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

Insp Henry Pewtress

Meet the people of the KellyGang story

Importance of Sub Inspector Pewtress, No 1033

Insp Pewtress was in charge of the police at Mansfield. Links to the KellyGang below, Early Years , Fitzpatrick Incident , Stringybark Creek Murders , Sebastopol Cavalcade , Euroa Robbery , Jerilderie Robbery , First Cave Party , Hare replaced by Nicolson , Second Cave Party , Death of Aaron Sherritt , Glenrowan Siege , Ned Kelly's Trial , Royal Commission , Early service , Later service , Family ,

Links to the KellyGang

Early Years I was born in England.

I was recruited in England when the Victoria police was formed in 1852. I had been a sergeant in the police in London. I was 5' 10" tall and hazel eyes, by the 1870s grey hair, and sallow complextion

I was appointed 2nd class Sergeant on 15/11/1853,SGT, 1st class Segt on 6/5/1854 and Sub-Inspector on 1/8/1878

Photograph Stringyback Creek Murders 26/10/1878 I was sent to Mansfield a short time previously upon a promotion, after a service of 20 years' foot duty in Melbourne. I had not really been in the bush before.

On 21/10/1878 Sup Sadleir issued the orders for our search party to me. (Sgt Kennedy has a copy of the order)

I checked Sgt Kennedy papers after his death. (RC1751)

Stringy Bark Creek Murders

I was in charge of the police station at Mansfield at the time of the murders.(RC118)

The other officer in the district under Sup Sadleir was Insp Brook Smith at Wangaratta. (RC15569)

I was in bed with a cold when McIntrye arrived back in town after the murders (CHC)

I could not raise Benalla on the telegraph to report the death and so I sent Const Meehan. He had an exciting time and as a result my message was delayed (CHC)

After sending Meehan off I organised a search party with Const Allwood and others. (Argus9/8/80)

We found the bodies of Lonigan and Scanlon with Mr Monk's help in the pouring rain and brought them back strapped on either side of a a pack horse (CHC)

After the Inquest I lead another search party out but the men would not stay out over night for fear of the KellyGang.

The third search party was more sucessful and we found sgt Kennedy's body on German Creek (CHC)

See also (Argus28/10/78)(Argus29/10/79) (Kilmore31/10/1878) (Age1/11/78)(Argus1/11/1878) (Alexandra2/11/1878)

I prosecuted Walter Lynch on 8/11/78. (Argus21/11/78)

I ordered arrest of Wild Wright (Argus26/11/78)

I was on the committee to establish the memorial for the dead police (Argus14/12/78)

Euroa Robbery 10/12/1878 I was in charge of the police station at Mansfield at the time of the robbery.(RC15493)


On his way back from Wodonga Nicolson issued instructions to the several police stations, in order to ensure co-operation in the pursuit.

The Royal Commission noted;

"Some stress has been laid upon the telegrams despatched to Sub-Inspector Pewtress, conveying instructions as to the course he should adopt; but - apart from the fact that if any doubt existed in the mind of Mr. Pewtress as to the propriety of acting upon the orders received he had full power to decide for himself what was best to be done - a careful scrutiny of the telegrams does not bear out the allegation that the Mansfield contingent were instructed to proceed in a direction the opposite to that in which there was a possibility of the KellyGang with their plunder being encountered." (RC2nd reportIX)

On 9/1/1879 I was transferred from Mansfield to Emerald Hill (South Melbourne) (Argus17/12/78) (Argus9/1/79)

I was back hunting the KellyGang for a short time in the Mansfield area. (Alexandra7/6/1879)

Hare replaced by Nicolson 6/7/1879 Nicolson stationed a small body of men at Mansfield, under Sub-Inspectors Toohey and Pewtress. (RC2ndreportXII) (RC713)

I went out to search for the KellyGang in the Puzzell Ranges (Argus 5/6/79)

I was given a letter that had been sent to Mr Monk.

I was responsible for the arrest of Walter Lynch. (Argus1/7/79)

Evidence at the Monk enquiry (Argus17/5/79) (Argus21/5/79)

Ned Kelly's trial

I was due to give evidence at Ned Kelly's committal hearing. (Age4/8/1880) Royal Commission I was not called to give evidence before the Royal Commission

Early Service

See the details of my career. (RCApp6)

Later Service

I retired as a Superintendant in 9/3/1892

I identified Ned Kelly's helmet (JJK)

I died in 1915 (Argus7/5/1915)


My wife Caroline Letchford (married 1854). children Isabella b1879, Beatrice b1872, Salome b1874, May Caroline b1876 home ?..

My twin brother, William Pewtress married Sarah Somerville, they had one daughter, Grace Isabella

What happened to Insp Pewtress' family