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Side of Authority
This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.


... one of the things of the KellyGang story

'See , early years , Fitzpatrick incident , Sympathisers , Death of Aaron Sherritt , Glenrowan Inquests , ' Ned Kelly's Committal , Ned Kelly's Trial ,

Other related topics include,

Courts - Beechworth, Benalla, Clunes, Donnybrook, El Dorado , Kilmore, Kyneton , Melbourne, Wangaratta , Yackandandah ,

Goals - Beechworth, Melbourne, Pentridge, Point Gelibrand, prison hulks

Judges -

Lawyers - Bindon , Bowman , F Brown , Chomley , De Courcy Mead , Dywer ,M'Farland, Gaunson , McLeary, Molesworth . Pow , Read , Smyth , Zincke ,

Magistrates -,Akehurst, Bickerton , Butler, Call , Foster , Gordon , Landlord, Maunsell , McBean , (Robertson JP) , Rowe , Stephen , Tone , Wyatt,

Licensing Magistrates -, , , Cock, , Barber , Galbraith , Gammon , , Glass, Govett , , Harrow, Houn , , Kinnear, ,Lumley, McBurney , McCarthy , Miller , Tone ,Turner , Weigall , Wigmore ,

Some were not happy at taking cases from all over North Eastern Victoria to Beechworth, particularly after the railway made travel easy. (Ensign25/4/1873)

Links to the KellyGang

Early Years Many of the most important parts of the story of the KellyGang were played out in the courts. Ned Kelly's father found himself brought before the courts soon after he arrived in Australia. All the members of the KellyGang were familiar with the courts as they were growing up. The courts played a key role in a justice system that thought little about rehabilitation and more about punishment.

The sentencing of Mrs Kelly over the incident incensed Ned Kelly and was a major factor in the events that followed.

The ongoing trial of the sympathizers did much to drive a wedge between the community and the police and turned many people into active sympathizers

On of the last parts of the KellyGang story was the trial of Ned Kelly.


On 8/1/78, black Wednesday, the Berry Government sacked many judges and magistrates in order to save money

Fitzpatrick Incident 15/04/1878 Mrs Kelly, William Williamson and William Skillon were convicted of the attempted murder of Const Fitzpatrick in the Beechworth court in October 1878.

Soon after the Magistrates who had been dismissed by the Government as an economy measure ,where reappointed (Argus18/4/78)

Cases against the sympathisers 1-2 /1879

Over 20 sympathisers were rounded up and kept in Beechworth Gaol under the Felons Apprehension Act.

How did Mr Bowman come to act for both sides

Some of the legal issues considered (Argus27/1/79)

There were appeals to the Supreme court (Argus21/2/79)

See sympathiser for a list of those charged

Aaron Sherritt's death An inquest was held in Beechworth into the death of Aaron Sherritt. Glenrowan - Inquests Coronial Inquests were preferred to Magisterial inquiries. The later were generally held when the coroner was not in the jurisdiction.

There was perhaps no difference in effect. Sup Sadleir said, 'I think there is a greater security to the public in the coroner's inquest than in the ordinary magisterial enquiry, but, eventually, they both lead to the same result if fairly conducted. The magistrate, upon hearing the evidence of witnesses concerning the death of any one, can issue his warrant for the arrest of the person inculpated; but the coroner has a further power. He can issue his warrant for the committal, but, in effect, there it very little difference. Usually, in spite of the coroner's warrant of committal and case is brought before the police court, as if the coroner had not interfered in the matter.'

The coroner could demand an inquest if he wanted. (RC2899)

Coronial Inquests involved a jury and there is a verdict. (RC2910)

An inquest was held into the death of Aaron Sherritt by Mr Foster.

A number of inquests were held after the Glenrowan Siege, John Jones died in the Wangaratta Hospital and an inquest into the reasons for his death was held by Tone JP. (Argus1/7/80)

Mr McBean held an inquest into the death of Martin Cherry at Powell's Hotel in Benalla.

Dr Nicholson gave evidence (Age1/7/80) (Argus1/7/80)

He also, with Com Standish, held an Magisterial inquiry into Joe Byrne's death. (Argus30/6/80) (RC2905)

Const McIntyre, Louis Pyatzer , Const Canny , and Sup Sadleir.

A verdict of justifiable homicide was returned by Mr McBean in the following terms:_ ‘The outlaw Joseph Byrne whose body was before the Court and in the possession of the police, was shot by them whilst in the execution of their duty. (Argus30/6/80)

Mr Bullivant, from Wangaratta was to hold a Magisterial inquiry into the death of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart, but the authorities eventually decided to abandon the idea. The family had gathered at Greta and they were not going to hand the bodies over. See Steve's brother Richard Hart for details. (Age1/7/80)

Ned Kelly's Committal The committal started on 6/8/1880 in the court house in Beechworth. Mr Foster was the magistrate who heard the case, see Kelly trial. Ned Kelly's Trail Ned Kellys trial was held in the Central Criminal Court in Melbourne, just down Russell Street from the Melbourne Gaol. The court house had been built in Melbourne's early days. It is an imposing castle- fortress type of a building. Mr Justice Barry presided over the trial. The main hearing was held in late October 1880 , see Kelly trial.

Royal Commission

The role of lawyers in the Royal Commission (Argus19/3/81)