George Jones arrived on the
Dunvegan Castle in 1830 having been
tried in London for highway robbery. He was assigned to
Captain John Pike in the Hunter Valley and
first seems to have come to the attention of the
authorities in January 1842 when he joined with Joseph
Bowers to rob the Scone mail. Soon afterwards they also
robbed John Lucas on the Muswellbrook road, however George
Jones' more notable exploits as a bushranger began after
he left the Hunter Valley.
He arrived at
George Bowman's property in the Hunter Valley
Martin Cash had departed but knew Cash by
reputation. Cash later met him in Port Arthur and wrote of
Jones in his memoirs: -
'I was now
employed in carting stone from the quarry in charge of a
free officer, and it being close upon Christmas, I
deferred making another attempt for a least a fortnight or
three weeks, when by that time, I should be perfectly
recovered from the effects of my last adventure. The men
who worked in the quarry, although belonging to the party,
yet formed a separate body. We were permitted however, to
converse freely; and here I became acquainted with
(Lawrence) Kavanagh and (George) Jones, both of whom had
been transported for life from Sydney for being under arms
in the bush (but not together).
My last affair
being the current topic, Jones in conversation privately
informed Kavanagh that my name was not unfamiliar to him,
having heard it frequently mentioned while in the service
of Captain Pike (but this was after I left the service of
Mr. Bowman). Some time before, he also informed him that I
was considered the cleverest bushman in New South Wales
and a person who could be depended upon.
Of course, I was ignorant
of all this at the time, and only recollect that while
waiting in the quarry for the carts to be laden, Jones
called me aside and enquired if I had been a stock rider
for Mr. George Bowman. I answered "Yes". He then told me
that he knew me well, if not personally at least by
report, being assigned to Captain Pike shortly after I
left the Hunters River
"And now Martin", he
observed," since we know each other, is it your intention
to go again (meaning to abscond)?" I looked at him for a
moment, "Yes." I replied.'
was an assigned servant to William Blaxland of Cassilis.
He had arrived on the
Lady Harewood in 1831 and by the time of
the Scone Mail robbery in 1842 had already been in trouble
with the authorities.
After absconding from the
Australian Agricultural Company in
1833 he was sent to the iron gang at Newcastle. He
absconded again when re-assigned to William Blaxland.
His description was posted in the Government Gazette -
Occupation - Nailer; age 32; native of York. 5' 7 1/4";
ruddy and freckled complexion. Light brown hair, light
hazel eyes, small scar over (r) eyebrow, tattoos.
A number of cheques stolen from the Scone Mail were found
on Jones and Bowers when they were apprehended and they
were committed for trial at Sydney.
Captain Innes remarked at the time
that he would commit them for trial for the robbery of
John Lucas which would insure them as severe a punishment
as the other, but that it would do away with the necessity
of forwarding them to Maitland, where there was a greater
chance of their escaping.
Joseph Bowers was
sentenced to transportation for life. He was sent to Port
Arthur but soon absconded. With five other men, he was
found guilty of bushranging in
March 1844 and
sentenced to death without any hope
George Jones was sentenced to
transportation for Life to a penal settlement and was sent
to Van Diemen's Land also. He met up with Martin Cash in
December. They escaped together with another convict
*Lawrence Kavanagh the day after Christmas in 1842.
George Jones was hanged
30 April 1844.
*Lawrence Kavanagh arrived on the
Ferguson in 1829. He was
hanged at Norfolk Island after a convict uprising in 1846.