Spotlight: The Bushranger Morgan (23/09/1864)

A party of police, consisting of Senior Sergeant Smyth, Senior Constable Baxter, Constables Connor, and Maguire, and a blackfellow named Jimmy Reed, were camped on Sunday night at Dougal’s Swamp, near Keighran’s station. They had just got tea, and were lying in the tent yarning, as is usually done by persons camped out. They had no sentry on guard – that duty being delayed until they “turned in” for the night. Suddenly their discourse was cut short by a volley being fired into the tent amongst them.

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Spotlight: Ben Hall and his gang (26/08/1864)

For the last three weeks Sir Frederick Pottinger and a party, consisting of two troopers and a black tracker, have been paying particular attention to the movements of Hall’s gang, and on Sunday evening, after a hunt from the Lachlan to Cowra, and a most industrious scour of the bush between this place and Forbes, they had the good fortune to come on the bushranger’s camp, at a place in the bush, about six — seven miles from the Seventeen Mile Rush, and a short distance from Pring’s station.

Continue reading Spotlight: Ben Hall and his gang (26/08/1864)

Spotlight: Morgan the Bushranger (16 July 1864)

THIS miscreant, emboldened by the impunity with which he has for months past robbed travellers and levied blackmail from the squatters in the Albury district, occasionally diversifying his exploits by burning down a woolshed or destroying a settler’s account books, has added two murders to his crimes. On the 19th ult., he encountered Sergeant Carroll, of Wagga Wagga, about twenty miles from Albury, and several shots were exchanged without effect. During the afternoon of the same day he visited the Roundhill station, belonging to Messrs. Henty, and, after dismounting, put his horse into the stable. There were a number of men about the huts, whom the ruffian, with a revolver in each hand, ordered to go into the carpenter’s shop, and after asking Mr. Watson, the superintendent, if the men got enough rations, ordered him to go and bring four bottles of grog, which were drank; after carousing for hours, Morgan was about taking his departure, when Mr. Watson incautiously made some remark about stolen stirrup irons.

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Describing the Hall Gang

Does the popular image of the Hall Gang marry up with eyewitness descriptions? Unlike with many earlier bushrangers, witness descriptions of bushrangers in the gold rush era were often quite detailed. Many in the modern day are familiar with the studio portraits of Ben Hall before he became an outlaw, as well as the illustrations of Gilbert and Dunn produced for newspapers, but these images only give us a controlled glimpse. No verified photographs of Gilbert and Dunn exist (the man photographed with Gardiner never having been officially named, and quite possibly a son of Gardiner’s close associate William Fogg), … Continue reading Describing the Hall Gang

Spotlight: Conviction of the Bushrangers, Thomas & John Clarke (1 June 1867)

The Solicitor-General, in opening the case said the jury had a duty of a most difficult nature to perform. They were called upon to try the prisoners at the bar on a capital charge and it devolved upon them to weigh the evidence carefully as it applied to one or both prisoners Thomas Clarke was outlawed by an Act of the Legislature for several felonies. It therefore became the duty of the police to pursue him and secure his apprehension. In the discharge of this duty, it is alleged by the Crown that a constable was shot at and wounded by Thomas Clarke. With regard to the prisoner John Clarke, it was alleged that he also, in company with his brother, fired upon the police sent to arrest them, and that by Thomas Clarke constable William Walsh was wounded. He was not anxious to anticipate any portion of the evidence; but he believed it would be such as to bring the charge, from the lips of three or four witnesses, conclusively home to the prisoners. Continue reading Spotlight: Conviction of the Bushrangers, Thomas & John Clarke (1 June 1867)

Spotlight: Wendlan Subscription (26 May 1865)

Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 – 1929), Friday 26 May 1865, page 3 An appeal is being made to the squatters of Riverina and Victoria towards the fund now being collected for the benefit of John Wendlan, who shot Morgan, the bushranger. Messrs Goldsbrough and Co, Power, Rutherford, and Parker and Ainslie, are interesting themselves in the matter. The owners of the Peechelba Station state that Wendlan has been in their employ for four years, that he had conducted himself to their entire satisfaction, lie is steady, and any fund collected for his benefit would be put to good use. … Continue reading Spotlight: Wendlan Subscription (26 May 1865)

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)