Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bushranger in the Family

I hope this post finds you all well, I have been very quiet over the last week, having a little blogging break. Things are a little up in the air at the moment but hopeful all will be back to normal soon.

image source

A while back I gave a little insight into my English roots.
Today's post is a bit of history from my fathers side. My niece has been researching our family heritage at school and my dad was telling her about our our famous bushranger ancestor, William Fletcher born Braidwood in 1838; a 21 year old petty criminal and a married father of an eleven month of daughter...

Bushrangers were robbers who generally used the bush for cover and to set up their base camps. Their activities became prevalent during the mid 18oo's during the Gold Rush. The Clarke Brothers were famous bushrangers around the Braidwood region.

April 9th 1866, William Fletcher aligned himself with the Clarke Brothers gang. On this day, they robbed a man of all his saving whilst on his way to the bank from the Gold Fields. Continuing their robbing spree throughout the day they were involved in crossfire with two Constables Miles O'Grady and Smythe Smith while holding up Pollock's General Store, Nerrigundah, NSW. Constable O'Grady was critically wounded but not before shooting Fletcher who died within the hour while the rest of the gang escaped to the bush. William Fletcher reign as bushranger lasted only ONE DAY!

I just discovered he was buried at Nerrigundah, his grave site is documented here...seems a family road trip might be called for :)


simmone said...

What an interesting bit of history, nothing like a romantic/tragic figure lurking in the past.My Mum is just finding out about her German ancestors.

petals and vintage said...

It just gets more and more interesting for you Tam and rather exciting!

Pam x

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Funny how the "bad boys" seem to be the most interesting! Great story!
Liz (Shortbread & Ginger)

Catherine said...

Hi Tam, how are you doing..thought you'd been a cit quiet? What colourful old ancestory you have indeed. Isn't it great that with your blog you could record such a story.. I notice your label: "Heritage" so now when you write about the visit to Nerrigundah & so forth it will all be there for your kids to refer to if they want to. Enjoyed your shed pics. Much love Catherine X

vintage mum said...

Great tale, I thought a Bush Ranger was someone who looked after the Bush, shows how much I know, it's amazing what you find out when you dig around I started a family tree a couple of years ago.
Cate x hope everything is ok

vintageandart said...

Hi Tam, you've been missed muchly here in blogland and since l'm guessing "stuff" is happening there... l hope everything's ok.
Such an interesting post and even though wild Bills' bushranging only lasted a day at least he went out with a bang!! to speak. l agree with Catherine...definitely a great tale for the kids...

*Susycottage* said...

Hello Tam,
Thanks for your lovely comment.
Your story is interesting, I'm fascinated
much the stories of the past.
a hug
Suzy x

Anonymous said...


Not sure if I am on the right track here but just looking at some family history (I am not very good at it) It would seem that William Fletcher was the first husband of my great grandmother. I am looking at her death notice which states that she married William McIntosh, after the death of her first husband William Fletcher. All the family do come from around Braidwood, Moruya, so i am thinking he is one and the same, as he died in 1866.

Anything further you know can be forewarded to

Kind Regards Julie

Anonymous said...

I am an ancestor of the Pollock's who's general store was the subject of the robbery.

Anonymous said...

I am also related to James and Margaret Pollock the Storekeeper who's store was robbed.

wm.scott at