Deposition – Robert Burns


The Depositions

Deposition of Robert Burns

The examination of Robert Burns
Sergeant of Police of Roebourne
taken on oath this 18th
day of March in the year of Our Lord one thousand
eight hundred and 85 at Roebourne
in the Colony aforesaid, before the undersigned, one
of Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said Colony in the presence and
hearing of Frederick Bevan, Charles Warburton, William Holmes Gilroy and San Qui who
are charged this day before one for that they the said F. Bevan, C. Wartburton,
Gilroy and San Qui at Roebourne on


This deponent Robert Burns on his oath
saith as follows:- I remember the morning of Tuesday the 13 January. I know all the prisoners. I met San Qui that morning opposite the bank. We stood about opposite the bank to hear the news and then went together to my house. When we got home San qui said he had been at Bevan’s last night up to 10 o’clock and they had ? from singing and dancing. I askedhim who was there and he said “There was Bevan, Mres Bevan and a lot of people”. Some remarks were made about the murder and he said “??? they make such a noise ? like that, plenty ? Singapore” as he was going away he said “me suppose all get in ?” He went away and I saw him again at the ? store. I then went to Ashton’s and while I was there saw Qui come there. Gilroy also came there. Gilroy said “Isn’t this an awful affair?” I said “Yes it is and they seem to think you’re  into it”. Gilroy looked at me and ?  ?. I remarked on some case in England that a person troubled with heart complaint might have been frightened to death. Then San Qui accompanied me home. I noticed he seemed very changed, very restless and agitated. My wife remarked it was a cruel thing to kill W. Anketell. San Qui said “no one man kill’m; 2 or 3”. My son came in soon after. ? “Oh, they say Mr Burrup’s shot thru the head”. That was about 1/2 past 9 or 10 o’clock on Tuesday morning. San Qui said “No shoot em, pick” and then suddenly added after a pause “so me hear’in”. I had not previously heard anything said about a pick in connection with the murder. San Qui left the house and returned again about dinner time. Before he returned. I and my family agreed to test him by saying they had got a lot of money. When he came, my wife said she heard they had got a lot of money. San Qui Said “No get’m money, plenty cheques there, but not take’m”. Someone asked him which way the men went; he got angry and said “What made us think he knew about it” and he went away. He asked before did I think they would catch them. I said “Oh, yes, they’ll catch them”. He said “Me think they no understand”. On Tuesday night he came to my house just after I got back from the funeral. He sat a few minutes and then and then said he would go home. He said “I’ll go home and go to bed, me think police lock’m me up”. I saw San Qui again at my place on the Wednesday morning. He said Mr R. McRae had had him in his office and offered him 50 sovereigns to tell him who did the murder. He said “I not know who do ’em. Last night me no can sleep, no can eat, no other Chinaman likes me. Me go asleep me thinks Mr Anketell come shake’m” showing us of some one taking hold of his head and shaking it with both hands.He said he wished Mr Dickey was back and he would sell him his place to get a passage back to Singapore; he couldn’t stop here. San Qui did not ask me if any money had been lost.

x ex by San Qui

You didnot ask e who broke into the bank. You did not ask me if the bank lost any money. I did not say “plenty cheque not take ’em”. You did not ask what they killed Mr Anketell with that I remember. I did not say “pick and tomahawk”. I did not tell you 2 men had gone away in a boat. I did not say police no understand and no catch ’em”. I was not present at a conversation between you and my wife about the dream book. Gilroy was not at my house on Tuesday evening. You did not say as a reason for going early that evening that police would lock you up if g? was not late.

x ex by Bevan

I am almost sure San Qui mentioned you as at home on Monday night. I understood ? so.

K Burns

Before me
E.H. Lawrence J.P.