Saturday, September 15, 2012


A descendant of one of Ethel Governor's brothers believes that her son was given the name 'Golding' because one of her uncles worked at the Golden Gully goldmine.
This was the richest mine in the Gulgong / Hill End area.
The miner was William Page, Ethel's father's older brother, who had a farm near this mine.
One of his neighbours was Peter Lawson, the father of one of Australia's greatest poets, Henry Lawson.
A map of the area  is on the website of  Mudgee historian, the late Norman McVicker, Budgee Budgee.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It's easy to fall into the trap of 'romanticising' Jimmy Governor.
The fact is he was a cold-blooded killer.
Like many psychopaths, he had a surface charm that disarmed many people.
Even his captors were thrown by it.
They had difficulty reconciling it with what he had done.
Murdered two mothers (one pregnant), four children (one a toddler), two old men and a young woman, raped a teenager plus terrorised and robbed many others and destroyed houses and other property.
Jimmy Governor also revelled in the celebrity his foul deeds brought him after his capture, even giving his autograph.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 25 July 1900
MUDGEE, Tuesday.
The Coroner (Mr Wilkinson) held an inquest on the body of Mr. Alexander McKay, and a verdict of wilful murder was returned against Joe and Jimmy Governor.
The evidence showed that at 1 o'clock on Monday Mrs. McKay was in the house, when the girl came running in and said "Two blacks are coming here; one has a rifle."
She went to the door as they stepped on the verandah.
One of them said, "We are murderers; come outside and we will kill the lot of you."
Mrs McKay stepped forward.
One of them struck her with a tomahawk, but she turned round to get into the house, and only received a gash on the side of her head.
She then banged the door and bolted it.
They tried to smash to door with a tomahawk.
They smashed all the windows in with stones.
One hit the girl on the back.
One stone also hit Mrs McKay on the back of the head.
The blacks said, 'If you don't open the door we will kill the lot of you: if you do we won't."
Mrs. McKay said to the girl, "We might as well be killed outside as inside," and opened the door and walked outside with the child in her arms.
The blacks ordered them to stand on the verandah, searched the place all over, took a lot of eatables, and went away.
The girl went to the door and said "O God, listen to uncle groaning."
They went over to the fence and found Mr McKay lying on his back with his head split open with a tomahawk.
They carried him inside and laid him on the bed.
The girl looked out of the door and saw the blacks coming back.
The blacks told the women to come outside, and demanded what money Mrs McKay had.
Mrs McKay gave them a pound.
They asked her if she had any more.
When she told them she had not, they said, "You are a liar, we found 8 pounds in the old man's pocket."
They then told Mrs McKay to give them her husband's saddle, saying he would not want it any more.
They took the horse and left, going in the direction of Ulan.
Mr McKay's skull was smashed in and his brains protruded.
He died two hours afterwards.
GULGONG, Tuesday.
Information has just been received from Ulan stating that the Gilgandra murderers met an Indian hawker yesterday afternoon after the McKay murder and wanted ammunition and boots.
The hawkers had none.
The men were armed with a rifle and a tomahawk, and said they were going to murder Harry Neville at Wollar.
They boasted that they had killed the Mawbeys at Breelong.