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Since the late 90s we have received nearly five thousand emails so feel free to offer suggestions, compliments, questions or criticisms. Feedback that generates a huge response deserves its own section, so we have created the Great Debate where you can read what has the punters up in arms. If you want to review feedback we have received over the past years check out our Feedback Archives and Mini Polls.
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Ned''s Culture - Jerilderie letter
From: Brett Fitzgerald [brettfitz@ozemail.com.au] 11 Apr 2015
Hi, in the past few years, I studied my ancestry, which leads to 2 dominant cultures of Irish people. Catholic and Protestant. 2 sides of my Maternal family, were into the Law/Parliament of Ireland from Medieval times till around the mid 1840s. In that time, I've learnt quite the culture, on what it is to be Irish. Ned Kelly could not have learnt this hard culture of the Irish, unless he was born there, as we know he was born In Australia. The only way that he could do that was learn about "the old ways", was through his Family and or Irish friends that he grew up with. As far as I am concerned, Ned's culture lands with his Father's "trouble's" in Ireland. The disdain of the words -"British Gov" - "Overlords" etc etc, was taught to him by his Family's past troublesome times. The reason I am giving feedback, is that I have just read an old book, by Bill Wannan, which explained Ned is a small sentence that struck a real chord. "Australian Folklore" 1970s edition states that Ned had "an odd mixture of Irish Nationalism and Australian Republicanism". How could Bill depict Ned as showing "Nationalism" if he technically wasn't Irish?

This is where, my Family Ancestry knowledge comes in. I am descended from a MacNevin family in Ireland. These MacNevin's were the forefront of Irish Nationalism predominantly during the 1840s. The Family were directly connected with Daniel O'Connell (The Great Emancipator). A distant Uncle to me, was named Thomas MacNevin - a Co-Contributor to "The Nation" magazine. If you know the names of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy and Peter Lalor, Thomas MacNevin actually had the same sentiments as these 2 men. Duffy and MacNevin worked together. Ironically, Thomas's Nephew came to Australia and became a higher order Clerk/Judge/Magistrate/Coroner in Sydney for many years.

Through this line of knowledge I have been able to find a bit more on Ned and why he was the way he was.
From a Catholic Family, who he thought had been "hard done by" and he was just showing that he's a fighter in a "Republican way". In essence, I think he was channeling his Father's ideals and the above Catholic notables lives, in justifying that he was just human but he had to fight for his life all the way through. And like the above people, fought their way through the "Catholic" bigotry red tape in Australia.
Duffy had the same issues when he came to Australia too. Can you help me understand if you seen Ned in this same light? (This one sentence of Bill Wannan's depiction of Ned, has now cast quite a different thought to Ned than previous). I suppose the only thing missing from Ned's resume, like Duffy and Lalor's lives, that he should have put himself in for being a Member of Parliament... The Jerilderie Letter and the Euroa letter, were almost "Parliamentarian-esq" speeches. That's a folklore tale right there.

Ned - A New Musical
From: Keagan Vaskess [keagan.vaskess@hotmail.com] 08 Apr 2015
Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that there is a new Australian musical based on the life of Ned Kelly opening at Bendigo’s Ulumbarra Theatre from Friday May 22nd. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the official website at nedmusical.com.au

A Maltese Ned Painting
From: Michael Wright [michael@lemakoo.com] 28 Mar 2015
Hi Ironoutlaw, here's a Maltese Ned Kelly painting for you. I've attached a large picture, and it's on my website with an explanation at lemakoo.com/malta-australia-paintings.html (you'll need to scroll down the page a bit). He's actually just been sold to a lady in Sydney, it was kind of fitting that he was sent to Australia, again. All the best, great site, well done.

Kate Kelly Exhibition
From: Rebecca Wilson [rebeccawilsonart@hotmail.com] 05 Mar 2015
Hello there - just wondering if you might be interested in mentioning my upcoming exhibition on Kate Kelly. It's a travelling exhibition launching in Blackheath 12 April and going to Bathurst, Orange and Forbes for the River Arts Festival there. My web site rebeccawilsonart.com has the details.

Ned Kelly by Peter FitzSimons
From: Les Case [caseclan@australis.net] 19 Jan 2015
Hi. Love this Web site, my question is, have you reviewed Peter Fitzsimons book on Ned Kelly, not sure if I should buy it. Thankyou. Paul O'Keefe's contributions make it worth buying

re. Topweight at Glenrowan
From: Sharon Hollingsworth [sharonandchuck@myfastmail.com] 14 Dec 2014
Warren, you bring up a good point regarding how could Ned Kelly have mounted his horse with all that armour on without a "leg up," so to speak. You do seem to have quite an analytical and inquiring mind! You have to remember that Ned was a fine physical specimen, at the height of his power and prowess. He was seen as extraordinary by many who knew him, I think the term Aaron Sherritt used to describe him was "superhuman." From doing research into knights in shining armour, I know that there are accounts of most armoured men being able to mount their horses unaided. There is even an account of someone who could take a running leap from behind and mount while fully armoured! Of course, most of the average armour weight back in the Middle Ages was about half of what Ned's weighed, though some of the fancy jousting armour could weigh as much or more than his did.

At that time if a knight in a tournament was older and really past his prime or/and obese he might need a bit of help mounting, though. According to Ian Jones in "A Short Life" just after Ned was first wounded he was trying to mount his horse but sank to the ground with blood pouring from his arm, then, he "somehow struggled into the saddle." Later when he had returned to the Inn and was leaving again (remember he had been wounded and losing blood for several hours) he again tried to mount his horse, but, according to Constable Gascoigne "I saw the horse rear up in the yard, and the man could not get on, and she broke through the slip rail..." So, I do wonder if Ned in his weakened state could have still mounted if the horse had not gotten spooked and bolted. Not sure if any of this is of help, but I tend to believe that Ned, at least early on, could have gotten onto his horse unaided without the help of a mounting stump/post or rail. That pesky iron apron you speak of does give one pause, though!

Ancestry
From: Rodney Donnini [pam.donnini@bigpond.com] 12 Dec 2014
Hi I would like to know if I am a descendant of the Kelly family. My mothers name was Emily Maisie Clarke, her fathers name was Alexander Clarke and mothers name was esther nollinger. I was told a long time ago as a boy that the Kelly's were in our family, is it possible to find out if there is a connection.

Beechworth Gaol
From: Sherallee Schubert [nedkellygang1880@live.com.au] 11 Dec 2014
I just bought the new book Ned Kelly under the Microscope. Well worth buying. Not a very thick book for the price but if you are Ned nut like me you will love it. Looks deeply into the investigation that the VIFM in Melbourne did on the Kelly scull and Neds remains from Pentridge. It also looks in depth at the dig at Glenrowan. Lots of intresting photos through out the book. Also just read on line that the scull that was stolen from the OMG has been compared to DNA taken from the remains of Frederick Deemings brother in the UK. It is not a match. It states that his brother may have been adopted. But if it is not Deeming I wonder who it is? The mystery is still frustrating where Neds scull is. I believe parts of it were souvenired by prison staff or the medical student who cut him up. I hope I am wrong. skull...

Ned Kelly Under the Microscope
From: Sherallee Schubert [nedkellygang1880@live.com.au] 11 Dec 2014

Topweight at Glenrowan
From: Alan Crichton [rcr87285@bigpond.net.au] 5 Dec 2014

G'day Warren, I hope you don't mind me posting your email on Ironoutlaw's feedback page as I thought the question on your previous post, Ned's horseriding at Glenrown, was interesting. There are many questions to be answered in the Kelly story, some can, and many cannot at this point in time. So what the heck, ask the question and I'm sure some Nedite out there just might have the answer. Sorry about your feedback not getting through Warren, I'll just blame the boss (and I'll blame the Christmas Gremlins).

G’day there Alan, thank you for your reply to my query regarding Ned, with armour , riding his mare at Glenrowan.

I greatly appreciated you reply, especially having read your very knowledgeable posts to the Iron Outlaw website over the years. I was flattered that you replied.

I tried on two occasions to reply, with thanks, on the site, with no luck at all ? Hit the send button at the end of the email, both replies sunk without trace.

I’ve been fascinated with the Kelly saga just about all my life. As a small boy about five years old, with no idea of geography I was convinced Ned’s armour was in one of the paddocks near our home in rural NSW. Actually I would have had more chance of finding Ben Hall’s fob watch than Ned’s helmet but never occurred to me at that age.

As I grew older, I’m 72 now, I realised that he Ned’s story was one of the really great pieces of Australian social history that could be studied. There were documents, photos and a history that you could still, in the 60’s and 70’s you could almost touch. Nothing much had changed. Wonderful authors, some not so wonderful of course, wrote beautifully about the days when the Kelly’s rode. Ian Jones, Max Brown, Keith McMenomy, Noelene Allan are standouts and of course Justin Corfield’s Encyclopaedia is a well worn reference book.

For all that reading over the years, had missed the irrefutable fact that Ned, fully armoured, had indeed mounted his horse and ridden to Bracken’s house and to the railway line. When I read Peter FitzSimon’s book and again read of the rides, calculated the weight, the awkwardness etc . I wondered. I received a very nice email from Sharon Hollingsworth no less, pointing out that the feat was well documented and of course when I re read the books she mentioned, it was all there. Bracken under oath said Ned was in armour.

I got to thinking then, that not everyone in those days would have been able to leap into the saddle like a Hollywood cowboy, and that older people, people with dodgy knees etc. would use a handy tree stump, or a fence rail to get into the saddle and that’s probably what Ned did, strong as he was I couldn’t imagine him putting his left leg in the stirrup and throwing the other leg, with that infernal apron getting in the way, over the back of his horse.

I’m happier now I’ve worked that out. It’s only a little thing but it’s what Kellyphiles like myself like to get right. The story goes on and I never tire of it, or visiting the Kelly country.

Thanks again Alan for your very welcome and informative reply.
Warren Trick

Original Ned Kelly Newspapers
The Hunters [hunterscott216@gmail.com] 19 Nov 2014
I have a couple of framed original full newspaper pages about Ned Kelly. One has two pictures of the Glenrowan siege and Ned in full armour with a detailed article. I also have the front page of the Illustrated Australian News featuring large sketch of Ned in the court dock. I am keen to know if there is anyone who could appraise their value. I am also keen to know if there is any Ned Kelly auctions that are coming up or anyway I may be able to sell these to Ned Kelly fans.

Ned Kelly
Jessica Andrews [mer6mer@yahoo.com.au] 15 Nov 2014
I have always been enthralled by the story of Ned Kelly and once when reading the words that his mother had written after visiting him in gaol when she looked at his bruised and beaten face I actually sobbed for a quite a few minutes. I have four grown sons of my own and can well imagine the pain that Ned's wonderful mother experienced. The Information and photographs published on this internet page has been further illuminating and I think had I been living in those times and had my sons and daughter been persecuted in the same way I would understand how young men and families became outlaws. Even in today's times of 2014 there still exists a culture of the elite and the underdog ... although perhaps not seen in those terms ... however injustice is still practiced to many in our own country. How cruel our own government is right now to people who flee persecution. Thank you Max Brown for your researth and information I have enjoyed reading.

Two Great Men
From: Lisa [captain6@tpg.com.au] 14 Nov 2014
Sir John Monash is considered to be Australia's most brilliant military leader. The great man and leader who accomplished many great things in WW1 and his life after the war was asked in later years what he most remembered about his life, and he replied - meeting Ned Kelly and the battles in France. He is said to have spoken about meeting Ned as a boy (when Ned passed through Jerilderie selling horses in 1877/78) often and that Ned gave him 'some good advice'. In later years when asked what the greatest moment of his life was, Sir John Monash replied - “The day Ned Kelly asked me to hold his horse in Jerilderie”. He also commented that 'his attendance at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace was comparable to the occasion in which he had met Ned Kelly.

Loved and Remembered
From: Lisa [captain6@tpg.com.au] 11 Nov 2014
Dear Ned, thinking of you today and always. Ride In Peace throughout the Strathbogies. You are loved and remembered FOREVER. X

Save Ned Kelly's House
From: Lisa [captain6@tpg.com.au] 28 Aug 2014
Great News! The National Trust will be bidding on Ned's childhood home in Beveridge when it goes to auction and (whether they buy it or someone else does) will be setting up a fund where the public can donate to make sure Ned\'s house will be preserved and looked after forever as a National Treasure.YAY! :)

re. Ned's horse riding at Glenrowan
From: Alan Crichton [rcr87285@bigpond.net.au] 20 Aug 2014
G’day Warren, I’ve just finished reading Ned Kelly Man and Myth, all to do with the symposium held in Wangaratta around Easter in 1967. Ian Jones is asked the same question and his answer was, he was on horseback and in armour down at the line on a couple of occasions. It was on one of those occasions I believe he broke a strap or fitting on his armour. In Jones A Short Life he stated that when Joe and Ned went off to pick up Bracken from his home, they buckled on their armour, helmets slung on the front of their saddles, and rode off with the Curnows and others. Whether they were helped in the saddle or mounted by themselves, I don’t think we will ever know. What I do know is that Ned Kelly was a determined and extremely powerful man to say the least, and if he needed to mount in 40 kg of armour, nothing would have stopped him. After little sleep for 48 hours, and seriously wounded, the armour\'s weight didn’t seem to deter him during his early morning standoff with police on his return to the Inn. I think mounting would have been a struggle but not impossible.

Pay To Stay At The Old Melbourne Gaol?
From: Lisa [captain6@tpg.com.au] 06 Aug 2014
Ugh! I find this (gaol-kicks-off-national-trust-hotel-brand) to be very disrespectful. Ned would never believe it. I'll wait until they put the pool in...

Ned's horse riding at Glenrowan
From: Warren Trick [warrentrick@bigpond.com] 24 Jul 2014
I've been engrossed in the Kelly story ever since I was a small boy and I'm certainly a long way past that time of life now. I have always understood that Ned did not, could not, mount his mare because of the sheer weight and awkwardness of the armour and yet on pages 509 and 510 of Peter FitzSimons' book (which I enjoyed) has Ned twice riding down to the rail line to observe the police action after the arrival of the special train. I'd like to hear other views on this part of the story. I'm not being pedantic, just interested.

28th June 1880
From: Lisa [captain1@ozemail.com.au] 28 Jun 2014
Remembering Ned , Joe , Dan and Steve on this day. Ride In Peace across the Strathbogies tonight boys.

Ned Kelly by Monty Wedd
From: Lisa [captain1@ozemail.com.au] 09 Apr 2014
WOW! This book is just beautiful! I received my copy today and it is already one of my favourite Kelly Gang books.The drawings by Monty Wedd are incredible and it is so wonderful to see the whole comic series put together in book form. Thanks so much to (the very lovely and funny) Nat and the team for putting the book together so perfectly. And thank you Brad for keeping us updated here at IronOutlaw on the books release. Yes, it looks amazing and it's a great addition to the Kelly library!

Mr Morgan
From: Juggy [juggy.wilson@gmail.com] 26 Mar 2014
Hello. Im just wondering if you would have any information on the 'Mr Morgan' from who John Red Kelly is meant to have stolen the calf. Probably a strange request to get, but im doing my family tree and in doin so found that our family surname was originally Morgan. There may be no connection, but no harm asking.
The name of my of interest is 'George Morgan' later to become 'George Wilson'. I know he come to Australia via Tasmania (stole silver spoons), later turned up near Ballarat then Camperdown area where he died. Any help in way of links or confirm\deny name appreciated.

Ned Kelly Figurine
From: Michele [mikki.hearne@gmail.com] 13 Mar 2014
Hi I was recently at a seconnd hand shop in Brisbane when I found this figurine, I've come up trumps everywhere I've looked! Can you help me? I don't think you mean 'trumps'...

Letter written on behalf of Kelly, Melbourne Gaol
From: Mark [benhallbushranger@gmail.com] 02 Mar 2014
I live in Toowoomba QLD, today whilst visiting a pioneer museum in Dalby QLD, I came across a letter dictated by Ned requesting permission for his sister to bring him suitable clothes for his upcoming court appearance and he also requested a visit by his mother, The letter is signed Edward X (his mark) Kelly. 1. Was Kelly able to sign his own name. 2. The letter has a number of signatures on the back of it. 3. It was originally owned by an aboriginal family who may be descendants of the QLD trackers. I intend to go back and photograph it this week, hopefully. Any thoughts? Yes Ned could read AND write but it would be hard to do much of the latter when your hand has been smashed by numerous bullets...

Ned Kelly: A Short Life by Ian Jones
From: Edward Love [kismet.1@hotmail.com] 28 Feb 2014
Hi there, I recently acquired a book 'Ned Kelly A Short Life' by Ian Jones. This is quite a common title available in many editions. The edition I have is a 'special edition', 1996, with slipcase, leather covers, red silk bookmarks and a limited edition page after fore page, signed by the author, copy number 203 of 220 copies. The book is beautifully presented, I'm sure someone there would be familiar with this special edition. Any information such as rarity, estimated worth etc. would be appreciated. Thank you for your time. Nice pick-up...

Ned Kelly by Peter Fitzsimons
From: Charles de Jongh [charles@malyon.edu.au] 17 Feb 2014
Being new to the story of Ned Kelly, I was wondering what others think of Peter Fitzsimons' book on Ned Kelly?

re. Height and Weight
From: Alan Crichton [rcr87285@bigpond.net.au] 31 Jan 2014
That's correct Ron ... not one trooper killed! Ned has admitted that during the early stages of the siege he was close enough to have taken life, but chose not to. Why? These four young blokes known as the Kelly Gang were all psychopathic killers according to the Police, yet during the eighteen months after the unfortunate circumstances that led to the deaths of three troopers in the Wombat, they harmed not one person, including the many civilians held during their two bank heists. The shot in the dark from Ned Kelly striking Mr Hare in the wrist at the beginning of the siege, was simply that ... a shot in the dark in the direction of a shotgun flash. The police on the other hand seemed intent on shooting at any man woman or child that came into their sights. The police shot and killed civilians during that encounter but were never made accountable for their actions. With the ancient Outlawry Act on their heads, and an 8000 pounds incentive for any being to shoot them dead on sight, these four young men had nothing to lose. For the trumped up charge of attempted murder of a trooper at Eleven Mile Creek, which started the whole affair, and the shooting of three troopers at Stringybark Creek, they knew they were all "dead men walking" by bullet or rope. In Ned's admission he was at Glenrowan to simply end it. What he meant by that could be for a number of reasons. He was tired of living outside normal society ... He wanted to put an end to the police brutality and corruption ... Take the gluttonous selectors to task over their control of all the good land, or was it a grander plan that would put an end to it all? For four so called brutal killers who were all good marksmen with an abundance of weaponry and ammunition, why was there just one police injury? With many well armed sympathisers secreted in the surrounding scrub, why didn't Ned allow his supporters to attack the police? With the removal of their helmets for better aim, the gang no doubt could have caused some serious injury to their attackers. But that's what a brutal killer would do, isn't it? Today they kill their hostages one by one until the police meet their demands. These four young men were not premeditated killers. These men were simply caught up in one of life's cruel events that changed their lives forever, hurling them into the arms of our Australian heritage and culture for all eternity. P.S. I think Ned was around 6 feet tall and probably 6'2" in heels. Not sure of his weight at Glenrowan because of all the brandy consumed to ease the pain, but at a guess around 13 stone. Well said Al (and welcome back)!

Height and Weight
From: Ron Harrigan [cara1949@bigpond.com] 26 Jan 2014
Have read a lot about Ned kelly, and google search has him anywhere, between 5.8 to 6ft and 11.5 to 13.5 stone. What a can gather in my latest book. He was 5.10 and 11.5 stone when first goaled at 16. With his hard labour and the journey to man hood may have accounted for the differance! I would also like the thoughts on the seige. It appears to me Ned was prepared to die there and excepted his fate, there was a lot written about the gang and there gun handling skills all top shots, but not one trouper killed, one or two wounded!

re. Geoffrey Robertson QCs View of Ned Kelly
From: Mick Fitzsimons [mickfitzsimons@hotmail.com] 12 Jan 2014
What a great human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson is if he stated that. He obviously is not aware of the abuse of human rights that helped start the Kelly Outbreak. As for there would have been 80 or 90 killed, what a load of rubbish! I'd say he's been reading that very anti Kelly book. The one that is one sided and full of half truths and innuendo and very selecting in leaving out the wrongs committed by police.


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