Royal Commission report 3/8/1881

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Story of the KellyGang - the Royal Commission 3/8/1881

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Summary of the evidence on day 42 of the hearings
Question number Date Witness
14516 - 14841 3//8/1881 James Wallace
14842 - 15039 3//8/1881 John Sherritt
14415 - 14515 2/8/1881 Start of James Wallace's evidence
15103 - 15211 4/8/1881 John Sherritt's evidence continues
Appendix Title
20 Minutes of Proceedings at Meetings Held by the Royal Commission

Summary of the evidence on day 42 of the hearings

3/8/1881 James Wallace continued his evidence - some brief highlights

Ass Com Nicolson did not want James Wallace's evidence to be reported by the police. Wallace was examined about a letter where he spoke of Aaron Sherritt as "Mr. Hare's protege" because he showed such an affection for Mr. Hare, and spoke of him in such high terms.

The Royal Commission asked Wallace what he ment by the following statement in his letter of 8/8/1880 :- "I think it more advisable to communicate details to you personally, as there is a screw loose in your department somewhere."

After getting an answer to that question the Commission asked, "You say further on- "There is a beautiful game of cross purposes being played on both sides that is worth the trouble of watching, if there were no other motive" -what do you allude to there?

Was Aaron Sherritt a police agent or a double agent?

"These are riddles?- Those letters were written for Mr. Nicolson, and as long as he understood them, that satisfied me."

Did Wallace ever see any of the KellyGang after the time of the Wombat murders?

Did he ever communicate with them?

"Do you think you could make a mistake at that distance as to any gentleman in this room?- Yes, if they were in disguises. If I dressed you up in the garb of a woman, I would not know you."

"Even if you had a slight impression, as an officer in the public service and occupying a respectable position as a teacher of young people, did not you conceive it your duty to give the fullest and most expeditious information you could?- Not in that case."

What happened in Wertheim's, in Beechworth?

What was a 'National,' and how did Wallace try and use it to try and catch out Det Ward?

James Wallace wrote a letter to Ass Com Nicolson after a ploughing match in Milawa in Setember 1879 complaining about Det Ward and the plans to pardon Joe Byrne.

That night Ward discussed his plans to trap the KellyGang with a number of people in Gardiners Hotel in Milawa. Did he also want to trap Wallace or just drive a wedge between Wallace and Nicolson?

Wallace's letter of 12/11/1879; what was it about?

Aaron Sherritt offered James Wallace money, why?

Who seduced Joe Byrne's sister?

What happened when Wallace visited Aaron Sherritt and Patsy Byrne?

Wallace had a decided view as to Det Ward's character

Was Aaron Sherritt a double agent?

Did Wallace make any arrangement with Aaron Sherritt for Joe Byrne to betray the other three?

Was Wallace writing a book about this time?

Wallace wrote a leading article and a series of romance entitled "Christmas in Kelly Land."

"Could you give us any idea how you incurred this expense?- Horse-flesh and horse-feed."

"You had your own horse there?- But still it would require horse-feed, and horse-feed was expensive, and travelling about from one place to another, and meeting sympathizers and drinking with them, would soon melt the money. Of course, you all being teetotallers, cannot see that."

"There is one question I think you ought to answer candidly-have you supplied to the police one particle of information that you think upon mature consideration helped to catch the outlaws?- I think so "

KellyGang's gold

Report by Ward of Wallace's visit to Beechworth.

"To a certain extent truth had to be sacrificed."

3/8/1881 John Sherritt commenced his evidence - some brief highlights

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