The Argus at KellyGang 5/5/1879

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The North Eastern Ensign of the 2nd inst. writes as follow a with regard to the proposi tion to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act in the North Eastern district in order to enable the police to cope more effectually with the KellyGang and their " sympathisers -" We have certainly no objection to the suspension of that venerable charter of our liberties, and the immediate arrest of all suspected persons, seeing that, thanks to the weakness of a magistrate, the sympathises with the outlaws have again been set free to aid and abet the criminals, and the Outlawry Act may therefore be held to have failed, but we certainly object to the reasons offered for the course proposed the disaffection to law of the districts named. There is no general lawlessness in these districts, as the people at a distance are apt to believe, but there is a strong body of folks of ill-character either related by blood or marriage or the ties of intimacy engendered by a common disposition towards crime, which ramifies the district. This element includes the Baumgartens, the Kellys, the Lloyds, the Wrights, and scores of other lawless people, who, forming a strong 'ring,' were able to defy the very weak police force of the district for years, until the arrests and convictions leading up to the Mansfield murders and the consequent crimes. "





An influential meeting was held at the Shire hall, Mansfield, this afternoon, to take into consideration the attack made upon Mr Edward Monk, of Wombat, on the previous Saturday night

Mr TOMKINS, president of the shire presided, and opened the meeting by drawing attention to the attack made upon Mr Monk, and pointing out the unenviable and dangerous position in which he is placed. He spoke of the expense Monk had been put to since the murders and the assistance he was always ready to give to the police and the search parties, and dwelt feelingly upon the aspersions cast upon his character. He trusted the residents would endeavour to secure just and ample compensation, and express unmistakable sympathy with Mr Monk and his family under the ruffianly circumstances of which they have been made the innocent victims (These remarks were received with applause.) The president moved the following resolution: - ' That in the opinion of this meeting a most diabolical outrage was committed upon Mr Edward Monk on Saturday last, in the attack made upon his life while peacefully pursuing his way to his home, which commands the greatest sympathy from the public generally and the Government of the colony."

Mr H H KITCHEN, J P , seconded the resolution. He spoke of the invaluable services rendered by Mr Monk ever since the murders. He had done what others could not be got to do.

Mr ANSTEAD said he had known Mr Monk since he was a little boy, and he did not believe Mr Monk would be guilty of a dishonourable action.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Mr KELSON proposed the second resolution: - ' That in the opinion of this meeting Mr Monk has been cruelly wronged by the   reports circulated to the effect that he is imposing upon the public by pretending that he was fired upon in the Wombat Ranges while on his way home, and that he is incapable of such deception. "

Mr W COLLOPY seconded the resolution, which was carried with acclamation.

Mr KITCHEN then proposed the third resolution-"That the president of the shire be requested to cause copies to be forwarded of the foregoing resolutions to the acting Chief Secretary, together with a letter urging upon him the most favourable consideration and the most liberal treatment of Mr Monks hard case"

Mr LOUDEN seconded the resolution, which was carried. He said he had known Mrs Monk for many years, and previous to the murders she was quite a young looking woman, but within the last few months she had become apparently aged, and her hair had turned grey with trouble. He would trust Monk to any extent. The report that the bullets must have been fired by a person above the level of Mr Monk was easily explained from the fact that the would be assassin was on a rise and Monk on the lower part of the sidling thus accounting for the bullet taking a somewhat downward direction.

Mr Monk also states that the revolver was fully loaded in every barrel when handed to the police. Monk had reloaded the empty barrel for the purpose of further action.

There was a unanimous feeling of sympathy expressed for "Mr Monk by the meeting Mr Monk would gladly attend a court of inquiry into the matter.

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