Rose to inspector rank over skill capturing bushrangers

BORN in Chelsea, London, in 1794, Israel Chapman was sentenced to transportation to Australia for life on HMS Glory in 1818.

He was a model convict and appointed the principal overseer for the Hyde Park prison barracks. He was granted a provisional pardon in 1821 and joined the Sydney Police as a constable.
Over the next few years, Detective Chapman’s duties took him far and wide across the colony, capturing bushrangers and burglars – which would see him wounded on a number of occasions. This work also led to a full pardon, which was granted in April 1827.
On June 6, 1827, the Colonial Secretary awarded Detective Chapman’s designation as a police detective.
The results of his exceptional detective skills were regularly published.
In 1826, one newspaper article reads: “Detective Chapman led constables to a house on Parramatta Road. He was armed with a cutlass and shot ball pistol, and charged into the home announcing, ‘Here is Chapman, who is going to kill him now’. Following a violent struggle, five bushrangers, three wounded, were taken into custody to await trial and a date with the gallows.”
In 1833, Detective Chapman was appointed to Wardsman (similar to Inspector) on a salary of 73 pounds.
After suffering multiple injuries, by 1843, he was unable to continue as a police officer.
Chapman died in 1868 aged 74 and was unceremoniously laid to rest at Rookwood Cemetery in an unmarked grave.