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First Hand Accounts Glenrowan History

Jane Jones’ Statement

An account of the Kelly Gang’s visit to Glenrowan by Jane Jones

Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth, Vic. : 1855 – 1918), Saturday 18 June 1881, page 1


THAT NIGHT AT GLENROWAN.

Miss Jones’s Statement.

The following curious statement has been made to our special reporter by Miss Jane Jones, as to what took place within her knowledge between the arrival of the Kelly gang at her mother’s hotel at Glenrowan on the Sunday morning and the fight of Monday. Different as portion of this statement is from the complexion which has been put upon the conduct of this girl and her mother by some of the public, our reporter who knew them and their position with regard to their relations to the police, considers that the whole is reconcilable with known facts. Our reporter, further states that the Kelly’s were never at Mrs Jones’s house before the murder of Sherritt, although there is scarcely a doubt they had previously passed through Glenrowan on more than one occasion.

Miss Jones states: About 1 o’clock on the morning of the 27th June, 1880, a man came to the front door of my mother’s hotel and called out in a loud voice, “Jump up and open the door.” Mother answered from her room in the back. The person ran round and said, “Open the door quick, or I will break it open. I am Ned Kelly. Who have you got in there with you?” Mother said, “Only my daughter.” I then jumped up, opened the door, and a man came in with a gun in his hand. He said to mother, “You are Mrs Jones; are you not? ” Mother said, “I am;” and he said, “Well, I am Ned Kelly; now where are your police to mind you, if I wanted to shoot you?” Mother began to cry, and said, “I never had any police to mind me, and you are not Ned Kelly, but a policeman.” He said, “I am not a policeman. You would like me better if I was; for who got your license?” Mother said, “63 persons signed a petition, and it was granted by a licensing magistrate.” He said, “Then you were belied. But did you not get Maloney shifted from the Sydney crossing, by telling the police we went through his gates, and that he did not tell on us?” Mother answered, “No; do you think I left my house every night and went a mile to watch for you.” “Well,” he said, “I won’t shoot you this time; but you must wait on me now, to run the police down, as you waited on them to run me down.” Mother then said, “I had to wait on the police; they paid me for it.” During this time we were dressing, and he was in the bedroom. He asked who was in the kitchen; and on mother saying only her four little boys, he said he must see them, and did see them asleep. He then said, ” Lock the door and come quick, as I have no time to loose.” Mother, again crying, asked him where he was going to take her to, and he said he had a lot of men bailed up on the road, and that she must come, too; as he was going to take up the line, to wreck a special train that was coming up with police and black trackers. He took them to where he had a lot of men bailed up on the road. He called up the station-master and made him show where the tools where. He took them all to where the tools were, and mother asked Ned if he would let me go back to the house for a bottle of brandy; but he said, ” No.” Hart then whistled, and the other two outlaws came from across the line. Mother then said she had been ill for some time, and could not live in the cold till morning unless she had some brandy. Ned Kelly then told Hart to go with me to get a bottle. We did so, and mother handed the bottle to Ned Kelly. He said, “Is it right ?” But he made her taste it first, and then some of the other men, before he and his mates took some. He then told the men they must take up the line; but they said they knew nothing about it and he asked where the line-repairers lived, and went and brought Reardon and family, Larkins and Sullivan, and gave them the tools. Mother said it would be a sad thing if the train was wrecked. One of the outlaws said, “There you are again for the police;” and Ned said, “I have a mind to blow a hole through that woman.” Ned then told Hart to tell the men to take up the line and, he called me to come too. I took no notice; and he then said, “Come along, Kate.” We went on for a mile, when Hart said, “This will do, boys ; set to work ;” and the men started to pull up the line. Ned then came up, and all were ordered back to the station-master’s house. Mr Stanistreet gave them some brandy, and Mrs Stanistreet some bacon, sliced pig’s cheek and bread. Dan Kelly then told mother to go home, get a fire on and prepare breakfast. I went first, and mother followed, and when breakfast was ready we went back and told them. Ned Kelly was on his horse on the line, and said if his horse had two or three days’ spell and a good feed, he could race the train to Benalla. He asked mother if she had any horse-feed; and on her answering she had chaff and oats he told Byrne to go and bring three more horses to mother’s stable, and feed them. Byrne asked what would the other horses do; and he said, “There are four in McDonald’s stable, and the rest can take their chance.” Ned then said, ” Whoever likes can stop here, and who ever likes can go to the hotel; but I leave Hart to mind you that remain.” Several did go, and Ned put the horses in the stable and fed them; and Dan Kelly came from across the line with a bag of iron on his shoulder. He put the bag in a room, locked the door, and kept the key. Several persons had breakfast, but nobody paid. Some time after this Ned Kelly said, ” You are all better; get up a dance, to make a miserable life happy and we danced two or three sets, Mr Mortimer playing the concertina. Some time during the day the outlaws and others were jumping, in the yard, and when night fell some of the men made a fire near a log; but Ned Kelly about two hours after said, ” Boys, you had all better come in now, as I cannot mind you out here, and I believe half of you are gone already.” They said they were all there. My two brothers and Thomas Cameron went over to McDonald’s, and he told them to wait till he had tea; but as he remained, long they returned without him, and he came after. Ned then went and brought Constable Bracken, and some of them had tea, with bread borrowed from the tents. Mother shared, what was left with Mrs Reardon and family and Mrs Ryan and family. After this Ned said we had better get up another dance, to pass away the time. Three of the out laws were dancing in one room of the house, while the fourth was at the gate house. Three rooms were full of the people who had been bailed up. Both front and back door were left open, and as no one was keeping guard, anyone could have got away. Mr—— danced several reels and hornpipes for the outlaws. Mother told — — that the line had been taken up and that Dan Kelly had brought a bag of iron, and she wondered what it was. He shook his head, laughed, and said, “I know, but l won’t tell you; but if the special comes, you will know what it is for.”

(Signed)

Jane Jones.

By AJFPhelan56

I am a 30-something father, writer and artist residing in Melbourne, Australia. Currently writing novels and screenplays on top of running the popular bushranger site A Guide to Australian Bushranging.

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