Gentlemen Bushrangers

While some writers may wish to state otherwise, Michael and his gang were known to act gentlemanly and respectfully around the women and men whose company they found themselves in. As James Calder himself states, “none of these pillaging’s were attended with personal violence of any kind…Howe disliked unnecessary violence, and though he sometimes threatenedContinue reading “Gentlemen Bushrangers”

A Rascally Letter

On the 27th of November 1816, while John Yorke was riding from Port Dalrymple to Hobart Town, he found himself bailed up by Michael Howe and his gang at York Plains. Michael had a letter he wanted given to Lieutenant-Governor Davey, written in gang member Peter Septon’s hand, which in it saw Michael complaining ofContinue reading “A Rascally Letter”

The Solitary Outlaw

“Being now unaccompanied by anyone, his solitary life in the woods must have been wearisome and wretched beyond expression, and to add to the misery of his situation, he was now often chased for his life by the black natives, as was proved by a kind of journal he kept, that was found in hisContinue reading “The Solitary Outlaw”

A Sister Remembered

Being a transported convict, Michael had been torn away from his family and his home in Pontefract, Yorkshire. Within his journal and on the fly leaf of the gardening book he carried with him, Michael wrote of one family member in particular, his beloved sister Mary. Within the gardening book, he recorded her birthday inContinue reading “A Sister Remembered”

The Fight at the Fat Doe River

During the final months of his life in 1818, Michael Howe was pursued and almost captured by James McGill, nicknamed ‘big McGill’ and Musquito an aboriginal tracker from New South Wales, close to the Clyde, then called the Fat Doe River. After robbing a stockman’s hut of ammunition, clothing and food, Michael was tracked byContinue reading “The Fight at the Fat Doe River”

A Bloody Day in October 1818

Being desperately low of ammunition and supplies, Michael had appealed to Warburton for help, having been told by the hunter he could fetch all he needed from Worrell, a stockman for Edward Lord. Feeling uncertain at this plan, Michael requested Warburton to fetch the supplies for him, but of course, the hunter refused. It tookContinue reading “A Bloody Day in October 1818”

A Chance Encounter at Jericho

It was around Jericho that a party of soldiers came upon Michael Howe and Mary Cockerill. Shots were fired between Michael and the advancing soldiers and he was forced to abandon his knapsack, blunderbuss and beloved gardening book, in order to hasten his retreat into a thicket. It was said Mary fell behind as sheContinue reading “A Chance Encounter at Jericho”

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”