Spotlight: The Executed Wantabadgery Bushrangers (1880)

Andrew George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite, who expiated his last crime in Darlinghurst Gaol on Tuesday, January 20, was born in the north of Ireland in or about the year 1843, and was consequently 37 years of age. He had the usual “highly respectable parentage,” his father being a clergyman of the Church of England, who now holds a tenure in the District of Coromandel, in the north of New Zealand. The family came to Auckland some years ago, when Andrew George was quite young. Though we are not, as we expected to be, in possession of an autobiography of the executed criminal, written for one of our contributors, and withheld from him by the prison authorities of New South Wales, we are able from information supplied us by that gentleman to give the salient points in Scott’s career.

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Thomas Rogan’s death mask and other missing objects

Could this unassuming photograph of three plaster casts be the vital clue to a long-standing case of mistaken identity?These death masks were photographed in 1975 in the police academy in Redfern. The one on the far right is Andrew George Scott (Captain Moonlite), while the one on the far left is the casting that has been attributed to his accomplice Thomas Rogan. However, not only does the face on the attributed cast not resemble Rogan at all, the middle, unnamed, casting matches the mugshot taken of Rogan after his capture at McGlede’s farm quite closely. Furthermore, the middle death mask … Continue reading Thomas Rogan’s death mask and other missing objects

The Execution of Scott and Rogan

“I, Maurice J. O’Connor, being the medical officer of the gaol at Darlinghurst, do hereby declare and certify that I have this day witnessed the execution of Andrew George Scott, alias Moonlight, lately convicted and duly sentenced to death at … Continue reading The Execution of Scott and Rogan

Captain Moonlite and Society (Opinion) 

Captain Moonlite is a name well known by bushranger enthusiasts, but his story is often overlooked. Yet, Moonlite’s tale is perhaps one of the most tragic in the pantheon of bushranging. It is a tale of a ragtag bunch of men and boys from social disadvantage being pushed so far into desperation by capricious and vindictive agents of the law and a lack of support from society or their families that they become violent criminals and pay the ultimate price for their fall from grace. For those of us who take an interest in social justice it becomes an intriguing look at what contributes to delinquency. Continue reading Captain Moonlite and Society (Opinion) 

The Twilight of Moonlite: The Destruction of the  Moonliters

For years Andrew Scott had been at loggerheads with the authorities in Australia and had even toured the country lecturing on prison reform. Finally tiring of being dragged in on suspicion of every offence under the sun from robbery to assault simply because of his reputation after being convicted of the robbery of the bank at Mount Egerton, Scott decided to become Captain Moonlite once more and give the police cause to rue the way they’d bullied him. Taking his companions Jimmy Nesbitt, Tom Rogan, William Bennett, Gus Wernicke and Thomas Williams on the road, they decided to become bushrangers and make their way North. Continue reading The Twilight of Moonlite: The Destruction of the  Moonliters