Royal Commission report day 37 page 14

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The Royal Commission evidence for 20/7/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 37)

[[../../people/peS_T/sherrittEllenMrsJnr.html|Mrs. Sherritt, junior]] giving evidence

13265 Your husband was out with them in the night?— Yes. They used to lie on the floor, and sometimes on the bed in the middle of the day.

13266 Did Sherritt you that he thought the outlaws were about the district?— He always kept saying they were about somewhere.

13267 Close to Mrs. Byrne 's?— Not close, but he seemed to think they were about on the ranges.

13268 Had he any means that you are aware of of finding out where the outlaws were?— I do not think so.

13269 Is there anything that you wish to tell the Commission at all that you think of–you have an opportunity now?— Yes.

13270 Have you anything you desire, because we could make it in private here, so that the public would know nothing about it–you wish that?— Yes.

The room was cleared.

The Witness — I hear a great many reports going about since my husband's death–some of his people, I believe it was, have been putting out reports.

13271 Of what nature?— I heard of how they sent a letter to Mr. Nicolson , stating that I made it known about the police being at my place.

13272 You wish to contradict that?— Yes.

13273 You never did make it known?— I always denied it. If anyone asked me if he was in the police force, I always said he had nothing to do with it, because I was afraid of his being in danger.

13274 Have you formed any idea of why they shot him?— It was because he assisted the police.

13275 Did you hear any remarks at all amongst the people or learn from them that he was not faithful to the police at any time?— I have not heard any remarks except what 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.

13276 You are quite satisfied he was quite faithful?— Yes, because he went in great danger. I never knew in how much danger till after he was shot. He would go out day and night, and would pretend he was after cattle, and instead of that he was looking for tracks of the outlaws. I suppose he got orders to do it.

13277 Did he ever make any remark to you that he was in great danger?— Well, once or twice he said if he met the Kellys that he thought they would shoot him before any of the police.

13278 He did not remark that they got to know about it and he would be sure to be shot?— He always seemed to hide it. He tried to persuade their friends he was not with the police.

13279 He went out as a guide with a party about a month before he was shot; did he ever make any remark that he believed now that the Kellys or their sympathizers, any of them, knew he was with the police?— Not to me — never. I heard a great many reports about what Mrs. Byrne used to say that he was with them, but of course I never heard them myself–only reports that went about.

13280 There is a very delicate matter that we will refer to that we have some evidence about. Were you ever made aware whether he was on any terms of intimacy with Miss Byrne before?— Not to my knowledge; he knew her well, but I could not say any intimate terms.

13281 We learned he made her a present of a horse?— I heard something about that myself, but I did not believe it.

13282 We learned he had made a present of a horse to her, and that she exchanged it for another, and then he took her horse, and they got a warrant out for him, and he was acquitted. Of course the result of that trial proved that he had not done so. Did he ever say anything to you about that–that the Byrnes were annoyed with him?— He never said anything about that to me.

13283 Did you know Byrne's family?— I knew all of them. They used to go to the same school as I did–the sisters and brothers.

13284 Were they cold to you after your marriage?— They never used to speak to me scarcely after I was married–I saw them very seldom. Before that they were on intimate terms; terms; but it was very seldom I saw them, because they did not live nearto us.....

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