Glenrowan History


A report on the inquest into the death of Martin Cherry, who was a civilian killed during the siege.

South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900), Monday 5 July 1880, page 5


Benalla, Wednesday.

A magisterial enquiry was held this morning at Powell’s Victoria Hotel, before Mr. McBean, J.P., on the body of Martin Cherry, who was accidentally shot at Mrs. Jones’s Hotel, Glenrowan, on Monday, during the attack on the Kelly gang. Inspector Sadlier conducted the enquiry. Jane Mulcahy, sister of deceased, deposed — I am wife of Edmund Mulcahy, labourer, living at Collingwood. I identify body of deceased as my brother. He is about fifty-eight years of age. He is a single man. I am told he has some property and a house here, but I do not think he has made a will.

John Nicholson deposed — I am a legally qualified medical practitioner, residing at Benalla. I made an inspection of the body of Martin Cherry, now on the premises. I find that there is a bullet wound on the lower and left side of the belly. The wound must have resulted fatally. Under any circumstances it must have caused death. The body was strong and well nourished, and there were no other marks of violence.

Hugh Bracken, constable, stationed at Glenrowan, deposed — I was made a prisoner by the Kelly gang on Sunday night last at half-past 10 o’clock. I know the deceased. He was a repairer on the railway line. He was also made a prisoner. He was at Mrs. Jones’s hotel when I arrived, and was with the others. He was all right about 1 o’clock on Monday morning. I made my escape after 2 o’clock a.m. I saw the police approach the house within three minutes after my escape. I had given them notice that the Kellys were in the hotel. They were fired on from the hotel. The police returned the fire, and continued the attack till it was all over. I next saw the deceased when he was taken out of the building. He was then alive. He was taken out of the hut at the back of the hotel. The fire had not reached that place. Deceased was not affected by the fire. He died shortly afterwards. The hut he was taken from still stands unburnt.

Thomas Dixon, bootmaker, residing at Benalla, deposed — I have seen the body of Martin Cherry and identify him. I was present at the burning of the house. I went to the hut as soon as the priest came out. I heard there was a man wounded in the hut. With others I helped to bring him out. I said, “Martin, how are you?” He said, “Oh, you know me.” When we were bringing him out he said, “Oh, don’t hurt me.” I searched further, and on coming out found deceased dying. I went for a clergyman for him. I believe he has money in the Bank. His Bank-book was said to be found in his house. His sister said he had promised to send her money next month.

William Phillip deposed — I am a constable stationed at Benalla. I searched the pockets of deceased, and found a £1-note, besides a paper and a small purse.

John Sadlier, Superintendent of Police, stationed at Benalla, deposed — I had charge of the attacking party of police on Monday morning at Glenrowan. The firing continued at intervals both from the hotel and by the police. It was not until the captives had made their escape from the hotel that I was made aware that deceased was lying wounded in the back kitchen. I then endeavoured to avoid firing into this kitchen. In firing the main building it was arranged that deceased was to be rescued before the fire could reach him. I rushed up to the kitchen myself first. Saw Dixon and others lift out the body of deceased, who was then alive. He died in a few minutes. The verdict given by the presiding Magistrate was, that “Having heard the evidence given herewith touching the death of the deceased Martin Cherry, and having carefully considered the same, I find his death was caused by a gun-shot wound, received during the time he was a prisoner of the Kelly gang in Jones’s Hotel, Glenrowan, on Monday last, and that no blame can be attached either to any member of the police force, or to any civilians who were then firing at the Kelly gang and Jones’s hotel and kitchen.”

By AJFPhelan56

Father, writer, artist and bushranging historian residing in Melbourne, Australia. Author of 'Glenrowan' and the popular website A Guide to Australian Bushranging.

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