Hunter Valley Bushranger
William McCarthy - Cassilis 1841
William McCarthy was born in County Cork. He was 22 years of age when he was apprehended for sheep stealing and was tried in Cork on 27 March 1835. He was sentenced to transportation for life and arrived on the convict ship Hive in 1835.
He was probably assigned to the Raymond Terrace district on arrival as on 26 March 1836 he was admitted to Newcastle gaol charged with assault and was returned to the Bench at Raymond Terrace to be dealt with a couple of months later.
He was in trouble again five months later and on 8th October 1836 was admitted to Newcastle gaol from Paterson with a sentence of 28 days solitary confinement. On his release from gaol on 21st November 1836 he was re-assigned to George Thomas Palmer at Maitland.
After this he was assigned to the Cassilis district and in January 1841 escaped from the Cassilis lockup and in company with two others committed several robberies including bailing up Arthur Blaxland's station.
THE settlers who are heavily taxed have a great cause to complain of the inefficiency of the support and protection which they receive from the government. When bushrangers are taken and lodged in the custody of the police, the chances are almost two to one that they are allowed to escape, when they, of course, commence committing fresh depredations. The above remarks are called forth by our having been shown a letter, which we give below, from Mr. Arthur Blaxland's Superintendent, detailing the circumstances of a robbery committed by a band of bushrangers, at his Cattle Station, Liverpool Plains, headed by a fellow named Carthy, who was allowed to escape from the Cassilis lock-up some time since. Who the other men are is not at present known, but it is exceedingly probable that had Carthy been kept securely the last time he was apprehended, that the other men would still have been peaceably in their respective employments, wheras it is now probable that they will commit a variety of depredations before they are captured. Mr. Blaxland has offered a reward of £20 for the apprehension of the marauding vagabonds.........
Sir, — I am sorry to inform you this Station was visited by three armed men on the evening of Tuesday, the 9th ultimo, and three horses (Ginger, Old Dick, and Bones,) taken away by them. Myself and Crawford had been to the heifer station that afternoon, and did not return before late in the evening, when, on passing the hut, a man placed a gun to my breast and desired me to stand, or he would send the contents of it into me. Crawford, who had been putting two horses into the paddock, and was some little distance behind, rode away ; upon which the fellow fired at him but without effect. He then placed a man with a gun and pistol to watch me and the other men (Lanky, Harris, and Webb), whilst the other two saddled the horses ; they then went away in the direction of Phillip's Creek. One of the men is named Carty or Carthy, the same who escaped from the Cassilis lock up, about three months since. It appears they sneaked into the station about sun-down, desired the men to get supper ready, asked what time I was expected home, and waited until I came ; no doubt they would have ran- sacked the hut, had Crawford not escaped. Luckily we had finished mustering the cattle that morning, for we are now without bridle or saddle to put on a horse. I am doing what I can in the borrowing way to get the JB, cattle and bullocks to Gammon.
Crawford, Harris, and myself have been out this last three days trying to track them, but without success. I have written to the Commissioner and Mr Scovel, and I will go out myself as soon as the horses we have left have had a spell. - Sydney Herald 1 March 1841
William McCarthy was apprehended by the mounted police in March 1841.
He was re-assigned to Edward Sparke near Maitland and absconded from there on 11th April 1842.
He was brought into Cassilis by the mounted police in March 1843 having been apprehended at Mr. Miller's station in the Liverpool Plains district and committed for trial for being illegally at large with fire arms by Magistrate Edward Hamilton on 17th March 1843.
From Cassilis he was taken to Newcastle where he was admitted to Newcastle Gaol on 31st March. He was forwarded to Darlinghurst gaol on 1st August 1843 to await trial.