15 comments on “Captain Melville, gentleman bushranger.

  1. Started reading The Fatal Shore on the train yesterday (I had 8 hours) – many thanks for the recommendation, it’s fascinating. I have only got to about 1800 so far, but I assume that characters such as Melville will make an appearance in time.

    • 8 hours on a train certainly calls for a good book! I am really glad you are enjoying it. Even though I have read it over and over I still re-read it and marvel anew over the things that our ancestors endured.

      I know that bushrangers were the bad guys but I still can’t resist seeing them as misunderstood heroes. Must be that tiny bit of convict blood still lingering in the veins! 🙂

  2. I love a good bushranger story. We used to traipse about in the footsteps of Ben Hall and Captian Thunderbolt, or so we thought. The view from Melville Lookout is incredible. I’ve added The Fatal Shore to my Goodreads list also, thanks to the earlier comment 🙂

    • As I said in my comment to the Snail of Happiness, I can’t resist seeing bushrangers as misunderstood heroes, I think most of us Aussies are the same aren’t we!

      The view from the lookout was amazing and behind us was an even higher rock that made me wonder if that was really his lookout. (I just asked the Man and he had the same opinion) From there I expect you would be getting an almost 360deg view. It would have been quite a hard thing to get up there, but if you could stand on your horse you might be able to manage the start. The one where the rail was would have been a much safer bet for the tourists though!

      I really loved The Fatal Shore and have read it a few times. It always fills me with admiration for those convicts who experienced such terrible conditions but still didn’t give in. Even though they were criminals I can’t feel badly about them! The tales of the Female Factories and Norfolk Island make me wonder how anyone came out of the other end alive. The convicts certainly did their best to make life hard for their masters at times though!

      • It’s the great Australian way to empathise with our convicts and bushrangers. I scoured our family histories for convicts and finally came up with a couple on the G.O.’s paternal grandmother’s side… yay!

        • There was a time when the ‘convict stain’ was something to be ashamed of and hidden. I often wonder what kind of information was destroyed by people who never wanted their offspring to find out their origins. If only they knew how proud we would be of them now! I am excited that you have some hidden away in the family tree 🙂

          I was surprised to find that there is convict information available for free online, I am always thrilled if I find something new that applies to my ancestors 🙂

  3. I like the sound of Captain Melville much more than Ned Kelly. That armor always put me off. I like heroes who don’t clank 😉 Stunning view btw.

    • I love bushrangers and I doubt that any of them were as good, or bad, as the stories paint them to be. I didn’t really believe that article about his night of music had any ring of truth but I found the same story (without embellishments, of course) in his ANU bio (link in post).

      The view was lovely and that pic does it no justice. I thought of you today when I saw this in one of the local tourist brochures; The Colonial Way Horse Drawn Caravan holidays, dog friendly too!

      • Oh my god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve just checked out the site and it’s perfect!?! Bookmarked in caps. 😀 This is a real adventure. Thank you thank you thank you. 😀

        • I thought of you as soon as I saw the ad in the brochure. It sounds like a great holiday, without pressure since they help you out whenever you need them!

          Let me know if you ever do it, I would love to hear how you go! 😀

          • I won’t be doing it any time soon but it would be a fantastic trip to take when I’m feeling adventurous. Not during summer though. Autumn might be really nice though. Did you see the inside of the caravans? So cosy!

  4. Robin-Hoodish? I have a very poor grounding in Australian history. Sounds like a fascinating chapter in the transition from colony of prisoners to a wild west lifestyle.

    • I guess he was just looking after his own. Many people would have either been ex-convicts or the children of convicts, so stealing from them was not really something an escaped convict would have aimed for. I think the fact that so much of the population were not the ‘good guys’ is probably why we Aussies are still so distrustful of authority today.

      There would have been a lot of gold about at that time, as the gold rush was in full swing, so the gold escorts would have been irresistible. Apparently he stole 5 billycans of gold dust that was never recovered, of course that treasure is supposedly buried somewhere just waiting to be found….

  5. “‘Such is Life”… as poor old Ned was purported to have said before they strung him up. “Poor Ned… you’re better off dead, at least you’ll get some peace of mind… “etc 😉

    • Poor old Ned indeed. I think he would rather have stayed alive than been “better off dead”. I bet a few coppers were breathing a sigh of relief when he was gone though. 🙂

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