More police were needed, quickly. The desperate government increased police wages and took anyone who applied. Unfortunately, many new policemen were either ex-convicts, very young or former soldiers who had worked in the convict jails of Tasmania.
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Many people also thought the police were corrupt, meaning they would ignore law breaking or arrest someone for no reason if they thought they could make money by doing so. Who knows how much of what was said and written about him was true and how much was exaggerated? Captain Melville, whose real name was Frank McCallum, was a man with a terrible temper and everyone feared him — even his friends. There were many bushrangers robbing people and coaches travelling the roads from the cities to the goldfields.
But Captain Melville was the most famous. There were no banks in the early days of the Gold Rush, so if you were a thief, life was pretty easy.
Bushrangers - Concept - Electronic Encyclopedia of Gold in Australia
The road from Melbourne to Bendigo, for instance, was a rough dirt track through the bush, but men on horses and horse-drawn coaches carrying huge amounts of gold travelled it every day and it was pretty easy if you had a horse and a gun to stop in front of a coach or a traveller and demand all the gold you could carry and then disappear into the bush.
In less than a week, more than a dozen robberies occurred between Kyneton and Forest Creek. George Melville was killed by hanging in front of many people for stealing from the McIvor gold escort near Castlemaine in Bushranging numbers grew in New South Wales with the rise of the colonial-born sons of poor, often ex-convict farmers, who wanted a more exciting life than mining or farming. The increasing push of settlement, increased police efficiency, better rail transport and communications, such as telegraphy , made it increasingly difficult for bushrangers to evade capture.
Among the last bushrangers was the Kelly Gang led by Ned Kelly , who were captured at Glenrowan, Victoria in , two years after they were outlawed. In the same way that outlaws feature in many movies of the American western genre , bushrangers regularly feature in Australian literature, movie, music and television.
These include:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Oxford Companion to Australian Folklore.
Law of the Land: Troopers, Trackers and Bushrangers
Melbourne: Oxford University Press. National Museum of Australia. Retrieved Heritage and conservation register.
Australian Scholarly Editions Centre. Internet Movie Database.
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