Ned Kelly, Australia’s infamous bushranger, was an outlaw who became a folk hero. Kelly’s early life was marked by poverty and a rebellious spirit. In his early 20s, he and his gang held up a bank and made exploits wearing now-infamous armour during a shootout with police. The manhunt for Kelly lasted for months and ended in a dramatic showdown at Glenrowan, where he and his gang were killed or captured. Despite his violent crimes, Kelly became a symbol of rebellion against authority and a victim of a biased justice system. His story has been subject to numerous books, songs, and films.
Australia’s Most Notorious Bushranger: The Legend of Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly, Australia’s legendary bushranger, is a famous and controversial character in Australian history, and his story has captured the hearts and minds of many. Ned Kelly was an outlaw who became a folk hero, even though his life ended tragically with his execution in 1880.
Edward Kelly (Ned Kelly) was born in 1854 in Beveridge, Victoria. He was the third of eight children, and his parents were Irish immigrants. His father, John Kelly, was an ex-convict, and his mother, Ellen, came from a family of Irish rebels. The Kelly family moved around frequently, and they lived in several towns in the Victoria countryside. Kelly’s early life was marked by poverty, hardship, and a rebellious spirit.
The Making of a Bushranger
In his early 20s, Kelly was involved in several petty crimes and showed a strong dislike for the authorities, who he believed were biased against the Irish. His bushranging career began in 1878 when he and his gang held up a bank in Euroa and made off with more than £2,000. In 1879, the gang donned their now infamous armour and engaged in a shootout with police at Stringybark Creek, which resulted in the deaths of three policemen.
This incident led to a full-fledged manhunt for Kelly and his gang, which lasted for months and ended in a dramatic showdown at Glenrowan in June 1880. Kelly and his gang had taken over the town’s hotel and held several hostages before the police arrived. During the siege, Kelly was shot in the legs, and his gang was killed or captured. Kelly, wearing his armour, was the last man standing and was captured and brought to trial.
The Trial and Execution
In October 1880, Kelly was tried and found guilty of killing a policeman during the shootout at Stringybark Creek. He was sentenced to death by hanging, which was carried out on November 11, 1880, in the Melbourne Gaol.
Legacy and Impact
Despite his violent crimes, Kelly became a folk hero and a symbol of rebellion against authority. His story has been the subject of numerous books, songs, and films, and his image has been used as a symbol of Australian identity. Many Australians view Kelly as a heroic figure who stood up against oppression and was the victim of a biased justice system.
Q. Was Ned Kelly a hero or a villain?
A. Opinions on this matter are divided. Some Australians view him as a hero who defied authority and stood up against oppression, while others see him as a dangerous criminal who engaged in violent crimes.
Q. What was Ned Kelly’s armour made of?
A. Kelly’s armour was made of iron, and it covered his chest, back, and head. It was designed to protect him from bullets and to intimidate his adversaries.
Q. Was Ned Kelly the only bushranger in Australia?
A. No, there were many bushrangers in Australia’s history. Bushrangers were outlaws who lived in the bush and engaged in criminal activities, such as robbery and cattle rustling. Ned Kelly is the most famous and notorious of the bushrangers.
Q. What is Kelly Country?
A. Kelly Country is a term used to describe the area of Victoria where Ned Kelly and his gang operated. The area is now a popular tourist destination, and it includes several landmarks associated with Kelly’s life and career, such as his birthplace and the site of the Stringybark Creek shootout.