Spotlight: Portrait of Jack Bradshaw

Jack Bradshaw was a small time bushranger whose legacy exists in the book The True History of the Australian Bushrangers. Bradshaw was in and out of trouble and in his later years wrote a book about the great bushrangers and his supposed relation to them. The book was self-published and he travelled door to door selling it to anyone who would give him the time of day.

Bradshaw

Bradshaw was motivated to write his version of the stories because he believed that popular media of the day had destroyed the characters of the bushrangers and bastardised the stories. Bradshaw aimed to set the record straight by stressing that Boldrewood’s Captain Starlight was a fictional character and by detailing the stories of the bushrangers as he knew them. Conspicuously, Bradshaw was very vocal in his support of Dan Morgan’s character and condemned the way he was portrayed in the media as a monster. Bradshaw staunchly believed, as most rogues tend to, that the police are the root cause of misfortunes for the poorer classes.

The portrait here was published in the book and presumably was meant to illustrate how even after all those years he was still a tough old rogue. Right to the end Bradshaw rode his infamy, dying when he was 90 years old in 1937.


Source:

Bradshaw, Jack The only true account of Frank Gardiner, Ben Hall & gang, also Lowery, Larry Cummins, the three Jacks, and others who made themselves known in the sixties as lawbreakers. s.n, [Sydney, 1912]

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