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ON THIS DAY ………. 26th of June 1880

Aaron Sherritt was born in 1855 and was an associate by Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly on the 26th of June 1880. On the night of the 26th June 1880 Sherritt was at home with his wife, mother-in-law and four policemen, Constables Armstrong, Alexander, Ducross, and Dowling. A neighbour, Antoine Weekes, who had been handcuffed and held hostage by Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly, called out “Aaron” at the front door of Sherritt’s hut. When Sherritt answered it, Joe Byrne shot him dead. The police officers hid under the bed and did not report the killing until late the following morning. Within a couple of days, Joe Byrne was himself killed in a shootout between the gang and the police at Glenrowan. Ned Kelly was the only one to survive to stand trial. He was found guilty and hanged on the 11th November 1880.

 

On this day …….. 11th of June 1857

Although there was no such things as the Guinness Book of Records in the 1850s, if there had been Black Douglas would surely have rated a mention as a persistent offender. It was on this day that the notorious vagrant was brought up before the Yackandandah Police Court. He was fined five shillings, and a promise was extracted from him that he would immediately leave the district. Only a week before, he had been let out of the Beechworth Gaol, after being sentenced to three days fir drunken and disorderly conduct. Black Douglas seemed to be always in and out of Courts, and being run out of one town or another. Wether this was the same Black Douglas who was stabbed by miners in Maryborough during a robbery attempt, is not known. That particular Black Douglas survived, only to be later hanger in Melbourne.

Hurstbridge murder

A memorial erected over his grave commemorates Henry Facey Hurst who was shot and killed by the bushranger Robert Burke in 1866. Henry was a pioneer settler of Hurstbridge where he built the first log bridge over the Diamond Creek so giving the township its name. On 4 October, 1866, Robert Burke, alias McClusky arrived at Allwood and asked Ellen Hurst (Henryand#39;s sister) for breakfast, and later a horse. She sent for Henry, who questioned Burke. When Henry reached for his gun, Burke shot him. Despite the wound, Henry held Burke until help arrived. He subsequently bled to death. The jury found Burke guilty of wilful murder`, with a recommendation to mercy, on account of Hurst having fired the first shot. Robert Burke was sentenced to death . A public meeting was held at the Melbourne Mechanics Institute on the evening of Monday 26th November to adopt a petition with over 2,000 signatures, for submission to the Executive Council, asking for the death sentence to be commuted to imprisonment for life. Some ten days after the trial the sentence was carried out. Robert Burke the bushranger, aged 24 years, was hanged at the Melbourne Gaol on Thursday 29th November 1866.

Actual Monument Dedication Date:

Front Inscription:
‘Sacred to the memory of Henry Facey Hurst (formerly of Hanford Dorset) who while defending his home fell near this spot by a ball fired by the bushranger Burke on October 4th 1866 aged 34 years’.

This memorial was erected by a grateful public as a memorial of his heroic self sacrfifice.

On this day …….. 5th of June 1870

The bushranger Harry Power was brought into Wangaratta, North East Victoria under arrest. Power had been caught a few hours earlier at his mountain hideout in the upper reach of the King Valley. He had been on the run for months, robbing coaches, holding up travellers, and providing an elusive target for police.

On this day …….. 4th of June 1891

Moyhu in North East Victoria, revived an unexpected visitor from old time Bushranger Harry Power on this day. Power had been released from Pentridge Gaol due to ill health and was ready for a career in show bussiness. An old convict ship had been refitted to show what life was like on one of the old prison hulk on Port Phillip Bay. Harry was the official greeter of guests and was billed as “a real bushranger”. Harry had returned to Moyhu, he said to search for a plant of gold he had made some years earlier. He disappeared from the district, and reappeared in Swan Hill, where he died latter that year. Harry is buried in the Swan Hill cemetery.

On this day …….. 28th May 1814

Unlike in the penal colony of New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) remained largely a convict settlement for its first fifty years. Little was done to encourage free settlers to take up land on the island. The colony faced starvation in the first few years of its existence, so Governor of Tasmania, Colonel Collins, was forced to send out the convicts to hunt. Lured by their unexpected freedom and undaunted by their isolation from the mainland, many convicts chose not to return, but undertook a life of bushranging. Bushranging soon reached epidemic proportions, and in May 1813, Lieutenant Governor Davey demanded all absconded convicts and bushrangers return by December, or face being shot on sight after that date. Concerned by the ramifications of the subsequent outrage, on 28 May 1814 the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, offered a pardon to all convicts except for those who had been convicted of murder, if they surrendered within six months. Taking the proclamation as a licence to bushrange, many convicts continued their crimes until the last moment. True to his word, Macquarie pardoned them of all previous crimes, whereupon many of them promptly returned to bushranging.

On this day …….. 25th May 1870

Bushranger Captain Thunderbolt was born Frederick Ward at Wilberforce near Windsor, NSW, in 1836. As an excellent horseman, his specialty was horse stealing. For this, he was sentenced in 1856 to ten years on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. On 1 July 1860, Ward was released on a ticket-of-leave to work on a farm at Mudgee. While he was on ticket-of-leave, he returned to horse-stealing, and was again sentenced to Cockatoo Island. Conditions in the gaol were harsh, and he endured solitary confinement a number of times. On the night of 11 September 1863, he and another inmate escaped from the supposedly escape-proof prison by swimming to the mainland. After his escape, Ward embarked on a life of bushranging, under the name of Captain Thunderbolt. Much of his bushranging was done around the small NSW country town of Uralla. A rock originally known as “Split Rock” became known as “Thunderbolt’s Rock”. After a six-year reign as a “gentleman bushranger”, Thunderbolt was allegedly shot dead by Constable Alexander Walker on 25 May 1870. However, there remains some contention as to whether it was actually Thunderbolt who was killed, or his brother William, also known as ‘Harry’.

On this day ……. 9th April 1865

John Fuller aka Daniel Morgan aka Mad Dog Morgan was born in 1830 and was killed by police on this day in 1865. He was an Australian bushranger from North East Victoria and Southern NSW. After he killed a trooper in July 1864, the Government put a £1,000 bounty on his head. He was shot and killed after holding up the McPherson family at Peechelba Station the day before in Victoria.

 

On This Day……… 8th April 1865

On this day in 1865, bushranger Dan Morgan arrived at Peechelba Station near Wangaratta and held up a homestead. He demanded good and entertainment, and settled down for the night, holding the occupants of the homestead hostage. On the pretext of seeing a crying baby, one of the station staff raised the alarm. Swift messenger rode to Wangeratta to get the Police.

 

 

On this day ………… 11th February 1897

An inquest was held at Greta, near Benalla, to ascertain the cause of the death of Ellen Skillion, 22 years of age, a niece of the notorious bushranger, Ned Kelly. A verdict that the deceased committed suicide by drowning was returned. The deceased was a daughter of the late Mrs. Skillion, whose husband is said to have started the first trouble which led to Ned Kelly and his confederates beginning the career of lawlessness which culminated in their down- fall as bushrangers at Glenrowan.

 

On This Day – February 4, 1875

An interesting train accident happened on the 4th of February 1875, which almost took the life of Victoria’s most famous judge, Sir Redmond Barry. Barry known as the hanging Judge and the man who sentenced bushranger Ned Kelly to be executed, was travelling by train from Toowoomba to Warwick in Queensland. The train, which consisted of a saloon car, two composite carriages, a break van, two horse boxes, two sheep vans, and an open wagon was speeding along, about three miles past the Cambooya station when it was struck by a blast of wind of hurricane force. A storm of wind, rain and hail was raging, and such was its strength the wind the whole train was lifted of the line. The saloon carriage in which Sir Redmond Barry was travelling, next to the engine, and the composite carriage, which followed it, turned over on their side, and the next carriage smashed into the end of the saloon, smashing the woodwork and projecting a number of formidable splinters where a moment before the distinguished traveller had been seated. Sir Redmond had but a moment before the accident risen to close the windows against the increasing storm, and by a happy chance reseated himself at the opposite end of the carriage. The carriage next in order settled at an angle of about sixty five degrees, while the remaining wagons, came to a stop in all sorts of positions. Amazingly no one was serious injury. This poses the question if Sir Redmond Barry had of been killed in this accident, would Ned Kelly have be sentenced to be executed?

 

On this day …….. 18th of January 2013

133 years after he Ned Kelly was executed at Old Melbourne Gaol, Kelly was buried with his mother in the Greta Cemetery in North East Victoria. was hanged.

Up to 300 family members and hundreds more members of the public attended a requiem mass for Australia’s most famous bushranger at St Patrick’s Catholic Church at Wangaratta on this day in 2013. Kelly was first buried in the grounds of Old Melbourne Gaol until 1924 when his body was exhumed and reinterred at Pentridge prison. All body’s from Pentridge were exhumed for subdivision.