A rebellious Irishmen he spent much of his life in and out of gaol, finally finding his way and passing away peacefully in Hobart in August 1877 aged 69.
In our article upon Macquarie Harbour of last week, we mentioned that the runaways from that place, are generally stopped by a large river. A Correspondent has since inform-ed us, that Lieut. Dalrymple, with Mr. Russel, of Dennis-town, were lately within 14 or 15 miles of that Settlement. It appears they proceeded on foot by Lake Echo crossing the Dee, in a south-westerly direction ; and having passed several rivers and streams, they arrived at the Derwent. From the hills in the immediate neighbourhood, the estuary of Macquarie Harbour was quite visible. Here they discovered large tracts of marsh land, which were covered with horse dung and we have no doubt but this is the spot discovered by the bush-rangers, where Mr. Triffitt's horses were left. It appears, this party went along the banks of the Derwent for some distance, but as some of them could not swim, and provisions were not abundant with them, they returned, skirting the Derwent by the High Plains. We understand it be their opinion, that is is perfectly practicable to go to the Settlement at Macquarie Harbour on foot, in four days from the Clyde. We have also heard that there are immense tracts of excellent land, stretching from the upper extremity of Lake Echo to the S.W. W.,and N.W., and in the vicinity of the
Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839), Saturday 27 November 1830, page 2
Lower Clyde, Nov. 20. - The natives have been in the neighbourhood of the Big River, for the last fortnight. They robbed the shepherd's hut on Mr. D.Taylor's grant, on the 6th inst, of everything it contained. They subsequently robbed Mr. Jamieson's & old Mr. Triffitt's huts. Three men belonging to Mr. J. and others went in pursuit of them on Monday last, and fell in with about thirty of them. I hear that they shot one dead and wounded another, said to be a very large man. They passed this man, to pursue the remainder of the blacks, and on their return he could not be found. The men destroyed eight of their dogs, and a great number of spears, and recovered several blankets, panikins, and other, articles which they had recently stolen from the huts in the vicinity. Would it not be useful, now that so many men are in search of the blacks, to set fire to the scrub in every direction? The blacks would surely be unable to conceal themselves so effectually from their pursuers if the scrub were recently burned.
Martin Cash - Bushranger Martin Cash was Tasmania's most notorious bushranger although his escapade lasted only a brief 20 months from Boxing Day 1842 until August 29th. 1843 when he was captured in Hobart.
A rebellious Irishmen he spent much of his life in and out of gaol, finally finding his way and passing away peacefully in Hobart in August 1877 at age 69.
Born at Enniscorthy in County Wexford, Ireland in1808 to a comfortably well off family, he achieved a reasonable standard of education and wanted for little.
Women were his downfall all his life and after several minor scrapes with the law he was eventually sentenced to seven years transportation to
New South Wales at age 18 for attempting to murder a rival suitor for his girlfriend Mary by shooting him in the upper chest after seeing the two
lovers through a window.
While this is Cash's account as documented in his autobiography, the official records show he was transported for house-breaking. Whatever, he was
placed aboard the transport ship Marquis of Huntley and sailed from Cook harbour arriving at the 40 year old settlement of Sydney Town on
the 10th of February 1828 to serve his sentence.
Less notorious prisoners were assigned to new settlers in the infant colony and Cash went to a George Bowman in the Hunter Valley some 150km. north-west of Sydney as a stockman. He served his time there and received his Ticket-Of-Leave, continuing his work and striking up a relationship with a Bessie Clifford with whom he shared a house.
Around this time he became involved with a rustler named Boodie who asked for his assistance in branding some cattle. Whether Cash did or didn't know the cattle were stolen doesn't matter. They were observed branding the cattle and Boodie admitted to Cash they were not his. Fearful of his freedom, Martin and Bessie decided to quickly sell up and move to Tasmania for a new start. They sailed aboard the Francis Freeling on the 10th. February 1837, exactly seven years after Cash arrived at Botany Bay.
After a few months in Hobart the couple moved around southern Tasmania finding work at various properties as farm workers until Cash again got into trouble with the police and was sentenced to another seven years for stealing from his employer.
He escaped briefly but was recaptured and an additional 18 months was added to his sentence. Undeterred, he escaped again and this time nearly made it to Melbourne with Bessie before he was again captured and another 2 years was added. He now faced over 10 years in prison and was considered a difficult prisoner. He was transferred from Hobart to Port Arthur, on the Tasman Peninsula south-east of Hobart and a maximum security prison.
Notorious for its harsh conditions and considered escape-proof, it could only be reached by ship or a narrow isthmus across which fierce dogs were chained within a few inches of one another and armed guards were posted. The waters both side were dangerous and shark infested (or so the prisoners were told), and escape was impossible.
At Port Arthur Cash met and became friendly with Lawrence Kavenagh and George Jones and they planned an elaborate escape which they achieved on 26th December 1842 by tying their clothes to their heads and swimming across the shark infested waters.
They immediately turned to bushranging and sought out properties of the rich, homesteads, hotels and unsuspecting travelers creating fear and consternation across the the state. They were involved in several dramatic shoot-outs which only enhanced their notorious reputation.
Their status grew amongst the lesser classes whom they left alone, and their deeds were seen much as a Robin Hood adventure, where they took from the rich, but did't distribute to the poor. They earned the nicknames of Cash, Kavenagh and Jones or Cash & Co. ( These days it might be Cash & Carry . The police were desperate to catch them and restore order.
Word reached Cash that his beloved Bessie was having an affair with a Joe Pratt and he determined to go into Hobart and kill them both.
Whether this was an elaborate trap set by the police or not it drew Cash and Kavenagh to the city on the evening of the 29th August 1843. They dressed as sailors to avoid detection, but were soon recognised. Kavenagh was injured in the ensuing fight and Cash ran into Melville St where he not only encountered the Prisoners Barracks, but Police Constable Peter Winstanley, who came out of the Old Commodore hotel to see what the commotion was. In his attempt to halt the fleeing and armed Martin Cash he was fatally shot.
Other police, and several civilians eventually restrained Cash after a fierce battle and he appeared before Justice Montagu on the 14th. of September where both he and Kavenagh were sentenced to death.
Within an hour of their sentences being carried out, both were reprieved and sentenced to imprisonment on Norfolk Island, an isolated penal settlement east of Sydney in the Pacific Ocean.
Kavenagh was eventually hung after another abortive escape attempt, but Cash seemed to see the error of his ways and resolved to become a model prisoner. In 1852 he was appointed a Trustee and given the responsibility of overseeing other prisoners. On the 24th of March 1854 he married a local woman, Mary Bennett. who worked as a domestic servant to one of the government officials.
When convict transportation ceased in 1853, a decision was made to close Norfolk Island and Cash received a Ticket-Of-Leave on the 19th. of September. He and Mary moved back to Hobart where he took up a post as gardener at the Government Domain in preference to that of Constable.
In 1855 they had a son, Martin, and on the 24th of June, 1856 he was granted a conditional pardon which was confirmed as a full pardon on the 11th. July 1863. He was now 55 years of age and a free man.
For the next four years they lived in New Zealand where they did fairly well and upon returning to Hobart they bought 60 acres at Glenorchy on the banks of the Montrose Creek. It was while retired here that Cash wrote his memoirs published under the title of Martin Cash, the bushranger of Van Diemans Land in 1843 .
Pete Wilkins 2003
Thomas and Susannah Shone - Life at "Stanton"
The Shones success as farmers did not escape the attention of bushranger Martin Cash.
This Irish convict had been at Norfolk Island, escaped from Port Arthur, and
ranged around the southern parts of the Midlands and Hobart with his gang members Jones and Cavanagh.
Cash s Cave remains in the heavily bushed gully in the hills behind Stanton, and it was from here that he watched the property until, in February 1843, during an afternoon social gathering, he and his gang kidnapped a neighbouring farmer, James Bradshaw, and used his identity to gain entrance to the house.
Once inside, they herded the family, servants and friends into the living room, until 16 people were at gunpoint.
Removing valuables from their person and from the house, the Cash gang made off back into the hills, eventually being captured finally in August of that year, after a celebrated foot chase through the streets of Hobart.
This robbery is celebrated in Cash s autobiography, and is the subject of a chapter of Frank Clunes book, Martin Cash (1955).
An interesting postscript to the event is that, during the enquiry into the robbery, the presiding magistrate decided that Thomas Shone is not a fit and proper person to be supervising convict labour, and they will therefore be removed.
Shone understandably petitioned his innocence, the crux of the matter seeming to be that the powers-that-be suspected Shone of at worst complicity, at best sympathy, with the bushrangers, and that he was not deemed to have put up a sufficient fight during the robbery.
Shone protested that he and his family and friends were at gunpoint, the bushrangers took many things of value from the house, and what else was he supposed to do?! Authority won out, and Shone lost his convicts.
From the story regarding Martin
Cash. This time he held up the Woolpack Inn
Truth (Perth, WA : 1903 - 1931), Saturday 10 February
1912, page 10
THE VAN DIEMEN'S LAND GANGS. MARTIN CASH - ROMANCE AND REALITY - AN
ATTACK ON THE WOOLPACK INN (By J. M.
(The following chapter got accidentally pigeon-holed, and lost the
"number of its mess."
We left Martin Cash and his companions preparing for an assault under
arms at the Woolpack Inn. At 8 o'clock at night they divested themselves of all
unnecessary encumbrances, and planted their swags about a quarter of a mile
from the scene of intended action. They took the nearest road to the house,
and, reaching there, "bailed up" all within, Mrs Stoddart, with her
two sons, both grown up young men, together with three others who happened to
be drinking in the bar at the time. Mrs Stoddart evinced the utmost alarm, but
Cash assured her that any person who did not offer resistance would have
nothing to fear. One of the sons sarcastically exclaimed, "Oh, mother,
never mind; it will be all right by and bye."
Cash translated this as meaning
that he knew that five constables were in the neighbourhood, and would
presently be called into action and Cash asked if he were the master of the
premises, when the young man admitted that his father was absent. Jones by this
time had possession of the bar, but there was little chance of his abusing the
trust, as he was strictly temperate. Kavanagh was standing at the bush-road
door leading to the bar while Cash took up a station which enabled him to keep
an eye upon his prisoners; he was also able to keep in view what was going on
outside the house. Observing a smile upon one of the Stoddart boys, the idea
flashed upon Cash that the constables were not far off. and in crisp language
he told the lad that he had better look after his own household, as the
constables upon whom he appeared to rely might not be able to-defend
There was a hut about 50 yards in
front of the Woolpack which belonged to Mrs Stoddart. and Cash enquired who was
the occupier. She replied that she had no men there, on which Jones and Kavanagh
were sent over to capture any persons that might be there. He had no sooner
given the order than he saw people moving up towards the house, and, calling
upon his mates to prepare, Cash advanced to the front, and was challenged, and
told to stand. Cash obeyed, until he could clearly make out the person who gave
the order-and who still continued to advance, accompanied by four or five
others, when, raised his gun. Cash fired, as he said, in self defence, and a
moment after one of the party lay stretched upon the ground. In this time Cash
was between two fires, and his mates, who happened to be five or six paces in
the rear, had discharged, and, while reloading his piece, Cash addressed some
words to his mates, but not receiving an answer, he concluded they had returned
to the house, but moving up to the verandah he found that they were not inside.
The smoke having cleared away, the thought now occurred to Cash that
Jones and Kavanagh might either be dead or disabled, and hastily retracing his
steps to the scene of action, could not find any trace of them. He once more
returned to the house, where he found the inmates couched in different corners
of the room, apparently intent upon their own safety. One of the Stoddart boys
being concealed behind the angle of the chimney. Cash warned him that he would
shoot the first person who resisted. Cash returned to the front of the house,
and remained for about five minutes with his gun levelled, expecting every
moment to see one or both of his mates, but, as they did not make their
appearance. Cash returned to the bar, and, shouldering a keg containing about
three gallons of brandy, returned to the spot where the swags were planted.
Here he found Kavanagh and Jones unhurt, both, to his mind, having shown
the white feather, as did the constables after one of their number had been
wounded. They excused themselves for leaving Cash by saying that they did not
know that he had determined to stand; had they (Jones and Kavanagh) known it they
would have remained to stand by him after the first fire. The brandy keg,
however, smoothed over all difficulties.
After drinking a glass each they held a council of war as to the next
campaign, and made themselves as comfortable as possible for the night. Next
morning Kavanagh took charge of the provender and the party retraced their
steps towards the Dromedary. Cash points out that neither he nor his mates were
ever under the influence of liquor in the bush. They had full and undisputed
possession of several public-houses, but never gave way to intemperance.
On starting in the morning they came across a shepherd who was perfectly
well acquainted with the engagement at The Woolpack, and while taking some
refreshment he informed the trio that the constable who headed the party had
been wounded by the first shot, and was lying in a very precarious state; also
that another had received a ball in the fleshy part of the thigh, but that none
were killed, a fact which gave Cash great relief. The shepherd stated that he
had arrived at the Woolpack half an hour after the trio had left, and that Mrs
Stoddart and the family had been under the impression that Jones and Kavanagh
had been killed or wounded, as they only saw Cash, return. As a matter of fact,
the police reported a desperate encounter with armed bushrangers, in which the
notorious Martin Cash had received a deadly wound; as Cash puts it, if it were
so, why did they not secure his person; there were five of them to do it. The
shepherd drank freely of the brandy. For reasons of his own, Cash allowed him
to indulge his thirst to the utmost, and, as he would be unable to articulate
for some hours, Cash left him alone in his glory.
The trio continued their journey for the next three days, and at the end
of that time they found themselves at Mr Cawthorn's, at the foot of the
Dromedary. The larder now required replenishing, and they resolved to apply to
Mr Cawthorn for some little assistance, it being then 5 o'clock in the
afternoon. They took up position in proximity to the house in order to take
observations, in a few minutes they saw a party of seven or eight constables
making their exit from the premises, but whether they saw the bushrangers or
not Cash could not say, but as they continued their journey, Cash's party did
not interfere with them, in any case, they were not more than one hundred yards
from the house when Cash and party invaded it. Kavanagh and Jones entered the
houses while Cash took up a position at the door to watch proceedings. They had
very little difficulty in securing the inmates, all seeming perfectly at ease
in respect to their personal safety, the reputation of the trio being at this
time well established. The inmates gave as little trouble as possible, and in
that respect the bushrangers were reciprocal. After taking only what they
absolutely needed, Cash and party took their leave, and when on the road, Cash
informed his mates that he should have the pleasure of introducing them to an
old acquaintance of his who lived at the Dromedary, named "Mrs B--
n," and that in all probability when there, they might see Mrs Cash..............................
Cash the trio found Mr. and Mrs.
B n at home, with other members of the family, spent a very pleasant evening
chatting over events of the past. Early next morning. B n was on her "way
to town for a fresh supply of necessities and bearing a note of instructions to
Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Friday 28 August 1936, page 5
EVENTFUL CAREER (By Our Travelling Correspondent.)
Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) in 1843, and on the eve of the centenary of his arrival in the colony, it may not be considered out of place to refer to the chequered career of this remarkable man. He was born in Enniscorthy, Wexford, Ireland, in 1808. His father ruined himself and others by extravagant and spendthrift habits, and through negligence and indifference as to the welfare of Martin and a younger son, their training devolved upon an indulgent mother.
Neglected education, irregular attendance at school, expulsion by three different masters through mischievous tendencies, and liberally supplied with pocket money, Martin contracted habits of dissipation, and spent the greater part of his time at, horse races and other places of amusement, until 18 years of age, when he unfortunately, became acquainted with a young woman, who resided with her mother and older sister in an obscure part of Enniscorthy, and earned a living by making straw hats and bonnets. They borrowed money from him, until his mother upbraided him for extravagance, as it was rapidly draining her resources: He followed this course of dissipation for 12 months, when an incident occurred which changed the whole course of his life.
Let Martin Cash tell the story. In his own words:
"It happened that, while drinking with a few of my companions, one of them informed me that a young man named Jessop, who lived in the neighbourhood, and whose parents were highly respectable, was then in company with my friend, and having previously heard that he frequently visited at her mother's, I was stung to madness with jealousy; and, resolving to have my revenge, I returned home caught up my gun, and at once proceeded to the house, and on looking through the window of the sitting-room I saw young Jessop in company with my Mary, having his arm around her waist Not waiting for any further proof' of her treachery, I stepped back a pace or two from the window, and fired at my rival, who instantly fell on the floor.
"The report of my piece attracted a number of people, and I was shortly after arrested, and placed in gaol. My relatives offered any amount of bail which was at once refused, and a few days after I was fully committed to take my trial at the ensuing assizes, was visited daily by my mother, who appeared to be in bad health owing, have no doubt, to my past folly and misconduct. Jessop remained under the care of the doctors. The ball, it appears, entered his breast and came out under the shoulder blade. They entertained but slight hopes of his recovery. My friends secured the services of the
ablest counsel, but the case was too clear, and on being tried I was found guilty, the jury strongly recommending me to mercy, but that being an attribute that never entered into the composition of Judge Pennefather, I was sentenced to seven years' transportation."
SENT TO BOTANY BAY.
John Boodle, who owned two valuable farms and 500 head of cattle, and had a station on Liverpool Plains, asked Cash to assist him and his brother to brand some cattle, which, unknown to Cash, had been stolen. While the branding was in progress two strangers came long, remained a few minutes, and departed. Upon Boodle informing him that the strangers knew the cattle did not belong to him, and that transportation to Norfolk Island was the penalty for this crime, Cash decided to leave the colony for Van Diemen's Land. Arriving at Sydney, he stayed at the Albion Inn, and sailed in the barque Francis Freeling for Hobart Town, paying £20 for a cabin passage for him-self and companion, and £5 for his horse, and arriving there on February 10. 1837.
Time and space preclude a full account of Cash's subsequent, career in Van Diemen's Land, where he soon got into trouble again, and eventually came be-fore John Price, of world-wide, fame, and a magistrate at Hobart.Town, who sentenced him to two years, in addition to his original seven years' sentence, and also to four years' imprisonment, with hard labour, at Port Arthur. Of his escape from there, with Kavanagh and Jones, who thus became his con-federates in crime, by way. of Eagle-hawk Neck, in December, 1842; the engagement at the Woolpack Inn, Gretna: the attack upon Captain Clark at or near the Hunting Ground, Kemp-ton, formerly Green Ponds; the night engagement at Salt Pan Plains near Tunbridge; the capture , and trial of Cash at Hobart in September, 1843; his transportation to Norfolk Island for life; and the restoration of his liberty about, eight years afterwards, all are well told by him in the story of life, published in 1870.
During his bush-ranging career Cash, appeared to be guilty of shooting only one man, Con-stable Winstanley, in Brisbane St., Hobart, near the old Commodore Inn, just before he was captured.
Cash concluded his narrative, as follows: "Some months before this period the Lieut.-Governor had received orders from the Secretary of State for the Colonies to break up the establishment at Norfolk Island, and consequently in the course of a few months I had the satisfaction of bidding adieu to the 'Island of Despair,' and returning to Van Diemen's Land, where I was appointed by the late estimable Mr. William E. Nairn to take charge of the Government Gardens. While here my wife (to whom he was married, by licence, at Norfolk Island) brought me a son, who is now growing into a young man, and who, I earnestly trust, may be more fortunate in his way through life than his father.
On resigning my situation I went to New Zealand, where I remained four years, after which I re-turned to Tasmania, and, having saved a little money, I purchased a farm at Glenorchy, where I have resolved to pass the remainder of my days in the calm and tranquil enjoyment of rural retirement."
HIS PEACEFUL END.
A postscript at the end of his book records: "Martin Cash's resolve was faithfully carried out. For the remainder of his peaceful life he resided on his own small farm at Glenorchy, five miles from Hobart, where, known to all, and enjoying the goodwill of all. He died in August 27, 1877."
"The celebrated bushranger Martin Cash, died at his residence, Glenorchy, on Sunday last; "We learn that Cash went to the Lord Rodney Hotel, New Wharf, on the evening of the 10th inst.,
and informed the landlord, Mr. Samuel Weir, that, in consequence of a severe illness, he had applied for admission into the General Hospital, but had been refused. Mr. Weir allowed him to re-main at the hotel until the following Monday, when he returned to his home at Glenorchy. While at the Lord Rod-ney Hotel the deceased was attended by Dr. Crouch. Mr. Weir went out to Glenorchy yesterday morning, when he learned that Cash had expired on Sun-day morning." From this it would
seem that his death occurred on August 26, 1877, instead of August 27. 1877. as stated in the postscript.
Mr. T. J. M. Hull, of Agricola St..Glenorchy, who was born on December 22, 1863, knew Martin Cash, and his account of their first meeting is interesting. He says:
"In my boyhood days I frequently met and conversed with Martin Cash, who lived at the top end of Montrose Rd., Glenorchy, about a mile across the hills from Glen Lynden, where I was born. I also remember seeing his wife, who survived him. His son died of consumption at the age of 18 years. I remember well our first meeting. I was climbing a tree, after a bird's nest, and looking down observed a big man coming towards me, holding a long staff, or stick, in his hand. He asked me if I had seen any cattle about, and on replying that I had just seen some, he told me who he was. I felt a bit scared, but he sat down on a log, and we had quite a long conversation, in which he told me some of his history. I then offered to go with him, and show him where 1 had seen the cattle he was looking for.
"Some time afterwards I found out that Cash was the owner of a beautiful young, cream-coloured pony, which was just what I wanted. He said he would sell it for £10. I eventually pursuaded my father to purchase it for me. My share of the purchase money was £5 —every penny of my savings for years. Being a young animal, and only partly broken in, and I, not being able to ride very well was forced to go wherever it wanted to, it soon became thoroughly spoilt, so much so that my father let the butcher take it, to see if he could master it; but he soon returned it, saying that he could not get it to go. and that it was a thorough 'jibber,' and laid down in the road when he spurred it. Being a conspicuous colour, the pony soon became well known in the district as a 'jibber.' I remember well, my father sending it to Cooley's saleyards at New Town, and telling the man who took it not to bring it back, but to sell it for whatever he could get. The pony was sold for 30s the best offer. Alas, for my savings!"