Spotlight: Fisher and Beard rob Edward Bisdee

Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemen’s Land Gazette (Tas. : 1839 – 1840), Friday 8 May 1840, page 2

Bushranging. – The establishment of Mr. Edward Bisdee, at Kewstoke, Murderers Plains, adjacent to the Eastern Marshes, was robbed of provisions and clothing on Wednesday night, by the bushrangers Beard and Fisher. The tactics pursued by these land-rovers is something new in the arduous avocation pursued by them. Their general policy appears to be to conciliate assigned servants by the most marked civility and attention. They neither ill treat, abuse, or employ them to carry their plunder, as their predecessors Regan and his party were wont to do. On the contrary, Beard and Fisher behave with much courtesy to the men of the establishments which they visit, instanced on a late occasion by their assisting some fencers they took as guides, in searching for and getting their bullocks, lest the beasts should stray during their absence. They avoid taking anything belonging personally to the men, and even express it to be their wish always to rob establishments when “the master is at home,” that the assigned servants may not be suspected of giving erroneous statements of the property taken. Evidently the object of this attempted conciliation is to disincline the men from attempting to track them after their departure or from giving prompt information against them, and the design exhibits no little generalship. Fisher is the spokesman, and is full of lively conversation, which he carries on while selecting and packing up the plunder. Beard is a man of great taciturnity – he never speaks but keeps a keen eye upon the inmates of the dwelling over whom he stands sentinel, with double-barrel gun in hand, while his partner is stowing away the contents of the knapsacks Their habits of life appear to render them very powerful – they walk away with seeming ease with a weight on their backs that would make an ordinary man stagger. It is the opinion of those best informed on the subject, that the course of these polite desperadoes must be well nigh run. Even now they are warmly beset by parties of police and soldiery, under the directions of the Magistrates of Campbell Town, Oatlands, and Avoca.