Spotlight: Howe & Co. rob Stocker’s cart (23/11/1816)

Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 – 1821), Saturday 23 November 1816, page 1

Hobart Town;



Sitting Magiftrate for the ensuing Week,




The depredations of the Bufh-rangers continue to be truly alarming. Scarcely had we mentioned in our laft of their audacious attack on the premises of DAVID ROSE, Efq. at Port Dalrymple, then we are again called upon to relate another daring depredation, committed on Monday laft, at the residence of MR. THOMAS HAYES, at Bagdad, on the road to Port Dalrymple, by one of thofe Banditties of ruffians, who have been too long a terror to the peaceable settler & traveller.— MR. WILLIAM THOMAS STOCKER, his wife, and a cart containing property to a confiderable amount belonging to them, accompanied by MR. ANDREW WHITEHEAD, and family (the former on their way to Port Dalrymple), halted for the night at the premifes of Mr. Hayes.—Soon after, the party were alarmed by the appearance of the Bufh-rangers, headed by Michael Howe & his gang of 8 runaways, who feemed well informed of the intent of their journey; and requefted to know the reason of Mr. S’s delay, obferving, he ought to have been there the day previous.—They carried off the following articles, which had been removed from the cart into the houfe: 2 cafks of rum, one containing 11 and the other 10 gallons; 2 gallons of gin; 30 pair of fhoes; fancy ribbons to the value of £50; 2 bags of fugar, containing about 125lbs each; 1 cheft of green tea; pepper to the amount of £30; 9 pair ftays, &c – The whole is eftimated at upwards of £300 —— What added to the defperate intentions of thefe wretches, they actually fired a pistol through the head of one of the cafks of rum, by which the whole of its contents were loft.

They alfo requefted Mr. Whitehead’s watch, and, from it they regulated other watches they had in their poffeffion (no doubt part of their former booties), they then returned Mr. W. his watch; but Mr. Stocker was not so fortunate, for they compelled him to deliver his watch, which they kept.— From their converfation during the time they continued on the premifes of Mr. Hayes, it evidently appeared they were well acquainted with every tranfaction in town, relative to themfelves; and also, of the bufinefs of travellers journeying between the two fettlements.—Previous to the attack at Mr. Hayes, MR. JOHN WADE, Chief Conftable (being on his way to infpect his flock at Stony-hut Valley), accidentally joined the party at Mr. H’s, but fufpecting the approach of the Bufh-rangers, from the noise he heard while in the houfe, he made all hafte off the premises; his efcape was very fortunate, as from the threats they made ufe of, ferious confequences might have followed his falling in their way.

The property thefe wretches have plundered from the public, fince their efcape into the woods is immenfe; and with reafon we may fuppofe, that it either muft be fold to their accomplices in the two fettlements, or concealed in the woods.—Upon the whole, we may conclude, it will be attended with great rifk to individuals to convey property between the fettlements whilft thefe defperados are at large.