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James McPherson

'The Wild Scotchman'

aliases -'Scotchie McPherson'

Alpin McPherson, Alphen McPherson,Bruce Kerr, McGregor, John or Jack McPherson

1841 - 23rd July 1895

(from injuries recieved in fall from horse.)

 

McPherson came to Australia from Scotland with his parents when he was only thirteen.

They settled in Brisbane where James completed an apprenticeship learning carpentry, bricklaying, tiling, and stonemasonry.

He lived a quiet life, and loved reading. he eventually went searching for a more exciting lifestyle, and turned to bushranging.

He mainly worked in the northern New South Wales and Queensland regions.

He was captured a number of times and escaped.

He was a very bold and daring bushranger, And as he got more daring he took to wearing a distinctive red sash around his waist and his cabbage-tree hat. He also wore two ammunition belts over his shoulders.

He was not afraid to let people know of his whereabouts or his next planned hold up as he rode fast racehorses and could outrun any pursuer. Many of his crimes were to taunt the troopers, who he considered to be stupid and slow.

One mailman McPherson held up three times, and would sit with him and related tales of his exploits to him while going through the mail. He even got the mailman to post some letters for him after one hold up!

He was captured on 30th March 1866. He had been showing off on his horse, and then teased the troopers to follow him. His horse became tired and the troopers were able to overtake him.

He was sentenced to 25 years for robbery under arms. His father was able to get influential people to press for his release, and so was pardoned after serving only 8 years.

After his release he returned to a quite life, marrying and raising a family of 6 children working in his trade or as a stockman and droving. He died of head and internal injuries after being thrown from his horse.

 

 

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