Gilbert was but twenty-five years old at time of his death, but was of a stout build and capable of undergoing great exertion. He was the son of respectable parents, and his father is now living Taradale, in Victoria where he has for some years resided, following the occupation of mining, and is stated to have been much grieved at the lawless habits of his unfortunate son. But little is known of the early life of Gilbert, except that he was engaged as stock rider in some stations about Forbes, and that at the end of the year 1862, he, like several other young men of loose habits, became inflamed with the passion and desire of becoming highwaymen, thinking it no doubt a grand thing and a noble pursuit instead of honestly and quietly working industriously for a livelihood.
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
Since 1861 Johnny Gilbert had made a name for himself as one of Australia’s most notorious and prolific bushrangers. Beginning his career as one of Frank Gardiner’s lackeys, Gilbert inherited the position of public enemy number one when the self-proclaimed … Continue reading The Death of Happy Jack