Rewards for Bravery
Edward Denny Day
When absconding convicts Edward Bowen, Charles Westbury, Patrick Feeney, John Mason, Hugh Duffy, Morgan Browne, Patrick Donnelly, John Jones and John Donovan robbed Hugh Cameron and other settlers and stations in the Upper Hunter and the Liverpool Plains, they intended to take their plunder and go as for as they could into the bush and remain there 'quiet and contented'.
They took a black woman from Liverpool Plains and planned to 'break up some ground, and sow what wheat they had; they had two or three hoes, and a tomahawk;' and added to these five horses and a mare, a fowling piece, an iron pot, some duck trousers and shirts, plunder from their robberies at Lawson's, Towns and Holmes properties.
When they embarked on their bold plan, they had not reckoned on the perseverance and bravery of the men who were sent to capture them. The following account of the pursuit and subsequent reward is given in the Sydney Gazette:
'His Excellency the Governor, in Reference to the Government Order of the 20th Instant, No. 15, has the further Satisfaction of announcing the Capture of another Mounted Banditti, who, it will be recollected, commenced their Depredations attended with Acts of Outrage, some Time since, in the Districts of Hunter's River. These Men were, at the outset, attacked by Mr. Bingle, the Magistrate, and Dr. Little, when, in a skirmish which took place, some individuals on each side were killed and wounded. Being thus promptly opposed, they left the District, and were pursued by a Party of Mounted Police, under Corporal Quigley (57th Regiment), whose zeal and discretion are mentioned in Terms of deserved Approbation by Captain Aubyn (57th), under whose orders he acted.
This Party was out for a period of eight weeks, during which time they were exposed to great fatigue and privation. The Service appears to have been performed with much address, the Banditti having been taken by surprise, without firing a shot. A considerable quantity of booty was found in their possession, consisting of cattle, horses, arms, ammunition, clothing, impalements of various descriptions, etc.
The Governor notices with pleasure the conduct of Mr. Hugh McDonald, employed as overseer by Richard Jones, esquire. He accompanied the party throughout this fatiguing Pursuit, and appears to have been, in a great measure, instrumental to its success, by his influence over the natives, who proved extremely useful in tracking the Banditti, The Governor has been pleased to promote Corporal Quigley, in consequence of his good conduct; and to direct that Mr. Hugh McDonald shall receive a Grant of one square mile of land free of Quit rent, as a Reward for the Services he rendered on this occasion. His Excellency has also given orders that the three aboriginal natives who accompanied the party at the instance of Mr. McDonald shall, in addition to such necessary articles as they may wish to obtain receive a medal each, commemorative of their services, and as an inducement to others to act as they have done.
Daly was also part of this gang. He was shot dead by 'Jemmy the Locust' near Merriwa.
BUSHRANGERS.- A ticket of leave man named Patrick Tighe, (stockman, we believe, to Mr. Lawson,) last week brought into the Upper District of Hunter's River, two desperate bushrangers whom he had captured, single handed, in a most courageous manner. The marauders when taken, had three stand of arms and a mare belonging to Mr. Lawson. There were two other men with them, also armed and well mounted ; but who, for that time escaped. While in pursuit, Tighe's horse fell, dislocated its shoulder, and broke the collar bone of the rider, who, however, returned shortly after to the pursuit, and eventually succeeded in capturing the other men. The place where this brave fellow took the bushrangers, is about 100 miles beyond Liver- pool Plains. The men were examined by the Bench and were fully committed to take their trial for several robberies, as well as for being at large, with firearms, under the Bushranging Act. It is to be hoped that the intrepidity of Patrick Tighe will be rewarded. Sydney Herald 31 March 1834
Rewards for Bravery