Bushrangers of Caergwrle | State Library of New South Wales

Bushrangers of Caergwrle

Bushranging in Australia has its origins with the arrival of the First Fleet. Convict bolters such as John 'Black' Caesar vanished into the bush around the Sydney settlement. For more than a century bushrangers struck fear and fascination into the Austalian population. The peak of bushranging came during the the gold rushes. Gold escorts and diggers returning from the goldfields were vulnerable to attack. Outlawed bushrangers could be shot on sight; a notorious example is the Kelly Gang and the stand-off at Glenrowan in 1880.

The popularity of bushrangers and their ethos of 'fight before surrender' was commemorated in bush songs and folklore. The Gresford region witnessed bushrangers at close range. Frederick Ward, (known as Captain Thunderbolt) and the Governor Brothers all travelled through the area.

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Frederick Ward was the last of the professional bushrangers in New South Wales and one of the most successful. The Governor Brothers, Joe and Jimmy, were the last proclaimed outlaws in New South Wales and were responsible for the largest manhunt in Australian history. Their story is a tragic one of race, discrimination and violence on the eve of Australian Federation.

Link to Captain Thunderbolt

Link to the Governor brothers story

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People & Places, Caergwrle, Allynbrook
Made possible through a partnership with Peter and Ellie Hunt