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1. The Kelly Gang

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During the remainder of "The Kelly Outbreak", Thomas Jeffries, also known as Mark Jeffries, was a bushranger, serial killer and cannibal in the early 19th century in Van Diemen's Land.

He was sentenced to 12 months in Macquarie Harbour, the penal settlement on the colony's west coast in June for threatening to stab Constable Lawson. By August he had been appointed a watch house keeper and flagellator at Launceston Gaol, which would have suited his sadistic personality. Ben Hall was an Australian bushranger of the 19th century. He was known as "Brave Ben Hall" and has become part of Australian folklore.

Ben Hall carried out many audacious raids, some of which were intended to taunt the police.


Unlike many bushrangers of the era, he was not directly responsible for any deaths, although several of his companions certainly were. It was a risky, sometimes wretched life of poverty, scavenge, evasion and pursuit. Once a bushranger was declared an outlaw, it was legal for anyone to shoot them on sight. Facing the prospect of hanging when captured, most cornered bushrangers preferred to fight to the death rather than surrender. This was the fate that met most of the infamous Kelly Gang during the stand-off at Glenrowan, Victoria, in New South Wales had more than its fair share of notorious bushrangers.

In fact, it was not long after the First Fleet arrived that convict bolters, such as John 'Black' Caesar, fled into the bush around Sydney. His father, 'Red', was born in County Tipperary, and transported from there in Ned Kelly described Irish convicts as a 'credit to Paddy's land', since they had died in chains rather than submit to English rule.

Edward 'Ned' Kelly was born in As a teenager he was in trouble with the police and took to stealing horses. Feeling driven by police harassment, and the wrongful imprisonment of his mother on perjured police evidence, Kelly fled into the bush in mid The gang was outlawed after killing three Irish-born Victorian policemen in For two years the gang robbed banks and evaded capture, largely because of sympathy for them among the struggling small farmers of north-east Victoria.

Kelly penned a detailed 'manifesto' of his grievances and tried to have it published.

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A transcription of Kelly's Jerilderie letter is part of the National Museum collection. The Kelly gang was eventually cornered at the Glenrowan Inn. The police surrounded the pub, and a gun battle raged throughout the night of 27—28 June, The gang had made suits of improvised armour to protect themselves. Each suit, made from the mould boards of ploughs, weighed about 44 kilograms.

Ned Kelly left the inn during the night, but returned next morning to help his friends. At first, his armour stopped the bullets, but he was brought down by wounds to his unprotected legs. Kelly's refusal to surrender, and his loyalty to his mates when he could have escaped, has helped create the Kelly legend.

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When he appeared from behind the Glenrowan Inn, Ned Kelly was a startling figure. Onlooker Thomas Carrington described a ghastly figure looking 'for all the world like the ghost of Hamlet's father with no head, only a very long, thick neck'.

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The initial failure of police gunfire to bring him down only added to the supernatural effect. Kelly was eventually brought down by police sergeant Arthur Steele, who shot him in the legs. The National Museum holds the ceremonial sword later presented to Sergeant Steele by grateful pastoralists. More on Sergeant Steele's sword. He found them together, 'two beardless boys' lying dead in a back room, helmets removed.

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It is believed they shot each other. When the siege of Glenrowan was over, the remains of Steve Hart and Dan Kelly lay, side by side, in a back room of the inn. Dan's sisters, Maggie and Kate, who were at the scene, were said to have cried loudly and kissed his charred bones. Dan Kelly was 19 years old, and Hart, Byrne, a capable scholar at school, was considered the most literate member of the Kelly gang.

Trapped in the Glenrowan Inn, he was raising his glass to toast the gang's future when he was killed by a bullet that struck the main artery in his groin. The Kelly story is one of the most written about in Australian history. By comparison, Kelly's trial and death sentence, as recorded in the court book, took few words: 'verdict guilty, sentence death'.


Irish-born judge Sir Redmond Barry presided over Kelly's trial. Barry died on 23 November , 12 days after Ned Kelly's execution. The armour of the four Kelly gang members is on show for the first time outside of Victoria in the exhibition Not Just Ned.

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David was part of the team which documented and mounted the four suits of armour. Each piece of armour weighed 10—20 kilograms.