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 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”

The Love of a Good Book

During the Howe Gangs raids upon homesteads, books were often much sought after by the “gentlemen foresters”. One such book taken by the gang was ‘The History of Tom Jones’ volume 1 in early 1815. Furthermore, it happened to be the theft of a book which resulted in the transportation of gang member George JonesContinue reading “The Love of a Good Book”

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”

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”

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”