Ned Kelly Story

Essay by b0wA, October 2004

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The Ned Kelly story

Ned Kelly was born into a life that was surrounded by crime. He was born in 1854 in Victoria and was the eldest of eight children. Ned Kelly attended school at Avenel until age 12 when his father died. Before he was born his parents were sent from Ireland on a convict ship to Australia for committing crime, Ned's family was poor and were forced to own land as 'selectors', this was a system where families were issued a piece of land to be paid off while they were living there. Ned and his family then settled near relatives at Greta, two hundred and forty kilometres northeast of Melbourne. The land was small and the soil wasn't good enough to grow crop and make a living. As part of the selector system they also had to improve their land by clearing it, building a house, putting up fences and growing a crop.

If they didn't the land could be taken away from them. Many of the 'selectors' resorted to stealing horses and cattle from rich squatters. At the age of just sixteen Ned was convicted of receiving a stolen horse and served three years in jail, he was then released in 1874.

In 1878 Ned's mother, Ellen was accused of attacking a policeman named Fitzpatrick. Ned was accused of shooting the same policemen in the wrist, so Ned and his brother Dan fled to the bush where the "Kelly Gang" was formed, joined by Steve Hart and Joe Byrne. Whatever the truth was, the end result of Fitzpatrick's claims was that Mrs. Kelly was sent to prison for three years and a one hundred pound reward was offered for the capture of Ned Kelly.

For that time on the "Kelly Gang" stayed in the bush. On...