Spotlight: The Manning from 1865

Dungog Chronicle : Durham and Gloucester Advertiser (NSW : 1894 – 1954), Friday 9 July 1920, page 7


The Manning from 1865

From the Files of the ‘Manning River News,’ 1865 onwards.


(Reprinted from Wingham “Chronicle.”

April 28, 1865: The Annual.Show of the Hunter River Agricultural Association has just terminated. It is said that, as regards the number and quantity of the exhibits, the Show was a very great success. A prize amounting to nearly £25 was given to the Rev E. Holland (Port Macquarie) for sugar, which the judges considered first class; and also another prize of £1 for treacle, which was a was a superior marketable article, The same genteleman gained a third prize for cotton — which is said to have been a good specimen of the variety known as ‘Sea-Island.’

An inquest was held on the body of Morgan, the bushranger, on April 11th, 1865. It was fully identified by Mr Kidson, a squatter, at the Billabong, who was twice stuck up by Morgan; by Bronche, a pedlar, who had also been twice robbed by him; and by a servant girl from Dr Mackay ‘s station in N.S.W., where the bushranger had lately paid a visit. Following verdict was recorded: “The deceased, whom we believe to be Daniel Morgan, met his death from a gunshot wound inflicted by John Windlaw on the morning of the 9th of April, 1865, at Peechelba Station, on the Oven’s River; and we further consider that the homicide was justifiable; and we further consider that great praise is due to all in the capture of deceased.” Morgan’s head was taken to Melbourne and handed over to the medical authorities for scientific purposes; but decomposition had set in to such an extent as to render it nearly useless.

April 7, 1866; It will be remembered that the police party, under Mr Garvin, brought in Thunderbolt’s wife or mistress, and left her at Mr Hooke’s station. It appears that she left soon after the police, and was later captured by the Dungog party, and taken to Stroud. She was there charged with vagrancy, and sentenced to 6 months in Maitiand gaol. This woman stated that Thunderbolt had retired for a season to recover from his wounds — and she thought he would not live long.

April 28, 1866: Since Thunderbolt escaped from this district, he has been seen not far from the Namoi River. He is supposed to be now about the head of the Gloucester River.

In the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales on Thursday, April 5th, 1866, Mr Buchannan brought up the case of Thunderbolt’s wife, who he said had been illegally imprisoned by the Magistrates at Stroud. Mr Martin promised to inquire into the matter. Mr Hart and Dr Lang pronounced the proceedings grossly illegal.

April 28, 1866: Thunderbolt’s wife or mistress, has been discharged from gaol by order of the Government.

Oct 4th; 1865 (from Maitland “Mercury”): Yesterday afternoon we received from our Singleton correspondent a report which we give below of the discovery of gold ore on some of the head waters of the Hunter, flowing from the ranges dividing its valley from the valley of the Manning. We hope it may prove a really productive field; but it will be well to await further information before diggers hasten to the locality. Our correspondent writes as follows: — I hasten to inform you that gold has been struck at the table-land, at the head of the Barrington River, about 50 miles from Singleton. Gold is also stated to have been found in payable quantities in several of the gullies leading from the Mt Royal Range, at the head of Stewart’s Brook and Rouchel Brook, only about 35 or 40 miles from here. Rumours of this discovery have been afloat in Singleton for several days past; but it is only a day or so since it has oozed out that a party had found gold there some time ago. Being deficient in tools they had to return to Singleton. The gold found by the party is said to have been found in a drift near the surface, underneath which are heavy boulders; but the party were unable to remove these boulders for want of tools. This party is strengthened by several others, and numbering eight altogether are stated to have left Singleton for the new diggings this morning. Another party of six — amongst whom are several well known Singletonians, left here last Saturday for the new Eldorado. A good deal of excitement prevails in Singleton respecting the new diggings. — Singleton, 9th Oct, 1865.

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