Ben Hall was born at Wallis Plains, near Maitland, on 9th May 1837. He was the son of ex-convicts, and spent his early years around Murrurundi. In the early 1850s he worked as a stockman on the Lachlan and on 29th February 1856 he married Bridget Walsh at Bathurst. In 1859, in partnership with John McGuire, he took up a Crown lease of land at Sandy Creek south of Forbes. They had a son Henry, born 7th August 1859. In early 1862 Bridget left him, taking with her his infant son. In April 1862, Hall was arrested for armed robbery, but was released due to lack of evidence. Three months later he was arrested again for involvement in the Eugowra gold escort robbery. Again he was released due to lack of evidence, but having incurred substantial legal expenses he and McGuire were forced to transfer the lease of Sandy Creek. In early 1863, Hall joined John Gilbert at the head of a gang of bushrangers.
This gang was well led, well armed and their stolen racehorses easily out paced the poorer police horses. In October 1863, they made a daring raid on Bathurst and throughout 1864 they committed many robberies along the Sydney-Melbourne road south of Goulburn. Following the shooting of two policemen by the gang, a reward of 1,000 pounds was offered for Hall's capture . Betrayed by an informer, he was ambushed on 5 May 1865 and shot dead by police near the Billabong Creek near Forbes . His body, riddled with gunshot wounds, was buried in Forbes Cemetery. He was 27. His funeral was well attended; as there was considerable sympathy amongst local people for a young man who had been so well regarded but whose life had taken such a disastrous turn.
Bradley, P; The Judas Covenant, Sydney, 2006.
Penzig, E; Ben Hall; Sydney, 1996.
Shiel, D; Ben Hall, Melbourne, 1983.
McLellan, LL; Benjamin Hall and Family; Quirindi, 1980
Ben Hall's Death Registration