Spotlight: Melville’s Defence and Charges Against the Convict Superintendent (1857)

Gentlemen, I never was a coward, and I feel nothing out the meanness of convicting myself in the judgment of the public by any such an act as that. When I die I will not die by my own hands, but will die as a man and as a Christian; and to have done such a thing as that would have been signing my own death-warrant. I see that as the case has been laid before you, the evidence is calculated to convict me. But can you not see the motive and spirit of that case? On the other hand, can you not see the motive of the case which I wish to prove to you by the evidence which I would lay before you in my favour, if I had the liberty to do it. If you can question the motive of a man who would call on the men hired to shoot him to death, on other men who saw all, and have no motive to speak in his favour but only the motive of speaking the truth, and on others who are also the men to stand their trial for the same crime I have done. I must submit to die, and I shall be happy to leave a life where no justice can be done to me. Continue reading Spotlight: Melville’s Defence and Charges Against the Convict Superintendent (1857)

Spotlight: Notoriety (Geelong, 1853)

Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 – 1856), Wednesday 5 January 1853, page 2 NOTORIETY. — Dragged from the sinks of crime into public notice, Captain Melville and his associate Roberts stand prominently forward, challenging notoriety. Every examination adds to the sum of their crime, and rumour, busily at work, invests them with fictitious attributes, to satisfy a morbid craving after depravity, the more palatable because the more debased, and having but one saving quality — that of unmistakable courage unmixed with cruelty. The poor wretch who pilfers a pocket handkerchief, and slinks away to some den, is looked … Continue reading Spotlight: Notoriety (Geelong, 1853)

Ten Bushrangers Who Deserve Their Own Movie

With multiple film productions about Ned Kelly underway, it’s clear that bushrangers are becoming a popular topic once more. However, there are many bushrangers who deserve their own films as well and here are some of the great stories waiting to be brought to life. Some have been brought to the screen before in silent films that have since vanished, some were slated to be filmed but the projects never got off the ground and some just had bad outings in the past. Continue reading Ten Bushrangers Who Deserve Their Own Movie

Hell on High Water: Victoria’s Floating Prisons

No examination of Victoria’s penal system is complete without mention of the prison ships that were on use at Point Gellibrand in Williamstown through the 1850s and 1860s. The most renowned of these craft was Success, which toured the world … Continue reading Hell on High Water: Victoria’s Floating Prisons

“Aye, Aye Captain”: The Captains of Bushranging

This week’s feature is about seven of the most renowned captains in bushranging history from Captain Melville to Thunderbolt… Continue reading “Aye, Aye Captain”: The Captains of Bushranging