The Wexford native shot a man out of jealousy and was sentenced to seven years penal transportation, writes Nicky Rossiter
We are used to tales of Ned Kelly and The Wild Colonial Boy but there were other such characters from Ireland at large in Australia.
Martin Cash was born in Enniscorthy in County Wexford and brought up in a relatively prosperous family. He is said to have met a young local woman who earned a living making straw hats and bonnets. Over time, she and her family borrowed money from him. But his mother stopped this as it was rapidly draining her resources.
His later memoirs recount that in a jealous rage he shot at a man named Jessop who he had heard was making advances to this girl. Cash was sentenced to seven years penal transportation. He left Cork Harbour on board the ‘Marquis of Huntley’ and arrived in Sydney on the 10th of February, 1828.
He was ‘assigned’ to a Mr Bowman of Richmond and was transferred to his cattle ranch at Hunter River where he was to become a stock rider for the duration of his sentence. John Boodle who had another cattle station nearby at some stage asked Cash to assist him and his brother to brand some cattle.
Unknown to Cash these had been stolen. Upon Boodle informing him that the authorities had learned that the cattle were stolen and that transportation to Norfolk Island was the penalty for such a crime, Cash decided to leave for Van Diemen’s Land.