Spotlight: Death of Dunleavy the Bushranger

Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 – 1908), Tuesday 3 November 1868, page 6


Death of Dunleavy, the Bushranger. —

The City Coroner held an inquest at the Darlinghurst Gaol, yesterday, repecting the death of a prisoner named James Dunleavy, aged 24 years. From the evidence it appeared that he was received into the gaol on the 24th of April, 1865, having been sentenced at the Bathurst Circuit Court, by the late Mr. Justice Wise, to fifteen years’ imprisonment, with hard labour, the first year in irons, for robbery under arms. He was a man of delicate constitution, and had on several occasions since his imprisonment been in hospital for treatment for consumption. The disease progressed, notwithstanding all the remedies that were applied, and on the 16th of last month he Watson ordered by Dr. Aaron into the hospital. The disease from which he suffered increased, and terminated in disease of the windpipe as well as disease of the lungs, which ultimately ended in his death on Tuesday evening. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that death had resulted from natural causes. It will be recollected that Dunleavy formed one of Ben Hall and Gardiner’s notorious gang of bushrangers, and that through the intervention of a clergyman, he, in conjunction with Burke, was induced to give himself up to the police, and at his trial pleaded guilty to six diffrent charges of highway robbery. The clergyman in question wrote to the Colonial Secretary, asking that, as the prisoner had given himself up, a light sentence might be passed upon him. This letter was the subject of much comment at the time, and called forth a strong expression of opinion from Mr. Justice Wise, to whom it had been forwarded for perusal. — S. M. Herald, Oct. 24.

The Empire says:— The grave of Dunleavy offers only another lesson to those misguided young men who for so long bade defiance to the laws, and whose end in every instance has been either an ignominious one upon the gallows – that of an outlaw shot down like a dog – or, as in the case of Dunleavy, a painfully lingering and sorrowful order, in a convict’s cell. The body of Dunleavy as presented to the coroner’s jury, was a pitiful spectacle ; wasted to a very skeleton, nothing was to be seen but the frame of a fine-built young man, without a particle of flesh upon it. It is said that Frank Gardiner in his prison, more than “tamed by endurance,” is gradually sinking in the same way that Dunleavy did, and that before long it is probable a coroner’s jury will be summoned to hear evidence as to his last moments.

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