DEATH OF MR. E. M. BAGOT.
The sensation that has occurred in connec- tion with the disappearance of Mr. E. M. Bagot has unfortunately had a tragic culmination. Scarcely more than a week
ago Mr. Bagot, in the full possession of life andvigor, was a prominent figure in our streets. He is now numbered amongst the great majority. The circumstances leading to his demise are rather strange. Perhaps there was no form better known in the city than that of E. M. Bagot. Universally esteemed, even worshipped by those with whom he came into contact, it is indeed surprising that he should be missed without somebody having cogni sance of his whereabouts. The occasion of the presence of his Excellency the Governor of Victoria at Hilltop, the residence ot Mr. H. E. Downer, M.P., on Saturday, July 24, witnessed the presence of Mr. Bagot, and he was then in the enjoyment of all his usual facul ties. Having all the true instincts of a sportsman the meet was an enjoyable one to Mr. Bagot, and his appreciation of it was noted by all who were in attendance. With other friends at the conclusion of the festivities at Hilltop he drove in to Adelaide, reaching- the city between 5 and 6 o'clock, it being believed that it was nearer the latter than the former hour. It was then dark. Mr. Bagot at once got into a one-horse North Adelaide car, driven by a man named Brooks. There was only one other passenger in the car, a lady. Mr. Bagot, who knew the driver, walked through the car while it was in motion, just after passing the Adelaide-bridge, and remarked "I say, Brooks. This is rather hard on you having to collect the fares and drive. It takes a man all his time to attend to his horses." Mr. Bagot then deposited his fare in the box, no conductor being on the tram. The driver states that when the car reached the lamp, a short distance from the cathedral, Mr. Bagot was in the car. The lady passenger called to the driver at Pennington-terrace to stop, which he accordingly did. Remarking, however, the absence of Mr. Bagot, whom he had known for 28 years, he said, "Did yon notice that gentleman get out?" The lady replied, "He jumped off just before or as we passed the lamp, and seemed to stagger on the road and fall, but I am not sure that he did fall." It was dark, and the driver looked round, and could not see Mr. Bagot. ON THE WALKERVILLE ROAD. From North Adelaide Mr. Bagot must have found his way to Walkerville, though the manner in which he did so seems so far to be somewhat indefinite. Shortly after 9 o'clock, as nearly as can be ascertained, he accosted two little girls close to Bishop's corner, and asked them to direct him to Bishop's corner. The probability is that instead of asking for Bishop's corner, as was supposed, he asked for Bishop's Court, which was close to his own residence in Brougham-place, North Adelaide. The girls pointed out Bishop's corner, and he proceeded on his way. Bishop's store is situated within 100 yards of the Torrens, and right opposite is a lane that runs down to the river. It was suspected that Mr. Bagot turned to bis right, walked down the pathway, got through the fence, and fell over the precipice into the river, the banks of which are very steep at this point. This supposition led to the thorough examina tion which was made of the river at this par ticular locality. Judged, however, in the light of subsequent events, it seems clear that Mr. Bagot turned to the left at Bishop's comer and proceeded up a lane in the- direction of due north. It is simply a matter of conjecture as to which route he then took, but the pro babilities are that he struck the road running up the hill past the Buckingham Arms, which, if he followed it, although having turnings, would eventually lead him to the vicinity of the Stockade. It is just possible that he went over the fields, but as the obstacles to be met with are many this seems improbable. From this point all search of Mr. Bagot was lost. THE SEARCH PARTIES. So soon as it was known that Mr. Bagot was missing immediate steps were taken by his friends to ascertain whether be was dead, or alive. On Monday, July 26, the news was circulated that Mr. Bagot had not made bis appearance at home, and this fact was con sidered sufficiently significant to justify the employment of special means to dis cover bis whereabouts. It was not until Wednesday that any determined search of the river was made by the police, and on Thursday morning the cattle salesmen and others connected with the cattle markets were called together at the John Bull Yards, Currie street, for the purpose of considering the organisation of search parties. No time was wasted in discussing tne form of procedure, and within a very short space of time a well equipped body of men and boys set off to in vestigate the pools above the lake, in which it was thought the body of the unfortunate gen tleman might be found. The boys at the cattle market really loved Mr. Bagot. This was evinced by the fact that when an offer of reward for those who would search for Mr. Bagot was made the lads without exception refused the reward, and announced that they would prosecute the search with the hope that they would set at rest the question as to whether one who had universally been so kind to them, was living or dead. Their efforts, as our readers know were unavailing. The whole of the country in the neighborhood of Walkerville was thoroughly examined, and not only was this the case, but every waterhole into which it might be supposed that the deceased gentle man had fallen was also inspected. From that day the parties unremittingly continued their labors. The country adjacent to the city, from north to south and east to west, was scoured by these volunteers, who included in their number expert bushmen, black trackers, and Queensland blackboys, the latter of whom have gained a reputation for obtaining a clue to any object of which they may be in search, Mr. John Barker, Mr. Hugh Chambers, Me L. R. Beck, Mr. H. H. Birt, Mr. Scott, Mr. Reid, Mr. G. Bennett, Mr. Clarke, Com missioner Peterswald, and a number of other gentlemen were foremost in their endeavors to trace the missing gentleman. All that sklll and bush knowledge could do were brought to bear on the question, and although, baffled from day to day, the searchers continued with unflagging zeal, refusing to own themselves defeated. Saturday night closed in without any result having been arrived at; but, nothing daunted, these indomitable workers met together in con ference the same night and resolved to return to their labors on the following day. Sunday morning opened somewhat gloomily, but with spirits not dampened by the weather, and with a desire to learn the truth about their friend, over 100 horsemen, pedestrians, detectives, police, black trackers, and black boys met at the Walkervilie bridge, and thoroughly searched the country from One Tree Hill to the flagstaff Hill. A party from Port Ade laide, which consisted of about 30 persons, under Sub-Inspector Doyle and Mounted-Constable Sharp, with the water police under the charge of Corporal Cornell, extended their search to the Grand Junction-road, skirting the edge of the swamps to the General Bolivar Hotel, on the Port Wakefield main road, and returning to the Port by way of The Levels and Dry Creek. Another group closely examined the Sewage Farm, its surroundings, followed the drain and inspected all the land in the vicinity back to the Stockade. There is evidence so far that a stout person was seen on Saturday night making his way towards the Stockade. He was then on the Hampstead road. Up to this time the search, had been confined to within several miles of the city, and all sorts of explanations were offered as to the whearabouts of Mr. Bagot. On Saturday the police were put upon an entirely new scent, but this has turned out to be an altogether fake one. On that day telegrams were re ceived ftom the Burra, stating that Mr Bagot had been seen at the Burra railway-station on Tuesday, July 27, by Messrs. Kerr (late stock inspector) and Norton (overseer of the Govern ment prospecting party at Ulooloo) on the de parture of the midday train for the north, Now it is a curious thing that these gentlemen, who knew Mr. Bagot well, should have been prepared to swear that they recognised him, but do doubt the explanation will be found in the fact that Mr. Bagot was at the Burra on Friday, July 23, when he was inspecting the Nocka tunga cattle. He returned to the city the same evening. There is absolutely no reliable evi dence that Mr. Bagot was so far north of Ade laide on Tuesday last. Despite the false scent upon which the police felt they had been put, tbe Commissioner of Police, up to Monday afternoon, was hopeful that Mr. Bagot was still aiive. Now, alas, all doubts are set at rest. THE SEARCH BY THE PROTECTOR MEN. A party of men from the Protector arrived in town on Monday morning, and under the superintendence of Inspector Doyle and Master-Gunner Haison thoroughly searched the Torrens between the Company's-bridge and Mr. Levi's property. A diver was included among the number, but beyond being called into requi sition to search deep holes to the north of Mr. Conrad's slaughteryard his services were not required. In the neighborhood of Walker ville the excitement occasioned by Mr. Bagot's disappearance was very great, and all along the river parties of men were to be met with on Monday. Mr. John Barker and many gentlemen also arrived from the city, and aided in the search. WHERE THE BODY WAS FOUND. Just as business men were leaving their establishments on Monday evening the news arrived that the body of Mr. Bagot bad been found in a quarry adjoining the Yatala Stockade. Before explaining the circum stances which led to the discovery of the body it may be as well to draw attention to the evidence of the little girls at Walkervilie, pre viously alluded to. when Mr. Bagot reached Bishop's corner it is surmised that he turned to the left and continued up the hill. Thence be must have made the Hampstead-road. Those who travel this road are aware that the Stockade can be seen from it, and it is probable that after traversing it for some little distance he branched off to the left, heading for the Stockade. There seems to be no doubt that on the night of Saturday, July 31st
Mr. Bagot was on the Hampstead-road, as one of Mr. L. Conrad's employes driving home states that he saw a big man in the centre of the highway. At the time little was thought of the occurrence, but the butcher now feels convinced that the man he saw was Mr. Bagot. Having traced Mr. Bagot to this point it is perfectly natural to suppose that he struck across country due north, which would lead him to the neighborhood of the Stockade. If this be so the point arises, when did Mr. Bagot next take the high road; and there are only two conclusions to arrive at. Not far distant from the Stockade is a road running past the model school, and if he passed along that it would take him to a slip-panel to the north-east of the Stockade. Passing through this panel he would deviate to the right, come to a panel dividing the quarry in which his body was found from the lane which leads from the Stockade to it. If he came down a track a little higher, and not far distant from the lodge, be wonld have to pass through two fences, which would bring him on the straight track running down by the side of the Stockade, directly to the panel separating this lane from the quarry. From this panel to the quarry the distance is about 50 yards. As he would stand at this panel looking almost due north he would see a farm house on the other side of the quarry about a section and a half away. Presuming that the people of the farm had not retired to rest this would serve as a beacon, and Mr. Bagot making straight for it would fall over into the quarry, as be unfortunately did. It matters little which of the two tracks mentioned he followed, as by continuing on either after passing through the last slip-panel he must have been brought face to face with the awful danger which cul minated in his tragical death. THE FINDING OF THE BODY. With so much succour at hand, with so much help within a minute's call, it seems terrible to think that Mr. Bagot should have perished. Running down from the Stockade lodge is a well-kept track, which brings one right to the gates of the Stockade, but continuing on to the left a short distance and turning to the right, skirting the stockade wall, one is brought face to face with the quarry in which the unfortu nate offenders against our laws labor. So as to reduce risk to a minimnm to the unwary traveller a fence has been erected which separates the quarry from this roadway. Pulling down the panel one finds himself within leas than a minute's walk of an abrupt wall of rock. Gaunt and grim on the right stand the gloomy walls of the prison, and directly in front is the frightful chasm in which Mr. Bagot met so untimely an end. Having got through the panel there is nothing to warn those unacquainted with the spot of the dangers that lie in front, and it is doubtless owing to Mr. Bagot not knowing the locality sufficiently well that he walked on to his death. The quarry is horseshoe in shape, and between 80 and 90 feet deep. The unfortunate gentle man must have walked straight on and top pled over head downwards. It was on Monday evening that Guard Ernest August Topperwein whilst on duty discovered the body. The time is fixed at from a quarter to ten minutes to 6 o'clock, at which hour the prisoners engaged in the quarry leave their work for the day. Topperwein, who was on guard, had two men working immediately beneath him, and could not see them. This induced him to step to the westward of the quarry. With one glance be saw his two prisoners, and as his eyes rose from the spot they rested on the ledge of the cliff. There he saw a pair of boots, the soles of which were turned towards the quarry. In a moment he went from the west to the east, and approaching the edge of the ravine he discovered the body of Mr. Bagot. To give the alarm was the work of a moment, and in a short space of time the information was conveyed to the authorities in Adelaide, while we were enabled to present our readers with the earliest news of the terrible event. GUARD TOPPERWEIN'S STATEMENT Speaking to a representative of this paper, who waa the first reporter an the scene, Guard Topperwein said—Between a quarter and ten minutes to 5 o'clock this (Monday) evening I was on duty on the spot immediately above where Mr Bagot fell over. There were two prisoners working in the quarry right under me, and as the sides of the quarry are steep I could not see them. In order to do so, I stepped to the westward of my beat to the east. Looking down I saw the two men, and raising my eyes I happened to glance on the ledge, and saw a pair of boots. I thought it very curious to see boots there, and wish ing to satiety myself I went from the west to the east and looked right over them. Directly I saw the boots and trousers I called to Guard Corcoran, who was on the opposite side of the quarry, some 60 feet away, saying, "I have found Mr. Bagot here." I at once sent for Head-Guard Buckston. He sent for the superintendent, Mr. G. B. Scott. He came, and at once telephoned to the city. I remained there till you arrived. My beat extends from east to west, and I have a cinder track on which to walk, which runs askew. At some points I am from 40, and at often 20 feet from the edge of the quarry, and the nearest I approach to it is within 6 feet. To reach the edge of the quarry I had to go some 50 feet. When I first saw the body I was on the west, and went to the east looking almost due north. I have been on the same beat for two weeks, and it is just a piece of luck that I happened to look over to see my two prisoners, who were breaking stones beneath. The body is lying on a ledge 30 feet from the surface, and between 50 and 60 feet from the bottom of the quarry. The ledge is from 18 to 20 feet long and 9 feet wide. Close to where he is lying, there are two large boulders weighing about 2 cwt. each. It is quite likely that Mr. Bagot struck one of these as he fell, and from the position the body is lying in I do not think he moved after falling. The feet lie to the north west, and the head to the south-east. The body is stretched straight out, the breast being turned to the earth with the right aide of the face directed towards the aky. Tbe toes of the boots are turned to the ground. The hair is matted with blood, and falling over the face. The hat is not on the ledge, but it is supposed that it has rolled into the qnarry beneath. As it was already dark no examination could be made. I am of opinion that he must have fallen on it, and been killed on the spot. I think he came up the road by the school, which would take him to the slip-panel to tbe north cast of the Stockade, When he reached the panel he would come through and make for the quarry, which would bring him face to face with the second panel that leads directly to the quarry. If instead of following that track he had struck across be would have had to pass through two fences in order to reach the road that leads direct to the panel, pass- ing through which he would encounter the quarry into which he fell. There is a farm house opposite the quarry, which is about a section and a half distant, and it is probable that a light was burning, and that Mr. Bagot made for it. Of course the quarry is not visited on Sunday, and on the following day it was very wet, so that all tracks would be obliterated. ANOTHER STATEMENT Chief-Guard Buxton states; —"I was the only person in addition to Guard Topperwien who passed the spot where Mr. Bagot was found. In the bottom of the quarry there are 22 men employed, but none of the prisoners could see anything on the top of the ledge on which the body was discovered. Guard Topperwien could only see the body by walking to the west side, as he has already told you. As soon as possible Guard Waddell was lowered down over the cliff, and covered up the body with two blankets, and thus it was left, THE FATAL SPOT. The moment the sad intelligence reached the city one of our reporters drove to the Stockade, arriving in time to accompany Mr. George Bagot and Mr. John Barker, who were going to the quarry for the purpose of remov ing tbe last lingering doubt by identifying the body. On the edge of the chasm a large fire was burning, throwing its fitful glare over the faces of the warders and policemen assembled. From the darkness the scene was weird and melancholy. Presently two warders appeared bearing a long ladder. With a strong wind blowing a cutting rain into the faces of those present the ladder, suspended to a rope and held by strong hands, was lowered over the cliff. This reached the ledge and then a long chain was suspended. With his feet on the steps of the ladder, the chain in his hand, and a lantern swinging held in his teeth, Guard Waddell descended for the second time. It took but a short space to reach the ledge, and then Mr. George Bagot, held by a guard by the arm, approached to the edge of the cliff, and was enabled to see the dead body of Mr. Bagot. A friendly police man performed the same service for our repre sentative. First Guard Waddell raised the blanket from off the face, and then we could see the well known features of the deceased gentlemen, with his hair matted and hanging over his brow. Next the shoulders were ex posed, and as the overcoat in a heap around the head was recognised our eyes fell on the familiar sack shepherd's plaid coat and vest. Next the legs were uncovered, and as we gazed on the dark grey tweed breeches, tight fitting at the knees, with riding-boots below, we recognised that we had found the body of him we were in search of. Like an old familiar landmark the body lay below us, and there was nothing to do but to turn away with feelings of the deepest sadness. Reverently the last remains of him who was so well known, so well loved, without an enemy in the wodd, were covered, and one by one the party left the scene. Policemen were placed in charge, and there the body will, lay till the coroners jury view it this morning.' THE LAST MEETING OF THE SEARCH PARTY In the evening a meeting of the search party was held at the detective office. The melancholy news of the discovery of the body had of course reached the members previously and in consequence there was a comparatively small muster. Sincere regret for the death of their friend was expressed on all hands, but almost all hope of finding him alive had pre- viously been abandoned, and it was felt to be
satisfactory that the mystery which for so many days had surrounded the disappeannoe of Mr. Bagot had at length been solved. The general impression among those present was that the deceased gentleman was riding home as was his custom on the rear platform of a tramcar, and that he either stepped off or fell from the car, which was without a conductor. His head no doubt came into contact with the stony roadway, and he thus received such injuries as caused him to wander on not knowing where be was going until he met his death by falling over the precipice. Mr. Commissioner Peterswald occupied the chair, and among those present were Messrs. J. H. Parr, H. Chambers, E. P. Clarke, J. B. Soott, G. L. Reed, B. Colley, T. Newman, H. Gill. Inspec tor Sullivan, and Detectives Upton, Danlevi, and Bnrchell. The Chairman said all doubts as to the fate of their unfortunate friend had been set at rest by the sad news which had so lately reached them, and nothing further re mained for them to do but to thank all those who had so earnestly assisted in the search. The gathering then dispersed. THE INQUEST. The Commissioner of Police and the city coroner met during the evening, and it was decided that the body should re main where it was found until the fol lowing morning, when the scene of the accident would be inspected by the members of detective force, the remains being guarded during the night. At 7 o'clock this morning the commis sioner and the coroner, accompanied by Dr. Poulton, will leave for Dry Creek; and Mr. A. E. Clarke will drive Detective Dunlevi and the representatives of the press to the quarry at the same time. The body will be removed to one of tbe private apartments of the prison in their presence, and examined by Dr. Poulton. At 11 o'clock a jury will be sworn in, and the inquest will be commenced, but after the evi dence as to the discovery of the remains has been taken the enquiry will be adjourned so that the body may be removed to the deceased's late residence. THE FUNERAL. The funeral cortege will leave the deceased gentleman's late residence, Brougham-place, North Adelaide, on Wednesday afternoon, at 3 o'clock, and the body will be interred in the North road Cemetery. LIFE OF MR. BAGOT. Mr. E. M. Bagot belonged to a well-known family of Irish extraction, which had resided for many years near the town of Ennis, in the county of Clare. In Ireland the deceased gentleman was born in 1823. His father, well remembered in this colony as Captain Charles Harvey Bagot, though a landed proprietor in the Emerald Isle—being the owner of Rock forest, near Ennis—determined to found a home in one of the young countries, and settled in South Australia, then hardly out of its infancy. He arrived with his family in 1841, during the governorship of Colonel Gawler, and the late Mr. Bagot, then 18 years of age, accompanied him. Poor to his arrival here the young man had been educated with a view of entering the East Indian Civil Service, but his studies in this direction were not completed at the time the family came out to Australia. When they arrived here the colony was pass ing through a most distressing financial crisis, to which allusion is frequently made at the present time by old colonists in comparing it with the bad times that have existed of late. Captain Bagot proved a most valuable addi tion to the band of pioneer colonists here. Within a few months of his arrival he settled with his family, including the subject of the present notice, in the neighborhood of Kapunda, and engaged in pastoral and agri cultural pursuits. Upon this land in tho fol lowing year, 1842, the youngest son of Captain Bagot discovered traces of the existence of copper ore. This was followed up, and led to the establishment of what has since been known as the Kapunda copper mine. In this industry for a little time Mr. E. M. Bagot was actively engaged, but in the same year he again took to sheepfarming, and chose this time the Murray River as the site of his opera tions. He selected a piece of country, upon which he settled, and which is called at the present time after him, "Ned's Corner." For many years he occupied it as a sheep and cattle run, though finally he sold it to Mr. C. B. Fisher, and at present it is the property of Mr. Joseph Fisher, Mr. Pegler, and several other gen tlemen. These were most stirring times for Mr. Bagot and those associated with him. All the perils which surrounded the life of the early settlers in Australia were accumulated along the Murray in those years. Old colonists today will remember the difficulties encountered by parties travelling down the Murray from New South Wales with sheep and cattle to stock the newly-established colony. The sufferings of colonists from the blacks, who, banded together in large numbers, attacked the Euro peans on their way with stock, have often been depicted. In these encounters the young settler naturally was frequently engaged, and many were the tales of thrilling escapes which be used to tell of the time when he was sheepfarming on the Murray. Many of them have been made public before now. The story of Major O'Halloran's attack upon tbe Rufus tribe of natives, in retaliation for a fatal assault upon a travelling stock party under the charge of Mr. H. Inman, formerly Superintendent of Police in Adelaide in April 1842, has frequently been told before. Mr. Bagot, with the Hon. G. C. and Mr. J. C. Hawker, Messrs. Jacob, Hart, and other gentlemen, besides Mr. Inman and his party, formed, with the police under Inspector Tolmer, the party who were bound on the expedition against the blacks. A most exciting encounter with the natives took place, and during it Mr. Jacob was unhorsed, and would have been slaughtered had Mr. Bagot not taken him up behind his own horse, and aided by the rest of the party got him safely out of the affray. After a number of years spent more or less directly in pastoral pursuits, Mr. Bagot disposed of his run to Mr. C. B. Fisher, as has been mentioned before, and entered into partnership with Mr. Gabriel Bennett as stock and station agents. From that time to his death the deceased gentleman waa occupied in the same description of business. While so engaged he established tbe well known Beef acres estate, now belonging to Messrs. Hart Brothers. As an authority upon everything connected with pastoral matters, in which he was as deeply interested in one way or another as any gentleman in the colony, be was almost without a rival. His opinions upon such points were always sougnt after, and met invariably with the respect they deserved from his long experience of our runs and stock. In him the Royal Agricultural Society will lose one of their most valuable and most valued members. In their shows, in every thing connected with the well being of the society, he took the deepest interest. His removal cannot but be a blow to the pursuit with which he was so long and so closely con cerned. The turf also will lose one of its best and most active supporters in Mr. Bagot. He was one of the leading men on our racing grounds, especially in the more palmy days of sport. For years he was one of the mainstays of the South Australian Jockey Club, of which he was one of the principal members. When he held the Old Thebarton racecourse he was well represented on the field, and of late years be always held the position of judge open the Morphettville Course. He owned a large number of horses, including especially Cowra, by Fisherman, who twice won the Cup, and latterly Bellamee. By Mr. Bagot's unfortunate death sport generally will lose an ardent supporter, and one who aided largely in keeping our sporting clubs going at times when theirexistance has been pre carious. His father, Captain Bagot, to whom allusion has been made before, died on July 29, 1880, at the age of 92. He had always taken an active part in public affairs, and was a member of the old nominee Legislative Council. After wards he was elected a member of the first mixed Council, and a member of the House of Assembly for the district of Light. Mr. Bagot was twice married. His eldest son—and tbe only one by his first marriage— died some two or three years ago at Dalhousie Springs; and by the second marriage he leaves a family of nine—five sons and four daughters.