Martin Cash


Martin Cash's house in Montrose (AOT, PH30/1/1459)

Martin Cash, (180877), so-called 'gentleman bushranger', does not deserve this reputation. Often described as a Robin Hood who robbed only the well-to-do, in narrating his story he had selective memory: that police and robbery victims were cowards, that females were always treated kindly, that he led his gang.

Born in Ireland, Cash was transported to Sydney aged eighteen for housebreaking. He arrived in Van Diemen's Land in 1837, and his de facto wife Elizabeth probably worked as a prostitute. Seven years was the sentence Cash received for larceny in 1840. Between 1840 and 1843, Cash became a 'notorious bushranger', on the run from authorities. After shooting a policeman in Hobart, Cash spent ten years on Norfolk Island. Returning to Tasmania, he became a policeman, and retired to Montrose.

Further reading: J & B Emberg (eds), The uncensored story of Martin Cash, Launceston, 1991; M Ring, Martin Cash, Hobart, 1993.

Peter Fielding