Newspaper articles – The West Australian – 6th, 7th & 11th February 1885

The West Australian



The following telegram reached us yesterday from Carnarvon:-

“By Mary Smith we hear that two whites, one of whom is named Burnside, and a Chinaman have been arrested at Roebourne on  suspicion of having murdered Messrs. Anketell and Burrup. Twenty wounds were found on poor young Burrup, supposed to have been made with a sharp pick ; his brains were bespattered everywhere. Blood from Anketell, also, was all over the front verandah. The murders  are supposed to have been committed by Chinese assisted by the whites. Mr.  Lawrence’s Chinese cook has informed him that the Chinese intend to take his life. The Chinaman who has been arrested threatens to starve himself to death. People at Roebourne all go about  armed now.”





A telegram from Carnarvon late last night states that the name ” Burnside” was telegraphed in error as that of one of the men arrested at Roebourne for the murder of Messrs. Anketell and Burrup.  The following is the exact text of the telegram received by the Police Department on Thursday from Sergeant Daniel O’Connell of Roebourne :-

“Chinaman San Qui, exp. 8798 Frederick Bevan, Charles Warburton, free, arrested on suspicion, murder of banker and clerk, having taken nothing from bank-Picked tracks up mile north of bank-followed tracks towards town-funeral procession passing over tracks-becoming dark had to give up-afterwards picked tracks leading cross end pool Harding river followed tracks about three miles-come to where men arrested were getting stone-boots they had on did not correspond-upon searching properly town found pair Warburton’s lodgings similar to track followed-instrument murders  committed or anything not found to closing mail-clothes of murderer or murderers most be covered blood from way blood about bank.”



WEDNESDAY, 11 February 1885


The Flowerdale with Messrs. Scott and Easton, of the Union Bank, on board reached Cossack, it appears, on the 31st January, and, shortly after arrival, Mr. Scott despatched a special messenger with telegrams to the northernmost completed point of the telegraph extension. By this opportunity a few items of intelligence have reached us, that neither our telegram nor those received the Bank or by the Government contain any fresh information of interest respecting the outcome of the steps taken to secure the murderers of Messrs. Anketell and Burrup. It appears that Bevan and Warburton and the Chinaman San Qui, who, as we heard per Mary Smith were arrested for the crime soon after its committal, have been brought two or three times before the Resident Magistrate, and remanded back for farther evidence -no circumstances having come to light directly connecting these men with the terrible outrage.

Our correspondent says : ‘ Everything done very clean,’ by which, we presume he means that all traces likely to connect the perpetrators with the crime were effectually removed. Others besides the men in custody are, we understand suspected by the police, and the opinion appears to be held at Roebourne that the Government, in order to fathom the mystery and secure punishment of the guilty, should offer a free pardon to any accomplice not actually engaged in the committal of the murder.