Kate Kelly

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The Story of the Kelly Gang 1906.jpg

Catherine Ada (Kate) Kelly was Ned Kelly's one of younger sisters.

Links to the KellyGang below , Early Years , Teenage years , First run in with the law , Fitzpatrick Incident , Mrs Kely , Stringybark Creek Murders , Escape North , Euroa Robbery , Mass arrest of sympathizers , Jerilderie Robbery , Later in 1879, Early in 1880 , Death of Aaron Sherritt , Glenrowan Siege , After Glenrowan , Ned Kelly's Trial , My life after they took Ned's , Family ,


father Red Kelly mother Ellen Quinn brothers and sisters Mary Jane, Anne 11/53, Edward (Ned) 12/54, Margaret (Maggie) 57, James 59, Daniel (Dan) 61, Catherine (Kate) 63, Grace 8/65, half sisters and brothers Ellen 74, John 75 and Alice 78, husband William Henry "Harry or Bricky" Foster (m25 Nov 1888), children Frederick 89, Gertrude 90, Arthur 91, Ethel 95, Ruby 97, Catherine 98

Links to the KellyGang

Photograph Early years I was born on !!MISSING at Beveridge

My father died when I was only 3. See also [[[The Complete Inner History of the KellyGang and their Pursuers (6)|JJK]])

Fitzpatrick incident 15/4/1878 Fitzpatrick had made eyes at me. I was 14. I was at home when Fitzpatrick arrived. Fitzpatrick made a grab for me when he was sitting on a stool waiting for Dan to finish his meal. Some people say that my brother Ned forbade my sister Grace and from saying what happened.

My brother Jim described what happened to me (BWC) Hear my story (BWC) See also (JJK)

Ned Kelly denied that anything happened (Age9/8/1880) Mrs Kelly in custody My mother was arrested within 2 days of Fitzpatrick's visit to our home along with my brother in law Bill Skillion and our neighbour Brickely Williamson. . They were charged with attempted murder and we girls were left at home to fend for ourselves without any male support. Ned made sure that we girls were kept away from anything to do with our mother's defence and we did not appear in the court case.My elder sister, Maggie effectively became the head of the family that included my sister Grace and half brother and sisters Ellen, John and Alice.

Just listen to what one of those dasty policemen had to say to the Royal Commission about Maggie and I as we were walking home from Benalla in the rain after one of the hearings in the case against our mother. It was the night of 25/4/78 . There is no pity in their words. 'When about two miles from Winton, on the Greta road, and about four miles from Mrs. Skillian's residence, we found a dray, and two bags of flour and other articles, without a horse, in the middle of the road. We searched round and found Mrs. Skillian and Kate Kelly sitting on a log. They were wet through, having very light clothes on. We went up and spoke to them. They said they were benighted, and could not find their way home-it was too dark. I had a flask with some whisky in it. I gave some to Kate Kelly. She drank it.'- Det Ward with Const Strahan (RC3039)

Deaths at Stringy Bark Creek After the murders the KellyGang came and lived closer to home and were looked after by my sister Maggie and many of our friends. Instead of making a proper effort to catch the boys the police harassed we girls. This is part of what the KellyGang said about the police's treatment of us during this time in the Cameron Letter:

'they used to repeatedly rush into the house revolver in hand upset milk dishes, empty the flour out on the ground, break tins of eggs, and throw the meat out of the cask on to the floor, and dirty and destroy all the provisions, which can be proved and shove the girls in front of them into the rooms like dogs and abuse and insult them'

Euroa robbery There were reports that I may have spied out the route from Greta to Euroa for the boys (RC2938)

Was I helping the boys with the Euroa robbery at Faithfulls Creek Station ? (CHC) (BWC)

Aaron Sherritt told the police that he dropped over to Greta to see me. This may have happened earlier. (RC3803)

I cut down on my trips into Benalla (Argus30/1/79)

I was seen buying things for the children in Benalla with Bank of New South Wales bank notes that smely as if they had been buried in the ground. They may have come from Jerilderie. (RC823)

. Later After the Jerilderie robbery I had a tin of sovereigns. I lost it. Was it stolen by the police? (BWC)

The police were concerned that our dogs warned us when they were snooping around the place looking for the boys. The pigs even baited our dogs but we solved the problem by muzzelling our dear friends. (FH)

I bought things for the boys including cartridges in Melbourne. The right size could not be bought anywhere else. The police tried to stop me on the train at Winton but I gave them the slip. How?(BWC)

I did not come to Melbourne to book a passage to Sydney or the USA (Argus16/6/79) (Argus2/7/79)

I went to Beechworth for the case brought by Mrs Byrne against Aaron Sherritt for stealing Charlie. (OMA26/7/79)

I was abused by the press. (OMA6/6/1880)

Siege at Glenrowan 28/6/1880 I was present at the siege and with Maggie

Meeting with Ned Kelly after he was captured

We were allowed to have a chat to our brother Ned after he had been captured. (Argus/6/80)

The police let me see my brother Ned, but the meeting was more like a press conference than an opportunity to say good bye to a dying man.

SConst Kelly met my sister Maggie and myself and asked us to get Dan to surrender. (RC10405)

A short time before the Inn was set on fire I met Rev Gibney. (RC12302)

See also (Age29/6/80)

Setting fire to my brother Dan and Steve Hart

I was there and witnessed this terrible deed. I have heard them call it 'Justice'. Never, never, never

After Glenrowan I was the centre of lots of rumours. They still wanted to get us in any way they could (Herald30/6/80)

After my brother Dan and his friends Steve Hart and Joe Byrne had been murdered by the police at the Battle for Glenrowan and we had laid the boys to rest, I started working to try and save Ned. Some people still have a memory of me running bare footed along St Kilda Road to Government House on the day they executed Dear Ned with a final petition for the Governor. Hear about the funeral (Herald30/6/80)

I stayed at home to look after the children so Maggie and Tom could attend the start of poor Ned'd committal hearing in Beechworth (Argus9/8/80)

I eventually got to the Beechworth Court house and was able to give Ned a kiss. (Argus12/8/80) (kilmore12/8/1880)

Let history record that I continued to organise for people to sign petitions to the Government about the slaughter of my family. They turned me into a thing for entertainment and I went on the road with a Kelly show. You know, a bit like a modern pop band, but it was not a great success. Could you imagine the people with power looking at me as anything but a freak. They were not interested in injustice that had been suffered by the Kelly family and the KellyGang. (FH)

I accompanied David Gaunson and other to present a petition to the Governor to stop then hanging Ned. (Argus8/11/80)

I attended a public meeing on the steps of the Treasury building after we delivered the petition (Argus9/11/80)

I visited my brother Ned Kelly the day before they killed him (Age11/11/80)

My brother James and I were at the Apollo Hall (Argus12/11/80)

The police intervened (Argus13/11/80)

We moved the show to Sydney. They acted the same way. (SMH26/11/80)

. Life after they took Ned's life After all of this part of me just wanted to hide, but I was a member of the KellyGang. It was a hard hard life. Most people saw us as living outlaws to be hunted down. We could only fight back with our pride. Everything else had been stolen from us. My brother Jim tells my story. (BWC) See also (Argus29/6/1880)

I was at home when the Royal commission visited my Mother. (Argus16/5/81)

In 1885 I went to work at Waroo Station near Forbes in New South Wales. After that I did domestic type work on Cadow Station.

I also worked for an undertaker.

I had few friends but some people were kind enough to share a cup of tea with me and not treat me as a side show freak.

I used to share the occasional cup of tea with my friend Rebecca Hart

See also (Argus24/11/1905)

What happened to Kate Kelly's family

While working in a shop in Forbes I met William 'Bricky' Foster. He was the son of the local Church of England rector. We married in 1888 and had six children.

Frederick Arthur (b15.3.1889) (BWC)

Gertrude Eileen Ada (b8.7.1890), married Cavanagh

Arthur Douglas (b1891) (died as an infant)

Ethel Maude (b28.2.1895), married Hibbert

Ruby Ellen (b11.4.1897)(died as an infant)

Catherine (b7.9.1898)(died as an infant)

During the birth of my sixth child, Catherine, I had a difficult time. I was last seen on 5.10.1898.

My body was found 9 days later floating face down in the Lachlan River. My loverly daughter Catherine died a few days later on 15.12.1898

After a hard ride from Greta my brother Jim came up to Forbes and took my surviving children, Frederick, Gertrude and Ethel home to Greta. (BWC) (BWC)

My husband worked at the livery stables in Forbes and after that he worked on Burrawong

My son Frederick was in the army in World War 1