Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/142

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sheep, and cattle. Buckley prospered year by year, added station to station, accumulated wealth, never married, never mentioned whether or not he had any relatives, and never referred to his early life. In religion he was a Roman Catholic, and during his lifetime he was a generous contributor to charitable institutions in general. As a rule, he was reserved and unassuming in manner, and was little known beyond the contracted circle of his immediate neighbours. It was only after his death on June 16th, 1872, that his name became familiar to the outer world. He died worth £63,000, but he left no will, and not a solitary relative came forward to claim the property. Under these circumstances the Crown, as usual, through its officer, the curator of intestate estates, stepped in, and the litigation that ensued lasted for nearly ten years and swallowed up the greater part of Buckley's accumulated wealth. An elderly man from New South Wales, named Thomas Maher, appeared on the scene and produced a dilapidated will, purporting to have been signed by Buckley in his favour more than thirty years before. He accounted for the dampness of the document by stating that during his absence from home a flood inundated the house and moistened the will. There was only one surviving witness to this alleged will, and he corroborated the story of Maher. But the Equity Court of Victoria refused to recognise the will as a genuine document, and Maher was thereupon arrested for perjury, but he died before the day fixed for his trial. Everybody who rejoiced in the name of "Coady" or "Buckley," or who was married to a lady maidenly known by either of these titles, now claimed relationship with the deceased squatter, and sent in an application to share in his estate. These applications came from every quarter of the globe. One English gentleman is