1866 Mail Robbery by Bushranger in Queensland






                                               January 18

          THE Taroom mail was stuck up by Macpherson  alias the Wild  Scotchman, on  Friday last, between Taroom and Gayndah.

          A  large  number   of persons  have  gone  in search  of  the bushranger, but  he  has  not  yet  been caught.

Brisbane Courier 20 January

The Brisbane Courier was in error in stating the hold-up occurred between Taroom and Gayndah. It was between Taroom and Condamine.


(From Our Own Correspondent)

04.02January 11.

    THE Wild Scotchman has again changed his locality.   Yesterday, about 5 p.m., Mr Launder, when proceeding from this town to Dulacca, met him about seven miles from the latter place leading a horse belonging to Mr. Miles, which he had just succeeded in catching.  Mr Launder, when he first saw him, thought he was someone belonging to the station, and stopped him to make inquiries as to the distance to Dulacca. After replying, he asked if there were any bullock drays on the road. He was told that there were not any between that place and Condamine.   “Oh! Is this the Condamine road.” He exclaimed;   and after bidding good evening to his informant, he went on.  Mr Launder then proceeded quickly to Dulaca, and described the horse Macpherson had with him to Mr Miles, who immediately recognised the animal as his property.   It being too late to proceed after the bushranger that night, it was arranged to follow him in the morning.  Shortly before dark Mr. Austin, engineer of roads, and sub-Inspector Elliott arrived, and a man was sent to give information, arriving here at 3 a.m.. having travelled forty miles through the bush in the dark.   Constable Moore started with two black trackers, meeting Messrs. Miles, Austin, Elliot, and Lauder, the latter being on foot, Mr Miles being unable to furnish him with a horse.   They succeeded in tracking Macpherson to his camp, about 20 miles from the station, having previously met and secured the stolen horse, which was hobbled and doubtless had given Macpherson the slip during the night.   The tracks then took them through the bush towards the Taroom Road, and the party following, so I soon expect to hear of his being taken.   At the time he was met by Mr Launder he had on a dark crimean shirt, moleskin trousers, and a small straw hat.   On the saddle in front of him was strapped a double-barrelled German rifle, brass bound.    He was riding a chestnut horse with a long tail, and leading the other.

Brisbane Courier 18 January

Alexander McPherson, Bushranger

Escaped from custody at Bowen QLD in June 1865

Committed 14 armed robberies of mailmen in Queensland 16 October 1865 – 3 March 1866

Captured 10 March 1866 at the Monduran run, 80 miles from Maryborough

Sentenced to 25 years penal servitude for each of two offences to run concurrently 

Released in December 1874 and died, aged 53, on 23 August 1895 after falling from a horse

Reference: Peace, Brian: Mail Robberies by Bushrangers 1833-1908, 2011

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