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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Flashback: Kate Kelly's Gun?

Here is another blast from the past that was on both of the now-defunct glenrowan1880 and nedonthenet websites that were run by Dave White. I had sent this in as a comment but he put it on a full page for ease of reading. It concerned the weapon that was found at Kate Kelly's old home that was set to go to auction which was alleged to have originally belonged to Constable Fitzpatrick. This was on the site circa 2007. Why I chose to run this piece again is that someone at had inquired about the debunking of this revolver.
Here goes -

Hi, Dave, as promised here is the documentation that Brian Stevenson
and I have worked up as we attempted to disprove the legitimacy of Tom
Thompson's claims that the gun he has up for auction on November 5th
is the one that Constable Fitzpatrick "lost" during his visit to the
Kelly homestead on 15 April 1878. We sent all of this material to the
Sydney Morning Herald reporter who did the original story and he says
he will possibly use some of this in an article coming next week. [NOTE: this was never used]
I wanted to go on and give the info in full here for your readers'
consideration. I hope everyone can take a few minutes and bear with me
as I present the evidence that can maybe convince them that this gun
is not of the provenance which Mr. Thompson says it is.

After checking many sources, none of them indicates that Constable
Fitzpatrick's gun was permanently gone or lost during the events of
April 15, 1878. Sure, he "lost" it temporarily during a struggle at
the Kelly homestead but it was returned to him before he left. In one
account he says that Dan brought out his revolver and handcuffs (see #
1 below) and in another slightly differing account he says that Ned
gave him his gun back and Dan gave him his handcuffs. (see #2 below).
In the same account (#2) which was Alexander Fitzpatrick's deposition
in the case of Police v. Ellen Kelly, William Williamson and William
Skillion 17/05/1878, he also made the statement that Mr. Thompson is
referring to in the article; earlier on he spoke of how Dan had
snatched his revolver during the scuffle after two shots were fired
and then later on at the end of the deposition he reinterated a few
things during cross examination and stated "I lost my revolver after
two shots had been fired." Well, back further in the deposition as he
was telling about how his revolver was sitting on the table and what
all he claimed everyone there said, the court record showed that the
revolver in question was produced before the magistrate along with the
shovel-dented helmet he was wearing the same night. Note how it has
"(revolver produced)" and "(helmet produced)" in the transcription.
You can also go to the Nedonline website  [[NOTE: this site is now defunct, too] or to the PROV archives and search for Alexander
Fitzpatrick to see
the transcription and the digital image of the original documents that
shows the evidence produced in brackets as above. Another thing, the
same deposition states that they searched for weapons and for the
bullets in the bark (the other 2 shots fired at him, the 3rd allegedly
being in his wrist). That is referring to guns that might have
belonged to the other participants not meaning his gun which he was
given back and produced before the magistrate. To further prove this--

from Frank Clune's "The Kelly Hunters"

cut and paste

If Fitzpatrick's statement was correct, "Bricky" Williamson had a
revolver, and they would have to be careful when they went to arrest
him. After the evening meal, "Bricky" went alone to a hut on his own
selection, half a mile away. The two police pounced on him there in
the dark, at nine o'clock, handcuffed him, searched his hut for
weapons without finding any.....
Despite Fitzpatrick's statement that both Williamson and Skillion were
present and armed with revolvers when Ned Kelly shot him, no weapons
were found in the homes of either...

end of cut and paste

It then went on to say next phase was to go to Kelly homestead....did
not say anything about searching for a weapon there! then said about
what they were charged with (Attempted Murder) and the gun theft was
not part of it!!!!

then in McQuilton--

cut and paste

Despite a diligent police search on 17 April, the slabs that should
have contained the other two bullets could not be found. A second
search party a month later, however, claimed they had found the slabs,
a curious discovery suggesting that the Kellys removed the slabs,
replaced them with new ones and then a month later put the original
slabs back into place.
end of cut and paste

So all of that explains the police searches in light of the gun not
being lost afterall!
To top it all off, in Constable Thomas McIntyre's unpublished memoirs
by T.N. MCINTYRE (which is available at the State Library of Victoria
manuscript dept) it says this--


Mounted Constable Fitzpatrick arrested
Dan Kelly at his own residence on the evening of the 15th April. Dan
Kelly offered no resistance but requested to be allowed to get
something to eat as he had been out in the bush riding all day.
Fitzpatrick consented to this but he had no sooner entered the house
than Ned Kelly rushed in presenting a revolver at him fired 3 shots,
one of which struck him on the left wrist the bullet lodging there, at
the same time two other men who were in the house presented revolvers
at Fitzpatrick who was surprised and had no time to offer any
resistance. He was disarmed but Ned Kelly having extracted the
cartridges returned him his revolver...

end of quote

Hopefully all of the info above, coupled with the footnotes below,
will help convince everyone that in no way, shape, or form could the
pistol on auction be the one "lost" by Fitzpatrick!

Sincerely, Sharon Hollingsworth

Highlights from Fitzpatrick's statements in the 25 May 1878 edition of
The Chiltern Federal Standard (taken from Keith McMenomy's "Ned Kelly:
An Illustrated History" --

[after a 2nd shot was fired]...then turned to draw my revolver, but it
had been taken out of my belt, Dan Kelly had it in his hand..... ....I
saw my revolver on the table; it was taken asunder with the charges
drawn. I took it up, and Ned Kelly took it from my hand; he also took
all my ammunition...
I wanted to get away but Ned would not return my revolver... I went
and got a horse from behind the house, where Dan had tied him, not to
be seen. My hand was very painful. Dan brought my revolver and
handcuffs and I went away..."
end of quote

cut and paste from Nedonline site--

Alexander Fitzpatrick's deposition
VPRS 4966 Unit 1 Item 4 Document: Alexander Fitzpatrick's deposition
in the case of Police v. Ellen Kelly, William Williamson and William



This eight page deposition by Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick was
taken and sworn in on the on the 17th of May 1878. The deposition was
written as part of the trial of Regina v. Ellen Kelly, William
Williamson and William Skillion. Mrs. Kelly was sentenced to three
years hard labor, whilst Skillion and Williamson each received a six
year sentence. In a few years, Fitzpatrick would be dismissed from the
force due to his poor performance of duties.
Transcribed text


THE Examination of Alexander Fitzpatrick of Benalla in the Colony of
Victoria, Police Constable and others of - in the said Colony, taken
on oath, this 17th day of May, in the year of our Lord One thousand
eight hundred and seventy eight at Benalla, in the Colony aforesaid
before the undersigned, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for
The Northern Bailiwick, in the presence and hearing of Ellen Kelly -
William Williamson alias Bricky and William Skillion- who are charged
this day before us, for that they, the said Kelly Williamson &
Skillion, on the 13th day of April last at 11 Mile Creek Greta, in the
said Colony Did in company aid and abet - one Edward Kelly in an
attempt to murder Alexander Fitzpatrick This deponent Alexander
Fitzpatrick on his oath, said as follows:

Police v Ellen Kelly
Police v William Williamson
Police v William Skillion

Alexander Fitzpatrick sworn said
I am a Mounted Constable Stationed at Benalla - remember on 15 April
last was on duty in the direction of Greta had occasion to pass the
house of Mrs Kelly. arrived there between 4 & 5 pm. I dismounted and
went in saw Mrs Kelly & 3 children Stayed about an hour. left &
went up on the hill in the direction of a sound of chopping - Saw
Williamson spoke to him - went away - saw 2 horsemen coming in &
stopped in front of Kellys hut went down & Saw Skillion. he was
leading one horse by bridle & another by the mane. Saw a third horse
with a Saddle on. Asked Skillion who was riding he said he did not
know examined horse & said it was Dan Kellys I asked where he was
Skillion said up at the house. I went to the house saw Dan Kelly
told him I wanted to arrest him as there was a warrant issued for his
arrest on Charge of horse Stealing he said my hell - wait a little
while - I suppose you'll let me have something to eat I've been out riding
all day. I allowed him to eat allowed him to wait he went inside & I
followed him in this was just getting dusk. Mrs Kelly was present. She
said you wont take him out of this tonight. Dan said to Mrs Kelly Shut
up that's all right- I then saw Skillion passing the house leading a
horse. Ned Kelly then came to the doorway fired a shot at me I was
standing with my back to the partition Mrs Kelly was standing with her
back to the fire Dan was sitting at the table. the shot did not strike
me a second or two afterwards Mrs Kelly rushed at me with a Shovel She
struck me with the Shovel I was in uniform had my helmet. She struck
me on the helmet with the shovel (helmet produced) struck me on left
side of helmet - I use my arm to guard the shovel Ned Kelly fired
again at me & the ball lodged in my left wrist. I knocked the shovel
down with my right hand & turned round to draw my revolver & found it
was gone Dan Kelly had it he had snatched it out while my attention
was turned. Ned Kelly remained in the same position with his revolver
pointed at me. I slewed round & took hold of the muzzle of his pistol
& turned it off me & said you cowardly wretch do you want to murder
me- In the struggle his pistol went off a third time Skillion was
present all the time he was armed with a revolver - did not use it-
Williamson came in from the bedroom as the second shot was fired -
from his position he could see Mrs Kelly he was armed with a revolver
or pistol When I said do you want to murder me Ned Kelly said that'll
do boys- Ned Kelly said to Skillion you bugger why did you not tell me
who was here. he said if I had known it was Fitzpatrick I would not
have fired If it had been any of the other buggers they would not
leave here alive my wound was bleeding & I fainted when I came round I
heard Ned

Kelly say to Skillion Bill would have given that bugger who went bye a
pill the other day only for me Skillion said what the Benalla Cove he
said no Sergt Steele & Ive got a pill for him yet Skillion and
Williamson went away Mrs Kelly remained. I got up Ned Kelly said to me
I'm sorry that this happened it will get me into trouble I'll get it
pretty heavy -
When I got up my revolver was on the Table Taken to pieces and
unloaded I put it together & Ned Kelly took it out of my hand
(Revolver produced) he asked had I any more ammunition I said no he
took what ammunition was in the revolver. I went outside Ned followed
me. before I went outside Ned Kelly began to examine my wrist he said
heres the bullet here we must have it out of that. he got a rusty
razor & I wanted him to let me go home to a medical man he said you
cant go away with that in your hand. I said I would operate myself. I
cut the ball out it was a small pointed ball like the one produced. -
Ned & his sister were  present & Mrs Kelly bandaged my arm Ned took
the bullet. I then went outside Ned said I was very plucky to suffer
the pain - Ned followed me outside he said now I spared you, you spare
me how will we manage to say that you were shot. I said I would not
mention who shot me he said You had better say you went up to arrest
Dan he was in company with Williamson & I was putting the hand cuffs
on him & I had my revolver out & it went off & shot me & then Dan took
my ammunition from me he asked me did I know Whitlow, I said no. he
said say this. two men rushed from behind a tree as you were arresting
Dan describe them as two big men one of them like me & they'll think
its my brother Jim & the other Whitlow & then say I heard one of them
sing out Oh! Whitlow you've shot him- he gave as a reason for naming
these men that they were miles away.- he told me to say a lot of other
things that Whitlow was supposed to have said - he made me make an
entry in my book at the time of the Conversation (Book produced Marked
A) & entry read. I wanted to come away & Ned would not give me my
revolver he made the excuse that they were catching the horses he
said if you do say I shot you you'll get no credit for it The Govt
won't reward you I'll give you a few hundred after the Baumgarten Case
is over Mrs Kelly was present then & She said you had better tell him
that if he does mention it his life will be no good to him we have
plenty of friends then went & got my horse & untied him.
Previous to this Ned called Dan to get my horse & put him behind the house where
he would not be seen - he gave me my revolver & Dan brought my
handcuffs. Ned went part of the way with me Dan following us
- they both came as far as The pound & when I got about 2 miles from
Kelly I saw Williamson & Skillion coming after me on horseback I
spurred on to Winton to David Lindsay & got off but could not stand up
Richd. & David Lindsay helped me in & gave me some brandy & I told
what had happened - they bandaged me again  Cross exd & Dr Lindsay
accompanied me to Benalla Dr. Nicholson dressed my wrist - have been
to Mrs Kellys since & looked for a bullet mark but found 2 sheets of
bark removed from place where I had previously noticed the bullet
mark. Knew Ned Kelly before this have no doubt about Ned Dan &
Williamson & Skillion I was perfectly sober at the time left Benalla
about 2.30 pm Kellys is reckoned 11 miles. Stopped at Lindsays on the
road. Had lemonade & brandy did not stop any where else got to Kellys
between 4 & 5 pm. on first occasion stopped about an hour or over. was
talking to Mrs Kelly all that time. Her daughter was there
- no brandy drunk there. I stopped to see if Dan Kelly was about. I
returned again about of an hour - went up on the range behind the
place saw Williamson went down in front of Mrs Kellys old hut - saw
Skillion Dan did not refuse to be arrested - I had no warrant but saw
by police Gazette that one had been issued - I was about 1 1/2 yards
when first shot was fired they all had their revolvers levelled
Taken and sworn this 17th May 1878 at Benalla Before me Robt McBean JP
F McDonnell JP at me- no word spoken until shot was fired - hat has a dent in it - it
was not the edge of the shovel struck me I know Mrs Skillion did not
see me I got home about 2 in the morning I did not call & ask Mrs
skillion if her husband was at home - have been in the force about 12
months. I lost my revolver after 2 shots had been fired I had seen the
bullet mark in the bark before I went back to look found 2 sheets of
bark removed - Williamson muttered something which I did not hear.
Skillion did not say anything - Don't know if any pistols were found
at the hut - Saw a revolver there before. The shovel was like a
contractors shovel worn down had no instructions to arrest Kelly - was
going to relieve Sergt Strachan Miss Kelly was in the house while the
firing was going on she sat down & cried
Sergt Whelan had informed me there was a warrant out for Dan Kelly
Alexander Fitzpatrick
Const 2867

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