Royal Commission report day 33 page 14

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The Royal Commission evidence for 28/6/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 33)

[[../../people/peH_J/johnstonCPC.html|SConst Charles Johnston]] 'giving evidence'

12645 Is it considered a degradation to be removed from a district to the barracks?— Yes, it is looked upon as a punishment.

12546 Could you assign any reason in your own mind why you have been, as you say, punished?— I do not know with the exception that I applied to leave the district–the North-Eastern district.

12547 Did you not make urgent application to be removed because you were in danger then?— No not an urgent application. It was promised by Captain Standish and Mr. Sadleir that I should be removed from the district before the Kellys were captured.

12548 Was one of the reasons you applied to be removed in consequence of the feeling you thought existed in the minds of the sympathizers, that they might do you a personal injury in consequence of your being the one who set fire to the hotel at Glenrowan?— Well, it struck me so.

12549 That there is a feeling among the sympathizers against you still there?— I have been told by other constables that the sympathizers had a very bad feeling towards me.

12550 Have you noticed any appearances that would lead you to believe there would be another rising in the district?— I have not the slightest. I do not think there will be except some of the friends of the sympathizers be bailed up for cattle stealing they may turn out then. They may do something that will make them fly to the bush.

12551 Did you, before the burning of the hotel at Glenrowan, make any propositions to Mr. Sadleir or any other officer to take any other steps prior to setting fire to the hotel?— Yes, I wanted to rush the hotel.

12552 Prior to setting fire?— Yes.

12553 Had you been placed in a position to have decided for yourself would you have set fire to the place at all?— I would not, if I had been in charge I would have rushed the place.

12554 Did you know at the time you proposed to set fire to it that a piece of cannon had been sent for to Melbourne ?— Yes, Mr. Sadleir told me he had sent to Melbourne for one.

12555 What time in the day did he tell you that?— About three o'clock .

12556 Was it in consequence of your being acquainted with that fact that you proposed, as a last resource to Mr. Sadleir, that you should be allowed to set fire to the hotel in preference to its being blown down by this piece of cannon?— It was.

12557 What did you expect would be the result of setting fire. Did you think they would come out?— I thought it would drive them out of the place, and then we would have the opportunity of either shooting them or apprehending them. I saw one of them, from ten to twenty minutes before I proposed to set fire to the building, at the door.

12558 Your are sure of that?— I am satisfied of it.

12559 Had he his armour on?—–No, I do not think he had, for the noise was prior to that, as if they were taking the armour off.

The witness withdrew.

Adjourned to to-morrow at Eleven o'clock .

[see report of pro [~[ceedings 28/6/81 ]|6322]~]

' See next day'

29/ 6/1881 ....

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