Submitted by jays on 28 January 2014 - 11:47pm

The story of this portrait of an unidentified little girl is connected with the death of Mickey Burke the bushranger. Burke was a member of Ben Hall’s gang and he first came to police notice for his part in the theft of two horses from squatter Thomas Icely’s property Coombing Park near Carcoar, in the central west of New South Wales. He was 20 when he was shot dead three months later, on 24 October 1863, at Dunns Plains, near Rockley, during a police raid on the home of Gold Commissioner Henry McCrummin Keightley. This small ambrotype, just 9 x 5.5 cm in size, is said to have been “in a little red bag, tied around the neck of Burke when he was shot by Keightley”. It found its way into the possession of Thomas Rothery Icely (1832-1918), son of the squatter, and from Icely it went to Mrs Anne Athol Hughes (nee Stewart), a family friend with a particular interest in Australian colonial history.

Photograph: Jamie North, 2013
Gift of Mrs Anne Athol Hughes (nee Stewart), 1958
Ambrotype of a young child, around 1863 Ambrotype of a young child, around 1863 Ambrotype of a young child, around 1863 Ambrotype of a young child, around 1863
Portrait
Vaucluse House
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V88/331