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)
One night on the road I was placed in the lock-up at the Stone Quarry for the night. I put my wits to work to get out, and succeeded. I instantly made for the place where the mounted police slept. I took what arms I wanted, as they were all fast asleep. Next, I scaled the wall of the lock-up yard after a deal of trouble, for I was so heavily chained I could scarcely walk. Before I could get well into the bush, daylight made its appearance. I was surrounded by constables in all directions searching for me. I expected to be taken every minute. Continue reading Spotlight: A Bushranger’s Autobiography (part three)
On January 3, 1837,1 was tried for robbery, and, being an old offender, received 14 years’ sentence of transportation, while my companion was discharged. While I remained in gaol, waiting to go down to Portsmouth, one day I shall never forget, my father and mother, and sisters and brothers, came to take their last farewell of me. The tears rolled down their cheeks for their undutiful son and bad brother. I took my leave of them at the time, thinking I never should see them anymore. Shortly afterwards I was removed down to Portsmouth, and had been there only a few days when an order came down from London for 300 prisoners to go on board the ship Mangles, and I was one among the number. Continue reading Spotlight: A Bushranger’s Autobiography (part two)
Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), Monday 3 February 1873, page 4 THE BUSHRANGER BRADY. [From the Illustrated Weekly Herald.] The following sketch has been sent in to us by an old correspondent, who writes from personal experience : — Reading in a late number of your journal a few days ago a narrative of some of the exploits of “Brady,” the bushranger, from the pen of a Mr. Calder, has induced a desire to recount a few incidents of my experience of colonial life, which, if you could find acceptable to your readers, may be continued to a … Continue reading Spotlight: The Bushranger Brady (1873)
In 1879, the Australasian newspaper published a series of articles that transcribed a handwritten manuscript. This manuscript contained the memoirs of William Westwood, alias Jackey Jackey. These rushed memories covered his early life, his time as a convict, and his … Continue reading Spotlight: A Bushranger’s Autobiography (part one)
The offence for which Collyer suffered, and the general outrage committed by the bush-rangers are too well known to need any retrospection or remark. That banditti is exinct, and will in future exist only in the recollection of the settlers whose peace and property they invaded. Continue reading Spotlight: Execution of Richard Collyer (1818)
This is to give notice that I am authorised by His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor to offer a Reward of Fifty Sovereigns for the discovery and apprehension of the said Murderers (provided such discovery and apprehension be not affected by a principal in the said Murder) and should such service be performed by a Prisoner of the Crown, then, in addition to such Reward, he will be recommended to the Secretary of State for a Free Pardon.
Continue reading Spotlight: Reward notice for Birrell, Fisher and Beard (1841)
On Saturday evening Brady and his party, appeared at Mr. Haywood’s, and robbed him of a large quantity of tea, sugar, tobacco, rum, and flour, besides all the bedding and wearing apparel in the house. Brady alone was mounted on horseback. On coming up, he said, “Mr. Haywood, I am Brady.” He desired him to be under no apprehension of being hurt on account of the late execution of Broadhead, who, he said, was not a bushranger. He wanted provisions only and after remaining about 3 hours, they departed, taking with them 2 horses, besides the one Brady had mounted, to carry their plunder.
Continue reading Spotlight: Brady robs Haywood; Jeffries at large; Execution of McCabe (1826)
It will appear from the foregoing list, that from the 13th April, 1823, until the 19th of July, 1824, (a period of fifteen months) only five persons were executed — all of whom were for sheep stealing. Since which period (not three years) seventy-six! have suffered; most of whom for murder, and other very daring offences. This statement however does not include the number of unfortunate men who have forfeited their lives at Launceston; which we believe to be about thirty; therefore the total is upwards of One Hundred.
Continue reading Spotlight: List of Executions at Hobart Town (1827)
Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 – 1899), Wednesday 7 June 1843, page 4 THE BUSHRANGERS. We announced in our last that Jeffs and Conway had been captured. The party, headed by Mr. Thomas Connell, had explored the ground in the neighbourhood without success, and the constable had intimated to the Campbell Town police magistrate that the bushrangers were not then there. Having heard nothing of their movements since the 17th ultimo, Mr. Stuart ordered that the party should continue on the same field, until positive intelligence of the appearance of Jeffs and his companion at some other point should be … Continue reading Spotlight: Capture of Jeffs and Conway (1843)