves to be conducted to their cells without opposition. Fifteen
convicts were placed on trial for this murder, but each one exercised
his full right of challenge, so that the panel was exhausted without
a jury being secured. On the next day the Crown Prosecutor withdrew
three prisoners and the jurors to whom they had objected were recalled.
This manoeuvre was repeated until at length a jury was obtained to try
three prisoners, Thomas Malony, Thomas Williams, and Henry Smith. They
were found guilty and sentenced to death. On the day following Richard
Jones, William Jones, John Williams, and James Kelly were placed at
the bar, and after a lengthy consultation the jury returned a verdict
of "Not guilty." This verdict was condemned in the strongest terms by
the judge, the press, and the general public. The acquittal of Kelly,
who was said to have led the assault and struck the first blow, caused
general indignation. The remainder of the prisoners were charged in
two batches, and they were all found guilty and sentenced to death.
Their names were Francis Brannagan, Richard Bryant, William Brown, John
Young, alias Lowe, James Anderson, Henry Smith, alias Brennan, Daniel
Donovan, and John Chesley. The majority of them had been condemned to
penal servitude for bushranging and robbery, and the last on the list
was Chesley, who was executed on April 30th, 1857.

Melville had been removed from the hulks to the Melbourne gaol a
short time before because it was believed that he had been planning
a general mutiny, and now it was said that the murder of Mr. Price
had been included in his scheme. During the first two or three months
of his residence at "Wintle's Hotel," as the Melbourne gaol was
facetiously called, Melville behaved very quietly, and was treated
as an ordinary prisoner. On July 28th, 1857, he made a savage attack
on Mr. Wintle, the Governor of the gaol, and was afterwards confined
to his cell. Later it was reported that for weeks he would behave in
the most exemplary manner, but would suddenly and unexpectedly break
out into a paroxysm of fury, during which he would destroy everything
destructible. At these times the warders and officers were ordered
to keep away from his cell, and leave him to himself. He was placed
under medical surveillance, with a view to ascertain whether he was
sane or not, great care being taken, it was said, not to excite him.
On August 10th he was locked up as usual, and appeared to be in his
normal condition as regards health and spirits, but, on his cell
being opened next morning, he was found lying dead on the ground. A
blue handkerchief with red spots, which he had brought with him from
the hulks, was tied round his neck with a slip knot and twisted up
tightly. Dr. McCrae was called in immediately, and said that death was
due to strangulation. Life had been extinct some three or four hours.
He was of the opinion that the prisoner had tied the knot himself. A
verdict of _felo de se_ was returned by the coroner's jury which heard
the case. A variety of opinions were expressed as to this verdict. So
far as is known, there is no evidence to prove that Melville came to
his death in any other way than that stated at the inquest, but there
were numbers of people who asserted their belief that the bushranger
was strangled by the gaolers. As a rule these people did not blame
the gaolers for this act. The opinion generally expressed was that
Melville was little better than a wild beast, and was better dead than
alive. They also asserted that it would have been more satisfactory
if the bushranger had been hung openly instead of being murdered
secretly, and they blamed the Governor and the Judge for having been
so "soft-hearted" as to commute his sentence when he was condemned to
the gallows. There appears, however, to be no evidence in support of
this view. The records of the inquest are brief, but they seem clearly
enough to prove that the most noted bushranger of the gold-digging
era took his own life in one of the paroxysms to which he was liable.
Whether these paroxysms were due to his harsh treatment on the hulks
is another matter, but we are not in the "Fifties" now. The hulks have
been destroyed or sold, and the prisoners are treated as humanely now
in Australia as they are in any other civilised country. The treatment
of the bushrangers all through the later developments of that crime
tend to prove that the Australians considered bushranging as a sort of
exotic introduced into the country with the convicts sent from England,
and only to be wiped out by the suppression of the convict element
in the population. We see the influence of this view in New South
Wales, Van Diemen's Land, and elsewhere, as well as in Victoria. In
this colony the appointment of Mr. John Price as Inspector General of
convicts was an expression of the popular belief. Mr. Price had had a
long experience among convicts, and the very fact that his treatment
of them was harsh was a recommendation in his favour. He had been
superintendent of the convict station of Port Arthur, where he was
known to the convicts placed under his charge as "Bloody Tyrant Price."
When that establishment, of the character of which the late Marcus
Clarke gives us an idea, but an idea only, in his story, "For the Term
of his Natural Life," was broken up, in consequence of the cessation of
transportations to Van Diemen's Land, in 1853, Mr. Price was specially
chosen for the position he held in Victoria because of his knowledge,
not merely of convict character, but of the personal appearance of a
large number of the criminals who were disturbing the peace of the
colony, because the majority of them had already been under his charge
in Van Diemen's Land. The Victorians desired above all things to keep
the convicts out of their colony, and as a means to this end they
endeavoured to make their prisons a "holy terror" to this class of
immigrant. When that object had been achieved, or the convict element
in the population had died out by the effluxion of time, they modified
their prison discipline in accordance with the growth of humanitarian
ideas. Whether they have done all that is possible in this direction
may be doubted, but this is not the place to discuss this question.
The evidence so far as it has been collected and considered tends to
show that the chief remedy for crime is education. It is impossible to
believe that even the worst of the bushrangers would have grown up to
be such scourges to society had they been properly cared for during
the impressionable period of their lives, and many of them amid all
their savagery show traces of qualities which might, under happier
circumstances, have fitted them for useful positions in the world. It
may be added here that Mr. John Price is popularly supposed to have
been the prototype of "Maurice Freere" in Marcus Clarke's novel, which
should be read by every student of Australian history.


  Murder of a Bullock-driver; Sticking Up in the Melbourne Streets;
  Stealing £100,000 in Bank Notes; Want of Efficient Police Protection;
  Murders and Robberies at Ballarat, Bendigo, Mount Alexander, and
  other Diggings; The Robbery of the McIvor Gold Escort; A Bushranger
  Intimidated by a Bottle of Brandy; Robbery of the Bank of Victoria at
  Ballarat; Capture of Garrett in London; Prevalence of Horse-stealing;
  The Doctor's Creamy.

The arrest of Captain Melville, although it removed the central figure
in this the third bushranging epoch in Australia, by no means put a
stop to the crime. Melville had been a specialist, a true highwayman,
while the others were merely general practitioners who were not very
particular what crimes they committed so long as they secured booty. On
January 24th, 1853, the driver of the mail coach from Colac to Geelong
was ordered to bail up near Mr. Dennie's station. The driver kept on.
One of the bushrangers reached out to grasp the reins, while the other
fired at the driver. The report frightened the horse of the man who
was trying to seize the reins, and it bolted, throwing the rider. The
mail-man whipped his horses into a gallop and got safely away.

Richard Bryant and William Mack walked into Mr. J. Jackson's store at
Fryer's Creek, Mount Alexander, and ordered the storeman to bail up.
They took all the money that was in the till, a quantity of gold dust,
and a bundle of the most valuable articles they could find. They were
arrested by Constable Bloomfield in a house in Melbourne and sentenced
to twelve years' imprisonment.

On May 7th, a carrier named William Morgan left Melbourne with several
passengers, each of whom had agreed to pay him £14 to carry his "swag"
to the Mount Alexander diggings. Besides these swags Morgan had some
goods for the conveyance of which to the diggings he was to receive
£29. The first day's journey was a short one, the party camping near
the Lady of the Lake Inn. The passengers, who, it may be as well to
explain, had to walk, had a tent with them which they took off the
dray. They were erecting this when Morgan and the driver of another
dray camped there, named Pilcock, walked to a blacksmith's shop near
the hotel to get some small jobs done. Pilcock returned alone and
informed the company that Morgan had walked on to "Tulip" Wright's to
try and purchase an extra pair of bullocks to strengthen his team. The
following morning Pilcock yoked up Morgan's team as well as his own,
and asked one of the passengers to drive it, adding that Morgan would
join them somewhere along the road. They were about to start when a
little boy, travelling with his parents by another dray, ran up crying
out that there was "a man's head sticking out of the ground." A rush
to the place was made and the child's statement proved to be true. The
body was dug up and identified as Morgan's. From the appearance of the
ground about half-way between the camp and the blacksmith's shop it
was apparent that a fierce struggle had taken place. The ground was
trampled and torn up as if with a wrestling match. A pool of blood was
discovered with a track leading from it to where the body was found,
showing that it had been dragged there. Some wonder was expressed that
so severe a contest should have taken place without any sound having
been heard at the camp, which was not more than a quarter of a mile
away. But there were some fifty or sixty people at the camp, and some
of these had been amusing themselves by singing, while others had been
playing concertinas and other musical instruments. The noise thus
made had no doubt drowned the noise of the deadly contest which was
taking place so close at hand. Pilcock was arrested at once, and was
subsequently convicted and hung. Had his project succeeded, he would
have made quite a nice little haul with the money for the loading on
the two drays.

So prevalent was crime at this time, that even the streets of Melbourne
were not safe. One afternoon, David Clegg and Henry Jones were driving
home in a spring cart from Melbourne, to the huge encampment on Emerald
Hill, known as Canvas Town. They had just crossed Prince's Bridge,
over the Yarra Yarra, when they were ordered to bail up. Clegg caught
up a double-barrelled gun from the bottom of the cart, but before he
could make any use of it, it was snatched from his hands by one of the
robbers, who cried out: "Stand aside till I blow his---- brains out."
A second robber said: "Oh, let him go." While these two were disputing
as to whether Clegg should be shot or not, a third robber struck the
horse and started him off. During the next few days the Canvas Town
mob, as it was called, committed several robberies in the neighbourhood
of Prince's Bridge, and at length the police made an effort to protect
travellers between Melbourne and Canvas Town (now known as South
Melbourne). One day, Chief Constable Bloomfield and Mr. Farrell were
walking together near the bridge, when Bloomfield exclaimed: "Hulloa!
there's a man I want for uttering a £5 note." He crossed the street
and said: "Well Hammond." "What the---- do you want?" asked Hammond.
"Oh, you needn't be afraid, I won't hurt you," replied Bloomfield. "I
don't care whether you do or not," cried Hammond, walking beside the
policeman in bravado. Bloomfield delayed making the arrest in hopes
that another constable would appear, until Hammond turned away, when he
grabbed him. Farrell shouted, "Look out, Bloomfield," and the constable
turned, but not quickly enough to avoid a blow aimed at him by another
man. Bloomfield fell, but did not relax his grip on Hammond, and two
other constables appearing at the time, both Hammond and Edwards were
secured. James Hammond and William Edwards were identified as the men
who wished to shoot Clegg, and were sent to gaol for ten years, the
first three in irons. Another man, named Smith, who had prevented
Hammond from firing at Clegg, was let off with six years.

Another batch of this gang of scoundrels which infested the river
side at Melbourne was secured in connection with the stealing of a
consignment of bank notes with the face value of £100,000. These notes
were brought to Melbourne in the ship _Strathedon_, consigned to
Messrs. Willis, Merry & Co. as agents for the Union Bank of Australia.
The notes were for £15, £10, £5 and £1. They were unsigned and were
therefore non-negotiable. They appear to have been taken from the ship
and dumped down on the wharf, pending the arrival of a dray to take
the case to the warehouse of Messrs. Willis, Merry & Co. When the dray
arrived, however, the box could not be found. The loss caused great
excitement and the police were notified of the robbery. Some days
later an unsigned £10 note was passed on Messrs. Brasch & Sommerfeld,
Collins Street, in exchange for clothing, and this led to the arrest
of William Young. During the following week William Layworth, William
Simpson, William Rogers, and Thomas Stroud were detected in attempts
to pass unsigned notes on various hotel and boarding-house keepers,
store-keepers, and others, and were arrested. Stroud's residence was
searched and a number of the unsigned notes were found there. His wife
was arrested, but was acquitted. Layworth turned Queen's evidence
and escaped punishment, but Young, Simpson, Rogers, and Stroud were
sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. The jury commented on the
carelessness shown by the bank and its agents in leaving the box
unwatched on the wharf. The manager of the bank expressed his regrets
and promised that more care should be taken in future.

John Atkins went into the Cross Keys Hotel in Melbourne and called for
a drink. George Ellison, who was in the bar, asked him what he had done
with the gold he had brought from the diggings. Atkins replied that
he had none. Ellison called him a liar, and said that if he had not
come from the diggings his trousers would not be the colour they were.
Everybody knew a digger, because his moleskin trousers were always
coloured by the clay he worked in. A row started, and the landlord
interfered and told Atkins to leave. He did so, but was followed by
Ellison and another man, who knocked him down and robbed him of his
gold. Ellison was arrested next day and was sent to gaol.

The _Geelong Advertiser_ of March 5th says:--"The shameful want of
adequate protection along the main roads leading to the diggings has
repeatedly been exemplified in the robberies, assaults, and murders
committed by bushrangers upon a number of luckless wayfarers, with the
grossest and most notorious impunity. These unavenged offences against
society and the public peace have been excused by some, on account of
the difficulty of keeping afoot such an extended line of patrol as
would effectually intimidate marauders.... When we are in possession
of the fact that the Sydney Executive could and did accomplish such
protective arrangements over a hundred and fifty miles of country,
we may be allowed to doubt the alleged inability of the Victorian
Government to render equally efficient aid out of a revenue probably
ten times as great as that derived by the sister colony from the same
source; at least we might reasonably suppose that townships between
Melbourne and Mount Alexander, Geelong and Ballarat, would be supplied
with police, mounted or otherwise, to act in a radius of ten miles or
so when called upon.... A gentleman well known to the public, from
his long connection with the newspaper press, has been the victim of
a murderous assault. His story is that while at Ballan, a township
about twenty miles this side of Ballarat, on the Melbourne road, a
man attacked him with an iron poker. The gentleman raised his arm to
protect his head and it was broken. But for this the blow might have
fallen on his head and proved fatal.... Two days were wasted at Ballan
and four at Bacchus Marsh waiting to find a magistrate to issue a writ
for the arrest of his assailant.... The gentleman having been robbed of
his money had to make his way to town for medical aid by the charity of
persons along the road. Fortunately some kind friends supplied him with
means to obtain food and carriage."

At the time the police were too busy harrying the diggers for the
exorbitant licence to attend to the roads, but later in the year,
when the Melbourne papers backed up the demand for better police
protection, police stations were established at the larger camping
places where villages or, as they are called in Australia, townships
had grown up. In the meantime numbers of murders were committed without
the perpetrators of the crimes being discovered. Thus Mr. and Mrs.
Skinner were travelling from Bendigo to the new rush at McIvor and
camped for the night on the banks of Eve Creek. In the morning Skinner
went to look for his horse while his wife prepared breakfast. When
she went to the lagoon to fill the billy to make the tea, she saw the
half-immersed body of a man. When her husband returned he drew the body
out of the water, and saw that the head had been fearfully battered.
A pocket-knife, pipe, tobacco, and a silk handkerchief were found in
the pockets, but no gold or money. An enquiry was held in this case,
and a verdict of murder was pronounced against some person or persons
unknown, and that was all; but there were hundreds of such cases in
which no enquiry was held.

John Shannon was travelling from Ballarat to Geelong, and stopped for
the night at an inn at Batesford. He called on Mr. White, a butcher,
and had tea and was about to return to his inn, when three men stopped
him at the door. One of these men asked, "Is this the butcher's shop?"
"Yes," replied Shannon. "Ah! you're just the bloke we want," exclaimed
the man. The three men then hustled Shannon back into the shop and
compelled him to stand with his back to the wall and his arms stretched
out. White was placed in a similar position, and made to stand while
the robbers emptied the till. They then searched Shannon's pockets,
and took out a parcel of gold and some money. He objected, and one of
the men who had been standing on guard at the door drew a pistol, put
the muzzle close to Shannon's breast, and pulled the trigger. Shannon
fell. The man who had been searching him turned the body over, and then
said, "Barry, it's finished; we'll be off." The three men then left, no
attempt being made to detain them. An inquest was held on the body, and
a verdict of wilful murder was returned against three men whose names
were unknown. The jury added: "We cannot separate without expressing a
strong feeling with regard to the unprotected state of the road between
Geelong and Ballarat, which is overrun with bad characters. We would
respectfully but firmly urge on the Executive the immediate necessity
of erecting intermediate police stations between the two places, with
patrols to traverse the road from station to station, and we would also
point out the necessity for strenuously enforcing the Vagrant Act."
Three men were arrested and charged with this cold-blooded murder, but
were acquitted.

The great bushranging event of the year was the sticking up and
robbing of the Gold Escort from the McIvor Goldfield. The escort was
a private one travelling from McIvor to Kyneton, where it met the
Government Escort which conveyed gold from Bendigo and Mount Alexander
to Melbourne. It started, as usual, on July 28th. At about fifteen
miles from McIvor and three miles from the Mia-Mia Hotel, there was a
sharp bend in the road round a point of rocks which jutted out from
the range. At the bend a mia-mia, or shelter such as is made of boughs
by the blacks, had been constructed, and opposite to it a big log was
drawn across the track. This compelled the driver of the escort cart to
pull his horses off the track and drive very close past the mia-mia.
The road was very rough, and the cart swayed about badly. Just as it
was passing the mia-mia a volley was fired from it, and the three
troopers on the cart as well as the driver fell. The horses on which
Mr. Warner, in charge of the escort, and Sergeant Duins were mounted
were both wounded. Although they were wounded, the troopers returned
the fire as speedily as possible, but could see nothing to shoot at
except the bushes. The bushrangers fired again, and the troopers were
compelled to fall back, when about a dozen men rushed from behind the
mia-mia, seized the two boxes which contained the gold, and rushed back
into the scrub. Mr. Warner sent Sergeant Duins to the nearest police
camp for assistance, and then followed the bushrangers, who fired at
him. He replied with the three shots remaining in his revolver, and
then retired. Then Mr. Warner galloped as fast as his wounded horse
could go to Patterson's station for help. On his return with some of
the station hands he found a man putting the wounded troopers into the
cart, and arrested him on suspicion of being one of the robbers. The
driver, T. Flooks, was the most seriously hurt, and he died a few days
later. He and the troopers, S.B. Davis, J. Morton, and R. Boeswetter,
were taken to the hospital at the police camp on the McIvor goldfield
as quickly as possible, and the man who had been arrested, having
proved that he had no connection with the bushrangers, but had been
acting from purely humanitarian motives, was discharged. A party was
organised to pursue the robbers, and on going to the place where the
attack had been made three horses with packsaddles were found tied
to the trees. It was conjectured that the robbers had been disturbed
before they could pack the gold on the horses by the approach of the
pursuing party, and had made off on foot into the ranges. Some time
passed away, and then a man named John Murphy was arrested on board the
ship _Madagascar_, lying in Hobson's Bay. He had taken a passage in her
on the eve of her departure for England. When charged he admitted that
he had been one of the party, and promised to turn approver. He gave
some information, which led to the arrest of others of the gang, but he
then seems to have repented of his decision, as he committed suicide.
His brother, Jeremiah Murphy, however, was arrested in Queensland, and
gave the desired information, thereby escaping punishment. The gold
stolen was valued at about £5000, and very little of it was recovered.
George Wilson, George Melville, and William Atkins were charged with
the murder of Thomas Flooks, and were found guilty. They were hung in
Melbourne, on October 4th. Atkins died as soon as the bolt was drawn,
but Wilson and Melville struggled for several minutes. The hangman was
compelled to "draw the legs of Melville down with considerable force"
before life was extinct.

Alfred Stallard and Christopher Goodison went to a tent at Bendigo
Creek, and entered into conversation with Mrs. Roberts, who lived
there. They offered her a glass of rum which she drank. It is supposed
that the liquor was drugged, as she became insensible, and the two
men "made a pack" of everything valuable in the tent, including five
ounces of gold, and walked away. On his return to his tent, William
Roberts was informed of what had taken place and gave information to
the police. The robbers were followed and were captured near the Loddon
River. When they were asked at their trial whether they had anything to
urge as a reason for mitigating their punishment, Goodison complained
that they had been chained to a tree for three days at the Loddon. They
were forced to walk to Mount Alexander, and were then chained to a log
in the Camp Reserve for ten days. They were marched to Kyneton, where
they were kept in the lock-up for five days on bread and water. From
thence they were conveyed to Melbourne by coach. They received little
sympathy, however, because it was well known that diggers whose only
crime was inability to pay a heavy licence fee were treated no better.

Occasionally the tragic events of the year were lightened by a touch
of comedy, as when a resident of Ashby was returning home from his
business place in Geelong. It was dark when he was crossing the
dam, when a man presented a pistol at him and called "Bail up." The
suburbanite was taking home with him a bottle of brandy, which, in
accordance with the custom of that time, was not wrapped in paper.
Paper was too dear in Australia to be used for wrapping articles
which would keep together without. When challenged, the suburbanite
brought the bottle from under his coat, presented it at the head of
the bushranger, and cried, "You bail up." The would-be robber, taken
by surprise, dropped his pistol and turned to run, but the suburbanite
cried "Stop, or I'll fire," and the fellow stopped. The suburbanite
thought for a moment whether he should take the "bushranger" to the
lock-up or not, and decided that it would only entail a "lot of
trouble," so he punched his head and let him go. He kept the pistol
as a trophy, and carried home his bottle intact. About the same time
Edmund Taylor was found in the bush dead. His body was terribly
mutilated. He had left Eureka, Ballarat, to travel to Burnt Bridge, and
was known to have taken with him a bank receipt for £200 and a £10 note.

Arthur Burrow and William Garroway called at the hut of William Henry
Mitchell, at Pennyweight Flat, Ballarat, and asked the way to the
township. Mitchell told them and was then asked to "shout." Mitchell
refused, when Garroway struck him with a pick handle, while Burrow drew
out a pistol and presented it. They took what gold they could find and
walked on. They were joined by two other men, and stuck up and robbed
Alexander McLean. They were followed and arrested.

William Bryan and John Douglass were also convicted of highway robbery
at Muddy Creek and other places between Geelong and Ballarat, and sent
to gaol for five years. James Nugent and four others stopped Benjamin
Napton on the road near Modewarre. They pretended they were policemen
in search of bushrangers. Nugent was anxious to take care of Napton's
gold for him, but Napton refused to entrust it to him. They walked
together to Kildare, where they went into the Sportsman's Arms and had
drinks. When they came out, Napton missed his gold, and Nugent was
arrested. A knife was found on him, and this had some soil sticking
to it. At the police-court investigation the magistrate recommended
the police to dig in the yard of the hotel near where Nugent had been
standing. They did so, and found a bag containing 9 oz. of gold. Two
nuggets, which Napton said were also in it, could not be found.

Roberts, who had been convicted of complicity in the robbery of gold
from the ship _Nelson_, but who had been pardoned on a question of
identity having been subsequently raised, was captured, and charged
at Buninyong with highway robbery. He, with ten other men, was
being conveyed to Geelong to serve the ten years to which he had
been sentenced, and were halted at Ray's Hotel, on the road, for
refreshments. Roberts begged to be allowed to write a letter to a
magistrate in the neighbourhood, and his request being granted, his
right hand was freed from the handcuffs. The other prisoner to whom
he was chained managed to slip his hand out of the handcuff, and
Roberts being thus free, jumped through the window and bolted for the
bush. Only one constable had been left in the room in charge of the
prisoners, and he could only shout out an alarm. However, Roberts ran
almost into the arms of the foot policeman, who had recently been
stationed at this point, and he held the bushranger until the other
constables came up.

On December 14th, 1854, Thomas Quinn, a stonemason, started from his
home in Geelong and rode to Ballarat. He left his pony at Mrs. Smith's,
about three miles from the diggings, and walked in. He stopped at the
tent of John Boulton, and played cards with Boulton and his mate,
Henry Marriott. Later on the three men went to the tent owned by Henry
Beresford Garrett at the Big Gravel Pits. They took their revolvers,
but no powder and shot, and walked across Main Street to the Bank
of Victoria on Bakery Hill. They had formulated a plan to rob the
bank, and Quinn had been induced to join on the understanding that
no violence was to be used. Hence the unloaded pistols. They put new
caps on to the revolvers and some paper in the muzzles to "make them
look as if they were loaded." Garrett and Boulton entered the bank,
Marriott stopped at the door inside, while Quinn remained outside on
watch in the street. They ordered the cashier and teller, Messrs.
Buckley and Marshall, to "bail up." Then they tied the hands of the
two bank officials, and collected the spoil. As soon as they were
outside they separated, one going down Bakery Hill, another along the
Melbourne Road, and the others by different routes across the Eureka
Plateau, having previously agreed to meet at Garrett's tent. They
had taken with them notes, sovereigns, and silver to the amount of
£14,300, besides about 350 ounces of gold. When they had divided the
loot Marriott returned to his lodgings in "the township," now known as
the City of Ballarat. He lodged at a boarding-house in Lydiard Street.
Garrett disposed of his tent and tools, and went by coach to Melbourne,
from whence he shipped direct for London. Quinn and Boulton went to
Geelong. They stayed one night at Quinn's house in Chilwell, and went
by boat next day to Melbourne, where they sold their share of the gold
at the London Chartered Bank in Collins Street. They returned next day
to Geelong, and again stopped at Quinn's house for a night, and then
went back to Boulton's tent on the diggings. They took good care not
to mention the robbery before Mrs. Boulton, because "she was a good
woman." On the following day Boulton went to the bank from which the
money had been stolen and asked for a draft on London for £1450. With
an infatuation difficult to account for he tendered in payment for
this draft some of the stolen bank notes, among those which he had
received for the gold in Melbourne. This was almost like asking plainly
to be arrested. Of course the notes were recognised at once. He was
kept waiting on some frivolous pretext while the police were sent for,
and was then arrested. One of the stolen £10 notes was produced at
the trial and identified as part of the money advanced by Boulton in
payment of the draft. Quinn and Marriott were speedily arrested, and
Quinn turned approver. The other two were sentenced to ten years' penal
servitude. Detective Webb followed Garrett to London and found him in
fashionable lodgings near Oxford Street. The detective watched him for
some days before he made up his mind that the fashionably-dressed man
was the bank robber he was after. One day he saw Garrett come out of
his lodgings and followed him into Oxford Street. Suddenly Webb shouted
"Garrett," and Garrett, taken by surprise, stopped and half-turned
round. That was enough to convince the detective that he was right. He
walked up to the robber, slapped him on the shoulder, and said "How do
you do, Mr. Garrett?" "I don't know you," replied Garrett. "Perhaps
not," returned the detective, "but I know you. You've just arrived
from Melbourne in the _Dawstone_. I've a warrant here to arrest you
for robbing the Bank of Victoria at Ballarat. Will you come quietly?"
Garrett saw that the game was up and surrendered. He reached Melbourne
in August, 1855, and was speedily sentenced to keep his former mates
company for ten years.

Sufficient has, I think, been said to indicate the state of the
country and the character of the crimes committed during this epoch.
How many men were shot while prowling about the tents on Ballarat,
Bendigo, Mount Alexander, and other diggings it is impossible to say.
Many of the bushrangers, after having made a haul on the roads or on
the diggings, went to Melbourne or Geelong and spent their ill-gotten
gains in riot and debauchery, and then committed crimes in these towns
for which they were captured and punished. Others returned to New
South Wales or to Van Diemen's Land and ended their careers there.
It was rarely known how many crimes even those who were captured had
committed. They were placed on trial for their last offence. In some
cases it was said that the prisoner had been guilty of other crimes,
but the difficulty of finding witnesses in a population which was
continuously shifting from one end of the country to the other, as new
goldfields were opened, made it impossible to prosecute for crimes
committed a few months before. It was the custom therefore to inflict
long terms of imprisonment to keep the evil-disposed out of mischief
for a time. When a prisoner was tried and convicted for more than one
crime the sentences were usually made concurrent, so that there was no
encouragement for the police to pile up a record of crimes against a
prisoner. Captain Melville was the one exception to this rule.

The sole motive for the robberies of this epoch was a sordid lust
for gold, which seems to have seized many men who but for the gold
discoveries might have lived out honourable lives. The case of George
Hanslip may be cited as an instance of this. He was a confidential
clerk employed by Mr. Spence, draper, of Collins Street, Melbourne.
He was sent by his employer to pay some accounts and purchase goods
in Sydney, at that time the emporium of Australia. For convenience of
carriage, in days when communication was difficult and bank drafts
rare, he was entrusted with 1400 ounces of gold and some jewellery,
and was instructed to offer the gold to Messrs. C. Newton & Co., of
Pitt Street, on his arrival at Sydney. He reached Sydney by boat at
nine a.m., but did not call at Messrs. Newton's store until three
p.m., when he reported that he had been robbed of the gold. He seemed
very excited, saying to Mr. Newton "Oh, what shall I do?" He asked
Mr. Newton to go with him to Malcolm's Adelphi Hotel, and Mr. McKeon,
one of the partners in the firm, did so, and saw a carpet bag which
had been ripped open. Hanslip said he felt certain that the gold had
been taken to Hobart Town, and asked Mr. Newton for the loan of £50
to enable him to go there to seek for it, but whether Hanslip overdid
his part or not, Mr. Newton began to be suspicious of him, and refused
to lend the money. One thing that tended to make him doubt that the
money had been stolen as Hanslip said, was that Hanslip was spending
money very freely. Enquiries were made, and it transpired that Hanslip
had called on a Mr. Marks and offered to sell him the gold before he
called on Mr. Newton. Marks had agreed, and sent a man with Hanslip to
the Adelphi to fetch the gold, so that it might be weighed. On their
arrival Hanslip had fumbled about with his key for several minutes
and could not open the door of his room. He said he believed the
door must have been nailed up. He got it open at last, and when they
went in the first thing they saw was the ripped bag and a few grains
of gold scattered about on the hearthrug. Another carpet bag had been
turned out, and the clothes scattered about the room. It was after this
that Hanslip went to Mr. Newton's, who advised him to give notice to
Mr. McLerie, the Police Superintendent. Hanslip went to Mr. McLerie's
office, and afterwards had a handbill printed offering £1000 reward for
the recovery of the gold. Information was to be addressed to "George
Hanslip, Esq." The result of the police enquiries was that Hanslip
was himself arrested and charged with having stolen the gold. On
enquiries being made, it was discovered that he had left the jewellery
entrusted to him at his lodgings in Melbourne. He was convicted, but
in consequence of his previous good character he was let off with a
comparatively light sentence.

But for the unfortunate dispute between the Government and the diggers
over the licence fee, it is probable that the bushrangers might have
been disposed of in less time than they were. That dispute culminated
at the end of 1854, in a fight between the more violent section of the
diggers and the military. Although the military won in the conflict
on the Eureka, the diggers were the actual victors, and during the
year 1855 they were granted all that the moderate party had previously
asked for. With the settlement of this vexed question the police were
relieved from their task of harrying the diggers, and devoted their
time to the suppression of bushranging so successfully, that in the
latter half of 1855 the Government proposed to make a considerable
reduction in the police force. The _Ballarat Times_, the _Bendigo
Advertiser_, and the various newspapers in Melbourne and Geelong
protested strongly against this proposed reduction. The gold digging
organs predicted an immediate increase in bushranging and other
forms of lawlessness, but when the reduction was made in 1856, these
predictions were not fulfilled. No doubt many of the bushrangers were
captured and punished as horse-stealers. The two crimes have always
been intimately related in Australia. Horses were a necessity to
bushrangers, and a man who would steal a horse would not be likely
to hesitate to stick up an unarmed man if money or gold might be
obtained by that means, and they were quite as liable to be arrested
while stealing a horse as when robbing a man. For two or three years
it was almost impossible for any honest man to keep a horse. Perhaps
one of the most daring and impudent of this class of offence, was the
stealing of Dr. Bailey's "Creamy," in 1855. Dr. Bailey was perhaps
the best known man in Geelong. He was elected the first mayor of the
town when it was incorporated in 1849, and was re-elected for several
consecutive years. He was very wealthy, rather pompous, and highly
respected. He had given up general practice, but had an office, where
he received a few patients and friends, at the rear of Mr. Poulton's
chemist's shop in the Market Square. One morning he rode to his office
as usual, hitched Creamy, which was as well known in Geelong as his
master, to a post in Moorabool Street, the busiest portion of the town,
and went into his office. Almost as soon as the doctor disappeared,
a man in shirt sleeves unhitched the horse, threw himself carelessly
into the saddle and rode slowly away. He nodded familiarly to the
policeman at the corner, who, like the numerous persons about at the
time, thought the fellow was the doctor's groom sent to take Creamy
back to the stable. The man rode very slowly up Moorabool Street until
he turned into Ryrie Street, but once out of sight of those who saw
him mount he must have travelled much faster. He had barely turned the
corner when the real groom rode up, and he was much surprised to find
that Creamy was already gone. Of course, the excitement was intense.
The idea that anybody would dare to steal the doctor's horse had never
entered the head of the most imaginative person in Geelong. Why, even
a burglary at Buckingham Palace would not have been more astonishing.
Crowds collected to stare at the hitching post on the kerb opposite
the doctor's office. Parties of mounted police and civilians started
to hunt for the robber in all directions, but no traces of the missing
Creamy could be discovered, and it was not until some months later
that he was discovered in Ballarat. The daring scoundrel had ridden
him straight to the diggings, and had sold him in Mr. O'Farrell's
newly-opened "Horse Bazaar."


  An Escape from Norfolk Island; Stealing a Government Boat; The
  Convicts of New South Wales; A Terrible Indictment; Thomas Willmore;
  Murder of Philip Alger; Murder of Malachi Daly; Fight between two
  Bushrangers; Hunting down Willmore; His Capture while Asleep; The
  Last of the Van Diemen's Land Bushrangers; Wilson and Dido; Some
  Minor Offenders; An Unfounded Charge; Change of Name to Rid the
  Island of Evil Associations.

The rush of men of all sorts from all parts of the world to the great
goldfields of Victoria, although it no doubt attracted the majority
of the desperate characters from the neighbouring colonies, did not
entirely free them from bushrangers. It is necessary, therefore, to
devote our attention to these, and Norfolk Island claims first place.
On March 15th, 1853, a few months before the penal settlement on the
island was finally broken up, a number of convicts were employed
in loading the store ship _Lord Auckland_. The ship lay off in the
roads, and the goods were taken out to her in boats rowed by convicts,
under the charge of soldiers. One boat, manned by the convicts Dennis
Griffiths, James Clegg, Thomas Clayton, Robert Mitchell, Joseph Davis,
Patrick Cooper, Jeremiah O'Sullivan, John Naisk, and "Ginger," was on
its way to the ship with a load. When it was at about a quarter of a
mile from the shore the convicts suddenly rose up, rushed the soldiers,
and threw them overboard. No other boat was near, and this gave the
convicts the opportunity they had been looking for. One constable was
left on board, and Bordmore, the coxswain, seized the gunwale of the
boat and held on. The convicts resumed their oars and pulled as hard
as they could, but as Bordmore refused to let go, and stopped the way
of the boat, he was taken on board again and set to his old work of
steering. He was, however, ordered on pain of death to steer for the
main land. On April 11th they reached Stradbroke Island, off Moreton
Bay, but in taking the boat through the surf she stranded. The men on
board, however, all got safely on shore. The constable and coxswain,
with convict Mitchell, were left near the landing-place while the other
eight walked along the coast to seek for food, of which they were much
in need. They found the hut of Ferdinand Gonzales, a fisherman, and
tried to induce him to lend them his boat to take them to the mainland.
They represented themselves as having been shipwrecked, but Gonzales
did not believe them, and refused to trust them with his boat. They
went away, and Gonzales walked to where they had said their boat had
been capsized to ascertain whether their story was true or not, and
during his absence they returned, stripped his hut of all that was
eatable or of value, and stole his boat. They pulled round the coast
out of sight, and then sent Clegg and Griffiths to fetch the constable
and the others, but the two officers had in the meantime secured
Mitchell, and now arrested Clegg and Griffiths. The other six runaways
waited for a time, and then started for the mainland. On the Monday
following a fisherman named Thomas Duffy went from the mainland to the
island, and he consented to land the constable, the coxswain, and their
three prisoners at Moreton Bay, from whence they marched to Brisbane,
where the prisoners were lodged in gaol. In a few days complaints of
robberies having been committed along the coast were received, and
the Customs boat, with six armed constables on board, was despatched
to capture the runaways. They were told to call at Cleveland Point to
pick up the Chief Constable, who had gone to the coast by land. When
near the mouth of the Brisbane River, on passing a patch of scrub,
the constables suddenly became aware that another boat was alongside,
and that they were threatened by six men armed with pistols. This
completely turned the tables. The constables were compelled to hold
up their hands, and were towed into the scrub, where they were forced
to land and strip. The convicts took the constables' clothes and gave
them their own rags in exchange, and then, having made them get into
Gonzales' old boat, ordered them to "be off." There was nothing else
to be done, and the would-be captors returned to Brisbane as rapidly
as they could, only to be arrested as the runaways. However, they soon
established their identity, and were released. In the meantime the
runaways, being decently dressed and having a first-class boat, pulled
to the barque _Acacia_, which was lying at the mouth of the river
waiting for the mails, before beginning her voyage to Sydney. They told
their old story about being shipwrecked mariners, and were believed and
invited on board, where they were hospitably feasted. The constables
were blamed for not having given notice to the vessels lying at the
mouth of the river, of the fact that these convicts were at large,
but they had not yet reached that part of the river when they were
captured themselves, and if they had gone to these vessels in Gonzales'
battered boat and in the tattered raiment of the runaways, they would
not only not have been believed, but might have been detained or sent
to Brisbane as the runaways they resembled. It was a very trying and
difficult position in which they were placed. When the convicts left
the _Acacia_ where they had been so well entertained, they pulled to
the house of Mr. Watson, the chief pilot, and robbed him of provisions,
a gold watch and chain, and about £40 in money. They stove in his boat
to prevent him from going to the mainland to report, but left him a
bottle of rum out of his store to "keep his spirits up a bit." Mr.
Watson, however, managed, when they had gone away, to patch up his
boat so as to enable him to cross the narrow strait which separated
Pilot Island from the mainland, and very soon several boats, manned by
constables and volunteers, were searching the scrubs and islands near
the mouth of the river in hopes of being able to capture the runaways.
On May 12th, Eugene Lucette was rowing near the mouth of the river,
when he discovered the stolen Customs Officer's boat among the mangrove
bushes. He towed the boat up the river and restored it to its proper
owners. Mr. W.A. Duncan, J.P., Mr. Shendon (the customs officer), Mr.
Sneyd (the chief constable), and a party of the water police-constables
started in pursuit. They had some black trackers with them, and these
soon found a camp among the mangroves where the convicts had recently
been staying. The tracks were patiently followed by the blacks for
some distance, and at length the party was found near the Cleveland
Road, about eight miles from Brisbane. They were in a very weak
condition, having had no food, they said, for four days, and were
easily captured. They had tried to make a living by bushranging along
the coast, having landed at several points and robbed the few settlers
there were there then. At Wide Bay they had come on a large camp of
natives who appeared so hostile that the convicts had been afraid to
land, and had therefore worked their way back to Moreton Bay with the
intention of going up the country to look for work, as they were tired
of living by robbery. They had a number of watches and other articles
of value, two guns and two pistols, all loaded. They were tried on two
charges, viz:--stealing the Customs Officer's boat, the property of
Her Majesty, &c., and stealing a boat belonging to Ferdinand Gonzales,
fisherman, and were convicted. They were sentenced to fifteen years'
penal servitude.

These men had been sent to Norfolk Island for bushranging and other
crimes committed in Van Diemen's Land, and therefore had nothing to
do with New South Wales until they landed at Moreton Bay as escapees.
Griffiths, Clegg, and Mitchell were sent back to the island in
charge of the constable and coxswain who had captured them, and who
were officials under Mr. John Price, Commandant of the island. The
six convicted of stealing the Government boat at Brisbane were not
retransported to the island, but were accommodated in the gaol at
Moreton Bay.

It may be as well to state here that transportation to New South
Wales ceased in 1841, and only two vessels conveying convicts reached
that colony afterwards. These conveyed some prisoners who were
supposed to be reformed characters, and were known in Australia as
"Pentonvillains," from the name of the Reformatory in London through
which they had passed. They were sent out in consequence of an
agitation on the part of the wealthier settlers for the revival of
transportation, but so much indignation was aroused among the mass of
the colonists that no further attempts of that kind were made. The
agitation was supported by the Governor, Sir Charles A. Fitzroy, who
said in his despatch to Earl Grey, that "out of about 60,000 persons
transported hither, 38,000 are reformed and respectable members of the
community. Of the residue, deaths and departures from the colony will
account for the greater part; and I am enabled to state that only 372
out of the whole are now undergoing punishment of any kind." At the
date of this despatch, January 6, 1850, the colony of New South Wales
included the whole of the eastern side of Australia, Victoria being
then the Port Phillip District, and Queensland the Moreton Bay District
of this colony. The southern portion, or Port Phillip District, was
erected into an independent colony about a year later, and I have dealt
with the bushranging there during the gold digging era. In New South
Wales robberies were also very frequent, although the condition of the
colony was never so desperate as that of Victoria. In August, 1853,
the _Bathurst Free Press_ said:--"For some time past the neighbourhood
of King's Plains has been adding to a murderous notoriety.... There
bloodshed in its most awful shape, murder, appears to be reduced to
a science, and the stereotyped phrase 'Murder will out' has lost its
meaning. An unfortunate old man, remarkable for nothing so much as
his hospitality, is slaughtered like a sheep and deposited under a
heap of stones.... Some fifteen years have rolled over his grave,
his death is still enveloped in mystery. A woman in the prime of
life is shot dead in her house; the walls being bespattered with her
blood. A helpless old shepherd ... who had excited the cupidity or
revenge of some miscreant, is discovered in the bush, so cut, bruised,
mangled, and disfigured that words are wanting to describe the tigrish
bloodthirstiness of the murderer.... A resident of Bathurst ... starts
for that bloodstained region one day in perfect health, ... and the
only evidence of him, living or dead, are the merest fragments of
calcined bones ... and a few hairs which have been pronounced to be
those of a human being."

The indictment was a terrible one and was no doubt true, and the
paper was perfectly justified in urging the Government to make
more strenuous efforts to stamp out bushranging. Nevertheless the
murders spoken of here belong to a bygone age, the perpetrators
having probably been attracted, like the majority of their class,
to the Victorian goldfields. That was the focus to which all such
enterprising scoundrels were drawn, and there the majority met the
fate they so richly deserved. A few robberies were committed on the
roads in the Bathurst district and in other parts of the colony, but
the greatest number of such crimes took place in the Manaro district
and along the road leading to Victoria. The only bushranger in New
South Wales who became notorious at this time was Thomas Willmore. He
had been under butler to a gentleman in England, and at the age of
fourteen was transported to "Botany Bay," for having stolen a number of
silver spoons and other plate from his employer. He was first sent to
Pentonville and was then sent to the colony as a reformed character,
being among the last of the English convicts sent to New South Wales,
where he and his companions were known as "Earl Grey's pets." He was
granted a ticket-of-leave soon after landing and was assigned as
servant to a settler in the Wellington district. Soon after reaching
the place he quarrelled with a fellow servant and fired a pistol at
him. The bullet struck a button and glanced off, and the man escaped,
while Willmore, to avoid a trial, took to the bush. He gained a living
by highway robbery for some months. One day he met Philip Alger, near
Tomandra, on the Big River. Alger was riding a very fine horse and
Willmore claimed it as one which had been stolen from him, and for
which he said he had offered a reward. He demanded that the horse
should be given to him at once. Alger swore he had purchased the horse
honestly, and from a man whom he knew, and declined to part with it.
Willmore ended the dispute summarily by drawing a pistol and shooting
Alger in the stomach. Willmore was aware that Alger had a considerable
quantity of gold on him, as the man had foolishly shown it in a hut
where both had lodged during the previous night; but Willmore did not
search the body and the gold was found on it when it was discovered.
He seems to have been satisfied with the horse. He mounted it and rode
towards Wellington. At Montefiore he bargained with Malachi Daly for a
cart, offering for it a quantity of gold dust, which he had no doubt
stolen from some other victim, in exchange. They could not come to an
agreement, but continued their journey towards Wellington together the
next day. At about nine miles from Wellington on the road to the Big
River the road goes down a very steep hill, and both men dismounted to
lead their horses down. Daly was just starting when Willmore stepped
before him, pistol in hand, and demanded his money and gold. Daly
protested that he had left it at his hut, and Willmore called him a
"liar." They disputed for a few minutes, and then Willmore shot Daly
through the head. On searching the body Willmore found only thirty
shillings and a deposit receipt for £11, which was of no value to any
one except the depositor. Later on Willmore boasted that he got £40
from Daly; but, in his last confession, he said he had only asserted
that he had found £40 on Daly's body because he did not wish it to be
known that he had "killed a man for thirty bob." Willmore was only just
riding away from where Daly's body was lying when he was ordered to
bail up by another bushranger. Instead of complying with this request
Willmore drew his pistol and fired, both men shooting at the same time.
Willmore's horse bolted, and ran for some considerable distance before
he could pull him up. When he had once more brought him under control
Willmore wheeled his horse round, and galloped back to the scene of
the encounter. He tracked his late opponent for a mile or more. He
felt certain that he had not missed, and expected to find the body
lying somewhere in the bush. Gradually he became convinced that he had
been mistaken, and that the bushranger had escaped, and gave up the
search, feeling "very sorry" that he had not fired straighter. During
the following three or four weeks he stuck up and robbed a number of
people on the roads between Wellington and Mudgee, until at length
it was resolved at a public meeting to hunt him down. A large party
assembled by appointment, and this was divided into several smaller
bands, each of which was to travel through the district by a specified
route, and all were to meet again at a certain time and place and
report. One party, under the leadership of Mr. Cornish, got on his
track and followed it for two days. On the third day they discovered
him asleep on Ponto Island in the Macquarie River, where he had made a
camp among the scrub. He was conveyed to Bathurst, tried and convicted
of murder and hung. Great satisfaction was expressed at his capture
having been effected without further loss of life, and Mr. Cornish and
the men under him were highly complimented for the skill they had shown
in tracking him to his lair and their caution in effecting his capture
without waking him, as it was highly improbable that he would have
surrendered without a fight, and his skill and coolness were such as to
make it almost certain that one man at least would have been shot. In
reporting his trial the _Sydney Morning Herald_ compared him with "that
monster Lynch," and congratulated the colony on having got rid of "such
a savage."

In Van Diemen's Land the interregnum between the two bushranging eras
was shorter than in New South Wales. In fact, in spite of the assertion
that bushranging had been suppressed with the breaking up of the Cash
and Kavanagh gang, robberies took place occasionally with only short
intervals between them. As a rule, however, there was nothing very
remarkable in them, and only a few seem worthy of notice here. On
February 19th, 1846, Henry Ford and Henry Smart stuck up and robbed a
small farmer named Robert Stonehouse, on the Tamar River. They then
compelled Stonehouse, under threats, to accompany them to the next
farm and call out his neighbour, John Joynes. When Joynes opened the
door the bushrangers rushed in. They tied Joynes and Stonehouse and
ransacked the house, taking everything of value. When they left they
walked along the road and robbed every one they met. On March 5th they
went to Mr. Philip Oakden's house and rang the bell. Mr. Oakden went
to the door and was immediately confronted with a gun and ordered to
stand. Mr. Oakden informed the robbers that Mrs. Oakden was very ill
and requested them not to make a noise. He said he would give them all
he had in the house if they would go quietly and not alarm his sick
wife. He gave them three £1 notes and some silver. The robbers insisted
on going in and searching the drawers for jewellery, but took nothing.
They then asked Mr. Oakden for his gold watch. He gave it to them and
they left, taking Mr. Oakden with them. They stopped at the Rev. Dr.
Browne's house and made Mr. Oakden enquire whether his friend was at
home. On Dr. Browne coming to the door he was bailed up, and Ford
asked him "How much money have you got?" "None," replied Dr. Browne.
"Take care I don't find you out in a lie," cried Ford; "where's your
money?" They went in and began searching the drawers and cupboards, and
while they were thus employed Chief District Constable Midgeley, who
had heard that the bushrangers were in the town, came in with another
constable, and taking the bushrangers unawares captured them, though
not without trouble. When called on to surrender Ford tried to get out
his pistol, but Midgeley said, "If you stir you'll be settled quick."
Ford and Smart were convicted of highway robbery and death was recorded
against them, but the sentences were commuted to imprisonment for life.

A carrier was stopped on the Brighton Road by two armed bushrangers
on Sunday, December 6th, 1846. A carpet bag, containing some dress
clothes belonging to Lieutenant Lloyd, of the 96th Regiment, which were
being sent to Hobart Town for safety, was stolen. The coat and vest
buttons were faced with gold. Several other articles were taken from
the carrier's cart. For this robbery Richard Gordon was apprehended
by District Constable Goldsmith and Constable Daley. On the following
day Henry Jenkins, alias "Billy from the Den," was also captured by
the police. Billy had broken out of Oatland's Gaol about three months
previously, and had been living by highway and other robberies since.
The clothes were offered to Mr. Roberts, a pawnbroker in Hobart Town,
and he, suspecting that they were stolen, communicated with the
police, who also arrested Michael Cogan, a marine store dealer, as an

On December 31st, a party of constables out seeking for bushrangers
found a boat containing provisions, wearing apparel, &c., on the
east bank of the River Tamar, about eight miles from George Town.
Another boat was reported to have been stolen from Mr. Coulson. The
police watched by the boat all day and night. On the next morning,
Sunday, they saw two men pulling another boat towards the spot and hid
themselves in the scrub. When the men landed, the constables appeared
and the men ran away. The constables followed, and ran down one man
named Jones. The other bushranger, George Jamieson, was captured by Mr.
Hinton and his crew at the Marine Station, near the Heads. Jamieson was
seen in the scrub, near the station, and one of the men, in accordance
with Australian custom, invited him into the hut to have some food.
Jamieson accepted the invitation and, while he was eating, Mr. Hinton
came in and recognised him. When Mr. Hinton said that he should arrest
him Jamieson replied, "I'll be---- if you do," and took a tomahawk from
under his jumper. He was immediately seized from behind by one of Mr.
Hinton's men and was handed over to the police.

The bushrangers Wilson and Dido were the most notorious about this
time. They were watching Mr. James Clifford's house, at Piper's
River, on September 16th, 1846, and when Mr. Clifford came out they
rushed upon him, took him inside, tied him, and took wearing apparel,
ammunition, and other articles out of the drawers and boxes. In
January, Mr. Rees and Mr. Stevenson started from Campbelltown in a
gig for St. Patrick's Head. On reaching the fourth gate on the road,
known as Davidson's gate, they saw two men with guns. At first they
took these men for constables. Stevenson got down to open the gate,
and while he was doing so Rees became aware of the character of the
two armed men who were approaching, and called out to Stevenson, "Make
haste! Here's the bushrangers!" Stevenson tried to jump into the gig,
but before he could do so the men were upon him. They presented their
guns and called upon the travellers to surrender. They then ordered
Rees to drive the gig off the road into the timber. Mr. Rees objected,
and the bushrangers told him he need not fear, as they intended to
act honourably. "But what do you want?" asked Rees. "We want to rob
you; we want your money," was the reply. "Then," said Mr. Rees, "why
not take it here and let us go on?" The bushrangers made no reply,
but took the horse by the head and led him away. When the gig was in
among the timber the robbers took £18, a gold watch and chain, and a
gold pencil case, from Mr. Stevenson; and £8 and a silver watch from
Mr. Rees. They also took two dress suits and two top coats from the
gig, and then ordered the gentlemen to take off their boots. "What
for?" asked Mr. Rees. "Because we want them," was the reply. "But,"
cried Mr. Rees, "how are we to get home?" "Oh, you're all right. You
can ride while we have to walk," said the bushranger. "But----" began
Mr. Rees, when he was interrupted with, "Oh, no more nonsense. If you
don't make haste we'll strip you." Stevenson took off his boots, and
Rees thought it prudent to follow his example. They returned to their
homes in Campbelltown two and a-half hours after they had left, and
deferred their visit to the Heads to another day. On the 27th the
police were informed that Dido, the bushranger, had been seen in a hut
in Prosser's Forest. A party of constables started immediately, and
reached the place at one a.m. Everything was quiet, and the constables
walked very cautiously, fearing that if they stepped on a stick and
broke it the noise would waken the bushranger should he be there. The
constables took up positions round the hut to prevent escape, and
then District Constable Davis, who was in command, suddenly burst in
the door. Dido sprang out of the bed and fell on his knees on the
floor begging for mercy. He was secured without resistance. In the
hut were a double-barrelled gun and a pistol, both loaded ready for
use. Mr. Rees's watch and some of Mr. Stevenson's clothes were found
in the hut. When brought up at the police court Dido said he had been
transported in the name of William Driscoll, but his proper name was
Timothy. Mr. Tarleton, the magistrate, made some remarks on the folly
of men taking to the bush. Dido replied that he should have been happy
enough if he had not been betrayed. He might have lived in luxury for
life. The man who betrayed him had been his best friend, but he became
jealous and gave him up. He had been sixteen times in Launceston. He
had been drinking about town all day on Christmas Day. He had been
hocussed and had not been well since. Wilson and he had quarrelled and
they had parted. Wilson was all right. He had a nice little patch of
cultivation, with plenty of flour and some sheep. He was not likely to
be taken. In spite of this assertion, however, Wilson was captured a
few days later while drinking at Pitcher's Inn on the Westbury Road.
He showed a pistol and this excited suspicion, so Mr. Pitcher sent a
servant to inform the police. Constable Leake came and found the man
asleep in a hut at the rear of the public-house. He handcuffed him and
took him to Launceston in a cart. He was identified as Dido's mate and
was committed for trial at the same time.

Robberies of a similar character to these took place from time to time,
but after the discovery of gold in Australia in 1851 the great object
of the disaffected in Van Diemen's Land was to get to the mainland. No
doubt many of these men made their way across the Straits in stolen
boats, but the majority paid their passages out of the proceeds of
their robberies. Probably it was in consequence of this exodus that
no bushrangers became notorious in Van Diemen's Land at this time,
and a few examples of the crimes committed during the later days
of the epoch will suffice. About the beginning of 1853 a desperate
attempt was made by nine bushrangers, who had been convicted and were
being taken from Launceston to Hobart Town, to escape from the two
constables who had them in charge. The prisoners had been very rowdy
since leaving Launceston, and when the party was near Bagdad, Convict
John Jones suddenly snatched the musket from Constable Doran and felled
the constable with a blow. Jones then shouted "Now well fight for
it." Constable Mulrooney rushed at Jones and endeavoured to wrest the
musket from him, but the other prisoners forced him back. The prisoners
were handcuffed together in threes, and this no doubt hampered their
movements, but they contrived to get Mulrooney down and beat him with
their handcuffs. Convict McCarthy presented the musket at Mulrooney and
pulled the trigger, but finding that the gun was not loaded he, in a
rage snapped the stock across his knee. In doing this the bayonet fell
off and both sides struggled to obtain possession of it. At this moment
two men appeared along the road, and hearing the noise they hastened
forward. One of them was an assigned shepherd of Captain Chalmers and
was armed with a double-barrelled gun. Constable Mulrooney was shouting
"murder," and the shepherd came to his assistance. The convicts then
gave up the struggle and fell into rank. They were taken to Bagdad,
and from thence a stronger guard was sent with them until they were
safely confined in the Pentonville gaol.

The bushrangers Dalton and Kelly stuck up and robbed the Halfway House
near Campbelltown in January, 1853. On the following day they went
to Mr. Simeon Lord's house, Bona Vista, near the river, and bailed
up about thirty people, including the District Constable of Avoca,
the watch-house keeper, and another constable. The watch-house keeper
was shot dead. There were several ladies in the house, and these were
ordered to go into one room and stay there. The robbers ransacked the
house in their search for jewellery and other portable property. They
collected between £100 and £200, besides several gold and a number of
silver watches, rings, &c. When they had obtained all that they could
they compelled Mr. Frank Lord to accompany them to the stables, where
they selected two of the finest horses, with saddles, bridles, and
spurs. Mounting these horses, the robbers rode away to Mr. Duxbury's
Inn at Stoney Creek, where they bailed up twelve men, including two
mounted constables. They collected about £50 more and Mr. Duxbury's
gold watch. On leaving the inn they went along the road, and met Mr.
Sykes, recently returned from Melbourne. They robbed him of about £75,
returning the odd six shillings to enable him to continue his journey.
They told Mr. Sykes that they intended to rob Captain Creer's and
other houses along the Esk Valley, and, when they had collected all
they could, to go to the diggings in Victoria. On the following day
they visited Vaucluse, but Mr. and Mrs. Bayles were away from home
and they got no money. They, however, took some jewellery from the
drawers and some provisions from the kitchen. During the following
week they continued their depredations and then went to the coal mines
on the river Mersey, and stole a whale boat. They impressed four men
at work there into their service and put to sea, but the wind was so
tempestuous that they were driven back and landed on the coast near
Port Sorell, where they were captured.

In February, 1853, a man named Robinson, who had recently returned
from the Victorian diggings, shot a shoemaker named William Moonan,
while he was waxing a thread. The murderer dragged the body from the
hut to the Swan River and threw it in, and then returned to steal
what little money there was in the place. The bushrangers Maberley,
Hickson, and Poulston committed a number of daylight burglaries in
the neighbourhood of Sandy Bay, robbing the houses of Messrs. Stacey,
Frodsham, Power, and Dunkley. From Dunkley's they took more than twenty
pounds' worth of goods. They had supper at Mr. Winter's and then went
to camp in the bush not far away.

Moses Birkett and Peter Perry were captured in a cave about this time.
The cave was on the shores of Lake Crescent, and a large quantity of
stolen property was found hidden there. Besides the guns and pistols,
a couple of sheep shear blades, mounted on long wooden handles were
found, and it was supposed that these had been used in the murder of
George Kelsey, at Lemon Springs.

Thanks to the activity of the police and the assistance they received
from the civilians, such malefactors were gradually captured and
dealt with. Some of the Victorian papers charged the Government of
Van Diemen's Land with conniving at the escape of expirees from the
island to Victoria, but there does not appear to be any foundation for
this charge. It is quite possible that neither the authorities nor
the public were sorry to be relieved from their company, but we have
merely to read the accounts published at the time, to realise that all
was done that was possible to suppress bushranging in Van Diemen's
Land at this time, and that the escapes of these criminals across the
Bass's Straits could not very well be prevented. It was in 1853 that
transportation to the island ceased. A few years later, responsible
government was established, and the name of the island was changed
from Van Diemen's Land to Tasmania, with the object of getting rid as
much as possible of old associations. Very shortly afterwards, the
papers once more said that bushranging had been stamped out in the
island, and this time they were justified in the assertion. No doubt
the larger settlements on the mainland offered better chances to the
enterprising Tasmanians, whether they were "old hands" or not. Tasmania
has, perhaps in consequence of this custom of young men going to seek
their fortunes in Melbourne or Sydney, progressed less rapidly than
some of the other colonies, but it has progressed, and this progression
has been as peaceful and as innocent as possible under present social
conditions, and the island which was once infamous has for many years
been remarkably clear from criminal offences.


  The New Bushranging Era; Fallacy of the Belief that Highwaymen Rob
  the Rich to Enrich the Poor; The Cattle Duffers and Horse Planters;
  The Riot at the Lambing Flat; Frank Gardiner, the Butcher; Charged
  with Obtaining Beasts "on the cross," he Abandons his Butcher's Shop;
  Efforts to Establish a Reign of Terror in the District; A Letter from
  Gardiner; The Great Escort Robbery.

Hitherto the bushrangers of Australia had been, as the records prove,
drawn almost exclusively from the ranks of those who "left their
country for their country's good." Those who took the most prominent
share in the next outbreak of the "epidemic" were generally native-born
Australians. The _sequelæ_ of the old disease were not yet worked
out. As I have already said, there were numbers of the "old hands"
scattered about the bush, some of them with farms or small cattle or
sheep stations of their own who lived fairly honest and useful lives,
but even among these, whatever may have been their station in life,
there was the old antagonism to "law and order," and their sympathies
were all with those who waged war against society. Their children
imbibed these ideas, and wherever there was a neighbourhood where
this class had collected together, morality was at a low ebb. But
besides these settlers there were numbers of nomads, men who worked
as shepherds, bullock-drivers, splitters and fencers, shearers, and
so on, and as long as the old hands formed a majority, or even a
considerable minority of the bush-workers, it was the custom for men to
work from shearing to shearing, or from harvest to harvest, and then
"draw their cheques," make for the nearest public-house, and indulge
in a wild spree, until they were informed by the landlord that the
money which their cheques represented had been expended. There were
some respectable inns in the back country where they got fair value
for their money perhaps, but in too many of these "bush pubs," as
they were called, the object of the landlord was to "lamb them down"
in the shortest possible space of time. Perhaps when the character
of the liquor sold in these places is taken into consideration, this
method of cheating was not altogether an evil. It prevented the bushmen
from swallowing such large quantities of the deleterious stuff as
they might have done if they had received full value for their money.
During the time when they were working their principal mode of amusing
themselves was telling or listening to tales of the convict days.
Some of these stories told by the old hands were of too revolting a
character for repetition, but no doubt they were founded on fact.
Nothing is too horrible or obscene to have been true of the convict
times. The stories, however, which appear to have had the greatest
influence over the minds of a certain class of Australian youth were
those told of the bushrangers. In these stories there was of course
much that was apocryphal, to put it mildly. Many of the exploits of the
historic highwaymen of old were told as actual facts in the careers of
some Australian bushrangers, with just sufficient variation to adapt
them to local purposes. One of the ancient superstitions introduced
into Australia by these story-tellers was that the highwaymen robbed
the rich to give to the poor. I have no desire to raise any doubts as
to the generosity and benevolence of Robin Hood, but I can find no
evidence of any such beneficence on the part of any of the Australian
bushrangers. No doubt they got their money easily, and spent it
recklessly. But they did not pause to enquire whether the person they
robbed was rich or poor. There was no such class distinction in the
colonies as there is and always has been in England; no very poor
class not worth robbing and ready to bless anyone who gave them a
penny, and no hereditary wealthy class. Every one had to work somehow
for his living, though some were more successful in piling up wealth
than others. But the poor had opportunities which have never existed
in England, and if they neglected them it was more or less their own
fault if they were poor. The tendency in Australia, as elsewhere, is
to build up a wealthy class, but this class did not exist in convict
times, and is only just beginning to appear now. The Australian
bushranger in fact had to obtain money or go under. He was compelled to
share his ill-gotten gains with those who supplied him with food and
information. He was a mark for the blackmailer, and he was compelled to
find money to bribe those who were in a position to lead the troops or
the police to his hiding place. But the convict bushranger was not so
well off as the native-born bushranger. There was a strong feeling of
camaraderie, an _esprit de corps_, among the convicts, which tended to
prevent numbers of men from betraying him, even though they received no
bribes. But the new bushranger was more fortunate than the old one. He
had his parents, his brothers and sisters, his cousins and his aunts
and uncles, who sympathised with him for family and other reasons,
and who were bound to help him. It was from among these relatives and
friends that the "bush telegraphs," who informed the bushranger of the
whereabouts of the police, were drawn, and it soon became apparent
that if bushranging was to be abolished these sympathisers and "bush
telegraphs" must be dealt with.

There were several localities in New South Wales where the conditions
were favourable for bushranging; places where the morality was low and
where the police, as representatives of authority, were hated with
all the hatred of the "old hand." One of these localities was in the
spurs of the Great Dividing Range, in the neighbourhood of Burrowa.
All round this district were a number of small squatters, principally
cattle breeders, and among these no man's beast was safe. These small
squatters were the terror of the big sheep and cattle breeders in
the plains, and their principal industry was "duffing." Duffing was
not stealing. If a moralist had remonstrated with a Burrowa man whom
he found branding his neighbour's beast, the Burrowa man would have
replied "I'm only trying to get back my own. He's duffed many a head
of my cattle." Sheep could be duffed as well as cattle, but the ranges
were generally too steep for sheep. One sheep breeder of the district,
however, adopted, as his distinguishing mark, the plan of cutting off
both ears, and he was a most successful duffer, because his recognised
ear-mark enabled him to remove the ear-marks in his neighbours' sheep.
It was no uncommon occurrence for a man to find that a calf sucking
his cow had been branded by one of his neighbours, so that it might be
claimed as soon as it was weaned. In such a case, if he had complained,
his neighbour would probably have accused him of having "mothered" the
neighbour's calf on his cow for the purpose of cheating him out of it.

In such a neighbourhood it was impossible for any stranger to travel
with horses with any degree of safety. Horses bred in the district
could be duffed like sheep or cattle, and horses travelling through
could be "planted." If a man, who knew anything of the characteristics
of the settlers in this district, camped for the night there, and
failed to find his horses next morning, he did not waste time in
looking for them himself. He realised at once that one of "the boys"
had driven them off into some inaccessible ravine in the ranges, and
"planted" or hidden them there until a reward should be offered for
their recovery. He would therefore go to the nearest station and
enquire whether his horses had been seen. The answer would be "No."
Then the traveller would say that he was willing to pay "a note"
for their recovery. The reply of the native would probably be that
horses always went astray about there. There was such a get-away for
them, and the warrigals came down and enticed them off. The story of
the warrigals, or wild horses, tempting working horses away was a
common fiction. Hobbled horses could not keep up with the warrigals
across the ridges. But it was sufficiently plausible to serve. If the
working horses broke their hobbles they might perhaps go with the wild
horses, but even then it is uncertain. However, after a few minutes'
conversation, the native would probably say that if any one could
find the horses it was "Jack the Kid," or some other local character,
as he knew every gully in the ridges. The wideawake traveller could
understand that "Jack the Kid" was the man who had planted his horses,
and would not return them for less than "a note," that is £1, and on
this reward for villainy being promised the traveller might go to
his camp with the certainty that the horses would be brought to him
in about an hour. It would be useless to look for them, because the
planter would be on the watch, and if the owner was seen approaching
the gully where they were the horses would be driven over the ridge
into the next gully. Cases have happened where a traveller has
persisted in refusing to be blackmailed and has lost his horses. It
would be only necessary to cut the hobbles. Then the traveller, if he
wanted his horses, would have to engage two or three expert stockmen to
run them in. It was useless to complain to the police. The horses had
not been stolen. They were there. Let the owner come and fetch them.
Nobody would prevent him and some kind settler would even offer the use
of his stockyard if the owner could drive them into it.

This was the state of the district when the rush to the
newly-discovered Lambing Flat goldfield took place in 1860. Early in
the following year there was a great "roll up" of the diggers to drive
the Chinese off the field, and the military were sent up from Sydney to
restore order. In this riot the peculiar morality of the diggers, of
which I have already spoken, was illustrated in a remarkable degree.
The leaders of the riots strictly forbade robbery, and any person found
stealing gold or any other property from the Chinese was to be handed
over to the police; but burning the humpies, tents, and other property
of the unfortunate Chinkies, cutting off their pigtails, beating or
otherwise ill-treating them, as an inducement for them to leave the
field, were justifiable if not meritorious acts. In after years many of
the "flash diggers" wore sashes made of Chinamen's pigtails, sometimes
with just as much of the scalp attached as would prevent the hairs
from scattering. However, the riots did not last long and the leader,
William Spicer, was sent to gaol.

There were, of course, many of the young men of the district in the
goldfields and, as far as is known, these conformed to the rules
laid down by the diggers with regard to property. But this did not
affect their own peculiar notions as to the ownership of cattle,
sheep, or horses, and the attention of the police was early drawn to
the district. Warrants were soon issued for numbers of the youths on
charges of horse or cattle stealing, and several were arrested. Later
it was said that many young fellows, who might have remained at home,
were "driven on to the roads" by the police. That is to say that,
because they were interfered with in their favourite amusements of
duffing and planting, they turned bushrangers.

Among the residents on the diggings was Frank Gardiner, who opened
a butcher's shop on Wombat Flat. Gardiner was born at Boro Creek,
near Tarago, in the heart of the district in which Jackey Jackey
had first won his notoriety as a bushranger, and the morals of that
district were very similar to those I have described as prevalent in
the Burrowa district. Gardiner went to the diggings in Victoria in
the "Fifties," was arrested near Ballarat, and tried at Geelong for
horse-stealing. He was sent to gaol for five years. He escaped from
the Pentridge stockade and returned home. Shortly afterwards he was
convicted of horse-stealing at Goulburn and sentenced to seven years'
imprisonment on two charges, the sentences being made concurrent. He
served half the term and was granted a ticket-of-leave. His butcher's
shop at Burrangong, to give the diggings its proper name, was said
to be the resort of all the worst characters among the young natives
of the district, and the majority of the beasts he slaughtered and
sold were said to be obtained "on the cross." Becoming aware that a
warrant had been issued for his arrest he abandoned his shop and took
to the mountains. Here he organised a band of bushrangers, and shortly
afterwards reports of people being stuck up and robbed on the roads
round the diggings became frequent.

In 1861 the young Australian had not taken to cricket and football
so enthusiastically as he did later, and perhaps there were few
opportunities for him to get rid of his superfluous energy. Whether
this is so or not, it is certain that Gardiner's example had an
enormous influence. Not only were those against whom warrants had
been issued for cattle and horse-stealing ready to join the gang,
but numbers of young men and lads who had hitherto led blameless
lives became so excited that they turned out and tried their hands at

The first robberies were in the immediate neighbourhood of Burrangong,
but very soon the area over which the bushrangers operated was
enlarged, and finally embraced the whole colony, and even overflowed
into the neighbouring colonies. At first, however, Gardiner and his
gang claim our attention, but there were many young men who began as
independent bushrangers who made their way to the Burrangong district
to join the gang, and others who intended to do so who were captured
on the road. It is a difficult matter to decide who did and who did
not belong to this gang, as the _personnel_ changed so rapidly. Some
actual members of the gang acted independently of it for a time, and
made raids into other districts, while others, after having a flutter
with Gardiner, left the gang to start elsewhere. The bushrangers did
not confine their attentions to travellers on the roads. They robbed
whenever and wherever an opportunity occurred. Thus on August 19th,
1861, Henry Keene, Michael Lawler, and William Watson went to Mr.
Brennan's station, on the Billabong, and called out "All hands in, or
we'll blow your brains out." Mr. and Mrs. Brennan and a number of men
who were working at the station were gathered about the verandah of the
house smoking and talking. Mrs. Brennan cried out in alarm, "They're
going to shoot." James Laurie, one of the men, replied, "Let them shoot
away." However, the men went inside, as they were told, and Lawler
dismounted and followed them. Keene took his place as sentry at the
door, and Watson remained on horseback outside. Laurie said to Lawler,
"You're the man that was looking for a gray mare." "What if I was?
What is it to you?" returned Lawler. Laurie picked up a big stick from
the fire and made a blow at Lawler, when a shot was fired, presumably
either by Keene or Watson, and Laurie fell. He cried out for water, and
Mrs. Brennan told her little daughter to go out and fetch a glassful,
but Lawler would not permit her to leave the room. Lawler was very
violent. He threatened to shoot any one who opposed him, and to "put
a firestick to the house" if Mrs. Brennan did not give him her money.
One of the bushrangers went to a hawker named Isaac Lavendale, camped
close by, and made him go into the house. Lavendale gave the wounded
man some milk and spilt some on his face. He said, "I'm dying--don't
let them--don't let----" and then he died. Keene fired a ball through
the roof of the house and said: "I---- quick took the flashness out
of that man. He won't be so flash again." The robbers collected all
the money they could, and took clothes and other articles from the
hawker's cart. The robbers were subsequently captured by the police,
and on March 23rd, 1862, were convicted at Goulburn and sentenced to
death. Sir Alfred Stephen told them to prepare to meet their God, when
Keene and Lawler both said that they were ready. They were innocent.
Watson said: "I don't care if it's to-morrow; I hope you won't keep me
like you did Johnson." When taken from court, Watson shouted, "Well,

Charles Ross, William Mackie, and John McMahon, alias McManus, robbed
the mail at the Chain of Ponds, on the Great North Road, on October
17th. They searched the letters, took a gold and a silver watch,
two gold chains, and £55 in notes and coin from Mr. Jonathan Snell,
£23 from Mr. Thomas Lumley, and smaller sums and valuables from the
other two passengers. On the 30th, Constable Leonard saw Mackie in a
public house at Lochinvar, near Maitland, and challenged him. Mackie
attempted to run, but was followed and captured. He threw away a gold
watch, which was picked up and identified as one stolen from Mr. Snell.
Ross and McMahon were discovered not far away and were arrested.
When tried they were convicted, but Ross was recommended to mercy on
account of his previous good character. He was sentenced to five years'
imprisonment, his companions being sent to gaol for seven years.

Michael Henry Davis, Aaron von Ehrstein, and Robert Smith, stopped
the mail coach on January 6th, 1862, about six miles from Burrangong.
Ensign Campbell Morris and Sergeant O'Grady, of the 12th regiment,
which had been engaged in suppressing the riot, were passengers going
to Cowra. Another passenger, a Frenchman, refused to surrender, and
Davis fired at him. After this no further resistance was made, and
Ehrstein, who searched the passengers, took £9 13s. from the Ensign and
other sums from the others. The police started in pursuit immediately
on receiving information of the robbery, and the prisoners were
captured without much trouble. They were convicted and sent to gaol for
ten years.

Benjamin Allerton and another man walked one day into the bar of
the Wakool Hotel on the lower Billabong and called for nobblers like
ordinary travellers. They were served by Mr. Talbot, the landlord. They
then went into the dining room and had supper. As soon as the meal was
over the two men rose, and one of them drew a pistol and said, "Excuse
us, gentlemen, this is our business." David Elliott, who was employed
at the hotel, was sitting next the bushranger, and made a snatch at the
pistol. The bushranger, however, was on the alert, and jumped aside.
Then he fired and Elliott fell wounded. Mr. Talbot rushed in from the
bar and said that he didn't want any more damage done. "Take the money
in the till," he cried, "and go." The bushrangers took some seven or
eight pounds from the till, a saddle and bridle, a canister of powder,
and some clothing, but they took nothing from the other persons who
had been at supper with them. They said that they were going to join
Gardiner and "make it hot for the traps." Information was at once given
to the police, and they were followed, but only Allerton was found and
captured. He was tried at Goulburn on March 27th and found guilty, the
jury pronouncing the verdict without leaving the box, and the judge
sentenced him to death. Benjamin Allerton and Henry Keene were hung
at Goulburn on May 5th. Another bushranger named Regan was hung there
in June. The sentences on Lawler and Watson were commuted to fifteen
years' imprisonment.

These were outsiders who intended to join the gang, but in the meantime
the gang itself had not been idle. John Peisley was a well-known
settler in the district, and his house was said to be the resort of
the bushrangers, and was closely watched by the police. On December
27th, 1861, Peisley and James Wilson were drinking at Benyon's Inn,
about a mile from Bigga, when Peisley challenged William Benyon to
run, jump, or fight for £10. Benyon declined, and Peisley struck him
several light blows on the chest and called him a coward, until at
length Benyon said he would wrestle. They went into the yard, leaving
Wilson, who was drunk, on the seat in the bar. Stephen Benyon, who
was at work in the barn, and several others, collected in the yard to
see the wrestling match. The men stripped, and grappled, and Peisley
threw the publican and then struck him in the face. Stephen Benyon
called Peisley a coward, rushed forward and threw Peisley. On getting
up Peisley rushed into the house swearing he would "do for Bill." He
seized a knife, when Mrs. Benyon cried out "My God! are you going to
kill my husband?" and grappled with him. Stephen Benyon picked up a
spade and struck Peisley on the arm. Peisley then threw away the knife
and said it was all right. The row seemed to be all over and Peisley
walked into the bar and asked Wilson where his vest was. He had taken
it off when he went out to wrestle and left it beside Wilson. Wilson
said he had not seen it. Then Mrs. Benyon announced that she had hidden
it because she found two revolvers rolled up in it. She offered to tell
Peisley where it was if he would promise to go away quietly. Peisley
said all right, and Mrs. Benyon showed him where she had hidden the
vest in the garden. Peisley walked out, picked the vest up from under
a bush, and went back again. He began to examine the revolvers, when
William Benyon said, "Surely you don't mean to shoot us?" "You never
knew me do a mean action in my life," replied Peisley, "and I'm not
going to begin now. Shake hands. We're all friends." They shook hands
all round and Peisley put on his vest and went away. As soon as he was
out of sight, William Benyon loaded his gun and took it to the barn,
where his brother Stephen had returned to his work. William gave the
gun to his brother and told him to take care of it, as Peisley was not
to be trusted. About half-an-hour later, when William Benyon was in
the bar, Peisley came galloping back, hitched his horse to the fence,
and went into the barn. Stephen Benyon picked up the gun and Peisley
said, laughing, "Why, you're not going to shoot me, are you?" "I was
told you were going to shoot me," returned Stephen. "Nonsense," cried
Peisley, "I never did a cowardly action in my life, and I'm not going
to now. Shake hands." Stephen put the gun down and shook hands, and
Peisley immediately seized the gun and fired, wounding Stephen in the
arm. Stephen ran out of the barn and towards the house, and Peisley,
taking careful aim, again pulled the trigger, but the cap missed fire.
Peisley ran to the corner of the house, and asked William Benyon's son
which way his uncle went. The child pointed in the wrong direction,
and Peisley ran to the other corner of the house. Not seeing Stephen
anywhere he returned. He was in a great rage, and struck a man named
George Hammond with the gun, which exploded without doing any damage.
Peisley threw the gun away, and drew a revolver. He ordered William
Benyon, Wilson, Hammond, and the servant girl into the barn. Then he
said to William, "I've got a bullet here for you. You've had your
game, now it's my turn." The servant went between Benyon and Peisley,
and begged the bushranger not to hurt her master. Peisley told her to
go away unless she was tired of her life. Suddenly Benyon rushed at
Peisley, who fired and wounded him in the neck, and as he fell Peisley
rushed out to his horse, mounted, and galloped away. William Benyon
died a week later, and a warrant was issued for the apprehension of
Peisley, who left his house and joined the gang. On January 15th
Constables Morris, Murphy, and Simpson were searching for bushrangers
in the Abercrombie Mountains, when they saw Peisley near Bigga. The
bushranger was splendidly mounted. He rode up, and coolly informed
the police that he was the man they were looking for. He added, "I'd
like to have a turn up with Morris if he will get down, and put his
gun aside." Morris replied, "All right," and immediately dismounted,
and placed his gun against a tree, expecting his challenger to do the
same. But Peisley laughed, turned his horse round, and cantered away.
Morris drew a revolver from his belt and fired. The bullet passed just
under the neck of the bushranger's horse. He turned in his saddle
and said "That was a good one. Try again." The police gave chase,
but the superiority of the bushranger's horse enabled him to escape
easily. About a week later Peisley was captured by Messrs. Mackenzie
and Burridge after a severe struggle. He was tried at Bathurst, and
sentenced to death for the murder of William Benyon, and was hung on
April 25th, 1862. When on the scaffold he said that he had never used
violence during his bushranging career until he had had that row with
Benyon. He had never taken a shilling from or done violence to a woman.
He denied that he had had anything to do with the attempt to bribe
Constable Hosie to let Gardiner escape. He was aware that the money
offered was £50. He also knew that there was a cheque for £2 10s. in
the collection, and that made the amount up to £50 10s. He had spent
five or six pounds in the spree at Benyon's. Wilson wanted him to sing
and Benyon to dance, but he refused. Benyon then asked him to put on
the gloves, but he declined because he knew it would lead to a row.
At this point, said the _Bathurst Free Press_, one of the clergymen
on the scaffold whispered to Peisley, and he immediately said that
he would say no more on that subject. He concluded with "Good-bye,
gentlemen. God bless you." Peisley did not appear to suffer much, but a
blackfellow, known as Jacky Bullfrog, who was hanged at the same time
for the murder of William Clarke, suffered terribly, his body being
frightfully convulsed for several minutes. Peisley was twenty-eight
years of age, five feet ten inches in height. He is described as a
fine-looking man at a distance, but when examined closely there was a
shifty, disagreeable look about his eyes.

In April Gardiner, with three companions, stuck up Pring's Crowther
station and then went on to Crooke's, and bailed up all hands there.
At Pring's, one of the bushrangers played the piano while the others
danced. At Crooke's one played the concertina and another sang "Ever of

On March 10th, Mr. Horsington, a store-keeper on the Wombat, was
driving with his wife in a spring cart to Lambing Flat, and Mr. Robert
Hewitt, store-keeper at Little Wombat, riding beside them. Suddenly,
James Downey, with three other bushrangers, barred the road and ordered
the travellers into the bush. The two store-keepers had a large
quantity of gold with them which they had purchased in the course of
business, and were taking to the bank at Lambing Flat, the main centre
of the Burrangong Goldfield. Mr. Horsington had a parcel containing
forty ounces in his pockets, and another of two hundred ounces in the
cart. The robbers took some £1100 worth from Mr. Horsington in gold
and money, and about £700 worth from Mr. Hewitt. When pocketing the
plunder, Downey said: "You're the best gentlemen I've met this month,
and I've stuck up twenty already."

Sergeant Sanderson, with detectives Lyons and Kennedy, left the Lachlan
Goldfield (Forbes), on April 11th, in charge of three bushrangers who
had been arrested, and who were being taken to Burrangong for the
police court examinations. Near Brewers' Shanty, three horsemen, with
two led horses, were observed, and on seeing the coach these horsemen
turned into the bush. The two detectives followed them on foot, when
the horsemen turned round and fired. The police returned the fire,
and the horses of two of the bushrangers bolted. The third bushranger
remained and fired again. The police replied and the bushranger fell.
He was identified as a man named Davis. He had received four wounds,
none of which was very serious. He was placed in the coach with the
other prisoners, and was subsequently sentenced to death. This sentence
was, however, commuted to imprisonment for life.

It was at this time that the Burrangong and other papers in the
disturbed area accused the Government of neglect in consequence of the
non-arrival in the district of Captain Battye with his troop of black
trackers. It was said that without this aid the police might ride round
for months, but could not penetrate the ranges. No doubt this outcry
had the effect of stirring up the authorities, because the blacks
speedily arrived and were set to work without delay.

The _Lachlan Miner_ of April 19th, 1862, inserted the following

  "We have received the following letter, purporting to be from the
  hand of Frank Gardner (_sic_), the notorious highwayman, of Lachlan
  and Lambing Flat roads. The circumstances under which we became
  possessed of the documents can be known, and the original copies,
  with the envelopes and seals, seen by the curious, on application
  at this office, and they can then use what judgment they choose
  as to the genuineness of them. We give it to our readers as we
  received it:--'To the Editor of the _Burrangong Miner_, Lambing
  Flat. Sir,--Having seen a paragraph in one of the papers, wherein
  it is said that I took the boots off a man's feet, and that I also
  took the last few shillings that another man had, I wish it to be
  made known that I did not do anything of the kind. The man who took
  the boots was in my company, and for so doing I discharged him the
  following day. Silver I never took from a man yet, and the shot that
  was fired at the sticking-up of Messrs. Horsington and Hewitt was by
  accident, and the man who did it I also discharged. As for a mean,
  low, or petty action, I never committed it in my life. The letter
  that I last sent to the press, there had not half of what I said put
  in it. In all that has been said there never was any mention made
  of my taking the sergeant's horse and trying him, and that when I
  found he was no good I went back and got my own. As for Mr. Torpy, he
  is a perfect coward. After I spared his life as he fell out of the
  window, he fired at me as I rode away; but I hope that Mr. Torpy and
  I have not done just yet, until we balance our accounts properly. Mr.
  Greig has accused me of robbing his teams, but it is false, for I
  know nothing about the robbery whatever. In fact I would not rob Mr.
  Greig or any one belonging to him, on account of his taking things
  so easy at Bogolong. Mr. Torpy was too bounceable or he would not
  have been robbed. A word to Sir W.F. Pottinger. He wanted to know
  how it was the man who led my horse up to me at the Pinnacle, did
  not cut my horse's reins, as he gave me the horse. I should like to
  know if Mr. Pottinger would do so? I shall answer by saying no. It
  has been said that it would be advisable to place a trap at each
  shanty on the road, to put a stop to the depredations done on the
  road. I certainly think it would be a great acquisition to me, for I
  should then have increase of revolvers and carbines. When seven or
  eight men could do nothing with me at the Pinnacle, one would look
  well at a shanty. Three of your troopers were at a house the other
  night and got drinking and gambling till all hours. I came there
  towards morning when all was silent. The first room that I went into
  I found revolvers and carbines to any amount, but seeing none as good
  as my own, I left them. I then went out, and in the verandah found
  the troopers sound asleep, satisfying myself that neither Battye
  nor Pottinger were there, I left them as I found them, in the arms
  of Morpheus. Fearing nothing, I remain, Prince of Tobymen, Francis
  Gardner (_sic_), the Highwayman. Insert the foregoing, and rest
  satisfied you shall be paid."

The spelling of the name appears to be a typographical blunder. Mr.
Torpy was a well-known resident of the district. This letter throws
some light on the methods pursued by the bushrangers, and tends to
prove that although Gardiner might not be present on some occasions,
the robberies were committed under his directions. And some fresh
outrage was reported almost every day, until in June, the report that
the Government gold escort from the Lachlan diggings had been stuck
up and robbed, caused a commotion throughout the colony. The escort
started from Forbes on June 15th with 2067 oz. 18 dwt. gold and £700,
owned by the Oriental Bank; 521 oz. 13 dwt. 6 grs., owned by the
Bank of New South Wales, and 129 oz. and £3000 in cash, owned by the
Commercial Banking Company, making about fourteen thousand pounds worth
in all.

The report of this robbery caused intense excitement throughout the
colony. Nothing like it had been heard of since the old gold digging
days in Victoria. Large bodies of police were sent out to scour the
country near the scene of the outrage. One of these parties of police
under Sergeant Saunderson, when in the ranges near Wheogo, saw a man on
horseback who rode away as they approached. The police followed him up
the steep gully, and when he was near the top four other men joined him
from behind the trees and made off too. The police followed so rapidly
that a packhorse which one of the men was leading broke away and they
had not time to recover him. The police seized the packhorse, but the
men got away. On the captured horse were found about 1500 oz. of gold,
a policeman's cloak, and two carbines which were identified as having
been among those with which the troopers of the escort had been armed.
It may be remarked _en passant_ that no more of the property stolen in
this robbery was ever recovered.

Some weeks later the police succeeded in apprehending Alexander
Fordyce, John Bow, Henry Manns, John McGuire, and Daniel Charters, and
these were committed for trial for having been concerned in the escort
robbery. Charters turned approver, and his evidence given at the trial
may be taken as a substantially true account of the method by which the
robbery was effected; although, of course, due allowance must be made
for the apparent efforts of the witness to minimise his own share in
the crime.

Charters lived with his parents at Humbug Creek and knew the country
well. One day Frank Gardiner met him near the Pinnacle and compelled
him to lead the way across the ranges to Eugowra. Johnny Gilbert and
Alick Fordyce were driving several spare horses which the gang had
collected. They camped near the Lachlan River and Gilbert went into
the town of Forbes, the centre of the Lachlan River diggings. It was
Sunday, and on his return to the camp Gilbert reported that he had had
great difficulty in purchasing guns and an axe. There was only one
store in the town in which guns were sold, and that was shut. He had
knocked the store-keeper up, however, and persuaded him to supply him
with what he wanted. On the next morning the gang rode as straight as
possible across the ranges, Gilbert going ahead with Charters to cut
the fences on Mr. Roberts' sheep run to enable them to pass through.
They camped for the night between the Eugowra Rocks and Campbell's
station. On the morning of June 15th, 1862, they tied their horses to
saplings near the camp and walked down to the rocks. Manns was sent
to McGuire's shanty at the crossing place for a bottle of Old Tom, a
loaf of bread, and some cooked meat. Fordyce took too much gin and
went to sleep, and Gardiner shook him roughly and told him that if he
didn't wake up he'd "cut his---- rations short." Later Gardiner sent
Charters to see if the horses were all right, and told him to stop
at the camp and mind them, adding "You're no---- good here. You're
too---- frightened of your skin." Soon afterwards he heard firing and
about an hour later the bushrangers came up leading the coach horses.
They had packed the gold on these horses. They wiped out and reloaded
their guns, and in doing so it was found that Fordyce's gun had not
been discharged. Gardiner turned on the young man fiercely and said,
"You---- coward, you were too much afraid to fire,---- you. I'll cut
your---- rations short for this." They saddled up their horses and
started across the ranges.

The escort was under the command of Sergeant Condell. It left Forbes
about noon, Constable John Fagan driving. The other constables were
Henry Moran and William Haviland. When they came to the Eugowra Rocks,
near the crossing over Mandagery Creek, they found two bullock teams
so placed across the road, which bends sharply as it approaches the
ford, that the escort cart had to be driven close to the rocks. The
teams belonged to two bullock drivers who had been made prisoners, and
had evidently been there for some time, as the bullocks were lying
down chewing the cud. To pass these teams the coach had to approach
the rocks at an angle, and as it was passing a volley was fired and
Constable Moran fell. The horses, frightened at the noise and flash
of the guns, bolted, but the cart was overturned through the wheels
colliding with a spur of the rocks. This threw the other constables
out and prevented them from making any effective resistance. As the
cart capsized, seven armed men, dressed in red shirts and with their
faces blackened, sprang from behind the rocks shouting, "Shoot the----
wretches." The police fired their carbines and then surrendered. The
robbers having re-packed their plunder were led by Charters to the
place from whence they had started, near the Pinnacle, where the gold
and money was roughly divided, and the party separated.

Constable Moran had sufficiently recovered from his wound to be present
at the trial and to give his evidence. The first jury disagreed and was
discharged, but at the second trial on February 23rd, 1863, Fordyce,
Bow, and Manns were convicted and sentenced to death. Charters was
acquitted according to promise, and McGuire was also acquitted on the
charge of being concerned in the robbery, but was afterwards convicted
of aiding and abetting the bushrangers, and was sentenced to a term of
imprisonment. Subsequently the capital sentences on Fordyce and Bow
were commuted to imprisonment for life, and only Manns was hung. The
execution was terribly bungled. The rope was too short for a tall,
slim youth like Manns, and he struggled violently. Seeing no prospect
of death within a reasonable time. Dr. West instructed the hangman to
raise the body and let it drop again, and this proved effectual. The
prolonged sufferings of the criminal must, however, have been very

From the date of this daring robbery the "Gardiner gang of bushrangers"
was the principal topic of conversation in New South Wales. After a
lull of several years a new era of bushranging had started, and it
lasted altogether for about ten years before it was finally suppressed.
For some time the robberies which were reported almost every day were
all attributed to Frank Gardiner, but, as was subsequently proved,
unjustly. Gardiner had made his _coup_ and retired, but it was some
time before either the police or the public became aware of this fact.


  Johnny Gilbert; His First Appearance in Australia; Miscellaneous
  Bushranging Exploits; Mr. Robert Lowe Makes a Stand; Mr. Inspector
  Norton Captured by the Bushrangers; A Plucky Black Boy; "Mine know
  it, Patsy Daly like it, Brudder;" A Brave Boy; O'Meally Shoots Mr.
  Barnes; A Bootless Bushranger; Capture of John Foley; Something about
  the Foley Family; Ben Hall.

Next to Frank Gardiner, the man most frequently spoken of in connection
with bushranging at this time was Johnny Gilbert, alias Roberts. He
was one of the gang charged with assisting in the robbery of the gold
escort at Eugowra Rocks, but who had not been captured. He was born in
Canada, and emigrated with his uncle, John Davis, to Victoria, shortly
after the discovery of gold there. Davis, it appears, soon became
tired of gold digging, and went to Sydney, where he opened an hotel at
Waverley. On April 6th, 1854, he was found dead in his private room,
and his nephew, then known as Roberts, about seventeen years of age,
was arrested and charged with the murder. He was acquitted and left
Sydney. He was arrested in the Goulburn district, some time later,
charged with horse-stealing, and sent to gaol. He is supposed to have
made acquaintance with Gardiner during their imprisonment on Cockatoo
Island. Roberts made an attempt to escape from the island, but was
recaptured and was punished by Captain McLerie, the visiting justice.
When liberated, after having served his sentence, he disappeared for
a time, and was next heard of in connection with the escort robbery.
It soon became evident to all thinking persons, that there were more
bushrangers abroad than those connected with "the Gardiner gang."
Robberies were reported almost every day, and over a wider range
of country than it was possible for one gang to travel over. These
robberies were of the most varied character.

One day Henry Stephens, innkeeper, near Caloola, was in his bar when
three men walked in and called for brandy. He served them. When they
had drunk their liquors they went into the breakfast room and sat
down. There were present at the table Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, Mr.
Young, and the three strangers. While the meal was progressing one
of the strangers went out. He returned almost immediately, pistol
in hand, driving the man servant in before him. Mr. Stephens jumped
up, exclaiming "Hullo, what's up now?" when the bushranger fired
and shot him in the mouth. The other two visitors rose, and ordered
Mrs. Stephens to "hand out the cash." As she refused they searched
everywhere, breaking open boxes, smashing the furniture, and even
refusing to allow the poor woman to lift her baby from its overturned
cradle, under which it was in danger of being smothered. They took
away about £20 in cash, and a few small articles. As soon as they left
Mr. Stephens was conveyed to the hospital at Bathurst for surgical
treatment. Of course this outrage was attributed to "Gardiner's gang,"
but it was subsequently proved that the robbers had no connection with
the ex-butcher.

On December 10th, 1862, Charles Foley and John Brownlow robbed Daniel
O'Brien's inn at Laggan. Another man stood on guard at the door. They
tied Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien, and put a bag over O'Brien's head to prevent
him from calling out. Foley searched the place, but only succeeded
in finding "ten bob." Mrs. O'Brien, hoping to induce them to leave
quietly, offered to give them £4 10s. which she had in her pocket, but
Foley said "We want more than that." They ransacked the place, and at
last found a roll of about fifty £1 notes which Mr. O'Brien had thrown
among some empty casks in a back room on seeing them approaching the
place. As they were well-known in the district they were soon arrested,
and on February 9th, 1863, were sentenced to seven years' penal

At the same Sessions, Alexander and Charles Ross and William O'Connor
were convicted of the attack on Mr. Stephens. They had also robbed Mr.
William Webb's store at Fish River, and committed some other outrages.
They were condemned to death and were hung in March, 1863.

George Willison and Frederick Britton stuck up the Hartley mail near
the Woodside Inn, about five miles from Bathurst, on November 16th,
1862. The driver, Owen Malone, and a passenger, Arundell Everett, were
taken off the road, their hands tied behind them, and they were laid on
the ground on their faces while the robbers searched the letters. While
thus lying side by side, Everett whispered to his companion, "Let's
make a rush." Malone however prudently declined, saying, "What could we
do with our hands tied behind us? We'd only get shot." The robbers took
about £1500 in notes from the letters and immediately mounted and rode
into Bathurst to exchange them. They were too late, however. News of
the robbery had reached the town, and they were arrested in the Union
Bank while cashing the notes. They were sentenced to sixteen years'
penal servitude, the first three years in irons. A companion who had
kept watch while the mail was being robbed escaped.

The mail coach was stuck up near Mount Victoria by Charles and James
Mackay and George Williams. There was nothing remarkable about the
robbery, but the bushrangers were closely followed and were captured in
a few days. The two brothers Mackay were sentenced to fifteen years'
and Williams to ten years' imprisonment.

On January 7th, 1863, the _Yass Courier_ announced that during the week
the Binalong mail had been again robbed, and Woodward, the driver, left
bound to a tree. He begged hard not to be left to perish miserably
through thirst, but the robbers laughed and rode away. He was released
by a shepherd who happened to hear him cooeying. He was much exhausted.
The robbers took £24 10s. and a pennyweight nugget. On the same day
Samuel William Jacobsen, hawker, was stuck up near the Wedden Mountains
by John Healy, who ordered him to "bail up and be quick about it unless
you want your---- brains blown out." Jacobsen and his assistant, Henry
Clok, were stripped and told to remain where they were for an hour
under penalty of death. Their clothes were given back to them after
having been searched. They dressed, and when they judged that the time
allowed them had expired--their watches had been taken away with other
property--they walked on. They followed the track of their waggon and
came up to it about three miles away. The horses had been turned loose
and were feeding near. All the drawers and boxes in the waggon had been
broken open and ransacked, and everything of value had been stolen.

During the week ending April 22nd, 1863, a large number of people were
stuck up and robbed on the road between Marengo and Burrangong. One of
them, William Oakes, a store-keeper, was going on his usual round among
the Fish River farms to purchase fowls, eggs, butter, and other produce
for his store. He was successful in hiding his money, but the robbers
emptied his horse feed out on the ground, ripped open the saddles and
collars of his horses, and broke all the boxes in the cart in their
attempts to find it.

On January 14th a woman was stopped at the Cherry Tree Hill, and asked
for her money. She refused to give it up. The robbers tried to search
her, but, being unable to find her pocket, they tore the skirt off,
and, in spite of her cries, carried it away, leaving her to get home
without it. They got about £3 in notes and silver. These fellows stuck
up the Mudgee mail about an hour later. There were two passengers on
board, a man and a woman. The man refused to give up his money, when
one of the bushrangers said, "If you don't hand it out we'll strip
the---- woman." As he hesitated the ruffian began to tear off her
clothes. The man yielded. It is satisfactory to know that the amount
obtained was small.

On April 3rd the Cassilis mail was stuck up at Reedy Creek, near
Mudgee, by two armed men. One of them remarked, after the letters had
been gone through, "This mail never has nothing in it." Mr. Farrell,
schoolmaster at Cassilis, who was riding beside the coach when it was
stopped, was robbed of his gold watch and some money. He was also
forced to exchange his horse, saddle, and bridle, for a knocked up
horse and a very dilapidated saddle and bridle. On the following day
Mr. Robert Lowe was driving in a buggy from Talbragar to Mudgee in
company with Hugh McKenzie, who was on horseback, when two armed men
ordered them to "bail up." Mr. Lowe snatched his gun from the bottom
of the buggy, and fired. The bushrangers wheeled round and rode away,
but had not gone far when one of them threw up his arms and fell. Lowe
and McKenzie went over to him with the intention of taking him to the
nearest town for treatment, but he died almost immediately. The two
gentlemen then continued their journey to Slapdash, where they gave
information to the police and were informed that Messrs. A. Brown,
J.P., and Alexander Dean had just reported that they had been robbed
near the same place by two men, one of whom was riding Mr. Farrell's
horse. Sergeant Cleary and a trooper with two black trackers, Tommy and
Johnny Bein Bar, followed the other bushranger for 260 miles and caught
him near Coonamble. He was brought to Mudgee, tried and convicted,
and sent to gaol for ten years. At the inquest on the man Heather a
verdict of justifiable homicide was returned, and Mr. Lowe was highly
complimented for his prompt action. He was afterwards awarded a gold
medal by the New South Wales Government for his bravery in resisting

One day Master Willie Cadell was sent by his mother on a message
a short distance away from Mudgee. He walked his pony up the hill
outside the township, and was about to start in a canter when a mounted
man dashed in front and shouted "Stop." The pony was frightened by
the shout and bolted for a short distance, the bushranger galloping
alongside threatening the boy with instant death if he did not pull up.
At length the pony was brought under control, when the robber said,
"I don't want to hurt you, but you must come with me." He led the boy
to a clump of trees where Mr. Smith, of Appletree Flat, and two other
men were lying tied on the ground. The bushranger told Willie that he
would not tie him if he promised not to run away, adding, "If you break
your word I'll put a bullet through you." The boy promised and went
and sat down on a fallen tree. The bushranger took Willie's pony "to
spare" his own horse. As he walked past Mr. Smith, he gave the tied
man a kick, and said roughly, "You stopped me robbing the mail before,
but I'll keep you quiet this time." He mounted the pony and went back
to the road. Presently he returned with two other men whom he tied and
robbed. He fired several shots from his revolver at a mark on a tree,
"for practice" as he told Willie Cadell. Then he went back to the road
again. He soon returned with two more men, who were treated as the
others had been. There were now seven men and a boy held prisoners
under the clump of trees by one man. The robber had also stopped Mr.
Robinson, with two stock-riders, and had ordered them to round up the
mob of fat cattle they were driving and remain on the flat until after
the mail passed. Occasionally he would say to his prisoners: "The mail
will soon be here now; then you can all go." He kept continually riding
from the road to where his prisoners were and back. About half-an-hour
after capturing his last two prisoners the mail coach turned off the
road and came into the clump of timber, the bushranger riding behind
and directing the driver where to go. There were four male and two
female passengers. The women were told to go under a tree, and to "sit
down and be quiet." The men were searched and tied. Then the bushranger
coolly sat down and went through the letters. When he had finished he
mounted the pony, and took the bridle of his own horse in his hand.
"Youngster," he said to Willie Cadell, "you'll find your pony by the
road." He then rode away. Young Cadell, who had replied "All right,"
began to untie the prisoners as soon as the robber was outside the
clump. When all were loosed they walked out to the road. The pony was
hitched to a tree and the robber seated on his own horse was waiting a
short distance away. He asked them whether they were all right, and on
being answered in the affirmative, raised his hat politely, said, "Good
evening, ladies and gentlemen," and cantered away. The mail-man stopped
to gather up the torn and scattered letters, while Messrs. Smith
and Martin walked to Mudgee to inform the police, and Willie Cadell
cantered away to perform the errand on which his mother had sent him.

The coolness with which this robber had acted throughout induced the
belief among the public that he was no common amateur bushranger, but
a member of the Gardiner gang. In fact it was said that he was no
other than Johnny Gilbert himself. The _Goulburn Chronicle_ reported
about this time that Gardiner and his gang had paid a visit to the
Muswellbrook district, and suggested that one of them had committed
this robbery on the way back to their own district. This, however,
was disproved later, and it was then believed that the robber was
one of the numerous young men who "turned out" with the intention of
joining the gang and endeavoured to do something on the road to prove
themselves worthy of being accepted as comrades by the redoubtable
bushrangers. It was the custom of the time to attribute all highway
robberies to Gardiner and his gang, but it is doubtful whether any
of those recorded in this chapter so far were perpetrated by actual
members of the gang. It was a time of intense excitement, and many of
the more or less criminally disposed among the youth of the colony
felt themselves impelled to take to the road and rob somebody. Some of
these were captured; others were disillusionised and went back to their
farms; while others either did join the gang or continued bushranging
as independent parties. The next story, published a few days later, was
that of the sticking up of the Mudgee mail on the Bathurst-Sydney Road,
near the Big Hill, about sixteen miles from Bowenfels. Mr. Henry Edward
Kater, manager of the local branch of the Australian Joint Stock Bank,
was a passenger, and he had with him £5000 worth of old notes, which he
was taking to Sydney to be destroyed at the head office of the bank.
The bushrangers had received notice from some source that these notes
were on the coach, and asked for them. Mr. Kater replied that they were
valueless, as the numbers had been cancelled. "Never mind," replied
the bushranger. "We can make a bonfire of them as well as you can."
Mr. Kater declined to give them up, and stooped down. The bushranger
immediately ordered him to "sit up straight and not try to come Robert
Lowe on them," or he would be sorry for it. This, of course, was an
allusion to the recent shooting of the man Heather by Mr. Lowe, as
already related. Mrs. Smith, wife of a publican at Ben Bullen, who was
a passenger on the coach, was very much alarmed. She was seated beside
Mr. Kater, and screamed loudly. She had £200 in her pocket. The robber
told her to get down and stand aside, adding, "We don't rob women." She
was only too glad to obey. She sat down on a log beside the road. The
other passengers were then ordered to dismount, and were eased of their
valuables. When this duty had been discharged the robbers departed,
one of them turning back to request Mr. Kater to ask Captain Norton
whether "his spurs were getting rusty." The robbers were well-dressed
and splendidly mounted. No doubt was entertained anywhere that they
belonged to Gardiner's gang. A reward of £500 was offered by the Joint
Stock Bank for the recovery of the cancelled notes.

In recording the principal robberies committed at this time by
bushrangers who were not known certainly to belong to the gang, I have
necessarily omitted to mention the robberies effected by the gang
itself. It is now, therefore, time to return to the beginning of the
year and take up the history of the gang itself. On New Year's Day,
1863, races were being held at Brisbane Valley on the Fish River,
when Frederick Lowry and John Foley made a daring attempt to stick up
the crowd, numbering more than one hundred persons. A man named Foran
refused to be tied when called on to come out and was immediately shot
by Lowry. Although he was wounded in the lungs Foran rushed forward
and grappled with Lowry. Several other men came to his assistance, and
Lowry was overpowered, while Foley, who had been engaged in tying the
men, jumped on his horse and got away. Lowry was locked up in a room
behind the bar of the publican's booth, but the booth was a mere shell,
and he contrived to escape before the police came.

On February 27th Mr. Cirkel, publican at Stony Creek, Burrangong, was
called out of his house and shot dead, after having been accused of
having given information to the police. It was said that the men who
committed this crime were Gardiner, Gilbert, O'Meally, and another
whose name was not known. O'Meally was said to have fired the fatal
shot. The party of bushrangers rode on to Mr. Myers Solomon's store
at the "Big Wombat." Mr. Solomon, seeing them coming, attempted to run
away, but was followed and brought back. A lad in the store vaulted
over the counter and snatched a pistol from the belt of one of the
bushrangers while the dispute was going on as to whether Solomon should
be shot for attempting to "betray" them to the police. Another of the
bushrangers immediately put his pistol to Mrs. Solomon's head and said
to the boy, "If you fire I'll blow her brains out." The boy looked
undecided. The bushranger cocked his pistol and swore that if the boy
did not return the weapon he had taken the woman should die. The boy
then stepped forward, laid the revolver on the counter, and said,
"If it wasn't for Mrs. Solomon I'd stop your---- run anyhow." He was
immediately knocked down and kicked.

The _Lachlan Observer_ of March 5th reported that Mr. Inspector Norton,
who had recently relieved Sir Frederick Pottinger as head of the police
force in the district, had been captured by the bushrangers. Captain
Norton had been in pursuit of the robbers, and was returning from a
long ride through the ranges, accompanied only by a black tracker known
as Billy Durgan. On Sunday, 1st instant, he came suddenly on a camp
some three or four miles from Wheogo. Billy, who was riding behind
leading a spare horse, saw the fire first, and shouted "Here they
are." Three of the bushrangers sprang up, mounted their horses, and
came towards the officer. Billy advised him to "bolt," but the captain
shook his head and replied "No good, Billy. Horse too much knock up."
"Mine stop it too," said Billy. O'Meally and Patrick Daly fired as they
approached, and Norton returned the fire until his revolver was empty,
when he said "I surrender." Daly cried "Throw down your arms," and as
Norton threw away his revolver another man galloped up and fired at
him. At that moment Billy, the black boy, seeing the danger Norton was
in, gave a yell, jumped off his horse, and threw his empty pistol in
the bushranger's face. By this plucky act Billy no doubt saved Captain
Norton's life, but the bushranger turned and fired at the black. Billy,
however, kicked off his boots, sprang behind a tree, and shouted "Come
on, you----." O'Meally replied, "We'll wallop you, you young----,
when we catch you." At which threat Billy laughed, and replied "You
catchem first." Daly and the other bushranger chased him, but Billy
dodged about from tree to tree with all the agility of the black,
pelting sticks at them, and laughingly telling them to "come on."
The bushrangers fired at him several times, but with no effect, and
at length gave up the chase and returned to where O'Meally was still
guarding Captain Norton. After a consultation aside the bushrangers
told the captain that they had mistaken him for Trooper Holliston. They
intended to "do for" the trooper the first time they caught him. They
detained the captain for about three hours, treating him very civilly,
and then released him.

A few days later, Daly was arrested by Sir Frederick Pottinger. He
was a native of the district, under twenty years of age. When brought
up and charged at the police court, Captain Norton failed to identify
him, but Billy Durgan exclaimed, when called upon for his evidence:
"Mine know it, Patsy Daly like it brudder." Daly was placed on trial
for having, in company with others, robbed Myers Solomon, store-keeper,
of property, including money, horses, guns, revolvers, clothing, food,
&c., to a large amount. George Johnson identified Daly as the man who
had knocked the boy down and kicked him when he placed the revolver
on the counter. Johnson called Daly a coward, and was told to keep
quiet unless he wanted his "---- brains blown out." Johnson replied:
"I'd like to meet you man to man fairly." Another of the bushrangers
asked: "Will you stand up and fight me if I give you a pistol?" Johnson
replied, "Yes," and stepped forward. The third bushranger, however,
ordered him back, and told his mates to "quit fooling." Johnson and
the other men in the store were then made to lie on their faces, with
a bushranger over them on guard, while the other bushrangers selected
what they wanted, packed it in bundles, and strapped it on the pack
horses. While thus employed, the bushranger who had challenged Johnson
kicked him in the ribs savagely, and told him to keep still. The
other persons present gave their versions of the occurrence, but they
differed little from what has been recorded above. Daly was convicted,
and was sentenced to fifteen years' penal servitude.

On March 30th, two men called at James Brown's hut at Wallenbeen
and asked for something to eat. Brown told his wife to give them
some breakfast. It may be necessary to remark that such hospitality
is common in Australia. Having eaten as much as they required, the
travellers demanded Brown's hat and boots. After some dispute these
were handed over. The boots were too small, and the man who wanted
them took out his pocket-knife to cut them, when his mate said, "Oh,
come on; we'll get plenty at McKay's." They left the boots, went
out, mounted their horses, and rode away. They had only gone a few
yards when they met Mr. Barnes, a store-keeper at Cootamundra, and
his assistant, Mr. Hanlow, who was in charge of a branch store at
Murrumburrah. The travellers ordered Barnes to "bail up." Barnes said,
"I know you, O'Meally," and O'Meally replied, "I know you, you----.
Get off that horse; I want him." Barnes wheeled his horse round and
galloped away, and O'Meally followed. They galloped round the hill,
back past the stockyard, and then down the gully out of sight among the
trees. In the meantime, Hanlow was conducted by the other bushranger
off the road to the stockyard, where they were soon joined by O'Meally.
"Where's Mr. Barnes?" asked Hanlow, as the robber rode up. "Down
there," replied O'Meally nonchalantly, pointing down the gully. "You
haven't shot him?" inquired Hanlow anxiously. "Oh, no," replied the
bushranger coolly, "he hit himself against a tree and tumbled off." Mr.
Alexander McKay, the squatter who owned the stockyard, and whose house
was not far away, had heard the galloping and shouting, and went on to
the verandah of his house to ascertain the cause of the noise. It was
then about half-past eleven a.m., and the day was Sunday. He saw one
man chasing another, and thought it was a trooper after a bushranger.
He watched them gallop down the gully, and saw the one he took to be
a trooper shoot the other, and then wheel his horse round and gallop
back without waiting to see whether the man who had fallen off his
horse was dead or not. As O'Meally came nearer McKay recognised him,
and his suspicions were aroused. He started to walk down the gully to
the wounded man, when he was stopped by O'Meally who ordered him to
go back and open the store, adding, "I want some boots and clothes for
my mate. He lost his in a brush with the traps." Mr. McKay went to the
store and gave O'Meally the things he had asked for. The bushranger
then said he wanted fresh horses. McKay replied that the horses were
never brought in on a Sunday and therefore he could not get them.
"Ah," said O'Meally, "I had Chance from you. He was a good 'un. Well,
I'll come some other time and get one." The bushrangers then went away
and McKay and Hanlow walked down the gully to where Barnes was lying.
They found that he was quite dead, and sent word to the nearest police
station. An inquest was held next day, and a verdict of wilful murder
was returned against O'Meally and another man whose name was unknown.

A day or two later Mr. Frank was riding from Lambing Flat (Burrangong)
to Yass, when he was stopped by seven men whose faces were hidden by
black crape veils. They ordered him to "shell out." "I've only thirty
bob, boys," he replied. One of the robbers said "Oh, keep it. You'll
want that to take you home again." Some of the others said that they
knew him and he wasn't "a bad sort," so he could go. They asked him if
he had seen any police on the road, and added that they wished to "meet
the---- traps." After several minutes spent in conversation they rode
off and Mr. Frank continued his journey.

Shortly after this Constables McDonald, Lee, and Nicholls traced John
Foley to Mackay's Hotel, Campbell's River, with the aid of a black
tracker. McDonald pushed the door of the bedroom in which he was told
Foley had been sleeping, but the man inside leaned heavily against
it to prevent it from being opened. After a struggle McDonald forced
his revolver through the opening and fired round the corner. He did
not hit the man inside, but the shot forced him to give way a little.
The constable said, "Come along, Foley. We've got you. You can't
get away." After a moment's pause Foley replied, "All right. Don't
shoot." He stepped back and the door swung open. The police rushed in
and handcuffed him. He was taken to Bathurst, where he was charged
with having looted Mrs. Anne Webb's store at Mutton Falls, and with
having aided and abetted other bushrangers in several robberies on
the highway and elsewhere. During the trial it was noticed that Mrs.
Foley, the prisoner's mother, was passing in and out of the court and
communicating with the witnesses who had been ordered out of court.
She was cautioned, but as she persisted in spite of the efforts of the
police, she was ordered to be locked up for contempt of court. Timothy
Foley, a brother of the accused, was also committed for contempt of
court, and was threatened with prosecution for perjury for his attempts
to prove an alibi. The prisoner was convicted and was sentenced to
fifteen years' imprisonment, the first three years in irons. Another
brother, Francis Foley, was sentenced at the same sessions to ten
years' imprisonment for having raided the Chinese Camp at Campbell's
River. Henry Gibson was also arraigned for bushranging. He admitted
that he had been overseer on Ben Hall's station, but denied that he
had ever joined Gardiner's gang. He was acquitted by the jury, and the
verdict was received with some applause. As soon as order had been
restored, the judge remarked that it would perhaps add to the general
satisfaction if he informed the court that the prisoner would not go
free in spite of his acquittal. He had before him a document which
proved that the prisoner was an escaped convict from Victoria, and
would therefore be detained until he could be returned to that colony
to finish his sentence.

Hitherto the gang had continued to be known as "Gardiner's Gang,"
although it had been repeatedly asserted in the press that Gardiner
had taken no share in the later robberies, and that in fact he had
retired from "the profession" several months ago. It was said that
notwithstanding the vigilance of the police, Gardiner had succeeded
in escaping from New South Wales, taking with him the wife of a
respectable farmer in the Burrangong district named Brown. The reports,
however, were very contradictory. Sometimes it was said that he had
gone to New Zealand. Then that he had made his way to California or to
South America. In the meantime the gang continued to be as active as
ever under the leadership of Johnny Gilbert and Ben Hall.


  Racers as Mounts for the Bushrangers; The Shooting of Lowry; The ----
  Bushrangers visit Bathurst; They hold the Town of Canowindra for
  Three Days; Burke Shot by Mr. Keightley; Female Bushrangers; Death of
  O'Meally at Goimbla; A Newspaper Man and his Wife Stuck Up; Lively
  Times During the Christmas Holidays.

The chief necessity for a successful career as a bushranger was a
good supply of racehorses, and hence it was almost impossible for any
person to keep a really valuable saddle horse during this "Reign of
Terror," as the newspapers of the district called it. Special raids
were organised by members of the gang to obtain a supply of horses,
and the bushrangers frequently travelled upwards of two hundred miles
to secure a horse which had made a name on the turf. Thus on May
18th Harry Wilson, trainer for Mr. Allen Hancock, was exercising the
racer Jacky Morgan, within sight of the police station in the town of
Burrowa, when Gilbert rode up and said "I want that horse." "For God's
sake don't ruin me, Johnny," exclaimed the jockey. "Hold your---- jaw
and get off," was the reply, as the bushranger brought out his ready
revolver. The robber specially cautioned Wilson not to "sing out" so
that the police could hear, or he'd "be sorry for it," and in spite of
his remonstrances the jockey was compelled to dismount and walk home to
inform his employer. Mr. Hancock told him to saddle another horse. He
then took down his gun carefully, wiped and loaded it, and went away
swearing that he would never return until he had recovered Jacky Morgan.

Gilbert also took a racer out of Mr. Hammond's stables at Junee. He
stole the racers Chinaman and Micky Hunter from the stables of Mr.
J. Roberts at Currawang. When leading Micky Hunter out of his stall
Gilbert patted his neck and said, "You're the---- cove we want." Old
Comus and several other horses were taken out of Mr. Iceley's stables
at Coombing. The old horse had had a good career on the course, and
had been set apart for stud purposes, and Mr. Iceley offered a large
sum to the bushrangers to leave him alone, but Gilbert said, "There's
a good gallop in him yet," and led him away. But the bushrangers did
not devote their whole time to capturing race horses. Robberies on
the highway continued as frequently as usual. The police, however,
were not idle. In August, Sergeant James Stephenson, Constable Herbst,
and Detectives Camphin and Saunderson traced Lowry to Thomas Vardy's,
Limerick Races Hotel, at Cook's Vale Creek. When asked if there were
any lodgers there, Vardy pointed to the door of one of the bedrooms
and replied, "Yes, one there." Stephenson knocked at the door, but
there was no reply. The sergeant knocked again and called out "Come out
Lowry, it's no use." As no answer was returned, the sergeant placed
his shoulder against the door, and tried to burst it open. Immediately
some one inside fired a pistol, the bullet from which passed through
the panel of the door between the two policemen. Stephenson again
called on Lowry to come out or it would be "the worse for him," and
the bushranger replied "I'll fight you, you----. All of you." He again
fired through the door, and the bullet wounded one of the police
horses tied to the verandah. Sergeant Stephenson called on Vardy to
take the horses to a safe place, and when they were out of sight, he
and Constable Herbst again tried to force the door by leaning their
combined weight against it. Suddenly Lowry threw the door open, and the
sergeant almost fell into the room. The bushranger shouted "Come on,
you---- I'll fight you fair," and fired. The police returned the fire.
Stephenson, who was inside the room, took steady aim and pulled the
trigger. The robber fell, saying "I'm done for! Where's the priest?"
The police arrested Vardy and all his family, as well as a man named
Larry Cummins, who was in the room with Lowry, but who took no part
in the fight. When this ceremony had been completed, Lowry was made
as comfortable as circumstances permitted while a messenger was sent
off to the nearest town for a doctor. For more than an hour detective
Camphin sat by Lowry's side reading prayers from a Catholic prayer-book
which Mrs. Vardy lent him. The robber gradually grew weaker and died.
His last words were, "Tell 'em I died game." The police borrowed a
cart from a farmer who lived about a mile away from the hotel, and the
body was placed in it, covered with a blanket, and started away for
Goulburn, where this extraordinary funeral cortège arrived the next
day, Sunday, just as the people were leaving the churches.

Frederick Lowry was a native of the district, twenty-seven years of
age, and six feet two inches in height.

In the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, on August 18th, 1863,
Mr., afterwards Sir James, Martin moved that "the alarming state of
insecurity of life and property which has so long prevailed through the
country districts is in a high degree discreditable to Her Majesty's
Ministers in this colony." Mr., afterwards Sir Charles, Cowper,
speaking for the Government, said that the police authorities had full
power to take all the troopers that could be spared from the more
thickly-populated districts to the disturbed area. The discussion on
the motion lasted for a week, when it was negatived by forty-four to
eighteen votes. The Government was in fact doing all that it could
reasonably be expected to do to preserve order, and this was generally
recognised, although the Press continued to urge that more energetic
measures should be adopted, and bushranging stamped out at any cost.
The success of the bushrangers was largely due to the nature of the
country, with the features of which they were perfectly familiar. Had
there been double the number of police in the district it is barely
probable that the outbreak could have been put down much more quickly
than it was. The police showed remarkable bravery, but they were unable
to follow the bushrangers into the ranges, with the intricacies of
which they were unacquainted. It was not the number of bushrangers, but
their activity, boldness, and more than all their intimate knowledge
of the country, which enabled them to keep so extensive an area of the
colony in a ferment for so long a time.

The Carcour mail was stuck up at about a mile outside the town of
Blaney on September 23rd. A passenger named Garland refused to "hand
out" when ordered. He was told that if he persisted in his refusal he
would "get a good hiding." One bushranger stood by his side holding a
gun close to Garland's head, while another bushranger felt his pockets.
They took out two £1 notes. The coach was then taken up the ridge to
about 300 yards from the road. Here there was a level spot fairly clear
of timber, and in this little plain were eight men sitting in a ring
with a robber standing on guard over them. The coach-driver and the
two passengers were ordered to take their seats in the ring while the
letters were searched. They obeyed, and were detained more than an
hour. One of the prisoners in the ring was a trooper. When the mail had
been gone through the bushrangers, one of whom was riding Mr. Daniel
Mayne's horse Retriever, told them they might go. Garland said "It's
no use going without any money," whereupon a bushranger handed him ten
shillings and told him not to growl. It was about five o'clock p.m.
when the bushrangers rode off. They were said to be Gilbert, O'Meally,
Burke, and another.

A few days later Gilbert and O'Meally went to a cattle station some
miles from Burrangong and rounded up the horses. A stock-rider galloped
up and ordered them to desist. Gilbert told him that they were troopers
and had orders from Her Majesty the Queen to take any horses they
required. The stockman then assisted them to catch two of the best.

On Saturday, October 23rd, Hall, Gilbert, O'Meally, Burke, and Vane
walked into Mr. Perdrotta's gunsmith's shop in William Street,
Bathurst, opposite the School of Arts, and asked to see some revolvers.
They were shown a number, but said they were common things and no
good. Mr. Perdrotta said he had sold out. There had been a run on
revolvers lately on account of the bushrangers, but he expected a new
stock up from Sydney in a few days. The robbers laughed heartily, and
said that the bushrangers required to be looked after. They promised
to call again in a few days. They walked up the street to McMinn's
Hotel, and went in as the family were sitting down to tea. Miss McMinn
recognised them and screamed. She was ordered to keep quiet, but as
this made her scream louder the bushrangers left. The report that the
bushrangers were in the town spread like wild-fire, and the streets
were crowded with excited people in a few minutes. It was rumoured that
the bushrangers had robbed Mr. De Clouett, in Piper Street, and that
De Clouett had recognised Johnny Gilbert as a jockey who had ridden
for him some years before. The police hastily armed and mounted, when
suddenly the bushrangers, mounted on their horses, with revolvers in
their hands, dashed through the crowd in Howick Street, shouting, "Two
of us is good for forty---- troopers." The crowd scattered to let them
pass. The bushrangers rode through the street at a gallop and left the
town in the direction of the timbered country, avoiding the roads. The
police followed close behind, but the bushrangers had the faster horses
and got away.

On October 17th, Mr. Robinson, of Robinson's Hotel, Canowindra, was
awakened at about 1.30 a.m. by a loud knocking. He went to the door
and asked, "Who's there?" The reply was, "The police." Robinson opened
the door and was immediately ordered to "bail up." The visitors were
Hall, Gilbert, and O'Meally, the bushrangers. Mr. Robinson gave them
£3, which he took from a drawer, and said that was all the money he had
in the house. He begged them to go away. They refused, and insisted on
every one in the house getting up at once. After some delay the family
and Mr. Kieran Cummings, a lodger, were collected in the dining-room.
The bushrangers took charge and served out drinks all round. When time
for opening the house came, the bushrangers stationed themselves, one
at each end of the verandah and the third in the bar. They bailed
up fourteen bullock-drivers who were camped near the township, and
compelled them to leave their teams in the street as they arrived.
The robbers took anything they required or fancied from the drays and
marched the drivers into the dining-room of the hotel. During the
morning, Messrs. Hibberson, Twaddell, and Kirkpatrick drove up to
the hotel in a buggy. They were compelled to alight and go into the
dining-room. Ben Hall, seeing that Mr. Kirkpatrick carried a revolver,
requested him to "oblige by handing that thing over. Not that we want
it, you know; but it might go off by accident." Mr. Kirkpatrick
laughed, and gave him the weapon. Hall examined it carefully and said,
"We've got better than that. We'll leave it for you at Louden's, at
Grubbenbong, so that you may get it when you pass." Mrs. Robinson and
the cook were released and ordered to get a "first-class dinner for
the gentlemen, and we'll pay for it." The prisoners were well treated.
Food was brought in at intervals, and bottles of brandy were placed on
the table for all to help themselves as they pleased. Several boxes of
cigars were ordered, and these were opened and the cigars thrown along
the table. Robinson had promised not to "try any hanky panky," and was
allowed to go to the bar. Everything ordered was paid for without delay
or dispute. Gilbert walked to the lock-up, called out the solitary
policeman who was stationed in the town, and made him march down to
the hotel. Here he was given his musket, and ordered to pace up and
down before the verandah as if on sentry duty. When they grew tired of
showing their contempt for "the force" in this manner the gun was taken
away and the policeman conducted into the dining-room and placed with
the other prisoners to "enjoy himself like the rest." The robbers drank
very little themselves. Occasionally they ordered a bottle of English
beer, and drew the cork themselves after having examined it carefully
to make sure that it had not been tampered with. On the Wednesday
morning Mr. Hibberson begged hard to be allowed to go. He said that he
and his friends had enjoyed themselves very much, and would have been
willing to stay longer to oblige, but the river was beginning to rise,
and if it came down as usual at that time of the year they might not be
able to cross for a month. This would interfere seriously with their
business. The bushrangers listened to this plea, and then withdrew.
After a consultation which lasted several minutes, Hall came back, and
said they thought it was "a fair thing." They were very much obliged to
the gentlemen for their contributions towards the general amusement,
and they graciously gave them permission to fetch their horses from
the stable and start. An hour or so later the other persons in the
dining-room were told that they might go. This spree must have been an
expensive one. The bushrangers only took a few pounds to start with,
while they paid for everything that was consumed by the crowd between
1.30 a.m. on Monday and noon on Wednesday. At first there had been a
feeling of restraint, caused, perhaps, by fear or uncertainty, but this
soon wore off, and the party ended by being a very merry one. Several
games were started. Songs were sung, and one of the bullock-drivers
had a concertina and played dance music; several of the members of the
party danced. The women and children were allowed to go to bed, but the
men had to sleep with their heads on the table. The bushrangers only
slept for short naps in turn. On leaving Canowindra the bushrangers
rode straight to Mr. Grant's place, at Balubula, called him out, and
accused him of having given information to the police as to their
movements. As a punishment they burned his house, stacks, and standing

A week later, on October 24th, Hall, Gilbert, O'Meally, Vane, and Burke
rode up to Assistant Gold Commissioner Keightley's house, at Dunn's
Plains, near Rockley, and called on him to come out. Mr. Keightley had
been standing on the verandah, and on seeing them coming had rushed
in and slammed the door. As he did not obey, the bushrangers fired
some shots at the windows. Keightley returned the fire, and Burke
fell, crying out "I'm done for." There was very little ammunition in
the house and when this was expended Keightley surrendered. He asked
only that the women should not be molested. Vane swore he would avenge
Burke by shooting Keightley. Mrs. Baldock, wife of the camp-keeper,
who was acting as general servant at the time, rushed between the
men and pushed Vane back, crying at the time, "Oh! don't shoot him!
Recollect his wife and her little baby." Dr. Peechy, who was present,
also interfered, but was knocked down with the butt of a revolver.
Mrs. Baldock again pushed Vane away, saying, "Don't hurt the doctor.
He never did you any harm." Vane was much excited and swore a great
deal, but he did not even push the woman away. Presently Hall, who had
been some distance away, came up and told Vane to keep cool. He added
that it was impossible to say in the _mêlée_ who shot Burke. "Why,"
he exclaimed, "I might have done it myself." After a short time order
was restored, and the doctor then said that Burke was not dead. He
offered to go to Rockley for his instruments and to return immediately.
Hall said "What's the good? Better shoot him and put him out of his
misery." A discussion followed, and at length permission was given
to the doctor to go to his house for his instruments, after he had
solemnly promised "not to bring the traps" on them. After the doctor's
departure O'Meally declared his intention of taking Keightley down
the paddock and shooting him. He told the Gold Commissioner "to come
on," but Mrs. Keightley rushed between them and said he should shoot
her before he took her husband away. Hall again interfered and order
was restored. When the doctor returned he found that Burke was dead. A
lengthy discussion took place as to what should be done with Keightley.
O'Meally and Vane wished to shoot him. Hall and Gilbert were in favour
of holding him to ransom, and Mrs. Keightley undertook to pay them £500
if they would spare his life. Finally an agreement was arrived at. Mrs.
Keightley was to ride to Bathurst and bring back the money by two p.m.
the next day (Sunday). If she failed to return at that time, or brought
any one back with her, her husband and Doctor Peechy were to be shot.
The distance from Rockley to Bathurst was twenty-five miles, but Mrs.
Keightley started without misgiving. The bushrangers refused to stop
in the house during the night in case of surprise. They took their
prisoners and camped with them on a knoll, some distance away, from
the top of which they had a good view of the Bathurst Road for several
miles. This they declared would give them time to shoot their hostages
and ride away if treachery was attempted. Mrs. Keightley obtained
the necessary amount of money from her father, Mr. Rolton, M.L.A.,
and returned home an hour before the stipulated time. She handed the
money to Ben Hall, who complimented her on her endurance and pluck.
Then Mr. Keightley and Dr. Peechy were told that they were free, and
the bushrangers mounted and rode off. When this outrage was reported,
the rewards offered for the capture, dead or alive, of Hall, Gilbert,
O'Meally, and Vane, were increased to £1000, while £100 was offered for
the capture of any other of their accomplices.

A bullock-driver left Burrangong, after having disposed of his load
of produce, and camped near the Burrangong Creek, a few miles from the
diggings, when three men with blackened faces, and further disguised
with spectacles, called on him. They demanded the £45 which he had
received in payment for his load, proving that they had somehow
established a very effective system of espionage in the diggings.
He admitted that that was the sum for which he had sold his load,
but denied having the money, asserting that he had paid it away.
They disbelieved him, and searched him and his dray, shaking out his
blankets and tarpaulin. They found about £3 in notes and silver, and
went off with it. The bullock-driver had been too wide awake for them.
He had heard them coming along the road, and knowing how the district
was infested with robbers, had hastily thrust his roll of notes under a
log near his camp fire.

Peter Toohey was driving the mail coach on the road between Burrangong
and Cowra, when he was ordered to bail up by three armed men. Instead
of obeying he lashed his horses into a gallop, and did not pull up
until he reached Mr. Allen's station at Wattamundera. The bushrangers
followed for a mile or more and snapped their revolvers at him, but
they were either not loaded or missed fire. In recording this event the
_Burrangong Courier_ remarked that this was probably the fastest three
miles on record for a "Cobb's coach." This, however, is very doubtful.
The _Courier_ does not give the time, but some very tall tales of
coach-racing have been given in the Victorian newspapers of the races
run by opposition coaches on the roads from Melbourne to Bendigo and
from Geelong to Ballarat in early diggings days.

The same paper reported that Constable Clark chased and captured two
supposed bushrangers near Marengo on August 30th. When they reached
the lock-up they were identified as Kate Meally and Elizabeth Mayhew.
They were detained, but the next morning Sergeant Monaghan asked the
magistrate to discharge the prisoners, as he had ascertained from
enquiries that the girls only went out "for a bit of a spree in their
brothers' clothes."

Mr. David Henry Campbell was sitting in his house on the Goimbla sheep
station on the evening of November 19th when he heard footsteps on
the verandah. Being suspicious as to the character of the visitors,
he seized his gun and retreated to an inner room, while his brother
William retired by another door. Mrs. Campbell was in the bedroom.
The bushrangers came to the front door, and fired into the room. Mr.
Campbell returned the fire, and the bushrangers retreated. They went
to the stackyard, and fired the barn and haystack. They then returned
to the house, which was illuminated by the blazing of the barn and
stack. Mrs. Campbell came out of the bedroom, and spoke a few words to
her husband. Then she crossed the front parlour in full view of the
bushrangers, took a second gun and a powder flask from the corner, and
returned to her husband. The bushrangers fired at her, but missed,
and they then retreated along the verandah to where the shadow cast
by the blazing stack concealed them. After waiting a few minutes Mrs.
Campbell, thinking, as she could hear no sound except the roaring of
the flames, that the bushrangers had gone away, stealthily crossed the
front room and peeped out of the window. She saw three men standing
near the stackyard, and went back to inform her husband. Mr. Campbell
immediately left the house by the back door, crept gently along the
fence, taking care to keep in the shadow, and approached the men as
closely as possible without giving them the alarm. He recognised the
man nearest to him as O'Meally, and fired. O'Meally fell. Almost at the
same moment the police, having seen the reflection of the fire miles
away, and had ridden over to ascertain its cause, came galloping up.
Hall and Gilbert, the two other bushrangers, hastily mounted their
horses and went off under cover of the darkness. O'Meally's body was
conveyed to Bathurst, where an inquest was held, and a verdict of
justifiable homicide was returned. The _Bathurst Times_ reported that
locks of O'Meally's hair were being shown about and sold in the town,
and protested against it. The paper said that the authorities had no
right to allow this desecration of the body, even of a bushranger and
murderer. "The police," it added, "would not have dared to touch his
hair had he been alive. Probably Pottinger and the army of troopers
that swarmed round Goimbla when the danger was passed each took a lock
of his hair _in memoriam_ when their enemy lay prostrate and dead." A
public meeting was held in Sydney on March 3rd to consider what means
should be adopted to recognise the bravery of Mr. Campbell in daring to
resist the bushrangers and shooting O'Meally. A number of prominent men
gave addresses, and it was resolved that a public subscription should
be taken up to recoup him for the loss of his barn and stacks. The
amount collected at the meeting and during a few days after totalled
£1100. Mr. Campbell was also awarded a gold medal by the Government.

The violent deaths of Lowry, Burke, and O'Meally, in so short a time,
seemed to have very little effect on the gang, which continued its
depredations. Neither did these deaths prevent other young men from
adopting the "profession of bushranger." In fact the deaths of a few
bushrangers appear to have had less effect in deterring the criminally
disposed from taking to the roads than the immunity enjoyed by the
leaders offered encouragement. Bushranging was increasing instead of
diminishing, although for a few months very little was heard of the
Hall and Gilbert Gang. There was also some comedy mingled with the
prevailing tragedy. For instance, a blackfellow met Alexander Sinclair,
near Killoshiel, and enquired how far it was to Bathurst? Sinclair
told him, and was immediately ordered to "get off that horse." The
rider hesitated, but the darkey pushed him off the saddle, sprang
into it himself, and galloped away threatening to shoot Sinclair if
he followed, although it is very doubtful whether he had any arms on
him. The same blackfellow took possession of another horse in a similar
manner a few hours later some miles along the road. He rode both horses
until they knocked up, and then abandoned them. They were afterwards
found feeding in the bush with their saddles and bridles still on. It
was supposed that the blackfellow was just pining for a gallop and
adopted this means of gratifying himself. He was not traced.

Sergeant Donohoe captured William Dunne after an exciting chase through
the ranges, and as the sergeant did not know his way back to the high
road, he compelled his prisoner to lie down and waited patiently until
some other policemen went out in search of him. Neither the sergeant
nor his prisoner had any food for forty-eight hours. The police also
captured George Bermingham. This man was a printer, born in Sydney, and
was twenty-one years of age. When taken he was full of braggadocio,
boasted loudly of the number of people he had stuck up, and talked
familiarly of Vane and Johnny Gilbert. He laughed at the idea of Ben
Hall having been shot as had been rumoured, and said, "Wait till he's
spent the five hundred quid he got from Keightley, and you'll soon hear
of him again." Sergeant Donohoe said he had followed Dunne because he
recognised the magnificent chestnut horse he was riding as one ridden
by the robbers of the Cooma mail. Dunne and Bermingham were sent to
gaol for ten years for having been concerned in this robbery.

In the last week of November, Hall and Gilbert stuck up the Burrowa
mail. Hall expressed his disgust at the number of cheques found in
the letters, and requested some of the passengers to cash them. As no
one volunteered to oblige him he continued--"If I thought it would
injure them (the people who posted cheques presumably) I'd burn the----
lot." The two bushrangers sat down to open the letters, leaving the
passengers perfectly free. Gilbert took up one letter which had a black
border and laid it aside unopened, with the remark "We must respect
death." In one of the letters a piece of wedding cake was found, and
Gilbert proposed that they should eat it, but Hall objected, saying
"It may be a trap." This caution was common to all the bushrangers.
They were in constant dread of being poisoned, and were therefore very
cautious as to what they ate or drank. One of the passengers, Mr.
Robert Handley, described the two bushrangers as being well-dressed,
healthy looking, and very civil.

The following morning Hall and Gilbert went to Coffey's Inn, near
Burrowa, and ordered breakfast. When they had finished their meal they
walked out on to the road and stopped every one who passed, compelling
them to go into the bar after handing over their money. Mr. Campbell,
however, refused to stand when challenged. He struck spurs to his horse
and galloped away. Hall fired at him and then rushed to the verandah
and mounted his horse. He galloped only a short distance and then
returned, Campbell having too good a start. The bushrangers "shouted"
for their prisoners in the bar several times "for the good of the
house," and paid for what they ordered. It was said that they spent
nearly as much as they had obtained from the persons robbed.

On December 16th Mr. Henry Morgan, one of the proprietors of the
_Burrangong Star_, was driving, with his newly-married wife, between
Bowning and Binalong, when he was ordered to bail up by Hall and
Gilbert. Gilbert was in high spirits. He exchanged hats with Morgan,
and put his poncho on Mrs. Morgan, declaring that she would make "a
first-rate bushranger." The newspaper man and his wife were taken into
the bush, and detained from eight a.m. till six p.m. During this time
Mr. George Franklin and his wife and four bullock drays were stuck
up. One of the bullock-drivers named Sheedy had four bottles of gin
on his dray, and these were opened and the liquor served round. The
robbers asked Mrs. Franklin to cook breakfast "for the crowd," taking
the necessary provisions from the loading on the drays. During the
afternoon a number of other persons were brought into "the camp."
All except one man were allowed to move about freely. This one man
was tied, and was spoken to very roughly and uncivilly. The man was
supposed to be "a telegram," and this show of harshness "a stall." At
six o'clock the camp was broken up, and the prisoners permitted to
resume their journeys.

This performance was repeated the next and the two following days, near
the same spot, and although the individual losses were generally small,
the aggregate amount of money collected must have been considerable.
Only in one instance was any violence used. A bullock-driver named Lake
refused to turn out his pockets. Gilbert pressed the muzzle of his
revolver against Lake's face and said: "If you don't do what you're
told I'll shove this down your---- mouth." Hall felt Lake's pockets
and took out £5 in notes and some silver. At night, when released,
Lake asked for some of his money back to pay expenses along the road.
Gilbert replied: "If you're a---- carrier your name's good for what you
want. If you hadn't been so ---- jolly you'd have got something. We
always divide with them that behave themselves."

In the week ending December 23rd, the Molong, the Cooma, the Tuena,
and the Hartley mails were stuck up and robbed, proving that either
the gang was divided or that more than one party was at work in the

A party including Messrs. Sheedy, Bass, Hutchinson, and other residents
of the district, with several ladies, when returning home from one of
the numerous race parties held during the Christmas holidays, were
ordered to "bail up." A lad was leading the racer Black Diamond, owned
by Mr. Sheedy, and let him go. Ben Hall was furious. He galloped after
the racer, swearing, and tried to head him, but failed. He came back
and threatened the boy and Mr. Sheedy, but soon grew cool. The ladies
were treated very civilly, but the robbers took watches and other
valuables and all the money they could find from the gentlemen. Black
Diamond was found safe in his stable when Mr. Sheedy reached home.


  A Heavy Sessions at Goulburn; Ben Hall Hard Pushed; An Amateur Mail
  Robber; Discovery of Frank Gardiner; His Trial and Sentence; The Old
  Man; A Brush with the Police; The Chinkies show Fight; Messrs. Hall
  & Co. Take a Lease of the Main Southern Road; Capture of Mount and
  Dunleavy; Johnny Dunn; A Desperate Duel and Death of Sergeant Parry;
  A Country Ball and its Sequel.

Bushranging by no means died out with the close of 1863. During the
holidays the activity of the robbers continued, and the disease spread
to other districts. It will, however, perhaps be better to continue the
history of this gang, and return later on to the actions of other gangs
elsewhere. On February 7th, 1864, Inspector Brennan and Constables
Lovett and Roche went to a sly-grog shanty, as the places where strong
drinks were sold without a licence were called, and captured George
Lynam and Michael Seary. The horses of the two bushrangers were so
exhausted with hard riding that although they mounted and rode away
when the police came, they were soon caught, in spite of their long
start. They were charged and convicted of having robbed a number
of persons at William Sidwell's, Governor's Arms Hotel, Towrang,
two miles from Goulburn, in company with James Crookwell and Daniel
Matthews. Lynam also, in company with John Southgate, stuck up and
robbed Thomas Cummins, Robert Sherwood, and others at Mr. Cornelius
O'Brien's Station, near Binalong. They also stuck up Mr. Dwyer's place
at Pudman's Creek, and after having made a bundle of all that was worth
taking away, compelled Mrs. Ann Dwyer to cook thirty-four eggs and a
quantity of bacon for them. They tied Dwyer, struck Mrs. Dwyer, and
threatened to burn the place down unless they were told where the
money was hidden. Jane Dwyer, daughter of Ann Dwyer, said that when
they went in to search the bedroom, Lynam exclaimed, pointing to the
crucifix, "There's Jesus Christ. He ought to be burned, and I've a
good mind to do it." They smashed the furniture and broke open boxes
and cupboards in their search for money. Lynam was sent to gaol for
fifteen years, while Seary, Matthews, Crookwell, and Southgate were
sentenced to ten years each for some offences, and to fifteen years for
others, but as the sentences were all made concurrent all the prisoners
were practically sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment. At the same
sessions Charles Jones, alias William Herbert, and Frank Stanley, alias
Wright, were sentenced to twelve years for various acts of highway
robbery. Some of these young men were said to have assisted in some of
the robberies effected by the Hall and Gilbert gang, and were suspected
of being on their way to join that gang. James Hill and James Jones
went to William Duguid's house at Mils, Twofold Bay, on March 13th, and
stuck up all hands. It was early in the morning when they arrived, and
they sent everybody about the place into the kitchen and then searched
the house. Jones remained on guard while Hill went with the stockman
to fetch up the horses. Mr. Duguid warned Jones that he expected the
police and advised him to go before they came to avoid bloodshed. Jones
laughed, and ostentatiously loaded the double-barrelled gun which he
had just taken from Duguid's bedroom. Hill returned with the horses,
and while the bushrangers were selecting the ones they liked the police
arrived. Sub-Inspector John Garder Hussey challenged the bushrangers
and called on them to surrender. For a minute or two the shooting was
very brisk, but it did not last long. Jones and Hussey fell wounded
almost simultaneously, and Hill ran away. He was followed by Constable
Zollner and captured, while Sergeant Chandler secured Jones. The wounds
were not very serious, but the bushrangers were sent to gaol for
fifteen years. Ah Ling and ten other Chinese were living together in
a hut on the Abercrombie Goldfield. On May 2nd John Taylor and Thomas
Webb drove the Chinamen into the kitchen and called them up one by one
to be robbed. The first victim was Ah Wee. When asked for his gold he
replied "No savee." He afterwards said he had none. Webb got a rope,
tied it round the Chinaman's neck, and hauled him up to a sapling beam
which ran across the building. After hanging for several minutes Ah
Wee was let down and asked whether he "saveed now?" He handed out his
gold and explained at the trial that it made him "welly sick." Ah Yong,
Ah See, and two or three others were served in the same way, and the
others gave up their gold without further compulsion. The prisoners
were sent to gaol for two years. The session was a remarkably heavy
one, and the majority of the cases tried were for robbery under arms.

While the police had been very successful in bringing a number of
outsiders to justice, the better known members of the gang continued to
keep the district alive. The _Yass Courier_ reported that nearly every
one in the district had turned out to hunt Ben Hall, who was reported
to have paid them a visit. The bushranger had been so hard pressed
that he was forced to abandon Willy the Weasel, owned by Mr. Garry.
The horse was completely knocked up, otherwise the bushranger would
not have let him go, as he was a favourite. The stock riders of the
district had expressed great contempt for the police, their opinions
being summed up as follows: "They can't catch him. They don't know how
to ride down a hill." Many of the "hills" in the district would be
elsewhere considered almost as precipices.

The _Young_ (Burrangong) _Daily Tribune_ the same week reported that
a day or two ago Ben Hall walked alone into the stables at Groggan
station, Bland Plains, said "Good morning, boys," and then proceeded
coolly to tie up the three men and a boy. Having secured these to
his entire satisfaction, he walked to the house and asked to see
Mr. Chisholm. On that gentleman coming to the door Hall said, "Good
morning, Mr. Chisholm. I've come for Troubadour." "You've left him
so long you might do without him now," returned Mr. Chisholm. "Oh,"
exclaimed Hall, "you're getting too---- flash. If you consort with
traps you'll have to be taught manners." They walked to the stables,
where Hall put saddles and bridles on Troubadour and Union Jack. The
last-named had won the Champion Plate at the Wagga Wagga races on
New Year's Day, and had only been brought home under police escort a
day or two before. Hall also selected two other horses, which he said
he "liked the look of," and put bridles on them. He then made Mr.
Chisholm fill two three-bushel bags with clothing from the store, and
these he packed on the spare horses. Then he mounted Troubadour, and
leading the others started away. He had scarcely moved, however, before
he pulled up again, and said to Mr. Chisholm, "That's a good looking
watch of yours. I want it. Hand it over." Mr. Chisholm did so, and
the bushranger then rode off. It may be explained that the reason why
no opposition was attempted was because it was believed that Hall had
plenty of support if he had required it. He never walked unless he was
compelled, and it was thought that his mates with the horses were not
far off. It was also suggested that Hall had a bad mount after he lost
Willy the Weasel and that he did not wish to let Mr. Chisholm see him
riding an inferior horse.

The mail coach from Wagga Wagga having failed to arrive at Cootamundra
at the usual time, on May 12th, the contractor, Mr. Burke, supposed
that it had been stuck up somewhere along the road and rode out to
make enquiries. At about three miles from Cootamundra he found a
number of letters lying scattered about the road. He gathered them up
and continued his search. At length he found the mail-man drunk in a
public-house near Murrumburrah. The fellow had robbed the mail himself,
no doubt with the intention of laying the blame on the bushrangers. He
was convicted and sentenced to seven years' penal servitude.

The mail was stuck up at Mumble Flat, between Orange and Wellington, on
March 1st. A portion of the loading consisted of carbines and revolvers
for the police, "all of which," said the _Orange Guardian_, "were borne
off to be used against them."

The Bathurst-Sydney coach was stuck up at Lapstone Hill by three armed
men. The passengers were Michael Duffy, Constable McKay, in charge of
a female lunatic, and three Chinamen. After having collected the money
from the passengers and searched the letters, the robbers extinguished
the coach lamps, took the horses out, and drove them up the hill.
The driver waited for half an hour, as he had been ordered to do, and
then started to catch his horses. This he managed to do with some
difficulty, and on his return he drove on to Penrith. From thence the
passengers and the broken mail-bags were taken to Sydney by train.
John Forster was arrested in a house at Strawberry Hills, Sydney, and
charged with having, with others, stuck up and robbed the mail coach
between Penrith and Hartley at two a.m. Ah Lung, one of the passengers
on the coach, recognised a sash which the prisoner wore round his waist
as his property, and said he carried his money in it. Forster was sent
to gaol for ten years.

About this time great excitement was caused throughout New South Wales
by the report that Frank Gardiner had been discovered and arrested
by Detective McGlone on March 3rd, at Apis Creek, on the road from
Rockhampton to the Peak Downs diggings, Queensland. Gardiner was
keeping a shanty, or roadside store, with Mrs. Brown, who passed as
his wife. Gardiner was brought to Sydney and duly committed for trial.
In connection with this case Mr. (afterwards Sir) E. Deas Thompson
laid a return on the table of the Legislative Assembly showing that
the amount stolen by Gardiner previous to his disappearance was about
£21,000. Of this total, £13,694 had been stolen in the robbery of the
Lachlan Escort, and £5335 had been recovered by the police under Sir
Frederick Pottinger. No murders were charged against Gardiner, but he
was convicted on three counts for highway robbery. On each of these
counts he was sentenced, on the first to twelve years and on the other
two to ten years each. The first three years in irons in each case. The
sentences were made cumulative, and aggregated thirty-two years. It
will be remembered that Captain Melville, the bushranger, was sentenced
to a similar term of imprisonment in Victoria about twelve years
before, and there were many people in New South Wales who thought that
Gardiner had been too harshly dealt with. Such a sentence, they said,
deprived a man of all hope, and rendered him desperate, and they would
not be surprised if Gardiner rebelled against it as Melville had done.
Those who held this view were, however, in the minority. The majority
said bushranging must be stamped out at any cost, and until this was
effected the sentences could not be too severe.

On the 20th of May Ben Hall, Gilbert, and a new recruit known as "the
Old Man," rode up to McGregor's Inn at Bong Bong, where a number of
men were on the verandah. The bushrangers ordered these men to "throw
your arms up," enforcing the order with revolvers. There were some
twenty visitors on the verandah and in the bar, and these were ranged
along the wall in the dining room, with Hall on guard. Gilbert and
"the Old Man" walked down the yard to the stables, where several
racehorses were in the stalls under the charge of Constables Scott
and Macnamara, who were escorting them to Burrangong for the races on
Queen's birthday. Gilbert called to the constables to "leave those
horses." The constables drew their revolvers, and fired by way of
reply. The bushrangers fired, and Hall left the dining-room to take
part in the scrimmage. For some minutes the shooting was very brisk,
but no one appeared to be hurt. The police were on foot and under cover
of the stables, but the bushrangers were mounted and in the open yard.
Suddenly the firing ceased as if by mutual consent, and Gilbert shouted
that they would be back presently. The bushrangers then rode away. As
Hall went out of the gate his cabbage tree hat fell off, and a cry was
raised that he had been hit. He rode off, however, without showing
any symptoms of injury. Believing that the bushrangers had gone for
reinforcements the two constables barricaded the stables, and sent a
messenger to the nearest police depôt for assistance. About midnight
Sir Frederick Pottinger arrived with four troopers, but the bushrangers
did not return.

On the following afternoon the mail coach was stuck up at Emu Flat,
between Burrangong and Yass. A passenger named Michael Curran saved his
gold watch and chain by dropping them among the straw in the bottom of
the coach, but a valuable gold ring and £21 in notes were taken from
him. Ben Hall also exchanged an old poncho for a valuable rug, and an
old clay pipe for a very fine meerschaum. Some distance away Mr. Barnes
met the coach, and the driver, J. Roberts, who knew him, warned Barnes
that the bushrangers were on the road. Barnes laughed and went on.
He was stopped and robbed, and as he did not hand out his money very
readily when ordered to do so, he was very roughly treated and was
threatened with death. Several teams were also robbed. The bushrangers
were riding the racers Teddington, Harkaway, and Troubadour.

During this "reign of terror," the Press, especially of the country
districts, continued to urge the necessity for suppressing the "bush
telegraphs" and other sympathisers of the bushrangers, and said that
while so many who aided them either by giving them information of the
movements of the police or providing them with hiding places when they
were hard pressed were at large the police had little chance of making
headway against the evil doers. The _Yass Courier_, for instance,
spoke of "the wealthy relations--of the bushrangers--with whom the
police are afraid to interfere, but whose places never have and never
will be stuck up." The paper "perforce refrains from publishing the
names of these people on account of the state of the libel law," but
it charges them with "comforting and assisting the bushrangers." It
seems difficult to understand what the police were expected to do, or
to see what action could be taken against a settler because his place
was not raided, and who had some more or less distant relative "on the
roads." But this serves to show how closely the Press enquired into the
antecedents and relationships of the bushrangers.

A man, believed to be Johnny Gilbert, accompanied by a lad named
Ryan, stopped to dinner at the Korowatha Inn. They talked freely of
bushranging, and laughed at the report that Hall had been hit at
McGregor's, as the newspapers had reported. They affirmed that "the
traps could not fire straight enough to hit a haystack."

On the 22nd of June, the _Bathurst Times_ said: "After an immunity
from bushranging crimes in this district for some months, the gang has
appeared once more and commenced operations. On the 18th, the mail
coach for Orange and the Lachlan started an hour late from this town
in consequence of the heavy mail. There were on board James Nairne and
seven passengers. About eighteen miles out, near the turn-off road to
Guyong, three men jumped out of the bush and ordered the mail-man to
'bail up.' The coach was taken off the road, where the passengers were
robbed and the letters torn open. The driver and passengers were then
told that they would be detained until the down mail came. While they
were waiting, a little boy was stopped and one pound of tea and 1s.
6d. in money were taken from him. The boy's father, a farmer living
near, came out to look for his son, and was run in among the crowd.
After some dispute the tea and the 1s. 6d. were given back, but the
father and son were compelled to remain until the other coach came by.
The down mail, driven by John Fagan, arrived about midnight and was
stopped. Fagan was asked what made him so late, and replied that the
roads were bad with the rains. The letters were opened, except those
in the registered bag, which the robbers missed. About two a.m. the
robbers told their prisoners that they might go, and walked away." It
was said that this was not the Gilbert and Hall gang, as the robbers
had no horses. The police started in pursuit from Bathurst and Orange
as soon as news of the robbery reached these towns.

Ben Hall and his gang stuck up and robbed Pearce and Hillier's store at
Canowindra, and held the town for the day as on a previous occasion.
The following afternoon, June 23rd, they called at Mr. Rothsay's
station, took four horses from the stables, and set fire to a stack
containing about 14 tons of hay as a "caution to traitors."

Ben Hall, Johnny Gilbert, John Dunleavy, and James Mount (hitherto
known as "the Old Man") stuck up the Carcour and Cowra coaches. They
then rode on to the Half-Way House Hotel and compelled the landlord to
hand over £76. They held the road for several hours, robbing all who
passed, and bringing them to the hotel, where they "shouted for all
hands" several times. This time the bushrangers drank port wine. They
took several well-bred horses from the stables. One of these got loose
and galloped along the road. He was followed by Dunleavy, who failed to
head him. The horse was caught next day and sent to Bathurst for safety.

Two armed men endeavoured to stick up the Chinese Camp at Gilmandyke
Creek, near Rockley. The Chinese fought bravely, returning the
bushrangers' fire in a spirited manner with shot guns. A bushranger
named Clayton was wounded and captured, when the other man rode away.
The Chinese were highly commended for their pluck, and several of the
newspapers said that they had set a good example for white men to

Hall and Mount went to Mr. Jamieson's station on the Bland River, and
informed the proprietor that they intended to stop for the night. They
called the men up, asked their names and how much money each one had.
Having obtained this information they announced that they did not
intend to take anything from any one. Possibly this decision may have
been due to the fact that the total amount acknowledged to be in the
possession of those present was small. Whether this was so or not,
however, matters little. They ordered supper to be served, and made all
present sit down to the table in the dining-room. When the meal was
over and the table cleared, Mr. Jamieson was asked to bring out some
rum from the store. A pint pot, filled with hot water with plenty of
salt in it, was placed on the table, and Hall announced that if any
one present refused to sing or to contribute in some other way to the
general amusement, he would be compelled to swallow the contents of
this pannikin. Then they made a night of it. In the morning half the
men were lying on the ground in a drunken sleep, but the bushrangers
were quite sober, having drunk very little. They spent half-an-hour
in the stable cleaning their horses, had breakfast, and rode away,
declaring that they had enjoyed themselves immensely, and thanking Mr.
Jamieson for the entertainment he had afforded them.

They called at the next station and took the racehorse "Plover" out of
the stable. Mount ordered the stockman to fetch the horses out of the
paddock, as he wanted to select one or two of the best stock-horses.
While they were talking, the stockman moved round from Mount's right
hand side to the left. The bushranger immediately shifted his revolver
from the right hand to the left, remarking quietly: "I can shoot just
as straight left-handed as right." Hall said he had enjoyed many a good
laugh at the newspaper yarns about himself. He added that Brown's men
were "jolly good fellows." In the evening they stuck up the Gundagai
mail near Jugiong. When opening the letters Hall found a bulky roll of
bank notes. "Ah!" he said, "This is what I like." He took a number
of newspapers away with him, "just to see what they say about me."
From thence they rode straight to the Chinese camp at Wombat, "to give
the Chinkies a lesson." The Chinese were very slow in producing their
gold, and the bushrangers fired in among them, killing one and wounding
another. The next day, Sunday, they stuck up a number of Chinamen
on the road and took their gold, but did not ill-treat them. In the
afternoon they went to Mr. McCarthy's store in Jugiong and compelled
him to open the door. They selected a quantity of clothing and drapery,
which they placed on a spare pack horse they had with them. In the
evening they stuck up the Gundagai mail within a mile of the place
where they had stuck it up a few days before. Hall took out a roll of
half notes from one packet. "This is a green trick, this is," he said,
holding them up. "It's little trouble to us to match half notes." This
series of outrages, following so closely one on the other, naturally
stirred the police up to increased activity, and the bushrangers were
so closely followed that a brush took place between them and the police
in the last week of October. In this fight, which lasted only a very
short time, Dunleavy was severely wounded and surrendered, while Mount
was captured.

James Mount was an escaped convict, out on a ticket-of-leave. He was
forty-five years of age, but had been called "The Old Man" before his
name was known, to distinguish him from the young men and boys who
formed the body of this gang. Mount was tried and convicted of highway
robbery in Bathurst, and was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.

In commenting upon the capture of Mount and Dunleavy the _Goulburn
Herald_ announced that their loss to the gang had been to some extent
compensated for by the accession of Johnny Dunn, who was born in
Murrumburrah. Earlier in the year 1864 Dunn had won the principal prize
at the Yass race meeting with the Binalong horse, Ringleader. He was an
excellent rider, and would no doubt give the police some trouble.

"Messrs. Hall, Gilbert, and Dunn seem to have obtained a lease of
the Main Southern road," said the _Yass Courier_ of November 19th.
They robbed the up and down mails from Gundagai two consecutive
weeks. On the last of these four robberies the coach was bailed up
at Deep Creek, near Jugiong, at about four p.m. Messrs. Bradley and
Sheahan, passengers, had alighted to walk up the steep hill, and were
some hundred yards or so ahead of the coach, when three men suddenly
appeared from behind the scrub and ordered them to "bail up." "All
right," replied Mr. Sheahan, holding his hands above his head. Hall
said, "That'll do. We've got a little township of our own up there.
Come on." He pointed up the hill as he spoke. They followed him until
they came to a small, clear spot, surrounded with high trees and scrub.
Here they saw twelve bullock drays and a number of men. Several horses
were hitched to the trees round the clearing, and the men who owned
them, as well as the bullock-drivers and some footmen, were seated on
the ground. When asked for his money Sheahan replied, "Got none. Search
if you like." "Oh, you're not a bad sort," said Hall, "we'll take your
word for it." Bradley took out a cheque for £1, saying, "That's all
I've got. I brought it to pay my way on the trip." Hall put his hand
into Bradley's pocket, and finding nothing there told him to keep the
cheque. A cask of port wine, which was found on one of the bullock
drays, was tapped, and the wine was handed round to all present in a
quart pot in which tea had been made, as was evident by its colour.
When the letters had been searched, the bushrangers told the company
that they might go.

Expecting that the return mail would be robbed again next day Mr.
Ross, police magistrate, and Constable Roche in private clothes went
as passengers, while Inspector O'Neil and Sergeant Edmund Parry rode
beside the coach on horseback. At Black Springs, near Jugiong, the
bushrangers appeared as had been anticipated, and on emerging from
the bush one of them shouted out, "Hullo, here's the bobbies." Hall
said, "There's only two. Rush the----." The three bushrangers then
rode forward shouting "Come on, you----, fight like men." Sergeant
Parry rode forward and encountered Gilbert, and a desperate duel on
horseback with revolvers took place until Parry fell. In the meantime
Inspector O'Neil had kept under cover of the coach and managed to keep
the other two bushrangers at bay until Parry fell, when he surrendered.
Mr. Ross fired several shots, but what became of Constable Roche is
not known. He was not captured or wounded. He simply disappeared in
the scrub. When all was quiet Gilbert dismounted, turned over Parry's
body, and remarked coolly "He got it in the cobbera. It's all over with
him. Well, I'm sorry for it. He's the bravest trap I've met yet." The
coach was taken off the road to where several bullock teams, two horse
carts with their Chinese owners, a buggy with Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, and
several footmen and horsemen--among whom was Constable McLaughlin, who
had fired away his ammunition before he surrendered--were collected
together. The robbers searched the letters as usual, took all the
police horses and arms, collected the money, watches, and other
valuables from the crowd and rode away saying "We'll rob the mail
to-morrow if all the---- traps in the colony are here." Whether this
threat was mere braggadocio, or whether the bushrangers intended to
draw the police here so that they might operate in safety elsewhere,
has been frequently argued without any definite result. The police
were on the road, and the bushrangers did not put in an appearance.
That is what is known. The day following, however, the gang stuck up
the Binalong mail, and after searching the letters, burned letters and
papers to "put a stop to the---- English correspondence."

A day or two later, "Messrs. Hall & Co." took possession of the road
between the Fourteen Mile and the Fifteen Mile rushes at Burrangong
and bailed up about thirty men, women, and boys. A bridle took the
fancy of one of the gang, and he insisted on taking it and giving his
own in return. With this exception, and the taking of a quantity of
bread and butter found on the drays bailed up, nothing was stolen. The
bushrangers explained that they expected some gold buyers along the
road, and when they came the camp would be broken up. In the meantime
they wanted every one to enjoy the picnic. The women were set to work
to cut up and serve out the bread and butter. Fires were lighted and
tea made. Then races and other sports were organised for the boys. One
of the bailed-up men was a newsvendor, and the bushrangers "borrowed"
his papers and took it in turn to lie down and "read the news." At last
one of the boys contrived to sneak away unseen, and as soon as his
escape was discovered the camp was broken up and the robbers rode away.

On December 19th, the Hon. William Macleay, M.L.C., was driving in a
buggy from Towrang to Shelly's Flat, when he noticed a large crowd
a little way ahead. He sent his coachman on with the buggy and got
down to make enquiries. As he drew near he saw that a number of
people were standing round two bullock drays, while one or two men
were breaking open the boxes on the drays. Mr. Macleay asked a man
what was the matter, and the man motioned to him to keep quiet. Mr.
Macleay conjectured that it was the bushrangers robbing the drays,
and withdrew as quietly as he had joined the crowd. He walked on to
Plum's Inn, where he found a wedding party enjoying themselves. He told
the landlord what he had seen and his suspicions, and advised those
present to take precautions to avoid being robbed. Some time later
the bushrangers came up, and seeing a number of men on the verandah
with guns and revolvers in their hands, fired. Mr. Macleay immediately
returned the fire. The bushrangers drew together some distance away,
and held a consultation. They apparently decided that the risk was
too great, as they went off along the road. For beating off the
bushrangers, and proving that a show of resistance might prevent
robberies, Mr. Macleay was awarded a gold medal by the New South Wales
Government. As a _per contra_, the fact that the bushrangers robbed the
drays openly in the main road in this instance, instead of taking them
into the bush, was cited as evidence that they were growing bolder and
more careless of the police.

Hall, Gilbert, and Dunn rode up to a store at Binda, owned by an
ex-policeman named Morris, on December 21st, and took about £100
from his cashbox. They informed Morris that a ball was being held
at the Flag Hotel, and insisted on himself and Mrs. Morris dressing
themselves, and accompanying the bushrangers to the ball. Morris at
first objected, but finally gave way. When they reached the Flag Hotel
the bushrangers mixed freely with the crowd, dancing and otherwise
enjoying themselves. Presently some "bush telegraph" informed the
bushrangers that Morris had been sounding several of the men present
as to the probability of effecting a capture. Gilbert and Dunn drew
their revolvers and started to look for Morris, who, having been
informed of what had transpired, jumped through an open window, and
ran towards where the bushrangers' horses were tied to trees. His
intention was to take one and ride for the police. The bushrangers,
however, caught sight of him and divining his intention ran and fired
at Morris. This compelled him to turn aside and take refuge behind a
tree. The bushrangers made no attempt to follow him. They removed their
horses to a safer place, then walked to the store, piled a quantity of
brushwood on the verandah, and set fire to it. Then they mounted their
horses, and sat and watched the blaze until the house was well alight,
when they rode off. There were more than a hundred persons at the
ball, but no attempt was made to prevent the bushrangers from burning
down the store. In connection with this "act of vengeance" Christina
McKinnon and Ellen and Margaret Monks were arrested and charged with
having aided and abetted in burning down Morris's store. The girls had
been dancing with the bushrangers, and had accompanied them when they
went to the store. The police said that they were well known as "bush
telegraphs," and cited instances in which it was supposed that they had
given notice to the bushrangers of the approach of the police. Margaret
Monks was discharged, but the other two were sent to gaol, the evidence
showing that they had assisted the bushrangers in piling wood on the
verandah of the store.

Mr. D. Davis, auctioneer, of Yass, had been conducting a sale at
Murrumburrah, and was returning home on December 30th when he was stuck
up. He had on him £109 1s. 5d., the proceeds of the sale, principally
in cheques. When these were handed out Ben Hall was in a furious rage,
and threatened to burn them. Gilbert proposed that he should gallop on
and "change them before they're stopped." There was £1 5s. 6d. in cash,
and of this they kept £1, returning the silver. They then rode rapidly
away. Nothing more was heard of the cheques, the only thing known of
them being that they were never cashed.


  Meeting the Gold Escort; Murder of Constable Nelson; A Brush with
  the Police; Attempt to Stick Up the Araluen Gold Escort; Death of
  Constable Kelly and Pluck of Constable Burns; Sir Frederick Pottinger
  Resigns; Death of Ben Hall; Sketch of his Life; Death of Johnny
  Gilbert; Record of John Dunn and the Gang; Capture and Trial of
  Johnny Dunn; His Execution; Fate of the Chief Members of the Gardiner

Like many other young men I spent a few years on the diggings in hopes
of making "my pile," and early in 1865 I, in company with two mates,
left the King's Plains, where we had just finished working out a hole,
and started for Apple Tree Flat, near Mudgee, where a rush had recently
taken place. We were well mounted, and had a packhorse which "belonged
to the firm." One of my mates was a keen sportsman, and his horse had
won several prizes at those country meetings known as "Publican's
Races," from the fact that they were organised by a publican and
held near his house for obvious business reasons. We were travelling
steadily along the road leading from Blaney to Bathurst, near Back
Creek, when we saw the Government Gold Escort in the distance. The
police authorities of New South Wales had learned a lesson from the
Great Escort Robbery of 1862, and no longer mounted all the police on
the coach or drag in which the gold was conveyed to Sydney. At the
place we had arrived at the road, a chain and a half wide (99 feet),
had been cleared through a stretch of heavy forest timber. It ran as
straight as possible as far as the eye could reach, and was bordered on
either side by a dense growth of timber and scrub rising to a height
of from 200 to 300 feet like a wall of greenery. In the centre of the
roadway was a metalled or gravelled road about fifteen feet wide. The
remainder on either side was graded to near the timber line, where
a small cutting to carry off surface water was made. We rode on the
soft grassy side slopes and left the metalled or gravelled road for
vehicles. It was in the centre of this gorge in the forest that we
first sighted the escort. First rode a single trooper; at fifty yards
distance came two more; then, at about the same distance, came the
escort cart, drawn by four horses, the driver and another policeman
sitting on the front seat, while a third trooper sat behind. A mounted
trooper also rode one on each side of the cart. Fifty yards further
back were two more troopers, while the rear was brought up by another
single trooper. The troopers had their carbines ready in their hands,
the butts resting on their thighs. When the leading trooper came within
hail of us, he cried "Halt," and raised his rifle. We halted. The
two troopers behind him came forward at a rapid pace until they were
near enough to support him, if necessary. The cart stopped, and the
other troopers gathered round it ready to defend it. The sergeant in
charge inquired what our names were, where we were going, and what was
our business. We told him. He said our horses were superior to those
usually ridden by diggers. We replied that we didn't care about riding
old screws. He asked whether the two guns we carried were loaded. We
informed him that one was loaded with shot in case we came across a
duck or a pigeon. He told us to sit up straight and follow him. Then he
motioned to the two troopers just behind him. He led the way while the
troopers followed behind us. We all kept to the side of the road; the
cart having been drawn up on the other side. The other troopers sat on
their horses, carbine in hand, as we passed. It was a most impressive
show of force out there in the bush. The sergeant and two troopers
conducted us for about a hundred yards past the cart and then pulled
up. The sergeant said it was difficult to tell what men were by their
appearance. He advised us to be very careful, and asked if we had any
gold or money with us. We told him that we had been at Lambing Flat,
and knew what the state of the country was. We did not feel disposed to
carry gold or very much money with us while there were banks in every
town. He said we were right and wished us good day after telling us
to ride straight on and not attempt to turn back. We laughed and said
we were travelling in the opposite direction and had no desire to turn
back. In talking the matter over in our camp that night we decided that
great as the improvement in the escort service had been it would not
be impossible to rob the escort again. If, for instance, we had been
part of a gang of bushrangers, sent to draw the attention of the police
to us, while another portion of the gang had been hidden in the scrub,
opposite where the cart stood, the troopers might have been shot down
almost without a chance of defending themselves. However, the escort
protection seems to have been sufficient, as it was not robbed again,
although one or two attempts were made in other districts.

During the first week or two of 1865 very little was heard of Messrs.
Hall & Co., but on January 26th the three principal members of the
firm (Hall, Gilbert, and Dunn), stuck up Mr. Kimberley's store in Main
Street, Collector. Dunn was stationed on guard on the verandah while
Hall and Gilbert went inside to select such articles as they required
or fancied. Constable Nelson, the only policeman stationed in the
little town, was at the lock-up, and on being informed of what was
going on he loaded his carbine and walked down the street towards the
store. Dunn saw him coming and withdrew out of sight behind the fence
at the corner of the verandah, and when the constable was only a few
yards distant the robber fired at him. The constable fell, and Dunn,
coming out of his hiding-place, walked to where he was lying, put his
revolver close to the constable's head, and fired again. Hearing the
shots, Hall and Gilbert came out, and on seeing what had been done,
held a whispered consultation, and then mounted their horses and rode
away. They went straight to Alfred Cramp's farm at Binda, and ordered
dinner. While they were still at table a party of police galloped
up, dismounted, and rushed into the front door of the house as the
bushrangers went out of the back door. A few shots were fired, but the
bushrangers mounted and escaped, owing to the superiority of their
horses. The news of Constable Nelson's death had been conveyed to
the police at once, and they had followed close on the tracks of the

In February a number of persons were stuck up near Illalong, on the
road between Yass and Burrangong. The robbers were said to have no
connection with the firm of Hall & Co., as they robbed their victims
of their coats and vests. The Hall gang never did this. If they saw a
man with a coat or vest, or any other article of clothing to which they
took a fancy, they would exchange with him, but they only stole clothes
from the stores. However, while the police were out in search of these
plebeian bushrangers, they happened to come across Hall and Gilbert
at Lodge's Inn, Breadalbane Plains, and captured their horses. It was
supposed that the two robbers had been sleeping in the barn. They
rushed out when the police came, and went across a cleared paddock,
both parties firing their revolvers. Constable Wiles was wounded, and
Ben Hall was supposed to have been wounded, as he fell. He was up again
in a moment, however, and succeeded in reaching the timber, the ground
being too rough and heavily-timbered for the police horses to make
their way through it.

A daring attempt was made by Hall and three others to stick up the
Araluen escort on March 16th. The bushrangers fired from behind trees
as the escort cart was going up Major's Creek Mount, at the same place
where a similar attempt had been made about two and a half years
previously. Constable Kelly fell wounded, and died a few days later.
Constable Burns, who was driving, jumped off the cart, put a stone
behind the wheel, and then fired, shouting "Come on." Mr. Blatchford,
J.P., who had been riding beside the driver, remained on his seat until
a voice from behind the trees cried out, "Shoot the---- on the cart."
He then jumped down quickly, but was wounded in the leg. He fell, but
got up again immediately and ran down the hill to Noonan's Hotel for
assistance. Constable Stapleton and his companion forced their horses
up the steep cutting which bordered the road, and disappeared among the
trees. Burns, thus left alone with the cart, sheltered himself behind
it as well as he could, and kept blazing away coolly from his cover.
Suddenly, Constable Stapleton and his companion attacked the robbers in
the rear. Gilbert turned sharply, and said, "You're a---- good shot,
take that," and shot the constable's horse. The two policemen, however,
kept up the firing, and the bushrangers mounted their horses and rode
away. Mr. Blatchford presented Constable Burns with a cheque for £50,
as a reward for the pluck he had shown in defending his charge.

It was at about this time that Sir Frederick Pottinger, who was in
command of the police in this district, was charged with having
neglected his duty. Sir Frederick had ridden in a gentleman's race on
the Wowingragong course. It was rumoured that the bushrangers, for whom
he was supposed to be looking, had been on the course too, and had
not been recognised. Sir Frederick was called to Sydney to attend an
inquiry, and resigned his position in the force. About a month later he
died from the effects of a wound from a pistol, accidentally fired by

The gang yarded a mob of horses at a station near Murrumburrah and
picked out several of the finest horses, which they took away, leaving
their own knocked-up horses in their place. They rode to Wombat,
where they stuck up a mob of Chinamen, one of whom was shot to make
the others "shell out" their gold more quickly. Then the bushrangers
travelled to Forbes, and on the following day robbed Mr. Jones's store
of £81 in cash and a quantity of clothing and drapery. Information was
given to the police in the town as soon as the robbers left the store,
and a party of police with two black trackers followed them. On the
following evening, May 5th, they came on two hobbled horses feeding
near the Billabong Creek. These were recognised as horses which had
been ridden by the bushrangers, and the police watched them carefully
without allowing themselves to be seen. This was not difficult, as
there were thick patches of scrub about the flat. Half-an-hour later a
man came out of one of these patches of scrub, unhobbled the horses,
and led them away for about two hundred yards to where there was better
grass. It was at that time too dark to distinguish him. He rehobbled
the horses and retired into the scrub once more. The police drew up
closer to this patch with great caution and watched till morning. At
daybreak the man appeared again and looked round to ascertain whether
the horses were in sight, and Inspector Davidson immediately recognised
him as Ben Hall and called on him to stand. Hall turned to go back
into the patch of scrub, and the inspector fired at him. Sergeant
Condell and the four policemen also fired, and Hall stopped and leaned
on a sapling for support. Then Constable Hopkiss took steady aim and
fired again, and Hall let his revolver fall from his hand. The police
went forward and Hall said "I'm hit. Shoot me dead." He relaxed his
hold on the sapling, staggered forward and fell. The police rushed up,
but he died before any attempt could be made to staunch the blood. On
the body being examined one rifle and six revolver bullet wounds were
found, any one of which should have proved fatal. The bushrangers'
horses were soon caught, the body was strapped on one of them, and
the party returned to Forbes. The police were much surprised to find
Hall alone, but conjectured that Gilbert and Dunn had gone down the
Lachlan River to some of the great stations to procure horses, all the
racehorses about Burrangong having been pretty well exhausted. The two
captured with Hall were in very poor condition, and had evidently been
ridden hard. It was supposed that they had knocked up, and that Hall
had stayed behind while his companions sought fresh mounts. He thought
he was quite safe in the scrub, so far away from his usual haunts.

Benjamin Hall was about twenty-eight years of age. His father had come
to the Wedden Mountains district in about 1840, when little Ben was
about three years old. The elder Hall had worked for Mr. Ranken for
some years, and had always borne a good character. When Ben was old
enough he had engaged as stockman with Mr. Hamilton, of Tomanbil. He
saved money, and took up a small station for himself at the Pinnacle,
about fifteen miles from Forbes. He married a daughter of another
settler. He had no sympathy with the bushrangers when the outbreak
under Gardiner occurred, and the police frequently stopped for a
night at his house when looking for the bushrangers near his station.
His wife was of a flighty disposition, and was seduced, it was said,
by a police official, and Hall joined the gang "to meet the man who
ruined my happiness." Such was the story currently believed in the
neighbourhood, and Ben was the only one of the bushrangers for whom
the general public, apart from those who were related to or interested
in them, felt any sympathy. Before "he took to the bush," he was known
as a steady, industrious, kind-hearted young man, and numbers could
scarcely believe that it was the same Ben Hall, the noted bushranger,
of whom everybody was talking.

The death of Ben Hall no doubt had a depressing effect on the
bushrangers generally, but it by no means put an end to their
depredations. On the 11th May, a horse was stolen from Murrumburrah,
and on the following day the horses at Mr. Furlonge's station were
rounded up and a racehorse taken away, the Murrumburrah horse being
left instead of it. Information was immediately sent to the police,
and a party, with the aid of a black tracker, followed the tracks
toward Binalong. The place being near the house where Johnny Dunn's
parents lived, the police camped near and watched the little township
all night, but saw nothing to excite their suspicions. In the morning
a lad named Thomas Kelly, brother of one or two convicted bushrangers,
was asked whether any one was staying at his grandfather's house, and
replied "No." Constables Hales and King, however, walked up to old
Kelly's place, and pushed the door open. Gilbert and Dunn were in
the front room, and immediately fired at the police, who retreated.
A few minutes passed, during which the police were looking to their
revolvers, and then the two bushrangers were seen to emerge by the
back door and walk steadily down the paddock. The police followed,
and some shots were exchanged. Near the fence the bushrangers made
a stand, and there was a pause for a second or so. Then Constables
Hales and Bright fired together, and Gilbert fell. Dunn jumped over
the fence and dashed in among the trees. Some of the police followed,
but he soon disappeared. On examination it was found that a bullet had
entered Gilbert's breast and passed out below the left shoulder-blade,
having travelled through the left ventricle of the heart. He was then
about twenty-five years of age. Old Kelly was arrested and charged with
having harboured bushrangers, and was sent to gaol.

John Dunn, the last of this notorious trio, did not long survive
his two mates. His record as given in the _Yass Courier_ is very
instructive. He joined Hall and Gilbert a few days after the capture
of Mount and the wounding of Dunleavy, and on the 24th of October
robbed Mr. Chisholm on the highway near Goulburn. On the 28th he stuck
up Mr. Macansh's station. On the 28th robbed the Albury mail near
Jugiong. On November the 8th robbed Mr. Rossi's station, near Goulburn.
On the 9th robbed the Southern mail six miles from Goulburn. On the
11th robbed the Yass mail on Breadalbane Plains. On the 15th robbed
the Gundagai mail near Jugiong, and had a desperate fight with the
police, Sergeant Parry being shot by Gilbert. On the 19th robbed Mr.
Clarke's station at Bolero. On December 19th stuck up the Goulburn
mail near Towrang. On the 27th stuck up Mr. Morris's store at Binda,
forced Mr. and Mrs. Morris to go to a ball, and finally burned his
store and dwelling-house. On the 30th stuck up Mr. Davidson and others
on the Murrumburrah Plains. On January 19th, 1865, stuck up Mr. James
Christie's store. On the 25th stuck up Mr. Ross and others on the
Gap Road. On the 27th stuck up a number of carriers and the hotel at
Collector, and shot Constable Nelson. On February 6th stuck up the
Goulburn mail twelve miles from Goulburn. On the 18th stole racehorses
from Messrs. McAlister's and Bowne's. On the 23rd had a desperate fight
with the police on Breadalbane Plains, when several were wounded and
the robbers lost their horses. On March 13th stuck up the Gundaroo
mail near Geary's Gap. On the 14th attempted to rob the Araluen escort
at Major's Creek, when one policeman was mortally wounded, two others
put to flight, while the fourth beat off the bushrangers and saved the
gold. On the 22nd seen at Gardiner's old haunt near the Pinnacle. On
the 24th went to Mr. Atkin's place, near the Billabong Creek, had a
good dinner and enjoyed themselves, besides feeding the horses they
had stolen from Mr. Morton the day before. Left on the 25th, taking
clothes for winter wear and about £90 in cash from Mr. Jones's store,
Forbes. On April 1st stuck up Mr. Sutton's station at Boramble. On the
10th robbed Mr. Watt's Inn at Newra. On the 11th robbed Mr. Gallimore's
store and the White Horse Inn at Black Rock. On the 18th bailed up the
Newbiggen Inn, organised a _soirée dansante_, and compelled all hands
and the cook to take part in it. Afterwards robbed Mr. Lee's station at
Larras Lake. On the 25th robbed Mr. Cropper's station on the Lachlan.
On May 8th robbed two travellers on the Cowra Road, eighteen miles from
Marengo. On the 11th robbed Mr. Furlonge's station. On the 14th four
policemen attacked the bushrangers near Binalong, when Gilbert was shot
and Dunn wounded. On the 15th Dunn alone stuck up Julian's station, and
took a racehorse, a saddle and bridle, and some food. He was not heard
of again until December 18th, when he was recognised by the police near
Mr. McPhail's station, Walgett, and pursued. He escaped, but two days
later a man in whom he had confided gave information to the police as
to his whereabouts, and a desperate struggle took place, Dunn being
wounded in three places and Constable McHale also severely wounded;
Dunn, however, was captured.

This record of the achievements of the gang during the time that Dunn
was a member--namely, from October 24th, 1864, to May 15th, 1865, or
rather less than seven months--although not quite complete, serves to
give a very vivid idea of the terrible scourge which the bushrangers
were to the country. The gang was not more active during the time
covered by this record than it had been before, or since it was first
organised by Frank Gardiner in 1861, while some of the most extensive
robberies committed by the gang belong to the earlier period. However,
with the capture of Johnny Dunn this gang ceased to exist, and we have
only to finish the story of his life before turning back to take notice
of the proceedings of other gangs of bushrangers in other parts of the

Constable McHale and John Dunn were conveyed as carefully as possible,
and by slow stages, from Walgett to the lock-up at Dubbo, to be nursed
back to health. After some weeks, Dunn appeared to be growing strong,
and as his character was well known, it was deemed expedient to put
him in irons. He resented this treatment, very naturally perhaps, and
refused to eat. He groaned so continuously that he prevented McHale,
who was in bed in the same room in the watch-house, from sleeping.
The police were taken in by this shamming, and thought that Dunn was
dying. They therefore took off his irons. The watch-house was an
ordinary four-roomed weather-board cottage with a verandah. It had been
built as a residence for the local policeman. Behind, was a stronger
building divided into two or three cells for the safe-keeping of the
few evil-doers likely to be arrested in this settlement on the borders
of civilisation. The sick men were in bed in the cottage, the window
of which was only a couple of feet above the level of the plain on
which the town of Dubbo stands. Dunn was not altogether shamming. He
was very weak, but he was strong enough when his irons were removed to
watch for an opportunity to escape. He placed his pillow length-ways
in the bed, covered it with the sheet, which was the only covering
required in that district at that time of the year, and placed a red
silk handkerchief where his head was supposed to rest, as if to keep
the flies or mosquitoes off his face. This was no doubt done to induce
McHale, and any one else who came into the room, to believe that he
was still sleeping. However, when daylight came, McHale saw that the
thing in the other bed was not Dunn and pounded on the floor with a
boot, being too weak to shout. At the time the police on duty in the
next room were laughing and joking about something, and it was some
minutes before McHale could make them hear. At length one of them came
in, and on being told that Dunn was gone, gave the alarm. The tracks
in the dust outside showed that the robber had simply stepped out of
the window, which was kept open on account of the heat, and had made
for the bush. It was Sunday morning, January 11th, 1866, and very few
people were about in the little town. The tracks were lost among the
number of tracks in the roadway and there was no one to give the police
any information as to the direction in which the bushranger had gone.
Search parties were organised and sent out in all directions.

About two miles away a brickmaker was watching his kiln and gathering
brushwood for his fire, although it was Sunday morning, when a man
crawled out from behind a log and begged for a "drink of water, for
God's sake." It was Dunn. He told the brickmaker who he was and begged
him to lend him a horse to get away. "Only save me from hanging and
I'll make it up to you," he cried, but the brickmaker refused. He
went and caught his horse and rode into Dubbo to inform the police,
who returned with him and recaptured the runaway. Dunn was forwarded
to Bathurst without delay and was lodged in the gaol, while Smith,
the brickmaker, was rewarded for the assistance he had rendered in
effecting the recapture of the noted bushranger.

By the latter end of February Dunn was sufficiently recovered from the
effects of his wound to be placed on trial. He was charged with the
murder of Constable Nelson. The evidence shows that a number of persons
had been stuck up on the road between Taradale and Collector. They were
marched to Kimberley's Hotel and taken inside by Hall and Gilbert,
while Dunn remained outside in charge of the horses. Dunn called a
boy, who was standing in the street and who chanced to be the son of
Constable Nelson, and told him to hold the horses and not let them go
unless he wanted his brains blown out. The party in the hotel were
singing and dancing, and the constable hearing the noise walked from
the watch-house to where his son was and asked him what was going on.
The boy told him the bushrangers were there and the constable returned
to his house for his gun. When he came back he did not see Dunn, who
was hiding behind the fence, and walked towards the front door of the
hotel, when he was shot as already related. Gilbert came to the door
immediately and Dunn cried out "I've shot the---- trap." Gilbert walked
to where the body was lying, turned it over, and took off the belt,
saying "This is just what I wanted. I've lost mine." At that moment
Hall came up and the three bushrangers took their horses and went off.
Dunn was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was hung on March
19th, 1866. He was of slight build and only twenty-two years old when
he died.

Of the chief members of this gang Gardiner was sentenced to thirty-two
years' penal servitude; Vane surrendered owing to the influence of
Father McCarthy and was sent to gaol for fifteen years; Bow and Fordyce
were sentenced to death, but their sentences were commuted to fifteen
years' imprisonment; Manns, Peisley, and Dunn were hanged; Lowry, Ben
Hall, and Gilbert were shot by the police, and Burke and O'Meally by
civilians; Mount or "the Old Man" was sent to gaol for ten years.

There were others who either claimed or were supposed to be members
of this gang, but it is difficult to say with certainty how far these
claims were justified. Some of these have already been referred to,
and others will be mentioned further on. Probably some who intended to
join the gang were captured before they had an opportunity to do so.
Others merely said they had been out with Ben Hall or Johnny Gilbert
on account of the kudos they gained among their fellows. However this
may be, the majority of the members of this gang were quite young men,
many of them little more than boys. Several were under twenty years of
age, and all with the exception of Mount, sometime known as "the Old
Man," under thirty. Their lives may have been exciting, but they were
short, and none of them, with the exception of Gardiner perhaps, made
any money by their robberies. They all died poor.


  Bloodthirsty Morgan; Morgan's Opinion of the Police; Murder of
  Sergeant McGinnerty; Murder at the Round Hill Station; A Pseudo
  Morgan; Morgan Threatens to Brand all Hands; He Shoots Sergeant
  Smyth; Challenged to Visit Victoria; He Accepts the Challenge; His
  Death at Peechelba.

Daniel Morgan began his career as a bushranger shortly after the
Great Escort Robbery, by sticking up travellers on the roads about
Wagga Wagga. His head-quarters generally were said to be in the huge
patch of scrub, which stretched away southward, from the Murrumbidgee
River across the low ranges between Wagga Wagga and Narrandera. He
was credited with being the most bloodthirsty of the New South Wales
bushrangers after Willmore. We have seen that some of the members
of the chief gang of this era held human life very cheaply, but it
was the general opinion that, except in the case of a few Chinamen,
these bushrangers murdered only when on the warpath. In many cases
they met the police boldly, and fought with some degree of fairness;
while Morgan, on more than one occasion, fired on unarmed, and in some
cases sleeping men. For some months he pursued his career without
much interference from the police, and it was said that some of the
members of the Hall and Gilbert gang had made a raid to the Southern
district. When it became apparent that he had no connection with
that gang and continued his depredations alone, a party of police
was detailed to hunt him down about the middle of 1863. In August of
that year, this party of police tracked him for several days, and
came on his camp on the 22nd. A desperate fight took place, in which
Morgan's mate was severely wounded and crawled into the bush to die.
This man was known as "German Bill." On the other side, Mr. Bayliss,
J.P., a volunteer who accompanied the police, was severely wounded.
He recovered, however, and was awarded a gold medal by the New South
Wales Government for bravery in opposing bushrangers. Morgan made his
escape in the scrub. Later on the same day a shepherd was shot dead on
Brookong station, and it was supposed that the murderer was in league
with Morgan. About Christmas Morgan with three companions watched
the road, near Narrandera, with the intention of sticking-up several
wealthy squatters who were in the habit of travelling to Melbourne at
about that time of the year. Fortunately for themselves, they that year
took a cross track, and thus escaped the meeting. While waiting Morgan
took about 2lb. of cheese from a bullock driver named John Cole. There
were several cheeses in the dray, and when Morgan said he should "like
a bit" Cole offered him one, and told him to "take the lot." Morgan
replied that "the---- traps would risk their necks climbing over the
area railings for a leg of mutton. I don't know what they'd do for a
whole cheese, but this lump's enough for me." He afterwards remarked
that the police generally were "a sour milk lot."

During the next few months robberies occurred in various parts of the
extensive tract of country between Wagga Wagga and Deniliquin, and
were, of course, all attributed to the Morgan gang. On April 16th,
1864, Mr. George Elliott, of Burrangong, with a stockman named Donnelly
reached Deniliquin, with a mob of horses for sale. In consequence of
some rumours which spread through the town, Mr. Elliott was closely
questioned by the sergeant of police, and after some hesitation
admitted that he had been stuck up by Morgan and robbed of £127 17s.
and a bay horse with saddle and bridle, on the road between Narrandera
and Jerilderie. He said that when he got rid of his horses he would
have to return home by the same route, and thought it prudent to hold
his tongue, "the least said the soonest mended," as there was no saying
whom he might meet on the road.

In June, Sergeant McGinnerty and Constable Churchley were riding
along the road to Tumberumba, when they overtook a horseman near
Copabella. McGinnerty civilly said "Good-day" as they passed, in the
usual Australian fashion. The man looked at him and replied, "Oh,
you're one of the---- wretches looking for bushrangers, are you?" and
hastily drew a revolver and shot McGinnerty through the breast. The
sergeant's horse bolted, and the bushranger galloped after him into
the bush. Constable Churchley rode back to Copabella for assistance,
and on his return with a party and fresh horses found McGinnerty's hat
lying in the road, and opposite to it, at some distance away, the body.
It was supposed that the bushranger had placed the hat on the road
to indicate where the body was, and to facilitate its discovery. The
robber must have ridden straight from the scene of this cold-blooded
murder to the Round Hill station, where he mustered all the men and
drove them into the carpenter's shop. He then went to the house,
called out the proprietor, Mr. Watson, and led him to the door of the
carpenter's shop. He enquired whether the men had sufficient rations.
"If they haven't," said Mr. Watson, "they've only got to say so and
they'll get more." "Well, I'm Dan Morgan, I just wanted to know, and
you'd better give them a nobbler," replied the bushranger. Mr. Watson
said he'd no objection to the men having a nobbler, and sent to the
house. The messenger returned with four bottles of spirits, and each
man was given a nobbler in a pannikin. The men laughed and took it as a
good joke. One of them asked the bushranger whether he had "stolen his
stirrup irons from Mr. Johnstone?" Morgan with a curse immediately drew
his pistol, and fired into the room. The men ran out. Morgan followed
them, shouting, "You---- wretches, do you want to give me away?" He
fired several times, until John McLean fell wounded. By this time the
men had sheltered themselves behind trees. Seeing no one to shoot at
Morgan dismounted, lifted McLean carefully on to his horse, and led the
animal to the house. Mr. Watson and some of the women took McLean in,
and Morgan mounted and rode away. Then it was discovered that another
man, John Heriot, was lying wounded in the carpenter's shop. Heriot's
injury consisted of a broken leg, and he was placed in a buggy and
conveyed with as little delay as possible to the hospital at Albury.
But McLean's wound was too serious to admit of his removal, and he died
after lingering in pain for two or three days. At the inquest held on
the body, Edward Smith, stockman at the Round Hill station, deposed
that Morgan had called at the station two days after the attack to
enquire how McLean was, and had sat at the bedside for several hours.
At that time there were numerous parties of police and civilians
searching the country round in all directions in hopes of finding him.
A verdict of wilful murder was returned against Daniel Morgan on June
23rd, and a few days later a proclamation was issued by which the
reward offered for his capture dead or alive was increased from £500 to

A man walked into the bar of the Five Mile Creek Inn, near Bogolong,
and called for a nobbler of brandy, which was supplied him. He then
demanded another, which the barman refused to give him until he had
paid for the one he had drank. "Be careful what you do," exclaimed
the customer, "I'm Dan Morgan." He drew out a pistol, and the barman
rushed from behind the counter, jumped through a window, and ran. The
customer followed him to the window, but the barman could not say how
much further. The barman, however, ran right round the house. When he
returned to the window through which he had made his escape, he saw
the bushranger's pistol lying on the sill. He grasped it, and having
recovered from his momentary panic, walked into the bar in time to see
the pseudo Morgan helping himself out of a bottle. The barman at once
grappled with him, and the cook, the only other man in the house at
the time, hearing the scuffling, came in. The man was soon secured,
and in due time was handed over to the custody of the police. He was
identified as a fiddler, who travelled about the country playing for a
living. He was sent to gaol for a few months as a caution not to obtain
grog again under false pretences by personating a bushranger.

Morgan, with three mates, visited Yarribee station, stuck up Mr. Mate,
the overseer, with two bushmen and the bullock-driver, and tied their
hands behind them. He demanded the key of the store, which was given
to him. He opened the door and selected a quantity of articles which
he packed on a horse. He served out tobacco, gin, and porter to the
men whom he had made prisoners, having added several, who had arrived
at the station after he began operations, to their number. The liquor
had its effect, and some of the men became uproarious. Morgan swore at
them and ordered them to be quiet, and as they did not obey he brought
out the station brand--P.T.--put it in the fire, and swore he would
brand every one of them on the cheek. Whether the threat frightened
the men into quietness, or whether the bushranger thought better of
his purpose, is not known. Morgan, however, rode away with his plunder
without using the branding-iron.

Under the heading--"Comforting Bushrangers," the _Deniliquin Chronicle_
of the 18th December said:--"Mr. ---- we hear has given orders that
whenever Morgan calls at his station he is to be given everything he
wants, and when he does not call food is to be taken into the bush
and left for him." The paper goes on to accuse the unnamed squatter
with "holding a candle to the devil." But it is difficult to see where
the blame comes in. The stations were from twenty-five to fifty miles
apart, and except at lambing and shearing times had few men employed
on them. The police in the district were not very numerous, and even
if they had been very much stronger than they were they could not have
prevented a daring, reckless man like Morgan from setting fire to the
grass. It was so easy at that time for even an offended bushman to
have revenge, for any real or supposed slight or injury, by starting
a blaze which would destroy the grass over hundreds of square miles
before it could be stopped, and this might go very far towards ruining
a squatter. In face of this danger a few clothes or a quantity of
food was a trifling loss. Certainly Morgan never did fire the grass,
because, perhaps, there was no profit in it for himself, but there can
be no doubt that he would have done it had he desired to have revenge
on any particular run holder.

One of the many stories told about the brutality of Morgan was that
he went to a cattle station near Jerilderie, and asked to see the
overseer. The overseer's wife informed him that her husband was away at
a back station mustering and branding, and that she and the children
were the only persons at home at the head station. Morgan replied
that he was sorry for it. He'd travelled to the station specially for
the purpose of shooting the overseer, who was too friendly with the
police. He then demanded a sum of money which he said he knew the
overseer had recently received. The woman declared that her husband
had no money at the station, or if he had that she was not aware where
he kept it. Morgan refused to believe her. He made her boil him a
number of eggs, declaring that he would eat nothing else, as there was
too much strychnine and arsenic about these stations. When these were
ready he examined them carefully, rejecting all which had cracks in the
shells and eating the sound ones only. He then made up the fire until
there was a big blaze, when he once more asked her for the money, and
as she persisted in declaring that she had none he seized her by the
shoulders, forced her back until she was seated on the blazing logs,
and held her there until her clothes were on fire. Then he allowed her
to get up, and seizing a bucket of water standing near he dashed it
over her to put the fire out. Notwithstanding this she was severely
burned. When he mounted and rode away he said he would soon be round
again and hoped then to find the overseer at home.

Sergeant Smyth and Constables Cannon, Baxter, and Reed, who were out
seeking for the bushranger Morgan, camped one night in September
near Kyamba. They had put up a tent and were seated inside. They had
a candle and this threw their shadows on the canvas and afforded a
magnificent mark, which the bushranger could not resist firing at. The
shot wounded Sergeant Smyth, but he and the constables rushed out of
the tent and blazed away, but without seeing their assailant. It was
supposed that this attack was made by Morgan, but nothing was seen of
the bushranger. Sergeant Smyth fired twice after being wounded and then
he fainted. He was taken without delay to Doodal Cooma station and a
doctor was found, but he never rallied and died a fortnight later.

It was said that Morgan was on the Wagga Wagga race course at the
Christmas races, and that he had lunch at the booth where the
magistrates, the police inspectors, and the leading merchants and
shopkeepers of the town went, and that afterwards he rode into the town
itself without being recognised by the police.

On March 18th, 1865, he stuck up Mr. Rand's station at Mohanga,
collected all the men in one room, and ordered Mr. Rand to fetch some
grog from the store. This having been done, Morgan asked one of the
men whether he could play the concertina, and being answered in the
affirmative, told him to get his instrument and "amuse the company."
When all was ready the bushranger said to Mr. Rand: "I understand you
are a good dancer. Will you favour the company with a reel?" Mr. Rand
said he should be only too pleased, and began at once. Morgan watched
him critically and applauded every now and then, but when Mr. Rand
stopped, he raised his pistol and said: "Once more, please, you dance
very nicely," and thus he kept the squatter jigging till midnight, when
he was allowed to retire. In the morning Morgan took from the store a
quantity of clothing and some other articles, including a gun. He then
asked for a horse, saddle, and bridle, to pack his plunder on, and got

At Jerilderie, when engaged in one of his usual robberies, he spoke in
the most contemptuous terms of the police. He said that the Victorian
police had been blowing that they would soon catch him if he crossed
the border, and declared that he would soon show them that they were
no smarter than the New South Wales police, who were "frightened to go
near any place where they thought they might find him." A Beechworth
paper, commenting on this report, challenged Morgan to cross the
Murray, and prophesied that if he dared to do so he would be either
dead or in gaol within forty-eight hours. This challenge, it was said,
gave great umbrage to the bushranger, who had apparently, owing,
perhaps, to his long immunity from arrest, developed the belief that he
was invincible. He was reported to have referred to it frequently, and
to have asserted his intention to cross the Murray River and "take the
flashness out of the Victorian people and police." Accordingly, early
in April, he made a raid south of the Murray. Mounted on Mr. Bowler's
racing mare, Victoria, Morgan stuck up Mr. McKinnon's station on the
Little River. He crossed the King River, and set fire to Mr. Evans's
barns and granary for "having shot my fingers off," an event which had
taken place some time previously, in one of his many encounters on the
"other side." Morgan then stuck up and robbed a number of carriers
on the road between Wangaratta and Benalla. He also stuck up Mr.
Warby's station, and on the evening of April 8th arrived at Peechelba
station, owned by Messrs. Macpherson and Rutherford. Morgan rode up
and knocked at the door of Mr. Macpherson's house. It was opened by
Mr. Macpherson's son. Morgan, pistol in hand, ordered him to bail up.
Then everybody in the house were called in and compelled to range
themselves in line along the wall of the dining-room. A housemaid named
Alice Macdonald, thinking he was joking, refused to stand up against
the wall "like a child." Morgan took her by the arm to force her into
line, when she smacked his face. Raising his pistol he said, "My young
lady, I must take the flashness out of you. Do you know who I am?"
"No," replied the girl. "Well, I'm Morgan. Will you take your place?"
The girl pouted but did as she was told. Morgan placed two revolvers
on the table and sat down. He said he had had no sleep for three
nights, but he hoped to return to New South Wales next day and have a
good sleep. He asked a servant to make him some tea and allowed her to
leave the room. Then he said that he had heard music as he approached
the house, and he asked which of the ladies played? On being told
"Miss Macpherson," he asked her to favour him with a tune. She replied
"Certainly, Mr. Morgan." "Call me Morgan," he said, "I hate to be
Mistered." Mr. Macpherson asked him what had induced him to lead such a
life? "I was forced to it," he replied. "I was tried at Castlemaine for
a crime of which I was innocent and received a heavy sentence. Well, I
escaped from the stockade and there you are. What else could I do?"

The party sat all night, and Morgan chatted freely, but his vigilance
relaxed so that Alice Macdonald contrived to slip out without being
seen and went to Mr. Rutherford's house, about a quarter of a mile
away, and informed Mr. Rutherford of what had taken place. She went
back again immediately in case the bushranger should miss her. Morgan
informed the company that he was born at Appin, in New South Wales,
and that his parents were still living. In the meantime Mr. Rutherford
mustered all the men on the station and despatched a messenger to the
police at Wangaratta. He posted sentinels all round Mr. Macpherson's
house, hiding them behind bushes or any other cover. In the morning
Morgan ate a hearty breakfast and then walked out on the verandah.
Mr. Macpherson invited him to take a glass of whisky and poured out
some for himself. Morgan replied that he rarely drank. He was almost
a teetotaller. However, not wishing to appear churlish, he accepted
half a glass. He went into a bedroom to wash his hands and face and
comb his hair, and Alice Keenan, one of the servants, took advantage of
the opportunity to carry a can of coffee to the watchers outside. When
Morgan had washed he stepped out on the verandah again and reminded
Mr. Macpherson that he had promised to let him have a fresh horse. Mr.
Macpherson replied that he had not forgotten it. He called to his son
and they walked together towards the paddock to catch the horse, while
Morgan waited on the verandah. They had not gone far, however, when
Morgan started to follow them, and John Quinlan shot him from behind
a bush. The bushranger fell, crying "Why didn't you challenge me?" He
was carried indoors, and every attention possible was paid to him, but
he died at about half-past one, or, as nearly as could be ascertained,
forty-eight hours after he crossed the Victorian border.

The £1000 reward was divided as follows:--John Quinlan £300;
Alice Macdonald £250; James Frazer, who rode into Wangaratta and
back--forty-two miles--in three hours and a-half, £200; Donald Clarke,
who fetched guns from the school house, cleaned and loaded them, £100;
Alice Keenan, who communicated between the parties inside and outside
the house, £50. The remaining £100 were given to Mr. Rutherford and
Inspector Singleton (£50 each) to be divided among the civilians and
the police who took part in the capture, according to the merits of
their performances.

The news of the death of Morgan was received generally throughout
Australia with satisfaction. There were a few people whose love of
fair play impelled them to express the opinion that he should have
been challenged, but the majority held that he was little better
than a wild beast, and should be treated accordingly. He had given
no notice to Sergeants McGinnerty and Smyth, nor to the unarmed men
among whom he had fired at the Round Hill Station, and it is doubtful
whether those who declared that he should have been accorded "fair
play" would, knowing the character of the man, have risked their lives
by challenging him in circumstances similar to those in which he
was captured. There was a tendency among a portion of the people of
Victoria to glorify that colony at the expense of the mother colony
over the capture of Morgan. It was said that bushrangers would never
receive the public sympathy and support in Victoria which they did in
New South Wales, and attributed this to the fact that Victoria had
never had a penal settlement within its borders. There has always
been an absurd jealousy between the people of Melbourne and those
of Sydney, and there can be no doubt that it has been somewhat of a
disadvantage to the colonies generally. In this case there is no ground
for believing that the character of the people of New South Wales,
which was a penal colony, differs in any essential degree from that of
the people of any other portion of Australia. As a matter of fact, the
Australias are so intimately connected together,--it is so easy for
the residents of one colony to make their way into any other colony,
and the people as a body are more prone to moving about than those of
any other civilised country,--that any claim of superiority either in
extraction, morals, or in any other particular, by the residents of any
one colony over those of any other colony is absurd. It is true that
there was no English penal settlement within the present bounds of the
colony of Victoria, but in former times that colony was a portion of
the penal colony of New South Wales, while the founders of Melbourne
came from another penal colony, namely, Van Diemen's Land. Many of the
early settlers were emancipated convicts from either one or the other
of these penal settlements. But even if this had not been the case,
the whole population of Australia was so thoroughly intermixed during
the great rushes to the Victorian diggings that there is absolutely
no excuse for any pretence of superiority on this account in this the
smallest of the colonies on the main land. I do not say this out of
any ill-feeling towards Victoria, or with the desire to glorify any
other colony, at her expense, but simply to point out the folly of such
petty and absurd jealousies as have tended to keep the colonies apart
hitherto. As a plain matter of fact South Australia is the only one of
the seven colonies which can claim not to have had a convict origin.
That colony was founded directly from England by a syndicate. All the
other colonies were either portions of or were founded from New South
Wales, about the convict origin of which colony there can be no doubt.
But even South Australia, wedged in as it is between what have been two
convict colonies, could not escape the contagion. But, judging from
the statistics, Australia as a whole does not appear to have suffered
much, now that the bushrangers have been disposed of. The percentage
of crime in each of the colonies is lower than in most other civilised
communities, and the "convict colonies," as they were called, do not
show a higher percentage of crime than the "free colonies." I have
already pointed out that the condition of Victoria, during the years
1853-55, was worse than that of any of the so-called convict colonies
at any time, so far as the number and ferocity of the bushrangers were
concerned, and we shall soon see that Victoria can produce native-born
bushrangers as well as New South Wales. Only a few months after the
poeans of self-glorification had been sung by the Victorian press over
the death of Morgan in that colony, the same papers lamented the fact
that while bushranging appeared to have been stamped out in the mother
colony, it still flourished in Victoria.


  The Brothers Clarke; The Raid at Nerigundah; Deaths of William
  Fletcher and Constable O'Grady; Murder of Four Special Constables at
  Jinden; Annie Clarke at Goulburn; Capture of Thomas and John Clarke;
  A Terrible Record; A Plucky Woman; An Attempt to Escape Custody;
  "Shoot Away, I Can't Stop You"; Some Daring Robberies; Murder and
  Cremation of the Brothers Pohlmann; Blue Cap.

The brothers Clarke, of Manaro, although they did not belong to the
Gardiner gang, were more or less closely connected with it. There
were three of them, Thomas, James, and John, and their education was
on similar lines to that which I have described as prevalent in the
Western Ranges. They were cattle duffers and horse planters until the
police began to enquire too closely into their mode of life, when they
"took to the bush." James was probably saved from the more elevated
fate of his elder and younger brothers by being arrested on suspicion
of having been concerned with Ben Hall, Johnny Gilbert, and others in
the robbery of the Cowra mail, but as the evidence of his presence
on that occasion was inconclusive he was acquitted, and charged with
having received stolen property, a number of the bank-notes stolen
from the mail having been found in his possession. He was convicted,
and was sentenced to seven years' penal servitude on January 12, 1865.
He was probably kept out of mischief during the troublous times by
this imprisonment. Thomas and John, the eldest and youngest of this
interesting family, operated over the district in which the redoubtable
Jackey Jackey first earned his notoriety as a bushranger, but they
did not confine their operations within any strictly defined limits,
and therefore they, as it may be said, overlapped with the Hall and
Gilbert gang. The elder brother Thomas was arrested in October, 1864,
on a charge of highway robbery, but contrived to effect his escape
from the Braidwood gaol. He stole several racehorses from residents
in the neighbourhood of Jembaicumbene and Mericumbene, stuck up the
Araluen mail, robbed the Post Office at Michelago, besides sticking-up
and robbing numbers of travellers on the roads about Braidwood and
Moruya. On January 12th, the very day on which his brother James was
being tried, he stuck up Mr. George Summer's store at Jembaicumbene,
and on the following day he bailed up John Frazer and Kenneth Matheson,
on Major's Creek Mount, and robbed them of £36 10s. in money, and a
bank draft for a large amount. In these enterprises he was assisted by
several young men and lads residing in the district. In April, Thomas
Clarke, Patrick Connell, Tom Connell, William Fletcher, and two or
three other young men were returning home from the racecourse at Bega,
where races had been held, when Clarke stuck up a Chinaman, who was
travelling from the Gulph Diggings, and took his gold and money. A
little farther along the road the party met the mail boy, and Clarke
compelled him to exchange his horse, saddle, and bridle for those
stolen from the Chinaman. Some miles from the scene of this outrage
the party met Mr. John Emmott, and ordered him to bail up; but he,
having a considerable amount of gold and money about him, wheeled his
horse and started to gallop away. By this time others of the party had
become excited, and several of them chased Emmott, and fired their
revolvers at him. Emmott fell wounded and his horse was killed. About
£100 in money and a parcel of gold dust was taken from him, and the
party went on, leaving Mr. Emmott to make his way to where he could
obtain surgical aid as best he could. On the following day they arrived
at the Gulph Diggings, stuck up Mr. Pollock's store, and stole between
two hundred and three hundred ounces of gold, besides all the money
that they could find. On leaving the store they met Charles Nash in
the street, and Clarke greeted him with "Hullo, Charlie, back from
the Bega races?" "Yes," replied Nash. "Then fork out," cried Clarke,
bringing out his revolver. Nash at first thought this was a joke, and
began to laugh, but on the remainder of the gang crowding round and
presenting their revolvers in a threatening manner he put his hand in
his pocket, took out about thirty shillings, and handed it over with
the remark, "That's all I've got." He was then permitted to pass on.
Fletcher then led the way to the butcher's shop owned by R. Drew, and,
putting his revolver to the butcher's head, told him to "shell out."
Drew put his hands behind him and made no reply. Then the rest of the
gang crowded in and called for a light, declaring their intention to
search the place. Drew told them to "clear out." They refused, and
threatened to shoot him. The dispute grew so loud that it reached the
ears of Constable Miles O'Grady, the only policeman stationed on the
little diggings, who was ill in bed. O'Grady got up and dressed, and
went to the butcher's shop. He enquired what the row was about, and
ordered the crowd to leave the shop. Fletcher turned round and fired
at the constable, but missed. O'Grady immediately returned the fire,
and Fletcher fell dead. One of Fletcher's mates then shot O'Grady,
who died a few days later. The bushrangers rushed to their horses,
mounted, and galloped away out of the township. The _Moruya Examiner_
said that William Fletcher was little more than a boy, and was born in
the district. He had ridden in the St. Patrick's Day races on March
17th at Mullenderee only a few weeks before. His father was a farmer in
the district, and had always borne a good character. The boy had been
digging for gold at Araluen, Nerrigundah, The Gulph, and other diggings
in that neighbourhood. It was his first essay at bushranging. His mind
had probably been inflamed by the stories told of Gardiner, Ben Hall,
and Johnny Gilbert, and he had been induced to endeavour to emulate
their actions by the boastings of Thomas Clarke. Several young men who
had taken part in this fray returned home afterwards, and were arrested
by the police. Some of them were acquitted on account of their previous
good character, and because there was no evidence to prove that they
had done more than accompany the robbers. Thomas Clarke, his uncle
Patrick Connell, his cousin Tom Connell, with Bill Scott and one or two
others, who escaped to the ranges, continued to commit depredations
similar to those described in the previous chapter.

In September, 1866, John Carrol, Patrick Kennagh, Eneas McDonnell,
and John Phegan were sent by the police authorities to the Braidwood
district, to assist the police in the capture of the Clarke gang.
Phegan had been mining in the district and was well acquainted with
the ranges. He paid a visit to Mrs. Clarke, and was received with
some suspicion as a stranger. On his second visit Mrs. Clarke and
her two daughters became quite friendly, and asked Phegan to write
out a petition in favour of her second son James, who was a prisoner
on Cockatoo Island. The party camped as if engaged in surveying, and
Phegan said that Kennagh knew more about writing out petitions than
he did. He therefore took Kennagh to the place and introduced him to
Mrs. Clarke. They wrote out the petition and left. During the next few
days they saw the girls frequently. In the absence of their brothers
these girls looked after the cattle, and were riding about the ranges
every day. They passed the camp several times and spoke in a friendly
manner. On the 4th of October, the party had been pretending to survey
a flat, and under this pretence had searched a gunyah hidden among the
timber. This gunyah was believed to be one of the rendezvous of the
bushrangers, and was closely watched in the hopes that the bushrangers
might visit it. On the day named, the special constables had finished
their work and were standing round the camp fire, when a gun was fired,
and the bullet passed between the men and struck the tree against
which the fire was built. The party had their guns ready and returned
the fire, although they could not see what they were shooting at.
In the morning a flask half full of powder was picked up, but this
gave no indication as to who had attacked the party. After this no
pretence of friendship was made, and Carrol and the party under his
charge openly took up the pursuit of the bushrangers, penetrating the
mountains and searching everywhere where they thought it probable that
the bushrangers might camp. In January, 1867, the bodies of the four
men were found near their camp on the Jinden station in the Jingera
ranges, in the Braidwood district. How or when they were shot is not
known, but it is supposed that they were somehow drawn into an ambush
and shot down. Carrol's body was lying on its back, and a handkerchief
thrown across it with a one pound note pinned to it. The bodies of
Carrol and Kennagh were close together, while the other two were half
a mile away. Three revolvers were lying beside Phegan. One of the men
had £14 on him, and another £19. The bodies were found by Mr. Edward
Smith's stockman when riding through the ranges after cattle, on the
9th January, and as they were in an advanced state of decomposition,
they must have been there for several days. The Governor, Sir John
Young, immediately issued a proclamation, calling upon magistrates,
freeholders, and all other of Her Majesty's subjects, resident in the
police districts of Braidwood, Browlee, Queanbeyan, Eden, Bega, and
Cooma to assist the police in the capture of the "notorious outlaw,
Thomas Clarke, whose life is forfeit to the laws of his country." The
Colonial Secretary, (Mr. afterwards Sir) Henry Parkes, offered a reward
of £5000 for the capture of the persons guilty of murdering the four
special constables. A free pardon was also offered to any accomplice,
not being the actual murderer. Carrol, Kennagh, and Phegan had been
warders in Darlinghurst gaol, and had volunteered to attempt the
capture of the bushranger Clarke, and McDonnell was an ex-policeman
who had accumulated a considerable sum of money in business, and was
about to visit Ireland, his native country, but who volunteered to
join this party before going home. The firing had been heard at Jinden
station, three miles from the camp, but no notice had been taken, as it
was attributed to opossum hunters. According to the medical evidence,
the men were killed with rifle bullets fired at close range--not more
than twenty yards. Phegan and McDonnell were first shot, McDonnell only
having one wound, which was fatal. Phegan was shot in the right side,
and appears to have turned over after falling, and to have been then
shot on the other side to finish him. Carrol and Kennagh appear to have
been kneeling when shot, and had perhaps surrendered. The ostentatious
disregard of the money on the bodies shows, said the _Sydney Morning
Herald_, that revenge and not plunder was the object of the murderers.

No certain knowledge as to how these men came to their death has since
been arrived at. According to rumour three of them were shot by Thomas
Clarke and the fourth by Bill Scott, who was afterwards wounded in a
brush with the police, and as is believed killed by Clarke, as the
bushranger known as German Bill had been killed by Morgan, to prevent
him from falling into the hands of the authorities and being induced to
give evidence against his former companions. In both cases, however,
the end of the missing bushranger is uncertain.

At the Criminal Sessions, held in Goulburn in April, 1867, Thomas
Cunningham, Charles Hugh Gough, alias Wyndham, alias Bennett, James
Baldwin, and Harry Brown were each sentenced to fifteen years'
imprisonment for various acts of bushranging in various parts of the
district. William Johnson for robbing and shooting at a man received
a sentence of only two years. Several of these bushrangers came from
the neighbourhood of Braidwood, and the _Yass Courier_ reported that
Annie Clarke, one of the sisters of the bushrangers, stayed in Goulburn
during the time that the sessions lasted, her visit doubtless being one
of sympathy with some of the prisoners. She was about twenty years of
age, with a fine figure and good features. She was observed to change
her costume four times in one day. In the morning she was very quietly
dressed. Later she came out in a second costume, also very quiet and
neat. But in the afternoon she walked about the streets in blood red
silk with red hat and feathers to match, and later towards evening she
came out in a bright blue silk dress, white shawl, and a hat with white

At Wellington, in the same month, John Kelly was sentenced to fourteen
years' hard labour, the first two in irons, for highway robbery.

At this time the reward offered for the capture of Thomas Clarke was
raised to £1000, while £500 was offered for his brother John, who had
just "turned out." A similar sum was offered for the capture of Bill
Scott, whose death had not then been ascertained, or for any other
member of the gang.

On April 26th, Senior Constable Wright, and Constables James Wright,
Lenehan, Walsh, and Egan, with the assistance of a black tracker
known as Sir Watkin Wynne, tracked the bushrangers to a hut not far
from where the four special constables had been murdered. The hut or
cottage stood in a small cultivation paddock in which there was a small
haystack. The constables watched the hut from behind this haystack
until morning. At daybreak two racehorses were seen feeding behind
the hut, and Constable Walsh, making a détour round the hut so as not
to be heard by the occupants, walked down and caught these horses. He
was leading them towards the haystack when the door opened and the
two brothers Clarke came out of the house and fired at him. The other
troopers immediately rushed forward from behind the stack and summoned
the Clarkes to surrender. They made no reply, but went inside and
shut the door. The police then took up positions, Constable Lenehan
with Sir Watkin stopping at the stack with the horses at about two
hundred yards from the hut and nearly facing it. The Senior Constable
and Constable Wright went to a fallen tree about fifty yards to the
right of the hut, while Constables Egan and Walsh went to about the
same distance to the left, where there was no cover. The paddock in
which the house stood had been recently ploughed, and the heavy rains
which had fallen made the ground difficult to travel over. The hut was
built of slabs, and these had shrunk away from each other, leaving
interstices through which the bushrangers could point their guns and
revolvers. The bushrangers kept up an irregular fire until Constable
Walsh was wounded in the thigh and Sir Watkin in the shoulder, when the
other four troopers made a rush, forced open the door, and entered. The
bushrangers surrendered. They had two revolvers, two double-barrelled
guns, two revolving rifles, one single-barrelled gun, and a horse
pistol. The tracker's wound was so severe that he had to have his arm
amputated, and he bore the operation with the stoical indifference of
his race. He walked downstairs from the upper ward of the Braidwood
Hospital to the dissecting room, and after his arm had been cut off
and the stump bound up he walked up again as coolly "as if he had
merely had his finger punctured," said the _Braidwood Dispatch_.
He was supposed to be about fifty years of age, and was well-built
and "handsome for a blackfellow." He was promoted to the rank of
sergeant-major, and had two stripes placed on his arm, of which he was
very proud. Senior Constable William Wright was made sub-inspector, and
the other constables engaged were promoted and rewarded.

Thomas and John Clarke were placed on trial charged with having wounded
Constable Walsh and Black Tracker Sir Watkin, while in the execution
of their duty. In two years Thomas Clarke had committed nine mail
robberies, and had stuck up and robbed thirty-six individuals, some
of whom had been wounded. He was also suspected of having caused
the deaths of at least two persons. John Clarke had taken part in
twenty-six of these robberies. They were found guilty, and the Chief
Justice--the late Sir Alfred Stephen--in his address said:--"I
never knew a bushranger (except one who is now suffering sentences
aggregating thirty-two years) who made any money by it.... I will
read you a list of bushrangers ... many of them young men, capable of
better things, but who died violent deaths. Peisley executed; Davis
sentenced to death; Gardiner sentenced to thirty-two years' hard
labour; Gilbert shot dead; Hall shot dead; Bow and Fordyce sentenced
to death, but their sentences commuted to imprisonment for life;
Manns executed; O'Meally shot dead; Burke shot dead; Gordon sentenced
to death; Dunleavy sentenced to death; Dunn executed; Lowry shot
dead; Vane a long sentence; Foley a long sentence; Morgan shot dead;
yourselves, Thomas and John Clarke, about to be sentenced to death;
Fletcher shot dead; Patrick Connell shot dead; Tom Connell sentenced
to death, but sentence commuted to imprisonment for life; Bill Scott,
a companion of your own, believed to have been murdered by you....
The list shows six shot dead and ten wounded.... Unfortunately there
were seven constables shot dead and sixteen wounded in three years
... since 1863.... The murders believed to have been committed by you
bushrangers are appalling to think of. How many wives have been made
widows, how many children orphans, what loss of property, what sorrow
you have caused!... and yet, these bushrangers, the scum of the earth,
the lowest of the low, the most wicked of the wicked, are occasionally
held up for our admiration! But better days are coming. It is the old
leaven of convictism not yet worked out, but brighter days are coming.
You will not live to see them, but others will."

Sentence was then passed in the usual form, and the brothers were hung
on June 25th, 1867.

Meanwhile robberies were frequent in other districts. Mrs. Colonel
Pitt, with her daughter and Mrs. Colonel Campbell, were driving along
the Mechanics' Bay Road, near the Domain, Forbes, when a servant who
was leading the horses at the time was knocked down by an armed man.
Another robber tried to seize the reins, but Mrs. Pitt stood up in the
buggy and raised them out of his reach. She brought the butt of the
whip so heavily down on the bushranger's head that he fell. Mrs. Pitt
shouted and whipped the horses, and they galloped up the hill and did
not stop until they reached Parnell, where the police were informed
of what had occurred. A couple of troopers immediately started down
the road, and found the servant lying where the outrage was said to
have been perpetrated. He had been severely beaten, but was still
alive. He was taken without any unnecessary delay to the hospital at
Forbes, where he subsequently recovered. The robbers were tracked and
followed and were captured next day, March 5th, 1865. They were Richard
Middleton, alias Ruggy Dick, John Wilson, and Thomas Tracey. They were
tried, convicted, and sent to gaol for long periods.

On the 20th a man went into Richardson's Inn, Evans' Plains, and
ordered those in the bar to "bail up." He obtained about £5. He had
been travelling on foot, but when he left the bar he mounted a horse,
belonging to one of the men he had robbed, and which was hitched to a
verandah post, and rode straight into Bathurst, where he was captured
while spending the money he had stolen in the bar of a public house.

On the 19th, two armed men rode up to Mr. Ryan's house, on the Burrowa
River, and ordered Mrs. Ryan to hand out her money. She refused, and
one of the ruffians struck her with the butt of his revolver. An old
man named Billy Dunn, who worked on the farm, jumped up from the
table where he was at dinner to protect his mistress, when the other
bushranger ordered him to sit down again, adding, "I'll shoot you if
you interfere." The leader again demanded the money, and Mrs. Ryan
struck him in the face, when he fired and wounded her on the knee. As
she fell he struck her again with the pistol. They ransacked the house,
and at length found a roll containing £94 in bank notes, which the old
couple had just received by the Sydney mail. They also took a nugget of
gold and several rings, brooches, and other articles of jewellery. The
robbers were supposed to live in the neighbourhood and to have known
that the money had been received from Sydney. They kept their faces
covered, however, and the police could not obtain a description which
would enable them to identify any persons as the robbers.

The Bathurst mail was stuck up and robbed on February 2nd, 1866, near
Pulpit Hill, by two young men named Seymour and John Ford, who were
followed and captured next day.

On the 14th of April, 1866, Sergeant John Healey, with Constables
William Raymond, Edward William Mitchell, and Andrew Kilpatrick, left
Berrima in charge of eleven prisoners, whom they were to take to the
gaol in Sydney. The prisoners were seated in the body of the coach,
and were connected together by "a marching chain," to which their
handcuffs and leg irons were attached. The police were armed each
with a short carbine and a revolver. The three constables sat in the
body of the coach with the prisoners, while the sergeant sat on the
box seat with the driver and a passenger named Whatmore. The coach
stopped for change of horses at Bargo Brush, and the prisoners were
taken out of the coach into the public-house yard. One of them, Thomas
Berryman, produced keys with which to unlock the handcuffs from his
pocket, and asked Webster, another prisoner, whether he would be one
to "rush the police." Webster said "No," as he had only twelve months
to serve, and was then threatened with vengeance if he informed the
police, and was called "a---- hound," and a coward. Webster therefore
promised to say nothing as to what the other prisoners proposed to do.
After the halt the prisoners were again placed in the coach, and when
they had travelled about three miles they made a sudden and combined
rush on the constables. The prisoners who engaged in this mutiny
were James Crookwell, William Lee, Thomas Berryman, John Owens, and
Michael Slattery. Five others, Webster, Bland, Foster, Hindmarsh, and
Smith, sat still and helped neither party. They had refused to join
in the attempt at escape, but had promised not to give warning to the
police. Crookwell snatched a revolver from Constable Raymond's belt
and shouted, "Shoot the ----." Raymond had been seized by two of the
prisoners, but he shook himself free and jumped out of the coach.
Sergeant Healey was also seized by some of the prisoners, who attempted
to drag him backwards into the coach. He also got free and jumped
down: he ran to the side of the coach and called to the prisoners to
surrender, and as they did not do so, he pulled the trigger, but the
rifle missed fire. Crookwell had got a revolver in his hand, and was
struggling with Constable Kilpatrick, and Healey made a blow at the
convict with the gun but struck an iron bar in the coach and smashed
the stock. Healey then threw away his rifle and drew his revolver. He
fired and wounded Slattery, but at the same time Constable Raymond
fell. Bland and Slattery were also wounded, and then the prisoners
gave in. The passenger, Mr. Robert Whatmore, a publican at Bargo
Brush, had got on to the coach when it left his place to go to Picton.
He had his coat torn in the struggle. When it was over he borrowed a
horse and rode to Picton for a doctor. The body of Constable Raymond
and the wounded prisoners were put into the coach, and the sergeant
and constables walked until they were met by the police from Picton.
When tried, the prisoners denied having shot Constable Raymond, and
said that he had been killed by the fire from the police guns. This,
however, was denied by all the witnesses in the case. The six prisoners
named were found guilty of murder, and were all sentenced to death.

Sergeant Grainger and Constable Carroll chased a young man on the
Carcour Road on suspicion that he was a bushranger. When asked by
the sergeant where he was going, he replied, "Looking for work." The
sergeant made him unstrap a coat which was fastened across the pommel
of his saddle, and a small revolver was found in it. "What do you
carry that for?" inquired the sergeant. "For protection," was the
reply. The sergeant then snatched away the coat and saw that the man
had a large revolver in his hand. He was told that if he attempted to
raise this weapon he would be shot at once, and seeing that escape was
impossible he surrendered and allowed the police to handcuff him. Then
the sergeant opened his vest to ascertain what caused a protuberance
there, and found a pair of false whiskers and moustaches. He was
identified as John Miles, who had raided the Chinese Camp at Mookerawa,
besides committing several highway robberies on Evans' Plains and in
the neighbourhood of Orange. He was sent to gaol for ten years, the
Judge saying that the prisoner had used less violence than was usual
with bushrangers, and had not ill-treated the Chinamen further than by
taking their gold.

Henry Evans, a settler at Little Plains, near Burrowa, was stuck up by
two armed men on January 7th, 1867. When asked to give up his money
he said that he had none. He never had more than a few shillings in
the house. This was disbelieved, and the bushrangers threatened to
take him out and shoot him. "Shoot away," he replied coolly, "I can't
stop you." They tied him up and ransacked the place, breaking the
furniture and even stamping on Mrs. Evans's best bonnet. Being unable
to find any money they made a bundle of some clothing and strapped it
on a packhorse. Evans complained that the rope with which his hands
were bound was cutting his wrists. "Serve you right," exclaimed the
bushranger, "you deserve no better."

Mr. Kelly's store on the One Mile Creek, Emu Creek Goldfield, was stuck
up by John Kerr, alias Maher, and John Shepherd. Kelly, with his wife
and children, and a man named Gibbons were locked up in a back room
while the robbers were making a bundle of clothing, drapery, and other
articles in the store. Gibbons, however, succeeded in forcing open a
back window, without being heard by the robbers, and making his escape.
He ran to the police station and gave information, but the robbers
discovered his escape before the arrival of the police, and decamped
without their booty. This, however, did not save them. They were
followed and captured by Sergeant O'Donnell and Constable McGlone.
They were convicted of more than one robbery on the Cowra Road.

On Saturday night, June 8th, Cummings, while awaiting his trial for
highway robbery, made an attempt to escape from the Bathurst Gaol. He
filed a link of the chain of his leg-irons with a small pocket knife,
which he had somehow procured, tore up two boards from the floor of
his cell, crawled under the joists and scraped away the mortar so as
to loosen several bricks in the gaol wall. The opening was only about
ten inches square, but he contrived to squeeze through. Of course,
when his cell was found empty on the Sunday morning, the excitement in
the gaol was very great, but Mr. Forbes, the head gaoler, soon found
the prisoner seated in the summer house in his private garden. "Here
I am," cried the bushranger; "I did my best, but could not succeed."
The prisoner had found some pieces of scantling in the outer yard, but
they were not long enough to enable him to reach the top of the wall
which encloses the gaol yard. An examination into the state of the gaol
showed that the boards were quite rotten, and that the walls themselves
were not very strong, the bricks being quite soft and rotten.

Several bullock-drivers were stuck up by John Egan and Patrick Ryan
on the Orange Road, in August, 1867. On the 16th Robert and John
Tait, father and son, and Edward Barrell were camped together when
the bushrangers rode up and ordered them to "fork out." The robbers
took all their money and some articles from the drays. On the 19th
they repeated the operation on some other bullock-drivers. They
were followed by Sergeant Rush and Constable Lawrence and arrested
about forty-five miles from where the robberies were committed. At
the Bathurst Assizes the prisoners called seven witnesses to prove
an alibi, but they contradicted each other under cross-examination,
and on the prisoners being found guilty his Honour, Judge Hargrave,
directed that they should be prosecuted for perjury. The prisoners
were sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment. Another bushranger,
John Foran, who was convicted on three charges, was also sentenced to
fifteen years.

Patrick Fitzgerald, alias Paddy Wandong, was charged at Wellington on
October 21st, 1867, with having on the 21st December bailed up Thomas
Goodall, a free selector, on the Castlereagh River. The prisoner rushed
into the house in the night and ran into the bedroom. Mr. Goodall was
sitting in another room and heard his wife scream and cry "Don't kill
me." The prisoner, who was a half-caste, seized her by the throat
and pulled her out of bed. The other man, Ted Kelly, stuck up Mr.
Goodall. The prisoner said he was at Curbin, five miles away, but as
he was positively identified and was well-known in the district he
was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years' hard labour. The judge
said that Kelly had been tried for his share in the crime and had been
sentenced nearly twelve months since. Circumstances connected with
bushranging had greatly altered since then, and this would naturally
induce him to be less severe; yet, having passed a sentence on one man,
he could not now pass a lighter sentence on an accomplice who was no
less guilty.

On the 24th of November, 1867, a party of forty or fifty shearers and
others had assembled at Mr. William Whittaker's store on the Willandra
Billabong, about a mile and a half from Mossgiel station, for the
purpose of holding a race meeting, when they were bailed up by John
Williams, William Brookman, Edward Kelly, and John Payne, and robbed
of a considerable amount. Afterwards Michael McNamara, a constable
stationed at Booligal, about sixty miles from Mossgiel, but who was
at Mossgiel on duty at the time, was talking to Mr. Dobbins on the
verandah of the store, when Williams and Brookman came up, and asked
Dobbins if he was Constable McNamara. Dobbins replied "No." Brookman
then turned to the constable and asked him the same question. The
bushrangers each had a revolver in his hand, and so the constable
also said "No," and made a rush at Brookman. In the struggle they got
inside the store, and Brookman's pistol exploded, the bullet shattering
McNamara's wrist. Brookman was shouting for help, and another shot
was fired, wounding Constable McNamara in the back of the head. Mr.
Peerman, overseer of the Mossgiel sheep station, and Mr. Edward Crombie
rushed up and secured Williams and Brookman, who were placed in a
hut and watched by Messrs. F.G. Desailly, Robertson, and others. The
two bushrangers had five revolvers all loaded, except two barrels
which had recently been fired. Williams had £82 1s. 10d. and Brookman
£34 8s. 8d., making in all £116 10s. 6d. The two bushrangers were
charged on January 14th, 1868, at Deniliquin, with having wounded
with intent to kill Michael McNamara, a constable in the execution
of his duty. Williams, it was said, was a bullock driver, who had
recently sold his team for the purpose of turning bushranger. Brookman
was under seventeen years of age, and very boyish in appearance. Mr.
George Milner Stephen, who appeared for the prisoners, pleaded hard
for a light sentence on Brookman on account of his youth, and also
because his family were respectable people. The Chief Justice said
that in a recent case of a bushranger who put a pistol to the head of
an advancing constable, the jury had found that there was no intent
to kill, for what reason no one could tell. In the present case the
arresting constable had not been killed, and the jury must decide as to
the intent. With regard to the youth of one of the prisoners, it was
an ascertained fact that lads when they became bushrangers were more
bloodthirsty, brutal, cruel, and fiendish than grown men. The prisoners
were sentenced to death, and the boy when he heard the sentence said
"Thank you." His sentence was afterwards commuted to imprisonment for

Edward Kelly and John Payne pleaded guilty to the robberies at
Whittaker's, and to two other charges of bushranging. They had been
followed by the police, and Payne was captured while Kelly got away,
but not without a wound. Subsequently Payne led the police to the camp,
and thus assisted them to capture his wounded mate. For this act of
humanity, the judge sentenced him to ten years' imprisonment on two
charges, the sentences to be concurrent; while Kelly was sentenced to
two terms of fifteen years each, or thirty years in all.

Walter Maher, another bushranger, also pleaded guilty to a charge of
highway robbery, and was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.

Charley Johnson and Miller, alias Slater, who had been arrested and
lodged in the lock-up at Denison Town, on April 3rd, 1868, made a rush
on the watch-house keeper when he entered their cell, knocked him
down and took his revolver. They fired two shots at him and walked
away. They called at the blacksmith's shop and made the blacksmith take
off their irons. Then they left the town, to resume their bushranging
career. On the following morning they stuck up and robbed Mr. Ashton of
about £10. On the 6th they stuck up the Green Swamp Inn, kept by Mr.
McNaughton. In the evening they walked into Mr. Tuckerman's Hotel, in
Mudgee, and called for drinks. When these had been served they ordered
all in the bar to bail up, and began collecting the money. When they
had obtained all they could they walked away, no attempt being made
to detain them. They went into Langbridge's hotel, and collected the
money in the same way. Then they returned, mounted their horses, and
left the town by the Green Swamp Road. They stopped for supper at
Landell's Hotel, about a mile from the town. In the meantime a party
under Constable Campbell, composed principally of those who had been
robbed, started in pursuit. They rode rapidly, and as they came up to
the front of Landell's Hotel the bushrangers left by the back door,
the horses they had ridden being captured, as they were hitched to
the verandah. On the following morning Mr. Farrar was returning from
Gulgong to Mudgee when he saw three mounted men, whom he took to be
bushrangers. He started to gallop away, when he recognised Constable
Webb's voice, and pulled up. He informed the police that he had stayed
at Matthew Horner's Inn on the previous night, and had been suddenly
wakened by a blow on the head from the butt of a revolver. He was
ordered to keep quiet and to get up. He did so, and was compelled to
lead the way to the stable, saddle and bridle his horse, and give the
animal to the bushrangers. He had no idea who they were, and had been
too much confused by the blow on his head to notice their appearance.
They afterwards roused up Mr. Horner and compelled him to supply them
with horses, giving Farrar his horse back again. On obtaining this
information the party in pursuit rode on to Horner's Inn to make
further enquiries, while at the same time the bushrangers must have
been riding through the bush to Mudgee, and so passed their pursuers.
They called at Tuckerman's Hotel, and had breakfast. As soon as their
presence in the town was known, another party was made up to capture
them. When the bushrangers left the town they were again followed, and
were overtaken near Bambera Hill, where a fight took place, but when
the pursuers had expended all their ammunition they returned to Mudgee,
while the bushrangers proceeded to stick up and rob the Barragon mail.
They were captured subsequently, and sent to gaol.

The murder of the brothers Pohlmann, hawkers, was reported in the
_Wagga Wagga Express_ of April 11th, 1868. The hawker's waggon had
been found standing a little off the road which runs along the bank of
the Yanco Creek from Narrandera to Jerilderie. A few yards away was a
gunyah of boughs and bushes, supposed to have been constructed by the
brothers to shelter their camp fire from the wind. Not far away were
the ashes of a large fire, and on this being carefully examined some
metal buttons and remains of charred bones furnished incontrovertible
evidence that some human being had been cremated there. The drawers and
lockers with which the waggon was provided were open and had evidently
been ransacked. The clothes and drapery were disarranged and scattered
about the waggon, while of the large stock of jewellery which the
brothers were known to carry with them nothing could be found. When
the report was first published a rumour spread around that one of the
brothers had murdered the other and had made off with the more valuable
articles. A sister, who resided in Sydney, wrote to the Press stating
her opinion that this was not true. Her brothers were too fond of each
other to quarrel, and as they had been very successful there was no
motive for the robbery. She added that there was a secret receptacle in
the axle bed of the waggon known only to herself and her brothers, and
it was their custom to carry their money and the most valuable articles
of jewellery in this _cache_. She felt certain that if the police
searched they would find this secret hiding place with its contents
intact. The police did search, and found £73, some gold watches, and
other valuables hidden as Miss Pohlmann declared they would be. This
effectually disproved the rumour about one brother having murdered the
other, and made it evident that both had been murdered. A number of
suspicious characters were arrested and discharged, and it was thought,
as time passed away, that this murder would have to be included among
the many undiscoverable crimes. Two years had elapsed, and the murder
was almost forgotten, when a man named Robert Campbell was arrested
and charged with the crime. One witness said he had been camped on the
sand hill near the Yanco Creek, on March 13th, 1868. This sand hill was
a favourite camping ground, because there was plenty of scrub on it,
and there was no timber for firewood for miles on either side. He had
just finished his supper when Campbell came up and asked him to take
some tea to his mate who was lying ill about a quarter of a mile away.
Witness told him he could take the tea himself, but he refused. The
reason why witness would not take the tea was because Campbell bore a
bad character. Campbell went away, and witness removed his camp some
distance away, as he believed that Campbell was "up to some mischief."
The following morning, soon after he resumed his journey, he met the
Pohlmanns going towards the camping ground. No one could be found who
had seen the Pohlmanns after this, and the evidence as to the time when
they left Gillenbah tallied with the time when they were seen by this
witness. The police succeeded in tracing some of the jewellery which
had belonged to the Pohlmanns, and which Campbell had sold. He was
convicted of murder, and was hung on October 5th, 1870, but as he made
no confession the manner in which he carried out his crime can never be

On April 20th, 1868, Robert Cotterall, alias Blue Cap, was tried at
Wagga Wagga for having stuck up and robbed Carl Seeman at Rock Station,
Reedy Creek, in June, 1867; and William Marshall, Jeremiah Lehane, and
several others at various places, between July 15th and October 24th.
The prisoner had made a hard struggle when run down by the police, and
had been wounded. He was still very ill when brought to trial. He was
deathly pale, and wore a green shade over his eyes. He looked very
little like the popular ideal of a bold bushranger. He was convicted
and sent to gaol for ten years.


  Bushranging in the Northern District of New South Wales; Captain
  Thunderbolt Robs the Toll Bar; A Chinaman Bushranger; A Long Chase;
  A Fight with the Police; "Next, Please"; The Bushranger Rutherford;
  Captain Thunderbolt and the German Band; Desperate Duel between
  Captain Thunderbolt and Constable Walker; Thunderbolt's Death.

It must not be supposed that while the Southern and Western districts
of New South Wales were harried by bushrangers, that the great Northern
district escaped from this scourge. As a fact, although bushranging
began rather later than in the Western district, the Northern district
was in no degree behind the others in interest at this time. In April,
1864, Peter, James, and Acton Clarke, three brothers, with John Conroy
and a boy of twelve, named Samuel Carter, were riding together towards
Culgoa, near Warland's Range. The boy had cantered some distance ahead,
when he was ordered to "bail up" by a mounted man, who suddenly came
out from behind a clump of trees. The boy took no notice and the man
fired at him and missed. The boy galloped away and the man started to
follow him, when he caught sight of the other travellers, who had just
appeared round a bend in the road. The bushranger stopped his horse,
turned to meet them, and ordered them to dismount. They did so. The
bushranger also dismounted and came towards them. He demanded their
money, and they felt in their pockets to get it out. Just then Peter
Clarke made a rush, threw his arms round the bushranger, and tried to
throw him. There was a short struggle, and a pistol went off. Peter
Clarke fell dead, and the bushranger broke away from him. The other
travellers had come forward and endeavoured to assist Peter, but had
been unable to grasp hold of the bushranger, as the wrestlers shifted
so rapidly. Now, however, they caught him as he was trying to reach his
horse. In the struggle both James Clarke and Conroy were wounded, but
the bushranger was overpowered and disarmed. They tied his arms and
took him along with them. About two miles along the road they came upon
two men tied to trees, who said that they had been stuck up and robbed
by the prisoner about two hours before. The prisoner was handed over to
the police, and was identified as Harry Wilson, twenty years of age. He
was taken to Maitland and charged with wilful murder. He was convicted,
and hung on October 4th. A public meeting was held at Murrurundi and
a committee was appointed to raise a subscription for the purpose of
erecting a monument to Peter Clarke, who had "sacrificed his life in
the cause of order and justice." This project was duly carried out.

Mr. Samuel Turner, travelling from Bingera Goldfield to Newcastle in
a buggy, put up for the night at Britten's Hotel, Willowtree. Next
morning (Sunday, October 19th) he started early, intending to breakfast
at Wallabadah. He had gone barely ten miles, however, when he was
stuck up by a man riding a fine-looking horse. The robber took him off
the road, tied him to one tree and hitched his horse to another. He
robbed Mr. Turner of about £12, a gold watch and chain, and a bunch of
keys, and rode away. Mr. Turner struggled desperately and succeeded in
getting loose. He was leading his horse through the scrub towards the
road when the robber returned, tied him up more securely than before,
and cautioned him not to "try that dodge again." This time Mr. Turner
remained quiet, and about an hour later the bushranger returned again,
directing Mr. McShane where to drive his mail coach. When the coach
had been placed in a satisfactory position the robber tied McShane and
a passenger back to back, with a sapling between them, and laid them
on the ground. The bushranger then sat down to go through the letters.
McShane said, "You'd better leave them alone, you'll get nothing out
of them." "Won't I," replied the bushranger. "What do you call this?
It's a hundred and forty quid anyway." He held up a roll of bank
notes as he spoke. Having finished the letters he told them to remain
quiet until he "got the other mail," and went away again towards the
road. It was fully two hours later when he again returned, directing
Smith, the driver of the other mail, where to drive. Smith said his
horses were young ones and would not stand. "All right," replied the
bushranger, "stand at their heads, but, mind, no hanky panky." The
only passenger was Mrs. O'Dell. She was politely requested to take a
seat on a log and was not interfered with or asked for her money. By
a strange coincidence her husband had been a passenger on the coach a
week before and had been robbed at the same place, presumably by the
same bushranger. By the present transaction the Bank of New South Wales
lost £274, and it was doubtful whether this included the "hundred and
forty quid" or not.

J. Lowe's mail coach, plying between Mudgee and Sofala, was stuck up
by an armed bushranger about two miles from Peel. It was not known
whether this highwayman came from the Northern or the Western district,
the place where the robbery took place lying between the two and being
raided occasionally from either side.

On December 16th a toll-keeper named Delany was "sitting at the
receipt of custom" in the toll-house on the road between Maitland and
Rutherford, when a man pushed the door open, presented a pistol at
his head, and cried out "Give me your money." Delany was of course
considerably startled by the suddenness of this attack, but he replied
"I've got none." "No---- nonsense!" cried the bushranger. "Give it
here!" "I tell you," exclaimed Delany, "there's no money here. My
mate's just taken it to Maitland." The bushranger stepped into the
house, pushed Delany aside, opened the cupboard, and took out the cash
box, saying at the same time, "I'm Captain Thunderbolt." Delany made no
attempt to resist this violence, and the bushranger put the box under
his arm and walked away up the road to where he had hitched his horse
to the fence. He mounted and rode away, and a few minutes afterwards
O'Brien, the lessee of the tollbar, returned from the town. Delany told
him what had occurred, and leaving O'Brien in charge walked towards
the Spread Eagle Inn at the Rutherford Racecourse. Near the inn he
came upon the bushranger, who exclaimed, "Hulloa, come after me?" "No,"
replied Delany, "I'm going to the pub." "Has your mate gone for the
crushers?" asked the bushranger. "No," was the reply, "he's minding the
bar." Captain Thunderbolt kept silence for a moment, as if thinking,
then he said, "I was told that young Fogarty, the flash fighting man,
was keeping the bar, and I wanted to take it out of him. I didn't want
to hurt you. You'll find your cash box behind that clump of trees and
here's your money." He handed Delany about four shillings, mostly in
coppers, and Delany walked away, picked up the cash box, which was
uninjured, and went back to the toll-house. The bushranger walked into
the bar of the inn and asked if he could have something to eat. Mrs.
Byrne, the landlady, replied "Certainly," and went out to cut him some
bread and meat. He sat down and waited, and on her return ate the bread
and meat as if he was very hungry. When he had finished he asked "How
much?" "Oh nothing," replied Mrs. Byrne, "we never charge for a little
thing like that." "Well," said the robber, "I came here to stick you
up, but as you're so---- hospitable, I won't." He then asked for a
bottle of rum, paid for it, and went away. About half-a-mile away he
met Godfrey Parsons, who was taking his sick wife to Maitland, to see
the doctor. Thunderbolt ordered him to "bail up and hand out." Parsons
replied, "We've only two pounds, and we want that for the doctor." The
bushranger asked what was the matter with Mrs. Parsons and how long
she had been ill. Parsons told him. "Well," said the robber, "I'm a
bushranger, but I don't rob sick women; pass on." Mrs. Parsons had £30
in her pocket and was crying at the prospect of losing it.

Further along the road Thunderbolt met a man and four women, and
stopped to joke with them. He said he thought it----- unfair that one
man should have four women, while he could not get one. As they were
laughing a trooper rode up, and the bushranger immediately challenged
him to fight; the trooper, however, said he had no ammunition with
him. "I've been chased by you---- traps near Armidale," exclaimed
Thunderbolt, "but they pulled up at the Black Rock. They were afraid
of getting bogged in the Green Swamp if they followed me."

He stopped a number of other people during the afternoon, robbing some
and letting others go, and in the evening went back to the Spread Eagle
to tea. He chatted for some time with Mrs. Byrne, telling her of his
exploits. Just after his departure four troopers rode up. Information
as to the proceedings of the bushranger had reached Maitland, and these
troopers had been sent out to catch him if possible. They made some
enquiries, and then followed in the direction in which Thunderbolt had
gone, overtaking him as he was talking quietly to a man on the road.
The foremost trooper presented his pistol at the bushranger's head,
and said "You're my prisoner." "Am I?" cried Thunderbolt with a laugh,
as he put spurs to his horse and galloped away. After a long chase,
and the expenditure of a large quantity of Government ammunition, the
bushranger escaped in the dark, the troopers' horses being almost too
tired to return to Maitland. In its comments on this escapade of the
new bushranger the _Maitland Mercury_ enquires: "Is this hitherto quiet
district to be disturbed as the Western district has been for so long a
time?" and events proved that it was.

Within a few days the Northern mail was stuck up by two armed men. One
of the robbers was said to be in a state of trepidation the whole time.
Perhaps this may account for the bushrangers missing two registered
letters, one containing £60 and the other £30, and a small bag of
gold-dust in a package. A gentleman who was accompanying the mail cart
on horseback was allowed to continue his journey because he said he
was on a visit to a sick friend. He was required to promise, "as a
gentleman," not to give any information to the police, and he kept his
word, but on his arrival in Tamworth he made a bet that the mail coach
would not arrive by three p.m. The mail was delayed less than half an
hour, however, and the driver nearly made up the lost time by fast
driving. The gentleman therefore lost his bet in spite of the special
knowledge he had acquired. The robbers were followed at once, and on
January 6th, 1865, William Mackie and Robert Johnstone were committed
for trial for this robbery. Mackie was identified as a bushranger
who had been previously convicted at Bathurst for robbery under arms,
but had made his escape while being conveyed to Sydney to be sent to
Cockatoo Island. The prisoners were taken from Bathurst to Penrith by
coach. From thence they went to Sydney by train. They were handcuffed
in the guard's van, the door being open, as the day was very hot.
When running along the embankment near Fairfield, between Liverpool
and Parramatta, Mackie, ironed as he was, jumped out. The train was
travelling at a fast rate, and it ran some distance before notice could
be conveyed to the driver and the train stopped. It was expected that
the prisoner would be found dead at the foot of the embankment, but
nothing could be seen of him. It was then believed that he had crawled
somewhere into the scrub to die, but although diligent search was made
no body could be discovered. He was now sent to Cockatoo to undergo his
original sentence, and Johnstone was sent to keep him company. It was
said that they intended to join Captain Thunderbolt.

An attempt was made to stick up the Northern mail about twelve miles
north of Singleton, on January 7th. A shot was fired from behind a
culvert on the road, as the coach was passing, and a voice called out
"Bail up." The driver, however, instead of obeying, lashed his horses,
took his foot off the brake, and the coach plunged down the hill at a
tremendous rate, and at the imminent risk of a capsize. Two robbers
came out from behind the culvert and fired. The passengers declared
that they heard the whizz of the bullets, but no one was hurt, and the
coach reached the level ground safely.

On the same day the branch mail from Bendemeer was stuck up and robbed
near Stringy Barks, proving that more than one party was raiding on the
Great North Road. There were no passengers, but a number of half notes
were taken. The robbers handed the driver several cheques to "take care
of," one being for £1000. No violence was used.

The Northern mail was robbed again on January 30th, at Black Hill,
about two miles from Muswellbrook, by four armed men. There were three
male and one female passengers. The amount stolen was estimated at
between £700 and £800. These and several minor robberies on the road
were all credited to Captain Thunderbolt, or to men who were trying to
join him, and it was said that the immunity enjoyed by him encouraged
other evil-disposed persons to take to the road.

In one case at least a Chinaman turned bushranger. Constable Ward was
returning to his station at Coonanbarabran from Mudgee, on February
21st, when he was informed that a Chinaman had recently stuck up and
robbed a number of persons in the neighbourhood. The constable followed
him into the bush, found his camp, and called on the Asiatic to come
out and surrender. Instead of obeying the Chinaman exclaimed, "You----
policeeman, me shootee you!" and did so. The constable, though wounded,
returned to the nearest farm, from whence news of the occurrence was
sent to the police-station. A party was organised and the Chinaman was
soon hunted down. He was convicted of attempting to murder a constable
while in the execution of his duty, and was hung. Constable Ward
recovered from his wound.

On April 6th, Mr. Hughes, of Bourke & Hughes, squatters, informed the
police at Dubbo, that the hotel at the Fisheries had been stuck up and
robbed, and volunteered to assist in the capture of the bushrangers.
They tracked the robbers to Canonbar, about a hundred and twenty miles,
when Mr. Hughes's horse knocked up. There they were informed that the
bushrangers had passed three days before, and had stolen fresh horses
from Mr. Baird's station, Bellerengar, leaving their knocked-up ones
in exchange. The black trackers were thrown off the trail by this
manoeuvre, as they followed the tracks of the abandoned horses for
several miles before they discovered their error. They soon, however,
picked up the new tracks, although the bushrangers had kept off the
road as much as possible, as if aware that they were being followed.
They rode through the scrub and across arid or rocky patches wherever
they could find them, but the black boys followed them with unerring
skill and with but little delay. The bush rangers stuck up and robbed
several people on the road and took fresh horses, provisions, and
other necessaries from the stations as they went along. At Martell's
Inn the police were informed that the bushrangers were only twelve
hours ahead. We will now leave the pursuers and see what the pursued
were doing. They stuck up Mr. Strahan's station and then went on to
Gordon's Inn, where they called for drinks like ordinary travellers,
shouting for all those in the bar. Then the leader, Daniel Sullivan,
produced his pistol, while his two mates went to the door to prevent
any of the men inside from running away. They collected about £4 from
the landlord and those in the bar, then they put their pistols in their
pockets and began "shouting" again. When the £4 was expended, they
again produced their pistols, compelled the landlord to hand over the
cash, and proceeded to spend it as before. The money had been expended
some three or four times, when Sullivan left his mates, Clarke and
Donnelly, to "keep the game alive," mounted his horse and rode into
the bush. Mr. Gordon was compelled to remain in the bar to serve out
the liquors called for, but Mrs. Gordon went on to the verandah to
ascertain whether she could find any one to send to Molong to give
the alarm. Presently she saw three dusty, weather-stained travellers
walking towards the inn, and thought that they were more bushrangers.
Fortunately she did not go into the bar to tell her husband, and when
Sergeant Cleary, with Constables Brown and Johnston, came up they
speedily told her who they were, and were informed in their turn that
the men they had ridden so far to arrest were inside. The police
entered the bar, and covering the two bushrangers with their revolvers
called on them to surrender. Instead of obeying, Clarke put his hand
to his belt and was immediately shot. Donnelly made a rush towards
the corner of the bar, where their guns were standing against the
wall, and he also was shot just before he reached them. A moment later
Sullivan rode up to the front of the hotel, unconscious of the change
which had taken place during his absence, and when he found himself
covered by the police weapons he was so dumbfounded that he permitted
himself to be pulled from his horse and handcuffed without resistance.
The police had left their horses some distance away in charge of the
black tracker. Now they went for their horses and fed them as well as
themselves. Later on a cart was procured, and the body of Donnelly
was disposed in the bottom. Beside it, wrapped in a blanket, was the
wounded man, Clarke, while Sullivan, being uninjured, was mounted on
horseback, and the whole party proceeded to Molong, where an inquest
was held on Donnelly's body. Sullivan, and Clarke, who recovered from
his wound, were subsequently tried and convicted.

On April 29th, the _Tamworth Examiner_ said:--"A week ago we reported
that Frederick Ward, alias Captain Thunderbolt, had stuck up the
Warialda mail. He afterwards went to Mr. Lloyd's Manilla station and
took two first-class horses. Then he stuck up Cheeseborough's and
Lethbridge's stations. From the 20th to the 24th nothing was heard of
him, but on the last-mentioned date he and another stuck up Munro's
Inn, at Boggy Creek. Mr. Munro challenged them to fight singly, either
with fists or pistols, but they laughed at him and shot a valuable dog.
They drank a large quantity of spirits, and collected between £70 and
£80. They went on to Walford's Inn at Millie, sticking up Mr. Baldwin
on the road. Mr. Walford, having been informed of their approach, had
hidden away everything of value, so that they got very little, except
more grog. The police also had been informed, and three troopers,
with a black tracker, soon arrived on the scene. As they approached,
the bushranger on guard outside whistled, and the other man came out
and mounted, Thunderbolt waving a revolver and pointing to a field
behind the house as a challenge. He led his men to the clearing and
made a stand. The police followed, and a number of shots were fired
on both sides. The police closed up, and Constable Dalton shot one of
the bushrangers, a mere lad, and he fell. Dalton shouted to Constable
Morris to 'look after him,' and turned towards Thunderbolt, when the
boy raised himself on his elbow and fired. Constable Lynch shot the boy
in the neck, probably in time to save Dalton's life. Ward made a dash
forward, perhaps with a view to driving the police away from the boy
and carrying him off, but the police fire was too brisk, and after a
few more rounds the robber turned and rode into the bush. The police
followed, but as their horses had travelled fifty miles that morning,
they were obliged to give up the chase. The robber who was killed, was
identified as John Thompson, aged sixteen."

The Namoi mail was robbed by one white man and two blacks, near
Tamworth, and on September 17th the mail from Walgett to Singleton was
stuck up at Brigalow Creek. The passengers and driver were conducted
some distance off the road, to where a fire had been kindled, and were
told to "make some tea and enjoy yourselves while we look after the
bags." James Boyd, alias McGrath, and Charles Stanmore were arrested
after a smart chase, and were convicted of having robbed the Walgett
mail. A number of similar robberies occurred from time to time in
various parts of this extensive district, and the police were kept
constantly busy.

In December, 1865, Ward, riding Mr. Duff's racer Eucalyptus, stuck up
Cook's Inn at Quirindi on the 18th; J.M. Davis's Inn at Currabubula on
the 20th, and Griffin's Inn at Carroll on the 23rd. At this last-named
place he pulled up, and said to his mate in a loud voice, "Let's have
a glass of brandy. We want it this wet evening." They dismounted, and
stepped on to the verandah. As he entered the door Thunderbolt raised
the corner of his mackintosh to display his pistols, and said, "I'll
trouble you, ladies and gentlemen, to bail up." The women began to
scream, and Ward said, "Don't be afraid. We shan't hurt any one. We
only want a little money." A traveller who had entered some time before
drew away from the bar, and joined the bushrangers. The other men
present were ranged in single row along the wall, and when all were in
position each man was called up in turn to be searched. The proceedings
were very suggestive of the "next, please," in a barber's shop. While
this was going on several people entered, and were compelled to take
their places at the end of the queue. The bushrangers held the bar
from five to nine p.m., pausing in their work every now and then to
order drinks for all hands. Shortly after nine o'clock two men rode up
to the verandah, and shouted "Landlord." The robbers looked out, and
recognising the horsemen, retreated into the back room. Mr. Griffin
went to the door, and said in a low tone to Constable Lang, "We're
all stuck up here." "Which are the bushrangers?" asked the constable,
and on being told that they were in the back room he rode to the door
and fired. The shot was returned, and the shooting continued until
the constable was wounded in the arm and his horse in the neck. The
bushrangers went out through the back door, and escaped in the darkness
into the bush, but they left their horses behind.

Early in 1866 Ward and his gang made a raid across the Queensland
border, robbing stations, hotels, and travellers in the Curriwillinghi
district, but he soon returned to his own district, and in March the
Tamworth and Wee Waa mail was stuck up near Bullingall by two armed
men supposed to be Ward and another. The driver of the Northern mail
was also ordered to bail up near Murrurundi, and as he did not obey
with due alacrity he was speedily brought to a standstill by one of his
horses being shot dead. After going through the letters the bushrangers
rode into the town and took a quantity of clothes, some money, and some
jewellery and other valuables from Barton's and Johnstone's stores and
Humphries' Hotel.

The Northern mail was robbed by three armed men at the Red Post Hill,
near Falbrook. It was just before dawn when the driver was ordered to
bail up. The robbers were on foot and had a number of pieces of rope
ready to tie up the passengers. Mr. Moore, of Abingdon, attempted to
run away, but was followed and knocked down with the butt of a pistol.
The six passengers and the driver were tightly bound either to the
fence or to trees, and their money and watches taken away from them.
The robbers then mounted the coach and drove away along the road.
As soon as it was out of sight the bound men began to struggle for
liberty. Mr. Moore was the first to succeed in breaking loose and he
untied Mr. Dines and the others. They followed the coach along the road
towards Singleton, but had not gone very far when they were overtaken
by Mr. Wyndham on horseback. They informed him of their circumstances
and he rode rapidly away to give notice to the police in Singleton. He
found the coach standing on the road within a mile of the town but did
not stay to examine it. The police started out immediately and arrived
at the coach almost as soon as the driver and passengers. Only one of
the bags had been cut open, and no damage was done to anything else on
the coach. The police spent the whole day in searching, but failed to
find any tracks or to ascertain in which direction the robbers had gone.

James Booth, William Willis, alias Dunkley, and Thomas Hampton were
arrested in a public house at the corner of Goulburn and Pitt Streets,
Sydney, by Detectives Camphin and Finigan on April 17th, 1866, and
charged with having robbed the Singleton mail on the previous day.
The coach had arrived at the Red Post Hill, between Muswellbrook and
Singleton, when the men sprang out from behind the trees bordering the
road and sang out, "Bail up, stand and deliver, throw up your arms."
Mr. Moore, one of the passengers, jumped out of the back of the coach,
and Hampton chased him and brought him back. Mr. Button, a Government
railway guard, also tried to get down, but Willis told him that he
would blow his "---- brains out" if he didn't sit still. The passengers
were all tied up and robbed. One of them, George Beved, said that
Willis was the man who threatened to "Blow the roof of his---- skull
off" when Moore was wrestling with Hampton. The prisoners were also
charged with having bailed up and robbed the mail near Campbelltown, on
April 10th. The proceedings were of the usual character. The prisoners
were convicted on both charges and were sentenced, Willis to ten years'
and Booth and Hampton each to eight years' imprisonment.

The April Sessions at Bathurst were unusually heavy. John Weekes was
sentenced to death for the murder of Mr. Scheffts at Grenfell, and John
Connors for attempted murder in another bushranging exploit. Besides
these, Patrick Foran and James Kelly were sent to gaol for ten years
for sticking up the Half-Way House on the Carcoar Road, and other
acts of bushranging; James Kennedy, alias Southgate, to fifteen years
for sticking up John Edwards, William Woodley, and Henry Rodwell,
at Murdering Swamp on January 1st--Kennedy also pleaded guilty to
robbing John Fawcett and John Eaton; Charles Rutherford, who had been
engaged in several robberies in company with William Mackie, who, as
already related, had jumped out of the train while being conveyed to
Sydney, and was afterwards captured in the Northern district, was
sentenced to seven years' penal servitude; Smith and Moran sentenced
to seventeen years each, and Kerr to ten years. These, with some
prisoners, sentenced for minor offences, were being conveyed to Sydney
to gaol on April 25th, 1867. There were fifteen prisoners in all,
guarded by eight troopers. Sergeant Casey, in charge, was seated on
the box seat of the Cobb's coach. The prisoners were inside chained
together in two gangs of seven and eight respectively. Constables
Madden and Kennedy were seated, unarmed, with the prisoners, while the
other five troopers rode beside the coach fully armed. At Pulpit Hill
the prisoners, notwithstanding the heavy force opposed to them, made
a desperate attempt to escape, and in the melee Constable Holmes was
killed, while Rutherford and another prisoner got away in the bush.
Rutherford immediately returned to his old haunts and recommenced his
depredations. In December, 1867, he was captured by Sergeant Cleary,
of Bourke, and was conveyed to the lock-up, but he again contrived to
escape. In January, 1868, he stuck up the Boggy Creek and Galathera
Inns, and robbed numbers of people on the road. He then went to Mr.
Beauvais' inn at Cannonbar and called on the landlord to bail up. Mr.
Beauvais, however, had a pistol in the till and knew how to use it. On
pretence of taking out the money, to hand over as commanded, he got out
his revolver and shot the bushranger. He was awarded a silver medal by
the Government for this act.

The districts raided by Rutherford and Thunderbolt overlapped, so
that it is difficult to decide which of these two bushrangers were
responsible for many of the outrages. Ward, however, was not idle. In
company with a boy named Mason, he stuck up and robbed the Northern,
the Walcha, and several other mails in the district. He was frequently
chased by the police, but being a magnificent rider, with an intimate
knowledge of every gully, ravine, or hill in the extensive district
over which he ranged, he always contrived to escape. Sometimes he was
very hard pressed, as, for instance, when he was compelled to abandon
Talleyrand, a racehorse for the recovery of which Mr. Wyndham had
offered a reward of £100, in April, 1869. His companions were captured
one after the other. They were generally boys of from sixteen to
twenty, but Thunderbolt continued his career unchecked. No doubt he
owed many of his hairbreadth escapes to the superiority of his horses.
He would travel two hundred miles to steal a noted racehorse. Thus he
stole Mr. Samuel Clift's horse, John Brown, from Breeza. The horse had
run on the Maitland and Sydney courses.

One of the stories told about Ward was that he stuck up a German band
at Goonoo Goonoo Gap, and made the Teutons play for him, besides
giving him their money. The Germans pleaded hard. They said they were
only poor men, and that their wives and children would suffer if they
were robbed. Thunderbolt told them that he must have money. He was
waiting for the principal winner at the Tamworth Races, he added, and
he promised that if he caught him he would return the Germans their
money. He took down their names and addresses. Notwithstanding this
the Germans departed very sorrowful. They never expected to see their
money again. Nevertheless, on their arrival at their home in Warwick,
Queensland, they found a Post Office Order for £20 awaiting them. It
was surmised, therefore, that Thunderbolt had captured the winner.

On May 25, 1870, Ward met Mr. Blanche, innkeeper, near Uralla,
returning home with his wife from a drive, and called on him to bail
up. Blanche laughed, but took no further notice of the order. Ward
exclaimed, "No humbugging. You wouldn't let me have a bottle of rum the
other night, though I offered £5 for it." Blanche replied that he never
served any one after hours. He then took four shillings and sixpence
from his pocket and said, "This is all the money I've got. You can have
that." The robber said, "The missus has more than that." "No," cried
Mrs. Blanche, "I've no money. We only came for a drive." Ward seemed to
consider for a moment, and then told Mr. Blanche to drive on. Several
men came up the by-road from Carlisle Gully, and Ward stopped and
robbed them. An old man named Williamson, and an Italian dealer named
Giovanni Cappisote, were also stopped, but after handing over a gold
watch and chain, a small nugget of gold, and £3 13S. 6d. in money, the
dealer was allowed to depart. The other men were taken to Blanche's
Inn, where Williamson was ordered to shout. He did so, and then Ward
shouted. They danced, and sang, and enjoyed themselves. Becoming
quieter, Ward asked Blanche whether he remembered a fight between a
bushranger and the police at the Rocks, about three hundred yards away,
seven years before. Blanche said he remembered it well. "Well," cried
Ward, "I'm the man; I was shot in the leg." Ward went on to relate more
of his exploits, the narrative being interspersed with songs and dances.

In the meantime, Cappisote drove on to a selector's farm about a mile
and a half along the road. Here he told Mrs. Dorrington what had
happened. He borrowed a saddle and bridle, took his horse from the
cart, and rode to Uralla; making a wide détour round Blanche's house.
He told the police where the bushranger was, and Constables Mulhall
and Walker armed and mounted at once. Mulhall had the faster horse and
he reached Blanche's first. As he rode up he saw Ward and a young man,
both mounted on gray horses, riding along the road. He followed them,
and as he approached Ward turned round in his saddle and fired. Mulhall
returned the fire but his horse bolted. The trooper soon pulled him
up. He wheeled and, seeing one of the men on the grays gallop away,
followed shouting to Walker to "look after the other fellow."

The "other fellow" was Thunderbolt, and he turned off the road and rode
down the steep hill towards the Rocky River, followed by Constable
Walker. Both men fired a shot occasionally when an opportunity offered
but neither spoke. On reaching the bank of the river, Ward plunged
in, intending to cross and escape up the opposite range, but Walker
shot his horse. Ward fell into the river, which was shallow there, and
he rose immediately. Walker galloped along the bank past a deep hole
and crossed. Then he returned to where Ward was standing in the water
and called on him to surrender. "Who the---- are you?" enquired Ward
roughly. "Never mind who I am," replied Walker, "put your hands up."
"Are you a trooper?" asked Ward. "Yes," replied Walker. "Married?"
continued Ward. "Yes," said Walker. "Well, remember your family," said
Ward. "Oh, that's all right," returned the trooper. "Will you come
out and surrender?" "No," cried Ward, "I'll die first." "Then it's
you and me for it," said Walker. The trooper urged his horse into the
river. The animal objected at first and then entered with a rush into
deep water. Walker raised his revolver above his head to keep it dry.
Ward fired several shots, none of which took effect. When the horse
steadied Walker fired again and Ward fell. He rose again immediately
and tried to scramble up the bank. Walker struck him with the butt of
his revolver and the bushranger fell back into the deep hole and sank.
The trooper slipped from his horse, and reaching down grabbed Ward's
shirt and pulled him up. He dragged the bushranger out of the hole,
up the steep bank, and laid him out on the grass, believing him to be
dead. Then he remounted and rode to Blanche's Hotel for assistance
to bring the body in. Several of the men about there volunteered to
help, but on their reaching the river they found that the bushranger
had disappeared. A search was made, but it was too dark to look for
tracks. The next morning at daybreak the police and several civilians
went to the spot and found a trail of blood. They followed it, and
found Ward hidden under some bushes. He was placed in a cart and taken
to Uralla, but he died before night. The young man chased by Constable
Mulhall said he had gone after Ward to try and get back a horse which
the bushranger had stolen from him, and as nothing detrimental to his
character was known he was discharged at the police court.

Constable Walker was highly complimented for the pluck and
determination he had shown in this desperate encounter with the noted
bushranger in a deep water hole in a mountain stream with no one
looking on. Of the many brave actions recorded of the police this was
perhaps the bravest and the most tragical. The constable was promoted
and paid his well-earned reward.

In referring to this duel the _Melbourne Argus_ spoke of Ward as the
last of the "professional bushrangers" of New South Wales, and said:
"With a much more compact territory than New South Wales, and with a
population which can entertain no ancestral or traditional sympathies
with burglars or highwaymen, we are nevertheless amenable to the same
reproaches as those with which the neighbouring colony was assailed a
few years ago."

I have already dealt with this mild pharisaical glorification of
Victoria as compared with New South Wales, and have no intention of
enlarging upon it here. I refer to it merely to remind the reader that
bushrangers were at work elsewhere than in New South Wales at this


  Bushranging in the Wild Paroo; A Raid into South Australia; A Relic
  of the Bushranging Era; Agitation for the Release of Gardiner;
  Official Reports as to Twenty-four Bushrangers Still in Gaol; The
  Cases of Gardiner and William Brookman; Gardiner and the Other
  Bushrangers Released; Gardiner Leaves the Country.

Bushranging in New South Wales practically ceased with the death of
Frederick Ward, alias Captain Thunderbolt. Previously to his tragical
death in the New England River, the few stragglers from the big gangs
had been captured, and any new men who attempted to revive the "reign
of terror" were speedily dealt with by the police. There were some few
robberies besides those already related which may be mentioned here.
They were distributed over a wide range of country, one party even
crossing the border into South Australia, where the bushranger had
hitherto been known only by hearsay. But these later bushrangers did
not inspire the terror which those who had passed away had done. They
were very small fry as compared with Gardiner, Gilbert, Hall, Dunn,
Morgan, Thunderbolt, and their companions. Three bushrangers stuck up
Mr. Wearne's station at Crookwell on January 6th, 1869, and stole £80
worth of property. The Carcoar mail was bailed up on the mountains,
near the Bathurst Road, by two bushrangers, when £15 were taken from
the passengers and the bags were searched. A desperate attempt was made
to stick up the Joint Stock Bank at Braidwood, but the robbers were
beaten off. The Southern mail was robbed on May 10th between Goulburn
and Marulan. An attempt was made to stick up the Yass mail on the 24th.
Mr. Longfield, a passenger, was wounded, but the robber was forced to
retire without having effected his purpose.

In December, a number of people were bailed up and robbed in the
Paroo and Warrego districts. The "Wild Paroo" had not been very long
reclaimed from its original desert state, but this did not prevent an
enterprising bushranger from finding his way there, though he did not
continue his career for any very lengthened period. He stuck up Messrs.
Lyons & Martin's station, and made the men sit on the top rail of the
stockyard fence while he rolled up a parcel of goods which he selected
from the store. Messrs. Browne, Zouch, and Bradley drove up in a buggy
while he was thus engaged, and were ordered to dismount and take their
places on the fence with the station hands. The robber escorted them,
pistol in hand, from where the buggy stood to the stockyard. While
walking across this intervening space, the bushranger inadvertently, or
carelessly perhaps, stepped rather too near to Mr. Browne, who stood
six feet five inches in his socks, and was proportionately strong. With
a whoop Mr. Browne pounced on to him and held him as in a vice. This
turned the tables completely. The men on the fence got off, and the
bushranger was in his turn securely tied to the fence and kept there
until the police could be brought from the nearest town, Bourke, about
a hundred and fifty miles away, to conduct him to prison. After this,
bushranging does not appear to have been popular in this district.

On the 9th May, 1869, Mr. Henry Kidder Gillham, manager of the
Australian Joint Stock Bank at Braidwood, returned home at eight p.m.,
and entered by the side gate, when a man sprang out from the shadow and
called on him to stand. The bushranger presented a revolver, which Mr.
Gillham pushed aside, when another man struck him with a life preserver
and knocked him down. Two shots were fired from revolvers. Michael
Collins, a gardener living on the bank premises, was in the kitchen
when the two bushrangers entered. One of them called out: "Not a word,
or it will be the worse for you." The tall man had a "Northumberland
voice--that is, he could not pronounce the r." They tied Collins, and
went out of the kitchen. In the meantime the firing had been heard, and
Mr. Finnigan, a teacher, with Sergeant Duffy and Constable Luke Dacy,
ran to the bank. When they got there two men ran out of the garden, and
after a chase, during which several shots were fired, Joseph Horne was
captured. He had no boots on. The other man, John Bollard, escaped at
the time, but was tracked and captured subsequently. The Chief Justice,
Sir Alfred Stephen, said that Horne had been sentenced to seven years'
hard labour at Maitland. He was afterwards convicted in Melbourne and
had escaped from Pentridge stockade, having been shot in the shoulder.
Horne said that punishment had made him what he was, and pleaded hard
for Bollard, who was young and had been enticed from the right path by
him. Horne was sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment and Bollard to
ten years.

John Baker and William Bertram divided their attentions between New
South Wales and South Australia. In May, 1869, warrants were issued
for their arrest for horse stealing from the Mount Murchison station.
They took to the road and stuck up a number of people. In October they
bailed up a hawker named Charles Young, who resisted and was shot
dead. This occurred at the Barrier Ranges, not a great way from where
the Broken Hill silver-lead lode was afterwards discovered. Bertram
was followed and captured, and was subsequently tried, convicted,
and hung at Bathurst. Baker escaped for the time and made his way to
Koringa. Said the _South Australian Register_, "He showed a remarkable
want of caution in returning to a district where he had passed his
hobble-de-hoy years and was consequently well known." He had been
employed as a horse-breaker at the Cross Roads Grounds, Burra Burra,
about seven years previously and had afterwards worked for Messrs.
Macdonald & Hockin, mail coach proprietors, on the Great Northern Road.
On his arrival at Koringa he went into a barber's shop and asked to
have his hair cut and dyed. The hairdresser refused to dye it. Baker
swore at him, but could not change his determination. The bushranger
also grumbled at the time spent in cutting his hair, and continually
urged the barber to "hurry up." When the job was completed Baker walked
to Redruth, and sat down in the main street opposite the Court House,
where the police sessions were being held at the time. There were a
number of people about, but Baker sat and cut his tobacco with all
the nonchalance of innocence. He filled and lighted his pipe, and was
smoking comfortably, when Corporal Smith and Constable Walker came up
and said "You're our prisoner." "What for?" asked Baker. "Bushranging,"
was the short reply. Baker sprang up from his seat, and raced away at
a great rate along the road. He was speedily followed by the police
on horseback and brought back. He struggled furiously, slipping his
hands from the handcuffs with the greatest ease. The police, however,
carried him into the lock-up, and put him into a cell. When questioned,
he said he had brought a mob of horses down country for sale, and
carried a revolver for his own protection. In the same cell was a man
named Dobson arrested for horse stealing, who had been quiet until
Baker came. But the door was barely closed and locked when the gaoler
heard a suspicious noise in the cell. On opening the door he found
that Baker and Dobson were trying to make a hole in the roof with a
heavy board seat which they had wrenched from its mortice, and were now
using as a battering-ram. Baker was placed in another cell and ironed.
He was a small wiry man, very active, and a daring rider. In company
with Bertram he had stuck up the Mount Murchison station; stuck up Mr.
Cobham's station two hundred miles from Wilcannia, and taken money, a
revolver, and several horses; stolen the horse he was riding from Mr.
O'Leary, of Poolamacca; robbed and murdered a hawker at the Barrier
ranges, and stuck up and robbed a number of people on the roads about
Tiers, Gummeracha, and other places near the Murray River, on both
sides of the New South Wales-South Australian border. When Bertram was
captured, Baker endeavoured to induce a young man whom he met to join
him, telling him that they could easily raise £200 to £300, but the
young fellow replied that he "didn't want to be hung yet." Baker was
extradited to New South Wales, and was tried and hung at Bathurst early
in 1871.

On May 20th, 1870, _The Queanbeyan Age_ reported the finding of a
mail bag near the Big Hill. The bag was still locked and the seal
intact, but the bottom had been ripped open. It had evidently, from its
appearance, been lying in the bush for a long time, probably several
years. It was referred to as "a relic of the bygone bushranging era in
the district."

The Muswellbrook and Cassilis coach was stuck up at Wappinguey, on
November 1st, 1870, by two armed men. When ordered to bail up, E.
Cummins, the driver, enquired "What for?" "You'll soon see. Drive into
that bit of scrub," was the reply. Cummins did as he was ordered, and
when the coach was out of sight of the road he was made to get down and
hold his horses while the robbers went through the letter bags. When
they had finished, they told him to gather up the letters and go.

On the 3rd, Mr. Bellamy was lying under his cart asleep, about three
miles from Forbes, on the Currajong Road, when he was awakened by
some one calling "Come out o' that." He asked what was the matter,
and was told to come out unless he wanted his "brains blown out." He
crawled from under the tarpaulin which covered his cart, and handed
the bushrangers three £1 notes. "Where's the rest? We know what you
got for your load at Forbes," said one of the bushrangers. "I paid it
away to a man I owed it to," replied Bellamy. "That won't do. You never
stopped anywhere; we were watching you. Where is it?" As Bellamy still
persisted in saying that he had paid away the money, he was compelled
to stand with his face to the wheel and was tied there. A handkerchief
was also tied round his head, with the knot thrust into his mouth, as
a gag. They shook out Bellamy's blankets, searched the feed-bag of his
horses, and hunted everywhere, until at length they discovered thirteen
£1 notes tucked under the tilt of the cart. Having secured their booty
they cautioned Bellamy not to move for an hour under pain of being
shot, and went away. Two of them jumped over the track in what was
called the road, to avoid leaving footmarks in the dust, but the third
appeared to be stiff and walked across into the bush. After they had
been out of sight for a time, Bellamy began to struggle. He capsized
the spring cart before he succeeded in breaking the rope, but as soon
as he got loose he walked back to Forbes and informed the police of
the robbery. The robbers were followed and found in a public-house
drinking, a day or two after the robbery.

One day, about this time, a man walked into the branch bank at
Cassilis, pointed a pistol at the head of the cashier, and ordered him
to "bail up, or I'll blow your brains out." "Will you, by G--?" cried
the cashier, as he placed his hands on the counter and vaulted over.
The would-be robber was so startled by this unexpected action on the
part of the cashier that he dropped his weapon and ran. The cashier
immediately gave chase along Main Street, and soon captured and brought
back the pseudo bushranger. The news spread rapidly, and in a few
minutes the whole population of the little township was in the Main
Street. It was soon learned that the only policeman stationed in the
town had gone to Mudgee "on a case," the would-be robber was therefore
treated to a good cuffing and some threats, and turned adrift. The
revolver was found to be old, rusty, and useless, but for some time it
hung in the bank chamber as a caution to bushrangers. It may be there
yet for all I know. This attempted bank robbery appears to have been
conducive to thirst, as the bars of the two "hotels" were crowded for
the rest of the day by a laughing and jeering mob of citizens.

This little comedy furnishes a very appropriate finish to the story
of the many tragedies which were enacted during this the most serious
outbreak of bushranging which has occurred in New South Wales. During
the following two or three years the people were gradually becoming
convinced that the crime of bushranging had been thoroughly stamped
out, and a sort of reaction set in. Letters appeared in the newspapers,
in which the writers urged that some clemency might safely be shown to
some of the young men who were still in gaol. In spite of the brutal
indifference which many of the bushrangers had shown for human life, it
was almost impossible to help admiring the reckless courage exhibited
by them. One thought was frequently expressed in various ways. It was
that these bushrangers would have made magnificent soldiers if they had
been properly trained and made amenable to discipline. There was in
fact a disposition to regard them much as the philosopher regards dirt,
as "matter in the wrong place." Although no record of the movement
can be found in the newspapers and other publications of the period,
there can be no doubt that the growth of the spirit of humanitarianism,
now so prominent a characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon in all parts of
the world, had an immense influence. The convict system, which was
regarded as the basis of bushranging, had long since passed away.
The convicts themselves had almost died out, and had ceased to be a
prominent class in the community. Here and there one of the old fellows
lingered and told stories of the barbarous times which had once existed
in the colonies. But they were generally incapacitated by age from
doing much harm. There had been a time when horror and detestation of
the convicts was very general, but even these feelings had gone now,
and there was a prevalent opinion that the convicts had been made
worse by the brutal discipline to which they had been subjected. The
very papers which were most strenuous in their exhortations to the
Government of the day to stamp out bushranging at any cost, and which
urged the police and all orderly citizens to slay and kill any person
who interfered with the mails or who molested travellers on the high
roads, now admitted that the bushrangers had been harshly dealt with.
Those who had been convicted of murder, or of attempts to murder, had
been hung or shot, while the lesser criminals had been sentenced to
penal servitude for life or for very long periods. The juries all over
the country had shown no leanings towards mercy or clemency, and the
judges had treated the bushrangers with great severity. The people
generally, it was asserted, had given ample proof that they would not
tolerate a reign of terror such as the bushrangers had striven so hard
to establish, and if there should ever be another outbreak, which was
not considered probable, it would be crushed out long before it could
possibly assume such vast proportions as it had gained during the past
era. If there were evil-disposed persons in the colony they would be
aware that public opinion was opposed to them and would hesitate before
they decided to adopt bushranging as a profession. It is worthy of note
that although the brutalities exercised under the old convict system
were said to have tended towards the demoralisation of the community,
and were largely responsible for the prevalence of bushranging and
other crimes, the practice of flogging for serious offences is still
the law in many of the colonies. The general public, however, is seldom
logical, and therefore even the Australians still strive to abolish
brutal crimes by punishments no less brutal, although the history of
the colonies affords such ample evidence of the futility of these
means. But the spirit of mercy was abroad. Public meetings were held in
all centres of population, petitions were sent to the Governor and the
Legislature, and the Press was full of letters praying that mercy might
be shown to the evil-doers. The prisoner most frequently mentioned
was Frank Gardiner. It is true that he had organised the first gang,
and had given a vent to the evil passions of a class. But for him
this terrible bushranging era might never have been inaugurated. But
he had never committed murder, and had retired from the country and
endeavoured to lead a lawful life after only a few months on the
road. It had been said that he was engaged in sly grog selling, even
when he was ostensibly keeping a store on the road to the diggings
in Queensland, but if so it was for the Queensland authorities, not
those of New South Wales, to punish him for this offence against the
licensing laws. The Queensland authorities had, however, never made
any charge against him, and the report might not be true. At length
the Chief Justice (the late Sir Alfred Stephen) wrote to the Sydney
newspapers. His letter appeared on June 23rd, 1874. Sir Alfred said
that the end and aim of all punishment are, first, the preventing of
individuals, and secondly, the deterring of other individuals, from
the committing of similar crimes.... Sentences aggregating thirty-two
years had been passed in a time of great excitement, and the punishment
seemed to have been measured more in view of the crimes he was supposed
to have committed than with reference solely to those which were proved
against him.... He could not say whether the reported reformation
was sincere, but he thought that the prisoner had been sufficiently
punished and, therefore, recommended a conditional pardon.

Emanating from such a source, this opinion carried great weight, and
almost coincident with its publication, the Governor, Sir Hercules
Robinson, afterwards Lord Rosmead, laid before the Executive Council
six petitions signed by a number of well known and responsible persons
in various parts of the colony praying for the release of the convict
Gardiner. He said it was true that no hope of an absolute remission
of his sentence had ever been held out to him, but in the Governor's
minute of December 5th, 1872, it had been implied that if the prisoner
continued to conduct himself well he might hope for remission at the
end of ten years.

Official returns were laid on the table showing the number of prisoners
still in penal servitude for highway robbery. The prisoner whose case
attracted most attention next to Gardiner was William Brookman. His
parents were said to be respectable. He was only seventeen years of age
when he was charged on January 16th, 1868, with wounding with intent
to murder. He was convicted and sentenced to death, but his sentence
was commuted to fifteen years' penal servitude. It was said to have
been his first and only attempt at highway robbery, and he had never
previously been arrested or charged with any offence against the law.
At the time of this enquiry he had served six and a-half years of his

The other bushrangers in gaol were:--Samuel Clarke, sentenced April
18th, 1866. Served five years, one month. No previous conviction.

Daniel Shea, sentenced November 6th, 1865. Served eight years, six
months. Previously sentenced for two years for horse stealing.

William Willis, alias Dunkley, sentenced May 16th, 1866. Served eight
years. Three previous convictions for horse stealing, of nine months,
eighteen months, and six months respectively.

Alexander Fordyce, sentenced February 23rd, 1863. Served eleven years,
nine months. No previous conviction.

John Payne, sentenced January 14th, 1868. Served six years, six months.
No previous conviction.

James Jones, sentenced March 31st, 1864. Served ten years, one month.
No previous conviction.

Robert Cotterall, alias Blue Cap, sentenced April 29th, 1868. Served
six years, one month. No previous conviction.

James Boyd, alias McGrath, sentenced February 24th, 1864. Served nine
years, three months. Previously sent to gaol for five years for horse

Thomas Cunningham, alias Smith, sentenced April 9th, 1867. Served seven
years, one month. No previous conviction.

Charles Hugh Gough, alias Wyndham, alias Bennett, sentenced April 9th,
1867, served seven years, one month. Previously sentenced to three
years for assault with intent to rob.

Thomas Dargue, sentenced March 28th, 1867. Served seven years, two
months. No previous conviction.

Henry Dargue, sentenced March 28th, 1867. Served seven years, two
months. No previous conviction.

John Kelly, sentenced March 11th, 1867. Served seven years, two months.
Previously sentenced to two years for embezzlement.

Edward Kelly, sentenced January 14th, 1867. Served six years, seven
months. No previous conviction.

James Smith, sentenced April 15th, 1866. Served seven years, one month.
Previously sentenced to three years for horse stealing.

John Foran, sentenced October 18th, 1867. Served six years, seven
months. No previous conviction.

John Williams, sentenced to death January 14th, 1868. Sentence commuted
to fifteen years' penal servitude. Served six years, four months. No
previous conviction.

William H. Simmons, sentenced April 6th, 1868. Served six years, one
month. Previously sentenced to ten years on two charges of larceny.

William Taverner, sentenced April 5th, 1867. Served five years, one
month. No previous conviction.

Daniel Taylor, sentenced October 24th, 1865. Served eight years, one
month. No previous conviction.

John Bow, sentenced February 26th, 1863. Sentence death, commuted to
imprisonment for life. Served eleven years, six months. No previous

John Bollard, sentenced October 19th, 1869. Served four years, seven
months. No previous conviction.

All these prisoners were very young men, little more than boys,
when they were convicted; and, of the twenty-three, sixteen had
had no charges brought against them previously to their arrest for
highway robbery. The four others who had been previously convicted of
horse-stealing were cattle duffers and horse planters, which had been,
a few years before, scarcely considered to be crimes by the residents
of the districts in which these young men were born; although the law,
when it came to be enforced in these districts, called these acts
criminal. It was said that if Gardiner was to be released these young
men, who had been led away principally by his example, should also have
their sentences remitted.

The reports with such comments as had been made on them by the
Executive Council were placed before the Legislative Assembly, and on
July 3rd a debate began relative to the cases of Gardiner and Brookman,
it being understood that the decision in the case of Brookman should
apply to the other twenty-two named in the reports. On a division being
taken the vote stood twenty-six for and twenty-six against a remission
of the sentences. The Speaker gave his casting vote with the ayes, and
it was consequently resolved that the two prisoners should be released
on July 8th, 1874.

The Governor extended the prerogative of mercy to the others named
above, and they were all released at the same time. In the case of
Gardiner the pardon was coupled with the condition that he should leave
the colony forthwith, consequently a short time after his release he
sailed to California, and was reported to have died there about nine
years later. Mrs. Brown, his paramour, had died in New Zealand during
his incarceration.

The release of the bushrangers was not carried without opposition,
however. A monster meeting of diggers was held at Grenfell to protest
against any mercy being shown them. Large meetings were held elsewhere,
and it was said that remitting the sentences of the bushrangers
was tantamount to encouraging other evil-disposed persons to rebel
against the laws. The speakers deplored the action of the Governor,
the Executive, and the Legislature, and prophesied a new outbreak of
lawlessness. But the spirit of the opposition was less active than that
of the persons in favour of mercy, while the majority of the population
were more or less indifferent. And so ended the great outbreak of
bushranging in New South Wales.


  Bushranging in Victoria; Robert Bourke; Harry Power: He Escapes from
  Pentridge Gaol and Sticks Up the Mail; An Amateur Bushranger; The
  Police Hunt Power Down and Capture him Asleep; A Peacock as "Watch
  Dog"; The Power Procession at Beechworth; The Trial of Power; His
  Sentence; Engaged to Lecture on Board the _Success_; His Death.

While New South Wales was the chief centre of bushranging during this
epoch, the neighbouring colonies were not entirely free from the
disease. In those cases in which the epidemic flowed, as it were,
over the borders of the mother colony--as when Morgan, Thunderbolt,
and Bertram crossed into Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia
respectively--the inroads have been dealt with in connection with
the careers of these particular bushrangers in order not to break
the continuity of their stories. Having described the rise and fall
of bushranging in the older colony, it is now necessary to return to
Victoria and continue the narrative there. Bushranging in this colony
during this epoch was rather a survival from the past than a new
development, and, with one notable exception, the police dealt promptly
with the lawbreakers. The exception will be noticed in due course.

On September 5th, 1862, Mr. Ryan, the landlord of the Travellers' Rest
Hotel at Yalla-y-poora, was at breakfast with his family and a visitor
named Reid, when two armed men entered the room. One stood at the door,
while the other, pistol in hand, stepped forward and cried "Bail up."
They tied Messrs. Ryan and Reid, and took ten shillings from the till
and ten one pound notes from under the mattress of the bed, where it
had been hidden. They did not search the women, but they broke some of
the furniture in the bedroom while hunting for the money. One of the
robbers pulled the boots off Mr. Reid's feet and put them on his own,
leaving a very much worn and damaged pair in their place. They also
took Reid's horse, saddle, and bridle from the stable. Mr. Reid told
them that he was only a poor man, and that the loss of his horse would
ruin him. The robber replied, "Well, he ain't the sort we want. I'll
leave him for you at Macpherson's as soon as I get a better one." When
they had left Mrs. Ryan untied her husband and their guest, and Ryan
mounted his horse and rode to Ararat to give information to the police.
Constables Lawler and Griffen followed the bushrangers, and tracked
them to a hut near Mount Sturgeon, in the Grampian Ranges. The police
expected a fight, but they rushed the hut and captured the robbers
without a shot being fired, although one of them named Regent had a
loaded revolver in his hand. They were taken to the gaol at Ararat, and
were convicted and sentenced in due course.

In July, 1864, a sensation was caused in the Kilmore district by a
report which gained currency, that Gardiner and his gang had stuck
up a number of people near Yea. A party of volunteers was speedily
organised to assist the police in hunting down the bushrangers. The
pursuers were divided into small parties, and on the evening of the
20th one of these, composed of Mr. Grant and Constable Buck, came upon
three suspicious-looking characters camped on Pack Bullock Flat with
a mob of horses. Constable Buck asked where they were going, when one
replied "To Melbourne," and another "To the Jordan." Buck called on
them to surrender, when one man sprang forward and clutched him by the
throat. Another rushed at Grant, who was unarmed. Grant turned and ran
to where they had left their horses, calling on Buck to come away, and
Buck broke loose and joined him. Buck however lost his revolver in the
struggle. They rode away to find help, and returned with Mr. Grant's
brother, George Grant, and Mr. Walker. Grant shot one bushranger dead.
Walker stunned a second with a blow on the head with the butt of his
gun, while Buck captured the third after a smart run. The captured men
were convicted of robbery by violence, and it was said that the horses
they had with them had been stolen from various stations.

Robert Bourke was employed as cook at Mr. Broughton's, Humewood
Station, on the Murrumbidgee River, New South Wales, and appears to
have been suddenly affected with the bushranging mania. He ferried
himself across the river, and with the assistance of a young lad named
Quinn stuck up and robbed several people in the neighbourhood. He was
said to "know every bulga from Barren Jack to Manaro," but did not stop
long in that district, perhaps because it had already been "worked
out" by the Brothers Clarke and other bushrangers. In September, 1868,
he crossed the Murray River, and stuck up and robbed travellers on
the road near Wodonga and Wangaratta, gradually working southwards.
On October 4th he appeared at Mr. Hurst's station, Diamond Creek,
about fifteen miles from Melbourne, where a daring attempt was made
to capture him. The story is that Bourke called at William Horner's
on the 2nd, and asked for a bed. He was told that there was none to
spare, when he drew a revolver and cried "Bail up." Horner slammed
the door in his face. Bourke fired, and the bullet passed through the
door panel, but did no great injury. He tried to push the door open,
but, failing in this, he began to "parley." He said he was hungry,
and would go away quietly if he was given something to eat. Horner
then opened the door and gave him a pannikin of tea and some bread
and cold meat. He sat down on a log and made a good meal. When he had
finished he asked for some "tucker for the road" and a horse, saddle,
and bridle. Horner said that the horses were all down the paddock, and
he did not intend to run them in until next morning, but he could have
some "tucker." He then gave him a large piece of bread and some meat.
They talked together very amicably. Bourke said, "I'm a bushranger
from New South Wales, and I've come here to see if your police are as
clever as you blow about them. They'll never take me alive." He went
away, and, it is supposed, slept in the bush. On the morning of the
4th he went to Hurst's place and asked for some breakfast. Thinking he
was an ordinary tramp, Miss Hurst gave him some bread and meat in the
kitchen, but, as he sat at table, she noticed that he carried pistols
in his belt. She went into another room and informed her brother Henry,
who loaded a double-barrelled gun to be ready for any emergency. He
walked into the kitchen, carrying the gun behind him, to have a look at
their suspicious guest, and asked him where he came from and where he
was going? "From Cape Schank to Kilmore," was the reply. "Then you're
not travelling in the right direction," remarked young Hurst. Bourke
jumped up from the table, as if in a passion, and cried "Do you doubt
my word? Do you want to insult me?" He drew his revolver and Hurst
brought his gun round and fired. He missed, and Bourke immediately shot
him in the chest. Although he was severely wounded young Hurst rushed
forward and grappled with the bushranger, while Mr. Abbott and two or
three other men ran in to ascertain what the shooting was about. They
secured the bushranger and carried young Hurst to bed, but, although
every attention was paid to him, he died in a few hours. Bourke was
identified by the police as a man who had been sentenced to three
years' imprisonment for horse-stealing at Ararat. When he had served
his term he was of course discharged and, as was surmised, went to
New South Wales and obtained work on a station. He lived quietly for
about eighteen months, when he started bushranging as related. He was
twenty-five years of age at the date of his conviction for the murder
of Henry Hurst.

The central figure in Victoria of this era was undoubtedly Harry Power.
This notorious bushranger arrived in Victoria from Ireland shortly
before the proclamation of the discovery of gold at Ballarat, and
went to the diggings. In March, 1855, he was seen near Daisy Hill, in
the Maryborough district, riding a valuable horse, the description
of which tallied with that of a horse which had been stolen and for
which the police were seeking. He was stopped and challenged to show
his receipt for the horse. Instead of producing it or saying where it
was deposited, Power disputed the right of the police to stop him on
the highway and drew a revolver. The police, very naturally perhaps,
took this as a tacit admission that he could not show any right to the
horse, and sought to apprehend him. Several shots were fired and at
last one of the troopers fell wounded. Power put spurs to his horse and
galloped away. A warrant was immediately issued for his arrest and he
was followed and captured. He was convicted of "wounding with intent
to do grievous bodily harm," and was sentenced to fourteen years'
penal servitude. A short time before the expiration of his term he was
employed in drawing refuse from the Pentridge Gaol to the rubbish heap
in a go-cart. A number of other prisoners were similarly employed.
While the cart he was helping to draw was being tipped Power contrived
to secrete himself under a corner of the heap. He was not missed until
evening, when the prisoners employed at this work were mustered. The
prisoners at work with him must of course have been aware of his
evasion, but professed ignorance in accordance with convict etiquette.
A search was made and his hiding place was discovered, but Power was
gone. He stole some clothes from a farm not far from Pentridge, and
the blade of an old pair of sheep shears to defend himself with, as
he declared that he would not be captured alive. Shortly after his
escape, on May 7th, 1869, he stuck up the mail coach near Porepunkah
and continued to rob in the Ovens and Beechworth districts for several
months, when he made a raid into New South Wales, going as far as
Adelong. He returned about the end of September to his old district and
stayed there for the remainder of his career.

Commenting on his actions, the _Ovens and Murray Advertiser_
said--"Possessed of a thorough knowledge of the country, this scoundrel
has made periodical descents to the settled districts, and afterwards,
like a hunted dog, betaken himself to the ranges. _From a certain
portion of the population he--or whoever else has been masquerading
in his name--has received succour and information, while the police
have been misled and deceived._" The article from which this extract
was made was copied and italicised in the _Melbourne Argus_, and
made the subject of a leading article, in which it was contended
that if bushranging was to be stamped out the sympathisers and "bush
telegraphs" must be restrained from aiding the bushranger with food and
information. The Government was urged to pass a special Act to enable
the police to contend with the difficulty. It was said on the other
hand that the Outlawry Act, if strictly applied, would meet the case.

William Moore, of Buffalo, was returning from a trip to Eldorado,
where he had sold his load of farm produce, when a young man rode up
and asked him "Where have you been?" "What's that to you?" returned
Moore. The young fellow said "I only asked a civil question." "Well,"
said Moore, "I've been to Eldorado, and I'm going home. Will that
satisfy you?" The young man nodded, and cantered on. As he passed,
Moore noticed that he had pistols in his belt, and hastily took a roll
of notes, worth £35, from his pocket, and thrust it into an empty
flour sack in the dray. The young man only rode forward about fifty
yards, and then wheeled round, revolver in hand, and cried "Bail up."
Moore stopped, and willingly turned out his pockets, displaying a
half-crown, which he handed to the robber, who rode away. In reporting
this robbery Mr. Moore said that he believed that this was the young
man's first attempt at highway robbery, as he trembled violently and
seemed glad when it was over. The _Ovens and Murray Advertiser_ of May
7, 1870, in commenting on this case, said: "It shows the necessity of
more determined efforts to capture Harry Power, who has for more than
a year robbed rich and poor alike in this neighbourhood, and it is the
immunity which he has for so long enjoyed that encourages young lads to
imitate him."

Shortly before, in April, Patrick Stanton, otherwise known as Jack
Muck, was captured after a smart run. He was convicted of having stuck
up and robbed a coloured man, a well-known splitter and timber cutter,
on the Black Dog Creek. The splitter had been to town to be paid for a
number of posts and rails, and was returning home along the Rutherglen
Road when he was bailed up.

The Kilmore _Free Press_ reported that Power had been seen in Mr.
Dunlop's paddock at Mount William. He was firing at a mark on a tree.
No one interfered with him.

On May 2nd, Edward Kelly was arrested at Greta and was charged with
having assisted Power in some of his robberies. He was not identified
by the witnesses, and was therefore discharged.

On the 27th Superintendents Nicholson and Hare, Sergeant Montford, and
Black-tracker Donald left Wangaratta and made a journey into the ranges
near the head of the King River. It was believed that they had received
special information from a friend of the bushranger. At the head of the
glen, near where Power's camp was, a family named Quinn resided, and it
was said that Power would never be caught while they were there. The
Quinns owned several dogs and a peacock, which it was believed would
never allow any person to pass up the ravine without giving notice. The
peacock was reported to be the "best watch dog of the lot." His screams
could be heard far away whenever a stranger approached the hut, and
he generally gave the first signal, and thus roused the dogs. On this
occasion, however, the police passed without either the peacock or the
dogs giving a sign. They came to a hollow tree with holes in the stem.
This tree had been mentioned as "Power's look-out," and it was reported
that he frequently went into it to survey the country round, through
the holes, without exposing himself. There was plenty of room inside
for more than one man, and the natural holes formed by the decay of the
tree had been added to by augur holes bored at a convenient height for
spying through. They examined it, but it was empty. All round was a
dense growth of cherry and wattle scrub, which they cautiously pushed
their way through, and peeped into a small clearing. A gunyah of bark
stood in the middle of this space, and before it was a fire burning.
Creeping cautiously up, the police saw a man's leg sticking out from
under the gunyah. One of them seized it, and drew the man out on his
back. It was Harry Power. He had been lying asleep under the impression
that he was perfectly safe. He gave a loud howl on being thus rudely
awakened, and then asked, "Who are you?" "The police," was the reply.
"No fear," said Power; "you couldn't have got past Quinn's; the dogs
and the peacock would not have let you." "We did," replied Inspector
Nicholson; "the dogs and the peacock never saw us, but there were
several men there and Quinn himself--they saw us." "You've given us a
great deal of trouble, Power," said Inspector Hare, "but we've got you
at last." "I'm very sorry I didn't hear you," remarked Power; "I'd
have dropped some of you if I had."

In the gunyah were a Government revolver, stolen from the police,
loaded and capped; a double-barrelled gun, hanging from the ridge
pole, loaded ready for use; and a loaded pistol lying close beside the
sleeping bushranger. There were also a box of slugs, a powder flask,
two boxes of caps not quite full, a carpet-bag full of clothes, and
a saddle and bridle. The bed was a very comfortable one, with a good
supply of blankets.

The police informed Power that they had been out in the ranges for more
than a week and were starving. They had not had a mouthful of food for
more than twenty-four hours, and were anxious to get back to town.
"There's plenty of tucker here," said Power. "Where?" asked the police.
"In that tree," replied Power. They went to the tree and saw a bag hung
up among the branches, as is common in the bush. In this "bush safe"
they found part of a large home-baked loaf, some potatoes, tea and
sugar, and a piece of fresh beef. "Golly, what a---- feed we'll have,"
cried Donald, the black, when he saw the food. The police cut the beef
into steaks and fried them and had a good meal. In their search they
found £15 4S. 6d. in bank notes and money.

They mounted Power on the horse ridden by the black tracker, while
Donald mounted behind Sergeant Montford, and left the camp. They
reached Wangaratta at seven p.m. on Sunday, June 5th, 1870, eleven days
after the death of Captain Thunderbolt in New South Wales. The news of
the capture had already been noised abroad in the district, and numbers
of people, who were out for their Sunday evening ramble, crowded the
streets of Wangaratta to see the noted bushranger. Power waved his
hand in response to their cheers, and cried "They've caught poor Harry
Power, but they caught him asleep."

On Tuesday, the 7th, Power was removed to Beechworth gaol, and a
number of men and women in carriages, buggies, spring carts, and other
vehicles, or on horseback, went along the road to meet him and escort
him into the town. The procession as it passed over Newtown Bridge
was quite an imposing one, and there were collected the majority of
the residents who had neither horse nor vehicle. Power was sitting in
a police cart, and bowing right and left to the crowd as if he had
been some high potentate. He wished the people "Good morning," and
continually repeated his formula about having been captured asleep.
On his arrival at the gaol he greeted Mr. Stewart as an old friend,
and hoped they would never fall out. He made a short speech, in which
he publicly thanked the police for the kind and considerate manner in
which he had been treated since his arrest.

The _Ovens Spectator_ at this time said: "Henry Power, alias Johnson,
is a hale, hearty-looking man, although past the meridian of life, with
grisly hair and beard, and certainly not of such an appearance as one
would expect a bushranger to have."

On October 2nd Henry Power was tried on four charges of highway
robbery. On May 7th, 1869, he bailed up Arthur Woodside, a squatter at
Happy Valley, as he was riding towards Bright. The robber took a horse,
saddle, bridle, and spurs, giving in exchange a knocked-up horse, a
broken saddle, a bridle tied up with string, and one rusty spur. While
Mr. Woodside was giving his evidence Power exclaimed, "Speak up, young
man. You spoke different to that when I met you on the road." The mail
coach from Beechworth was bailed up at the same time. Power asked the
driver, Edward Coady, to throw out the gold. Coady replied, "There is
none." "I was told there was," exclaimed Power. "Any parcels?" Coady
threw down two, which Power opened. There was only one passenger, a
Chinaman, and Power asked him for the key of his carpet bag. At first
the Chinaman said "No savvy," but, on the revolver being pointed at his
head, he handed over the key. Power searched the bag, but took nothing
out. This was the first case.

On August 28th, the same mail was bailed up. At that time there were
three passengers--Mr. Hazleton, Ellen Hart (a servant), and Mrs. Li
Goon. A boy also got on to the coach at Boyd's for a ride down the
hill. The coach had just passed the gap when the driver had to put the
the break on and pull up, because the roadway was blocked with logs and
saplings. Mr. Hazleton exclaimed "Who did this?" when Power stepped
out from behind a tree and replied "I did. Put up your hands." The
passengers were made to alight and turn out their pockets. Hazleton
made a step forward to hand his watch and chain to the robber, but
Power cried out "Stand back," and raised his revolver. He then told
Hazleton to put the watch on the ground and retire, and when this had
been done Power went forward and picked it up. Mrs. Li Goon said she
had no money, but when Power threatened to shoot her she gave him
fourteen shillings. "It's all I've got and I'll want a cup of coffee,"
she said. "All right," returned the bushranger, "take this," and he
gave her back one shilling. The robber took £2 13s. 6d. out of Coady's
pocket-book. There was also a threepenny-piece in it, and Power told
the coachman to give it to the boy. Mrs. Boyd came down the hill on
horseback, and was bailed up. She said she had no money. "I don't see
how ladies can go riding round with handsome dresses and fine saddles
and bridles without money," cried Power. "Here, give me your horse."
Mrs. Boyd said if he would allow her to ride home she would bring him
some money, but he refused to trust to her promise, and took the horse.
He stuck up several Chinamen and a white man, and took their money from
them. He said to them "It's a cold day, but I've got a nice fire down
there, go and sit by it;" and he pointed down the hill. He was in a
good temper and gave the boy a shilling. The little fellow immediately
offered to give him the shilling and the threepenny-piece for his
sister's horse. Power laughed and gave the horse to the boy to lead to
where his sister was sitting. This was the second case.

The third charge was the robbing of John Whorouly. Power said "I don't
like robbing a poor man, but I must have money." The fourth charge was
the sticking up of Thomas Oliver Thomas, on the Buckland Road. When
called on to bail up, Thomas wheeled his horse round, and Power shouted
"If you run away I'll fire. My gun will carry three hundred yards."
Power asked for his money, and Thomas replied "I've got none." "That's
a lie," cried Power, "turn it out." Power repeatedly threatened Thomas
with his revolver.

Power was found guilty on each of the four counts, and was sentenced to
fifteen years' penal servitude.

Power served out his full sentence. At about the time of his discharge
the Victorian Government sold the hulk _Success_, the _President_ and
the other hulks purchased to supply the want of prison accommodation
in "the roaring fifties" having been sold years before. The _Success_
had been utilised as a training ship, and had been kept. In the case
of the other hulks, it had been stipulated in the terms of sale that
they were to be broken up, but this clause was omitted in the case of
the _Success_. Consequently she was purchased by some speculators, and
fitted up as a representative convict hulk for exhibition purposes,
and Harry Power was engaged to add interest to the show. The ship was
exhibited in Melbourne, and was then taken round to Sydney. She was
visited by a number of people during the two or three weeks when she
was berthed at Circular Quay, and she was then taken down the harbour
to be fitted for a voyage to London. Here she sank at her moorings.
With the appliances in Sydney so small a vessel was soon raised, but
her immersion had damaged the wax figures intended to represent the
prisoners who had once been confined in her, and the other exhibits.
While these were being replaced or cleaned, Harry Power was sent
into the country districts for the benefit of his health. He was
fishing in the Murray River near Swan Hill, on November 7th, 1891,
when he fell in and was drowned. At the inquest held on his body, a
verdict of accidental death was returned. The _Success_ shortly after
left Australia for England without any living representative of the
bushranging times on board of her.


  Bushranging in New Zealand; Alleged fears of the Escort being robbed;
  The First Bushranger, Henry Beresford Garrett; The Maungapatau
  Murders; Arrest of Sullivan, Kelly, Burgess, and Levy in Nelson;
  Sullivan's Confession; The Discovery of the Bodies; Sullivan's

The reports of extensive and rich discoveries of gold in the Otago
Province, New Zealand, in 1861, naturally attracted the floating
population of Australia to that quarter. In September the escort
brought down to Dunedin for shipment a smaller amount of "the precious
metal" than had been obtained in any previous month since the goldfield
was first proclaimed. Several reasons were given to account for this
falling off. One was that the weather had been abnormally cold, and the
freezing of the rivers had for a time put a stop to sluicing. Another
was that the gold buyers declined to pay more than £3 10s. per ounce,
and the majority of the diggers, having come from Ballarat and Bendigo
where £4 and £3 18s. 6d. per ounce were paid respectively, refused to
send their gold down and were keeping it for an anticipated rise in the
price. The _Southern Cross_, however, said that the principal reason
why the diggers were not sending their gold forward was the fear of
bushrangers. The guard sent with the escort was wholly inadequate in
the mountains through which it had to pass, and therefore the diggers
declined to entrust their earnings to its care. The _Otago Witness_
pooh-poohed this assertion and declared that there had never yet been a
case of bushranging in the colony, and that if a fair price was offered
for it by the banks and other gold buyers the gold retained on the
diggings would speedily be placed on the market. The bank authorities,
on being questioned, said that the New Zealand gold contained a larger
proportion of silver than either the Ballarat or Bendigo gold, and was
therefore of less value than the gold won on those diggings.

The boast of the _Otago Witness_ that there were no bushrangers in New
Zealand did not hold good for very long. Henry Beresford Garrett, who
was arrested in London on the charge of robbing the Bank of Victoria
at Ballarat as already related, and who was convicted in August,
1855, and sentenced to ten years' hard labour, was liberated from the
Pentridge Gaol, Melbourne, in August, 1861, on a ticket-of-leave, after
having served six years. Early in 1862 he made his appearance as the
first bushranger on record in New Zealand. The scene he chose for his
operations was the country between the Otago Goldfields and Dunedin.
In one day he is reported to have stuck up and robbed no less than
twenty-three persons near Gabriel's Gully, now known as the town of
Lawrence. His career, however, was short if lively, for he was captured
before the end of the year and sent to gaol for eight years.

In May, 1865, footpads were said to be becoming numerous about
Auckland. The _New Zealand Herald_ reported the story of a man being
bailed up while walking along Beach Street towards Mechanic's Bay. A
soldier, however, chanced to come along at the time and the robber
bolted. These petty offenders, however, appear to have been speedily
dealt with, and nothing more was heard about bushranging until the
public was startled by the reports of "the horrible Maungapatau
murders," as they were called.

It appears that Thomas Kelly, alias Noon, Richard H. Burgess, alias
Miller, and Philip Levy went to the new rush known as the West Coast
Diggings, early in 1866, and committed several robberies there. They
were shortly afterwards joined by John Joseph Sullivan, a recent
arrival from Victoria. On June 14th, Stephen Owens, landlord of the
Mitre Hotel, Nelson, went to the wharf to meet the coastal steamer
_Wallaby_, as she arrived from the west coast, and saw four men on
board. They were very shabbily dressed, but he gave one of his cards to
Levy and told him that he and his mates could obtain accommodation at
the hotel. On the following day, Sullivan and Kelly came to the hotel
in new clothes. Sullivan gave the landlord two bank notes for twenty
pounds each, and one ten pound note, and asked him to take care of them
for him. There was nothing remarkable in this. Diggers were frequently
very shabby when they returned from the diggings, and until they had
time to buy new clothes. Sullivan and Kelly appeared to have plenty of
money with them, as they spent it freely. They each ordered a pair of
trousers and a velvet vest from Charles Flood, tailor, paying £4 each
for them. They also spent £3 17s. 6d. for clothing at Merrington's
draper's shop, and Kelly paid besides £3 5s. for a dress for a woman.
He afterwards bought a bonnet, a mantle, and other articles of feminine

Levy and Burgess went to lodge at an oyster shop kept by Francis
Porcelli. They were covered with mud when they went there first, but
bought new clothes at J.M. Richardson's and other places in the town.

On June 21st, the four men were arrested and charged with the murder
of Felix Mathieu. They were remanded while the police made enquiries.
Sullivan turned Queen's evidence, and the tale he told may be
summarised as follows.

Sullivan landed at the Grey River from Victoria in 1865 with the
intention of digging. He was unlucky, and, chancing to make the
acquaintance of Kelly, Levy, and Burgess, who had been sticking up
people on the roads about the diggings for several months, he joined
them. One day they informed him that Mr. E.B. Fox, a gold buyer, of
Maori Gully, was expected to pass along the road, and they intended to
bail him up, as he was sure to have some gold or money on him. Kelly,
Levy, and Burgess hid themselves in some bushes beside the road, while
Sullivan was stationed on the road with a long-handled shovel, so that
those who passed along might take him for a road repairer. Owing to
this disguise he could keep watch without exciting suspicion. He had
not been long on watch when a man named George Dobson came along, and
asked how far it was to the coal pits. Sullivan replied "About half
a mile," and the man thanked him and walked on. When he was opposite
where the other bushrangers were hidden they fired and killed him
under the belief that he was Fox. When they discovered their mistake
they dragged the body off the road and buried it, and as it began to
rain heavily they all went to their tent. A day or two later they
went to the road again, and took up positions as before, Levy giving
orders that not a man should be allowed to pass without being searched.
Sullivan again appeared as a road-repairer, and was pretending to be at
work when an old man named James Battle, commonly known in the district
as "Old Jamie," came along with a sluicing shovel on his shoulder.
Sullivan said "Good day, mate. Where are you bound for?" Old Jamie
replied that he was going to "look for a ship," as the diggings were
"played out." Sullivan went to the ambush and reported that the man was
an old whaler and not worth robbing, but Levy said he must be brought
back. Sullivan, therefore, followed him and brought him back without
difficulty, as he had no suspicion. Kelly and Burgess seized him,
tied his hands behind him, and led him away into the bush. When they
returned they said he would not trouble them any more. They divided £3
15s., which they had taken from the old man. He had informed them that
he had not done well at the diggings, and had, therefore, taken a job
of cutting flax to earn sufficient money to enable him to get away.

Shortly after Old Jamie had been thus disposed of, Felix Mathieu, John
Kempthorne, James Dudley, and James de Pontius, store-keepers and gold
buyers from the Deep Creek Diggings, passed along the road on their way
from Nelson to Canvas Town. Two of the bushrangers stepped out from
their ambush and confronted them, calling upon them to stand. They
wheeled their horses, intending to gallop away, but found the other
two bushrangers facing them, revolvers in hand. The four travellers
then surrendered and allowed their hands to be tied behind them. Levy,
Burgess, and Kelly led them away into the bush, while Sullivan followed
the pack horse which had been let go, and which galloped a short
distance along the road and then stopped and began to feed. Sullivan
very soon caught it, and led it off the road. He took the gold and
other valuables out of the portmanteau, which was strapped on the
saddle, and shot the horse. Then he went to the camp to meet his mates.

The four bodies were discovered by William Flett, when he was out
looking for horses in the bush. They were lying less than half-a-mile
from the roadway on the Nelson side of the third creek from Franklyn's
Flat. Mathieu's body was lying in the loose ground broken up by the
uprooting of a large tree by the wind. It was on its back, the hands
tied behind, and the feet tied together at the ankles. It was sheltered
and partially hidden by the upturned roots of the fallen tree. Dudley's
body was about eighteen yards away with a handkerchief tied tightly
round the throat. Kempthorne's body was some twenty yards further,
lying on its back, untied. The body of De Pontius was lying some thirty
yards further along with a number of stones piled loosely around it,
suggesting the idea that they had been thrown at it from a short
distance. Dr. Vickerman said that Kempthorne had been shot in the head
behind the ear. The bullet and some paper were found in the wound,
showing that the shot had been fired at close range. Mathieu had been
shot in the stomach, and then stabbed. The wound was under the fifth
rib, and had apparently been made with a large knife. De Pontius had a
bullet-wound in the back of the head, and the right side of the face
was smashed, as if from the blows of rocks or stones. It was supposed
that the bullet had not killed him at once, and he was therefore stoned
to death. Dudley had been strangled.

A revolver was found in the gorse hedge at Toitoi by Constable Peter
Levy. A gun, identified by James Street as one which had been stolen
from his place on the Kamieri River, near Hokitiki, in the January
previous, was also found by the constable not far away.

Mrs. Mathieu identified Levy as a man who had frequently visited her
husband's store at Deep Creek, and exclaimed when she saw him in the
court, "Oh, Levy, Levy, how could you be such a villain?"

The police ascertained that Sullivan had sold to the banks in Nelson
gold to the value of £106 7s. 6d. Kelly had sold gold to the value of
£76 and a few shillings, and Levy had sold another lot. These, with
three nuggets which were sold together for £5 3s. 4d., made a total
of about £230 disposed of by the robbers since the murders had been
committed. It was, of course, impossible to say what proportion had
been stolen from each of the four victims, or whether the whole of it
had been taken from them.

George Jervis, a publican at Canvas Town, said that he gave the
prisoners permission to camp in an unoccupied hut not far from his
hotel. When they were leaving Burgess said "Good-bye, old boy; we're
going away from this---- country. There's nothing to be done here." The
publican had no suspicion as to the characters of the men, but thought
that they had not been very lucky recently.

Old Jamie left the diggings a short time before, and crossed the river.
The old man was well-known in the district. His body was discovered by
George James Baker, of Nelson, one of the volunteers who accompanied
Sergeant Major Shallcross and the police who started out to search for
the missing men when the murders were first reported. There was some
freshly-turned up earth near a fern root which attracted Mr. Baker's
attention. A log had been rolled across the place, and on this being
rolled aside and the earth scraped away, a portion of the clothing was
seen. The body was buried in a shallow hole, lying on its back, and
only just covered with loose earth. The trousers had been torn off, but
the other clothing remained.

The trial lasted for three days, Kelly, Levy, and Burgess being found
guilty and sentenced to death on September 17th, 1866. Sullivan was
tried separately on the 19th for the murder of Old Jamie, and a verdict
of guilty was recorded against him. He, however, received a pardon in
accordance with the terms of the Governor's proclamation.

Felix Mathieu was well-known in Australia. He was a native of
Marseilles, about forty years of age at the time of his death, and
had been in the colonies about twelve years. On his first arrival he
was employed as barman at the Union Hotel, Beechworth, after which he
opened a baker's shop at Spring Creek. When the rush took place to the
Snowy River in New South Wales he went there and opened a store, and
later on he kept a store at the Lambing Flat (Burrangong) and another
at the Lachlan (Forbes). From there he went to the west coast, New
Zealand, where he met his death as recorded.

Levy had been tried at Castlemaine, Victoria, about six years before,
on the charge of murdering a woman with whom he was living, but was
acquitted for want of confirmatory evidence.

Sullivan had been transported to Van Diemen's Land, from whence he went
to Victoria in 1853. He opened a butcher's shop at Ironbark Gully,
Bendigo, where he was well known. He removed and opened the Half-way
Inn on the road between Bendigo and Inglewood. At the time that he
sailed to New Zealand he left his wife in charge of a store at Mount
Korong and sold an allotment of land at Wedderburn to raise money to
pay for his trip. He was certainly not driven to crime through want
or poverty, and if, as he said, he was unlucky on the New Zealand
diggings, he could without much difficulty or delay have obtained
remittances from Victoria which would at least have been sufficient to
enable him to return home.

After his companions in crime had been executed, Sullivan was kept
in gaol for some months, popular feeling being so strong that it was
deemed inexpedient to release him at once. It was during this time that
he made some further revelations about his late companions. Soon after
he joined Burgess, Kelly, and Levy, he said he saw a young man sitting
propped up against the butt of a tree. He was dead. Sullivan asked
whether the body was to be buried? Kelly replied "No, better leave it
where it is. It will make people think he died from exhaustion. I've
put many a man away like that." It was supposed that he referred to the
wild times immediately following the discovery of gold in Victoria. The
young man in question had been strangled, and the robbers had taken
from his body a silver watch, a gold chain, a compass, a few shillings
in money, and a deposit receipt for £32, which they burned, to prevent
it from turning up in evidence against them.

Soon after his release he returned to Victoria, but was recognised at
Bendigo and other places and boycotted. People refused to sell him
food or to have any dealings with him whatever. The Government was
urged to put the Criminals' Influx Prevention Act (18 Vict., No. 3) in
force against him, but his case did not come under the provisions of
that Act, as he had not been sentenced to penal servitude since his
departure from Victoria. He drifted from town to town, and finally made
his way to Sydney, from whence, it was said, he went to South America
and was lost to sight.

The story of bushranging in New Zealand further illustrates the
intimate relationship between the colonies to which I have already
referred. Garrett, the first New Zealand bushranger, was an old
Victorian criminal, and the Maungapatau murderers, with whom the record
terminates, also went to the islands from the same colony, some of
them, if not all, having been previously transported from Great Britain
to Van Diemen's Land.

It may be advisable here, perhaps, to say a few words with regard
to Sullivan's evidence. The point in it to which I wish to draw
the attention of the reader is the partial exculpation of himself.
Substantially, the confession was no doubt correct, but we have only
Sullivan's own word to prove that the murders were committed by his
companions and that he himself only shot a horse. We notice a similar
effort on the part of Daniel Charters and others who have turned
Queen's evidence to minimise the share they took in the outrages with
which they were charged. Charters, indeed, went rather further than the
majority of informers and stated that he was sent away to take care of
the horses while the escort was robbed, because he was too frightened
to "risk his---- skin." He thus openly admitted his cowardice in order
apparently to justify himself, to himself, for turning informer. Of
course, his evidence may have been true in this particular, but the
constancy of this principle in informers generally of claiming that
they merely took a very secondary share in the crimes which they are
the means of bringing home to their fellows, tends to raise a suspicion
that they do, as a rule, consciously or unconsciously, endeavour to
excuse themselves to the public, and perhaps also to themselves, as a
sort of relief perhaps to their own conscience, for turning informer.
Their action in this respect contrasts strongly with that of men like
Pierce, the cannibal, or John Lynch, in making confessions after they
have been convicted. In these and other cases which might be cited the
condemned man appears to be anxious to let the public know how very
bad their actions have been. I do not say that they exaggerate their
crimes, but merely that they are particular that even the smallest
facts shall be made public. At the same time, they endeavour to satisfy
their own consciences in some way or other for what they have done.
Pierce, for instance, excused himself by saying that he must either
have killed and eaten his companions or starved, although this is not
borne out by the facts as far as they are known of his last act of
cannibalism. Lynch, on the other hand, endeavoured to prove that he
was the instrument of divine vengeance, that he had a mission. But,
whatever the excuse put forward may be, the fact remains that they take
care that their crimes shall be known to the very smallest particulars.
This point is I think worthy of the investigation of the criminologist.


  Bushranging in Queensland; Some Bushrangers from Over the Southern
  Border; A Bogus Ben Hall; The Wild Scotchman; Queensland's Only
  Bushranger; A Man of Many Aliases; He goes to Fight a Duel with Sir
  Frederick Pottinger; He Escapes from the Steamer; Recaptured and

There was still another of the Australian colonies which was affected
by the evil influence of the bushranging mania inaugurated by Frank
Gardiner. This colony was Queensland. In May, 1864, Harry, the
mail-man, was travelling along the road between Bodumba and Leyburn,
when he was stopped by an old man and a boy, one of whom asked him,
civilly enough, which was the road to Warwick. Harry, very obligingly,
pulled up to tell them where to turn off, when the old man drew a
pistol and ordered him to dismount. Harry protested against this
outrage, and said he was a Government employé, but this only produced
a reiteration of the order with a threat to blow out his brains if
he did not obey. He then dismounted, and was tied very tightly, the
robbers paying no attention whatever to his complaints that the rope
was cutting his wrists. The robbers went through the bags, which they
left on the ground, and, when they had finished, the old man mounted
Harry's horse, while the boy climbed on to the packhorse, and rode
away. Harry, who was left lying on the ground, rolled himself over and
over to where there were some jagged rocks by the side of the road.
Selecting the one with the sharpest edge, he wriggled about until he
got the rope across it, and then moved his body backwards and forwards
until the strands of the rope which bound his hands together behind
his back parted. Having freed his hands, he soon untied the rope round
his legs and walked to Goondiwindi, where he reported the robbery to
the police. The _Brisbane Courier_ in reporting this robbery said it
was the first case of bushranging that had taken place in Queensland,
and hoped that that colony was not about to have its peace disturbed
as that of the southern colonies had recently been by bushrangers. The
_Courier_, of course, did not consider the convicts who escaped into
the bush when Moreton Bay was a penal settlement as bushrangers in the
modern acceptation of the term. Some of the more notorious of these
have already been dealt with in Chapter XV., but if we accept the new
meaning of the term "bushranger," the _Courier_ was, no doubt, correct
in its assertion that this was the first case that had occurred in the
colony. Of course a rumour was raised that the perpetrator was Gilbert
and some of his gang, but the description given of the robbers shows
that this rumour was absurd.

About a month later a bushranger named Wright stuck up and robbed a
number of people in the Rockhampton district. He was speedily followed
by the police and some black trackers, and was shot, early in July,
at Wipend, on the Mackenzie River, a few miles off of the Peak Downs
Road. He was riding a racehorse which he had stolen from Mr. Cranston,
a squatter of that district.

In September a man entered the bar of the Shearers' Arms Inn at
Knebsworth, and cried out "Bail up! I'm Ben Hall!" The proprietor, Mr.
Philip Hardy, took a revolver out of a drawer under the counter. The
bushranger, seeing him do this, fired, and missed. Mr. Hardy returned
the fire, and wounded the bushranger. The landlord ran round from
behind the bar, collared his assailant, and after a struggle thrust him
into a back room. Having locked the door and made his prisoner secure,
as he thought, Mr. Hardy ran to the police station to report. He
returned in a few minutes accompanied by a constable, but the bird had
flown. The window of the room in which he had been shut was wide open,
so that the bushranger had merely to step out and walk away. It is
probable therefore that he was making his way to the bush at the back
of the house almost as soon as the door was locked. He lost his horse,
however, as the animal was hitched to the verandah post in front, and
was taken away by the constable.

One or two other cases occurred, but they were all of a paltry
character, until the Celtic blood of Alpin Macpherson, alias John
Bruce, alias Mar, alias Kerr, alias Scotia or Scotchie, generally
known as the Wild Scotchman, was stirred to emulate the heroic deeds
of Hall, Gilbert and Co. Macpherson was born in Scotland and was taken
to Queensland when very young by his father. The elder Macpherson
worked for Mr. McConnell at Cressbrook and was generally respected by
those who knew him. His son Alpin was sent to school in the town and
was a favourite with his teachers on account of his diligence. When
old enough he was apprenticed to Mr. Petrie, a stonemason in Brisbane,
and was again well-liked by his master and the members of his family.
Alpin was a diligent reader and a fluent speaker. He became a prominent
member of the Debating Class in the Brisbane Mechanics' School of
Arts. When Mr. Lilley, afterwards Attorney-General, was attacked at
a political meeting at the Valley, with mud, over-ripe tomatoes, and
other missiles, on account of his Militia Bill, which was strongly
opposed, young Macpherson defended him bravely, receiving some bruises.
Soon afterwards, without any apparent reason, he ran away from his
apprenticeship and took to the roads. He began his bushranging career
by sticking up Wills's Hotel on the Houghton River, after the manner
popular with the Hall and Gilbert gang. From thence he went to New
South Wales to "fight a duel with Sir Frederick Pottinger," the head
of the police force in that colony. This determination he announced
himself. The records of this portion of his career are somewhat
obscure. It is known that he did exchange shots with Sir Frederick
Pottinger and some troopers, and that he received a slight wound, but
it is doubtful whether he ever joined Hall and Gilbert, and committed
robberies in their company, as he said he did. However, he did not
remain in New South Wales very long. He returned to Queensland and
robbed the mails, stuck up travellers, stole racehorses, and otherwise
endeavoured to work up to the standard ideal of the real Australian

He had been thus employed for some months when Mr. W. Nott, manager of
the Manduran station, saw him in a paddock belonging to the station,
and recognised him. Believing that he was there with the intention
of stealing some of the horses, Mr. Nott hastily collected a party
and started in pursuit. The party consisted of Messrs. Nott, Curry,
Gadsden, and J. Walsh. They came in sight of their quarry about five
miles away, as he was travelling along the Port Curtis Road. He was
riding slowly when first seen, but, on observing the pursuers closing
upon him, Macpherson let go his packhorse, wheeled off the road, and
galloped down the side of a steep range. His pursuers followed. When he
reached the level ground at the foot of the range, the Wild Scotchman
pulled up, and began to unstrap the double-barrelled gun which he
carried across the pommel of his saddle. Before he could succeed,
however, Mr. Nott came close up and cried "Put up your hands or I'll
fire." The rifle barrel was only a few feet away, and as the other men
came up at once with arms ready for use the Wild Scotchman yielded.
"All right," he said, "I give up." "I knew you were not policemen," he
said later, "by the way you came down that ridge, but you wouldn't have
caught me if my horse had not been done up." They took away his arms,
and then returned to the station, two of the captors riding with the
bushranger between them, while the other two rode close behind. In the
pack on the horse which he abandoned was found a beautifully-fitted
case of surgical instruments, with lint and other necessaries for
treating wounds. He also carried a pocket compass, an American axe, and
some other useful articles. The axe was required for cutting fences or
for making temporary stockyards to catch horses in.

A warrant had been issued for his arrest for his attack on Sir
Frederick Pottinger and the police in New South Wales, and the Wild
Scotchman was therefore extradited to stand his trial in New South
Wales on a charge of shooting with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
His arrival in Sydney was coincident with the resignation of that
officer as already related. Sir Frederick, however, was summoned to
appear against him, and it was on his journey to Sydney for this
purpose that the accident happened which put an end to Sir Frederick's
life and the prosecution against the Wild Scotchman at the same time.

The Wild Scotchman was returned to Queensland in charge of the police.
He was sent from Brisbane to Port Denison, and was there committed for
trial and remanded to Rockhampton, the nearest assize town, for that
purpose. He was shipped on board the steamer _Diamantina_ in charge of
Constable Maher. He was accommodated with leg irons, his hands being so
small that he could easily slip them through any ordinary handcuffs.
In fact he boasted freely that the handcuffs to hold him "had not yet
been made." When the steamer reached Mackay he was seated reading near
the galley, but he had behaved so quietly all through the earlier part
of the passage that the constable did not think it necessary to disturb
him by taking him below. There was, of course, the usual bustle while
the steamer was at the wharf, and Constable Maher appears to have lost
sight of his prisoner, and did not miss him until the vessel had been
an hour at sea. Then a search was instituted, but no Wild Scotchman
could be found, and as the _Maryborough Chronicle_ remarked, "Constable
Maher reached Rockhampton minus his prisoner."

How he got ashore and removed his leg-irons was a mystery which was not
solved for some time. However, his escape did not profit him much. He
went to a paddock on the Kolongo station with the intention of stealing
a horse to enable him to stick up the mail coach, and "make a rise."
But a party was organised by Mr. Hall, and he was recaptured without
attaining his purpose. This time greater care was exercised by the
police to whom he was handed over, and he reached Rockhampton, where he
was tried on several charges of highway robbery and sentenced to twenty
years' penal servitude.

There can be no doubt that young Macpherson, like many other
high-spirited young men, was led away by the glamour which gathered
round the bushrangers Hall, Gilbert, and their young associates; and
which appears to have appealed so strongly to the youth of certain
temperaments as to blind them to the enormity of the crimes committed
by these bushrangers. The quiet bush life in Australia afforded them
no escape valve by which their desire for excitement might be worked
off. They did not pause to realise that their fight against society
was hopeless from the beginning, and that in taking to the bush they
were setting themselves, almost single handed, against the whole
force of public opinion in the colony. Had they lived in Europe they
might, perhaps, have enlisted in the army and thus been able to do
something to satisfy their cravings for notoriety and adventure in a
legitimate way. In Australia, however, there was no standing army, and
even if there had been there was nothing for it to do in the colonies,
and no chance of its ever being employed outside, where hard blows
were to be struck and glory won. It may be true that even soldiers
do not always find congenial work for them to do, and that many of
them have lived very humdrum lives, but there is always the hope that
they may be called on to defend their country, or to fight for its
aggrandisement, and this hope is sufficient to induce them to enlist,
when they are brought under the control of the disciplinarian and kept
out of mischief until their boyish enthusiasm subsides and they are
old enough to enter into the business of life. However, Queensland's
"only bushranger," the Wild Scotchman, was captured after a brief but
exciting career of about eighteen months, and the colony has not been
troubled by bushrangers since.


  Captain Moonlite; The "Reverend Gentleman" Robs the Bank, and Nearly
  Makes his Escape; He Breaks out of Ballarat Gaol; He Becomes a
  Reformed Character; He Sticks Up Wantabadgery Station; A Desperate
  Battle with the Police; Moonlite is Captured; His Young Companions in
  Crime; Sentenced to Death; The Wild Horse Hunters Turn Bushrangers;
  An Abortive Attempt to Rob a Bank.

From about June, 1872, to April, 1878, or nearly six years, Australia
was free from bushrangers. With the exception of the two or three
robberies in the far west of New South Wales, so far west as to be
almost out of the colony, the roads were safe; travellers journeyed in
all directions without fear of molestation; and the public, as well
as the authorities, began to congratulate themselves once more on
having at length definitely stamped out the scourge of bushranging.
Since the shooting of Thunderbolt and the capture of Power, there
had been no sign of a recrudescence of the crime, and bushranging
was beginning to be referred to as belonging to a past age. But this
peaceful condition of the country was not always to continue. The old
leaven of convictism so frequently referred to, had not as yet been
so completely eliminated as the public and the authorities hoped and
believed. Reports began to spread about in 1878 that robberies had been
committed in the neighbourhood where Power had so long set the police
at defiance, and shortly afterwards the name of Ned Kelly began to be
associated with them. Ned Kelly is still spoken of as the last of the
bushrangers, and as his death closes the story, it may be as well to
deal with some other bushrangers who finished their careers before
"the gentleman of the Strathbogie Ranges." The most remarkable of these
was George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite. His story belongs partly
to the former era, but I have reserved it in order to make it more
complete than would have been possible had it been divided. Scott was
born in the North of Ireland, and emigrated to Victoria. He went to the
diggings at a time when agents from New Zealand were endeavouring to
raise a corps in Victoria for service against the Maoris. He enlisted
and fought through the war in 1861-65, being wounded in the leg. On
his return to Victoria he showed a strong desire to join the Church,
and as he was well educated and a good speaker he was appointed lay
reader at Bacchus Marsh, with a view to his being ordained a minister
of the Church of England, when the Bishop of Melbourne should consider
him worthy of the charge. His duties as lay reader were to travel
round the settlement, to read prayers and conduct services, his head
quarters being in the town at Mount Egerton. His chief friends here
were the manager of the Union Bank and the schoolmaster. He soon came
to be respected and liked in the district. One night, however, a masked
man walked into the living apartments connected with the bank and
ordered the manager, who was alone, to bail up. The manager recognised
the voice and asked him whether he thought this a suitable practical
joke for a clergyman. Scott replied that he would soon find it was no
joke. He threatened to shoot the manager unless he surrendered and did
as he was ordered. He then gagged the manager, took him across the
street to the school-house, and compelled him to sign the following
statement:--"Captain Moonlite has stuck me up and robbed the bank."
There was no one at the school-house, Scott having apparently timed his
visit when he knew the school would be empty. Leaving the paper on the
desk in the school-house, Scott took the manager back to the bank, tied
him hand and foot, and then took about £1000 worth in notes and coin
from the safe. The schoolmaster found the paper lying on the desk when
he went to open the school next morning, and at first did not know what
to make of it. He handed it to the police, who, on going to the bank,
found the manager gagged and tied. Having heard his story the police
considered it absurd, and arrested the manager and schoolmaster as
having been jointly concerned in the crime. The idea of charging the
minister, as Scott was generally called, appeared to be preposterous,
the more especially as Scott was very active in trying to find
incriminating evidence against his quondam friends. Being intimately
acquainted with the lives led by the two men, he was able to supply the
police with several facts, true or false, which were considered strong
circumstantial proofs of their guilt. They were committed for trial,
Scott being bound over as a witness against them. He did not wait for
the trial, however, but went to Sydney, where he put up at one of the
leading hotels and spent money lavishly. He represented himself as a
wealthy visitor to the colonies travelling for pleasure, and spoke of
his intention to visit some of the South Sea Islands. For this purpose
he purchased a yacht, for which he paid partly in cash and partly by a
cheque for £150. This cheque was returned by the bank on which it was
drawn as valueless, and the man who had sold him the yacht immediately
communicated with the police. Scott had already set sail, but the
police followed him in a steam launch and caught him just outside the
Heads. He was brought back and tried for fraud and was sent to gaol for
eighteen months.

Even the flight of Scott from Mount Egerton did not at first convince
the police and others of his guilt in connection with the bank robbery,
but without his evidence the case against the bank manager and the
schoolmaster was so weak that it broke down, and they were discharged.
Later on a warrant was issued for the arrest of Scott, alias Captain
Moonlite, but he was then in gaol in New South Wales. On his release
he was rearrested, and extradited to Victoria to be tried for the bank
robbery. He was taken to Ballarat, and lodged in the newly-built gaol,
a most substantial structure of blue stone (basalt). The building
stands in a large courtyard, surrounded by a wall twenty-five feet
high, also constructed of basalt. Looked at from the outside it appears
to be one of the most hopeless places for a prisoner to escape from
imaginable, but Scott had been educated as an engineer, and therefore
what might have been impossible for another man was not so for him.
There was a wooden partition which divided one cell into two. Scott
was imprisoned awaiting trial in one portion of the cell, and a man
named Dermoodie in the other portion. Scott cut through this partition,
and with the aid of Dermoodie contrived to take the lock off the door.
The two men walked into the corridor and hid in a dark corner until
the warder came round, when Scott sprang on him, grasped him by the
throat, and with the assistance of Dermoodie gagged and tied him.
Scott then took the keys, and having shut the warder into the cell,
with the door closed, so that any other warder in passing it would
not notice that it had been opened, walked down the passage. With the
keys he opened four more cells and liberated the prisoners in them.
He made them take the blankets from their beds and follow him, after
carefully closing the doors again. He opened the door leading into
the great yard and went to a dark corner under the wall where he tore
the blankets into strips and tied them together to form a rope. Scott
then stood up against the wall. One of the other men climbed up and
stood on his shoulders, another climbed up and stood on his, and so on
until the last, Dermoodie, was able to take the rope and sit on the
wall. With the aid of the rope each man was enabled to go up in turn to
where Dermoodie was, and was then lowered down on the other side. Here
they stood on each others' shoulders as before, to enable Dermoodie to
climb down, then the others followed in turn, and they were free. The
south-eastern corner of the gaol wall stands near the edge of the hill
where the ground slopes sharply down to Golden Gully. The six men went
down the slope to a safe distance, and then Scott said they must part,
as they would have a better chance of getting away separately than if
they all kept together. The four men liberated by Scott to help him
over the wall were speedily caught, some in Ballarat and the others
not far away, but as they were not bushrangers we have nothing further
to do with them. Scott and Dermoodie went away together and slept in
the bush. Scott said they must have money, and proposed to rob a bank,
which he said could be easily done, but Dermoodie said he had only been
arrested for a small offence, and he had made his case bad enough by
escaping. He did not wish to make it worse. Scott called him a coward,
a contemptible cur, and said he should never leave that spot alive. He
gave him five minutes to say his prayers. He was in a terrible rage,
but before the five minutes were over he said that Dermoodie was not
worth killing, gave him a few kicks and blows, and ordered him out of
his sight, an order which was quickly obeyed. Dermoodie went back to
Ballarat and was recaptured a day or two after his escape, while Scott
was found about a week later in a hut near Bendigo. He was tried, and
was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for the bank robbery, and to
one years' imprisonment in irons for breaking gaol.

Scott behaved in the most exemplary manner while he was in Pentridge,
and contrived to convince both the chaplain and the gaol authorities
that he intended to live "on the square" for the future. He was allowed
all the remission possible under the rules for good conduct, and was
released in March, 1879. He was a forcible and fluent speaker, and he
made a living by open-air lecturing in Melbourne on prison discipline
and other subjects. About this time the Kelly gang was at the zenith of
its career, when suddenly Scott disappeared from his usual haunts in
Melbourne. Probably his imagination was stirred by the reports current
about the Kellys; perhaps he was prompted by jealousy of their doings;
or, perhaps, by a sudden desire for notoriety. However this may be, he
was gone.

On Saturday, November 15th, 1879, at about three p.m., six armed men
rode up to Mr. C.F.J. Macdonald's station at Wantabadgery, on the
Murrumbidgee River, New South Wales, and bailed up all the men at
work there. Nineteen men were collected from various places about the
station and marched into the dining-room of Mr. Macdonald's house. Mr.
Miles was then ordered to unlock the door of the store, and the robbers
selected a quantity of clothing and other goods which they required or
fancied. They were engaged in packing these on some spare horses when
Mr. Weir, of Eurongilly, and a schoolmaster rode up, and were called on
to bail up. The schoolmaster refused, and one of the bushrangers loudly
declared that he would shoot him. Hearing the altercation, the leader
of the gang came out of the store, seized the schoolmaster by the leg,
and dragged him from the horse, saying at the same time, "You---- old
fool, get down and do as you're told. I'm Moonlite." He pushed the
schoolmaster along, and forced him to go into the dining-room where the
other men were sitting.

Towards evening Mr. Baynes, the manager of the station, returned from
a back station, and was bailed up and conducted to the dining-room.
The women had been told that they would not be interfered with, and
were ordered to cook dinner. When it was ready it was served in the
dining-room, where all partook of the food, the bushrangers sitting
down in turn, while two remained on guard. After the meal some grog,
obtained from the station store, was served round, and Mr. Macdonald
was permitted to retire to bed. The others remained at the table all
night, the bushrangers taking it in turn to sleep like the others with
their heads on the table.

Breakfast on the following (Sunday) morning was taken as supper had
been on the previous evening. During the meal Mr. Baynes said to one
of the young bushrangers who was seated near him, "This is bad work."
Moonlite, who was sitting on the other side of the large table, heard
him and jumped up. He charged Mr. Baynes with trying to tamper with his
men, and swore that he would shoot him. He seemed to be in a paroxysm
of rage, and flourished his revolver about in a dangerous manner. The
women, however, clustered round, assuring him that Mr. Baynes did not
mean any harm, and begging him to spare him. In a few minutes Scott's
rage had evaporated, and he sat down again and went on with his meal
apparently oblivious of Mr. Baynes's presence. During the morning
several men came to the station, and were bailed up and marched into
the dining-room. One of these men was leading a young filly which had
only recently been broken in. Scott admired her very much and said,
"She'll just suit me." He led her round and then tried to mount her,
but she was very skittish and would not let him. This threw him into a
passion and he became violent, thus frightening the filly and making
her more ungovernable. At length he swore that if she did not stand
still he would shoot her, and as she continued to rear and try to get
away he drew his revolver and sent a bullet through her head. When
his fit of passion had passed off, Moonlite said he was sorry he had
killed the mare, but she should have stood still when he told her. He
then ordered Lindon, the groom, to put the horses into the buggy, and,
taking Mr. Alexander Macdonald as a hostage, drove to the house of the
superintendent of the station, Mr. Reid. Here he obtained a Whitworth
rifle and some ammunition. He then forced Mr. and Mrs. Reid to mount
the buggy, and drove away to Paterson's Australian Arms Hotel, which
he stuck up, taking two shot guns and a revolver. He ordered Mr. and
Mrs. Paterson to walk to the station, and, to ensure obedience, put
their two little children into the buggy and drove away. On the return
journey to the station he stuck up seven more men, and compelled
them to march in front of the buggy to the station, and go into the

As Moonlite jumped down from the buggy he caught sight of Mr. Baynes
standing on the verandah. He rushed across to him, and charged him with
attempting to corrupt his men. He ordered Mr. Baynes to be pinioned
with a fishing line, and had him lifted into the buggy, saying "I'll
drive under that tree and you can tie the rope to the limb, and we'll
leave this gentlemen hanging there." A rope was tied round Mr. Baynes's
neck ready, but the women, seeing these preparations for a tragedy,
again gathered round Moonlite and begged him to let Mr. Baynes go.
At first he refused, saying "The gentleman does not deserve it," but
gradually he became less violent, and finally ordered Baynes to be
untied. Then he called a muster of all the men in the dining-room and
counted thirty-five.

After having given orders as to the custody of his prisoners, Moonlite
mounted a horse and rode round, going for some distance along the road
on each side of the homestead. He met a man coming from the adjoining
station, Eurongilly, where he worked. "Hulloa," cried Moonlite,
"where are you going with that pistol?" "To fight the bushrangers,"
replied the man. "By G----," exclaimed Scott, "you've found them,
here we are. Hand over that revolver and we'll try you for unlawfully
carrying firearms." The man was compelled to obey, and was taken into
the dining-room. Moonlite took his seat as judge, having appointed
two of his mates and two of the station hands as jury, and the trial
was carried out as nearly in the orthodox manner as circumstances
would permit. The charge was read by the clerk, witnesses were heard
and cross-examined; the judge summed up, and the verdict returned
was "Not guilty." Scott turned to the prisoner and said, "You may
think yourself---- lucky. If the jury had found you guilty, I'd have
given you five minutes to live." He then ordered the prisoner to be
discharged, and said it was dinner time.

In the afternoon the vigilance of the bushrangers relaxed so far that
Alexander Macdonald contrived to make his escape. He got a horse and
rode to Wagga Wagga, twenty-five miles away. He informed the police
of what had taken place, and Constables Howe, Hedley, Williamson, and
Johns saddled their horses and started back with him to Wantabadgery,
where they arrived at four a.m. on Monday morning. The robbers were
still in possession, and the police hoped to find them unprepared,
but this was not the case, and the police retreated to Mr. James
Beveridge's station, Tarrandera Park, where they obtained fresh horses.
By this time five more troopers had arrived from Gundagai, sixty-five
miles away, and the police decided that they were strong enough to
begin the attack. The people who had been detained in the dining-room
speedily made their escape and collected on a ridge a short distance
from the scene of battle, other persons, attracted by the sound of
the firing, rode up from the stations round until some three hundred
spectators of the fight were collected on the ridge, but they left the
police to do the fighting unaided. Constable Bowen, who had already
shot a bushranger in the Thunderbolt rising, was the first to make any
impression, and a great cheer went up as one of Moonlite's men was
seen to fall. The bushrangers went into the house, and the police took
shelter in a hut some distance away. They advanced very cautiously, and
Constable Bowen shot a second man, falling wounded himself almost at
the same time. Some time afterwards Constable Carroll, who had crept
close up to the verandah, in spite of the heavy fusilade which was kept
up, shot a third bushranger, and soon after the other three came out
and surrendered. Moonlite asked Mr. Wise to go for a doctor to attend
to Nesbit, saying "Poor fellow! He was shot trying to save me."

James Nesbit, alias Lyons, who was shot dead, was born in Melbourne
and was twenty-three years of age. Augustus or Gus Wernicke (also from
Melbourne), aged nineteen, died a few days after the battle. Graham
Bennett, also born in Victoria, was twenty years of age. He was wounded
in the arm and recovered. Thomas Williams, alias Jones, nineteen years
old, was born in Ballarat, Victoria. Thomas Rogan was born at Hay, New
South Wales, but had been living for some years in Melbourne, where he
became acquainted with Scott. Scott, the leader, was thirty-seven years
of age.

Constable Bowen died of his wound on the Sunday following the fight,
and the prisoners were tried on the charge of murdering him. The trial
took place at Darlinghurst Court House, Sydney, and lasted for four
days. A verdict of guilty was returned, but the jury recommended Rogan,
Bennett, and Williams to mercy on account of their youth and the belief
that they had been led into crime by Scott. In consequence of this the
sentences on Bennett and Williams were commuted to imprisonment for
life, but although some pressure was brought to bear on the Governor,
Lord Augustus Loftus, the executive declined to extend mercy to Rogan.
He and Scott were therefore hung in Darlinghurst gaol.

One of the witnesses at the trial, named Ah Goon, said that he had been
robbed of a gold watch and chain valued at £25. When taking these and
some money from him, Scott said he was "a---- Chinaman who took the
bread out of the mouths of honest workers." It is worthy of note also
that on the second day of the trial of the prisoners at Darlinghurst,
the _Melbourne Argus_ reported that James P. Nesbitt, father of the
recently killed bushranger, was charged at the City Police Court,
Melbourne, with having thrashed and abused his wife, the mother of the
bushranger. He was ordered to be bound over to keep the peace for six
months under a penalty of £25, and as the money was not forthcoming, he
was sent to gaol.

The gallantry of the police in breaking up this gang of bushrangers
at so early a stage in its career was duly recognised. The police
authorities voted a reward of £100 to Constable Carroll, £75 to
Constable Curran, and £50 each to the other constables engaged in
the fight. A public monument was erected to Constable Bowen, and
a pension was settled on his wife, while the Government undertook
the care and education of his children. The police were paraded in
Sydney; the Inspector General, Mr. E. Fosbery, read a letter from the
Colonial Secretary (the late Sir Henry Parkes) publicly thanking the
police constables for their services. After this ceremony, the purses
containing the rewards were presented and acknowledged.

It is impossible to divide the bushranging of this epoch so as to keep
the story of the different colonies concerned separate as I have in the
previous epochs, because both the Moonlite and the Kelly gang operated
in both Victoria and New South Wales. The small number of bushrangers
who worked separately from these gangs are not worth dividing and may
be dealt with here.

In February, 1879, three young men who had been engaged in running
in and capturing warrigal horses on the lower Murrumbidgee, thought,
perhaps, that that employment was less profitable than bushranging,
and took to the roads. Their names were Thomas Gorman (twenty-one),
Charles Jones (twenty), and William Kaye (nineteen). They bailed up
a few travellers on the road between Balranald and Ivanhoe, and were
then joined by William Hobbs, otherwise known as Hoppy Bill, because
he had a crooked leg and arm. Hobbs had been employed as cook at the
Hatfield sheep station, and was about thirty years of age. On the 21st
they stuck up Mr. Grainger's store at Hatfield, about sixty miles north
of Balranald, and stole £50 worth of clothing and other goods, two
horses, with saddles and bridles. On the following day they stopped a
hawker, saying "Bail up. We're the Kellys," and took £40 worth of goods
and jewellery from his waggon. On the 23rd they arrived at Till Till
station, and bailed up twenty-five persons there. Mrs. Crombie, wife of
the manager, was very much frightened at first, but they soothed her by
telling her that they "wouldn't hurt any one." They took six horses, a
quantity of ammunition, and some other articles from the store. When
they left they said that they intended to stick up Woolpagerie station.

In the meantime Mr. John Thomas Day, storeman at Grainger's, travelled
as fast as his horse could go to Moulamein, and informed the police of
the sticking up of the store. He was sworn in as a special constable,
and accompanied by troopers Beresford and Powers and a black tracker,
started in pursuit. They rode one hundred and eighty miles between nine
a.m. on Sunday and seven p.m. on Monday, changing horses at Clare,
where they came on the tracks of the bushrangers. On their arrival
at Kilferra Mr. Casey supplied them with remounts, and joined in the
chase. The tracks led down to the Four Mile Dam, where the pursuers
came on the bushrangers in camp preparing their supper. As they went
forward the bushrangers came to meet them, crying out, "Bail up." The
police replied, "Surrender in the Queen's name." Both parties fired,
and Constable Powers fell wounded in the shoulder. The bushrangers then
threw down their arms and surrendered. They were tried on April 19th
for shooting with intent to murder, and were found guilty. When asked
if they had anything to urge why sentence of death should not be passed
on them, Hobbs was the only one who spoke, and he said, "God forgive me
if I have to die." Sentences of death were pronounced, but these were
subsequently commuted to imprisonment for life.

On Wednesday, November 5th, 1879, an attempt was made to stick up the
Bank of Australasia at Moe in the Gippsland district of Victoria. At
first it was supposed that the Kellys had paid a visit to this part of
the colony. The bank was a wooden building, situated about fifty yards
from the Moe railway station, and nearly opposite the Selector's Arms
Hotel. The bank closed at the usual time and nothing occurred until
about nine o'clock p.m. At that time Mr. Hector Munro, the manager, was
sitting in his parlour behind the bank chamber reading. He was alone
in the house, his wife having gone up the main street to the grocer's
shop. There was a knock at the door, and on Mr. Munro opening it, a
man with a white cap over his head, with holes to look through cut in
it, tried to force his way in. Munro endeavoured to slam the door to,
but the white cap individual had got his foot inside and managed to
push his way in. "Who are you? What do you want?" cried Munro, but no
answer was returned. Munro still held the man and endeavoured to drag
him out of the house. The white cap drew a pistol, but Munro clutched
him by the arm, and in the struggle the pistol went off without doing
any damage, except to the wall. Then another white-capped man appeared
and struck Munro on the head. At the same time several people rushed
over from the hotel to ascertain what the shooting was about, and the
two would-be robbers bolted. Sergeant Irwin and two constables, with
Dr. Archibald Macdonald and several other civilians, followed the
bushrangers. They picked up two felt hats and a serge mask in the yard,
not far from the back door of the bank. It was, however, too dark to do
anything further that night, but at daylight the tracks were carefully
followed, and shortly before six a.m. Constable Beck and Dr. Macdonald
found two men sitting on the Trafalgar railway platform. The doctor
covered them with his rifle while the constable handcuffed them. The
men said that the constable was making a great mistake, as they were
unacquainted with each other, having arrived there by different routes.
They were waiting for the train from Melbourne to go further up country
to look for work. Constable Beck replied, "Oh, that's all right; I'll
stand the racket. What's your names?" As they hesitated, he continued,
"Now, no humbug; I know you. You don't live far away, and if you give
false names you'll soon be bowled out." They then admitted that they
were brothers, and that their names were Robert and James Shanks. Their
ages were twenty-three and twenty-one years respectively. Two revolvers
were found in their carpet bags, and the white caps were picked up not
far from the platform. They were convicted of having attempted to rob
the bank, and assaulted the manager.


  The Kelly Gang; Horse-stealing, a Great Industry of the District;
  Faking the Brands; Assault on Constable Fitzpatrick; The Bush
  Telegraphs; Murder of Sergeant Kennedy and Constables Scanlan and
  Lonergan; Sticking up of the Faithfull Creek Station; Robbery of the
  National Bank at Euroa; A Big Haul.

In the early years of Australian settlement bushranging was one of
the normal conditions in the colonies, and therefore attracted little
notice. Even the exploits of such heroes of the roads as Mike Howe,
Brady, the Jewboy, and Jackey Jackey are very briefly related in the
Press, and, with the exception of the first-named, about whom Mr. James
Bonwick has written a romance, very little has been heard of them
since the age in which they lived. In the next epoch the doings of the
bushrangers were dwarfed in the public estimation by the sensational
reports of the gold finds, and although in consequence of the growth
of population and the great increase in the number of newspapers their
actions received a wider publicity than those of their predecessors
the accounts of them are still meagre. The sensational inauguration of
the next era by the Gardiner gang--the sticking up and robbing of the
Government Gold Escort--attracted wider notice to the bushrangers of
that epoch, and some notice of them appears even in the English Press.
But the notoriety of even the most celebrated of the bushrangers of
that epoch was nothing as compared with that of the Kelly gang, about
whom more columns of newspaper matter have been printed than of all
the bushrangers together in the earlier epochs. Several histories of
the Kelly gang have also been published, the best known, perhaps,
being those of Mr. Superintendent Hare, who was for a time in charge
of the police who were trying to capture the bushrangers, and Mr.
John McWhirter, the reporter of the _Melbourne Age_, who accompanied
the police in their final and successful effort to suppress the gang.
Mr. McWhirter's "History" is largely compiled from the reports which
had appeared in the _Age_, and Mr. Hare is also largely indebted to
the same source. The Kellys have also inspired more than one drama,
although the subject is not a favourite one with moralists, and the
representation of bushranging dramas has not met with favour from a
large section of the community. In this connection we may note the
influence of modern science. The stage of the performances of the
earlier bushrangers was confined to their own locality. They were
rarely heard of outside the colony in which they appeared. In the
next stage the telegraph carried news of their performances all over
Australia, and occasionally a stray newspaper paragraph was quoted
in England. With the Kellys, however, it was different. Notices of
their exploits were even sent across the ocean by cable, and the
British public naturally desired to hear more of these daring robbers,
and therefore extracts from the newspapers of Australia appeared
more frequently in the English Press than at any former epoch. The
consequence is that we can reconstruct the history of the Kellys
more easily than that of any other bushranging family. The father of
Ned Kelly was transported from Ireland. The maiden name of his wife
was Ellen Quinn. The eldest son, Ned, was born at Wallan Wallan in
1854. Jim was born in 1856, and Dan in 1861. There were besides four
daughters--namely, Mrs. Gunn, Mrs. Skillian, and Kate and Grace Kelly.
In 1871, the second son, James, then about fifteen years of age, was
sentenced to five years' imprisonment on two charges of horse-stealing.
On his discharge in 1876 he went to New South Wales and stuck up a
number of people. He was captured almost immediately, and sent to gaol
for ten years. Edward, commonly known as Ned Kelly, was arrested in
1870 and charged with having assisted Power in one of his numerous
bushranging exploits, but was acquitted, as none of the witnesses could
swear to his identity. It is said that on more than one occasion he
took care of Power's horses while that worthy was engaged in robbing.
In 1871 he was sent to gaol for three years for horse-stealing.

Horse-stealing appears to have been the principal industry of the
district, as cattle-duffing had been of the Wedden Mountain district,
and of Manaro, and the Kellys, the Harts, the Byrnes, and others in
this district, were quite as adept in "faking" brands as the Lowrys,
the O'Meallys, or the Clarkes had been. But science had made advances
even in these mountains since the era of the Gardiner gang. In earlier
times the brands of horses and cattle were "faked"--_i.e._, altered
so as to represent something different from what they were intended
to do--by branding over them and adding to them. There were some
expert blacksmiths among the cattle-duffers, and these would make a
brand to fit over an old brand and completely change its character.
For instance, a simple A brand might have a circle burned round it
thus--(A), or it might have another letter conjoined to it thus--A-B.
The manner in which brands might be "faked" was endless, and when it
was impossible to "fake" a brand it was "blotched," or burned over, so
that the original design could not be recognised. The Kellys and their
companions in the Warby and Strathbogie ranges, however, did not go
to the trouble of making special brands to "fake" other brands. They
obtained the same results by the use of iodine, which burned such marks
into the skins of the stolen animals as were desired. The plan adopted
was to make raids into distant parts, collect a mob of horses, drive
them into an inaccessible ravine in the mountains, "fake" their brands
and keep them until the sores had healed and the brands looked old.
Then the animals, having got fat in the meantime, were driven to market
and sold without fear of detection. Horses stolen in the north--some
even from across the New South Wales border--were driven south to
Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, or some other large town, and sold openly
in the public sale yards; while those stolen in the south were driven
to some northern market, sometimes being taken as far as Sydney.

In 1876, Daniel, the youngest of the Kelly boys, was sent to gaol for
three months for having taken part in a house-breaking robbery in
conjunction with the Lloyds, who were connected by marriage with the
Kellys. In the following year, 1887, warrants were issued for his
arrest on six charges of horse-stealing, but he could not be found.
On April 15th, 1878, Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick, having learned
that Dan Kelly was at home, went to the Kellys' hut at Greta, to
arrest him. "This hut," said the _Benalla Standard_, "was a well-known
trysting-place for the bushranger Power." The constable rode up, and
seeing Dan standing at the door said to him, "You're my prisoner."
"All right," replied Dan nonchalantly. The constable dismounted and
hitched his horse to a sapling, when Dan said that he had been riding
all day and had had nothing to eat. After some conversation the
constable agreed to wait while Dan had some food, before taking him to
Benalla, and Dan went in and sat down. As he did so Mrs. Kelly said
to Fitzpatrick, "You won't take Dan out o' this to-night." "Shut up,
mother," exclaimed Dan, "it's all right." The old woman continued to
grumble in an undertone, while she placed bread and meat and tea on the
table. Presently she asked the constable, "Have you got a warrant?"
"I've got a telegram, and that's as good," replied Fitzpatrick. The
constable was standing at the door, and Dan, who took his arrest
coolly, as if it was a mere matter of course, told his mother not
to make a row about it, as it did not matter, and then invited the
constable to take some food. Fitzpatrick accepted the invitation, and
went in. As he seated himself Mrs. Kelly remarked, "If my son Ned was
here, he'd throw you out of the window." Dan was looking out of the
window at the time, and he exclaimed "Here he is." Fitzpatrick very
naturally turned to look, and Dan pounced on to him. Mrs. Kelly seized
a heavy garden spade which had been used as a fire shovel and was much
damaged, and struck Fitzpatrick a furious blow on the head, making a
dint in his helmet. Fitzpatrick fell down, and several people hearing
the noise rushed in. Among them were Ned Kelly, William Skillian
(husband of one of the Kelly girls), and William Williams, alias
Bricky. Ned Kelly held a revolver in his hand which was still smoking,
and Fitzpatrick was wounded in the arm. Ned said, "I'm sorry I fired.
You're the civilest---- trap I've seen." He offered to cut the bullet
out and bind up the wound, but Fitzpatrick refused to let him touch
it. Then Ned said that the constable could not be allowed to go away
until the bullet was cut out and he had promised not to tell how he got
wounded. "You can say your pistol went off by accident," he said. "Tell
him if he does tell he won't live long after," cried Mrs. Kelly. The
old woman was again told to "shut up." Fitzpatrick, knowing the men he
had to deal with, promised not to say who had wounded him, and took his
knife from his pocket. He cut a small gash, over where the bullet was,
and squeezed it out. Then he twisted his handkerchief round the wound
and said it was "all right." Ned Kelly picked up the bullet and put
it away on a shelf, and a few minutes later the constable was allowed
to mount his horse and go. On the following day a party of troopers
went to the Eleven Mile Creek and arrested Mrs. Ellen Kelly, William
Skillian, and William Williams. A search was made for Ned and Dan
Kelly, but they could not be found. Skillian and Williams, when brought
up for trial for their share in this assault, declared that they only
came in after the shot was fired, and had taken no part whatever in the
scrimmage. They were, however, sentenced to six years' imprisonment,
while Mrs. Kelly was sent to gaol for three years.

It was generally understood that Ned and Dan Kelly were in hiding
somewhere in the neighbourhood, and some twenty-five troopers with
black trackers were told off to search for them. Fourteen men,
residents in the neighbourhood, were arrested under the Outlawry
Act, on suspicion that they had harboured or aided and abetted the
bushrangers, and were remanded from week to week for some three months,
while the police were seeking for evidence against them. Mr. Zincke,
who appeared at the police court on behalf of the prisoners, protested
against this arbitrary act of the police, and urged that it was illegal
to detain as prisoners persons against whom no specific charge had been
made. "If the Kellys were caught," he said, "these men would be told
to go about their business." He stated his belief that the Outlawry
Act would not warrant these proceedings and that the law was being
strained in a dangerous manner. The magistrates on the bench generally
listened to his pleadings with exemplary patience and then granted the
remand asked for by the police. There can be very little doubt that
Mr. Zincke was perfectly justified in saying that these proceedings
were illegal, but the magistrates of Beechworth and other parts of
the disturbed district had learned by experience that, as long as the
sympathisers and "bush telegraphs" were at liberty, the police had very
little chance of capturing the bushrangers, and so, during the whole
time that the Kelly gang was in existence, a number of people were kept
locked up because they were suspected of giving food or assistance to
the outlaws and, more important than all, of giving the bushrangers
information as to the movements of the police. The number of persons
thus held under restraint varied from month to month. Sometimes a few
were discharged while others took their places. The largest number in
the police cells at any one time was thirty-five. But the authorities
after all acted in a half-hearted and inefficient manner. They arrested
only men and boys, while the women and girls were left free to assist
the bushrangers as they pleased, and the women were quite as active
and quite as efficient in affording assistance and information to the
bushrangers as the men could have possibly been.

On October 26th one of the parties of police in search of the outlaws
went into camp at Stringy Bark Creek, about eight miles on the King
River side of the Wombat Range. Sergeant Kennedy was supposed to
have received information from a friend of the Kellys as to their
whereabouts, and thus to have penetrated nearly to their hiding place.
The friend who had informed the police, however, also told the Kellys
of their approach. The country is densely covered with stringy bark
trees and scrub, and is almost impenetrable. Sergeant Kennedy and
Constable Scanlan had gone into the scrub to endeavour to ascertain the
whereabouts of the two Kellys, while Constables Lonergan and McIntyre
were left in charge of the camp. Lonergan was employed in making tea
ready for the two who were away, when four men on horseback came up and
cried "Bail up! put up your hands." Lonergan made a jump to get behind
a tree, putting his hand to his belt for a pistol at the same time, and
was shot. He cried out "O Christ, I'm shot," and fell dead. Constable
McIntyre was sitting down. He jumped up, but having no weapon upon
him at the time he surrendered. Ned Kelly walked to Lonergan's body
and examined it. Then he rose, and said, "What a pity! Why didn't
the---- fool surrender?" He afterwards said that it was all Constable
Fitzpatrick's fault. "He'd no right to lag my mother and brother-in-law
for nothing." Ned Kelly ordered Constable McIntyre to sit down as if
nothing had happened, and warned him that he would be shot at once
if he "gave the office" to the sergeant. The bushrangers then hid
themselves behind the trees. Sergeant Kennedy and Constable Scanlan
rode up some time later, unconscious that anything had happened. When
they came close McIntyre said, "Sergeant, we're surrounded. You'd
better surrender." Scanlan laughed, and put his hand to his belt, when
Ned Kelly fired at him and missed. Scanlan jumped off his horse and
made for a gum tree, but was shot dead before he reached it. Kennedy
wheeled his horse round and started at a gallop, but had gone only a
few yards when he was brought down with a rifle bullet. His horse,
frightened at the noise and the fall of its rider, dashed through the
camp, and as it passed Constable McIntyre threw himself across its
back. He got into the saddle, and urged it forward, when it was brought
down, shot by a rifle bullet through the heart. McIntyre fell clear,
and crawled into a patch of scrub. He found a wombat hole near at hand.
He crept into it, and lay there, while he could hear the bushrangers
walking round searching for him in the scrub, and swearing that they
would "do for" him when they caught him. When it was quite dark he
crawled out of his hole and walked twenty miles to Mansfield to inform
the police of what had taken place.

Inspector Pewtress, with a party of police, started from Melbourne
on Sunday, the 27th, in a special train, and soon reached the camp
in the ranges. The bodies of Lonergan and Scanlan were lying as they
had fallen not far from where the fire had been lighted, but that of
Sergeant Kennedy could not be seen from the camp. It was not found
until the 31st, owing to the density of the scrub around the little
cleared patch, where the camp had been pitched. Three bullet wounds
were found in it, and a cloak had been thrown over the face to protect
it from dingoes or the weather. It was said that Ned Kelly had ridden
to his camp to fetch the cloak to cover Kennedy with, because he
considered him to be the bravest man he had ever met.

Rewards of £100 each had been offered by the Victorian Government for
the capture of Ned and Dan Kelly. Now the rewards were increased to
£500, while similar rewards were offered for Steve Hart (twenty years
of age) and Joe Byrnes (nineteen years of age).

It was reported that on October 31st the Kellys had stuck up and robbed
Neil Christian and other persons at Bungowanah, near Baumgarten's, on
the Murray River, but as the whole of that country was under water, in
consequence of a flood in the river at that time, this was discredited.
The police asserted that the Kellys were somewhere in the mountains,
but they searched the "Rat's Castle" and other hiding places without

On the 8th December a rough-looking bushman called at Younghusband's
station, on Faithfull's Creek, and asked if the manager, Mr. Macaulay,
was about? An old man named Fitzgerald, employed on the station,
replied that the manager was away and would not return till morning. He
asked the man if he could do anything for him? The traveller replied
"No, it's of no consequence." He walked to the house and said to Mrs.
Fitzgerald, "I'm Ned Kelly. You needn't be frightened, we only want
food for ourselves and our horses." Seeing the man talking to his wife,
Fitzgerald went to them, and Mrs. Fitzgerald said to him "This is Mr.
Kelly. He wants some refreshments." By this time Ned had his revolver
in his hand. Fitzgerald grasped the situation and replied "Well, if
the gentleman wants refreshments he'll have to have them." Ned gave
a whistle and the other three bushrangers came forward and Dan took
their horses to the stables. Joe Byrnes took care of the Fitzgeralds,
while Ned and Steve Hart went round and collected all the men at work
on the station and locked them up in the store room. Shortly afterwards
a man named Gloster, who had a store in Seymour and who frequently
travelled round with a spring cart loaded with goods for sale at the
farms and stations, came to the station for a bucket of water to make
tea with, and Ned ordered him to bail up. Knowing that Gloster was of a
determined character Fitzgerald shouted to him to advise him to "give
in." "What for?" asked Gloster. "I'm Ned Kelly," exclaimed that hero.
"I don't care a---- who you are," returned Gloster. At this moment Dan
Kelly came up and threatened to shoot Gloster, but Ned forbade him, and
Fitzgerald persuaded Gloster that resistance was useless and prevailed
on him to surrender.

When Macaulay, the manager, came home he was also bailed up. "What's
the good of your sticking up the station?" he asked, "you've better
horses than we have and anything else you require you can have without
all this nonsense." Ned said he had a purpose. After some conversation,
during which Macaulay said he had no intention of interfering with
them, Macaulay was permitted to remain free, but was closely watched to
prevent him from sending for the police. The bushrangers then searched
Gloster's cart, selected suits of clothes for themselves, and made very
free with the bottles of scent and other small articles.

On the following day, the 11th December, 1878, Messrs. McDougal,
Dudley, and Casement, in a spring cart, were about to pass through the
gate over the level crossing of the railway, close to the station. Mr.
Jennant, who was riding, dismounted to open the gate for the cart to
pass through, when Ned Kelly, on horseback, cried "Surrender, or you
will be shot." Another bushranger, Joe Byrnes, walked down quickly
from the station to assist his mate if necessary. Mr. McDougal, taking
them for troopers as they carried handcuffs in their hands, asked what
right they had to arrest them in this manner, when Ned replied, "Shut
up. I'll shoot you if you give me any cheek." "You wouldn't shoot an
old man unarmed," exclaimed McDougal. "Not if you surrender quietly,"
replied Ned. They said they surrendered, and Byrnes opened the gate and
told them to drive to the homestead. As they came up a station hand who
was standing at the store door said, "Gentlemen, allow me to introduce
you to Mr. Edward Kelly." McDougal and his companions were not much
surprised, as they had already begun to perceive that their captors
were not troopers in plain clothes, as they had at first thought. The
prisoners were taken into the store, the bushrangers telling them that
the horses would be looked after.

The store-room was a long wooden building situated about twenty
yards from the house. It had only one door and one window, both near
together, so that it could easily be guarded. With so many men confined
in it the air soon became foul, and the prisoners were allowed to come
out in small batches to obtain some fresh air. Only the men were locked
up, the women being left free and were not molested in any way.

At about three o'clock Ned Kelly asked Mr. Macaulay for a small cheque.
Mr. Macaulay gave it to him. It was for £3. Joe Byrnes was left in
charge of the station, while the others started away, Ned in Gloster's
cart, Dan in McDougal's, and Hart on horseback. At about half-past
four there was a knock at the door of the National Bank at Euroa,
and when it was opened a man requested that a cheque might be cashed
for him. The manager, Mr. Robert Scott, said it was after hours, and
he could not open the bank again till morning. The man said it would
inconvenience him greatly to have to call again, as he did not live in
the town. He begged so hard that at length the manager consented to
give him the money to oblige him. The manager opened the bank door,
and as soon as they were inside the man said, "Put up your hands. I'm
Ned Kelly." Taken by surprise, the manager was compelled to obey. The
manager was forced to open the safe door and to hand over £1942 0s. 6d.
in notes, gold, and silver, thirty-one ounces of smelted gold, five
bags of cartridges, and two revolvers. There had been rumours that
the Kellys intended to stick up a bank, and arms and ammunition had
been sent from the head offices in Melbourne to most of the country
branches. The National Bank at Euroa had been thus furnished, but in
consequence of the cunning of the bushrangers the arms were useless.
Mr. Scott had a loaded revolver on his table when Ned Kelly asked him
to cash the cheque, but he was so unsuspicious of the character of his
customer that he left it there when he went into the bank chamber.
Having obtained all the money he could get Kelly turned to enter the
private apartments, when Scott said, "If you go in there I'll strike
you whatever the consequences may be." Steve Hart put his revolver to
Scott's face and said "Keep back." Kelly laughed, and walked through
the door. He went along the passage, and looked out of the back door
into the yard. Then he returned and told Scott to go and put his
horse into the buggy. "That's the work of the groom," said Scott,
"but he happens to be away just now." "I'll do it myself," returned
Ned, and went into the yard. When the horse was harnessed, Kelly said
he was going to take the family out for a drive. He made Scott get
into Gloster's cart, and Mrs. Scott and the child into the buggy. Dan
Kelly and Hart came on behind. When they had gone out of the little
street Scott asked Ned where they were going. "To Younghusband's," was
the reply. "I'll drive," said Scott, "I know the road." "All right,"
replied Ned, handing him the reins. "But if you try any pranks, look
out." Ned Kelly treated Mrs. Scott with great politeness, so that she
said that she could never believe he was the bloodthirsty villain he
had been represented to be.

The telegraph wires had been cut on each side of the station soon after
their arrival, and while the main body of the robbers was gone to Euroa
a train stopped close to the station to set down a line repairer named
Watts. As the railway station was some distance away it was thought
that the train had brought the police, and Byrnes prepared to defend
himself. He shut all the men in the store, and charged them to keep
quiet. When Watts came to the station to enquire how the break in the
line had occurred and to obtain assistance Byrnes bailed him up, and
told him that he could repair the line later on. Nothing of importance
occurred after this until the return of Ned and his mates with the bank
manager and the money.

During their drive together Ned Kelly told Scott that he was---- sorry
that Sergeant Kennedy had been shot. He was a brave man. "But," he
added, "I couldn't help it. The police ought to surrender when they are
called on." He showed Scott the presentation gold watch which had once
belonged to Kennedy and which he had taken from the body "to remember
him by."

Soon after their return to the station they all had tea, Ned Kelly
telling his prisoners that he would not detain them much longer. The
meal was barely over when a train drew up opposite the station and
whistled. Ned Kelly shouted "Hullo boys, here's a special with the----
bobbies. We'll fight 'em. We're ready for 'em, however many there may
be." The driver waited for a few minutes and then the train went out.
It was soon ascertained that Watts, the line repairer, had arranged for
the train to pick him up after he had had time to repair the break, but
owing to his being shut up in the station store he had neither repaired
the line nor been able to inform the engine driver of the reason of his
non-success. At about half-past seven, the prisoners were mustered and
told to remain in the store for three hours. Scott took out his watch
and asked "Eleven?" "No," replied Ned, "half-past. If any one leaves
before, I'll hear of it and make it---- hot for him. I'll track him
down and shoot him dead. You can't escape me." Byrnes turned to Scott
and said "That looks like a---- good watch. Let's see it." Scott handed
him the watch and the robber put it in his pocket. This was a signal
to the other bushrangers. One took Macaulay's watch, and another asked
McDougal for his. McDougal took it from his pocket and said "I should
be sorry to lose it. It is a keepsake from my dead mother." "Is it,"
said Kelly, "then we'll not take it." Ned Kelly warned Macaulay that he
held him responsible for the men. "If you let them go before the time,"
he said, "I'll shoot you like a---- dingo the first time I see you."
Shortly afterwards the bushrangers mounted their horses, which had been
feeding in the stables during the time the station was held, and rode
away. The men were released from the store but were kept at the station
for about three hours. Mr. and Mrs. Scott returned to Euroa in their
buggy and telegraphed the news of the robbery as soon as possible,
which was not before the next morning. Gloster rode off to inform the
police at the nearest town, and the information as to this daring
outrage was spread about by others who had been robbed.


  The Kellys Stick up the Town of Jerilderie; Robbery of the Bank of
  New South Wales; A Symposium in the Royal Hotel; A Three-days' Spree;
  "Hurrah for the Good Old Times of Morgan and Ben Hall"; the Robbers
  Take a Rest for a Year; The Kelly Sympathisers Again; The Kellys
  Reappear; Murder of Aaron Sherritt.

After the bank robbery the "gentlemen of the Strathbogie Ranges"
again retired to their mountain fastnesses. Occasionally a paragraph
in one of the local newspapers recorded the movements of the police
or furnished a story about the black trackers, but these notices
were necessarily very meagre, as the police declined to furnish any
information as to their proceedings or intentions, because this would
be of more use to the bushrangers than to any one else. For more than a
month nothing reliable had been heard of them. Even the reports of the
arrest and detention of numbers of "bush telegraphs" failed to attract
any attention, and the Kelly gang had almost ceased to be spoken
of, when suddenly the whole country was roused by the news that the
bushrangers had stuck up the town of Jerilderie, in New South Wales.
Jerilderie is situated on the Yanko Creek, not far from its junction
with the Billabong, and at that time contained about 300 inhabitants,
a bank, four public-houses, a post and telegraph office, and several
churches, schools, and other buildings. The local police station
and lock-up was near the outside of the town, and there were two
officers--Constables Devine and Richards--stationed there. At midnight
of February 8th, 1879, a man roused Constable Devine from his bed, and
informed him that a row had taken place at Davidson's Hotel and a man
had been killed. He exhorted the constable to "come quick." Constable
Devine woke Constable Richards and both dressed as hastily as possible.
When they came out they were confronted by Ned Kelly, revolver in
hand, and ordered to "bail up." Not having their arms on them, and
being taken completely by surprise, the two constables surrendered at
once and were locked up in the cells. The bushrangers then compelled
Mrs. Devine, who had also partially dressed, to hand over all arms
and ammunition, and took possession of the lock-up, remaining quietly
there till morning, their horses being placed in the police stables
at the rear. It was Sunday morning, and as the Catholic church had
not yet been finished, the court-house had been rented for religious
purposes, and Mrs. Devine had been accustomed to clean up the place,
set the temporary altar, and place the forms and chairs ready for mass.
The bushrangers told her to perform her task as usual, after having
extorted a promise from her that she would not mention their presence
to any one, and to make certain of her keeping her word one of them,
dressed as a constable, went with her to the court-house and stayed
while she swept the floor and prepared the room. Then they returned to
the lock-up, which was about one hundred yards from the court-house,
and remained there all day, the bushrangers, arrayed in the constables'
uniforms, sitting quietly in the guard-room. No doubt numbers of people
passed and saw them, but no one had any suspicion that the bushrangers
were in charge instead of the police.

Early on Monday morning Byrnes took two horses to the blacksmith's
shop to be shod, and the blacksmith, feeling some doubt as to the
_bonâ-fides_ of the pseudo trooper, made a note of the brands on the
horses. At about ten a.m. Ned and Dan Kelly, accompanied by Constable
Richards, went to the Royal Hotel, the largest hotel in the town, where
Richards formally introduced them to the proprietor, Mr. Cox. Ned
informed Mr. Cox that he required the use of some rooms, as the gang
intended sticking up the bank. He selected a large and a small room
on the ground floor, near the bar, and conducted the few men about at
the time into the large room, where they were ordered to remain until
given permission to depart. Dan Kelly was placed on guard at the door
to keep order and prevent anybody from escaping, and was instructed
to shoot the first man who refused to do as he was told. On Mr. Cox
passing his word, as a gentleman, not to mention their presence to any
one who should come in, he was permitted to take charge of the bar as
usual, and was given to understand that he would be held responsible
for the discretion of the women and servants. Any one of them whom he
could not trust was to be sent into the large room. The preliminaries
were arranged so unostentatiously and quietly, that no rumour of the
presence of the bushrangers had yet been heard, and as customers
dropped into the hotel they were taken into the big room, and told to
remain on penalty of death.

Having made these arrangements, Ned Kelly walked into the hotel yard
to reconnoitre. There was a detached kitchen here, and the rear of the
bank of New South Wales was only a few yards from the rear of this
kitchen. The bank faced on another street, and there was no dividing
fence between the yard at the back of the bank and the hotel yard. Hart
was placed on watch near the kitchen, while Byrnes entered the back
door of the bank. Mr. Living, the teller, was in the bank chamber. He
was not surprised to hear a man enter by the back door, as Mr. Cox
and other customers frequently came in that way, it being a short cut
from the hotel. Suddenly, however, Byrnes came to the counter, pointed
a revolver at Living's head, and cried out, "I'm Kelly, keep quiet."
Living held his hands above his head. "Where's your pistols?" asked
Byrnes. "I've got none," replied Living. Byrnes then ordered Living
and the accountant Mackie to "Come over to the hotel." They came from
behind the counter and did as they were told, Byrnes following them.
When they reached the door of the large room Dan Kelly inquired,
"Where's Tarleton?" "In his room," replied Living. "Then go and fetch
him and no---- nonsense," said Dan. Living went back to the bank,
but being unable to find the manager in his rooms began to fear that
something might have happened to him. He was about to return to the
hotel to inform the Kellys that he could not find the manager, when he
heard a splashing. He went to the bathroom and knocked. Tarleton had
been for a forty-mile ride that morning, and had just returned and
was having a wash. When he opened the door and was informed that the
town was in possession of the Kelly gang, and the bank was stuck up,
he laughed heartily, believing it to be a huge joke. Living assured
him that it was not a laughing matter, but he was still incredulous.
However, he dressed and went to the hotel, where he soon discovered
that what he had deemed impossible had come to pass. The three bank
officials were placed in the large room. Tarleton, who took a seat next
to Constable Richards, whispered, "I can knock Hart down, shall I?"
"What's the good?" replied the constable, "Dan Kelly's there, and he'd
shoot you down at once."

Ned Kelly had hitherto been walking round as a sort of
inspector-general of the proceedings and giving orders. He now entered
the room and ordered drinks to be served all round. Then he made a
speech in which he blamed Constable Fitzpatrick for all that had
occurred. "I wasn't within a hundred miles of Greta when he was shot,"
said Ned, "and up to then I'd never killed a man in my life." He
went on to say that he had stolen two hundred and eighty horses from
Whitby's station, and had sold them at Baumgarten's. He took out a
revolver and exclaimed: "This was Lonergan's! I took it from him. The
gun I shot him with was a crooked, worn-out thing, not worth picking
up. I shot him because he threatened my mother and my sister if they
refused to tell where Ned Kelly was. The police are worse than the----
black trackers. I came here to shoot Devine and Richards, and I'm
going to do it." The men at the table began to intercede for Richards,
who was sitting quietly among them and who did not speak, but Kelly
exclaimed dramatically, "He must die."

Ned got the key of the bank safe and took £1450 worth of notes and
money from it. He also took £691 from the teller's drawers. While thus
employed, Messrs. Gill, Hardie, and Rankin came in on business in the
ordinary course and were ordered to bail up. They turned and ran. Ned
Kelly followed and caught Rankin, but the others got away. Ned was
furious at this escape. He said that news of their presence would be
all over the place in a few minutes, and he swore he would shoot Rankin
in revenge. He took Rankin to the hotel, stood him up against the wall
in the passage and flourished his revolver about. The men in the room
pleaded that Rankin might be spared, and urged that he could not have
prevented Gill and Hardie from running away. While this was going on
Byrnes came in with Mr. Hardie and said that they could not find Gill,
the proprietor of the local newspaper, as he had not returned to his
office. Ned Kelly then let Rankin go and declared that he would burn
the newspaper office. Mr. Gill it is said went out of the town and hid
in a clump of trees by the side of the river till evening. Ned then
walked down to McDougall's Hotel and shouted for about thirty men who
were in or about the hotel at the time. On his return to the Royal
Hotel he was informed that Hart had robbed the Rev. Mr. Gribble of a
gold watch. He called Hart up and asked indignantly, "What right has a
thing like you to rob a clergyman?" He swore a good deal and compelled
Hart to give the watch back. Complaints were made that he had stolen a
new saddle and bridle from a saddler's shop, and some other articles
from other places. Ned called him a ---- thief, and ordered him to
return everything he had taken.

Ned Kelly paid more than one visit to the Post and Telegraph Office
to "see how things were going on." The robbers had cut the wires on
either side of the town before their entry and had chopped down seven
telegraph posts in the main street near the office. They had given
orders to Mr. Jefferson, the telegraph master, that no repairs should
be attempted until permission was given, and Ned took care that these
orders were obeyed. The robbers held the town for three days, in
imitation of the manner in which the Hall and Gilbert gang had held
Canowindra. Jerilderie was at this time slightly larger than Canowindra
at the time when it had been stuck up and held, but there was less
traffic through it, and consequently less connection between it and the
outer world than with Canowindra. The road running through Jerilderie
leads from Conargo to Narrandera. Jerilderie is about thirty miles
from Conargo and sixty-five from Narrandera. All round are huge sheep
and cattle stations, with only a few men employed on them except at
shearing or mustering time. All through the remainder of the year the
traffic is inconsiderable. There was in Jerilderie, however, a large
wool-washing and fellmongery establishment which employed a fair number
of workmen. Canowindra, on the other hand, was a wayside town on the
main road from Bathurst to Forbes, the traffic being considerable all
the year round. There were also several small diggings settlements
not far away, and the residents of these frequently came to purchase
articles from the stores at Canowindra. It was far easier, therefore,
to isolate Jerilderie for three days than it had been Canowindra in
the earlier days of bushranging. The Hall and Gilbert gang also robbed
everybody except the landlord of the hotel they took possession of.
The Kellys, on the other hand, robbed no one outside of the bank.
Jerilderie also was a much more compact town than Canowindra, the
latter consisting of one long straggling street, with only a few houses
outside this line, while Jerilderie had several cross streets, and at
least two parallel with the river.

The robbers held the town from midnight on Saturday, until about four
p.m. on the Wednesday following. Shortly before the men were allowed to
leave the Royal Hotel, Ned Kelly gave Living a paper which he said gave
a history of his life, and the truth about what he had done. Living
promised that he would do his best to get it published, and handed it
to Mr. Gill, who read it and forwarded it to the Government. It was a
long rambling statement, in some parts quite incoherent, and much of it
false. It was never published. At about four o'clock Byrnes left the
town in the direction of the Murray River. He was riding his own horse,
and had the money stolen from the bank packed on one of the police
horses, which he was leading. A minute or two later Dan Kelly and Steve
Hart mounted their horses, and galloped several times up and down the
main street, flourishing their revolvers and shouting, "Hurrah for the
good old times of Morgan and Ben Hall." Then they left the town along
the main road. Ned Kelly, mounted on his gray mare and leading a second
police horse, left some minutes later. Before going, he rode from the
police station to the Royal Hotel, and told the men detained in the
large room there that they were free.

The bushrangers had left the town by different routes, probably to
prevent any information as to the road they had travelled from being
furnished to the police, but no doubt they had arranged where they
should meet outside at a safe distance. Late in the evening they rode
up to Wannamurra station, about twenty-five miles from Jerilderie, when
Ned Kelly asked Mr. A. Mackie whether his brother was at home yet? Mr.
Mackie replied that he did not know. "I'm going to shoot him for giving
horses to Living and Tarleton to ride to Deniliquin for the traps,"
said Ned. They all went to the station together, but evidence was soon
brought forward to prove that the bank employés had not obtained horses
from Mr. Mackie, and at length Ned exonerated that gentleman for what
he called "his treachery," but forcibly expressed his intention of
shooting Living. "I gave him back his life policy," he said, "and I
only burned two or three of the bank books instead of the lot to oblige
him. He asked for them, and I treated him as fair as I could, and now
he takes advantage of my kindness to betray me." He walked up and down
on the verandah of the house for several minutes swearing at Living,
and more than once said he had a good mind to go back and "settle him"
at once. His rage, however, soon subsided, and the gang proceeded on
their way, no attempt being made to detain them.

Jerilderie lies about one hundred and fifty miles, as the crow flies,
from where the bushrangers were supposed to have been hidden, in
the Strathbogie Mountains, and when the news of the bank robbery
at Jerilderie was telegraphed all over the country, wonder was
everywhere expressed as to how the robbers had crossed this country,
some of it thickly populated, without being perceived. The skill with
which the robbery had been planned, the boldness and completeness
of the arrangements, and the apparent ease with which it had been
accomplished, made the Kelly gang the principal topic of conversation.
The New South Wales Government issued a proclamation declaring Ned and
Dan Kelly, Joe Byrnes, and Steve Hart outlaws, and offered a reward of
£3000 for their capture, dead or alive. The associated banks of the
colony supplemented this reward by another of £1000. The Victorian
Government increased the rewards already offered to the same amount
as was offered by the New South Wales Government, while the banks in
that colony added another £1000; thus making the total reward offered
for the capture of the four members of the gang £8000. Two thousand
pounds per man was the highest reward ever offered for the capture of
bushrangers in Australia.

For some time the police of New South Wales scoured the country round
Jerilderie and the plains between that town and the Victorian border,
while the Victorian police were quite as active on their side of the
Murray River, until at length it was definitely ascertained that the
bushrangers were safe back in their mountain fastnesses. The paragraphs
published from time to time in the Beechworth, the Benalla, and the
Wangaratta papers, and in local papers even further removed from the
home of the Kellys, tend to show that although the black boys failed to
follow a trail in the mountains with the certainty and skill displayed
by them in leveller country, they still kept the outlaws in a continual
state of fear of capture. Ned Kelly is reported to have called them
"those six little black devils," and to have sworn to shoot them if
ever he "got the chance." "Those---- trackers," he cried, "I'd like
to shoot 'em. They're no ---- good in this country. They can't track
in Victoria. I can track as well as they can out on the plains. I
can run an emu's trail for miles as well as them. They may be good
in Queensland or the plains, but they're no good in the mountains."
Nevertheless they worried him, as his frequent complaints of their
activity prove. The district was no doubt a difficult one to track in.
None but a first-class horseman could ride through it with any degree
of certainty, and no one but an aborigine or a white man born in the
district could cross the ravines and gullies without getting hopelessly
"bushed," without a guide.

The arrests and detentions of Kelly's sympathisers continued with
increased vigour. "Wild" Wright and his brother Tom, relatives of the
Kellys, Frank Hart, brother of the bushranger, the Lloyds and others,
passed a considerable portion of their time in the cells of the various
lock-ups around the district. Robert Miller was arrested and detained
because his daughter, a daring horsewoman, was observed to go into
the mountains at night with what were supposed to be provisions for
the bushrangers. She was followed more than once, but contrived to
elude her pursuers by plunging up or down a steep mountain, or across
an almost impassable gully. She never started twice in the same
track, sometimes going up one spur or ravine, and next time choosing
a different one, and leading even the black trackers astray. The
newspapers frequently urged the folly of detaining the father while the
daughter was left free to furnish the outlaws with food and news. The
plain fact is, that when special laws have to be applied, there should
be no exceptions; otherwise they are valueless. In this case the women
were far more active and reliable partisans of the Kellys than the men,
and, as there can be little doubt that the Outlawry Act was strained,
to put it mildly, by the police and the local magistracy, with the
connivance of the Government, another turn of the screw would not have
made the actions of the authorities any more illegal, and might have
made them efficient. However, determined as the authorities were to
stamp out lawlessness, they did not carry their own illegal acts to
this extreme point, and probably this postponed, though it did not
prevent, the end which was inevitable, as it always must be when a few
array themselves against an overwhelming majority.

It was about this time that the name of Aaron Sherritt was first heard
of in connection with the bushrangers. Sherritt was the son of an
ex-policeman. He was about twenty-four years of age and had settled in
the district some time earlier. He selected one hundred and seven acres
of ground on the Woolshed Creek, and the Kellys and Byrnes helped him
to fence it in and clear part of it. He had, however, recently sold
his farm to a Mr. Crawford, of Melbourne, and had built himself a hut
at Sebastopol, about two miles away, until he could take up another
selection. He was engaged to be married to a sister of Joe Byrnes, and
was regarded as one of the family. He was suspected of having taken a
share in some of the extensive horse-stealing raids in company with
the Kellys and their friends, and had been in consequence an object of
police suspicion and supervision. This was the man to whom the police
made advances, and, by promising him the whole of the eight thousand
pounds reward offered for the capture of the bushrangers, on condition
that it should be through his aid and assistance that this capture was
effected, they succeeded in winning him over to their side. He led
Superintendent Hare and a party of police into the innermost recesses
of the mountains, and pointed out several camps where the bushrangers
had been; but, in each case, the bushrangers appeared to have received
warning and to have removed before the police came. Some thought that
Sherritt was playing a double game, and that he contrived to let the
bushrangers know when the police might be expected to arrive, but there
appears to be no foundation for this opinion, as it delayed his chance
of obtaining the reward. At first he was careful not to be seen in
company with the police, but their association could not be kept secret
for long, and Sherritt soon became suspected by the Kelly family. One
day Mrs. Byrnes openly accused him of trying to betray her son. There
was a row, and Sherritt was ordered from the house, his engagement with
the daughter being broken off. After that Sherritt appeared more openly
in company of the police, parties of whom were constantly watching the
homes of the four bushrangers on the chance of capturing them should
they visit their parents or other relatives. Sherritt married the
daughter of another settler in the district, and all communications
between him and the families of the bushrangers were broken off.
Sherritt instead of being a friend was considered an enemy of the

During the latter half of 1879 and the first half of 1880 nothing of
any importance was heard as to the movements of the bushrangers. More
than once it was reported that they had left the country, sometimes it
was said for New Zealand, and at other times for America, but these
reports were invariably contradicted within a few days, and the Kellys
were said to be still somewhere in the ranges. Sometimes it was said
that the money stolen from the Jerilderie Bank must be all expended,
and that the Kellys would be forced to leave their hiding-place
shortly, but frequently, during the twelvemonths following that raid,
nothing would be heard of the bushrangers for weeks, and the public
almost forgot that there was such a gang in existence. Then suddenly
came the news that the robbers had shot Aaron Sherritt on June 27th,

For some weeks a party of police had been secreted, as much as
possible, in Sherritt's house, for the purpose of watching Byrne's
mother's house, and four of them were quietly sitting in the inner
room at the time of the murder. The particulars of the murder were
as follows:--A German market-gardener named Antoine Weeks was living
on the Woolshed Creek, not far from Sherritt's and Byrnes's houses.
He was walking home on the evening of the day mentioned when he was
met by Dan Kelly and Joe Byrnes. "Do you know who we are?" asked Dan.
"No," replied Weeks. "Well, we're the Kellys," said Dan; "you do as we
tell you and no harm will come to you." They handcuffed the German,
and led him along the road to Sherritt's house. Here Dan told him to
shout "Aaron." Weeks did so, and on Aaron Sherritt coming to the door
to ascertain who wanted him, Byrnes shot him dead without a word. The
bushrangers took the handcuffs off of Weeks and told him to go home.
Then they went to the door of the hut, called Mrs. Sherritt out, and
told her that she had better send some of the---- traps in her house
out to bury her husband, because "We've shot him for being a traitor."
The Kellys were fully aware that the police were in the house, and
called on them to come out and "fight like men." If the constables
had come out as invited they would have been courting almost certain
death. A bright wood fire was burning in the hut and the front room
was as bright as day, while all outside was as dark as possible. Had
the police therefore left the shelter of the inner room and entered
the front apartment they would have been shot down before they could
have seen their enemies, whose whereabouts could only have been guessed
at from their shots or from the flash of their revolvers. Going to
the door under these conditions would have been almost tantamount to
committing suicide. The bushrangers raged round the hut calling the
police the most opprobious names and threatening and taunting them in
hopes of inducing them to come into the light, but as the police kept
quiet and made no reply whatever to their taunts the bushrangers swore
that they would "burn 'em like rats in a trap." They fired through the
windows and doors, but they appear to have been just as unwilling to
enter the lighted room as the police were. In fact neither party would
give the other a chance. The robbers remained round the hut at this
labour of hate until two a.m., when they departed. At daybreak one of
the troopers went to where the horses were kept, and rode to Benalla
to give information of the reappearance of the Kellys, while the other
three followed on the tracks of the outlaws.


  Fight Between the Police and the Bushrangers at Glenrowan; The
  Railway Torn Up; Attempt to Wreck the Police Train; The Glenrowan Inn
  Besieged; Ned Kelly in Armour; His Capture; The Burning of the Inn;
  Deaths of Dan Kelly, Steve Hart, and Joe Byrnes; Trial and Conviction
  of Ned Kelly; His Death; The Kelly Show; Decrease of Crime in the

As soon as the news of this fresh outrage was telegraphed to Melbourne,
Sub-inspector O'Connor of Queensland, with his six black trackers, with
Superintendent Hare, Inspector Pewtress, and several other officials
of the Victorian police, a number of newspaper correspondents, and a
few other favoured persons, started by special train for the scene of
disorder. Eight troopers were picked up at Benalla, and at twenty-five
minutes past three p.m. the train was stopped near the Glenrowan
platform by Mr. Curnow, the local schoolmaster, who stood on the line
waving a red scarf. He informed those on the train that the robbers had
torn up the rails a short distance ahead, with a view to wrecking the
train, and that they were waiting near to shoot the police or any one
else who might be sent to capture them. A consultation was immediately
held to decide as to the next step, and while this was going on,
Constable Bracken, the local representative of the police force,
arrived and reported that the bushrangers had taken possession of the
Glenrowan Inn, not much more than a hundred yards distant, and that he
had just made his escape from them.

The Glenrowan Inn was built on the Sydney Road, about half-way between
Winton and Wangaratta, shortly after the discovery of gold at the Ovens
River, in 1853. The glen was then a camping-place for teams travelling
between Melbourne and the diggings. A second hotel was constructed
later, and a small village, or what the Australians call a township,
grew up on the little flat at the gap in the hills, locally known as
the Futter's Range, a spur jutting out from the larger Strathbogie
Range. For some years Glenrowan was quite a flourishing little town,
the traffic to the diggings being large. But when the Great Northern
Railway was opened in 1873 the village began to dwindle away. The
railway carried the trade past it to the more conveniently situated
and larger towns on either side, and consequently the population left
for these towns. The two hotels remained, and there was also a store,
a blacksmith's shop, and a few other houses, and these depended for
their support on the fruit growers, market gardeners, and farmers who
cultivated the rich alluvial flats with which the lower spurs of the
mountains are interspersed. The railway platform had been constructed
by the Government to accommodate the trade in fruit, vegetables, and
other produce which formed the staple industry of the district in 1880.

The Glenrowan Inn was a long, low, weather-board building, with a wide
verandah along the front. It stood some distance back from the road,
with a large trough hewn from the stem of a tree in front for horses
and bullocks to drink from. Near this was a sign-board with the names
of the hotel and the proprietor on it thus:--



The robbers, it appears, did not go very far when they left Sherritt's
hut. They were aware that, when the news of the murder reached
Melbourne and other centres, an attempt would be made to follow them,
and they seem to have made up their minds to a final effort to conquer
the police force of the colony. They went to the camp of the line
repairers and roused them up. James Reardon, on coming out of his hut,
was ordered to get his tools, as the robbers were determined to rip up
the line and wreck the train which they expected to arrive. Reardon
at first refused, but on being threatened with death he gave in. He
said that the tools were locked up and that he could not get them
till morning, but he was told that the chest would soon be broken.
His mate, Sullivan, was also secured, and at length they agreed to do
as they were told. They went to a bend in the road, a short distance
north of the platform, being under the impression that the train would
arrive from Wangaratta or Beechworth. They ripped up a number of the
rails and piled them across the track. Then they marched Reardon
and his wife and child and Sullivan to the Glenrowan Inn, and took
possession. They collected sixty-two people in the township, including
Mr. John Stanistreet, the station-master, and escorted them to the
hotel. Among the prisoners also was Constable Bracken. Ned Kelly walked
about telling the people that the train would "soon be here" from
Rushworth with the black trackers and "a lot of other---- and we're
going to kill the lot." There was some confusion owing to the fears
of the women and children, and while the bushrangers were engaged in
restoring order, Constable Bracken contrived to get hold of the key
of the front door. He watched for an opportunity, opened the door and
ran out. He reported that three of the troopers who had been hidden
in Sherritt's hut had followed the bushrangers, and had watched all
their proceedings, but they had not ventured to attack them, as their
ammunition was short, and they were not strong enough. Presently a
man came out on to the verandah, and the police, recognising him as
Ned Kelly, fired a volley. Ned laughed, and shouted "Shoot away, you
----, you can't hurt us." At this juncture Mr. Stanistreet came out of
the house, and walked from the hotel to where the police were, at the
imminent risk of being shot, as he was between the two firing parties.
He escaped, however, and reported that Miss Jones, aged fourteen, and
several other of the prisoners in the hotel had been wounded by the
police fire, but none of the bushrangers had been hurt. Superintendent
Hare had also been severely wounded by the bushrangers, the bullet
having shattered the bones of his wrist. He was taken to the railway
station-master's house and attended to. At about five p.m. Mrs. Jones,
the landlady of the hotel, appeared on the verandah, wringing her
hands and weeping. She called the police murderers, and said that
her son had been killed and her daughter wounded. The police ceased
firing, and the boy was brought out. He was still alive, and was sent
off at once to the Wangaratta Hospital, where he died next day. An
old man named Martin Cherry was also said to have been killed. Mrs.
Jones and her children and servants, and the men and women who had
been made prisoners by the bushrangers, left the hotel after dark
during a truce, and firing was then kept up during the night. About
daybreak another party of troopers arrived from Benalla, Wangaratta,
and Beechworth, making the attacking party about thirty strong. There
was a lull in the firing for a time, while the newly-arrived men were
being placed in positions, when suddenly a revolving rifle and a cap
known to have belonged to Ned Kelly were found a hundred yards from
the hotel at the rear of the attacking party. The rifle was stained
with blood. The police were still discussing this find and speculating
how the articles could have got there when they were fired at from
behind a tree. The next moment an extraordinary figure marched across
the space between two trees. The figure looked like a tall, stout
man, with a nail can over his head. Sergeant Steel, Constable Kelly,
and Railway-guard Dowsett fired at it simultaneously, but the bullets
appeared to rebound from the body of the figure. Steel then fired
at the legs, and at the second shot Ned Kelly, for he it was, fell,
crying out "I'm done for." The police rushed forward, but Kelly raised
himself on his elbow and fired, howling like a wild beast and declaring
that they should never take him alive. He continued shooting, but the
bullets "went wild," owing, perhaps, to his weakening through loss of
blood, and he was soon grappled with and handcuffed. The armour worn
by Ned is said to have been made from stolen plough-shares by a local
blacksmith. It consisted of a helmet shaped like a nail can and coming
down to the shoulders, with a slit in it to enable the wearer to see;
and a breastplate, very long, with shoulder plates and back guard.
The steel averaged nearly a quarter of an inch in thickness, and the
weight of the suit worn by Ned Kelly was ninety-seven pounds. The
breastplate showed several dints where it had been struck by bullets,
but it had not been pierced. Ned had, however, received two wounds in
the groin, and one each in the left foot, right leg, right hand, and
right arm. He was immediately removed to a safe distance, and placed
under medical care. Notwithstanding the loss of one of their small
number, the bushrangers kept up a brisk fire from the hotel. At one
time a report was circulated that Joe Byrnes had been shot dead while
drinking a glass of brandy in the bar, but as there was no apparent
slackening in the fire this was discredited. At three p.m. Constable
Charles Johnson, under cover of a volley from the besiegers, rushed
up to the side of the hotel with a huge bundle of straw, which he
placed in position and set fire to. The straw blazed up famously, but
soon died out, and the spectators, of whom there was a goodly number,
pronounced the attempt to fire the building a failure. It was at this
time that Mrs. Skillian, a sister of the Kellys, rode up, dressed
in a well-made black cloth riding habit and a Gainsborough hat. She
advanced boldly towards the hotel, but was stopped by the police, and
warned of the danger she was courting. She replied that she was not
afraid, but she desired to persuade her brother Dan to surrender. A
consultation was held as to whether she should be permitted to try,
but before a decision was arrived at the flames burst out of the roof
of the building. It may be as well to explain here that the wood of
the district is principally stringy bark, and that the timber of these
trees will not burn. It seems probable, therefore, that when the straw
was ignited against the wall of the building, the calico sheeting, with
which the rooms were lined and ceiled, caught fire and burned, while
the stringy bark weather boards resisted the flames and only charred
through slowly. However this may be, the furniture and other fittings
burned fiercely, and the whole building was in a blaze. At this time
the Rev. Father M. Gibney, a Roman Catholic priest from Perth, Western
Australia, who was on a visit to the Benalla district at the time,
walked up to the front door holding his crucifix in his hand. He was
followed by a number of the police. When they entered the front door
they saw the body of Joe Byrnes lying in the bar, in such a position
as to make it probable that the report which had been spread as to his
death had been true. The body was dragged out slightly scorched. Dan
Kelly and Steve Hart were found dead in a small parlour off the bar.
From the position in which they were lying it was conjectured that
they had either committed suicide or that they had simultaneously shot
each other. But there was no time to decide whether either or which
of these conjectures were true. As Father Gibney was about to stoop
down to examine the bodies, a gust of wind swept the flames towards
him and compelled him to retire. The building was thoroughly alight at
last, and the priest and the police and others who had entered were
forced out by the fierce heat. In a very short time afterwards the
house collapsed, and nothing was left but a heap of ashes, the sign
post and trough in front, and the detached kitchen at the rear. In this
kitchen was found old Martin Cherry, severely wounded. He was carried
out and placed under the doctor's care, but died before night. Close
beside the kitchen was the body of a dog, which had been wounded by the
attacking party and had crawled between the two buildings to die. Some
time before the attempt to fire the building had been made, a telegram
had been sent to Melbourne to ask for a small cannon to blow the house
down with. Now a telegram was sent to say that it was not required.
Consequently the 12-pounder Armstrong gun with the requisite number of
men of the Garrison Artillery which had been sent off by special train
were stopped at Seymour and sent back. When the fire had burned down
sufficiently for an examination to be made, the two mounds of ashes
which were all that remained of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart were given to
Mrs. Skillian for burial, while the body of Joe Byrnes was reserved for
an inquest to be held. Two other suits of armour, similar to that worn
by Ned Kelly, were found, the lightest being ninety-two pounds. During
the fight "Wild" Wright, Tom Wright, Frank Hart, Kate Kelly, several
of the Lloyds and the Byrneses, and other relations and friends of the
bushrangers, had been stationed on a ridge a short distance away to
see the fun. There was also a large number of other and perhaps more
disinterested spectators, some of them from Melbourne or Beechworth, or
other even more distant localities. After the inquest the body of Joe
Byrnes was given to his friends for burial. Ned Kelly soon recovered
from his wounds and was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death
for the murder of Sergeant Kennedy. In conversations with Inspector
Sadlier and other police officials before his trial, he said that
the bushrangers had known of every movement of the police. They were
aware that the police had been hiding in Sherritt's hut for more than
a week, hoping to catch Joe if he visited his mother. The police had
no right to stop a man from going to see his mother. When the special
train arrived the intention of the bushrangers had been to rake it with
shots as soon as it reached the place where the rails had been removed.
"But," exclaimed Sadlier, "you would have killed all the people in the
train." "Yes, of course, God help them," replied Ned, "they'd have got
shot, but wouldn't they have shot me if they could?" He said that Steve
Hart had visited his mother at Wangaratta, and "didn't we laugh when we
saw it in the _Wangaratta News_ afterwards. It was true, too, though
the police didn't believe it." He also said that he had been told
that after the sticking up of the banks at Euroa and Jerilderie, all
the branch banks in Victoria sent their receipts to Melbourne almost
daily. They were not going to stick up any more banks. It wasn't worth
it. What they had intended to do was to stick up a railway train, and
they'd have done it, "only those little black devils were always about."

On November the 5th, a mass meeting was held in the Hippodrome, in
Stephen's Street, Melbourne, with Mr. Hamilton, President of the
Society for the Abolition of Capital Punishment, in the chair. The
principal speaker was Mr. David Gaunson, M.L.A., and a resolution was
unanimously carried to the effect that the case of Edward Kelly was
a fit one for the exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. The
_Melbourne Argus_ said that "those present belonged to the larrikin
classes," but the attendance was estimated at 4000 persons (including
300 women) inside the building, and about 2000 outside who could not
obtain admittance. Similar meetings were also held in Ballarat,
Bendigo, Geelong, and other towns, but these efforts were of no avail,
and Ned Kelly, "the last of the bushrangers," was hung in the Melbourne
gaol, on November 11th, 1880.

Within a few days afterwards, a show was opened in Melbourne, with Kate
Kelly, one of the sisters of the dead bushrangers, "mounted on Ned
Kelly's celebrated grey mare." A suit of the armour used in the last
great fight at Glenrowan, several guns, pistols, and revolvers alleged
to have been used in the various raids committed by the bushrangers,
some handcuffs and other articles which had belonged to, or were
used by them, were exhibited, and some particulars of their careers
were given in the form of a lecture, but the police authorities soon
interfered and the show was closed. It was re-opened in Sydney, but was
suppressed there as "tending towards immorality" almost immediately,
and the Kellys returned to the obscurity of private life.

Thus ended the last act in the great tragedy which had supplied almost
the only feature of romance to Australian history. Bushranging had been
spoken of as "the national crime of Australia," but, as I have shown,
there was very little bushranging outside the three colonies--New
South Wales, Van Diemen's Land, and Victoria. It was rather an
excrescence on, than a development of, Australian character. It has
been estimated that the bushrangers in the colonies from the date
of the great outbreak inaugurated by Frank Gardiner in 1861, to the
death of Ned Kelly, with their more active partisans, never exceeded
300 persons, and the story of their exploits shows how even so small
a party can disturb a whole country when the rebels are reckless and
determined. It may be said in conclusion, that crime has steadily
decreased in Australia from the cessation of transportation. At first,
while the gold fever raged, the improvement was very slight, but from
the date when the population settled down to steady work the criminal
statistics, which are very complete in the colonies, show a steady
diminution in crimes against the person or property. There was an
increase in the years during which the Ben Hall and Gilbert gang, and
their imitators in New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand, were most
active, but even this did not materially affect the general result,
and was speedily compensated for after the death of Thunderbolt and the
capture of Power. In this last epoch of bushranging the Moonlite and
Kelly gangs arrested the movement to some degree, but far less sympathy
was exhibited with them than in the earlier epoch, and their deeds did
not inspire so many young men with the desire to go and do likewise, as
those of Hall and Gilbert had done. In fact, bushranging had ceased to
be popular, so that the retrogression was small in comparison. Since
then numbers of gaols have been closed or converted to other uses.
There was a time when every little town in New South Wales had its
gaol. Now many of these gaols have been converted into factories or
stores, or are used for municipal or other purposes. In Victoria the
gaols were fewer but larger, and several of these have been closed,
while others once full are now almost empty. A similar story might
be told of each of the other colonies of the Australasian group, and
Australia as a whole compares favourably with other civilised countries
in criminal matters. What the Irishman calls "the bad drop" in the
blood of the country has been purged away by the most drastic remedies,
and it is extremely improbable that there will ever again be a Frank
Gardiner or a Ned Kelly to incite the young and thoughtless to deeds of



  Allerton, Benjamin, 195, 196

  Anderson, James, 155

  Anderson, see Beveridge, John

  Armytage, 117, 118

  Atkins, William, 165

  Atterill, James, alias Thomson, 111-113

  Baker, John, 306

  Baldwin, James, 274

  Bankes, Anthony, 111-113

  Barry, 163

  Baylie, John, 145, 146

  Beavors, George, alias Berry, 108-110

  Bennett, alias Wyndham, see Gough, Charles Hugh

  Bennett, Graham, 349

  Bermingham, George, 229

  Berry, James, 79, 80

  Berryman, Thomas, 278

  Bertram, William, 306, 315

  Beveridge, John, alias Anderson, 106, 107

  Billy from the Den, see Jenkins, Henry

  Bird, 44

  Birkett, Moses, 186

  Black Jack, 24

  Black Mary, 19

  Blue Cap, see Cotterall, Robert

  Bodenham, Thomas, 33-35

  Bollard, John, 306, 313

  Booth, James, 298

  Booth, John, 130

  Boulton, John, 167-169

  Bourke, Robert, 316

  Bowe, Charles, 145, 146

  Bow, John, 202-204, 256, 276, 313

  Boyd, 57, 58

  Boyd, James, alias McGrath, 296, 312

  Brace, Emanuel, 56, 57

  Brady, Mathew, 44-47, 71, 82, 353

  Brannagan, Francis, 155

  Brennan, see Smith, Henry

  Brennan, Stephen, 123

  Britton, Frederick, 207

  Brookman, William, 282, 312-314

  Broomfield, James, 114

  Broughton, 41

  Brown, 47

  Brown, Harry, 274

  Brown, James, 33-35, 39

  Brown, William, 155

  Brownlow, John, 206

  Bryan, William, 166

  Bryant, James, 41-47

  Bryant, James, 87

  Bryant, Richard, 154, 155, 158

  Bull, 57, 58

  Bullfrog, Jacky, 199

  Burgess, Richard H., alias Miller, 327-332

  Burke, 221-225, 276

  Burns, John, 41

  Burrow, Arthur, 166

  Byrnes, Joe, 360-382

  Campbell, Robert, 286

  Captain Melville, see McCallum, Frank, alias Smith

  Captain Moonlite, see Scott, George

  Captain Thunderbolt, see Ward, Frederick

  "Carrots," 29

  Cash, Martin, 118-123, 130

  Cashan, alias Nowlan, 99-101

  Charters, Daniel, 202-204, 333

  Cheetham, 37

  Chesley, John, 155

  Chinese Bushranger, The, 293

  Chitty, Robert, 87

  Christie, see Gardiner, Frank

  Clarke, 294

  Clarke, James, 269-270

  Clarke, John, 269-276, 317, 355

  Clarke, Samuel, 312

  Clarke, Thomas, 269-276, 317, 355

  Clayton, 239

  Clayton, Thomas, 173-176

  Clegg, James, 173-176

  Connell, Morris, 48

  Connell, Patrick, 270, 276

  Connell, Tom, 270, 276

  Connelly, Patrick, 41

  Connors, John, 298

  Conway, John, 115-117

  Cooper, Patrick, 173-176

  Cornelius, Bill, alias Kenelly, 33-35, 39

  Cotterall, Robert, alias Blue Cap, 286, 312

  Cowan, or Cohen, 45, 46

  Cox, Thomas, 37, 38

  Coxen's Tom, see Long Tom

  Crawford, James, 41, 46

  Crookwell, James, 232, 279

  Crumsden, George, 123

  Cummings, 281

  Cunningham, Thomas, alias Smith, 274, 313

  Curran, Paddy, 71-73, 78, 79, 80

  Dalton, 185

  Dalton, Alexander, 33-34, 39

  Dalton, James, 121, 122

  Daly, Patrick or Patsy, 213, 214

  Dargue, Henry, 313

  Dargue, Thomas, 313

  Davis, 200, 276

  Davis, Bill, 37

  Davis, George James, alias Huntley, 106, 107

  Davis, Joseph, 173-176

  Davis, Michael Henry, 195

  Davis, Teddy or Edward, The Jewboy, 71, 82-88, 353

  Davis, William, 111-113

  Dermoodie, 344

  Dido, see Driscoll, Timothy or William

  Dobson, 307

  Donnelly, 294

  Donohoe, Johnny, 55

  Donovan, Daniel, 155

  Donovan, John, 145

  Douglass, John, 166

  Downes, John, 41

  Downey, James, 199

  Driscoll, Timothy or William, alias Dido, 182-184

  Duncan, James, 143

  Duncan, William, 129, 130

  Dunkley, see Willis, William

  Dunleavy, John, 239-241, 276

  Dunleavy, see Lynch, John

  Dunn, Johnny, 241-256, 276, 304

  Dunne, 41, 42, 44, 47

  Dunne, William, 228

  Edwards, William, 160

  Egan, John, 281

  Ehrstein, Aaron von, 195

  Ellis, John, alias Yanky Jack, 96-99

  Ellison, George, 161

  Eumarrah, 30

  Eureka Gang, The, 145, 146

  Everett, John, 87

  Farrell, Christopher, 140

  Farrer, Abraham, 129, 130

  Finegan, John, 145, 146

  Fitzgerald, Patrick, alias Paddy Wandong, 282

  Fletcher, John, 117

  Fletcher, William, 270

  Fogarty, Young, 96-99

  Foley, Charles, 206

  Foley, Francis, 217

  Foley, John, 212, 216, 217, 276

  Foley, Timothy, 217

  Foran, John, 282, 313

  Foran, Patrick, 298

  Ford, Henry, 180

  Ford, John, 278

  Fordyce, Alexander, 202-204, 256, 276, 312

  Forster, John, 236

  Gardiner, Frank, alias Christie, 193-204, 212, 254-257, 269, 271, 276,
  304, 311-314, 316, 335, 353, 355, 384, 385

  Gardner, John, 129, 130

  Garrett, Henry Beresford, 167-169, 327

  Garroway, William, 166

  German Bill, 259, 274

  Gilbert, Johnny, alias Roberts, 205, 212, 217-253, 256-258, 269, 271,
  276, 304, 326, 337, 339, 369, 384, 385

  "Ginger," 173-176

  Glanvill, Richard, 87

  Goldman, 141

  Goodison, Christopher, 165

  Gordon, 276

  Gordon, Richard, 181

  Gorman, Thomas, 350

  Gough, Charles Hugh, alias Wyndham, alias Bennett, 274, 313

  Green, 95

  Greenhill, Bob, 33-38

  Gregory, 47

  Griffiths, Dennis, 173-176

  Griffiths, George, 115

  Griffiths, John, 41

  Gunn, John, 115

  Gunn, William, 91

  Hall, 59

  Hall, Ben, 217, 221-253, 256-258, 269, 271, 276, 304, 337, 339, 370,
  384, 385

  Hammond, James, 160

  Hampton, Thomas, 298

  Hanslip, George, 170

  Harrison, Samuel, 115

  Hart, Steve, 360-382

  Hath, see Hitchcock Anthony

  Healy, John, 207

  Heather, 208, 209

  Herbert, William, see Jones, Charles

  Hickson, 186

  Hill, James, 233

  Hitchcock, Anthony, alias Hath, 51-53

  Hobbs, William, alias Hoppy Bill, 350

  Hodgetts, 47

  Hogan, 117, 118

  Hopkins, 40, 41, 47

  Hopkins, Jonas, 114

  Horne, Joseph, 306

  Houlihan, Michael, 130

  Howe, Mike, 19-21, 82, 353

  Huntley, see Davis, George James

  Hurn, Thomas, 115

  Hutchinson, William, 90

  Jackey, Bullfrog, see Bullfrog

  Jackey, Jackey, the Gentleman Bushranger, see Westwood, William

  Jack, Muck, see Stanton Patrick

  Jackson, James, 86

  Jackson, John, 129, 130

  Jack the Lagger, see Jones, John

  Jack the Rammer, 57, 58

  James, John, alias Johnston, 142, 143

  Jamieson, George, 182

  Jefferies, 40, 46, 47

  Jeffs, Riley, 115-117

  Jenkins, Henry, alias Billy from the Deu, 181

  Jenkins, John, 56, 57

  Jepps, the Vandemonian, 96-99

  Jewboy, The, see Davis, Edward or Teddy

  Johnson, Charley, 284

  Johnson, see Power, Harry

  Johnson, William, 274

  Johnston, Henry, 145, 146

  Johnstone, Robert, 291

  Jones, 182

  Jones, Charles, 350

  Jones, Charles, alias Herbert, William, 233

  Jones, David, 51, 53

  Jones, James, 233, 312

  Jones, John, 184

  Jones, John, alias Jack the Lagger, 108-110

  Jones, Richard, 155

  Jones, see Williams, Thomas

  Jones, Thomas, 118-122

  Jones, William, 155

  Kavanagh, Lawrence, 118-123, 129, 130, 132

  Kaye, William, 350

  Keene, Henry, 194, 196

  Kelly, 185

  Kelly, Bartley, 109

  Kelly, Dan, 354-384

  Kelly, Edward, 282, 313

  Kelly, James, 154, 155

  Kelly, James, 298

  Kelly, James, 354

  Kelly, John, 274, 313

  Kelly, Ned, 320, 341, 345, 353-384

  Kelly, Ted, 282

  Kelly, Thomas, alias Noon, 327-332

  Kenelly, see Cornelius, Bill

  Kennedy, James, alias Southgate, 298

  Keer, John, alias Maher, 280, 299

  Keys, 58

  Lacey, George, 41

  Lambeth, William, 115

  Lawler, Michael, 194, 196

  Layworth, William, 161

  Lee, Henry, 117

  Lee, William, 279

  Levy, Philip, 327-332

  Lewis, Nicholas, 108-110

  Liddell, John, 121, 122

  Long, Tom, alias Coxen's Tom, 93

  Long, Ned, 93

  Lowe, see Young, John

  Lowry, Frederick, 212, 219, 220, 256, 276, 355

  Lynam, George, 232

  Lynch, John, alias Dunleavy, 60-70, 77, 333

  Lynch, Patrick, 123

  Lynch, William, 93

  Lyons, see Nesbit, James

  McCabe, James, 41, 42, 44, 45

  McCallum, Frank, alias Thomas Smith, alias Captain Melville, 148-156, 236

  McCallum, James, 114

  McCann, John, 93

  McCarthy, 184

  McDonald, Hector, 22

  McDonald, William, see O'Donnell, James

  McGrath, see Boyd, James

  McGuire, John, 202-204

  McGuire, Thomas, 84

  McIntyre, 99-102

  McKenny, 47

  McLean, 109

  McMahon, John, alias McManus, 195

  Maberley, 186

  Mack, William, 158

  Mackay, Charles, 207

  Mackay, James, 207

  Mackie, William, 195, 291, 298

  Macpherson, Alpin, alias The Wild Scotchman, 337-340

  Maher, see Kerr, John

  Maher, Walter, 283

  Maloney, Thomas, 155

  Manns, Henry, 202-204, 276

  Marriott, Henry, 167-169

  Marshall, John, 87

  Mason, 299

  Mathers, John, 33-36

  Mathews, Daniel, 232

  Maynard, Donald, 59

  Mayne, 59

  Melville, Edward, 142

  Melville, George, 164, 165

  Melville, Captain, see McCallum, Frank, alias Smith

  Middleton, Richard, alias Ruggy Dick, 277

  Miles, John, 280

  Miller, see Burgess, Richard H.

  Miller, see Slater

  Mills, Peter, 21

  Mitchell, Robert, 173-176

  Moonlite, Captain, see Scott, George

  Moran, 298

  Moore, 122

  Moore, 109

  Mordecai, see Woolf, James

  Morgan, Daniel, 258-268, 276, 304, 315, 370

  Morgan, James, 143

  Morgan, John, 91

  Mount, James, alias The Old Man, 237-241, 257

  Murphy, 42, 45

  Murphy, Jeremiah, 164, 165

  Murphy, John, 164, 165

  Musquito, 23, 24, 29

  Naisk, John, 173-176

  Nesbit, James, alias Lyons, 348

  Noon, see Kelly Thomas

  Nowlan, see Cashan

  Nugent, James, 167

  O'Connor, William, 205, 206

  O'Donnell, James, alias McDonald, William, 93

  Old Man, The, see Mount, James

  O'Meally, 212-216, 221-228, 276, 355

  O'Sullivan, Jeremiah, 173-176

  Owens, John, 279

  Paddy, Wandong, see Fitzgerald, Patrick

  Parrott, Samuel, alias Powell, 51

  Payne, John, 282, 312

  Peisley, John, 196-199, 276

  Perry, 47

  Perry, John, 52, 53

  Perry, Peter, 186

  Pickthorne, William, 130, 132

  Pierce, Alexander, 33-39, 73, 333

  Pilcock, 139

  Poole, John, 51-53

  Poulston, 186

  Power, Harry, alias Johnson, 318-325, 341, 356, 385

  Price, John, 117, 130

  Quinn, 317

  Quinn, Thomas, 167-169

  Regan, 196

  Regan, James, 111-113

  Regent, 316

  Rider, Charles, 41

  Riley, James, 51-53

  Roberts, 167

  Roberts, see Gilbert, Johnny

  Roberts, Thomas, 117

  Roberts, William, 148-152

  Robinson, 185

  Rogan, Thomas, 349

  Rogers, William, 161

  Ross, Alexander, 205, 206

  Ross, Charles, 195

  Ross, Charles, 205, 206

  Ruggy, Dick, see Middleton, Richard

  Russell, 40

  Rutherford, Charles, 298

  Ryan, 238

  Ryan, James, 51-53

  Ryan, Jeremiah, 41

  Ryan, Patrick, 281

  Scotchman, The Wild, see Macpherson, Alpin

  Scotchy, 73

  Scott, Bill, 271-274, 276

  Scott, George, alias Captain Moonlite, 342-350, 385

  Scott, William, 140

  Scrimshaw, William, 130, 132

  Sears, Henry, 108-110

  Seary, Michael, 232

  Seymour, 278

  Shanks, James, 352

  Shanks, Robert, 352

  Shea, Daniel, 312

  Shea, John, 87

  Shepherd, John, 280

  Simmons, William H., 313

  Simpson, William, 161

  Slater, alias Miller, 284

  Slattery, Michael, 279

  Smart, Henry, 180

  Smith, 160

  Smith, 298

  Smith, Henry, 155

  Smith, Henry, alias Brennan, 155

  Smith, James, 313

  Smith, Robert, 195

  Smith, Thomas, see McCallum, Frank, alias Captain Melville

  Smith, Thomas, see Cunningham

  South, John, 91

  Southgate, John, 232

  Southgate, see Kennedy, James

  Stallard, Alfred, 165

  Stanley, Frank, alias Wright, 233

  Stanmore, Charles, 296

  Stanton, Patrick, alias Jack Mack, 320

  Steele, Henry, 88

  Stevenson or Stephenson, Alexander, alias Telford, 106

  Stroud, Thomas, 161

  Suffolk, Owen, 140

  Sullivan, Daniel, 294

  Sullivan, John Joseph, 327-333

  Swallow, William, alias Waldon, 104-107

  Tattersdale, Thomas, 56, 57

  Taverner, William, 313

  Taylor, Daniel, 313

  Taylor, John, 233

  Telford, see Stevenson or Stephenson, Alexander

  Thomson, see Atterill, James

  Thompson, John, 41

  Thompson, John, 295

  Thunderbolt, Captain, see Ward, Frederick

  Tierney, James, 41

  Tilly, 47

  Tracey, Thomas, 277

  Travers, Mathew, 33-36

  Underwood, Will, 55, 56

  Vandemonian, see Jepps

  Vane, 221-225, 256, 276

  Vaut, Charles, 88

  Waldon, see Swallow, William

  Walker, Isaac, 41

  Walmsley, 55, 56

  Ward, Frederick, alias Captain Thunderbolt, 289-302, 304, 315, 322, 370,
  341, 385

  Watson, William, 194

  Watts, William, alias Charles or George Williams, 106-107

  Webb, Thomas, 233

  Webber, 55, 56

  Weekes, John, 298

  Welsh, Michael, 59

  Wernicke, Gus, 349

  Westwood, William, alias Jackey Jackey, 71-78, 82, 127-133, 269, 353

  Whelan, Thomas, 108

  Whitehead, 18, 19

  Whiting, Henry, 130, 132

  Whitton, 73

  Wild Scotchman, The, see Macpherson, Alpin

  Williams, 45

  Williams, Charles or George, see Watts, William

  Williams, George, 22

  Williams, George, 207

  Williams, Herbert, see Jones, Charles

  Williams, Jack, 96-99

  Williams, John, 155

  Williams, John, 282, 313

  Williams, Thomas, 155

  Williams, Thomas, alias Jones, 349

  Wilkinson, John, alias Wilton, 91

  Willis, William, alias Dunkley, 298, 312

  Willison, George, 207

  Willmore, Thomas, 178-180, 258

  Wilson, 93

  Wilson, 95

  Wilson, George, 164, 165

  Wilson, Harry, 288

  Wilson, John, 182-184

  Wilson, John, 277

  Woolf, James, alias Mordecai, 108-110

  Wright, John, 80

  Wright,---- 336

  Wright, see Stanley, Frank

  Wyndham, alias Bennett, see Gough, Charles Hugh

  Yankee Jack, see Ellis, John

  Young Fogarty, see Fogarty

  Young, John, alias Lowe, 155

  Young, William, 161

A. Bonner, Printer, 1 and 2, Took's Court, London, E.C.


"Mr. Boxall's pages are very rich in interest and lucid in their
information. The history of the bushrangers is a succession of fierce
contests and sudden death. To the ordinary man bushranging centres
in the name of Kelly, and the chapters of Mr. Boxall's history which
describe the audacities of the two brothers--Dan and Ned--in the
seventies, are perhaps the cream of the book. In the last of the
bushrangers we lost a magnificent soldier; he had the blood of a
thousand terriers, and a certain grim humour too."--_Academy._

"A very full and detailed history of the origin of bushranging, its
development, and its gradual decrease."--_Bookman._

"Mr. Boxall's volume about Australian bushrangers is not always
agreeable reading, for it concerns the exploits of some of the most
murderous and daring ruffians whose names are to be found in the annals
of crime. It is a book, however, from which there is something to be
learned, for it exemplifies--in a remarkable degree--the maxim that
rough-and-ready methods of suppressing crime are apt to create the very
evils which they are designed to abate."--_Daily News._

"The author of this deeply-interesting book states in his preface that
he has compiled it in the hope that it may be of service to future
historians of Australia. Quite apart from that, however, it will appeal
strongly to those who take an interest in the annals of crime and the
daring of celebrated criminals."--_Daily Telegraph._

"It is the encyclopædia, history, and analysis of bushranging life,
and could not well be more complete. If his story is as thorough as
an encyclopædia, it is vastly more interesting--as crime and romantic
facts always are. Uncommonly well done; it amounts to 385 pages of
attractive reading."--_Pall Mall Gazette._

"We can cordially recommend this book as a sound book of reference
agreeably put together."--_British Australasian._

"Mr. Boxall gives us a solid and impressive, and not a catch-penny nor
sensational, work. He tells us, in strictly matter-of-fact manner, of
the rise and collapse of bushranging in the various colonies where
it had its brief life--that is in Tasmania, New South Wales, and
Victoria."--_Melbourne Argus._

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