The Robbery of Captain Townson

In October 1814, J. McKenzie of the 46th Regiment, wrote the following dispatch concerning the robbery of Captain Townson by ‘Captain Michael Howe’ and his gang at George Town: “The bushrangers, or as they style themselves, ‘Gentlemen Foresters’, have robbed poor Captain Townson to the amount of £150 and surprised the party of my menContinue reading “The Robbery of Captain Townson”

A Few Sheep from Richard Dry

In late 1815, Michael Howe and his gang travelled down from their hideout in the Tiers and paid a visit to the property of Richard Dry at Quamby’s Plains, near Launceston. Being low on stores, the gang stole four of Richard’s sheep, which, with the aid of their kangaroo dogs, they drove back to theirContinue reading “A Few Sheep from Richard Dry”

The Real Michael Howe

For over two hundred years, the story of bushranger Michael Howe has been greatly distorted, with the facts buried beneath murky layers of falsehood and political disinformation. Since colonisation, Australia has been home to many bushrangers and convict bolters, with most experiencing a twisting of their story by newspapers and writers of the time; indeed,Continue reading “The Real Michael Howe”

Michael Howe and the Tallow Chandler’s Shop

In 1816, Michael Howe and his gang rounded up a number of horned cattle belonging to Stynes and Troy and took them to Murderer’s Plains, near Oatlands. The farmers had once been loyal to the gang and had shared in their plunder, but their loyalty had since wavered. Requiring more items to exchange for provisionsContinue reading “Michael Howe and the Tallow Chandler’s Shop”

A Lesson from the Lawless

You should know we have you in our sights Mr Humphrey and I dare say you should be expecting us. A man with as desperate a character as yourself should not be expecting any less. It is no secret the way you treat the convicts under your charge, I have heard firsthand how you driveContinue reading “A Lesson from the Lawless”

The Temporary Hut at the Fat Doe River

On the 17th of April 1815, Corporal Thomas Miller and his party of soldiers from the 72nd regiment, came upon one of the Howe Gangs temporary huts at the Fat Doe River. Drawing close to the makeshift shelter, the gangs kangaroo dogs began barking and growling, alerting William Martin and Richard McGwire, the only gangContinue reading “The Temporary Hut at the Fat Doe River”

The Execution of Richard McGwire

On the 7th of June 1815, Richard McGwire was hanged on Hunter Island for his involvement in the shootout with Dennis McCarty at New Norfolk and the subsequent deaths of Charles Carlisle and James O’Burne. In the days leading to the execution, Reverend Robert Knopwood paid three visits to the condemned man and recorded theContinue reading “The Execution of Richard McGwire”

The Currency of Kangaroo Hide

As money was scarce in Van Diemen’s Land during Michael Howe’s outlawry, the gang would often use the hide of the Eastern Grey (Forester) Kangaroo as currency, which they exchanged for ammunition and provisions. One such example of this comes from early 1815, when Richard Collyer informed George Nelson, a servant to Mr. Gunning, thatContinue reading “The Currency of Kangaroo Hide”

Richard Collyer

Richard Collyer was a member of Michael Howe’s gang who was born in Kent, England, in 1786. In July 1799 at the age of only 13, he was sentenced to death at the Maidstone Assizes for the crime of committing an “unnatural act” with 45-year-old Thomas Bowles. However, this sentence was later commuted to life,Continue reading “Richard Collyer”

Michael Howe at the Ovens

On the night of the 18th of August 1814, three men of the 73rd regiment, Corporal Fentrill, his son Private Fentrill and Private Merry were travelling from Port Dalrymple to Hobart Town when they decided to set up camp in a cave near Jericho, known as the “Ovens”. Under their charge were three crown prisonersContinue reading “Michael Howe at the Ovens”