The aim of this page is to incorporate interesting newspaper accounts regarding those individual police officers engaged in the pursuit of Ben Hall and his Associates, including appointments, promotions and controversy surrounding these courageous police officers whilst in their efforts to hunt, capture and kill bushrangers. Time and time again these men were ridiculed in the press, often unjustly when demonstrating their capacity for protracted effort, regardless of their difficulties or frustrations. Their perseverance was in many instances at considerable cost to their lives and in addition to the issuing of inferior equipment and hack-horses. However, regardless of the obstacles presented, including the cone of silence from the bushrangers sympathisers, these trooper's undertook the arduous and dangerous task of pursuing those miscreants who thought nothing of putting a bullet between their eyes.

Sir Frederick William Pottinger (1831-1865)

Sir Frederick Pottinger was born in India on 27th April 1831. He was the eldest son of Sir Henry Pottinger 1789–1856 officer of the East India Co who arrived in India in 1804 as a cadet officer. Sir Henry would rise to the highest position of brevet rank Major-General, and achieved a distinguished service both in the military and diplomat corps. Notably, Sir Henry was appointed as the first Governor of Hong Kong, where he had been instrumental in ending the first Opium War in China through the Treaty of Nanking, 1842. He served as Governor from 1843 to 1844. Returning to England in 1844 Sir Henry was appointed to Queen Victoria's Privy Council. However, Sir Henry returned to the diplomatic corps in 1847 as Governor of Cape Colony, South Africa as well as Governor of Madras, India in 1851. Sir Henry married Susanna Maria, née Cooke, of Dublin, Ireland and produced four children. Sir Frederick was the eldest son and was educated privately at Eton and would follow his father into the army purchasing a commission in 'Grenadier Guards' 1850 as an Ensign and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. Life in the Guards was expensive, whereby, the position Pottinger held in due course forced Sir Frederick through mounting debt to sell his commission in 1854, thereby ending Pottinger’s Army career; “Frederick William Pottinger, at one time held a commission in the Grenadier Guards (in 1850 he was appointed), one of the most expensive regiments amongst the Household Troops, and one in which a poor man like the eldest son of Sir Henry Pottinger must, in time, go to the wall. In his time in the army a commission had a high money value. The Army Agent, so called, was the banker of the regiment, and not infrequently held the officer's commission as security for over drafts. The regimental pay would not keep some officers in cigars and gloves. When the overdraft reached the value of the commission, the officer went under. Few regiments in the Army of sixty years ago, could tolerate an officer who was "mean." No matter what his means, he was expected to keep decently in line with, those who had plenty of cash and allowances. Fred Pottinger appears to have been somewhat wild, and to have got out of the army before his father's death...”¹

Sir Frederick's
attire as a
Guards Officer.
Following the death of Pottinger's father at Valletta, Malta, in March 1856, at the age of 67, Frederick succeeded his father as Baronet. However, for Frederick Pottinger as a result of the death of his father he had not only inherited his father's title of Baronet but also the family’s fortune as the benefactor of Primogeniture. Primogeniture dictates the right of succession belongs to the firstborn child specifically the eldest son, therefore, Sir Frederick Pottinger inherited his family’s entire estate upon the death of his father. The inheritance was estimated at £70,000. Sir Frederick Pottinger soon threw himself into enjoying the life of an English gentleman and all that it entails. Whereby, as a bachelor, the bright lights of London’s late 1850’s beckoned, and having earlier departed the Grenadier Guards through the sale of his commission to clear his debts, Pottinger set about enjoying the privileges that befell the idle rich of 19th century England. Sir Frederick Pottinger within a year of his father’s death, however, had found himself embroiled in controversy. Now titled Sir Frederick Pottinger, the new Baronet would be dragged before the court over the refusal to pay an outstanding bill for services rendered to a house agent and furniture dealer, Mr F. Clerk, totalling £84. 13s. The debt was accrued through services performed and goods supplied to a home rented by Pottinger on behalf of Pottinger’s mistress Miss Kate Perry. However, Sir Frederick denied liability. Nevertheless, the result of the court action created a scandalous situation when his aforementioned mistress was exposed in court. During the court appearance, it was revealed that the goods and furniture were procured to furnish a rented house in Pimlico, London for Miss Kate Perry who was presently residing at the property and who on occasions was known to represent herself as Mrs Pottinger.

The house at 165 Cambridge St,
Pimlico, London,
rented by Sir Frederick
 and Miss Perry,
as it appears today.
Consequently, court proceedings were printed in the newspapers where it appears that Sir Frederick, conscious of propriety and his families good name, had thereby attempted through an intermediary (later denied) to rent the property in another’s name as a dupe. This action was exposed in court transcripts published in ‘The Morning Chronicle’, 11th August 1857. Titled 'The Knight and his Lady', before Lord Baron, and a Special Jury. The case Clerk V. Pottinger was played out; “In the commencement of the present year a person named Russell, who, he was instructed, he should be able to prove acted as agent for the defendant, applied to him to have a house in Cambridge Street for the use of the defendant and a lady, but he, at the same time, stated that Sir Frederick did not wish to hire the house in his own name, but that of John Perry; after some negotiation, he let the house at No. 165 Cambridge Street, and an agreement was drawn up wherein the defendant was described as John Perry of Lansdowne Street, Bath, and a young lady, who subsequently was called Miss Perry and occasionally Lady Pottinger, took possession. Some of the furniture she brought with her was cleaned and polished, and a piano and other articles were supplied, and the bill of the plaintiff amounted altogether to £84. 13s. When he sent in his bill Miss Perry asked him not to claim the whole amount, and he accordingly made out a bill for £44 and the defendant called upon him and offered to pay £20 on account, but when he became aware that there was a larger sum he refused to pay anything, and the plaintiff was in consequence compelled to bring the present action.”

However, under the pseudonym of John Perry, Sir Frederick’s agent Mr Russell had indicated to Mr Clerk that Sir Frederick had wished to avoid the use of his own name as a way of exempting himself from any possible Jury duty or to avoid appearing on the ratebooks. Therefore, allowing him to cavort undetected with Miss Perry at his leisure. During witness statements, much mirth was at times expressed by the gallery over the dalliances of a Knight of the Relm. Mr Clerk stated over the matter;op.cit. “under her direction he did all the work for which the present claim is made. A short time afterwards he saw Sir F. Pottinger in the drawing-room, and he complained of the bill that had been sent in, and said he would pay anything that was reasonable, but that he would not be ‘done’. Sir Frederick after this called at his shop and offered to give him £20 on account, but he then told him that his bill was £84, and not £44, and Sir Frederick then said he should not pay anything, and that he was going abroad, and he might get his money where he could..." The clerk added; “the goods were all sent in by direction of Sir Frederick’s lady. She was called sometimes Miss Perry, but he also believed she also went by the name of Lady Pottinger. The servants used to call her “My Lady...” (A laugh)

However, one of the servants employed as a cook was to shed some light on Sir Frederick’s hanky-panky and stated;op.cit. "Sir Frederick use to come there frequently, and stayed all night and breakfasted, but never dined. She remembered that when the bill was sent in, Sir Frederick was very angry, and she had repeatedly heard him say; "You must not be extravagant, darling.” (A laugh) At the time she saw the plaintiff’s bill he gave Miss Perry £20., and he then gave her and her fellow servant 10s each and went out of the house. Sir Frederick would not allow anyone to come to visit Miss Perry but himself, and she heard him say that if he ever found anyone in the house he would kick them out.” (A laugh) The cook went on to state; “Miss Perry formerly lived in Stanley Street. She would rather not answer the question whether other gentlemen besides Sir Frederick use to visit her there...”

After the plaintiff’s witnesses concluded their statements, Sir Frederick Pottinger took the stand and wherein true fashion did an aristocracy two-step with Sir Frederick countering all the assumptions of the previous testimonies by stating his ignorance over the whole situation, whereby breaking it down to a simple case of he said they said. Sir Frederick's testimony was reported in the ‘Reynolds Newspaper’, August 16th, 1857; (See Article below.)
After the case was laid out before a special jury they retired and returned a verdict in Sir Frederick's favour and he was discharged. To let matters settle Sir Frederick went abroad for a short time possibly Spain. However, before long was back enjoying all that London had to offer. Sir Frederick also had a brother Eldred who died infancy, Henry (b. 1834-d. 1909) and one sister Henrietta-Maria (b. 1829-d. 1905)

Great Western Hotel,
Paddington, London.
Sir Frederick's and

Miss Perry's Haunt.
Consequently, as a result of Pottinger's overly flamboyant lifestyle, the 2nd Baronet would go on to squander and eventually lose much of his families’ wealth through the race-courses and London's notorious dens of iniquity and gambling houses including Miss Perry's demanding attractions. With the loss of prestige and a great embarrassment to his adoring mother, fear of the debt collectors Pottinger quietly disappeared and left for the antipodes under an assumed name, migrating from Liverpool, England to Melbourne, Australia in 1859. Pottinger arrived at Melbourne onboard the passenger ship 'British Trident' under the name of 'F.W. Parker'. (why Parker?, Admiral W. Parker was a close ally of his father in Asia during the negotiation of the 'Treaty of Nanking' in 1842 and a mentor to Sir Frederick.) Following failure on the Victorian goldfields, Pottinger travelled north to NSW arriving in March 1860 on board the ship 'City of Sydney'. Here incognito and with his military background he enlisted in the New South Wales police force as a mounted trooper attached to the gold escort operating in the South-Western Districts of NSW.

Brevet Major General Sir Henry Pottinger, 1st Baronet, GCB, PC

Pottinger residence at Victoria, Hong Kong 1845.

Pottinger family residence at 67, Eaton Place, London, 1851.
Sir Frederick Pottinger's, Fathers Will, published in the
Illustrated London News, 14th February 1857.
(In today's terms £70,000 is in excess of  $5.8 million, squandered in three years.)
Sir Frederick Pottinger's alias of F.W. Parker departed Liverpool 8th March 1859.
Sir Frederick Pottinger's alias of F.W.Parker arrival 8th June 1859.
Pottinger was an accomplished horseman and as a new trooper was posted to the newly discovered goldfields between Gundagai and Bathurst where Pottinger spent a relatively short period as a mounted trooper.
Sir Frederick Pottinger's arrival in NSW, 4th March 1860,
 no longer using the alias of Parker.
Pottinger kept his title of Baronet a secret until 1860 when it was discovered after Captain Battye (Officer-in-charge of the Bathurst Police) received a letter addressed for a Sir Frederick Pottinger, c/- NSW PoliceWith no luck in asserting who the gentleman was, Battye subsequently placed an advertisement in the newspapers of the day seeking the unknown's whereabouts. Upon Pottinger's discovery, Captain Battye informed the Inspector-General of police, John McLerie thus, propriety stepped in as the NSW police could not have a Knight of the Realm as a mere trooper, consequently, promotion soon came rapidly for the now revealed Sir Frederick Pottinger. (See Article Right.)He was described as;"a fine, straight, aristocratic-looking fellow, nearly 6ft. in height—and there was something very superior about his features. He was a gentleman if ever there was one."²

Pottinger's identity now revealed to his commanders would see his first promotion awarded as the Clerk of Petty Sessions at Dubbo, in November 1860, where during a time in this position he was known as diligent and well regarded. (See Article Below.)
NSW Government Gazette 1860.
Clerk of Petty Sessions, Dubbo 30th Oct 1860.

Before long Sir Frederick was once more promoted, this time to Assistant Superintendent of the Southern Patrol and Gold Escorts in October 1861. (See Article Below.)

NSW Government Gazette 1861.
Sir Frederick at work Dubbo June 1861.
By the end of 1861, Sir Frederick Pottinger would also be appointed Magistrate of the Colony and within 12 months of his true identity being discovered Sir Frederick had achieved new and remarkable positions. During the riots at Lambing Flat over the Chinese Miners, Pottinger was soon sitting on the Bench conducting trials and passing sentences, and also sat for the arraignment of the leaders of the Chinese riots, William Spicer, Charles Stewart and Cameron. (See Article Below.)

On 1st March, 1862, brought about the introduction of a recently passed Act known as, 'The New Police Act'1862, through the New South Wales parliament, and the Act brought about the complete re-organisation of the entire force, including commands, now broken into regions and under the new system Sir Frederick was promoted to Inspector of Police, and took command of the Lachlan District based at Forbes, NSW. Forbes was developing into a major regional centre due to the newly discovered Goldfield, which saw an influx of men and women from all parts of the colony descend on the town. Pottinger was known to enforce the law vigorously and without favour, earning the respect of the influential citizens. Sir Frederick's salary as an Inspector in the new police was £300 per year. (See Article Below.)

However, over the next few years, Sir Frederick would face much criticism from both the press and sections of the government in his vigorous and often harsh treatment of people suspected of both being involved with the new epidemic of bushranging and those harbouring of them. Pottinger's past was never very far from the surface and his reputation for living life in the fast lane soon ruled his behaviour and he faced several assault charges as well as being on the end of an attempted horsewhipping from a young lady and Forbes identity a Miss Kyle who had a Lola Montez reputation. Miss Kyle owned and partnered a number of Rankin Street public-houses with a Mr Huey, such as the 'Bull and Mouth', 'Diggers Return' and 'Tara Hall'. It was reported in the 'Empire' June 1864 that due to a large fire erupting Miss Kyle's establishments went under in the flames; "the Bull and Mouth was burned in a moment, Mr. Huey saving next to nothing; at the same time the Diggers Return shared the same fate, but Miss Kyle was, fortunately, able to get most of her properly out.  Mr Wall, who was lodging at Miss Kyle's had the place on fire over him before he could get out of his bed-room, and indeed from the combustible nature of the buildings, it is almost inexplicable that no loss of life should have occurred. Gold, as well as money, was lost in the flames both by Miss Kyle and Mr Huey, and also some watches by the later. The places destroyed are-1, Thompson's building pulled down; 2. Ellet's iron store, burned; 3. Tara's Hall,  burned; 4. Bull and Mouth, burned; 5. Greig's old store, now the properly of Mr. Richards, burned; 6. Miss Kyle's burned. Inspector Saunderson was especially noticeable, and senior, sergeant Rush kept a sharp lookout over the property which was brought out into the street..."(See Article Below.)

Pottinger's Achilles heel was his failure to capture the prolific bushranger Frank Gardiner and this failure would not only have some ridicule him but would also be recounted in song, and he also showed little self-discipline at times. It was noted at the time in the 'Maitland Mercury and Hunter River Advertiser' on the 4th September, 1862, the following; "while amongst us previous to his removal to the Lachlan, he was highly esteemed as a most efficient and praiseworthy officer, and without the slightest hesitation, notwithstanding all the fulminations against him of a portion of the press, and our own expression of opinion as to the late encounter with Gardiner, we state it is our belief that he is one of our best and most zealous officers..."
This incident was to bring Sir Frederick much ridicule. Young Walsh, who was the brother-in-law of Ben Hall, John McGuire and John Browne, would die from a fever in gaol.  At the time of this incident Hall, MaGuire and Browne were in the Forbes Lockup, arrested over the Eugowra Gold Robbery.
Sir Frederick Pottinger's average night out on the town.
Sir Frederick Pottinger's one true success came when Pottinger affected the capture of Patsy Daley on 11 March 1863. Pottinger and his troopers were pursuing the suspected path of the bushrangers between the Weddin Mountains and Pinnacle Station area when his tracker Billy Dargin spotted fresh horse tracks crossing their path. Pottinger gives a first-hand account of the events at Daley's court appearance, as recounted in the 'Sydney Morning Herald', 17th March 1863; “Sir Frederick turned his course in the direction of the tracks. Billy soon pointed out the identical tree which had afforded such friendly protection to Mr, J. O. Norton, the sub-inspector of police. Sir Frederick Pottinger was directing his course again, when he espied in the distance, through the foliage of the trees in the bush, a mounted horseman, and at once gave orders for pursuit. The party were now in the vicinity of the Pinnacle reef, and, first of all ordering two of his troopers to make round the hill, on which the reef is situated, in order to intercept the flight of the horseman, Sir Frederick, with the black tracker and the two remaining troopers, continued the chase. All this was done in less time than it takes to write, and very shortly afterward, Sir Frederick pulled up before some deserted-looking huts and found a horse, with a saddle on it, tied up to one of the huts. He at once recognised the horse to be one he had seen the night before in Ben Hall's paddock, "all in a sweat." to use the baronet's own language. The black-fellow also recognised a pair of girths on the horse as being a portion of the property stolen from the Police Barracks, at the Pinnacle station, on the occasion of that place being stuck up and robbed during the temporary absence of the police, shortly before. Entering the huts, Sir Frederick saw two or three men inside, and finding them unwilling to answer his questions, he threatened them, where upon he was informed that the rider of the horse was down a shaft on the reef above named. Proceeding to the place indicated, Sir Frederick found that the shaft was about sixty feet deep, and that a permanent kind of ladder was fixed to the side, for ascent and descent. Sir Frederick called to the man (presuming him to be there) to surrender, but received no answer. Again, after an interval, the same request was repeated, but met with no response. After several minutes, the supposed bushranger was again summoned to appear, without eliciting any reply. At length, finding mild exhortations insufficient, Sir Frederick threatened that he would at once proceed to burn and smoke him out like an opossum. The man not liking the latter alternative, surrendered at discretion, and was immediately taken into custody. It is obvious that if the notorious Gardiner selects such innocent looking striplings to execute the deeds generally left to men of sterner stuff, it must be for some new arrangement in bush tactics, such as the human telegram hinted at by a contemporary. Patrick Daley, who forms the subject of this sketch, is a mild, youthful whiskerless looking person, with light-blue eyes and fair complexion. There is nothing in his physiognomical expression outwardly, to denote the degraded villain. He certainly, during the examination, kept his head down, glancing furtively round. His eyes move quickly and, with a sinister expression, as if were in the habit of looking under his eyebrow and "taking stock" of those around him. Sir Frederick Pottinger undoubtedly deserves great credit for his prompt action and discernment in this matter; and doubtless, he is willing to accord is portion of the merit to the acute sight of his black tracker. Lachlan Observer. [prisoner was brought be the Forbes bench on the 12th instant, and remanded for a week."]

Sir Frederick Pottinger
In July 1863, the NSW Parliament was in an up roar over the new police forces' inability to bring under control the scourge of bushranging in the Western Districts, forcing Sir Frederick Pottinger to address the work of the police and their efforts in his Lachlan District, consequently, Pottinger sent a memorandum to the Colonial Secretary, Mr Cowper, who then tabled it in Parliament, so as the honorable members could have a clear understanding of the polices' struggle to over come not only the elements but those who aided and abetted bushrangers. Below is Sir Frederick Pottinger's memorandum, sent from the Lachlan district: - "The Lachlan police district comprises an area of about 600 miles by 200, but does not include the Wedden. "Forbes is ninety-five miles from Young, the point of junction between the two districts (the Lachlan and Captain Zouch's), being just half-way.

2. The Lachlan police do duty in the bush invariably in plain clothes, saddles, &c., without swords, disguised in fact as far as possible like bushrangers. "Their 'orders' are to 'bush out', avoiding roads, public-houses, stations, &c., in short, to in every way conceal themselves and their movements, which orders are generally duly obeyed. I have myself 'bushed out' with parties for fifteen and twenty days consecutively, the men subsisting solely on the 'rations' with them, and the horses on grass feed. "The Lachlan district, from having been one of the most disorderly, has become one of the quietest in the colony. Since the 15th June, 1862, but five cases of robbery under arms have occurred within fifty miles of head-quarters, Forbes, and two out of the five were owing to police officers themselves running into the 'lion's mouth'. "Besides the recovery of the escort gold, the Lachlan police have captured Healy, Owens, Hilton, and other notorious bushrangers (hereinafter specified), also some hundred lesser criminals at Forbes and elsewhere.

At present, not a bushranger dares show in the district but he is accounted for, if not caught. "The last time Gilbert, O'Mealy, and Hall shewed they were tracked sixty miles in twenty-four hours, and after losing six horses (including Mr. Roberts' racehorse Chinaman), were hunted out of the district. "In short, nothing can be more satisfactory than the results of police operations, as evinced in the existing state of the Lachlan district.

Myself, I have during my tenure of office personally apprehended Manns, Bow, Fordyce, Charters, Ben Hall, John O'Mealy, John Youngman, Billy the Native, Patrick Daly, besides being personally instrumental to the capture of dozens of others of more or less criminal repute." "It was owing wholly and solely to me that the escort robbery was brought to light, and four of the offenders to justice. "When I took Manns, Darcy, and the 217 oz. of gold, I was accompanied only by Mr. Mitchell (a volunteer) and a detective —Lyons—and I only consented to their rescue by seven armed men when I found Lyons was hors de combat on the first volley, and that Mr. Mitchell had but one shot; I then, after standing fire some five to seven minutes, reluctantly resigned my  prisoners, in the hope of, at any rate, saving the gold (£900),  which I did.

From the 15th of June to the 1st of December, 1862, I slept out in the bush ninety-three nights, and I am prepared to show that I have (by the universal admission of all my men), done more bush duty than any officer or constable in the colony. "But one ejectment has been enforced by Lachlan police. "Ben Hall's house was alone burnt down, and that at the request of the then (by mortgage) actual proprietor. The house was at the time occupied by Henry Gibson (notorious villain since committed), also illegally at large from Victoria, Mrs. McGuire, and Hall's mother, and was daily frequented by bushrangers.

A week's notice was given and nothing destroyed — no woman or child frightened or molested." "Welsh was only in the first instance fourteen days in custody when he was discharged on bail. "Some five months after his own surety gave him up as being 'out' (a bushranger), and a month after he was arrested on a supplementary and subsequent charge of horse stealing.

He was taken every care of, and was recovering under the care of Dr. Connel, when he was removed by his mother to a public-house, and there his jugular vein and two temporal arteries being opened by some 'quack,' under whose treatment he had been placed—he (of course) died. "His original complaint was simply Lachlan fever, at the time frightfully prevalent."

Frederick W. Pottinger,  
In charge Lachlan district.

"P.S.— But for the merest accident Gardiner would have been shot by me when Sanderson and myself alone met him in the bush at Wheogo, and it is chiefly owing to that fact, and my previous and subsequent untiring exertions, that Gardiner has finally left the colony.³

The above hotel was Frequented by Sir Frederick Pottinger and Ben Hall
during the 1860's.

Courtesy NLA
Sir Frederick Pottinger's published official sanction
for brawling and gambling.
Even though Sir Frederick raised the hackles of some as to his abrasive measures, regardless, he also faced much support from his fellow citizens who longed for a strong punitive hand to reign in the bushrangers.  A correspondent also noted Pottinger's censure from the Colonial Secretary; "Mr. Cowper has caused to be written and published a very severe letter of censure to Sir Frederick Pottinger, Inspector of Police on the Lachlan, for having lately been concerned in a quarrel at a hotel. The Premier sends him a stern lecture and warns him and others to be more careful for the future. No doubt Sir F. Pottinger had no business at the hotel, and ought to avoid billiard table squabbles while in the police; but on the other hand, it is very plain that he was directly insulted, and could not well avoid pitching into the fellow who did it."⁴(See Article Below.)
Lachlan Observer
"let the truth be spoken"

Accordingly, no one could fault his endeavours and imagination in his attempts to capture Gardiner, Gilbert and Hall and many others. Sir Frederick was the officer who introduced the concept of the police wearing civilian attire when on patrol in the bush and his employment of the black trackers was often the difference between success and failure which always kept the bushrangers on guard; "a gamer man than Pottinger never breathed — his whole heart and soul was set on trying to get the Gardiner gang of bushrangers. He lived in a very nice residence on a hill just out of town..."

The Race
Nevertheless, Pottinger would spend days/weeks in the saddle, living rough in the bush. Unfortunately, he was unlucky not to find the success he had striven for in the capture of Gardiner, Gilbert, Hall and Co. This comment was stated in August 1863, in the NSW Parliament as to the general consensus of Sir Frederick's character; "whilst at Young to enquire of respectable diggers there into what was the general character of Sir Frederick Pottinger as an officer, and he had been told that he was a most efficient officer. He was not, as some had taken upon themselves to state, deficient in courage, but, on the contrary, was universally looked upon by the diggers up there as a brave and fearless man. He might perhaps be somewhat wanting in experience, but he was certainly not wanting in courage; those who had said so would not dare to say so out of doors, and were not worthy to clean the shoes of the officer they so misrepresented. He said it fearlessly, and thought it was beneath honourable members to shelter themselves behind the walls of this House whilst they assailed the character of officers whom they should rather protect..."

Artist's impression of
Sir Frederick Pottinger
on return from the
hunt for bushrangers.
c. 1928.
However, although Ben Hall and Co. appeared elusive Sir Frederick would find other success when he wounded and finally captured, James Alpin MacPherson aka ‘The Wild Scotsman’, who had arrived in New South Wales from Queensland in late 1864, early 1865 in an attempt to link up with Ben Hall and his gang whose exploits were being soaked up in all the colonial newspapers. He assumed the name of John Bruce and shortly after arrival stole a horse at Wowingragong, but was unable to find Ben Hall, as reported in 'The Sydney Morning Herald', Tuesday, 3rd January, 1865; "The Weddin gang are likely to have an accession to their corps in the person of the Scotch bushranger who appeared upon the scene some time ago, was wounded, and suddenly disappeared. He was seen, a few days since, in the neighborhood of Goimbla, well mounted, carrying a brightly-polished rifle, and a brace of revolvers to boot. About three hours afterwards, Sir Frederick Pottinger appeared, and, having heard of the circumstance, started in pursuit; but the fellow must have taken the bush, as he was nowhere to be found. It appears that he is now, and has for some time, been, in search of Hall, with the intention of joining him; whilst Hall is equally anxious to secure his adhesion. Both have been looking for each other from the first; but have thus far been unsuccessful. The probability, however, is that they will soon be associated." Before long MacPherson encountered the NSW police and after losing his horse and ammunition MacPherson escaped from police inspector Sir Frederick Pottinger on foot but was later surrounded and arrested. He was charged with shooting at Sir Frederick but the charges were later dropped after Sir Frederick's death. However, MacPherson was to be sent on to Rockhampton to stand trial for the earlier hold-up of a publican but consequently escaped when the steamer anchored at Mackay. According to 'The life and adventures of the Wild Scotchman' by P.W. McNally, MacPherson's leg-irons were discovered nailed to a tree with a note attached that read: “Presented to the Queensland Government with the Wild Scotchman’s best thanks, that gentleman having no further use for them, the articles being found to be rather cumbersome to transit in this age of enlightenment and progress – the 19th century – Many thanks ; adieu.”

Furthermore, in early January 1865, hoping to lure Hall, Gilbert and Dunn into the open at a local horse race, Pottinger rode in the Wowingragong horse races at Forbes in breach of police regulations; “at the same meeting, there was a race called the Ladies' Bag, for amateur riders, welter weight for age. Sir Frederick Pottinger rode his own horse in the race. Knowing the bushrangers were in the vicinity in the scrub, the police galloped on the inside of the track while the race was on. They were afraid the bushrangers would dart out and cut Sir Frederick off. Through riding in that race Sir Frederick Pottinger was recalled to Sydney, and was nearly dismissed. His chiefs considered that he would have been better employed following the bushrangers than riding in races...”⁷ Pottinger's mistake was the moment the government was waiting for; thus, he was dismissed from the NSW police force on 16th February 1865. (See article right)

The Forbes populace turned out in force and protest meetings against his dismissal were held on the diggings and in the adjoining towns with petitions calling for his immediate reappointment; FORBES. —"Great interest is felt here in the case of Sir Frederick Pottinger. An appeal has been signed by about three hundred inhabitants of this district to the Colonial Secretary, on behalf of Sir. F. Pottinger, expressing confidence in him, and praying for a full inquiry into the circumstances."

Therefore, Sir Frederick took matters in hand and on his way to Sydney to seek redress and on the 5th March 1865, Pottinger accidentally shot himself in the upper abdomen while boarding a moving coach at Wascoe's Inn in the Blue Mountains, it was reported that; "Sir Frederick Pottinger shot at Wascoe's inn, while travelling towards Sydney, by the accidental discharge of a pistol which he carried in his breast..."
First report of Sir Frederick's Accident.
The actual c. 1860 English made Tipping and Lawden American Christain Sharpes patent four-barrel .30 calibre breech-loading pistol issued to Sir Frederick and with which he suffered his fatal wound.
(Photo reproduced from Edgar Penzig's book Definitive Illustrated History of Ben Hall©)
Photograph of the first Pilgrim Inn built by Barnett Levey at Blaxland in 1826. Destroyed by bushfire in 1968. Photograph dated 1927. Frank Walker 1861-1948
Main building of first Pilgrim Inn at Blaxland. Dated 1927. Frank Walker 1861-1948
The Pilgrim Inn, Blaxland, built 1826. In later years the house was occupied by Mr John Outrim Wascoe. The building was utilised as both a hotel and a boarding-house.
Petitions calling for Pottinger's reinstatement 
Sir Frederick recovered long enough to be relocated from the Blue Mountains to the Victoria Club in Sydney, which he was an esteemed member and after showing signs of recovery suddenly relapsed and where sadly he died intestate on 9th April, 1865, coincidentally, the same date that Robert E. Lee surrendered the last major Confederate army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, on April 9th, 1865, as well as the terror of southern NSW Daniel 'Mad Dog' Morgan shot dead on the morning of the same date at 'Peechelba Station', Victoria. Sir Frederick's death was reported; "Sir Frederick Pottinger died at the Victoria Club, from the effects of injuries received by the accidental discharge of a pistol, which he carried in his breast..."¹⁰ The Victoria Club ceased to exist in 1872, Mr W. H. Cattell being the secretary at the time. The building was then occupied by the officers of the NSW Department of Audit.
The Victoria Club, 136 Castlereagh Street, Sydney c1870.
Authors Note: My Great, Great Grandfather on my Mother's side served and fought during the American Civil War with the Union Army; GROUNDS, ALGERNON. —Age, 24 years. Enlisted March 30, 1863, at New York; mustered in as private, Company B, March 30, 1863, to serve three years; wounded in action at Trevillian Station, Va., June 12, 1864; transferred, July or August, 1864, to Company M; transferred, February 27, 1865, to Company B, Ninth N. Y. Cav. I am told he was at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9th, 1865 for the surrender of General Lee's forces and was a part of Gen Custer's regiment.

Sir Frederick Pottinger was buried at St Jude's Anglican Church, Randwick, where his close friends and agitators attended. (See Article Below.)

Sir Frederick's Obituary, Bells Life and Sporting Chronicle
15th April 1865.
Memorial Card in honour of Sir Frederick Pottinger, 10th April 1865. Discovered with Constable Hollister's effects.
St. Judes Church, Randwick with Parsonage. c. 1873. 

To the memory of
Formerly of the Grenadier Guards,
and for many years a zealous and active
Officer of Police in New South Wales.
Born 27th April, 1831-Died 9th April 1865. 
This monument is erected by his friends
in the Colony.
Sir Frederick Pottinger's grave St Judes Anglican Church, Randwick, Sydney, NSW.
The broken column indicates a life cut short.
Sir Frederick Pottinger
Billy Dargin
 (representation only)

William 'Billy' Dargin (Police Black Tracker)

William 'Billy' Dargin (Dargan) was born at Windsor, NSW c. 1841, and was of the Dharug people, who were the local Aboriginal's residing in the richness of the Hawkesbury river surrounding the settlement of Windsor established c. 1791. William 'Billy' Dargin, quite possibly may have taken his English name from William Dargin a settler born in the colony in 1806 at Windsor and died 19th March 1875 and buried at Rouse Hill, Parramatta. Dargin was a land holder and Inn Keeper at Windsor holding the licences for the 'Barrosa Tavern' as well as the 'Emu Hotel'It is quite possible that William Dargin is the father of Billy as although married to Eliza Byrne, with children of their own it was observed that William was often away living in the surrounds of the Hawkesbury amongst the natives for very long periods even years; "William Dargin, who was last seen alive by both those witnesses on the 19th May, 1873, on which date he left the residence of Needham with a small bundle of clothing with the intention, as he said, of going up the Hunter by Wiseman's Ferry. Since that date no tidings have been received of the deceased, which however caused little or no anxiety to his relatives, as the deceased had been in the habit of staying away for years at a time without writing." Evidence also indicates that William was a man of intemperate habits and had been arrested for assaulting a Lieutenant William Bell commander a detachment of the R. V. C. at Windsor in 1830. In 1854 William was arrested for gambling and pleaded guilty and subjected to a fine. Dargin was also a fine shot having won numerous competition in pigeon trap shooting. William appears to have been his own man. It is unknown if Billy had an individual aboriginal name. The relationship between Dargin and Billy is not officially recorded. However, early history demonstrates that local children of aboriginal or mixed decent where often taken under the wing of local settlers and provided with a rudimentary education. Even as offspring many fathers in a relationship with aboriginal women catered to their children's needs. 

Children c. 1860.
An article published in 'The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser', Saturday 9th January 1830 provides an account of a yearly picnic held by Sydney citizens and local aboriginal's and attended by the Governor of NSW, Lieutenant-General Ralph Darling. The article canvasses the strides taken by the government for the welfare of aboriginal's and their children including their education. Furthermore, it takes into account the respect for the elders held by those citizens; 'Annual Conference with the Natives'; "...the ground was roped in for the occasion, and decorated with a profusion of shrubs. The chiefs of the tribes were noticed in the kindest manner by His EXCELLENCY, who placed a badge of distinction on the neck of one of them, and personally took care that their wants were supplied with every thing which had been provided for the feast. At the conclusion of the repast, blankets, hats, handkerchiefs, jackets, trousers, and tobacco were plentifully distributed; and after The GOVERNOR and his immediate attendants had retired, Lieut. DARLING prevailed on the blacks to indulge the spectators with a dance, or corrobora, which ended the day's amusements," the article continues "...particular notice was taken of two Aboriginal native boys and a girl who were brought up in the house of the Rev. W. Walker at Parramatta, and accompanied him to the meeting. These children have made a very creditable progress in reading and writing, and are excellent house servants, a proof that the intellect of the natives is not so debased as to be incapable of cultivation if judicious measures be adopted.” However, there was also much injustice against the aboriginals by large sections of the colony for reasons far to complex to address here. Suffice to say that for Billy he appears to have been well cared for in his education and welfare.

The arrival of Rev Styles and his wife 1833.
 Note, that the Agent for the ship is
 Ben Hall's fathers Master, Mr A.B. Sparke.
Rev. Styles c. 1840
Billy, as with many of the children of aboriginal descent were brought into the Christian faith. It was recorded that Billy was baptised c. 1850 at around eight years of age by the Reverend of Windsor, the Rev. Henry Styles (Stiles) who was a minister at St Matthew's Church. (designed and built by Francis Greenway in 1817The Rev. Henry Styles was a most compassionate and caring minister and had arrived in the Colony of NSW in 1833 on-board the vessel 'Warrior', in company with his wife. Upon arrival Rev. Styles was employed as the assistant curate at St Matthew's Church of England, followed later by an appointment as Master of the Parramatta Orphan School. There is a train of thought that Dargin may have hailed from the Bogan District, however, evidence points to this assertion as incorrect through Billy's own admission in 1863 that he came from Windsor; "William Dargan, then stated that he was employed in the police force. He was twenty years of age, and was baptised twelve years ago at Windsor, by the Rev. Mr. Styles." 

Traditional Fishing c. 1800's.
Unfortunately, there is no record of young Billy's early life previous to his joining the NSW police as a tracker. Billy's heritage whether full blood or mixed does not lesson the dignity of his life as a reliable and loyal police tracker. Prior to Billy's police employment and whilst amongst the Dharug people Billy would most probably have been taught the traditions and learnt the bush-craft inherent in the culture of his tribe. (lesson's which were to become Billy's bread and butter) Lesson's where he would no doubt have become a skilled hunter and fisherman in the surrounds of the bountiful Hawkesbury River. The Dharug aboriginals had inhabited the Hawkesbury region for many thousands of years and were made up of a complex tribal group of various names. The tribe's also inhabited the wider Port Jackson, Broken Bay areas and into the foot of the Blue Mountains.

Campsite c. 1840.
Turn of the Century police tracker, the highly respected Alex Riley, who was responsible for leading the police tracking effort in the capture of the 1900's gang the Governor's spent 40 years in service with the NSW police. Riley enlightens the skill's he learnt through his early life out on the mission station's where he gained his experience in the craft; " for any skill I have as a tracker goes to a tribe of full blooded blacks who roamed the bush near Condobolin 60 years ago. We lived at the Mission Station, but I liked to hunt with the full bloods. When I was eight years of age they started to teach me how to track. They first showed me how to recognise the hoofs of police horses—by the way they were shod. They always knew when a trooper was in the locality." No doubt Billy Dargin would have also learnt the signs of a quarry in the scrub and how to catch prey and ultimately man.

Contemporary illustration
of a tracker's employment.
However, it is quite possible that Billy Dargin’s pathway into the tracker force may have come about through relationships with other aboriginal trackers already performing work in the NSW police. Furthermore, the steady pay which Aboriginal trackers in the 1860's received by way of a daily rate of 2s 6d, not including possible reward payments for bushranger captures was excellent money. At the time of Billy's entry into police employment, there were four other trackers stationed at Forbes under newly appointed inspector Sir Frederick Pottinger. Those were Pilot, Jacky, Hastings and Charlie Edwards aka Prince Charlie. Furthermore, Billy was a brilliant horseman with fine tracking skills. Those skills were unwavering in finding the signs left by those pursued. Dargin no doubt travelled from his home territory of Windsor out to the Lachlan, or further out to the Bogan region working as a stockman where stockman employment had become in high demand due to the high loss of white workers to the new goldfields discovered in 1861 at Lambing Flat and later Forbes. Sir Frederick Pottinger, the officer in charge of the Lachlan district placed Dargin under his command sometime in 1861/1862. Pottinger was the officer who saw the significance of the trackers and their skills for the pursuit of the new wave of bushranging breaking out on the Western Plains. Pottinger and his fellow officers and constables in the years to come would rely heavily upon them. (A tracker earnt approximately ₤3 17s 6d per month or today $336.00 per month, whereas an NSW trooper at the time earned 5s 6d a day). The work load of the trackers varied immensely from rounding up and caring for the police horses, saddles and general equipment to bush patrol to gunfights with the bushrangers. The tracker's accommodations also varied from living in the police stables to rough shacks close to the station where they would always be on hand in an emergency. The trackers were fitted out with a constables uniform or when on bush patrol often dressed the same as police in bush clothing instigated by Sir Frederick Pottinger.

Much loved Tracker
"Tommy" c. 1900.
Furthermore, and throughout the past most black trackers and for that matter aboriginal's, in general, were seen as lacking education. However, this was not always the case as at the time of the later trial of Patsy Daley in 63 a newspaper correspondent covering the proceedings noted Billy Dargin's concept of right and wrong and of what he believed. An understanding instilled through his early education under Rev. Styles; "Sir Frederick would ask the Bench to hear his evidence.-The black tracker was then called, and being asked the nature of an oath, replied, that he believed in another world, and that he would be punished if he told a lie; In answer to another question, however, he could not exactly describe the meaning of an oath, although he had heard of the Testament and believed in telling the truth." It was also stated that Billy Dargin's grammar and understanding appeared amongst his class to be an exception and that Billy had a good grasp of English and he was intelligent in his delivery of it; "to all of which questions Billy answered with an íntelligence and straightforwardness quite surprising, and in excellent English." Another observer wrote; "...a good deal of cross-examination followed, and Billy answered all the questions put to him with an amount of intelligence quite surprising." Throughout the recent past, the bravery of some trackers has been brought into question, even Williams'. However, let us not forget that young Billy Dargin had been at the side of some of the most esteemed leaders of the NSW police and more than once displayed an amount of courage equal to and no more or no less than many other NSW troopers who baulked often at confronting the bushrangers.

Sir Frederick
History reveals that Billy Dargin was highly respected as a tracker by his fellow troopers and officers and had the confidence of all. Dargin was to ride beside some of the most well-respected Inspectors in the NSW police service many of whom would rise to the highest rank largely on the successes of the police trackers' abilities to hunt and capture bushrangers. Some of those esteemed officers were; Inspector Sir Frederick Pottinger, the officer most responsible for employing trackers for the specific task of uncovering bushrangers and there haunts, Inspector Sanderson, Inspector Davidson, Captain Battye, Inspector Norton, Superintendent Morrissett, Sgt Condell and Trooper Hollister just to name a few of those of who Billy Dargin had earned the respect of. 

However, Billy also demonstrated that even in the harshness of the Australian bush, where in company with the troopers he endured the arduous slog through the scrub, an environment where a man soon learns a lot about his companions, his attitude, his humour, his commitment and loyalty as they carried out their tasks without prejudice nor rancour towards each other. They also had to survive in all types of weather and riding over rough inhospitable terrain and survive at times in freezing conditions as well as sleeping and eating together during their effort to apprehend bushrangers;[sic]"I can safely assert that for some weeks past almost their whole time has been spent in the bush and saddle, and I'm sure I need not inform the contented and comparatively luxurious citizens of Sydney that eight or ten consecutive nights in the wilder and colder parts of the Weddin and Abercrombie Mountains, with nothing but a saddle for a pillow, and the stars and sky for a quilt or counterpane, is not so very pleasant after all."

The tireless efforts of the police including Sir Frederick Pottinger are stated in a letter to the Colonial Secretary in 1863, of the work being carried out by the police including Pottinger himself and the trackers in his employ; "I have myself 'bushed out' with parties for fifteen and twenty days consecutively, the men subsisting solely on the 'rations' with them, and the horses on grass feed. "The Lachlan district, from having been one of the most disorderly, has become one of the quietest in the colony," Pottinger continues "...from the 15th of June to the 1st of December, 1862, I slept out in the bush ninety three nights, and I am prepared to show that I have (by the universal admission of all my men), done more bush duty than any officer or constable in the colony." The boldness of the bushrangers such as Frank Gardiner, Johnny Gilbert, Johnny O'Meally, Ben Hall as well as many others associated with the gang's prowling of the Western Districts in the early 1860's saw Billy Dargin right in the thick of it beside the police officers.

At Work
In June 1862 a robbery occurred which set the whole of the colony alight. The brazen attack on the Forbes Gold Escort at Eugowra NSW. The robbery was orchestrated by the notorious Frank Gardiner and his cohorts Gilbert, O'Meally and Ben Hall and others. When news of the attack reached Forbes, Inspector Pottinger immediately mustered all available troopers and his two trackers Billy Dargin and Charlie, then set off for the robbery site arriving within 24 hours. Pottinger immediately set Billy to work on the tracks. The robbery was a complete success and the retreat of the gang's path was uncovered allowing the police to set to work for the purpose of apprehension. However, rain fell in the district therefore, Pottinger split his tracking party to cover more ground. Gardiner was very cognizant of the skill's of the black trackers and in fact, Gardiner feared the trackers more than the police and remarked to Daniel Charters during the gangs escape from Eugowra; "...go as crooked as you can so as to bother the trackers." The newspapers were clamouring for up to date information and by the 18th June 1862, commenced articles with brief account's of the affair and the trackers work; "about six o'clock yesterday morning Sir F. Pottinger, with eleven troopers, twenty settlers, and two trackers, got on the track of the bushrangers. About three miles from the coach they found, near a camp fire, the gold boxes, which had been opened..." in trying conditions it was now that Billy and his fellow tracker showed how invaluable they were.

Insp Sanderson c. 1896
News swept the colony and the Colonial Secretary added that Sir F. Pottinger's party was furnished with aboriginal natives as trackers. Within days of the robbery the police through the skill's of the trackers soon came in sight of the bushrangers camp at the summit of Wheogo Hill, a short distance from the home of Ben Hall. Here the troopers lead by a tracker named Hastings under the command of Sgt Sanderson espied a rider fleeing Hall's home and set to the trail. Sanderson stated;"I went to Hall's house; I wanted to see one of the Hall's; he was not in; I went on towards McGuire’s house; as I went I saw a horseman coming towards me from the Wheoga Mountains, in the direction of Hall's or McGuire’s house; when he caught sight of me he turned round and bolted into the mountains; I followed him with my party; by the aid of our black tracker we got on the tracks; we followed him by roundabout course up to the top of the Wheogo Mountain; the top of the mountain was about a mile and a half from McGuire’s place; at the top of the mountain I found the remnants of a camp," Sanderson continued; "I found the top of the hill very stony, and consequently very difficult to keep the track; we lost it for a time; in about a quarter of an hour it was found by the black tracker, and we proceeded on it a distance of about twenty or twenty-six miles, through a dense scrub; the black tracker rode a white horse; as far as I could judge the man who evaded me at the foot of the Wheogo Mountain rode a bright bay horse; we found the track of several horses; I could not say how many; one of them was shod; we followed in these tracks about twenty-five miles; when we came upon a shod horse with a pack on his back; the pack contained a bag with 1239 ounces of gold..." 

However, after a vigorous chase success was soon in the grasp of the much-maligned NSW police, as they, in Gardiner's panic took possession of a pack-horse carrying part of the stolen booty. Elated at the news the people of Forbes rejoiced; June 22nd 1862: "Senior Sergeant Sanderson returned to Forbes yesterday with half the gold taken from the escort on the 13th instant. It appears that, when near Wheogo, Sanderson's party saw a man at a distance riding towards them, who, when he saw the police, at once turned and rode back full gallop. The police followed on his track, and ran him to the top of a high mountain, from which four others had just decamped. Hastings, a black tracker, being with the police, they were enabled to follow on their tracks for twenty miles; and the bushrangers, finding themselves so hotly pursued, let their packhorse go, and on him was found about 1600 ounces of gold, the police cloak, and the two Terry's breech- loading carbines, which had been stolen from the escort coach. Sanderson's horses being quite knocked up, the party were compelled to return. Sir Frederick Pottinger's party have not yet returned since they first started in pursuit."

"The black tracker"
George Rossi Ashton, 1881.

 number: A/S18/06/81/SUPP
Courtesy State Library of Victoria 
Upon return with the robbers lost gold the success of the recovery was noted in regards to tracker Hastings jubilation and his stamina after a lengthy time in the saddle; "on the arrival of the little band with the treasure-viz., a pack horse carrying about 1600 z° of gold, two rifles and a trooper's coat, they were loudly cheered, and surrounded by some 3000 people, eager to learn the news and see how affairs stood. The horses and men appeared knocked-up, the blackfellow who had served as tracker appearing the least fatigued, to judge by his self satisfied and merry countenance... "

With the success of the recovery of the gold from the Escort robbery, the use of the trackers was now more important as ever for the success or failure of the NSW police in the western districts. The harrowing of the bushrangers by the relentless pursuit of the trackers prevented the bushrangers from having any time to relax at their often makeshift temporary camps. John Gilbert would state this about his fear of the trackers; "I'm not afraid of the police" said Gilbert, "its those bloody black hell-hounds of trackers that we have to fear-they pick up tracks and follow them so devilish quick..." Gilbert's fear of the trackers was well founded as on many occasions Gilbert himself was to have many close shaves as would Ben Hall.

On 7th February 1863 the newly established police station on the vast Pinnacle property owned by escort robber and informer Daniel Charters' sister, saw fringe bushranger Ben Hall in company with Patsy Daley rob the station whilst unattended. Constable Knox then in charge managed  to follow the pair 3 miles to the north to Allports shanty. As the pair departed they were shortly after spotted by Billy Dargin accompanied by Trooper Hollister and another tracker, Prince Charlie. Immediately the three gave chase and after a gallop of some miles where Hollister had become unseated from his horse Ben Hall's accomplice Patsy Daley wheeled around and fired in an attempt to shoot Prince Charlie. (Charley Edwards) Dargin stated; “followed them at that time with Prince Charlie and Trooper Hollester. Chased them for three miles and a half, and should have taken them but for Hollester getting thrown from his horse through running against a tree; saw Daley snap his revolver three times at Charlie..." The robbery would cost Knox dearly as he was subsequently dismissed from the force on the 31st March 1863.

Life in the service for the majority of trackers was often relentless bush work and Billy was no exception. Following the Pinnacle close shave where Charley was almost killed Billy spent weeks in the company of Sir Frederick Pottinger and Constable Hollister  as recorded by the later in his diary. Extracts to follow....

Artists impression
of Billy fleeing
after Norton capture.
c. 1933.
In March 1863, Billy Dargin was attached to Inspector Norton who was on patrol in the vacinity of Ben Hall's former station Sandy Creek when in the afternoon the two officers were approached by two horsemen and then a third, shortly after a gunfight ensues and the Inspector is taken prisoner by Ben Hall, John O'Meally and Patsey Daley. Inspector Norton retells the event in his own words as follows; “I was proceeding through the neighbourhood of Wheogo, accompanied by a black tracker, each of us leading a horse; about 9 o'clock I saw two men riding, about 500 yards before us, one of whom had a led horse, and the other a gun on his thigh; I beckoned to the tracker, who was on the hill opposite, and he came down; on nearing the men, they made off; we followed them for some distance into the scrub, and got off, and then fired on them; we then returned to our horses, to pick up our led horses, and, on preparing to start, saw them again watching us; we followed them again, and fired on them, when, finding our horses unable to overtake them, we returned to some huts, and remained there for twenty minutes or half an hour; seeing no more of them, I thought it advisable to go to the police station to get some men, who were to have met us in the neighbourhood, to follow them; about three or four miles from those huts, the black fellow called out that there were three men coming up behind us ; they were so near that I could hear them; I could hear them shouting, " Bail-up," evidently with the intention of stopping us; the black fellow passed me and left his led horse; I dropped mine also. and turned round, and, on seeing me do so, the tracker stood at about fifty yards distance; The three men were scattered at about 100 yards apart, one on each side of the road, and one near the road; the man on the left side advanced within eighty yards of me, and then commenced firing; the man on the left charged and fired a double-barreled gun; I cannot swear to the man on the right firing his rifle, but he fired a revolver; the man I supposed to be O'Maley took up his position about eighty yards from me; Hall and the prisoner a little farther off; O'Meally cried out, "Throw up your arms, repeatedly; they then commenced firing with revolvers; we fired several return shots; they might have fired fifteen or eighteen shots; my ammunition was then expended, and O'Meally with Hall rode up to me; the latter presented a revolver at me, while O'Meally and Daley ran after the black-fellow, and fired after him; after a few minutes, Hall rode up to me, and said that they had nothing against, me, and that I might go; Hall spoke of a trooper named Hollister, who had threatened to shoot him, and that he would return the compliment when he got hold of him; Hall returned me a revolver which he said was no good to him; he spoke of Sir Frederick Pottinger; how Sir Frederick had brought him (Hall) several times into Forbes, and had him remanded from time to time, until really the magistrates were inclined to believe that there was some charge against him, and those, with him; that it was his opinion that Sir Frederick detained them till he could make up a case; Hall referred also to the case of young Walsh who was then suffering in the lock-up, as he (Hall) had suffered before; I asked for my horse, and he said that I could take them; but he inquired if there was anything particular in the swag on one of them; I told him there was nothing of any consequence; the three detained a Government revolver, a Government carbine which the black-fellow had dropped, a Government saddle and bridle, and the horse on which the black-fellow rode, remarking that they would shoot the horse, and so teach people not to lend horses to policemen; the man who I supposed to be O'Meally, said to me, "you had better not give our description when you return to town; "they then rode round, and picked up their discharged arms, and cleared off; I cannot swear positively that the prisoner is one of the men; I never saw O'Meally but once before, and the prisoner never but on that occasion; I could not have been close to the prisoner more than three or four minutes; Hall was the one who was in conversation with me, and whom I would swear positively to; the names were given to me by the black-fellow as Hall, Daley, and O'Meally; O'Meally was dressed differently to the prisoner, the hat is exactly like what I have seen Daley wear; have seen the prisoner twice since he was apprehended, and I identify him so far as that to the best of my belief he is the man; I will not swear positively to him; while the others were away Hall fed his horse at a distance from me; I was unarmed, and he had a revolver in his belt and a gun in his hand; I did not care to go near him; he looked as if keeping guard."

However, following the capture of Inspector Norton and his release by Ben Hall, Sir Frederick Pottinger out on patrol near the scene of the encounter at Wheogo, had pointed out to him by tracker Billy Dargin the exact spot where Ben Hall had attempted to shoot and kill Norton. Dismounting, the Inspector examined the tree where the bullets fired by Hall had struck and narrowly missed Inspector Norton; "on Wednesday morning last, whilst Sir Frederick Pottinger with Billy, the black tracker, and some of the mounted police were out in the neighbourhood of the suspected bushrangers, near the Wedden Mountains, the tracker detected fresh footprints of a horse crossing the path Sir Frederick and his party were pursuing and directing the master's attention to the circumstances Sir Frederick turned his course in the direction of the tracks. Billy soon pointed out the identical spot which had afforded such friendly protection to J. O. Norton, the sub-inspector of police. Frederick Pottinger descended from his horse and minutely examined the tree, and found the imprint of two large bullets, one of which must have strayed just over the head of Mr. Norton, as he was described to have stood by the tree, and the other nearly at the level with his chest..." 

On the above-mentioned occasion, Billy Dargin continued to track the fresh hoof-prints he had detected and leading Sir Frederick Pottinger and troopers they arrived near the Pinnacle station, whereby whilst hiding in a mine shaft they effected the capture of Patsy Daley on 11 March 1863. In court at Forbes Pottinger recounts the events; 'The Sydney Morning Herald', Tuesday 17th March 1863; “Sir Frederick turned his course in the direction of the tracks. Billy soon pointed out the identical tree which had afforded such friendly protection to Mr, J. O. Norton, the sub-inspector of police. Sir Frederick Pottinger was directing his course again, when he espied in the distance, through the foliage of the trees in the bush, a mounted horseman, and at once gave orders for pursuit. The party were now in the vicinity of the Pinnacle reef, and, first of all ordering two of his troopers to make round the hill, on which the reef is situated, in order to intercept the flight of the horseman, Sir Frederick, with the black tracker and the two remaining troopers, continued the chase. All this was done in less time than it takes to write, and very shortly afterward, Sir Frederick pulled up before some deserted-looking huts and found a horse, with a saddle on it, tied up to one of the huts. He at once recognised the horse to be one he had seen the night before in Ben Hall's paddock, "all in a sweat." to use the baronet's own language. The black-fellow also recognised a pair of girths on the horse as being a portion of the property stolen from the Police Barracks, at the Pinnacle station, on the occasion of that place being stuck up and robbed during the temporary absence of the police, shortly before. Entering the huts, Sir Frederick saw two or three men inside, and finding them unwilling to answer his questions, he threatened them, where upon he was informed that the rider of the horse was down a shaft on the reef above named. Proceeding to the place indicated, Sir Frederick found that the shaft was about sixty feet deep, and that a permanent kind of ladder was fixed to the side, for ascent and descent. Sir Frederick called to the man (presuming him to be there) to surrender, but received no answer. Again, after an interval, the same request was repeated, but met with no response. After several minutes, the supposed bushranger was again summoned to appear, without eliciting any reply. At length, finding mild exhortations insufficient, Sir Frederick threatened that he would at once proceed to burn and smoke him out like an opossum. The man not liking the latter alternative, surrendered at discretion, and was immediately taken into custody. It is obvious that if the notorious Gardiner selects such innocent looking striplings to execute the deeds generally left to men of sterner stuff, it must be for some new arrangement in bush tactics, such as the human telegram hinted at by a contemporary. Patrick Daley, who forms the subject of this sketch, is a mild, youthful whiskerless looking person, with light-blue eyes and fair complexion. There is nothing in his physiognomical expression outwardly, to denote the degraded villain. He certainly, during the examination, kept his head down, glancing furtively round. His eyes move quickly and, with a sinister expression, as if were in the habit of looking under his eyebrow and "taking stock" of those around him. Sir Frederick Pottinger undoubtedly deserves great credit for his prompt action and discernment in this matter; and doubtless, he is willing to accord is portion of the merit to the acute sight of his black tracker. Lachlan Observer. [prisoner was brought before the Forbes bench on the 12th instant, and remanded for a week."] 

William Dargin's evidence at Patrick Daley's trial.
The newspaper account (above) gives an insight into Billy Dargin and his concept of right and wrong.  Although history portrays most black trackers as lacking education, Billy Dargin was an exception.  He had a good grasp of English and he was intelligent in his delivery of it.

Sydney Morning Herald
 Monday 6th November 1865 
Billy Dargin died on 28th October, 1865, at Forbes.
The Tracker
Courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales.

This photograph is indicative of the type of police patrol used in the hunt of Bushrangers incorporating Aboriginal black trackers in which Billy Dargin participated.
Courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales.
Inspector James Henry Davidson

James Henry Davidson was born on 29th March 1840 in Sydney. He was the eldest son of Walker Rennie Davidson and his wife Christiana they were married at St James' Church, Sydney on 19th July 1836. Walker Rennie Davidson hailed from Scotland, arriving in Australia early in 1829. Walker Davidson gained employment within Surveyor General's Department of NSW working his way through to finally become Surveyor General of NSW in 1864, a post he held until 1868. With the foundation of the new Police Act of 1862 at the age of 23, James Henry Davidson held the position of Sub-Inspector of Police and would at the dismissal of Sir Frederick Pottinger in 1865 assume command of the police at Forbes NSW.

Sub-Inspector Davidson at the commencement of his new position in the NSW police saw him deployed to the Bathurst region under the command of Superintendent Morrissett and Davidson patrolled largely in and around the Carcoar district, initially for Frank Gardiner then as Ben Hall, Gilbert and O'Meally became more prominent his task was their apprehension culminating in the gunfight which saw Davidson shoot himself accidentally in the foot, when in August 1863 Gilbert and O'Meally with Vane in company attacked the Carcoar coach carrying three prisoners. The incident was reported in a telegram to the Inspector-General of Police in Sydney;

Thursday 7th August 1863. FROM SUPERINTENDENT MORRISSET TO THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, SYDNEY.- I have just returned to Bathurst per coach with three prisoners, whom I arrested, for being accessories to all the robberies that have lately taken place about Carcoar. About three miles this side of Carcoar an attempt was made by Johnny Gilbert, Johnny O'Meally, and John Vane, to rescue our prisoners. The bushrangers galloped up to the coach armed with double-barrelled guns and revolvers and ordered us to stop. I told the coachman to pull up and then jumped from the coach, followed by the constables; we immediately fired, and the bushrangers discharged their guns at us. Mounted constable Sutton, who was riding up, the horse behind the coach, was shot through the arm, the bullet coming out at his chest; we left him at King's Plains. The bushrangers would not come a second time but followed us for a mile. I shot one of their horses through the ribs, but he carried his rider away. O'Meally and Vane were riding the two horses lately stolen from Coombing stable. I have a good deal to do to-night and return with the same party to Carcoar at daylight to-morrow.

Friday Evening.- INSPECTOR DAVIDSON.-A report reached here yesterday that this gentleman, while fixing his gun, accidentally shot his toe off. This accident is very much to be regretted, as Mr. Davidson's services can be ill spared at the present time, for since Gilbert and his gang made their appearance about here he has exerted himself to the utmost in trying to find out their haunts. Davidson was not at Coombing when his horse was stolen, but had left him there to rest for a few days. Mr. Icely's man that was shot in the mouth on Sunday last is gradually recovering; Dr. Rowland was only able to extract the ball yesterday.

Following the dismissal of Sir Frederick Pottinger from the NSW police force on 16th February 1865, after riding in a race at a meeting in Forbes and against police regulations, Davidson assumed command of the Forbes region. In late April 1865, Davidson received information from an informer (it is widely suspected that the informant was Michael Coneley; brother-in-law to the Stricklands) as to the possible presence of Ben Hall, John Gilbert and John Dunn at the Strickland property near the Billabong Creek about 12 miles NW from Forbes.

As Inspector Davidson was preparing his course of action based on the information he had received from the informer, in the NSW parliament, however, a debate had concluded as to the stratagem the NSW Government would take in the bringing about the cessation of bushranging conducted by Ben Hall and Co as well as Daniel 'Mad Dog' Morgan who had at the time crossed over to Victoria and was shot soon dead; that strategy enforced by the NSW Government was the introduction of an ancient English Law 'The Felons Apprehension Act', which after a proclamation being issued for Ben Hall, Gilbert, Dunn and Morgan (separate from Hall &c) to surrender themselves to Goulburn Gaol by the 29th April 1865, and where after that date and on the 10th of May 1865 the bushrangers would be declared 'OUTLAWS'. This act was also legislated to prevent harbourers from continuing to provide aid to the bushrangers and if convicted would result in severe punishment and loss of all property to those found supporting them. Furthermore, the Act set out that the rights applied to lawbreakers under the normal law were suspended; "Normal rights under the law, including “assumption of innocence”, were revoked. The offenders were legally considered guilty without the usual pre-requisite of a trial, the lives of an “outlaw” were considered forfeited, and so once the Act was in force against an individual, killing that person became a “legal” action..." How much Davidson knew regarding the new declaration and its 'Outlaw' enforcement date of the 10th May 1865 is still in debate, even today. However, although in his after-action report he covers this dubious knowledge in what appears to be an afterthought;  "I determined upon doing this, thinking that the Felons Apprehension Act was about this time in force..." It is evident that during the issuing of the proclamation Davidson had not been in contact with Inspector-General McLerie nor had he provided information as to his strategy or of notifying the Inspector-General of his informant's information for which he was about to act upon. The telegraph system was at his disposal. Nevertheless, in the later report of the course of action pursued by Davidson, it appeared that Davidson had predetermined the outcome regardless to the current state regarding the law of apprehension as opposed to killing the bushrangers i.e. 'Stand in the Queens Name' and before opening fire to ensure they were fired on first. As far as Davidson was concerned, Ben Hall, Gilbert and Dunn were dead men. "The informant said the only way we could take these men was to fire on them in their camp, for if they had one yard start, we would see no more of them..."  Therefore, the mindset of the police was to shoot dead all three of the bushrangers. On the 29th April 1865 the day the bushrangers were to give themselves up at Goulburn Gaol, Davidson set off at 4 am with a heavily armed police party from Forbes to rendezvous with the informant and at long last to hopefully end the bushrangers years of the humiliation of the police. Relying on the informant's information Davidson's party made camp not far from the bushrangers' reported campsite and waited for further word from the informant; "having taken every precaution to destroy our horses’ tracks, we encamped in a dense oak scrub, remaining there until Tuesday, when information reached me..." 

Mary Coneley
The informant, Coneley, was a long-time friend of Ben Hall through his marriage to Mary Strickland, the niece of Mary Strickland who years before had assisted Ben Hall in the re-setting and mending of his broken leg and his convalescence in their care. At the time of Ben Hall's recovery, the two young teenagers formed a close bond and it could be presumed that a young romance with Mary may have blossomed and from that intimate friendship, Ben Hall often called at their home when he required a respite from the relentless pursuit of the NSW police. Furthermore, Coneley lived with the benevolence displayed by his in-laws in a small cottage on the Strickland's Billabong property. The reward for the capture of the three bushrangers (Hall, Gilbert and Dunn) was £3,000, Coneley would have been entitled to 50 per cent of the reward. This was enough incentive for his course of action and could finally provide him with the independence he sought from his in-laws and where it may have been perceived by Mary's family that Mary may have married beneath her station.

Michael Coneley
However on the afternoon of 2nd May 1865, with Davidson ensconced in the scrub some 7 miles from the suspected camp of the bushrangers, Coneley appeared and met with the Inspector to report Gilbert and Dunn had arrived but not Ben Hall insisting that the Inspector should attack these two in their camp that evening. £1000 for Coneley was as good as £1500 and Coneley was worried that if Davidson waited his payment might escape. Unknown to Davidson, Gilbert and Dunn were disturbed by some stockmen searching for strayed cattle and believing them to be troopers, bolted as the police were now often dressed as Bushmen or drovers. Davidson wrote later in his report:-I determined to wait until the three got together and then attack them in their camp, I determined on doing this...”

The afternoon of the 4th May, Coneley once more met with Davidson and informed him of the bad news that Gilbert and Dunn had fled, but that Ben Hall had now arrived at the camp site. This time Davidson would not wait and on that evening moved his men consisting of five troopers and two black trackers all heavily-armed into position close to Hall's reported campsite.

At dawn on 5th May 1865, the Inspector struck. Davidson had caught his prey by complete surprise. Ben Hall was alone. What follows is Davidson's written account of the events of that fateful morning and the outcome as reported in the 'Clarence and Richmond Examiner' Tuesday, 16th May 1865. (See Article Below.)

Clarence and Richmond Examiner
Tuesday, 16th May 1865

When Sub-Inspector Davidson returned to Forbes with the bloodied corpse of Ben Hall slung across a horse partially covered by a blanket, the police parties arrival was reported by the 'Western Examiner'A DEAD BUSHRANGER.-The Forbes correspondent of the 'Western Examiner' writes: -On Saturday morning the 6th May, at about 4 o'clock in the morning, a body of Police under the direction of sub-Inspector James Henry Davidson arrived in Forbes with the corpse of Ben Hall, the bushranger. He had been killed the night before near the north Billibong, about twelve miles, from Forbes, and the body was pierced with eight or nine bullets. Either one of four of the wounds must have proved fatal. It is said that the spot where he was killed is not far from Mr Pierce Strickland's station. It is also said that Hall had been in and about the town of Forbes two or three days previous to being shot. Gilbert and Dunn were not with him, and it is rumoured that they were off after some horses, while Hall visited Forbes and neighbourhood, and that it was while Hall was on his way to join Gilbert and Dunn that he.was killed. From ten o clock in the morning of Friday, the room, where the body lay was filled with persons curious to have a look at the corpse of the man who has contributed so much to bring New South Wales into disrepute by his wanton outrages. I suppose that four or five hundred persons visited the barracks, and I saw several females among the crowd. After the enquiry several parties availed themselves of an opportunity to got a lock of the bushranger's hair. His body was lying upon a stretcher in the south-west corner room of the building appropriated to the foot police. There was nothing forbidding in the countenance of Ben Hall, as he lay there still in death. In fact, I heard the remark made several times, during the moment I was in the room, "What a handsome, face." He appeared to be a young man about twenty-eight, finely made, excellent features, lofty forehead, and fine brown hair. His whiskers and moustache were cut quite close and of a much lighter colour than the hair on his head. I heard many make the remark, "I have often seen that face somewhere, but cannot tell where." I have myself seen the face, but have no idea when and where. The most remarkable feature in the countenance was a peculiar curl in the right side of the upper lip, indicating ordinarily a feeling of contemptuous scorn, and produced by the action of the mind upon the muscles. In this case, I am told that it is n constitutional feature, and may, therefore, indicate nothing.

I am told that the grave has been dug and that Hall will be interred, under the superintendence; of Mr J. S.Toler, the well-known undertaker, to-morrow. Such are a few of the particulars attending the death of Ben Hall.
As the dust settled Inspector Davidson forwarded his report of the events to the Inspector-General Captain McLerie as follows, Police Report, Forbes, Saturday, May 12th, 1865;


In reference to the recent capture and shooting of Benjamin Hall, I have the honor of forwarding the following particulars for your information.

On the 23rd of April I received information that the offenders Hall, Gilbert and Dunn were about to leave the district for the Merro Creek, that they were then collecting saddle horses for the purpose of making a start, and that they would be at a certain place, distant about fifteen miles from Forbes over the Billabong Creek for two or three days before leaving for the purpose of shoeing the horses, and further, that they then went down the river. I immediately started Sergeant Condell with a party of pursuers with orders if he saw the bushrangers to show to them, but not attempt a chase on horseback and to return on Friday.

He came up with the bushrangers on Wednesday 26th instant at Monwonga, pretended to give chase but doubled round and came into Forbes on the Friday evening. I then led the bushrangers Scouts to believe that all the Mounted Constables were absent from the town.

At 4 o’clock on the morning of the 29th inst. I started with a party consisting of Sergeant Condell, Constables Buckley, Caban, Bolan, Hipkiss and the trackers Billy Dargin and Charley.

Having taken every precaution to destroy our horses’ tracks, we encamped in a dense oak scrub, remaining there until Tuesday, when information reached me – a watch had been kept on the edges of a large plain to look out for the informant – that Gilbert and Dunn had only come, and Hall would surely be there the following day. I determined to wait until the three got together and then attack them during the night in their camp, which was about seven miles distant in an almost impenetrable scrub.

The informant said the only way we could take these men was to fire on them in their camp, for if they had one yard start, we would see no more of them. I determined upon doing this, thinking that the Felons Apprehension Act was about this time in force.

On Wednesday night according to arrangement, I met my informant and found that Gilbert and Dunn had started towards Monwonga and having been frightened by some stockmen who had been looking for horses, passed close to their camp and whom Gilbert mistook for police. They left two horses and some ponchos intending to come back for Hall next day, but did not, nor have I since had any authentic account of them. On Thursday evening I again saw my informant who told me that Hall had come but not the other two.  He being the ringleader I determined to endeavour the arrest without the others, and then if successful, wait for their coming.

Having been shown near the place where Hall was encamped; this was in a scrub on the border of a large plain, I proceeded towards the place indicated. When about one quarter of a mile from the spot, I made everyone take off their boots and coats, so we should make no noise amongst the thick dead leaves, and would be better prepared for running. We then passed stealthily along through a narrow belt of thick pine scrub, and got up to where there were horses and a poncho. I knew at once these belonged to Hall and intended to watch until he came for them for we could not find out exactly where he was sleeping, and were unable to walk about without making some noise; at about ten o’clock the moon was shining, the night cloudy and wind blowing bitterly cold.

A man with a poncho on walked towards the horses, passing close to myself and Condell, which after catching and unhobbling, he led away. (At this time Constables Caban, Buckley, and Hipkiss could have touched the man with their guns) and rehobbled them, about ninety yards below us.

He then sneaked very quietly down the belt of pine, nearly walking over Billy Dargin and camped at the point of the scrub, just off the edges of the plain. Dargin then crawled up and pointed out where the man was sleeping. It was now about half past eleven o’clock. I arranged to give him two hours to get well asleep, then rush the camp and arrest.

At half past one, the four men were now posted in a circle from the camp to them. A little before seven o’clock we saw the man, whom we instantly recognized as Hall, moving out of the scrub with a bridle and a revolver in his hands and making for the horses. On his coming on the plain opposite us, we commenced to run and gained on him fifty yards before being seen. Seeing us, he immediately dropped the bridle and ran having the revolver in his right hand, and made towards the hidden men past the camp. I ran after him a considerable distance, calling on him to stand, several times, gradually gaining on him, and when within about forty yards, fired.

The shot taking effect in the left shoulder, he looked around. I thought with the intention of firing at me, I put up the gun again to fire but did not. Condell and Dargin then fired two shots each which seemed to have a slight effect. The four men and Charley now showed up. Hall, seeing them, turned to the right and made for a small clump of saplings on the plain. He still had the revolver in his hand. He caught a sapling with his left hand with the intention of trying to shoot round it. This he continued to hold until he fell. At this time I noticed Hipkiss firing with a revolving rifle, the bullet from which struck Hall on the belt and cut it, his revolver falling to the ground. Hall then seemed to be badly hit and appeared to me to be about to fall. At this time the whole of the remaining shots were fired; he fell back saying “I am wounded, I am dying, shoot me dead” and after a few convulsive shudders he moved no more.

The body was then packed on one of his horses and taken to our camp and there remained until night when four of us started with it for Forbes, the others being left in case Gilbert and Dunn should come before we had time to get back again, which place we reached about 4 o’clock in the morning.

I endeavoured to keep the death of Hall a secret, hoping that the next night Gilbert and Dunn would be back, but before I could get to the Telegraph Office it was known to everyone. In the afternoon I started again, sent the horse back to barracks and remained out until the following Thursday, when we returned having to walk. Great difficulty was experienced in destroying the tracks of our shod horses. There were scouts out every day trying to find us but failed, owing to the precautions we had taken.

Our arms consisted of  five double-barrelled guns, which I carefully loaded, and three revolving rifles, these being fired without cessation, it was impossible to keep the men from firing off all the shots, will account for the large number of shots fired at Hall. None reloaded and fired again.  During the weeks we had been out we subsisted on possum and water, having been short of provisions and could not get any. The night during which we watched the camp was most bitterly cold and frosty, and being without boots or coats we all suffered severely, and in the morning when running, were bent nearly double with cramps and cold. The coolness, courage and determination of the tracker Billy Dargin is worthy of some substantial reward and the greatest praise is due to him. Tracker Charley, from his behaviour, should not, I think, participate in the rewards beyond some slight recompense.

Herein enclosed is a list and description of the property found with Hall at the time of his death.

I have the honour to be Sir,
Your obedient servant

J.H. Davidson

With Ben Hall dead and the inquest held the reward money was divided among the police with half of the amount of £1000 going to the informant, namely 500 pounds with the police receiving the other £500($41,500), led by Davidson £150($12,500), Sergeant Condell £75 and the four constables and Billy Dargin, the black tracker, each received £50 pounds ($4,200 ea). The other tracker, Charlie, was said to have "no claim". Both Davidson and Condell were promoted, Davidson to the rank of Inspector; "in order to mark the high sense that the Government entertains of the zeal and determination which he has shown in the performance of his duty..."

By 1869, Davidson was Inspector of Police for the South Western District at Deniliquin NSW, and married Catherine Shanahan in the same year in Victoria, the newly married Davidson's soon felt the hand of tragedy when their first son, James Henry, died at the tender age of one year, but the following year, 1872, Mary Christiana was born, and in 1873, they were blessed with another son, John Rannie Davidson, there followed over the next decade more children, Catherine Josephine born in 1876 and Arthur Andrew in 1878. Soon after the family had moved to the Darling Downs, Queensland where sadly Catherine, just three years old, died in Toowoomba at the end of July 1879. The following year another son, Martin Shanahan, was born and, in 1884, the last son, Alfred Charles, was registered in Sydney. Their other daughter, Mary Christiana, died in June 1882, aged ten years and three months. The last child, Eleanor Angelina, was born in 1888.

Whilst in charge of police at Deniliquin 'The Pastoral Times' published this comment; "Ever since Davidson was placed at Deniliquin as headquarters of an immense police district requiring very great and laborious attention, we have felt the effects of strong and determined direction in police affairs. Mr Davidson came to Deniliquin seven years ago flush with having, by extraordinary exertions, eased the country of one of the most daring and reckless bushrangers, viz. Ben Hall."

In 1870 James Davidson became a magistrate at Deniliquin as published; The Government Gazette to-day announces the appointment of eighty-eight new magistrates, including the names of James Henry Davidson, John Bellew Graves, and Thomas Brown of Deniliquin. 

In 1872 Davidson left the South Western police district to assume the command of the Northern police district based at Armidale, NSW and on leaving Deniliquin James Davidson was presented with a parting gift; On Monday afternoon, 7tn instant, a meeting was held at the Royal Hotel, Deniliquin, for the purpose of presenting Mr. Inspector Davidson, who is leaving the district for Armidale, with an address, as also a service in silver. The former was engrossed on parchment and numerously signed by the residents of the town and district, and on the chief piece of plate was inscribed, "Presented by the residents of die town and district of Deniliquin to James H. Davidson, Inspector of Police, on the occasion of his leaving the district." He resigned from the NSW Police in January 1874 as reported via the Government Gazette; Inspector Orridge, of the Braidwood district, will succccd Mr. James Davidson, of Armidale, resigned, as Inspector of Police for the Northern district

Sir Patrick Jennings (1831–1897)
Premier of New South Wales
 26 Feb 1886-19 Jan 1887
The reason for his resignation was so that his brother-in-law, NSW parliamentarian, Mr P. A. Jennings could return to Sydney as reported in 'The Pastoral Times'; Mr. P. A. Jennings intends to leave Warbreccan and to reside in Sydney. He will, we (Pastoral Times) hear, offer himself for some constituency. The electorate will, we think, befortunate that secures his services, and his return to the Sydney Legislative Assembly will be very acceptable to its foremost members; -Mr. James Davidson, who is brother-in-law to Mr. Jennings, has resigned office as Police Inspector, and takes Mr. Jennings' place at Warbreccan. Davidson's brother-in-law would go on to have an outstanding career in politics becoming, Colonial Secretary of NSW in 1885, as Sir Patrick Jennings, and Premier and Treasurer in 1886 before being succeeded by Sir Henry Parkes, for his fourth term, in 1887.

James Davidson after taking control of Warbreccan was voted in and became Sheep Director for that district; The annual meeting of sheepowners, holden yesterday, resulted in the election of Messrs. James Davidson, William Officer Tracey, Brown, and Patterson, as sheep directors. Whilst manager of his brother-in-law's property "Warbreccan Station" his father passed away; "we notice that on the 20th of last month Mr. Walter Rennie Davidson, formerly surveyor-general of New South Wales, died at Warbreccan, Riverena, in the sixty ninth year of his age..." James Davidson, however, shortly after the death of his father, stood for and was elected as the Mayor of Deniliquin in 1877, and the election was reported as dull; The annual municipal election of two aldermen and two auditors for the town of Deniliquin took place on Friday last. The affair was conspicuous for the absence of that animation or life which are supposed to be indissolubly connected with politics, either local or parliamentary. There were three candidates for aldermanic honours-viz., Messrs. James H Davidson (mayor). James Burchfield, and George Hunter, The two former gentlemen were retiring by effluxion of time, and sought re-election ; but Mr. Hunter was of opinion that new blood was necessary in the council to make it work for the interests of tho ratepayers. As an illustration of tho total absence of political life in the late contest, it need only be mentioned that not a single candidate thought it incumbent upon him ¡to hold a public meeting of the ratepayers, but .were content to advertise themselves In an address of about sixty lines in length, setting forth the usual number of pro mises, and apologising for promises unfulfilled. The result was that many ratepayers declined to waste their time in walking to the Town Hall to record their votes. The number of votes recorded for each candidate was as follows :-Davidson, 235 ; Birchfieid, 189 ; Hunter, 174. At the official declaration of the poll, Mr. Burchfield, who was the only candidate present, returned thanks, and stated that the re-election of the two old members was a proof that their past services were appreciated. The council had been blamed in the Press, and elsewhere, for an absence of debate at their meetings, but it was owing to the matters coming before the council being of so simple a nature as not to require discussion. He thought arguments were often brought forward from personal motives, and not from a desire to serve the ratepayers, and surely it were better to refrain from such scenes as had characterised many council meetings elsewhere, and which were a disgrace to the community. Again, it had been stated that Deniliquin was far behind in the matter of a water supply scheme, but he differed in that respect, as he thought previously the town was too small, and the houses too scattered to make waterworks remunerative. With regard to other improvements, he might say that the building of the Town Hall, which he considered a very necessary building, had, to a very great extent, crippled the finances of the municipality for some years to come; consequently, only those improvements which were absolutely necessary could be undertaken. The speaker's remarks were well received by the few ratepayers present. The election of two auditors resulted in the two old ones being returned, the numbers for each being-W.H. Hooper, 230 ; James Thies, 212; Alfred Sugden, 171.

James Davidson also campaigned for a seat in the NSW State Parliament but was defeated. (See above right.)

In 1879, Davidson moved with his family to the Darling Downs near Toowoomba and managed a sheep station named "Westbrook"; Mr. James Davidson, of Warbreccan, purposes leaving Riverina for the Darling Downs during this month. The Deniliquin Institution will suffer by this step. Our Town Council will lose its Mayor, and the School of Arts its President.  (See Article Below left.)

His wife Catherine passed away in 1904 aged 53 after his final move to Wellington Point, Brisbane where he became "Commissioner of the Peace".

Inspector James Henry Davidson passed away at the age of 74 in 1914 and was buried with his wife at the Toowong Cemetery, at the passing of his life the public didn't seem to have any knowledge that he was the officer in charge of the shooting death of Ben Hall. (See Article Below.)

 Inspector Davidson Grave at Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane, Queensland 10/07/2014. In need of some TLC. My photo's.

Senior Sergeant James Glynn Condell

Senior Sergeant James Glynn Condell was born in 1837, in County Carlow, Ireland. His parents were Thomas and Caroline Condell who resided at Bagenalstown nine miles south of Carlow, Ireland, the family was of the Church Of England faith in a predominately Catholic land. Carlow City was separated by the Barrow River and was situated 46 miles from Dublin and boarded County Wicklow. At the age of eighteen James Condell joined the Irish Constabulary at Kilkenny in 1855, where new recruits to the Constabulary were required to be single, between the age of 18 and 27 years old, in good health and at least 5' 9" tall, James Condell stood 5' 11''.  Newly recruited constables were not allowed to serve in the county in which they (or their wife) resided, therefore James Condell was posted to Mulroy Carricart, Donegal, Ireland situated on the banks of Mulroy Bay in the north-west of the country. Single constables in the Irish Police could only marry after seven years of service, and then, only with the permission of their superiors. County Donegal was a harsh uncompromising part of the Irish coastline in the North West and was battered by the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the families in Donegal struggled to get by on the small plots of farmland controlled by the British Aristocracy, therefore immigration to a far-off land was the only avenue to a better life. This avenue led to New South Wales. In the mid-1850's the NSW government commenced an assisted immigration scheme which was utilised by the Donegal residents and who became known as the Donegal's, among this influx came police officer James Condell.
James Condell NSW Police promotion and enlistment
 1860-1865 at enlistment James Condell was 25 yrs old.
He arrived in Australia in 1859 landing reportedly at Melbourne, Victoria. Condell spent a short period of time on the Victorian Goldfields without luck? (more research) James Condell travelled to NSW and with his background in the Irish Police Force soon joined the NSW police force, first as a supernumerary in October 1860, then was promoted to Sergeant in 1861 and was heavily involved in quelling the Lambing Flat riots against the Chinese miners in June 1861 and where on the 21st September 1861, the Crown prosecutor Mr Butler made this opening (abbreviated) address; "would any reasonable man not be alarmed on such an occasion for himself, his wife, his daughter, and his property? This was the character of the assemblage, and its object and purpose were further disclosed by inscriptions on the flags to drive away the Chinese. As to the object, no doubt much would be said, an appeal be made to their feelings, on the score of enmity to the Chinese, but he must tell them they must simply be guided by the evidence adduced. It was, as far as this trial was concerned, a matter of indifference what their views were about the Chinese. The Chinese had come lawfully into the country, and were entitled to the protection of the law as well as every other person..." At the trial, James Condell gave the following evidence against a number of the agitators who were facing court, as reported; Robert McBride, Patrick Day, William Tomalty; Charles Coyle, and James Rolleston were indicted for that they, at Lambing Flat, in the colony of New South Wales, together with about fifty others or more persons unknown, on the 30th June, assembled and gathered together, and did then and there, with arms, commit a riot and disturbance for one hour and more, to the terror of well disposed persons, and in contempt of the peace of the Crown.

"...I heard three or
 four shots fired..."
James Condell deposed; "I saw a great gathering on the 30th June, between ten and eleven o'clock, coming towards the Camp; they crossed the creek; there was a Chinese camp close to the creek at Sawpit Gully-; at first there were about 200 to 300 persons; they had a band of music and flags, and were crying out, "Roll up to the Chinese" on the flags was "Roll up. No Chinese", I heard three or four shots fired from the middle of the crowd; I saw six or seven with arms; most of the people carried sticks when across the creek they went to the Chinese camp and fired it; at first camp I saw the multitude tear down the tents, and burn tents, rice, meat, &c., together they then went to another camp. I went also in sight; they went to burn the second camp; they then went to the third camp I did not go further; I saw McBride, Day, Tomalty, and Coyle at the second Camp-; at the first camp I saw McBride take a lighted bush from the fence and thrust it in the door of the tent and set fire to it; McBride then went to Back Creek; I knew McBride for six months; I was within three or four yards of him, I arrested no one that day, I had not sufficient force, and was afraid to undertake it; I am certain it was McBride, I saw Day at Sawpit Gully, he was carrying a stick and running with the mobs was about three or four yards off: I knew him four or five months; I am quite certain of him; I did not speak to him; I saw Tomalty, he had no stick he was running with the mob; he was four or five yards off; I had seen him several times before; I saw Coyle at Sawpit Gully, at the Chinese Camp; I saw him take a match and try with it to fire a tent, but it went out; he then lighted a bush and then a second time fired the tent; Coyle then went to the second camp; I knew Coyle five years; I knew him in Ireland; he came out with the Donegals; I knew Rollston; l cannot swear I saw him there that day; there was a deal of noise and shouting..."

After Condell's evidence Mr Holroyd commenced his cross examination; James Condell continued; "I was in uniform on the 30th June - I only went as far as the second camp in Sawpit Gully; I first saw McBride at the first camp; he had a large stick in his hand, of some sort of greenwood; I was within three or four yards; he was dressed as he is now, only with a blue shirt; he had the same colored trousers; he had no coat on; I will swear he had a blue flannel shirt on, and a Panama hat or a cabbage-tree hat I cannot be sure which; I swore at first it was a Panama hat; I first saw Day in the mob; I think he was dressed much as he is now; cannot say as to the comforter, he had on a coat similar to the one he has on now; there were Chinese at the same camp when Mr. Cowper was there, and they remained until driven away; I saw storekeepers riding on horseback with the mob; they were at some distance from the burning; no storekeeper has been arrested; some of the people had sticks, some had pick shafts; about six or seven had fire-arms, and some were carrying picks; I did not see Day with a bridle or holter; I saw Tomalty at Sawpit Gully, at the second camp; he had nothing in his hand; I did not go further than Sawpit Gully; I saw a stick in Coyle's hand; I think it was a pick-handle; it was lightish colour; I knew McBride at McGurren's store; I had been there; he did not continue there after the 14th July; I did not speak to him in the crowd; I apprehended McBride at rear of the Catholic Chapel, on 14th, and Coyle in the dancing-room at Vicq's public house I did not drag him out; I dragged him into the centre of the flour; it was about eight o'clock; this was the occasion when we fixed bayonets and charged; we were six or seven, and the people rushed us and hustled us; it was on Sunday, about half-past one, when I arrested McBride coming out after prayers. Re-examined by Mr. Butler: I identify the prisoners most by their faces; I did not pay much attention to dress. Sergeant Condell recalled and examined by Mr. Holroyd: I apprehended Coyle on 14 August in the ballroom at Yicq's public-house and McBride after coming out of chapel on the 14th July. To his honor: I first knew Coyle in Ireland five years ago; I was then in the Irish constabulary..."

Soon after the affray at Lambing Flat, James Condell sponsored two sisters' passage from Donegal, Ireland, they were Margaret and Elizabeth Davis, during James Condell's police employment at Donegal he had formed a relationship with Elizabeth Davis, paying the deposit of £3 each for their passage to NSW on the 21st December 1861, the two ladies were given the required reference by The Reverend Cox of Donegal, Ireland.

After the Lambing Flat events, James Condell was posted to Forbes.  In March 1862 the NSW police were reorganised into a single force and, as such, James Condell retained the rank of Sergeant on the 1st of March 1862, under the New Police Act.

Before long Sgt Condell would become part of the most daring of robberies - the hold-up of the Gold Escort coach at Eugowra Rocks, NSW. This article appeared in the 'Goulburn Herald' after the attack; ROBBERY OF THE LACHLAN ESCORT. The following account of this event, from the Western Examiner, is the fullest and most connected yet to hand: The escort left Forbes on Sunday morning, under the immediate charge of Sergeant Condell, seated on the box, alongside the driver, Mr. Fagan; the remainder of the escort, three men, were seated in the body of the couch-their names were, Senior constable Moran. Constable Haviland, and another constable Raferty. The treasure consisted of 2719 ounces of gold and £3700 in cash; there were also the usual mails, which were heavy. The escort proceeded on its way without any unusual occurrence to warn them of impending danger. At about half-past four o'clock, on arriving at Coobong, a distance of twenty-seven miles from Forbes, and immediately in the vicinity of Mr. Clements's station, two teams were observed in the roadway-no uncommon. circumstance. As the coach drew near it became evident there was but one passage, and that between the obstructing teams and a mass of broken perpendicular rocks, overhanging the narrow passage; the peculiarity of the situation never for a moment excited suspicion, but the driver brought his horses in to a walk, in order to steer between the drays and the rocks. The coach at this time lay in such a position as that a party under cover of the rocks might pour a destructive fire upon the escort with impunity; in an instant, six men, dressed in red serge shirts and red nightcaps, with faces blacked, showed themselves from behind a breastwork of rock, and at the word "Fire," delivered their bullets with but too much precision. The sergeant was wounded in the side, the driver's hat was perforated with a number of bullets, Senior constable Moran was wounded in the groin; and as was quite natural, the escort were unnerved at the unexpectedness of the attack. No sooner had the six bushrangers delivered their fire, than they fell back with military precision and were replaced by five or six others, who delivered their fire and fell back in turn. The two volleys were the work of an instant. Never was more truly verified the saying that "every bullet has its billet," for the clothes of the escort were perforated in several places in the arm, in the legs, and in the side; but the men themselves escaped with comparatively trifling flesh wounds. Sergeant Condell states that he was knocked of the box at the first volley; Mr. Fagan jumped off and hold the reins, whilst the horses walked on slowly.

Corporal Moran and Constable Haviland discharged their carbines at the bushrangers; as for the third constable nothing appears to be known about him. Senior-constable Moran, after discharging his carbin called upon his comrades to "man their revolvers." when they again exchanged shots with the bushrangers. It would appear that at this point the bushrangers fired at the horses and wounded one of them in the leg, which caused them to bolt. Constable Moran was thrown out upon his back and much injured; and the horses ran in among a lot of broken rocks upsetting the coach. Meanwhile the bushrangers kept up their fire, when, seeing the coach capsized, they began to cheer and rushed down pell-mell to secure their booty. Mr. Fagan, who appears to have been much exposed, called out to the rulffians not to shoot him for God's sake; but they took no heed of his cries, and it is probable that but for the fortunate circumstance of the horses bolting, every man in the escort would have been ruthlessly murdered. The escort by this time became scattered, and the law of self-preservation came into operation, for every man sought cover from the fire; and just about dark the party re-assembled at Clements's station, Mr. Clements, who heard the firing, came out to meet the men, and taking them to his residence, had their wounds dressed and housed them for the night. His first care was either to go or send a messenger to Forbes at once (we are unable to say which.) The messenger accomplished the distance-twenty-seven miles-on a dark night in three and a-half hours; the camp authorities were called up, and Sir Frederick Pottinger with eleven troopers, a couple of black trackers, and a number of volunters, arrived at the scene of the attack at two o'clock on Monday morning. Sir Frederick at once ran the tracks of the bushrangers down, and shortly after day-light succeeded in finding their camp, some three miles off the road, and at the other side of a lofty ridge. The fire was still, in and fag-ends of the red shirts worn by the bushrangers on the previous evening were found amongst the embers-thus indicating that they wished to destroy every trace of identity.
Wall Mural at Eugowra
The empty gold boxes were found, as also the mail bags with numbers of letters gutted or torn into fragments. Singular to relate the registered letters had not been touched. The luggage belonging to the escort had been broken open and searched. Gardiner and his "honorable"men are not given to literature during their leisure, for they did not interfere with the newspapers. The result of the robberty may be briefly summed up. All the gold, 2719 ounces was taken, and with it, the whole of the cash, £3700. The etmpty gold boxes, and the letters and newspapers after being gathered up in a general medley, were brought to Mr. Clements's station, and placed in the coach, which, with two of the horses, had been recovered.
A video I took at Eugowra Rocks, 2013.
Sgt Condell was in charge of the police escort and was seated beside the coach driver, John Fagan when Gardiner and his gang opened fire upon the coach and Sgt Condell was wounded, soon after the ambush, Sgt Condell wrote a letter of explanation to the Inspector General of Police, Captain Mclerie, James Condell wrote; 

June 23rd, 1863.

Sir,- On Saturday, the 15th instant, I was ordered to Sydney for drill instruction as I was getting transferred from the foot to the mounted force. I was ordered to take charge of the gold escort from Forbes to Sydney. We started on Sunday the 15th instant, at 12 o'clock p.m. About 5 o'clock p.m., we were attacked by a party from twelve to fifteen armed men, dressed in red jumpers, red caps, and blackened faces. The road being blocked up with several drays, so that we had to pass close to a rock, where they were concealed, and as the coach was passing, six or seven men fired into the coach, and then drew back. Then six or seven others fired. We then returned the fire; two of the   horses got wounded and started off with the coach, capsizing it, and turning the escort out. I received four bullets through the coat, one entering my left side. Senior constable Moran received two balls, one which   wounded him in the groin. The coachman receiving also two bullets, but was not hurt.

The men then rushed to the coach taking the gold boxes out, and also the mail bags, which they cut open, opening several of the letters. l and two of the escort got to Mr. Clement's station, I requested of him to proceed to Forbes, and give information, which he did. Sir F. Pottinger and a party of mounted men arrived about 4 o'clock a.m:, on the 16th instant, and with two black trackers, and a party of the settlers started on their track. About three miles from where the coach was attacked, they found the gold boxes cut open, and the contents gone. They also found the remains of a camp fire, and could track the foot marks of ten horses, I had the mail bags and letters picked up, and handed them over to the postmaster at Orange. I started for Orange with two of the escort next morning, and arrived about 7 o'clock p.m. the 16th instant, and as we entered the town, I heard the report of fire arms in the coach, and on inquiry was informed that constable Haviland was shot. I examined the arms, and found that the revolver he had in his charge had one chamber discharged. The bullet entered underneath his chin, killing him instantly. An inquest was held on Tuesday the 17th instant, and the jury returned a verdict came by his death as follows :-"Died from a bullet wound under the chin, but how received there was not sufficient evidence to show. The bushrangers were commanded by one man, who gave them orders to fire and load. I believe it to have been the voice of Gardiner, as I know his voice well. The bushrangers took two of the men's rifles, and three cloaks which remained in the coach after it was capsized, and they also cut open my carpet bag, taking from it two shirts, three pairs of socks. I cannot identify any of them with the exception of the voice I heard.

"JAMES CONDELL, Sargeant."

After the Escort Robbery, and as the Escort coach was leaving the Orange mail office a tragedy unfolded which saw Constable Haviland shot accidentally by a revolver Sgt Condell stated at the inquest; "I am sergeant of police, stationed in the Western district; was in charge of the gold escort from Forbes to Sydney; I started on Sunday last, the 15th instant; the deceased William Haviland was with me; he was a constable in the Western Escort; about 5 o'clock on Sunday evening, the escort was fired upon at Coobong, off of Mr. Clement's station, by a party of armed men; I was wounded as also senior constable Moran; the gold was taken from us; the deceased escaped unhurt; he was troubled in mind the whole of yesterday; he said he had several narrow escapes, and would not stop on the escort any longer; he was quite sober yesterday; he did not take any drink to my knowledge; we arrived in Orange about seven o'clock last night, and delivered the mail bags to the postmaster, when deceased got out of the coach at the post-office; he got in again, and we started for Mr. Dalton's inn, where we usually put up; on turning the corner at the Commercal Bank, I heard the report of firearms; I inquired where it came from, and was told deceased was shot; I was sitting on the box seat; the body was brought down here (Dalton's Inn); I saw the body removed from the coach; I saw that deceased was shot somewhere about the head; I searched him, and found his own revolver on his side in the sheath; I produce deceased's revolver and pouch as I took it from his side; the revolver is loaded in every chamber; I then searched the coach, and found the revolver produced lying in the bottom of it; I examined it and found one chamber discharged; it was senior constable Moran's revolver, and he being wounded could not wear it-could not keep his belt on; deceased only "appeared" distressed in his mind, but did not say anything; he spoke of his wife and children in Sydney, and said this was a very unfit life for him; there had been no dispute; he was a very quiet and well behaved man; you would not hear a word out of him daring the day; the utmost good feeling existed amongst us; the deceased appeared to be a delicate man, but he never complained; tha distance from where deceased was shot to Daltons Inn is very short; Constable Moran told me, before we came to Dalton's that deceased was dead; I sent for Dr. Warren, who, on seeing the body, pronounced the man dead; I found no property upon deceased's person, except one shilling, and a watch, which constable Moran claims as his property..."

In 1864, after waiting over two years, the ladies Margaret and Elizabeth Davis of whom Elizabeth was James Condell's betrothed arrived in NSW on the 28th January 1864, onboard the 'Sirocco', 1132 tons under the command of Captain Berriman, and shortly after it was reported that Elizabeth and James Condell married at Sydney.
The arrival of Margaret and Elizabeth Davis 1864.
James Condell would assist Insp Sir Frederick Pottinger in the pursuit of Frank Gardiner, John Gilbert, John O'Meally, Ben Hall and others.  Condell also handled local day-to-day police work in Forbes and the surrounding district. After many encounters with Ben Hall and the other gang members, wherein August 1864, Condell was attacked by Ben Hall as reported in the 'Bendigo Advertiser'; A party of police, under Sir F. Pottinger, encountered a bushranger, who fired at Sergeant Condell, near Wheogo, yesterday. A regular bush fight took place. A number of shots were exchanged. The police horses got bogged, and the bushranger escaped. The police are still on the track. Sgt Condell joined Insp Davidson and on the morning of 5th May 1865, participated in the killing of Ben Hall at Billabong Creek. At the inquest in to the shooting of Ben Hall, James Condell gave the following evidence; I am sergeant of police stationed at Forbes. On Saturday night last, 29th April, I started from Forbes, in company with Sub-inspector Davidson, four constables, and two trackers, in pursuit of the bushrangers—Hall, Gilbert, and Dunn. On the Thursday night following, we observed two horses hobbled in the bush. We watched the horses for about an hour. We then saw a man approach the horses and take the hobbles off, and lead them through the bush for about one hundred and fifty yards. He then hobbled the horses, and let them go. He afterwards proceeded into the scrub, and immediately afterwards we were in formed by the black tracker, Billy Dargan, that he heard him scraping on the ground, as if to make a place for a bed. Sub-inspector Davidson and myself then posted the men in a half-circle on one side, and Sub-inspector Davidson and myself proceeded to the opposite side. Myself, Mr Davidson, and the tracker crept about through the bush in search of his camp. Finding that we could not succeed in discovering the camp we resolved to watch the horses all night, and about six o'clock next morning I saw a man emerge from the scrub into a piece of open country, and walk in the direction of the two horses. When about midway from the camp to the horses, we started in pursuit, and ran about fifty yards before he observed us. He then looked up and saw us: he turned and ran from us. Sub inspector Davidson then called on him to Stand; he looked round and still kept running. Sub-Inspector Davidson then fired at him. Immediately afterwards I saw Hall jump; he still kept running. I then levelled, my rifle at him, covered him fall in the back, and fired. I believe the shot took effect between the shoulders. After this he rolled about, and when running appeared very weak. The tracker then fired with a double barrelled gun, and I believe hit the deceased. We called out for the men stationed on the opposite side. When he saw them emerge from the scrub, he turned and ran in another direction. The men all fired, and I believe most of the bullets hit him. Deceased then ran to a cluster of timber, laid hold of a sapling, and said, "I am wounded; I am dying." The men then fired again, and he immediately rolled over. He threw out his feet convulsively once or twice, and said, "I am dying; I am dying." We all then approached him, and found he was dead.

Sub-Inspector Davidson searched the body, and found £74 in notes, a gold watch, three revolvers capped and loaded, a powder flask with powder, two boxes percussion caps, a bag of bullets, and a quantity of wearing apparel. At his camp we found a saddle and bridle and a pair of blankets. We then packed his body on a saddle, and removed it to our camp, and then to Forbes. I have known the deceased for four years. About three years ago I escorted him as a prisoner to Orange, and saw him frequently afterwards. I identify the body of deceased as that, of Ben Hall. 

The death of Ben Hall saw Sergeant Condell promoted to Senior Sergeant.    

Ben Hall reward distribution 1865
The death of Ben Hall saw James Condell and Insp Davidson rewarded with £175 for Insp Davidson and £75 for James Condell. After Condell's promotion to Snr Sgt came a posting to Gundagai where he remained for some time. In 1874, Mrs Condell almost lost her life as reported in the 'The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser'; Mrs James Condell, on Sunday last, very narrowly escaped receiving serious, if not fatal, injuries. During the heavy thunder shower which fell in the afternoon Mrs Condell went to a chest of drawers in her bed-room for some article, and had just turned away to quit the ronm when a large mass of the heavy plastering of the ceiling came crashing down on the spot where she had a moment before been standing, portion of it, indeed, touching the skirt of her dress. Her escape may be considered providential; but she, or others, may be less fortunate on a future occasion, and unless the necessary repairs are promptly effected similar casualties are almost certain to happen. It is quite too bad that the members of our police force should be obliged to live in a leaky, uncomfortable, dangerous place, and to run the risk of sustaining accident or injuring their healths, because of the neglect of the department above mentioned. We trust the occurrence we have narrated will cause steps to be taken to place the police barracks in a sound and safe condition. Surely the authorities do not intend to wait until somee one is much hurt or killed before doing so.

In 1875, James Condell would be shot once more; this time by a woman's husband. It appears that although a married man of twenty years, Senior Sargeant Condell made improper advances to a Mrs Paine much against the ladies wishes, the result of which was a confrontation with the woman's husband which was of a deadly nature as William Paine who operated a butcher shop, whilst enraged over the advances to his wife, shot James Condell in the head, shoulder and arm and Condell in the act of fleeing the husband and whilst jumping a fence damaged his right ankle. A doctor was called and tended Condell's wounds which although not life-threatening would take five weeks to heal. The affair was a sensation in the town of Gundagai as William Paine was arrested for attempted murder.

The accused stood trial for the attack, but while in custody escaped  as reported below:

"The sergeant attributes that this savage assault is owing to an old grudge Paine was arrested, but he escaped from the lockup, and after a somewhat smart chase was recaptured. Dr McKillop is of opinion that the wounds are not fatal others surmise that, the green-eyed monster had something to do with it."

After all the evidence was presented a summary of the events was printed in the press; The Gundagai Shooting Case. — It will be in the recollection of our readers that a man named William Paine, residing at Gundagai, was committed for trial at the recent Circuit Court held at Wagga Wagga on two counts. First for having on the night of the 1st of July last discharged firearms at Senior Sergeant James Condell of the Gundagai police force, with intent to murder him. Second with having unlawfully wounded the same person. The case has been tried and the prisoner was acquitted of both charges. Mr Butler defended the accused, and submitted the Senior Sergeant to a rigid cross examination, touching some letters alleged to have been sent by him to prisoner's wife for improper purposes. The evidence of this officer of police in the witness-box was so highly unsatisfactory as to elicit a rebuke from the learned judge who presided at the Court. For the defence it was pleaded that the prisoner was justified in defending his wife from the attack of Condell, a view which the jury accepted. It is thought that Mr Condell is not a desirable person to retain in the police force, and readers should not be surprised if Mr Superintendent Singleton recommended his dismissal. Husbands can stand a great deal of annoyance, but the most exemplary of the class cannot be expected to behave quiescent, whilst his better bait was being subjected to brutal insults. It is to be hoped that this example will not be lost upon those gentlemen of licentious propensities, particularly married men, like Mr Senior Sergeant Condell of Gundagai. — Border Post. The jury retired and their verdict was reported:

"Mr Butler in an elaborate defence, contending that his client so far from showing intention to murder or do grievous bodily harm, simply and lawfully defended his wife and himself from outrage and aggression. The Crown Prosecutor answered, and his Honour summed up at length. The jury after retiring for about half an hour returned into Court and gave a verdict of not guilty on both counts of the indictment."

The consequences of this case forced James Condell to resign from the NSW Police service to which he had given honest and brave service to for over 15 yrs and who had been involved in the dangerous hunts for Ben Hall and Co.

Senior Sergeant Condell retired from the police force and was granted the post of Inspector of Conditional Purchases within the Forestry Department and at the age of 69 passed away as reported:(see article below.)

Although this eulogy states that James Condell was 63 evidence
points to this being incorrect.
Detective Constable Patrick Lyons

The definition of Bravery: the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening: Detective Patrick Lyons had bravery in spades, his commitment to his work as a detective in the NSW police as well as the formative years of the newly reorganised New South Wales police force was outstanding, during a period of Australian history where the juggernaut of bushranging festered in the NSW Western Districts and Goldfields. Patrick Lyons was one of the many policemen at the forefront of justice.
Patrick Lyons was born in County Mayo, Ireland in 1832, moving to Clonbervie, Kincardine, Scotland where he joined the constabulary and was initially stationed at Brailsford, Derbyshire, England. Whilst stationed at Brailsford, Lyons answered an advertisement calling for Police for the colony of NSW. Lyons duly applied and was accepted, arriving from England on-board the migrant ship 'Exodus', 1237 tons, under command of Capt Owen Evens with Osborne Johnson, the superintending surgeon. The 'Exodus' sailed from Liverpool 21st April 1855 to the Colony of NSW, arriving at Port Jackson on 26th July 1855.
Arrival per the Exodus

However, Lyons' arrival in Sydney was an inauspicious introduction to the colony, a result of which, the new constable became embroiled in a sensational court case brought by the government, when out of the 100 new police recruited, 42 of them refused to be sworn in as they were dissatisfied with their conditions of employment regarding their living arrangements for both married and single recruits, as prior to their departure from England they had been informed that suitable living conditions would be supplied. Therefore, the men held firm in their refusal to "be sworn in until the terms on which they were to serve were reduced to writing..." (See article right.) Furthermore, one of those men who had arrived onboard the Exodus, Mr Swyny, who was not a part of the group, including Lyons, dissatisfied with the conditions had been sworn in and was made a Sergeant. At the police court Swyny gave evidence in support of the disgruntled immigrant police, stated; "he distinctly swore that Mr. Hampden (Govenment agent in England) had promised him and others, that the single men would be provided with lodgings at 2s., and the married men with rooms at a corresponding rate..." 

However, Captain McLerie, then in charge of the recruitment took a hard line towards the reluctant signees and responded in an attempt to portray the men who had been holding out for the promised conditions as petulant by stating; "that the last lot of police who came out were under a similar impression to these men, but upon his (Captain McLerie's) pointing out the Government were erecting barracks for them, and those men had stuck to their work and had done their duty honestly and honourably like men, and were the most efficient they ever had in Sydney..." 
Following protracted court appearances the recruited officers stubbornness soon broke down into farce with threats of prosecution by John McLerie, against the men if they continued objecting to taking their oath of office as per the contracts they had entered into. The prospective police realised that once the oath was taken the ability for recourse to their conditions of employment could be lost. Under this threat, Patrick Lyons was one who stuck to his guns. This came to a head when on the 14th August the policemen from the Exodus had another hearing so; "that they might reconsider their conduct, and in the event of their persistence in refusing to take the oath of office, they will be committed..."

As the tussle between the recruits and government played out and to prevent any of the recalcitrant recruits from obtaining interim work the 42 prospective officers were blacklisted by the Government with an advertisement placed in the newspapers of the day; "cautioning anyone in the community of employing them..." including Patrick Lyons. (See article left.)     

To counter the efforts of the Inspector-General to prevent employment of the 42 officers they themselves place an advertisement seeking work.(see article right.) By the end of August 1855, four weeks after arrival a suitable arrangement was finally achieved that suited the majority of the 42 who then signed the oath and joined the NSW constabulary including Patrick Lyons. 

Patrick Lyons commenced his police duties and was stationed in Sydney and in 1859 was promoted to detective. Det. Lyons was soon involved in one of his first court cases when called as a witness in the case of insolvency against a Mr Camillo Valenti, an Italian. It was reported in the 'Sydney Morning Herald', 6th October 1859, where Bathurst magistrate, Dr Palmer, in evidence deposed that; "in consequence ot information received, he went to the last witness' house, and saw the bag opened in his presence; it contained the amount of money already stated £565; witness locked the bag, put his seal to it, and forwarded it to Sydney". Patrick Lyons, a detective officer in the Sydney police, deposed to having arrested the prisoner on the 20th May. When witness arrested him he said he did so on a charge of fraudulent insolvency. Prisoner replied he did not know what he (witness) arrested him for. The end of the trial his Honor summed up, and the jury, after a few minutes' consultation, found the prisoner guilty. In reply to the usual question the prisoner made a long statement, in which he endeavoured to show that he was innocent of the offence for which he had been convicted; but the greater part of it was unintelligible, owing to its being spoken in broken English. Valenti was then sentenced to be imprisoned in Parramatta gaol for the space of three years.

Kiandra late 1800's
In a short space of time Lyons was transferred to the new hot spot of unrest in the colony, the newly discovered gold field at Lambing Flat, 80 miles from Bathurst and where with the flood of Chinese miners the goldfield was simmering with unrest, from Lambing Flat, Lyons was sent to another lawless frontier, Kiandra in the Snowy Mountains. Lyons arrived in Kiandra at the end of October 1860 and went straight into action bringing law and order to the wilds of the Snowy region and the many goldfields springing up such as the ''Nine-Mile,'' ''The American Gully,'' "Rocky Plains,'' the ''River Bend,'' and other rushes. Lyons' was tough on any who crossed the line to lawlessness instigating a form of justice that was seen to be that predicated on not to taking a backward step, and on the 29th November 1860 made his presence felt at Kiandra when he was charged for 'Malicious Assault' against one James Dawes; 'Sydney Morning Herald'JAMES DAWES v P. LYONS -Plaintiff endeavoured to prove a ease of malicious assault committed by defendant, a detective in the police force, at Bond's Hotel, Kiandra. He called Bond as a witness, who materially disproved his assertions, saying that if Lyons had struck him with a 'Whip' he must have seen it. Case dismissed. 

Kiandra Mail Coach c. 1860's
Kiandra's crime was no different to the other parts of the western and southern districts of NSW, and Lyons was in the thick of it, arresting sheep stealers, petty thieves, highway robbers and resolving mining claim fights and even investigating a murder. At Lambing Flat tensions between European gold miners and the Celestials as the Chinese were referred to was coming to a head. Mining committees were formed for the eradication of the Celestials and as such Detective Lyons was returned to the Flat arriving on the 13th February 1861. Lyons' arrival was reported in the press, as stated;  Detective Lyons arrived from Kiandra last evening. The foot police have not yet arrived, although much wanted. The state of society is anything but safe. The rain has done much good.

Celestials Lambing Flat c. 1860
The Celestial question was causing great consternation amongst the miners and in the short term, some of the attacks by European miners upon the Chinese diggers was beyond the control of the police. This appeared in the press on the 16th February 1861; At present quietude reigns in reference to that particularly vexed question-ie. the quiet endurance, or the utter ejection of the pig tailed fraternity, alias John Chinamen. Yet is there ground for apprehension of far more serious disturbances than any which have yet been here witnessed, in the reports that are circulating, to the affect that these diggings are to be infested with these (to the European diggers) intolerable nuisances, to the number of five thousand, under trooper protection. Should such an over-riding of the wishes and interests of the whole of the digging community occur, then I fear that the consequences will be such as to cause universal regret, and leave the Government much to answer for. Doubtless, the Executive is in a dilemma, owing to the culpable apathy with which it and the preceding cabinets have sleepily tolerated the introduction into the colony, and the settlement upon the diggings of hordes of Tartars-aliens in every sence. But, assuredly, they will not find their way out of it by compulsorily imposing upon "white men" a further endurance of the pest. I would fain believe that so wilful a disregard of the peace and well-being of this populous community will not be manifested by either the Government or its subordinates.

The police were being overwhelmed with crime and as such crimes committed on the gold field were at times delt with by the miners themselves without police intervention as reported in the 'Empire' February 1861 as follows;  "the cry of "Help-murder," has resounded through the stillness of the night; then arose the cry of ''Roll up, roll up," " Hold him," and last, not least, of "Vigilance Committee, to the rescue;" then men were heard in the darkness of the night, running from all quarters; a pursuit was led off in the direction of which the stickers up, who had attempted to rob and to steal a horse from a young man, passing homeward,- had decamped. A neighbouring shantie was visited, where, by the lights, it was to be seen that some of the diggers had armed themselves with sticks, one or two carried firearms. The youth who had been attacked was bleeding from the mouth...",

A Goldfield c. 1860's
"one tent where there was a married man and his wife, was visited on account of some desperate and extensive robberies that, it was well known, had been committed by a ruffian who was harboured there. When the mob arrived a few of the number, who had picks and shovels with them, commenced digging a hole, which, from its shape and dimensions, gave indications that it was intended for a grave. The dismay of the guilty parties may well be imagined. One of the diggers who acted as spokesman appealed to the others whether the male offender did not deserve the punishment he was about to meet with. A cordial assent was given, and the work of sinking the grave was proceeded with. When it was ready to receive its victim, an appeal was made to save the husband on account of his wife, and after some consultation, a few spadesfull of earth were thrown into the grave as a token that the "burying alive" was then abandoned, but the hole was left unfilled in, as a warning that unless the parties got rid of the man they had been harbouring, the ground still remained prepared to receive the husband. These particulars have been furnished by a person on whose veracity we have every reason to rely. We do not for a moment suppose that the diggers ever intended to carry their threats to an extremity, but were desirous to instil into the minds of those who were harbouring thieves and vagabonds that their conduct was watched, and would not be tolerated...",

"the news was soon spread amongst the diggers, and, as is known already, it was not long before that as well as other harbours for thieves was soon levelled with the ground. The fact of one of these species of shanties having given shelter to vagabonds of this class, led to the demolition of all kindred buildings, and the work of destruction was carried on with good order, and even good humour..."

A Sly Grog shop.
With tensions rising the government sent an additional 50 troopers to the Flat, but the real scourge of the goldfield was the shanties and the desperate characters who haunted them providing non stop work for the detective force, this was reported in the Empire February 1861; Our police arrangements are somewhat on a scale with the amount of population. We have nearly fifty of the mounted patrol (but most of these are only temporarily located here); three active detectives in Messrs. Carnes, Scarlett, and Lyons; and I bear that Mr. Inspector Singleton, with a foot force of twelve men, is to arrive shortly. It has been semi-offically noticed that after Monday next (the 11th), the police will pounce on all persons selling liquor without a license. Of course, there will be a few conviction, but I think it will be utterly impossible to suppress the illegal disposal of grog. As on all other diggings, there are certain shanties that should be put down-not because drink is sold there, but because they are harbours for desperate characters, and the owners "put up" half the robberies and share the booty. All these excesses and vices die out in time; they thrive only so long as the diggings are novel and the population only partially set into work. As soon as the feverish excitement is over, everything becomes as orderly as is a town.

The work load for the detectives was enormous  and at times to achieve a court outcome evidence provided by the detectives including Lyons might be embelished slightly as in the case of three women charged by Lyons for stealing £15, the presiding magistrate was not convinced of the testimony of Lyons and stated on the 29th May 1861; "and on dismissing the witness (Lyons), the Chairman told him that he had grossly misconducted himself while giving his evidence, that he did not believe a word of what he had said, and that the manner in which he had given his testimony was discreditable to himself, and calculated to bring disgrace on the force of which he is a member...".

Detective Lyons next appears in court in Sydney at the Central Criminal Court Darlinghurst to give evidence against two men, Heron and Collins, charged with Assault with intent to Murder, at Lambing Flat. it was reported in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' on the 6th June 1861; The case was thus stated: Two persons named Andrews and Quinn were, on the night of the 20th February, proceeding from the township of Lambing Flat to a place in the locality-Blackguard Gully. Whilst on their way and at some short distance from Lambing Flat, they were overtaken by three men whom they had passed and spoken to. Some short time afterwards the same three men overtook Andrews and Quinn, and commenced upon them a murderous attack. They were beaten with sticks, knocked to the ground senseless, and lying in a pool of blood, and Quinn's scalp nearly torn off by the violence to which he had been subjected. Before the victims were quite sensless they perceived that the men by whom they were assaulted were looking round for a waterhole into which to throw them. Apparently they were lifeless, and must have been left by prisoners as dead men, as they could scarcely expect other results from such violence. The head of Quinn was so beaten that the scalp slipped off, and he was lying in a pool of blood. It was said that Quinn had been to some extent instrumental in suppressing sly grog selling, and hence might arise some enmity. The identity of prisoners would be proved in evidence. After the charges were read and the bulk of evidence provided, Detective Lyons was called, and stated; "l am a detective constable, and was stationed at Lambing Flat in February last, I was in company with inspector Carnes when Quinn and Andews were found; we went that mornirg to Blackguard Gully; I apprehended Heron and Collins; they were laying bed in a tent; on Heron's bed after taking them into custody, I found two pair of trousers, the legs of one pair covered with blood. On Collins's bed I found a poncho coat spotted with blood on the sleeves; there was also pair of boots also spotted with blood; I marked these things, and should know them again; where Quinn and Andrews were found I picked up several heavy sticks covered with blood; I think the blood marks were recent from their fresh appearence". The result was Guilty and the Judge summed up the case and passed sentence, as follows; His Honor said it was fortunate for prisoners that they had not been indicted for robbing and wounding, or with such a verdict they would have been liable to the penalty of death. But if ever there was a crime of abominable barbarity, short of taking away life, and which called for a heavy punishment, this was one. He felt ashamed that there should be such monsters in human shape. Scalping by New Zealanders or torturing by American savages, had the excuse of their want of civilised humanity; but even their victims suffered only in the heat of war or in the order of savage custom. But here was a man knocked down with a bludgeon, his scalp by unnumbered blows cut into strips, fingers smashed, and body bruised, probably for the sake of a few pounds. The punishmout which would he inflicted upon prisoners, he trusted, would be a terrible example to others. Prisoners were severally sentenced to fifteen years hard labour on the roads or other public Works of the colony.

Thursday 6th September 1861, a coach with government officials on board including the Inspector-General of Police, Captain Mclerie came to grief whilst crossing a rapidly flooding creek near the Yass township, the event was reported in the 'Illawarra Mercury' and the plight of the coach displays an episode of selfless bravery that nearly cost Detective Patrick Lyons his life, as stated; Misadventure of the Burrangong Coach.— On Friday evening last, while Messrs. Crane and Huberts coach was on its way into Yass, and in crossing Barber's Creek, which was very much swollen by the previous night's rain, the vehicle stuck fast in the centre, and the horses were carried off their feet. All the exertion of the coachman, who is a first-rate whip, assisted by the passengers, were unavailing to extricate the coach from its position, at that time so perilous to the passengers, among whom were Colonel Kempt, Captain Mclerie, Inspector-General of the Police, and the adjutant of the 12th Regiment. These three gentlemen managed to get over the Creek, but the vehicle still remained in its difficulty. The Colonel and party tramped it into Yass, crossing Junes Creek above their middle in water, On arriving in town, detective Scarlett and Lyons were apprised of the position in which the coach had been left, and immediately started with Devoy, of the other line of the Lambing Flat coaches, with four horses, for the purpose of extricating the vehicle if possible. On arriving at the Creek, detective Lyons attempted to cross it, but the horse on which he was mounted was carried many yards down by the flood, and turned over three times before it got out of the stream. Lyons had a narrow escape of drowning, and was struck on the side by one of the animal's hoof's. Ultimately a rope was passed to the vehicle and it was pulled out backwards by the united exertions of six horses. Of course the position of the coachman before the unexpected aid arrived, can be more easily imagined than described. The two police officers are deserving of much praise for their voluntary exertion in this affair. — Yass Courrier.

In November 1861, Detective Lyons' life as a Batchelor came to an end when he married a Miss Sarah J Marshall at St Marys Cathedral, Sydney. The start of the year 1862 saw the commencment of the reorganisation of the NSW Police Force with the introduction of the New Police Bill put before parliament at the end of 1861, with the following comment in the 'Queanbeyan Age and General Advertiser' 5th December 1861;"the prinicipal features of the new bill are, the centralisation of the whole force, under the direction of one head; the division of the colony into new and fewer districts; the organisation of mounted constabulary, in addition to the maintenance of an adequate foot force; and the officering of the whole by an inspector, sub-inspectors, and sergeants for each district. The cost of maintaining this force, and number of men employed; will be about the same as at present. It would be impossible, within the limits just, now, at our command, to show the full  advantages to be derived from the contemplated change;- but while we know that the proposed system of centralisation has worked well in other countries, we have every reason to believe in its adaptability to the requirements of our own. By its operations old abuses will be effectually checked, while it is scarcely possible that new ones at least of an equally objectionable character can be introduced. A glance will enable us to perceive the objects to be achieved by the formation of a strong body: of 'mounted' constablilary which properly equipped, will be some thing like a match for the villiains who now with impunity molest the peaceable traveller, rob the mails, and drive off the unprotected stock of the industrious settler. The bill presenting these advantages has passed its second reading in the Assembly..."

Promotion of Lyons.
Note; Edmund Parry who was killed
by Gilbert 1864.
The Police Regulation Act passed the NSW Parliament and from the 1st March 1862, all existing branches of the police force combined to create the NSW Police Force with former Army Captain, John McLerie as Inspector General of Police. A new rank structure was established and as a result, Detective Lyons was promoted to First Class Detective. the following extract is from the 'Goulburn Herald' 12th March 1862; LOCAL AND PROVINCIAL POLICE ARRANGEMENTS.-The old government Hue and Cry is now abolished, and instead we have a Police Gazette, similar to that published in the colony of Victoria, It is issued every Wednesday and forwarded to all the police stations in New South Wales, and to the principal police stations in the adjcent colonies, and is compiled by the inspector of the detective force and published at the office of the inspector-general. The first number was published on Wednesday. By it it will be found that the colony is divided into nine police districts. The metropolitan district is sub-divided into four divisions, A, B, C, and D, and consists of the metropolis and neighborhood; this is under the control of the inspector-general, with sub-inspectors Read and Black. The south-eastern district or F division include Goulburn, Yass, Gundagi. Tumit, Binalong, and portons of Albury and Wagga Wngga superintendent, H. Zouch; inspector, E. M. Battye sub-inspector, W. Blenon. The western district, or H division, comprises Bathurst, Orange, Molong, Wellington, Dubbo, Carcoar, Mudgee, and Rylstone: superintendent, E. Morrisset; inspector, Sir F. W. Pottinger; sub-inspectors; J. I. Bruyeres and T. Hogg. The detective force is divided into first and second class detectives. Mr. C. I. Harrison is sub-inspector of detectives; Carnes., Camphin, Scott, Lyons, Scarlett, and Downham belong to the first class; and Elliott, Clarke, Roiston, Swainston, Mc Martin, and Sanderson to the second class.

Frank Gardiner, was at this time making his presence felt around the Lambing Flat area and was not short of recruits for the enterprise of bushranging and on the 10th March 1862 in company with John Gilbert, John O'Meally and Tom MaGuinness robbed two shopkeepers of over £1700 and brought the gold field into a state of panic over their monetary safety. Within days of the attack on the shopkeepers three of Gardiner's neophytes were encountered at a shanty known as Brewers and Detective Lyons and two other police officers were escorting prisoners by coach when they were confronted by three known bushrangers one of which was Gardiner's close mate and lieutenant, John Davis, a brief account of the police action follows as well as the bravery of Lyons, as Lyons stared down the barrel of Davis' revolver as the gunfight erupted, taken from the 'Sydney Morning Herald' 12th April 1862; 

LAMBING FLAT. Friday, 11th April 1862,

Sergeant Saunderson with detectives Lyons and Kennedy, left the Lachlan in charge of three prisoners by the coach for Lambing Flat yesterday. On reaching Brewer's Shanty three horsemen with two led horses were observed. The horsemen on seeing the coach bolted, and were followed by the detectives on foot. Suddenly they faced about, went round the coach, and drawing their revolvers, opened fire on the police. Two of the horsemen bolted, but the third, Davis, stood his ground and received four shots from detective Lyons, all of which took effect-one in his thigh, one in his wrist, and the other two in his hand. Davis fell and was immediately pounced upon by detective Lyons, who had already had his right fore-finger cut in two by a shot from Davis' revolver. On the fall of Davis the prisoners assisted in securing him, and he was brought to Brewer's shanty. Mrs. Brewer received a random shot in the cheek, but is not seriously injured.

The horse of the captured bushranger was taken, together with the two led horses, and brought to the camp at Lambing Flat, Davis and his two companions, who galloped away when the firing commenced, are supposed to be three of the men who accompanied Gardiner on Tuesday when they stuck up Mr. Pring at the Crowther Station, and afterwards Croaker's Station. At the former place Gardiner, with seven accomplices, stuck up Mr. Pring's servants. One of the bushrangers played the piano while the rest danced and drank brandy and water at Mr. Pring's expense. At Mr. Croaker's station one of the bushrangers played a concertina, and sang " Ever of thee"  to the host. Sergeant Smith and five troopers are out in chase of the robbers, with a fair chance of capturing them. It is to be regretted that Captain Battye's black trackers have not yet arrived, otherwise the bushrangers might have been followed to their den.

Superintendent Charles Allen Sanderson

He was born in 1822, in the City of London, close to Temple Bar. In June 1848, he joined the London police under Sir Richard Mayne, as a plain-clothes officer at the time of the Chartist Riots, a time of civil unrest, culminating in a massive rally in Kensington Park London. Superintendent Sanderson was on duty during the occasion of the Duke of Wellington's funeral in 1852, when the Duke of Wellington was carried through the streets of London on the same funeral car used for Lord Nelson years before and Churchill over a century later. 

Charles Sanderson and his wife Susan arrival.
His first position was as a Constable and was posted to Kiandra. When the riots broke out at Lambing Flat (now Young) he was ordered there with other police including Detective Lyons. Shortly afterwards riots occurred at Forbes, and he helped to quell them. Sanderson was described as; "a policeman to the core, by training and temperament, he was one of the most reliable officers in the force, steadfast in his duty, the scourge of criminals, as brave as a bulldog, and completely lacking in imagination, as a good policeman should be. There was need of men like Sanderson to steady the police force at a time when constables were hard to recruit and harder to keep - for who would be a policeman at 5s. 6d. a day when fortunes were being made by diggers from the golden gravel? Dozens of constables had deserted their posts during the decade of golden glory. The substitutes, hastily recruited to cope with the ever-expanding population and increase of crime, were seldom satisfactory. Many a constable was dismissed for drunkenness and other vices. A policeman's lot was "not a happy one" in New South Wales ..."

Lambing Flat riots 1861
On the 15th August 1862, Sanderson was promoted from Sergeant to Sub Inspector after his success during the reign of Frank Gardiner and his comrades, and other bushrangers. Sub Inspector Sanderson played a prominent part, his police work helping in no small degree to rid the country of these desperadoes. In the Eugowra gold escort robbery on June 15, 1862, in which Gardiner and Gilbert and six others including Ben Hall were concerned, Sergeant Sanderson recovered the 1289oz of gold stolen from the coach and was involved in the capture of four of the bushrangers. It was noted in the 'Sydney Mail' June 1862 of the great efforts and duty to the Colony of Sanderson; Senior Sergeant Sanderson. — This officer, who has distinguished himself in recovering one-half of the gold taken from the Lachlan Escort, arrived in this colony as a volunteer from the Loudon police, by the "Bangalore", and shortly after commencing duty in Sydney as & police constable, was promoted by Captain M'Lerie for his general intelligence and efficiency to the rank of acting-sergeant, subsequently to sergeant, and then inspector of the Sydney police, under the former system. On the rush to Kianda, he was detached by the Inspector-General to that place, in charge of the police force sent there, and from Kiandra to the Lambing Flat gold-fields, on the rush taking place there. On the discovery of gold at the Lachlan, he was removed from Lambing Flat to that place, and his whole career, as an officer of police in this colony, has been such as to gain for him the confidence of his superiors and the public, and this last act of duty will no doubt entitle him to a recommendation to the Government for further promotion in the service.
February 1863 Sub Inspector Sanderson gave evidence at the Special Crimminal Commission and recounted his efforts in tracking the villains, this is that account;“on the Thursday morning following he robbery I was near the Wheogo Mountains, on my search; I was near to the house of a man named Hall; McGuire’s house was about 300 or 400 yards from Hall's house; I went to Hall's house ; I wanted to see one of the Hall's; he was not in; I went on towards McGuire’s house; as I went I saw a horseman coming towards me from the Wheoga Mountains, in the direction of Hall's or McGuire’s house; when be caught sight of me he turned round and bolted into the mountains; I followed him with my party; by the aid of our black tracker we got on the tracks; we followed him by roundabout course up to the top of the Wheogo Mountain; the top of the mountain was about a mile and a half from McGuire’s place; at the top of the mountain I found the remnants of a camp; there were sixteen empty bottles; some contained remnants of port wine, some of gin, some of rum, some of ale; there were biscuits about and tea with milk in it; I did not see how the robbers could have got milk on the spot without going to the stations round about; there were remnants of beef, bits of bread! pieces of green hide tied to bushes, and bits of red tape; I found the lop of the hill very stony, end consequently very difficult to keep the track; we lost it for a time; in about a quarter of an hour it was found by the black tracker,and we proceeded on it a distance of about twenty or twenty-six miles, through a dense scrub; the black tracker rode a white horse; as far as I could judge the man who evaded me at the foot of the Wheogo Mountain rode a bright bay horse; we found the track of several horses; I could not say how many; one of them was shod; we followed in these tracks about twenty-five miles; when we came upon a shod horse with a pack on his back; the pack contained a bag with 1239 ounces of gold, a bag similar to that which I saw put into the escort which started on Sunday, l5th June, from Forbes...”
Promotion following recovery
of the Gold from the Eugowra
NSW Police Gazette.
A year later, when the mailman (Crotty by name) who carried the mails between Marengo and Lambing Flat was shot by a Frenchman named Robardie, he tracked the latter for 300 miles, and arrested him at Forbes where Charles Robardy and Auguste Rivet were placed in the dock, charged with the wilful murder of Daniel Crotty, the Marengo mailman, on or about the 16th of August 1862. Charles Sanderson, being duly sworn, stated; "I am sub inspector of police stationed in Forbes ; I arrested the prisoner Robardy at the Harp of Erin Hotel, Rankin street, Forbes, on suspicion of being implicated in the murder of Daniel Crotty, on the 16th August last ; he gave his name as Henry Charles Robardy, and denied ever having been on Lambing Flat; the following morning he admitted he had been on the Flat; I arrested prisoner on the 11th of last month". After the apprehension, Crotty's body had to be exhumed for a postmortem to be carried out as reported in the 'Sydney Mail'The Murder of Crotty, the Mailman. — On Saturday morning, Dr. Wilkinson, of this township, went to Burrowa, pursuant to instructions from headquarters, to exhume the body of Daniel Crotty, Marengo mailman, who is supposed to have been murdered by two men on the Burrowa road, about five weeks ago. The dootor had a most disgusting duty to perform. He appears, nevertheless, to have performed it with skill, and most succesfully, for he discovered that the man had been shot, and that the ball had entered one of the temporal bones drilling it without fracturing or smashing it, and afterwards passed through the occiput, which it had splintered in a dreadful manner. The man must have been on his knees when the muzzle of the pistol was held to his temple and discharged, for the ball passed downwards, and is doubtless lodged in the earth. That the poor man was brutally murdered there can be no doubt, and the evidence of the doctor will be conclusive. Yet we should recommend a search in the earth for the ball, as it must lie near where the body was found. It cannot be far below the surface, as from the fracture of the ocoipital bone, it is evident that the bullet had nearly split itself before passing through the head. It is a matter of wonder to us that the coroner of the district of Burrowa did not hold an inquest, as he was in July bound to do, at the proper time. By his neglect the ends of justice might have been completely defeated, and the murderers allowed to escape. To say the least of it, it appears inconsistant to bury a man as if he had been accidentally killed, and treat his body accordingly, and then apprehend two men on the charge of murdering him.-Burrangong Courier, October 1, 1862.  Robardy would be hanged for the murder; THE MURDER OF THE MARENGO MAILMAN. - The Government have fixed the 13th of May for the execution of Charles Robardy, who was sentenced to death at the late assizes at Goulburn, for the murder of the Marengo mailman. It is a singular coincidence that the prisoner's birthday should have been fixed for his execution; Charles Robardy, the murderer of Daniel Crotty, was hung in Goulburn gaol on Wednesday morning last. The unhappy man displayed much firmness and resignation. 16 May, 1863.

As with a lot of the police on the hunt for Ben Hall, Sanderson also felt the frustration of the police's position as to the lack of willing help from the locals in forwarding information that may help curb the bushrangers. In June his frustration came to a head when drunkenly he attacked an accommodation house of a Margaret Allport in Forbes, the court case is as follows taken from the 'Empire' 1 July 1863; 

Supt. C. A. Sanderson
c. 1896.
The 'Lachlan Miner' of June 24 gives us a rather amusing account of inspector Sanderson. It appears the gallant inspector was charged before the Police Magistrate with going to the house of one Margaret Allport, drunk and threatening to burn it down. He first said, he was a bushranger, Ben Hall, then O'Mealley; he broke in the door, smashed some crockery and then made a tour of inspection through the sleeping rooms, dragged one man out of bed by the hair, &c. The bench, however, did not believe that Mr Sanderson intended to burn the house, and decided that the action was stale from effluxion of time, as three weeks had elapsed, and concluded by this remarkable observation — "The police had a very onerous duty to perform, and, in carrying out their instructions, did no doubt at times bring about some in convenience. The defendant paid for the crockery..." If the onerous duty of the police consists in following Sanderson's example we think the sooner they are relieved of it the better. The bench made an order for 13s, the amount of the damage; and 8s 6d, the costs of court. 

Despite his court infraction, Charles Sanderson rapidly rose through the ranks to the position of first-class superintendent, an office he held for 20 years. In 1878 he was ordered to Narrabri to form a new district out of portions of the Tamworth and Bourke districts, and after remaining there four and a half years he relieved Superintendent Garland at Tamworth. Fourteen months later he succeeded Superintendent Morrissett at Maitland, and in 1884 he came to Bathurst, where he succeeded Superintendent Lydiard. He had been out of Sydney for 40 years and received “marching orders” 15 times. He had served under three officers, Captains Mayne and M'lerie, and Inspector-General Fosbery. His district takes in from Penrith to as far west as Coonamble and Quambone, and he had five inspectors working the different portions of the district, namely, at Dubbo, Orange, Forbes, Mudgee, and Bathurst. Superintendent Sanderson, retired from the police force of New South Wales in 1902, as one of the oldest officers in the service, his career extending over a period of 54 years.

Superintendent Charles Allen Sanderson, died at his home in Ashfield, on Saturday 4th of January 1919. He was 96.

 Edward Montagu Battye
Captain Edward Montagu Battye

Captain Battye passed away on the 12th of July 1898, is life was one of position and adventure, below is Captain Battye's obituary published in the 'Sydney Mail' on the 23rd of July 1893;

One of the few remaining links binding us with the past history of the colony was severed on Tuesday the 12th instant, with the passing away of Captain Edward Montagu Battye, who had closely identified himself with the early period of this colony's doing. The venerable gentleman died at his late residence, Cliff Villa, Arthur-street, North Sydney at the ripe old age of 82 years, after a long illness. Captain Battye was the son of Mr George Battye, of Campden Hill, Kensington, London, and was born in March 1817. He was educated at Wandsworth and Brighton, and while at the latter place studied under the same tutor as Prince George of Cambridge, with whom a friendship existed into later life. At the early age of 15 he entered the Royal Household as a page to Queen Adelaide, with whom he was a great favourite, and in which service he remained until, manifesting a desire for a military life, he obtained his first commission. He had many pleasant memories and tokens of his association with Queen Adelaide and William IV., amongst the latter being a silver tablet book with which the Queen presented him to refresh a short memory. Another was a pension of £100 a year, which he enjoyed up to the time of his death. His first commission was in the 18th Lancers, where he remained until 1835 when he joined the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusileers, in which regiment he rose to the rank of captain. It 1837 he sailed for Canada under Colonel Harrison, and on arrival in that country, he was selected to fill the post of staff drill adjutant of all local corps, which included five battalions, the post being no sinecure. Subsequently, he took part in the Canadian rebellion as aide-de-camp to Sir William Williams. In 1840 he married the daughter of Captain Walford, of the 64th Regiment at Halifax, in which year he got his company. Finally, he came to New South Wales as aide-de-camp to his uncle, General Wynyard. Almost on arrival, owing to the absence of Colonel Munday, he was appointed Adjutant-General, which position he held until the return of the colonel.

Arrival with family,
 note spelling

In 1851 the gold diggings broke out, for the time being disorganising the entire social life of the country, and in June of that year Captain Battye, with Mr J. R. Hardy, was sent for by the then Governor, with a view to the entire reorganisation of the police force. Mr Hardy was appointed Chief Commissioner and Captain Battye was entrusted with the task of forming a corps of mounted men to act on gold escort duty and patrol service, with headquarters at Parramatta, in which service he had many thrilling adventures. In 1855 we next find him at Bathurst, and as about that time the entire control became too great for one officer, Captain Zouch was placed in command of the southern patrol. At Bathurst, Captain Battye was appointed a superintendent of the western patrol. The outbreak of gold mining on the famous Turon fields found him in turbulent times, and both then and later conflicts with the bushrangers who infested the country rendered his life one of great activity. In the year 1862, when the new police system was introduced, Captain Battye was appointed Inspector of Police at Young, better known as Lambing Flat, where he was stationed during the worst of the bushranging times, his presence ensuring the enjoyment of immunity from their depredations. He was instrumental in the capture of the robbers of the Hartley and Mudgee mail, and was made the recipient of a testimonial, of a practical nature, from the management of the Bank of New Wales, as a token of the bank's appreciation of his serves in securing the robbers and the recovery of upwards of £500 in notes, besides other valuable property. Subsequently, he was appointed Superintendent of the Cooma and Monaro district, from which he was promoted to the superintendence of the Murray district, with headquarters at Albury, at which post he remained until the year 1893 when he was superannuated on a pension.

In 1890 he celebrated his golden, wedding, and at the hands of the Mayor and residents of Albury, Mrs Battye was presented with a diamond ring and the popular captain with an illuminated address of congratulation, also a purse of sovereigns, to mark the occasion. For the last four years, the deceased officer was a resident of North Sydney, where he resided with his family in quiet retirement. The story of the Battye family for the last two generations furnishes a story of military pluck and achievement difficult to surpass. The earlier generation was represented by Captain Edward Montagu Battye the subject of this sketch; George Wynyard Battye, Montagu John Battye, and Colonel Arthur Battye, Captain Battye at the time of his death being the last of the generation. He leaves a widow and several sons, daughters, and grandchildren, besides a large circle of friends. His burial took place on Wednesday, the 13th instant, a St. Thomas' Church of England cemetery, North Sydney, and was largely attended, amongst those present besides the relatives of the deceased being the Inspector-General of Police (Mr. E. Fosbery) and many police officers of long standing, some of whom were comrades of the venerable officer and who assembled to pay the last tribute of respect to one who was held in universal esteem and affection. The cortege was preceded by the band of the New South Wales Police, under Bandmaster Hutchinson, and played the Dead March in 'Saul' aud the 'Funeral March,' rendering the sad and solemn function doubly impressive.

Superintendent Henry Zouch (1811-1883)

Henry Zouch, soldier, pastoralist, gold commissioner and superintendent of police, was born on 18 August 1811 at Quebec, Canada, eldest son of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Zouch (d.1818), 10th Royal Veteran Battalion, and his second wife Ann, née Ritchie. Educated in 1826-28 at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he was commissioned ensign, by purchase, in the 4th (King's Own) Regiment on 10 November 1829 and reached Sydney in the ship Asia on 2 December 1831. He was promoted lieutenant on 1 July 1833 and, from 1 October next year, he commanded the first division of the Mounted Police at Bathurst.

In 1835 with a party of troopers Zouch established that the botanist Richard Cunningham had been murdered by Aboriginals. He was appointed a magistrate on 7 October 1835; at Holy Trinity Church, Kelso near Bathurst, on 29 December 1836 he married Maria (d.1885), youngest daughter of Captain Richard Brooks. He was involved in business dealings with his friend Captain John Piper, who had lent his home, Alloway Bank, for Zouch's wedding reception. In 1837 his regiment was posted to India and he sold his commission and retired from the police. Next year he bought land on the Bell River near Wellington but lived at his wife's house, Ashby, at Bungendore near Lake George in the 1840s. A great horseman, he reputedly spent much of his time breeding and racing horses.

In 1851-53 Zouch was an assistant commissioner of crown lands for the gold districts, based on the Lower Turon. His prudent administration of the hated Goldfields Management Act contributed much towards the public peace. He returned to Goulburn in 1853 when appointed a superintendent of police, Mounted Patrol, southern districts, including the Gundagai and Braidwood gold escorts. He coped fearlessly with the anti-Chinese riots at Lambing Flat in 1860 and 1861. On 30 June, when the miners tried to storm the police quarters to release three arrested men, Zouch ordered his troopers to charge and in the mêlée, one miner was killed and many injured. That night he ordered the withdrawal of the commissioners and police to Yass to avoid further bloodshed.

In March 1862, under the new Police Regulation Act, Zouch was appointed a superintendent of police for the south-eastern district at a salary of £500. In the next three years bushrangers, especially Ben Hall's gang, were active in his region; but, through his discretion, courage and horsemanship, Zouch won praise in parliament, at a time when the police were proving generally ineffective. Gentlemanly and quiet in manner, he was one of the most efficient officers in the public service. He was an early member of the Australian Club, founding president of the Goulburn Rifle Club in 1865 and a member of the local Public School Board.

Once when Captain Zouch was at home in the early hours of the morning a messenger named Richards, a coach driver for Cobb & Co appeared at his door with a most important letter, Mr Richards stated;


Mr. Richards told how he saved a woman from the gallows at Goulburn. He had an official letter to deliver to Captain Zouch, who was head of the police at Goulburn. Captain Zouch, who lived two miles from the gaol, told him to wait while he read the contents of the letter.

"He was in his pyjamas," said Mr. Richards, "for it was early in the morning. On that day a woman was to be hanged for the murder of her husband. When he read the letter, Captain Zouch shouted to me to drive as fast as I could to the gaol, for the letter I had delivered was a reprieve for the condemned woman.

"Not walting to dress, he Jumped into the cart. When we reached the gaol, we had only three minutes to spare. The cap was already on the woman's head."I never saw anyone look so pleased as she when she was told of the reprieve."

Zouch died of sunstroke on 28 October 1883 at Goulburn, where he was buried with Anglican rites. He was survived by his wife, four sons and three daughters. His personal property was valued for probate at £4057.©: Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Police Trooper c 1862
(representation only of 
Constable William Haviland. (1827 - 1862)
The first Policeman killed on duty under the New Police Act 1862.
William Haviland was born in September 1827, at St Nicholas, Gloucestershire, England. Haviland joined the Royal Artillery where he served for twelve months enlisting in 1847 at the aged of 20 and was discharged in the same year 1847, Haviland's discharge reason stated: Reduction of Establishment. In February 1858, William Haviland married Sarah Heale (Heal) at St Nicholas Anglican Church, Winsley, Wiltshire, England. Together they travelled to NSW, arriving on the 'Oliver Jordan' at Port Jackson on the 1st July 1858, having sailed from London on the 30th April 1858. The 'Oliver Jordan' was a merchant ship of 1098 tons of American origin under the command of James Frost with Dr. Mackeller ships surgeon.

Haviland Arrival 1858. Note James Moyes.
The 'Oliver Jordan' whilst laying at Macnamara's Wharf, Darling Harbour unloading cargo and having disembarked the Havilands, suffered a murder onboard when William A. Alden, a young man, of 24 years of age, an American, born in Augustus, in the State of Maine and was the ships chief officer, was knifed in the throat twice by James Moyes, a seaman, 27 years of age, a native of Lowestoft in Suffolk, England, although it was reported that his speech betrayed a long residence in America. Moyes, who after the stabbing lept over the side of the ship yelling,"there were plenty had swung before me, and I could swing as well as any of them...". Moyes was quickly captured by the crew of the ship, after Moyes trial, the sentence of death was passed in the usual form and James Moyes was executed on  September 7, 1858.

A military background soon found Haviland employment in the NSW Police as street patrol constable based in Parramatta. Before long The Havilands were the parents of two girls Ellen and Laura and with the new police act coming into force in March 1862, Haviland was assigned to the Gold Escort, as the pay for a family man was higher than an ordinary trooper at £130 per annum.

On Sunday 14th June 1862, Constable Haviland was at Forbes preparing the latest shipment of Gold to be transported to Bathurst under the supervision of Sergeant Condell. Completion of the loading, the coach departed Forbes at midday for the trip to Bathurst via Eugowra and Orange, onboard was Senior Constable Moran who had brought the coach from Sydney to Forbes and was returning with the Gold and Constable Haviland, both were seated inside the coach with Sergeant Condell seated on the box next to the 'Whip' John Fagan. As the escort coach approached a large set of boulders some three miles out from the Eugowra township, the 'Whip' Fagan slowed the four in hand down to negotiate two drays which had been placed as an obstacle across the track when suddenly the call of 'Fire' reverberated through the air followed by a volley of lead shattering the coach and wounding Condell and Moran, the following is a summary of the attack on the troopers from the 'Empire' dated the 24th June 1862;

A Gold Escort.
Artist unkown.
"The escort left Forbes on Sunday morning, under the immediate charge of sergeant Condell, seated on the box alongside the driver, Mr Fagan; the remainder of the escort, three men, were seated in the body of the coach; their names, were senior constable Moran, constable Haviland. The treasure consisted of 2719 ounces of gold, and £3700 in cash; there were also the usual mails, which were heavy. The escort proceeded on its way without any unusual occurrence to warn them of impending danger; at about half past 4 o'clock, on arriving at Coobong, a distance of 27 miles from Forbes, and immediately in the vicinity of Mr Clement's station, two teams were observed in the road way no uncommon circumstance. As the coach drew near, it became evident there was but one passage, and that between the obstructing teams, and a mass of broken, perpendicular rocks, overhanging the narrow passage; the peculiarity of the situation never for a moment excited suspicion, but the driver brought his horses in to a walk, in order to steer between the drays and the rocks. The coach at this time lay in such a position as that a party under cover of the rocks might pour a destructive fire upon the escort, with impunity; in an instant, six men dressed in red serge shirts, and red nightcaps, with faces blacked, showed themselves from behind a breast-work of rock, and at the word "fire," delivered their bullets with but too much precision. The sergeant was wounded in the side, the driver's hat was perforated with a bullet, senior constable Moran was wounded in the groin; and, as was quite natural, the escort were unnerved at the unexpectedness of the attack. No sooner had the six bushrangers delivered their fire, than they fell back with military precision, and were replaced by five or six others, who delivered their fire, and fell back in turn. The two volleys were the work of an instant. Never was more truly verified the saying that "Every bullet has its billet" for the clothes of the escort were perforated in several places -in the arm, in the legs, and in the side, but the men themselves escaped with comparatively trifling flesh wounds. Sergeant Condell states that he was knocked off the box at the first volley; Mr Fagan jumped off and held the reins, whilst the horses walked on slowly. Corporal Moran and Constable Haviland discharged their carbines at the bushrangers; as for the third constable, nothing appears to be known about him. Senior Sergeant Moran, after discharging his carbine, called upon his comrades to "man their revolvers," when they again exchanged shots with the bushrangers. It would appear that at this point the bushrangers fired at the horses and wounded one of them in the leg, which caused them to bolt. Constable Moran was thrown out upon his back and much injured; and the horses ran in among a lot of broken rocks upsetting the coach. Mean while the bushrangers kept up their fire, when, seeing the coach capsized, they began to cheer and rushed down pell mell to secure their booty. Mr Fagan, who appears to have been much exposed, called out to the ruffians not to shoot him for God's sake; but they took no heed of his cries, and it is probable that but for the fortunate circumstance of the horses bolting every man in the escort would have been ruthlessly murdered. The escort by this time became scattered, and the law of self-preservation came into operation, for every man sought cover from the fire; and just about dark the party re-assembled at Clement's station..."

Mr Clements provided first aid to the wounded troopers then commenced the ride to Forbes to raise the alarm. The Empire newspaper continues; "Mr Clements accomplished the distance-27 miles-on a dark night in three and a half hours; the camp authorities were called up, and Sir Frederick Pottinger with eleven troopers, a couple of black trackers, and a number of volunteers, arrived at the scene of the attack at 3 o'clock on Monday morning Sir Frederick at once ran the traces of the bushrangers down, and shortly after day-light succeeded in finding their camp, some three miles off the road, and at the other side of a lofty ridge. The fire was still in and rag ends of the red shirts worn by the bushrangers on the previous evening were found amongst the embers-thus indicating that they wished to destroy every trace of identity. The empty, gold boxes were found, as also the mail bags with numbers of letters gutted or torn into fragments. Singular to relate, the registered letters had not been touched. The luggage belonging to the escort had been broken open and searched. Gardiner and his "honourable" men are not given to literature during their leisure, for they did not interfere with the newspapers. The result of the robbery may be briefly summed up. All the gold, 2719 ounces, was taken, and, with it, the whole of the cash, £3700. The empty gold boxes, and the letters and newspapers, after being gathered up in a general medley, were brought to Mr Clement's station, and placed in the coach, which, with two of the horses, had been recovered.

The troopers fell across the owners of the bullock teams, who had been stuck up by the bushrangers. The unfortunate men state that they had been made to lie upon the ground, face downwards, for several hours; and that whilst the firing was going on between the bushrangers and escort, they were exposed to the bullets. After urgent entreaty, they were removed from this perilous position by the bushrangers...".

Sgt Condell
After spending the night at Clements station and with the recovery of the coach the troopers set off on the continuation of their journey minus the gold and cash, whilst preparing to depart Clements, Halivand had told Sergeant Condell that "he had several narrow escapes, and would not stop on the escort any longer", Condell had noticed that Haviland had become troubled over the attack. However, as the coach continued Haviland in a conversation with constable Moran stated, "he would not come on the escort any more unless there was a mounted party along with us", another passenger, Mr Henry Boynton, who had joined the coach at Clements station stated that in conversation with Haviland, he appeared very chatty and said to Boynton, "he would probably live 100 years or so as he had so many narrow escapes". The escort coach arrived without trouble at Orange and stopped at about seven o'clock that evening, delivering the recovered mailbags to the postmaster and where Haviland had got out of the coach at the post-office and carried in the mail bags then returned to the coach which started on for Mr. Dalton's 'The Daniel O'Connell Inn', Byne St, Orange where the police usually stayed the night. 'The Empire' newspaper reported the subsequent events that saw Constable Haviland become the first Police Officer killed on duty under the new police act of 1862 and relates in transcripts from Havilands Inquest, the tragic events; Constable Moran- "I and a lady and the other male passenger were sitting with our backs towards the driver; the female passenger was sitting in the middle; we heard the report of a revolver after leaving the Orange Post-office; the female passenger exclaimed “My God the man is shot!” Haviland was sitting at the back of the coach opposite me; I said “No! It can’t be!” I saw the flash from the revolver in a line with deceased’s chest; the female put her hand over first; I then put out my hand and felt the blood pouring down quite warm; I said, “he is shot in the stomach”; the coach was going on all the time; I said it might be from the sergeant’s rifle; he said “no it could not be”’ in reply to a question from the sergeant I said deceased was shot; in the coach there was my revolver, and a revolver case empty." Ellen Chandler, passenger stated; "When we arrived in Orange, I saw the flash an heard a shot; I imagined I saw blood flow from deceased; he was sitting on the opposite seat to me; saw him falling forward; I put my hand out to prevent it; I kept him up with the assistance of another passenger, until we arrived here; never saw any other arm with deceased except the revolver he wore at his side." Henry Boynton stated; "On coming round the last corner before we arrived here I heard the report of a pistol; my first impression was that the report came from the outside of the coach-very close the coach; I then saw Havilands head incline forward, and I thought he was looking out see where the report came from; soon after I saw his body incline forward; I caught him by the coat-collar and called out to the driver that Haviland was shot; I was sitting in the near hind corner and he was sitting on the off hind corner of the coach; I held Haviland up until I arrived here; Haviland was dead. On arriving here we lifted from the coach; the coach had previously pulled up at the Orange post-office."

Senior Constable Moran was recalled to clarify the position of the revolver and stated;"I saw the deceased put my revolver and belt and case into the coach under his seat. The button on the revolver case was a very bad one".

James Dalton

William Haviland's body was taken into the Inn and placed on a couch in the verandah room where Dr Warren was sent for and stated; "Last night, about seven o'clock, I was sent for to see the deceased. Arriving at Dalton's Inn, I found him lying on the bed in the verandah room, with blood running out of his mouth and out of a wound in his neck; he was quite dead; this morning I traced the course of the bullet—it entered the throat below the chin—just above pomum Admni: its course was backward and slightly upward—passing through the larynx and through the pharynx back into the spine at the junction of the skull; I believe the immediate cause of death was effusion of blood into the windpipe; the wound would cause almost, instant death". At the inquest the circumstances of William Haviland's death revelled that as the coach rounded the corner of the Commercial Bank, Senior Constable Morans revolver which had been placed on the floor of the coach, discharged, firing upwards and into the head of Haviland killing him instantly. The Coroner returned an open verdict:—"That deceased came by his death through a wound indicted by a shot from a revolver; but how the revolver was discharged there was no evidence to show."

Mrs Haviland received a gratuity from the police force of £100, and in later life would remarry.

Memorial plaque commemorates the 150th anniversary of the death of Constable William Haviland. The plaque coincides with the 150th anniversary of NSW Police. Photo by Stephen Woods

CAPTAIN McLERIE. (1809-1874)

THE mortality amongst old colonists has been fearfully great this year, and many well known forms and old familiar faces we greeted a twelvemonth ago have departed for ever from amongst us. Prominent amongst the names of those lately deceased is that of Captain M'Lerie, Inspector General of Police for this colony since 1857. He expired on the 6th instant, rather suddenly, although his health had been in so precarious a condition for twelve years past that the event did not give much surprise to those friends who were acquainted with the complaint under which he suffered. For some time previous, Captain M'Lerie had been unable to attend to his official duties with regularity, but on the day before his death he rallied so much as to make a visit of inspection to the Police Department, in Elizabeth street, and afterwards walked through town before returning home. The fatigue proved too great for him, however, and about 3 a.m. on the following morning he was seized with a fatal attack, and in spite of all the assistance his medical attendant, Dr. Kenwick, rendered, continued unconscious till half-past 2 p.m., when he expired.

The late Inspector-General, who was born in Ayr shire, Scotland, in the year 1809, entered the army as a private in the Scots' Fusilier Guards, while still very young, and continued in that regiment for a number of years, rising gradually. For special duties performed at the time of Oxford's insane attempt on the Queen's life, Captain M'Lerie was raised to the position of an officer, and  shortly after left for Hobart Town, in charge of a number of Crown prisoners, as adjutant in the 58th Regiment. After a brief sojourn there, and afterwards in Sydney, which was then the headquarters of the Imperial forces, Captain M'Lerie went to New Zealand with his regiment, where his conduct during several engagements with the Maories, during the "Johnny Heki" war, was extolled so highly that he was recommended as a fitting candidate for the 'Victoria Cross' when that order for valour was established. He did not receive the decoration, however, in consequence of the time that had elapsed since the war before the order was instituted. When the rebel forces had laid down their arms, Captain M'Lerie returned to Sydney and became adjutant of the mounted military patrol. After that force was disbanded, he was appointed Governor of Darlinghurst Gaol, subsequently became Police Magistrate of Sydney and Metropolitan Superintendent of Police, and when the present police Act came into force, was transferred to the office of Inspector-General, where he remained, enjoying the confidence and respect of all classes, till his decease. As a mark of respect, the Chief Secretary issued an invitation to all members of the Civil Service to attend Captain M'Lerie's funeral, which took place on the 8th instant, being one of the largest processions which Sydney has ever witnessed; the cortege was fully a mile in length. The Bishop of Sydney preached an impressive sermon in Christ Church, where the coffin lay, previous to being taken to the Camperdown Cemetery for interment.

Here the Rev. Canon Vidal read the appointed service, after which the remains were lowered into the grave prepared for their reception. The Hon. George Wigram Allen, Minister of Justice and Public Instruction; the Hon. Saul Samuel, CM. G., Postmaster-General; the Hon. John Hay, President of the Legislative Council; Captain Mayne the Hon. Geoffrey Eagar; Mr. S. S. Goold, Mayor of Sydney; Mr. Henry Halloran, Principal Under- secretary; Mr. Duncan, Collector of Customs; Mr. G. O. Allan; Mr. E. Rogers; Mr. E. Fosberry, Acting Inspector-General of Police; Superintendent Zouch, Goulburn; Superintendent Morrisett, Maitland; Superintendent Lydiard, Bathurst; Inspector Reid, and Sub-Inspectors Rawlinson, Anderson, and Waters, Senior-sergeant Ferris; and nearly all the members of the Detective Police Fores were present, besides some hundreds of private citizens;- 'Illustrated Sydney News and New South Wales Agriculturalist and Grazier',  Saturday 17 October 1874.

NSW Police list of Bushrangers killed or wounded as of March 1862-June 1870. (See Below.)

NSW Police list of Officers killed or wounded as of April 1862-October 1868. (See Below.)

#-Reference notes can be accessed on the Note page by number except where book and author or newspaper title are named or publication referred can be found on the Links page. For any research assistance, no charge, contact is on the Home Page under Q&A.


  1. Very good website, good to see factual information, and glad to see that Hall is not being portrayed as some sort of folk hero.

  2. Best website ever & very informative

  3. Best website ever & very informative as well!