Ben Hall Pt 4

This website is designed, researched and written by Mark Matthews. It may alter with updated information and research as it comes to hand. This section is a work in progress...

"Ben Hall! Stockman, Squatter, Bushranger, from these personas, his character has remained an enigma. From a man held in high regard by all who knew him to a man through his own actions became one of the most hunted in colonial history, and who would ultimately die a violent and bloody death at the hands of his pursuers."- Mark Matthews.

This website aims to provide a comprehensive, chronological account of Australian bushranger Ben Hall's calamitous life. Gathered through the accounts of eyewitnesses, former gang members, government documents, as well as the reproduction of historical newspaper and N.S.W. Police Gazette records of Ben Hall and his associates' bushranging activities. (All related articles incorporated into the narrative are coloured and transcribed as originally published.)

"Hall is the only one of  the three who cultivates any moustache or whiskers, and he is getting fat."

As Christmas 1863 approached, Ben Hall’s young son, Henry, who was five years old, spent several weeks at William Hall’s hut in the Pinnacle Range. Despite the ongoing animosity between William, his wife Anne, and Henry’s mother, Bridget, Henry stayed with William during the holiday season. The arrangement, whether born from a demand or a mutual agreement with Bridget, allowed Ben Hall to step back from the tensions and spend quality time with his son.

Ben Hall maintained a low profile at William’s place until January 22nd. During this time, there was widespread media speculation about his location, with newspapers claiming he was seen in various locations, including Braidwood, which is 320 km away from Forbes. These reports, however, were based on hearsay and lacked any concrete evidence. 'Braidwood Dispatch' January 2nd 1864:

BEN HALL, IN BRAIDWOOD:- On Thursday evening last a rumour gained currency, that the notorious knight of the road, Ben Hall, had been in Braidwood during the day. A person in the town who knew him in other, and no doubt, to him, happier days, is said to have recognised him at a public-house. There are, however, so many recognition of these outlaws taking place every day in various parts of the country that they are beginning not to "go down," and the cry of the wolf passes unheeded.

Note: In the years ahead, Henry would spend time residing with William at Parkes, NSW.

On January 2nd, 1864, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were praised for their courageous defence of their Goimbla home, which led to the fatal shooting of John O'Meally in November 1863.

TESTIMONIAL TO MR. AND MRS. CAMPBELL, OF GOIMBLA.-The Lachlan correspondent of the Bathurst Times reports as follows:- A public meeting was held at the Court house on Friday, at three p.m., for the purpose of presenting to Mr. Campbell an address from the inhabitants of Forbes and the neighbourhood, expressive of admiration of his courage, and that of Mrs. Campbell, in successfully resisting the attack of the notorious bushrangers, Gilbert, Ben Hall, and O'Meally on the 20th November, when O'Meally was killed. About one hundred of the elite of the district were present.

Following the testimony the praise given to the Campbell's resulted in a jeweller crafting a Coffee earn as a mark of respect to Mrs Campbell and her brave efforts in standing shoulder to shoulder with her husband in face of the bushrangers onslaught.

The 'Goulburn Herald' says:— Mr. Clarke, jeweller, of this town, has just dispatched a very handsome electro-plated coffee-urn, valued at £15, by an inscription on which we learn that "The ladies of Upper and Middle Adelong present this token of esteem to Mrs. Campbell, as an appreciation of her heroic conduct displayed during the attack on Goimbla by bushrangers on 19th November, 1863." (Urn image see gang page John O'Meally chapter.)

The start of 1864 saw a surge in newspaper coverage of bushranging activities across the country, from the New England Tablelands in the north to Albury in the south. During this time, a new outlaw by the name of Fred Ward, also known as 'Captain Thunderbolt,' was wreaking havoc in the Glen Innes district. Concurrently, the infamous Daniel 'Mad Dog' Morgan was reported to be active around Albury. The January 2nd, 1864 edition of the Wagga Wagga Express reported on a suspected attack involving a woman who was travelling.

Reported Outrage by Morgan:- A painful rumour has reached us with reference to this miscreant to the following effect. Our informant states that a lady and gentleman (whose names we suppress for obvious reasons) travailing on horseback during the past week, left a station in the vicinity of Piney Range. They had not proceeded far when the gentleman discovered he had forgotten something, and returned to the station, requesting his companion to ride slowly on and he would overtake her. Having accomplished his errand, he proceeded on his way, but there was no trace of the lady, nor were any tidings obtained of her till the following morning when she reached her destination. She stated that a short time after her companion left her she was met by an armed man whom she described as Morgan, and he compelled her to go with him into the bush, and detained her at his camp all night, assaulting her in a brutal and revolting manner. He led her back to the road in the morning, and she then made her way home as quickly as possible. If this report be confirmed we shall surely hear no more of the chivalry of these scoundrels, and this arch ruffian Morgan wanted but this display of brutal lust to complete the execration in which he must be held. A further report has reached us that he has paid another visit to Dr Stitt's place, where it was stated they were prepared and armed to meet him, but he went there and met with no resistance, although we hear that a son of Dr Stitt's wished to take a gun and meet him, but was prevented from so doing. We have no further particulars.

Despite his reputation for cruelty and vindictiveness, it was widely acknowledged that Morgan did not mistreat women. Thus, the report of his involvement in an attack on a woman, as mentioned earlier, might be exaggerated or the true assailant might remain undisclosed, possibly to protect the woman's honour. In light of his notorious activities, on January 10th, the New South Wales government issued a £500 reward for Morgan's capture.

Speculation was rampant in country newspapers about a potential collaboration between Morgan, Hall, and Gilbert. However, these rumours were unfounded, as there was no evidence to suggest that the two bushrangers from the Lachlan area ever met the infamous outlaw from the Riverina, Morgan. Nonetheless, Gilbert, who was well educated, stayed well-informed by following newspaper reports about their own criminal activities as well as those of other notorious bushrangers.'The Courier'
 Wednesday 20th January 1864:

Gilbert and Ben Hall are said to have taken into partnership the ruffian Morgan, together with two others, and thus to have once more formed a strong band. But the news is doubted in priggo-commercial circles, where it is said that Gilbert would scorn the notion to associate with Morgan. 

While taking refuge at his brother's place, Hall and John Gilbert parted ways. Gilbert vanished from the public eye, following the confrontation at Coffees at Burrowra and it was rumoured that he had returned to Victoria to spend Christmas with his family. However, Gilbert would not resurface until early 1864.
The haul from the 1862 Eugowra robbery and Ben Hall's gain was finally exposed in monetary terms drawing this from a memorandum from the Inspector General of police on the 9th January 1864:
The value of the gold and money stolen on that occasion was £13,694, of which £3700 was in notes. Gold to the value of £5335 was recovered by Sir FREDERICK POTTINGER and Sub-inspector SANDERSON. What became of the remainder is not very clearly known. It has been supposed that the lion's share of it fell to GARDINER, who retired upon the strength of it.

However, Gardiner Fordyce and Charters were deprived of their share by Sanderson and Manns his share recovered by Sir Frederick Pottinger. Only Bow, Gilbert, O'Meally and Ben Hall retained their share of the spoils.
Gilbert's whereabouts during this period remained a mystery to many. Had he traveled south? Had there been a disagreement between him and Ben Hall? Regardless of the circumstances, the two were not seen together, and Gilbert was reportedly spotted alone in late February in the town of Burrowa, at a store. 'The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser' Tuesday 9th February 1864:

The Bushranger Gilbert.- A private letter from Burrowa states that on the evening of the 18th ultimo Gilbert went to a store, within a short distance of the Burrowa police station, and purchased (and paid for) some tobacco, and Crimean shirts, and other articles.

Gilbert lingered at Maringo, his former stockman home, where he was well-regarded by everyone, particularly the young women of the district.

Another theory for the pair's separation was that they had once again quarreled over a woman, resulting in Hall fatally shooting Gilbert. An alternative version that sparked public interest was that Gilbert's revolver had accidentally discharged while he was showing off in front of female admirers. However, the truth was not as straightforward as these rumours suggested. Gilbert had not yet reunited with Hall, which only served to fuel the speculation as Hall was seen alone in a number of robberies.
'The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser' Thursday 11th February 1864: 

Ben Hall And Gilbert.- The Marengo correspondent of the Yass Courier, writing on the 1st, says:- For some weeks past various rumours have been current as to the whereabouts or fate of Gilbert; some say that he is gone north, to what is called the new country, others that he and Hall had quarrelled about a woman, the rupture culminating in Hall pistolling Gilbert dead on the spot. But yesterday a settler told me for a fact, that Gilbert was not only dead but buried, and that he and Hall never quarrelled, for no one was more "cut up" at Gilbert's fate than Hall himself, and that Gilbert's death was purely accidental; for a while, he was what is vulgarly termed skylarking with the daughters of a settler not a hundred miles off, one of his numerous revolvers exploded, the contents entering his abdomen, and he would not allow a doctor to be sent for, saying "it was no use, as he knew it was a case;" so after lingering for ten or twelve hours, he died, and was buried "on the quiet."

Though all this conjecture only points to a canard or a ruse by those local friends no doubt to throw the police off:

A wet blanket to the ardour of the police, yet it is the general belief around here that something of the kind has occurred. One thing is certain, that, as far as highway robbery is concerned, Hall and Gilbert are now-in thieves vernacular-"pals no longer." 

Despite the absence of 'Happy Jack', a tale emerged in 1913 from the recollections of an elderly local from the Lachlan area. The story suggested that Jack was neither deceased nor at odds with Hall, but that Gilbert had fallen ill. According to the local, Gilbert hadn't traveled to Victoria but had retreated to a favored hideout of the gang, the wild and remote area of Bogan Gate, located northwest of Forbes.

This region, characterised by large expanses of rugged terrain and hills such as Monumea Gap, Nelungaloo Range, and Jemalong Range, also known as Garland Range, provided an ideal refuge for Hall and Gilbert. These ranges were part of a slender mountain range that stretched from Carawandool State Forest at Back Creek, winding north to Bogan Gate. The area was dotted with caves and ridges, offering excellent hideouts.

Moreover, the vicinity of nearby stations like Bundaburrah, Billabong, and Carrawobbity, as well as Forbes and the Dog and Duck Hotel, was advantageous. The Dog and Duck hotel was owned by Tom Higgins, one of Hall's closest allies and the man who had treated Hall's severely injured leg when a youth. Higgins supplied the bushrangers with food and information about police movements, allowing them to replenish their supplies as needed. There were even stories that when the authorities were closing in, the bushrangers would retreat to this area to help some graziers muster cattle.

However, while Hall was spending time with his five-year-old son at the Pinnacle, Gilbert, according to the old-timer's account, supposedly travelled further north, about 40 miles. There, he reportedly fell ill with Typhoid Fever and was cared for by a drover named Botfield. 'The Forbes Advocate' Friday 28th February 1913:

A BOTFIELD EPISODE. There is a little siding out on the Parkes to Bogan Gate railway line called Botfield, and when I was out that way a couple of weeks ago I little dreamt that the peaceful little railway siding was once the spot on which a great act of "man's humanity to man" was enacted. A drover named Botfield was taking a mob of sheep across that part of the country and coming to a creek that contained good water, he decided to camp to rest his mob. He camped on there for such a long time that people began to speak of it as Botfield's Creek. One day Gilbert, one of Ben Hall's gang, rode up to the camp, suffering from typhoid fever, and Mr and Mrs Botfield made a bunk under their wagon and nursed him right through his illness. The police often rode up making inquiries about the bushrangers and even went so far as to look under the wagon round which the tarpaulin was hung, but Botfield put them off by telling them that it was only a sick drover under there.

However, on Gilbert's whereabouts a correspondent while canvassing the trail had it indicated to him that Gilbert had indeed gone north:

Sydney, MARENGO. [FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.] MARCH 22 1864. — for some days past. I have been making minute enquiries respecting Gilbert, and that among parties who are, I know, au fait as to the whereabouts of the youthful desperado; and the result is that the ex-highwayman—for he intends crying "stand " no longer convalescent from his pistol-wound, again in the saddle, and proceed to———— here my informant made a vague sort of motion with one of his arms, describing about half the points of the compass, and said, "In that, direction.'' However, the indication, notwithstanding its great, latitude, had decidedly a northward tendency.

Gilbert's mystery was countered by his own admission late in 1864 the he had actually gone to Queensland. Empire 20th December 1864: 

Gilbert has not the fresh, clear expression of countenance he used to have. His features are now much embrowned by the sun, and the skin in many places is peeling off. He, in the course of conversation, admitted that he bad not long returned from Queensland, and that when there he was three times chased by the police; and furthermore, that on one of these three occasions, upon his horse knocking up, he jumped off and challenged his two pursuers to come on, whereupon they halted and jawed a bit, and then turned tail.

On January 22, 1864, Hall's brief reunion with his son came to an abrupt end. Bridget Hall sought the intervention of the Forbes Court to reclaim young Henry Hall. Accompanied by Jim Taylor, Bridget issued a summons against William Hall for the unlawful detention of her son. However, the case never reached the courtroom as the dispute was resolved outside of court, and Henry was returned to his mother and Taylor.

FORBES. Friday, 5 pm.- Mrs Hall, wife of Ben Hall the bushranger, accompanied by the notorious Jim Taylor, recently took out a summons against Bill Hall, the brother, for the illegal detention of Ben Hall's child. The case was to have come off on Thursday, but the parties concerned made no appearance, the child having been surrendered to Taylor, who assumes its guardianship. 

In mid-January 1864, reports began to surfaced that Hall was seen in one of his old stomping grounds, Burrowa, apparently suffering from a fever. This account aligns with the period when Hall was dealing with the effects of a centipede bite. 
However, the sighting near Burrowa might have been due to Hall visiting Susan Prior at Tangamaroo. In 1864, Susan was once again pregnant with a son, who would later be named Alfred. It's plausible that Ben Hall was the father of this child, as his daughter Mary was already a year old at this time. These reports, however, added to the confusion and speculation surrounding Gilbert's alleged illness. 'The Sydney Morning Herald' Friday 5th February 1864:  

Ben Hall was seen about a fortnight ago on his old beat. He was suffering from colonial fever.

Before Australia Day was nationally recognised to commemorate the landing of the First Fleet, a significant historical event that marked the beginning of the transformation of an untouched wilderness, there was Anniversary Day. This day celebrated the birth of a nation, built on the backs of convicts, including my own family who arrived in 1822. Even after earning their freedom, these convicts were prohibited from returning to their homeland, the 'Old Dart'. Despite this, they began to shape the nation into the great country it is today.

In 1864, the 26th of January was a day of celebration, marking these remarkable achievements. Horse racing was deemed a fitting way to celebrate, adding to the festive mood of the country. In towns scattered across the nation, lavish events were held for the local citizens. The town of Burrowa was no exception to this tradition.

NSW Police Gazette
Feb 1864.
Ben Hall, along with unidentified accomplices, knew that the local residents would be heading to the Anniversary celebrations. Anticipating this, they positioned themselves along the road, intending to rob the revelers. Their first targets were young ladies, adorned in their festive attire, riding in a buggy, and some men beside on foot. Hall and one of his unknown partners intercepted a man named Dwyer, who was on his way to the Burrowa races. 'The Australian News for Home Readers' Wednesday 24 February 1864:

Ben Hall and his New Force.— Information reached Young, on Thursday, of some ten persons, including several of the fair sex, having been stuck up while on their way to the Anniversary races on Tuesday last, by (it is supposed), the notorious bushranger Ben Hall, who allowed, them to pass upon the ladies' assurance that their finances were not in flourishing state. On information reaching Burrowa, the police went next morning in pursuit, but without success.

The new addition to Ben Hall's gang was believed to be James Mount, also known by the aliases 'Old Man' and Gordon. Mount was a seasoned criminal who had received a 'Ticket-of-Leave' in September 1862 for the Mudgee district. At 47 years old, Mount was a tall man, standing at 5ft 11in, with brown hair, grey eyes, and a strong Irish accent.

The circumstances of how Hall and Mount came together are unclear, but it's speculated that they might have met while Mount was working as a farm laborer in the Cowra area. Mount was linked to a robbery near Forbes on January 24, 1864, where two men, Bell and McMahon, were relieved of 110 oz. of gold. In another account, Hall's accomplice was thought to be the notorious 'Mad Dog' Morgan, a figure who instilled fear in the Riverina region.

Hall's present confederate in-arms is a long-legged, slop-made, middle-aged, black whiskered truculent-looking vagabond, supposed by many to be Morgan. 

Morgan, it was not.

The next day, Hall, accompanied by the unidentified accomplice, intercepted Thomas Sheedy and several other men. Their primary objective was to acquire cash and the racehorse Black Diamond. One of the men, under the threat of Hall's gun, managed to convince the bushranger that he was penniless.

Hall, seemingly appeased, engaged in friendly conversation with the men. However, when the horse's handler appeared and realised their intentions, he quickly fled. This unexpected turn of events prompted Hall and his accomplice to give chase. 'Sydney Mail' Saturday 6th February 1864:

On the following day, Ben Hall this ubiquitous ruffian, aided by two others, took advantage of the visitors to the Burrowa races returning to their homes to cause them to loose their cash. About two o'clock Mr Sheedy, of Back Creek, Mr Hutchinson, of Murrumburrah, and Mr Bass, poundkeeper, on their return from the races, when near Kellergen, were met by Ben Hall at different places on the Murrumburrah road, who issued an authoritative mandate to ' Stand and deliver,' which they did.

Mr Sheedy handed over £8, Mr Hutchinson £9, but Mr Bass, suspecting the intentions of Hall before he closed upon them, managed to secret his money beneath the saddle, and, feigning to be very thirsty, got Hall's leave, after, being searched, to go to a quarry hard by for some water, where some men were at work. He grumbled to some extent, at losing his money in a general gambling transaction. Fortunately, Mr Sheedy had the most of his cash converted into a cheque —a document not negotiable on the highway. Hall, in his usual cool way, conversed with them on various; topics, remarking that but for this trifling circumstance the race programme would have been a miserable failure, as nobody seemed to carry ready cash now. Mr Sheedy's boy was some little distance behind, leading the racehorse, Black Diamond, and suspecting what was, going on and observing that he was about to be intercepted, let go the horse and started him towards Burrowa. The bushrangers failed in over taking Diamond, whom they pursued to the confines of Burrowa. The horse knew the district thoroughly, and arrived in the township a long way in advance of his pursuers.

Many years after the bailing up of the race goers a young man from Binalong noted at the time Hall's appearance and was surprised, expecting a wild man adorned with knives daggers and pistols, but the minds eye didn't fit the reality:

Ben Hall's demeanor and general appearance upset all my boyish calculations. I had pictured a wild-looking man in extravagant dress, with a belt around his waist, in which knives, daggers, and pistols were fastened like beads on a string. Here was a quiet, gentlemanly-looking man, dressed in a neat-fitting grey tweed suit, hazel-colored eyes, complexion fair, and a neat half-Yankee drab-colored felt hat, such as were generally worn by the station overseers. He only carried one pistol that I could see. 

It was later stated that the person involved with Hall was in fact James Mount who was well known to use and hold many differing alias':

On the 27th. day of January, 1864 two bushrangers held up, three punters who, were returning from the  Anniversary Races, and made them hand, over their winnings. The two robbers were the notorious Benjamin Hall and a well-known law-breaker named Long Tom Coffin, alias Tom White, alias James Mount.

Ben Hall's infamous reputation as a top-tier bushranger led some to believe that joining his gang was a simple matter. Consequently, over the next few months, several individuals entertained the idea of becoming part of his notorious crew.

One such individual was John M'Kail, an American who had self-styled himself with the moniker of the 'Flying Barber'. M'Kail had previously worked as a driver for the well-known coach service, Greig's, ferrying passengers between Forbes and Lambing Flat. It was during this time that M'Kail likely crossed paths with Hall and Gilbert.

McKail will be well remembered as having for a length of time-driven Mr Greig's coach between Forbes and Lambing Flat, and since the earliest days of this gold-field he has been connected with it.
However, M'Kail was a married man with a violent streak. In March 1863, he was sentenced to six months in Bathurst prison for brutally beating his wife. Upon his release, Mrs M'Kail, fearing for her safety due to his increasingly violent behaviour, took up employment with Mr Folkard at the Franklyn Hotel at Billabong, just outside Forbes.

M'Kail, however, was not deterred from seeking out his wife leading to a confrontation with her employer, Octavius Folkard. Folkard refused to let Mrs M'Kail leave, prioritising her safety. M'Kail, vowing revenge against his wife and those protecting her, returned to the Franklyn Hotel a few days later. He entered the bar in a heightened state of agitation, positioning himself at the end of the counter where Folkard was serving two customers. Suddenly, M'Kail shouted, "Folkard, Folkard, look!" and pulled out a pistol from his pocket. The weapon suddenly discharged in the process, the blast plunging the bar into darkness.

When a candle was lit, M'Kail was found on the floor, bleeding from a gunshot wound to his right side. The man who had intended to be an assassin was dead within ten minutes. Prior to this fatal confrontation, M'Kail had expressed his intention to join Gilbert and Hall, had he succeeded in shooting Folkard.
Ben Hall appeared to have disappeared from the Burrowa region, with no recent sightings or reports of him for a number of days. Rumors circulated that he might have returned to the vicinity of the Lachlan, possibly to his old station, or even to Wheogo station, the residence of his ex-in-laws. There were also whispers that he might be taking refuge in the remote confines of Wheogo Hill.

However, during this period of solitude, Hall had an unfortunate encounter with a centipede. The creature bit him, causing his foot to swell to such an extent that he couldn't wear a boot. In considerable discomfort, Hall sought medical attention from a doctor in Cowra for the centipede bite. Despite the doctor's efforts, Hall found little relief from the swelling and pain. Still in discomfort, Hall made his way to Oma station, a place familiar to him from his younger days when he used to herd cattle. It was also the place where he had once stolen a horse that had been entrusted to the police.

Ben Hall visited a doctor at Cowra a short time since to consult about his leg, which had been bitten by a centipede. He has since made a call at Oma station, of Messrs. West, Brothers', and took a police horse from the paddock. He is frequently seen about.

In discomfort, Hall returned to his former station Sandy Creek on the 13th of February 1864. Once a happy home. Ben Hall rode into Maguire's old homestead seeking the man who purchased Sandy Creek from himself and Maguire, John Wilson, in September 1862. 

The visit was cordial and friendly as Hall sought food and some replacement horseshoes for his ride. As Hall breakfasted, dogs barked. Seeing some police led by Inspector Shadforth, Hall calmly made for his horse, passed the police within a few yards, and with shots fired, made his escape. Wilson was arrested for harbouring. After the kerfuffle and the police departed, Hall, uncaring, returned to Wilson's to finish his breakfast, as witnessed by William Roebuck, a station hand.

He came to the kitchen, and said to me, "Good morning, old man. I have been watching them take my cook; I suppose I must cook myself." He took and fried five eggs, drank two pints of coffee, and ate some bread and butter. He hung his mare on the garden fence, where it was before the troopers chased him. He told me to tell the troopers that he had been back, wished me good morning, and went.

For the full article see the text/link below.

THE LATE BUSHRANGING ESCAPADE (From the Lachlan Miner, February 27th.) IN our last we promised to give full particulars today of the escape of Ben Hall from Wheogo; and we now proceed, as far as lies in our power, to redeem that promise. The statements of John Wilson and William Roebuck will throw considerable light upon the affair; and (until the other side of the case, if there be one, is officially made public), they must, we take it, be relied upon, the more especially as they can be verified on oath, although not as yet strengthened by affidavits: 

The Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 1st March 1864

However, for Sub-inspector Frederick Shadforth through allowing Ben Hall to slip through his fingers, was suspended by government minister Mr Forster pending an enquiry:

He (Mr Forster) had felt it to be his duty to suspend Mr Shadforth, and order an enquiry to be made into the circumstances.

Inspector Shadforth has been suspended for not capturing Ben Hall, the bushranger.

Suspended and against the advice of his peers Frederick Shadforth tendered his resignation which was accepted by the government.

Inspector Shadforth. — This police officer has sent in his resignation. He has taken this step contrary to the wishes of his friends, who were desirous that he should submit to the enquiry into his conduct with respect to the escape of Ben Hall from Wilson's station.

However, the circumstances surrounding Hall's evasion marked the end of his tenure with the New South Wales police force.

Shadforth managed to secure employment in various government roles following his departure from the police force. However, he found it challenging to maintain these positions in the long run. By 1873, Shadforth's struggles led him to serve a three-year sentence at Beechworth Gaol for forgery. This wasn't his first brush with the law; in 1865, he had spent a month in prison for obtaining money under false pretenses in Gundagai.

APPREHENSION OF AN EX-SUB-INSPECTOR OF POLICE— On Thursday night Frederick C. Shadforth, late a sub-inspector of police, was apprehended at Hardwicke,- by mounted constables Mara and Buckley, on a warrant in which he is charged with having obtained money by a false pretence from Mr. Norton, innkeeper, of Gundagai.

Shadforth eventually settled in Queensland where in 1891 he took his own life. Whereby he cut his wrists and bled to death.

A SUICIDE. His Identity Discovered. [BY TELEGRAPH FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.) BRISBANE, Sunday: - INQUIRY into the death of Frederick Shadforth, who cut his arms and bled to death a fortnight ago, has disclosed the information that the deceased was the son of Captain Henry Tudor Shadforth, for many years Usher of the Black Rod in the Legislative Council of New South Wales. Shadforth had been working in Queensland for four years as clerk. At one time he attempted to start a matrimonial agency under the name of Summerleas.

Once a prosperous squatter, Ben Hall now found himself revisiting the familiar landscapes of his past life, albeit under very different circumstances. Often seen alone, without the usual company of Gilbert, he sought out locals to join him in his illicit activities. The increasing pressure from law enforcement compelled Hall to expand his operations. By the end of March, he had ventured south of Cootamundra, near Berthunga, with the intention of targeting wealthy officials. However, his presence did not go unnoticed. As soon as word of his whereabouts reached the authorities, they initiated a pursuit. Yet, as was often the case, their efforts to apprehend Hall proved fruitless: Yass Courier, March 20th 1864: 

Ben Hall Again.- The notable Ben Hall has taken the field again with a select few. On Sunday morning, soon after eight o'clock, they stopped the mail from Binalong to Wagga Wagga near Bethungra, but did not meddle with the bags. Ben stated they were waiting for Mr Clarke, the gold commissioner, and M'Carthy, of the Oriental Bank, on their return from the races. Of course the police went at once in pursuit, and it is easy to imagine with what success.

Gilbert's absence was a mystery, but Hall and his new accomplice, James Mount, didn't let that slow them down. They continued their spree of robberies, striking out in the vicinity of Bethungra, a place already familiar with their exploits. They rode from town to town, from Marengo to Burrowra, their boldness growing with each successful heist. They took what they wanted - watches, horses, saddles, bridles, clothing, and of course, money. Their audacity was matched only by their cunning, as they managed to stay one step ahead of the law.

The local Traps, seemed to be perpetually behind. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to catch up with Hall and Mount. On several occasions, they arrived at the scene of a robbery only to find that the culprits had already fled, leaving behind a trail of frustrated victims and baffled lawmen.

Whispers were maintained among the townsfolk that the Traps were disinterested in pursuing Hall and Mount. Some speculated that they were afraid, that the reputation of the bushrangers had instilled fear in the hearts of the mounted troopers.
Regardless of the truth, the result was the same. Hall and Mount continued their spree:
Reported 1 April 64 - 

ROBBERY BY BEN HALL: - Intelligence is to hand that on Friday last Ben Hall went to Mr F Chisholm's station, Grogan, in the Binalong district, and fiinding the owner alone proceeded to tie him up. He threatened him with further punishment for riding about the country with bad characters— -meaning the police. He then went outside, and securing two of the servants; took the race-horse Troubadour, two other horses, and some trifling articles, and went away.— Goulburn Herald and- Chronicle.— 

The Burrangong Times says: — On the evening of Friday last the celebrated Ben unceremoniously introduced himself to the presence of Mr. Chisholm in that gentleman's residence, at Bland, and, after enquiring for the master of the house, was told that he was addressing him. No sooner was this said than Hall presented two revolvers at Mr. Chisholm's head, and demanded of a female who was present to bring him some coat straps. These being furnished, Hall put one of the revolvers in his belt, in which four more were fixed and with the unoccupied hand bound Mr Chisholm's hands behind his back. He then demanded the key of the store, which was the complied with. From the store he filled up three-bushel bags with clothing, bridles, &c., and took from Mr Chisholm his gold watch and chain, valued at £11. Hall then addressed himself to Mr. Chisholm thus : — "Now, Sir, I want your race-horse Troubadour." Mr. Chisholm begged of him to take anything he liked, but to leave him his horse, remarking that having left him so long unmolested, he thought that he (Hall) would not have troubled him now. "Damn you," Hall replied, "you ought not to have been so flash, assisting to escort the horse Union Jack to the Wagga Wagpi races. I was watching you from the ridges while I was lying in wait for Commissioner Clarke and Tom Coupland."

Troubadour was then brought from the stable, Mr Chisholm's new saddle and bridle was put on him, and the two crammed bags of plunder were strapped on. On proceeding out of the yard, Troubadour, not relishing the humiliation of being oonvertcd into a packhorse, commenced bucking, and quickly relieved himself of his freight. Other horses were then brought into requisition, which were, along with Troubadour, led away. Hall only appeared in the robbery, but, by the signals he at times gave, it was evident he was not alone, and had several accomplices at hand. Mr Chisholm rode to Young next morning and laid an information to the police, who went in search after Hall. Mr. Chisholm has had information since tbat Troubadour has been set adrift near M'Kay's station, at Mimagong.

The following is a somewhat more circumstantial account of the same event from the Young Daily Tribune of the 6th instant. That Journal says :— On Friday, the 1st instant, Ben Hall paid a visit to Groggan station, Bland Plains, 30 miles from Young, the property of Mr. Frederick Chisholm — a gentleman well known in this district It appears that Hall had a great longing to become possessed of 'Union Jack,' the celebrated race-horse, who ran third in the Champion Race at Wagga Wagga; but the horse being closely escorted by some troopers from Junee he was disappointed. Mr Chisholm came part of the way with the police escort, which annoyed Hall and Co. ; and, to be revenged for their not obtaining ' Union Jack,' they honoured Mr. Chisholm with their company between seven and eight o'clock on the above evening. In the house, besides Mr. C, were a man and a boy, who are in his service, a traveller stopping for the night, and Mr. Peter Woods, a neighbouring squatter, who was in bed at the time, and whom they did not molest in any way. Hall came into the house by himself, and, after bidding good evening, proceeded to tie every one up, with their hands behind their back, civilly saying, 'he came for the race-horse Troubadour, and have him he would.' Mr. Chisholm asked, "What he wanted with the horse after having left him alone so long? Hall replied, "That he (Mr C.) was too bloody flash coming from WaggaWagga; if lie had returned home by himself he would not have interfered with him but, if he chose to keep company with troopers, he must be taught better manners." Hall then untied and marched them all before him to the stable where the horse was, which he took out, brought back to the house, and put a bridle and saddle on. He then filled two three-bushel bags with property from. Mr. Chisholm's station store, consisting of clothing of various kinds, tobacco, saddles and bridles, and quietly asked for Mr Chisholm's gold watch and chain, which cost twenty-five guineas. These having been handed to him, he coolly pocketed, remarking that the watch looked a good one. He also took two other horses — a chestnut and a bay; and, having secured his booty safely on the horses, he kindly wished them all good evening, saving — "I dare say you are not sorry I am going." Hall did not disguise himself in any way, but appeared quite cool and jolly. Mr Chisholm did not know Hall personally ; but some of his men did, and enlightened their master as to the character of his disagreeable visitor. Mr. Chisholm estimates his loss at about £270. It is supposed that Hall's companions waited a short distance for him, and aided him to carry off the plunder; although none of them but Hall was seen. Such are the particulars, as far as we can at present learn, of the outrage, alike disgraceful to our civilization and Government. It is reported that 'Troubadour' has been turned loose by the bushrangers ; but we doubt the truth of it. The bay draught horse which was stolen has been recovered, having been picked up on the station by a stock-keeper.

The Yass Courier Saturday 16th Apr 1864:

BEN HALL'S LATEST EXPLOITS. [from our Marengo correspondent.] Monday, 6 p.m. — Two hours ago Mr. Percy Scarr, of Marengo Station, and his brother Richard, were stuck-up by Ben Hall and one of his neophytes within four miles of Marengo, on the Burrowa side. All the plunder the scoundrel's obtained consisted of the gentlemen's watches, horses, saddles, and bridles, which were galloped away with. The squatters around, who are possessed of horses of any local reputation, must now keep a sharp eye on the same, for I am informed that Hall swears that his new gang shall be the best mounted rangers that over "took the bush for it."

The horses stolen this afternoon will assist to make good the robber's boast, for they are both well bred animals, particularly Mr. Percy Scarr's, which is a fine, showy beast, having formerly been a racer. This highway robbery took place not far from where Mr. Scarr was stuck-up before, and very near to the spot where the unfortunate mailman, Crotty, was shot dead. The Marengo police are now in pursuit.

Tuesday, 9 p.m. — The police have returned. They were unsuccessful. Most of us are now on the qui vive, consequently arms are at a premium ; for it has been tritely yet truly remarked, that "those are best' protected who protect themselves."

Leaving the Scarr's 50 pounds poorer on Hall with Gordan were on their way to recover a horse from a nearby station of Hall's. Hall was met by a bush-telegraph and appraised of the situation that Sheedy the discover of the Lambing Flat goldfield was at his public house. Still angry at the encounter with Sheedy and the failure to nick the racehorse Black Diamond Hall arrived at the pub at Back Creek to cast retribution.

The Goulburn Chronicle Saturday 16th April 1864: - It appears Hall was on his way to Broughtonsworth for this horse, when, it is supposed, by the intervention of a bush telegraph, he had his wish gratified with less trouble. Late on the evening of the same day, the inmates of Mr Sheedy's public-house, Back Creek, were alarmed by Hall and his companion entering and bailing them up in the usual way. Hall's mate-an elderly man aged about fifty, kept them in a corner, while Hall went and searched for Sheedy, on whom he says he will have revenge, on account of having reported his having been stuck up while returning from Burrowa races. For this and to get possession of, Mr. Sheedy's race-horse, Black Diamond. Hall stated that this was the object of his visit. However, Hall ransacked the place, took possession of the bar, and became landlord pro. tem,, serving out nobblers ad libitum, and gratis. He then ordered supper, of which he and his coadjutor heartily partook. They then left, and went and stick-up another store. He is supposed to be now in the bush near Marengo. The bush telegraphs render him almost safe, among whom he distributes money most profusely. Fortunately Mr. Sheedy was from home, and Diamond removed to a distance. It is pretty well known that Hall and his accomplice rode through the township of Young at an early hour next morning. Burrangong Times.

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