So much has been said and written about Ned Kelly that I need not go too deep into detail here.
He was born in about 1855, (no proof exists to determine his exact birth date) and named Edward Kelly, in either Beveridge or Wallan, Victoria.
Ned, as he became known, had an association with the long arm of the law since he was a lad. His first notable appearance was when he had an altercation with a Chinaman named Ah Fook. Fook was recorded as calling Ned a ‘bushranger’ for the first time.
Around this period Ned became an ‘apprentice’ to bushranger Harry Power, mostly holding his horses. His next black mark was for being involved with the sending of an obscene letter and assault. Following this Ned was charged with having a stolen horse in his possession and was given three years with hard labour, he was only 16 years of age.
Next up Ned was arrested for being drunk, on this charge he managed to get away with a fine only. That leads us to the incident where constable Fitzpatrick visited the Kelly home to arrest Dan. This is believed to be the cause of the ‘Kelly outbreak’, as it became known.
Dan and Ned headed for the relative safety of the Wombat Ranges. Eventually the police set up camp near by and a subsequent shootout between the gang and the police led to the death of three police officers.
After eluding the police for a lengthy period the gang robbed the banks of Euroa and Jerilderie before the eventual raid on Glenrowan.
Ironically, it seems Ned would be charged with crimes he did not commit, and not charged with the ones he was guilty of. He was known (and by his own admission) as the best horse thief in Victoria, yet was never charged with this crime. He was assisting Harry Power, but was never convicted. He most likely did not write the obscene note that had him sent to prison, but may have been guilty of the assault. He also may have assaulted the Chinaman, but we cannot be sure.
Ned was extra strong with his fists, he took on all comers, including constable Hall and Wild Wright. He was willing to take on anyone and this had been the case since his youth. To say the least, Ned was a courageous fighter and would use his fists over guns where possible. He was a fair fighter, who took on opponents in bare knuckle fights.
Ned Kelly was a man who could command an audience and was a natural leader.

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