Treasures in the Library – Breaking the Bank

Breaking the Bank is a book about a true crime, in a raw and dangerous setting, and as cunning an array of villains as you could ever hope for. The audacious robbery of the Bank of Australia in September 1828 is the largest documented bank robbery in Australian history – £14,000.00.

The idea was the brainchild of Thomas Turner, who had supervised the gangs of stonemasons constructing the strongroom and the adjacent sewer of the Bank of Australia in Lower George Street. However, his fear of being too obviously implicated, saw others – shoemakers, carpenters and a gifted blacksmith, all either serving convicts, ticket-of-leavers or men freed by servitude – put his plan to break into the Bank’s vault through she sewage drain into action.

Breaking the Bank tells the individual stories of the cast of characters – both the perpetrators and those caught up in their wake – and the attempts to capture the robbers and how they were subsequently dealt with at law.

Baxter writes compellingly and succeeds in her aim of generating a sense of immediacy for the reader and a feeling that the characters are living their own story. Nevertheless, her research is demonstrably meticulous, citing her sources for general historical information in the bibliography and annotating her primary source material extracted from colonial records, particularly newspaper reports, court transcripts, correspondence, affidavits and petitions.

You will find Breaking the Bank accessioned at 610.06 in your Library.