The Argus at KellyGang 20/8/1879 (5)

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(full text transcription)

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Lancefield robbery

They then cut across the country from Heathcote to the Campaspe river, which they struck about five miles below Kimbolton station. They crossed the river, and in a little while came to a Mrs Purvis a place. From this woman they hired a spring cart to bring them to Sandhurst. They paid 15s for the cart, and the woman's son-Alfred Purvis-drove them in. The contract thus made would have been fulfilled properly enough, no doubt, but for the horse having broken down a mile or so outside of Sandhurst. To use the expressive phrase of the narrator, he had to be 'propped up', and the journey was concluded on foot. In the course of the interview with Mrs Purvis, the prisoners displayed, as they apparently did on every opportunity, rolls of notes and parcels of sovereigns.

Lowe staled at first that until that morning he had never been in a court of justice in his life. He subsequently withdrew this statement, however and admitted that he had been convicted at Heathcote, in 1872, of robbery under arms for which he was sentenced to six years imprisonment, of which he served four. It appears that after committing the murderous assault on the Italian Banicolo at Goornong early in the present month, Lowe eluded the constables who were in search of him, and made his way to Sandhurst, whence he proceeded by train to Melbourne. The remainder of his story is almost exactly similar to that told by Bray.

Lowe is a Yorkshire man, about 41 years of age. In the course of his narrative he stated that the trackers were close upon them at Pyalong. Mounted constable Sainsbury, stationed at Kangaroo Flat who was ordered to Heathcote to join in the search after the two men, traced them, I am informed, to the point where they crossed the Campaspe river. Owing, however to the heavy rains which fell in that district on Saturday and Sunday the river was running very high, and Sainsbury was delayed for some time before he could effect a crossing, when he did so he again picked up the trail and followed in the footsteps of the men to Mrs Purvis's place, where they had obtained the spring cart. Learning from Mrs Purvis that the two suspected persons had gone to Sandhurst, and that they had a considerable start of him, he sent a despatch to the Sandhurst police by Mr Mendell, manager of the Bank of Victoria.

I have been unable to ascertain definitely when this despatch was delivered, but believe it reached the police on Monday evening, shortly after the police had from another source obtained information which first excited suspicion regarding the prisoners. After reaching Sandhurst on Saturday evening, the men strolled about the town, and, as stated in The Argus of to day, purchased new suits at the New Lead drapery establishment, their bill amounting to £8 10s, which they paid in gold, and again nourished before the shop men a considerable sum of money in notes and gold. After purchasing the hair dye, they strolled through the town and finally put up for the night at? Martin's Globe hotel, where they remained all day on Sunday. The police here express the strongest dissatisfaction at the manner in which their inquires were replied to by Mr and Mrs Martin.


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