ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Legend of the Iron Man Ned Kelly

Updated on February 22, 2020

Ned Kelly, Australian Legend

Ned's Coat of Armour
Ned's Coat of Armour
Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly

Was He Robin Hood?

Some say Ned Kelly was on their side and a Robin Hood of the poor. Ned was born to a poor Irish family consisting of his father, John (Red)Kelly and mother Ellen (Quinn)Kelly. Ned's father was sentenced in 1841 to seven years for stealing two pigs. His father was released after serving six months but died shortly after. This left his mother Ellen a widow with eight children to care for. Ned was only 12 years old and now the man of the house.

The settlement of Australia was great for squatters, who received the best fertile land while the selectors received the poorest of land. Most of the selectors were the poor Irish trying to survive. The squatters were in cahoots with the officials and the police leading the selectors agitated.

It seems almost a necessity that the poor, having no choice to survive but to steal food. Ned felt an almost unbearable load to provide for his mother and his brothers and sisters. Along came a bushranger named Harry Power who took Ned under his wing to groom him as a bushranger. Ned had already been on the radar by the local constable from a prior minor charge.

Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick

Alexander Fitzpatrick
Alexander Fitzpatrick

Confrontation at Kelly Home

In 1878, Fitzpatrick had gone yo the Kelly home to arrest Dan Kelly. A scuffle took place when Fitzpatrick, who was drunk, made advances to one of the Kelly sisters. Fitzpatrick was shot in the wrist, and Ned fled to the bush. Instead of arresting Dan, the constable arrested Ellen for aiding in the attempted murder of him. She was later sentenced to three years of prison. When Ned heard this, he vowed revenge.

Ned, his brother Dan had two friends, Joe Byrne and Steve Hart, join them in the gang. Now, outlaws, the reward was rising.

A shoot out at String Bank Creek resulted in the death of three police officers. Now the Crown declared the Kelly gang criminals with a price on their heads. For the next two years, they managed to elude police. It was at this time that Ned fashioned his coat of armor from a piece of plow boards from an old plow. He probably had a blacksmith join the pieces together and then added leather ties for wearing.

The gang was running out of money and decided to rob a bank in Euroa. When they robbed the bank, Ned also destroyed all the paperwork of debts owed by the poor. Perhaps this led to his Robin Hood name.

Reward Poster

Reward Poster
Reward Poster

Bank Robbery, Stringybank Creek Shootout, Glenrowan Inn Capture

Bank Robbery, Jertildenie
Bank Robbery, Jertildenie
Stringbank Creek
Stringbank Creek

Towards The End

Running out of money, the gang decided to rob another bank. The dressed as police officers and robbed the Jerildenie Bank and fled to Glenrowan Creek. Soon, surrounded the band fought back, killing three police officers. They then took hostages at the Glenrowan Inn, and police surrounded the gang. Kelly ket the women and children out, and the shooting started again. Ned decided to dress in his armor and go out the back and sneak up on the police. However, the police finally realized to shoot the unprotected legs, and Ned was severely wounded.

Ned's gang were all shot dead, and he was severely wounded and headed to the Old Melbourne Gaol. After he was captured and sentenced to death, thousands signed petitions for his reprieve, but the Crown was having none of it. He was set to be hanged 11 November 1880 and his mother visited him the eve of his ganging. In parting, she said to Ned, "Die like a Kelly, Ned."

When Ned was asked his last words, it is said he quipped "such is life."

Royal Commission of 1881 Regarding The Kelly Gang

In 1881, the Royal Committee had to look into police corruption and the harassment of the Kelly. After some 66 meetings, 65 witnesses the report was published. It found no evidence of persecution of the poor Irish or Kelly Gang. Instead, it was determined Kelly described as a criminal, cruel, wanton, and inhuman. It seemed almost as if they whitewashed the corruption of the officials.

A movie made in 1906, and it proved to be so successful that it was banned six years later because officials were afraid it promoted criminality.

Hundreds of songs, plays, and books have been written on the most famous bushrangers of Australia, namely Ned Kelly. Kelly motto was that the wealthy should share the land, and he often said: "it will always pay a rich man to be liberal with the poor for if the poor are on your side, you will lose nothing."

The suit of armor Kelly wore is on display at the State Library of Victoria with 18 bullet holes still visable.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)