Spotlight: Background on Morgan (5 July 1864)

Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW : 1856 – 1950), Tuesday 5 July 1864, page 3


Morgan, the Bushranger.

The “Yass Courier'”gives the following account of this bloodthirsty scoundrel : — Morgan is a native of Appin, and is about thirty two or thirty-three years of age. His father was blind, and after his death, which occurred many years ago, his mother married again. Young Morgan “turned out” early in life, and while yet a lad, stole a horse belonging to the police magistrate of Campbelltown. The constables went in pursuit of him, but he succeeded in evading their search. It is said that when they were trotting their horses after him he kept at the same pace as they did, and when they galloped he used to put spurs to his horse and outstrip them in speed, he at last managed to double on them, and, returning to the neighbourhood of Campbelltown, succeeded in stealing two more horses, with which he made his way into the interior where be disposed of them. Subsequently to this he pursued the calling of stock-keeper on the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers, and from there proceeded to Port Phillip, where he committed some depredation, and was sentenced to a term of penal servitude at Pentridge. We understand that at present he is a ticket of leave holder Although carrying on his exploits alone, he, like the rest of the bushrangers, has acquired a number of friends amongst both the large and small settlers in the neighbourhood of Billabong, who receive a share of booty, and also share his immunity from punishment.

We regret that while recording two more bloody outrages of the wretch, we have not the satisfaction of announcing his capture. It is difficult to imagine how eleven men could entertain for so many hours this unparalleled scoundrel without making the smallest attempt to secure him. It would seem from his exploits at Mrs Vincent’s station, and more recently at that of Mr Henty, that his safety lies in the number of those he bails up; for, on neither of the occasions to which we refer, was any resistance shown. On the other hand something like gameness was exhibited by sergeant Carroll when he encountered the ruffian near the Round Hill Station, on the 18th instant. The trooper fired three shots at him, and thus challenged Morgan to show his pluck, This, however, he does not appear to have done, but galloped away. It will, probably, be recollected that Carroll was the policeman who single handed and ill provided with arms, attacked Piesley near Mundarlo, when that scoundrel was endeavouring to make his escape from justice after the murder of Benyon. Sergeant Maginnity, whose death at the hands of Morgan is stated in our telegraphic intelligence, was at one time stationed at Gundagai and more recently at Tumbarumba. He was regarded by his superior officers as an active and courageous man, and his death will be a loss to the service.

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