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John Waistell Orridge (1830–1894)

from Illustrated Sydney News

John Waistell Orridge was born at Carlisle, in Cumberland, England, in June, 1830, reached Victoria in 1853, and shortly afterwards entered the police force there, obtaining rapid promotion to the rank of sub inspector owing to his efficiency and courage. When the police force of this country was reorganised in 1862 Mr. Orridge was offered and accepted the position of inspector, being promoted to be superintendent at Braidwood in 1864.

The notorious Tommy Clarke managed to escape from Braidwood Gaol, where he was awaiting trial for horse-stealing. This escape put Mr. Orridge on his mettle, and for years he and his police were in pursuit of Clarke and his gang, then becoming very numerous. Murders and encounters with the police followed in rapid succession, bushranger after bushranger being shot. Houses were stuck up, stores robbed, and the whole district was in a state of terror. Clarke's career of crime culminated in the murder of four men, warders of Darlinghurst Gaol, who volunteered to try and capture the outlaws, urged thereto no doubt by the reward of £500 offered by the Government. Finally Tommy Clarke and his brother surrendered, and to Mr. Orridge's great relief were safely incarcerated in Braidwood Gaol, and afterwards forwarded to Sydney, where they expiated their crimes on the scaffold.

Subsequently Mr. Orridge was appointed to the charge of the escort of the Duke of Edinburgh, and was at Clontarf when Farrell made his attempt at assassination, and with difficulty prevented some of the leading men of the colony from stringing up the latter to the yardarm of the steamer.

Mr. Orridge was afterwards removed to Armidale, and in 1887 was transferred to Goulburn, where he died on the 11th instant. In 1871 he married the second daughter of the late Mr. Hugh Gordon, of Manar, near Braidwood, who with her two sons and two daughters survive him.

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Citation details

'Orridge, John Waistell (1830–1894)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


June, 1830
Carlisle, Cumberland, England


11 January, 1894 (aged 63)
Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia

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