Ned Kelly: Australian Iron Outlaw

Ned Kelly

Ned Kelly was expert with a ‘running-iron’ on stolen, unbranded stock, and was a deadly accurate shot with revolver or rifle. Surprisingly articulate for a self-educated man, he was clannish, loyal to his friends and supporters, and had a sardonic sense of humour. He became an outlaw, hunted for almost two years before he was shot down and hanged…

Books

Countless books, novels, periodicals, journals, magazines, screen plays, and the like have been written on Ned Kelly, Joe Byrne, Dan Kelly, and Steve Hart. Why, who, when, where, whatever. As long as it made a dollar for the author, which nearly all invariably have thanks to Australia and the rest of the world’s thirst for Kelly trivia…

Online

While attempting to list every web related document published in the name of Ned Kelly would result in a long stint inside a padded cell, we have tried to highlight online stories which can be accessed by a tap of the finger. Here you’ll find announcements, newspaper reports, etc., all eager to add – good or bad – to the ever expanding Kelly story…

Shop

We offer a range of quality books, clothing, and merchandise for Australian delivery only (international customers can purchase from our eBay store). All credit card transactions are handled securely by PayPal. All our items include free postage and handling. Your goods will be shipped once payment is confirmed. Please allow up to seven working days for your items to be delivered…

The Gang

Joe Byrne, Dan Kelly and Steve Hart were part of the Kelly Gang because they happened to be around on the day of the Stringybark killings. On another day the gang could have been made up from an entirely different cast including Tom Lloyd, Ned’s cousin, or Wild Wright, Ned’s mischievous Mansfield mate, or even Aaron Sherritt

Art

Sidney Nolan began his best known series of works based on Ned Kelly and the bushranger legend in 1945, which were exhibited in Paris in 1948. For the next thirty years Nolan travelled and exhibited extensively. He donated many works throughout his later years, including the Kelly paintings to the National Gallery of Australia…

Writings

  • Tuesday, July 6th 1880

    Our Wangaratta correspondent writes:― “In order to show the manner and extent of the terrorism which has so long prevailed in this district, I may mention an occurrence which took place in the immediate neighbourhood of Wangaratta some months ago. Even now the facts have not been disclosed by the police, but there is no […]

  • Better Read Than Dead

    12th September 2007Would Ned Kelly have turned out like he did if he had attended the ‘working man’s college’ set up seven years after he was hanged? I’m not as smart as the eight academics sitting on the panel, but at a guess I’d ask … Are you serious?I could almost hear the loud moaning […]

  • Glenrowan Dinner Sieged Once More

    I was again beside myself when I read that the Siege Dinner in commemoration of Ned’s last stand at Glenrowan had finally returned. I was even more beside myself when I saw that the price of admittance was just a paltry $35, a far, far cry from the exorbitant prices charged for those Siege Dinners […]

  • Wednesday, June 30th 1880

    That Mr. RAMSAY deserves great praise for the energy which he has thrown into the administration of the police in connexion with the Kelly search is evident from the narrative which we published yesterday. And one of his acts most to be commended is the despatch of Superintendent CHOMLEY to Brisbane to organise a party […]

  • Man And Myth

    More than a century after his execution, bushranger Ned Kelly continues to inspire a distinctly Australian iconography.For the thousands of visitors now streaming into the State Library of Victoria’s newly opened Ned Kelly exhibit in Melbourne, little if any attention is given to the bronze statue standing in the forecourt outside. It is of the […]

  • A Desperado’s Capture

    Told by HimselfA Sensational AutobiographyThe Brisbane Courier20 December 1890Harry Power had a long career as a bushranger, defying capture in a daring manner, robbing freely and shedding no blood, except on one occasion, when he wounded a trooper. While no name is more prominent than his in the list of Australian freebooters, he never took […]

  • Thrice

    This little story is a mixture of truths and real events all joined together and mixed up with what I imagine could have been some of the emotion. Historically of course Aaron Sherritt has been cast as the bad guy, or at best the fool- the one who betrayed Joe, and was shot for his […]

  • Graveyards, Guinness And G strings (Or A Pom On The Kelly Trail)

    What’s a Pom doing on the Kelly trail you may ask? Well, in short I was on a personal quest to see the Jerilderie Letter, a task unfulfilled in Dublin last year when I travelled with my father to an exhibition called Ned at the Dead. Which rather than a bad joke was a chance […]

  • Saturday, October 16th 1880

    An application was made to his Honour Mr. Justice Barry, who was presiding in the Central Criminal Court yesterday, that the trial of Edward Kelly, who was committed on a charge of murdering Constable Thomas Lonigan, should be postponed till next sittings. Mr. Molesworth, who appeared on behalf of the prisoner, read an affidavit made […]

  • Regina v Edward (Ned) Kelly

    The recent re-enactment of the trial of Ned Kelly revived my interest in that troubled case. Many fascinating books have been written about Kelly and his trial; Sidney Nolan’s famous series of paintings created the visual iconography which is now attached to the Kelly legend.About the trial itself, a few things are clear: Kelly was […]

  • Ned Kelly’s Lost Birthday

    After reading just about anything I could get my grubby little hands on about Ned Kelly, there are three things I would dearly love to know:Ned’s birthday.What really went on in that hut when Fitzy got hurt?Did Ned really marry, and who was the mysterious bride?And last but not least; was Ned planning a republic for […]

  • My Stay At The Glenrowan Inn

    Each time I read about the siege at Glenrowan on that fateful morning of the 28th of June 1880, I can’t help but think of what it would have been like to have been one of the hostages. One can only imagine their terror as those police bullets tore through the walls of the inn. […]

  • Hard As Stone

    In the end I can’t leave his place, can’t leave his body. It is done and I want it not to be- or to do it again I am not rightly sure to tell the truth. After all that time of thinking and now it is done.You bastards…bloody cowards. Come out!A crash as the crockery […]

  • Monday, November 11th 1878

    (BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH)(FROM OUR SPECIAL REPORTER)Wangaratta, Sunday, 9 P.M.The early train from here yesterday took down to Benalla the seven troopers and the black tracker who were sent up to Beechworth by special train on Thursday morning. These men returned here on Friday morning, and with their horses were allowed a day’s rest. It was […]

  • Siege Site Sieged Once Again

    Well folks, it’s all happening once again in the small town of Glenrowan. The famous little block of dirt where the Ann Jones Inn once stood and where people lost their lives is to be trampled over once more. This time it’s for the sake of film. When I visited the site in August it […]

  • How Does A Common Criminal Come To Symbolize A Nation?

    My friends and I whiled away many childhood hours in the outback of Australia, role-playing national heroes and icons such as the bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly. Outfitted with upturned buckets on our heads with slits cut out for eyes, we imagined ourselves as Ned Kelly in his infamous iron helmet and armor, fighting against […]

  • Joseph Byrne’s Armour At The Sub-Treasury

    A letter to Rupert Hammond, ‘owner’ of Joe Byrne’s armour9 February 2010Hello Mr. Hammond,I would like to first thank you for allowing Joe’s Armour to be displayed along with the other three suits of Gang Armour at the Beechworth Ned Kelly Weekend this coming August. To see the four suits together for the first time […]

  • Thursday, October 31st 1878

    The Mansfield outrages were mentioned in the Assembly again yesterday, hon. members desiring to have assurances from the Chief Secretary that everything possible is being done to apprehend the murderers who are still at large, and to rescue the unfortunate missing Sergeant Kennedy. Mr. Berry mentioned that he had been in consultation with chief commissioner […]

  • Kelly’s Defence By A Lady

    During the Ned Kelly Weekend in Beechworth in 2007, I attended, with many others, a presentation by Brian McDonald ‘Ned Kelly- unravelling fact from fiction’. After Brian had finished his presentation, he generously handed out to all in attendance, a booklet containing a letter that was printed in a brochure in 1880. It was a […]

  • Tony Jones, Ian Jones, And Alex McDermott

    Tony Jones speaks with Alex McDermott and Ian Jones. He is editing a new book on Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie Letter, due out in August. He is a masters student at La Trobe University who did his honour thesis on Ned Kelly’s writings. Ian Jones is the author of the book Ned Kelly: A Short Life, […]

Armour

No one is ever likely to know just what considerations influenced the Kelly Gang in the months preceding the battle of Glenrowan. If the shroud that surrounded so much of their lives was dark, then the reticence that enveloped relatives and friends following the climax of their story was darker still…

Jerilderie Letter

Originally penned in 1879 by Joe Byrne as dictated to him by Ned Kelly, this letter was first published in the 1948 edition of Max Brown’s Australian Son. Introducing it, Brown said, ‘Following is an 8,300 word statement I have called The Jerilderie Letter. This is the document Kelly handed to Living. The text is from a copy of the original letter…

Tourism

If you are serious about touring Kelly Country you’ll want to explore the region for more than one day. While Ned’s place in Australian history is assured, few plaques or icons mark the significant sites involved in the making of the legend. But that is not to say they do not exist…

Events

While I’m sure everyone is aware the State Library of Victoria holds Ned Kelly’s armour, and the Jerilderie Letter, you may not be aware of other significant Kelly Gang events, relics and resources waiting to be rediscovered in country towns, museums, art galleries, theatres, and halls across this big brown land of ours…

NedTube

Featured in this section are a number of ‘interesting’ Ned Kelly related videos including live action and animation referenced from a number of online resources including YouTube and Vimeo which have now been made available all in one location for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure)…

Weapons

When Constable Fitzpatrick fired his police issued Webley revolver inside the Kelly homestead during the botched attempt to arrest Dan Kelly for horse stealing, it signalled the start of the Kelly outbreak. For the next twenty months, rifles and revolvers would be used on both sides of the law to devastating effect…

Feedback

Ever since inception in the mid 90s this web site has received a steady stream of viewer feedback – nearly five thousand emails at last count. So feel free to offer suggestions, compliments, questions or criticisms. And if you’re keen to read what has been said before then check out our feedback archives

Real Villains

Prior to the Kelly Outbreak and well into the 1881 Royal Commission, the police force, in particular the senior management, were constantly called into question. Little wonder when you discover the Victorian Chief Commissioner of Police Captain Standish, emigrated to Australia from England under a false name in a bid to escape massive gambling debts…

Movies

Ned Kelly was the subject for the world’s first feature film made in Australia in 1906. The Story of the Kelly Gang has been added to a United Nations heritage register, joining a list of fewer than 200 items on UNESCO’s Memory of the World register, including the family archives of Swedish philanthropist Alfred Nobel and the official trial records of Nelson Mandela…

Archives

Ned Kelly, Joe Byrne, Dan Kelly, and Steve Hart have all seen their fair share of paperwork relating to that infamous outbreak. Our archives section is an ever expanding selection of the more fascinating and freely available pieces of information (reports, telegrams, letters, warrants, notices, etc.) which we’re sure you will find interesting…

Music

Here in Australia, Irish music and the Kelly legend go hand in hand, and so they should. Even as Ned’s Gang roamed North East Victoria, ballads were being sung in pubs all around the bush. Today, songs like Poor Ned by Redgum, Kate Kelly by The Whitlams, and If Ned Kelly Were King by Midnight Oil have all contributed to keeping the story alive…

Kelly Country

Ned Kelly was born in June 1855 to a proud Irish Catholic family whose resentment of the British set the precedent for his life. Washed deep with the convict stain, Ned’s destiny was cast in a defiant mold. The story of his short life was one that saw Ned and his gang take on corrupt police, greedy land barons and an ignorant government in a quest to change their world for the better. Wrongly accused, they survived a deadly shoot out with police in 1878 that resulted in Ned, his brother Dan, and their mates Joe Byrne and Steve Hart, being declared outlaws with the largest reward ever offered in the British Empire for their capture – dead or alive. Over the next eighteen months the Kelly Gang held up two country towns and robbed their banks, without firing a single shot; wrote numerous essays, including the famed Jerilderie Letter, explaining their actions; and became folk heroes to an emerging nation. Their grand plan to derail a special police train and declare a republic of North East Victoria came to a fiery end in Glenrowan when they donned their famous but cumbersome armour against an overwhelming police presence. By 11 November, 1880 the era of the Kelly Gang drew to a close when Ned, after a brief trial, was hanged. Yet the legacy of his life and the chord he struck within a young country, unwilling to bend to injustice, saw Ned Kelly become Australia’s most enduring legend.