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2-013 (Original)

Item metadata
Speaker:
addressee author,male,Broadside,un
ns1:discourse_type
Newspaper Article
Word Count :
2008
Plaint Text :
ns1:register
Public Written
ns1:texttype
Newspapers & Broadsides
ns1:localityName
http://dbpedia.org/resource/Van_Diemen%27s_Land
Created:
1826
Identifier
2-013
Source
Ingleton, 1988
pages
108-09
Document metadata
Extent:
11975
Identifier
2-013.txt
Title
2-013#Original
Type
Original

2-013.txt — 11 KB

File contents



<source><g=m><o=b><age=un><status=2><abode=un><p=vdl><r=pcw><tt=nb><2-013>
The Last of the Infamous Brady's Mob.
HOBART TOWN, SATURDAY, MAY 6, 1826
On Thursday morning, the awful execution took place, of five of these unfortunate men, namely Brady, Bryant, Jefferies, Perry, and Thomson, and yesterday morning, all the others suffered with the exception of Hopkins, who stands respited till the 12th Inst.
A most blessed change appeared to have been worked on all these misguided and guilty men. Brady and Bryant were closeted with the Reverend Mr Conolly, till the hour approached when the Sheriff was to make his dread visit. The soul of Jefferies, which had for some time touched with a sense of his dreadful state, was wholly lost to the things around him, and Perry, who had but a few days before incurred the animadversion of His Honor the Chief Justice, for his levity in Court, was so overpowered by his internal feelings, as nearly to swoon away. The effort to silence conscience was evidently at last ineffectual, and never was more fully shewn how deeply they feel their own pain, who most disregarded that of others.
Having mounted the scaffold with trembling step, and at the conclusion of the final prayer, which closed with the word "death", - the executioner withdrew the bolt - the platform fell, and the miserable men dropped into eternity.
THE CAREER OF MATTHEW BRADY.
While at Macquarie Harbour, Brady was not long contemplating escape. Forming a secret association of desperadoes, he sought occasion to seize a boat. On the 9th of June, 1824, Commandant Wright, the surgeon, and others, were out some distance from the Settlement. The moment seemed opportune, and a rush was made towards his boat; but the officer was on the alert, and pushed off just in time. Having secured another boat, the party made off for the narrow entrance of the Harbour, and were soon tossing on the angry waves of the Southern Ocean. Nine days after, they became bushrangers, on the eastern coast of the Derwent, with Brady as Captain.
Brady's mob became a terror to all the Colonists - no settler could be secure, for one moment, from their depredations. One day the bushrangers would be committing outrages near Launceston, and in an astonishing short space of time they would be striking terror to the inhabitants in the vicinity of Hobart Town - and the most atrocious crimes were committed by them. The audacity with which these men acted, is most astonishing; not content with ransacking and putting at defiance the whole of the country, they made frequent excursions into Hobart Town; and their leaders have been known to be carousing there, for days and days together, as if to mock the energies of the Government and the Colonists to capture them. The Government appeared to look on in silent wonder at the outrageous proceedings of this little band of bushrangers.
The bushrangers had been committing their depredations nearly twelve months, when the Government, finding the Colonists were unable of themselves to bring these outlaws to justice, issued a Government Order, dated the 14th of April, 1825, offering rewards. Twenty-five guineas was offered for the apprehension of either Brady or M'Cabe, or a conditional pardon to any convict who should secure either of them. The rewards however, were insufficient. So audacious was Brady, that three days. after the above Government Order was issued, he cooly posted the following notice on the door of the Royal Oak Inn at Crossmarch:
"Mountain Home, April 20th, 1825. 
"It has caused Matthew Brady much concern that such a person known as Sir George Arthur is at large. Twenty gallons of rum will be given to any person that will deliver his person unto me. I also caution John Priest that I will hang him for his ill-treatment of Mrs Blackwell, at Newtown. M. Brady."
One effect of the Governor's proclamation was the capture of M'Cabe. Originally of respectable connexions, he had received a good education. A lieutenant of the gang, he enjoyed the confidence of his chief; but for offering violence to a woman Brady shot M'Cabe through the hand, disarmed and thrashed him, and expelled him from the gang. M'Cabe then began robbing settlers single-handed, but he was soon taken. When M'Cabe was in prison, every effort was made to extract information about Brady, but without avail; he considered it a point of honor to divulge nothing, and upon the scaffold adhered to that principle.
Every expedient employed to take Brady failed. Soldiers were concealed beneath luggage upon drays, and so driven through the lonely paths of the bush, in the hope to fall in with him. The audacity of Brady's mob seemed to increase with their success. Sometimes as many as twenty-five horsemen were seen following the standard of Brady. The brilliant feats, the daring attacks, the astonishing escapes, produced such an eclat, that a thorough bushranging mania seized the community. As many as one hundred armed criminals were out at once, each emulous to exceed even Brady himself. The constables and military were dreadfully harassed; but the chief burden of care rested on the responsible head of His Excellency, Sir George Arthur. [109] He entreated and threatened; he lavished rewards and severely punished; but Brady's mob still burnt, plundered, terrified.
Satisfied with their plunder, the bushrangers now contemplated the means of their escape from the Colony, as a glorious finish to their adventures. Brady left them while he went reconnoitring from a hill the position of the Glory, a vessel thought well-adapted for their purpose. The whole party entered a fine boat which they had stolen, and sailed three times round the Glory. A discussion then followed, as to the propriety of an immediate capture. The wind was foul, and so the chance of getting out the Tamar River was diminished; they decided upon another forest campaign, with the chances of doubling their foes in the intricacy of the bush.
Before this, Jefferies had been captured, and, true to his character, peached upon his mates, though without the least expectation of a reprieve. Calling their carrier, Watson, the bushrangers bade him go to Launceston with their compliments to the Commandant, and state their intention to do two things that night; namely rob the residence of Richard Dry, Esq, and to attack the gaol, take Jefferies out of his cell, well torture him for a while, and then finish him with ball. The man delivered the message, which was treated with derision!
At 10 o'clock that night however, a man who escaped from Mr Dry came into Launceston to say that the banditti were there. The Commandant instantly started with one sergeant, ten soldiers, and some volunteers. They surrounded the house just as the bushrangers had packed up their booty, when a brisk fire commenced. The bushrangers retreated and all was quite, when the Commandant remembered that they had threatened to attack the gaol. He returned post haste with half the soldiers, but the outlaws did not make their appearance within the limits of the town.
This outrage, more daring than any other committed by Brady during his twenty-one months reign of terror and desolation, from one end of the island to the other, prompted His Excellency to issue a proclamation, offering a reward of one hundred guineas, or three hundred acres of land, free of all restrictions; or a free pardon, and passage to England, to any prisoner giving information whereby any one of the twelve principal desperadoes, named in the proclamation, might be taken.
Almost immediately, these terms aroused the cupidity and hopes of many before indifferent to the affair, or friendly to the men. The bush was soon searched in all directions most vigorously; the different parties were fell in with, and deadly skirmishes took place, in which generally the bushrangers were worsted. As their bands became more divided, so did the capture become more easily accomplished. But mischief was still abroad, for that Brady was still at large. On the night of the 5th of March last, the bushrangers set fire and burnt down the stock-yard, with all the wheat belonging to Mr Abraham Walker and Commissary Walker. They shot Thomas Kenton dead at the Punt on the South Esk; they called him out of the house and deliberately shot him. One by one however, they fell into the hands of those in pursuit of them, until finally only Brady was left, alone in the wilderness of the Western Tier. He was closely pursued by Mr Batman's party, and taken without further resistance.
THE TRIAL OF BRADY'S MOB.
On the 22nd of April last, Jefferies and Perry were arraigned for the murder of Mr Tibbs' child. When Mrs Tibbs came into Court, and her eye glanced at the insatiate murderers of her babe, she was so affected as to be unable to stand. Her situation powerfully excited the commisseration of every one present. The bare recital of the dreadful journey which the monster had compelled her to take was a painful addition to her sufferings.
When it was necessary for her to look at the prisoners, in order to prove their persons, the suddenness with which she withdrew her eyes, and the tears with which the effort was accompanied, was an instance of detestation more strongly depicted than any assembly of spectators perhaps ever witnessed.
The child proved to have been taken away from the arms of the mother, and killed by Jefferies and Russel, and its remains were discovered about a week afterwards in a decayed state, and mangled by the carnivorous animals in the woods. When Mrs Tibbs had asked Jefferies, who called himself Captain, and was dressed in a long black coat, red waist-coats and a Kangaroo skin cap, to point out the place where she might find the body, he said "It was no odds, as it had not suffered a moment's pain in leaving the world". Both he and Russel, who was afterwards shot and partly eaten by the monster, expressed themselves as regarding the life of a child as nothing.
Both the prisoners were found guilty; the trial lasted till 11 at night.
On the 25th of April, the bushrangers Brady, Bryant, Tilley, M'Kenney, Brown, Gregory, and Hodgetts, were put upon their trial for making an assault on William Andrews, a private of the 40th, at Bagdad, on the 26th of December last, and stealing his gun. The jury returned the verdict of guilty, except against M'Kenney and Hodgetts, who were acquitted.
Brady, Bryant, Tilley, and Goodwin were then tried for having committed the crimes of felony and arson at Mr Lawrence's, on the Lake River, on the 26th of February, when Brady and Bryant pleaded guilty to the charge, the former declaring that he should plead guilty to every other information that might be filed against him.
On the 27th of April following, Brady and Bryant pleaded guilty to the murder of Thomas Kenton with malice aforethought and at the instigation of the devil on the 5th of March last.
We regret to state that the Court during the trials was crowded with sympathising ladies, who wept at the recital of Brady's sufferings, and palliated the enormity of his crimes. Brady's chivalrous behaviour to females had won their esteem; gentleness to the weak, and the brilliant feats of his career, had excited their imagination with pleasure. Following the pronouncement of death we must remark that petition followed petition for Brady's deliverance from the halter. His cell was besieged with visitors, and his table loaded with presents - baskets of fruit, bouquets of flowers, and dishes of confectionery were prepared by these fair admirers, and were tendered in abundance to the gaoler for his distinguished captive. Brady's greatest vexation, he repeatedly stated, was being brought to Hobart Town in company with the monster Jefferies, and he bitterly grieved his fate that he should be hanged on the same platform with such a despicable creature.
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