Jackey JackeyTo People
William Westwood was born in Essex, England in 1820. Westwood was well educated and despite serving 12 months for highway robbery, worked as a clerk until 1837 when he was sentenced to transportation for stealing a coat. Sent to work at Gidley Station for naval officer Phillip Parker King, Westwood was overworked and underfed when he was convicted for stealing wheat. He was sent back to Gidley station, and subsequently escaped and returned several times until 1840 when his escape was successful.
Known as Jackey Jackey he frequented the trade routes of southern New South Wales, evading capture through his expert horsemanship and a preference for remote mountainside hideouts. Jackey Jackey was known as the knight of the road, he avoided violence at all costs, was always impeccably dressed and was renowned for his chivalry towards women. He was a highly successful and daring bushranger and the only bushranger who would risk hold ups just outside of Sydney city. As he had never harmed anyone, when he was captured and tried he was sentenced to transportation rather than hanging.
Anxious not to be imprisoned, Westwood would escape from each gaol he was held in Sydney but was recaptured every time and finally in 1842 he would leave for Port Arthur. Again Westwood would continue to plot his freedom from imprisonment and with several attempts of varying success, he was finally recaptured and sent to solitary confinement in 1842. His good temperament would endear him to the prison's new commandant William Champ who assigned Westwood to his boat crew and eventually granted him probation in 1845. Unfortunately, Jackey Jackey wasn't out of prison for long until he was arrested for robbery again later in the year, at which point he was sentenced to life transportation on Norfolk Island.
Increasingly dejected and depressed, Westwood would lead a convict uprising on Norfolk Island and in a particularly uncharacteristic act would kill an overseer and three constables before he was subdued. At 26 years of age, this final act of violence would have Westwood sentenced to hang in 1846.