2nd Report of the Royal Commission

From KellyGang
Jump to: navigation, search

See the full text of the Second Report

The Second and main Report the Royal Commission set out its recommendations; many of the senior police to loose their jobs.

The Report also included a good account (nearly 18,000 words) of the KellyGang story. In summary it dealt with the story under the following headings:

I The Kelly Family
  "Amongst the many predisposing causes which operated to bring about the Kelly outbreak must be included the unchecked aggregation of a large class of criminals in the North-Eastern district of Victoria, all of whom, either by the ties of consanguinity or sympathy, were identified with the outlaws"

The story then continues with James Quinn and his family with life at Wallan and at the Glenmore Run. The beginings of Ned Kelly's family is also set out. Ned's brothers and sisters are listed and the Royal Commission recorded some of Mrs Kelly's struggles to keep the family together. Ned Kelly's links with Harry Power is also detailed as is the family background of Joe Byrne and Steve Hart.

II The Kelly Country
  The main features of the area are summarised. They also tell the story of the closure of the Glenmore police station and of the problem of cattle stealing.
III Causes of the Outbreak
  The significance of the Fitzpatrick incident is listed with a number of other major issues. The Royal Commission could not really apologize for the persecution of the Kelly family
IV The Wombat Murders
  The development of the program search parties. Sgt Kennedy's search party. The spot indicated by Sergeant Kennedy for the purposes of a camp was of his own selection. It seems clear that Kennedy had no knowledge of the presence of the Kellys in the locality. Sgt Kennedy seems to have acted with a singular disregard to possible contingencies.They anticipated meeting only the two Kellys.
V After the Murders
  The action of the police immediately after the Wombat murders proved the utter unpreparedness of the authorities for so grave an emergency. . At this time the mounted police in the North-Eastern district, which embraced an area of 11,000 square miles, numbered only about 50 mounted men, and the reinforcements came to hand slowly. Having visited the more important stations, Mr. Nicolson proceeded to form search parties with whom to scour the country according as information was received as to the supposed whereabouts of the gang. The Felons Apprehension Act was passed through the Legislature at one sitting.
VI The Sebastopol Raid
  The "Sebastopol charge" as it has been designated, and which took place on the 7th November 1878, proved an utter fiasco, calculated simply to excite ridicule ...
VII Inspector Brook Smith in Pursuit
  The history of the expedition which started on the 6th November 1878 from Wangaratta to search the Warby Ranges discloses culpable negligence and incapacity on the part of Mr. Smith, who was the officer in command
VIII Provisioning the Outlaws
  Williamson gave the police particulars respecting the KellyGang, their haunts, probable whereabouts, and their mode of obtaining supplies of provisions while hiding in the ranges.Mrs. Skillion, the sister of Ned and Dan Kelly, was in the habit of preparing large quantities of food which she conveyed into the bush at night, returning in the morning with her horse completely exhausted.
IX The Euroa Bank Robbery
  The police were warned about the threat to the banks but the danger was not sufficiently realized and reinforcements were not applied for to meet the threat. Wyatt also warned Nicolson and Sadleir as they got on the train to race off in the wrong direction.

The efforts made to follow up the tracks by Mr. Nicolson and his search party on the day following the robbery proved utterly futile, and they were compelled, from sheer exhaustion and inability to trace the outlaws, to return to quarters in the afternoon.

X Captain Standish and Superintendent Hare in charge of the Pursuit
  Standish and Hare replaced Nicolson after the Euroa robbery. They organised the mass arrests of sympathizers and organised the artillery to protect the banks. During Aaron Sherritt started working for the police and the Jerilderie robbery took place. Work of Hare and Standish contrasted.
XI The Queensland Trackers
  The arrival of the Queensland trackers in Victoria. The terms of Insp O'Connor's employment in Victoria. tension between Standish and O'Connor. Problems over the size of search parties and the clothing for the native trackers. Deathof Corporal Sambo.
XII Mr. Nicolson resumes charge of the Pursuit
  When, in July 1879, Mr. Nicolson resumed charge of the pursuit, the prospect of capturing the outlaws appeared more remote than ever. Police resources reduced. . Prior to the Euroa bank robbery Mr. Nicolson appears to have lost faith in the utility of search parties exclusively; and his coadjutor, Superintendent Sadleir, emphatically pronounced the system to be mere "fooling."

In early in December 1879 Mr. Nicolson organized the second cave party to watch Mr Byrne's home. While the KellyGang were in the area the police did not see them and there was a concern that the news of the police had been leaked.

In February 1880, a report was received by the police that a number of mould-boards of ploughs had been stolen from the neighborhood of Greta and Oxley.

XIII Mr. Nicolson's recall
  The Assistant Commissioner takes no pains to conceal the opinion that his removal in June 1880, although ostensibly the direct act of the Executive, was in reality the result of official intrigue. Captain Standish, for reasons of his own, was responsible for the move - of this there cannot be a doubt, that there was thereby revealed the existence of acrimonious feelings amongst the officers - of jealousy, distrust, and personal rivalry, of which nothing previously had been positively known, although perhaps suspected.

Aaron Sherritt and James Wallace's role in the demise of Nicolson was also reviewed.

XIV Superintendent Hare supersedes Mr Nicolson
  The hand over between Nicolson and Hare on 2/6/1880 was a troubled meeting. Superintendent Hare having mastered the documents in the office which had a bearing upon the pursuit, and having also obtained every information and assistance from Superintendent Sadleir, proceeded to make his own arrangements.

Four constables under the direction of Detective Ward were secreted in Aaron Sherritt's hut, at Sebastopol, with instructions to remain concealed during the day, and in the evening to proceed to Mrs. Byrne's place and watch it at night, as the cave parties had done previously. The first impression of your Commissioners when they visited the scene of the murder was its unsuitability for such a purpose

XV Glenrowan
  The overall plan

Death of Aaron Sherritt

Description of what happened at Glenrowan

Plan to hold up the train and take prisoners at Jones's hotel; atleast 62 prisoners.

Mr Curnow and the arrival of the train

The roles of the key police officers commented upon

The deaths of Jack Jones, Reardon and Martin Cherry

 ! 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.

We also apologise for any typographical errors.