"THE WILD SCOTCHMAN."
A telegram published a few days ago announced the death, at Burketown, of James Macpherson, who was known in the early days as "The Wild Scotchman." The following history of his life in Queensland is from the Queensland Times:— " Macpherson came to Moreton Bay in the ship WiIliam ????s about 1854 or 1855. He was then quite a lad, and
there are a few people still living In Ipswich —ship-mates — who remember him well. He was a brother of Mr. D. B. Macpherson, of the Cross-roads, near Esk. The bushranging episodes of the "Wild Scotchman " in the Maranoa and Dawson districts, in 1865 and 1866, caused considerable excitement at the time, owing to the loss and annoyance through the frequent stoppages of mails— 'stuck-up ' by ' The Wild Scotchman, ' about his biggest ' scoop ' being when he robbed the Roma mailman of £1600 and all his mail packages. In 1866 every effort was put forth to capture Macpherson, the Commissioner of Police (Mr. D. T. Seymour) and a large force of sub-inspectors, constables, and black trackers patrolling the country, but none of the police were successful in bringing him to justice. He was, however, eventually cap- tured on the 30th of March, 1866, tbe follow- ing being the particulars : ' The capture of Alpin Macpherson, the bushranger, generally known as the Wild Scotchman, was reported in Maryborough on Saturday morning, the 31st of March, from the telegraph station at Golden Fleece, by a telegram from Mr. A. H. Brown, Gin Gin, to the Police Magistrate, requesting him to send on two constables to that station to take the prisoner to Mary- borough. The constables were immediately despatched, and reached Gin Gib late the same night, returning without delay to Maryborough with their prisoner, where they arrived on the evening of Monday, the 2nd of April.' A correspondent has since sent us the following account of the capture: — ' I suppose that the world will be wondering
how 'The Wild Scotchman' has been taken. The affair is simple enough in itself, and, of course, not by the police. A man answering to his description had been seen on the morning of the 30th ultimo, and had been in- quiring for a road which he did not, it seems, intend to travel ; he was again seen within a short distance of Munduran by two gentle- men living at Gin Gin, and they instantly proceeded to the Munduran head station, and reported their suspicions as to who it was to the manager (Mr. W. Nott), who, with praiseworthy promptitude, joined them, together with another person, making in all a party of four, and immediately started in pursuit. They overtook him about five miles from the station, in the direction of Port Curtis. When he saw them in a full gallop, and nearly upon him, he let go his pack-horse, and started at full speed down a very broken range. Being well mounted, they followed, and were fast gaining on him, when he pulled up, and commenced to unstrap a double -barrelled gun which he bad with him. Upon his commencing to do this, Mr. Nott covered him with his rifle, and told him that if he did not there and then throw up his arms and surrender, he
would fire at him. This threat, fortunately, was sufficient, as Macpherson at once said, ' I give myself up.' He added, ' I knew you were not the police by the pace at which you followed me down that ridge,' and he de- scribed, with some humour, the absurd atti- tudes which he had witnessed in police horsemanship — some holding on by the front, and some by the back of the saddle. The prisoner was very communicative and ap- peared cheerful. Those who were intru- mental in his capture were Messrs. W. Nott, Curry; Gudeden, and J. Walsh. The first night he was lodged at Munduran, the second night at Gin Gin ; at both places he was watched day and night, and was taken by the police from the latter place on Sunday (1st of April). I trust that the Scotch ranger will not make April fools of us, but we have strong doubts as to his safe arrival in Mary- borough. There were found on him about £9 in notes and cash, pistols, gun, and sundry arlicles of clothing. His two horses are done up. He behaved in a very orderly manner since his apprehension, and gives an amusing account of his adventures.' In reference to his first appearance before the Bench, at Maryborough, it was stated that 'the Court- house was crowded with spectators, amongst whom there seemed some disappointment at the appearance of the prisoner. Some because he was not so flash, and others because he was not so ferocious-looking as they expected . The prisoner, however, answers to the ordinary description of a bush- ranger, such as of late have been so frequently described in New South Wales journals— a bush man, hardy, strong, and supple ; in Macpherson's case, we should say, of more than ordinary intelligence and courage. He evidently takes matters coolly, and does not appear at all discomfited by his present position. He has been very communicative since his capture, relating, evidently with truthfulness, judged by the minutiae of the detail of his narrations, some very racy tales of his interviews with the police in and about Gayndah, whilst they have been in search of him.' Macpherson was sentenced to twenty-five years' penal servitude by Mr. Justice Lutwyche, but a petition was afterwards signed by all the men of note in the colony, including Sir Charles
Lilley, for a reduction in the sentence, and Mr. Macalister, the then Agent-General for Queensland, presented it to the Premier of England, Lord John Russell (since Earl Russell. After the petition had been con- sidered by the Imperial authorities Mac- pherson's sentence was reduced to eight years." Mrs. De Keat -. ' It seems to me that for a man who chums to deserve charity you Inve avery rednose.' Moldy Mike: '* Yes, mtrin-. the cheap soap that ns poor people lias to me is voy bard on the cotoplexum, num.'