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History of the Australian Bushrangers

History of the Australian Bushrangers
Title: History of the Australian Bushrangers
Release Date: 2019-02-01
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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Author of "The Anglo-Saxon,
a Study in Evolution," etc., etc.


FIRST EDITION, September, 1899.



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

The story is a terrible one. Some of the incidents related are nodoubt revolting, but it is necessary that even these should be toldto show how civilised man may be degraded by unjust and oppressivelaws. We are all creatures of the educational influences to which weare subjected in our youth, and therefore it is unfair to blame theearlier bushrangers; because they were the products of the civilisationof their day, and were not themselves responsible. But sensational asthe story is, its tendency is rather to depress than to exhilaratethe reader, for the story is a sad one, in that it shows a deplorablewaste of what under happier conditions might have been useful lives.As a rule I have adhered very closely to the newspaper reports ofthe time, but to make the story (which naturally tends to be scrappyand disconnected) as homogeneous and continuous as possible, I havefollowed one gang to the close of its career, and then returned to takeup the history of another gang. I have paid special attention to thegeography of the country, and the reader who possesses a fairly goodmap of each of the colonies should have no difficulty in following themovements of each of the gangs, and may thus obtain an idea of theextent of the area over which it operated.

Hitherto the histories of Australia have passed very lightly overthe bushrangers, but there can be no doubt that they exercised someinfluence, and not always for evil, for to their influence is due someof the sturdy Republicanism of the modern Australians. The publicationof this story may perhaps assist the future historian in tracing thegrowth of public opinion in Australia, and will therefore not bewithout its use. It is in this hope that I submit it to the public.



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

Report of the Special Commission of Enquiry into the state of theColony 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. ChaptersI., II.

History of Bendigo. By George Mackay. Chapter XII.

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

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.,XVI., XVII., XVIII., XIX.,XX., XXI., XXII., XXIII.,XXIV., XXVIII.

Melbourne Argus. Chapters IV., XIII.,XIV., XV., XXI., XXV.,XXVIII., XXIX., XXX., XXXI.

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 thetext have been taken at second hand, principally from the metropolitanpapers of the colony referred to, and which are included in this list.


Chapter I.—Characteristics of the Convicts sent toAustralia; Bushranging; Origin and Meaning ofthe Term; The Cat and the Double Cat; Conditionof the Prisoners; Some Terrible Revelations; TheDesperation of Despair; Some Flogging Stories;The Bushranging Act and its Abuses; SomeOpinions of the Magistrates; Savage Treatment ofCriminals Continued to the Present Time; Brutalitynot Cured by Brutal Punishment; When BushrangingFirst Began 1
Chapter II.—Van Diemen's Land; The First Bushranger;Mike Howe, the King of the Ranges; TheRaid on the Blacks; The Black War; Musquito;Outrages by the Blacks; Brutal Treatment of theBlacks by Bushrangers; A War of Reprisals;Gigantic Scheme to Capture the Blacks; A CordonDrawn Round the Disaffected District; Detailsof the Scheme; Its Failure; Only Two BlacksCaptured; Estimated Cost; Fate of the Blacks 17
Chapter III.—Pierce the Cannibal; A Terrible Journey;A Shocking Confession; Escapes from the WesternHell; The Ruffian Jefferies; Brady the Bushranger;Escapes from Macquarie Harbour; Sticksup the Town of Sorell; The Governor's Proclamation;Brady Laughs at it; The Fight with CaptainBalfour; Betrayed by a Comrade; Captured byJohn Batman; Sympathy at his Trial; End of theEpoch 33
Chapter IV.—Bushranging in New South Wales; ManufacturingBushrangers; Employing Bushrangers;The First Bank Robbery in Australia; Major Mudieand his Assigned Servants; Terrible Hollow;Murder of Dr. Wardell; The Story of Jack theRammer; Hall, Mayne and Others 48
Chapter V.—John Lynch; Murder of Kearns Landregan;Lynch's Trial and Sentence; His TerribleConfession; Murder of the Frazers, Father andSon; Murder and Cremation of the Mulligans;His Appeals to Almighty God 60
Chapter VI.—Jackey Jackey, the Gentleman Bushranger;His Dispute with Paddy Curran; SomeLegends About Him; Jackey Jackey Always WellDressed and Mounted; His Capture at Bungendore;His Escape at Bargo Brush; Jackey Jackey visitsSydney; His Capture by Miss Gray; PaddyCurran's Fight with the Police; Recaptured andHung; John Wright Threatens to Make a CleanSweep 71
Chapter VII.—The Jewboy Gang; "Come and Shootthe Bushrangers;" Constable Refuses to Leavehis Work to Hunt Bushrangers; Saved by hisWife; Robberies in Maitland; Bushrangers inHigh Hats; The Bullock-driver Captures theBushrangers; An Attempt to Reach the DutchSettlements; Mr. E.D. Day Captures the Gang;Assigned Servants' Attempt at Bushranging; SomeOther Gangs 82
Chapter VIII.—Bushranging in South Australia; TheRobbers Captured in Melbourne; A RemarkableRaid in Port Phillip; Going Out for a Fight withthe Bushrangers; A Bloody Battle; Cashan andMcIntyre; 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 ofH.M. Brig Cyprus by Bushrangers; A PiraticalVoyage; Stealing the Schooners Edward andWaterwitch; Mutiny of Prisoners on H.M. BrigGovernor Phillip at Norfolk Island; The Trial ofthe Mutineers at Sydney; How Captain BoyleRecaptured the Vessel 103
Chapter X.—Van Diemen's Land Again; A Hunt forBushrangers in the Mountains; Some BrutalAttacks; "Stand!" "No, thanks, I'm very ComfortableSitting;" A Degrading Exhibition; ADetermined Judge; Cash, Kavanagh, and Jones,an Enterprising Firm; The Art of Politeness asExhibited by Bushrangers; A Bushranger Huntin the Streets of Hobart Town; The Capture ofCash; Break Up of the Gang; a Doubtful Mercy 111
Chapter XI.—Norfolk Island; Its Founding as a PenalStation; The Terrible Discipline in Norfolk Island;An Attempt to Ameliorate it; Its Failure; TheRigorous Treatment Restored; The ConsequentRiot; Jackey Jackey's Revenge; An UnparalleledTale of Ferocity; The Soldiers Overawe theRioters; Thirteen Condemned to the Gallows;Jackey Jackey's Remarkable Letter; The End ofSeveral Notorious Bushrangers 124
Chapter XII.—The Third Epoch of Bushranging;The Gold Digging Era; Influx of Convicts fromVan Diemen's Land; Passing of the Criminals'Influx Prevention Act; Attitude of the DiggersTowards the Bushrangers and other Thieves; TheNelson Gold Robbery; Some Pitiful Stories; ARapid Raid; Insecurity of the Melbourne Streets 134
Chapter XIII.—Captain Melville Takes to the Road;He Ties and Robs Eighteen Men; He Goes toGeelong for a Spree and Boasts of his Exploits; HisSensational Capture; Sent to the Hulks; Murder ofCorporal Owens; Melville Removed from the HulkSuccess 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; StickingUp in the Melbourne Streets; Stealing 100,000 inBank Notes; Want of Efficient Police Protection;Murders and Robberies at Ballarat, Bendigo, MountAlexander, and other Diggings; The Robbery ofthe McIvor Gold Escort; A Bushranger Intimidatedby a Bottle of Brandy; Robbery of the Bank ofVictoria at Ballarat; Capture of Garrett in London;Prevalence of Horse Stealing; The Doctor's"Creamy" 158
Chapter XV.—An Escape from Norfolk Island; Stealinga Government Boat; The Convicts of New SouthWales; A Terrible Indictment; Thomas Willmore;Murder of Philip Alger; Murder of Malachi Daly;Fight Between Two Bushrangers; Hunting DownWillmore; His Capture While Asleep; The Last ofthe Van Diemen's Land Bushrangers; Wilson andDido; Some Minor Offenders; An UnfoundedCharge; A Change of Name to Rid the Island ofEvil Associations 173
Chapter XVI.—The New Bushranging Era; Fallacyof the Belief that Highwaymen Rob the Rich toEnrich the Poor; The Cattle Duffers and HorsePlanters; The Riot at Lambing Flat; FrankGardiner, the Butcher; Charged with ObtainingBeasts "On the Cross," He Abandons HisButcher's Shop; Efforts to Establish a Reign ofTerror in the District; A Letter from Gardiner;The Great Escort Robbery 188
Chapter XVII.—Johnny Gilbert; His First Appearancein Australia; Miscellaneous Bushranging Exploits;Mr. Robert Lowe Makes a Stand; Mr. InspectorNorton Captured by the Bushrangers; A PluckyBlack Boy; "Mine Know it, Patsy Daly Like it,Brudder;" A Brave Boy; O'Meally Shoots Mr.Barnes; A Bootless Bushranger; Capture of JohnFoley; Something about the Foley Family; BenHall 205
Chapter XVIII.—Racers as Mounts for the Bushrangers;The Shooting of Lowry; The BushrangersVisit Bathurst; They Hold the Townof Canowindra for Three Days; Burke Shot byMr. Keightley; Female Bushrangers; Death ofO'Meally at Goimbla; A Newspaper Man andHis Wife Stuck up; Lively Times During theChristmas Holidays 218
Chapter XIX.—A Heavy Sessions at Goulburn; BenHall Hard Pushed; An Amateur Mail Robber;Discovery of Frank Gardiner; His Trial andSentence; The Old Man; A Brush with the Police;The Chinkies Show Fight; Messrs. Hall & Co. Takea Lease of the Main Southern Road; Capture ofMount and Dunleavy; Johnny Dunn; A DesperateDuel and Death of Sergeant Parry; A Country Balland Its Sequel 232
Chapter XX.—Meeting the Gold Escort; Murder ofConstable Nelson; A Brush with the Police;Attempt to Stick up the Araluen Escort; Deathof Constable Kelly, and Pluck of Constable Burns;Sir Frederick Pottinger Resigns; Death of BenHall; A Sketch of His Life; Death of JohnnyGilbert; Record of Johnny Dunn and the Gang;Capture and Trial of Dunn; His Execution; Fateof the Chief Members of the Gang 246
Chapter XXI.—Bloodthirsty Morgan; Morgan'sOpinion of the Police; Murder of SergeantMcGinnerty; Murder at the Round Hill Station;A Pseudo Morgan; Morgan Threatens to BrandAll Hands; He Shoots Sergeant Smyth; Challengedto Visit Victoria; He Accepts theChallenge; His Death at Peechelba 258
Chapter XXII.—The Brothers Clarke; The Raid atNerigundah; Deaths of William Fletcher andConstable O'Grady; Murder of Four SpecialConstables at Jinden; Annie Clarke at Goulburn;Capture of Thomas and John Clarke; A TerribleRecord; A Plucky Woman; An Attempt toEscape Custody; "Shoot Away I Can't StopYou"; Some Daring Robberies;
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