The bushranger Michael Howe and his gang terrorised Van Diemen’s Land from 1815 until Howe’s death.
Next year will see the two hundredth anniversary of Michael Howe’s final showdown, so we created a timeline of the events that led to Private William Pugh of the 48th Regiment shooting and killing Howe on 21 October 1818 near the Shannon River.
Click on the following image to view the live timeline, then, double-click on any event in the timeline to view the newspaper article about that event.
Play around with the live timeline!
You can also view the gang’s activities on a map. Click on the map to interact with the live version.
To pull all of this together, we created Wikidata items for each of the gang’s gruesome activities and for the newspaper articles describing them.
We added some geographic coordinates to show the gang’s various locations on a map, and some dates to enable a timeline.
We used a structured query language called SPARQL to combine the items, which enabled the web application, Histropedia, and the web tool, Wikidata Query Service, to display the data in the ways you see here.
The timeline shows just how quickly the gang moved around!
For instance, during March-April 1817:
- 15 March – two gang members killed at Scantling’s Plains (near Oatlands)
- 02 April – gang members demand tea and sugar at Pittwater
- 10 April – Howe and others escape the military at Jericho
- 29 April – Howe personally surrenders himself at Hobart Town.