Denny Day: The Life and Times of Australia's Greatest Lawman

Denny Day The Life and Times of Australia s Greatest Lawman Captain Edward Denny Day the only law from the Big River to the sea was Australia s greatest lawman yet few have heard of him This is his story Once there was a wilderness Australia s frontier a dan

  • Title: Denny Day: The Life and Times of Australia's Greatest Lawman
  • Author: Terry Smyth
  • ISBN: 9780857986825
  • Page: 171
  • Format: Paperback
  • Captain Edward Denny Day the only law from the Big River to the sea was Australia s greatest lawman, yet few have heard of him This is his story.Once there was a wilderness Australia s frontier, a dangerous and unforgiving place where outlaws ruled the roads and killers were hailed as heroes It was here, in 1838, that one man s uncompromising sense of justice chanCaptain Edward Denny Day the only law from the Big River to the sea was Australia s greatest lawman, yet few have heard of him This is his story.Once there was a wilderness Australia s frontier, a dangerous and unforgiving place where outlaws ruled the roads and killers were hailed as heroes It was here, in 1838, that one man s uncompromising sense of justice changed history and shocked the world.Denny Day was a vicar s son from Ireland A member of the Anglo Irish ruling class, as a young man Day joined the British Army before resigning to seek his fortune in New South Wales There he accepted the most challenging role in the young colony keeping the peace on the frontier.Denny Day s abiding legacy is the capture of the perpetrators of the Myall Creek Massacre the most infamous mass murder in Australian history, and the first time white men were convicted of the murder of Aborigines Yet Day won no praise for bringing to justice the killers of 28 innocent men, women and children at Myall Creek Rather, he was scorned and shunned, fiercely attacked by the press, by powerful landowners who hired the colony s top lawyers to defend the killers, and by the general public.The 11 men tracked down and arrested by Day faced two sensational trials, and seven of them were eventually found guilty of murder and hanged The case sparked an international outcry, resulting in stricter government policies protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples.There are many colourful characters, heroes and villains, in Denny Day s story inspirational frontier women outlaws captured in a desperate firefight brave and wily Aboriginal resistance leaders gormless colonial officials privileged English nobles and persecuted Irish immigrants convicts and freemen and, for good measure, an American pirate.Denny Day was commended for bravery during his lifetime, but only in regards to taming the frontier settlements Even in his obituary, Myall Creek is not mentioned.

    One thought on “Denny Day: The Life and Times of Australia's Greatest Lawman”

    1. As an Australian school student, I studied a little bit about the Myall Creek Massacre, but this book bought the incident to life for me.It's very well researched with fantastically supported, trackable quotes (which the historian in me loved) yet still brings not just the main characters to life but the entire colony. It shows both sides of the conflict with sympathy and facts, not just rhetoric. This isn't a revisionist version of history, it's a balanced view of history fully documented and s [...]

    2. The combination of very formal writing of the author, the formality and structural differences in the language used by the first person evidence statements and the very 'proper' but monotonous narration, it was very difficult to listen to this audiobook and I often found myself drifting away into other thoughts. Clearly the author has done a lot of research, and it is quite possibly much easier to follow when reading a print copy. His writing style is extremely formal and impassive which seems a [...]

    3. Denny Day, the Life and Times of Australia’s Greatest Lawman is popular history written by a journalist, so you can expect a lively retelling of the life of ‘the forgotten hero of the Myall Creek Massacre’. Day (1801-1876) was the lawman who brought the perpetrators to justice at a time in Australia’s history when the frontier was a lawless place, but he has been so comprehensively forgotten that he doesn’t even have a entry of his own. I found his birth and death dates at the Austral [...]

    4. This book adds two critical elements to the analysis of the Myall Creek Massacre that I have not encountered before.The first is the suggestion that part of the motivation for the killings was the habit of utilising Aboriginal trackers in the recapture of escaped convicts; that the massacre was, in part, justified by the convicts among the killers as payback for Aboriginal participation in Colonial justice. But Smyth doesn't provide much direct evidence or make an argument for any of this, leavi [...]

    5. I struggled to get into this. I found the narrative to be disjointed; weighed down by too many long quotes and a constant string of names. More than that, though, I just didn't feel any connection—positive or otherwise—with the central character. I certainly gained a good picture of the 'times' of Denny Day, as the sub-title suggests, but not really his 'life' or the man himself. But I believe no experience is wasted, and so it was worth reading at least for the insights into colonial Austra [...]

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