The Ned Kelly Connection

Jerilderie was the only town in NSW visited by Ned Kelly and his gang and here's a brief history of how it all unfolded.

From Saturday evening on 6 February 1879 until Monday evening on 10 February 1879, the Kelly gang carried out an audacious raid on the town of Jerilderie NSW, robbing the Bank of New South Wales of £2,140, holding more than thirty residents hostage and locking the police in their own cell.

Those taking part were Ned Kelly, his brother Dan, Steven Hart, and Joe Byrne.

The real purpose for Ned's visit to Jerilderie however, was not to relieve the local Bank of its depositors' funds, but to get Ned's account of the events leading up to his present plight and the corruption of the law published.

On the Monday afternoon Ned tried to locate Samuel Gill, the editor of the Jerilderie & Urana Gazette, to get his now famous "Jerilderie Letter" published. Ned was unable to locate Gill and attempted to hand the article to Mrs Gill, who refused to take custody of it.

The teller with the Bank of New South Wales, Edwin Living, offered to take possession of the "Letter" and pass it on to Gill for publishing. However, he didn't pass it on, but kept it for himself, and it did not resurface until more than 100 years later.

It is now known that the four outlaws rode into Jerilderie at about sunset on the Saturday. They initially made their way to the Woolshed Inn located some 4 km upstream from Jerilderie, where they had a meal and a few drinks. Towards midnight, they descended on the police barracks in Jerilderie where they captured Senior Constable Devine and Trooper Richards, locking them in their own cell.

On the Sunday, the four members of the gang dressed themselves in police uniforms and masqueraded as reinforcements who were being sent onto the New South Wales/Victorian border to join other police patrolling the border to prevent the Kelly gang from entering New South Wales!

Before robbing the bank when it opened for business on Monday 10 February, Joe Byrne and Steve Hart, dressed in uniform, called on the Blacksmith shop of Samuel Rae where they had their horses re-shod, booking the work up to the NSW police.

NED KELLY RAID TRAIL

Jerilderie has more surviving authentic Kelly sites than anywhere else along the Ned Kelly National Touring Route. The former Jerilderie Shire Council, with assistance of local Historian Laurie Henery, developed a Jerilderie Raid Trail brochure complete with detailed timeline, in order for Kelly aficionados to directly retrace the footsteps of Ned and his gang as they proceeded to carry out an event that became an icon in the annals of Australian history.

You can walk in Ned's footsteps and explore the 16 sites in Jerilderie with the National Heritage Ned Kelly Raid Trail. Start the trail at The Ned Kelly Post and Telegraph Office. Make your own decision – was Ned Kelly a hero or an outlaw?

Each site along the Jerilderie Ned Kelly Raid Trail has a plaque with information about the site, along with a QR code which links you to more information (courtesy of Laurie Henery) as follows: 

 
  1. Post and Telegraph Office
  2. The Blacksmith Shop
  3. Riverina Hotel
  4. Courthouse Hotel
  5. The Office of Michael J Curtin, Auctioneer
  6. Home and General Store of Louis Monash
  7. 63 Jerilderie Street
  8. Royal Mail Hotel – Chas. Cox, Licencee
    Adjoining businesses of J D Rankin, H D Harkin, and Bank of NSW
  9. Site of the Residence and Printing Office of the Jerilderie and Urana Gazette
    Samuel Gill, Editor and Proprietor
  10. Site of the Saddlery of James Mahood
  11. Site of the Traveller's Rest Hotel Stables
  12. Site of the Traveller’s Rest Hotel Stables
    Lessee Mr Thomas McDougall
  13. Site of Police Barracks, Lockup and Stables
  14. Jerilderie Court House
  15. Site of the Wooshed Inn (renamed The Pastoral Hotel)
  16. John Gribble encounter with the Kelly Gang, First settlers (The Park Residence)

Download the Jerilderie Ned Kelly Raid Trail Map

You can also see the route Ned Kelly and his gang took to get to Jerilderie from the Victorian border to Jerilderie, and return in February 1879. This has been prepared by local historian Laurie Henery of Jerilderie, who has spent countless hours pouring over maps.


NED KELLY TOURING ROUTE

You can also explore the legend of Ned Kelly and his Gang along the official Ned Kelly Touring Route which takes in the historical sites of Melbourne, North East Victoria and Southern New South Wales.

The Kelly family roots come from Tipperary in Ireland, but the famous exploits of Ned Kelly and his gang happened from Glenrowan to Jerilderie, Euroa, Beechworth, Benalla and Mansfield (and his grisly end in Old Melbourne Gaol). Other places to explore in the history of  Ned Kelly include his younger years in Avenel, Beveridge and Greta. You can dip your toe into the Ned Kelly story in a day or take the time to explore the many sites over a number of days.

There are loads of highlights on the Ned Kelly Touring Route - all places chosen specifically for the part they played in the Kelly Gang saga.

Visit the Ned Kelly Touring Route website to plan your next road trip or ways you can tie a piece of the Kelly story into your next holiday: Ned Kelly Touring Route Brochure

Watch this clip to learn more:

 


Related Pages


Jerilderie Cemetery


Locating Samuel Gill's Residence & Office


Origins of the Cell Door


The Jerilderie Letter