Royal Commission report day 52 page 16
The Royal Commission evidence for 4/8/1881
(see also introduction to day 53)
Mr. Hare — On the subject of the Glenrowan business, I have a declaration to hand in from Constable Phillips, which is as follows:— “Police Station, Goornong, 16th September 1881. I, William Phillips, constable, of Goornong, in the colony of Victoria, do solemnly and sincerely declare that I heard the following conversation pass between Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne, at the rear of Mrs. Jones's hotel, Glenrowan, about (10) ten minutes after the first encounter at 3 a.m. First, my attention was drawn to a voice asking, ‘Is that you, Joe?’ ‘Yes. Is that you, Ned? Come here.’ ‘Come here be d ——d. What are you doing there; come with me and load my rifle. I am cooked.’ ‘So am I. I think my leg is broke.’ ‘Leg be d ——d; you got the use of your arms. Come on; load for me. I'll ping the buggars.’ ‘Don't be so excited; the boys will hear us, and it will dishearten them. I am afraid it's a case with us this time.’ ‘Well, it's your fault; I always said this bloody armour would bring us to grief.’ ‘Don't you believe it; old Hare is cooked, and we will soon finish the rest.’ They went then towards the Wangaratta end. Secondly, that I informed Senior-Constable Kelly about an hour afterwards that two of the outlaws were cooked. Thirdly, that to satisfy myself that it was them I heard talking, I examined Joe Byrne s body at the watchhouse, Benalla, on the 29th June 1881, in the presence of Constable Falkiner and Dr. Nicholson, of Benalla, and found a bullet hole clean through the sinews of the calf of the right leg, and his boot, when I pulled it off, was full of blood. And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing that same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of an Act of Parliament of Victoria rendering persons -making a false declaration punishable for wilful and corrupt perjury.—Wm. PHILLIPS. Signed and declared before me this 16th day of September 1881, at Campaspe—Thos. Robertson, J.P. The Honorable Francis Longmore, Chairman of the Police Commission.” Wallace spoke as to who he believed was the writer of the anonymous letter, in which are stated certain things about Mr. Nicolson, and that they wanted to get rid of Mr. Nicolson from the district. Upon that I hand in now two declarations, one from Mr. Webster, and one from a constable there:— “I, James Daniel Webster, of Yea, in the colony of Victoria, grazier, do solemnly and sincerely declare that previous to Superintendent Hare giving evidence before the Police Commission, as follows, viz.:— ‘That a schoolmaster in the North-Eastern district had been acting as an agent for the police, and identifying him as s schoolfellow of Joe Byrne,’ I had several conversations with ‘Wallace’ at Yea (where he is now stationed) on the subject of the Kelly business, and he frequently stated that the outlaws were much harassed by the tactics adopted by Mr. Hare, and were afraid of him, as he constantly kept them on the move. He further stated that they (the outlaws) had great contempt for Mr. Nicolson for the mode he used for capturing them. He (Wallace) not only made this statement to me, but I am informed he has also made thesame statement to other persons residing at Yea. And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of an Act of the Parliament of Victoria rendering persons making a false declaration punishable for wilful and corrupt perjury.—J. D WEBSTER. Declared before me, at Melbourne, in the colony aforesaid, this 19th day of September' in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eighty-one—J. B. Motherwell, J.P.”
The other is from Constable Fitzgerald:— “Yea, 19th September 1881.—I, James Fitzgerald, of Yea, make affidavit that soon after the destruction of the Kelly gang of bushrangers at Glenrowan, James Wallace, State school teacher, stated to me that the gang were in terror of the means of pursuit adopted by Mr. Hare—that he always kept them moving about, whereas under Mr. Nicolson's mode of pursuit they felt content and safer. Wallace also stated that the hired agents worked better and were more faithful to Mr. Hare than any other of the police officers, and that was an additional reason the outlaws had of fearing Mr. Hare.—J. FITZGERALD. Signed and swore before me at Yea this 1 9th September 1881—J. D. Webster, a Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Victoria for taking affidavits.”
I wish also to make an affidavit myself on a letter that was said before the Commission:— “I, Francis Augustus Hare, of East Melbourne, in the colony of Victoria, superintendent of police, do solemnly and sincerely declare that the statement made by the person known ag the diseased stock agent, in his letter to the chairman of this Commission, and particularly referred to by Mr. Nicolson in his evidence, to the effect that he (the diseased stock agent) gave Mr. Sadleir and myself reliable information, a few days before Aaron Sherritt was shot, that the outlaws were out and intended making a raid, is untrue. I most positively declare such statement is false; the only information furnished to me was simply that the outlaws would soon make a raid on some bank, as they were short of money. Mr. Sadleir at the time stated to me, in the presence of the informant, that he (the agent) had constantly been giving similar information for many months past. And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of an Act of the Parliament of Victoria rendering persons making a false declaration punishable for wilful and corrupt perjury.—FRANCIS HARE. Declared before me, at Melbourne, in the colony aforesaid, this 16th day of September, in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eighty-one—Charles B. Payne, J.P.” ....
Previous page / Next page
|!||The text has been retyped from a microfiche copy of the original.
We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged.
The previous day . . . Royal Commission index