“Bushrangers! Yes, I had to see Power, the notorious bushranger, on one occasion. There was a dispute, as to who captured him, and I represented Mr. Charles Hope Nicholson in the matter, I saw Power at Pentridge. When first he was pointed out to me I thought he was a small man, whereas I always understood he was very big. But when I got close to him I discovered my mistake, for he towered over me. His enormous breadth detracted from his height. He told me that Ned Kelly deserved to be taken, as he ‘peached’ on him.” Continue reading Spotlight: “Mr. Speaker’s” Reminiscences (27/08/1907)
Thomas Oliver Thomas, storekeeper, residing at Wangaratta, stated that on 7th May, 1869 he was on the Buckland road travelling on horseback to Hooper’s Crossing. He was riding one horse and leading another, and when within about seven yards of him observed that the prisoner had him covered with a double-barrelled gun. Prisoner called out to witness to stop. Witness was on the point of going when prisoner called out “If you go, I’ll fire.” He (witness) then came towards prisoner, who told him not to come too near, and said that his gun could kill at 300 yards. Prisoner then asked witness what money he had. Told him first that he had none. Told him afterwards that he had a couple of notes. Prisoner said to hand them to him, which witness did. Prisoner then asked him what had become of the other fellow who was with him (witness). Told prisoner that he did not know. Witness then asked prisoner to give him one of the pounds back, as he had taken all his money. Prisoner said he would not, as he had just stuck up the coach and got nothing. He further told witness to consider himself lucky that he did not take his hat and coat from him.
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)
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
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
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
Power’s cub has been taken, though (states the Benalla Ensign) the old fox has up to the present managed to escape. It was hoped when the information reached here that Kelly was visible in his old whereabouts, that Power was not very far off, and superintendent Nicolas himself went to look after the prey.
While Victoria was home to plenty of bushrangers of various ilks, there was one highwayman that stood head and shoulders above the rest – Harry Power. The curmudgeonly crim was responsible for a huge number of robberies on the roads, … Continue reading Harry Power at Buckland Gap
The most anticipated project at present is Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of True History of the Kelly Gang. The Booker Prize winning novel has had an awful time reaching the screen as detailed in previous articles. With this outing by the … Continue reading True History of the Kelly Gang (July 2019 update)
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