The Capture of Hugh Burn and Richard McGwire

On the 1st of June 1815, two members of Michael Howe’s gang, Hugh Burn and Richard McGwire were captured at Kangaroo Point (Bellerive) and brought into Hobart Town. After having been attracted to a hut near Tea Tree Brush by the smoke that rose from its chimney, a party of the 46th Regiment spied HughContinue reading “The Capture of Hugh Burn and Richard McGwire”

A Memoir Lost

For Michael, writing his thoughts and dreams was important and was done within two books he kept close. The first was his ‘journal of dreams’, where he wrote down the flowers, vegetables and trees he wished to procure for the garden of his Shannon hut. He also recorded memories of his beloved sister Mary andContinue reading “A Memoir Lost”

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”

An Outlaw’s Code of Conduct

According to Thomas Seals, a free man who had been bailed up by Michael and his gang in 1816, he was told “If I would be a friend to them, they would reward me well…for they were fully determined to be like Turpin, to rob from the rich and give to the poor.” Further toContinue reading “An Outlaw’s Code of Conduct”

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 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”

A Spot of Tea at Humphrey’s

At about seven o’clock in the evening on the 10th of May 1815, James Whitehead, Peter Septon, Thomas Collier, Richard McGwyre and James Geary rushed into the servant hut of Mr Adolarious William Henry Humphrey at Pitt Water and bailed up the male servants inside, tying their hands with the handkerchiefs they wore around theirContinue reading “A Spot of Tea at Humphrey’s”