Australian History: Captain Moonlite

Captain Moonlight's real name was George Scott. His is one of the strangest stories of any of the bushrangers. In 1869 George Scott was a preacher at the small church in the town of Egerton in Victoria. He admired the Kelly gang, and made a sudden decision to becomes bushranger himself. One night he put on a mask, woke the manager of the local bank, and forced him to go to the bank and hand over more than a thousand pounds.

The bank manager, who knew George Scott well, couldn't believe what was happening. Scott tied him up and told him to tell the police that he had been robbed by Captain Moonlight. From then on the gentle preacher, George Scott, became the bushranger Captain Moonlight. After trying to escape in a boat, Captain Moonlight was caught. He escaped from Ballarat Jail but was soon caught again. Sentenced totem years in prison, he was freed in 1 879. His years in jail didn't stop Captain Moonlight's career as a bushranger. As soon as he was freed he set about getting a gang of young men together. Some of them were still in their teens.

In November l 879, Captain Moonlight and his gang held up a farmhouse at Wantabadgery. The farm owners and workers were bailed up in a room in the house. One of the men managed to escape and returned with nine policemen. A battle followed, and one policeman and two of Captain Moonlight's gang were shot dead. Captain Moonlight and one other membered his gang were tried and hanged. The other two gang members were jailed for the rest of their lives.