Spotlight: Gilbert, Hall, and Dunn’s Raid on the Nubriggan (2 May 1865)

Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 – 1889), Tuesday 2 May 1865, page 3


GILBERT, HALL, AND DUNN’S RAID ON THE NUBRIGGAN.

A correspondent of the Western Examiner reports that on the evening of Sunday, as Mr. Brazier, land lord of the Nubriggan Inn, with some other gentlemen, were enjoying their pipes, four horsemen well mounted, three of them with every appearance of wealthy gentlemen, dashed up to the door. The stoutest immediately dismounted, entered the inn, and walking up to Mr. Brazier, ordered him to turn out his pockets, Mr. Brazier thinking it was making rather free, asked him sternly what he meant, and ordered him behind the bar, but the sight of a revolver in hand and a number round his waist caused him to unbend his brows, and submit with as good a grace as possible. Gilbert turned the pockets of Mr. Brazier inside out, and threw the few shillings they contained on the counter, and demanded to know where he kept his cash. He was told generally in the pockets of his pants. In the meantime Gilbert and Dunn placed all the men, women, and children that were about the house in one room, locking every door. Dunn went over to Mr. Peter’s house, and the house of Mr. Cousin’s shepherd, bringing all the inmates, and turning them in with the rest. Mr. G. West had just arrived from Wellington, and was putting his horse in the stables, when Gilbert walked in and asked if he was the groom. Not giving a satisfactory reply, Mr. West was immediately requested to walk into the parlour. The fourth party had his face masked and muffled, and walked as sentry on the outside of the house, nor did he once come in or allow his face to be seen during the night, he was armed with a revolving rifle and a revolver. All were now in the room, and Gilbert said he would be under the painful necessity of finding the cash.

He looked, over some drawers and disturbed the things in them very slightly. He then opened a little workbox, and taking out a parcel he said, “Ah, here is what I want “. On opening it there were six pounds in silver, some half-sovereigns and notes to the value of about 14 pounds. He was proceeding to examine the other boxes, when Mrs. Brazier told him they contained nothing but receipts and letters.

He immediately desisted, and said he would take her word for it. He then turned to the men in the room and said, “Now, my lads, I’m going to shout, but I wish to say a few words to you. Generally when we go to a public-house we are in the habit of making ourselves agreeable but those we meet with, after they get liquor in, get Dutch courage, and talk about mobbing us. Now if we hear anything of that kind, somebody is apt to get hurt, and I don’t think it will be us. And another thing, I will not allow any swearing, blackguard language, or obscene songs, before the females, and now, as we understand each other, let us liquor.” So the drink was called in fast and furious, before one round was drank another was called on. Dunn wanted, music and a dance, having found an accordion. Mr. Brazier objected on account of its being Sunday. In a short time, twelve o’clock struck. “Now” said Gilbert, “it’s Monday morning let’s have a dance.” A gentleman named Mr. Charles Gardiner was compelled to exert his talents in the music line, and the bushrangers had such a persuasive way with them, between brandy and bullets they soon had nearly all hands dancing. The dance and song went round, Gilbert and Dunn taking the principal parts, Hall remaining as a spectator, and the ranger incog still continuing to guard outside. Two of the parties confined had words and peeled to decide it with fists, but Gilbert instantly interfered, and threatened to tie up anyone who attempted to interrupt the harmony of the evening. In vinum Caillai veritas began to show itself. One gentlemen was silenced in a peremptory manner. In the midst of the hilarity they never for a moment relaxed their vigilance. Any person leaving the room for a moment was missed and brought back, and the sentinel at the door drove back with his rifle any person showing his head. Mr. Thomas Stephens, a contractor, spoke seriously to Gilbert on his course of life, pointing out to him not only the sinfulness, but the certain end sooner or later. After talking in a religious strain to him some time longer, Mr. Stephens said, “You have never had Morgan with you.” “No” said Gilbert, “we would not allow such a blood-thirsty wretch to have remained with us, we would have shot him long since.” The bushrangers paid for all the liquor they called for, also tea, sugar, tobacco, &c. They handed back a cheque for a pound which they had taken from Mr. Brazier and told him not to take pay out of that, handing him a note at the same time. Hall asked Brazier if he had a horse called Brandy P and was answered in the affirmative. He said we must have it, but that Brazier would get it back. They “shouted” back nearly all the money they took, and at daybreak, mounted their horses and started towards Shepherd’s Creek. They tried hard before leaving, to persuade Mr. Stephens to accompany them as chaplain, but he found his exortations were of no avail, so declined having anything to do with them. They threatened vengeance if anyone they left before two hours. They have stuck up Mookernwo and Junction and are hourly expected at the Barks.

THE SURRENDER OF JAMES BURKE.

Sydney Morning Herald’s correspondent says :–

This young man gave himself up to the Hon. Father McGuinn, on Sunday last, and is now in the look-up, under remand. He is a cousin of Mick Burke, who was shot by Mr. Keightley, and has been several times in gaol; He is suspected to be one of the party that lately took Mr. Burton’s racehorses.

With reference to the above the correspondent of the Bathurst Times says :–

I have great pleasure in informing your readers that this young desperado, who, in company with two others, has latterly been levying black mail in the Carcoar district was delivered up to the authorities on Tuesday, by the Rev. D. McGuinn. The following particulars respecting the surrender may be relied upon: Father McGuinn, it appears, had occasion to visit the Tuena gold-fields last week, and being informed that Burke and party had been in that quarter, he used every effort to come in contact with them, and persuade them to desist from the lawless career they were entering upon. He met young Burke on the Abercrombie Mountains, and, after vividly painting with true Christian earnestness the guilt and horror of a highwayman’s life, succeeded in prevailing on him to surrender, and throw himself on the mercy of the law. He then accompanied the rev. gentleman to the Long Swamp, where they remained for the night; and next day (Tuesday last) proceeded on to Carcoar, when the unfortunate – or perliaps fortunate – youth was formally handed over to the care of the ofllcer of police here, Mr. Sub-Inspector Roberts. It will be recollected, that this is the second bushranger whom Father McGuinn has, by his intermediation, induced to desist from his evil course, having given up Dunleavy some few months ago to Superintendent Lydiard, in Bathurst. The colony must owe a great debt of gratitude to the rev. gentleman for thus protecting. the public from the depredations of these characters, It Is not improbable, if what I hear be true, that some of Ben Hall’s gang may yet surrender themselves to justice, were a guarantee given that the extreme penalty of the law would not be carried into effect.

TESTIMONIAL TO MR EDWARD MORRISS.

About a dozen gentlemen at Wagga Wagga have raised the sum of £20 19s. as a token of the admiration with which they regard Mr. Morriss’s conduct on the occasion of the visit of the bushrangers to Binda, when his store was burnt down. The money was forwarded by the treasurer, Mr. George Forsyth, to the manager of the Joint Stock Bank at Goulburn, to be paid over to Mr. Morriss.

FELONS APPREHENSION BILL.

Reply of the bushrangers, Gilbert, Hall, and Dunn, to the judicial summons to surrender to take their trial for murder, on or before the 29th instant.— “We’ll be hanged if we do!” – Bell’s Life,

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