Deposition – Roderick McRae


The Depositions

Deposition of Roderick McRae

The examination of Roderick McRae
Store Manager 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 me for that they the said F. Bevan. C. Warburton
W.H. Gilroy and San Qui at Roebourne on

This deponent Roderick McRae on his oath
saith as follows:- I knew the deceased Thomas Anketell, Bank Manager. I was with him on the night of Monday the 12th January last until close upon 12 o’clock. He was all right and well when I left him. We had been sitting in the back verandah and I left him there. The Bank was locked up when I left. Mr Burrup was not home when I left. Mr Anketell said he was tired and would go to bed. He had returned to town from the country the same evening after dark between 7 and 8 o’clock. Next morning about 20 minutes to 6 I was going towards Bassett’s, passing between Noonan’s and Osborne’s and I noticed Mr Anketell lying in his front verandah with his face towards me and the sun shining on it. I was about 70 yards off. I walked a few paces towards him and turned back again.

I had been down town when I received a message that something was wrong with Mr Anketell. I went to the Bank and saw him lying as I had seen him earlier and found his head was battered in. I went round to Mr Burrup’s room and looked in at the window which was shut too but not fastened. I saw Mr Burrup dead on his stretcher. I sent word to the Sergeant of Police and remained till he came. No one was about the place when I got there. Mr Anketell was lying on his back with his face slightly turned eastward. I touched nothing till the Sergeant came. On Wednesday morning the day after the murder I was swimming in the pool and the prisoner Bevan came there. He spoke about the murder and said he did not hear about it till the teamster went out about dinner time on the Tuesday. Bevan introduced the conversation and said it was a terrible occurrence as Mr Anketell was such a fine fellow.

x ex. by Bevan

I remember seeing you again at Thompson’s on the Wednesday morning.

x ex. by Gilroy

I saw you on the road between the new building and Donegans early on Tuesday morning the 13th Jan. I did not see you at Eaton’s

R. McRae

Before me
E.H. Lawrence J.P.