The Murders at SBC

So now we come to Ned Kellys most heinous crime, the killing of three innocent Policemen at Stringybark Creek.  Had he been successful, Neds plans for Glenrowan would have involved even greater violence, and murder in far larger numbers, but thankfully his plans were thwarted, leaving the events at SBC the central and defining act of the Kelly Outbreak. There are some intriguing controversies within the SBC debate – the  EXACT location of the Police encampment is one, and another is argument about how Lonigan had four bullet wounds when it was reported by Ned Kelly that he killed him with a single shot. Unsurprisingly the precise detail of what happened at SBC is confused because the two witnesses who spoke about it are the traumatized Policeman McIntyre, and Ned Kelly, a man who even Ian Jones admitted, told lies.

However there isn’t much in dispute about the basic facts of the incident.  Ned and Dan Kelly were wanted for the attempted murder of Fitzpatrick. A party of four Policemen searching for them in the Wombat ranges was “Bailed up” at their camp beside Stringybark Creek by the Kellys with Steve Hart and Joe Byrne, in October 1878.  The encounter ended with three Policemen dead, the fourth fleeing for his life and the four assailants escaping with the police horses and ransacked personal effects and equipment, to remain fugitives until the final Act of the Outbreak at Glenrowan in June 1880.  I discussed the events at SBC in some detail HERE but there are still issues I want to return to.

The first of these is the claim by Kelly sympathisers that the Police Party intended not to capture but to kill Ned Kelly. Their “proofs” of this claim are allegations that the Police who went to SBC were in disguise, that they were heavily armed, and that they brought specially made leather straps for the transport of bodies. These three “proofs” are repeated ad nauseam throughout the Kelly literature and by self appointed Kelly experts whenever they pop up on their Forums on TV or in print – but lets be perfectly clear about it – these “proofs” are fabrications – the Police were NOT in disguise, they were NOT heavily armed and there were NO body straps. To précis the reasons I describe these claims as fabrications, understand that not being in Uniform is different from being “in disguise” – and it was unexceptional for Police to be out of uniform; understand that in addition to their regular equipment – a single revolver each– they had a total of TWO additional weapons – a shotgun and a rifle, both borrowed at the last minute, and hardly enough to start “a small war” as claimed preposterously by an NKF Member who poses as an expert on all things Kelly; and lastly Ian Jones story of body straps is a very late and unproven oral tradition backed by no evidence and no logic. 

All that is left of this idea that the police were planning to kill them on sight is an allegation made by Ned Kelly, in the Jerilderie Letter, that certain Policemen had vowed they would kill Ned if they ever came across him, then say they had called on him to surrender first. Its never a good idea to uncritically believe anything said by Ned Kelly but Ian Jones says that these threats were confirmed by “police sources” though he doesn’t provide any additional detail. In any case, it is completely misleading for Kelly sympathisers to claim angry expressions like that were expressions of police Policy – they were not. This was perfectly illustrated much later on when Ned was brought down at Glenrowan by Sergeant Steele, who then, in an excitable state wanted to execute him on the spot. He was prevented from doing so by Constable Bracken who is reported to have said “ I’ll shoot any bloody man that dares touch him” So the idea that ‘the Police’ were planning to kill Kelly rather than capture him has nothing to support it. It’s a myth.

The next issue I wish to revisit is the Kelly sympathisers  portrayal of the encounter at SBC as some sort of a fair fight that Ned won because of his superior marksmanship and his skill in battle.  According to a self appointed Kelly expert on the NKF  “The police had enough weaponry and ammunition to start a small war”. Firstly, as we have already seen this is simply wrong. The Police were armed with just one revolver each – their regulation equipment –  plus a single additional rifle and a shotgun which they borrowed. Two extra guns, one a “fowling piece” between four is hardly heavily armed! Moreover, when Kelly later took possession of these guns, the shotgun was loaded with shot for killing game, not people – so Kelly somewhat ominously emptied out the “ shot” and replaced it with bullets. Secondly, when the Gang approached the Police camp only two of the Police were there and one, McIntyre was unarmed and making a cup of tea. The other, Lonigan, had a revolver secured in a leather pouch and was shot and killed almost immediately. When the other two Police returned their reaction to being ordered to surrender was to fight back, but being on horseback they were sitting ducks. Scanlan was killed almost immediately, whilst scrambling off his horse and trying unsuccessfully to get to the rifle slung across his back at the same time. Kennedy fought back as he fled into the bush, wounded, he was followed and eventually dispatched with a point blank shot to the chest. 

By no means was this a “fair fight” – the Gang had the advantages of surprise, cover and numbers. The outcome was inevitable. It was a slaughter. Admiring Ned for coming out on top after this encounter would be like admiring an adult who bashed kids. Sickening.
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44 Replies to “The Murders at SBC”

  1. You know what is sickening? YOU'RE hypocrisy.Once again you and your blog is shown for the bitter jealous person you are.

    I love this description here, nice of you to (yet again) conveniently leave out details (just like you say the eviiiiil 'Kelly fanatics' do) to suit your vendetta.

    "McIntyre was unarmed and making a cup of tea. The other, Lonigan, had a revolver secured in a leather pouch and was shot and killed almost immediately."

    WOW! You should write a book like your old mate McFarlane.Talk about leaving out the HUGE detail that Ned called on them to SURRENDER.Like Ned himself said,if he had wanted to kill the police he could have very easily shot them both from the bushes without saying a word.BUT HE DIDN'T.DID HE DEE.After watching the police (for at least half an hour) from the bushes,Ned called on them to surrender because he did NOT want to murder them.NO Lonigan's revolver was not secured in a pouch when he was shot.He ran and got behind a log and then took aim at Ned.That is WHEN AND WHY Ned shot him,as it was then kill or be killed ,otherwise known as SELF DEFENCE.

    I ask you this Dee,have you ever asked yourself how Lonigan came to be shot in the eye/head? If he was just straight out shot by Ned (as you claim) where he stood, wouldn't it be far more likely he would have been shot in the chest/body area? Especially in such an extremely high pressure situation it stands to reason that you would aim for the biggest target. Lonigan was shot in the eye/head area because that was the biggest target Ned saw of him as he was looking over the log he was behind and taking aim at Ned.There's another fact you can scoff at and leave out,and of course you will as it supports Ned's version of what happened.

    You have a very nice way of twisting the story around when it suits your vent against Ned….kind of like Fitzpatrick.

    Another epic fail Dee.

  2. Phil Hardy says: Reply

    How can it ever be self-defence if the gang went all the way to the police camp and confronted the coppers?

    This was an aggressive, criminal act. How can calling the police to surrender whitewash the murders? The gang shouldn't have been there.

    I wish this 'Anonymous' was better informed and less noisome.

  3. "Anonymous" is the internet serial pest who regularly tries to disrupt forum discussions and comments. He reminds me of the poor, retired truck driver in SBS's Struggle Street. Shut up till you have read the new Morrissey book and come back when you have learned something.

  4. Thanks very much for taking the time to put your point of view. Yes, you are right, Ned did call on the Police to surrender – I was not trying to conceal that, but I wasn’t trying to retell the entire story and every detail of it because as I said there is dispute about much of the detail.

    You may not be aware if you’re not familiar with the various alternative accounts, but your claim that Lonigan was behind the logs when he was shot is one of the claims that is in dispute. Actually, your claim that the bullet wounds support Ned Kellys report of what happened is quite wrong – the wounds he received PROVE the opposite – that Ned Kellys account cannot be true. The crucial fact you will have to explain if you are going to insist Ned Kelly told the truth, is the bullet wound to his left leg. How ON EARTH could that have been hit if Ned Kelly was behind a log – and remember there are actual PHOTOS of those Logs and they were massive.

    I will be making another post soon about other SBC issues but the main point I wanted to make in this Post was that the fight wasn’t a fair fight. It was a slaughter. Nothing you have said alters that conclusion.

  5. Anonymous says: Reply

    ' Nothing you have said alters that conclusion'

    Truer words have never been spoken.Your whole blog has just been a re hash of what other Kelly haters have been saying to Kelly sympathisers since 1878.You have never offered ANYTHING new.It has all been waffled before.

    Not surprised at all to see you dodge the question again Dee.You just offer up your old rant about Lonigans left leg wound. 'How ON EARTH could that have been hit' here's how – during the crossfire of bullets after Kennedy and Scanlon returned,that's how.

    You do everything you accuse 'Kelly fanatics' of doing – dodging hard questions,leaving out facts that don't support your one eyed view.
    You do not consider any possibilities that are in Ned's favour and that support his version of events,but you will try to explain and make possible any view in the favour of the police,squatters etc.You say that claims are in dispute,that is nothing new.None of us were there so it will never be known for sure unless we saw it for ourselves.You (VERY WRONGLY) rant that Kelly sympathisers only look at Ned's version of events,yet you in every one eyed post only look at possibilities from the police,squatters etc versions.It is laughable that you don't see that.THAT is why no one takes you YES YOU seriously.

    I think you need to get a life Dee,it is very strange to say the least that you spend so much time and effort obsessing about a man you clearly hate.I think the word is pathetic.You haven't offered a single new thing on your blog or on the forums before it.It has all been heard before.

    I think you need a new hobby.Maybe try punching clouds.

  6. Anonymous says: Reply

    I agree with the other Anonymous.Take an author like McMenomy for instance,he does not hate Ned yet he is also by no means a sympathiser.Yet everyone loves his books because he tells the story without taking a side.Your blog is not like that Dee and it is true that is why people don't participate here.Your mind is already made up when it comes to Ned.You seem to have sympathy aplenty for drug addicts,whether they are heroin smugglers caught overseas or a hard luck people from Mt Druitt,yet you don't have an ounce for Ned or consider anything he said to be the truth.Just because someone wears a uniform does not automatically make them a good trustworthy person.Same goes for a person from the so called 'wrong side of the tracks' being an automatic bad person and liar.You seem to have understanding for drug addicts ending up where they did because of being possible victims of circumstance yet have will not even consider Ned to be the same? Many people make mistakes that snowball into a life of misery,it can happen to anyone.

    I have to wonder if your real problem and reason for this one sided blog is not with Ned Kelly himself,but with the other online sympathisers who have snubbed you.You are very aggressive in your attitude towards Ned Kelly,so it is no wonder.

  7. Thanks again Anonymous. I have never read or heard anywhere before the suggestion that the leg wound was caused by “crossfire” , but have read a suggestion that the gang fired into Lonigans dead body after it was all over. I will be interested to hear what others think about the “crossfire" possibility. If Bill still reads this Blog he might have a view, as he has a special interest in the detail of what happened at SBC, where people were standing and in what direction they might have been firing for example. Its a more plausible explanation than the one I keep reading about Swan Drops, though given how few shots were actually fired back toads the Gang one has to wonder at the odds of one stray bullet hitting a dead policeman.

    There are more problems with the forensics of Lonigans wounds and the account given by Ned Kelly but I will save those for another time.

    In any event, the unpalatable truth remains that this entire episode was not a fair fight but a slaughter, followed by robbery of the dead.

  8. Thanks for your thoughts. There are a number of reasons why this Blog is the way it is: firstly, I am trying to present a very clear alternative to the view that Ned kelly was a hero and Icon, and it would be rather dull if I simply regurgitated a middle-of-the road white bread sort of version, stuff thats already been said before – it would be dull and uncontroversial, there would be nothing new and no one would bother to read it. I have also been hoping that Sympathisers would join the actual debate and argue for their side of the story, so I deliberately write my Posts to be provocative and give then something clear to oppose but all they/you ever do is attack me. Third, answering your last point, certainly the often offensive and arrogant behaviour of Sympathisers has contributed to my desire to continue with this Blog and in the way that I have, “outing” their abuse, their bullying and ignorance. Lastly I do sincerely believe that the Kelly Mythology is bad history, and that there is no controversy about whether or not Ned Kelly was a hero or a villain – he was a villain for sure – but the discovery of actual historical truth and in addition the phenomenon of Kelly Mythology are fascinating aspects of Australian history and culture. There are many better icons and role models for modern Australia than a misguided bushranger.

    I should also add that I am NOT entirely without sympathy for Ned Kelly – he grew up in difficult circumstances, in difficult pioneering times, amongst a culture of lawlessness and frontier justice that was pretty hard. He had positive attributes, natural intelligence and charm, charisma and strength,imagination and passion – however he made some very bad choices, developed a habit of blaming everyone else for his troubles and instead of the poverty and hard work of farm life chose what he thought might be an easier and more exciting road of criminality and violence that in the end caught up with him. His potential was utterly wasted. I have already said I would have opposed hanging him. The entire story is a tragedy.

    So now having just made me the topic of your Post are you going to post something about why you think the murders at SBC were a fair fight or do you agree with me?

  9. Clarence Darrow says: Reply

    I guess the total pageviews counter on this page says it all.

    Dee has a sharp mind and writes thought-provoking blogs. She has a flair for sniffing out BS.

    (IO is moribund and NKF is busy admiring a long-winded, waffling 'Ned was a Hero' poem).

    I rest my case.

  10. Rick Skeen says: Reply

    Dr Russ Scott's no hold's barred 'Ned Kelly – Stock Thief, Bank Robber, Murderer – Psychopath' paper in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (July 2014) spells out the extensive evidence that Ned was a psychopath. Scott admits the Kelly crime family was impoverished and the Kelly children had “chaff bags over their shoulders to keep out the rain and the cold”. But he concludes "Rather than cravenly accept the hagiography and romanticism that Kelly was a “wronged man” driven to lawlessness by police persecution, it is more appropriate in this era to keep in perspective Kelly’s pathological lying, his parasitic lifestyle and his callous traits. On any dispassionate clinical assessment, Kelly was a violent psychopath who terrorised colonial Victoria with little concern other than for his own needs, aggrandisement and self-justification".

    The Anonymice need to read this and many other modern publications to gain true perspectives.

  11. That bloke who runs the fb hatepage against a certain book was too mean to buy the Scott paper, which he criticised anyway – sight unseen!

    He keeps turning up here anonymously to rubbish blogs and comments he doesn't get. Is he for real?

  12. I guess its easier to attack me than to defend Ned Kelly! If theyre hoping I will just go away and leave them to it : thats not going to happen!

  13. Dee,
    This topic title 'The Murders at SBC',
    Yes by all definitions if knowingly you take a persons life it is murder. However, if you know there is a police party out to get you with HUGE monitary rewards for your head, I would think you would have a good case to defend yourself, as the Kellys did.

    As far as Thomas Lonigan's fatal bullet wounds,
    According to Const McIntyre, at the offset, Kelly turned his rifle to point directly at Lonigan, he fired, a bullet direct to the eye that killed him, although he had time to say " Oh Christ I'm shot" .

    In my opinion, the other bullet wounds could only have been the result of deliberate shots at Lonigan's body by other gang members after he was dead on the ground. Doctor Samuel Reynolds who did the autopsy on Constable Lonigan's body a few days later also suggested the other bullet wounds, one to the left arm, one to the temple (a graze), one to the left thigh were suggestive of bullet injuries after circulation had stoped.
    He could not be sure, but he described the thigh injury as being from an ordinary revolver bullet.

  14. Yes, but not from a police Webley revolver.

    Dr Reynolds saw Lonigan's body next mornng, having gone with the search party from Mansfield. It was Sgt. Kennedy's body (which could not be located) that was found a few days later. How is your search for the Kennedy body location going. Any luck so far?

  15. In the Royal Commission report of 1881, Thomas McIntyre was questioned – # 14381

    " Do you think the Kellys premeditated the murder of the whole party?"

    McIntyre's answer – " I do not think they did"

    So here you have the surviving witness testifying to the RC he did not believe the Kellys intended to murder the police party.

    It was Dr Reynolds' son Willy that guided the returning party back to SBC – not the Dr.
    Willy Reynolds had been one of three prospectors that had occupied the two huts where the police had camped.

    Dr Reynolds reference to 'ordinary revolver bullets' most likely came from a hand pistol the Kellys had. McIntyre stated after Kelly fired his (cut off Enfield) rifle at Lonigan killing him, he then threw the spent rifle to his left hand and whipped out from behind a pistol, but no knowledge it being fired then. At Ned's capture he had a Pocket Colt with a short barrel, perhaps the same weapon?

    A Pocket Colt used ball or conical bullets, gun powder via a measuring flask, and percussion caps.
    My thoughts, – this means the user could skimp on the amount of charge and ultimately the bullet's velocity would be effected, which may explain why one bullet entering Lonigan's thigh travelled along the leg under the skin, and not simply blasting straight through if it had been fired from one of the police Webley revolvers.

    Regarding the Kennedy death site? Yes we have identified the most likely spot.


  16. Nobody seems to disagree with me that SBC was a slaughter, the moral equivalent to an adult bashing children. McIntyre wrote that Ned Kelly “incurred no more danger than he would have done in shooting two kangaroos”

    Bill I wouldn’t have said that the monetary reward for the capture of Ned was “HUGE” – as you put it – it was only 100 pounds and it didnt increase to HUGE till after the Police killings, when it eventually reached 2000 pounds. The reward for Harry Powers capture was 500 pounds but no-one as far as I am aware expressed a willingness to kill Harry to get it. So I am not at all convinced that Police would have killed Ned to get a share of a meagre 100.

  17. Dee,
    A hundred pounds reward monies in 1878 was equal to 82 weeks wages.
    At today's dollar value would be worth 160 to $200.000 for each of the Kelly brothers. A huge amount in my opinion. Not a bad deal if you can get it, after all, these men were only wanted for questioning!

    In the Royal Commission linked above, – RC Quoted below-
    I find it intriguing to read –

    "Of your own knowledge, either before or subsequent to the event—the murder of the police—are you now under the impression that those men were purposely decoyed for the purpose of the party being subsequently attacked and murdered?—It is a matter I have no definite opinion upon. I will tell you my reasons."
    "Have you ever heard from anyone that such was the intention?—I have heard it publicly spoken of amongst the constables that Sergeant Kennedy and Constable Scanlan knew they were in the neighbourhood and did not impart the information to me or Lonigan—to me they certainly did not impart it."
    "Did you ever hear that those men were decoyed into the position—that they went for the especial object of leaving the two who were to camp to become an easy prey to the attack of those men?—Yes, I have heard so."

    # 14376, In effect, Kennedy and Scanlan considered catching the two men themselves without McIntyre or Lonigan being present.

    # 14408, A Mr. Tolmie had shown Kennedy where to camp.

    By this I read they were more there for the reward monies and less so to carry out any form of justice.

  18. Bill I think you need to look at your numbers again. I think you’ve seriously overestimated the worth of the reward in todays money. Ive checked on the wage rates in Victoria in the 1870s and 1880s. In a PhD thesis by Eric Fry, 1956 titled "The condition of the urban wage earning class in Australia in the 1880’s” the daily rate of pay for a labourer in Melbourne in 1879 is 6 to 7 shillings, for a mason 10 and for a Blacksmith 12 or 13. I couldn’t find the Pay Rates for Police but Ive read that they were pooly paid – but would have been more than a Labourers – lets say it was 8 shillings a day – or 2 pounds a week – or about 100 pounds a year. So even for the least well paid worker the 100 pounds reward was barely a years wages, and for others considerably less. Generous, yes but at that level not “HUGE” and even less huge if shared.

    Also if you go to theres a Calculator that works out the value of yesterdays money, and if you enter 100 pounds in 1880 it calculates the modern worth is only 8410 pounds. Again, even less HUGE. Either way, I am not convinced the reward of 100 pounds was really all that much, or that it would have been sufficient incentive for Police to murder – but when it was 2000 pounds that could have been a different story.

    Regarding the RC quotes, they are not talking directly about Reward money they are suggesting something quite appalling – they are muck raking and dragging up rumours that McIntyre and Lonigan were abandoned at the Camp so they would be easy pickings for the Kellys – or have I misunderstood it? And then with McIntyre and Lonigan gone the other two wouldn’t have to share the reward – is THAT what is being suggested? If so Its preposterous isn’t it? Isn’t it just an anti Police slur being cast by the Interrogator at the RC? All McIntyre confirms is that he has heard this talked about, which is very different from saying he believes its true or that there is any substance to this gossip.

  19. Bill is losing the plot, and drawing weird conclusions from the RC.

  20. Regarding police salaries, at least in the case of Sgt Kennedy and Constable Lonigan, I found this in the Victorian Parliamentary Papers –

    "Mr Young drew attention to the item of 280 pounds for the widows of Sergeant Kennedy and Constable Lonigan murdered in the Wombat Ranges, equal to full pay of their husbands from 27th October 1878 to 30th September 1879."

    So, that is for a total of 11 months and if you evenly divided it and added in the additional month that would be over 140 pounds per year each in salary. But we must take into consideration that Kennedy's rate of pay would be a bit higher than Lonigan's since he was higher up the chain of command, but you at least get a ballpark figure to work with.

  21. Brilliant Sharon! That means they must have been on about 10 or 11 shillings a day.

    So how likely is it, knowing what we do of Kennedy and Scanlan that they would allow two of their mates to be killed so they could then move in on a reward amounting to maybe four months wages? The answer is not at all likely , if not inconceivable, and probably not likely even when the reward was 20 times higher. Bill, given that all the recorded statements agree – such as the words of McIntyre – that they were NOT going there to kill but to capture the Kellys – you will have to have come up with something more to convince me otherwise.

    I think what those questions from the RC show is how determined some of the participants were to blacken the Police. They also show what an invidious position McIntyre was in, being forced to respond to such slanderous suggestions.

  22. Dee,
    Ok, previous I got pounds to dollar calculations mixed up 1 pound = 2 Dollars.
    I did not seek exact Police wages like Sharon wa sable to dig up, just ordinary mans wages.

    In 1878 the average weekly wage in Australia was 1.22 Pounds.

    Divide 100 Pounds REWARD by 1.22 = 82 times the weekly wage.

    Todays average wage $1000 to $1300 x 82 = $82.000 to $106.000 reward for each man.

    By Sharon's, if Sergeant Kennedy got 100 Pounds / by 3.5 Pounds = 28 times his weekly wage.
    By that we see a police officer was getting 3 times more pay than the ordinary Joe farmer in the street.
    In todays terms if a police officer was getting 3 times more than the average Joe , then that could represent say $3000 or so would it not? $3000 x 28 = $ 85000, all very similar to the above mentioned $82000

    Anyway, you should ask ' Why in the hell would a family man police officer on 3 times ordinary wages band together with his fellow work mates to ferret out a few outlaws in the bush?
    Answer must be – t h e r e w a r d m on i e s
    Why would they risk their lives other wise? I always found it interesting that even Const Lonigan said to one of his mates before he left on that journey, mate, if I don't come back you can have my dog!

    If the RC was set up to investigate the Morals of the authorities then there must have been an awfull lot seriously wrong in that society. Remember all interviewies were under oath, and if you say the the interviewers were 'Muck Raking' I would say they would have made remarks to that effect.

  23. Bill I am still not happy! Its not really important in the big scheme of things but I am going to make one last comment about this shocking suggestion from the RC that McIntyre and Lonigan were set up by Kennedy and Scanlan so they could get the reward.

    Firstly, regarding your calculations – we don’t have to make generalisations about hypothetical wages and so on, because we are talking rather precisely about these two named Policemen and we know EXACTLY what their salaries were – thanks to Sharon. So, secondly the question becomes quite specifically, how likely is it that these two particular Policemen, on about 140 pounds a year would conspire to get their two mates killed by the Kellys so they could THEN capture or kill the Kellys and get a Reward of 50 Pounds each – assuming they shared it equally ( and I think in your calculations you’ve assumed each was going to get the full 100 pounds which would not be the case)

    THAT is actually what the RC was suggesting in their line of questioning of McIntyre – that those two Policemen , now dead and unable to defend themselves, – plotted to have McIntyre and Lonigan killed so they could claim a measly 50 pounds! Bill, that is an absolutely MONSTROUS suggestion, it is OUTRAGEOUS and indefensible without some very substantial evidence to support it. Thats why I call it muckraking – it is the absolute lowest possible behaviour of a Lawyer or whoever it was asking the questions, and McIntyre should never have had to answer them unless the person making these suggestions had something more than gossip to go on.

    The idea that they would allow the killing of two mates and then illegally kill the Kellys to claim a paltry sum implies these two, Scanlan and Kennedy were absolute scum. Is that what you think Bill? Even the fanatics would find it hard to declare Kennedy and Scanlan absolute low life and scum but that would be a fair description of them if the allegation was the truth about them. If its not the truth about them, its a disgusting slander.

    I believe they went out to capture the Kellys because it was their sworn duty as Policemen, even though they had obvious fear about what might happen to them, and went reluctantly. Reward money was the least of their concerns – they were worried about survival.

  24. I don't get where Bill is coming from either. It is well-known that sworn members share a sense of deep comradeship. Hence the unrelennting 'Hunt' for the Kelly gang. NSW and Qld police donated generously to the memorial for the three fallen Victoria police.

  25. Mick Wilkinson says: Reply

    Bill is the acknowledged expert on the police camp at SBC with a 15 year background of on-site research.

    But he is no expert on the coppers, their motives, potential rewards, or the political shonks on the Police RC.

    Stick to what you know, Bill !

  26. " no expert on the coppers, their motives, potential rewards" !

    That's right, and what's written is not my theory, its in the Royal Commission.
    I'm only the messenger.

    I've had R.C. pages 522, 523, 524, and 525 on my Two Huts webpages since 2003, so I can't help it if you readers are shocked reading about the possibility some police officers being set up as a decoys. Read the pages carefully.

    I hope you also know that Sergeant Kennedy and Constable Scanlan had shared a substantial reward for arresting a man some time before, (I think Isaiah Wright) so it would appear there was a pattern forming.

    Stick to what's been written, Mick !


  27. Anonymous says: Reply

    There was a stock protection association in Mansfield. That is a number of the leading land owners throughout the shire had combined for the purpose of protecting their stock from being stolen and in furtherence of this object had offered a very handsome reward for the arrest and conviction of any person stealing the stock of any member of the association.
    The reward thus offered was nomally 100 pounds and although it usually fell short of that amount it was always a very good sum of money.
    Senior Constable Kennedy had received several of these rewards and shortly after my arrival at Mansfield he informed me that he had found in a local store, a number of sheep skins with the brands defaced. Learning from whom they were purchased he took me with him and we together watched the suspected person from the top of a hill which overlooked his dwelling. We used glasses and after watching for several days got the suspected person in the act of killing some sheep which proved to belong to a neighboring squatter and, a conviction following, a reward of 50 pounds was given by the society.
    Wether this association had an effect in preventing crime or not, it certainly was the case that there was very little stock reported to us as having being stolen.

    T.N.McIntyre. Extract from …. A True Narrative of the Kelly Gang.

    It would seem that it was not uncommon for some police to seek and receive additional rewards for doing their duty.
    However I would agree with Dee,
    "The idea that they would allow the killing of two mates and then illegally kill the Kellys to claim a paltry sum implies these two, Scanlan and Kennedy were absolute scum." I cannot believe they would even contemplate ever doing that.

  28. Anonymous says: Reply

    As expected just as Bill puts up an inconveninet truth for Dee to ponder she changes the subject.


  29. Dee, are you able to edit – fix the faulty URL on my previous post to this

    At bottom of page see RC pages 522, 523, 524, 525 with my pencil notes


  30. No Bill sorry Blogger doesn’t allow me to Edit peoples comments other than delete them altogether. Why don’t you repost it with the right URL and then if you like I could delete the previous one?

  31. and to Anonymous2, I am not trying to change the subject. Theres no reason not to post your thoughts on ANY of the Posts on this Blog at anytime.Please go ahead – or are you just going to stand on the sidelines and criticise?

  32. Anonymous says: Reply

    Tolmie’s boundary rider had been in the vacinity of Stringybark Creek laying baits to poisen dingoes when he came across the horses belonging to the Kelly’s. He informed his employer Mr Tolmie that he believed the Kelly’s were camped in the area.
    Mr Tolmie in turn passed this information onto Sergeant Kennedy. Mr Tolmie later took Kennedy to Stringybark Creek and showed him the shingle hut near which the police party pitched their tent.

    Therefore Kennedy had prior knowledge of the Stringybark Creek camp location and that the Kelly’s were likely to be in the vacinity or thereabouts.

  33. Anonymous says: Reply

    Sergeant Kennedy did not relay this information onto McIntyre fpr reasons unknown.

    From the Royal Commission
    14348. Was there any previous information received, as far as you know, of the Kellys being in the neighborhood in which you were camped?— (Thomas McIntyre) None, to my knowledge.

  34. This is bordering on Conspiracy Theory nonsense, quoting rather vague statements from the RC and hinting that somehow they support a notion that Kennedy conspired with Scanlan against Lonigan and McIntyre. There are innumerable possible explanations of why McIntyre might not remember ever having been told about the possibility of the Kellys being in the area of the Shingle hut including forgetting, and including Kennedy being sceptical about what Tolmie told him so not bothering to pass it on, and various other possibilities. In any case the conspiracy theory is that these two concealed information from McIntyrre and lonigan in the hope that by doing so, those two Policemen would be killed and Kennedy and Scanlan would then somehow manage to capture or kill the Kellys and then get 50 pounds each. This sequence of events is beyond absurd. Its ridiculous. At most its evidence of the RC being determined to blacken the reputation of Police who were dead and unable to defend themselves.

    But anyone proposing it as a possibility has to agree that if its true, Kennedy and Scanlan were scum. Which sympathiser and conspiracy theorist is big enough and brave enough to put his name to that idea?

  35. Anonymous says: Reply

    From the Royal Commission. Thomas McIntyre sworn and examined.
    14334. What were your instructions when you were sent out?— The instructions I learned from Sergeant Kennedy were that we were to meet a party of police at Hedi, and after a consultation we were to search the bush.

    14344. What was the special object of camping on this ground?—That I cannot say. I expected to go to Hedi station. I was surprised at our camping. I asked Kennedy, in a jocular manner, why he came there, and he said, “If we meet the other party of police, we will find they are out of tucker and they will eat us out.”

    14355. Is it your opinion that he had no knowledge or suspicion the outlaws were in the neighbor hood at that particular time?—Well, from what has come to my knowledge since, I do not know what to believe; I do not know what to think.

    14379. You have no belief now that Kennedy went away for the purpose of getting any special advantage for himself to lead you to that belief?—I think it is very strange they went to that neighbourhood instead of continuing the direct road to Hedi


    It would be reasonable to assume that at the time the police party were looking for the two Kelly brothers, not expecting them to have been joined by the Steve Hart & Joe Byrne.

  36. It was logical for Kennedy and Scanlan (who knew the country) to scour the bush, and for Lonigan and McIntyre (who did not) to stay behind.

    The other police party was coming from Greta. They were all going to join up at the head of the King River.

    McIntyre was unable to identify Joe and Steve who he did not know, but was confidant of being able to identify them physically, and did so in due course..

  37. Anonymous says: Reply

    Through his correspondence with Superintendent Sadlier on August 16th 1878 Kennedy recommended Constable Michael Scanlan to join the search party of police. As Scanlan was “familiar with that country between here (Mansfield) and the King River”
    Kennedy also proposed to establish a camp near the shingle hut on Stringybark Creek. The location having already ( I assume) been shown to him by Mr Tolmie. He would then have known that the Kelly’s horses were seen in the vacinity.

    McIntyre and Lonigan not ever having been told about the possibility of the Kellys being in the area.

    Quote from Bill’s blog. “ I hope you a lso know that Sergeant Kennedy and Constable Scanlan had shared a substantial reward for arresting a man some time before, (I think Isaiah Wright) so it would appear there was a pattern forming.”

    Through McIntyre’s narrative – The reward thus offered by the stock protection association for stock theft was nomally 100 pounds and although it usually fell short of that amount it was always a very good sum of money.

    Remembering it was publicly spoken of amongst the constables that they thought his (Kennedy’s) actions were strange.

    However, It would seem logical for Kennedy and Scanlan (who knew the country) to scour the bush, and for Lonigan and McIntyre (who did not) to stay behind.

  38. Dee,
    You say the questions are conspiratorial.
    In your opinion is the Royal Commission of 1881 a reliable source of information concerning the Kelly outbreak?
    If not, what is reliable ? The answers are what's impotant not the questions.

    Gerry and Anonymous,
    As I recall Const McIntyre was chosen because he was familiar with the country, Const Lonigan because he knew Ned Kelly, but neither were with Kennedy and Scanlan. It would appear these two knew something the others did not. I have discussed this with a descendant of Ewan Tolmie who thought it entirely possible one of Tolmie's sons may have tipped off Sgnt Kennedy.

    The above link, is a much reduced web friendly 'Royal Commission' report to the pertinant pages with notes in red.
    Sorry but the first 14 pages are testemony from Capt Standish who was in charge, they form a bases for what follows.


    PS, This time if the link does not work try this

  39. Anonymous says: Reply

    Bill, as I understand it McIntyre was the camp cook. Taking with him a compass and a map as he was not familiar with the area. Kennedy was content to have 3 in the police party. Sadlier included Lonigan as he could recognise Ned Kelly.

    The subject of Kennedy and Scanlans' motives has been suggested by others – authors etc. Time it was cleared or not.

  40. I can't see where this is leading. When eeverything is boiled down, three police were ambushed and killed, and the Kelly gang left unscathed.

    Even if Kennedy and Scanlan had prior knowledge (which I doubt) or were seeking a reward, they were both gunned down in an ambush.

    No positives there.

  41. Whether or not McIntyre was familiar with the area, he still would have had his compass and map with him. He said "I always carried a compass and also a map of the Police District in which I happened to be stationed pasted in my Police Memo-book, a book which each Constable has to carry, so that I had no fear that I could not find my way out of or into any place to which my duty might call me."

  42. That's right Sharon, and proved by the way McIntyre extricated himself from the massacre crimescene, hid in the wombat lair and made his way back.

    But like Les, I can't see where this is going.

  43. I will be most interested to read Dee’s reply to BIll’s questions.

  44. I am not sure which of Bills questions you are interested to see me reply to, but the last thing he asked me was if I thought the RC was a reliable source of information,and if I didnt, what source IS reliable.

    The important thing to realise is that the Report of the Royal Commission is a record of the recollections and opinions of people involved in the outbreak, and of the Commissioners. So one can certainly state that the RC Report is a reliable record of the opinions and recollections that were offered to the Commissioners during the hearings. That however is a VERY different thing from saying that those OPINIONS and MEMORIES can be relied on, because as everyone now knows, human memory and opinion is actually surprisingly UNreliable, and subject to all kinds of bias and error. As an example, if someone was asked in the RC if he believed that Kennedy plotted against Lonigan and McIntyre, and the person said yes he did believe there was such a plot, this does not by ANY MEANS prove that such a plot existed. All it proves is that someone believed it did. We would then have to ask for the evidence that supported such an opinion.

    In summary, I don’t think its useful to label the entire RC as either reliable or unreliable ; it is useful reference and source of opinion and recollection, and certain kinds of information, but each claim and opinion expressed has to be assessed on its merits as to whether or not it is reliable. This is true for all sources of information.

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