Scandals, Crime and Corruption along the Great North Road

6.0 The Stolen Stones of Bucketty

The Great North Road itself was born out of crime. Criminals built the Great North Road; it was a criminal offence that led to the formation of the Project, modern-day prisoners are working on the Road, and are assisting us in maintaining parts of the Road; and now criminal offences are taking place again. The Thompson Bridge and the Murray Run culverts were recently damaged by vandals and more sandstone stones were stolen – this time from a section known as the St Albans Ramp.

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6.01 Murder Most Foul - The Tale of a Blue Basin and Tin Quart Pot

The first murder victim in Dural was Thomas Fuller who was shot in 1828 for stealing a blue basin and a tin quart pot. This article outlines his story and what happened to his killer.

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6.02 Henry Martineer Road Party Overseer sacked for transporting his fowls ina Government Cart

Drawn by Gillian James

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6.03 Abduction, Rape and Robbery at Laguna

This article details an event that occurred in 1834 near Laguna that horrified the few European women living in the Wollombi Valley. A group of Aboriginal males came to the hut of John and Sarah Lynch. Their servant Margaret Hanshall was gang raped at gun point by the whole group. Life in the isolated regions of the colony was frightening for women who heard of such instances. The two leaders of the Aboriginal group were sentenced to execution.

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6.04 Straight and Crooked Thinking

This article outlines the influence of Governor Darling on the colony. Some of the major influences were in Banks, Administration, Land and convict labour, exploration, surveying, roads and The Great North Road.

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6.05 Henry Harris - a pawn of Governor Darling's games

Governor Darling used his power to remove convicts from people he did not like. Henry Harris was one of those convicts who was shifted around as a pawn in Governor Darlings games. His movements are explained and the question is raised whether he might have lived a longer fuller life had he not become a pawn in these power games.

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6.07 To be worked in Irons

This is a very brief extract from the Maitland Mercury, 17 October 1846, about men now sentenced to be worked in irons.

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6.08 MacDonald Explorer turned Bushranger

This article recounts the story of John McDonald, who was a convict that should have done well in NSW but after 14 years in Australia something went awry and it appears he ended his life being shot as a bushranger aged thirty one.

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6.09 Bushrangers along the Great North Road

This detailed article explains who bushrangers were and provides some examples of those who worked along the Great North Road.

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6.10 Yellow Billy - The Bushranger

Yellow Billy was a bushranger that created terror for the citizens of the lower Hunter Valley. This article outlines his story in detail and also discusses the old Courthouse and lock-up, and Yellow Billy’s country today.

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