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)

Spotlight: Harry Power, a personal reminiscence

Hare’s one-sided “Last of the Bushrangers” had started the talk, and yarns of the Kelly Gang led to stories of Harry Power, the daring bushranger, who, after spending some 20 years in prison, twice escaping therefrom at Williamstown and Pentridge, and being four times “east for death,” yet lived long enough to meet an unromantic, “natural” death in the dull waters of the Murray. Let me here tell my story… Continue reading Spotlight: Harry Power, a personal reminiscence

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: The Floating Museum

The former Burmese cargo ship Success was converted into a floating prison in the 1850s as the influx of immigrants seeking their fortunes on the goldfields caused the crime rates to explode. As a result, to alleviate the overcrowding of the prisons, the government purchased a set of abandoned ships (Success, Deborah, Lysander, President and Sacramento) and had them fitted out with cells.
The Success was the only one kept intact when the ships were decommissioned. Continue reading Spotlight: The Floating Museum

Ten Bushrangers Who Deserve Their Own Movie

With multiple film productions about Ned Kelly underway, it’s clear that bushrangers are becoming a popular topic once more. However, there are many bushrangers who deserve their own films as well and here are some of the great stories waiting to be brought to life. Some have been brought to the screen before in silent films that have since vanished, some were slated to be filmed but the projects never got off the ground and some just had bad outings in the past. Continue reading Ten Bushrangers Who Deserve Their Own Movie

Francis Augustus Hare

Forever remembered as the Kelly Hunter, Francis Augustus Hare was an intriguing man with a biography full of excitement and misadventure. From a privileged upbringing in South Africa to good fortune on the Victorian gold fields and a thrilling career as a frontier policeman, Hare is a man often maligned for his seeming ineptitude when hunting for some of the most remarkable bushrangers that Australia has produced. Continue reading Francis Augustus Hare

Spotlight: The Trial of Young Kelly

In May of 1870 the North-East of Victoria was abuzz as the walls were closing in on the notorious Harry Power who had been putting the citizens into quite a state of fear. The first domino was the capture of the flash young brigand who had allegedly been accompanying Power on various of his depredations, referred to in most publications as “Young Kelly”. Continue reading Spotlight: The Trial of Young Kelly