Benjamin HallTo People
Born in Maitland in 1837 to a cattle farming family, a young Benjamin Hall would marry his childhood sweetheart Bridget "Biddy" Walsh in 1856. Four years later after the birth of his first son Henry, Hall would set up a cattle station near Bourke with his brother-in-law John McGuire. When Biddy left Hall to take up with local stockman James Taylor in 1862, Hall's sense of responsibility in the farm and interest in life was lost and his behaviour became increasingly reckless.
Already acquainted with infamous bushranger Frank Gardiner, Hall assisted him in a hold up at a local race meet in 1862. Upon returning to his farm to find his stock dead and his homestead destroyed, Hall joined John Gilbert to lead a gang of bushrangers. Ben Hall's gang was noted for their impulsiveness and thrill seeking tendencies, seemingly interested in the police chase as much as the robberies themselves. Joined by John Dunn and Patrick Daley amongst others, Hall's gang concentrated on the Melbourne to Sydney trade routes and with the introduction of the Felons Apprehension Act in 1865, there was soon a £1000 reward for Hall's capture.
Although he had decided to quit the life of a bushranger, Hall was ambushed by police on the Lachlan Plain in Western New South Wales in May of 1865. With little interest in the violence displayed by many of his fellow bushrangers, Hall's funeral in Forbes was well attended and he continued to linger in folklore as one of the gentlemen bushrangers of New South Wales.