On one occasion I chased a wild bull and fired at him repeatedly to train our horses to it. We chased this bull for two miles, constantly firing, until we killed him. It occurred to me that this was about the best practice men should be drilled to who are sent after the bushrangers; for it teaches them to ride, to fire while galloping, and to exercise caution. For a wild bull, with a couple of bullets in a fleshy part will test a rider on the side of a mountain to keep beside him. One drill of that sort would be of more service to a man than twelve months drill in Sydney, and for the horse to. Well, if two or three of us could travel about, firing our arms off occasionally, and camping about without attracting the notice of the police, how long could a man whose object was occasional plunder, remain in those ranges without being taken? As things are now Thunderbolt can remain there five years longer, perfectly secure, with police stations all round him, and he may become the father of a numerous family. I know the men who were with me will try hard to take him, but what can they do? Their horses were done up when I left, and they were ordered to remain at home till they got fresh again. They wanted ammunition, but could not get it. They had only six rounds when I left, the most of this being damaged by camping out in the wet. The Gunnedah police were put on Ward in his camp, when I left, and my old tracker who was up there was left behind for some reason or other — it would be hard to tell. So they sneaked on the camp and blazed away at Ward and his mate, but they both got away on foot. The boy took one road and Ward the other — so ended the encounter. Continue reading BUSHRANGING AND OUR POLICE SYSTEM (Part Twelve)
A short time since, a police party, consisting of senior-sergeant Kerrigan, constable Scully, a black tracker, and a volunteer – Norman Baton, went through the New England and Stroud district in search of Ward, alias Thunderbolt, and on Tuesday last, at a place called Pignabarney Creek, about thirty miles from Nundle, they sighted a half-caste woman with horse, saddle, bridle, and swag, and believing her to be Ward’s wife, they asked her where Ward was; she said she was “the captain’s lady,” and Ward had been chased two days previously by the police; that she had since been in search of him with provisions and was unable to find him in the mountains. Continue reading Spotlight: Capture of “Thunderbolt’s” Wife (10 April 1866)
This month’s Gazette features articles about Ned Kelly, Mary Ann Bugg, the Queensland Native Police, bushranging around Sydney, and the launch of new websites for Tasmanian bushrangers. Continue reading Bushranging Gazette #14
Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1875), Monday 11 March 1867, page 5 “MRS THUNDERBOLT.” – We learn that the bushranger Thunderbolt’s wife, who was lately sent to gaol for three months by the Paterson bench, for having property in her possession, which she could not account for, has within the past few days been released from the Maitland gaol, the statements of a petition sent by her to the Governor, setting forth that she had put purchased the property from Messrs. Wolfe and Garrick’s store in West Maitland, having been borne out. We are informed that the unfortunate woman … Continue reading Spotlight: Mrs. Thunderbolt (11 March 1867)
This month’s gazette features news about tours, exhibitions, books, and various articles from around the web. Continue reading Bushranging Gazette #13
Grenfell Record and Lachlan District Advertiser (NSW : 1876 – 1951), Thursday 13 October 1927, page 5 THUNDERBOLT’S WIFE. In the early seventies of last century (writes ‘Hawkeye’ in the ‘Northern Champion,’ Taree) a young Manning River man had to drive a spring cart from Raymond Terrace to Manning River. Some distance on his way towards Stroud he saw a woman on foot ahead carrying a child. When he caught up and offered her a lift, he found it was the wife of Frederick Ward, who had been down to see him in gaol. With a brave heart she had … Continue reading Spotlight: Thunderbolt’s Wife
A collection of news reports including updates on Morgan and Thunderbolt. Continue reading Spotlight: The Manning from 1865
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.
Continue reading Spotlight: Thunderbolt (1941)
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.
Continue reading Spotlight: ROBBERY OF THE NORTHERN MAIL, BY THUNDERBOLT.
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