Royal Commission report day 16 page 1

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The Royal Commission evidence for 5/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 16)

Constable Thomas Patrick Dowling sworn and examined


The Hon. F. LONGMORE , M.L.A., in the Chair;

E. J. Dixon , Esq., J.P. , J. Gibb , Esq. , M.L.A.,

W. Anderson , Esq., M.L.A., G. R. Fincham , Esq. , M.L.A.,

J. H. Graves , Esq., M.L.A., G. W. Hall, Esq., M.L.A..

4162 By the Commission. —What are you?— Constable.

4163 Were you engaged in the North-Eastern district of the colony at the time of the Kelly outrages?— I was.

4164 When did you go up first?— The latter end of February 1879.

4165 Where were you stationed?— Mooroopna.

4166 What time did you go towards Beechworth?— About the 11th June 1880.

4167 What was your first employment there?— I was employed on special duty at Sherritt's hut.

4168 That was about when?— About the 17th.

4169 Were you told off along with other members of the force to watch in the neighborhood of Sherritt's hut?— I was.

4170 Was your duty to watch during the night?— Yes.

4171 And to keep away from observation during the day?— Yes.

4172 Where were you watching?— In the vicinity of Mrs. Byrne's house.

4173 Were you present on the occasion of the visit of Superintendent Hare to Sherritt's?— Yes.

4174 Was it on a Saturday evening?— On the Saturday evening previous to Sherritt being shot, Mr. Hare and Detective Ward came.

4175 Do you remember what Mr. Hare said on that occasion?— No, I was not at the hut at the time he came.

4176 Where were you?— I and Constable Armstrong were about some 200 yards away from the hut, cutting firewood.

4177 What time was that?— We left about half an hour after dusk; after tea.

4178 What time would dusk be then?— I could not say exactly the time.

4179 Was it moonlight at the time?— Yes, I believe it was.

4180 Would it be about seven o'clock in the evening?— About half-past six.

4181 When Mr. Hare arrived?— When we went up the hill to cut firewood.

4182 How long did you remain cutting firewood?— We would be up there about an hour and a half, I think.

4183 Was it sufficient light for you to be able to use the axe to cut firewood?— Yes, it was.

4184 That would make it eight o'clock ; after that where did you go?— We were coming down with a load of firewood when we met Mrs. Sherritt.

4185 What did she say?— She told us that Mr. Hare and Detective Ward were down at the hut.

4186 Did you see Mr. Hare that night?— Yes.

4187 What did you do when she told you that; did you drop the firewood?— We were going down to the hut. She told us that they had arrived, and that Detective Ward sent her up to tell me and Armstrong to go and take up our posts as quick as we possibly could at Byrne's house. I said there was no occasion to tell him a lie; that we could go down and tell him the truth, and there would be no blame attached to us. On our way down to the hut we saw Detective Ward, who told us to clear out as quick as we could, and take our post at Byrne's house, as Mr. Hare had just gone to see what we were doing there.

4188 How far were you from Sherritt's hut when you met Detective Ward?— About 150 yards.

4189 Did Detective Ward give you any reason why you should go down there so quickly?— No, he did not.....

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