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Thunderbolt Gibbons, was the moniker of a Whiteboys captain in Ireland in the early nineteenth century.
Gibbons was a native of Barnaderg and became the leader of the Whiteboy movement in the area. He was noted for his speed, which caused him to be popularly called 'Thunderbolt', and in relation to his many escapes from arrest.
On the same night as a Whiteboy meeting at Tyquin, Athenry, a local 'Big House' was fired, and Gibbons was obliged to go on the run. He was forced to seek refuge in Connemara, but was eventually arrested. He was subsequently sentenced to be executed, but his sister entreated Mr. Bodkin of Annagh to intercede (Finnerty states that Bodkin was "vested with the power of king's prerogative and that meant that he could reprieve a condemned man from the gallows.") While Bodkin's intercession did not result in Gibbons's release, his sentence was reduced to transportation to Australia.
Some years later, Gibbons was working near the governor's mansion when he saw an Australian Aborigine make off into the bush, having seized the governor's only child. After an epic chase, Thunderbolt succeeded in rescuing the child. According to Finerty "Thunderbolt's release was secured as a result, and with a well-lined wallet, he sailed for the United States where he was joined and greeted by comrades and exiles in general to enter on a career of success until his death when he died a wealthy man."
The Rum Rebellion of 1808 was a coup d'état against the lawful government of New South Wales, then a British colony, by its military force, the New South Wales Corps. It was the only successful coup d'etat in Australia to date. During the 19th century, it was widely referred to in Australia as the Great Rebellion.
A thunderbolt is a symbolic representation of lightning when accompanied by a loud thunderclap.
Frederick Wordsworth Ward, better known by the self-styled pseudonym of Captain Thunderbolt, was an Australian bushranger renowned for escaping from Cockatoo Island, and also for his reputation as the "gentleman bushranger" and his lengthy survival, being the longest roaming bushranger in Australian history.
Anne Bonny was an Irish pirate operating in the Caribbean, and one of the most famous female pirates of all time. The little that is known of her life comes largely from Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pyrates.
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The Whiteboys were a secret Irish agrarian organisation in 18th-century Ireland which used violent tactics to defend tenant farmer land rights for subsistence farming. Their name derives from the white smocks the members wore in their nightly raids. As they levelled the fences at night, they were usually referred to at the time as "Levellers" by the authorities, and by themselves as "Queen Sive Oultagh's children", "fairies", or as followers of "Johanna Meskill" or "Sheila Meskill", all symbolic figures supposed to lead the movement. They sought to address rack-rents, tithe collection, excessive priests' dues, evictions and other oppressive acts. As a result they targeted landlords and tithe collectors. Over time, Whiteboyism became a general term for rural violence connected to secret societies. Because of this generalisation, the historical record for the Whiteboys as a specific organisation is unclear. There were three major outbreaks of Whiteboyism: 1761–64; 1770–76; and 1784–86.
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Edward Bodkin is an American cutter who was arrested in 1998 after police were tipped off that he was performing and videotaping voluntary human castrations at his home.
Padraig Gearr Ó Mannin was a United Irishman.
Neddy Lohan, Captain of Irish Whiteboys, died in 1820.
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John Kerney was a South Australian criminal who adopted the sobriquet "Captain Thunderbolt", in imitation of the notorious bushranger Frederick Ward of New South Wales.
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