Clayton Hold Up


of Blowering Station

1840 - Frederick Kirk was indicted for shooting at William Grovenor, on the 15th January last, at Gunning, with intent to murder him; and William Chark was indicted as an accessory, aiding and abetting in the offence.

It appealed the prisoners had at one time been connected with the notorious Whitton.

While robbing the house of Dr. Clayton, on the day laid in the indictment, they heard that the prosecutor had declared that if the bushrangers ventured to attack his place he would enplure them.

They also learned that Mr. Grovenor had fire arms; and therefore, to see if he was guiñe enough to face them, and also to procure the arms, they declared they would pay him a visit.

The prosecutor, who is a storekeeper at Gunning, deposed that the prisoners came to his place about 3 o'clock, pm, about the middle of January last; Clark asked for a half dozen of slurls, they were handed down, and when he turned round from doing so, the prisoner Clark clapt a pistol to his head and told me not to speak.

Kirk then came armed with a short gun, and threatened to blow his brains to ribbons if resistance was offered. The family were then forced into an inner room, where they were bailed up; three hincks enuc in, who were served in the same manner; and a brickmaker and bricklayer, were brought in and bailed up also.

All the parties were bailed up by Clark. Powder and arms being for sale, they then ncd them.

Having been threatened with a visit from the bushrangers, some arms had been loaded to receive them.

Mr. Grovenor reached the pisoncis down the unloaded pistols, and Kirk loaded eight or ten pistols and guii--.

When Mr. G. made an attempt to approach the loaded arms on the counter, Clark told him not to do that again or he would blow his brains out, and giving him a hard look, asked if his name was not Grovenor? saying "are you not the b-:-r that threatened to Like the two ol' tis?'' to «vii ¡eli he i replied " you must not believe all you hear." Thinking he was about to be shot, Air. G. said "it would be a cowardly act to shoot an unarmed man."

At this instant Mr. Alan Manning and another gentleman rode up to the door; Clark tried to cover them with his gun. Kirk was in an adjoining roam; both could see Mr. Manning. Clark said, if w.iitu bit, I'll drop hint if he comes live." Clark went out and returned npp.ircntly terrified; taking advantage of his upparciit confusion, Mr. Grovenor ran out and out with a gun, which be suit! «va. loaded with buck shot; he asked him for a ball, but he had none; being rendered desperate on account of his family being in the power of the bushrangers, Mr. G. rammed his pen knife into the gun, returned and challenged them to come out, but they would not.

Clark presented his double barrelled gun at Mr. G. from behind the shutter, when he withdrew a small distance- Clark and Mr. Grovenor exchanged shots but without effect; the ball passed very near Mr. G.'s face, when he ordered Chark to surrender, but he would not saying he never was born to be hanged.

Mr Manning having returned with assistance from Mr. Hume's, and fearing if a rush were made into the house that some one or more would be shot, it was arranged for a party to get up to the roof and remove the brick work there.

A man named Cooper went up with a pistol, but as soon as he had reached the joists he was fired at by Clark. The shot struck the cannister of gunpowder out of his hand while in the act of priming his pistol.

Mr Grovenor then went up when Clark fired and shot him through the hat; the ball struck the joist and splintered it so that he was struck on the forehead and stunned; the ball just grazed the forehead; the firing lasted for about two hours, and seventeen or eighteen shots were exchanged between Clark and Mr Grovenor.

Kirk was employed loading for CLark. At least one of Mr. G's: shots lodged in the wall close by the side of Clark's head, and a splinter wounding Mr. G.'s sister-in-law in the neck, on which they immediately said they would surrender. The party then entered, secured the prisoners, and conveyed them to Yass. His Honor highly praised the courageous conduct of Mr. Grovenor.

John Toft, unsigned to Dr. Clayton, deposed, that on the morning of their capture, the two prisoners robbed Dr. Clayton's house and left that for the prosecutors, declaring their intentions to be as already stated. After they left his masters premises he got armed, went to Grovenor's, and assisted at the capture of the prisoners. Mr. Manning, junior, and the driver of the Yass mail, also corroborated the prosecutor's evidence.

Guilty-To be transported for Life. - (Ref- The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842)(about) Previous issue Wednesday 6 May 1840).

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