Spotlight: Bushranging at the Levels (03/08/1867)

Freeman’s Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1932), Saturday 3 August 1867, page 7

BUSHRANGING AT THE LEVELS. — Although every bushranger of distinction, with the exception of the man calling himself Captain Thunderbolt, has been brought to justice during the last few months, it is evident that the class is not yet extinct. Only last week two new aspirants for fame, created a sensation by robbing a number of places between Grenfell and the Flat, and at Spring and Stoney Creek; and we have now to chronicle their reappearance, accompanied by a third man, at the Levels. The first two are known as Cottrell alias ‘Blue Cap,’ and Jerry Duce, while there is little doubt as to the identity of their comrade. On Monday last the trio armed with revolvers, and well mounted, rode up to Marshall’s, Merool Creek, on the Levels, and having bailed up the inmates, began to search the premises for money and other valuables; after which they proceeded to the stores, which they rifled of a very large quantity of goods consisting, principally of clothing, provisions, and spirits. Having secured their booty on some packhorses, they then regaled themselves freely at the expense of Mr. Marshall, and then rode off. “Blue-cap,” who it appears, has now regularly “turned out,” was formerly a stockman on the Billabong, and some twelve months since was charged at Forbes Police Court with shooting at Mr. Dick Taylor, Mrs. Atkyn’s overseer, with intent to commit a murder. For this he was committed for trial, but was acquitted at Bathurst from insufficient evidence. Since then he has again been in company with another noted character named Cowan for stealing several head of cattle, the property of Messrs. Jones and Miller of Cadow, and here, too, he had a narrow escape. When the police came on “Blue Cap” and Duce at Stoney Creek after their former raid, and fired upon them in the dark, it was known that one of the two men was wounded, and it now turns out that Duce was shot through the hand. Two of the horses ridden by these fellows since they have taken to the bush have been identified as being the property of the O’Meally family, one of the horses being the racer Banjo. The police are on the tracks of the bushrangers, but it is supposed from the description of goods selected by them at Marshall’s that they would hide in the scrub for a period, and emerge only when compelled to do so through hunger. — Mudgee Record.

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