Friday, November 20, 2009

Matthew Brady - Tasmanian bushranger

Now 75% through my research in the life of Bushranger, Matthew Brady, I am finding the study intriguing. I am also discovering that there is far more to the early days of Tasmania than just convicts and settlers, and that the legacy of the events which took place in the early 1800s are still with us today.

If you are interested in the life and times of the 'gentleman' bushranger, the members of Brady's gang, the penal settlements and more you can find it at my Matthew Brady Squidoo site.

Having obtained permission to reproduce images of Brady and his gang-members from the artwok of convict artist, Thomas Bock from Dixson Library, NSW, it's possible to see how very young and fresh-faced some of these 'notorious' convicts were. The crimes many had committed were equivalent to the 'receiving a stolen chocolate Freddo Frog incident' which was reported last week on the news in Australia.

The penalties these young convicts received - transportation to the colonies for seven years - and the treatment they received were incomprehensible.

Last week also, I watched the APOLOGY from the Prime Minister to the FORGOTTON CHILDREN - the infants taken from England or from their parents and placed in 'homes' in Australia where many were subjected to brutal treatment and abuse.

Perhaps we should apologise to the young juvenile deliquents of the early 1800s who, as a consequence of the inhuman treatment they received at the hand of the authroities, escaped to the bush to fend for themselves. As bushrangers they robbed to feed and cloth themselves and many of them, like Brady and his gang, ended up on the gallows.

Pic: Matthew Brady from 'James McCabe, Matthew Brady, Patrick Bryant', ca. 1823 - 1843. by Thomas Bock in his 'Sketches of Tasmanian Bushrangers'. (Ref: DL PX 5/ f.8 ) Pic: Gregory, Brown and MacKenny - ca. 1823 - 1843. by Thomas Bock in his 'Sketches of Tasmanian Bushrangers'. Courtesy of Dixson Library, State Library of NSW.


Ankur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret Muir said...

I'm not sure why the writer removed the positive comment, but thanks for stopping by,

Gaye said...

Hi Margaret I was wondering if Matthew had any descendents. My mother was a Brady and I am wondering if we may have been related


Margaret Muir said...

From all the primary source material I have read, it would appear that Matthew Brady never fathered a child. Also, as he has a great respect for women, he would never have taken advantage of a woman.
He was only 20/21 when he was convicted at the Lancaster Assizes and was hung six years later after either being a prisoner or on the run. During that time he ensured members of his gang did not molest any woman in houses they robbed.
I find it interesting that there is a discrepancy about the spelling of his name. His conviction record and transport ship record his name as BREADY. It is only when the newspapers start mentioning him that it is printed as BRADY. That is the name that has stuck but I would tend to think that BREADY was his real name.

Anonymous said...

Hi, l have been researching Matthew Brady since 1995, l wrote a 30 page scipt about his life. There may have been a woman in Brady's life, Emma Davis. It was known at the time they were friends and she sometimes acted as a safe house for Brady. I spent alot of time in the Hobart reading through old news and court reports. After Brady was hanged, Emma sold her property in Midlands and moved back to England, so if Brady had any children, grand children they may not be in Tasmania.I wanted to turn Brady's story into a film, l did a sciptwriting course just to learn how. But it is a big job to get a historical film right on your own. I sent a synopsis of the story to some film companies and they were very interested, l have to get back to it... Michelle

andythepirate said...

Wow, Michelle, if there should be a feature film done on an Australian Bushranger, it would have to be Brady, the bushranger and pirate of Van Diemens Land.

Check out facebook site Risdon Cove 1803 - 1804

andythepirate said...

Can't wait for your book to come out Margaret!!!!

Margaret Muir said...

Thanks for the FAcebook link - I did not know that existed.
I too find Tasmania's early history intriguing.
Also, Michelle's project sounds very interesting and I would be interested to learn more about the study she has done on the subject.
Thanks for posting

Anonymous said...

Apparently my family are related to him in some way, though not quite sure how yet. Need to do a bit more digging!

Anonymous said...

Emma Davis was a fictitious character created by the historical novelist, Richard Butler in his book, 'And Wretches Hang.' The real Mrs Davis was Harriot Davis (nee Neale or Neat) who lived near Den Hill. I have written an article about her, which was published online a few years ago. Please consult the following link:

M. C. Muir said...

Thank you for the link included with your comment. It makes very interesting reading.
I have a copy of Richard Davies book and always felt that the love interest expressed in this novel did not gel.
Your work is inspiring. Hopefully it will bring me back to my Brady project which got sidelined due to the demand to continue with my nautical fiction series.
I would be interested to know if you have are taking this subject matter further.
Thanks again, MM

CB said...

My 5x Great Uncle, John Plumb was a member of Brady's gang of bushrangers. John Plumb, 204, 5 ft. 6 in. light brown
hair, dark brown eyes, 31 years of age, a
stocking weaver, tried at Nottingham
March 16, 1821, sentence life, arrived in
this Colony per Lord Hungerford 1821,
late in the service of Mr. Franks, charged
with felony, last seen in company with
M'Cabe 614, and Brady 356, at Mr. George
Kemp's hut, at the Lake.—£2 Reward.

He was shot in the chin and jaw and died a few days later, in 2005. At the time of his capture he was in the company of Matthew Brady and James McCabe who both escaped.

CB said...

The date of John Plumb's death was 1825 not 2005!

M. C. Muir said...

Thank you for the information. Fancy being related to a member of the Brady gang.

CB said...

Yes, Margaret, it still seems a bit "unreal" yet.

Alan June said...

Hi all,
To me mathew brady will alwsys be held in high regard. I would have loved to meet him.

M. C. Muir said...

Me too!

CB said...

So would I, he wasn't as black as he's painted.