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at Stringybark Creek

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Bill Denheld
 Kelly Gang researcher












Thomas McIntyre's Deposition and the           
Shingle hut drawing
 by Sharon Hollingsworth

On the margin is a hut drawing.
Was this little hut meant to represent the Shingle hut at Stringybark  Creek?

The front page reads- 

The ------ ,
Edward Kelly
Willful murder of Thomas Lonigan 
Brief for the Prosecution
Thomas McIntyre,

On one of Constable Thomas McIntyre's witness depositions (which was part of the Brief for the Prosecution used at Ned Kelly's trial), it is interesting that there is a drawing in the margins of a little cabin or hut right beside where the shingle hut is mentioned in his testimony. Here is the exact wording of that testimony:
"we camped that day at Stringy Bark Creek about 20 miles from Mansfield. we were all four on horseback and armed, when we reached Stringy bark we found the remains of a hut there and the country thickly timbered.."  

We are left to wonder, who drew it ?
Were they inspired to do this bit of "doodling" because of what they had read? Whilst the deposition is dated October 15, 1880, that is not the actual date of the testimony therein. October 15 was slated to be the start of the trial in Melbourne, but a postponement was sought. On 18 Oct.  Ned was arraigned and plead "not guilty" and again a postponement was sought and finally granted. The trial would finally begin 28 Oct 1880.

The testimony in the deposition had been given by McIntyre on 7 August, 1880 at Beechworth during the preliminary hearings before Magistrate Foster.

One of the clerks of courts, E(dmund) Notley Moore took down and read back most of McIntyre's testimony. In McIntyre's memoirs "A True Narrative of the Kelly Gang, by T.N. McIntyre, Sole Survivor of the Police Party Murderously Attacked by those Bushrangers in the Wombat Forest, on the 26th October, 1878"
he said - "this work was performed principally by the assistant clerk of courts, a young man named Moore, and he did it so expeditiously and accurately that it was worthy of the highest commendation."

I wonder then, was it E. Notley Moore who had neatly handwritten out this Brief for the Prosecution to be used at the trial? (For more on
Moore's life including his stint as clerk and later as a police magistrate see 
Or could it have been yet another Beechworth Clerk of Court? Or could it have been someone else later on in the Crown Prosecution office? What is known is that nearly all of the Brief depositions are in the same handwriting, the same colour ink, and cover many witnesses. All of that goes to show that it was definitely not McIntyre himself who wrote any of the depositions out for the Brief.  

So, we have established when the testimony was taken, possibly who may have handwritten it out, and for what, - but we still have not gotten to who may have done the hut drawing.  

At the Nedonline website it says that "PROV holds two and a half copies of the four prosecution briefs thought to have been prepared for the trial..
The pages reproduced.. appear to be a second, working copy of the brief, and have been annotated, possibly by the junior counsel Arthur Chomley, during the trial.  

In John Phillips's " The Trial of Ned Kelly" he states that the drawings on the depositions taken at Beechworth Court were done by Arthur Chomley during Kelly's trial in Melbourne.  

Also, in Alex Castles's "Ned Kelly's Last Days" it says "An interesting feature of the Smyth Crown brief and the brief housed in the Victorian archives that was probably used by Smyth's junior counsel, Arthur Chomley, is that both men indulged in a bit of 'doodling' on the pages. While Smyth sketched a couple of rough pen portraits of people in the court, Chomley fashioned most notably a flower, a cottage and an elaborate letter K..."  

Then the next page of Castles's book shows a  ' Portion of Crown brief (probably) used by Arthur Chomley'  (which features the hut drawing).  

So, from everything gleaned so far it seems very possible that it might have been assistant Crown Prosecutor Arthur Wolfe Chomley who did the drawing of the hut. (For more on his life see  Interestingly, Arthur's brother, H. M. Chomley was a policeman during the Kelly Outbreak and eventually became Chief Commissioner of Police in Victoria after F.C. Standish's resignation. Also of interest is the fact that one of the Chomleys' nephews, C.H. Chomley, wrote the book "The True Story of the Kelly Gang of Bushrangers" in 1900.  

If anyone has anything they wish to add to this article or if they wish to correct or confirm anything, please feel free to contact this site, as we are all on a journey to find the truth!  

SOURCES:  INTERNET: Images courtesy of PROV the Public Records Office Victoria . The citation for this deposition at the Public Records Office of Victoria is "VPRS 4966 Consignment P0 Unit 1 Item 6 Record 1 Document Brief for the Prosecution: Queen v. Edward Kelly - Willful Murder of Thomas Lonigan."

Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV)  Nedonline,  Brighton Cemetery, Australian Dictionary of Biography Online .

A True Narrative of the Kelly Gang, by T.N. McIntyre, Sole Survivor of the Police Party Murderously Attacked by those Bushrangers in the Wombat Forest, on the 26th October, 1878.  

The Trial of Ned Kelly, by John H. Phillips, 1987.
Ned Kelly's Last Days, by Alex C. Castles, 2005.

Note; Sharon Hollingsworth lives in the USA


The back ground image is of Kelly camp hut site remains as photographed by a Tolmie work party circa 1883.

Copyright  reserved  January 2006