Spotlight: The Capture of Patrick Daley

The following is from a news article that appeared in 1863 detailing the arrest of bushranger Patsy Daley, a member of the Gilbert-Hall Gang. Thanks to the tracking abilities of Billy Dargin, Frederick Pottinger was able to apprehend Daley without any harm or loss of life. ~AP

THE CAPTURE OF PATRICK DALEY.
(From the Lachlan Observer, March 14.)
Almost coincident with the arrival of the mounted constabulary, under Mr. Inspector Black, we have to chronicle the capture of one of the notorious Gardiner’s gang. It appears that a portion of the newly arrived police were drafted off to form a station in the immediate vicinity of the Weddin Mountains. On Wednesday morning last, whilst Sir Frederick Pottinger with Billy, the black tracker, and some of the mounted police were out in the neighbourhood of the suspected bushrangers, near the Weddin Mountains, the

tracker detected fresh footprints of a horse crossing the path Sir Frederick and his party were pursuing ; and directing his master’s attention to the circumstance, Sir Frederick turned his course in the direction of the tracks. Billy soon pointed out the identical tree which had afforded such friendly protection to Mr. J. O. Norton, the sub-inspector of police. Sir Frederick Pottinger was directing his course again, when he espied in the distance, through the foliage of the trees in the bush, a mounted horseman, and at once gave orders for pursuit. The party were now in the vicinity of the Pinnacle reef, and, first of all ordering two of his troopers to make round the hill, on which the reef is situated, in order to intercept the flight of the horseman, Sir Frederick, with the black tracker and the two remaining troopers, continued the chase. All this was done in less time than it takes to write, and very shortly afterward, Sir Frederick pulled up before some deserted-looking huts and found a horse, with a saddle on it, tied up to one of the huts.

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Sir Frederick Pottinger
He at once recognised the horse to be one he had seen the night before in Ben Hall’s paddock, “all in a sweat,” to use the baronet’s own language. The blackfellow also recognised a pair of girths on the horse as being a portion of the property stolen from the Police Barracks, at the Pinnacle station, on the occasion of that place being stuck up and robbed during the temporary absence of the police, shortly before.

Entering the huts, Sir Frederick saw two or three men inside, and finding them unwilling to answer his questions, he threatened them, whereupon he was informed that the rider of the horse was down a shaft on the reef above named. Proceeding to the place indicated, Sir Frederick called to the man (presuming him to be there) to surrender, but received no answer. Again, after an interval, the same request was repeated, but met with no response. After several minutes, the supposed bushranger was again summoned to appear, without eliciting any reply. At length, finding mild exhortations insufficient, Sir Frederick threatened that he would at once proceed to burn and smoke him out like an opossum. The man not liking the latter alternative, surrendered at discretion, and was immediately taken into custody. Daley is a mild, youthful, whiskerless looking person, with light blue eyes and fair complexion. There is nothing in his physiognomical expression outwardly to denote the degraded villain.

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Billy Dargin (as played by Angus Pilakui in The Legend of Ben Hall)
On Thursday, Patrick Daley was brought up at the Police Court, Forbes, before Mr. D. W. Irving, charged by Sir Frederick Pottinger with shooting at, with intent to kill or do some grievous bodily harm, John Oxley Norton, sub-inspector of police, on the 28th February, near Wheogo. The prisoner was also charged with breaking into the police barracks at the Pinnacle station, during the temporary absence of the police, and stealing therefrom fire-arms, &c., the property of the Government.—Sir Frederick Pottinger, sworn, deposed that he was superintendent of mounted police for the Lachlan district. On the morning of yesterday, apprehended the prisoner (Patrick Daley) on the Pinnacle Reef—it might be called Macguire’s Reef ; he knew it as the Pinnacle. Having discovered his hiding-place, challenged the prisoner repeatedly to surrender, but received no answer. Threatened, then, that if he did not at once come up, to smoke him out, and had given directions to do so when prisoner called out, “I suppose it’s no use ; I must give myself up.” The shaft is sixty feet deep. The prisoner came up a ladder, or sort of permanent ladder. Took him into custody. Directly prisoner showed his head above the hole, the black tracker identified him as one of the three men who fired at Mr. Norton on the occasion of taking him prisoner at the Weddin Mountain. Ben Hall and John O’Mealley were the men prisoner was with when several shots were fired at Mr. Norton and Billy the tracker. Had just previously passed the tree where Mr. Norton stood.
On Thursday, Patrick Daley was brought up at the Police Court, Forbes, before Mr. D. W. Irving, charged by Sir Frederick Pottinger with shooting at, with intent to kill or do some grievous bodily harm, John Oxley Norton, sub-inspector of police, on the 28th February, near Wheogo. The prisoner was also charged with breaking into the police barracks at the Pinnacle station, during the temporary absence of the police, and stealing there from fire-arms, &c., the property of the Government.—Sir Frederick Pottinger, sworn, deposed that he was superintendent of mounted police for the Lachlan district. On the morning of yesterday, apprehended the prisoner (Patrick Daley) on the Pinnacle Reef—it might be called Macguire’s Reef ; he knew it as the Pinnacle. Having discovered his hiding-place, challenged the prisoner repeatedly to surrender, but received no answer. Threatened, then, that if he did not at once come up, to smoke him out, and had given directions to do so when prisoner called out, “I suppose it’s no use ; I must give myself up.” The shaft is sixty feet deep. The prisoner came up a ladder, or sort of permanent ladder. Took him into custody. Directly prisoner showed his head above the hole, the black tracker identified him as one of the three men who fired at Mr. Norton on the occasion of taking him prisoner at the Weddin Mountain. Ben Hall and John O’Mealley were the men prisoner was with when several shots were fired at Mr. Norton and Billy the tracker. Had just previously passed the tree where Mr. Norton stood.
The black tracker showed me the tree, and I saw the marks of two large bullets upon it, near where Mr. Norton stood ; one was just over the head, and the other in a line with the chest. Prisoner could be identified as one of the men who broke into the police comp at the Pinnacle station. The black tracker identified a pair of girths which belonged to him (Billy) ; they were stolen from the Pinnacle station or barracks.
Had received information from Captain Battye that the prisoner is implicated in several robberies committed near Lambing Flat recently. When searching nothing was found on the prisoner, not even sixpence, nor firearms. The prisoner had evidently a plant somewhere. Went down the shaft, and found nothing there. Had no further evidence to produce ; but in the absence of Mr. Norton, who, with the black tracker, was away, he would apply for a remand for seven days.—Prisoner was asked by the Bench whether he had any questions to ask the witness, and replied in the negative. Remanded for seven days.

PatrickDaley
Patsy Daley

Source:

“THE CAPTURE OE PATRICK DALEY.” The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 March 1863: 3.

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