History

Who Was Bogong Jack?

Bogong Jack was the legendary leader of a daring gang who rebranded stolen animals for sale on either side of the Great Divide in Victoria in the mid-nineteenth century. Local lore claims he eventually disappeared into the fastnesses north of Omeo to evade police pursuers. Did the stories about him have a factual basis, and how did they move into the realm of folklore? The historical evidence suggests there were two distinct Bogong Jacks. The first written mention of him appears in Henry Kingsley’s novel The Recollections of Geoffry Hamlyn (1859). In this version Bogong Jack was an English gentleman,…

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