Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Hunter Valley Bushrangers

Joseph Walker and Daniel Hickey

Joseph Walker was employed as a flax dresser in Aberdeen. He was tried at Aberdeen on 19 April 1830 and sentenced to 14 years transportation for stealing clothes. He arrived on the Burrell in December 1830. On arrival in the colony was assigned to work on the roads.

Daniel Hickey was a ploughman and shearer in Tipperary. He was tried in 1828 and sentenced to transportation for Life. He arrived on the Eliza in 1829 and at 45 years of age was older than most of the men who took to the bush. He was 5ft 5inches stout with a sallow complexion and brown hair. In Australia, he was assigned to Edward Cox at Mulgoa. He absconded from there around 1832.


The capture of Joseph Walker and Daniel Hickey in April 1834 was reported in the Sydney Herald -

Two desperate characters were brought to Newcastle gaol on Thursday week, by the Mounted Police, charged with bushranging and various robberies. Their names are Daniel Hickey and Joseph Walker. They were captured by a party of the police and stockmen, on the road leading to Bathurst. On their persons were found a pocket compass, two muskets, and a fowling-piece.

Walker had been in the bush about eighteen months, and is tattooed in various parts of his body like an aboriginal black. This man is suffering severely from the effects of a ball or slug which he received in his neck during a rencontre with the military some time ago, and which has not been extracted. When taken, he was in a state bordering on starvation, and the policemen told our Reporter that he was actually eating grass like a brute! Walker and Hickey are both charged with capital offences; and to fill up the dread climax of their miseries-they expect to die on the gallows. Such are the wretched consequences of bushranging
! Sydney Herald 7 April 1834

Newcastle Gaol

On entry to the gaol Walker's description was recorded - he was 5' 7in, stout; with a fair complexion with brown hair and blue eyes. He had 'tattooes on both arms and breast in the manner of the aboriginal natives' and had escaped from Thomas Icley's farm eighteen months previously.

Newcastle Gaol
Newcastle Gaol top right

Joseph Walker spent a few years in and out of various gaols and work gangs including a stint at Norfolk Island - In October 1840 he was admitted to Newcastle gaol en route to Sydney for trial. In 1844 he was again admitted to Newcastle gaol having been committed for trial by Magistrates William Ogilvie and John Pike of Merton for having fire arms in his possession while a prisoner of the crown. In August 1845 he was admitted to Parramatta gaol from Penrith having been found out of irons. On this occasion he was sent to Hyde Park Barracks and afterwards to Blackheath. In October 1845 he was admitted to Darlinghurst gaol and was discharged from there in December 1845.

Daniel Hickey died at Norfolk Island in 1837.