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Alternative title: Life of Richard Burgess, the notorious highwayman and murderer : written by himself, while in prison, shortly before his execution, which took place at Nelson, N.Z., on the fifth day of October, 1866
Issue Details: First known date: 1866... 1866 'Guilty Wretch that I am' : Echoes of Australian Bushrangers from the Death Row Memories of Richard Burgess
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

"Convicted of housebreaking in 1845, Richard Hill, alias Burgess, was transported in 1847 to Melbourne, where he was given a conditional pardon on arrival. The Ballarat and Bendigo goldfields produced a fertile ground for thieves, and he committed many robberies and at least two murders, before he was convicted of robbery in 1852. Burgess served his sentence in Melbourne Gaol, on the convicts hulks President and Success, and in the new Pentridge Gaol. John Price was Inspector General of Penal Establishments during this time, and Burgess was on the Success at the time of Price's murder by convicts at Williamstown dockyward in 1857. In 1856 he participated in an unsuccessful breakout attempt with other bushrangers Harry Power [sic] and Captain Melville. After his release in 1861 he went to New Zealand, where he became a notorious bushranger, responsible, with his gang, for many goldfield murders, before being captured and executed in 1866.

Burgess has some education and the narrative is quite well expressed. He wrote his memoirs while awaiting execution, and his descriptions of cold-blooded crimes are overlaid with religious sentiments and expressions of repentance" (Walsh and Hooton 31-2).

Source

Walsh, Kay and Joy Hooton. Australian Autobiographical Narratives : An Annotated Bibliography. Canberra : Australian Scholarly Editions Centre, University College, ADFA and National Library of Australia, 1993.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island,
      c
      New Zealand,
      c
      Pacific Region,
      :
      Ward and Reeves ,
      1866 .
      Extent: 47p.
      Note/s:
      • Originally published under the title Life of Richard Burgess, the notorious highwayman and murderer : written by himself, while in prison, shortly before his execution, which took place at Nelson, N.Z., on the fifth day of October, 1866.
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Macmillan , 1984 .
      Extent: 176p.
      ISBN: 0333380541
Last amended 10 Dec 2013 16:48:40
Settings:
  • c
    New Zealand,
    c
    Pacific Region,
  • Melbourne, Victoria,
  • 1847-1866
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