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Ralph Entwistle (c. 1805–1830)

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Ralph Entwistle (c.1805-1830) brickmaker, convict and bushranger 

Birth: c.1805, Bolton, Lancashire, England. Death: 2 October 1830 at Bathurst, New South Wales. 

  • Brickmaker by trade; convicted at Lancaster Assizes on 10 March 1827 for stealing clothes and sentenced to transportation for life.
  • Sailed on the John I, departed London 22 July 1827 arrived in Sydney on 25 November.
  • Assigned to Bathurst landholder John Liscombe, working harmoniously as a bullock driver. Became convict rebel following a trivial misdemeanour involving Governor Ralph Darling in 1829 which earned him fifty lashes.
  • Led ‘insurgency’ of convicts in Bathurst area, raiding properties, eliciting support from other convicts. Noted for wearing a hat of white ribbons and, with strongly Irish cohort of supporters, gang styled ‘Ribbon Gang’, apparently after ‘Ribbon Men’, Irish secret society.
  • Successfully eluded capture in September-October 1830 showing verve, courage and bushcraft, particularly in the Abercrombie Ranges. Captured in 14 October 1830, summarily tried and publicly executed with nine others at Bathurst, 2 November 1830.
  • ‘Ribbon Gang Lane’ in Bathurst commemorates site.

Sources
B. Cubitt, Bushrangers at Abercrombie Caves, (pamphlet) Abercrombie Caves, 1998; Ken Fry, Beyond the Barrier (Crawford House Press, Bathurst, 1993); W. Steel, ‘Dunn’s Plains, Rockley’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, XXVI, III, 1940; G. Stewart, ‘Convict Rebel: Ralph Entwistle’ in Fry (ed) Rebels and Radicals (Sydney, 1983); Stephan Williams, Ralph Entwistle & the Bathurst Insurgency, (Popinjay, Canberra, 1994).

Citation details

'Entwistle, Ralph (c. 1805–1830)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/entwistle-ralph-33599/text42023, accessed 22 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Birth

c. 1805
Bolton, Lancashire, England

Death

2 October, 1830 (aged ~ 25)
Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

executed

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship
Occupation
Key Organisations
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: life
Court: Lancashire
Trial Date: 10 March 1827
(1827)