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Glenrowan Timeline

Below you can see a concise timeline of what occurred during the Glenrowan Siege and some of the events surrounding it.

26 June, 1880: Saturday

Afternoon – Aaron Sherritt rides to Chiltern to enquire after some of his mother-in-law’s cattle that had been impounded.

Evening – The Kelly Gang begin their Glenrowan campaign. Ned and Steve head to Glenrowan while Joe and Dan head to Sebastopol.

~6:00pm – Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly capture Anton Wick and force him to lure Aaron Sherritt to the back door of his hut. When Sherritt opens the door he is shot twice by Byrne. The outlaws remain at the hut in an attempt to draw out the police hiding in Sherritt’s bedroom.

9:00pm – Joe and Dan leave the Sherritt hut, having been unsuccessful in their attempts to flush out the police. Meanwhile, Ned and Steve are in Glenrowan attempting to dismantle a portion of the railroad but are unsuccessful. They bail up a group of labourers camped nearby in tents and attempt to make them do the work, but discover that they are quarrymen who were working on the gravel under and around the track, and cannot do as instructed.

Midnight – Ned and Steve set about gathering more prisoners, including the Stanistreet family, Ann Jones, and the labourers. The gatehouse becomes the base of operations while the outlaws attempt to get the track dismantled.

The Kelly’s at Glenrowan, preparing to smash the train. [From Australian pictorial weekly, no. 6, Melbourne, July 17, 1880.]

27 June, 1880: Sunday

1:00am – Ned Kelly bails up the local platelayers, Reardon and Sullivan.

3:00am – The prisoners are forced to sabotage the railway.

5:00am – Joe and Dan arrive in Glenrowan. They pass McDonnell’s Tavern to the gatehouse where the prisoners are now that the train line has been broken.

~6:00am – Ned Kelly divides the prisoners, placing the men in the Glenrowan Inn and the women and children in the gatehouse in the charge of Steve Hart.

11:00am – More prisoners are added to the number, including the Curnows and David Mortimer. Curnow observes the tail end of Ned’s verbal assault on a teenage boy.

12:00pm – Constable Armstrong heads into Beechworth on a commandeered horse to deliver the news of the murder of Aaron Sherritt to Detective Ward.

Midday – To keep the prisoners entertained, sports and dancing are held at the Glenrowan Inn.

2:30pm – Superintendent Hare first receives information that Sherritt has been murdered and telegraphs Captain Standish in an effort to get Sub-Inspector O’Connor and his native police (recently relieved of duty) back so they can follow the trail while it’s fresh.

4:30pm – Captain Standish receives the telegrams from Hare. He sends a letter to Sub-Inspector O’Connor by cab and organises a special train to depart from Spencer Street.

7:00pm – Sub-Inspector O’Connor receives a letter from Captain Standish asking for him to return to Beechworth. He begrudgingly accepts.

9:00pm – Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne take a small group to capture Constable Bracken. Steve Hart crosses to the inn with the women and children. Once Bracken is made prisoner Ned allows Thomas Curnow to take his family home; at the same time the special train ordered by Standish departs from Spencer Street Railway Station. It consists of an engine, first class carriage and a guard van. Its occupants are a team of journalists who have been assigned to cover the Kelly pursuit.

10:00pm – O’Connor and his trackers, wife and sister-in-law are collected from Essendon by the special train. They continue towards Benalla.

~10:00-10:30pm – Ned and company return to the inn. Steve Hart is sent back to the gatehouse.

~10:30pm – The engine of the special train is badly damaged when it smashes through an iron railway gate that had been left open across the tracks. A lamp and footplate are shorn off, and the brake mechanism is badly impaired.

The special train stops at Seymour. The occupants get out for coffee while the brakes are hastily repaired.

The dance at the Glenrowan Inn before the fight, by Thomas Carrington (1880) [Courtesy: SLV, 1656548; b50933]

28 June, 1880: Monday

12:00am – Dan Kelly gives the prisoners permission to leave but they are detained by Ann Jones for Ned to give a parting speech.

~2:00am – The pilot engine is flagged down by Thomas Curnow, who warns of the sabotaged track. The police train arrives at Glenrowan station shortly after; Hare is informed by Constable Bracken, who has escaped, that the gang are in Jones’s inn. Immediately after, fighting breaks out with Ned Kelly opening fire on Hare, injuring him.

~3:00am Superintendent Hare returns to Benalla with a shattered wrist and raises the alarm about what is happening in Glenrowan.

5:00am – Reinforcements from Wangaratta arrive.

5:10am – Reinforcements from Benalla arrive.

~5:30am – Some time between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning Joe Byrne is shot dead while at the bar.

7:00am – Ned Kelly is captured after a confrontation with police. He emerges from the bush behind the police lines and is brought down by Sergeant Steele, who shoots him in the knee and groin.

The Encounter of the Police with Ned Kelly at Daybreak [Source: The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 10/07/1880, p.64]

9:00am – Reinforcements from Beechworth arrive.

10:00am – The prisoners are allowed to leave.

Midday – Father Gibney arrives and gives Ned the last rites. Around this time Kelly sympathisers begin to arrive in Glenrowan, including the Kelly sisters. Maggie Skillion refuses to assist the police in trying to bring Dan Kelly and Steve Hart out of the inn.

1:00pm – The last known shots are fired from the inn.

3:00pm – Senior Constable Johnston sets fire to the Glenrowan Inn. Father Gibney rushes in to find and rescue any survivors trapped inside. He is followed by several policemen. The corpse of Byrne is retrieved as is Martin Cherry who dies moments later.

5:00pm – Standish arrives in Glenrowan to learn what is happening from Sadleir and take control if necessary.

The burnt bodies of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart are raked from the ashes of the inn once the fire has byrnt itself out. The remains are viewed by the relatives and handed over to the families by Superintendent Sadleir.

Ned is conveyed to Benalla by train with the bodies of Byrne and Cherry. He is taken to the lock up. That evening the artist Julian Ashton is allowed into the cell with Joe’s body to sketch it.

Destruction of the Kelly Gang. Drawn by Mr. T. Carrington during the encounter, July 3, 1880 [Courtesy: SLV, 1656517; b50914]