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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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)

Spotlight: LATEST EXPLOIT OF “DIDO,” THE BUSHRANGER (1855)

On Friday, as one of Mr. Gunn’s shepherds, best known by the name of “Old Swede,” was following his sheep in the vicinity of the bullocks’ hunting ground, seeing a smoke in a thick scrub, entered it, and found Dido and his mate cooking the hind quarters of a fine lamb. “Old Swede” is said to have nearly as much affection for the sheep and lambs he has charge of as if they were his children : so he began to blow the thieves up, and threatened them with his vengeance… Continue reading Spotlight: LATEST EXPLOIT OF “DIDO,” THE BUSHRANGER (1855)

The Bluestone College: Bushrangers at Pentridge

First opened in 1851, Pentridge was envisioned as a state of the art prison where the worst of the worst would be sent to learn the errors of their ways. Unfortunately, Pentridge went from being an easily escapable stockade to a home of cruel and overly harsh punishment. Here many bushrangers did time for their transgressions and this list gives the accounts of several of the more notable cases. Continue reading The Bluestone College: Bushrangers at Pentridge

Spotlight: Execution of Frederick Turner

Yesterday, the convict Frederick Turner, in the Melbourne Gaol paid the forfeit of his life for the crime of robbery with violence, committed on the Flemington road on the 24th March last. He was convicted at the last Criminal Sessions, and sentenced to death. This man arrived free in the colony by the William Jardine, in the year 1849. He was a native of London, and was twenty-five years of age at the time of his death.

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