The Hut at Abyssinia

In early 1815, James Whitehead was brought to Michael’s Abyssinia hut by Burrell, a sympathiser to the gang and servant to John Ingle, the man Michael had been first assigned to. James had given himself up when the pardon had been offered to the gang in 1814 and had been assigned to Mr Gunning. HeContinue reading “The Hut at Abyssinia”

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”

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 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”

A Toast to the Governor

On the night of the 8th of September 1816, John Peachey, the overseer of Lieutenant-Governor Davey’s farm at Coal River , was in bed when a heavy knock resounded from the front door of the house. Upon answering it, Peachey was greeted by Michael Howe, George Jones, Peter Septon, John Chapman and James Parker, withContinue reading “A Toast to the Governor”

Michael’s Journal

While raiding the house of a Mr Pitt, Michael came across a book that took his eye and placed it in his Knapsack. This book would come to be his ‘journal of dreams’, with Michael writing in every spare space he could find not taken by text and possibly adding to its length with freshContinue reading “Michael’s Journal”

Letter from Michael Howe to Lieutenant-Governor Davey

Michael wrote several letters to Lieutenant-Governor Davey during his outlawry. The following is one such letter: “From the Bushrangers to the Honor’ble T. Davey, Lieutenant Governor of Van damand’s Land. Sir, We have Thought proper to write these Lines To You As we have Been Kept In the Dark so long And We find itContinue reading “Letter from Michael Howe to Lieutenant-Governor Davey”