Bushranging Gazette #13

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Not Another Ned Kelly Tour

A new walking tour of Benalla has launched, capitalising on the infamous Ned Kelly. The guided tour, by Visit Benalla, takes visitors to key locations in Benalla that are connected to the Kelly saga such as the courthouse and bootmaker’s shop on Arundel Street, and includes morning or afternoon tea.

The tours will be conducted until 31st December 2022

The Courthouse, via Visit Victoria

More information: https://www.visitvictoria.com/regions/high-country/see-and-do/tours/visit-benalla-tours/ned-kelly-town-tour

Outlaw culture: Aboriginal women and the power of resistance

An article published by the University of New South Wales discusses the ways that Aboriginal women have empowered themselves through rebellion. Among the various examples, there are references to bushrangers such as Mary Ann Bugg and Mary Cockerill.

Other outlaw women secured a degree of autonomy by establishing relationships with male bushrangers. Among them was Mary Cockerill and Mary Ann Bugg. Cockerill – also born in Van Diemen’s land in the eighteenth century – “would go on to participate in raids on hapless settlers” after eloping with bushranger Michael Howe. Decades later, Worimi woman, Mary Ann Bugg formed a relationship with Frederick Wordsworth Ward – known as Captain Thunderbolt, the “gentleman bushranger”.

Adam Phelan via UNSW

Read the article here: https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/business-law/outlaw-culture-aboriginal-women-and-power-resistance

When coach driving could be dangerous

Eve Chappell has published a piece in the Glen Innes Examiner discussing the history of coaches, with an emphasis on highway robbery. The article gives a great glimpse into an Australian iteration of a type of crime popularised in England in the 1700s, and that would later find a niche in America’s Wild West era as well.

Early communication and spreading of news before the advent of mail coaches was often reliant on the remarkably active and accurate Bush Telegraph, passing horsemen and the slowly moving wagon entourages sometimes carrying mail. However, there were bushrangers lurking beside the mail coach routes, meaning many letters never arrived- as described in this report in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 20 June 1849 of the robbery of the Singleton to Maitland Mail Coach. Two miles from Lochinvar two men sprang from behind a fallen tree and ordered the driver to stop, each at the same time presenting a double-barrelled carbine cocked. The driver pulled up and the larger of the two men ordered him to throw out the [13] mail bags… The bushranger then cut open the mailbags, and selected therefrom a great quantity of letters, many apparently registered which he opened and took the contents from. Having finished a cool inspection of the bags, he ransacked all the letters that he desired, he gathered the letters into a heap, lit a match and set fire to them….and [two] passengers were also forced by the bushrangers to give up what silver they had about them, fortunately in each case only a few shillings.

Eve Chappell via Glen Innes Examiner

Read the article here: https://www.gleninnesexaminer.com.au/story/7628989/when-coach-driving-could-be-dangerous/?cs=12


Melton Church Celebrates 150 Years

The Melton Christ Church Anglican Parish is celebrating their 150th anniversary. The church has connections to the bushranger Andrew George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite, as he performed a sermon there during his brief time as an Anglican lay reader before the Mount Egerton bank robbery that made him infamous.

The article published in Star Weekly gives an interesting overview of some of the notable happenings in the church’s history.

Read the article here: https://meltonmoorabool.starweekly.com.au/news/melton-church-celebrates-150-years-of-service/

Araluen Valley Hotel

The Araluen Valley Hotel, right in the heart of territory where bushrangers such as the Hall Gang and the Clarkes operated, is up for sale. While the pub itself was built long after those outlaws had drawn their last breath, it’s a perfect spot to sink a beer and contemplate those rough and tumble times when Araluen and surrounds was more like the Wild West.

Read the article here: https://aboutregional.com.au/heres-cheers-to-the-historic-araluen-pub-brimming-with-tourism-potential/

Beechworth Courthouse revamp seeking new creative team

The new immersive experience at the Beechworth courthouse, sweet to use modern technology to help tell the stories of the trials that took place there related to the Kelly saga, is in need of a new team to bring it to life after creative differences saw Arterial Design pull out.

Indigo Shire Council and Arterial Design reviewed the project’s curatorial and creative direction and agreed there was a divergence of interpretative methodology and creative approach.

Arterial Design (press release)

Cutting through the jargon, it would seem that there was an impasse between the project’s historical consultants and the creative team, and rather than reach a compromise, Arterial Design have pulled out. It remains to be seen how this will impact the plans to unveil the new project later in 2022.

Read the article here: https://www.miragenews.com/courthouse-kelly-trials-project-seeks-new-726629/

Eliza Reilly talks about bushrangers

Author Eliza Reilly has been interviewed by The Curb about the “badass women” of Australian history. Reilly was one of the creators of the webseries Shielas, which featured an episode about Mary Ann Bugg. Reilly has a passion for this side of history, and this has resulted in a new book titled Shielas: Badass Women of Australian History.

The big point that I’m trying to make is that, like, I don’t want Ned Kelly to have less movies. He can have 11 movies, he can have 120 movies. I’m not about taking away from the boys. I’m just about showing more. We talk about that in the web series, and in the book, ‘well, if you love bushrangers, there’s Mary Ann Bugg, there’s Jessie Hickman’, who’s another female Australian bushranger, who will probably be in the next Sheila’s book. I can’t wait to write about her. It’s just about being like, ‘Australia, if you love bushrangers, there’s so much bushranger stuff that you haven’t heard, and you obviously have an appetite for it, you love Ned Kelly so much’. I don’t know why there’s so many Ned Kelly’s, he’s like our Spider-Man. There’s always gonna be another fucking Spider-Man.

Eliza Reilly via The Curb

Read the article here: https://www.thecurb.com.au/sheilas-author-eliza-reilly-talks-badass-sheroes-bushrangers-riding-sidesaddle-and-more-in-this-interview/

“The Gentleman Bushranger”

Just as there is usually an article or podcast written about Ned Kelly somewhere in the world once a month, so to does Ben Hall enjoy frequent iterations of the most popular version of his story. Website SOFREP has published a brief overview of Hall’s story that will be an introduction for many people who perhaps are unfamiliar with the bushranger, but it will likely infuriate those who are well-versed with the history.

Once old enough, Ben found his way to leave by working as a stockman(cattleman) on the Boyd Station for Mr. Hamilton and then for Mr. John Walsh of Wheogo. In 1858, he married Mr. Walsh’s daughter named Bridie Walsh. They settled on a farm that they purchased in Sandy Creek. It was a great beginning of their married life, but it did not last long as Bridie had a love affair with another stockman named John Taylor and decided to live with him, taking their two-year-old son with her. All these happened when Ben was away.

via SOFREP

Read the article here: https://sofrep.com/news/the-gentleman-bushranger-of-australia/

New Sidney Nolan exhibition to take place at Heide

Photography: Sam Schultz

Many of acclaimed Australian artist Sidney Nolan’s famed Ned Kelly paintings will be on display at the Heide Museum of Modern Art as part of the biggest exhibition of his works in Australia in over a decade.

Nolan was a founding member of Heide (the Heidelberg School of Art) in the 1930s, developing and creating his legendary series of paintings on the life of Ned Kelly, inspired by J. J. Kenneally’s book Inner History of the Kelly Gang.

One of Australia’s leading artists of the twentieth century, Sidney Nolan is synonymous with Heide, which for him was a Garden of Eden that he later saw as a season in hell. Nolan’s creativity was fueled by a life-long fascination with the elusive notion of paradise and the consequences of its loss. From his nostalgia for St Kilda, his childhood heaven, to his explorations of the Australian landscape and restless travels abroad, Sidney Nolan: Search for Paradise examines one of the artist’s deepest impulses and the journey of self-discovery it engendered.

Heide MOMA

The exhibition, Sidney Nolan: Search for Paradise, uses Nolan’s paintings to help illustrate his life story, and will run from 19 February 2022 – 13 June 2022. Entry is included in the price of admission to the museum, or is free for members.

Read more: https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/art-and-design/article/first-look-inside-heides-sidney-nolan-search-paradise

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