New Info about Ned Kelly?
KELLYS, BYRNE AND HART
NED KELLY'S FAREWELL TO GRETA.
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Subject: New Info about Ned Kelly?|
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 06:25 PM
Mystery solved: Dramatic letter details capture of Australia's most famous outlaw
[A photograph of a police mugshot of Ned Kelly,
aged 16. Kelly, immortalized for using
home-made armor in a final shoot-out with
police, became a folk hero of Australia's colonial
past with his gang's daring bank robberies and
escapes. Kelly was hanged at the Melbourne
Gaol in 1880.]
By Thuy Ong, Reuters
SYDNEY -- A 133-year-old letter has given the first civilian account of the capture of Ned Kelly, Australia's most famous outlaw, and will go on public display for the first time on Monday.
A young bank teller named Donald Sutherland witnessed Kelly being captured and, in the letter to his parents in Scotland, detailed the shootout with police on June 28, 1880, that ended a standoff known as the Glenrowan Siege.
[The homemade armor and helmet Kelly wore during the battle helped make him an iconic figure in Australian history.
State Library Of Victoria / AFP - Getty Images
A letter detailing a remarkable eyewitness account
of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly's last stand,
recounting bullets "sliding off him like hail"
as though he was a "fiend."]
"Ned's armor alone weighed 97 pounds. The police
thought he was a fiend seeing their rifle bullets
were sliding off him like hail," Sutherland wrote.
"The force of the rifle bullets made him stagger when hit but it was only when they got him on the legs and arms that he reluctantly fell, exclaiming as he did so 'I am done. I am done.'"
Alex McDermott, a research scholar at the State Library of Victoria, said the Glenrowan Siege had been heavily scrutinized in the past century but the letter was the first time the events had been represented in an unbiased and "everyman" perspective.
"To date, every single account has always been from a member of the police or a Kelly family member or adviser," he said. "Sutherland doesn't condemn either side, he just gives it out."
[State Library of Victoria via AP
In this undated photo, Australia's most infamous
criminal, Ned Kelly, holds a gun in Melbourne,
The Kelly Gang was outlawed after they killed three policemen and robbed several banks. They became a symbol of social tensions between poor Irish settlers and the wealthy establishment, with Kelly becoming a folk hero to many for standing up to the Anglo-Australian ruling class.
"He was lying on a stretcher quite calm and collected, not withstanding the great pain he must have been suffering from his wounds," Sutherland wrote, noting that Kelly was comforted by his sobbing sisters after being captured.
The letter passed to Sutherland's descendants in Scotland, England and Canada before the family decided to donate it to the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, where it will be on view from Monday.
Ned Kelly was hanged for his crimes in 1880. His remains were finally laid to rest in January this year after being exhumed from a mass prison grave.
Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.
"" indicates pictures/images in the article.
Not sure how "new" any of this is, but we've had some discussion about Kelly, so some may be interested. (Unclear to me whether the full text of the letter is accessible.)
Subject: RE: New Info about Ned Kelly?|
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 07:27 PM
It is good to see independent accounts of the seige located - everyone 'published' in the 1880s and after generally had their own barrow(s) to push! ...
At least I'm now certain that my ancestors aren't as close to the Kellys as first appeared when members of my Mother's family started researching their Australian arrival and history.
There are a few "Quinn"s included in our histories ... arriving in the early 1830s ... but they don't turn out to include Ned's Mother ... who emodied all of the characteristics suggested in that surname!
Subject: RE: New Info about Ned Kelly?|
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 08:40 PM
Letter detailing Ned Kelly's last stand to go on public display - video
Google search on "ned kelly letter 133 years" for About 55,000 results if you want to know more!
article from State library's blog ... 'Sutherland enclosed a lock of hair from Kelly's horse with the letter, noting in the postscript, 'The hair enclosed is from the tail of Ned Kelly the famous murderer and bushranger's mare. His favourite mare who followed him all around the trees during the firing. He said he wouldn't care for himself if he thought his mare safe.'
A new Ned Kelly app developed by the State Library explores the compelling details of Kelly's life. With more than 60 pages of content and images of fascinating historical items including his armour, photos, letters and more, the State Library's unique collection of Kelly material comes to life. It is free to download from iTunes and Google Play now. (read on)