The Battle of Doughboy Hollow (Ardglen); Capture of the Jewboy Gang

The Battle of Doughboy Hollow (Ardglen); Capture of the Jewboy Gang

Featured Image: Doughboy Hollow (Ardglen) acknowledge Gregory Powell and ‘Bushranger Tracks’

See Also: Hunter Valley Hero

The 1936 edition of the journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society contains an interesting story concerning Captain Edward Denny Day, who was the Police Magistrate in Muswellbrook in 1837. The writer of the interesting narrative is Mr. Ben Champion, DDS, DDSc.

The following extracts of interest to Muswellbrook and Scone districts, are reprinted from Mr Champion’s story:

“Many elderly people in the Newcastle-Maitland district have very pleasant and humorous memories of Captain Edward Denny Day, who died in the year 1876 at Maitland. This popular figure in our early district life was the son of an Irish clergyman, and was born in the year 1801 in Ireland. He chose the Army as a career and in 1820 became an ensign in the 46th Regiment of Foot (the South Devonshires). With this regiment he served until appointed to a lieutenancy in the 62nd Regiment (the Wiltshires) in the year 1833.

“In October, 1837, Captain Day was appointed to Muswellbrook. In June, 1838, Governor Gipps saw fit to despatch him as officer-in-charge of a party to apprehend the murderers of at least 28 aborigines who were slain in the most callous manner on Mr. Dangar’s property at Myall Creek.

“While visiting at Muswellbrook in December, 1840, he learned of a gang of bushrangers, the leader of which was a man named Davis, styled “The Jew Boy.” After, terrorising the district for some months, this gang raided Sir Francis Forbes’ station at Muswellbrook and the Turanville Station of Mr. Dangar, which was close to Aberdeen. They then proceeded to Scone, broke into Chiver’s Hotel and Dangar’s store, where Shea killed John Graham, an assistant. It appears that, in the raid, Graham was overlooked. When the bushrangers bailed up the occupants of the store he fired at them, and then ran to give the alarm. He was overtaken and shot in the back, and died shortly afterwards. In the west wall of St. Luke’s Church, Scone, there is a tablet dedicated to the memory of John Graham. The inscription reads:

” ‘Sacred to the memory of Mr. John Graham, of Inverness, Scotland, who was cut off 21st December, 1840, at the early age of 21 years by a lawless gang of seven bushrangers who maliciously shot him whilst in the conscientious defence of his master’s property, Mr. Thomas Dangar of this parish. Six of these unhappy men suffered for their unhappy crime the extreme penalty of the law in Sydney, 16th March, 1841.’”

Day’s evidence at the subsequent trial of the bushrangers gives a splendid word-picture of the events leading to their capture:

Edward Denny Day, esq., examined on oath, stated: “I reside at Maitland. Shortly before then I was Police Magistrate at Muswellbrook. On the 21st December I was at Muswellbrook on my own private affairs; I received information on Sunday evening of 20 of a party of bushrangers being out and took steps to collect a party of men to go in pursuit. I started about seven next morning. I had ten mounted men and a black boy. I took the direction of Scone, and passed through it. I continued in pursuit until six that evening. I came up about fifty miles from Muswellbrook with the bushrangers, at a place called Doughboy Hollow. About half a mile off the road we saw some drays encamped and some smoke; there were some horses tethered and some men in their shirt-sleeves making a rush for the opposite side of the gully where the encampment was. I saw about six or seven. We galloped in amongst them; a great many shots were fired on both sides. I can speak positively to Davis having fired at me. Davis rushed from the gully, evidently to get behind a tree; whilst he was running I fired; he turned and fired at me. I was not more than twenty yards from him, he then ran towards a tree, and resting the gun in the fork of the tree, fired at me through the branches. I returned the shot, and wounded him in the shoulder. Five prisoners were taken in less than five minutes after we charged them. Shea, Marshall, Emerett, Davis and Chitty were the men; they had arms; there were ten or 11 guns and a great many pistols and seven horses. Glanby was taken next morning; a good deal of conversation took place between the prisoners; they were very communicative.

Davis and Marshall kept us awake all night telling stories. I did not hold out any inducements to them; as they came out, I asked their names; they gave a history of all their proceedings without my inducing them to do so. Shea said there need nothing more be said about it; it was he who shot Mr. Graham and no one else; Davis said he had always opposed the shedding of blood; for he knew if they once committed a murder, they would not reign a week; and as he said this, he looked to right and left, and said ‘As you see, we have not reigned a day.’

“‘Mr. E. White (A.A. Company), Shinkin (Chief Constable of Muswellbrook), Constable Nowland, Walker, Davies, Daw and Evans and Kelly and an assigned servant named Dunnigan were of my party, as also was Mr R. Dangar. We were afterwards joined by Evans and Warren, ticket-of-leave men of Mr. Dangar and Dr Gill.

“A very skilful case was presented by Mr. Purefoy, but the jury brought in a verdict of guilty. The prisoners were hanged on March 16, 1841, at Gallows Hill, Sydney, before a large concourse of spectators, and were buried in Devonshire-street cemetery.

“The “Australian,” of February 27, 1841, tells of the practical manner in which the residents of the Scone district repaid Captain Day for the efficient manner in which he carried out this exploit:

“The service of plate which is to be presented to K. E. Day, esq., is on view at the establishment of H. Lamb and Co., jewellers, and bears the following inscription: Presented to Edward Denny Day esq., Police Magistrate at Maitland, by some residents of the district of Scone, as a testimonial of their admiration of the promptitude and gallantry he displayed in following and capturing a band of bushrangers which had for some months infested the Hunter. February, 1841.’

“This service of plate was presented to Captain Day at a dinner held in Maitland on April 5, 1841. Day had resigned his post as Police Magistrate in Maitland before “The Jew Boy” episode, and had entered into private life, assuming, as a means of livelihood, certain business activities in Maitland. He did not, however, prosper in the business world. Through the kindness of Mr. W. C. Wentworth, his estate was not sequestrated, Wentworth refusing to sign the papers as chief creditor.”

History of Ardglen (‘Doughboy Hollow’)

Ardglen is a mining village NW of Murrurundi, which is North of Scone along the New England Highway.

The population of the town and surrounding areas is around the 360 mark and the area other that the quarry employee’s people are employed in the sheep, beef and cattle industries.

Back in the beginning, William Nowland discovered the Murrurundi Gap, over the range he then drove his stock northwards and established a new station, he called this station Doughboy Hollow and later on this would be changed into the current name of the town, Ardglen.

In 1833 he was pushed off his land by the Australian Agricultural Company which was given by grant, the million acre Warrah station.

The Doughboy Hollow Public School was established in February 1876.

The Doughboy Hollow Post Office officially opened in November 1877 and was later renamed Ardglen Post Office in 1893.

In March 1893 the public school was renamed from Doughboy Hollow Public School to the Ardglen Public School, this as you can see is at the same time as the Post Office.