"Mad Dog" Morgan was the popular name of Daniel Morgan, who was an Australian bushranger in the 1860's. He was one of the more violent and notorious bushrangers to have entered Australian history. He died on April 11th, 1865.

Morgan was born in 1833 in Sydney, then the capital of the colony of New South Wales (this was before the federated Commonwealth of Australia was formed). He was the illegitimate son of a poor Irish immigrant. In 1853, at the age of twenty he travelled to the gold fields of New South Wales and Victoria to seek his fortune. He didn't find it, and soon fell into crime, in particular horse theft. He was captured only two weeks after his first robbery and sentenced to twelve years hard labour.

He was parolled in 1860, but soon absconded and returned to horse thievery. By 1863 he had become a notorious criminal. When he robbed and wounded a magistrate, the government placed a £200 reward on his head (quite a lot of money in those days). The reward was later increased to £500, and Morgan became increasingly desperate to avoid capture.

In June 1864 he shot and killed a stockman and a police sergeant, and a large manhunt was mounted for him. At one point he ambushed a group of troopers who were tracking him, and fired without warning into the tent they were sleeping in. This resulted in the death of one officer and the government increased the bounty on his head to £1100 (a very large sum of money in those days).

His run finally came to an end on April 11th, 1865 when he was tracked down near Wangaratta and shot in the back. Legend has it he did not die instantly, but his spine was shattered and he died shortly afterwards in great agony. Legend also has it that after he died his head and scrotum were cut off for trophies, the scrotum being turned into tobacco pouches.

Apart from being renown for his own violent deeds, Mad Dog Morgan is also remembered since he often used Hanging Rock, a famous Australian landmark, as a hideout. Additionally his legend served as inspiration for Ned Kelly, the most famous of all Australian bushrangers.

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