Ned Kelly

Ned Kelly’s story has many amazing elements. It can been seen as one of a poor boy of great skill, devoted to his family, wronged by the police and the legal system and – following a tragic series of events – executed at the age of 25. Some feel it is a strongly Australian story with Kelly as the archetypal Australian challenging authority. There are also broader questions raised by his life. Was he a freedom fighter? Was he attempting to spark an uprising? When do people have the right to resist the law?

According to some he was a murderer and a cattle thief elevated to hero status by a public looking for a hero. He was a police killer. He used the innocent for his own ends, taking hostages in shoot-outs. Four townspeople were killed in the Glenrowan shootout when he was captured. The story of Ned Kelly has become a source of myth, and sometimes the narrative leaves out important facts. The stories and films that focus on his life build on the myth. June 1855 – Australian bushranger Ned Kelly was born at Beveridge, Victoria, to Irish parents John “Red” and Ellen Kelly (nee Quinn).

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December 1866 – Kelly left school after his father died to assist grandfather James Quinn with the family cattle runs in northern Victoria. The Kellys and Quinns were often in trouble with police over cattle and horse theft, but were never found guilty. 1869 – Kelly, 14, was arrested and served seven weeks in jail for the alleged assault of a Chinese pig farmer. It was also alleged Kelly was an assistant to thief-turned-bushranger Harry Power, although police found no evidence to prove a connection to Power’s crimes. 870 – Kelly was jailed for three years after assaulting a hawker and being in possession of a stolen horse. He claimed to have borrowed the horse from Isaiah “Wild” Wright and did not know it was stolen. 1878 – Angered by laws he believed victimised the poor, Kelly allegedly shot Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick in the wrist after becoming too friendly with his sister Kate. Kelly’s mother Ellen was sent to prison for three years after Fitzpatrick gave an inaccurate report.

Fearing the police wouldn’t believe their account of the events, Kelly went into hiding at Stringybark Creek with his brother Dan. A shoot-out began between the brothers and police and as a result three policemen were killed. After the shootings the Victorian Government declared the outlaw of the gang and offered 500 pounds for each of the gang members, alive or dead. A month after the shootings the Kelly gang committed major robberies of National Bank branches at Euroa and Jerilderie. They held police and civilians hostage while stealing all money from the bank’s vault.

At the Jerilderie robbery Kelly wrote the famous letter telling his side of the story including the ill treatment of his family and the Irish Catholics by police. 1879 – The Kelly gang created their famous armour made from metal plates. June 26, 1880 – The gang’s outlaw status expired and Aaron Sherritt, a friend-turned-police informer, was shot dead by the group. The gang, who had since held 70 people hostage at the Glenrowan Inn, became aware a train transporting police to their location was on its way. Kelly ordered the tracks to be ripped up to cause a derailment.

The attempt failed after a hostage escaped and alerted the authorities. June 28, 1880 – A shoot-out erupted between police and the gang that continued for almost half a day. It left Kelly seriously wounded, and killed all other members of his gang. November 11, 1880 – Ned Kelly was hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol. Newspapers reported his last words to be, “Such is life. ” http://www. heraldsun. com. au/news/ned-kellys-life-and-crimes/story-e6frf7jo-1226127193194 http://www. nedkellysworld. com. au/history/history. htm http://education. theage. com. au/cmspage. php? intid=135&intversion=61 http://www. lenrowan1880. com/gang. htm http://wiki. answers. com/Q/What_cause_did_ned_kelly_fight_for Kelly was twelve when his father died, and he was subsequently required to leave school to take on the new position as head of the family. Shortly after this, the Kellys moved to Glenrowan. As a teenager, Ned became involved in petty crimes, regularly targeting the wealthy landowners. The story goes that Ned Kelly was influenced to become a bushranger. His family was not particularly liked by the law, and so when he was persecuted by a few of the policemen, he reacted and decided to become an outlaw.

He figured that if he was going to be charged for something, he would give them a real reason. Kelly became a protege to another bushranger, Harry Power who was a notorious bushranger of Victoria, originally transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1841 for stealing shoes. Upon his release, he continued his life of crime, which landed him in Pentridge Gaol. He became a bushranger when he escaped from Pentridge in 1869. At first he worked solo, but decided after while that he would like an accomplice. A friend of his named Jack Lloyd had a nephew, Ned Kelly, just 15 years old and already embittered by frequent run-ins with the police.

Lloyd recommended the young Ned Kelly to Harry Power. Power became a mentor to Ned Kelly, taking him on as an apprenctice in 1870, and teaching him the finer points of bushranging. Ned Kelly gradually progressed to crimes of increasing seriousness and violence, including bank robbery and murder, soon becoming a hunted man. http://wiki. answers. com/Q/Why_did_Ned_Kelly_become_a_bushranger Ned Kelly and indeed the Kelly family generally had many brushes with the law before which was why they were against imperialism

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