Not Your Usual Australian Villains

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Australian social history, looking at transgressors

This book is available as a Kindle e-book. Here, you will read about how early colonial society funcioned or malfunctioned.

Australia was here long before the whites arrived. According to their narrative, it was founded as a penal colony, and the residents were all felons, but they and their descendants turned out to be an interesting mob, who didn't always follow all the rules in quite the way that the authorities hoped. Some of their villainy, however, was low grade, like the practical women who wore trousers, and the people who went swimming.

A few of the swimmers wore decorous clothing, but "the rest of us reefed off our clothing, in our hurry sending buttons in all directions, and plunged into the pleasant water", said Miles Franklin. Another villain was Moondyne Joe, who was probably the only convict ever given a pardon for being excellent at escaping, and then there was Diver Fitzgerald, rewarded by the governor for stealing (as ordered), a ship's bell at night.

We need to mention the Sabbath breakers, the convicts and debtors who "ran", and Lola Montez, described as "a very simple-mannered, well-behaved, cigar-loving young person...". Like Lola, some of the colonists were bigamists. And the crooked lawyers, the wicked magistrates, and a totally evil archdeacon.

Other villains were confidence tricksters, patent medicine sellers who claimed to cure anything, libellers, a would-be assassin, sly merchants, environmental vandals of several kinds, some surprising conspirators, political prisoners, rioters, duellists, wife-sellers, bullies, and even a cannibal captain who died of plague.

And just to end on a high note, there are a few murderers who were strung up. You can't get much higher than that, though finding the first hangman was another matter: that's in there as well.

Who I want to reach

This is written for people who care about Australian history , and the unvarnished truth, people who wonder how their forebears lived and thought.

Freebie extras!

I don't waste the out-takes, though.

Look at my writing blog, Old Writer on the Block, and you can find the leftovers, or sometimes, the precursors: try searcing on "Not Your Usual"...

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It was created on April 19, 2017 and last updated April 19, 2017.

If you email me at macinnis at, you will reach a spam trap, but be read, eventually, probably maybe. If you put my first name in front of that address (so it reads petermacinnis), you will reach me much faster and more surely. This low-tech solution is to make email harvesting difficult. I am generally willing to talk to interesting humans. Spammers miss out twice on fitting that specification.

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