Ned Kelly : Violence and Indecency

Ned Kellys first two encounters with the Law ended well for him. The charges relating to his assault and robbery of a Chinaman, and of Highway robbery in company with Harry Power were all dismissed, a result which puts the lie to the modern Kelly myth-makers narrative that the Police and the Judiciary were corrupt and determined to do whatever it took to get the Kellys behind bars.
However, the next time Ned Kelly appeared in Court, less than six months later, he was not so lucky. He was 15 and received a sentence of Three months imprisonment for Violent Assault,  and a £10 fine or three months hard labour for Sending an Indecent Letter. There were also sureties totaling £60 to pay.
This is what happened: the owners of a horse  accused Ned of having taken it, possibly to help pull a wagon out of the mud. The horse was subsequently returned to the owners, the McCormicks, but there was a verbal altercation between them and Ned who denied taking their horse, a denial he repeated in the Jerilderie Letter.  Later that day Ned sent the McCormicks two calves testicles wrapped in a note that, according to Ian Jones suggested Mr McCormick tie these testicles “to his own cock so he might shag her better the next time” This insult was designed to be especially hurtful to the couple as Mrs McCormack was known to be childless. There was absolutely nothing to be gained by doing this – the argument had ended – it was simply provocation from someone looking for a fight.
Naturally, when they were delivered, no doubt as Ned expected,  the McCormicks were incensed and returned to angrily confront him. Once again accused of having taken the horse, Ned reacted by punching Mr McCormick in the face :
“my horse…..jumped forward and my fist came into collision with McCormicks nose and cause him to lose his equilibrium and fall prostrate. I tied up my horse to finish the battle but McCormack got up and ran to the Police camp. Constable Hall asked me what the row was about I told him they accused me and Gould of using their horse and I hit him and I would do the same to him if he challenged me” (Jerilderie Letter)
Peter Fitzsimons calls this entire incident “ a grubby adolescent lark”  – but  it was more than that. It wasn’t just a prank, it was an entirely gratuitous pornographic insult to an infertile woman, and a violent assault on her husband by an ill-mannered youth, a smart  arse looking for an excuse to bash someone.
I think its worth pointing out that the victims of his verbal and physical assaults were not squatters or the wealthy or the powerful but simple hawkers, poor people like the Kellys – his own kind. Also worth pointing out, is that according to Keith Mcmenomy, Gould later admitted that Ned had indeed taken the horse. So Ned was a liar.
Well, you might say, he was just a hotheaded youth, and indeed he was.  He got caught out telling lies and angrily  attacked a man who challenged him. But as an adult 10 years later when he dictated the Jerilderie letter as a mature man has he grown up and developed a more mature view of what happened? The answer is no – in fact in his account in the Jerilderie letter he repeats his lies and there isn’t the slightest hint of remorse, regret, reflection or insight into what happened.
Instead Kellys interest is in excusing himself and blaming others for what happened – it was Goulds idea to send the testicles; Tom Lloyd delivered them not Ned; Mrs McCormick made the horse jump and caused Neds fist collide with Mr McCormicks face; and ten years later he still defiantly repeats his threat to assault the Policeman if he repeated the same accusation. –  he still believes that if someone insults you, you should beat him up. This is incredibly immature behavior from a teenager, and not behavior you would expect a 24-year-old adult or someone writing some sort of Manifesto for a higher political ideology to approve of.  Neither is a smart arse and bully the kind of character you would uphold as an Icon.
And is there anything about this incident which sounds like Police persecution of an innocent struggling selector? I cant see it.
In keeping with the Kelly fanatics habit of airbrushing out unpalatable truths from the Kelly story, this incident is barely mentioned on the Iron Outlaw version of Ned Kellys life – less than one sentence – and Ian Jones calls it “ a silly squabble”. In fact, when you read what happened and think about Ned Kellys involvement in this “silly squabble” you realize that this episode is important because of  the way in which it sheds light on the character of Ned Kelly. It exposes him as a loud mouth and a “smart arse”, a bullying youth who gratuitously involved himself in someone else’s dispute, presumably for the opportunity to show off to his peers, and ended up in gaol at the cost of almost all of his mothers meager savings.  This incident also exposes the nonsense that the Kelly Clan looked after its own : in the end Ned and his mother couldn’t afford the last £10 fine, and even though Uncle Jack had just received the reward of £500 for betraying Harry Power, he didnt help them out and Ned served three additional months in Beechworth Gaol.

What a charming story. No wonder Iron Outlaw covered it in only ten words! 
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29 Replies to “Ned Kelly : Violence and Indecency”

  1. Shirl Rigley says: Reply

    That is a really gross picture of Ned's outlandishness. You'll have to deal with Dan's attempted rape at Winton next. Maybe 'the boys' weren't homos after all…

  2. The Youngs says: Reply

    AC/DC ?

  3. Dan Kelly was never charged with attempted rape/intent to rape at Winton.

  4. Quite correct Sharon. The person charged with rape was Dans cousin Tom Lloyd, the so-called 5th member of the Kelly Gang. This followed an incident in September 1877 involving a shopkeepers wife, Dan, Tom and Jack. Ian Jones calls the incident a “mysterious fracas”, Max Brown says it was “ a lark” and Peter Fitzsimons ignores it all together, but it reads like an example of drunken antisocial behaviour from three young louts. Tom received 3 months for Indecent Assault, Dan was found not guilty of Breaking and entering and Stealing, or of Violent Assault but guilty of Wilful Damage and received a fine and a sentence of three months hard labour. This is a subject which deserves an entire Post because once again it demonstrates the feral nature of this family, a truth about them which is relentlessly denied and hidden by the kelly mythology who prefer to claim all their bad luck was the result of police persecution. I don’t say this to offend you Sharon, or Brian , or Bob ( Hi Bob! – sorry your bosses on NKF have forbidden you to mention me on NKF but you’re always welcome here) but surely, on any reasonable assessment of the known facts the Kelly boys look bad, really bad?

  5. Anonymous says: Reply

    Actually the charge against Tom Lloyd was assault with intent to rape Mrs Goodman, the store keepers wife. This was later reduced to common assault. The main witness Mr Goodman, was later sentenced to four years goal for perjury for the evidence he gave in this same case. So both Dan Kelly and Tom Lloyd served goal sentences on perjured evidence.

  6. Anonymous says: Reply

    Forbidden pffft anDee after the way you speak about NKF admin and it's members no wonder the admin won't allow you or this disgraceful blog to be mentioned. I've got 2 mates named David and their partners call them Dee for short and there seems to be one person missing here that has been mentioned many a time.

  7. Typical Kelly apologist misrepresentation from “anonymous”
    McQuilton lists 4 offences that Tom Lloyd was charged with i) Violent assault, ii) Breaking into a dwelling and stealing iii)Wilful damage iv)Intent to Rape. He was discharged on the first two – because Mr Goodmans evidence was not believed, he received three months for the 3rd offence and the last one was reduced to indecent assault and for that he received 3 months. They were not convicted on “perjured evidence” – that evidence was not accepted and those charges were dropped. But are you suggesting this entire episode was a fantasy? If so, explain why they “went bush” as Jones records.

    But while we’re on the subject, why if the Police were so anti-Kelly were so many charges dropped? And why was Mr Goodman charged with perjury when if the Police had simply decided to , they could have made use of his perjury to put these people away for much much longer than three months? Doesn’t sound much like corrupt Police and Judiciary persecuting innocent selectors to me. Actually it still sounds like drunken antisocial behaviour from three young louts, and the Police and Judiciary trying to do their job fairly, in trying circumstances.

  8. Dee, did you not say that Tom Lloyd was charged with rape? Obviously, this is not correct.
    Now be fair. Is that not a misrepresentation from yourself?

    Are you also saying that Mr Goodman was not convicted of perjury?

  9. Evading the questions again eh, Anonymous?

    And stop trying to provoke us into attacking NKF, which is not worth the effort.

  10. I listed the exact charges against Tom at 18:44. However the day before I wrote “Rape” and should have written “Intent to rape” which was wrong so I apologise. It was unintentional.But I have never doubted that Goodman was guilty of perjury.

    So I am afraid nothing has changed “Anonymous” – it STILL reads as drunken antisocial behaviour from three young louts, – future Kelly Gang members – and the Police and Judiciary trying to do their job fairly, in trying circumstances, the exact same point that was made in discussing the McCormick Affair. How quickly the Kelly mythology evaporates when you examine it critically!

    And what exactly was your point?

  11. Anonymous says: Reply

    No doubt there was some sort of “fracas” as Ian Jones puts it at the Goodman’s store. Bad behaviour which ever way it is looked upon. However, to say that Tom Lloyd raped or intended to rape Mrs Goodman is not correct.

    Each were sentenced to 3 months goal at Beechworth and ordered to pay 2 pounds 10s damages. Tom Lloyd was given an extra 3 months for “common assault”

    The incident occurred after Dan Kelly had arranged to deliver some meat to Mrs Goodman and to pick up some groceries. A frequent exchange. They arrived after the store had closed. The Goodman’s refused to open for them so Dan and the Lloyd’s broke the door in and got their rations.

    Mr Goodman was some time later (after Tom Lloyd’s conviction) sentenced to 4yrs goal for perjury for the evidenced he gave. Just how much of his evidence was used to convict Tom Lloyd is unknown.

    Lou, this anonymous is not trying to provoke “you all” into attacking the NKF. I cannot be bothered.

  12. Dee we think you get our point,
    Signed David ��

  13. Chook Sexer says: Reply

    Anonymous, your "pffft" gave you away as Australia's silliest misidentification "expert" several posts ago. You might as well have used 'troll'. You haven't twigged yet how incredibly embarrassingl it would be for your mob if you are right. Your posts about that individual back then were particularly vile.

    But you're always wrong. In three years, nothing right. Give it a rest or keep guessing. It's up to you. Just stop coming here with your crazy guesswork.

    I've met Dee who is a she not a he. She sure knows a heck of a lot more about Ned Kelly than you do.

  14. Shonk Watcher says: Reply

    Just provide any proof you're not guessin', Anony_pus!

    Y A W N.

  15. Oh dear another round of IdentiDee ! But I am not surprised that no Kelly sympathiser wants to try to defend Neds smart arse bullying of the McCormicks, or Dan and the Lloyd brothers delinquent behaviour at the Goodmans.The Subject of this Blog is not me but Ned Kelly,but when it gets embarrassing to talk about him someone always pops up and says “Hey look over there, its Dee!”

    Meanwhile over on NKF they have taken their paranoia and preoccupation with identity to staggering new heights. They are are planning to make it impossible for anyone to even look at their site unless they reveal their identity and sign up! I nearly fell off my chair when I read that – Don’t they realise that by doing that NOBODY will EVER go there to “meet learn share and ask questions relating to the history that has fascinated Australians for over a century” As it is, no-one takes an interest in them, so how why they think retreating into their bunker will increase their appeal is beyond understanding. Meanwhile Death of the Legend goes from strength to strength….because people ARE interested in Ned Kelly but not in being told mistruths and fantasies about him by fanatics . They want the truth.

  16. Anonymous says: Reply

    Back to picking on NKF again. Sad. Sad. Sad.

  17. Sad? No, not really. Its a stated aim of mine to expose the nonsense that the modern day Kelly fanatics engage in, and I will continue to draw it to the attention of every curious reader of my Blog. NKF has some very worthwhile members but unfortunately its also home to, and administered by some of the leading Kelly internet thugs. From my perspective, the sooner they conceal themselves behind their paranoid security screens the better. Out of sight, out of mind!

  18. Dee, where you say that John and Tom Lloyd are brothers to each other is not correct. They are in fact cousins as well as being cousins to Dan Kelly. I was just reminded of this by a Kelly relative and double-checked the info and see that he is quite correct. Ian MacFarlane made the same mistake in "Ned Kelly Unmasked" which Brian Stevenson had also noted in a post over at Eleven Mile Creek. (The source given was Graham Jones's Ned Kelly The Larrikin Years which I have not seen) Easy to get confused with so many giving the same name to their offspring in a single generation.

  19. Sharon if awards were made for Services to the Entire Kelly World you would get the Gold Medal. I saw that Jack and Tom were Dans cousins so assumed they were brothers but I ought to have checked! Thanks for the correction – its dangerous to assume anything about the kelly story!

  20. There was total confusion due to all of the names being the same at times. Ian Jones tells of an incident when the sympathisers were being rounded up –

    "The Benalla operation was far from perfect. The police arrested Tom Lloyd Senior instead of of his nephew of the same name…"

    He might have gotten that from Frank Clune's The Kelly Hunters where it mentions "Tom Lloyd, Senior, Ned's uncle, who had kept of trouble for years, and was probably arrested in mistake for Tom Lloyd, Junior, Ned's cousin."

    Even the women were all named after each other, witness all the Ellens in the Kelly family.

    And how about how the Rev John Gribble from Jerilderie was sometimes confused with his son Ernest? Even Corfield did that in his Ned Kelly Encyclopaedia saying that John Gribble was the subject of the biography "A Terribly Wild Man" when it was actually about Ernest Gribble. I remember Brian Stevenson telling me about that years ago. Did not even need the same first name to get messed up on that one! Imagine how much easier it is if both names are the same.

  21. I wouldn't join NKF even if they offered a free hundred dollar gift card. NKF has an extremely poor record when it comes to expelling members and bad-mouthing them forever after. One prominent NKF member is notorious for this, misidentifying critics, and abusing people who post with assumed identities while posting anonymously himself.

    Joining NKF? You'd have to be nuts!

  22. Art Addict Joel says: Reply

    That Bendigo Art Gallery faux "Imagining Ned" exhibition has begun, and looks decidedly bodgy. They missed the point by concentrating on the distant past and not modern Kelly bookcovers, newspaper cartoons and images. Among other things, I'm thinking of the full-page illustrated review of "The Kelly Gang Unmasked" in the London Times Literary Supplement by Sir Clive Sinclair, inventor of the Sinclair computer, quartz watches, electric vehicles, etc., etc. No other Ned Kelly book has ever received this level of recognition in the world's foremost literary magazine. Melbourne artist David Milne's tiny Nolanesque 'Ned Kelly' is a superb classic. It's not in the Bendigo exhibition though.

  23. Wow, I never knew that about The Kelly Gang Unmasked in the London Times Literary Supplement. I cant see myself getting to Bendiigo but I would be interested to hear from someone who has, and in particular if those Benalla Bankers Letters are on display. These are the ones the Neducator on NKF reckoned “debunked many of MacFarlanes theories”. In January when these letters were discussed it was said if their authenticity could be established they were going to be exhibited at this Exhibition. An anonymous poster to this Blog asserted they were genuine but no proof was offered, so if they aren’t there it would mean they couldn’t be authenticated, or perhaps they were simply so uninteresting and inaccurate that it was decided to forget about them.

  24. George Ogilvey says: Reply

    The Imagining Ned Exhibition at the Bendigo Gallery is far worse than Joel thought. Its a backwards-looking thought bubble that relies on Ian Jones and Peter FitzSimons for 'authenticity'. Doesn't the gallery have access to the net? By accessing this Blog, those Dodos could have come up with something really interesting – instead of trotting out the same old misleading bumf. You can download a .pdf catalogue of this shambles from this site:

    If you are like me, you will drop the Mayor of Bendigo a note complaining about it.

  25. Thanks for that link George. Ive downloaded that Catalogue and recommend everyone does, and have a good read of it. Actually I think it would be an interesting Exhibition to visit, even if just to see the Armour, and some of the artwork, like the Nolan paintings, and Adam Cullens.

    Its hard to know how to respond to this sort of thing because there is no point in denying that the Kelly Legend is part of the Australian cultural landscape. My interest is in exposing the truth about the man on which all this Mythology has been built, an unedifying truth which ought to make people pause before they so readily promote his image. Increasingly there is less and less excuse for the promotion of historical untruths about Ned Kelly because recent publications like Ian MacFarlanes work, and the Morrissey book challenge and debunk them. By all means discuss what Kelly has come to represent, but the time has now come for responsible Public Educators to stop pretending he was actually a noble figure or a revolutionary or something other than a smart arse, and a clever self promoting violent psychopath.

  26. Oh and I forgot to add that there appears to be no trace of the much hyped Benalla Bankers Letter, that was going to be included in the Exhibition "if the writers identity can be verified". I guess its non appearance must mean that it couldn’t, so maybe I was right all along. Undoubtedly those letters now won’t be the subject of any further discussion on NKF or by the madman who described it as “a few more nails in the coffin for MacFarlane” and rubbished me for suggesting the letter may be a hoax. They will want to forget all about their embarrassing over-reaction and go back to discussing Musicals and tattoos.

  27. Anonymous says: Reply

    Oh boy, oh boy, Dee can't wait until Ian MacFarlanes work"Ned Kelly Unmasked" is reviewed on this blog site.
    After all isn't this what it is all about? I'm guessing it will get a glowing review.

  28. Actually the book is called The Kelly Gang Unmasked, and I reviewed it on this Blog in June last year. Its still there if you want to scroll back and read it. You’re right though, I gave it a glowing report, and basically just said that its an absolute must read for anyone interested in the truth about the Kelly Gang, which of course rules out most kelly Fanatics on NKF and Iron outlaw who pride themselves on not having read it.

  29. I should also have added that on Sharons great Blog at there is an excellent and very comprehensive review of this book, written by her fellow enthusiast Brian Stevenson. Theres no way I could improve on that review and suggest – no insist – that everyone goes there to read it. Its in three parts and you can find it by using the search box, or by scrolling through to January 2013. Ive just re-read them and noticed he makes some very pointed remarks about the madman with the anti-book FB Page. I don’t think I realised their significance the first time I read it but now I do

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