The Clarke Gang: Outlawed, Outcast and Forgotten

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 664 pages
Author: P. Smith
Year: 2018
ISBN: 9781925078480
Other: b&w & colour photos, maps, bibliog, indexes
Publisher: Rosenberg Publishing

Before the Clarke gang burst onto the public stage most people thought the worst of the bushranging menace that had plagued rural New South Wales since the beginning of the decade was a thing of the past. They soon found they were wrong. The Clarke gang became arguably the worst or most troublesome bushrangers of all time.

The gang terrorised an area stretching from present day Canberra to the coast from 1865 to 1867, intimidating, assaulting, robbing and murdering police and civilians alike. At the heart of the bushranging outbreak was an entrenched network of harbourers and sympathizers whose support for the bushrangers eclipsed all other gangs. Family ties and loyalties bound a community accustomed to petty crime, where horse stealing and cattle duffing was the norm.

The Clarke Gang, Outlawed, Outcast and Forgotten explores the root and cause of the bushranging outbreak, the outlawing of Tommy Clarke and Pat Connell, the murders that made them outcasts and asks the question, why they have been virtually forgotten while another bushranger, Ned Kelly has become the most well-known figure in Australian history?

Peter Smith’s imagination was fired up as a child when his father showed him the monument to brave trooper Miles O’Grady shot by the Clarke gang in 1866 at Nerrigundah. In 1963, at 15 years old, he became a foundation member of the Wild Colonial Days Society and took part in centenary re-enactments of bushranging events throughout New South Wales. On researching the details for the re-enactments Peter became dismayed in finding many of the available books were as much fiction as fact. From that time he set about collecting the true facts and becoming an author. While it took decades to come to fruition, this is book is the result of his tireless research, and as such is the ultimate reference book on anything to do the The Clarke Gang.

Author's Note
Map 1. Home Country of the bushrangers
Map 2. Bushranging country showing sites of major events
Family tree
1. Down and out
2. Shannon to Shoalhaven
3. The seeds of crime
4. Places and early bushrangers
5. Gold!
6. Neighbours and families of ill repute
7. Horse stealing to highway robbery
8. The New South Wales bushranging outbreak
9. Surrender and escape from Braidwood Gaol
10. Serious bushranging
11. Robberies and shoot-outs
12. The crime wave continues and the territory broadens
13. The Nerrigundah raid and murder of Constable O'Grady
14. Summoned to surrender
15. Outlawed!
16. The death of Pat Connell
17. Constable Woodland provides an insight into Police operations
18. Introducing Special Police
19. Recruits and robberies, death of Old Clarke and Tom Connell's arrest
20. James Doran, Wholesale arrests, rising tensions
21. The murder of the Special Police
22. A call to action
23. The Braidwood Commission and the state of crime
24. Arrests and reinforcements
25. The beginning of the end
26. The capture of the Clarkes
27. Trial and convictions
28. Execution
29. Harbourers on trial
30. The aftermath
Epilogue: The Clarke Gang in perspective

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The Clarke Gang: Outlawed, Outcast and Forgotten


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