Note [The Bushrangers, by Charles Harpur]

[Editor: This is an explanatory note regarding the play “The Bushrangers”, by Charles Harpur. Published in The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems (1853).]




Farmer. I tell you again, I’m John Crabtree of the Kerrijong!

Bomebard. In course you air: yes, and you’ll soon git kerrijonged, and no mistake! (making signs significant of his being hanged.) * * * * Kerrijong? no, but good English hemp, my cricket

KERRIJONG is the name of a wild, hilly district, a few miles beyond Richmond; so called, from the tree of the same name having been there found in unusual abundance. It is from the inner bark of this tree that the Aborigines are wont to twist the cordage with which they form their nets. It was also used by the early Settlers for tether-ropes, bag-ties, &c. And, moreover, it was said that, during the Croppy outbreak, several of the insurgents were hanged with halters twisted out of the bark of the kerrijong; they being executed in the Bush, under martial law — and the tree which furnished the rope being also the gallows. So, at least, ran an old Colonial tradition; — and to this Mr. BOMEBARD is to be supposed to allude, in playing off the above inuendo, after his own very peculiar fashion of dealing in sarcasm.

Charles Harpur, The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems, Sydney: W. R. Piddington, 1853, page 60

Editor’s notes:
inuendo = archaic spelling of “innuendo”

wont = custom, habit, practice; accustomed; apt, inclined

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