Spotlight: The Escort Robbery (25 July 1853)

The Melbourne Gold Escort Company was robbed last night. I have just been speaking to the manager; he says that the Escort left McIvor yesterday evening, to proceed to Kyneton, meeting there the Forest Creek Escort, belonging to the same Company; that about half way between McIvor and Kyneton, the Escort was fired on from some rocks, close to the track, the leading horse shot, and one of the mounted men in charge of the Escort, and others were wounded; the Gold, amounting to over three thousand ounces, was then carried off; it does not appear that the Escort Guard returned the shots.

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Spotlight: The Execution of Smith and Brady (13 May 1873)

Yesterday was enacted in the Beechworth Gaol, one of those tragedies which are the necessity, as they are the curse, of civilised communities. Two men, James Smith and Thomas Brady were hanged till they were dead. They had been convicted of one of the most causeless and brutal murders which has ever occurred in this colony. John Watt, of Wooragee, a man who was never known to do an ill turn to another, was shot down in his own house, without provocation, and he died from the effects of his wounds. Continue reading Spotlight: The Execution of Smith and Brady (13 May 1873)

Spotlight: Young Kelly on remand (13 May 1870)

The Benalla Police Court was crowded yesterday to see the young bushranger Kelly, and to hear the result of the charges laid against him. The prisoner has greatly improved under the better and regular diet he has had since his incarceration, and has become quite “flash.” We are told that his language is hideous, and if he recover his liberty at Kyneton, and again join Power—as no doubt he soon would—we are inclined to think he would be far more dangerous than heretofore. Continue reading Spotlight: Young Kelly on remand (13 May 1870)

Spotlight: Smith and Brady on Trial (22 October 1872)

James Smith, Thomas Brady and William Happenstein, three men in the garb of bushmen, were charged with robbery under arms, and attempted murder at Wooragee. Mr Superintendent Barclay said that the defendants had been to a certain extent identified by some of the persons who were present when the robberies took place; as, however, they had only been arrested on Saturday afternoon, he would ask for a remand, in order that proper enquiries might be made. Remanded till Monday next. Continue reading Spotlight: Smith and Brady on Trial (22 October 1872)

Spotlight: Gipsy Smith the Victorian Bushranger (23 April 1904)

I have no hesitation in saying that he is identical with the Gipsy Smith who in 1857 became a notorious bushranger in Victoria, and who was as famed for his daring and successful robberies as for his good humour and courtesy to his victims. Brisbane at that date was known in Victoria as Moreton Bay, and Gipsy Smith often regaled his victims with a recital of pranks he played while up here. Strange to say he presented none of the physical marks of the “old hand,” the “Vandemonian,” or the “t’other sider,” as these ex-convicts were called, on his person or in his manner. That was strange, for I have seen here in Australia those people, male and female, in every position of life, in Parliament, on the bench, and in the police, in the mansion and in the hovel, all displaying the indelible brand of the brutal system with which demons in human form treated them while convicts from the old country. Continue reading Spotlight: Gipsy Smith the Victorian Bushranger (23 April 1904)

Spotlight: Smith and Brady Convicted (21 April 1873)

At the Beechworth Circuit Court on Friday last James Smith and Thomas Brady were arraigned on a charge of having feloniously murdered one John Watt, at Wooragee.

Prisoners pleaded not guilty, and were defended by Mr. F. Brown, instructed by Mr. G. Smith. The evidence. in the case has already been published and it is therefore unnecessary to recapitulate it. Happenstein, who was committed for trial with the prisoners, was allowed to turn Queen’s evidence. At the conclusion of the case, as we learn from the “Ovens and Murray Advertiser,” the jury retired, and after an absence of three-quarters of an hour, returned into court with a verdict of guilty. Continue reading Spotlight: Smith and Brady Convicted (21 April 1873)

Spotlight: Trial of Gipsey Smith and Twigham, for the Murder of Serjeant McNally (1857)

Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (NSW : 1848 – 1859), Saturday 14 March 1857, page 3 TRIAL OF GIPSEY SMITH AND TWIGHAM, FOR THE MURDER OF SERJEANT McNALLY. AT the CASTLEMAIN CIRCUIT COURT, on the 26th February, William Twigham was placed at the bar, indicted for the murder of Serjeant McNally, at Mount Ararat, on the 16th October last. Mr. McDonogh appeared for the prisoner. The prisoner pleaded not guilty. The facts of this case have been already published. The deceased and another police constable were in the pursuit of a man named Turner alias Gipsy Smith, an … Continue reading Spotlight: Trial of Gipsey Smith and Twigham, for the Murder of Serjeant McNally (1857)

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: Death of a Bushranger (1879)

“Gipsey Smith,” whose name is associated with some of the most daring bushrangers in the early days of the goldfields in Victoria, died in the Melbourne Hospital last week. According to the prison records he was transported from England when a mere youth to Van Diemen’s Land. Being a refractory convict he was subsequently sent to Port Arthur where the worst class of criminals were confined.

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