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Bold Jack Donohoe- The Wild Colonial Boy

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Bold Jack Donohoe- The Wild Colonial Boy - Page Text Content

S: Bold Jack Donohoe- Wild Colonial Boy Yr 5W TCC

BC: This is the story of 'Bold Jack Donohoe', Australia's most celebrated bushranger, told through the voice of a young boy named Finlay. Finlay shares with us the life and adventures of Jack, later to be known in Australian folklore as the "Wild Colonial Boy".

FC: Bold Jack Donohoe- The Wild Colonial Boy | Written and Illustrated by Miss Williams and Yr5W

1: Bold Jack Donohoe- The Wild Colonial Boy | Written and Illustrated by Miss Williams' Year 5W Class of 2011 | Dani John Cherian Benjamin Jones Shemariah Kwan Denver LaBrooy Xanthia Lee Aimee Littlefair Keely McCarrol Montanna Melville Agatha Mutemachani | Femi Oyeniyi Dylan Scaddan Shannon Smith Joshua Stevenson Elliott Theunissen Ellesha Thrift Megan Vardy Sophie Wilson Cyrus Wuest- Lawrance | Hannah Baverstock Ruby Caspersz Caleb Crowe Jayda Dewee Lleyton Edwards Travis Garrett Timothy Higgins Michelle Ivantry Pieter Jacobsz

3: “'Tis of a wild Colonial Boy, Jack Doolan was his name, Of poor but honest parents he was born in Castlemaine. He was his father's only hope, his mother's pride and joy, And dearly did his parents love the wild Colonial Boy. Come, all my hearties, we'll roam the mountains high, Together we will plunder, together we will die. We'll wander over valleys, and gallop over plains, And we'll scorn to live in slavery, bound down with iron chains.” Anonymous

5: I first met the ‘Wild Colonial Boy’ when his name was John Donohoe in the February of 1825. I was a young lad, almost 11 years old. He was 18 and fresh off the 'Ann and Amelia'. Transported from his beloved Ireland and family. His crime "intent to commit felony". His sentence- life!

6: We both worked the Lochinvar Estate, he as a convict and I working with my parents. Jack, as he soon became known, worked hard alongside his fellow inmates to clear the two thousand acres of land belonging to a young Mr Duguid. My job along with my Ma and Pa, was to help serve the food to the weary workers at the end of a long hard day. While they ate I would sit, hidden in the background, listening to the many sad tales of Irish injustice at the hands of the English. I would hear how many fine young soldiers were taken from the Rebellion battlefront then transported for unreasonable crimes.

9: Donohoe was not long in the Hunter Valley when he was enchanted by the likes of ‘Mr Jacob’s Irish Brigade’, who plundered one of Mr Duguid’s properties with such daring bravado, before absconding into the bush, protected by nearby settlers. With little to lose, Jacob’s Mob intimidated the respectable and defied the authorities! | Jacob’s Mob Strike again! | Megan Vardy The notorious Jacob’s mob has robbed again! This time from Mr John Duguid’s farm. This notorious, blood thirsty gang is made up of Patrick Riley - the leader. He is the meanest of them all. Patrick Clinch, the co-leader, Aaron Price is an escaped convict. He is also joined by Lawrence Cleary and Thomas Moss. The Jacob’s Mob have struck again, until they are caught no nobleman is safe! | SYDNEY, 16 JULY 1826

10: Suitably inspired, Donohoe along with fellow bolters William Smith and George Kilroy escaped, forming their own gang. Their bushranging career began on foot, robbing the slow moving bullock drays along Windsor Road.

11: JACK DONOHOE | WILLIAM SMITH | GEORGE KILROY

12: On the 14th of December 1827 their short-lived adventure soon came to an end. All three were caught and tried on two counts before the dishonourable Judge John Stephen in the Supreme Court. Charged with highway robbery, they were each sentenced to death twice!

13: However, while Smith and Kilroy hung from the gallows, our desperate hero cleverly evaded the authorities between the prison and courthouse, narrowly escaping with his life.

14: While on the run from the traps, Donohoe took refuge near the estate. The townsfolk did him proud, protecting this Irish nobleman- hiding him from the police. It was my job to secret the provisions to young Jack, with Ma quietly making more than enough food to feed the family. When it was dark, I would sneak out to where Jack's hideout was. While I waited for him to finish eating, I would keep him company, listening to his adventures and hopes for the future. It wasn't long before Donohoe formed a new gang with John Walmsley and William Webber- a far more formidable group than before.

16: Donohoe, as I was told by many young ladies, was a handsome man. With fair hair, bright blue eyes, light brown freckling upon his face and with a small scar under his nose he certainly enchanted many a lass. He wasn’t a very tall man, standing just under 5ft4". His Ma’s upbringing stayed with him right until the end, as he was always described as being remarkably clean. In his later days, Donohoe was known for wearing his trademark black hat, superfine blue coat lined with silk, a plaited shirt and his laced boots.

17: Walmsley, on the other hand, was very different to Jack in both temperament and build. Large and stocky, with a distinct limp in his right leg- I wouldn't put it past him to stick a gun in the back of his own mother. What Jack saw in him, I will never understand. | Webber, the quietest of the lot was obviously the thinker, whose opinions Jack valued immensely.

18: "The Strippers" as they were now known, continued to extract valuables, such as clothes, money and food from wealthy landowners. They received this name, due to them taking the clothes from the backs of their victims. This disreputable behaviour soon caught the attention of Governor Bligh, which resulted in a 20 pound bounty on bold Jack's head.

20: Remembering the decent sympathizing folk that cared for and protected him during his escapades, Donohoe declared, “I shall never rob the square nor the poor!” Community minded, it was often left to people like my father, an ex-con himself from Belfast, to fence the stolen goods.

21: This noble Robin Hood of the outback once plundered a farmhouse without knowing its owner. On finding out the name of proprietor, a Mr Charles Sturt- English inland explorer and adventurer, all that was pilfered found its way back as mysteriously as it was taken.

22: The police, having little success with the paltry bounty on Jack's head, were forced to increase the offer. The wealthy from the north to the south of the New South Wales state were in uproar, demanding greater attention and action from authorities. With this in mind, the bounty soon became an offer of 'An Absolute Pardon and Free Passage to England, or a grant of land'. | Although the incentive was tempting, it still wasn't enough to turn the townsfolk against their beloved Irish rogue.

23: It wasn’t until the bounty reached the unimaginable amount of 50 pounds, before the tide began to change- which started to turn friend against friend and family against family. It was again, at this time of temptation and distrust, that I renewed my acquaintance with Donohoe. By this time, I was a young man of 15, working in the south near Campbelltown as a stable hand at Harrington Park Estate. Jack and his boys had been busy ‘working’ in the area. When he came to pay my master a visit, it was I who opened the door. He remembered me well asking after my Ma and Pa.

25: I asked him about the new bounty and as to whether the wild stories, of shooting and burning innocents alive, were true. In true Jack style, he winked and with a cheeky grin said, “Fin my lad, would I do a thing like that?” “What about the bounty- not everyone is a true supporter Jack?” Again he laughed, turning to leave, with his loaded sack on his back, answering me, “Only if they can catch me Fin me lad, only if they can.” Those words haunted me for days on end, until the inevitable took place.

26: I’ll never forget that day, the 1st September 1830. While running an errand for my master in Campbelltown, I saw the traps- more than usual for our district, plus soldiers congregating silently beside the gaol. It was being headed up by an experienced sergeant from Maitland, Sandy Davis, and within his detachment, a young cocky private, Muggleston by name. I came from the other direction, hiding directly behind the closest building, daring myself to get closer- curiosity and fear urging me on. I could hear snatches of Donohoe’s name and the location of Bringelly.

29: There was another person there that day that was neither the police nor a soldier. His hat hung low covering his face and he wore an oversized jacket. Although I would swear that his build and gait resembled that of Walmsley, surely there was no way that he would betray Donohoe, not even for that coveted pardon?

30: Abandoning my errand, I ran as hard and as fast as I could, running through the thick bushland- the hardest but quickest route to Bringelly. Spurred by the need for speed, I ignored the branches that whipped my face and cut my hands as I pushed past them. Several times I tripped over boulders and roots, but I kept on with my mission. Soon the surrounding landscape became a blur to me. The blood that was pounding in my ears was deafening and the muscles in my legs began to burn. As much as my body was screaming for me to stop, I needed to get to Jack to warn him of the coming trouble.

32: I had been running for at least a couple of hours, when I heard the horses coming over the pass; it wouldn't be much longer until they reached Bringelly. This would not be a fair fight - against a troop of police and soldiers!

33: I could see the small tavern in the distance, and I started screaming, “Jack! Jack! They’re coming! They’re coming!” My voice was hoarse and dry from running. I wasn’t sure if he could hear me or not, but then I saw him bursting out of the tavern- gun in hand, running for his horse. He had seconds before the traps and soldiers ambushed him.

34: Although he was clearly outnumbered, 5 to1, Jack’s enthusiasm didn’t fail him. Rallying up the boys, he boldly shouted to his would-be captors those immortal words, “We’ll fight, but never surrender”. Using the most insulting of words, he continued to stir up the traps. In his final defiance towards the authorities, throwing his hat high into the air, he shouted “C’mon! We’re ready!”

37: Jack took two shots to his chest, yet he still fought on. It was then that I saw Trooper Muggleston fire the killing shot, straight through Jack's forehead. As Jack came off his horse, I screamed- unable to hold back, not caring if the traps saw me or not.

38: So now, many years later - with a tune in my head and words bubbling up like a spring, I put my ink to paper to make sure that the legend of Bold Jack Donohoe, the Wild Colonial Boy is remembered forever...

39: 'Tis of a wild Colonial Boy, Jack Doolan was his name, Of poor but honest parents he was born in Castlemaine. He was his father's only hope, his mother's pride and joy, And dearly did his parents love the wild Colonial Boy. Chorus Come, all my hearties, we'll roam the mountains high, Together we will plunder, together we will die. We'll wander over valleys, and gallop over plains, And we'll scorn to live in slavery, bound down with iron chains. He was scarcely sixteen years of age when he left his father's home, And through Australia's sunny clime a bushranger did roam. He robbed those wealthy squatters, their stock he did destroy, And a terror to Australia was the wild Colonial Boy. In sixty-one this daring youth commenced his wild career, With a heart that knew no danger, no foeman did he fear. He stuck up the Beechworth mail-coach, and robbed Judge MacEvoy, Who and gave up his gold to the wild Colonial Boy. | He bade the judge "Good morning", and told him to beware, That he'd never rob a hearty chap that acted on the square, And never to rob a mother of her son and only joy, Or else you might turn outlaw, like the wild Colonial Boy. One day as he was riding the mountain-side along, A-listening to the little birds, their pleasant laughing song, Three mounted troopers rode along - Kelly, Davis and FitzRoy - They thought that they would capture him, the wild Colonial Boy. "Surrender now, Jack Doolan, you see there's three to one. Surrender now, Jack Doolan, you're a daring highwayman." He drew a pistol from his belt, and shook the little toy, "I'll fight, but not surrender," said the wild Colonial Boy. He fired at Trooper Kelly and brought him to the ground, And in return from Davis received a mortal wound. All shattered through the jaws he lay still firing at FitzRoy, And that's the way they captured him - the wild Colonial Boy. Anonymous | The Wild Colonial Boy

40: John Donohoe 1806- 1830 Name: John/Jack Donohoe, Doolan, Donahue, Donahoe, Donohuge (there was different spellings of his name in each version of The Wild Colonial Boy because the song kept on getting banned.) Birth: 1806 (day and month unknown) Dublin, Ireland. Death: 1st September 1830, aged 24. Bringelly, near Campbelltown, NSW. Height: 5'4 (163 cm) Hair: flaxen (light blonde) Eyes: blue Complexion: brown freckles over his face, fair skin. Appearance: always wore a black hat, superfine blue coat lined with silk, a plait shirt and lace up boots. His general appearance was he looked clean (compared to other bushrangers or criminals). | Post-mortum drawing by Sir Thomas Mitchell.

41: Glossary Bounty: Valuables. Bravado: A pretentious, swaggering display of courage. Bullock Drays: A flat cart pulled by bulls. Covet: To desire wrongfully; to wish for eagerly. Defied: To challenge the power of; resist boldly or openly. Disreputable: Not reputable; having a bad reputation. Escapades: Reckless adventures or wild pranks. Fencer: A person who receives and disposes of stolen goods. Formidable: Causing fear, apprehension. Gallows: A wooden frame, consisting of a crossbeam on two uprights, on which condemned people are executed by hanging. Intent to commit felony: Planning to commit a serious crime. Plundered: To rob of goods or valuables. Pardon: A release from the penalty or offense. Proprietor: The owner of a business establishment, a hotel, etc. Pilfered: To steal, especially in small quantities. Rebellion: Open, organized, and armed resistance to one's Government or ruler.

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  • Title: Bold Jack Donohoe- The Wild Colonial Boy
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