The Judas Covenant

A remarkable new book on Ben Hall, in which the exact circumstances of his betrayal and death at the hands of the police is examined in considerable detail.

• Previously unknown official documents have been discovered which, for the first time, reveal how and by whom he was betrayed to the police.

• The legal implications of the shooting are considered – did the police act illegally when Ben Hall was shot dead on the morning of 5th May 1865?

• The results of an archaeological investigation along the section of the Billabong Creek reveal some startling new facts.

• And why did Ben Hall turn from his life as a small scale squatter, with his own land, happily married with a young son, to life on the roads as a bushranger? There is an objective discussion of this vexing question where the reasons for such a dramatic change in his life are examined.


– Preface – A review of previous Ben Hall literature xiv
1. Billabong Creek, Thursday 4th May 1865 1

2. The early history of the Hall family in Australia 4

3. Sandy Creek 12

4. Explorers and squatters 28

5. Early Forbes 37

6. Criminal justice and the New South Wales police 44

7. The bushranging career of Ben Hall 58

8. The Felons Apprehension Act 1865 65

9. Prelude to betrayal 77

10. The death of Ben Hall 85

11. The informant 97

12. Charges of murder? 110

13. Epilogue 113

– Select Bibliography 129