Spotlight: Extracts from Australian, (10/09/1830)

Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Friday 10 September 1830, page 2


It does not appear to be as yet quite certain, whether the man shot dead last week, by one of the mounted police, and reported to be Donohoe, is, after all, the real Donohoe, as several persons, of tolerable veracity, who say they knew Donohoe well, having inspected the corpse, do not hesitate to affirm that he is not the man some people would take him for. Others maintain a contrary story.

The facts of the rencontre seem to be these:—A part of the mounted police, under Sergeant Hodgson, 57th regt. with two constables, who, were beating about the bush on the first instant, perceived three men and a pack horse, about a mile and a half distant. They pursued, the sergeant and two men taking a direction to the left, and the others to the right. The latter party got within a hundred yards of the trio unperceived, when one, the reputed Donohoe, started up, exclaiming “Come on ye cowardly rascals, we are ready, if there is a dozen of you.” The three bushrangers then entrenched themselves each behind a tree, and challenges mutually passed between the soldiers and them. It was half an hour or nearly before one of the soldiers fired, the ball from his piece shivering the bark of the tree behind which Webber, one of the bushrangers, stood. Another shot was fired, and two of the bushrangers fired also. In about a minute more, John Maclestone, one of the mounted police, fired, when the reputed Donohoe fell. On seeing the fate of their comrade, the two survivors beat a retreat, leaving behind their pack horse and baggage, which contained about 1 cwt. and a half of flour, some meat, wearing apparel, transfers, grants, and deeds of land, and a watch. The papers had been stolen from Pegley, a settler at Prospect.

The reputed Donohoe, was reckoned only to be 23 years of age, when he received the fatal ball, low of stature, but with limbs thick set, and a countenance bearing the impress of strong passions, and a determined spirit. His accomplices, who were stated to be Walmsley and Webber, it is reported, in the retreat, committed a house robbery, and on Monday afternoon, stopped Messrs. Erskine and Scott, as they were driving in a gig towards Parramatta, about a mile beyond longbottom; but on discovering Mr. Scott, Webber saying he was once his assigned servant, allowed them to go on. A strong party of police was immediately despatched, but they scoured the road during a good part of that night and Tuesday, without success.

A hut on the Dog Trap farm was on Wednesday reported to, the chief constable at Parramatta, to have been broken into and robbed by two men, one of them answering to the description of Webber. It is about this part of the road soldiers and constables should keep a good look out, and along the less frequented parts of the Liverpool-road, instead of the vicinity of government stations and public houses.

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