R.— Intelligence reached Melbourne, yesterday of the self-destruction of John Francis, the approver in the Escort robbery. The affair occurred yesterday morning at the Rocky Water Holes, a few miles from Melbourne, and from what can be as yet ascertained, it appears that Francis and the other persons in custody on their way to Melbourne, stopped at the Water Holes on Monday night.
Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 – 1856), Tuesday 30 August 1853, page 1 THE PRIVATE ESCORT ROBBERY. EXAMINATION OF THE PRISONERS. The following prisoners (handcuffed) were placed at the bar, viz.:—George Elston, George Melville, George Wilson. William Atkins, Edward McEvoy, and Robert Harding. Agnes Atkins, charged as an accessory, was allowed a chair. Mr. Read complained to the court that his clients were placed at the bar in shackles, which was a breach of the constitutional laws of England. The bench declined to make any order with reference to Mr Read’s remarks. Mr. James Ashley, sworn — From … Continue reading Spotlight: The Private Escort Robbery. Examination of the Prisoners. (30/08/1853)
Yesterday, at the District Police Court, the following prisoners charged with being concerned in the robbery of the Private Escort Company, were brought up handcuffed for examination:— George Elston, Robert Harding, Edward McEvoy, George Wilson, George Melville, and William Atkyns. Agnes Atkyns, his wife, was also accused of being an accessary after the fact. The female prisoner was greatly excited, and was accommodated with a seat under the Bench. She frequently interrupted the proceedings by her sobs, when the evidence was such as to affect her husband.
Mr. Read appeared for the prisoners, and applied to have their handcuffs removed, which was immediately done. He then stated that he had been refused all intercourse with his clients, and prayed for permission to put himself in communication with them, which was granted.
The forgotten story of “Yankee Tom” Menard, who operated in Victoria during the gold rush. Continue reading Forgotten Bushrangers: Thomas Menard
A report on the McIvor escort robbery and Francis Christie’s supposed involvement. Continue reading Spotlight: Victoria – The Escort Robbery
The Melbourne Gold Escort Company was robbed last night. I have just been speaking to the manager; he says that the Escort left McIvor yesterday evening, to proceed to Kyneton, meeting there the Forest Creek Escort, belonging to the same Company; that about half way between McIvor and Kyneton, the Escort was fired on from some rocks, close to the track, the leading horse shot, and one of the mounted men in charge of the Escort, and others were wounded; the Gold, amounting to over three thousand ounces, was then carried off; it does not appear that the Escort Guard returned the shots.
Yesterday was enacted in the Beechworth Gaol, one of those tragedies which are the necessity, as they are the curse, of civilised communities. Two men, James Smith and Thomas Brady were hanged till they were dead. They had been convicted of one of the most causeless and brutal murders which has ever occurred in this colony. John Watt, of Wooragee, a man who was never known to do an ill turn to another, was shot down in his own house, without provocation, and he died from the effects of his wounds. Continue reading Spotlight: The Execution of Smith and Brady (13 May 1873)
The Benalla Police Court was crowded yesterday to see the young bushranger Kelly, and to hear the result of the charges laid against him. The prisoner has greatly improved under the better and regular diet he has had since his incarceration, and has become quite “flash.” We are told that his language is hideous, and if he recover his liberty at Kyneton, and again join Power—as no doubt he soon would—we are inclined to think he would be far more dangerous than heretofore. Continue reading Spotlight: Young Kelly on remand (13 May 1870)
James Smith, Thomas Brady and William Happenstein, three men in the garb of bushmen, were charged with robbery under arms, and attempted murder at Wooragee. Mr Superintendent Barclay said that the defendants had been to a certain extent identified by some of the persons who were present when the robberies took place; as, however, they had only been arrested on Saturday afternoon, he would ask for a remand, in order that proper enquiries might be made. Remanded till Monday next. Continue reading Spotlight: Smith and Brady on Trial (22 October 1872)
I have no hesitation in saying that he is identical with the Gipsy Smith who in 1857 became a notorious bushranger in Victoria, and who was as famed for his daring and successful robberies as for his good humour and courtesy to his victims. Brisbane at that date was known in Victoria as Moreton Bay, and Gipsy Smith often regaled his victims with a recital of pranks he played while up here. Strange to say he presented none of the physical marks of the “old hand,” the “Vandemonian,” or the “t’other sider,” as these ex-convicts were called, on his person or in his manner. That was strange, for I have seen here in Australia those people, male and female, in every position of life, in Parliament, on the bench, and in the police, in the mansion and in the hovel, all displaying the indelible brand of the brutal system with which demons in human form treated them while convicts from the old country. Continue reading Spotlight: Gipsy Smith the Victorian Bushranger (23 April 1904)