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Frank Gardiner, born in 1830 Scotland and shipped out to Australia as a child with his parents, made an illustrious career out of horse thievery and highway robbery. On 15 June 1862, Gardiner along with Ben Hall, John Gilbert and associates held up a gold escort travelling from Forbes to Bathurst. They stole over £14,000 worth of gold and bank notes – Australia’s biggest gold robbery. In February 1864, New South Wales police traced Gardiner to his hideout in Queensland. He was arrested and sentenced to 32 years of hard labour in July. Ten years later, Governor Hercules Robinson granted him mercy and released him, subject to exile. Gardiner lived in Hong Kong and Francisco before dying in Colorado in 1903. “Colonial rule was constantly challenged by bushrangers – it was a major threat to the central administration,” says Dr Hamish Maxwell-Stewart from the University of Tasmania. “They were turning the tables on the convict state.”

 

After the bushranger Ned Kelly’s sister Kate drowned at Forbes NSW in 1898, historians grabbed her most treasured possession – her bed. Kate is said to have enjoyed sleeping and now visitors to a museum at Mount Victoria in NSW can stand at the foot of the bed and dream of those wild bushranger days……..

 

On this day …….. 12th of December 1902

There was great excitement in Lancefield with the news that a lunatic was at large on the Lancefield road, near Forbes. When the police arrived at the place found a man behaving in a violent manner, with almost all his clothes off. With considerable difficulty he was arrested, and it was found that he was George Weir, who escaped from the Sunbury Asylum on the 12th December 1902. Weir was previously arrested in Kilmore in February of last year, when he threatened to burn the whole country down. He was brought before the court, were he was pronounced a dangerous lunatic by the doctors. Weir was removed to the Kew Asylum.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 22nd October 1850

Francis Gardiner, love of crime began in Geelong, on the 22nd of October, 1850, on a charge of horse stealing, and sentenced to five years’ hard labour. However Gardiner manage to escape in the first few months and returned to Goulburn. Where his career as a bushranger began, for within two years he and his gang committed six mail robberies under arms, besides many others of lesser note. In June 1862 he bailed up the Lachlan Gold Escort near Eugowra with a gang including Ben Hall, Dan Charters and Johnny Gilbert. This hold up is considered to be one of the largest ever gold robberies in Australian history. The total value of the 2,700 ounces of gold and bank notes taken was estimated at £14,000 (approximately A$12.5 million in 2012 terms). Much of the gold was recovered by mounted police after they surprised the gang on Wheoga Hill near Forbes. What happened to the remaining gold is still the subject of much speculation and rumour. It is rumoured that two Americans who were thought to be Gardiner’s sons visited the Wheogo Station near the Weddins in 1912 claiming to be miners.

 

On this day …….. 6th of October 1898

Notorious bushranger Ned Kelly had five sisters, two half-sisters, two brothers and one half-brother. His sisters were Maggie, who was born in 1857, three years after Ned, and Catherine, variously nicknamed Kate or Kittie, who was born in 1863. In addition, there were Mary, who died as a baby, Anne and Grace. Ned Kelly’s two brothers were Daniel, who joined Ned in the Kelly gang, and James. Some time after Ned Kelly’s father died, his mother remarried, and bore another two daughters, Ellen and Alice and a son, John, also known as Jack. Kate Kelly was perhaps the best known of Ned Kelly’s siblings. Legend claims that she was the fiancee of Aaron Sherritt, notorious for betraying the Kelly gang to the police, and being shot for his trouble. Kate also had another admirer, Alexander Fitzpatrick, who attempted to ingratiate himself into the Kelly family. After making unwelcome advances towards young Kate, he was attacked by Ned’s mother, beaten by one brother and allegedly shot by Ned, although the doctor who attended Fitzpatrick did not confirm a gunshot wound. The event resulted in Ned’s mother being arrested, and the brothers being hunted further by police. Kate was a central catalyst to these circumstances. After helping hold the family together following the arrest of their mother, at the age of 25, Kate married William Henry Foster of Forbes, New South Wales. She was a skilled and respected horsewoman, and perpetuated the family line by bearng six children, three of whom survived to adulthood. Kate’s colourful life ended tragically when she was just 35 years old. Some two years after her sister Maggie died, Kate went missing, on 6 October 1898. Eight days passed before her body was located in a lagoon at Condobolin Road near Forbes. Initial indications were that she died of drowning, but the Magisterial inquiry that was held into her death on 15 October did not indicate how or why this could have occurred. Kate’s death certificate stated there was no evidence, but family and friends believed her depression following Maggie’s death contributed to her own death.

 

Frank Gardiner, born in 1830 Scotland and shipped out to Australia as a child with his parents, made an illustrious career out of horse thievery and highway robbery. On 15 June 1862, Gardiner along with Ben Hall, John Gilbert and associates held up a gold escort travelling from Forbes to Bathurst. They stole over £14,000 worth of gold and bank notes – Australia’s biggest gold robbery. In February 1864, New South Wales police traced Gardiner to his hideout in Queensland. He was arrested and sentenced to 32 years of hard labour in July. Ten years later, Governor Hercules Robinson granted him mercy and released him, subject to exile. Gardiner lived in Hong Kong and Francisco before dying in Colorado in 1903. “Colonial rule was constantly challenged by bushrangers – it was a major threat to the central administration,” says Dr Hamish Maxwell-Stewart from the University of Tasmania. “They were turning the tables on the convict state.”

 

After the bushranger Ned Kelly’s sister Kate drowned at Forbes NSW in 1898, historians grabbed her most treasured possession – her bed. Kate is said to have enjoyed sleeping and now visitors to a museum at Mount Victoria in NSW can stand at the foot of the bed and dream of those wild bushranger days……..

 

On this day ………… 7th February 1906

A 14 year old mail boy employed on a rural postal run in the Forbes district of NSW had a narrow escape from drowning in a large water tank on this day in 1906. He led his horse, which was attached to a sulky, to a tank. Instead of drinking, the animal plunged in and began to swim pulling the sulky into the water. The boy climbed into the sulky, pulling the reins, impeding it’s movements, with the result that the animal was drowned. The boy could not swim, but saved himself by sitting on the floating animal for seven hours, until travellers came along and rescued him.

 

 

On this day …….. 12th of December 1902

There was great excitement in Lancefield with the news that a lunatic was at large on the Lancefield road, near Forbes. When the police arrived at the place found a man behaving in a violent manner, with almost all his clothes off. With considerable difficulty he was arrested, and it was found that he was George Weir, who escaped from the Sunbury Asylum on the 12th December 1902. Weir was previously arrested in Kilmore in February of last year, when he threatened to burn the whole country down. He was brought before the court, were he was pronounced a dangerous lunatic by the doctors. Weir was removed to the Kew Asylum.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 22nd October 1850

Francis Gardiner, love of crime began in Geelong, on the 22nd of October, 1850, on a charge of horse stealing, and sentenced to five years’ hard labour. However Gardiner manage to escape in the first few months and returned to Goulburn. Where his career as a bushranger began, for within two years he and his gang committed six mail robberies under arms, besides many others of lesser note. In June 1862 he bailed up the Lachlan Gold Escort near Eugowra with a gang including Ben Hall, Dan Charters and Johnny Gilbert. This hold up is considered to be one of the largest ever gold robberies in Australian history. The total value of the 2,700 ounces of gold and bank notes taken was estimated at £14,000 (approximately A$12.5 million in 2012 terms). Much of the gold was recovered by mounted police after they surprised the gang on Wheoga Hill near Forbes. What happened to the remaining gold is still the subject of much speculation and rumour. It is rumoured that two Americans who were thought to be Gardiner’s sons visited the Wheogo Station near the Weddins in 1912 claiming to be miners.

 

On this day …….. 6th of October 1898

Notorious bushranger Ned Kelly had five sisters, two half-sisters, two brothers and one half-brother. His sisters were Maggie, who was born in 1857, three years after Ned, and Catherine, variously nicknamed Kate or Kittie, who was born in 1863. In addition, there were Mary, who died as a baby, Anne and Grace. Ned Kelly’s two brothers were Daniel, who joined Ned in the Kelly gang, and James. Some time after Ned Kelly’s father died, his mother remarried, and bore another two daughters, Ellen and Alice and a son, John, also known as Jack. Kate Kelly was perhaps the best known of Ned Kelly’s siblings. Legend claims that she was the fiancee of Aaron Sherritt, notorious for betraying the Kelly gang to the police, and being shot for his trouble. Kate also had another admirer, Alexander Fitzpatrick, who attempted to ingratiate himself into the Kelly family. After making unwelcome advances towards young Kate, he was attacked by Ned’s mother, beaten by one brother and allegedly shot by Ned, although the doctor who attended Fitzpatrick did not confirm a gunshot wound. The event resulted in Ned’s mother being arrested, and the brothers being hunted further by police. Kate was a central catalyst to these circumstances. After helping hold the family together following the arrest of their mother, at the age of 25, Kate married William Henry Foster of Forbes, New South Wales. She was a skilled and respected horsewoman, and perpetuated the family line by bearng six children, three of whom survived to adulthood. Kate’s colourful life ended tragically when she was just 35 years old. Some two years after her sister Maggie died, Kate went missing, on 6 October 1898. Eight days passed before her body was located in a lagoon at Condobolin Road near Forbes. Initial indications were that she died of drowning, but the Magisterial inquiry that was held into her death on 15 October did not indicate how or why this could have occurred. Kate’s death certificate stated there was no evidence, but family and friends believed her depression following Maggie’s death contributed to her own death.

 

Frank Gardiner, born in 1830 Scotland and shipped out to Australia as a child with his parents, made an illustrious career out of horse thievery and highway robbery. On 15 June 1862, Gardiner along with Ben Hall, John Gilbert and associates held up a gold escort travelling from Forbes to Bathurst. They stole over £14,000 worth of gold and bank notes – Australia’s biggest gold robbery. In February 1864, New South Wales police traced Gardiner to his hideout in Queensland. He was arrested and sentenced to 32 years of hard labour in July. Ten years later, Governor Hercules Robinson granted him mercy and released him, subject to exile. Gardiner lived in Hong Kong and Francisco before dying in Colorado in 1903. “Colonial rule was constantly challenged by bushrangers – it was a major threat to the central administration,” says Dr Hamish Maxwell-Stewart from the University of Tasmania. “They were turning the tables on the convict state.”