Ned Kelly: Australian bushranger

The front cover of The Australasian Sketcher (Melbourne), 3 July 1880, featuring Ned Kelly in his armour at Glenrowan

Edward Kelly, commonly known as “Ned”, was born in Beveridge, Victoria. His exact date of birth is unknown, but it has been estimated to have been between December 1854 to June 1855.

He spent several years operating as a bushranger in Victoria and southern New South Wales.

He was finally caught at Glenrowan (Vic.), following a shoot-out between the Kelly Gang and the police.

Ned Kelly was put on trial for murder, was found guilty, and was subsequently hung in Pentridge Prison, Melbourne, Victoria, on 11 November 1880.

According to some witnesses, Kelly’s last words were “Such is life”.

The birth of Ned Kelly

Letters composed by Ned Kelly:
The Jerilderie letter [1879]
The Jerilderie Letter, dictated by Ned Kelly to Joe Byrne, has been described as Ned Kelly’s “manifesto”, and gives a detailed account of Ned’s relations with the police, including the unjust treatment his family had received at the hands of the law. It was intended for publication in Victorian newspapers.
The Parkes letter [1879]
A letter sent to Sir Henry Parkes (Premier of New South Wales).
The Cameron letter [1878]
A letter sent to Donald Cameron (a Victorian politician) about the case of Trooper Fitzpatrick against Mrs. Kelly, as well as regarding the shooting of the police at Stringybark Creek.
The Babington letter [1870]
A letter sent to Sergeant James Babington (of the Kyneton police).

Poetry by Ned Kelly:
Poetry by Ned Kelly [1878]
Two small pieces of poetry, included by Ned Kelly in one of his letters.

The Complete Inner History of the Kelly Gang and Their Pursuers, by J. J. Kenneally (5th edition, 1946)

Books about Ned Kelly:
The Complete Inner History of the Kelly Gang and Their Pursuers [by J. J. Kenneally, 5th edition, 1946]
The classic non-fiction book about the Kelly Gang, by J. J. Kenneally.

Articles about Ned Kelly:
Benalla Police Court [22 October 1869]
Ned Kelly charged with highway robbery of Ah Fook.
Intercolonial News: Victoria [27 October 1869]
The trial of Ned Kelly for the highway robbery of Ah Fook.
Benalla Police Court [29 October 1869]
Ned Kelly is charged with assaulting and robbing Ah Fook.
[Several members of a notorious family] [17 April 1878]
Ned Kelly’s family accused of attacking Constable Fitzpatrick.
Desperate Affray at Benalla [23 April 1878]
The shooting of Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick by Ned Kelly.
Fatal Encounter with Bushrangers in Victoria [31 October 1878]
The shooting of police at Stringybark Creek by Ned Kelly and his gang.
Interview with Ned Kelly [14 August 1880]
In this interview with a journalist, Ned Kelly gives his side of the story, including that he did not shoot Constable Fitzpatrick.
Ned Kelly’s gang: The making and breaking of bushrangers [18 December 1920]
A history of Ned Kelly and his gang.
Ned Kelly was a Gentleman [1940s]
A poem regarding Ned Kelly, written in regard to World War Two.

References and further information:
John V. Barry, “Kelly, Edward (Ned) (1855–1880)”, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University (accessed 23 October 2012) [says Ned Kelly was born in June 1855]
Ned Kelly”, Wikipedia (accessed 23 October 2012), (accessed 23 October 2012)
Two huts at Stringybark Creek”, Bill Denheld (accessed 23 October 2012)
Jerilderie letter, National Museum of Australia (accessed 23 October 2012) [says Ned Kelly was born “about December 1854”]
Ned Kelly fact sheet”, State Library of Victoria (accessed 23 October 2012)


  1. ashleigh says:

    Ned Kelly was a wonderful man.
    He did things for a reason. His family was poor and the Kellys were going through a lot.

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