Henry Arthur “Harry” Readford (Redford)
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Henry Arthur “Harry” Readford (Redford)

Henry Arthur “Harry” Readford (Redford)

Henry-ReadfordA well known Australian cattle thief or cattle ‘duffer’.

In 1870 he devised a plan to steal cattle from a cattle station he worked for. He recruited 2 helpers, built stockyards in a remote area of the station and collected over 1,000 head of cattle. Knowing that he couldn’t sell them in Queensland where the brand would be recognised he drove the cattle to South Australia through the Channel Country and the Strzelecki Desert, The same rout that only 10 years earlier had killed explorers Burke and Wills. They made it and sold the cattle for a small fortune near Maree.

2 years later in 1872 he was apprehended and faced trial for his theft. However, the jury members were so impressed by his achievements that they found him not guilty. In response to the verdict the government shut down the Roma District Criminal Court for two years.

In 1901 Readford set off to explore central Australia but drowned in a flooded creek.