Ovens and Murray Advertiser at KellyGang 14/8/1880

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The residents of Beechworth on Thursday experienced a surprise when it became publicly known that the bushranger Edward Kelly, who the previous day had been committed at the police court to take his trial on the charges of murdering Constables Lonigan and Scanlon at Stringybark Creek, in October, 1878, at the Court of Assize to be held at Beechworth on the 14th October, had been removed from the Beechworth Gaol to Melbourne.

On Wednesday night we were apprised of the fact that Kelly would be removed the following morning, but the authorities very properly refused to supply any information in the matter, wishing it to be kept secret - to prevent a possible attempt at rescue on the part of the many sympathisers with the prisoner; and with the same object in view, we refrained from giving publicity to the affair. At eight o’clock a waggonette drew up at the gaol - several mounted police having ridden in advance along the Melbourne-road - and Kelly having been handed over by the governor to the party of police fully armed, under Inspector Baber and Senior-constable Mullane, in attendance, a rapid start was made for Wangaratta, with the object of taking a special train thence to Melbourne.

A number of persons were in waiting on the Wangaratta rail-way station platform, having received intimation of the arrival some time during the day of the notorious prisoner, and to these Kelly nodded carelessly. At a quarter to two o’clock a special train left Wangaratta arriving at Newmarket about half-past four o’clock, when the prisoner was removed in a cab to the Melbourne Gaol. On his way down, Kelly was very quiet in his demeanor, and said very little. He remarked to Constable Bracken that if it was his fate to be hanged, he would be hanged. Constable McIntyre proceeded to Melbourne by the same train, and owing to severe illness from which he is suffering, has since had to be confined to the hospital connected with the Richmond police depot. It would be nothing more than humane and right, in our opinion, that McIntyre should be allowed a lengthy holiday, to recruit his health and strength, on full pay - in recognition of the brave conduct displayed by him in moments of extreme danger and terror. It is now considered to be a certainty that Kelly will be placed on his trial at Melbourne, and not at the Beechworth assizes, to which he was committed.


Dear Mr Editor,—There is nothing but sensational paragraphs in metropolitan journals about the charges of murder against Ned Kelly. During the last week four or five reporters from the “seat of Government” have been vieing with each other as to which of their journals shall obtain the greatest sensational “from our own reporter,” and it is rather amusing (although, unfortunately, a man’s life is hanging upon it) to see how one correspondent sends down a report to his paper of something fresh that he has just heard, and the next day one of his contemporaries contradicts it by saying, “There is no truth in the report in the ‘News’ yesterday that such and such things have been discovered.” It is rather a pity the investigation did not continue for a few days longer; for reporters must obtain news somehow or other, and they might have discovered that the unfortunate Ned’s grand-uncle murdered Lord George Bentinck; or, on the father’s side, he was descended from Greenacre, or that his mother was closely related to Maria Manning; and it might be probable that, by tracing the genealogical table further, they might discover that Edward was descended direct from the King of the Cannibal Islands. There are people in the world—aye, plenty of them—who would believe such things if they only saw them in a newspaper; but I am glad to see, Mr Editor, you have not had any of our reporters contradicted in connection with this unfortunate business.

What is it that friend David Gaunson aspires to? It is not very long since his name was first heard in the land; in fact, it only seems like yesterday. He reminds me of the Anglo-Indian Insurance Company that was ushered into the world in one day, by Mr Montague Tigg, but was not in exist2nce long. We find Mr David in Parliament, early distinguishing himself , and then he was reported to be doing a large business at the Lands Office—but that did not last long; and then he turned his attention to ousting Ministers. But what a pity it is he was born so long after his time—what a splendid king-maker he would have made, like the old barons we read about. The keeping of Warwick Castle would have been safe in his hands—at any rate, for a time, until his retainers got tired of him, which they would be bound, in due course, to do. But the talents of our versatile friend are now turning in another direction, and it will be a difficult matter to determine shortly how many talents he really has - for I suppose music is a talent; as during the past week, whilst he was in Beechworth, his voice has been heard several times, in more than one acceptation of the term. I like energy in a man, and there is something energetic about David; but it is very doubtful whether he will ever occupy the positions that Sir James McCulloch, J G Francis, J Service or G Berry have done. He want ballast, Sir, and until he gets that, he must never expect to put “hon.” before his name.


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