Dee Looks Back at 2017

The Kelly myths continue to shrink into the distant past.

In no particular order, here are what I think were the main events in the Kelly Calendar for 2017, a year which was a universally rotten one for Kelly sympathisers, as the Kelly lies and legends were rolled back relentlessly, and the only comeback by its hard-core supporters was  abuse and vilification and a retreat to the comfort of the tired worn out old myths.
1. The History Channels series Lawless : the real bushrangers”.
I think the episode about Ned Kelly was the biggest Kelly event this year, in terms of its reach and its impact on public perceptions of Ned Kelly. Thousands upon thousands of Australians saw Ned Kelly demonstrated to be a callous killer, and the documentary rejected his claim to have killed in self-defence. They also demonstrated the way in which Lonigans wounds were created by a single shot using a quartered bullet, validating the explanation I devised a year or more ago.  The Ned Kelly episode of Lawless was a significant blow to the Kelly mythology, which is why Kelly sympathisers rubbished it. Read more HERE.
2. Mrs Kelly by Grantlee Kieza. This was undoubtedly the best Kelly book released this year, and is one of the few really good Kelly books of all time. A very well researched and comprehensive biography which inevitably chronicled the entire Kelly saga, and exposed Ned Kelly as a dangerous criminal. Another blow to Kelly sympathisers who took a while to realise what Kieza had rather cunningly done to their hero. Read more HERE.
3. The Legend of Ned Kelly Movie Kickstarter Campaign. This was an ambitious attempt by Australian award-winning movie maker Matthew Holmes to raise funds for a movie that he claimed would tell the Kelly story “based solely on the facts and the evidence we have on hand, not based on a novel or an opinion”. Given that one of the scriptwriters was going to be an extremist Kelly fanatic, and that Holmes blocked me from commenting or challenging him and the scriptwriters on their Facebook page, it was very clear this movie at the very least would have been some form of apology for Ned Kelly and most likely a dishonest retelling of the myths. The Kickstarter campaign was a spectacular flop, and demonstrated how sick and tired people in Australia are of hearing about Ned Kelly. Only a tiny minority regard him as a worthy hero and only 400 Australians were prepared to offer financial support for Holmes movie. Another blow to Kelly mythology. Read more HERE. 

4. The Updated CSI Report. This Report was first released 5 years ago and presented arguments for a particular place at Stringybark Creek being the site of the Police camp and the murders of Lonigan and Scanlon. It was unconvincing. The update included dishonest claims about Heritage Victoria taking an interest in their site, and an argument based on a  bullet found there some years ago by a man whose later admissions  have so undermined his credibility that inclusion of his evidence in the Updated CSI Report makes it even less credible. The Update also includes an explanation of Lonigans injuries using the insights I developed on the Blog a  long time before they did, and which accurately implies Ned Kelly’s version of events was a lie, a useful observation but of no relevance to their faulty arguments about the site of the Police camp. Read more HERE.
5. Dr Stuart Dawsons Historical Commentary on the demise of George Metcalf. This was the third of Dawsons forensic examinations of particular incidents in the Kelly story. This time he debunked the sympathisers false claim that it was the police who injured Metcalf at Glenrowan. The actual historical documentation shows it was Ned Kelly who caused the injury to Metcalfs eye, an injury which it is thought eventually resulted in Metcalfs untimely death a few months after the siege at Glenrowan. Another Kelly myth debunked! Dawson also made available for free download an online transcription of The Kelly Gang or the Outlaws of the Wombat Ranges, 1879, by G.Wilson Hall. Read more HERE, and HERE.
6. Ned Kelly : Iron Outlaw by Brad Webb.Written by the Iron Outlaw Webpage creator, this attractive looking little paperback was a massively cynical retelling of the entire tired old Kelly mythology. It contains nothing that will be new to anyone familiar with Kelly mythology but will deceive people who aren’t, because the book claims to have been written by a historian, which Mr Webb is not. The history it contains is fake. Read more HERE.
7. Upgrades to Stringybark Creek. For several months DELWP have been engaged in a process aimed at upgrading the tourist experience at Stringybark Creek. Its good news that they want to increase recognition of the sacrifices made by police at the site and take the focus away from the Kelly Gang. Its also good news they have at last recognised that Ian Jones advice has led them and the public astray for several years, and so they will discontinue misidentifying a place on the eastern side of the Creek as being where the Police camp was. However its not such good news that for reasons they refuse to explain, they’ve decided not to make  an attempt to find the police campsite on the eastern side. This process is still ongoing, and many of us have made submissions to Heritage Vicoria in the hope they will be persuaded to agree that identifying the actual site should be a priority, as it’s the main thing people drive  way out there to see. Read more HERE.
8. The Ned Kelly Center. This concept that went nowhere about a decade ago has been revived by Joanne Griffiths who runs a FB page with the same title. Her Fundraiser was a disaster nobody is interested in it so she has asked the Wangaratta Council to give her a few million dollars to get it off the ground. Its not going to happen. If anyone wants to gauge how much public interest there is in her project they only need to check out her FB page its as dead as a dodo. Read more HERE.
9.The other Ned Kelly related Facebook Pages.The pro-kelly places kicked me out over a year ago and I predicted they would decline into irrelevancy, and that’s what’s happened. All they do is re-post items of news and the pages from other Kelly places. Certainly none of them have any detailed discussions about anything, and nobody challenges police hate posts or plainly false Kelly beliefs. On the Unmasking page there are only three people who ever post comments, about 80% of them are childish personal attacks on me, and they never discuss the book the FB page is supposed to be debunking. Their most recent post is a link to an article that 30 or more people likedyet not one of them made a comment about the  litany of inaccurate and plainly wrong statements about the saga made in the article (such as that the Jerilderie Letter was published in 1879, and that Ned Kelly  wounded numerous officers before he was captured at Glenrowan )  There are two FB pages dedicated to Bushranging in general, the one curated by Aidan Phelan links to an interesting Blog Page but almost nobody comments on his articles. The only  Facebook place where anything interesting ever happens is on my Ned Kelly: The True Story Facebook site (TTS). As a case in point, on all those other pages there have been no new comments for several days. On TTS my comment on Sunday morning had reached 435 people by evening! Read more HERE.
10. An Introduction to Ned Kelly : A Pictorial History of an Australian Outlaw. This overpriced 2017 publication consists of about 100 colour photos of various landmarks in Kelly  country accompanied by  an entirely unoriginal text which supports all the usual Kelly myths. I suppose bad photos might be better than none in the eyes of some readers, but I remain convinced better photos of all the named places can be found for nothing on Google Images. Read more HERE.
11. 50th Anniversary of the landmark Kelly Symposium at Wangaratta. I wrote a series of reviews of the presentations made at that Easter 1967 Symposium which did indeed herald a kind of resurrection of Kelly mythology, reaching its peak  in the 80s. We have now entered the new age where mythology is in decline and being replaced by Kelly historical truth-telling, but its fascinating to look back to see where it all began, and how hopeful the Kelly future seemed to be back then. Read the first of six posts HERE.
12. Death of the Legend Blog. We had our third birthday this year and  continued to be the only place on the Internet where interesting ideas and thoughts about the Kelly legends are debated and discussed in detail. In addition to all the topics mentioned above, there were also discussions about such things as the reliability of the Ned Kelly Encyclopaedia, the identity of the greatest of all the Kelly Myths, the life of Sir Redmond Barry, a review of the terrific movie The Legend of Ben Hall, and what should new owners of the siege site at Glenrowan do with it. We also asked when exactly did Ned Kelly stand up for his family, or do something truly heroic, and exposed him time and again as a notorious liar.  As usual there was plenty about the Fitzpatrick Incident.
13. No Ned Kelly Weekend for the second year in a row. Its finished.

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108 Replies to “Dee Looks Back at 2017”

  1. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Hi Dee, nice to see that I made the top baker's dozen of Kelly events in your review! There's no need to use the "Dr" title about me, I never bother with it. It's just a uni thing. Happy Christmas to you and your readers of various perspectives, and next year should be interesting when Doug Morrissey's promised second Kelly book appears at some point. It's about "Squatters, Selectors and Stock Thieves" according to the end-line in a short article he wrote a while ago. That was what he did his PhD on, so it ought to be backed with very solid research.

  2. Ian Bequin says: Reply

    You forgot living-treasure Bill Denheld, Dee! Among other things, he demolished “Lawless: the real bushrangers” Stringybark Creek police camp twaddle. He also got stuck right into the DELWP Moomba-style signage sideshow.

    As I was driving today I noticed a spider on my side-mirror. It clung on for dear life FOR 15 clicks and made it home.

    I now call it 'bill'.

    Fitzy, the Denhelds' false 'friend', has been undermining Bill's Two Huts site for many years, sniping from the shadows.

    This is is further proof to me that Bill is 500% CORRECT.

    Complaints to Google about the Hate site are mounting and being perpetually ignored. legal pals are getting ready to step in!

  3. Anonymous says: Reply

    2017 was a mixed year. Some Kelly books and movies released. Dee continues on her way tearing everyone apart that dares question her immense knowledge, and the world still spins. What will 2018 bring? More movies, more books, and one very big event, which I am sure will give you cause to sprout forth more venom Dee. What is it? You will know very soon!!

  4. Oh I love a guessing competition : Dont tell me Darren Sutton is finally going to release the results of the independent tests he claimed he did on that bit of scrap? On second thoughts that wouldn't be "one very big event" so it cant be that. Or maybe Fitzy is going to reveal the second part of his explanation of what happened to Lonigan ( he's had more than enough time now to dream up something, especially as Ive already given him the solution…) but no, that wouldn't be a "big event" either. Oh God, dont tell me the Wangaratta Council is going to give Joanne Griffiths 6 million dollars? Now that WOULD be big! Oh, you win, I give up….what is it?

  5. Only thing I know of that has been announced so far is the 70th anniversary celebration of Max Brown's "Australian Son" sometime in February at Greta. I guess we just stay tuned for any further future big events.

  6. Ovens and Murray Advertiser says: Reply

    O&M 24 July 1880 page 1 – KELLY, THE MURDERER. The delineation of the character of Kelly, given by Professor Nimshi at Wangaratta six years since, is as follows: — "The head of this man is non-intellectual. The base of the skull, with the whole bassiller section of the brain, is a massive development of the lower animal proclivities, and which, being vastly in excess of the moral sectional measurement, inclines him to the perpetration of sensual animal vices, and which with an adverse facial angle prompts him to the commission of vicious, brutal acts of outrage and aggressiveness. He has large organs of self-esteem and love of approbation, which gives self-conceit and vanity. If the one be wounded or the other mortified, his animal nature would know no bounds. He would be likely under sudden surprise to commit the grossest outrages; and, being uncontrolled by any moral sentiment, stamps his character as wolfish and ravenous, his notions of moral right giving him a dangerous range of action." We think it high time that society should avail itself of the means of protection that phrenology affords, which a true exponent of it can readily give by pointing out the different traits of character of individuals, either for good or for harm. We think it should receive a public recognition, and be taught in our schools. We should say that the sooner the Government recognises the efficient, services of such a man as Professor Nimshi who is now amongst us, by appointing him as Visiting Inspector our public schools to discover the children's capabilities and traits of character, the better it will be for the community at large. — "To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

  7. What a load of crap.. to put it bluntly. Did the good Dr. Nimshi dig up Ned"s remains and examine them after his death? Because that is the only way he could have examined the base of the skull, which was still attached to his spine, and this was well documented when his remains were dug up at Pentridge, and re-buried at Greta.

  8. Warren Hunt says: Reply

    I'm guessing its that town north-west of Beechworth where Cupid and Jager were planning "A Kelly Weekend" if things went pear-shaped at Beechworth. Fitzy attended an earlier event there. I remember seeing his bald pate and gross obesity in a couple of photos. Can't remember what the event was – they're all so forgettable.

    But I bet this is what the reckless lamebrains are intending.

  9. Phil Philander says: Reply

    Oh dear! Everyone except Fitzy knows that Phrenology was a pseudoscience primarily focused on measurements of the human skull, based on the concept that the brain is the organ of the mind, and that certain brain areas have localized, specific functions or modules.

    Ned was a psychopath say Dr Russ Scott and Ian Macfarlane (2014).

    Let's leave it at that.

  10. Unfortunately, phrenology was a massive failure – a lot like today's Australian immigration policy. A complete mess.

    Everything is suddenly overcrowded. Amenity has been ruined.

    Worst of all, the handful of Kelly fanciers at the Fitzy Hate Page keep posting utter rubbish.

    One silly woman wrote that Victoria Police were anti-Irish. What a clown. Most of them were Irish you fool!

  11. Argus letter says: Reply

    Argus 2 July 1880 page 7 – Letter – We shall next hear of the erection of monuments inscribed with expressions of admiration for the careers and sorrow for the fate of these outlaws. The stones will become shrines, and be venerated by the neighbourhood, tainting its moral atmosphere by exalting these murderers into heroes, in the eyes of the young in particular. Their graves should have been a nameless hole in a gaol-yard—out of sight, out of mind.

  12. Ovens and Murray Advertiser says: Reply

    O&M, 7 August 1880, page 4 – Professor Nimshi. — Professor Nimshi has fixed Monday, 18th inst., for his phrenological, philosophical and poetical entertainment, combining instruction and humor, and as our old friend and public favorite, Mr Wm. Wilson, of Wangaratta, is coming up to Beechworth expressly to aid the Professor with his fund of talent, we may expect a great treat on the occasion; the Professor being a host of strength in himself. We understand that he has kindly volunteered a night for the benefit of the Ovens District Hospital, to be held at a later date. We trust that he will be well supported, as he is well and favorably known by a large number of persons throughout the district.

  13. Jim Ledbury says: Reply

    A pregnant silence from the Kelly buffoons.

    If a 2018 Kelly Weekend was planned at least ten people might turn up.


  14. Herb Watt says: Reply

    Ned's perhaps headless body was buried in unconsecrated ground at the Old Melbourne Gaol. Developers dug him and other executed criminals up to make way for buildings that now surround the OMG. The early Melbourne general cemetary was dug up for today's Victoria Market which itself now seems doomed. Melbourne's constant redevelopment has already destroyed hundreds of irreplaceable historic sites.

    DELWP is helping destroy Stringybark Creek.

    Can anyone tell me where the Eureka Stockade once stood ?

  15. Hello Herb, I happen to have a fine copy of ‘Eureka from the Official Records Office, 1995, compiled by Ian McFarlane yes’ our Ian McFarlane. It’s a treasured book that is the most comprehensive record, and just from memory, because nobody at the time actually marked the spot, the exact location faded into obscurity just as with the site at SBC after 1900. The real stockade location happens to be amongst the over developed housing area just before town. I will prepare a Google Earth map to show where the Eureka Centre should be.

  16. The present Eureka Centre is in a valley where it could have been sniped on instead of attacked. There are a lot of fools in Ballarat.

  17. neil montague says: Reply

    If anyone could find the exact site of the Eureka Stockade today, it would be you Bill! There are several so-called Ballarat 'historians' who will attempt to nay-say you, but they are time-wasters like our pro-Kelly shamble-mongers at SBC.

    The laughable, tiresome Heath Ledger: Ned Kelly movie will be 'encored' yet again on Nine's 93 and 99 channels on Wednesday.

    The Clods at Channel Nine don't read your blog Dee. They are too busy planning new avalanches of advertising rubbish. Saturation advertising is brain-washing while the free-to-air regulator (a huge joke) sits on its hands and allows the commercial channel shonks to do as they like.

    No pollies in sight either.

  18. Neil Montague, you are so right. Commercial TV is nearly unwatchable. Watched The Ashes today on NINE, with the Trivago woman on at nearly every Ad break. Trivago is trying to word-associate with HOTEL. It won't work. They spend, we suffer.

    The Kelly buffs are like this. Jack Peterson, Webb, both Fitzsimons, and others keep trotting out the Ned trash as if it was true. Just like the advertising and gambling shonks who ruin our TV viewing experience with their endless lies and foolish claims

  19. Are those Fitzsimons related?

  20. Watched the maudlin Heath Ledger "Ned Kelly" movie tonight, there to see Ned snatching the drowning lad at Hughes Creeks up from 30 feet of swirling water. All the Kelly legends were treated with over-fetched exaggeration. This film should have been banned for dishonesty before it was released.

    T R I P E !

  21. Anonymous says: Reply

    The Heath Ledger Ned Kelly movie was based on a novel, as is the 2018 movie which will be based on Peter Carey's novel. Instead of once again bagging the movie, maybe bag the authors of the books on which the films are based. Maybe in 2019 we will see a movie based on Fitzsimons book, 2020 a book based on Ian MacFarlane's book, and on we go. They are movies, nothing more or less.

  22. Yes, but they have an impact of the unwashed battalions of non-thinkers.

    Less Tripe more Truth would be good.

  23. Anonymous says: Reply

    It amazes me to see the haters on this site. Cam West, I bet you know less about the Kelly story than most, so what knowledge and qualification do you have to call the films tripe? Ahh, just as I thought. None!! So if they made a Kelly film based on McFarlane's drivel, would you believe it was tripe too?

  24. The way the Kelly fanciers carry on about Kelly movies reminds me of religious fanatics who think any representation of their religion other than the one they approve of is heresy. And just like religious fanatics they persecute and attack anyone who disagrees with them.

    Personally I dont have a problem with fictional Kelly stories . I accept them as explorations of the theme, and enjoy them. I rally liked hat Heath Ledger movie. On the other hand I have only contempt for people like Bradd Webb who claims to be a historian and published a book full of lies claiming to be the truth about Ned Kelly. Same thing for Ian Jones TV series which also claimed for itself the mantle of historical truth while promoting Jones unhistorical view of central elements of the Kelly story.

    So I am looking forward to the movie version of Peter Careys novel.

    One thing we are going to have to discuss sometime soon is the planned celebration of Max Browns book "Australian Son" – its another fantasy about the Kelly story which is fun to read but its NOT a history book – its fiction. Kelly fanciers mistake it for non-fiction – thieve got it all wrong.

  25. Fitzy wishes he was. Pete is glad he ain't!

  26. I treasure MacFarlane's book which I got in 2012. It demolished the Kelly hype and legends.

    MacFarlane worked at victoria's state archives where the vast majority of authentic Kelly records are preserved.

    Don't think a film based on his book will ever happen. It was too tough on Ned the liar and psychopath.

    What are your credentials, Anonymous?

    Have you ever read the MacFarlane book? Or are you like Fitzy the mega-critic who hasn't!

  27. Anonymous says: Reply

    Cam West, for the record, I have read McFarlanes book, and EVERY other book written about the Kelly outbreak. I have also contributed to many of them. I don't care that McFarlane worked at the State Archives. Doesn't make him any more an expert than you or me. Funny that you answered my question with a question. Pretty weak way of responding, and avoiding the question asked. When I continually see people referring to Ned as a psychopath, I have to ask the question. On what basis do you make that claim? Time for you to justify your statement, or shrivel up and disappear. I bet you don't. And in closing, McFarlane's book is ok, but not the "bible" as some on here claim it to be.

  28. Anonymous says: Reply

    Interesting that Brian Tate is nowhere to be seen these days. One can only assume that he has taken another fake name. Wouldn't be Cam West would it?

  29. Well congratulations on having read MacFarlanes book, "Anonymous". As you know I am an enthusiast. for it, and I dont think theres a better book on the subject, but I would be. interested to hear from you or anyone else which book they would nominate as better.

    I do take issue with your comment that having worked in the State Archives doesn't make MacFarlane any more an expert than "you or me". I would have thought that being familiar with that massive collection, and having access to it in ways that few of us do would most certainly make him much more an expert than "you and me", and his opinions considerably more weighty than those of a lightweight kelly fancier who read a few books and watched The Last Outlaw a few times. One only needs to follow th Facebookpages of the Kelly fanciers to see openly exposed day after day seriously profound ignorance of even basic facts of Kelly history. Its ludicrous to suggest to such people that they are as expert as a serious academic researcher with extensive knoweldge of the historical archives. Where is the respect for expertise and authority? Where is the humility?

  30. (groan) More cheap guesswork about people's identity.

    There is a pr-Kelly Hate Site where this is done very often.

    I've been posting here for years, and I'm not Brian Tate!

  31. Anonymous, for someone claiming to be so well-read, you seem to have completely missed 'Ned Kelly – Stock Thief, Bank Robber, Murderer – Psychopath': 31 pp: Journal of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law: The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law: Routledge: London: July 2014.

    The authors were Dr.Russ Scott, Forensic Psychiatrist, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia & Ian MacFarlane, Historian, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Dr Scott apparently works regularly with psychopaths. I daresay he knows what he is talking about.

    "Close examination of [Ned Kelly] his developmental history and subsequent criminal behaviour reveals that Kelly was a violent and vindictive man who demonstrated prominent psychopathic features including pathological lying, callous lack of empathy for others and a parasitic lifestyle".

  32. Dee. It continually irks when you don't give Ian Jones the respect he deserves for his work on Kelly.

  33. Didn't Jack Harvey nail the stockade site?

  34. Its a tricky problem Mark. On the one hand I do admire the hard work and dedication that went in to finally producing "A Short Life" after all those years, but on the other it infuriates me that in the book and in the TV miniseries he introduced and promoted unhistorical views of the Kelly outbreak that form the core of the silly Kelly myths that lionise a police killer!

  35. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    The problem is that Jones set out to vindicate Ned Kelly’s attempted Glenrowan massacre, and he did so by creating a romanticised republican motivation unthought-of in Kelly’s own day. A self-declared amateur historian, he plundered the newspapers and records of Kelly’s time in the spirit of Kenneally, selectively quoting material that advanced his theory and ignoring or attacking as “incorrect” anything that didn’t. Jones said of his process in, “You build up a mosaic, I mean a jigsaw mosaic of incredible complexity, and then gradually, sometimes you juggle the pieces if there’s a missing piece”. This is great for scriptwriting, but not so good for investigating history. Despite all the juggling, his claim that Kelly “brought the republic close to reality” is insupportable. His narrative appears credible because his references exist; anyone can go look them up and think he’s done his homework, but examination of the sources he gives to support the Kelly republic shows they have often been misquoted, misrepresented or modified to produce the desired result. The iceberg analogy is appropriate: 10% of the evidence in a powerful narrative is presented as historical reality; but another 90% lies below the surface in compelling contradiction. The “Kelly republic” is a 60 year old fiction. McQuilton seems right to link its rise to prominence with 1980s nationalist republicanism, and a similar passion seems to underpin its unquestioning adoption by Peter FitzSimons. But above all it owes its longevity to Jones’ long-held reputation as the go-to expert on all matters Kelly. He has aggressively asserted this status, with his attack on eminent legal historian Alex Castles’ 2005 Ned Kelly’s Last Days as “marked by persistent vilification of Ned Kelly – unbalanced to the point of psychosis”, “outrageous rubbish”, and “poisonously inaccurate”, given front page space in the Age, 1 August 2005. This year 2018 is the year of the fall of the Kelly republic, which is pretty exciting stuff from an Aussie history point of view. This is not revisionist history; Jones is the one who did the revision. Frank Clune is more generally historically accurate, before the romanticisation kicked in after Jones’ 1967 Wangaratta “New view of Ned Kelly” seminar paper in “Man and Myth”. BTW, Ned never returned to the Inn in the early hours of the morning after he first left it – another piece of fantasy, built on statements by Dwyer and Sadleir, who weren’t there at the time and got the story wrong from rumours and misunderstandings after they arrived. Mortimer’s statement in the paper disproves that somehow now-popular theory, as well as a lot of other evidence. Happy new year!

  36. Anonymous says: Reply

    Never said there was a book better than MacFarlane's Dee. I just said it is not the "bible" some portray it to be.
    MacFarlane has based his views on other peoples books and writings. has he ever spoken to any of the families on both sides of the Kelly story. No he hasn't. He is as much a "lightweight" Kelly fancier as you Dee. A couple of years involvement, and you all think you are "god" in regards to the truth about the Kelly story. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are some of us who have spent 50 plus years researching, talking and listening to many people with links to the Kelly story. When you have that much knowledge, then and only then can you refer to others as lightweight Kelly fanciers. As for respect. it's about time you showed some Dee. Where is your humility also??

  37. Ok ok we get it Stuart. The republic issue aside, Ian Jones research into Kelly has been absolute over the years and none of us would be where we are today with the Kelly saga if not for him. And Dee? The Last Outlaw was actually reasonably even handed when it came to the Police really. Give the guy the accolades he deserves without qualification or ifs and buts.

    And Happy New Year to all here too. Looking fwd to more Kelly action in 2018. Be safe. Be well. Cheers. Mark. Adelaide.

  38. Well I dont think of myself as anything like an authority on the Kelly story, let alone "God", and certainly wouldn't regard my status in the debate as anything like that of MacFarlane. But I can read and form and express opinions as can anyone, and I am happy to have them challenged, and to defend them when I think it necessary.

    And I emphatically reject your argument that the only people who have the right to comment or to be taken seriously are people who have been studying the Kelly story for 50 years and have spoken to families on both sides.

    The issue is not the status of the person making the argument, but the quality of the argument itself.

    Lightweights are the people who claim to be Kelly devotees, who rubbish and abuse me and then make statements that betray their limited knowledge of even basic facts of the story. A recent example was a claim that Kelly only killed after he was outlawed. Fitzpatrick is often said to have raped or attempted to rape Kate Kelly. Another was the author of a recent "introduction" to the Kelly story who admitted he had never heard of the Lancefield petition. He also didn't know that the last chimney at the Greta Kelly homestead site had collapsed until I told him.

    And then of course we have the fanciers who are proud to have NOT read MacFarlanes book yet maintain a crusade against it which consists mostly of puerile name calling and abuse and lies directed at me.

  39. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Hi Mark, I agree totally that none of us would be remotely as well placed to look into the Kelly saga without Ian Jones' massive spadework over many years, in particular with "Fatal Friendship" and "Short Life", and opening up the huge PROV files for everyone's information is outstanding. Despite his peculiar manner of referencing, which can be seen in the typed annotated manuscript pages on display in a showcase at the Kelly Vault, he has presented them better than Molony, although McQuilton’s system is academically by far the best and clearest of the three. Much of Jones’ narrative is excellent and it is always engaging. I love the "Last Outlaw" series and watch it every year for sheer entertainment, a superb pro-Kelly propaganda piece, and magnificently filmed with a brilliant cast. I love the Holmes "Ben Hall" movie too, for brilliant cinematography and a cracking pace through most of it with a great narrative to boot. But back to the main point, the two key issues in the Kelly saga seem to be what the Ryans pointed out a month or so ago, and what their early relative James Ryan pointed out in his letter of endorsement to Kenneally's book, the overzealous harassment of the Kellys by the police, and the blacklisting of land selection by identified sympathisers. The first one is arguable, but Constable Arthur corroborated it, so it has some weight and needs a lot more investigation. It is not either/or. The blacklists put a lot of people off the authorities, but it seems mostly those who were already against them. Montfort in Commission Appendix 1, Q.29, wanted to keep it going for the reasons given there. Did the blacklist policy have broad support in NE Vic? I don't know yet, but Morrissey seems to think it did, and some newspaper articles seem to suggest it did, so I am still open on that one. Those persons could still select, just not in the NE district. Constable Graham intervened to support Tom Lloyd to select against a blacklist refusal, so Montfort's point about selective blacklisting may have something in it. Morrissey apparently has a second book coming out sooner or later this year 2018, so it’s wait and see. The point is that these two things have nothing whatsoever to do with any idea of a republic and can be explored quite happily without it. The republic issue is very complex and can’t be reduced to blog posts. The problem with it is that the republic argument is sewn throughout Jones’ narrative which makes untangling it extremely difficult, but it is dead in the water no worries. The case should be out in a different journal from the previous one, sometime later in 2018. New Year's Eve and Jamieson calls to my very small percentage of Irish…

  40. Stuart, some time ago on this Blog it was hinted that someone other than Leonard Radic claims to have seen the "Declaration" – no clues as to this persons identity were given but it would be interesting to track that person down don't you think?

    And BTW I thought I had done a reasonable job in Blog posts of untangling the Republican myth!

    Looks like 2018 is going to be another year of shrinkage for the Kelly myths! Bring it on!

  41. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Hi Dee, in the Age, 16 March 2003, there is a discussion with Brendan Pearse and Matt Shore. "'The republic document has been seen,' Shore says. 'We've got three sightings of it — 1961, '65 and '67 — and three people have described the exact same document. It has to be out there somewhere.' Acknowledging renowned Kelly expert Ian Jones as helping them 'enormously', Pearse and Shore say they are merely the latest generation of Kelly hunters."

    The 1961 sighting is obviously Radic's. No-one put up any info about the others, as to who, what, where and when, but it is safe to say one of the others is likely Tom Patrick Lloyd's claim to have seen a handwritten copy with some letters and a handkerchief, that is related by Jones. I have no idea what the third claim is, but historical analysis is not based on mysterious rumours. The Radic claim is disproved in Cameron's book, "Australia on Horseback", as I posted here ages ago. The Lloyd claim is unsubstantiated oral history; it was never shown to Jones or anyone else. I have no idea what the other claim is and don't really care as the demolition of the Radic claim kills off the others by default.

    I agree that your raising the republic issue here was well done and created a long string of comments about it then and afterwards; I can't remember if that started off as looking at Ian MacFarlane's book or not, but he had quite a bit to say about it too, as did the Eleven Mile Creek blog. However, no-one has systematically gone through Ian Jones' evidence and arguments for the republic and back into the sources claimed to support it, to see how much weight can be given to the various arguments and evidence. Each and every claimed piece of evidence needs to be analysed in context, then reviewed as part of an overall argument, to see what stands up and what doesn't. Then, if it seems that it is a fairy story, how does the Kelly story look without it? Does it make sense looked at from another perspective if there is no "Short Life" chapter 7? Kieza showed that the story makes sense without it, as did Frank Clune years ago, but neither of them directly tackled it. Clune didn't because no one had ever put such rubbish up then, and Kieza didn't because he wasn't looking at that, but specifically at Mrs Kelly's story, not the Kelly gang story. There are lots of angles for looking at historical periods. What we have now is Jones' proposition that there was a Kelly republican movement, and his assortment of evidence for that. We have also Molony, McQuilton, and a range of other people supporting it in books and articles, plus all the historical records, to go and test that proposition and see what we make of it. Simple!

  42. Anonymous says: Reply

    Happy New Year Dee, Mr Stuart Dawson, and others!

    Just noted the small reference to the Ryan's including James Ryan – Ned Kelly's younger cousin- via Anne Kelly/Ryan (who wrote that forthright and emotive letter to Mr J. J.
    Kenneally) – who then published it.

    We are intrigued that there is an interest by you Mr Dawson in the land selection opportunities that were available, or not so available, to those listed in some Police files of 1879, 1880, (or after) in NE Victoria.
    We appreciate that your, Mr Dawson's, and or Dee's interest in researching this aspect
    is for your own reasons.
    We have instances where we feel that our past relative, Joseph Ryan was given support
    by policing and or Government authorities, or the general Community:

    *When numerously signed petitions were reported by 'the Age" on 22.1.1879 as being sent
    to Govt authorities by residents of a NE town to pray for the release of (Kelly Sympathiser)Joseph Ryan from Beechworth Prison.
    *When Superintendent Furnell on 25.2.1879 requested the Police Magistrate to please
    discharge this same prisoner, which did occur with a transfer of the person to
    Beechworth Hospital.
    *When on 26.10.1880, Joseph Ryan withdrew his application for land, near his parent's property, at the time that it was being considered, and from documents observed, in this
    instance, possibly refused
    *When in June 1886 police support was provided to the Ryan family and in particular
    Joseph Ryan when a stable was burnt down, and two horses perished. (a sympathetic press article was noted during this period).
    Our ancestor was initially not encouraged to select land, but he was an active person in agricultural and equine employment in the NE Victoria for many years, and he made the
    best of an awkward situation. At various periods of his life he had professional and
    friendly associations with legal, Government and policing representatives.
    We are not commenting to complain on his behalf.

    B..T. and T.Ryan

  43. Anonymous says: Reply

    The chimney at Greta collapsed because souvenir hunters kept stealing the bricks. Why, Dee, did you not publish my previous response to the allegation that Fitzpatrick tried to rape Kate Kelly? Never anywhere have I seen that written. Why also did you not print my comment that when Ned was questioned about the supposed attack on Kate whilst in his cell, he stated to the reporter interviewing him that Fitzpatrick did not try and kiss Kate or do anything else to her? He stated that it never happened. Selective publishing will win you few friends Dee.

  44. Harry Grange says: Reply

    The body straps concoction was a joke on Ian by a couple of cockies who were tired of him. But look at the trouble Jones caused purveying this rubbish. Its still regarded as the truth by Kelly apologists.

    Also I thought Jones was very devious about his later interviews. Tom Lloyd Jnr was the fellow who knew the gang. Jones interviewed his son (also Tom Lloyd Jnr) who was not born when Glenrowan occurred, but passed on his thoughts nonetheless. Ian Jones did not make clear that those he interviewed were descendants of the people he pretended to be quoting. I thought this was pretty duplicitous and destroyed my faith in him.

    The Kelly Republic, which Jones single-handedly created, is utter nonsense.

  45. Anonymous says: Reply

    Interesting but I have never believed that Fitzpatrick tried to "rape" Kate. At best he grabbed her and dragged her onto his lap. However when Ned was asked specifically about the event he said straight up, that it never happened which means the imprisonment of Ellen was justified. Also never said that the only people to be taken seriously were those who have 50 years or more of knowledge. What I was saying that you call some people lightweights, when in fact it is you who is the lightweight. If you only knew how many Kelly descendants were told never to ask about the Kelly events that happened because of the shame many felt over the actions of Ned and others. This is my point. You can not form an opinion just from reading what has been published in modern books. They will always be a biased opinion of the author. There is so much more to the story that will never be written about. Far more!!

  46. Regarding the allegation that Fitzpatrick raped Kate Kelly, search for the You Tube Video of Professor John Molony talking about the Kelly story . He states she was raped by Fitzpatrick, an appalling claim thats especially reprehensible coming from a man of his status. Additionally, on every Kelly related Facebook discussion inevitably some ignorant buffoon will repeat that lie, that Kate was raped by Fitzpatrick, and then go on to announce that was the cause of his murderous rampage. And for what its worth at every opportunity I correct that li when its repeated, and remind these people that Ned himself denied it ever happened, and claimed that if it had Victoria wouldn't have been big enough for the rapist to hide from him.

    As for 'selective publishing' – I publish everything submitted as long as its not just abuse.

  47. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Hi Anonymous, may I comment, since this is on a blog? You mentioned, “If you only knew how many Kelly descendants were told never to ask about the Kelly events that happened because of the shame many felt over the actions of Ned and others. You can not form an opinion just from reading what has been published in modern books. There is so much more to the story that will never be written about.”

    I think it is fairly well known that many descendants were told never to ask about the Kelly years. It is in quite a few descendant comments printed over the years, that people’s parents/grandparents etc., had said that, and they didn’t talk to their children about it. This raises the problem, where do the newest generations of descendants, such as the third, fourth and even fifth generation of descendants interviewed by Eugenie Navarre for her “Knight in Aussie Armour” book, get their descendant knowledge from, if their grandparents, great-, and great-great-grandparents never talked about it? Logically, they have picked up a lot of it from the Ian Jones Republic perspective actively promoted in articles, book, films and interviews since 1967 Wangaratta seminar. There is 60 years of propaganda built around an imaginary Kelly republic as the motive behind Glenrowan, layered on top of a popularised and widely circulated early 1940s tale of Ned Kelly intending to declare a republic at Benalla with himself as President. This appeared in Bill Beatty’s enormously successful 1941 “believe it or not” book, “This Australia”, reprinted 3 times and requoted often in newspapers through the mid to late 1940s, when Max Brown was writing his book, and Ian Jones was just starting his interviews around Kelly country. It is not surprising that many of the last couple of generations of “Kelly years” descendants interviewed by Navarre believe these stories, circulated from the 1940s onwards. That doesn’t make them true.

    It is true that people newly looking at the Kelly story don’t have years of background discussions from both sides of the fence behind them. Still, a lot of claims that keep popping up, such as Dan and Steve surviving Glenrowan, and are fervently held by some of descendants in Navarre’s book, are at odds with both the evidence of the day and the direct oral history of the immediate families involved. Not being involved with discussions with descendants may not unearth every claimed nook and cranny, but I don’t think it negates the ability to do accurate, balanced historical research into any part of Australian history. As we know, that often doesn’t happen, as most writers set out to tell a story, not to study one, and of course no history book is a bible to its subject. Expressed that way, what do you think?

  48. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Hi B.T and T., thanks for the above points, and a happy new year to you. I have not yet been able to see the 1881 PROV file you referred to before Christmas, as it was unavailable when I tried to book it. I assume someone else had already reserved it then, so I will try again maybe February. Best regards, Stuart

  49. Anonymous says: Reply

    I don't entirely disagree Stuart, but there is so much that is known by Kelly descendants that will never be published, and why should it be. It's their family, not everyone else's. Sadly these days too many people look at books by Peter Carey, Robert Drewe, Ian jones, Eugenie Navarre, Ian MacFarlane, Paul Terry and other authors and believe that what they have written is the entire and only truth. So there will always be people seen as ill informed or ignorant through no fault of their own. It is unlikely that we will ever know the entire truth about the events that happened during the Kelly era, because we were not there, and we certainly know there were lies told, by both sides of the law in those days.

  50. You say so much is "known" by Kelly descendants but shouldn't you have written "claimed"? And how can anyone be sure what they say they "know" is actually true, especially if they aren't willing to subject it to independent scrutiny and comparison with all the other similar bits of folk history, and with what is already verifiable fact? What you are talking about is oral tradition, family stories and passed down tales which we all know are notoriously unreliable.

    The other thing question I have about these unknown tales is how likely are they to contain information and knowledge that would materially alter what we already know about the Outbreak? The fact is we know an awful lot about it from a wide and diverse range of sources, and I would be hugely surprised if there was secret knowledge out there that could have anything other than trivial impacts on the story as we now know it.

    So while I agree we may never know "the ENTIRE truth about the events that happened during the Kelly era" I believe that what we DO know about it is very close to the whole story.

  51. Jim Ledbury says: Reply

    Ned and Dan Kelly had no kids, nor did Joe or Steve. So there are no direct descendants. What could any of their second and third-generation relatives have added?

    Not a lot that would materially affect the gang's horrible history as determined cop killers.

    Neducator has never supplied conclusive proof his ancestor ever had an affair with Ned. He relies, I think, on his flawed interpretation of a small specimen of her writings. Few others have stuck their necks out as far as him.

    There is no hint anywhere in the literature that there are any worthwhile secrets among the 'descendants' memories.

  52. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Hi Anonymous, I agree with what you said, why should there be any pressure on descendants to put out there everything of their family history; it is their property, not the world's. And the various people involved originally will have had their own prisms, and then transmitted (or not) their own interpretation/s of events which may clash with others. What you are saying seems close to what Ashmead said, let people move on with their lives as it was a tragedy on all sides. The only bits that interest me are what I have come to think from reading up on it are romantic fantasies about a Kelly republic that are just idiotic, but widely held, and even promoted by a few people who claim privileged knowledge of such a "plan" by virtue of being descendants. There are some pro-Kelly enthusiasts who see the republic idea as totally nutty and irrelevant to their enthusiasm for the Kelly story and their interest in its history. From a history point of view, I think if people are going to make public claims that Kelly had republican motives, they are moving out of family history and into current public cultural narrative, and have to be willing to back the claims up in that context. Or they can believe what they like, and keep it to themselves, which is fine by me. However, blind Freddy can see that Peter FitzSimons as Chair of the Australian Republic Movement wants to claim Ned as a proto-Republican in a current political debate. The claim is a house of cards built on shallow, biased research and needs to be called out and exposed as the nonsense it is. It is bungled, shoddy, unhistorical myth-making built on highly selective research and fairy stories, contradicted by buckets of historical evidence the myth simply ignores, as careful analysis shows. There are of course serious limits on what anyone can know when looking at history, and it would be in some areas of discussion about the Kelly gang very interesting to have insider or descendant knowledge to flesh out parts of the story. The thing here is that I am not looking at the Kelly gang story overall and probably never will. I am only looking at one thing, the republic claims which in practice date from the 1940s and, despite all the waffle and footnotes in some respected works, had absolutely no roots in 1870s-1880s NE Victoria. None whatsoever, in any respect. No Irish republican rebels, no secret meetings, no selector army at Glenrowan, no gathering and dismissing of sympathisers by Captain Kelly, no Kelly guns for sympathisers (well, maybe about 7), no declaration for a republic document, no republican folk songs or narratives, no political activism, no nothing. It is all an incredibly elaborate fantasy hoax built on selective evidence and parts of documents, and one guy's sometimes self-contradictory oral history. And all quite fascinating, really…

  53. And what could we learn today from Police descendants? In the case of police murdered by the Kelly Gang at Stringybark Creek – absolutely nothing! Descendants would never have been able to discuss anything with their father/ grandfather! The 'Anonymouse' with the oral history and hearsay fixation is just wasting our time.

    If today we had Joe Byrne's "diary' (if it ever existed) and the letters, cartoons and threats from the Kelly Gang (said to be missing from the Victorian Archives in Macfarlane's 'The Kelly Gang Unmasked') we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. These were apparently nasty threats (mainly against Detective Michael Ward), drawings of the gang shooting police, a piece of funeral crepe, etc., etc.

    It these had been published I don't think there would be many Kelly admirers today.

  54. Anonymous says: Reply

    No I should not have said "claimed" as you suggest. Why should I? Do you know any descendants personally? No!! Have you spoken to descendants of anyone involved in the Kelly era on both sides? No!! Why should these people speak out now? All families have secrets Dee, as do you, no doubt.

  55. Jim Ledbury, your closed minded attitude is to be expected. You are correct, Joe, Dan and Steve never had kids. But Ned? That's a different story. To Steve Hart's sister. No! To Maggie Lloyd. No! But to someone else. Yes.

  56. Oh wow, now you've got my attention!

    I hope you've got more than just gossip to back that claim up.

  57. Anonymous says: Reply

    A son of Ned called Niall Kelly born to Orla O'Meara, old story no secret

  58. Is there ANYTHING in the way of just one single objective fact that would lend ANY support to this mans claim to be Ned Kellys son? As we all know several people claimed to be Dan Kelly after every one else believed he had died at Glenrowan – and even if one of them actually WAS Dan , all the others had to be attention seeking imposters or strangely deluded and psychiatrically disturbed . Such people are not rare.

    I am not ruling this story in or out but for it to have any credibility at all there have to be some facts – otherwise this man is more than likely to just be another attention seeker or nut case. Anything asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    And I wonder what Paul O'Keefe would say? He after all is an actual descendant of a Kelly Gang family, and has another story to tell, which I gather is that Ettie Hart thought SHE was Kellys lover. Both could be true I suppose – two women infatuated with a psychopath who may not have cared tuppence for either of them, and one of them unfortunately got pregnant. Interesting!

  59. Anonymous, it is ridiculous to tell Jim Ledbury he has a "closed minded attitude" about the gang having no descendants, then say Ned Kelly had a secret son that nobody including Ian Jones ever heard of. That Niall Kelly story is a novel. Are you the same anonymous in both comments? You will have to do better than that if you are.

  60. That "Ned Kelly's Son" book was mentioned in the comments of a blog post here back in January of 2016. Is not like we weren't aware of it, it just didn't make that much of a splash or impact.

  61. The Rocky Horror cast members says: Reply

    Electricity, gas and data providers are today's remorseless Corporate crooks. Ned woulda wanted to sink those shonks big time.

    Or, more likely, the Gang would have sunk their ill-gotten gains into investment portfolios!

  62. Charlei Chuckles says: Reply

    Ian Jones has made numerous blunders, the most costly being his misidentification of a photograph as Kelly, sold by Christie's after being authenticated by "one of the bushranger's greatest fans … amateur historian Ian Jones" (Andrew Rule, “Stand and deliver a $19K refund, says buyer of mistaken Kelly Portrait”, Age, 21 May 2002).

  63. Kenneth davidson says: Reply

    Fitzy is a UFO nut and would have approved Pearce and Shore's "sightings" of the non-existent Ned Republic docs. They are like UFO sightings. They don't exist and are myths.

  64. John Drysdale says: Reply

    In The Kelly Gang Unmasked book it is suggested that Jones probably misidentified a George King photo. According to Jones and Kelly descendants this previously unidentified photo resembled a descendant.

    No evidence is presented that this is so. It's amateurish guesswork at best.

  65. Anonymous says: Reply

    The George King photo was identified from a collection owned by Ellen Kelly. Jones and others had good reason I believe to identify the image as George King. Macfarlane had no first hand experience or insights into the collection or the George King photo according to descendants. Macfarlane has no evidence to assume that it was “amateurish guesswork” however he is showing his ability to weave other theories to spice up his conspiracy book.

  66. John Drysdale says: Reply

    Jones was totally wrong about the Christies Ned Kelly photo!

    How do you know so much about the author and his first hand experiences?

    You are a real Galah – noisy and a bit nutty.

  67. Byron buttress says: Reply

    Why are you attacking anonymous. Stating an opinion on an issue does not warrant abuse.

  68. It wasn't just Ian Jones who verified Gentleman Ned as the real deal. So did Keith McMenomy. SO DID I AND MANY OTHERS AT THE TIME TOO. Don't lump it all on poor old Ians shoulders. So many pieces of the puzzle seemed to fit. When we were proved wrong, we accepted that gracefully. No need to rub salt into the wounds.

    I believe the George King pic was inscribed on back "Joe Burns". Obviously, after comparing to Joes death pics, it is not Joe Byrne. There was a family resemblance to George King though after in depth consults with the surviving family. Captain Jack Hoyle once wrote a fascinating piece on this though, making comparisons to Byrnes existing pics… On the Iron Outlaw site I believe. May still be available to view?

  69. Alec Robbie says: Reply

    Unlike Ned who had prison photos and a death mask, George King had none – other than the strange figure belatedly identified by Ian Jones and Kelly family descendants as him.

    The background of his photo suggests a later era. But of course George King suddenly disappeared in the late 1870s. But no Kelly family member ever reported him missing.

    That is what's called a "pregnant pause".

  70. John Drysdale says: Reply

    Sorry Mark. But Ian Jones was then the accepted, great, public Ned Kelly biographer, expert and guru, with Keith McMenomy running a relatively close second. Mark, you are right about the "Joe Burns" inscription on the back of the photo, which is obviously wrong. But if so, who was the guy in the cook's pants and since George was in gaol before he wedded Ellen, he couldn't have been anyone's Dad just then!

  71. John Drysdale says: Reply

    Anonymous didn't just state an opinion. He or she went on to attack the author's motives, experience, research skills and arrived at a silly conspiracy theory.

    Ludicrous nonsense!

  72. Anonymous says: Reply

    Do your research John and Alec rather than pick on Jones, there is a description of George King that Jones located later in his research that described the man as being of very similar appearance to Joe Burn. The “cook’s pants” were a style common to 1870’s, the photo is from the Wangaratta/Beechworth area and of the right era – a carte de visite, it belonged to Mrs Kelly and part of a significant historical collection now held in the State Library.
    What are you offering to disprove the photo as George King? You are both showing an annoying chip on the shoulder regarding Jones.

  73. OK, show us a prison photo of King, since he's such a famous horse thief. Why are you so keen to believe the photo is George King? What is this research "proving" apart from saying a man said to look like Byrne is for some reason claimed to be King? What makes it King? This has more holes than 20 colanders.

  74. Jeavons Jackson says: Reply


    Why would George King have given Ellen a visiting card (carte de visite)? Why is there no photo of them as husband and wife? Why does the back of the photo have a different name? You'd think it would have had 'My Darlin Hubby' in Ellen'd handwriting on the back…

    All of this shows that the unidentified Kelly descendants aren't expert as proclaimed by "Anonymouse' at the start of this blog. They are Guessers like Jones.

    Maybe Ellen was seeking a celebrity chef?

    So many Anonymice serving up laughable gibberish.

  75. Anonynony says: Reply

    Well said Jeavons – "Why is there no photo of them as husband and wife"? Why don't any descendants have a photo of their dad or grandfather? It is all BS. Some idiot thought this other photo was Joe Byrne. That explains why his name is on the back. They didn't think it was King. That is why Kings name is not on the back. It is possible that Jones has f*d up again and these anonymous losers hate it. It makes the photo worth maybe five dollars not hundreds or thousands if it is some unknown card from an antique shop. How long till some of the descendants find Ned's or Joe's underwear to sell at auction?

  76. Ian Bequin says: Reply

    Benny Hill solved this Ned Kelly son conundrum:

  77. Anonymous says: Reply

    Oh and the mother was not Ettie Hart either. Just for the record.

  78. Anonymous says: Reply

    Niall Kelly is not the child I was alluding to. That is a furphy. I never said had a "secret son" Cameron. That is someone else that is anonymous and not my comment.. I said a child. I know the childs name, the mothers name, and how old the child was when he/she died. Once again, you Kelly haters need to do your homework. Quick to criticise, but with no substance. And Dee, there is a birth certificate, and a death certificate. Don't know or care who the other anon. is but pretty much anything that comes from Queensland, in regards to the Kelly story appears to be a fabrication.

  79. Maybe there is a reason why there are no pictures of George King, and no clue as to his whereabouts after he left the Kelly home. Maybe he didn't go far? Maybe he is close by? Maybe there being no trace of his existence was a deliberate act?

  80. John Drysdale says: Reply

    George King is said to have treated Ellen Kelly badly. Balcarek & Dean suggest, in "Ned and the others", that King was possibly murdered.

    Ned invented many stories about King after he had 'disappeared'.

  81. Maybe he wasn't an American horse thief but one of the other possibilities mentioned by Ian Jones and Ian MacFarlane, like an ex-NSW convict. He might have taken off when the police started looking harder at Ned Kelly's horse thieving gang and got out before he got caught.

  82. John Drysdale says: Reply

    The Kelly Gang Unmasked (MacFarlane) says there is no proof whatsoever that George King was involved in Ned Kelly's horse rustling gang as proclaimed often by Ned in his Jerilderie Letter.

    There wasn't and isn't any proof! Victoria Police never looked for him. No apprehension warrant was ever issued. George King is entirely absent from police records of the time.

    George King came into the Kelly story briefly by marrying Ellen. Ned was at the wedding.

    Then George suddenly disappeared – never to be seen again.

  83. Ashleigh Broad says: Reply

    Ian Jones rashly claimed that George King was a horse-stealing Maestro but supplied no facts. Jones relied on Ned's error-ridden Jerilderie Letter. Several other fools have done this.

  84. As Dagmar Balcarek and Dean suggested maybe King was murdered. There may be more to this. There is a place, where Jim Kelly once went after Ned and the Gang were dead and when Ellen found out she told Jim to never go back to that place. There are local stories of a body that was hidden there. George King? A missing policeman? I don't know. More research needed here too. So much not yet known or verified yet everyone has an opinion that Ned was good or bad. Maybe there will be some new evidence come to light. We wait and see.

  85. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    There was some discussion on this blog last year about the famous green sash, including when the rescue of Richard Shelton took place, and whether Hughes Creek at Avenel was a raging torrent as described by FitzSimons and others. I annoyed some people back then by suggesting the likely time period was during a series of drought years, so there was reason to doubt the heavily flooded creek story. While I have not been able to nail down a particular month or year, we now have proof that “the rescue occurred in midsummer and that the creek was not flooded at the time, despite other reports of the happening”, in a letter from descendant Mrs Harold Shelton, the wife of Richard Shelton’s son, quoted in Meredith and Scott, “Ned Kelly after a Century of Acrimony”, page 134. So there. I love being right about things.

  86. Have you people all seen the George King Prison sheet where he is listed as Drover? Convicted at Wentworth NSW. Very interesting. The pic is very very similiar to the Jones/King pic in my opinion. Not sure how to post images here but I am happy to forward it to Dee so she can bang it up.

  87. Bob McGarrigle says: Reply

    Very briefly Anonynony there are photos of the Kelly story and will never be shown to the public I can assure you.How do I know?I have seen them only the once and will probably never see them again worst luck.I would love to have copies of them as a lot of others would treasure too.All families are entitled to their privacy even Neds.

  88. Mark send it to me at and I will put it up in a new post about George King. This is a very important discussion to be having.

  89. Well done Stuart! A good find.

    That discussion was attached to my Post about the young Ned Kelly, wherein I noted the year of the rescue was supposed to have been a drought year. The very first comment posted in response came from"Anonymous" who claimed he had "read numerous articles of the year stating that heavy rains and floods also occurred" and I challenged him to produce references to just one of these numerous articles – and of course 'anonymous' disappeared without trace! He also said in his original comment : "Dee, you have let your blind hatred of all things Ned cloud your judgement and common sense". Well, he would be eating his words now!

  90. Len McLeod says: Reply

    Which begs a question, Bob – why did a photo purporting to be George King, a husband of Ellen, turn up in a Christies auction in 2002?

    Separately, did you hear about or see letters from Ned to his family or extended family?

  91. olive Johnson says: Reply

    George King is described as a labourer on his marriage certificate. But labourer and drover are both a bit generic. Ian Jones described the prison photo as similar to the 'identified' photo not 'very similar' as you describe Mark.

  92. Anonymous says: Reply

    No Dee, far from eating my words. In a drought year I have seen many examples of where a creek, after a storm many miles away in the hills has caused a flash flood of an almost dry creek. It happened in 2006 when a DPI crew died after being caught in a flash flood whilst crossing a creek near Harrietville. This was a drought year. A couple of years back a stream near my home which was just 6" deep and almost non flowing turned into a howling torrent with a 20 foot wall of water sweeping everything before it. Both you and Stuart Dawson are nothing more than citycentric self proclaimed experts with no knowledge whatsoever of country climate, weather, stream flows and drought weather conditions. It is highly probable that a storm in the distant ranges has put a flash flood down Hughes Creek. I have seen this in recent years. That flash flood and raging torrent will vanish almost as quickly as it came. Once again, you haven't got a clue. And there is evidence of storms in the distant ranges. Not doing your research for you. Do your own, and eat your words yourself.

  93. I dont doubt what you say about what you've seen and experienced, and I am well aware of the phenomenon that you describe. But you wrote in your original post that you had "read numerous articles of the year stating that heavy rains and floods also occurred" and you have FAILED to back up that statement by naming even ONE of the "NUMEROUS" articles you claim to have read. I think youre making it all up, but you can prove me wrong as easy as pie by just providing the reference. I am guessing you won't – as usual!

    And BTW if YOU make the claim, its YOUR job to prove it NOT MINE .

    But now you will have to explain why Richard Sheltons daughter-in-law said the creek was NOT in flood. Good luck with that one. Or is oral history all bullshit?

  94. Anonymous says: Reply

    And Stuart Dawson, you are incorrect, so maybe a little less cockiness might make you look less of a fool.

  95. MacFarlane says there are many missing (or not yet found) Ned Kelly letters in the PROV Kelly records at the Victorian State Archives.He said it was possible that the most important Kelly records had been 'systematically plundered'. If these records were available today – including drawings of the Kelly Gang shooting Police – the legend and myths would have disintegrated long ago…

  96. Anonymous, you are the fool. You are even an awful, anonymous fool.

    To you, he is Dr Stuart Dawson, you rude dumbell! Go and do a doctorate and then you can feel a bit cocky yourself!

    When is Mark going to provide the prison pic of George King one wonders?

  97. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Hi Dee and Anonymous, I was not discussing flash floods, which occur in many places unpredictably and can be short, extreme weather events as Anonymous correctly says. I was bringing to the attention of anyone interested a piece of evidence that was not mentioned by anyone when the issue of the Shelton rescue was discussed. That is a letter at the Benalla Museum from the wife of one of Dick Shelton's sons, confirming that the rescue (for which the family was rightly grateful), "occurred in midsummer and that the creek was not flooded at the time, despite other reports of the happening”. The quote from the letter is in Meredith and Scott as above. I don't know why either of you are getting all jumpy about it. Go argue with the Benalla Museum, not me.

  98. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Hi again, the nice people at the Benalla Museum just sent me a scan of Mrs Shelton's letter, from 3 July 1973. She writes, "As the disclosure of the Ned Kelly cummerbund has created so much interest I thought perhaps your society would be interested in having more accurate details of the ‘rescue incident’ at Avenel. … Herewith briefly are the facts as known by the surviving sons and daughters of Mr Shelton. … the Kellys were last heard of in Avenel about May 1867, thus it is taken that the two were approximately almost 7 and twelve. Mr Shelton was playing in the creek near a waterhole and got out of his depth and was most decidedly helped out by Ned Kelly. However we do feel that perhaps the account as recalled by Mrs Shelton’s sister Agnes is probably the clearest. She use to say that her brother was playing by the creek on a hot summer’s day wearing a large “sailor hat”; which he left on the bank. Apparently Ned Kelly saw the hat, thought something was wrong, and found the boy in difficulties and got him out of the waterhole. … Naturally the cummerbund has aroused our curiosity, and to my knowledge I haven’t heard it mentioned at any time.” Yours etc.

    Dee, I have sent the scan to the studybox address you put here for Mark, so you can see the letter for yourself.

  99. Anonymous, go and get a doctorate like Stuart Dawson has and we'll start treating you seriously, you fool.

  100. Stuat Dawson says: Reply

    Hi Mr T and others, first, my doctorate was in ancient history, not Kelly stuff, so it is irrelevant to Kelly studies. However it did provide valuable transferable historical research skills which apply to Kelly studies as well as other areas of history. Second, I never use the "Dr" title outside of uni publications and don't expect anyone else to either, as it sounds sort of pretentious. Keep on calling me Stuart as I much prefer. Most people I know from everyday work and life don't know I ever did a doctorate. Third, the slight difference between the quote I first gave and the quote from the letter results from the first quote being taken directly from Meredith and Scott's book, and the second taken fro the scanned letter. So don't complain about any perceived differences in what I posted here, as they are both exactly from the sources. And I do love being right, which is fair enough. People should be able to enjoy solving these little historical puzzle, no?

    Q: How many Kelly gang members does it take to change a light globe? A: They can't do it because they can't get their hands up high enough in the armour.

  101. Thanks Stuart, I got the Scanned letter. It seems that Richard Shelton actually deliberately went into the water to play, then ended up out of his depth and couldn't swim!

    There are two other thing about the letter that are interesting – it seems to settle the date as summer of 1867, in other words just a few weeks AFTER Red had died.

    And second, the family didnt know about the green sash!

  102. And to Mr T – I understand where youre coming from, but your comments nearly didnt get posted because I would prefer you left out the insults. (fool, dumbbell …) If you think someone is being rude and disrespectful, say exactly that but without adding insults – they only detract from your point.

    And I have the pic from Mark Perry and trying to decide how to get it up for everyone to see sometime in the next few days.

  103. Stuart Dawson says: Reply

    Two other things – Prof Molony didn't get his doctorate in Kelly studies either; he didn't give Kelly a thought for years after he became an academic (a bit like me) – see his introduction to his "I am Ned Kelly", reissued with an extra preface but no other changes and just titled "Ned Kelly). Second, the Shelton letter gives Ned's age as 12 in 1867, which gives more evidence supporting that Ned was born in 1855 as Alan Crichton convincingly argued in an article on the Iron Outlaw site, and not 1854 which Ian Jones liked, so that he could link Ned's birth with the gunsmoke of the Eureka rebellion. People seem to overlook that Eureka leader Peter Lalor became a parliamentarian and spoke vigorously in favour of the Felon's Apprehension Act to rid the colony of the Kelly scourge, as they called it back then. The turn towards seeing Ned as any kind of hero did not happen until around 1930 – see the Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser, 8 January 1932, page 2.

  104. Great find, Stuart! That goes right along with info in Graham Jone's book.

    I had put this in a comment in the older thread about Richard Shelton's rescue –

    "…Recently someone here mentioned a book called "Ned Kelly the larrikin years" by Graham Jones. I ordered a copy for less than $5 shipped, and he has a different timeline for the Hughes Creek episode. In this one, it doesn't happen in 1865. He says that the drought was broken in January of 1866 and floods came. He says that in Dec of that same year Red died and it was after Red's death the rescue event took place. So that would be sometime in early 1867 before they left Avenel for good?.."

  105. Hi Olive. Hi Mr. T. Thanks for the feedback. You be the judge when the King Prison record is posted. Similar? Very similar? I think very. I see the same large lips, jawline, nose, hairline. Meanwhile though, if you want to see it now and in a better, sharper image, go to Fitzys Unmasked FB site. He has posted a far superior copy. I only have a photocopy. Kindly, Fitzy thanked me for supplying it. But Matt Shore had supplied a far superior copy to Mick around the same time. Good to be acknowledged though. And when you all view it, lets then talk about the time line. (after, I am sure, hefty discussions of the visual comparison..) The George King in the prison record was discharged in August 1874. That gives him time to get to Greta from Wentworth NSW and marry Neds mum. It doesn't however give him time to be the father of little Alice. Looking fwd to reading thoughts on this. Very fascinating. Thank you all. Cheers. MP. Adelaide.

  106. Not Alice but Ellen. Ive put up a post on the topic today Mark.

  107. Aaauagggg!!!!!! Dee!!! You corrected me!!! NOOO!!! How dare you? But seriously, yes, you are correct. I was wrong. I was also incorrect about prison Georges discharge date. Not August but Jan. See? People get things wrong. We are all human..

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