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FAMOUS VICTORIAN TRIALS

NED KELLY. BUSHRANGER.

Half a century has now closed over the 'career of Ned Kelly, last, worst and most desperate of all bushrangers,, and one who, '{Ike j Clarke. Gardiner, Melville, Morgan j and Scott, met with an ignominious. death (writes S.W., in the Mel-!

bourne 'Age'). In no sense did | he appeal to the public imagination as a modern Robin Hood, although some of the public, fancy had been | captured by the exploits of the j bushranger Power, who a few years before, in 1868-69, had terrorised the same North-Eastern district of Vic toria, and whose accomplice Ke^iv aged only twenty-two, was supposed to be. Following after Power^ ,(it was Power who succeeded in- stop oing single-handed the mail coach frooi Beechwqrth to iiuckiand, and robbing its passengers), Ned Kelly organised and led a gang of four desperadoes, and for about two years committed outrage upon outrage with impunity, aided by confeder ates and a spurious sympathy, as well as by the wild, pathless, tirn ber-ciad tracts oi the iStrathbogie Ranges, where he sheltered. In de&d, such was his cr.iiiiJ.s.ia1 a-i-.tjvri.y and such the misplaced sympathy of his friends that a unique act was put on the Statute Book o% Victoria. This act recited the; fact that of late divers persons charged with. murder and other capi tsj felonies were being harboured by evil-minded persons and were still at large, mounted, armed and associ ated together ; it empowered them to be declared1 and gazetted as. out- laws ; it authorised' any person to use deadly weapons to arrest them if found armed ; and it imposed a liability to fifteen vears' imprison ment on those who thereafter should aid, abet, shelter or assist them. Outlawry, says that &rand old lawyer Blackstone, is putting a man out of the protection of the law, so that he is incapable to bring any action for redress of injuries ; _ and it is also attended with a forfeiture of all one's goods and chattels to the King. Who, then, were these desperate men, thus placed by Act of Parliament beyond the pale of the law? In 1874 Ni d Kelly had been released from Pentridge, whither he had been sentenced for receiving a stolen horse, and four years later his brother, Dan, was discharged from the Bechworth gaol after serving a' term of three months. In the early part _ of 1878 a warrant for horse stealing had been issued against the brothers, and in trying- fo n^P-,^ this warrant Constable Fitzpatrick was shot at and wounded by JNed Kelly. Both brothers then escaped to the ranges near Mansfield, with two companions, Hart and Byrne, and these four men constituted the gang thst tnere'i.^er terrorised the dis trict. All efforts to arrest them fail ed : black trackers were baffled; large rewards offered by the Govern ments both of' New South Wales and Victoria for their capture' pro\ed fu tile. Then, on the bank of the stringybark Creek, about twenty miles from Mansfield, a party of four mounted troopers, led by Spi geant Kennedy, in search of the gang, camped at an old hut, on the night of the 25th October. IS?**. Next morning the 'sergeant, with Trooper Scanlan. rode off to scour the dis trict, leaving Troopers Lonigan and Mclntyre at the camp. At 5 p.m. the two latter were suddenlv attack

ed .by t'he gang while at the fire making tea, and Mclntyre, being without arms at the time, threw up his hands when called upon to sur render. His companion had a revolver, and trying to draw it while making for a tree for shelter was shot dead by Ned Kelly. Later,- the other two members of the police band we'e observed on horseback coming slowly back to the caimp. 'Hist'! boys, here they come!' said the leader to his gang. 'iBail up!, Put .up your hands!' he shouted to the troopers. Kennedy smilingly pub ?his hand on his revolver- and- was at once shot by Ned - Kelly ; . th«' others fired at and shot Scanlon as he was dismounting from his horse. Taking advantage of the confusion, Mclntyre caught and mounted Ken nedy's horse and galloped off to Mansfield, whence seardh parties re covered the three dead bodies. Su3h a triple, cold-blooded mur der excited, intense public anger' and indignation. But still the gang evaded -capture, and on t Sth December, with great daring 'and coolness, suddenly reappeared at the Faithfull's Creek statiion, near, to the then small town of Euroa, locked up the inmates of the home stead in one room, and next day, while Dan Kelly and Byrne guard ed the prisoners, the two others cut tihe telegraph wires on both sides of Euroa, and walked, armed, into the National Bank, bailing up the manaeer and his staff, and robbing the bank of £1909. The whole staff was marched along to the room in which 'the inmates of the station were locked, and the gang rode off, leaviing their prisoners stall under lock and key. All efforts to trace them failed ; but on the 10th February of the^ next year tliey ^iddealj apxjarea at Jerilderie. in

New South Wales, about a hundred miles from Euroa. They en tered the town, bailed up its in habitants, and put them under lock and key ; they held up the local police, whom they locked up in their ' own police lockup ; they then cut the telegraph wires and bailed up the staff of the Bank of New South Wales and robbed it of £2090. There: after, till June, 1880, .nothing- was heard of -the gang, and the public suspense .became intolerable'. . . In that month and year an act of ven geanance which the gang wreaked on a man named Aaron' Sherritt led ultimately to their undoing. This man had at one time been their con federate, but. was later found to be an informer' to the police. So the gang went one night to Sberritt's hut, about twenty miles from Beech worth, -and although four constables were inside 'at .the time Sherritt was, by a trick,: called outside' and .shot down. ';The gang wished the ? four police also to emerge from the lighted hut into the dark outside, and thus become a fine mark for their guns; but they kept within doors, and the bushrangers rode off. A special train carrying a force of police was then despatched from Melbourne, and at BenaHa, a pilot engine was sent on ahead to ensure that no obstruction had been placed on the line. As a fact, the gang was at the small town of Glen rowan, and there had caused the rails to be torn up at a very dangerous curve of the railway, near a high embank mant. This done, Ned Kelly hoist ed the 'all right'- signal ' for the train to proceed, as he thought, to its certain destruction. The towns people. ,ha.d. been gathered up as prisoners into the Glenrowan Hotel, and there the outlaws waited the final :act of the anticipated train wreck and the chance to shoot down any of the police \^ho escaped death in the impending ac cident. The fiendish plan miscarried, for the local schoolmaster succeed ed in escaping from the hotel and in giving warning- Jto- those in charge of the pilot engine. There after the story is- well known. Ned Kelly, while the attack of, the police was in progress, emerged from the hotel into the open, clad in armour plate, and wearing a helmet made of plough moulds, which a friendly smith had wrought far him. For a long while he withstood shot after shot fired at him, till at, length he was wounded in his legs, and fell, t-o be captured and secured. The other members of- the gang were killed in this fight with the police. On the 19th October, 1880, the tria^ began at Melbourne before Justice Sir Redmond Barry. Mr. Smyth and Mr. Chomley appeared t^r the crown, and Mr. Bin don for the prisoner. At the latter's request the trial . was . ad journed to the 28th, and then Kelly was presented on the charge for that on the '26th October, 1878, at St'M'noryV.ark' Creek, in the north bailiwick, he feloniously, wilfully and with malice aforethought did kill and murder Thomas Loni^an. Detective Ward produced the war rant of March. .1878, for the arrest of Edward Kelly for horse stealing, and stated that he bad 'been in pur s'it of him and three other men. Constable. Day produced the war rant for the arrest of Edward and Danipl Kelly for attempting to mur der Consteib^e FitzDatrick. Moln tvre gave in detail the story set out above as to the events at Strinsrv

bark Creek ; how he saw1 nriso^er point his rifle at Lorn' ^an and fire. 'Oh, .Chritf! T'm shot!' cried Loni gan,. and Kelly turbine to the wit ness said, 'Dear, dear, ,what' a nity ?- that mfin tried to get away.' Wit ness .a dried a. circumstantial account of Kelly's conversation with him. 'This,' said1 he, tar-ninsr his n'fl.e, 'is -better than handcuffs. Mind you don't, try to get away, Wcrtis^ if you do T'll snoot yo'. If T had to -trp.flT? you to t^e nolice station I would shoot you there.' Witness-; froni the Fnfthf^IFs Creek station swore that1 he had pr-enly boastpfl vnf the manner in Vr* io.fr' he h-a-fl disposed of tne un lucky police band, and one deposed thsf he had shown him Kennedy's go^d watch and said it was Ken nedy's. 'Which do ynu tMnk was the -best,M he had as^pd him. 'that I -^£iT[ld shoot Fftnr^edv, or that he shoot mei' Evidence fWas also read as to the baling W of the police station at Jerij deri'e', and how Kelly had said to the bank manager. 'It's all -.very well to say I shot the police in cnM blood ? we had to do it in self- ; drfence.' Bin don, for the prisoner, I obiented to the admission of evidence : of what occurred after t^e^ death of Loths'v\ kut the learned jud^e ad mitted it, as it erave, he said, the jurv the opportunity of judging the co^d^ot o* t^e' pr^on^T*- and of, his infention d'rin-r the affray. It is noteworthv that at the r?qfe nf this trvil it. w^s not co'ir)pient for an accu^d person to give evi dence on oath, 'hnt he eonid rnnVo an unsworn statement. Kellv did not avail himsplf of tbis privilege, and his counsel attacked the ^ Crown C3«, r-o;ntiTi«r out +hat the jury had nothing to do vith the shooting of

Kennedy or Scanlan, or what took place at Euroa or Jerilderie, and that it must be remembered that, as for the events of Stringybark Cfieek, 'ihe police at that time were in plain clothes. All that had happened, counsel pleaded, was an unfortunate fracas; the prisoner's mouth was shut, and he could not give sworn evidenced The judge explained to the jury that the question of the police being in plain clothes wag' immaterial What right had the prisoner to stop every man in the country, and call on them to surrender or put up their hands? As a' fact, the police were chargrd with a very responsible and dangerous duty, as executive officers of the law, to arrest the pri- . soner and his associates. No person J had any right or privilege to stop j them, and if Lonigan was shot by..1 any one of the gang, when there : was an unlawful purpose . in. the gang to resist arrest at all hazards, ?' all were equally 'uilty, and- it was immaterial whether or hot it was the prisoner who fired the shot ? which killed Lonigan. After a re tirement of half an hour, the' jury found the prisoner guilty, and, wi-en asked in ' the usual way whether he I had anything to say before sen tence was passed upon him, he began a strange colloquy with the presid ing judge, unparalleled in the foiensic annals of Victoria. 'Well, it is rather la,te for me to speak now. I thought of ^speaking this morning and all day. but there Was little use, and there is little use in blaming anyone now. Nobody i knows about my case except myself, j and I wish I had insisted . in being ' allowed to examine the witnesses | myself. If I had examined them I. j am confident I would have, thrown ? a different light on the case. It is not that I fear death; I Sear it as little as to drink a cup of tea.' 'Edward Kelly,' said his Honour, after the prisoner had ceased to speak, 'the verdict pronounced by the; jury is. one which you must have ! fully expected.' 'Yes, under j the circumstances.' 'N-o circum- ' stances that I can conceive could have altered the result of your tnial.' 'Perhaps not from what you now conceiye, but if you had heard me examine the witnesses it would have ben different.' 'I will give you credit for all the skill you appear to .desire to assume.' 'No, I don't wish to assume anything. | There is no flash ness or bravado about me' My mind is as easy as the mind of any man dn this world, as. I am prepared to show before God and man.' 'It is blasphemous for you to say that. You appear to revel in the idea of having put men to death.' 'More men than me have put men to death, but I am the last man in the world that would take a man's life.' 'Foolish, 'n take a man's life.' 'Foolish, in considerate. ill-conduct:d, unprin cipled youths,' said the learnDd judge in memorable words, which istiill to-day ,: unfortunately, have lost none of thoir point, 'abound, and unless they are made to consider the consequences of crime' tihey are led to imitate notorious felons whom ' they regard as self-made heroes. It is right, therefore, that they should be asked to consider and reflect ! upon what the life of a' felon is. i A felon who has cut hdmself off from all ^ decencies, all the affections, charities and all tfae obld nations of society is as helpless and^degraded

as a wild beast of the field. He has nowhere to lay his head ; he has no one to prepare for him. the coti forts of life. He suspects his friends, he dreads his enemies ; he is in constant alarm lest his pur suers should reach him, and his onlyhope ds that he might use his life dn what he considers a glorious struggle for existence. That is the life of the outlaw or felon,, and it would be well for those young men who are so foolish as to consider it is brave of a man to sacrifice the live-* of his fellow-creatures in carrying out has own wild ideas to ?ee tihat dt is a life to be avoided ?by every possible means, *and fro re fect that the ' unfortunate terminV tion of your life is a miserable death.' Then the sentence of death was passed, ending in the usual formula, 'May the Lord have rr.-ercy on your soul.' 'I will go a little further than that,' was the Parthian slhot of the outlaw as he turned to make Ms way down to the cells, 'fand say, I will see you there where I go.' The sentence wo.c. ^-rried out on the 11th November. ? A church solely for children and conducted by themselves, has been established in connection with St. Mark's, Camberwell (England). Services are held every Sunday morning, when the congregation usually numbers about 200. the ages of the worshippers ranging, from six to 14 years. A girl aged 12 and a bov a year older are the 'curates.' The only adult ad-' mitted is the chaplain, whose only duty is to give the blessing. The choir is conducted by a girL.

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