Spotlight: Gilbert (08 July 1865)

Gilbert was but twenty-five years old at time of his death, but was of a stout build and capable of undergoing great exertion. He was the son of respectable parents, and his father is now living Taradale, in Victoria where he has for some years resided, following the occupation of mining, and is stated to have been much grieved at the lawless habits of his unfortunate son. But little is known of the early life of Gilbert, except that he was engaged as stock rider in some stations about Forbes, and that at the end of the year 1862, he, like several other young men of loose habits, became inflamed with the passion and desire of becoming highwaymen, thinking it no doubt a grand thing and a noble pursuit instead of honestly and quietly working industriously for a livelihood.

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Spotlight: Robbery Under Arms (17 June 1863)

At 8 p.m. on the 2nd instant, the house of George Gatewood, Norwood, near Goulburn, was forcibly entered by four armed men (not described), with blackened faces covered with crape, and the following property stolen therefrom, viz., £12 sterling, a watch (not described), gun, canister of “powder, box of caps, three pairs blankets, and several articles of clothing. The robbers afterwards proceeded to the house of William Gatewood, son of the above, and forcibly stole therefrom a quantity of wearing apparel and trinkets.

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Spotlight: Johnny Gilbert’s Late Exploit (10 June 1863)

This party of highwaymen consisted of four well mounted, and armed men, each leading a pack-horse, and headed by Lieutenant Gilbert in person, who was mounted on the stolen Burrowa race-horse, Jacky Morgan. The only resistance they met with was from a person at Chard’s store, when Gilbert, without a moment’s hesitation, drew a revolver and fired point blank at him, the hall passing in such very close proximity to the party’s skull as to cause him to rush away, his retreat being still further increased by another shot from the same desperado. I regret to state that this affair, like nearly all others of the same class, appears to have been a complete success; for neither the robbers nor their plunder have since been seen or heard of.

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Describing the Hall Gang

Does the popular image of the Hall Gang marry up with eyewitness descriptions? Unlike with many earlier bushrangers, witness descriptions of bushrangers in the gold rush era were often quite detailed. Many in the modern day are familiar with the studio portraits of Ben Hall before he became an outlaw, as well as the illustrations of Gilbert and Dunn produced for newspapers, but these images only give us a controlled glimpse. No verified photographs of Gilbert and Dunn exist (the man photographed with Gardiner never having been officially named, and quite possibly a son of Gardiner’s close associate William Fogg), … Continue reading Describing the Hall Gang

Spotlight: Johnny Gilbert at Young (6 June 1863)

I have just received information to the effect that Messrs. Gilbert and Co , yesterday, at Young, took advantage of all the police being engaged at the races, to pay a professional visit at the Redshirt Store, Petticoat Flat (Mr. Herbert’s), and ransacked its contents, carrying off much booty. As Mr. Gilbert seems to possess all the ubiquitous and invisible power of his arch-prototype Gardiner, I suppose it is almost unnecessary to remark that neither he nor the booty has since been seen or heard of. [We have heard that the same party stuck-up Mr. Chard’s store, on the same day.
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Spotlight: Johnny Gilbert at Burrowa (27 May 1863)

About seven o’clock this morning, as jockey in trainer Harry Wilson, was giving the horse his customary diurnal exercise near the Burrowa police barracks, a ponchoed horseman rode up to him, whom Wilson immediately recognised to be no other than the notorious Johnny Gilbert, whom Wilson has known for years. Gilbert instantly told the jockey to dismount, as he wanted the racer, but Wilson refused to do so, when Gilbert drew a revolver, and placing it close to Harry’s skull said, “Off at once, or take the consequences;” Wilson replied, “For God’s sake, Johnny, don’t ruin a poor fellow,” but all to no purpose, for Gilbert took the horse, and along with it a new jockey’s saddle and bridle, Wilson’s private property, which he had purchased only the day before. Continue reading Spotlight: Johnny Gilbert at Burrowa (27 May 1863)

Spotlight: Local & General Intelligence, Tumut and Adelong (11 May 1865)

The Pastoral Times hears that Mr. Commissioner Lockhart is engaged in the district around Albury in trying to clear the country of the wretched villains who aided and abetted the recently slain murderer. Little mercy should be shown to those who, residing on Crown Lands illegally, gave shelter and food to Morgan while he went forth to rob and kill. It is to be hoped that the other Commissioners of Crown Lands in the Wellington districts, and the country where Messrs. Hall, Gilbert, and Co. carry on their avocations, will see that the powers invested in them are used to rid their districts of the aiders and abettors in these crimes.

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Spotlight: Gilbert, Hall, and Dunn’s Raid on the Nubriggan (2 May 1865)

A correspondent of the Western Examiner reports that on the evening of Sunday, as Mr. Brazier, land lord of the Nubriggan Inn, with some other gentlemen, were enjoying their pipes, four horsemen well mounted, three of them with every appearance of wealthy gentlemen, dashed up to the door. The stoutest immediately dismounted, entered the inn, and walking up to Mr. Brazier, ordered him to turn out his pockets, Mr. Brazier thinking it was making rather free, asked him sternly what he meant, and ordered him behind the bar, but the sight of a revolver in hand and a number round his waist caused him to unbend his brows, and submit with as good a grace as possible.

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Spotlight: Ben Hall Wounded (22 March 1865)

Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880), Wednesday 22 March 1865, page 6 NEW SOUTH WALES. BEN HALL WOUNDED According to the “Goulburn Argus” of the 8th, there is no doubt that Ben Hall was wounded in the encounter at Mutbilly. That journal says :– He seems to have lost blood on the spot where he fell, but be managed to make his way either on foot or horseback to the Gullen district, and being concealed in a house there, he obtained the assistance of a person, who knew something of surgery, and the ball, which had lodged in … Continue reading Spotlight: Ben Hall Wounded (22 March 1865)

Spotlight: Country News (14 November 1863)

Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), Saturday 14 November 1863, page 6 COUNTRY NEWS. ALBURY. (FROM THE FEDERAL STANDARD, NOV. 11.) THE POLICE AND THE BUSHRANGERS.— Superintendent McLerie and seven or eight troopers have returned safe and sound to Albury. The gallant fellows are looking remarkably well, and they do not report having been stuck-up or ill treated by the bushrangers, although we believe some of them “sighted” Gilbert or O’Meally, or what is much the same, Gilbert and O’Meally “took sights” at them. PROCEEDINGS OF A BUSHRANGER.— On Monday morning last, Morgan the bushranger made his appearance at … Continue reading Spotlight: Country News (14 November 1863)