John Foley (bushranger)
Foley's family came from the Oberon district, 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. Thereafter, the gang regrouped and robbed the Goulburn Mail just outside the town, 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, 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.
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. 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, aged 55, and was buried in Black Springs Cemetery.
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.
- Gemmell-Smith, Philippa. "Thematic History of Oberon Shire" (PDF). p. 52.
- Boxall, George E. "History of the Australian Bushrangers".
- Croke, Monica (3 October 1917). "Shootout in the Inn: Cooksvale Creek". Crookwell Gazette.
- 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.
- "Black Springs history is more accessible after recent work". Oberon Review. 24 November 2017.
- "The road to Black Springs history becomes a lot more accessible". Oberon Review. 26 October 2017.
- History of the Australian Bushrangers capture of John Foley