Spotlight: Johnny Gilbert at Burrowa (27 May 1863)

About seven o’clock this morning, as jockey in trainer Harry Wilson, was giving the horse his customary diurnal exercise near the Burrowa police barracks, a ponchoed horseman rode up to him, whom Wilson immediately recognised to be no other than the notorious Johnny Gilbert, whom Wilson has known for years. Gilbert instantly told the jockey to dismount, as he wanted the racer, but Wilson refused to do so, when Gilbert drew a revolver, and placing it close to Harry’s skull said, “Off at once, or take the consequences;” Wilson replied, “For God’s sake, Johnny, don’t ruin a poor fellow,” but all to no purpose, for Gilbert took the horse, and along with it a new jockey’s saddle and bridle, Wilson’s private property, which he had purchased only the day before. Continue reading Spotlight: Johnny Gilbert at Burrowa (27 May 1863)

Spotlight: Local & General Intelligence, Tumut and Adelong (11 May 1865)

The Pastoral Times hears that Mr. Commissioner Lockhart is engaged in the district around Albury in trying to clear the country of the wretched villains who aided and abetted the recently slain murderer. Little mercy should be shown to those who, residing on Crown Lands illegally, gave shelter and food to Morgan while he went forth to rob and kill. It is to be hoped that the other Commissioners of Crown Lands in the Wellington districts, and the country where Messrs. Hall, Gilbert, and Co. carry on their avocations, will see that the powers invested in them are used to rid their districts of the aiders and abettors in these crimes.

Continue reading Spotlight: Local & General Intelligence, Tumut and Adelong (11 May 1865)

Spotlight: Westwood writes to his parents (29 April 1847)

In a former number we gave the copy of a letter written by William Westwood, better known as Jackey Jackey, and at the time of its appearance an attempt was made to shew that he had died breathing a spirit of bitterness very unsuited to any man at the last hour of his existence. What the motives for doing Westwood such an injustice, it is not our present purpose to inquire; certain however it is, that such was not the fact, as the following copy of another letter will show. “Justice to free and bond” is our maxim in such matters, and we see no reason why the last dying thoughts of the malefactor should not be as fairly represented as those of him whose life has not been forfeited to the offended laws of his country. Continue reading Spotlight: Westwood writes to his parents (29 April 1847)

Spotlight: Bushrangers in court in Bathurst (13 April 1865)

James Mount alias Gordon alias the “Old Man,” and James Dunleavy were charged with, on the 7th day of July, 1861, assaulting and robbing William Brandon, and taking from him a quantity of letters, the property of himself and another.

Mr. Dalley applied for time to plead on behalf of Dunleavy, which was granted.

Gordon, after having objected to be arraigned by any other name, pleaded guilty. His Honor reserved sentence. Continue reading Spotlight: Bushrangers in court in Bathurst (13 April 1865)

Spotlight: Capture of “Thunderbolt’s” Wife (10 April 1866)

A short time since, a police party, consisting of senior-sergeant Kerrigan, constable Scully, a black tracker, and a volunteer – Norman Baton, went through the New England and Stroud district in search of Ward, alias Thunderbolt, and on Tuesday last, at a place called Pignabarney Creek, about thirty miles from Nundle, they sighted a half-caste woman with horse, saddle, bridle, and swag, and believing her to be Ward’s wife, they asked her where Ward was; she said she was “the captain’s lady,” and Ward had been chased two days previously by the police; that she had since been in search of him with provisions and was unable to find him in the mountains. Continue reading Spotlight: Capture of “Thunderbolt’s” Wife (10 April 1866)

Spotlight: Mrs. Thunderbolt (11 March 1867)

Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1875), Monday 11 March 1867, page 5 “MRS THUNDERBOLT.” – We learn that the bushranger Thunderbolt’s wife, who was lately sent to gaol for three months by the Paterson bench, for having property in her possession, which she could not account for, has within the past few days been released from the Maitland gaol, the statements of a petition sent by her to the Governor, setting forth that she had put purchased the property from Messrs. Wolfe and Garrick’s store in West Maitland, having been borne out. We are informed that the unfortunate woman … Continue reading Spotlight: Mrs. Thunderbolt (11 March 1867)

Spotlight: The Trial of the Edward Davis and His Gang (1841)

John Shea was indicted for the wilful murder of John Graham, by shooting him, on the 21st of December, 1840, at St. Aubins, near Scone; and John Marshall, James Everett, Edward Davies, alias Wilkinson, Robert Chittey, and Richard Glanville, were indicted for being present as accessories, aiding and abetting.

Continue reading Spotlight: The Trial of the Edward Davis and His Gang (1841)

Spotlight: CAPTURE OF THE CHINAMAN WHO SHOT SENIOR CONSTABLE WARD (1865)

Directly the Chinaman saw he was discovered he sprang to his feet, fired at McMahon, and dashed into a more dense part of the scrub. His pursuers closed about the spot, and made sure of capturing him; but, though they searched the ground and bushes thoroughly, they could find no traces of him whatever for an hour. They were apprehensive that he had again slipped through their fingers, when he suddenly sprang up as if from the earth, and fired his gun full in the face of Henry Hughes, who seemed to have escaped almost by a miracle for of the slugs with which the gun was loaded one passed through the brim of his hat, and another struck him on the side of the head.

Continue reading Spotlight: CAPTURE OF THE CHINAMAN WHO SHOT SENIOR CONSTABLE WARD (1865)

Spotlight: A Bushranger’s Autobiography (part four)

We got to the place agreed on, and where I could see the main land at about two miles distance. We must get across to it, and had no boat. I was a very bad swimmer. and two miles was a long pull for a new beginner. But my two companions did not hesitate, but pulled off their trousers and plunged into the water, with me after them, with my trousers thrown over my neck, for I was determined to get over to the mainland or be drowned in the attempt. After swimming about a mile, one of my companions — and very soon after the other — was seized, and drawn down by the sharks. I was left alone to the mercy of the waves, expecting the same fate every minute. At last, after a desperate struggle, I got to the land, but had lost my trousers and shirt, and scrambled ashore quite naked. In this state I found myself alone in a bush that I did not know, and greatly grieved at the death of my two companions. I made a bed in the long grass and picked up some shellfish that kept me alive for three days. On the fourth day the constables saw me, and I was brought back to Port Arthur once more, where I was punished with 90 days’ solitary confinement and 12 months’ “E.H.L.C.” (extension with hard labour in chains). Continue reading Spotlight: A Bushranger’s Autobiography (part four)