Letter from Michael Howe to Lieutenant-Governor Davey

Michael wrote several letters to Lieutenant-Governor Davey during his outlawry. The following is one such letter:

“From the Bushrangers to the Honor’ble T. Davey, Lieutenant Governor of Van damand’s Land. Sir, We have Thought proper to write these Lines To You As we have Been Kept In the Dark so long And We find it his Only To Keep Us Quiet Until By some Means or another you think you can get Us Betrayed. But We will stand it No Longer We Are Now Determined to have it full And Satisfactory Either for or Against Us So we are Determined to Be Kept No Longer In Ignorance for We think Ourselves Greatly Injured By the County At large In lay in To Hour Charge that Horid An detestable crime which We have fully Satisfied the Eyes of the Publick In All our Actions To the Contrary During our Absence from the Settlement I Have not the least Doubt But you are glad that these New Hands joaning Us We Are Glad Also though you think I Dare Say They Will prove to Our Disadvantage And We think to the Contrary And He who Preserved Us from your Plots in Publick will Likewise Preserve Us from them in Secret as We Are not Unacquainted with you having A party in Secret and Likewise Where they are And where We  as much Inclined to take Life As You Are in your Hearts We Could Destroy All the Partyes you can send out And Without We Have A Little Quietness More than What We have Had you shall soon be Convinced of What I say. Therefore if you Wish to prevent it send Word out By Bearer Richard Westlick Which We Expect To Return on the 9th of the Ensuing Month With An Answer To Us Do not think to Defraud Us By sending out a party on his head for if you do you Take Away the Man’s Life if they Are Either With Him Or Watching him for We Will Be Watching Likewise you Must Not think to Catch Hold Birds With Chaff. Therefore To Affirm the Answer Either for Or Against Us that We Will Receive Clap on it the King’s Seal And Your Signature We have Weighed Well Within Our Own Breasts the Consequence Which Will Attend to those Circumstances Thtrefore I Would Have you Do it the same for the Good of the Peaceable And Well Disposed Inhabitants of the Territorys of this Land. No More At Present.

Michl Howe. Jas Garry. Peter Septon. Geo. Jones X. Rich. Colier X. John Chapman. Thomas Coyne. James Packer. Mathew Kegan X. John Brown X. Nenis Curry X. “

Letter taken verbatim from ‘Michael Howe: The Last and Worst of the Bushrangers of Van Diemen’s Land’ by T.E. Wells.

(It is interesting to note the words Howe has spelt phonetically, such as ‘hold’ for ‘old’, ‘hour’ for ‘our’ and ‘joaning’ for ‘joining’. Given his Yorkshire accent, it is easy to understand why he would have spelt these words the way he did.)

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