Although the crimes discussed herein are not strictly bushranging, these are some of the only freely available records of one of Tasmania’s (and indeed, Australia’s) earliest bushrangers – Richard Lemon. In the following years, Lemon would make a name for himself as a robber, murderer and tormentor of Aboriginal people in Van Diemen’s Land before meeting a suitably violent end.
On Monday a Court of Criminal Jurisdiction assembled; when John Brown was put to the bar and arraigned, on various charges of murder committed by him, assisted by Richard Lemon in the neighbourhood of the settlement at Port Dalrymple.
Beyond the Kelly Gang, only one other bushranging gang has truly cemented its place in the culture of Australia so firmly and become synonymous with bushranging. The early 1860s belonged to a rotating roster of brigands that operated mostly on the Lachlan Plains and came to be known under the name of their most distinguished member, Ben Hall. They were said to have committed hundreds of crimes ranging from robbery to murder. The following is not a detailed account of their story as the sheer scale of their depredations makes for heavy reading, but rather it is a summary of the career of the most legendary bushranging gang of the 1860s. Continue reading The Gilbert-Hall Gang: An Overview
Few figures in history reach the notoriety and cultural impact of the Kelly Gang. As so much is easily available on the subject already, here is an easily digestible summary of the so-called Kelly Outbreak. For more detailed information, there … Continue reading The Kelly Gang: An Overview
Forever consigned to popular culture as Ned Kelly’s little brother, Dan Kelly was a young man of only nineteen when he lost his life fighting the police. Like so many “boy bushrangers” his young life was snuffed out without him … Continue reading Dan Kelly: An Overview
In October 1817, the bushranger Michael Howe was finally captured. He had been on the run with a string of raids, murders and arson attacks in his wake attributed to his former gang, said to have been 24 members strong … Continue reading The Murder of William Drew
Despite their infamy, the Kelly Gang were hardly prolific in any sense as far as bushrangers are concerned, but perhaps it’s a matter of quality over quantity. The second raid they undertook was one of the most audacious in history … Continue reading Like the Bushrangers of Old: The Kelly Gang in Jerilderie
When we picture bushrangers we think of wild young men on horseback dodging police and sticking up coaches but Harry Power certainly did not fit that image. Power (alias Henry Power, Johnstone) is forever remembered as the tutor of Ned Kelly but there was a time when he could capture the imagination on his own terms. Continue reading Harry Power: An Overview
Owen Suffolk, the poet bushranger, spent many years in and out of prison, which enabled him to find a lot of inspiration. His depiction of prison life is mournful and tinged with melancholy. To Suffolk, the prison is the place where souls and minds are broken and every day is a reminder of the grim reality of that condition. To this end his poem ‘The Prison Bell’ captures the essence of the convict life and all its suffering. The Prison Bell By Owen Suffolk Hark to the bell of sorrow! – ’tis awak’ning up again Each broken spirit from its … Continue reading Spotlight: The Prison Bell
Few names stand out in bushranging history quite like the self proclaimed “Prince of Tobeymen” himself – Frank Gardiner. Often considered the godfather of bushranging, he was responsible for the largest gold heist in colonial Australian history and introduced many … Continue reading Frank Gardiner: An Overview