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Thunderbolt’s gang

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Tuesday 23 January 1866, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser


(From the Tamworth Examiner, Jan, 20.)

We regret to state that these vagabonds have been again at work in this district, and although no actual personal violence has in any case been committed, this perhaps is not so much attributable to the character of the bushrangers as to the fact that their victims offered no resistance. We now give the particulars of the robberies in the order in which they were committed, as obligingly supplied by our correspondents at Gulligal, Turrawan, and Wee Waa.

Writing on the 17th, our Turrawan correspondent says:- The Turrawan Hotel, Mr. Jas., Ward’s, was stuck up on Saturday evening last, 13th instant, by two of Thunderbolt’s gang, Kelly and another, about ten o’clock p.m. The inmates, amongst whom were Mr. Alexander Brown and Mr. George Brown on their way down with cattle, were about retiring for the night, when suddenly two horsemen rode up and called for the ostler. On his appearance they dismounted, and giving their horses up to him, ordered him not to stir from the spot. In the bar were tho Messrs. Brown and some five or six others. Revolver in hand Kelly appeared at the door, and bidding them good evening, politely requesting them to range up, which under the pressing circumstances was at once complied with. Kelly then took his station at the bar door, where he could have an eye upon both horses and victims. His mate proceeded to examine all the rooms, the stables, outhouse, etc, bringing in every individual on the promises, who were made to range up with the rest. The work of searching was systematically proceeded with, except with regard to those whom Mr. Ward requested the bushrangers not to molest, as being men working for him be knew they had no money on then. The only cash they got was from the person of Mr. Ward, about £3 10s in silver and 10s in gold. Mr. Ward’s bedroom was next proceeded to, and every effort made to discover the bank. Fortunately Mr. Ward had that week remitted all his valuable money (the last halves having only left by post about an hour previous to the attack), so that the cash box presented no very tempting appearance, only ” calabashes,” (about £10) and some 7s or 8s. This they declined to touch, thinking, no doubt, to get a larger haul. Observing some trunks upon which the children were sleeping quietly, they thought they were on the track, but upon being told they contained only, linen and clothes, they said the children looked very happy and they would not disturb them. The females were treated very respectfully and told not to fear any thing. They were allowed to go to their own rooms, which were left undisturbed. From the store a few trousers and about 1 lb of tobacco was all that was taken, there not being other articles suited to their requirements. They kept open house in the bar for about two hours, calling for grog for all hands, and regretting that, having reaped such an insignificant harvest, they could not afford to pay, and called upon some one else to shout. The call was responded to by Mr. A. Brown, after which, taking a bottle of port wine, and bidding all good night, they started down the river at about 12 o’clock. They were splendidly mounted, and each led a spare horse. They had two grey, almost white horses, and two bays or browns, I could not be sure which. Mr. Ward sent information to the police as soon as it was possible to get a horse, and about two p.m. on the 14th, four troopers and a blacktracker passed here in pursuit.

P.S.-This township and neighbourhood are without any protection whatever ; do you not think Government might spare us one constable ? It would be a welcome boon.

Mr. Ward’s house is situated about 15 miles from Narrabri, and about 31 from Gulligal, It seems that on leaving Ward’s these fellows proceeded direct up the river to Gulligal, and just as they neared the township on Snndiy morning about ten o’clock they met the mailman, who had left there with the mail for Wee Waa and Walgett. [The proceedings of the bushrangers at Gulligal are described in a letter by our own correspondent. Ed M.M.]

Written by macalba

July 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm

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