The Armidale Express carried a story on 15 July, sadly not on line, that further extended the ever growing saga of bushranger Captain Thunderbolt (Frederick Ward).
For the last few years Carol Baxter ( a well known genealogist and a fellow adjunct of UNE's history department) has been tracing the story of part Aboriginal woman Mary Ann Bugg. Born at Berrico outstation on the Gloucester River in 1834, Mary Anne became involved with Frederick Ward, living in the bush with him, helping him to evade the police and bearing him three or four children, including Frederick Jnr.
It was widely believed that Mary Anne died in 1867. However, Carol's work has established that the woman who died then, Louisa Mason, was not in fact Marry Ann Bugg as commonly believed, but another women who also became involved with Ward. It appears that Mary Anne died as Mary Anne Burrows at Mudgee in 1905 having borne at least 15 children!
Carol's book, Captain Thunderbolt and His Lady will be published by Allen & Unwin in September. The book is expected to reveal startling new information about the lives of both Mary Ann and Frederick Ward, thus adding to the continuing controversy.