(previous …. New Norfolk on the Derwent)

Escaped Convicts Become Bushrangers

During the early 1800s, the new colonies in Tasmania were beginning to become extremely annoyed by bushrangers. From between 20-40 convicts, generally escaped every year and too to the wild country around the central lakes of Tasmania. There in the rugged mountain wilderness, they led desperate and daring lives, sometimes with the natives, to whom they quickly taught all the wickedness they themselves knew. Their ordinary lives were wretchedly debased, as they were forever in search of booty or in revenge for fanciful injuries. They often committed the most savage crimes and treated their native companions like beasts, to be used for a while before being shot or bashed when no longer needed. It was therefore not surprising that the blacks soon became filled with the most intense hatred for all the white invaders of the land.

Under Attack

Frequently the Aboriginal tribes united to attack the lonely farmhouse and murder all its occupants. Hence every settler in the country districts were well supplied with arms and taught all the householders how to use them. It wasn’t surprising to find walls pierced here and there with holes through which a musket could be placed, to safely fire at the advancing enemy. The fear of bushrangers who might attack for the sake of plunder and of the natives who might massacre them in revenge kept the scattered settlers in constant terror and fear.

(continues … Governor Sorrell)