On this day, 5th May 1865, the Australian bushranger, Ben Hall was shot and killed by police near Forbes, New South Wales.

Ben Hall started his working life as a young and hard-working farmer in New South Wales. In 1862,  he was arrested and kept in jail for a short time, suspected of being part of a gang that had robbed a stagecoach carrying gold. Ben Hall was proved innocent and set free but when he returned to his farm he found the farm was in ruins and his stock had been stolen or had strayed. His wife had run away with another man and taken their son with her.

Ben decided to become a bushranger. He stole a horse and joined a gang. Although some of the gang members were far more ruthless and violent, Ben Hall soon became their leader. They robbed farmhouses, stagecoaches carrying mail and gold, and country hotels. In one raid on a small country town, they locked the townspeople in the local hotel and held a party there that lasted for three days. All the people in the hotel joined in. Ben Hall’s gang was so successful that the police were embarrassed. In the newspapers articles were printed asking who controlled the roads, the police or Ben Hall.

By early 1865, there was 1000 pounds reward being offered for the capture of each member of the  gang.   One of their supporters was tempted by such a huge amount of money and  betrayed them.  At dawn on Friday 5th May, an unsuspecting Ben Hall walked out of the scrub  to collect his horses.  Eight police opened fire with shotguns and rifles; a few seconds later the bushranger lay dead with more than thirty bullet wounds.

Image from the State Library of New South Wales -

Ben Hall, 1863 / [carte de visite copy photograph] Freeman Brothers, Sydney

Suit of armour worn by Ned Kelly (1880).
This has to be the single toughest object in the history of Australia.

The armour was made by the Kelly Gang with the help of local blacksmiths. It is made of steel from plough shares, leather, iron bolts, in five pieces with separate helmet and visor. Total weight of armour and helmet: 41.4 kg.

Today his bones were relocated to the Kelly family plot in Glenrowan, 132 years after his execution.

On this day, 29th October 1880, the Australia’s most famous bushranger Ned Kelly was sentenced to hang.

He mostly ambushed wealthy landowners, and managed to keep his whereabouts from police, despite the high reward posted for his capture. However, he was betrayed to the police whilst holding dozens of people hostage in the Glenrowan Inn in June, 1880. Wearing their famous armour, the Kelly brothers held a shootout with police. The Kelly brothers were killed, but Ned was shot twenty-eight times in the legs but survived to stand trial, and was sentenced to death by hanging, by Judge Redmond Barry on 29 October 1880. Ned Kelly was hanged in Melbourne on 11 November 1880.

The State Library of New South Wales holds this copy of the poster advertising the reward for his capture.

Item 19: [Wanted poster, offering a reward for information leading to the capture of Ned Kelly], 13 December 1878

"Hearts to hearts and hands to hand, beneath the blue and white we stand..."

“Hearts to hearts and hands to hands, Beneath the blue and white we stand We’ll shout god bless our native land Victoria! Victoria!”

This would’ve been what you’d heard if you were in the MCG change rooms last night when Victoria won the 2010/11 Ryobi One Day title, and their 5th One Day Title.


Tasmania won the toss, and sent in Victoria to bat first - a costly decision. In a rain affected match, Victoria went all out for 194 (from 36.4 overs) with Brad Hodge top scoring with the willow at 61. Brad Drew and Ben Hilfenhaus the pick of the Tasmanian bowlers, Drew with 3-36 (7 overs) and Hilfy with 2-57 (10 overs)

The 194 that Victoria set on the board prooved too much for the Tasmanian’s to overcome, scoring all out for 109 in 31 overs. Ed Cowan top scoring with 32* with Dirky Nannes and Mark Cleary both picking up 3-fa.

Victoria won by 84 runs (Duckworth-Lewis Method)

Can we talk about this guy?

This is Andrew George Scott, a.k.a Captain Moonlite, an Australian bushranger (an outlaw, basically) most well known for pillaging and stealing and all those things bushrangers do.

But anyway, that’s not the end of the story.

Actually, Captain Moonlite kept a lock of his ‘beloved’ fellow bushranger James Nesbitt’s hair around his finger, so he could always have his lover by his side.

Also, when he held up a cattle station and took 35 people hostage, it is said that he “treated the women with respect”…but not the men.

When he was hung, Captain Moonlite’s last request was that he be buried alongside Nesbitt, who also faced the death penalty.

107 years later, his wish was finally granted, and he was buried only a few metres away.


On this day, 25th May 1870, Australian bushranger Frederick Wordsworth Ward, also known as Captain Thunderbolt, was shot dead.  Ward was the last professional bushranger in NSW and the longest roaming bushranger in Australia’s history, when he was killed by Constable Alexander Walker

Ward had escaped from Cockatoo Island in 1863, while serving a sentence for horse theft in 1856. He then began bushranging around the New England region and over the following six-and-a-half years, Ward robbed mailmen, travellers, inns, stores and stations across much of northern New South Wales.                                             

On 25 May 1870, after robbing travellers, Ward was shot and killed by Constable Alexander Binney Walker at Kentucky Creek near Uralla.

These photographs are from the State Library of New South Wales.

Cadaver of Frederick Ward, the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, ca. May-June 1870 / photographer A. Cunningham, Armidale

Constable Alexander Binning Walker, who killed the bushranger Thunderbolt, ca. May-June 1870 / photographer A. Cunningham, Armidale

Do or Die for the Bushrangers

It’s do or die at the WACA tonight for Victoria when they take on WA. Bottom point: If they lose, they mathematically don’t have any chance at making the Final. If they win, the boys will need to win comfortably and win the next few to earn their spot.

Jump on the Bushrangers and support them! Expect a post later on tonight with the results! :)