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Edward "Ned" Kelly (December 1854 – 11 November 1880) was an Australian bushranger of Irish descent. He was born in the British colony of Victoria as the third of eight children to an Irish convict from County Tipperary and an Australian mother with Irish parentage. His father died after a six-month stint in prison, leaving Kelly, then aged 12, as the eldest male of the household. The Kellys were a poor selector family who saw themselves as downtrodden by the Squattocracy and as victims of police persecution. Arrested in 1870 for associating with bushranger Harry Power, Kelly was eventually convicted of stealing horses and imprisoned for three years. He fled to the bush in 1878 after being indicted for the attempted murder of a police officer at the Kelly family's home. After he, his brother Dan, and two associates fatally shot three policemen, the Government of Victoria proclaimed them outlaws. During the remainder of "The Kelly Outbreak", Kelly and his associates committed numerous armed robberies and fatally shot Aaron Sherritt, a known police informant. In a manifesto letter, Kelly—denouncing the police, the Victorian Government and the British Empire—set down his own account of the events leading up to his outlawry. Threatening dire consequences against those who defied him, he ended with the words, "I am a widow's son outlawed and my orders must be obeyed." When Kelly's attempt to derail and ambush a police train failed, he and his gang engaged in a final violent confrontation with the Victoria Police at Glenrowan on 28 June 1880. Kelly, dressed in homemade metal armour and a helmet, was wounded in the arms and legs by police fire and captured. He was convicted of three counts of willful murder and sentenced to death by hanging, which was carried out at Old Melbourne Gaol. His final words are famously reported to have been, "such is life". Even before his execution, Kelly had become a legendary figure in Australia. Historian Geoffrey Serle called Kelly and his gang "the last expression of the lawless frontier in what was becoming a highly organised and educated society, the last protest of the mighty bush now tethered with iron rails to Melbourne and the world." Despite the passage of more than a century, he remains a cultural icon, inspiring countless works in the arts, and is the subject of more biographies than any other Australian. Kelly continues to cause division in his homeland: some celebrate him as Australia's equivalent of Robin Hood, while others regard him as a murderous villain undeserving of his folk hero status. Journalist Martin Flanagan writes, "what makes Ned a legend is not that everyone sees him the same—it's that everyone sees him. Like a bushfire on the horizon casting its red glow into the night." Kelly's father, John Kelly (known as "Red"), was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, and was transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1841, at the age of 22, for pig stealing. After his release in 1848, Red Kelly moved to Victoria and found work at James Quinn's farm at Wallan Wallan as a bush carpenter. He subsequently turned his attention to gold-digging, at which he was successful and which enabled him to purchase a small freehold in Beveridge, just north of Melbourne. In 1851, at the age of 30, Red Kelly married Ellen Quinn, his employer's 18-year-old daughter, in Ballarat. Kelly was his parents' third child. The exact date of his birth is not known but, among other things, on passing Beveridge for the last time he told an officer, "Look across there to the left. Do you see a little hill there?", "That is where I was born about 28 years ago. Now, I am passing through it, I suppose, to my doom." Kelly was baptised by an Augustinian priest, Charles O'Hea. As a boy he obtained basic schooling and became familiar with the bush. In Avenel he once risked his life to save another boy, Richard Shelton, from drowning in a creek. As a reward for the latter, 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 Kelly family moved to Avenel, near Seymour, where Red Kelly became noted as an expert cattle thief. In 1865, he was convicted of unlawful possession of a bullock hide and imprisoned. (This was having meat in his possession for which he could not give a satisfactory enough account to the local police.) Unable to pay the twenty-five pound fine, he was sentenced to six months with hard labour. The sentence had an ultimately fatal effect on his health: he died at Avenel on 27 December 1866 shortly after his release from Kilmore gaol. When he died, he and his wife had a total of eight offspring: Mary Jane (died as an infant aged 6 months), Annie (later Annie Gunn), Margaret (later Margaret Skillion), Ned, Dan, James, Kate and Grace (later Grace Griffiths). The saga surrounding his father and his treatment by the police made a strong impression on the young Kelly. A few years later the family selected 88 acres (360,000 m2) of uncultivated and untitled farmland at Eleven Mile Creek near the Greta area of Victoria. In the war with the established graziers on whose land the Kellys were encroaching, they were suspected many times of cattle or horse stealing, but never convicted. In all, eighteen charges were brought against members of Kelly'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 led to claims that Kelly's family was unfairly targeted from the time they moved to northeast Victoria. Perhaps the move was necessary because of Kelly's mother's squabbles with family members and her appearances in court over family disputes. The author Antony O'Brien has argued that Victoria's colonial police practices treated arrest as equivalent to proof of guilt. Kelly's first documented brush with the law was on 15 October 1869 at the age of 14 when he was charged with the assault and robbery of Ah Fook, a pig and fowl trader from a Chinese camp near Bright. According to Fook, as he was passing Kelly's house, Kelly approached him with a long bamboo stick, announcing that he was a bushranger and would kill him if he did not hand over his money. Kelly then allegedly took him into the bush, beat him with the stick and stole 10 shillings. According to Kelly, his sister Annie and two witnesses, Bill Skilling and Bill Grey, Annie was sitting outside the house sewing when Fook walked up and asked for a drink of water. Given creek water, he abused Annie for not giving him rain water, and Kelly came outside and pushed him. Fook then hit Kelly three times with the bamboo stick, causing him to run away. The visitor then walked away threatening to return and burn the house down and Kelly did not return until sundown. Historians find neither account convincing and believe that Kelly's account is likely true up to being hit by Fook but then Kelly probably took the stick from him and beat him with it. Kelly was arrested the following day for highway robbery and locked up overnight in Benalla. He appeared in court the following morning, but Sergeant Whelan, despite using an interpreter to translate Fook's account, requested a remand to allow time to find another interpreter. Kelly was held for four days and appearing in court on 20 October, was again remanded after the police failed to produce an interpreter. The charge was finally dismissed on 26 October and he was released. Sergeant Whelan disliked Kelly. Three months earlier when he had prosecuted Yeaman Gunn for possession of stolen mutton, Kelly testified that he had sold several sheep to Gunn that same day. In a controversial judgement, the magistrate found Gunn guilty and fined him £10. Furious that Kelly was not convicted for the robbery, Whelan kept a careful watch on the Kelly family and, according to fellow officers, became "a perfect encyclopedia of knowledge about them" through his "diligence". Following his court appearance, the Benalla Ensign reported, "The cunning of himself and his mates got him off", the Beechworth Advertiser on the other hand reported that "the charge of robbery has been trumped up by the Chinaman to be revenged on Kelly, who had obviously assaulted him." Ah Fook had described 14-year-old Kelly as being aged around 20 years. Some 12 months later, a reporter wrote that Kelly "gives his age as 15 but is probably between 18 and 20". Kelly, 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) in height, was still physically imposing. When arrested, a 224-pound (102 kg) trooper was purportedly unable to subdue the then-15-year-old until several labourers ran to assist him and even then Kelly had to be knocked unconscious. According to The Singleton Argus, on 16 March 1870, bushranger Harry Power and Kelly stuck up and robbed a Mr M'Bean. Later that year on 2 May, Kelly was charged with robbery in company and accused of being Power's accomplice. The victims could not identify Kelly and the charges were dismissed. He was then charged with robbery under arms, but the principal witness could not be located and the charges were dismissed. He was then charged a third time, for a hold-up with Power against a man named Murray. Although the victims for the third charge were reported to have also failed to identify Kelly, they had in fact been refused a chance to identify him by Superintendents Nicolas and Hare. Instead, Superintendent Nicolas told the magistrate that Kelly fitted the description and asked for him to be remanded to the Kyneton court for trial. Instead of being sent to Kyneton, he was sent to Melbourne where he spent the weekend in the Richmond lock-up before transferring to Kyneton. 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. Another factor in the lack of identification may have been that the witnesses had described Power's accomplice as a "half-caste". However, Superintendent Nicholas and Captain Standish believed this to be the result of Kelly going unwashed. Kelly's maternal grandfather, James Quinn, owned a large piece of land at the headwaters of the King River known as Glenmore Station, where Power was ultimately arrested. Following Power's arrest it was rumoured that Kelly had informed on him, and he was treated with hostility within the community. Kelly wrote a letter to police Sergeant Babington pleading for his help in the matter. The informant was in fact Kelly's uncle, Jack Lloyd, who received £500 for his assistance. In October 1870, a hawker, Jeremiah McCormack, accused a friend of the Kellys, Ben Gould, of using his horse without permission. Gould wrote an indecent note to give to McCormack's childless wife along with a box containing calves' testicles. Kelly passed it to one of his cousins to give to the woman. Kelly was arrested for his part in sending the calves' parts and the note and for assaulting McCormack. He was sentenced to three months' hard labour on each charge. Upon his release, Kelly returned home. There he met Isaiah "Wild" Wright who had arrived in the area on a chestnut mare. While he was staying with the Kellys, the mare had gone missing and Wright borrowed one of the Kelly horses to return to Mansfield. He asked Kelly to look for the horse and said he could keep it until his return. Kelly found the mare and used it to go to Wangaratta where he stayed for a few days but while riding through Greta on his way home, he was approached by Police Constable Hall who, from the description of the animal, knew the horse was stolen property. When his attempt to arrest Kelly 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 and driving his spurs into the back of his legs. Kelly always maintained that he had no idea that the mare actually belonged to the Mansfield postmaster and that Wright had stolen it. After just three weeks of freedom, 16-year-old Kelly, along with his brother-in-law Alex Gunn, was sentenced to three years imprisonment with hard labour for "feloniously receiving a horse". Hall also struck Kelly several times with his revolver after Kelly was arrested, with the subsequent cuts requiring nine stitches. "Wild" Wright escaped arrest for the theft on 2 May following an "exchange of shots" with police, but was arrested the following day and received only eighteen months for stealing the horse. Kelly was released from Pentridge Prison in February 1874. To settle the score for the stolen horse and the three-year sentence for it, on 8 August 1874 at Beechworth, Kelly, aged 19, fought and won a bare-knuckled boxing match with Wright that lasted 20 rounds. To celebrate, Kelly had a Melbourne photographer, John James Chidley, take his photograph in a boxing pose. While Kelly 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. The same month Kelly was released from prison, his mother, Ellen, married a Californian named George King, with whom she had three children. King, Kelly and Dan Kelly became involved in cattle rustling. On 18 September 1877 in Benalla, a drunk Kelly was arrested for riding over a footpath and locked-up for the night. The next day, while he was escorted by four policemen, he escaped and ran, taking refuge in a shoemaker's shop. The police and the shop owner tried to handcuff him but failed. During the struggle Kelly's trousers were ripped off. Trying to get Kelly to submit and taking advantage of his torn trousers, Constable Lonigan, whom Kelly later shot dead at Stringybark Creek, "black-balled" him (grabbed and squeezed his testicles). During the struggle, a miller walked in, and on seeing the behaviour of the police said "You should be ashamed of yourselves." He then tried to pacify the situation and induced Kelly to put on the handcuffs. He was charged with being drunk and assaulting police, and fined ₤3 1s, which included damage to the uniforms. Kelly said about the incident, "It was in the course of this attempted arrest Fitzpatrick endeavoured to catch hold of me by the foot, and in the struggle he tore the sole and heel of my boot clean off. With one well-directed blow, I sent him sprawling against the wall, and the staggering blow I then gave him partly accounts to me for his subsequent conduct towards my family and myself." It is reported that in the aftermath Kelly told Lonigan, "Well, Lonigan, I never shot a man yet. But if ever I do, so help me God, you'll be the first." Kenneally wrote that Kelly yelled this during the scuffle. The next month in October 1877, Gustav and William Baumgarten were arrested for supplying stolen horses to Kelly. Gustav was discharged, but William was sentenced for 4 years in 1878, serving time in Pentridge Prison, Melbourne. On 15 April 1878, Constable Strachan, the officer in charge of the Greta police station, learned that Kelly was at a certain shearing shed and went to apprehend him. As lawlessness was rampant at Greta, it was recognised that the police station could not be left without protection and Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick was ordered there for relief duty. He was instructed to proceed directly to Greta but instead rode to the public house at Winton, five miles from Benalla police headquarters, where he spent considerable time. On resuming his journey, he remembered that a couple of days previously he had seen in The Police Gazette an arrest warrant for Dan Kelly for horse stealing. He went to the Kelly house to arrest him. This violated the police policy that at least two constables participate in visits to the Kelly homestead. Finding Dan not at home, he remained with Kelly's mother and other family members, in conversation, for about an hour. According to Fitzpatrick, upon hearing someone chopping wood, he went to ensure that the chopping was licensed. The man proved to be William "Bricky" Williamson, a neighbour, who said that he needed a license only if he was chopping on Crown land. (According to Williamson, he was at his own selection a half a mile from the Kellys and was arrested there when he refused to give information about the Kellys.) Fitzpatrick then observed two horsemen making towards the house he had just left. The men proved to be the teenager Dan Kelly and his brother-in-law, Bill Skillion. Fitzpatrick returned to the house and made the arrest. Dan asked to be allowed to have dinner before leaving. The constable consented, and took a seat near his prisoner. In an interview three months before his execution, Kelly said that at the time of the incident, he was 200 miles from home. His mother had asked Fitzpatrick if he had a warrant and Fitzpatrick said that he had only a telegram to which his mother said that Dan need not go. Fitzpatrick then said, pulling out a revolver, "I will blow your brains out if you interfere." His mother replied, "You would not be so handy with that popgun of yours if Ned were here." Dan then said, trying to trick Fitzpatrick, "There is Ned coming along by the side of the house." While he was pretending to look out of the window for Ned, Dan cornered Fitzpatrick, took the revolver and claimed that he had released Fitzpatrick unharmed. When Kelly was asked if Fitzpatrick tried to take liberties with his sister, Kate Kelly, he said "No, that is a foolish story; if he or any other policeman tried to take liberties with my sister, Victoria would not hold him." Fitzpatrick rode to Benalla where he claimed that he had been attacked by Ned, Dan, Ellen, their associate Bricky Williamson and Ned's brother-in-law, Bill Skillion. Fitzpatrick claimed that all except Ellen had been armed with revolvers and that Ned had shot him in the left wrist and that Ellen had hit him on the helmet with a coal shovel. Williamson and Skillion were arrested for their part in the affair. 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. Kelly asserted that he was not present, and that Fitzpatrick's wounds were self-inflicted. Kenneally, who interviewed the remaining Kelly brother, Jim Kelly, and Kelly cousin and gang providore Tom Lloyd, in addition to closely examining the 1881 report by the Royal Commission on the Police Force of Victoria, wrote that Fitzpatrick was drunk when he arrived at the Kellys, that while he was waiting for Dan, he made a pass at Kate, and Dan threw him to the floor. In the ensuing struggle, Fitzgerald drew his revolver, Ned appeared, and with his brother seized the constable, disarming him, but not before he struck his wrist against the projecting part of the door lock, an injury he claimed to be a gunshot wound. Upon what Kelly claimed was Fitzpatrick's false evidence, his mother, Skillian and Williamson were convicted. A reward of £100 was offered for Kelly's arrest. Kelly claimed that this injustice exasperated him, and led to his taking to the bush. Just before Kelly was taken away from Benalla after the Glenrowan shootout, Senior-Constable Kelly claimed he interviewed him in his cell and that Kelly admitted to shooting Fitzpatrick. At the Benalla Police Court, on 17 May 1878, William Williamson, alias "Brickey", William Skillion and Ellen Kelly, while on remand, were charged with aiding and abetting attempted murder. The three appeared on 9 October 1878 before Judge Redmond Barry and charged with attempted murder. Despite Fitzpatrick's doctor reporting a strong smell of alcohol on the constable and his inability to confirm the wrist wound was caused by a bullet, Fitzpatrick's evidence was accepted by the police, the judge, and the jury made up of several ex-police, a shanty keeper who did business with the police, and according to J.J. Kenneally, "others who were prejudiced against the Kellys." The three were convicted on Fitzpatrick's unsupported evidence. Skillion and Williamson both received sentences of six years and Ellen three years of hard labor. Barry stated that if Ned were present he would "give him 15 years", even though the latter was not charged. Frank Harty, a successful and well-known farmer in the area, offered to pay Ellen Kelly's bail upon which bail was immediately refused. Ellen Kelly's sentence was considered unfair even by people who had no cause to be Kelly sympathizers. Alfred Wyatt, a police magistrate headquartered in Benalla told the Commission later "I thought the sentence upon that old woman, Mrs Kelly, a very severe one." Enoch Downes, a truant officer, recounted to the Commission in 1881 that while speaking to Joe Byrne's mother, he said that he did not believe in the sentence and "if policy had been used or consideration for the mother shown that two or three months would have been ample." The legacy of Fitzpatrick himself is coloured by the fact that he was later dismissed from the force for drunkenness and perjury. After the sentences were handed down in Benalla Police Court and Judge Barry made his outburst against Kelly, both Ned and Dan Kelly doubted that they could convince the police of their story. So they went into hiding, where they were later joined by friends Joe Byrne and Steve Hart. The police had received information that the Kelly gang were in the Wombat Ranges, at the head of the King River. On 25 October 1878, two parties of police were secretly dispatched-- one from Greta, consisting of five men, with Sergeant Steele in command, and one from Mansfield with four men, with the intention of executing a pincer movement. Sergeant Kennedy from the Mansfield party set off to search for the Kellys, accompanied by Constables McIntyre, Lonigan, and Scanlon. All were in civilian dress. The police set up a camp on a disused diggings near two miners huts at Stringybark Creek in a heavily timbered area, a site suggested by Kennedy in a letter to Superintendent Sadleir, before the party had assembled, because of the distance between Mansfield and the King River and because the area was "so impenetrable". About 6:00 am the next day, Kennedy and Scanlan went down to the creek to explore and stayed away nearly all day. It was McIntyre's duty to cook and he attended closely to camp duty. During the morning a noise was heard and McIntyre went out to have a look but found nothing. He fired two shots out of his fowling piece at a pair of parrots. This gunshot, he subsequently learned, was heard by Kelly, who was on the lookout for the police. At about 5:00 pm, McIntyre was at the fire making tea, with Lonigan by him, when they were suddenly surprised with the cry, "Bail up; throw up your arms." They looked up and saw four armed men on foot. McIntyre testified that all carried guns and that Kelly also took his fowling piece. (Kelly stated that only two of them were armed.) Two of the men they did not know, but the fourth was the younger Kelly. They had approached up the rises and long grass or rushes had provided them with excellent cover until they got close. McIntyre had left his revolver at the tent door, and was unarmed. He therefore held up his hands as directed, and faced them. Lonigan started for shelter behind a tree and, at the same time, put his hand on his revolver. Before he had moved two paces, Kelly shot him in the temple. He fell at once and, as he laid on the ground said, "Oh Christ, I am shot." He died in a few seconds. Kelly had McIntyre searched and, when they found that he was unarmed, they let him drop his hands. They got possession of Lonigan and McIntyre's revolvers. Kelly remarked, "What a pity; what made the fool run?" The men helped themselves to articles from the tent. Kelly talked to McIntyre and expressed his wonder that the police should have been so foolhardy as to look for him in the ranges. He made inquiries about four men and said that he would roast each of them alive if he caught them. Steele and Flood were two of the four. He asked McIntyre what he fired at and said they must have been fools not to suppose he was ready for them. It was evident that he knew the exact state of the camp, the number of men and the description of the horses. He asked where the other two were and said that he would put a hole through McIntyre if he told a lie. McIntyre told him and hoped they would not be shot in cold blood. Kelly replied "I'll shoot no man if he holds up his hands." One of the gang told McIntyre to take some tea and asked for tobacco. He gave them tobacco and had a smoke himself. Dan Kelly suggested that he should be handcuffed, but Ned pointed to his rifle and said, "I have got something better here. Don't you attempt to go; if you do I'll track you to Mansfield and shoot you at the police station." McIntyre asked whether he was to be shot. Kelly replied, "No, why should I want to shoot you? Could I not have done it half an hour ago if I had wanted?" He added, "At first I thought you were Constable Flood. If you had been, I would have roasted you in the fire." Kelly asked for news of the Sydney man, the murderer of Sergeant Wallings. McIntyre said the police had shot him. "I suppose you came out to shoot me?" "No", replied McIntyre, "we came to apprehend you." "What", asked Kelly, "brings you out here at all? It is a shame to see fine big strapping fellows like you in a lazy loafing billet like policemen." The best thing McIntyre could do was to get his comrades to surrender, for if they escaped he would be shot. "If you attempt to let them know we are here, you will be shot at once." McIntyre asked what they would do if he induced his comrades to surrender. Kelly said he would detain them all night, as he wanted a sleep, and let them go next morning without their arms or horses. McIntyre told Kelly that he would induce his comrades to surrender if he would keep his word, but he would rather be shot a thousand times than sell them. He added that one of the two was father of a large family. Kelly said, "You can depend on us." Kelly stated that Fitzpatrick, the man who tried to arrest his brother in April, was the cause of all this; that his mother and the rest had been unjustly "lagged" at Beechworth. Ned said that he was to let McIntyre go, but that he must leave the police force. McIntyre agreed, saying that he had thought about it for some time due to bad health. Ned asked McIntyre why their search party was carrying so much ammunition. Mcintyre replied that it was to shoot kangaroos. Kelly then caught sound of the approach of Kennedy and Scanlan, and the four men concealed themselves, some behind logs, and one in the tent. They made McIntyre sit on a log, and Kelly said, "Mind, I have a rifle for you if you give any alarm." Kennedy and Scanlan rode into the camp. McIntyre went forward, and said, "Sergeant, I think you had better dismount and surrender, as you are surrounded." Kelly at the same time called out, "Put up your hands." Kennedy appeared to think it was Lonigan who called out, and that a jest was intended, for he smiled and put his hand on his revolver case. He was instantly fired at, but not hit. Kennedy then realised the hopelessness of his position, jumped off his horse, and said, "It's all right, stop it, stop it." Scanlan, who carried the Spencer rifle, jumped down and tried to make for a tree, but before he could unsling his rifle, he was shot down. A number of shots were fired. McIntyre found that the men intended to shoot the whole of the party, so he jumped on Kennedy's horse, and dashed down the creek. As he rode off he heard Dan Kelly call out, "Shoot that ******". Several shots were fired but none reached him. Apparently the rifles were empty and only the revolvers available, or he would have been hit. According to Ned in his Jerilderie letter, "M'Intyre jumped on Kennedy's horse and I allowed him to go, as I did not like to shoot him after he had surrendered, or I would have shot him as he was between me and Kennedy". McIntyre galloped through the scrub for two miles, and then his horse became exhausted. It had evidently been wounded. He took off the saddle and bridle, and wounded from a severe fall during his escape and with his clothes in tatters, he concealed himself in a wombat hole until dark. At dark, he started on foot, and walked for an hour with his boots off to make no noise before collapsing from exhaustion at Bridge's Creek. After a rest, and using a bright star, and a small compass, he took a westerly course to strike the Benalla and Mansfield telegraph line and on Sunday afternoon at about 3 pm after a journey of about 20 miles, he reached John McColl's place, about a mile from Mansfield. A neighbouring farmer's buggy took him to the police camp at the township, where be reported all he knew to Sub-Inspector Pewtress. Two hours or so after McIntyre reported the murder of the troopers, Sub-Inspector Pewtress set out for the camp, accompanied by McIntyre, Constable Allwood, Dr Reynolds, and five townspeople. They had only two rifles. They reached the camp with the assistance of a guide, Mr. Monk, at half-past 2:00 in the morning. There they found the bodies of Scanlan and Lonigan. They searched at daylight for the sergeant, but found no trace of him. The tent had been burnt and everything taken away or destroyed. The post-mortem, by Dr Reynolds, showed that Lonigan had received seven wounds, one through the eyeball. Scanlan's body had four shot-marks with the fatal wound caused by a rifle ball which went clean through the lungs. Kennedy was 36, Scanlan was 33 and Lonigan 37 years of age. Three additional shots had been fired into Lonigan's dead body before the men left the camp. The extra shots were fired so that all of the gang might be equally implicated. Ned refutes this in his letter to the Assemblyman saying "the coroner should be consulted." During the search for Kennedy, on 29 October, two relatives of the Kellys, "Wild Wright" and his deaf and dumb brother "Dummy Wright", were arrested in Mansfield. Wild Wright had to be threatened with a revolver before he consented to handcuffs. The two were brought to the police court and charged with using threatening language towards members of the search party. The older brother, Wild, was remanded for seven days and "Dummy" released. No trace had yet been discovered of Kennedy and, the same day as Scanlan and Lonigan's funeral, another search party was started, which also failed. At 4:00 on the following Wednesday another party started, headed by James Tomkins, president of the Mansfield shire, and Sub-Inspector Pewtress, accompanied by several residents. On the following morning the body of the sergeant was found by Henry G. Sparrow. The exact place at Germans Creek where this occurred was identified in 2006. In response to these killings, the reward was raised to £500 and, on 31 October 1878, the Victorian parliament hastily passed the Felons' Apprehension Act, coming into effect on 1 November 1878, which outlawed the gang and made it possible for anyone to shoot them: There was no need for the outlaws to be arrested or for there to be a trial upon apprehension. (The act was based on the 1865 act passed in New South Wales which declared Ben Hall and his gang outlaws.) The act also penalized anyone who harbored, gave "any aid, shelter or sustenance" to the outlaws or withheld or gave false information about them to the authorities. Punishment was "imprisonment with or without hard labour for such period not exceeding fifteen years." With this new act in place, on 4 November 1878, warrants were issued against the four members of the Kelly gang. Following the killings at Stringybark, the gang committed two major robberies, at Euroa, Victoria and Jerilderie, New South Wales. Their strategy involved the taking of hostages and robbing the bank safes. At midday on 9 December 1878, Kelly walked into the homestead of Gooram Gooram Gong Wool station, at Faithful's Creek, owned by Mr. Younghusband. They assured the people that they had nothing to fear and only asked for food for themselves and their horses. An employee named Fitzgerald, who was eating his dinner at the time, looked at Kelly and at the large revolver that he was nonchalantly toying with, and said, "Well, of course, if the gentlemen want any refreshment they must have it." The other three outlaws, having attended to the horses, joined their chief, and the four imprisoned the men at the station in a spare building used as a store. No interference was offered to the women. Ned assured the male captives time after time that they had nothing whatever to fear. Late in the afternoon the manager of the station, Mr. McCauley, returned and was promptly bailed up. He told Ned Kelly that it was not much use coming to that station, because their own horses were better than any he had. Kelly, however, told him that he did not want horses, only food for themselves and for their cattle. Towards evening a hawker named Gloster camped, as usual, at the station. When he went to the kitchen with his assistant, a station hand told him that the Kellys were there, to which Gloster replied, "I wish they were, it would be £2,000 in my pocket." Kelly looked up and said, "What is that you say?" Gloster, without waiting to give an explanation, rushed towards the wagon, and Kelly and Joe Byrne followed. McCauley was worried for the safety of Gloster and followed them. Upon reaching his wagon, the hawker searched for his revolver, but was "covered" by the bushrangers, and McCauley cried out, "Look out Gloster, you will be shot", at the same time appealing to Kelly not to shoot him. Gloster turned and said, "Who are you?" Kelly replied, "I am Ned Kelly, son of Red Kelly, as good a blood as any in the land, and for two pins I would put a match to your wagon and burn it." The stationhands, Gloster, and Beecroft were all placed in the storeroom, under guard. The Kellys picked new suits from Gloster's stock as they wanted to look presentable at the bank. They offered the hawker money for them to which he refused. After sunset the prisoners were allowed some fresh air. Time passed quietly until two o'clock in the morning, and at that hour the outlaws gave a peculiar whistle, and Steve Hart and Joe Byrne rushed from the building. McCauley was surrounded by the bushrangers and Kelly said, "You are armed, we have found a lot of ammunition in the house." After this episode the outlaws retired to sleep. On the afternoon of the second day, 10 December 1878, leaving Byrne in charge of the prisoners, the other three started out to work. First they cut the telegraph wires, chopping the posts down to make sure, and were careful to rip off more wire than an ordinary repairer would carry with him. Three or four railway men endeavoured to interfere, but they too joined the other prisoners in Younghusband's storeroom. Carrying a cheque drawn by McCauley on the National Bank for a few pounds, the three bushrangers, all heavily armed, went to the bank. (Kenneally relates that Hart who approached from the back ran into the bank's housemaid, Maggie Shaw, with whom he had been at school in Wangaratta.) In the meantime Byrne had apprehended a telegraph-line repairer, who had begun to make trouble. The others reached the bank after closing time, travelling in the hawker's cart. Kelly knocked at the door and persuaded the clerk to open and cash the cheque he had. They bailed up the unwise clerk and his manager, a Mr Scott. The robbers took £700 in notes, gold, and silver. Ned Kelly insisted to the manager that there was more money there, and eventually compelled him to open the safe, from which the outlaws got £1,500 in paper, £300 in gold, about £300 worth of gold dust and nearly £100 worth of silver. The reported total amount stolen was 68 £10 notes, 67 £5 notes, 418 £1 notes, £500 in sovereigns, about £90 in silver; and a 30oz ingot of gold. The outlaws were polite and considerate to Scott's wife. Scott himself invited the outlaws to drink whisky with him, which they did. The whole party went to Younghusband's where the rest of the prisoners were. The evening seems to have passed quite pleasantly. McCauley remarked to Kelly that the police might come along, which would mean a fight. Kelly replied, "I wish they would, for there is plenty of cover here." In the evening tea was prepared, and at half-past 8 the outlaws warned the prisoners not to move for three hours, informing them that they were going. Just before they left Kelly noticed that a Mr. McDougall was wearing a watch, and asked for it. McDougall replied that it was a gift from his dead mother. Kelly declared that he wouldn't take it under any consideration, and very soon afterwards the four of the outlaws left. What is unusual is that these stirring events happened without the people in the town knowing of anything. The prisoners left the station in five hours. In January 1879 police under the command of Captain Standish, Superintendent Hare, and Officer Sadleir arrested all known Kelly friends and purported sympathisers, a total of about 22 people, including Tom Lloyd and Wild Wright, and held them without charge in Beechworth Gaol for over three months. According to Hare, "All the responsible men in charge of different stations who had been a long time in Benalla—the detectives and officers—were all collected at Benalla by Captain Standish's orders. They ... all went into a room, and were asked the names of the persons in the district whom they considered to be sympathisers. I had nothing to do with it, merely listening and taking down names that fell from the mouths of men." Public opinion was turning against the police on the matter, and on 22 April 1879 the remainder of the sympathizers were released. None were given money or transported back to their hometowns; all had to find their way back "25, 30, and even 50 miles" on their own. The treatment of the 22 caused resentment of the government's abuse of power that led to condemnation in the media and a groundswell of support for the gang that was a factor in their evading capture for so long. According to a Windsor and Richmond Gazette story from a Coonamble, New South Wales resident who encountered the Kellys at Glenrowan, Ned Kelly had heard that an individual named Sullivan had given evidence, and that he had travelled by train from Melbourne to Rutherglen. The Kelly gang then followed him there, but was told that he went to Uralla across the border in New South Wales. By the time they got to Uralla, Sullivan had left for Wagga Wagga. They followed him to Wagga Wagga but lost sight of him. Kelly thought that he might have travelled to Hay, so they took off in that direction but later gave up their chase. On their return home, they passed through Jerilderie, and the gang then decided to stick up the bank. According to J.J. Kenneally, however, the gang arrived at Jerilderie having crossed the Murray River in a different part of New South Wales, Burramine. The group had heard of a crossing there, from where they could swim their horses but did not know where the landing place was on the opposite side of the river, so had Tom Lloyd investigate. (The river was guarded by the joint efforts of border police of Victoria and New South Wales.) After unsuccessfully crossing on his own, Lloyd employed the help of an owner of a hotel nearby, who pulled him across in a boat with Lloyd's horse paddling behind. After reporting the trip back to the rest of the gang, the group "borrowed" the boat to get across in two trips. Dan Kelly and Joe Hart reached Davidson's Hotel two miles south of Jerilderie on Saturday 2 February 1879 in time for tea, while the others waited in another area. At midnight on Saturday 8 February 1879, Ned Kelly, Dan Kelly, Hart and Byrne surrounded the Jerilderie police barracks. Constables George Denis Devine and Henry Richards were on duty that night. Hart, in a loud voice, shouted, "Devine, there's a drunken man at Davidson's Hotel, who has committed murder. Get up at once, all of you." Richards, who was sleeping at the rear of the premises, came to the front door. Devine opened the door, meeting Kelly who told him there was a great row at Davidson's. Devine approached Kelly, who once he established there were no other policemen, pointed two revolvers at the policemen, introduced the gang, telling the officers to hold up their hands. Immediately the police were pounced upon by the other men and placed in the lock-up cell, and Mrs Devine and children were put into the sitting-room. Afterwards Ned secured all the firearms and ammunition and toured the house with Devine to make certain there were no other policemen. After this, he let her and the children turn into sleep as usual, and with the rest of the gang went into the sitting room, where they kept watch till morning. There was a chapel in the courthouse, 100 yards from the barracks. Mrs Devine's duty was to prepare the courthouse for mass. The next day, Sunday, she was allowed to do so, but was accompanied by one of the Kellys. At about 10 am Kelly remained in the courthouse and helped Mrs Devine prepare the altar and dust the forms. When this was done Kelly escorted her back to the barracks, where the door was closed and the blinds pulled to give the impression that the Devines were out. Hart and Dan Kelly, dressed in police uniform, walked to and from the stables during the day without attracting notice. On Monday morning Byrne brought two horses to be shod, but the blacksmith suspected something strange in his manner, so he noted the horse's brands. (According to Kenneally, the blacksmith was struck by the quality of these so-called police horses and thus noted their brands. According also to this version, the shoding of the horses was charged to the government of New South Wales.) About 10 am the Kellys, in company with Constable Richards, went from the barracks, closely followed on horseback by Hart and Byrne. They all went to the Royal Hotel, where Cox, the landlord, told Richards that his companions were the Kellys. Ned Kelly said they wanted rooms at the Royal, and revealed his intentions to rob the bank. Hart and Byrne rode to the back and told the groom to stable their horses, but not to give them any feed. Hart went into the kitchen of the hotel, a few yards from the back entrance to the bank. Byrne then entered the rear of the bank, when he met the accountant, Mr Living, who told him to use the front entrance. Byrne displayed his revolver and induced him to surrender. Kenneally wrote, "The shock caused Living to stutter and it has been alleged that he stuttered for the rest of his life." Byrne then walked him and Mackie, the junior accountant, into the bar, where Dan Kelly was on guard. Ned Kelly secured the bank manager, Mr Tarleton, who was ordered to open the safes. When this was done, he was put in with the others. All were liberated at a quarter to three. The bushrangers then went to some of the other hotels, treating everyone civilly, and had drinks. Hart took a new saddle from the saddler's. He also took a watch from the Reverend J. B. Gribble, but returned it to Gribble at Ned Kelly's request. Two splendid police horses were taken, and other horses were wanted, but the residents claimed that they belonged to women, and McDougall in order to keep his race mare "protested that he was a comparatively poor man" and Kelly relented. The telegraph operators were also incarcerated. Byrne took possession of the office, and destroyed all the telegrams sent that day and cut all the wires. The group left about 7 pm in an unknown direction. The disarmed and unhorsed police had no other means of following the gang. Ned Kelly, in company with a Mr Living and Constable Richards went to the printing office. S. Gill, a journalist, when called upon to stand, ran instead and planted himself in the creek. They went to his home, where Richards tried to reassure his wife, and Kelly said, "All I want him for is for your husband to print this letter, the history of my life, and I wanted to see him to explain it to him." Living said, "For God's sake, Kelly, give me the papers, and I will give them to Gill." (Living never carried out his promise and handed the document to the police instead who published it in a distorted form after Kelly's execution.) Later in the day Kelly relaxed with townspeople at McDougall's. After the manager had been secured, Ned Kelly took Living back to the bank and asked him how much money they had. Living admitted to between £600 and £700. Living then handed him the teller's cash, £691. Kelly asked if they had more money, and Living answered "No." Kelly tried to open the safe's treasure drawer, and one of the keys was given to him; but he needed the second key. Byrne wanted to break it open with a sledgehammer, but Kelly got the key from the teller and found £1650, making for a total of £2141 stolen from the bank. Kelly noticed a deed-box. The group then went to the hotel. Kelly took two of the party to the back of the hotel, where he made a fire and burned three or four bank books which contained mortgage documents, not realizing that copies were held by the titles office in Sydney. Before leaving, Kelly told the group that when Fitzpatrick, the Benalla constable, was shot, he was not within 400 miles of Greta. However, he admitted to stealing 280 horses from Whitty's station and denied that he had committed any other crime. The horses, he stated, were sold to Baumgarten. Kelly showed the group his revolvers, and pointed out one which he had taken from Constable Lonigan, and further stated that he had shot Lonigan with a worn-out, crooked musket, held together with string and 'could shoot around corners'. He asked those present how they would like detectives pointing revolvers at their mothers and sisters, threatening to shoot them if they did not say where they were. He blamed such treatment for turning him against the law. He said that he had come only to shoot the two policemen, Devine and Richards, calling them worse than any black trackers, especially Richards, whom he intended to shoot immediately. Tarleton remarked that Kelly should not blame Richards for doing his duty. Kelly then replied, "Suppose you had your revolver ready when I came in, would you not have shot me ?" Mr Tarleton replied "Yes." "Well", said Kelly, "that's just what I am going to do with Richards—shoot him before he shoots me." The party then interceded for Richards, but Kelly said, "He must die." Before leaving Ned Kelly remarked that he had made a great blunder which would likely lead to their capture. New South Wales issued rewards totalling £4,000 for the gang, dead or alive. The Victorian Government matched that amount, making the total reward for the Kelly gang £8,000. The Board of Officers, which included Captain Standish, Supts Hare and Sadleir, centralized all decisions about any search for the Kelly gang. The reward money had a demoralizing effect on them: "The capture of the Kellys was desired by these officers, but they were very jealous as to where they themselves would come in when the reward money would be alloted. This led to very serious quarrels among the heads...." From early March 1879 to June 1880 nothing was heard of the gang's whereabouts. As Thomas Aubrey wrote in his 1953 Mirror article, In the months after Jerilderie, public opinion turned sharply against Commissioner Standish and the 300 officers and men of the police and artillery corps who crowded into the towns of North-Eastern Victoria. Critics were quick to point out that the brave constables took good care to remain in the TOWNS leaving the outlaws almost complete freedom of the BUSH, their natural home. Constable Devine felt so humiliated by being locked up in his own jail cell that he disliked mention of the Kelly gang's visit to his town. He moved to Western Australia, and became a racecourse detective, a position he held until his death in 1927. Kenneally wrote of him, "He was a high spirited man and was generally regarded as a man who would rather fight than run. It was because the Kellys recognised his courage that they did not take him out of the cell to patrol the town ." Months prior to arriving in Jerilderie, Joe Byrne helped Ned Kelly dictate 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. Known as the Jerilderie Letter, it is a handwritten document of 56 pages and 7,391 words. Ned Kelly handed it to Mr Living during the time when the Kelly gang held up the town of Jerilderie. Excerpts of the letter were published in the press from a copy transcribed by John Hanlon, owner of the Eight Mile Hotel in Deniliquin. The letter was concealed until being rediscovered in 1930. It was then published in full by the Melbourne Herald. Before the Jerilderie Letter, Kelly had posted a 20-page letter on 16 December 1878 to a member of the Victorian Parliament, Donald Cameron M. L. A, stating his grievances, but only a synopsis was published. The letter highlights the various incidents that led to him becoming an outlaw. The Jerilderie Letter was donated anonymously to the State Library of Victoria in 2000. Publican John Hanlon's transcript is held at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. According to historian Alex McDermott, "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". Kelly's language is "hyperbolic, allusive, hallucinatory ... full of striking metaphors and images". At one point he describes the Victorian police as "a parcel of big ugly fat-necked wombat headed, big bellied, magpie legged, narrow hipped, splay-footed sons of Irish bailiffs or English landlords". The letter closes: Neglect this and abide by the consequences, which shall be worse than the rust in the wheat of Victoria or the druth of a dry season to the grasshoppers in New South Wales I do not wish to give the order full force without giving timely warning, but I am a Widow's Son outlawed, and my orders must be obeyed. Amid low public confidence in the ability of the police, wrote Thomas Aubrey, "many believed that the gang had already made their escape to another colony while their pursuers wandered about Victoria receiving, but never earning, double pay and considerable 'danger' money." The gang in the meantime were comfortably camped in the hills near the Kelly farm at Eleven Mile Creek where they discussed police efforts and plans for their future. In late March 1879 Ned's sisters Kate and Margaret asked the captain of the Victoria Cross how much he would charge to take four or five gentlemen friends to California from Queenscliff. On 31 March, an unidentified man arranged an appointment with the captain at the General Post Office to give a definite answer for the cost. The captain contacted police, who placed a large number of detectives and plain-clothes police throughout the building, but the man failed to appear. There is no evidence that Ned's sisters were enquiring on behalf of the gang, and was reported in the Argus as "without foundation". According to Tom Lloyd, the gang "frequently discussed their plans for the future", and he suggested they go to Queensland one at a time where they could join up again. He felt that "a few years in the tropical climate" would render them unrecognizable. The gang came to the conclusion however that they would be forever estranged there and would lack the kind of whole-hearted support they had been getting in Victoria, and that their best recourse was to resolve their issues with the Victoria and New South Wales state governments. In April 1880 a "Notice of Withdrawal of Reward" was posted by the government. It stated that after 20 July 1880 the Government would "absolutely cancel and withdraw the offer for the reward". On 9 February 1880, the Felons' Apprehension Act 1878 lapsed with the dissolution of the Berry Parliament, and the gang's outlaw status and their arrest warrants expired with it. While Ned and Dan still had prior warrants outstanding for the attempted murder of Fitzpatrick, technically Hart and Byrne were free men although the police could still re-issue the murder warrants. On Friday, 25 June 1880, Dan Kelly and Joe Byrne rode into the valley where Aaron Sherritt kept a small farm. Ned had decided to rob the banks in Benalla, headquarters of most of the police engaged in the Kelly hunt, to take advantage of the element of surprise in a time when banks across the country were now fully aware of the gang's feats. Wrote Thomas Aubrey, "First he planned to kill or capture the Benalla police in a pitched battle at the small town of Glenrowan, when they had been lured there by a diversion further along the railway line." They also hoped to take three police superintendents as hostages to the ranges and offer to trade them for Ellen Kelly, Skillion, and Williamson. Aubrey wrote, "Aaron Sherritt was to provide the necessary diversion. Treacherous, brutal, immoral and vain, Sherritt was the most dangerous of the many police informers. Police money had bought him a thoroughbred horse, flash clothes, and a fatal arrogance. Spurned as a traitor by Joe Byrne's younger sister, he had approached Kate Kelly and had been threatened by an enraged Mrs Skillion. He had married a 15-year old girl and settled on his parents' farm to spy for the police and work for the death of his former friends." J. J. Kenneally wrote that Sherritt was close to Joe Byrne and had gone to school with him. "Sherritt fed the police with a constant supply of news of the outlaws' plans. Sherritt felt himself in very much the same position as some newspaper men. He felt that he had to supply facts if available, but if facts were not available then fiction." Four police officers were stationed at the Sherritt house "armed to the teeth" for his protection. Despite being aware of his protective detail, the Kelly Gang decided to assassinate Sherritt. According to Kenneally, by this point "the Kellys had formed a very low estimate of the courage and fighting qualities of the police." While observing the hut, they noticed Sherritt come to the door to talk to Anton Weekes, a German-Australian farmer who lived nearby. Dan and Joe kidnapped and manacled Weekes, reassuring him that he would not be hurt if he obeyed. They pushed him to the Sherritts' back door; Joe rapped on the door and then stood back, with Dan in the darkness. They could hear movement. Sherritt asked: "Who is there?" Prompted by Joe, Weekes replied: "It is me, I have lost my way", to which Sherritt's young wife opened the door. Aaron stood framed in the doorway and joked with his German neighbor. "You must be drunk, Anton. You know that it's over that way", he laughed. As Sherritt raised his arm to point the way for Weekes, Byrne shot him in the chest at point-blank range, and his former friend staggered back. Byrne followed him in and fired again, and Sherritt died without another word. His mother-in-law, Ellen Barry, testified to the commission that at this point she knelt down by her son-in-law's head, and Byrne called her by her name (they were well acquainted, Ellen Barry had been a particular friend of Byrne's mother) and threatened to shoot her and her daughter if they did not reveal who was in the bedroom. She asked to go outside and when she did, Byrne took off Weekes' handcuffs, telling her "I am satisfied now, I wanted that fellow." Ellen Barry said that she responded "Well, Joe, I never heard Aaron say anything against you." And he replied "He would do me harm if he could; he did his best." Sherritt's widow told the outlaws it was a working man named Duross that was boarding with them that had gone into the bedroom. Ellen Barry went in to tell the police to come out but beckoned her to go outside while they found their firearms. Byrne called for what he thought were two men to come out, threatening to burn the place down if they did not. Byrne sent in Sherritt's widow and kept her inside. Ellen Barry went in again at which point the police grabbed her, putting her between them and the wall under the bed saying the outlaws would not set fire to the place if women were inside. The Sherritt home was a typical period two-room slab hut, which Dan could see through the bedroom and kitchen to Joe in the back. When Weeks had first knocked, Constable William Duross had been talking with Sherritt and his wife in the kitchen. He joined the three other policemen, Henry Armstrong, Thomas P. Dowling, and Robert Alexander, in the bedroom. Even though they were big men, well-armed and experienced "protectors", they remained there in the dark in fear while Sherritt was shot. Byrne then told Ellen Barry to open the front door of the hut. When she did, Dan Kelly was revealed a few feet away. Joe ordered the frightened women to leave the house, then the outlaws began shooting into the walls of the bedroom. The police threw themselves to the floor. The gang kept the police trapped for twelve hours, threatening to burn the house down and roast them alive, but left without doing so. The four constables emerged from the house at six o'clock on Sunday evening. Both Ellen Barry and Sherritt's widow later testified that the constables had an easy shot at Byrne when he murdered Sherritt and they had their firearms ready. Superintendent Hare later wrote, "It was doubtless a most fortunate occurrence that Aaron was shot by the outlaws; it was impossible to have reclaimed him, and the Government of the colony would not have assisted him in any way, and he would have gone back to his old course of life, and probably become a bushranger himself." According to Ned Kelly, after shooting Sherritt at Sebastopol, the gang rode openly through Beechworth to Glenrowan, with the intention of wrecking any special train bringing additional police to join in their pursuit. They compelled line-repairers James Reardon and Denis Sullivan to damage the track. Having roused and tried other men without success, Kelly took Reardon's wife and seven or eight children to Stainstreet's residence, where they, and others were secured by Steve Hart while Kelly, Byrne, Mrs. Jones and the line-repairers went to damage the track. They selected the first turning after reaching Glenrowan, at a culvert and on an incline. One rail was raised on each side, and the sleepers were removed. The gang descended on Glenrowan about 8 am on Sunday 27 June 1880 and took over the township without meeting resistance from the inhabitants: the unskilled laborers camped near the stationmaster's house, then Mrs Jones' hotel. The other hotel in town, McDonnell's Railway Hotel, on the eastern side of the station, was used to stable the gang's stolen horses. By Sunday evening, the gang gathered their captives at the hotel, a total of 62 by Reardon's own count. According to the Australian Town and Country Journal of 1880, under duress, drinks were provided to both gang members and townspeople while a piano played. Reardon testified under oath in 1881 that Mrs Jones insisted on a dance and that her son sing a song. He also said that the gang had plenty to drink, that Hart was pretty drunk and if he didn't do what he was told he would be shot. Reardon also testified that Ned, Dan, Joe Byrne, Mrs Jones, her daughter, and three or four others danced. Curnow stated that at about three o'clock in the afternoon Ned Kelly and Dan caused several of their prisoners to engage in jumping, and in the hop, step, and jump. Ned Kelly joined with them, using a revolver in each hand as weights. Curnow also stated that during the night the outlaws encouraged the hostages to amuse themselves by card-playing. The gang members were equipped with armour that repelled bullets (but left the legs unprotected). They made these with the intention of further robbing banks, as the gang were short of money. The police had been informed by their spies about the armour, that the gang had tested it with bullets at ten paces, but dismissed these stories. (The armour had been made in the district by a man well known to the police, although the proof was insufficient for a conviction.) Each man's armour weighed about 44 kilograms (97 lb). All four had helmets. Byrne's was said to be the best, with the brow reaching down to the nose piece, almost forming two eye slits. All wore grey cotton coats reaching past the knees over the armour. That same night at about 10pm, Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne, along with schoolmaster Thomas Curnow, Dave Mortimer (Curnow's brother-in-law), postmaster E. Reynolds and R. Gibbens, went to capture Constable Bracken, stationed between Glenrowan and Benalla. Curnow was driving his buggy with his wife, sister, and the seven-year-old son of the postmaster, Alec Reynolds. Curnow managed to convince Ned to let them go after they had secured Bracken, promising not to leave his house. Ned said "go quietly to bed and not to dream too loud", and made it known that if he acted otherwise they would get shot, as one of the gang would be visiting during the night. The rest returned to the hotel. Two special trains had been dispatched from Melbourne carrying police reinforcements and reporters following the killing of Sherritt. The former included native police, whose tracking skills were a matter of particular concern to Ned. Despite the warning from Ned, when Curnow heard the trains approaching at about 3 am, he grabbed his sister's red llama scarf, a candle and matches, and rushed to the railway line, and managed to stop the pilot train. He told the guard of the torn tracks and that the Kelly gang was laying in wait at the hotel. The guard then signalled the second train, carrying the police, to stop. The trains then quietly made their way to the station and at the station house the police met with Mrs. Stanistreet, the wife of the stationmaster, who said that "They have taken my husband away with a lot more into the bush." Shortly after Bracken came rushing up and said "The Kellys are all at Jones's. Be quick, and surround the house, or they will be off." Just before the police arrived, the Kellys decided to let their prisoners go to better prepare for action, but just then Mrs Jones told them to stay hear Kelly lecture. Joe Byrne interrupted the conversation alerting the group about the train's arrival. The Kellys bolted into the room at the hotel where they kept their armor and hurried to dress. Constable Bracken grabbed the key to the room in which he and others were held, told everyone to lie low if there was any firing, and escaped. He rushed to the railway station into which the train had just arrived and explained the situation to the police. Supt. Hare told his men to leave their horses and he was followed to the hotel by Constables Barry, Gascoigne, Kelly, Phillips, Arthur, Inspector O'Connor and five Aboriginal trackers. At this point the police started the volley. According to on-scene reporters from The Argus, the police and the gang fired at each other for about a quarter of an hour. Then there was a lull but nothing could be seen for a minute or two because of the smoke. Superintendent Hare returned to the railway-station with a shattered left wrist from one of the first shots fired. He bled profusely, but Mr. Carrington, artist for The Sketcher, stopped the haemorrhage with his handkerchief. Hare then ordered O'Connor to surround the hotel. Mr. Hare attempted to return to the battle but he gradually lost so much blood that he had to be conveyed to Benalla by a special railway engine. The police, Aboriginal trackers and others watched the surrounded hotel throughout the night. At about 5 o'clock in the morning the landlady, Mrs Jones, began loudly wailing over the fate of her son, who had been shot in the back. She came out from the hotel crying bitterly and wandered into the bush on several occasions. With the assistance of one of the prisoners she removed her son from the building, and sent him to Wangaratta for treatment. The firing continued intermittently. Bullets lodged in the station buildings and the train. At daybreak police reinforcements arrived from Benalla, Beechworth, and Wangaratta. Superintendent John Sadleir came from Benalla with nine more men. Sergeant Steele, of Wangaratta, brought six, for a total of about 30 men. Before daylight Senior-Constable Kelly found a revolving rifle and a silk cap lying in the bush, about 100 yards from the hotel. The rifle was covered with blood and a pool of blood lay near it. They believed it to belong to one of the bushran