Australian History: Other Bushrangers

Black Casaer

John Caesar, came to Australia on the First Fleet. He was strong and hard working but not very intelligent. He was born around 1770 in Madagascar. He was a dark, tall ,strong Negro who was a slave on a sugar plantation. He wasn't getting enough food and stole food but was caught and given 500 lashes as punishment. He stole again and fled into the bush to avoid capture. He was attacked by Aboriginals and gave himself up. Caesar was sentenced to four years on Norfold Island but on his return to Sydney, fled into the bus again, Again he was caught and flogged. Again he escaped. Caesar was joined by other escaped convicts and he led their gang of 7 other members. Black Caesar would rob and steal food from travellers around Sydney. A reward of 22 litres of rum was offered for Caesar's capture and in 1796 a settler found his hideout, shot and killed him at Liberty Plains.Black Caesar was probably's Australia's first bushranger.

Michael Howe

Michael Howe was transported to Tasmania for highway robbery. He was assigned to a settler but escaped and took to the bush. Howe’s gang was strictly organized and he tried to stop his men from shooting without good reason. Michael Howe called himself ‘the Governor of the Ranges’ and wrote letters to ‘the Governor of the Town’ in Hobart. He was clubbed to death in October 1818.

Alexander Pierce

Alexander Pierce escaped from Macquarie Harbour in 1822 with seven other convicts. They soon became lost and wandered around in the bush for eight days. Five of the men were murdered and eaten by the others. Later, Pierce was caught but once again he escaped, this time with one other convict. Soon Pierce had kiiled an eaten him too! Alexander Pierce was finally caught and hanged in 1826. Just before he died, he said: ‘Man’s flesh is delicious. It tastes far better than fish or pork.’

Matthew Brady

Matthew Brady was transported in 1820 for stealing. He was sent to Macquarie Harbour for committing a crime in New South Swales and in 1824 led a party of fourteen convicts in a daring escape. The gang grew to twenty-five and soon became known and feared by settlers. Brady himself claimed to be a gentleman bushranger who was polite to women and did not kill unless threatened. Between 1825 and 1826 more than a hundred bushrangers were hanged in Tasmania while the police searched for Matthew Brady. Finally Brady surrendered in 1826 to John Batman, who later became one of the founders of Melbourne. Matthew Brady was hanged in May 1826.

Martin Cash

Martin Cash was the leader of ‘Cash & Company’, the most successful gang of the 1840s. Cash and two others escaped from Port Arthr in 1837. They fled inland and built a fort. For a while Cash’s mistress, Bessie Clifford lived at the fort but when she went to Hobartand found a new lover, Cash followed to seek revenge. In the fight, Cash shot a constable. He was caught and sent to Norfolk Island where he lived for the next ten years. In 1854 Cash returned to Tasmania and became a farmer. Unlike most bushrangers, he died peacefully in his bed.