Michael Howe (1787-1818) was born at Pontefract, Yorkshire and served two years on a merchant vessel at Hull before deserting to join the navy as a seaman. In 1811 he was sentenced to seven years transportation for highway robbery of a miller. He arrived in Van Diemen's Land in October 1812 in the Indefatigable, but ran away and joined a large party of escaped convicts in the bush, and then a band of bushrangers led by John Whitehead. After Whitehead's death, Howe then became the leader, and though two of the gang were caught and executed, many robberies continued to be made. Howe offered to surrender and give information about his former associates on condition that he should be pardoned. In 1817 he gave himself up to a military officer, and was taken to Hobart gaol. Howe would quite probably have been pardoned, but at the end of July he escaped and again took to the bush. In October he was captured by two men, but escaped. For nearly a year he hid in the bush, but needing ammunition, on 21 October 1818 he was decoyed to a hut where he was killed.