Wild Wright

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This page contains content from people who supported the KellyGang.
The Story of the Kelly Gang 1906.jpg

Importance of Wild Wright

I was a horse expert, lived near Mansfield (later at Lake Rowan) and KellyGang supporter

Links to the KellyGang , Background , Run in with the law , Fitzpatrick Incident , Gold Mining , 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 the siege , Ned Kelly's Trial , Royal Commission , Family ,


brothers Tom... sis ters ?... wife Bridget Lloyd, parents John Wright. children Jack... aunt ...

Tom Wright was deaf and dumb.

I was 6 foot 1 inches tall and weighed 13 1/2 stone [[[The Complete Inner History of the KellyGang and their Pursuers (35)|JJK]])

Links to the KellyGang

Photograph What was Wild Wright like Did my family come to Victoria from South Australia (Argus5/7/80)

I have been described as being tall and softly spoken. At the age of 28 I was described in a police report as being 6 foot 1 inches tall, of medium build, and 13 stone in weight. I had fair hair with a beard and moustache I was a horse broker from Mansfield. I had come from Northern Ireland. I was a Protestant.

An assessment of my character. (Herald4/7/1880)

First links with the KellyGang We had a farm in the Mansfield area and I was a horsebreaker.

In April 1871 Ned Kelly said that I lent my horse to him and he went to find my horse. I was staying with Annie and Alex Gunn at the time. Ned Kelly found the horse and took it to Wangaratta where he loaned her to a publican's daughter. It was alledged that I had taken the horse from Maindample Station. Ned Kelly was charged with theft of the horse and sentenced to gaol. Later I was charged with with illegal use of a horse and got 18 months in gaol but was released after 6 months on account of my good behaviour. The case was heard at Milawa in the Emu Hotel. Bricky Williamson gave evidence against me. see also (Argus11/11/78) (Argus31/5/71)

In 1873 I married Bridget Lloyd and she was related to the Kellys.

Ned Kelly got out of gaol in February we met at the Imperial Hotel in Beechworth. To settle our difference over the horse we fought the famous 20 round bare knuckle fight. Ned won. He gave me a hiding.

Soon after the fight I was charged with stealing a horse from the Andrew Byrne at Moyhu.

Patrick Quinn me of stealing horses. (RC17691)

See also the Jerilderie Letter.

Fitzpatrick Incident 15/04/1878 Mr Wyatt thinks that I could have assisted the police at about this time, offering to bring the Kellys in if the Government would liberate Kelly's mother. (RC2265) Gold mining and whisky making near Stringy Bark Creek I might have just dropped over and saw the boys occasionaly (OMA11/1/1879)

. Deaths at Stringy Bark Creek in the Wombat Ranges 26/10/1878 After the shooting the police organised big search parties from Mansfield looking for the KellyGang. I was pretty annoyed about the whole business and my brother and I stood outside one of the local churches and let them have it

'Dogs! Curs! Coward!. Follow me if you want to catch the Kellys. I'm going to join the Gang! Come out a little way and I'll shoot the lot of you' (Argus30/10/78)

We really sturred the police and they went after us. For this display of support for our friends the police charged my brother and I with using threatening language and I and my brother were lock-up in Mansfield (Age31/10/78) (Argus31/10/78) (CHC) (Alexandra2/11/1878)

While in the lock up Sup Sadleir promised me £30 if I would go and find the body of Kennedy, or bring him in alive. He put some conditions to this. I wanted to see Maggie. Before anything could be done the police found Sgt Kennedy's body. (RC1736) (CHC)

I was released from custody in Mansfield on 30/10/78. (Argus2/11/78)

SConst Kelly us in Benalla on about 4/11/1878. (RC7986)

Later I was seen on the platform (Argus8/11/78) but see (Argus13/11/78)

I commenced shearing at Mr Chenery’s station at 6 o’clock .

In the pub in Mansfield (Argus23/11/78)

(Argus26/11/78) . I appeared on 5/12/78 at court, in Mansfield answer to a summons charging him with using abusive and threatening language to Constable Allwood on Sunday evening, the 24/11/78. I was convicted; no surprise there. (Argus6/12/78)

Escape north Ass Com Nicolson did not engage me as a police agent. (RC482) Euroa Robbery 10/12/1878 Hear about one of my riding exploits. (BWC)

I was seen in Benalla (Argus16/12/78) Mass arrest of the sympathizers On 2/1/1879 Commissioner Standish ordered the arrest of about 20 sympathizers. I was a particular target. (RC1269)

He took that action under section 5 of the Outlawry Act. Most of the sympathizers were held in Beechworth goal.

I was arrested near Mansfield. I was one of the first people arrested (Argus4/1/79) (Argus6/1/79) (OMA7/1/79)

The men were held without ever being given a chance to defend them selves. They were remanded in custody for periods of 7 days. Only one of the sympathizers was effectively represented by a lawyer. The magistrates repeated the remands each week for over 3 months before the sympathizers were finally released. I had a chat with the Magistrate. See (Argus27/1/79) (OMA11/2/79) (OMA18/2/79) (OMA20/2/79) (OMA27/2/79) (Argus17/2/79)

While we were in Beechworth Goal I became annoyed with the authorities but unfortunately I took it out on my fellow prisoners. I had fights with John McElroy, Ben Gould and Frank Harty. Keith McMenomy records that I did not like queuing for a wash and used to say 'Men first, dogs come last' was a joke but in the circumstances it was misunderstood. (JJK)

At the start, the mass arrests had public support in Melbourne but that turned into general contempt for the police. The arrests resulted in fewer people being prepared to assist the police or to supply information about the KellyGang

After Mrs Kelly's arrest following the Fitzpatrick Incident in May 1878 and my own arrest as a sympathizer I became concerned that Mrs Skillion was trying to look after the whole Kelly family on her own.. I felt that we all had a duty to Mrs Kelly to help keep the family together. I spent some time there doing what I could. The police would not dare arrest me for helping a women look after her family.

I had a fight in gaol with John McIllroy. (JJK)

I was still on remand when many of the other were released. (Argus26/2/79)

Perhaps because I expressed my mind; how dangerous is that. (Argus28/2/79)

I was eventually released in April 1879. (Argus24/4/79)

I was present with Maggie Skillion at O'Brien's Hotel in Greta when Aaron Sherritt handed over Charlie in May 1879 (OMA29/7/79)

Later in 1879 I was arrested in Jerilderie (Argus4/7/79)

We moved from Mansfield to Lake Rowan (RC2982)

Early in 1880 I was a sympathiser Death of Aaron Sherritt 26/6/1880 I was not there. I had to help the boys get ready for our great events that were to come . Glenrowan Siege 28/6/1880 It is likely that I turned up at the start of the siege with Ned Kelly and Steve Hart on the evening of 26/6/1880

I had a chance with Ned Kelly's sisters to have an interview with him after he was captured (Argust29/6/1880)

My brother Tom and I were with Maggie Skillion when the Inn was set fire to (Argus 29/6/1880)

I had a discussion with the police about getting them to hand over the bodies of Steve Hart and Dan Kelly. (DailyTelegraph29/6/1880)

After the Siege I helped with the funeral for Dan Kelly and Steve Hart, but my main interest was to stay around McDonnell's hotel. (Herald30/6/80)

I was involved in a number of meetings in Melbourne to save Ned from execution (Argus9/11/80)

I was charged with horse stealing with James Kelly. (Argus13/9/81)

Later I decided to move away from all this trouble and I went to the Northern Territory.

What happened to Wild Wright's family Our son Jack may have been a footballer who played 53 games for Geelong between 1902 & 1906