Royal Commission report day 36 page 1

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The Royal Commission evidence for 6/7/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 36)

The Rev. Matthew Gibney further examined


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

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

J. Gibb , Esq. , M.L.A., W. Anderson , Esq., M.L.A.

12769 By the Commission— Mr. Sadleir who hand charge of the police at the taking of the Kellys, thinks that some of your statements might be prejudicial to him, and he desired some questions to be put to you; and he has given the written questions here so as to elucidate his meaning in any possible way that can be done?— I may remark that if any word of mine would wound, which is not necessary for truth, I hereby desire to record my wish to blot it out.(JJK)

12770 The Commission consider that you did exactly what was your duty in everything that you said, even if a wrong impression has been created. Mr. Sadleir was not present, and he desires that these questions may be put. That is the whole thing, and we thought it well to have the matter brought under your notice; and we are much obliged to you for coming again. I will just put the questions as they have been written down, and those are the questions you are supposed to I reply to. The first question is, “Were you aware, before your arrival at Glenrowan on June 28th 1880, that all the innocent persons except Cherry had left Mrs. Jones's two hours or so before”?— I was aware on my arrival there–I became aware of it soon–at least that the innocent people had been allowed to remove from the house sometime about half-past nine or ten o'clock, some two hours before I came, that would be; but I heard there was one wounded man there–I believe it Cherry.

12771 The second question is, “When did you learn that I was” (that is Mr. Sadleir) “the principal officer on the ground, and where was I then”?—–I could not say for certain whether I learned the name of the officer in charge before the time that Kelly's sister came on the ground. Then I knew for certain, as I made enquiries in order to find the officer in charge.

12772 The second portion of the question is, “and where was Mr. Sadleir then”?— I was directed to Mr. Sadleir shell by parties on the cordon, the line of police in the direction in which I found that Mr. Sadleir was not then.

12773 The third question is, “Where were you mostly from your arrival at 12 o'clock until the time approached when the house was set fire to”?— I might have been perhaps an hour, or it may be more –an hour and a half, perhaps, in attendance on Ned Kelly. In my endeavor to get to him I was, perhaps, ten or fifteen minutes before I could get in, and then I was, I dare say, three quarters of an hour with him, attending to him with my own duties; I might be more, but I believe was not short of that time. After that time I went over to the hotel on the opposite side and spent about perhaps five or seven minutes there; it might be more. I met a reverend gentleman there of the Church of England, and we walked down to where the line of railway had been torn up, and then came back to the railway station.

12774 The fourth question is, “Do you remember seeing me” (Mr. Sadleir) “about the platform”?— After the house had been set fire to I believe I saw you twice I said I saw you. I believe it was pointed out that that was Mr. Sadleir on the left hand side of the house looking at the house from the direction of the railway gate. I saw you there with a party of men, and then I sent to Miss Kelly to go on now and ask if she might go to the house. (JJK)

12775 The fifth question is, “How long before the house was fired did Mrs. Skillian or Kate Kelly, Ned Kelly's sister, arrive on the ground”?— It was Miss Kate Kelly.

Mr. Sadleir — I never saw her, I saw Mrs. Skillian approaching and turned her from the house.

The Witness — Understand I was told it was Kate Kelly , I saw them both.

12776 Mr. Sadleir— My question is to elicit when the woman that approached the building–that is the one I refer to?— I never had any doubt it was Kate Kelly.

Mr .Sadleir — My question is with regard to the woman that approached the building from the railway gates. It does not matter if we both understand we mean the same person.

12777 By the Commission (to the witness)— You sent on the sister to Mr. Sadleir; and I think what the Commission have to do with is, how long before the fire was it she went to Mr. Sadleir?— I believe the man had already come back from the house. I think he had already returned from the house– the one that set fire to it.

12778 It was just at the time the house was set fire to?— I was coming round with this woman to find Mr. Sadleir, I saw the man running from the house after setting fire to it. It was only then I became aware the house was being fired. When I made an effort to get this woman to approach the house I did not know then the house was being fired, but I had heard that there was a cannon on the way.....

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