Royal Commission report day 40 page 5

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Story of the KellyGang - the Royal Commission Report

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The Royal Commission evidence for 28/7/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 40)

[[../../people/peU_Z/wardPdet.html|Det Michael Edward Ward]] giving evidence

14180 That was a part of the work you and Mullane had to perform, to keep them at the work, and keep them from becoming discontented?— Yes; I must say the work was very severe on the men.

14181 Have you reason to believe that the cave party were discovered before the police were withdrawn?— In my opinion, from what I heard since, I believe it was never discovered by the friends of the outlaws until after the police were withdrawn.

14182 By the Commission— Upon what do you found that opinion?— Upon what happened after— what came to my knowledge after the cave party was withdrawn, from enquiries made. I made several enquiries; in fact, the schoolmaster on the Woolshed said to me, “ Ward , if you place confidence in me, I could do some good for you.” I said, “What do you mean? ” He said, “In having those police watching.” I said, “You would be the wrong man for me to place confidence in.”

14183 By the Commission— This man was a sympathizer with the Kellys?— Yes.

14184 His answer would lead you to believe that he knew nothing about the police being there watching?— Yes.

14185 By Mr. Nicolson— According to your knowledge, did the Chappells know nothing about it?— I could not say. I never went there after I found him out in betraying me in something else.

14186 You had enquires made all round the area?— I had careful enquiries made.

14187 One of the constables, I forget whether it was Barry or Falkiner, alluded to a child passing backwards and forwards between the Sherritt's and Byrne's; what girl was that?— Ann Jane Sherritt, by my instructions, going to Mrs. Byrne's.

14188 What is the character of this girl with reference to secrecy and cunning?— She is a secret, cunning, good girl, and I have proved her to be that.

14189 Did you on more than one occasion ask me to have an interview with her to see what extraordinary secrecy and acuteness she possessed?— I did repeatedly; I proved her to be true to me.

14190 Did not the safety and lives of the Sherritts depend upon the secrecy observed?— Most undoubtedly so. On one occasion Ann Jane Sherritt said she received a letter from Mrs. Byrne to go and see her, and Mrs. Byrne told her then that Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly called at the Black Dog Creek. Joe Byrne gave a letter to Mrs. Byron to deliver it to Mrs. Byrne . Mrs. Byron , not being on good terms with Mrs. Byrne , she sent the letter by her husband to Batchelor, who lives next door to Byrne, which he delivered to Mrs. Byrne . We had enquiries made, and found that Byron was at Batchelor's just about the time, and that is how I proved her to be true to me.

14191 You have other proof besides that?— Many others, but that is one fact. The day after I was examined in Beechworth I saw Mrs. Barry . She told me that she was in the hut on the night that Mr. Hare and I visited there, that the constables accused me of telling them to tell a falsehood. I do not remember seeing her there.

14192 The Chairman;— She said she heard whispering, but did not know what it was.

The witness withdrew.

Adjourned to Tuesday next at Eleven o'clock .

[~[[see report of proceedings 28/7/81]|6416]~]


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2/ 8/1881


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