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TASMANIAN HISTORY. , .;,
THE FIRST TROUBLES OF GOVERNOR ARTHUR
A SKETCH OF OLD TIMES ; EMBODYING THE
BUSH CAREER OF MATTHEW BRADY. .
Writteu by J. E. Calder. /I
To the reader of Tasmanian history, the most remarkable passages, after those relating to the capture and extinction of the Native tribes, are those that embody the details of the careers of the most remarkable of the bushrangers, who have at different times held the country, so to speak, in their hands. They stand before us it is true, without any of the artificial adornments with which writers customarily invest the robber heroes of Europe, and with a far less romantic and euphonious designation, than the brigands or banditti of the historical lands I speak of, and with plain vernacular names, that it may be grate too harshly on the ear of the sentimental reader of English narratives. The acts of the bushrangers ot the remote and unclaasical land of Tasmania, may be hardly readable, when achieved by men bearing such vulgar plebeian names ob Michael Howe or Matthew Brady, even though the details of their marauding lives, are a hundred times less revolting than those of the ferocious bands who still infest many of the European states. With rare ex- ceptions they shed no man's blood, and the two men above named, never in wantonness ; and though both of them destroyed life, it was when writhing under strong and not unnatural excite mont, created more by the treachery of the victims themselves, than by their own malevo- lence. That there wero amongst the fugitives of Tasmania, men as infamous as the brutal brigands of Europe, is true ; such for example as Pearce, Jeffreys and Wheelan ; but the majority of them were neither cruel nor very ferocious, nor quite devoid of the better feelings of our nature, of which they often gave proof in practising« for- bearance, even under circumstances when for- bearance could hardly be expected of them, and where persons under leas tomptation have not always proved too forgiving. Tho remission of vengeance íb always a pleasing act ; but in the brigand, who stands himself beyond the line
that mercy never crosses, forbearance, such as I Brady moro than once evinced, must be accounted to be a redeeming quality, particularly in his case, who lived in times when clemency was never shown to men of his kind. Of the dis-
position of'the strangely compounded man there ia a clever sketch in Montgomery Martin's Colonial Magazine for 1840 (n London publica- tion), written by a writer long resident in Tasmania. He thus Bpeaks of Brady at page 412 :-" If ho did much injury, he also evinced much forbearance. He nover wantonly sacrificed human life, and on no occasion was female delicacy outraged or insulted. This waa much from a proscribed outlaw, the possessor of unlimited temporary power, who well knew that no aggravation _ of crime would enhance his amount of punishment, whenever he fell into the hands of justice," &c.
Bushranging in Tasmania extended over two protracted periods. Tho first one began soon after the ' establishment of the colony in 1804, and only ended with the death of Michael Howe on"tho 21st October, 1818, when there inter- vened a period of repose of rathor more than live and a half years, during which'it wus that the occupation of tho lands of the country commenced in earnest ; for it waa not until Howe's gang was thoroughly rooted out and him- self destroyed, that this took place, except in a very limited degree. The plaguo broke out again in Juno of 1824, when Matthew Brady and thirteen others escaped from Macquarie Harbour ; and this second period never quite died out until the cessation of transportation in 1853, which put a complete end to it ; Brady's bush career lasted not quite two years.
Matthew Brady, but whoso proper name waa Bready, (so at least he is styled in both Gaol and Ship records), was born at Manchester, just about the close of last century. His occupation in England was that of a gentleman's servant, probably a groom, as he was an excellent and even a graceful rider, and perfect in his horse- manship. '
. For aome delinquency, lie was tried . at Lan- caster, on the 17th of April, of 1820, and received a seven-year sentence of transportation, and arrived hero in the convict ship Juliana, on the 29th of the following December.
As a young man his habits appear to have been moro scampish than profligate, and the Reports of his conduct, whether in gaol or on board ship, enumorate a long list of offences committed after his conviction, and conclude with tho general statement of his conduct, as bad in one instance, and very bad in the other. But his transgressions do not seem to bavo beon , grave ones,-mere infractions of disciplino in most cases, to which through lifo he was notori-
ously inattentive In Tasmania, his worst mis-, deeds before taking the bush, wero that ho twice attempted to escapo from the colony as a stowaway on board ship, for ono of which it was, that he was sent to the penal settlement of Macquarie Harbour for the unexpirod portion of his sontonco, about fivo years, a doom from which, considering tho severities customarily practised at those dreadful places of torment, it is not to bo wondered at, that ho dotormined to escape, should chance ever offer the mcaiis of getting away.
it will bo known to most of yonr readers, that Macquarie Harbour is an oxtensivo inlet of the bleak West coast of Tasmania, cho climate of which part of tho colony is at least twice as humid as that of tho eastorn hemisphere of tho island. The prevailing winds aro from North West round toSouthWest,andnftertraversingtho breadths of tho vast Pacific, are mostly so loaded with vapour,that tho rainfall all along the western shore-line is very much heavier than elsewhere. This is attributable to tho peculiar configuration 'of the country, which is occupiod by very elevated land through nearly all its contrai length, on either side of which tho climates, in so far as moisture is concerned, aro very .different. This elevated region naturally acts
aa a screen to tho districts of the east, inter- cepting, and thus warding off, most of the vast volume of vapour that rolls in from the west or stormy quarter. A chilly and humid atmos- phere, and the goneral repulsive aspect of the place, have long conferred on Macquarie
' Carbour tho character of bein« the most dreary
¡root within the four shores of Tasmania.
i Ttie area of (his so-called harbour is about a hundred square miles. It abounds with inud .flata, having deep water passages between them. Tho outlet of the harbour, called formorly " tho Gates," is so narroiv, that the place ia not discernible from the sea, or hardly bo ; and Lieutenant Flinders, whon surveying the coast of the island, passed on without dis '-covering that there was any break in the coast t line here, which was first ascertained by the ' late Captain JameB Kelly, on the 28th Decem-
ber, 1815. It is a bar-mouthed inlet, and the rush of water through the outrance, at every turn of tide, is very groat. It is indeed so narrow, that, as I havo stood here, I have thought that in my youthful cricketing days I .'-could have thrown the ball across it. The
depth on the bar does not exceed eight orten ' feet' ; and to increase the difficulties of entrance, ' a low rock or two stand nearly within it. It íb
the estuary of two line rivers callod the King and Gordon, each of whioh drains a large extent of mountainous and marshy country.
. Forests that are intricate beyond concep- tion, and absolutely impervioiiB to unpractised , bush travellers, grow round most parts of it, and
extond inland for many miles ; thus cutting oft' all hopo of successful escape from it in a land- ward,, direction ; w! <lo the chancoB of getting "sww ty8ea (nt '°"a"to t'10 p1''801101'8 wn° woro fop'thetp) worpiipariy as hopeless, for the gates wore not only guarded by military and polico, but the pilot, Lucas (a mau more dreaded by the convicts than any othor) was also stationed as nearly as could be, nt this point.
Therearo two small islands within this harbour, about eighteen milos from the gates, that woro used for settlement purposes. Tho chief estab- lishment was on ono called Sarah Island, said to oovor about twenty-fivo acroa j and tho lesser .ono; named Grummet Island, was tho reoeptaolo of; all the worst characters of tho place, that is to aay of Buolt as Governmental severity had demoralised and brutified beyond hopo of re- generation.
The oxcossivo difficulties of escaping into tho , distant settled districts from hence, recommended
it to our third Governor, Colonel 8oroll,_ns a place of banishment ; and determined bim at tlie oloso of 1821, to establish ono hero, and it waa, formed accordingly.
Soroll was only tho ruler of a dopendont pro nVinoo.t and hisordors for the Government of tboiplaco were rocoivod from a higher quarter, and ho waa forced to adopt tho disciplinary uaago» of tho parent colony, as Now South WaloB was then callod, and Macquarie Harbour, like Norfolk Island, soon bocamo a place of unmiti- gated and unbearable tormont, and not one of
Iteformation by the inoanB in forco boro fifty year* »go, whoso tondenoy waa only to" deprave, wai'never offooted by thom, or very seldom indeed. The late Mr. Lompriero, who for »everal yean filled the post of Chief Commisaary at Maoquario Harbour, informs ui in hil Wrtory
of this old settlement, that in all his experiences he knew of but one oxamplo of it, which may bo read of in the second volumo of the Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, &o., at pages 207-8.
To escape from those abodes of misery and despair, was always the predominating idea in the minds of thcsB sufforors : and to compass this the rashost enterprises were often under- taken ; and it is recorded in one of tho Parlia- mentary Blue Books of 1838 that of one hundred and sixteon men who absconded from this place in something loss than four und a half years from tho time of its first establishment, no loss than one hundred and ono of thom carno to untimely ends, cither by ordinniy executions, shooting down by tho military and police,' 'drowning, or perishing miserably in tho woods. Of this last named class there wore seventy-five instances. Of the small'remainder nothing is'known. They probably died by tho spears of the natives.
To this place Matthew Brady was sent, as re- lated above, in 1821.' Here as elsewhere he was ever in some scrape or other, and for upwards of two years endured all that was miserable in a convict's life at Macquarie Harbour.
_ As the settlement was always badly provi- sioned it was detorinined to establish what was called a farm on the mainland opposite to Sarah Island, that vegetables at least might be had, which were much wanted to counteract the evils of constant salt meat diet ; and Blady was one of the farm employés at the time of his escape, which event is thus described by,the historian of the settlement, D. A. C. G. Lempriero, who re- sided there for several yeurs :- ,
I , " From this spot, in June, 1824, a party of con-
victs, which afterwards formed one of the most formidable bands of bushrangers that ever in- fested Tasmania, mudo theil- escape. rTheso mon had planned to run away with one'of the barges, when the commandant, accompanied by the surgeon, visited the placo whore they were
"It was soon perceived there was something wrong amongst the prisoners ; and tho comman- dant succeeded in reaching the boat, and iu pushing off, just before the fellows ran to seize her. The poor doctor was not so fortunato, he was taken prisoner by the gang, who after a kind of council of war, determined to give the doctor, in his own person, an example of the scenes he had so often witnessed-the application of the
cat-o'-ninetails. The instrument of torture was in a few minutes prepared, and ready for action. It was in vain, the intended victim attempted to expostulate-it was in vain, that nrgument in arrest of judgment flowed from his trembling lips ; he was ordered to strip. There appeared no remedy, and he slowly managed to get off his coat, when a deliverer appeared in the shape of Brady, who hud boen a patient in tho hospital, and kindly treated by the doctor , he would not allow him to be touched.
" The men made good their escape in the open boat, though' closely pursued by the pilot, Mr. Lucas, a most active and determined man, who during the time he was stationed at Macquarie Harbour, became the terror of the runaways ; for they scarcely ever entertained hopes of 'escape, when they knew he was pursuing thom."
The runaways, fourteen iu number, cleared the heads of Macquarie Harbour on the 9th of Juno, (two days after the attack on the com- mandant), und immediately bore away for the shores of tho Derwent, under evory inch of canvas that thoir boat could live under. The wind was at W.S.W. at the time, and the sail was close-huulud ; and though the sea ran very high, they dare not relieve her ; for with the fiery and resolute Lucas in sight, and only a few milos nstern of 'them, their capture was certain, had they shortened sail in the least. Both were crack nea boats, and of that class called whaleboats, rigged mostly with a lug sail, and which though dangerous in a high degree undor bad management, will live almost anywhere and in any weather if well handled. The'runaways wore unarmed, and therefore no match for Lucas if he carno np with thom, for he had soldiers with him, and as his own well-trained crow woie also armed, they were forced to run for it at all hazards, or be
Their course was southerly inclining a little to the east until they rounded the South West Cape, which is about a hundred and ton miles from the Gates of Macquarie Harbour, and then easterly and north-easterly for uinoty or a hundred more, before they could reach Storm Bay, where they landed after a ten days' voyage, somewhere on the cast const of that maguiliceut estuary of the Derwent river.
It is surmised that they escaped from Lucas by lauding at night in some one of tho nooks of tho coast, and that he thus passed them by, still believing that they were ahead of him, and thus he lost their track. Bullied in this lnaunor this excellent servant of tho public, who was never known to ovado his duty in, any manlier, and who in long after years sacrificed his lifo to it, never landed anywhere except at night, until ho reached Hobart Town, and apprised tho Government of tho escapo of these desperate fellows. His boat voy ago, which began on the same day that the pirates passed through the Gates, 9th of Juno, terminated on the 18th. The bushrangers wero not far behind him, for they entered tho Dorwont and landed tho next day.
Amongst tho fourteen runaways was a Scotch- man named James Crawford, who it is said formerly held ii commission ns lieutenant in tho Royal Navy, and ho commanded the boat expe- dition, and ho is nibo said to have directed the lirst shoro movomenls of the patty, but from the conduct of Brady at the qtitrago pit tim dootor, which he repressed in spite of the others, it is pretty clear that ashoro ho was one of the lending spirits of the party from the first, for which his daring character, disregard of self in all times of danger, circumspection in attack nnd retreat, mid undoubted natural talents, iittod him.
In Tasmania, Brady's nnmo is not always montioned reproachfully. There are many still living who remember his visits to thoir parents' homesteads, and their reports of his bearing (leaving his robber practices out of the question), are not vory unfavourable, and though it was his constant custom to bind all the inmates of the places lie plundered, females and children excepted, he nevor permitted any more serious outrage to be inflicted on their persons, and it is reported that he had frequent bitter mis- understandings with his mon on tho subject, who wero often inclined to bo disorderly, and who ho moro than onco forcod to restpro such of their plunder as their victims particularly desired to retain, such, for oxamplo, as family papers or souvonirs, that had a value lu the estimation of their lightftil owners, beyond thoir mero intrinsic worth, and though these forcod restitutions gavo rise to many quarrels, ho was always inexorable. His deportment to females is always named to his credit, and his uniform respectful demoanour in their prosonce was so well known, that his appoarauce at any home- stead was * much less feared by the women than the mon. The latter, especially tho mon servants, novor oscapud tho indignity of being tied up in couples like hounds. If thoro were no military or police in tho neighbourhood of any house that ho took possession of, ho often held it for a whole day or more, but strove to make his visit as little disagreeable as possible, in the prosonco of his grim freebooters, and being a man of good address, ho soldnm failed of partially allaying the fears of the occupants. It is, however, complained of him that ho was too fond of fun and practical jesting to havo been quite agreeable, and that ho too often made all the monials of the housohold help lesssly drunk when he loft, which looked like carrying frolic too fur. But this conduct, which was mistaken for mischievous fun, \vasin reality a pioco of policy only ¡ foi' ho woll knew that it was from tho oonvict olnss of servants, and hardly nny others, that treachery was to bo feared, and that they wore the men and not their masters, who wero in .loaguo with the Îiolice, and by leaving thom hopolossly drunk,
io liad nothing to fear from them till ho was far unough away.
Many of the old bushrangers had tho samo bad opinion of thoso men ; and I think it was Dunno, a most notorious bush robbor, who, as he was being lod captivo to Hobart Town, chanced to be marched through a chain-gang working on tho roads, who he, in ii seemingly subdued state of mind, asked his conductors to permit him to address ; and they, thinking ho mount only to givo thom a little seasonable ad- monition, allowed him to do so ; whoroupon ho commoucod his exhortation by charging suoh of thom as had any thought of taking tho bush 1 ' to shoot ovory-assignod servant whoro ovor they mot thom," as they woro the mon, he said, who wero the real botrayors of all " honest follows," moaning thoroby powens of his own
Ono or two instancos only aro oitod when Brady's people wero absolutely mischievous ; but those wore tho nets of tho most riotous of his followers, Bird, Murphy, and M'Cabo, whom ho Bomotimes found it impossible to restrain. But acts liku theirs wero quite at variance with tho usual tenor of his bush career. It iu indeed said that Colonel Arthur was himself not iu .eiuiblo of this inan's merits, and that ho would
baye saved him when taken ftt last in compliance :
with tho general wish of the colonists, only that , tho blood of one man was on his hands. Of , this, howovor, I havo no proof, und relate it ou hearsay only, hardly, indeed, believing it, as that Governor was not overflowing with clemency to men of Brady's ; class, and not very likely to be morciful to any of his people, by one of whom he was once within an ace of being shot' himself, as' I shall presontly
relate. . '
Ou what point of tho shores of the Derwent it was that 'the bushrangers landed after their voyage from Macquarie Harbour, I havo no I preciso information ; but bolievo it was at Clarence Plains. They were hardly ashore before they begiwi operations on 'tho highway. The fast traveller whom they met was a Mr. Patrick Brodie, who they stopped and robbed of what he had about him, Almost directly afterwards, they possessed themselves of firearms and ammunition, which they took from a man in the service of Lieutenant Gunn, who from that
moment became one of the most zealous and determined of the pursuers of this party. He chanced to be in Hobart Town at the moment ; but directly he heard of this îobbery, he started after them with a party, and very soon carno on them ; and attacking them on the instant, captured ' five of the four- teen in less than five minutes. This occurred on the 25th of June, or less than a week after their landing. This bad beginning was made still worse,'by the voluntary'surrender of a sixth. For the above named robberies, and ono or two others, tho men taken by Gunn, were tried almost directly, wore sentenced to die, and died accordingly on the 22nd of July,
i Very few acts of bushranging had boen com mitted in the colony since the fall of Michael Howe, nearly six years before this time. The sudden appearance, therefore, of so numerous a horde of freobootors -as were now in the field, ctoated great oxcitement everywhere. But in the midst of all this ferment, the Governor pre- served, or pretended to observe, an attitudo of perfect tranquility, which tho colonists regarded as most unseasonable. The inhabitants of
Hobart Town, almost to a mau, offered him their services, to be used in any way he might direct ia the suppression of these men. But Colonol Arthur, with tho characteristic disdain of civilians, too usual with 'soldiers, politely rejected the offer. He himself was satisfied with stationing a few detachments of military at those points of the interior which these during rovers wore the most likely to visit, mid to offer a small reward, £10, for the capture of any member of the band.
The spirit of the military in the colony, seems to haye been more torpid at this period, than it was in Howe's time, when nearly everything that waa done to crush bushranging was achieved by them. , But they now .received moro than one defeat from Brady ; and what was dono at this time, in repressing this and other gangs, was more generally the work of the police and civilians, than of the soldiers. Even Lieutenant Gunn, who took the first of thom, and who continued the pursuit of them till they disabled him, was not 'now in the service, having quitted it somo years before ; and though ho retained his military designation, being on half-pay, ho was at présent a farmer of the Toa Treo Brush. This gentleman, of whom 1 shall have more to say presently, was formerly ill the Bourbon Regiiuaut, which he joined sometime about the close of tho career of Napoleon I., and was placed on tho half-pay list shortly after the end of tho war, and so remained unattached till his death in 18G8. He was a mun of gigantio staturo,- being, he once told me, six feet seven inches high. Ho was cool and daring in a high degree, and was never known to fail in anything that he undertook, oxcept the destruction of Brady's baud, which about seventeen months afterwards (under vory extraordinary circumstances), took his party instead. But this resolute mau never gave in himself, till nearly shot to pieces. This was the most dramatic incident of Brady's career ; and tragfc.il as ,it was, in so far as Omul's fate was concerned, was so full of comic adventure, that it, is strange it has never formed tho subject of stage representation, as Howe's exploits have.
It would unnecessarily oxtend this paper to roíate all the lesser adventures of these depre- dators. I shall therefore pass over, either with slight notice or nono at all, thoso that aro of little interest, or of, which the particulars aro imperfect. Brady's career of outrage, which lasted scarcely two years, compiised, of house and highway robberies, soinothing liku three hun- dred instances, that would roquiro a volume to describe, tho most of which aro not worth noticing. Of this lutter class were soveral in which his party wero engaged, between the dates of thoir repulsion by Gunn and their attack on tho residence of Mr. ltobert Taylor, of Valleyfield, whore they were also dofcutod.
This gentleman's farm house stood on gently rising ground near to tho Macquarie Itiver, fuimetiy called tho Rolief, which is one of the many affluents of tho South Esk. Tho country hereabouts is oither open or is lightly-woodod grass land, aud tho districts that surround it may be be fairly ranked amongst the élite of Tasmanian pastures.
Mr. Taylor wa» » vory elderly person, having passod through moro than the allotted years of human life, being seventy-four years old at the time ho was called on to resist the onslaught of soven armed buslnnngors (to which tho party was now reduced), headed by Crawford, who led the attack-. Thoro were iu the house at the moment, Taylor and his aged wife, two sons, and two daughtors, besides several freo domes- tics whom Mr, Taylor had brought from Scotland
whon ho left homo.
In the foro part of the day of this assault, 15lh July, the bushrangers had robbed the residence of n lady, who is spoken of iu the annals of the time ns the widow Smith, from which they had removed considerable booty, making prisoners of soveral of her servants, who they loaded like pack-horses with thoir plunder, and who they also took along with them« to direct thoir march on Valleyfield, which thoy meuut to assail that night. With this view thoy pushed forward as rapidly as their heavily laden prisouors could travel, and caine in view of Taylor's cottage just about dusk. In their way thither they fell in with one of Taylor's sons, a mere youth, who, liko ono of Jacob's children, was tending his father's flock in the wildornoss. It was now midwinter, and this young nmn was hoavily clothed against the cutting gatos, which are felt chillily enough at this soasan, particularly in tho opon country, and to this circumstunco it was that ho owed his life, from tho misdircotod fire of a friond, who, in the heat and oxaitomont of tho fight, mid the duskiness of tho long twi- light of u Tasmanian ovoning, mistook him for ona of the assailing host. Seeing the advantage of having one of Taylor's family with thom, ho was seized and placod in front, with the view of distracting tho fire of tho giurison, in case the two parties caine to blows. Crawford loaded him liko tho rost ; and on his being asked if ho thought his father would fight, ropliod that he was quite sure he would. " Oh, then," said Crawford, " wo will give yon tho post of honour, so go to tho front and let him Bhoot you first," and ho was forcod to march in tho van.
Taylor's family wore quietly seated within for the night, all excopt tho young shepherd, who thoy wero, howovor, oxpocting homo ovory moment. But the dogs, of which thoro aro always soveral about a bush homostead, especi- ally in troublous timos, wore very uneasy, and, though nothing could bo soon, it was ovident that there was something astir moro than usual. Their restlessness excited old Taylor's suspicions that all was not right, nnd'ho wont round tho promises, but could hoar or soo nothing. Still the dogs would not lio down, but continued watohful and unquiot, which convinced theil master that it was unsafe to disregard tho warning of thoso vigilant sentinels. I havo Baid beforo that tho country horoabouts is open, and Taylor or bohío ono of his household, going out again to see if ho could discover the cause of thoir disturbance, now saw the advan- cing party approaching, in number about a dozen ; and as several of thom carried arms, tliore remained no doubt of their being on nu ovil errand. Old Taylor, who, notwithstanding his ago, retained much of tho energy and fire of youth, now marshalled his sons and servants, and told them that tho bushrangers wero coming down » on Valleyfield, and that ho meant to resist thom, and asked which of them would stand by him. They all volunteered oxcoptiug ono man who domurrod, saying thoy would all be killoe!, and that ho would not fight, and than 'wont to tho rear of tho promises, and oddly enough was tho only one who was killed iu tho fray that followod. Taylor thon armod his friends, and put himsolf at thoir head to ropol tho advancing party, if it prevod a hostile ono, of which he was spoedily mudo sensible by his shephard son, who callod out to him that the placu was in dangor, and not to fire on him. Tho father recognised tho voice, and guessing that he was a prisoner, forbade his peoplo to tiru until thoy could distinguish friend from foo. A sharp sighted sorvant lud oil' by letting fly at tho bushrangers ; on which young Taylor, who had all the pluck and spirit of his aged father, threw oil' his load, and rushed ayer to his friends,
who received him with a joyous shout of wel- come, and the firing became general. The bushrangers woro as doteruiiued to curry Valley- field, as the others were to prevent it, and plenty of shots were exchanged between the two parties ; but as usual in such cases, when day- light ia failing, many were ineffectual. Old Taylor was ably seconded by his people, and owed his own life to tho gallantry of tho youth, who had just before escaped from tho bush- rangers, who, seeing ono of thom lovelling his piece at his father throw himself on him, and he succumbed to the Btripling, who though no match for him, brought him to tho ground by the suddenness of the assault, and the onergetic exertion of whatover strength ho possessed. This man who ho had uudor lum. was Crawford. A servant iuatantly shot the fallen brigand, but not fatally, and his followers rushed to his assistance, but wore unable to beat back their adversarios, or oven to reach their leader. In the melee, a shot from one of the defenders hit the youth, who was struggling with Crawford. The official account that I am writing from says :-" A servant came to the aid of his young master, and in attempting to shoot his opponent, by some intervention of lamentable fate, ho missed his aim, and mortally pierced the beloved object of his zeal." But in the times I am writing of, newspaper correspondents were not always re- liable ; and there is one if not two misstate ments in this short quotation. The shot, though a dangerous one, was not mortal, and he recovered from it, to die by the hands of a more merciless foe than tho bushrangers, namely, the natives, who speared him to death in November of 182C. I believe there is also another grave mistake in this roport, but which I am not quite
able to correct.
The fight was now going against the attacking force j but notwithstanding this, one or two of
them, amongst whom was the sanguinary I McCabe, got to the buck of the premises, where ho found the unfortunate non-combatant John
Lowe. Irritated at the ' '.dosporate resistance j that his party had met with, he sent his bayonet through his heart, and the thrust proved instantly mortal.
Crawford and unother man named James
Bains were made prisoners by the Taylor party, and another bushranger was badly shot, but escaped capture. Brady, who now took tho command, drew off tho rest of his people, now reduced to five, including the wounded man, who had lost au eye in the fight, but waa carried off by the others.
Of Taylor's party, none were killed but Lowe, and none hurt except the youth who was accidentally shot.
A writer in M. Martin's Magazine, speaking of this skirmish, says that the Indies in the house " were not idle spectators of the scene in which their father, brothers, and friends were so hotly ' engaged," but, like the heroines of Saragosu, " charged the supernumerary firearms of the father and brothers, and evinced the most praiseworthy fortitude."
As soon as this act of resistance was publicly known, the whole colony rang with the praiso of the heroic family who had taught the outlaws such a lesson, and the inhabitants presented tho family with a piece of plato in acknowledgment and admiration of their spirited conduct.
The prisoners, Crawford and Bains, were tried at Launceston, and died some time in September following ; but owing to the. loose state of the newspaper roports of the time, I cannot say when cxuctly. The notice, such as it is, of their trial and death will be found in the Gazette of the 24th September, 1824.
The fivo robbers who escaped now turnod to the South, and travelled thithorward quite un- observed, and even passed through Hobart Town itself unnoticed, the head-quarters of the Government, whore Colonel Arthur had his official residence. In leas than six weeks after the attack on Valleyfield, Brady was plundering the Bottlers of the valley of Brown's River, about ten miles south of Hobart Town. He even ex- tended his visit a dozen miles further down, namely, to Oyster Cove, tho future and last residence of the captive natives, where he robbed the establishment of Mr. David Wedge. Ho then returned to Hobart Town, which ho actually entered a second timo on tho night of the 23rd of August, and slept there with all his people under the very noses of the military and police. Whatover tho authorities could have been thinking about to suffer such a gang to pass botwoou their legs twice in less thau ton days nnporceived, and oven unsuspected, is unaccountable Nor were thuse tho only times that Brady and his riotous foi lowers slept in Hobart Town, in contempt of the Government. The police report, published in the Gazette, of 27th August, 1824, speaking of their prosent movements says :-" Tho banditti were on n hill within throe minutes' walk of the police office nt eight o'clock in the evening." With singular audacity thoy entered and slept in the hut of a Government overseer named Chandler, not noarly a mile from the police station, and only quitted town next morning ; and having soixed two mon from the street to act as guides, they pushed on for the settlement called the Black Snake, about ton miles north- westerly of Hobart Town. Hore thoy dismissed thoir guides, and went to their usual work directly, attacking the farm houses, and plundering their owners all round of thoir cash, ammunition, and provisions ; whilo the Hobart Town polico were all astir to take thom alive or dead, as they returned from Brown's River, whole it wus thought thoy woro still concoalod.
Bofqio the many robborios which they had aom mit ted amongst the terror-struck furmors of the Blaok Snake woro known to tho Govern- ment, the light-footed marauders wero off again, and were nuxt hoard of in tho neighbourhood of tho river called the Plenty-a well known affluent of tho Derwent, which, as we all know, has in recent ycais obtained attention as the sceuo of an experiment for the propagation of the English salmon. This stream is about thirty miles from Hobart Town ; and here Brady nnd his wearied followers established themselves on tho last day of August.
[To be continued].