Royal Commission report day 21 page 12

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The Royal Commission evidence for 17/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 21)

Const Barry giving evidence

7774.7547 Then was it in your mind that you wrote that in April to please the officer who told you?— he ordered me to do it, and I obeyed his commands in making out a certain report, and I told him I wanted the others, to have the others to produce in my own defence if they were ever required.

7774.7548 If you had been left free, you would have said you believed your existence was known several months before?— I would—belief, not positive knowledge.

7774.7549 If allowed to report upon your belief, you would have reported your presence was known?— Yes.

7774.7550 But yet, that being so, and with what you knew afterwards, you simply reported just what you knew?— Just what I knew. I had to put nothing on paper except what I could swear to, as I expected something would come of it in the days to come.

7774.7551 Still you knew at the time that the Sherritts were aware of your being there?— Yes.

7774.7552 Then, in point of fact, if you had been left to yourself, you would not have sent the last report?— No, by no means.

7774.7553 You would have kept to the first or the second?— Yes, I would have kept to the first or the second.

7774.7554 What led you then to believe the existence of this cave party was known?— So many people knowing we were there.

7774.7555 Was there not any special circumstance that would lead you to a thorough belief of it?— And, besides, the family amongst themselves were fighting. The Sherritts—the father and Aaron fought. I did not see them, I heard of them; and the two brothers fought.

7774.7556 Was it on account of the marriage?— Yes; and the old man expressed himself very strongly to me about it.

7774.7557 What kind of a man is he?— The usual sort of bushman you meet.

7774.7558 Is he active?— Pretty active.

7774.7559 And a shrewd old man?— He pretends to know a good deal.

7774.7560 Was he a constable of police?— He said he was at home.

7774.7561 You saw young Mrs. Sherritt?— Yes; she was in the cave at one time.

7774.7562 That was one instance of its being known to other persons outside the persons in the cave?— Yes.

7774.7563 Did you report that?— I reported it verbally; I was not then in charge of the party, but I told it to Detective Ward when I came in.

7774.7564 Was it prior to the writing of that last report?— Yes.

7774.7565 You stated just now you were determined only to report matters of fact, that you could swear to?— Yes

7774.7566 Why did not you report that?— Because I understood she was allowed to come; I looked upon her as one of the family.

Mr. Hare stated he had got the gun he had on the occasion of the Glenrowan business, and wished to show it was possible for him to have loaded it again. Mr. Hare showed that it could be done, by firing off caps, holding the gun between his legs, and then pressing it to his shoulder, and firing it off.

Mr. Hare — When it first came to my knowledge that it was said it was impossible for me to load my gun with one hand, I got my own gun and found I could, and I went down this morning to Rosier, and got the gun from him, and brought it from there and tried it here, and you saw the result.

7774.7567 You produced the gun here this morning?—( Mr. Hare .)—Yes.

7774.7568 Is that the gun you fired at Glenrowan?— Yes. I do not think there is any breech-loader you could not fire with.

Mr. O'Connor — Mr. Hare was wounded at the time.

7774.7569 By Mr. Sadleir (to the witness)— You have been with the police from the very first murders in the district?— Yes.

7774.7570 Do you remember one night when some police with Mr. Hare and myself watched at the Ovens River?— I do.

7774.7571 Where were you placed as regards myself?— Between you and the Ovens River , on the bank of the river.

7774.7572 It was on the night of the 1st February 1879 ?— Yes.

7774.7573 We watched from sunset until morning?— Yes.

7774.7574 Did you go to sleep all that night?— No.

7774.7575 Not once?— Not once.

7774.7576 I think I was next to you?— I believe so.

7774.7577 Did you see me asleep that night?— I could not see; I was watching the other embankment.

7774.7578 We were all watching intently?— Yes.

7774.7579 Do you remember the bundle of hay and some kerosene?— Yes.

7774.7580 Do you remember when that was placed first by Mr. Hare?— I do not remember him placing it at all.....

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