Dan goes to Gaol; Two Kelly Myths sink

Ian Jones called Chapter 7 of his Kelly  biography “The Fitzpatrick Mystery” because there were so many conflicting accounts given of what took place when Fitzpatrick was at the Kelly homestead on Monday April 15th1878 it became almost impossible to work out what really happened.
In the preceeding Chapter 6, titled “The Whitty larceny”, he wrote of another mystery, the “mysterious fracas with Mrs Amelia Goodman” Its another one of those events that’s been confused by so many conflicting accounts that its hard to be sure exactly what happened. It isn’t even mentioned in Peter Fitzsimons Kelly biography.
The ‘fracas’ occurred at a shop run by David and Amelia Goodman, at Winton, on the evening of September 27th 1877, when Mr Goodman was away on business. According to McMenomy “Dan Kelly arranged to deliver some meat to Mrs Goodman and pick up some groceries – an exchange which the Kellys frequently did to get supplies. Dan arrived at the shop after closing time and the Goodmans refused to open up. Dan and the Lloyds ( Tom and Jack) broke the door in and got their rations. Beyond that the details are unreliable.”
Ian Jones version says that according to Mrs Goodman when they arrived the three of them were ‘drunk and rowdy. They punched in a door panel threw some furniture around and broke windows. A visiting Jewish Hawker Moris or Moses Solomon became involved and Dan supposedly knocked him down……When Goodman returned two days later he spun a fantastic tale to the police. The Benalla Bench issued warrants charging the cousins with breaking and entering the Goodman dwelling and stealing an incredible array of goods valued at £133, including a case of boots, six coats, fourteen pairs of trousers and several watches. Goodman capped it off with an allegation that Tom Lloyd had attempted to rape his wife
Later, Jones writes “ On 19 October Dan Tom and Jack stood trial. They were promptly found not guilty of Breaking and Entering and Stealing by the police, but police magistrate Butler was quite undeterred by the fact that the prosecution case had been exposed as an elaborate fabrication. ( Goodman eventually received three years for perjury, his wife escaped a similar charge on a technicality and Moris Solomon had disappeared ) Butler now found the three boys guilty of damaging property to the value of £10, ordered each of them to pay damages of £5.10s  and serve three months hard labour for Common Assault.
Unfortunately Ian Jones references to the original newspaper reports of the Trial (O&M Nov 20th 1877) are incorrect. McMenomys reference is for OCTOBER 20th edition, but its not there either. I have spent half the day searching the O&M from September through to December without luck, so I am unable to bring them to you, but if anyone knows where they are please tell us.  
Jones lists that same  November edition of the O&M as one of his two sources for the claim about the perjury of the Goodmans. The entire article from the O&M is as follows:
Cox v Amelia Goodman.  
Mr Pow for plaintiff ; Mr McDonnell for defendant.
For the want of proper information on the face of the summons, the case was struck out.
This report contains almost no information so how exactly Jones links this to the Kelly case is not clear, and there is no reference  that I can  find anywhere to Mr Goodmans case, or his sentence of three  years for perjury.
Jones other reference in regard to the allegation about the Goodmans perjury is the Cameron letter, or in other words Ned Kelly! In the Cameron letter Ned Kelly complained that “Mr D Goodman since got four years for perjury concerning the same property” McMenomy, whose book predates Ian Jones, repeats Neds claim that Goodman got four years but there is no explanation or obvious reason why Jones later claimed it was actually three. Justin Corfield in his Encyclopaedia says Goodman went to gaol for three years ‘for perjury over the evidence he gave ; his wife escaped Gaol” and lists Ian Jones : A Short Life  as his reference.
So it seems this story about Goodmans perjury is based on an acceptance of Ned Kellys claim in the Cameron letter, a claim he doesn’t repeat in the Jerilderie letter, and on an allegation of Perjury against Mrs Goodman that was struck out when it got to court. The case was brought by “Cox’ a name not mentioned anywhere in relation to this incident so it probably had nothing to do with it even if it had proceeded.   Is this a myth in the making?
The answer to this was provided only a year ago, by Doug Morrissey in his book, ‘A Lawless Life’. He showed that Ned was completely confused about a separate case that Mr Goodman was involved with, and the  claim that Mr Goodman went to Gaol for four years for perjury was completely wrong. It never happened.  The person who went to Gaol was a man named Unger who tried to defraud Goodman. Unger went to gaol for 18 months and Goodman was never charged with anything.
Heres an extract from The Argus of February 19th 1878:
MONDAY, Feb l8.
(Before His Honour Mr Justice Fellows)
Mr C A Smyth prosecuted for the Crown
Morris Unger was charged with fraudulently concealing goods belonging to the
estate of Davis Goodman, of Winton, hawker and general dealer. Mr Molesworth appeared for the defence.….
….The jury found the defendant guilty, and his Honour sentenced him to l8 months hard labour. The Court adjourned till next day
So can anyone show me where in all this is the evidence that the Kellys, Dan in this instance, was being hounded and unfairly persecuted by the Police? There doesn’t seem to be much doubt that Dan Kelly and his nephews went to the Goodmans and as a result there was indeed a ‘fracas’. Perhaps it was a bit of drunken hooliganism arising out of Mrs Goodmans unwillingness to open her shop up to three inebriated hoons, late in the day with her husband away. There was property damage and some sort of threatened or actual assault, and theft. Complaints were made – perhaps exaggerated – arrests were made, some of the charges were dismissed and convictions and sentences were entered for others. The case however was misrepresented by Ned Kelly as  some sort of corrupt activity involving the Authorities and the Goodmans, and as ever with Ned Kelly the great persuader, he’s had everyone believing till now that this was another example of the victimisaion of the Kellys. Well  it wasn’t. Once again, to quote Ian Jones conclusion about Ned Kellys version of the Fitzpatrick event, “he lied”.

This is actually yet another example of how so much of the Kelly myth is based on an acceptance of lies from Ned Kelly. The truth of this episode is that Dan Kelly wasn’t  innocent or being picked on. He got what was coming to him, and I doubt there would be anyone in the Kelly world who has the courage to stick up for the persecuted and hounded Kelly myth and argue that he didnt? I will be amazed if there is.
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7 Replies to “Dan goes to Gaol; Two Kelly Myths sink”

  1. Dee. Hi. One thing that always plays on my mind is that Dan, Ned, Jim, Tom Lloyd etc were all just kids really. And I am not just talking about the Goodman incident. Stupid kids doing stupid things for a laugh or instructed to from those above. These guys obviously grew up in an environment of lawlessness with major influences from the likes of Wild Pat Quinn and others. What chance did they have? Was Ned ever taught about lifes etiquettes in his formative years? His Dad was gone at a young age and he was constantly around criminality. What chance did the Kelly boys have? Your thoughts on this?

  2. Mark I really appreciate your willingness to contribute to the discussion. I am disappointed that so few others do outside the small group that have been supporting me all along even while not necessarily agreeing with me – or even hardly ever agreeing with me but thats fine, its the debate thats important.

    My thoughts on your comment above? I agree with you, they grew up in a pretty lawless environment with hopeless role models and poverty that was made lots worse by their own behaviour. But poverty was not all that uncommon, and neither were kids with only one parent, but as Morrissey shows the great majority of selectors had a tough time of it but eventually did Ok , and of course some like old Quinn and Whitty did very well. So I believe much too much is made of these facts of Ned Kellys life, and have to conclude a lot of it was peculiar to Neds own internal make-up. A psychopaths personality is born not made, but circumstances acting on such a personality, and on a strong handsome man can produce what we actually see in Ned Kelly – charismatic, reckless, superficially charming, grandiose ego…Ned was clearly the ring leader and prime energiser of the entire outbreak. All the other players were just hangers on who wouldn’t lift a finger to assist when he needed it, and once he was dead the Outbreak was over.

    So what chance did the Kelly boys have? Well they had choices like all of us…and once they made some really bad ones, like going to bail up the police at SBC the die was cast.

    My other thought is that having an understanding and even sympathy for the external circumstances and rotten luck that contribute to the desperate situations people end up in can never mean we should condone the bad things they end up doing. I don’t think its inconsistent to have sympathy for Ned Kelly but still regard him as a villain and a psychopathic killer. We should stop making excuses for him. He was a tragic figure in hat classical sense.

  3. I strongly disagree with the psycho label though. He was no more "psychotic" than Isiah Wright, Joe Byrne, Sherritt, Fitzpatrick, Brooke-Smith, Michael Ward. . His big failing though was an extremely large ego, an urge to show off and impress, to answer those who asked a show of strength from him. If any were going to be labelled with this, I would suggest one of the Quinns is more fitting.

    He was always larger than life. In Life and in death. Height, alexandrite eyes (Jones), good looks, strength, all contributed. He would have received lots of attention from the day Red died. And then he moved into the hornets nest at Greta to complete his "education".

  4. Mark, I have just read an article on Psychology Today "How to Tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath' https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wicked-deeds/201401/how-tell-sociopath-psychopath and it seems to me that Ned and many of his mates and family fitted comfortably into both definitions. But I must say I tend more toward the 'psycopath' label.

  5. Sharon and Spudee – I almost lost your comments and have reposted them from the copy that goes to the Blogs email address. Thanks for these two interesting comments. Greatly appreciated support.

  6. Big Thank you to Noeleen Lloyd, great grand-daughter of Tom Lloyd who supplied the reference for the Court Appearances of her relation and his two cousins Dan Kelly and Jack Lloyd in the Goodman matter. She points out that McMenomys reference was CORRECT – and in my haste scrolling though I missed it on the October 20th O&M Noeleen also states she doesn’t defend their behaviour. She also mentions an article in the O&M from October 2nd which is an Editorial commenting on the news before it had gone to trial. I had seen it before, and read about it in A Short Life. Its almost worth a full discussion on a second post because its quite a clear example of the unbalanced way Ian Jones tells the story so that it promotes his view of the persecution of the kellys, thats not as clear when you look at the sources.

  7. Unger didn’t disappear – he went to gaol. His PROV prison record shows he was convicted 14 Feb 1878 and freed 11 June 1879. According to gaol records, he was born in 1836 in Germany and came to Australia on the Antiope in 1872, married to Henrietta Goldsmith and had 2 children living at 90 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. He was Moses/Moris/Morris Solomon but Mr Brown said “Knew Mr. Unger. He never went by the name of Solomon” in the Greta Outrage trial. He was back at the Winton store within the month after the Outrage and that was where he concealed property of an insolvent (Davis Goodman’s) estate since he felt he was owed a lot of money. I have not found any other Victorian historical records alas, so he likely moved interstate. I’m not a Kelly expert ‘tho.

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