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  • peter-macinnis 18 Sep 2010 at 17:11
    Perhaps the earliest use of 'bushranger' (actually 'bush-ranger') to denote a robber. Compare this with Philip Gidley King, letter apparently to Sir Joseph Banks, HRNSW (5), 724-5, 2/11/1805, where the sense is clearly non-criminal, a person who ranges the bush.

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PARRAMATTA,          

Feb 13.

The water mill erected by Government was last week tried, and found capable of grinding from six to eight bushels of wheat per hour.

A Gentleman's store-room (contiguous to the dwelling) was some nights since broke into, and robbed of a quantity of spirits; in consequence of which a watchman was taken into custody on suspicion of abetting in the offence by permitting its perpetration, and every step taken to promote discovery,     but which has hitherto proved ineffectual. The offence is capital ; and if even the per- son apprehended be innocent so far as relates to any actual share in the robbery, yet it was manifest that in a want of vigilance he had been guilty of a breach of duty, as otherwise the offence could not have been committed.

James Houlding, a prisoner who some      

time since absconded from public labour, and    

was supposed to have taken to the woods, was on Monday apprehended on a farm at     Prospect, and brought in; when he was or-   dered to work in the gaol gang till further orders; as was also                      

Thomas Brown, for wantonly striking a

native.                  

On Tuesday last a cart was stopped be-     tween this settlement and Hawkesbury, by

three men whose appearance sanctioned the   suspicion of their being bush-rangers. They had been previously observed lurking about the Ponds by a carrier, who passed unmo- lested, owing perhaps to his having another man in company : they did not, however, take any thing out of the cart they did stop ; nor at this time has any account been re- ceived of their offering violence to either passengers or other persons ; from whence it may be hoped they prefer the prospect of   being restored to society to any momentary relief that might be obtained from acts of additional imprudence that could at best but render their condition hopeless. It is ne- vertheless necessary, that the settler as well as the traveller should be put upon his guard against assault, and that exertion should be general in assisting to apprehend every fla- gitious character who would thus rush upon a danger from which they can only be ex- tricated by timely contrition and their return to obedience. All that have heretofore de-   voted themselves to this most horrible state

of exile exactly correspond in the narration of vicissitudes to which many have fallen the unhappy victims. How deplorable must be the prospect of terminating an existence

under all the accumulated horrors of such an  

exile ! without a friend at hand to administer the last kind offices, or to alleviate affliction by humane condolance ! parching with thirst, perhaps, but deprived by famine of the power to quench it! instead of the de- lightful confidence which Christian resigna- tion can alone inspire, each succeeding pang embittered with self-accusation and remorse, heightened by the surrounding gloom to all the agonies of deep despair. If conscious impropriety of conduct inspire the fatal reso- lution of flying to the woods, this second act becomes a second outrage, and by an obsti- nate perserverance the very doors of mercy     may be closed, and every avenue to hope cut

off.

Sarah Biddlestone, a poor woman, was on Sunday last delivered of a very fine infant, but unhappily expired shortly after. It was the will of providence, however, that the infant should outlive the melancholy cir-   cumstances of its birth ; and every necessary attention is paid to the little survivor, who unconscious of its own affliction, prefers a claim to public liberality and protection.  

During the late bad weather the water in many wells was level with the ground, and differing very little in appearence on the sur- face, a person unacquainted with his traverse was as likely to try his " alacrity at sinking" as to escape the necessity of swimming. A watchman, who deserves every commendation   for his activity, hearing a foot rustle past him, commanded the traveller to stop; but   not being attended to, closely pursued the object, which redoubling its pace he did so likewise; till at length with a mutual exer-  

tion both sprang together, and together also plunged into an abyss within whose depths twenty others might have been equally well accommodated. He secured the fugitive,   however, as soon as he conveniently could do so, by grasping him round the neck, but finding his head fortified with a pair of curl- ing antlers, suspected he had been maliciously decoyed by satan himself into a direct avenue to the infernal regions, whither he expected to be instantly transported; but after a few fervent ejaculations, he had the happiness to recognize in the shaggy countenance of his companion the venerable features of an an-

cient ram.                  

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