By Carol Baxter
It was once the biggest financial institution theft in Australian heritage. On Sunday 14 September 1828, thieves tunnelled via a sewage drain into the vault of Sydney's financial institution of Australia and stole 14 000 in notes and money - the an identical of $20 million in brand new forex. This audacious crew of convicts not just defied the weekly exhortation 'thou shalt no longer steal!', they exact the financial institution owned by way of the colony's self-anointed the Aristocracy.
Delighted at this affront to their betters, Sydney's principally felony and ex-criminal inhabitants did all they can to undermine the experts' makes an attempt to seize the robbers and retrieve the spoils. whereas the determined financial institution administrators provided more and more huge rewards and the govt. officials solid longing appears on the gallows, the robbers persisted to elude detection. Then someday .
With a wealthy solid of characters who refused to abase themselves to the institution, this meticulously researched and fast paced heritage tells the tale of the bold financial institution of Australia theft and of the scheming robbers, grasping receivers and unlucky suspects whose lives have been irrevocably replaced through this outrageous crime.
On An impossible to resist Temptation
'. a piece that captures the reader. . . a superb instance of the way a great tale can light up the past.' - affiliate Professor Gregory Melleuish, Australian Literary Review
'. [told] with a great eye for the advanced motivations, either political and private, of characters [Baxter] paints a shiny photograph of Jane New's world.' - Dr Kirsten McKenzie, Sydney Morning Herald
'. [a] bright social history.' Canberra Times
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Extra resources for Breaking the Bank: An Extraordinary Colonial Robbery
There he met bootmaker John Byrne; the two would later lodge together. Despite colonial retransportation, Dingle’s criminal inclinations continued. In 1824 he was ordered to serve fourteen days in a gaol gang—‘hard labour in irons’—and fourteen nights in the cells for the theft of some casks and buckets. Another ‘possession’ charge a few months later sent him to the Port Macquarie penal settlement to serve out the remainder of his Irish sentence of transportation. Sometime after his return to Sydney late in 1826 he acquired another friend, shoemaker George Farrell.
QX5 5/3/08 10:14 AM Page 41 Reformation or recidivism? Turner had initially intended to participate in the robbery. No doubt the loss of his ticket-of-leave late in August 1828 for drinking with prisoners late at night in a public house and afterwards being insolent to the magistrate hampered his plans. However, others pursued them. Turner had already communicated the critical measurements, described the necessary tools and suggested that a skilled blacksmith be recruited to forge them. The name William Blackstone surfaced.
Or attempted to. Despite its prominent position glowering over the ‘Rocks’, as the rocky hillside on the western shore of the cove was called, the church couldn’t curb the activities of its residents. ‘That fortress of iniquity,’ blasted one contemporary, describing the haphazard tiers of rickety houses and fetid lanes which provided homes for Sydney’s poorer classes, a haven for convict runaways, and a haunt for those prowling for loose women or the colonial elixir—rum. The Rocks had shrugged off the church’s frowns, kicked off the law’s chains.