The Royal Commission evidence for 29/6/1881
(see also introduction to day 34)
SConst Ernest Flood sworn and examined
12566 By the Commission— What are you?— Senior-Constable of mounted police.
12568 Was there any breaking up of stations when you were removed, or shortly after?— I do not recollect any particular breaking up of stations, but there were a good many removals of men from different stations.
12570 When did you go to that district the second time?— I went to the district after the Kelly outbreak. I first of all was taken up for temporary duty after the shooting of Fitzpatrick, and was there for six weeks at the time, and then after taken on the temporary duty during the great pressure of the Kelly outbreak, and before the capture of the Kellys I was permanently stationed in the district.
12571 What was your impression of the district when you were resident in it–was it that they were law abiding, industrious, and honest?— When I was at Greta the greater portion of the people at Greta were law abiding and honest people, but there were a good number of cattle stealers and horse stealers, and a good number of the criminal class. It was also a resort for persons of the criminal class coming from other places.
12572 Were those persons friends of the criminal classes about Greta?— Yes.
12573 Relations?— Some were relations; but when you said friends, I thought you meant on friendly terms–visiting one another.
12574 And naturally you would think they would be concocting mischief when they came together?— Yes.
12575 They came for the purpose?— Yes.
12576 Did you know the Kellys?— Yes.
12577 Did you know the Byrnes?— No. Byrne had not done anything previous to the outbreak. I believe he lived a good distance from Greta; in fact, I think the member of the gang named Byrne was too young at that time to have anything to do with them. I was away for five years.
12578 Did you know the Harts?— No.
12580 What was the method that they went upon?— It was generally thought that they used to take horses through the ranges to different parts and dispose of them.
12581 Towards Mansfield way?— In different directions.
12582 Would they dispose of them in Victoria ?— Yes.
12583 Were they often suffering punishment for those depredations?— Yes.
12584 Did you prosecute the members of the Kelly family continually while you were in that district?— I did; a good number of them. I could give the names–[looking at his note-book].
12585 Try to do that, and give about the dates?— I arrested James and Dan Kelly when they were mere lads for illegally using horses in 1871. They were discharged on account of their youth and their intimacy with the owner of the horses–one of the brothers having been a servant of the person who owned the horses. Shall I give others?
12586 The Kellys–the Greta mob, as it is called?— Constable Mullane and myself arrested Jimmy Quin, the uncle, for an assault on an old man, and also on his own sister. I might point out that I got the information through being well liked by the people, and they having confidence in me to give me information. A man came there at night and gave me the information, and we started at ten o clock at night, and I got to his sister’s place, and he had his horse saddled and bridled to get away. I took the saddle and bridle off the horse, and turned it adrift, and got a man to hold our horses. We searched then all through the night, and did not find anything of him, but felt certain he must be about the place; and in the morning I told the people about the place that I thought he had gone to Glenmore, and I told Mullane we would start for Glenmore after him, and we pretended to do so. We went away about a quarter of a mile, and returned in a gallop to the place, Mullane in one direction and I in the other. Mullane was about 100 yards ahead, and as we got close we saw Qnin go under the bed, and Mullane pulled him out. This is the man who had evaded the police for years before.
12588 Which is the next case relating to the gang?— Williamson alias “Brickey”, for aiding and abetting Qnin in this case. Quin assaulted an old man over sixty years of age with a two-inch auger– bent the anger over his head, and assaulted his own sister at the same time. He got two years and a half for the assault on the old man, I think, and eighteen months for the assault on his sister; and while he was in gaol, a man whom he had previously assaulted with a bullock yoke came out from home, and he was brought out under habeas, and received an additional sentence. The next case was John Lloyd, for maliciously killing a horse belonging to a neighbor. He is married to Mrs. Quin's sister. He got four years for that.....
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