Royal Commission report day 11 page 8

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The Royal Commission evidence for 12/4/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 11)

Superintendent Sadleir giving evidence

2087 By the Commission (to the witness). —When did you arrive at Benalla?— Half-past five or six.

2088 You had a conversation with Mr. Nicolson and Mr. O'Connor?— I met them at the train.

2089 And the arrangement was there made to start?— I think it was seven o'clock before we made the arrangement—after a long conversation.

2090 After that, and showing the sketch, it was decided to leave at one?— Yes.

2091 Did Mr. O'Connor point out the necessity of being there before seven in the morning—before light?— Yes, it was decided to be there before daylight.

2092 All those objections could have been seen between five and seven?— I cannot say they were mentioned.

2093 You arrived at the decision by seven to start at one?— Yes.

2094 And during that time—between five and seven—you had an opportunity of discussing all the probabilities of the information and the difficulties?— Yes.

2095 After that it was decided to start at one?— Yes.

2096 Do you know of your own knowledge whether anything between seven and one came to the knowledge of Mr. Nicolson or Mr. O'Connor to decide them not to start at one?— No; no new facts came in.

2097 You have heard the statement made by Mr. O'Connor. You came down from Wangaratta to Benalla, believing a party would be organized and you would accompany it to try and pick up those tracks?— Yes. When I came down I did not know what was going to be done.

2098 Mr. O'Connor has stated that he considered it was a chance thrown away, and upon his advice Mr. Nicolson did not send out the party?— Yes.

2099 I understood Mr. O'Connor to say that he advised Mr. Nicolson that it would be useless going out in that way, the reason being that if they did not get there at a certain time the tracks would be obliterated

Mr. O'Connor . —I said that the people going to their work would have seen the native police, and as there was a network of friends there, we knew Kellys would have been at once communicated with. It was also rainy weather at the time, and if we got on the tracks before we had been a day on them, they would have been obliterated. It was necessary to have them pointed out by some person who had seen them.

2100 By the Commission (to the witness). —It was September and pretty early light then; if you had started at one, about what time would you have arrived at the place?— We had only about fifteen miles to go.

2101 What time would you have arrived there?— We could go four or five miles an hour—that would be about four in the morning.

2102 Would that be daylight?— Before daylight.

2103 Then had the outlaws been there, would you have been able, do you think, to have seen their tracks at that time?— There is no doubt we would have been able to have seen the tracks, if we found the tracks and knew they were the Kellys' tracks. The difficulty would be to know whether we were on their tracks or the tracks of persons who came to see them.

2104 Was it horse or foot tracks you expected?— Foot tracks, with the supposition of picking up horse tracks a little way off—that they were dismounted, away from their horses waiting communication and appointment with some friends.

2105 Will you roughly indicate the place?— You cannot indicate the place without indicating the man. I can give a sketch of it.

2106 Was it any place near a man named Jacob Wilson's place?— No.

2107 Was it near Tom Lloyd's?— Yes.

2108 Wilson joins on to Tom Lloyd?— My recollection of this is that it was on the north side of Tom Lloyd's.

2109 Do you know a man named Jacob Wilson?— Yes.

2110 Did you get information from him about the Kellys that they resorted to the neighborhood of Tom Lloyd's residence?— Yes, we had information from him to that effect.

2111 Did he tel1 you he had found hobbles in that neighborhood?— Yes, under the range; I think under the Quarry Hill.

2112 Is the Quarry Hill near Tom Lloyd's residence?— Yes.

2113 How far do you think would Tom Lloyd's house be from Wilson 's house?— Well, I never saw them.

2114 Would you be surprised to learn that they were adjoining?— No, not at all.

2115 If that is so, how far would that be from the locality indicated by the agent “Foot” from the place you were to meet them?— Not knowing the place, I cannot say exactly; but, taking the descriptions, I should say less than half-a-mile. From Foot's description I should say that the outlaws were on one side of Tom Lloyd's and Wilson on the other.

2116 Do you know if this place is called Lurg or Kilferan?— I am certain it is Lurg.

2117 It is commonly known as Kilferan, as it is on the Kilferan station?— Yes......

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