Thomas Jeffries: an overview

He was referred to as “the monster”, accused of a string of horrific crimes including murder, infanticide and cannibalism. His reputation was so repulsive that the gentleman bushranger Brady threatened to break him out of prison so he could have the privilege of hanging the villain himself. But was Thomas Jeffries (aka Jeffrey) as bad as he was claimed to be? Continue reading Thomas Jeffries: an overview

Spotlight: Brady’s Threat (17 May 1826)

Brady, on Tuesday night, told Mr. Dodding, one of the turn-keys at the gaol, that if Jeffries was not taken out of the cell ” he would be found in the morning without his head.” Jeffries was consequently removed to another cell. He voluntarily gave up two knives, which he had concealed about his person, either to carry his former threats into execution, or to cut his irons, in attempting to escape. Continue reading Spotlight: Brady’s Threat (17 May 1826)

Spotlight: The Bush-Rangers – Dreadful Outrages and Murder! (10 March 1826)

Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 – 1827), Friday 10 March 1826, page 2 THE BUSH-RANGERS. Dreadful Outrages and Murder! Extract of a letter from Launceston, dated on Monday last :— “On Saturday evening last, Brady, with his whole party of fourteen attacked Mr. DRY’S house ; and, after putting in the necessary centinels and securing the servants in an inside room, proceeded to rifle the house of all its contents —very coolly emptying all the drawers and boxes of their contents of linen, clothes, and everything valuable, and deliberately tying them up in bundles to be … Continue reading Spotlight: The Bush-Rangers – Dreadful Outrages and Murder! (10 March 1826)

Spotlight: Brady robs Haywood; Jeffries at large; Execution of McCabe (1826)

On Saturday evening Brady and his party, appeared at Mr. Haywood’s, and robbed him of a large quantity of tea, sugar, tobacco, rum, and flour, besides all the bedding and wearing apparel in the house. Brady alone was mounted on horseback. On coming up, he said, “Mr. Haywood, I am Brady.” He desired him to be under no apprehension of being hurt on account of the late execution of Broadhead, who, he said, was not a bushranger. He wanted provisions only and after remaining about 3 hours, they departed, taking with them 2 horses, besides the one Brady had mounted, to carry their plunder.

Continue reading Spotlight: Brady robs Haywood; Jeffries at large; Execution of McCabe (1826)

Spotlight: TASMANIAN HISTORY – A SKETCH OF OLD TIMES; EMBODYING THE BUSH CAREER OF MATTHEW BRADY by J. E. Calder (Pt. 8)

James Calder’s history of the remarkable Matthew Brady reaches its conclusion as murder and treachery tears Brady’s gang apart, and the forces of law and order finally catch up with the notorious bushranger. Continue reading Spotlight: TASMANIAN HISTORY – A SKETCH OF OLD TIMES; EMBODYING THE BUSH CAREER OF MATTHEW BRADY by J. E. Calder (Pt. 8)

Spotlight: The Late Bushrangers

On Saturday last, the following criminals received sentence of death :- Matthew Brady, Patrick Bryant, James Goodwin, James M’Kenny John Gregory, William Tilly, William Brown, and Samuel Hodgetts, (the above eight composed the residue of the gang of bushrangers of which Dunne only remained at large.) Thomas Jeffries, John Perry, and James Hopkins, whose horrid crimes are fresh in the recollection of the Public and John Thompson, for the murder of Margaret Smith in the watch-house. His Honor Chief Justice PEDDER, addressed the unhappy men in the most feeling manner. He stated to them, that the Law had awarded the punishment of death to the crimes of the least magnitude amongst them. Those of the greatest were attended with circumstances of atrocity, that he should only shock the feelings of the auditory by repeating them.

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Spotlight: The Van Diemonian Bushranging Scourge

On Tuesday morning the bushrangers Brady, Bryant, Tilley, McKenney, Brown, Gregory, and Hodgetts, were put upon their trial for making an assault on William Andrews, a private of the 40th, at Bagdad, on the 26th of December last, and stealing his gun. The Jury returned a verdict of guilty against Brady, Bryant, Gregory, Tilley, and Brown, and acquitted McKenney and Hodgetts, their being no evidence to prove that they were present at the time.

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Spotlight: Jeffries and Brady and company on trial (as reported)

On Saturday, Jeffries the murderer, Perry, and Hopkins, were found guilty of stealing a gun, meat, and other articles, from the dwelling-house of Joseph Railton, near Launceston. They had been brought up on the Thursday previous, but owing to the absence of a witness on the part of Hopkins, the trial was postponed.

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Spotlight: Reward Notice for Thomas Jeffries

Thomas Jeffries may have referred to himself as “The Captain”, but he earned himself a more notorious nickname: The Monster. In his brief bushranging career, the former flagellator committed acts of robbery, murder, rape and cannibalism. Such was his reputation that after he was captured, Matthew Brady planned to break him out of Launceston Gaol just so he could have the satisfaction of lynching Jeffries himself.

Continue reading Spotlight: Reward Notice for Thomas Jeffries