Bushranger Ned Kelly born to hunt and gather for the family formally known as Edward is seen by some as an Australian infamous political defender of his people and by others a criminal malicious murderer. Ned was born the first son of a catholic couple in December 1855 raised by an ex convict John ‘Red’ Kelly and Ellen Quinn an Irish bounty migrant.
Ned was the voice of the 50. 00 Irish immigrants who migrated to Australia in 1942 within an unorganised legal system. He was a political activist who believed the Irish were treated unfairly in comparison with the squatters known as the rich people of the and as he was part of the settlers and less fortunate solvians. Ned’s criminal activity started with petty crimes such as stealing, deceit and minor destruction of property.
With his careless attitude Ned Kelly continued these crimes along with more serious acts. The arrest of his parents and avoidable early death of his dad, Ned and his brother Dan joined by Joe Byrne and Steve hart created a group named the “Kelly gang” or “cult” representing the struggling and known as being a charismatic and fearless bunch, starting a change in the culture of Australia. The gang established a base at Glenrowan hotel in Victoria.
Ned Kelly spoke the truth often shut down by authorities although only being known recently to capture the eyes of authors, writers and the general public but is constantly tossed up between a villain or a hero due to the dealings of his crimes as a modern day society. Ned defends his actions as trying to free the oppression of British overlords in his famous letter the “Jerilderie letter” 40 pages in length, this short story sums up his life events and gives from his perspective the limited care he ad for the consequences of his actions.
He explains that justice was to be served. “I have spent and will again, spend many happy days fearless free and bold as it only aids the police to procure false witnesses to lag innocent men I would advise them to subscribe a sum and give it to the poor of their district as no man could steal their horse or cattle without the knowledge of the poor and they would rise as one man and find it if it was on the face of the earth, the police cant protect you”.
This extract from page 37 of Ned’s letter explains his redicament in that if there was no such thing as “poor” people things such as stealing and petty crimes wouldn’t exist and equality would be reborn. An article written about Ned Kelly on the 13th of November 1880 out of the Age newspaper written by a secondary opinion Christopher Bantick, reads ” Other men as ignorant and as weak as Kelly must learn from him that it is wise to refrain from bloodshed; that the State is stronger than any one citizen; and that no fictitious romance, no maudlin sympathy will avail against the common sense of the governing majority.
Ned was onstantly torn in the public eye between being an uneducated Felon or a wise beyond his year’s hero. Ned was proved by many to be following his dream of equality and was a positive influence in relation to the error of the times. The timeline of main events surrounding Ned Kelly’s final moments on earth before being hung included in1969 as a 14- year-old boy Ned assaulted a Chinese pig owner and spent up to two weeks in police custody.
Not long after this in October 1870 Ned was arrested for accused assault of a police officer and riding a stolen horse. Ned was sentenced to three years in ail during in which this time he was planning to disable the likes of authority figures and earn back his time spent behind bars. After hiding for between 8-9 years in February 1879 Ned and his gang held up a bank in Euroa following Jerildie bank where they were dressed as policemen.
A year and 4 months after this took place there was a shootout between local police and the Kelly gang at their known bass spot Glenrowan inn, whilst this took place Ned was arrested and three of his members passed away as collateral damage to the shoot out. 4 months down the track hilst Ned was held in custody he faced trial with the sentencing of an outlaw and was later condemned to death as the judge uttered the customary words “May God have mercy on your soul”, Ned allegedly replied with “I will go a little further than that, and say I will see you there when I go”.
Following numerous petitions and negative feedback from the public regarding Ned’s sentencing exactly a month after this took place on the 11th of November 1880 Ned was hung at Old Melbourne gaol Pentridge prison and Newspapers captured his last words “such is life” meaning there is never easy way but to et it done you must put in all, similar to the expression ‘all or nothing. ‘ Ned was a man of his word. Not until recently in 2009 Victorian believed the skull of Ned Kelly was found at the prison and in September 2011 this was confirmed.
On the 18th of January 2013 Ned Kelly’s remains were buried. The felons Apprehension act explained by Hon H Cuthbert was made whilst Ned was alive as a declaration of war against the Kelly gang for their complete and utter lack of respect and sovereignty of the court and authority. This act is a modification f the “outlawry act” used by the New South wales government against in 1865. This act was passed as the most serious act a parliament could enact against an individual.
The whole precedent of innocence before being proven guilty was revoked for those standing in front of the Supreme Court. The offenders being trialled with this act were considered guilty and their punishment without doubt was predetermined by death sentencing. Effectively putting them immediately in a situation of desperation, exposure, grief and panic. The Felons Apprehension Act was a cry for help from authorities in order to eep peace, proving Ned’s negative impact on society.
It is believed Ned Kelly was both a negative and positive influence on his society at the time. A good man; bad man and a split figure of public opinion. Ned was a voice for the people although went about his message the completely wrong way by damaging the power of authority and making them look like chumps. Ned Kelly is known now as the hero of the bush Australian outback although his crimes even now would still be considered unnecessary and against the morals of our society. Such famous quotes of his are used throughout Australia to ymbolise determination and strength.
Ned Kelly died for what he believed in and if that doesn’t show courage I don’t know what does. In my opinion he is an ignorant selfless hero. “I fear it as little as to drink out of a cup of tea. “If my lips teach the public that men are made mas by bad treatment and id the police taught that they may exasperate to madness men they persecute and ill treat, my life will not be entirely thrown away. ” In the words of Ned before his brutal beating to death “such is life”. His Legacy to live on until the end of human existence.