“If my lips teach the public that men are made mad by bad treatment, and if the police are taught that they may exasperate to madness men they persecute and ill-treat, my life will not be entirely thrown away.” 


     A N D    O T H E R    S T O R I E S




Ned Kelly is supposed to have said this to Constable Thomas Lonigan during the Bootmakers shop brawl, Arundel St, Benalla in 1877. Lonigan, in the company of other officers, attempted to subdue a wild Ned and in the process, grabbed him by the balls- an extremely painful experience as a lot of blokes can attest to. Anything said in anger after this would perhaps be somewhat justified. There is no documented evidence of Ned bellowing this. The story however, has survived. As it turned out, Lonigan was the first to fall @ Stringybark Creek in October 1878. He was included in the party because he was able to recognise Ned(!)


“Oh Christ! I’m shot.”


Lonigan's last words as he pitches to the ground @ Stringybark creek, moments from death.


“Ned Kelly is the best bloody man that has ever been in Benalla. I would fight up to my knees in blood for him- I have known him for years. I would take his word sooner than another mans oath.”


Francis Harty, a friend of the Kellys, said this within Constable Alexander Fitzpatricks hearing. He was one of only two witnesses called for the defence @ the trial following the incident involving the policeman, Ellen Kelly and others. I can imagine Alex Fitzpatrick flinching or squirming in his seat when he heard it. To me, it seems very similar to the reverent way Aaron Sherritt described Ned some time later.


“There they are. Shall I ever be there again?”


Wistful words from Ned, after capture, as he caught a glimpse of his beloved Strathbogie Ranges, near Euroa, from a moving railway carriage, 1880.

“If I had a pig-tail, I’d go home to China. One Chinaman is worth all the bloody Europeans living.”


Comment attributed to Ned, in defence of his Chinese allies.


“We always knew it would come to this , didn’t we?…Not just another fight. It’s got to be war!”


Dialogue from “The Last Outlaw” television series (Ian Jones, 1980)- Ned Kelly(John Jarrett) to Tom Lloyd (Lewis Fitzgerald).  


“Most men, wounded as he was, would have been far more prostrated, but he was a splendid constitution. Moreover, his body looked as if it had  been well nourished…I expected to find him, after the life he had been leading, very dirty but his skin was as clean as if he had just come from a Turkish bath.”


Courtesy of Doctor Nicholson of Benalla after he tended to Neds wounds in the Glenrowan railway station, June 1880. 


“Apart from anything else, I have to ask, what in the name of fortune would the Kelly Gang want with curved plates of iron?”


Dialogue from “The Last Outlaw”. Superintendent Nicolson is incredulous regarding a report of stolen iron mould boards by the Kelly Gang, courtesy of Mr. O’Connor and his native police. Shortly after, the police faced the armoured gang in battle @ Glenrowan.


“Ned Kelly could beat me into fits. I can beat all the others; I am a better man than Joe Byrne and I am better than Dan Kelly and I am a better man than Steve Hart. I can lick these two youngsters into fits. I have always beaten Joe, but I look upon Ned Kelly as an extraordinary man; there is no man in the world like him- he is superhuman. I look upon him as invulnerable; you can do nothing with him.”


Superintendent Francis Hare, whilst in the Woolshed Valley with Aaron Sherritt on many a cold night, noticed his toughness and his seemingly natural ability to cope with the severe weather conditions with a minimum of fuss. Hare naturally wondered if Ned and the gang had the same abilities. In the commission reports, Hare tells how Aaron made the above statement.  

“If my lips teach the public that men are made mad by bad treatment, and if the police are taught that they may exasperate to madness men they persecute and ill-treat, my life will not be entirely thrown away.”


Ned Kelly, after his capture, 1880.


“I mind you’ll die like a Kelly son. As bravely as you lived.”


Charged with emotion @ the pending death of her oldest son, Ellen Kelly/King, in the same gaol as Ned, spoke these final words prior to his execution. He followed her instructions to the letter.


“I could not bring greater discredit to your name than you or your family have already done! You’re a pack of thieves and larrikins and a blight on the district!”


Dialogue from “The Last Outlaw”. Ned has confronted James Whitty, seeking an apology for an earlier indescretion. He doesn’t get it but Whitty comes off second best anyway.


“I do not fear death, and I am the last man in the world to take a mans life away. I believe that two years ago, before this thing happened, if a man pointed a gun at me to shoot me, I should not have stopped him, so careful was I of taking life.”


“I dare say the day will come when we shall all have to go to a bigger court than this. Then we shall see who is right and who is wrong.”


Part of Neds extensive exchange with Redmond Barry @ his trial in Melbourne, 1880.


“My brother Ned holds a very unique position among the great men of the world. Great men are proclaimed great almost exclusively by their friends, supporters, sympathisers and admirers; but you have proved that my brother, Ned Kelly, was proclaimed the greatest man in the world by his bitterest enemy.”


The above quote comes from a letter Jim Kelly, of Greta West, wrote to J.J.Kenneally, an early Kelly author. (December 1930)


“They were as wonderful as everyone said they were; they could fly before us.”


As stated by Francis Augustus Hare @ the commission hearings of 1881.


“I had expressed my opinion that to the officer in charge of that district, that without oppressing the people, or worrying them in any way, that we should endeavour, whenever they commit any paltry crime, to bring them to justice and send them to Pentridge, even on a paltry sentence, the object being to take their prestige away from them , which has as good an effect as being sent into prison with very heavy sentences, because the prestige those men get up there from what is termed their flashness helped to keep them together, and that is a very good way of taking the flashness out of them.”


This was Charles Nicolsons answer to question 1028 in the Royal Commission on the Ploice Force of Victoria, 1881.(Former Superintendent of Police)  




Edward Kelly, 11th November, 1880.


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