ohn Gilbert, aka Roberts, was born in Canada and emigrated to Victoria with his uncle John Davis. In April 1854, Davis was found shot dead and Gilbert, or Roberts as he was then known, was arrested and charged with the murder. He was tried and acquitted but was later jailed for horse stealing.
|John Gilbert - The Illustrated Melbourne Post|
Gilbert rode with the Gardiner gang and together they committed many robberies. When Gardiner 'retired' by escaping to Queensland Gilbert and Ben Hall took over the leadership of the gang.
On October 24th, 1863, Hall, Gilbert and the gang of John O'Meally, John Vane and Mickey Bourke held Assistant Gold Commissioner Keighley hostage on his property while Keighley's wife was sent to Bathurst to obtain £500 ransom money. A £1,000 reward was then posted on the heads of the gang.
Gilbert still had a charge of robbing a gold escort at Eugowra Rocks hanging over his head.
On May 6th, 1865, Ben Hall was shot dead by police. Gilbert was shot dead by police the very next day.