|Side of Authority
This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.
Meet the people of the KellyGang story
Importance of Mr Alfred Wyatt PM
I was the police magistrate based at Benalla. (RC2121) Some say I was a bit of a character. I was hearing matters in the court in Euroa day of the robbery. I used to wear a velvet suit and took an extra horse to keep my one company. Well, what of it. Links to the KellyGang, Early Years , Fitzpatrick Incident , Mansfield Murders , Sebastopol Cavalcade , Euroa Robbery , Jerilderie Robbery , Autum 1879 , Hare replaced by Nicolson., Spring 1879 Early 1880 , Death of Aaron Sherritt , Glenrowan Siege , Ned Kellys Trial , Royal Commission , Early service, Later service., Family..
Links to the KellyGang
I was a former barrister; appointed magistrate to act at Woods Point September 1872. (Alexandra21/9/1872)
In Febuiary 1874 I was appointed Magistrate at Wangaratta.
I was reappointed as a Magistrate (Argus18/4/78)
Euroa Robbery 10/12/1878 Photograph Coming to Euroa from Violet Town
On that day I proceeded by the luggage train from Violet Town to Euroa, to hold a licensing meeting, which started, at about 5 pm. At 4.40pm, while the train was still going slowly from Violet Town a man, Watt a telegraph, from Benalla, came along the foot-plate and spoke to me. He said "Look here, the lines are down, and the queer feature of it is that the Government telegraph lines cross our railway telegraph line." (RC2122) (RC2245) See Telegraph for the rest of the details. See also (CHC) (Argus16/12/78)
I told the Royal Commission what happened in detail.
While the robbery was going on
When I arrived at Euroa I went and held my licensing meeting. All Euroa was that day attendant on my licensing meeting or at a funeral.
The hearing was very short, the licenses were all granted unopposed. I then started back to the railway station, and when I had got twenty yards on my journey, I began to reflect upon the telegraph wire being down, and I came to the conclusion that it was doubtful whether it was due to whirlwind as I at first thought-and as I heard two other passengers say they thought when they landed first at the station-or whether it was not some other cause that should be inquired into.
I resolved to hire a buggy and go and see for myself. I went to the only hotel, Mr. Hart's, who was then, recently, a purchaser of De Boos's hotel, and asked for a buggy and horse. I got back at 6.30pm (RC2245)
Meeting with Nicolson and Sadlier in Benalla
I came to the Benalla police station at about 9.30pm. (RC5957)
Sadeir claimed that I caused the problem by cautioning the railway people to secrecy. He even said that his recollection of events was better than mine. (RC16692)
The Royal Commission described my meeting with Nicolson and Sadleir in the following terms;
"Mr. Wyatt, PM, arrived from Euroa by the evening train, bringing with him incontestable proofs that the telegraph wires in the vicinity of the township had been deliberately cut, and direct communication with Melbourne destroyed. Mr. Wyatt appears to have argued the matter out in his own mind, from all the circumstances which came under his notice, that the cutting of the wires was probably the work of the KellyGang; and as soon as he observed Mr. Nicolson on the platform, at Benalla, he at once communicated to him his suspicions. Unfortunately Mr. Wyatt had warned the driver of the engine and others in the train by which he had arrived not to disclose any information they possessed on the subject, so that, when they were interrogated by Superintendent Sadleir as to whether there was anything wrong down the line, they returned a distinct negative. The warning of the police magistrate was disregarded. " (RC2nd reportIX)
The press had an interesting response to my style of justice (OMA11/2/1879)
. Glenrowan Siege 28/6/1880
They say I agreed to Magisterial Inquiries into the deaths rather than a coronial inquest conducted by me. (RC2903)
I left Benalla, in the same train which brought Edward Kelly down to Melbourne, whom I had committed. I resolved to see delivered into gaol safely myself. I also arranged with Mr. Sadleir and Captain Standish that I would return again and hold the inquest on the body of Byrne on the Thursday. (RC2249) See also (RC2890)
In conversing with Mr. Harriman in the Crown Law Offices, he received a telegram that altered those arrngements. I was vexed at the decision to hold an inquest instead of a magisterial enquiry.
I had a problem with a train (Argus18/4/81)
I provided details of what happened and then went to talk about things like police - telegraph co operation (RC2280)
Early Service Later Service
wife ?... children ?.... home ?..
What happened to Mr Wyatt's family KellyGang