The Argus at KellyGang 9/11/1880 (3)

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The agitation for the reprieve of Edward Kelly was continued yesterday by William Gaunson. The proposed procession of ladies to Government-house was not a success, but during the morning about 200 persons of both sexes turned out from the back slums of the city and assembled at the Town-hall. They had the impudence to enter the building, but Sub-inspector Larner, with some constables, soon appeared on the scene and turned them out. William Gaunson, with Mrs Skillian, Kate Kelly, James Kelly and Wild Wright eventually arrived, and set out for Government house with the unwashed looking mob at their heels. At Prince's-bridge Sub-inspector Larner endeavoured to check the crowd, but, not willing to use violence, he was obliged to let them pass. He, however, proceeded in front to the Domain gates and had them closed. In the meantime Gaunson and his Kelly friends got into cabs. When the crowd reached the Domain gates they were refused admission, but after a little discussion the cabs and their occupants were admitted, and driving right up to Government house, the occupants through Gaunson requested an interview with the Governor.

Captain Le Patourel, His Excellency's private secretary, received Gaunson, and told him that the Governor would positively receive no deputations that day. He intimated, however, that petitions which were spoken of could be sent to His Excellency at the Treasury up to 2 o'clock, the hour appointed for the meeting of the Executive. The self-elected deputation then returned to town, and were followed back by the crowd. James Kelly and Wild Wright, who returned on foot, were evidently objects of veneration to the mob, for they were accompanied by a large number of them through the streets to the Robert Burns Hotel, in Lonsdale street west. Their loafing looking retinue were not, however, satisfied with gazing at them in the streets, but they also besieged the hotel, crushing through the passages and into the rooms in order to feast still further their morbid curiosity.

In the afternoon William Gaunson attended at the Treasury with Mrs Skillian and Kate Kelly to await the decision of the Executive Council—as if it had not been given a week ago. Over 1,000 idle persons collected at the same time outside the building. Gaunson and the Kelly sisters were admitted to a retiring-room, and the former handed Captain Le Patourel the petitions he had been getting signed for presentation to the Governor, stating that they contained 32,434 signatures. An examination of   the petitions showed that they were signed principally in pencil, and by illiterate people, whilst whole pages were evidently written by one person. The Executive of course determined to adhere to their decision—that the convict shall be executed on Thursday morning. This having been communicated to the prisoner's relatives they left, and returned to the Robert Burns Hotel.

They were accompanied, as before, by a crowd and during the whole afternoon and evening the hotel was rushed. Immediately after their return James Kelly addressed the crowd, from the door, and told them that " it was not all over yet"—a remark that was   loudly cheered. On Thursday last, when the sisters visited their brother in gaol, they stated that they were going home on Saturday, and were told that they could see the condemned man again before they left. Since then, however, the Gaunsons have started the present agitation, and the consequence is that the sisters remain in town, but do not seek another interview with their brother. Another mass meeting is to be held to-night on the Supreme Court reserve, and petitions are being sent by W Gaunson all over the colony for signatures. The object of tonight's meeting is to carry a resolution in favour of a reprieve, and to present it to the Chief Secretary. In yesterday's proceedings Mr David Gaunson did not appear.


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