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MR MONK'S DECLARATION
The following is a copy of the declaration of Mr Edward Monk sworn before Mr Edwin Moorey, JP , at Mansfield, on the 7th inst, to which reference was made in our issue of Saturday -
1, Edward Monk, of the Wombat, in the colony of Victoria, sawmill proprietor, do solemnly and sincerely declare that I assisted the police in finding the bodies of the murdered constables at the Wombat, it being at the time considered probable that one of them, Constable Scanlon, was still alive, though wounded, and there being no one resident in the vicinity willing to aid the police in the matter of guidance except my self.
That I aided various search parties with shelter and food.
That shortly afterwards I received a letter threatening my life, and purporting to be written by E and D Kelly, for writing which letter one Walter Lynch, of the Wombat, is now undergoing a sentence of two years imprisonment.
That subsequently, from time to time, I received a number of threatening letters, which I handed to the police, and which were produced at the police inquiry into my case.
That on Friday, the 25th of April last, I received the last of those letters, and that on the night of the following Saturday, the 26th of April, 1 was fired at by a man, whom I cannot identify, on my way from Mansfield to the Wombat, in the manner, and under the circumstances detailed by me, according to the best of my knowledge and belief, at the inquiry before mentioned.
That the said inquiry was conducted like a criminal prosecution of me on the vilest charge, and that no attempt was made to discover the perpetrator of the outrage on me, except a journey made by Sub inspector Toohey towards the head of the King River, which he acknowledged was done merely as a blind to put mo off my guard.
That at the said inquiry one John Byrne , who is a friend of the Walter Lynch above mentioned, and who is at enmity with me on account of the conviction of the latter, was brought as a witness against me , also, though not called on, one Henry Perkins, of the Wombat, who was for several weeks in custody on suspicion of being a Kelly sympathiser , and that, in fact, all the civilian wit nesses called by the Crown were adverse to me, because, as they said, I was harbouring the police.
That although Mr Panton, P M , on behalf of the Crown, stated that all witnesses would be paid by the Government, neither my wife nor I, nor my brother, were paid, the former two having been examined, and the wit- nesses for the Crown, including Henry Perkins before mentioned, who was not examined, were paid at once.
That with regard to the evidence given at the said inquiry,
1 On the Sunday following the date of the shooting I was traveling from the Wom bat to Mansfield, under the protection of Sub inspector Pewtress, and in company with Mr Fox and Mr Hines, of Mansfield, and that I pointed out to Mr Pewtress the place where the shooting occurred, whereupon Mr Fox dismounted and walked all about the spot and round the stem of the tree from behind which my assailant had come. While he (Mr Fox) was so engaged l was riding my mare (the same that 1 rode when fired at) showing Mr Pewtress the direction taken by her on the night of the assault imme diately after the firing took place, and these several motions must have left visible traces on the ground.
2. There followed rain between the time in dicated and the day when the police examined the locality, which, as they and the black tracker found no marks there, must have obliterated them, and as there was heavy rain on the night of the 26th April, after I was shot at, there was a double reason why no footprints of my assailant could be found, nor of my mare either.
3 In reference to the footprints found by Byrne and Reardon, and attributed to me my boots were not measured, though I was willing they should be. Byrne never tried on or examined my boots in the manner or under the circumstances he swore to. Reardon has been in the habit of traveling the Wombat road for years, and was never before known to take any particular notice of foot- prints until the Sunday following the shoot ing, at which time he had not heard of it, and further, a Mr T Rowland had walked some three miles on the road in question the day before, yet Reardon made no mention of his tracks.
4 A most respectable resident of Mans- field travelling the road in question on Saturday, the 26th April, in the afternoon, was obliged (for some purpose) temporarily to dis mount at the place where the footprints were subsequently found by Byrne.
5 The statements made by Mr Reardon, to the effect that on the 25th of April I said I expected a threatening letter on the 26th April, and that I would have revenge on John Byrne ; that l had the police on my side, that I could make them do as I wished, and that I expected a rise from the Government, are all and severally totally untrue
6 The only reference I made to the subject of compensation from Government was in replies to various people on the 26th April, to whom, when they asked if the Government was going to buy me out, I said, "I don’t know, but I believe there was something about it in the papers' - or words to that effect only.
7 The direct evidence of John Blum, who declared that on the night following the shooting he was visited by two men, one of whom answered the description of Dan Kelly, and who made inquiries after and threats towards me, was treated with con- tempt, and ignored, while, on the other hand, the bare opinion of Sub inspector Toohey as to how the shooting affair took place was accepted as conclusive evidence, as also his absurd statement that a horse is not more likely to shy from a pistol shot at night, when the flash can be seen, than in the day.
8 Sub inspector Toohey swore that if a man galloping on horseback under a certain hanging wattle (referred to at the inquiry) and struck it, he would carry it away, and that the wattle was dry , whereas the wattle in question was, and is, quite green, its diameter at least 5in , and it would take a good horse with a chain or rope to pull it down.
9 Sub inspector Toohey swore that the place pointed out as the spot the man stood on when he fired was only 9in above the standing place of my mare at that time, whereas there is an actual rise of 20in , as 1 have verified by getting the levels taken.
That, notwithstanding any evidence to the contrary, my slip panels have been maliciously opened, and my cattle and working bullocks let out, and my dam has been cut away maliciously also.
That when I learned Mr Smyth, the Crown prosecutor, was instructed to appear at the inquiry on behalf of the Crown, I deemed it necessary to retain counsel on my side, which I did at a cost of 60 guineas.
That those of my witnesses who were called were only paid 5s per diem for the day on which each gave evidence, one of them having attended the court for 10 days, whereas the witnesses for the Crown were paid £1 per diem for every day of their attendance.
That, owing to the constant dread, extend ing over six months, in consequence of the threatening letters and the shock consequent on hearing of my attempted assassination, my wife has been prostrated with illness, and continues in a precarious state.
That for six months I have been in constant fear of my life.
That, since leaving my residence for Mansfield, under protection of the police, in pursuance of a telegram read to me by Sub inspector Toohey, and purporting to come from the chief commissioner of police, my cattle have been wandering unherded in the bush, and at the present my property at the Wombat is totally unprotected, as I am afraid, in consequence of the assistance I gave to the police, the threatening letters I have received, and the attack made on my life, to go and look after my interests.
That, under the foregoing circumstances, coupled with the unfavourable result of the inquiry. I am a ruined man, and I therefore earnestly and respectfully beg that you will institute a re-consideration of my case, and I make this solemn declaration, &c ,
(Signed) EDWARD MONK.
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This document gives you the text of the report about the KellyGang for this day. The text has been retyped from a microfiche copy of the original. We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged. We also apologise for any typographical errors.