Difference between revisions of "Mary Ann Bugg"

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'''Mary Ann Bugg''' (7 May 1834<ref>NSW Registry of BDM: Baptism Vol.23 No.1494</ref> – 22 April 1867<ref name="ReferenceA">NSW Registry of BDM Death 1905/5831</ref>) 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.
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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.
==Early years==
 
  
'''Mary Ann Bugg''', was born at the Berrico outstation near [[Gloucester, New South Wales]], Australia on 7 May, 1834.<ref name=baxter11>{{harvp|Baxter|2011|p=11}}</ref> 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|ticket-of-leave]] convict Frederick Ward (later to become bushranger [[Captain Thunderbolt]]).<ref name="Baxter_116_117">{{harvp|Baxter|2011|pp=116–117}}</ref>She had a daughter named ''Marina Emily'' and her husband [Captain Thunderbolt] was prisoned two times in [[Cockatoo Island (New South Wales)|Cockatoo Island]]. Mary Ann was prisoned once on Cockatoo Island. She is known as the Captain's Lady.
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==Early Life==
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[[File:Mary ann bugg.jpg|thumb]]
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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 May 7, 1834.  
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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).
  
==Relationship with Fred Ward==
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==The Ward Escape ==
  
Mary Ann fell pregnant soon after meeting Fred Ward (Captain Thunderbolt). Ward took her back to her father's farm at [[Monkerai]] near [[Dungog]] for the baby's delivery, and their daughter Marina Emily was born late in 1861.<ref>NSW Registry of BDM Birth 1861/7193</ref> 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).<ref name="Baxter_116_117"/> 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.<ref>{{harvp|Baxter|2011|pp=113–116}}</ref>
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In 1856, Frederick Ward was convicted of receiving stolen horses, and sent to prison at Cockatoo Island for ten years. He served only four years and was released with Tickets of Leave. Mary's husband died while Ward was in gaol, so Ward returned to the Garbutt's station to reunite with Mary Ann, who had a young child by then. Mary and child (the not-so biblical pair) then accompanied Ward to Dungog.
  
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.<ref>{{harvp|Baxter|2011|p=142}}</ref><ref>Bushranger Thunderbolt and his Lady: Did Mary Ann Bugg help Fred Ward escape from Cockatoo Island? http://www.thunderboltbushranger.com.au/analysis-mab-help-escape-ci.html</ref>
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In October 1861, Ward was again arrested for horse theft and sent back to Cockatoo Island, leaving Mary Ann to give birth to their first child alone. Mary, however, was a pretty crafty woman, and proceeded to move to Balmain, where she placed both her newborn and older child in care, and then swam to Cockatoo Island with a file for Ward to cut through his chains... Well thats how the folklore tells it, probs not 100% accurate.
  
==Bushranging with Captain Thunderbolt==
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It is true however that Ward escaped - and it was a pretty ballsy escape. Ye olde Sydney Harbour was shark-infested waters and cockatoo island was super intensely patrolled by guards, so yeh, escaping from Cockatoo Island was pretty darn hard. On 11th September 1863 Ward and fellow inmate Frederick Brittain, became the only prisoners to ever escape from the Island.
  
After the Rutherford toll-bar robbery, where "Captain Thunderbolt" first introduced himself,<ref>Maitland Mercury 22 December 1863 p.3, 24 Dec pp.2 & 3, 26 Dec p.2, 29 Dec p.2, 2 January 1864 p.2</ref> 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|Walgett]], where Ward's brother William was working.<ref>{{harvp|Baxter|2011|pp=171–177}}</ref> 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]].<ref name="Baxter_181+"/> He eventually travelled extensively during his six-and-a-half years as a bushranger, robbing from [[Newcastle, New South Wales|Newcastle]] as far north as [[Queensland]], and from [[Narrabri]] nearly as far west as [[Bourke, New South Wales|Bourke]].<ref name="Baxter_181+">{{harvp|Baxter|2011|pp=181 ''et seq.''}}</ref>
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Many years later Mary Ann revealed to her old friend Police Constable William Langworthy they had achieved the escape. According to Langworthy (via Mary Ann) while Fred was in prison Mary Ann was living in Balmain and stealthily checked out the general surveillance pattern of the island. When they actually made the escape Mary Ann stood on the foreshore with a lighting the way for them to safely come ashore. The ever prepared lady had horses waiting and they all north to the Hunter Valley undetected. There is no real evidence to prove this, or that even Mary Ann worked in the Balmain district, but hey, its made for a great story!
  
In 1865, Mary Ann gave birth to another child, seemingly a daughter named Elizabeth Ann Ward,<ref name="children">Bushranger Thunderbolt and his Lady: Searching for Mary Ann Bugg’s children http://www.thunderboltbushranger.com.au/analysis-searching-for-mary-ann-buggs-children.html</ref> 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 [[Trooper (police rank)|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.<ref>{{harvp|Baxter|2011}}</ref> Several reports describe her as looking like a young man wearing knee-length, [[Wellington boot]]s, [[moleskin]] trousers, a Crimean shirt, a monkey jacket and a cabbage tree hat, the dress of the flash [[Stockman (Australia)|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".<ref>{{cite web|url=http://users.tpg.com.au/users/barrymor/Kali%20Bierens.htm|title=The Captain's Lady: Mary Ann Bugg|accessdate=5 September 2016}}</ref>
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==The Thunderbolt Years==
  
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.<ref>{{harvp|Baxter|2011|loc=Chapter 29}}</ref> 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.<ref>{{harvp|Baxter|2011|loc=pp. 274–276, Chapter 34}}</ref>
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Mary's mixed heritage gave this badass 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 and 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. Eat your heart out, Quinn Mallory! (Come on, everyone loved Sliders!)
  
==Death==
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Back to Mary, although she was an extremely talented lady herself, she 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, thanks to Mary, Ward learnt how to read and write. In addition to being a supportive wife, Mary was also a loving mother, as she endeavoured to spend as much time as possible with her children, as did Fred Ward, despite being on the run.
  
Most Thunderbolt books claim that Mary Ann died at the [[Goulburn River (New South Wales)|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, New South Wales|Scone]].<ref>Bushranger Thunderbolt and his Lady: Did Mary Ann Bugg die in 1867? http://www.thunderboltbushranger.com.au/analysis-mab-death-1867.html</ref> 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.<ref>NSW Registry of BDM Birth 1868/0016881 and Baptism Vol.161 No.1400</ref> 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).<ref name="children"/> Burrows died prior to 1900 and Mary Ann found work as a nurse to support herself, before dying on 22 April 1905 at [[Mudgee]].<ref name="ReferenceA"/> 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.<ref>NSW Registry of BDM Death 1937/00016011</ref>
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At a camp with Thunderbolt, the cops found her with a stash of stolen goods, and Thunderbolt bailed, leaving 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. Forget being like a tigress, Mary clearly had the courage of a lion! On the way to the police station, she even 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.
  
== References ==
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==Something(s) About Mary==
{{reflist|24em}}
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* 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
  
===Sources===
 
{{refbegin}}
 
*{{cite book |last=Baxter |first=Carol |year=2011 |title=Captain Thunderbolt and His Lady |publisher=Allen & Unwin |location=Sydney |isbn=9781742372877 |ref=harv}}
 
{{refend}}
 
  
==External links==
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==References==
 
* [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]
 
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* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Ann_Bugg
{{Bushrangers |state=autocollapse}}
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* http://www.convictcreations.com/history/marybugg.htm
 
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* http://www.thunderboltbushranger.com.au/mary-ann-bugg-biography.html
{{Authority control}}
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* http://hillendfamilyhistory.com/history/bushrangers/mary-ann-bugg/
{{DEFAULTSORT:Bugg, Mary Ann}}
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* http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/archived/pocketdocs/mary-ann-bugg-bushranger-and-spy/7160138
[[Category:Bushrangers]]
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* http://www.carolbaxter.com/captain-thunderbolt.html
[[Category:Australian people of English descent]]
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* The Captain’s Lady: Mary Ann Bugg by Kali Bierens
[[Category:Indigenous Australian bushrangers]]
 
[[Category:1834 births]]
 
[[Category:1867 deaths]]
 

Latest revision as of 01:54, 5 September 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.

Early Life

Mary ann bugg.jpg

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 May 7, 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).

The Ward Escape

In 1856, Frederick Ward was convicted of receiving stolen horses, and sent to prison at Cockatoo Island for ten years. He served only four years and was released with Tickets of Leave. Mary's husband died while Ward was in gaol, so Ward returned to the Garbutt's station to reunite with Mary Ann, who had a young child by then. Mary and child (the not-so biblical pair) then accompanied Ward to Dungog.

In October 1861, Ward was again arrested for horse theft and sent back to Cockatoo Island, leaving Mary Ann to give birth to their first child alone. Mary, however, was a pretty crafty woman, and proceeded to move to Balmain, where she placed both her newborn and older child in care, and then swam to Cockatoo Island with a file for Ward to cut through his chains... Well thats how the folklore tells it, probs not 100% accurate.

It is true however that Ward escaped - and it was a pretty ballsy escape. Ye olde Sydney Harbour was shark-infested waters and cockatoo island was super intensely patrolled by guards, so yeh, escaping from Cockatoo Island was pretty darn hard. On 11th September 1863 Ward and fellow inmate Frederick Brittain, became the only prisoners to ever escape from the Island.

Many years later Mary Ann revealed to her old friend Police Constable William Langworthy they had achieved the escape. According to Langworthy (via Mary Ann) while Fred was in prison Mary Ann was living in Balmain and stealthily checked out the general surveillance pattern of the island. When they actually made the escape Mary Ann stood on the foreshore with a lighting the way for them to safely come ashore. The ever prepared lady had horses waiting and they all north to the Hunter Valley undetected. There is no real evidence to prove this, or that even Mary Ann worked in the Balmain district, but hey, its made for a great story!

The Thunderbolt Years

Mary's mixed heritage gave this badass 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 and 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. Eat your heart out, Quinn Mallory! (Come on, everyone loved Sliders!)

Back to Mary, although she was an extremely talented lady herself, she 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, thanks to Mary, Ward learnt how to read and write. In addition to being a supportive wife, Mary was also a loving mother, as she endeavoured to spend as much time as possible with her children, as did Fred Ward, despite being on the run.

At a camp with Thunderbolt, the cops found her with a stash of stolen goods, and Thunderbolt bailed, leaving 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. Forget being like a tigress, Mary clearly had the courage of a lion! On the way to the police station, she even 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.

Something(s) About Mary

  • 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


References