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Title: Breaking the Bank: An extraordinary colonial robbery
Contributor(s): Baxter, Carol  (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: At 10 am on 15 September 1828 a messenger dashed out of Sydney's Bank of Australia, raced down George Street and burst into the police office. Messengers were a familiar sight on Sydney's earthen streets as they zigzagged through jostling crowds and darted around horse-drawn carts, bullocks and gangs of fettered convicts. But this particular messenger had pushed through the crowds with the heedlessness of urgency. Merchants striding from the docks to their shops, matrons hastening home with baskets of provisions, urchins frolicking around ankles: all turned to watch and to listen. The news filtered from the police office even before the constables thrust open the door and bustled out. Thieves had plundered the Bank of Australia. Not the overflowing cash drawers guarded by the tellers or the neatly stacked wads caressed by the directors - the vault itself. The news surged across Sydney with the swiftness of a flash-flood. Rumours gurgled in its wake. An inside job? Skeleton keys? No, a hand-dug tunnel. No: a sewage drain! Crowds swarmed around men hammering news bills onto prominent doors, walls and posts, begging an answer to that crucial question: 'How much? Haughty government officers sporting their £100 to £200 incomes, hardy artisans toiling for £40 to £60 per year, weary housemaids struggling on a £6 to £15 subsistence, penniless but hopeful convicts: all eagerly jockeyed to hear the response. 'Fourteen thousand pounds!' ... While the newspapers heckled, the citizens crowed and the bank directors fumed, the most vital question of all still demanded an answer: Who had the effrontery to commit such a crime in a penal settlement, of all places?
Publication Type: Book
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Place of Publication: Sydney, Australia
ISBN: 9781741754490
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
HERDC Category Description: A1 Authored Book - Scholarly
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Extent of Pages: 350
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Downloads: 2
Appears in Collections:Book

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