Royal Commission report day 27 page 1
The Royal Commission evidence for 8/6/1881
(see also introduction to day 27)
Mrs. Margaret Reardon giving evidence
E. J. Dison, Esq., J.P., W. Anderson , Esq., M.L.A.,
J. H. Graves, Esq., M.L.A., G. W. Hall, Esq., M.LA.,
J. Gibb, Esq., M.L.A., G. R. Fincham, Esq., M.L.A.
10526 By the Commission— Do you remember the time at which the Kellys tore up the railway line at Glenrowan?— I do
10527 Do you know what time it was that the Kellys demanded of your husband to tear the line up?— It was twenty minutes past two on Sunday morning when we left our house.
10529 You were taken there?— Yes.
10530 What time was that?— We were taken straight from our place to there, and left there while the men were taken away to take up the rails.
10531 Were the whole of your family in the house?— Yes, there was myself and eight children and my husband.
10532 Did the Kellys say for what purpose they took you prisoners?— I begged of Kelly not to take my husband to take the line up. He said he had to do it, as the people up there told him nobody could do it but a platelayer.
10533 Did he tell you why he took the line up?— He said it was to wreck the special train that was coming after him with a lot of police and volunteers.
10534 Did he mention how he heard that?— No, he did not. I asked him how he knew they were coming, and he said, “I quite expect them.”
10535 You were in Mrs. Jones's house about two o'clock that morning, before the special train came up?— Yes, I was in there from about four o'clock on Sunday afternoon.
10536 Then you were there all Sunday night?— All Sunday night.
10537 How many were there?— A great many people. All the rooms were full; all the front of the house was full of men, women, and children.
10538 Could you get any food there?— No, I saw no food there.
10539 Was there much drinking?— I did not see much drinking, in fact I did not see any. I did not take any notice. I was not in the bar.
10540 Did you see the Kelly gang frequently?— I never saw them in my life till that time.
10541 I mean in the house that night?— Yes, I did.
10542 What were they doing, generally speaking?— There was one of them, Hart who was not there. He remained in charge of Mr. Stanistreet's family, and allowed them to remain in their own house. I saw Ned Kelly in the kitchen with Mrs. Jones and her daughter. The most part of Sunday night he was not in sight at all—only when they were having a dance, and I saw the other two men. I believe they were playing cards with Mrs Jones in the little parlour; and during that time it was Mrs. Jones's daughter was minding us with a revolver in her hand, reckoning where we women and children were, and to count the number up. She used to stand and reckon us like that [holding out her arm] — with a revolver in her hand.
10543 Were you summoned by the police at Beechworth to give evidence of that?— No, not of that, they asked me nothing of that.
10544 Were you at the trial of Mrs. Jones at Beechworth?— Yes.
10545 Did you give this evidence there that you are giving now ?— No, I was never asked it.
10546 You state that Mrs. Jones's daughter had a revolver?— Yes, in her hand, and she carried it in the pocket of her jacket.
10547 What age was she?— A young woman—I daresay between 15 and 16.
10548 Did Mrs. Jones seemed to be very pleased the outlaws were in the place?— She seemed quite pleased and merry.
10549 Did she dance with any of them?— Mrs. Jones danced, but I cannot say with whom.
10550 Were you in the house when the police first came?— Yes.
10551 What was done inside when the firing commenced?— When the police first came the people were all going about the rooms, from one room to another, and Constable Bracken came to the room where we were in and said, “Lie down as flat as you possibly can on the floor, it is the only chance you have got,” and we did so.....
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