Happy Jack

Jack John Gilbert bushranger
Wood engraving of John Gilbert
by Eugene Montagu Scott,
held at the State Library of Victoria, Australia.

John Gilbert was born in Canada in 1842 to William John Gilbert (1797 – 1879) and Eleanor Gilbert nee Wilson (1802 – 1845).
He arrived at the Victorian goldfields in 1852 together with nine members of his family to search for gold.
At the age of 12 he left home to work as a stablehand for his sister Eleanor and husband, John Stafford, and he became a good horseman and was called "Happy Jack" due to his good disposition.  He later went to the Kiandra goldfields in New South Wales.
By 1862 he was robbing stores and coaches with Frank Gardiner, the bushranger. He participated in the gold coach robbery at Eugowra.
When he was shot and killed, in 1865, he had a 1000 pound reward on his head and had been involved in around 630 hold ups including the death of a police man.

Read the story of his death.


Anonymous said...

I think you have an error in his dates. you have him born in 1842 dying in 1865 but still doing roberies in 1962 ummm think that is meant to be 1862

Lesley @ Bush Rangers said...

Thank you for correcting my error and I wish you were not anonymous

Unknown said...

I have other sources that quote 1841 as birth date

Lesley @ Bushrangers said...

Most interesting Michael. I wish I had the time and money to give the topic, of all the interesting Australian bushrangers ,more research.

Claude said...

Planning to take a motoring holiday to Binalong to see Johnny Gilbert's grave site.
Two years ago, was contacted by a person related to Johnny and is in our family tree.
'Happy Jack' as he was known, a young man who went wayward.

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