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Hunter Valley Bushrangers

Herbert Owen

Singleton 1831


Herbert Owen was born in Caenarvonshire, Wales c. 1808. He was married with two children when he was tried at Ruthen, Denbigh Quarter Sessions on 18 August 1830 and sentenced to transportation for life for house breaking. He was sent to the Justitia hulk where he was admitted on 6th October 1830. On 17th February 1831 he was transferred to the convict ship Exmouth for transportation to New South Wales.

Denbigh, Wales ...........Denbigh, Wales.  Numerous drawings and landscapes of villages, towns and landmarks in Wales and Ireland. By French artist Alphonse Dousseau.

Herbert Owen was assigned to William Kelman at Kirkton in the Hunter Valley. He absconded from Kirkton in October 1831 but was apprehended a week later. He absconded again in 1833 and was suspected of committing an outrage on an aboriginal at Glendon on 29th November 1833.

A Reward of Twenty Pounds was offered to be paid to 'any Person or Persons who may apprehend and lodge the said Herbert Owen, one of the 'Hunter river marauders in any of His Majesty's Jails.'

The description posted stated that he was a top sawyer from Canaervonshire with a ruddy complexion, light brown hair, brown eyes, perpendicular scar over right eye, scar on nose, scar right side of chin. He was captured and returned to the Singleton area.

He was admitted to Newcastle gaol from Sydney on 5 March 1841 and was to be returned to Patrick Plains. He absconded from the custody of a constable on 23 March 1841. Reward notices continued to be posted in the Government Gazette for the next few years.

Herbert Owen was still at large in 1848.

Notes & Links:

1). Sydney Gazette 19 December 1833


Bushranger Terms

Absentee....A runaway prisoner, usually one who had gone missing from assigned service

Approver...A criminal who supplied evidence to prove the guilt of a fellow criminal in an effort to save their own life

Bail up...Bushranging term meaning to hold up and confine under threat of weapons.

Black tracker...An Aboriginal native employed by the police for his skill in tracking men and animals over great distances.

Bolter..An absconder, usually from a government gang

Take to the bush..To Take to the bush was to abscond or run away to a life of crime in the bush

Banditti..Another term for bushrangers.

More Bushranger Terms



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