Spotlight: A Bushranger’s Autobiography (part four)

We got to the place agreed on, and where I could see the main land at about two miles distance. We must get across to it, and had no boat. I was a very bad swimmer. and two miles was a long pull for a new beginner. But my two companions did not hesitate, but pulled off their trousers and plunged into the water, with me after them, with my trousers thrown over my neck, for I was determined to get over to the mainland or be drowned in the attempt. After swimming about a mile, one of my companions — and very soon after the other — was seized, and drawn down by the sharks. I was left alone to the mercy of the waves, expecting the same fate every minute. At last, after a desperate struggle, I got to the land, but had lost my trousers and shirt, and scrambled ashore quite naked. In this state I found myself alone in a bush that I did not know, and greatly grieved at the death of my two companions. I made a bed in the long grass and picked up some shellfish that kept me alive for three days. On the fourth day the constables saw me, and I was brought back to Port Arthur once more, where I was punished with 90 days’ solitary confinement and 12 months’ “E.H.L.C.” (extension with hard labour in chains). Continue reading Spotlight: A Bushranger’s Autobiography (part four)

Spotlight: The Port Arthur Bushrangers

Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), Tuesday 5 April 1842, page 3 THE PORT ARTHUR BUSHRANGERS. The report that Westwood, or as he is generally called “the notorious Jacky Jacky,” has absconded from Port Arthur with six of his Sydney comrades and three of the Port Arthur “old hands,” has occasioned no trifling alarm in the minds of those who may be subjected to their visitation. Bad as are many of the individuals at that settlement, those who have absconded are perhaps the worst of the whole number — men, who are regardless of consequences, and who imagine … Continue reading Spotlight: The Port Arthur Bushrangers

Cash & Co.: An Overview

Few of the Tasmanian bushrangers have quite the esteem as Martin Cash. A hot-tempered Irishman with a knack for escapology, when he teamed up with Lawrence Kavanagh and George Jones he immediately walked into bushranging history. Though their reign was merely a matter of months, they flung Van Diemen’s Land into such a state of alarm that they immediately became outlaw celebrities. Continue reading Cash & Co.: An Overview

Spotlight: The Ballad of Martin Cash

Come all you sons of Erin’s Isle that love to hear your tuneful notes, remember William Wallace and Montrose of sweet Dundee – The great Napoleon played his part, but by treachery was undone; Nelson, for England’s glory bled and nobly fought by sea – and Wellington, old Erin’s son, who Waterloo so bravely won, when leading on his veteran troops, bold faced his daring foes – but Martin Cash of matchless fame, The bravest man that owns that name, is a valiant son of Erin, where the sprig of shamrock grows. Continue reading Spotlight: The Ballad of Martin Cash