The Murder Inquest at Rose Inn

 

  In 1873 Patrick McAveney was murdered by his wife in the Megalong Valley . His body was transported to the Rose Inn for the inquest. Inquests   took place in public houses, and bodies awaiting inquest were stored in outbuildings.  
 

3RtUTAL lMURDER.NEAR HARTLEY* A DIABot?iCALiurder bis: been commit ted at iatplace'cal'led Pulpit Hill Swamp, -about fourteen:milesin "a soixthleaste'rly ?iriectionf from -Little Hartley, and one . mile distant fromi a pla.e'?alMled'Megklohg, and at'one timno-the residecrfed fi DrPal. mer. At theospot to whichwe refer lived an old n'iran nltie'd ' Pitrickt c 'Aven'ey, about 74 years'of age; anid bis w?fe Annie; who is a'lso an a~ginperdson: They occu pied a' iouse'onVthe fdimnist.ad. and seldrom kept 'iiny :sedr?irts; and' hltd none living with ther1' ati the tim e the murder wai committed..- - They3 cultivated buthlittle more'grdiind thann was requiired to -p- duce grain .sufficient for their own sup 'port, and th eir chief: eans of:su ppor t7 was td airyiing, and thefattening f pi'pigs for sle..se. .iThey·had a good' many cattle rind. occasionally _the ;old -mtln sold some of them,, the laso':'t being, solglialiqut six weeks ago,, and realiring somei £76.:. At '?h6 time of the murder the old couple were supposed to have had considerablyr' moire than this 'sum' on :liha:d': 'ulpit * Hill Swhirip; whereh 'they lived ,.was .yery much isolated, the ,nearest human beings living about two'riiles .off.,:. While the old folks wereliving, wo?lly unsuspecting evil, they were visited, on- Friday last, ;by two bloodthirsty'villians who'hiid "beaome acquainted with theirUanprotected situation, They were.. maked inr blhik crape, mur 'dered 'the old man, ind 'cai'riied 'anay, whit' itfoey they could:lay. their hands on: .On Monday last, -Mr .Thomas' Birown J.P., held at the Rose Inn, Little Harley a magisterial inquiry .into the circum starnces connected wiith the murder o Patrick M'Aveney, and the following Sevidence war taken- Michael M Averley deposed that' on Saturday last his mother: came to his place at Chaplow Creek, .which. was distant :about two `miles from his". late father's place, seitig -ler'come to his place at such an unusual hour in the morning, he asked :her whiat was up and she told him that:the bushranlgers had Ibeeni at her -place. last; night' aand that she had remained all night tied upi.to a tree,; and thiat.there was something the matter with (the old man; 'lie did not understand from ,her at the time that his father'tiwas dead througli bein'g.confused, he im'mediately got;on his horse to goand inform the po 'lice What :had occurred -at his fathe"'s i .place, on his way: to Hartley he' called at his' brother; John's, at Kanimbla," vieh l wias ? bou?' three and a-half mtilesrfrom his ownplace; he vwas told by his brother; wife'that he had gone to Little:" Hrtley. S He requested her to go to his elder bro- C ther Thomas's place, about 1½ miles' off, 1 and tell hir:to go to' Pulpit Hill Swamp e at once, as lie feared, that something se iious had happened the .old man, as the i bushrangers had been there the night 1 before and tied his. mother.up to a.tree. F He told his brother's wife:all his mother 1 had told him, he then started'?ff to little 11 Hartley and overtook'k iis:'.biothe"r John, f to whom :hen'arrated'all his mother had d told ,him. ..He then came on and arrived a :at little. Hartley at half-past. 10 o'clock, a lihe told the police what had occurred aind . senior-constable Maloney,. ind constable B.uckley:at once started for 'Pulpit :Hill i Swamp. When witness- got 'there in « ,company :withl the police he fdund that f' his father had been killed ; le vias lying Ii on the floor 'ith:ia blhtnriet thrown over it him, in a pool of blood: the place was.in n a vei'y disordeed state; . the things were h all strewn about, as if everytliing in: the « place had been ransacked, there was blood t1 on the walls.: Hlis, father and mother i occupied seperate beds. ' bioobihandle d was the only fasteidig to the`do6r and: t tany one" from the' outside" could easily have shoved the door openi. l':ie assisted; le the phliceiu making a dilige.it search for it tracks but couild find none..-; ,-e saw con- n stable Maloney take some-money from his. tl father's trousers pocket as he laydead 'on 'a the floor.; c t:: Constable Maloneyi said that when: 'he f and constable Buckley arrived atPulpit' Hill Swamp ,and entered thie rhouse wit- hi ness saw Patrick: M'veney, the subject tA of that:inquiry and whose body hle had tI just viewved,;:lyingdead on 'the floor and rl covered with blood ;jhe was lyin on his W left side ;with his rigl t ha itdthrown over·ltI his left, arid there were sevorill .wounds gi on his face and head as if caused by some sharp instrament.- such wounds as might ti be done with an axe; ' Th.heheiad lay to- pl wards the'fireplace, and' the fee"to'wards fi the sofa.' 'He had on anoi nside shiirt arid he an o01 "drimean one,0 outside :ie hiad his trousers on.ii tlpon further, examination eX in searching ..the:pockets 'he found £34~ is in notes, dconsistinr of one '£20 nbte,; one 01 £10 n'ot f ur 1 notes', mind 5s Gd in if silvei, andi ctbox keyo which' he produced. w" The placeipresented the appearance of a de slaughthiirhouse, lblood being. ,visible; on B Ithe walplkates,; andieverything .inuthe st house seenmed to: have ,been r-ansacked; m there was at:lot ofdollies strewn alboutthe at floor, together wfith' "so ,?eitathdei and qU boxes like the one pfio?6 d ddid' tlhetiad 'bf on the :mattress was;liooi, the., ground,:and' th covered with ,lood,, while'the foot of it to was partly resting on'lthe sofakihe pro- mi duced the~ bedding nid: clothe hel 'wore. gr The blankets 'were cut in two -phlicds at th one corner,,as if the blankethiad'been ori we his head' at the time the first blow was be 'struck. In'the daiiry adjoining thehihut he also founid somi e lolles on the.floor, and f some milkaspilled on the ground. Con- an stable Buckley; Michael M'Aveney, and da witness tried to find tracks but could not Pc trace any. 'He came on to Little Hartlby, and went.from there to Mount Victoria H telegraph station, to telegraph to the dfif ut ferent police stations what had occurred. At Pullit'Hill Swamp he had left in.tlhe 'nan time' constable Buckley in charge frc of the dead-body till he returned. When 'T he did retirn to Pulpit Hill Swamp 'he us went':from there. to Chaplow. Greek onr tr

Y.I Sunday,and orought Mrs W'Aven-ey with him to Pulpit Hill Swamp,:to .point. out it- the spot where.she had ,been tied up to p, the tree; a vei-y diligent search had been ly I made, but upto the present'timehe'could re not discover any traces of a track or g, tracks. 1" .Annie M'Aveney, on being duly sworn, ad stated that she was' the w:'.ife of the 1hte y,_ Patrick M'Aveney, whose body,-the sub ei, gent of the present inquiry, slie hid just a- seen. They lived'at Pulpit Hill Swainp m by themselves. On the night of-Friday ig last, as was their usual custom, they re as tired for the night, and went to bed after 1e 'dark,' they did not 'sleep together, she -- slpt-in an inner room; while her husband P- slept on a sofa, in the front room, which as was also used for a kitchen, the sofa was or near her bedroom-: door; and she'--would id have to pass the head of his bed in going of to her ioom; the firont door had only a x x temporary, fastening to it, a piece of stick Lt laid against the ledge at the inside of the le door, while .the other end: rested on the yr g'roind floor, which was an earthern one. it There were some pieces of wood on the '" fire when they retired to rest for the night Is which was about.ten:o'clock, 'as near as re ,she could think ; she .had no clock in the ig house to tell the 'time by. ' She' was iy awakened.by'hearing a noise in the front le room. She got out of bed. As soon as in, she opened herb'edroom door to look out '- and see where the noise proceeded from, ya she ,vras edughb hold "of by ia tall, stout Is man, with his face black, as well as crape, .:r some 'otlier black m'titerial, covering a his head. She could see by the dim glare r of the fire that he had dark clothes on. 1 There was another man with him, also > asked. in black, buit not so tall; nor so g stout. ' He wasa thin man. The big nman took her out of the house, and to the n back part of it, some twelve or: fourteen is yards distant. He then tied her wrists 'fi'mly, the palmhns of her hands being tied e together, and then tied t" a sapling, and a theri' left her. "And while she was so : tied up, she heard a noise in.the house, as if people we reIalking,'but could notunder stand what was said. All she could hear j wisthenoise She wasleft tied uptillabout 4 o'clock in the morning, when. the mnan who tied her up camne to release her, and" I in cutting the cord, he cut the forefinger I of the right hand rather severely. He , smelt of having taken spirits. She could smell them from his breath. On releas ing her, he said, "' Old woman, I do' not think you have any money, or that you know- . where 'any-is kept, or I woald serve you out as the old.-manihas been served. As soon as she was released she sat down at the foot of the' siapling until daylight. She was afraid to enter the house. As soon as'it was daylight sh e' entered the house, and the first thing she noticed was her husband lying on the floor covered with blood. She went and 1 laid her hand on him, and found th.at he was cold and and dead; 'She then put a blanket over him to ilkeep the flies fr'om him. She then went and got the teapot, from which she took a cup of tea and drank it; after which she closed the door and went to Chaplow Creek toinform her h son Michael of what had' happened. It was about 6 o'clock when she, got there. The fimily were up, and as her daughter- A in-law was in delicate health she did not wish to state the real facts of the case for fear of frightening her. In answer to her son's inquiry as to what was up, see :ing her there at so unusual an hour in the r morning, she stated that the bushrangers b had been to the place to rob it, that she t was tied up to a tree all night, and "that there was something wrong with the old man. Her sonaske.l her if his father wass dead,she gave him to undem'standsuch was the case;-. ' . By senior constable Maloney, of Hart- '.i ley;: There-would be no diflicmiltyin'push- 61 ing open the front door. It would take b, no force to do so. If she were:. to:hear e the man speak who.tied her up, she could sI nriot recognize the voice again; Nor yet e, could she recognize the man if, he was be- n fore her, through his being 'disguised. tI ,When she entered the- house, and saw. her w husband: dead, 'she also 'saww that every- .e thing in the place .lld been ransacked-. d the contents of therh-es being streown t "nbout' the floor. T;ilii 0oor was strewn tI with some boxes of matches, and lollies the bld man used tdokeep'in his box; to di give his grandchildren when the paid him in a visit. She did not know in whitt direc- ol tion the men went when they-left tllhe place. She and. her liusband lived on friendly terms with each other, and they tI had no quarrels one with the other.' ' " John M'Avehey was nexit sworn and th examined. The evidence of this witness is only a disctription of. what he saw iit i Chaplow Creek when he airrived there, of after leaving his brother Micihael, 'who' went for the police to Hartley. Hls evi i dence' corriboritted thit given by Maloney. w But, in answerto questiona put by con-I stable Mldoney ·"s to the cause 'of his mother sleeping apart from.his father, he ai stated that they did not seem to have any t quarrels, and that he thought they lived th on' agreeab'le terims. He' could not tell im the reason. This witness did not seem th to give his evidence in a clear unhesitating: i mainer.' BUlit whether it ~nob dse through th grief ornot itis hard .to say. He stated hc thriflheidid'not think his mother's: miiind al was impared, but he never knew her to w be in any-way eccentrio inher manner. :-'A's& it was. late in ,the evening, the fur'ther heingof evidence was postponed pe and the inqui'y: wims adjoui'ed untilMon- M day,: thi :l0thinstant,: to be holden at the Ia Police-office, .Hartley. - - nt : The police from the out-stations are in of Hartleyvand'a blaolktrmcker from Bath- is urstbis also there. :;" . . :A..'2:subsequent-issueofthe S . iM.1 Heraldc se from whidh we extrai?t thle fgoirg ,s~r; ays. la 'Tho;le 'f ub'i* readei's witho may have per- Ie used the evidenceitaken before a ningis- - trate-at Hartley, on thlie occassion of an as

inquiry into the circumstances connec ted with the death of Patrick M'Aveirey; apparently by violence, :at .Pulpit= Hill Swamp, where' he was the oecupant of a farm, will recollect that certain state nients were made on oath by the Wivi of I the deceased. AMrs M'Aveney in thecourse of her evidence stated that two men, one of whom was short and stout, while the other was tall and thin, came, to; the house on- the night `of' Friday week With, blackined' faces,'niurdered her husband, ransacked-the house,'took some money, carried her outside, and tied her ,by, the; wrists to a tree. She added that she re mained fastened: up till 4 o'clodk off the Saturday morning;? when one of, the men released her,'but that fear prevented her from going into the house for some tiine after; and Wheni she did so she found her husband dead. She then went off to the residence of one of,her sons at KaInimbla, and told him :the bushrangers had been to the house, and that something was :up with the oldman. .The police authorities= were rather doubtful: as to the truth' of some of the circumstances which ?were. said-to have been connected with the aal leged robbery and murder; and their suspicions as to the veracity of the nar. rative of the occurrence would seem] to have been well founlded. We have' rei ceived informationi, which contains the starbliing announcement, that the ahed wife of M'Aveney has made a confession in which she states,that she herself ir-ui dered her husband. :