When one thinks of Victorian bushrangers, Ned Kelly naturally comes to mind. But the Kelly Gang weren’t the only, or even the first, bushrangers to terrorise the colonies. In April of 1842, a gang of four ne’er-do-wells arrived in the Plenty Valley region and spent four days engaged in a spree of robberies and raids. The gang was composed of bounty immigrants John Williams from Devonshire and Martin Fogarty who was Irish, Bostonian whaler Daniel Jepps, and Brit Charles Ellis; local property owner William Camm sheltered them and hid their stash. Three of these five – Fogarty, Jepps, and Ellis – were the first Europeans hanged by the judicial system in Port Phillip, and yet their names and crimes are unfamiliar to most, even to locals of the Whittlesea area.
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