This is a transcript form a
letter set home to England by Thomas Bradshaw. It relates to the treatment of
Letter supplied by.....Linda
J Gladwin (Bradshaw..
- (" I am stationed now in a place called
Berrima. There is what they term the Mounted Police
- That is a body of men selected form the
different Regiments that comes to the colony. It
- Fell to my lot to be selected and I find
it far superior situation than to be in any Regiment.
- We are the same as cavalry that is
a tonic but the duty is a little more precarious.
- My dear friends the duty I have to
perform is after the Bushrangers. these are
- convicts who are outlawed and they have
arms in the bush and they rob and murder
- All travellers as they meet with them
but when we come up with them and we surprise them
- They are hanged without much
hesitation.") (sic) (Thomas Bradshaw 1841)
This letter was written several
months before Bradshaw became acquainted with the notorious Bushranger Westwood.
Thomas Bradshaw was involved in his capture in 1841
- William Westwood (Jackey Jackey)
- Of all the bushrangers who rode across the
Australian bush, Jackey Jackey is probably the one who most reflects the myth
of the chivalrous and gallant "knight of the road". All-source research
indicates he was unfailingly gentlemanly to women, polite to most, avoided
violence whenever possible and, although armed, considered his weapons as a
threat only. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that those weapons, even if
unused, remained a threat of violent death. It must also be remembered that no
matter how "nice" he may have presented himself or have been seen he was still
a thief and a criminal, depriving people of their rightful property.
- Jackey Jackey is also probably the most tragic of the bushrangers. His
real name was William Westwood. An educated man, he had been a Clerk in
England until at the age of 16 he was transported for forgery and stealing a
coat in 1837. However, it should be noted that he had been previously
sentenced to 12 months' gaol for Highway Robbery. After arriving in Sydney he
was assigned to a property near Goulburn. He absconded on a number of
occasions but was recaptured, flogged and returned to his employer.
- Whatever the facts, finally, in 1840 he stole a firearm, bailed up his
employer and took to the bush with another escapee named Paddy Curran. The
partnership did not last long. Curran did not share his partner's high ideals
and raped the wife of a farmer they bailed up. Westwood beat him, took his
horse, arms and ammunition and threatened to kill him if he ever saw him
- Stories quickly grew around Jackey Jackey and today it is difficult to
separate fact from fiction. He is known to have been well dressed and armed.
Like later bushrangers he preferred to steal blood horses because their
superior stamina and speed was vital in escaping pursuit and covering large
distances to confuse pursuers. He covered a wide range of country and was
extraordinarily unpredictable, showing a daring not displayed by his
contemporaries. He even bailed up the tollkeeper on the Parramatta Road, not
far from where the University of Sydney now stands.
- He bailed up at least five coaches, scores of other travellers and a
number of stores and other businesses. He was twice captured but escaped. A
reward was posted for his capture dead or alive, but no-one seemed
particularly anxious to claim it.
- Jackey Jackey's luck finally ran out late in 1841 when he was captured
at an inn near Berrima. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and taken to
Darlinghurst Gaol. He may have suffered from some type of Claustrophobia or
depression because from there he began a downward spiral into increasing
desperation and violence which seems to be directly linked to this
- He tried to escape and was sent to Cockatoo Island. He tried to escape
from there by swimming to Balmain but was caught by the Water Police. He was
then transferred to Port Arthur and even tried to escape from the ship taking
him there. Jackey Jackey escaped from Port Arthur and for a short time resumed
his bushranging career before being captured. Returned to the gaol he escaped
again and again resumed bushranging. Captured in Hobart he was tried and
sentenced to death. However, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on
Norfolk Island. There he became increasingly morose and belligerent, resisting
any attempt at rehabilitation. The end came on 02 July 1846 when he was
involved in the infamous convict mutiny as one of the ringleaders. During the
course of the fracas he murdered three men. Tried and convicted he was hanged
on 13 October 1846, just 26 years old.
- Personal Details
Born, Manuden, Essex, England, 01 August 1820.
Sentenced at Chelmsford to 12 months for highway robbery (a Highwayman)
Sentenced to 14 years' transportation at Essex Quarter Sessions, 01 January
1837, for stealing a coat and forging a cheque for six shillings (about $50
in modern terms).
Arrived 09 July 1837 at Sydney Cove per the ship MANGLES
Brown hair, dark grey eyes, slight build, 5'5'' tall, errand boy/Clerk,
Protestant Religion, Able to Read and Write, slight pockmarks to face, scars
on right hand and arm.
- Profile prepared by Andrew Stackpool, 1998.
The information is intended for
short Historical value only,
E- mail address
© Copyright B & M Chapman
- Military records ,Pay rolls, Pay Musters, Cemetery Records, Church
Records & General Muster Records, Mitchell Library ,Sydney Australia