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On the 30th of May, 1870, a cattle thief was sentenced in Bathurst to five years imprisonment. It wasn't until more recent times that much was known about his origin, except that he was born in 1850.
Thomas went under many different names: "Law", "Henry", "Harry Wilson", "George Gibson", "George White", and later more notorious as "Captain Midnight".
This villain did not stay a Guest of Her Majesty for too long; he escaped after a year, and re-emerged in Sydney, where he teamed up with two "colleagues" named John Bolton and Thomas Walker. Together they continued in the "business", this time specialising in theft and burglary. Their efficiency was appreciated in February 1872, when they were arrested, sentenced, and sent to Bathurst Gaol, his mates for three years, and Thomas alias "Midnight" for six and a half years.
Shortly after that, "Midnight" was sent to Parramatta Gaol. There he made friends with another gaol-bird named James, sometimes McNab, sometimes Shaw. Together they managed to escape from Parramatta in September 1872, and they started stealing horses and cattle on a large scale. They stole herds in Queensland, drove them to Dubbo in New South Wales and sold them, then stole cattle in New South Wales and sold them back in Queensland. This lucrative "business" lasted six years, before Midnight was apprehended by Senior Constable Murphy at the Horse and Jockey Inn at Brewarrina, but after violently attacking the Senior Constable, "Midnight" was at large again. The police at Dubbo formed a search party to capture the culprit, with Senior Sergeant Thomas Wallings in charge, accompanied by Constable John Walsh and later joined by Senior Constable William Souter from the Warren Police Station. They were proceeding towards Wonbobbie Inn, when they noticed an armed man running away and yelling threats that he would shoot them. Senior Sergeant Wallings called on the man to surrender in the Queen's name, but the answer was a bullet that penetrated the brave policeman's heart. He expired shortly afterwards and was buried at Dubbo cemetery.
After the funeral, the hunt for Wallings murderer intensified, Two search parties were in pursuit, one from Warren, the other from Dubbo, both accompanied by black trackers. They finally caught up with "Midnight" in the bush near Enngonia on the morning of the 5th October 1878, where one of the black trackers spotted him. The police called on him to surrender, but he tried to escape on his horse. Constable Thomas Hatton fired his revolver at the animal, and with his last shot wounded the murderer in the hip. Constable Gray now ceased the opportunity and shot "Midnight's" horse with a rifle, killing it instantly. Trooper Hatton then jumped off his horse and arrested the felon for murder. The police secured a cart, and "Midnight" was taken to the Old Wapweelah station, where he died the next morning. His last words were: "Oh, that I had my rifle - I'd learn some of you to be merciful!". After the inquest, his body was buried near the Old Wapweelah station homestead.
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