Tuesday, 26 March 2013

John Kelly's inquest

Seventeen years after the death of his wife Mary and their seventeen year old daughter, also Mary, John Kelly himself died at Yackandandah, Victoria .

He died from heart failure and fell into the fireplace.

The details from the inquest are as follows.

page 1

29 - 7 - 1905

Proceedings of INQUIRY held upon the body of John Kelly at Yackandandah.

received at the Crown Law Offices,

2 - 8 - 1905

J.J. Hobbs   Coroner.

Norther Bailiwick,
To wit.

A Magisterial Inquiry on behalf of our sovereign His Majesty King taken at Yackandandah in the NOrthern Bailiwick State of Victoria, this 29th day of July in the year of our Lord One thousand nine hundred & five before the undersigned James Joseph Hobbs Esquire, one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the said Bailiwick, upon view of the body of John Kelly then and there lying dead.

Having duly enquired when, where, how and by what means the said John Kelly came by his death, I say that the said John Kelly died at Yackandandah in the said Bailiwick on the 28th day of July 1905 from HEART FAILURE.

As witness my hand this 29th day of July
J.J Hobbs  J.P.

This Deponent Charles Conrad Haub on his oat saith, I am a Currier residing at Whiskey Flat Yackandandah.  I am employed by Mr. ...? Tanner .......? the deceased John Kelly was employed at the Du...? Tannery.  I last saw him alive at half past three on the 28th Inst, about 2 O'clock he compained of being ill and said he was ....? and complained of a pain in his chest he left the work about 1/4 past three & on leaving said I am just done Charley I must give up after 5? years labour- He then said call in this evening meaning to deceased's house- about 5 o'clock I saw him in his house in a lying position his head was in the fire place his body was on fire also his clothes - body? was ? and the fire put out - I then went for the police & the doctor - I have known and worked with the deceased for about 8 years.  and I should say he ? ? 64 years of age.

This Deponent John James Sylvester Healy on his oath saith, I am a legally qualified medical practitioner residing at Yackandandah.
I attended deceased John Kelly for some time during April & May 1905.  I last examined him on June 5th.
He was suffering from Valvular disease of the heart.  I cautioned him to beware of exerting himself.  I saw the body which I recognise as John Kelly lying in the fireplace at the cottage at the tannery.  My opinion of the cause of death was heart failure.

This Deponent William Vallance on his oath saith, I am a Constable of Police residing at Yackandandah.
I am a police Constable stationed at Yackandandah.  On the 28th inst from information received about 6 pm I went to John Kellys house about half mile from the town and I there saw the body of a man lying on the floor in the kitchen burnt to such an extent that the features was beyound recognition.  From some of the clothes that were on the body I identified the body as the body of John Kelly.

The foregoing depositions of Charles Conrad Haub J. J. S Healy and Wm Vallance were taken and sworn before me at Yackandandah on the 29th day of July 1905.
J.J. Hobbs   J.P.


  1. Oh... it is sad reading our rellies Inquests, eh Kerryn? Terrible tragedy with his daughter's early death and now this for poor John. xxx to you.

    1. You are so right Catherine. I hadn't had much to do with inquests but these ones brought a tear to my eye.

  2. A sad story... how horrific for the man who found him. It's not something you would ever imagine doing as a doctor, no matter how many deaths you had seen. Some families seem to have to endure so much tragedy.

    1. It must have been awful. I just hope poor John was well and truly gone before he hit the fire.

  3. What a terribly sad story Kerryn but hopefully his heart attack was severe enough to kill him before the fire took over.