Anne and John Sherritt Snr
|Side of Authority
This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.
Anne and John Sherritt Snr
Importance of Anne and John Sherritt
Anne Sherritt nee Nesbitt, was Aaron Sherritt's mother. John was Aaron's father. He had been a policeman in England. They lived at Sheep Station Creek near Beechworth. Links to the KellyGang , Early Years , Stringybark Creek Murders , Sebastopol Cavalcade , Euroa Robbery , Jerilderie Robbery , First Cave Party , Hare replaced by Nicolson , Second Cave Party , Nicolson replaced by Hare , Death of Aaron Sherritt , Glenrowan Siege , Inquest into Aaron's death , Ned Kelly's Trial , Royal Commission , Later service , Family , Anne and John's family
Children Aaron 1855, Elizabeth (Bessie) 1856, John James (Jack)1858, William George 1860, Anne Jane 1862, Julia Frances 1864, Esther 1867, Mary Jane1869, Maria 1872, Martha 1875, Hugh 1878, Aaron 1883
Early Years Anne's father was Hugh Nesbitt, a farmer in County Cavan Ireland. We were Catholics. John was a member of the Irish Constabulary and an Orangeman. They were married at Knockbride in 1853 when Anne was 15.
We arrived in Melbourne in 1854 and arrived on the Ovens gold field soon after Aaron was born in August 1855 and settled on Reid's Creek. See Ian Jones' book 'Friendship that Destroyed Ned Kelly' for more details about our early days in Australia.
We live on Sheep Station Creek, over the May Day Hills. Most of our children went to the Sheep Station school.
The first thing I heard of the KellyGang was when when they fired off eight shots on the top of the hill close to my son's selection (RC13157)
Links to the KellyGang
Stringybark Creek Murders 26/10/1878 Just prior to this we knew that our son Aaron had been down to see the Kel [[../peB/ByrneJoeK.html|lyGang]] near Mansfield. His good friend Joe Byrne was with them. After the murders and there attempt to cross the River Murray those boys came to visit us. Or at least Joe Byrne came to visit my Elizabeth. Only now he was an outlaw and on the run. My husband had been a policeman and things were not good. I discussed all of this with my friend Mrs Byrne, Joe's mother. We both had a problem.
Det Ward believes that the KellyGang visited our home soon after the murders on the 28 29/10/1878. (RC3165) Sebastopol Cavalcade 7/11/1878 On the morning of the 7th the police arrived in force. They smashed their way into my home and offered no apology. (Argus8/11/78) See also (JJK)
All the officers were there Com Standish, Nicolson and Sup Sadier. AssCom Nicolson smashed his way into my home and most of the rest of the police followed. They were looking for the KellyGang. They all finished up talking to my Aaron. My husband had an arguement with SConst James. See (RC1770)
Nicolson described his arrival in my place in the following terms, 'We then came to a hut, called Sherritt's. I knew nothing about what was going. I was riding by myself with two or three men near me, when Mr. Sadleir came up and said to me, "Now Mr Nicolson, this is the house of the Sherritts;" you will do this and you will do that, and the outlaws are said to be here. This hut was backed by a large paddock. I turned to Mr. Sadleir and said, "You send some men into that paddock, and see the men do not escape by the back;" He then continued 'I galloped with those men to the hut at full speed. I found the cavalcade was so noisy-we were expecting to get these men asleep-and I called to the men to come with me, and I galloped to the front'.(RC389)
Euroa Robbery 10/12/1878 After Jerilderie Robbery 10/2/1879 After Sup Hare's party to watch Mrs Byrne's, after the Jerilderie robbery, she thought that Aaron may have helping the police and causing other problems. She stopped Aaron from seeing her daughter Catherine.
In an attempt to get back at Mrs Byrne Aaron decided to take and sell Catherine's horse, Charlie. He had given her a horse a few years ago. Mrs Byrne went and up to see me and told me about Aaron and his spying for the police. The KellyGang threatened to shoot Aaron after he quarrelled with Mrs. Byrne and then Mrs. Byrne took out a warrant for Aaron and the police were striving to arrest him on this warrant, and they did so, and he stood his trial in Beechworth and was acquitted (RC13165)
At about this time Ned Kelly dropped in to see me. He wanted said that he my son Aaron to show him the way by the head of the King River He picked up one Mrs Sherritt's children and gave it a cuddle. I think this was the last time I saw him. (RC13166)
At about this time James Wallace came to see me, he used to come to my place at very unreasonable hours, but that afternoon I gave Detective Ward a cup of tea, and the draper was there as well. The next day or two my daughter went down to Mrs Byrne's and she asked how it was we were so friendly with Ward, the detective, to give him tea, and that James Wallace had been there and told her so. And one night in particular he came, and my son had been out and had a pair of blue blankets-he used to take them in the bush with him. He laid them down on the hearth, and Wallace came about two o'clock in the morning. Then I heard he told Mrs. Byrne he could not make out what the Sherritts were doing. I did not like Mr Wallace (RC13174)
Mr Byrne visited my place in about late March 1879 (OMA29/7/79)
The police came to our place to arrest Aaron (Argus1/7/79)
Hare replaced by Nicolson 6/7/1879 In August 1879, I called on Mr. Matthew Dodd, J.P. and H. A. Crawford and requested them to sign a character referance in favor of my son Aaron. They told me that they had been asked by a man to sign a counter petition by Ass Com Nicolson's son.(RC17590)
He reported; "The old lady was not at all communicative, but appeared nervous and frightened. Had a walk out with Jack for his father's horse (K. K.'s Iost chesnut). He was rather reticent and distrustful at first." That was John Sherritt. "I asked him how the outlaws were so foolish as to go into the house while the children were there" - This might have been the night after the trial of Aaron Sherritt for the theft of Mrs. Byrne's horse." (RC14626)
First Cave Party Second Cave Party 12/1879-4/1880 I used to cook the bread for the police cave party. At the end Det Ward my husband and I to take the dray and go to the cave in the moonlight. We cleared everything away including some oil coats that had been left by the constables .(RC13205) See also (RC1622) (RC5293)
Later that night (at about 8pm) the whole KellyGang came to our place. (RC15265)
My husband was most attentive in carrying provisions to the cave when Aaron was getting married. (RC12202)
On 17/5/1880 Det Ward received a report stating that Mrs. Byrne had written to a girl of about seventeen. The letter from Mrs. Byrne she wanted to see -, the business was to know if the boys (meaning Dan or Joe) would call, to be careful not to let them stay long, as she believed that Aaron was working for the police; that they called about a week previous, near Chiltern, at "Lord Byron's"; that they were miserable and ragged, and in want of food, and they took a lot of food from "Byron's" with them; that they gave a letter to Mr. - to deliver to Mrs. Byrne; that Mrs. -, not being good friends with Mrs. Byrne, she took the letter to -, and the letter was delivered through - to Mrs. Byrne. Was I Ward's agent and was the girl my daughter Anne Jane. (RC13858)
Meeting with Joe Byrne
Later I went looking for my cows near Sebastopol and when I came to this hut she saw the outlaw Joe Byrne come out of a calf-pen, and his horse was near at hand, in an enclosure. Joe said he was looking for Mr Hare to shoot him. I then rode into Beechworth and told Det Ward. (RC789)(RC797)(RC15849)
This is what I told the Royal Commission about that meeting.
"I got up very early in the morning, and I went out to his room to see if he (my son John) had come, and l saw his bed had not been disturbed; and then I went out to listen if I could hear the horse-bells of the horses ploughing; and I went along my own paddock fence, and I could hear the bells still further on. It was the horses had got into a paddock belonging to a man named Murphy that my husband had bought, and I went to bring the horses home; and it seemed to me that Byrne was waiting to see who would come over for the horses. But when I went over there there was an old calf pen, and three or four old sheds. And I saw the man first, and then a man with a horse's bridle on his arm, and this was Joe Byrne. And as soon as he saw me he got up and came over and spoke friendly enough to me; and he said he had come to take my son Aaron's life, and also Detective Ward's. He said, "Those two had them starved to death." And he said that Ward went about the hills like a black tracker; and that if he had them two out of the way, and also Senior-Constable Mullane, he said he could go where he liked. And I begged him not take Aaron's life. I said, "he has no harm; he would not hurt you." And he said, "You need not try to impress that on my mind, because I tell you now that there was Ward and him and Mr. Hare very nearly twice catching us, and that tells you whether they will hurt me or not." Then I strove with him-I don't know what I said-not to take poor Aaron's life. So when he had done I said to myself in the first place when he went away, "I will run down and tell Aaron. I do not know where his hut is; I think I can find it out on the Woolshed." Then in place of that I brought the horses home, and came to Beechworth; and on my way I met my son John. He was on horseback, coming home; and I told him to go back and tell Ward Byrne had said. Then when I had sent the message into Beechworth I got frightened myself, and got my horse to come in, and told Detective Ward. A few days after that Mr. Nicolson sent down for me, and I came up and told him just what passed; and said that my son would lose his life if he was not removed from where he was." (29/5/1880) (RC13184) see Det Ward's version (RC13858)
I told Const Barry that I thought that the Byrne family were aware of the presence of the police in the cave party. Det Ward was concerned that Const Barry even spoke to me about this matter. (RC14122)
While I had not been into Aaron's hut I knew that he had police there (RC13186)
Death of Aaron Sherritt 26/6/1880 I believe the reason why my son was murdered was because Mrs Byrne found out that he was helping the police (RC13162 [[../../documents/RoyalCommission/RC810720_12995.html|)]]
See also (Argus28/6/1880) [[../../documents/RoyalCommission/RC810720_12995.html|../../documents/RoyalCommission/RC810720_12995.html]]
Glenrowan Siege 28/6/1880
We played no part on the events over at Glenrowan Inquest into the death of Aaron Sherritt My husband gave evidence at Aaron's inquest (FH)
The police let John down in the same way they betrayed Aaron
My application of a share in the reward was rejected by the Reward Board
Royal Commission Mrs Sherritt gave evidence before the Royal Commission as to her meeting with Joe Byrne and some other matters concerning Aaron and other matters on 20/7/1881 (RC13768) I have never spoken to Aaron's wife since they married. (RC13303)
How did the press report my evidence. (Argus22/7/81)
Later Iohn died in Beechworth in 1900
Anne died in Beechworth in 1908
What happened to the Sherritt family Aaron 1855, died 1880
Elizabeth (Bessie) 1856, did not marry, died 1932
John James (Jack)1858, married Emily Norman, no children
William George 1860, did no marry, died 1930
Anne Jane 1862, married Henry Story
Julia Frances 1864, married John Bartsh, died 1932
Esther 1867, married Alan Gray, died 1936
Maria 1872, married I Anderson, died 1941
Martha 1875, married A Sonneman, died 1958
Hugh 1878, married J wells, died 1950
Aaron 1883, died 1821