On This Day ….. 26th of June 1868

Mary Ann Hall was transferred from Yarra Bend Asylum in Melbourne on the 28th of June 1868 to the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum. On the 26th of July 1876, Hall escaped and was never found. Hall was believed to have crossed the boarder into the colony of New South Wales.


Ellen Harper was transferred from Yarra Bend on the 15th of November 1867. On the 25th of July 1869, Harper escaped from Mayday Hills Lunatic in Beechworth and was recaptured on the 6th of August. Harper was released on bond the following day.


On this day …….. 18th of July 1931

Within a few days of his 101st birthday, Mr. Philip Thorley has died at Stanley, near Beechworth, in North East Victoria. He was born at Richmond, New South
Wales, on July the 18th, 1830. His descendants include great and great-great grandchildren, which number more than 150.


On this day …….. 13th of July 1876

After years of agitating and waiting, the first train to Beechworth arrived on this day in 1876. The railway had been opened to Everton in July 1875, and during the following year the construction of the difficult second section up to the City of the Hill, (Beechworth). The official opening did not take place until September.


On this day …….. 10th of July 1930

The Melbourne Herald News Paper arrived in Beechworth, Victoria on this day in 1930, in the most unconventional way. The edition of the paper carried a feature on Beechworth as a tourist resort, and a noon an aeroplane appeared above the town, and from the skies rained the Herald. The round trip from Melbourne was flown by Pilot Officer Kinnear. He left Essendon at 10am, arrived over Beechworth at noon, then flew onto Stanley to drop more Heralds in the school grounds, arriving back in Melbourne just after 4pm.


ON THIS DAY – JULY 9, 1873

Henry McKay was charged with the murder of his lover Emily Yeomans. McKay, who for some time had been working in Barnawartha, had returned to Hurdle Flat to visit Emily. That evening was spent at McKay’s aunt’s house. During the night, a dispute arose between the couple about a boot Emily had lost whilst in an intoxicated state.

At 7 a.m. the following morning McKay ordered Emily to go and look for the missing boot but she refused to do so. He then attempted to beat her but was prevented from doing so by a man named Thomas Beazley, who happened to be present. Emily and McKay then left together to look for the boot, but had not gone more than 150 yards when two carriers, who had camped close to the house, heard cries of “Murder!” One of them, named Robert Eveston, ran out, and saw McKay strike Emily two heavy blows with a piece of paling, which he swung round his shoulder. Both men immediately ran to help her, but finding Emily quite insensible, they removed her to the house, McKay assisting them to do so. In spite of everything that could be done by the neighbours, Emily died in about three hours. McKay stated that he would go and give himself up. However he went to Mrs. Irvine’s public house, and got drunk. He was found there by Senior-constable Steele about half-past 2 p.m., information having reached the Police Camp about 2 p.m. McKay was taken to a lock-up. An inquest was held on Monday on the body of the woman. The Jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against McKay; he was committed for trial at the Beechworth Circuit Court. Henry McKay was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.  The local newspaper report pointed to the fact that McKay, through his associations with characters such as Mrs. Herbert, Toke, Mitta Mitta Jack and Harry Power, knew a lot more about the unsolved murder of Soames Davis and some other crimes that had taken place in the district. It was thought that had McKay been sentenced to hang, that he may have given up his secrets!

On this day …….. 27th of June 1880

Most of the law abiding element of Glenrowan’s population had been rounded up by Ned Kelly and his gang and held hostage in Ann Jones Inn. This was so the Kelly’s could de rail the train tacks and no warning of the trap towards the police and their special train coming from Melbourne. As the day wore n, and no police train appeared along the tracks, the tense atmosphere developed, and by late night, it appeared that there would be no train. The police train finally left Melbourne for Beechworth in North East Victoria, at 10pm, with police, horses and blacktrackers.

On this day …….. 27th of June 1880

Aaron Sherritt’s body still lay in a pool of blood on the floor of his hut in the Woolshed Valley near Beechworth, North East Victoria after being murdered by the Kelly Gang. Police in his hut affrayed that Ned Kelly and his gang were still outside waiting to ambush them. The idea behind killing Sherritt was for the police watch Aaron would ride into Beechworth raise alarm so a special train full of police would leave Melbourne for North East Victoria. However the police to scared to leave would wait over 12 hours before leaving Sherritt’s hut. The police train finally left Melbourne at 10pm.

On this day …….. 26th of June 1880

This day in 1880 was a Saturday, and would go down in Australian history as the last stand between the notorious Kelly Gang of North a East Victoria and the Victoria Police. Ned Kelly and Steve Hart rounded up the population of the small town of Glenrowan and locked them in Ann Jones Inn. Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly rode off towards Beechworth to find Aaron Sherritt once a friend now police informant. The Kelly would then force railway workers to derail a section of the Melbourne to Sydney train line. This was done after the last passenger train passed at 9pm, and there would be no more scheduled services until the following Monday.

On this day …….. 26th of June 1880

Ned Kelly, Australia’s most famous bushranger, was born in December 1854 in Beveridge, Victoria. As a teenager, he became involved in petty crimes, regularly targetting the wealthy landowners. He gradually progressed to crimes of increasing seriousness and violence, including bank robbery and murder, soon becoming a hunted man. Ned Kelly’s gang consisted of himself, his brother Dan, Joe Byrne and Steve Hart. One of Kelly’s more daring bank robberies was carried out in December 1878 when Kelly and his gang rode into the Victorian town of Euroa, where they robbed the National Bank of about 2,000 pounds. As a result of this robbery, the reward for their capture was increased to 1,000 pounds each. Aaron Sherritt was an associate of the Kellys, having grown up in the same area, and he was quite close to the Byrne family. He was engaged to Byrne’s sister for awhile. After the gang was outlawed following the murder of three policemen at Stringybark Creek in October 1878, Sherritt turned police informant for money. Sherritt advised the police to camp out in a cave near Byrne’s family home in the hopes of capturing Byrne as he visited his mother. Sherritt’s presence was noted, and Byrne’s sister broke off her engagement to him. Many months later, on the night of 26 June 1880, Sherritt was at home with his new wife, mother-in-law and four policemen. When Sherritt answered a knock at the door, he was shot dead by Byrne. The police officers hid, as they were unsure whether they were Byrne’s real target, and did not report the killing until late the following morning. Within a couple of days, Byrne was himself killed in a shootout at Glenrowan between the gang and the police. Ned Kelly was the only one to survive to stand trial, after which he was hanged.

ON THIS DAY ………. 26th of June 1880

Aaron Sherritt was born in 1855 and was an associate by Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly on the 26th of June 1880. On the night of the 26th June 1880 Sherritt was at home with his wife, mother-in-law and four policemen, Constables Armstrong, Alexander, Ducross, and Dowling. A neighbour, Antoine Weekes, who had been handcuffed and held hostage by Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly, called out “Aaron” at the front door of Sherritt’s hut. When Sherritt answered it, Joe Byrne shot him dead. The police officers hid under the bed and did not report the killing until late the following morning. Within a couple of days, Joe Byrne was himself killed in a shootout between the gang and the police at Glenrowan. Ned Kelly was the only one to survive to stand trial. He was found guilty and hanged on the 11th November 1880.


On this day …….. 12th of June 1896

Information has been received by the Wodonga police that a man named
Patrick Sheridan, an inmate of the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, escaped
from that institution on the 12th of June 1896. Sheridan is described as a man of 55 years of age, 8 feet high, with beard turning grey, and was wearing a dark “paget” coat (with buttons low down on chest) and white moleskin trousers also a dark hard felt hat. He was seen a few days ago at Wooragee, making towards Indigo Creek, and was afterwards seen on the Yackandandah road, about nine miles from Wodonga, and carrying a stick in his hand. Any information as to Sheridan’s whereabout should at once be sent to the police, in order that the man, who is a religious maniac, may be re-captured.