Edward (Ned) Kelly History News Reports

Departure of Ned Kelly

Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette (Vic. : 1877 – 1889), Friday 6 August 1880, page 4


Some time on Saturday morning, rumors were rife in Melbourne, says the Age, to the effect that Ned Kelly, who was expected to appear before the City Police this Monday morning, was not to undergo examination here, but was to be taken hence to Beechworth. Inquiry proved that this was correct, but as the authorities kept all proposed movements profoundly secret, a difficulty arose as to determining when and how the notorious outlaw would be deported to Beechworth. At two o’clock on Saturday Mr Call. P.M., visited the gaol. Kelly was brought before him, and he was asked if he had any objection to being removed to Beechworth for trial. He replied he had none. Constable McIntyre was present, and formally declared that the prisoner was the person who shot Constables Scanlan and Lonegan, in the now celebrated murderous outrage in the Wombat ranges, in the month of October, 1878. Kelly’s demeanor was simply respectful. He asked no questions, and was at once remanded to the Beechworth court of petty sessions, which sits on Friday today. He was then relegated to his cell, and about 7 o’clock orders were given to prepare an engine for a start on the road, and the driver was instructed to be in readiness at nine sharp, for a journey, the terminus of which was not designated.

A quarter of an hour after the time, he received instructions to take a saloon carriage and guard’s van to the Newmarket station, and remain there for further instructions. In the meantime Mr Castieau, expecting that Kelly would be sent for at an early hour, had everything ready to facilitate his immediate departure. About half-past eight o’clock, the streets being deserted, a waggonette drove up to the gaol main entrance. It contained Sergeant Steele and four of the mounted constabulary fully armed. Sergeant Steele presented the necessary order for the delivery of the body of Ned Kelly, and this was of course immediately met, Kelly being sent for by two warders. On emerging from his cell it was seen that he was dressed respectably. He wore a pilot cloth coat, checked waistcoat, and corduroy trousers. He appeared in excellent health, and all that indicated that he had been wounded was his lameness in the left leg. He was at once handcuffed, and unassisted hobbled to the waggonette. He took his seat between two constables. Mr. Castieau, who accompanied the prisoner to the waggonette, said to him, “Now, Kelly, it is your game to be quiet; do not do anything foolish.” He replied, “D— it, aint I always quiet?” The vehicle was then driven away. On arriving at the Newmarket Station, Kelly alighted, and it was found that in order to reach the train it would be necessary for him to walk across the line. This he refused to do, stating that the Government were rich enough to pay for a conveyance for him. The police attempted to persuade him to go quietly, but he declined to move, and was most insolent in his demeanor, the language he used beside being disgusting. At half-past nine o’clock he was placed in the special carriage referred to above, there being in the same compartment six policemen under Sergeant Steele. Captain Standish, Colonel Anderson and Mr Labertouche drove up to the station before the departure of the train. The Chief Commissioner spoke to the prisoner, who was most impudent in his replies, and the train then left the station.

Shortly after four o’clock yesterday afternoon a telegram was received in Melbourne, stating that the special train had arrived safely at its destination. However, its arrival was so unexpected that only a railway official and a gaol warder were present to meet it. Kelly was at once taken to the Beechworth gaol, few of the local residents apparently being aware of his arrival. In accordance with the remand warrant, Kelly will be brought before the Beechworth Court on Friday next, and tried for the murder of the police in the Wombat Ranges. If committed for trial, as he probably will be, the Crown will take the necessary steps to have the venue for the trial changed to the Central Criminal Court at Melbourne.—Age.

A telegram from Benalla in last night’s “Herald” says:— The utmost secrecy was kept relative to the departure of the special train to Beechworth yesterday. Neither Superintendent Hare, Inspector Montfort, nor Mr Secretan, was made aware of the fact that Kelly was to be taken away till some two hours after the special had left Newmarket. At Newmarket, Kelly was carried from the cab on to the platform when the special arrived. Some little distance had to be walked along the platform to reach it. Kelly offered to walk this, and did so with a kind of limp or hop on his right leg, assisted on each side by an officer. He was dressed in a new suit of dark tweed, and had a massive chain outside his coat. Everything was done to throw persons off the scent, so that few knew the outlaw was being taken away. He was placed in the hind van, and away the special went. There was plenty of conversation going on during the voyage, but not of a character tending to the outrages. Kelly seemed to have a bitter hatred to one or two of the officers that were with him, and expressed himself to that effect. No stoppages were made anywhere till Benalla was reached, where the engine took water. The train passed through Seymour at 10.50, and no one was to be seen. Just before arriving at this station, one of the gates being across the line, a halt had to be made, and the whistle blew furiously to call the attention of the gate-keeper. Kate Kelly, Mrs Skillian, and Wild Wright, with several others, went to Melbourne on Friday night, and it was quite evident they do not know anything of the change.

BEECHWORTH, Monday. Dr. O’Brien dressed Kelly’s wounds in gaol this morning. He has twenty-three gunshot wounds. Constable McIntyre slept in the cell with him last night. Kelly says Byrne did not shoot Sherritt. Mrs. Sherritt and her mother are in Beechworth.

By AJFPhelan56

Father, writer, artist and bushranging historian residing in Melbourne, Australia. Author of 'Glenrowan' and the popular website A Guide to Australian Bushranging.

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