A writer in Wingham ‘Chronicle,’ discussing the career of Frederick Ward, alias Thunderbolt, says he was a crack horse breaker before developing into a scientific bushranger and horse thief on a big scale. Nevertheless, his daring horsemanship procured him many friends.
On Sunday night, about half-past nine, as Mr. Brereton was driving the down Northern mail coach, and had arrived about three miles on the Tamworth side of Bendemeer, a person rode up and asked if the escort was with the coach.
Captain Thunderbolt had established himself as one of the most elusive bushrangers of the 1860s. With a formidable string of robberies to his name, it almost seemed like he would be at large forever, but in May 1870 Thunderbolt’s career came to an end in spectacular fashion at Kentucky Creek. This is the story of that fateful day. Continue reading Thunderbolt’s Last Ride
Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder (NSW : 1913 – 1954), Thursday 24 December 1925, page 9 THUNDERBOLT’S POPGUN JEWBOY’S SHOOTER (NOTES BY JAS. R. SCOTT). A very fine collection of firearms and other relics of the bushranglng and pioneering … Continue reading Spotlight: Thunderbolt’s Popgun; Jewboy’s Shooter
Many tall tales are told of the various bushrangers from the “glory” days of the 1860s. It must have seemed at one stage that every man and his mother had a story to tell of Ben Hall, Frank Gardiner, Johnny … Continue reading Spotlight: Thunderbolt’s confession
Best known as Frank Gardiner’s accomplice, John Peisley was a bushranger determined to lord over Lambing Flat and the Abercrombie region but whose vices brought him unstuck. Oddly, for such a well-known bushranger, many of the accounts of his life … Continue reading John Peisley: An Overview
John Thompson was a member of Captain Thunderbolt’s first gang in 1865. During this time he was working as a bushranger in the gang alongside Mary Ann Bugg, Thomas “The Bull” Hogan and a lad called McIntosh. The gang had been operating since January in the region around the Culgoa and Bokhara rivers when Thompson joined them in February of 1865. Continue reading Spotlight: Portrait of John Thompson
Humans in the 21st century are obsessed with photography. For the vast majority of us we carry a camera in our pocket wherever we go thanks to smart phone technology. It’s incomprehensible to many of us that there was a … Continue reading Picture Perfect: Bushrangers and Photography
The Captain Thunderbolt conspiracy is controversial but here we lay the smack-down on the dodgy narrative falsely peddled as fact. Continue reading The Captain Thunderbolt Conspiracy (Opinion)
When we think of bush ballads and Australian folk songs, there’s really only two voices that jump to mind: John Williamson and Slim Dusty. Here, Slim sings about Captain Thunderbolt painting a colourful portrait of the bandit by contrasting him … Continue reading Spotlight: Captain Thunderbolt by Slim Dusty