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Jerilderie letter transcription

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Copy of Kellys' Confession

Dear Sir

I wish to acquaint you with
some of the occurrences of the present past
and future, In or about the Spring of
1870 the ground was very soft, a
Hawker named Mr Gould got his waggon
bogged, between Greta and my mother's
place house on the eleven mile creek,
the ground was that rotten it would
bog a duck in places so Mr Gould
had to abandon his waggon for fear
of losing his horses in the spewy ground
he was stopping at my mother's awaiting
finer or dryer weather, Mr McCormack and his
Wife, (Hawkers' also) were camped in Greta
and the mosquitoes were very bad which they
generally are in a wet spring and to
help them Mr Johns had a horse called
Ruita Cruta, although a gelding was as
clever as old Wombat or any other Stallion

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at running horses away and taking
them on his beat, which was from Greta
swamp to the seven mile creek consequent
ly he enticed McCormacks horse away
from Greta, Mr Gould was up early
finding his horses, heard a bell and seen
McCormacks horse for he knew the horse
well, he sent his boy to take him
back to Greta, when McCormacks got
the horse, they came straight out
to Gould and accused him of working
the horse, this was false and Gould
was amazed at the idea I could
not help laughing to hear Mrs McCormack
accusing him of using the horse after
him being so kind as to send his boy
to take him from the ruita cruta
and take him back to him I pleaded
Gould's innocence and Mrs McCormack
turned on me and accused me of

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bringing the horse from Greta to Goulds'
waggon to pull him out of the bog I
did not say much to the woman
as my Mother was present but that
same day, me and my uncle was
cutting calves, Gould wrapped up
a note and a pair of the calves testicles
and gave them to me to give them
to Mrs McCormack I did not see her and
I gave the parcel to a boy to give to her
when she would come, instead of
giving it to her he gave it to her
husband, consequently McCormack said
he would summons me, I told him
neither me or Gould used their
horse, he said I was a liar
and he could welt me or any of
my breed, I was about 14 years
of age but accepted the challenge
and dismounting when Mrs McCormack

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struck my horse in the flank with
a bullocks shin it jumped forward
and my fist came in collision with
McCormacks nose and caused him to
lose his equillibrium and fall pros
trate I tied up my horse to finish the
battle but McCormack got up and
ran to the police camp Constable
Hall asked me what the row
was about I told him they accused
me and Gould of using their horse
and I hit him and I would do the
same to him if he challenged me
McCormacks pulled me and swore
their lives against me I was sentenced
to three months for hitting him and
three months for the parcel and
bound to keep the peace for 12 months
Mrs McCormack gave good substantial
evidence as she is well acquainted

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with that place called Tasmania better
known as the Dervon or Vandiemans
land, and McCormack being a Policeman
over the convicts and Women being
scarce released her from that land
of bondage and tyranny and they
came to Victoria and are at present
residents of Greta and on the 29th of
March I was released from Prison and
came home. Wild Wright came to the
eleven mile to see Mr Gunn stopped
all night and lost his mare both
him and me looked all day for her
and could not get her, Wright who
was a stranger to me was in a
hurry to get back to Mansfield
and I gave him another mare and
he told me if I found his mare
to keep her until he brought mine
back I was going to Wangaratta

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and seen the mare I caught her and
took her with me all the Police and
Detective Berrill seen her as Martain's girls
used to ride her about the town during
several days that I stopped at Peter
Martain's Star Hotel in Wangaratta
She was a chestnut mare whiteface
docked tail very remarkable, branded
as plain as the hands on a town
Clock, the property of a Telegraph
Master in Mansfield he lost her
on the 6th gazetted her on the 12th
of March and I was a prisoner in
Beechworth Goal until the 29th March
therefore I could not have stole
the mare, I was riding the mare
through Greta, Constable Hall came
to me and said he wanted me
to sign some papers that I did not
sign at Beechworth concerning my

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bail bonds, I thought it was the
truth, he said the papers was at
the Barracks and I had no idea he
wanted to arrest me or I would have
quietly rode away instead of
going to the Barracks, I was
getting off when Hall caught
hold of me and thought to throw
me but made a mistake and
came on the broad of his back himself
in the dust the mare galloped away
and instead of me putting my
foot on Halls neck and taking his
revolver and putting him in the
lockup I tried to catch the mare
Hall got up and snapped three or
four caps at me and would have
shot me but the Colts patent
refused, This is well known in Greta
Hall never told me he wanted to

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arrest me until after he tried to shoot
me when I heard the caps snapping
I stood until Hall came close he had
me covered and was shaking with
fear and I knew he would pull the
trigger before he would be game to put
his hand on me so I duped and jumped
at him caught the revolver with
one hand and Hall by the collar
with the other, I dare not strike
him or my sureties would loose
the bond money, I used to trip and
let him take a mouthful of dust
now and again as he was as help
less as a big guano after leaving
a dead horse or bullock I kept
throwing him in the dust until
I got him across the street the
very spot where Mrs O Briens Hotel
stands now the cellar was just

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dug then, there was some brush fencing
where the post and rail was taking
down and on this I threw big cowardly
Hall on his belly I straddled him
and rolled both spurs into his thighs
he roared like a big calf attacked
by dogs and shifted several yards
of the fence I got his hands at the
back of his neck and tried to make
him let the revolver go but he stuck
to it like grim death to a dead
volunteer he called for assistance
to a man named Cohan and Barnett
Lewis, Thompson Jewell, two blacksmiths
who was looking on I dare not strike
any of them as I was bound to keep
the peace or I could have spread
those curs like dung in a paddock
they got ropes tied my hands and
feet and Hall beat me over the head

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with his six chambered colts revolver
nine stiches were put in some of the
cuts by Dr Hastings And when Wild
Wright and my Mother came they could
trace us across the street by the blood
in the dust and which spoiled
the Lustre of the paint on the
gate post of the Barracks,
Hall sent for more Police and
Dr Hastings next morning I was
handcuffed a rope tied from them
to my legs and to the seat of the
cart and taken to Wangaratta
Hall was frightened I would throw
him out of the cart so he tied me
whilst Constable Arthur laughed
at his cowardice for it was he
who escorted me and Hall to Wangaratta
I was tried and committed as Hall
swore I claimed the mare the

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Doctor died or he would have proved Hall
a perjurer, Hall has been tried several
times for perjury, but got clear as
this is no crime in the Police force
it is a credit to a Policeman to convict
an innocent man but any muff
can pot a guilty one, Hall's character
is well known about El Dorado and
Snowy Creek and Hall was considerably
in debt to Mr L O'Brien and as he was
going to leave Greta Mr O'Brien seen
no other chance of getting his
money so there was a subscription
collected for Hall and with the aid
of this money he got James
Murdock who was recently hung
in Wagga Wagga to give false evidence
against me but I was aquitted on
the charge of horse stealing and
on Hall and Murdock's evidence

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I was found guilty of receiving and
got 3 years experience in Beechworth
Pentridges dungeons this is the only
charge ever proved against me
Therefore I can say I never was con-
victed of horse or cattle stealing My
Brother Dan was never charged
with assaulting a woman but he
was sentenced to three months
without the option of a fine and
one month and two pounds fine for
damaging property by Mr Butler P.M
a sentence that there is no law
to uphold, therefore the minister
of Justice neglected his duty in
that case but there never was
such a thing as justice in the
English laws, but any amount of in
justice to be had, out of over thirty
head of the very best horses the land

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could produce, I could only find one
when I got my liberty, Constable Flood
stole and sold the most of them
to the navvies on the Railway line
one bay cob he stole and sold four
different times, the line was completed
and the men all gone when I came
out and Flood was shifted to Oxley
he carried on the same game there
all the stray horses that was any
time without an owner and
not in the Police Gazette Flood
used to claim, He was doing a
good trade at Oxley until Mr Brown
of the Laceby Station got him shifted
as he was always running his
horses about, Flood is different
to Sergeant Steel, Strachan Hall
and the most of Police as they have
to hire cads and if they fail they

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The Police are quite helpless but
Flood can make a cheque single
handed he is the greatest horsestealer
with the exception of myself and
George King I know of, I never
worked on a farm, a horse and saddle
was never traced to me after
leaving employment
since February 1873 I worked as
a faller at Mr J Saunders and
K. Rules Sawmills then for Heach
and Dochendorf I never worked for
less than two pounds ten a week
since I left Pentridge and in 1875 or
1876 I was overseer for Saunders
and Rules, Bourke's water Holes
sawmills in Victoria since then I
was on the King River during my
stay there I ran in a wild bull
which I gave to Lydicher a farmer

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he sold him to Carr a Publican and
Butcher who killed him for beef some
time afterwards I was blamed for stealing
this bull from James Whitty Boggy Creek
I asked Whitty Oxley racecourse why he blamed
me for stealing his bull he said
he had found his bull and never
blamed me but his son-in-law
Farrell told him he heard I sold
the bull to Carr not long after
wards I heard again I was blamed
for stealing a mob of calves from
Whitty and Farrell which I knew
nothing about I began to think
they wanted me to give them
something to talk about Therefore
I started wholesale and retail
horse and cattle dealing Whitty
and Burns not being satisfied
with all the picked land on the

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Boggy Creek and King river and
the run of their stock on the certi
=ficate ground free and no one inter
=fering with them paid heavy rent
to the Banks for all the open
ground so as a poor man could
keep no stock, and impounded every
beast they could get even off
Government roads If a poor man
happened to leave his horse or a
bit of poddy calf outside his
paddock they would be impound
=ed, I have known over 60 head of
horses impounded in one day
by Whitty and Burns all belonging
to poor farmers they would have
to leave their ploughing or harvest or
other employment to go to Oxley when
they would get there perhaps not
have money enough to release them,

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and have to give a bill of sale or borrow
the money which is no easy matter
And along with all this sort of
work, Farrell the Policeman stole
a horse from George King and had
him in Whitty and Farrell's Paddock
until he left the force and all
this was the cause of me and
my stepfather George King taking
their horses and selling them
to Baumgarten and Kennedy the
pick of them was taken to a
good market and the culls
were kept in Peterson's Paddock and
their brands altered by me two was
sold to Kennedy and the rest
to Baumgarten who were strangers
to me and I believe honest men

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They paid me full value for the horses
and could not have known they were
stolen, no person had anything to
do with the stealing and selling
of the horses but me and George King
William Cooke who was convicted
for Whittys horses was innocent
he was not in my company
at Petersons But it is not the
place of the Police to convict guilty
men as it is by them they get their
living had the right parties been
convicted it would have been a
bad job for the Police as Berry would
have sacked a great many of them
only I came to their aid and kept
them in their bilits and good employ
ment and got them double pay and
yet the ungrateful articles my mother
and an infant my brotherinlaw and another

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man who was innocent, and still annoy
my brothers and sisters and the
ignorant unicorns even threaten to
shoot myself, But as soon as I
am dead they will be heels up
in the muroo there will be no
more police required they will be
sacked and supplanted by soldiers
on low pay in the towns and
special constables made of some
of the farmers to make up for
this double pay and expense
It will pay Government to give
those people who are suffering
innocence justice and liberty if not
I will be compelled to show some
colonial stratagem which will
open the eyes of not only the Victorian
Police and inhabitants but also the
whole British army and no doubt

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they will acknowledge their hounds
were barking at the wrong stump
and that Fitzpatrick will be the
cause of greater slaughter to
the Union Jack than Saint Patrick
was to the snakes and toads in
Ireland, The Queen of England was
as guilty as Baumgarten and
Kennedy, Williamson and Skillion
of what they were convicted for, when
the horses were found on the Murray
River I wrote a letter to Mr Swanhill
of Lake Rowan to Acquaint the
Auctioneer and to advertize my
horses for sale brought some
of them to that place but did not
sell. I sold some of them in Benalla
Melbourne and other places and
left the colony and became
a rambling gambler soon after

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I left - there was a warrant for me and the Police
searched the place and watched night and day for
two or three weeks and they could not snare me
they got a warrant against my brother Dan and
on the 15 April, Fitzpatrick came to the eleven mile
Creek to arrest him he had some conversation with
a horse dealer whom he swore was William Skillion
this man was not called in Beechworth, besides
several other witnesses, who alone could have
proved Fitzpatricks falsehood after leaving this
man he went to the house asked was Dan in,
Dan came out, I hear previous to this Fitzpatrick
had some conversation with Williamsons on the
hill he asked Dan to come to Greta with him as
he had a warrant for him for stealing Whittys horses
Dan said all right they both went inside Dan
was having something to eat his mother asked
Fitzpatrick what he wanted Dan for, the Trooper
said he had a warrant for him, Dan then asked
him to produce it, he said it was only a Telegram
sent from Chiltern but Sergeant Whelan ordered
him to releive Steel at Greta and call and
arrest Dan and take him into Wangaratta
next morning and get him remanded Dan's mother
said Dan need not go without a warrant unless
he liked and that the trooper had no business on
her premises without some Authority besides his own
word The trooper pulled out his revolver and said he
would blow her brains out if she interfered in the
arrest she told him it was a good job for him
Ned was not there or he would ram the revolver
down his throat, Dan looked out and said Ned is

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coming now the trooper being off his guard looked
out and when Dan got his attention drawn he
dropped the knife and fork which showed he had
he had no murderous intent and slapped Leenans hug
on him, took his revolver and kept him there until Skillion
and Ryan came with horses which Dan sold that
night The trooper left and invented some scheme
to say that he got shot which any man can
see is false he told Dan to clear out that Sergeant
Steel and Detective Brown and Strachan would
be there before morning Strachan had been over
the Murray trying to get up a case against
him and they would convict him if they caught
him as the stock society offered an enticement for
witnesses to swear anything and the Germans over
the Murray would swear to the wrong man as well
as the right next day Williamson and my mother were
arrested and Skillion the day after who was not there
at all at the time of the row which can be proved by 8 or 9
witnesses and the Police got credit and praise in the
papers for arresting the Mother of 12 children one an
infant on her breast and those two quiet hardworking
innocent men who would not know the difference
in a revolver and a saucepan handle and kept them six
months awaiting trial and then convicted them
on the evidence of the meanest article that ever the
sun shone on it seems that the Jury were well chosen
by the Police as there was a discharged Sergeant amongst
them which is contrary to law they thought it impossible
for a Policeman to swear a lie but I can assure them
it is by that means and hiring cads they get pro
motion I have heard from a Trooper that he never

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knew Fitzpatrick to be one night sober and that he sold
his sister to a Chinaman but he looks a young strapping
(fellow) rather genteel more fit to be a starcher to a
Laundress than policeman for to a keen observer
he has the wrong appearance or a manly heart the
deceit and cowardice is too plain to be seen in
the puny cabbage hearted looking face I heard
nothing of this transaction until very close on the
trial I being then over 400 miles from Greta when I
heard I was outlawed and a hundred pounds
reward for me for shooting at a trooper in Victoria
and a hundred pound reward for any man that could
prove a conviction of horsestealing against me
so I came back to Victoria knew I would get no
Justice if I gave myself up I enquired after my brother
Dan and found him digging on Bullock Creek
heard how the Police used to be blowing that
they would not ask me to stand they would
shoot me first and then cry surrender and how
they used to rush into the house upset all the
milk dishes break tins of eggs empty the flour
out of the bags on to the ground and even the
meat out of the cask and destroy all
the provisions and shove the girls in front
of them into the rooms like dogs so as if any
one was there they would shoot the girls first
but they knew well I was not there or I would
have scattered their blood and brains like rain I
would manure the Eleven mile with their bloated
carcases and yet remember there is not one drop
of murderous blood in my veins Superintendant
Smith used to say to my sisters see all the

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men I have out today I will have as many more
tomorrow and we will blow him into pieces as
small as paper that is in our guns Detective Ward and
Constable Hays took out their revolvers and threatened
to shoot the girls and Childrenin^Mrs Skillion's absence
the greatest ruffians and murderers no matter how
depraved would not be guilty of such a cowardly
action and this sort of cruelty and disgraceful and
cowardly conduct to my brothers and sisters who
had no protection coupled with the conviction of
my mother and those men certainly made my blood
boil as I don't think there is a man born could have
the patience to suffer it as long as I did or ever allow
his blood to get cold cold while such insults as
these were unavenged and yet in every paper that
is printed I am called the blackest and coldest
blooded murderer ever on record But if I hear any
more of it I will not exactly show them what cold
blooded murder is but wholesale and retail slaughter
something different to shooting three troopers in self
defence and robbing a bank, I would have been rather
hot blooded to throw down my rifle and let them
shoot me and my innocent brother, they were
not satisfied with frightening my sisters night
and day and destroying their provisions and
lagging my mother and infant and those innocent
men but should follow me and my brother into the
wilds where he had been quietly digging neither molesting
or interfering with any one he was making good wages
as the creek is very rich within half a mile from where
I shot Kennedy I was not there long and on the 25 Oct
I came on Police tracks between Tabletop and the bogs I crossed

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them and returning in the evening I came on a
different lot of tracks making for the Shingle Hut
I went to our camp and told my brother and his
two mates and my brother went and found
their camp at the shingle hut about a mile from
my brothers house saw they carried long firearms
and we knew our doom was sealed if we could
not beat those before the others would come as I
knew the other party of Police would soon join them
and if they came on us at our camp they would
shoot us down like dogs at our work as we had
only two guns we thought if best to try and bail
those up, take their firearms and ammunition and
horses and we could stand a chance with the
rest we approached the spring as close as we could
get to the camp as the intervening space being
clear ground and no battery we saw two men at
the logs they got up and one took a double barreled
fowling peice and fetched a horse down and
hobbled him at the tent and we thought there were
more men in the tent asleep those being on sentry
we could have shot those two men without speaking
but not wishing to take their lives we waited
McIntyre laid the gun against a stump and
Lonigan sat on the log I advanced my brother
Dan keeping McIntyre covered which he took to be
Constable Flood and had he not obeyed my orders
or attempted to reach for the gun or draw his revol
=ver he would have been shot dead but when I called
on them to throw up their hands McIntyre obeyed
and Lonigan ran some six or seven yards to a
battery of logs instead of dropping behind the one

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he was sitting on he had just got to the logs and put
his head up to take aim when I shot him that instant
or he would have shot me as I took him to be Strachan
the man who said he would not ask me to stand
he would shoot mefirst^like a dog But it happened to
be Lonigan the man who in company with Sergeant
Whelan Fitzpatrick and King the bootmaker and Constable
O'Day that tried to put a pair of handcuffs on me
in Benalla but could not and had to allow McInnes
the Miller to put them on previous to Fitzpatrick
swearing he was shot I was fined two pounds
for not allowing five curs like Sergeant Whelan
O'Day Fitzpatrick King and Lonigan and would
have sent me to Kingdom come only I was not
ready and he is the man that blowed before he left
Violet Town if Ned Kelly was to be shot he was the
man that would shoot him and no doubt he
would shoot me even if I threw up my arms
and laid down as he knew four of them could
not arrest me singlehanded not to talk of the rest
of my mates, also either him or me would have
to die this he knew well therefore he had a right
to keep out of my road, Fitzpatrick is the only one I
hit out of the five in Benalla this shows my feelings
towards him as he said we were good friends
and even swore it but he was the biggest enemy I had in
the country with the exception of Lonigan and he
can be thankful I was not there when he took a revolver and
threatened to shoot my mother in her own house it is
not fire three shots and miss him at a yard and a half I dont
think I would use a revolver to shoot a man like him
when I was within a yard and a half of him or attempt to

Page 27

fire into a house where my mother brothers and
sisters was, and according to Fitzpatricks statement
all around him a man that is such a bad shot
as to miss a man three times at a yard and a
half would never attempt to fire into a house
where my mother brothers among a houseful of
women and children while I had a pair of arms
and a bunch of fives on the end of them that
never failed to peg at anything they came in contact
with and Fitzpatrick knew the weight of one of them only
too well as it run against him once in Benalla
and cost me two pound odd as he is very subject
to fainting, As soon as I shot Lonigan he jumped
up and staggered some distance from the logs
with his hands raised and then fell he surrendered
but too late I asked McIntyre who was in the
tent he replied no one I advanced and took possession
of their two revolvers and fowling peice which I
loaded with bullets instead of shot I asked Mc
Intyre where his mates was he said they had gone
down the creek and he did not expect them that
night he asked me was I going to shoot him and
his mates I told him no I would shoot no man
if he gave up his arms and leave the force he
said the Police all knew Fitzpatrick had wronged
us and he intended to leave the force as he had
bad health and his life was insured he told me
he intended going home and that Kennedy & Scanlon
were out looking for our camp and also about the other
Police he told me the N.S.W Police had shot a man for
shooting Sergeant Walling I told him if they did they
had shot the wrong man and I expect your gang came

Page 28

to do the same with me he said no they did not come
to shoot me, they came to apprehend me I asked him
what they carried spencer rifles and breechloading
fowling places and so much ammunition for, as the
Police was only supposed to carry one revolver and six
cartridges in the revolver but they had eighteen rounds
of revolver cartridges each three dozen for the fowling peice
and twenty one spencer rifle cartridges and God knows
how many they had away with the rifle this looked
as if they meant not only to shoot me only to riddle
me, but I don't know either Kennedy Scanlan or
him and had nothing against them he said
he would get them to give up their arms if
I would not shoot them as I could not blame
them, they had to do their duty I said I did
not blame them for doing honest duty but
I could not suffer them blowing me to peices
in my own native land and they knew Fitzpatrick
wrongedus and why not make it public and
convict him but no they would rather riddle
poor unfortunate creoles, but they will rue the day
ever Fitzpatrick got among them our two
mates came over when the heard the shots
fired but went back again for fear the Police might
come to our camp while we were all away and
manure bullock flat with us on our arrival I stopped
at the logs and Dan went back to the spring for the troopers
would come in that way but I soon heard them coming
up the creek I told McIntyre to tell them to give up
their arms he spoke to Kennedy who was some distance
in front of Scanlan he reached for his revolver and jumped
off on the off side of his horse and got behind a tree when I

Page 29

called on them to surrender throw up their arms and Scanlon
who carried the rifle slewed his horse around to galop away
but the horse would not go and as quick as thought fired at
mewith the riflewithout unslinging it and was in the act of firing again
when I had to shoot him and he fell from his horse I could have
shot them without speaking but their lives was no good to me
McIntyre jumped on Kennedys horse and I allowed him
to go as I did not like to shoot him after he surrendered
or I would have shot him as he was between me and Kennedy
therefore I could not shoot Kennedy without shooting him
first Kennedy kept firing from behind a tree my brother
Dan advanced and Kennedy ran I followed him he stopped
behind another tree and fired again I shot him in the
armpit and he dropped his revolver and ran I fired
again with the gun as he slewed around to
surrender I did not know he had dropped his revolver
the bullet passed through the right side of his chest and he
could not live or I would have let him go had they
been my own brothers I could not help shooting them
or else let them shoot me which they would have done had
their bullets been directed as they intended them But
as for handcuffing Kennedy to a tree or cutting his ear off
or brutally treating any of them is a falsehood if Kennedys
ear was cut off it was not done by me and none of
my mates was near him after he was shot I put his
Cloak over him and left him as well as I could and were
they my own brothers I could not have been more sorry for them
this cannot be called wilful murder for I was compelled to
shoot them or lie down and let them shoot me it would not be
wilful murder if they packed our remains in shattered into
a mass of animated gore to Mansfield they would have
got great praise and credit as well as promotion but I

Page 30

am recorded a horrid brute because I had not been cowardly
enough to lie down for them under such trying circumstances
and insults to my people certainly their wives and chil-
dren are to be pitied but they must remember those
men came into the bush with the intention of
scattering pieces of me and my brother all over the
bush and yet they know and acknowledge I have
been wronged and my mother and four or five men
lagged innocent and is my brothers and sisters and
my mother not to be pitied also who was has no alternative
only to put up with the brutal and cowardly conduct
of a parcel of big ugly fat necked wombat headed big bellied
magpie legged narrow hipped splawfooted sons of Irish
bailiffs or English landlords which is better known as
Officers of Justice or Victorian Police who some calls
honest gentlemen but I would like to know what
business an honest man would have in the Police
as it is an old saying It takes a rogue to catch a rogue
and a man that knows nothing about roguery
would never enter the force and take an oath to arrest
brother sister father or mother if required and to have
a case and conviction if possible any man knows it
is possible to swear a lie and if a policeman looses a con=
viction for the sake of swearing a lie he has broke his oath
therefore he is a perjurer either ways a Policeman is a disgrace
to his country and ancestors and religion as they were
all catholics before the Saxons and Cranmore yoke
held sway since then they were persecuted massacreed thrown
into martyrdom and tortured beyond the ideas of the present genera
tion what would people say if they saw a strapping big lump of
an Irishman sheparding sheep for fifteen bob a week or tailing turkeys
in Tallarook ranges for a smile from Julia or even begging his tucker

Page 31

they would say he ought to be ashamed of himself
and tar and feather him, But he would be a
king to a Policeman who for a lazy loafing
cowardly billet left the ash corner deserted
the Shamrock, the emblem of true wit and
beauty to serve under a flag and nation that
has destroyed massacreed and murdered their
forefathers by the greatest of torture as rolling
them down hill in spiked Barrels pulling
their toes and finger nails and on the wheel
and every torture imaginable more was trans
ported to Van Diemans Land to pine their
young lives away in starvation and misery
among tyrants worse than the promised
hell itself all of true blood bone and beauty
that was not murdered on their own soil
or had fled to America or other countries
to bloom again another day were doomed
to Port McQuarie Toweringabbie and Norfolk
Island and Emu Plain and in those places
of Tyranny and condemnation many a
blooming Irishman rather than subdue
to the Saxon yoke were flogged to death
and bravely died in servile chains but
true to the Shamrock and a credit to Paddys
land What would people say if I became a
Policeman and took an oath to arrest my
brothers sisters & relations and convict
them by fair or foul means after the con
viction of my Mother and the persecutions and
insults offered to myself and people would
they say I was a decent gentleman

Page 32

and yet a policeman is still in worse and
guilty of meaner actions than that the
Queen must surely be proud of such heroic
men as the Police and Irish soldiers as it
takes eight or eleven of the biggest mud crushers
in Melbourne to take one poor little half starvedLarrikin
to a watchhouse I have seen as many as
eleven big & ugly enough to lift Mount Macedon
out of a crab hole move like the species
of a baboon or Guerilla than a man
actually come into a court house and
swear they could not arrest one eight stone
larrikin and them armed with battens
and neddies without some civilians assist
ance and some of them going to the hospital
from the effects of hits from the fists of the
larrikin and the Magistrate could send
the poor little larrikin into a dungeon for
being a better man than such a parcel of armed
curs, What would England do if America declared
war and hoisted a green flag as it is all Irishmen
that has got commandarmy fortsof^her batterys even her very
life guards and beeftasters are Irish would they not
slew round and fight her with their own arms
for the sake of the color they dare not wear
for years and to reinstate it and rise old Erins
isle once more from the pressure and tyrannism
of the English yoke and which has kept in
poverty and starvation and caused them to wear the
enemys coat What else can England expect is there
not big fat necked unicorns enough paid to torment
and drive me to do things which I don't wish to
do without the public assisting them

Page 33

I have never interfered with any person unless
they deserved it and yet there are civillians
who take firearms against me for what
reason I do not know unless they want me
to turn on them and exterminate them with
out medicine I shall be compelled to make
an example of some of them if they cannot
find no other employment If I had robbed
and plundered ravished and murdered everything
I met young and old rich and poor the pub
lic could not do anymore than take firearms
and assisting the Police as they have done
, but by the light that shines pegged on
an ant bed with their bellies opened their
fat taken out rendered and poured down
their throat boiling hot, will be fool to what
pleasure I will give some of them and any
person aiding or harbouring or assisting the
police in any way whatever or employing
any person whom they know to be a
detective or cad or those who would be so
depraved as to take blood money will be outlawed
and declared unfit to be allowed human burial
their property either consumed or confiscated
and them and theirs and all belonging to
them exterminated of the face of the earth
the enemy I cannot catch myself I shall give
a payable reward for I would like to know
who put that article that reminds me of
a poodle dog half clipped in the lion fashion
called Brooker Smith Superintendent of Police
he knows as much about commanding Police

Page 34

as Captain Standing does about mustering
mosquitoes and boiling them down for
their fat on the back Blocks of the Lachlan
for he has a head like a turnip a stiffneck
as big as his shoulders narrow hipped
and pointed towards the feet like a vine
stake and if there is any one to be called
a murderer regarding Kennedy Scanlan and
Lonigan it is that misplaced poodle he gets
as much pay as a doz good troopers if there
is any good in them and what does he
do for it he cannot look behind him without
turning his whole frame it take three or
four police to keep sentry while he sleep
in Wangaratta for fear of body snatchers
do they think he is a superior animal
to the men that has to guard them him
if so why not send the men that gets
big pay and reckoned superior to the common
police after me and you shall soon save
the country of high salaries to men
that is fit for nothing else but getting
better men than himself shot and sending
orphan children to the industrial school
to make Prostitutes for the Detectives and other evil
disposed persons send the high paid men that receive
big salaries for years in a gang by themselves after
me as it will make no difference to them but it will
give the public a chance of shewing whether they are
worth more pay than a common trooper or not
and I think the public will soon find out they
are only in the road of good men that is if there

Page 35

is any good men among them and obtaining money

under false pretences

Page 36

PLEASE NOTE: Page 36 of the original document is a blank page.

Page 37

I do not call McIntyre a
coward as he is as good a
man as wears the jacket he
had the presence of mind
to know his position directly
he was spoken to it is only
foolishness to disobey an
outlaw it was cowardice
and foolhardiness made Lonigan
fight it was is foolhardiness
to disobey an outlaw as
it means a speedy despatch
to Kingdom come I would
advise all those who joined
the Stock Protection to with
draw their money and give
it to the poor of Greta where,
I have spent and will again
spend many happy days
fearless free and bold

Page 38

as it only aids the police
to procure false witnesses
to lag innocent men I would
advise them to subscribe a sum
and give it to the poor of their
district as no man could
steal their horse or cattle without
the knowledge of the poor and
they would rise as one man
and find it if it was on the
face of the earth, the police
cant protect you

Page 39

all those that have reason
to fear me had better sell out
and give £10 out of every hundred
to the widow and orphan fund
and do not attempt to reside
in Victoria but as short a time
as possible after reading this
notice neglect this and abide
by the consequence which shall
be worse than rust in wheat in
Victoria or the drought of a dry
season to the grasshoppers in
N.S.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

Page 40

PLEASE NOTE: Page 40 on the original document is a blank document.

Jerilderie letter essay

A widow's son

Murderer and self-confessed stock thief, Ned Kelly is arguably Australia's best-known historical character. Born at Beveridge in about December 1854, he first came to public notice when, in 1865, he saved seven-year-old Richard Shelton from drowning in Hughes Creek at Avenel. By 1866, his widowed mother had moved her family to north-eastern Victoria. Ned had become the family breadwinner. He took on general bush labouring work, timber-cutting and even served a brief apprenticeship with bushranger Harry Power. Kelly's trouble with the law quickly escalated through indecent behaviour, assault and stock theft to police killer.

Three policemen were shot dead at Stringybark Creek in October 1878. The Victorian Government responded by outlawing Ned and Dan Kelly, Steve Hart and Joe Byrne. This meant they could be shot on sight by anybody at any time. For two years the gang roamed freely through north-eastern Victoria and the Riverina, robbing the banks at Euroa and Jerilderie in December 1878 and February 1879, respectively. Finally, at Glenrowan in June 1880, they donned suits of armour to make a dramatic but doomed stand against the Victorian police. Dan Kelly, Hart and Byrne were killed and Ned Kelly was taken prisoner. Tried and found guilty for the murder of Constable Lonigan at Stringybark Creek, Ned Kelly was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 11 November 1880.

Ned Kelly is the only bushranger known to have left a detailed written justification of his actions, and his 'manifesto' is regarded by many as an early call for a republican Australia. The 56-page document he tried to have published at Jerilderie in February 1879 appears to be the final working of one that was first circulated at Euroa in December 1878. It reflects the voice of a man who feels he has been deeply wronged. He admits to crimes but claims he was forced into them by a corrupt police force. He demands that squatters share their property with the poor. The document ends with a violent threat against all who oppose him: 'I am a Widow's Son, outlawed and my orders must be obeyed'. Copies of the document were made by the police and by publican John Hanlon. John Hanlon's transcription of the Jerilderie letter was purchased by the National Museum of Australia at a Christies auction.

Death masks were common in Australia from the early 1800s. They were mostly of criminals, including convict absconders and bushrangers, and were used for both exhibition purposes and for phrenological analysis. Immediately after Kelly's body was taken down from the gallows, his hair and beard were shaved off and a mould was taken of his head by Maximilien Kreitmayer. This was used to produce a death mask that went on display in Kreitmayer's Bourke Street waxworks the day after the execution. Phrenologist AS Hamilton used the mask for a detailed phrenological analysis of Kelly that was published in the Melbourne Herald on 18 November 1880. In part, he concluded:

... there are few heads amongst the worst that would risk so much for the love of power as is evinced in the head of Kelly from his enormous self-esteem.

This death mask was purchased from a private collector. Both the mask and the Jerilderie letter form part of a significant collection of 'Kellyana' that is being developed in the National Historical Collection.

Denis Shephard

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