Royal Commission report day 45 page 24

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The Royal Commission evidence for 10/8/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 45)

SConst Patrick Mullane further examined.

15744 By the Commission— Were you present at the time Jack Sherritt came in to tell Mr. Nicolson that Dan Kelly was down at his mother’s house?— I was not, or, if I was, I have no recollection whatever of it. I do not think I knew it for about a week afterwards, when Mr. Nicolson himself told me. I may say I never knew of Jack Sherritt bringing information, and I never saw him bring information in, except once, when I was with Aaron Sherritt .

15745 Then, in reality, you barely knew Jack Sherritt?— I knew him well, but not as an informant.

15746 By Mr. Nicolson— Do you recollect any conversation about it—you say I told you?— Yes.

15747 By the Commission— Have you any idea of the conversation held at the time?— I remember the conversation between Mr. Nicolson and myself. He told me Jack Sherritt gave him certain information, and that he (Sherritt) was frightened the outlaws were going to take him away, and he said he thought he had given me this information, but I told him he had not.

15748 By Mr. Nicolson— Do you remember if anything was said about the hour at which those outlaws visited the house?— I do not

15749 Have you your occurrence-book here?— Yes—[the same was produced].

15750 Will you turn up the 13th November 1879 ?— Yes.

15751 Will you read the occurrence entry of that day?— [The witness did so.]—There is no entry about this matter of Sherritt. Mr. Nicolson arrived on this day, but the entry of his arrival was neglected to be entered, because I have an entry of his departure next day.

Mr. Nicolson — My memorandum is this:— “Thursday, 13 November '79.—Office with Mr. Sadleir until 11a.m. , arranging various matters. To Beechworth; saw Sergt. Steele at Wangaratta. Beechworth. Inspector Smith and Detective Ward Communication to Chiltern local land board to refuse Baumgarten's applications for more land. Met Judge Skinner. Saw Sr. Const. Flood. [Then comes my conversation with him.] Police at Yackandandah have Colt's revolvers; ammunition scarce. Jack Sherritt arrived from Sebastopol, stating, while he was at his work in Crawford's paddock, when his sister came to say that Dan Kelly called at Mrs. Sherritt's; asked for Jack; when told he was out, he searched the rooms for him, carrying a revolver in his hand. Jack got his horse, and after dark rode from his work to Beechworth, much frightened; thinks they have come to carry him off with theft. His sister Mary Jane was sent for by Mrs. Byrne on Tuesday, 11th, but did not go; said as excuse ‘she was sick.’ No doubt an interview wanted by outlaws with Jack, probably to anticipate his going to Evans's Gap on Sunday week, 23 Nov Jack's return, 11 p.m., to Sebastopol, to visit Julian's and pass the night there as if drunk, create a row and have it talked about, so as to account to outlaws for his absence.” I was afraid at that time, from the fear that this man showed of coming in contact with any of them, that he would betray himself. I can fill up that with my own statement if you wish it. That is the exact memorandum written by me at the time. I was not sent for to see him till about nine o'clock at night, and he left the office at eleven.

15752 By the Commission (to Mr. Sherritt)— Do you still adhere to your statement that you were in at seven o'clock ?— Yes, I do; I am certain of that.

15753 How do you account for remaining—what were you doing till eleven o'clock ?— I did not stop till that time.

15754 By Mr. Nicolson (to Mr. Sherritt)— You left the office at eleven?— No, I did not; I got into Beechworth between six and seven o'clock .

15755 It would not be dark then?— Yes, it would.

15756 Was it quite dark when you got in?— It was about dusk.

15757 By the Commission (to Mr. Sherritt)— Did you see Mr. Nicolson immediately you went in?— Yes, I did. It could not have been any more than that time, because when he looked at the clock in the room, he called to Detective Ward and said there was half-an-hour or three-quarters to go down there, and if Mr. Ward can refresh his memory a bit, he can think of the same words.

Mr. Nicolson — He said he hid himself until dark.

15758 By the Commission (to Detective Ward)— Have you any recollection of Mr. Nicolson referring to the clock?— No.

15759 Were you in when Sherritt met Mr. Nicolson?— Yes; there are two rooms, and I was in and out.

15760 He must have referred to the clock without your knowledge?— Yes, he might, but there is no clock in the room.

15761 To the witness— Where is the clock?— In the verandah outside. It is not visible in the room; the clock is outside the house.

15762 To Mr. Sherritt— Had you any other means of ascertaining the time but by this clock?— Yes, the town clock—the Beechworth clock.

15763 You could see that when you came in?— Yes.

15764 Immediately after you heard that Kelly had been to your house, did you start for home then?— Yes.

15765 How long would it take you to come?— A quarter of an hour at the very outside.

15766 Through the bush?— Yes.

15767 How many miles is it?— About three miles the way I went; I did not go along the road.

15768 Is it not a very rough country?— Yes.

15769 To the witness— Could you ride that in a quarter of an hour?— No, except I killed my horse.

15770 In half-an-hour?— In three-quarters of an hour with good riding. I rode it the other day fast in three-quarters of an hour.

15771 How many miles do you think it is?— Between four and five.

Mr. Sherritt — I was in the paddock nearest Beechworth.

15772 By the Commission (to the witness)— How far is that?— About four miles.

15773 By Mr. Sherritt— Where was the horse?— In Crawford's paddock.

The witness withdrew.

Adjourned to Tuesday, the 23rd inst., at Eleven o'clock .

[~[[see report of proceedings 10/8/81]|6478]~]

[~[[see report of proceedings 24/8/81]|6485]~]

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30/8/1881 ....

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