The Firearms technology Museum

Murder of Peter Clark

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On the 9th April 1863 a bushranger who called himself Harry Wilson used a large Tranter double trigger revolver to murder a man named Peter Clark on the road at Warland’s Range near the town of Murrurundi in New South Wales.

While chasing another intended victim on horseback Wilson came across a group of travellers including brothers James Clark aged 23 and Ashton Clark aged 19, Peter Clark aged 25 who was not related to the brothers, Samuel Partridge aged 17 and John Conroy. Wilson decided to break of the chase and rob this group instead of his intended victim, but young Partridge made a run for it causing Wilson to fire at the boy, but missing his target he returned to the others and demanded they hand over their valuables.

As Peter Clark was being relieved of a large silver watch he attempted to grab the bushranger but was shot in the throat. Despite his wound  he kept coming and Wilson shot him again, this time through the chest, fatally wounding him. James Clark rushed in and grabbed Wilson from behind, the bushranger turned the revolver over his shoulder and fired but James forced Wilson’s other hand in front of the muzzle and the projectile went through the bushrangers  own hand. Wilson was thrown to the ground, disarmed and securely bound with saddle straps.

Wilson was tried for the murder of Peter Clark in Maitland Circuit Court on the 31st April 1863 and sentenced to death by hanging. The sentence was carried out on 1st October 1863 in Maitland goal yard.

Peter Clark was buried in the Church of England section of Muswellbrook cemetery and subscriptions were raised to honour his bravery, with monuments being erected at the location of his death and his gravesite

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