Spotlight: ROBBERY OF THE NORTHERN MAIL, BY THUNDERBOLT.

Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893), Tuesday 30 April 1867, page 2


ROBBERY OF THE NORTHERN MAIL, BY THUNDERBOLT.


(From the Armidale Express, April 27.)

On Sunday night, about half-past nine, as Mr. Brereton was driving the down Northern mail coach, and had arrived about three miles on the Tamworth side of Bendemeer, a person rode up and asked if the escort was with the coach. On Mr. B replying in the negative, he was directed to bail up by the armed bushranger, who, he states was Thunderbolt, and in whose company was a lad (possibly the half-caste woman). After an unsuccessful attempt to proceed Mr. Brereton was obliged to comply with the demand and the coach was taken a convenient distance off the road into a scrub, and the bushranger ordered the only passenger, an old man, to throw out the mail bags, which he did. Thunderbolt then examined the letters, in which there appeared to be little money, but he pocketed what was believed to be a number of cheques. When about to decamp he told the mailman to gather up the opened letters. He and the lad then left, in the direction apparently of Hall’s Creek, on the Namoi. Nothing was taken from the driver or the passenger. It is believed that there was not much value in the mail, and from Armidale it appears there were no registered letters. The sticking up occurred close to one of Mr. Perry’s sheep stations, so near that the persons at the station heard people talking at a short distance, although they did not know what about. In the morning, on going down to the scrub, they saw that the mail had been robbed and reported it.

It is believed that prior to the robbery, Thunderbolt let loose a knocked-up horse, belonging to Mr Gill, outside Mr Perry’s paddock, from which he took a valuable horse of Mr Perry’s. The following being Easter Monday and a holiday, the news did not reach Armidale till the afternoon, when Inspector Brown left with some troopers for the scene of the robbery. But although police from Armidale, Bendemeer, Walcha, Tamworth and Nundle were out as soon as the report reached them, we can hear nothing of their having discovered any trace of Thunderbolt and his companion since they left the spot, although they made enquiries at the various stations, and endeavoured to intercept the bushranger at spots which he is now known to have passed on former occasions.

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