After leaving St. Heliers station, they arrived at Page's River where they halted on the banks of a pretty brook, (Pages River) opposite William Henry Warland's farm. The following day they crossed the Page and proceeded along a good flat road with generally good country being a valley between high hills closing in gradually. There was a high perpendicular mass of Pudding stone and after passing this they gradually descended for about a mile and a half through inferior country to the foot of the pass. They had been obliged to unload their dray entirely.
On the plains side the descent was easier and they then camped near a brook where some natives joined them. The natives inhabiting the region were from the Wanaruah and Kamilaroi tribes. Parry thought it noteworthy that as the Wanaruah or Kamilaroi tribesmen could not communicate with the natives from Port Stephens, the two tribes resorted to conversing fluently in English gibberish. 
This was Henry Dangar's second trip to the area and a few scattered settlers were already in the district having followed in his previous path. As well as William Warland mentioned above, Thomas Haydon resided in the area, and small settlers and ex convicts such as Benjamin Hall (Midas 1827) had also moved to the district and began to eke out a living from their land. The area was distant from law and order and in time came to be frequented by disreputable men with questionable means of support. Many were transient, stopping merely to patronize one of the two hotels or stock up on supplies at Rundle's Store before proceeding over the ranges.
In November 1840 the correspondent for the Australian reported that: A watch-house is much wanted at Murrurundi, but no contractors will undertake it, as Government requires good seasoned timber which cannot be procured in the bush, besides, they have not allowed enough for building it. Our Police Magistrate (John Anderson Robertson) cannot hold a court there for want of a temporary lock-up, which is much to be regretted; a Court could be held in the Inn, which has been offered, but our Police magistrate thinks otherwise, which some suppose is a good excuse for not visiting the Page. My humble opinion is, that holding Courts at the Page would be much more service to the public, than sallying out after bushrangers, and losing himself in the bush.
In December 1840 the infamous Jewboy Gang arrived in the village. After the gang had been hunted from their haunts in the lower valley they headed north where they robbed a store at Muswellbrook. Then with loaded packhorses they proceeded to Scone where they bailed up townsfolk at John Wilkie's St. Aubins Inn. After 23 year old storekeeper John Graham was shot and killed, the gang headed for the Liverpool Ranges. They arrived in Murrurundi, where they bailed up 30 people at James Henry Atkinson's Travellers' Rest Inn. Perhaps among their captives were postmaster John Button and pound keeper
Anthony Charles Barlas.When they headed for the Liverpool Ranges they were unaware thatEdward Denny Day and his pursuit party including Dr. John Gill were just a few hours behind them. The bushrangers were captured after a dramatic shoot out at Doughboy Hollow and were later executed.
Murrurundi was said to be infested with a band of rogues and vagabonds committing all sorts of crime and drunkenness. The chief constable had the job of dispersing these 'idlers' and restoring order. An Association was formed to try to deal with the cattle duffers and horse thieves operating in the district. Rewards were offered for the capture of offenders and the Government was persuaded to offer immediate Ticket of Leave passes or Conditional Pardons.
In August 1845 the following notice was posted in the Government Gazette:
Whereas, it has been represented to the government that Benjamin Hall of Murrurundi, and Alexander Paterson, lately in charge ofMr. John Chilcott'sstation; at Doughboy Hollow, against both of whom warrants have been issued for their apprehension on charges of horse stealing, have effected their escape; his Excellency the Governor directs it to be notified that, in addition to the pecuniary rewards offered for the apprehension of these persons by the Association recently formed in the upper Hunter District for the suppression of horses and cattle stealing, a ticket of leave will be granted to any prisoner of the crown who shall apprehend and lodge in gaol either of the above named parties, and if the person apprehending either of the above named already a ticket of leave holder, application will be made to her Majesty for the allowance to him a conditional pardon
It seems that townsfolk were reluctant to betray one another despite the inducement of rewards. James Gowan was lock up keeper in Murrurundi at this time. He was dismissed from his position after being accused of giving or permitting an intimation to Benjamin Hall to keep 'out of the way'. By March 1846 Gowan was the local school master. His school was eighty yards from the lockup and was said to be patronized by 'the most respectable people in Murrurundi.' One of his students was nine year old Mary Hall.
Six months after A Reward notice was posted, a Court case was heard at Maitland Quarter Sessions. William Hall the 13 year old son of missing Benjamin Hall was cross examined in Court as was his nine year old sister Mary. Mary stated that her brother William had been told by a fellow prisoner that if he did not do as he was told he would be sent away in a ship and drowned or be put in Newcastle gaol and hung. William was in fact put in a dark room near the Murrurundi lockup, the windows of which had been boarded up. It was said he cried very much through fear; he was kept there some days and then put in with another prisoner who told him' Beware of men in wigs, only give them such answers as suits'. The cries of the boy, terrified in the darkened room, were said to be such that they had brought tears to the eyes of the lockup keeper's wife. 
Although the prosecutor thought that William Hall, albeit young in years, was 'evidently old in crime and well versed in dissimulation', William must have impressed some in the Court that day as it was stated to the court that a gentleman was willing to take him as an apprentice, being strongly impressed with the belief that his obvious intelligence and energy of character could be turned to good account.
The Attorney General was of opinion that in the absence of the father who had absconded the court had authority to bind the boy. His mother Eliza (Somers) Hall, was in Court and consented to the arrangement. 
(William's father Benjamin Hall was captured at Mr. Hamilton's station on the Lachlan (near Bathurst) two years later by Trooper Hoy of the Mounted Police.)
Perhaps William Hall was more fortunate than his younger brother Ben Hall who was destined for an early grave after becoming one of Australia's best known Bushrangers.
Description of Murrurundi by Joseph Phipps Townsend
In the late 1840's Joseph Phipps Townsend after passing through Murrurundi described the area:
'Murrurundi affords a fair specimen of an inland town. We were greeted with the sight of something green; for the rain, probably attracted by the hills, often drives through the deep valleys as through so many open tunnels.
We have two inns both well built; and one is kept by a widow of real, homely, English aspect, and as kind and attentive as neat and respectable. Her nicely plaited widow's cap and her fine countenance tell a long and touching tale. There is a slab built Roman Catholic chapel, with broken windows and otherwise much out of repair; and, behind it, is an open graveyard, with some neat monuments and head stones. There are two or three brick cottages, and a tolerable sprinkling of bark huts; and, at a little distance in the bush, is the court house. Here divine service is performed once a month by a clergy man of the Church of England who travels twenty five miles for the purpose; and the magistrate's clerk gives the responses. A Roman Catholic priest comes from Maitland four times a year to shrive his flock at the slab built chapel. He also catches every stray drunkard, of whatever denomination, on whom he can lay his hands, and insists on his becoming a tee totaller. There is a large store, where every thing that can possibly be required in the bush is to be bought.
In one of the bark huts you would find a good natured, intelligent, and comfortable looking medical man, who came out in charge of emigrants, and has not exactly made up his mind when he shall return, but will probably think about it some day or other. In the meantime, he turns his skill to account, and is gradually accumulating cattle and horses; and, for the love he bears them, may perhaps become a fixture. He reads 'Blackwood,' and is fond of talking of 'that fine old fellow, Christopher North,' whom he follows through all his fishing excursions. In the climate of NSW a bark hut is as substantial a dwelling as a man needs; such abodes are often very comfortable; but they do not, unless double roofed, afford sufficient protection from the sun. The river Page runs, or rather lingers, in the rear of the town. The people seem happy and contented; and as all of them have cattle running on the waste land, they are at no loss either for meat, or a matter of constant interest.' 
Although this gives a peaceful almost idyllic picture, the district still had a reputation for lawlessness. In April 1848 four men were tried in Maitland for the assault of a Constable at Murrurundi the previous February. A violent encounter occurred when a half drunken William Wilsdon 'grossly abused' Magistrate William Henry Warland rode through the town. Magistrate Warland instructed Constables McDonald and Doyle to arrest Wilsdon and the gathering crowd responded by obstructing the constables in their task. Constable Berkely and Mounted Policeman Trooper Barnam were called to assist and they were jostled and kicked particularly Berkely who was said to have been terribly bruised and hurt. Despite this the men accused were found not guilty as Constable Berkely, remaining loyal to the townsfolk and reluctant to betray them, had stated that the only blows received were from a man named Wood, (not one of the defendants). One of the magistrates hearing this case was
Edward Denny Day. He could be forgiven for thinking that the rough little town had improved little since the days of the bushranging Jew Boy Gang.