|Side of Authority
This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.
Importance of Belle Sherritt
Belle Sherritt (nee Barry) was Aaron Sherritt's wife Links to the KellyGang , Early Years , Fitzpatrick Incident , Mansfield Murders , Sebastopol Cavalcade , Euroa Robbery , Jerilderie Robbery .First meeting , Marriage , Hare replaced by Nicolson , Second Cave Party , Nicolson replaced by Hare , Death of Aaron Sherritt , Inquest and After Aaron's death , Ned Kelly's Trial , Royal Commission , Later life , Family , Belle's family
Links to the KellyGang
Early Years I was born in 1864 at the Woolshed. We were Catholics. I went to school with all the Byrnes and knew them well. Mr O'Donoghue was my school master Family My father was Edmund Barry. He married my mother when she was 15.
I was about 15 at the time and worked as a maid with James Ingram in Beechworth
Second Cave Party 12/1879-4/1880
The cave party to watch Mrs Byrnes home started in December 1879, soon after I met Aaron.
Our wedding Aaron and I were married on Boxing Day 26/12/1879.(RC15365) We were married by Father Tierney of St Joseph's Church in Beechworth. Ian Jones in Friendship records that the witnesses were Thomas Anderson and Eliza Woman and that my parents were there for my great day in that sunny city. I was 15 but I thought that I had made it and I was ready for life. The Sherritt family did not come to my wedding and Mrs Sherritt said that she had not visited us. While I had been to school with the Byrne children I did not have much contact with them after I married. I am Catholic and while the Sherritt family is Protestant, Aaron said he was nothing. (RC13280)
See also (FH)
The side saddle Aaron had bought me was stolen and later found in Mrs Byrne's house. (RC15659)
Nicolson replaced by Hare 2/6/1880 The police lead by Const Robert Alexander came to stay in our home in early June. I an sure that this is not a good idea. Aaron says it will be all right. Our place was supposed to be our home. Would you like to have 4 others living in your home. Even worse when Aaron and I got out of bed 2 of the 4 kept the bed worn with their bodies. The two other police slept on the floor of our bedroom. I was pregnant at this time and my mother came over each night to keep me company each night when Aaron and the police went out to watch over Mrs Byrne fence or do what ever they did.
Aaron seemed to be well satisfied. He said he would turn a Catholic just the night before he was shot. It was on Friday night. He said he would get the horses next day and come up to the Catholic chapel at Beechworth, so he seemed well satisfied with the religion (RC13290)
19 June 1880
I had a role in the police action when Sup Hare and Det Ward came to our place. (RC13878)
Death of Aaron Sherritt 26/6/1880 On :that evening Aaron Sherritt and Const Duross, and my mother-in-law and I, were sitting in the kitchen having our tea about half-past six or a quarter to seven. The other three policemen were in the bedroom. (RC3631) (Argus6/8/80) See also (Argus10/1/82)
Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly came to our home and Joe Byrne, Aaron's friend tricked him to come to the door and shot him dead. I was pregnant at the time.
I came outside to ask Joe why he had shot his friend. He sent me in three times, and told me if the men inside did not come out he would riddle the house, and that he would shoot both me and my mother. (RC13230) (RC13386)
Please see my mother for the rest of the details of what happened
I have seen in the papers about the police at Wangaratta and Beechworth, saying they had not faith in my husband; but I think he risked his life for them and lost it. (RC13275)
Hear my version as to what happened (OMA26/4/81)
Inquest and After Aaron's death
I gave evidvence to the inquest into Aaron's death. I explained what happened on the evening when Aaron was shot (Age1/7/80) I said:
On the evening Aaron, my mother and I were at home gathered around the dinner table. The 4 police officers under Armstrong, were in our bed room.
A knock came to the back door, and a voice called out 'Aaron'. I knew it was Mr Weekes's voice and I told my husband so. My husband went to the door and asked him what he wanted.
Weekes said 'I am lost, come out and show me the road.'
He opened the door and went outside. As he did so he heard a man move behind the chimney, and he sang out 'Who is there?'
Just then Joe Byrne said something and fired off his rifle. My husband endeavoured to make his way back into the room. Byrne followed him to he door and fired a second shot at him. He (my husband) staggered and fell down near the table. He moaned once, but that was it. After the second shot I ran into the room.
Byrne appeared at the doorway and I asked why he had shot Aaron.
He said 'If I had not shot him, he would have shot me if he could get the chances.'
He heard one of the constables going into bed room, and he asked who the man was. I said he was a person staying with us for the night and that he was looking for work. He told me to bring him out. Before this he directed my mother to go and open the front door. She did so, and just then Dan Kelly made his appearance there. He had a revolver with him wich he kept pointed at me. Byrne then called my mother out to the back door and stood talking to her with Weekes between them. He asked her why I had not brough the man out. I told him the man would not come. He then sang out to Dan Kelly, 'Look out there are windows at the front.' Dan replied, 'It's all right.' And stepped to the cover of the door, sticking his rifle into the room all the time. He fired two shots into the bedroom where the men were. (Age 1/7/80)
See also (Argus8/7/80)
After Aaron died I was very sick and lost my baby.
At that time I wrote to Const Armstrong, see text (RC12222)
Start of Ned Kelly's committal hearing (Herald5/8/80)
Later in 1884 I married Michael Murphy. We lived at the Woolshed near my parents and we had two children.
Did my husband desert me (Argus5/2/1902)
After Michael died I married again
What happened to Ellen Sherritt's family KellyGang