The Ribbon Gang of Bathurst Bushrangers

The Ribbon Gang

In 1830 a convict mutiny flared at Bathurst. Driven beyond endurance by brutal treatment, a young convict, Ralph Entwistle, led a spectacular goal break.

Entwistle had been flogged and had his ticket of leave cancelled for bathing naked in a stream as the Governor rode by. He vowed never to be captured alive.

Other convicts and bushrangers flocked to him till at one time his band (Ribbon Gang) numbered 80 desperate men. Plundering and murdering they roamed the Bathurst district.

Settlers joined the hunt for Entwistle. Led by William Henry Suttor, also known as “The Cove”, a posse of 12 overtook the gang, now reduced to 20, at sundown in the Abercrombie Ranges.

The Convicts opened fire and, after a brief exchange of shots, Suttor ordered a charge.

Entwistle ordered his men to bring the leader down and despite his great size, Suttor led a charmed life as a bullet whisked his hat from his head and he spurred on.

The convicts bolted from their camp and escaped in the darkness.

That night Suttor’s horses were stolen and he had to leave the pursuit to mounted police and soldiers.

Entwistle was hunted down and hanged with 10 of his men at Bathurst.

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