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Recollections of a Victorian Police Officer Chapter IX page 3

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== Recollections of a Victorian Police Officer by Sup John Sadleir ==
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There had been serious disturbances in the Ovens district some time before, and when news of the [[Buckland|Buckland]] trouble reached [[Beechworth|Beechworth]] the principal magistrate, Matthew Price, a very excitable man and exceedingly overbearing, was for proceeding against all the Europeans on the field - a thousand or more. He issued sheaves of warrants for the arrest of persons neither named nor described. Burke, who understood the situation better, stood out vigorously against this proceeding, and somewhat of a feud arose between the two officers. Burke kept the warrants in his pocket, and had only those men arrested who had shown violence towards the [[Chinese|Chinese]]. It happened that I knew one, Yankee Bill, whom I found sitting in front of Wallace’s Hotel in Ford Street . Bill was big enough to eat me up, but when I put my hand on his shoulder and told him he was wanted he followed me to the police camp like a lamb. It is certain that Burke’s conduct in the affair prevented a serious conflict between the authorities and the miners. Mr W H Gaunt, later a County Court Judge, then a goldfields commissioner at [[Woolshed|Woolshed]] Creek, was sent to take up his residence at the Buckland, and, under his firm and judicious rule, order was soon established. Mr Gaunt not only restored order, but insisted on the Chinese, or as many of them as could be collected, being allowed to resume their claims in peace. A proclamation issued by him wound up with the words - 'obey and tremble!' Other difficult cases might be quoted in which Burke showed similar capacity and sound judgment. Some time after his difficulty with the police magistrate he had an opportunity of revenging himself on the latter, who continued to be unfriendly, if he had so desired. It came to his knowledge that the magistrate had peculiar financial relations with one of the district pound-keepers. The evidence was not quite clear enough for a prosecution, and Burke, instead of making the matter public, gave intimation to the magistrate that the improper practices should cease. The magistrate took fright and cleared out of Victoria .