|Side of Authority
This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.
Importance of Sgt Kennedy
I was shot by the KellyGang at Stringy Bark Creek
Links to the KellyGang
On the 16th of August 1878, I sent the following report to Sadeir:- "I beg to report, for the Superintendent's information, that I am of opinion that the offender Kelly could be routed from his hiding place if the arrangements proposed by the Superintendent were properly carried out. The distance from Mansfield to the King River is so great, and the country impenetrable that a party of men from here would, in my opinion, require to establish a kind of depot at some distance beyond the Wombat-say Stringybark Creek, seven miles beyond Monk's. By forming a camp there, it would enable the party to keep up a continuous search between there and the flat country towards the King River, Fifteen-mile Creek, Holland's Creek. ....." see rest of text(RC1741) (RC1727)(JJK)
. The place I mentioned as the place likely for the KellyGang to be hiding was a good deal east of where they were actually found to be. Sup Sadleir was not satisfied with starting three, especially as none of us knew the KellyGang to a certainty, and that is why Sup Sadleir chose Constable Lonigan. The expedition was delayed through various causes. Mrs Kelly's trial was coming on, I was a witness in some case in Beechworth, and Sup Sadleir was looking for more particular information before sending my part out. He delayed it till October (RC1741) see also (CHC)
I had some intelligence that directed me towards the Stringybark Creek area. However I am concerned the people might think that I went of with my friend Const Scanlon so that we could share the £200 reward. (But see RC1729) Graves was asked, 'Did you ever hear it said that these men, Kennedy and Scanlan, had information as to where the Kellys were?' He answered, ;They must have. They would not have gone to that place without some pretty well grounded information.' (RC15523) See also (FH) (BWC) (BWC)
We were equipped with Spencer rifles, breachloading fowling pieces and revolvers and extra ammunition. Before we left Mansfield, On 24/10/1878 I met Const Kelly in Mansfield and asked him for an extra rifle that was being carried by Const Horwood. I told him we were going after the KellyGang.
Sup Sadleir gave me the following orders
On 10/8/1878 Sup Sadleir sent me the following orders. See text (RC1738)
"It seems to be certain that 'Ned Kelly' is in the neighborhood of Greta, or from thence to Connolly's and the bogs near the Wombat. I am very anxious to make some special efforts to have the matter set at rest, and his apprehension effected, if possible. I have consulted with the senior-constable in charge at Greta, and it appears that there is not much likelihood of him and the constable with him there doing much towards arresting Kelly, or even disturbing him from the neighborhood. It has been proposed to collect, for the purposes of a thorough search, what constables are in the district who know Kelly personally, sending say two of them to Mansfield to act with Sergeant Kennedy from that end, and the others to act with the Greta police, and to search simultaneously up and down the King River and neighboring places. I shall be glad to receive any suggestions that Sergeant Kennedy may have to offer on the subject, and whether he is of opinion that anything might be gained by his coming here for a day or so to consult with the sub-officer taking charge of the party starting from the Greta end-that is, supposing this expedition should be determined on." (RC14392)(JJK)
"It has been decided to carry out the plan proposed by me on 10th August last, but which has unavoidedly been delayed. I wish the party to start work early on Tuesday next from each end, i.e., from Mansfield and Greta. As I have already informed Sergeant Kennedy by telegraph, he will be required here to consult with the other sub-officers engaged in this matter; let him come by to-morrow's coach, bringing a plain saddle with him, as I wish him to take back a horse specially fitted for this expedition. Constable Scanlan and Constable McIntyre will also form two of the party from the Mansfield end." The rest is immaterial, and then there is a postscript, "This matter must be dealt with by every one concerned as strictly confidential."
That horse that Sergeant Kennedy was to ride was a very remarkable white horse, and I did not think he was suitable for work of this sort, and I gave him another quiet handy horse-that was the horse that McIntyre afterwards escaped on.
Then I gave him final instructions on the 21/10/1878:-
"A party which will consist of Sergeant Kennedy, Constables McIntyre, Scanlan, and Lonigan, will start from Mansfield on Friday next"-(there was some alteration, and I cannot remember the cause, unless it was because of being wanted as witnesses in cases at Beechworth. I think he was a witness in some case of horse-stealing there) -"commencing the search for offenders Kelly from the Wombat end. Constable Lonigan is ordered to report at Mansfield on Wednesday next, but should he not arrive in time the party must start without him. Both Constables Scanlan and Lonigan can recognize Kelly should they be so successful as to come upon him. The other party start from this end on Friday morning; the men forming it are Sergeant Steele"- (that is a clerical error, it should have been Senior-constable Shoebridge)- "Senior-constable Strahan, Constables Thom, and Ryan."(RC1742)
Mr Graves said the following about us, "Scanlan and Kennedy knew every inch of the country, and I believe Lonigan knew the persons of the outlaws, the men then known to be out. Sergeant Kennedy did not know them personally, but knew all their mates and acquaintances, because they were continually coming to Wild Wright's, and up the Mansfield country." (RC15493) (RC15554)
The KellyGang were digging there, but the police did not know exactly the position the hut was in, and the country was new to those men, except Scanlan; and I think they would keep as close as they could to the part where the diggings were; and from my knowledge of Kennedy and Scanlan, I think they did not know exactly the place where the hut was, and that they left the other two men in camp while they went to reconnoitre and find the exact place and then surprise them. (RC15525) (RC15529)
The Royal Commission concluded, "In a communication dated 17th October 1878, Inspector Secretan suggested to Superintendent Sadleir that an organized search should be made about Greta, the Fifteen-mile Creek, and from thence to Mansfield, as it was reported that one, if not the two Kellys had been seen there. This was all the information that Sergeant Kennedy and his party possessed when, on the afternoon of the 25th October, they started from Mansfield charged with the duty of arresting the Kellys" (RC2nd reportIV)
The place where I proposed for our camp was where we were murdered-Stringybark Creek. The place he mentioned as the place likely for the KellyGang to be hiding was a good deal east of where they were actually found to be. (RC1741).
I told Consts McIntyre to do the cooking and Lonigan to mind the horses back at our camp on Stringybark Creek during our absence.(RC14341) We took some lunch for myself and Scanlan; sufficient for that day. Const Scanlon and I went off riding down Ryan's Creek in very thick bush within a hundred yards or so of the KellyGang's camp on Kellys Creek.Some think that I was out after the KellyGang. I told Const McIntyre what I was doing, we went off to get aquainted with the country. But he thought it was very strange that we went to the neighborhood where we were found instead of continuing on the direct road to Hedi.
When did I die (Argus3/6/80)
A lot of information about my death was given at Ned Kelly'trial.
See also the Jerilderie Letter
Finding my body
I was found by a party that included James Tomkins and Henry Sparrow up on German's Creek. I was lying in a clearing with my head about 6 feet from a large gum tree. I had a bullet wound through my chest and there was bullet damage on the gum tree. I was lying on my back and had a police cloak over me. (CHC)(Argus1/11/78)
The search party put 2 new corn sacks over my body. See another version (Age1/11/78)
Return to Mansfield
After our murders the whole circumstances and the details relating to me appeared in an up-country journal published by Mr. Hall, a member of the Royal commission. It was supplied to the press by private information, not by the police. (RC15555)
See also (Alexandra2/11/1878)
Memorial There was a call for a memorial soon after my death (Argus13/11/78)
There was a dark stain on the case and a sovereign pendent to the chain. See also (RC14634)
One of my pack horses was found in the Warby Ranges (Argus12/11/78)
Details of my estate. (Argus26/4/89)
First reports as to what happened (Argus12/12/78)
wife ... children 5.... home Mansfield
' I left a wife and 5 children in Mansfield
My wife had still not been paid (Argus14/12/78)
What happened to Sgt Kennedy's family KellyGang