The charge of vagrancy dates back to medieval England. Its subjective application and minimal evidentiary requirements provided an appealing mechanism to punish recalcitrant behaviour. This article examines methods of exclusion via the application of vagrancy provisions in a small locality in New South Wales. It does so with a particular focus on one individual. By closely interrogating a wide range of public sources, the article illuminates the process of marginalisation and highlights the injustice embedded in commonplace abuses of power. In doing so, it alerts us to the disjunction between national mythology and the lived experience of its subjects.