.30 Bore Calisher and Terry Carbine

Calisher & Terry carbine issued to Constable Morgan Loughnane in 1862 of the NSW police and used in the hunt for the Bushrangers Hall, Gilbert, Gardiner & Dunn.

Dit wapen werd gebruikt door agent Morgan Loughnane in 1862 lid van de politie van Nouvelles-Galles in Zuid-Australië en vooral in gebruik bij de jacht op de “Bushrangers” Hall, Gilbert, Gardiner en Dunn.

Carabine Calisher & Terry attribuée en 1862 au policier Morgan Loughnane de la Police de Nouvelle-Galles du Sud (Australie) et utilisée lors de la traque des coureurs de brousse Hall, Gilbert et Dunn.


In the early 1860’s in the Lachlan district of NSW gold was discovered, with the discovery of gold came the attraction of every scoundrel looking for easy money.  Gold brought money to the area not only from the ground but the food and materials needed to supply the miners.  This area was remote with a few tracks to travel on which was easy work for robbers.  The remote interior area of Australia is colloquially known as ‘The Bush’ and therefore the highwaymen, bandits and general thieves were known as ‘Bushrangers’.  They were Australia’s version of the Wild West’s Jessie James, Billy the Kid etc and operated during the same time period 1860’s-1890.  There were several famous Bushrangers operating in the area in the 1860’s such as Frank Gardiner, Johny Gilbert, John Vare and Ben Hall.


The police force in NSW was quite a local affair with no overall central control.  An interesting character was to cause the restructuring of the police force – Sir Frederick Pottinger.  Sir Frederick was born a baron and educated at Eton, he joined the Grenadier Guards and was a member of the Guard of Honour at the Duke of Wellington’s funeral at St Pauls Cathedral in 1852.  Sir Frederic was a very talented man but had a problem with high living and gambling.  His mother had to sell her jewellery to pay off his debts.  When his father died in 1856 he inherited the title and fortune, in no time at all it was all gone.  Sir Frederick left for Australia to seek his fortune on the Lachlan gold fields under the assumed name of Parker.  After failing at that he joined the local police as a mounted trooper.  In 1860 a family letter arrived at the police HQ in Sydney addressed to Sir Frederick Pottinger.  Sir Frederick was tracked down and his true identity was revealed.  As was the case in Victorian society a man of his qualification and social standing could no longer work as a trooper and he was immediately promoted.  The position might have changed but the man didn’t and within one week of being in command of a detachment of troopers on the Lachlan goldfields he was frequenting an all-night pool hall filled with ‘low-life’.  During a visit he was accused of being a scoundrel Sir Frederick immediately broke a pool cue over the culprit’s head and threw him through a closed window.  The newspapers had a field day with the scandal and uproar about the police.  It was at this time it was decided to create a new centralised and structured police force.  In 1862 the first structured police force of NSW was formed.

The police were equipped with new smart uniforms based on the French military, they were also armed with the latest firearms to do the job.  The six shot .36 1851 Colt Navy and the .53 Calisher and Terry carbine shown above.  Consisting of 800 men – 400 in Sydney, Paramatta and Newcastle and 400 to cover the remaining 300,000 square miles [almost 500,000 square kilometres].  Sir Frederick was made Inspector of the Western Districts covering an area of 120,000 square miles [almost 200,000 square kilometres] on an annual salary of £300.  On the 5th of March 1865 a coach containing Sir Frederick stopped at an  Inn in the Blue Mountains,  during the stop Sir Frederick went into a nearby orchard to pick some fruit, the coach started to leave without him so he ran after the coach and swung himself aboard.  As he did so the hammer of his small Sharp's four-barrelled pistol,  which he had in his waistcoat pocket, caught on part of the coach causing the  pistol to fire.  The bullet entered Sir Frederick's body just below the ribs, travelling downwards.  Sir Frederick was put to bed in the Inn where he seemed to get better, he then returned to Sydney.   He suffered a relapse and later died  on 9 April 1865, his death certificate gave cause of death as 'Hectic Fever' resulting from gunshot wounds in abdomen and chest. 


This particular carbine was issued to trooper McLaughlin who was one of six troopers under Sir Frederick’s command assigned to hunt down Bushrangers, in particular Ben Hall and his gang.  On 17th November 1864 Trooper James McLaughlin was armed with his Calisher and Terry carbine and Navy Colt during a gunfight against Ben Hall and his gang, he fired 6 shots from his Navy Colt before being taken prisoner by Ben Hall and Johny Gilbert.  Ben Hall was hit over the head with a Calisher and Terry carbine and trooper Parry was killed by Johny Gilbert during the gunfight. The carbine shown above was at that gunfight.  The pair had already taken quite a few travellers as prisoners and robbed them whilst waiting for the Gundagai mail coach.  In the coach was the police magistrate of Gundagai and the sub-inspector of police.




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