Bushranging Gazette #19

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Victorian Bushrangers at Geelong Gaol

On 7 August, A Guide to Australian Bushranging‘s Aidan Phelan gave a presentation at the Old Geelong Gaol about Victorian bushrangers. The talk ranged from an introduction to bushrangers to the lives and careers of several notable Victorian outlaws.

Among the stories told during the presentation were those of Bradley and O’Connor, Captain Melville, Harry Power and Thomas Menard. Menard has a special connection to the gaol as he was hanged there for murder and was buried in the grounds.

The event was well received and the venue proved to be suitably atmospheric, with replicas of the death masks of Thomas Menard, Ned Kelly and Captain Moonlite adding to the effect.

There is a strong probability that there will be more such presentations in the gaol, as there are plenty more stories to explore.

Aidan Phelan with replicas of the death masks of Thomas Menard, Ned Kelly and Captain Moonlite.

The Crisis of Captain Moonlite

On 23 August Dr. Matthew Grubits presented an online seminar conducted via Zoom for Melbourne Irish Studies Seminars on Andrew George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite. The focus of the talk was predominantly on Scott’s religiosity and faith, and how this influenced his behaviour throughout his life.

Grubits drew particular attention to Scott’s most highly valued traits, those being truthfulness, honour and manliness and how the philosophy of “Muscular Christianity” influenced his beliefs. This also came into play when discussing Scott’s most intimate relationship, being the one between himself and James Nesbitt. Grubits pointed to Scott’s unwavering Christianity and his profound grief as key factors in why Scott wrote about Nesbitt posthumously with such passion, imbuing him with the very traits he himself valued above all others. It was suggested that this may potentially be a more accurate way to contextualise their relationship and the way Scott expressed his feelings about it than a perspective that indicates it being sexual in nature, when looked at in the broader context of Scott’s life.

While the 1869 Egerton bank robbery and Scott’s subsequent running afoul of the law were covered, much of this was only touched upon due to time constraints. The emphasis was decidedly on Scott’s personality and beliefs, and less on his bushranging, which is an approach rarely taken when discussing the infamous former lay reader.

The seminar proved to be an enlightening and engaging exploration of Scott’s life and psyche that raised many questions that will hopefully be answered when Grubits manages to secure a publisher for his doctoral thesis. It is an indicator of very exciting things to come. Watch this space.

New Jessie Hickman book brings the Lady Bushranger to a new audience

With so much emphasis in recent years having been put on highlighting the stories of female bushrangers, and especially educating children about notable women in history, it seems odd that it has taken so long for the “Lady Bushranger” to get her own children’s book.

Wild Bush Days is a new children’s book from MidnightSun Publishing, written by Penny Harrison and illustrated by Virginia Gray that introduces you for readers to the bold Jessie Hickman through the eyes of two young adventurers. The book is aimed at three to six year-olds and features many charming, full colour illustrations.

Jessie Hickman was Australia’s bold, but little-known, Lady Bushranger. Raised in the circus during the early 1900s, she later turned to a life of crime and cattle hustling. She used her skills as a rough-rider and tightrope walker to elude police, often hiding in a cave, deep in the mountains.

Told through the eyes of two young, modern-day explorers who go looking for the bushranger’s cave, Wild Bush Days conjures the spirit of adventure, from a time when girls weren’t expected to be daring.

(Official blurb)

Wild Bush Days is now available from most book retailers.

The Legend of Ben Hall on Amazon Prime

Fans of Matthew Holmes’ 2017 bushranger epic, The Legend of Ben Hall, can now rent or buy the film to stream on Amazon Prime.

The film’s shift to streaming makes it accessible to an even larger audience, with DVD and Blu-Ray editions of the film having been out of print for several years.

While the film was shown on Australian free-to-air television on Channel Nine in 2019, the commercial broadcaster has not aired it since. The Legend of Ben Hall has also been available on other services, such as YouTube and HBO Europe, with every distribution to a new platform boosting exposure for the epic indie film.

Director Matthew Holmes is about to embark on a new project, Fear Below, a Jazz Era crime flick featuring a fearsome bullshark. It is his second feature since The Legend of Ben Hall, with upcoming thriller The Cost due to premiere in early December of this year. In the intervening years he has launched several unsuccessful efforts to gain funding for films about Ned Kelly and the Glenrowan siege, Frank Gardiner, John Vane, and a streaming series about bushranging in Victoria and New South Wales during the 1860s through to 1880.

Aussie Icons by Ian Coate

The keen-eyed may have seen garden sculptures popping up in Woolworths and Bunnings stores recently including a platypus wearing a very familiar suit of armour. Bushranger Platypus is part of a series of garden statues called Dinkum Aussie Icons designed by Australian artist Ian Coate.

Other characters include Convict Crocodile, Swaggie Koala, Nurse Possum and Digger Wombat. Each is a cartoony Australian animal dressed like a figure from Australian culture or history. They are designed to educate and amuse, encouraging children to take an interest in Australian culture and nature.

I am delighted to announce the ‘DINKUM AUSSIE’ icons I designed have finally hit the shelves at Bunnings and Woolworths. We have just launched a website and Facebook page dedicated to these little Aussie characters and I would love for you to be the first to follow our Dinkum Aussie Page and join us for some ridgy-didge fun.

Ian Coate (via Facebook)

You can read more at Ian’s website: https://iancoate.com/aussieicons.html

Ned Kelly on Super History

While there is certainly no shortage of videos about Ned Kelly on YouTube, precious few could be said to be both informative and hilarious. Brian Pilchard recently released a short documentary from his ongoing Super History series on his YouTube channel, OK Champ, where he covers the Kelly story with an imaginative mash-up of dodgy costumes, excessive amounts of cardboard, green screen, pop culture references and hilariously bizarre re-enactments.

The Kellys in action

You can watch the video below:

A Fateful September Day by Julia Dąbrowska

The following is a piece penned by long-time follower of A Guide to Australian Bushranging (and contributor) from Poland Julia Dąbrowska in commemoration of the death of Jack Donahoe who was shot in a stand off this day in 1830. — AP

The setting sun shines through the branches of gum trees covered with thick leaves. The fallen twigs crackle under the boot heels of the bushrangers and the hooves of a packhorse. Jack Donahue walks at the head of the gang. He gazes at his mates, William Webber and John Walmsley, and at a horse carrying several sacks. Suddenly, John Walmsley stops, pointing at something.

“It’s a campfire,” he said. They have seen campfires in the bush many times before, so they didn’t pay any special attention to it.

Little do they know that the campfire is in the police camp. Jack’s anxiety is increasing. He realises that the policemen are following him and his gang.

He stands, waving his hat, shouting, “Come on, you bloody bastards! We are ready to fight you all!”

The bushrangers decide to abandon the packhorse and seek some hideout. The police party and the bushrangers were less than hundred yards apart from each other. A sound of shooting breaks the silence of the bush. The first shot finds its mark in the tree Webber hides behind. Jack continues to tease the policemen, encouraging his gang members to fight and not surrender. It’s getting increasingly darker. John Muckleston, the best marksman in the police party, notices the head of Jack Donahue, protruding from behind a tree. Not wanting to wait anymore, the trooper squeezes the trigger. One ball hits Jack Donahue in the back of the neck, another one in his left temple. Jack falls, shaking, dropping his weapon upon the ground. Blood stains his flaxen hair and white shirt. William Webber and John Walmsley decide to run away.

It’s completely dark now. Jack Donahue lay on the ground, shivering, barely breathing, with  his hair sticky with drying blood. Yes, he chose death in a battle over surrendering to the authorities. This is the death that any true Irishman would like to receive.

Illustration by Julia Dąbrowska

Mini-Spotlight

Conservators at Work

A photograph shared recently by the State Library Victoria shows a team of conservators working on the specialised display case for Ned Kelly’s armour.

Times have certainly changed since the days when the armour was displayed in the open on an old cockatoo perch in the old Melbourne Aquarium, and when it was worn as a costume during Australia Day parades.

The new case also contains Ned’s boot and a rifle attributed to him, and is climate controlled to protect the items from moisture and a risk of oxidisation. The armour is also occasionally removed for cleaning by the conservation team to remove any rust or decay.

Image via State Library Victoria

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.

10. William Westwood: Few stories in bushranging are equal parts adventurous and tragic. William Westwood fills this to a tee. Westwood arrived in Australia as a teenage convict and soon became a highwayman, many oral traditions painted him as a gallant bandit who was courteous to women and more prone to larking about than committing robberies, his horsemanship considered second to none. However, the brutality of the penal system saw him lead a riot on Norfolk Island during which he murdered three men in cold blood. A film exploring just what causes a man not known to be violent to snap and commit a triple homicide would be gripping viewing and a tale that to date has never graced the screen.
Potential Casting: Tom Hughes (Victoria)

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9. Teddy the Jewboy: Edward Davis aka Teddy the Jewboy was Australia’s only known Jewish bushranger. Starting out as a street kid in London, he was transported for a failed shoplifting and absconded from Hyde Park Barracks to become a bushranger. Thanks to his father’s connections he soon joined a gang of bushrangers and rapidly climbed the ranks to become their leader. This diminutive, heavily tattooed Jew with a penchant for pink ribbons began a campaign to punish the cruel superintendents who brutalised the convicts assigned to them – but never on a Saturday, according to the legends, as that was the Sabbath. No doubt a colourful character such as this would make for exciting viewing as well as highlight the cultural diversity present in Australia in the 1800s, even if it is within the criminal fraternity.
Potential Casting: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)

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8. Dan Morgan: Morgan has been brought to life on screen twice already, the first time in a silent film that has since disappeared and the second in 1975’s Mad Dog Morgan starring Dennis Hopper. Why, then, does Morgan deserve his own film when so many bushrangers haven’t had even one film? In short the true story of Morgan is yet to be shown on screen. Mad Dog Morgan took frequent and somewhat bizarre liberties with the facts despite using Margaret Carnegie’s Morgan the Bold Bushranger as a source. Examples of the weird liberties taken in the ’75 film include: Dennis Hopper’s Irish accent; making John Wendlan and Sergeant Smyth recurring villains; turning Success from a prison hulk into a fortress prison; the inclusion of Billy, an Aboriginal bushranger; removing Morgan’s moustache to make him look more like Abraham Lincoln and references to the Tasmanian Tiger as an “extinct animal” despite the last Tasmanian Tiger dying in captivity in 71 years later. The true story of Morgan would make for an incredible Gothic Western or psychological drama with the gaps in the history making room for some artistic license to explain what made Morgan the man he was.
Potential Casting: Sam Parsonson (Gallipoli, Coffin Rock)

7. Jessie Hickman: Elizabeth McIntyre aka Jessie Hickman was commonly known as the “Lady Bushranger” in the Blue Mountains district. A former circus trick rider and champion rough rider, Hickman found herself in a life of crime, stealing cattle from the neighbouring farmers and hiding out with her gang of young men in her headquarters in the Nullo Mountain. Hickman was an amazing rider and master of disguise, she was a wild child who would rather give up her family than leave the bush. Hickman’s story is the subject of an in-development film entitled Lady Bushranger, so here’s hoping that production grows some legs so it can get up and running.
Potential Casting: Teresa Palmer (Hacksaw Ridge)

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6. Matthew Brady: He may not be a household name now but at one time Matthew Brady was the bushranger’s bushranger. Transported to Van Diemans Land in the early days of the colony, he and nine other convicts stole a boat and rowed from Sarah Island to Hobart where they took to the bush and set the bar for all bushrangers that came after. They robbed travellers and farms but Brady also enjoyed grander gestures such as breaking into the prison at Sorell and releasing the inmates then locking up the redcoats who had been hunting him. His chivalry towards women was famous and in his condemned cell he received letters and gifts from dozens of female admirers. Brady’s life was full of adventure and drama – perfect for a big screen experience.
Potential Casting: Thomas Cocquerel (In Like Flynn, Red Dog: True Blue)

5. Martin Cash: Perhaps the best candidate for Tasmania’s patron bushranger is Martin Cash who is most famous for his memoirs, which were published in the 1870s. An Irish convict, he started fresh in New South Wales before a stock theft charge saw him flee to Van Diemans Land with his lover. After escaping from Port Arthur twice, he led the band of bushrangers known as Cash and Co. Cash is another character whose doomed romance forms a vital part of the narrative, his passion leading him to a long stint at Norfolk Island. Cash was handsome, cheeky, passionate and wild and with a good supporting cast to pad out the story it could very well be one for the ages.
Potential Casting: Paul Mescal (God’s Creatures, Carmen)

4. Harry Power: Harry Power was Victoria’s greatest highwayman, gaining a price on his head of £500 at the peak of his career. Best remembered as Ned Kelly’s tutor in crime, to date he has only been seen on screen as a bit part in The Last Outlaw played by Gerard Kennedy and will be seen again in the adaptation of True History of the Kelly Gang portrayed by Russell Crowe. Power, however, was an intriguing character in his own right with robberies, chases, romance and prison escapes all part and parcel of the highwayman’s tale. While his association with Ned Kelly is what most people know him for, that association only lasted a couple of months leaving so much more of the story untouched and ripe or the picking.
Potential Casting: Philip Quast (Hacksaw Ridge, The Brides of Christ, Picnic at Hanging Rock)

3. The Clarke Gang: Of all the bushranging gangs that held Australia in a state of tension and fear, few can truly compare to the Clarke Gang who roamed New South Wales in the mid 1860s. Stock theft, robbery, raids and murder are plentiful in the story of their brief and violent reign of terror that concluded on the gallows of Darlinghurst Gaol. To date this incredible story has never been brought to screen and perhaps is far too epic to contain in one standalone film, lending itself better to a mini-series given how numerous the depredations of the gang were. The Clarke story is one of family, lawlessness and the dark side of human nature.
Potential Casting: Hugh Sheridan (Packed to the Rafters, Boar)

2. Frank Gardiner: Few bushrangers earned their place in the pantheon of bushranging like Francis Christie aka Frank Gardiner. Gardiner introduced many of the greatest bushrangers to the game including Johnny Gilbert, John O’Meally and Ben Hall. Gardiner’s greatest claim to fame was the robbery of the gold escort at Eugowra Rocks which was one of the largest gold heists in history. Gardiner’s ill-fated romance with Kitty Brown (Ben Hall’s sister in law) makes for brilliant drama and no doubt the mix of romance, action and sexy outlaws on horses would be a great combination. A film version of Gardiner’s career titled The Legend of Frank Gardiner by Matthew Holmes, the man behind The Legend of Ben Hall, has been in development for a time and would be a fantastic opportunity to bring this fascinating story to life.
Potential Casting: Luke Arnold (Black Sails, INXS: Never Year Us Apart)

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1. Captain Moonlite: Few bushranger stories have the potential to tug the heart-strings like that of Andrew George Scott aka Captain Moonlite. The tale of a well-educated pastor’s fall from grace into infamy is gripping, full of drama, humour and the highest profile LGBTI+ romance in bushranger history. From his romances in Bacchus Marsh and his alleged robbery of the bank in Mount Egerton with subsequent playboy lifestyle in Sydney to his grueling prison sentence in Pentridge full of misadventure and the desperation that led him to Wantabadgery Station, Scott’s story would captivate audiences. Throw in his love affair with fellow bushranger James Nesbitt and you have a scandalous and topical tale of forbidden love to boot. A Moonlite film by Rohan Spong went into production several years ago but was never publicly released, so as we reach the 140th anniversary of his hanging it would be nice to see him get some love.
Ideal cast: Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast, Legion, Downton Abbey)

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Honourable mentions:

There are far too many bushranger stories to bring to life as standalone films, which makes a list of ten extremely difficult to choose. Here are some of the bushrangers who almost made the cut.

* Captain Thunderbolt and Mary Ann Bugg: The story of Frederick Wordsworth Ward and his family is perfect for a film. A loveable rogue with his tough and resourceful wife who frequently sacrificed her own freedom for his. It’s a love story and a tragedy.

* Captain Melville: The gentleman bushranger Captain Melville is one of Victoria’s most Infamous. From being a convict to a notorious brigand to getting busted in a brothel and beyond Melville is a colourful character who will keep audiences entertained.

* The Kenniff brothers: The tragic tale of Queensland’s most infamous bushranging family would make for a brilliant and gripping film. A movie that portrays the intense legal drama that unfolded at the turn of the century to prove that Paddy and Jim Kenniff murdered Albert Dahlke and Constable Doyle then incinerated the remains while trying to recreate what really happened would be incredibly moving and memorable.

* The Ribbon Gang: The uprising known as the Bathurst Rebellion led by Ralph Entwistle is epic and dramatic. Kicked off after Entwistle was unfairly punished for skinny dipping, it became one of the most incredible outbreaks of bushranging in history with Entwistle’s gang rumoured to have exceeded 100 men all raiding, pillaging and murdering in the district before a series of battles with the military saw the bushrangers vanquished, ten bushrangers meeting their end on the scaffold.

* The Gilbert-Hall Gang: The last days of the Hall gang were portrayed in the award-winning The Legend of Ben Hall, but aside from a long forgotten TV series from 1975 and several missing silent films, the glory days of the gang have not been committed to film – and none ever portrayed accurately. Hall and Gilbert with John O’Meally, John Vane and Mickey Burke were once the most formidable bandits in Australia, bailing up Canowindra and Bathurst multiple times and committing countless highway robberies. Few bushranging tales can compete with this one for sheer adventure, drama and tragedy.

* Henry Maple: The story of Henry Maple, the boy bushranger, would make for a tragic and spellbinding story. A taut and suspenseful film could track the brief, wild period that Maple struck terror into rural Victoria in the 1920s with his sidekick Rob Banks, culminating his fatal standoff against an armed posse in the bush. Unlike other bushranger stories it would have the unique aspect of modern technology such as automobiles and the startling youth of the lead character to make for a bushranger film unlike any other.

Bushranging: A Man’s World? 

Without doubt the world of bushrangers is dominated by men. However there are three notable female bushrangers who more than hold their own with their male counterparts. Here are the three lady bushrangers of note who stand toe to toe with the best of them.

“Black Mary” Cockerill

The first notable female bushranger is a companion of the infamous Michael Howe, an Aboriginal woman known as “Black Mary”. Previous little has actually been recorded about Mary, so much of what is available is often misreported, based entirely on unverified oral tradition or pure fiction.

Some accounts state that Mary was raised by a family of white settlers and was lured away to a life of adventure and banditry by Howe, while others state that Mary was one of several Aboriginal women kidnapped by the gang of bushrangers Howe was a leading member of during a violent raid that helped kick-start racial conflict in Van Diemens Land. Neither of these accounts are based in recorded evidence. Mary was first recorded as accompanying Howe’s gang in a raid on the property of Dennis McCarty in April 1815 and was frequently spotted with them thereafter as they raided the farms of prominent men in New Norfolk. Mary was not the only Aboriginal woman in the gang, but was the only one whose name was ever published.

As time went on and events escalated, Howe’s gang began to split up. There have been many inaccurate accounts of Mary’s relationship with Howe from this time, all of which seem to have taken a reference to her having once been his partner as an indication they were lovers. In fact, Mary’s role in the gang was more than likely to act as a scout and keep the gang away from Aboriginal tribes while they were moving through the bush. Claims that Mary became pregnant, again, are not based in fact but in fanciful, posthumous retellings.

Mary’s time with the gang came to an abrupt close when she and Michael were ambushed near the Shannon River. As they were attempting to outrun the soldiers, Howe fired back at them. Reports vary as to whether the shot actually hit Mary, let alone whether the hit was accidental or an act of desperation as she was slowing him down. Michael dumped his weapon and knapsack and took off into the bushes, leaving Mary behind. It is possible that Mary struggled to keep up because of a heart condition. Nevertheless she was captured by the soldiers and interrogated.

Though it is assumed that Mary was tortured, reports indicate that she was actually plied with new clothes and food in order to butter her up and encourage her assistance. This seemed to work and she agreed to help the military locate Howe and his bushranger colleagues. She led them to a spot where she knew the gang hid out, and the soldiers spotted Howe with two of his mates, who immediately gestured insultingly at them before vanishing into the bush. Mary continued to assist the government thereafter, working as a tracker.

Folklore suggests it was Mary who lured Howe to his doom in 1818, however this is yet another fabrication. Howe was lured into a trap, stabbed in the back then clubbed to death and decapitated for the reward on his head. Mary died in the Colonial Hospital in July 1819 of pulmonic affliction.

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Mary as portrayed by Rarriwuy Hick in “The Outlaw Michael Howe”

Mary Ann Bugg

Mary Ann Bugg was a half-Aboriginal woman who was born in the 1834 in an outstation of the Australian Agricultural Company. Well educated for her class and time, Mary Ann married an ex-convict named Baker but remarried in 1851 to a man named John Burrows to whom she had two sons. By 1855 she was with a new fella, another ex-convict named James McNally. The couple had three children: Mary Jane, Patrick William and Ellen. She would soon achieve infamy as the female accomplice of Frederick Wordsworth Ward aka Captain Thunderbolt. In love with the romance of their lifestyle as much as Ward himself, Mary Ann referred to herself as The Captain’s Lady.

Fred Ward met Mary Ann while out of prison on a ticket of leave. Mary Ann was already married at the time but that could not stop the two from having a passionate affair. As a result Mary Ann became pregnant and Fred Ward decided to take her to her family home in Dungog for the birth. That was all well and good in theory but in doing so Ward left the district prescribed in his ticket of leave and returned three days late for the muster. The direct result of this was Ward being thrown back into Gaol on Cockatoo Island. Mary Ann was independent enough not to require assistance from Ward, but her love was too strong. Some have claimed that Mary Ann assisted Ward in his escape from Cockatoo Island, however she was already accounted for at that time and could not have been there. Ward made his way back to his beloved Mary Ann and it wasn’t long before the two started living like Bonnie and Clyde, travelling together and committing crime.

Mary Ann was nothing short of astounding in her resourcefulness and determination. Whether hiking over mountains with children on her back or catching cattle to feed the family, Mary Ann was irrepressible. Frequently dressed in men’s clothes, Mary Ann was a spectacular horsewoman. Her preferred method of catching cattle was using a tool of her own design which was effectively a butcher’s knife on a broom handle. She would ride up to the beast of choice and using her tool would cut its hamstring whereupon she could slaughter it. This practice brought her unwanted attention and she was often nabbed in an attempt to get at Thunderbolt. Twice she was arrested and tried for vagrancy but she never gave in. On one occasion Mary Ann managed to give the police the slip by feigning labour and was rescued by Thunderbolt and his gang.

Eventually, the pair separated during Mary Ann’s final pregnancy to Ward. No doubt Mary Ann had grown tired of enabling her husband to lead a lawless life and wanted to concentrate on raising her children, three of whom were to Ward – Marina Emily, Eliza and Frederick Wordsworth Ward jr. While the details of the split are unknown, the fact that Mary Ann named her third child to Ward after his father is telling of where her heart still resided. Mary Ann settled down once more with John Burrows and spent the rest of her days leading a quiet life. In total she had had fifteen children and in her later life working as a nurse before dying in 1905 of senile decay.

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Mary Ann Bugg; The Captain’s lady

Jessie Hickman

Jessie Hickman was born Elizabeth Jessie Hunt at Burraga, New South Wales on September 9, 1890. She grew up learning bush craft, horse riding and survival skills. By the age of fifteen she had become a successful roughrider and entertainer, touring the country with Martin Breheney aka Martini. Her time with Martini was successful and she became an unofficial rough riding champion in 1906. She fell in love with a man called Benjamin Hickman and they had a son together who they gave away to another couple to raise. Jessie ended up in Long Bay Gaol in 1913 after taking to stealing stock and clothing. She was imprisoned using her mother’s maiden name, McIntyre, rather than her birth name. She married Ben Hickman in 1920 but it was a tumultuous relationship that ended when he found work in the city and Jessie refused to leave the bush.

After she was separated from her husband, Jessie headed to the Blue Mountains. Her brother lived in Rylstone and she stayed with him for a time but soon went bush. Setting up a camp in the Nullo Mountains, she furnished a cave with a bed and shelving to make it more habitable, an idea that never struck the male bushrangers in the 100+ years of bushranging prior. From here Jessie Hickman engaged in cattle duffing with her gang of men she called the “Young Bucks”, stealing the animals from local farmers that she would graze and water in the lowlands near her hideout then taking the stolen cattle to markets in Singleton and Muswellbrook. Eventually able to purchase land in Emu Creek, she was still wanted by police and on multiple occasions performed daring escapes when approached by lawmen.

In May 1928, Jessie was arrested at Emu Creek on cattle theft charges but was acquitted at Mudgee on a lack of evidence. Settling down on her Emu Creek property, she took ill with head pains. Eventually being moved from Muswellbrook to Newcastle Mental Hospital, Hickman died of a brain tumour on September 15, 1936 and buried in a pauper’s grave in Sandgate Cemetery. She was forty six years old.

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Jessie Hickman’s prison record

Selected sources:

http://www.thunderboltbushranger.com.au/mary-ann-bugg-biography.html

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hunt-6626