William Skillion

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The Story of the Kelly Gang 1906.jpg

Importance of Bill Skillion (Skillian) (Skilling)

William (Bill) was Ned Kelly's sister Margaret (Maggie)'s husband. Arrested as a result of the Fitzpatrick incident and sentenced to 6 years.

Links to the KellyGang , Early Years , Marriage ,Fitzpatrick Incident, Gold Mining , Deaths at Stringy Bark Creek , Escape North , Euroa Robbery , Jerilderie Robbery , Later in 1879 , Early in 1880 , Death of Aaron Sherritt , Glenrowan Siege , Ned Kelly's Trial , Time in Gaol, Royal Commission , After my release from Gaol , Family ,

Links to the KellyGang

First run ins with the law I was born in 1840 at Donnybrook.

I was a miner at Gaffney's Creek

In October 1869 I was working on the Kelly place with Ned Kelly, and William Gray. Ah Fook came by and alledged that Ned Kelly robbed him. That was not the case.

In 1871 I was charged with furious riding in a public place

Marriage to Maggie Kelly


married Ned Kelly's sister Maggie on 15/9/1873. Our daughter Ellen was born in 1874.

Our son James was born on 8 Jun 1877.

Photograph Fitzpatrick Incident 15/04/1878 Was I at Mrs Kelly's home when Fitzpatrick arrived to arrest Dan Kelly? Frank Harty and Joe Ryan gave evidence of where I was on that day. I my have mistaken by the police for Joe Byrne. See also (RC12822)

I was arrested along with Mrs Kelly and Brickey Willianson on the next day and we were charged with attempted murder of Fitzpatrick. (RC8821)

The way I was described by the police; "Irish age, 20 years height, 5 feet 6 inches; stout built, round shoulders, fair complexion, and beard cut short" (SMH18/4/78)

The KellyGang set out Ned Kelly's side of these events in the Cameron letter. Of course Dan and Ned Kelly had decided to go bush.

See also (CHC) Hear Ned Kellys version of what happened (Age9/8/80) See also(Argus17/4/78) (Argus22/4/78)

Sgt Steele and Consts Brown, Strahan arrested me at about 1am in the morning of the 17th near the Kelly home and later arrested our next door neighbour Brickey Williamson and Mrs Kelly. (RC8821)(Argus18/4/78)

See also the Jerilderie Letter

They were taken to Benalla on the 17th. From there they were taken to Beechworth Goal then back to Benalla for their committal on 17 May. On 9 October 1878, with Sir Redmond Barry as the judge at our trial in Beechworth. Williamson, Mrs Kelly and I were represented by Bowman and even though Frank Harty and Joe Ryan gave evidence that showed that I was with them for most of the time. I was found guilty even though I was not there. On 12/10/1878, Mrs Kelly was sentenced to 3 years and Williamson and I got 6 years hard labour for attempted murder when I was not even there. This is supported by the word of Jim Kelly (BWC) (Argus14/10/78) (Argus30/10/78)

Soon after the trial I was moved to Pentridge with Williamson

Time in Goal Goal was very hard. I was innocent. I lost my wife and family and I was not really accepted by the Kellys or their friends. After William's release from Goal In 1881 I was pardoned but I did not return to Margaret. She had met someone else. I was threatened by the sympathizers for supplying information to the police (RC16716)

I had a past that dogged me and a very uncertain future. What happened to me?

See (Argus20/11/1905) (SMH20/11/1905) (Argus24/11/1905)


brothers James. sisters ... wife Maggie Kelly children Ellen,.James.. parents ... uncle ... aunt ... Let the KellyGang ride free