Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Hunter Valley Bushrangers

Edwards and Gore

Thomas Edwards arrived on the John in 1837; James Gore arrived on the John Barry in 1836

On Saturday the 14th ult, Mr Sullivan the Chief Constable of this district, was returning from Maitland about 6 A.M. when he encountered two armed men named Thomas Edwards and James Gore. These men had made their escape a few days before, from one of the Maitland Police, while being escorted by him from the Paterson lock up.

Mr Sullivan, knowing the fellows well, instantly summoned them to surrender, and lay down their arms. This of course they refused, threatening to blow his brains out if he did not desist. Mr Sullivan was unarmed, but on horseback and being a man of determined mind and resolution, he persisted in their surrendering themselves, knowing at the same time that Constable Mott was coming up at some distance behind, he was induced to struggle longer than was safe with the two scoundrels.

The man Edwards was determined to rid himself of Sullivan, and snapped his musket several times within a few feet of his breast, but providentially without success. At last when he perceived his gun would not go off, he stepped aside to re- prime, and furnish it with a fresh flint thus to make sure of his opponent. Upon this Sullivan retired for about forty yards, but not before he had left upon Edwards's face the marks of a horsewhip which he had in his hand, and which he used to the great annoyance of the murderous ruffian.

The two now made off, and robbed the house of Mrs Ward, and of a man named Lovet, in the immediate neighbourhood. At the latter place was a woman named Musk, who behaved with real fortitude, for no sooner did the bushrangers turn their backs, than she ran to give information at the Police Office. However, the Chief Constable with the other constables, were in pursuit of the bushrangers, and by eleven o'clock, the man Gore was taken without the slightest resistance. When taken he told the constables that his companion Edwards had gone in the direction of Jones's public house to plunder on the road leading from thence to the Upper Williams, and to procure horses. Upon this information the constable started, and as Edwards was in the act of plundering a person named Kellsall, mounted on the unfortunate man's horse, with his gun levelled at his victim kneeling on the ground and praying for mercy, Constable Evans came up and captured the villain.

Thus these two bushrangers were taken in a few hours, and their capture was owing to the timely information given by the parties who suffered at their hands, if similar promptitude was observed in other instances, it would invariably be found that the constabulary would do their duty, and prove themselves unworthy of the aspersions so unsparingly heaped upon them of late.

Constable Evans is a prisoner for life, and for his behaviour in the present instance, it is hoped that His Excellency will grant him some indulgence as a reward for his conduct, and as an inducement to others to pursue the same course. Evans is perhaps more to be commended, as Edwards was a shipmate of his to this colony. [1]

Norfolk Island

Thomas Edwards and James Gore were both sentenced to transportation for life. They were sent to Norfolk Island on 22 May 1841.


[1] The Colonist 24 February 1841