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A MUY GANG ECHO | TBE STKMNG HP OF JERIIOERIE, N S. W. |
Tba demies of ex-Poli cc Sergean George Denis Devine recalls the eton of the sticking up, by the Kelly Gang cf th* township of Jerilderie (N.S.W.) the rounding up of the inhabitants ii the hotel, the robbing of the bank, ant tbe locking up in their cells of Devint and his constable. The authentic stor; is told in tho recently published vo lume, "Australian Bushrangers," o which G. E. Bosall is the author. Thi chapter devoted to the Jerilderie epi- sode is as follows:
"After the hank robbery ' the gani again retired to their mountain fast- nesses. Occasionally a paragraph ii one of the local newspapers recordec the movements of the police or furn- ished a story about the black trackers but these notices were necessarily vcrj meagre; the police declined to furnisl any information as to their proceed- ings or intentions, because-this would be of more usa to the bushrangers thar to anyone else. For more than a month nothing reliable had been heard oí them. Even the reports of the arrest and detention of numbers of "bush telegraphs" failed to attract attention, and the Kelly gang had almost ceased to be spoken of, when -suddenly th« whole country was roused by the news that they had stuck up the town of Jerilderie, in Kew South "Wales. Jeril- derie Is situated on the Tanco Creek not far from its junction with th« Billabong-, and at that time contained about SOO inhabitants, a bank, four public-houses, a post and telegraph f office, and several churches, schools
and other buildings. Thc local police ! station and lockup was near the out I side of tho town, and there were two
officer:; ^Constables Devine and Ricb l ards-stationed there. At midnight oí
February 9, 1ST9, a man roused Con- stable Devine from his bed, and - in- formed him that a row had taken place at Davidson's Hotel and a man had been killed. He exhorted the constable to 'come quick,' Devine woke Richards, and both dressed as hastily as pos- sible. When they came out they were confronted by Ned Kelly, revolver in hand, and ordered to 'bail up.* Not having their arms on them, and being taken completely by ¡surprise, thc_ two surrendered at once and were locked up in Ute cells. The bushrangers then compelled J Irs. Devine, who had also partially dressed, to hand over all arms ind ammunition, and tool: pos sesion ot' the lockup, remaining quietly there till morning, their horses being placed in the police stables at the rear, it was Sunday morning. Tho Catholic church had not yet been finished, the court-house had been rented for reli- gious purposes, and Mrs. Devine had been accustomed to clean up the place, set thc temporary altar, and place the forms and chairs ready for mass. The ¡.ushrangers told her to perform her task as usual, after having extorted a promise from her that rho would not mention their presence to anyone; and to make certain- of her keeping her word our cf them, dressed as a con- stable, went with her to thc court- house and stayed while she swept the floor and prepared the room. Thso
i they returned to the lockup, which-was I about one hundred yards from the
court-house, and remained there all day arrayed in the constables' uni ; forms, sitttne quietly, in the guard-, ; room. ' No doubt numbers of people,
passed and saw them, but no one had any suspicion that bushrangers were In charge instead o£ the police.
"Early oh Monday morning- Byrne
took two horses to the blacksmith's shop to be shod, and the blacksmith, feeling some doubt as to the bona fides of the pseudo-trooper, made a note of the brands on the horses. < At about 10 a.m. Ned and Dan Kelly, accompaniel by Constable Richards, "went - to the Royal Hotel, the largest hotel in the town, where Richards formally intro- duced them- to the proprietor. Mr. Cos. Ned informed Mr. Cox that he
The Late Ex. Sgt. G. D. Devine
A photograph taken in the days when the deceased had good reason to re-
member Ure Kelly Gang.
required the use of some rooms, as the gans intended sticking up the bank. He selected a large and a small room on the ground floor, near the bar, and conducted the few men about at the time into the large room, where they were ordered to remain until given permission to depart. Dan Kelly was placed on guard at thc door to keep
order and prevent aiybody from es- caping, and wa.s instructed to shoot thc first man who refused to do as he was told. On air. Cox passing his word, as a gentleman, not to mention their presence to anyone who should come in. he was permitted to take charge of the bar as usual, and was given to understand that he v.culd be held responsible for thc discretion o; thc women and servants. Anyone whom he could not trust Tras to be sent into the large room. The preliminaries were arranged so unostentatiously and quietly, that no rumor of the presence of the bushrangers had yet been heard, and as customers dropped into the
hotel they -were taken into the big room and told to remain there on penalty ot death.
"Having made these arrangements.' Ked Kelly walked into the hotel yard to reconnoitre. There -was a-detached kitchen here, and the rear of the Bank of New South Wales was only a tew yards from the rear of this kitchen. The bank faced on another street, and there -was no dividing fence between the bank and tho hotel. Hart was placed on watch near the kitchen, while.
¡ Byrne entered the back door of th«
j bank. Mr. Living, tho teller, was in
the bank chamber. He was not sur
I prised to hear a man enter by the back door, as Mr. Cox and other cus-, tomers frequently came in that way, .it being a short cut from the hotel. Sud- denly, however, Byrne came to thc counter, pointed a revolver at Living's head, and cried out. Tm Kelly, keep quiet.* Living held his hands above his Head. "Where's your pistols?' asked Byrne. Tve got none,* replied Living. Byrne then -ordered Living and the ac ¡ countant Mackie lo come over to the hotel. They did as they were told, Byrne following them. When they reached the door of the large room Dan Kelly inquired, 'Where's Tarle- ton?* 'In his room,* replied Living. 'Then go and fetch him and no - nonsense,' said Dan. Living went back to the bank, but being unable to lind the manager in his rooms began to fear that something might have happened to him. He was about to return to the hotel to inform the Kellys that . he
could not find the manager, when he j heard a splashing. He went to th-a j bathroom and knocked. Tarleton had j been for a 40-mile ride that morning, had just returned, and was Itaving a wash. Whoa he opened the door and was informed that the town was in possession of the Kelly gang, and the bank was stuck up, he laughed hear- tily, believing it to be a huge joke Living assured him that it was not a laughing matter, but he was still in- credulous. However, he dressed and went to the hotel, where he soon dis- covered that what be had deemed im- possible had come to pass. The three bank officials were placed in the large room. Tarleton, who took a seat next to Constable Bicharas, whispered, "I can knock Hart down; shall I?" "What's the good?' replied the constable, "Dan Kelly's there, and he'd shoot you down
"Ned Kelly had Hitherto been walk- ing round as a sort of inspector-gene- ral oí the proceedings and giving or- ders. Ho new entered the room and ordered drinks to bc served all round. Then he made a speech, in which he blamed Constable Fitzpatrick for all that had occurred. Hf went on to say that he had stolen 2S0 horsed from Whitby's station, «nd had sold them at Baunigai-ten's. Ha took cut a re- volver and exclaimed, 'This was Loner gan's! 1 took it from him. The gun 1 shot him with was a crooked, worn out thins, not worth picking up. I shot him because ho threatened mi mother and my sister if they refused to tell where Ned Kelly was. The
police are' -worse than the -?- -black trackers. I came here to shoot Devine and Richards, and tm seing to do it." The men at the table began to inter- cede tor Richards, who was sitting quietly among them, and who did not speak, but Kelly exclaimed dramati- cally, 'He must die.*\ -
"Ned got the key ot the bank safe, and took USO worth of notes and money from it. He also took £691 from the teller's drawers. While thus employed, Messrs. Gill, Hardie ( and
Rankin carno in oñ business in the or- dinär}' course and were ordered to bail up. They turned and ran. Ned Kelly followed and caught Rankin, but the others got away. Ned was furious at .this escape. He said that news of their presence would be . all over the place in a few minutes, and he- swore ? he would shoot Rankin -in revenge. He; took Rankin to the- hotel, stood him -up against- thc wall in the passage and. flourished bis revolver about:- The men in the room pleaded that Bankin-might be spared, and urged that he could not. have prevented Gill and Hardie from running away. While thin was goln= on Byrne came in with Mr. Hardie and said that they could nat find Gill, the proprietor of the local newspaper, aa !
he had not returned to his office. .Ned ]
Kelly then let Rankin go. and declared
that he would burn the newspaper office. Mr. Gill, it is said, went out of i the town and hid in a clump of trees !
by tho side of thc river till evening, j
Ned then walked down to M'Dougal''* Ho|cl and shouted fer about 30 men who were in or about the hotel ajt tho J
time. On-his rotur:i to the Royal Hotel j
he was informed that Hart had robbed j tho "Rev. Mr. Gribble of a gold watch, j He called Hart up and asked- indig- j nantly, 'What right has a thing liko : you to rob a clergyman ?* He swore a j good deal and compelled Hart to give ! the watch back. Complaints were j
made that he had stolen a nea' saddle and bridle from a saddler's shop, an i some other articles from other places.
Ned called him a - thief, and or-1 dered him to return everything he had I
"Ned Kelly paid more than one visit j to the Post and Telegraph Office to ]
'see how things were going on.' The ] robbers had cut the wires on either i side of thc town before their entry, : and had chopped down seven tele-
graph posts in the main street near j
the office. ' They had gu-en orders to Mr. Jefferson, thc telegraph master, | that no repairs should bc attempted'
j until permission was given, and Ned ! took care that these orders were obey- >
j ed. They held the town for three days,
i as the Hall and Gilbert gang had held : i Canowindra. Jerilderie was at this
time slightly larger than Canowindra at the time when it had been stuck up and held, but there v.as less traffic through it, and consequently less con-
nection between il and Ute outer,
world than with Canowindra. The road running through Jerilderie leads from Conargo to Na¡Taudera. Jeril- derie is about 30 miles from Conargo and 65 from Narrandera. All round arc huge sheep and cattle stations, with
only a fe?.- men employed on them ex- cept at shearing cr mustering tune. All through the remainder of the year the trafile is inconsiderable. -There was in Jerilderie, however, a large v/ool washiHg end", fellmongery - establish- ment wWch employed a fair number of -workmen: Canowindra, on tlie other hand, was.arsvaysiöe towiï cn the main road from Bathurst to Fc-rbes, the traffic being cccsidíTab'e ail the year round. There were also.several small diggings not far av.ny, and the resi- dents of these frcqueutlv came to pur- chase articles'from t'.-.c stores at Cano- windra. lt was far easier, therefore, to isolate Jerilderie for three daysthsn it had been to stick up Canowindra. But thc Hail a nd Gilbert gang robbed everybody except the landlord of the hotel. The Kellys, on the other
Mrs. Mary Devine
Who survives her husband and is at
present livingr at Victoria Park.
- j hand, robbed no one outside th© bank. Jerilderie was a much
more compact town than Cano- ] windra, the latter consisting oí I one lons straggling street, with only j I a few houses outside this linc, while ;
j Jerilderie had several cross streets, and
at least two parallel with the river.
''The robbers held the town from midnight on Saturday until about 4 p.m. on the "Wednesday following. Shortly before their prisoners were al- lowed to leave the Royal Hotel, Ned Kelly gave Living a paper which, be said, gave a history of his Ufo, and the truth about what he had done. Living promised that he would do his best to get it published, and handed it to Mr. Gill, who read it and forwarded it to the Government. It was a long, ramb- ling statement, in some parts quite in- coherent, and much of it false. It
was never published. At about 4 o'clock i Byrne left tho town in the direction ol j the Murray River. Ho was riding his] own horse, and had the money stolen'
from tuc bank packed on one of the
police horses, vrbich be was leading, j A minute or two later Dan Kelly and j Steve Hart mounted their horses, and galloped several times up and down the main street, ftoui-ishiug their revolverá I and shouting, 'Hurrah for thc good old : tames bf Morgan and ? Ben ""Hall"; Then they left the .town along the main1 road. Ned Kelly, mounted on his grey; mare and leading a. second police horse, i left some minutes later. Before going, j
he rode from the police station to the | Royal Hotel, and told the men detained j
in the large room there that they were free.
"The bushrangers had left thc town by different routes, probably to pre- vent any information as to the road they had travelled from being, furn- ished to the police; but no doubt they had arranged where tho should meei outside at a safe distance. Late in the evening they rode up to Wannamur ra
[ station, about 25 miles from Jerilderie,
and Ned Kelly asked Mr. A. Mackie whether his brother was at home yit, Mr. Macldo replied that he did not know. 'I'm going to shoot him fer giving horses to Living and Tarleton to ride to Deniliquin for the traps,' said Ned. They ail went to thc station together, but evidence was soon brought forward to prove that the bank employes had not obtained horses from Mr. Mackie, and at length Ned exon- erated that gentleman, but forcibly ex- pressed his intention of shooting Liv- ing. "I gave him back his life policy," be saidf 'and I only burned two or three of the bank books instead of tho lot to oblige him. He asked for them, and I treated him as fair as I could, and now he takes advantage of my kindness to betray mc.' He walked up and down on the verandah of the house for several minutes swearing at Liv- ing, and more than once said he had a good mind to go back and 'settle him' at once. His rage, however, soon sub- sided, and thc gang proceeded on their way, no attempt being made to detain
"Jerilderie lies about 120 miles, as the crow flies, from where the bush- rangers were supposed to have hidden in thc Strathbogie Ranges; and, when the news of the bank robbery at Jeril- derie was telegraphed all over th« country, wonder - was everywhere ex- pressed as to how the robbers had crossed this country, some cf it thickly populated, without being ' perceived. Thc skill with which the robbery had been planned, the boldness and com- pleteness of the arrangements, and the apparent ease with which it had been accomplished, made the Kelly gang the principal topic of conversation. The New South Wales Government issued a proclamation declaring Ned and Dan Kelly, Joe Byrne and Steve Hart out- laws, and offered a reward of £3000 for their capture, dead or alive. The associated banks of the colony supple- mented this reward by another £1000. The Victorian Government increased the rev/a rds already offered to the amount offered by the Nev.' South Wales Government; the. banks in that colony added another £1009, thus mali
ins the total reward offered, for the capture of the four members of tl sn sang £8000. Two thousand pounds per mau was the highest reward ever of- fered for the capture of bushrangers in Australia"