Spotlight: The Man Whelan and Convict Discipline (28 May 1855)

“He has been for years the play-thing and sport of officials, who scarcely deserve the name of men. Many years ago he was sentenced to transportation beyond the seas for a limited period. That sentence did not say one word about the petty tyranny which has been practised upon him and upon his fellows, under the name of prison discipline. Those who are conversant with the history of Botany Bay, at the time when Whelan was sent there, will be free to acknowledge, that it was not a convict paradise.” Continue reading Spotlight: The Man Whelan and Convict Discipline (28 May 1855)

Spotlight: Apprehension and Robbery (21 May 1855)

Tasmanian Colonist (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1851 – 1855), Monday 21 May 1855, page 2 APPREHENSION OF ROCKY WHELAN. — The celebrated Norfolk Islander and bushranger John Whelan, was apprehended by constables Mulrenun and Gabriel, formerly non-commissioned officers in the 99th Regt. Whelan was in the act of purchasing a pair of boots from Mr. Gourney, of Liverpool-street on Saturday evening, when he was recognised by constable Mulrenan, to whom he was not unknown during his stay on Norfolk Island. He was not unarmed at the time of his capture, and was in no way short of cash. HIGHWAY ROBBERY. … Continue reading Spotlight: Apprehension and Robbery (21 May 1855)

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: 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: 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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