Bold Jack Donahoe

If you'll but listen, a sorrowful tale I'll tell,
Concerning a young hero, in action lately fell,
His name it was Jack Donahoe, of courage and renown,
He'd scorn to live in slavery or be humbled to the crown.

On the twenty-fourth of August, it be his fatal day,
As he and his companions were cruising the highway,
He was hailed by the horse-police, he stood with heart and hand,
"Come on, my lads,"cried Donahoe, "We'll fight them man for man."

Says he to his companions, "Now if you're game–
You'll see there's only three of them, our number's just the same,
We'll fight but not surrender, our freedom we'll maintain,
For today it's life and liberty, or fall upon the plain."

"Oh no," says cowardly Walmsley, "Your laws we'll not fulfil,
You'll see there's eight or ten of them advancing on yon hill.
If it comes to an engagement, you'll rue it when too late,
So turn about and come with us– we'll form a quick retreat."

"Begone you cowardly scoundrels, begone I pray from me,
For if we were united, we'd gain this victory."
"Today I'll fight with courage bold that all the world may see,
For I'd rather die in battle than be hung on a gallows tree."

Soon they commenced their firing; poor Donahoe did say,
"My curse lay on you Walmsley, for from me you've run away!"
The one played off in front of him, the other at each side,
At length he received a mortal wound and in his glory died.

The equals of Jack Donahoe, this country has never seen,
He did maintain his rights, my boys, and that right manfully,
He was chased about by hundreds, for three long years or more,
Until at length the Heavens decreed that he should roam no more.

The awful end of Donahoe, the truth to you I've told,
And hope that all good Christians will pray for his soul.
May the Holy Angels guard him, likewise our Heavenly King,
And our Saviour Dear who died for us, redeem his soul from sin.


Donohoe was reported shot in the Sydney Gazette on 4 September 1830

The Sydney Gazette Saturday 4 September 1830 p.2


This daring marauder has at length
been met by that untimely fate which he
so long contrived to avoid. On Wednes-
day evening, at dusk, as a party of the
Mounted Police were riding through the
bush at Reiby, near Campbell Town,
they came up with three bushrangers,
one of whom was Donahoe; on being
called upon to stand, they threw away
their hats and shoes, and ran off, when
the Police fired, and killed Donahoe on
the spot, one ball entering his neck and
another his forehead. Favoured by the
dusk, the others made their escape, and
in defiance of the dreadful fate of their
comrade, that very night broke into a hut
and carried off what they wanted. The
body of Donahoe was removed to Liver-
pool, and will be brought to Sydney this
Thus is the Colony rid of one of the
most dangerous spirits that ever infested
it, and happy would it he were those of a
like disposition to take warning by his
awful fate.