Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
15 February 1831
DARING ATTEMPT AT ROBBERY AND MURDER
It has seldom fallen to our lot to record a more atrocious and desperate attempt at bloodshed and plunder than that of which the particulars of which will be found subjoined. The attack upon the toll-bar was justly esteemed as one of peculiar atrocity, but fell far short of the present one.
JAMES RAYMOND, Esq., the Postmaster, retired to rest with his family, at the usual hour on Friday night last, leaving, as he supposed, the premises properly secured. About 2 o’clock on the following morning he was awoke by the voice of Mrs. R. calling to some person whose shadow she perceived passing between the bed and the light of a lamp left burning in an adjoining room. He instantly sprang out of bed, and perceived two fellows, the one near the door, and the other in the act of reaching for a dirk which usually lay exposed in the window, close to the bed. At this fellow Mr. R instantly grasped, but missing his hold, he started off after his accomplice through the outer-room and the back-door, closely pursued by Mr. R. whose speed prevented them from accomplishing their object of retreat by the back gate. He at last succeeded in seizing the fellow he had seen in the bed-room by his neck-cloth, and at the same moment received from him a severe blow with a pistol, which felled him to the ground. He still, however, retained his hold with a firm grasp, notwithstanding the desperate attempts of the fellow to rescue his companion. A short encounter followed, but, in spite of their united efforts, Mr. R. succeeded in wresting the pistol from his antagonist. Mrs. RAYMOND, not fully aware of the transaction, but alarmed at the long absence of her husband, now came out and aroused the male part of the family, who slept in the adjoining house. At this time the fellow who was at liberty made off, but was pursued and taken by Mr. WILLIAM RAYMOND and the guard, who had by this time arrived to their assistance. It is however to be regretted that the other villain, whom Mr. R. had so long and so firmly held, effected his escape; Mrs. R. having torn him away from a mistaken fear for his safety. His name is WOOLLEY, was till lately in Mr. RAYMOND’s service, and is well known to the police, who are on the alert for him. His accomplice, O’HARA, who is in custody, was in the employ of government. One of the women servants, named JANE KNIGHT, is also in confinement; there being every reason to believe that she admitted them to the house—having been long acquainted with WOOLLEY. The pistol, which has been recognised as the property of J. MAUGHAN, Esq., was fresh loaded; and there is little doubt that, but for the resolute and spirited conduct displayed by Mr. RAYMOND, himself, if not others of the family, would have fallen victims to these daring villains.
See Original: “DARING ATTEMPT AT ROBBERY AND MURDER,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Tuesday 15 February 1831, p. 3.