Royal Commission report day 52 page 17

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The Royal Commission evidence for 4/8/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 53)

Charles Hope Nicolson giving evidence


The Witness — May I make a few remarks with reference to the evidence of Quinn?

By the Commission — I think you have mentioned all about Quinn in your evidence?— It is only about things he has uttered here that I never heard before. His statement as to telling me about the banks is an absurdity. He never mentioned such a thing as that. He promised to come out with the police and “ride the outlaws down.” That was his expression, and he was a very capable man to do it, but he never kept one of those promises; and he had plenty of police that he could have obtained, but he never did. I sent more than once to him asking him why he did not. On one occasion I was out on Monday, the 25th November, with some constables—[looking at his diary]. That was the last search party just before the outbreak at Euroa, except the party the day before the outbreak. Two days after this party came in that I was out with, I saw Quinn; met him on the Wednesday. I believe it was about Fitzsymons's store; and I spoke to him about his not keeping his promises and humbugging us; and we had come to the conclusion—not only the officers, but the few men who knew him, Senior-Constable Strachan and Sergeant Steele, and others—that there was no reliance to be placed in him. He promised then and there to start with us, to meet us, that he would run them down any time, and he would come on Friday, the 29th November, and the entry in my diary at the time shows that I had a party in readiness, waiting for him, and that he never came. On Saturday, 30th November, I was at Wangaratta, and had given it up; but still I left the party in reserve in the barracks, with Mr. Sadleir, for this work, in case Quinn should still come. And I went to Wangaratta and other places, and on 1st December I had got back to Wangaratta; was there all day—that was on the Sunday—and I have shown already by my diary where I was on the other days. On the Thursday I was at Hedi and the Upper King, where I saw the elder Jack Qninn.

17788 Brother of this man?— No, brother-in-law, and I got back to Wangaratta on Wednesday the 4th. I despatched Constable Flood with a party to Greta. They did not get back till Thursday the 5 th to Benalla, and then started off to German Creek, getting back on Monday the 9th.

17789 That was the day before the Euroa bank robbery?— Yes. Then it was on this day that this man came in, and it was in the afternoon, as he says, and the place we were standing in was screened from the road behind the watchhouse, out of sight. The men were bringing out their horses and washing them at the water trough, and then he made this monstrous proposition that I should start up there at once, though, from his knowledge of horses, he could see it was impossible. I pointed at once to the horses. They were there before him, and I said, “How can you expect those horses to accomplish this journey?” From that and other things, I saw the man was humbugging me. There is only one thing more. He spoke of having given other information. The only other was this young man on the road, where he was conveying provisions to the outlaws on the Black Range, and the other was when he met Mr. Sadleir and gave information. On no other occasion did he give information, and on all occasions he avoided me. He would go out of his way to avoid speaking to me when he met me at Benalla.

The witness withdrew.

Adjourned to Thursday next, at Half-past Eleven o'clock.

[see report of proceedings 20/9/81 in Appendix 20]

  [see report of proceedings 22/9/81 in Appendix 20]

  [see report of proceedings 27/9/81 in Appendix 20]

  [see report of proceedings 4/10/81 in Appendix 20]

  [see report of proceedings 5/10/81 in Appendix 20]

  [see report of proceedings 7/10/81 in Appendix 20]

  [see report of proceedings 10/10/81 in Appendix 20]

  [see report of proceedings 11/10/81 in Appendix 20]

  [see report of proceedings 12/10/81 in Appendix 20]

  [see report of proceedings 14/10/81 in Appendix 20]

  [see report of proceedings 18/10/81 in Appendix 20,]

The End of the Evidence

See Appendices ....

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