Royal Commission report day 18 page 16

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The Royal Commission evidence for 11/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 18)

'Constable Alfred John Faulkiner' giving evidence

5680 What train of circumstances induced you to alter your opinion of him from the Whorouly races to the time you last saw him at the cave party?— He used to speak so against Mrs. Byrne, and used never to visit her; and I thought if he was not friends with her he must be enemies.

5681 The brother, Jack Sherritt, did you think he was true to the Government?— I could not say much about him.

5682 What is your opinion?— He was more inclined to drink and knock about amongst other people, so I had not such a good chance as with Aaron to form an opinion.

5683 Did you over hear him mention he was in the habit of meeting the outlaws—did he ever talk to you of ever having seen any of the outlaws?— No, he did not mention it.

5684 Was he familiar did he say with their appearance?— Yes, he said he knew them well.

5685 Do you think that during the time you were on duty up there, or previously or subsequently to this, that the Kellys were in the habit of visiting Byrne's?— Well, I doubted it. I did not see what they wanted to come home for. I thought they could easily get their provisions elsewhere. They might occasionally visit the place, I have no doubt, but not frequently.

5686 Do you know the origin of the unpleasantness that occurred between Mrs. Byrne and Sherritt —was it connected with the Kelly party. You said Sherritt did not agree with her?— I believe he had been courting one of the girls at one time, or something of that sort.

5687 Have you formed any opinion as to why Aaron Sherritt was shot?— Because he was in league with the police.

5688 That is your opinion?— That is my opinion.

5689 Do you think that private vengeance in connection with his family had anything to do with that?— I do not.

5690 How do you account for the fact of it being known to Joe Byrne that the police were there. Is it from information supplied by his brother?— Yes, I daresay it would be. I have no doubt they would hear it as well as I heard it myself.

5691 Outside the police?— Yes.

5692 Do you think the information you received came from any members of the police force or a knowledge acquired from the parties themselves?— I think it would be the latter. I do not think it would be to the interest of the police to speak about it.

5693 Did you ever see any reluctance on behalf of the men from doing duty that they were not ready to meet the Kellys?— I have never.

5694 Did, to your knowledge, the officers and sergeants test the courage of the men in picking them for this duty?— No, I do not think they did.

5695 Would you be surprised to learn that the sergeants always did test the men?— I have no doubt they formed an opinion.

5696 Do you know they tested them by sending them on difficult duty; do you know that of your own knowledge?— No.

5697 By Mr. Sadleir. —You stated that there might have been thirteen men in the party from Taylor 's Gap?— Yes.

5698 Where did they meet the party?— A short distance out of Beechworth, on the main road.

5699 Which of them were you with?— Sergeant Steele’s party.

5700 You did not meet in Beechworth?— No.

5701 Is it not nearly two miles out of Beechworth?— I could not say it was not.

5702 A little way on the main road before we turned into the bush?— Yes.

5703 When Mr. Nicolson was rushing the house did you see me that morning?— I could not say I did, I think I did, I fancy you were up to the front.

5704 You said that Mr. Nicolson rushed?— Yes.

5705 What men were with him?— I think Constable Ryan, but I am not sure, and Bracken.

5706 Was Bracken with Mr. Nicolson?— Yes.

5707 Are you quite sure of that?— Yes.

5708 Not with me?— I cannot say that......

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