Neducator, Banker.

Ten days ago I predicted on this Blog  that this year the Kelly fanatics would mostly preoccupy themselves with attacking me rather than  responding to any of the issues that I was going to be raising. Sure enough, after I posted my discussion about  Morrisseys PhD thesis they proved me right by having another mad go at me, and posting personal attacks that I had to remove. They still haven’t made any attempt to discuss the Morrissey paper.
In my next post, after I had been accused of being a Fanatic I discussed the two features that define what it is to be a fanatic : beliefs that are extreme, and that are uncritical. To illustrate what I meant by uncritical I  wrote this :
The second important difference between enthusiasts and the fanatics is the way in which the belief of fanatics is uncritical. For example if someone were to suggest Ned was only ever kind and polite to women – that would  immediately be accepted.  No evidence would be needed to justify such a statement, because in the mind of the Kelly fanatic, its self evidently true. On the other hand, if someone were to suggest that on the contrary Ned was a bully and threatened and frightened women and children, that claim would immediately be rejected as Police lies, or the opinion of newspaper men who were in the employ of the rich and powerful Squatters. Furthermore the motives, family connections and identity of the person making that suggestion would be attacked. This is fanaticism, and I have been the focus of much of it for more than a year.
Much to my amazement, the very next day they proved me right again, providing us all with a perfect example of this aspect of their fanaticism, their craven uncritical acceptance of anything that fits their fixed beliefs and their prejudices.
This little gem began with the publication in the Wangaratta Chronicle on January 7th of an article describing the discovery of a couple of letters, purported to have been written in 1879 by a Banker at the Benalla branch of the Colonial Bank of Australasia, in which various remarks were made about the Kelly gang and about the Police. The letters themselves were not published, and indeed the article states at the outset their origin remains to be established, but you wouldn’t guess that from the way the anti-MacFarlane Facebook page Kelly fanatics have managed to explode the few direct quotes  in this tantalizing article into a full-blown disproof of  Ian MacFarlanes  book. The way in which a few quotes from these letters have been used to justify all manner of claims about the author of the letter, the Kelly gang and Ian MacFarlanes book is an awesome wonder to behold, and a perfect example of how utterly these fanatics fail to understand anything about scholarship, about research, about objectivity and the critical use of reason.
“What amuses me  the most is these letters debunk many of MacFarlane’s theories” one breathless “amused” fanatic exclaims! That fanatic is the one who I think coined the term “neducation” and who has a webpage where he declares “Its time the facts were told” but here he betrays how little regard he really has for facts. Instead like the classic dangerously uncritical fanatic, he swallows a possible hoax hook line and sinker, for the simple reason that it fits his preconceived prejudices about Police and the Kellys . And he finds it amusing!! Someone else suggests theres no way there would be “cross referencing of this article on Dees blog…” 
and the response is: 
No I don’t think so Bob. Dee will just stick her head in the sand and pretend they are not real.”
Got that wrong too I am afraid – I know you all read my Blog but your memories must be poor: in case you missed my Post entitled “Fanaticism is a scourge”  or have forgotten what you read heres a quote from it to remind you:
“There is no webpage or book or You Tube article, or Kelly “thing” or place of any kind that I could get my hands on that I wouldnt read, photocopy, download, visit, buy or borrow if it was at all possible. That’s because I am not a fanatic with a fixed inviolable belief, but an enthusiast, and I am interested in what the truth about Ned Kelly really is, not in defending a fixed predetermined Creed about Saint Ned. Unlike Fanatics I cant tell if a book  has something to teach me, or if I like it or not until I have actually read it.”
The important point here is nothing to do with the letters – I will discuss them soon enough – the important point here is the use of reason and the need to be objective and critical in relation to historical evidence. What we actually have here is a newspaper article containing a journalists selected quotes from a couple of anonymously donated unpublished documents of uncertain provenance and authorship, and all of it channeled through a “self declared Kelly Tragic”  – and that is all. We do NOT have the letters, so it is very premature for anyone to be making claims, based on this one article from a provincial newspaper, that the letters somehow debunk anything, or provide “proof” of any particular view. People leaping to conclusions and making these mad claims are just demonstrating their complete failure to understand the nature of evidence and how historical research is done, or are just desperate and clutching at straws. A whole lot of research needs to be done before anyone can start making claims about the letters such as that they debunk anything.
But what of the letters? From what we know of their actual content rather than the extravagant claims made for them by the fanatics, they contain nothing that’s new, just the recycled opinions of a man, possibly a Banker, commenting on things that he has heard and read about. Anyone who would describe them as “undoubtedly a first hand account” is also talking nonsense – they are not, even if the letters are genuine, “first hand accounts” of anything : they are gossip.  
Now, being gossip doesn’t render these letters useless, or devoid of interest altogether because there may be truth in gossip, and even when there isn’t, it can be informative to know what people are gossiping about, and how and why rumours and urban mythology is growing and spreading. However, clearly this Banker would have no first hand knowledge of the Fitzpatrick incident, and he wasn’t at the Races himself to observe the Kelly gang and their racehorse, or witnessing Police conversations about their responses to reports about where the Kellys were. Instead he is said to be quoting to his mother things he has read in the newspaper, and so to say for example that “there was great dissatisfaction at the movement of the Police in the matter of the Kellys” is not any sort of revelation to anyone either then or now. The writer of the article introduces the word “cowardice” but I don’t see it in any of the quotes.
There are in fact a number of good reasons why anyone making use of this document needs to be rather careful, before jumping to conclusions, but these are red flags the Kelly fanatics have so far ignored. For a start, access to the document is controlled by a “self confessed Kelly tragic” who has so far failed to release the document for everyone to read in its entirety.  Would such a person release quotes that undermined the Kelly mythology? Hardly – so perhaps he is concealing those? Who would know?

Secondly the article says the letters are “misdated” to January 3rd 1878 – because events recalled in them hadn’t occurred in January 1878, and therefore it is assumed it was simply an 19th century  “typo”. Fair enough, an easy mistake to make at the turn of the calendar, perhaps even for a Banker , a person we would normally expect to be meticulous in his record keeping – but then, if the letters were not genuine could that be a clue to an error made by someone perpetrating a hoax and getting his dates all mixed up? Its possible.

Also VERY curious in my opinion is that a Banker, writing only three weeks after a sensational Bank robbery apparently makes no mention of it at all, but instead discusses a New Years Day horse race? Really? And again, the second letter written  a mere four DAYS after the second equally sensational Jerilderie hold up, again fails to mention it. Instead he discusses events from months before. One would have thought Bank robberies would feature big in the mind of a Banker, but if a forger had his dates mixed up then perhaps that would better explain such absences. 
To me, this letter has “Hoax” written all over it, but I am not going to jump to conclusions just yet. It may be genuine but if so, it adds almost nothing to what is already well known and accepted as either true or part of the popular understandings of the time about the Kelly outbreak.  The bit about the Kellys being at the races and running a horse sounds very much like urban myth making to me, and I will be surprised if that ever turns out to be true. To find out for sure we will have to wait till the letters are released , and the “Kelly Tragic” announces the results of his investigations. I don’t recall reading anything about the Kellys racing a horse, but that doesn’t mean much – maybe others have and can full us all in.

Finally, I note a prominent “ Member” on the Ned Kelly Forum, claims to have been doing his own investigations on this for a couple of days but so far has drawn blanks. God alone knows what hes been doing for two days : I discovered in half an hour something that might explain why he keeps drawing blanks, and which seriously adds to the odour of “Hoax” about these letters : there is no record in the Argus or anywhere else that I can find of a race meeting at Benalla on January 1st; the race meeting discussed in this letter is almost certainly a fantasy! On New Years Day there was a big race meeting at Flemington, but according to the Argus the Annual Benalla Race Meeting occurred on Friday 28th February and Saturday 1stMarch, 1879. According to the news report it was well attended.

Now THAT is amusing!
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48 Replies to “Neducator, Banker.”

  1. Yesterday Greg Young and I were talking about the Kellys at the races and other stuff which was mentioned in the letters and I went in search of supporting facts. Looking at Trove (which does not carry all of the papers of the time) there is an article in the January 6, 1879 issue of the Bendigo Advertiser that carried some "syndicated" news (which was from Mansfield on January 4, 1879) that had been in the (Melbourne) Herald that states:

    "Wild Wright stated openly on New Year's Day, at some sports held at Dry Creek, a place about fourteen miles from here, that he had seen the Kellys that morning, that they were not two miles from the place, and that he would see them shortly on his road home."

    Dry Creek is about 28 miles (46 km) from Benalla. That is the only reference to a 1879 New Year's Day race with Kelly connections I have found so far. Perhaps other papers not listed had other things or did people just take the words of Wild and twist them and spread rumors making the assumption that the gang had secretly been at the event? Or had they really been there? Remains to be seen, I suppose.

    I am looking forward to seeing the full text of this letter. Hopefully it won't just be for a privileged few who visit an exhibition.

  2. Thats brilliant Sharon – I knew you would find something interesting!
    But by “Sports” do they mean horse racing?
    And still nothing to support the claim that the Kellys were racing a horse let alone that there were Races at Benalla on New Years Day.

  3. Dee, you have previously mentioned some of the strange statements of Wangaratta solicitor John Suta, who is featured in the Chronicle story. I can't get the search function working to locate your earlier comments. He is associated in someway with a 'threemonth exhibition interpreting the life of the would-be republican leader, bushranger and convicted murderer'. I thought the repulican stuff had been debunked ages ago.

  4. I suppose sports could encompass many activities, but if Wild Wright is involved, you know there has to be some horses involved in some way. The article stated that the races were at Benalla, but reading the small part of the letter that is pictured as best as I am able it said that "Ned Kelly's horse ran at the races on New Year's Day…" It did not specifically say that the races were at Benalla, at least in the part of the letter I saw. Maybe that was an assumption on the part of Mr Suta or maybe there is more to the letter? Part of the rest of the letter regarding it said that it was generally believed that Ned was present and even after the police left the course it was said he was there…Sure wish we could find the article talking about his horse running in the New Year's Day race to find exactly where it was! Seeing as how the letter is said to be dated Jan 3rd, McCracken might not have seen the article from the Herald on the 4th or the one on the 6th unless he dated his letter the 3rd and finished it the next day or so or had seen another paper from between Jan 1 and Jan 3. As I said before, there is the possibility of other papers not found at Trove that he could have read (or we are just not using the right search terms.) This is still fun to try and put together, though! I am loving the exchange of ideas.
    Regarding the date being put as 1878 when it was actually 1879, think about it, it was only a few days into a new year. How many times has a year changed and you have had to write a check or something and just automatically put the previous year on it because you were so used to doing so. Usually the bank teller will catch it, though. My husband had just remarked yesterday about having to try and remember to put 2015 on checks and forms now.

  5. Bazza you’re thinking of Trevor Monti, another “kelly tragic” solicitor, who I think must be a mate of Suta, also a solicitor because both of them are said to have been facilitators of the return of Neds bones to “consecrated ground”. Monti can be heard on a You Tube video of a morning TV programme, debating Hinch round about the time of the reburial in Greta ( January 20th 2013 )

    I searched Suta and came across an article on him planning to bid at Auction for a Sydney Nolan Kelly painting with an estimated sale price of $60-$80,000

  6. Hi Sharon Ive been putting 2014 on things myself this week! But I did concede in the Post that “misdating” was a possible explanation for that wrong year. I see this same story now appears in the Border Mail and Ive commented on it, mainly to say that Mr Suta really needs to put the whole document up for public scrutiny, not keep it to himself and leak the bits that suit his purposes.

  7. Where do the Kelly gang's alleged attendances at the Benalla, Whorouly and Moyhu races fit in with this? If gang members attended races, this would have shown the police were lax and incompetent. There's no proof the gang ever openly attended any public event.

    There is a letter apparently from Joe Byrne to Aaron Sherritt suggesting their attendance at Whorouly races. It does not prove they went.

  8. Checking today, the Border Mail hasn’t published my comment.However the 4 comments they DID let through weren’t complementary. Whatever….:)

  9. Maybe just Ned's horse was entered in the alleged New Year's Day race that McCracken alludes to but the gang did not attend? We can only wonder if the gang was bold enough to show up at any of the races or can wonder if they just wanted the police to waste resources and time in one direction (like at the Whorouly races) while they are in another? Seems they led the police a merry chase more than once.

  10. Some of our legal 'friends' (like John Suta) think that Ned didn't get a fair trial. Whenever they re-enact it, I wonder which version they chose to use. There was no official transcript, and all the newspaper accounts varied. No fanatics among the 'Border Mail' commenters so far…

  11. You really have to hand it to these kelly fanatics : one of them, the bully who brags about how he wrecked my earlier Forums, has obviously read my Post – he cant help himself – but has failed to understand what I wrote. He thinks we will be fuming because he has discovered that the letter writer was an Accountant : No he hasn’t! What I imagine he could have discovered is that there was an accountant with the same name as the writer of the letters. Now he has to prove that he is the author of them, and then he has to explain why he said there were races on new Years Day in Benalla when there weren’t, and why this accountant forgot about the Euroa and Jerilderie Bank Robberies. He also needs to re-read what I ACTUALLY wrote and he will see I have said they may be genuine, that I am not going to jump to conclusions like he and his lot have – which was the whole point of the Post : if you want to be taken seriously as some sort of kelly historian and Neducator, don’t go off half cocked when you see a sensationalist piece of self promotion by a kelly nutter in a provincial newspaper. Step back and have an objective look at it first.

    And if the letters are genuine? So what! They reveal nothing except what gossip an accountant thought his mother might be interested in, an accountant who got the year wrong and knew nothing about the racing calendar.

    Lastly, for what its worth, and because I cant post on the NKF – he thinks I am stupid because – he writes – for these letters to be a hoax "You would have to obtain the old bank paper with letterhead, learn to write the way they did at the time and then try to make them look 137 years old.” How stupid can you be he says! Well I have three words for him “ The Hitler Diaries”

  12. Regarding these letters, see Fitzy’s facebook –

  13. Gasp! Ironoutlaw's fb page says this about the two letters: '"Corrupt, inept, ruthless, lecherous, and cowardly colonial troopers? We've been saying it all along…"

  14. Eric, I think you have posted on the wrong blog. This is an anti-Kelly blog where the cops were Angels and the British rule supreme.

  15. I think we should all just wait till the letters are made available for everyone to see for themselves. I am certainly not going to be taking the word of Kelly Tragics, Neducators and Fanatics who “can’t divulge anything at present” . What amazes me is how they are behaving exactly as I said they would a few posts back, craven uncritical slobbering over a bit of gossip, and yet of course when it comes to serious meticulous research like Morrisseys, not a peep out of them, or else just personal attacks and stupid denials as in the case of MacFarlanes equally meticulous and thoroughly researched ground breaking contribution. The useless thug running the anti -MacFarlane Facebook page hasn’t attempted any discussion of the content of that book for months. He thinks he’s a geanalogical researcher because he’s learned how to use a mouse.

    I’m glad these letters have surfaced. They are provoking responses from the kelly fanatics that expose their blind and mindless prejudices for everyone to wonder at.

  16. Unfortunately the full content of the letters won't be made public for a very long time.

    FYI Dee they certainly do mention the Jerilderie hold up. The writer mentions the robbery and included news clippings of same for his mother to read.

  17. Yes, it is unfortunate, as you say. But why? There was a suggestion they were going to be part of an exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery – are you saying they won’t be, or perhaps that if they are it will be in such a manner as to preclude anyone really being able to get a decent look at them? Very curious! But thanks for the input.

  18. Long story.

    But they are genuine. Unspectacular but genuine nonetheless.

  19. Oh well. We were kept waiting for five long weeks on your SBC Grand Forum for CSI@SBC to provide the location of the police camp. The Kelly folk seem to like to keep people waiting. Its rather plain to me that the "Two Letters" are ordinary, typical and dreary examples of correspondence of the time.

  20. I am still curious – can “Anonymous” comment on why, if he is confident that these letters ARE genuine, that Mr Suta is reported to still be attempting to authenticate them? Is this just a journalistic stunt to promote Mr Suta , or the Bendigo Art Gallery? What exactly is going on, or is someone just playing funny buggers?

  21. Even if the letters are not included in the Bendigo Art Gallery Imagining Ned exhibition, there is an event associated with the exhibition which all the "Anonymous" commenters might find is right up their alley (as they can keep their identities secret). Wanna take bets on how many folks show up in Kelly style helmets? 😉

  22. Yes. I wonder if Dee will be attending. If so will she be wearing a helmet?

  23. Sharon, what a hilarious idea! The Kelly world is far too serious and needs more humour like that. As for what I might wear to the masquerade, “I cant divulge anything at present”.

  24. Too bad that Brian S and I have decided to never let the best of our "Kelly humor" see the light of day (though he has often remarked that we should compile it all as it would make a great book). It is, if I may say so myself, some near-brilliant parody and satire. I have lost most of the messages due to a computer crash, but I believe Brian still has copies. The most memorable personal faves I have done that make me chuckle just thinking about them are "The Kelly Classifieds", "The Lonely Hearts Letters", the "Dear Abby Column" and various and sundry Top Ten Lists. Brian has done some side splitting spot-on stuff, too, but we figured that our sometimes gallows (yet, sometimes gentle) humor would be too much for certain people (that lack senses of humor and lack in depth knowledge of the saga because we used obscure references at times), so we just enjoy them ourselves. Once in a while he will send me an oldie but goody I had forgotten about and I get to laugh all over again. I can love the Kellys and can still affectionately lampoon (or is that an oxymoron?) them at the same time.

    I sure would not wear a helmet to the ball because it would hinder one's situational awareness level! 😉

  25. The Neducator on NKF has responded by posting a You Tube Video Movie Trailer about a mad woman! I enjoyed it – might even try to watch the movie ! And his attacks on me don’t upset me in the least – I cant expect to dish it out and not get it back in return!

    But I really do have to comment on his view that everyone should be concerned that I read ( he calls it trolling, but its just “reading”) the NKF and other sites on the Internet and then comment on them here. Is he serious? This is EXACTLY what the whole World Wide Web was invented for, to promote communication and the free flow of ideas and information, to enable discussion and debate and the sharing and the growth and development of insight, understanding and knowledge. Now, the NKF and the Neducator want to be able to publish THEIR opinions and comments and views about whatever catches THEIR eye – but object to other people doing it! North Korea anyone?Get a life people!

    My advice is that if they don’t want people reading their stuff, or commenting on it they shouldn’t put it up on the Public domain, but if they do and if they ban people from their site who might want to comment or participate, who have they got to blame but themselves if people comment elsewhere?

    And I will always have contempt for people who prey on children.

  26. “lies, lies and more lies” writes an NKF member who has decided to refer to me as “It” from now on, an improvement on “slag” “filth” and “scum” so I am happy with that! But exactly what lies he is referring to I haven’t any idea. I think allegations like that should be backed up with “facts, facts and more facts” because otherwise nobody is any the wiser. My message to him is Please, Feel free to post your Facts and point out the Lies right here .

  27. The owner of the Ned Kelly Forum is again lecturing about 'copywrite', and states "This website is not a public website". But the Ned Kelly Forum facebook page says:
    The Ned Kelly Forum is public forum for all things related to Ned Kelly.

    The owner goes on to say people do "not have permission to copy and paste any posts or information from any member from this website and if they continue to do so I will be writing a email of complaint to Google/". The AUSTRALIAN COPYRIGHT ACT is perfectly clear that moderate amounts of publicly available material can be legally copied, including websites.

    There are legal specialists in copyright and defamation law. The owner and at least one member of NKF need to seek urgent advice.

    *** A very recent $54,000 defamation payout was for, among other things, comparing the complainant with 'Hannibal Lecter' online.

  28. Editorial Comment from the Border Mail echoes my thoughts exactly:"Give it a rest Mr Suta. I really wonder why The Border Mail keeps giving John Suta so much publicity about Ned Kelly issues “Police action questioned” (The Border Mail, January 10) especially when he rehashes known history and seems intent on putting a halo on the vicious murderer?

    He exaggerates the importance of a couple of recently found letters and uses it as another opportunity to bash the colonial police of that era such is his apparent anti-authoritarian stance.

    Was Kelly harassed by police during that era? Yes, and deservedly so given the killer’s propensity for violence, theft and dishonesty.
    It is a legitimate and still in use police strategy in order to disrupt a criminals “business model” and make a life of crime that much more difficult for the crooks.

    Did some police disgrace their uniform on rare occasions in that era? Yes, and they were dealt with.
    I do admire John Suta’s persistence and tenacity, albeit at trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  29. I have found the article to which McCracken might have been referring in his letter, though it still does not exactly prove that the races were actually held on New Years Day, it is just hearsay. I found it while searching for something entirely different. Scroll down to the entries for January 7, 1879.

  30. Thank you Sharon. As a relative newbie, I make mistakes all the time – so I should have kept the link to the Newspaper articles – there were several – that referred to the Annual Race Day meeting at Benalla. I would have thought describing the race day as “Annual" would imply races there were an Annual Event. But Races did happen in Flemington on New Years Day. Incidentally the fanatic who big noted himself on his FB Page with this…

    I have found the writer of these letters and he was indeed an accountant. More revelations to come!.”

    ..has now back tracked and 10 days later posted this…

    " I should point out that, ‘more revelations to come’, is not for me to announce, though I will certainly discuss and elaborate on these ‘revelations’, once they are made public.”

    This is code for “I couldn’t find a single thing to back up my embarrassing overreaction and hyperventilation about this Letter so I am going to pretend I had nothing to do with it and hope nobody notices"

    Needless to say, no “revelations” from anyone yet. Incidentally the letter was supposed to have been written on 3rd January and that newspaper article is from 7th.

  31. Perhaps, the bit in the Ovens & Murray Advertiser was a reprint of something from another paper that had it a bit earlier (because those papers back then always seemed to "borrow" or syndicate things from each other). That paper has yet to turn up, though. At least we know to what it all is referring to. Yes, we are still waiting for any new developments on those letters, soon it will be such old news that the moment will have passed and no one will care. Strike while the iron is hot!

  32. I am surprised no one has brought this recnt article about the Benalla letters that George McCracken wrote in 1879 to everyone's attention yet –

    In it, they say that the letters have been authenticated, but they do not give us any further info as to what is in them or when or where they will be made public. They do, however say this:

    "But within three days of the publication of the Chronicle story the letters’ veracity was questioned in the opaque world of Kelly Gang blogging – where participants’ identities often remain obscured."

  33. Yes I have seen that article too Sharon. The Historian doing the research has a Blog in which she announced that she believes that the letters are genuine but again,says little else, except that she is planning to write it all up and have it published one day.

    Kronberg the author of these articles about the letters and other Kelly related items seems to be a Kelly buff who doesn’t like my Blog – he uses this article to have a go at me and the Blog. Actually his original article stated that the letters were waiting to be authenticated, so it wasn’t actually me who started questioning their veracity, it was the people in possession of them. My point was the over-reaction by Kelly Fanatics and a person claming to be an Educator, who demonstrated his failure to grasp the basics of research and the necessity to establish somethings provenance properly before rushing off to announce it debunks things and proves certain people wrong. The Book-Hater has proven my point as well because he rushed off and announced “I have found the writer of these letters and he was indeed an accountant” but now we learn he was a cadet Teller aged 18!

    That might be why they havent mentioned the latest developments. Embarrassment.

    I think it would be useful if they released the entire Text of these letters so everyone could read them and even discuss them. The researcher might then get more information and feedback from clever people like yourself Sharon, with vast knowledge of the lives and activities of people at the time. Her final publication could well be the better for such input.

  34. After reading the blog you mentioned, it sure seems that input or inquiry is being strongly discouraged for some reason.

  35. I got the impression she was a bit cranky about it all, saying that Ned Kelly wasn’t really her “thing” and giving the impression she had been hassled and pestered, and just wanted to be left alone to write up her article. I wonder if the Neducator and the Book-Hater and perhaps Kronberg and Suta have been making a nuisance of themselves? One day we might find out the truth! This story isn’t over yet Sharon!

  36. Dee,
    Can you show the hyperlink to the 'historian's blog.

    I attach the Chronicle story article I saw –
    Good photo of Matt and Darren.

    Sharon, the link you provided 1July did not work for me?


  37. Anonymous says: Reply

    Kronberg seems to be a publicist for Hope "I'm Aaron Sherritt's niece" McGann too.He has chronicled her movements ever since she gatecrashed Ned Kelly's funeral at Wangaratta,of which her sole purpose for going was to tell anyone who would listen that she is related to Sherritt.She loudly makes herself known throughout Beechworth at the Ned Kelly Weekend each August by talking over tour guides and well known Authors like Jonesie to let everyone know,yet again,that she's a Sherritt relative.It also scored her a gig with the BHRG by playing Sherritt's widow. *eye roll please* Kronberg's latest is a photo of her putting flowers at Devil's Elbow for her ancestor during the recent Siege Anniversary night tour run by dumb and dumber Matt Shore and Darren Sutton.Aaron Sherritt being shot seems to be the best thing that has ever happened to Hope McGann.

  38. That is aggravating when links don't work! Best to do a work around, then. For the full on Wang. Chronicle article (that has much more of the story than the one at the link you gave) at press reader go to google and search for "Jenny Coates" "George McCracken" it will be the press reader one and for the blog mentioned go to google and type in "Jenny Coates" "Ned Kelly" it will be the one called "Conversations with Grandma" (her blog title).

  39. OK , got it. Google Jamie Kronberg – as linked above.

    Don't see links to 'Hope' a lady living near Beechworth I presume. 'But Anonymous' surely knows, thanks for that insight.

    We should be satisfied the letters are an important account of the Kelly affairs of the time.

    Please click on the link above, 'Conversations with Grandma'


  40. Sharon your use of the word “aggravating” is going to upset the Anonymous who prefers good grammar and the Quuen’s english!

    I was about to Post the link to Grandmas blog but you beat me to it.

    But Bill, are these letters really an IMPORTANT account ? All Ive read about them is that the writer is repeating stuff he’s reading the newspaper. I suppose we will have to wait and see what Grandma comes up with!

  41. We can only wonder what that particular anonymous poster thinks of the grammar and spelling and lack of punctuation in the Jerilderie Letter! Probably makes them apoplectic! 😉

    Re the McCracken letter, it probably won't tell us anything new, but it is always interesting to read what the average man on the street thought about the events of the day. Having them holding off giving the full text and only throwing out teasers might be a way for them to generate intense interest in what is in it, and, in turn, sell newspapers or have hits on a webpage that has advertisements on it as we seek more information (call me cynical, if you will). Also, it gives the researcher a chance to get published in a peer-reviewed journal or what-have-you making for more satisfaction and prestige than just a mention in the paper. Almost anyone can get a mention in a local paper if it is a slow news day in a small town.

  42. Ned Kelly and his gang netted

    I don't suppose too many readers have heard of Joseph Jenkins ?

    He was a farmer 'Bard' in Trelefel Wales. Born in 1818, had a family of 11. In 1869, on his own emigrated to Australia.
    He was came out as a sort of agricultural adviser to the new colony, but found the system appallingly backward.
    After twenty five years decided to return home and brought back with him all his diaries, all twenty five years worth.
    During June July 1880 he recorded the events of the Ned Kelly and his gang netted.
    See link above.

    Joseph Jenkins died in 1898 leaving the Trelefel farm to his children. In 1973 his G Grandson William Evans, a doctor came across the diaries sitting up in the loft and set out to put them in order and extract the important notations.

    His book is a fantastic insight into early Victorian colonial life.

    Diary of a Welsh Swagman 1869 – 1894
    Macmillan 1975 ISBN 07251 0246 2 William Evans


  43. Anonymous says: Reply

    I am not "upset" by your frightful use of language. My original comment was about the intellectual weakness of this blog, as well as your difficulties in writing anything in a coherent way. For what it's worth, I think the two are connected.

    Sharon, I am certainly not apoplectic over the Jerilderie Letter. I apply a different approach when looking at a historical document, as compared to something written here, and which aspires to be taken just a little seriously.

  44. This confected horror at the use of language, and preference for style over substance is merely an excuse to disregard the challenges of the content of these Blogs.

  45. Bill, thanks for bringing this account to our attention. I looked in Brian McDonald's "What They Said About Ned!" and it is listed there (#250) but I have never seen the actual text that refers to the gang until now. Funny that he was not able to get that particular day's newspaper due to popular demand because of the Kelly's being featured. Also, an interesting sentiment about a new gang being formed and them not being deterred by the prospect of roasting alive! Oh, my!
    The guy sure has a way with words, especially since English was not his first language. I found some of the other unrelated stuff on the page of interest like about his so-called cold remedy (I think he should have put it in strong spirits and not beer to be of a better effect!) and the potato outrage. I actually wanted to be able to turn the page to read more.

  46. Well mate, if that's what you think, then that's what you think. I will say your comment is totally off the mark, but am sure you will bleat your disagreement… if not this time, then another.

  47. Anonymous says: Reply

    Just for fun… the Neducator website ( 'About Me' page says "Paul is also related to Ned Kelly by marriage". See it for yourself at while it lasts. (I've saved the web page as a PDF for future laughs, as he'll probably change it when he sees this!) So it's true that Ned Kelly was married after all. And so maybe it wasn't Steve Hart wearing the dress as Sidney Nolan thought ('Steve Hart dressed as a girl', 1947), but actually a time-travelling descendant.

  48. Anonymous says: Reply



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