Spotlight: Reward Notice for Thomas Jeffries

Thomas Jeffries may have referred to himself as “The Captain”, but he earned himself a more notorious nickname: The Monster. In his brief bushranging career, the former flagellator committed acts of robbery, murder, rape and cannibalism. Such was his reputation that after he was captured, Matthew Brady planned to break him out of Launceston Gaol just so he could have the satisfaction of lynching Jeffries himself. The reward for Jeffries and his companions (Hopkins and Perry) would have been adequate inducement for people to turn them in, but bushrangers always proved much harder to catch than what the authorities seemed … Continue reading Spotlight: Reward Notice for Thomas Jeffries

Spotlight: Capture of Mary Cockerill

Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 – 1821), Saturday 12 April 1817, page 2 On Thursday returned to Town a small party of Capt. NAIRN’S Company of the 46th Regt. who were lately sent in quest of the Bush Rangers; the following particulars of their pursuit we lay before our Readers:— After a diligent search in the woods the party at Jericho perceived Michael Howe, accompanied with a Native Black Girl, named Mary Cockerill, with whom Howe cohabited. On the approach of the party Howe darted into a thicket, and effected his escape, after firing at the … Continue reading Spotlight: Capture of Mary Cockerill

Spotlight: The Port Arthur Bushrangers

Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), Tuesday 5 April 1842, page 3 THE PORT ARTHUR BUSHRANGERS. The report that Westwood, or as he is generally called “the notorious Jacky Jacky,” has absconded from Port Arthur with six of his Sydney comrades and three of the Port Arthur “old hands,” has occasioned no trifling alarm in the minds of those who may be subjected to their visitation. Bad as are many of the individuals at that settlement, those who have absconded are perhaps the worst of the whole number — men, who are regardless of consequences, and who imagine … Continue reading Spotlight: The Port Arthur Bushrangers

The Battle of Bringelly

As with most bushrangers who transcend history to become enshrined in folklore, Jack Donahoe (aka Donohoe, Donahue) made the leap from brigand to legend in his final stoush with the forces of law and order. His recklessness in the face of death seemed to strike a chord with Australians of a certain class.
This year marks 190 years since Donahoe’s death, so it seems appropriate to recount the final battle that sealed his place in history. Continue reading The Battle of Bringelly

Spotlight: Thunderbolt’s Popgun; Jewboy’s Shooter

Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder (NSW : 1913 – 1954), Thursday 24 December 1925, page 9 THUNDERBOLT’S POPGUN JEWBOY’S SHOOTER (NOTES BY JAS. R. SCOTT). A very fine collection of firearms and other relics of the bushranglng and pioneering … Continue reading Spotlight: Thunderbolt’s Popgun; Jewboy’s Shooter