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Side of Authority
This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.


A number of banks operated in the area.

Australian and European

Bank of New South Wales

Bank of Victoria, Avenel, Seymour, Oxley Bridge, Woods Point

Colonial Bank had branches at Seymour, Woods Point, Benalla, Gaffney's Creek, Lauraville, Jamieson

Commercial Bank had branches in Albury, Lancefield, (Argus16/8/79)

English Scottish and Australian Chartered Bank

Land Credit Bank (Argus16/10/80)

London Chartered Bank of Australia

National Bank had branches at Euroa, Violet Town

Oriental Bank Corporation, El Dorado

Union of Australia, Alexandra

The banks urged the government to send the army to protect the banks after the Euroa robbery (Argus16/12/78)

The Royal Commission made the following comments upon the threat to the banks from the KellyGang and the actions of the police to protect them;

" 15th November 1878, in which it was intimated that the KellyGang would probably attack one of the banks at Seymour. This information was communicated to Superintendent Hare on the 26th November, and that officer took immediate steps in his own district to guard against such an eventuality. On the 28th the document reached the hands of the officers in Benalla, and on the following day Mr. Nicolson telegraphed to the Chief Commissioner, suggesting that the police at Seymour should be reinforced.

It seems clear that at this time rumors were current that one or other of the banks in the district would he robbed; and it has not been satisfactorily shown that Mr. Nicolson or Mr. Sadleir took any precautions to frustrate an attempt of that nature if made in the North-Eastern district. Indeed, their action indicates that they were either ignorant of the rumors or attached no importance to them, although the witness Patrick Quin asserts, in the course of his evidence, that some time prior to the robbery he informed the Assistant Commissioner not only as to the locality in which the Kellys were secreted, but that one of the banks at Bright, Avenel, or Euroa would probably be attacked. That the force at the command of the officers in charge of the district was inadequate to resist the threatened raid in every centre of population in the district was apparent. Nevertheless it has not been satisfactorily proved, from the documents or the evidence submitted to your Commissioners, that Mr. Nicolson realized the danger and applied for reinforcements. There is a document, dated some eight or nine months later, written by Mr. Sadleir, in which he alleges that application had been made to the Chief Commissioner for additional police prior to the attack upon Euroa, and Mr. Nicolson, in cross-examination, reiterates the statement, but beyond these mere assertions we have no proof that any special effort was made at this time to protect the banks in the North-Eastern district.(RC2ndReport IX)

The cheque used by the KellyGang to get into the bank in Euroa was drawn on the Oriental Bank


In late 1879 when there was a threat that the KellyGang might hold up the banks in Beechworth, the postmaster, erected a telegraphic communication between all the banks and the police station, by wires being placed, and the uniting of these wires would cause an alarm at the banks and station, at any hour of the day or night that the KellyGang was likely to come. If they came to one of the banks, the station bell would ring, and police would be able to respond to the alert. The banks paid for the expence. (RC13584)

By this time most money was not held in country branches but sent to Melbourne. There was a shortage of cash in the region. Authorities now had the problem that the KellyGang might attach the trains carrying the money. (Argus10/11/79)

Banks and other business at KellyGang

The banks exercised great influence over the selectors. They controlled credit and there was a concern that they could take over selections all too easily (Argus19/4/80) (Argus27/4/80)

See also bank branches and staff