That Bloody Fitzpatrick

Ned Kelly admitted that he stole horses, but he claimed that was Whittys fault. Ned Kelly also admitted killing the Police at Stringybark Creek, but this time it was Fitzpatricks fault : “Fitzpatrick was the cause of all this” he wrote in the Jerilderie Letter, and modern day Kelly sympathisers believe it. But is it true?
I discussed this episode in detail last year in “The modern-Fitzpatrick-cover-up scandal” which you can read here. However this subject is worth revisiting, not just because it occupies an important place in the Kelly mythology but because since last years Post, Doug Morrisseys book has been published and it contains fresh insights. In a fascinating chapter called “That Bloody Fitzpatrick” Morrissey details the friendship that existed between Fitzpatrick and the Kellys, and writes “Ned and Fitzpatrick were larrikin friends sharing an interest in fast horses and shanty good times”. He also discusses Fitzpatricks relationship with Kate, Neds sister, and suggests that initially Ellen and Ned “may even have encouraged it” because for the Kellys as well as for the Policeman there were mutual benefits.
Essentially, for anyone unfamiliar with the Fitzpatrick Incident, what happened was that on April 15th 1878 Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick went to the Kelly homestead to arrest Dan Kelly for horse stealing. There was a directive at the time that Police should not approach the Kellys alone, but because of his familiarity with the family Fitzpatrick ignored it and went by himself. Unfortunately there was a dispute, it escalated to violence, Fitzpatrick was shot in the wrist and eventually returned empty handed to complain that Ned Kelly had tried to kill him. Warrants for Attempted Murder were added to those already issued for horse stealing and Ned and Dan fled into the hills. Various embellishments are added to the story to further blacken the name of Fitzpatrick – such as that he was drunk, or that he made some sort of unwanted advance towards Kate – but they are not supported by facts or by consistency between the various versions and cannot be relied on.
Ned Kelly gave his version of events in the Jerilderie Letter, and denied wounding Fitzpatrick, or even being at the house at the time of this incident. This view is accepted as Gospel by Kelly Fanatics like those on the IO site and the Ned Kelly Forum but Morrissey wrote “As a template for what occurred, Neds Jerilderie Letter account is totally unreliable”. Morrissey was not the first Kelly scholar to hold that view – I pointed out last year that both Ian Jones and Max Brown also believe that Neds version was not the truth. However, this information is ignored in the modern Kelly myth, and there is almost no acknowledgement that Fitzpatricks relationship with the Kellys was complex, that he wasn’t the evil Villain they like to portray him as and that Kelly lied about him and about the Incident in the Jerilderie Letter. I called it a cover-up and a scandal.
This is some of what Ned Kelly said in the Jerilderie Letter about this episode:
“…(I) left the colony and became a rambling gambler soon after I left there was a warrant for me and the Police searched the place and watched night and day for two or three weeks and when they could not snare me they got a warrant against my brother Dan and on the 15thApril Fitzpatrick came to the 11 Mile Creek to arrest him….
Dans mother said Dan need not go without a warrant unless he liked and that the trooper had no business on her premises without some authority besides his own word. The trooper pulled his revolver out and said he would blow her brains out if she interfered in the arrest she told him it was a good job Ned was not there or he would ram the revolver down his throat…”
The Kelly fanatics believe this statement to be factually correct, but for a start, Ellen and Ned are mistaken in their belief that it was necessary to produce the actual warrant. It wasn’t . Modern Kelly sympathisers also dismiss Fitzpatricks claim that Ned was not only present but shot at him, as the lies of a corrupt Policeman, but again they are wrong – Ned WAS there and he DID shoot at Fitzpatrick :
Read what Alex Castles wrote in Ned Kellys Last Days (p123)
“As Senior Constable John Kelly reported, he had discussed the matter with Ned at Benalla and during the conversation the bushranger had freely admitted that he had shot at the former constable. ‘Ned what about Fitzpatrick? Was his statement correct?’ the Policeman enquired. ‘Yes, it was I that fired at him’ To this, Senior Constable Kelly was prepared to swear under oath”
And now, Ian Jones“This confession may be discredited as another example of police perjury but it supports stories told by Kate, Jim and Brickey Williamson”
Of Fitzpatricks version he says “ appears to be closer to the truth than Neds…”
Later Jones writes “If Ned had admitted that he shot Fitzpatrick, he would also have given credence to the rest of the troopers evidence and implicated his mother, Skilling and Williamson. So he lied”
Jones believes the reason Ned Kelly lied was to protect members of his family, which would have been an admirable act. It could be true. Its what the Mythmakers want to believe.  But given what we have observed of Ned Kellys tendency to look for someone to blame for his faults and his endless refusal to accept responsibility for his own misdeeds and his adoption of a criminal career, his lies were more likely aimed at trying to protect himself, and put the blame for what happened onto someone else – Alexander Fitzpatrick.
Jones chapter on this subject is called the Fitzpatrick Mystery, and the Iron Outlaw site calls it the same thing. But really the only way that this event can be construed as a ‘mystery’ is if you try to reconcile Ned’s account of it with everyone else’s – but you can’t. However rejecting Neds version for what it is, – a self-serving misrepresentation – in other words, lies – makes the Mystery disappear. The consensus of the experts is that Ned lied, that he WAS there and he shot Fitzpatrick in a chaotic scuffle precipitated by Ellen Kellys attempts to stop Fitzpatrick performing his legal duty. End of story.
At the end of its egregious vilification of Fitzpatrick as a “Real Villain” the IO site has this to say:
The question still remains today, did the Kelly outbreak arise due to one constable’s battle with the bottle and his countless lies and half truths?’

This really is a stupid question. It exposes the deep ignorance of leaders in the modern Kelly sympathiser crowd about an important and central event in the Kelly Outbreak, and a desperate hope like that expressed so often by Ned Kelly that someone else can be blamed for what took place –  anyone but their Ned. But the Police cant be blamed for trying to bring criminals to face justice – the answer to that stupid question is an emphatic “No” : the Kelly Outbreak arose from Ned Kellys horse stealing. 

Its time the Kelly sympathisers faced facts – Fitzpatrick was not the cause of the Kelly outbreak and Ned Kelly lied about it.

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88 Replies to “That Bloody Fitzpatrick”

  1. Paul Giddens says: Reply

    Another king-hit on the Kelly Legend! Well done!

    Ned's Jerilderie letter was a pack of lies.

  2. I doubt I will be losing any sleep over the fact that someone thinks that I lack acuity and that I am a wee bit masochistic. Now, can we PLEASE discuss the Kelly saga and the ins and outs of it and leave all this inanity behind?

  3. Thats my wish too Sharon, so Ive deleted a couple of comments even though they were in support of me and you, and I had every sympathy for the views expressed. The problem with mentioning actual people is my concern that these people have closed my Forums down several times in the past on the basis of allegations of personal abuse and the like – which were fabricated by the complainers – but I want to make sure we don’t give them that opportunity again . I trust the persons who posted those comments will understand!

    In truth I think there are actually very few people willing or able or interested in discussing the historical realities at the heart of “the Kelly saga”. I think that most of the people who “Like” the pictures of armour and the news reports about Ned and the like that are posted on the various Facebook Pages actually know very few of the facts, read very little of the literature, don’t think deeply about the nature of legend and myth, and are simply believers in the Legend. It would be interesting to now for example, how many NKF members bought or read a copy of Morrisseys new book? I bet the antiBook guy didnt yet he promotes himself as a Kelly expert. Same with Craig McCormicks book on forensics last year – he wouldn’t have read that or own a copy I am sure – and theres been no discussion other than a passing mention of either of these important Kelly works on the IO and NKF sites.

    So I am afraid their discussions are about the periphery of the Kelly story – and those interests are valid – but they are not what interest me or what this Blog is about. These people don’t Comment here, except when they get emotional and stirred up and then its almost never to do anything other than attack me, or anyone who might support me.

    On the other hand I enjoy the discussions when people attack my ideas and thoughts. I wish it would happen more often. And I wish people who COULD contribute wouldn’t be put off by the “inanity” as you describe it.

  4. Ha! Had gone out to dinner so missed the good stuff as usual! 🙂
    Speaking of Morrissey, how many copies would he have sold or would people have even known about if not for us bringing it to the attention of others? I think I saw one other Kelly type facebook page mention it but no other publicity. I just did get the McCormick book off Amazon but have not even cracked it open yet.

  5. I would go anywhere to hear a Lecture on the subject by Morrissey.
    Imagine Ian Jones, Morrissey, MacFarlane, McDermott and Bill at a conference on Ned Kelly! Some of them would need to wear bullet proof vests!

  6. A few questions for discussion.

    Was Fitzpatrick under instructions to take charge and remain at the Greta police station while Constable Strahan was away on leave?

    Did he have a few drinks at Lindsay’s public house, Winton. Prior to going to the Kelly’s?

    Did he actually have a warrant in hand for Dan Kelly arrest?

    How is it that a pistol shot fired at a distance of 5 feet would merely penetrate under the skin of his wrist?

    For what reasons was Fitzpatrick some time later dismissed from the police force?

  7. A teleconference might be in order for that lineup! 😉

  8. Sourdough says: Reply

    Q3: As today, there was no reason for police to go about with pockets full of warrants on the off-chance of meeting with offenders. They could be shown apprehension warrants at the police station or in court. As with Stringybark Creek, having seen gazettals of the warrants was enough.

    Q4: There was something wrong with Ned's pocket Colt revolver or its ammunition. The Colt is no longer available for study having been lent by SLV and stolen in Chicago during the US bicentennial year.

    Q5: Standish, some senior police and the police OIC at Lancefield had it in for him despite a petition strongly in favour of him by residents, farmers, merchants, legal people and parliamentarians.

  9. That lazy bloke wants us to do all his homework and reading. I thought the Winton drink had been addressed very recently in your blog.

  10. For what reasons was Fitzpatrick some time later dismissed from the police force?

    Soughdough, thank you for your reply. Q5: Standish, some senior police and the police OIC at Lancefield had it in for him despite a petition strongly in favour of him by residents, farmers, merchants, legal people and parliamentarians.

    I have also found the following:
    Fitzpatrick was transferred to Lancefield. Nine months later his superior, Senior Constable Mayes, accused him of “not being fit to be in the police force; that he associated with the lowest persons in Lancefield; that he could not be trusted out of sight; and that he never did his duty”

    From the 1881 Commissional enquiry.
    This constable appears to have borne a very indifferent character in the force, from which he was ultimately discharged. Mr. Fosberry, the Inspector-General of Police, New South Wales, and Captain Standish express in strong terms their adverse opinions of Fitzpatrick, while the present Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chomley, writes a valedictory memo. on his papers, describing him as a liar and larrikin. To this man was entrusted, in April 1878, the temporary charge of Greta, the very focus of crime in the district.

  11. This is the sort of discussion that I like and I thank this particular “Anonymous” for his questions. I am not a Kelly expert so I hope more contributions will be forthcoming.

    However thats an interesting quote from Senior Constable Mayes, complaining that Fitzparick associated with “the lowest persons in Lancefield”. This ties in perfectly with Morisseys depiction of Fitzpatrick as being a friend of the Kellys, Ned in particular. Ned refers to this friendship in the Jerilderie Letter. However Morrissey makes it pretty clear from his research that Fitzpatrick was far from virtuous, in particular when it came to his relationships with young women, but they were attracted to him too. It seems he was a charming man and people enjoyed his company and he enjoyed the fun-loving good times of the Kellys and the Greta Mob., and hung out with them. He was a young man and inexperienced, and made some significant errors of judgement. The Kelly myth makers have reduced this complex relationship to a 2 dimensional cartoon-like misrepresentation with Fitzpatrick a nasty enemy Policeman and the Kelly family, Kate and Ned in particular, victims of his scheming and corrupt ways. In fact the relationship that existed was entered into by all parties with various mixed motives and their eyes wide open to the risks.

    As I understand it, there is a reasonable view that the Royal Commision had a political agenda that involved denigrating he Police – certainly at least one of the commissioners was known for his anti-Police sentiments – and therefore one needs to be careful about how accurate were its views of Fitzpatrick. The Testimonial supplied to support his service is a case in point. Its quoted in The Kelly Gang Unmasked.

    The idea that Blackening Fitzpatricks name somehow sanitises Neds is illogical. He cannot remain as the scapegoat for what happened.

  12. "The Kelly Gang Unmasked" adds that: 'Fitzpatrick’s arch-enemy at Lancefield turned out to be Constable Joseph Mayes, in charge of the Lancefield police. ‘I had to report him on two or three occasions, and at last I had him dismissed'.

  13. Dee, you previously mentioned George Wilson Hall as the the one who had possibly rendered the findings of the Royal Commission suspect, but what about the influence of another board member? Charles MacMahon was the former Police Commissioner and a member of the Legislative Assembly, as well as being quite close friends with Superintendent Hare. So close, in fact, that after the deaths of their husbands in the same year, both widows later took a house together. Surely, he would have tempered the findings in a more police friendly vein? (even though some police were criticized in it) I am not as familiar with the others on the board, only knowing that Longmore was highly against strong drink.

  14. Ive been intending to try to come to grips with the Royal Commission but its quite a daunting task, so haven’t got round to it yet. Hopefully someone more familiar with it can enlighten us all.

    However Its clear that the Kelly Mythologys portrayal of Fitzpatricks role is a gross misrepresentation, a highly inaccurate oversimplification full of deliberate red herrings and outright lies and denials of what is known to be true. Perhaps the most extreme example is Molonys claim that Fitzpatrick RAPED Kate. This is appalling!

  15. Anonymous says: Reply

    So here we have Fitzpatrick’s character description:

    Inexperienced, and made some significant errors of judgement.
    Appears to have borne a very indifferent character in the force.
    Never did his duty
    Associated with the lowest of persons
    Not fit to be in the police force
    Far from virtuous, in particular when it came to his relationships with young women
    Could not be trusted out of sight
    Liar and larrikin

  16. OOPS! I made a booboo! MacMahon was not on the Royal Commission but was on the Reward board! My bad! Have been researching the Reward board of late and had it on the brain! Sorry! 🙂

  17. Sourdough says: Reply

    …..And supported by nearly all the good folk of Lancefield who came in daily contact with him!

    It is with trepidation that I correct Sharon. Former Police Chief Commissioner Sir Charles McMahon was on the Kelly Reward Board and not a member of the Police Royal Commission.

  18. Ummm…I just posted that I made an error just before you did. At least it is on a forum or website that I can correct and not in a book already gone to press. 🙂

    MacMahon being on the Reward Board was an integral part in Hare getting a sweetheart deal (what others call "the lion's share). But that is for another time and place.

    No need for trepidation. I can dish it out (correcting others) and take it! 🙂

  19. Further up above it is mentioned about how Standish expressed his dislike for Fitzpatrick, I found in Molony where Standish said : "He is, I fear, a useless and worthless young man." Also in Molony there is info on how the New South Welsh Commissioner "recommended his immediate withdrawal." Remember Fitzp had been sent up to Sydney to watch the docks and platforms. He also identified James Kelly in gaol who was going under a pseudonym. More info in the book of the reasons why he was wanted to withdraw but I am not up to typing. Trying to recall, but wasn't there some stink about some maid stealing jewelry or valuables that he was involved in? Or was that involving someone else? I read so much stuff it is hard to keep it all straight.

  20. Anonymous says: Reply

    Public Record Office Victoria
    VPRS 4969 Consignment P0 Unit 1 Item 30 Document :By Captain Standish re: Discharge of Alexander Fitzpatrick due to bad and discreditable behavior.

    Within the overview it states that: Residents from the town of Lancefield had submitted a petition to have him removed from the Lancefield police station.

    Sourdough, I am not trying to antagonise you, just that one or the other cannot be correct. Can you shed any further light on this?

  21. In the RC Fitzpatrick states "not withstanding that there were two petitions got up on my behalf by the residents of Lancefield and Romsey asking that I might be reinstated." He went on to say that 200 respectable citizens and 9 justices of the peace were among those asking for his reinstatement. So, maybe the overview at the PROV is mistaken? Happens to the best of us at times. 🙂

  22. "NEVER” did his duty? Do you honesty believe that? “Could not be trusted out of sight” – Really? These extreme opinions are selected from a range of opinions recorded about this mans character. I am not sure what your point is but I think you need to develop a more balanced appreciation of who Fitzpatrick was rather than base your belief on just the ones that support the Kelly Myth. And remember Ian Jones said that Fitzpatricks account of what happened at the Kelly homestead was closer to the truth than Neds.

  23. The petition reads: 'We the undersigned inhabitants of the Lancefield district venture to address you upon the subject of the removal and discharge of Mounted Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick who was stationed for nine months in this district . . . Mounted Constable Fitzpatrick was discharged on a report from a superior officer that he did not do his duty, could not be trusted out of sight, and associated with low persons. We felt constrained to give our free testimony to the fact that during the time Mounted Constable Fitzpatrick was in this district he was as far as we could see, and we came in contact with him every day, zealous, diligent, obliging and universally liked, while we never saw him in the company of any but the best citizens. Had he been what the report is said to allege it could not have escaped our attention. He made several clever captures and appeared to us as one of the most efficient and obliging men in the Force. We sincerely trust therefore that you will reinstate Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick at an early date, and we will ever pray…'.

    More than a hundred people signed the petition. There were ten Justices of the Peace (one of whom was also a Member of Parliament), a journalist and a barrister, and nearly all the prominent merchants, publicans and farmers of the district. [The Kelly Gang Unmasked, pp. 169-170].

    The petition was signed by all the petitioners. Hope this helps.

  24. That was where earlier pro-Kelly authors got the 'did not do his duty, could not be trusted out of sight, and associated with low persons' guff.

    They just 'forgot' to mention the petition clearly in favour of Fitzpatrick. There is far to much chicanery in many pro-Kelly books. After this blog, will there be any more? Regretably, the answer is probably 'yes' judging by FitzSimons overblown and verbose 2013 Kelly tribute.

  25. Friendly Fire says: Reply

    No wonder Ian Jones hated "The Kelly Gang Unmasked" book. And after Morrissey's recent "Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life" he must be shuddering and wondering what's next. Are there more Kelly exposes in the pipeline?

    Ian, you had it too good for too long. The jig is up. Your romantic yarn is all unravelling.

    Ned led you astray.

    He was a murderous crook. You know it. We know it.

  26. The Truth will set you Free says: Reply

    Which is where you come in Dee. Your blog deserves a more permaanent home. A book.

    You have a horrendous, amazing story to tell. Its a story that must be told.

    There are many security issues, though. You have made lifelong enemies among the misguided fanatics. They will chase you forever.

    Luckily your trump card will extinguish them.

  27. That public petition for Fitzpatrick said it all, didn't it.

  28. Molony seems to think that Fitzpatrick had pulled the wool over the eyes of some the folks at Lancefield –

    "…He was lazy, devious, incompetent, and insolent, and although much of this had not become evident to some citizens of Lancefield who admired his dash and style, it had become too vexing for Standish, Hare, Chomley and Berry.."

    I think that FitzP could turn on the charm when it suited him and expertly knew how to "play" people, especially women.
    I would tend to believe Sr-Constable Mayes over Fitzpatrick any day of the week. Mayes was a real law and order man. Hare said that he was his right hand man during the cave parties and that he was "a bold, trustworthy, well-tried man, in whom I had the utmost confidence." How many of us know folks who only show their true colors to very few close people and have everyone else totally enthralled? Seems they cannot keep up the pretense in long close exposure like FitzP would have had with Mayes.

  29. Despite the petition, I am much more inclined to the traditional view of Fitzpatrick. Too many things about his 1878 story do not add up. Williamson and Skillion with revolvers? There is an attempt to murder him, but then his assailant(s) let him sit at their table and remove the bullet and Ellen Kelly binds up his wounds?

    The petition evidence is impressive, but as Sharon says, perhaps he followed a policy of being agreeable as possible and this was reflected in the number of signatures, many of whom would be from people who just saw him around and did not know his true character. After all, his police career was hanging by a thread on 15 April 1878, so it was to his advantage to behave himself as much as possible while at Lancefield, especially after making himself so unpopular with the police authorities in New South Wales that they made the probably unsolicited recommendation that he be sacked.

    Fitzpatrick's conviction for fraud in 1894 seals the argument for me. This was no virtuous copper, hardly done by, this was someone who should never have been admitted to the force.

  30. Molonys book was highly partisan and then his later video description of Fitzpatricks behaviour toward Kate as “Rape” I am afraid reduces his credibility as a believable source to almost zero. The description you quote Sharon would make him out to be a master machiavellian and evil genius of near mythic proportion, a man who could have an entire community – it would seem – eating out of his hand when in fact he was the extreme opposite of what they imagined him to be….a big ask!
    But in any case what this discussion proves, and what any reasonable person would have to agree is that Fitzpattricks role in the Outbreak was far from the simple cartoon Bad Guy drawn by Kelly myth makers. He was a complex young man and his relationship with the Kellys was not straightforward, as quite clearly pointed out by Morrissey – and MacFarlane before him.

    The truth is, Fitzpatrick was involved but he was not "the cause of all this” as Ned Kelly and his sympathisers want everyone to believe. And the other fact remains uncontested – Ned Kelly lied about his own role in it all.

  31. Brian you Posted as I was writing my one so I didnt see yours till now. My thought is that what Fitzpatrick did or became in later life doesn’t automatically mean that as a young Policeman he was up to the same tricks. Peoples personalities and behaviours alter as their life experience leaves its marks – Ned Kelly surely is a perfect case in point. But I am not arguing that Fitzpatrick was a great Cop – he was a flawed individual, for sure. Have you read Morrisseys book? I think Sharon is waiting for your review – so am I.

  32. Extreme opinions? Balanced appreciation of who he was?

    Merely listed what had been said and written about the man's character by his superiors. That is all.

    Fitzpatricks account of what happened remains as it has always been questionable.

  33. Found the bit regarding Fitzpatrick in Sydney and the housekeeper and the stolen jewelry at the PROV. I knew I had seen it somewhere! Over the course of correspondence a seamy drama full of lies and deceit unfolds. But I suppose, once again, that no one believes anybody who accuses FitzP of things? Also in same file is the petition with some of the signatures. To find at PROV you have to search for "Constable Fitzpatrick" and it is the one called "Reports: re the actions & attitudes of Constable A. Fitzpatrick…"

  34. Understanding other people's motives is often pure speculation or impossible. We are being reduced to postulation here. The community at Lancefield got up a petition strongly in favor of Fitzpatrick. It is the only reliable, truly independent 'picture' of him we have today. Standish rejected it.

    I think Skillion and Williamson were probably part of Ned's horse stealing gang. Firearms had been noticed at the Kelly home in early 1878. A newspaper published this information a fortnight before the Fitzpatrick incident on 15 April. Fitzpatrick said nearly every man he saw that day carried a pistol or revolver. I cannot say how much of this is true, which is the problem we consistently face when dealing with the Kelly Story.

    What did Dr Russ Scott say about Fitzpatrick late last year?

  35. Well no you didnt “merely” list what had been said and written by his superiors because you included at least two quotes from this Blog, and we are not so naive as to think that a list which included only negative assessments was somehow “merely” a list. Your list is a deliberately unbalanced character assassination. Unbalanced. Extreme. Pure Kelly myth.

  36. Sourdough says: Reply

    Sharon seem to be referring to the robbery of Kazimerz Thomas Pogonowski, a hairdresser residing at 723 George Street South in Sydney, who said his servant, Edith Jones, had robbed him. Stolen was £70 worth of jewellery, wearing apparel and money. This is all in "The Kelly Gang Unmasked" book (p. 168}. Fitzpatrick was known to both, but the evidence against him as a potential accomplice in the robbery was slender indeed, and he was never prosecuted. Neither was the woman. But Standish concluded that "He is, I fear, a useless and worthless young man".

    Another conundrum.

  37. Backstabbed says: Reply

    The biggest scam of all was Standish providing naked women at his dinner parties.

    What idiot thought that one up?!?!?

    Detective Ward got the full treatment too. He was either busy chasing female schoolgirls, it was claimed, or was cheating on procurements for the cave surveillance teams. No evidence of any sort has ever been provided.

    The pro-Kelly writers screwed us all.

  38. Have not read the unmasked book yet, will have to see how much of the story is given in it.I like to go to the original sources if at all possible to get the full on story. Even Jones sometimes leaves out crucial bits. Most telling part to me in the whole Sydney affair was where FitzP showed up at a quarter to midnight at the guy's house saying he was sent by his superior. After the hairdresser got suspicious and checked with the superior (Inspector Rush) it was found that he had not sent him.

  39. Re the "scam" and "what idiot thought it up", seems that the "rumour" of the black velvet chair special dinners came from a 19th century contemporary of Standish's. See this article for the details –

  40. Anonymous says: Reply

    I am sorry that you consider the list a deliberately unbalanced character assassination. Yes, I did use two quotes from your own blog post which I thought (perhaps mistakenly) were relevant. Those being :

    Morrissey makes it pretty clear from his research that Fitzpatrick was far from virtuous, in particular when it came to his relationships with young women

    (Yourself) He was a young man and inexperienced, and made some significant errors of judgement.

    The others were said and written by his superiors.

  41. According to the article Sharon cited above, the black velvet chair story came from Samuel Curtis Candler, secretary of the Melbourne Club and confidant of Standish's. A doctor, this plus his friendship with Standish presumably accounted for his presence at Ned's execution. Unlike the other witnesses, he claimed that Ned had died a coward on the scaffold. Candler later wrote a book on the prevention of consumption (tuberculosis). There is a brief biography of him in Justin Corfield's Ned Kelly Encyclopedia.

  42. Sourdough says: Reply

    ("The Kelly Gang Unmasked" p.173 says): Various allegations of a sexual nature have been levelled at Standish and Detective Michael Ward. These allegations were put to Standish and Ward when they appeared in the highly charged political atmosphere of the 1881 Royal Commission. The absurd allegation against Standish, later wisely omitted—of once providing naked women as dinner companions—is often misquoted nowadays.56

    56. Jones (2002: 353) misquotes de Serville (1991: 60), who mentions this as an ‘allegation’ only.

    De Serville, Paul. Pounds and Pedigrees: The Upper Class in Victoria 1850–1880, Oxford University Press Australia, 1991.

    The article cited by Sharon and Brian is hardly flattering about Candler, who himself diverged from public morality, and is dismissive of the black velvet chairs story.

    Back to square one…

  43. Marty Caldwell says: Reply

    Brian, what was your final conclusion on Fitzpatrick's 1894 conviction? Was it him? Even the NKF sleuths are acratching their heads about this one.

  44. It was definitely him. The prison photographs put the issue beyond any doubt.

  45. A year for passing dud cheques! must have been doing it tough – someone should write the Biography of Fitzpatrick and call it The Friendship that destroyed Ned Kelly! – Or maybe it was the friendship that destroyed Alexander Fitzpatrick!

    In any event, the Kelly sympathiser tale that Fitzpatrick “was the cause of all this” has to be rejected as another of Neds schemes to escape the blame for the disaster his criminal lifestyle choices created for himself and his wider family.

  46. Anonymous says: Reply

    1911 interview with Mrs Kelly by journalist B.W.Cookson.

    The trouble began over a young Constable named Fitzpatrick. That was in April 1878. He came over to our place over there and said he was going to arrest Dan. He started the trouble. He had no business there at all, they tell me, no warrant or anything. If he had he should have done his business and gone. He tried to kiss my daughter Kate. She was a fine good looking girl, Kate and the boys tried to stop him.
    He was a fool. They were only trying to protect their sister. He was drunk and they were sober. But his story was believed. If he’d been badly hurt he would have richly deserved it. But I never hurt him – before God I didn’t. They swore I hit him with a shovel. It was untrue.
    Why did he want to interfere with my girl?
    He stayed there to make trouble, and there was trouble. That was the end of the happiness for us. After that, nothing but misery. And there has been nothing but misery ever since.

  47. Is anyone surprised that Ellen Kelly defended her family? But which Kelly version are you going to agree with? This one or Neds ? They contradict each other in significant ways such as Ellens view in your quote that what happened was about protecting Kate. Neds version was that it was about resisting Dans arrest, no mention of Kate. As Ian Jones wrote, Fitzpatricks version was closer to the truth than Neds. Neds version of just about everything that we examine closely is self serving and dishonest.

  48. Anonymous says: Reply

    Fitzpatrick’s account of what happened also remains as it has always been highly questionable. As Ian Jones wrote, Fitzpatrick’s version was closer to the truth than Ned’s version.
    Closer to the truth would mean that he did not tell the whole truth. Which could also be interpreted as being self serving and dishonest.
    That being the case then isn’t he at the very least partly responsible for as Ellen Kelly put it – the misery that followed?

  49. I know exactly what it is that you are getting at by asking that question, because like the Kellys you want to shift the blame away from them and on to Fitzpatrick. This is just the false Kelly Myth that the Police were corrupt and dishonest and were to blame for everything. However Fitzpatrick wouldn’t have gone there if the Kellys hadn’t stolen Whittys horses, so ultimately as I said before the chain of events and “the misery that followed” was the consequence of what the Kellys did and they must bare all the blame for what followed, and that includes the result of Fitzpatricks attempt to do his Duty. The moral culpability for the consequences of ones actions are not reduced by bad calls made by others in their response to your actions – if you create a situation you are responsible for every consequence that flows from it.

    So in a moral sense, no, he is not in any way responsible for what happened.

    In any case, most of the misery that followed was a result of the police murders, and they were nothing to do with Fitzpatrick despite what Ned Kelly claimed in his usual denial of personal responsibility and search for a scapegoat.

  50. Dee,
    Thank you for your reply and input.
    Unfortunately I do not agree with all that you have said therefore share a different opinion to that of yourself.

  51. Thanks anonymous. I have been amazed at how much interest there is in Fitzpatrick, and at the extent to which he is a reviled figure in the world of the Kelly Sympathiser. In some respects Ned and Alex were kindred spirits I think. Please read Morrisseys book if you want to understand him a bit better.

  52. Peter Cullen says: Reply

    Brian – can you provide a link to the Fitzpatrick prison photo you say is him. I'm sure you're right, but let us have a peek too.

    As Anonymous records, Ellen may ave beem expecting a 'warrant'. As has been patiently and endlessly explained, police of the time, and today, can't carry around wads of warrants on the possibility they run into an offender. Who would carry the original? Ellen therefore suffered under the same misapprehension as modern Kelly apologists.

    Dee, I can't see Anonymous rushing to buy the Morrissey book. He's already been badly burned over the whole Morrissey doctorate and other issues.

  53. I hope Brian does not mind me replying. I initially found the photo by looking in the central prison files at the PROV. Seems that one cannot do a direct link to files at the PROV as each session is unique, but the best way to find the file is to go to the PROV and where it has the searching drop down menu you click on "search within a series" when there you put 515 in as the series number and only the one word Fitzpatrick in as search term (if you put in Alexander Fitzpatrick it will give every return that has both of those as first and/or last names and will be too many returns). The file should be on page one of the returns.

  54. Sharon thanks so much for providing those instructions. How do you discover all this stuff? Ive looked at the Record and its quite a marvel to see the beautiful handwriting as well as the photos and the detail. I note he is recorded as being Single, a Farmer born 1858 and was 5ft 9’ . Theres a couple of other photos of Fitzpatrick in McMenomys book.

  55. Specsavers says: Reply

    The photos on the user-unfriendly PROV site have absolutely no resemblance to much maligned Constable Fitzpatrick.

  56. The police museum photo shows Fitzpatrick's ear tops were level with his eyes. 1894 prisoner Fitzpatrick's aren't. There are other dissimilarities like the hairstyle, birthdate, etc. You guys were real quick to make your identifications, huh! There are several clues you haven't followed.

  57. I am still not fully convinced it is him. Speaking of clues not followed, over at the NKF a while back I noted about the different birth year (so, we are to take as gospel the birth year on Ned's prison record?) and, yes, we all know that he was famously married. I did note that the ears were similar in shape to the ears on the photo of him in later life and that he was given as the same religion as our Fitzpatrick. Have never seen his police record, so not sure about his height. Still, as I said, I am not sure, but there is not much that I would put past Alexander Fitzpatrick!

  58. Qausimodo says: Reply

    There would be a separate admission record too, that would give height, etc. I don't think this is accessible online yet. His police record should also give a physical description. Points taken, Sharon.

  59. What will they think of next? says: Reply

    NKF has authenticated the Fitzpatrick trial 'story' and relayed their 'findings' to the dingbat from the County Court. Her response was: "Hi Trent. Thank you very much, I really appreciate this. I will pass all this information on, NKF networks as the best resource !!"

    More disinformation siddles into the debate.

  60. Nitpicker says: Reply

    More than six months later, NKF fb page claims "The Ned Kelly Forum web site is now fully functional and completely updated! We apologise that it has taken so long for this to happen". No worries, guys, no-one has been holding their breath for a website that serves garbage and is dsfunctional.. Get some real Kelly experts and trash your old membership list of duds.

  61. Corr Blimey says: Reply

    That ignorant clod Webb is attacking pollie Sophie Mirabella on his Iron Outlaw fb page. The demented compositor doesn't know that she helped stop wholesale corruption at Melb Uni's student Union, and makes false claims about her. Sophie should sue Webb for his stupid hate rant and misleading misinformation.

  62. A couple of posters have expressed some doubt that policeman Fitzpatrick and prisoner Fitzpatrick are the same person, based on a few inconsistencies in the circa 1877 and the 1894 photographs. I believe they are the same person, and am not worried about putting my name to my thoughts.

    As noted by Sharon, the ear shape of prisoner Fitzpatrick is identical with the ear shape in the police photo shown in McMenomy (1984 edition), page 68. The slightly weak and droopy lower lip in that photo is echoed by that of the lower prison photograph. The facial colouring of both men appears to be the same.

    Fitzpatrick changing his hairstyle between 1877 and 1894 means nothing, for the simple reason that many people do over a 17 year time period.

    The Benalla newspaper, the North-Eastern Ensign of 17 and 20 July 1894, in the most extensive report I have found on the case, and published in a place where it would be of maximum interest, reported the fraudster as ex-Constable Fitzpatrick, as did a few other newspapers. The editor obviously believed it was the former policeman.

    It's been noted that the imprisoned Fitzpatrick was noted as single on his prison record. The Argus of 18 July 1894 described fraudster Fitzpatrick as a 'young, married man', showing yet another infuriating example of inconsistency in contemporary records. So one contemporary source got his marital status right. I have no definite answer as why he was deemed 'single' on his record, or why his year of birth was out by two years. It is possible that he was separated from the long-suffering Anna Fitzpatrick, nee Savage, at the time and regarded himself as such. As for his year of birth, if he was vague about his age, it would not be the only time. He is quoted in Morrissey, A lawless life (p 67) as saying he was 19 on 15 April 1878, when he was actually 22. The disparities could also be explained by a couple of lies from Fitzpatrick (gee, imagine that!), or a lazy clerk copying records incorrectly, or a mishearing, I don't know.

    Sharon has also noted that the prison Fitzpatrick was a Presbyterian, and that the policeman was married in a Presbyterian church.

    I see that the imprisoned Fitzpatrick also has a scar on the left side of his head. As we all know, his wrist wound has been discussed ad infinitum, but little attention has been paid to the injury suffered when Ellen Kelly hit him on the head, hard enough to damage his helmet, with a fire shovel. I could not find any reference to any head wound anywhere.

    So did Ellen, perchance, hit Fitzpatrick on the left side of his head? I wondered about this, and found something of interest in A short life (1995 edition, p 110) : 'Mrs Kelly hits Fitzpatrick on the side of his helmet with the fire shovel … and when the trooper raises his arm to ward off another blow, a second shot fired by Ned strikes his left wrist.'

    Could this have been the origin of the wound on the left side of his head, which he was trying to protect from a second blow with his left arm? It's a telling point.

    Lastly, the details of the crime have echoes of what we already know about Fitzpatrick. Smoothing onto a female, with intent to defraud, and with overindulgence in alcohol as a prominent factor – it sounds like the Alex we all know and love, does it not?

    So, to sum up, both policeman and prisoner Alex shared ears and a lower lip of a similar shape and were of similar colouring. One was a Presbyterian and the other was married in a Presbyterian church. Both suffered a serious wound to the left side of the head sometime in their lives. Both were smooth talkers around women, not always with the best of intentions in mind. Both were enthusiastic consumers of alcohol. The editor of the Benalla newspaper certainly regarded them as the same person, and so do I.

  63. Excellent points to ponder on, Brian, especially the shovel bit. You know I was leaning towards it being him due to the ears that match the older Fitzpatrick's ones and him being buried in the Presbyterian section of the cemetery Just hesitating a little regarding the single bit (what a life that woman he married would have had to endure) and the year of birth. I do also wonder if Fitzpatrick took up farming after doing a bit of carting and before becoming a traveller (as a traveling salesman I wonder what he sold and what sort of reception he got after giving his name! Has anyone ever heard?). Another thing in the favor of it being him as I noted at the NKF is that if it was not him he surely would have made them do retractions or threatened lawsuits. All good food for thought.

  64. This interesting bit came from a 1920 book called One Big Crime by Cornelius Crowe which Brian McDonald kindly pointed me towards. Seems that in 1882 Mayes said this to a Royal Commission (I need to see which of the later RCs this was from)-

    “From the time Fitzpatrick came to me, till I got rid
    of him, I found him to be a thorough blackguard. From
    enquiries I made in the neighbourhood of Greta and
    elsewhere, I came to the conclusion that he was at the
    bottom of the whole of the Kelly trouble—in fact, the
    originator of it."

  65. Whenever I read Sharon and Brians Blog I am left wondering why I bother! Its all been said before by these two it would seem – I encourage readers to go to 11 Mile Creek and search “Fitzpatrick” and you will see what I mean. Terrific writing!

    People have tried to explain the obvious hatred that Ned has for Fitzpatrick as being something to do with the allegations of Fitzpatricks “improper conduct” towards Kate. But as Brian points out in his 11 Mile creek post on the subject, there is almost nothing to support the idea that such an outrage actually occurred ( which makes Molonys characterisation of it as “rape” even more appalling ) But Brian, having read Morrissey on the subject could you not now see this hatred as having sprung from the actual friendship between Ned and Alex that went sour? This is certainly how Morrissey sees it and I think that makes sense of much that was incomprehensible before.

    As for the Photo ID and the 1894 Fitzpatrick, I am inclined to believe it was the same guy also, mainly because some of the Journos of the time claimed it WAS him. I realise Journos get things wrong all the time, even nowadays but I tend to agree with Sharon that probably BOTH Alex Fitzpatricks would have complained if either had been confused with the other!

    Brians thoughts about the scars on the left side of his head are novel I have to say. The only injuries mentioned from the time were the wrist ones but if a head wound was sufficient to leave visible scars all those years later I would have thought they would have been mentioned at the time.

  66. Anyone who would conclude that Fitzpatrick was “the originator” of the “whole of the Kelly trouble” has got to be an extreme partisaan whose word couldn’t be trusted any more than Neds could! This is just absurd scapegoating. Looking forward to your further research on Mayes and the RC Sharon!

  67. Brian you are always a pleasure to read. You write so beautifully.

    How does one make contact with you? There's no contact option on your blog.

  68. Here is what I found that Mayes said in May of 1882 in the The Proceedings of the Commission, Minutes of Evidence, Appendices, etc of the Royal Commission into the police force of Victoria 1883 which was from Dec 1881 to 1883. (The earlier Minutes of Evidence that we call the RC has minutes of the proceedings up until Oct 1881).

    2481. That
    should be part of the instructions ?—Yes. The mounted constable before being admitted
    into the mounted police force should be a man of known respectability. He should be known to the officer
    who is in charge of either two or three stations near where he has been residing for two or three years
    before he made his application. I consider this most important. There was
    a young man sent to me
    named Fitzpatrick who was connected with the Kelly affair in the North-Eastern district. I found him
    such a worthless character that the men who recommended him and gave him a character to join the police
    force I consider committed a grave offence against the public. I had
    a great deal to do with the man. I
    had to report him on two or three different occasions, and after nearly disgracing the Police Department, I
    had a great deal to do to get rid of him, and at last had him dismissed.
    2482. That arose all through want of proper caution in permitting him to be introduced into the
    service ?—Yes
    ; it is like this
    : I believe that a young man can go to any
    person who has any little political

    influence in his particular neighborhood-that is if his family is living there-and all he need do is to
    an application, and they will give him a recommendation to get into the mounted police force.

    2483. You think that recommendation should not be accepted absolutely ?-It ought not.
    2484. There should be other recommendations besides ?…-There should be ; they should be a great
    deal more strict about the appointment of a mounted constable.; owing to the latitude lie has when he is sent
    out into the country ; a man should be of known respectability and a man of some respect for himself and
    his family, and not likely to commit an offence knowingly. From the first time that Fitzpatrick came to
    me till I got rid of him I found him a thorough blackguard and quite unfit for the force.
    2485. It is just possible that that man's want of discretion in the discharge of his duties in that district
    may have led up to some of the subsequent troubles ?-I have not the slightest doubt of it ; and, from enquiries
    made in the neighborhood of Greta and elsewhere, I have come to the conclusion that he was at the bottom of the
    whole of it-in fact, the originator of it. In the next place, a mounted man should be kept in the depot until
    he is thoroughly drilled and well up in discipline-not allowed to leave the depot till then ; and that there
    should be an old experienced sub-officer at the depot who would give him some instruction as regards police
    duty as well as the drill he is receiving…"

    (No other mentions of Fitzpatrick is made in this document.)

  69. i wonder if the good Mayes realised that the person who recommended Fitzpatrick to Standish as a potential recruit for the police force in 1877 was none other than Charles Alexander Smyth who not so many years later was chief crown prosecutor against Ned at his 1880 trial. I would have loved to have seen Smyth's face if he ever read about the 'grave offence' he had committed against the public.

  70. … Which brings us back to the public petition from Lancefield residents. Standish was prejudiced against Fitzpatrick. The townspeople thought he was OK.

    The person who mentioned the ears (above somewhere) said that policeman Fitzpatrick's ear tops were level with his eyes, and the prisoner's ears were not (they are below his eyes). We'll need to call in that Melbourne Uni fellow who proved the 'new' Kelly photo on the front of a Christie's catalogue wasn't him (although many had earlier accepted it). I am not equipped or knowledgeable enough to do head and other measurements.

    I've never seen a Fitzpatrick family tree. Maybe there were male relatives with the same name?

  71. If any photos are compared by a professional who has the means to do it, I would hope that the one in McMenomy that is the later in life one that is "authenticated" in the words of McMenomy (per notes at back of book) would also be used. Also there is a younger in uniform photo of him next to it which is a bit different to the one at the historical society and in all the books we have seen. In the notes at the back it says it is said to be him because it looks like the older version of him but that helmet number cannot be discerned (like it is in the historical society one)! Not sure what is what, but regardless of what he looked like or if he ever went to gaol, there is the case of his character and his ability to pull the wool over the eyes of many people, but not all. In the RC Fitzpatrick said

    "…there were a lot of charges brought
    against me, but they really amounted to nothing. Superintendent Hare said he would keep me in his
    district, and put me under a hard man that would watch me night and day. He accordingly sent me to
    Lancefield, and the first charge against me there was neglect of duty at Lancefield, being reported by
    Senior-Constable Mayes…"

    So, it seems that a man who is strict and orderly and all about the business of policing is considered "hard" to a happy-go-lucky guy like Fitzpatrick. Watching him all the time would show what Fitzpatrick was made of versus some shop owner or tradesman who got a quick jolly hello from the charming FitzP. Heck, Mayes is so straight-laced and orderly that the cave party that was under him left no trash or debris at all, but the other one left the place a right shambles that had to be taken away by the cartload.

    Brian, yes, I saw that in the RC about how about Mr Smyth had highly recommended Fitzpatrick to Standish. I wonder how well Smyth knew Fitzpatrick before championing him?

  72. Sharon, the photograph of Fitzpatrick McMenomy's first edition is not him. That's why it wasn't published in subsequent editions of the book.

  73. Which photo is that? The one of him in uniform? Notes said there was some doubt. Or the "authenticated" older one? Sort of like how that photo of Jim and Ellen in the first edition was found not to be them. As I always say, easier to change a website than a published book when errors are found.
    I only have the first edition and none of the subsequent ones.

  74. Alas, Anonymous, it was I that was the source of the misinformation regarding the Fitzpatrick photo on page 68 of McMenomy's 1984 book. I have had several books open over the last few days, but make no excuses. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, I plead guilty.

    The photograph to which I should have referred is in Corfield's Ned Kelly Encyclopedia page 163, and in A Short Life, 1995 edition, facing page 65. And the photo of the trooper on McMenomy page 68 is certainly not Fitzpatrick.

    Now I need to find a scrubbing brush to get the egg from my face.

  75. Anonymous says: Reply

    Not at all Brian. No egg which requires removal from your dial – far from it. I just want to avoid confusion. I agree with you – those photos on the prison record certainly are 'our' Fitzpatrick.

  76. OK so we have established that one of the purported Fitzpatrick Photos in the first edition of McMenomy – which is the one I have – is not him. However we are no closer to knowing if the 1894 Fitzpatrick is OUR Fitzpatrick – but if we took a vote I would say it is. And I would also say, assuming that it is “him”, that the crime he was convicted off was petty by comparison with those Ned was convicted or charged with, and by no means turns Fitzpatrick into a criminal mastermind. Was he ever charged or convicted of other crimes or just summarily dismissed for non-specific performance issues related to Police work?

    The real issue about Fitzpatrick that I keep coming back to is the claim that he was the cause of the Kelly outbreak – he wasn’t! Instead, he has become the scapegoat, and even Mayes it would seem wants to pin it all on him, and it suits this narrative to portray Fitzpatrick in the worst terms possible, and so describe him as worthless, a thorough blackguard, unfit for the force and so on. Clearly Mayes didnt like him but I want to know what evidence is there that gives substance to these accusations? Where are the charges that were laid against him? Where are the complaints? Against these unsubstantiated allegations we have the actual recommendation of Smyth and the actual signatures on the Lancefield petition.

    Fitzpatrick was no saint but I am against the unwarranted vilification, demonising and scapegoating of this man that was started by Ned Kelly and is continued by Kelly sympathisers to divert attention from the real villain in the Outbreak.

  77. In the RC Fitzpatrick talks about and answers to some of the things he was said to have done. You can find the RC in full online. Of course, that would be just his side of it.

  78. Wow a full copyright breach of NKF for all to see and defamation of a county court employee. I'm guessing a complaint will be made to blogger and another bad mark on DEEceitfuls sleeve. One step closer to closing this blog down, Quick Dee you had better use you exceptional moderation skills and delete the real truth.

  79. I am wondering which of the hypocrites on NKF who vow never to Post on my blog posted this one? As I have been predicting all year their efforts will be directed at trying to silence me rather than to defend their silly dogmas. As for "full copyright breach of NKF for all to see and defamation of a county court employee” – get a life you idiot!

  80. Many thanks Gary says: Reply

    Thanks I think are due to Gary Dean for the downloadable, searchable RC, one of many resources provided by Mr Dean.

  81. Yes, Gary was the first one to put it online long before anyone else did. Kudos to him for that. I also like to use the one available through the Uni of Melbourne that shows the actual images of the Royal Commission's book pages and it can be searched also. They also have other related documents like the Second Progress report and so on.

  82. Not sure if Gary Dean's Royal Commission RC is searchable, I could not ?
    Neither helpful was PROV. For that reason long time ago I had uploaded the RC as a HTML file.

    Here it is -just click on the link above but be warned it is 12 Mb (big)

    If using PC – File- Edit and Find on this page, type in names -then Next


  83. Dee,you are the only idiot and hypocrite in this world, grow the hell up you stupid abusive imbecile. Calling someone a dingbat is defamation and yes complaints will only be made when there is something to complain about like copyright breaches and defamation. No one gives a shit about your blog in can't be found in the Google listings so who gives a flying shit about it. You are so full of you own self worth that's it's turning people off your blog more than you think, like where is Bill gone? Not here anymore is he so really who needs to get a life YOU

  84. Some advice for the NKF on Defamation, to save them the embarrassment of wasting their time and money on a Lawyer: Given that there are hundreds of county court employees, and none has been named, or is able to be identified, nobody has been defamed, or had their reputation damaged by being labelled a dingbat. In any case, honest personal opinion is the obvious defence. For that sort of reason I wouldn’t bother trying to sue someone who called me an idiot, a hypocrite and a stupid abusive imbecile. You are entitled to your opinion and I am not bothered by it – especially when the daily visit count to this blog is climbing steadily, and the action on NKF has died off almost completely. I believe its six months since the Secret Members Forum had anything to talk about. And actually , judging by the expletives and hysterical tone of your Comment, one person who gives a shit about this Blog is YOU.

  85. Somewhere Kindness is Rewarded says: Reply

    Gary Dean's contribution in providing resources including newspapers, etc., was very generous and kind of him. I've used them for years.

    Bill, .pdf files are usually searchable via the binoculars at top of text on the right hand side. Other versions have a searchable text box in the tools line. There are many sites which help with searching .pdf documents.

    Thank you also Bill for always being willing to share your research, even with critics and long-term enemies.

  86. Dave Crossley says: Reply

    Sharon and Brian have shared all along too!

    Not everyone has.

    One day, everyone will be on the same page.

  87. The Lone Piper says: Reply

    Dee, you deserve a big, fat gong too for being a sharing type of lady!

    Bill's website is a classic. I enjoy going going over Dee's SBC epic now included in Bill's site. There were a lot of towering encounters, japes, and hilarious diatribes with a host of clever dicks, mystery posters, phantasms and who can forget 'Sarah'? Horrie must be hibernating.

  88. Hi, I have been enjoying the discussion on Fitzpatrick but can't understand why you allow "Anonymous" to publish outright abuse. I have been reading this site for a little while now and think there is no excuse for trolling anonymously, or for any abuse at all. I am in favour of automatically not publishing any comments at all that someone is not wiling top put their name to. No blog has any obligation to publish someone's abusive comments, it just lowers it for everyone and distracts from the discussion. Dee, I admire your patience with the trolls who appear on several topics, but they really don't deserve a voice if they behave like this. They can always get a hearing with their name and a point to make.

    On the comment about Constable Joseph Mayes' low opinion of Fitzpatrick, when Mayes said to the 1882 Royal Commission that "From
    enquiries I made in the neighbourhood of Greta and elsewhere, I came to the conclusion that he was at the bottom of the whole of the Kelly trouble—in fact, the originator of it," it is not surprising that people around Greta would give that opinion. Fitzpatrick was put under Mayes' command in Lancefield in September 1879. The Kelly gang were still on the run. The Kellys had launched a defence of Mrs Kelly, Williamson and Skillion by Bowman at the Beechworth Assizes in October 1878 that Fitzpatrick was drunk when he went to Mrs Kellys on 15 April, amongst other things. Stories of Fitzpatrick's failings were well publicised long before Fitzpatrick was sent to Mayes in Lancefield, including in GW Hall's February 1879 Mansfield pamphlet. Greta was the heart of Kelly country. Mayes' opinions add nothing new; they only show his hostility to Fitzpatrick, and not necessarily for any good reason. (Reposted by Dee for Stuart Dawson because for some reason it appeared in my Inbox but not on the Blog)

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