Home Shire of Strathbogie Euroa The Kelly Gang’s Euroa National Bank Robbery of 1878

The Kelly Gang’s Euroa National Bank Robbery of 1878

The location of the Old Euroa National Bank

The township of Euroa is situated 164km northeast of Melbourne CBD. In the 1870s Euroa was growing as an agricultural township. The Kelly gangs raid of the Euroa National Bank is part of Australian folklore. On10th December 1878, Euroa experienced the daring raid by the Kelly gang on the 2nd Euroa National Bank which was built in 1876 by Hugh McGuiness. Ned, Dan and Steve held the bank. Joe stayed at Faithfull’s Creek station 3.5 miles away guarding the captives taken the previous night. The gang took £2260, gold and 14 hostages in a hijacked hawker’s wagon and spring cart. That night 37 people were left at the station when the gang escaped into Strathbogie Ranges.

The location of the Old Euroa National Bank

The building was later purchased by Edward Stribling who ran a stock and station agency up until his death in 1956. The present building was built in 1974 using original bricks. The original strong room door from the bank has also been retained.

Even with the limited communication infrastructure of the late 1800’s, The Argus published from Melbourne came up with a very elaborate reporting of the incident within a day. Instead of writing the story of Euroa bank robbery in our words, we thought it is better for our readers to experience the report as it was published by the Argus. This article also points to why the infamous Kelly Gang had supporters among public on those years. As such the gang never hurt general public and succeeded in giving the impression that they are fighting against the system that turned them into bushrangers.

The Argus published on Thursday 12th December 1878 about the reappearance of the bushrangers.

The information displayed at the location of the old Euroa National Bank

RE-APPEARANCE OF THE BUSHRANGERS. THE OUTRAGE AT EUROA

The telegram which we published yesterday with regard to the re-appearance of the Kelly gang of outlaws at Euroa has been fully confirmed. The particulars to hand show not only that the offenders have performed a daring exploit, but also that they feel themselves masters of the situation.

That they have outwitted the police is obvious, and until some explanation is given, the public cannot fail to hold the opinion that an outrage has been perpetrated which ought to have been prevented. It was stated in the press more than once that the gang would in all probability stick up and rob some bank, and thus good warning was given to the authorities, yet here we have the township of Euroa, situated in the bushranging district, and possessing a branch of the National Bank, left without protection, with the exception of a solitary policeman. There are about 100 members of the police force exclusively engaged in hunting the gang, but not withstanding the number in the field, the outlaws seem to have had little difficulty in evading them, and whilst the bulk of them were sent into the ranges and away towards the Murray, the outlaws coolly disported themselves at Euroa and insulted the whole country through the utter contempt they displayed for the law.

The township of Euroa is situated on the Seven Creeks, county of Delatite, and is about 100 miles north by east of Melbourne. It is on the north-eastern line of railway and stands on the main road to Beechworth. From Greta and Mansfield, it is about 35 or 40 miles, and only about 25 from Benalla, which has been made one of the centres of the police operations. Some eight or ten miles further up the line is Violet Town, and at this place it was publicly reported on Monday that the Kellys were in the neighbourhood. It now appears that on that morning the telegraph wires were cut seven miles on one side of Euroa and three miles on the other simultaneously, and at one of these places about 100ft. of the wire was removed, with the object no doubt of delaying its repair.

About the same time the bushrangers stuck up Mr. Younghusband’s station at Faithfull’s Creek, some 3½ miles from Euroa. Mr. Younghusband was absent, but the overseer and all the station hands were secured. A number of farmers, labourers, and navvies whom the outlaws met were also bailed up and detained at the station until there was a company of terrified prisoners there to the number of 20 or more. When the railway officials discovered that the telegraph line was out of order, they sent a line repairer to find out the fault and set it right, and it was arranged that a train should stop near Euroa to pick him up in the evening.

During the day this man found himself in the vicinity of Mr. Younghusband’s station and called there without having any suspicion of who were in possession. He of course walked right into the hands of the gang and was numbered with the other prisoners. The object of the offenders in sticking up the station was evidently to obtain vantage ground for making their raid on the bank. Full accounts of their descent on the bank will be found below. The amount of money stolen was about £1,890 of which £1,500 was in bank notes, £300 in gold, and £90 in silver. The affair appears to have been conducted in the orthodox bushranging fashion, and there is little doubt that if the bank officials had made any resistance, they would have been instantly shot down by the desperadoes. Important corroborative evidence with regard to the murders near Mansfield has been obtained from this second outrage.

Constable McIntyre’s statement that there were four offenders is now put beyond question, and Edward Kelly admitted to Mr. Robert Scott, the manager of the Euroa Bank, that it was he who shot Constable Lonigan. Kelly also stated to one of his prisoners at Younghusband’s station that he had Sergeant Kennedy’s watch, and Mr. Scott saw a gold watch in his possession that corresponded in appearance to Sergeant Kennedy’s one. The two hitherto unknown outlaws turn out to be Stephen Hart and a man named Byrne. The authorities in town suppose that the former is a man who is charged with stealing four horses in the King River district, and who was seen with them in company with another man named Robert Ellis, alias Whitnell, on the 2nd of September at Wallan Wallan, where they tried to dispose of the animals. Ellis was arrested for the theft, but the case fell through, and he was discharged. The man Hart in this case, however, is called “Jack” in the police reports, and not “Stephen.” It was Edward and Daniel Kelly and Stephen Hart who stuck up the bank and Byrne who remained in charge of the prisoners at the station.

The first official information received by the authorities in town was the following telegram from Detective Ward: —

“Euroa, Dec. 11, 4.15 a.m. “Two thousand pounds taken by the Kellys from the National Bank. The gang had all the hands on Younghusband’s station bailed up from Monday afternoon until half- past 8 o’clock on Tuesday night when they left, going in the direction of Strathbogie.

There are now eight men and a black tracker at Euroa.” Our telegram yesterday morning stated that the gang, on leaving the station, were supposed to have gone in the direction of Violet Town, but the black tracker referred to by Detective Ward, on following their trail, found that they had doubled round. Hence the belief that they have sought shelter in the Strathbogie Ranges. These ranges lie about halfway between Euroa and Mansfield. Detective Ward also sent the following particulars yesterday as to what was stolen from the bank: —

“Benalla, Dec. 11, 2 p.m

“Re Kelly Gang of Outlaws. —They stuck up Euroa Bank yesterday afternoon, and robbed it of £418 in £1 notes, £335 in £5 notes, £680 in £10 notes, £100 in bank notes mixed, £311 in gold, £98 0s 6d. in silver, 31oz of smelted gold, two revolvers, five bags of cartridges, and one silver watch. The money is not identifiable. Inspecting-superintendent Nicolson and party of police are in pursuit. The direction they have taken is not positively known, but they said they were going to Murchison. —M. E. WARD,

Detective. “From this it will be seen that the total robbery in notes and specie was £1,942, exclusive of the smelted gold. In addition to concentrating the police in the Euroa district, Captain Standish caused a number of guns and ammunition to be forwarded by an early train for the use of any residents in the township or neighbourhood who might volunteer their services. The concentration of the police was greatly facilitated by the Railway department, by whom special trains were run.

Now that the desperadoes have emerged from their concealment and shown themselves so openly as to leave a good trail for their pursuers to follow, and since they could only have had about seven hours’ start, the police may be fairly expected to run them to earth without much further delay.

NARRATIVE OF THE BANK MANAGER

Mr. Robert Scott, the manager of the National Bank at Euroa, came down to Melbourne yesterday, arriving here by the afternoon train. He proceeded at once to the head office in Collins Street, and had an interview with Mr. Smith, the general manager, and several of the directors. After he had given them a narrative of the affair several members of the press were admitted, to whom he related his adventures as follows: —

“At about five minutes to 4 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon a man came to the bank door and told the accountant that he wanted a cheque cashed. He entered, and presenting a revolver at the accountant’s head, ordered him to bail up. He then forced his way into my room, and I found that it was Ned Kelly. Taking his stand near the end of a table at which I was sitting, he presented his revolver at my head, and called upon me to bail up. He was followed by another man named ‘Steve,’ or Stephen Hart, who had a revolver in each hand. I did not bail up at first, and they called again upon me to do so. I had a revolver, but it was lying on the opposite side of the table from me, and I could not reach it without placing myself in the certain danger of being immediately shot.

On their again ordering me to throw up my arms I said, ‘It is all right,’ and raised my hands to the armpits of my vest. Hart then kept guard over me, and Ned Kelly ransacked the bank, and took possession of what money we had in use, which amounted to £300 or £400 in notes, gold, and silver. Kelly next proceeded in the direction of private apartments, where my wife, family, and servants were. Fearing that he would do them harm I said to him ‘Kelly, if you go there, I’ll strike you, whatever the consequences may be.’ Thereupon Hart presented his revolvers at my head, and Kelly passed through. My wife and family, contrary to my expectations, took the visit very calmly, and were not injured.

On returning to the bank Kelly said he now knew I had more money than they had got and demanded it. I refused to give him anything, and he made the accountant give him the specie and notes in the safe. He took in all about £1,500 in notes, about £300 in sovereigns, and about £90 in silver, besides 31oz. of gold. He also entered the strong room but left the bills and securities undisturbed. Frequently he remarked that there was no use resisting, as he had eight armed men outside whom he could call to his assistance in a moment. The story about the eight-armed men was, however, only a pretence. I afterwards found that they bailed up a hawker and his boy at the station and took possession of his cart. They rehabilitated themselves from his stock, and called for his bill, which they promised to pay ‘if they were lucky.’

Euroa township today

They had also taken a spring cart from a farmer. In approaching the bank, the two Kellys came in the spring-cart, and Hart upon one of Younghusband’s horses, whilst they made the hawkers boy drive his van, which was a covered one, to my back yard. As Ned Kelly and Hart were entering the bank in front, Dan Kelly went round to the back and spoke to my domestic servant. Before this I had heard nothing about the gang being in the neighbourhood. Stephen Hart tied his horse up at De Boos’s Hotel, where he afterwards had lunch. After the fellows had appropriated all the money in the bank, and my revolver and cartridges,

Ned Kelly requested me to harness my horse into my buggy. I said, ‘No, I won’t, and my groom is away. Do it for yourself.’ He replied, ‘Well, I will do it myself.’ He accordingly harnessed the horse and put Mrs. Scott and the family into it. He then said to me, ‘Will you get in?’ but I refused, saying, ‘No, I won’t, it is too heavily loaded already.’ Kelly rejoiced, ‘Now, none of your larks. You will, then, have to go with me,’ and pointing his revolver at me, he made me enter the spring-cart with himself and my servant. Before this I had asked the fellows to have a drink, and they accepted the offer, but made me drink first, no doubt to make sure that I was not attempting to drug them. I also tried to bustle them about in order to gain time, but it was no use, and they drove us away to Younghusband’s station. Every person about the bank was taken.

There was myself, my wife and her mother, my seven children—four boys and three girls, the eldest being a boy 13 years of age—the accountant, clerk and two servants. The hawker’s van was placed in front, then followed my buggy, which Mrs. Scott was driving. The spring-cart, driven by Ned Kelly, came next, and Stephen Hart brought up the rear on horseback. I may say here that when the bank was stuck up my wife and family were all in one room, preparing to go out for a walk, and I was making ready to attend a funeral. Our arrangements were, however, rudely upset, and it appeared for the time that my own funeral would be the next. The distance between Euroa and Younghusband’s station is about three miles and a half. On the way thither I had some conversation with Kelly, and he chatted away very freely.

I asked him, ‘What would that fellow Hart have done if I had struck you when you were going into my private house?’ He replied, ‘He would have shot you dead on the spot.’

In reply to a question by me he admitted that it was he who shot Constable Lonigan, and I saw a gold watch in his possession said to be Kennedy’s. I afterwards found that he told some at the station that the watch he wore was Kennedy’s. He further said that he had heard a good deal about me and had been told that he would find me a difficult person to deal with, and that whilst the hawker he bailed up had been bad, I had been worse, and was, in fact, the worst and most obstinate fellow he had ever met with. The hawker, I believe, was very impertinent to him. He also said, ‘I have seen the police often, and have heard them often.’ He did not seem a bit afraid of the police, but, on the contrary, laughed at them and at their efforts to capture him and his mates. The other ruffians appeared to have as little dread of their pursuers. I asked Hart which way he was going when he left the station, and Kelly answered carelessly, ‘Oh, the country belongs to us. We can go anywhere we like.’

He said, however, that he was getting sick of bushranging life. In reply to a question as to how Constable McIntyre behaved when his comrades were murdered, he simply said that that officer made no resistance. He would not say where he and his gang had been concealing themselves, nor what they as outlaws wanted with the money he had stolen. I presume, however, that they intend the money for their relatives. As we were moving along, I remarked that I knew the road well, and asked permission to drive. Kelly at first refused, and soon afterwards got into bad road, and in going up a rough bank the cart was upset.

We were nearly all thrown out. I jumped out, and got hold of the horse, and Kelly lifted out the servant. He then got the horse released, harnessed it again, and we started afresh. After driving a little he said, ‘You drive very well; you had better go on.’ I was then proceeding to take a short cut to Younghusband’s station—for we had been informed that it was our destination— when Kelly, suspecting that I was misleading him, said, ‘If you play me any pranks, I will make it hot for you.’ I told him that the others had taken the wrong road—or rather a longer one—and he allowed me to proceed. The notes stolen from the bank were lying beside me, and I felt sorely tempted to regain them, but restrained myself. The company arrived at the station all about the same time. I then found a number of shearers, railway labourers, and farmers, who had been found by the gang when going to work, and the station hands, were stuck up. They were standing beside the hut, and fourth man of the gang, who is named Byrne, was marching in front of them with two guns and his belt stuck full of revolvers. Ned Kelly had previously threatened to roast them alive and to do all sorts of things to them.

There were 22 men in all bailed up here. I now learned that the ruffians had arrived at the station about midday on Monday, and that they had stayed there all night, and the men they had secured were bailed up all the time. The station was a handy place for making a descent from upon the bank. Mr. Younghusband was not present, and in his absence, Ned Kelly pounced upon Macauley, his overseer, and ordered him to write out a cheque that he might cash at the bank in Euroa. Macauley refused, saying he would lend himself to no such business. Kelly then ransacked a desk on the premises, and found a cheque on the Oriental Bank, Melbourne, for £1 4s. which had been drawn out, and this was the one he presented at the bank. It, of course, was not cashed, and  going back to the station Kelly returned it to the overseer. In the morning Macauley went to look at the bushrangers’ horses, which had been placed in a paddock. Kelly had observed him, and on Tuesday night challenged him with having been taking a note of the brands on the animals, but Macauley denied that he had been doing so. He said, ‘I could describe the horses, but took no Notice of brands,’ and Kelly appeared to be satisfied, for he replied, ‘Then that is all right.’ The horses were all fine-looking animals, and as they had a day’s rest, they started on Tuesday night in a fresh condition.

Three of them were bays, and one a grey. Ned Kelly’s one was a bay, and its two hind feet were white. They were, however, very heavily laden, especially Ned Kelly’s one, for it carried the gold and silver. The men themselves were in good condition, and had evidently been feeding well, and they were rigged out in the new clothes they had obtained from the hawker’s van. They were also fully equipped with arms and had plenty of ammunition.

Daniel Kelly is exactly like the picture of him in the papers. Ned is a good-looking man, with reddish whiskers. A man who had been sent down to repair the telegraph lines walked unsuspectingly into Younghusband’s station and was immediately placed amongst the rest of the prisoners. It had been arranged that a train should stop near the station to pick him up. The gang did not know of this arrangement, and when the train stopped, Ned Kelly said, ‘Here comes a special with bobbies, but we are ready for them. We don’t care how many there are, we will fight them.’ The train, after waiting a short time, moved on. At about half-past 7 o’clock in the evening the prisoners were placed inside a hut, and were ordered to remain there for three hours, one of us being made responsible for the obedience of the rest. I looked at my watch and said, ‘Then we will leave at 11 o’clock.’ Ned Kelly replied, ‘No, not until half-past 11. You must stop here for three hours, and lf any of you leave before then, we will find you out and make it hot for you.’ Just before they left, the man Byrne returned to the door of the hut, and said, ‘I want to see Mr. Scott. Give me your watch.’ I said ‘No, I won’t.’ You can take it if you like, and he accordingly unhooked it from my vest and carried it away.

They rode off at about 9 o’clock and went up the Violet Town Road. We left at about 11 o’clock. Mrs. Scott drove my family home in the buggy, and I walked behind them. My servants walked home along the railway line. My house is within a stone’s throw of the railway station, and about a quarter of a mile from the police office, but no one in the township knew what had taken place until we were released. They, however, suspected that something was wrong on some persons finding my house deserted at 9 o’clock. Constable Anderson was the only policeman in the township, but of him I have heard nothing. In the morning, at about 4 o’clock, a black tracker and a number of policemen arrived from Benalla, and the latter told me that the bushrangers had gone a short distance in the direction of Violet Town but had doubled back. The hawker’s boy who drove the van into my backyard did not attempt to give any alarm. The men threatened to shoot him if he did so, but he really seemed to enjoy the affair as an amusement.

ROBERT McDOUGALL’S NARRATION

While the Kellys and their companions were in possession of Younghusband’s station on Tuesday they evidently kept a good watch on the approaches, so that no information might reach Euroa that would interfere with the successful carrying out of their plan of robbing the National Bank. About 2 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon a party of four men, named R. M. Dougall, H. S. Dudley, Casement, and Tennant, who were returning from the Strathbogie ranges, were stuck up by two of the gang near the station, and compelled to join the other captives there.

From Mr. M’Dougall, who reached Melbourne yesterday afternoon, we have learnt the following interesting particulars with regard to the capture of himself and his companions, and the subsequent events at the station: —

“We had just reached the railway gates, about 100 yards from Young husband’s station, three of us driving, in a spring-cart, and Mr. Tennant on horseback. The gates were shut, and nothing being further from our thoughts than the idea of the Kelly gang being close to us, we were laughingly speculating to each other on the chances of the gates—which are private ones leading into the run—being locked. Mr. Tennant getting down from his horse and finding the gates unlocked, was opening them, when two men suddenly made their appearance, one coming from behind us, on horse- back, and the other advancing on foot in front. Both held revolvers presented and called upon us to ‘bail up.’ The one on horseback (who I afterwards learned was Ned Kelly, the leader of the gang) cried out, ‘Surrender, or you’ll be shot.’ As both the men looked like troopers in plain clothes, and held up handcuffs in their left hands, and as they also accused us of stealing our own trap, we at first thought they were troopers, and Mr. Dudley cried out, ‘What right have you to arrest us?’ and appeared as if he was not going to take any notice of their summons.

Edward Kelly then riding close up to him, shouted in a threatening manner at the same time presenting the revolver at his head, ‘I’ll shoot you dead on the spot if you give me any cheek.’ Fearing Kelly was going to carry out his threat I interposed, asked Dudley to surrender quietly, as it was no use resisting, and told Kelly ‘not to shoot an old man.’ Kelly then said he would not harm the old man if he surrendered quietly.

The two bushrangers (the second being a tall sandy young man, whom his companion called ‘Jack,’ but whose other name I did not hear), then compelled us to drive up to the station. As we approached the gate leading to the station, one of the station hands opening it said in a laughing manner, pointing to Ned Kelly, ‘Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Edward Kelly.’ This was the first positive information—though we had suspected who were our captors—that we were in the hands of the Kelly gang, and the sensation created by the information did not tend to reassure us.

 In fact, we were all greatly frightened, and for myself I may say ‘My heart was in my mouth.’ On reaching the station we found the two others of the gang (Dan Kelly and Stephen Hart) guarding the storeroom in which the manager, Mr. Macauley, and about 20 others were imprisoned, and where they had been, with a few intervals outside allowed to them separately by the gang, for the last 26 hours.

The storeroom is a wooden building about 20 yards away from the rest of the premises, and as it had only one window near the door, it was very easily guarded. Our party of four were put into the room with the others, and there being no means of ventilation we soon found the atmosphere oppressively hot and close. In the meantime, the gang had thrown everything out of our cart, but there was nothing there of any value to them except some firearms and ammunition—viz., a rifle and a double- barrelled gun, 80 bullets, two flasks of powder, and three boxes of caps. Our imprisonment in the storeroom lasted for about eight hours, during which time, however, we were allowed several of us to go out occasionally to obtain a draught of fresh air and some water, but we were never allowed out of sight. The prisoners in the storeroom, I may mention, were all men, the female cook, and some other women employed at the station being allowed to remain in the house.

None of the women were molested, as far as I learnt, in any way, though from some remarks dropped by Dan Kelly (who appeared the greatest ruffian of the lot, and a thorough type of the ‘larrikin’), he did not desire to leave them untroubled. He said something about ‘having a lark with the women,’ but apparently, he was restrained by his brother. During the time we were in the storeroom four trains passed, two each way, and when any of these was heard approaching, we were kept close, and told not to make any noise. Among the prisoners was a hawker who had arrived at the station with a spring-cart full of goods on Monday night, intending to pass the night there. He found himself bailed up, however, on his appearance, and he was put into the storeroom with the others. His arrival was regarded as a piece of especially good luck by the gang, as they were in want of new clothes, and his cart contained materials for providing them all with a new outfit, even to the boots. They had all on their new clothes when we got to the station, and we saw their old ones burning. At about half past 2 o’clock the gang who openly stated their intention of robbing the Euroa bank—proceeded to destroy the telegraph communication, leaving us guarded by one of their members. They got tomahawks and cut down one of the telegraph posts, tearing away also the wire for a considerable length, so that it could not be repaired with the usual quantity of wire carried by a line repairer. While doing this they made a further capture of four men who were working on the line, and who saw them cutting the wires.

The men, on being told to surrender and learning that their captors were the Kelly gang, made no resistance whatever, and were at once marched up to the storeroom, into which they were put with the rest of us. The severance of the telegraph communication was apparently very soon learned at Euroa, or else the line had been cut before, as the up-goods train which came in sight not long afterwards let down a line-repairer opposite the station. The gang concealed themselves, and we could see the man’s movements from the window. He evidently soon saw that the line had not been injured by accident, and he was coming up to the station for assistance when he was suddenly pulled up by a summons to put his hands up, which he did with the most rapid obedience.

He was then, having been searched, put in the storeroom with the others. We learned that his name was Watts, and several questions were put to him by the bushrangers as to the number of police at Euroa and Violet Town. At half-past three o’clock Ned and Dan Kelly and Stephen Hart started for Euroa for the purpose, as they expressly stated, of robbing the bank. They left their horses in the paddock and drove away in the two spring-carts—ours and the hawker’s.

The tall unknown bushranger, ‘Jack,’ was left to guard us, which he did by patrolling round the building continually. He was very heavily armed, having two revolvers in his belt, a double-barrelled gun in his hand, and two rifles placed within easy reach.

While the Kellys were away, finding that there were some 15 or 16 axes stored in the building, I suggested that if parties of men commenced simultaneously assailing the four sides of the building with the axes, we could soon get free, as it would be impossible for the one bushranger to look after all sides at once. The proposition, however, was condemned by the manager, and found no support indeed at all, as it was evident that at least one of us must be shot in the attempt, and each one appeared to think it likely that he would be the ‘one.’ Besides, it was generally urged we had nothing to gain by the attempt which would compensate for the great risk, as we were pretty sure of being released when the Kellys had returned from robbing the bank.

The distance from the station to Euroa is under four miles, and we calculated that the rest of the gang could not be long in returning if they succeeded in their enterprise. This proved to be correct, as it was only about half past 5 o’clock when they made their reappearance with a large further addition to their list of captives. They brought with them Mr. Scott, the bank manager, Mrs. Scott, and seven children, two servants, the accountant of the bank, and the clerk. The men were put with us in the storeroom, and Mrs. Scott and the children and servants were sent into the station house. Besides the spring carts, the bushrangers on their return had brought with them Mr. Scott’s buggy, in which Mrs. Scott and some of the other prisoners were driven out. Tea was made by the servants soon afterwards, and was given to Mrs. Scott (who was not, apparently, very much frightened) and the children.

Having had their tea, we soon saw, much to our relief, the gang making evident preparations for their departure. The spoil they had taken from the bank was packed up and distributed among the gang, with the firearms they had taken from us and Mr. Scott. Two hours more elapsed, however, before we got rid of them. Having then mounted their horses (three of which were bays, and that ridden by Edward Kelly an iron grey—all being good animals, and in excellent condition), the men began to ride up and down in a boastful and braggadocio manner. After a few flourishes of this kind Edward Kelly—who had assumed the leadership of the gang throughout and did most of the speaking—came over to the storeroom and announced that they were going away, warning us that we were not to stir for three hours. It was then about half-past 8 o’clock. ‘If one of you leaves this spot,’ said he, ‘within three hours I will shoot that man dead. You can’t any of you escape me in this country; I can track you anywhere, and I’ll keep my word.’ He then called to Mr. Macauley to come to the front, when he told him he would hold him responsible for the escape of any of the prisoners until the period he named had expired. ‘Mind, if you let one of them go,’ said he, ‘I’ll meet you some time or other and then you may consider yourself a dead man.’ After they were gone some of us talked of getting away, but as it was feared they might have left one of the gangs to watch for some time, the majority were for remaining until the three hours had nearly elapsed. The station hands took the matter very easily, and cards being forthcoming, they passed the time away chiefly in playing. Knowing that nothing serious was likely to happen to them, most of them looked upon the affair as a good joke, which had cost them nothing beyond their confinement.

At length, at half-past 10 o’clock, we all agreed that it was time to get out, which, of course, we had no difficulty in doing. Mr. and Mrs. Scott and family returned to Euroa, which they did not reach, I believe, till midnight. All the rest stopped at the station for the night, with the exception of myself and Mr. Casement, who is a farmer. His house is situated not far from the station and was uninhabited during his absence. On our arrival at his house, where I spent the night, he expressed his belief that the gang had been there, as there were glasses on the table, and the door was open, whereas, he said, he thought he had arranged the house, and shut the door when he went away.

As, however, some money that was left exposed on the mantelpiece, had not been touched, it is probable that the gang did not enter his house. I may mention with regard to the conduct of the gang during our imprisonment, that although domineering in giving their orders, no attempt at violence or roughness was made on any of us. Ned Kelly was the most communicative of the lot and conversed freely with several of his prisoners during the afternoon, asking questions as to the movements of the police, and the “kickup” which the gang had created among the force. He avoided any reference to the police murders beyond displaying Sergeant Kennedy’s gold watch, and I also saw that he carried the sergeant’s short Spencer rifle slung across his shoulder. The only thing of value Ned Kelly took from me was a silver watch, and on my telling him that it was ‘a keepsake from my mother,’ he shivered and said, ‘No; we’ll never take that,’ and he returned it, taking, however a watch from Mr. Macauley instead.

I forgot to state, also, that, before going to rob the bank Ned Kelly asked Mr. Macauley whether he had any funds in the Euroa Bank, and on the latter not answering, Kelly demanded that he should write a cheque. This Macauley refused to do, but one of the gang, on searching a desk in the house, found a cheque already signed by Macauley, and this Ned Kelly said would “do.” It was evident that as they intended to rob the bank, they did not want the cheque for the purpose of cashing it, but in order to gain entrance to the bank without exciting any suspicion. On leaving us the bushrangers were all splendidly armed, and well supplied with ammunition. As to whether they went my opinion is that they made direct for the Strathbogie Ranges, where it will be very difficult to capture them owing to the nature of the country.”

THE STICKING-UP OF THE FAITHFUL CKEEK STATION [BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.]

(FROM OUR SPECIAL REPORTER.)

 EUROA, Wednesday, 11 p.m

The excitement that has been so long felt as to the movements of the Kelly gang since the murders at the Wombat Creek has been renewed in a quarter totally unexpected. There was a strong belief that they were in the ranges somewhere near the locality of the murders; it was never thought that they were anywhere near this portion of the country, but from what has been gleaned from their own lips, it appears they have been in the vicinity of this place for the past three weeks. That they have not been far away is made plainly evident by their last exploit, for it is quite plain from the cool systematic manner in which they have for the past two days held possession of the station at Faithfull’s Creek, owned by Mr Younghusband, and then, in broad daylight, walked into the National Bank at Euroa, and, in addition to helping themselves to what money was in the place, calmly and deliberately took prisoners and carried away from the township the whole the residents in the bank, that  the four ruffians have been watching the place for some time, and have laid their plans accordingly.

There is also a certain amount of grim humour in the story how nearly 20 men allowed themselves to be held in durance for over 21 hours by four cool, determined men. Euroa is a small township on the North-Eastern, nearly 100 miles from Melbourne. A considerable amount of business is, however, done in the place, as it is the outlet for a large agricultural district reaching down the valley of the Goulburn River, at the back of it, and but a short distance away are the Strathbogie Ranges.

These are a continuation of the Glenmore Ranges, and the same country continues right up to Mansfield, and still further to the north-east the S.E. ranges are lofty, and thickly timbered, giving excellent cover for any persons trying to escape from justice.

In the township of Euroa there are several substantial brick buildings, one of the principals being the branch of the National Bank, which faces the railway line, and being a corner building, is the last one in the township proper. About three miles further along the line is the Faithfulls Creek Station, the homestead of which is only about a stone’s throw from the railway line. The station is owned by Mr.Younghusband, but is managed by Mr. Macaulay, and there are the usual employees to be found on a station.

The homestead consists of a comfortable well- built house, while the men’s quarters and storehouse are built of slabs, and closely adjacent. From what can be learned it appears that shortly after noon on Monday one of the employees on the station named Fitzgerald was just sitting down to dinner in his hut, when a bushman quietly sauntered up to the door, and taking his pipe out of his mouth, inquired if Mr. Macaulay, the overseer, was about. Fitzgerald replied, “No, he will be back towards evening. Is it anything particular? Perhaps I will do as well.” The bushman said, “No, never mind; it is of no consequence,” and then walked away from the hut door. Fitzgerald continued to eat his dinner without taking notice of the man but happened to glance after him. A minute or two subsequently he saw him beckoning to some person in the distance. About five minutes later two more rough-looking characters joined the bushman. They were leading very fine horses, in splendid condition. There were three bays and a grey. The bushman then proceeded to the house, and walking in, met Mrs. Fitzgerald, the wife of the employee mentioned, who was engaged in some household duties. The old dame, considerably surprised at the stranger walking in without an invitation, asked him who he was, and what he wanted. He said, “I am Ned Kelly, but don’t be afraid; we shall do you no harm, but you will have to give us some refreshments, and food for our horses. That’s all we want.” She was naturally surprised, and at once called out for her husband. Fitzgerald left his dinner in the hut and walked over to the house where his spouse introduced him to the stranger, saying “There’s Mr. Kelly; he wants some refreshment and food for his horse.” By this time Kelly had drawn his revolver, evidently to show them that there was no joking on his part, and Fitzgerald, no doubt thinking discretion the better part of valour, accepted the inevitable, and resignedly said, “Well, of course, if the gentlemen want any refreshment, they must have it.” Ned Kelly then entered into conversation with the people making several inquiries about the station and the number of men employed on it. To all his questions satisfactory answers were given.

While this was going on, the other two men—one of whom was Dan Kelly found out the horse feed, and were busily engaged feeding the horses, while it was noticed by Fitzgerald and his wife that a fourth man was standing at the gate, evidently keeping watch. After getting all the information he could out of Fitzgerald, Kelly made the man go into a building used as a store and fastened the door on him, leaving the woman at liberty, and at the same time repeating the assurance that no harm was intended to anybody. As the station hands came up to the huts to get their dinner they were very quietly ordered to bail up and were unresistingly marched into the storehouse and locked up with Fitzgerald, no violence being offered them, as they went quietly. Later in the afternoon, Mr. Macaulay, who had been to one of the out-stations, came quietly homewards, and when crossing the bridge over the creek which led up to the station, he noticed with some surprise the quietness that reigned about the place, and the absence of the station hands about the huts.

However, he did not give it a second thought, and proceeded on his way until nearing the storehouse, when he suddenly reigned up. This was in consequence of Fitzgerald calling out to him from the building, “The Kellys are here; you will have to bail up.”

He could not believe this at first, but almost immediately Ned Kelly came out of the house, and covering him with his revolver, ordered him to bail up. Macaulay, without dismounting said, ‘What is the good of your sticking up the station? we have got no better horse than those you have.” Ned Kelly replied, “We are not going to take anything; we only want some food and rest for our horses and sleep for ourselves.” Macaulay, seeing it was no good to offer any resistance, at once dismounted and surrendered, but they did not treat him the same as the others, allowing him to remain at liberty, but at the same time keeping a watchful eye upon him. Even then Macaulay did not believe it was the Kelly gang,

but when Dan Kelly came out of the house he recognised, as he said, “his ugly face” at once from the portraits he had seen of him. He said to them, “Well, as we are to remain here, we may as well make ourselves as comfortable as possible and have our tea.” The Kellys were, however, too cautious and would not all sit down at once. Two of them had their meals, while the other two kept watch until they were relieved. They also took great care that some of the prisoners should taste the food first, being apparently afraid of poison being administered to them.

About this time a hawker named Gloster, who has a shop at Seymour, but is in the habit of travelling about the country with a general assortment of clothing and fancy goods, drove his wagon up to the entrance of the station, and according to his usual custom unharnessed his horses, and made preparations for camping out for the night. Having made all in readiness, he walked up to the station to get some water to make his tea with. When he reached the hut, he was told the Kellys were here, and that he would have to bail up.

Macauley, knowing this man Gloster to be a plucky fellow, was afraid that he might draw his revolver, and that there would be bloodshed. However, Gloster got his water from the kitchen and was going back to his cart, when Ned Kelly called out to him to stop. He turned round, and looked at the man, but supposing it was only a lark, he went on his way. Dan Kelly immediately raised his gun, and was about to fire, when Ned Kelly prevented him from doing so, and at the same time Macauley called out to him to “bail up” in older to prevent bloodshed. Gloster, who appears to have been a pretty obstinate fellow, took no notice of the threats of the Kellys or the entreaties of Macauley, and steadily continued on his way, and got up into his cart. Ned Kelly appeared to be losing his temper, and went down to the cart, followed by his brother Dan. Ned then put his revolver to Gloster’s cheek, and ordered him to come out of the cart, or he would blow his brains out. Several angry words passed between them, and it was only by the endeavours of Macauley that Kelly was prevented from shooting Gloster.

Ned Kelly at last said he would let him off this time, and at the same time praised his own moderation by saying that not one man in a hundred would have dealt so leniently with him after the manner in which he had behaved. Dan Kelly was evidently eager for blood, as he expressed a strong wish “to put a bullet through the — wretch.” Gloster was at last marched up to the store room and locked up with the other prisoners. The four ruffians then proceeded to thoroughly ransack the hawker’s cart and provided themselves with a new fit out. They made regular bush dandies of themselves and helped themselves pretty freely to the contents of the scent-bottles which they found among his stock. They also took what firearms he had. Before going to bed for the night, the Kellys opened the door of the storeroom, and let the party out for a little while to get some fresh air, but at the same time keeping their revolvers in their hands and watching their prisoners very closely. While they were all smoking their pipes together, a friendly conversation took place between the gang and their prisoners.

THE MURDER OF SERGEANT KENNEDY

In the course of this conversation, the Kellys referred to the Mansfield murders. Ned Kelly said he was dead sorry that Sergeant Kennedy was shot, he had no intention of shooting him if he had surrendered. Kennedy fired five shots at them as he was escaping, some of which grazed Kelly’s clothes, and one hit him in the sleeve of the coat. Kennedy was making for a tree, and was partly sheltered, when he was first hit in the arm. This caused him instinctively to move his arm up, and Kelly, thinking he was taking aim at him, shot him in the side, and he fell, for which he (Kelly) was very sorry. As for McIntyre he was a d—d coward. When Kennedy rode into the camp, and was ordered to bail up, he dismounted on the offside, so as to keep his horse between himself and the levelled rifles, but directly he was out of the saddle, McIntyre jumped on the back of the horse and rode away without ever looking round to see whether he could give his comrade any assistance. They also referred to Constable Fitzpatrick, whom Ned Kelly stigmatised as an infernal liar, as he could prove he was 15 miles away at the time Fitzpatrick was shot in the wrist.

FURTHER STATION INCIDENTS

Kelly also stated that they had written a long letter to the Legislative Council, giving the whole of the circumstances that had led them into their present career. Mrs. Fitzgerald was induced to obtain the postage stamps to enable them to forward this precious document, of which more will probably be heard. She says there were several sheets of paper covered with beautiful writing, and it was duly posted. Having locked up their prisoners for the night, two of the gang went to sleep, while the others were keeping watch. Early next morning they were all up, and breakfast having been partaken of, one of the gang was sent by their leader, Ned Kelly, to render the telegraph wires unfit for use. There are wires on both sides of the line. On the west side there is a single line belonging to the Railway department, while on the opposite side are four lines used for the general business of the colony. These are sustained on light iron poles. In order to destroy the railway line the earthenware insulator was broken, and the line then fell to the ground. A great deal more damage was, however, done to the other lines, as the ruffians took some stout poles and smashed seven or eight of the cast-iron poles, and then twisted the wires into an inextricable maze. The Kellys appeared to be very uneasy when the trains passed up and down the line, as the homestead is close to the line. The passengers were plainly seen from the homestead looking at the broken telegraph wires. During the morning four platelayers passed the spot, and they were at once bailed up and marched into the storeroom along with the other prisoners. About 1 o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday, two men named Casement and Tennant, who live on the opposite side of the railway station, were returning from a kangarooing excursion, and had to pass the station before crossing the railway to their own place.

Tannant was on horseback, while Casement was driving a spring-cart, in which were two guns. As they were passing the gates leading to the station, they saw two men on foot, one of whom called out, “Bail up! I am Ned Kelly,” at the same time seizing hold of Tennant’s bridle. Tennant called out to him to let go, to which Kelly replied by ordering him to dismount, at the same time tightening his grip on the bridle. Tennant said, “Mind what you are about, or it will be worse for you,” to which Kelly replied, “Good God! will you get down. I am Ned Kelly, and if you won’t I will blow your brains out.” Tennant there upon dismounted, and saying, “Oh, if that is the case, let’s load our guns,” at the same time making for the cart, into which he jumped with the evident intention of doing as he said. Kelly was evidently losing his temper, and again said, “Good God, won’t you come out of the cart?” Some more angry words passed between them, and at last Kelly in a paroxysm of passion threw his rifle on the ground, and, clenching his fists, said, “Come and have it out with me fairly. That is the first of Ned Kelly, and it will not be long before you feel the weight of it.” Tennant, however, declined to accept the challenge, but deemed it advisable to get out of the cart before there was any more trouble. Kelly then ordered them to open the gate leading up to the station; but again, Tennant refused. Kelly then put his revolver between Tennant’s teeth, and swore that if he did not at once open the gate, he would blow his brains out. To prevent such an occurrence Tennant did as he was ordered, and he and his companion were sent to join the others in captivity. Soon after this the afternoon uptrain stopped, and a man got out, who proved to be a line-repairer, sent down from Benalla to see what was wrong with the line. As soon as the train passed out of sight the man was made prisoner, and also locked up in the store. When this was done, Ned Kelly went to Mr. Macaulay and asked him to write a cheque for him on the National Bank at Euroa. This Macaulay refused to do, but in searching the desk Kelly found a cheque for £4 and some odd shillings. He said that would answer his purpose as he only wanted it to gain an entry into the bank with. Macaulay said that of course he could not prevent him from taking it, but he would not sign any cheques. The gang now prepared to make a start, Kelly saying they were going into the township, and that all the crowd would have to remain locked up until he came back, and then, for the first time, he made Macaulay go into the store and be locked up. He decided to leave one of the gang named Byrne as sentry over them, and in order to secure their quietness while he was away one of the prisoners was taken out and kept covered with Byrne’s rifle, with the intimation that if he or any of the party attempted to escape he would be shot. This preliminary business having been satisfactorily settled, three of the ruffians left the station, Ned Kelly driving Casement’s spring-cart, Dan Kelly driving the hawker’s cart, and the third man accompanying them on horseback, the party proceeding direct to Euroa.

THE BANK ROBBERY

The next appearance they made was at the National Bank at Euroa where in a most impudent manner in broad daylight they cleared out the money in the bank, and made prisoners of the 12 persons living there, without any person in the township being a bit the wiser. The bank was closed at the usual business hour, 3 o’clock, and at a quarter to 4 o’clock the two clerks, Messrs. Booth and Bradley, were engaged in balancing their books, while Mr. Scott, the manager, was in his room close by. A knock was heard at the door, and Mr. Booth asked Mr. Bradley, who was nearest the door, to open it, and see who it was. On the door being opened a bushman presented a cheque of Mr. Macaulay’s for £4, saying he wanted it cashed. He was told he was too late, and he then asked to see Mr. Scott, the manager. Mr. Bradley said it was too late for that day as all the cash was locked up. Up to this time the door had only been partially opened, but the man then pushed his way in, saying, “I am Ned Kelly.” He was immediately followed by another of the gang, and both drew their revolvers and forced the clerks to go into the manager’s room, whichwas just behind the banking chamber.

As soon as they got in Ned Kelly ordered Mr. Scott to go and tell the females in the house what visitors they had. It should here be said that in addition to Mr. Scott and the two clerks, there were also in the house Mrs. Scott, her family of five children, Mrs. Scott’s mother, and two female servants. Mr. Scott, in going to inform the women of what had taken place, had to cross the main passage which runs through the house, and he then saw a third man, who proved to Dan Kelly, keeping watch at the back door, he having also brought in the two servants from the outbuildings. As soon as they were all assembled in the passage, Ned Kelly demanded the money in the bank. As Mr. Scott kept one key of the strong chest, and Mr. Bradley the other, Mr. Scott replied that it was not altogether in his charge. Kelly at once turned to Mr. Bradley, and putting his revolver to his head, said he would hold him responsible for the money, and he had better get it at once. After some little delay and hesitation, Mr. Bradley handed him over the keys, and Kelly then proceeded to search the strong chest.

He took all the money and notes out of it and placed it on the counter. There was about £1,500 in notes and nearly £300 in gold. Ned Kelly went outside, and brought in a small gunnybag, into which he stuffed the notes and gold. Turning to Mr. Scott he said “I see you have a buggy in the yard. You had better put the horse in, as I shall have to take the whole of you a little way into the bush, and it will be more comfortable for the women than the carts we have.” Mr. Scott said that his groom was away, and Kelly thereupon went out and harnessed the horse and buggy him- self, having previously told the females to get themselves and the children ready for a journey. Before leaving the place, however, he put the bank books back in the strongroom, and locked the place up, and also made fast the side door. The whole party then went out into the backyard, where the hawker’s wagon was standing. Mr. Bradley, Mr. Booth, and three of the children were then placed in the wagon, and Dan Kelly took the charge of them. Mrs. Scott and her mother, with the other two children and one of the women servants, were placed in Mr. Scott’s trap, which Mrs. Scott was ordered to drive.

The other cart, which was that taken from Casement, was driven by Ned Kelly, and in it were placed Mr. Scott and one of the servants. The third man of the gang rode on horseback and was recognised by one of the servants as a man named Stephen Hart, whom she had seen in Wangaratta. This is the man whose name was mentioned in the outlawry proclamation as a man supposed to be King. After proceeding some distance on the road, Dan Kelly lost sight of Ned, who had been bringing up the rear, and he then arranged that Hart should ride back and see what had become of him. Dan then took his seat at the back of the wagon, in order to see that Mrs. Scott closely followed him in the trap, and they then drove rapidly to the Faithful Creek Station. The women were allowed to go on to the house, and Byrne, who had been keeping sentry over the prisoners, opened the door and allowed the captives to come out.

Ned Kelly arrived directly afterwards, and took the money out of his cart, and securely strapped it on the front of his saddle. About a quarter to 9 the ruffians prepared for a start, but before doing so Ned Kelly locked the captives all up with the exception of Macauley. Kelly directed Macauley to keep the rest prisoners for three hours longer, and at the same time impressing upon him the fact that the gang would be in the vicinity, and if he let any of the prisoners go before the hour fixed, he would be held responsible for it. Kelly and his mates then rode away in the direction of Violet Town. About half an hour afterwards Macauley allowed tbe prisoners to come out of the store to get some fresh air but would not allow them to depart until the time fixed previous to their departure. The Kellys had, however, driven away the horses belonging to the two carts, and there was only Mr. Scott’s buggy left to take the whole party home.

The women were therefore put in the buggy and driven back, while the men walked down the line to Euroa, and at once gave information to the authorities of what had occurred. Owing to the prompt action of Mr. Gorman, the stationmaster at Euroa, the telegraph line was repaired and communication re- stored with Benalla very soon afterwards. Information of the occurrence was then sent to Superintendent Nicolson, and a special tram arrived in the course of the night, bring- nig down a party of troopers and a black tracker, who are now out picking up the trail of the gang.

FURTHER PARTICULARS

[BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.] (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENTS.)

BENALLA, Wednesday

On Sunday last it was currently rumoured in Benalla that the Kelly gang had again made their appearance in this district, and that a few days before they had actually been seen and provisions planted for them in the ranges which lie in close proximity to Violet Town. Nothing, however, of a tangible nature could be gleaned of the precise whereabouts or movements of the gang. Those presumed to be in the secret were terrified from giving correct information to the police owing to the number of sympathisers the outlaws have in all parts of the district. The police evidently attached some importance to the rumours which were prevalent on Sunday and Monday last, for some of them were told off to do special duty on the old Sydney-road, between this township and Violet Town. But all efforts on their part are, no doubt, carefully watched, and thus their endeavours are continually checkmated. Even at the present moment it is known that a bold relation of the Kellys is residing in a boarding-house in this town, and during the past few days it has been particularly noticeable that either the Wrights or the Lloyds have been in and out nearly every day. Strange to say some old residents, who are well acquainted with the tactics of the Kellys in the bygone horse and cattle-stealing days, predicted that something would be heard of the gang in a day or two. These predictions have been more than verified.

About a dozen troopers with their horses arrived at the station about 1 a.m. this morning, and at half-past 3 a.m. a second special from Wodonga to Euroa with police passed through Benalla. At half-past 7, Superintendent Nicolson, accompanied by Mr. Wyatt, P. M., left Benalla for Euroa to direct the movements of the police.

DESCRIPTION OF THE OUTLAWS

The names of the two unknown offenders have now been ascertained beyond doubt to be Stephen Hart and Joseph Byrne. Stephen Hart is described as being 20 or 21 years of age, 5ft. 6in. in height, having fresh complexion, brown hair, and hazel eyes. He was convicted at Wangaratta in July, 1877, on 13 charges of illegally using horses, for which he received the very inadequate sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment with hard labour. He got off lightly in consequence of never having been previously convicted. Joseph Byrne is described as being 21 or 22 years of age, about 5ft. 10in. in height, having fresh complexion, light brown hair, and blue eyes. He was convicted at Beechworth in May 1876, for having meat unlawfully in his possession, and got a sentence of six months’ imprisonment. This was also his first conviction.

Byrne’s mother lives in a hut in the ranges, not far from the Rats’ Castle. This was one of the huts searched by the police a few days after the police murders were committed. The clothes the offenders now wear  those which they appropriated from the hawker’s cart, and are described as follows: —

Ned Kelly—Grey tweed trousers and vest, dark coat, and drab felt hat.

Dan Kelly: —Grey tweed trousers and vest, black coat, and white felt hat. Hart—Dark grey tweed suit, and white felt hat.

Byrne—Light grey tweed suit, and light felt hat. All the hats are supplied with elastic chin bands. Ned Kelly has now a long beard. The gang are armed with two double-barrelled guns, two single- barrelled guns, a Spencer rifle and eight revolvers.

The Kellys are long gone, but the tussle between law breakers and law enforcers still continues.

 

 

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