" CAPTAIN MOONLITE " BUSHRANGER - AUSTRALIA :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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Journal by edmondsallan

HELLO - The Australian population has had ancestors who were at times very wild at heart and difficult to control

Scott, Andrew George [Captain Moonlite] (1842 - 1880)

Alternative Names:
Moonlite, Captain
1842, Rathfryland, Down, Ireland
20 January 1880, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
Cultural Heritage:

* Irish

Religious Influence:

* Anglican


* bushranger
* executed criminal
* fraudster
* murderer
* prison escapee
* prisoner
* thief

SCOTT, ANDREW GEORGE (1842-1880), bushranger, self-styled 'CAPTAIN MOONLITE', was born at Rathfriland, County Down, Ireland, and baptized on 5 July 1842, son of Thomas Scott, Anglican clergyman, and his wife Bessie, ne Jeffares. Young Scott was described as 'dark, handsome, active and full of high spirits', but was known for impulsive acts of mischievous violence. He may have studied engineering in London, and legend has it that he served with Garibaldi in Italy in 1860.

On 22 November 1861 Scott, his parents and brother Thomas arrived at Auckland, New Zealand, in the Black Eagle. A fellow-passenger remembered him as 'very gentlemanly and high-spirited'. His father took charge of Christ Church, Coromandel, and his brother was ordained priest; Andrew taught school for a while but in February 1864 was commissioned in the Waikato Militia; later he transferred to the Auckland Volunteer Engineers Corps. On 6 November 1867 he was refused a post of inspector or sub-inspector in the armed constabulary, although he had been endorsed by prominent members of the Auckland community as 'a gentleman well suited for an office of command'.

Within a few months Scott had arrived in Australia, possibly first in Sydney. About April 1868 he went to Melbourne, met Bishop Perry and in July was appointed stipendiary lay reader of the Church of Holy Trinity, Bacchus Marsh. In November he advertised that he intended to set up as a consultant surveyor and engineer in addition to his clerical duties. However in March 1869 he was sent as lay reader to Egerton near Ballarat, where he made friends with James Simpson, the local schoolmaster, and L. J. Bruun, agent for the town's branch of the London Chartered Bank. As Bruun was returning to the bank late on 8 May, Scott, disguised in mask and cloak, attacked him and forced him to hand over the contents of the safe. He made Bruun write a note certifying his resistance to the robbery; Scott signed it himself with the deliberately mis-spelt 'Captain Moonlite'. Both Bruun and Simpson were charged with robbery but were acquitted; Scott soon left for Sydney.

For some months he lived off the proceeds of the crime, but towards the end of 1870 he began passing valueless cheques. In November he fraudulently bought the yacht, Why-Not, arranged for a skipper and a 'young lady' to accompany him, but was arrested by water police as he tried to leave for Fiji. On 20 December he was given twelve months in Maitland gaol, some of which he spent in Parramatta Lunatic Asylum, feigning madness. While he was in prison Bruun and his friends had detectives set on his trail, and when he was released in April 1872 he was charged with the Egerton gold robbery. While on remand he escaped from Ballarat gaol but was soon recaptured, and on 24 July he appeared before Judge Barry. Scott conducted most of his own defence, cross-examined Bruun for seven hours with 'shrewd and pertinacious questions' and amused the crowd with his facetious remarks. He received ten years hard labour and one year for escaping.

Scott was a recalcitrant and violent prisoner in Pentridge gaol. Released in March 1879, for a while he was a speaker at open-air meetings on prison reform and kindred subjects, but on 18 November with a small band he held up Wantabadgery sheep station near Wagga Wagga for two days. He used the two children of the near-by hotelkeeper as hostages, separating them by force from their parents. Two of the gang (one a boy of 15) and one trooper were killed when the police attacked the homestead. Scott and three others were found guilty of murder and he and one of his accomplices were hanged on 20 January 1880.

What a way to go !!! - Till we meet again -Regards - edmondsallan

Surnames: SCOTT
Viewed: 2464 times
by edmondsallan Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-04-11 19:28:44

edmondsallan , from auckland .nz , has been a Family Tree Circles member since Aug 2010. is researching the following names: CLAYTON, EDMONDS.

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by Aussie1947 on 2011-04-11 19:47:35

Hi edmondsallan,

A good journal, just for interest his escape in 1872 appeared in the June 19th 1872 NSW Police Gazette.

"Andrew George Scott, native of Co. Tyrone, Ireland, with a strong North of Ireland accent aged 27 years, 5 feet 8 3/4 inches high, medium and well built, round face, long sharp pointed nose, dark eyes, with a keen and determined expression, dark whiskers and moustache, shaven chin, drags the left leg and foot slightly in walking, wore light tweed coat, black cloth cap with peak and appearance of a sailor. Was under committal, for trial to the next sittings of the Ballarat Circuit Court for the Egerton Bank robbery".

What a great description.


by edmondsallan on 2011-04-14 16:00:38

I looked into some other Bush rangers in Aussie . Especially Ned Kelly . It was interesting to see how many of them had such hard upbringing

by ngairedith on 2011-04-14 17:44:13

the above journal was from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, Melbourne University Press, 1976, pp 94-95

click this link to see an engravig of Andrew George Scott

the State Library also has other pictures and photos of
Captian Moonlite and digitised newspaper stories like:

... CAPTAIN MOONLITE.Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878-1954) Monday 1 December 1879 p 3 Article... CAPTAIN MOONLITE. THE following account of Captain Moonlite, taken from the "Vagabond Paper[?]," will be interesting to our readers

... "CAPTAIN MOONLITE."The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858-1889) Thursday 10 April 1879 p 6 Article... "CAPTAIN MOONLITE." The romance of crime is receiving another Illustration in the career of one Scott, alias Captain Moonlite, who has just been released from Pentridge

... CAPTAIN MOONLITE.The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858-1889) Monday 22 December 1879 p 5 Article

the link also has archived websites with further info on Captain Moonlite for people interested in Australian Famous Folk ..

by 1bobbylee on 2011-04-14 19:32:05

Thank you ngairedith. I really enjoy reading about men or women of their adventures and tales. As long as it is true and factual. You have given me a wealth of information that will keep me busy reading for awhile. That's good! Thanks

by edmondsallan on 2011-04-14 20:27:11

I see we have quite abit of interest in the subject of Australian Bush ranges . I have always loved them . The old old story Rob the rich to help the poor . I'll be webhop-ing back into aussie soon. need to sort out some websites . Bush-Rangers ??? I could do I suspose

by 1bobbylee on 2011-04-14 22:14:31

Edmond, some other subscribers may need additional research and information from you. As for me right now, Ngairedeth has provided with so much factual information on this nortorious and interesting character it will keep me gleefully scanning the sites for additional info. Till we meet again. Keep those journals coming.

by edmondsallan on 2011-04-15 06:24:03

yes I go along with that . I have always admired ngairedith work detail. I'm glad that this website is giving you great satisfaction . Its strength is in the experience some of its members have .

by 1bobbylee on 2011-04-15 21:42:59

I am glad that Ngairedith is getting the credit that is due her. Yes, the website is giving me great great satisfaction. I have learned and am still learning. On this website, I have visited countries and places that I will probably never get to see, smell, or touch. I am happy to see that you and along with me realize the fabulous strength and experience in our members. They are so knowledgeable and intelligent. My sincere gratitude to them all!!
My regards and till we meet again. G'nite Mate.

by edmondsallan on 2011-04-15 23:23:06

I appreciate it every time ngairedith adds additional info .to my or any journal of anybody . I wish I could do the same Bob . G'nite

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