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NED KELLY - Outlaw And Folk Hero (AUSTRALIA)

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« on: June 28, 2008, 01:57:44 pm »

Ned Kelly

The day before his execution

                                               Ned Kelly - Outlaw And Folk Hero

Edward "Ned" Kelly (c. January 1855 – 11 November 1880) is Australia's most famous bushranger, and, to many, a folk hero for his defiance of the colonial authorities.

Born near Melbourne to an Irish convict father, as a young man he clashed with the police. After an incident at his home, police parties went in search of him. After murdering three policemen, he and his gang were proclaimed outlaws.

A final violent confrontation with police at Glenrowan, with Kelly dressed in home-made plate metal armour and helmet, led to his capture and trial.

He was executed by hanging at Melbourne Gaol in 1880.

His daring and notoriety made him an iconic figure in Australian history, folk lore, literature, art and film.
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2008, 02:10:34 pm »

Now dilapidated, Ned Kelly grew up in this home
built by his father in the 1850s near Melbourne.
The Kelly family gradually moved away from the
growing city to places like Avenel, and Lurg
(near Greta) to escape increasing police

The later Kelly homes at Avenel and Lurg have
vanished completely.

Early life

John "Red" Kelly, the father of Ned Kelly, was convicted in Ireland and transported to Van Diemen's

There is uncertainty surrounding "Red's" conviction and, as most of Ireland's court records were destroyed during the Irish Civil War, it is unlikely to be resolved. Jones claims that 'Red' stole two
pigs belonging to Coloney. Brown suggested 'Red' attempted to shoot an Irish landlord. Another claims 'Red' stole two pigs, which were the property of a Mr. Quainy. According to Jones, 'Red' was
an informer, but again this claim is contested. Whatever his crime, 'Red' was sentenced to seven
years of penal servitude and transported to Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and arrived in 1843.

After his release in 1848, Red moved to Victoria in 1849 and found work in Beveridge at the farm of James Quinn. Red Kelly, aged 30, married Quinn's daughter Ellen, then 18. Their first child died early,
but Ellen then gave birth to a daughter, Annie, in 1853. In all they had eight children.

Their first son, Edward (Ned) Kelly, was born in Beveridge, Victoria just north of Melbourne in 1855.
The exact date is unknown; various dates have been proposed, but there is no general agreement.

Ned was baptized by Augustinian priest Charles O'Hea. As a boy, he attended school and risked his life
to save another boy, Richard Shelton, who was drowning. As a reward he was given a green sash by
the boy's family, which he wore under his armour during his final showdown with police in 1880.

The Kellys were always suspected of cattle or horse stealing, though they were never convicted. 'Red' Kelly was arrested when he killed and skinned a calf, which the police said belonged to a neighbour. He was found not guilty of theft, but guilty of having removed the brand from the skin and fined 25 pounds or six months with hard labour. Not having money to pay the fine Red went to Kilmore gaol. The saga surrounding Red, and his treatment by the police, remained with Ned.

Red Kelly died at Avenel Vic on 27 December 1866 when Ned was only eleven and a half (as recorded
by Ned on death certificate), and according to custom, he was forced to leave school to become head of the family. It was at this time, that the Kelly family moved to the Glenrowan area of Victoria, which
to this day is known as Kelly Country. Ned grew up in poverty in some of the harshest conditions in Australia, and folk tales tell of his sleeping on the ground in the bush during the Victorian winter.

In all, 18 charges were brought against members of Ned's immediate family before he was declared an outlaw, while only half that number resulted in guilty verdicts. This is a highly unusual ratio for the time, and is one of the reasons that has caused many to posit that Ned's family was unfairly targeted from the time they moved to North-East Victoria. Perhaps the move was necessary because of Ellen's squabbles with family members and her appearances in court over family disputes.[1] O'Brien, (1999) however argued that Victoria's colonial policing in those days had nothing to do with winning a conviction, rather the determinant of one's criminality was the arrest.[2] Further, O'Brien argued, using the 'Statistics of Victoria' crime figures that the region's or family's or national criminality was determined not by individual arrests, but rather by the total number of arrests.[3]
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2008, 02:13:14 pm »

Rise to notoriety

In 1869, 14-year-old Ned was arrested for assaulting a Chinese pig farmer named Ah Fook.[4] Ah Fook claimed that he had been robbed by Ned, whose story was that Ah Fook had a row with his sister Annie. Ned spent ten days in custody before the charges were dismissed. From then on the police regarded him as a "juvenile bushranger".

The following year, he was arrested and accused of being an accomplice of bushranger Harry Power. No evidence was produced in court and he was released after a month. Historians tend to disagree over this episode: some see it as evidence of police harassment; others believe that Kelly’s relatives intimidated the witnesses, making them reluctant to give evidence. Kelly would later admit to being an accomplice of Power , who was eventually arrested while hiding out on land belonging to Kelly's relatives. Ned's grandfather, James Quinn, owned a huge piece of land known as Glenmore Station at the head waters of the King River. It was at the top of this land where Power lived - on Quinn's land. Just over the range on the other side of King River is Stringybark Creek (see below).

In October 1870, Ned was arrested again for assaulting a hawker, Jeremiah McCormack, and for his part in sending McCormack's childless wife an indecent note that had calves' testicles enclosed. This was a result of a row earlier that day caused when McCormack accused a friend of the Kellys, Ben Gould, of using his horse without permission. Gould wrote the note, and Kelly passed it on to one of his cousins to give to the woman. He was sentenced to three months' hard labour on each charge.

Upon his release Ned returned home. There he met Isaiah "Wild" Wright who had arrived in the area on a beautiful chestnut mare. The mare had gone missing and since Wright needed to go back to Mansfield he asked Ned to find and keep it until his return. Ned found the mare and used it to go to town. He always maintained that he had no idea that the mare actually belonged to the Mansfield postmaster and that Wright had stolen it. While riding through Greta, Ned was approached by Constable Hall who, from the description of the animal, knew the horse was stolen property. When his attempt to arrest Ned turned into a fight, Hall drew his gun and tried to shoot him, but Kelly overpowered the policeman and humiliated him by riding him like a horse. Hall later struck Kelly several times with his revolver after he had been arrested. After just three weeks of freedom, 16-year-old Ned was sentenced to three years imprisonment along with his brother-in-law Alex Gunn. "Wild" Wright got only eighteen months.

While Ned was in prison, his brothers Jim (aged 12) and Dan (aged 10) were arrested by Constable Flood for riding a horse that did not belong to them. The horse had been lent to them by a farmer for whom they had been doing some work, but the boys spent a night in the cells before the matter was cleared.

Two years later, Jim Kelly was arrested as part of a cattle-rustling operation. He and his family claimed that he did not know that some of the cattle did not belong to his employer Tom Lloyd. Nevertheless he was given a five-year sentence.
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2008, 02:15:17 pm »

The Fitzpatrick Incident

Ned's mother, Ellen, was now married to a Californian, named George King, with whom she had three children. He, Ned and Dan became involved in a cattle rustling operation.

On the 15 April 1878, Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick arrived at Benalla suffering from 'wounds' to his left wrist. He claimed that he was attacked by Ned, Dan, Ellen, their associate, Bricky Williamson and Ned's brother-in-law, Bill Skillion. Fitzpatrick claimed that all except Ellen were armed with revolvers. Williamson and Skillion were arrested. Ned and Dan were nowhere to be found, but Ellen was taken into custody along with her baby, Alice. She was still in prison at the time of Ned's execution. (Ellen would outlive her most famous sons by decades and die on 27 March 1923).

The Kellys claimed that Fitzpatrick came into their house, to question Dan over a cattle duffing incident. While there, he propositioned Dan's young sister Kate. The men and their mother defended the girl by knocking Fitzpatrick to the ground. They then bandaged his injured wrist, and he had left saying that no real harm had been done. No guns, they claimed, were used during the incident, and Ned was not involved since he was away in New South Wales. However, the belief that Ned was in New South Wales is still disputed.

The fact that Fitzpatrick was later dismissed from the force for drunkenness and mixing with the wrong sort of people has led most historians to accept the Kellys' version of events.
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2008, 02:19:16 pm »

The Killings at Stringybark Creek

Dan and Ned doubted they could convince the police of their story. Instead they went into hiding, where they were later joined by their friends Joe Byrne and Steve Hart.

On 25 October 1878, Sergeant Kennedy set off to search for the Kellys, accompanied by Constables McIntyre, Lonigan, and Scanlon. The wanted men were suspected of being in the Wombat Ranges North of Mansfield Victoria. The police set up a camp near two shepherd huts at Stringybark Creek in a heavily timbered area.

On arrival, the police split into two groups: two officers went in search of the Kellys, while the other two, Lonigan and McIntyre remained to guard their camp. Brown suggested in his book, Australian Son (1948) that Sgt. Kennedy was tipped off as to the whereabouts of the Kellys. O'Brien (1999) drew attention to the 1881 Royal Commission's questioning of McIntyre, (Questions 14319-14414) which explored a possibility that Kennedy and Scanlon may have searched for the Kellys to gain a reward for themselves. The inference to gain a reward for Scanlon and Kennedy, at the expense of the other two police, was clear from the tone of Questions 14376 & 79.

The police at camp fired at some parrots unaware they were only a mile away from the Kelly camp. Alerted by the shooting, the Kellys nearby discovered the well armed police camped near the 'Shingle hut' at Stringybark Creek. They were in disguise and dressed as prospectors - yet their pack horses hobbled nearby had leather strap arrangements suitable for carrying out bodies.

Ned Kelly and his brother Dan considered their chances of survival against such a well-armed, determined party, and they decided to overpower the two officers while they could, then wait for the two others to return. The plan was for them to surrender, take their arms and horses and clear out. At least this way they could be some match against another police party that had set out at the same time from Benalla but heading south (Ned was tipped off to this other party's existence). As Ned and Dan had some friends with them this day, they decided to advance into the police camp, ordering them to surrender. Constable McIntyre was not harmed as he threw his arms up. Lonigan drew his revolver and aimed, and the first volley of fire from Ned hit and killed him instantly.

When the other two police returned to camp, in fear for his life, Constable McIntyre suggested for them to surrender as they had been held up. Sergeant Kennedy, thinking this was a joke, went for his gun; Ned stepped forward and the shootout started, and Scanlon was killed. With Lonigan and Scanlon now dead, Kennedy ran for it shooting from tree to tree with Ned in pursuit, and he was eventually caught and shot. Ned and his mates went out of their way to help Sergeant Kennedy after the shooting, making him as comfortable as possible, but, realizing his wound was fatal and he would not live, Ned decided to fire again to end Kennedy's misery.

McIntyre took advantage of the confusion to escape on horseback.

The exact place at Germans Creek where this occurred has only recently been identified, after 129 years.[5] On leaving the scene Ned stole Sergeant Kennedy's hand written note for his wife - and his gold fob watch. Asked later why he stole the watch, Ned replied, "What's the use of a watch to a dead man?" Kennedy's gold fob watch was returned to his kin many years later.
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2008, 02:21:22 pm »

8000 pound reward notice for the capture of
the Ned Kelly gang.

15 February 1879

Bank robberies

The gang committed two major robberies, at Euroa and Jerilderie. Their strategy involved the taking of hostages and robbing the bank safes. To their credit, there were no reported deaths or injuries in the course of these robberies.


On the 10 December 1878, the gang raided the National Bank at Euroa. They had already taken a number of hostages at Faithful Creek station and went to the bank claiming to be delivering a message from McCauley, the station manager. They got into the bank and held up the manager, Scott, and his two tellers. After obtaining all the money available, the outlaws ordered Scott, his wife, family, maids and tellers to accompany them to Faithful Creek where they were locked up with the other hostages, who included the station's staff and some passing hawkers and sportsmen (It is claimed that Ned, posing as a policeman, took one of the men prisoner on the grounds of being the "notorious Ned Kelly". The man was locked up in the storeroom saying that he would report the "officer" to his superiors. It was only then that he was told who his captor was).

The outlaws gave an exhibition of horsemanship which entertained and surprised their hostages. After having supper, and telling the hostages not to raise the alarm for another three hours, they left.

The entire crime had been carried out without injury and the gang had netted £2000, a large sum in those days.
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2008, 02:27:44 pm »

Ned Kelly's armour


The raid on Jerilderie is particularly noteworthy for its boldness and cunning. The gang arrived in the town on Saturday 8 February 1879. They broke into the local police station and imprisoned police officers Richards and Devine in their own cell. The outlaws then changed into the police uniforms and mixed with the locals, claiming to be reinforcements from Sydney.

On Monday the gang rounded up various people and forced them into the back parlour of the Royal Mail Hotel. While Dan and Steve Hart kept the hostages busy with "drinks on the house" [6], Ned and Joe Byrne raided the local bank of about two thousand pounds. Kelly also burned all the townspeople's mortgage deeds in the bank. The Jerilderie LetterSome months prior to arriving in Jerilderie, and almost certainly with considerable help from Joe Byrne, Ned dictated a lengthy letter for publication describing his view of his activities and the treatment of his family and, more generally, the treatment of Irish Catholics by the police and the English and Irish Protestant squatters.

The Jerilderie Letter,

as it is called, is a document of some 8,300 words and has become a famous piece of Australian literature. Kelly had written a letter (14 December 1878) to a politician Cameron stating his grievances, but that correspondence was suppressed from the public. Hence, Kelly's determination to have the 'Jerilderie Letter' published. From the first lines of the letter Kelly states his case, understanding that in his fight against his 'oppressors' that the printed word was more important than guns, or money. It also highlights the various incidents that led to him becoming an outlaw (see Rise to notoriety).

The letter was never published and was concealed until re-discovered in 1930. It was then published by the Melbourne Herald. Max Brown published the letter in his book, Australian Son (1948). The hand written document was donated anonymously to the Victorian State Library in 2000. Several historians have researched the letter and published articles and books. The historian McDermott says, 'even now it's hard to defy his voice. With this letter Kelly inserts himself into history, on his own terms, with his own voice...We hear the living speaker in a way that no other document in our history achieves...' The language is colourful, rough and full of metaphors; it is 'one of the most extraordinary documents in Australian history'.
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2008, 02:31:50 pm »

The trial of Ned Kelly

                                                   Capture, trial and execution

The gang discovered that one of their sympathisers, Aaron Sherritt, Joe Byrne's erstwhile best friend, was a police informer. On the 26 June 1880 Dan and Joe Byrne went to Sherritt's house and murdered him. (Ian Jones, authority on the Kelly Gang, has made a compelling case in his book, The Fatal Friendship that the police manipulated events so that Sherritt appeared a traitor and to provoke the gang into emerging from hiding to dispose of him.) The four policemen who were living openly with him at the time hid under the bed and did not report the murder until late the following morning. This delay was to prove crucial since it upset Ned's timing for another ambush.

The Kelly Gang arrived in Glenrowan on 27 June taking about 70 hostages at the Glenrowan Inn, owned by Ann Jones. They knew that a train loaded with police was on its way and ordered the rail tracks pulled up in order to cause a derailment.

The gang members donned their now famous armour. The armour was made with stolen and donated plough parts. It is not known exactly who made the armour. Some suggest they made it themselves, others suggest it was made by sympathetic blacksmiths. Each man's armour weighed about 96 pounds (44 kg); all four had helmets, and Joe Byrne's was said to be the most well done, with the brow reaching down to the nose piece, almost forming two eye slits.

While holed up in the Glenrowan Inn, their attempt to derail the police train failed when a released hostage, schoolmaster Thomas Curnow, gave the alert, at great risk to his own life, by standing on the railway line near sunrise, waving a red scarf illuminated by a candle. The police then laid siege to the inn.

At about dawn on Monday 28 June, Ned Kelly emerged from the inn in his suit of armour. He marched on to the police firing his gun at them, while their bullets bounced off his armour. His lower limbs however were unprotected and he was shot up to twenty-eight times in the legs (sources vary, some saying six times). The other Kelly Gang members died in the hotel, Joe Byrne allegedly by loss of blood due to a gunshot wound that severed his femoral artery, and Dan Kelly and Steve Hart, which the witness Father Gibney said was by suicide. The police suffered only one minor injury: Superintendent Francis Hare the senior officer on the scene, received a slight wound to his wrist, then fled the battle. For his cowardice the Royal Commission later suspended Hare from the Victorian Police Force.[7] Also, several hostages were shot, at least two fatally.

Kelly in the dock

Ned Kelly survived to stand trial, and was sentenced to death by the Irish-born judge Sir Redmond Barry. This case was extraordinary in that there were exchanges between the prisoner Kelly and the judge, and the case has been the subject of attention by historians and lawyers (see Philips). When the judge uttered the customary words "May God have mercy on your soul", Ned is reported to have replied "I will go a little further than that, and say I will see you there when I go".[8] He was hanged on 11 November at the Melbourne Gaol. Although two newspapers (The Age and Herald Sun) reported Kelly's last words as "Such is life" and two other newspapers as "Ah well, I suppose it has come to this. Such is life", another source, Ned Kelly's gaol warden, writes in his diary that when Kelly was prompted to say his last words, he (Kelly) opened his mouth and mumbled something that he couldn't hear—and since the warden's office is closer to the scene of the hanging than the witnesses' allotted space, Ned Kelly's last words actually remain uncertain. Sir Redmond Barry died of the effects of a carbuncle on his neck on 23 November, 1880, twelve days after Kelly.

Stories abounded of Ned's altruistic and gentlemanly behaviour, casting him as a modern-day Robin Hood. About 32,000 Victorians signed a petition against Kelly's sentencing.
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2008, 02:41:23 pm »

The Kelly aftermath and the lessons

There are two schools of debate around the Kellys. Some dismiss the Kelly Outbreak as simply a spate
of criminality. These included: Boxhall, The Story of Australian Bushrangers (1899), Henry Giles Turner, History of the Colony of Victoria (1904) and several police writers of the time like Hare and more modern writers like Penzig (1988) who wrote legitimizing narratives about law and order and moral justification. Others, commencing with Kenneally (1929), and McQuilton (1979) and Jones (1995), perceived the Kelly Outbreak and the problems of Victoria's Land Selection Acts post-1860s as interlinked. McQuilton identified Kelly as the "social bandit" who was caught up in unresolved social contradictions - that is, the selector-squatter conflicts over land - and that Kelly gave the selectors the leadership they so lacked. O'Brien (1999) identified a leaderless rural malaise in Northeastern Victoria as early as 1872-73, around land, policing and the Impounding Act.

After Ned Kelly's death, the Victorian Royal Commission (1881-83) into the Victorian Police Force led to many changes to the nature of policing in the colony. Though the Kelly Gang was destroyed in 1880, for almost seven years a serious threat of a Second Outbreak existed because of major problems around land settlement and selection (McQuilton, Ch. 10). McQuilton suggested two police officers involved in the pursuit of the Kelly Gang, Sadleir and Montford, averted the Second Outbreak by coming to understand that the unresolved social contradiction in Northeastern Victoria was around land, not crime, and by their good work in aiding small selectors.
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2008, 02:48:45 pm »

Ned Kelley after his capture

The Kellys and the modern era

Ned's mother Ellen died at age 92, by which time when planes, cars and radio had been introduced to Australia. Photographs have recently been discovered showing her sitting in a motor car.[9]

Cultural effect

One of the gaols in which he was incarcerated has become the Ned Kelly Museum in Glenrowan, Australia, and many weapons and artifacts used by him and his gang are in exhibit there. Since his death, Kelly has become part of Australian folklore, the language and the subject of a large number of books and several films. The Australian term 'as game as Ned Kelly' entered the language and is a common expression.[10]

Films included the first Australian feature, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), another with Mick Jagger in the title role, and more recently the 2003 film starring Heath Ledger, Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush. A TV mini series of six episodes The Last Outlaw (1980) highlighted the plight of the selector and the social conflicts and battles between selector and squatters. During the 1960s, Ned Kelly graduated from folk lore into the academic arena. His story and the social issues around land selection, squatters, national identity,[11] policing and his court case are studied at universities, seminars and lectures.
Ned Kelly as a political icon

In the time since his execution, Ned Kelly has been mythologized among some into a Robin Hood,[12] a political revolutionary and a figure of Irish Catholic and working-class resistance to the establishment and British colonial ties.[13] It is claimed that Kelly's bank robberies were to fund the push for a "Republic of the North-East of Victoria", and that the police found a declaration of the republic in his pocket when he was captured, which has led to him being seen as an icon by some in the Australian Republicanism cause (itself including a lot of Australians of Irish descent, most notably previous Prime Minister Paul Keating and author Thomas Kenneally).

Ned Kelly captures President Kruger and wins the Boer War, 1900

In early June 1900, when the Boers' Transvaal capital, Pretoria, fell to the British assault, President Paul Kruger and his government fled east, on a train and evaded capture. In the Melbourne Punch of 21 June 1900, a cartoon titled "BAIL-UP!" depicted the Kelly Gang capturing Paul Kruger's train and seizing Kruger's gold, thus winning the Boer War for the British[14]. This is among the first of the Australian political cartoons, invoking Ned Kelly's historical memory, to fix a national problem.

Ned Kelly the honest bushranger, 1915

During the tough days during World War 1 in Australia, a cartoon in the Queensland Worker, later re-printed in Labor Call, 16 September 1915, showed profiteers robbing Australian citizens, while Ned Kelly in armour watches on saying; "Well Well! I never got as low as that, and they hung me.'[15]

Ned Kelly - invoked to fight the Japanese in 1942

During World War II, Clive Turnbull published, 'Ned Kelly: Being His Own Story of His Life and Crimes'.
In the introduction Turnbull invoked the Kelly historical memory to urge Australians to adopt the Kelly spirit and resist the oppression of the potential invader.

Ned Kelly in iconography

The distinctive homemade armor he wore for his final unsuccessful stand against the police was the subject of a famous series of paintings by Sidney Nolan.

Ironically Jerilderie, one of the towns Ned Kelly robbed, has built its Police Station featuring no less than 19 structural components mimicking his distinctive face plate. Some examples include walls made of differently toned bricks making up his image to storm drains with holes cut in them to form it.

Ned Kelly, based on Sidney Nolan's imagery, appeared in the "Tin Symphony" segment of the opening ceremony for the year 2000 Olympic Games[16][17].

Ned Kelly has appeared in advertisements, most notably in Bushells tea on television. A man drinking tea in the iconic suit of armor is the focal point of part of the ad.
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2008, 02:52:32 pm »

Ned Kelly in fiction

A. Bertram Chandler's novel Kelly Country (1983) is an alternate history in which Kelly leads a successful revolution; the result is that Australia becomes a world power. Peter Carey's novel True History of the Kelly Gang was published in 2000, and was awarded the 2001 Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Ian Jones has produced several books concerning the Kelly Gang, including The Fatal Friendship and Ned Kelly; A short life. Keith Dunstan's Saint Ned (1980) chronicles lesser known aspects of Ned Kelly's life, whilst discussing the rise of the 'Kellyana' industry.
Kelly Gang gets UN classification
The 1906 film The Story of the Kelly Gang received a UNESCO cultural heritage "The Memory of the world" listing for being the world's first full-length feature movie. (The Herald Sun, 21 June 2007).

Films and television

The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) now recognised as the world's first feature length film had a then-unprecedented running time of 70 minutes. One of the actual suits worn by the gang (probably Joe Byrne's) was borrowed from the Victorian Museum and worn in the film. Pieces of the film still exist.

Harry Southwell wrote, directed and produced three films, The Kelly Gang (1920), When the Kellys Were Out (1923) and When the Kellys Rode (1934), and began work on a fourth, A Message to Kelly (1947).

The Glenrowan Affair was produced by Rupert Kathner in 1951, featuring the exploits of Ned Kelly and his "wild colonial boys" on their journey of treachery, violence, murder and terror, told from the perspective of an ageing Dan Kelly. It starred the famous, tough Carlton footballer Bob Chitty as Ned Kelly. It was one of the last films to portray him with an Australian accent.

In 1967, independent filmmaker Garry Shead directed and produced Stringybark Massacre, an avant garde re-creation of the murder of the three police officers at Stringybark.

The next major film version of the Kelly story was Ned Kelly, starring Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, directed by Tony Richardson, running 1 hour, 43 minutes. It was poorly received and during its making it led to a protest by Australian Actors Equity over the importation of Jagger, with complaints from Kelly family descendants and others over the film being shot in New South Wales, rather than in the Victoria locations, where most of the events actually took place.

Kelly expert and author Ian Jones and Bronwyn Binns wrote the script for the 1980 television mini-series The Last Outlaw, and which they co-produced. The series premiered on the centenary of the day that Kelly was hanged and its detailed historical accuracy distinguished it from many other films. It was recently released on DVD.

Yahoo Serious wrote, directed and starred in the 1993 satire film Reckless Kelly as a descendant of Ned Kelly. It was a disappointment when compared to his first film, Young Einstein.

In 2003, Ned Kelly, a $30 million budget movie about Kelly's life was released. Directed by Gregor Jordan, and written by John M. McDonagh, it starred Heath Ledger (as Kelly), Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, and Naomi Watts. Based on Robert Drewe's book Our Sunshine, the film covers the period from Kelly's arrest for horse theft as a teenager, to the Kelly gang's armour-clad battle at Glenrowan, and attempts to portray the events from the perspectives of Kelly, and also of the authorities responsible for his capture and prosecution. That same year a low budget satire movie called Ned was released. Written, directed and starring Abe Forsythe, it depicted the Kelly gang wearing fake beards and tin buckets on their heads.


In 1971, US country singer Johnny Cash wrote and recorded the song "Ned Kelly" for his album The Man in Black.

Other songs about Ned Kelly include those by Slim Dusty ("Game as Ned Kelly"), Ashley Davies ("Ned Kelly" (2001)), Waylon Jennings ("Ned Kelly" (1970)), Redgum ("Poor Ned" (1978)), Midnight Oil ("If Ned Kelly Was King" (1983)), The Whitlams ("Kate Kelly" (2002)), and Trevor Lucas ("Ballad of Ned Kelly", performed by Fotheringay on their eponymous album). He was also referred to in the Midnight Oil song "Mountains of Burma" (1990) ("The heart of Kelly's country cleared").

Kevin Shegog, Little Kangaroo(1961?)

"Blame it on the Kellys" from the 1970 film Ned Kelly.

Mick Thomas and Paul Kelly, 'Our Sunshine'

The Australian band The Kelly Gang consists of Jack Nolan, Rick Grossman and Rob Hirst. "Shelter for my Soul" was written and recorded by Powderfinger's Bernard Fanning for the 2003 film Ned Kelly. It was written from Kelly's perspective on death row and played over the movie's closing credits.

Reckless Kelly, an Americana/Texas Country/Rock band based out of Austin, Texas, is named for him.
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2008, 02:57:14 pm »


1. ^ Jones, p. 25

2. ^ O'Brien, pp. 12-16

3. ^ O'Brien, pp. 13-15.

4. ^ Ah Fook. Glenrowan 1880.

5. ^ Denheld, Bill (2003). Germans Creek. Retrieved on 2006-12-30.

6. ^ An Illustrated History of the Kelly Gang by Alec Brierley, published in 1979

7. ^ J.J. Kenneally, pp. 190-191

8. ^ The sentencing of Edward Kelly. Retrieved on 2006-11-11.

9. ^ Found: Rare pictures of Kelly gang matriarch. "The Age" newspaper. Retrieved on 2006-12-02.

10. ^ Barry, John V. (1974). "Kelly, Edward (Ned) (1855 - 1880)". Australian Dictionary of Biography 5.    Melbourne University Press. 6-8. Retrieved on 2007-04-08.

11. ^ Gibb (1982)

12. ^ C. Turnbull (1942) and Hobsbawm (1972)

13. ^ O'Brien (2006)

14. ^ Wilcox, p. 103.

15. ^ (J. Beaumont, Australia's War 1914-18, 1995.)

16. ^ Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, The who's who and what's what of the Opening Ceremnony,

17. ^ David Fickling, Ned Kelly, the legend that still torments Australia, The Observer, November 30 2003


O'Brien, Antony (2006). Bye-Bye Dolly Gray. Hartwell: Artillery Publishing. (historical fiction with lots of Kelly oral and histories in a twisting & turning plot)

Brown, Max (1948). Australian Son. Melbourne: Georgian House.  (plus reprints)(a sound pro-Kelly history of the events)

'Cameron Letter', 14 December 1878, in Meredith, J. & Scott, B. Ned Kelly After a Century of Acrimony, Lansdowne, Sydney, 1980, pp. 63-66. (Ned Kelly's own words)

Gibb, D. M. (1982). National Identity and Counsciousness: Commentary and Documents. Melbourne: Nelson.  (Chapter 1. Ned Kelly's view of his world and others)

Hare, F.A. (1892). The Last of the Bushrangers.  (a police perspective of the 'criminal class')

Hobsbawm, E.J. (1972). Bandits. Ringwood: Pelican.  (wide ranging world wide history on social bandits in which he argues that Ned Kelly can be better understood)

Jones, Ian (1995). Ned Kelly : A Short Life. Port Melbourne: Lothian.  (a comprehensive and well researched piece of history and events)

Kenneally, J.J. (1929). Inner History of the Kelly Gang.  (plus many reprints) (the first pro-Kelly piece of literature)

(2001) in McDermott, Alex: The Jerilderie Letter. Melbourne: Text Publishing.  (an insight into the famous Jerilderie Letter)

McMenomy, Keith (1984). Ned Kelly: The Authentic Illustrated Story. South Yarra: Curry O'Neill Ross.  (lots of photos from the era, photos of records etc. a sound research piece)

McQuilton, John, The Kelly Outbreak 1788-1880; The geographical dimension of social banditry, 1979. (among the most important academic works, which expands on Hobsbawm; links the unresolved land problems to the Kelly Outbreak)
Penzig, Edgar, F. (1988). Bushrangers - Heroes or Villains. Katoomba: Tranter.  ( a pro-police/establishemnt piece)

Deakin University (1995). The Kelly Outbreak Reader. Geelong: Deakin University.  (is now hard to locate but it contains a wide selection of research documents and commentary for university level history students)

Turnbull, C (1942). Ned Kelly: Being his own story of his life and crimes. Melbourne: Hawthorn Press.  ( very hard to locate, but Ned Kelly become a national figure)
Wilcox, Craig (2005). Australia's Boer War: The War in South Africa 1899-1902. South Melbourne: Oxford.  (has a cartoon of 1900 depicting Ned Kelly and the gang capturing The Boer President Paul Kruger)

O'Brien, Phil (2002) "101 Adventures that got me Absolutely Nowhere" Vol 2 (p.92 A resemblance to Ned Kelly's makeshift body armour of a child with a pot overturned on his head)
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2008, 03:02:20 pm »

                                                          Further reading


Carey, Peter (2000). Ned Kelly, True History of the Kelly Gang.
O'Brien, Antony (2006) Bye-Bye Dolly Gray, Artillery Publishing, Hartwell. (Though this work is set 20 years after the Ned's death it contains insights into the Kelly story)

Upfield, Arthur. (1960) Bony and the Kelly Gang,Pan Books, London. (Upfield's famous fictional character, Inspector Boney, clashes with a new Kelly Gang)

Unpublished Kelly theses

Morrissey, Douglas. "Selectors, Squatters and Stock Thieves: A Social History of the Kelly Country", PhD, La Trobe (in Borchardt Library, La Trobe University, Victoria)

O'Brien, Antony. "Awaiting Ned Kelly: Rural Malaise in Northestern Victoria 1872-73", B.A. (Hons), Deakin University, 1999 (sighted in Burke Museum, Beechworth) (See. p. 45, re Royal Commission questions)

See also:

Dan Kelly (bushranger)


The Jerilderie Letter

List of people on stamps of Ireland

External linksImages and transcript of the Jerilderie Letter at the State Library of Victoria
Images, transcript and audio of John Hanlon's transcript of the Jerilderie Letter at the National Museum of Australia (scroll down page)

Ned Kelly: Australian Ironoutlaw (the first site on Ned Kelly, established 1995)

History of The Kelly's and other Australian Crooks

Ned Kelly, Australia's Iron Icon

Two Huts at Stringybark Creek

Glenrowan 1880

Convict Creations page on Ned Kelly

IMDb: Ned Kelly (2003)

A collection of traditional ballads about Ned Kelly

Crime Library's account of Kelly's life and death
Ned Kelly on PictureAustralia

Ned Kelly in Beechworth

The Story of the Kelly Gang: The World's First Feature Length Film
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 03:03:59 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2008, 03:14:23 pm »

                                               Outlaw Ned Kelly's Remains 'Uncovered'

Monday March 10, 2008

Archaeologists believe the remains of iconic Australian outlaw Ned Kelly have been found in a mass grave at the site of a former prison.

One of the bodies found

Kelly was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol in 1880 but documents show his remains and those of 32 other executed prisoners were exhumed and reburied at Pentridge Prison in 1929.

Archaeological digs at the site of the former prison have unearthed unmarked coffins containing the remains of the executed prisoners, badly decomposed and mingled.

"We have still some testing to do, but it's pretty clear we have found them," said senior archaeologist Jeremy Smith.
"Identifying the remains of Ned Kelly may prove difficult, as his were not handled with a great degree of care," the expert said in a statement.

"It is also possible that his skull and other body parts were stolen immediately following his 1880 execution."

Kelly, a bank robber who killed three policemen, evaded capture for nearly two years before he and his gang faced a final showdown with the law in northern Victoria state in 1880.


Kelly in armour

Three of the four gang members were killed and Kelly, wearing heavy armour made out of ploughshares, was wounded and captured.

Kelly, whose exploits have been made into several films, including one with Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger in the lead role and another starring the late Heath Ledger, still captivates a country used originally as a settlement for convicts deported from Britain.

Born to an Irish ex-convict father, he is seen by some as a kind of Robin Hood who robbed the rich because of injustices toward the poor.

The Australian government's own cultural website describes Kelly as "one of Australia's greatest folk heroes".

Kelly's homemade iron visor, with a long slit for his eyes, was the inspiration for Australian artist Sidney Nolan's most famous series of paintings.,,30200-1308629,00.html
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 03:19:26 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2008, 03:26:47 pm »

Grave discovered

On March 9, 2008 it was announced that Australian archaeologists believed they had found Kelly's
grave on the site of an abandoned prison.

The bones were uncovered at a mass grave, and Kelly's are among those of thirty-two felons who
had been executed by hanging. Historians had discovered records which suggested that Kelly's re-
mains were buried at Pentridge prison after having been removed from the Old Melbourne Gaol when
it closed in 1929.

Jeremy Smith, a senior archaeologist with Heritage Victoria said, "We believe we have conclusively
found the burial site but that is very different from finding the remains."

Forensic pathologists have examined the bones, which are much decayed and jumbled with the
remains of others, making identification difficult. However, Kelly's remains were identified by an old
wrist injury and by the fact that his head was removed for phrenological study.

Mrs. Ellen Hollow, Kelly's 62-year old great-niece, offered to supply her own DNA to help identify
Kelly's bones.
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