The Jerilderie Bank Robbery


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When the Kelly's rode into the New South Wales town of Jerilderie early on Sunday, 8th February 1879, the first thing they did was to bail up Constables Devine and Richards at the police station so that the alarm could not be given. The police were then locked up in their own cell.

During their first days stay at Jerilderie, the Kelly's borrowed the captured troopers uniforms and walked up and down the street telling everyone that they were there to protect them from the bushrangers. Dan Kelly then accompanied Mrs. Devine to the Courthouse so that she could prepare it for Sunday Mass.

On Monday morning Joe Byrne took two of the Gang’s horses to Samuel Rea, the local blacksmith to be shod while Steve Hart went to the butchers shop to buy some meat. While this was happening Ned made contact with many of their sympathizers, some of whom had been staying in the town for almost a week.

It was shortly after eleven o’clock in the morning when Constable Richards introduced Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne to Mr. Cox, the owner of the Royal Mail Hotel. As this was happening both Dan and Steve had already gone to the rear of the hotel and were rounding up the staff. After placing their prisoners in the bar room, Ned and Joe went next door to the Bank of New South Wales and stole over two thousand pounds.

During the robbery, three Jerilderie business men walked in on Ned while he was destroying bank documents. Ned tried to capture them, but Gill, the newspaper editor, escaped. Shortly after, Joe Byrne rode down to the telegraph office and compelled the operator and some locals to cut down the telegraph poles. Joe was soon joined by Ned and they went to the newspaper office to locate the editor. Ned and Joe had compiled a letter they wanted published which outlined all their grievances, and finding Mr. Gill not there it was given to Mr. Edwin Living, the bank accountant, who swore he would give it to him. On their returned to the hotel they then brought drinks for the prisoners while Ned told the audience about the injustices to his family.

The Gang finally left the town at about four o’clock leaving the bank a total of 2,141 poorer.

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