Difference between revisions of "Mary Ann Bugg"

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'''Mary Ann Bugg''' (7 May 1834 – 22 April 1867) was a badass 1800s bushranging Mum, aka the ultimate multitasker. She was a Worimi woman who, after ending up a widowed single Mother, hooked up with notorious horse stealer Fred Ward. Who would soon become known as the famous “Captain Thunderbolt”. Mary Ann helped Fred evade police, hunted their food, and even taught him how to read and write. Yet she was still referred to by newspapers as ‘Captain Thunderbolts Half Caste’. That is, until one day, when apprehended by police, she did something that finally got her name in the papers.
 
'''Mary Ann Bugg''' (7 May 1834 – 22 April 1867) was a badass 1800s bushranging Mum, aka the ultimate multitasker. She was a Worimi woman who, after ending up a widowed single Mother, hooked up with notorious horse stealer Fred Ward. Who would soon become known as the famous “Captain Thunderbolt”. Mary Ann helped Fred evade police, hunted their food, and even taught him how to read and write. Yet she was still referred to by newspapers as ‘Captain Thunderbolts Half Caste’. That is, until one day, when apprehended by police, she did something that finally got her name in the papers.
==Early years==
+
==Life==
  
'''Mary Ann Bugg''', was born at the Berrico outstation near Gloucester, New South Wales, Australia on 7 May, 1834 to James Bugg, who was born in Essex, England in 1801, who was convicted of stealing meat (two lambs, a wether sheep and two pigs) and his aboriginal wife Charlotte the eldest of eight at the Essex Asally was a farmer at Cooyal north of Mudgee, and it was there in 1860 that Mary Ann met ticket-of-leave convict Frederick Ward (later to become bushranger Captain Thunderbolt). She had a daughter named ''Marina Emily''.
+
Mary Ann Bugg was the eldest child of assigned convict James Bugg and his Aboriginal "wife" Charlotte and was born at the Australian Agricultural Company's Berrico outstation on 7 May 1834.
  
==Relationship with Fred Ward==
+
At the age of 14, YUP 14, she married a shepherd named Edmund Baker and together they moved to Mudgee. The couple were hired by a Mrs. Garbutt whose son James was involved with a cattle thief named Frederick Ward. It was love at first site for Mary and Ward (probs).
 +
In 1856 Frederick Ward were sent to prison at Cockatoo Island for ten years for receiving stolen horses. They served only four years and were released with Tickets of Leave. Ward returned to the Garbutt's station for Mary Ann and with her young child, she accompanied Ward to Dungog. (Mary's husband had died while Ward had been in gaol.)
  
Mary Ann fell pregnant soon after meeting Fred Ward (Captain Thunderbolt). Ward took her back to her father's farm at Monkerai for the baby's delivery, and their daughter Marina Emily was born late in 1861. In taking Mary Ann to Monkerai, however, Ward was in breach of the ticket-of-leave regulations which required him to remain in the Mudgee district and to attend three-monthly musters. As it turned out, he was late returning for the muster, and he compounded the problem by riding into town on a horse claimed by the owner to have been "stolen" (although the owner admitted during Ward's trial that the horse had simply gone missing and that he had heard that it had been seen near Cooyal but had not tried to retrieve it). Ward's ticket-of-leave was revoked, and he was returned to Cockatoo Island to serve the remaining six years of his previous ten-year sentence, along with an additional three years for being found in possession of a stolen horse.
+
In October 1861, Ward was again arrested for horse theft and once again sent to Cockatoo Island, Leaving Mary Ann to give birth to their first child alone. But this crafty woman moved her and her newborn to Balmain, placed both her children in care and then swam to Cockatoo Island with a file for Ward to cut through his chains. This was the first ever escape from Cockatoo island, and the government was extremely embarrassed by it. After swimming to freedom, the couple moved to the Hunter Valley where Ward became the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt.
  
Most Thunderbolt books claim that Mary Ann helped Ward escape from Cockatoo Island, one of the few successful escapes during the island's history as a penal settlement, however this is not correct. Mary Ann, in fact, remained in the Dungog district where she was working to support herself and her two youngest children. She did not meet up with Ward again until after his escape from Cockatoo Island in September 1863.
+
Mary's mixed heritage gave this bad ass Sheila a diverse set of skills that helped navigate her outlaw life immensely. From her mother's side she learnt how to survive in the Australian bush by making shelters and finding food. From her father, Mary gained the opportunity to go to boarding school where she learnt to read, write and carry herself like a “refined European lady”. Her ability to carry herself like a lady, or live like a bushman, gave Mary the ability to seamlessly slip between worlds.
  
==Bushranging with Captain Thunderbolt==
+
Although she was an extremely talented lady herself, she was also gained a great deal of pride from her association with Ward. On several occasions she referred to herself as the 'Captain's Lady' and held her head high when she said so. With her help, Ward gained the opportunity to evade capture for six years, far longer than most bushrangers of the era. Furthermore, from Mary, Ward learnt how to read and write. In addition to being a supportive wife, Mary was also a loving mother. Despite being on the run, she endeavoured to spend as much time as possible with her children as did Fred Ward.
  
After the Rutherford toll-bar robbery, where "Captain Thunderbolt" first introduced himself, Ward returned to Dungog and collected Mary Ann and her two youngest daughters, Ellen and Marina. In February 1864 they travelled through the mountains west of [[Gloucester, New South Wales|Gloucester]] during what became known as the Great Flood of 1864, eventually ending up at the Culgoa River, north-west of Walgett, New South Wales, where Ward's brother William was working. They lived quietly for the remainder of the year, however early in 1865 Ward joined forces with three other miscreants and began to rob hawkers and stations in the north-western plains near Collarenebri. He eventually travelled extensively during his six-and-a-half years as a bushranger, robbing from Newcastle as far north as Queensland, and from Narrabri nearly as far west as Bourke.
+
At a camp with Thunderbolt, the cops found her with a pile of stolen stuff, Thunderbolt bailed and left her with the children. Heavily pregnant she jumped off her horse “like a tigress” onto a Policeman, shredded up his shirt, mocked him and called him a coward for going after her instead of Thunderbolt, before challenging the officer to one-on-one combat. On the way to the police station Mary Ann pretended to go into labor. Panicking, the officers dropped Bugg off at a station to pursue Thunderbolt, at which point Mary Ann slipped off into the bush with her child.
  
In 1865, Mary Ann gave birth to another child, seemingly a daughter named Elizabeth Ann Ward, although she later left the child with friends or relations – as she had her two older daughters – so she could remain on the run with Ward. She was not only his lover but his eyes and ears, helping to keep him safe from the troopers. She acted as his scout, visiting towns to find out if the police troopers were around, however there is no evidence to suggest that she accompanied him during his robberies although the community at large believed that she did. Primarily, she looked after their bush camps, hamstringing cattle and foraging for food for Ward and his accomplices. Several reports describe her as looking like a young man wearing knee-length, Wellington boots, moleskin trousers, a Crimean shirt, a monkey jacket and a cabbage tree hat, the dress of the flash stockmen of the day (and at a time when women did not wear men's clothing). Also, she rode astride (as did a man) and not sidesaddle as was customary for women in those days. She was proud of her association with Ward and on several occasions referred to herself as the "Captain's Lady".
 
 
Mary Ann's involvement with the outlaw led to her apprehension by the police on three occasions. In 1866, she was sentenced to six months in gaol for vagrancy, however an outcry in Parliament led the Attorney General to examine the paperwork associated with her conviction and to recommend her release on the grounds that the charges had been poorly phrased and did not use the necessary terminology to convict her under the Vagrancy Act. Another conviction, in 1867, for being in possession of stolen goods was overturned when a concerned magistrate looked into her case and discovered that a shop assistant could identify her as having purchased some of the goods.
 
  
 
==Death==
 
==Death==
  
 
Most Thunderbolt books claim that Mary Ann died at the Goulburn River in November 1867, however this was a woman named Louisa Mason alias Yellow Long, wife of Robert Michael Mason of Rouchel near Scone. Mary Ann fell pregnant again a few weeks after Louisa Mason's death, but she and Ward separated a short time later. Their son Frederick Wordsworth Ward was born at Carroll in August 1868. In the aftermath, Mary Ann settled again with John Burrows and had another four children who survived infancy: Ada Gertrude (1870), Ida Margaret (1874), George Herbert (1820). Burrows died prior to 1900 and Mary Ann found work as a nurse to support herself, before dying on 22 April 1905 at Mudgee. Her son Frederick took after his birth father, becoming a groom and later a horse-trainer; he died unmarried as Frederick Wordsworth Burrows in 1937.
 
Most Thunderbolt books claim that Mary Ann died at the Goulburn River in November 1867, however this was a woman named Louisa Mason alias Yellow Long, wife of Robert Michael Mason of Rouchel near Scone. Mary Ann fell pregnant again a few weeks after Louisa Mason's death, but she and Ward separated a short time later. Their son Frederick Wordsworth Ward was born at Carroll in August 1868. In the aftermath, Mary Ann settled again with John Burrows and had another four children who survived infancy: Ada Gertrude (1870), Ida Margaret (1874), George Herbert (1820). Burrows died prior to 1900 and Mary Ann found work as a nurse to support herself, before dying on 22 April 1905 at Mudgee. Her son Frederick took after his birth father, becoming a groom and later a horse-trainer; he died unmarried as Frederick Wordsworth Burrows in 1937.
 +
 +
==Trivia==
 +
* Mary Ann had 15 children she gave birth to some whilst on the run from the law
 +
* The actress who plays Mary Ann in Sheilas is a descendant of Mary
 +
* Historians believe Captain Thunderbolt's reluctance to use firearms was influenced by Mary Ann's hatred of guns
 +
* Mystery surrounds Mary Ann's death. Many historians originally believed Mary died in 1867, though reports were never conclusive. New research has uncovered compelling evidence that Mary Ann may have lived for many more years under a new name - Mary Ann Burrows. The death certificate of Burrows matches many details of Mary's life, though it includes two previously unknown husbands, abundance of unidentified children, and strangely lists her place of birth as New Zealand, possibly to put people off the trail of tracking down her past life as a bushranger. [5]
 +
* If she did live past 1867, Mary would have been the last true Bushranger in New South Wales, a title often given to her husband who died in 1870.
 +
* Mary Ann was noted in the newspaper as having often dressed in "men's attire"
 +
* The editor of the Maitland Mercury noted that Mary "can read and write far better than most European women" and she is believed to have taught Captain Thunderbolt to read
 +
* Mary Ann knew how to manipulate the media, she was known to have loud conversations in earshot of others in the hope that what she said was reported in the press
 +
* The Governor of NSW, Sir John Young, twice ordered Mary Ann's release for wrongful imprisonment following public outcries[6]
 +
* Children at the local school were allowed time off to watch Thunderbolt and Mary Ann's wedding
 +
* Mary Ann's father’s last name was Brigg during his time as a convict, due to a clerk's mis-transcription but he later changed it to Bugg, a reference to the "bugbears" (goblins) made famous in the Brothers Grimm’s fairytales
 +
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
* [http://www.thunderboltbushranger.com.au/mary-ann-bugg-biography.html Bushranger Thunderbolt and Mary Ann Bugg: Biography – Mary Ann Bugg]
 
* [http://www.thunderboltbushranger.com.au/mary-ann-bugg-biography.html Bushranger Thunderbolt and Mary Ann Bugg: Biography – Mary Ann Bugg]
 
* [http://users.tpg.com.au/users/barrymor/thunderbolt.html Original source for article – Life of Captain Thunderbolt]
 
* [http://users.tpg.com.au/users/barrymor/thunderbolt.html Original source for article – Life of Captain Thunderbolt]
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:Bugg, Mary Ann}}
 
[[Category:Bushrangers]]
 
[[Category:Australian people of English descent]]
 
[[Category:Indigenous Australian bushrangers]]
 
[[Category:1834 births]]
 
[[Category:1867 deaths]]
 

Revision as of 05:43, 28 August 2018

Mary Ann Bugg (7 May 1834 – 22 April 1867) was a badass 1800s bushranging Mum, aka the ultimate multitasker. She was a Worimi woman who, after ending up a widowed single Mother, hooked up with notorious horse stealer Fred Ward. Who would soon become known as the famous “Captain Thunderbolt”. Mary Ann helped Fred evade police, hunted their food, and even taught him how to read and write. Yet she was still referred to by newspapers as ‘Captain Thunderbolts Half Caste’. That is, until one day, when apprehended by police, she did something that finally got her name in the papers.

Life

Mary Ann Bugg was the eldest child of assigned convict James Bugg and his Aboriginal "wife" Charlotte and was born at the Australian Agricultural Company's Berrico outstation on 7 May 1834.

At the age of 14, YUP 14, she married a shepherd named Edmund Baker and together they moved to Mudgee. The couple were hired by a Mrs. Garbutt whose son James was involved with a cattle thief named Frederick Ward. It was love at first site for Mary and Ward (probs). In 1856 Frederick Ward were sent to prison at Cockatoo Island for ten years for receiving stolen horses. They served only four years and were released with Tickets of Leave. Ward returned to the Garbutt's station for Mary Ann and with her young child, she accompanied Ward to Dungog. (Mary's husband had died while Ward had been in gaol.)

In October 1861, Ward was again arrested for horse theft and once again sent to Cockatoo Island, Leaving Mary Ann to give birth to their first child alone. But this crafty woman moved her and her newborn to Balmain, placed both her children in care and then swam to Cockatoo Island with a file for Ward to cut through his chains. This was the first ever escape from Cockatoo island, and the government was extremely embarrassed by it. After swimming to freedom, the couple moved to the Hunter Valley where Ward became the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt.

Mary's mixed heritage gave this bad ass Sheila a diverse set of skills that helped navigate her outlaw life immensely. From her mother's side she learnt how to survive in the Australian bush by making shelters and finding food. From her father, Mary gained the opportunity to go to boarding school where she learnt to read, write and carry herself like a “refined European lady”. Her ability to carry herself like a lady, or live like a bushman, gave Mary the ability to seamlessly slip between worlds.

Although she was an extremely talented lady herself, she was also gained a great deal of pride from her association with Ward. On several occasions she referred to herself as the 'Captain's Lady' and held her head high when she said so. With her help, Ward gained the opportunity to evade capture for six years, far longer than most bushrangers of the era. Furthermore, from Mary, Ward learnt how to read and write. In addition to being a supportive wife, Mary was also a loving mother. Despite being on the run, she endeavoured to spend as much time as possible with her children as did Fred Ward.

At a camp with Thunderbolt, the cops found her with a pile of stolen stuff, Thunderbolt bailed and left her with the children. Heavily pregnant she jumped off her horse “like a tigress” onto a Policeman, shredded up his shirt, mocked him and called him a coward for going after her instead of Thunderbolt, before challenging the officer to one-on-one combat. On the way to the police station Mary Ann pretended to go into labor. Panicking, the officers dropped Bugg off at a station to pursue Thunderbolt, at which point Mary Ann slipped off into the bush with her child.


Death

Most Thunderbolt books claim that Mary Ann died at the Goulburn River in November 1867, however this was a woman named Louisa Mason alias Yellow Long, wife of Robert Michael Mason of Rouchel near Scone. Mary Ann fell pregnant again a few weeks after Louisa Mason's death, but she and Ward separated a short time later. Their son Frederick Wordsworth Ward was born at Carroll in August 1868. In the aftermath, Mary Ann settled again with John Burrows and had another four children who survived infancy: Ada Gertrude (1870), Ida Margaret (1874), George Herbert (1820). Burrows died prior to 1900 and Mary Ann found work as a nurse to support herself, before dying on 22 April 1905 at Mudgee. Her son Frederick took after his birth father, becoming a groom and later a horse-trainer; he died unmarried as Frederick Wordsworth Burrows in 1937.

Trivia

  • Mary Ann had 15 children she gave birth to some whilst on the run from the law
  • The actress who plays Mary Ann in Sheilas is a descendant of Mary
  • Historians believe Captain Thunderbolt's reluctance to use firearms was influenced by Mary Ann's hatred of guns
  • Mystery surrounds Mary Ann's death. Many historians originally believed Mary died in 1867, though reports were never conclusive. New research has uncovered compelling evidence that Mary Ann may have lived for many more years under a new name - Mary Ann Burrows. The death certificate of Burrows matches many details of Mary's life, though it includes two previously unknown husbands, abundance of unidentified children, and strangely lists her place of birth as New Zealand, possibly to put people off the trail of tracking down her past life as a bushranger. [5]
  • If she did live past 1867, Mary would have been the last true Bushranger in New South Wales, a title often given to her husband who died in 1870.
  • Mary Ann was noted in the newspaper as having often dressed in "men's attire"
  • The editor of the Maitland Mercury noted that Mary "can read and write far better than most European women" and she is believed to have taught Captain Thunderbolt to read
  • Mary Ann knew how to manipulate the media, she was known to have loud conversations in earshot of others in the hope that what she said was reported in the press
  • The Governor of NSW, Sir John Young, twice ordered Mary Ann's release for wrongful imprisonment following public outcries[6]
  • Children at the local school were allowed time off to watch Thunderbolt and Mary Ann's wedding
  • Mary Ann's father’s last name was Brigg during his time as a convict, due to a clerk's mis-transcription but he later changed it to Bugg, a reference to the "bugbears" (goblins) made famous in the Brothers Grimm’s fairytales


External links