John Foley (bushranger)

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John Foley (died 26 February 1891) was a bushranger and the partner of Fredrick Lowry.


Foley's family came from the Oberon district,[1] and as a youth he joined Fredrick Lowry's gang. On 1 January 1863, Foley and Lowry also ambushed a crowd at a race meeting at Brisbane Valley near Goulburn, New South Wales. Their attempt to rob over a hundred people went awry after a few patrons successfully mounted a resistance, with Foley narrowly escaping on horseback. Lowry was detained by the crowd but also managed to escape.[2] Thereafter, the gang regrouped and robbed the Goulburn Mail just outside the town,[3] and the Mudgee Mail coach in July 1863. There was allegedly 5,700 pounds on the Mudgee Mail coach; in December 1863, following his arrest at Mackay's Hotel near Campbell's River,[2] Foley revealed to Father Timothy McCarthy where the gang had hidden close to half of the money, which was later given to the Australian Joint Stock Bank.[4]

Later lifeEdit

Foley's trial was held in Bathurst, New South Wales. He served ten years of a 15-year sentence, including three years in leg irons.[2] He reformed and returned to the Oberon district where he was from, and became a respectable landowner at Black Springs, New South Wales, on the Campbells River. He died on 26 February 1891,[5] aged 55, and was buried in Black Springs Cemetery.[6]


John Foley’s brother Francis was a member of the Frank Gardiner–Ben Hall gang and was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for holding up a Chinese camp on Campbell’s River in 1863. Whereas another brother, Timothy, along with their mother, were charged with contempt of court during John Foley's trial.[2]


  1. ^ Gemmell-Smith, Philippa. "Thematic History of Oberon Shire" (PDF). p. 52.
  2. ^ a b c d Boxall, George E. "History of the Australian Bushrangers".
  3. ^ Croke, Monica (3 October 1917). "Shootout in the Inn: Cooksvale Creek". Crookwell Gazette.
  4. ^ Colin F. Fowler (30 November 2017). 150 Years of Pyrmont Peninsula: The Catholic Community of St. Bede 1867-2017. ATF Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-925486-90-2.
  5. ^ "Black Springs history is more accessible after recent work". Oberon Review. 24 November 2017.
  6. ^ "The road to Black Springs history becomes a lot more accessible". Oberon Review. 26 October 2017.

External linksEdit