Places Connected to Michael Howe

The following is a list of places around Tasmania where Michael and his gang were known to have passed through or spent time. For greater insight into each of the incidents referred to, please search the website, as most of these have been covered in detail under the category For The Record, which can be found under the Archive tab.

(Please note, this is a work in progress and places and information will continue to be added. The list has also been made in no particular order.)

Gretna – While Michael was alive this area was known as Stony Hut Plains and it is where the Howe Gang had one of their temporary huts.

Photo of Gretna has it looks today.

The Clyde River – During Michael’s lifetime this river was known as the Fat Doe and is where the bushranger lost his beloved journal of dreams after his fight with John McGill and an Aboriginal tracker.

It was also on the banks of the Fat Doe where the Howe Gang were known to have had a temporary hut.

Photo of the Clyde at Hamilton.

Apsley – When Michael frequented the area it was known as the Black Marsh and according to Tasmanian writer Bob Minchin, it was where the bushranger surrendered to Captain Nairn in April 1817.

Magra – Previously known as the Black River, it was here where Dennis McCarty owned a farm and where, in May 1815, James Whitehead was shot and killed by soldiers.

Later, when the property was owned by Robert Jillett, it was the place where Michael and the gang spent a night, eating and drinking freely.

Mount Faulkner, New Norfolk – According to Tasmanian writer James Calder, it was around the area of Mount Faulkner that Michael killed William Drewe and wounded George Watts, after the pair had attempted to take him to Hobart.

Rosegarland – It is here where ‘The Falls’ are located at the Derwent. This section of the river was regularly crossed by Michael and his gang.

Believed to be the original farmhouse built by James Cox.

Nile – It was at the farm of James Cox, now Clarendon, where Peter Septon, George Jones and John Brown took two women and their male guide for refreshments, after the trio had mistaken the bushrangers for three guards stationed along the highway.

Evandale – This area was known as Gordons Plains while Michael was alive and was where Peter Septon was brutally murdered by George Hillier.

Country around Bothwell.

Abyssinia Road, Bothwell – The Howe Gang had a hut at Abyssinia and in early 1815, James Whitehead was brought to the hideout by Thomas Burrill, after absconding from George Weston Gunning.

Hunting Ground – During the winter of 1818, Michael robbed the farm of George William Evans, taking with him provisions, ammunition and two noble kangaroo dogs.

Sorell – Known as Pitt Water during Michael’s lifetime, magistrate Adolarious William Henry Humphrey’s property was robbed by the bushranger and his gang in early May 1815.

The country surrounding Kempton.

Kempton – Originally known as Green Ponds, Richard Pitt resided here and lost his gardening book to Michael during a raid made on his property by the bushranger.

Coal River – Lieutenant Governor Davey’s farm was located at the Coal River, near Richmond. A property which was robbed twice by the Howe Gang, with Michael present during the first robbery, which occurred in early September 1816. On this particular occasion, he made himself eggnog and took the overseer’s dictionary, which he promised to return.

The Coal River was also where gang member George Jones was supplied with ammunition by William Williams, a convict servant who had also been transported on the Indefatigable.

York Plains.

York Plains – Also known as Scantling’s Plains, but as The Hobart Town Gazette acknowledged in 1817, this was the improper name, with the name York Plains given to the area by Governor Macquarie in 1811. It was here, in November 1816, that a traveller named John Yorke was bailed up by Michael Howe and James Geary and made to witness each gang member swearing to abide by the terms in a letter, written in gang member Peter Septon’s hand.

It was also around the area of York Plains where Michael had his ‘tallow chandler’s shop’. Two farmers named Stynes and Troy had once been loyal to the gang and had shared in their plunder, but after their loyalty had wavered, a large number of their cattle were stolen, with the fat being rendered down to make tallow. This was then used by the gang to barter with.


Jericho – It was at Jericho where Captain Blyth resided and in early October 1818 his house was robbed by Michael, despite there being a soldier and three men at the property at the time of the robbery.

It was also at Jericho where, in April 1817, Captain Nairn’s party came upon Michael and Black Mary. The bushranger was able to escape, however, not before being compelled to discard his blunderbuss and knapsack, which held his beloved gardening book. Mary later guided the soldiers to several of the gangs huts which were located close to Jericho, these were then burnt, while Michael, Peter Septon and James Geary watched on from a high hill.

Country at Westbury, looking towards the Western Tiers.

Westbury – It was at Quamby Plains, near Westbury, where Michael and his gang stole four of Richard Dry’s sheep in November 1815.

It was also noted that their hideout at the time was located not far from the area, at a place known as Fentrill’s Plains.

George Town – It was at George Town in late 1814 that Captain Townson was robbed by Michael and his gang.

Oatlands – It was close to Oatlands, at a place called ‘The Ovens’, where Michael captured Corporal Fentrill and his party and later freed two bushrangers and three crown prisoners who had been under their charge.


Bothwell – It was behind Bothwell, on a property know called ‘Hunterson’ where Michael was brutally shot and killed by Thomas Worrall and William Pugh. Michael’s headless body was later buried in a shallow grave where he fell.

Broadmarsh – It was here, in July 1816, that Thomas Seals was bailed up at his hut by Michael and his gang. The bushrangers stayed with Seals for four days and shot one of his bullocks, with Michael later writing a note requesting Lieutenant Governor Davey pay for it.

Bagdad – It was at Bagdad, where in November 1816, the Howe Gang bailed up and plundered Mr. Stocker’s Cart.

Bagdad is also where Michael’s thighbone was said to be, after Dr Espie had rode up to the Shannon and collected the bone and embedded it above a doorway in the wall of his home known as ‘Sayes Court’.

Murray Street, Hobart – When Michael was alive, Murray Street was where the old Hobart gaol stood. Michael was reported to have knitted outside the gaol gates while awaiting news of his pardon in May 1817.

The site of the gaol was also the spot where Michael’s head was buried, after being brought into Hobart Town by William Pugh and Thomas Worrall.