The Complete Inner History of the KellyGang and their Pursuers (71)

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Mr Joseph Ryan, of Lake Rowan, a first cousin of Ned Kelly, remarked to his younger brother some years afterwards that he could never make out what had become of Ned’s green silk sash with the heavy gold fringe.  Although nearly fifty years have passed away since the looting of the sash, it may yet be discovered in an English museum.

Whoever is responsible for the annexing of this sash is undoubtedly guilty of theft.  As the Kellys ceased to be “outlaws” on the 9th February, 1880, when the Outlawry Act lapsed, and as it was neither revived not its duration extended, no person was justified in stealing or looting any of their personal possessions.  It is very evident that among those who functioned in the interests of Law and Order was a percentage of dishonest and untruthful officials.

Still more important than the green sash referred to, is the confiscation by the police officials of the four suits of armour used by the members of the Kelly Gang.  The armour of Dan Kelly, Steve Hart, and Joe Byrne is still in official custody, and is in Melbourne.  Ned’s armour, with a bogus helmet, is said to have been simply given away to titled millionaire.  The original helmet is still in Melbourne.  As Ned had ceased to be an “outlaw,” before he was arrested, and afterwards tried, convicted and hanged by process of law, there was no legal justification for confiscating his effects, and these should now, as an act of very tardy justice, be obtained by the present Government and handed over to Jim Kelly, as Ned’s sole surviving next of kin.

It is to be hoped that, though belated, retribution will yet be made to the next of kin — Mr Jim Kelly, of Greta, the only surviving brother of Ned Kelly.  It may incidentally be mentioned that Mr Jim Kelly is a well known and very highly respected resident and farmer of Greta, and the author has the greatest possible pleasure in having produced this book, vindicating the memory of his famous brothers and all the members of his family.

Thomas Carrington - Artist

Mr Thomas Carrington, before the Royal Commission, was sworn and examined: —

By the Commission. — What are you? — Artist. (RC10021)

Question — You are connected with the press? — Yes.

Question — Were you present at Glenrowan when the Kelly Gang was caught — Yes.

Question — Is it a fact that the impression you formed from the early portion, say from 3 o’clock till just before the firing of the hotel, was that there was no superior officer taking command and giving any instructions to the men? — That is what it seemed to me.

Question — Did you see Mr O’Connor at that time? — No.

Question — If you did not see Mr O’Connor or Mr Sadleir giving instructions between the hours you speak of, did you see any constables or men giving orders or doing anything as if they were under orders?

Answer — No; I saw Mr Sadleir during the day, but he was always, when I saw him, in the room with Ned Kelly, cutting up tobacco and smoking, standing by the fire and talking to others.  I was in the room three times.

Question — Do you know what time the cannon was sent for?

Answer — I do not, I heard a rumour of a cannon being sent for, but I thought it was a joke; that someone was amusing himself.  The idea of a cannon to blow two lads out of a house seemed to me something very remarkable — a house surrounded by something like fifty men armed with Martini-Henry rifles.

Question — You say lads — how do you know they were but two?

Answer — We were told that Byrne had been shot while drinking whisky, and Ned Kelly was a prisoner.

Question — Who told you Byrne was shot?

Answer — Nearly everybody that came out of the hotel.

Question — Did you hear Ned Kelly say so?

Answer — No.

Question — Was it generally believed by those present that Byrne had been shot?

Answer — Yes.

Question — It was an established fact?

Answer — Yes, it was circumstantially told that he was shot, drinking a glass of whisky, and that the other two were standing in the passage — that was what twenty or thirty men said coming out, that the other two were cowed — were standing in the passage frightened, and then when I heard about the cannon to destroy those two lads I looked upon it as a joke.

Question — Is the Commission to understand that really your impression is that had any officer been present after Mr Hare had to retire, in consequence of the shot, those outlaws could have been captured much earlier in the day, and without the burning of the hotel?

Answer—My idea is this, that if anybody had been there to take up the command, after those four outlaws had come out and emptied their weapons, and called on his men to rush in, they could have taken them easily.  They were all outside the hotel when Kelly was wounded.

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This document gives you the text of this book about the KellyGang. The text has been retyped from a copy of the original. We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged. We also apologise for any typographical errors. JJ Kenneally was one of the first authors to tell this story from the KellyGang's point of view

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