The Scene of “Thunderbolt’s” Death.


Eugene Montagu (Monty) Scott (1835 - 1909)

Rare engraving of where the bushranger, Frederick Ward  (1835-1870), nicknamed “Captain Thunderbolt” was  shot and captured at Kentucky Creek, Uralla on 25 May 1870. Over a six year period, Ward committed robberies in northern New South Wales and Queensland. The … Read Full Description


S/N: ISN-BUSHR-700706001–232083
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Full Title:

The Scene of “Thunderbolt’s” Death.




Eugene Montagu (Monty) Scott (1835 - 1909)


In good condition


Hand coloured engraving.

Image Size: 

x 177mm
The Scene of "Thunderbolt's" Death. - Antique View from 1870

Genuine antique



Rare engraving of where the bushranger, Frederick Ward  (1835-1870), nicknamed “Captain Thunderbolt” was  shot and captured at Kentucky Creek, Uralla on 25 May 1870.

Over a six year period, Ward committed robberies in northern New South Wales and Queensland.

The last of the New South Wales bushrangers, Frederick Wordsworth Ward, was better known as “Captain Thunderbolt”, and robbed along roads of New England High Country and beyond for much of the 1860s. He was born in the Windsor district and his family later moved north to the Maitland area, where in 1853, he began working at the famous ‘Tocal’ horse stud as a horse-breaker and stock hand. In 1856, close relative, John Garbutt, became the ringleader of a large horse and cattle stealing operation, and enticed other members of the extended Ward family to join him. Fred helped drive some four dozen of the stolen horses (many from Tocal) to Windsor. The horses were recognised and Fred was subsequently arrested and found guilty of “receiving” stolen horses. He was sentenced to 10 years hard labour at Sydney’s infamous Cockatoo Island prison.

After four years in prison, he was released on a “ticket-of-leave” to the Mudgee district. Here he met a young woman named Mary Ann Bugg, the daughter of a convict shepherd and his Aboriginal wife. Mary Ann fell pregnant to Fred who took her to her father’s farm near Dungog for the baby’s birth. After leaving her with her family, he rode back to Mudgee, but arrived late for his muster on a ‘borrowed’ horse. As a result, he was returned to Cockatoo Island to complete his original sentence with an additional three years for possessing a “stolen” horse.

On 11 September 1863, Fred and a companion, Frederick Britten, slipped away from their work gang before swimming to freedom. The pair made their way north where, late in October, they were spotted by police near the Big Rock (now Thunderbolt’s Rock), south of Uralla. A gun battle ensued, with Fred being shot in the left knee before making his escape into a nearby swamp. The two fugitives soon separated with Fred travelling south to the Maitland district. On 22 December 1863, and robbing a toll-bar operator at Rutherford, west of Maitland, afterwards informing his victim that his name was “Thunderbolt“.

Soon afterwards, Fred collected Mary Ann and they headed for the lawless north-western plains where they remained quiet until early 1865. Fred then formed his first gang when he joined forces with three other men, launching a bushranging spree that ended when one of the gang members was shot at Millie in April 1865. Later that same year, he joined forces with another two felons but his second gang disbanded soon after one of them shot a policeman during a shootout at Carroll.

Fred returned to Mary Ann, taking her back to the Gloucester district where they hid out in the isolated mountains. In March 1866, Mary Ann was captured by police and imprisoned on vagrancy charges, but was released after a Parliamentary outcry. Fred resumed bushranging activities in 1867 after Mary Ann was again captured by the police and imprisoned.

After acquiring a young apprentice, Thomas Mason, Fred was active again, robbing mails, inns and stores in the Tamworth and New England districts. Mason was captured by police in September 1867. In 1868, Fred took on new apprentice, William Monckton, and picked up where he had left off. They separated in December of that year and, a few weeks later, Monckton was also captured by police.

During the following year-and-a-half, Fred ventured out on only a handful of occasions. He was shot and killed at Kentucky Creek, near Uralla, on 25 May 1870 by Constable Alexander Binning Walker.


Eugene Montagu (Monty) Scott (1835-1909)

Cartoonist and illustrator, in London, migrated to Victoria in the 1850s and worked as a photographer.

On 20 July 1859 in Melbourne he married Amy Johnson. In 1857-65 he contributed drawings and cartoons to the Illustrated Australian Mail, Illustrated Melbourne Post and Melbourne Punch. In 1866 Scott moved to Sydney as chief cartoonist for the Sydney Punch. In 1867 he received a 250 guineas commission for a portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh. He was established in a photographic salon in George Street and in the 1870s his large wood-engravings and lithographs of rugged outdoor scenes, formal functions and public personalities regularly enlivened the Illustrated Sydney News.

Bankrupt in June 1870, Scott was forced to sell his photographic equipment to meet his creditors. In 1871 the Sydney Mail employed him as its first artist. From 1880 the Bulletin carried some cartoons and occasional engravings of local dignitaries by Scott. The Brisbane Boomerang, founded 1887, ran his cartoons until 1891 when he drew the first cartoons for the Queensland Worker, continuing as its chief cartoonist until 1909. In 1889 he had moved to Brisbane and on 5 December married a widow, Mary Ellen Price, née Mehan; he lived there four years.

In the ensuing years Montagu recived less work as photographic illustrations replaced engravings and lithographs.

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