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Researching in Trove for items on the early history of the Diocese and in particular the proceedings of the first Diocesan Synod held from 28 February to 6 March 1867, Alan Wilson, from the Anglican Historical Society, came across the following item in the Goulburn Herald and Chronicle, 2 March 1867:

Between six and seven o’clock on Wednesday morning, when the mail from Yass was at Mutbilly, nineteen miles from Goulburn, three men rode up and ordered the driver to stop. Two had their faces concealed with comforters, having one hole only in each to enable them to see. The third man, supposed to be Clarke, had no disguise whatever. They were all armed with revolving rifles, one being described as having a smooth barrel and the others as being smaller pieces with octagonal barrels, so that it would appear that the one is a police weapon and the others of private make. There were three passengers – the Rev. Mr. Ware, Rev. Mr. Byng, and Mr. R. Cooke, all of whom were on their way to Goulburn to attend the Church of England synod. Mr. Ware was on the box, and on dismounting said that he supposed that bushrangers never robbed clergymen; but the leader of the gang, the man not disguised, said that one man’s money was as good as another’s. From Mr. Ware they took £6. They searched the other passengers, but got little or nothing from either. Having opened the mailbags, they took all the letters, placed them and three or four papers in two small bags, and went off. One of the robbers was noticed to wear a gold watch supposed to be that stolen from Dorety on the Friday previous. Shortly afterwards the third man called at the farm of a settler named Cusack, near Mutbilly, and took away a race-horse belonging to Mr. Patrick Lawler of Goulburn. They then went to French’s, at Boharra, and examined a racer of his, but declined to take it. There were to have been races in Collector on Wednesday; but Constable Mara, hearing that the bushrangers were in the district, sent word to the various owners of horses not to bring them in, and consequently the races did not come off. A suggestion has been thrown out which if acted on will prevent much inconvenience to the public and will not interfere with the operations of the bushrangers. It is that when they have done with the letters they should leave them in some place where they are likely to be at once found, instead of carrying them off or destroying them. It may be mentioned that just before the assembling of the synod the lay representatives subscribed and presented to Mr. Ware a sum equal to that of which he had been robbed.

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