Cattle Driven Away

The Sydney Herald

8 October 1841


On Monday night, the 20th ultimo, a lot of cattle, consisting principally of fat bullocks, were driven away from Mr. Campbell's Estate at Limestone Plains.

Two horsemen had been seen prowling about the dairy station late that evening, and when some cows were missed the next day, suspicion was excited that these men had driven away the cattle. T

hey were tracked across Canbury Plain towards the Murrumbidgee, and fifteen of the bullocks were found at a station called Balconan, bearing the marks of hard driving and cruel treatment.

Men were sent after the remainder in all directions, and Mr. Campbell offered a reward of fifty pounds for the conviction of the parties concerned in this daring outrage.

Our readers will be glad to learn that Mr. Campbell's superintendent, Mr. Kennedy, succeeded, after a very hot pursuit, in tracking the cattle to the station of a man named Oaks, where twenty of them had been shot, and the brands cut out for the purpose of evading detection, and in apprehending Oaks himself.

We trust that the chain of evidence, which it is believed is sufficient to convict the parties suspected, will not be found defective; and we hope that the Commissioners will watch with a jealous eye certain squatters, principally emancipists, who contrive, beyond the limits of location, to acquire small herds of cattle, in an amazingly short time, to the astonishment of their poor neighbours, and the serious detriment of the large graziers, whose herds they are in the habit of inspecting.

We annex an extract from a letter received from Mr, Kennedy, dated the 30th September:-

I am just returned from the search after the cattle.

The track was followed from the Majura dairy station into the mountains, between the Gudradigby River and the head of the Tumat, a distance of from eighty to a hundred miles, where twenty of the cattle - sixteen of them beautiful fat bullocks - were found dead.

They had been shot and the brands cut out. It seems they had found themselves so warmly pursued that to escape with the cattle was impossible, and I am of opinion that to prevent the cattle being identified they shot them for the purpose of cutting away the brands.

The offenders were two men who usually stay in those mountains, one of them named George Oaks, the other named Daniel Macquin, commonly called Dandy.

Oaks I apprehended about twelve o'clock on Monday night, at an outlandish station in the mountains; he is now in custudy on his way from this to Queanbeyan, and the Police are after the other. It is likely that he is now, or will very soon be taken; and I have no doubt that such evidence can be adduced as will lead to their conviction.