John O'Meally was born in June 1840 in the vicinity of Cunningham Creek near Harden, NSW. (Cunningham Creek is close to the township of Yass.) His father, Patrick O'Meally, was from County Mayo, Ireland, employed as a boatman labourer and was single when convicted for sheep stealing on 22nd March 1831 and his brother Peter O'Meally 18yrs. Patrick was 34yrs old. Both were transported for seven years to NSW. They arrived on 9th February 1832 at Port Jackson on the ship 'Norfolk' (3). The 'Norfolk' was 536 Tons, under the command of Captain William Henniker with Surgeon Superintendent William Cliffordon and a Crew of 37 carrying 199 Irish male convicts. The transport records for Patrick reveal his surname as Malley, and his brother recorded as Mally. (Norfolk (3) represents the third voyage of the vessel for transporting convicts.)
|Patrick O'Meally's Indent 1832. Note Malley.|
92. Maley Patrick. Name of the run, Arramagong. Estimated run, twenty-six thousand eight hundred and eighty acres. Estimated grazing capabilities eight hundred cattle. -Bounded on the north by the Weddin Mountains; south by White's creek until it meets Burramunda Troy boundary; east by Whites Creek and a marked tree line running north and south from the Tygong Creek one mile of Watt's sheep station at the Black waterhole; west by the Black waterhole."¹ Note no mention of Daley.
|An estimate of the layout of|
'Arramagong' ran along the confines of the lower escarpment of the Weddin Range. The range was portrayed in an article penned late 1863; The Weddin Mountains.- "seen from the road, for I had no nearer view of it than that, the range does not seem so very desperate a place, though one of the spurs of it that the road from Forbes to Young crosses is dark, dull, and dreer enough for any possible cut-throat purpose, being rather thickly timbered with ironbark—the black trunks making the wood appear on either side of the road as anything but inviting. Though the face presented to the road does not though steep, present any very particularly formidable barriers to the pursuit, there are other parts of the range that are exceedingly rocky and precipitous, being, moreover; covered by a dense undergrowth or scrub, rendering pursuit unless by tracking, an almost hopeless task...."
No doubt, John benefited from some formal education. As Arramagong prospered John O'Meally grew into a fine man standing almost 6ft tall with rich Auburn hair, grown long curling at the nape of his neck. He would take great care of his appearance and dress in extravagant style. "tall, smart, and a splendid horseman, who was what in the vernacular of the bush is known as 'flash', there were six sons and three daughters. The sons were all 'six-footers' and as straight as pine-saplings...”
|Mrs J.B. Wood|
|Licence, The Weddin|
Mount Inn, 1860.
Coloured by me.
|John O'Meally's nephew|
John O'Meally, son
of Patrick O'Meally.
|'Yass Courier' |
However, by keeping Daley in the dark, the sale was swiftly expedited. The unsavoury circumstances caused nastiness between the brothers-in-law, whereby Daley would often seek vengeance and swoop down harassing the O'Meally's at various times. John O'Meally, in response, reputedly desired to take matters into his own hands;[sic] "although in possession of the hut and claiming part of the run, his tenure was a disputed one, the right to it being claimed by a man named Daley, between whom and the O'Mealley's a feud had existed for some years past in reference to it. Daley used to make occasional pounces down upon O'Mealley, when, of course, the quartet would become for some time more bitter and envenomed. On one of the occasions it had become so fierce that the bushranger O'Mealley, then regularly on the road, left his career for once a week, and during that time was riding about in the hope of coming across Daley whom he expressed his intention of "doing for..."
On the 10th March 1862, O'Meally appeared in company with Frank Gardiner, James Downey and Tom McGuinness. The four bushrangers bailed up and robbed two local shopkeepers from the nearby settlement of Wombat 40 miles south of the Weddin Mountains. The unfortunate victims were Messrs. Horsington and Hewitt; also present was Mrs Horsington and a manservant, Robert Bird; 'The Sydney Morning Herald', 15th March 1862; "Yesterday there was great excitement in the town in consequence of information being given to the Camp that two storekeepers, on their way from the Wombat to the Flat, had been stuck up and robbed of £2000 by Gardiner and his mob. I now send you the particulars: Yesterday morning Mr Horsington and Mr Hewitt, storekeepers at the Wombat, and large purchasers of gold started from there about nine o'clock, for the purpose of taking their gold and money into the Flat and depositing it at the bank. Just before they started, four men were observed to leave a public-house, and gallop along the road. Mr Horsington and his wife started for the Flat in a spring cart, accompanied by Mr Hewitt on horseback, between the Wombat and Stoney Creek they were stopped by four armed men on horseback-neither Mr Horsington nor Mr Hewitt was armed-but Mr Horsington, when stopped, put his hand to the bottom of the cart as if to reach some weapon, when he was immediately fired at by one of the men, the bullet passing between himself and wife. Mr Hewitt turned his horse around in the direction of the Wombat when he was immediately stopped by one of the men, and what money and gold they had were taken from them, Mr Horsington having £1100, and Mr Hewitt £700, in gold and notes. Mr Hewitt is quite positive that one of the men was the notorious Gardiner that has so long infested the neighbourhood of Lambing Flat and the Lachlan. Sticking-up on the Lachlan Road still continues, several parties being robbed by armed men on that road on Friday and Saturday last." (Horsington should read Hossington.)
While pursued by a police patrol under the wily Captain Battye's command, O'Meally was quick but not quick enough. Patsy Daley and O'Meally were arrested with another of their cousins, Downey. Downey, along with O'Meally was suspected of having been involved in the Horsington robbery. All were captured in the vicinity of the Weddin Mountains and held at Lambing Flat; 'Sydney Morning Herald' 21st March 1862; "I annexe-three others who have been apprehended, namely, Downey, John Maley, and Deely-Downey being identified as one of the men that stuck up Messrs. Horsington and Hewitt, on Monday last, the other two on suspicion of highway robbery. Sticking-up still continues, and without the Government increase the police force in this district considerably I see no chance of its being put down. "
The feud between John Daley and Old O'Meally did not appear to sway the friendship between first cousins John O'Meally and Patsy Daley. Shortly after the Horssington robbery and John flushed with cash, both men were arrested in May 1862 with longtime scoundrel Owen Fox. A charge of Rape and Highway Robbery. Reported in the 'Empire'; RAPE AND HIGHWAY ROBBERY –“John O'Mealey, Owen Fox, and Patrick Daley were brought up on this charge and remanded until Tuesday next. There were another two charges against Fox, which also stand over.”⁸
However, being charged and convicted are two very different things. At the time of O'Meally's second court appearance for rape, it appeared that the reporter for the Police Court at Burrangong was unfortunately banned from reporting the events, which caused great indignation amongst the local residents, suffice to say, both O'Meally and Daley were, it is believed, released. Further evidence disclosed that Fox served a short sentence for criminal offences. However, the rape allegation was dismissed through mistaken identity following two young men James Shepherd and Thomas Evans' arrest. Both later convicted. Free O'Meally and Daley were now able to roam the bush as part of Gardiner's merry band.
|NSW Police Gazette|
6th August 1862.
John Maguire, a long-time acquaintance of Gardiner and O'Meally, and heavily involved in the robbery's planning, wrote in his narrative. 'The Biography of a Reliable Old Native' (written by P.H. Pinkstone, owner of the 'Hawkesbury Herald' and first published in the said newspaper after many in-depth interviews and fireside talks, c. 1906); "it was with Gardiner that the idea of taking the escort originated and took a fortnight to prepare for the attack. For some months before Gilbert and O'Meally were Gardiner's constant companions, and they had been talking about it together. They were getting full of the petty bailing-up business, and wanted to make a grand haul and then quit the country..."
The Eugowra Robbery was one of the most daring robberies in the colonies short history orchestrated by Frank Gardiner. Gardiner recruited Ben Hall, John Gilbert, Alex Fordyce, John Bow, Henry Manns, Daniel Charters and John O'Meally. The robbery was a complete success, and O'Meally was in the thick of it. Scurrying away, the band made for Wheogo Hill situated close to Ben Hall's home. However, before long, the police were on the tracks and commenced making arrests of those suspected of involvement. Ben Hall and Daniel Charters, along with John Maguire and John Brown, were taken into custody at Sandy Creek station. In addition, John O'Meally was arrested at the Weddin Mountains, including his father Patrick and another petty criminal, Frederick Trotter, who provided the alibi to O'Meally's cousin Downey over the Horrsington robbery, all were conveyed to Forbes.
At the time of the old Patrick's arrest. It was reputed that an exchange of words took place between the arresting sergeant Sanderson the 'Hero of Wheogo', and old O'Meally while being shackled to his son John;[sic] "Patrick O'Meally was arrested in his hotel near Forbes. The following dialogue is reported to have occurred when a police sergeant arrested him. Sergeant: I arrest you in the Queen's name. O'Meally: What Queen? Sergeant: Queen Victoria. O'Meally: She's not my Queen. She's not the Queen of Ireland..."
As a consequence, along with Ben Hall and others, O'Meally was held at Forbes 'Yass Courier' September 1862; "At the Police office, Forbes. Benjamin Hall and William Hall, of Wheogo, brought up (on remand) on suspicion of having stopped and robbed' her Majesty's mail and gold escort, and, on the application of Sir F Pottinger, were again remanded till the 28th. John O'Malley, from the Weddin Mountain, and John McGuire, of Wheogo, were brought up before the Bench on remand. Sergeant Rush said he should have to ask their worships to further remand the prisoners for seven days, in the absence, of Sir Frederick Pottinger and Captain Battye. Mr. Pendergast, for the defence, addressed the Bench, and expressed his surprise and disgust at the treatment of these men, against whom nothing had been attempted to be proved, but who had already been incarcerated in the gaol for seven weeks. He could not help expressing his indignation against such injustice. The Bench declined to listen to such remarks and again remanded the prisoners for seven days." — Lachlan Observer.
|John O'Meally's Bathurst Gaol Entry in September 1862.|
|John O'Meally's bail and conditions, 1st November 1862,|
O'Meally failed to appear and would never see the inside of a court again.
On the 2nd February 1863 and John Gilbert's back in the Weddin, John O'Meally engages in the armed robbery of two Lambing Flat businesses. O'Meally while the robbery is in progress happens upon a passing policeman and unleashes a thrashing and stealing his effects; 'The Sydney Morning Herald' Friday 13th February 1863; DARING ATTACK OF BUSHRANGERS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. - "It is this week our province to record two most daring attacks of robbery committed in broad daylight, on Monday, the 2nd instant. The victims of these acts of bushranging were first:- Mr. Dickson, of the Commercial Store, Spring Creek, Burrangong, and Mr. Dalton, innkeeper, of the same place. We may add that the robbers are well-known, and can be identified. Two of them are from the Wedden Mountain, two from the Levels, and one from the Abercrombie. The thieves tied up their horses outside of the gentleman's store previously mentioned, two remained on guard, and three entered the establishment. While the premises were being ransacked, a policeman happened to pass. He was stuck up also, and his horse, saddle and bridle, were taken away. The horse was the constable's private property. He consequently offered resistance, when one of the villains struck him a severe blow on the hand and wrist, quite disabling the limb; they kept him in durance vile until their unlawful work was accomplished; they then allowed him to proceed. He made his way with all possible speed to the camp, and Captain Battye mustered all hands, and started immediately in pursuit. The men also stuck-up the adjoining inn, Mr. Dalton's, known by the name of the Golden Fleece. They are supposed to have obtained about £60 in cash, and several guns and pistols. The latter were taken from Dalton's. The robbers are supposed to be the same who stuck-up the Bendick Morrell station on the 29th ultimo."- Burrowa Times.
The 15th February 1863 was a red-letter day for O'Meally. The 'Wild Colonial Boy' perpetrated his first murder through the shooting death of a Lambing Flat publican, Mr Adolph Cirkel, at Stoney Creek. The description and events surrounding this diabolical murder appeared in the newspapers shortly after the tragic events. However, at the time, widespread speculation and confusion existed as to who the culprits were. One description matched John O'Meally. The other description had long been believed to be that of John Gilbert. However, descriptions of the other man eliminate Gilbert. Therefore suspicion fall's on another, most probably Ben Hall? Gilbert was described as 10 stone, between 5ft 8in-10in with blonde hair. Ben Hall as, 5ft 6/7in stout build brown hair with grey eyes. The events and witness testimony can be read in the accompanying link below.
26th February 1863
Murder of Mr Cirkel
Subsequently, shortly after the shooting of Mr Cirkel, another robbery was committed days later, on the 25th February 1863, by O'Meally, Ben Hall, Daley and Gilbert at the Wambat store of Myers Solomon. It was stated that O'Meally, during the hold-up, threatened the occupants saying that unless they obeyed their orders, they would suffer the same fate as Cirkel. The comment demonstrated that John O'Meally was indeed the shooter of Adolph Cirkel.
Additionally, a fringe criminal, John Clarke, arrested on suspicion of the murder and was highlighted as a known acquaintance of John O'Meally in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser' on 12th March 1863. Clarke confessed to participating, "a man named Clarke under circumstances which warranted them in believing that he was one of the murderers. At the time of his apprehension he was riding a horse which had been stolen on the previous day from Spring Creek, and which his captors were able to identify. Clarke, seeing that the case was so strong against him, made a confession to Captain Battye, to the effect that the murder of Mr. Cirkel had been committed by Gardiner, Gilbert, Meally, and himself, and that it was Meally who actually fired the fatal shot."
|"shoot the b-------;" |
The tall man asked him to go and sit in the corner with those already there. He answered, "What for?" A struggle then ensued between the tall robber and him and there is little doubt that Mr. Cirkel who was a strong, powerfully built, and very determined man, would have overpowered the other, had not the stout robber behind the bar called out to him according to the report of one witness to the scene "Blow his bloo_y brains out," and to another's-"Shoot the bu--er." The tall ruffian immediately fired, and shot the unfortunate gentleman dead. The deceased never spoke afterwards—death was instantaneous. The diabolical ruffians, after committing the murder, rushed out of the house, mounted their horses, and fled, and up to the present time no tidings have been heard of them." When arrested, Clarke was appraised by Captain Battye to be of 'bad character'. After the arrest, Clarke was presented to the witnesses for identification, but they could not say Clarke was one of the men.
|NSW Police Gazette|
|Ben Hall c. 1862|
Coloured by me.
|John Oxley Norton.|
First time published.
O'Meally, Ben Hall, and Gilbert had well and truly took command of the Lachlan roads and countryside. The trio was known to cover many miles escaping the pursuing NSW police. At times citizens out travelling from one centre to another would come across the men and, in most cases, be held at gunpoint for valuables. Items such as a pair of boots or a coat took the fancy of one of the bushrangers. When sighting the gang, some citizens prepared a defence much like the circling of wagons in old western movies. One such episode took place near Strickland's station 'Bundaburra' outside Forbes. As happened with Insp Norton, the three divided, but on seeing the travellers' preparedness only offered pleasantries. 'The Border Post' 1863; "when near Strickland's paddock, they heard the bushrangers were out a-head and accordingly looked to their arms. Sure enough they had not gone a dozen miles before they saw three men, mounted bearing down on them; the latter separated, one coming straight to the party and the others each taking a side of the road. Our travellers drew up, made a barricade of their vehicles, and quietly covered the bushrangers with their "double barrels." This had the effect of making them pass in peace, one of them remarking, "You seem to be prepared." "Times require it," was the reply. Some distance further on, our heroes saw four other men coming towards them. The barricade dodge was repeated, but the bushrangers in this instance turned out to be "poor innocent mounted troopers," who thought the party were bushrangers, and were funky accordingly. A bushranger travelling in a buggy is a new idea, and could only have emanated from the brain of a New South Wales trooper."
May 1863, O'Meally was active with Ben Hall and another young tearaway John Jameison, the son of Ben Hall's friend from Back Creek the Bland, William Jameison. On this occasion, the trio bailed up another police inspector, robbing him of all his valuables. Reported in 'The Sydney Morning Herald' the following week; ROBBERY OF SUB. INSPECTOR SHADFORTH;-"On Saturday, Sub-Inspector Shadforth, stationed at Bogolong, in the Lachlan district, with a stockman, offered to show two ladies who were making their way in a buggy to Forbes, a short distance on the road; after proceeding a mile Shadforth's horse bolted a short distance into the bush, when he came upon three men who levelled their guns and revolvers at him and ordered him to dismount. They were Ben Hall, John O’Meally, and another not known. (John Jameison) Hall held a revolver at Shadforth's head while one searched him, taking his money, watch, rug, saddle, bridle, and horse, telling him to proceed with the ladies. He returned to camp today somewhat chagrined."
The robbery of an inspector created a sensation whereby soon after and having re-joined with Gilbert the two bushrangers in-company with O'Meally's younger brother Patsy O'Meally the trio unceremoniously arrived a Bribery Station the home of the Howell's whose sister and daughter had married and were in the process of the wedding party when the bushrangers rode in dismounted and joined uninvited in the celebrations; 'Mount Alexander Mail' Tuesday 19th May 1863; Uninvited Guests at a Marriage Party — 'The Burrangong Star' of Saturday, the 9th inst., states; "On Monday evening, during the celebration of the wedding at Mr Howell's (the Bribery station)— his son having been married that day, likewise the sister of his wife, whose nuptials had taken place that morning — Gilbert and Johnny O'Meally appeared, well armed, at the house; not, as our readers may imagine, as invited guests - their absence being preferable to their company.-- Hanging up their horses, they went into the yard, and Gilbert proceeded to the kitchen. When Mr Howell was informed of the honor his unwelcome guests, had conferred upon him, he left his friends and the house and had an interview with, them; They gave him to understand that Gardiner, whom they called the "Darkey," was up on the hill near the house, but they mentioned that they had no intention of interfering with his guests. We may here remark that Patsey O'Meally, who was then in the house, was included in that number; he also was self-invited, and we believe, a, very unwelcome guest. Mr Howell, gave them some grog, wedding-cake, and a ham, and after a time they went away without interfering with or annoying any of the company.
Coloured by me.
O'Meally introduced me to his companion, and in the course of conversation, I learned that they intended doing a little bushranging on that side of the country on their own account. In answer to their inquiries I gave them full information about the Mountain Run and Trunkey Creek Diggings..."
Area frequented by John Vane, O'Meally and Gilbert while in the Carcoar surrounds.
Filmed by Craig Bratby.
The Carcoar Chronicle
|Carcoar Bank attempted robbery as well as Mr Hosie's store robbery Caloola.|
( should read 30th July 1863, not 22nd)
|Former Carcoar Commercial Bank,|
first building on the left.
Courtesy Carcoar Historical
As the three bushrangers attacked the coach, it was only through sheer providence that murder was not committed. Luckily, a police constable named Sutton escaped with his life after bravely confronting the bushrangers and was shot by O'Meally. (See article below.)
|NSW Police Gazette,|
For constable Sutton he came under the care of Dr Machattie, who described the seriousness of the gunshot wound in August 1863; Dr Machattie, being sworn, said: "On the evening of the 6th of August, 1863, I was sent for to go to Blaney, to visit constable Sutton; I arrived there on the morning of the 7th August. Constable Sutton was suffering from a gun shot wound; the ball had entered the right side of the chest, took a direction on the side, passed through the axilla, (armpit) and came out a little under the arm about the middle but towards the back of the arm; he was suffering very severely from the wound. I brought him into Bathurst in a buggy; he was under my care for four months; he is still suffering from the effects of the wound and is likely to do so for some time to come; when I first saw the wound I considered it was a dangerous one, owing to the parts through which the ball passed." Sutton, in due course, recovered and continued to serve until 1900. Sutton passed away at the Hospital for Insane, Callan Park Sydney, in March 1916.
Nevertheless, on the morning of the 30th August 1863, as a new day dawned, John O'Meally and John Vane, on the evening before, held up and robbed 'Demondrille Station' in company with Ben Hall Gilbert, and Burke. Separated arriving at a hut of harbourers, the Tootle's. The two bushrangers, after some aperitifs, bunked down for the night. When day broke in what would become a fateful day for John O'Meally, four troopers and Mr Edmonds, Demondrille Station manager, arrived at Tootle's hut after information of O'Meally's presence reached them at the newly established police station at Murrumburrah. As the police stealthily approached the cabin, the barking of dogs sounded the alarm catching Vane and O'Meally by surprise. Therefore, like the scene from the end of the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, John Vane and John O'Meally cornered, burst out the front door, firing rapidly at the troopers and effected their escape. In the gun battle, Constable Houghey was shot in the knee as well as three horses. John Vane describes the scene; Vane op. cit. "the police called on us to come out, and as we made no sign they poured a regular storm of bullets into the slab walls, fortunately without doing any damage... O'Meally and I took a revolver in each hand and suddenly throwing open the door we sent out a blaze of fire, discharging our revolvers simultaneously, and rushed out while the smoke-filled the doorway. I heard one of the policemen call out "I'm shot, but look after their horses..."
|Barnes family arrival in 1841.|
The true account of the death of Mr Barnes, murdered
by John O'Meally with John Vane present.
|A contemporary illustration|
of the death of John Barnes.
Author's Note: In John Vanes' autobiography, Vane conveniently excludes himself from the Barnes killing, concocting a yarn that Gilbert was the other person involved, yet on the morning of Mr Barnes' death, Vane had described how he and O'Meally's had narrowly escaped from the police and where they had lost equipment in their escape, arrived at Browns hut. See page 103, John Vane's Biography "In a tight corner', on Links Page.
However, following Mr Barnes's death, time caught up with O'Meally's family. As far as the police were concerned, the hut was a general rendezvous for bushrangers. Thus, despite a two-month notice to vacate, Jack's father Patrick O'Meally would finally be kicked off Arramagong Station. Moreover, since mid-1862, the O'Meally's had no longer held ownership over Arramagong. Over the preceding year, the family had stubbornly squatted on the property against the current owner's wishes. Therefore, under the Lands Act of April 1861, the O'Meally's faced the same punishment previously dealt out to Ben Hall. The police burned them out; 'Sydney Morning Herald', 14th September 1863; BURNING OF OLD O'MEALLY'S HOUSE. "The day before yesterday (September 14) a party of police, headed by a sub-inspector, surrounded Patrick O'Meally's ex-public-house in the Weddin Mountains; they searched the house for bushrangers, but found none. The officer told O'Meally to clear himself, family and chattels out of the house, as he was going to burn it down; but the old man refused to budge an inch, saying, "the police have often threatened to burn us out, but they have never done it yet, and I don't believe ever will." Whereupon the sub-inspector took from the hearth a firestick, went outside, and instantly commenced the work of destruction; and in a very short-time naught remained of the once substantial inn but a heap of charcoal and smoking embers. This O'Meally is the father of the notorious (not celebrated, as he is sometimes called) Johnny O'Meally. The old man and a portion of his family are now living in a tent contiguous to their late homestead. Setting aside the legality (?) I must question the good policy of the above proceeding, as within the last two years several bad characters have been captured at O'Meally's; therefore, this burning down looks like destroying the trap that ensnared the vermin. Such Culverhouse acts will never stop bushranging; they are more likely to increase it, as in the case of Ben Hall, who was rendered the desperate outlaw he now is principally through the police burning down his once comfortable homestead, and thrusting his wife and family into the shelterless bush. At least one of the victims in Hall's case must have been innocent, for it was an infant at the breast. But acts of indiscriminate harshness have been, and always will be the distinguishing characteristic of a weak government. People around here say that as some police inspectors find themselves incompetent to take the leading bushranger, they vent their disappointment and rage upon the robber’s relatives, i.e., by rendering houseless their aged parents, wives, and children. Such retaliation indeed smacks of the medieval ages and is unworthy of the enlightened nineteenth century. An error crept into my communication of the 10th instant, about the re-taking of Jamieson; however, I was right in stating that Sir Frederick Pottinger escorted on the 9th instant the bushranger Jamieson through Marengo; but the officer who re-arrested the supposed robber was Sub-inspector Roberts-who who has since thrust the firebrand into O’Meally’s house."
This event carried out against John O'Meally's family may have tipped the scales for O'Meally to grasp his revolver firmly in what would now become a war against all as when next in company with Ben Hall, Gilbert and Vane with Mickey Burke, the gang would capture three constables and treated them with contemptible ridicule; 'Goulburn Herald', 24th September 1863; BATHURST CAPTURE of THREE TROOPERS BY BUSHRANGERS.-"Gilbert, O'Meally, Ben Hall, Burke, and Vane, stuck up three troopers on Tuesday afternoon, at George Marsh's on Mount Macquarie, near Carcoar, and took from them their arms and accoutrements. The bushrangers tied the troopers to a fence, stripped off their jackets, and put them on in derision. After keeping them for two hours they returned their clothing and permitted them to go. These troopers had been sent out especially to capture bushrangers. The government, on receiving information, immediately forwarded a message requiring an explanation, and we are informed that the answer received was, that at the time the police were captured they were engaged catching a horse on a station near Carcoar and that they were attacked when separated from each other, and thus taken at a disadvantage."
|O'Meally's Description, June 1863.|
|Portrait of Stanley Hosie.|
Hill End c. 1872.
Never published before.
Kindly supplied by
|Illustration of Loudon|
Patrick William Marony
Subsequently, in 1911 an account of the famous events was published, titled ‘The Lone Hand’ by George Quickie, and recounts through Henry Keightley’s son Leo explicit testimony of his father's night of infamy at the hands of John O'Meally. Be that as it may, the bulk of the 'The Lone Hand' narration is substantial as a historical record and relates in gripping detail how the gang passed the night away with their prisoner, including Vane's intense desire to seek retribution for the death of Micky Burke. Full details see link below.
|The layout of the O'Meally and the bushrangers attack Dunns Plains 23, 24, 25th October 1863.|
|Mural at Binalong depicting|
a new reward of £4000 for
the remaining four.
|Death of John O'Meally, by Patrick William Marony 1858-1939|
|Mural at Binalong, |
Hall & Gilbert
kneeling over a dead
|Mrs Campbell Coffee Urn|
19th March 1864.
|Pocket watch presented|
to David Campbell, 1863.
Courtesy NSW State Library.
THE LATE BUSHRANGER, JOHN O'MEALLY.
Mr. Campbell, who shot this desperate man, has received the following letter from the Colonial Secretary. At first he hesitated to receive the promised reward, although property of more value than £1000 was destroyed by the bushrangers; but after consulting his friends Mr. Campbell has very properly consented to accept it.
|After O'Meally's death, a curiosity emerged.|
|This Plaque is at the Forbes Cemetery.|
It was no long step to a sticking-up event by which a solitary Chinaman, travelling along a road leading to Bathurst, found himself the poorer by a £5 note and two ounces of gold-dust, and a very short one to the "bailing-up" of a public-house in the neighborhood of the Fish River. Although this affair was more or less intended as a "lark," the publican gave information to the police, and a warrant was issued for the arrest of Vane and his companions. Soon afterwards he barely escaped capture by the police, and after one or two further adventures of a similar sort, found himself in a position of being "wanted," which left him no alternative but that of adopting a bushranging career in earnest. In the course of a month or two he fell in with Gilbert and O'Meally, and from that time became a real bushranger."
|The NSW Police Gazette report and warrant for John Vane.|
This warrant was issued on 3rd May 1863, which sent John Vane to the bush and eventually joined Gilbert and O'Meally.
|Comus II stable, Coombing Park.|
Courtesy Craig Bratby
(Vane, during his conversations with his biographer Charles White denies involvement at Coombing Park and states it was another in company with Burke. Furthermore, in Vane's reminiscence, he writes himself out of many of the atrocities he was proven to be directly involved with.)
As a result of the horse taking and shooting of the stable hand at Icely's, Burke and Vane had begun the exploits that would lead to many a highway robbery and gunfight with the police as well as the sticking-up of stores, coaches, and for Vane, an accessory to murder and would cost Burke his life. However, in July 1863, John Gilbert and John O’Meally, members of Hall's gang sought fresh horses and new districts to operate in, arrived in the Carcoar district and sent the word out amongst the locals that Vane's local expertise was required. O'Meally and Vane had known each other earlier while Vane was stock keeping at the Weddin Mountains and had a fine reputation for handling high spirited horses. Subsequently, the two met with Vane at one of his camps at Millpost Creek, resulting in plans for an attack on the Carcoar bank. On 30th July 1863, the idea came into action. Vane's job was to provide logistics for the raid. However, he did not participate. Gilbert and O’Meally rode into Carcoar and performed one of the first daylight bank robberies in the colony of NSW.
A short video of the Millpost Creek area often used by Vane, Ben Hall, Gilbert & Co.
Filmed by Craig Bratby.
Courtesy Craig Bratby
|The roster of NSW Police wounded 1862-1867.|
Consequently, O'Meally levelled his drawn revolver at the fast retreating shopkeeper and fired some shots which found their mark in the back of the defenceless man. Despite being hit several times and lolling in the saddle, Barnes held on. The chase covered some distance with O'Meally still firing and yelling imprecations as the wounded man's horse entered Wallendbeen homestead. Tragically, Mr Barnes, with blood flowing freely from his body, collapsed from his horse and striking his head on an obstacle on the ground. Within moments he was heard by those nearby to sigh a long breath or death rattle as poor Mr Barnes entered the next world. Meanwhile, as the gunfire rang out, John Vane remained covering Hanlon without robbing him. Subsequently, at Barnes death, Vane became an accomplice, including Burke's wounding the stable groom, German Charley at Icely's station, Coombing Park. The difference this time was that the gunfire resulted in the death of the victim. At the inquest the eyewitness Mr Hanlon deposed;- John B. Hanlon, being sworn, stated: "I am assistant storekeeper in the employ of Mr. Barnes' son, at Cootamundry; on Sunday last I was riding with Mr. Barnes, from Murrumburrah to Cootamundry; when opposite M'Kay's stockyard I saw horses standing at the door of a hut; near the dam I said to Mr. Barnes "that looks suspicious;" shortly after Johnny Meally, whom I knew and instantly recognised, galloped up to us, and said to me "I know you, you ba---rd," and to Mr. Barnes, at the same time pointing a revolver at him, "bail up you ba---rd too;" Meally, addressing Barnes, said, "is that a good horse?" to which Barnes did not reply; he then said "get off, I want that horse, saddle, and bridle; Barnes then said "is that what you mean?"; O'Meally said "you ba---rd if you stir I'll put daylight through you;" Barnes turned away and galloped off towards Mr. M'Kay's house; O'Meally fired after he had got away about fifteen yards, and then went full gallop after him; he fired again as soon as he had time to cock his revolver; they got out of my sight and I heard three shots more fired; the other man stood over me with his revolver cocked, and ordered me to dismount; I got off my horse and he said "if you stir an inch I'll do the same to you"; he ordered me up to M'Kay's, leading my horse with him, and said he would give me my horse, saddle, and bridle back again directly. During this time I saw Mr. Barnes come galloping down the hill, he sat loosely on his horse, as if wounded; he was followed by O'Meally, who shouted out, "Will you stop now, you old ba---rd;" they again got out of my sight, and I heard more shots fired; O'Meally afterwards came towards me, and I said, "Where is Mr. Barnes?" he replied, "He's down in the gully there;" I said "Oh, you have shot poor Mr. Barnes;" he said " Oh, no; he fell off against a tree;" on going down to look for Mr. Barnes, I found him lying on his back; his horse was gone; he was not dead then, but unable to speak; in a few minutes he drew a heavy sigh, and died. O'Meally was then up at the store; the other man was gone; I could identify both men perfectly well; O'Meally had previously stuck up the store I am employed at on the 16th of last May; he was very black and dirty on Sunday, and looked different to what he did when he stuck up the store; then he was very smart and clean; neither Mr. Barnes nor myself had arms or money on us; one ball passed through the brim of Mr. Barnes' hat, but missed his head."⁴ However, if Gilbert was involved and Hanlon could identify the other without a doubt. As such, he never implicated Gilbert. Furthermore, Hanlon was never called at Vane's trail either? Vane dodged the hangman in this case.
Another report of the 22nd September affair; 'Bathurst Times', 23rd September 1863. - "Sergeant Turnbull, and two troopers came into town last evening (Tuesday), about eight o'clock, without arms, ammunition, and chapfallen, and stated that when they joined the police they never expected to be called upon to pursue bushrangers but unfortunately, the bushrangers pursued them the whole of Tuesday afternoon, and about five o'clock, bailed them up at Marsh's, about eight miles from Carcoar, and took their carbines, revolvers, pouch box, handcuffs, and sent them about their business. The troopers say it was Ben Hall, O'Mealy, Gilbert, Vane, and Burke and that when they get caught they will be enabled to swear to them, as they had a good view of them."
After the capture of the three troopers, Vane and the other bushrangers the next day arrived at the store of Stanley Hosie at Caloola, whom Vane and Burke knew well. However, this did not prevent Vane from robbing the storekeeper of a considerable amount of goods and participated in shooting horses held in a stockyard. In December 1863, Hosie would give evidence at Vane's trial regarding the events of that day. Below is a recorded version of Hosie's evidence;
Eventually, they rode away, taking with them the horses, saddles, and bridles, belonging to Messrs. Machattie and Battye; saying they would leave the horses where they would be found as soon as they were better suited. Shortly after the foregoing occurrence, another man was stuck up and robbed by the same persons in the same neighbourhood, but they only took from him a few shillings. Mr Machattie had to walk several miles before he could procure another horse, after which he rode into Bathurst and gave information to the police."
|The attack on Mr Keightley.|
|Dunns Plains attack in which Micky Burke was fatally wounded and Vane assaulted Dr Pechey, 23, 24, 25th October 1863.|
|Letter separating the|
two men. Note also Vane
was to be kept apart
from Frank Gardiner.
New South Wales,
It has also transpired that this worthy visited the shop of Mr Pedrotta, the gunsmith, and Mr Craig, the saddler, and, at each place, succeeded in passing some of the money extorted for the ransom of the gallant commissioner. As a result, Cheshire would be convicted and sentenced to five years on the roads and was released in 1868. However, later while Darlinghurst and John Vane were incarcerated, the two men would be formally kept apart. Whether this was due to animosity on Cheshire's behalf due to Vane lagging him for the money from Keightley's is more than likely.
|Fr. Tim McCarthy.|
|Bathurst Court with Gaol in the background where John Vane|
was sentenced in 1863.
When Vane was sentenced this advertisement appeared in the Sydney newspapers;[sic] VANE. THE BUSHRANGER—Carte de Visite PORTRAITS of JOHN VANE, the celebrated Bushranger, will be published TO-DAY at GLAISTER'S Portrait Gallery, Pitt-street.
Vane's court appearance and trial were published in the 'The Sydney Morning Herald' Friday 15th April 1864; see link below.
Friday 15th April 1864
TRIAL OF VANE THE BUSHRANGER.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 20th April 1864
BATHURST CIRCUIT COURT
Sentence on Vane
|John Vane, Entrance Book Bathurst Gaol November 1863.|
|John Vane, Return of Prisoners Cockatoo Island 1866.|
|John Vane, Return of Prisoners Darlinghurst 1867.|
|John Vane, released March 1870 Darlinghurst Gaol.|
Soon after his release for sheep-stealing, Vane was arrested again on suspicion of robbery. However, he was released when evidence revealed no involvement. Accordingly, his notoriety as a member of Ben Hall's gang, although only over a short period, kept Vane in the police spotlight. However, for all his protestations and his claims that his incarceration for bushranging, he had learnt the ills of his former ways amounted to nonsense when in May 1880, John Vane was arrested once more for sheep stealing. The age-old saying a 'Leopard Never Changes its Spots' rang true for a Bona Fide villain who through sheer luck had only been associated with blood on his hands; "John Vane, an ex-bushranger, has been received into the Bathurst gaol, under committal, on a charge of stealing 431 sheep, the property of T. A. Smith, P.M., of Trunkey. The principal witness against prisoner was Terence M'Cann, an accomplice who turned approver..."⁶ A month later, John Vane faced court; BATHURST. TUESDAY, 7th July 1880.-At the Quarter Sessions today, John Vane, of bushranging notoriety, was indicted for stealing 421 sheep, the property of Mr. T. M. Smith, Police Magistrate of Trunkey. The principal witness was a prisoner named Hargans, who is serving a sentence of two years in Parramatta gaol, for stealing the sheep in question. Terence M'Cann, another witness; and who is under committal for horse-stealing, had been concerned in the matter with Vane and Hargans, and had given information to the police. The evidence was quite clear, and Vane was convicted and remanded for sentence. The sheep owners of Trunkey district have for a considerable period suffered through the depredations of a gang of thieves, who have up to the present, carried on their operations with impunity."⁷ To have the case dropped, one of Vane's friends, Thomas Parker attempted to tamper with a witness as reported in the 'The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser', Tuesday 13 July 1880; "a man named Thomas Parker was convicted at the Bathurst Quarter Sessions for an attempt to dissuade a certain witness for the Crown from giving evidence in the case against John Vane, for sheep stealing, He was sentenced to 12 month's imprisonment with hard labour..."
|John Vane prison record 1880.|
|John Vane and James Burke at Bathurst Gaol 1880.|
|Sheep stealing 1880.|
|John Vane released in September 1884.|
|John Vane c. 1898.|
|Jane Vane c. 1912.|
("an exceptionally good horseman")
|The Burke's arrival in NSW 1838, as well as the brother|
of Burke's father and his family.
|Michael Burke's father's reward offer for the stolen horse, note, Daniel Charters senior|
also had a horse stolen at Carcoar.
|Comus II's stable,|
Courtesy Craig Bratby.
A letter from Mr. F. Rothery to his uncle, Mr. Icely, J.P , dated Bathurst, 3rd instant, gives the particulars of the daring robbery by bushrangers of that gentleman's stables, at Coombing, near Carcoar, on the previous day. The following are extracts;
"I am sure you will be very surprised when you hear that the Coombing stable was robbed yesterday evening. Mr. Icely had been down to Stoke in the afternoon, and returned a short tune after dark, and, putting his horse in the back stable, came down to the house. Mr Morrisset and T Lawson happened to be present, and we had not been at dinner more than half an hour when Edward came in and said that he heard two shots in the direction of the stable.
b. 1797 d. 1874.
|NSW Police Gazette|
On Saturday, at half-past three o'clock, p. m., Mr Rothery, Junior, rode into town, stating that about two hours previously, Gilbert and four other bushrangers had taken their quiet departure from Clifden about 15 miles from Carcoar. He stated, that at eleven o'clock that morning, he saw Gilbert, Ben Hall, O'Meally, Vane, and Burke, riding up to the house, when he gave the alarm to his father, who ordered the door to be closed and fastened. This done, Mr Rothery and his two sons armed themselves with fowling pieces and revolvers—the cook and ostler being shortly afterwards admitted by the window. The cook was armed with a carving knife and toasting fork, and the ostler with a stable fork and a sickle. By the time these arrangements were completed, the bushrangers came up to the front of the house, when the young men wanted to fire, but their father ordered them not, directing them to plant the firearms and open the door. The bushrangers accordingly entered and took immediate possession of the premises, so that the pluck of these three gentlemen exploded instead of their powder. The ostler and cook were despatched to their several departments—the one to feed the bushrangers' horses, and the other to cook dinner for them; of which, when ready, they partook with excellent appetites. They ordered a bottle of brandy and champagne, which was brought them without delay, when Gilbert, filling glasses round, proposed the health of Mr Rothery, J P., and his sons, the latter of whom, he said, he hoped shortly to see gazetted as sub-inspectors; believing, as he did, that they possessed as much pluck as most of them. Mr. Rothery, J.P., in a neat speech, returned thanks for himself and sons, and assured them that he felt deeply the compliment they had paid him and was not able to express all he felt, but would represent to the Government the flattering opinion they held of his own and his sons' pluck, as no doubt they would be considered better authorities on such matters than Captain McLerie. After a few more compliments, they inquired of Mr R. what horses he had, and being shown them they tried the animals and selected three, which they took with two new saddles and bridles. It was now two o'clock, and they took their departure, stating that they were bound for Canowindra. As there was no police in town, Mr Rothery returned by himself, being advised to keep the back "slums" in his way back.
This morning, the mail coach arrived without the mail bags. It appears from the account given by the coachman that he was bailed up by Gilbert and party, about fourteen miles from Carcoar, and ordered to turn out the bags. Every letter was opened but of this, I will give you full particulars next mail.⁵
After the recent dare by young Machattie, the bushrangers didn't have the pluck to enter Bathurst, the gang appeared on the Sunday evening of the 4th of October 1863; BATHURST. Sunday, 7 p.m. THE BUSHRANGERS IN BATHURST. Last night, about half-past seven, Gilbert, O'Meally, Ben Hall, Burk, and Vane came into the heart of the town, and attempted to stick up the shop of Mr. McMinn, jeweller, in William-street. Gilbert and O'Meally went into the shop, leaving the others out-side, but the screaming of the females in the house raised the alarm, and they beat a retreat. Jumping on their horses, they galloped down William street, and, firing a shot in the air, passed down Howick- street, then cantered up George street, as if going out of town. In a little time a troop of police were in pursuit, but by a manoeuvre of the bushrangers, they passed them, and so were out generalled. The bushrangers, on going up George street, made for the rear of Mr. De Clouet's, and entering the house, stuck up the inmates and remained there in cool conversation for fully twenty minutes. They wanted the racehorse Pasha, but at the request of De Clouet, in whose employ Gilbert had at one time been, they relinquished their design and left quietly. Several young men volunteered immediately to go in pursuit, but there were neither ammunition nor caps in the police barracks. It is said that later in the night the police afterwards came up with them and exchanged shots, but without any result. The townspeople are in a fearful state of excitement. It is impossible to describe the state of feeling caused by the visit of this notorious gang of bushrangers.⁷ After Bathurst, the following was reported; "a horse thoroughly knocked up, supposed to belong to the bushrangers, was brought in by the police last night. It had a saddle with a poncho on it, and a leather buckle to hold a rifle, but was without a bridle. A report is row circulating through the town that the mail from Bathurst to Carcoar was stuck up again this morning, twelve miles hence, at Fitzgerald's Mount. Tuesday, 8 30 p.m. A horseman has just galloped into town from the Vale Creek, about a mile and a half distant, with intelligence that the bushrangers have made an attack upon Mrs. Mutton's house, and had proceeded in the direction of Mr. Hellman's. Five troopers jumped into their saddles and have this moment left the barracks in pursuit of the bushrangers. The Inspector-General of police arrived in town this afternoon. Wednesday, 9 p.m. The committee appointed to consider the best means for capturing the bushrangers have, with the sanction of the Government, issued placards, offering £2500 reward for the apprehension of the five bushrangers— Gilbert, O'Meally, Bourke, Vane, and Ben Hall, or £500-each. Volunteers are called for, and the town has the appearance of being in a state of siege. The police have been out all day."⁸
It was reported that Micky Burke also tried his hand at a lone hold up with the other gang members secreted nearby as stated in the 'Sydney Mail', 10th October 1863; It has been proved beyond doubt that Micky Burke was the lad that stuck up the mail on Tuesday last, and at that time Mr. Superintendent Morrisset and his men were only a short distance from where the robbery took place. I mentioned in my last that Gilbert and his gang were at Canowindra on Sunday morning, and left there at eight o'clock a.m. They then proceeded to Bundaroo (Mr. Icely's station), and took some horses. In crossing the race at Duffy's fall, they had to swim, and in doing so Vane lost his seat, and was precipitated into the water—the horse being carried down stream distance, till he washed against a tree. The girths then breaking, the horse made for the bank, where he was secured by the others, who ran down for a mile on foot to catch him. The saddle and swag, containing three revolvers £25 in notes, and some clothing, were lost. They then returned to Canowindra, ran some horses into the town, and slept there on Sunday night. I may state that when they were within half-a-mile of the town, they (the bushrangers) sent a message by a man named Sullivan, an old resident of Canowindra, to the police, that they were prepared to meet them and would stop there for them, so long as no more than six came. That they would fight them man to man, and allow the police one extra to take the place of the first trooper that fell. Sullivan took his message, but the police said they could not cross the river. Sullivan offered to punt them across, but they declined!
This then followed the 2nd raid on Canowindra which was the first time in Australian history that a town was captured and sacked by bushrangers, as follows; MORE NEWS OF THE BUSHRANGERS. - RUMOURS have been current in town during the last two or three days, that Gilbert and his party had left the immediate neighbourhood of Bathurst, and were carrying on operations without let or hindrance in the neighbourhood of Cowra and Canowindra. We have endeavoured to ascertain the facts in connection with their movements, and venture to publish the following, which we believe to be reliable; On Monday morning Gilbert, O'Meally, Hall, Vane, and Burke, visited Mr. Grant's house at Bellubula. They did no mischief there; but the same day they went to Canowindra, and stuck up all the teamsters, equestrians, and pedestrians, who came along that road. On Tuesday Mr. Hibberson and Mr. Twaddle drove to Mr. Robinson's inn, at Canowindra, which they found in possession of Gilbert and his gang. The two gentlemen were ordered inside, where they found several others in durance vile. The bushrangers treated all the men to grog and cigars, and prevailed on the young ladies of the house to play the piano, whilst two of the rascals danced. The bushrangers drank nothing but ale. They treated every one who would drink, and paid cash for the liquor. They stopped three drays on the road, took from those in charge £3 and a revolver. Ten policemen started from Cowra on hearing the news, but had not arrived at Canowindra when my informant left that town. A number of police started for Bathurst yesterday, and were ordered not to return without fighting with, or taking the bushrangers.-Bathurst telegram to Empire.- [The Bathurst Times supplies the following further particulars:-Yesterday, news reached Bathurst that Gilbert and his gang had paid another visit to Canowindra, and on investing the town, had held it against all comers for three days and nights, their proceedings being characterised by a cool audacity, which has hitherto been unequalled. The tragedy of bushranging is a thing of the past, it is now such a familiar every-day matter that it has become a broad-farce. From what we could learn, the bushrangers made their appearance late on Sunday night, or early on Monday morning, paying a visit to Mr. Robinson's hotel, and taking from him about £3. After this, the farce commenced. Some of the gang were placed so as to guard the approaches to the town, and everyone who made his appearance was taken into custody and brought to the hotel, where he was told he must remain, but that he might call for whatever he liked at the bushrangers' expense. No restraint was imposed upon them other than that they were ordered not to quit the town, the bushrangers amusing themselves in a variety of ways, holding a robbers' jubilee. On Tuesday morning at ten o'clock, Messrs. Hibberson, Twaddell, and Kirkpatrick drove up to Robinson's, where Ben Hall informed them that he was sorry to inconvenience them, but they really could not be permitted to proceed on their journey, and he must therefore trouble them to leave their vehicle and put up for awhile. On getting out O'Meally, who was present, saw a revolver in Mr. Kirkpatrick's possession and presenting one of his own weapons at that gentleman's head, he compelled him to give it up, remarking that they did not require it, but as it might be used against them it was as well to take the precaution of keeping it out of harm's way. He promised, however, to leave it at Mr. Loudon's residence at Grubbenbong, as they intended to pay him another visit before long. This, and the robbery of the £3 already mentioned, were the only items of violence committed during their stay. A first-class dinner was ordered for the three gentlemen, and the cost of this as well as everything else called for was defrayed by the bushrangers.
Every dray and team that passed was stopped, and the men belonging to them were lodged, fed, and supplied with drink, free of expense. There were twelve or fourteen drays drawn up in a line, and not the slightest attempt was made to interfere with the loading they contained. Bundles of cigars, purchased by Gilbert, as required, were thrown loosely on one of the tables in the public-house, for all who cared about smoking them, and a huge pile of sweetmeats was also provided, to suit the taste of others. Everyone was empowered to call for what he liked, but the bushrangers drank nothing but bottled ale and porter-the corks of which they insisted upon having drawn in their presence. Great festivities were kept up, and, from the description given of the gang, they entertained not the slightest apprehension of being disturbed, and did not seem to think that they were incurring any risk. Amongst a variety of amusements, shooting at a target seemed to be the favourite, and nothing occurred to mar the revels, except the accidental dropping of a carbine, which went off and sent its contents flying past O'Meally's legs. To some of the residents in the neighbourhood who desired to visit their homes, leave of absence of an hour's duration was granted-passes being given to them, duly signed. In one or two instances, where the time allowed was exceeded by the pass-holders, Ben Hall went after them, but on meeting the individuals returning, he contented himself with admonishing them for their transgression. On one occasion Ben Hall said he must go and look after the policeman, and getting on his horse; he rode to the barracks, where it seems a constable is stationed, and ordering the man to fix the bayonet to his gun, and place his revolver in his waist, he drove him before his horse down to the hotel, where the others amused themselves with him for a little time and, taking his arms away, told him to go and enjoy himself till he received further orders. There were about forty persons detained altogether, and the reason given for adopting this course was that they had a number of scouts out, who they were desirous should return before anyone left the town. They recounted several of their exploits, and expressed a lively contempt for policemen generally, and their officers in particular-saying that when the police came all they had to do was to ride away. It is said that Messrs. Hibberon, Twaddell, and Kirkpatrick, were anxious to resume their journey, and upon representing to Hall the fact that the river was rising, and unless they were allowed to go at once they might be detained for days before they could cross, they were allowed to take their departure at four o'clock in the afternoon. The same night the ruffians stuck up Grant's place on the Belubula and burnt it down, to wreak their vengeance on the owner who had dared on a former occasion to give information to the police. They said they were overlooking him when he was directing the police, and saw him point out their tracks. We are told that information of the Canowindra business reached the inspector-general on Thursday, but the matter was looked upon as a mere canard. We have by the way omitted to mention that besides the visit to Mr. Loudon, the bushrangers intimated their intention to re-visit Bathurst shortly.⁹
|Sketch of Keightley and|
Dr. Peachey observing
the gangs arrival.
By Percy Lindsey. Truth
|This is the back door of the Keightley home peppered with the bullets fired by the Gang.|
This historical piece can be seen at the Bathurst Historical Museum.
|Very rare photograph|
of Dunns Plains
|A woodcut of |
Mrs Keightley imploring
Ben Hall "..save his life!"
|NSW Police Gazette|
List of banknote No's
paid to Ben Hall.
We have said O'Meally was absent, and Mrs. Keightley, fearing least he might not agree to accept the ransom, prevailed upon one of the party to fetch him. When he came, he at first refused to listen to the proposal, and declared his intention to revenge the death of his companion; but he was, however, eventually pacified by the others. They then went into the house and remained there for a considerable time awaiting Dr. Peachey's return, and drank some spirits and wine, Mrs. Keightley having first tasted it, in order to assure them the liquor was not drugged. Some conversation passed, in which the bushrangers told that the reason Burke was so daring, arose from the fact that they had just previously been twitting him with the want of courage, and seemingly he was determined to convince them to the contrary. In answer to a question from Mrs. Keightley, as to what could induce them to pursue the course they did, when, by the many robberies they committed they must possess considerable wealth, Gilbert replied that with all their depredations, they had not as much as would keep them a week.
|Henry Rotton. M.L.A.|
Father of Caroline
|A dramatization of |
and Dr. Peachey's
Buggy ride for the £500.
|The layout of the attack at Dunns Plains 23, 24, 25th October 1863.|
|Bridget Burke, Micky's|
Subsequently, at the arraignment of John Vane at Bathurst in December 1863, Dr. Peachey was again asked to give evidence on Burke's death and said; "I gave evidence in the case against Vane yesterday; when Mr. Keightley was in the passage I was behind him: he said he had fired; after I came down from the roof I went to look at Burke's body, and saw that the bowels were protruding from the abdomen; I also saw blood coming from his mouth and nostrils; there was a wound in the head, and one of the bushrangers said Burke had shot his own brains out; after I saw the body I went to Rockley to get my instruments, and when I came back Burke was dead; I afterwards assisted to put the body in a cart, and it was taken away; I heard it was to go towards Carcoar; a German and one of Mr. McDonald's men went with it; about two feet of the bowels were out; that would have ultimately caused death; I think the wound was of that character that it must have caused death; a portion of the shirt was driven into the wound; the shot must have been fired close-I should think within a yard or so."¹¹
Located Burke's body
near Carcoar, after
fallen from a cart.
The irony in the death of Mickey Burke was that had the attack and the consequences of Burke dying been two days later, Mr Keightley would have been entitled to £1000, as the reward for the gang had doubled, as stated; REWARD FOR THE APPREHENSION OF BURKE: -The Herald says: -The Government have directed that the sum of £500 be forwarded to Mr Keightley, as the reward offered for the apprehension of either of the five notorious bushrangers. The affray at Rockley, in which Burke lost his life, took place two days before, the reward was doubled, otherwise Mr. Keightley would have been entitled to £1000 for his services.
|Micky Burke headstone.|
|Portrait of |
At the inquest into young Mickey Burke's death this was stated as to the shots fired at the time; "at sunset on October 24th 1863; the gang attacked the homestead which was valiantly defended by Mr Keightley. Burke, one of the gang was shot. Mr Keightley being always given the credit for the marksmanship although as a matter of fact, the medical evidence at the inquest showed that his wounds were caused by slugs and Mr Keightley used only bullets. Some of the gang wanted to kill Mr Keightley, but Hall prevented this, agreeing that Mrs Keightley should get £500 from Mr Rotton in Bathurst as a ransom. Mrs Keightley's journey to Bathurst and her return with the money were epics of the bush..."
There was some suspicion in the press as to whether or not Keightley fired the fatal shot, as reported in the 'Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser', 8th December 1863, when raised at Vanes court appearance after his capture; Vane, is to stand his trial for the attack on Commissioner Keightley. One object to be attained by this procedure is the discovery of the truth in regard to the circumstances of that occurrence. We shall soon know whether Keightley has entitled himself to a monument for his "heroism" or not. It is rather a suspicious circumstance that he should have lost no time after receiving the £500, in packing up his traps, and making his way down to Sydney. He reported himself to the Lands Department, and represented that he left the scene of his duty because "his life was in danger." He was told that he might please himself with regard to his movements, so that he is still displaying plumes in the promenades of the metropolis. Now, is this "heroism?''
Henry McCrummin Keightley passed away on the Saturday 8th January 1887; DEATH OF MR. KEIGHTLEY.- "The death is announced, at Sale, on Saturday last; of Mr. H. M. Keightley, for the past four years stipendiary magistrate at Albury. For some time past, the deceased gentleman had been a sufferer from Bright's disease, and it was during a tour to the Gippsland Lakes, undertaken for the benefit of his failing health, that the symptoms as summed a fatal character. On Thursday Mr. Keightley was obliged to take to his bed; on Saturday his illness had assumed such a character that Mrs. Keightley was hastily summoned by wire, and on the same night the end came. Mrs. Keightley, accompanied by one of her four sons; arrived in Sale on Monday, on which date the funeral took place privately, in the local cemetery." Upon the Commissioners death and his long service in public office the government allocated £1000 to Mrs Keightley in the recognition of his services.
|Prison Portrait 1879.|
Coloured by me.
|James Mount Tasmania 1842. Registers of the employment of probation pass holders, 1848-1857|
|James Mount alias Gordon Indent|
|James Mount alias Gordon transfer|
to Cockatoo Island 1842
|James Mount alias Gordon, Mount|
had a variety of alias' both First and Surname.
Mount had been released earlier in 1856 then used
the alias of James Gordon thereafter.
|James Mount absconded as a Ticket of Leave holder in June 1864,|
and was soon after bushranging with Ben Hall.
|On the 20th July 1864, Mount's Ticket-of-Leave was cancelled.|
|The famous shootout at the Bang Bang Hotel (above)|
|Newspaper report of Ben Hall's Break-up|
with Gordon and Dunleavy (above)
|Mount's capture October 1864|
|James Mount Court Appearance (above)|
The 'Bathurst Times' reported the arrest of James 'The Old Man' Mount at a hotel near the Murrumbidgee at Gellenbagh; CAPTURE OF BEN HALL'S' MATE. It is reported 'the old man,' Ben Hall's mate, has been captured Constables Nichols, Summers, and Billy (the black tracker) who dogged him from Wheogo to the Murrumbidgee. It appears that White went out on the spree, and was, literally caught napping in a public house. He was taken into Forbes and lodged in the lock-up. THE OLD MAN. This noted bushranger was brought into Bathurst under escort from Forbes (where he had been committed for trial) on Saturday last. As a matter of form he was taken before the police magistrate, who endorsed the warrant, and he was removed to gaol. In appearance, he is not more than middle-aged, and we can divine no other reason to account for his being called 'old,' than that which might result from a comparison with his more youthful companions in crime. He is a man of powerful frame, walks upright, and is very tall. The expression of his countenance is somewhat scowling, though defiant and reckless. We are given to understand that he is to be brought on another charge, viz., that of sticking up the Cowra mail.
The 'Bathurst Times' reported Mount's next court appearance as; "he was cleanly dressed as a labouring man, wearing a Crimean shirt and dark trousers, white collar and black neck tie. The hair on the top of his head is thin, but quite thick towards the base of the brain, and of a light brown colour. The brain, to phrenologists, would indicate a low development and a considerable degree of sensuality. His general demeanour in court was that of great indifference. The witness (cook at the station) was carefully examined by Inspector Sanderson, and the evidence was conclusive as to the identity and guilt of the prisoner, and when asked if he (the old man) had any questions to ask the witness he replied to the magistrate, "I am satisfied, and I suppose you are..."
|James Mount alias Gordon, Entrance book|
Bathurst Gaol November 1864.
|Dunleavey and Gordon, Quarter Sessions and sentence 1865.|
Note Micky Burke's cousin James Burke also sentenced.
|James Mount alias Gordon, Return of prisoners|
record April 1869, note the death of James Dunleavy.
|James Mount alias Gordon, back at Parramatta|
Gaol May 1885.
James Mount alias Gordon released in 1887
Aged 70 yrs.
("a bad character in the neighbourhood")
Patsy Daley was born in Yass, NSW, on 6th July 1844. Patsy was raised on the 26,000 acres Arramagong Station, Weddin Mountains near Grenfell, with his cousins the O'Meally's after Daley's father entered into a partnership with Patrick O'Meally for the Arramagong lease, both men were brothers in law after marrying sisters. (See above notes on John O'Meally.) Patsy Daley was described as nearly "six feet tall and was a mild, youthful, whiskerless looking person, with light blue eyes, and fair complexion..." Daley appears to have had an education as he could read and write. (possibly learnt during his time in prison where there was compulsory education) Daley's forays into acts of crime commenced early 1862. He progressed to a full-time bushranger around January 1863, Daley was involved in many criminal activities with his cousin John O'Meally (a natural born killer) and was arrested in 1862 on several occasions the most serious being implicated in charge of rape- RAPE AND HIGHWAY ROBBERY -John O'Mealey, Owen Fox, and Patrick Daley were brought up on this charge, and remanded until Tuesday next. There were another two charges against Fox, which also stand over. Empire, Tuesday 13 May 1862. The rape allegation outcome is unknown, but as history demonstrates, both O'Meally and Daley were free to roam the bush from May 1862 onwards.
|Hollister's diary contact|
with Hall and Daley.
|Hollister diary entry,|
The prisoner was brought into court by three policemen, each armed with rifles and bayonets, and who stood by his side in court during the time the enquiry was going on - an extraordinary proceeding, as I thought, and one which the harmless and quiet demeanour of the prisoner, who seemed quite subdued and overpowered, did not altogether justify, and which does not exactly accord with the views of an enlightened public, nor tend to diminish that prejudice already existing against the prisoner, but rather must add to it, and place him in a more unfavourable light than he stood in, or that he should stand in before trial, and, therefore, however guilty he may be, and which does not exactly accord with the views of an enlightened public, nor tend to diminish that prejudice already existing against the prisoner, but rather must add to it, and place him in a more unfavourable light than he stood in, or that he should stand in before trial, and, therefore, however guilty he may be, it is a questionable proceeding, the propriety of which may be fairly doubted. On the prisoner being brought into court he was charged with having, in company with others, been concerned in the attack upon Mr. Dickerson, on the 2nd of February last, and taken therefrom property to the value of between £50 and £70. The substance of the evidence of Mr. Dickenson was as follows. That, on the 2nd February last, between seven and nine, several armed men came into his store at Spring Creek and ordered him outside; the prisoner was put guard over him; he (prisoner) had a pistol and ordered him and others to stand back; and that he was kept in that position while the gang were ransacking the place; his storekeeper, a Mr. David Mead, George M'Gillan, and three or four more were also bailed up; likewise, a policeman, who was passing the store at the time, whose horse they took Mr. Dickenson further deposed: One of them took my revolver, and asked me if that was all the firearms I had; I said "Yes;" they also took £5 in silver, and £10 or £11 worth of gold-dust, watches, jewellery, and clothing, in all of the value of between £60 and £70; he swore positively to the prisoner being one of the men. An advocate, who appeared for the prisoner, cross-examined Mr. Dickenson with the view of shaking his evidence, but without extracting anything favourable to the prisoner. George M'Gillan, publican, Spring Creek, deposed that he was outside his place on the evening of 2nd February, about 150 yards off, when he heard a noise, and went to see what was the matter; he was bailed up likewise, and was ordered in the ranks with Mr, Dickenson. This witness, corroborated Mr. Dickenson in most particulars, except that he did not speak so positively as to the identity of the prisoner. This closed the case for the prosecution; and, as the prisoner had nothing to say, he was formally remanded till Tuesday previous to committal.
The next case was that of having, on the 21st February last, in company with others, attacked with arms Myer Solomon, at his store at Wombat, and with having removed about £250 worth of property. Mr Solomon deposed that between three and four in the afternoon four bushrangers came up with their packhorses; two of them had carbines and two had revolvers; they came into the store and pointed their revolvers at him; he had a double-barrelled gun in his hand, but they told him not to fire, as it was no use; he, however, did fire, and they also fired at him, after which he tried to make his escape, when one of the party having pursued him brought him back to the store, and ordered him to sit down;-they ransacked the place, the prisoner was one of them, and when he left the store he had two stockings full of lolly pops round his neck. The party took property to the value of about £250, including horses, revolvers, double barrel guns, and clothing of every description, which they packed on the pack-horses after remaining on the premises about three hours. George Johnson, in the employ of last witness, gave evidence in corroboration of the previous evidence, and swore positively to the identity of the prisoner as being one of them. This witness deposed that one of the men came out of the store several times while he was lying down, and said to the party watching him, "blow his b----y brains out." I told the man I was not frightened, and that it would be man for man. One of the men said, "I'll give you a revolver if I would stand twenty yards." I jumped up to take it, but he would not give it me; the man who offered me a revolver came out of the store and kicked me while I was on the ground, because I looked up and said it would be as well to kick my brains out as to blow them out"; when the party was leaving, Mr. Solomon asked the prisoner what he had round his neck; he said he had ''lollies." This having completed the evidence in this case, and the prisoner having nothing to say, he was formally remanded till to-day, previous to committal. Following Day; On the opening of the Court this morning it was stated that the prisoner was very ill, and that the doctor had said he was not able to appear; however, on the magistrate seeing him, he had questioned him and ascertained from him that he felt himself able to be brought up; however, on this occasion, the previous precaution of having the prisoner guarded by the armed escort was dispensed with, but he was brought into court with leg irons on; he seemed very weak, and was allowed a chair to sit down. The depositions having been read over in each case, and the witnesses being bound over to appear, the prisoner was committed to take his trial, at the Goulburn Assizes, on the 2nd of September, for robbing with firearms, in company with others, the respective stores of Mr. Solomon and Mr. Dickenson.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th;-Patrick Daley pleaded guilty, to the charge of feloniously assaulting one Myers Solomon, at Wombat, on the 21st February last. Prisoner was remanded for sentence.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 25TH;-Patrick Daley, who had pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge of robbery under arms, and had been convicted on the same day of another charge of a similar nature, for which he had been sentenced to ten years hard labour on the roads, was now sentenced to fifteen years hard labour on the roads, the first year in irons; this sentence to commence at the same time as the former one.
|Daley at Goulburn Gaol, 28th April 1863|
|Daley was also thought to have been involved with the murder of a German hotelier Mr Cirkell in February 1863, but the witnesses could not identify him.|
|Patsy Daley's Sentence|
(Note above: Cummings who was Fred Lowry's cohort
and Jamieson lost his family fortune.)
|Daley's transfer to Maitland Gaol, 23rd Sept 1863|
Note; Cummings to Parramatta Gaol.
|Patsy Daley's Maitland Gaol|
Entry Log 25th Sept 1863.
|Maitland Gaol Entry log 1863|
|Daley at Cockatoo Island August 1864, punishment.|
|Cockatoo Island 1864.|
|Patsy Daley at Darlinghurst Gaol with|
Francis Christie alias Gardiner 1867.
|Patsy Daley's release 23rd Sept 1873|
|Darlinghurst Breakout 1864,|
in which Patrick Daley
|Daley's conduct reported in 1865 at Darlinghurst Gaol.|
|Patrick Daley 1873.|
|Hunt St, Wrightville NSW |
Correspondence read was of minor importance. The Inspector of Nuisances' report showed that five new cess-pits had been sunk, and six new closets erected. Certain ratepayers had neglected to comply with his notice in regard to the sinking of cess-pits. Ald Buckland was of the opinion that the Inspector should use the powers conferred upon him, and prosecute the defaulters. Alderman Buckland thought that the Inspector of Nuisances' report was very unsatisfactory, and he moved that he be instructed to proceed against persons neglecting to comply with the by-laws. This was seconded by Ald. Daley, and carried.
|This photo was taken in 1892, outside a hotel in Cobar.|
The tall gentleman next to the lady outside the front door fits the description of Daley?
In 1912 Patsy Daley became ill and was reported in the 'Cobar Herald' of travelling to Sydney for medical help; "On Thursday last Mr. P. B: Daley, the genial proprietor of the Terminus Hotel, accompanied by Miss Mary Daley, left Cobar for a short holiday in the metropolis. For some time past Mr. Daley has been suffering from a slight affection of the eyes, and it is his intention to consult an eye specialist."
|One of Daley's hotels|
Death of P. B. Daley.
|Daley's Grave at|
Sir Thomas Jamison,
by an unknown artist.
State Library of New South Wales,
GPO 1 - 18963.
|Sir John Jamison|
James Dunleavy was born in Kelso, Bathurst, in 1843. His parents were James and Johanna Dunleavy. James's mother Johanna Cleary arrived as a free single female immigrant on the ship 'Alfred' in January 1841, from Tipperary Ireland. Johanna came with her cousin Bridget Cleary. James parents married in 1843. However, Dunleavy's father died in late 1845. James also had an older brother Patrick born in 1842 and died in 1916 at Rookwood Home Asylum, Sydney.
|James Dunleavy's mother's arrival on 19th January 1841, free on the 'Alfred' as Johanna Cleary from Tipperary, Ireland.|
Furthermore, some speculation and documentation indicate that Hadcroft may have dabbled in cattle and horse theft circa 1845. However, there is evidence that Dunleavy had been acquainted with Ben Hall over many years, first as a boy. This association, no doubt, included John Gilbert and others in the sphere of lawbreakers of the day. Dunleavy's widowed mother owned a station in the same country as Ben Hall's Sandy Creek station, named 'Tinpot' (Alley) situated between Gooloogong and Grenfell and the Lachlan River covering 50,000 acres with a grazing capacity of 15000 sheep. At the time of James' foray into bushranging, the station held some 2100 sheep and 130 good young cattle. James' home at 'Tinpot Station' was described as a comfortable, "four roomed cottage with kitchen and garden; two stall stables, woolshed and two small cultivation paddocks." The friendship between Ben Hall and the Dunleavy/Hadcroft's was illustrated in John Maguire's reminiscence many years afterwards; "Hall's first retreat in his outlawry was Tinpot Station, between Grenfell and the Lachlan. This place was owned by a widow, who had three daughters. With all of these people Hall had been on the friendliest of terms for years. They sympathised keenly with him. In his troubles, as they had admired him in his prosperous and more promising days. "Ben took, up a position of vantage on the top of a high hill near Tinpot homestead. From this elevation could see a great, distance, and would be able, in daylight, to notice the approach of any enemy who might discover his retreat. He was sure of such news as might he going from the widow or her daughters, who in the kindest manner possible kept him supplied with all the food he wanted whilst he sojourned In his lofty camp. The girls used to carry provisions to him, every night all the time he stayed there. And often afterwards; when occasion compelled him to seek safety in the same sanctuary, these, excellent friends saw to it that he wanted for neither food, drink, nor such intelligence of his enemies as might come their way."²
|Bailliere's New South Wales 1866 Gazetteer and Road Guide.|
|NSW Police Gazette|
31st August 1864.
On June the 4th 1864, James Dunleavy assisted Hall and Mount in robbing the coach from Young to Yass. Stopping it at a place known as Emu Flat, about six miles on the Yass side of Binalong, 50 miles south of Tinpot Station. The robbery was Dunleavy's first identified foray with Ben Hall; 'Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Chronicle' Saturday 4th June 1864; ANOTHER ROBBERY BY BEN HALL'S GANG. (From the Goulburn Herald of Wednesday) "On last Saturday afternoon Mr J. Roberts' coach from Young to Yass was stopped at a place known as Emu Flat, about six miles on the Yass side of Binalong, by Ben Hall and two of his confederates. There were only two passengers on the coach—Mr A. Cohen, of Yass, and Michael Curran, driver of the mail from Goulburn to Berrima, both of whom were on their return from the races at Young. The driver of Mr Roberts' coach (George Miller) and the passengers were ordered to alight, a command they appear to have obeyed with much alacrity. Curran, on seeing the bushrangers approach, slipped his albert-chain from the button hole of his waistcoat, and succeeded in secreting it, and the watch attached. He was not so successful, however, in concealing twenty-one £1 notes which he had in his vest pocket, for detection followed the attempt, and on getting from the coach he had to hand them over to Hall. A nugget pin he had on his person was also taken, as well as a superior rug, Hall giving him his poncho in exchange for the latter. Two pounds and the pin were subsequently returned to Curran. Mr. Cohen had a couple of £1-notes and a blank cheque in his waistcoat pocket, and in his trousers pocket some silver and a sovereign. On descending from the coach he told Hall he admitted he did a mean action in endeavouring to conceal the two notes, and handed them over to the bandit. He then of his own accord took the cheque from his pocket, telling Hall it was of no use to him, pulled the silver from another pocket, remarking that that also was no good, as he believed Hall never took silver, and then told him, "Now, you have seen all, search if you like." His person, however was not searched. From the driver they took a meerschaum pipe, and gave him a common black pipe-in exchange, Hall promising to return the meerschaum to him in a few days. On examining Miller's watch and finding it to be a silver geneva, it was returned as not worth taking. The coach was detained for several hours. A man named Kelly happened to pass by on horseback and was stopped, but nothing of value was found upon him. He was permitted to depart with the coach. A team passing by on its way to Lambing Flat was also detained, and several of the cases broken open, Hall and his companions helping themselves freely to such articles as suited them. The rifling of the dray had not ended on the coach leaving. Shortly after the coach to Yass was permitted to start, it passed a Mr. Barnes, who was driving a carriage to Illalong. He was told the bushrangers were ahead, and advised to turn back to Bowning; but he proceeded on his way, and rumour states that he received very rough treatment from the scoundrels. The companions of Hall are described—one as quite a young man (not thought to be Gilbert), and the other as a very tall elderly person. It is supposed the latter at one time resided in Goulburn, and he is reported to be a 'ticket-of-leave' man."
During the robbery of the coach Hall stated that he was still aggrieved that the police had played unfairly at Koorawatha by trying to kill them and that he would seek his revenge and stated; Ibid "that in future he would lay in wait for policemen and shoot them without hesitation. He complained of not having received fair play at Bang Bang, one of the police having deliberately rested his rifle, aimed, and fired at him, and added that he had a very narrow escape." Hall denied however that his hat was dislodged by one of the shots; Ibid "it was not true, he said, that the bullet pierced his cabbage-tree hat."
Dunleavy was completely drawn into the bushranging game and was complicit with Hall who expressed his desire to shoot any police. Following the Young coaches departure the three set up camp just off the track ready for any passing police. "he also stated his intention to shoot the police who escorted the mail that evening from Binalong to Yass and rob the mail. This threat, so far as the attempt went, he carried out."
Dunleavy would also witness Ben Hall's wrath when a passer named Barnes, who was accused by Hall to have assisted police, felt firsthand the lash, meted out by an ever more brutal Ben Hall. Ibid "a gentleman who arrived in town yesterday states that Mr Barnes, who is overseer to the Messrs. Patterson, and who is not related to the Mr Barnes shot by O'Meally, was stripped naked, tied to a tree, and whipped with a cutting whip, the bushrangers having a grudge against him on account of his being supposed to have given some information to the police on a previous occasion. He was subsequently released and his clothes returned." As Hall, Dunleavy and Mount roamed the Binalong district. A far fetched item appeared where the writer stated Ben Hall was dead; Ibid "it was generally reported in Goulburn on Monday afternoon that the dead body of Hall had been discovered." However, the rumour proved unfounded when it was revealed that while pursed Hall had had a collision with a tree upon which he sought refuge in the tree under the very noses of the police; Ibid "so far as we have been able to ascertain, the following is the case ;—Ben Hall's horse ran him against a tree, and unseated him, and before he could properly recover himself and regain his horse he observed the police approaching. He therefore abandoned the idea of recovering the animal, and climbed up a tree, when he saw the police pick up his hat and ride off with his horse, double-barrelled gun, &c. Hall, who was not injured by coming into collision with the tree, subsequently selected a horse, saddle, and bridle from one of the neighbouring stations, and is now again fully prepared to pursue the course of life he has adopted."
|Fred Lowry dead.|
Subsequently, Dunleavy became involved in his first, but not last adrenaline-charged skirmish with the NSW troopers; Ibid "on the mail passing, the police escorting it saw a camp fire off the road, and rode towards it. They were challenged as to who they were, and on replying police, several shots were fired at them. They returned the fire, and the robbers immediately mounted their horses, and galloped off. The mail driver was some distance off; and on seeing what had occurred he unloosed the horses from the cart, placed the mail-bags on one horse, mounted the other, and got into Yass safely. The horses in the possession of the bushrangers are stated to be those stolen by them from the stables at the Burrangong Station Hotel—Teddington, Harkaway, and Troubadour, the latter being used as a pack-horse." With Dunleavy, throwing his lot in with Ben Hall. Hall's former mentor Frank Gardiner recently captured in Queensland at Apis Creek was once more arraigned in Sydney;[sic] "Gardiner has been remanded for a week. A second charge of highway robbery is pending against him."
|NSW Police Gazette|
|Reputed photo of|
Pearce's store, Canowindra.
|NSW Police Gazette|
|King's Plains, Halfway House|
Furthermore, on leaving the hotel on the following day, the three bushrangers remained in its vicinity robbing several travellers, one named Patterson, who had in tow a horse fitted with a side-saddle. The saddle was returned, and the horse was taken leaving the gentleman to slog it towards Bathurst on foot finally arriving worst for wear at Evans Plains. The gang then hit some local homes looking for food and new mounts where not even a man of the cloth was exempt; "they went to the house of a person in the neighbourhood and ordered her to get them some tea. They then went to a hut belonging to Mr William Smith, at Fitzgerald's Swamp, and compelled the man to put up a sack of corn for their horses. They appear to have gone afterwards to the paddock, and, cutting down the fence, to have taken three horses; one of them a fine spirited creature, the property of Mr T. G. Weavers; this animal made his escape from his captors, and has since returned, and, lest he should be again taken, has been brought into Bathurst; they also took a black mare, the property of the Rev T. Sharpe. They then went to their camping ground, and must have stayed there for the night, within a mile of the Half-way House, as on the next morning the police, in their search, came upon the camping ground and found a sack on the earth, from which the horses had evidently been fed: they also found a bottle containing Old Tom, which had been taken from the Inn."⁸
Dunleavy with his two companions never held too one place covering as much as fifty or sixty miles in a day in avoidance of the police. However, Hall knew the entire district like the back of his hand. During tough times Hall ventured back to Forbes and surrounding stations. The owners of which continued to turn a blind eye to his presence. Bundaburra Station was one such place where Hall had good relationships with the owners, the Strickland's. A pioneering family of the district and wherein the mid-fifties Ben Hall had had his broken leg mended. While camping at Bundaburra, the three bushrangers were startled to hear the cry of 'Stand in The Queens Name', having been sprung by troopers who had snagged their horses. A gunfight ensured as the bushrangers dogging from tree to tree abandoned their equipment in a run for their lives. As the police ranged in on the fleeing men, their gunshots found their mark and both Hall and Dunleavy were hit and severely wounded; 'The Sydney Morning Herald' Wednesday, 24th August 1864; Tuesday, 3 p. m. "Another fight is reported between Ben Hall the, old man, and young Dunleavy, on the one side', and three Bogolong troopers on the other, in one of Strickland's paddocks, ten miles from Bundaburra. The affair took place on Thursday afternoon. The police cut off the bushrangers from their horses and upon the latter making towards them firing commenced. Hall and his mates betook themselves to trees, many shots passed but the bushrangers escaped. Hall, it is believed, is wounded in the shoulder as he dropped his rifle, which, together with the horses, and accoutrements of the robbers, is now in possession of the police." The affray with the troopers from Bogolong was again reported in the 'Sydney Mail', 3rd September 1864; "the history of bushranging as regards these districts has consisted of late in flying fights between the ruffianly freebooters and the police, in all of which, although the latter have had the best of it, the villains have made good their escape. It is a satisfaction to know, however, that they have not escaped scatheless. In the rencontre between trooper Battye and two other policemen on the one side, and Hall, Dunleavy, and the 'old man,' on the other, Hall was wounded in the muscle of the arm, and Dunleavy in the wrist. Both sides fired from behind trees, obtaining what is technically termed a 'pop' whenever opportunity offered. At one period Mr. Battye saw the old man, who has the reputation of being a good shot, taking deliberate aim at him. Quick as thought he leaped behind a tree. At the same moment, the crack of the rifle and the thud of the bullet entering the tree, about opposite the middle of his chest, bore testimony to the murderous message upon which it was sent."
Upon leaving Gibson's the three bushrangers then went quiet whilst they recovered from their wounds as reported; "There is no definite news of the bushrangers at this place, except that they are still at large. It is believed that they are harboured in a certain quarter by a number of their friends, whose scouts are continually on the look-out for the police."
A newspaper report of Hall and Dunleavy's wounding
|James Dunleavy Bathurst Gaol entrance book|
Dunleavy and Gordan, Quarter Session sentence 1865
Note James Burke cousin of Micky Burke sentenced.
|James Dunleavy Darlinghurst Gaol April 1865|
|James Dunleavy Return of Prisoners|
Darlinghurst Gaol December 1866
|Coroner's Report of Dunleavy's death 20th October 1868 at|
|Bathurst Free Press, |
24th July 1858.
|NSW Reports of Crime for|
|Sarah Cowell 1845.|
|NSW Police Gazette|
1858 for Thomas Lowry.
In the same year, 1858 and a month apart, Lowry and Sarah were arrested at the Weddin Mountains for stealing horses from Oma station near Forbes. During this period, Ben Hall was also stock-keeping at Wheogo station and was often at musters at Oma and married. Interestingly, in 1864, Ben Hall, now a bushranger, was cornered and, in escaping, left behind some equipment and clothing, namely a hat. On the inside of the hat was a portrait of Fred Lowry. Had Lowry been an acquaintance of Hall's before 1863? Evidence suggests that this is true. "They found Hall's horse, saddle, and bridle, double barrelled gun, and hat, with Lowry's likeness in it, which had been abandoned in escaping from the troopers." The long-held belief that Lowry made Gardiner's acquaintance at Cockatoo Island is not true. By December 1859, Gardiner was released as Lowry commenced his servitude there in March 1860, having been transferred from Darlinghurst. Therefore, Lowry did not become friends with Gardiner, who, from all reports, had limited mates.
The arrest at the Weddin Mountains over the theft of horses from Oma station, confirms that the pair had no doubt some contact with the local settlers of the districts. No doubt the O'Meally's, Walsh's, Taylor's, Jameison's, Hall's and Maguire's to name a few who were always on the lookout for quality horses. Their procurement and bona fides often over looked. However, the two were reported living rough at the Weddin holed up at a local area known as 'The Black Fellows Ladder.' A former stronghold of 1840's bushrangers Whitton and Scotchy. 'Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal' Saturday 31st July 1858; "We lately adverted in our columns to the capture of a young man named Lowry, a notorious horse-stealer on the Widdin Mountains, who was brought down to Bathurst last week under escort, together with a young woman, who has been cohabiting with him for some time past." Captured and placed in the lock-up at King's Plains enroute to Bathurst, Sarah was sleeping in her cell when the keeper James Leonard attempted to sexually assault her in the middle of the night. The ruckus awoke Lowry. Ibid "Lowry was awoke from his slumbers by sounds familiar to his ear, and immediately detected the voice of his chere amie expostulating with some person in very violent tones. He immediately discovered the cause of this disturbance in the person of the lock-up keeper, availing himself of the temporary absence of his wife, who was attending a sick friend, had entered the cell of the female prisoner, and had made improper overtures to her, which she indignantly repulsed. It subsequently appeared that he repeated this abominable conduct at a later hour of the night, but with no better success."
Interestingly, in the evidence presented over the incident, it was highlighted that Fred and Sarah were married; "the prosecutrix, with her husband, were being escorted down to Bathurst in custody to take their trial at the present Quarter Sessions, on a charge of horse-stealing." The sexual assault charges against James Leonard presented at Bathurst, he was found Not Guilty and was discharged with an Admonishment. Although charged under the name of McGregor, the newspapers refer to Lowry, implying a well known reputation for stealing stock.
Now we think that when the Lachlan police get reliable information, particularly from the resident magistrate, they ought to act upon it with the greatest promptitude, without awaiting any orders from their Commanding officer. However a second information was given to the troopers at Cowra, who at once came to Mr. Watt's place and from thence proceeded to the residence of Mr. J. G. Wood, Brundah, where a strong party were organised to go in pursuit of these merchants in horse flesh. It was arranged that two parties be formed. Mr. Watt and a trooper took charge of one detachment, and Mr. J. B. Wood and Corporal Higgs of the other.
NSW Sheriffs Papers 1857-1862
for Frederick McGregor.
|Frederick McGregor, released|
Darlinghurst, 5th Jan 1862.
|Thomas and Catherine|
Vardy. c. 1860's.
Courtesy of Crookwell Gazette.
|Reputed site of Vardy's Limerick Races Inn, Cook's Vale Creek.|
Courtesy Crookwell Gazette.
|Frederick McGregor alias Fred Lowry and|
Sarah McGregor Bathurst Gaol July 1858.
Sarah McGregor should read Cowell and arrived in NSW via ship 'Waterlilly' in 1845.
|Lowry's Cockatoo Island to Darlinghurst March 1861|
|NSW Police Gazette, 1863.|
However, it came to light in September of 1863, that two brothers named Hogan, close friends of Lowry, who were the stepsons of Lowry's good mate, Thomas Vardy, were charged with harbouring Lowry at the time of the affray at Alexander's; HARBOURING A FELON;-"Robert Hogan and Henry Hogan were then arraigned on an information setting firth that, on the 24th December last one Thomas Frederick Lowry, at Trunky Creek, did shoot at one Stephen Alexander, and that afterwards, on the 24th, July, the said Robert Hogan and Henry Hogan knowing the said felony to have been committed, did maintain and harbour the said Thomas Frederick Lowry. Applications made on behalf of both prisoners, that they might be discharged on their own recognizances, stated they were freeholders in their own right Mr Isaacs opposed the discharge of the prisoners on their own recognizances. His Honor said that he would read the depositions and would decide the same day if possible, but perhaps might not have an opportunity till the following day He might state that he should admit to bail the only question was whether on their own recognizances Prisoners were then removed." Following the court's deliberation in the case of the Hogan brothers for harbouring Lowry, they were released on bail of £200 each and a surety of £100, paid by their stepfather. Note; John Cosgrove was found guilty and sentenced to five years on the roads and died in gaol at Goulburn in 1866, he was described as 5ft 2in, short dark hair, whiskers and blue eyes.
|John Foley c. 1873|
|NSW Police Gazette,|
Subsequently, while involved with the Hall gang over a period of four months, Lowry bailed-up travellers and robbed stores and stations between the Lambing Flat goldfields and Cootamundra. However, with the death of M'Bride, Lowry shot through from the Burrangong area and fled back to the Abercrombie region, familiar territory. As Lowry was returning he held-up several persons near Carcoar, one, in particular, a police trooper stationed at Carcoar named Sergeant Charles Higgs; "Lowry stated that they wanted him, and expected that he would return that day, if so, they would give him fifty lashes, which they were prepared to do, as they showed that they had the appliances with them, namely rope, &c. It appears that Higgs presented Lowry for horse stealing, some six years since, upon which information he was convicted, and it was after serving that conviction that he obtained his ticket of leave, since which time his conduct has been fully before the public. I nearly omitted to mention that within five minutes of the scoundrels leaving the place, sergeant Higgs was on the very ground where the ten had been bailed up, and was congratulated by the "council of ten" that he had not made his appearance sooner. No doubt if he had he would have found it much easier to walk home than have ridden. When information reached town, our police magistrate acted with his customary energy; but sergeant Higgs got a fresh horse and went without delay in pursuit. He has been out all night. What success may meet is hard to conjecture..."
|Henry Kater, Australian|
Joint Stock Bank. M.L.A. 1889
At the inquest into Lowry's death, it was stated that as he lay dying, Lowry gave his name as Thomas Frederick Lowry. However, there are many conflicting records of a Thomas Frederick Lowry commencing with a Thomas Lowry given 48hrs for Disorderly conduct and confined at Darlinghurst where he paid his fine and discharged on the 28th April 1863, not possible, another Thomas Lowry arrived in the colony on board the 'Lady Ann' in 1854 as a 20yr old from Cornwall, England, recorded as a farm labourer and could read and write, Lowry was born in the colony, another Thomas Lowry arrived in the colony from Tipperary, Ireland in 1857 at the age of 25 on board the 'Fitz James' as a Labourer and could read and write, which would make him 31 at death in 1863; it must be remembered that the use of real names and ages was often to protect others from police scrutiny and to mitigate any other outstanding crimes. It is noted at Lowry's inquest as to some doubt by others as to his real identity, reported here in the 'Goulburn Herald' Wednesday 2 September 1863; "He appears to have been a very tall young man, measuring six feet two inches, and probably weighing thirteen stone, well made, with small hands and feet, white skin, small moustache, and a particularly well-developed chest. Taken altogether he was physically a very fine man. He is described as having been twenty-seven years of age; and although he must have led a life of mingled dissipation and hardship, he did not appear to be any older. Some doubt was expressed as to the body being that of Lowry, the bushranger; Mr. Horsford, the jailer, who had known Lowry at Cockatoo Island, where he was undergoing a sentence under the name of Frederick McGregor, considered that the hair was much darker than that of the man he had known, and that he was much stouter, and was of opinion that deceased was not Lowry, though he was not able to speak positively. Mr. Fogg, a settler at the Narrawa, and his wife came into town on Monday and saw the body, which they declared was not that of Lowry; but it seemed that they had not seen Lowry for three years; and although called at the inquest, they did not attend. On the other hand, the Rev. H. H. Gaud, who had seen Lowry some twelve months back, believed that deceased was he, as did also Mr. Moses Baird, who, however, had not seen Lowry for seven or eight years. The evidence taken at the inquest is all in favor of the view of deceased being identical with Lowry; and it is quite certain that he was the man who robbed the Goulburn mail on the 2nd July last, Mr. Futter, Captain Morphy, and the coachman, Michael Curran, having positively identified him, and Captain Morphy's watch having been found in his possession. There is every reason also to believe that he is the man who in conjunction with Foley robbed the Mudgee mail of several thousand pounds worth of bank notes some days after the robbery of the Goulburn mail. Foley and Lowry it may be remembered escaped together from Bathurst jail on the 13th February last..."
|Woodhouseleigh Station Homestead, Lowry died in|
building on the far left.
|S.M.H. 31st August,|
|Recognition of those|
involved in Lowry's
Lowry's accomplice in the Mudgee Mail robbery, John Foley faced court and was sentenced as reported in the 'Goulburn Herald' 9th September 1863; A telegram from Bathurst informs us that Foley, the bushranger, has been convicted and sentenced to fifteen years on the roads for the Mudgee mail robbery.
Previous to his conviction, Michael Dunn was recorded as a Chandler Tallow Boy indentured to The Tallow Chandlers, a City of London Livery Company that administered oils, ointments, lubricants, and fat-based preservatives to manage candle making using tallow (animal fats). Moreover, with the arrival of the Gas Light in the mid 1800's followed by the advent of electricity in 1900s Tallow boys switched to producing soap. In applying for a Ticket-of-Leave, Michael Dunn married a native of the colony Margaret Kelly, aged 23, in February 1846 at Yass. Under the law, they were required to apply for a 'Convicts Application to Marry.' It was granted before their nuptials.
Young John Dunn developed in the local districts a reputation not only of mixing with the criminal element but as a sound horse-breaker and often engaged as a partime jockey, where he had ridden home several well-known bush racers. Dunn's prowess in the saddle had undoubtedly attracted the attention of Hall and Gilbert, whose passion for horse racing brought them into contact with the talented rider as they attended many local meets. Dunn's knowledge of the finest thoroughbreds, and where they were stabled no doubt interested the two bushrangers who enticed Dunn to join their ranks. However, even at 5ft 8in Dunn's jockeying ability would not be unusual at country meetings. In some cases, top-flight horses owners rode their own entry's regardless of the weight on the horses back.
In April of 1864 at the Yass races this was recorded of a horse Dunn was known to race for its owner Mr Davoren, 'Ringleader'; "This was without exception the most exciting race during the meeting. Ringleader started from the post a good length ahead, Dart second. On rounding the hill, and on passing the post the first time the horses held precisely the same relative positions, all hard held. On being sighted the second time, the same order prevailed, Dosey gradually improving her position. On the third round, each of the competitors were put on their mettle, and a magnificent contest took place for victory. On nearing the distance post for the last time, Dart made a "dart" that well nigh landed him a winner, but his jockey was rather late in calling on his horse, and he lost by little more than a neck- Ringleader being declared a winner amidst loud huzzas."¹
Before long Dunn was riding alongside Hall and Gilbert. However, on hearing the news of his son's descent into full-on crime, Dunn's father, Michael, rode in search of him in the hope of rescuing him from bushranging. Unfortunately, his horse died from overexertion. Consequently, he was compelled to return home unsuccessful in his search. The colt had bolted.
The 'The Newcastle Chronicle and Hunter River District News', November 1864, highlighted the circumstance that led John Dunn to become a member of Ben Hall's gang; Ben Hall's Latest Recruit.—The Yass correspondent of the Goulburn Argus writes :-Young Dunn, who has joined Ben Hall, is the son of a small settler living in the neighbourhood of Murrumburrah. He is accounted one of the best riders in New South Wales, which is saying a great deal. A person who is well acquainted with him told me the other day that if this young rascal was mounted and his horse placed on the roof of one of the houses in Cooma street, he would ride along the roofs of the others to the furthermost end of the town! So much for his daring equestrian abilities. As we all know, the native youth pride themselves on their prowess in the saddle. It is a sad pity they do not aspire to something more ennobling. At the last annual races held in Yass, Dunn rode, and success fully too, the Binalong horse, Ringleader. The next time he turned up in Yass was in company with young Kennedy, a youth of his own kidney, the son of an ex-publican in Murrumburrah. They came into town late one evening, and as they were dressed in true bushranger's costume—namely, a poncho made out of a blanket ornamented with bars and stars, and Napoleon boots — they were soon spotted by the police.
On being interrogated, young Kennedy said he wanted to find out where the Erlington pound was situated, as a racer had been stolen from him after the Murrumburrah races by — (mentioning another youth who has shown strong indications for hose-stealing), and that he had found out from the Government Gazette that it was in the pound. After making sundry inquiries, he obtained the requisite information, and the two hope full's departed on their journey. It appears that the horse was released by Kennedy, and he with Dunn returned towards home. On reaching Gunning, Dunn left his companion, and rode in the direction of Pudman Creek, where he fell in with another youth named Ryan, whose brother has been long the dread of this part of the country as one of the most expert and successful of horse stealers, but whose reign is drawing, or has drawn to a close. Shortly after this they stuck up and robbed some drays on the Pudman, and were subsequently apprehended and taken to Burrowa, where they were committed for trial at the Yass General Sessions. Strange to say, that although the charge was robbery under arms, the sapient justice accepted bail for their appearance to take their trial.
When the sessions came on, Dunn and Ryan were called on their bail. The latter appeared, but as Dunn was absent the Crown Prosecutor applied for a postponement of the trial, consenting to take fresh bail for Ryan, and at the same time applied to the judge to entreat Dunn's recognizances and issue a bench warrant for his apprehension. All this was done. I have very good reason for believing that Dunn was in Yass at the time of the application was made, and that so soon as he heard that a warrant had been issued he mounted his horse and joined Ben Hall and Dunleavy (Gilbert was not with Hall at the time), who were only a short distance from town. See now the consequence of Mr. Burrowa Justice's folly-in granting bail. Ryan knew he would not be put on his trial without Dunn, and therefore surrendered, and I shall be most egregiously mistaken if ever he shows his nose voluntarily before Judge Meymott again.
|The pending court appearance of John Dunn and Daniel Ryan, it was from this event|
that Dunn fled justice and joined Ben Hall and John Gilbert.
However, in June of 1864 Ben Hall with Mount and Gilbert in an attempt to procure some fine racehorses being guarded by two troopers at the Bang Bang Hotel Koorawatha, met their match and failed to obtain the horses after a gunfight that came close to ending Hall's life as a shot from a trooper took Hall's hat from his head. The next day Hall called upon an Innkeeper demanding a meal be prepared. In his company was Daniel Ryan. During the conversation Hall declared that the newspapers version stated that the range between shots was eighty yards whereby Hall said closer to fifty and remarked that the removal of his hat by a bullet "was not so bad". On leaving Hall and company made for the direction of Lambing Flat. Hall and his two partners Gilbert having returned to the fray and Mount had entrenched themselves in the Burrowa district. There is no doubt of their use of local hoods such as Ryan and Dunn amongst others in telegraphing valuable information and supplies through which along with horse racing was the introduction to Hall and associates; 'The Sydney Morning Herald' Tuesday 7th June 1864; The Bushrangers.- Saturday's Bathurst Times says -A gentleman called at our office yesterday morning and informed us that he was at Bang Bang on Friday last and stayed for awhile at the Korowatha Inn, the scene of the late encounter between the police and the bushrangers. The innkeeper, Mr. Lydiard, informed him that on the previous day the bushrangers, Ben Hall and two others, paid him another visit and demanded dinner for themselves and provender for their horses, with which he supplied them, there being no one but himself and wife on the premises. They stayed upwards of an hour and a-half, but did not offer any violence, or take any money. Gilbert was not one of the party, the fellow who has been mistaken for him, and who is now in company with Hall, is said to be a youngster called Ryan, who is "wanted" by the police for horse-stealing in the Burrowa district. The bushrangers appear to have made themselves quite at home, and Ben Hall, who expressed some doubts as to the correctness of the newspaper reports, with regard to the distance the police and his party were from one another at the time they exchanged shots (stated to be eighty yards), measured the ground, and declared it to be only fifty, and then remarked, with the air of a connoisseur, in allusion to his hat being knocked off by a bullet, that "it was not so bad." The robbers shortly after left, taking the direction of Lambing Flat.
Daniel Ryan, unlike Dunn never took the full step into bushranging and would become a fringe dweller in the escapades of Hall, Gilbert and Dunn. Most notably, the Araluen Gold Robbery attempt in 1865. Ryan's participation is widely believed, however, another hoodlum who was to take up Ben Hall's reins upon his death, Thomas Clarke was as well thought to have been the fourth man present. Ryan would be arrested for his suspected part but was released due to lack of evidence. Although those held hostages before the raid had a good look at the bushrangers, Thomas Clarke was not implicated by them. Ryan's close association with Dunn casts light on his probable involvement.
|Dunn and Ryan,|
|Death of Sergeant Parry.|
However, in the Southern parts of New South Wales, another murderous bushranger was continuing to lead the troopers a merry chase as well. Daniel 'Mad Dog' Morgan. Furthermore, the press were quick to draw a parallel between the two camps, as reported in the case of the shooting death of Sgt Parry. Below is the link regarding the murder of Sergeant Parry as well as shooting with intent to kill Insp O'Neil outside Jugiong on 16th November 1864 as follows;
|Contemporary drawing rarely|
published of the death
of Sgt Parry, from the
'The Australian News for Home Readers',
Sat 24 Dec 1864 titled;
STICKING UP OF THE GUNDAGAI MAIL.
In the fallout of Parry's death, the magistrate Mr Rose brought about the end of Const Roach's career who at the time of the encounter was in the mail coach and prevented by Rose from interfering whereby Roach took to his heels in the act of self-preservation. However, this action led to his dismissal from the police force; YASS. Tuesday, 29th November 1864, 5.30 p.m; Constable Roach was fined £5, for deserting his post at the late encounter between the police and Ben Hall's gang.
|Edmund Parry, Police|
FURTHER OUTRAGES BY BEN HALL AND HIS GANG
Below is the account of Morriss' court testimony and the case against Christina McKinnon and Ellen Monks as accessories in the burning down of his General Store. See link below.
|Kimberley's Inn with Nelson|
monument at right.
Before their appearance in the town, the three bushrangers during the 26th January held sway over the road leading to Collector from Goulburn. For the last few days, Hall, Gilbert and Dunn were loitering around Rose's Lagoon, some five miles from Collector. Between the morning and mid-afternoon, everyone travelling along the road (Today's Federal Hwy) was waylaid. As each person was penned they were relieved of any valuables, including various amounts from half-a-crown to £11 12s, two watches were stolen, one horse, saddle and bridle. By two o'clock the gathered group resembled a country sports meeting made up of a collection of men, women, children, carts, drays, horses, and a couple of bullock teams. The robbers broke open cases, took a little clothing, and a double-barrel gun. They drank bottled porter and gave some to the people. As the afternoon wore on, Ben Hall instructed a couple of his prisoners to make tea for the captives. Preparations were well underway with the aroma of burning gum-leaves drifting blue into the afternoon heat, when Dunn, who was on watch saw a trooper, coming from the Goulburn direction and announced: "Here's a blasted trap." "If it's only one," suggested Gilbert, "we'll face him." The three bushrangers stood a moment gazing through the white haze of heat toward the approaching trooper. However, behind the closing trooper came a carriage, and after that, another trooper. The carriage carried Judge Meymott on his way to Yass, via Collector. "There's more of them," commented Hall. However, to avoid trouble, he added, "Let's be off!" promptly mounting, the three bushrangers rode off, galloping across the road and up the hill toward the dense bush as the Judge arrived at where the throng of prisoners milled about; 'Empire' 31st January 1865; "On Thursday last Judge Meymott left Goulburn en-route for Yass. His Honor preferred going by way of Collector, a village twenty-five miles from Goulburn instead of going the usual main road. He was escorted by constables Grey and Parker. About one or two o'clock the party reached Currawang, three miles from Collector. Grey, who was in-advance, here saw a man on horseback who came out of the bush, and whom he at once assumed to be one of the bushrangers now infesting tho district, and who it since appears was Gilbert. Grey at once started off towards Gilbert, but was called back by the judge, and returned. It appeared afterwards from the remarks made by the bushrangers that Gilbert, seeing Grey approach, had rode out with the intention of capturing him, but that on seeing Parker behind, and that Grey had the courage to face him altered his mind and rode back to the cover of the bush.
The judge had got only about a hundred yards further when Mr. F. Hoare, of Gundaroo, who was coming to town, was stopped by Gilbert, Hall and Dunn. They searched him and took three half sovereigns which were being sent to this office in payment of an account. Mr. Hoare had a cheque and some silver in his portemonnaie which they look at but returned. They also looked at his watch, but gave it back to him. They told him they intended to visit Collector in tho evening, and therefore should be compelled to detain him.
The bushrangers now took possession of the road, stopping and detaining all who passed. Among them wore three horse-teams and nine bullock-teams. Altogether about thirty persons were stopped. The bushrangers broke open many of the cafes and helped themselves to some articles of clothing, of which they appeared to be in want. Gilbert expressed a great wish to secure a pair of boots; but here he failed. On one of the drays they found a new double-barrelled fowling-piece, belonging to Mr. Ranyard, of Gundaroo; and Gilbert loaded this and took it with him. The bushrangers broke open a case or two of bottled porter and drank some, giving freely to everybody who liked to partake or it.
Among the persons detained was a young man on horseback, named William Macauley. Whether his horse was restive, as he stated to the bushrangers, or whether he meant to escape, as was suspected, we have not heard: but the animal made some movement. Dunn, who was keeping guard at tho time, immediately fired from his revolver, and the ball slightly wounded Macauley's horse in the neck. As Macauley made no further movement no additional violence was offered. Among the last persons robbed were Messrs. Kershaw, Pearce and Cook, young men employed as assistants at the stores of Messrs. Davies, Alexander, and Co. They took from Mr. Kershaw a gold watch and £1 in money ; from Mr. Pearce, a silver watch and chain, the horse he was riding (belonging to Mr. John Lawler), and his saddle and bridle; from Mr. Cook they took a half-crown. From a man of Mr. Kimberley's, who was on his way to Goulburn, the bushrangers took £11, which had been entrusted to him to pay an account in Goulburn.
About seven o'clock the bushrangers allowed the persons they had robbed to go their ways, while they themselves proceeded to Collector, where they called at Mr. Kimberley's public-house, which they ransacked, taking three guns, some boots, and other articles. The guns were subsequently recovered, having apparently been dropped by the bushrangers in their haste to get away.
In order to render intelligible what follows, we must now return to the time when the judge passed along the road. Mr. Voss, J.P., was travelling to Wollogorang, and saw the judge's carriage pass by, and also saw the bushrangers stopping some of the travellers. He hastened after the judge, and on overtaking him and communicating with the police, it was arranged that directly they had arrived at Collector, the police should go with Mr. Voss in search of the bushrangers. At Collector there were found to be three constables. One-the lockup keeper, Samuel Nelson-remained behind; the other two, with the judge's escort and Mr. Voss, started in search of the bushrangers, Mr. Voss and two of the policemen going to Wollogorang, while the others went to Rose's Lagoon..."
|Dunn Shoots Nelson.|
|Reputed couch at Kimberley's|
Hotel on which Const
Nelson's body was laid
after his murder
by John Dunn.
Held at NSW Police Academy
After the three galloped out of the town it was reported that Ben Hall's fury had not receded with The Kid; "Jack Dunn shot poor Nelson at Collector, and Ben Hall was mixed up in it, although I have it from a woman that Hall confided in that they all agreed beforehand that no one was to be fired at unless in actual self-defence. There was a great row afterwards between Hall and Dunn. Dunn threatened to shoot Hall, but Hall knocked him down, took his revolvers from him, and handed them to Gilbert. He then got on his horse and galloped away..."
When news reached Goulburn, the Superintendent of police fired off a telegram to the Inspector General McLerie highlighting Nelson's death. There has been much written regarding the shooting, however, in this telegram the superintendent reports that after Nelson fell from the first shot, Dunn walked up and fired point-blank at the dying Nelson; The following is the telegram received yesterday by the Government:- "Goulburn, 27th January, 1865. From Superintendent of Police to Inspector-General. Hall and gang went into Collector about dusk yesterday, knowing the mounted men were scouring the bush at the time in the neighbourhood, the Judge, with an escort of two constables, having heard of the bushrangers in the immediate neighbourhood. Nelson, the lockup-keeper, was the only constable in Collector at the time. As soon as Nelson heard that the bushrangers were in Kimberley's, which is the outside house in the town and some distance from any other, he armed himself and went towards the store. Hall ans Gilbert were inside, and Dunn keeping watch outside. When he saw Nelson he concealed himself behind a paling fence, and deliberately fired. Nelson fell, and Dunn went up put the revolver to him, and fired a second time when he was lying down on the ground. The bushrangers got horses immediately after this and galloped off towards Wallagorang. About two miles from Collector they were met by Mr Voss and Mr Hathwaite, magistrates, with three policemen. The night was very dark, and the bushrangers turned as soon as sighted into a dense scrub, leaving in the hands of the party a horse, saddle and bridle, which they had previously stolen. Direction taken not known."
|Widow, Elizabeth Nelson|
|The Goulburn Chronicle|
4th February 1865.
|The four Faithful|
HALL, GILBERT, AND DUNN IN THE BRAIDWOOD DISTRICT.
Remaining in the Goulburn district, the bushrangers sought refuge at a harbourers home named Byrnes. The police gained information about the gang's presence and in an attempt to capture the three men set about a raid to effect their seizure. As the police positioned themselves two were sleeping in a barn at Mutbilly and Hall reputedly just outside the hut. Discovered Gilbert fired and Trooper Pye dived for cover as Wiles was wounded in the knee. However, it was thought Ben Hall was shot in the arm as the gang fled on foot. Newspaper report below.
|William Davis. c. 1863|
Gilbert, acquired Davis'
Tranter revolving rifle
at Geary's Gap.
The robbery at Geary's Gap, Gilbert stole his longed for revolving rifle from a Mr. Davis on the 9th March 1865. The newspaper article below;
Monday, 13th March 1865.
HALL'S GANG AT LAKE GEORGE
|The carving, photo c. 1937|
Monday, 8th May 1865.
THE BUSHRANGERS AT YAMMA.
Kelly, for whom the reward of two thousand pounds was too great a prize, even for the life of his own grandson went to see the police, on arrival at the Binalong police station Kelly encountered Constable King. Here they made arrangements for the capture of the now-outlawed two bushrangers. Constable King recounted the conversation and events long after John Kelly's death and stated that whilst alone at the Binalong police station Dunn's grandfather, Kelly, appeared at the door and asked for the Sergeant who at the time was absent. Kelly conveyed to King coyly that on receiving word of Gilbert and Dunn's impending visit "he moight be of help", King recounts the conversation;
"I'd loike a few words wud the sargint, If ye please, Mishter King."
"Ah! Well, he'll be in presently. Mean while, make yourself at home, If I can't be of any use to you."
"Well, yo moight be able tor giv me some information."
"I will if I can. What is the trouble, John" "Well, I kem to ask if there's any truth in what Paddy Ryan's been afther tellln' me about me gran'son Johnnie bein' outlaw'd, Misther King."
"Well, I am sorry, for your sake, that it is, old man. We received, the noticess yesterday, and one is posted up outside there."
"How much is put on 'em?"
"One thousand pounds, alive or dead. Five hundred goes to the person who will give information that will lead to the capture of any one of them, and the remainder to the person who shoots or captures either of them."
"By Gor! the Guvermint manes business."
"Yes, the murder of poor Constable Nelson, the father of nine children, was unnecessary and cold-blooded.
"Whist a moment," said John, interrupting me. "Spose any wun gev the information, an' they wasn't captured or kilt, wud they git anything?"
"Not a penny."
"I see! " answered John, somewhat disappointed. "I thought-"
"Why! what did you suppose they would for?"
"Well now, I'll tell you, and"-lowering his voice-''mind it's a saycret 'twixt you and me; but Jannie moight be comin' ter see me some day. He's very fond of the ould woman. Sure the Divvel himself- can't save his neck, and if five hindred pounds is to be med out ov 'im, the sooner the betther, 'fore he shoots some wan else."
It now dawned on me that John had something up his sleeve, so I took up another role.
"Quite right, John! Quite right! I always knew you as a decent, honest man, and I am glad to find you are no sympathiser with your grandson's doings, and see here, old man, If ever you give me any information, it will be safe and sacred, and so will your share of the reward; here's my hand on it."He took my hand and wrung it until I winced, saying, "I belave yer a man ov yer word, Mishter King," then sitting down beside him I again ventured "I suppose you have no idea when they are likely to pay you this visit?"
He grinned, and, shutting his eye, said, "By Gor, they moight come to-night."
"Oh, that he damned," I exclaimed, jumping off my chair.
"But I say they moight," he answered, with significant emphasis.
"Go easy, man sit down till we make a plan."
I again sat down, and he continued.
"Ye see, If it wus to git wind that I towld ye anything, an' they wus to get away, by Gor they'd cum an' shoot me loike a dog. So yez must be careful not to, miss yer game, shoot straight if ye does shoot, or don't shoot at all at all."
"John! You would make a better general than Fosbery," said I, approvingly.
"Well, now, hold yer whisht a minnt thin ye ken have yer say. They'll be at my place fur sartin to-night."
"They wur there lasht noight, and the auld woman is gettln' a good feed fur 'um ready for to-noight, and I've got a keg ov rum in the bag outside.
The above conversation is written as to how John Kelly spoke. Kelly devised a signal for the troopers to have his grandson captured or killed, all this was done on the understanding of anonymity. The two bushrangers now legally declared 'Outlaws' arrived again for the night and early on the morning of Saturday 13th May 1865;
|Dunn's escape at Binalong|
On the 14th May 1865, an inquest was conveyed on John Gilbert's body and the actions surrounding his shooting.
|Letter to Goulburn Gaol|
regarding the expected
surrender of Hall, Gilbert & Dunn.
New South Wales,
Australia, Sheriff's Papers,
1829-1879 for John Dunn.
The reward for Gilbert's capture has been divided as follows: - £500 to the informer; £150 to Hales; £130 to Bright; £120 to King ; and £100 to Hall.
|John Dunn, Goal entry book January 1866, note Dunn was educated.|
|John Dunn, Criminal Courts record trial date 9th January 1866.|
|John Dunn, Darlinghurst Gaol Entrance book, 3rd February 1866.|
|NSW Police Gazette,|
6th December 1865.
Authors Note: Joseph Burford would be charged under the 'Felons Apprehension Act', and faced trial for his harbouring Dunn and giving false information to the police, and be sent down on the 26th March 1866, for six months to be served at Maitland Gaol, where he was released in August 1866. Another harbourer John Walton at whose home Dunn was at was also charged with the offence, For this crime, a reward was paid to the arresting police. Walton received two years at Bathurst Gaol at hard labour.
Dunn survived for another few weeks and was finally captured in January 1866. (see article below) Following his capture Mr. Arthur Willmott, J.P. described to his relatives in England his conversation with John Dunn during his removal to Coonamble goal. Extract Dated; 13th March 1866; "Dunn was most communicative to me on the road in and all but told me it was a good thing for me he was taken. Dunn told me he had (at the time he was shot down by McHale and lay waiting for the troopers to come up), determined to have shot them both down if he could and then to have made for more revolvers which were planted within a hundred yards from where Elliott took him. He begged of them to blow his brains out on the spot and told them before me that nothing would give him greater pleasure if he had his other revolver than stand 100 yards off and fight the whole lot. Wounded as he was he sat up and took the most deliberate aim just as much as though he had known they had been firing at him or only with a pop gun. He told me he had been in hotter work than that and that he never knew what fear was. He also observed to me that he was satisfied to believe that when dead he was done for and disregarded any thought of a future state. Poor fellow, he is tried, condemned and sentenced to be hanged five days hence."
Thursday, 18th January 1866
CAPTURE OF DUNN, THE BUSHRANGER
DUNN, THE BUSHRANGER
|Dunn's recapture near Dubbo Gaol.|
|A newspaper portrait of John Dunn.|
|McHale Recognition for|
DUNN AND HIS MEDICAL ATTENDANT
|Reward distribution for|
John Dunn still suffering from gunshot wounds was under police escort from Bathurst to Penrith and then bordered a train for the trip to Sydney. However, before the trip, Dr Busby at Bathurst gaol assisted Dr Palmer extracted a bullet from Dunn's back. Without any aesthetic, the doctor probed; 'The Sydney Morning Herald' Friday 26th January 1866: A BUSHRANGER'S PLUCK UNDER THE KNIFE.— Wednesday's Bathurst Times states that on Saturday last Dr. Busby extracted the bullet from Dunn's back in a few seconds, with little or no difficulty. The upper portion of the bullet was not more than half an inch from the surface of the skin. It had been conical in shape, but when extracted it presented a cylindrical appearance. Its weight was exactly seven pennyweights troy. Dr. Palmer was present during the operation. The prisoner did not manifest that courage which his career would lead one to expect from him, for he roared and shrieked with all his might, and behaved in such an unmanly manner, that it became necessary to have him held down by four of the warders. He is now progressing favourably, and Dr Busby is of opinion that Dunn will entirely recover the use of his leg. He eats and sleeps well, his pulse is in a healthy condition and no doubt is entertained of his speedy convalescence.
|Newtown Railway Station.|
John Dunn was finally incarcerated at Darlinghurst Gaol; he was formally brought before a judge and charged over the death of Constable Nelson. His initial arraignment was noted in the paper were Dunn when asked of his heath and stated he was weak; "Then there is the case of Dunn; he was brought up before the Chief Justice late yesterday afternoon, and the following is a report of what took place on the occasion:— "John Dunn was then placed in the dock, indicted for the wilful murder of constable Samuel Nelson, at Collector, on the 26th January, 1865. "The prisoner pleaded not guilty. "His Honor: I understand there is some application to be made to me for a postponement of your trial. If you have any application to make respecting the postponement of your trial, make it now. Have you any counsel? "Mr. Read, gaoler: He has counsel your Honor. "His Honor: Are you suffering any pain? "Prisoner: Not much. I'm only weak. "His Honor: If you had been suffering pain I would have allowed your counsel to make the application for a postponement in your absence to-morrow, for I don't wish to make you a public spectacle to a thousand people. As your counsel is not here now I will entertain the application to-morrow, but I can hold out no hopes whatever that the application will be granted. "Remove the prisoner." It is now understood that Dunn will be brought up, or the argument be heard for the postponement of the trial, after the close of the other business this afternoon, but it can be hardly expected that the trial will be postponed. The Crown law officers are desirous, and very properly so, of having the business brought to a close. However, if affidavits state that material witnesses who could prove an alibi are absent, I suppose that there is no course but to yield."⁸
|Illustrated Sydney News,|
Friday 16th February 1866.
Dunn was returned to Darlinghurst to await his rendezvous with death, and the reward for Dunn's capture was gazetted and divided thus; Snr Const McHale £300; Snr Const Elliot £200; Const Hawthorn £200; Sgt Flynn £30 and Const Drake £20 the only civilian to receive an amount of the reward was young Mr Smith who reported Dunn to police after his escape from Dubbo courthouse and found him by a log just outside the town, he received £50.
|John's final letter to his father, penned for him by one of the priests. (see text below)|
A letter was written on Dunn's behalf as he awaits execution.
Darlinghurst Gaol, Sydney, 2nd March 1866.
My dear Father
I received your very welcome second letter a few days ago - I say welcome although it conveyed to me the death of my sister. I can sincerely condole with you on this bereavement coming too at such a time, but you will remember that I never sway my little sister and therefore it is why I state that any letter form you under my circumstances is welcome.
I have not yet heard what day is fixed for my execution but it cannot be far off as I was told by Father Dwyer last evening that he had an interview with the Prime Minister and that the law is to take its course.
Under the circumstances it will be advisable for you to come down with my brother without delay - Mother knows how gratified I would be to see her before I die, but don't let her come. It is best not. I can bid her goodbye to you for her, and send her a keepsake by you also. So reason with her about it and persuade her to remain at home.
I have no more to say in this letter. As soon as I hear of "the day" I will let you know.
With love to all believe me dear father, your affectionate Son,
EXECUTION OF JOHN DUNN
|The drop Darlinghurst Gaol.|
|The Morgue: Following Dunn's execution at Darlinghurst Gaol, his body was held here prior to being claimed by his Godmother, Mrs Pickard.|
|A Guinea coin = 21 Shillings|
or $84 today.
|John Dunn's Death Certificate|
|Dunn's father's Ticket-of Leave & Conditional Pardon.|
However, there was no observation of Dunn and Margaret together or Dunn being well received by the ladies. Moreover, the only lady on that evening to interact with John Dunn appears to have been Mrs Morriss, who again stated; "Dunn asked me to dance; I refused at first and he said I must; it was against my will that I danced with him; I refused to dance with others..."² In consequence of the festivities Edward Morriss attempted to formulate a plan with others to capture the gang. Unfortunately, before he could act, he was sprung and leapt out a window, escaping to raise the alarm. On discovering the plot by Hall and Gilbert, Morriss was pursued outdoors with several shots fired. However, Morriss survived by hiding in a culvert. Morriss's act of treachery after the gang had informed the patrons that no harm would befall anyone ended their goodwill. Consequently, Morriss' actions brought about retribution and their anger, led by Ben Hall. The bushrangers proceeded to Morriss’s store intent on burning it down as punishment. "the bushrangers now returned to the inn, where they declared that they would burn down Morriss's house. They then left to put their threat into execution. Mrs. Morriss in her desperation actually clung to them, and besought them in the most moving terms not to do so; but in vain. They said that Morriss was a dog; and that they would yet come across him and have his life. They went to the store; and after again searching about, set fire to the building, watching the progress of the flames for a time..."³ The action met with the full support and encouragement of both Ellen Monks and Christina McKinnon who said; "It serves him right," and also said, "Do it, Ben."⁴ The bushrangers watched until flames turned to embers then departed with Ellen and Christina.
Margaret Monks had been present when the fire was lit but was not supportive of the gang's actions. Accordingly, soon after the episode, the three girls were arrested. However, at the subsequent hearing, Ellen Monks and Christina McKinnon were sent to trial for 'Aiding and Assisting to commit Arson' in company with the gang. Margaret was discharged with no case to answer.
Nevertheless, the gang would continue to be hard-pressed by the police. In January 1865, Dunn, as with Gilbert, committed murder. Subsequently, the three bushrangers eventually returned to the Lachlan over the next few months, and by May 1865, both Hall and Gilbert had been shot dead. Furthermore, Dunn was now classed as an outlaw under the Felons Apprehension Act 1865 and subject to death on sight. Dunn alone was hotly pursued by the constables that had shot dead Gilbert and in the ensuing melee wounded Dunn at Binalong. The police reported Dunn fleeing following Gilbert's call to Dunn to "run for your life"; "Dunn had crossed the creek, and finding that the police continued the pursuit and were so close as to prevent his reaching the place where the horses were, struck off in another direction, and although pursued about two miles by constables Hales, Bright, and Hall (King being prevented by his wound) they were unable to come up with him. All three were quite exhausted, and Dunn is described as being not much better. When last seen Dunn was scarcely able to walk and was proceeding over the top of the hill opposite to where the police were. The constables stayed the pursuit from sheer exhaustion. Dunn is known to have passed Boyeo Creek, at the rear of Illalong, on Saturday afternoon on foot, and, it is stated, was suffering from the effects of a bullet wound. Dunn proceeded on towards Mr. Julian's station, near Bogolong, and some ten miles from Binalong. He stuck-up the station, and obliged Mrs. Julian to procure him a horse, saddle, and bridle; He did not stop above half an hour, and from this locality also we learn that he appeared to be suffering from a wound in his side, and his clothes were covered with blood, which had apparently flowed from the injury..."⁵ Although fatigued and wounded Dunn successfully effected his escape; "Dunn though wounded and managing to escape, where four days afterwards he appeared and stuck up Mr. Julian's station, Bogolong, obtained a fresh horse, and was heard of no more for upwards of seven months, alone taking flight north 322 miles appearing in the vicinity of Walgett, NSW where Dunn was again pursued by police at M'Phail's station where he had been briefly employed breaking in horses and avoided capture..."⁶ Accordingly, accounts appear on Dunn’s progress which describe his state of health and his desire to flee as fast as possible from the Lachlan district eventually arriving in the New England area where Thunderbolt was active, as Dunn told Mrs Julian; "He showed Mrs. Julian a matchbox, which a bullet had struck, saying: "But for this, I would not be here." Mrs. Julian dressed his wounds, and advised him to surrender to the police, but he would not do so. He said he would join Thunderbolt..."⁷
Therefore, it would be wide of the mark to suggest that Dunn had somehow communicated to Margaret Monks to rush to his side and conceive a child. Furthermore, it is most doubtful that Margaret would wish to involve herself with a murderer and known outlaw and all its ramifications as advertised on Dunn's February 1865 Reward notice; "whereas, at an inquest at Collector, on the 28th ultimo, on the body of the late Samuel Nelson, Police Constable, a verdict of 'Wilful Murder' was returned against the said John Dunn: all parties are hereby cautioned that by harbouring, assisting, or maintaining the above named offender, they will make themselves accessories to the crime of Murder, and be liable to prosecution accordingly..." However, research and logic indicate that all the dates, including the time frame of Dunn's fleeing Binalong, demonstrate a different story and timeline regarding Margaret's possibility of falling pregnant. The town of Binda is situated some 50 miles from the encounter with the police near Binalong, remembering that Dunn was on foot and wounded when he arrived at the Julian families, Bogolong station. Dunn's presence there makes any contact or ability to contact Monks highly unlikely. Monks lived at Trunkey Creek 80 miles away. Furthermore, it was also stated that soon after leaving Julian's station that Dunn's possible harbourers were few and far between; "Dunn, although well acquainted in the neighborhood of Murrumburrah, does not appear to have gained much friendship amongst any class, and we believe there are few who will now grant him even shelter in the face of the penalties of the 'Felons Apprehension Act', Dunn will naturally be shunned, even by desperate men, on account of his needless cruelty in shooting Constable Nelson, and for which act he was nearly forfeiting his life to the revolver of Ben Hall. The same paper states that Dunn was in concealment in or near Bogolong..."⁸
The reference that Dunn was well acquainted in the district may well be that Dunn had sought refuge at the only place of any welcome, the residence of his close friend Daniel Ryan at Murrumburrah, which was 15-20 miles from Julian's station at Bogolong. This was country Dunn knew like the back of his hand and would feel relatively safe. However, after a short convalescence Dunn next surfaced at the end of December 1865 350 miles away near Walgett, NSW, where it was noted that he was for 7 months cooling his heels breaking in horses on the Culgoa.; "in the interim, he had obtained employment on a station near Carinda, on the Merri Merri Creek, Walgett (Central Western, New South Wales). He gave satisfaction, and his identity was quite unsuspected by his employer." Following his time at Walgett, Dunn appeared at a station on the Marthaguy Creek in the company of a half-caste Aboriginal named 'Yellow George';" in December 1865, he gave up his job, and later reached Tonangbar Station, on the Marthaguy Creek. By permission of the owner, the late William Perry, he was allowed to occupy a hut set apart at some distance from his homestead for swagmen and others..."⁹ Here Dunn’s luck finally expired and he was reported, as captured; "Dunn was arrested on the Marthaguy Creek, about a hundred and fifty miles beyond Dubbo, by three of the Cannonbar and Coonamble police. There appears to have been some fighting, as both Dunn and the officer in charge of the party were wounded..."¹⁰
Finally, new evidence relating to Margaret Monks indicates that at the time of the Binda Ball. Margaret Monks had been in a long-term relationship with a local man named Richard Coleman. (Coleman may well have been at the Flag Hotel during the evening's rowdy festivities.) Notwithstanding, Margaret Monks gave birth to a son registered on the 5th March 1866 at Trunkey Creek, NSW, named John. However, Margaret recorded the father as Richard Coleman. Consequently, in light of this evidence, for John Dunn to have fathered a child with Margaret, consummation had to have occurred in late June or early July of 1865. A period that establishes that it was physiologically and physically beyond the bounds of possibility that Dunn had the opportunity to father a child with Monks. By mid-May 1865, Dunn had fled the district and headed north towards Walgett. Another nail in the coffin of Dunn's fathering a child based on evidence includes Dunn's movements and arrival on foot at Julian station on 15th May 1865 following Gilbert's death. However, the boy's naming as John may be interpreted by some as a form of memory of John Dunn. Doubtful. John was a common name of the 19th century and may be purely coincidental. In some quarters, the thought of Dunn's offspring has no doubt fanned the flames of some emotional or misguided empathy regarding a young man with nothing in the way of a legacy. Except for a shameful death upon the gallows. As such, it is preposterous to assume that before Dunn's ignoble end, the authorities told the fated young man that the birth of a child by him is ludicrous. That alone would appear to be the cruellest of blows, and propriety would have forbidden such a comment to a man about to face his maker. Subsequently, Margaret Monks gave birth to another seven children. Richard Coleman, the father of all. Also, in 1870 at Trunkey Creek, a daughter was born out of wedlock named Mary Ann. The last of Margaret's children were born in 1884. All children were registered with Charles Coleman as the father, and the pair finally married in April 1872 at Trunkey Creek.
Margaret Monks died on 12th December 1920 in Portland, New South Wales, when she was 75.
|John Coleman headstone,|
the son of Margaret
Monks and Richard Coleman.
#-Reference notes and source material can be accessed on the EndNote page except where book, author or newspaper title are named. Publications referred to can be found on the Links Page. For any research assistance no charge, contact is on the Home Page under Contact details or Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For an enhanced view of photographs, click right mouse button and select 'open in new tab'.