A Visit to Thomas Seals

On Thursday the 5th of July 1816, Michael Howe, Peter Septon, James Geary, Richard Collyer and George Jones visit the hut of Thomas Seals at Broadmarsh. Finding Seals outside, Michael covers the man with his musket and demands to know who else is inside. Seals raises his arms, telling Michael there is no one insideContinue reading “A Visit to Thomas Seals”

Michael Howe and Thomas Davenport

In the months before his death in October 1818, Michael was accused of murdering Mr Stanfield’s assigned servant Thomas Davenport, while the man was in the highlands hunting kangaroos. On the third day of the trip, his dogs returned home without him and a search was conducted but returned no success. During a meeting withContinue reading “Michael Howe and Thomas Davenport”

Kangaroo Hide and its Uses

For Michael Howe and his gang, the skin of the Eastern Grey (Forester) Kangaroo served many varied and important uses, with a quantity of kangaroo skins, needles, thread and a thimble being found at their hut near the Fat Doe River, now called the Clyde, in early 1815. Firstly, it could be made into caps,Continue reading “Kangaroo Hide and its Uses”

The Winter of 1818

During the harsh winter months of 1818, Michael Howe managed to survive by raiding remote stock huts for provisions and ammunition, but as was his way, even while as desperate and alone as he found himself, no violence was ever carried out and he only took what he “stood in need of”. According to JamesContinue reading “The Winter of 1818”

The Capture of Michael Howe in 1817

Being in regular contact with William Drew, Michael had no reason to suspect that he would be the one to betray him. The bushranger had made several visits to the shepherd’s hut, as well as giving him a letter to deliver to Sorell after his escape from gaol. However, loyalty was a foreign word toContinue reading “The Capture of Michael Howe in 1817”

The Gunfight with Denis McCarty

On the 24th of April 1815, the gunfight between Michael Howe and Irishman Denis McCarty took place on the banks of the Derwent River at “The Falls”, halfway between New Norfolk and Stoney Hut Plains (Gretna). Believing that there were “two or three parties of soldiers out”, Michael knew that gathering weapons was essential forContinue reading “The Gunfight with Denis McCarty”

The Surrender of Michael in 1817

Following Governor Sorell’s proclamation, Michael wrote a letter to Sorell, which was delivered into Hobart Town by a constable. The man who had given the letter to the constable was probably William Drew, a man who was known to act as Michael’s go-between. According to Bob Minchin, “the meeting between Captain Nair and himself wasContinue reading “The Surrender of Michael in 1817”

The Misrepresentation of Michael Howe

On this cold and wet Tasmanian afternoon, as I sit at my desk listening to the inescapable rasping call of a native hen, my mind begins pondering the question posed to me for the writing of this essay; ‘Has Michael Howe been mispresented?’ (No, do not rub your eyes or adjust your screen brightness, youContinue reading “The Misrepresentation of Michael Howe”

A Rough Sailor-Looking Fellow

By those who saw him, Michael was described as a “rough sailor-looking fellow” who stood at around 5ft 8. His eyes were deep set and he had a profusion of coarse hair which framed his slightly pockmarked face. From ‘Early Troubles of the Colonists’ by James Calder. Illustration by Aidan Phelan.

A Knapsack Full of Flour

According to Carlisle’s servant Patrick Flaherty, while he was cooking breakfast on the morning of the 24th of April 1815, Richard Collier, Richard McGwyre, Peter Septon, Hugh Burn and Peter Geary entered the hut and demanded Flaherty not to stir. With their muskets cocked, the outlaws searched through the room for items they stood inContinue reading “A Knapsack Full of Flour”