Constable Michael FARRELLY



13 July, 1863


The constable was drowned while attempting to cross Salisbury Creek, near Newcastle. The Sydney Morning Herald dated 28 July, 1863 carried the following brief account of the death of the constable.


FATAL ACCIDENT – As Constable Farley [sic] was returning from a visit to Walcha township he found the creek at Salisbury so much swollen from the recent heavy rainfall that he could not cross without swimming through the current. He was, unfortunately, unacquainted with the safe crossing place during a fresh in the creek, but bravely plunged into the stream, and, on arriving at the opposite bank, found there was no footing for his horse, when inadvertently he checked the rein and the horse fell over with him. He was seen by a shepherd’s boy to beckon for help and almost instantly sank to rise no more alive. Some days have elapsed, yet the body of poor Farley has not yet been recovered, although the horse was found not far from where the accident occurred.

A further article was published in the same newspaper on 1 September, 1863 following the inquest into the constable’s death on 13 July.


“August 22nd – A magisterial enquiry took place this day at Uralla, touching the death of one Michael Farrelly, police constable, who, it will be recollected, was accidentally drowned at Salisbury, the seat of Mr. C. W. Marsh, during the flooding of the creek. After patiently weighing the whole of the evidence adduced, the following opinion was arrived at: Accidentally drowned in crossing Salisbury Creek on the 13th July last.”


The constable was born in 1839 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 3 November, 1862. He was apparently stationed at Uralla.