EDWARD KELLY BEFORE THE POLICE COURT
(BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH)
(FROM OUR OWN REPORTER)
The hearing of evidence in the case of Edward Kelly, the bushranger, was resumed this morning before Mr. Foster, P.M., in the Beechworth Police Court, the particular charge under investigation being still that of Constable Lonigan. The attendence of the public was smaller than usual.
George Stephens, examined by Mr. Chomley, deposed―I am a groom, and in December, 1878, I was employed on Younghusband’s station, Faithfull’s Creek, near Euroa. Younghusband’s station is about four miles from Euroa. On the 9th of December the prisoner and his mates stuck up the station. I first saw the prisoner at the kitchen about 1 o’clock. He inquired for Mr. McAuley, the overseer. Another man who was in the kitchen at the time told the prisoner that McAuley was not in. Mrs. Fitzgerald was also in the kitchen. Prisoner went away and I went down to the stables. I had been in the stable with a man named John Carson for a few minutes when I heard some talking. Looking out at the door I saw the prisoner coming down with Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald put his head in the door, and said to the prisoner, “These are the other two men,” pointing to Carson and I. The prisoner said, “All right. I suppose you don’t know who I am.” I said, “Perhaps you are Ned Kelly;” and he replied, :You are a ― good guesser.” I wheeled round and when I turned to him again he had me covered with a revolver. I then said, “I beg your pardon, I thought you were joking, and not Ned Kelly.” He said, “All right; I like to see you take it in good part. Which is the groom?” I replied, “I am;” and he then said, “I want some feed for my horses.” “All right,” I answered, “there is plenty here.” He held up his hand and two other men, whose names I did not know, came down, leading four horses. I was in the company of the prisoner and these two men and a fourth man all that day, all the following night, and part of next day, until the time when they said they were going to the bank. It was between 2 and 3 o’clock in the afternoon of the 10th December that they left for Euroa. Three of them left and one remained at the station. On the first day the horses of the gang were put into the stables and fed. When they had been put into the stalls, the prisoner and I were standing in an empty stall together, and I had a conversation with him. I said to him, “How about the police murders?” The prisoner replied, “We were behind a log. I told Dan to cover Lonigan, and I would cover the other man; I then called out “Throw up your hands.” McIntyre did so, and Lonigan made off for the logs, trying to draw his revolver as he did so, and he got down behind a log, rested his revolver on the top of it. I then took my rifle off McIntyre, and fired at Lonigan, and the ball grazed him along the temple. Lonigan than disappeared behind a log. He gradually then rose his hands up above the log, and when his head appeared again I fired again, and shot him through the head.” When the prisoner was describing this to me he raised his hands as Lonigan had done. He then said, “I sent two men back to our own hut, fearing a surprise there. I then sent Dan over to a green rise to watch the police the police coming in. While I was talking to McIntyre by the fire, they appeared in the open. I had just time to fall on my knees by the fire, and the fire was well nigh burning my knees. McIntyre then went over to Kennedy, and spoke to him. Kennedy smiled. I then immediately called out “Bail up; throw up your hands.” Scanlan swung his rifle round and fired at me. I then fired at Scanlan, and he fell forward on the horse’s neck. I still kept him covered, thinking he was shaming, when the horse moved and he rolled off. During this time Kennedy dismounted on the off side of his horse, laid his revolver over the horse’s rib, and fired at Dan as he came running in, grazing him on the top of his shoulder. McIntyre then jumped upon Kennedy’s horse and rode away. Kennedy then made for a tree, still firing. He then made from that to another tree, still firing. The reason he got so far was that I had taken up Scanlan’s rifle, but had to throw it away again as I did not know how to use it. I still followed Kennedy, and when I stepped out from behind a tree I thought I was then done for, as he fired a ball that grazed my ribs. I immediately fired, and hit him in the shoulder as he was getting back behind the tree. He then ran and I followed him. He wheeled round and raised his hand. I fired again, and shot him through the chest. When I hit him on the shoulder he must have dropped his revolver, as the blood was running down his arm, and formed a large clot on his wrist, which I took for his revolver, and knowing that he had one shot left I thought he was going to fire when he reeled round. I could see afterwards that he had been throwing up his hands.” During the night I was locked up in the store along with a number of other persons. The prisoner was with us, and also one of his mates. The prisoner kept us in.
Cross-examined by Mr. Gaunson.―I left Mr. Younghusband’s employ at the end of 1879. I made a statement about the prisoner’s conversation with me to Detective Ward, who wrote it down in his note-book. I had no conversation with the prisoner’s mates. I have read the newspaper reports of this case. Did not notice how my statement would clash or agree with McIntyre’s evidence. On Friday I saw McIntyre, and he asked me how Ned Kelly had made his statement to me. I have never seen the statement taken down from me by Detective Ward. First saw McIntyre at Glenrowan, but did not speak to him on that occasion. Have seen him several times since I arrived here―summoned as a witness. I lodge in the police barracks and pay for my board, but not for my bed. Did not see Detective Ward in the witnesses’ room on Saturday, but saw him in the passage. Since my arrival here I have not been spoken to by any one about my evidence except by McIntyre, who asked me what I had to state. I told him, “Ned said that he crawled down behind a log and called upon the police to throw up their hands, that Lonigan ran and got behind a log.” That was all I told McIntyre, who then said, “That is all wrong, that is not how it happened. When I wheeled round I saw four men with guns. Lonigan never got behind the logs at all, for immediately he commenced to run Ned shot him.” I also made a statement to Sergeant Decey about my conversation with the prisoner. Did so on meeting with him in Abbott’s saleyards, Bourke-street, in July last. Constable Boyd, of Donnybrook, who served me with the subpoena, said to me that some people thought Kelly would be hung, others that he would not. His own opinion is that he ought to be hung, and will be hung. (Laughter in which the prisoner joined audibly.) I don’t believe that Kelly is an innocent man, and I don’t believe he ought to be acquitted. My opinion is that he will be hung. (Another laugh in which the prisoner joined in.) My opinion is that if all is true that the prisoner told me he ought to be hung. I believed all that he told me. I am not in employment at present. I have been promised no situation under the Government. I was at Glenrowan in the beginning of June, but do not desire to say what for. I was acting as a detective at Glenrowan and Benalla. I have been promised no billet by the Government. I am a married man, and my family are living at my parents’ place at Donnybrook. I have been in the employ of the Government since the end of December last. No one asked me to work for the Government. In the first place I went up to Benalla to see Mr. Nicolson. I had a conversation with him, and the result was that he took me on as a private detective. My appointment was not in writing. The agreement was that I was to go out and try to come across the Kellys. I had a great anxiety to meet them alone―(prisoner smiled)―and I was to get 6s. a day. Of course I had a chance of sharing in the reward money, but nothing was said about that by Mr. Nicolson so far as I remember. The police were to refund me what expenses I incurred. Nothing was given to me beforehand. I am not getting pay now. I drew my last pay on the Tuesday after the gang were taken. I have not put a claim upon the reward, and I have no claim. I worked hard as a private detective. I am expecting to get some billet under the Government at the end of this trial; at least I intend to try. I sent reports to Mr. Nicolson from time to time of my doings. I saw a picture of the prisoner in The Sketcher before the gang came to Faithful Creek, but I had not seen a photograph of him. I was about Glenrowan from the middle of March up to a fortnight before the capture of the gang. I then went to a farmer’s place.
Mr. Smyth objected to the witness being made to indicate in any way any person from who he got information.
Mr. Gaunson said he would avoid doing so.
Cross-examination continued.―Saw the prisoner when he was being conveyed in a trap from the Benalla station to the lock-up. Had other employment at Glenrowan.
Mr. Gaunson.―In whose employment at Glenrowan?
Mr. Smyth objected to the question.
Mr. Gaunson, after talking with the prisoner, said he would urge the question and fight it out.
Mr. Smyth said he objected on the ground that this class of evidence was objectionable, as being contrary to public policy, and quoted several authorities. To allow evidence of the kind to be given would be highly improper in the present dangerous state of the country.
Mr. Gaunson argued that the authorities quoted did not apply to the question―Were you in the employment of Patrick Hennessy at Glenrowan?
Witness.―I was not. Superintendent Sadleir paid me off on the Tuesday after the capture of the gang. He did not say to me, “Stephens, don’t be out of the way; we may want your evidence.” I received £8 or £9 from him when he paid me off.
James Gloster, examined by Mr. Smyth, deposed,―I am a draper, living at Seymour. Occasionally I hawk my goods through the country. In December, 1878, I was out hawking, and a man named Frank Beecroft was with me. We were going to camp at Faithful Creek station on the evening of the 9th. We had got our two horses out of our cart. I then went to the kitchen for a billy of boiling water. I was told that the Kellys were there, but I did not believe it. When I was returning to my cart a man called me back, and I would not obey. I got up into the wagon for the purpose of getting my pistol, when two men followed me. The prisoner was one of the two. One went on one side of the wagon, and the other stood on the opposite side. Each held a pistol to my head, and the prisoner told me to come down. I came down, but continued to prepare my supper. The prisoner had a revolver in one hand, and a pair of handcuffs in the other. He said, “I had a good mind to put a bullet through you for not obeying.” He also said, “It will be an easy matter for me to pull the trigger if you do not keep a civil tongue in your head.” I had been showing that I was annoyed at their interference with me. I asked the prisoner, “Who and what are you? What business have you in interfering with me?” He replied, “I am Ned Kelly, son of Red Kelly, and a better man never stepped in two shoes.” I then said, “If you are, I suppose there is no use resisting.” He said, “If you keep a civil tongue in your head you will receive no harm, but you were nearer being shot than any other man there.” He then said, “Have you any firearms in your wagon?” I answered, “I don’t carry firearms for sale.” He said, “I know you have a pistol, and if you don’t give to me at once I will burn the wagon down.” I then gave it up. The other member of the gang with Ned was Byrne, I think. Whilst Beecroft and I were having our supper prisoner guarded us. He then took us to the kitchen, where we saw two other armed men. Afterwards we were removed to a hut called the store. A number of other men were locked up there, and the prisoner kept guard over us, having a pistol in one hand and a rifle or gun in the other. He told us to arrange ourselves comfortable for the night. During the night the prisoner was talking to me. We had been asking him questions, and with reference to the murder of the police he said, “I did all the shooting in the ranges, and none of the others shot the police. The people and the papers call me a murderer, but I never murdered anybody in my life.” I said, “How about Sergeant Kennedy?” He replied, “I killed him in a fair stand up fight,” and went on to argue that that was not murder―”a man killing his enemy,” he said, “was no murder.” He further said, “The police are my natural enemies.” He described the manner of the death of Kennedy, saying, “After the fight with Lonigan and Scanlan, Kennedy and I were firing at each other. Kennedy retreated from tree to tree. One of his shots went through my whiskers, and another through the sleeve of my coat, so he must have been a very good shot. I followed him, and he turned, as I thought, to fire again. He raised his arms as if to fire, and I fired at him again, hitting him under the armpit. He then fell.” In a subsequent conversation that night, the prisoner told me that he had a long talk with Kennedy whilst he lay wounded; that they (the gang) wanted to leave the ground, and did not like to leave Kennedy in a dying state, so to end his misery he shot him. Prisoner also said that as he respected Sergeant Kennedy he covered his body over with a cloak. In another conversation addressed to someone else that I heard, the prisoner described the death of Lonigan. He said, “McIntyre surrendered, but Lonigan ran to a log and was attempting to fire when I fired and hit him on the head, killing him. It was a pity that he did not surrender, as I did not wish to kill any of them, but only to take their arms.” I don’t recollect the prisoner saying anything about Scanlan. In another conversation, he said that he had stolen 280 horses since he commenced business, and that had the police taken him for anything of that kind he would not have grumbled. He also said that if a man once did anything wrong the police would never leave him alone. Prisoner did not pay me for the things he stole from me. What he stole was a revolver worth £3 10s., and clothing to the value of £14 or £15.
The court adjourned for lunch, and opened again at 2 o’clock.
Mr. Gaunson then proceeded to cross-examine Gloster. The witness stated―this was not the first occasion I had been stuck up. I was stuck up by a man whose name was unknown, and once by a man named Daly. The former has never been bought to justice, but Daly has. Daly shot me through the shoulder and through the face. He did not rob me. At the Faithful Creek station I asked if Daly was with the gang. I do not say that I have given the prisoner’s statements in his exact words, but simply as near as I can remember. Others could have heard our conversation. Stephens could have heard them if he was not asleep. Several of the prisoners fell asleep. I do not know whether Stephens slept or not. There was no violence offered by the prisoner after he had calmed down. The prisoner threatened to shoot several of us. After I gave in I was treated with the greatest kindness. I had about £10 in my pocket, and my cart was filled drapery goods. He did not offer to take any portion of my money, nor did any of his mates. Some of the prisoners offered him small sums of money, which he returned to them. One offered him a half-sovereign, which he declined. When I was first told that the Kellys were at the station I thought it was a joke. When I refused to return to the kitchen McAuley followed me and said I was a fool, and that were I any other man I would be shot. When my revolver was demanded the prisoner directed me to place it on a box in the cart. I did so and he picked it up. It was a six-shooter. It was when I was sitting at supper that the handcuffs were shown me, and it was then that the prisoner said I would receive no harm if I kept a civil tongue in my mouth. The prisoners in the store were detained there the whole night, the whole of the next day, and up to 8 o’clock next morning. The prisoner was with us the whole of the first night talking about various subjects. When the police murders were referred to we spoke about them as the shooting of the police. Never used the word murders. I did not care for calling them murders whilst a revolver was staring me in the face. My impression was that the prisoner took the talking himself about the shooting of the police in order to screen his mates. He seemed desirous of impressing upon us the idea that the police party intended to shoot them. I can’t say that he impressed us that he held that belief himself or that he did not. There was no drink amongst us in the store-room. About a week after the Euroa affair I wrote an account of my experience at Detective Ward’s request, and sent it to him. I have not seen that statement since. Have had an interview with Sub-inspector Kennedy with regard to this case. Mr. Kennedy asked me what I had to say, and took down what I said. I applied for a copy of my first statement, but did not get it. I will not swear that I did not make the statement that Kennedy was shot by Kelly when in a dying state in the report I gave to Ward, at Younghusband’s station. The prisoner’s conversation was full of complaints about the police. I understood him to mean that when once a man offended, although he had suffered for his offence, the police would never leave him alone. He complained that his mother had been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on the evidence of Constable Fitzpatrick, whose testimony was perjury. He also said his mother had seen better days, had struggled up with a large family, and that he felt very keenly at her being sent to gaol, with a baby at her breast, on the perjured statements of Constable Fitzpatrick.
Mr. Smyth.―And I suppose that was his justification for shooting Fitzpatrick?
Mr. Gaunson.―Well, you and I have never been placed in the same position.
Witness.―Prisoner also said that he was 200 miles when the attempt to murder Fitzpatrick took place, and that whilst he was 200 miles away, Fitzpatrick swore that it was he who shot him.
To Mr. Smyth.―It is eight or nine years since Daly stuck me up, and he had regained his liberty before the Euroa affair. The impression the prisoner left on my mind was that he shot the police through revengeful feelings. He also said that if his mother was not released, he would overturn a railway train.
Mr. Smyth.―Well, we know what he did in that way.
Witness.―I have no doubt that the prisoner told me that he shot Kennedy, although the conversation took place two years ago.
Frank Beecroft deposed,―In December, 1878, was in Mr. Gloster’s employment. On the 9th of that month we were stuck up by the Kelly gang at Younghusband’s station. We were locked up in the storeroom with 15 or 16 other persons. The prisoner kept guard over us in the room during the night. The prisoner talked a good deal. He told us all about the murder of the police in the Wombat Ranges. He said, “We came upon the police―two of them were Constables McIntyre and Lonigan―by the camp, and we called upon them to surrender. McIntyre threw up his hands, and Lonigan ran for a log. Lonigan got behind the log and was firing at me, when I fired at him and shot him in the head.” He also said the man was a fool for running away. He then said that when Kennedy and Scanlan came up, and he called upon them to surrender, That Scanlan tried to fir at him with his gun, and that he then shot him on his horse. He also said that whilst watching Kennedy and Scanlan, thinking the latter was shaming, MrIntyre escaped; that Kennedy fired at him from tree to tree until he ran into an open piece of ground and held up his hands; that he (the prisoner) thought Kennedy was going to fire again; that he therefore fired again at Kennedy, who then fell; that he said to Kennedy, “I will have to go, and as I don’t want to leave you in a dying state I will have to shoot you;” that Kennedy asked to be allowed to live, but that he (Kelly) shot him dead and covered him up with a cloak. The prisoner had a rifle at Euroa―a Spencer rifle―which he said he took from Scanlan; he showed us how to load and unload it at the stock. Towards morning I fell asleep.
Cross-examined by Mr. Gaunson.―I am 20 years of age, and my parents live at Longwood. Have been two years in Mr. Gloster’s employ, and am still in his service. Mr. Gloster told me he had written an account of the affair, but it was never shown or read to me. Constable McQuirk interviewed me at Euroa about a month ago. Mr. Gloster was not present. I wrote a statement myself. Mr. Gloster told me what he could say, and I told what I could say. Never agreed with Mr. Gloster about anything. I wrote out my statement at Detective Ward’s request, and sent it to him. Mr. Gloster has asked me to remember Kelly’s statement about the death of Sergeant Kennedy. I cannot say that on the occasion when Mr. Gloster and I talked about the Kellys that we compared our recollections of what occurred at Younghusband’s station. When Kelly’s name cropped up we generally spoke about what took place at the station; we never placed our statements on the matter side by side. I can’t remember Mr. Gloster ever having asked me, “Do you recollect what Kelly told us about shooting Kennedy on the ground?” but I cannot state positively that he has never asked me such a question. Mr. Gloster was present when I was interviewed last week by Sub-inspector Kennedy.
At a quarter to 5 o’clock the Court adjourned until 10 o’clock next day.
Beechworth, Monday Night.
The following message has been received by Mr. Gaunson in reply to his second telegram to the Chief Secretary:―“Your second telegram received, but, under all the circumstances of this case, I must decline to vary the order of my predecessor in office.―(Signed) GRAHAM BERRY.” The probability that some relative or sympathiser of the gang will attempt to hand Ned Kelly some means of evading the gallows is so great that the strictest precaution has to be exercised. The only chance he has at present of obtaining poison or some deadly weapon is when in the dock, but it is so constructed, being built up against the wall of the courthouse, that no one can approach it unseen. Dick Hart appeared in court again to-day, and when the prisoner observed him they smiled in a peculiar way at each other. When Kelly was being conveyed back to gaol this afternoon he was very dull, and scarcely spoke at all. There are a good many witnesses to be examined yet in the case of the murder of Lonigan―eight or nine―including Mr. Scott, manager of the bank at Euroa; the accountant of the bank at Jerilderie, Sergeant Steele, Senior-constable Kelly, and Constable McQuirk. When the case of Lonigan’s murder is finished, it is the intention of the prosecution to proceed with that of the murder of Scanlan, and the evidence now being given will have to be repeated.
With regard to the burning of Jones’s hotel at Glenrowan, the following facts have transpired. Senior-constable Johnson, having been authorised by Superintendent Sadleir to fire the house, went and obtained a bundle of straw and a bottle of kerosene. He then pretended to the people about the railway station that he was going to feed the horses in the railway paddock. He accordingly went down in that direction, entered the bush, and made a detour round to the other side or end of the hotel in his perigrination; and when passing round the other side of the rise beyond the hotel, he came across four men fully armed with guns and revolvers. He recognised none of them. Certainly they were not policemen, and the conclusion is that they were sympathisers waiting to assist the gang. Johnson saw at once that they were not friends, so he put the evasive question to them, “Did you see two horses, a grey and a brown, pass here recently?” They replied in a surly manner that they had not, and he passed on down upon the hotel, and fired it in the way already fully described. This incident confirms the suspicion or belief that was entertained that on the night at Glenrowan sympathisers were ready to fight with the gang. The witness Stephens, who was examined to-day, did duty with Constable Bracken at Glenrowan. They went out together two nights every week to watch Mrs. Skillian’s house, and on the other five nights other constables performed that duty. Shortly before the gang were destroyed, Detective Ward and three constables posted off from Beechworth one night for the arrest of a horse-stealer, who, they had reason to believe, was at Mrs. Byrne’s house, near Sebastopol. When they arrived there, they went into a paddock to examine horses. A relative of the gang has stated to a friend:―“I was there armed, and I kept the police covered with a gun the whole time. The Kelly gang were all about the house, but they reserved themselves, because they did not want to shoot Ward.” Here, then, is a third sympathiser of the gang who armed himself, and was prepared to assist them. Two days after the Jerilderie affair a well-known citizen of Beechworth was going home at half-past 11 o’clock at night, when he met two persons dressed in women’s clothes in Finch-street. They asked him the direction of certain streets, and passed on. He gave them the information they desired, but at the same time he recognized that one of them was Edward Kelly and the other Joe Byrne.
As there are so many statements being circulated at present about the cause of the outbreak of the Kelly gang, the following information on the subject, supplied, as it is, by a gentleman intimately acquainted with the matter, will be of interest. The secret of the outbreak of the Kelly gang is horse-stealing. Kelly and his friends made that their business, and they entered into it in a wholesale manner when they found certain persons ready to purchase their loot. There were two brothers named Gustave and Wm. Baumgarten, living at Barnawartha, on the Murray. They were regarded as respectable well-to-do farmers, in fact, as small squatters, and they both married well. They used to visit Beechworth , and were well liked; but for some reason or other they became suspected by the police as being men who purchased stolen horses and cattle, and they were associated with three other men, named Kennedy, Studders, and Cook. They and Kennedy, Studders, and Cook were therefore ultimately arrested on a charge of receiving horses that had been stolen from Mr. Whitty, in the neighbourhood of Greta. Mr. Zincke was engaged to defend the accused, and the defence was that they were innocent purchasers. It was said that the Baumgartens were the innocent purchasers, and that they innocently distributed the stolen property to Kennedy, Studders, and Cook, and that the horses were sold to them by a man whose name they said was Johnson, but who was afterwards identified as Ned Kelly. It leaked out that this man whose name was given as Johnson was paid by the Baumgartens in cheques, which were cashed at Benalla. The men arrested were brought before the assizes and tried. Cook and Kennedy were sentenced to six years each, W. Baumgarten to four, and Gustave Baumgarten was acquitted. Studders was also discharged. By this time it was ascertained that Ned and Dan Kelly were the real horse-stealers, and warrants were issued for their arrest. The barrister at the trial of the Baumgartens said, “Why don’t you bring Ned Kelly here, and these men (referring to the accused) would very soon be acquitted?” Soon after the warrants for the arrest of the Kellys were issued, Constable Fitzpatrick went to Greta to arrest them. As to what took place on his visit to Mrs. Kelly’s hut, there is a great conflict of evidence. Fitzpatrick’s statement was that when he proceeded to arrest Dan Kelly, Ned Kelly, Skillian, Williamson, and Mrs. Kelly interfered, and that Ned shot him in the wrist, and afterwards cut out the bullet. Mrs. Kelly, on the other hand, averred at the time that she knocked Fitzpatrick down with a shovel, which glided off his head, and striking his wrist caused the wound which he said was done by a bullet. The case was tried in the usual way, and Mrs. Kelly and the men Skillian and Williamson were convicted on the charge of having attempted to murder Constable Fitzpatrick. During their trial it was freely stated by sympathisers in Beechworth that if the accused were convicted trouble would ensue. Conviction followed in due course, and when Mrs. Kelly was taken to gaol she tossed her baby in the air, and said, “By ―, they will get it for this.” A gentleman well acquainted with the Kelly people met a doctor of Beechworth immediately after the trial, and wagered a bottle of champagne that within a month a policeman would be shot. The doctor took him up at once, but lost the bet, which, on the intelligence of the police murders having been received, was paid.
The report of an alleged interview between a reporter and Ned Kelly appears in to-day’s Age. Mr. Williams, the governor of the gaol, and Mr. Brett, the sheriff, state emphatically that no such interview took place. The only persons who have been allowed to see the prisoner in gaol are Mr. David Gaunson, his attorney, and a clergyman. The only reasonable deduction that can be drawn is that the report has been supplied by Mr. D. Gaunson, as it contains no fresh information, but consists of a repetition of the statements formerly made by Kelly.