"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ned Kelly, Bushranger

The pictures; One of the suits of armour, Ned as he looked when captured,
a sketch depicting Ned in the battle at Glenrowan.

Some Australian History

Ned Kelly

1855 – 1880 only 25 years old when hanged at Melbourne Jail for murder.

Edward (Ned) Kelly was born at Beveridge, the family moved to Greta in

N E Victoria when he was a child.

His first clash with the law was at age 15 when he was charged with assault

on a “fowl and pig dealer” named Ah Fook, no I’m not kidding!!! he was

acquitted of this charge.

Eventually at 20 years of age he was sentenced to 6 months in jail, while

he was incarcerated the stock from the family farm was all stolen, perhaps

with a tit for tat attitude, Ned and some friends stole stock from those they

believed to be guilty of stealing from them.

When the police again became involved Ned and the members of his soon

to be formed gang headed bush where, aided by sympathizers they easily

avoided capture.

So the Kelly Gang was born Ned, his younger brother Dan, Steve Hart, and

Joe Burn, they had a reward of $200 on their heads, this was eventually to

rise to $2000 each.

While being hunted by the police, the Gang came across a camp of four

policemen, in the battle that ensued 3 of the policemen were shot and

killed, Ned claimed sole responsability at his trial.

The Gang had 3 major exploits to their name, they held up and robbed

the banks at Jerilderee and Beechworth, their grand finale was to hold

up the township of Glenrowan, this was in the heart of “Kelly Country”

and being surrounded by supporters the siege turned into a party at

the towns only hotel.

There were a few developments that at this stage were unknown,

firstly they had fashioned 4 suits of amour, these were made from

plough shears with the aid of a friendly blacksmith, and secondly

they had been told of the police plan to send a train loaded with

police from nearby Benalla.

The Gang planned to derail this train by removing a length of rail

from the line, this plan was thwarted by a local who had pleaded a

release from the hotel to tend a sick child, when he was allowed to

leave, he hightailed down the track and signaled the train to stop.

The police then surrounded the hotel, called on the Gang to let the

townsfolk out, this was done, and the battle began, the amour clad

Gang were eventually gunned down by far superior numbers, Ned

was the only one taken alive, his arms and legs were riddled with

bullets though.

Ned was taken to Melbourne for a hasty trial, sentenced to death and

hanged before the groundswell of protest could gather full momentum.

So ended a life, and began a legend, Ned is a part of the folklore in

Australia, for a 25 year old who was hung as a bushranger 125 years

ago to be still so renowned is quite remarkable.

There have been 3 movies made of his life to date,the last 2 have

starred, Mick Jagger in one and Heath Ledger in the most recent.

From the gallows Ned’s last words were; “Such is life.”

This story has a personal interest to me, my Maternal Grandmother

was a local in this area known as Kelly Country,while she did not know

the Gang, she was born in 1880, the same year Ned was hanged she

did know the family and friends of the Kelly’s, her opinion was that

they had been hounded into their life of crime.


bornfool said...

I've read about Ned a few years ago. The story (or legend) always kind of reminded me of The Billy the Kid legend here.

Big Dave T said...

I'm pretty familiar with the characters of the Wild West here in the U.S., but never heard of Ned. That's a good story.

Joy Des Jardins said...

What an interesting piece Peter...thank you. I had never heard of Ned Kelly or Kelly Country. I really enjoyed this story.

JunieRose2005 said...

Interesting reading! My husband will like this if I can get him to take the time to read it!

bubba said...

I know the story very well. But to read it again was like reading for the first time.

kenju said...

Ah Fook, Peter! Did this really happen? ........rofl!

Jamie Dawn said...

Ah Fook. Such is life! What a story!!

Hale McKay said...

Only because of the movie (I saw the one with Mick Jagger)did I ever hear of Ned Kelly. I looked it up once some time ago but forgot most of it.
...Thanks for the history.

Merle said...

Very interesting Peter. I think a couple of our aunts knew Ned's sister, Kate. There was a lot of sympathy in the area for them.
Glad you are enjoying some of our
early history. Wish I had a better memory !!

LZ Blogger said...

Guess old Ned's not hanging around any longer! ~ jb///