Dennis Dogherty (1814-?)
Dennis Dogherty was transported to New South Wales in 1833 for deserting his regiment. Soon he was before the courts again for bushranging, and was transferred to Port Arthur.
Dogherty’s 43 years under sentence were appalling: 3,000 lashes, hard labour, double irons, solitary confinement, and time at the Norfolk Island penal settlement. Following one escape, he was charged with the murder of George Sturgeon, but found not-guilty.
At age 58 he was interviewed by the novelist Anthony Trollope who wrote, ‘he stood, speaking softly, arguing his case well, and pleading while the tears ran down his face for some kindness, for some mercy in his old age. “I have tried to escape - always to escape,” he said - “as a bird does out of a cage. Is that unnatural - is that a great crime?”’