The following report was published in a Sydney newspaper on April 30, 1870.
“Suicide of Mrs Brown - The unfortunate woman whose name was brought before the public some years ago as the paramour of Gardiner, the bushranger – appears, by information recently brought to Sydney by a person who was present at the inquest of her remains, to have come to a miserable end.
This event happened several months ago.
For some time before her death she was living at Tappite Creek, Thames River Diggings, New Zealand, with a man who was formally employed by a butcher at Lambing Flat.
Mrs Brown, it seems, was in the habit of carrying a pistol and in a frenzy put the pistol to her mouth and shot herself.
The man she was living with was suspected of causing her death; but while lying on her death bed – and she lingered for a week after the fatal wound – she fully exonerated him.
She told those that attended that she was the same Mrs Brown who lived with the bushranger, Gardiner, and requested that a likeness she had preserved of him might be placed in her coffin.”
William Fogg, who had a Grog Shanty on the Fish River at Reid’s Flat, also had a partnership in a butchering business at Spring Creek near Lambing Flat with Frank Gardiner. Fogg was the butcher and Gardiner supplied the stock, mostly duffed from the likes of James White and other squatters.
When the police made it too hot for Gardiner he left the district but later returned and holed up at Fogg’s shanty.
On July 16, 1861 Sargent Middleton and Trooper Hosie arrived at Fogg’s at about 10 am. Inside the hut was William and Mary Fogg, their three children and Jim Barney, employed by Fogg as a dairyman.
At one end of the room there was a partition made of calico.
Middleton entered the room and noticed movement behind the partition and advanced inside.
He came face to face with Gardiner who immediately fired his Colt revolver, the ball striking Middleton in the mouth. Middleton fired at the same time the bullet grazed off Gardiner’s head.
Gardiner fired a second time wounding Middleton in the hand and leg.
Hosie arrived at the front door to be confronted by Gardiner, they both fired at the same time, Gardiner’s shot hit Hosie in the head.
Middleton then tackled Gardiner and began striking him about the head with his heavy whip handle.
Hosie recovered and the pair overpowered Gardiner and handcuffed him.
Middleton went for help and Gardiner managed to escape, whether by bribery or help from others is debatable. Gardiner organised a group of young men to bail up and rob the Mail coach at Eugowra.
After the robbery Gardiner and Catherine Brown eloped to Apis Creek on the Peak Downs Goldfield in Queensland where they operated a store.
They were eventually recognised by an informer and were arrested. Gardiner was sentenced to 30 years goal but was released after 10 years and forced into exile.
Young Historical Society – Brian James.
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